Interviewing An International Model: Miriam Odemba

Interviewing An International Model: Miriam Odemba

Happy Women’s Month!

A few days ago I had a meaningful and fun conversation with international Tanzanian model, Miriam Odemba. If you have Instagram you might want to pop on over and see what she is up to, as she is always inspirational, motivational, fun, and has the kind of beautiful smile that makes you want to smile as well!

Ms Odemba has agreed to answer some questions for us through this interview, as we celebrate women by showcasing phenomenal women who pursue their dreams and encourage others to do the same.

S: Hi! Please tell us your name and a little bit about where you are from.

M: My name is Miriam Odemba and I come from Tanzania.

S: First of all, I want to congratulate you on your success as an international model! What are some countries where you have modeled?

M: I’ve worked in Tanzania, of course, but in a lot of countries in Africa for various Miss competitions. I’ve been to Angola, South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda. That’s mainly in Africa but I worked as well in China, in the United States with Elite Model Agency, in Europe, (Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, U.K, Portugal), and of course in the Philippines for Miss Earth. I hope to visit more countries because my career is not finished yet.

S: Wow! Having seen so many places must have been very exciting! So in your travel and experience within the modeling industry, what are some differences you have noticed in how modeling is viewed in Tanzania and in other countries?

M: In Tanzania we need to have more things (in modeling). We need to develop this business. We don’t have that many modeling agencies. It is difficult to go international for models. This is why on long term I want to open my own model agency. Countries like Sudan, Senegal, Uganda they have more models. This is part of the Fashion Industry development. I think Tanzania has a role to play. We need to work hard to become international. Models are Ambassadors of their countries.

S: Well, let me ask you this: what was it like 20 years ago when you were one of the very first models there, and what changes have happened until now in 2018, for modeling in Tanzania?

M: I’m still a legend because I opened the door for next generation. There are a lot of changes because right now the young generation is more on social media and it is a good way to get some awareness. Before, when I was there (in Tanzania) it was only newspapers. Now you can be famous via Instagram.  There are a lot of opportunities for African models because the African market is developing.
The industry has started to recognize African models. Naomi Campbell, Iman, Tyra banks started the move but now there are many African models (models of African descent, and directly from Africa).

S: Okay, let’s switch gears a little. You are more than a fashion model. Please tell us about your health initiative

M: What I’m doing with this initiative and with my foundation, Run with Odemba, is trying to give education for our young generation, and to help the Maasai people. I think we have a treasure in our country, we have a specific culture and we need to bring that to the world.

S: What has been the response from the community in Tanzania in regards to your health initiative?

M: Run with Odemba is a very good project. As for me, I love to exercise. I think it is both very good for health and to feel fine. That is why I’m trying to transfer that philosophy to the young generation and I think it should be a part of education. For myself, I’m a trailblazer and a warrior. I’m unstoppable!

Exercise is key for human beings. It should be a habit from the beginning. We need infrastructure as well. In Brazil for instance they have a lot of places for training. We don’t have that in Tanzania. I think it is very important to have a sport culture in Tanzania. Once more, models they represent an image, but they are as well ambassadors of projects and countries. Running with Odemba first edition was a good success, but I intend to develop it in the future; maybe with partnerships with schools.

S: So, what are your thoughts on being a woman and being in shape? Do you think it matters and why?

M: As a woman you need to love yourself. To be proud of yourself. Wake up in the morning and think you are beautiful. It is not only about being a model but being a woman.
If you do that every morning every day you will be grateful. I’m not a perfect person but when you believe in yourself you become perfect.

S: This might be one of the tougher questions for you, because you love people, but I must ask: if you were to name your top top top most influential woman and most influential man who you see as role models, who would you name?

M: Oprah Winfrey because she has a strong speech, and she always gives good advice. For men I say, Barack Obama, because he was the first black president of United States and …he’s classy!

S: If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

M: I would encourage myself to study hard and when I get a chance not to waste it, Education is the future for everything, and most of all, I would advise to appreciate everything!

S: Please share three tokens of wisdom with young girls
M: Respect, appreciate, and love yourself.

We sincerely thank Miriam Odemba for spending some time with us here at World Moms Network! We wish her all the success possible!

This is an original interview by Think, Say, Be for World Moms Network. 

If you’d like to see more of Miriam, her modeling journey, and her health initiative, please find her on
Instagram: @MiriamOdemba
Twitter: @Odemba4


I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!

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USA: Hiking with Kids

USA: Hiking with Kids

We are approaching summer in my part of the world, which means prime hiking season! I hike with my two boys all year round, but I love this time of year when things are a bit less wet. We live along the Cascade Mountain Range, so there is no shortage of amazing vistas and gorgeous forests to explore. I have been hiking with my kids since they were babies, most often on my own. My sons are now elementary school age, and while some things have gotten easier over the years, some have not. Endurance and motivation are continual challenges.

All of those lovely photos on social media usually have some rough backstory moments. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, so we keep at it.

Today I share some tips on planning a hike and keeping little feet moving along the path.

Choosing a Trail – It’s important to start any journey with a clear plan. Map out where you will go. Depending on where you live, there are often trail websites as well as guide books available that will tell you which are good hikes for kids and when is the best time of year to go. Take into consideration the drive as well as hike length and elevation gain. Are you considering a hike to a destination such as a waterfall or lake, or do you want a no-pressure meander in the forest? Find out if there is a bathroom at the trailhead. And if you do pick a hike with water features, have a plan for when your kids get wet, because they always do.

Safety – Once you have some ideas, make sure to check weather and trail conditions online or with the closest ranger station. Provided the trail looks good and you have any required permits, you can start gearing up. Make sure to pack the 10 essentials plus extra clothes, food, drinks, books, games, and toys for the car. If you are heading to a trail that will be near any ridge, look out,  or peak, have a plan to keep little ones safe. I always liked to bring a special blanket that we called the safety mat. When we were in situations where the kids needed to stay put, I brought out the safety mat and they knew there was no leaving the blanket. You may even offer stickers or other rewards for following safety protocol. Lastly, whether you go solo with kids or with friends, have another adult who is not on the hike as your check in buddy. Let them know where you are going, when you plan to return, when you will call to check in, and where they should call if you don’t.

The Drive – Hopefully your kiddos enjoy all those goodies you packed and let you focus on the road. I always keep an eye out on the drive for fun places to stop for a meal or a treat on the way home. I keep it under wraps, but there comes a point on a longer hike when saying “let’s just get to the car, and we can go get ice cream” helps a ton.

Hiking Goals – If your kids have a concept of distance or elevation, talk to them about what you are doing. Give everyone a map if available. Or better yet, give them pencil and a little notebook and have them draw the trail with noticeable landmarks. Consider having them take photographs along the way. My kids LOVE having a camera to carry and will take tons of photos. If the kids are younger, consider picking a favorite tv or book character to pretend to be and act out an adventure on the hike. My boys loved Thomas the Tank Engine, so we’d pretend to be the engines on the narrow-gauge line up on the mountains. If your kids are older, try geocaching, because everyone loves treasure hunting.

Bribery – There is no other way to put it. I bribe my kids. If the drive is super long, they get to play extra video games in the car for being good sports and coming along. I pack treats along with all the healthy stuff. In the photo above, my boys are shown on a mountain peak. Leading up to that moment, my youngest was beginning to bonk at the site of the final climb. I let him know if he made it to the top, he could eat all the cookies before his lunch. He was thrilled, and as the photo shows, we made it. Maybe video games and cookies aren’t going to work for you, but there is something special you can do to reward all that effort.

The last piece of advice I will offer is to always know that at any time you may need to bail.

Maybe it happens on the drive or on the trail, but set a clear expectation with yourself that it will be whatever it will be, which may mean only a few feet down the path. But the more you get your kids out on the trail, the more accustomed to the work they become. And before you know it, you are on top of a mountain having the cookie party of a lifetime!

Do you explore the outdoors with your children? What tips do you have on keeping them safe and moving?

This has been an original post for World Moms Network by Tara B. Photo credit to the author.

Tara Bergman (USA)

Tara is a native Pennsylvanian who moved to the Seattle area in 1998 (sight unseen) with her husband to start their grand life adventure together. Despite the difficult fact that their family is a plane ride away, the couple fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and have put down roots. They have 2 super charged little boys and recently moved out of the Seattle suburbs further east into the country, trading in a Starbucks on every corner for coyotes in the backyard. Tara loves the outdoors (hiking, biking, camping). And, when her family isn't out in nature, they are hunkered down at home with friends, sharing a meal, playing games, and generally having fun. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and sharing her experiences on World Moms Network!

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EGYPT: The Schooling Challenges of an Egyptian Mother

EGYPT: The Schooling Challenges of an Egyptian Mother

walking into the futureSchooling years are a big challenge for parents. Often, we even regard those years as a period of crisis. For Egyptian mothers the most challenging schooling years that we experience are the final two years of high school. Those two years are called “Thanaweya Ama”.

The scores of the last year of high school determines the future of our children. Students are admitted to specific faculties in college in accordance to their scores during the last year of school. To be able to join the college they want, students need to satisfy the minimum the college has indicated for applying. Only students with very high scores can choose the path they truly desire. The rest must follow the path their scores allow. In our community the top three sought after colleges are Medicine, Engineering and Pharmacy. Most of us believe that the students who join these colleges are the smartest ones. It’s frustrating for parents when because of their scores, their child cannot realize their dream of joining one of these colleges. Actually, it’s usually the parent’s dream.

I remember what a tough year that year was for me as a student. I challenged myself to get more than 90% although the faculty of Engineering, which I wanted to join, accepted students with only an 80% score. I remember how I had to study for long long hours and the thousands of math problems I had to solve. I became addicted to it. At that time, solving math problems in different branches of mathematics became my only pleasure. I was really nervous and upset.

Sadly, the beliefs the students and the parents held, made that period of time a nightmare. It became common during the final exams to see photos of crying and screaming students in the newspapers. A household with a student in Thanaweya Ama is living an emergency crisis year.

I will live through this experience with my eldest son next year. He is in his pre-final year or let’s just call it eleventh grade. For the most part, over the years, he hasn’t been willing to work hard although sometimes he did focus on the subjects he was interested in. Usually he received good scores in the subjects that interested him but average scores in the rest of the subjects. His resulting overall score was average.

Last year, he started becoming more aware that he needs to work harder, He has begun to realize that his future will be determined by the coming years. That was really surprising and pleasing for me. He has finally begun spending longer hours working on his homework and studying, although still working on the subjects he likes. His scores at the end of last year were still average.

From my point of view, my main objective is not to ensure he gets the highest scores but that he discover his capabilities and find out how smart he is. I believe in him and in his strengths but I find that he isn’t willing to challenge himself enough.

Many mothers with children in final year recently advised me not to press him too much this year as the next year will be so long. It lasts almost 11 months as it starts in July and ends the following June. They believe that he will be under great pressure next year. I believe that he needs “to build his muscles” this years. I believe he needs to get used to exerting more effort in order to be prepared enough for the real competition.

Since the fourth grade I have let him manage on his own. I didn’t care a lot about pressuring him to get the highest scores, all I wanted is for him to learn to manage on his own. I wanted him to realize that he’s responsible and he can study on his own. The question now is what is my role in helping him find out his real potential during this period of his life? How can I motivate him without stressing him out? I’m sure that excessive stress is the biggest enemy during this year. I’ve always told him “Don’t worry about the scores. All I want you to do is to relax, believe in yourself and do your best.”.

When I think about the challenge I’m facing with him during these two years of Thanaweya Ama, I try to get a clear image of what is my main role. It’s not as easy as following up with him to see if he has finished his homework or not. Eventually I came up with the idea that helping him manage his time, taking care of his nutrition and his sleep, supporting him emotionally and motivating him are what he needs more and it’s the best I can offer him during this vital period of his life.

As a mother, do you think that’s enough? What challenges do you face with your children’s education in your country? How do you support them? How can you help other mothers overcome similar challenges?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Nihad from Alexandria, Egypt. Nihad blogs at  Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

Image courtesy of  Figure Stepping Up To His Goal” by Master isolated images,


Nihad is an Egyptian woman, who was born and has lived her whole life in Alexandria, Egypt. She says, “People who visited this city know how charming and beautiful this city is. Although I love every city in Egypt, Alexandria is the one I love the most.” She is a software engineer and has worked in the field for more than twenty years. But recently she quit her job, got a coaching certificate and she is now a self employed life and career coach. She says, “I believe that women in this era face big challenges and they are taking huge responsibilities. That's why I have chosen my niche -- women looking for happiness and satisfaction. I help and support them in making whatever change (career change, life change, behavior change, belief change…) they want to bring more satisfaction and happiness in their lives.” Nihad is a mother of two lovely boys, 15 and 9 years old. She states, “They are the most precious gifts I have ever had. I madly love them, and I consider them the main source of happiness in my life.” Our inspiring mother in Egypt can also be found at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

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WASHINGTON, USA: Unintentional Acts of Inspiration

WASHINGTON, USA: Unintentional Acts of Inspiration

edWP_20140320_10_57_40_ProI was mentally sabotaging my morning run before the day even started. I laid in bed the night before thinking about how I was getting to sleep too late after eating too much junk when I knew I was coming down with a cold. I had not set myself up for success and felt guilty. I tried to tell myself if I was that beat tomorrow, I would skip it. I woke up in the middle of the night twice for other reasons but couldn’t help but think of how I tired I would feel come morning.

As I prepped the kids for school and got through breakfast with way too much coffee, I told myself how I was not well-hydrated and would be dragging. Should I even go? I kept moving but my inner voice whispered that I could just walk today if I felt overwhelmed. That voice said, “Listen to your body. If you don’t feel up to it, don’t do it.” Then a competing inner voice mocked, “But it’s your own fault for not feeling up to it, so go suffer through it.” I carried on.

When I got to the trail, I saw flashing lights up ahead. I almost stopped, thinking I should not run that way. However, I pushed on telling myself to see what the lights were about before bailing. They were just for a parked maintenance vehicle being unloaded, so I jogged on.

I was sluggish the whole time. I felt slow, heavy and bummed about not taking better care of myself. Still, I kept going. I told myself I would cut it short if it felt like too much, but then I knew the negative self-talk would grow. My knee was a little achy, and my spirits were low. Nonetheless, I kept putting one foot in front of the other and tried to lose myself in some music.

Then I spotted a young woman I often see on the trail. She is gorgeous with long hair, bright eyes, and slim body. She usually takes long walks, and we exchange waves and smiles as I go past. Today as we crossed paths, she was jogging. She stopped and told me in a panting voice that I had inspired her to stop walking and start running the trail. I congratulated her on her efforts, and we both went on our ways. All of a sudden, I was lighter. I ran without issue. I didn’t think of my knee, my weight or my tiredness. I just ran and finished up the run on a high note.

Her simple compliment made such a difference on my perspective. This beautiful woman told me I had kicked her butt into gear. I had fallen into the trap of cutting myself down mentally while assuming this other gal had it all together. How could she not?

But we all have stuff. We all have the stories we tell ourselves.

I’m an upbeat person who usually focuses on the good, but like everybody, I have days (like today) when I focus on the bad. The fact that this gal stepped out of her comfort zone both to run and to tell me, a stranger, that I had inspired her to do so snapped my head back on straight. Her gesture reminded me of a few things that I know to be true:

1)      Just getting out and taking each step counts, even if it’s not your best performance. Looking back, I placed so many obstacles in my own path for this run, but I pushed past each one. Not my best run, but I still did it. That is worth something.

2)      There is always going to be someone achieving in an area that you are not. Someone will always be smarter, thinner, happier, healthier, wealthier, etc. It’s okay to admire or be inspired by that someone, but do not judge yourself harshly by that someone. Measure yourself against yourself.

3)      Everybody has challenges and doubts going on. Everybody. We’re human. We’re not perfect.

4)      It never hurts to tell someone, even a passerby, something nice. You may just change their whole day. You may just change their whole life. Kind words are that powerful.

My trail acquaintance probably has no idea how much her words impacted my day. When I see her next time, I’ll tell her. Plus, I feel prompted to tell someone else how they inspired me. I have been meaning for some time to tell a certain person how they unknowingly helped me to make a life change for the better. I haven’t done so yet, despite ample opportunity, because I don’t want to seem too familiar to an acquaintance. However, today has taught me that hearing you changed someone for the better is never too familiar.

Have you received an unexpected compliment that changed your day? Is there someone who has unknowingly inspired you to try something new, and have you told them?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Tara B. of Washington (State), USA.

Photo credit to the author. 

Tara Bergman (USA)

Tara is a native Pennsylvanian who moved to the Seattle area in 1998 (sight unseen) with her husband to start their grand life adventure together. Despite the difficult fact that their family is a plane ride away, the couple fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and have put down roots. They have 2 super charged little boys and recently moved out of the Seattle suburbs further east into the country, trading in a Starbucks on every corner for coyotes in the backyard. Tara loves the outdoors (hiking, biking, camping). And, when her family isn't out in nature, they are hunkered down at home with friends, sharing a meal, playing games, and generally having fun. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and sharing her experiences on World Moms Network!

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INDONESIA: Learning Through the Falls

He went gliding down the lane, arms stretched out to the side, a gleeful shout of joy escaping from his cheek-stretching grin, his speed slightly hindered by the training wheels clacking along the cobblestones. “I want to go faster!!’ my son shouted. My neighbor made the proclamation, speaking out loud the words that I have kept muted: “It is time to take off the training wheels! He is ready.”

A little over a year ago, my little man was barely able to handle the bike with training wheels. He was scared to get on the seat, afraid to ride the bike down the lane without me there, holding him up. Tired of the muscle pains that came from long walks spent crouched over, I finally made a decree: “You learn to ride on your own  or you simply don’t ride.”  This may not be the kindest way to parent, but it definitely worked. (more…)

Erin M. Threlfall

Originally from the US, Erin has credited her intense wanderlust and desire to live around the globe to her nomadic childhood. Every two to three years, her father’s work with a large international company provided the opportunity to know a different part of the US (VA, OH, PA, GA, SC, NY) and eventually Europe (Germany and Italy) and Asia (Thailand and Japan). Though her parents and siblings finally settled down in the heartland of America, Erin kept the suitcases in action and has called Ghana, South Korea, Togo, Bali, and now New York home. Single Mom to a fabulous seven-year-old citizen of the world, she is an educator and theatre artist who is fascinated with world cultures and artistic practices. Her big dream is to some day open a school focused on well-being and inquiry based learning to meet the needs of all her learners. In the meantime, Erin and her Little Man Edem, plan to keep investigating theatre and influencing education, one continent at a time. You can read some of her ramblings and perhaps find the common thread by checking our her personal blog, telling all about This Life

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