We had the good fortune of connecting with Bilkis (Bili B) Shinaba and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bilkis (Bili B), can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from West Africa Nigeria. I came to the States during 4th grade year with my parents and siblings on a visa lottery which later earned us our citizenship. I know a little about growing back home and I’ve live my life up to this point in the States. I have seen my parents struggle and work hard to earn us the American dream as immigrants and I have learned to appreciate all. I have been motivated to work hard to give back to my parents and all we left behind back home someday hopefully soon. I now have my own family, married and working and also trying to earn my Masters so I can help along with my husband to continue to achieve that dream where we can be comfortable enough. I always believe in having more than 3 plans in life. I set myself up in a way where I always need to have something to fall back on if plan A and B doesn’t work out. I also believe in pursuing my dream where it fits in the time and current situation as able. I enjoy creating arts, acting, and making music. I released my singles under Afrobeat genre in the past year and earlier this year and continue to do what I love under my artist name Bili B. I also have an online boutique store name Kiss Lane (www.kisslane.com) and working on other things as I stay very busy and hope and pray for something to give. My parents always say to my siblings and I that “we didn’t move to states for nothing, make a better life for yourself”.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My profesional career, after obtaining my undergrad I remain working alongside Law enforcement agency. I have learned a lot and has strengthened me mentally and seeing the world on a different side. It wasn’t easy at first but with great reward there’s always challenges. Aside from that, I am currently in school working on my masters it hasn’t been easy juggling things around. I have a small business and other person hobbies that I focus on and eventually I can put a balance in it all. My main goal is to set my plans for a fallback and I always encourage others around me as well no matter how small or big your vision is am sure we all want the same end result. I always keep going, I’ve never quit at anything sometimes worrying about people telling me am “doing too much stuff” that has always been my motivation.. I always believe that no one can tell you how many things you can do or can’t do, we make the decision. As long as we can pause from time to time to reinvent oneself. To trust in oneself and God. I shall succeed! That’s my believe. It is working for me.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I always love the sundial restaurants and the juke joint to dine. My favorite spot is IKEA because I love home decor and finding it’s always another way to shop with the girls. I love the Atlantic stations while you’re having a nice strawberry Cheesecake ice cream on the side you can stroll down the mall streets take a photo and keep shopping away! With family I love going to the CNN center and Coca-Cola spot has nice views.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout to my husband for being the Fortress while I get my dreams in order and my mom for always supporting everything I strive to do and mentoring me.

Website: https://www.kisslane.com/
Instagram: Queen_bilkis
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv4bSMBh4UVZOMSGe06ogAQ
Other: Other Instagram pages Beauty page – @Bili_bee Boutique page – @kiss_lane

Image Credits
@tayvodesigns for yellow taxi photo