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“Not only do I love being African, I am proud to be an African. As an African I feel it in my blood vessels and soul, the bloodshed of my ancestors is what I always take pride in. It is deeply rooted in me and it is not defined by how I decide to present myself – Luma reminds us how to be beautifully African.

Portia Nokhanyo Luma, a free-spirited 21-year-old was a ballerina during her school years and thereafter started dancing for Suede productions and then moved on to becoming a DJ.

Luma’s drive to always work hard and break through impossibilities led her to the fast paced world of promotions where she was recruited to join music videos.

She has recently received a bursary from Varsity College from a campaign called “Ladies to Legends” because of her hard work, not giving up no matter what her circumstances are, and being ever-so-dedicated to make things happen while others think it’s impossible.

I was once caught up in defining beauty as this “perfect” Goddess. A tall, slim figured woman walking on the catwalk at a glamorous Victoria’s Secret show. It was almost like I was held captive for years in an enclosed space.

As a child, I was always excited about ballet, however everytime we entered the changing rooms, I realized that I was different from the girl next to me, as their legs were flawless. There were no marks. This made me constantly want to hide my legs from all the other girls around me because I thought that flawless legs determined the nature of beautiful legs.

I was raised in a mixed family, where the colour of skin defined our worth. The lighter members of my family were deemed far superior to the darker ones. Dark skinned people were oppressed by their own loved ones.

Many of us come from broken families so we always look for support outside of our circles. This is where we start allowing people to set the standards of beauty for us.

In my older years, I entered promotions but I did not feel beautiful. I was led to being a victim of allowing the brands that I worked for, label me as “imperfect”. I was constantly told that I had to be a certain size and appear a certain way in order to appeal to the target market.

At first, I blamed the brands that I had worked for because I was not brave enough to break the walls of the captive room. But once I had decided to break those walls, I had learned to love myself. I had realized that I was actually not forced to stay with the promotional brands.


      

 I always had a choice to leave my job because not everything is made for everyone.

I love my Afro however due to the struggle of maintaining an afro and the expenses that come with taking care of it, I had decided to cover my bad hair days with beautiful, stylish coloured wigs. Many people have mistaken this for not being African enough making it seem like it’s because I am a born-free and that I chose to trend with weaves. But all I want to do is show off my Afro when it looks great, and cover my Afro when with beautiful colour and styles when I wish to.

I think that we are all in the age where most of us girls are concerned with our skin colour, body shape, hair type and overall appearance. The moment I started accepting myself, I felt and looked more beautiful.



 “To be beautiful, you have to…   

Know that you are born to stand out from the crowd. That is why you are not like the girl in front of you”. In the long run, you will realise that once you start embracing the person that you are, the next person will also start loving that person (you). “Don’t follow the trend, be the trend”

To be beautiful, you have to…

Wear your African crown proudly. Yes, I am proudly African and I still rock my wigs, fake nails and make-up like a boss because these things do not define who I am, it just makes me feel like doing something different with my hair or nails or my face. In the end, I am African with a beautiful Afro, and I can rock it whenever I want to. 

     
With 190 likes, how can this not be beautiful?

“To be beautiful, you have to..

Realise that our biggest demons are ourselves. Once we start knowing the person we are and start accepting her/him then we will start embracing ourselves. Always remember that before you become a friend, mother or sister – you are first an individual.

Remember, sometimes the people who judge you about your ‘imperfections’ are the ones who have their own insecurities.

Be beautiful, be you, be beautifully African.

Portia Luma will appear on our TV screens soon to talk about her journey – being a business owner, an artist, a “Heal The Hood” guest speaker to young girls. “Heal The Hood” is a campaign by Cape Town hip-hop artists Emile and Youngsta, aimed to better our communities by talking to school learners about the dangers of drugs, how hip-hop music is being misinterpreted, how one needs to accept themselves, their skin and their complexion.

Meet and greet Portia at her birthday party 5th November.

Because it’s women’s crush Wednesday we are crushing on Portia who is reminding us to be imperfectly perfect!

Who’s your Sasha Fierce? Share her with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by tagging @theyoungindy with #WCW