Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Nappy & Proud !!


The purpose of Guinee Espoir!

Children in need in Guinea

The Cofounders Saran & Sarata Kaba

Aight people, new column...!!! (

I thought to myself, why not interview the
new shakers in #aspects of life of the AFRICAN DIASPORA, people who live in America, Europe, Africa you name it from the East, South, West...wherever you name it

So for my first interview, miss Saran Kaba accepted helpfully to let me pick her brain. She's a beautiful young woman living in New York City working for a well respected non-profit organisation and getting ready to go to Grad School. She's also working hard to promote the non profit organisation that she co-founded w/her twin sister Saratta "GUINEE ESPOIR"which aim is to help people living in great poverty in Africa, mainly in Guinea through various donations of clothes, books, shoes.ect...They are currently helping the Hospital Donka which is pretty bad if you guyz want to help please email her at:

1/How do you define yourself as an African Woman?

The biggest thing I’ve always admired in African women is their Strength. I am strong. Ok, I must admit that, as all human beings, from time to time I do break down. However this does not keep me from getting on with my life. Life is short.

2/How long have you been living in America ?

I’ve been living here for about 16 years. I was born here and moved back to Guinea when my father retired from the UN (I was 11 at the time). I lived in Guinea for 7 years and then moved back here with my twin sister.

3/Could you see yourself moving home now? if not what are apprehensive about?

I would not want to move back just yet. Don’t get me wrong I would definitely love to move back somewhere in Africa just not at the moment. I feel that for now I can do so much more from here. By working hard and pursuing my Masters degree, I feel that I am better preparing myself for what’s to come. I am part of a group in which we discuss Africa’s development issues and work on different projects to help African youth (with a focus on Guinea ). I feel that we can get so many more people who can help involved from here, people who have the resources to help out those in our country. This is why I would prefer staying here for the moment.

4/how do u feel about the life of an immigrant here, mainly African?

I think nowadays most Africans are focused on getting out of their country to go abroad mainly because conditions in their countries are not easy. I am certain that most are very surprised when they come here and find out that life is not so easy here either. You are in a place where you hardly speak the language and you find that you actually don’t have the same opportunities as others. What never ceases to amaze me though is their willpower, their hard work in general

5/I know that u work for a non profit here tell us more about your profession?

I work for a wonderful International women’s rights organization called Equality Now. We work to promote civil, political, economic as well as social rights of girls and women around the world. We work on different issues such as: rape, domestic violence, trafficking in women, female genital mutilation among other things.
I love the fact that I learn new things everyday and I am fighting for a cause that I can definitely relate to.

6/what challenges do u encounter in the workforce being of African descent?

Thank god I have not encountered any challenges so far.

7/ what advice would you give to someone who wants to make it here on the professional level?

I think the key is not to bring yourself down or think that you can’t do it. Never say CAN’T. You can say: “Don’t want to” and assume the blame for not trying. Just don’t say CAN’T.
If you show someone that you are confident and determined and can do the job better than anyone else can, they have no VALID reason to turn you down or underestimate you.

8/ do u feel that africans because of the difficulty of life tend to become complacent?

Some do (especially the younger generation these days). But in most cases I think that the fact that life here is difficult is what pushes them to be stronger and work harder.

9/what african magasines do you read on the regular? do u feel that there exist any of real substance?

To be honest, African magazines are not very accessible here. My sister is subscribed to Amina. I will read an interesting article that catches my eye here and there but to be honest I mainly read the picture stories at the end .

10/what are your ambitons ?

I would love to have my own NGO someday. This is why I am taking in everything I learn at the organization I am working at and learning as much as I can. I am perfecting my skills with grad school and putting the skills I have in practice with my group Guinee Espoir.

11/do u feel fulfilled as a woman?

I do. I feel I have come a long way. Of course I am continuing to grow as a human being but I live my life thinking about the future and what I can do to make it better. That is what keeps me going.

12/ bieng that you are guinean , do u get to hang out w/a lot fo guineans here?

I know a few people from Guinea here. Most of my Guinean friends (the ones I made back home) are abroad though or in a different state.

13/how do u see the futur of the guinea? (real solutions)

Change will be a tough thing to achieve in Guinea . I do believe it is possible. I think that with the right people in power, people who care about the country’s future, we can make Guinea a better place. I would like to see more focus on education. Giving families enough resources so that they can let their children attend school instead of doing chores or going out to the market sell goods. I would like to see more scholarships in place, better universities which I think will in turn push young Guineans to stay in their own country and make a change instead of going abroad. I would like to see better hospitals, better supplies, help for people crawling on the street with shoes on their hands because their bodies have been snatched away from them by polio or other diseases. There is so much to do and so many people who can make that change possible. We just need to put our minds to it and overall, get rid of CORRUPTION!

14/who are your african success-stories, and role models that you admire?

Helen Johnson-Sirrleaf, Nelson Mandela and my parents !

15/what do u miss from guinea?

My parents but also the “good life” people are shocked when I tell them I had someone to cook for me, wash my clothes, clean my room, chauffer me around town, pick me up from school, go out and by me what I want, someone to work in the garden and guard the house…Definitely the good life. We take it for granted until we get her and are propelled into a totally different world of crowded trains and buses, Laundromats and TV diners

16/what are the hottest places in ny for any africans?

Zodoo Night club (My boyfriend’s the DJ and trust me, he will make you shake your groove thang!)! Africa, Treichville and Les Ambassades restaurants, Harlem !

17/define ur style?

Simple yet classy!

18/ what do u think of that western perception that we as african should know each other (meaning people from #parts of africa) People in America tend to assume that since we all come from African we all know each other...

I guess it’s just a question of ignorance. They probably see Africa as a teeny tiny country where everyone knows everyone. Little do they know that we are more divided than we’d actually like to admit.

19/what's the proper balance btw, knowing where we come from and moving forward, bref the balance btw our african heritage and the western influence?

Like I always say: “Hang on to the good traditions and never forget where you come from. But embrace new ways of thinking and seeing the word”.

20/why is it that there's that perception that guinean people stick to themselves?

Truthfully, that can be said about any country. I bet if you asked Guineans they’d say Nigerian people stick to themselves or Ghanaian people stick to themselves. This is the kind of thinking that prevents us from becoming fully united as one great country.

21/if someone was to come visit u in guinea apart from the tourist areas, where would u take them to have a good time

The last time I went to Guinea was 3 years ago. I am going back in December Inshallah so someone will actually need to show me what the cool hang out spots are because I am sure much has changed.

22/i know that you are a fellow nappy chick, how do ur guinea people react to it?

I think most people like it…um…am I wrong?...helloooo? That is when you are all supposed to yell out “No Saran, your hair looks wonderful”…helloooo I AM WAITING!!

23/could u see yourself moving home?

I guess I could but my preference has always been Senegal .

24/why arent we represented more in the american media?

Because we don’t really push for this. If more people would get together and demand this, I am sure we’d see a lot more news coverage and shows representing our people

25/Do you feel thar living in America helped you in expanding your personal vision?

I feel like when I lived in Guinea I was less motivated to help people on a large scale (maybe a few cloth drives here and there but nothing big). Now that I got a feel of what different organizations are doing here, how they are working for different causes they believe in, I think to myself: “I will follow my dream as well, I will do something to help my people”…So I definitely think that with more opportunities, one can “dream in a realistic way” so to speak. Whereas when you have less opportunities, you can dream as much as you’d like without necessarily having something come out of it.

26/ Last but not least what do you know for sure
I was put on earth to help other people

Well thank you Miss Saran this was great... Great Iniative..!!
If you want to know more about the organisation she's fighting for email her:
Djaa Guinean Women are more Fiyaa:)
Eyee Wayee:)

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