Tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, my real name’s Razan, but somehow the world got to know me as Rozan. I blame Matt Mason. He was my first editor and the bane of my name change LoL… I’m a multi-disciplinary type of human, using design, dialogue, and my ambassadorial skills to bring about a sense of understanding and real cultural exchange. I love the arts, and Africa, and Arabia. I don’t box myself in any way and have a bit of a “Kanye” approach when it comes to projects and broader possibility. I strategise. I commentate. I curate (people, products and experience). I write. I advise. I advocate. I teach yoga. I represent and expose all things beautifully true, and often indigenous. A woman in renaissance, and entrepreneurship. I love thoughtful spaces, music, history, fashion, details, children and a few brilliant adults.
Tell us about your early school days?
It was mostly in West London. I’m a [Ladbroke] Grove girl through and through. There was a stint in Kuwait too, but then the gulf war broke out when I was 10 which was of course a trauma. I actually didn’t realize how traumatic it was until I was much older. The war took its toll on our whole family. We lost our home and all our belongings. My dad and uncle were taken hostage. It wasn’t until my twenties that I fully grasped what my parents had gone through. I look at them now with such intense amounts of awe. To have got us through that so gracefully.
How many brothers and sisters do you have, how did this impact and effect you?
I have 2 brothers and one sister. They’re all younger than me so the whole “eldest child syndrome” thing had a huge impact on my character growing up. I generally always feel responsible – which isn’t always a good thing!
Where did you go to university and what did you study and why?
I went to Greenwich university and graduated with a BA Honours in Media & Communications. No idea why I chose this degree. I guess it was due to my interests in perception, information and its dissemination, and a habit I have of questioning everything…
What do you feel is your greatest achievement to date?
All my achievements are equal in their greatness. The successful shifts in global narrative when it comes to presenting “the other”, my empowerment initiatives, design advocacy, cultural cultivating, events, networks, bougi, Art & Heart, NA3M, the surge of new millennial arts and building a sense of local confidence across my working regions of Africa and Arabia, my amazing circle of friends, and most importantly, my happiness.
What does being Sudanese mean to you?
It’s a conflict to be honest. I love my country fiercely – with everything that makes me. But Sudan today isn’t Sudan at all. Our national beauty is so much harder to come by. The country’s split. A lot of the people don’t agree. Crime rates are up when they almost never existed thanks to our nature of kindness. Folks are hungry and frustrated as they stand on the world’s most fertile, richest soil. The senseless contradictions are out of control, and they’re heart-breaking. It hurts to even talk about it. I do what I can to build a sense of pride amongst young Sudanese but what use is that when many of them are busy looking for food?
Aside from that particular gut wrench, being Sudanese means referring to an ancestral history that essentially civilized the entire planet. My Nubian heritage and epic culture is so rich and so full of wisdom that I can spend days at a time referencing my parental past as a perfect compass for my future – morally, stylistically, spiritually, name it. It’s there. In all of me.
What do you rate as success and how do you define it?
Success for me is based on ownership, joy and pride. If you don’t own everything about what you do, proudly and positively, in and within your community, then I can’t really quantify what you’re doing, nor can I understand who and for what reason you’re doing it.
Who would you say is the most successful Sudanese?
The pharaohs… if you want current examples I’d say my parents, Mo Ibrahim, Amin El Nefeidi, Zeinab Badawi, Dr. Ibrahim Nour (my late grandfather), Osama Daoud, Mohammed Wardi and Mansour Khalid.
What is your favourite quote?
“The more you know, the more you realize you know nothing…”
Please share your Contact information with those interested in conecting with you:
@IamRozan on instagram, snapchat and everywhere else in the social world.
Get involved 🙂
Thank you very much for your time, very much appreciated
Ashraf Khalifa on behalf of Sudanpreneur Group