"It’s not easy to figure out what we want in life; personally it took me years to figure it out.
Today I know that my dream is to achieve something that will be remembered
so every day when I wake up I focus on making a step in that direction."
- Sonia Aicha
• T H E I N T E R V I E W •
Health and Lifestyle Edition
If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
It would be Sonia Rolland the French actress. She is everything I admire. As the first African-born winner of Miss France pageant, her dedication to show that an African woman can accomplish big things outside of the continent is an example for all African women in Europe and North America. She is a living proof that beauty is not everything. She took acting classes and built her own career. She stood against violence done to women and took kickboxing classes to defend herself. She embraced her black skin color and her African hair and she is very engaged in the black community. She is a real motivation for me and I would definitely be honoured if she plays me.
Tell us two things that make you smile.
When I see a rainbow I smile and get excited. For me it’s a sign of life’ timelessness, a new day to come and positive perspectives to embrace.
I can’t resist to red roses, I know..I’m such a girl sometimes ☺
What do you love about yourself?
From a very young age I knew I had good observations skills, just like a sixth sense. I can feel someone energy and most of the time I know if his or her intentions are good or not.
What is your to-go herb?
Thyme. It’s full of vitamins and it’s also a great option to reduce pimples and acne. It helps to lower blood pressure and to relieve coughs and sore throat, it’s a must have!
What is the first thing you grab when you have a cold?
My favourite old turtleneck sweater. My dad gave it to me 12 years ago and I always feel better when I put it on.
Name two people who influenced your journey thus far
With no hesitation, my parents.
My mother has a very strong personality. Life has not always been easy for her but she never gave up. Her strength and her faith in a better tomorrow influenced me in being less pessimist in life and she always has my back.
My dad is a man with strong values, he believes in honesty, responsibilities and hard work. He has always encouraged me to be the best in everything. He has never treated me like a little girl and when I was a child he used to tell me that I can do better than a boy, be smarter than a boy and become more successful than a man. He taught me to be independent at a very young age and this education influenced it me in school, in the way I carry myself and in every decision I take. I could never be grateful enough for their support and guidance.
What have you been reading lately?
"Me Before You" – by Jojo Moyes.
It’s about two random persons with nothing in common who at the end will mean everything to each other. I think love is not predictable, that’s what makes it special.
This love story was also made into a film.
What are the three destinations of your dreams?
Greece, Brazil and Angola.
I’m very passionate about these countries’ history, culture and traditions.
What cities do you represent?
With my parents traveling a lot for work, I had the chance to discover different countries and cultures. If you ask me where I feel like home, I will say Dakar, Niamey, Paris and Montréal. Each city represents a part of my life and I deeply believe that the person that I am today is a mix of my experiences in these cities.
How would you describe your fashion style?
What are your two favorite quotes of the moment?
- "If you want a thing done well, do it yourself." - Napoleon Bonaparte
- "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." – C. S. Lewis
Tell us one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
- I have a master degree in international relations and political sciences. People are always surprised to know that beside Fashion and art, I have strong political views and I’m socially engaged.
- I travel a lot for pleasure and work but I fear crashing. I’m scared of turbulences; I can’t do anything when the plane shakes. I always call my whole family before take off ☺
For you, Art is...What are you thankful for?
My life. It has not always been easy or exactly what I want but I certainly can’t complain. God blessed me with so much love, happiness and good health. He never gave up on me when it was hard for me and I know he watches over me.
According to you, what is the purpose of life?
I think it’s to find the way to become the best version of you and to be happy with it. It’s easy to be envious of others and think they have a better life than us. We focus so much on the negative sides of our lives, on our imperfections, we forget that nothing and no one is perfect. Most of the time what stops us from being happy is that envy. As soon as it stops being oriented on others and becomes oriented on us, we realize that the only competition we really have is ourselves.
Connect with here: @sonia_aicha
Photos, courtesy of Sonia Aicha
The Nice to Meet You Interview is Aile Rėve's signature. It is our way to soulfully connect with the artist and visionary. The NTMY allows us to take off for a voyage into the furthest reaches of their mind, with love, humility, and poetry.
Anaëlle Naná Moon Oyå