Niambi Breland-Roberts’s Story
Niambi was a joy to have into our studio. She has been through so much, and yet is so strong. Here is her story!
Quiet strength. I’ve doubted myself many times in my life, but I’ve always been able to push forward and achieve things I never thought I would or could.
“Let’s see, as a young child, I suffered from severe asthma and was hospitalized multiple times throughout my childhood. Once I picked up the clarinet in middle school, my asthma resolved. I went on to join the JROTC rifle team in high school after encouragement from the only other girl on the team that saw in me a worthy replacement. I shot with and against a lot of guys that were simply upset that I was there, so beating them was icing on the cake. This was great training for my time in the Navy. Thanks to JROTC, I was a 17 years old E-3 when I joined and as you can imagine, no one wanted to take orders from their “little sister”. However, I knew that as long as I worked as long and as hard as they did I would earn their respect. In the military, one tends to grow up quickly and I got married at 20 years old. I went from being a sailor to a sailor’s wife within a few years. We moved a few times and eventually settled in Atlanta where I was able to earn a degree in Media Production at 26 years old.”
“Here I was, doing my homework and helping my 3 kids with theirs. Even so, with the demands of a growing family, I put my dream job on the back burner in order to support my family and my husband in his career. 18 months ago, my husband told me it was time to live my dream, to work as hard for myself as I have for others and I quit my job. I now do photography and videography and I have never worked so hard in my life, but it’s been so worth it.”
Over time, I have been diagnosed with quite a few autoimmune conditions, which I have learned to live with and control. Last November, just three days after my 42nd birthday, I was diagnosed with alopecia. I’m not a vain person, but it still hit hard. I immersed myself in information and personal testimonials I found online and became stressed to the point that I started losing clumps of hair at a time. I resolved to not let it control me and I shaved my head. I decided to use my quiet strength and confront all my fears head on. I’m glad I did because I had friends I’ve know for years speak to me about their bout with the same condition, something they were always afraid to share with anyone.
Committing to being your own best friend, cheerleader, biggest fan, biggest critic, and biggest motivator.
“Honestly, the poem I learned in second grade, “Myself” by Edgar Guest, has always helped me when I am down.”
I am always behind the camera, I really don’t like how I look in pictures so there are relatively fewer clicks of me than anyone in my family. Now with my newly bald head, this new reality has been up and down for me.
I think all women have their own quiet strength, just by sheer virtue of being a woman and navigating life in this world where we continue to fight to be recognized and included.
Every woman deserves to feel confident and beautiful.