Monday, July 09, 2007







Okay, brace yourselves gentlemen , meet miss Teiko Dornor, Ghana's finest...:)

I met Teiko virtually and we clicked and stayed in touch ...
When I was thinking about doing my interviews I figured why not ask her, she's smart, a go-getter, full of life, and proud of her curves....

She's a curvacious model, a beauty therapist, a political sciences major, whose aim through the first ever beauty pageant of it's kind "Miss plus Africa" is to celebrate our African beauty....but the thing I respect about her is her follow -up w/ her goals..see the thing about life is that you can have goals but if you don't apply yourselves they'll only remain wishes...so sista I applaud your comitment....!!!
Let's goo!!
1- How woud do you define yourself as a Woman?
Responsible, powerful and strong.

2- How do you define yourself as an African woman?
Beautiful, creative and bold

3- How do u define yourself as a Ghanaian woman?
Humble, intelligent and wise

4- When I say Ghana?
Imma Blackstar!

5-If u were invited on Oprah and u were given 60 seconds to rep for Ghana what would u say?
Words cannot describe the beauty and allure of my homeland Ghana. Oprah, my private jet is waiting outside the studio, prepare to see the world in technicolour!!! We’re having dinner on Labadi beach overlooking the Atlantic ocean tonight!

6- Who encouraged to go for modelling? How challenging do u find it for a beautiful woman like u who has curves to get work ? Do u feel like that high fashion is ready to embrace curvaceous women?
My decision was independent, it was though fresh out of university faced with many paths to success, but having to choose one. Daunting at first, it’s an all or nothing environment.
Its challenging because honestly speaking high fashion doesn’t seem quite ready to embrace curves, I don’t necessarily want to fit into the video chick all the time, but that’s where curves have been placed for the moment. But I’m hopeful, the acceptance and desire to see more diverse body types has boomed in the past year, especially with campaigns like dove getting a lot of publicity, and plus sized models gracing the covers of leading magazines. That in itself is encouraging.


7- Do u feel that we as Modern African women are well represented within the local and international media?

I think we sisters are doing it for ourselves as your blog states! Internationally? We’re really starting to see more women represent and break through, actresses like Sophie Okendelo, Thandie Newton, Akosua Busia and Genevieve Naaija they have really shon through on a global scale.

Coverage and exposure of the work of nobel peace prize winner Wangari Maathai was refreshing, and the amazing success of author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Supermodels, models Oluchi and Liya getting major contracts in the fashion world these are just a few examples of our achievements.

I believe we are representing ourselves better, blogs like this for example,
MIMI magazine, and sites like ghanaladies.com really highlighting the achievements and celebrating us! I also think events like the Screen Nation(www.screennation.co.uk ) awards held in the UK and of course groups such as Miss Plus Africa (www.missplusafrica.org) are committed to highlighting us in the media in a truly positive light.

8-Do u feel that we still in our minds have to fight as African women between modernism and tradionalism?
I think it really does depend on how much of your tradition that you want to hold on to. Traditional and culture- I don’t think it’s a fight, just a choice, but this is me in the London. I know things can differ when you are actually living in Africa
.

9-If I say the new generation of African women...what would you say about them?
Full of drive and ready to cease the opportunities that life presents us with, there are no boundaries, and we will not be held down.

10- What would u like people to know about Ghanaian women?
I cant really speak for all of us but talented and exceptional from what I see!

11- Can an African woman really have it all? Be 1 woman about her business while still maintaining a stable personal life?
Yes I believe there are many woman out there living their dreams, and having it all, its
not easy but possible.

12- What's the best wisdom lesson your mother ever gave u?
Spending quality time with God and being attentive to the people around me.

13- What African values would you want to teach your children?
Work hard despite the circumstances that life may present child! You can do it!

14- Who are your fav' African designers?
Doris and Doris (
www.dorisanddoris@hotmail.com)
Happiness Adelagun (
www.haps-fashion.com)
Tina Atiemo (
www.myspace.com/tiamodesigns)
Gisella B (http://www.myspace.com/gisella_b)
Stoned Cherrie design house (www.stonedcherrie.co.za)
Deola Sagoe (www.deolasagoedesign.com)
This is just a fraction of the talent.

15- what are 3 things you cannot live without?
My bible, My laptop and my dreams!

16- what do u wish our African men understood about us African women?
We love your style.

17-What qualities do u respect in our African men?
Strength, love and ability.

18-What's your Life Purpose ?
To inspire others and to be a blessing.

19-If u were given the chance to meet 3 famous African people who would it be and why?
1. Nelson Mandela- What a wonderful amazing man, he has inspired me and continues to do so beyond belief, he really does show what human beings are capable of, he taught me never to limit myself.


2. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first female president of Liberia. I studied politics at university and seeing the first African president, is fantastic, it has been a long time coming, however its just the beginning of social change that tells us that there are no boundaries to success, race gender or age, we can all make a difference.


Even looking at her achievements before becoming president, its clear to see that she is a focused and intelligent woman, its almost cliché to look down on politicians in Africa, but a lot of potential for positive action lies in their hands, and its vital we stay interested.


3. Iman. Being blessed with beauty is one thing, but beauty and brains! I love to look at how Iman had taken her career to new heights, and has managed to remain on top of her game. Even time I see her she looks more radiant and her cosmetics line is brilliant. She is a woman with vision and purpose and I admire that.

20- What needs to be improved within the African entertainment industry to make it a respectable movie industry? Do u think that the Ghanain entertainment industry could ever compete w/the booming Nollywood (Nigerian movie indsustry) ?

I think is already respectable, and I think that’s where us Africans fall short, we should celebrate our achievements more. The production costs may be lower, but I sure do think the topics covered and the morals within our films are a majority of the time, relevant to our people, I said majority, I do think we need





to ease up on the juju featuring in over half the films I’ve seen. But its only the beginning. We have some very talented scriptwriters and producers, not to mention actors and actresses. As for the Ghanaian v Nigerian film industry most of the films I’ve seen are a combination of two efforts,. Nollywood v Gollywood,? I’m bias people !

21-Do u feel that we could ever be like our mothers? or do u feel that times are different, we are more independent ...etc?

In a lot of ways I feel like there are so many transferable skills I have learnt from my mother Ofosua, her strength, commitment and focus, and as I grow older I see myself reacting to situations in similar ways. Differences I’ve been exposed to different things , and have been presented with very different social circumstances.

22-How was it working with designer Tina Atiemo?

Really brilliant, she is extremely creative and has the ability to bring the simplest fabric to life!

23- I saw that u were the face of Mimi Mag on a previous issue? How did it feel to get that honour?
It was an amazing moment for me, unforgettable experience, one that I shall not forget.. When I saw myself on MIMI (http://www.mimimagazie.com/) it was such a personal reward, for all the sacrifice and work that you think goes unnoticed. Very encouraging, plus I love its content, I love reading about talented sisters from across Africa.

24-What are your next plans?

I’ve become beauty editor for an online beauty boutique due later on this year, that’s very exciting, I love creative writing, and am exposed to the industry daily. Presenting wise ill also be filming soon for beauty Access on OBE TV over here across the ocean this autumn, and continuing to strengthen my faith in God’s word and live my life like its golden.

25-What's a regular day like for Teiko?
I just qualified as a beauty therapist, so seeing clients and keeping well informed, when I’m not working - dashing to castings and shoots and trying to stay organised, believe me,
I cant remember the last time I had a regular day!

26- What sets us African women apart from the rest of the world?
Despite the adversity, we still shine.

27-How important is education to you?
Education is vital, it doesn’t define your worth in the world, but its true knowledge is power. My going to University and earning my degree taught me so much, not just on an academic level, but on a social level, interacting with so many different people from all walks of life. Education has definitely given me options I would have never had otherwise, even now I’ve taken time out from law school while I model and working as a beauty therapist, I could have never done this if I hadn’t gone back to school.

28-Do you feel that as African women from various countries really understand or even try to understand each other?
In some ways I think a lot of African women share similar values and have similar standards. Some due to social/ religious differences may vary but I share so much with my friends from East and South Africa. I think there is far more unity than we may be aware of.

29-What do u miss the most from your childhood?

Not having a “to do” list!

30- Who are you fav African writers, or musicians?
Writers- Buchi Emecheta , Ben Okri and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.





Musicians- Fela Kuti, Amr Diab Jae P of the Haatsville project, Wanlov , Rocky Dawani,Tic Tac, Mz Bell the list is really endless.

31-Do u feel that our sexuality or sensuality as African women is expressed? Should it be expressed more within our society?
I think that it really depends, some cultures are more open than others to such things. The younger generation seem more open breaking old ways of thinking with regards to sensuality.

32-If someone was to visit Ghana and u wanted them to leave w/a lasting impression of our culture while still having fun where would u take them ?
We’re from a place in Ghana called Ada, by the volta river, its amazing, I love being by the sea. My mothers father is from Aburi –it’s a mountainous area with beautiful botanical gardens, waterfalls and plants that date back to the 18th century. I have a thing for nature and the ourdoors. But Ghana is so diverse, there really is something for everyone.

33-What women issues do u feel need to be addressed in our culture? Which organisation do you feel bring the most light to the issues?
Ermm Miss Plus Africa of course! Celebrating the diversity and culture of the African women. I established the Pageant with Joi Onyeukwu, it was really started to celebrate ourselves and our culture it will be held in Washington DC November 3rd. There are many issues that are often sidelined, genital mutilation ,underage childbirth that can and often causes permanent damage to the female reproductive system, basic malaria that’s killing our people.

I am passionate about supporting people and organizations that are committed to change, the Kanu heart foundation is one of them, he is such an established figure, but remembers those in need, as well as Matthew Mensah and his brilliant work, especially with regards to the UN Catwalk the world initiative, bodies that are often not recognised religious bodies, schools hospitals.

34- How can we see more of Teiko Dornor ?
My website is due out soon, but until then check me out on
www.myspace.com/teikodornor and http://www.missplusafrica.org/

35-Do u feel that as African women we tend to put more importance dans le superficiel..make up, gossip..lalala?

Not sure, I think its good as women if we take care of ourselves, the gossip within our communities can turn negative as its rarely counteracted with positive feedback but its hard to generalize, every society has its pros and cons.

36-You would be happy dying knowing that..?
I made a change, somehow somewhere a positive change!

37-What African countries have u visited? which one is your fav' ? where else would you like to go next?

Ghana alone so far, its Accra London Accra! But I plan to visit Senegal and South Africa very soon God willing. I would love to shoot in Africa!

38-Teiko is...... ?
The daughter of the most high God.

39-What's ur fav' African meal ?
Spinach and Plantain hands down.

40-Last but not least what do u know for sure in life?
I know if nothing else that God is faithful, able and wise.





Waouh girl,very interesting interview , it's trully a beautiful thing to see a sista comfortable in her skin and reaching for the stars...keep being this inspiration that you are to us African women mostly on those days when we're like uhhhhh..not a good look etc...seeing someone like you loving herself and the curves that God gave her will at our turn make us thankful and be like ain't no need to upgrades us because we are God's creation...am i right sistas?!!)

Djaa my Ghanaian women are fierce all the way bebe:)
Eyee Wayeee:)

3 comments:

Yobachi said...

Wow, that's quite a woman.

Ghana is on the top of my list of places in the world to visit, and maybe move to one day.

Yobachi said...

Wow, that's quite a woman.

Ghana is on the top of my list of places in the world to visit, and maybe move to one day.

www.blackperspective.net

Spooky said...

teiko is ze beist!!