Interview with Kat Henry




What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?

In my personal life, I would consider my biggest achievement to be raising my daughter.  I had my daughter at the age of 17 years old, I was very much still a child and I was petrified that due to being so young and naïve I wouldn’t be capable of raising her to the standard that I had always wanted for my children. I returned to full time work when she was just 6 months old and I have maintained a full time job throughout. I was very lucky to have the support of my Mother and family over the years to help me raise her into the intelligent, dedicated, kind and well-rounded young woman that she has become.

Mya is an extremely talented young woman with a bright future ahead of her. After passing all three of her A-Levels, she will be attending The University of Law in under a month, I could not be prouder. Despite all my own fears and much adversity, I am confident that I have moulded her into a fine young woman and I cannot wait to watch her soar.

In regards to my career, I would find it extremely difficult to pin point one particular achievement to highlight as the biggest. I have overcome some difficult situations, conquered some of my biggest fears and I have achieved many fantastic things. Notable mentions; winning the Rosa Hui Empowering Women Award at the MTM Awards last year, receiving another award for Pageant Influencer of the Year at The Universal Inspiration Awards, winning both a national and international pageant title whilst representing both my county and country and being given the opportunity to represent my country once more in the 75th Anniversary of Miss Great Britain competing for the inaugural title of Ms Great Britain in Feb 2020.

Describe what you do.

I thrive on keeping busy and people often wonder how I manage to do so much, the truth is, I adore what I do. I am driven by my passions for all the endeavours I pursue.  Alongside being a mother and working full time in a top law firm in the city of London I have a few extra-curricular hobbies which fill my time. I am a plus size blogger and model, I’m both a national and international pageant queen, I am a fitness instructor and local radio DJ. I have launched my own project called The “Yes I Can Initiative” was has been designed to eradicate the negative perceptions, stereotypes and misconceptions of people all over the world, helping to create a more positive and less judgemental environment for all. I campaign for many areas of society that are underrepresented or misunderstood.  I believe that we are all worthy of love and success regardless of our differences. I don’t believe that some’s age, gender, ability, race, size or any other quality that makes us unique should be used as a reason for them not to succeed in life. I also campaign to end the stigma surrounding mental health. As a Ms Great Britain finalist I proudly support and fundraise their two chosen charities; Alex’s Wish and Cancer Research. 

What inspires you?

 Seeing other people in my life succeed inspires me greatly.  I truly believe that there is enough space in this world for us all to achieve success in whatever field we chose.  I don’t see competition in others as a negative, I see it as a healthy way of urging people to strive higher for their ambitions and goals in life. I am blessed to have such positive female role models in my both my personal life and amongst my peers.  Both my mother and my daughter are huge role models for me daily, they both support and drive me to be the best version of myself possible and I owe a lot to them. 

What does a typical morning look like for you?

As I work full time, a typical morning for me generally consists of lazing in bed to the very last minute possible before I have to get up and get ready for work.  I wake up very early, so I try to use the time in bed to rest and catch up on any social media and prepare my posts for the day ahead. I don’t often glam up for my day job, I tend to stick to a make-up free beauty regime, rock my natural hair and wear general business attire on a day to day basis. I have a very simple commute into the city, so I take a bit of time on my travels to listen to my favourite music or read. I am also a huge sucker for a Netflix series or two – so if there’s time, I’ll cram in an episode! I teach my fitness classes most evenings so I leave all that side of life for the night time. 

How do you stay in touch with your heritage?

My mother and father are the only remaining UK links to my South African and Mauritian heritage.  Whilst my grandparents were alive I spent a lot of time learning about their past and where they came from so I could better understand who I am.  My parents both came to England very young so I have been raised in a very western way. I still have strong cultural beliefs but unfortunately I don’t get to tap into these often, my extended family and cousins all live abroad and the connections are kept alive through the wonders of social media. I am still young and I have a lot to learn and as I get older I plan to travel more and learn as much about my heritage as possible. I would eventually like to retire in either Mauritius or South Africa, so I will need to be clued up before making that big life change.

What is a book that you think everyone should read? 

There are two books which have been game changers for me.  The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. The Secret made me realise that my power to achieving everything I strive for in life lays in my hands and the ability to dream, believe and achieve was the key to unlocking my potential. The other book really helped me rid my life of unnecessary baggage and toxic habits and behaviours.  I have always been a “yes” person when it came to helping others and sometimes that was to my own detriment. I had no understanding of the negative effects of giving more than you had in your capacity. Since adapting the principles taught in these two books into my day to day life, my path is clearer, my goals are set and I now understand my worth and capability to achieve whatever my heart desires with hard work, determination, belief and resilience.

Who are some Asian women you look up to? 

Asian women are hugely underrepresented in my opinion so to think of positive role models is tough because I don’t feel like I see women like me in the media to look up to.  The women who I met through the Asian Representation photo shoot have opened my eyes to the fact that we need more representation and that is something that I would love to see change in the future. To name a couple of people in the limelight – Mindy Kaling has done a fantastic job of achieving success in the entertainment industry and Malala Yousafzai made waves within education and to be a Nobel prize laureate is a huge achievement.

What is the worst advice you’ve ever been given? 

The worst advice I have been given has come from so many sources, but all speaking the same message – CONFORM and you will succeed. I have been told in so many strains of my life to just be a little more traditional, lose some weight, be more western, change my appearance, quieten my voice, make less noise and I can go far, but the truth is this…when I have been nothing but my unapologetic self I have achieved so much more and been tonnes happier doing so.  I will never listen to those tidbits of advice again. 

What is your go-to coffee order?

I’m not a coffee drinker unfortunately, drink of choice would be English Breakfast tea but not too often as a have a low dairy tolerance.  I’m partial to a sweet fruity cocktail from time to time! 

What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem facing Asian women today?

I believe that the problem stems from traditions telling us that we are lesser than our male counterparts, that we should be smaller in so many ways so as to not steal the attention away from others. I believe that the world has come a long way from those beliefs and I think that the world is crying out for strong, intelligent and stylish women of Asian descent to be more visible in the media. I hope to help change that.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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