A conversation with Manchester's Songbird - Shoa
Shoa is a musician, singer and songwriter, and will be headlining our Saluting Our Sister's open-mic night on Thursday 19th October at The Horsfall. One of our team was lucky enough to catch up with Shoa to discuss this year's Black History Month theme and who in their community inspires them before the event!
As a Black woman why do you feel it’s important to do this type of work?
I think it’s important as a black woman to operate in and amongst spaces that appreciate, thrive from and empower us. So this type of work is essential, it supports an important communal, societal & worldwide message and for me personally, it’s fulfilling.
This year’s BHM theme is ‘Honouring the achievements of Black Women’: What is an achievement of your own that you’d like to share?
Becoming a mother is my greatest achievement. After suffering with Endometriosis & PCOS, I was told it wouldn’t be likely that I would successfully conceive. After many losses, a whole lot of belief and making the necessary health/lifestyle changes, I naturally conceived & birthed my daughter in 2019.
Hands down my greatest achievement.
Can you name a Black Woman in your family or community that you are proud of and describe their unique qualities?
I’d have to say my older sister, Tsana. Watching her navigate through this life has truly equipped me with the necessary tools to be the strong, courageous woman that I am. I admire her ability to turn tribulations into triumph, her representation of motherhood & her will to follow her dreams no matter the challenges faced. She unknowingly & knowingly taught me the fundamentals of functioning within this life & demographic as a young black female, which in turn has contributed majorly to who I am today. So I give thanks for her unwavering heart and more over, to our mum who truly set the bar & embodies being the prime example for us to become the best versions of ourselves as black women.
This year’s theme also talks about amplifying voices and challenging systems that oppress: How do you think Black women can challenge oppressive systems?
I think it’s important for Black women to never be afraid of using their voices. If something affects your ability to move freely within the life you lead, speak up. If you feel challenged, oppressed, alienated etc. within your workplace, any systematic space for that matter, speak up. We must first place the importance of our existence on ourselves and not shy away from being a positive voice for both our own personal struggles, but also for others.
What does the hashtag #WeMatter mean to you?
An uncompromising respect and acknowledgement for the Woman, more specifically the Black Woman; shouldn’t have to be demanded. We matter, regardless of any attempts made to make us feel otherwise.
Listen to and explore music by Shoa on Spotify here.