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Conversations on Confidence with TV Personality & Influencer, MoJo

Influencer, TV personality and dancer Mojo discusses searching for confidence, mental health and female empowerment

MoJo is a woman on a mission to transform outdated stereotypes. Using her bold personality, she aims to empower people to feel good in their bodies and draw much needed attention to mental health awareness. As a TV personality, influencer and dancer, she talks to Emolyne about her search for confidence and her journey with her own mental health.

Channelling her honestly, and her willingness to talk about her struggles, we really get to delve into getting to know MoJo and everything she stands for.

What does confidence mean to you?

In my opinion, confidence is being able to trust who you are, what you can do, and how you see things and not being afraid of the judgment or disapproval of another person.

Your ethos and brand is all about empowering women. What methods have you found to be the most successful way to do this?

By engaging. You can’t shout empowerment at people, you can’t just make them feel a certain way. People need to want it. And that’s when I engage. I love that I can post about it on social media all the time, but I’m genuinely invested in the responses I receive and the conversations around that. It’s often I find messages in my Instagram DMs where a person might share with me what my page has done for their self-confidence, how it has helped them. If you really want that message of empowerment to go somewhere, you’ve got to be willing to engage with the people that want it and need it and not focus on those who aren’t interested. What’s that saying? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. It’s trying to inspire people to want to empower themselves.

I like to lead by example. I encourage plus size women to feel good: if you want to wear that dress, you wear that dress, you know? I hope that by seeing me, carefree, wearing what I want, doing what I want; I will hopefully inspire others to do the same. People think confidence is a personality trait, however I think it’s a skill that you develop. I’m open with how I’m feeling: if I’m insecure today – maybe I don’t like my arms today – but I want to wear a certain outfit, I will wear it but I will tell the truth that I don’t feel the most confident. From looking at me, you probably wouldn’t have even known that I was insecure, I make sure I walk the walk, but I’m honest with the way that I feel.

I did Notting Hill Carnival around 2018, around the time I had just started my journey. And I wore shorts with fishnet tights. I didn’t want to, I wanted to go there in a long black dress, completely covered up. But I didn’t let myself, I knew I had to challenge myself – how can I take to Instagram, encouraging people to embrace and be confidence within themselves when I’m not doing the same thing?

Have you always had the strong, positive energy you possess today?

No, I’ve definitely had to build myself up, work on myself, go through therapy, get support or to my friends and have really uncomfortable conversations with myself at times. I’ve had to open up to the reality that maybe I need to take a look at my emotional state or something in order for me to be the best version of myself. And that self-reflection, I think, has greatly improved my character, my resilience, and made me overall a much happier and content person.

With such a large social media following, you get lots of positive comments. Do you also get negative comments? And if so, how do you deal with that?

Shockingly, I don’t get that many. Perhaps that means there’s more to come. If there are some negative comments, I’m in a place in my head where I can say “oh, this person’s having a bad day” or “I’ve triggered them”. Maybe they didn’t want to see an African plus size woman doing her thing.

I did have a woman screenshot some of my videos and put them on her Facebook page, telling people that I need to lose weight. As soon as I saw it, my heart sank but I looked in the mirror and said, “yeah, this is it”. Now you’re doing something – if you’re making people angry, then at least your message is getting across. Take that as a sign, not to back off, but to keep moving forward. It shows you’re challenging body stereotypes and, hopefully, getting through to people.

What would you say to people who want to do something similar to what you’re doing on social media – show off their differences to break down stereotypes – but are afraid of putting themselves out there?

It sounds harsh, but someone already doesn’t like you, sweetheart. I’m sorry to tell you. You’ve already been gossiped about before, whether you know about it or not – everyone has. Just remember your message, your purpose: what made you want to do this in the first place?

You’re involved with mental health awareness. Can you tell me a bit about how you’re involved and what you do?

I actually started my social media to talk about mental health and I talk about it on there a lot. I shared the honest stories about my journey in therapy, which is important, because I believe that is how and where my life changed. I’ve really shared my hard times. The bits that aren’t great, as well as the good times and the murky bits in between. I’ve also done some campaigns in support of mental health awareness. I want to show that if you have a bad day, that’s ok. If you’ve been diagnosed with a disorder, that’s ok, too.