Why I have decided to go public

I see some of you go “really Fatime did you have to write a post to explain yourself?” here’s your reply: “yes, I needed to write this.”
Most of my friends know I am a private person. In 2011, I made a drastic change in my life. I had started wearing the veil. Up until that point, I had been quite obsessed with oversharing online. Posting daily updates on Facebook was a ritual. I constantly had to shop for new clothes, improvise outings with classmates and trips to the mall, just for the sake of taking pics. I would hang out with a friend and be bored to death, but still take nice pictures to make it seem like we were having the time of our lives. Yea, that was shallow, I know.

Irving Texas

As I had started donning the hijab, my perspective on life had completely changed. I valued genuine connections with people, and I had learned to appreciate my privacy more. I also had started writing more, because I wanted to be known for my capabilities, my talents, and all those beautiful traits that transcended my appearance. That was, honestly, the BEST years of my life so far.

Nacogdoches, Texas


When I came back in Cameroon, I started blogging in 2018. The more I posted about my story, the more I was getting asked:
“Are you serious you lived in the US for 7 years”?
“Why did you come back?” in an angry, confused tone
“But couldn’t you just stay there?”
“Were you also wearing hijab in the US?” (uh, yeah)

At work, in my neighborhood and in gatherings, people were constantly confused about my identity. They could hardly put me into a box. For most people, I look like “any Fulani girl” out there. I mean, I am dark skinned, I wear traditional African clothes, I wear an Islamic headscarf AND I speak Cameroonian French. On the outside, I look “normal”.

Garoua, Cameroon

At work, in my neighborhood and in gatherings, people were constantly confused about my identity. They could hardly put me into a box. For most people, I look like “any Fulani girl” out there. I mean, I am dark skinned, I wear traditional African clothes, I wear an Islamic headscarf AND I speak Cameroonian French. On the outside, I look “normal”.

But the moment I start talking, something happens. Barriers break down. Stereotypes are dispelled, and people are taken aback. We all realize that I am, in fact, VERY different. I am a mosaic of cultures, and I bring something new to the table. Alhamdulillah*.

I truly enjoy sharing my story and I believe that pictures will be the best way for me to communicate my life experience. So, for now, I am going public. 

I will show you the places I have been, the people I have met, and all the beautiful lessons I learned along the way. Once you actually see me on those pictures, you will get to understand who I am and why I do the things I do. Haha. Are you ready? Bismillah*, let’s do this. 

Sincerely, 

Rose Du Sahel 

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