by Sang Kromah
When I was 15, I was hellbent on reading my way out of high school. As a constant sufferer of the “Anywhere but here” syndrome, reading gave me the wings I needed to escape the cage that high school and life was for me at the time. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I was setting the foundation for a future in books. Writing them, reviewing them, acquiring them, and more. My escape has become my reality, and I’m no longer that angsty 15-year old with a chip on her shoulder. I’m happy.
I started #NoteToSelf as a therapeutic way for women to revisit their younger selves in order to answer the ultimate question, “Have you become the person you needed when you were young?” It’s a way of letting girls know they aren’t alone and it actually does get better. We’ve gotten some wonderful submissions from women from different fields, diverse backgrounds, and unique locations. I find myself reading many of these stories and thinking, “damn, I see a part of myself in her”. That’s the thing though, if we all took the time to get to know one another, we’d find common ground.
I had the pleasure of meeting Faith Walgwe last September when she approached me about be featured on her podcast, HerStoryToo, a platform that inspires, educates, motivates, supports and encourages women and girls from across the globe to live life on their terms and become the best version of themselves. The Kenya native currently lives in Copenhagen, but her passion her empowering women often takes her to Kenya on a multitude of initiatives.
So in celebration of #InternationalWomensDay, get to know Faith and see for yourself why I’m girlspired by her.
- Describe your 15-year old self in fifty words or less.
I would describe her as a girl who always wanted to travel see the world and explore new things. She also thoroughly enjoyed reading novels and watching movies.
- Where were you at age 15? (Physical location)
- Where are you now? (Physical location)
- Did you know who or what you wanted to be at 15?
So many things; at one point a pilot, then I realized just how much I didn’t like heights, then in the medical field but didn’t enjoy dissecting rats during biology. It totally grossed me out, so it varied.
- 15-year olds tend to hate everything, what was going on in your world that you hated and wanted to change?
I hated entitlement, especially when it came to the boys, expecting you to make their meals, set the table, and serve them all that good stuff. I also hated the freedom they had to go out and do everything whatever and whenever they wanted, Not so much the young girls we were very much shielded and protected. At that age every teenager wants to explore with little to no limitation :o)
- At 15, we always think it’s the worst of times; were they really the worst or were they the best of times?
I wouldn’t say it was the worst, I had very many good and fun moments, memorable ones
- What were the top 5 songs on your playlist at 15?
I grew up with older siblings, so I listened to quite a few oldies. Patti Labelle’s “If Only You Knew”, almost all of Luther Vandross’ songs, MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This”, Toni Braxton’s “Spanish Guitar”, and literally all of Whitney Houston’s songs, particularly “When You Believe”, which features Mariah Carey, who I also thoroughly enjoyed.
- What literary, movie or TV character did you identify most with at 15?
No brainer , it would have to be the heroine from Sidney Sheldon’s “If Tomorrow Comes”. I loved it…OMG!
- At 15, what was your idea of a dream job?
One that involved a lot of traveling, where I could explore the world :o)
- What were you reading at 15?
Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, African short stories by Grace Ogot, and the occasional Mills & Boon (Mills & Boon is Harlequin Romance’s British imprint).
- As far as high school stereotypes go, which category did you closely fit into?
I’m not sure all I can say I had the coolest, funniest and adventurous friends
- Who are you today and what makes you successful?
I’m just ME, I believe success is measured differently. With this in mind, I honestly believe that we are all successful in our own right. So I think just being okay being you makes us all successful.
- What achievement of yours would your 15-year old self be most proud of?
I’m proud of all my achievements; none are more valuable than the next. From raising funds for girl projects as girl, to organizing an event for orphans or completing an adventurous Girl Guide challenge; they all count equally in my view.
- Today, are you the person you thought you’d be at 15?
Yes, I think so.
- If you could say anything to your 15-year old self, what would it be? (Your answer can be however long or however short, you wish it to be)
I would say to her just be you. Do what comes to you naturally, be patient, invest in yourself and no matter what, follow your dreams at all costs. Others may not share your dreams, ideas, beliefs and even understand the where, what and hows, but as long as you do, go for it and enjoy the trip. It might be a bit bumpy, so saddle up and get ready for the joyride.