Nomaza Nongqunga Coupez

Occupation: Founder of Undiscovered Canvas

Website: www.undiscovered-canvas.com

Instagram: undiscovered_canvas

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?

Like most people I started out with the job that paid the bills, as very few people are lucky enough to identify their passions and pursuit careers that incorporated them earlier on in life. Most of us, only know get to know ourselves later on in life and find our passions. I identified my passion when I arrived in France, as for the 1st time in my life I was able to sit down with myself and ask the myself the ultimate question “ Nomaza what makes you happy? What is your your purpose on this planet earth?”

Once I answered those questions I started my journey in having a job that satisfied me.

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?

Its me in 5 years, and in 5 years it will be me in 10 years… this may sound weird, but when you are constantly pursuing a better version of you, you became your biggest inspiration, and if you keep at it constantly when you look back you simply can’t help but admire the woman you have become.

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?

I personally suffer from “ not enjoying the process” as I always put so much pressure on myself when creating my projects, the irony is that you spend 6 months preparing something that will visible for a month in my situation an art exhibition. And then move on to something else that will require 6 months of preparing…. As a result you are in a constant state of anxiety. I love the fact that “WhyITribe” aims to remind us to take time out, celebrate our wins and enjoy the process. For me women have played a huge role in reminding me that I was doing well, it’s the women in my life that I call when I am having a bad day and they give me perspective and encouragement, exactly what “ WhyITribe” stand for.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

When COVID 19 hit and all my art events where cancelled, like most I was discouraged and confused on the steps to take, a week after the confinement I decided to move, be positive because I realized that only the ones in movement would make it out alive in business. I started to refocus, and my creativity came back, I became innovative during a very hard time. I remember talking to my husband as saying baby I am doing it…and it felt GREAT!

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

Let me tell you a story :
My brother and I are one year apart him older, we went to the same schools and he was one class ahead of me. He was very brilliant the apple of my parent’s eyes. He got excellent marks with distinctions and you know what? Each year I would make sure I had more distinctions than him, but I don’t remember my parents ever praising me the way they praised him…each year I would get more no longer proving anything to my parents but more to myself. We are raised to be stronger, wiser and boys the opposite. The world expects so much of us without a thank you, and so little of men with lots of encouragement and applauds. Us winning and doing exceptional things has been normalized! And we have also normalized it.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?

Because I am very critic of myself, I have come to learn that “when a person sees or says something great about you, believe them!”

WHO WAS THE FIRST FEMALE TO TEACH YOU OR INSPIRE YOU TO FEEL THAT #YOUAREENOUGH?

My best friend Jean Tola Brown whom I met at University and is still my best friend today! That girl taught me how to be selfish and that is was okay to be selfish. I would later define so many rules and leave my life the way I want to because I learned that it was okay to do me before others…. I will love her forever for that gift. She gave me FREEDOM.

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE, AS WOMEN, ARE NOT ENOUGH AND HOW CAN WE TAKE THAT POWER BACK?

Through the patriarchal society where men have power over women.
We can take power by putting ourselves first, demanding our rightful place in our societies and demanding change in institutions that have policies that see women less that men. For example continue fighting for equal pay, continue fighting traditions that impose rules on women and their bodies, educate our boys to be responsible, accountable and that women are not on this earth to serve them, break the brain while their young, even more important give our girls freedom to be themselves.

ARE WE TOLD ENOUGH AS YOUNG GIRLS THAT #WEAREENOUGH? IF NOT, HOW CAN WE CHANGE THIS MESSAGING FOR YOUNG GIRLS TODAY?

I guess my response is already above, hahahahaha! No, I was not told enough, I had to discover that alone.

WHAT WOULD YOU GO BACK AND TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF, TO ENCOURAGE SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-LOVE?

I would tell her the truth is in you! Find your voice and do not let anyone tell you otherwise, not your parents, not your family, not your friends. The truth to a beautiful and meaningful life is in you!

WHERE DO YOU THINK THE NEED TO COMPETE WITH OTHER WOMEN COMES FROM? IS IT TAUGHT?

It’s not taught, it stems from jealousy, it stems from insecurity, it stems from not being aligned with your life…. Once you understand your purpose and live your life the way you want to live it. The difference in looks, in money, in success do not matter anymore. As there is no longer comparison but gratitude.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

It unites women who have found their purpose, as a result we are all here to build each other!

HOW ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP YOUR SELF-ESTEEM UP IN THE MIDST OF THIS GLOBAL PANDEMIC AND WHAT ADVICE WOUDL YOU GIVE TO OTHERS READING THIS?

Movement was the key for me, don’t stand for too long, move! As through action you provoke a reaction! When you feel the down, call your girlfriend 😊