With the advancement of science and technology, people would think that civil wars would be a thing of the past and that world peace is closer to reality than fiction. Unfortunately, they would be wrong. Over the years, internal conflicts have risen, and hundreds of refugees have been forced out of their homes and into safer grounds. Survivor and activist Wahira LaBelle’s story attests to that.
An artist of Somali descent, driven out of her country by strife and chaos, Wahira LaBelle is one of the loudest voices advocating for peace and equality today. Her famous quote “Create your own tribe” has been echoed across national borders and is a symbol of her reach.
“As a black trans-migrant who speaks five languages, I embody multiple intersectionalities, and I often speak on my lived experiences as a refugee who crossed borders and mountains to get to where I am today,” she said.
From her numerous moving talks and art expression, Wahira LaBelle’s story narrates the trials of a young woman who has braved a tumultuous journey and is determined to help individuals pull through theirs. This story is translated into Wahira’s work as an artist, storyteller, activist, and as the founder of Pause$Pose, a company designed to cater to and shelter refugees.
Her ongoing efforts to create a better environment for her audience and those going through the same things she once did all began when Wahira LaBelle reached the United States of America. After leaving her country and moving to California, the influential artist found herself in a position of privilege unfamiliar to the brothers and sisters left in her country.
When asked what motivated her to take the stage and share her tale, Wahira revealed, “I know that there is a lot of work that needs to be done and that I am in a position where I can advocate for black minorities, refugees, and LGBTQI migrants.”
Lately, the brilliant artist has been expanding her reach and immersing herself in a new language: music. Putting pen on paper and coming out with a heart-wrenching song dedicated to her people, Wahira LaBelle hopes to share a message of hope and let her song be an anthem of validation and comfort to its listeners.
Building on that message and ensuring it makes its way through all alleys and streets worldwide, the multilingual storyteller is also a sought-after spokesperson for the Black LGBTQ Migrant Project, BLMP. On the platform, Wahira encourages individuals to create a tribe where fitting in is as natural as breathing and where space to welcome more is limitless.
Since moving to California and diving into philanthropy, Wahira LaBelle has been recognized as the voice for the voiceless. Her outstanding work has been featured on BBC Africa, Blavity News, QueerEthiopia, and more popular publications.
“Refugees are humans too,” she states, echoing the sentiment that has defined her career and platforms. “Equality is important. Displacement is real.” Through her inspirational endeavors, Wahira LaBelle declares that it’s time something is done about it.