she shapes the city

Bidanya Barassa ~ Lifestyle Advocate & Marketing Consultant

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Bidanya thinks that more Kenyans should eat Sukuma Wiki. “It means to push the week on, to push on till the end of the week when you can buy your chicken” she explains, Bidnaya is concerned about the current generation’s fixation on “Nyama Choma” because of its health consequences.

A responsible lifestyle is a driving force for Bidanya, four years ago she managed to beat colon cancer and now she believes that she needs to share the lessons she learnt. “The cancer work is my purpose, it’s something I need to do. There are so many people dying of this disease, people are so scared of it” she says. She has just been nominated as Brand Ambassador of the Nairobi Hospice and frequently volunteers for Cancer Awareness raising events. Bidanya is also a force on social media, with over four thousand followers on twitter, a popular blog and an instagram account. She uses her platforms “to be the voice of people living healthy.”

Though this “social element” is what really excites her that is not all that occupies Bidanya’s time. She is a Marketing Consultant working with big corporations and helping them to get into mobile money. She has known from university days that she wanted to be into the marketing world and has big plans, she says “my dream has always been to run my own business that has always been my aspiration.” There was a time though when she had to make a choice between marketing and a successful modelling career. She was a finalist for MNet’s Face of Africa, much to the delight of the fellow Kenyans, and had a constant stream of modelling assignments. It was never a dilemma for Bidanya though, modelling had helped pay the bills through student days but she knew the career path that she wanted ran in another direction.

Born and bred in Nairobi, Bidanya is a self confessed “town girl” but she is concerned about the changes that have taken place in her town. She says that she had “A very humble upbringing in an ok area on the outskirts of the city” however it was a community driven place where everyone knew their neighbour’s neighbour. She has memories of playing “Bladder” outside with her cousins. They used tyre inner tubes and tried not to get tangled up. Now she sees kids hanging out in the bars and fancy hotels “Maybe because their parents don’t have time, they’re working too hard, making a living.” The new Nairobi is “too closed in” for Bidanya’s liking, the wrong food and a sedentary lifestyle.

Bidanya also worries about security in Nairobi. “I want to start a family and I want to raise kids in a safe environment” she explains. For now though she is focusing on raising cancer awareness, promoting healthy living and building a marketing empire. It seems like she has a lot to be doing in the meanwhile.

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