Where Are They Now: Phenomenal Tatenda

I received this email to write for Yettisays.com as embarked on my usual Sunday chore, brunch, and mid-way through my forth mimosa, I read the post I wrote a few years back at 23, (where does time go). I must say I’m always humbled when I look back at my thoughts, I chuckle at myself. Anyways…

Meet Tatenda


Describe your self-esteem level. Are you a Beyonce- Flawless? Are you struggling with your sense of worth? Or are you a little in-between?

I am absolutely a little “in-between,” in my pervious post I stated that I’ve always had a level of confidence and self-esteem and as I navigated through life, I have always come out on the other side a little bit better, which has relatively remained the same. But life takes us all for a loop, it isn’t fun without a vexing here and there. I have moments where my confidence has wavered, and my self-esteem lingered as I attempted to weave battles that have come my way. But interestingly enough new aspects came in, from questions of my self-esteem and confidence in the physical sense, beauty, body, etc. I entered a realm where my confidence in my career, personal relationships, friendships, and familial structures were questioned. I think at this point, judging by what I’ve perceived as personal growth I’m okay with “in-between,” in-between feels good.

Do you have any insecurities you have yet to come to terms with?

This may be an unconventional insecurity; I am super insecure about my passion and understanding my absolute role in this world. I think this is one of the things I struggle with the most: what am I meant to do, when will I figure it out. I feel a sense of insecurity as I look at my peers who have figured “it” out, figured out what they want to make their purpose or what they want to ultimately be or do. Time has moved and I look at myself now at the age of 26, turning 27 soon (I’m sure someone is like girl bye, you’re a baby) and I wish I knew that by now, I wish I had it figure out by now.

Do you still think society’s standards are daunting? Do you ever feel as though you need to conform?

I think some light has been shed for me. I don’t think there isn’t anyone who feels a way about societies standards. In some contexts, I should be married by now, Mrs. Someone. By some standards my butt isn’t big enough, I’m not pretty enough, thin enough, the list goes on. But who cares, I shouldn’t care. I am really working on what defines me, what makes me happy. Beside the challenges as women of color, I feel a sense of embrace, if not in the context of the world (the media) but within us. We are continuing to break down stereotypical views and defining our self-worth, image, social standard etc. and it’s absolutely amazing.

As a reporter, do you ever feel forced to stifle your own personal views? How do you find the balance of doing your job, and staying true to your opinions?

I think Journalism 101 taught us all, tell the story objectively. And I must strive to do so. There will always be a personal view, and I have many but there is someone who will agree or disagree on that view. Luckily I haven’t felt the pressure to not tell the story, I haven’t felt any pressure to add, or embellish. I have been afforded the opportunity to work with people who have literally shown me the ropes, allowing me to grow and realize where the story is told, and how “Tatenda,” tells the story objectively.

 What words of advice would you share with your 16-year-old self about self-esteem, self-worth, and of course, surviving these transformational years?

I would tell 16 year old me, “lighten up,” literally relax, life is a process, and although things seem confusing and you didn’t get that look, or you felt over looked, and wondered why, it is part of the growth. I look back and laugh at the way I viewed life at 16, and how I reacted when some of those things happened to me.  It’s a growing process, you transform, the things you care about today might not matter in a few years, actually will not matter, and some of these experiences are building that person you will become. Be open to your experiences, challenges, changes and even setbacks and also be ready to laugh, cry, smile, and enjoy the years ahead. Because lord knows, if I could do it again… I would do certain things completely differently.


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