T H | I N K
It started with family. The culture embedded in my DNA motivated me to create a brand with a purpose. The purpose that would cultivate connections with people around the world and promote African culture in a manner that was bold, and unapologetic. With a name as unusual as Amyang, I wanted the offerings of the fashion brand to deliver styles that encompassed a timeless, unique look that could capture the attention of the world, yet create an imprint in the minds of those with a genuine interest in today’s Africa; it’s culture and style. My sisters and I launched the Lifestyle Brand, Amyang Fashun. The brand has garnered the attention of cult taste makers like Afropunk aficionados, with features on Elle.com and other global media publications. Then as a favor to a client, we created a wedding dress alternative that was apart of a viral sensation… a sexy black gown that was paired with a timeless love story. The simple, yet daring creation caught the attention of media personalities like Robin Roberts and the Good Morning America Crew along with its viewers. Despite these amazing milestones, it wasn’t enough.
U N | T H I N K
I did the unthinkable. Unsatisfied with the business’s trajectory, I turned to Africa and took a leap of faith. I literally packed my baggage, both emotional and physical, and returned to my Motherland. Deep down, I knew that in order to lead my organization in the right direction, I had to return to the land of my Father and reclaim our foundation. In order to move forward in the right direction, I needed to understand where we were coming from. We were missing the experience of Africa, and I had to go get it.
My return led to revelations. What I found in Africa was more than I could have imagined. I stumbled upon answers to questions that I couldn’t recall asking. I was overwhelmed.
S E E
What I witnessed and experienced with the people of the land was unbelievable. I witnessed and experienced genuine love and emotional intelligence in their hearts juxtaposed to a life of limitations as a result of strife and hardships rooted in colonialism and government corruption. The people of The Continent are so resilient. Despite hardship, the daily mantra for the masses is simply that a supreme being is in control and will have the final say in all that will happen. They have taught me to activate and remain in a state of faith. I didn’t realize how far I had strayed from God until I resumed my place as a living example of Psalm 91. I was reminded of the power of the tongue through vigilant prayer. When I landed in my parent’s country, I was overcome with emotion. I had expressed for almost a decade that I yearned to go back. I was often denied permission by my Mother and at one point, resented her. I wanted to visit my Grandmother. I wanted to lay on the beaches of Sierra Leone. I wanted to experience Christmas and New Year’s Eve under the African Sun. I wanted to source fabrics and create designs in Africa. I wanted so much. Not all of my wishes were granted, but when the plane descended onto the runway of Lungi International Airport, I watched and felt a miracle. My prayer was answered. It was the prayer that my heart had yearned for so long. It left me with a feeling that I can only express with a flood of tears.
A | W A K E
The methodology of my upbringing became crystal clear. An African Father’s mission; to empower his American daughters without compromising his culture and values was finally defined through simple observation and reflection. An African Mother’s “mid-life crisis”; a traumatic divorce, finally proved itself to be a spiritual awakening. Her personal journey shifted, elevating her into a new role as a powerful, peaceful, prayer warrior with a deeper sense of motherhood that her American girls could finally appreciate.
S P I | R I T U A L
The quiet breeze that touches the Atlantic Ocean’s surface, kisses the cheeks of a future business mogul, currently interning as a market woman. She rises at the crack of dawn, and by 9am, she effortlessly totes a neat stack of vibrant-colored fabrics on top of her head to sell under the hot sun of Freetown, Sierra Leone. This same breeze rises with determination, high above the mountainous roads of the West End Area, and travels through the hills of secluded gated residences. This crisp breeze finally locates my radiant melanated skin, determined to provide it’s daily caress, as I sit on the veranda, finalizing sketches for Amyang’s latest designs that will be produced…in Africa. Like many before me, and many more after me, I returned to reclaim more than time. I returned to reconnect to my people, harness and align with my energy and fill my spiritual cup.
R E | D E E M
No Wahala…The Podcast is my personal ode to my fellow African Diasporans. We yearn for more than is readily available at our fingertips. We crave for genuine re-connection to a land that is rich and mysterious, our birthright. We want to find our place among the diverse set of communities steeped in tradition and culture, speaking languages foreign to us, yet apart of our DNA. Despite access and travel, lack of dialogue between the African and the African Diasporan remains. No Wahala…The Podcast is an intention fulfilled to help break down the barrier that blocks the flow of honest and open dialogue. It begins with those who have access to share their stories of reconnecting to Africa. It will end with unity among Africans worldwide. What was lost will be redeemed.
Featured Image: Lady of The Dawn
Artist: Allamar Young