11 July 2017
This article is part of our member profile series. Our members tell us that one of the things they love about being part of our community is getting to know like-minded women. So, each month, we’ll feature an interview with a member, so you can get to know each other a little better. Today, meet Beriy Zipamor.
Born and bred in Nigeria, but currently residing in Canberra. I would describe myself as someone who is hardworking, intelligent and funny. My most important values are integrity and accountability.
I am interested in so many things ranging from world politics, development issues, trap music, reality TV, and I’m obsessed with binge watching basically anything, and don’t even get me started on feminism, white supremacy, and religion.
I enjoy socialising with my friends and meeting new people. I love reading about anything and everything, and I have a particular passion for disseminating anything pop-culture.
What’s on your playlist?
Currently I have so many songs on my playlist, but some of my favourites include Hilsong, Stormzy, Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Adekunle Gold, and Jidenna.
People would be surprised if they knew…
Religion is an important part of my life, but I am highly critical of it.
What are you reading at the moment?
I just started reading Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, and I love it. Previous to this, I read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which I believe should be mandatory reading for everyone as it so eloquently describes both the slavery experience and the colonisation of Africa.
What was your highlight of the past year?
One of my highlights of the past year was that I developed great friendships and relationships that have been a positive influence in my life. I also did some travelling, exploring some of the awesome cities in Australia, which was an amazing experience. I particularly liked the Gold Coast, but one of my local friend’s keeps telling me that I shouldn’t hold it in such high esteem!
Who is your feminist hero?
At the moment, my feminist hero is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The way Chimamnda understands and articulates feminism speaks to me, as we both come from a society where we are constantly reminded of conforming to stereotypical gender norms and values as a way of enforcing womanhood and preserving patriarchy. Her latest book ‘Dear Ijeawele, Or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions’ shares her ideas on gender roles that reinforces sexism and stereotypes, and offers practical and simple advice for dismantling them. I highly recommend that anyone interested in intersectional feminism and womanism read this book immediately.
What’s an achievement you’re proud of?
Aside from completing my Master degree in International Development, I am extremely proud of finishing my thesis, which focused on the role of sports in promoting peace among the South Sudanese community in Canberra. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I took on the project, but I am so glad I did, because it was an experience that contributed to my perception of the world and development issues. I also developed excellent skills in research, which have been highly useful for me.
Why did you join the Y?
I wanted to be part of an organisation that supports women and young girls through providing opportunities for empowerment and development using community and education based initiatives. The Y has also been around in Canberra since 1929, so joining this particularly women’s organisation felt natural, as they have such a long history of helping, advocating, and educating women and the local community on the rights and needs of women and young girls.
Who inspires you?
First, I am inspired by God. I feel like, I honestly can’t let Him down because I know he’s put so much in me and I have to maximise every single potential.
I am also inspired by strong women in my life, which includes my mother who has taught me the importance of hard work as a pathway to success. My friends also inspire me every day to be a better version of myself, by not only accepting and supporting me, but by challenging me to think about world issues differently and critically.
What’s the change you want to see in the world?
I think the ultimate change I would like to see in this world is an end to racism and discrimination, especially against people of colour.