La-Toya “Lioness” Mwoombola is a 28-year-old Namibian rapper, songwriter and award-winning fashion influencer. She’s also a doctor and very recently became a mom. Jet Club caught up with Lioness to hear about her journey and how she manages it all.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Lioness?

Lioness, first and foremost, is a creative artist, an award-winning musician and visual creative. There’s a side, or components, of Lioness that cannot exist without the other. So, I am a medical doctor in anaesthesia, and I’m a wife and mother. Lioness embodies both sides of my personal self and my rap art.

What were you like as a child?

The name Lioness actually came up as a nickname. When I was little, I had really big hair, so everyone used to call me the lion. Also, I was told that I used to be a bit of a fierce child in the sense that I could never back down from a fight. Having that translate into my adulthood, I still take some of the personality or the personality traits, if I can say, of the actual lioness; being fierce, being unforgiving, knowing what I stand for and never compromising on that.

Congratulations are in order, you’re a new mom. How's that been for you?

In the beginning, it was a bit tough, but it's just something you have to get into the flow of. So, I'm adjusting. It's so ridiculously beautiful.

You mentioned you’re a doctor and an artist, which one came first?

I started making music when I was 12 years old, and I am 28 now. The majority of that has been very underground music, not very mainstream. I really started doing music for fun. My late mother enrolled us into music arts, so I played the piano and I did contemporary ballet. I was exposed to the creative arts from a very young age.

I finished high school in 2012, and then in 2013 I went straight to med school, where I did a six-year course. I graduated, and then I was an intern. I officially became a medical professional last year. It's been an eight year, a journey that was very, very tough. I was still maintaining that duality of being a musician because I saw that being a musician really helped me leave that realness of being a doctor and everything that comes with it. It was just a moment where I could just express myself.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced along the way?

Being a woman in the music industry itself is just a struggle. You can dance and perform [for your life], but the award will go to the men – especially in rap music as it was previously dominated by men. It’s very hard as a woman to be seen as equally good or be considered equally as good. Similarly, being a woman in medicine, a woman in a previously male-dominated industry. Men obviously think they’re better and even the patients prefer to be treated by a man as opposed to a woman. And so, those really were the struggles that were similar in two different professions.

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What are three things that people don’t know about you?

I'm extremely OCD, although I use this lightly and not in terms of a mental condition. So, if something needs to be a certain way, I will not let it go until it is that, as much as it could be counterproductive. For me, it's done a lot of things. I'm very involved in all aspects of my art, and I would sit in long editing sessions just to replay a small clip and make sure it is exactly the way that I want. Two, I am shy, I'm so shy. And then the third thing is I am extremely goofy. Everybody looks at me and thinks you are so stuck up or whatever, but once that comfortability barrier breaks, people are like, who is this Lioness?

What do you do to relax and unwind?

I love a good spa session. I think that it's very important to take care of the body, spirit and mind. That's what I do to relax. I just play jazz music or go to the spa, or I go on a retreat and spend some time away because I'm a workaholic. I work so much and it's hard for me to relax.

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If you had the power to change anything in the world, what would it be?

I think the two coexist; poverty and child hunger. I am extremely passionate about those two and I wish I could just make everyone just so comfortable and allow them to enjoy the basic necessities of life that we take for granted.

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