1 The beginning and the shamanic heritage
As with any individual, I begin on the day of my birth. But there ! On that day there is a presence that will give a whole new meaning and dimension on this day of November 17: it is my grand-
mother. She is the first female shaman in a long shamanic line. And for too long she has been looking for which of her grandchildren will inherit the transmission. On this November day, not only is she there, but she recognizes the sign in me and designates me as her heiress. A transmission that will impact the rest of my life whether I like it or not.
During my first ten years she took me under her wing. My grandmother is a woman of power, the power that emanates from the person without the need for any artifice. In this male-dominated society, no man ventures to get in her way. It is listened to, its position is recognized, respected, valued. And me so often with her I feel completely protected, secured by this privileged relationship with my shaman grandmother. Together we walk the equatorial forest in search of the "Simple" of which she knows all the powers, together in the same bed we go to bed, together we shower. It is a relationship outside of time and space.
But there ! I was ten years old when everything changed, everything rocked. They tell me that my grandmother is dead. For several days I continue to talk to him. They try to explain to me. I know they are wrong.
I talk to her and I know she hears me. Some time later, I find myself in the slum of “Derrière Tam Tam Week-End” in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Transmission there will have been whether I like it or not!
2 The weight of responsibilities: The burden of siblings
I was the first child of a woman who was sixteen at the time. She has six more during my first ten years. At the age of ten, once I arrived in the shanty town of “Derrière Tam Tam Week-End”, it is now up to me to raise and feed them. A load that weighs heavily on my shoulders, a load that, first lifted, I have to take up every morning, which does not prevent me from being a brilliant student at school. It's up to me to make the meals for the siblings and more. I have a gift for hairdressing. This is where I will receive my first pieces, those that will make there something else to eat than boiled rice, when there is at least rice. The next meal is never a certainty. Of the six of the siblings, the last two, I raised them from birth, how could they not be my children!
3 A beast of about forty falls on me!
One afternoon, wearing shoes that were too small and hurt my feet, I was on my way to visit a cousin. As soon as I left, a downpour, a tropical downpour, began to fall on me. I decide to take shelter. I snuggled under the outside sill of a window, not really sheltered. The window opens, a man in his forties, a neighbor, offers me to go inside to wait for the end of the downpour. I am thirteen years old, I accept and return. As soon as I got home I was pushed into a room. The man locks the door. I ask him why? For answer, he throws himself on me and nails me to the ground. I don't know what's happening to me but I know it's serious, that I'm in danger. I struggle, I bite, I claw, I punch, I kick, I resist, but hey! What can a little girl of thirteen do against a grown man in his forties, unleashed!
I exhaust myself as he takes over my body. He pierces me. I am lost, soiled, degraded, torn, broken, broken. I lie there in my blood on the cement, without strength, unable to envisage the future, the future, there, immediate, in the minutes which follow. Pains so deep, unfathomable, I am only pain. After hours, with the help of the wall, I end up straightening up, I'm wobbly, walking hurts me. Back home, no one, no adult, notices anything. No tenderness, no benevolence, no care, no one with whom to take refuge, to whom to say what can be said. Alone, so alone!
I am thirteen years old, there is only violence, my very life is in danger, I swear to myself that I will leave the slum.
4 Surviving separated from one's body
After this loss of virginity by rape at the age of thirteen, at the beginning of adolescence, when one searches for oneself and builds oneself with a sensitivity on edge, to be alone, without any support, threatened daily, without anyone to confide in, without refuge: how to live and survive after such violence? Overwhelmed by guilt, shame, disgust, ignominy: what relationship with this body? As much as possible separate from him, keep him at a distance, no longer give him a voice, constrain him, imprison him. But whether I like it or not, it is in this body that I exist, that I live, that I am seen, a beautiful body, more and more sensual as the days go by, a body that becomes a source of misunderstandings: I am taken for what I am not.
5 How to leave the slum of “Derrière Tam Tam Week-End” being alone in the world?
At thirteen, swear to leave the slum of Derrière Tam Tam Week-End: but yes! Sure ! We can always dream ! And quite precisely I dreamed, and this dream, in silence, in my solitude, I maintained it for years. He is like a young plant which I nurture, which I encourage, which I water daily in my solitude and which over the years becomes a shrub, to finally be the tree which has borne its seed and finally its fruit. You have to understand the path traveled by the thirteen-year-old girl from a shantytown in Equatorial Africa who, six years later, with only the resources that she alone knew how to put aside before they were confiscated, takes off from Douala airport to land a few hours later in Abidjan with €100 in his pocket, expected by no one and knowing no one.
6 What saves me: The song: Cameroon + Ivory Coast
Music and singing, whether in Cameroon or later in Ivory Coast, literally saved me.
On the other hand, in Cameroon, how much did I have to fight to continue doing it. Making music and singing is often going to bed late and in the environment where I lived, a young girl who comes home late can only be a wanton if not worse. More than once that's what even my mother accused me of. But when I put the money earned on the table no one bothered to help themselves. When you're 15, you're alone on the stage with your guitar and your voice and you realize that all the faculty and students of your high school, 3000 people, stand up to applaud you that you like it or not, we feel grown up. On the run, when you arrive in a foreign country, the Ivory Coast, where you are expected by no one and don't know anyone with €100 in your pocket and three days later you have an audition in one of the most known throughout West Africa in front of about twenty musicians and that we are recruited as singers we know that once again music has saved us.
7 The Civil War: Forced to flee the Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast ! My country of heart! Go to Europe! How many young African girls dreamed of it and how many times did I not have the possibility! But no ! Ivory Coast I felt so good there! And yet two years after arriving there after another flight following the civil war, that's where I landed.
8 Arrival in Europe: Living in another continent
Once again, I had to adapt. Another continent, another culture, other codes: I learned, understood, integrated and made my place there! Training as a travel agent, a job at ACCOR-Voyage even before completing the training. But OK ! Was this my way? Another training in beauty and hairdressing. I started a family and in 2011 set up on my own.
9 The meeting with the Council in Image-consulting
In 2013 I received an invitation for training in Image Consulting. I don't know, but the little that I am told about it interests me: I follow the training. And that's it: I found my way. Advice, beauty, elegance, know-how: I feel in my place. The rest: the need to improve, to be on top: that's all me.
10 A little trip to Canada
Summer 2017 with the children we fly for a month to Canada where one of my sisters and her children have settled. My first contact with the Anglo-Saxon world: space, openness, dynamism, diversity won me over. I understand that I will have to add the Anglo-Saxon culture to those I already have, that I learn the language of Shakespeare.
11 In 2019 an opportunity arises
In the spring of 2019 an opportunity presents itself. I grabbed it. The consequence: to be installed in London in the following month.
Moving: A fifteen-year-old boy, a ten-year-old girl, both of whom know no better English than I do, that is to say nothing, a house, a company, a clientele. I left a lot, a way of life, links, habits, for a future that was a bet and a challenge. Today, like children, I know I made the right choice. But it still had to be done!
12 Changing Name: The Importance of Issanaa
Choosing a new name means drawing on new strength, inscribing your brand in the professional and personal landscape. The name Issanaa has a profound effect on my existential energy, its meaning has opened me to full connection with the energetic level transmitted by my shaman grandmother. Issanaa tells me that I am the light coach capable of boosting you even when you are at your lowest. Issanaa, the specialist who can make the energy of your image express the best version of yourself.