Upile Chisala | Poet
How do you define confidence?
Confidence for me has always been about the self. It's such an internal thing. Confidence means being comfortable in your person and knowing yourself but not being afraid to express yourself. I used to think that obnoxious people had it in abundance but really it's in those people who don't do it for show. The people that simply walk out as they are and aren't hiding behind the cloak of insecurities.
How did you grow to become confident ?Were there people in your life that uplifted you? Was there a specific time in your life that impacted you?
I am still growing into my confidence. I have a lot of fear and a lot of shyness that I've picked up in life. Shyness is one of my wars. Everyday I work on it a bit more; I do something or say something that I wouldn't have had the guts to do the day before. I've been blessed with many mentors in my family, in my friends and in my community throughout my life. However, I think at the end of the day it's all been about me. People can praise you and your works all day long but like Ms Hill says "How you gon' win when you ain't right within?", it is all about you doing that internal heart work.
Some women show off their beauty, but you empower other's by encouraging them to live unapologetically. Would you say that you have a passion for that?
I am trying to say and do things that I needed to witness and hear. And sometimes I find someone (or someone finds me) and I've said or done something they needed to witness. I am definitely passionate about empowering people to live out their lives as unapologetically as they please.
Confidence is a quality that both men and women should posses. I would argue that our society teaches men unhealthy ways to be perceived as confident. What advice would you give to young boys and men about being confident?
The way masculinity and femininity are taught and enforced every single day affects us all. I worry about the babies. I also realize that culture isn't static, we have the ability to fix it and we need to rethink it lest we continue to raise children that feel that to fit in they must do this and that. This process of teaching young boys to be chauvinistic and that confidence is all about being aggressive is so wrong. I think we ought to teach kindness a bit more. My advice to young boys is that hyper masculinity isn't something to aspire to. Be yourself, darling. Men, don't be trash please.
What makes you original?
Hmmm, I think I'm original because I am so complicated and weird and have the hardest time articulating myself but I always find warm people to love and be loved by.