Standing Firm and Loving The Fact She Does!
Domestic violence has never been a topic to take
lightly, so I had to be very careful as I treaded through
rough currents in asking Kandi the right questions. The
interview was a conversation that reminded me how
quickly those currents can go from raging to calm as can
be and back to restless again. Kandi has been through
a lot and seen too much with her own eyes leaving
her deeply concerned about the livelihood of children growing up in unstable households, and how this can affect their grown relationships down the road. Kandi loves how the culture of New Orleans and how a solid family support structure has helped shape her into a strong woman who won’t break like the levees in 2005. There’s so much more to be done in her time on this Earth. Read about Kandi and what makes her so stead- fast in seeing her dreams become a reality!
What passions in life have you pursued?
My passion in life is what I do with Michael Neely and my participation in the music and entertainment industry. I love being a resource and a middleperson for the business and services provided. Music is my passion, as I tell everyone that my heart beats at 16 beats. I learned how to play the piano and flute at an early age. I love the entertainment business, but it’s not necessary for me to be in the spotlight.
When you became a single mother, how did you bal- ance your work, social life and family life?
Ok, the thing I want you to understand is that when
I was younger I grew up with both of my parents around. Before I became a single mother I was basi- cally the live-in nanny for a household of four chil- dren, so I already knew how to take care of the house- hold. My father’s concern was keeping the heat and lights on, us having food in our stomachs and clothes on our backs. He’s always told us that if you want something, you have to go after it hard and earn it.
As a single mother it’s been difficult seeing my chil- dren grow up without both parents around like I had. It’s like water. Sometimes the current doesn’t go your way, but you have to either sink or swim.
How have you utilized your independence and suc- cess to benefit your children?
I show them the importance of family and how if it doesn’t come first then their business won’t be suc- cessful. The same way you treat your family reflects how you treat your business relationships. I know that in my shoes if I sink, everything falls.
As far as domestic violence is concerned, how would you advise women in similar situations compared to the ones you’ve been?
When I take into account all I saw as a young girl
into my grown relationships, I’d have to say no mat- ter how good it once was, the moment your partner tries to control you as an object, get out! No matter how much they say ‘I love you’ and try to isolate you, that’s not right and you need to make a change. Be the brave person and walk away, regardless of how much you’ve invested. I look at my own life and realize there’s no need for baggage. It’s not worth it to you if your partner is hurting you verbally and/or physically. If you stay, it’s not healthy for you and for those closest to you that care deeply for you. In my shoes, I walked away from my home and job for the sake of a stable environment for my children. When I walk away, I’m gone forever! I don’t come back.
Some people don’t understand how difficult it is to just leave, so what stopped you from leaving your abusive relationship when you first realized you were being abused?
Most of those people who stick around through the abuse actually love the abuser. Some victims feel sorry for the abuser and confuse other things with love. Sometimes the abuser helped the victim get out of a previously bad situation and for whatever reason
something is owed to them. The strength is within
and shown when you walk away. The only person
holding you back from a life full of happiness is you.
This is the first time I’ve been single in my life since
I was 18 and I’m happy because I don’t have to deal with the extra stress and controlling temperament. If I don’t meet and get to know the right man for me, then I’m still happy with my life because I have my children and a purpose in providing for them!
What consequences do you think are fair to abusive partners?
Normally I’d say an eye for an eye, but in a good num- ber of cases I think therapy is needed for the abuser, not always just a harsh jail sentence. Therapy would be intended to bring closure to their situation, so they can learn from it and not allow it to be repetitive. Whatever the crime is, the punishment should fit it perfectly.
I feel that everybody has a gift and curse within themselves, so what would be yours?
My heart is both my gift and curse, because of how caring and nurturing I am. I love hard, work hard and play hard! I’m the type who’s very inviting and willing to form friendships and relationships, but I keep my circle tight. I’m honest to a fault and overly optimis- tic!
What qualities do you look for in a man/partner?
I want someone who’s ambitious and focused on their goals. I don’t want a dreamer that just exists in his dream. He has to be taking the steps towards living out his dreams and be family oriented at the same time. Being humble with a sense of humor helps too! If you as a man know what you want out of life and are pursuing too, then we have something in common to talk about.
What do you feel people have learned from you most? What have you learned from others?
Something I learned from those closest is that some- times you can get so caught up in your endeavors, you can tend to forget some of those who are closest. People have learned from me that no matter what people say about what you’re going through; take the time to find out the truth.
Article written by: Bill Oxford
XS10 MAGAZINE 11