"Ain't I A Woman?": Women's History Month in Colour - Carol Muriithi
The phrase "Ain't I a Woman" derives from a speech by Sojourner Truth, a Black woman enslaved, which speaks to a history where non-white women were excluded from the hegemonic definitions of womanhood and erased in discourses on women's rights activism. This special #WomensHistoryMonth2021 blog series highlights exceptional #WomenOfColour.
Hey! My name is Carol Muriithi, a recent Politics and International Relations graduate (2020) from Royal Holloway University of London. I hail from East Africa, Kenya where I was born and raised before moving to the UK. I am a multifaceted lady so while a piece of my heart is indebted to politics, another is held dear by my love of media. I'm currently beginning to explore this love through my YouTube channel, ‘Sonisha Talkz’, alongside some other ventures that I’m trying out behind the scenes (fingers crossed).
Hmm... I would say these three moments: In high school, after only three years of being in the UK and schooling in an area with a predominantly white population; I became head girl alongside my good friend who became deputy head girl. We are both immigrants, and proud. To this day we remain incredibly proud of the work we did as a team.
Secondly, in my second year of university, a lot was going on in my personal, academic and financial life but I came through the year with a solid 2.1. Last but certainly not least, relaunching my YouTube Channel ‘Sonisha Talkz’ after 5 years of what I now recognize as crippling fear haha! I think I had set up camp in my comfort zone and refused to leave. It took my family, amazing friends, God and serious back and forth with myself to take that leap, but I couldn't be happier and prouder that I have finally done it.
Considering Your Race and Gender, What Hardships Have You Faced and How Have You Managed to Overcome Them?
I think for me the culture shock that occurred when I migrated from Kenya to the UK remains a hardship that has gifted me with some great stories, lessons but most importantly some great friends. THAT has been the key to overcoming and sometimes just simply surviving those moments. A group of people to move through life with, who know you, see you and are moving in the same direction as you is invaluable. When any of us have felt shaken by life and these experiences we have held each other accountable to who we are, what we stand for and why we are extraordinary despite all the misgivings.
What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?
You are doing well, you are doing your best, you are smart enough, you are beautiful, enough and you are worth loving and living without any additions or expectations.
And younger Carol, you're going far in life; that's a fact not a hunch.
What Advice Would You Give to Young Women of Colour Who Are Confronted by Their Race and Gender in Various Areas of Society?
Be yourself unapologetically, because you deserve to occupy space and to pursue your ambitions. Do not try to alter yourself for the world; they simply don't deserve it. Everything from the melanin in your skin, to the curl in your hair. The world will often spend its time telling us who we are, who we cannot be and should be, so be your biggest friend, encourager and campaigner. It's a lonely world out there, don't let your own company be something you avoid.
Where Can We Learn More About You?
Ok, so definitely find my YouTube hehe! - 'Sonisha Talkz' and follow my Instagram: @sonishatalkz