Sofya Qessa is a singer-songwriter from Mechelen with a multicultural background. Her dual upbringing left her without a sense of belonging. Now she uses her music to heal and to teach others how to overcome as well.
Born in Brussels to first generation immigrant parents from Morocco, she was taught that emotions were a sign of weakness. She hid herself both physically and emotionally.
She herself explains why: ‘It is not the culture responsible, but the older generation.’
The difficulties did not end there. At a young age, she went from a French-Moroccan background to a Flemish boarding school for three years. A little later, she then left again with her family for Morocco, where she spent several years in yet another entirely foreign setting.
Now, she has returned and is living in Mechelen with her husband and their three children. During the day she works as a Dutch teacher in Brussel schools and in her free time she works on her music and spends time with her children.
Listen to her story here:
Text: Tharsice Commissaris & Viara Nikolova
Audio: Tharsice Commissaris, Viktor Brenner & Viara Nikolova
Photos: © Viara Nikolova