We were able to sit down with Leadership Consultant Christina Kanu, to discuss her dreams, work ethic, and passion to help others evolve. She is currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, has a host of clients and recently became a campaign manager on a highly publicized political trail. Christina stays in constant action as she is also in graduate school and presents frequently at conferences nationwide.
What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Christina Kanu affectionately known as Miss Kanu. I am the CEO of Christina Kanu Consulting LLC and I am a graduate student at Clark Atlanta University in the Master’s in African American Studies. I am a daughter, sister, friend, mentor, consultant, diva, lover of all things fabulous, and woman with a faith that God can do it ALL.
Are there any childhood experiences that led you to where you are today?
When I was graduating high school the Assistant Principal at my school Mr. Terrence Yarborough told me that I was an inspiration to the younger girls and that I needed to continue to do what I was doing. I remember being 18 years old and thinking oh my. People had always made fun of me about everything. From the way I dressed, talked, acted, and everything in between. I was always too happy and too loud. The fact that he believed I was an inspiration forced me to walk in that path. I have not looked back since. I live my life as an example to inspire others to achieve.
How did you get started in your current field today? And where did that passion come from?
I never knew that I would own a company by the time I was 25. That was never a part of my vision. I have always loved helping people from the time I was little. My parents always told me that I always wanted to help everyone do everything. In elementary school if we had a new student I wanted to show them around the school. In high school I was in the Student Government Association as well as a football and soccer manager. In college I became President of many organizations which allowed me to teach and develop new leaders. People were always asking me for help with events, initiatives, or with their own personal development as a person. I officially launched my company Christina Kanu Consulting LLC in 2016 but the vision for the company came from God in 2014. CKC provides consulting services for individuals, business owners, nonprofits, politicians, events, and more. I work with a variety of clients and every single day is different. I am grateful that every day I get to change the world and bring joy and excellence into the lives of each of my clients.
Who do you look to for inspiration to keep going?
My inspiration to keep going comes from all of the strong Black women in my life. Black women have experienced so much historically and STILL continue to run the world. I never have to look far for inspiration. From my mother Serwah Kanu to all of the women who have shaped me I am eternally grateful. They have taught me, corrected me, loved me, scolded me, and pushed me. Every single day I do what I do for this collective group of women who always confirmed that Black Girl Magic is REAL.
What makes you stand apart from everyone else in your field?
My consulting firm Christina Kanu Consulting LLC in excellence at every level. I make sure that every client feels special from our first consultation forward. I am adamant about making sure that my clients are happy and do not just feel like another client to me. My company is there to celebrate the good times as well as support in the hard times. It is rare that you find people who believe in you and your dreams. CKC serves as a catalyst for dreams and dream chasers 365 days a year (366 in a leap year).
What tangible piece of advice would you give young girls who want to be where you are?
The best piece of advice I can give to all of the amazing young girls is to be around people who love you for you. People who make you feel anything less than are not people you need in your life. Period Mark. It is so important to have a collective group of girlfriends who love you, cheer for you, cry with you, and support you. The people closest to me have always understood how ambitious I am. They understand that my planner is my best friend and that I cannot always go to dinner or on vacation because I am constantly busy. However, they still love me and are my support system. You need people like that during your journey to success.
What do you love most about being a woman?
There is nothing like the love a woman can give. My love for the people in my life is unconditional. It amazes me how my love for people produces a cathartic experience in their life. People always talk about my “Christina Hugs” or how my energy lights up the room. This makes me happy because everything I do is in love. From the long emotional text messages I send people or how I will travel near and far to be there for the people in my life. I love the ability to love freely in all situations.
What’s the theme song to your life?
I love this question! I would have to select two. The first is “Diva” by Beyoncé. I have always been a Diva since birth. My definition of a Diva is a woman who is confident, sexy in her own way, ambitious, hardworking, and is a BOSS. Whenever I am feeling off I listen to “Diva” and I feel like myself again. I have a tattoo on my right ankle that says “Diva”. My second theme song is “Take Me as I Am” by Mary J. Blige. When I was younger I did not understand why people did not accept me. The words in this song always affirmed me. I accepted that it is ok to be unique in a world where everyone wants to be the same. Both of these songs always allow me to sing or dance my heart out in the mirror. They take me to a very happy place.
What is your most memorable moment as a consultant?
This is a really difficult question because I have had so many dynamic experiences. I think the day I officially received my LLC paperwork was the most memorable moment. I remember looking at the document and thinking “Oh my God this is real I am a CEO”. I knew that in that very moment I did something that most people never do and that I would be helping to inspire more girls who look like me to chase after their dreams in spite of every obstacle that is placed in their life.
What is your least memorable moment as a consultant?
My least memorable moment would be when people do not take my time as a consultant seriously. I have to remind people that this is a business and not a hobby. Time is money and money is time. I try and teach those who I mentor to always respect people’s time. If you have a meeting with a person respect that time. If someone says 2:00 PM that means 2:00 PM not whenever I feel like it. I really hate time that is wasted as a result of someone else failing to plan.
Are there any struggles being a woman in your field?
People do not always want to take the things that I am serious because I am a woman. In business settings people still find it easier to accept what a man says versus a woman. I come from a family of strong women. I will always create a space for myself at the table no matter who is in the room. It takes a lot of confidence to do that and I try to sprinkle confidence seeds in the lives of all the women I meet. It can be challenging but it is imperative. Women’s voices matter!
“I will always create a space for myself at the table no matter who is in the room.”
What is one thing many people do not know about you?
Only people closest to me know how much I love snacks. I do not leave the house without snacks in my purse. I have been to black tie events and will find a way to sneak a snack in my clutch. I remember attending the BET Hip Hop Awards and the United Negro College Fund an Evening of Stars event and having fruit snacks in my clutch. When I am hungry I am not nice.
If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
If I could be an animal I would be a ladybug. Ladybugs are lucky and bring joy into the lives of people. I love bringing joy into the lives of others.
What does the future hold for you?
I will be finishing my Master’s Degree in May 2017 and looking to pursue my Ph.D in 2017. I told myself I would go straight through from Kindergarten to Doctoral Degree. I would like to continue to expand Christina Kanu Consulting LLC and work with even more exciting people. I want to travel more and continue to seek happiness daily. Marriage and children are on my mind but I am not in a rush. I am enjoying my 20s and my exciting journey. In the words of Drake “Welcome to my life no two days are the same”.
Where can people find you?
You can follow my journey on Instagram and Twitter @MissKanu. Be sure to search the hashtag #MissKanuMessages for my messages about life, happiness, business, and being the best you that you can be.
Or you can visit my website www.christinakanu.com
For business inquiries, speaking engagements, or questions you can reach me at Info@ChristinaKanu.com