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Editors Note

Posted by Editor On April - 15 - 2011

For some April habitually brings in to mind Spring; sunshine, blooming flowers, the green of trees and sliding into flip flops. For me, April is just April because luckily where I live the beauty of ‘Spring’ and getting high on Vitamin D is something I experience every day.

Only One Basket

Posted by Editor On April - 15 - 2011

Each of the weavers based in Gitarama, is a survivor and a widow of the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. They are women who are fighting to overcome poverty, social exclusions and fighting to have financial independence.

Cover Story:Getting to Know Andrea

Posted by Editor On April - 15 - 2011

“I most enjoy the fact that I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. I know so many people who work jobs that they hate simply to make money or because they have no other options. I would never want to be that person. Life is too short to be unhappy”

Featured Couple:Sean and Faith

Posted by Editor On April - 15 - 2011

"We were told that one day the passion would fade, the looks would fade you have to love each other enough that when those things are gone, you still love each other even more. It just put things in perspective for us. We came to the realization that we are in this marriage for the long"

Business Spotlight:Shimmer and Bliss

Posted by Editor On April - 15 - 2011

Shimmer and Bliss is a line of colorful, unique and eco-chic scarves for women and men established in 2008 by My-Cherie Haley an artist who combines a love for fashion with creative talent. Shimmer and Bliss offers versatile handcrafted silk scarves in a vivid color palette, designed and created in Austin, Texas.

Sisterpreneur;Fify Loewen

Posted by Editor On April - 15 - 2011

“Photography for me is an act of worship to my Creator. I get to really see people and appreciate their uniqueness once I get behind the lens. Photography for me means connecting with people in a way that no one has ever connected with them and getting them to really appreciate the purposes that they were created for.”

Phenomenal Woman;Alison Ryce

Posted by Editor On April - 15 - 2011

“I believe that beauty is when a woman is genuinely happy in her own skin. She finds what works for her instead of what everyone else is doing. Beauty can be found in a kind word, a loving gesture, and great deed. Beauty is more than just looking your best; it’s in how you treat yourself and others.”

Fashion Inspiration;Tysha James

Posted by Editor On April - 15 - 2011

"Being a mom doesn't mean you have to dress like one! I think it is important to have some kind of balance in your life! When you dress up you feel good! I'm a mom too so I know what it’s like putting your kids first but every body's budget is different and what I love most about fashion is there is always a cheaper version of the runway styles"

Phenomenal Woman; Sitawa Wafula

Posted by AfroElle On 9:53 AM
".....like dust, I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise.
...like air, I'll rise.
I rise, I rise, I rise

These words are taken from Maya Angelou's legendary poem 'Still I Rise', which I personally feel is a poem about being brave, facing challenges and exhibiting inner and outer strength in our situations.

When I think of the Maya's poem I think of this woman. She is an overcomer, she is doing great things with her life, she is a true description of a PHENOMENAL WOMAN, she is Sitawa Wafula.

Lets Meet Her:

Apart from the poet and motivational speaker, who is Sitawa?

Sitawa is a poet, an across the board teacher – Mathematics tutor,poetry workshops to life coaching especially for rape victims, I am currently teaching Twelve year old girls at NPC Ngong this whole week and it feels divine. I am also a volunteer, an events organizer and an entrepreneur.

Besides all that Sitawa is a very shy, introverted and shelved person who lets the urge for a better world, a brighter tomorrow remove her from her comfort zone to be all the above mentioned.

What do you do?

I do a lot of things I am not sure I will be able to remember them all right now because some are just at inception, others are full grown but what I am currently running with is my poetry – I host and organize poetry at Discovery which has moved to twice a month.

I also do poetry workshops for aspiring poets with most of them being round table where I have a group of three to five people, we meet in a restaurant or a picnic spot and they tell me their poetic issues, I take them through the basics and give them pointers in performing and writing plus advice them in various ways to market themselves as poets because we can make many from our act just the musicians or other artists do, poets just don’t know how and I am empowering them to venture into those areas. I am pleased to have been honored by the Slam Africa crew for my work, that’s all a teacher wants, to know they set aside some time to nurture someone and get to see the results.

I am also in charge of logistics for Poetry on the Road an initiative to decentralize poetry hype in the city and spread it all around the country because there is so much untapped talent out there.

My voluntary side; I have two projects that I am currently doing under that banner; Sanitary project where I am in charge of co-ordination for Sanibank Consortium,Kenya’s Premier pad-bank, a post I got thanks to a piece I wrote in regards to the issues the girls from disadvantaged backgrounds face due to poverty and ignorance of the menstrual circle plus I was recently named Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health in the country alongside Actor and Musician Anthony Mwangi so for both projects I am doing lots of advocacy,being a voice, raising awareness of the situation on ground and informing the public on the roles they can play.

Events Company; I have been involved in a couple of events in the past, last year I co-organized the first World Peace Day poetry festival. I also host and organize Poetry at Discovery something I have been doing since May 2009.

I am in the Planning Committee of SWAN Kenya, a forum for female artists. In Dec. last year I did logistics for Industrial Area Remand Prison organized by renowned photojournalist, Boniface Mwangi. So I decided to go head strong with the events company,Events Sitawave and I am onto special and corporate events but I still organize and give a hand where art related events are concerned.

What inspires you to do what you do?
It is in born; something intangible. I think a zeal for a better world, kindly note not the best/perfect world but a better world and a brighter tomorrow. I have learnt through the years that today is the foundation for tomorrow so things can only get better or worse depending on what you have going today so I try my best to give my best today for a bigger, better, brighter tomorrow not only for me but for generations to come.

My dad and mum are my role models, I borrow my organization skills and think BIG attitude from my dad and entrepreneurship and hard work from my mum.

You are a life coach and especially to rape victims, can you share with us the story behind it and how it has influenced you to be the person you are today?

Before Sun 15th June 2003, I was a very lively jovial girl then I had to visit my boyfriend and his friend spiked my tea and raped me.

I wrote about that experience in a poem called ' Sunday 15th' after the events that took place on Sunday 15th June 2003. The piece was for therapy and it has helped me for the last 6 years. Now I talk about it, praying it does the same for someone.

I have learnt that people or circumstances can not put me down unless I allow them to. I also have a funny condition; seizures and both situations have helped me be a stronger person, I realize that the fact I didn’t have someone go before me and inform me of these things, I have a duty to do so for many people and that where my syke to teach and pave the way for others comes from. I believe if someone was there for me maybe things would have been different but God says He has a reason for everything and I believe for me to go through all these things, He intended me to be that path for the many people I interact with.

What words of encouragement would you give someone who has gone through what you went through?

Faith Evans says in her song, ' if I had to do it all again, I would not take away the pain because it made me who I am.' I know to many that is Stockholm Syndrome but to me, I am a poet because my paper and pen were there for me, not judging me when I needed someone or something to share my pain with and through the years I have released so much pain and sorrow on my pen and paper and in turn I have gathered courage I didn’t know existed in me to attend forums and speak about rape, speak about seizures and pain, I hold workshops,do empowering etc things I would have never imagined I would be doing.
So take time to heal, take time to be at home, at peace with you, forgive, yes you may not forget, I cry when I hear about rape, I cant tell my story from beginning to end in one sitting but I have strength from God to go beyond that and use lemons to make lemonade. We all go through bad moments but it could have been worse so let it go and let God. You decide your destiny, don’t live life stuck at a spot. I never thought id ever have a healthy relationship but if the boys would speak, we would have a best seller here and now.
Marriane Williamson in A Return to Love says, ' Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? '

What makes you a phenomenal woman?

I had to check the meaning out and I still cant make it out, well I am phenomenal because I am a coffee bean, I do not let circumstances determine my destiny but I change the water color. I am human enough to go through the motions but when its time to get the job down I do it and I do it to my level best.


1 Response to "Phenomenal Woman; Sitawa Wafula"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    One word. Phenomenal. Been in the hands of two rapists twice in my life time, I too find strength in beating the odds.

    And yes God's grace is sufficient that we are strong at our weakest.



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