Voice to Voice with Mariama, poet and advocate and Djénéba

Voice to Voice is a series of questions and answers on wellness, creativity and arts between Mariama, a poet and women’s rights advocate and Djénéba, founder of Sɛbɛnni Ni Taama. It is a conversation between two creatives willing to flourish and  learn from each other journeys.  If you have missed the first part, here it is.

Mariama writes poetry in French and English, she describes herself as a “an extraordinary nobody who writes ordinary wonders” you can discover her words throughout this post and in her brand-new instagram La Chenille Râleuse.

Djénéba’s answer – Mariama’s question

As everybody is reflecting on the ending decade, what are the things and events from the past ten years that make you proud of yourself and the road you travelled?

This past decade has been eventful, I have done more than what I have ever done in my entire life, for 10 years ago I was 18 years old and decided to fly on my own. Since then, I moved places, learnt languages, met genuine and loving friends that turned into family, earned degrees and a few certificates, worked in rewarding environments, launched a website, travelled but also struggled finding the right opportunities in order to thrive, many things did not come easily, I surely had difficulties navigating my path.

The things that make me proud of myself are not events, even less achievements but the spiritual growth, the mental awareness, the development, how I overcome those challenges, turning a stifling place into a breathing space. Of course, I am also proud that I did not give up, even though it was tempting on numerous occasions. I am just starting to understand where those struggles come from, starting the new decade with more compassionate, being more in touch with my feelings.

I must also add some skills and habits I acquired such as waking up early by myself, daily jogging, being more active, writing, blogging, podcasting, public speaking, foreign language skills, copying skills. It is really not what is seen that makes me proud of the road I travelled but what is unseen.

Mariama’s answer – Djénéba’s question

Which poems have you written recently that helps you move forward every time?

I wouldn’t qualify the following poems recent, except for the last one which I wrote this month. Nonetheless, they are all very dear to my heart and give me comfort and strength to keep having faith in myself and move on.  


“Promised Road

L/L, Eventually

Mais pourquoi la représentation

Leaving in order to be


Le Futur sera pavé de bonnes intentions

Love Confession”

Discover them in her brand-new instagram La Chenille Râleuse.

Djénéba’s answer – Mariama’s question

What is your favourite piece of work that you have written and why?

 In Sɛbɛnni Ni Taama’s blog, no doubt 25 things I have no doubt, which is maybe the 3rd post I have written on the blog and one of the most personal.  Every time I read it, it makes something clearer in my path even 3 years later, it still applies.

I fell off and failed to live by them a lot of time, for it is not always that simple to listen to ourselves that is why it is essential to have it written down, to challenge our level of awareness.

It is like a personal mission statement an affirmation of self in this world. It never fails to provide and elevate my character. I encourage to try and write such a list when reaching a milestone for it is essential to be mindful and receptive to the lessons on your way, to apply them and to master them.


Mariama’s words

A Night Of Canibalism

Why do you let every word pick at your skin?

Why do you let every action chew on your flesh?

Why do you let every judgement gnaw on your bones?


What will be left of you at this rate?

How do you protect your soul?


Promise Road

I won’t walk on your flower road

On this already traced path, blooming from seeds I never sew

I will break from the tracks and forge my own way

I will stumble on unturned rocks

I will get cuts from untamed brambles

But eventually a path will be made

And unknown but vibrant plants will flourish on it

And among them I will see myself standing tall

And I will walk, slowly picking up the pace

I will run, getting ready to jump

I will fly, purposefully aiming for the stars


Picture © Djénéba Diallo