Talisa and Maya have boldy taken a step to make a difference in the reading culture of Luapula district (Zambia), these young ladies believe
‘..that an ever-growing mind needs books, just like our bodies need food.’
What do you celebrate about being a woman?
Talisa: Enjoying the ability to constantly re-discover myself. The female body and mind is in a constant state of change, and part of being a woman is finding adventure and beauty in dealing with those changes.
Maya: Finding a strength in the ultra-feminine things in life such as make-up. A coat of red lipstick makes me feel like I can take on anything.
What do you wish other women knew?
Maya: You don’t always have to be perfect.
Talisa: There’s beauty in having flaws.
How do you express yourself creatively?
Talisa: I like experimenting with different forms of art, from creative writing to dressing according to my personal style.
Maya: The decoration of my room changes with my state of mind. Even though I’m not the best at it, I enjoy crafts once in a while. Not everything has to be perfect.
How are you making a difference in the world?
Talisa & Maya: We believe change starts with yourself, so we try to spread positive energy to everyone around us. We hope that our project can carry this same positive energy to Luapula (Zambia).
What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?
Talisa: To create a piece of art that makes people feel something. So right now, I’m focusing on getting into an artist’s state of mind, and teaching myself that criticism is something to be appreciated, not to be feared. Which means that I will push myself to write, draw or play music on a regular basis, even when I feel like the quality of my work isn’t stellar. As a perfectionist, I constantly need to remind myself that not everything I produce has to be amazing immediately.
Maya: I hope to, one day, achieve a strong position as a business woman, and to inspire young girls to do the same. So I’m preparing myself by venturing out of my comfort zone, on a daily basis. I used to be scared of public speaking, but for my graduation, I overcame this and delivered a well-received speech. I was very nervous, but the result was worth it. I now know that you have nothing to lose by putting yourself out there.
How do you celebrate where you come from?
Maya & Talisa: There are concrete ways of celebrating our heritage: through music or food, for instance. But I think it mostly manifests itself in the unique identity we create for ourselves, in our minds. We embrace our roots and proudly share them with others.
What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
Talisa: Myself. I’m my harshest critic.
Maya: My fear of not being the best at everything I try.