5 lessons from Nipsey Hussle’s life, times and posthumous legacy

It’ s been a year since rapper Nipsey Hussle untimely death (31 march 2019). Read here a blog post inspired by his devastating death last year that never saw the publish light.

May he continue to rest in perfect peace.


Unless you have been living under a rock or on a lost island somewhere, I’m sure you’ve heard of the tragic passing of hip-hop artist, Nipsey Hussle (Born Ermias Asghedom on 15 August 1985), fatally shot in Los-Angeles on April the 1st 

The news of his death sent a shock wave throughout his worldwide community of fans and hip-hop lovers.

The social media frenzy around his death has sparked so many questions and conversations about him, his music but also general topics like the public reaction’s (overreaction some says) to celebrity deaths, how we pay respect to people only after they die, leaving the rest of the world wondering “who is Nipsey Hussle”?

But what is important is that the world has been able to discover the impact of his legacy, that of a conscious rapper, community activist and entrepreneur.

So here are lessons I learnt from his life and career that has impacted millions of young fans.

  1. Stay authentic, it is a major key to success

In every interview, numerous tributes about him, either by fellow artists, fans or friends, he is always described has “A real one”. Nipsey has undeniably stayed true to himself and his beliefs. Nipsey was an already known and established West Coast rapper for 15 years, with acclaimed mix-tapes and impressive body of work. His slow progression from underground to mainstream artist is a testament to this. He always made it clear that he will succeed, but in his own way. This is one of the quality traits that has earned him a worldwide, yet underground, cult following.

  1. Stay consistent, even if others don’t understand your plans

In 2013, Nipsey was mentioned in Complex Magazine (A prominent american man magazine dedicated to hip-hop culture and urban culture) list of 10 Most underachieving rappers. According to them, after a promising debut, Nipsey was struggling to breakthrough and establish himself, basically declaring him a has-been artist. Not only Nipsey rubbished their critics in a very interesting follow-up interview, but he stayed consistent to his music, his passion for authentic hip-hop that resonated with his life, and by consistently doing things in his own way and according to a clear mind map. Fast forward to 2018, after 14 years of consistent underground grind, he started getting the recognition he deserved by his peers, legends of the industry, media and the bigger public. He dropped his very first album project at 32 (almost retirement age for most rappers) rightfully titled Victory Lap.

Nipsey’s mindset clearly taught us that you’re the only one who needs to understand the game plan to your life and passion projects. Others will catch up, eventually.

  1. Celebrate your roots, they are your strengths

Nipsey is of Eritrean origin from his father. In every interview and lyrics, Nipsey was always celebrating his roots. Going back to his fatherland a few years ago, meeting his dad’s relatives has shaped his artist’s identity. At his memorial, his family and the Eritrean community made sure to highlight this very important aspect. Knowing where he came from gave him a bigger purpose in life. Nipsey, like many US artists of second-generation African immigrants are building a bridge, fostering a dialogue and redefining African identify in the US and worldwide

  1. Give back to your community

Now I think this is why Nipsey Hussle’s death shocked his community in Los-Angeles so much. Nipsey dedicated a huge part of his life to working towards improving the lives around him. He was part of numerous initiatives that positively impacted his area of Crenshaw such as: A barbershop, a public art space (Destination Crenshaw) set to honor black heritage in L.A, a clothing and apparel clothes shop, the Marathon store (a partnership with Puma was signed earlier), a STEM academy to support Math and Sciences literacy among the youth and a co-working space hub for entrepreneurs plus investments in property to revitalize the neighborhood. His investments into all these lifestyle, tech and community ventures, investments and donations have been estimated to 210 413 500 US millions and have impacted approximately 41 000 people in his neighborhood. (source:

  1. Be Inspirational. Have a bigger purpose in mind

His mindset and life has shown his commitment to a bigger picture. As he said it through numerous interviews he was not there for a quick shot at fame, nor money. But because he really wanted to make a long lasting impact, flip the script on what a rapper’s career is supposed to look like. Being a successful rapper to him was second to owning his intellectual property, creating generational wealth that would benefit his family and community. Hence his beloved tagline, “the Marathon’’, to illustrate that he was in there for the long race, the bigger picture and not a short shot at fame. His rap lyrics are really inspirational and true to his beliefs and values.

It is truly sad that Nipsey’s life has been cut short (and even more sad in the same community he was working at improving), just when he was about to blow up, get the recognition he deserved and share his enormous potential, knowledge and gift with the world. Ermias Asghedom quit a life of teenage street gangs’ affiliations to educate, uplift and motivate the youth around him. May his posthumous legacy bring in the real changes, light and love he tirelessly advocated for.

RIP Nipsey. The Marathon continues.

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5 lessons from my blogging struggles (Fall seven times, get up eight !)

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If you’ve ever stopped on my blog, you might have read that few years ago, I was in a stage in my life where I needed an outlet to express myself, reflect on some issues that affects me and possibly connect and network with other people. And that it really took me few years to execute my vision. However, despite my strong passion for blogging and sharing ideas with the world, last year I realized how difficult it is to stay committed and put out consistently content. I can’t believe my last post here was in March. A whole full year. Where did the time go?

So, here are 5 lessons I have learned over the past year:


HERStory part 3: what does Nzinga’s story mean to me?


Many of you have been asking the meaning of my blog’s name. Here is the reason why I chose Queen Nzinga as the muse of this blog.

A long time ago, while I was a student in Belgium, I discovered a (now defunct) French magazine called Divas. It was a magazine for Afro-descendants’ women.

Besides the usual articles found in a woman magazine -fashion, health and sex pages- there was a history column that fascinated me. Each month they profiled prominent figures of the African diaspora history (from Africa to Europe and the West-indies).

As I did all my schooling in European schools, I have never ever learned anything about African history.

I knew very well the story of Napoleon and Mary Antoinette, but I didn’t know a single thing about my history and my people.

This is where I first learned about Nzinga, and it was a revelation. Un-learning what I have been taught in euro-centric curriculums and discovering a hidden part of our history has, since then, stirred a passion in me for learning and sharing our stories.

As the saying goes: “As long as history will be written by hunters, lions shall never be glorified”.

So, my blog content will be a back and forth between the past and the present, in the hope of bridging the knowledge gap.

I’ll dig into our history and help revive the glorious stories of our ancestors.  I’ll also continue to provide articles on today’s trending topics. Just like Divas, my favorite magazine of that time, has inspired me to stand tall, knowing my people came from greatness, I hope my blog will touch, inspire, uplift and inform a few.

What should you expect from my blog then? A monthly series on African (or Afro-descendants) figures and what their story means to us today; regular profiles of modern queens; and of course, current articles on my favorite topics: blogging, digital marketing, PR, pop culture and other topics related to self-development.

So, join me on this amazing journey of learning (and un-learning!) and self-discovery. Let’s follow in Nzinga’s (and all other amazing queens) footsteps and create a tribe of fearless, dedicated and opinionated women whose ideas, projects and initiatives will impact real changes on our continent. Let’s fix each other’s crown and let’s all be awesome.

This is a 3-parts series articles to  narrate the story of queen Nzinga and her significance for this blog.

You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

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