Awesome Black Vegan – Wanga
It’s “Wanga” for short
I’m a Natural Health Activist. I make herbal health and beauty products, and I coach people who want to transition to a healthy lifestyle so that they can overcome their health conditions and master the art of living naturally.
Where are you from?
I come from the Warm Heart of Africa: Malawi. I currently live in the Eastern Cape in a small farm town — Adelaide. Generally quiet and peaceful. I love it.
When did you become vegan and why?
I went vegan in 2014 by accident, actually! It was during a cooperate church fast, and we were to only eat fruit, veg and legumes. It was for a month and by the end of that month I felt amazing. I had shed some weight, my energy levels were up, and my skin had cleared, so I decided to continue eating that way. After about a year, I went back to eating a standard diet of meat, dairy, processed foods etc., and honestly, I felt horrible. I started to develop all sorts of allergies and sensitivities. I was tired and irritable most of the time, and I developed cystic acne, which was so painful. By the end of 2016 I’d had enough, and I made the decision to transition back to a vegan diet…Actually a plant-based, wholefoods diet, because I eliminated processed foods such as breads too.
How has life changed since you became vegan?
In one word: ENLIGHTENING. It’s like I’ve finally awakened. I’m more respectful and aware of self, of others and of all life. It’s been a total transformation: Spirit, Soul and Body.
What challenges do you face as a vegan and how do you overcome them?
Firstly, most vegetarian options always have eggs or dairy in them, so vegan ‘options’ always leave me with chips and salad… I’m still learning to navigate the menu and come up with a decent vegan meal!
Secondly, being misunderstood by waitrons. There remains a perception that being vegan is not a ‘black thing’ and I feel the resistance to accept my food preferences by waitrons sometimes when eating out.
I try to encourage conversation and inform them on why I choose not to eat particular foods, I find it helps bring awareness to the vegan lifestyle.
What do you enjoy most about being vegan?
The attention! You’d be surprised how much attention being vegan draws and the moment I’m asked why I choose this lifestyle I pounce on every opportunity to share my knowledge on natural health and the vegan diet. It’s my passion to see people live and thrive naturally.
What do you see in the future for veganism in Africa?
I’m very optimistic that as we become more aware of the health benefits of a vegan diet, more and more Africans will RETURN to what really is our indigenous way of eating. It comes down to education though. If you look in the rural parts of many African countries, the default diet is vegan, because they simply can’t afford the ‘finer’ things. Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to believe this is an ‘inferior’ way of eating. Yet, more and more evidence points to the contrary; the less animal products you eat, the healthier you are. So, education is key for the vegan movement in Africa.
What’s your favourite meal/food?
Watermelon and pineapple. I’ve also become obsessed with okra.
Anything else you would like to say to aspiring vegans out there?
My advice: know your WHY. Trends are fun to follow, but they come and go. Don’t simply go vegan ‘cause it’s trending. Learn about the lifestyle; what it means and how it benefits you. When you know the reason why you are doing something, you’ll still be doing it when the trend is long gone.
Thanks Wanga for making the time to share your awesomeness with us! 🙂 We are truly humbled and gratefully appreciate it!
If you’re Black, Vegan and you’d like for us to profile you to share your journey with our people out here looking for that inspiration towards the vegan lifestyle, please hit us up via email and we’ll connect.
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