TC PEOPLE – At only 13, JESSICA CLEMENT is already running her own business.

At only 13, JESSICA CLEMENT is already running her own business.

My name is Jessica Clement. I’m 13 years old, currently studying in Grade 9. I was born in Hong Kong and both my parents are Nigerians. In my free time I enjoy helping the community – I volunteer at NGOs, Charity Shows, babysitting and I also run a business doing photography, videography and graphic design.

What is home to me?

“Home is not a place to me – but rather a feeling.”

Home is not a place to me – but rather a feeling. Home is where memories are created and where they reside; whether it be good or bad. Home is where I can be myself, be exposed to the point where I am most vulnerable; and even eat to my heart’s desire without judgement.

What is local to me?

Local, by definition is: relating or restricted to a particular area or one’s neighbourhood. 
A more simplified version of being local is originating from a certain place, acting in a certain way accepted by the locals. The meanings of ‘local’ are endless.  But local to me is being foreign but still feeling at home. To me it is portraying a global message, yet still with a local meaning to it. It’s being open minded and reflective in anything and everything I do. 

Do you think it’s important to feel like you belong to a certain place or a group of people?

One should always stay true to themselves.”

Yes and no. I think it’s an important skill to know how to belong and be accepted in certain places and scenarios. But on the other hand, one should not have to compromise themselves just to fit in. I believe people should be able to be themselves and be comfortable in their own mind and body. One should always stay true to themselves. To be honest, being a person of colour in Hong Kong is not easy.

I do sometimes need to change in order to fit in. There are times when I feel uncomfortable not being myself and at the same time I needed to stand up for myself (regarding anti-racism.)  I realize I must respect the local culture. I always keep this in mind. There are other times when I ask myself why I often have to be the one to compromise myself just to fit in. I’m thinking, “we are in the 21st Century – its 2017!” Change is normal. Being different is normal. We must settle our differences while still respecting one another and being open minded.

What do I love about Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is a beautiful city.  The sky scrapers and the sunset – one never gets tired looking at it. I love the fact that Hong Kong is becoming more and more diverse over the years.  People are becoming more accepting to different cultures and you feel there is less need to change yourself in order to fit in.

It was only last year that I experienced ‘yum cha’. My very first time. I got to experience the cultural differences between different ethnicities. Hong Kong is a bustling city. As a teen, I have so much more to learn and excited to see what lies ahead for me. As I am still young and in high school, it’s hard to run a business. Often I’m dealing between writing 800 word essays and crying over maths homework; doing photo-shoots and designing logos. I love my work and the challenges it gives me. I called my business, ‘Bell Âme Photography.’ ‘Bell Âme’ means ‘beautiful soul’ in Latin. In a way, this represents the bases of my passion.

Follow me on IG  @jessicaaclement and see how I pursue my passion. DM me to help me further that passion or use my services. 

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