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  • RUKIA KUFAKUNOGA

Latina Looks Like Me is calling me to live up to my brand’s message!

At the end of 2019,I felt lost and purposeless. After much soul-searching and prayer I received a download from God that came in the form of a dream. Essentially, it was this idea to heal my inner -child by affirming who she is. Growing up I struggled with being secure in my identity because I was different from my peers. My parents are immigrants, my father is from Tanzania and my mother is from Panama. I grew up in a small,predominantly black town where I was teased for having an unusual last name and having foreign parents. What 10-year old Rukia needed was to know that she could embrace being a Afro-Latina. This is what led me to write my book.


The intention behind the brand and story book is to empower Latina girls and women to celebrate and embrace their culture. The book “Latina Looks Like Me” is a children’s book that affirms what a Latina can and does look like.I’m telling young girls to love their hair, skin tones, and culture all while I still struggle to embrace myself. Recently, I had a video shoot to promote my book and it was a struggle! I fumbled my words and kept overthinking what I wanted to say. It seemed that up until the moment when the camera was live I knew who this brand was for and what I wanted to say. However, each time as the videographer counted down the seconds before we were live I froze like a deer in headlights.The videographer who also happens to be my friend, saw right through this and immediately called me out for not being able to express authentically why I wrote my book.Instead of focusing on the intention of my brand’s message, I was more concerned with what people would think about me. I say all of this to say, Latina Looks Like Me is calling for me to be authentic. I cannot promote the message of loving and embracing your uniqueness when I am struggling to do the same.


Latina Looks Like Me is taking me on a journey of self-discovery, self-love, and authenticity. I am not sure where this journey will take me but I am ready for the ride!





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