Woman Wednesday: Diana


Q and A with Diana from Kenya, Africa

“If you stay in the same circle, repeating the same cycle…day in and day out…how do you expect anything to change?”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am Diana Maiyo, a top-rated virtual assistant in Kenya, Africa, who is also passionate about educating women on healthy hair care routines. I have explored careers in a variety of industries and realized that my purpose in life is to add value to women’s lives on a daily basis. Being a virtual assistant has enabled me to achieve this as I get to work with so many amazing women from all over the world. I absolutely love what I do as I also get to learn a lot from the women I assist virtually. My virtual work has enabled me to learn different business practices from across the world and also get to learn of the many cultures out there. I can confidently say I have found where I belong and that is with the leading ladies in business worldwide.

[Regarding what I do as a virtual assistant], I help with calendar management, social media maintenance, email management, running social accounts for businesses, scheduling appointments, running group chats for businesses, and data entry. Those are just some of the services I offer and have been providing.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I come from a family of six and growing up, my older brother was my best friend. He would let me tag along whenever he went out playing with his friends, and this kept me active and resilient all through my life. My mum was a businesswoman, and I guess that’s where I got my entrepreneurial spirit from. My community didn’t believe much in educating the girl children, but my mum ensured that the four of us went to school no matter the obstacles she encountered. She taught me that I can be just as good as my two brothers and excel in whatever I set my mind on as long as I stay focused. She’s been supportive to date and still champions equal rights for both genders.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Living is all about experiencing new things, going out of your comfort zone, and pushing the boundaries. If you stay in the same circle, repeating the same cycle…day in and day out…how do you expect anything to change? How do you expect to grow? To learn new skills? To meet new people? Great things happen outside of your comfort zone.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means supporting and empowering other women and not degrading men while at it.


Connect with me:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/diana.maiyo.5/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dianamaiyo30/

Thank you for reading!

Woman Wednesday: Valentine


Q and A with Valentine from Kenya, Africa

Be the driver, but let passion be the drive.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about helping aspiring service-based entrepreneurs who are stuck and confused to stop going round in circles, gain clarity, formulate a strategy whilst leveraging digital marketing to continuously generate leads, and create a wildly successful business while they live the life they choose. Over the years, I have always been interested in marketing, and at the time, I didn’t know much about digital marketing. I started my job as a waitress in Dubai in 2012, whilst learning online about marketing. It took a lot of hustle, tears, hard work, rejections, training, and a huge mindset shift for me to finally land my first job in a marketing department in one of the fastest-growing cities (Dubai) and grow to become a marketing manager. Once I started, there was no stopping me; I read many books, learned everything I could, attended so many webinars. I worked successfully in the marketing field up to when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we had to stay at home. At this point, I realized there was a lot digitally that I had already accomplished and a lot more that I needed to learn. So, once again, I decided to use quarantine time to study. That is how my journey with digital marketing started. It was quite easy because I had already had the basics, so it was more of just advancing my knowledge and thinking bigger.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a small village in Kenya, Africa. I lost my mum when I was 5. Honestly, I don’t know much about my background as I didn’t get to know my father to date. I grew up with my loving grandparents. There isn’t much to say about my background, except that I also had this fire within me that made me feel like I wasn’t extraordinary. I tried to fit in; I always wondered why I was different. Most of my skills are self-taught as I didn’t get a chance to study anything I wanted in college. I have always had a huge affection for orphans, which led me to start my foundation called TOF(Talented Orphans Family), which is geared towards developing orphans’ talents to make them independent and also teaching them skills that can make them dependable in society. This was the most fulfilling thing I had ever done, but as I was the sole financier, it came to a stop as I had an accident that caused a fracture that disrupted my earning and functioning capabilities. This would just be a tip on the iceberg to what I have endured over the years and also achieved. Everything has led me to my destiny. I am strong now, unstoppable, and ready to conquer then change the world. My experience has taught me to overcome any situation, to understand people’s situations, and to relate easily to them. I believe that this is the right time for me to make an impact.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: When you are at the saddest and lowest, most painful level you can be, that is where you get sharpened. That is the time you can become reborn. That pain is what, when used the right way, can turn you into someone very powerful. We all have this greatest strength buried deep inside each one of us; only a few people get the chance to fully experience this strength. The feeling of being unstoppable. When you have lost it all and there is nothing else to live for, you have a choice to give up or to dig deeper than ever before for your hidden strength. It’s more like a superpower. Digging and tapping into that inner strength will change you and make you as strong as steel. You will then be ready to become anything you set your mind to and there is nothing that can put you down because you already know how to get back up.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: When I talk about feminism, this comes to me on a personal level, coming from a background where women are known to stay in the kitchen and learn to be wife material. I do not want to be put in a box of what I am supposed to become or who I am supposed to be as a woman. Being a woman is just my gender; I should be judged by my capabilities, my skills, and my intelligence. When I am talking to fellow entrepreneurs, I need them to understand that being a woman or a man has nothing to do with how intelligent one is. If I succeed in something, it’s because I am just that good, not because of favors or because I am a woman.


MORE FROM VALENTINE: Something I have learned and would like to share: You do not need to make it perfect; just start and keep learning, keep improving. If you keep going, you will keep getting better.





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Woman Wednesday: Ruby B. Johnson

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Ruby B. Johnson, Sierra Leone, West Africa

“Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a mining engineer and currently work at a gold mining operation. I am also the founder and editorial director of STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. Premiered in September 2018 with its autumn issue, STEMher Magazine is a print magazine showcasing the education and experiences of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) academia, careers, and programs. STEMher celebrates women thriving in their careers and inspires others to fuel their curiosity and interests in STEM; the status of individuals featured range from middle school through retirement. In one year, STEMher has featured more than 50 STEM girls and women worldwide from countries like the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, Canada, South Africa, India, France, Nigeria, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Sierra Leone, and England. All magazine issues are available for purchase on stemher.com and Amazon Marketplace.

 

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Summer 2019 Cover

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone [in West Africa]. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old, which meant growing up and completing my middle school and high school education in Maryland. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSc in mining engineering and a minor in women’s studies leadership. While in college, I founded When You Believe Foundation, a program that empowers women and girls through social media engagement, workshops, and donations. In 2012, I competed in my first pageant, Miss Sierra Leone USA, with the platform of advocating for the recruitment and retention of girls and women in STEM fields, since I was a STEM college student at the time and women’s empowerment was something I was passionate about. I won the pageant and with that title, I was able to travel across the country as well as in Sierra Leone, encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM. After the crowns and titles, STEM advocacy and women’s empowerment continues to be my lifelong platform. I wanted to take this platform to another level to be able to reach women and girls I may never cross paths with, so I created STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine last year. 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research. (1) From Monday through Thursdays, I work ten-hour days and a two-hour commute to and from work. Additionally, I am an entrepreneur who runs her own business creating content and putting together each issue for STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. I also serve in a couple of ministries at my church. Life gets busy. In the last year, I’m being intentional to prioritize my mental health. Making time to rest and slow down when necessary. In order to be productive with work, I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work. It’s okay to say “no” or “not yet” sometimes. I cannot fill the cups of others when my cup is empty. It’s also okay to ask for help—whether it’s in prayer, family and friends, community, or therapy.

 

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(2) As I navigate through the professional world and life in general, I’m realizing how important it is for one to control their narrative. Of course we cannot fully control what people say about us or how they feel about us; however, I believe we can play a role in those things. The way we carry ourselves is very important. We have to learn wisdom on when to speak up or be silent. We must be our biggest defenders and tell people how we want them to treat or address us. (3) Running a business is no easy feat and it’s time-consuming. In college, I learned to not study hard but study smart. I believe that’s important to do when you are a business owner. Being that I don’t have a business or journalism background, I spend a lot of time learning—asking questions, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and everything else in between. I want this magazine to go beyond, so that means I have to put in the work. I may not see harvest immediately, but sowing seeds each day counts. All in all, I believe it’s important to know who you are, stand firm on your values, always remember your why, and never lose your humanity no matter what environment you are in. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means being my authentic self, living out my God-given purpose, and being intentional about making a difference in the community. While working on my women’s studies leadership minor in college, I learned about intersectionality. I am a Christian woman, born and raised in Sierra Leone, a naturalized American citizen, a woman in STEM, usually one of few or only black people in some professional settings, and a family-oriented individual. I thrive because of these lived experiences but also have a heart and a curious mind to learn about those who are different from me. Feminism to me is never compromising my faith and also being compassionate to others. To me, feminism means to reach for excellence and nothing less.

 

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