Episode 54: She Smiles, she Empowers, while Simultaneously Grieving & Mourning

Guest: Saidat Abari

In Saidat’s story she openly shares about all the inner triumphs which get brushed under the rug while she talks about being a parent to a child with autism, a journey which began 20 years ago. She expresses what it was like to not have the opportunity and not give herself the opportunity to sit with that pain, knowing that it is a grieving of its own kind, to know that she must embark on a different parenting path. Saidat explains that when you are a parent to a child with an exceptionality, it is easy to have all your time get swept away looking for answers, resources, advocating, presenting as hopeful and with a positive spirit. She mentions that she felt this need to feel strong constantly and not let others know about her story of the pain she endured. Saidat has come to a clear recognition that she was not so much in denial as she was unaware of her emotional experiences at the time. She had been so used to hiding her emotions and moving on because there didn’t seem to be time to do the feeling, she is still learning to be completely vulnerable with herself. Saidat had a positive encounter with yoga, a certain kind that allowed her to just focus on just being vulnerable to the world. She took time to talk about how it would feel so overwhelming to navigate her world, and the life of social media and the pressure she felt from the posts of other parents — feeling the need to do what other parents did, experiencing guilt from all sides, wondering if she did enough of something, while not enough of another, or perhaps needing to try something different all together. Her key message to the listeners is that: feel all your feels — happy, sad, angry, frustrated; it is okay to grieve the life you have; it is okay to seek support you need so you can be supportive and courageous for your child; take care of yourself first, so you can take care of your child too; it is okay not to be okay.


Guest Bio: A motivational speaker, singer, songwriter, storyteller, entertainer, and children’s author Saidat has cracked the code to connect and engage with youth genuinely. Born to make people smile and impressive in her accomplishments, Saidat’s performances inspire, motivate, and empower children. From a desire to make people smile and a wish to build confidence in the younger generation, Saidat’s message of encouragement, self-worth, and community-mindedness is also a motivation for a global audience. She presents a powerful message from the heart that “One person can make a difference, together we can change the world!”


Saidat was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 and in 2018 was accredited as the first Black Canadian female children’s entertainer in 2018. She also became the first female ambassador for the National Basketball League of Canada in 2018. Her program, “The Saidat Show,” was born in 2004 from a desire to make people smile and a wish to build confidence in the younger generation. Saidat has now reached over 800,000 students across Canada.


Passionate about:  

Thames Valley Children’s Centre: https://www.tvcc.on.ca/autism-behavioural-services

Thames Valley District School Board ( Special Education): https://www.tvdsb.ca/en/programs/special-education.aspx?_mid_=400


Episode 53: Growing up with no voice & feeling the grief + pain that led her to find her voice

Guest: Belinda Ndaye

Belinda conveys that initially her story begins with grief and losing her mother to illness, which expands to larger circumstances that were seen from the lens of a minority, a black African woman, raised in a culture where there was no permission to have a voice. Belinda articulates the obligations of this cultural upbringing are some of what her mother endured which Belinda witnessed. The witnessing being about her mother’s bravery and courage to overcome working through a marriage the best that she could, knowing when to exit and not give up on herself; the observing of her younger brother’s illness from his young age; later seeing her mother mourn for the loss of her 5-year-old son; and her mother battling a journey through cancer and giving it a fight right until the end. Belinda expresses that it was at the time of her loss, that she got better acquainted with hidden emotional pain, and learned that it is okay to walk away from things that are not serving her any purpose. She first experimented with using her voice to assert and set boundaries with others, she learned to connect with herself and only surround herself with people that she can feel supported and replenished by and soon recognized that even though it might hurt to move forward, it is healthy to move forward. Belinda shares that by taking the time to sit and process her grief, feel the pain, and work through the devastations she faced, she connected to deeper layers of healing which she needed to go inward to explore, and since then commenced on her transformational journey. Her key message to the listeners is that: show your emotions, feel your emotions, but know that you are not those emotions; give yourself the right to feel each emotion, pause, embrace it, and don’t make emotion driven decisions; get comfortable to speak up when things don’t feel right; take triumph as an opportunity to fight like you are fighting for your life.


Guest Bio: Belinda is a Congolese African who moved to Canada in 2004. Since she was ten years old, she has been a striving athlete and has been involved in various sports opportunities. Belinda completed five years as a varsity basketball player and received her Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources with a minor in Psychology. Her academic endeavours continued, and she also received her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, where she gained social justice experience supporting a non-profit organization called ‘Hey Black Girl’. Belinda is currently pursuing a career as a Human Resources professional.


Belinda is a ‘person of purpose’ that utilizes her values and optimism to navigate life’s challenges to the best of her abilities. As a natural-born leader, she introduces herself to the world as a storyteller through her strong communication style. In addition, she has a passion for supporting and exploring the growth and development of people’s potential. In addition to being career-driven, Belinda enjoys reading, travelling, and trying new things, and spending time with her family and friends.


Passionate about:  

Supporting black women in entrepreneurship and mentorship supports



Passionate about her dissertation, check it out, Equity & Intersectionality:

Sociological Effects of Race and Gender Inequality




Where to find me