By RAZEENA KHAN; edited by The Writer
Cynthia is someone who I feel inspires and empowers people to be themselves. This is why I’m so obsessed with her Instagram feed and her blog! In fact this is what inspired me to write a blog post about her work, which ultimately led to this interview. I admire her unique creativity and authenticity.
AN INTERVIEW WITH CYNTHIA NYONGESA
So, I’d like to pick your brain on a few topics you’ve previously mentioned. For those who don’t know, why is it important to support black-owned businesses? I already fully support this and love the collaboration with Coloring Pins.
It’s a sad thing that only in the last couple of years that supporting black-owned businesses has become a thing. I never understood it. For years so many other cultures have done it, from Jewish communities to Chinese communities and even African communities. It’s just a matter of investing in businesses that allow the people the business is built around, to profit from it. Supporting one black business will help create a job for another black business and so on. Someone once said “the race who does not build is always controlled by those who do”. I wholeheartedly believe in this, especially in the world we live in today.
As a minority, I find any movement toward inclusivity (for instance BGM) super empowering. The more strong, successful WOC making their mark, the better! I know you’re a Shonda fan. Are there any other people who inspire you in the creative sphere?
I am a huge fan of Shea Couleé and the unique presence she brings to the world of creativity and her craft.
She continuously pushes boundaries in whatever she does. I mean fashion, makeup, creative direction, performances, images…etc! Everything she does you can always tell she puts in 150% of her energy into it. The results are just breath-taking!
I’d like to congratulate you on your feature in the Kenyan Airline magazine! Do you feel more Kenyan than American?
I definitely feel more Kenyan than American, for sure. I have only been in America for about three years, so it’s not even a question in my head. I have been in Kenya for most of my life. I will say however, that many people would say that I easily blend into the American culture. This is only because it is literally everywhere else in the world and it’s incredibly hard to avoid one of the biggest superpowers of the globe. It might also help that the American accent is not that hard to perfect.
Haha, so what are your thoughts on Trump?
Straight from the urban dictionary: “Donald Trump is a dangerous idiot, supported by fools, who only ever looked out for himself.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. So you’ve been featured in three Buzzfeed articles. Yet, you are still so humble, how?!
Haha, honestly I think it’s always reminding myself that I am just a tiny little dot in the midst of other tiny little dots. So, I celebrate and give thanks about all the dope stuff that happens in my life. Yet, as much as God giveth, God can easily taketh away. So stay humble, be kind and always be focused. Also don’t forget to give yourself a tap on the back.
I know you’re a pretty studious individual! Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Probably trying to finish my PhD and hopefully be done with 90% of the things on my imaginary bucket list. Most importantly, as cliché and boring as it sounds – just being happy!
I’d like to end the interview with a quote from you, because it perfectly captures the mood of your feed that everyone needs a piece of…
“This is me jumping out of a box I call fear, anxiety and giving too many sh*ts. I suggest you do so yourself.” – Ramachandran Cynthia
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Be part of the conversation and engage with other creatives through the forum. The forum is just space to post anything you want, it caters to anyone who needs advice about a project and wants to collaborate. Say you create funny cartoons, but your illustrations are poor, you’d explain your dilemma in a post in the forum. Then someone with those expertise, who’d be willing to collaborate with you could respond. Thus begins the start of something beautiful…