“Life has no rewind button.”
“God gave you two ears and one mouth so you can listen more.”
“You can do anything. You just have to learn.”
“Don’t be a follower; always be a leader.”
These are the words that replay in my head from my mother’s wisdom.
Chucha Studios is inspired by the legacy of my mother and the women who raised me. It transforms the art of visual storytelling using different mediums into systemic change. It’s a tool and platform that honors and tells the story of our community.
For us, by us, to us.
The Village of Women honors the legacy of all my mothers and sisters. It displays the essence of the Chucha Studios.
We are built by a Village of Women.
I grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I lived with my grandmother and my mother in a little town named Bela. Bela was a dream. I learned how to play soccer and volleyball, how to grow corn and string beans. My childhood was filled with love and surrounded by strong women.
In 2008, I moved to the United States to live with my aunts for school, for the education system in Ethiopia was not the best. At this time, I had not seen my mother in over a year since she was getting treatment for her back issues in the United States. It seemed as though her health was not getting any better. However, I was not ready to face that battle within myself, I rather chose to ignore what was wrong with her and spend each moment with her. She was my best friend and the funniest person I ever met.
It was in 2019 when my life changed completely. I was burdened with the news that my grandmother and mother passed away. It changed my whole perspective on life. I was 13 and lost the two most important people in my life. However, I was given love and support through my aunts: The Village of Women. I gained two angels and a whole village to raise me.
“Do not follow others. Make your own path.”
“Your trauma does not define you.”
“You are the survivor, do not let anyone victimize you.”
I took that pain of loss and turned it into love. I wanted to create a whole where my mother’s and grandmother’s legacy would live on. This meant sharing love and uplifting our community.
It would be dishonest not to share this story when launching Chucha Studios. This initiative is a vessel to support our community and to ensure everyone has access to our stories.
Not only for the privileged and the educated. But for us, by us, to us.