Guna Ivanova’s granddaughters: Every trial shows us how strong we can be

On the eve of the World Breast Cancer Month, Sofia will be part of a global network of good, including 43 other capitals, where the largest charity sports event in support of women’s health in Europe will be held – “Race for the Cure 2022”. In our country, a whole galaxy of stars will take part in it, who will become ambassadors of the pink cause. Some of them will be at the starting line ready to run 5km or walk 3km, others will be seen at a special concert that will take place on September 25 in South Park, and still others will be in both places.

See photos of Iva and Velislava >>

Today we meet you with Iva and Velislava Kostadinovi, who will support the initiative, becoming part of it. Besides being radiant and beautiful, they are just as talented. The young ladies are granddaughters of the great Bulgarian folk singer Guna Ivanova, who is the person who taught them to love Bulgarian folklore. Since childhood, the two sisters have accompanied their famous grandmother on concerts and performances throughout the country and abroad, but after the appearance of their rather more modern pop song “Chula li si” a few years ago, they successfully claimed their place on the Bulgarian scene as performers with own style and sound. Now, however, the girls are showing that along with their big voices, they also have big hearts overflowing with kindness and compassion for others.

However, before we introduce you to them more closely, we invite everyone who wants to join the event to register for it HERE >>

Iva, Velislava, you are ambassadors for Race for the Cure 2022. What motivated you to get involved in the biggest charity sports event for women’s health in Europe?

Iva: We are taught understanding. We have also been trained to empathize. We are glad to have the opportunity to help. Every person should do good… And we are grateful that we have the opportunity to take part in the Race for the Cure, and to give of ourselves in the name of health.

Velislava: Health is the most important! We have all been convinced of this in the last two years, and we cannot help but respond to this cause! We have personal motivations that make us even more determined in our participation in Race for the Cure.

Photo: Slavina Lukanova

What is your role on September 25th in South Park? Where will we see you – on stage or on the start line for the run and walk?

Velislava: Register, come and you will find out (laughs)! You will see us at the walking start line. Sport is health and we urge everyone to get involved in this initiative, which, apart from providing free breast cancer screenings, will refresh us with running and a leisurely 3km walk. Movement is health!

Iva: Exactly! So we would love to see more people in South Park. In parallel with the sports part, there will be a concert part, which will delight everyone who came to show moral support for the cause. We will also sing some of our most iconic songs, and we plan to premiere something new from our work that no one has heard yet!

What would you say to women who are learning to live normally on a daily basis with this diagnosis?

Iva: To accept this as a challenge that is as much a battle as it is an awakening to a total rearrangement of priorities and a chance for a far more fulfilling life after dealing with the diagnosis. This is actually the case after every extreme situation that shakes us and shows us how fragile we really are, but also how strong we can be if we help each other! We’ll prove it on September 25th!

Velislava: Have faith and meet difficulties with your head held high! To know that they are not alone, and this is proven by Race for the Cure!

Photo: “Race for the Cure”

This event does not gather people with fast feet and fat wallets, but those with big hearts. What are the things, places, or people that remind you personally of how fleeting life is, and how what we leave behind is almost always just a memory of the courage to be good people?

Iva: Events like this and the people who take part are certainly a symbol of goodness and a big heart… A big heart shows in small gestures and small things.

Velislava: The person I imagine hearing this question is the person in whose class I graduated from NATFIZ, namely the incredible Stefan Danailov. He was a wonderful person and there are many cases in which he showed how big his heart is… I am grateful to God that he was a part of my life, because of everything that he is!

How do you take care of your health and your inner world?

Iva: We try to lead a healthy lifestyle. But we also learn from the lessons that life gives us with examples related to unhealthy lifestyles and their consequences. I like to walk, walk… I can do it for hours without getting tired. That’s how I do sports. It will be a joy for me to see more people who love walking like me, we will be waiting for them with pleasure and we will combine the healthy with the charitable – what could be better?!

Velislava: I like to do sports, to train. I can do it at home without going to the gym. In general, if there’s a will, there’s a way. The other thing that is important is preventive examinations and monitoring our health. It is very important to pay more attention to ourselves, regardless of whether we feel good or not.

Photo: Slavina Lukanova

You attract young audiences like a magnet to folklore. What do fans tell you when they meet you? Where does this love of folk come from and are you ever tempted to replace it with more commercial pop music?

Iva: Our fans are very kind and good people! Every conversation with them tells us one thing, namely that everything we have experienced so far in the name of our creativity, along with what we do, has meaning. Our idea is to bring them into a pleasant atmosphere through our songs, to make them smile, but also to think about some important issues in our opinion.

Velislava: Exactly! The choice of certain songs is not accidental. We either sing about true love or sing about an important person, trying to focus on values ​​through our performances. Of course, we also have those that we aim to lighten up the audience by making them smile, but everything we choose is purposeful. We have two very interesting songs, the arrangements of which are the work of Svetlin Kuslev, and here our mission is to listen to folklore even in places that are not standard for it. The songs have a very different sound, but they always bear the mark of folklore in them. The results of the created songs are good and definitely show us that we should continue in this spirit.

You are granddaughters of the great Guna Ivanova. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from her, about the challenges of the stage, but also those of life?

Iva: She is a very strong person! She has been through life’s worst storm, but she has retained her goodness, a fact that many other people besides us will undoubtedly attest to. She says: “for the bad always with the good”. It teaches us both confidence and awareness. And the best thing we have taken from her is the love for our wonderful folk music, instilling values ​​in us.

Velislava: She is an example of many valuable actions and deeds. She herself defines herself as a folk psychologist, which I think is absolutely true. She has very accurate judgment for all kinds of situations, people… I try to listen to her advice because she is almost never wrong. She is one of those people who use her name to do good, and we try to follow her example.

Photo: Slavina Lukanova

What new projects can we expect from you?

Iva: We have quite a few interesting things that due to certain circumstances we have not finished, but we hope that two of them will see the light of day very soon. Beautiful songs, with interesting videos…

Velislava: Also, next year we hope to present something that we were unable to do because of the pandemic. However, everything happens in a rather unpredictable way. However, we are doing our best, and God willing, next year we will show you a result.

Wish our readers something.

Iva: First of all, we wish everyone health! The most important is! Take care, take care of yourself and your loved ones, have countless reasons to smile!

Velislava: And I will add that I wish them to be happy, because when a person is healthy and happy, then everything is fine! We hope to see you on September 25, do good together for the sake of health, and finally we will try to make you smile with a song…

Photo: Slavina Lukanova

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