When Zyabo Wezyani first got admitted to study architecture in Turkey around 2016, she plunged into a series of research to learn more about the Western Asian Country. She’ll later discover the truth for herself and in personal experience – many of the information she had read online from far away Zambia.
On her first night in Turkey, Zee’s excitement dissipated into homesickness upon realization of the adjustment she’ll have to make to “foreigner lifestyle”.
In her own words “My honeymoon phase ended right after I set a foot outside the airport and into my new home”.
It’s been about 3 years since that initial experience, Zee has now grown as a foreign student, learning more about Turkey, her language, people, discovering herself and her passions on the way.
Through her blog, she shares travel insights for first travelers, her personal style and everything she finds interesting.
Enjoy our chat with Zyabo, as she features on Fashion Dazzler series this weekend.
NSPK: What have you become much better at doing, since you traveled out of your home country?
Zyabo: This, for me is very deep and I love that. I’ve definitely gotten better at being my own rock. Being a foreigner opened up my eyes in so many ways. Most importantly it helped me figure out who I really am without expectations from my loved ones and society. Considering the huge cultural difference between Turkey and Zambia, I sometimes had and still do have moments where I don’t feel like I belong here. I have adapted to my new home but there are certain things that I don’t agree with and sometimes this makes things a little difficult but I have to be true to who I am.
There is only so much family can do from miles away so I’m learning how to find the strength and determination to go on even when I feel defeated.
NSPK: Whats your go-to casual assemble?
Zyabo: I love to describe myself as a girly tomboy. On some days I couldn’t care less what I look like and on other days, I want to slay the hell out of an outfit. So when I’m feeling all lovely and girly I go for a dress. I don’t own many of those and I have two rules. It’s either short and flared or knee length and body hugging. I love my legs and curves and I think everyone should work with what they have. If I’m not in that then I’m in leggings with some nice kicks and a tee.
NSPK: When are you most yourself?
Zyabo: After a few tequilas! Just kidding! I’m most myself when I’m traveling. I usually travel solo and I love the thrill of being somewhere for the first time. The amount of possibilities to meet new people, learn new stuff, explore and experience something new just gives me life.
NSPK: Your advice for African young creatives leaving their home country for the first time?
Zyabo: Do some research on the country you’re going to. Figure out how you can continue to do the stuff you love. Also think of what other opportunities you have. I believe in knowing what you want and going after it as well as knowing when to seize a good opportunity. Staying up-to-date with trends and events happing back home is necessary. Trying to form connections with other content creators in your line of work is important.
NSPK: Tell us about any ongoing or future projects that you are excited about?
Zyabo: My blog is currently in its baby stage and I’m hoping to showcase more about travel and lifestyle in Turkey. I’d also like to incorporate some Zambian style and show my personal touch. When I get back home I want to focus on local travel, lifestyle and any other forms of art. I’d like to showcase this to my Turkish audience . My blog will most likely evolve, and my ultimate goal is to get my Architecture degree and combine everything. My love for travel and architecture, my personal fashion style and lifestyle all in one. I’d love to turn this into a career and inspire others too, to focus on Art. If we did that I think Africa would be ten times better than it is now.
- Coffee or Tea? – Tea
- Comfort or Fashionable? – Comfort
- Camping in the woods or Beach resort? – Beach Resort
- Favourite place to eat? – Pizza place
- Read a book or Listen to podcast? – Podcast
- Favourite perfume/makeup brand? – Mac
- If you had to wear one fashion brand for the rest of your life, who? – HM
- Current song on replay? – Nights like this by Kehlani
- Favourite TV show of all time? – How I met your mother
- How many times in a day do you look in the mirror? – 3