Group of black women sitting and standing


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In case you missed it: Hi, I’m Paula and I’m Black, a woman and a Christian.

Now that you have been caught up to speed, welcome.

Being part of a subsection of a subsection of a subsection of society (a subsection squared, if you like!) in the creative industry is an interesting and unique experience to say the least. And before you feel compelled to comment something along the lines of: “It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, yellow, green or purple!”, “Labels just divide us!” or “We all bleed red!” Don’t. Just don’t.

Labels are not always there to divide or separate, sometimes they are there just to visibly describe us. I love being black. I love being a woman. And most importantly of all, I love being a Child of God (if you are interested in a post talking about the whole ‘master status’ thing: which one is most important to me, my race, gender or faith? let me know and I’ll write or film a thing!!)

Calling myself these things is not me saying “I can’t sit with you because you’re not!” in true Mean Girls fashion. It is me breaking down some of the specific parts of who I am. This is important to consider when wanting to succeed in a secular white male dominated world. As we supposedly are in now.

We are fed messages every single day and single hour on every single platform we come across, that success is personified as an atheist white middle-class man and since I am the complete opposite of that, I should not dare to be ambitious or think too much of myself.

Well.. I recently read an article by Funmi Olutoye in Magnify magazine that discussed the idea of positive ambition in women. A desire to fulfil all that we believe we were designed, formed and created to do, beyond what is expected of us.

Ambition and Faith are cousins!

Funmi Olutoye for Magnify magazine

I have always been ambitious – and not necessarily in the ‘the whole wide world must know my name!’ way, because to be honest, the Western world could not handle my middle and surnames! More in the way of, I want to die completely empty. I want to pour myself out and complete everything I supposed to do while I’m here. Like how Jesus was able to say “It is finished.” as He died on the cross. Imagine Him turning around to God and saying, “Listen, God. It’s not quite finished, but I tried sha!”

So even though black-and-brown, Christian women may not have the loudest voices in most industries, I want you to know and acknowledge that we are here! And we deserve to be here.

I just want to shoutout a few black-owned, faith-based, female-empowering people, brands, business and platforms that we should all be supporting!

  • LifeWithChids – My good friend, Chidera is an amazing lifestyle blogger and photographer
  • Mo Chunks – When Mo is not writing her weight-loss e-book, running her media production company or running a personal development network for women, she’s creating engaging content on her YouTube channel, MoChunks TV.
  • Magnify magazine – A gorgeous faith, feminism and fashion magazine created and run by Ruth Yimika Afolabi
  • Letitia Wright – She needs NO introduction because this Black Panther actress had an amazing 2018! It is a blessing that Letitia is not quiet about her faith and uses every opportunity to proclaim the love of God. I’m here for it.
  • Mirabelle – If I could shout about Mira, I would shout! She’s a creative fashion and lifestyle influencer in Toronto, Canada. She creates amazing content on Instagram.
  • Adegail – She is an amazingly talented singer/songwriter, musician and YouTuber.
  • Tasha Okeke – I am blessed enough to know Tasha from university where she has graduated from my course. She has gone on to build a dynamic digital media career and runs her online magazine, Espire21, which is all about inspiring young women to live their best life.
  • Courtney Daniella – An amazing beauty, education and lifestyle YouTuber, with her own successful hair and beauty business, Cdbeautyco based in London.
  • Tobi Oredein – The amazing freelance journalist, speaker and entrepreneur behind the lifestyle media platform, Black Ballad.
  • Kike Oniwinde – The ambitious lady who created the Black Young Professionals Network (BYP Network) and won A LOT of praise, funding and support for it.
  • Clarity magazine – A lovely girly mag for women and girls of faith. They cover EVERYTHING from relationships to careers. I am a freelance video content producer with Clarity so maybe I am biased. Taylor, the Founder and Editor, is a sweetheart.
  • Tobi Akingbade – I have only met this Metro journalist once and spoken to her twice but when I did, she encouraged me to stand tall and speak with confidence when introducing myself and what I do. This is a lesson I have carried with me years later.
  • Yvonne Orji – This Insecure (she’s not insecure, she’s on a show called Insecure!) may play a ‘questionable’ character in the show but she is very loud about her faith on social media! Plus she’s hilarious and Nigerian so what’s not to love.
  • Dorothy – Dorothy is so creative and one of my absolute favourite portrait photographers. I decided I wanted to work freelance with photography after hearing her give a talk on how she does it!
  • Nissy Tee – A lifestyle YouTuber, speaker and host, as well as creator of BEBB (Be Educated, Be Bold) – a space to teach, learn and grow.
  • Rhoda – Another amazing women that I am privileged to have met at university! She started her jewellery business inspired by Africa and the Caribbean a few years ago called TheAfroStylist, now rebranded to Native Ark. It has grown massively, with many of your favourite YouTubers and bloggers sporting her jewellery.
  • Hayley Mulenda – She’s an international speaker, award-winning author and social media influencer!

*Image: Unsplash


Paula Melissa xx

Paula Melissa is a digital content creator, portrait photographer and freelance journalist. Since starting a blog in 2012 and graduating from the University of Sheffield with a Journalism Studies with Employment Experience degree in 2019, Paula has gone on to create and grow her own dynamic digital media empire. She loves reading, eating and spending time with her dog, Rolfie.
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