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

Life, in all its complexity, is a journey to be wholeheartedly embraced. In its darkest moments, when solitude weighs heavily, and challenges seem unconquerable, these times define and shape us. Yvonne Niwahereza Colangelo is an author and creative content creator in art and finance who understands this sentiment and has lived it. Her journey is a remarkable tale of defying expectations along the road to triumph — not shrinking from adversity but using it as leverage.

Her book, Reclaiming My Name, Niwahereza, is far more than a book. It’s a journey into the heart of human resilience and the quest for authentic self-identity. The story echoes the resilience of Niwahereza’s spirit, mind, and body through her unique lens, forged in the fires of the hardships and hurdles that shaped her consciousness and fueled her drive to succeed.

Born in Uganda, Niwahereza’s innate mindset ventured beyond traditional norms as her incessantly artistic imagination set her apart. Her individuality and push to defy conventions, especially as a woman in a society that rigidly defines female expectations, was staunchly rejected. Whereas many people in similar situations succumb to the pressures around them, Niwahereza refused to beckon and became the outlier, searching to understand the elusive nature of genuine connection.

Her story is the foundation of her brand, Breathe88, built upon a rich tapestry of imagination, art, science, philosophy, and culture to create authentically distinct expressions of beauty and poetry. Breathe88 is a statement against the voices that considered her insufficient and a testament to her struggles and triumphs with a core understanding that embracing oneself is not just about self-acknowledgment but about appreciating a deeper insight into humanity.

Upon moving from Uganda to Canada in 2016, Niwahereza began her incredible journey as a janitor to support her children. Within a year, she juggled multiple roles at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital, including various jobs and volunteer work. Her career turned toward finance in 2018, and by the end of 2021, she had embraced a Banking Advisor role. She ultimately moved into a Financial Advisory position and earned Fintech certification.

Niwahereza’s story is a genuine testament to steadfast determination and hard work, and one of her crowning achievements includes Women’s Day 2022, where she addressed an RBC global audience of more than 40,000 people. Her vast experiences, introspections, and life’s journey culminated in prominence and an inspiring, monumental tale into the depths of her soul, as told in her book, Reclaiming My Name, Niwahereza.

Reclaiming My Name, Niwahereza beckons readers to delve into a fundamental question: What is the essence of life, if not a cause worth fighting for? As the story progresses, Niwahereza takes the readers on a journey through the remarkable fortitude of the human spirit, affirming that even through the darkest winters of life, one can emerge as who they are meant to be.

The narrative transcends a mere personal journey, reflecting the universal trials and victories faced by those brave enough to embrace their true identity in a conformist world. Her journey resonates on a personal and universal level as a story woven from the threads of struggle, defiance, and unwavering courage to embrace authenticity. Her work is an open invitation to witness the unbridled power of the human spirit.