Today we’d like to introduce you to Raheem Abike Halimah a.k.a Papaya ex.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Raheem Abike Halimah a.k.a iampapayaa or papaya_ex. I am an actress & an international influencer. For the most part I am an “ordinary girl”, just with an extra-ordinary purpose, extra-ordinary drive and extra-ordinary resilience.
As with all of us it has been my unique joruney and experiences that have shaped me -uniquely. I have always stood out -even amongst my siblings. Standing out early in life translated into being an easy target for bullying which spiraled into me developing many insecurities- a battle I prevail in daily. Nothing ever came easy for me , every acheivement was coupled with an immense amount of work. However, I’ve come to realize the same things about me that made me stand out and experience some negativity are the same things that have opened doors and created platforms for my purpose.
Some days thinking back on my life and experiences like being bullied, I smile so hard feeling both a great sense of accomplishment.
So how did i work through this…how did I retrieve myself from the rubble of life..I found myself through Influencing for big brands, it helped me communicate and express myself freely in a way that allowed me to be vunerable to the world and connect but it also offered a solice and protection.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
My biggest challenge is one not unique to me. Becoming. Becoming the real me. For example, one of my life goals was to become a medical doctor for my mother’s sake. My love for art is second to none, but considering my mother’s desire was paramount. This led to me writing the JAMB examination, in order to make this dream a reality. It was hard for me to accept that no matter how much my love and appreciation for my mother i had, her dream was not my reality. Despite the time and effort i gave, I found myself stealing away from my studies to attend performing arts exhibitions and movie auditions. My heart was where art lives.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I an an actress and an international influencer for big brands all over the world. I have influenced for top fashion brands, clothing lines, hotels, government social projects etc. I am a movement, influencing and entertainment specialist at large, however i am nurturing a specialty in the union of the performing arts, advocacy , production and education. The love of nature is close to my heart specifically creating awareness among children and youth on the effect of land based pollution to the ecosystem, thus it only makes sense to pair the two passions.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
From my experience, I can say that it can be very tough to focus on all our goals at once.
Which is why I believe one should always prepare, persevere, practice optimism and learn from failure.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
For me, success simply means achieving a goal, I have set for my self, it is a sense of giving back to the world and making a difference.
What’s next for you?
World domination (evil grin) no but in all seriousness the love, passion and experiences I have are bigger than 1 geographic area so I am expanding the papaya brand to a few international markets with the tenets still being in play. I want to produce a Hollywood movie and feature Denzel Washington.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
Twitter and Instagram: @papaya_ex