Enitan Bereola. Get to know the name, if you haven't already.
The award winning/best selling Author, speaker and columnist has released two game changing books that has revolutionized the dating world as we know it. "Bereolaesque" and "Gentlewoman" are the titles of both, which surrounds the concepts of re-implicating simple chivalry and mild-mannerisms within our modern day affairs, to ultimately help improve relationships between man and woman, as well as becoming better renditions of people through proper etiquette.
Creating such a huge buzz around himself as the "Ultimate Gentleman" has lead HYPEFRESH®'s very own Clark Kennedy to follow the trail of bread crumbs to the source. The conversation went extremely well, flowing like water in an ocean.
In this exclusive, Clark Kennedy goes beyond the face and reputation of Bereola and into the depths of what lies under the hood - his untapped mind. Ladies and gentlemen, HYPEFRESH® proudly presents his formal introduction.
It's a pleasure to finally meet you personally. How are you today?
I'm doing well sir! It’s a pleasure being here for this discussion. I'm excited to chat.
Awesome! Well, let's get right into it. I'm very intrigued by your backstory.. Please, elaborate.
Man… It's an interesting story. I cant say that there's consistency straight across the board though.
Because of my family upbringing, I became who many people know me as today - a gentleman. Being mild-mannered in my household was instilled, and ultimately expected, to say the most. Proper etiquette wasn't something my parents applauded me for, nor did they pat me on the back for it. It was either behave this way, or get this whoopin' (jokingly)These principles were taught to me from a very young age in my life, and remain embedded in me as I grew into an adult.
Wow. So basically - you've been a gentleman since you were a kid?
Pretty much! (Laughing) My former class mates, who I attended Elementary/middle/high school with, found me on social media years later. Honestly, to my astonishment, most of them were saying things like: "we definitely didn't expect anything less from you.." or "you're the same person you've been since way back then!" The fact that they seen that in me YEARS ago, and remembered who I was early in life - is amazing.
I'm jealous man… (Laughing) Wish I had your upbringing. I want to be an ultimate gentleman too. (Jokingly)
(Chuckling) It's never too late.
As you progressed through life, how were you perceived by your peers, being properly formal at such a young age?
I was looked at as being the "go-to-guy". (Chuckles) Mainly in terms of being the example. And for me, that was just being myself - honestly. I didn’t have to try to do that. (lol)
In what ways?
To name a few? Through appearance and image, mannerisms, counsel…. You name it - I was that dude. (Laughs) My friends would pull me to the side and ask me all types of questions, because they seen me as being the resourceful and knowledgeable one in how I carried myself. I got used to it eventually.
How did that make you feel?
It made me feel purposeful, you know. Every time I looked around, people were looking at me for advice for what to do next. As a kid, I didn't know what to do with this gift (laughs). I learned how to use my gift to help others to understand etiquette better, especially other guys who are interested in that gentleman lifestyle. The simple things they should have been taught - like how to treat a lady, or proper mannerisms. I've truly been a blessing to many who wanted a better understanding into this lifestyle. Even throughout my earlier years.
Now lets talk about the present… You’re a best selling author via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. Was it the backstory of your youthful days that influenced your approach to become the self-help author for black men today?
Oh, most definitely.
Internally, I had a charge and desire to help black men be better representations of themselves. I grew up in San Jose, California, where the black community was pretty successful and prominent. Being around this early, and seeing how members of this environment helped one another through wisdom and influence, In my mind, I said to myself " I want to help those who may not have had that same opportunity that I did growing up."
Interesting. Pray, proceed.
Honestly, some people are born in certain situations that don't offer the alternative option when it comes down to etiquette. It really bothers me to know that some black men did have the opportunity to become better, but chose to follow an alternative lifestyle that contrasted the more optimum route. Whether from being influenced from peers, or certain types of music - maybe even from a personal choice, it really upset me. To this day, I still wonder why they chose that path in life.
Was this the core motivation for the book "Bereolaesque"?
I remember my mentor at the time telling me that he had a business idea to present, that would really open some doors in my life. He explained that he would tell me at the right time, when I could really appreciate his angle. When he did present the idea later on, I had no intention of becoming an author, to tell the truth. He kept telling me that through writing a book, I could become influential in the lives of those who needed and desired my perspective on becoming better individuals. I thought he was crazy at first (chuckles), but after some thought - I gave it a shot.
Wow. Amazing. Big kudos to your mentor.
My mentor was a blessing to my life in that aspect, because without that guidance, I wouldn’t be on the path that I'm on today. We wouldn't even be talking his afternoon if it wasn't for that advice.
How was the transition into becoming an author, knowing writing really wasn't one of your passions?
It was an effortless attempt, really. Almost like Physical Education in High School. I just aced the class of writing, because I was speaking from my heart through the pen. It was almost like second nature to tell the truth.
Easy. Just like that huh?
Yup (laughs), just like that.
What's your take on modern day chivalry in the American youth? Do you believe it's still present?
Honestly, chivalry is dead in that area.
Dead? As in, gone? Poof, vamoose?
Yeah, it’s gone. Especially in the modern day American youth.
Pray, elaborate further.
I go to high schools on occasion to conduct seminars and lectures on the subject, and man… These kids out here today don't even know what etiquette is. "Etiquette?" They don't even know how to say it, or even can identify with it. Very few of them have mild-mannerisms instilled, and it's unfortunate - to say the least. Mainly because it's not being taught in the modern day American household, you know?
Oh yeah - I get it. Is there any steps that can be taken to gain a sense of attraction to etiquette and proper mannerisms?
With the widespread mentality of 'YOLO" and "Live fast and die young", it's kinda hard for them to accept that paradigm. When I try to come down to their level to share the wisdom that was taught to me, it doesn't connect. I look at what works though, unfortunately.
When their in their neighborhoods and communities at home, they look up to the wrong examples of men. The guys who live a certain lifestyle where the money comes quick, the cars, jewelry, women… They're aspiring to become like these individuals, which is not good. Knowing how that lifestyle can make one end up (either dead or imprisoned) they choose to look past that, because most people die young.. Or get locked up early in life.
I try my best to show them that there is other alternatives in life which would allow them to live out a more fruitful and peaceful existence until their time is up. How about education? How about starting a family? How about saving (the manual way - and not the quick route) towards a great retirement? All while being the best versions of themselves so they can see those days come into reality.
Do you predict a shift anytime within the near future for the younger circle? Hopefully?
One can only hope for that. They're our future. But they have to know that within themselves first, and believe it. The willingness to except the whole concept becoming better - personally, starts within.
Here's a question many women would like for you answer - from your perspective. What's your take on the concept of the "independent woman" movement in modern day society?
I spoke on this a few days back, actually.
It's something that women celebrate. I mean, you hear songs about it… You read about it… You see it on television and in person…
Oh, for sure.
However, my opinion… Independence isn't a badge of honor, or an ideal lifestyle choice. I believe some women adapt that mindset from past experiences. In all actuality, men and women need each other to survive.
For most (not all) women in today's times, they unfortunately had to wear the "King's" crown throughout life, maybe due to life circumstances they had no control over. Maybe the father/mother wasn't home while they were growing up young. Maybe they've been hurt/abandoned in relationships that has caused some form of hurt, deep within. Maybe life has dealt them a bad hand professionally, or interpersonally. I mean, the list goes on and on.
So you're pointing at past experiences for women as the main cause of this "independent" mindset?
Exactly. Independent means "alone". We as human beings, weren't made to be on this planet by ourselves. There's a level of inter-dependence that has to be recognized and accepted, especially when in relationships. Just picture this: Two independent people in a relationship? That can't work at all! What can you learn from the other person? What's the point in that? Two people committed together, yet, sticking to their guns, not helping nor teaching one another - anything, neither accepting each others ideas… A recipe for disaster.
True. I agree with that completely.
Now let me relate this to a marriage. A marriage is the most compromising, sacrificial, relationship of them all. My job, as a husband, is to ensure that my wife is always good - regardless. I don’t matter. I'm her personal servant, selflessly… Tending to her entire being to make sure that all her needs are met, and that she's complete.
And it's vice versa on my Wife's end. She's taking complete care of me, and putting her husband first - before anything. She no longer matters to herself, because she's submitting herself to me. So in essence, were both ensuring that we're both good. If that element is off, and one of us decides to become independent while in this bond, it will surely show. The scale will be lop-sided, one person will be giving more than the other, causing imbalance.
Independence is beautiful… But It's important to be honest about it. Women put themselves in dangerous positions when they walk down that path. They're carrying a big burden on their shoulders, holding back tears, masking pain, and acting like everything is together - when in actuality, it's really not.
And let's not forget, their children are watching too, if they have them. Daughters - especially. I feel that it's important that mothers cry in front of their daughters, to show that pain exists. And not to always carry the "strong" face and independent stripes. Because then, the daughters grow up carrying the same behaviors, which is rooted to what they were taught. It's more of a survival mechanism than anything else.
Ultimately, little girls then grow up and become the "Men" in their lives that they never had around, or in their corner. That in itself, can throw off the dynamics of how they view/commit in relationships down the line. This leads to the future emasculation or the downgrading of men, because they typically do everything a man would do. So there's no need for one. And in this case, that's not ideal.
Any thoughts on how this can be resolved?
I think the solution to this issue is putting everything back in it's proper place, the way it was designed to be. Men blame women, women blame men.. The whole blame game thing is in full effect. I say lets put that to the side, and get back to the root of it all.
Trust me, I completely understand that it may be a scary process for a woman to let go of her independence. But what's the point of a potential relationship If you choose not to rely on your significant other? Independence means doing it all alone, or "by yourself". How does that equation fit in a relationship?
It simply doesn’t.
Now lets shift in topic. My final question for the day, which may be the most significant in this discussion.
Okay, im ready. Shoot.
What will it take for the black man in today's society, granted the derogatory stereotypes, to rebuild his reputation? Integrity? Social acceptance? Mindset? Especially in the modern day world?
If I had the whole answer, id be a billion - trillionaire by now (Laughs) However I do have a few comments to add to it.
I think more black men need to be in tune with themselves, our African history and where our true beginnings came from. African American men come from Kings! If most of them knew this, it would ultimately play a huge role in their confidence and how they'd carry themselves in society today.
Using myself as an example, my father is Nigerian, who's grandfather was a KING of Lagos, Nigeria. On his paternal side, his father was a King as well.
So you come from ROYALTY?
Yes, indeed. There's literally - ROYAL blood that runs through my veins. Our last name means "a person who bears honor" - which is why I play off the name "Berolaesque" for my books.
Even though my parents divorced when I was young, they always instilled in me my history, who I truly am and constantly reminded me that I come from excellence. From spending lots of time with my father, I had the privilege of having such a positive upbringing and teaching from a strong, African male figure. He made sure I was deeply rooted in confidence, and being aware of the greatness that lied inside.
Also, I know that God played the biggest role in this as well. Without his strength, I wouldn't have been as confident throughout life.
So in closing on this topic, my answer really lies in how much research black men perform to truly understand themselves, inside and out. As well as from a historical standpoint, within their history, as well as African/African-American facts from previous generations. If black men don't identify themselves with something great, all that's left is the negative stereotypes their forced to believe they fall in. Not a good thing to be proud of at all.
Honestly, that my two cents on it.
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