Chione is honestly just THAT GIRL. She’s got it all going for her and I’m a huge supporter of her aspirations! I met Chione last year through a mutual friend (Briggs) on a night out. We got along immediately and basically became friends from there. From vlogging to working with Bettering Education to speaking up on several issues that women face today, she’s certainly headed in the right direction!
(LJS) Hey girl! How are you?
(CH) Hey Laila! I’m good! You?
(LJS) I’m great just trying to get through this week! Let’s get started. What does being a 21st century woman mean to you?
(CH) I think being a 21st century woman means being anything and everything you want to be. Whether that is being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a stay-at-home mum. Success is relative to each individual and we can choose to be whoever we want. Many of us are no longer limited by the restrictions which have, in the past, oppressed us women. Although sadly there is still huge gender inequality in the world, we are stronger than ever and we must work together to break down barriers and pave the way for future generations. We are all individuals walking different paths, but ultimately, being a 21st century woman means being non judgmental and empowering women and all minorities.
(LJS) I love that. Honestly couldn’t have said it better. What barriers have you faced as a woman today?
(CH) A lot of people judge me on my appearance and what I post on social media. I’ve been in situations where men have been utterly shocked by my achievements. I’ve even been in a situation where a guy has said “women generally have either brains or beauty – I didn’t think you were going to have both” *rolls eyes*.
(LJS) Ugh. Statements like that are so ignorant. Sometimes I just don’t understand the mindset of people! Do you recognize yourself as a feminist? If so, what type of feminist are you?
(CH) I definitely, without a doubt recognize myself as a feminist. Although ultimately the goal of Feminism is to move towards gender equality, I understand many different factors contribute to the oppression of women (racism, classism, sexuality, assigned sex at birth etc) thus I would describe my feminism as intersectional. My feminism is fully inclusive, and aims to educate and empower all to the end goal of justness.
(LJS) Brilliant. When did you first recognize the fact that gender inequality exists?
(CH) When I was a child and in my early teens I was only really aware of stereotypes. At around fifteen I started to do a lot more independent research into feminism, early marriage and FGM. From that point onwards my world changed. At 19 I spent some time with a Maasai family outside of Nairobi, Kenya and volunteered at a girls refuge centre, where I interviewed girls as young as eleven who had experienced FGM. That experience was honestly life changing and extremely humbling.
(LJS) It’s so good that you’ve invested your time in to work at the grassroots. I really want to volunteer in several countries, I don’t think there’s a better way to understand the prevalence of issues at hand today. Anyway, when you’re faced with barriers because of your gender, how do you overcome them?
(CH) Honestly, being in Nairobi was one of the best experiences of my life. I think a lot of things in life stem from self-love. When you know your worth and you’re strong enough to mute negative, deconstructive and unwanted opinions, then you have confidence to persevere in any situation where you are told you can’t, or you aren’t good enough, or it’s not for you. I like to prove people wrong, they say success is the best revenge!
(LJS) It really is! What is your greatest achievement so far?
(CH) Probably creating a platform for myself which I am able to help, entertain and inspire people through. Less than a year ago I started my YouTube channel, and I’ve managed to build a following of 12,500 subscribers. Although that to me is incredible, the most sublime thing is when I receive messages from people telling me how I have helped them, or asking for advice. Knowing that I have the ability to make an impact on someone and their life is sensational to me.
(LJS) I’m so proud of you honestly! Your channel has grown so much. What does “The Future Is Female” mean to you?
(CH) Thanks babe! I think it means it is our time. In the future, we will no longer be oppressed, and women will have the opportunity to lead in an egalitarian society, and rightfully so.
Chione is a 21-year-old YouTuber and Presenter for Bettering Education, a charity which helps move young people from poverty to purpose through soft skills development. She also has an online bikini and sunglasses store coming soon – watch out!