Bizzimumzi - Capturing the highs & lows of parenting in a new podcast series
Being a Mum has its ups, downs and all-round challenges, according to “un-single single Mum” Ashley Verma. As her husband builds his business away in Uganda, she is faced with balancing her own business with the wild world of parenting. During the tricky and constant negotiating of its pitfalls, Ashley had the idea to create a podcast dedicated to all the people brave enough to navigate parenthood: all the busy Mumzis (and Dadzis) out there.
“Bizzimumzi is a community of parents who love, care, nurture and want what is best for the child.” says the podcast’s host and creator. “This can be the single Dad, the Grandma, the older sibling – the podcast will only continue to grow with these voices.”
Self-described ‘coffee-infused podcast host’ Ashley – owner of acclaimed fitness brand Define London – began to combat her post-partum depression (fuelled in part by national lockdowns) by sharing vlogging adventures with infant daughter Adiya on the Bizzimumzi Youtube channel.
During this ‘new-normal’ period, Ashley created The Bizzimumzi Podcast. Harnessing what she’s learned from her own experiences, the 41-year-old set about creating a podcast packed with aspirational and unapologetic conversation about everything from female empowerment to same-sex couples, co-parenting and the ‘Dadzi perspective’.
Born and raised in Moundsville, West Virginia, Ashley began a professional Broadway career at just 19, touring the globe with shows “Footloose”, “Cats”, “Chicago”, and “Gigi”. It was while performing that her fitness career began, and she has since personally trained celebrities including Jourdan Dunn, Pippa Middleton and Caroline Fleming. After launching her successful fitness brand in 2016, with pop-ups all across London, by February 2021, the Bizzimumzi Youtube was picking up pace, and things seemed on the up.
Just four weeks later, Ashley was hampered by tragic news of the miscarriage of her second child, sparking a drive to centre the initial podcast instalments around the humility and pain of being a parent: “I really picked the first 12 episodes to tackle a very broad range of grief,” Ashley says. “From raising a child solo, miscarriage, pelvic floor awareness and birth trauma – looking back on them, they’re very inspiring and totally unapologetic.”
At its core, the series represents a safe space for parents who are “doing their best” to share and learn. The entrepreneur explains, “We’re all trying to navigate the best we can. It’s about learning from the big failures, giving high-fives for the big wins and being okay with the days you truly don’t feel okay. It’s not just Mum’s – it’s about anyone who cares, loves and nurtures a child.”
Since it’s launch, the Bizzimumzi podcast has facilitated candid discussion with Broadway stars and same-sex parents on how this informs their parenting outlook, as well as the experiences of BAME Dads in today’s society, touching on masculinity, identity and new approaches to child-rearing in a sweeping – and thoroughly enjoyable – dissection of modern parenting.
With 19 episodes now under her belt, Ashley has big plans for Bizzimumzi, tackling topics of ‘back to school’, speech development, disability, postpartum and alcoholism, and the cost of raising children amidst current economic landscapes. “I am dreaming big,” she says. “The plan is to continue to build out Bizzimumzi – louder voices with joyous chats. Dream guests… Serena Williams, the Ultimate Child Wrangler, Kris Jenner – and I would love love love, to have Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka on.”
Having achieved so much already, Ashley is preparing to share her toughest challenge to date – Motherhood – with listeners all over the world. There’s no telling exactly where the Bizzimumzi series will go, but the future looks bright for this exciting new podcast.
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