Editorâ€™s Notes Feature Story: VANESSA MDEE Chew on this Fashion Sense Health Talk Book Review G-Spot October Food Blogddit No Evil Tech Buzz Betrayal by Three Adverts Subscription Subscription
Editor : Wangechi Ruguaru
Editor : Linda Obel
Contributor : Gerald Montgomery
Contributor : Kabura Wahome
Contributor : Kenny Githina
Editor : Eva Githina
Contributor : Wambui Wamutongoria
Designer- Sam Gathenji
Whenever I write this note. I am usually trying to impart a life lesson, a message that can help you with whatever it is you are dealing with in your life. Every feature story here, every article, is geared towards giving you inspiration or giving you the very best advice on all the areas of your life. Sure we want to entertain you, but more than that, we want to leave you feeling renewed about others like you and most importantly we want to make sure that you feel renewed about yourself. The stories we publish in this magazine are meant to enable you to believe in yourself even more. A lot of us are very good at believing in others all the while we neglect ourselves. A lot of us doubt our own strengths and talents and lack belief in our abilities to overcome the challenges that life throws our way. Today I want to encourage you to be your own best cheerleader. I want you to root for your own success. I want you to believe in your ability to achieve the dreams you have about life. If you believe it then it will be so. Don’t believe me? Then see the two quotes below from those that know better than I.... “A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.” ~Alexandre Dumas~ “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” ~Anonymous~ ...Now go out there and live your best life. Peace and Bangles,
a n i h t i G a Ev
Vanessa Hau Mdee has accomplished a great deal for someone very young. Born 24 years ago in Tanzania, she had the opportunity to see some of the world growing up in New York, Paris, Arusha and Nairobi.
MUSIC AWARDS, KILI MUSIC AWARDS and is set to co-host Tanzania’s Epiq Bongo Star Search to name but a few. We caught up with Vanessa to get her take on a few things and this is what she had to say...
Through exposure and interest, Vanessa became familiar with many forms of creative and performing arts and I am surprised that even with that experience she ended up enrolling to Catholic University of Eastern Africa to pursue Law.
AIM: What is your full name and where are you from?
It seems that even though Vanessa enrolled to study Law, she was actively pursuing experience in the performing arts because it was while she was there that she won the VJ search competition and became the first ever MTV VJ from Tanzania. As VJ for MTV she was able to work in collaboration with others to host the Coca Cola Chart Express. Vanessa admits to feeling ‘timid and insecure’, yet she was able to put those feelings aside to present energetically for her audience.
AIM: How did you become a VJ?
Since becoming a VJ Vanessa has traveled widely throughout Africa and the rest of the world and has successfully established herself through hard work. Leaving home has offered numerous challenges for Vanessa and she has worked diligently to overcome and strive in the music industry. Despite the challenge of moving from Arusha where she lived with family to Dar es Salaam, Vanessa’s career as a VJ has also allowed her to support causes that are close to her heart and meet amazing, like-minded celebrities. Vanessa worked with Kelly Rowland the Special Ambassador to The Staying Alive Foundation in 2008, formed STANDWIDTH which MK Asante under the UNAIDS umbrella and allowed her to run shoulders with the likes of Russell Simmons, Honorable Olusegun Obasanjo, Emmanuel Adebayor and Akon as a host on her current show MTV Base Meets. Vanessa blogs as a roving reporter on behalf of MTV Staying Alive and UNAIDS on her Dynamites Mission website as part of her belief in a HIV free world. She was MTV’s voice at the 2011 UNAIDS Mali Youth Summit in Bamako and thereafter the High Level meeting in Capetown, South Africa, The International Conference on HIV and STI’s in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia In addition to being a VJ for MTV, Vanessa has a radio show on Tanzanian airwaves, as host of 102.6 Choice FM’s The Hitlist a brand that Vanessa has made her own. Vanessa’s highlights eclectic RnB and Hip Hop with a hint of Pop. As if that is not hectic enough, Vanessa is offered numerous hosting gigs at events such as the red carpet for MTV AFRICA
VM: Vanessa Khausa ( Hau ) Mdee and I am from the United Republic of Tanzania
VM: I won a nationwide VJ search in 2007 AIM: Do you host a specific show? Please tell us about it. VM: Currently hosting MTV Base meets which is a show that focuses on giving young Africans on the continent and otherwise ( I hate the word diaspora ) the opportunity to sit down with influential leaders from various industries - politics, music, business, fashion. AIM: What does a typical day at work look like for you? VM: While on production its all Hair, Make Up, Scripts and research at the same time with some really loud music playing in the background - depending on the mood. If I am not jumping on a plane to get to our next location. or Production for my radio show to broadcast live from 102.6 ChoiceFM in Dar es Salaam from 7 to 10 p.m. AIM: What advice would you give to those considering a career as a VJ? VM: Be Informed, Stay interested and most importantly be yourself. AIM: What is special about what you do for a living and the opportunities it has provided? VM: I feel like you have to make the most of every opportunity you’ve been granted and create channels that allow growth. What may be different in this profession is that I deliver in front of millions therefore as much as there is a lot of scrutiny and
critique I’ve been blessed to have met the right people. People who have seen or heard my work and have expanded my network in various ways. So every profession can be special if utilized in the right way. AIM: What is unique to the local Tanzanian music scene and where is it headed? VM: What’s unique to the Tanzanian music scene is the obvious swahili influence. From the language to the instrumentation to the relevant cultural references whether current or old school - I love how the combination of all these little factors are shaping a style, sound so unique and particular to this region of the world. It’s also such feel good music. It’s evolving. AIM: What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years? VM: I hope for growth, INTERNATIONAL, INTER- CONTINENTAL type growth. I hope for security in all aspects of the word. I hope that when I say Tanzania I don’t get ‘ where’s that?’ in response - off the top of my head. AIM: How do you balance your career with your family and social obligations? VM: My family and friends are my sanity; my reality check - so constant communication with them is second nature. Work is fun, I enjoy it, it brings me fulfillment so it’s more like doing what I want to do as opposed to what I have to do. AIM: What causes or issues are you passionate about? VM: I’ve been involved in a few awareness campaigns for HIV/AIDS, Women and Children and Malaria. Visit my awareness blog www.dynamitesmission.com AIM: What 5 African songs are getting heavy rotation on your playlist? VM: Can’t get mad at you - A.V.I.D Alingo - PSquare ( Nigeria ) Baadae - Ommy Dimpoz ( Tanzania ) Tswa Dar - Khuli Chana ( South Africa ) Jealousy - AKA ( South Africa ) Africa Massive - Fenamenal ( Kenya ) AIM: You have a very unique sense of style, what inspires your fashion choices, and which african designers do you favor? VM: I just wear what feels comfortable but also I try to incorporate African print in most of my outfits. I pick my favourite trends from various eras and sport them. There you have it. Vanessa does everything with elegance and she makes it so easy. What an inspiration!
Keep up with Vanessa by: www.twitter.com/vanessamdee www.facebook.com/vanessakhausamdee vanessamdee - instagram vanesaamdee - via.me
Moringa- The answer to a healthier you. Moringa Oleifera is a tree that grows in most countries in Africa and some parts of India. It is defined by its drumstick shaped pods and is valued for its numerous nutrients. It has also been used to combat malnutrition in areas of famine and drought Every part of the Moringa has nutritional value and can be eaten in various ways. The pods can be eaten raw, steamed or stir-fried like green beans and also produce an edible oil that is odorless and sweet. Moringa leaves are rich in potassium and calcium and are perfect for salads and curries while the flowers which must be cooked can be used as scrubbers for cleaning walls, dishes and are perfect for feeding animals. Moringa leaves are usually dried and ground into a powder and sold as a Tea in most places. Moringa Oleifera Offers the following benefits: • • • • • •
Increased physical energy. Combats the symptoms of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Improved digestion For lactating mother’s it enables them to produce better milk for their infants. Improves the body’s recovery after workouts Enhances overall well-being especially mental and emotional
Scientific research confirms Moringa leaves contain: SEVEN times the vitamin C in oranges FOUR times the Calcium in milk FOUR times the vitamin A in carrots TWO times the protein in milk and THREE times the Potassium in bananas These are numbers I can live with so do yourself a world of good and make Moringa part of your diet ASAP!
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Raise Your Calves! Have you exercised your calves lately? No? Most people neglect the calves in favor of the larger muscles and this is because they either do not know how to strengthen this part of the leg or they have this misconception that if they do, it will become overly large. The calf muscle is made up of two main muscle groups: the gastrocnemius (the more visible muscle on the back of the leg) and the soleus (the muscle that is underneath the gastrocnemius). The calf muscle is important because it supports the achilles tendon and helps with posture, mobility and stability. Here are two variations of calf lifts for you to try. Option 1: Seated Calf Lifts • • • • • •
Sit on a bench or chair that allows you to place your feet flat on the floor at 90 degrees If you want to use weights, place them on the top of your thighs Raise the heels of your feet off the floor until only the balls of your feet and toes are left on the floor. Hold in this position for 15 seconds and slowly lower the heels of your feet back to the floor. Rinse and Repeat. Start with 3 sets of 12 and adjust depending on your fitness level.
Option 2: Standing Calf Lifts • • • • •
Stand upright behind a chair and place your hands lightly on its back for stability. Raise the heels of your feet off the floor until only the balls of your feet and toes are left on the floor. Hold in this position for 15 seconds and slowly lower the heels of your feet back to the floor. Rinse and Repeat. Start with 3 sets of 12 and adjust depending on your fitness level.
Go ahead and try these and I am sure you will notice a new spring in your step!
G r e e n C a r d s t o r i e s i s a c o l l e c t i o n o f s t o r i e s told by Immigrants who have gone through the Immigration process to attain their Green C a rd s . Fo r e a c h sto r y t h e re i s a p i c t u re o f the person whose story is featured and then their story providing details on where they c a m e f ro m t o w h e re t h e y a re n o w. Each narrator explains why they left their country of birth to migrate to the United States of America. They touch on what they experienced once they got here, how the immigration process was for them and what it means to them to be in the United States. Some have shared how even after getting their Green Cards and going back to their home countries they for different reasons ended up coming back to the United States because they either missed being it or could not find similar opportunities back home. The people featured in this book are from all over the world. Green Card stories is not specific to one country or skin color and the narrators also range in age; there are those who migrated in their old age and there are those who migrated when they were young. Some had no say whatsoever in the m i g ra t i o n . Fo r s o m e , t h e i r h a n d s we re t i e d while others knew from the word go that only b y c o m i n g t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s w o u l d t h e y b e able to breathe. Green Card stories shows how each of these individuals have been transformed, some have shared the tribulations, joys and breakthroughs. The tales are skillfully told in great detail. Green Card Stories is a glance into an issue that is in the headlines every other day in the United States. It started off as ‘remarkable, inspirational stories that called out to be told’ to ‘adding context to the growing national debate about immigration and serves to remind us that we are p re d o m i n a n t ly a n a t i o n o f i m m i g r a n t s’ . The Introduction to the book is written by L a u r a D a n i e l s o n a n d S t e v e Ya l e - L o e h r. I n it they have broken down what Green Card Stories is, how long is has been aroundsince 1940 and they have also gone into detail on how a Green Card is obtained.
The process is a long journey of both bureaucratic obstacles and personal transformation. They have done their best to stay as neutral as possible, so as not appear biased on Immigration. There is enough negative and fear striking information on Immigration readily available so to see a book that is just stating facts and telling true and personal stories about such a sensitive issue is a major plus. The purpose of Green Card Stories is to ‘ c a p t u re t h e t r u e d i v e r s i t y a n d i m p a c t o f t o d a y ’s immigrant America, showing what a richly nuanced society [the US has ] become through i m m i g r a t i o n ’ a n d t h i s i s s o t r u e . It is so easy to hear what is said on the television or radio and form a conclusion about the issue. This book personalizes the issue for the reader and if one is very honest w i t h t h e m s e lve s t h ey s e e t h e m s e lve s i n t h e immigrant. It could be you, you might be the first generation going through the process so that your children, a n d y o u r c h i l d r e n ‘s c h i l d r e n h a v e i t b e t t e r t h a n you did. It could easily be you. Here is a preview of some profiles from Green Card Stories: After coming to the Houston as a Lost Boy from S u d a n , P e t e r A j a k g o t a j o b a s a s e c u r i t y g u a r d . There was a misunderstanding due to a firearm possession and he was detained and put into r e m o v a l p r o c e e d i n g s . H e f i n a l l y g o t l e g a l h e l p a n d g o t c a n c e l l a t i o n o f d e p o r t a t i o n . H e n o w w o r k s f o r h i s i m m i g r a t i o n l a w y e r. Sam Ebute was brought to Wisconsin as a boy with relatives from Nigeria. He was abandoned in the U.S. and raised by an American family in a small town. They didn’t realize he wasn’t legal and Sam ended up in deportation proceedings and got cancellation of removal. He now works with orphaned and at-risk youth in Minneapolis. Mogtaba Maki was an aspiring dental student at a university in northern Sudan until he saw his n a m e o n a l i st to re p o r t fo r m i l i ta r y s e r v i ce . Fo r Mogtaba and his peers, the assignment was a death sentence in the ongoing civil war against the south that had killed and displaced millions
of people. That night, after his mother and siblings wrapped their arms around him in a tearful goodbye, he fled north on a train for Egypt with three shirts and a pair of shoes. More than a decade later, after being resettled as a refugee in Florida and becoming an American citizen, he would be reunited with part of his family while pursuing his dental degree and enduring a grueling bureaucratic delay to see his m o t h e r. Joseph Mintah is the chief of 90 villages i n G h a n a , eve n t h o u g h h e l i ve s i n t h e We st N y a c k , N Y. H e f l i e s b a c k t o h i s v i l l a g e 6 - 1 2 t i m e s a y e a r. H e i s n o w a U . S . c i t i z e n . H e n o w f e e l s h e i s a c i t i z e n o f t h e w o r l d . H e is also a doctor and originally came to the U.S. to study medicine. Fo r ye a rs C h a r le s N ya g a d re a m e d o f moving to the United States from Kenya for graduate school. His dreams seemed to come true when he won the diversity lottery and appeared close to getting a green card while pursuing a divinity degree near Atlanta. But after immigration officials failed to process his application in time, his faith would be put to the test during a decade-long court battle that nearly ended in detention and deportation. Saah Quigee escaped Liberia with bodily and emotional scars from torture and beatings at the hands of rebel and government forces d u r i n g h i s n a t i v e c o u n t r y â€™ s c i v i l w a r. O n a student visa, he moved to the United States a n d o b t a i n e d a m a s t e r â€™s d e g re e a t C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y. H e a n d h i s f a m i l y n o w l i v e i n N e w Yo r k , w h e r e S a a h , a U . S . c i t i z e n , i s a s u p e r v i s o r a t C o r n e l lâ€™s A f r i c a n s t u d i e s l i b r a r y. Go get your copy of Green Card Stories at Amazon
this process is repeated, in spirit, for every human being. Okay, let’s break this down. First, notice I said “…from the male to fashion the female…” as opposed to “from the man to make a woman” or “from Adam to create Eve.” The reason for this is, Man was created male and female, as in them, not just a male as in him. Man in Genesis is essentially the same as Mankind. God called their name Adam, not his name Adam. To God, according to scriptures, Adam was the couple, not just the male. When God called for Adam He expected to see both of them. Man was both the male and the female, not just the male. It was Adam who called her “woman,” then later named the woman “Eve.” God called the female neither woman nor Eve, the male Adam did.
Is the Soul Mate Hypothesis Counterproductive? Dear G-Spot Readers, I beg your most sincere pardon, but in order to properly state my case I will need to do something I promised myself I would avoid at all cost; talk religion. It’s near impossible to discuss the soul mate topic without mentioning God, just as it is also futile avoiding Adam and Eve (the precedent for the soul mate argument). This is a topic I’ve wanted to share my thoughts on for quite some time. So, as always, bear with me. Admittedly, nothing is more romantic or endearing than the idea of the ideal mate; a person God crafted especially for you, from the same pseudo-cosmicorganic essence he made you. Except, that is, finding and marrying this other half of your soul; your proverbial rib. I believe the soul mate ideology (i.e. match made in Heaven) is problematic, primarily, in its application. The reality is “we” [ourselves] are the one’s who identify our soul mates, starting as early as our mid-teens – convinced we’ve just met him or her. No burning bush or mysterious handwriting on the wall; just “a belief” we have. In every scenario we are always “as perfect for them as they are for us,” no matter when we meet them. This, in my opinion, is counterproductive because we are more prone to stay in a doomed relationship to “save face” to validate this declaration or we “hold out” on our current overly-scrutinized relationship still in search of “the one.” Let’s review the premise of a soul mate. As I understand the theory: since the Creator, according to the Holy Bible, took a rib from the male to fashion the female, therefore, the presumption is,
As I understand it, God created a vegetated Earth, the animals and then Man (as in Mankind). First He created the male from dust then the female from his rib, both on the sixth day of creation. (To gain this understanding you must read through to chapter 5.) So the precedent for creating the male and female of a species was the animals; God created the female physically independent of the male. So since He had already set a precedent of creating the male and female of a species, as two separate but complimentary creatures, why would the female Man need to come from the rib of the male Man? I believe this was done to outline the significance of marriage; the physical oneness of the first couple created was, for all time, to symbolize the spiritual oneness of all future couples. So when others analyze the Creation story and see evidence for soul mates, I see an incident isolated to two persons in the creation of an institution. Where others see a perfect couple in Adam and Eve, perfect because God made one for the other, I see the inaugural marriage; whether the two were perfect for each other or not. Where some see proof of divine intervention for all marriages, I see divine necessity for the very first marriage. Taking a rib from the male in order to create a female with his DNA wasn’t about them as much as it was about the oneness of matrimony. The first man and woman were figuratively and literally, one in marriage. Even the location from which the bone was taken has significance; from his side as opposed to his head, back, hand, or foot. (The rib is a curved bone stretching from back to front along the side. At times she follows, briefly she may lead, but she is always by his side!) The appeal of the soul mate philosophy is the idea of an ideal union; a relationship preordained by the Almighty from the beginning of time, thus guaranteeing
a successful loving marriage. Otherwise, what’s the point of being soul mates? (Oddly enough some couples who claim to be soul mates fight like cats and dogs.) This theory also makes God liable for the happiness or heartache caused by the spouse; since He ordained this union at the foundation of the world and brought them together. So how does the search for a soul mate typically play out? First, one makes the presumption that the person he or she is madly in love with is their soul mate. If the relationship isn’t conducive to a healthy union or someone else comes along you feel more strongly is the soul mate, then what? Do you pull an Usher Raymond and “leave the one you’re with to start a new relationship...”? As you can see, I don’t subscribe to the idea of a soul mate. I’ve gone on record saying I believe there are as many as a baker’s dozen in every major city that could compliment you and make you happy, two or three of them (from each dozen) more so than others. So I think the most important characteristic for a person you intend to marry isn’t if you believe he or she was handpicked by God, or how many things you two have in common, but rather if this person is a good person at his or her core. Does he or she operate intrinsically out of wisdom or raw emotion? Is he or she essentially a forgiving person, not vindictive, or dwells in a state of grudges? Does he or she fight fair and only out of necessity, or is warlike in nature? Does this person genuinely like who you are as a person, beyond a physical or emotional infatuation? Does he or she treat you as if you are a friend or just a mate? Does he or she exhibit the nature of love or just love you? Soul mates are a dime a dozen, but a genuinely good person is the rarest of Earth’s treasures! (Think about it; how many “soul mates” have you encountered thus far?) So instead of searching for your “soul mate” I recommend you screen for the “Salt of the Earth.” Making certain you are a good person as well! In time, two people that are good [people] will be great for each other, and will grow in love for years to come! Iron sharpens iron, so let’s be better because of it
Gerald A, Montgomery
Moringa Mango Smoothie Moringa is a wonderful tree that provides most of the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Moringa leaf powder is especially nutriional when served in a smoothie for breakfast. You can drink Moringa leaf powder in a tea, but for those of you that prefer to have some additional color and flavor, try this Moringa Mango Smoothie for lunch or breakfast. For the smoothie you will put the following ingredients in a blender: • 1 mango • 1 banana • 1 tsp of diced ginger • 1 cup water • 1 tbsp spoon of Moringa Leaf Powder This recipe makes enough for two, so go ahead and share this with your special someone!
By Wangechi Ruguaru A mother of three, wife, African woman…. Folake Kuye Huntoon has always been into fashion as long as she remembers. After graduating from high school at 15, she went to fashion school before enrolling at University of Maryland College Park. Her blog Style Pantry has become a bible for most women. Folake’s style and imagination is so wild and creative. She puts pieces together that leaves one wondering why they didn’t think of that. I Like her page, I follow her blog, love her style! She always manages to punch up even the most basic outfits to make them look fabulous. Let’s not even talk about how much I LOVE her hair!
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See No Evil Nairobi Half Life is a film that tells the story of a young man who moves to Nairobi from Up Country to pursue his dreams. This is what most young people do and even though there have been a ton of these stories told in films over the years. It is refreshing seeing these through the Kenyan perspective. This is a film written, shot and produced by young Kenyans similar in some ways to the protagonist in this film. Nairobi Half Life has received fantastic reviews and it would do you good for you to also check it out. Here is the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch v=nRjBLAnx2jU&feature=player_embedded
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HACKS/HACKERS? What is Hacks/Hackers? Hacks/Hackers is a rapidly expanding international grassroots journalism organization with dozens of chapters (and counting) and thousands of members across four continents (and counting). Their mission is to create a network of journalists (“hacks”) and technologists (“hackers”) who rethink the future of news and information.
What do Hacks/Hackers do? Their mission is to spread knowledge. information and ideas. Local chapter activities currently include talks, hackathons and demo days (just to get to know each other). They have also been known to are also known to throw awesome parties with great DJs. Based on demand, we are strategically trying to expand into offering courses such as coding for beginners, Google Fusion Tables etc. If you have any ideas, please email us at organizers@HacksHackers.com.
Who are You? The organizers are just normal folks who are passionate about the future of news.
How Do I Get Involved? To find out more about this movement bridging the gap between tech geeks and wordsmiths go to www.hackshackers.com If you like what they are about join the chapter in your area? If you’re interested in starting a chapter in your city, tell us more about yourself and what you have in mind. Also, you can email them at volunteers@HacksHackers.com if you just want to get involved.