Many black women have taken up careers and started businesses abroad because they felt that they were not well-represented and that is the same reason, Kelechi Okafor started a fitness career in the UK.
Kelechi Okafor is the founder of Kelechnekoff Fitness, her love for fitness pushed her into pole dancing.
When the owners of the studio where she taught approached her and asked if she knew how to twerk, she decided to study the dance and link it with other traditional dances.
Although, Kelechi had always loved dancing and performing, they were therapeutic for her. Kelechi had been abused as a child, so, dancing and fitness was a way to heal.
“I just didn’t think there was a way to heal. People talk about therapy, and therapy’s wonderful. I definitely advocate having a therapist, but I felt for me that there was something else. There was a kind of cathartic release that was necessary for me,” she told OkayAfrica in an interview.
With this realization, she decided to share her story and it resonated with many. As she continued with those conversations, she structured her classes more to help the emotional and the spiritual, so it could meet the physical.
Meanwhile, in Kelechi’s quest to reclaim twerking, she realized that many African women were raised to suppress their emotions with the use of the word, ‘strong.’
“People love to talk about us as strong. That’s the adjective that we always get. Now, there’s nothing wrong with strength, and vulnerability is a part of strength, but not the kind of strong that they label us with. They label us with a kind of strong that’s void of emotion.”
Thankfully, she’s changing that and helping the women in her class, which has grown to accommodate many African women, to understand that it is okay to be vulnerable.
YANGA! Is launching and I am excited! Why? Because the content will give us a wide range of entertainment programming from kids, women's interests and current affairs to comedy and drama. You can find Yanga in the UK on Sky Channel 293, at www.yangatv.com, on YouTube (YANGA UK) and @yanga_uk on social media Join the love!! #YangaUK #AD
Happy Valentine’s Day! This is a video from my Pole Dance Advanced class last night. This is what love means to me; these two women in particular saw me on social media and decided to come through and be taught by me. They’re already EXTREMELY talented yet honoured me by letting me a part of their learning without ego. Thank you @jennyjaiypole and @cutiewhippingham for being examples of #BlackGirlMagic