Aïssé N’Diaye, Is the creator of the brand Afrikanista.
Afrikanista is a brand that was ounded in 2014. It is a line of T-shirts, sweatshirts and accessories that pays tribute to her parents and to the older generations of Africans (especially sub-Saharan in West Africa). The idea of launching the brand sprouted little by little in my head. This is how the picture of my mother became the thread of Afrikanista.
The concept of the brand revolves around four themes: the African photographs which are in Aisse’’s opinion a legacy that every family has at home, African proverbs because beyond their figurative meaning hides very often a morality on the life and our relations as human beings, but also the slogans because through Afrikanista, she also ask questions to identity in the place of immigration into French society. Egyptian hieroglyphs because she passionate about Egyptian civilization since the age of 11; and also because it’s part of African history. Moreover, the logo of the brand, which is a hieroglyph is a nod to this passion. And lastly the FUNKY DIVA epaulets that connote a confident woman in her and her style, at once independent, audacious, who knows where she comes from and where she is going.
Afrikanista is an extension of Aisse’, and is part of her ourney in her quest to find her identity. She shares a portion of herself that has developed her faith and how its importance in her life has grown her as an individual.
How do you view faith and spirituality?
For me, faith is a private connection with God, it is seeking from him his protection against our fears, our doubts but especially his help to be stronger in the face of the obstacles of life.
Spirituality is more a search for oneself, it is a quest for more serenity and balance, in short, a better version of oneself with more perspective and introspection.
What examples of trials could you name that could have possibly made you give up?
When I was working as a visual merchandiser at my former employer, at the very beginning of my career, I was harassed by a store manager. She denigrated my work, denigrated me in front of my colleagues and my salesmen everyday. The more months went by, the more I felt bad within my professional environment. I did not realize that I was losing weight and was having a depression. One day, I appealed to colleagues who helped me to denounce the actions of my superior. I felt revived to have support and talk to people who understood me.
When I separated from my two ex-partners in my brand, it was hard at first to have to manage everything alone! The creative part, the orders, the parcels sending, the management of the social networks, the mails
How did you manage these challenges and what allowed you to not give up despite the difficulties?
My entourage helped me a lot, especially my family and my friends. They have always supported me from end to end, whatever my choices.
It’s important to feel supported, to release the word, to cry, it feels good! This is what allows you to get back in the saddle and continue his merry way in a more serene way.
For Afrikanista, I felt free at all levels! Now I was alone in control, I did what I wanted in terms of artistic freedom and could express my vision of the concept. A real pleasure to owe nothing to anyone.
What advice would you give other women based on your belief / spirituality?
The advice I could give to other women is first of all to believe in oneself, to accept oneself as one is with one’s qualities and faults. It is important to be able to face the world, the eyes, the people. Do not neglect his instinct because he rarely deceives us and unfortunately we tend to the letter aside.
The most important thing is to put your trust in God because, as a proverb says so well: “The man proposes, God disposes.”
When I feel too much negative tension in my head, I light incense and listen to an album of Erykah Badu in a subdued atmosphere, it calms me and recharges me with positive waves. This is my therapy to me against gloominess!
How did your spirituality allow you to propel yourself into your industry?
My spirituality helps me to put a lot of perspective and especially to believe in myself and my project.
I think it’s the most important. I tell myself that when one thinks positive, one inevitably brings back positive to oneself.
How did your faith guide you through your life and when you encounter different opportunities in your career?
Prayer and blessings are an important part of my family. My parents pray and bless my brothers and sisters and me every day that God does. It strengthens me and gives me the strength and courage to persevere with my brand. As for me, I get up every day saying that if other people have arrived, why not me? I think God has given each of us a gift that must be shine. I am a patient and persevering person. And I tell myself that everything is perfect for those who wait.
I pray every day asking God for help and protection.
What does it mean for you to be an Empowered Woman Of Faith?
For me, it means being a woman who must have confidence in herself and who must be in tune with herself, both in her head and in her body. It is fighting to do what she wants with will, perseverance and determination. It’s knowing how to be humble and never forget where you come from. To go forward without a look back and especially not to live with regrets.