FaithWalk Clothing by William Renae
In today's world and in times past collaboration and partnering has been an instrumental strategy. Partnering helps us to grow, learn, change and exchange ideas. Even the Bible endorses partnering based on the scripture that says, "Where two or three are gathered, I am there."
I want to introduce to you a mother/son partnership, which currently launched a new clothing line. The clothing line is called FaithWalk. The new line is created to encourage others to save themselves and to take control of their own destiny.
Renae Parker Benenson is a Mom, certified Chaplin (spiritual listener and encourager), writer and co-founder of FaithWalk. William Marshall Parker II is a Son, entrepreneur, writer and co-founder of FaithWalk. Together they compliment each other and have found support for their individual and collective growth and development.
They started FaithWalk because they get it. They have figured out that their life is to get better spiritually, emotionally, financially, intellectually and physically it will be because they have prayed to God and believe that the Creator will equip them for the journey and fill them with unfathomable power to be and to do more than they can ever imagine.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
No one is going to promote you or listen to you as much as you do. So you have to get out there and do the work yourself. Then the other stuff will come to you.
Every so often I meet someone who reminds me of someone else. My attraction to another person usually has less to do with looks and more to do with an attitude – a zest for life. Most recently I interviewed Simone Sykes aka Doza - the Goddess. She is a female Hip Pop entertainer and a native Chicagoan. When I caught up with Doza, she was at home chillin’ and creating music in her self made music studio. Immediately after our visit I thought, this is a phenomenal woman. She puts me in the mind of Madame C. J. Walker born Sarah Breedlove also a self made woman. Madame C. J. Walker was an Afro-American business woman, hair care entrepreneur, tycoon and philanthropist. Her fortune was made by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women. The Guinness Book of Records cites Walker as the first female who became a millionaire by her own achievements. Poet Langston Hughes called her "The joy goddess of Harlem's 1920s". Both women share the belief in creating an opportunity through hard work and bringing joy to their people. It was a pleasure to meet Doza - the Goddess of music. Our interview took place in her Southside home. It was a beautiful spring day in Chicago.
S1: Hi Doza. Tell me something about you.
D1 I am a female Hip Pop entertainer. I create music that’s very easy on the ears and very positive. I’ve been singing since I was a young one, about 6-7 years old. Music runs in my family. It is something that was presented to me. It started when I was a baby in my mother’s womb. Mom would put earphones on her belly to keep me entertained. She would also sing to me.
S2. We live in a time where women are becoming whoever they want. Why are you a Hip Pop entertainer?
D2: (She looked startled by the question.) Why did I want to be an entertainer? Music is very powerful. You can reach a lot of people through music. I want to reach people in a positive way. I want to see people smile. I want to see them have a lovely time. I know that I can do that with my music. So that’s why I chose to be an entertainer. I’m very sincere about my music and I’m sincere about the people. I want our people to make a change, and to do the right thing. I want to teach the people through my music. I know I’m not a pastor and I’m not the president. What I know for sure is music is very powerful and it can change someone’s life. I just want to express myself in a powerful way and to let people know that there are brighter days and that you can move forward and do anything you want to do.
S3: Your stage name is interesting – very exotic. How did you come up with the stage name Doza- the Goddess?
D3: (She laughs) Doza is more like a slang term that people use. When I thought about the term, I saw it as something that is addictive and potent. I am Doza….I am addictive and I am potent. Once you hear me you want more. A Goddess is very powerful. She can change things and do things. Doza-the Goddess: a he woman who is very addictive and potent. She is someone able to make a change. Yeah, Doza –the Goddess - that’s me!
S4: I heard your CD – Straight Contact and several other musical pieces on your MySpace page. I found the lyrics to be meaningful and the beats hot. Tell me about your lyrics and beats?
D4: My lyrics come from my surroundings. What I have gone through. What I have witnessed someone else go through. My music is about day to day things that are going on all around me. My music tells a story. The beats are connected to the lyrics. When I create, I try to make everything cohesive.
S5: Is it also true that you created your own music studio?
D5: (She smiles with confidence) Yes. I did. I couldn’t wait. I got tired of waiting on people and working with people who were trying to do me wrong by charging me lots of money. One day I said how hard could it be? It was tiring and overwhelming to wait on someone else to do what I could probably do. Then when they did the work the job was not done correctly. So I said okay, I need to do something. I started producing my own music. I created a booth where I could record the music I wanted to create. In the studio I have a little piano. It’s not much that I have but it’s enough to get the job done. I spent $25.00 to set up my booth. You don’t have to spend millions, thousands and hundreds of dollars to make it possible. Just get what you really need. Everyday there are people out there trying to lead others astray by not telling them about the things they really need to be a success. They give you the run around by telling you that you need this thing or that thing. You don’t really need a lot of stuff. If you know what you are trying to do, just do the research - Research. If it does not sound right or if it’s too expensive to you, don’t go for it. “You got a mind. Do your own thing.”
S6: Terry McMillan, the famous journalist who wrote books such as Mama, Disappearing Acts and Waiting to Exhale, once said “Can’t nothing make your life work if you ain’t the architect.” I hear you saying the same thing. You are your architect. You are not allowing others to steer you away from your dream. Is that true?
D6: (Listens with curiosity and nods) That’s right. No one is going to promote you or listen to you as much as you do. So you have to get out there and do the work yourself. Then the other stuff will come to you. It takes hard work…hard work.
S7: Do you have any role models and mentors?
D7: (Nodding and smiling broadly) My mother, my sister, the man up above. My family… those are the people I look up to. They introduced me to life - period. I thank my family because they have helped so much. (She becomes tearful) I thank my family... my mother, my sister, my nephews they are my biggest fans. I thank the Man above. They are my role models – my idols. My father was also a role model but he passed away. He was into music too. He introduced me to a lot of different genres of music. He was a truck driver who would listen to rock and roll, country, bluegrass and all types of music. He exposed me to the different genres of music so my head would not be focused on one thing. I thank my father for his support as well. He was a very great man.
S8: Yeah….There is a lot of shady people in the world and some in the entertainment industry. Are you prepared to enter into that industry?
D8: (Nods her head in agreement) Yep, I think about that daily. I want to be an entertainer so bad but still I have some fears. Even though I want this world and I’m a positive person, I know not everyone is on my level. My approach to dealing with my fear is to pray and ask God for guidance, strength and faith on a daily basis. I know I will be okay if I continue to have the strength and faith. I know it will happen the right way. I will be able to put that barrier up and just block it out and not have to deal with it. I’m kind of afraid but I know it will be okay because this is what I really want. Nobody is going to take it away. I’m not going to let anyone try to get over on me.
S9: How are you staying focus to achieve your goal?
D9: (She speaks with boldness.) Family. Family family. I think a lot of people don’t succeed because they don’t have someone backing them. If you have someone pushing you to do this or that you will be able to achieve. Or you have to be a strong person on the inside. My family is what keeps me focused. What was out there on the streets was guiding me in a whole other direction. Initially, I thought that profanity and all that other stuff was the way to go and people would accept me like that. But actually people were really backing away from me. And I never felt good on the inside. It’s all about keeping positive people around you. Anytime you have positive around you can always move forward.
S10: (I nod in agreement.) When young novices enter into the entertainment and sports industry, some bring with them lots of unresolved issues. They get caught up in stuff. How do you plan to stay safe or on the positive?
D10: My goal is to try and stay on the right path….and to just say no. I have learned to walk away and to say no. I know what’s right and what’s wrong. I am an adult. I have also found when you know better you do better. I have been through some hard times. It is why I can say these things with conviction. I am glad for family – having someone backing me. I am glad for inner strength. Yes, I went down the wrong road… a few times but…never again. I know now it is not the right way to go. Today, I know where I want to go. If I go down the road of destruction, I will never be able to make it where I want to go. It is crunch time now.
S11: What is your end goal as an artist, is it to move from rags to riches or to spread love using your craft?
D11: (She giggles) I want both. Music is what I love to do and I want to make some money. When I was young, we had artists like Salt and Pepa, Ice-T, Boogey Down Productions and others. They were the artists who entertained me. I want to entertain and if I am good at what I am doing and it’s on a positive scale the money will come. Enjoy entertaining and promoting change in others. I like to see smiles on the faces of people. Entertaining is what I really love.
S12: Doza, are you on a FaithWalk? What have you learned since being on this journey?
D12: Yes I am. I am on a faith walk - everyday. While on this journey, I have learned that anything is possible if you believe. Since being on this path, I have learned that being negative and hurting others is not the way to go. You feel better when you are doing the right thing. I am on the journey. I am keeping my head above water. I am staying strong. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.
S13: What wisdom would you offer other travelers who are on a faith journey?
D13: (With excitement) Stay positive. Do the right thing. Stop trying to steer people astray. Stop being angry all the time. Just do the right thing. Stay positive. Know that your dreams can come true if you work hard toward it.
S14: Doza…is there anything else that you want to share with us?
D14: I just want to thank FaithWalk for interviewing me. And I’m asking others to check me out - Doza-the Goddess at