Africa, Interviews
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Susan aka Dr. SEA

Susan, an inspiration to all African women in Europe and all over the world, inspires me to go for my goals..and does so looking good all the time!

What do you celebrate about being a woman?

Honestly first I see myself as a person then as a 
woman. As a person I celebrate the amazing people God put in my life and of course my achievements. I mostly celebrate being a woman by celebrating achievements of other women. Besides I celebrate the privileges we enjoy as women. Most people’s first word is “mama”, what a privilege!! I sometimes feel sorry for the dads in this light. 

Another example: it is easy to get help as a woman,even from strangers. The world easily yet unknowingly helps us to get to our goals. Most often we are underestimated, we don’t seem to pose a threat so barriers are not quickly built.It is easy to slip through if you are smart to figure things out. It is some sort of discrimination which I have learnt to use to my advantage. Funnily I also celebrate those little things we can get way with just for being a woman, like mood swings!! Most people seem to tolerate mood swings more from women than from men. So I enjoy that immunity lol….
What do you wish other women knew?
I wish other women knew that feminism is not only
the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Feminism also means celebrating and empowering each other. And not “enslaving” men while liberating themselves. You don’t free yourself by becoming the slave master. Unfortunately this has put a stigma on feminism, which otherwise in its true form is a beautiful thing. We should focus more on using our newly gained rights to collectively bring advancement. One more thing, I wish even more women knew that the statement “Women can’t work with each other” has little truth.
How do you express yourself creatively?
In my daily appearance. I let my creativity flow into 
my style. When I cook the creative me pours out. 
In my living space: I always love it to look like an art gallery with artisans. 
In the many jokes I crack a day; I could be quite a jester in a good way, you know. 
When I write poems and prose. Honestly my creativity sometimes gets me into trouble…my poor parents…
How are you making a difference in the world?
In the little things I do everyday especially in losing 
myself in service to others. I am so grateful I have a job which gives me the chance to do that.

My passion for people makes it easy to engage in 
time consuming and purpose driven hobbies. I was only thirteen when I was part of an initiative to get kids off the streets in the poverty and crime stricken township I grew up in. 
While in med school I was was sociopolitically engaged in organizing forums for cultural exchange between Germans and immigrants, a venture which even got me into theater arts with Kammerspiele Magdeburg. 
I also help organized and facilitated students from my faculty to do their clinicals in Limbe, Cameroon. 

All these earned me the 2007 DAAD Prize for academics and sociopolitical achievements.
In 2014 I made African Heritage Magazines’s list of 100 most influential Africans in Germany.
My most recent projects are my inspirational blog 
and movement “ A sister in Germany which puts a positive spotlight on Africans in Germany, public speaking on issues affecting the African woman and immigrants in Germany, going to Cameroon once a year as a volunteer in the health care system, a mentor to five amazing students in Germany.

I hope these little steps set a flame whose fire keeps 
going. My absolute favorite and most current project is called ASK DOCTA! A collaboration with Manunga Studios which explains medicine and health care in pidgin English, a sort of Creole spoken by millions of people in West Africa. We intend to educate the common man in his own language on health issues affecting him.
I hope that with these few steps I can make a little difference in the world.
What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?
My calling? I prefer the word purpose. My purpose is 
change in any form in my immediate community through empowering people to be that change. 
To be a vessel through which others can see themselves and their potentials and make the best of it. Honestly I believe I haven’t reached one-third of my purpose and its magnitude scares me, but its a path I ‘ll have to take. 
 What am I doing about it? Surrender. I have surrendered myself to God to use me to achieve that purpose. I simply surrender and allow myself to be used. It’s not about me, its about others.
How do you celebrate where you come from?
Look at me. I am all Niaja-Pays wrapped in Bundes.
Now you will have to go figure that out. I celebrate 
my roots by not being ashamed of them or making excuses for them. It’s a take-me-or leave-it attitude I have regarding that. 
I wear my culture all over me: dressing Afrochic, listening to African music, I mostly cook African food. Many wise sayings I heard as a child see my through tough days. I had a German colleague who always asked: Susan do you have an African saying to lighten up the day?
However I also celebrate my German influences,
don’t be surprised if you’re invited to dinner at mine and its Kartoffeldpuree and Ndole on the menu.
What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you 
have had to overcome?
Me. Myself. My dying-to-self and loving-myself 
journey, has been the toughest yet most fulfilling paths I have had to take. The second toughest are the voices from the society which say I can’t make it because I am black or a woman or even both. I learned to stop seeing them as obstacles, they are now challenges to me and I always try to figure out the chances in such situations. I get my drive sometimes by proving those voices wrong.
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1 Comment

  1. Evita says

    I love your spirit Susan! This has struck- What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you
    have had to overcome? “Me. Myself. My dying-to-self and loving-myself journey, has been the toughest yet most fulfilling paths I have had to take.” I can relate; its a battle I fight everyday…!

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