Matilda; Ghana's Pride In Austria

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Where She’s From: Matilda Kanbong, a Gemini, was born in Vienna, Austria in 1974, where she was raised; she lived with her family in Ghana between the ages of four and nine.

“For my father it was every important that I get to know my roots,� she tells The Black Star News. “He had completed his studies in Vienna by then and he wanted to fulfill his dream that was to serve his country with all he had learned. My parents always reminded me that I am an African. Whatever passport I hold or wherever I live I should live my live as a proud African. I should always remember that I am not a second class creature because of my skin color, but walk with my head upright.�

Matilda attended school both in Vienna and Ghana. By the age of 16 she started modeling in Vienna. “My main focus was to promote African beauty in Vienna. At that time the only portrait of Africans was the image of African poverty and I wanted to present different view,� she explains.

Where She’s At:
Matilda sees her modeling as part of a higher calling –which is to give back to Ghana. She also designs and sells African-themed jewelry. “I would like to use the talent given by God to promote the beauty of Africa,� she says. “The income of this jewels go in to support The Children Project my sister and I am supporting in Ghana in a village called Fumbisi. Our dream is to build a child center for children who come from poverty ridden homes and also for orphans.�

“I see myself very privileged by God to use my talents and gifts to help others that do not have much but are so precious,� Matilda adds. “These children inspire me and give me hope that if each person does something we could overcome poverty in the world.�

Where She’s Heading:
“Austria is not really the best ground for African artists,� she explains, when asked how she deals with challenges. “But it is a battle to be conquered to make a ground for it. Once a year we organize an African Dream Ball. The revenue supports the children in Fumbisi. But also we use this event to promote Africans living in Vienna, Austria. We organize Africans in Vienna to represent themselves in music, fashion, and so forth. By doing so we also encourage young Africans to be proud of who they are and were they come from. That is highly needed. Austria still has a high rate of racism. Mostly because some have no other picture of Africa, except the image of poverty, sickness and hunger. This makes it hard for a young African person to be proud of themselves. They grow with a complex of a very low self esteem. Some have never been to Africa and never feel that they come from a continent that is full of history and amazingly designed by one God.� 

Matilda’s Words Of Wisdom:
“Treasure every child; they are precious for the world. Who knows if you have not met the doctor that might save your life, the teacher that may teach your daughter, the president that might rule your country, the arms that might hold and love your grandchild? The nurse that my take care of a loved one.�

Matilda’s Secrets Of Success: “Do everything wholeheartedly and enjoy.�

Matilda’s Favorite Three Movies: “Darwin's Nightmare; The Color Purple; and, Nowhere in Africa.�

Matilda’s Favorite Three Books: “The Bible; The Power of your Subconscious Mind; and, Peace Within Yourself.�    

Three Leaders That Have Most Inspired Matilda: “Dr. Kwame Nkrumah; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and, Nelson Mandela.�

The First Three Things Matilda Would Do As US President: “Make religion knowledge available in all schools and give children the choice to decide for themselves what they want to believe in; build up projects that will make the US work hand in hand with Africa; and, repay descendants of former slaves or at least openly apologize.�
Matilda’s Favorite Musician: “Miriam Makeba.�


A Short Story: “Something my father said shortly before he passed away this month—He had served all his live to make Africa the place it should be planned by God. He said ‘We are all, each person, ambassadors sent by God’s kingdom to represent God and His love on earth.’ And when we accomplish we leave back to God’s headquarters. If everyone sees that and fulfill their duty on earth could you imagine what this earth would be like? One person does not have to accomplish it all but do your best to do your outmost best and then the vision will keep on growing and growing.�


To see some of her beautiful African jewelry and for more on this lovely talented lady with a huge heart please visit:  

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