help Humanity..you know how like sometimes you hear peeps say I wanna help..but it sounds more like blabla in her case............
Find out ....let's go!!
First and foremost as an African and then a Togolese woman. The main reason being that the borders could have been traced differently and I would have been of a different nationality but an African nonetheless.
2– I AM A TOGOLESE WOMAN....
Who is Proud of her country.
3– I FEEL BEAUTIFUL AS AN AFRICAN WOMAN.....
Whenever I get to showcase my culture which is basically everyday!
4-I AM PROUD OF MY AFRICAN WOMEN.....
For making the best in difficult situations and multitasking beyond belief.
5-I FEEL THAT WE ARE POSITIVELY REPRESENTED WHEN?HOW?BECAUSE ?NOT?
I feel that we are positively represented when we are being recognized in the media for various reasons. Although the media should not validate our actions, it is nice to receive positive attention every now and then.
Other than that, we are positively represented all the time at work, at school etc…I get so inspired by my sisters and friends who are constantly striving for the best. They have big aspirations: they want to become industrial engineers, doctors or writers. They are lawyers, accountants or professional dancers….. It doesn’t get better than that.
These are the stories you never hear about.
6– I AM THANKFUL FOR MY AFRICAN UPBRINGING ....
Because I am fully equipped today; facing the world truly is ok. I got the basics down.
7-MY PASSION IN LIFE IS.....
My parents and my three sisters!!!!!!!!!!!!
For now, I am done with school for a couple of years and have been working inhumanitarian aid and international development.
In 2006, I got a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a specialisation in Post conflict reconstruction in sub-Saharan Africa. My main interest is the rehabilitation of women and children.
9-DO YOU FEELTHAT AS AFRICAN WOMEN WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO GO FOR IT ALL? SHOULD WE?
Well, in comparison to our mothers and grand mothers, we definitely have better opportunities so in a way yes we are encouraged to go for it all. The truth of the matter however is that the glass is only half full and it is up to us to fill it to the best of our abilities regardless of the thousand hurdles on the way. It is a difficult task but it is feasible.
Mainly through the food, the music and my friends. Thank God also for emails and skype-although I always scream on top of my lungs when I am talking. My mom told me how back in the days, sending letters took months to reach back home! Keeping in touch wasn’t this easy. So I am glad technology is this big today!....well as far as staying connected goes that is.
12-IF I WERE TO MEET 3 FAMOUS AFRICAN PEOPLE...IT WOULD BE...
*Nelson Mandela (No introduction needed here, the man is a living legend and how lucky are we to be leaving in his time?! I have been wanting to meet him since I watched the movie Mandela starring Danny Glover in the late 80’s. I wanted to know so much about him around that time….My curiosity was mainly satisfied by my parents but I still wanted more….Fast forward years later and I still want to meet the man. I wish he would dream of me and will call me and will be like: “Fafa it’s Madeba, I had a dream and got your number; I am flying you to come spend some time with me…”again this is a dream so anything is possible!)
*Khalilou Fadiga (I have watched a couple of documentaries about the national Senegalese football team and he came across as being such a down to earth guy. I am sure he is the type of person you can’t stop smiling when he is around. I hope things get better for him).
*Last but not least, Betty Bigombe (I admire everything about her. She was one of the only ladies involved at the highest level of conflict resolution in Africa. She had a crucial role in the negotiation between the LRA (Lord Resistance Army) and the government of Uganda. I truly think she is underrated and should be more talked about.)
THE BEST COOK, PERIOD. Togolese cuisine is renowned throughout West Africa. The food is so diverse that we can eat for at least a month completely different food. I can’t help being proud as if I came up with the recipes myself.
Where I am from, where I feel the most comfortable and the place I desire to end up.
The best way I can…..living abroad gave me a better sense of human’s rights. Although it’s not always respected here, it is not hidden from you. You know your rights just by watching law and order! Knowing you rights is always a leverage.
16-OF MY CULTURE I WOULD LIKE TO TEACH MY CHILDREN TO..
To be appreciative of where they come from and hopeful of where they are going. Above all I will insist that they respect elders as much as they can….but not to bend down to they point that they are taken advantage of.
17– WHICH AFRICAN COUNTRIES HAVE U VISITED? WHICH ONES WOULD U STILL WANT TO VISIT?WHICH ONE LEFT A STRONG IMPRESSION ON U?
VISITED (most of them LIVED)
In Africa, I lived in Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
I have visited Cameroun, Tunisia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa and although I would love to visit the whole continent, I hope to go to Mozambique, Angola, Kenya, Gabon and Morocco in the next 3-5 years.
To be quite honest, all countries left a very good impression. South Africa however left the biggest impression on me because it was completely different from what I had seen before (in terms of diversity).
Every city I went to was beautiful but Cape Town is just stunning; I am pretty sure at age 90 it will still be on my top list. I was also amazed that in the midst of such beauty, there still are townships where people (our own) are living in unbelievable conditions, some of them still lacking running water and electricity. It makes you think:
What’s political control when you cannot enjoy the economy?
18-WHICH AFRICAN SOCIAL ISSUE DO U RELATE TO THE MOST?DO U FEEL THAT NON PROFIT ORGANISATIONS ARE RELEVANT AND WHY?
Children related issues such as child soldiers, child trafficking or street children are what I take the most to heart.
There is an interesting culture within Non Profit Organisations. You will be surprised by the ‘business’ aspect of it. I believe a good number of NPO are relevant and do amazing work although sometimes you run into some culturally insensitive persons. Maybe it would come a time when everyone involved in NPO (especially top executives) would have the interest of others at heart and not see this as a business venture.
19-DO U FEEL THAT SENSE OF UNDERSTANDING BTW AFRICAN WOMEN OF VARIOUS PARTS OF AFRICA?
In all honesty not always and that is in part because Africa is such a big continent that the exchange among African women is minimal. We need regional and international vehicles to bring African women together to share their knowledge of entrepreneurship, education, healthcare and women empowerment to name a few.
There is nothing wrong with being a male feminist and that they can be the most supportive people ever. African guys are usually supportive when they get you.
21-MY FAV’AFRICAN WRITTER IS?PAINTER?PHOTOGRAPHER IS?
I love a lot of African writers but a favorite of mine is Mariama Bâ (every girl should read Une si longue lettre: you go mmmmhhhh! Angry mmmhhhs!).
I am ashamed to say that I don’t know any African painter but as far as photography goes, I am getting familiar with Fazal Sheikh who is a US photographer of Kenyan and Pakistani origins. He is a documentary photographer who amazingly depicts the lives of refugees through photographs.
22-IF I WERE TO CHOSE 1 THING TO REPRESENT ME IT WOULD BE? BECAUSE?
A photograph that I took of my 3 sisters and my parents in Abidjan. I am obviously not on the picture but their faces are priceless. No one is posing and my dad is trying to get my mom to smile for the camera….. I always smile when I look at it.
23-SENSUALITY TO ME IS………
24-WHAT’S ONE MISCONCEPTION ABOUT TOGOLESE PEOPLE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO CLARIFY
Because of the political situation in Togo, people tend to think that Togolese are resilient. But there is much more to the story: one instance is that the country was under the yoke of a dictator for nearly 40 years (who by the way is the one who brought the first bloody coup d-état to the continent…so yes blame him).
In 2005 over the course of a few weeks, up to a thousand citizens were savagely brutalized and killed as a result of their rejection of the self-appointed president, son of the late dictator.
Just thinking about kids our age supporting that regime gives me hives…but this is a debate for another time.
25- A GIRLY QUESTION WHO DO U FIND FINE AFRICAN MEN WISE?
The list is way too long! I really mean it.
26-What's the 1 historical, social, cultural.... event that happened in Africa that you will never forget...?
I can’t narrow them down to one so here they are:
1.Mandela out of jail in February 1990.
2. The passing of the president Eyadema of Togo in 2005, the collective feeling of anything is possible was truly amazing…too bad the feeling is now gone.
3. Senegal beating France at the 2002 World cup….I will never get over it!!!!!!!!!!
27- If someone was to come visit you in Lomé where would you take them, to show them a good time while still showing them enough of the culture?
A trip to Lomé isn’t one if you don’t stop at the grand marché-our biggest outdoor market. It is a place where bargaining is an art in itself; everything is found there from artisanal arts to groceries. Of course while strolling around you have to try a couple of local drinks such as liha (made of maize and sorghum-excellent) or ponpon (my all time favorite) and snack on kanklo (plantain cake-triple excellent).
At night, on our way to Biblos (my favorite club) we will stop for drinks at Privilège bar a lounge of the biggest night club in West Africa: Privilège.
28-LIFE IS TRULLY………
Trying at times, beautiful most of the time
29- I WOULD FEEL COMPLETE IN MY LIFE ...
I am tempted to say I would feel complete when I succeed both professionally and personally but I am so insatiable that I will say on my death bed.
30-WHAT DOES FRIENDSHIP MEAN TO U?
Friendship is divided two categories: acquaintances and true friends. To me true friendship should be selective and is synonym to loyalty. The ones I care about are my extended family and I will get out of my way for them any day……but they know that already.
31-AFRICA TRULLY IS THE FUTURE BECAUSE…….
THE ONLY WAY NOW IS FORWARD
32-WHAT’S YOUR LIFE MISSION?
Live my life to the fullest and be mindful of those less unfortunate.
33-I WOULD TELL MY YOUNGER AFRICAN SELF TO……(IF U WERE TO GIVE AN ADVICE TO YOURSELF AT A YOUNGER AGE)
Slow down-rien ne sert de courir. At age 10 I wanted to be 15, then at 15 I wanted to be 18 and so on….how I wish I could go back and have people feed me, dress me and send me to school where life was easy and just about socializing.
34-ON UR HIS 5 U HAVE THIS AS YOUR FAV’ QUOTE CAN U EXPLAIN WHY: "Each generation must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it." (Frantz Fanon)
I believe our mission today is to be accountable to Africa by being aware of the realities across the continent regardless of the fact that some of us no longer live there and by being proactive. We all can help in different ways. I think it is a noble responsibility. We should not let pessimists forecast our future.
35-I KNOW FOR SURE IN LIFE THAT....
I am loved by my family!!!!!!!!!!
Well, well miss Dougna this was a great interview , I loved the fact that you were so pro-Togo it gave me new perspectives of your Togolese heritage and made me more curious about your country as well as the political situation as well as the cuisine...:) Keep being this beautiful, sophisticated and simple young lady mama..:)
Djaa my Togolese Women Are Doin' It Period:)