Nida is a multi-talented influencer who has been managing her home along with her two ventures. She also spoke at TEDx in 2017. Apart from being an amazing poetess, writer, and a confident entrepreneur, she is also a mother and makes sure to take her daughter along at most of the events she attends. By doing this, she is setting an example for all the women out there that once you are determined; there is nothing that can act as a barrier in between you, your dreams and your career.
‘Poetry Slam Karachi’ is one of the projects introduced by Nida in Pakistan. It is like an open mic event. We decided to talk to her and discuss about the two ventures she is leading and her take on women empowerment. Read on…
ChalkTalk: Tell us about your educational qualifications.
Nida: I matriculated from Shaheen Public School in 2008 with an 18th position in Karachi. I did Intermediate from PECHS Girls College and graduated in 2018 from Karachi University with a degree of Doctor of Pharmacy.
ChalkTalk: Being a poetess and a singer goes hand in hand. When did you discover your incredible voice?
Nida: Since the age of three, as far as I remember! My father had a great singing voice and so do the rest of my siblings. However, none of us pursued it professionally. We have only been singing at home or amongst friends.
ChalkTalk: How did you conceptualize ‘Poetry Slam Karachi’?
Nida: Back in 2016, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of spoken word poetry. It amazed me so much! I did some research on it and planned to organize an open mic in the same month! The word got out so quickly, it was raving all over social media!
We had over 250 people come in during its first episode with over 60 participants! Since then, Poetry Slam Karachi has been organizing such open mic events for writers and poets across the city.
ChalkTalk: Initiating a new trend is not a piece of cake. What were the challenges you faced while introducing slam poetry in Pakistan?
Nida: For sure. I had no experience of organizing an event on my own! I had no marketing team, just a few friends who helped me out at the event day. It was difficult for me then, but that experience has taught me so much. I do what I do today with success because of experimenting with PSK with very little knowledge and a lot of determination back then.
ChalkTalk: You are also the founder of Facebook group “Super Women Of Pakistan”. What is it about?
Nida: Superwomen of Pakistan is an online community of women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in Pakistan.
I created it on March 7th 2018, during the time when I found myself stuck in a situation where recognizing my strengths became not just essentially important for me, but also for the women around me. I needed to raise my voice and see how many women relate with my story.
It was made because in Pakistan, our workforce culture is very limited to women. Specifically married women with young children. It’s rather unwelcoming, I’ll say.
I went back to workforce when my daughter was just 3 months old, but had to quit because of this stigma that mothers aren’t efficient at jobs.
SWoP serves as an empowering platform for women from all walks of life to share their stories from struggle to success, showcase their work and talents and inspire thousands of other women in turn!
ChalkTalk: What are the changes you would want to bring in this male-dominated society?
Nida: Sadly the culture we were brought up in is extremely unjust to women. I wish to not just create dialogue around the idea of true sense of equality for women, but also make men realize that it’s a matter of give and take. Two can row a boat faster!
We need to bring in more women leaders into workforce and also in the field of entrepreneurship.
ChalkTalk: What’s your take on time management being a mother and an entrepreneur?
Nida: It’s never easy handling both things. But I try to follow a discipline when it comes to my responsibilities as a social media influencer.
I am a full time homemaker and a mother. Everything else comes after my daughter and my family.
But yes, I take my community very seriously and keep it very maintained with strict rules and regulations.
ChalkTalk: Why does the society see women as the weaker gender when they are capable to do a lot?
Nida: Our women feel weaker because we don’t tell our young girls that they’re strong and equally capable as boys.
Like I mentioned earlier, it’s our cultural drawback. Since a young age we’re taught to think a certain way, act a certain way, stay in restricted environment and thus our thinking capacities, too, have negated us from trying to step outside the box.
It’s a matter of having that self-belief that women CAN do anything they put their minds to. Because truly the only boundaries that exist are in our minds.
We can all talk about empowerment, but only a woman can liberate herself within her heart first from the societal barriers. Only she has the capability of empowering herself.
ChalkTalk: Any thoughtful message you would like to give for the women around the world?
Nida: Rise and lift others. Be true to yourself. Don’t give into societal labels.
The only label you can wear with pride is that you’re a woman. And that is a power itself. Period.
Concluding it with a quote, “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back.”
And with this comes an end to our women’s week celebrations. We shall keep on highlighting the inspirational and talented Pakistani women in future too.