It's time to showcase the bloggers! Today I'm happy to share with you an interview with the beautiful Minna Salami, also known as MsAfropolitan. Vocal and passionate, she shares commentary on lifestyle and culture, from the perspective of being a cosmopolitan African woman. What I love about Minna's blog is that she often tackles challenging and controversial issues, and with such honesty (e.g. Mixed Race Girls have Issues, Smart Women should Watch Porn and Too Afrocentric for you?)! Read on to find out more about what this Finnish, feminist, Nigerian, pan-Africanist has to say.
What's your passion?
I'm passionate about many causes and particularly, gender imbalance and African development. I'm doing an MA in Gender studies at SOAS at the moment, focusing on African women's studies. I'm also crazy about the written word. Blogging. Samba. Yoga. But my number one, ongoing, everlasting passion is with spirituality and humanity.
What inspired you to create MsAfropolitan?
All the above passions actually.
What has been your greatest obstacle/challenge?
The greatest challenge to creativity has been the fallacy of perfectionism. As humans, it is inevitable that what we feel is important today might change tomorrow. It's been a challenge to learn to express myself freely without worrying that it might not represent who I am in future, but I have come to understand that nothing stifles creativity more than the need to create perfectly.
How have you dealt with/overcome it?
I've dealt with it by striving to create honestly. So for example, if I look back at something I wrote years ago and it makes me cringe, I remind myself that it might not have been perfect, but it was honest. And that's what creativity should be about – staying true to your present self.
What has your greatest achievement been?
I'm grateful to be where I am in life, in a position where I can reach out to people and they can reach out to me and we can learn from each other. That makes me smile every day and means more to me than anything else.
Where will you be in 10 years?
In the same place multiplied. Learning and teaching more.
How does Africa inspire you?
Africa doesn't inspire me in or by itself. It is part of my evolution and I am part of its evolution and it's that evolving process that I draw inspiration from. From trying to understand its strengths and its weaknesses in order to try and grasp the wholeness.
Anything else you'd like to share?
The MsAfropolitan boutique! I've created a platform to sell and showcase some of the creative labour of African Diaspora women and would like to share that, especially as I'm always on the lookout for new female entrepreneurs.
Anything we should look out for in the coming weeks/months/year?
New brands in the shop and more write ups on my blog and elsewhere!
Photographs of Minna by Muyiwa Oguntoye