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Ole Monyatsi, Mayree & Consolate Namyalo

NEWS

Meet The IKONS: Consolate, Mayree & Ole

Three women changing the way we view the world

BY YAZA South Africa Team

Mar 18, 2021, 08:57 AM

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Ole Monyatsi, Mayree & Consolate Namyalo
Throughout the month and in honour of International Women's Day we will be sharing 100 stories from 100 African women as part of IKON 100. Today, we speak to Mayree Bassey, Ole Monyatsi & Consolate Namyalo

These women are from different countries, backgrounds and professions but what binds YAZA, them, and you together is the fact that we all fundamentally believe that when women support women great things happen. 

They say the future is female, we say the future is now. 

Consolate Namyalo

Consolate Namyalo is a Ugandan and African story teller. A lover of life, music, people, an adventurer, voice over artist, content creator and all round creative! I am co-founder - GLIM, a digital lifestyle magazine that celebrates, inspires and empowers women.

To be a Black African Woman in 2021 means to be empowered, have a voice, fill up space, and stand tall and proud amidst adversity and complexities. The 2021 Black African Woman is a FORCE and will stop at nothing to be seen and heard.
Consolate Namyalo: Uganda
In 2021, I hope to put women related issues, stories and concerns at the fore-front with no bias. Tell more authentic empowering stories through a more powerful lens (dissecting each segment, piece by piece). To build a sense of community through telling stories that survive and thrive as they are told and re-told.

As a story teller who majorly tells women related stories, I struggle with getting women to see themselves as the ‘big deal’ that they and most of the time, they end up sharing half of their story because they do not want to feel over accomplished. This is majorly a societal issue. It has defined the woman’s role in society to make them feel less than and anything against the ‘norm’ is scary.

They end up downplaying their significance and the impact their stories could have on society. There has however been a steady shift as women are now viewing themselves differently and owning every part of who they are unapologetically. 
"Today we have come a long way. And yet, there are still newer paths to navigate and we shall do whatever it takes to get there."
Women who have moved ahead in life need to share their stories with more women around them. This cloak of silence around what happens in women’s minds and bodies and in their subsequent personal and professional journeys has to come out; the stories have to be heard by other women.

Consolate Namyalo is the co-founder of GLIM, a digital lifestyle magazine that celebrates, inspires and empowers women.

Mayree Bassey

To be an African Black woman in 2021 means strength. An African woman Is strong, patient, and determined.

As Black African women, we have fought hard to center the voices and stories of Black people. We are expected to strive more and to work harder just to stay relevant and have a voice in our society, despite the gender and colour discrimination we have suffered. I am proud that we haven’t let it deter our drive and hunger to explore leadership, achieve and reach our goals, even when we are made to work twice harder than a man to attain these achievements especially to prove our worth. After all, you are not a born leader, the men are projected as one and first choice citizens for leadership positions. It is hard sometimes I know, you even want to quit but this is the work that ultimately changes the world.
Mayree Bassey: Nigeria
I remember growing up as a little Black girl. I struggled with my body image. 'I look like a boy,' was what I said whenever I looked in the mirror because I did not love my look. I wanted to have long, Black and beautiful hair. If only I knew that women in short hair would be a trend in 2021, I would have owned my look and make others envy me.

If I were to write a note to my younger self from 2021, I would tell her that having your hair low or cut is a trend. Today, every woman I know wears it beautifully, not out of grief seeing as our culture subjects us to cut our hair because of the demise of a spouse, but because she wants to be free, feel good and comfortable.

In 2021 I hope we learn to love ourselves more. Self love is the best love. Love yourself like no one else will. A true African Black woman walks through life and comes out even stronger than she got in, know this, success comes in installments, a little bit of success today, a little more tomorrow, and more the days after.
"I won’t allow failure to define my destiny, I’ll constantly raise the bar."
I’m going to keep pushing, even in the face of failure or rejection. I won’t allow failure to define my destiny, I’ll constantly raise the bar. For every ‘No’ I get, I’ll go back, do it better and come back as a revised version of myself, I mean a PRO MAX.

The African Black woman still finds ways to smile every day, continually search for the light amid darkness, pain, violence, and degradation still fights to be seen, to be heard, to be relevant and valued. In 2021 I won’t be embarrassed by my growth, I’ll own my success and failures and won’t be afraid to try again.
I am that proud African Black woman.

Mayree Bassey is a makeup artiste and entrepreneur

Ole Monyatsi

The best thing about being a Black African woman is the colour of my skin, living in a country where we have so many different cultures and getting to learn and interact with all the tribes. It is a norm, yes, but there is beauty to being able to speak seven of our South African languages. How could I not be proud to be a Black intelligent African woman?

In 2021, my focus is on changing perceptions. I am all about body positivity and women empowerment and within my craft all I ever want to achieve is to make people feel good about themselves.
Ole Monyatsi: South Africa
I have high hopes for the next generation of women. I want plus-size women to stop being congratulated for being confident in their own skin and wearing whatever they want. Many people have normalized being plus-sized not being part of the societal beauty standards so they feel the need to applaud their confidence. That has to stop. 

My proudest moment is that I once workshopped a play. It was so challenging- that was the best part. Being a storyteller, many people seemed to like it. 
"I’d definitely like to write and perform my own play again."
The biggest challenge I face is getting good, stylish and affordable plus-size clothing from local brands. I always have to order online from other countries. 

The only thing l would change about myself is my complexion. I would have loved to be darker.

As far as gratitude goes, I am thankful for my mother- she is my support system and my everything. She pushes me to work hard for the things I want and believes in me when I don't. She also keeps me in her daily prayers, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Ole Monyatsi is an actress

Read: Meet the IKONS