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Alyshia Powell talks life as a Ghanaian living in Jamaica

Model and YouTuber Alyshia Powell is still growing into her role as a cultural liaison between Africa and the Caribbean. This year, this fashion icon, along with her sprint royalty husband, Asafa Powell, took a couple visits to her native Ghana after introducing the country to her family.

We caught up with “The Powells” star to talk about being an unintentional trans-Atlantic ambassador, living in the public eye, and championing vulnerability and transparency for women everywhere.

How has living in Jamaica been? What are the main challenges and opportunities you have experienced since living there? 

Alyshia: Living in Jamaica has been great, but I’ve had some down moments as well. What I love is experiencing a new culture, and how beautiful the country is. One major challenge would be that it’s new to me. Leaving family and friends behind can be hard. Leaving familiarity behind to adjust to a new environment is difficult, but I am now definitely getting into the groove of things and loving it. 

Do you think your Ghanaian heritage has helped you assimilate to life in the Caribbean? 

Alyshia: Most definitely. My Ghanaian culture has kept me on the right track. I didn’t even realize how much I carried the culture with me until my recent visit. Ghana has made me the woman I am today as a whole. It also helped me hold my own, move to Jamaica and continue to be proud of my heritage. It has honed my kindness, and my strength. It’s helped me adjust for sure. 

Your family’s YouTube channel has catapulted you even further into the public eye. How has that journey been for you?

Alyshia: Being in the public eye has definitely been an adjustment for me. Initially, starting our family YouTube channel was a way for us to cope during the pandemic, because it kept us busy. It didn’t cross my mind that this would have made me a public figure so to speak. I was scared to speak publicly at first, but by adjusting to my new world, I am now learning to use my voice in a positive way, by displaying the type of woman I am online, flaws and all; owning my identity.

You often use your platform to speak about important issues that women deal with everyday. Why is doing this important to you? 

Alyshia: It’s important for me to use my platform to talk about issues that many may shy away from – especially issues regarding us women. It’s okay to be vulnerable. That way, we get to teach younger women to make better choices and also be better versions of themselves. The only way forward is to break cycles and evolve as a whole. So, I chose to be vulnerable and that can be hard due to being judged. But I hope that in some way I am impacting some young women positively.

Your recent trip to Ghana represents the importance of the African diaspora returning to our homeland of Africa. This is something most Caribbean folks overlook – we don’t realize we are Africans too. If there was one message you could share with the diaspora about why it’s important to experience Africa, what would you say? 

Alyshia: It’s important to experience Africa because that’s where we all came from. We are one no matter what. The similarities alone say it all. Educating ourselves on our history is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Taking control of that narrative, realizing that as we unite we grow stronger. We are all one, so it’s definitely an important trip to make. It’s life changing in a good way. It’s also a way to appreciate and see what our ancestors endured. There’s nothing more powerful than knowing your identity; there’s strength in that.

We see you as an ambassador of African and Caribbean relations, whether you’re doing it consciously or not. And, you’re only just getting started! Do you see yourself that way, and if so, what plans or goals would you like to accomplish in this sphere? 

Alyshia: I don’t think I consciously see myself as an ambassador for African and Caribbean relations, but I am slowly fitting into that role. This is especially true after my recent visit to Ghana. It’s so important for me to bridge that gap. I will continue to use my platform to bring awareness to that. There’s so much we can do together, as it’s never too late for Africa and the Caribbean to unite and work together. I loved seeing how much Africa wants that connection to happen as well. 

Follow @millerpowell_alyshia

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