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From PR & Chicken – To Making a Difference… By Divya Daryanani

I am not quite sure how best to start my first attempt at blogging. I feel oddly calm and open, even though I am about to bear my soul to the far reaches of this vast blogosphere. My name is Divya Daryanani and I am honoured to have founded Why Not People with Jameela 2 years ago, and have been managing the company ever since :0 I had been in PR for 10 years previously, working on everything from toilet duck and maple syrup (Oh the glamour), to whiskey and my favourite of them all … the PERi-PERi chicken that we all know and love! I spent the last 5 years before Why Not People became my whole world feeding chicken to lots of music artists, DJ’s, sportsman and global celebs, who all couldn’t do without their hit of their favourite spicy goodness. In that list was the fabulous Jameela Jamil and how our wonderful friendship started.

That leads nicely onto a little bit more about me and the life experiences that have lead me to not only be proud of what Why Not is trying to achieve in the long term, but also have a personal stake in ensuring that things change around us all, as I don’t really know what the future holds for me health wise. I won’t go into the depths of my rollercoaster of a medical history… but let’s just say that until 2 years ago, I truly believed that I was one of those human beings that was just broken, and that no matter how many doctors I saw, or how many treatments and apparent diagnosis had been made, I was just one of the unlucky ones that came broken on delivery. I have wonderful parents and a loving family, but my childhood and teenage years were a veritable treat of insomnia, stomach ulcers, weirdly clotting blood, lots of surgeries on joints that would do the strangest things; a simple day out shopping would leave me with joints as swollen as a beached whale and so sensitive that a hug would be too much at times.

A couple of years ago, one miraculous doctor (with all the knowledge and experience of all the failed diagnosis before) finally told me that I was not in fact broken in lots of ways… just 2! I can honestly tell you – that may very well have been one of the best days of my life… I finally knew what was wrong and could start understanding both Erhlos Danlos Syndrome and Fybro Myalgia. Once I knew how to manage my body and conditions better… life got exponentially better J

Some would say it was fate, others a lucky coincidence… I don’t mind which one it was; I am just forever grateful. Around the same time that I was ready to hang up my apron at Nando’s and I was finally getting the right diagnosis… I was lying on my bed on a lazy Sunday and my phone rang. Jameela at the time to me was ‘the hot Indian chick of T4 that I stuffed with chicken the year before at LoveBox.’ Little did I know it was going to be the call that changed my life…. it didn’t seem that way at the time let me tell you.

The call was a blur of passionate sentences that told me of Charlie her best friend from childhood that she met at their special needs primary school, to her in an accident that almost left her paralysed. This quickly moved on to a chat that Charlie and Jameela had the week before, outraged at how they couldn’t find a single place to go out together and be each other’s wing people… a birth right of every human being in my eyes. This led onto discussion after discussion and debate to debate. You guessed it! All resulting in the Why Not People you see today!

We are certainly not where we started 2 years ago, we have learnt so much, dare I say it… even evolved as human beings through the process . I was going to tell you all more about Why Not People, the gigs, member perks, styling tips and more… but I feel I have already blabbed a sufficient amount and don’t want to tempt the fine balance of an OK blog (I hope) and an OH MY! Blog.

Till next time fabulous people…

Sorry;-0 I have never been known to keep quiet long! My last point is simply that Why Not People is going to change the lives of so many people and level the playing field of life where possible. Whether you yourself are disabled, have friends that are, or simply believe in what we are trying to achieve – please share the message and sign up to become a member.

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