From Shadows to Spotlight: Yvonne Niwahereza’s Journey of Defiance and Triumph

Yvonne Niwahereza
Photo Courtesy: Yvonne Niwahereza Colangelo

By: Jon Stojan 

Yvonne Niwahereza Colangelo, a creative content creator in art and finance, has transformed her life into a radiant embodiment of resilience and authenticity. Her story illustrates the power of self-awareness and the courage to reclaim one’s true identity. She champions this and more in her book “Reclaiming My Name, ‘Niwahereza.’”

Colangelo’s brand, Breathe88, serves as an online showcase for her artwork and literary works. It stands at the intersection of creativity and authenticity and reflects the core values that have defined her personal and professional journey. Born in Uganda, Africa, Colangelo’s artistic imagination set her apart. Societal expectations, especially for women, made Colangelo an outlier with its rigid definitions. Her inclination to defy norms led her on a quest to understand the elusive nature of true connection and the uniqueness of her life’s narrative.

Colangelo’s brand is a tribute to those who defy the odds—the dreamers, innovators, and creators who face societal pressures yet valiantly choose to stand firm. It emerged from courage, a bold statement against voices deeming her insufficient. As a mother, creator, and multifaceted African woman, her brand seeks to offer healing and acceptance. It celebrates both perseverance and the strength of the human spirit.

At the heart of Breathe88 lies an understanding that embracing oneself unlocks a deeper insight into humanity. Colangelo’s philosophy extends beyond personal growth to emphasize the essential need for community and mutual support. Through her journey, she advocates that self-discovery is linked to the ability to give selflessly, fostering interconnectedness and gratitude.

Photo Courtesy: Yvonne Niwahereza Colangelo

More than a book, “Reclaiming My Name, ‘Niwahereza’” is a profound exploration into the heart of human resilience and the quest for true self-identity. Colangelo’s story allows readers to witness the unbridled power of the human spirit. It affirms that, even through life’s darkest winters, anyone can emerge as their true selves. 

Colangelo’s career has soared with notable achievements that include overcoming adversity, embracing artistry, and successfully transitioning from Uganda to Canada. Her professional journey, marked by steadfast determination, saw her excel in roles ranging from janitorial work to achieving top sales accolades in the finance sector. Completing a Financial Technology (FINTECH) course and addressing a global audience on Women’s Day 2022 underscored Colangelo’s commitment to continuous learning and her ability to inspire others. Her writing endeavor,  “Reclaiming My Name, ‘Niwahereza,’” is another monumental achievement, with a motivating narrative of liberation, self-discovery, and a vision of hope and rebirth.

But Colangelo is not unfamiliar with challenges. Crafting her book required confronting and unraveling her past, marking a daunting yet triumphant journey toward self-discovery. The wisdom Colangelo now shares emphasizes embracing life’s challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Gratitude, giving back, and self-embracement are key components of her enduring philosophy. Continual learning and self-development, coupled with embracing one’s true self, form the foundation of her transformative message.

In the next few years, Yvonne Niwahereza Colangelo envisions her brand blossoming into a vibrant beacon of authenticity and creative expression. Her dream extends beyond personal success, aspiring to inspire a collective shift and establish a school for uniquely talented children. Colangelo’s journey offers valuable lessons and inspiration to a broad audience, powerfully demonstrating the principles of courage and authenticity.

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