I CHOOSE – Celebrating women’s month with Natasha Faith N’guni
Natasha is a woman who never lets insurmountable obstacles stand in her way nor define her.
In the face of a rare illness that would debilitate others, she took control of her narrative and literally tells her story, as a photographer, radio personality and entrepreneur. This is why she is our second choice for #ICHOOSE campaign.
GIRAFFE CREATIVES: Tell us your name and your profession
NATASHA FAITH N’GUNI: My name is Natasha Faith Nguni. I am a photographer and also a radio host. I run my own photography business called Legacy Photography Zambia, which began in 2015. We specialize in wedding photography.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Bold, outgoing, unique
Our women’s day theme is #IChoose. As a woman who is pioneering in your field, what does being able to choose your vocation and thrive in it mean to you?
For me, it means choosing something that you are passionate about. When you are passionate about something, you’ll make sure you do everything with excellence. I could have chosen a whole lot of other career opportunities but I chose photography because it’s something that I’ve actually got a passion for and enjoy doing. It’s something I love to do.
Photography is a very male-dominated field and having an opportunity to choose to thrive in it was something that I took as a challenge. I also think one of the things that helped me was the fact that I come from a family that’s very talented and my parents raised us up to discover our talents.
Why is celebrating Women’s day important to you?
It’s important for us to celebrate women’s achievements. We live in a society where, sadly, a lot of women like to bring each other down so when we have an opportunity to celebrate each other with our highs and our lows I think it is great and uplifting. It helps women see what other women have been able to achieve and that encourages them.
What inspired you to choose your career?
I can’t really say I knew that I’d be a photographer. I used to take pictures at church using a phone or home cameras with my sisters. My pastor saw the photographer in me and he told me to take it up as a career.
There is a couple from the United States who are photographers, they came to Zambia and offered a very short training course in photography. I went for it and I discovered it was something that was fun. I didn’t know I could do such things with cameras so that’s basically where it came from.
What is most fulfilling about your career?
What is most fulfilling is, I call it a superpower, having the power to freeze memories in time. (It means) giving people an opportunity to look back at the memories that they created and reminisce.
What challenges do you face as a woman in your industry and how do you overcome them?
Most people don’t think women can do certain things so, in the beginning, I had a challenge when people would ask “what do you do?” I’d say, photography and they would be like “hmmm? A lady? Are you even good?” I think that was one of the biggest challenges, trying to squeeze myself into an industry that didn’t seem as if it was going to be able to accommodate me as a female. It was difficult but you know networking and learning from others has helped me. It was one of the times that pushed me to do better.
Those challenges helped me become the person and the photographer that I am today.
How can women better enable and support each other?
For me, it’s the small things that count. If you see a friend or family member who has started a business, a little thing like sharing it on your status can make a difference. You have no idea, maybe their next client is on your contact list. Even words of encouragement, connecting them to other people. There is power in the tongue. You don’t know what the next person is looking for and the person that you know who is running a business might actually need that person. I just think it’s the small things that count.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
I would tell my younger self to be more confident (because) I lacked confidence and always hid in the shadows of my sisters or my parents. And I would also tell myself to be bolder, to love yourself for who you are, and just be uniquely you.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I bake, that’s one thing most people don’t know about me. I bake cakes and I just don’t talk about it as much because I think it’s overshadowed by photography and radio.