Q & A with Pearlofafrika
We're pleased to announce a new feature on PeopleJam: Q&As!
Every week we will bring you interviews with influential life improvement authors, bloggers, and even our own PeopleJam members.
Allow me to introduce our very first interviewee: K.T. (aka PearlofAfrika) is a PeopleJam member, blogger and reviewer. She has consistently provided great content and is one of the standout members of our community. We wanted to get to know more about her and introduce her to anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of bumping into her around the site yet!
PJ: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what lead up to you becoming PeopleJam’s first interviewee?
KT: I'm a wife, mother and life-long writer. I wrote my first poem at 9 years old, and it's been a love affair ever since. I was born in America, but my family moved to Africa when I was still a baby. We returned when I was 9, and I have lived every where from New York to Texas since then. Because of my early exposure to different cultures and mentalities, I always strive to find the common ground we all share. My writing has always been a way for me to connect with people.
This is the reason I was immediately drawn to PeopleJam. I first started out writing reviews of self-help products, and then was invited to write a weekly blog. I'm really honored by this opportunity, because I love to share what I know with others.
PJ: Why is it important to you to contribute to a community like PeopleJam?
KT: PeopleJam is on an extraordinary mission to help each person become his or her ideal self. I love belonging to a community that celebrates a personalized pursuit of happiness. On PeopleJam, you can find the tools that you need to become the best "you" possible. This site doesn't demand conformity, but rather emphasizes self-exploration.
PJ: Your articles are always fresh and informative. How do you find daily inspiration?
KT: Thank you so much! I'm continuously inspired by my family. I have an 11 month old son, and he is a daily joy. Because of him, I aspire to be the best mother possible, and give him a well-rounded life. But of course, I must live that well-rounded life myself, so I try to live an honest example for my son. My writing is just an edited form of how I honestly live. It works for me, so I thought I could share with others.
PJ: When you’ve encountered obstacles in life, how have you gone about overcoming them? Can you give us an example?
KT: I have definitely had my share of obstacles. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Her words have been a guiding light during the hours of my darkest despair.
I recall a time when I was homeless and hopeless, my worst fear realized! I didn't have a job, I didn't have a place to stay, I was sleeping on the bus because I had no place to go. I was completely broken. But I remembered that there's hope for a tree, even if it's seemingly dead, that at the scent of water, it will come back to life. That was definitely my story. Life is never as bad as it seems. Even when you meet your worst fear. Your defiance, your ability to look at that fear and say, "I'm still alive" means that you are an overcomer.
PJ: What’s the most helpful thing you’ve found on PeopleJam?
KT: I really enjoy the member reviews. I love sharing thoughts with actual people, not reading some stilted, editorial write-up. There are so many books that I've wanted to read, but don't know if it's worth the investment. The reviews here really help me determine what works and what doesn't.
The videos are hilarious, and helpful! I like to watch them for quick and witty information.
PJ: With Thanksgiving around the corner, what are you most thankful for this year?
KT: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I'm so excited because I'm a mother this year. I'm really thankful for my family. I spent a lot of time alone and lonely, wishing for the life I now have. I'm thankful that prayers are answered, and that I never gave up.
PJ: Where did your nickname “Pearl of Afrika” come from?
KT: My father is from Uganda, and Winston Churchill nicknamed it 'the pearl of Africa.' My nickname is a nod to my father's homeland. The altered spelling, with the K, came when I trying to set up my Yahoo! email account 10 years ago. Someone already had 'pearlofafrica', so I had to change my nickname. Since then, it's definitely become uniquely mine. I love it, it's always a conversation starter.
PJ: What advice would you give to others looking to improve their lives?
KT: Find out what works in your life. Find five things to be grateful for each day. Get rid of the things you're not grateful for. If that's a job, if that's a (in)significant other, if that's a wardrobe, whatever it is! Cut down your life to the bare essentials, and then build yourself up from there. Life is so finite, but bustling with infinite possibilities. You may think that sounds cliche', but I dare you to try it.
PJ: Thank you K.T.!
To Read More from K.T. start with some of our favorites!