Deqa Elmi-Buursma

Name: Deqa Elmi

Age: 24

Location: Accra, Ghana

Occupation: School librarian, nurse at Liberty American School

Where did you come from: I was born in Somalia but after the Civil war my family and I migrated to Kenya where I lived until I was 13 years old before moving to America.

A Fear: Fear of failure. The thought of not doing things right scares me. I know some people say that fear helps to protect us, makes us be alert and prepares us to deal with our fear but in my case I hate the feeling of being fearless. I think this is one of my weakness in life.

A Goal: Be happy, healthy, have close friendship, exploring, being inspired and appreciating beauty. One example is I love fashion and being artesian in my own wardrobe. I would like to think I am my own person. When it comes to that I express myself through my style and I wear what makes me feel gracefully at ease. I hope one day to have my own store which will be full of international goods. With that said, I would like to build a successful business from scratch.

A Memory: A recent one is, my husband Derek and I visited Kenya. It was Derek’s first time and for me (10 plus Years). The memories of my childhood came floating back. Derek and I talked about our homelands and about the experiences of living. The more we talked and shared memories, questions like how long I’ve been gone came to mind and you realize that here (home) has gone on without you. People have grown up, they’ve moved, married, they’ve become completely different people and so have I. It’s hard to deny that the act of living in another county, in another language really changes you. Sometimes I felt that so much has happened in my absence, that so much has changed. The feeling of being an outsider trembled my mind and fear starts to tremble and weaken me as I think back of the memories found there. Some people might say you are different when you move to a new county but I have matured and accumulated a lot of wisdom over the years in the two places I call home.

A Hero: My mother. Like a lot of single moms, she had to struggle to work and care for eight children and at the time in an unfamiliar county, language and culture. Seeing her over come challenges in life, instilled in me the sense that I can do anything.

A Prized Possession: My wedding ring. My ring is a sign of love and fidelity between myself and husband, I cherish the memories and relationship it symbolizes.

I Want Less: Stuff and things that clutter and take away space. I want to make memories not take up space with non meaningful things.

I Want More: TRAVEL!

What would you change about the world: Human nature. For humans to put ethics before greed, and courage before fear. And to take away the illusion of body image so people can see the heart and character of the person.

What do you love about yourself: My natural hair. Growing up, I hated my hair because I never knew how to take care of it. Now, I love my hair, its BIG, CURLY and GORGEOUS.


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