Smooth + Confidence Series, Ghana Edition: Maame

To Be Careful + Carefree:
Maame Adjei

 All Photos taken by  Naafia Naahemaa

All Photos taken by Naafia Naahemaa

The Smooth + Confidence series is our platform to highlight the skin, voices + stories of black women, from the Chicago, Illinois, to Accra, Ghana, through interviews + photography. It's important for our words and narratives to be captured with our pictures, for us, by us.

I first learned about Maame Adjei after realizing one day, via Instagram, that she was the face of a painting I'd bought from my friend Maku in Ghana last summer. A month or so later, my dad sent me a CNN Africa interview featuring Maame + said, "Auntie, do you know this woman? She's doing some good things, check her out." And I'm so glad he did! This past December, Maame + I met in Ghana through our friend Dedo. Maame is a producer, actor + all-in-all creative entrepreneur. If you're not hip to her TV series An African City, get to it; her character is my favorite + I think you'll see why! Maame Adjei embodies what it means to be unapologetic, bold + humble in her journey. I'm so excited for you all to learn more about her through our conversation! Also, can I just say: these photos are everything; thank you, Naafia!

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Abena BoamahTell us about yourself! Whether it's what you do, your passions, your drives, your faves, your feats—who are you?

My name is Maame Adjei. I’m passionate about living my life in abundance, and what that looks like for me is pursuing the things that move me—always being honest with myself even when I can’t be honest with others and doing the things I fear most.

Abena Boamah: I love that, especially when it comes to doing the things you fear the most. Maame, you do so much, so how do you start and/or end your day? Are you a morning person or a night person? What rituals + routines do you do to prepare?

Maame Adjei: I’m definitely not a morning person at all! I’m currently struggling with insomnia so I get to bed late at night, spending way too much time on social media. The one routine that I’ve managed to keep consistent over the years is writing out my to-do list the night before. It really does help me focus once I do wake up.

Abena Boamah: I totally feel you about social media taking over your time; I'm struggling myself, especially in the mornings. I found that not being on the phone for the first hour of the day helps! It gives me some freedom and a fresh start. For our Smooth + Confidence series, we're interested in if you connect with the idea that you can be carefree + careful at the same time. How do you embody the notion of being a carefree black woman in your everyday life?

Maame Adjei: Absolutely! You can and should absolutely be both. Carefree doesn’t mean stupid or blind. It just means always tapping into the most authentic part of yourself and living life with self-belief. I feel like once you have self-belief your gut will always steer you away from the wrong things/people/moments. That’s what careful looks like for a carefree woman. I try and be carefree by following my inner voice and by pushing against my fears.

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Abena Boamah: So on point! Following your intuition really does allow you to have this balance of being carefree + careful. As someone who is doing so many different things and is able to find this balance, what self-care and self-love practices do you currently engage in that relate directly to being carefree/careful or that make you feel smooth + confident?

Maame Adjei: Spending time alone. I think sometimes people are afraid to do that but I actually need it. I’m an introvert in the technical sense that I actually get energy from solitude and social interactions drain me after a point. Music always makes me feel like magic. As I’m typing this I’m listening to Daniel Caesar and literally floating. You can’t tell me nothing right now...5 minutes from now, I'm not too sure...LOL.

Abena Boamah: Daniel Caesar is everything! And it so important for one to know where they can gain their energy, especially as a creative. For me, vibing at home to any Afrobeats playlist of Soulection while whipping shea is one of the best self-care acts, and doing it makes me feel smooth + confident. That's actually how "Smooth + Confident" became a tagline for Hanahana Beauty, over a phone call with my friend Kenya and has now become my everyday mantra. What does the phrase smooth + confident mean to you?

Maame Adjei: It means to be elusive and graceful and a boss. All in one.

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Abena Boamah: Yas, yas, and yas again! What is your personal golden rule? Do you have a mantra, a quote, a lyric, a philosophy, or any words that you live by or want to incorporate in your life?

Maame Adjei: What you fear the most—do that.

Abena Boamah: 2018 has already been moving fast, I can't believe it. But what's one thing that you want more of in 2018 and one thing you want less of in terms of personal growth?

Maame Adjei: More risk taking. More leaps. More nights wrapped in love. More money. More laughter. More glo' up with my tribe. Less noise. Less noise. Less noise.

Abena Boamah: Finally, which Hanahana Beauty product is your favorite?

Maame Adjei: The shea butter! My friend Dedo actually turned me on to it. Love!

Thank you, Maame, for being so honest + for sharing your authentic, incredibly insightful self with us. We love everything you do + can't wait to see what you get up to next! 

Follow Maame's trailblazing at @MsAdjei + check out her traveling series spotlighting people, especially Africans, traveling to + within the motherland, Girl Going Places!


Stay Smooth + Confident

- Abena Boamah