It was late and the house was packed. She was sitting close to the foot of the staircase as people went up and down the stairs. I can hardly remember what we were celebrating but I remember her. This was about 15 years ago. Even then, there was a youthful vibrance about her. Her nails caught my eye, they were long with a fun pink polish. I observed as she called over a lovely little girl and began to feed her as only a Mommy would. I looked on a little confused, trying to match up her fashion fabulousity to motherhood. Thing is, she wasn’t the only fashionista Mommy I had ever encountered. She however, was one of the few who wore their badge of motherhood with such noticeable ease and grace.
Even now, I look at her in appreciation of the ideal she represents for women struggling to find balance in their lives.
As flawless as she may seem, her load is not light. She wears many badges these days, most notably CEO of The Hampton Conference Center and Hampton Party Supply Rentals, Co-founder of the Vincent Kewala Nyambi Foundation and Co-Chair of Hampton Group Intl to name a few.
She has also been recipient of numerous awards including the Couple Community Service Award from African Mirror Newspaper, the Humanitarian Service Award from DeeDee Entertainment Awards, the I AM SHE Arise Woman Award from the I AM SHE Women Power Conference and WODESS Woman of the year 2016 International Award.
A parent can receive all kinds of accolades but the one that will be of most value is the reward that is only reflected in the kind of adult their child grows to become.
The badge of Good Parenting is one Marcelline and her husband Jude have every reason to be proud of especially when their 18-year-old daughter is Venessa Nyambi: a Model, Blogger, Social Entrepreneur, International Speaker AND founder of The Generation Africa Campaign (an initiative to empower young Africans living throughout the diaspora and on the continent). Venessa was awarded the National Academy of Future Scientist and Technologist Award of Excellence, The Congressional Youth Leadership Award, and was selected to participate in the President Eisenhower Student Ambassador Program. Venessa graduated in May of 2017 with honors as a member of The National High School Scholars Society.
So how does this multipurpose woman maintain the balance? How does she keep her children and marriage centered? What wisdom can we take from her journey? We asked and she answered.
Her Parenting Philosophy
Marcelline Nyambi: I think it’s very important we raise our children to understand that they are a unique expression of source energy expressing. Which means they are infinite beings with infinite potential surrounded by boundless opportunity to make a difference. We have to raise them to understand that they are evolutionary beings in an evolutionary universe and are here for a reason and a purpose. And we have to make them understand that their purpose is to evolve into that which God has called them forth to be. They have to understand that their passion will always lead them to their purpose and finding their purpose will build true confidence and help them cultivate their strength and divine gifts.
Marcelline Nyambi: Confidence is not just the result of following your passion but is also the result of finding your strength zone and more importantly understanding God’s will in your life. When children understand who and whose they are, they will always be in vibrational alignment with source energy. In essence we have to raise them to understand that irrespective of their profession or who they are or who they become, their divine purpose is to serve by being the instrument God will use to bring about alignment, attainment and activation in the lives of others.
How She Balances Work and Kids
Marcelline Nyambi: This is a familiar battle most entrepreneurs face and I am no exception. Entrepreneurship is not that glamorous as some people may think. It entails lots of sacrifice from you and your loved ones. Believe me it is not easy but I have come to realize that you have to make a conscious decision to manage to keep up with the increased demands of a growing business and a growing family. Besides, family always has to come first. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support of my exceptional husband.
Marcelline Nyambi: Many entrepreneurs try to separate work and family life, but in our household, business talk is never off the table. You don’t walk in the door and the business disappears. I share the details of our business successes and struggles with my family because at the end of the day they are my greatest cheerleaders. When I bring work home such as following up on emails, I always try to do the work after everyone has gone to bed so that I can be present for my kids.
As entrepreneurs sometimes we try to do everything ourselves. I have come to realized that learning to let go is the only way you can be able to balance increased work and life demands. I believe if you build a good business culture and IF you are a good leader, you will be able to maintain balance. A good business doesn’t need you to micro manage every aspect. You can delegate to people who embody and exemplify your vision and mission and that frees up some time to spend with family. Our family makes a habit of Sunday family days when possible and also we schedule family vacation time.
Balancing Work and Marriage
If you have met Marcelline and her beau Jude, you will notice that theirs is not only a romance but a friendship. They enjoy being around each other. So what is their secret?
Marcelline Nyambi: Finding that balance between work and marriage is essential to honoring the vows that we made to one another. But believe me its not always that easy. We have found that making a list of the most important things to us: God, our marriage and our children helps us to put things in perspective. We try to dedicate one day a week to each other. We schedule date nights, and mini weekend getaway or a weekday getaway since the nature of our business sometimes requires our attention on weekends. We constantly check on one another and stay in communication through out the day because we are each other’s support system.
Staying Fit and Fabulous
Marcelline Nyambi: In order to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle, it’s important to have some sort of consistency when looking at the big picture result. Make changes one at a time, and don’t make too many changes at once or you will risk relapsing into old habits. However what I do is I meditate daily, I try to maintain a consistent daily workout routine, I try to eat healthy by getting as many fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into my diet as possible and drinking lots of water. I also do routine medical check up and to reduced stress I try to take breaks and relax as much as I can but I must admit I am a working progress on this one.
When we see a woman who has gone through life and attained success, it is only fitting to ask them for a piece of the wisdom they have picked up in their journey.
Wisdom for her kids to remember
1. To remember that an attitude of gratitude is the key to manifesting and to remember that they are a unique expression of infinite spirit expressing and they are here in this universe for a reason and for a purpose, which is to serve in every capacity and platform.
2. To understand they are not here to acquire worldly things, but instead to release the gifts, the talents that lies within them for God’s glory. And that they are infinite beings with infinite potential destined to reign.
3. To understand that challenges are going to come but those dark moments in their life will only be here to help them evolve and grow into that which God has called them to be.
4. To remember that every circumstance they will consider challenges and every blessing is part of their journey. We never lose in life, we learn, we grow, we win but we never lose. Our experiences are our best teacher.
5. To learn to give, to forgive and be love, light and peace in this universe because whatever they do to another will always come back to them. I want them to always remember that everything and everyone is energy. We are all one because we all emanate from the same energy source God.
Wisdom for young mothers
1. I have discovered over the years that mothering is very challenging irrespective of the number of kids you have. Mothering isn’t about the big issues but the small lessons we pick up along the way. They are the legacy we pass on to our children. They are the things our children will remember us for, good or bad. That’s why its important to be a good role model.
2. Each child is unique and different with their own unique talent and gifts. Each child has different needs and likes. They are all different in the way they need to be loved, disciplined, and cared for.
3. You will not always know all the answers. There is no blueprint for mothering. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. Don’t compare your life to everyone else’s. Live your life in a way that makes you happy. You know the old saying: “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” It’s true.
4. When your kids are behaving in a way that makes you least want to give them affection and attention that is precisely when they need it the most. Give Hugs and smile and learn to affirm them consistently.
5. Enjoy each stage of your kid’s life. They grow too fast. My kids are becoming more incredible people every day, and I enjoy watching them learn, grow, and become who they are destined to be. Learn to affirm your children every step of the way. I can’t believe my daughter Venessa is attending college in London. It seems like only yesterday she was born.
One of The Oldest Tribes In Africa Was Kicked Out Of Their Homes And Here Is What Happened
The Batwa tribe is one of the oldest in Africa. They originally resided in the rainforests of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. They survived many decades through hunting and gathering. However, in the 1990s, the government evicted them from the rainforest leaving them homeless. This and subsequent events threw them into poverty.
The actions of the governments of the three countries were prompted by the need to create a national park. The national parks helped to preserve the population of endangered gorillas in the Virunga Mountains. Since then, the population of the gorillas has grown to 880 in 2018 from 284 in 1981. Tourists now pay a huge amount to spend one hour with the apes. The parks have become a huge money spinner for the East African countries. However, the Batwa tribe paid the price.
A glimmer of hope for eighteen Batwa families
Volcanoes Safaris, a luxury lodge operator was drawn to the plight of the Batwa tribe condemned to squat in Uganda’ farmland. The founder of Volcanoes Safari, Praveen Moman was touched by their appalling livelihood. Moman first met the Batwa tribe when he opened the Mount Gahinga Lodge in 1997 on the outskirts of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The encounter sparked their relationship.
Through the Volcanoes Safari Partnership Trust, Moman gifted ten acres of land to the tribe. When asked about what motivated his actions, Moman said,
“Generally, we want to support people and improve their livelihood in relation to the work we do at our lodges. It was a bunch of rocks on which they built little shacks of twigs, of tarpaulins, of cardboard—whatever they could get.”
All the material used for the construction of the new village were donations from the guests at Mount Gahinga lodge and the Volcanoes Safari Trust. However, Uganda-based Studio FH architects’ contribution was in terms of supervision services and free designs.
A glimpse into the new settlement for the Batwa tribe
The village consists of eighteen houses each measuring twenty square meters. Each of the homes boasts of a bedroom, common room and a covered veranda which also serves as the kitchen. Eucalyptus poles with bamboo crisscross form a grid and make up the walls. However, the roofing consists of metal sheets with papyrus coating.
The builders took some steps to ensure the safety of these eco-friendly homes. First, the buildings have compact spacing for wind protection as well as to conserve farming lands. Secondly, the verandas face opposite of the direction of strong winds from the volcanoes. To ensure proper sanitation, two buildings containing latrines lie in the slopes on one side of the village.
The Batwa tribe village also has a community center on a 100 square meter space. Consequently, the dome-shaped community center is intended to be used for multiple purposes that involves public gathering. The official opening of the village was in May 2018.
The 2018 Emerging Architecture Awards
The contributions of Studio FH Architects to the Batwa tribe also earned them a place on the 2018 Emerging Architecture Awards list. The prestigious award instituted in 1999 honors young designers who create a positive impact in their environment through architectural designs.
There Is A Growing List of African Countries That Allow Dual Citizenship
You can become a dual citizen through various processes–through birth, marriage, naturalization, or adoption. A minor adopted by citizens of another country can be granted citizenship status of the adoptive parents’ country—at least one of the parents must be a citizen of that country.
African Countries that Allow Dual Citizenship
Not all countries allow dual citizenship. Some of the Western countries that allow dual citizenship include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, and Australia. But what happens if you come from an African country that does not recognize dual citizenship? This is a major concern for many Africans in the diaspora. In fact, not all African countries allow dual citizenship.
Some of the African countries that allow dual citizenship include:
This figure may change depending on a country’s changing laws and regulations. For example, dual citizenship in Malawi was allowed from December 2018, after parliament made amendments to the 1966 Citizenship Act. Lesotho made a similar amendment in December 2018. Some countries only allow dual citizenship in special circumstances–not entirely.
With the growing trend of African countries adjusting laws to accommodate the diaspora, Ghana has taken things a step further to become the first African country that supports dual citizenship for the involuntary African diaspora. Involuntary African diaspora consists of people of African descent whose ancestors did not leave the continent voluntarily. These are the peopel whose ancestors were forced through the slave trade to leave their homes.
For Africans coming from countries that allow dual citizenship, it is easier to become dual citizens in other countries that similarly allow dual citizenship. If you come from countries that do not recognize dual citizenship, applying for citizenship in another country ultimately revokes or cancels your citizenship in your home country.
Dual citizens enjoy the rights and benefits offered from both countries. For example, they can vote in the two countries. Depending on applicable law, they may also run for office. The current Somalia president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, holds both American and Somalia citizenship.
Dual citizens can also work in either country without the requirement for a work permit. For students, they can attend school in either of the countries at the citizens’ tuition rate. As a dual citizen, you can also own property in the two countries.
One of the major drawbacks of dual citizenship is double taxation. The United States, for instance, imposes taxes on its citizens, regardless of the source country of the income. Some applicable laws, however, can reduce the double taxation effect, depending on agreements between the two countries. Also, the process of gaining dual citizenship can be long and expensive.
For Africans in the diaspora, most would want to have dual citizenship. Dual citizenship makes their lives easier in their ‘home’ countries. With dual citizenship, they can more easily invest which in turn creates jobs. Some African countries make it easy for their citizens to achieve this through their embassies whereas for others the procedure can be quite complex. The growing trend among African countries to embrace dual citizenship, creates an opportunity to bridge the widening distance between those countries and the diaspora.
Ethiopian Prime Minister and Wife Set An Example With Adoption From Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage
Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed’s charisma has warmed our hearts on multiple occasion. His latest example came to fruition this month when the courts approved him and his wife’s petition to adopt an orphan named Million from Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage.
The adopting parents applied to the court on January 22, 2019 making the argument that the child will be better off with them. The court approved the adoption in light of the fact that the agreement is in the best interest of the child and confirmed that Million could not give comment on the adoption agreement since his age is under two years.
FANABC reported that Meaza Ashenafi, President of the Supreme Court, sent a congratulatory message to First Lady Zinash and Prime Minister Dr Abiy.'The decision of First Lady Zinash and Prime Minister Dr Abiy could be a model to other Ethiopians to adopt disadvantaged children' - Meaza Ashenafi Click To Tweet
The prime minister’s wife, Zinash Tayachew, who attended the court in person, said her family will give Million all the needed love and care.
African First Lady Adoptions
The development comes on the back of Zambia’s first lady’s decision to adopt an abandoned month-old baby last December. The baby girl was abandoned by her mother a few days after she was born at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka. Other former first ladies in Africa have also adopted children, including Ghana’s Lordina Mahama and Zimbabwe’s Grace Mugabe.
Ethiopia’s first couple have three children of their own and their decision to adopt Million has been hailed by many people.
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