BEYOUROWN: #IWILLUSEMYVOICE X Samira Musa
In light of the recent events, we at BEYOUROWN want to develop our involvement with the #Blacklivesmatter movement and collectively stand in solidarity to help protect others who fall victim to racial hatred. We have put together a project with some of the UK's leading black female entrepreneurs from a selection of diverse industry fields, these women have written a heartfelt letter, to shed a little more light on their own personal journey throughout career and business building.
Multi-dimensional, these women highlight many aspects of the racial discrimination experienced, whether it be the invisible limitations and challenges faced due to skin colour, or the micro-aggressions, racial inequality and disgusting abuse that occurs in and out of the workplace, much of which is typically down-played, humoured and is not a true depiction of what we often see in UK mainstream media.
At BEYOUROWN we stand in solidarity, love and humanity. Furthermore, we will maintain our commitment to working consciously as a community to address and improve the conditions regards to racial inequality. We will also stand behind and support those who push for justice and fairness. We must not stay silent, for silence will simply not dismantle this alone. We must educate ourselves and others. We absolutely must protect those who are prey to racial inequality, mistreatment, pain and suffering on a daily basis. We at BEYOUROWN will continue to acknowledge our position of privilege and will use it for the greater good.
Samira Musa is a multi-disciplined, ambitious leader with 10 years of leadership experience, starting her career early at Apple. She has 8 years experience as an independent producer for BBC Films, Film4 and established independent production companies across the UK.
Her latest film work as an Associate producer includes Aisha and Abhaya, a co-Production between The Royal Ballet and Rambert, in association with BBC Films and Robin Saunders. She has 5 years experience in corporate / film finance working with the UK, US production companies and Independent documentary filmmakers.
Samira was selected in 2019, out of 100s of applicants, to represent the UK at the G20 YEA in Japan as 1 of 15 Entrepreneurs from the UK. She continues to be an active G20 YEA member today.
My personal journey to becoming an entrepreneur started when I arrived in London. I spoke fluent Somali, enough Amharic to get by and not a word of English.
Imagine this, at 6 years old, standing in the middle of the school playground, wearing what I thought was funny at the time. I couldn’t understand a word anyone was saying around me. I knew I had to learn quickly and ended up learning so fast that I was given an award for the highest achiever shortly after joining the school.
Taking you back to when I was learning English, I had the most amazing teachers. They were caring and supportive – the were my experts. The students and my neighbours where my collaborators. They gave me extra tuition at no cost and allowed me to fail in a safe space however they also taught me a few words that my teachers were quick to remove from my vocabulary. I listened to my surroundings and the TV is where I picked up my strange West London / American accent from. Films like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Lion King, Forrest Gump, Beverly Hills Cop 3 and TV shows like The Simpsons, The Fresh Prince of Bellaire, Sister was how I became infatuated with filmmaking. This all started with my eagerness to learn and observe, which I now note to be the best grounding you can have as an entrepreneur.
I’ve now had the opportunity to create films. Collaborating with incredible talented cast and crew, learning the language of filmmaking and working alongside experts in ballet, theatre and broadcast. My work now includes being the associate producer of Aisha and Abhaya, a co-Production between The Royal Ballet and Rambert, in association with BBC Films and Robin Saunders. I am also the associate producer of 4sight a Fruit Tree Media and Film 4 production showcasing black British characters in Sci-fi.
A personal high for me with filmmaking was when I stepped on set to produce my first short film ‘Fate’ in 2018. A British Somali short film that was the first film produced by an all Somali cast and crew. Shortly after this, I set up The Creative Roots. Through this, we have had the pleasure of producing work for several clients such as IoD, Click View Media and The Africa Centre to create L&D videos, social media content and promotional videos. I have also had the honour of executive producing an award-winning short film The Cost of Bronze about a woman who refuses to be erased.
My extensive experience in the film industry has opened my eyes to the lack of personal development across the board for young leaders and especially black female entrepreneurs. It is for this reason that I am now focused on Hack Camp, a coaching practice that I have set up with my co-founder Isabel Sanchez. We are on a mission to transform your life from what it could be into what you want it to be. We have both grown up consistently striving for self-development and wanted to work with emerging leaders and entrepreneurs that shared that same desire. Coaching is a phenomenal life-changing industry that a lot of young leaders and entrepreneurs do not have access to. Our aim is to make it more accessible for all.
I’d like the people to know that it is a lonely space to be an entrepreneur. As a serial entrepreneur, it’s an even tougher slog but It is also the most amazing thing you can do. The trials and challenges you face as an entrepreneur are life-altering and build your character to be more resilient. As an entrepreneur, we are often thrown into challenges that we have no idea how to handle or we aren’t equipped with the tools to communicate in that sector. I learnt early on about the value of collaboration, aligning yourself with experts, learning and failing fast.
I’d like to change the well-known mantra of go hard or go home. It’s damaging to any entrepreneur and it’s even more so to Black female entrepreneurs. You do not have to burn out to make it. Putting your mental health at the forefront of your business should be the number 1 priority.