Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Hafsa Issa-Salwe, 21, Business Student & Blogger

Award winning blogger Hafsa Issa-Salwe is a 21 year old business student, freelance writer and beauty enthusiast. Her blog Muslimah …

Award winning blogger Hafsa Issa-Salwe is a 21 year old business student, freelance writer and beauty enthusiast. Her blog Muslimah Beauty has been nominated for awards from Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan and recently won an award in the prestigious Procter & Gamble Beauty and Grooming Awards.

What is your earliest memory?
I grew up in Queen’s Crescent so my childhood was just playing in Talacre, my dad taking me to City Farm on Sundays, buying sweets from Franks, fish and chips from Blue Sea and the Christmas fairs at Carlton Primary school.

What is your favourite sound or smell?
There’s a doughnut stall in Camden Lock which I love passing by. The smell of warm cinnamon is wonderful.

What is your greatest life achievement?
I’m blessed to have travelled to many places. Seeing different people, experiencing other cultures and opening your eyes is an incredibly humbling thing and really enforces the idea that you’re just a drop in the ocean.


What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Regular routine and time management is key to staying sane.

Saturday Morning on the Crescent
Queen’s Crescent Market
What makes you unhappy?
Wars and injustice.

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
Two things? Prayer and sleep.

What is your most unappealing habit?
When I’m on the internet and I’m reading something, I’m always double-clicking and highlighting. I have no clue why I do it but it’s beginning to annoy me.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I’m trying to be healthy but unfortunately my guilty pleasure are the chicken and chips shops, Sam’s and Chicken Cottage!

Where do you hang out?
I love that Camden and Kentish Town has an array of places to hang out so I’m all over the place. Lately it’s Los Pollos or Queen of Sheba, one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in London.

Who or what do you hate and why?
I don’t hate, I dislike strongly but hate isn’t worth the energy.

The best Ethiopian Food in London
Queen Of Sheba
What’s your best experience in NW5?
My best experience would probably be growing up with the most kindest neighbours, most of whom have passed away now.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My forehead. I have Somali genes so it’s natural! But there’s nothing I can do about it.

Tell us a secret.
I always feel like a phony when trying to jog or walk up to Parliament Hill. With all the runners around it’s easy to feel like you’re not as good as them.

What has your career taught you?
It’s taught me to leave time for fun. All work and no play isn’t a life lived properly, so it’s essential to set yourself time for play.

What is your favourite dish and why?
Bariis Isku Dhex Karis, it’s a Somali dish of rice and goat cooked in the same pot with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, saffron and cumin. The meat falls from the bone and the rice is just perfection. I love it because it’s a piece of Somalia in London.

Describe yourself as an animal.
My name means Young Lioness in Arabic; lionesses are known for their loyalty and protecting their loved ones. I like to think I’m like that.

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