December 2011 Issue

Page 1



Celebrating Women of African Descent




Encourage. Empower. Entertain. Elevate


AFROELLE MAGAZINE | Encourage. Empower. Entertain. Elevate




New African Fashion


Model&Humanitarian: 70

Featured Cause;

Blog To Watch


Sunday Omony

What You Believe Foundation

Brittney Greene:

African Prints in Fashion

Book Review;



Positive Black Image

Far From Home

Jazzin It Up!


Rajdulari Barnes


Free to Be You


Phenomenal Woman:

Mind, Body & Spirit;


In The Meantime


AIDS Activist Thornton

Loving Yourself


Black Girl’s Rock


Reflecting on 2011



Dancing Designer

56 Lewis-

47 72

Florah N’godoih

All About Yetunde

Featured Couple;


Business Spotlight;


Extraordinary Cakes with Kay

London Fashion


Festive Fancies


The Perfect Accessory



Lindsay Renea

Redefining Beauty


Skin Deep


Let Shimmer & Sparkle


Travel Travelista in Brazil


Hyderabad Life


Celebrating Women of African Descent 12| DECEMBER ISSUE |



Feyruz Tefazion

Phoebe Parke

Twitter @EritreanEmpress

Twitter @PhoebeRosetta

JoVonna Rodriguez

Lacey C. Clark

Twitter @joskidiesel

Twitter @Queencelebrateu


Carolyne Onyango

Lara Aromire



Stephanie Popoola

Nikia Pope



Twitter @SGJPCreative @JustJumi


Stylicia Bowden

Unoma Nwankwor(nee Osiegbu)


Website Facebook

Alexis Davis

Dami Olawaiye-Adewole



YouTube Twitter @Feminist_Nurse

Juliet Facebook page: Zell'e Beauty Mart





Patricia Miswa ASSISTING EDITOR Iman Folayan

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS (In this Issue) Jovanna Rodriguez, Carolyne Onyango, Feyruz Tefazion, Phoebe Parke, Lacey C. Clark, Lara Aromire , Nikia Pope , Stephanie Popoola, Stylicia Bowden , Unoma Nwankwor, Alexis Davis, Dami Olawaiye-Adewole , Juliet

ONLINE To subscribe, visit For inquiries regarding general information, advertising, contribution or feedback email AfroElle Magazine is published monthly. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in parts without written permission is strictly prohibited. 14| DECEMBER ISSUE |

Model: Monique Pridgeon Photographer: Rasheid Scarlett | RScarlett Photography Makeup: Cynthia Jones Styling: Senita Brooks

Publisher’s Note Moment of Gratitude There is one word I associate my December’s with; GRATITUDE. Year in year out, I find myself grateful to see the end of the year. It wasn’t always like this, when I was younger, I knew it was automatic; I owned life. But age lends perspective and I soon realized that a lot of things can happen in a year; the good; celebrating engagements, birth of children, promotions, the bad and the ugly; like losing a loved one . As I reflect on the year, I’m overwhelmed, in a good way. Regardless of the up’s and downs, one thing remains, the blessing of being alive, here and now, fills my heart with gratitude. That said, many thanks to everyone who supported AfroElle in whatever way, this year; from sending encouraging messages that literally keep me going, to sharing our publication with the women and men in your life. Special thanks to our contributing writers who volunteer their time, talents and even go the extra mile to arrange for interviews, conduct photo shoots and so much more, just to see our vision come to life. To every woman who has opened up their life to share their stories with our readers, I’m grateful. Some of those stories are a reflection of what some of us have been through, thus assuring us that we are not alone in our situations. Others are what some are currently going through and by sharing; we give another the strength to go on. To our readers, thank you for the feedback. Without you there would be no magazine, you make the sleepless nights worth it. Indeed it has been a good year for AfroElle and I hope for an even better 2012. Speaking of 2012, we will be embarking on a new course publishing bimonthly. Since I divide my time between my 9-5, working on the magazine and other projects, publishing 6 issues a year will allow adequate time to ensure a more stable publishing schedule and in turn we will increase the content. All this without losing sight of our mission; celebrating women of African descent globally. Our December Issue is a good example of us lifting our mission’s banner high; celebrating women of African descent, from as far as France to Ghana, United States of America to Nigeria. It’s always an honor to present to you a new issue; a labour of love. Hope you enjoy. Until next time, I leave you with the words of Dale Evans, ‘Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.’ Peace , Love & God’s Blessings

Patricia Miswa EDITOR-IN-CHIEF





frican Prints in Fashion is a blog all about fashion. It was started by Kukua, a Ghanaian- German woman who was born and raised in German but currently living in Brooklyn NY. Growing up, African fabrics were a part of her life in a Ghanain-German household. “I was astounded to see African cloth popping-up in mainstream stores like H&M, on runways and magazines and to hear designers talking about African prints and fabrics in fashion. I felt an urge to participate in the discussion and find out more about African Designers and Africa-inspired designs.” She says. Through





African Prints in Fashion objective is to showcase Africaninspired designs and designers from all around the world and to conduct interviews with them. She’s always in the search for new platforms that provide access to fashion from African designers. Her blog is a platform to exchange opinions, thoughts and to share stories around African Prints in Fashion. Every fashion lover should follow her on this journey of discovering designs and designers and all the cool and amazing things that are happening in African Fashion right now.


So far, she has interviewed designers from the US, Ghana, the UK, Germany , and Nigeria.

Check out African Prints in Fashion. Visit their website and Facebook.


NEW AFRICAN FASHION BOOK LAUNCH When: Monday 9th November, 2011. Where: The Gallery Soho. Rundown Bresi-Ando consults co-hosted Helen Jennings’ launch for her debut coffee table book; New African Fashion published by Prestel UK. Helen Jennings is one of Europe’s pre-eminent fashion journalists as well as the editor of ARISE; a magazine that celebrates African fashion, music and culture. Celebrities from the worlds of fashion and music turned up to support Helen on her big night; Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes, Nigerian music superstar; 2Face Ndibia, Warner recording artist; Tawiah, stylist and fashion blogger Marian Kihogo, legendary designer and fashion father and son duo; Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford as well as international models Armando Cabral and Yasmin Warsame. Helen Jennings, author of New African Fashion commented: “I've been overwhelmed by the positive response to New African Fashion. This is the first coffee table book to celebrate the talented designers, models and image makers who are shaping fashion's new frontier and putting African style on the map. I'm grateful to everyone who has contributed to the book's success.”



MUSICALLY Speaking Meet singer- songwriter Juliyaa from North London. Juliyaa whose name is a combination of her European name 'Julia' and Ghanaian name 'Yaa' means 'Thursday Born'. Born to a Welsh father and a Ghanaian mother, music was a big part of her life growing up and there were a lot of eclectic influences that influenced her musical style. Juliyaa was raised listening to her mother's traditional Ghanaian gospel music and her father's classic vinyl collection of soul and reggae artists including Bob Marley, Al Green and Toots and the Maytals. She started singing in church at a young age and wrote her first song at the age of seven. In her teens, Juliyaa refined her skills as a vocalist on the UK garage scene singing alongside artists including The Heartless Crew and Estelle. Juliyaa's music is a reflection of her rich and varied cultural background. Rooted in African polyrhythm's, layered with harmonious soul vocals and infused with the high energy of UK urban music, Juliyaa effortlessly combines different genres in to a sound she calls ‘Rhythmic Soul’. She writes songs about the different things that she experiences in life. Songs about love, the London underground, Ghana, Dreams, her faith - anything and everything. Juliyaa loves to bring positivity and light through her music - helping her listeners to enjoy the beauty and the fun in life.

She released her debut single 'The Rhythm' in August 2011 and has since received rave reviews from influential music blogs in the UK. 'The Rhythm' is about her love for music and the power that 'the rhythm' of a great song can have on you; making you dance and sing until the music has literally 'taken control'. On November 6th 2011, Juliyaa received official recognition for her rapidly increasing profile when she won a GUBA (Ghana UK Based Achievement) Award 2011 for BEST NEW MUSIC ACT. As the recipient of this award she will be collaborating with UK rapper Sway in 2012. Find out more about Juliyaa



Far From Home Torn apart by war, thrown together by fate. By Na’ima B Robert

A new book by Zimbabwean author, Na’ima B. Robert, explores the personal, often painful side of historical events - and touches a chord with African readers further afield or everywhere. Set in Zimbabwe, Far from Home follows the lives of two very different young girls, one black, one white, one from the past, one from the present, who are linked in ways they cannot possibly imagine. Na’ima B Robert presents an expertly balanced account of the highly emotive and controversial issue of land reform and redistribution.

Tariro is a young black Zimbabwean whose story begins in 1975 in what was then Rhodesia. Her life appears perfect; her family is happy and prosperous on their ancestral land, her mother is expecting another child, and she has fallen in love with the handsome and brave Nhamo. Katie’s story is set in Zimbabwe in 2000 where her white family enjoys life on their farm with acres of fertile land, worked by their numerous farm workers, all their needs taken care of by their many servants. They live as though independence never happened – on their farm, it is still Rhodesia. It is Na’ima’s ability to draw on her own background and experience, in this case her dual heritage and childhood in Zimbabwe of these two girls that sets this book apart from others that have tackled similar themes.

Throughout the story, the focus is not directly on the land issue, but on the people who occupy the land and the meaning the land has for them. All shared through the eyes of these girls.

Having said this, Na’ima’s sensitivity to the issue does not prevent her from tackling the real, hurtful, angering events that have occurred over the land. With its unflinching portrayal of the effects of historical events on human lives, Far from Home is an eye-opener; it shed lights on an issue often presented from a single perspective. As such, it brings dignity to Zimbabwe’s story. Far from Home is a story that will touch readers deeply. It leaves one with a sense of longing, a reminder of past hurt, and reaffirms a connection long forgotten for many of us – it reminds us of our roots.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Na'ima B Robert, born Thando Nomhle McLaren, is descended from Scottish Highlanders on her father's side and the Zulu people on her mother's side. She was brought up in Harare, Zimbabwe and studied at Girls' High School Harare before going on to university in London. She was bit by the writing bug in 2000, when she began writing multicultural children's books, including the popular 'The Swirling Hijaab' and the award-winning 'Journey through Islamic Art'. Her autobiographical account of becoming Muslim, 'From my sisters' lips' was published in 2005 by Transworld Publishers. Her debut novel for teens, From Somalia with Love was warmly received by reviewers, as was her picture book Ramadan Moon, with Shirin Adl. A second teen novel, Boy vs. Girl, was published in 2010. Far from Home is her third novel and is written for both older teens and adults. Na'ima has four children and divides her time between London and Cairo. She loves meeting new people, reading, cooking for guests and riding horses.

Check out her book’s website

or Follow on Twitter



5 tips to Loving and Celebrating YOU!

FREE TO BE YOU By Nikia Pope “ You may never realize your own greatness, if you are constantly engulfed in the lives of others. You must be the only one in control of YOUR Life.”


eality Television, social media, we live in a society that is overrun with the details of other people’s lives. While these are all just ways to communicate with the world, a person, can also lose themselves in the lives of others by being obsessed with what others are doing, wearing, dating etc. This can stifle your growth and limit your perspective and in the process you forget about the most important person, YOU. You may never realize your own greatness, if you are constantly engulfed in the lives of others. You must be the only one in control of YOUR Life. To begin to live the life that you want; you must first give yourself permission to be to free; free from others opinions and criticisms. Don’t let someone else, define for you who you are, what you should look like etc. No one should have that much power over you and your life. DEFINE for yourself who you are, who you want to become, what you like or don’t like, decide what is adding to your life and what is subtracting from it; and those things that are subtracting from your life, it’s time to do away with them. After you decide to be free from the stigmas others have attached to you, DECIDE who You are. This step requires an honest, self-assessment. You will learn things about yourself, good and bad, but don’t be discouraged by the bad, use it to propel yourself to who you want to be. Open yourself to receive the blessings that have been there waiting for you all along. It’s time to be free to be you! Nikia is a recent graduate of Tuskegee University, where she obtained a degree in Political Science and Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health all the while pursuing her passion of writing in hopes of inspiring other young black women to pursue their purpose in life.


By Lacey C. Clark 1.





Lift Up and Exalt Your Positive Attributes. Where do you shine? You have areas in your life where you shine. Wherever it is, take joy and pride in that goodness and share it ever you can, especially those with whom you care about. Learn to say, "NO.” When we know how to set clear boundaries, we are available to let people know what will and will not be allowed. Communicating your boundaries helps others understand that you are someone worthy of respect. Boundaries are borders, your ability to say, "no" with love. Sometimes we need to say, "no" to others to say, "yes" to ourselves. Boundaries are about honoring your integrity and for your peace of mind and emotional safety. Celebrate Self-care. It is absolutely imperative to begin to carve out time for yourself to treat you like a queen. This is the opportunity to focus on enjoying what you like and love. This time allows you to replenish and approach any situation with balance and peace. Where can you re-arrange your schedule and find an hour a day to love and be with you? Celebrate Your Dreams and Goals. When you bury your dreams, you bury you. Wake up and face your fantasy now! What you want is indeed possible if you have the courage and focus to face and pursue it. You deserve to live your desires. You are worthy. Honor Your Feelings. "Buried feelings are still buried alive." Just because you bury your feelings does not mean they will go away. Your feelings are important and should be honored by you and those you care about. The best way to get through difficult emotions is to own them feel them. Your emotional process is yours and should be respected others.

Lacey C. Clark! is an award-winning Speaker, Author, Life Coach and Filmmaker. She originator of the Self-love Holiday (13th of every month) and teaches self-love and self-worth to teen girls and young women internationally. She is the Author or Celebrate HER Now! and the director of the forthcoming Documentary, "....And in Search of my Phenomenal." Sisters' Sanctuary is her company.


IN THE MEANTIME By Unoma Nwankwor Jeremiah 29 vs. 11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

BLAQUE GIRLS ROCK!!! By Stylicia Bowden From the sway of our hair From the voluptuous curves we wear Men stare from our ripping the runaway Fashionista affair We flair beauty, boldness and confidence Everywhere From loving the skin we are in To being the business woman Mother and leader We are incredible Did I mention Phenomenal One of a kind Unique from many shades We reap We are beautiful, strong and poise We rock it well, we rock it swell From young to old we rock it bold We are QUEENS, Cleopatra in disguise We are Blaque Girls & We Rock!! BLAQUE GIRLS ROCK!!! Stylicia Bowden is a poet & author determined to inspire and uplift the masses with her voice as she articulates her passion through poetry. She has completed two spoken word CD’s entitled The Sound Of The Spoken Word and The Anthology Of My Soul. Her fifth self published book, “The Anthology Of My Soul” will be coming out in 2012.

Oh how I love that verse. In earlier days after finding Christ, anytime I didn’t get what I wanted from God, when I wanted it, I would use this verse to encourage myself that I would get what I want because God said, “….plans to prosper me….” For days or even weeks, I would be the ‘most righteous’ Christian chic out there with the belief that ok, soon and very soon I would get what I want, but there were times I would not get my desires and I would mop around for days, forgetting all the good things that God had already done for me. Sometimes we forget to praise Him ANYWAY, in the midst of whatever we are going through or whatever it is we want and haven’t yet received.

The story of Job tells us about a man though stricken with all kinds of adversity, unwarranted for that matter, stuck strong to his faith, refusing to curse God regardless of what he was going through. I’m quite sure that any of us going through adversity will, just like I used to push Him to the curb or sulk till we get over whatever it is we want, then we’ll be back to wanting more. Job’s response to his wife’s demand that he curse God and die in Job 2: 10 was that if we rejoice with God in the good then why we can’t do it in the bad. The ‘big’ question is how do we conduct ourselves in the meantime? Before we come to our ‘promised land’ how do we act? Do we act flaky like the people of Israel before they entered the Promised Land, letting every wind of adversity sway us to the left or right, or do we stand firm like Job? Job had everything but God took it away and despite pressure from. Friends and family he stood firm and steadfast believing in the Lord his God. So even if you haven’t gotten that job, husband, child, that contract, promotion, house, or whatever it is that you are waiting for or going through, God sees and HE knows. Just as He told Jeremiah in 1:5, “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” your plan and His plan might not be the same or it may not be time for the plan to come to pass. The challenge is for us to be steadfast and hold on seeking, praising and thanking Him wholeheartedly while we are in our meantime. Unoma is daughter, sister, wife, mom who loves the Lord with all my heart! She is the founder of W.O.M.A.N.C Inc., based on Romans 15:4, through various projects, workshops and articles, we aim to encourage, uplift and teach a hopeful existence for all especially women.


Reflecting on 2011 “At the close of 2010, I made a list and I have spent all of 2011 chasing that list. I made a promise to myself that this year would not be like so many others.”


ear after year, I have set personal goals for myself which have gone unfulfilled. At the top of each year, I have made a list in my prayer journal detailing the many things I will complete by December. I have spent many a New Year’s Eve depressed, wondering why I was unable to focus and complete my goals for the previous 364 days. Many times, I would speak with friends and family members who would close out each year the same – unfulfilled and hoping that the upcoming year would bring with it the joy that was lost at the realization of the previous year’s shortcomings. I have learned that we do not complete our goals each year because we have not developed the parts of ourselves that are needed to complete them. At the close of 2010, I made a list and I have spent all of 2011 chasing that list. I made a promise to myself that this year would not be like so many others. This year would not end with frustration and sobs; a glass of wine in one hand and a pint of Haagendaaz in the other. This year, I would climb that mountain. This year, I would make it right and you know what? Somehow, I did. This year, I did volunteer work with women as I had promised myself. This year, I achieved that 4.0 in school I so desperately wanted, I became that “wonder woman” who worked out on a regular, ate right and lost 2 dress sizes. This year, I chopped off my own hair, went natural, became a feminist, left a dead end relationship and said, “Look out world! Here me roar!” At the close of this year, I can pat myself on the back and go into 2012 with confidence. I did it! For the first time, I am able to reflect proudly on a year of personal accomplishment.


I sat alone yesterday evening reading my prayer journal, pompously scratching off one triumph after the other when a friend called. She had just driven home on the first cold night of our Chicago winter and witnessed countless homeless individuals sleeping alone under a north side bridge. She wanted to know how she could be as selfish as to always think of her personal goals at the holidays and not the welfare of those who have less. It was at that moment that I realized what my goals for next year should be. I will not think so much about myself. I will not give every bit of my energy to enhancing those superficial qualities that we women can sometimes focus on. Next year, I will make a list that reflects goals that will help others meet their personal goals. It is my holiday wish that all of you reading this will be inspired to do the same. Bold, vivacious, witty and outspoken! Alexis is the chief editor and creator of the women’s empowerment blog/vlog, and

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Sammy & Ebbie The first thing that caught Ebbie’s attention when she met husband Sammy was his demeanor. “When we first met, things just seemed too good to be true. He was a clean cut guy, very well mannered, had a certain swag that I had not seen in many men I’d previously dated, had great taste in everything and honestly blew me away from day one. I will also never forget the way he smelled. I was hooked.” Ebbie says. Ebbie initially met Sammy when she was living in Atlanta, Georgia and Sammy in Columbia, SC. After their first meeting in person, they didn’t go more than two weeks without seeing each other. “I took so many flights and even earned elite status on a couple airlines behind our love travel, but it was all worth it in the end.” She adds.

The Genesis Patricia M: How did you meet? Ebbie: I knew Sammy when I was younger, but he had no clue who I was. He sent me a request on Facebook back in July of 2008, from there I immediately told him that I had a crush on him for about 12 years prior and we started to chat on a friendly basis. We started dating a few months later, got engaged on January 2, 2010 and got married on September 4, 2011.


Holy Matrimony PM: What parts of marriage do you love so far? Ebbie: So far, I love how we are growing together. It was one thing to date and be engaged, but after marriage things do change. Going from two to one has been a wonderful transition and each day there is something new to learn. I am just thankful that I have a husband that I love enjoying the experience with.

Complete the Sentence Patricia: You knew you found the love of your life when‌‌. Ebbie: When Sammy came into my life at the time he did. I had prayed long and hard for God to send me the man that was for me. As crazy as it seems, we really have to be careful of what we ask for. Even though I prayed for God to send me a husband, I was not doing what I needed to do. So many times I thought I had found the perfect one, but in all actuality who was I fooling? God sent him to find me. When I least expected and actually stopped searching, he came into my world. I strongly believe in reasons, seasons and lifetimes and I know that God sent Sammy to me for all three.

PM: What did you love most about your big day? Ebbie: The best part of the whole day was when I saw my husband to be for the first time on our wedding day as I was coming down the aisle. I almost made it until I saw him start to tear up, after that it was over for me, the tears started flowing and I was a mess by the time I made it to him. It was the best feeling of my life.


PM: You rocked your natural hair in your wedding; do you have any tips for other natural hair brides as they prepare for their big day? Ebbie: I would love to give the typical answer and say “make sure you do trial runs of your hair before your day.” However, I didn’t, I honestly let my hair be the least of my worries on that day (believe it or not) and things worked out just fine. The wedding is just a few minutes long, concentrate on the man you are about to spend the rest of your life with and enjoy the moment because it goes by so fast. Do not stress (if possible) and try not to have any negative people around you. I was surrounded by nothing but loving and supportive family/friends on my day and I would not have changed a thing if I could.

His Turn PM: How do you resolve conflicts and what helps you love each other when you are mad at your spouse? Sammy: We do so by gaining a clear understanding of each other’s point of view and trying to come to a fair compromise. We also understand that even when we are upset it should never be to the point that our love comes in to question because our love succeeds any challenge we would ever face and that same love helps us get through tough times. PM: What kinds of questions and inquiries are essential to ask your partner before you get married? Sammy: There are so many things that could be asked but I think most importantly you ask about spiritual beliefs, children, career choices, family values and their interest. What are they passionate about?


PM: With all the negativity, fears, challenges, how do you plan on making your marriage work? Sammy: First, we understand there will be challenges and tough times because all marriages have them but we have a lot vested and want to make sure that we considers our spouse every step of this matrimonial journey . We also know that we will not be able to make this work if God is not the center of our relationship. Making sure that our spiritual relationship continues to grow will allow our marriage to continue to grow as well.

Nuggets of Wisdom PM: What is the best advice you received before you got married to prepare you for any rough periods in marriage? Sammy: Always remember that now I am living for more than just myself and that I always have to consider my partner's needs as I consider mine. Also to know that forgiveness and patience will be fundamentals of our relationship and through prayer we can overcome any challenge. PM: What advice would you give you’d like to give any newlywed or a single woman hoping to get married some day? Sammy: I would tell them to start by loving themselves and make sure that they are what they want. They should strive to be the kind of person that they want in return. To newlyweds I encourage marriage counseling. I also believe that newlyweds and even seasoned couples should always make time for date night and QT (quality time) with your mate. This means no children, family or friends, just the two of you being able to enjoy each other. I would tell single women to just work on themselves and not to try to find someone, but instead allow God to bring the right person in your life. Be patient.





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WHENYOU BELIEVE FOUNDATION What You Believe Foundation, Inc. (WYBF) is an organization that was started by Ruby B. Johnson, a 21-yearold student at Virginia Tech. With a major in Mining and Minerals Engineering and a minor in Women and Gender Studies, Ruby, is also a humanitarian who enjoys serving her community. Her organization is dedicated to the welfare of girls and women as well as empowering and promoting self sufficiency. This year alone, the WYBF has organized several food drives, back-to-school workshops and launched various campaigns. Read on to find out about WYBF, how it began, what activities they are involved in and how you can get involved from our interview with Ruby. Patricia Miswa: Tell us more about who you are and why you started WYBF? Ruby: As an active feminist and a woman of compassion, I decided to take my platform of girl and women empowerment to another level by starting this organization. Yes, there are resources available for girls and women in some communities but I felt that my organization can also add more to creating a positive

impact, and reaching out to the unseen and unheard in various communities. I heard, witnessed and saw examples of girls and women not granted education, freedom, mental and physical health, and endless possibilities due to sex discrimination. What motivated me to embark on this endeavor was because I consider myself as a voice for those that are not heard, a provider for those with no assistance, and the highlight for girls and women who are oppressed and not seen. With the fact that I currently live in the United States and blessed with many resources, my mother's support and great friends, I decided to put my passion and drive into good use. Patricia: What is your foundation all about? Ruby: When You Believe Foundation, Inc.’s mission is to do outreach, raise awareness, provide assistance, enhance the lifestyle, promote self-sufficiency, and empower girls and women in all communities. Our vision is solely dedicated to the welfare of girls and women, as well as empowering and promoting selfsufficiency to these individuals. Our


motto is "When you believe: change, equality, and advancement is accomplished." As time goes on, WYBF plans to have many more events for the general public that will enhance the lifestyle, support, and empower girls and women in all communities.

Patricia: Who makes up the WYBF team? Ruby: I am currently the CEO of WYBF, and have the great pleasure of working with Team WYBF. We are comprised of many wonderful volunteers and supporters in the Maryland, D.C., and Southwest Virginia areas. Most of our active members are primarily college students and young adults of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and experiences.

"When you believe: change, equality, and advancement is accomplished."

“When You Believe Foundation, Inc.’s mission is to do outreach, raise awareness, provide assistance, enhance the lifestyle, promote self-sufficiency, and empower girls and women in all communities.” Patricia: What have been some achievements of your foundation or past events? Ruby: Over the past months, WYBF has hosted several food drives with the help of volunteers in the local community and made donations to several women’s centers and shelters in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. In addition, we have hosted and plan to host many educational and entertaining events and activities for local communities. We currently have a program called Womentorship, which brings together girls and women who share similar passions and create an educational and entertaining mentor/mentee environment. In August 2011, the organization hosted a back-to-school workshop for girl and women students called Knowledge Is Her Power. This workshop focused on topics such as time management, study habits, physical and mental health, etc.; attendees were also given school supplies.

In September 2011, WYBF cohosted a fundraising event called Afrique Fundraiser For Change. This collaboration, with three other organizations, raised awareness on the education of girls and women, youth empowerment, and public and maternal health in Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. In October 2011, the organization launched a program called Body Confident, Beautiful Me: A Love Your Body Campaign (www.bodyconfidentbeautifulm We are using this as a platform to raise awareness on girls’ and women’s body self-esteem in the community via social networks and in-person sessions. In addition, When You Believe Foundation, Inc. works closely with Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags, an organization that brings awareness on domestic violence and sexual assault in the lives of women, men, and children. WYBF is also working with Save Sierra Leone

Foundation in an ongoing project; this project is raising funds to build four community colleges in four rural districts (Makeni, Lunsar, Kono, Pujehun) in Sierra Leone. Patricia: How can one get involved with When You Believe Foundation? Ruby: If interested in being a volunteer, on the executive board, or participating in one of our programs, please fill out the application form on our website, request a hard copy, or contact me (Ruby) via e-mail at For more information about WYBF visit: Website




JoVonna Rodriguez: makes Brittney A. Greene?


Brittney A. Greene: The extra E on the end of my name truly represents who I am. Enthusiastic, Empathetic, Energized, and Excited. Anything that has to do with passion, purpose and the overall care and concern of others makes me who I am. Being a multifaceted enigma, many people can't see that under all the things that I do or I am trying to do is just a simple girl, who loves love and just wants people to experience joy. JR: In your efforts to give back to your community, help others invest in such joys mentioned, you created Black Positive Image, can you tell me more about your organization. BG: Black Positive Image manifested out of the sheer respect and admiration I have for the Black community. Thoroughly saturated with negative images and ideologies surrounding us as a people, I have always been able to see the positive aspects of our community. I created Black Positive Image for other people to experience the same positive outlook. A community resource center that provides the necessary encouragement and motivation to understand the joys of being Black, even in America.


JR: That is a strong mission. What keeps you going when we live in a society that often lays claim to negativity first?

BG: I have an innate propensity to look at the brighter things in life. I have always been a child that was satisfied with the simpler things in life, so for me negativity wasn't apart of my genetic makeup. It saddens me when I see the negative images and representation of the Black community, but I do not fault all who are involved. Many simply have been bred to think in negative terms. I recently read

that "9 out of 10 of our thoughts are rooted in negativity", so this is the norm for people. Most people just need to understand and know that there is a different way of thinking.

I will continue building Black Positive POSITIVE POWER Image with the foresight for it to HOUR QUOTES become a physical building housing the resources necessary for The estimated number of people individuals to become self-sufficient living in the U.S. with a viral STI/STD in our communities. is over 65 million" Personally, my goal is to remain true to my personal mission statement: I am passionate about helping people recognize their full potential and guiding them in the positive direction towards prosperity!!! Any goals that I set for myself here on out will always reflect that mission. I also plan to release literature in 2012 on various topics. JR: Please finish these sentences...

#preventionpowerhour "Women and children are at greater risk than men for long-lasting or permanent consequences of STIs/STDs" #preventionpowerhour "A girl is four times more likely to contract an STI/STD than she is to become pregnant" #preventionpowerhour

Brittney A. Greene can…do anything "Pre-ejaculate can still transmit she sets her mind to. infection. Withdrawing before JR: You're doing a lot for others. You're focused and determined on not allowing distractions to deter your mission in life. You are an example of how one can lead many, and influence others on so many levels. Can you share your long-term goals with us, and how others can help.

BG: I appreciate the acknowledgment of my efforts. I am truly passionate and evolving into a person who is willing to make a difference for the people around me. My long-term goals are abundant. When I was younger I wanted to be 5 things, a lawyer, mother, singer, actor, and dancer. Although the roles have changed I still have the passion to be in as many roles as possible. In my education, I plan to return to get my Master's in Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Sex Therapy.

Black Positive Image will… be the ejaculation also does not prevent shining light in the Black community STDs" #preventionpowerhour letting individuals know that you are the best at you and can be "The most important thing in illness anything you can perceive. You need (a message to the people) … to learn how to be exactly who you are, no modifications or alterations only enhancements to bring yourself to your highest potential.

is never to lose heart" - Nikolai Lenin #positivepowerhour

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse/pity yourself" Henry B.#positivepowerhour

JR: Lastly, how can you be reached? BG: Beep Me. Call Me. Text Me. Skype Me. Facebook Me. Tweet Me. Google Me. Join the Black Positive Image Movement Website Facebook Twitter

"Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them" - Winston Churchill#positivepowerhour "A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one" Mary Kay Ash #positivepowerhour "A positive attitude may not solve your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" H.Albright



YETUNDE Public Speaker| Entrepreneur | TV/Radio Personality | Scholar | Author | Humanitarian and Philanthropist


etunde A. Odugbesan is an outstanding Nigerian-American woman who greatly defines a Young Leader for Change. She is an international motivational speaker empowering people especially young people to be great leaders and to live a life of purpose, power and public service. With her words, she unites and empowers people. Born and raised in New Jersey, Yetunde’s passion for change, leadership and politics began at a young age. At 24 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. Yetunde is the recipient of numerous academic, leadership and public service awards. She is currently a Ph.D candidate at Division of Global Affairs Rutgers University in New Jersey. With her vast experiences Yetunde decided to help others actualize their dreams and goals. In 2008, she founded, "Putting Your Best Self Forward" to empower people especially young people all over the world to be great leaders; to live a life of purpose, power and public service. Yetunde's passion to foster a spirit of service and civic engagement and to encourage more people to public service led to the co-authorship of a published book titled, "A Call to Serve: Quotes on Public Service." Her endless accomplishments are a testament of her perseverance and determination. She believes its her responsibility to encourage, inspire and motivate others to be the best that they can be. Her mission is to pay it forward. In our interview with Yetunde we get to know more about her, her mission and everything in-between.

INTERVIEW As a young girl did you imagine yourself in your profession, what were you aspirations then? As a young girl my aspirations where always larger than life. I always envisioned myself being the President of a country or ambassador—something always big. I wanted to be a doctor, a neurosurgeon to be specific like Ben Carson or a journalist that could travel around the world to shed light on global, political and social injustices like Oprah or Barbara Walters. My interests were always politics, leadership and human rights. I always had grand ideas for my life and I still do—now at 24, the great thing is that I am living the reality of my dreams and working to see those visions as a little girl comes into fruition.

I always wanted to help people, to have a bigger impact not just on my community but throughout the world. I believe that my academic, personal and professional background is preparing me for such journey. Currently, I am a PhD Candidate in Global Affairs at Rutgers University. My doctoral research focuses on political corruption in local and state government and its effect on governmental trust and performance and the allocation of social services being delivered on the local level in West Africa. I received my masters in Global Affairs with a concentration in International Law. I did my undergraduate degree in Journalism and Media Studies with a double minor in Organizational Leadership and Africana Studies.

My academic background represents my passions as well as my professional background of choice. I also graduated from United Nations World View Institute and Eagleton Institute of Politics. TV personality, consultant, speaker and leader, how do you manage it all? When you love everything that you do, you create time for it. I’m involved in numerous organizations and professional/academic associations. I only do things that I am passionate about, which is a lot. So it’s a pleasure for me to wear various hats. Also it takes a lot of dedication, focus, persistence, prioritization, hard work and great work ethic. I am very big on excellence and doing and being your best so, I am constantly working harder and making sure that all I do is excellent in thought and in execution. Apart from your professional life, what are your other interests? I love reading, watching documentaries and movies, fashion, having alone time and being around family and friends. What is a day like in Yetunde’s life? It’s very much fast-paced. From working on academic papers, running back and forth to various meetings, constantly on my iphone and ipad, meeting clients for my consulting company-Yetunde Global Consulting, booking speaking engagements, working on my next goal….so a day in Yetunde’s life is busy! But, I can honestly say that I have balanced my life exceptionally well and I am


extremely satisfied with every area in my life. Being a multi-tasker is a skill and I am an expert at it! You have achieved quite a lot, what has been the highlight of your career? Highlights of my career is when I was chosen to meet President Bill Clinton at a Young Leaders Conference in Miami, Fl, starting my own business Yetunde Global Consulting LLC, Founding Putting Your Best Self Forward to empower people especially young people to live a life of power, purpose, service and leadership. Talking to over400 students at the University of Ibadan where my father went to college in Nigeria, West Africa. Fortunately I have been blessed to have many highlights in my life.

Which leader do you admire most in the public eye and why? I admire Oprah Winfrey for her philanthropy, passion for public service and creating an exemplary career. I admire Bill Clinton for his work ethic, for creating the Clinton Global Initiative, for using his power and platform to challenge and discuss many of the global problems affecting us today. And for using his stature to bring together students, heads of states, ambassadors, philanthropists, private and public sector to make this world a better place. I admire President Obama’s poise and leadership style, as well as first lady Michelle Obama for being a true representation of the 21st century modern woman.

“I have come to the realization that letting your work speak for you is powerful and that leadership and greatness has no age. I am proud to be young and powerful.” On Leadership Do you have a mentor who has had great impact on you as a leader? How have they impacted your life? I’ve been blessed to have countless mentors in my life. I am who I am today because of individuals who made it their priority to make me their priority, who decided to invest their wisdom and knowledge into me and who thought it was their

duty to guide me and for that I am forever thankful. And it is my duty to pay it forward, to empower, inspire and uplift another young person. The power of mentorship is real and I am a product of it. What challenges have you faced as a leader? Sometimes being young presents its benefits and challenges. I sit on boards, involved in organizations and attend meetings where everyone around the table always

much older than I am. At times, because of my age people want you to prove yourself or may question your ability but that is okay because that’s what life is about and usually my work and list of accomplishments speak for me and dispels all negative myths people may have about young people. I have come to the realization that letting your work speak for you is powerful and that leadership and greatness have no age. I am proud to be young and powerful.


As a young leader African leader in the Diaspora what do you think are some mistakes our African leaders of today make? Some mistakes our leaders make is that they take their citizens for granted, material wealth has become more of a priority than the well being of their citizens and stability of their country, politics is no longer viewed as a way to make a positive difference or to reform the system instead our leaders have turned our political systems into big business, the power of the youth in many African countries are constantly ignored by our leaders—our youth are our next leaders, doctors, engineers, professors…they are the main source of productivity for our nation states and refusing to acknowledge their role in society can be detrimental to the stability and efficiency of a government. African leaders must uphold and respect the rule of law, ethics and good governance. They must be concerned with the legacy the leave and the type leadership they lead with.

What 3 success tips can you give a young woman aspiring to get into a position of leadership? 

Be confident in your ability to rise to great heights. Never underestimate your power and role in society. You have something special to offer to the world—so let the world know who you are loud and clear.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Stay focused on your goals. Do not let distraction steer you away from your divine purpose, mission and calling. So many people are depending on your skills, talents and most of all your purpose. The world cannot afford for you to be distracted, be focused and keep your eye on the prize.

Remain Faithful: At times life does get hard but remain faithful. To whom much is given, much is required. In this life it takes hard work and most of all perseverance. Continue to push further and do not give up. Nothing in life comes easy but you will have the Grace sufficient enough to see you through.

Any near future plans for Yetunde? Yes, there is still so much in store for me. God Willing. Maybe a new book, new TV show, new business venture, new humanitarian initiative and more. We’ll see which one comes first but I’m positive that they will all materialize itself soon.

Visit Yetunde’s website to know more about her upcoming projects and ventures

~ Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles



Photo credit-LucasPictures-Copyright 2010

Jazzin’ It Up! Rajdulari Barnes is a powerful and passionate jazz musician and if you appreciate the sultry, soulful sounds of jazz music you will love her music as well. Rajdulari who names Dianne Reeves as Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae and Betty Carter as some of her influences , performs a mixture of Jazz, Soul and R &B. She has in the past worked with the likes of Walter Robinson and David Zoffer of New England Conservatory, featured on many compilations along such performers as award winning pianist George W. Russell and performed as lead vocalist as a member of the 8-piece, all female world music band, Zili Misik, winners of Berklee All Female Battle of the Bands competition. Rajdulari recently her debut album ‘HoneyWine’ and she talks about this, her journey to the Grammys and much more in our interview. Read on….



“ My singing style is completely my own. My own stories, my own history of pleasure and pain, my physical body and its curvy make up, all of these factors greatly inform my style as a band leader and vocalist.” Patricia Miswa: Your name is very unique, does it have a meaning? Rajdulari Barnes: Actually, it's Hindi, though I'm not from India. "Raj" means King, and "dulari" means daughter. So in a sense, it means "Daughter of a King" or "Princess". It took me quite a while to feel comfortable and to be proud of my name, but now I love it!

Patricia: Why is that? Rajdulari: When I was younger, I wanted my name to be simple, perhaps easier to spell since most of my teachers and people who didn't know me usually got it wrong. As I got older, and researched the origin of my name and its meaning, I felt such pride that my parents had chosen the name. I guess you could say I grew into it, fully accepting the name and its meaning as a part of my identity.

Patricia: Can you tell us more about who Rajdulari is; give us a glimpse of your background. Rajdulari: I was born in Baltimore, MD and raised in Kalamazoo, MI. My Grandfather was a preacher and my mother was a choir director. So music has been a part of my life since birth. I first started singing in the church at 3 years old. As a child, we moved around a lot, finally settling in to Boston when I was a teenager. After living in Boston for about fifteen years, I relocated to New York to fully pursue my dream of performing my own music and leading my own band. Patricia: How has the move been from your hometown to New York, how is the jazz scene there? Rajdulari: The Jazz/Live Music scene in New York is always vibrant and exciting. There's no city quite like New York!

It has been a "musical boot-camp" for me, and I'm so glad that I decided to move here to jumpstart my career. Already in our first year, we've had so many great experiences that we wouldn't have had in a smaller city. Here in New York, you can really practice honing your craft, and also have the opportunity to go and listen to other great musicians that you admire. It gives you a great opportunity to study and learn from them live in their element- on stage. Patricia: You recently released your debut album ‘HoneyWine’, I’m sure you’ve written a lot of songs but what was the criterion in choosing the 11 songs in your album? Rajdulari: I definitely had more songs written for the album, but I wanted the album to feel like an introduction, you know? As if each song was a conversation that I'm having with you, the listener.


So, the 11 songs just seemed to fit right into that conversational picture.

Patricia: Now, that I’ve picked my song, which song in your album do you love the most and why?

Patricia: I must say out of the songs in the album, I enjoyed listening to Summertime, how can you describe your style and sound?

Rajdulari: That's a hard one! I have so many; each song is like my baby, especially since this is my first full-length solo album! If I had to pick one, I would say "Purpose" is my favourite, simply because it speaks to exactly what I'm going through right now; taking my dream and pursuing it fully. It's about accepting who I am and trusting God to help me grow and learn and share my music with as many people as I can. I truly believe that this ‘JourneytotheGrammys’ isn't just about me, it's about every single young woman who has hope in her mind and heart that she can take whatever dream she has in her mind and make it her reality.

Rajdulari: Thank you, I'm so glad you like Summertime! We had so much fun creating that vocal interlude and I loved the effects that Kamilo Kratc , Engineer @ Soundworks Recording Studio, added to the track to give it the 1920s "Victrola" sound. Honestly, my musical style is a mesh of so many genres. I'm a huge fan of so many different vocalists with a wide range of styles; from traditional vocal jazz, Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn to down-home blues and gospel; Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and of course, great contemporary R & B vocalists like Jill Scott, Ledisi, Anita Baker, Rachelle Farrelle, Lalah Hathaway. And, although I've been greatly influenced by all of these women, my singing style is completely my own. My own stories, my own history of pleasure and pain, my physical body and its curvy make up, all of these factors greatly inform my style as a band leader and vocalist. It's why the "HoneyWine" album is such a blend, because I needed so many different styles to tell my own "personal" story. That's the beauty of allowing yourself to make music just as it is; without boundaries. Of course I love Jazz, but it's really great to not feel boxed in to just one genre or category.

Patricia: When you get a non-jazz song, how do you interprete it to Jazz? Rajdulari: Each song comes to me in various forms. I don't try to force a song to have a "Jazz" style; sometimes it just comes out that way. And likewise, if I have an R & B ballad like "Wish You Were Here" or a neosoul/contemporary uplifting song like "America", I just let it be whatever it is. Patricia: If you could collaborate with any jazz musician, who would it be and why? Rajdulari: That's another hard one. If I had to pick a few contemporary Jazz musicians to collaborate with, I'd have to say Robert Glasper, Jeff Bradshaw, Esperanza Spalding, Sean Jones, and Roy Hargrove. Patricia: You mentioned earlier about your 'Journey to the Grammys' web series; can you tell us more about it? Rajdulari: It's just a dream of mine, to have a web series that documents my JourneytotheGrammys. I'm hoping that, along the way, I can inspire more Women of Color like me to pursue their dreams, no matter how hard or scary it might be. We all owe it to ourselves to really live out our purpose and destiny in life. I prefer to work hard at pursuing my dream as opposed to just living a life that is easy. My life has been more rewarding ever since I took that leap of faith. Patricia: Is there any project you currently working on? Rajdulari: Right now, I'm currently working on a music video for HoneyWine, the title track to the "HoneyWine" album, which is now available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and through my own website .



I truly believe that this ‘Journey to the Grammys’ isn't just about me, it's about every single young woman who has hope in her mind and heart that she can take whatever dream she has and make it her reality.

~ Rajdulari

I have photo shoots, concerts, and a huge holiday concert that we're planning at Billie's Black in Harlem on December 17th. I'm also looking in to starting an indie Web Television Series about ‘JourneytotheGrammys’, and living out my purpose and destiny as a Grammy Award Winning Artist, Philanthropist, and supporter of other Women Entrepreneurs like myself. Find out more about Rajdulari’s Music through her social media sites . Website





Lindsay Renea is a shoe designer and a professional concert dance artist. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Lindsay studied classical piano from the age of 5 and dance from middle school. She pursued a Dance Major Program at Howard University and graduated three years ago. Lindsay attributes the program for preparing her for the challenge of balancing her business and career. As a member of Garth Fagan Dance Company, Lindsay has graced many international stages. The full time performing artist also channels her unique creativity in designing unique and classy shoes, a business she mentions started from trying to complete an outfit for a post performance.

Read more about this ‘Dancing Designer’ in our Q&A:

Patricia Miswa: How often would Patricia: What do people not know you dance in a day/week and how about the world of modern dancing? do you prepare for a show? Lindsay : Modern Dance is a lifestyle, Lindsay Renea: I dance at least not just an activity. It takes a lot of eight hours a day, five sometimes preparation and focus to develop a seven days a week. I take two product that is stage ready. technique classes a day and have several hours of rehearsal every Patricia : What does it take to be a day. I don’t have a strict diet but I professional dancer? use moderation in my eating. Lindsay : To become a professional Patricia : Since you started, which dancer it takes perseverance and has been your best performance? focus. There are many days when you body tells you "no" and there are many Lindsay : I am not sure what my days that you agree with it. However best performance has been but the ability to focus and push one of my most memorable forward and overcome personal performances was in April of this obstacles, both physical and emotional year when my eighty year old regardless of how you feel is part of grandmother, and great aunt were what separates recreational activity in the audience along with 70 of and a career. their church members in Charlotte, North Carolina. Being able to dance Patricia : Your shoe designing career and share my passion with the started from trying to complete an people I love is truly a blessing. outfit for a post performance; can you tell us more about that time and how



your first design turned out? Lindsay : Almost two years ago my mother (Debor'ah Benton) took me to the mall while I was on vacation visiting in Ohio. Being in a dance company (Garth Fagan Dance) I have to attend lots of meet and greets, receptions, banquets, V.I.P dinners, toasts etc. Therefore having a closet that includes lots of cocktail and semi formal attire is a must. While at the mall we found a sale on semi formal dresses that was too good to pass. So mom and I cleaned up something serious. When I got home I realized I didn’t have any shoes to go with these dresses. Mom then handed me a catalog that she had at the house that had nothing in it but shoes. I liked a lot of what I saw but thought "I can make that." That day or the next I went to a supply store and started experimenting. Thankfully my experiments turned out to be aesthetically pleasing. Patricia : I think it’s unique to be able to design your own shoes, what’s your experience in design? Lindsay: I have always been fond of making things with my hands. I definitely have to say that this passion has been guided and inspired by both my Father ( Lamarr Benton) and my grandmother (Juanita Gordon). My father is a visual artist so I believe it’s in my blood. Since I was little I always watched my father sketch, draw, paint, carve, and design all types of beautiful things.

I learned a lot about the acuteness of an artistic eye from him at a young age. For that I am thankful. My grandmother taught me how to sew. She would not let me even touch or turn on the sewing machine until I had done a base-stitch for every single seam that I was going to sew for the garment I was constructing. Because of this I can securely sew any garment by hand at record pace. Patricia: How can you describe you designs and what makes them special or stand out? Lindsay : I’m influenced by the organic movement of the human body naturally as a dancer, as well as the inspirations that can be found in the structure, patterns, and changes in nature. My father always took me to parks, and zoos, where I observed and developed my own thoughts about art and life. Art imitates life when it’s free to and life imitates art when there is no other choice. Every woman must have at least one pair of shoes that is a functional extension of their imagination without surrendering design. My shoes stand out because they fulfill that very purpose. Patricia : What inspires you to design a specific type of shoe and How long does it take to design a pair? Lindsay : My greatest creations are probably inspired by the individuals that I have in mind while designing.

Many of my clients are people I have developed relationships with over time and while designing I bring those experiences to the drawing board. I also admire historical figures that I pull inspiration from including Queen Nefertiti, and Josephine Baker. Each design serves as testimony to some aspect of my life that I experienced and appreciated. Patricia: What makes your shoe designs special? Lindsay: I design each shoe based on the occasion, personality and preferences of my customers and the designs can’t be found anywhere else. Patricia: Have you encountered any challenges since you started your shoe designing business? Lindsay: The biggest challenge I have had thus far is balancing these two careers that require a full-time commitment and long hours. I don’t sleep as much as I would like but I wouldn’t be able to sleep soundly knowing my goals have not been reached. Patricia : What next, do you plan on having a collection? Lindsay: Eventually, I will expand my shoe collection and open my own boutique that sells Lindsay Renea shoes exclusively. Connect with Lindsay and learn more about her latest designs. Website Facebook



Extraordinary Cakes Kadrian ‘Kay’ Matthews is the owner of Extraordinary Cakes by Aunties Place. Kay has always been one to take care of everybody and that is how she got the name ‘Auntie’. “If people don't call me Kay they Call me "Auntie" I love people I love being a part of what makes a person happy And if I can brighten up someone’s day in any way I'm going to do it.” She says. Patricia: When did you interest in baking cakes begin? Kay: I have loved to bake since I was 3 years old I went through 5 Easy Bake Ovens growing up Baking and decorating has always been my passion.


By Kay

Patricia: Is it in the family? Kay: My grandma baked a lot. I would like to say inspiration came from her. Patricia: Tell us about your business? Kay: I have been Baking and Designing cakes for over 10 years. I make custom cakes for any occasion. The cake business is the for runner for what I inspire to do, which is to open a Daycare in 2012 it will be called Aunties Place, that is why it is a part of the cake business name. I'm a community based business I love to give and motivate others to want to own their own businesses. My Motto is to "Always Be A Step Above the Rest" I truly love what I do.

Patricia: What are 3 adjectives that Extraordinary Cakes by Kay? Kay: Three adjectives to describe my business are: Creative, Extraordinary, Powerful Patricia: What kind of cakes do you specialize in? Kay: I specialize in Custom Cakes. These are the cakes that I have cut carve and decorate and times they can be done in 3 hours but sometimes these cakes require 1 to 2 days. Specialty Desserts; these I design and create in different glasses and containers; they are a reflection of my creative side.

Patricia: Is there a popular kind of cake or flavor with your clients? Kay: My most popular flavor with my customer's is my French Vanilla and any of my liquor infused cakes. Patricia: How long do you take to bake a cake from start to finish? Kay: It takes me anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour and half to bake a cake start to finish. Patricia: What kind of cake do you love yourself?

Patricia: What is the best part of your job? Kay: Strawberry cake It is my favorite. Kay: The best part of my job is making my customer's happy. I love the look of happiness and I enjoy being a part of the process. Patricia: Apart from the orders you get with specifics from clients, when you bake a cake for fun, what inspires you? Kay: When I bake a cake for fun what usually inspires me is the person I'm doing it for, I always have someone in mind to give the cake to so it will definitely be personalized.

Find out more about Extraordinary Cakes by Kay through their Facebook page and Website below. Website Facebook


Changing Lives In my life, HIV/AIDS has taken center stage in one way or the other. At one point I saw death staring me in the face. I remember when my T-cell count was 8 out of a 1000 and there was no exception that I would live, but there was hope. God created a miracle from my hope; and each day, I understand that my life is a blessing. I dare not squander God’s life, so I press my way, with a prayer that my life will give hope to others. ~ Rae Lewis Thornton


mmy Award Winning AIDS Activist Rae Lewis-Thornton rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has been living with HIV for 28 years and AIDS for 20. In the last eighteen years Rae has traveled worldwide in an unending crusade challenging stereotypes and myths around HIV/ AIDS. In addition to the December 1994 cover story for Essence magazine, Rae has been featured in countless magazines and newspapers: O- The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Woman's Day; Ebony, Jet, Emerge, WOW, Poz, Lifelines and HIV Plus magazines, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Post and Dayton Daily News newspapers, to name a few. As a contributing editor for WBBM-TV, a CBS-owned and operated television station Rae won the covenant Emmy Award for an ongoing series of firstperson reports on living with AIDS. Rae has also been featured on several national television documentaries, news shows, and television specials, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline, CNN, 106 and Park, Black Entertainment Television, (BET), the Montel Williams Show. She was featured on NIGHTLINE with Ted Koppel numerous times in news articles entitled, Rae’s Story: AIDS--The Next Wave and AIDS At Twenty Years. Prior to Rae’s motivational speaking career, she was on her way to a promising political organizing career.

Having served as Senator Carol Mosley Braun’s 1992 Senatorial Campaign Advance Coordinator, Illinois State Youth Coordinator for the 1988 Dukakis Presidential Campaign and National Youth Director for Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 Presidential Campaigns, Rae was forced to retire in 1993 as a result of her health. In March 2010, Rae launched her firstperson Diva Living With AIDS Blog. The blog has had unprecedented success. Her blog is transparent, candid and educational and the response has been phenomenal . The Diva Living With AIDS Blog is syndicated both on The Body.Com, the largest HIV/AIDS on-line resource in the country and Black Doctor.Org, the largest African-American on-line medical resource in the country. Recently, Rae launched the Tea With Rae Project on her Diva blog, where she blogs about tea and tea products weekly. Tea calms and comforts Rae in her chaotic life of living with AIDS, thus, the Tea With Rae project is wellness for the body, mind and spirit. Already fifteen tea companies have joined her Tea With Rae Project including premiere tea companies such as, Teavana, Boston Tea Company and Tea of Republic In 2009 Rae launched a line of bracelets, RLT Collection that she designs and make herself. Celebrities such as actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and Kim Coles, as well as, Judge Glenda Hatchett wear RLT Collection. Rae Lewis-Thornton was licensed as a Baptist minister in July 2000 at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, in Chicago,

Illinois by the Rev. Clay Evans. She received a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in 2003. She currently a PhD student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Rae graduated Manga Cum Laude graduate from Northeastern Illinois University. Rae is very proud to receive the 2011 Distinguished Alumnae Award from her almamater Northeastern as well as, deliver the Commencement Address. Rae has received literally hundreds of awards for her work in HIV/AIDS in the last eighteen years. Read our Q&A Interview with this inspirational woman. Patricia Miswa: Can you share your story with us? Rae L. Thornton: I was diagnosed with HIV when I was 23 years old. I learned of my status after donating blood to the American Red Cross and they informed me that I was HIV infected. It was very early in the AIDS pandemic. There was no treatment and a lot of misinformation still floating around about HIV. Stigma was very high in the United States and that led me to keep my infection a secret out of fear of discrimination. When I made a transition to AIDS in 1992 the secret became too much to bear and I disclosed my status to friends and family.


FEATURED INTERVIEW As well as, how I got to this place as a heterosexual, drug-free woman. In the last two years, as the topic of HIV/AIDS has become less sexy in the United States, I’ve turned to other avenues to share my message. The fact is, every 9 1/2 minutes a person becomes infected with HIV in the United States and African-Americans are leading in the cases. We are 52% of the HIV cases yet 14% of the US population.

A year after that disclosure, I started speaking about my life living with HIV. Shortly thereafter, I became the first African-American woman to tell my story on the cover of a national publication; Essence December 1994. Since then I have become one of the most recognizable and documented women in the United States living with HIV/AIDS. I’ve been featured on Oprah, Nightline, Dateline and countless news and documentaries. As an Emmy Award winning AIDS Activist, I’ve spent the last 20 years speaking about HIV/AIDS. Challenging stereotypes and myths about who and how one becomes infected with the HIV. I’ve used my life to show that AIDS is a nond isc r iminator y d is eas e. Speaking very openly and candidly about the impact of HIV on my life has been the epic-center of my work. My transparency has been the one tool that I’ve used well to allow people a glimpse into the day to day life of what it is like living with AIDS.

While I still speak across the country, I use Social Media very heavily. On Twitter, I educate from the time I wake until bedtime. Giving people a glimpse of what one’s life is like with HIV. In my Blog Diva Living With AIDS, I give more detail information of the impact of HIV/AIDS. My daily post on Facebook, are honest and forthright. I understand that God has called me to do a work for such a time as this. I’m honored and humbled to be in this place in history. My work will not stop until the day I die and I am willing to use whatever avenues I can to do the work.

Patricia: I recently came across a report which stated AIDS as the leading cause of death for AfricanAmerican women ages 25–34, as an Aids Activist and December 1st having been The Worlds Aids day, what advice of awareness can you give to women? Rae: First and foremost, If you are not HIV infected then do everything you can to prevent it. While I’ve made the best out of my life, it’s a hard life. This is not the life I would wish for you. This means that women must put themselves first over the love of a man or the desire for the love of a man.


I believe the false sense of security about love and monogamous relationships keeps us in denial about our real risk. If we are truly honest, we have no idea what our partner is doing when they are not with us. Hoping that what you think you know is true, is not what you should rest your safety on. The bottom line for me, if he is not your husband, the rule should be: no condom, no sex. Secondly, go get tested for HIV. It is proven that the earlier you know your HIV status the longer you will live. Early diagnoses and treatment are key. Lastly, for those living with HIV, my life is an example that you can live. Don’t let HIV/AIDS stop you from living a full life. Get in treatment and stay in treatment, it will mean the difference from how long you live or how soon you die. Find a support system to help you carry the load. Sometimes the support may not be our families, but there are support systems there for you and you should tap into the resources. No one should live with HIV alone.

Patricia: You created The PROTECTED Project™ campaign to promote the use of protection during sexual encounters in order to prevent STD’s and particularly HIV/AIDS, what other messages does the project put across. Rae: The Protected Project was designed to bring attention to HIV/ AIDS and promote prevention through personal responsibility. The bottom line, HIV is preventable. The message is simple; preventable diseases, like STDs and HIV/AIDS, heavily affects African-Americans and people of color.

By promoting personal responsibility, open communication, and education around HIV/AIDS we can change the course of this these diseases. While prevention is the focus of the protected project, we also promote testing and early detection. When people know their HIV status they are less likely to

“ While my life’s purpose is speaking and challenging stigma, shame, stereotypes and proving hope around HIV/AIDS, through RLT Collection, my bracelet line, I've shown that one is not limited by the bounds of this disease.”

Patricia: Apart from the HIV/AIDS awareness, you also design jewelry. I got a chance to look at your RLT jewelry collection, one word, Royal. I loved the various collections and especially the Onyx Stack piece. When did you start designing jewelry? Rae: I started designing bracelets almost four years ago. I had the idea to make pretty AIDS Awareness Bracelets so that women would want to promote AIDS Awareness in the same way they do Breast Cancer Awareness. However, in a matter of months, my years of savvy fashion since kicked in and I discovered that I had a gift and a passion for designing bracelets. Within six months of making my first bracelet, I launched RLT Collection, A full line of fashion bracelets. Additionally, I design 2-3 Diva AIDS Awareness Bracelets that completes the current collection. The common theme in the Diva AIDS Awareness Bracelet is the red angelic crystal that is incorporated into the design. This way the AIDS Awareness Bracelet stays fresh and exciting. Red has historically been the color for HIV/AIDS Awareness. Patricia: What kind of jewelry do you make and what inspires your collections? Rae: I decided to focus primarily on bracelets because it is my favorite piece of jewelry. But most importantly it’s a universal accessory. Almost every woman has or will wear a bracelet in her life time.

Photos by Parish Lewis Women inspire my collection. I tap into the different personality and styles of women at my base line. From there I let the gemstones guide my work. Each season I choose a gemstone as the primary theme for the collection and I design bracelets with and to complement that stone. The gemstone for this season’s Fall/Winter Collection is Onyx. Each bracelet complements this gemstone. However, for my Cruise Collection I chose several gemstones. Trying to stay with my theme, A bracelet For Every Women, the variety of gemstones allows me to spread my wings in designing.


While I have some permanent collections, like the Imani Bracelets and Pearls, all of my bracelets are limited editions. Once gone, there are no more and I’m off to find new and exciting gemstones to inspire me. I always want to keep the collection diverse and exciting. This year I launched my RLT Signature Bracelets which features three gemstones in the center. RLT Signature Bracelets can be worn by themselves or paired with any bracelet within a particular RLT Collection. The three gemstones will distinguish RLT Collection Stackable from this popular style. The number three has so many positive meanings in cultures around the world, but of course it also symbolizes the RLT my name Rae LewisThornton's and the name of the Collection.

Patricia: What is your favorite piece from your collection? Rae: I simply love all of the bracelets in my collection; however, what I wear the most is the Onyx with the African Turquoise center stones from my Fall/Winter Collection. The African Turquoise is exquisite and complements the onyx. I wear black at least 3-4 times a week. This bracelet is a way for me to add color and still be in sync with my basic black wardrobe. Additionally, throughout all my collections, I have designed RLT Signature bracelets with pearls in the center with various gemstones. Pearls are my favorite gemstones and I’ve shown with these particular bracelets that pearls can be worn everyday and that they complement every gemstone on the planet. It is a more versatile stone than any other. Patricia: What new directions do you hope to move in the future? Do you have big plans, new ideas or designs you will be exploring soon? Rae: This was the first year that I invested everything I had into RLT Collection from resources to energy. My first Trunk Show was amazing. I’ve shown the world and myself that I’m not only capable but that there is so much potential for the growth of my bracelet line. I’ve put RLT Collection on the map and I plan to increase my territory. I want every woman wearing my bracelets and it’s as if I have a hunger to make it happen. That means, the designs will get better which I hope will


translate into sales. I have a bracelet for every woman and I want every woman wearing my bracelets. Patricia: You are an amazing woman and your story is an inspiration to many, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Rae: In 2012, I will be 50 years old having lived half of my life with HIV/AIDS. 30 years with HIV and 20 with AIDS. In my life, HIV/AIDS has taken center stage in one way or the other. At one point I saw death staring me in the face. I remember when my T-cell count was 8 out of a 1000 and there was no exception that I would live, but there was hope. God created a miracle from my hope; and each day, I understand that my life is a blessing. I dare not squander God’s life, so I press my way, with a prayer that my life will give hope to others. While my life’s purpose is speaking and challenging stigma, shame, stereotypes and proving hope around HIV/AIDS, through RLT Collection, my bracelet line, I've shown that one is not limited by the bounds of this disease. I’ve shown that you can not only survive with HIV/AIDS but you can thrive. You just must be willing to stand tall and fight long and hard.

To keep up to date with Rae’s projects, speaking engagements, new designs and future plans visit her on the links below.




London Fashion Perspective Spread Photography & Styling By SGJP Creative


LONDON FASHION PERSPECTIVE By Stephanie Popoola The London Perspective presents up and coming designer duo Paida Fundira and Tasha Antwi, who together create Chenai Design. Hailing from the East and West borders of Africa, these young women were drawn together, previewing their collection in a variety of independent online publications, including and With an ever-growing interest forming around this label, I managed to catch them on their way up the industry ladder for a photo-shoot and quick interview to find out their London Perspective as designers. So tell me, how did two sides of Africa find themselves collaborating on a London based label? Chenai Designs evolved from the desire to celebrate the unique cultures and beauty of Africa. Essentially, it's a result of our passion for fashion and love for our home countries, (Paida a Zimbabwean and Tasha a Ghanaian). Living in London, it isn't uncommon to feel that Africa was poorly received and perceived. We wanted to challenge the negative connotations associated with our origins, highlighting the richness and culture Africa. Interesting point. With this in mind, as British women, how have your personal styles influenced your brand?


Our personal style is heavily influenced by the world surrounding us. It was really important for us to combine contemporary Western styles with the rich vibrancy that African prints offer. Appealing to those used to wearing African prints in a traditional way, hopefully encourage them to try new forms of elf-expression. We worked with this in mind, resulting in ready-towear pieces that weren't too avantgarde or crazy for the average woman.

Speaking about the average woman, who is the woman that wears Chenai Design? The Chenai Design woman is young, cheeky and flirtatious. She is confident in herself and appreciates well-placed accents of color. Fully aware of her cultural background and is eager to retain and promote her identity, yet is also fully integrated within the western cultural society. She is someone who isn’t afraid to stand out from the crowd! She sounds like many of our readers! Exactly what key elements make the label?

Simply put, prints, shapes and color. Celebrating Africa in all its glory, we select the best materials and fabrics with wonderful prints. With so many furors about size and shape in fashion, it was essential we stick with our roots and celebrate the feminine shape in every form. Our pieces create and convey shapes and we hope inspire confidence in the wearer.

about positive and true representation of women in fashion. What should we look forward to seeing in your next collection? Expect to see heavenly fabrics, adorned with fabulous, vivid color. Our new collection features a lot of tailored and classic pieces, with a touch of edge. We also have some fabulous soft and feminine dresses and blouses, to make you feel like an angel. That sounds like another successful collection! With the future in mind, 2012 is big year for a lot of people. What big things should we look out for from Chenai Design? We‘re planning to start selling our stock in boutiques internationally, so 2012 should see Chenai available at a store near you! We'll be styling an upcoming girl group, who are supporting a major artist on her international tour, so that is an exciting collaboration for both of us. We can’t say too much until everything is confirmed so watch this space! Ooh you’re teasing us ladies! Well, we look forward to seeing and hearing more of the label on the international waves and also being able to get our hands on your divine collection. Writer, wardrobe stylist, image consultant, designer, poet are some of the titles Stephanie is recognized by Based in London, she is currently freelancing under SGJP Creative, styling and directing shoots and videos.

AfroElle Magazine is very much



unday Omony was born in Kitgum, Uganda. In 1991 her family moved to Canada due to conflict in Northern Uganda. At the age of 16 and in high school, Sunday was scouted by a modelling agent and that was to be the beginning of her journey as a plus size model. Have you gone back to Uganda since you left in 1991? Yes. I was in Uganda in 2008 for three months. It was a life changing experience for me. I love Uganda very much. I enjoy volunteering with local non-profits and spending time with my relatives when I'm there. I'm looking forward to returning to Uganda again very soon. When you were approached by the modelling agent, what was your immediate response? Did you get the support from your parents?

Q&A WITH Fashion Model and Humanitarian

Sunday Omony 70| DECEMBER ISSUE |

When the modelling agent told me that I could be a model, my immediate response was shock. I never believed that I had the requirements to be a model. My parents did not support me getting involved in the fashion industry. When I showed them the modelling agent’s business card they were upset. My mom threw the business card in the garbage. When my parents went to bed that night, I took the business card from the garbage. The next day after school ended, I went to the agency to meet with the agent. I was very curious to find out what she saw in me. What has been your experience as a plus size model? What’s the best thing about it?

I've had great experiences as a plus size model. Through modelling I've had the opportunity to be involved with wonderful non-profit organizations. I also enjoy speaking to teen girls and women about the importance of a healthy body image. I'm grateful for all these positive experiences. What advice can you give to aspiring plus size models? I think it’s important for aspiring plus size models to first do their research about the industry. Self-confidence is vital. There may be some difficulty along the way but staying focused and positive is crucial. I encourage aspiring models to be with agencies that are excited about them and want to see them succeed. Lastly, never give up in your dreams and always keep pressing forward. Where do you hope to see the plus size modelling industry? I think the fashion industry is headed in the right direction. We are starting to see more diverse shapes featured on the runway. It’s good to see that diversity is becoming what is beautiful. I believe that we'll see major progress in the future when it comes to the plus size movement. Apart from the modelling you are also a humanitarian, can you tell us about your involvement with Feed1 Project and Hearts4 Peace? Aside from modelling, I like to be involved with non-projects and organizations that are making positive changes locally and internationally. I'm honoured to be the spokesperson for Hearts for Peace and an ambassador for FEED 1 Project. I'm very passionate about both causes. I think it's vital to raise awareness about global hunger and to help support peace-building initiatives.

Connect with Sunday Website




Representing Black Florah N’godoih is the Chadian woman behind the make-up line OUADAI; the first make-up brand for black women in France and certified by ECOCERTGreenlife. Born in Toulouse, France, when the 28 year old initially started her business venture, she was told it was impossible to offer make-up bio adaptable to dark skin, black and mixed race. But Florah did not believe this, with a background in laboratories and training from the DUT Management of Society, she went ahead and developed her brand of make up ; from the shades to the choice of color codes. From an early age, Florah was interested in the benefits of plants in makeup and this was one of the things that motivated her to start her brand. Today, Florah is proud of what she has accomplished through her brand, she says, ‘I am proud because, Wadai is in my image.’ Patricia Miswa : When did you first have the idea of creating your own makeup line and how long did it take before it launched? Florah N’godoih : I had the idea to create my brand during my studies in laboratory in France, I couldn’t find any make up products that could fit my coffee complexion, this motivated me to create my own make up brand. 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.

Beauty Patricia: Can you tell us a little bit about the products in your make up line? Florah: OUADAÏ Make-up line includes; loose Powder, compact foundation, lipstick, mascara, eye shadow and pencil Patricia: Did you encounter any challenges? Florah: At the beginning it was difficult, I wanted an organic certified make up brand and I could not find the manufacturers. I also had to create everything from scratch and that’s why it took 11 years. It was a hard project but I believe that when you really want something, with hard work and the courage you will get what you want. 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. Patricia: How did you motherland, Chad, play a role in the creation of your make up line? Has it inspired you in any way? Florah: I chose a name that represents the Chadian kingdom because it was a reminder of my origins. The make-up in Africa is ancestral, I thus chose to use products such as the Shea butter for the moisturizing, Cocoa butter from north-African origin but also Argan oil and all the ingredients


Which could bring a high moisturizing to our type of skin because black skin is sensitive skin and often dry. Yes, Africa has inspired me especially when it comes to shampoos. Patricia: Anything else you’d like to share? Florah: OUADAÏ forces of nature is for your beauty. Thank you AfroElle.

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SKIN DEEP By Dami Olawaiye-Adewole

Ladies, to attain perfect skin takes a little bit of work, a dose of knowledge and you are on your way to skin deep and healthier skin. I will walk you through identifying your unique skin type and then advice you on what you should do and what you should avoid. DRY SKIN: OK so you’ve got the whitish flaky type of skin, probably with a few wrinkles on your forehead or even legs. It means your skin is thirsty and you need to drink more water each day to keep the moisture in; at least 8 glasses of water. WHAT TO DO: Apart from the water therapy (8 glasses of water a day ), apply moisturizers at least twice a day and you could also treat yourself occasionally to intensive night treatment. Look out for products containing Vitamin E, Avocado oil as well as hydrating masks. WHAT TO AVOID: Sun exposure sometimes aggravates a typical dry skin condition. Try to avoid excessive lubrication and products that have alcohol and when opting for a facial mask ensure it is the cream based ones and not the peel off types to retain the little moisture in the skin and avoid looking dehydrated. OILY SKIN: The major advantage is has its own natural moisturizer which protects the outer layer of the skin from different weather conditions hence you won’t age quickly! Major relief, but whilst this sounds like a breathe of fresh air, excess oil (known as sebum) opens up the pores and causes breakouts. WHAT TO DO: When choosing your foundation, look out for “oil free” types, antibacterial essentials like tea tree, grapefruit and cleansing oils. WHAT TO AVOID: Foundations with “glossy” or “satin finish”, harsh alcohol based toners, soap and water, oil based moisturizers, and forgoodnessake, stop touching that face!!

COMBINATION SKIN: When you begin to see that your chin, forehead, nose or T-zone are oily than the rest of your face even after powdering and wiping, then you fall into this category. Treatments for this skin type include treating the oily bits with the care they need and then moisturizing the dry parts. WHAT TO DO: Night creams will help to maximize your beauty sleep, also using moisturizers with sunscreen protection. WHAT TO AVOID: Leaving on makeup overnight is a big no no. Scrubbing hard with exfoliates wouldn’t do the trick either, and try to avoid using harsh toners for your T-zone. SENSITIVE SKIN: If for some reason your skin reacts to almost every product you use, then you certainly aren't far from this group. no need to panic, you just need to take extra care of your skin watching what you eat and apply on it. WHAT TO DO: Make sure that the products you buy contain aloe Vera, chamomile or kaolin. WHAT TO AVOID: Stay out of the sun and if you must dry yourself in the sun please do with some high-factor sunscreens.

Dami Olawaiye-Adewole is the CEO at Dolagreen; a beauty therapy and fashion make-up Enterprise. She has displayed her love for colors and faces through her blogs & write-ups, product launch, online presence ( ) where she engages her clients and other beauty lovers. At Dolagreen, “beauty is of the essence”.!


Let Shimmer and Sparkle By Feyruz Tesfazion Tis' the season for eggnog, champagne toasts, little black dresses and kisses under the mistletoe. Whether it's a Christmas party or a New Years Eve bash, here are my tried and true tips for looking gorgeous this upcoming holiday season. Fun and Frolic The holidays give you free reign to be bold and play with colors that you normally wouldn't wear so let shimmer and sparkle reign! Don’t be afraid to experiment with garnet, gold, glitter and gloss. Try rich plum nails, liquid gold bronzer or incorporating a bit of violet or shimmer in your smokey eye while adding some faux lashes. OPI Malaga Wine ($8.00 polish

Keep it simple When creating your holiday look make sure to choose either your eyes or your lips as your focal point. If you're doing a dramatic smokey eye make sure to pair it with a light nude lip. If you're doing a brazen red lip, downplay your eye makeup. Matte' red lips are my favorite for holiday parties because they plump up your lips and give the appearance of whiter teeth. Stay away from over the top blush when rocking either one of these looks because all three together would be the epitome’ of trashy. Know the difference between tasteful and tacky. MAC Ruby Woo ($14.50 @ maccosmetics)-red lipstick Too Faced The Original Smokey Eye Collection ($35 eye kit Revlon Superlustrous Lipgloss Nude Lustre ($6.99 lip

Clean Canvas Supermodel Iman said it best with, "It don't mean a thing, if you aint got that skin." You can have a fabulous outfit, the perfect red lip and this seasons hottest Louboutins but if your complexion isn't flawless to start with, none of that matters. A clean and smooth complexion and well groomed eyebrows should be the forefront of every look. Hyper pigmentation or uneven skin tone? After you’ve cleansed and moisturized your face, grab a concealer brush and a bit of liquid concealer to cover up the imperfections and then sweep bronzer over your entire face. Your complexion will look airbrushed. IMAN Sheer Finishing Bronzer in Clay ($16.00 @ Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Concealer Brush ($9.99 @ -concealer brush

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.


Festive Fancies


By Phoebe Parke

Every end of year we receive invites to those festive celebrations that happen once a year. With our hearts full of festive cheer; we are usually less than excited about the prospect of finding something to wear to that office party, friend’s gathering or family event. Well this year we are going to make it easy with these festive tips and tricks to take all the pressure off, and make you look as fabulous as the season. The idea is to get into the spirit! Don’t stress and buy a whole new wardrobe this season, save that money for the presents and turkey. The key is to buy one or two new items to add to your favourite staples, and use your wardrobe to your advantage.

The dress A metallic twist dress is perfect for the festive season and makes a statement without having you looking like a disco ball. The metallic trend was the hottest look IN 2011, this modest dress will help you stay on trend well into the New Year.

The Shoes Gorgeous black shoes with details and straps are great for the party season, as they can go with any outfit from jeans to the hottest dress, they are an all year round investment.

The Bag A black chain strap bag is perfect to wear with a plain black dress to add that festive edge. It should be big enough for all the essentials an you can tuck in the straps if you want to use it as a clutch bag.

The Earrings You can wear simple out fit and compliment it with earrings that stand out like these funky Heavenly Wings Tunnel Earrings, they will make you stand out of the crowd. " Phoebe Parke is the Copy Manager of Women’s Magazine DivaScribe and a freelance writer. Her speciality area is urban fashion and she writes for a number of online and print publications including Pappzd Magazine, Grime Daily and Fashion’s Finest alongside her University studies in English and German Literature. Phoebe is a very ambitious young lady and is always looking for ways to take her career to new heights. "

by Juliet They say that the most appealing clothe a woman can wear is her Confidence. The holiday season is here and this time round when dressing, remember to pack a suit of confidence. Confident Fashion Tips for This December 1.

Wear more colour. Colour makes you look younger and vibrant. 2. Belt it, clinch it at the waist; it gives you a figure and transforms your outfit. 3. Don’t shy away from jewellery; they have the advantage of making your outfit pop. 4. Invest in a signature scent to keep you feeling fresh all day. 5. Aim for timeless classics; trends that do not run out of style, invest in a Little black Dress. Black knee length skirtpreferably pencil skirt. White button down shirt, make sure it’s versatile enough to be worn formally as well as casual. 6. Scarves in all colours, tie around your neck, drape them on your handbag, or even tie them around your waist adding a playful vibrancy. 7. You need a good pair of heels, and flat sandals to show off your perfect pedicure. 8. Treat yourself to a beauty regime exfoliate, cleanse and moisturise your face and body. 9. Don’t shy away from makeup, just don’t overdo it, look for undertones that match your complexion. You can determine your skin tone in two ways Silver jewellery goes well with cool skin while gold jewellery flatters warm skin. Arch those eyebrows they help define your facial features and it gives you an instant makeover. 10. Do something with your hair; every girl knows that changing your hairstyle is the only way to reinvent your look, cut it, braid it, and have fun with it. Juliet is the owner of Zell'e Beauty Mart, that offers a wide range of beauty products and fashion accessories, especially handmade jewellery from various designers.




with Carolyne Onyango

Because of the rain, we changed the whole itinerary for the trip. We decided to do more old city tours, see museums and monuments, and enjoy Brazilian food at various restaurants. We completely scrapped the beach part of the vacation. I recently travelled to Brazil, I am sure that anyone who has ever gone to Brazil on vacation or for a destination wedding has probably packed a bathing suit, lots of lotion, and lots of energy for going to the beautiful beaches of Brazil. Well, this is if the sun is out, and there is beach perfect weather. My boyfriend and I went to Brazil from mid to end October for a friend’s destination wedding, and like many other people, I was ready to hit the beach everyday. Alas, that was not so. Although I did my research and knew that it is was spring time in Brazil in October, I envisioned nice warm spring weather. However, it rained everyday when we were in Brazil. Because I came a long way to Brazil and was not going to just hang out in the hotel room because of the rain, we decided to enjoy each day, under the pouring rain.

Sao Paulo is a very big city, and the best neighborhood to stay in while in Sao Paulo is Jardins. It is packed with restaurants, cafes, art galleries, bookstores, wine bars and offers a huge shopping district for the shoppers at heart. Rio de Janeiro of course has it’s main tourist attractions, which every tourist must make a point of visiting. The Sugar Loaf Mountains and the Statute of Christ the Redeemer are a must see if you are in Rio de Janeiro. Also, there is this magnificent art district, which rose out of a poor debilitated neighborhood, where all the artists live and work. A must see is the staircase formerly known as St. Theresa staircase in the Lapa neighborhood. This massive living artwork, which is now known as Escadaria Selarón, or Selaron’s staircase, is 125 meters high and includes colorful tiles from all over the world. We were so amazed by all the mosaic on the tiles, including mosaic of campaign posters for Obama/Biden 2008 elections, fall of Berlin wall, little Mermaid of Denmark, Great Wall of China, and the list goes on an on. Definitely a must see for art enthusiasts.


Additionally, anyone visiting Brazil who does not speak Portuguese should think of bringing a small Portuguese dictionary. I learned very quickly that most Brazilians only speak Portuguese, with a small minority speaking Spanish and not so many people speak English. It was fun learning some basic Portuguese, as this is very important while ordering food in restaurants, or bargaining for a taxi. All in all, despite the rains, Brazil was great.

Caroline Onyango is a lawyer in Washington DC. She practices real estate law, and decompresses from the law by writing a travel/relationship/fashion blog. She loves to travel and has visited many countries.

Hyderabad Life: The City of Pearls By Lara Aromire From the slums of Mumbai, to the pearls of Hyderabad, to the beaches of Goa, to the hills of Visakhapatnam, to the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore, Incredouble India coined by my Turkish friend and fellow TCS intern will jolt, intrigue, infuriate and excite you. You will love it or hate it, but you shall never forget the incredible subcontinent called India. My Emirate Airways (EK 784) flight touched down in Mumbai on the 15th of December, 2010 at 8:40am IST with my 56k of luggage. A wave of disillusionment swept through me on the sight of Mumbai, I could see the slums, right from the plane. But I reminded myself that I was not there just to experience the business world, but for a cultural experience too. Hyderabad, the city I have called home in the last 10months has been more or less wonderful to me. Hyderabad; home of The Charminar, The Makkah Masjid and the world largest integrated Film Studio, The Ramoji Film City. In this city, I have cried, laughed, dreamed, made wonderful new friends and most importantly the city has awakened the soul in me. In the beginning, I found Hyderabad intimidating; I call it my city of dreams and possibility. I find myself comparing every other city I visited to Hyderabad and all these other cities always fall short of my beloved City of Pearls.

I love the architectural landmarks, especially those in HITEC City; like every building is competing with the next; every building in this city tells a different story. Hyderabad reminds me of the Capital City of Nigeria, Abuja. The poverty, the dirt on the streets, the corruption, the weather, the bad roads and the autorickshaws I could relate with. To me India and Nigeria are twins located in different ends of the world. The honeymoon phase in the beginning was exciting, I found myself signing autographs for school children, the locals were always eager to take pictures with us, my braids were being pulled and I had to satisfy their inquisitiveness of how my hair was made into braids. Coming from a country where a good command of the English language is expected; I was baffled by Hinglish, I kept wondering why anyone would ask me “why I am not lifting my call” and “if I am not keeping well”. With time, I have learnt to appreciate it not only from a cultural perspective but also as a medium to properly pass my message across. India has re-awakened the travelling spirit in me. Exploring the Southern cities of India has been awesome and makes me appreciate the forgotten beauties of my Motherland. The awakened spirit of travel also gave a soul to my interest in photography. Despite the poverty, corruption and wanting public infrastructure; the people of India still consider

their country the best place to live. I am motivated by their creativity and determination in the face of what seems impossible circumstances and hardship. India has been a great teacher; the experience has been the greatest adventure of my life. The nation has taught be to be independent, to recognize and believe in myself. Did I make a mistake in coming to India? No. It is one decision I shall always applaud myself for. This life time decision has made me appreciate life, family, and my cultural background more.



AFROELLE Encourage.Empower.Entertain.Elevate

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