Love surrounds Angel N. Livas and Yusuf Henriques, an entrepreneurial couple who were engaged on New Year’s Eve and celebrated their love with an exdclusive event at Northwest D.C.’s The Park at 14th on Feb. 2.
Individually, the two have accomplished a lot.
Livas has over 20 years of success in the media and entertainment industry. She is a Tedx motivational speaker, best-selling author, award-winning media executive and the founder and CEO of ALIVE Podcast Network, the first Black woman-owned podcasting platform.
Former Army combat medic Henriques is a technology and health founder of five companies, including IndyGeneUS AI and IndyGeneUs Global, a precision genomics company dedicated to creating the world’s largest blockchain-encrypted repository of indigenous and diasporic African clinical data.
Impressive solo, the pair agreed that they are stronger together. Their relationship is full of love, faith, laughter and encouragement.
“I love having someone who just gets you, and is genuinely supportive and wants to see you thrive and succeed,” said Livas.
The power couple both graduated from Howard University, but they didn’t cross paths until 2021, well into their trailblazing work.
Meant to Be More Than Business Partners
Henriques was recommended to collaborate with Livas to help effectively communicate his medical information to a wider audience. They had their business meeting on Oct. 7, and Henriques said it ended up being a 12-hour conversation that quickly grew outside of their professional aspirations.
“I’m real cerebral, so [I appreciate] having someone who can be in my space, not just in our spiritual connection or emotional connection, there’s also that intellectual connection,” Henriques recalled. “After that 12-hour session, we went and ran it back the next day.”
From the very start, it was clear that the two were meant to be more than business partners. Henriques explained that their connection was like yin and yang. He joked that he’s “rough around the edges,” and Livas responded sweetly, “I smooth it out.”
When it comes to their professional growth and collaboration, Henriques likened it to the “iron sharpens iron” saying.
Livas proudly shared that she is chief communications officer for his company, IndyGeneUS AI. She explained that her fiance is more mission-focused and will walk into a room with targets and outcomes in mind. But since their relationship began, she’s been showing Henriques the value in building relationships and having people in your corner.
“As an entrepreneur, a lot of times you do feel in isolation, you do feel alone. And you feel like ‘Oh, my God, am I on the right path? Am I doing all the right things?’ I’m that voice of encouragement, like, ‘No, you got this, this is what you’re supposed to be doing. This is what you’re destined to do,’” said Livas.
Henriques added that he never did a vision board until he saw Livas’ and wanted to help her bring her dreams to fruition. For him, supporting her and being positive reinforcement to reach her goals is very important. He pours back into her with his technology expertise by showing her new and innovative ways to scale her outreach in the communications field.
They fused their technology and communications expertise to launch the ALIVE app, which directly supports the Black creative economy and provides Black listeners with content that sparks innovation, spreads inspiration and shares information. The app is unique in its user experience through providing an e-commerce marketplace. It is a direct response to the growing relevance of Black storytelling from Black podcasters and for their listeners. According to Edison Research, 75% of Black monthly podcast listeners seek out content that focuses on Black storytelling.
“When it comes down to money and getting folks to believe in the vision, you’re going to need a battle buddy,” said Henriques.
Fusing Families and Cultures
Henriques is a Jamaican-born immigrant, and his cultural background has blended smoothly with Livas, who was born and raised in Michigan.
Coming from Howard and its Pan-African diversity, Livas was already exposed to Jamaican traditions and culture. From sharing his family’s traditional dishes like jerk chicken and curry goat, Henriques said the cultural fusion has been easy.
The successful couple are both grounded in their Christian faith and divine guidance from above. Livas said a part of their spiritual bonding is reading Bible passages together and exchanging scripture from the Bible app. She added that she’s the one who will take his hand with a “we’re going to pray real quick,” and both appreciate worshiping together and with their blended family.
Livas is the mother of two boys, 9 and 11, and Henriques has four girls, most of whom are in college and working. For the couple, it’s the best of both worlds to experience rearing their partner’s children and share the responsibility of parenting. They both agree that an important part of building their Black love is that it’s “unconditional and generational.”
“That Black love extends beyond you two. It extends to your children, and how they see it, how they act on it, and how they are going to go out and look for that in somebody else. So it’s the foundation of our legacy,” said Livas.
As the pair move toward their “I do’s,” they both share excitement for an abundant future of companionship.
Livas said having someone who witnesses and shares the time, energy and love invested in building their empire is a special part of their experience.
While the two haven’t yet set a wedding date, the couple are looking at August 2025 for their nuptials.
“I look forward to growth. I look forward to being the best version of myself that I can be. For me, for my husband, for my kids. And for my family,” said Livas.
Henriques told The Informer their relationship has been a highlight in his life.
“This is the best situation I’ve ever been in to build with someone,” he said. “So having that unconditional love and being able to transfer that through generations is what’s most important to me.”
Source: Washington Informer