Cultural conversations in grade school always had me feeling jealous that I wasn’t made up of one or more ethnicity. I wanted to be able to say I was a quarter French, 15% Norwegian and other things European. With wisdom coming with age I have grown to appreciate having a singular culture to immerse myself in.
The main reason I chose the name O-Mara was to always remind myself that I come from greatness. Inventors, leaders, royalty, and so much more. Often in society it would seem for Africans to be successful they must be a doctor or an engineer. The way our history and future has been dictated to us is very limited to the point where we seem to recycle all our creativity as well.
I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer but when I was a kid there were slashes next to that. I wanted to be a singer/actress/floral designer/writer basically anything I thought was intriguing. I managed to narrow it down to fashion being my biggest interest and bought into this myth that it was all I could do. I laser focused on fashion while stifling other interests and curiosities because designers didn’t do any of that. As I grew my box became too tight and the world too big for me to allow myself to remain small. I am lucky enough to have a quick connection to my roots but not all Africans have that luxury. On one hand I’m all about the arts on the other I can also be analytical. Liking finance didn’t take away from my creativity, being business minded wasn’t in competition with being an artist.
All my interests are not in competition with one another because they make me a whole person. African civilization wasn’t built because we dared to stay in one lane, we not only dared to dream but to act on it too. We pave the path for everyone and I fully intend on blazing a trail myself.
With that I want to know, even if it’s hyphenated, what do you want to be when you grow up?