Zhana is a modern griot, writer, publisher and Transformational Growth Consultant. Author of Black Success Stories and Success Strategies for Black People, as well as The Key to Everything and What They Don’t Want Us to Know. Editor of the More Black Success ebooks. Zhana’s work offers practical, effective methods, with a particular focus on the healing of the people of the African continent and Diaspora. In an interview with All Black Woman Zhana shares with us her perspective as a black woman on the challenges for our community and how we can use our own powers to overcome them.
Interview with Zhana, founder of Nurture Success
Zhana’s introduction of herself to All Black Woman
Zhana: I’m an African-American woman who has been living in London for many, many years. I’m a writer, blogger, publisher and I’m a Transformational Growth Consultant. What that means is that I help people to achieve their goals and transform their lives. I provide practical methods through my writing and my blogging. One of my books is called Success Strategies for Black People because my commitment is not just to my own community but to people of African heritage all over the world, helping us to improve our situation, improve our lives, and the lives of our families and members of our communities.
ABW: What made you want to start working specifically for the community of people of African descent?
Zhana: There were lots of triggers, but I think it has mainly to do with the fact that I’m an African person and I want to put intelligent, positive and practical information out there for people of African heritage. Both the African heritage community in the UK and the United States are subject to huge problems, we have a lot of relationship break downs, marital break downs, we have a lot of health issues, mental health issues, blood pressure, a disproportional amount of our people are in prison, there is just so much need for information that is practical and positive. Another thing I want to add is that there are a lot of people coming out in the media with things that are critical, whereas my work is about the positive.
ABW: We did notice – which was one of the main attractions to your site – that the content was all positive and motivational. Looking back in our history, there are so many positive and motivational black women, real role models. Do you think that today we have a large number of exemplary black women making a difference for their community?
Zhana: I think there are loads of black people out there who are unrecognized as there are a lot of black men and women out there who are doing positive things. There are so many in churches, schools, working with young people, working with families, there are just so many women and men as well who are doing great things that are going unrecognized. A lot of black people are also blocked, for example when I used to teach I would go into institutions and say I want to do something for black people and they would say, “black people are not interested in this”. So many are putting in the time and the energy but just not getting the recognition. Black women need to start getting the recognition that they deserve as there is more than one Oprah Winfrey out there.
ABW: In terms of media and literature, do you think that we as black people take enough responsibility for what we see and read in the media about us?
Zhana: I don’t think we take enough responsibility but a lot of us are working two or three jobs and being black is a job, then you have your normal job and you may have a side job and if you have children that’s another job, so that’s four jobs right there. But I do think we need to come out with more positive media as there are a lot of people out there that are very critical of us. So we do need to take that responsibility more and have that courage to go out there and make a difference. That is scary, but it is great to think, I’m going to put down in writing what I actually think. We don’t know how people will perceive things so putting something out there is a scary thing to do, it’s a risky thing to do but we have to do it and more and more people are.
Audrey Lourde was a poet who said “your silence will not protect you, my silence will not protect me”.
People often think that if they are just silent and put their heads down everything will be OK, but it’s not. Sometimes it is not even that people are not standing up, sometimes they are but we just don’t get to hear about it, no one really knew about Nelson Mandela until the whole world had his story and there are a lot of Nelson Mandelas out there, we just don’t always get to hear about them. Now the information is there, but we also have to seek it out.
ABW: Earlier you had mentioned that you are a Transformational Growth Consultant, could you tell us more?
Zhana: Sure! I was in adult education for many years and now I help people with handling their money, and with employment. One of the things I say in my radio broadcasts about my book is success in 30 days, if you’re out of work and need a job in 30 days I can teach you how to do it. It’s all about using your mind, using the power of your mind. I think a lot of the time we look at other people’s power and we talk about other people’s power.
We need to focus on our own power because we have amazing power that most of us aren’t using and if we don’t use our power for our own benefit, it is just used against us. We have to acknowledge that we’ve got enormous power and we need to use that power for our own benefit and for the benefit of the community. I do feel that specifically as black people, we concentrate too much on other people’s powers, we complain about the government, we might complain about the banking system, we complain about white people, we complain about men.
Now I’m not saying that the criticism isn’t justified, what I am saying is that we should concentrate more on us, ourselves, that I can create a better future because that’s the truth. We need to look within and not to others for solutions because the solutions are inside us, inside ourselves and our communities.