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.
Supporting black women in entrepreneurship and mentorship supports
Passionate about her dissertation, check it out, Equity & Intersectionality:
Sociological Effects of Race and Gender Inequality