It’s been almost two years since Gigi Lamayne attempted to take her life and admitted to struggling with depression
Today, she is living her life ‘unapologetically’. “I am the girl I say I am,” she says with passion and a palpable sense of pride.
The award-winning hip-hop artist has done the most to change the narrative of not becoming another statistic to empowering women and young girls to take account of their lives and liberate themselves with new ideologies.
In an exclusive interview, Gigi chatted to All4Women about her all-female concert, ‘The Gigi Gang Show’, her new lingerie line for all women (and men) and ‘assuming her throne’…
What has your journey been like since you admitted to struggling with depression in 2018?
GL: I am dealing very well with my journey. I’ve been blessed in the sense that I’ve managed to navigate from that dark space into helping young people through my platforms to be able to deal with things like depression.
What are some of the tools you equipped yourself with to make this happen?
GL: My honesty. It’s not an easy thing but we take it one day at a time.
Some tools to deal with pressure; I [now] have ‘me-time’, I definitely control my environment more now, I don’t let anyone into my space or circle. I decided to take energies and vibes very seriously.
Also understanding that sometimes you’ll get rejected… and you need to be ok with that.
As a female hip hop artist, what has motivated you to keep pushing in your quest for success?
GL: I’ve been motivated by my mother and my community.
My voice is very imperative to the narrative around young women in this country….I think a lot of people are not trying to tell the story of young women accordingly..and I am claiming that space. I want to be a girl’s best friend, I want to be the girl next door and someone they can relate to.
I want to be a girl’s best friend, I want to be the girl next door and someone they can relate to.
In 2019 you hosted the country’s first all-female hip-hop concert, and this year it is returning virtually. What was the significance of the Gigi Gang show?
GL: The Gigi Gang show was the first hip-hop show hosted by a female on the entire African continent – huge!
It means a lot to me that I am able to return – even virtually – I’m just happy that I can bring that experience to people. It shows that there is resilience, we keep going, we’re not deterred by the coronavirus pandemic, we have the fans in mind as we begin to build this empire that is Gigi Lamayne.
Everyone knows me as a social media activist, people know me as an artist, but I’m happy people get to see me as a businesswoman, and the Gigi Gang show is testimony of that…I am the girl I say I am!
Tell us more about your lingerie line ‘La Jardin’
GL: It means the ‘The Garden’ in French. The idea behind it is to help source lingerie for women of different shapes and forms, making sure they still feel sexy, but also feel comfortable and satisfied in their experience.
The nice thing is that we don’t only cater to women, we cater to men too and members of the LGBTi community. The pride squad, as what I call them, are one of the most out-there, unapologetic group of people, and that’s what my brand has always stood for.
It’s very special to me and I’m very excited to launch it.
You describe yourself as a social activist. What are some of the issues you are most passionate about?
GL: I find myself in spaces where I speak up and I am opinionated around global goals, specifically related to women and children.
Women of colour being unapologetic and being whoever you want to be – if you want to strip and become naked, you can do that!
I’m for the idea that women need to liberate themselves from all societal labels.
How would you respond to your fans who may be going through issues like mental health issues, abusive relationships, gas-lighting, harassment or any form of discrimination?
GL: Stay passionate, fight for what you are and what you will become
Be unapologetic, don’t let anyone tell you can’t do something – the fact is you’re stronger than you actually think! Many women have been downplayed in history and it’s time for us to assume our thrones.
Many women have been downplayed in history and it’s time for us to assume our thrones
What is your Women’s Month message to your fans?
GL: Happy Women’s Month to all my fans – specifically the Gigi Gang! This is a time of reflection, and a time for knowing and identifying with what you are, and using that as as a tool rather than an oppressive weapon….to be able to stretch your wings and fly!
I wish everyone blessings on blessings – whether your’e a wife, a mother, a daughter, a nurse, teacher, a hair-stylist, a make-up artist, etc I hope all your dreams come true and that you grow from strength to strength as a woman in your respective industry….
Shout out to the female mechanics too!
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You may not be having the best day. You may be looking at your life thinking you’re trying really hard, “won’t somebody intervene and save you”. You want to be saved. The only way is to save yourself. Allow yourself to breathe. Allow yourself to listen. Allow yourself to speak and stand for you. There is no easy road. The only certainty is that we will live and we will die. You’ll lose many but you’ll gather a few gems . Focus on the good and God Nabadala will shelter you. Don’t forget to be you. Don’t forget to be African. #Azania #blacklivesmatter #Dreambig #prayfortheworld #PrayforYou #Thokoza
I’ve finally found the secret to happiness and to life, and it’s simply being unapologetic!
What can we look forward from you in 2020?
GL: The new and improved Gigi, I’m just having a blast…I’ve finally found the secret to happiness and to life, and it’s simply being unapologetic!