INTERVIEW WITH SAZZ WANOGHO-MAUD
What’s your name?
What’s your print?
My print is to celebrate and acknowledge two passions – young people and awesome ordinary women 50 & over in community, those who make a difference to society, especially minorities who seem to fall by the wayside, with little or no recognition for their huge contributions to society in the fields of business, art, music, science, literature and many more areas.
I believe sharing your story of struggles can greatly empower other women to realise that they are not alone, that others have been in similar predicaments and made it out alive. Sometimes, that is all someone needs to get through a tough time. You can help even more with ideas and solutions for other women who choose to become entrepreneurs, change careers, to apply creatively to their own problems.
My platform, 2ndSpring is for women 50 & over and encourages women of this era to be visible, share stories of triumph at a time of great change, physical, financial and emotional. How women overcome struggles and challenges to empower themselves and others.
“LIFE IS ABOUT DREAMS, AND LIVING IT”
Life is about dreams, and living it – Holding onto negative childhood memories failed relationships, negative experiences somewhat keep us captive, preventing us from achieving great things and growing into strong confident individuals capable of making sound decisions, instead sometimes giving our power to others, accepting what is considered failures and disappointments to define who we are and not finding our PRINT.
Another of my prints was born from the love of performing arts, The Young Entertainers in the Community Awards. The aim of the awards is to acknowledge and celebrate, young performing arts students in the community, give them a platform to share their journey before debuting on West End stage, TV or film. To date, the awards recipients include Nicholas Hoult, Aaron Johnson, Pixie Lott, Vanessa White and Tosh Wanogho-Maud, to name a few.
When you have a skill or special gift, you have the potential to change the world, what usually holds you back from fulfilling your potential for a lot of people is our fear. The fear of being ridiculed. The fear of not becoming “successful.” The fear that we won’t live up to our own expectations. I decided to ‘Break free’ and dedicate my time to learning, expanding my knowledge, and sharing my passion with the rest of the world. The only way you can do meaningful work and expand your potential is to focus, use all of your energy and only do one thing at a time, tune out distractions.
What does identity mean to you?
Identity for me is everything. “who am I?”
Identity is different from personality in important respects. We may share personality traits with other people, but sharing an identity suggests some active engagement on our part. Identity requires some awareness on our part. Personality describes qualities individuals may have, such as being outgoing or shy, internal characteristics, but identity requires some element of choice.
A strong self-identity is essential when it comes to intimacy, asserting yourself and exercising good boundaries with your family, friends, and partner. It can also guard against feeling manipulated or resentful in personal relationships.
Identity is also important in business, with a strong brand identity customers are much more likely to remember your business.
Can you tell us how you came to stand boldly in each layer of your identity?
Having been born into a very strong Jamaican family, rooted from Maroons, I am fully aware of who I am. From a very young age I was told of my family history, so I developed an attitude of boldness, a woman extremely confident in her identity and life purpose knowing my worth, waking each day with full confidence that I have an important purpose for the day, embracing reality that my validation has nothing to do with what people think of me, how much money I have, what job I do, or how attractive I appear to others.
Can you tell us about the different places you have called home?
Places I have called home, if I am being truthful, for me Home is a safe haven and a comfort zone. A place to live with your family and enjoy with friends. A place to build memories as well as a way to build future wealth.
What is the happiest moment of your life?
There are few: mum and dad attending my graduation; the birth of my three princes; getting married and purchasing my first house; the birth of my firstborn children; becoming a grandmother; watching my second son make his debut on a West End Stage; my youngest son passing all his GCSEs.
Who is the most influential person in your life?
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I was responsible for holding the first ever award ceremony recognising young professional performers even before BAFTA.
How have you paved your way?
By staying true to myself and others.
Earliest and fondest memory with your mother /grandmother?
I never had the opportunity of knowing my paternal or maternal grandmothers. So many fond memories I have shared and continue to share with my mother. I cannot remember my mother not sharing in my triumphs and supporting me through challenges.
What is your fondest memory of ‘home’?
Always full of family—love and laughter all day.
What’s your favourite food?
I don’t really have one, as long as the dish is cooked well with flavour, I will try it. I eat very little red meat.
What are you most proud of?
Being a survivor.