Djenabou: So my youngest brother is named TJ, that’s his nickname but his name is Tijani. He is 17 years old. And then higher from that is my brother named Hamadou. He is 18. Then there is me, 22. And then my other sister named Fanta, she just turned 31 a couple days ago. And then my eldest sister's name is Isha and she is also 31. I'm closer to my sister, Fanta since Isha, my eldest sister left when she was 16, had to leave the country. So I grew up with my sister Fanta for all of my life; all the bickering, arguing, we grew really, really close because we were always together. We would go to the movies together like each week or go to the mall each week and stuff.
Rene: “What was it like when you were little?”
Djenabou: I think one moment that I remember with Fanta was we were watching High School Musical together on VHS and I love musicals now because she had High School Musical so that was a really connected bond between us. And another thing, I think when I was in elementary school, she would always go to all of my award shows because my parents were always working and stuff like that so my sister would always be there for my award shows and stuff. And it was always important because when she went to see me receive all my awards and even at my graduation too, when my parents weren’t there.
Rene: “You know I’m a big sister and I have two younger sisters and I was a stand-in mom for them frequently, so I understand the tenderness of that relationship. So she was like your mom at times, your big sister, tell me a little bit about how you would characterize your relationship with her.”
Djenabou: I think about tough love, like she is very honest, very brutally honest. But I know she does that because she cares about everyone in the house. And I know that if I ask her for something she'll do it. No questions asked shell do it. She will ask questions a little bit after but she’ll definitely do it. She's very caring, she's funny too. She has her moments, I guess. She's such a perfectionist also, a very high maintenance person. She's very very independent as well.
Rene: So what would you most like, if you could tell her thank you, what is it you would say to her?
Djenabou: I would thank her for a lot of stuff, like being the person I can go to. Also, just being the role model for me too. And always making sure I’m good and I have everything. If I don't have anything she will provide me with that. Even planning for my birthday too with my group of friends, she'll pay for it even though the bill is high. She will go out of her way and pay for it. Just like that second motherly figure and stuff.
Rene: Really, how lovely.