1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
I’m Ms. Sheela Scholastica “Sheena” Langeberg and I’m on the 45-55 years age mark. I’m a Mother of two twins/ Multi Disciplinary Artist (Playwright, Actress/Director/Producer/Choreographer/Composer/Singer/Author/Masseuse/Teacher/Musician/Arranger.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
My mama ‘Maija of Chaggaland” always prepared what turned out to be healthy eating. Her delicious, mouth watering recipes varied everyday. There were of meat, fish, chicken, different beans types, milk and milk products, lots of vegetables and salads. Mama had bought a few farms (fields). And within the years, she worked really hard and us children helping with our little hands to transform the fields into wonderful gardens. She grew bananas, (many types) corn (different types) coffee beans, rice, millet, sunflower, yams, different fruit trees and sesame seeds. Mama had lovely vegetable gardens where she grew tomatoes, onions, spinach, cabbage, herbs and spices which she used in her addictive meals. She also kept live stock such as cows, goats, pigs and sheep (only for ritual ceremonies) She kept a lot of chickens for both for meat and eggs. Mama prepared a lot of soups, stews and fruits such as avocados, mangoes, lemons, and wild spinach grew everywhere. Us children could just pick and eat them. Once a month, Mama had a trusted fisherman deliver fresh fish to our home after he had been fishing at the “Nyumba Ya Mungu” (God’s Home) dam a few kilometers away. Mama would prepare the fish into incredible stews, and sauces and served it with banana or potato mash or vegetable stews. Dish recipes are available by request or in my upcoming book called “Under The Red Jacaranda.” Mama liked to sing and dance and did so often in front of us and at anytime. So I grew up mimicking my mother – that way I got to know the chants and her dance moves. Singing and dancing would later become my stellar career. Mama, I salute you! Through my school years, healthy eating was well emphasized, promoted and stressed. All the schools and colleges I attended, grew their own crops for the students’ consumption. All the farming from cultivating to weeding to harvest to storage was done by the students under the guidance of a qualified farm expert teachers/tutors.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
Mama engaged us children one by one in the preparations of her amazing recipes. She also gave her dishes names, different names from those known by everyone in the village to make her cooking more special and memorable. Mama also made us part of it by choosing what to cook each day. This way, we were very proud of our own efforts and we ate what we were proud of. Mama hosted each Christmas day when family, friends and neighbors were invited. Mama would ferment her famous banana beer and cook all her famous dishes. We all helped out and were proud to show all the people our craft.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
This has become my way of life. The actual life. It has helped me teach my children and all other children I’ve gotten to meet, inspire and empower as well.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
My twins swear by this and live a healthier lifestyle. They love my chants and music and they admire my dance moves. They are very proud of my achievement and respect my teaching to them. They adore my cooking.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Firstly I’d encourage parents to teach their children about health and healthy eating from a very early age. Remember a file stored well and under a memorable folder in the computer is easy to remember and call it when needed. What children learn and store in their minds and brain for an easy call and use later in life. As a parent, cook, eat and live a healthy life style for your children to witness examples and follow. For the children, I’d say please eat up your meals, veggies and fruits because that will make your body, mind and soul so happy and healthy. Exercise regularly and do all your favorite sports with your cool friends.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?