This post is a simple one. It's simply about shining a spotlight on one Afrricanfinestmum. Today's highlight is on Mrs. Marlene UC Abuah.
Who's an Africanfinestmum I hear you ask? She's a mum of African heritage, doing her best, weathering and overcoming challenges, issues and obstacles in her journey as a mum to be the best mum she can be for her child(ren). She's not perfect and she hasn't got it all made, but her dedication, passion and heart shines through, positively impacting not just her child(ren) and family, but also those she comes in contact with. She deftly switches (at least on the surface) from fierce to soft, strong to delicate, energetic to chilled, resilient to vulnerable, and is as sexy and feminine done up to the nines as she is in slacks and slippers. She's beautifully complex.
She is every woman
This bundle of energy, passion and light is a mum, a wife, a self-made entrepreneur. The baby of her family, she packs a punch in her small frame. Within minutes of meeting her, it's hard to miss her warmth, and her excitement for people and life in general. This phenomenal woman is happily married with 3 most adorable children (all under 5), latest of which is a gorgeous princess just weeks old. She owns her own award winning hair and beauty salon Naturalgloe http://www.naturalgloe.com which specialises in natural hair, and also does bridal hair & makeup. She was the runner up on BBC 2 Hair 2015, and Naturalgloe has won a number of awards including the No Scrunchie awards 2017 for Best natural/loc technician. She is also an actress, e.g. "Mum, Dad, Meet Sam" showing now on Netflix. Alongside her producer husband Anthony Abuah under the award winning AeA Films brand which creates film and media projects that highlight African issues, she's been involved in great films like Woolwich Boys and Mona. She's hosted events on relationships and sex under the tag name M.A.R.S, she sings, she doesn't stop. If you haven't seen any of her Salon Thug life videos, you're missing out, they're hilarious. She finds a way to combine different elements of her passions into whatever she does, it's fabulous. Every box she's been put in, she's broken out of with a bang. How she juggles this and more, I don't know, and I'm sure she's not done yet and will continue to add more feathers to her boa. This is the same woman who just weeks after giving birth is already back at the salon working! This is also the same woman who 5 days after giving birth was up and about, and somehow managed to glam herself up to go and pick up her No Scrunchie award. Phenomenal. I doubt I would have been able to get myself out of the house, and if I had I would have looked like a zombie, not like the glamour puss below.
5 for 5 spotlight
This is the inaugural of our spotlight on series, and a key part of it is 5 for 5. That's 5 questions for a 5 star mum. The original plan (cooked up just 2 days before we met up) was to record this in a relaxed setting, chatting as two yummy mummies over a cup of something nice and maybe bubbly. However life as we know happens, so we ended up doing a recording of her hand and boots instead, as Marlene was busy breastfeeding her little princess, whilst also attending to her toddler. We are mums, stuff happens and you just get on with it, so we did. This is real life and wasn't pre-rehearsed, but Marlene was so gracious in taking part in this despite her sleep deprivation. These were her 5 questions:
- Describe a typical day in your life
- What is NaturalGloe and how did you establish it?
- What are your 3 biggest passions?
- What is your favourite food?
- What makes you an Africanfinestmum?
After our interview she adjusted her answers to question 3 in writing (the sleep had crept into the original conversation). Her number 1 passion is her family. Being a wife, mother and homemaker means the world to her, and putting them first before anything is a must. Number 2 passion is her purpose in life (what she's here to achieve). Being able to affect change, encourage and inspire. Building a legacy that her children and grandchildren can be proud of. Number 3 passion is people. She's a people person and loves meeting new people. Being able to draw from the positive energies of others and hearing about their journeys spurs her on in her own journey.
Enjoy the sound of her voice, (and her beautifully manicured nails). There are some life gems in her answers, from how she was winning salon awards even before she had one, to wearing the suit she wanted not the one she was wearing (love that quote). Try not to skip, and watch to the end if you can.
Doing it and doing it well
I was so excited and keen to do this spotlight feature because I think it's so important to celebrate other women, other mums who are making things happen around them, come rain come shine. When Marlene started off in hairdressing it was by no means a preferred career path. If you're Nigerian, in fact if you're African you know that not too long ago the top 4 career professions used to be medicine, accounting, law or pharmacy. Engineering was eventually added, but outside of that creative careers like acting, singing, psychology and definitely hairdressing were things you dared not voice out loud to your parents if you didn't want a slap upside your head. But Marlene knew herself. She tried the straight, normal career path, realised it didn't work for her, so instead focused on working hard to perfect her skills and grow her passion. She made it work for her.
It's a grind but you can still "gloe"
It's not an easy grind (following our interview and surviving on a few hours of broken sleep, she would be back in her salon the next morning with baby in tow, making her clients look fabulous), but she's doing it. Her focus, belief and passion of living her God ordained purpose is making her a shining light, a true "gloe" (God's light on earth) that's continuing to spread.
Many women are in a position where they're up against very difficult odds, and are battling with their situation, themselves and their confidence. By shining a spotlight on an every day mum who is pushing forward, giving her best and achieving success in the process, I hope this inspires and motivates others to keep pushing forward too.
Thanks Marlene for being a part of this feature. You are definitely one of Africas finest mums.
Finally for mums who are looking to get their hair or wedding makeup/hair done to the nines at an award winning salon, and by award winning stylists, go check out and book yourself in at https://www.naturalgloe.com Africanfinestmums* get a 10% discount. Yay!
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