Friends are not only people, but they can also be things. For a farmer, a friend is a plant. For a plant, a friend is soil. And for soil, friend is water. But for me, a friend is my community,

  1. 22 years old
  2. Studied Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics in secondary school
  3. Enjoys sports such as running and playing basketball
  4. 2nd year Kepler Scholar
  5. Graduates in 2018 and get a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communication.
  6. Created Ivomerere (auto-irrigate), a system that detects soil moisture and automates water dissemination in relation to moisture levels
  7. Won Ms. Geek Rwanda, a competition designed to inspire Rwandan girls to consider a career in STEAM for her system
  8. Her winnings include 2 million RWF, a laptop, a Samsung smartphone, and tablet
  9. Recognized by first lady Jeannette Kagame for her achievements
  10. Twitter handle: @mwiseneza2014


Further Reading:




Joan Mitchell

You’re talking about rejection. Don’t be worried about rejection. I say that now. It’s terrible, I asked one of my dealers years ago “If I don’t sell are you going to dump me?” And he said, “Sure.” But sales don’t make a show.

This post is different. Too much of what she said in her interviews were too perfect to be paraphrased. So here are 5 facts, and 5 quotes that I love:

  1. Born in Chicago, died in France
  2. Influenced by VanGogh, especially his sunflowers
  3. one of few women of TheClub–New York exclusive group of painters including: Kline, Pollock, Kooning, and Rothko
  4. part of the birth of Abstract expressionism
  5. painting sold for a world record $11.9 million (greatest value any woman has sold)

C’mon, how do you work wet into wet for 12 hours and keep a fresh look. You don’t. You can’t. What do you get, that weathered look? (BM)

you’ll be petting [the stray cat] and all of a sudden it has a fit and starts clawing you. It’s not that it thinks you’re going to attack it or anything. It’s that it doesn’t know how to sort of bask in a kind of love or relaxation. And I think there was a longtime … (BM)

Feeling, existing, living, I think it’s all the same, except for quality. Existing is survival; it does not mean necessarily feeling. You can say good morning, good evening. Feeling is something more: it’s feeling your existence. It’s not just survival. Painting is a means of feeling “living.” YM

[A painting is finished] When it stops questioning me. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with it. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what I want. I check it out, recheck it for clays or weeks. Sometimes there is more to do on it. Sometimes I am afraid of ruining what I have. Sometimes I am lazy, I don’t finish it or I don’t push it far enough. Sometimes I think it’s a painting.


What it means? It seems very clear what it means. I can’t say it but the painting makes it clear. If I don’t know, then it’s not working. If it seems right to me, then it has a meaning, but I can’t tell you what meaning. I can’t be more specific than that. it works when it means something, when I don’t question it any more. YM

YM: Interview with Yves Michaud (1986)  (Must read!)
BM: Interview by Cora Cohen & Betsy Sussler (1985-6) Bomb Magazine (longer)


“We’ve demonstrated that women can do what men do, but not yet that men can do what women do. That’s why most women have two jobs—one inside the home and one outside it—which is impossible. The truth is that women can’t be equal outside the home until men are equal in it”

Continue reading “Gloria Steinem”

When I finally got home, I had to hug myself a little bit and say, “You know what, Tiffany? I don’t care if you did make mistakes. I’m so proud of you.” I never, ever thought I would be able to do something awesome like that.

  1. Eritrean & African-American
  2. Step-father cut the breaks to their vehicle as a child, causing her mother irreparable brain damage and related schizophrenia
  3. Became the primary care-cover for her four siblings until they were separated in orphanages
  4.  Divorced the same man twice: “I was not going to allow my dreams to shut down. I was not going to allow no man to shut down this dream 
  5. Ticket to fame: Girls Trip
  6. Wrote: The Last Black Unicorn
  7. Appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
  8. Groupon spokesperson during a Super Bowl ad
  9. Says Halle Barre is her auntie at clubs to get in free
  10. Wil star in 2018 Night School with Kevin Hart

“It’s supposed to be now; it’s supposed to be now; it’s supposed to be now.”

Haddish in her 18 minute speech at the NY Film Critics Circle award show.

“The truth will set you free, but first, it will piss you off.”— Gloria Steinem

N.E.R.D’s incredibly fun song “Lemon” (personal favorite, actually) with Rihanna is anything but your typical feminist chant. There’s hardly anything that rings with feminist association, the word “hate” tossed around 17 times, the n-word running amuck like a chicken with its head cut off, and repetitious allusions to bath salts. You know, super feminist.

But on closer look we might just see some radical cries for equality, both racial and gender.

His part pleads:

You keep askin’ me where I’m from
About the borders and, “Did I run?”
Keep askin’ how I feel ’bout guns
There’s a light and dark army, which side you choose? Oh
If not now then when?
And if not me then who?

His lyrics call to mind discriminate stop-and-frisk tactics and the profiling young men of color face daily. If every day, this young man was treated like a criminal, like a purveyor of violence, could he really believe in himself to succeed as anything else? #Timesup never felt more relevant.  But after Black Power, Women’s Liberation:

Rihanna jumps in:

I get it how I live it
I live it how I get it

Riri, thank you for your recursive reminder. These powerful verses pack in a depth of philosophy with attitude and ferocity that makes it palatable and fun to sing to (a work of sheer genius). She “tricks” us by the simplicity of the words but it reminds us that we must shape the way for what we want; we take action and accountability to work hard for our dreams and to not fall to victimhood. HOWEVER, she acknowledges there is a cycle the one is born to. If you’re not happy with what you’ve got, you’ve got to change how you live. She reminds us that our lives are shaped by what we were given from the start, and our actions thereafter with what we’ve got.

She raps a few more lines, flaunting her potency with business, fame, and power but after she reveals with bittersweet tenderness:

Woo! This beat tastes like lunch…
But everyday, hey, wasn’t lemonade
I was afraid, once a nigga graduate
Would I be okay?
So I prayed and I played
It’s Rihanna, nigga
My constellation in space

Firstly,  as of 2009, 30% of all college students drop out after their first year; Rihanna should be lauded for her optimism.  The inequality isn’t spread equally though. At four-year institutions, black men completed their degrees at the lowest rate (40 percent), reports Tate, writer for Worse than that, unemployment for a Black/African-American person is at an all time high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics this group suffers the highest rate at 8.4%, next Latinx at 5.8, White at 4.3%, and Asian at 3.6%. A reminder that the statistics for unemployment  are defined as “people who do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work.”

“Would I be okay?” is an emotional and factual concern for her own future. Through faith and action, finally she can comfortably refer to herself in the third-person, a sure sign of success. Stars are pretty cool too.

But what about Gloria Steinem? Read more in my next post!

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