Happygrrl of the Month:
Flow 93.5 DJ, Jemeni...
The Happygrrl of the Month title is given to a cool chick who exemplifies the true essence of being a Happygrrl. Which means that she possesses independence, a sense of humour and a slightly neurotic side.
YOU WANTED TO KNOW
NO MORE DJs
Our Happygrrl of the Month is…Jemeni.
What can I say about Jemeni? For one thing she is the friendliest girl on the planet. When I met up with her to talk, she politely interrupted me to say, "Wuz up, homey" to all her peeps. Which is all of Toronto!!!
If you don't already know who this down sista is, she is one of the on air personalities at FLOW 93.5 FM, Canada's first urban radio station.
When I first spoke to Jemeni I felt like I found my new best friend. (Hey, Christine and Phan - I still got love for y'all!) Not only do we both have a love for poetry and Lauryn Hill [ah, that's why you ditched me - Chris], we both confessed to having a weakness for American men (yo, T-dot men, don't get it twisted, we love y'all too).
We felt that Jemeni was worthy of having Happygrrl of the Month status due to her genuine love for what she does, for her down to earth nature, and for being a part of a radio station that we can't live without.
It was her love for hip hop - music and culture - that motivated her to get into radio. Being a young, black female growing up in Ottawa, hip hop was one of the few things that she could totally identify with: "It was my connection to the community, my politics and my poetry." She was in awe of Queen Latifah, Salt-n-Pepa and KRS-One. This love for the music inspired her to embrace her passion by enrolling in the Radio program at school. This also led her to start volunteering at Ryerson's community radio station, CKLN.
She volunteered for eight years and, after perfecting her craft and doing tons of hosting gigs, she was encouraged by many to apply for a position at FLOW. After submitting a demo and auditioning, she was eventually awarded for all her years of hard work by getting the coveted spot at FLOW.
She does her thang every morning by reporting the news - which includes entertainment news - sends birthday shout outs (psst…my birthday is May 7th) and introduces the songs with a certain Jemeni flavour.
Aside from radio, Jemeni's true love is writing. She is a devoted poet and has been published in several magazines. Her poem, "America Eats Its Young," was included in Bum Rush the Page (published by Def Poetry Jam), which is a book of conscious political poetry. Not only was her poem featured in the book, she was the only Canadian included in it. If that wasn't cool enough, her poem became a house song that deservingly won an UMAC (Urban Music Association Canada) award last year. Damn girl, you are AMAZING!!!
Even though she enjoys being on the air, she has hopes of publishing a book of poetry, a book of hip hop interviews and a book of short stories in the very near future.
Jemeni is a true inspiration because she continues to do what she loves. I am glad that I had the chance to meet with her and talk to her. She has reinforced how important it is to achieve your goals.