What's your story?
Name: Irene Mangem
Founder: Emerge With Irene
Congratulations on being the face of The Cleveland Natural Hair & Fitness Expo. Tell us, what is it about?
The Cleveland Natural Hair & Fitness Expo is part of the Evolution tour 2014 – an 18 stop tour across the country, educating people on natural hair care holistic and beauty. We are redefining what it means to be “naturally beautiful”.
Honestly, I must first give special thanks to God for such an honor.
This is my chance to relate and share with many great people who either are just about to start their journey of self love and acceptance or, those who are already navigating their way through this journey.
I am proud to be a part of a movement whose mission is to empower and inspire others.
I used up a greater part of my younger years trying to look as “white” as I could get by bleaching my hair and skin. This continued until I became friends with a “white girl” in Germany who told me that all her life, she’d been trying to be brown like me. Facing this reality was the turning point in my life.
Inside this issue of Blow Magazine dedicated to the expo, I will be writing on a topic so close to my heart – “Am I trying to be Someone Else?” while sharing a few tips on how my readers can love and accept themselves for who they are.
What can participants expect from Sunday March 2nd, 2014 event?
You should expect:
- To meet and mingle with a diverse audience, ages ranging from 8 to 80 and all ethnic groups
- The famous Motivational Speaker – Les Brown will be speaking at the Expo for the second year.
- Quality and informative workshops, classes and exhibitors.
- An array of services from natural hair care, fitness & health practitioners, marketing specialists, legal aid, manufacturers, web masters and much more.
- A fashion show showcasing Cleveland’s finest designers and hair stylists. I will be showcasing ‘Irene’s West African Apparel’ for the first time.
You also have a show coming up which will be on DUNIA Magazine called Emerge With Irene, what can readers expect?
Emerge with Irene is your motivational docu–series that will inspire and motivate others on accepting and loving themselves for who they truly are. It’s only after accepting and loving oneself that one has a chance to change his/her future.
I am a Cameroonian (West African) who after a life of abuse and rejection as a child, began to manifest my struggles physically. I ended up bleaching my skin, relaxing my hair, and dressing provocatively in an attempt to fit in, to be accepted, and loved. Unexpected events and experiences made a life changing impact on my life, causing me to begin an exciting journey of self-discovery.
I am a firm believer that our issues on how we perceive ourselves as individuals start from the struggles we face within.
Society has set its standards on what qualifies as good living and/or beauty. In an attempt to fit in, a quest to be accepted and loved, we are forced at a very early age to model after society’s standards of what beauty is. We somehow sub-consciously fight a battle within on what we really want for ourselves versus what the world expects of us. Unfortunately, the latter seemed to have won in my case.
But, all my experiences have helped shape who I am today.
My mission in life is to continue to Emerge, while sharing my mistakes and what I’ve learned from them. The world needs real people who are not afraid to say, “I failed but this is how I made it”. I was one who needed that someone to inspire me, so now I live to be that nagging voice that tells you “You can do it or, you can be it”, when you are down.
With so many exciting projects that you’re working on, how are you staying motivated? What drives you?
Simple: God is my strength. Yes, I have a lot on my plate but what keeps me going is opening my Facebook inbox and reading messages like this:
K. Nembo wrote: Ur messages touch me like the rising sun on a cold morning day. U are the best.
Need I say more?
… In closing …
Together, we can make a difference!
Special Thanks to the Cleveland Natural Hair & Fitness Expo Team. You guys rock!
Monica Green, you’ve taken a Cameroonian girl, inspired & believed in her, and loved her like your own. Now, I join you to share the love! You are my role model!
Thanks to the famous Motivational Speaker – Les Brown for blessing Cleveland two years in a row.
Special thanks to Bobby Williams of Blow Magazine for putting in all the hours, talent and hard work in making this Expo a success. Your camera recognizes me.
Jacinda Rattiliff, all strands of my natural hair can pronounce your name. I love you!
Robbin Jackson, you do my makeup with love. I love you!
To the many strong Cleveland Entrepreneurs who are making a difference at the expo. Be empowered!
Special Thanks to DUNIA Magazine for connecting the worlds of greatness together. Ich liebe es!
To stay connected with me, like my Facebook Page, Emerge with Irene. Link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/EMERGE-WITH-IRENE/437924566237910
You can follow my articles in Cleveland’s number One Hair & Fashion Magazine – Blow.
Check out DUNIA Magazine for my inspirational articles and upcoming Docu- Series, ‘Emerge with Irene’.
See you There!
THE 4TH ANNUAL CLEVELAND NATURAL HAIR & FITNESS EXPO
Sunday, March 2, 2014. 11am – 7pm
Location: Cleveland Convention Center
300 Lakeside Ave Cleveland, OH 44113
Tour Contact: Malaika Cooper
Local Contact: Monica Green
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
(216) 938 – 9537
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