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JUNE-JULY 2012 ISSUE|FREE

AFROELLE Celebrating Women of African Descent

T

OP 35 UNDER

35 INSIDE The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina Egusi Soup Dear Feminista The Ruby Project Networking Made Easy Tech– Threads Who’s World

PEOPLE Jennifer Abayowa Alicia Saldenha Yusra Khogali Lebogang Maruapula Victoria Olubi Douriean Fletcher RenéeQ

Anniversary ISSUE


AFRO

ELLE

Celebrating Women of African Descent www.afroellemagazine.com


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Encourage. Empower. Entertain. Elevate


CONTENTS

30

EVENTS/PROFILES 12

Rogo Collection Launch REVIEWS

13

Egusi Soup

16

Reading Habits With Jennifer

14

Re-write Your Life Story

15

Joan Myers Brown and The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina

17

Sound of Music with Alicia

20

Sista Drumming

PROFILES 18

Yusra Ygholi

30

Lebogang Maruapula

INSPIRATION 21

Personal Development

22

Dear Feminista

15

Celebrating Women of African Descent 6| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com

14


52

IN EVERY ISSUE 24

Featured Initiative ; The Ruby Project BUSINESS / TECHNOLOGY

28

Networking Made Easy

63

Business Spotlight; Hairpreneur

26

Tech– Threads

FASHION 67

Fee Uhusi

73

Renee Q

64

Eklektik EKhos BEAUTY/TRAVEL/ HEALTH

74

Fad Diets

75

Know Your Status

62

Beauty Commandments

76

Who’s World?

SPECIAL FEATURE Top 35 Under 35 40-56 We profile our top 35 outstanding women under 35.

“Success, in my opinion, is not measured by the amount of money I have, or my net worth. Instead, I measure success by how many people I can be of service to, or how many people my business positively influences. The ability to move people in a positive way, influence and inspire people is the ultimate success. I truly believe that once one is able to be of service to others, in the best possible way they know how, wealth comes easy.” - Jacqueline Nwobu, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine

Celebrating Women of African Descent 7| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


CONTRIBUTORS

Feyruz.Tefazion

Phenyo Otukile

Moiyattu Banya

LOS ANGELES

BOTSWANA

SIERRA LEONE

Feyruz is a twenty-something aspiring writer with an affinity for the beauty industry. Her interests include travel that requires her passport, photography, beauty blogging and uninterrupted reading sessions. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

JoVonna Rodriguez

Phenyo Faith Otukile is a life learner and dreamer from Botswana who writes to touch and change lives. She believes words have the power to build and empower. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and draw closer to your dreams.

Moiyattu Banya studied Social work and Entrepreneurship in Columbia University. She is founder of WomenChange Africa an online platform that highlights and connects African women humanitarians and entrepreneurs.

icecreamsundays.blogspot.com

iamchangeafrica.blogspot.com

MsK NY NEW YORK

ATLANTA, GEORGIA JoVonna Rodriguez is a vessel for words and emotions. She is a native New Yorker who now resides in Atlanta, Georgia since graduating from Emory University. She is AmeriCorps alum whose commitment to service is now bridged with being a life long educator. She makes sure to incorporate creative and innovative ways of learning how to love reading and writing in her classroom.

Ms.K runs African Prints in Fashion blog. She features African Designers and Designers of Africa-inspired fashion as well as any fashion and accessories platforms that she comes across that deal with African Prints in Fashion.

africanprintsinfashion.blogspot.com

Jen farris

Mujina Kaindama LONDON

www.joskidiesel.com

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LONDON

Mujina is currently a law student at the School of Oriental and African Studies. She contributes to AfroElle Magazine; a way of truly informing and inspiring other women. She is a keen hair blogger.

Carol Stewart helps women to transform their careers so that they have the confidence to achieve their full potential in their professional lives. She is a Personal Development, Career and Business coach and owner of Abounding Solutions.

naturalnotebook.wordpress.com

www.aboundingsolutions.com

Louisa LONDON

jen farris is a journalist and culture enthusiast that uses photography and film to chronicle the stories of dynamic creative people. An aspiring film documentarian and long-time member of the entertainment industry, she has written for The Atlanta Voice, FashionCult.com, Raw66.com and through her program channel ArtsSmarts on iTunes has chronicled the stories of A-list celebrities in theater, music, dance, and visual arts.

Carol Stewart

Born in Uganda, East Africa and based in London, UK; Louisa’s background has always been a colourful symphony of the these two places. Professionally, she has been trained in Graphic Design and holds a degree in Journalism and Media. Louisa blogs at Afroblush; a space dedicated to her thoughts and excitement for fashion, beauty, culture and art and design within the African Diaspora. http://afroblush.com

Princess Carey NEW JERSEY Princess Carey is a Nutritionist, Yoga and Wellness Coach. She is a woman of faith who believes in the power of living a purposeful life. Her divine desire is to help people achieve their healthy living goals. She’s been effective in the industry for six years. www.coachpcares.info


Get Involved! Volunteer with us. Volunteers keep our magazine and website running and you can join our team too! AfroElle Team is currently looking for volunteers in the different departments that make up the magazine. We are looking for individuals who have spare time and want to get involved on a voluntary basis or who want to contribute occasionally for experience. Volunteers can work at their own schedule from anywhere in the world.

Contact us for more information info@afroellemagazine.com 9| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


AFROELLE MAGAZINE | Encourage. Empower. Entertain. Elevate

AFROELLE MAGAZINE

FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Patricia Miswa ONLINE www.afroellemagazine.com To subscribe, visit www.afroellemagazine.com For inquiries regarding general information, advertising, contribution or feedback email info@afroellemagazine.com AfroElle Magazine is published monthly. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in parts without written permission is strictly prohibited.

ON THE COVER Model: Zoe Malaika Pearl Photographer: Ben Kiruthi www.benkiruthi.com

MUA: Zoe Malaika Pearl

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Editors Note

T

Turning Two!

wo years ago I emailed two of my friends sharing with them an idea I had of starting an online community for women. Two. Years. Time definitely has wings. This issue marks AfroElle’s 2nd anniversary. We’ve come a long way, from the time when AfroElle was just a blog called The Ladies Room to what it is now; a global online magazine on a mission to empower, encourage and elevate women of Africa descent. Starting out I didn’t have much expectation; ok, maybe just a little but did I think that idea would one day turn into something bigger; no ma’am. Everything has been gradual, a learning curve, a work in progress. As the editor, there have been many stressful moments putting together issue after issue, but the mission behind this magazine and the passion I have deep inside me to create something great, has kept me going. Every time I see the finished product, it takes me back to the late nights spent editing and proof reading articles or the extremely early mornings trying to keep awake will studying layouts, it’s takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice but at the end of the day it’s all worth it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“This is just the beginning and no matter what new things we try, changes we incorporate or places we go, we will always remain true to our mission; celebrating women of African descent.”

Over the past two years, AfroElle has featured inspiring women who have shared their lives and experiences- from their struggles, achievements and their passion to make a difference in society, and in turn we’ve learned invaluable lessons. I’ve been encouraged and motivated by these women to succeed, to reach out and support others in their endeavors. AfroElle has allowed, not just me, but all of us to connect with women from across the globe creating a sense of sisterhood in the process. I’m grateful for it all. Many thanks to our volunteers who give their time and talents to further our mission. To everyone who sends an email to offer words of encouragement , to let us know that a story we wrote changed their life or to simply advice us on what we can do better, thank you. To our readers, without you, we would not exist, thank you for taking the time to read us. Reflecting back on where we’ve come from makes me look forward to where we are going and so this note would be incomplete without a toast. *Raises glass.* Here’s to growth. To endless possibilities. Here’s to many more successful years ahead. This is just the beginning and no matter what new things we try, changes we incorporate or places we move to, we will always remain true to our mission; celebrating women of African descent.

Onward and Upward!

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EVENTS

Rogo Collection ‘Sexy, savvy, chic, unapologetic, bold

What: Adèle Dejak Rogo Collection Launch When: Tribal Chic 2012: 5th May 2012 at Tribe Hotel Kenya ‘Who’s Who’ : GenArt founders from USA Emmanuela Chriqu (Actress from USA) Shinuna Karume from Zanzibar Elizabeth Rogo and Janice Rogo; loyal clients of Adele Dejak. The Rogo Collection was in their honour.

‘Kenya’s fashion industry has grown in leaps’ ~Wambui Thimba ‘Tribal Chic fashion show has gained international recognition’ ~Mark Somen

photography by Nick Klaus

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REVIEWS

Egusi Soup A new play about love, life and loss, with plenty of spicy bits! Egusi Soup was a truly authentic debut from prize winning writer Janice Okoh. Set in the UK the play offers a rare look into the life of a British-Nigerian family, the Anyias, who are about to set off to Lagos Nigeria to attend the one year anniversary of the death of their beloved father and husband Mr Anyia. Yet before they embark on this journey the Anyia family must confront certain truths about themselves and their relationships. The matriarch Mrs Anyia (played by Ellen Thomas) stands as the stand in head of the family determined to pack the whole house in her suitcase and fixated upon the death of her beloved husband. Meanwhile, her newly wed daughter Grace (Rhoda Ofori-Attah) strives to be the perfect Nigerian wife much to the disbelief of her sister Anne (Anniwaa Buachie) the 'big barrister' who is a high flyer in New York. Both women hoped to gain approval from their father, who even in death remains a huge presence in all their lives. Dele (Nick Oshikanlu) Grace’s traditional husband and Mr Emmanuel (Lace Akpojaro) the dubious pastor are cleverly on hand for comic relief but also serve as a reminder of the real dangers of striving to please others.

Review by Mujina Kadina

Janice Okoh is an award winning playwright. In 2011, her play The Real House (Three Birds) won the Bruntwood Prize and was short-listed for the Verity Bargate Award and the Alfred Fagon Award. Her recent theatre productions include: Top Brass (Theatre 503, 2010), a short play written in response to The Charming Man by Gabriel Bissett-Smith. Her recent radio plays include: Reunion (BBC Radio 4 Extra, 2011); Carnival, a short play for the From Fact to Fiction series (BBC Radio 4, 2010) and SE8 (BBC Radio 4, 2010). This year, Janice has adapted Malorie Blackman’s novel Noughts and Crosses for the Saturday Play (BBC Radio 4).

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Rewrite your Story

Shivawn Mitchell is passionate about empowering women to live the life they dream of. As a counselor, Shivawn developed an interest in publishing upon realizing its influence on people and discovering effect of words to make a difference. Shivawn talks about her recent self-published book, "Rewrite Your Story" that focuses on new beginnings, self esteem, finances and relationships. What prompted you to write this book? The reason I decided to write this book was mainly because I had reached a point where I was tired of talking about change and knew it was time to implement change. Instead of going through the motions I knew I had grown through the highs and lows of my life. I wanted to be that “accountability partner” to women all over to change their mindset about themselves and toxic situations they might find themselves in. What helped you write so openly about your experiences?

I encountered other women who were going through the same things I had been through. I got tired of seeing women pretending that everything was okay but deep inside hurting and no knowing how to recover and have the life they desired. I couldn’t see myself learning from my mistakes and not sharing it with other women. I wanted to be that support they needed without feeling ashamed to ask for help. I wanted to show women that you could turn your mess into your message.

How was the whole experience for you; telling your story? It was my therapy. I’ve written in journals since I was in middle school and I took on the same tone when writing this book. I had to get over wondering how people would perceive me after reading the book. I knew that being transparent about my highs and lows would inspire someone else to change their thinking and actions about themselves. That was my motivation whenever I became fearful about what others would think. In chapter2 of your book you talk about self-confidence and the power of positive affirmations. Can you share some affirmations that can help anyone positively change their mindset about how they see themselves? I have affirmations on my mirror because I have to see them every morning before I leave the house. I AM GIFTED! So I first suggest that you place the affirmations somewhere you will be able to see them daily.

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Next keep it simple! It’s something you want to commit to memory. In addition make it personal. Don’t go for the cookie cutter affirmations. Speak what you need to hear. All affirmations should affirm something positive in your life. What does it take for one to rewrite their own story and redefine who they are? Consistency, honesty, forgiveness and resilience. Every day you wake up you will have to be consistent about making better choices for you. You will have to be honest about where you currently are and why you are there. Also you will have to forgive yourself for the negative choices you may have made so you don’t stay stuck in the past. Finally you will have to have resilience for those days that the road gets bumpy. Do you have any additional thoughts/ advice for anyone starting over in whatever area in their life?

You have to be okay with whom you are, flaws and all. Our flaws are what make us unique and relatable. Focus on your lane and take your eyes off of what others are doing (that becomes a distraction). Pay attention to your inner voice! Check out other projects Shivawn is involved in. Website


Joan Myers Brown and The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina

‘Dancing Against All Odds’ Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina A Biohistory of American Performance by Brenda Dixon Gottschild Palgrave Macmillan, 1/3/2012

“ Blacks in the segregationist United States of America of the 30’s and 40’s fought back with inherent toughness. If the white world could not see the nobility of their culture, black artists crowned themselves: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lady Day and more recently, Queen Latifah.” Excerpt from foreword by Robert Farris Thompson, Col. John Trumbull Professor, History of Art, Yale University.

In Joan Myers Brown and the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina, the author, Brenda Dixon Gottschild takes the reader through the life and work of Joan Myers Brown, a dance legend who fought to make a place for herself in the dance world during a time of racial discrimination and economic constraints. Joan Myers Brown’s history reflects the hardship and the accomplishments of African Americans in the artistic and social development of the twentieth century and into the new millennium. “ To be a black ballerina in 20th century America was the artist equivalent of staging a civil rights protest.” Excerpt from prologue [xxviii] Gottschild connects the dots between performance, society and race. She tells the story in a series of events; every chapter building upon the other. From the background of Black Philadelphia, a glimpse of Joan Myers Brown’s predecessors; the ladies who pioneered the black dancing school movement in Philadelphia and nurtured her, to the development of Joan Myers Brown’s performing career, her growth and overall influence in showbiz; examining her impact as a mentor to other generations of dancers. Through Gottschild’s analysis, we learn of JB’s artistic contributions to the dance world. In 1960 Joan Myers Brown founded the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts to give black dancers quality training during a time when black dancers were not accepted into white classes and 10 years later she established Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) providing performance opportunities to high skilled dancers. Gottschild also weaves together Joan Myers Brown’s rich story through voices of other dance professionals such as Rennie Harris, Gene Hill Sagan, Milton Myers, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Billy Wilson and Ronald K. Brown. She uses visual ‘albums’ ,some from Joan Myers Brow’s private collections, at the end of every chapter, varying from recital programs to Joan Myers Brown and her colleagues in performance. This book is a wonderful text for dance scholars and non-dance scholars interested in culture and history of Black Americans in performing arts.

Top: Brenda Dixon Gottschild, featured guest during PNC's 2012 Black History Month celebration on February 16. Bottom (left to right) Joan Myers Brown and Brenda Dixon Photos by Mel Epps

Brenda Dixon Gottschild is also the author of Digging the Africanist Presence in America Performance, Waltzing in the dark, and The

Black Dancing Body .

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BOOKS

Good Reads Jennifer Abayowa is an inspiring literary fiction writer, an aspiring author and a quality control chemist. Writing has always been a part of her life, from the days she and her siblings made books by stapling sheets of paper and told tales about nonexistent families. Jennifer shares her writings through her blog ’Light-A– Lamp’ and she shares with AfroElle about her love for books.

W

hat experience led you to your passion for writing and reading?

My passion for writing began at a very young age. My siblings and I actually made up stories of families, wrote them on paper, and stapled them together. I guess you can say we had a wild imagination. I got into reading because my father had a great ethic for reading books. He shared books such as "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and "The Richest Man in Babylon" with us at a very young age, and he made it a point of duty to take us to public libraries. My passion for writing inspirational and Christian works comes from my personal growth and relationship with my Father (God) and the fact that I cannot keep those marvelous things I find in His word to myself.

"Redeeming Love," a book by Francine Rivers which narrates a fictional account of the story of a love so rare. This book made a difference in my heart because of the amount of detail and hard work Rivers put into her research in the book of Hosea in the Bible, and how she turned it into one of the most beautiful works of fiction I've ever read. I shed some good tears while reading it. What book/s are you currently reading? 'An Echo in the Darkness,' the second book of the Mark of the Lion Trilogy by Francine Rivers. I'm also really trying to read non-fiction, so I'm simultaneously reading a wonderful book called, 'God's Word in 3D' by Kenny A. Ajayi, a gift given to me.

What book/s have made a difference in your life and why?

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Website


MUSIC

Sound of Alicia’s Music Alicia Saldenha is taking Japan by storm with her unique brand of funky soul island sugar. Born in the Caribbean Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, her unique style defies attempts to define and categorize her. But if one tried, they would have to imagine the vocal sweetness of Roberta Flack, Minnie Riperton and Linda Lewis, mixed with the raw funk and stage energy of Chaka Khan and Rufas. Currently residing in Japan, an environment notoriously difficult for "foreign artists" unsigned to major labels, Saldenha has been breaking down barriers between races, cultures and languages and is performing with top Japanese and international artists. “It can be difficult breaking in as a foreign artist, especially without a music label behind you. To my knowledge, the only foreigners to have become really famous in Japan did so because they had a Japanese parent or grandparent, they spoke Japanese fluently and or were signed to a major label.” she says. “For me, it is a challenge because I am representing myself and putting out my album, "Dance with the Sun" on my own. There are few to no avenues for promotion open to independent musicians in Japan as there are in the United States and Europe. So I'm in uncharted territory, going along by trial and error. Fortunately, I have lived here quite a while, so I've been building a fan base here and abroad. I've met great musicians and have an excellent band and I've built relationships with some media personalities, club owners and so forth. They've all been very supportive. I also speak Japanese so I can communicate.”

Top Pic : Alicia at Music Club Janus, Osaka on May 12, 2012 for my "Dance with the Sun" CD release concert. Photography by Yoshitaka Kominami

Alicia has also had the support of Basis Records, an independent label in Osaka, and the Japanese instrumental band, Indigo Jam Unit. “ They invited me to record an album last year, "Rose," which got a lot of media promotion and made it onto the Billboard Japan Top 50 Chart for Independent Albums. Apart from being an honor and an incredible experience, it also gave me a lot of exposure to new audiences and to the music industry. Hopefully that will translate into something positive now that I'm releasing my solo project” Alicia’s debut solo album, Dance with the Sun, showcases her talent as a vocalist and composer, as well as her determination. Without the resources of a record company or sponsor, with only a shoestring budget cobbled together from her savings, she ventured alone to New York City to record her album with some of the finest musicians and highly respected producer, Andrew Felluss of Radian Records. Grammy Award nominated pianist and composer, Barney McAll (of Groove Collective, Fred Wesley and the JB's), noted drummer, Mark Kelley (bassist for Meshell Ndegeocello) and Kaleta, percussionist for Fela Kuti, are among the stellar musicians on the album.

Find out more about Alicia's music through her website. Website

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The Heart of HerWord

Twenty year old Yusra Khogali is a spoken word artist making a difference in her community by way of words. Originally from Sudan, Yusra was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. At the age of 9 she moved to Canada. Yusra attributes Regent Park, where she lives, one of Toronto’s notorious priority neighborhoods, as the inspiration in which she gets most of her drive and energy to pursue social justice activism in her community. The fourth year student at the University of Toronto majors in International Development Studies and Women and Gender Studies with a hope to pursuing Graduate School and a degree in Humanitarian Law. Yusra spoke to AfroElle about the mission behind her spoken word . Spoken Word; The Genesis Writing was always an outlet in which I was able to navigate myself through different surroundings. It was always an integral part of shaping my identity and a space in which I could reflect about ideas, events, feelings and thoughts that I had. I always had a journal around me because my inspiration came to me spontaneously. A lot of my written poems started to turn political when I was in my last year of high school, because that was a point in my life where I started to question so much. I had left my journal one day in one of my classrooms and when I came back for it, my teacher had read through some of it and told me that I am a gifted writer.

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ART & CULTURE

S

he wanted me to perform the last piece I had written which was about the plight of Black women and how we are still mentally enslaved to Eurocentric ideas of beauty. From there I began to tap into Spoken Word through online research and developed myself as an artist. Immediately people appreciated my work, within the first couple of months of my debut on stage I was performing for major International Development Organizations. I started to realize the power in which spoken word encased, so my work started to focus on societal, cultural, political issues, in particular opening discourse on the intersectionality of race, class and gender and how they situate minorities in a hierarchal based society. My poems shifted to become a direct critic of this power distribution and speak through an academic language that is understandable to a vast majority of audiences. The poems questioned why society is structured the way it is and what we should do about it. In the beginning, I was highly protective over my work, and to some extent I still am. A majority of people close to me did not know I even wrote, so making that bold move to actually come out on stage was shocking to most. Sharing my most intimate of thoughts is something I consider an extra lung. The rest of the world does incite a sense of vulnerability within me, because writing isn’t just a hobby but a necessity for me. I am glad I took the chance because spoken word has become bigger than me. It has become a duty that I need to serve my community with. I am privileged with an effective way to speak about very important issues society usually disregards, in an artistic and attentive manner that may incite enough inspiration or motivation for anybody to go beyond my performance and turn that feeling/drive into tangible action.

The Heart of The Word I use my spoken word to speak on behalf of sectors in society that are oppressed. From gender politics, to gun violence and racism, but my work is not limited to such bold topics, I have pieces that touch on topics such as a love, religion, motivation e.t.c However in essence I do categorize my work as a form of social activism and community building because I use my art as a voice to inspire a fight within my audience to maximize what empowers them as human beings, and that is providing the choice to an alternative image/representation of a black woman speaking on issues that directly affects them, or surroundings that affect them.

My Word, My Mission My mission is to give a voice to the voiceless and speaking on behalf of those who are continuously ignored and oppressed. I want to bring a new representation of women from every walk of life; that we are intelligent, we are powerful, we are strong and that we have the ability to become leaders in our community. With every piece I write I want to challenge stereotypes made on my race, my gender, my religion and class - that I am not a token representation of what constitutes me as an individual but a mere representation of misinformed ideas and stereotypes of what society has grouped what constitutes me at large.

Keep up with Yusra and her projects Website 19| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


Sistah Drumming ‘The GiWa Way’ Words by jen farris

A

lthough Africans in America may have lost connection to much of their known oral history during the forced migration to America three -hundred years ago, it can be justified that one thing remained in the depths of our souls. Whether it was captured within our heartbeats or by a djembe orchestra of drums, the one thing that remained was the undeniable, rhythm and polyrhythmic movement of our people. Behold the power of the drum. Nearly twenty years ago, ten women of color seized an opportunity to expand upon something that was traditionally done by men, and put a ‘sistah’ spin on it. With mind, body and soul, they united their talents, creativity and passion to form one of Atlanta, Georgia’s “Best International” all-female, dance, drum and vocal ensembles.

“ Ten women of color seized an opportunity to expand upon something that was traditionally done by men, and put a ‘sistah’ spin on it. With mind, body and soul, they united their talents, creativity and passion to form one of Atlanta, Georgia’s ‘Best International’ all-female, dance, drum and vocal ensembles; GIWAYEN MATA” 20| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com

Suitably named GIWAYEN MATA, these organized ‘elephant leaders of women’ travel the nation uplifting communities through Afrikan Diaspora teachings, dance, songs, poetry, and prose. One may think playing the drums is something very easy to do; however, there is not only physicality to consider, but also the consideration of African tradition. The sight of women playing the drum in the male-dominated percussion industry is a nontraditional occurrence.


The all-female GIWAYEN MATA ensemble immediately encountered some concerns. “Upon forming the ensemble, although some were very supportive, we would hear people say ‘Women don’t play the drum’,” states Omelika Kuumba, artistic director and co-founder of GIWAYEN MATA who has studied under the direction of master dancers and percussionists in the USA and in Senegal, West Africa. Reflecting back to childhood when she often dreamed of playing the drum, but instead, sang while the boys played, she never let that stop her from making a dream into a reality. After great research, the co-founders of GIWAYEN MATA discovered that not only was the djembe drum not a drum that was ‘woman forbidden’ but that the drum’s purpose translated in meaning to ‘gather everyone together in peace’. From that moment, their mission to preserve and represent Afrikan Diaspora culture was etched in stone. Now audiences all over the nation can hear the ‘elephant roar’ of each interaction with Giwayen Mata’s djembe orchestra of djembe, sangba, dununba and kenkeni drums.

Photo credit - Mark Rogers Media Gracefully, yet with power and determination, GIWAYEN MATA continues to drum out the “cant’s” and “don’ts” of the heavily male-dominated percussion industry. Since their inception, female drummers are still in the minority, but they have, slowly erased stereotypes and misconceptions of female drummers. GIWAYEN MATA has since been recognized by USA Magazine and was voted “Best Local International / World Music Act” three times by Creative Loafing Magazine’s Best of Atlanta Issue. The nation embraced them on NBC television network reality series “America’s Got Talent” and even most recently, was featured on BRAVO cable network toprated reality series “Real Housewives of Atlanta” teaching their very popular, high-energy African dance class as cast mates Phaedra Parks and Kandi Burruss joined in on the fun! They continue to produce content that not only entertains but educates. Heard in every rhythm and seen by incorporating Afrikan traditions and rituals into their choreography, audience participation is highly likely and some call the vibration between the ensemble and

the audience ‘contagious’! As part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration, Giwayen Mata has been tapped by Chuck Davis, renowned founding director of the African American Dance Ensemble (AADE) to present DanceAfrica Atlanta on June 13 – 16, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Even celebrated percussionist, King Sundiata Keita, gave Kuumba her first djembe drum as a surprise gift before his passing. They do what they do ‘The GiWa Way’ with a style and elegance that is undeniable. Passing on oral history is a tradition of our people and GIWAYEN MATA does it one beat at a time. “There is something about the drum that people feel on the INSIDE,” states Kuumba. "There's a comfort that exists in us just being ourselves. I think that what we're doing is pleasing to our ancestors."

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INSPIRATION

Personal Development Words By JoVonna Rodriguez

Be More. Do More. Express More. Achieve More. Four easy statements that should give you direction in life but leave you with more questions unanswered. What does it mean to “Be More. Do More. Express More. Achieve More.” and where does one start?

Personal Development Checklist Physical

Are you pleased with your body?

When’s the last time you tried something new to eat?

Are you satisfied with your recipes and how often you cook?

Are you satisfied with your weight?

What are your eating habits?

Do you exercise?

What type of activities do you like to participate in?

Emotional

Are you happy with where you are in life?

What makes you happy?

What areas are you not satisfied with? How can you improve them?

Do you have control over your life?

Have you lost momentum in life?

Do you make time for mental relaxation and rejuvenation?

Identify and challenge your anxieties.

Discover your purpose in life, what drives you and work to maintain it.

Are you harboring old issues and emotions? Try to find new ways of looking at the problems, and identifying solutions.

Recognize your value, and utilize your skills and abilities.

Identify your short term and long term goals, why they are important and how you will achieve them.

Do More. Allow yourself to be seen. Apply your greatest gifts, skills, and abilities in the appropriate arenas. Network with diverse crowds to maintain presence and learn your audience. Give back to others through service, mentorship, and advice. Be actively present and alive in all you do.

Do you take out time for devotion, personal “me” time, or spiritual development?

Express More. Vocalize your thoughts and become a strong communicator. Keep your goals, dreams, and plans to yourself, but maneuver yourself with your words. Understand the power of expression and words, where they can lead you, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Do you have friends?

Are you a reliable friend?

How often do you socialize?

Do you give back to your community, volunteer or invest time in service?

Achieve More. Be realistic with your expectations and desires. Create a plan of action from your current location in life to get to your ideal destination. Achieve everything you need by being, doing, and expressing more. Don’t limit yourself based on obstacles and shortcoming, but reach in measurable steps. Every large goal starts as something small.

Are you a giver? Do you need to work on being more selfless?

Is outside drama clouding your life, reassess your needs and weed out unnecessary people and avoid situations.

Do you listen to advice before listening to your own inner voice. Learn how to trust yourself, your intuition, and desires.

Be diverse and open to attending new events and meeting new people.

Can you depend on your network?

My first questions for you is “Where are you headed” and most importantly “Where are you now?” In life we want so much, we create this achievable concept of success and reach beyond our means to grasp it. We lead ourselves on a journey without a compass. I call this “Destination Without Location.” You’re aiming to get somewhere without taking into consideration where you’re starting. Planning and strategy is only half the battle to achieve success on various levels. Where do you start? Use the below categories to help ignite you on a journey of personal development and growth. Create your own motivational tools and monitor your evolution. Be More. Critically analyze how you conduct yourself. How you make decisions, what controls your behavior, and reactions. Invest in understanding how you can be more as an all-encompassing human being that moves with calculated precision.

Start now. Work on developing a personal development checklist to help you on your journey. Create a life journal that chronicles your goals, strategies, and accomplishments.

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Social


DEAR FEMINISTA, A Feminista is a woman who is a leader in any avenue bringing about change for women. The idea that African women are leaders is not new; the reason for the visibility in the recent years is because they are finally being celebrated! writes Moiyattu Banya Do you have what it takes to be a leader? The most exciting news I read a few days ago was in regards to the women in my country Sierra Leone and their involvement in the up incoming elections. The report highlighted that more women registered for the upcoming November 2012 elections and 186 female political aspirants were slated to run for various political offices. In a country wherein women went through some of the worst atrocities during our civil war 13 years ago, it proves to me that Sierra Leone women are resilient, and up for the challenge of changing their country no matter what circumstances they have been through. African women are indeed stepping up to the plate, and claiming what belongs to them; their right as leaders who will bring change to their countries. If nothing else affirms the notion that African women make some of the best leaders, then look to the most recent events of women such as Joyce Banda, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Ngozi Iweala and many others to confirm that every African woman is a leader or has the potential to become what I call a Feminista. A Feminista is a woman who is a leader in any avenue bringing about change for women. The idea that African women are leaders is not new; the reason for the visibility in the recent years is because they are finally being celebrated! African women have been leaders in the household, governments, businesses, market places, rural areas, academia, social media outlets and many more areas. In my experiences, from birth till now, the women in my life have shaped me to be a fierce leader. From women such as my mother and other women in my family, to the market women, teachers, female politicians, these women inspired me and allowed me to see my potential in bringing change to my community. When one is a leader you will experience some challenges along the way, but what I've learned is that they are key things every Feminista should have in her toolkit to help her deal better with any challenges. So what are the key elements that make up every Feminista? Every Feminista must be passionate, harness their skills, be consistent in their endeavors, celebrate failures, and remain humble. Be Passionate Every leader must have passion; this is what distinguishes leaders from non leaders. Ask yourself, what is my message to the world that speaks to me? What type of change do I want to make? The key part of our lives as women is to tap into our passion. Your raison d’être. I always knew I had the passion to help people but how that would actualize happened much later in life. My passion for talking about African women's issues and bringing change for African women is something that sits at the core of my heart. Your experiences in your life will help you cultivate your passion, think about moments in your life where you are extremely involved in something wherein you couldn't stop talking about it. Your passion lies in the things that stir strong emotions for you. What makes you angry? cry? Some people may say family and friends, now think about this beyond your personal spheres and you will tap into your passion. Harness Your Skills A feminista finds the things she is good at and works towards perfecting them.

To be really focused, pick 2 things you are highly skilled in and hone those skills. Many female leaders I know had skills which they channeled into their passion. You can be extremely passionate about something but you need the right channels to push that passion. If you are a good writer, find avenues to practice your writing, if you like designing take a design class, get a mentor who is where you want to be and have them be your guide. Be Consistent in your endeavors Whatever you do, you must be consistent at it for years to earn the results you want. The phrase practice makes perfect is true! So many people have great leadership potential to make change but don't remain consistent towards achieving their goals. Being consistent takes discipline, hard work, sacrifice and perseverance. Celebrate Failures Failures are your stepping stones to success. Many times people view failures as a negative thing but as leaders the only way we can be effective is when we make mistakes and learn from them. Think about every time in life when a situation did not yield its expected outcome, isn't that when you learned the most about yourself as a leader? Stay humble A lot of people misconstrue humility as a lack of confidence but having humility says a lot about you as a leader. Humility in my opinion is the acceptance that you are still learning as a leader and it is your willingness to connect with others, accept mistakes, and keep moving towards your goals. As leaders we are always learning. Humility is also allowing for others to lead. The most powerful leaders are those that ignite leadership in others. These key skills are what make women successful and separate strong leaders from mediocre ones. As women we must continue to nurture our leadership potential. Africa is on the rise and women are the key trailblazers. Feministas are strong, and committed to bringing change to their communities. We must empower each other to become the best leaders we can be. As young African women we have a lot to say and do and our leadership skills are what will propel us to change our communities for the better.

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INITIATIVE

The Ruby Project Words by Leslie Oluchi, Co-founder of The Ruby Project Today’s girl child faces a myriad of challenges. According to UNICEF’s 2011 State of the World Children Report, violence and sexual harassment are daily challenges that can limit a young girl’s agency and freedom to thrive. Some sources cite that violence disables and harms young girls from ages 15-44, as frequently as cancer (GirlUp Campaign, UN Millinium Project). The plethora of statistics on the state of the young girl often seems bleak; however the fact remains that never before have young girls and women had a place in the public arena, demanding their voices be heard. As the population of young girls continues to grow, it is imperative that we daily show the successes that girls and women are achieving, and daily remind them of their value and true worth.

As the directors of the Ruby Project , we seek to do that for the girls that we encounter daily. The Ruby Project was born out of a natural inclination towards encouragement and mentorship. As a medical student, I found myself drawn to my younger female patients- wanting to pass on advice, life skills, and teaching them how to take care of their total being. This inclination is also what led me to work with Nigerian victims of sex trafficking in Italy-partnering with NGO’s in attempts to rehabilitate and show them that freedom was theirs and it should never be taken by anyone else. My founding partner Peace Amadi is wired in the same way. As a clinical psychologist, her training has been focused on young girls in crisis. She found herself engaged in the lives of young girls during her training, and when on mission in the Phillipines.

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“As the directors, we are committed to the mission of showing young girls their true worth. We believe Proverbs 31:10 to be true- that a woman’s worth is worth far more than rubies and we commit daily to showing girls this.” L-R Leslie and Peace

Peace and I bonded on our love for lifting up other girls, and we sought to collaborate on how we could merge our efforts. The conversations began, and ideas passed between us- each idea full of hope that it would inspire another generation of young girls to claim their agency and know their worth. A few phone calls and emails later, The Ruby Project was born. The Ruby Project’s mission is to provide support to girls who have traumatic histories, i.e. physical and emotional abuse, unstable home setting and domestic trafficking victims. True to the original design of our earlier conversations, the Ruby project reaches out to young girls in two ways: Ruby Weekend Retreats and Ruby Online Community. The Ruby Weekend Retreats are three days of fun and healing for young girls 13-18 years, with the goal of providing encouraging self expression and growth. The retreats are meant to be an addition to the day-to-day support that our girls already receive in their communities. Our second program is the Ruby Online Community- a dynamic online space where 12 Ruby Insiders pass on tips to teen girls about everything from fashion to dealing with grief to preparing for college. Knowing that every girl may not be able to attend the retreat, the online community provides dialogue using social media and video blogging.

Find out more about The Ruby Project . Check out their website for more information. Website

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TECHNOLOGY

runway presentations. “The recharging bag is especially relevant for my collection this season, because it’s about the notion of work and all its facets in modern times.” Similarly, other textile engineers and fashion designers are unravelling smart fabrics which can enhance the features of clothing and adapt to the external environment. Brookstone Inc. recently introduced a pair of cargo pants with heated carbon fabric panels in the seat and pockets that would work to keep you warm when trekking through cold winters. Companies like Wild Planet Toys Inc. offer smart fabric lines like Hoodio that allows you to dance your way to work with their radio jacket. Smart fashion has even inspired trade conferences such as Smart Fabrics 2012.

Tech-Threads Who said science and style cant be friends ? Fashion designers are now looking into ways of combining science and style, writes Louisa This year there has been a new kind of collaboration on the catwalk, as we witnessed fashion move from its traditional function, to garments that can now charge your phone, locate your whereabouts, play music and even save your life. Let me introduce to you fashion 2.0. Earlier on this year we saw British designer Richard Nicoll team up with Vodaphone, to create an electric atmosphere at London Fashion Week, showcasing a rechargeable handbag that can power your mobile phone on the go (#lifesaver). The battery powered bag can, when fully charged, provide energy for iPhones, iPads, Androids and BlackBerry devices for several days. Users simply plug their gadget into a discrete pocket inside the bag. A Bluetooth-enable LED “charm” hangs on its exterior, and flashes to indicate incoming calls. “We wanted to create a collaborative product that fused fashion and technology,” Nicoll told TIME after one of his 26| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com

Back in 2010, British mobile carrier Orange partnered with GotWind to develop rain boots that charge your phone at the oft-muddy Glastonbury Music Festival. In 2011, Orange upped its game with a soundcharging tee, which we will be looking forward to see in 2013. So whether the clothes you are looking for are couture or for camping, high tech threads are destined to become part of our everyday life. The only concern I could see is whether designers and technologists will be able to keep the balance between aesthetics and functionality; as the general consumer is unlikely to buy into an item of clothing regardless of what it looks like just because it can charge their phone, or buy a fabulous item of clothing, which perhaps doesn’t function very well as a phone charger. Therefore, providing that the balance can be maintained, I am all for it! I took to the streets to see what designers and the general public thought of high tech threads: “The whole thing sounds interesting! Currently wireless iPhone chargers are taking the mobile market by storm, and I do think that if you could charge your phone with your clothes that would be very cool to. But I would also need to see that item looks like; providing that the fashion doesn’t get lost in the technology or vice-versa. It’s certainly worth checking out though!” says Peter, a Tech enthusiast.


“I have heard so much about the rise of technology clothing, and I believe it will start as a phase and catch on as a practicality. It needs to be done a few times with trusted and well established designers, and then used by celebrities and well-known names over time, I do believe it is something we could easily see in Topshop, New Look and the likes” Tina, Marketing and PR guru “I am martial arts enthusiast, and I design clothes for women who have a career in combat; this involves creating aerodynamic, sweat and tear resistant garments. As you can imagine, most times we opt for using rucksacks rather than Tote bags, so if there could be a pair of combat trousers which can charge your phone in the back pocket or something like that, as a designer, that’s something I would definitely buy into” Sunny Day, clothes designer. Overall, the fusion between technology and fashion is imperative for designers to embrace in order to keep up with consumer lifestyle. Who would have predicted 10 years ago that the development of online micro blogging forums such as Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest would become an essential Courtesy ingredient for communication? Clothing today is about fashion as much as functionality and modernity, and as more designers start to bridge the gap between fashion and function we can look forward to more technology setting trends on upcoming catwalks this year.

BlackGirlsCode is a program dedicated to helping young black girls get a start in the field of technology. BlackGirlsCode’s mission is to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders who will become the leaders and creators of tomorrow. The program is focused on increasing the number of women of color in digital careers by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 14 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science in a supportive, and challenging environment.

By reaching out to the community through workshops and after school programs, BlackGirlsCode introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails. BlackGirlsCode has set out to prove to the world that girls of every color have the skills to become the programmers of tomorrow. Check out BlackGirlsCode Facebook

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BUSINESS

NETWORKING MADE EASY Words by Carol Stewart

Preparation

To the novice, the prospect of networking can be daunting. However, networking is not only beneficial for your business, it is also fun. Networking helps develop sales opportunities and contacts, based on referrals and introductions. Karen Flint, UK based entrepreneur, owner of North East London Ironing Service and KLF Domestic Cleaning, says, “The things I love most about networking is the sharing of peoples’ journeys, connecting with likeminded people and of course the referrals, the interaction with people and the knowledge that you learn from others along the way.” Karen also runs her own networking group, New Direction Partnership which hosts the successful North East London Business Expo. Finding Network Groups It is important to identify groups that will be beneficial to you. Some groups require paid subscriptions and some are free. Some allow you to attend a limited number of events before committing to paid membership. Take advantage of this in order to determine whether the group is right for you.

Have your elevator pitch (a one minute summary of what you do) ready and practiced so that it rolls off your tongue. Focus on the result people will get from using your business, e.g. “I help people who are at a career crossroads to make the right decision about their future – I am a Career Coach” If a list of attendees is published in advance, identify who is attending that you want to speak to and contact them beforehand. This way, you will have forged a connection and will have a friendly face to look for when you arrive. Have at least three ice breaker questions in mind. Make sure your questions are open e.g. "How did you find out about the meeting tonight?" "How did you get started in your business?” This then enables you to turn their answer into a two way conversation. Know what you want from the event so that when people ask you, they can help you more easily (e.g. to get specific types of business contacts, do market research, get feedback on a business idea etc.). Take a good supply of business cards with you. At the event

When looking for groups, speak to other people who network or search the internet for suitable groups. Some groups offer benefits to join. As well as face to face networking, there are also online networking groups. Get your name known in these groups by joining in and contributing to discussions and even start your own topics.

If you are new to networking, just be yourself. Tell people you are new to this, it is surprising how people will make you feel at ease and help you, as they remember being in your place themselves.

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Refocus your anxieties by thinking about the other attendees. Do not think of them as a mass entity (you may be overwhelmed if you do) but as individuals whom you can meet one on one. If you feel nervous, approach someone who is standing alone, she is probably more nervous than you are. Speak to different people, showing a keen interest in them. Do not spend all your time talking about yourself. Exchange business cards. People are unlikely to give you business or recommend you to others unless they trust you. Building relationships takes time, so be patient. After the Event Make contact with the people you have spoken to. Follow through quickly with referrals. If you say you are going to do something for someone, stick to your word. If someone has given you information or tips, thank them with a quick phone call or email. To get the most out of networking, do it regularly. It may take a while to see results, then again, you may get a phone call overnight. Networking is a challenge so continuously push yourself. Whether you are a novice or an expert, you only get as much out of networking as you put into it. The more you network the easier it gets. Now you know what to do, go out and do it. Remember, PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!


Advertise in our next issue Contact us for more information advertise@afroellemagazine.com


Managing on Heels Interview by Phenyo Otukile


We are living in the digital age, no doubt social media has made the world smaller. Fascinated by social media and its potential, 27 year old social media maven Lebogang Maruapula tapped into its potential . Lebogang is the founder of EBAT Media; the first Social Media and Management Consulting company in Botswana. In an interview with AfroElle’s Bostwana ambassador, Phenyo Otukile , Lebogang shares all things Lebo; from her love for communication, her company, mentorship programme and why spirituality is a big part of her life.

Who is Lebogang Maruapula and what is her dream? Lebogang Maruapula is a village girl from Mochudi, a Motswana, and a proud African. I’m a student of the world, I love learning new things, gaining new skills and I’m a dreamer. I could fantasize all day if it could pay my bills! My dream is to be a woman of influence. I don’t care about fame. I want to be able to influence policies and decisions in my country. I want to be able to speak and people pay attention. My dream is also to empower young women to make the right decisions in their lives which will take them far and help them feel like they matter. Take us through the birth of EBAT Media, what it does and what inspired you to start the business. The way EBAT Media started was actually not in any way extraordinary. I spend a lot of my time on social media, especially Twitter. So I remember thinking; "The first thing I do in the morning is check Twitter and it’s also the last thing I do, this feels like a job!" and I started having ideas of actually getting paid to tweet, I then did a bit of research on new-age careers and Social Media Consulting and Management was one of them. I also started feeling like the companies in my country didn’t have enough online presence and it really bothered me because the internet is such a powerful communication tool. The idea of EBAT Media came from there. Any interesting project that you have worked on through EBAT Media?

“My dream is to be a woman of

influence. I don’t care about fame. I want to be able to influence policies and decisions in my country. I want to be able to speak and people pay attention .”

If you had the opportunity to address college graduates what would you say to them? I would definitely tell them to look for an opportunity in everything; everyone you meet and network which has the potential to build you- you are not an island. Take time to learn new things and skills, make use of your networks and the people you know to grow yourself and finally just GO FOR IT! I truly believe there are no more excuses as to why young people can’t attain their dreams and get off their hinds and do something positive with their lives. You may not achieve all the success you've dreamed of, but not trying is the biggest failure in life. Is there anything you wish an older successful woman would have told you 5 years ago? ‘To treat everyone as a potential investor in my growth, to always be strategic.’ I have had to learn this on my own-the hard way. Please share your experience as a young woman in business the perks and challenges I have to come to terms with the fact that right now, at this point in time, most industries are male dominated, it will change one day but for now this is the reality. And it being a reality- I have experienced that, once in a while you get those men that undermine you first and want to divert the attention from business to other unsavory issues. While it’s OK to be noticed as a woman, it’s also important to keep reminding people that's not the why you are there! It can be frustrating. The perks; I think being able to make decisions that drive a vision is a satisfying feeling. What or who do you attribute the woman you are to?

EBAT Media is in its teething stages, it was founded at the end of 2011 but in these months we have the oldest bank in Botswana as one of our clients and they are blown away by the work we are doing for them. We are looking at snagging more big clients. We were also invited to speak at the IMC Conference, Botswana- which was an amazing stepping stone and very humbling for us because we were speaking alongside big giants in the communication industry.

I attribute the woman I am, first and foremost to GOD- He made me who I am today, there's a certain vision He has in mind for me and He is definitely panel-beating me in that direction. Every single moment in my life has led me to this point. My mom has also been such a huge influence in my life, obviously- she gives me a lot of career counseling, sometimes I’m a confused mess and she always gives me level-headed and practical suggestions. I also look up to the work she has done in her lifetime, she's an amazing Powerhouse!

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How do you stay motivated and committed to your dreams? I have to say I'm my own worst critic. It takes a lot for me to say "Well done Lebo", I always feel there's something more I can do and I always want to do better. That in itself helps me to keep evolving and keeps me wanting more. I'm also married to a very intelligent man who is a visionary and is strategic in business and in life and who supports everything I do. Also, I LOVE beautiful things, I like to be able to walk into a store and buy something I like without having to worry about the mortgage being paid. I want to live a cushy life and will do whatever I can to attain that. Families emphasize different values and principles when raising children how would you say your family/ background has influenced the values you have now as a woman?

I come from a family of very powerful women; My grandmother raised 7 children on an almost non-existent budget but managed to put all of them through school, my mother is Deputy CEO of a big public private sector organization, my aunt is the first female judge in Botswana, another aunt was very influential in the Red Cross and is now a successful business woman. So really for me being a woman, having your own happy and healthy family while being a woman of influence in your own right are the type of principles I was raised under.

We want to help young women in ways that we were not helped when growing up. Young women deal with so much; from knowing right from wrong, to morality issues, to stereotypes, to being sidelined because you are just not "cool" enough, to self-confidence and selfesteem. It’s just too much for a young mind! We want to empower young women and let them know that they are not alone. It has been slow because of issues of school calendars but we are hoping it will pick up again soon.

Tell us about your mentorship program, how did that come about?

What did it take for you to say this is my dream and these are the things I will do to see it grow?

GODDESS Mentorship and Empowerment Program is an idea by me and three other women; Gao Molosiwa, Tumie Ramsden and Tshepo Ntshole whom I believe are powerhouses in their own right. It was formed because we wanted to make a difference in the lives of young women in our society.

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My interests broaden all the time but I’ve realized that they broaden within the same kind of work. I love Communication, all types of communication work. From media to the more nitty-gritty parts like Advocacy, Public Relations and Marketing.


“There will be times when you want to give up and you don't feel like getting out of bed because all you want to do is have time to feel sorry for yourself in whatever you are going through at that time. That's all good but just remember that no-one owes you a thing and unless you get up and go get it, you're going to stay stuck right where you are while those who are willing to get up and dust

themselves achieve what they want.

So I know I want to be a force to be reckoned with in the communication industry and that's what it has taken. In terms of knowing exactly where I want to end up; I don’t want to map out my path because I believe while we are busy making plans for our lives, God is busy laughing because He has other plans. So I have a guideline of my short and middle-term goals given the opportunities in front of me and the skills I have, and the rest is really up to the man above, He makes the plans and I obey. What role does spirituality play in your life, who is God to you? Spirituality is such a big part of my life. This is a recent development as I have just become a born-again Christian. Before I only believed in my own abilities and really didn’t want to acknowledge that there is a force that is more powerful than my small mind can ever imagine. But today; GOD is everything to me; I don’t do anything at all without having a talk with GOD. And I have changed my lifestyle in a way that He approves of, I’ve given up a lot of things and I’m working on becoming a better person for other people to be around in order for me to be a better soldier for GOD, I’m learning a lot more about myself and I'm learning about accountability as a woman- mostly from GOD blatantly revealing my weaknesses and mistakes, which has been a hard pill to swallow but it’s OK. GOD to me is love, joy, compassion, He is a counselor, a lawyer, a motivator, a mother, a father, a friend, and He is the

beginning and end of everything! Nothing begins or ends without His goahead. Absolutely anything you want to share with Africa’s women? There's a false idea that success is due to everyone, I just want to remind us women including myself, no-one owes you anything at all! There will be times when you want to give up and you don't feel like getting out of bed because all you want to do is have time to feel sorry for yourself in whatever

you are going through at that time. That's all good and well, but just remember that no-one owes you a thing and unless you get up and go get it, you're going to stay stuck right where you are while those who are willing to get up and dust themselves achieve what they want. Also, GOD has not given you a spirit of fear, so don't fail to do anything because you fear that you might fail.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

TOP 35 UNDER 35 Game Changers | Top Influencers | Emerging Leaders

F

or our special anniversary issue feature, we set out to put together our first ever listing of ‘Top 35 under 35.’ Once we put the word out to our readers to single out these phenomenal women, the response was overwhelming.

The best part of going through the nomination emails was finding out more about these women and why those who nominated them thought they should be on the list. Apart from their accomplishments, impressive resumes and accolades, in their various fields, what stood out most among all the nominees was their heart for giving back to the community through their work and talents. Which reminds me of the words of one Patti Thor, “ It is not that successful people are givers, it is that givers are successful people.” These women make a statement; success is about giving back, helping, mentoring and pushing others towards the same success. These women are all different, from different countries, cultures and background but they all share a passion, drive and a will to succeed. They are the leaders of today and tomorrow. They are inspiring communities. They are making a difference. They are innovators. Game changers. Top Influencers. It was an honor profiling them, I was left motivated and I hope you will be inspired by them. 40| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


Arts Photo by Christiana Jackson

Ekwa Msangi-Omari , {32} , New York Writer, Director and Producer Ekwa is a Tanzanian- America who grew up in Kenya and is currently based in New York. She has directed several short films, most recently Taharuki (Suspense), a 12-minute short set against the backdrop of the start of Kenya’s post-election violence. She has also directed several drama series for mainstream broadcasters in Kenya and for MNET South Africa which includes The Agency; MNET’s first ever original hour-long Kenyan drama series. Currently, Ekwa teaches a Spring Documentary Production course in Havana, Cuba. She is an Associate Director of the Independent Film School in New York and an active Board Member of the Women in Film & Television – Kenya Chapter. http://www.ekwapics.com/

Jumai Shaba, {20’s} , Nigeria T.V presenter | Entrepreneur Jumai graduated from Middlesex University with a degree in Applied Science, Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services. She returned to her country Nigeria and became a rising star in the entertainment industry. Jumai is a T.V presenter for MNET (Multichoice Network), a freelance writer and she hosts events. As an entrepreneur, Jumai opened her own fabric store and to fulfill her passion for giving back to the community, through her company, Leo-Leo, Jumai holds sales every year that raises funds for charitable organizations.

“I believe we were all put on earth for a reason, so I will always

give back to society so that in the future the society will give back to our children as they are our future.”

Sisa Bueno, {29}, USA Producer-Director for film & Transmedia Producer

Photo by Sidharta Pascual

A native New Yorker and of Cuban and Dominican descent , Sisa Bueno is intrigued by both the complex and stories that are untold. She studied Film Production at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU) and Sociology, which helped develop her artistic vision of creating media projects that explore underrepresented cultures and social issues. Sisa was a recipient of The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation Award, and has completed various short documentary and fictional films, which had their respective film festival runs. Sisa is currently developing an ambitious interactive web project about the entire African Diaspora in Latin America. She is also living between New York and La Paz, Bolivia while producing and directing a feature-length documentary entitled ‘We of the Saya’, a film that follows a struggling Afro-Bolivian farmer who joins a grassroots movement her community to achieve national recognition as a legitimate ethnic group, all while Bolivia struggles to redefine itself as a new country. 41| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


Media Brendah Nyakudya, {35}, Zimbabwe Magazine Editor, Media Personality As an avid reader and writer, Brenda Nyakudya, now based in Johannesburg, South Africa , has penned socio-political commentary columns for The Daily Maverick and The Atlanta Post and held posts as Marketing Executive at Media24 and Marketing Manager for DStv’s ONE Gospel channel. Prior to that, Brendah was a radio personality on Radio 3 in Zimbabwe and Metro FM in South Africa. Brendah has been instrumental in the establishment of nursery schools for underprivileged children in South Africa’s disadvantaged communities (www.philile.org). In 2011 Brendah was one of the 76 Young African Women Leaders selected to meet with First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. She currently holds the position of editor at the South African based magazine The Afropolitan. http://www.afropolitan.co.za/

“ What has helped me succeed in my industry is my tenacity and a realisation that sometimes you have to start from the bottom in order to realise your dreams. For the longest time I wanted to be a writer but knew my skills were not up to par. So for years I wrote articles for publications for no pay and I asked in return that the editors critique my work and help me hone my skills. This went on for a couple of years until people started noticing my work and asking me to write for them and like they say the rest is history.”

Ruth Yimika Awogbade, {23}, London Founder of Magnify UK In her first year studying at Durham University, Ruth Awogbade conceived the idea of Magnify; an organization that exists to communicate the love, grace and truth of Christ in a creative and engaging way across various media platforms to her generation of women. She organised a networking event in Durham for 100 women in February 2009, followed by a bigger event for more than 200 women in London, featuring speakers and networking opportunities for women. “The opportunity to be involved in anything that makes a real and tangible difference in the lives of others motivates me. My passion has always been to see women gain a true sense of identity and live to their full potential realizing that we all have unique and God-given skills and talents that can be used to make a difference in the world we live in.” she says. Magnify Magazine evolved from this initial event, beginning life as a 12page booklet before developing into a professionally produced, 80-page magazine. www.magnifyuk.com

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“I think success is defined when you’ve worked with a heart of excellence, and done the best within the capabilities and resources you have.”


Megan Mottley, {34}, Memphis, TN Publisher of DIVINE Magazine, Author Megan Mottley is the Founder of MTLY Communications, Publisher of DIVINE Magazine, Creator of The Glamour Girl Movement and Author of Glamour Girl: How To Get The Ultimate Makeover. Through her parent company, MTLY Communications, Megan provides consultation services that create professional and effective communication platforms for ministries, churches, non-profits and individuals. Megan also motivates readers through her publication, DIVINE Magazine, a high quality print and digital Inspirational Magazine published quarterly since 2007. Megan has plans to transform lives through her newly created program, The Glamour Girl Movement, an inspirational experience designed to empower, ignite and rejuvenate women through beauty. Megan is passionate about inspiring individuals to discover and walk boldly in their purpose. She believes that once a person understands the true reason for which they were created, the sky is the limit as to how they will impact the world. www.divinemagazineonline.com

Jacqueline is the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine, the first bridal publication catering to women of color, with an African twist. Jacqueline incorporates her Nigerian heritage into the publication making it not only a black bridal publication, which is well needed in the society, but also a mix of culture and style.

Jacqueline Nwobu, {32}, New Jersey Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Prior to becoming Munaluchi Bridal Editor-in-Chief, Nwobu worked within the Biotech and Pharmaceutical industries at companies including Johnson and Johnson. Nwobu is a member of the National Association of Black Female Entrepreneurs and the American Society of Magazine Editors. She resides in New Jersey with her husband and their three children. www.munaluchibridal.com.

“Success, in my opinion, is not measured by the amount of money I have, or my net worth. Instead, I measure success by how many people I can be of service to, or how many people my business positively influences. The ability to move people in a positive way; influence and inspire people is the ultimate success. I truly believe that once one is able to be of service to others, in the best possible way they know how, wealth comes easy.� 43| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


Bessie Akuba Winn-Afeku, {31} Atlanta, GA Photographer | Social Entrepreneur| Motivational Speaker| Passionate Giver A native of Ghana West Africa, Bessie Akuba Winn-Afeku is on a purpose driven mission to change the world through photography, new media, and the arts .After several years of spending time in front of the camera, and on stage Bessie decided to create art from behind the camera lens and specialize in lifestyle and portraiture photography. However, in keeping with her belief that the arts can affect social change, Bessie combines her passion for photography, video documentaries, theater and social good to capture extraordinary images and stories that affect viewers at their core. She is the owner of Fabulous Do-Gooder Productions, which specializes in producing documentary/narrative film and video, theater, and integrated media that engages, entertains, and enlightens. Bessie is also the founder of The She is Me Program™, a 501c3 non-profit organization that empowers young women through the arts, positive role models, and by giving them the power to create their own media. Bessie launched IamTheChange™ in 2011 which is a social good photography campaign, brand, and soon to be book that captures the images of everyday people visually declaring their purpose in life. www.bessieakuba.com

Wawira is currently pursuing a degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of South Australia while running the Food for Education Trust that is based in Ruiru, Kenya. The Food for Education Trust provides lunch to needy school children from Ruiru Primary School with the aim of keeping the kids in school. It also focuses on sustainability and food security in the area through farming and other interventions. The trust carries out mentorship programs with the children they work with to ensure wholesome development and equipping them with various life skills. “I grew up in Ruiru and although I was fortunate enough to have never gone hungry, I saw so many people around me go without food. The feeding program, though an act of giving back to my community is also an expression of the hope I have. I was so fortunate to receive various opportunities that the kids we work with don’t and I hope that with this program we can give them an opportunity to make something of themselves by providing them with one of the most essential things: food.” she says.

“ I strongly believe that as Africans we can do more for Africa in our respective communities working on local solutions and bringing change. We have to be at the forefront of this and steer long term and sustainable solutions for various problems in our communities.” 44| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com

Ann Wawira Njiru, {21}, Australia/Kenya Founder of The Food for Education Trust www.food4education.org/ruiru/


Social Activists

Ebonie Johnson Cooper, {29} , Washington, DC Philanthropist Ebonie Johnson Cooper’s goal is to be an agent of inspiration and change for her generation. Her mission to give back to her community has been a life-long passion. In 2009 Ebonie began Friends of Ebonie , a digital platform dedicated to raising the bar of social responsibility for today’s millennial professional and philanthropist. The platform educates and motivates millennials in the area of philanthropy, community involvement and board governance. Ebonie's message of activism to her generation has most recently been featured on EBONY.com and Black Enterprise.com. In her philanthropic leadership, Ebonie is currently a Vice-President on the Junior Board of New York Cares, Inc., the Marketing and Communication co-chair for Black Women for Black Girls, and a member of the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction Committee (Maryland-National Capital Chapter). Ebonie is also an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a dedicated member to Reid Temple AME Church in Glen Dale, MD. www. eboniejohnsoncooper.com

Faith 'Imani' Mwaura, {31}, Kenya Founder of The Divas Galore Faith has touched the hearts of many with her loving nature and knows that for society to be changed then empower the woman. Faith founded The Divas Galore with a mission to Equip, Empower and Enlighten women to be of positive change to the society. She diligently seeks after the betterment of those in our society. One of the beneficiaries of her vision was the Springs of Life children's home in Kibera. What she continually portrays is that if you want to see any change then be the change you envision. The power of a woman lies not in position but rather in her ability to influence.

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Salha Kaitesi , {20’s}, UK and Rwanda Humanitarian Activist Salha is the founder Beauty of Rwanda, an online enterprise working to change the lives of impoverished Rwandans. Beauty of Rwanda is restoring and healing the people of Rwanda. The vision of the company is to sell Rwandan artifacts to people in the west thus helping all the craftsmen and women of Rwanda, many of whom are widows of the 1994 Rwanda genocide against the Tutsis. Salha was named one of the most 20 inspirational women of African diaspora in Europe, 2011. First winner of the Africa Diaspora at work Awards (ADA), 2011. www.beautyofrwanda.com

Ruby B. Johnson , {21}, United States Founder of When You Believe Foundation Ruby B. Johnson is a student at Virginia Tech studying Mining and Minerals Engineering, with a Minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an active feminist who enjoys writing poems, blogging, dancing, acting, and exploring technology. Her activism and drive comes from being raised in her formerly war-torn native land, Sierra Leone, knowledge from her Women’s Studies courses, and daily observations in life. Ruby started her non-profit organization, When You Believe Foundation, Inc., in November 2010. WYBF has hosted food drives, created various mission-oriented workshops, activities, and events that address topics such as empowerment, eating disorders, health, academics, empowerment, etc. Ruby is an advocate for autism awareness, and has made it a lifelong platform of hers since high school. She will like to be remembered as a voice for those that are not heard, a provider for those with no assistance, and the highlighter for girls and women who are oppressed and not seen. www.whenyoubelievefoundation.org 46| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com

Amanda A. Ebokosia, {25},New Jersey Founder & CEO, The Gem Project, Inc.| Published Writer Amanda A. Ebokosia, is a Nigerian American, founder and CEO of The Gem Project, Inc., published author, and free-lance writer. Ebokosia founded her organization at age 19, as a sophomore at Rutgers University. The Gem Project is a not-for-profit organization that assists youth and young adults in carrying out the educational enrichment programs that they develop, which focuses on the issues of their community and youth affairs. Since its inception, the Gem Project has held over 30+ programs and has directly educated 900+ persons, who have also attended their programs and events. Through partnerships, program distributions, hosting at Colleges, Universities and Secondary schools, the Gem Project has affected thousands of lives. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a minor in Psychology. Amanda is a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society and The White House Project and is currently a graduate student at the University School of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where she is studying at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. www.thegemproject.org


Leadership / Legal “ Women leaders serve as a source of inspiration for other women because of their positions and achievements . Their accomplishments and journey serve as a guide for other young women looking to one day create the same impact. It is our duty as women leaders to pay it forward and to give back. It is up to us to ensure that the next generation of women is smarter, more accomplished and even greater public servants. That is why I created Young Woman's Guide, to give women leaders an opportunity to mentor and empower young women. To provide areas of exchange for women and to provide them with philanthropic and humanitarian initiatives and service projects globally where they can volunteer and engage in global public service. I am here today because countless of women made it their duty to mentor me and I have to pay it forward, we have to pay it forward.�

Yetunde A. Odugbesan, {24}, New York Founder & CEO of Yetunde Global Consulting| Public Speaker| Humanitarian Yetunde Odugbesan is a Ph.D candidate at Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University. She is a graduate of the United Nations Worldview Institute and Eagleton Institute of Politics. Yetunde received her master's degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in International Law from Rutgers University. She also received her bachelor's degree in Journalism and Media Studies with a double minor in Organizational Leadership and African Studies from Rutgers University as well. Yetunde is an international public speaker, author, humanitarian, TV/Radio Personality and entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Founder of Yetunde Global Consulting LLC., a management consulting firm which specializes in leadership development and training, organizational management and global business strategies. She is also the Founder and Director of Young Woman's Guide, an organization that provides women with empowerment events, resources and opportunities to give back and get involved with various philanthropic and humanitarian initiatives geared toward women and girls development. She is also the creator of Putting Your Best Self Forward, an online forum that provides personal and professional advice. Yetunde is a board member of numerous philanthropic foundations and humanitarian organizations. She has been featured in numerous media outlets for her passion and trail blazing road of success. http://www.yetundeglobalconsulting.com/ 47| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


Brenda Ntambirweki, {29}, Kampala, Uganda Senior Associate at Sebalu and Lule Advocates Brenda is a Senior Associate at Sebalu and Lule Advocates a consistently top-tier ranked firm in Uganda. Sebalu and Lule is a member of the DLA Piper East Africa, a group of East African law firms affiliated to DLA Piper, the world’s largest law firm by numbers. Brenda holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) degree from Makerere University Kampala, a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the Law Development Centre in Kampala, and a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford. She has experience in corporate finance (both debt and equity) and project finance. In 2011, Brenda was seconded to DLA Piper London under the International Lawyers for Africa program.

Semhar Araia, {34}, Minneapolis, Minnesota Founder & Executive Director at DAWN Semhar Araia is Founder and Executive Director of the Diaspora African Women's Network (DAWN), an organization supporting Africa's next generation of women Diaspora leaders. DAWN seeks to empower and amplify the contributions of African Diaspora women in Africa’s growth, security and prosperity. With over ten years experience as a US policy analyst and advocate on the Horn of Africa and Sudan, Semhar specializes in conflict resolution, development and the Diaspora. She most recently served as Oxfam International’s Horn of Africa regional policy advisor, examining the Horn’s humanitarian crises and drivers of insecurity. Semhar was an attorney for the implementation of the 2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia peace agreement in the Eritrea -Ethiopia Claims Commission. She is a 2012 White House Champion of Change and was commended by President Barack Obama for her Diaspora leadership. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Saint Thomas and her juris doctor from Marquette University Law School. www.dawners.org

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Entrepreneurs Octavia Goredema, {33}, Los Angeles, California Managing Director, Twenty Ten Club Octavia Goredema is the founder and managing director of the Twenty Ten Club, an award-winning organization designed to connect, inspire and support Black female entrepreneurs. Octavia is passionate about enabling and supporting the enterprising women of the future. Founded in March 2010, the Twenty Ten Club hosts networking events in London and will be expanding to Los Angeles later this year.

Every week the Twenty Ten Club profiles a Black female business role model online The organization recently launched the Interview an Entrepreneur school programme enabling school students to interview Black female business leaders they admire.

Named one of the UK’s Young Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2010, Octavia was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours List and was invited to join the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts as a result of her work at the Twenty Ten Club. www.twentytenclub.com

Photo by: Natalie Lawrence Photography

Nobantu Mtimde, {31}, South Africa Managing Director of Makwande Auctioneers (Pty) LTD When Nobantu was appointed the first black head girl at Wendywood High in Johannesburg it was evident she had a special gift as a visionary leader. Her career achievements include being appointed on the First National Bank - South Africa (FNB) Staff Games in 2010, becoming the first black female Director in the male dominated auctioneering industry, whilst remaining a dedicated wife and mother of two. A budding activist for the recognition and empowerment of women in business., in 2011 Nobantu took a leap of faith and started her own auctioneering business focusing on property and movable asset sales. Her business targets it’s services towards blue chip clients and individuals looking for an efficient and reliable asset valuation and disposal service. www.makwande.biz

“If your dreams don’t scare you then they are not big enough!”

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Florah N’godoih, {29}, France/Chad Founder of Ouadaï Cosmetics

Ronke Lawal, 30, London UK CEO of Islington Chamber|Owner at RSL Management Services After working within a traditional 9-5 for almost 2 years Ronke decided to set up her own business in 2004. RSL Management Services, sort to provide marketing management and business development services to SMEs and Micro businesses. In 2005 Ronke became a business partner in the Simone Williams fashion label, a growing ladies wear fashion brand that has gained international exposure, with clients from across the world and a strong following within the UK. Ronke Lawal was hired as the CEO of the Islington Chamber of Commerce in 2010, the initial contract was only for 6 months as the board were not certain that the chamber was still a viable business. This is all whilst still running RSL Management Services. In 2011, Ronke was appointed a non-executive director of The Hoxton Apprenctice, a Charity Restaurant which seeks to give the long-term unemployed and those from deprived backgrounds training opportunities within the hospitality industry. In 2012 Ronke became a trustee of Voluntary Action Islington. The 5th Annual Precious Awards honoured Ronke with The “Inspiring Leadership” Award 2011, an unexpected honour which Ronke is proud to have received.

With a background in Biology (Laboratoire Genie Bilogique) and Business Administration, Florah, a native of Chad set out to compensate for the lack of approved cosmetics products for black women in France by creating OUADAI; the first make-up brand for black women in France and certified by ECOCERTGreenlife. www.ouadai-cosmetics.com

“My target for this dream to become a reality was by the time I reach 30, it took me 11 years to get it off the ground. I knew that creating this brand was important and to be the first black woman in France to create organic cosmetics was a big deal in our community. Every day is a challenge but I think that no dream is inaccessible.”

www.rslmanagementservices.co.uk 50| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


Thandi Sibisi, {25}, Johannesburg, South Africa Gallery Owner |Entrepreneur At 25 Thandi Sibisi made history as being the first black female gallery owner in South Africa. A born entrepreneur, Thandi dropped out of university and started her own marketing agency, Invogue Marketing Concepts at the age of 19. She fell in love with the arts while working with the Department of Arts and Culture.

“I never look at the negative. I’m too positive of a person. I see a silver lining in just about everything and I’m not scared of failure so it’s easy for me to put myself out there and challenge myself with different things. I compete with myself and no-one else. So when something pops up in mind, I say: “Am I capable of doing it? Yes. Should I do it? Does it make sense? Yes,” and I just go for it. I close my mind to every other thing that may discourage me and I always keep the end goal in sight.” Photograph by Liam Lynch/Photographer

Thandi, on her secret to success in an interview with Destiny Connect.

Tiffany Aliche,{32}, Newark, NJ Financial coach| Speaker| Author Better known as ‘The Budgetnista’, Tiffany is a passionate teacher of financial empowerment. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Montclair State University and passed up a career in corporate America to teach undeserved youth in Newark, NJ. With a strong belief that the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose she started her own financial consulting company called CLD Financial Life LLC where she helps others master their money. Some of her clients include American Express, Columbia University, Princeton University, The Boys and Girls Club, Mary Kay, Newark Housing Authority, public schools and the like. Tiffany also authored a book called The One Week Budget which received mentions in Essence Magazine, USA TODAY and various other media outlets. www.thebudgetnista.biz “The best piece of financial advice came from my mother. I was struggling to choose a major in college and wanted to follow my heart (teaching), but was afraid of being broke. She said, "Do what you love and do it to the very best of your ability and the money will follow".

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Health & Wellness Erica Jeffreys, MPH, {30}, Atlanta, GA

L to R: Erica Jeffreys, Tennille Daniels, Maaden Eshete

Erica is a Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to joining Booz Allen, Erica served as the State Healthy Communities Coordinator at the Georgia Department of Community Health, managing local public health projects and providing technical assistance to local communities around chronic disease policy, systems, and environmental changes. She has built a strong skill set in public health and project management through work experience with organizations like The University of Michigan, PolicyStudies, Emory University, and the Ingham County Health Department. Her consistent volunteerism with the Booz Allen Women’s Forum, American Heart Association Power to End Stroke Campaign, Atlanta AIDS Walk, and her on-going commitment to mentoring youth, allow her to actively give back to her community and make a positive impact. Erica graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Family Community Services and received a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University.

Tennille Daniels, MPH, PMP, {31}, Chicago, IL Tennille Daniels, has strong skills in public health and business management through working with organizations such as The Coca-Cola Company, Accenture, Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, HIV/AIDS Bureau. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2003. While attending UMBC, Tennille participated in a summer research program at Columbia University’s School of Public Health, where she worked on a Diabetes Telemedicine project in rural and urban communities in New York. This experience ignited her interest in public health and she obtained a Master’s in Public Health degree from Emory University. Recognized for her commitment to using innovations in social media and healthcare communications in the non-profit sector, Tennille was a 2011 finalist for the Young Women in Achievement award by Women In Network (WIN).

Divas, Divas, MPH (Making Our People Healthier) empowers women to take an active interest in achieving and maintain total health and wellness - mind, body, and soul for themselves, their families, and their communities. Divas, MPH hosts an array of wellness promotion programs for young professional women of color in the Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA metropolitan areas and surrounding communities, with plans to expand to a number of major metropolitan areas over the next few years.

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e, and Janesia Simmons

Maaden Eshete, MPH, {29}, Bowie, MD Maaden is a bright and innovative health educator and a champion for women’s health in her own right. She has been integrally involved with the national infant mortality awareness campaign, A Healthy Baby Begins with You, where she continues to serve as master trainer in the campaign’s Preconception Peer Education curriculum. As a result of this work, she has traveled across the country training students as peer educators, and has appeared in the subsequent 2009 documentary film Crisis in the Crib. Ms. Eshete’s interest in women’s and maternal health issues was piqued while pursuing her Master of Public Health degree at Morgan State University. Maaden is also an alumna of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County from which she received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. Maaden is a first generation EthiopianAmerican, with a strong concern for global and immigrant health issues.

Janesia Simmons, MPH, CHES, {28}, Silver Spring, MD Janesia Simmons, MPH, CHES was afforded the opportunity to travel to South Africa as a peer educator to study the state of black health in South Africa and the underlining HIV/AIDS epidemic in 2006. The work that she completed in South Africa led her to serve as Community Health Educator for the Baltimore City Health Department.

, MPH Divas, MPH has a unique charge in that the organization focuses on outreach to the often overlooked young, professional women. Divas, MPH continues to collaborate with local business, restaurants and lounges, schools, and churches to meet the community right where they live, learn, and play. Divas, MPH uses social media, chat & chew sharing sessions, book clubs, interactive live-streamed townhall meetings to encourage, support, and maintain the health education that the women are provided. http://www.divasmph.org/

There she served as the Coordinator for Healthy Teens & Young Adults Center Peer Education Program, Youth Advisory Council, and as Health Educator for several health education programs and curriculum development projects. Janesia is featured in an award-winning documentary film entitled, Let’s Talk about HIV/AIDS, and in the 2009 documentary Crisis in the Crib, which highlights Tonya Lee Lewis, physicians and college students in their quest to raise awareness around infant mortality. Janesia earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Health Education and Master’s of Public Health at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

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The Red Pump Project is a national initiative that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. The project’s mission is to promote HIV prevention through education, and open dialogue about the issues that surround sexual and reproductive health. The Red Pump is used as a symbol of empowerment to represent the strength of women affected with the disease both directly and indirectly. The project combines HIV/AIDS with fashion to prove that

"Awareness is Always in Style." www.theredpumpproject.org

Luvvie Ajayi, {27}, Chicago, Illinois Writer| Social Media Strategist |Co-founder of The Red Pump Project

L-R Karyn Watkins and Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie combined her love for social justice, social media, blogging and shoes and co-founded The Red Pump Project with Karyn Watkins. The social media and web strategist and humor blogger is also on the Blogger Advisory Board of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation, on the Board of the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project, and serves as the technology chair for the Chicago chapter of the New Leader’s Council. Luvvie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois. www.awesomelyluvvie.com

Karyn Watkins, {28}, Chicago, Illinois Charitable Blogger | Health Advocate |Co-founder of The Red Pump Project Passionate about healthcare and nonprofit communication, Karyn uses new media to promote positive social and health behaviors. Her support of better health outcomes in her community led her to partner with Luvvie in creation of The Red Pump Project. Karyn is also the Founder/Editor of The Fabulous Giver, a website promoting charitable initiatives in the world of style, beauty and entertainment. www.thefabulousgiver.com

Sitawa Wafula, {26}, Kenya Mental Health Advocate| Poet| Event Designer Sitawa is a Feather Awards Kenya nominee, 2010, an Actuarial Science drop-out and a poetess who writes, performs and hosts poetry forums and workshops in Nairobi. Being a rape-survivor, most of her pieces centre round the girl-child and socio-political issues and she is involved in advocacy work. In the past Sitawa has been involved in a Sanitary project where she was in charge of co-coordinating Sanibank Consortium, Kenya’s Premier pad-bank for girls in rural Kenya. In her role as Ambassador for Mental Health under BasicNeeds UK in Kenya, Sitawa creates awareness to help reduce the stigma associated with people with mental illnesses and epilepsy. Due to constant discrimination because of her frequent seizures, Sitawa was not able to sustain a stable job, she then started her own events management outfit Events by Sitawa, that brings together her passion for volunteer work, organizing things and inspiring others to chase their dreams. sitawa.blogspot.com

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Technology Hussainatu Blake , {29}, Baltimore, Maryland Area Co-Founder Focal Point Global Hussainatu Blake began working with African immigrants while living in Germany, where she assisted the NAACP with educating Africans about their legal rights and available health resources. She also worked for World Relief in Maryland, where she assisted African immigrants, particularly teenagers, with legal issues. In addition, Ms. Blake worked for the United Nations (UN) affiliate, International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Counter-Trafficking Department in South Africa, where she aided African immigrants who were trafficked throughout the African continent. She has also written about slavery and racial discrimination in Africa for International Affairs Forum, a publication of the Center for International Relations in Washington, DC.

Hassanatu Blake ,{29}, Zambia Co-Founder Focal Point Global Hassanatu Blake is also focused on improving health issues domestically and globally. She currently works with BroadReach L-R Hassanatu and Hussainatu Blake Healthcare to implement a national management and leadership training program for health professionals in Zambia. She previously conducted maternal/child health research with National Institute of Health and University of Alabama in Jamaica, worked with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Namibia supporting their national AIDS program, managed technical assistance projects with USAID Global Health Technical Project in Washington, DC, and managed health and HIV awareness programs on college campuses nationally with the United Negro College Fund Special Programs (UNCFSP). She has written on a variety of health topics for the African-American health resource BlackDoctor.org and Bushfaller’s Magazine, a magazine targeting Cameroonians in the Diaspora. www.focalpointglobal.org

Evelyn Namara,{27},Uganda Social Entrepreneur| Computer Scientist Starting her career as a hands on technical person, Evelyn climbed the corporate ladder to work for one of the most re-known Telecommunications company, Orange Uganda Limited as the IT Unix Administrator. After working for a telecom for close to 4 years, she felt that she wanted to do something more outside the box.

“I’ve always had a passion to empower women in all aspects, I believe women have a huge untapped potential to blossom wherever they are in their fields.” Evelyn trains women in technology with Africa Network Operator's Group (AFNOG) as an instructor, and she heads a Social Enterprise called Solar Sister in Uganda. Solar Sister seeks to eradicate energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity. It uses the break through potential of Solar energy with a deliberate model based on women to bring Light, Hope and Opportunity in Rural Uganda, Rwanda and Southern Sudan. Evelyn heads the Ugandan operations as the Program Coordinator and they have built a team of about 140 Solar Sister Entrepreneurs.

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Food Tokie Laotan-Brown, {34}, Galway Ireland Eco Property Investor|Portfolio Manager A Doctor of Ecological Building Practices Scholar with the Graduate School at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales, Tokie was inspired by the potential of making environmentally sensitive architecture accessible to mainstream Afro Europeans. With a background in Sustainable Construction and Architectural Technology, Tokie hopes to travel extensively to Africa, Central and North America, and Central and Eastern Europe to study how environmentally sensitive homes and communities are affected during pre and post occupancy periods. Tokie is a member of the Black Designers Showcase in America (BIDS), Construction Industry of Builders (CIOB) in Ireland and UKGreen Building Council. She has also worked on various housing projects with the Galway city council as a spatial policy committee member from 2004 to 2007. Tokie currently resides with her husband and 3 kids in Athenry, Galway Ireland.

Yoli Ouiya, {32}, New York Eco-Living Stylist and Green Chef Preparing food for one’s family is a huge cultural symbol of pride for the women of Burkina Faso, a small West African country. Akin to a right of passage, it is a big part of life for a young woman from her father’s country. Though born in America, Yoland Ouiya, known as Yoli, was no exception.

Twenty years later, she is known throughout the New York City area for catering for various vegan activist organizations and servicing a cultural array of clients and festivals.

Jennifer Okpapi, {27}, London

Pic source: businessinyou.bis.gov.uk

Founder of Akhaya Cookery School

Growing up, Jennifer was always enthusiastic about cooking. After graduating from university she decided to study Professional Cookery. With a passion for food and entrepreneurship, Jennifer gained funding from The Prince’s Trust and The Bright Ideas Trust and in 2010 she opened the Akhaya Cookery School in North London, UK’s first African cookery school. Jennifer runs her classes in the Tottenham Green Enterprise Centre in Town Hall Approach Road, Tottenham. www.akhaya.com 56| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com

Yoli currently operates a green lifestyle website where she offers food preparation demos, green workshops, lectures, and hosts a variety of eco-chic green themed events. Black Enterprise named Yoli the “Queen of Green” and one of the Top 20 National Bloggers. She is on the board of directors for The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food. YolisGreenLiving.com


BEAUTY

Skin Beauty Commandments Words By Feyruz Tesfazion

The skin is the largest organ on the entire body and it can be one of the biggest signs of perceived age. These six skin commandments will set you firmly on the path to smooth, healthy, skin. 1. Thou shall not sleep with makeup on When you sleep with your makeup on your face rubs up against the pillows pushes bacteria, makeup, smoke and sweat back into your pores essentially clogging them. This is a surefire breeding ground for blackheads and white heads and can be especially detrimental if your skin is already acne prone. Eyeliner and mascara that isn't wiped off clean can cause serious eye infection and brittle and broken eyelashes. Think of investing in makeup remover cleansing cloths and keep them next to your bed. 2. Thou shall exfoliate regularly Exfoliation should be part of everyone’s skin care regimen at least once a week, no matter what your skin type. Why is exfoliation so important? About every twenty-five days old skin cells start to shed to make room for the new ones coming in. Dead skin cells can remain attached to the surface creating a barrier so that products like moisturizer don’t penetrate the skin but simply sit on top of it.

Exfoliation loosens and removes the barrier of dead skin cells and uncovers the fresh, healthy skin underneath allowing moisturizers and serums to be absorbed quickly. It is also proven to help with the tone, texture and clarity of your complexion.

After you cleanse your face, make sure that when you slather on a hydrating moisturizer in an upward motion on your neck well as your face.

3. Thou shall not leave the house without SPF 30 regardless of your faith in “Black Don’t Crack”.

I know that the recession is forcing us to rethink the way we spend our beauty dollars but certain treatments (no matter how much cheaper the DIY alternative is) should only be left to professionals. Chemical peels, light therapy and laser hair removal are some treatments that you should never try to do yourself done at home because the damage/scarring that can occur if done incorrectly will cost you more to repair then paying for a professional to do it right in the first place.

"Black Don't Crack" is the catch phrase used to describe African Americans being able to retain youthful skin with delayed signs of aging well into advanced ages due to the higher levels melanin and oil production. The problem with this theory? It’s lulled many of us into a false sense of security where we feel that we don’t really need to wear sunscreen because we’re convinced that our skin doesn’t burn or wrinkle. While it is true that brown skin does have some natural built in sun protection due to the higher levels of melanin, both cancer and sun damage are both still a very real risks. 4. Thou shall not neglect the neck! While working at medical spa years ago, I learned from both the dermatologists and estheticians alike that the quickest way to tell a woman’s age is not by the skin on her face but by the skin on her neck. Women tend to spend a fortune on expensive lotions and potions for their faces and then stop at the jaw line. The neck is one of the most neglected areas and also has the least amount of oil glands than any other part of the body. Add to that the fact that we're always moving our heads so the skin on our necks is constantly being stretched and it’s no wonder that your neck is one of the first places where you see sagging and wrinkling.

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5. Thou shall beauty treatments professionals.

know which to leave to

6. Thou shall not smoke. Nothing accelerates the aging process as exponentially as smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This stops the blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as Vitamin A. Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to wrinkle and sag. So if you’re a chain smoker get some hypno therapy or get on the patch quickly because smoking can cause irreversible damage while add years to your face.


5 Questions For Hairpreneur Victoria Olubi 24 year old Victoria Olubi is the founder of natural hair brand, My Curls that caters to women with naturally curly and afro-textured hair. Victoria is a Virgin Media Pioneer, author and member of the Institute of Entrepreneurs & Entrepreneurs. She was recently shortlisted for a Women Inspiring Women Awards and is passionate about empowering young entrepreneurs. She shares more about her hair care business and entrepreneurship. What circumstances led you to start your own business? It sounds quite crazy but one day I was walking home after receiving a job rejection and I heard a voice (which I believe was from God) that said, 'why start from the bottom, when you should start from the top?' It sounds crazy but hearing that message inspired me to approach my career from a different angle and encouraged me to look at my career and life differently. Why did you choose the hair care industry? I chose the hair industry for several reasons. First, I was fed up with seeing so many products targeted at black and ethnic women that were filled with less than nice ingredients. I personally, wanted to use products with ingredients that don't cause longterm damage to my hair or health and after speaking to other women, I realized that many women were desperate for products that were healthy. I'm also slightly obsessed with my own hair- hair is one of my biggest passions and I hope to help educate other women about healthy hair care techniques and practices.

What challenges did you encounter when starting out and how did you overcome them? There were quite a few challenges in my case. First, I was an unemployed graduate and didn't have any money. Furthermore, because I had a degree, none of the business agencies would lend me money or give me a grant. I had no connections in the industry, no contacts, no experience, nothing. I literally started with just my brain and my hands. What business advice were you given starting out that was vital to your success as an entrepreneur? I remember speaking to a business advisor who told me that I was crazy! He said, 'you're crazy but that's fine because that is you.' It sounds funny but his words were quite inspirational because he made me realize that my circumstances weren't a barrier to success, they were in fact an asset. Whilst starting a business with no money, no experience and no contacts might seem crazy to most people, to a 22 year old with a vision and passion- it made perfect sense!

What advice can you give women starting their own business? Where do I start? I've noticed that whilst there are some very supportive women entrepreneurs out there, there are also so many who think that success comes from tearing others down. It doesn't. As women, we need to support and empower each other. We need to come together and not view each other as competitors but as supporters. I've been fortunate to have met some amazing business women who I consider to be dear friends and we all work together. We team up, share opportunities and ideas. I can't stress enough how important it is to have a 'sharing' 'caring' type of mindset in business. The saying is, "it takes a village to raise a child." I say, "It takes a village to raise a business!" For more information on My Curls visit their Website

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FASHION

Eklektik EKhos MAKING A STATEMENT

D

ouriean Fletcher is an entrepreneur, visual artist, sculptor and the brains behind Eklektik Ekhos; handmade pieces that are intended to bless, heal , bring light and most importantly make a statement. Most of Douriean’s pieces are made from natural resources . She chooses to use bamboo and primarily copper metal because of the rich and fascinating historical and cultural importance of these materials. It was during Douriean’s studies in South Africa that she saw a different perspective of the meaning of art. “ It is interwoven within the fibers of life. From the vivid colored beads used for ritual ceremonies to the harmonious voices seared with emotion, the cultures I came in contact with gave me a hands-on approach to experience practical art that is not just for aesthetic purposes but an expression of everything that encompasses one’s life.” she says. 64| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com


Living with and seeing these things made Douriean understand that art comes from within and is a natural occurrence within. This belief is a direct reflection of her work. Douriean describes her styles as abstract with influence from indigenous cultures. Her work has a very natural, organic, yet funky flair. She is a self taught artist in the process of learning new methods to add to her personal aesthetic. While in South Africa she also interned with both rural and urban organizations, focusing on education of native peoples post-apartheid. She developed an interest in Zulu culture and art. Through her own life struggles, she found her niche and her expression through creating bamboo sconces and jewelry from raw materials such as metal wire and bamboo. Douriean decided to return to New Orleans in 2010, her 2nd home, to give back to its community, and to further her career as an artist. She says that her creativity took a life of its own and flourished once she moved because of her experiences in New Orleans. Douriean has participated in many festivals in New Orleans such as Bayou Boogaloo, Earth Day Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Her jewelry has sold in a boutique, The Revival Outpost, New Orleans and she has had her pieces worn by musicians such as Erykah Badu and Marsha Ambrosius. The visual artist who currently teaches a jewelry class at Samuel J Green Charter School’s enrichment program through KidsmART has taught a 5 day workshop with the students of YAYA, Young Aspirations, Young Artists.

All photographs courtesy of Eklektik Ekhos

Original works by Douriean Fletcher can be found on her website, Website


Fée Uhssi Multicultural & Ethical Fashion Fée Uhssi is an ethical and multicultural fashion label offering limited edition clothing-accessories. Founded in the UK in 2010 by Felli Uhssi Ubrette aka Fée Uhssi a French/ Nigerian stylist, fashion designer, Fée Uhssi showcased their work on many catwalk shows from the London Fashion week, to African Fashion Week London or the Afro Hair and beauty show to name a few. Fée Uhssi creates her unique designs by mixing natural and high quality and bespoke fabrics ethically sourced and made in Africa and Europe. Inspired by and based on Art of Wrapping, the Ede Aso Collection (which means day & night) offers a range of clothingaccessories, including convertible and reversible garments, allowing hundreds of mix and match possibilities, when the Isis line offers a large choice of fashionable, timeless and trendy statement outfits designed by incorporating African Traditional couture to European modern fashion and trends.

Photos by Eric Schneider/ www.ericschneiderphotography.com

Check out more of Fée Uhssi Website

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Model: Sheron Sultan Photographer:"Eden Connell - Zoom In With Eden Photography Make-up artist: Mary Bangura


Afr

Disc

MUA : Zoe Malaika Pe Photographer : Ben K Models : Zoe Malaika


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covery

earl Kiruthi www.benkiruthi.com a Pearl


Stylish, Elegant & YOUnique Accessories, beauty products and design label RenéeQ started in 2006. Their mission: To become a one-stop brand for beauty by offering different services like styling, make-up and fashion to their customers. Whereas some designs are inspired by African fabrics and traditional Ghanaian designs, others are inspired by Renée's busy lifestyle and her habit to lose her boarding pass. Curious? AfroElle's fashion blogger MsK NY talked to Ghanaian label RenéeQ to find out more.


Please introduce your business and your designs. RenéeQ is about making a woman look and feel good. We design & make beautiful clothes and accessories whilst providing image consulting and make up services. Accentuating one's inner beauty with an outer glow.

Photos by RQV Photo Studio. Model: Darlynn Quarcoo

How does your heritage inspire/influence your designs? In the past, Ghanaian women wore the African print fabric but mainly in 'slit & kaba', a traditional design. I loved the colors and designs of our fabric but wanted a chic and more contemporary way of wearing it, so in 2008, I created RenéeQ bespoke, a line of tee shirts embellished with African print fabric, beads, crystal, embroidery etc. I have just introduced tee dresses as well. If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be? A stylish, elegant and unique person who draws attention with every step they take. Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? I only buy what I love so almost everything in my closet is a favorite but of my collection, my fav at the moment is definitely the BP Shawl. I love, love, love this because I created it out of a need I had. I travel a lot and for some reason, always lose my boarding pass. Rather than keep looking in every side of my bag, travel wallet, hand luggage etc. and delaying passengers behind me, I thought to myself, why don’t I design a beautiful shawl with pockets?! This is it! Comfortable, stylish and useful. It has pockets on both sides and are deep enough to even carry your passport, ticket and mobile phone. Now I delay passengers behind me because passengers ahead want to know where it's from! How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to global audience? Social media is fantastic! I have a website, blog, Twitter and Facebook page that many people follow. A lot of the clients I have in Ghana have been through word of mouth as I didn't advertise much in the beginning. I've participated in shows, been interviewed in a few magazines and blogs, like this, which always generates interest. I'm working on an online shop at the moment and have had many offers from different companies running online shops to join them.

Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry? You must have passion to join this industry because like everything else, it can get quite difficult. You can be inspired by other designers but never copy their style. Develop your own style that can easily be linked to you. Travel often to get fresh ideas but if you can't, do a lot of research...magazines, Google, Pinterest etc. to keep abreast with current trends. Be yourself. Be YOUnique!

What are your fashion plans for 2012? Gosh! I have so many ideas. Sometimes I can't sleep because of how excited I get planning them. Hmm, let me keep you in a bit of suspense.

Check out more RenéeQ designs

Website

For now, I get emails from international clients, they make payments through Paypal and I post items to them, which is working really well. I guess I have divine favor.

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HEALTH

FAD DIETS Instead of teaching the public how to understand and adopt a permanent lifestyle change of balancing caloric intake with calories burned, fad diets give people excuses to have insane eating patterns and behaviors writes, PRINCESS CAREY. I am almost certain that you or somebody you know has ever tried a fad diet. You may have seen some flimsy, before and after commercial about experiences with low-carb diets, diet pills and shakes. My all time favorite would be the magic dust that supposedly blocks the fat. Whether we want to admit it or not the reality is few people have long-term success with fad diets, and a large percentage of Americans still face obesity. Instead of teaching the public how to understand and adopt a permanent lifestyle change of balancing caloric intake with calories burned, fad diets give people excuses to have insane eating patterns and behaviors.

2. Watch out for buzz words. Take, for example, one of the buzz phrases in low-carb dieting: "net carbs." or low "impact carbs." Both of these terms sound technical. But the truth is that these terms were created by the diet and food industry. 3. If it sounds too good be true than its actually too good to be true. Realistic Weight Loss Tips 1.

Drink more water. Drinking water before meals can fill you up which reduces your chances of overeating.

2.

Cut down on refined sugars and simple carbs such as white bread and sugary drinks. Sugar determines

How to recognize a fad diet 1. Be cautious of misleading advertisement. Marketers are paid to sell a product by any means necessary. This means if they have to tell you by replacing breakfast with a pill you will lose up to 20 lbs in two weeks. Research shows that the slow and steady approach is not only healthier but it keeps the pounds off. Misleading advertisement, allows manufacturers to capitalize not only on your curiosity but also on their lack of certainty about nutrition labeling. Always look for The “FDA approved� seal when buying weight loss supplements.

whether our body stores fat or burns fat. The less simple sugar carbs you eat, the more your body burns fat. It is important that you do not cut out carbs completely. Healthy carbs (complex carbs) that you find in fruits, veggies and whole grains are responsible for reproducing energy in our bodies. 3.

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Eat at least three to five servings of fruit and veggies a day. Also try a different fruit and vegetable twice a week. This will give your body all the essential vitamins and minerals needed to function properly.


KNOW YOUR STATUS Contrary to popular belief; what you don’t know can hurt you. Prevention is better than cure, and early diagnosis is preventive care. We must address issues before they begin. Medical tests are an important component of preventive medicine. However, many people have a fear of taking medical tests for the following reasons: 1. Lack of knowledge about the tests and the reasons for taking those tests. 2. Fear of the outcome of the tests (many simply wanting to hear no evil and see no evil) a lot of people were taught that not knowing will somehow preserve life. This myth is the cause of many serious illnesses and disease progressing into more severe stages.

4. Uncomfortable feeling experienced when taking some of these medical tests, e.g. pap smears and mammograms.

 

All in all, being in a doctor's office or in a medical setting is enough to frighten and deter anyone from getting the medical tests they need. However, not taking these medical tests may be too highly of a price to pay, because taking certain medical tests on a regular basis is a health necessity in preventive medicine. Nowadays, with the advancement in innovative technology, such as the state-of-theart ultrasound and magnetic imaging, these medical tests are quite accurate in identifying underlying health problems, and therefore can effectively save lives.

Important Tests 3. A lack of healthcare coverage and finances.

Take a yearly physical exam. Blood pressure and blood levels. It's simple, it's cheap and it's quick. Your heart (and arteries, brain, eyes and kidneys) will thank you later. This test can save your life. Cholesterol Profile. You do have to have blood drawn for a cholesterol test, but it's worth it. Everyone over 20 should know their cholesterol numbers, and get them checked at least once every five years. Knowing your cholesterol health can save you from heart disease. For Women Only: Breast Exam, Pelvic Exam and Pap. A yearly clinical breast exam and 10 minutes of mild discomfort from the pelvic exam every one to three years pays big dividends in protecting you from cancer and diseases that can cause infertility. These tests are important for our reproductive systems. If you've had abnormal Paps in the past, be sure to get a new Pap smear every year. For those with no history of an abnormal Pap, a Pap smear can be done every three years, rather than annually.

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TRAVEL

Who’s World Your ticket to the global Black experience

A

frica has been experiencing an artistic, technological and cultural renaissance. Despite this, the continent, chock full with rich history and culture, is still portrayed negatively in the mainstream media. Rovanne L. Scott is on a mission to help shed a positive light on Africa and its Diaspora. In June 2010, Roxanne created The Who’s World Media Project with an aim of exploring the hidden treasures of Black history and culture around the globe. At the age of 24, Roxanne’s natural curiosity about the world around her led her on an exploration. With a drive to become bilingual, having an affinity for the Spanish language, she left her job in Queens, New York , packed her bags and moved to Costa Rica where she spent a year teaching English and traveling to Nicaragua, Panama, and Colombia.

B Fresh Photography

Roxanne wanted to take her teaching craft more seriously, she found herself in Mexico as an elementary school teacher where she would spend the next two years. Through her travels Roxanne became inspired by the beauty and history of the Black/African influence in Latin America and other regions of the world not much discussed. She created The Who’s World Media Project in June 2010 wanting to highlight the Black global experience. Roxanne currently calls Beijing, China her home where she is an elementary school teacher. Through The Who’s World Media Project, Roxanne highlights the Black global experience by spotlighting sites of interest, cuisine, events and festivals around the world, and practical tips to travel/live abroad with the hope this will encourage travelers to connect to the continent and the Diaspora, whether through study, volunteerism, travel, or work. Website 76| ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | www.afroellemagazine.com

2nd Pic: Anomabo Beach, Ghana 3rd Pic: San Juan de Ulua, Mexico


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