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Sebastian Thiel | Blackmale Beats | Africa Fashion Week | FashionMist

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DISCUSSION: MARRIAGE, DO WE REALLY STILL NEED IT?

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Lifestyle Business & Careers Arts & culture Fashion Entertainment

May-Jun 2013

L A R U T A N E TH VOLUTION R I HA ER* .. . V , E D N N A U ARO OLDER TH N E E B YS ER AND B A W L A G YES ITOSW IT S BIG BUT N also: SNAP DECISIONS with CLAUD WILLIAMS CANT LIVE WITH’ ‘EM WHO ARE NU? BLACK IDENTITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY BUSINESS START UP’S WITH ALEX ARMAH, CEO OF ENVIROINKS NU PEOPLE STYLE LOOKS BACK AT AN ANKARA FILLED SUMMER and MORE NU People Magazine and its logo are Trademarks of PremMedia. All Rights Reserved NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM 1


REDEFINING US

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NU People january/February 2013, Issue 1

CONTRIBUTORS SENIOR EDITOR | P.Y Adjei > py@nupeoplemagazine.com, @TheNameIsPY • LAILA MENSAH >Writer/Vlogger: Fushion Of Cultures, @NeffyFroFro PELUMI RAE > Writer / Owner of Care For Your Hair, @Pelumi_Rae DEBRA ODULARE > Writer/ @DebraChosen GBONTWI ANYETEI > Writer/ @Gbontwianyetei SIETA MAJOK > Writer/Blogger, @Modernmeid NOVA REID > Writer/Blogger @NU_Bride DZIFA HANSON > Writer ANNETTE CLARK HEADLEY > Writer/ Owner of Almond & Avocado Holistics @Avocadoholistic JJ BOLA > Writer/Poet, @JJ_Bola LEIGHAN RENAUD > Writer, @tinkslele NATALIE BELGRAVE > Writer/Blogger @TheAccidentalMo KEE SYLES > Hair & Styling, @KEE_Styles STYLESAFIK.COM > Styling, @StylesAfrik KASSANDRA GORDON > Writer/Poet, @GrapeSoupLondon ANNE-MARIE CLARKE > Model NANCY BAIDOO > Model ETHOSIA > Model RACQUEL YARBOYE > Model WUNMI AKINLAGUN > Model MARIAME SOWE > Model BELINDA RAJI > Model MARY OLUWAWO > Writer/Interviewer BLACKANDNBROWN.NET > Advertorial, www.blackandbrown.net ALMOND AND AVOCADO HOLISTICS > Advertorial, www.avocadoholistic.com DELIGHTS BY CYNTHIA > Advertorial, www.delightsbycynthia.com SOYEBO INTERACTIVE > Web Production

Thank You ASHLEY OSEI RACQUEL LARNYOH AND THE MGUK 2011 GROUP MARTIN ASARE VIJAY MANU ELODIE JEAN-GILLES SEFA NKANSAH HEEL-THE-WORLD SHOES ALEX ARMAH SHEILA BOATENG THIERRY NDANGI THE FASHIONMIST TEAM NARROW PATH FILMS AFRICA FASHION WEEK TEAM CLAUD WILLIAMS BLAC KMALE BEATS TEO IDEZIGN PHOTOS AKWASI PHOTOS CATWALK CAPTURE SHAKA ZULU BAR AND RESTAURANT SEBASTIAN THIEL PARIS ROBIN BLACK CARREFOUR

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“Black”

By: Kassandra Gordon

Black is new Nike trainers Black can be dark and light, no unity or one in between Black is unconsciously preferring and appraising the light skinned Black is bleaching our skins and integrity to be desired and accepted by others. Black is different hair styles, Vaseline and coco butter Black is white ash inside fingers, ashy knees and elbows Black is n-words Black is highly sexed, beastly and can’t control themselves Black is hoochie, jezebel, welfare cheques and baby mothers Black can sweet talk and be irresponsible Black needs more self love Black needs more recognition Black needs more appreciation Black results from colonialism Black can be rich but not wealthy Black is conquered and divided Black is struggle Black is poor Black is heartbreak Black is lost history Black is offensive Black is nothing Black is everything Black is dependency Black is starving Black is malnourished Black has no voice Black is good singers, dancers and athletes Black is deviant Black is crime Black is loving Black is nurturing Black is pain Black is the race card Black could make a riot Black is political Black is Only a colour NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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Welcome to the very first issue of

NU People

.....We are here to make you

feel more beautiful than

you did before you picked up a copy

Enjoy....

Redefining Us... NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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EDITORS SPACE

ME OW IsPY L L FO Name E e @Th AIL M ine.com z M g E ema eopl p u n py@

N

US

REDEFINING

o amount of words can express how much this statement means to me. To me it’s more than just a tagline it’s a purpose of being. It’s a goal that I personally feel we

all as black people need to aspire to in everything that we do.

ways tried to live my life by this adage. It is often important that we always look inside for the treatment we receive from the population outside. Sometimes this misrepresentation comes from inside yourself or your own circle of people.

...It is no use trying to CHANGE

THE MASSES at all but it is

well worth every effort aiming to

For too long we have been defined by the simplified dogma of what the mainstream media has portrayed us to be.

become the catalyst

the PEOPLE

Who decides what the embodiment of the average black person should be? Who decides what should be associated with our cultures and our lifestyles? Who decides who we are and how we are represented? Answer me that and I will show you who is responsible for our misrepresentation. I’m not one to often point fingers because my grandma always used to say to me “while you point fingers, realise you have the others pointing back at you” so I have al-

that inspires

I believe change should always start from within in order for it to spread to the outside world. There is no use trying to gratify or revolutionize the masses without gaining a sense of who you really are. In fact it is no use trying to change the masses at all, but it is well worth every effort aiming to become the catalyst that inspires the people within your circle to desire to be more than what these masses see them as. A better future is built through self determination, self belief and self (You) and the rest will follow. It’s your world, define it

P.Y ADJEI

SENIOR EDITOR

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COVER STORY

The Natural Hair-Volution Page 26

LO SH Ca Mo par mo out pe

s

unny April morning at Simulacra Studios, hiding somewhere in Brixton’s Loughborough Junction we eagerly get prepared for an influx of Afro’s. And boy, were we not disappointed. Thanks to the wonderful Pelumi Rae of “Care for your hair” we were able to put together a group of the U.K’s finest Natural Hair Belle’s. We had a great 4 hour shoot; lots of laughs, dancing and obviously hair. This shoot is significant because not only did it make the front cover but it was officially NU People Magazines first ever article and project. It was the birth of a concept. Thank you to all the ladies and the team involved. We finally made it happen. SEE PAGE 26 NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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CONTENTS FEATURES

BUSINESS & CAREERS “EXECUTE SOMETHING IF IT FEELS RIGHT” EnviroInks owner Alex Armah on how he set his business up, even with three children in tow. PG. 56 Sole Purpose Heel-the-World: Ghana’s bespoke shoe makin company takes on the world PG. 60

HISTORY & TRADITION Who are NU? Black Identity in the 21st Century PG. 10 & 11

Young Enterprise Entrepreneur Claud Williams on starting his very own photo studio PG.62 EVERY ISSUE “Should” List bite size features of some cool STUFF we think you should check out too PG.12

PG. 54 & 55 LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS Cant Live with’em Moving in with your partner...The priceless moment when you find out he/she is far from perfect STYLE: United Colours of Ankara

DISCUSSION: Jump the Broom Or Skip the Nuptials Do we really need marriage these days? PG. 50 STYLE: United Colours of Ankara We played guests to two of the summers hottest African fashion extravaganza then FashionMist 2012 PG. 42 -43 Africa fashion Week PG. 44 - 45

PG. 40 - 49

We also joined some of the industries finest designers and stylists to bring you a brief showcase of African inspired clothing PG. 46 - 49 WELLBEING More than a massage PG. 36 Beauty & Grooming PG. 38 Directors Cut with Sebastian Thiel talks to NU People about growing his brand, his upcoming projects and the state of UK’s “Black” film industry. PG.16 NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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ARTS & CULTURE Black Male Beats South Londons Beat Making duo speak about their passion for music and their influences. PG. 22 Reviews and Previews PG. 20 - 21


Who Are Nu ? Black Identity in the 21st Century

History & TRADITION

By Writer/Poet JJ Bola

W

e are constantly redefining ourselves, as a people, as a homogenous group with distinguished phenotype, interlinked ancestral lineage, and shared genetic origin – from which followed the whole of human kind, as scientists affirm – however, the re-definition of black people in recent history has more so been a political act of self determination, as opposed to one of ideological existentialism. The need for this process of political self determination emerged as a consequence of historical factors; enslavement and colonialism, during which an identity was imposed, like a hard, badly fitted, suffocating outer shell, on those of melanin profuseness – black people. As the bold and eloquent political activist Stokely Carmichael stated in a speech “we went from Coloured to Negro, Negro to Black and Black to ...” where are we going? The quote does not end there, I will complete it later on

Stokely Carmichael, One time Prime Minister of the Black Panthers Party

to introduce a new idea, however, it already makes a powerful statement and that is without even mentioning the term African American, referring to those with African ancestry in the United States. The re-definition of black people’s identity manifested as part of the post colonial independence and civil rights movements. As the African proverb says ‘you

tions in the Tomb of Seti I, however, they did not refer to themselves as a colour but as a people who inhabit the same land. It is not an African concept to refer to one self or base ones identity on the colour of their skin, even though the difference in race was recognised, this particular concept was one that arose due to European and Arab conquests that brought foreign ideologies with it. Furthermore, the notion of using a

“THERE IS NO ONE WHOSE COMPLEXION

– REGARDLESS OF HOW

CLOSE IT MAY

COME – IS ACTUALLY BLACK!”

cannot know where you are going, unless you know where you have been’. So let us take a look at where we have come from and where we are today, with the hope of gaining foresight on where we will be in the future. In regards to identity, in the ancient African kingdoms dating centuries before the Common Era, for example amongst the people of the ancient Kingdom of Nubia; the Nubians - who can now be ingeniously abbreviated as the Nu people - with their wondrous civilisation of Pyramid construction, arts and literature, Africans recognised themselves as a people of darkened pigmentation, or higher melanin profuseness, and a different race, as was shown in the racial classifica-

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colour to define race is usually confined to the languages of the perpetrators of the imperialist conquests and not in indigenous African languages. Evidence of this can be found by making a simple linguistic comparison. In English – a language that you are no doubt fluent in if you have read this far – ‘black’, an adjective, is used to describe the colour on the most extreme end of the spectrum. If you observe the actual colour, and then compare it in reference to the people, there is a discrepancy, and, I’m sure you’ll be inclined to agree, there is no one whose complexion – regardless of how close it may come – is


actually black! To add, the majority of people of African descent are of a brown complexion, so technically, ‘brown’ people, as opposed to black, would be a more accurate appellation. In the linguistics of indigenous African languages, there was generally a different word to describe the colour and a different word for the race. For instance, amongst the Dinka ethnic group of South Sudan – who are descendents of the Nubians – the word for black is “mac(h)ar” however; the word for what we now refer to as black people is “Kojchol”. Even to refer to the white race, respectively, in Central Africa, amongst the Bangala of the Congo, the word for white, the colour, is “Pembe”, whereas the word for the race is “Mundele”. The word to describe black people

necessarily fit as the identity for those of darker pigmentation or melanin profuseness, however, it is the current state of affairs on our journey of political self determination, thus explaining why I have used the term since the beginning of this article. So, we are constantly redefining ourselves and that definition of self, is a very complicated process. Nonetheless, in order to define the self, to understand the self, to identify the self, the group from which the self originates must also have a collective identity. An identity of a people is not just defined by the name alone, however, the name bares significance as the people themselves assign a meaning to that name, and there is a consciousness that the name evokes. Identity encompasses many different aspects

“WE CAN AGREE THAT “BLACK” DOESN’T NECESSARILY FIT AS THE IDENTITY FOR THOSE OF DARKER PIGMENTATION OR MELANIN PROFUSENESS” used in the various indigenous African languages, like the word “Bayindo” also of the Bangala, translates to mean those of darkened skin or pigment,which more accurately encompasses the wider genetic variation from light to darker complexion, compared to the word black, which only evokes one colour or image, one that is very limiting. This linguistic comparison gives us basic insight, but is deserving of more detailed research. Furthermore, there is such negativity in the colloquial usage of the word black, for instance, a black day, black markets, black magic, the black sheep (of the family), and of course, the nursery rhyme, Baa Baa black sheep, which is no longer sung in schools as it is deemed racially offensive. We can agree that “black” doesn’t

including culture, and history. Your identity, the people with which you are aligned, allows you to know where you have come from. The process of establishing identity is cyclical. The stages include dormant, awakening, internal dialogue, self acceptance and externalisation. It is at the stage of internal dialogue, in which there is questioning, conflict, challenge and discovery, where it seems we, as a people, are hovering above, however, when we progress past this stage to self acceptance, there is internal harmony, and the next stage is externalisation, the stage in which you manifest and confidently express the glory of your true self. It is a continuous process, this article highlights the fact that this process is not finished, and that we must not get complacent and feel as

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if we have arrived at the destination. Foresight allows one the ability to take control of their destiny; the direction in which they are going. This brings us back to the Stokely Carmichael speech mentioned at the beginning, “We went from Coloured to Negro, Negro to Black, and Black... to African. That’s where we need to go, and when we get there, nothing can stop us”. There are many who would agree, and many who would disagree, however, what remains is the need for this internal dialogue to occur in order for us to move forward in collective harmony. This raises an immediate question, ‘Who is African?’ to answer this, I will quote the first President of

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah 1st President of Ghana

Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, who states “I am African, not because I was born in Africa, but because Africa was born in me”. There is a particular African philosophy and ideology that is identifiable and unique; the community, family orientation, creativity and spirit, the civilisation, which manifests itself amongst various communities of African descent around the world, and so if we are to capture this in an identity, the name must be a manifestation of its glory so that those who identify with it may be seen as new people. The question is, are we there yet? Follow @JJ_Bola on Twitter. Please share your thought. Email us at Letters@ nupeoplemagazine.com or @NUPeopleMagUK quoting or Hashtag “Who Are Nu” Comments may feature in next issue


“SHOULD" l i s t

the

WE CHECKED OUT A FEW COOL THINGS WHILE COMPLILING THIS ISSUE.... WELL WE COULDN’T FILL THE MAGAZINE OUT WITH EVERYTHING SO WE DECIDED TO GIVE YOU BITE SIZE FEATURES OF SOME COOL STUFF WE THINK YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT TOO...

SHOULD (FINALLY) GIVE INTO AFRO BEATS

Africa’s popular music has finally hit the global spot light in the form of Afro beats and if you are like me you may have tried not to jump on what you might have called a “bandwagon”. Ignorant? Yes guilty as charged. It is only so s o long you can avoid Afro beats, with some artists getting signed to American labels and the invention of the “Azonto” dance which has gained popularity around the globe you begin to realise it isn’t a bandwagon it is a movement.

SHOULD SUPPORT ACLT charity was established to provide valuable support to people with blood cancers who rely on regular blood transfusions or face the incredible challenge of a worldwide search for a racially-matched bone marrow donor. Around 70% of patients need bone marrow from a stranger but due to greater genetic diversity and low donor registrations, the odds of finding a match for Black, Mixed race and Asian patients could be around one in 100,000 or worse. Co-founded in 1996 by Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis, Inspired by the plight of their son Daniel De-Gale who desperately needed a matched bone marrow transplant from a stranger to help save his life, ACLT raises awareness to the Ethnic minority population about the importance of donating blood and bone marrow. To find out how to help support their cause please visit the charity’s website at www.aclt.org

SHOULD CHILL AT

SHOULD CURL UP AND WATCH BACK-TO-BACK

SHOULD TUNE IN

PLAYVYBZ.COM SATAY BAR/RESTAURANT BRIXTON

BROTHERS WITH NO GAME

With its array of authentic Far-Eastern foods and well stocked cocktail bar you and your friends can chill out in the lounge area or at the dinning area for hours even on weeknights and not even realise its past bedtime. Satay Bars relaxing atmosphere is helped by a good selection of soulful R&B, Salsa and Hip-Hop music that will have your heads nodding and feet tapping while you chillax. Not lots of places offer a better start or end to your night than Satay Bar.

From the Brothers With No Game team comes this very entertaining web series. The series follows four friends on a quest to understand their female counterparts. The guys, each with their own different character flaws and ideology when it come to the opposite sex , go about their “game” in all diverse, hysterical manners mostly ending in some sort of failure which is where frankly the humour lies. Funny enough a lot of men can relate. You definitely need to check this one out back-to-back. The series is on episode six as of this feature so hurry and catch up.

447 Coldharbour Lane Brixton London, Greater London SW9 8LP www.sataybar.co.uk/

www.brotherswithnogame.com @TheBWNG

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Playvybz broadcasts its Internet radio station right from the heart of Brixton. Home to a variety of musical genres and talk shows, Playvybz began streaming in January 2006 only on evenings and weekends with a basic domestic infrastructure. Today Playvybz is recognised as one of the stand out radio stations dedicated to HipHop, R&B/Soul and Reggae. Along with radio Playvybz offers novice and veteran DJs and hosts a number of courses in areas such as mic technique and vocal training as well as conventional DJ-ing skill. Tune in to Playvybz and get the best of many different genres of African/ Caribbean music. Tune In to Playvybz at: www.playvybz.com www.tunein.com


SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR

B.I.F.L.I CLOTHING (BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT)

Within a matter of days “B.I.F.L.I Life” blew its way onto our radar. So much so we actually made it to the launch party in Mayfair, London With arguably the coolest launch video you have ever seen, the clothes and accessories are equally as cool. B.I.F.L.I certainly looks fresh, bold and very charismatic (forgive me, I’m really trying hard not to use the word “swag”). B.I.F.L.I is certainly going to make a mark within the fashion industry with its bold clothes and valiant tagline “Because I Feel Like It” and it will be no surprise at all with such catchy promo’s to go with it. It is only a start for the clothing line but you get the feeling that this is something that will catch on. The group seems determined to spearhead the “live your life” attitude and are doing it very well. www.biflilife.com

SHOULD LOUNGE

SHOULD LEND AN EAR Singer

MARIE DAHLSTROM

Every once in a while you hear a voice that alerts you to something more than special. Yes, say hello to Scandinavian soul singer Marie Dahlstrom. Marie’s jazz-influenced soulful sound and deep vocals are just so unique, powerful yet mellow. Her music feels so timeless it leaves you wondering how such a gem has not made it to the very forefront as of yet. Marie Dahlstrom’s EP Feelings and new single “Search” are available on iTunes now. Feelings by Marie Dahlstrom available on iTunes now.

SHOULD READ BLACK COOL: ONE THOUSAND STREAMS OF BLACKNESS By REBECCA WALKER

www.facebook.com/mariedahlstromsound

LOVE LOUNGE

This bi-monthly live music event brings together some good music, comedy and spoken word talents. Many talents such as Lianne Robertson, Rachel Kerr, G.R.E.E.D.S and Shakka have all graced the Love Lounge stage. Love lounge creates a relaxing and indulging atmosphere and the after parties are usually equally as engaging with a seriously good collection of playlists to boogie down to. You should definitely look out for their next event and make sure you are there. http://www.loveloungeevents.com

“I wanted to look at our culture and discuss what is cool about it that isn’t based on material things,’’ - Rebecca Walker

Spoken Word LIONHEART

Black Cool delves into the realms of those difficult to explain moment when you suddenly get reminded again the definition of what it is to be black and cool without drowning yourself in material things. It is Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk, Jimmi Hendrix firing up his guitar, Michael Jordan celebrating a three point shot like he can make it again in his sleep, it is Barack Obama stepping out the presidential SUV, black suited up. Rebecca Walker explains it so much better by taking it way back and bringing it to the present with a solid list of black personalities and moments that were and are black cool.

NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

SHOULD HEAR OUT

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“They Shot things” is Lionhearts latest captivating poetry piece anyone that has ever heard a Lionheart piece knows he speaks straight from his soul. “They shot things” is no different. He discusses the youth, drugs and how society neglects them and what they have to say. The hard to swallow truth that Lionheart speaks is put across so clearly, you understand every single point he is making. “I don’t blame these kids, I’d rather be stacking bags of p’s instead of packing bags of peas”. If you havent heard Lionhearts work yet i suggest you do that now...like right now. http://www.youtube.com/user/LionHeartfelt


“SHOULD" l i s t

the

SHOULD ANTICIPATE SPRING (LADIES, SHOULD HUG YOUR MAN WHILE YOU STILL CAN) GRAND THEFT AUTO V Rockstar games So the notorious Grand Theft Auto is coming back to steal your men, ladies and this time it may be for a lot longer than before... and if you thought Call Of Duty was bad enough ..eeerr, you might want to look away now. The popular crime game is back with a vengeance. Apparently this time you are able to control three different characters and the map is pretty large, so large infact you can actually go scuba diving. GTA V goes back to Los Santos. Modelled on Los Angeles with a lot of countryside this game promises to “over improve” on 2008’s GTA IV. What can i say about GTA V that will make you even more excited? probably nothing. Ladies hug your men, enjoy their company, come spring it might not be there as much. OUT SPRING 2013 Available to pre-order now.

SHOULD MIX Impress your guests with some fancy tropical cocktail skills.

SEA BREEZE On e of the most ordered cocktails today. One of the first to ever use cranberry as a mixer. 2 measured/3 tbsp vodka 2 measures/3 tbsp grapefruit juice 3 measures/ 4½ Cranberry juice Shake all the ingredients well with plenty of ice, and pour everything into a highball glass. Add a wedge of lime and a few cranberries

SEX ON THE BEACH We have all had it. The cocktail that is. Very popular in bars and if you have ever wondered how they were made here you are, 1 measure/1½ tbsp Vodka 1 measure/1½ tbsp peach schnapps 3 measures/4½ tbsp cranberry juice 3 measures/4½ tbsp pineapple juice High-fill a highball glass with cracked ice, add all the idredients in the above order and stare vigorously. Garnish with pieces of pineapple and orange

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T

SHOULD BAKE

hese cupcakes are very popular in the Delights kitchen at the moment; especially with the boys. Is it because the cupcakes are a bit more butch, as they are packed with potassium from the bananas; and protein from the peanut butter, who knows? What we do know is they taste delightful.

Banana Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting With

Makes 12 cupcakes* Ingredients 75g soft margarine 100g caster sugar 2 free-range eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 large bananas 225 self-raising flour For the frosting: 110g margarine 350g icing sugar 1 tbs peanut butter (or more to taste) 1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. 2. Place your cupcake cases into the cupcake tin. 3. Beat together the margarine and the caster sugar until they become pale and fluffy. 4. Mash the bananas and add to the mixture and beat well.

By: Cynthia Akinsanya

in the oven. 7. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden. 8. Allow the cupcakes to cool. 9. Place the butter or margarine in a bowl and beat until it is light and fluffy. 10. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and continue beating the mixture until it changes colour. Add in the peanut butter and mix well. 11. Once cupcakes are cool, pipe the cupcakes with a swirl of peanut buttercream, or spoon buttercream onto the cupcakes. 12. Enjoy! Top tips: • To pack in some texture to this delicious flavour, try using crunchy peanut butter. Or chop up some peanuts and sprinkle them on top. • To test if your cupcakes are cooked, place a skewer in the centre of the cupcake. If it comes out clean, your cupcakes are cooked. *At Delights by Cynthia, we don’t use fairy cake cases for our cupcakes, we use muffin

5. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Then add the flour and mix until the whole mixture is combined.

cases – so you get more cake to enjoy.

6. Spoon your mixture into the cupcake cases and place

Delights by Cynthia Web - www.deligtsbycynthia.com Twitter - @DelightsbyC Facebook - Search Delights by Cynthia

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NP


SpOtLight

m

in the

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS|REVIEWS|INTERVIEWS

direc

tors

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T

C

...IT’S AL I AM NL ON THE S A SHOU LDN’TOT SAYINGME STREAM BE NI STOR BE T . AREASCE TO EXPLOLD...BUT IIES IF WE AND GENRORE DIFFET WILL ARE REN ES, BLACKTALKING ESPECIALL T Y COMM ABOUT UNITY THE ..... ...ON T HE U.K “UR BAN” M

OVIE I N

t cu NP: So who is Sebastian Thiel?

S

ebastian Thiel is a 22 year old director/social entrepreneur who runs a company called Its Upshot which is a film production company and an online TV Channel as well as UpShot clothing. NP: Do you think school had an impact in your film directing?

DUSTR Y

Film Director Sebastian Theil talks to NU People about growing his brand, his upcoming projects and the state of UK’s “Black” film industry.

I don’t think school has had an impact in my actual directing career simply because I didn’t know I was going to do what I am doing now. The only reason I was trying to do well in school was because I was chasing a basketball career and my grades were very important; well that was one of the main reasons. Interaction with people and teachers and a more general experience in school life rather than the actual class lesson played a bigger part in my career now I think.

NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

in day f rainy floor o d l o ond court c e s p the tenham n’t quite id on, u ot n Lond cks on T book (d Sebastia a u r Starb uried in aited M tor who w ,b ec road the title) film dir s one to a g y h n c cat the you by man d l; e e i p p e U.K Th en ti n th off i e s b r s to ha . ull direc k to p h watc any film nerve n”, “Thin . e ” a m y h t t a m o d t i N have The bes say “Fr ny a u n tod s like “ en r ev pinio at ie mov man” o umble o orks th t w a h t e u j y e n g s l m lik was ethin er socia That ad over oing som a matt re d As but til I iel was that. Friday o t Th g r n r i la ki M rema t sim ebas abou he was wist. t on S I eat t c a n h f o c f o nd resear id a Lo re ly d with did my not on hat we a t d y” I t n d i a l e i o s i b S i work I real poss tian’s rds but to this “ ght. o u o r w my ly close ously th vi al actu had pre I n tha

17

In secondary school I studied graphics. Didn’t do too well because my friends and I always mucked about (laughs) I was actually surprised I did better in Maths, English and science and I hated those subjects, so that was a bit backwards. I did study media, sociology and psychology in college later on which have a lot to do with what I do now. They are kind of like what its UpShot is built on; the media side of things and the psychological and behaviour patterns of people. So that did play a part in the creation of upshot.


m NP: What happened to the Basketball career? “With the basketball career it was like year after year I’d get these different coaches to who would promise me things but somehow nothing would happen. Then I was given this opportunity to get a scholarship through a basketball camp with a few friends via a camp in St. Kitts. Now this time I believed in it because a close friend went through the same process. So we reach the airport, waiting to get on the plane and the next minute there was a problem with the tickets. Its like we were so close to the opportunity and it got stripped away ... again, I didn’t even go home that night because I didn’t even want my parents to think anything of it and be like this is not happening. NP: How did Its UpShot develop into a media company? Was it just your creative growth or a business move? I wouldn’t say I am explosively creative because I know that there are some really out of the box thinkers out there. I am not really that type of guy. I am the type of guy that sees things, I know what I want or I am able to piece things together from different places and make some sense of it. And I enjoy doing that. Upshot evolved into a media company as I grew business wise; I could see how powerful the media was, I could see how powerful the ideas were when brought to life so I believe I learnt by getting involved with projects. I slowly begun to love it and continue to pursue that. The message is the same but the process has developed. I am able to tell a story and add lots of other components to a media piece. There is only so much you can do with a t shirt. NP: Illegal activity, how did that come about?

It was a small concept at start, a friend of mine who is a poet and just an all round creative genius, one day just said to me “if reading was illegal ‘man

dem’ would read” and that kind of stuck with me. I also heard a set from Chris Rock where he talked about books being illegal to slaves and it kind of developed with that. I ran it by some writers and producers and they developed the script and dialogue and it turned into a mini movie. I think we wanted to get a message out to people who are hard to reach. It was a way to get to people who otherwise wouldn’t listen if you asked them to read. Illegal Activity plays with people’s perspective and stereotypes. It brings it to their consciousness. Makes them think. NP: Friday UK, why did you decide on this? For many reasons, I like doing stuff that can cross over to America. It’s a great film and we just don’t have films like that in the UK. We are starting to get a few and we have had some attempts but I don’t think they were done to my comedic taste. I like

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Friday UK Official Poster

a certain type of comedy. I also did it because there is a lot of comedians and actors that are really talented and I wanted to find a way to put them together in a quality project and this is one of the ways I could do that. NP: You do know a lot of people are expecting something comparable to the original? Does that scare you? You see this is the thing. I’m not trying to change the story, it’s just a front. People can call it a spoof if they want. I’m definitely not trying to make a better version, just a version with a UK feel. We don’t have these type of movies here so I figured if we want to see how these movies would be like in the UK this is an opportunity. I don’t really care if people want to compare them because it’s just all fun. Friday was made in 1995, that’s a long time ago. People sample music all the time why can’t we do the same with films. NP: Can you tell us about the story and cast?


I DON ’T REA ENTERTAINMENT W LLY A N NEWS|REVIEWS|INTERVIEWS CAUSET TO COM CARE IF PE WAS M IT’S JUST PARE THE OPLE TIME ADE IN 19 ALL FUN. FM BEA 9 ALL T GO. PEOPL5, THAT’S ARIDAY HE TIM E SA LON THE S E WHY C MPLE MUS G The story is pretty much AME W AN IC the same as the original. ITH FI ’T WE DO With the cast we have LMS. “A dot” comedian, KG, Baba...ON F RI tunde, Freda Thiel and Dionne Reid. It’s a lot of comedians and up and coming actors. I pretty much selected cast doubles of the original, for example for Smokey I had T. Boy down and for Debo I had KG down and so on. I had everyone’s picture down with their original double and I sent a proposal out to all the actors saying “this is the idea and I want you to play this character”. Luckily enough everyone was interested which was good because it meant I didn’t have to compromise and get actors I wasn’t too sure about. NP: What next for Sebastian? The next project is Fill me in. Fill me in is like another illegal activity in a sense. It’s hard to talk about it without giving anything away. What I can say is, it plays with people’s perspective. It’s shot in a P.O.V style and in three different parts, each a different perspective of the individual character. It’s very different, quite abstract and narration based. Which will probably take us into next year then I have the “Disorganised crime” project which is a comedy. So that’s my next big project after that. NP: What do you think about black movies in the UK? Do you think we are as accepting to them in comparison to that of America, in your opinion? Firstly there is a bigger black audience in America but I think Black movies will get received well in the

do that. How are we going to have a structure as big as BBC and Warner DAY U K Brothers if we can’t UK. I just don’t think even come together the people of power in the as small online TV media industry are willing to put this channels or whatever to make type of content out there. If you look at it our music gets re- something bigger happen? ceived well so I don’t see why our People overlook the possibilities movies wouldn’t. Its people like us and importance of coming together. who have to put the content out If they looked at the bigger picture there to show there is an undeniable they will see that even these big companies all work together under one audence. There are films being put out there umbrella. now like the “Kidulthood”, “Adul- It is something within the commutood”, then “Shanks” and “Ill manors”. nity we need to fix. I don’t know why It’s like it’s all on the same stream. I it’s like that. Maybe if we delve into am not saying stories shouldn’t be history and look at it we will find told, it can be but it will be nice to there’s probably some sort of reason. explore different areas and genres, I have personally reached out to a especially if we are talking about the lot of people to work together. It’s not a thing where I want to blow off black community. There is so much talent out there and someone else’s high but it’s like they I for one want to bring a balance to can get this from the project and I things. Everything is so one way and can get that from it. It’s a partnerthat’s another reason we are doing ship same level of work and rewards. Friday UK; to bring that fun into our People are just out for themselves and people are like I will help when films. I’m in this position and that posiNP: What do you think is necessary tion. How are we going to create a platform if we don’t work together? now? There is only so far you can take the type of content we produce, there’s only so many views you can get. We need to be able to get on bigger platforms. People in power need to open doors for other people. We also need to work together. What I noticed is that there are a lot of these online and TV channels who are doing great things but they don’t want to work together. When you start talking about working together with some individuals, It gets funny because people don’t want to

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www.sir-bastian.com @SebastianThiel http://www.itsupshot.com @itsUpshot


5

ENTERTAINMENT

NEWS|REVIEWS|INTERVIEWS

5 BOOKS

T HAT C HA N G E D M Y L I F E

with

Leighan Renaud

I am a 22 year old Literature graduate with a passion for Black British novels and the cinema. Twitter is my favourite way to vent, music is my favourite way to explore my subconscious, and Big Bang Theory is my favourite tv show. My biggest ambition is to write a novel. I have always been a passionate reader. Having always enjoyed losing myself within the pages of the book, escaping through an interesting story, identifying with different characters, reading has been, for a long time, my first hobby. And though there is power in all books, there are some that are simply life changing. Here are 5 books that changed mine, and that I would recommend everyone read.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou (1969)

This book was recommended to me by an English teacher when I was 14, and it introduced me to the wonders and power of the Black female voice. The first in a series of autobiographical books written by the wondrous Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings details Maya’s memories of her earliest years, up to the birth of her first son. As well as exploring issues surrounding growing up in 1930s America, Caged Bird also looks at issues surrounding racism in America, child molestation and rape. A painfully honest, heart wrenching novel that gives a candid insight into a different world, Caged Bird is a book that should be read by everyone.

Lonely Londoners Sam Selvon (1956)

Lonely Londoners is a portrait of London, the Caribbean immigrant holding the paintbrush. Moses Aloetta, Trinidadian migrant to London, jaded and cynical from his many years spent in London. Having developed a reputation as a “good fellar” that might help new immigrants “get place to stay and work to do”, Moses agrees to help Henry Oliver, AKA Sir Galahad, settle in to his new London life. Galahad arrives full of optimism and enthusiasm, but he soon realises that life in this foreign country is harder than anticipated. The book follows the highs and lows of Galahad, and others like him, as they negotiate the oppressive housing and employment systems, the overwhelming sense of alienation, and the huge culture gap. Written in such an innovative style, and with such a vibrant rhythm, Lonely Londoners is a classic Black British novel, to be enjoyed by everyone.

Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston (1937)

Harlot’s Progress David Dabydeen (1999)

This novel follows mixed-race Janie Crawford, as she travels through Florida, and three marriages, to find herself. In her first marriages to Logan Killicks and Jody Starks, Janie finds herself objectified, and loses herself within her role as wife. It is in her third marriage to Teacake, a younger man with few prospects and a gambling addiction, that Janie begins to live life on her own terms. Set in a period between slavery and civil rights, Hurston not only explores issues surrounding racial discrimination, but the repression of women within an already marginalised group. A beautifully written novel, and an important

A key figure in Black British literature and thought, David Dabydeen, with his unique literary style and penchant for re-inventing British history to accommodate Blackness is one of my favourite authors. Dabydeen’s story is centred around William Hogarth’s seminal 18th Century painting, Harlot’s Progress. Focusing on the image of a young black slave in one part of the painting, Dabydeen gives this boy a voice and a story. The novel starts with Mungo, the oldest black inhabitant in London, forced to tell his story to an abolitionist in exchange for charity. He reveals details of his childhood in Africa, the abuse suffered on board the slave ship, and his subsequent life in England. The narrative mixes truth with fantasy, and is richly filled with beautiful imagery and a truly painful

piece of African-American prose.

story.

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Fruit of the Lemon Andrea Levy (1999) Andrea Levy’s third novel centres on Faith Jackson, a British born young woman born to Jamaican parents, and living in 1970s London. Though Faith’s life seems seemingly settles, when she witnesses a violent racial attack, she is forced to re-evaluate her position in London, and takes a journey to Kingston, Jamaica. Spending time with her Aunt Coral, who acts as keeper to her family’s rich and extensive history, Faith learns more about her past that she may better negotiate her position in postcolonial London. Thought Fruit of the Lemon did not receive as much critical acclaim as Levy’s later work, Small Island, it remains my favourite novel from this Black British champion. She masterfully gives an insight into the struggles behind creating a Black British identity, and posits the importance of knowing one’s heritage in a effortlessly stylish manner. Follow Leighan Twitter: @tinkslele


REVIEWS & PREVIEWS

SPOKEN WORD DEAN ATTA Love Or Money EP

E-BOOK ANTHONY NGAITH:

The Virtuous Concept eBook

y

The Virtuous Concept eBook is a collection of poetry by Anthony Lyrics that examines Ghandi’s Seven Blunders of Human Virtue. Written from the viewpoint of several contrasting characters, the eBook focuses on major perils from our modern world and relates them back to Ghandi’s original ‘Blunders’. To read the rest of “The Virtuous Concept”, visit http://www.checkmyflow.co.uk/projects

HIP-HOP AKS:

The Bus Stop EP If you haven’t heard of AKS by now you probably haven’t kept your ear to the U.K hip-hop scene. AKS delivers his debut EP “The Bus Stop ”. Straight away you are introduced to the soul of a rapper who is not afraid of baring all. Title track “The Bus Stop” takes you on a journey of an artist fighting his talent as if its a gift and a curse. “Blame It on Her” speaks of a mystery lady who almost sets AKS’s life in disarray, almost losing his job; he confesses. Chillingly starting with Enoch Powells “Rivers of Blood” speech, “House called Home” arguably one of the most lyrically relevant track ever released in the UK. AKS discusses the struggle of many African/Caribbean face in the UK, where they feel out of place in a place they should be calling home. A very worthy favourite even on an EP with this much quality. “Truth Be Told” kicks off with Malcolm X’s “By any means necessary” speech. A very soulful piece featuring songstress Kadija Kamara on interlude and ad-lib “duties”. AKS here talks about his love for the music and his journey to making his music reach out. Definitely an EP detrimental to your rewind button.

Having made a name for himself on the London Spoken word scene Dean Atta releases his EP entitled “Love Or Money” The EP opens with the hard hitting “I am Nobody’s Nigga” and of the bat you know Dean means business, reminding rappers “it was one of the last word Stephen Lawrence heard”. He touches on the significance of the word to slavery, lynching , its derogatory past and present. Slick Bass lines and bongo drums then introduces you to “Poems” . The title really says its all. A piece about writing Poems with truth and sincerity. Soothing melodic ad-libs takes you away into imagination. The title track “Love Or Money” juxtapositions the want and lust of Money to that of Love. Dean plays very well with the thin line between the love of the art and the love of its financial gains and materialism. Strings, guitar and thumping drums will leave you tapping your feet and nodding your head to the beat while catching every word. “Mother tongue” brings the EP to an equally hard hitting end as Dean touches on a matter closest to home.... his mother. He speaks about his mothers unwillingness to teach him and his siblings her native language. The EP is acoustic and surely draws you in and then hits you with very well formed and hard hitting words and punch lines. Dean lives up to his name and provides a very thought provoking compilation of Spoken word.

REGGAE/ SOUL/ R&B

BOOKS We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity

Dionne Reid S.M.I.L.E EP Opening with a collage of songs with a smile/smiling theme the “Smile EP” is a clever infusion of soulful R&B and reggae vibes. “Here i come” . A reggae track with a very simlar flow to Barrington Levy’s recognisable sound but Dionne does well to make it all hers, paying a little tribute to the legend. Nice. The thumping 808’s and reverbed synths lays a perfect canvas for some smooth vocals on Dr Ake. Dionne truely shines on her acoustic rendition of Chipmunks “Champion”. The track with the same title but in her own words and rhythm really show Dionnes range and creativity. “Daddy Dear” is another reggae track that obviously speaks about her “Daddy”. Again Dionnes range is in full effect as she shows her diversity again on reggae beats and a very touching tribute. The title track “Smile”, talks about a lady who hides her problems behind a smile. Very beautiful song, Over some piano riffs and strings you can almost feel Dionnes emotions through her voice. A very deserving of a title track. If you have seen any of Dionnes shows you will notice that the skits match her personality so much. They are brilliant. Make sure you dont skip those either. “Smile EP” is a true WINNER.

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by: bell hooks

bell hooks discusses some issues behind the over masculation of Black males without the usual emphasis on poverty, racism, hip-hop etc. Instead she places a lot of focus on love, fear and the longing for meaningful relationships that shape theirs.

Lying Fully Clothed: Exposing the naked truth about men by: Dear Rob

Lying Fully Clothed is a very frank, hilarious and in-yourface take on the many misconceptions women have about men, relationships and dating. Dear Rob doesnt do any favours to women looking for the light at the end of the tunnel but he does give a very hard to swallow truth that many men will agree to. Fella’s we need a new game plan.


2 soul

ENTERTAINMENT

cool dudes ,

NEWS|REVIEWS|INTERVIEWS

& a drum machine

Beats... ck Male BEATS BlaBLACKMALE

South Londons Beat Making duo speak to NU People about their passion for music, their influences....and their love for sneakers

Twang” (Paying homage to one of the most prominent U.K Hip hop pioneers).

WHO ARE BLACKMALE BEATS? Blackmale beats are “two dudes from Mars” jokes Shem Lawrence; one half of the beat making duo. Before the laughter ends Lukman Shoge the other half of the duo jumps in “No No No (seemingly getting back to the question) Blackmale Beats are two different guys but we have so much interconnecting spirits. We saw a space in the market that wasn’t being showcased...you don’t get real soul music, you don’t even get music like Blak

Shem adds Blackmale beats is all about good music, something niche, represents the culture...not afraid to show who we are and what we are about....A lot of people get the wrong idea and think that Black male Beats is a Black power social group but naaah we were raised in South London we grew up around a lot of white people so its not that at all.... It isnt very long till you notice the similarities the duo actually have. Be it with music, their influences or taste in

A lot of people get the wrong idea and think that Blackmale Beats is a Black power social group...

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HOW DID THE NAME COME ABOUT?

fashion they both seem to tread on similar grounds.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN EACH OTHER? Shem: We’ve been knowing each other since school man, for like most our lives... The music really started in college, Richmond College.. Lukman: Yeah Shem got kicked out.... (laughs) Shem: Yeah I did.. (laughs) But we used to go home every day and download music, that was our main bond at the time, we’d go home and be like yeah where’s the new music, at the time it was Dipset... so Dipset kind of got us into sampling. Aside from wearing the pink and all that they were trend setters. Lukman: Then Kanye (West) came and that’s where it started. I would play around with fruity loops then one thing would lead to another, next thing we had a beat. We’d play the beats to people and they would be like this is good and we’ll be like “is it??”. Then we starting looking into old music finding out who sampled what and at first it was research, a case study, then it became sort of a hobby. We realized we got good at it and then after that we started to call our selves “Blackmale Beats”

WHO

ARE

SOME

WHAT ELSE INFLUENCES YOU? Both: Fashion.

OF Shem: I see myself

as a trend setter You cant turn your back (Laughs)....I know people might see it as on the hood stuff. Its I’m blowing my own where you were raised, trumpet but me and Lukman have been its what they know. If it collecting trainers since wasn’t for good upbring- we were kids. ing you would be in their J DILLA? shoes.

YOUR INFLUENCES? Shem: Black Twang, Klashnekov, Swiss, Big Ted (Pause) Tim Westwood…to be honest not integral but he put Hip hop on the map. Used to listen to him when I was a kid so…. Lukman: For me the Streets…. Mark Skinner (Shem: Yeaaaah The Streets), The Gorillaz, Jamiroqui, Wretch. Shem: Giggs, I like Giggs, I’ve been on Giggs from time…The thing is he is not the most Lyrical content rapper but he brings out that vibe….Art Daley and Skinny Man. Shem: Outside of Hip Hop it’s a lot we wont have the time. Just too many but influences J.Dilla. It’s a bit simple

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Both (coincidentally): I don’t know how it came about…(laughs) Shem: What I do know is we used to look back at MoTown names and they had names like “The Temptations”, “The Stylistics”. So we wanted something like that, starting with “The….” . Then we though naah lets keep it real, it gotta be London and that name just popped up like god just placed it in my head.

but J.Dilla….I’m a big fan of Madlib. For me its what he does with his music, he involved film, Black exploitation stuff, he involves things that are wacky and quirky and that’s what we do. Kanye off course came out and made it cool to be a producer and also his persona… Gill Scott Heron as well.

Shem: Yeah J.Dilla is a legend hands down. His style, his vibe, his diversity. He is one of the only producers i know that has crazy attention to detail. Lukman: Attention to details and he puts different sounds in the music and makes it sound different every time. His range of samples went from TV, records, adverts. That’s what makes them stand out. Shem: The only thing i don’t like about the J.Dilla thing is it turned into a trend. It is like what’s hot right now. Lukman: It turned into exploitation now.

WHAT COMES FIRST WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR MUSIC?


For us quality somet is not hing I am re on (An ally ke d i wa en n this do t wn) W you to put e like produc qu ts but sically we ar ality e muinspire d by v ibe ov quality er .

COMMUNITY ROOTS Out Now

Lukman: Definitely the sample, for me the drum beat definitely follows the sample, usually I can tell I can sample a song within 2 seconds of hearing the song...you know the main bit of the song, but there is a few things. With us we look for soulful, even if its got Swizz Beats type drums on there you still feel the soul, so that’s definitely what we try to keep. Shem: For me its sounds, I’m a sound junkie, as soon as i hear some sounds I’m like yeah that’s the one. If i cant do it i send it over to Lukman and he usually gets it. Lukman: That’s usually how we work we send things back and forth. When you usually get into the game you go for Motown and eventually you realise that most of its been touched already so a lot of the time we go for underground albums, the ones that were rare.... like Craftwork., a lot of people don’t know about that and you cant leave good music like that, you have to represent it in a new sound

on their project but assured that it wouldn’t be just soul artists.

TELL US ABOUT COMMUNITY ROOTS. Shem: Community roots is like a concept project. We have tried to embrace and highlight the good and bad of our community which is South London. We are trying to put that out there not just musically but with pictures and films. We have tried to involve some of our favourite artists in our community. So its like a lesson about South London from us; like our perspective. The duo were very tight-lipped about which artists will be featuring

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Shem: There are some hood hip hop artists on there as well, we are trying to get the whole story. Lukman: You cant turn your back on the hood stuff. Its where you were raised, its what they know. If it wasn’t for good upbringing you would be in their shoes. Shem: For us quality is not something I am really keen on (And i want you to put this down) We like quality products but we are musically inspired by vibe over quality. So with our music even if its not perfect and you can hear the crunching in the background for me that’s what makes Black male Beats. Our music is not crystal clear, not polished but it has a vibe of any quality music. Its just realness. Community roots is really something that is original, something to tell the people what we represent and that’s our community. •


REDEFINING US ADVERTISE WITH US D OWNLOAD OUR

www.nupeoplemagazine.com or email advertise@nupeoplemagazine.com

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VVELLBEING HEALTH | FITNESS | CLINIC

THE NATURAL HAIR-VOLUTION

NATURAL HAIR-VOLUTION

Against the grains: Why the sudden popularity? We talk to 5 women who have taken the plunge and gone all natural. NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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P


N

atural hair is booming. Its popularity has never been as widespread as it is right now. From puffs to flat twists, black girls of every description are making the decision to get back to their roots. Why is this? Natural hair is nothing new; black people have walked the earth for an eternity, so why now has the decision to go natural become such an ‘on trend’ topic? What is happening now that hasn’t happened before? This article merely seeks to explore why natural hair has exploded in the past few years. From celebrities, to the average girl next door, black

Thus enabling more educated decision making, more stimulation, more excitement and it is maybe this that has helped drive the natural hair buzz right now. Don’t get me wrong I think natural hair is something to be proud of, but to label it as something new and is exciting is maybe somewhat misleading. Natural hair always has and always will be here to stay, what is changing is the world’s interpretation of it. The way natural hair is communicated, shared and embraced nowadays is downright sexy. Its marketability has never been greater. Natural hair and style blogger Natural Belle put the question to naturals on Twitter recently. She asked; what made you decide to go natural? The responses were honest and varied:

“Now this article isn’t about knocking choices, everyone has their own opinions, so relaxer die hard’s don’t switch off” girls are chomping at the bit to get back to their kinky, coily, woolly, afro roots. You only have to type ‘natural hair’ into a web search and it throws up a ridiculous amount of bloggers, vloggers, online magazines and websites dedicated to teaching those hungry to learn about natural hair how to best care for and manage it.

Written by: NATALIE BELGRAVE Interviews by: PELUMI RAE MARY OLUWAWO

If we look back in time the sixties was a huge era for natural hair. I’m sure if we were to look at our own family photos we’d see our grandparents, parents, aunties and uncles rocking funky Afro’s, up do’s and dainty pin rolls. Really natural hair isn’t anything new. What is new is our ability to transport and share information in the blink of an eye. The Internet has brought the world into our living room so we are able to be influenced by things more readily and investigate trends we are maybe interested in, in more depth.

Photograghy by Francoise at Simulacra Studio’s NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

* Tired of spending all day in the salon. * Curious to see how the hair that God has given me actually grows out of my scalp. * No longer want to deal with harsh chemicals. * Be a role model to my children. * Inspired by a friend or relative who had gone natural. * Hair in bad condition, so no longer wanted to perm.

To get the low down on this hottest of topics we spoke to some of UK’s finest natural hair sisters and this is what they had to say

VVELLBEING HEALTH | FITNESS | CLINIC

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“I WAS NATURAL WHEN I WAS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL AND BUT I DID RELAX IT IN UNIVERSITY AND I FELT LIKE

I DID IT BECAUSE THAT WAS MY STYLE AT THE TIME I WAS CONFORMING SO I DID THE BIG CHOP”

- WUNMI Vlogger - Woman In The Jungle

NP: How was it like going natural again? what were people’s reactions? Wunmi: People were quite positive about it. I did get a lot of questions from people asking why, they couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to relax my hair. NP: Tell me about your hair regime? Wunmi: I shampoo once a week using Elsta QP. I tend to do a wash and go, twist out then a puff. NP: What do you use for your twist out’s? Wunmi: I use Eco Styler gel it gives a good hold NP: What is your least favourite product? Wunmi: It was Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding but I’m experimenting with it at the moment and I think I’ve found a way to make it work. NP: What do you think about the debate relaxed vs naturals? Wunmi: If you want to be relaxed go for it it’s a personal choice. Natural hair Nazis I don’t agree with. It takes a lot to decide to go natural so each to their own. ❦

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“I THINK MOST BLACK MALES ARE ACCUSTOMED TO THE EUROPEAN STANDARD OF BEAUTY AND GIRLS FEAR THAT GUYS WON’T FIND THEM ATTRACTIVE WITH NATURAL HAIR. BUT A LOT OF GUYS LIKE NATURAL HAIR AS WELL” - RACQUEL Student

NP: Are you conscious about your hair depending on your environment or situation i.e. at work?

NP: What made you decide to go natural.?

Racquel: Not really

Racquel: I had a bad experience with a relaxer and my hair was breaking so I planned to put my hair away for a few months (in weaves and braids) and then relax my hair again but I took out my hair one day and decided to cut it and I never looked back

NP: What sort of responses do you get from the public? Racquel: I receive a lot of positive responses and a few not so positive ones but not everyone is going to like it

NP: What are your thoughts on the natural hair movement?

NP: How important is your hair to you?

Racquel: I have really grown to love natural hair, I hardly used to see women with natural hair and the ones I used to see were mainly dreadlocks but I think as it’s become more popular you can see how diverse it is. I wouldn’t really call it a movement because we’ve always had it but I think more and more women have started to embrace it

Racquel: My hair is very important to me because I think it’s a very big part of my image but I’m leaning that it doesn’t define me

NP: Are there days when you want your relaxed hair back? Racquel: Yes, every once in a while but I plan on remaining natural, I don’t think I can see myself putting chemicals in my hair again

NP: What advice would you give anyone who wants to make the transition?

NP: Do you feel a need to keep your hair a certain way/ style? Racquel: Not really, I’ve always been quite open to try new things with my hair

Racquel: I would definitely say go for it! It’s just hair if you really don’t like it, you can always go back. ❦

NP: Do you think the opposite sex play a role or have anything to do with the way black women view or style their hair? If so, why? Racquel: Definitely, I think most black males are accustom to the European standard of beauty and girls fear that guys won’t find them attractive with natural hair. But a lot of guys like natural hair as well.

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“MY FAMILY AND MY BOYFRIEND DIDN’T LIKE IT. THEY SAID IT ISN’T PROFESSIONAL AND ASKED ME .....BUT NOW THEY ALL LOVE IT - MARIAME

TO RELAX IT

Accountant

NP: You’re rocking a short cut fro, have you always been natural? I was sceptical because my hair was shoulder length and then I saw my hair falling off and I didn’t know if I made the right decision. But I really liked it from the beginning NP: What made you do the big chop instead of transitioning?

Mariame: I’ve been natural for 3 months now. My mum started to relax my hair when I was 8. I didn’t remember how my natural texture was until 3 months ago. I wanted a change. I have to admit watching Good Hair by Chris Rock really helped my decision. I decided I never ever want to

Mariame: I’d been on a lot of websites; I came across Care For Your Hair and didn’t know there were so many women out there that were natural and i saw all the styles you could do with it. I was amazed so I was like ... ok that’s it!

relax my hair again.

NP: When you wear your hair short some people think that it makes life easier and you don’t really have to do anything to it, is that true?

NP: Who cut your hair for you? Mariame: I went to the hairdresser and said cut it a l l off.

Mariame: No I have to sleep with a silk scarf so when I wake up its very flat. I have to moisturise it use spritz and style it. So no it isnt that easy. NP: If you were sent to a desert island and you could only take one product what would it be? Mariame: I would say I Love Afro hair moisturiser. Definitely ❦

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Natural hair is nothing new. (Sorry guys for stating the obvious). For as long as black people have walked the Earth natural hair in all its variations has existed. Somewhere along the line though, black people, black women in particular, were led to believe that natural hair, especially the kinky, coily, frizzy, woolly and dare I say ‘nappy’ kind was not desirable. We were led to believe it wasn’t manageable, beautiful or acceptable. There were spates in the sixties where these sentiments were challenged but apart from that, in the main, afro’s were out and sleek, straight, controlled tresses was the goal to be achieved. Now, as we settle into the second half of 2012 what do we have? Where are we? Well, from what I can see, what we have is a natural hair community that has gathered fierce momentum and exploded into the mainstream. Many naturalista’s pinpoint 2008 as the year they began to notice a change in tides and see black people embrace their natural curls and kinks. Inspired by my little sister I began my own natural hair journey in January 2011. Until I’d made that decision, I hadn’t realised the magnitude of the natural hair movement. What has made it so big? I believe social media and it’s ability to reach far and wide is hugely responsible for the amazing way in which black people are being encouraged to love and properly look after the hair that grows naturally from their heads. Social media has created celebrity style vloggers and bloggers who, by documenting their own personal hair challenges, successes, regimes, styles, methods and stories have instilled a sense of confidence in other black women and men (let’s not forget about the guys) who maybe wanted to go natural but didn’t know how or where to start. When I first began to explore the world of natural hair, vlogger Laila-

Jean aka Fusion of Cultures was a huge inspiration. Her YouTube channel is filled with a wealth of handy hints and tips on how to best look after and style your natural hair. Her simple and friendly presenting style made me feel at home and was so encouraging. She has over 50,000 subscribers to her channel. Proof if any that there has been, and continues to be a need for this kind of information. On the flip side there is Natural Belle, a popular natural hair blogger who also documents her hair journey and provides fashion and style musings. Then there is Angel of The Natural Lounge blog, Crystal Afro of The United Kinkdom blog, Pelumi Rae creator of Care for your hair. These are but a few names that contribute to the rich natural hair scene in the UK . The US is of course home to the giants of the vlogger / blogger world. Names like Curly Nikki, Black girl long hair, strawberry curls, Ms Vaughan, Chary Jay and Naptural85, much like their UK sisters impart information that is invaluable and has helped many an undecided, budding and even more established naturalista move on in their natural hair journey’s. Natural hair bloggers and vloggers are becoming so powerful in their own right that they are able to make careers from what started out as a hobby. Such is the power of social media that brands fall over themselves to get natural hair bloggers and vloggers to talk about their particular product/brand and tap into the loyal subscriber base that has been lovingly built up over the years. The natural hair scene in the U.K is full of excitement and unity. I have experienced first hand the fabulous events and meet ups that have taken place over the months. Black owned natural hair businesses selling authentic natural hair products are cropping up all over the place too and it’s such a relief to see it. Natural hair is everywhere and it’s about time.

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“I DIDN’T WANT TO PART WITH MY HAIR.... I THOUGHT THE ONLY WAY TO GO NATURAL WAS TO CUT YOUR HAIR”

LAILA Student, Youtube Vlogger/Blogger

NP: Describe yourself in three words.

NP: What happened with the bad relaxer?

Laila: I am cultured, open minded, weird

Laila: As I was rinsing it out my hair was falling out with it. So I decided if I can get my hair to grow with a relaxer I can get it to grow without one.

NP: How long have you been natural for? Laila: I’ve been natural for two months but I transitioned for two

NP: Tell us more about your Youtube channel

years NP: What was your hair like before you decided to go natural?

Laila: It’s called Fusionofcultures and I just hit 50,000 followers. It was an avenue to record my hair journey now it’s an place for me to express myself. I have a series with my friend called a Nubian’s thoughts and we discuss issues that affect out black com-

Laila: It was texturised straight NP: What made you go natural? Laila: I was thinking about it for a while I had black girl long hair syndrome so I started a healthy hair journey. I came across some women on Youtube who have very long relaxed hair and mine never grew past Bra strap or armpit length. So I started a regimen but then I had my first ever bad relaxer.

NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

munity . NP: What are your favourite hair products? Laila: Shea butter, I whip it with coconut and olive oil and water. ❦

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“I THINK HAVING NATURAL HAIR IS AN AFFIRMATION OF ME BEING COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT GOD BLESSED ME WITH AND GOING AGAINST WESTERN IDEAS OF BEAUTY” - BELINDA Teacher and Owner of BeUnique hair care

NP: How long have you been natural for? Belinda: I’ve been natural for 2 ½ years but I did the Big chop twice. First time in March 09 and I dyed my hair and tried something called a natural relaxer and I wasn’t too sure how to look after my hair properly so I started again in August 09. NP: You’ve worn your hair in different states what is your favourite? Belinda: Definitely at its natural state. I wouldn’t have it any other way I think having natural hair is an affirmation of me being comfortable with what God blessed me with and going against western ideas of beauty” NP: You’re also a business woman and you’re on youtube tell us more Belinda: I’m currently branding my Youtube channel BeUnique hair care. I talk about my business and how to get it off the ground. I basically sell natural hair care products.

NP: What advice would you give to those scared to go natural because of other people’s reactions? Belinda: They have to feel comfortable and have their own strengths. Don’t pay attention to anyone else. My saying is your hair is your crown, wear it like a Queen and whenever you go out hold your head high. NP: Have you ever had any negative responses to your natural hair? Belinda: Not to my face, I actually get more compliments now than when I was relaxed. But the other day someone commented on my video when I had my afro. She said that I look like someone out of the national geographic magazine dancing around a fire, running around with a bone in my nose. That is why you have to be at a level where you can just brush it off.

NP: What sets your products apart from those out there?

Belinda: the unique aspect is that everyone is able to follow my journey I make videos using my own products in my hair. I try and demystify the process by explaining what I’m doing because I want people to trust in my brand.

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10 Hair-volutionary Tips by PELUMI RAE Care for your Hair

1 2 3

1. Learn to love YOUR hair and refrain from comparing your hair type to someone else’s – everyone’s hair type is different, but everyone’s hair type is beautiful 2. Be willing to ‘trial and error’ products, what works for others may or may not work for you. It’s easy for some people to find what products work for their hair, for others not so easy. So don’t be dismayed if you have to go through a few conditioners or shampoos, you’ll find what works for you. 3. Listen to what your hair is saying: You don’t need a set in stone regime for your hair to thrive. For example Monday – wash. Tuesday – oil, Wednesday – deep condition and so on. It’s best to ‘listen’ to the needs of your hair, it may be ‘wash day’ but your hair could be perfectly fine.

4 5 6 7

4. Make time to look after and nurture your hair. To see results you need to be willing to invest some time and energy. Show love to you your hair and it will show you back. If you take the time out to look after your hair it has no choice but to end up healthy. 5. Research! You may see things on YouTube or read blogs, but do go out there and read up on it for yourself. 6. Growing healthy hair is more than what you put on your hair; it’s also about your lifestyle for instance your diet. 7. Save some money by making things yourself e.g. Hair butters! Release the inner “mixtress” in you!

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8 9 10

8. Water is your hairs’ best friend, and THE best source of moisture your hair can get, so don’t be afraid to get it wet (or getting caught up in the rain) 9. Wear your natural hair confidently and proudly 10. Join the many different UK based hair forums & groups for more advice, love & support •

@CareForYourHair www.cfyh.com


REDEFINING US

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MORE THAN JUST A MASSAGE

A healthy diet, plenty of fresh air and exercise are all vital components to enabling our bodies to function at their best but what about alternative therapies and massage treatments? By: Annette Clark Headley M.A. Cantab CNHC ALMONDS & AVOCADO HOLISTIC THERAPIES

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oo often these are overlooked or dismissed as ‘pampering’ but alternative therapies also play a role in keeping our bodies in balance and maintaining a state of wellbeing and optimal performance

Massage Therapies At some point in our lives we’ve all come across the term or experienced some form of massage therapy. Maybe it was at your local gym after a workout or in a spa on a pamper day or perhaps you purchased a Groupon for a treatment at your nearest salon. However, you’ve encountered it; we all know something about it whether through hearsay or personal experience. There are many types of massage: sports massage, physiotherapy, functional, Holistic, Swedish, Aromatherapy – the options are almost endless but they are all founded on a basic belief in the power of touch. Just as you instinctively rub your shoulder when it hurts or offer comfort to your best friend or a child by stroking their back when they’re upset – massage therapies connect to something deep within us to promote wellbeing and healing. Aromatherapy The term ‘Aromatherapy’ conjures up images of exotic aromas wafting up to greet, soothe

VVELLBEING

and relax the recipient who is lying swathed in robes and slathered in oils thoroughly enjoying a decadent experience – but aromatherapy is more than this. Aromatherapy builds upon the principle of holistic massage by incorporating powerfully essences (essential oils) extracted from herbaceous plants, fruits and flowers and even gums and resins. These essential oils are so potent that only a few drops are needed to be effective – this potency is also why it is recommended that essential oils be used under supervision of trained professionals as misuse can cause toxicity or sensitivity or even cause a full blown allergic reaction such as hives or swelling. Each essential oil has a chemical profile, when creating a bespoke blend for a client, an Aromatherapist will first use the profile (not necessarily the actual aroma) to select oils based on the effect the chemical constituents will have on the client. Take two of our favourite oils: peppermint and rosemary. These are two oils popular in hair care products - the first for soothing an itchy irritated scalp and the latter for stimulating hair growth. However, we could use either of these oils for pain relief. Peppermint is an excellent analgesic – particularly for tension headaches and migraines. Rosemary also has analgesic properties and is good for arthritis, tired, stiff and overworked muscles. Lavender, the housewives’ favourite is also an-

HEALTH | FITNESS | CLINIC

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algesic and works wonders on headaches although the chemical constituents of each oil are different – they reduce pain in different ways, so a combination of all three would be most effective in addressing particular complaints. Aromatherapy in Action After conducting a thorough consultation, your Aromatherapist will create a blend of essential oils and base oils designed for you. These blends can invigorate, enliven and stimulate your nervous system, soothe, tired aching muscles, cool irritated, itchy scalps or calm anxious or aggravated emotions. Today’s society is filled with stress triggers from work-life balance struggles, traffic trouble (road rage, tube trauma), childcare, to work deadlines, performance pressure, marital conflicts, and a myriad of frustrations and struggles all of which can induce responses in our bodies which can accumulate over time (if left unchecked) and disturb our balance, manifesting as pain, depression, anxiety or even illness The NHS has clinical studies documenting the effectiveness of aromatherapy in clinical settings, for example controlled studies with • Patients undergoing treatment for cancer; • Recently bereaved relatives and • NHS nursing staff with high levels of stress and anxiety.


So we know that Aromatherapy can help with physical ailments, stress and illness – but what about something slightly more abstract such as ‘confidence’ and ‘self esteem’? “One’s self-image is very important because if that’s in good shape, then you can do anything, or practically anything.” ~Sir John Gielgud A lack of confidence in one’s abilities or self-worth can have a detrimental impact on mental health and emotional well-being, particularly in highstress or high-anxiety situations, such as job interviews and End-of-Year performance reviews. The results of a Korean study into the effects of aromatherapy massage reported in the International Journal of Neuroscience (Dec, 2006) found that aromatherapy massage exerts positive effects on anxiety and self-esteem. The study used aromatherapy blends including Lavender, Chamomile, Rosemary and Lemon. The therapeutic properties of Lavender and Chamomile including significant reduction in anxiety, and promotion of calm and a sense of wellbeing; while Rosemary would have had a stimulating and toning effect on the nervous system creating a sense of empowerment and renewed ability to focus. The most popular essential oil for boosting confidence and self-esteem is Jasmine. This sweet floral fragrance is widely used prior to exams and interviews to shore up the client’s courage as it is said to ‘diminish fear, release inhibitions, and liberate the imagination ’. (Worwood V, The fragrant Mind, 1995). Basil essential oil is what we call ‘cephalic’; it clears the head bringing clarity and strength of mind and relieves mental fatigue.

Rosemary helps improve concentration and mental alertness and as such is another remedy for mental fatigue. The combination of aromatic oils and physical massage can do wonders for self-esteem as the touch of a therapist can impart a sense of worth and value while the chemical constituents of the essential oils are absorbed into your body via your olfactory system. However, physical massage is not the only way of enjoying the benefits of a confidence boosting aromatherapy treatment. A few drops of Jasmine or Basil (2-4) added to the water reservoir of your oil burner at home and left to disperse for an hour or so will give you a confidence boost in the comfort of your own home. An aromatherapy shampoo or shower gel with Jasmine and Neroli or Basil and Rosemary will give your self esteem a boost in the morning before you step out the door. I also create roller ball blends that can be applied to your wrists and sniffed at intervals throughout the day. As a therapist I firmly believe in the holistic approach to well being: (‘everything affects everything’ and ‘balance is best’) - therefore I don’t just treat symptoms (e.g. pain or stiffness), I look at causes (imbalances) and work with you to help you get better and stay better. More than being interested in making you look or feel better today - I am genuinely concerned in your long term wellbeing and am invested in working with you to help you discover what treatment(s) works best for you. If you’d like to know more about aromatherapy and self-confidence or aromatherapy in general

visit www.avocadoholistic.com

“Feel Better. Be WELL”

____________________________________ Annette Clark Headley M.A. Cantab CNHC Holistic Therapies Email: almocado@gmail.com Visit the website: www.avocadoholistic.com Subscribe to my blog: http://feelbetterbewell.blogspot.com Follow me on Twitter: @avocadoholistic Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/avocadoholistic

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please get in touch - my details are below.

Note: Neither Jasmine nor Rosemary should be used during pregnancy. If you suffer from hypertension you should seek medical advice before using Rosemary or avoid it altogether. The information contained within this article does not constitute or replace medical advice.


GET Whiter teeth with COCONUT OIL

Beauty & Grooming hints & tips with

www.blackandbrown.eu

Oil Pulling Have you tried it?

More and more people are now realising the many benefits of using coconut oil. It is great for your skin, works wonders on your hair and is fast becoming one of the preferred oils to cook with. Coconut oil also has several less known health benefits and I’m going to let you in on one of them. Coconut oil can be used to whiten your teeth. Yes it actually brightens your pearly whites through a method known as oil pulling. Oil pulling has its roots in Aryuvedic medicine dating back thousands of years – the modern version is still relatively new. It is very simple to do so anyone can do it and reap the benefits. Simply put, it is the act of using oil to rinse your mouth as you would a mouthwash. It is recommend to do it first thing in the morning when you wake up before eating or brushing your teeth. Just put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it round for up to 15 minutes and spit it out. Now this may seem like a long time, but when once you start to realise the effects of oil pulling, the time it takes won’t even matter. In addition to enhancing your smile, oil pulling can relieve various symptoms of asthma, allergies, arthritic pain, blocked sinuses and removes toxins from the body. As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their

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toxins. These toxins cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these pests but if it becomes overloaded by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation. This can lead to any number of health problems. When oil pulling, the oil acts like a cleanser. You put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums and it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris. This is much like the oil you put in your car engine. The oil picks up dirt and grime and when you drain the oil, it pulls out the dirt and grime with it, leaving the engine relatively clean. The engine runs smoother and lasts longer. Likewise, when we remove harmful substances from our bodies our health is improved - we run smoother and therefore last longer. Because of its purifying properties, oil pulling is particularly effective in preventing bad breath, healing gums and oral infections and brightening teeth. So if you want that bright smile, why not give it a try. To learn more great tips on nutrition and wellbeing from experts such as Anne-France Rix from The Food Doctor Clinic ,why not come to our event Alive 2 Life? Visit www.alive2life.co.uk for more info.

HEALTH | FITNESS | CLINIC

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Exfoliation

Every man should do it! A lot of guys barely know about the benefits of moisturising so when it comes to exfoliation, it is a whole new world. Exfoliation is the process of scrubbing off dead skin cells to reveal and expose “younger,” fresher skin. This shedding process unclogs pores, keeps skin clean and helps reduce acne breakouts. It’s usually the first step in cleaning your face, to be followed by washing your face (not just with water), and finally, moisturising. Exfoliating is easy! Simply wet your skin, apply product by massaging in a circular motion and rinse. The best time to exfoliate is prior to shaving as skin will be too sensitive for the abrasiveness of a scrub afterwards. This can be done several times a week depending on how your skin feels. If you are exfoliating daily and finding that your skin is becoming dry, perhaps scale it back a bit. If you’re only exfoliating twice a week and your skin is still feeling oily in between, then you can increase the number of times you do it. It is important to be aware of how your skin feels as this will determine how often you use a scrub. The facial skin of a man differs quite a lot from that of a woman’s and actually benefits more from exfoliation. A man’s skin is thicker as it has more collagen and elastin, it has a denser supply of blood vessels which produces more sweat. Combine this with larger pores and of course facial hair, the male face more readily attracts dirt. Use a scrub to lift the dirt and oil and refresh your skin. Exfoliating can also help to get that elusive close shave. Many men get shaving bumps as a result of shaved hairs getting trapped and growing back into the follicle. Using a facial scrub lifts the dead skin cells that trap the ingrown hairs from growing back out of the skin, allowing you to get a smoother shave. Apart from their facial area, a man can also exfoliate their back and chest. These areas also produce a lot of natural oils, and combined with hair which traps dirt, causes unsightly blemishes (backne!) With regular exfoliation, you will uncover smoother, softer and clearer skin and what man doesn’t want that? Try Trilogy Face Wash & Scrub for Men to gently scrub and unclog pores leaving fresh, smooth skin. Available at our shop www.blackandbrown.eu - £15.00 (150ml)


Softer lips anyone? When we speak, focus is drawn to the lips and it is therefore essential to maintain healthy and goodlooking lips. The first thing you should know is that dry chapped lips are usually a sign that your body is dehydrated. You should avoid licking your lips when they are dry as this will actually dry them out even more. The best way to get healthy, soft lips is to drink plenty of water daily. For a more immediate remedy you may want to try one of these methods: Brush your lips: You can do this by using a soft toothbrush (not the one you brush your teeth with) to gently brush your lips in small circular motions. By doing this you are exfoliating your lips and removing the dead skin cells. Apply a sugar scrub: Mix a little sugar with a few drops of water in your palm or a small bowl until it forms a paste. Gently apply this to your lips in small circular motions using your fingertips. After a minute or so rinse it off. Use coconut juice or coconut milk: Soak a paper towel in the liquid. Rub the towel over the lips very gently for a minute. After the lips dry, they will become sticky. Allow this stickiness to set for half an hour, then rinse off the liquid with water. Use butter or honey: Take a small amount of butter or honey (only pure honey) and apply it gently with your finger in tiny rotations. Leave it on for one or two minutes and wipe it clean with a soft towel or tissue. You could repeat this if required. Butter will give your lips a natural sheen while honey will add to the plumpness of your lips.

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Burt’s Bees Cranberry & Pomegranate Body Butter A delectable blend of antioxidant-rich Cranberry Seed and Pomegranate Oils along with hydrating Cocoa and Jojoba Butters, it marvelously melts into your skin. Leaving it feeling soft, supple and seriously smooth. Just the way nature intended. £12.98

All of these methods will give you softer, more healthy looking lips and when followed with a good quality lip balm, will ensure your lips stay moisturised and nourished for longer. Healthy, soft, and plump lips are obtained by maintaining the moisture content, so always keep a lip balm with you to replenish moisture throughout the day. Additional tips: Applying two layers of lip moisturiser at night will guarantee that you wake up to supple lips. It is important to note that products over a year old, cheap products or sharing of products may pass on bacteria to your lips, which may be harmful.

Burt’s Bees Honey & Orange Wax Body Lotion This rich and creamy natural body lotion combines vitamin-rich humectants and emollients honey and sweet orange wax to repair and rebalance dry, damaged skin. Coconut oil and beeswax provide long-lasting moisture, leaving skin naturally soft, smooth and supple. Skin therapy has never been so sweet.

Suggested Product Burt’s Bees Grapefruit Lip Balm Available at our shop www.blackandbrown.eu £3.68

£9.98

visit www.blackandbrown.net

Forever Natural Bamboo Cellulite Brush

Black and Brown is your one stop online shop for a wide range for organic and naturally based brands all over the world. Black and Brown distribute to customers through out the U.K, Europe and Worldwide. Products include oils, shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers, treatments and accessories to include as part of your daily routine. Black and Brown are proud to be asociatedwith the wonderful hair and skin care products we carry on the website as we have endeavoured to ensure that they are free of harmful ingredients and are suitable for people who care about their health and how they look.

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Use the nubby side to increase circulation and break down deposits; brush side to massage your body and keep it smooth and glowing. Can be used in or out of the shower. £12.00

available on www.blackandbrown.net


Style Jessique Designs ÂŁ55.00 www.stylesafrik.com Hair by Kee styles

Photography: Idezign photo studios Clothes Provided by: Stylesafrik.com NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM 40

Hair & Make Up: KeeStyles

SEE THE FULL SHOOT FROM PG 46 - 49


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the

United Colors of ANKARA We’ve seen them on many of the major fashion catwalks but the bold colours of the African Ankara prints all really started with the new designer talents from the African fashion scene.

FASHIONMIST 2012 pg. 42

AFRICA FASHION WEEK

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This summer NU People Magazine went Ankara crazy. We played guests to two of the summers hottest African fashion extravaganza then we joined some of the industries finest designers and stylists to bring you a brief showcase of African inspired clothing.


SUMMERS HOTTEST AFRICAN FASHION EXHIBITIONS

Style

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ashionMist kicked off this summer’s African fashion extravaganzas. Following on from a successful maiden event last year FashionMist was back again with an array of diverse talent and products to showcase to welcomed guests. FashionMist’s gave a platform to emerging young designers of African origin who reflect the continent’s creativity and the use of African textiles in their products while infusing it with a western flair. It also seek to create a network for the designers to interact and inspire the fashion conscious crowd in attendance. The first part of FashionMist consisted of a free exhibition. On show was a more diverse range of products – clothes, accessories, beauty, kids and men’s wear. Numerous guests in attendance had a lot to feast their eyes on and off course purchase. The exhibition included creations by Ayikai Couture, African High Street, Afro Fusion Designs, Boutique de l’Afrique, Celebrity Hair, Decorus, Duafe Denim, GB Ghana Boy, House of Loulee, Kizemt, Lipavenu, N’kya Designs, Peachy Purr, Saphani, Yaa Ohenewa Textiles and Yaa Ataa Couture Bags

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FashionMist 2012 Press Release edited by NU People style Photos by: Akwasi Photography

Then came the fashion catwalk event, but before that guest were treated to pre event drinks and an opportunity to network and interact with the press area, exhibitionists and organisers. At the fashion catwalk event designers unveiled their new collections to a seated audience, interspersed with music and the new dance craze “Azonto”. Hosted by – Simply Andy and Benny Bonsu, guests were introduced to the collections from up and coming designers such as Adopted Culture, Ariike Alden, Chemphe Bea, Duafe Denim, GPUK, Harmattan by Ewuresi, House of Adjeiwaa, Kolture Apparel, N’kya Designs and Yaa Ataa Bags. Entertainment on the night was

provided by Stefanie Larmie a budding afro soul singer and Hazel Mak Music. VIP guests on the night included Sola Oyebade, Miss West Africa 2011, Miss Ghana UK 2011 and a few more.

The greatest thing about this year’s FashionMist was the organizers teaming up with Miss Nana Afua Antwi (Befta Best female model and Top Model of colour winner - TMC) in launching her charity ‘Akosua Odei Foundation’. Via a raffle on the night money was raised towards the ‘Akosua Odei Foundation’. A charity set up to raise funds and help young women/mothers living harsh lives in rural Ghana/ Africa.

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Prizes for the raffle were donated by Beautella, NaanaB and Lipavenu. The show along with designers taking part, aimed to ensure that their labels were showcased on a platform to portray and raise awareness of their inspirations drawn from the African continent. A recurrent theme through out was to highlight the creation of sustainable income and fair trade for those involved in production of the products on display, the guarantee of quality and authenticity in materials they use. Lastly they all seek to promote African identity and pride, which FashionMist really did promote. FashionMist • 2012 Twitter: @fashionmist2011 Facebook: Fashionmist Blog: www.fashionmist2011.blogspot.com


SUMMERS HOTTEST AFRICAN FASHION EXHIBITIONS

Patience Please by Simon Klyne

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ugust 3rd 2012, London opened its doors to what would prove to be a fashionable weekend, showcasing over 45 designers and celebrating the influence of African culture throughout fashion. I was fortunate enough to attend the Friday showing and get a taste for myself, first hand. African Fashion Week was held at Spitafields Market, well-known for its popularity with hipsters, and fashionistas of every kind. The East end provided a real urban backdrop for the catwalk. Upon arrival, my senses met with an array of African fabrics from Kente cloth to Ankara, beautiful brown-skinned people, and the warming aroma of African cuisine available at nearby stalls. The atmosphere was certainly energetic. Eventually, each seat was occupied, whilst all eyes remained on the catwalk, excited for the show to begin. NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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Africa Fashion Week

Mia by Mia Nisbet

London

Bubushiiky

Ella and Gabby

Keto Couture by Simon Klyne

Written by: Debra Oludare Photos by: Catwalk Capture

As Fela Kuti blared through the speakers, the high energy and culture of Africa was captured. One by one, the models took to the elevated white catwalk, adorned in colourful creations. Meanwhile, the audience were kept entertained by the melodic music, and engaged by the variety of styles showcased. “Mia” by designer Mia Nisbet featured a bold collection of tie-dyed pieces, complimented by splashes of shabby chic. Notably, the audience offered applause as a stunning backless piece by Mia hit the catwalk. Another crowd-pleaser that afternoon, “House of Nwocha” erupted onto the catwalk with Dbanj’s “Oliver Twist”, which was sure to get the audience tapping a foot or two. The collection featured formal silk dresses, voicing femininity and elegance. I was particularly impressed by the consistent use of pattern, which created an effortless fluency throughout the collection. Fashion label, “Severine” was another favourite of mine. The collection included tight-fitted crop tops and airy asym-

metrical skirts, incorporating current trends. Most commendably, “Severine” were able to introduce a modern twist to traditional African fabrics, suggesting that African fashion has longevity within the fashion industry. Whilst the show settled down I embarked on a short trip around the many stalls Africa Fashion Week had to offer. Whether after an Ankaraprinted clutch, bold, vibrant earrings, or just a humble serving of jollof rice and chicken, it was all at your fingertips. I was particularly excited by up and coming brand “Bubushiiky” and their integration of beautiful African prints into high-heeled wedges and purses. As I delved deeper, it became clear that I had caught Ankara-fever

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as a stall displaying Ankara-covered journals caught my eye. Definitely a creative gift idea! Ultimately, it was inspiring to witness an array of Africans putting their many talents to good use and thus, displaying the richness of our culture. For myself, if we gaze beyond the surface, this was the essence of Africa Fashion Week. More than just a fashion show, but a multi- faceted showcase of African gifts for London to spectate and celebrate. ❦ African Fashion Week Web - www.africanfashionweeklondon.com Twitter - @AfricaFWL


Afrik Origins

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All Hair & Make Up By:

Skirt by:

Mina Danielle

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NU People

N O I S S U C DIS

Jump Skip thebr oo

nupti m als

OR

the

Do we really need marriage these days?

WITH

GBONTWI ANYETEI & SIETA MAJOK

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Jumpthe broom

WE SPEAK OFTEN IN BUSINESS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SOUND PARTNERSHIPS. WE SPEAK IN POLITICS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERSHIP AND UNITY. I BELIEVE MARRIAGE IS THE MOST ESSENTIAL PARTNERSHIP By: GBONTWI ANYETEI

I

have my R&B reasons for wanting strongest when our families are at their strongmarriage. I like women and I want est. At the basis of a family is ideally is a man one of all my own. I like stability and woman that love and respect each other. The and want an ally for life and in raisduality that my masculinity and my future wife’s ing children and a beautiful femininity can create that balance that woman in my bed I don’t has served the most successful of famihave to worry about my wallies. let lying around. I want a muse and WHAT I’M NOT SAYING: I need the sounding board and critic of my writpiece of paper and the expensive weding and someone beside me who can’t ding. implicate me in any crimes. (I learnt If agreed on common law marriage can that from ‘The Sopranos’.) have as much meaning as one preceded Now for the deeper and potentially by a ceremony. Much of what e critics not-so common reason for being prosay about marriage and the trappings are marriage – I’m a Garveyite. I believe true. I find that all critics of the instituthat marriage is a vital component in tion or tradition collect their criticisms restoring Africa to its former glory. from abuses of what has been a naturally PIECE OF PAPER OR NO We speak often in business about the occurring phenomenon worldwide. Legal PIECE OF PAPER THE importance of sound partnerships. We marriages have been religion sponsored WEDDING DAY –EXPENSIVE state control or women’s part in it was speak in politics of the importance of OR REASONABLY PRICED partnership and unity. I believe maroften as chattel to be owned by her new SERVES AS THE SIGN OF riage is the most essential partnership husband. Historically though including DUTY OF CARE OWED BY because it’s at the in my tribe marriage is standard marked core of the family which is at the core THIS NEW COUPLE TO THE by a rite where culture meets spiritualof the community which are the founity and civic needs. Piece of paper or no COMMUNITY. dation of a civilisation, or lack therepiece of paper the wedding day –expenof. sive or reasonably priced serves as the Is it necessary? It depends on one’s definition sign of duty of care owed by this new couple to of ‘necessary’. More than that it depends on if the community. that one see themselves as only an individual. The state of a society is reflected by the state of I don’t. I am a man but I’m always part of a the family. An anthropologist from a different greater whole; my immediate family, my explanet who looks at British divorce figures and tended family, my community, my nationality number of children in care and nothing else or my race. will be able to correctly extrapolate the state of Nothing was ever achieved in isolation and no decadence we live with as a result. man is an island and all that. A wife is the first • member of the team around me. A wife is what they call the quarterback in American football, or what they call a playmaker in real football, and what they call the ‘point’ in basketball. I Twitter: @gbontwianyetei don’t intend to “just do me” but to ‘do us’. Blogspot: http://hackdonga.blogspot.com History repeats itself and analysis of history shows that Africa and the African is at its NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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Skip n the up

tials

...THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE TODAY HAS VERY LITTLE RESPECT. PEOPLE CAN GET QUICK WEDDINGS IN LAS VEGAS AND ALSO VERY QUICK DIVORCES. LESS PEOPLE ARE GETTING MARRIED AND MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING DIVORCED. By: SIETA MAJOK

I

married even though they’re not willing or believe marriage is not a necessity in ready. today’s society. In the past, women were expected Furthermore, the sanctity of marriage today to be married and have children. has very little respect. People can get quick Women were completely dependent weddings in Las Vegas and also very quick dion their husbands for their survival. vorces. Less people are getting married A woman’s possession was her and more people are getting divorced. husband’s possession. If marriage isn’t taken seriously, then it The past was the ultimate patriarchal isn’t a respected union. Why bother getsociety. ting married if the sanctity of marriage Today, women are working more than has very little respect? they have in the past and many have Marriage is also not the end all of a rebecome the main breadwinners in lationship. These days, it’s common to their households. find a relationship that does not end in Women’s gender roles have changed marriage. Many couples co-habit peacedrastically over the past 200 years. fully and successfully with children in We have a voice. We’re allowed to vote, the mix, without ever feeling the need we’re allowed to own property and we’re allowed to go to university. We COUPLES WHO COHABIT to get married. Couples who cohabit do not have a are more financially independent than DO NOT HAVE A LOVE love that is any different from couples ever before, so marriage isn’t a necesTHAT IS ANY DIFFERENT that are married. The differences besity for our survival. Additionally, marriage is not required FROM COUPLES THAT ARE tween married and cohabiting couples are legal differences. If the unmarried for a woman’s personal development. MARRIED couple’s relationship does not work out, A woman today has the freedom to they don’t have to get a divorce (which study a degree at university or to purcan be quite expensive). sue a highflying career with almost no judgOn top of that, the economy isn’t doing too ment. We are empowered and free to make well. Weddings can be very expensive and it is our own decisions about our lives. harder for people to achieve their dream wedAlthough we have made this progression, we ding. If you can’t afford your dream wedding, shouldn’t forget that we still live in a patriaryou don’t have to get married and you’re also chal society or a ‘man’s world’. Many people saving a lot of money and stress in the process! still expect women to be married and have Times have changed and it has become more kids and some are only deemed truly successsocially acceptable to remain unmarried, so ful if they do. Marriage and kids do not equate marriage is definitely not the end all of a relato success and a woman definitely does not tionship. Further, marriage is also unnecessary need to have both to be deemed successful. for a woman’s survival. Marriage is definitely Marriage should be viewed as a personal not necessary these days. choice. The individuals concerned should be • free to decide whether they want to get married or not. I prefer that people get married if they are willing and ready to get married, @modernemeid rather than feeling pressured into getting http://modernemeid.blogspot.co.uk

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s

@NUPeopleMagUK

NU People

Have Your Say @zambezi40 says @ N U Pe o p l e Ma g U K “Fantasy is in the wedding dress and suit. Beyond that? We are all so quick to press the divorce button, because we can!” “Marriage formalises a relationship. But can you formalise love?”

Join the Discussions online at www.nupeoplemagazine.com

@OAmaeZing says: “@NUPeopleMagUK it gives me a sense of order in this crazy world and completeness to spend the rest of your life with someone you love.” “...not LUST but the one you love. The one that can push your buttons but you know isn’t going anywhere. The one you grow with” See the rest of the conversation at www.nupeoplemagazine.com

Every Issue we pick a topic of discussion and ask two writers to debate. Join the conversation on Twitter by adding #NUPeopleDiscuss to your tweet. **

...and twitter @NUPeopleMagUK Hashtag #NUPeopleDiscussions

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CANT LIVE WITHOUT ‘EM

THE WONDERFUL DECISION TO MOVE IN WITH YOUR PARTNER.... THE PRICELESS MOMENTS WHEN YOU FIND OUT HE/SHE IS FAR FROM PERFECT.... YIKES! By Nova Reid @NU_Bride

2012 SEEMS TO BE THE YEAR FOR BIG CELEBRATIONS AND TRANSITIONS;

The Queens Jubilee, street parties up and down the country, the London Olympics, weddings, babies popping out all over the place…and people moving in together. One sunny Sunday afternoon in Clapham, London, the girls gathered for another celebration. Some of us strangers; all from different backgrounds, ethnicities and relationships. Yet we all shared one common trait: Our disdain for dirty socks, underpants and toilet seats left up! You’ve been with your beloved for X amount of years, seeing each other on evenings and weekends, until it gets to the point where neither of you can bear the wrench at the end of a night to leave for your separate homes. So you both decide to take the plunge and move in with each other / get married {insert appropriate order that suits you}.

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Great! After tirelessly scouring the can be so {lazy / untidy / nasty / smelly} pected a nurse, cleaner, accountant, country and haggling with various without you noticing? Hiding those Michelin starred chef, gardener, haberdelightful estate agents, you’ve found special little traits with covert preci- dashery expert and personal commuyour home, what an exciting transition! sion, until cohabiting! nications assistant: Just like ‘mummy’! Finally a chance to open a joint bank Living with someone truly does test account, get a Tesco Clubcard, collect Don’t pretend you haven’t hidden your the essence of a relationship. Somehow Airmiles and start shopping together. own little beasties we have to instantly discover a way of Visiting shops like; John Lewis, Ikea “ understanding how to adjust to somefa il e d att e and Dwell for pillows and curtain one else being m p ts to poles, slowly filling your new home with accents of your personalities. s o th at yo A chance to buy a cute little toothyo u r fa m il u d o n ’t y name an brush holder just for the two of p a r tn e r a n d e x g ive yo u r c u s e to te you. Yippee! ll th e ir fa m New opportunities are presented il y th at yo u a re for trips to B&Q to purchase vari- e it h e r ous DIY accessories. A chance to buy readers! The unidentified your very own shiny new BBQ for sounds and smells in the bathroom, in our space, many summer weekends of entertain- culinary inadequacies, several DIY learning to share, learning the art of ing ahead, spending copious amounts disasters and toenail biting...the list is patience and compromise! of time walking up and down the aisle endless. trying to decide on gas or charcoal. How do you identify unwritten roles Hilarious failed attempts to master and rules within your new foundation? Another excuse to become a frequent cooking and cleaning skills so that you Who does what and when and if they visitor to Homebase. So much so you don’t shame your family name and give don’t do it what happens? (Arguments just might inherit a ‘spend and save your partner an excuse to tell their and tantrums, that’s what happens) We card’. To finally learn how to navigate family that you are “domestically chal- live in eclectic society where tradition the ridiculously large garden cen- lenged” and potentially contributing to is no longer dictated as the ‘norm’, so tre trollies, without bowling over their severe weight loss, through mal- how do we all define what is right for a young child who is bound to be nutrition, as a result. ‘us’? running riot next to you at the Several weekend tantrums with flat key moment of turning a corner. pack assembly. Looking at your belov- We continuously whinge about the More exciting opportunities to ed with complete and utter contempt socks and underpants being left parade up and down the aisle and wondering why it has around the house, yet they are still with pride looking at grown up taken them left there, we get endlessly moaned a e ed to b things like toolboxes and doorat for our excessive collection of v o l e b ur o y bells. shoes, yet the collection keeps on d e t pec multiplying. yo u e x

H i la r i o u s ing and c le a

m

s h a m e ning skills aster cook“domestic ally challe n ge d ”

an

b e r, m u l p inter anic, how “S o m e a d e m e c hp e n t e r, p aJust like We moan, we share common stories together coupled with re a d y - mi c i a n, c a r olled into one: r r frustration and annoyance, but l t l a c r e l e rator, plastere d y ’ ! “ at the end of it all, if the underpants an entire were put in the laundry basket - if the d deco ‘ Da d

Learning about the true joy that comes with spending hours upon hours of looking at 50 different shades of white paint…. The excitement is too much to bear. Then before you know it, it’s moving in time…. And then it strikes - cue smile rapidly dropping from your face… How is it possible that the person you adore and have been with for so long

day to assemble something with a recommended assembly time of 30 minutes...Wondering why they just can’t follow the simple instructions, which are laid out in black and white. Wondering in dismay why they haven’t miraculously adopted your father’s super DIY and handyman skills, which you witnessed frequently whilst growing up. Somehow you expected your beloved to be a ready-made mechanic, plumber, electrician, carpenter, painter and decorator, plasterer all rolled into one: Just like ‘Daddy’! Just as they ex-

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bathroom smelt of roses all the time and if there wasn’t a nag in sight, we would still find something to gripe about. We secretly love each other’s little traits and little imperfections; lets face it, if they weren’t there we’d miss them. They make us human and make us smile inside (even if through gritted teeth). Honestly would we really want it any other way? Can’t live with them, definitely can’t live without them! •

cant live without ‘em!


Business & Careers

“EXECUTE SOMETHING IF IT FEELS RIGHT”

He set up his own limited company with three children in tow, so Alex Armah knows a thing or two about executing what feels right. he discusses his journey to business ownership and how he coped.

“The thought of quarterly projections, balance sheets and R.O.I’S kind of took away the excitement”

I

ALEX ARMAH, OWNER OF ENVIRO INKS LTD. Written and edited by NATALIE BELGRAVE

’ve always wanted to start my own business. The creative freedom, independence and unlimited earning potential has always been very appealing to me. Unfortunately, the thought of quarterly projections, balance sheets and R.O.I’S kind of took away the excitement and so I quickly parked my business desires, but it doesn’t always have to be this way” For many starting your own business is a step towards realising your true career po-

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tential. For Alex Armah starting his own Ltd. Company gave him the independence he always wanted. Not to mention the opportunity to demonstrate his entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to indulge his propensity for taking calculated risks. His business; Enviro Inks Ltd, a company specialising in selling ISO accredited Royal Mail approved franking inks, has been established for over two years and was born out of his frustration at working for other people;


boss’ He explains, ‘So rather than hopping from job to job I decided to set up my own business. I am a calculated risk taker by nature, so after my last pay check I handed in my notice and invested in franking ink prototypes. The rest they say is history.

work with me. Looking back I think I delved in too quickly. I couldn’t keep up with my overheads and my employee’s salary so I had to revert back to working from home on my own whilst I worked on the cash flow and established smoother work processes. My faith is important to me and it is my belief in God that has guided me

‘I am quite an intuitive decision maker and often swiftly weigh up the pros and cons of a situation and then execute something if it feels right. I utilised my many years of experience and knowledge of franking machine ink and teamed up with the U.K’s leading franking and mailing experts to deliver a line of quality franking products. I have a theory that if a customer receives a good service they’ll tell five other people. If they receive bad service they’ll tell nine other people. My team and I have spent the last two years plus demonstrating exemplary customer service. It excites us to gather, build, maintain, impress and shock our customers, and by shock I don’t mean to scare them half to death, but to pleasantly

doing is for them and their future. That somewhat eases the guilt For anyone wanting to start their own business, I would say it is important to have a clear vision of what service or product it is you want to provide. Clearly map out your startup costs and overheads as these can quickly get out of hand if they are not watched carefully. You have to remember that running your own business means you are in charge and if you don’t work you don’t get paid. Be prepared for ridiculously long hours for little or no reward to begin with, but in time it will pay off.

Alex with his three kids

through the highs and lows in my business journey. Highs have been building a loyal and steady customer base and the lows have been having virtually no holiday or time off. I’m

It is also really important to get a good accountant on board too if you’re not great with bookkeeping, PAYE, VAT returns etc. These are all down to you when you run your own business and your tax liabilities cannot be taken lightly. There are now many on-line companies that excel in aiding with administration. Many of these tap into stay at home mums’ with vast admin experience. Administration

“OUR SECOND DAUGHTER WAS GOING THROUGH A BOUT OF SEVERE COLIC, SO NONSTOP CRYING PLUS AN ACTIVE TODDLER ISN’T REALLY THE DREAM WHEN TRYING TO MAKE A SALE”

surprise them with our competitive pricing and dedicated customer service. As well as the successes there have of course been many challenges along the way. When I started out I worked from home, at that point we only had our two small daughters, but even then it just wasn’t viable. Our second daughter was going through a bout of severe colic, so nonstop crying plus an active toddler isn’t really the dream when trying to make a sale. I decided to take the plunge and rent a small office and employ one person to

s

‘I have always wanted to be my own

in the office at 8.30am most days and don’t get home until 11p.m if I’m having a busy period (which is often these days).). I’m also in work most Saturday mornings, so at times it can feel overwhelming. It does get really tough and I have to dig deep to keep the momentum sometimes. It’s hard having a young family like we do, because I don’t get to spend as much time with my children as I would like. My daughters love me to read them a bedtime story, but there are many nights I have not been able to get home in time to do it. That is hard, but I try and remind myself that what I am

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Alex and his son

Alex and his Enviro Inks team


Business & Careers

“I TRY AND REMIND MYSELF THAT WHAT I AM DOING IS FOR THEM AND THEIR FUTURE. THAT SOMEWHAT EASES THE GUILT I CAN SOMETIMES FEEL AS A PARENT”

and lows. It’s important to have a great support system behind you to help you out with any tricky times or just to provide a much needed sound board for your ideas or your concerns. You have to be willing to take the rough with the smooth and be able to learn from your mistakes.

are invaluable and I am thrilled to be able to mentor young people and make a difference in my community. My business is a reflection of me, so I strive to make it as ethical as possible for my customers, by being involved with recycling schemes as well as an exciting place to work

support is an invaluable role in any company and provides oil to the engine so to speak. Having my own business has given me a real sense of freedom, which is what I enjoy most. I relish being able to use my vision to put my own stamp on things and make a difference.

Through my “MY FAVOURITE BENEFIT IS THAT WE ARE NOW In order to be a business I have success it is imporINVOLVED WITH THE GOVERNMENT APPRENbeen able to tant to know that TICESHIP SCHEME. THIS MEANS I AM ABLE TO build a strong you really do get TAKE ON YOUNG PEOPLE AT GRASS ROOTS relationship with out what you put LEVEL AND GIVE THEM THE EXPERIENCE THEY my local MP and in. Your achieveNEED FOR THE JOB MARKET” council, my faments are limitless, vourite benefit is if you’re willing to that we are now put in the time and involved with the Government ap- for my employees. effort. It isn’t always easy, but I can prenticeship scheme. guarantee it is always rewarding. Being your own boss is very emThis means I am able to take on powering and very trying at the • young people at grass roots level same time. It might be a bit of a and give them the experience they cliché but it is very much like a need for the job market. In this cur- roller-coaster ride - an exhilaratrent climate opportunities like this ing journey with massive highs

NP

If you’d like more information on how Enviro Inks Ltd could help you with your business requirements then please call or email: Tel: 0844 332 1211 Email: management@enviroinks.co.uk

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100

NU People Magazine want to honor 100 Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs who are working hard to get their products and services out there. We are dedicating 15 pages in issue 3 to 100 Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

NU People

Business & Careers

LIST

BLACK BUSINESSES & ENTREPRENEURS

DREAM | BELIEVE | ACHIEVE | INSPIRE You are an inspiration to us all and you deserve the very best. **To be considered in the shortlist for the “NU People 100 Black Businesses & Entrepreneurs list” please email: features@nupeoplemagazine.com **NU People Magazine reserve the right to reject any entries as and when nessecary, with or without any explanation NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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Business & Careers

SOLE PURPOSE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE

Heel-the-World: Ghana’s bespoke shoe making company takes on the WORLD... by Dzifa Hanson

Without much investigation, any introduction to HTW could get off on the wrong foot. When I first heard about HTW, I assumed the initials stood for ‘Heal The World’. I falsely assumed it was the latest Non Governmental Organization, mental visions of a couple of young guys being overly optimistic popped up. I figured these boys were trying to take on the world with a United Nationslike ‘one nation at a time’ ideology, only bereft of its funds. I was extremely surprised and exceptionally pleased to find out later that I’d picked the wrong homonym and that in actual fact; these young men were indeed taking on the world, one foot at a time. Heel The World (HTW) is a luxury shoe company with its head quarters in Ghana, West Africa. The company FRED DEEGBE & VIJAY MANU FOUNDERS OF HEEL-THE-WORLD

and concept seeks to counter the popular negative perceptions about the quality and capabilities of the Ghanaian craftsman. The HTW Foundation has been set up by the company to Empower World Changers. For every pair of shoes bought, an African startup is greatly empowered. Their vision is to be venture capitalists and consultants to entrepreneurs in Ghana. Besides shoe production, the main focus of the company, the HTW Foundation also has Empowerment Beads with an infamous black and gold theme. Every black glass bead stands for hard work whereas the single golden ornament represents the ultimate reward of success. Bedazzled by the shoes on display, I posed a few questions at the founders of the company; Vijay and Fred.

The Start? It all started when Fred went out to buy a pair of Italian shoes and after carefully examining design of the shoes, he tasked himself with starting a shoe company in Ghana which would compete with the likes of Prada, Armani etc. The concept began in May 2009 but the company was launched in December 2010 on facebook. Since then we have received orders from all over the world and are currently working on a second shoe collection to unveil to the world in a short time.

The challenges? Getting the right people to work with is difficult because they are not committed to the vision. A high-end bespoke Ghanaian shoe is some-

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thing unorthodox so initially it was difficult for people to adapt to our products but as time has gone on, they have warmed up to our products and what our company represents.

International competition ? HTW was founded on the basis that if given the right resources and management Ghanaians can produce goods to compete with the Armanis of Italy and the Nokias of Finland. We want to be the company that best illustrates Ghanaian talent to the world. We believe in serving our existing customers like kings. We also invest a lot of time, energy and money into improving our product features. There are no prizes for average so we try as much as possible to surpass our clients’ expectations and the fact that we provide our custom-


ers with a different variety of colors, leathers and shapes to choose from is a key selling point.

riety of unorthodox products coming out of Ghana, maintaining the world-class standard. We have been contacted by several TV stations (Viasat, Etv, Metro TV) and a few international magazines. We are just getting started and are not too bent on publicity right now, but instead more interested in churning out beautiful shoes and awesome service to our

Heel The World is a quality shoe line that seeks to empower world changers with a brand promise to help other start-ups that have social entrepreneurship embedded in their Progress and business model. patronage? With such refreshingly new colours and trendy designs, a surge in paPeople are proud of us and keep tronage from shoe lovers all across spearing us on so that we can be the Ghana is inevitable. Their marketing one Ghanaian brand that epitomizes skills continue to pay world-class seroff by the minute, “WE WANT TO BE THE COMPANY THAT vice and products. but these young men Growth-wise we are BEST ILLUSTRATES GHANAIAN TALENT confess they are still not rushing anything TO THE WORLD. WE BELIEVE IN SERVING finding their feet. or giving ourselves OUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS LIKE KINGS.” The brains behind outrageous

targets/deadlines. We believe in taking it one day at a time and improvng every step of the way. We are a startup and people have offered us large sums of money to ‘pump’ into our business but we are happy with our growth rate because it is manageable. Too much money is not always good, because as a start-up you will be wasteful trying to find the right client base, perfecting the product and so on.

The future?

In the future we hope to release a va-

valued customers. None of these men have a shoe ma ing background, but they are fashion-savvy and certainly know what a classic shoe should look and feel like. They come up with designs based on customer specifications, with a touch of 21st century panache,

the brand are well-motivated and ambitious with a biblical touch of inspiration and faith. HTW has its foot in the door of the fashion industry and assuredly, any Achilles heel is well-shielded in top quality Italian leather. •

and take upon themselves the tough task of finding the elegant leather pieces. Next follows the amazingly humanitarian process of presenting these to the experienced shoemakers who handcraft the breathtakingly beautiful feet limos.

heeltheworld.tumblr.com www.htwshoes.com

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Business & Careers

Young Enterprise

.....my older sister gave me Richard Branson’s first book which was his autobiography, and that when I realised I wanted to become an Entrepreneur.

SNAP Decisions Entrepreneur Claud Williams on starting his very own photo studio

With:

CLAUD WILLIAMS

T

here are two types of people in this world. Those who say ’Life is full of Kodak moments’ and those who…well, don’t have a camera. But do not fear if you fall under the latter! That’s where photographers like Claud Williams step in…

Claud: During secondary school I realised that the traditional work life wasn’t for me. I was too ambitious and creative to be stuck in an office and my I had found my previous experiences of doing so not to be challenging enough. Shortly after my older sister gave me Richard Branson’s first book which was his autobiography, and that was when I realised I wanted to become an Entrepreneur. After a few projects, I eventually stumbled across a DSLR camera and found out that I had a natural ability for photography. A little while later NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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my first media company (Starlight Imagery) was created, which specialises in event photography (www.StarlightImagery.co.uk). I ran Starlight Imagery while studying at Loughborough University, and used the money I earned as well as my student loan to invest into the company. By my third year of studying I had raised enough to acquire an office space in the local town centre which I spent a year converting into a photography and video studio. Now that my degree and studio is complete, I plan to spend the next year promoting and developing the business behind the studio as well working on other business ventures which include event management and online retail. @Mr_Cosmic www.claudwilliams.co.uk


foodforght

u o th

D

By: Natalie Belgrave

o you seem to follow a never ending cycle of dissatisfaction? Frustrated, anxious, worried, stressed, unhappy, unfulfilled. Do these feelings sound familiar to you?

POETRY Corner

When you reach a certain age society dictates that you should have achieved a certain set of goals. The house, the car, the husband, the wife, the kids, the glittering career, the money, the holidays. The list is endless. If you have only managed to achieve a handful of these goals or even worse none, the sense of failure can creep over you and leave you feeling bitter. You may look at others and what they have and wonder why it isn’t you. Why are they doing everything you thought you would be doing.

JEMILEA WISDOM

If you stop and think about it this is quite a selfish attitude to have. We don’t know what others may have gone through to get to where they are. Why must society put a focus on these things anyway? When we die we can’t take any of it with us so why frustrate ourselves with what we do not have? How about we use what we do have and use it to help others who really and truly do have nothing.

They measured my IQ With a test written for certain types of people Said my score came out unequal Stamped an unsatisfactory and Marked me with a label I couldnt recall so they called me a lost cause Instead of finding me a solution I was found in detention hall So I truanted Got the Low grades Low intellect From their perspective No good, hood rat, loves to backchat Got the swag of a street urchin I didnt fit their ideal (And they couldnt have that) So they expelled me to the role of a stop and search victim Yet my brain surpasses the chains of their system My mind escapes the bias bars of their teaching My cells collide to survive against resistance My power lies inside, freed through persistance from an unknown That saw my expression was bound and sent swift assistance Saw beyond my attire and destined a space to recognise my existence Understand my dialect and reject my oppressors Connecting forever me with my inner treasure So now please protect your thoughts Reflect and dont forget That understanding and reasoning Erects true intellect

You may be reading this and thinking it rings true for you or maybe you may be thinking what is the relevance in all this, where is it going? Well these feelings and frustrations of unachieved goals for a long time used to belong to me. I always wanted to be doing more, seeing more, earning more, living more, more, more, more. There was always something to complain about. My relationships, my job, my boss, my finances, my this, my that, my the other. Where does it all end? For me it ended when I stopped. Looked inside myself and started giving thanks for everything that is RIGHT with my life. And let me tell you once I changed my mind-set I began to realise there is an abundance of things I can give thanks for. The very fact I made it through my late teens and early twenties alive and in one piece is enough for me to shout out praise each and every day for the rest of my life. For the record I was never a wild child, but the freedom of young adulthood and the influence of wayward peers can send you close to the edge if you’re not careful. (I know you all know what I’m talking about.) Every little thing we have we must be thankful for. Every morning when I wake up I give God thanks. There are some who didn’t even wake up from their sleep this morning. If you are reading these words then you are indeed one of the lucky ones. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the Ghanaian Paralympic team at my church this Sunday. Their head coach is a Pastor and he ministered to us the importance of faith and how through faith God is able to work miracles in our lives. In the front row were a selection of amazing Paralympians from Ghana, who despite their wheelchairs and disabilities were achieving medals and greatness. They were breadwinners in their families, they were travelling the world, making a difference in their communities, making the most of their situation regardless of how hopeless their situation may look to others. What I am saying is that we can spend so much time dwelling on what we do not have that we lose sight of the blessings that surround us. I am a Christian and it is to God that I give all the glory for the blessings in my life. I am making a choice to be joyful in my circumstances regardless of how difficult they may be. I no longer choose frustration, anxiety, worry, stress, unhappiness or unfulfilment to dominate me in my life. Instead I choose joy, I choose to believe, I choose love, faith, hope, I choose God. What do you choose? “But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.” Psalm 71:14 NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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@PoeticJemz http://poeticjemz.tumblr.com


NU PEOPLE MAGAZINE . NUPEOPLEMAGAZINE.COM

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NU People Magazine (issue1)  

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