Inspiring Women with Melanie Schwapp

Wednesday, 08 February 2017 1946 Views 1 Comments
Inspiring Women with Melanie Schwapp

Nirvana’s Inspiring Women Series will be taking a look into the lives of a few of Jamaica’s most inspiring and empowering women. Women that are stylish, successful, impactful and fabulous in their own right.

This week we’ll be speaking with Melanie Schwapp – The beautiful and youthful daughter of Dr. Ken Baugh, the former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Jamaica. Melanie is known as an author and for her loving family and love for life. She is a Jamaican blogger, mother of 3 and the author of Dew Angels and ‘Lally May’s Farm Suss‘.


Nirvana: Is there anything in life that motivates you?

Melanie: My family, my children. Being young and having the experience of living life, you never want your children to face the hardships that you have. That keeps me motivated; in wanting to teach them how to cope with anything that life throws at them.

Nirvana: Who are the women that inspire you?

Melanie: My grandmother, my mother and her sisters. They are extremely strong women. My grandmother had basic education and yet she was able to run a school. She taught children right up to the GSAT level and she did that up to age 89 when she passed away. She was able to do that while raising 5 girls all on her own. Those women have inherited her strength; very gentle women but strong in their own right.

Nirvana: What is your personal mantra or quote you live by?

Melanie: “Live and let live”. I believe we are who we are because of our experiences. And I don’t think it’s the right of anyone to judge anybody else on how they live their life; as long as they’re not harming anyone.

Nirvana: How important is it for women to be independent and self-sufficient?

Melanie: I think if you’re on your own, yes it’s important to be self-sufficient. But if you’re in a relationship, there’s no such thing as self-sufficiency. I think there comes a time when you have to share the weight, whether it be financial, raising children or building a family together. I don’t think there anything such as black and white self-sufficiency in a relationship.

Nirvana: Is it hard balancing your professional and personal life?

Melanie: It is difficult. Children demand so much more than just being at home with them in the evenings. Sometimes they might be sick or have issues that need your attention. I was lucky in that the career I chose, I was working for myself so I was able to manipulate my time. A lot of times, I would write late at night after they’ve gone to bed. So yes it is challenging for women that have 9-5 jobs but I was blessed that I didn’t have to deal with that in raising them.

Nirvana: How have you dealt with negativity from other women?

Melanie: The same way I live in my mantra “live and let live”. their response to me maybe because of something that has happened to them personally. I let it roll off my back, I don’t dwell on it. I know who I am and I know that I’m here to help other women so I don’t focus on negativity.

Nirvana: What is the most important message that you try to relay to young girls?

Melanie: The same thing I teach my daughters- to love themselves. To love every single part of themselves and the gifts that they’ve been given my God and also to laugh at themselves. Because if you’re able to laugh at yourself when the world does it, it doesn’t matter.

Nirvana: What is the best life decision you’ve ever made?

Melanie: To have my children early so I can enjoy them while I’m still young enough to do so. We can go out together, we can relate to the same things now. The age difference is there but it’s not as rigid as if I had waited and had them later on. We can enjoy a friendship now.



Nirvana: Would you say that you are content with your life at the moment?

Melanie: Well, I’d love my book to be a #1 best seller [laughs]. But I’m content because the things that were always important to me (family and raising good happy people), I’ve gotten that.

Nirvana: If you could have given your younger self any advice, what would it be?

Melanie: Like yourself more and don’t listen to what people have to say. I’ve learned that over the years but when I was younger, that was a big challenge for me. When I was 5, I moved to England and I remember so distinctly experiencing colour-prejudice. When I was 17 and went to university in South Carolina, I experienced the same thing. I spent a lot of time trying to find myself because of those experiences I had.

Nirvana: What do you think makes a successful woman leader?

Melanie: It’s all about what your definition of success is. My idea of success is having a loving family, a home that I’m happy in and that my children are happy in, having a great family relationship- that’s success to me. For another woman, it might be financial or professional. So I think the most important thing is to know what you want to achieve and strive for that.

Nirvana: What are you most proud of in your life?

Melanie: My children. I think I like my children a lot. Looking at these children who, when they were born, I didn’t know how to be a mommy. I took it to God and said “Lord, guide me with them” and when I look at the end result now, I’m happy and proud.

Nirvana: Women are often regarded as superheroes. What is your superpower?

Melanie: My superpower is to be able to be fair in situations. To always think more about the actions of a person and the reason behind it. I try and take my emotions out of a situation and be fair and rational in dealing with things. I’m not successful all the time but that’s what my parents taught me- to never judge and be fair.

Nirvana: The best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Melanie: The best advice I’ve ever gotten was to write. My sixth form teacher, Mrs. Moore at St. Andrew High School said to me “You can write. You’re a strong writer. Write more”. Writing has helped me with so many things in life, even with myself and dealing with things. It has helped me with my career; every aspect of life.


Follow Melanie on Twitter or and be sure to check out her blog Schwapping Around.


Photos Contributed: Jordache Jones

Sheri-Kae McLeod

Writer and Editor. Communications student. Contact:

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One Comment

  1. Marie-Lou creque says:

    I have been blessed to count Melanie as a close friend for 40 years; the constant has been her abiding friendship in spite of and because! She epitomizes the old adage of children born on the Sabbath day are bonnie and blithe and good and gay (when gay simply meant being happy!). Her being blithe, is also more in the sense of not allowing things to cloud her preferred beautiful and positive view of life and people. Gwaan tru Mel! Keep on keeping on!

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