I am a British born Zimbabwean who lived in Zimbabwe till the age of 14. Our family moved to the UK at that point, and I lived there till 2017; when I moved with my family to the USA following my husband’s job relocation. I worked in several fashion head offices till 2015 when I decided to stay at home and look after our 2 children. I love writing and making people laugh. I am obsessed with clothes (especially on sale), and spend too much time pinning home style looks (free therapy). Thankfully it’s not all in vain as I am working on a business idea based around fashion and home; which I hope to realise in the next 2 years when I get my life (and hopefully functioning memory) back.
What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?
In my senior year at school we were four Black girls, three grew up in African countries and one grew up in the UK. One day during one of our political discussions, our UK “comrade” said to us, “You’ll never appreciate what it is to grow up in an environment where Black professionals are the norm. where your relatives are doctors and CEOs and your president is Black. You grew up seeing Black success as the norm, you believe you can be anything.”
That day my perception shifted, and being a Black parent in the diaspora I understand more the need for ALL children to be surrounded by Black success. The louder our excellence is, the lower the volume of those perpetuating negative stereotypes. Every race has good and bad, but we are burdened with shining a spotlight on our good like it’s an anomaly. I am proud to be here, proud to be in a couple that can be an example to a child looking for a role model, and part of those changing the narrative on Black families. The Black Panther movie (which I haven’t watched yet) is another layer added in our kids world: superheroes they can actually relate to.
The cruel history of slavery and its effects right up to our generation (Black incarceration? Racial profiling? Police brutality?) should never be swept under the carpet. Would anyone ask Jews to get over the Holocaust? It was evil. It happened. It’s happening. The more images of Black success our kids see, the more we show them that “still we rise”. The more images of Black excellence the new generation in other races see, the more it is normalized. And I am privileged to be here for it.
Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?
My name, Tanaka, means “we are now complete”. It was what my parents spoke over me when I was born and I live my life from the perspective that people’s lives should be bettered for having met me. It’s what they say every time they say my name!
As a result, a lot of my inspiration for writing (when it’s not about my family’s life) comes from the people I meet everyday, the conversations we have and the challenges they face. I am always seeking to be a solution provider in the areas I am gifted. I love seeking out ideas that make living stylishly easier for mums and then write about it. I currently have a couple of mums with similar body types who are frustrated at the lack of stylish clothing for their body type. This has led me on a journey which I will then write about on the blog and hopefully help a lot of other women in the same position.
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