Over the weekend, Black Women In Media was on-hand during Niatia “Lil’Mama” Kirkland’s 28th birthday celebration, held at MIST Harlem, October 7, 2017, in Harlem, NY.
The musician, dancer, and actress actually have a lot to celebrate at the moment. Her TV One original movie, When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, based on the true story of a troubled Atlanta, GA woman sentenced to life for a double murder, premiered at #1. In fact, the movie garnered 1.6 million viewers.
We were able to speak with Kirkland, who looked stunning in a beautiful Michael Costello gown by the way, prior to the kick-off of her birthday festivities.
Though many still call her by her rap namesake, “Lil’ Mama,” these days Kirkland prefers to go by her given name, Niatia. And it’s quite noticeable how much she’s blossomed from the tomboyish 17-year-old female MC who stepped on the scene back in 2007 with hit single, “Lip Gloss.”
When asked about her “glow up” and the woman she’s blossoming into she says,
“In December of 2007 I lost my mom, so we’re approaching ten years of me raising myself. I’ve done things, I’ve seen things, and I’ve experienced things that people may agree with, people may not disagree with but at the end of the day, it was me raising myself. Aside from my dad. As a woman, I had to look into me and find people, hand-pick people that I believed in to help me grow. More importantly, it was about being honest and being fearless and relaxing. And just allow myself to naturally be in the way that I want to be and the way I want to feel and not worry about how other people are going to feel about it if I do or if I say.”
“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter,” she continues. Even if you put up the best fraud of an image that you’re this perfect person for people to look to you and say, ‘Hey she’s perfect. She’s been amazing. She’s never made a mistake.’ That’s fake. So I’m glad that my track record of everything that I’ve been through has happened to me or that I let it happen to someone. Because I had time to forgive myself. I had time to make-up with people and call them and say, ‘I was wrong.’ I had to look at myself and say, ‘You don’t have to be extra. Just relax and be a young woman and express how you feel and if that may shake up the room then so what? You will get over it and so will they.’ I think that that’s the glow up process for me. An authentic growth. And everything that you guys see on the outside is a manifestation of that.”
As for words she lives by; ones told to her by actress Jada Pinkett Smith, she says that’s to “be fearless and be relentless.”
We can certainly agree to that and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Niatia Kirkland. We here at Black Women In Media want to congratulate her on all her endeavors.
(Photo: Credit Danni Davinchi)
Written By: Antoinette Warren
Toni is a content curator and digital marketer who enjoys writing thought-provoking pieces to heighten engagement and healthy discourse; especially those pertaining to women’s issues and people of color.