Conversation with Wendie Zahibo, author of « Queens of Modern Times »

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Wendie Zahibo
Wendie Zahibo, author of the illustration book “Queens of Modern Times”

For many years, history has ignored the positive contribution and even the existence of Black Queens: true warriors, leaders, activists or military leaders, from Africa to the Caribbean, they marked their time and headed various resistance movements and liberation fights, contributing to the independence of their country and women’s empowerment leaving a legacy for the generations to come. Yet these Queens and African female historical figures are absent from history books, and remain invisible in mainstream media. Wendie Zahibo, decided to change that. This 25-year-old Afro-Caribbean has launched “Queens of Modern Times”, a book that revives the spirit of 10 African and Afro-Caribbean heroines through women of the 21st century using photography, poetry, styling and design.

) Queens of modern times, an illustration book with a wood cover, translated in three languages (English, French and Portuguese)
Queens of modern times, an illustration book with a wood cover, translated in three languages (English, French and Portuguese)
) The project “Queens of Modern Times” was born during a trip to Brazil
The project “Queens of Modern Times” was born during a trip to Brazil

Born in Marseille from an Ivorian father and a Central African mother, Wendie spent most of her life in Guadeloupe (French Caribbean) where she lived with her parents until the age of 18. She then moved to La Rochelle (France) and studied thereafter in a business school located in Bordeaux. It was only when she had the opportunity to travel across the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Brazil that she started questioning her own identity. These trips have reinforced her character and vision of the Black Woman she is today and aspires to become. From this self-discovery journey was born “Queens of Modern Times”, a project she describes as the expression of her multiple identities, a way not to limit or restrain Black women’s beauty to one thing, an ode to the Queens of yesterday and their heirs of today. A book, translated in three languages (French, English and Portuguese), which revives 10 African and Afro-Caribbean heroines through women of the 21st century.

 The book revives 10 African and Afro-Caribbean heroines through women of the 21st century.
The book revives 10 African and Afro-Caribbean heroines through women of the 21st century.
Queens of modern times
Queens of modern Times

Through this book, I want to help young Africans take a fresh look at their history and build more self-confidence

Wendie Zahibo
Wendie Zahibo

Throughout our conversation, we discussed:

  • The reasons that motivated her to launch this initiative
  • The message she wants to convey
  • The multiple identities of Black Women
  • The impact of historical consciousness on self-confidence
  • The role of art to convey positive messages
  • The major difficulties she faced and still faces today

Reine

Aminatou de Zaria, reine guerrière du Nord du Nigéria au XVIe siècle
Aminatou de Zaria, a warrior queen from northern Nigeria (16th century)

Queens of Modern Times” summarizes the woman I aspire to become, namely a woman proud of her origins and culture (as mixed as they may be), proud of her past, aware of the challenges that lay ahead of me. A woman who is ambitious, fighter, humble, loving and a bit rebellious.

Wendie Zahibo

For more information about this project, or to pre-order a copy of the book “Queens of Modern Times”, visit the website: www.reinesdestempsmodernes.com

Andréa Bomo

the author

Andréa Bomo

Andrea Bomo is a Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker passionate about using storytelling across multiple platforms to impulse social change. Her work focuses on Women and Girls’ issues, Social Justice, Cultural practices and Social innovation.

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