ZAHARA’S DREAM FOUNDER, VERLAINE-DIANE SOOBROYDOO, ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SISTERHOOD & #POWERJACKETS with FASHIONOMICS, African Development Bank.
Verlaine-Diane Soobroydoo’s personal journey and professional experience working in international development with a focus on women’s rights and diversity has led her to travel extensively throughout the African continent and around the world. This led her to understand a universal truth: from Juba to Paris or from Mogadishu to New York, it takes a superhuman effort for women to just be. “This reality is even more challenging for young women, who find themselves at the crossroads of the “gender, age and very often skin color cards.” I fell into all the categories, as a young black woman, in a world that gave limited space for someone who looked like me to have a voice,” she told Fashionomics Africa. “It took inner strength, personal efforts and the support of family, friends and mentors for me to redefine myself, own who I am and discover the positive contributions I could bring to the world.”
Marian Wright Edelman’s quote, you can’t be what you can’t see, always resonated with Verlaine-Diane, and she feels privileged to have had such positive role models in her life. “My parents, of course, but also academic teachers who believed in me and who would inspire me to do and be more when I could not see the end of the tunnel,” she explains. “Most recently, I have been fortunate to work in a space and environment, which re-centers women’s leadership and transformative contributions in Africa and the rest of the world. I have witnessed the strength, leadership and vision of incredible African women, mothers and sisters, who own who they are and break down the false assumption that women are passive bystanders in their lives and communities. This