This is the fourth post in our “Colourful Woman Wednesday” series, which features stories of colourful women surviving and thriving. If you’d like to share your story, or nominate a colourful woman for this feature, email us or get in touch via Tumblr,Twitter or Facebook.
Jeneba Jalloh “JJ” Ghatt is an entrepreneur, attorney, advocate, columnist, author and the founder of JJG Communications, a strategic consulting company.
As an attorney, Jeneba has represented the nation’s highest profile civil rights organizations before the United States Supreme Court, federal courts, Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission, all while authoring six influential and visible political and personal blogs and maintaining an active social media profile on LinkedIn
, FourSquare and other platforms
. Jeneba was born in Sierra Leone and raised in the United States by a Catholic mother and a Muslim father.
Here she talks to the Coloured Collective about what drives and inspires her:
‘What makes you a colourful woman?’
I am an eternal optimist, that person who always sees the glass as half full and who makes lemonade when life gives lemons. And with that perspective on life, I fully appreciate beauty in all shapes, sizes, colour, persuasions and perspectives. I try to pass down that value to my children and aim to spread it among all those in my life, in person and online. I value my friendships and am always looking to enrich myself with knowledge and information and freely share gems and nuggets of wisdom I discover with all those I love and care about and who are around me. That is the definition of colour if you ask me.
‘Who are some of your colourful inspirations?’
I am inspired by other people around me living their dream, sticking their necks out; people who are not afraid of rejection, trial and error and who are resilient and steadfast. I see these traits in some colleagues, in some celebrities I follow for some of the blogs I own and in members of my family who surmount the odds and accomplish great things.
I also love fashion and taking the question literally, I’d say I gravitate towards those who exude confidence and wear the skin they’re in effortlessly and who select clothes and pieces that accentuate their best assets.
‘What are some of your projects right now?’
I’ve been promoting my blog Bellyitch, working on partnerships with other notable and established brands and will be putting out some new and exciting products in the very near future.
I’m also pitching a book that will be based on a blog I author at The Washington Times communities section called communities section called Politics of Raising Children which deals with the challenges of raising conscientious and balanced children in the very political times we live in.
I write for a political website Politic365.com which covers politics from the perspective of African and Hispanic Americans; and I’m a pundit on a nationally-syndicated weekly radio show called Week in Review.
Currently I’m on hiatus from a weekly online radio show I co-host with a friend that tackles politics, policy and pop culture from the perspective to the right of traditional black pundits in America who are generally very liberal. It’s called Right of Black.
‘What message would you like to share with our readers today?’
Take some time getting to know yourself and find your passion. Stop striving to be who someone else wants you to be; look within and rediscover yourself. Once you do that, find someone out there who has done what you want to do and to follow the path they’ve blazed. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
Hold your cards to your chest, sharing your intimate desires with only those who matter and who will support you. There are plenty of haters and naysayers out there, and who despise seeing friends aim higher. Such people are toxic. Don’t let them occupy precious and valuable mental space in your head with their negativity. Keep them at arms-length and keep striving to accomplish your goals.
Don’t let rejection get you down because all the most accomplished people in the world have been told “no” plenty more than they were told yes. Remember that and you won’t wallow in self-pity over small bumps along the way! That is the formula for success.
Thank you for your inspiring words and example, JJ!