A few months ago we were meant to publish our I Believe In Me issue and formally introduce the IBIM Campaign with our range of t-shirts but Vickie and I soon realised that we needed a little more time to present what’s in our hearts in the best possible light. Even with our Super GoWoman capes on, it has been a tough year. But what does a GoWoman do when life throws lemons at her? Aut viam inveniam aut faciam! She makes lemonade and then she finds another GoWoman to whom life has thrown Vodka and together they throw one hell of a party! And so The Art of ‘She’ was born. Just as we were on the brink of finalising with graphics and re-organising our printing schedule, Ebola reared its ugly head. The Art of ‘She’ was meant to be an issue that embodied GoWoman ingenuity.
The printing and distribution of GoWoman is dependent on advert placement and shipping. Understandably several of our advertisers delayed their placements until ebola was “under control”. In addition to this negotiations with our Airline partners halted abruptly when both regional carriers cancelled flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia indefinitely. Even if we were to secure funding from advertisers to print, distribution would have been impossible.
We also thought it would be in bad taste to release our publication under the current atmosphere especially since the contents therein were curated prior to the onset of the ebola outbreak. Instead we decided to cancel the current issue that was due and share most of the content on the blog. We are working towards a March 2015 issue in the hopes that ebola will be “under control” long before International Women’s Day which is around the time our next issue will be due.
In the meantime, we hope you that you enjoy all the content from the issue that we believe would have been our best to date. The inspiration for it came from cultural misconceptions about what a woman’s role on earth is. Its been a big year for black women in business and the arts. In our African culture, we are made to believe that we must be a lawyer, doctor or an engineer to be considered successful. Some still believe that in fact those career choices are for our male counterparts because us women are meant solely for the art of procreation, they forget that we are complete beings. We are not incubators – Although a divine gift, Motherhood is not the only prerequisite for womanhood. There is so much more to us than what our wombs can do.
In the words of one of my picks for Woman Of The World, “It’s a kind of oppression so deeply entangled in our culture that most people don’t even see it’s there, and how cruel it can be.” Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti covers a range of stereotypes that women from all over the world often have to deal with. Be it body image, ageism, racism or sexism, her illustrations are bold affirmations that say we do not have to put up with it. We have held back the interview with her. It will be published in our next print issue.
As a founding GoWoman, I am a purveyor of thinking outside of the womb. Pro-creators are indeed who we are; originators of products and ideas, giving birth to brands and creating art – from music like the sweet sounding soulful jazz of our would have been Ghanaian Cover GoWoman Efya, to fashion like the eye catching, bold and sassy designs by our Sierra Leonean would have been Cover GoWoman Kadi.
At GoWoman HQ we are pro-invention, pro-imagination and pro-innovation. We are thankful to GoWomen all over the world who give us their heart and soul through the creations they conceive and beget for our pleasure. We are thankful for their self-belief and mettle to embrace their calling and follow creative paths. I cannot begin to imagine how many dreams have been crushed by people struggling to fit into boxes.
We were also going to highlight shining beauty Lupita Nyongo as our other Woman Of The World. We will never know how great a doctor, lawyer or engineer she would have been had she not chosen the arts. What we do know is what she would have missed out on. An Oscar! So anytime you think of confining yourself to a box or giving up on a dream because society says you are a woman or you are too dark, or “too this” or “too that”, think about Lupita and remember her affirmation. You are not missing pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. You are a complete work of art and “your dreams are valid!”
“So many colours make up the woman that you see. A good friend and lover, anything you want yes I can be. I can run the business and make time for fantasy, these are the pieces of me.” ~ Ledisi, Pieces of Me
Ledisi said it best in my GoWoman Anthem of choice for this issue. There are many pieces to us. We are multifaceted, multi-talented and we can multitask. For a chance to win Ledisi’s Pieces Of Me album, a bottle of one of my favourite perfumes along with other GoWoman Goodies, first of all make sure you are following us on all social mediums – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram, vote for your GoWoman of The Year here and then subscribe to our mailing list by sending us a message here, we would like to know what you think of GoWoman Magazine, send us your thoughts and suggestions using the subject The Art of She Competition. The winner will be notified in February 2015.