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Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

Time flies, can you believe we are already past the half year mark? Just the other day we welcomed the New Year with long lists of resolutions. Well, the year doesn’t feel so new anymore, it’s that time of the year when energy levels sink, we get sucked into the routine of life and many times become complacent. All these are symptoms of Mid Year blues.


Posted by Editor On JULY- 18 - 2011

Growing up, I was a ‘someday girl’. I had dreams of someday publishing a book, someday working for a newspaper, someday being an editor, someday. Until one day many years later I woke up to the realization that someday was today; the only assurance we have, not 2 years from now or tomorrow but today.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 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.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

As I kid, one of my all time favorite TV shows was 'The Jefferson’s'. As I write this, the theme song is playing in my head. “Well we’re movin’ on up, to the east side, moving on up, to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Moving on up, to the east side, moving on up,we finally got a piece of the pie.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

February is a special month, apart from the red roses, boxes of chocolate, great deals and the romance, it’s also the month we celebrate the history and contributions of African American men and women to society in the name of Black History Month.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18- 2011

Happy New Year!Yes, I know I'm a little late on the wishes just like the way I'm late with our new January Issue but it's finally here. New year, new layout, new name, basically, new things. Its all about the new new! For all those who knew this blog as The Ladies Room, I now introduce you to AfroElle; a blog for women of afro-descent from all over the world.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

The year has literally flown by, I can't believe it's already December. To many, December is a month of in depth self evaluation and stock taking; taking that walk down memory lane to see if you accomplished the goals you set at the beginning of the year.It's also about looking at your present to see what has worked for you or what you need to eliminate before you head on to the new year.

Editor's Note; In Brief

Posted by AfroElle On 3:39 AM 0 thoughts
Dear Readers,
Welcome to the Ladies Room; a place of comfort and release, of hearty conversations and open arms. This month we focus on infidelity, overcoming and rising above hard situations.
We talk to phenomenal woman Sitawa Wafula; a woman who has discovered one secret to life; that it's not about us, but about the lives we impact along the way. We read her inspiring story of rising beyond her situations.
Guest Writer Esy Gichobi talks to us about Infidelity in the article 'It Happened To Me'. This time we sit down with six women in two Round Table Discussions; discussing infidelity, signs that your partner may be cheating and how these women dealt with infidelity in their relationships.
In Love Stories we read about a wonderful couple; Michael and Irene Phillip as Irene lets us in on issues involving marriage. In Singular; searching in South Africa talks to us about her search for a meaningful relationship.
We introduce two new categories; Reviews and Inspiration. Our first book review is talked about bestseller Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert in her search for true happiness and in Inspiration we get poetical with Death is Dead.
Enjoy this series of the Ladies Room. We appreciate your comments, thoughts and suggestions.
Email us at


Death is Dead- Poem

Posted by AfroElle On 3:36 AM 0 thoughts
Clara Kitongo is a student studying civil and environmental engineering in Pittsburgh PA. She was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda where she spent 19 years. She is also an amateur poet and involves herself in music and the arts.

She loves to meet new people, to explore new opportunities and is happy learning the lessons that life has to offer.

Death is Dead by Clara Kitongo

My souls turns
At the thought of these new burns,
These scars ingrained from the past,
These thoughts that were never meant to last.

In despair,
Memories linger of how long it took to repair,
Old dogs never seemed to learn,
Their vomit to dis-earn,
From what's true and what's a lie.

Infallible are the truths of your existence,
You make trails of red as you move along, taking with them existence.
You make a mark of deception,
On the fore heads of your company,
Taking their comrady,
Turning it into treachery.

But what you don't understand
Is... we know where you stand,
Minds are not all corrupted,
And limbs not amputated...
We are scared,
And yet we walk on,
Pursuing only what matters,
Revoking the lies,
And making new; binding ties,
With us,
Without you.

You are deception,
But the truth has been revealed to our inner eyes,
And life without your plight.. is possible,
And rooms once filled with hate,
Ring with laughter,
With joy after the death of this godforsaken master!

This is a new column, have any poem, reflection that you that will inspiration to someone else email us at [email protected]


Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Posted by AfroElle On 3:33 AM 3 thoughts
I ignored this book last year when I saw it at a book stand because I ignorantly thought it was about food. Fast forward to this year, I wish I had bought Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It has received great reviews. Neefemi, a wonderful Nigerian writer and blogger at Diary of an Unpaid Intern , just finished reading this book, here is her review of it.

In Italy she makes friends, eats so much food which she describes so well you can almost taste and smell and in the process learns to speak Italian. In India she finds a deeper connection with God, learns how to meditate, and gets over her problem with depression. In Indonesia she finds funds for a woman and her three kids to build a house they so desperately need; she studies at the feet of an Indonesian medicine man and finds a Brazilian lover.
Eat, Pray, Love is a book about one woman’s journey to find herself through her travels across Italy, India and Indonesia. Elizabeth Gilbert author and main character in this story starts of as an unhappy married woman, writer and traveler who one day finds God and this begins the changes in her life. It took a two year tumultuous divorce battle, a terrible relationship in the arms of a lover and advice from a Balinese medicine man, for her to take the bold decision to leave the suburbs of New York and give up her life as she knew it.
From beginning to end, this book is a story of love; love of God, love of self, love of others, love of food, love of language. The message in this book is simple, whatever way, however you choose to live, FIND GOD; this is the only true way to find true everlasting happiness and powerful love.

Here are some notable words from the book;
''True balance is never letting anybody love you less than you love yourself.'
'Why have I been chasing happiness my whole life when bliss was here the entire time?'
'At some point, you've gotta let go & sit still & allow contentment to come to you'
I highly recommend this book and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Round Table Discussion; Infidelity

Posted by AfroElle On 3:31 AM 5 thoughts

This week at the round table we talk to six ladies about infidelity. This time we have two round tables; one talking to two women who cheated in their relationships and the other one with four women talking about how their partners cheated on them.

At both tables we discuss the heart aches, the signs, their resolve to make it work and for some the reasons behind their decision to walk out of the relationship.

Enjoy the discussions.

Table One:
Meet the Ladies;

Lynn,29, Freelance Designer, South Africa

Shish, 27, Executive Assistant, United Kingdom

Rose, 24, IT Assistant, Kenya

Lynne, 22, Student, Kenya

1. How long had you two been in a relationship when you found out your partner was cheating?

L: The first time i found out he was cheating i had gone out with him for a year but then we broke up because he was going out with my best friend around the same time according to reliable friends.

S: We had been in the relationship for two and half years.

R: We had been friends for two years and dating for three years.

L: 2yrs

2. What kind of infidelity was it?

L: I think it was sexual, there were many rumors going around that it was sexual and that she was open to that kind of a relationship but later it turned out to be a relationship.

S: I would say romantic, I found out through his Facebook inbox. I don’t know what made me check that day but I did and I found details to what seemed like a future planned affair, though up to today I don’t know how far he had already gone with the affair.

R: It was emotional; he just got really attached to another girl though they were not romantically involved.

L: Romantic

3. Was it a onetime affair or a pattern?

L: After the amicable breakup the first time, i moved on with my life and we never met for a long time. I made new friends who knew nothing of him and developed a romantic interest in a man I met during that time. At that time he started making moves again on me I assume out of jealousy. He asked for forgiveness and I forgave him and we then decided to put the past behind us. I thought it was an isolated incidence but I was wrong, apparently every time he almost won my heart, i would hear he has many love interests and so I came to learn later it was a pattern. More like a weakness of character.

S: After I caught him the first time, for a long time everything was okay but a year later there were other events of infidelity, some are sketchy.

R: It was a one time event; he had never done that before.

L: It was a one time event.

4. What were the signs that your partner was cheating?


#Your six senses telling you something is not right. Follow your guts, they are usually right every time 99.9% of the time plus or minus 1 lol! You know what they say, the heart feels, the brain thinks but the gut knows...dont betray yourself .

# Phone etiquette: Going to the bathroom with his phone

# He had many toothbrushes in his bathroom

# Screening calls: Phone would be switched off and when he switches it back on he would get so many texts and calls that were pending the night before

# He had his relationship status on Facebook sometimes as single or blank...huge sign of a lack of commitment or just many suitors to please.

# He would take down all things in his house that would show he is in a relationship with me(photos,cards and em). I discovered this when i visited him unexpectedly meaning he would get female visitors.

# All messages in his sent items were deleted and some of his inbox messages.

# I wouldn’t find any of my texts in his phone, nor pictures.

# He would plan secret and frequent meetings with friends who he kept claiming were friends and yet they were not.

# Secrecy


# The phone: he would take calls from places like the toilet and would make sure he doesnt leave it idle, he would always walk with it.

# Calls from unknown women at very late in the night. Once he left his phone my mistake, a lady called, so I took it to ask her to call later but then she hung up after hearing her voice.

# Being TOO nice like flowering me with gifts, sometimes too much. Realized later on it was a way for him to cover up his acts or to keep my mind occupied.

# Secrecy.

#I realized at some point he started deleting all his text messages and call register.

# He became very defensive even if i would ask the simplest of questions, he'd be like 'what do you know?'

# Women are blessed with the sixth sense. I always had a feeling when something was wrong and my sixth sense never disappointed me.

# At times he would be very distant.


# At first it was a just a gut feeling,with time he withdrew and would give me divided attention which was very unlike him.

# He would also get very defensive when I ask about this new traits thats when I decided to find out for myself.


# He was really withdrawn and became silent.

5. Did your partner own up to his actions or make excuses for what he had done?

L: He would make up excuses. The most common being that he is innocent and that woman make moves on him all the time and want to ruin our relationship. That they are jealous and have nothing good going for them and so they want to ruin our relationship. He never took responsibility for the problems he caused in the relationship and whenever i brought up the subject, he would claim am blowing up the spot.

S: At first he was very defensive about it, he said it was innocent and it didn’t mean a thing and that the other woman was the one who was making moves on him (rolls eyes) but seeing that our relationship would end, he owned up to it later on.

R: He came clean; he told me everything he had been doing, he didn’t blame it anyone.

L: He owned up to his actions.

6. Did he understand the magnitude of how he'd hurt you or was he unaware of it?

L: I doubt that he felt bad about things he did. I think he liked it somehow because it would make e insecure then in the end I would think something is wrong with me. He would do the same thing kind of like a vicious emotional abusive cycle of him hurting me, I leave, he begs me and promises never to do it again and then he does that very thing. It was his addiction as well as ine maybe in an unhealthy way.

S: He was insensible at first, making excuses and trying to turn the tables on me by asking why I had invaded his privacy but later on he acknowledged that he knew he had hurt me.

R: He knew how much he had hurt me; he was torn because he didn’t know how to ease it for me because I wouldn’t listen to a word he said.

L: He acknowledged how much he hurt me.

7. Was he sorry for what he had done or sorry he got caught?

L: No, he was always sorry after he got caught because then i would leave and the drama would end for him but then he would be back to get his fix from all the drama going on.

S: Honestly, he seemed sorry that he got caught like ‘I should have been more careful’; he was embarrassed because I had all the evidence staring at my face.

R: He was sorry for what he had done; he was embarrassed of the choices he had made.

L: I wouldn’t say he was caught coz he actually confessed but he was sorry for his choice.

8. Was he willing to clean up his act, or is he in denial?

L: His promises were empty; he was always in denial and not seen what he was doing wrong. His perception of reality was way out of hand

S: He was willing to change and he did it immediately and with so much zeal; that is the gifts the pampering a way to show me that he still loved me and that it was just one silly mistake. Though I gave him another chance, I would look at him with a side eye and had so much hate for him.

R: He started cleaning his act immediately; I on the other hand didn’t believe he could change. He set out to prove me wrong.

9. Was this out of character or something he seemed capable of doing?

L: It was something I guessed he would do

S: When I found out about the affair, I was in shock, I couldn’t believe that the man I had been in a relationship with for more than two years could do such a thing but experiences like that open your eyes, later on I realized I’d given him a benefit of doubt but it was something he was most likely to do, I was just blind to it.

R: Part of the reason I was so broken was because I never saw it coming; I was caught off guard. It was totally out of character.

L: It was totally out of character since I have known him for a very long time.

10. Did you consider leaving the relationship?

L: Every time. Leaving a relationship needs a lot of courage and strength. Leaving a bad relationship is like kicking a bad habit afraid to deal with the withdrawal symptoms

S: Every time I looked at that man, I wanted to leave the relationship but I didn’t have enough strength to. I had made the mistake of making this man the center of my life. The whole situation destabilized me, scarred me into thinking I wasn’t good enough and scarred me into questioning myself worth. I needed to get my strength back, to realize that I was too good to be with a man who would cheat on me.

R: I actually left the relationship.

L: Yes I considered it.

11. What was your level of commitment to forgiving your partner and learning to trust again?

L: With every wrong doing my commitment waned and eventually left the relationship when he was trying to get his act together. I stopped loving him and ended the relationship for good. I guess that was the consequences of a woman scorned.

S: I eventually forgave him but like I said there were other future events of infidelity and with every doubt I had my commitment levels lowered and I couldn’t trust him anymore. I was always on edge; the affair practically turned me into an insecure woman. He would say he is going somewhere but I would have to crosscheck information.

R: I am trying really hard to forgive but I still can’t get through a day without thinking about it. It’s really hard to let it go.

L: I have forgiven him but it’s going to be hard to trust again.

12. In your opinion, what would it take to repair the relationship?

L: In my opinion, once a partner cheats, it reflects on their character and morality or a lack thereof. It should be a red flag. Someone who cheats once has either done it plenty of times before caught or is prone to do it again. It is a Pandora’s Box of all relationship evil. If someone truly loves you they will not cheat.

S: A whole lot of trust and effort but that’s hard, he tried to make it better and there were days I would forget about what he had done and other days I would look at him and curse under my breathe.

R: A lot of effort and dedication from both of us and a miracle :)

L: Honesty and trust. As much as it was going to be hard to trust him 100%, I was willing to work things out because I still love him but we broke up so that’s the end of it.

13. Any advice for anyone going through the same?

L: Having left such a relationship, I am happier now. I can never cheat on my partner and so i don’t expect the same from mine. The very standard you tolerate is which will be used against you in the end. Cheating habitually indicates a weakness of character, from my research, the man I dated had narcissist traits which make people with that personality disorder among many others prone to such without having a problem or guilt of any kind. Cheating creates a weak relationship foundation because it erodes trust, and trust is the basis of all relationships just as faith is the foundation of our belief in God.

S: The moment I left that relationship I realized that even after forgiveness the cheater might change but there are chances that they will be more careful, make sure they cover their tracks better. You are worth better much better than being someone who doesn’t respect you enough to be faithful. If it’s something that you can work on, then work on it but if it is a continuous behavior, cut your losses and move on.

R: You know your man, you know if it’s a onetime slip or a behavior of his. If he is worth it, you'll find a way round it. If your relationship survives this you will learn to value each other more but if it’s impossible to forgive then find a way to move on.

L: Be strong coz its not the end,whatever decision u make know something better is coming your way

Table Two:

Meet The Ladies

Lily, 26, Marketer, Nigeria

Amy, 24, Marketing Executive, Kenya

1. How long were you in that relationship during the time of infidelity and was it a long term or short term relationship?

A: We had dated for a year. It was meant to be long term. He ‘Peter’ had already introduced me to his family and we had travelled to Nyeri to meet mine.

L: Had dated for 2 years, it was a long term relationship.

2. What were the reasons behind the infidelity? What kind of cheating was it emotional or romantic affair etc?

A: My ex-boyfriend came along; he represented 'the one that got away'. He was my first love and he simply knew which buttons to push. At the time, we were still very happy with Peter but I felt I wanted 'some fun' in my life. My ex-boyfriend and I started an emotional relationship that basically involved us reminiscing, him promising a better future and the works. I hooked up with my ex-boyfriend and for sure we broke up within a month.

L: It was purely emotional; the worst kind of infidelity. At the time I felt like my boyfriend had abandoned me emotionally so I created that bond with someone else.

3. Did you confess to your partner or were you caught?

A: I decided rather than physically cheat on Peter, which was bound to happen; I simply broke up with him. I thought I was protecting Peter by not telling him the whole truth but somehow he found out and I will regret that for the rest of my life. I would have wanted to continue the relationship but I did not want to make him the guy that took back a cheating girlfriend and honestly i was too ashamed even try get him back.

L:I didn’t confess though I felt very guilty. I cut links with this other man stopped all communication with him so I could start over with my boyfriend.

4. What did you learn through the whole infidelity experience, any advice?

A: The one thing I learned from all of it is the whole idea of 'I need some fun' is stupid and selfish. I had a great man and I damaged him by cheating on him. I believe cheating is the most selfish thing you can ever do and the next time I feel I need some fun; I shall seek it with the man in my life.

L: Its very easy to cheat on your partner and emotional infidelity is the worst. Gradually you loose interest in your partner and even when you are with them, you think about the other person. I know what I did is wrong and I have tried to change so as to not affect my future relationships.

Have any thoughts to share on this issue, leave a comment below.


It Happened To Me

Posted by AfroElle On 3:29 AM 0 thoughts
(photo source)

Annette says her affair with John the guy from the marketing started very leisurely. He paid attention to her; attention she had not been getting from her boyfriend. He noticed when she had a change of hairstyle or perfume or when she was in low spirits. He was concerned about her welfare in ways she felt her own boyfriend hadn’t done in a long time.

Alex blames monotony in his relationship for his affair. He says he feels like his relationship with Mercy has lost its flavor, the spark, the life that he feels when he sees Ann; the other woman.
Alex and Annette have two things in common; infidelity. Infidelity is defined as the act of being unfaithful to your wife, husband, or partner whether emotionally or romantically.

There are many reasons why people cheat in relationships. For some it’s the feeling of being neglected hence they seek the attention from another person. Others its unresolved issues in a relationship or marriage that spill over in the form of an affair but for others they blame a certain monotony in their relationships therefore seeking some sort of excitement and new experiences from other partners. For others it’s the urge to get their ‘groove’ back by having an affair and for some it’s the thrill and rush of doing something dangerous and not getting caught.
It’s been said that most women cheat emotionally. Women value emotional intimacy and when they feel emotionally neglected, unaccepted, unappreciated, etc some will go look for it from someone willing to give it.

No matter the reason, infidelity is a painful betrayal that sometimes leaves the victim blaming themselves for the affair, questioning their self worth and sometimes nursing scarred self esteem. Some carry these experiences with them and harbor resentment and insecurity in future relationships. For those who cheat it may be a behavior partner or a onetime slip, either way; it’s a flaw in character and unless they analyze their behavior and see where they went wrong, it won’t matter how many relationships they are in; they will be bound to cheat.

Coping with infidelity is task that involves a huge resolve from both parties in the relationship.
I can recall the time when my ex-boyfriend cheated on me; I took him back and forgot about my bruised trust in him. I constantly suspected him and interrogated his every move. Despite the fact that everything was over with him and the other woman, the thought of his affair lingered in my mind for a long time and this was the cause behind on and of arguments between us.
It reached point I couldn’t stand it anymore. I woke up one day and told him it was over. It’s that day that I made a vow that I would never tolerate any form of infidelity in my future relationships.

In most cases, trust is broken and sometimes can’t be rebuilt again. There are those couples who decide to give their relationship another chance so in this case a lot of effort and forgiveness is needed from both parties.
At the end of the day, every relationship takes work and in the case of infidelity, A LOT of work. And oh yeah being cheated on sure sucks!! I know the feeling It happened to me.

Guest Writer: Esy Gichobi


Single and Searching

Posted by AfroElle On 2:59 AM 5 thoughts

Hi Ladies,
I have been single for awhile now, I'm turning 28 in a few months, translation; almost hitting the big 3.0. I feel like am at that point in my life where I want to be in a relationship that will lead to marriage but I don't see any prospectives. I feel left out, my girlfriends who we graduated from college with are either getting their first babies, getting married or are engaged and its very easy to feel left out like I do now.

Nowadays it seems like everywhere I turn, I wonder if the next guy is 'the one', like in church, at work or even at the supermarket. I'm not sure, at this point I might just be reading the signs all wrong. I don't want to settle with just anyone and I don't want to be desperate. What to do?

Searching in South Africa

Michael Phillip and Irene Khakula met in the September of 2001 at Hudson County Community College where they shared two classes. They became friends and since then their friendship blossomed into something meaningful.

They started dating in 2004 and on August 8, 2009 tied the knot in a fairy tale wedding at Faith Fellowship Ministries, Sayreville NJ.

We met in college; we shared a class and I remember one day right before the start of class Michael asked me where I was from. I was wearing these earrings which looked like the map of Australia. Coincidentally, that same day the professor paired us up and we had to work on a project and make a presentation. We became very good friends from then on and our friendship blossomed into something more.

 Meant To Be....

The 'One' I Prayed For

Did I know the relationship would to marriage? No. Michael and I had been friends for a long time before we began dating, and I never thought that he was the one I would marry. However, I always prayed for God to lead me to the right person. All this time he was right under my nose.

I didn't know he was the one right away. There were a lot of instances that may have led me to know that he was the one, but I did not grasp it right away. I just watched as God transformed Him to the man he is today.

My Hearts Desires

I always wanted a man who esteemed and had respect for God. I figured if he had loyalty and devotion to God, then he would definitely treat me with respect. I always wanted an introvert and reserved kind of guy, humble and polite. And God gave me all these things and more, in Michael.

God knows me so much that even now during marriage I see qualities in Michael that have been fashioned to suit my character. I don’t know if someone else would’ve been able to understand me the way he does.

Marital Bliss

The bride getting help from her bridesmaids on her big day

The bride and groom with their best man (Michael's brother) and best maid (Irene's sister) Little angels

The part I love most about marriage is knowing that I married my best friend and that he is the one I want to be with forever. I love it when I put a smile on the man that I love by catering to him. I am fulfilled when I am able to be a help to him in small and in big ways.

To Love And To Cherish

I've learned that you can make your marriage work by being selfless and having respect for your spouse. You have to treat him courteously and don’t take him for granted. It goes a long way when you refrain from using words that are hurtful to your spouse. Build him up, don’t break him down. It ceases to be only about you, now you are in a lifetime journey together.

You have to make time for each other. It sounds cheesy but in today’s world where everything is so fast paced, you need to set time for you and your loved one to reconnect on a daily basis. Don’t just assume everything is ok, ask him how his day was, go the extra mile to make sure he is okay.

For As Long As We Both Shall Live...

Marriage is a living thing, and what do you do to anything that is alive? You have to maintain it. Keep it alive. You can't just neglect it. You have to feed it and make it grow. Invest in it. You will get out of it what you put into it.

What God Has Put Together..

Despite the negativity, fears, challenges out there for married people, we have God in our marriage. We know that we cannot make it on our own. The enemy is out to attack marriages and the best protection is being under the blood of Jesus at all times. We always depend on God to refresh us daily. We pray together, talk about things of God together, read the bible together. We let God be the center of our union. Ecclesiastes 4:12 which reads: "...A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" . We believe that God created marriage to be lived as a three-way covenant between God, husband and wife.

Loving past the honeymoon

The bride and groom sharing a moment

Michael and I have a very good relationship. We do almost everything together. We always bring that special (new) feeling by trying different things. We go out on a date every week. We try not to have a routine, but always spice things up, eat at different spots and basically have fun experiences together.


To the single woman: Don't just settle due to pressures from society. God made you and He knows you, He knows what your weaknesses and strengths are. So trust Him and wait on Him. Don’t be afraid to describe to Him what you want. Be your best every day and stay positive instead of complaining. Matt. 6:33-34 “Seek Him first.”

To the newly wed: No marriage is the same. Don’t try to compare your spouse/marriage with someone else’s because it is never the same. You are unique and special. Focus on making your marriage the best that it can ever be instead of looking at others. Refrain from telling your problems/ issues to your girlfriends and comparing notes; marriage is between you, your mate and God. They are not married to your mate, you are. So work it out between you and your spouse instead of airing your laundry to people who may only make things worse.

The Phillips celebrated their one year anniversary last week. We at the Ladies Room celebrate their union and wish them God's blessings in their life long journey.

The Ladies Room is looking to feature married couples or those engaged, we would love to hear your story. Email


Phenomenal Woman; Sitawa Wafula

Posted by AfroElle On 9:53 AM 1 thoughts
".....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.


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AfroElle is an online destination for women of Afro-descent around the world.AfroElle's overall aim is to provide content for black women around the world and for them to find empowerment and encouraged to lead fulfilled lives through this magazine style blog.
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