WSTAR Quarterly Magazine, July 2022

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JULY 2022






Topsie Crunchies Snacks Founder, Concept Creator and Early Childhood Educator - Mrs. Odutope MacauleyOkoro turned her passion into power during the COVID19 pandemic, creating crunchy, healthy and delicious chin-chin in various flavours for individuals, families, social celebrations, community functions and formal gathering.

Topsie Crunchies Snacks are available for order online at





PUBLISHER'S NOTE From Ifeoma Esonwune


COVER STORY: Behold A Miracle! Shawnise Chantell


HEALTH & WELLNESS: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) by Faith Ayomide



Contributing Editor:

FASHION & BEAUTY: Eyes on the Prize: Shadows & Shapes by Zeina Klayme

Graphic designer: Columnists:

Ifeoma Esonwune

Women’s Business & Leadership coach, Leadership development Consultant, Int’l Speaker, Trainer and Mentor

Eucharia Remy-Kingsley Krystal Johnston Zeina Klyame

Beauty Consultant, Writer and MUA


STARBLAZER: How I turned my passion into a business by Aya Mohamed

Ruth Thomas


Professional Development: Building a Career in Entrepreneurship by Esther Elueme

Faith Ayomide Ajayi


Social Researcher, Writer, Speaker and Mentor

Health Educator and Best-Selling Author

Inspiration: Quotes to inspire self-Esteem by Ruth Thomas

Esther Elueme

Certified HR Professional


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WSTAR Magazine is a quarterly publication of The STAR Women’s Network Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher.


Behold A Miracle!

Welcome to the third quarter of 2022!

Chantell's story echoes God's grace, the will to live, physical strength, and mental toughness. Every mother's desire is to nurture her child to grow and flourish. A desire Chantell thought she would not be privileged to experience after her daughter's birth in 2019. Read her authentic and inspiring story titled "Behold A Miracle" on our cover beginning on page 5. I promise you will be touched in a way you didn't imagine.

It's been a remarkable journey navigating technology and adjusting to our newest norms following the global pandemic. As we journey through life, we tend to take stock of our life in terms of goal-setting, personal and professional developments, successes, failures, health and well-being. Then, we consider making necessary changes and reverting to healthy choices to improve our life and lifestyle. But what happens when our health fails us? When our consciousness isn't guaranteed? Enter Shawnise Chantell - Cover model and Author of "God within the Lily." A book inspired by her actual life and health challenges and near-death experience.

You see, life gives us the circumstances that help us develop our innate abilities and trust our strength to carry on. These circumstances may come to us like pain, dysfunction or disease in our bodies, but having the knowledge and understanding of them is usually the first step in conquering such circumstances. Faith Ayomide dedicates her work to educating youths and adults about their health to help foster physical and mental wellness. In this issue, on her column page 8, Ayomide writes about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. Read on to learn more!

Furthermore, we are born with the right to be strong, worthy and fulfilled. Life beckons us to live, grow and shine in daily living. The best gifts we can give ourselves are the gifts of self-improvement and motivation. Little wonder Ruth Thomas-Oshun in her column, shares her favourite motivational quotes from successful individuals to help energize and inspire self-awareness and courage in us all. Read on page 20. On the other hand, to develop as budding entrepreneurs, we need the passion and zeal to do the needful. So let STARblazer Aya Mohamed's Story of Passion to Business inspire you. Similarly, Esther Elueme, WSTAR's newest columnist, shares vital points for building a successful entrepreneurship career. Finally, no matter how beautiful our inside looks, it must radiate through us and be seen on the outside. Our physical looks tend to reflect how we are feeling inside. Our bodies give us away no matter how we try to hide. So, follow Zeina Klayme to the Beauty column to learn strategies to amplify your looks and know which looks to wear, when and how.

This issue is packed with inspiring stories and juicy info to help our readers advance, and as always, I am delighted to share it with you. Special thanks to our advertisers and supporters. They make this work possible.


B E S T , Ifeoma Esonwune





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Shawnise Chantell is a single mom raising three beautiful girls in Jacksonville, Arkansas, United States. After giving birth to her last daughter in 2019, she was wheeled into the operating room for a routine tubal ligation procedure. Unfortunately, what would have been an in-and-out procedure kept her at the hospital for another 54 days due to a neglected mistake during her surgery, causing her to deal with physical pain and emotional trauma. At age 33, Chantell had no idea that her life would be turned upside down, and she was about to face a birth mother's worst nightmare of losing her life after childbirth or not going home with her newborn. However, over six days, Chantell showed signs that would suggest that something wasn't right. She had unimaginable abdominal pain causing her not to eat or drink, high blood pressure and fainting. After the surgery, the doctors dropped an NG tube into her abdomen for decomposition. A feed tube was also inserted for nutrition. But, four days later, Chantell showed no sign of abdominal pain relief, and she began to decline quickly. She was undoubtedly showing signs of an infection, prompting her family to request immediate health intervention.


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Even though Chantell's family strongly advocated for her, the doctor wasn't quick to look into the possibility of a bowel infection until the following day. However, her family insisted on getting her immediate help, so they contacted another doctor who ordered a CT scan. Behold! The CT scan showed fecal material, which prompted an emergency exploratory surgery the same night. During surgery, the surgeon discovered a nicked bowel and several abscesses. Chantell received a wound vac and several drainages in her abdomen. Cultures revealed she had three deadly infections. Her bowels flowing into her bloodstream made her septic, and her organs began to shut down. On her 34th birthday, Chantell was diagnosed with renal, upper respiratory, and congestive heart failure. Due to her critical nose bleeds, she received two blood transfusions. She was diagnosed with double pneumonia when she finally got out of the critical care unit. However, her health had improved well enough to go home.





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The day before her discharge started perfectly. Her family came to visit with lots of smiles, laughter and joy! But, 15 minutes after her sister left the hospital, at about 8 PM, Chantell coded for 20 minutes and had a terrifying cardiac arrest. CPR was administered, and the doctor administered five shocks before Chantell finally showed some signs of life. She was placed in an induced coma and would later show signs of brain injury. Chantell had to be readmitted the day after being discharged for stroke-like symptoms and E Coli infection. She also had to get a pacemaker. Her recovery was long but remarkable. After a cardiac arrest that left her with memories of the afterlife, Chantell knew she needed to start her journey of recovery physically, emotionally and spiritually. The next part of her story was about healing the emotional wounds caused by the traumatic experience. She began to have flashbacks of her cardiac arrest event resulting in emotional stress. Her dad recommended that she get counselling and seek a psychiatrist to help her cope and process the trauma and help her manage her anxiety, depression, and PTSD. She did, and as part of her healing process, her psychiatrist recommended that she write a book about her experiences. So, Chantell agreed to the book idea. She detailed her experience in her new book, "God Within the Lily." The title was inspired by the vivid picture of the lilies she saw in her near-death experience.

Chantell desires to inspire people worldwide with her incredible lifealtering miracle story,

"God W ithin the Lily."

Her book is available at



Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) by Faith Ayomide Health Educator, Creative Medical Writer and Preventive Health Specialist

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. It is a syndrome, meaning it's made of different components, including: Irregular periods - Infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. For example, a woman might have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods, and abnormally heavy periods. The ovaries contain follicles (fluidfilled sacs) and become more prominent than usual. Excess Androgen - Elevated levels of male hormones may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism) and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness. A woman with more 'male' hormones tends to have a beard or chest hair like a man.

Therefore, a woman with two or more of the above could be diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, many women are not too concerned about having a little beard or chest hair. What is scary about PCOS is that it causes infertility. And it's because the ovaries develop numerous collections of fluid (follicles), disrupting regular egg release in a woman, thereby causing infrequent ovulation resulting in less fertile periods and less likelihood of conceiving. Other symptoms include weight gain, hair loss, and oily skin/acne.





The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, it has also been noticed to run in families meaning it can be hereditary and linked to abnormal hormone levels, including high insulin levels. Other risk factors include conditions that lead to lowgrade inflammation (This term describes white blood cells' production of substances to fight infection). Research has shown that women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens, which can lead to heart and blood vessel problems and excessive "male" hormones known as Androgen.

Possible symptoms of PCOS include: Infertility Abnormal uterine bleeding Miscarriages

Type 2 diabetes Abnormal uterine bleeding

Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure

Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer)

High Blood pressure and diabetes in pregnancy

Mental health issues like depression and anxiety

Metabolic syndrome (another horrible issue entirely)




The good news is that some of the complications are avoidable. But, first, a medical doctor makes the diagnosis of PCOS by asking crucial questions, carrying out a physical examination, checking blood hormone levels, among other tests, and may also do an ovarian/pelvic ultrasound scan.

PCOS is not curable, but treatment can target the symptoms by: Treating the hormonal imbalance Helping the affected individual respond better to insulin Using medication that improves ovulation Making Lifestyle changes - weight loss through a low-calorie diet and moderate exercise activities.

In complex cases, laser surgery may be required and is quite effective. Although PCOS is the most common cause of infertility in women, with treatment, most women with PCOS can get pregnant.

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Did you know that it only takes an individual seven seconds to make roughly a dozen impressions about another person?

… Wild, right? I thought so too, but if you think about it — these 'judgements' or impressions aren't always bad; some are simply observational.

Our perception of others is based on numerous criteria, which include: clothing, shoes, accessories, tone of voice, demeanour, and, you guessed it: make up. More specifically, eye make up. After all, the eyes are the window to the soul and can express many emotions and thoughts without someone having to communicate them verbally.

Some of which include:



Personality Wellness

Confidence Tiredness

… the list goes on.



What better way to convey how you're feeling on a day than by expressing it with cosmetics? I do this often; my mood reflects my makeup application. A neutral look showcases that I'm mellow, calm and have a busy day ahead… most likely filled with professional duties. A more glamorous application means that I am feeling myself or have a formal event to attend. Have you ever wondered what eyeshadow best complements your features, tone (warm or cool), and eye shape?

I'm here to break it all down for you in a clear & concise way. From now on, you'll be able to use this guide during your every-day-slay! To Enhance or Make them POP! Blue eyes, as all eye colours, are either warm or cool.

Warm blue eyes have hints of green. So the best shadows to emphasize this colour of an eye would be blue-greens. On the other hand, cool blue eyes (sometimes) have hints of white, so it's always ideal to choose a 'true blue' shadow. Now, if you want to make them pop? Corals, peaches or oranges all the way! Warm green eyes have a slight yellow hue around them. It's best to use analogous shadow colours like lime or yellow-ish green. Cool greens tend to have more browns and blues encircled around them. For this particular eye colour, it is best to wear a green shadow with hints of browns & blues; browns can also be accented in the eye crease. Go ahead and make them pop with pink shadows! Warm brown eyes are slightly yellow, while cool brown eyes have hints of red & mahogany. Use a light brown eyeshadow for warm brown eyes and more profound, darker brown shadows for cool brown eyes. If you want to make your brown beauties glow — choose blue shadows (and thank me later).

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Lastly, let's discuss hazel eyes. Personally, my own, and favourite (ha!), eye colour is hazel. This colour eye is captivating with gold, green and brown mixtures. Shadows to emphasize hazel eyes would be: yellow-browns or greenish-browns. Earth tones also work incredibly well. A warmer hazel eye colour is enhanced with either pink or gold if you want to make them pop; plum eyeshadows for the win.

Veer Away From… I'll go deeper into eye shape and placement of shadow in future editions, but briefly, here are the dos and don'ts of shadow application.



Add highlight and light shadows to closerset eyes. This process will widen the area between them and give the face a more ideal, symmetrical shape.

It is not recommended that you put eyeliner on a heavy eye. There is not enough lid space, which will give the eye an even smaller appearance.

Extend the lines and shading of the inner brow (but not too much) on wider-apart eyes. It will forge the gap and create symmetry. However, when you draw them too closely, you risk appearing frustrated, concerned or angry.

Do not apply dark shadows on deeper-set eyes. If you do, it will draw the eyes back, decreasing their size. Medium colours (greys or browns) are best.

FUN FACT Brown eyes are the most common eye colour around.

Want to learn more about makeup application & beauty-related information? Follow me on Instagram: @theereelqueenzee



PE Teacher & Fitness Enthusiast




My name is Aya Mohamed. I'm 31 years, and I immigrated to Canada from Egypt in the Fall of 2018. I'm happily married to my friend and partner Mohammed. He is a project coordinator, and we have a beautiful daughter "Aalya," who is three years old. And we are expecting a new family member this fall! I graduated with a degree in Technology Education and worked as a Computer science teacher for four years. Then, in 2016, I tried a dance class and loved it. By the second class, I was noticed by the instructor as doing so well with the moves and invited me to teach dance. I wasn't thinking about becoming a dance teacher then, but I took the chance. Subsequently, I began teaching the high school girls from my computer class how to dance. The dance class got a lot of interest and support, and before you know it, I started my first fitness class. As time passed, I fell more in love with dancing and teaching dance classes. So, I started learning more and developing myself as a dance and fitness enthusiast. I attended many other lessons to learn from experienced coaches, took online courses, and explored many resources.

After I arrived in Canada, I took certification courses to allow me to teach dance and fitness in my new country. I obtained the Canfitpro certification, ISSA and others, including Zumba, Strong Nation and Aqua Fitness.

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PE Teacher & Fitness Enthusiast

I also gained experience volunteering as a substitute fitness teacher once every week before I landed a job with the Canada Games Center, Halifax and Dalplex as an aqua fitness instructor and Zumba instructor, respectively. I advanced from those roles through continuous learning and improvement to my first full-time job as a Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer at the YMCA Halifax. My supervisors and colleagues were very supportive, and I landed my first six clients in one month.

Then COVID-19 Pandemic hit in 2020, and the lockdown affected everything recreation. So I became creative with my time and experience and started my own "Family-friendly" virtual fitness classes. Once again, I was fortunate to receive lots of support and encouragement, and soon it became a success story. I taught different courses - Bootcamp style, cardio, Zumba, Strong nation and stretching- and I also had some oneon-one clients. And we are still going strong. In 2021, I joined a business builders' course at the YWCA to learn more about planning, budgeting and other business strategies in Canada. Subsequently, I registered my new business - Alamo Fit, with the Nova Scotia Joint Stock registry; thus, I became a proud small business owner and thriving. After the business registration, I continued to improve myself personally and professionally. I created my plan and mapped out my niche. It wasn't as easy as it sounds, but I pulled through, especially with the incredible help and support from my partner, who was there every step of the way, cheering me on. I am thankful to the YWCA program organizer and my cohort team for their great ideas and passion.



PE Teacher & Fitness Enthusiast

By the Fall of 2021, I had my first in-person Bootcamp class at a rented studio in a Halifax community center. Afterwards, I thought classes every weekend, and as I had more clients, I added new classes on alternate days, including Zumba and Belly dance. I also started a new full-time job at a school as a PE teacher.

Here are some wellness tips: Exercise regularly: walking, running, swimming, 20 min at the gym, stretching. It's not only going to improve your health, but it will help you to sleep well and boost your mood! Healthy eating habits: make healthy food choices and imbibe healthy habits. Sleep, sleep Don't forget to drink lots of water: There are apps on your phone that can remind and encourage you to get your daily water intake.

Thanks so much for reading about me. I'm glad to share my story through this space, and I hope everyone's dreams come true because nothing is impossible.


One of my outstanding accomplishments in 2021 is winning the best Personal Trainer in Halifax Award. I am eternally grateful to the fantastic Halifax community and incredible clients who voted for me. I want to encourage and empower women reading my story to take good care of themselves. I try to do the same every day. Dr.Priya Anand said in her article about empowering women to care for themselves. "A woman is the backbone of her family, and so it is of utmost importance to keep herself healthy. Because her family is dependent on her, she has to look after herself first, both physically as well mentally."

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"Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end, you are sure to succeed."

– Abraham Lincoln Choosing a career path is one task so many find somewhat difficult to trace and sustain, especially when that awareness or decision isn't made earlier in one's life. We often, unknowingly, use the word "career" as a synonym for occupation, trade, profession, or vocation. But the term refers to what a person does to earn a living or can be equated to a source of livelihood. However, a person who sets up a business(es), taking on financial risks to maximize profit, is an entrepreneur and is building a career in it.

Successfully owning and running an enterprise brings a sense of fulfillment, freedom and empowerment as much as any other professional career. An entrepreneur or business owner births an innovative idea, nurtures it to growth and solves a unique need for a niche group or other businesses. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, change-makers, thought leaders, decision-makers and visionary individuals. They build lasting relationships with other businesses and the community they serve. They are the backbone of every thriving economy.



According to Prof. Howard Stevenson, an entrepreneurship professor at Harvard Business School, "Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled." This implies that the term is beyond merely founding a company or owning a business. Instead, it is a relentless effort and focus, creating opportunities and distinctively mobilizing and managing resources rather than a specific role or title of an individual or a particular stage in a business or organization. Statistics have shown that over 80% of the world's wealthiest billionaires are self-made entrepreneurs. It is also worthy of note that more people are thinking innovatively and starting new businesses, especially as the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic has continued to pave the way for technological advancement and cloud-based business services. However, to become a successful entrepreneur, you must be determined and resilient.

Below are some steps to guide you as you plan to build a successful career in entrepreneurship.

1. Your idea must solve a need:

2. Get the proper training or required education:

Every sustainable business idea thrives on the premise of solving a known need for a specific demographic. If you are considering a career in entrepreneurship, conduct empirical research to ascertain what needs you will solve and for whom. Ideas that don't mainly solve an actual need are short-lived and unsustainable.

To successfully run a business venture, you must hone your skills to suit your career goals or align yourself with highly skilled individuals who can help run the enterprise. There are courses (online and in-person) in entrepreneurship available in colleges and universities you can take advantage of to equip yourself to create an innovative and sustainable business venture.

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3. Must be resilient:

4. Vision and passion:

Resilience is key to a successful entrepreneurship career. Without determination and resilience, you can't take on the challenges and risks of running your own business. The entrepreneurial environment is competitive and requires diligent planning and execution. Sometimes, multiple failed attempts, but you must keep going until you succeed, researching, re-evaluating and restrategizing along the way.

A clear vision of the need you want to solve and being enthusiastically passionate about it are the drivers of a successful entrepreneurial career. You will spend long hours and sometimes without pay to see your passion project come to fruition and change humanity. But you can't give up on a vision you are passionate about. You give it your all because you believe in it.

5. Have confidence in your ability to succeed: Confidence and trust in your ability to pull through against all odds fuels your passion and desire to succeed. It would be best if you found the confidence and courage to win no matter how hard it feels or how many times you fail. The journey of entrepreneurship is rocky yet, very fulfilling if you trust yourself to make it to success.

6. Collaborate and build partnerships: Build partnerships and collaborate with other stakeholders or businesses who can help you achieve your entrepreneurial goal. Please share your idea with others who have the skills to help you develop it. Distribute the risk and add value through sustainable partnerships and collaborations with people who believe in your dreams/ideas. Therefore, seek help not just from anybody you meet but from people, friends and partners who can add value to you.

Finally, be willing to find and utilize available resources and funding to help your start-up grow and scale upward. Be patient and open to new opportunities and change. Don't give up. Trust the process and continue to push until you achieve success.





by Ruth Thomas-Oshun,

Social Researcher, Co-author and Speaker

Everyone deserves happiness, courage, selfcare and high self-esteem. However, achieving these qualities can be challenging for some, especially women.

To be self-aware, develop courage and build high self-esteem, you must give yourself care for yourself as much as you care for those you love.

Therefore, it is expedient that everyone engages in meditation and self-reflection every once in a while. Self-care and personal reflection help improve selfesteem.

I have compiled some of my favourite quotes to inspire and motivate you as you reflect and build self-awareness and confidence.

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"In your own life, it's essential to know how spectacular you are."

STEVE MARABOLI "Act as if what you do makes a difference… It does."

WILLIAM JAMES "Don't forget to tell yourself positive things daily! You must love yourself internally to glow externally." HANNAH BRONFMAN "If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."

FRED ROGERS "When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life."

JEAN SHINODA BOLEN "Once you embrace your value, talents and strengths, it neutralizes when others think less of you."

ROB LIANO "The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins."

BOB MOAWAD "If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven't spent the night with a mosquito."




"You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens."

LOUISE L. HAY "You do not find the happy life, you make it"

CAMILLA EYRING KIMBALL "To see what is right and not do it is a lack of courage."

BRAIN TRACY "Today figure out what makes you happy and do more of it. Figure out what doesn't and do less of it."

MANDY HALE "Self-care is never selfish; it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others."

PARKER PALMER "A strong positive self image is the best possible preparation for success in life"

JOYCE BROTHERS "You are amazing. Don't let anyone tell you any different."


I hope these quotes inspire you to show up for yourself daily, help you look inward, and feel worthy of yourself.

Thank you. Enjoy your summer!

Ruth Thomas



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Unshakable Faith features stories from women who are indeed pearls of great price, who have encountered trials and tribulations that challenged their Faith, but you will see that their Faith was indeed "Unshakable." Minister Allison G. Daniels and several other women have shared stories from the heart as to how they had to redirect their emotions, redefine whom God said they were, and their journey of being renewed, thus, allowing God to make a victorious difference in their lives, all to His glory.

Get it here!



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