Curators of Black Media

As A Black Sudanese-American Woman, I Knew It Was Imperative To Make A Film About Celebrating The Joy Of Self-Love

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There’s a cliché that says self-love transcends true love. But how does one get there? How do you become full in a world that constantly oozes heaviness, hurt and pain? What sphere of healing do we assess first?

True love is a person who is already full internally and is in a position to give love. Therefore, when you come from a place of emptiness you are only in a position to take, hence false attachments. When you’re full, you’re in a position to give, which in turn fills you more. Though, love is non-existent without true inner thought. It is to get to know yourself before anyone else.

As we learn to heal, we start moving towards wholeness. We learn to open our hearts and transform into higher beings. As a collective, healing can be a collaborative way to summit the peak of growth. We then allow ourselves to tell our story and bring our visions to life, building bigger empires of success.

Through all this growth, the light finds us as purity pours into our lives in an everlasting way. The tenderness from healing and embracing oneself is what we crave in this world — creating unity and peace for others, gravitating happiness, embracing self-reflection and discovery that exudes into every soul in the world.

We delve into ourselves. Uncover the gem that you’re waiting to be revealed — the light inside every one of us that wants to shine and beam to the infinite possibilities we hold. Note that this does take work and effort. You have to be vulnerable with yourself, intentional in assessing your lowest points and faults, and bridge gaps where you need help while looking around and forward. We are a collective, a joint force of individuals working to craft our own love story.

This is why I, a 20-year-old Black Sudanese-American woman, Aaraf Adam, began my initiative of establishing one of these spaces, KanSuda. Named after Al Kandaka aSudania, one of the original Nubian queens, KanSuda is a creative media agency that features and collaborates with Black artists and storytellers. We uplift continental and diasporic Afro-Black women in different societies around the world, in addition to BIPOC women in underrepresented communities such as Afro-Black, Muslim and Pasifika women. Our foundation is storytelling, giving unheard and unseen individuals space to begin to tell their stories.

Under the KanSuda umbrella, I recently created a short film “Finding your LIGHT.” The film explores the importance of perseverance and loving yourself, while depicting an inclusive society through imagery. Shot at Te Henga Beach in Auckland, New Zealand, this film shows the power of the mere visibility of Black Muslim women alongside Pasifika women. The story also features contemporary artist Nââwié Tutugoro, Somali- Kiwi model Nimo Mohamed and Pasifika model, dancer and creative director Vogue Ponini-Pilisi, alongside videographer Jarem Cabamonogan and makeup artist Victoria Asi.

I crafted this film as it holds an immense significance to my journey, path and inner self. It is a representation of my identity and struggle as a Black, African woman growing up in the U.S. and living in New Zealand, as I embraced the discovery of loving myself.

I believe that we as Black, Indigenous and women of color must always be present, visible and amplified. KanSuda is just the beginning — a singular depiction of the simplicity one can transcend amidst a chaotic reality.

J.D. Smith is a Tech Investor, Author, and Economist. He is the Founder of Visionary Creative International, a Tech-Based Consumer Solutions Company. He is also the Publisher for Black Media Daily, a 24/7 media outlet providing a voice for black content creators and a place to control their image throughout the Diaspora. J.D. is also the co-author of the book 100 Questions Black People Should Ask themselves, and a best-selling author of the book Made By Hustle. As a digital nomad, he promotes the importance of black travel and working from anywhere.