The Story Behind Upendo
Africa is the most ethnically diverse continent, and the birthplace of the rest of the world. Surprisingly, most people have no idea just how genetically diverse Africa is, seeing Africa as homogenous, and not as a continent that houses numerous countries, cultures and people very different from each other.
We could say the same thing about ourselves! How often are we truly digging into our true individualities? Seeing ourselves in a prismatic light? Hardly ever. Could it be, because we are lacking upendo? Upendo is the Swahili word for love. When you lack self-love, you are not empowered to see yourself in every light! You are also not empowered to love others for who they are. There was once a woman named Yaa Asantewaa, who grew up in beautiful Ejisu, a West African Village, and later became its queen mother. Asantewaa was strong, intelligent, but also a little stubborn. When she was asked by an old medicine woman, Lamisi, to learn how to be at peace with herself, she resisted, thinking it a waste of time. But later when Lamisi asked her to channel her feeling for the people of her village, Asantewaa finally felt at peace, and awash in a new feeling: love. It was love that drove her to be the best version of herself. When Asantewaa told her father about the lesson she learned, she said "You can't be a true leader unless you know who you are."
We believe same. To know your roots is to love yourself, and to love yourself is to love the world.
Welcome to Project Upendo