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This outspoken daredevil (note the motorbike!) is a lover of words…reading and writing them.A strong willed  woman that is not afraid to speak her truth, Miss Bwalya is noted for her perception and expression on thought provoking issues.

What do you celebrate abut being a woman?
I celebrate being a woman by not taking for granted the sacrifices made by those who came before me. I have an education, career opportunities, and other privileges and freedoms that only two generations ago were un-thought of for women in my family. Knowing this makes me work even harder and reach higher for my dreams to not diminish what I have attained. 

What do you wish other women knew? 

For most, the struggle to know ourselves is life-long. As we travel through life, and experience various things our strengths and weaknesses become more clearly defined. Do not focus just on your strengths while ignoring your weaknesses; work on both to achieve success and do not let the visions others have for you define the type of woman you should become. Be self-aware.

How do you express yourself creatively? 

Writing has always been my go-to means of personal expression. I do this through my personal blog, social media, short stories, and the manuscript I’m currently working on to be my first novel. It’s too easy to fall back on the excuse that writings often go unread so why bother. I bother because I believe my voice is important, and I want to add to the collective narrative of the world in which I live. No one can tell my story better than I can.

How are you making a difference in the world?

Hmm…this is kind of a loaded question and how does one answer without sounding like a blowhard? I would consider personal contributions of time and money to organisations working in the areas I feel most passionately about – childhood education and microfinancing in Zambia, as being the primary vehicle for me making a difference in the world.

What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?

I believe my calling is to write. Professionally I do a lot of research and prepare reports/analysis which is aided by my ability to write, and I have gained invaluable experience writing for varying audiences.

And as mentioned previously, I live my passion for writing through my blog and current book project. I’m not yet in a position to write full time, but it is something I continue to work towards. Writing is the first step, getting published is the second.

How do you celebrate where you come from?

I celebrate being a Zambian by sharing with the world the stories of my country and people. For a country not as well-known on the global stage as others, we often find ourselves in the news for negative things – political corruption, high levels of poverty and HIV/AIDS. These are not the whole story, and as such I try to do my part through my writing to show a different side. We need to own our stories and share them constantly, thus making it harder for others to pigeon hole us. 

What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

To date, my biggest obstacles have been fear and self-doubt. To overcome this I have adopted the personal philosophy of “Get it Done.” Every day I put off something because of fear and self-doubt is one I will never get back and puts me further back from achieving my goals. This is something I continually work on, I am a work in progress. 

For more of Bwalya please visit her facebook page or read her thought provoking blog. You can also follow her on twitter @MissBwalya

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