Reflecting On Black History Month: An Interview with Daisy & Edna

Reflecting On Black History Month: An Interview with Daisy & Edna

Did you know that the whole month of February is back history month? Black History Month is the time of the year when we celebrate and recognize black people's historical contributions and achievements worldwide. 

We had personal interviews with Edna B., our Digital Content Writer, and Daisy G., our Supply Chain Manager from Hekate, on what Black History Month means to them. We are so grateful for them taking the time to share their stories with us.

Q: What is your background, and what does celebration look like where you come from?

Edna: I'm a native of the Bantu people, comprising a population of 400 million around Central Africa, Southeast Africa, Southern Africa. I belong to the Haya tribe, a Nilotic people, indigenous to the river Nile Valley in Eastern Africa. My mother is Ugandan, and my father is Tanzanian, making me a unique blend of the two nations.

In my culture, the celebrations are big, and typically, the entire community is involved because we believe that it takes a village to accomplish many things. So there's lots of delicious eating, ranging from chicken to roasted peanuts to barbecued goat to fresh fish and matoke (mashed bananas), including dancing to cultural music and enjoying togetherness. 

Q: What does black history month mean to me?

Edna: Black History month is about appreciating and celebrating the achievements made by black people. However, it's also a time to reflect on what work still needs to be done to advocate for groups that are often marginalized. I live every day like it is black history month because history is too rich to contain one month. 

The culture, achievements, and experiences during Black History Month fill me with gratitude as we celebrate and applaud black excellence.  

Q: What would you like people to know about where you are from? 

Edna: I would like people to know that East Africa is one of the warmest places you’ll ever visit since it’s close to the equator, but just like the weather, the people are warm, friendly and very welcoming of visitors.

I grew up in mainland Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which is a 15-minute flight away from the beautiful and tropical island of Zanzibar, which is a must-see on anyone's bucket list who loves going on island adventures. Tanzania is also home to another popular tourist attraction, the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro

In many African cultures, we like to share wise African proverbs, short single sentence phrases that we can pass on for generations to serve as life lessons. Here are a few of my favourite African proverbs below. Their meanings are open to your own interpretation but carry a wealth of wisdom. 

Birds sing not because they have answers but because they have songs. — African proverb

If your only tool is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail. — African proverb

A flea can trouble a lion more than a lion can trouble a flea.  — African proverb

Q: Who are 3 people that inspire me when I think of Black History?

Edna:

Q: What are your favourite Inspirational quotes around Black History Month?

 Edna: 

“In all my work, what I try to say is that as human beings we are more alike than we are unalike.”- Maya Angelou

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” Oprah Winfrey

Q: What is your background, and what does celebration look like where you come from?

Daisy: I am from Cameroon, a country in Central Africa. We are unique because we are one of the few countries in the world with two national languages, English and French. In Cameroon, my tribe is Bakweri, and we are part of a clan commonly referred to as the Sawa (coastal) people. The clan occupies the lands at the foot of Mount Cameroon and around the coast. 

When there is a celebration, you get to see all my family members, which is good. There is more music, so the songs one will commonly hear are Makossa, rumba, and afro beats at events. Clothing is also very important for events and is usually very bright and colourful. 

Q: What does black history month mean to me?

Daisy: Black History Month is a month I reflect on all that has happened, specifically the sacrifices made by great people to allow all people who are black to live a decent life. It is a time to read stories and listen to podcasts highlighting and discussing portions of history not taught in schools. This is also a time for the celebration of culture. I am most excited about the books we will be reading for the book club and guest speakers coming.

Q: What would you like people to know about where you are from?  

Daisy: We enjoy a wide array of food, and you can basically have so many food preferences and be able to find something to eat. If you ever visit Cameroon, make sure to eat Ndole, Banga soup and kwacoco, Eru, Roasted Fish and lastly, my all-time favourite is Prawns. Fun fact the name Cameroon means “River of Prawns.”

Please always come ready to eat. It is disrespectful to visit someone, and you are offered food, and you refuse to eat. When visiting someone, make sure to go with your stomach half full.

There is Football and not soccer. This is a very important sport. We have had some of the greatest football players ever lived, such as Roger Milla, Samuel Eto’o, and Mboma Patrick, play in Cameroon colours. Be aware offices will be closed by 2 pm to allow people to go home and get ready to watch a game.

Q: Who are 3 people that inspire me when I think of Black History?

Daisy:

Q: What are your favourite Inspirational quotes around Black History Month?

Daisy:

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize.” - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes.

Did you know that #CultivateGreat extends way past sports and performance? It also means learning about and celebrating Black History Month. Including the incredible achievements black individuals have made is integral to bettering ourselves and our community around us.