Phenomenal woman Sha’ahn Williams speaks to every woman on her inspiration for her role in His Majesty Herself, her experiences in college and high school, her experience with Yah and being a Messianic Jew, and how important it is to have a support system, especially when you are a single mother. Here are some of the highlights of an interview I had with this very singular lady:
I asked Sha’ahn to tell me about your inspiration for your role of Hatshepsut in “His Majesty, Herself”, and she gave some surprising details that I actually did not know about the ancient Egyptian female pharaoh. “She was a phenomenal woman…who ruled Egypt for 22 years during the Golden Years.” “People believed women could not embody the Spirit of Horus,” Sha’ahn stated, referring during the interview to how ancient Egyptian pharaohs believed that they were gods, and that women could not possibly embody a male god. Ms. Williams spoke about some characteristics that Hatshepsut possessed that she would like to emulate, stating she wanted “to be ambitious…and driven like her.” The actress asserts that just as Hatshepsut did, she tries “not to let stereotypical gender roles” tie her down.
When asked about her years in school, especially high school, Sha’ahn looked back on them fondly. “High school was awesome. I loved it…It was a very nurturing school artistically.” “Going to a school for the arts allowed me to express myself in all ways.” She mentioned dancing in the halls at her school, the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Art in Philadelphia, where she majored in Dance and Theatre Arts, and also remarked that it was just like the hit television series Fame, where they danced in the hallways and threw down in competitions. When it came to college, she attended Temple University, and although she mentioned that she “learned a lot of lessons,” Sha’ahn still affirmed that she “really enjoyed Temple (University).” Some of the lessons she learned involved time management, how to budget, and people skills. An example of a phenomenal woman holding her own, Ms. Williams worked almost 40 hours a week on top of going to school full-time! Talk about dedication! She graduated with a B.A. in Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media in the year 2000.
On being a single mother, and the message that she would like to send to other single mothers trying to pursue a career, our phenomenal woman Sha’ahn had a lot to say. Her first bit of advice: “It’s tough, but you just have to be goal-oriented, driven, and patient.” She also talked about the balance you have to strike in being a mother and a career woman. “Balancing home life and my ambitions and my goals is a balancing act!” Balance seemed to be the key to Ms. Williams’ success in this area. Her final piece of advice was this, “My advice would be to try and find that balance and put your kids first…I honestly think [my success]…it’s because I put my son first…I made sure he was 100% taken care of. I think some people mess up because they put their kids to the side.”
Sha’ahn also talked about how she believed that Yah blessed her, through her being dedicated to putting her son first, with success. Yah is the Messianic Jew’s name for God, and Sha’ahn is a proud Messianic Jew.
When describing her walk, she says in the beginning “I went from being one of those people who went to temple on or two days a week…to not going at all.” Then, she stated, ‘I went to temple 4-5 days a week and was very religious, but these days I’m more spiritual and less dogmatic.’ “It’s definitely a work in progress,” she stated, but she also said that she has gotten a lot closer to Yah and has obviously not lost sight of her faith on the road to stardom. “I try to go with my spirit, do what I feel led to do, so that it would be successful,” she claims is the key to her success in her career.
This woman, gifted in so many areas is an inspiration to us also of a woman of faith, a woman who is an over-comer of adversity, and a woman who has true star power. Star power is not just in the awards that you’ve won or the work that you do, but it is also in the:
…the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Sha’ahn Williams. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
Check out her Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/ShaahnW?ob=0&feature=results_main. Hope you enjoyed this spotlight on the phenomenal Sha’ahn Williams!