Daniella Maison is a womanist, author, commentator, and social cause writer. TheCelebrity.Online has recently interviewed this amazing figure for the cover story feature. Below is the Q&A session we had with Ms. Daniella.
Daniella Maison As Cover Story Interview Feature – TheCelebrity.Online January 2023 Edition
How do you introduce yourself?
Daniella Maison: I am a womanist, author, commentator, and social cause writer. Back in 2008, my series ‘Women & Hip Hop’ went viral and exposed R. Kelly. This spotlight placed me in a privileged position as a global influencer. I ghostwrite several memoirs per year for women who have incredible stories to tell,and, in the process, I have been continuously inspired to give real stories a loud voice.
I have the soul of an activist and as such I have used my pen to expose injustices including the death of Sarah Reed and the imprisonment of Siyanda Mngaza. The great James Baldwin said, ‘The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.’This notion is at the heart of all I do.
How was the transition from your childhood into adulthood/teenage and what good and bad things do you remember?
Daniella Maison: I had a beautiful childhood. I was my parents first born child and I was so cherished by both that by the age of 3, I would introduce myself by saying ‘Ny name is Daniella, and I am precious.’ Until the age of 10, it was just my younger brother Joshua and I and he was my best friend. When our parents had two more children, Morell Junior when I was 10 and Natasha when I was 12, life took on new meaning and I adored being the eldest of four children.
Our mother was sensitive, devoted, principled, loving, and selfless and our father was dynamic, driven, bold and passionate and this combination gave us balance. We were told we were loved every day, and we were constantly invested in emotionally and mentally which made the transition from childhood to adulthood fairly seamless because of the self-esteem and confidence that had been instilled so steadily in us.
Struggle – What hardships have you faced during your life?
Daniella Maison: I didn’t know the true meaning of struggle until my sister Natasha died when I was 16. She was four and a half years old and her death from meningococcal septicaemia was sudden, asymptomatic, and horrifically traumatic. I struggled with feeling I’d failed at my role as protector and big sister; the subsequent years were a blur as I watched our family unit implode with grief. Anyone who has lost a sibling will understand the deep chasm it leaves within those of us who remain, and the agony of navigating the healing process.
To feel this at the onset of womanhood was almost catastrophic; I navigated a period of self-destruction before God could shape me so that I could honour my sister and the radiant light she manifested in our lives. In 2014, my partner of six-years committed suicide and this experience opened me up to a completely different brand of struggle and turmoil that took me some time to recover from. Both of these experiences, among others, moulded me as a human being and as a writer.
The past few years have been vital to my long-term healing; and my focus has been firmly on growth, God, meeting my soulmate (spoken word artist Burning Poet) and together building our own world of creativity, collaboration and communication which has been soup for the soul.
What things people usually do not know about you?
Daniella Maison: With my professional hat on, I appear to be far more outgoing than I am in reality. My activism and public persona belies how quiet and reserved I am in person. I’m fiercely private about my life and my family. I keep a very small circle.
I rarely give interviews or talk about myself and so I am notoriously a ‘PR nightmare’ and as a result people are sometimes surprised to discover the list of things I have achieved, endured, and experienced.
What are your major upcoming events?
Daniella Maison: My book, The N Word, featuring foreword by Benjamin Zephaniah, is being published by Austin Macaulay soon, so please do watch this space! Recently, I was announced as Editor of Social Cause Issues for Black Wall St Media, and so my column is published fortnightly. If any of my endeavours can in any way be a catalyst for change, then I am grateful. Still, my realest moments exist beyond my professional world; cheerleading for the growth, wellness and progress of my family is my truest joy.
What are your diet preference and physical measurements?
Daniella Maison: My diet is mostly pescatarian. I’m a great believer in chlorophyll! Chlorophyll is a power food which boosts red blood cells, heals, neutralises toxins, cuts inflammation and prevent cancer. Health is priceless wealth and investing in it is invaluable. It doesn’t matter what we achieve in life, accomplishments fade into nothing when our health or peace of mind fails.
What expert advice would you like to share?
Daniella Maison: Never compare your journey to others; the ebb and flow of our life journey means that we can never achieve the same accomplishments at the same pace or time. There is no comparison between the sun and the moon, each beam in their own time. Develop your own blueprint for success, but remember there is nothing new under the sun, so look to those whose shoulders you stand upon to assist with your own.
The tried and tested success mindsets of role models, ancestors and elders are a crucial dimension in your own success algorithm. Lastly, don’t be so fixated on results that you miss the journey. The journey of progress is a beautifully complex one, and it deserves mindful gratitude and observation, even at its low points. Never forget those who are in greater need than you, and actively create space for others to step up into. Lastly, stay humble and remember that God gets the glory in all things.
What are your social media links?