College: Georgia State University
Major: Political Science with a minor in Sociology
Grad Year: 2004
Awards: ESSENCE, EBONY, AFROELLE Magazine, Atlanta Power 30 Under 30; Stiletto Women 2012 Brand of The Year, Applause Africa Magazine 40 Under 40
About Bessie: A former beauty queen turned photographer and social artist, Bessie Akuba Winn-Afeku is on a purpose driven mission change the world through photography, new media, and the arts. This former Miss Black Georgia USA has truly breathed life into the clichéd beauty pageant phrase, “Make the World a Better Place”.
A native of Ghana West Africa, Bessie Akuba moved to Georgia at the age of seven. After several years of spending time in front of the camera, and on stage as an actor and through pageantry; Bessie decided to create art and inspire from behind the camera lens and specializes in lifestyle and portraiture photography.
When she is not shooting images of beautiful people or documenting stories with her camera she can be found blogging for the Huffington Post or giving back through her non profit The She is Me Program™. TSIMP is a 501c3 non-profit organization that empowers young women through the arts, positive role models, and by giving them the power and resources to create their own media. Bessie Akuba also launched I Am The Change in 2011 which is a social good photography campaign, brand, and soon to be book that captures the images of everyday people visually declaring their purpose in life. My biggest obstacle have been getting over other peoples opinions about my chosen path. I believe once we know that the opinions of others have nothing to do with us..we then become limitless.
What is your life's mission?
My life's mission is to show people the good and the beauty in everything.
What does being a black woman mean to you?
Being a black women mean defining ourselves for ourselves and not leaving it up to the world to define us.
"I believe once we know that the opinions of others have nothing to do with us..we then become limitless"