The Sani Sisters Present: A Conversation with Angelica Silva

The Sani Sisters Present: Angelica Silva

By Praveena Somasundaram

As a journalist for Brown Girl Magazine, Business Insider and Reclamation Magazine, 23-year-old Angelica Silva’s words have reached people around the world. She joined the Sani co-founders, Niki and Ritika Shamdasani, for a “Sani Sisters Present” session and spoke about her journalism work, self care, fashion and identity.

Though she’d always loved writing, Silva grew up wanting to be a marine biologist. After high school, she attended the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Her first major was international relations before she switched gears to study journalism and sociology.

“I knew I wanted to be in a position and a job where I could influence change,” Silva said. “And I could inspire people or just have an impact on people both through my writing and actions.”

She started writing for Brown Girl Magazine about her personal experiences and issues such as colorism. Since then, Silva has also reported for news organizations like Business Insider and Brisbane Times.

“I’ve been lucky to have that balance of having to write about really personal, light-hearted things sometimes, but also the things that aren’t very lighthearted, that are very serious and happening in our world,” Silva said.

Recently, Silva covered the George Floyd protests and the incarceration of indigenous people in Australia.

“My role is always to inform and impact people and let them know something that they really didn’t know before,” she said.

Silva acknowledged that her decision to work in journalism was different from the South Asian norm, but said her family was supportive. Her parents are from Singapore and her grandparents are from India.

From her most recent memory of Singapore, Silva was shopping for an outfit for her cousin’s wedding. It was the first time she’d tried on a lehenga.

“I remember putting it on and being like ‘Oh, my god, I can’t believe I used to be embarrassed about being brown,” Silva said.

Silva looks forward to incorporating South Asian fashion and jewelry into her current style. Beyond fashion, she encouraged fellow South Asians to remind journalists and creatives like herself that their work, though it falls outside the norm, is still important.

“Let them know that what they’re doing is still really a public service to the people.”