My name is Sefiyetu, it means “Pure” and it is Nigerian in origin, but I am not Nigerian. I have been an artist for most of my life, typically too afraid to put enough faith in my talent to try and sell my pieces. I had to be coaxed into having an art show by the great Daphne Maxwell Reid, who offered to host my show in her own gallery space. It took me a year to have enough confidence to commit. I’ve had the luck of being able to work in the film industry on multiple projects, and I graduated college at the age of 19.  I define myself by my determination to be the best that I can be. I am never in competition with anyone else, it’s only me and my ambition, and I refuse to stand in my own way any longer.

To be outspoken is to be frank in stating your opinion and I choose to be outspoken to claim the space in life that I have earned. I work hard, but I find myself (as women do) shrinking to fit into smaller spaces. Being outspoken means not being afraid to be who you are.

I love being a black woman because of the community of creative, intelligent people that it allows me to be a part of. I would love for other black women to be confident in themselves. To not shrink for opportunities or relationships. To be confident enough to take a leap of faith with all of the determination of someone who can not afford to fail.

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