May Issue 2015

Page 1

Celebrating Women of African Heritage

AFROELLE May Issue 2015

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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In the “ Soul of a Poet’ feature, get to know poet Naki Akrobettoe who talks about the origin of her love for poetry. We also chat with creator and writer of new British web series, Housemates, Monique Needham, as she explains how the lack of diversity in British media motivated her to produce her own web series. Patrice Cameau, founder of C.O.O.K.I.E a platform that helps women business owners thrive, shares tips for aspiring entrepreneurs. In this issue we’re celebrating Mother’s Day with our first ever Gift Guide (available here) featuring amazing brands offering gifts fit for every mom. Hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Until next time, I leave you with the words of C. JoyBell C. “Choose your battles wisely. After all, life isn’t measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It’s not winning battles that makes you happy, but it’s how many times you turned away and chose to spend it on warring. Fight only the most important ones, let the rest go.”

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elcome to our May Issue. In the spirit of celebrating mothers this month, we talked to Anthonia Akitunde, founder of mater mea, a site that celebrates women of color at the intersection of career and family. Anthonia talks to us about mater mea filing a void in the representation of black women in media. We also spotlight MBA Mama created by Divinity Matovu, a single mother of two. MBA Mama is for “women pursuing graduate business degrees that would show MBAs, and the world, that being an accomplished professional and an amazing mother are not mutually exclusive.” Get inspired by Nasozi Kakembo, the creative force behind xNasozi , a home décor and lifestyle brand. Nasozi shares with us how she manages to balance motherhood and a successful business. Our food contributor Amanda Gicharu shares a special 3 part recipe Pamper-your-Mother Brunch that you can prepare for your mother for Mother’s Day.



Model: Malaika Cherie | Rita G Photography





14 Soul of a Poet: Naki

Akrobettoe 16 Sharing Her Story: Monique Needham 18 Conversation with Patrice Cameau 22 One on One with Nasozi Kakembo 26 Q&A with Anthonia Akitunde

29 Spotlight On MBA Mama

30 Cooking up a Storm with Amanda Gicharu

34 West Native fashion editorial

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The Soul of a Poet Granddaughter of Ghanaian royalty and an American coal miner, Naki Akrobettoe , born and raised in Columbus, Ohio began her love of poetry and performance at the age of 12. Intrigued by the natural flow of expression, she studied historic writers such as Phyllis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, Toi Derricote, and many more. In 2004 she co-founded the student organization D.E.E.P. (Developing Empowering Enhancing Poets through Poetry) to serve as an outlet for the student body to have a platform to creatively express themselves. In addition to her many achievements academically, Naki has opened for hip hop artist Talib Kweli and performed on the same stage as Grammy Nominated Artist, Dwele. Next up on Naki’s agenda is touring with her “Face of Africa Artist Series” and releasing her 2014 album “A Timeless Miracle: Improv Poems & Sound Vol. 1”. By Iman Folayan | 14

Poetry Chose Me

then things will come naturally. Through this journey I’ve also learned that poetry is the catalyst for many great things. At this point in my life I’m transitioning and realizing that there’s so much more I can do through poetry. People know I have albums, but I want to get over the fear of publishing a book. I think it’s time but I also know there

inspiration. The album I released in December, A Timeless Miracle, came from wanting to leave a legacy for my children. When I think about other artists that I study and admire, their work is their legacy, and they leave it behind and to this day we’re still quoting it.

When I was younger it was just kind of my way of life. I’m the only child with my mother and father. My mother worked a lot, and my parents divorced when I was four, so I spent a lot of time writing. From there I started discovering different writers. From the African perspective my father To me that’s the powerful pushed me to go into fields of thing one can do. The Math and Science but for me gift of words that the it never felt right. In high Creator has given us is school that was my way of I can do through poetry. The thing is, power, so I wanted to existence but it was really in everybody needs an encouraging word; leave something for college, as I was going into me children so they my freshmen year, that I told and people gravitate to my words. can look back and say, my dad I don’t want to be a “Wow, my mom doctor, that I want to be a created this for me.” writer. I want to write, and I So when they’re trying to want to master the art of writing. are avenues for teaching and figure out things in their own workshops that I can do life they can look at my through poetry. The thing is, What really changed me was that words and learn from my everybody needs an I wanted to create an avenue to personal journey. encouraging word; and people prove to myself that this was my What’s most important is gravitate to my words. So passion and knowing that there that I’m comfortable in my whether it’s a book or a line of was a purpose behind it and own skin and comfortable greeting cards there’s a void uncovering that along the way. It knowing who I am, and not that I can fill, and if I can find really unfolded when I started to having to seek validation in the words that people need get into performance poetry. I anyone else but myself. Right was working with a Poet Laureate that’s spreading the seed of now, my inspiration is my love and light to the world, I and he said, “I keep hearing your life, coming into my fullness, want to do that. A greeting voice over music. Maybe you not being afraid of my card line is an avenue I’m should record and see what potential, facing my fears exploring because we don’t comes of it.” And I did, and it and living the life God has see many that reflect our evolved from little projects for a given us. Everyday is a culture or experiences. I’m class into what it is now. Five miracle and everyday I’m also considering tapping into years ago I never thought I’d be able to create is timeless. other art forms that I can here. speak through visually perhaps a docu-series. Poetry taught me BE LIMITLESS Purchase the My Legacy is my soul stirring Inspiration album and read I’ve learned that when you’re more of her operating and moving through works at spirit and your personal truth My own personal life is my


MONIQUE NEEDHAM On Sharing Her Stories How and when did the storytelling begin?

Housemates is a new British drama web series that documents the ups and downs of a close group of friends living together. Created by 29 year old Monique Needham, the series which has been described as ‘Friends’ meets Girlfriends, is loosely based on her life experiences and portrays the bond between female friends. Monique was mainly inspired to create the show due to the lack of representation of images she could relate to in the media. By Ashley Makue

I remember when I was younger, around early 90s, still at school, watching shows like The Real McCoy and Desmond's and being able to laugh and relate to the jokes. Seeing people on TV that reminded me of my own family. A great sense of familiarity. Late 90s those shows disappeared and I watched a lot of American TV, reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Sister Sister, Moesha, Hangin' with Mr Cooper, One on One- the list could go on. Those who remember will remember those shows came on Trouble- good old days! Then it all stopped. No more Trouble. No more diverse British TV shows. End were the days of shows I could relate to. 15 years later the diversity of British television hasn't got any better, in my opinion. I had so many ideas of programmes that I thought should be on television but always thought, “who cares about what I have to say?” I finally found the confidence to write and make something, Housemates being the first major project. | 16

15 years later the diversity of British television hasn't got any better, in my opinion.

What was your biggest fear about sharing your stories? It used to be, “what if people do not like it?” and then I quickly got over that through ignoring that voice in my head. I can't please everyone. I get that now. Once I got over that, new fears appeared, “what if it's not good enough, what if what I'm writing sucks?” Selfdoubt began to kick in about my own ability, and created brand new fears. I guess for me all fears I have had have been big at the time but in hindsight You’ve said that life is your source of storiesthey all seem so small because I overcame them. life is a lot of stories, how do you decide which are worthy of being told?

How did you overcome the fears about the quality of your work? I continuously ignore that annoying voice in my head that makes me doubt myself. It's a liar. Fear is a liar.

How do your characters come about? Characters often come from different facets of me; the person I am, the person I sometimes wish I could be more like and often, the people around me. When deciding on a story, I work out the different ways in which the scenarios could play out and develop characters that way. Character development is fun; making up a person in your head and having control of what the person will and won’t do, and having them grow out into their own mind, that is how I know I have gotten them to a unique place.

Firstly, stories that do not expose or embarrass myself or anyone I know is where I start. After that I decide based on my frame of mind at the time and what interests me at the time. When I decided to push out Housemates I was going through a strong appreciation of my friendship network and all the fun times, memories and the fact that I still remain close to friends who I have known for longer than 25 years. Housemates already existed in my ideas book, yes I have a book filled with ideas I have for shows and films, so it felt fitting. I knew because that was my frame of mind at the time, I would be passionate about the project. CLICK BELOW TO WATCH EPISODES OF HOUSEMATES

Do you have a favourite Housemate on the show? 17

CAMEAU is the creator and editor of C.O.O.K.I.E. (Create Opportunities. Overflowing Knowledge. Innately Empowered) a platform that helps women business owners THRIVE. Passionate about entrepreneurship and inspiring individuals to create their own opportunities, Cameau created C.O.O.K.I.E. after becoming frustrated with the lack of affordable and non-intimidating support that existed for female entrepreneurs. C.O.O.K.I.E features a diverse mix of women business owners from various industries, hosts intimate quarterly networking events known as #COOKIECocktails and in 2014 presented the C.O.O.K.I.E. Conference an annual effort to help entrepreneurs reconnect with the WHY of their business. A strategic communications consultant with 10+ years of experience creating and executing campaigns for a host of nonprofit, sports, entertainment and lifestyle brands, Patrice chats with us about C.O.O.K.I.E and how its benefiting women entrepreneurs. |



Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs CREATE – Go ahead and create your own opportunity. Don't worry about anything but getting your idea started.

CONCENTRATE – I’ve learned (the hard way) that concentrating and being focused on one thing will ensure that you’re offering the best service possible. Give your all to one effort, and then expand once that is successful.

CONNECT – Grow your network by connecting with informative and educational people, events and initiatives. Don't operate in a bubble – your network undeniably determines how far you and your business go. | 20

What led you to become an entrepreneur ? I’m just a woman who’s always inspired by people who create their own opportunities. I am from the DC area, and started my own PR and marketing consulting business almost 10 years ago. I became an entrepreneur because I wanted to help clients who worked on initiatives and projects that supporting significant causes, like service members and their families, and people in indigent communities.

How did the idea to create C.O.O.K.I.E come about and what is your mission? C.O.O.K.I.E. is 100% committed to helping current and aspiring women business owners thrive. We offer female entrepreneurs an affordable and intimate network of support that includes quarterly networking mixers, feature interviews and a yearly conference. I created C.O.O.K.I.E. after growing frustrated with the lack of inexpensive and non-intimidating events and conferences that existed for entrepreneurs. Most small business owners don't have $500+ to spend on professional development efforts, so I

was determined to create and offer alternatives that were just as valuable. A new entrepreneur never has to break the bank to attend C.O.O.K.I.E. events and they always feel welcomed and inspired when they come out. Business owners thrive when they have access to people and tools that can help them grow – tools that won’t break their budget.

Why are you specifically passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs? We are amazing! I’m inspired by so many women, specifically business owners, and just wanted to use my influence and expertise to bring female entrepreneurs together. I’m passionate about using C.O.O.K.I.E. to help this group because I know that it’s necessary.

Which female entrepreneur has inspired you the most and why? My mom. She runs her own accounting consulting firm, and has always inspired me to go for whatever I want. She doesn’t talk a lot; she just makes things happen. Her wisdom, honesty and pure dedication to everything, from her family to her clients, are, and have always, been a constant inspiration.


One on One with

Nasozi Founder of xNasozi, Nasozi Kakembo was born to a Ugandan father and an American mother outside Washington DC where she grew up in what she calls a default diversity, “I had friends from Cuba, South Africa and South Korea in elementary school- there was no such thing as ‘other’, and as a young Black girl, I never felt ugly or incapable as many of us have been tricked to believe” she explains. Nasozi studied architecture and art history at a university in Maryland and later earned her Master’s from Columbia in 2008. She gave birth to her son in 2009 and in 2011 founded xNasozi, a home décor and lifestyle brand that designs and creates modern interiors and home décor accessories. Nasozi chats with us about motherhood and her business. By Ashley Makue PHOTO CREDITS: Miisha Ayana Photography | 22

What inspired XNasozi? My mom worked in African art gallery in Georgetown, Washington, DC for many years while I was a kid and I spent a LOT of time there. That was definitely an influence. African prints, mudcloths, and indigos were always, and still are, part of her attire, and home decor. She was also a fashion model in Europe during the 60s and 70s, modelling for some pretty major designers, like Valentino, so her style is very refined and sophisticated. This has influenced the refined quality of my work; none of it is too busy, and I let the patterns speak for themselves. My own personal style has also inspired my work. I am very much a Ugandan-American woman. I grew up in the States, but always remained very proud of my heritage, and wanted to find a constant and visual way to express my experience of being from two places. My personal style is a blend of trendy and traditional, and usually practical, all at the same time, so my home decor line is merely an extension of that and what I have been influenced by. If I had to sum it up on one phrase, it would be "form follows function," which was drilled into my head during architecture studies. Who is Nasozi outside the business? It's hard to define exactly who I am outside of the business, because the business is very much part of me. It's how I express myself and push boundaries, creative and otherwise. These are exercises that are actively part of my being. I enjoy self-expression, dancing is my therapy. I'm constantly pushing boundaries and breaking down barriers because most of them are arbitrary anyway. Prior to starting my own business, I was working for a social justice and human rights philanthropy. I align my own business practices with these principles, but I keep my politics very separate from my work and my brand. Sometimes I wish I could chime in on or share my opinion with my fans about a controversial topic, but there's a time and place for everything, and home decor is just not the place for that. Apart from that, I am pretty much the same person inside and outside of the business.

How have you developed the concept into a successful business? So that 9-5 I mentioned before that I lamented wasn't challenging? (laughs) Well, I definitely gained a trove of transferable business management skills while I was there. I worked in the executive office of a major international philanthropy, reviewing budgets and strategies, grant proposals, and the likes. I even had my hand in accounting. These particular experiences allowed me create the infrastructure upon which a viable business could be built. I also worked in an architecture firm doing marketing and proposals for one year prior to going to grad school, so that experience helped with my marketing and graphics angles. Ideally, I would love to hand over the admin to someone else, so I can focus on the brand, but for now, I'm doing it and it's working out fine. 23

How do you balance business and motherhood? My business was born in large part out of seeking a better balance between work and motherhood. I worked the 9-5 from the time my son was four months old, and as far as I knew or desired, that's how my career was going to play out, and life would happen on the fringes of that. But aside from the fact that I wasn't challenged in that environment, I wasn't living enough. I have family all over the world, and it is important for my son to have close connections with them. There was no way I could fit in trips to California, Uganda, Jamaica, and Brazil (only a handful of places where we have family) all in the 2-4 weeks of vacation allotted in a corporate structure. I also aspired to be a PTA mom (Parent Teacher's Association), and a field trip chaperone. I wanted to be very present in my son's school and extracurricular activities. I haven't made it to a PTA meeting yet, but I've been to many field trips and started a weekly chess club for the kids in our neighbourhood. That would have never happened if I were not working for myself. The very fact that I can structure my day around family priorities has helped me balance everything .

Do the activities involved in running a successful business allow you to be as present in your son’s life as you want to be? Apart from having a flexible work schedule, I also have the type of job that I can bring him with me (if necessary). There have been plenty of times when I needed to bring him with me to a selling event. He's gotten used to it by now, even though I've scaled back because they usually happen on the weekends, and I've grown to miss work-free weekends. Now that I am photographing as well, I have also taken him with me on photo shoots. I | 24

love that he sees me working very hard and being a boss. The other day he sat on my lap in my mom's kitchen (we were visiting for an entire week during his Spring Break from school) and said "But Maama, if you're your own boss, who tells you what to do?" (Laughs) I explained to him that that's the hard part actually. Sometimes it would be nice for someone to tell me what to do, so that's why I have to make very good decisions .

What are your favourite moments of being a mom? Seeing my son reach a new milestone, or learn something new. The other day we were at a friend's home and her two-year-old daughter kept knocking my son's toys down that he was playing with. Instead of lashing out, he went and found her some other toys and proposed she play with those. She wasn't into the idea, but it made me so happy and proud to observe this wise and conciliatory character in my young son.

Are there any work activities that you share with your son? He likes to help me tear the fabric or the seams between the mudcloth and indigo strips . He also likes to help me stir the mixture I use for my coasters and trays, supervised of course. And sometimes I need his opinion when I'm photo editing. I try to get him involved in as many ways as possible, not only because kids love to help their parents out, but also because I feel bad when I have to work when he's home from school, which is the reality, even more so when you work for yourself.

just for yourself? I am able to take time off just to myself, but it's hard. I recently spent a month in Brazil, and intentionally did not bring work with me. Not even my camera! Which proved a huge mistake. A week into the trip, I felt totally disoriented without my tools. I was eventually able to set up a photo shoot of a great home there, but what this proved to me is that my "work" is actually part of me, and that that is OK! Because it's my baby. I created it, and "work" is not a four-letter word. Well it is, but you know what I mean!

What are the three things you do every single day? Read the newspaper, go to my fave cafe spot for my morning brew (the day does NOT get started until I have coffee), and at some point I'm dancing in the mirror.

Do you have any passion projects? I would have to say that my latest passion project would have to be my son's chess class. His father taught him how to play chess, and he genuinely loves the game. I'm not good at it at all, and wanted a more challenging and instructional environment for him to learn, so I reached out to the parent's in my neighbourhood via a listserv, and the first class started a week later. I'm also currently working with a museum in Brooklyn to host a viewing of Nas's documentary "Shake the Dust." I really want to make an NYC screening happen! Are you able to take some time


Nikisha Brunson

Judia Black

Kamara Thomas

Wangechi Mutu Crystal Black-Davis

Mengly Hernande Khalilah Beavers | 26



meet the founder

mater mea Anthonia Akitunde knew she had found her calling when she launched mater mea, a site presenting a more realistic and relatable view of black motherhood. It was the dearth in mainstream media of professional women of color that led her down that path. Raised in Kansas City, Missouri on a healthy diet of books and magazines, Anthonia’s decision to be a journalist was practically inevitable. After graduating from the University of Chicago and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Anthonia moved to New York City to further her journalism career, freelancing for The New York Times, Fast Company,, and The Root. She chats with TATENDA KANENGONI about mater mea.

What is the mission of mater mea? mater mea celebrates women of color at the intersection of career and family. It was created to fill a void in the representation of black women in media. It was launched in 2012 around the time of “Lean In” and “can women have it all?” conversations were just getting started. I was in my late 20s at the time, thinking about what the next steps were for my career and family, and I was really interested in all of these think pieces coming out around these topics. But none of the writers or talking heads looked like me, or reflected a realistic depiction of what it means to have a successful career and a family. Not a mom myself, I wondered how some of the women I admired most managed work-life balance. What began as a passion project and excuse to talk to some of my biggest girl crushes has become a platform to share the stories and experiences of black women in the way they deserve. Looking at the mainstream and African-American media landscape today, there appear to be only two dominant stereotypes: the irresponsible welfare queen or the gold-digger. It’s hard to find coverage of women in the middle ground, women who are

Photo credits: mater mea

“ When you Google search ‘black mothers are…’ the results are upsetting: Black mothers are the worst, abusive, mean…”

accessible and manage the responsibilities of motherhood and career with grace and pragmatism. When you Google search “black mothers are…” the results are upsetting: Black mothers are the worst, abusive, mean…By presenting realistic and varied portraits of these women, mater mea (loosely translated, “my mother”) hopes to change the onesided, singular narrative around mothers of color.

Your blog focuses on parenting and lifestyle, what is the key to running a successful blog in this particular space? There are so many blogs in all these spaces. I think the most important thing is to have a unique enough voice within whatever space you’re entering so you don’t become just one more person talking about parenting or fitness, etc. I also think there’s a level of marketing that needs to be done too—if you have this great content that no one knows about, it’s hard to really become a success. And the last thing is to just be consistent. I recently interviewed Luvvie

Ajayi of Awesomely Luvvie and that’s what she


attributed her success to: That almost a decade later she’s still blogging when other bloggers may have stopped.

Do you blog full-time? I will soon—I just gave notice at my day job and plan on devoting a large chunk of my time on mater mea and projects that can monetize the site and help grow its traffic.

Are there enough platforms offering support for mothers in your opinion? I think there are a lot of platforms for mothers. I think the number of platforms decrease when you add “women of color” to the mix, but they’re still there, from

personal blogs chronicling one woman’s experiences to communities like My Brown Baby. I think what sets mater mea apart is its focus on career and motherhood told through different women’s stories.

What impact has the blog had on your own life? It’s made me realize that no one has it all figured out. The people who seem like they do have just as many questions and struggles as the rest of us. It also made me appreciate the importance of having a supportive network of friends and family to help you with both career and family. And it made me realize that I’m more entrepreneurial than I originally told myself; I’ve always been a writer, but it wasn’t until I really started on mater mea that I

would have considered myself to be a business owner.

You’ve discussed topics including stretch marks, adoption and relationships. What topics have you found to resonate more with a lot of women? I think anything that reflects what we all know, but don’t see enough of in mainstream media—that black women are complex and beautiful people— gets a lot of mileage on the site. The career profiles that break down how women have launched their own businesses are also really popular.

What advice would you give to working moms | 28

struggling to strike a home/life balance? I think the most important thing is finding what works for you and not feeling as though you have to apologize for it because it looks different from what we’re told life is supposed to look like. So if you need to negotiate working from home one day a week, or can afford to be a stay-at-home mom, do whatever needs to be to make sure you and your family are ok. Also every mom I’ve interviewed has said the same thing: Build a support network of family and friends, and use them when you need to.

Any female figure (celebrity or otherwise) that you look up to and why? I’m so inspired by the women out there who are creating amazing work and platforms to tell stories and share experiences they’re passionate about. I think Zim Ugochukwu of Travel Noire is phenomenal, and she put me on to Marie Forleo, this business and lifestyle coach who is just a dynamo. Obsessed with Bim Adewunmi Tracy Clayton of Buzzfeed (you have to check out Tracy’s podcast with Heben Nigatu, Another Round). I could go on and on..


Spotlight on MBA Mama is a dynamic blog featuring exclusive, inspirational content that provides Millennial Mamas with tools and resources to pursue a graduate business degree. It is poised to become the premier web resource for ambitious women balancing career advancement and family planning. was born when the ambitious, single-mother of two, Divinity Matovu, received a message from her colleague in Management Leadership for Tomorrow's MBA Prep Program. MLT Fellow Derek told Divinity that he admired her perseverance, and ability to balance MLT, Forte Foundation's MBA Launch Program, GMAT prep, taking supplemental courses, running her own consulting business and being a single mother. She was touched by his message. Aspects of the pre-MBA terrain were difficult to navigate as a mother and she was glad to hear that her hard work was paying off. Divinity thought of ways to spread the impact she had made and her entrepreneurial wheels immediately started spinning. Divinity decided to create a platform and community for women pursuing graduate business degrees that would show MBAs, and the world, that being an accomplished professional and an amazing mother are not mutually exclusive. strives to spread that message through informative video and written blog posts created by mothers that span the MBA and family planning process. To join and support the movement , follow MBA Mama on 29

Strawberry and Banana Muffins | 30

Pamper-your-Mother Brunch BY AMANDA GICHARU - KEMOLI

The month of May is a time to honour our mothers, the unsung sheroes who do so much for us behind the scenes. Treat your mum to breakfast in bed or a lazy Sunday morning brunch. My mother loves it when I surprise her with these dishes, knowing she can just kick back and be totally spoiled.

INGREDIENTS : Makes 12 regular sized muffins 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup) 1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, optional 2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour 3/4 cup light brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or lightly butter the muffin cups with a little vegetable oil.

In a small saucepan melt the butter on low heat. Let cool to room temperature.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.

In another large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Gently fold in the berries and chocolate chips (if using), making sure they are coated with flour (tip: this helps to prevent the berries from sinking during baking). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined (tip: do not over mix the batter or your muffins will harden).

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Can be stored for a few days at room temperature. |

Heart-Shaped Egg in the Hole INGREDIENTS : Makes 4 servings 8 slices of bread, thickly sliced 8 eggs 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped 1 stick / 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature Freshly ground black pepper Salt to taste DIRECTIONS To make the herb butter:

In a small bowl, combine the basil, thyme, oregano and butter. Set aside.

Heat frying pan over medium heat. Sauté bread until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

Lower heat, and gently flip toast. Break an egg into heart-shaped hole. Add a small sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover, and cook until egg white turns opaque, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a plate along with the heart-shaped piece of cutout bread, perfect for dipping into yolk.

Serve warm with a cup of tea or hot chocolate.

To make the Egg in the Hole:

Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut out a small heart shape from the center of a thick slice of bread. Spread each side of bread with herb butter. Repeat for remaining slices of bread. | 32

Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

INGREDIENTS : Makes 4 servings 2 sweet potatoes (large) 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 8 slices beef or pork bacon 3 tablespoons milk 1 cup cheese, shredded (cheddar or mozzarella or a mix of both) 3 green onions, finely chopped Salt to taste Freshly ground black pepper Sour cream


Preheat oven to 220°C. Scrub sweet potato skins to clean and pat dry.

Poke holes into the sweet potatoes and place them on a foillined and lightly oiled baking sheet. Place in oven and bake until sweet potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, cook slices of bacon in a frying pan on medium-low heat until crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Drain bacon on a paper towel, then crumble.

Remove sweet potatoes from oven and cool until you can handle them with your hands. Cut them in half, lengthwise and scoop out most the flesh into a bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh in the skin.

 Brush the sweet potato skins with oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them back on the baking sheet skin side down and bake for 10 minutes to get them a little crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool until they can be handled, as before. 

Mash the sweet potato flesh with a fork until smooth. Mix in the milk and 3/4 of the green onions. Add the filling to skins, then top with bacon and cheese. Grill the skins at the top of the oven until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.

Top with remaining green onions and sour cream. Serve warm.


NATIVE Photographer: Amina Touray Model: Naka Biruma Jewelry Designer Sheva Lee Absher Jewelry from ” West Native” by Sheva Lee Absher Wardrobe Stylist:Sheva Lee Absher Make up Artist: Christina Delfino | 34

35 | 36

Jewelry: West Native Dress: Tavin

37 | 38

Jewelry: West Native Beige Dress: Audrey



Model: Malaika Cherie Rita G Photography | 40


BROWN AND TEAL PRINT CLUTCH A bold statement clutch in a brown and teal African wax print. Perfect for making

BERRY ASO-OKE TOMMY TOTE An all-purpose tote bag for groceries, shopping, a weekend away or the beach! Made in traditional Aso-oke from Nigeria.


ANKARA TOTE BAG Make your Mom the envy of all the other moms this Mother's Day with this beautiful, sturdy and reusable Ankara tote bag. It hold lots of groceries or anything else that needs toting. Environment-friendly. Unique. Economical.

ANKARA TRAVEL NECK PILLOW Give your Mom the gift of relaxation anywhere with an Ankara neck pillow. Great for travel or just around the house. Handmade with colorful cotton fabric on the front and luxuriously soft minky on the back.



Yangan is for the elegant woman. It serves as a wallet and clutch. It's made with Ankara, Ghanian Kente and Leather. Mara is a must have. It speaks for itself. Mara is made with African print fabric.


"Myuufu" Bow Rockabilly headband with beautiful fabric from Uganda perfect to compliment you & your mothers outfit during any season!

"Sanyu" Rockabilly headband and the "Envu" Signature headband. Classic styles, vintage inspired, culturally African | 42


African fabric on wood earrings, can be flipped to desired side (both sides shown)


Chic and adjustable "Splendid" necklace made from Kenyan, vinyl disk beads, gold plated beads and chain

"Watercolor Rainbows" large earrings, made from fabric on wood and measuring approximately 3 3/4" x 2 1/2" 43


Hexagon L/S Handbags The Hexagon LS handbags are perfect Mothers’ Day gift. With ample space for all your things, our handbags are great for everyday use. Each bag is unique with vibrant prints, meaning her handbag is

Scallop Dress The flowy Scallop dress is a Mothers’ Day must have! This versatile summer dress can be tailored to her desired length. Beautifully light, the Scallop dress is perfect for all women.

Zahara Cosmestics

Hi -Def Pigments Pure pigments never diluted just intense pigment powder. Use as eyeshadow or apply with "trans-fix" and use as a liquid eyeliner. Apply on top of lips with gloss skin tone shades, use on t-zone, cheeks, temples, shoulders.

Mascara Intense provides increased volume up to 60% and curling up to 50% in one quick, clump-free, water resistant application. | 44


AsoGlobal Iyoba Idia Profile T-shirt (White/ Black) Women’s Original women’s 100% combed cotton ethically produced raglan t-shirt. Features cap sleeves, slight stretch, smooth stitching, and an exceptional fine and comfortable finish.

£25.00 Iyoba Idia Mask Leather Journal This classic leather journal is crafted and bound in fine soft calfskin. The journals are finished with plain, creamy, acid-free, ivory paper from Florence.

Magdalena Concepts Ram Crest Women's Backless Tee

Ram Folk Print Toddler Tee Rams and botanical themes adorn this organic toddler tee. Gender-neutral and adorable, good for baby and good for the earth.

Inspired by cut-paper folk art from Poland, this design is a bold and modern take on traditional techniques. All Magdalena Concepts products are ethically manufactured, and handprinted in their studio in Brooklyn. A portion of their proceeds also are donated to support Stand for Education, which is working to sustainably support education in South Sudan with a special focus on girls.


$74.99 Prelim Ankara print Playsuit

Prelim Fuchsia Jumpsuit

Treat yourself to this stylish Prelim Ankara wax print romper with side cut-out details.

Jumpsuits look fab for a night out. Make a statement at the party



Skinny Tie

SEBO captures the concept of the classic, accessorywearing gentleman and advances it through African prints, which create a look that is intelligent, cultured, and ambitious..Each of SEBO’s prints are named after the neighborhood in Kampala which best reflect their patterns and colors.

Bow Tie | 46

Ankara Streets By Jess

Tandra Mini girls skirt $38 Adorable little mini skirt Fully Lined Ankara Print Zipper Waistband elastic waistband available upon request, for when you baby girls darts o grow out of things

Genevieve Maxi Ankara Tulle skirt $80 Maxi length skirt available in several fabric patterns and matching tulle color 2.5" Non Stretch waistband Zipper Closure

Pepper Tote $16 Soft yet sturdy canvas bag 100% hand made by Jess with love ankara fabric available in several prints and colors natural colored canvas fabric matching handle perfect for carrying a laptop, school notebooks and supplies, and great to use as an everyday purse

Vivian Jumpsuit $96 Stunning Wide Leg jumpsuit perfect for Spring/Summer 2015 and flattering to all body types Ankara fabric available in several prints and colors elastic waistband low cut bodice and cap sleeve criss cross feature in the back, with tie in the front to secure Wide Leg un-lined pants for light47

Beyuna offers products which meet the highest quality standards. Products are being used in medical institutions like hospitals, private clinics but also in (exclusive) beauty salons, wellness resorts. Beyuna works with medical doctors, sports institutions, Elite sporters, sports teams, schools, nurseries and everyone who would like to benefit from this luxury brand of nutritious supplements. Beyuna Flx is a food supplement that includes vitamin C, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, patented ingredients like Curcumin C3 Complex 速, BioCell Collagen 速 and other nutrients. Vitamin C contributes to maintain the normal function of the immune system during and after intense physical exercise.

Probiotics are bacteria. There are also probiotics with multiple types of bacteria. These are called multi species. Beyuna Probiotics are multi species and contributes to maintenance of a normal stomach and bowel function.


Beyuna Shape

you will also find essential minerals and fruit extracts. Chromium contributes to a normal metabolism of macro nutrients. Chrome contributes to a balanced carbohydrate metabolism. Beyuna Shape also contributes to the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels.

The operation of Beyuna

Weight Loss lies in two healthy, plant-based ingredients.While taking 6 capsules Beyuna Weight Loss contributes to weight loss in combination with an energyrestricted diet.Ingestion of 7 capsules Beyuna Weight Loss contributes to maintenance of normal cholesterol levels in the

Beyuna Omega3 TG is 100% pure and because of the very high concentration of marine-based Omega 3 fatty acids it differs from other fish oil dietary supplements.

Beyuna Energy is a

healthy Energy drink and a food supplement, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B11, B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, copper, zinc, chromium, Choline, other nutrients and a patented ingredient Powergrape 速 | 48

AfroElle Library Peruse our past issues for more great stories and interviews


























AFR ELLE AFROELLE MAGAZINE | Encourage. Empower. Entertain. Elevate Find us on Facebook AfroElle Magazine Follow @AfroElleMag on Twitter and Instagram | 52