In 2020, Dr. Cynthia Kudji Sylvester and Dr. Jasmine Kudji went viral after sharing they graduated from medical school together. But what made it more special and heartwarming was that the pair is actually mother and daughter. Dr. Kudji Sylvester got accepted into the pre-med program at Tulane University, however, she became pregnant with Jasmine her senior year in college.
Her pregnancy temporarily prevented her from pursuing her dream to become a doctor as she had a child to take care of, something she later said she doesn’t regret. While she didn’t become a doctor at first, she still decided to stay in the medical field. She became an RN and then a nurse practitioner. When her daughter went off to college, Dr. Kudji Sylvester decided it was her time to continue her education and finally become a doctor.
The mother-daughter duo shared their inspirational story on the Tamron Hall Show earlier this week. “I think a lot of times as women we tend to take on everything,” said Dr. Kudji Sylvester, who started medical school at the age of 43.
“When we do that, we put all of our hopes and we sacrifice everything for our kids and our family. And after a while, we just don’t pick that up again. And I think that [our story] related to a lot of women. We can do this regardless of what our age is and no matter what society tells us our limitations are, we have to believe that within ourselves and support each other to continue to live out our dreams.”
Dr. Kudji Sylvester received a lot of support from her daughter Dr. Kudji. After attending medical school together, they were also accepted into the same residency program and the duo said to this day they still rely heavily on each other.
“There were topics that 20-year-olds just knew off the top of their head and I was like, I haven’t heard these concepts for 30 years. So I relied very heavily on Jasmine. We would talk constantly about different topics,” Dr. Kudji Sylvester said as she reflected during their time in medical school together.
Her daughter, Dr. Kudji, shared similar sentiments. “We helped each other. To this day we still call each other in the hospital and we’re like, ‘hey I have a question about this can you help me out?’ We would Skype, we would call each other. All of the above.”
And this is just the beginning. Dr. Kudji revealed that their dream is to one day work together.
“I’m now in Pediatrics and my mom’s in Family Medicine so what that means for us is that we can take care of any and everyone. So the hope is that I take in all the babies and I’ll pass them along to her and they can just kind of continue with us throughout their lives.”
Check out the full interview below:
Featured image by Getty Images
Three Influencers Show Off Their 2022 Holiday Hair Looks Using Their SheaMoisture Faves
This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
For Black women, there’s one compliment that will boost our confidence like none other: “Come through hair!” You know the vibe! Walking into a room with folks acknowledging that your hair is laid for the gawds, and the effort that it took to get it there, is a top five feeling. And with the holiday season just weeks away, you’ll be hearing that quite often. Between Thanksgiving gatherings with the family, Friendsgiving, company parties, and Christmas get-togethers, the opportunities to let your hair show up and show out aren’t too far away.
Apart from the holiday stuntin’, the end-of-year slow down is also the perfect opportunity to reevaluate the year your hair has had. Whether you kept it cute with protective braids, went big with blowouts, or let loose with textured twist-outs, this is the perfect time to give your hair the gift of TLC - tender lovin’ curls. Like the weather, our hair goes through seasons and has different needs depending on what we’ve put it through. Perhaps the transition into fall/winter has left your curls a bit parched and in need of some serious hydration. Or maybe your strands could use some restorative conditioning after taking it down from a convenient protective style. No matter what category you fall into, SheaMoisture has hundreds of ways that you can clean, treat and refresh your hair for a healthy shine that will bring you into the new year right. Bring your curls back to life with the nourishing and fragrant Coconut & Hibiscus line. Boosted with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, neem oil, carrot oil, and shea butter, this line is the antidote to reviving thirsty, dehydrated hair. Even better - with SheaMoisture’s custom quiz, you can get a hair analysis that will lead you to the right products for your hair needs. Say hello to sleek edges, and moisturized, stronger strands.
In need of a little hair-spiration? We got you covered! xoNecole and SheaMoisture have teamed up with three natural hair influencers to debut their holiday hair looks. Meet Ambrosia Malbrough, Jasmin Moses, and Daye Covington - beauty bawses who’ve created some incredible holiday looks that are stylish and easy to achieve. They also gave us the scoop on the SheaMoisture products they’re loving right now, as well as their 2023 hair goals.
Read on for more:
Daye Covington Kicks Her Twist Out Up A Notch With A Voluminous Updo
“I wanted to create a style that was super cute but also easy to pull together, so I went with a puff and tendril combo! It's a style that can be done on freshly washed curls or one that can be done on old hair. [It’s perfect for] when we're short for time but want to add a little razzle-dazzle to our hair before a special occasion. It's very versatile!”
“My favorite Shea Moisture product hand's down is the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie! That is definitely a #TeamNaturalHair staple. Coconut is one of the ingredients that my hair favors. I also find that medium/light creams absorb best in my hair, so it's no surprise that I get amazing definition and moisture when I use the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I love it for twist-outs, braid-outs, and rod set styles. Any product that can give me versatility when it comes to styling plus added moisture, that's what a staple is for me!”
“I would love to dye my hair back to blue! It was my favorite hair color, but unfortunately, my 9-5 now prohibits unnatural hair colors. I'm pushing it with this dark plum color, but I look forward to the day where I can transition into a new stage of life and go back to blue. In the meantime, I'm focusing on length retention. I've been doing well for 2022 and have had no major cuts so I'm hoping to stay consistent with my routine in 2023.”
Follow Daye on Instagram @dayelasoul
Ambrosia Malbrough Made Magic With Poppin’ And Defined Finger Coils
“[Finger coils] is a style that I don’t do often, it takes much more time than my usual wash and go. But that extra time put in makes it extra special and so worth it. The results are beautiful. It’s a style that offers many days of wear, too!”
“[Earlier this year] I did my 4th big chop. This time around hit different as a mom of two. I don’t always have the extra time on my hands to put into my hair, so the short ‘do has been convenient. I’ve realized that not all wash days are created equal even if I use the same products. However, my 4c coils are loving the products I'm using now”
“Since I’ve been having my hair dyed, I’m looking forward to trying Shea Moisture’s new Mongongo and Jojoba Oils High Porosity Moisture Replenish Hair Masque. I am currently growing my hair out and plan on having fun with more highlights and a new shape - possibly a shag cut in 2023!”
Follow Ambrosia on Instagram at @brosiaaa
Jasmin Moses Shows The Secrets To Her Jaw-Dropping Curly Ponytail
“I love doing a sleek ponytail with my baby hairs laid to a T! It helps so my hair isn't in the way when I am cooking and running errands, but it's still snatched to provoke anyone in the room to stop me to say 'girllll your hair is laid!'. I like to add a little razzle dazzle by adding my cute, naturally curly ponytail extensions. It elevates the look perfectly for the holidays.”
“It took me from my freshman year of college to now, almost seven whole years, to know what works for my hair. I love protective styles like wigs and braids because my hair thrives when I don't mess with it. When I leave my hair alone, it grows the best, so I love taking off my wig when I get home, oiling my scalp and putting my bonnet on for bed! When I do wear my natural hair out, what helps me maintain the health of my hair is to get in a rhythm with my hair. [I do] my wash days on Sunday, wear it in a wash n’ go all week, and repeat the next Sunday.”
“My 2023 hair goal is to get back to my 2021 hair length! Recently, a hairstyle damaged my hair causing me to lose 4 inches in length, which was not fun. So I’m working on getting [my hair] back to its original health and keep growing from there! I am also looking forward to trying the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as a one-product wash n’ go! I hear such great things about it and I think it will give me hold while also keeping my hair lightweight and voluminous. I’m also excited about the Coconut & Hibiscus Defining Styling Gel and Edge Gel.”
Follow Jasmin on Instagram @slimreshae
Pretty Vee Opens Up About Finding Her Purpose After Getting Fired For Being Too Focused On Comedy
Pretty Vee is one of one. I know it, you know it. She has emerged as one of the funniest influencers on social media and has directly contributed to and driven the pioneering class of creators who have mastered their brands and pivoted from digital content, straight to opportunities that land them with the bag. One quick search of her Reels will leave you in tears, sending clips to friends and waiting to see what she does next.
And Pretty Vee, real name Vena Excell, has had quite the journey to get to where she is today, a comedian, host, actress, model, entertainer, and most importantly, an entrepreneur. She also scored a role on Issa Rae's Rap Sh!t, MTV’s Wild ‘N Out (alongside other comedians turned influencers (or vice versa), likeKarlous Miller, DC Young Fly, and Chico Bean), and much more. Her face is everywhere, with her approach to sketch comedy leading the way.
But according to Vee, although a long time coming, her journey in comedy is nothing but purposeful.
She went into detail while visiting The Pivot Podcast where everything was on the table, from her dating life to working with Nick Cannon. When asked how she got started, she explained, "[After college] I was working a 9-5 -- it was actually Arnold Taylor's admin assistant (South Coast Music Group), and I knew, so I was just trying to figure it out. But then I got fired, chile and..."
After the hosts asked her why she was fired, she continued:
"I think I was late and Arnold told me, 'Vena, this is not where you need to be.' He was like, 'You are so stuck in your world of comedy, you need to go and get that.' So I always tell Arnold when I see him, I say thank you. Thank you for firing me because it pushed me. It excelled me where I am right now."
And she hasn't looked back since. Talk about stepping into your purpose!
What's even better, is other celebs have shared similar stories about times they've been fired due to the same sentiments. Janelle Monae revealed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that she was fired from Office Depot after responding to a fan on a work computer. "Long story short: my boss said, ‘Listen, we’re gonna make this easy for you: You’re fired. Go do what you love. You don’t wanna be here’ … But luckily it led me to stay focused on what I loved.”
Nicki Minaj told Billboard:“I’d been fired like 15 times because I had a horrible attitude. The last job I had was as an office manager in a little, tiny room where I literally wanted to strangle this guy because he was so loud and obnoxious. I would go home with stress pains in my neck and my back. That’s when I went to my mother and said, ‘Look, I’m not going back to work.’" She focused on her music from that day forward.
Kerry Washington told the Hollywood Reporter that she was too fired from a pilot show, "Before Scandal, the only other two pilots I’d ever done were shows that got picked up, but I got fired. They recast my character on both shows … But if I had gotten picked up on one of them, I wouldn’t have been able to do Ray, you know what I mean? It seems at the time like a my-career-is-over moment, but it makes perfect sense in the end.”
And ladies, that's the beauty of purpose: it never makes sense to us at the time, but it always does in the end.
Pretty Vee is a living testimony, closing her interview by saying, "I think for me, when I left everything in God's hands, that's when it started moving for me. That was my moment. Instead of having the anxiety, the nervousness, the cringy moments, I think it was more of just leaving it into God's hands instead of trying to lean on me. 'Cause we don't got the answers."
We don't have them at all.
Pretty Vee: Getting Fired From Job Led to Finding Her Calling in Comedy, Film & Business | The Pivot
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Featured image by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for BET