BTS Series!Brainy,Bold & Beautiful-Ijeoma Kola

Today, I am ecstatic to have my fave Girl Boss, Ijeoma Kola,  who is sharing about being Brainy, Bold & Beautiful. This is a continuation of the new blog series dubbed  (BTS)Bold type Series. It looks at women who dare to challenge the status quo and continue to thrive on challenges. I am still pretty excited to have met Ijeoma during her stay in Nairobi at Sankara Hotel, Nairobi. (Can you sense the excitement?)

1. Who is this lady wearing the hat of being Brainy, Bold and Beautiful?

( CAVEAT; She has such a warm soul, so in the event, you get jittery or excited, I told you so)

Back to the matter at hand, which is who is brainy, bold and beautiful Ijeoma Kola. Many naturalistas know her from back then as Klassy Kinks.
In her words.”Ijeoma Kola is a Ph.D. student and lifestyle blogger combining beauty and brains with style and substance. (Literally, she is the definition of  a girl boss with such a diversified niche)!
I started blogging to share my thoughts and experiences in my journey to redefine beauty as a woman of color while navigating higher education, entrepreneurship, and real life.
 
In addition to blogging, Ijeoma is completing a Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University, writing her dissertation on the rise of asthma in black urban America. She likes to think of herself as a cool, stylish nerd, with a bachelors degree from Harvard University and two masters degrees from Columbia University. “
(Talk about a superwoman.)

2. Let us in on your secret chemical X? How do you strike a balance being Brainy, Bold & Beautiful, a Wife, Ph.D. Student, A Lifestyle blogger?

 (chuckles away).I am not superwoman. I am a regular person trying to make sense of the things I am passionate about. There’s no secret formula for me. In fact, my classmate shared a fresh perspective on the issue of balance. Rather than ensuring everything is balanced out, I seek to have everything I do be in harmony. (this is my AHA moment of the month). Truth be told, I cannot ever give everything 100%. (I think we all share this school of thought, don’t we?).

 

3. What motivates you to keep doing what you do? We see all the glory but don’t know the backstory?

(This is in line with being Brainy, Bold & Beautiful.)

Honestly, I think what motivates me is authenticity and transparency. I have always done a terrible job at lying. I let my following in on my world; the good, the bad and ugly. It’s just being honest to self.

About people online, we are all regular people, just different edited and filters and the most common denominator being the reality of our lives.

Secondly, from the viewpoint of an academic. I recognize that there has been a gap among women of color in pursuing higher education. Many shy away from it because of the notion of academics tying one down. This isn’t true; you can get to have your normal life; be with the person you want to be with, get married if you want to, have kids and go on vacation like I am doing with my husband, Jonathan.

(Ijeoma is  pretty passionate about empowering other women of color with the tools and resources to pursue higher education.)

4. Do you feel like there’s a disconnect between you and the places you can call home?

 It’s not something I think about until it comes up. I know I am not the only one who has multiple identities. It’s not an identity crisis, I know who I am, that’s for sure. However, what I find perplexing is when people question my Africaness. Yes, I’m from Nigeria and my husband’s from Kenya. The more I reflect on it, the more I can share about it . The more we share about it can help strengthen the connection in our diversity. It can also inform those wrong perceptions on this issue so they have more hindsight on the matter.

5. If you could go back in time on your journey of being Brainy, Bold & Beautiful, what would you do differently?

 

I would have worked at least at one year before getting into the Ph.D. programme right after college. Truth be told, it has caused me some emotional and psychological stress along the way

The second thing would be being more consistent on YouTube while at Graduate School since it is where my journey started. However, I don’t regret either of them. I am very confident, and grateful for where I am in life.

6. Care to share one random fact that no one knows about?

When I was a young girl, I wanted to change my name to Isabella because of the frequent mispronunciations of Ijeoma. Primarily because it was a girls’ name that started with the letter I.

(She also let us know that Ijeoma means beautiful journey).

7. Lastly, what essential advice do you have for those starting their journey of being Brainy, Bold & Beautiful/ or wish you would have known as you were starting out?

especially for those of us in college

Do it for yourself. Don’t it to it for fame or money, just for yourself. When I started, it primarily stemmed from my passion and everything else came after that. The journey may not be the same for us but do it for yourself.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen! All the juice on being Brainy, Bold & Beautiful from Ijeoma Kola.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Feel free to interact with her across all social media;

Ijeoma Kola.

Photo credit;Ijeoma Kola.

 

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