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AFROELLE March Issue 2015

Celebrating Women of African Heritage


AfroElle Magazine is a monthly digital publication celebrating and empowering women of African heritage in Africa and the Diaspora.



Patricia Miswa




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Thank You to our Contributors!

















Originally from New York City, JamesAnthony relocated to Atlanta after receiving a degree in Mass Communications at Savannah State University. While in Atlanta, James cultivated his photography skills shooting fashion spreads and cover shoots for magazines. James Anthony's photographs are "clean" and alluring, which has led to his growing success in the photography and fashion/entertainment world. James Anthony's works have since been featured in Athletics Weekly (UK), Bello, Ebony, Essence, Jet, Kontrol, Krave, Obvious, Ouch!, Sheen, Sister 2 Sister, Upscale, Uptown and Vibe .

James Anthony Guest Photographer NEW YORK / ATL

JamesAnthonyPhotos.com @IamJamesAnthony

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We also spotlight Afrofoodie, Cote d’Ivoire’s first restaurant food blog and the blogger behind it shares some highlights on the culinary scene in Abidjan. Plus, our newest contributor, Amanda Gicharu shares a heart and comforting Shepherd’s Pie recipe, and so much more! Hope you enjoy this issue! Until next time, I leave you with the words of James Hillman, “Anytime you are going to grow, you’re going to loose something.”

Founder and EIC



Do you know a phenomenal woman impacting their community or making a difference in their field? Simply email their bio and links to their work to AfroElle@gmail.com for a possible feature in our upcoming issue.

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Paul Mboya Photography


ur March Issue is here just for you. In this issue, find out about the Pretty documentary series that seeks to explore the global beauty standards of Black women. Get to know Zambian, singer songwriter and Performing arts graduate, Chembo. Be inspired by founder of HELD Sister Initiative, Caroline Ng’ang’a who has battled and survived cervical cancer and is now using her initiative to support survivors and create sexual and reproductive health issue awareness. Read about MILEAD fellow, Tanyaradzwa Daringo, who was listed as one of 30 inspirational young Africans in 2014. Tanyaradzwa talks to us about the impact female leadership has had in different sectors in Namibia. Also, Executive Director of UAF-Africa, Ndana Bofu-Tawamba, takes us through the impact of female leadership on society and shares challenges that she has faced running a non-profit organization centered on women empowerment.

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MARCH 14 In Her Good Books with Buyaki 12 A Look into Pretty webseries 16 8 things about Chembo 18 Conversation with Caroline Ng’ang’a 20 Q & A with Tanyaradzwa Daringo 22 Fighting Herstory with Ndana Bofu-Tawamba 28 Springing Forward editorial 38 Profile on The Creative Cookie 40 Cooking up a Storm with Amanda Gicharu 44 Spotlight on Afrofoodie

INSIDE “ If women do not have a voice where key decisions, which affect their lives are made, then their capacity for full development and equality is severely limited.” - Pg 22






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Quotes of the Month Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. - unknown “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”-Mark Twain “You are your best thing”― Toni Morrison The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. ~Sonya Friedman You would not exist if you did not have something to bring to the table of life. ~Herbie Hancock So long as you are still worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself. ~Neale Donald Walsch “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” ― Marilyn Monroe *******************

Pretty is a documentary series

exploring how beauty differs across the globe. Debuted by Un-ruly, a digital beauty platform dedicated to Black hair, the series will take a look at beauty from the eyes of Black women and explore how beauty standards vary in different countries. In the first episode, the series focuses on what is considered beautiful in Paris and questions whether France has forgotten to include some groups of people in its idea of beauty because it considers a color blind country.

In Episode 2, ‘Sarah, Beauty is a Quest’, its features Ghubar Magazine’s founder Sarah Diouf who shares her work to bring more variety in fashion and what it takes to find beauty in yourself. The founder, Antonia Opia, hopes the series will expose viewers not just to different ideas of beauty but that it will also celebrate what women have in common across the globe. The Pretty series will journey through Africa, North and South America and Europe sharing the beauty-centered stories of three to four women per city. Keep updated with new episodes of Pretty through @hairunruled and #WhatIsPretty

“Beauty is just about finding who you are and being at peace with it, and once you're at peace with what you are, I feel like you just bloom. And when a woman blooms, it's just something very beautiful.” - Sarah Diouf

In Her Good Books Buyaki Kibwage is a Nairobi native currently undergoing Advocate training at the Law School of Kenya.


enjoy books that penetrate intellect as well as romance novels on occasion.

The first book I remember reading that made me fall in love with reading, was The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne; at the time I really enjoyed how the story played out despite it being cliché. I was hooked on books from then on. I’m currently reading One day I will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina. I really enjoy Paulo Coelho because his books are characterized by profundity of experiences and feeling.

One book that has changed my life is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I read it at a crucial time in my life which increased the impact it had. The Thing Around My Neck By Chimamanda Adichie was a whole lot disappointing. If I were to have dinner with an author, dead or alive it would be with Paulo Coelho - he must be really wise and have the most interesting stories to tell , Binyavanga Maina – he seems fun and is the first African writer whose work I really enjoy, Barolong Seboni who is a poet and an academic, perfect combination for a romance novel and Philo Ikonya who I would really like to chat about poems and human rights; two things I absolutely love. []

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ARAMIDE’s Groove Multitalented singer Aramide, is a Nigerian Afro-Soul/Jazz artiste, songwriter and guitarist. By AfroElle Editorial


CHEMBO A Zambian native, raised in Zambia and Wales, UK, Chembo, is a singer songwriter and Performing arts graduate who started making music fresh out of high school but had never taken it seriously. Having done a lot of open mic nights, performed at festivals, collaborated with a few producers, last year her musical journey began with the release of her debut single “Tightrope” after years of making music for fun. The song which is autobiographical has received a lot of great airplay on Major Zambian radio stations and her second Home Wales, with play on BBC radio Wales, Nation Radio Wales and Calon fm.

My first experience with music would have to be when I was really just a toddler, I remember dancing to Brenda Fassie with my mother and skanking with my dad who was a huge reggae fan so there was lots of Bob, Buju Banton and all sorts blasting in our house.


What inspired me to pursue a career in

music is just Love. I love making music and I love the music I make, but it has taken me a long time to be comfortable with expressing this love. It has been great so far especially since the release of my debut single Tightrope last year, I felt really encouraged that I was on the right path somehow.


My sound is influenced by the various

melodies I come up with while writing. I don’t necessarily go with beats that sound a certain way, if it speaks to the purest part of me and I understand it, then I go with. It’s a fusion of genres from reggae, jazz, pop and soul but always has superbly written lyrics, if I do say so myself, and also it’s very artistic.


My songs cover a wide range of topics, but I would say the most predominant subject I tend to write about is Love. I feel that love is a huge inspiration to me, just as an emotion. Love of family, things, life whatever. Sometimes I talk about fear, but I tend to write about positivity and when I do write something that touches on a negative notion I tend to tailor the beat to have a more pop sound, but I always write what I feel in my spirit without dilution. I hope my listeners go away with positive vibes and also an awareness that all experiences are universal and you are never alone going through something, so never feel alone.


I’m heavily influenced by hip-hop as a


person, something that may not really be that prevalent in my music but it is something I’m influenced by, mostly because of the freedom in hip-hop, rappers are so lucky.

As far as being mentored I wouldn’t say I have but I would say every person who has

collaborated with me, given me even the most subtle advice and the women and men who are independent artists are really my influencers because being an independent artist myself, it can be really nerve-wrecking starting out, but I am encouraged by those doing it well! My top influencers like Billie Holiday, Aretha, Tina turner, Fassie, and so many more.


This year my listeners and supporters should expect more music! I will be releasing my EP “Chapter One” later in the year, there will be some music videos too and most importantly there will be shows, which I promise to be always amazing. I studied theatre and have done theatre since I was 15 so expect theatrical style live shows.


To those wanting to pursue music as a career, I will say respect what you

do, respect the people you work with which means don’t be late for shows, interviews and meetings. I will also say be true to who you believe you are. Another word of advice is music is a business, learn some of the business aspects, learn to network, and lastly, ASK, It’s even in the bible “ask and you shall be given”? Well do it. You never know how many doors will open just by asking, you don’t have to knock on every single one. []


CLICK ON THE LINK TO LISTEN TO Tightrope Keep updated with Chembo @chembomusic

Caroline Ng’ang’a

On Making a Difference in the lives of cancer patients

On 14th February 2013, Caroline Ng’ang’a received news that she had cervical cancer. Having battled, survived and eventually conquered cervical cancer, Caroline started HELD Sister Initiative, a nongovernmental organization that raises awareness on reproductive health in addition to providing cancer patients with the support they need in the course of their diagnosis, treatment and recovery. A sister and a friend to many cancer patients in the Kenya she shares with us her experience and what her initiative does. By Corazon Achieng’

As a cancer survivor and now a strong advocate of sexual and reproductive health, what inspired such an incredible transformation? My experience inspired a desire to make a difference. My battle and subsequent recovery from cervical cancer made me realize that there is so much shame and secrecy surrounding sexual and reproductive health. I realized that so many women bear the shame silently because they do not have the right information. I started HELD initiative out of a desire to make that information available. The desire to start the initiative was stirred in me in April 2013. In August 2013, I quit my job and decided to fully dedicate my time and resources towards the initiative. I launched in

November 2013. Initially, I would hold talks at different venues: churches, schools, universities. I read and researched on cervical cancer then shared the information during these gatherings. What programs do you facilitate as an organization? We have HELD talks every quarter of the year. On 20th of March this year, we will host an oncologist from India who will give a talk and answer questions about cancer. Every year, we celebrate cancer survivors at a dinner hosted in their honour. We dress up, dance and dine as a reminder that we are alive. We are fighting cancer even if its ravaging effects have robbed us of parts of our bodies.

to mobilize individuals to participate. All we asked for was Kshs. 250 which was used to buy fruits and roses for cancer patients in hospice. I cried after we spent the day with the patients. The response was overwhelming. The impact was evident. Access to quality healthcare remains one of the biggest challenges faced by cancer patients in Kenya. How is HELD Sister Initiative addressing this challenge?

Will you be my Volunteer’ campaign We want to set up a cancer prevention centre in Thika which will provide psychosocial support to the patients and caregivers, legal aid, reproductive health screening, prevention and management services. We want to set up one in every You had a ‘Will you be my county in Kenya. We Volunteer’ campaign in February that coincided with Valentine’s Day, hold medical camps in different parts of the country where women get free breast and can you tell us more about that ? cervical cancer screening. So far, we have held 37 medical camps and screened 3,000 women. Our In 2014, I went to visit a cancer patient at partners have helped us go beyond screening by Kenyatta National Hospital. I had never really offering to pay for chemotherapy and given much thought to what I could do for radiotherapy for some of the patients. another person on Valentine’s Day. That day was different. I had a nagging feeling about the possibility of making someone else’s Valentine How can we participate in the initiative’s Day special. I mobilized my friends to buy a campaigns and programs? rose and a fruit for cancer patients on Valentine’s Day. We went to Kenyatta National We have an active presence on social media Hospital where we spent time with the cancer namely FaceBook and Twitter. We also have a patients. It made them so happy. This year, we website that is regularly updated. You can find involved more people and organizations information about our programs on these decided to come on board. platforms and support us in our endeavors. [] We had banks, universities, high schools and consultancy firms sending their financial support as well as members of their staff. We heldsister.org used social media platforms and text messages

Tanyaradzwa Daringo talks female leadership, empowerment and mentorship By Tatenda Kanengoni


anyaradzwa Daringo is one of three founders of Her Liberty Namibia (HLN) a young women led non-profit organization aimed at empowering and developing young women and the girl child by: Personal and Leadership development, Social and economic empowerment, Self-esteem and confidence building. Established in 2012, their network has made HLN visible and placed young Namibian women on the agenda not only nationally but regionally. Whilst pursing her Diploma in Journalism in Pretoria, South Africa, Tanyaradzwa, was an active volunteer within various young women focus groups concentrating on sexual assault and unwanted pregnancies. Upon her return to Namibia she joined YFem (Young Feminist Movement) which aims to create awareness on women’s human rights with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, LGBTQ rights and sexuality. In 2013, Tanyaradzwa was selected as a MILEAD fellow, which identified her as one of Africa's emerging women leaders. She was also nominated as one of three short list candidates for the Windhoek Lager Community Ambassadors award in Namibia, the youngest nominee ever of this category to date. Tanyaradzwa has been listed as one of 30 inspirational young Africans in 2014. She talks to AfroElle about female leadership in Namibia.

What impact has female leadership had in different sectors in Namibia? The future of female leadership in Namibia excites me, with a total of 43 newly elected female members of parliament; this is a first for Namibia and its women. But get this, that is not the only sector where women leadership has become a “force to reckon with” the number of female entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and teachers has increased of which that can only mean, they FINALLY get it! I remember coming back home after studying in South Africa, complaining about the number, or lack thereof, of female role models and mentors within the country, I thought how do we expect young women to FLORISH when there is no reference point or bench mark. The elite were exactly that, elite and there seemed to be little or no channel to bridge the gap. That is not the case today; we have “leading lady’s” encouraging and mentoring young women within various industries that in my humble opinion can only GROW! Can you highlight some challenges that you have faced running a Non-Profit organization centered on women empowerment. As with any African country, the concept of "women empowerment" seems to be relatively new, or rather the terminology. We are often questioned as to why we decide

to focus solely on young women issues as oppose to youth issues or even women issues at large in which we as HLN maintain that the voice of young Namibian women shall continue to go unheard should we not voice it. Like any other Non-Profit organization, funding is of utmost importance and due to our relatively small size; institutionalizing HLN has been of great challenge. Of which most

project, activities and campaigns we run have been either sponsored for by individuals or from personal funds. You see what people fail to understand is, we founded HLN because we saw the NEED for such an organization, we established the organization because we genuinely believe in the cause and the potential of young Namibian women, in as much as we may be founders the organization cannot work in isolation, of which existing women organizations are to lend a helping hand in terms of mentoring even us as founders on how to contribute to the Namibian women movement as a whole! That is not always the case. Thus, there exists no "unity" within the movement in itself making it almost impossible to have a strong women movement, if one at all. Which female leader inspires you and why?

I am inspired not by change per say but by motion, let's get moving. Act. Do! That inspires me. From a realist perspective, I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot single handedly change the world BUT I can "get this thing going!" So let's DO that instead.

Oh wow, being inspired to me cannot possibly come from one person or "leader", like a fruit salad I am intrigued by a bit of everything and similarly by particular traits from both female and male leaders. I am inspired by not change per say but by motion, let's get moving. Act. Do! That inspires me. From a realist perspective, I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot single handedly change the world BUT I can "get this thing going!!!" So let's DO that instead. []

NDANA BOFU -TAWAMBA Fighting for Herstory Urgent Action Fund-Africa’s (UAF-Africa) mission section is paired with an interesting portmanteau of the words her and story- ‘herstory’, a literal description of what the organization represents. The organization runs various programs, tailored to place women as leading change agents and ultimately, equal participants in society. This is arguably a critical direction for Africa, with more organizations mentoring women to equip them to realize their potential as leaders. In this interview, Ndana Bofu-Tawamba, the Executive Director of UAF-Africa takes us through the mission of the organization and the impact of female leadership on society.. by Tatenda Kanengoni

What is the mission of Urgent Action Africa? UAF-Africa is a consciously feminist and women’s human rights pan-African Fund, established in 2001 in Nairobi, Kenya. As the first rapid response Fund on the continent, UAF-Africa supports time sensitive, innovative and unique initiatives that promote women’s agency in democratic governance, economic justice, natural resources governance, conflict transformation and justice processes while protecting women’s personhood, integrity and rights. The Fund adds value to the work of activists and civil society organizations focusing on women’s active socio-political participation and visibility by leveraging resources and opportunities for critical engagements that advance women’s rights. Committed to working across Africa, UAF-Africa builds broader alliances with partners at national, regional and international levels. The Fund prides herself for leveraging her convening capacity to catalyze debates on topical and emerging issues while playing a critical role in bringing women at the margins

to the centre of debates on women’s rights: womenleadingafrica.net. UAF-Africa is uniquely the only Fund on the continent that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 a year. Our funding mechanisms ensure that we respond to requests for funding within 48 hours. To date, the Fund has supported over 600 women’s catalytic initiatives in 48 African countries. Grant applications are received and processed in the 5 African Union official languages (English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese and Arabic).

What impact does female leadership and mentorship have on society? Having women as leaders is not only democratically just but also a smart choice. Women hold the other half of the sky up. As the largest population on the continent, women play a key role in the governance and economic productivity of their countries. This however is not recognized as it should be. Having more female leaders and mentors, inspires young women and girls that it is not only

possible to be leaders but also, that it is possible to lead differently. Long gone are the days where women leaders had to subscribe to masculinity to be taken serious. There is great value in being a woman leader in today’s society and this needs to celebrated more. This is because when women lead they not only lead businesses, they lead in their community, they fight for their family, and they give voice, choice and control to issues that are important to our collective future. There’s value in having mentors because we can always learn from those who have gone ahead of us. We need not repeat the mistakes and suffer the same obstacles that those ahead of us have gone through. Mentorship refines the output of those being mentored and this in turn accelerates our growth as a society. In general, mentoring has a profound impact on the personal and professional development of young women. For young people, having a mentor ensures that there is somebody in their life who cares about them and can help them visualize a successful future. Mentorship also empowers young girls by building their self-esteem and confidence; developing their leadership and

{ when women lead they not only lead businesses, they lead in their community, they fight for their family, and they give voice, choice and control to issues that are important to our collective future. }

social skills; and challenging them to discover and fulfill their potential. In today’s society, finding a meaningful role model is more important than ever. Therefore, it is important for young women to push the boundaries while they can as youth and ensure that they create their definitive identities as leaders by finding a mentor that can support and guide them through their journey. In regards to leadership- if women do not have a voice where key decisions, which affect their lives are made, then their capacity for full development and equality is severely limited. Women’s ***** involvement in leadership and decision-making contributes to redefining political priorities, placing new issues on the agenda, which reflect and address women’s genderspecific concerns, values, and experiences. Without the active participation of women and the inclusion of their perspectives at all levels of decision-making, the goals of good governance and inclusive, transparent democratic processes cannot be achieved.

women’s leadership as a landmark agenda for global integration, development and social change. Through UAF-Africa’s African Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Initiative we provide a new approach to leadership development in which young women are groomed to lead in a wide range of sectors through coaching, mentoring and exposure to successful leaders, and are equipped and positioned to be effective players in their communities as well as at the national and international levels. These new leaders will thus bring to the fore and in community, national and international agendas the female perspective and dimension to development and social justice issues.

If women do not have a voice where key decisions, which affect their lives are made, then their capacity for full development and equality is severely limited.

"Earlier this month, UAF-Africa, in partnership

with The Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School and Ford Foundation, convened round table discussions on The Role of African Women Leaders in the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the +20 Beijing review process. The two day convening brought together 50 dynamic women leaders from 30 African countries (prioritizing young women) from across the socio- economic and political arena to galvanize success stories, struggles, innovations, knowledge, history, networks and connections that articulate, advance and ground

The world of women’s leadership is an exciting area in which to fund, work, study, mobilise and organize. At UAF-Africa, we believe that the fundamental conversation of African women’s leadership needs a renewed and invigorated stoking of the fire so that women’s innovative voices and ideas are heard and acted upon with the urgency they deserve.

Can you highlight some challenges that you have faced running a non-Profit organization centered on women empowerment. A major challenge that UAF-Africa faces, and it is certainly the same for other Women’s Funds is the need to raise significant funds from philanthropic institutions and individuals that can have game changing impact in the position and condition of African women. In order to promote and protect women’s rights, and to witness a tipping point in the unequal power relations between men and women in the home, at work, in business and politics, enhanced investments targeted at women are imperative.


Therefore, as the CEO, one of my main responsibilities is finding effective and innovative methods for resource mobilization. Under my leadership, UAF-Africa has developed a robust and diverse resource base through building strong value-driven partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders to advance women’s rights strategic financing, capacity development, action-oriented research and advocacy. Africa is rising, Africa is evolving, and UAF-Africa will continue to keep her eye on the ball, pursuing the best possible outcome for a sustainable African women’s movement. We also need more visibility of inspiring women role models-from all walks of life thereby avoiding telling a single narrative of success of the corporate, entrepreneurial, development and political figures, we watch on TV, but showcase that grandmother who looked after and educated eight grand children whose parents died of HIV& AIDS or Ebola. More women leaders need to tell their stories including the trajectory where they illustrated tenacity by not quitting a difficult situation, showcasing that sometimes failure to achieve something planned is a temporary setback but never the final narrative.

We need more visibility of inspiring women role models-from all walks of life thereby avoiding telling a single narrative of success of the corporate, entrepreneurial, development and political figures, we watch on TV, but showcase that grandmother who looked after and educated eight grand children whose parents died of HIV& AIDS or Ebola.

Women’s leadership stories are often portrayed negatively in the media, this is because they are told as part of mainstream patriarchal machinery conspiring to disrupt women’s social advances. We have to dismantle these propaganda vehicles through enhancing our political consciousness including creating our own media and spaces to generate new knowledge that centralizes women’s agency while telling our version of our power and transformative agenda. We are in an era that is greatly at risk because of huge wisdom gaps. Our knowledge sources are devoid of the wisdom that our great grandmothers and grandmothers had. While moving into more technological advancements that have reduced personal interaction and learning spaces, we have left our young generation to their own devices. We therefore need more deliberate and contextualized learning spaces where intergenerational dialogues can take place. There is so much wisdom, intelligence and information that if not passed on generation to generation that will go through the cracks and never be retrieved at the detriment

Our stories as African women have been written by others and not by ourselves and they have told a narrative that is often not grounded on our realities neither has it illustrated our tenacity and bravery. And that is the danger of not having our own stories. We need to theorise, practice, write and preserve our historyshe who controls the past controls the future! of the women’s movement. Our stories as African women have been written by others and not by ourselves and they have told a narrative that is often not grounded on our realities neither has it illustrated our tenacity and bravery. And that is the danger of not having our own stories. We need to theorise, practice, write and preserve our history-she who controls the past controls the future!

Can you share with us a story on a woman you have mentored and what they have achieved. I believe in the ethos of investing in others and I have benefitted from having many people, at different stages of my life invest in my life through mentorship and coaching. In bringing out the best in a person, you bring out the best in their communities and organizations. I am a leader who wears many hats and sit in many strategic spaces; this affords me the opportunity to impact on many lives thus I believe there are many ways of mentoring, non of which are always physical. Through innovative and generative conversations and platforms, I have been able to inspire one or more people in different ways, by deeds and words. I have mentored my colleagues at UAF-Africa empowering them to be the best that they can be and raise their confidence and profile in their areas of expertise and talents. I also take keen interest in mentoring holistically and not just

professionally. I take time to truly learn the personalities and interests of my team and in so doing personalize my mentorship approach in all of them. And they have achieved great things in making a difference in their areas of influence. Over and above celebrating their collective achievements which have driven UAF-Africa to where it is now, each of them have also thrived in various contexts, publishing brilliant scholarly articles, speaking and facilitating in various high level forums, conducting cutting edge research on topical issues and growing in their personal lives. I have also been mentored by my team. Mentoring is a two way process. Mentoring is not just a give and take relationship but a two way investment in the quality of lives including yours. I am not the same leader I was two years ago. I have learned a lot, I have grown physically, mentally and spiritually and this is greatly attributable to the UAF-Africa team. There is an African phrase that says it takes a village to build a successful leaderwe all have a responsibility to do our part. Operating in this digital era and knowledge based economies, by every account women must be relentless in seizing all opportunity to connect platforms for generational leadership. []

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Urgent Action Fund-Africa (UAF-Africa) http://urgentactionfund-africa.or.ke/

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A Jill of all trades, Lesley Ware is a teaching artist, author and designer currently living in Brooklyn, New York. With a Masters in Public Administration, Lesley has worked in programming for international organizations like the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Girls Scouts of the USA. Lesley has always inspired young people to live their dreams. In 2008, she started her blog, thecreativecookie.com, which quickly became a destination for a behind the scenes look at fashion in New York City. In 2012, Lesley started writing Sew Fab, a style and sewing workbook for young fashionistas of all ages. Sew Fab which was published by Laurence King (UK) and released in February 2015, doesn’t just teach about sewing but how to wear creations with flair. Lesley hopes that Sew Fab will encourage girls to use fashion as a creative outlet of expression and thus giving fashion a more interesting future. In the workbook, readers will start by finding their style tribe (aka Fashion Family), learning to accessorize, identifying the best colors for them, and more. Next get ready to sew. Girls will make a mini studio, stock their sewing basket, and try out some hand stitching. Finally, make some Art to Wear. Sew Fab has a mix of easy step-by-step projects to sew by hand or using simple machining, from a hair bow to a little black dress, but in the color that’s best!. Packed with gorgeous illustrations, step-by-step projects, tips, and fun activities, young fashionistas will be creating unique clothes and accessories in no time. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SEW FAB at lesleyware.com


Growing up, I remember coming home from school anticipating the smell of delicious Shepherds Pie in the oven. I loved this dish every time she made it. It a simple British recipe that is basically minced meat and mixed vegetables in a seasoned tomato based sauced topped with creamy mashed potatoes. The most scrumptious part of the dish is baked potatoes that are baked to form a golden crust. As you dig deeper into the pie you enjoy the creamy mash layer followed by the hearty meat and vegetables. While potatoes are not exactly good for you when dropped into a deep fryer, when steamed and boiled, they are packed with powerful nutrients and antioxidants. The carrots are bursting with betacarotene, which is good for our eyes and helps slow down the aging of cells. Peas are high in fiber that improves bowel health. All in all, this dish isn’t too bad nutritionally. You can serve it as a whole meal in itself – it’s easy to make, hearty and comforting. I’m sure your family will love it as much as I do.

INGREDIENTS Placing cooked meat in ramekin

For the pie filling: 450 grams minced beef 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 large onion, finely chopped 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced 2 medium carrots, finely diced 2 stalks of celery, finely diced 3/4 cup of green peas 1 cup of diced ripe tomatoes 1 teaspoon dried Mixed Herb Italian Seasoning 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon Honey A handful of fresh parsley or corriander, finely chopped Salt to taste


For the potato crust: Egg Wash

1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder (optional) 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled 3 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup of cream 1 egg (for egg wash) Salt to taste

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DIRECTIONS To make the pie filling: 1. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a deep pan. Toss in the finely diced onion and fry until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and fry it with the onions for about 2 minutes. 2. Add the diced tomatoes and Honey and stir well. Put the lid on the pan and allow the tomatoes to cook down for about 10 minutes on medium heat. 3. Add the diced carrots, celery and green peas to the pan and mix together. Add the ground beef, spread it well and let it brown on medium-high heat along with the vegetables. 4. Once the meat is browned, season the mixture with salt, pepper, the Mixed Herb Italian Seasoning, Worcestershire Sauce. Stir well and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Just before you turn off the heat, stir in some freshly chopped parsley or coriander.

To make the potato crust: 1. Peel, cube and boil the potatoes in well-salted water. Once the potatoes are fully cooked drain the wa-

ter and transfer them to a mixing bowl. 2. Add the butter, cream and garlic powder (optional) to them while still hot and mash them with a potato masher. Season it with salt and pepper according to your taste.

To assemble the pie: 1. To assemble the dish, spoon the pie filling mix in the bottom of a casserole dish, or small oven proof individual serving dishes. 2. You can then spoon or pipe (to make it look fancier) the mashed potatoes over the top. If you spoon it, flatten the top with the back of the spoon and with a fork make some lines on top (the ridges are what will brown and form a nice crust). 3. Lightly brush a little egg wash (an egg beaten with a teaspoon of water) on the ridges of the mashed potatoes. Bake it in the oven at 180C for about 10-15 minutes. 4. Change your oven setting to ‘grill’ (or broil) and bake for another 4 -5 minutes until the mashed potato topping forms a golden brown crust. 5. Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley or coriander.

Final Dish

Chicken Kebab in the making at a culinary festival


Behind the name Afrofoodie is a West African food lover with international taste bud. Born and raised in Côte d’Ivoire with parents originally from Guinea, Senegal and Mali, Afrofoodie has always been curious generally speaking, but in terms of cuisine, it’s only when she was studying in the United States , an incredible melting pot, that she realized how much she enjoyed food. Once back home, Afrofoodie found it a constant dilemma of having to find a restaurant or lounge to go when the occasion arose. That’s when she began her blogging ventures three years ago ideally as a diary of places she went or stumbled upon in Abidjan or wherever ‘the wind took her’. Aside from her job as a Marketing and Communications professional, Afrofoodie enjoys discovering new cuisines and cultures along the way while traveling, taking pictures and blogging about it. Afrofoodie has become a source of information regarding Cote d’Ivoire’s restaurant scene, the foodies and other culinary events. Although she refuses to define herself as a food or restaurant critic, she created Cote d’Ivoire’s first restaurant / food blog, which has become a reference in and outside the country. As her French blog, “Le Journal D’une Foodie” celebrates its 3rd year, she shares with us a little bit about Abijan’s culinary scene and food culture.

On the Culinary Scene The culinary scene in Abidjan is constantly evolving and we, foodies, enjoy every bit of it. There is a great deal of Asian restaurants, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, and Indian; of course French restaurants, Italian, American, Caribbean, fast food, street food shops , you name it. There is always something new to discover. In Côte d’Ivoire alone, there are more than 60 ethnic groups so you can imagine the one who truly loves food, never gets bored. With more than 60 ethnic groups, the Ivorian local food has a lot of variety and delicacies to try. However, to name a few you most definitely want to get your fingers on what I can dare to call the classics: Some “Alloco”: (fried plantains) or some “Attiéké (couscous like grain made from Cassava); both with barbecued or grilled fish or chicken.

On Food Cultures Although I haven’t traveled as much as I would like to, I would say that I have most

enjoyed the food culture in the United States just because it is so diverse. But then again, having a Japanese roommate in my freshman year, Vietnamese and Korean neighbors and close friends and a Nigerian best friend, helped a lot.

On the definition of a great meal Oh that’s hard one, food always makes me happy generally speaking but I must admit that nothing can compare to a homemade family meal. []


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March Issue 2015  

March Issue 2015