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Peninnah Weigewa - young and determined 

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The second and third generations of African descendents are now part of the multicultural population in Europe. The majority of them grow-up within the European culture and have only scanty knowledge about the African culture. Similar to the situation in the Americas, many would like to know more about their roots and some visit Africa regularly. Afritopic had a chat with a young lady of African descent, Peninnah Weigewwa. In a relaxed and fairly optimistic manner, Peninnah talks about herself and her career aspirations.
 
I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and speak English and Swahili apart from the German language. My mother is a Kikuyu from Kenya and my father a German. I left Kenya at the age of 2 with my mother to live in Germany where I grew up with my stepfather, who is a Swiss. I was able to learn Swahili due to frequent visits to Kenya with my mother and conversations with my Kenyan relatives. Unfortunately, I have not been able to pick up the native dialect of the Kikuyu tribe.
I love Kenya and Africa as a whole. But I practically grow-up here in Germany and I am used to life here. Germany is therefore my home. So, I feel and behave like a German when in Germany. 

I admire the African easy-going, relaxed lifestyle and really enjoy mixing as well as conversing with people when I am in Kenya. I find it fascinating to see people laughing and children joyful despite the fact that they have little in comparison to the situation in Germany.  

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Peninah Weigewa
 
I started with the junior school in 1993 and I am now in the Gesamtschule (German Grammar School). My favorite subjects include English and Geography. While thinking about modeling as an option, I would like to make a career in journalism. I am interested in traveling and writing as a journalist. I can imagine myself working as a foreign correspondent for a newspaper or magazine. The more adventurous my task is, the better.

If I am lucky to have a job in the modeling sector, I would prefer fashion modeling. Alternatively, I could combine journalism with my interest in fashion to become a fashion journalist. I hope to prepare myself in every possible way to achieve my career goals. Meanwhile, I have to focus on my schoolwork in order to obtain the Abitur (German Advanced Level School Certificate). The opportunities available at my school remind me of the situation in Kenya where school fees are charged. This creates a situation in which only the privileged few have the chance to attend secondary schools. The Universities are even more expensive. Many families have to struggle to meet the financial burden of education. Still, I never met anyone expressing bitterness. The people are open-minded and friendly. This is amazing.

 

Peninah's data

Full Name Peninah Weigewa
Age 17 years
Nationality Kenyan/German
Height 172cm
Eyes Color brown
Dress Size 34/36 (German)
Shoe Size 38 (German
Languages Swahili, German, English
Hobbies Tennis and Fashion
Career Goals Fashion Model/Journalism
 
Africa, with its beautiful landscapes is magnificent. I would not mind living and working in Africa. But I need financial security as an additional motivation factor. I would like to help people living in poverty. I would like to be in a position to organize homes for the homeless and provide basic amenities for the needy. I will not live in Africa, if am not in a position to help. I am afraid that I will not be able to cope with the situation of living in an environment where many people are deprived.
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Growing up in Germany and integrating into the German society has not been very difficult. My family helped me to overcome the bad feelings I used to have when people stared at me because of my complexion or ask irritating questions. Sometimes, the behavior of the people got on my nerves. My mother told me that some people are inquisitive and others are simply ignorant and stupid. She told me to be myself and accept the friendliness of those who offer me genuine friendship. I followed her advice. Today, I am capable of handling people's disturbing or discriminating attitudes. In such situations, I reserve the rights to ignore the person's stupidity or send him/her to hell.
 
The African part of me is displayed in my extrovert character. I try to communicate with other people irrespective of their nationality. My family is very important for me and I take my friends seriously. I am always ready to defend my friends in cases where I feel their actions are justified and they acknowledge my strong personality. Most of them are Germans, including two close Afro-German friends. I usually go out with one of my close friends. We sometime go shopping, chill out in our favorite spot, go to the movies or check out the dancing clubs and parties.

In the past, I listened to Rhythm & Blues most of the time. That has changed. I have developed interest in all sorts of music apart from classics. Recently, I listened to African Gospel music and was very impressed. Though, I sometimes play tennis, my main hobby is fashion. I may be tagged 'fashion fanatic'. I can recite the history of the major fashion moguls including their dates of birth.

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My favorite fashion labels include Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry and for perfumes Gucci is one of my choices. I am of the opinion that the relatively high prices of most designer labels are justified. One should be ready to pay the price for exclusive fashion or lifestyle. The exclusivity and class would be lost if the quality designer products were cheaply priced. At present, I cannot afford most of the fashion products I like but I hope to in the future.

Modeling as well as journalism could be demanding professions. This, I am aware of. I can cope with stress especially if what I am doing is interesting. I love fashion and I am greatly interested in journalism. My goal is to be professionally engaged in either or both of the sectors. Hopefully, in five years from now, I would have found my place and come nearest to reaching goal.

Afritopic 2004
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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