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ON THE COVER On the cover- Kimhia Toussaint Credits : Photographer: Fiona C. Compton Make-up: Tanya Nicole Edwards Neckpiece: Sian Rambally
Cover Design: Amelia J. Amoury Check out our ‘Behind the Cover’ videohttps://vimeo.com/87157668
CONTENTS Spring 2014
14 9. Editor’s Note 10. Contributors
NU PROFILES 32. Kimhia Toussaint cover girl! 38. Rik Carey, Grammy Winner, Artist & Husband 50. Tessanne Chin, Winner of the Voice 52. Ras’ deniro Thompson- mover, shaker and nation builder of the Bahamas
FEATURES 12. The Best of Life- an inspirational piece by Garnell Limpress. 13. Local Fashion Designer Uses Fashion Line To Overcome Adversity 30. “Her Deepness” among world renowned scientists leading International Environmental Conference in Nassau, Bahamas 48. Removing the Masks- Editor-in –Chief shares a ‘light bulb’ moment.
CONTENTS Relationships & Real Life 16. Six Tips For Dating In Your Thirties
Celebrity Corner 54. The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award
26. The Tests of Mother Love
36. A Grandmother’s Love- How one girls initiative to keep her grandmother’s spirit alive is helping the community.
28. Carnivals in the Caribbean 2014
FASHION 18. Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week 42. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall/ Winter 2014 (New York)
PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Erica Meus Saunders COPY EDITOR Tanya Simmons Assistant Copy Editor Nasia Colebrooke CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Erica Meus-Saunders Ontahya Ross Curmiah Lisette Adrian D. Simmons Natalie Eastmond Garnell Limperes-Dawkins Renee Henning CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Fiona C. Compton Barry Williams John Tilokee Laurie J. Klien Natasha Beckles GRAPHIC DESIGN Amelia J Amoury Erica Meus-Saunders MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION Email: email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (242) 445-6415 NU WOMAN MAGAZINE is published four times a year. Publisher: NU WOMAN LTD Freddie Munnings Manor P.O. Box CB 13236 Nassau, Bahamas Web: http://nuwomanmagazine.com ÂŠ 2014 Nu Woman Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. Online subscriptions are now available, visit us on the web to sign up.
EDITOR’S NOTE This past December, I turned 40. Turning 40 was quite a liberating experience and it brought with it a multitude of changes. Leading up to this point, I decided on several standards to live by: • I would no longer put-off any goals or desires with flimsy excuses. • If something made me unhappy or uncomfortable, I would not ‘suck it up’ to keep the peace or please another. I would go with whatever my best instincts were and say or do what I felt most comfortable with even if that meant offending or ruffling feathers. • I would be more authentically “Me” With these changes, I also decided on some changes for Nu Woman; we would make 2014 ‘A Year of Empowerment’; one of truly breaking down barriers and talking about issues that most affected women. This would include their relationships with family and significant others, self-esteem issues, balancing work and family life and maintaining a balance in both emotional and physical health - finding our authentic selves. (Read my piece on page 48 entitled “Removing the Masks”) Nu Woman is hitting the ground running with stories and features on Caribbean people around the globe. Our cover model Kimhia Toussaint is a perfect example of this, St. Lucian born she emigrated to the United Kingdom at the tender age of 12, and at the age of 20 she is making her mark. We talk to Sai-Ann Sultan a native of Trinidad who is designing for a cause. Then it’s on to Barbados Fashion Week, and later we meet up with Grammy Winner and Bahamian artist Rik Carey who gives us the inside scoop on some of his upcoming projects. Ontahya who recently became engaged gives us some quick tips about ‘Dating in Your Thirties’. These are just some of the stories presented in this issue. We are making 2014 the year that Nu Woman takes the Caribbean by storm. Some exciting projects are underway and we will be sharing them with you in upcoming issues. Our first exciting project for the year is partaking in the ‘Face of Grenada’ as one of their major sponsors! This is also our first 100% digital issue and we are giving it to you ‘free’ with sign-up to our website http://nuwomanmagazine.com. We hope that you enjoy this issue and look for feedback from you. Email your comments and/or suggestions to: email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org. All the best in 2014!
Erica Meus-Saunders Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Publisher’s picture by Barry Williams Make-up: Italia Williams Earrings: Cute Confections
Barry Williams “My journey to photography has been an eventful evolutionary process - beginning a few lifetimes ago. In another time, I was but a mere camera part; in another life after that I was most likely a camera (probably a Canon). So, it makes perfect sense that this time around I amassed such great karmic fortune to be born a photographer. If I’m unable to afford a Hasselblad during this lifetime, maybe I’ll wish hard enough to be that camera the next time around :).”
Heike Wollenweber is a publicist, journalist and radio personality based in Kingston, Jamaica and Miami. As a graduate from London Metropolitan University Heike started her company Axe-s Media in 2006 and has been primarily working in music and fashion, adding fine art to her portfolio more recently. Heike currently represents various Jamaican and Bahamian musical artistes internationally and her radio show All Axe-s is on air in the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos as well as online and on iTunes.
Fiona Compton is a St. Lucian born photographer based in London. Her professional experience ranges from photographing international recording artists, to presidents of major banks, to producing imagery for some of UK’s largest publishing houses. Her photography varies from fashion, to editorial, to documentary, product, event and corporate. In this issue Fiona shot our cover model Kimhia Toussaint, and images for Kimhia’s story.
Contacts: M: 431-7678 Email: barrywilliamsphotography@ gmail.com
Heike Wollenweber AXE-S Media • 876 484 6023 (Jamaica) • All AXE- S Radio
Born on the isles of Trinidad, John says he found his passion for photography 3 years ago while doing a music video with his friends. Since that time he has made fashion photography his focus, while also shooting weddings and events. “My dream is to work in Paris with the top models and shot for the cover of Vogue magazine.” John says he thanks God everyday for his development and advancement in photography and is currently entering the world of film working on a local movie and sitcom based in Trinidad and Tobago.
CONTRIBUTORS Amelia Amoury
I’m Amelia, a graphic designer with over 5 + years of experience in the field. I’ve been surrounded by technology my whole life, so it was natural for me to take my creativity and make it digital. I’ve worked in both freelancing and for a number of successful print companies, which has allowed me to polish my skills. I am currently based in Nassau, Bahamas and have a strong focus on print design. To find out more about me you can visit www.ameliajamoury. com to view my portfolio. Facebook: AJDesigns • www.ameliajamoury.com
22-year-old Nasia Rená (pronounced Naja) is a senior at The College of The Bahamas, studying English Literature. She enjoys reading, creative writing, amateur photography, scary movies and comedies. Nasia describes herself as a culturist and is proud to be a part of the Caribbean. She believes in the oneness and the uniqueness of Caribbean people and all ‘the flavor’ we have to offer to the world. She hopes to be a part of a more eclectic Bahamas, where the Arts are more appreciated, celebrated, and offered in the job market. Nasia encourages the youth of the Caribbean to always follow their dreams, no matter how unconventional or “out of the box” they may appear to be. To achieve a better world she says, “we must all be the change we want to see”. Nasia has recently earned the title of Assistant Copy Editor
TANYA P. SIMMONS Tanya P. Simmons is a graduate of C.R. Walker Secondary School, The College of the Bahamas and the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an avid reader who enjoys traveling and the occasional jet boat ride over rapids. Tanya is Nu Woman Magazine’s Copy Editor
Ontahya is freelance writer, entrepreneur, and author. Lover of life, positivity, and growth Ontahya penned the book ‘Between My Legs’. She has written several articles for Nu Woman Magazine. She is also the owner of inspirationallife.com. Ontahya is currently working on her second book and expanding her brand.
Website: www.inspirational-life. com Facebook: ontahya Email: email@example.com
THE BEST OF LIFE Written by Garnell Limperes-Dawkins
There was a lady named Eve Leek who had a stroke when she was 70. As a result of this stroke she lost use of the right side of her body. Although she was not able to talk, she was left with the gift of singing. Eve now had to learn how to use her left hand to bathe, eat, write, and everything else she used to do either with her right hand or both hands. This was a long process of relearning many of her basic skills, but after about a year she started to find ways to get back into a routine. Eve was a very positive, happy go lucky kind of lady. She made the decision to find the good in situations verses worrying about things that happened in the past that she could not change. She loved dolls, and had a collection before she had a stroke, which was one of the passions she was able to retain. Eve would spend hours changing the clothes on the dolls, and fixing their hair. Singing as she worked, her voice filled up the house. People in passing would stop by the window to listen. She smiled and laughed often, bringing joy to others. Eve spent most of her days in a wheelchair. She was able to get around by using her left leg to maneuver, and her left arm to help to hoist her around. One of Eve’s favorite songs was Happy Birthday. She had 5 boys, and they had all relocated throughout the country. On everyone’s birthday she would call like clockwork, and send a carefully selected doll to their houses. Eve Leek had 12 grandchildren, and 20 great-grand kids. They would put her on the speaker phone and sing along with her. This was going on years before she had a stroke, so it remained a family tradition even after she lost the ability to talk. This pattern continued for the next 20 years … the careful selection of birthday dolls, and singing Happy Birthday. One morning she was found in her bed with a peaceful smile on her face. She always told the kids to remember the good things, and when she will one day be gone in the flesh, she wants them to sing and laugh and smile at the joyful memories they had created together … as a family … as 1. That was her wish. The kids passed on this story during holidays, family gatherings, and on birthdays. On Eve’s birthday, the family would fly and drive in from across the country to celebrate the legacy of Eve Leek. They would join hands and sing Happy Birthday, and exchange gifts on this special day … and everyone would smile, because they could hear Eve’s voice and feel her soul within each and every one of theirs. Eve lived by example. She spent a lifetime conducting herself a certain way, choosing to make the best of life’s circumstances despite what stormy weather was brought her way. As living proof, she showed that a simple smile can change the course of a day, and a single song can unite people of all ages and walks of life simply through its message … even if it’s only once a year. She proved what joy a simple gift could bring. So the next time we find ourselves upset by life’s curve balls, we can still continue with a smile. After all, Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
LOCAL FASHION DESIGNER USES FASHION LINE TO OVERCOME ADVERSITY Photography John Tilokee
Meet Sai-Ann Sultan, a twenty-three year old fashionista seeking her muse by turning her creative gaze inward. The southern-born beauty knows all too well the struggles many women face and is seeking to empower them by bringing to light their greatest gift: their femininity, resolve and inner strength. With her BEAU collection, her goal is to bring out the Beautiful, Elegant, Ambitious, U (you) in true Caribbean style. After recently launching her collection late last year to rave reviews, she now plans to further develop a thriving fashion company.
Survivor Empowers Women to be the most BEAUTIFUL, ELEGANT, AMBITIOUS U Through Fabric and Colour. Many upcoming fashion designers draw their inspiration from external sources in the physical world. Natural light and colour, bold, strong, man-made lines or even the unusual or bizarre, often grace international runways, draped over a too skinny model in some obscure, haute-couture collection. But a Trinidadian fashion designer has turned inwards to draw from a deep, emotional wellspring as her source.
She explained the reason for choosing the name BEAU, French for beautiful or handsome. “BEAU is the name chosen for both my fashion line and the subsequent company, due to the fact that I believe that everyone can be just
Vibrant hues of blue and indigo, pristine whites and floral shades of pinks show the playful side of this former Naparima Girl’s High School student, but there’s a serious side to all her pieces as well. Intrinsic cuts and profound accessories mask a sadness born out of pain, anguish and deep emotional turmoil which is revealed in each piece. It is her belief that her pieces will resonate with women and thus she’s found her edge. With very little formal training, the former UWI student relies on her experiences sketching simple designs, a creative spark very few can deny, and her luminescence and positivity that keep her going ever forward. 13
“Fashion was not a major part of the syllabus but there was arts and craft, which contributed significantly. Secretly, I did design for myself as a hobby... just sketching and drawing what I would like to see”, she said when asked about her designs and how they came to be. She practiced rudimentary fashion design at lower six level for her “house” for sports day for the past team march, where they placed first after so many years, having earned the highest points for Most Outstanding uniform. But, she placed fashion on the back burner while she focused more on her studies. She was accepted into the University of the West Indies, where she planned on majoring in Literature with English and Education. But fate had other plans for the diminutive lass, not all of which were good. Midway through her schooling, Sai-Ann suddenly fell deathly ill from unknown causes, which left her family and friends worried. After countless hospital trips and extensive medical tests, it was revealed that she suffered from a cancerous growth, which not only threw all her future plans into a tailspin, but left her normally bubbly and vibrant personality on life support. What did not manage to put the very resolute Sai-Ann down, merely gave her another challenge to overcome and a chance to defy the odds. And defy them she did. She remembered the precise moment when she decided that enough was enough and that she would fight the growing feeling of despair. “I can vividly remember the moment my mom, aunt and brother, walked in the hospital after receiving a phone call from my doctors, and my friends and housemates who heard of the news. They all just stood there, looking at me like I was dying. I firmly resolved that nothing was going to keep me down, and I made up my mind that I would become better”, she confessed with a steely determination in her voice. Her renaissance in fashion design began when a Caribe Fashion representative messaged her via Facebook, asking her if she would care to participate 14 nuwomanmagazine.com
in ‘TriniStyle 2013’, to which she replied, “I was not too keen on participating, but did so after being prompted by close friends to showcase my creative abilities.” From there, Sai-Ann could only go forward with the assistance for Caribe Fashion. She officially debuted her collection, BEAU, on the 24th of November last year, freshly armed with knowledge from a seamstress who assisted and taught her days earlier. Sai-Ann also showcased her fledging designing skills at her first official show in December, where she was complimented on her fresh outlook on fashion. She is also extremely grateful for the tremendous support from photographer John Tilokee (as working beside him was educating), her friends, family and the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development.
Photo of Sai-Ann Sultan (top right)
Written byAdrian D. Simmons. Freelance writer/reporter/PRO based with www.caribbeannews-
Six Tips For Dating In Your Thirties Dating at any age can be difficult. Re-entering the dating world in your thirties can be intimidating. Here are six tips to make the transition easier.
What Do You Want? Know what you want before going in. Are you looking for something serious? Are you looking for just a friend? Maybe you’re just looking to get out more. It doesn’t matter what your purpose is for getting back out there as long as you know what you want beforehand. The importance of knowing what you want, is being able to let the person you’re dating know exactly what you’re looking for. It keeps you from leading anyone on. You never want to have someone thinking you’re ready for something serious when you’re only wanting a friend and vice versa. So take time and figure out where you are in your life and what you really want. It’ll prevent a lot of confusion if both parties know what they’re getting into.
Don’t Ignore Red Flags Red flags are the little voices in our heads that warn you that maybe something’s not quite right. Everyone has deal breakers. The “non-negotiable” things you are just not willing to compromise with. It can be anything from a non-smoker to no kids. It really depends on you and what you want. The key is, when you notice something’s off, pay attention to it. It helps you figure out early on whether or not this is something you’re willing to bend on. If not, let go now. No need to continue dating someone who doesn’t possess the qualities you’re looking for. When you continue to hold on, you are continuing to build a relationship with a person you know has undesirable qualities. One of two things will happen, you end up in an undesirable situation where you are forced to make the decision to either leave or to stay and end up settling. We all have that list of things we won’t bend on, and its important every now and then to reevaluate that list. You may be missing out on a great person because the list you’ve composed is so unobtainable. Always make sure that you offer the same qualities that you’re looking for.
Take Your Time! It’s a date not a marriage proposal. You don’t have to marry the person or make any life changing decisions. Just enjoy each other’s company. Go with no expectations except to have a good time. Remember, it’s a date not a relationship. IM 30, I NEED A “MAN!” Some of us get so wrapped up in the fact that we’re no longer in our twenties that we put unnecessary stress on ourselves to have a man by a certain age. You don’t need a man to be happy. Of course we all want a mate to share our life with, but don’t ever feel like you NEED a mate to be complete or whole. When you’re happy with yourself, you will attract the right kind of person in your life. So relax, just because you’re in your thirties doesn’t mean you’re near the end of the road, this is just the beginning! Your twenties were made for you to explore and find out who you are and what you want. Thirty is when the real fun begins.
Open Your Mind! If you want something different, or “someone different”, do something different. Open your mind. You can’t continue doing the same things, going to the same places, and expecting to attract something different. Think of the type of person you want to attract in your life. What would that person be like? What does that person like to do? and then try to incorporate those types of things into your life. Remember, you attract what you are.
Take The Mask Off! The first time you meet someone you’re on your best behavior. You’re so busy making sure to do and say all the right things that you forget to be authentic. You’re human, and it’s okay to show it. We tend to keep a guard up, but want love. How can you receive love if you keep a guard over your heart? It’s okay to protect yourself and your heart, in fact I encourage it, but you have to be open to love, otherwise what’s the point? There’s a way to protect yourself while still being open to love. It’s called Red Flags and not ignoring them. The red flags are there to warn you and protect you. You can’t gain true love with no risks.
Work On Self! Don’t focus all your attention on finding a man. When you focus on you, and bettering yourself, others will notice. Go out with friends, take in a movie, try a new hobby, do something different. Focus on becoming a better woman and a better man will come…
Always Coming From a place of love, ~Life Lessons ~Ontahya Ross Ontahya is an entrepreneur, and a new upcoming author of the forthcoming novel, Between My Legs, one woman’s story of how learning to love one’s self comes at one hell of a price. Follow her at inspirational-lif.com and @OntahyaRoss as well as facebook.com/ontahya
BRIDGETOWN BARBADOS FASHION WEEK Over the years Barbados has been making great progress on the fashion scene, resulting in it being noted on the official Global Fashion Week Calendar and becoming the core of fashion within the Caribbean with its annual fashion week. The time had come again for the spotlight to be shone on this premier fashion event, as Bridgetown Barbados Fashion 2013 (BBFW) was held on October 25th - 27th. On the first night, daring fashion lovers didn’t let the heavy showers prevent them from going to the Barbados Independence Square to take in the highly anticipated runway shows, but thankfully the pesky showers stayed away for the remaining nights. The attendees were treated to Spring/Summer 2014 collections from both local and regional designers from Trinidad and Tobago, St.Vincent and The Netherlands; also with kids fashion and plus-size collections being debuted for the first time on the designer line-up. From the Barbadian designer line-up, the Shakad Luxury Resort Line by Shanika Burnett made a grand entrance on the runway. Her men’s and women’s designs teleported all present to their own remote island as Shanika showed great craftsmanship with natural fibers, tie-dye and hand painted creations. Fellow countryman Isabelle Baulu presented her Sea Reinas swimwear collection that had an array of gorgeous pieces ranging from bikinis adorned with frills to chic whole pieces. It was evident that Isabelle caters to the woman who is very feminine and elegant. Already known on the Barbados fashion circuit, model turned designer Rhea Cummings-Jordan debuted her Aria Urban Fashions collection. Rhea’s pieces playfully danced along the line between daring and demure as she used architectural cut-outs, bared midriffs and short hemlines. The collection was flirty and fun as the models paraded down the runway. A favorite among fashion lovers and a BBFW regular, Kesia Estwick showcased two collections titled Kesia Couture and Kiss Urban. Established more for her urban, glam punk style, Kesia didn’t disappoint with her couture line, of which some pieces have already been featured in a photo shoot of this year’s British Ireland Next Top Model. Kesia showed her versatility as she paid great attention to detail and manipulated an array of prints, textures and colours to create ethereal designs that ranged from sheer sultry pieces to more fairy tale gowns. For her second line Kiss Urban, Kesia drove the attendees into a craze as the models worked the well-constructed urban pieces, which were edgy and fresh. The aesthetics were kept simple with chic minimalism designs and geometric cuts and prints. 18 nuwomanmagazine.com
The new categories added to the line-up, Barbadian lines La Rosa Couture and Giordan William, peaked the interest of the fashion lovers. Rozana Moseley of La Rosa Couture created designs for the full-figured woman showing that women with curves can still be chic, sophisticated and alluring, with the collection showing both fluid and form fitting designs. Giordan Williams’ line debuted two collections, Lemon Lilly for girls and Bearded Gecko for boys. The adorable designs were ageappropriate, fun and charming, as the young models brought smiles to the attendees’ faces, as they walked down the runway. The designers from Trinidad and Tobago gave a good representation, finding themselves amongst the favorite designers. Dawn Scott’s Dawn Creation menswear collection showed great precision and intricate details and his comprehension was immaculate as the models appeared more like stylish successful businessmen. The Island Fusion collection was a team effort by menswear designer Anthony Red of Red House Fashion and Charu Lochan Dass of her selftitled women’s line. The pieces from the Charu Lochan Das line thrilled the females as they were very sensual yet elegant and luxurious. The men’s pieces from Red House Fashion were casual with an easy-going approach. The collection featured custom-made T-shirts, buttoned-down shirts and slacks. Hailing from St.Vincent was Kimon Baptiste who introduced a refreshing element with her Kimystic Designs. Her pieces were colourful, ranging from casual items that were simple yet chic, to more classy elegant gowns. The Netherlands also made its presence felt with a menswear collection by Carmicheal Byfield who presented House of Byfield. Those present were left spellbound by his jazzy modernized suits, which were bold in colour, prints and design. His fashionable designs are wellsuited for the man who is outgoing and has loads of charisma and who has a use for short pant suits and sheer shirts. It was a bittersweet ending after the conclusion of the three nights of fashion at BBFW 2013. The designers are proof that there is a lot of potential and undiscovered talent within the Barbados and the wider Caribbean; and that they have a very favourable future. This year’s event marked the eighth year of BBFW and was produced by Unique Production Worldwide Limited. Written by Natalie Eastmond Photo Credit: Natasha Beckles
Anthony Reid Fashion House
Charu Lochan Das
Charu Lochan Das
Sea Reinas Sea Reinas
The Tests of Mother Love By Renee Henning
Does an adopted mother deserve a baby shower?
passed that test.
Recently, a women’s church group were faced with having to answer this very question. A childless member of the group had adopted the child, and the women were unsure of whether it would be best to host a baby shower for her, like they normally do for expecting mothers in the group.
The second test is playing, “The Waiting Game”. In many cases, pregnancies are unplanned and first-time biological mothers would have probably preferred to wait a little longer to have a child. During the nine-month wait to finally have a healthy baby, mothers gain a greater sense of desire and love for the beautiful gift that they are about to give birth to. However, the adopted mother, most of the time, would have a much longer wait before receiving the gift of a child. After many failed pregnancies and unsuccessful fertility attempts, the first-time adopted mother has typically waited between four and twelve years for a child. Who can compare 9 months to 12 years? Clearly, we can see that adopted mothers have passed this test, too.
According to some of the ladies, the new mother, “doesn’t deserve a baby shower, since she has not suffered labor pains”. Another lady voiced, this woman, “is acting phony”, because of the adoring looks she keeps giving her new daughter. Another opinion was that this lady must be “putting on an act, because it’s not as if it’s a child of her own.” In our society, sadly, like attitudes still remain. Many people believe that an adopted mother is not “the real mother” and could never possibly love an adopted child as much as a “real” mother would love her biological child. Thus, it is not unusual for adopted mothers to be condescended by “biological” mothers, or to be told by pregnant women that they got their child “the easy way”. However, as an adopted mother, I knew things that the church ladies didn’t. Despite the rule of thumb which declares that a shower is as equally appropriate for an adopted child, just as it is for a biological child, now feels like the appropriate time to address the questions headon: Does an adopted mother deserve a baby shower? To thoroughly answer this question, piggy-backing on the aforementioned opinions and feedback from the church ladies, I will break it down into five categories. The first is “The Pain Test”, the second “The Test of the Long Wait”, third “The Financial Test”, fourth “The Test of Travel to a Distance Land” and the fifth, which seems to be most prominent in the minds of most, “Blood, Sweat and Tears”. Firstly, when it comes to pain, this seems to be one of the most basic and automatic arguments of biological mothers, in terms of the amount of love they have for their child, versus an adopted mother. Biological mothers use “labor pains” to stress how much they had to go through to bring a child into the world. However, adopted mothers go through pain as well. Many adopted mothers may have been the victims of infertility issues, which is a constant source of emotional and psychological pain. Not to mention, the painful surgeries that come along with failed pregnancies. Any doctor knows which is harder on a woman’s body, labor or major surgery, and the answer is the latter. Thus, if physical suffering is the test of mother love, it is clear that countless adoptive mothers have
Third, is the financial test. To know what someone values in life, find out what they spend their money on most, and for what he or she is willing to enter into debt. Hence, another way for biological mothers to test the love of adopted mothers, is to hit us with the test of seeing how much we would be willing to spend for our child. A biological mother knows that medical expenses, which are covered by insurance most times, connected with the pregnancy and birth, food and clothing, education and so on, are inevitable. However, the woman who adopts independently, with the assistance of a surrogate, is expected to pay these fees and more. She would have to reimburse the surrogate for medical expenses, without the benefit of insurance and she is also expected to pay any “middle man” and other fees. Further, adopting through an agency costs even more, typically costing close to $50,000. Thus, if the amount of money spent on a child is a test of love, then adopted mothers have certainly “earned” their spot at the top. We’ve now arrived at our fourth destination. The “Distance” Test. There is a saying, “I would travel to the ends of the earth and back for my child”. Yet, so many adopted mothers do just that. Nowadays, American women are traveling to China, India and even to Haiti in the Caribbean, among many other parts of the world, to adopt a child. So, if the will to leave one’s home to journey to unfamiliar, faraway lands is an ultimate test of love, then it is certainly clear that adopted mothers have gone and continue to go the extra mile. And lastly, but by far not the least, is the “Blood, Sweat and Tears” test. The typical biological mother would have produced a child by making love with a man. In contrast, the process of adoption has been compared to ‘serving a criminal sentence of hard labor with a pen’. Also, the adopted mother is likely to have engaged in repeated
acts of love-making, (according to a schedule which would have been prescribed by the infertility doctor), have suffered miscarriages, have undergone major and minor surgeries, have worked month after month on adoption documents and have mourned over her childlessness before finally learning of the child. So, in short, the adopted mother did not get her child through love-making, no, but her child has definitely come out of blood, sweat and tears. In the end, the church ladies remained divided in their decision to host a baby shower for the adopted mother or not, but gave her one anyway. The basis for their decision was that all the other first-time mothers in the group have received a baby shower, and that the adopted mother had brought a gift to those showers. But, the question still remains. Does an adopted mother deserve a baby shower? Now that you know what the adopted mother has to go through just to get a child, I will leave it for you to ponder.
Renee Henning is a lawyer, an author on adoption and other subjects, and an adoptive mother. Her writings have appeared in adoption-related publications (e.g., Adoption Today, Adoptive Families, Ours, News From FAIR, Roots & Wings,International Concerns For Children Newsletter, Adoption Advocates Newsletter, and the book The Adoption Option Complete Handbook, 2000-2001) and other publications (e.g., Washington Post, A Day in the Life of Public Service Lawyers, Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, Women Magazine, WNC Woman, Hudson Herald, and The Free Lance-Star). Email RenĂŠe at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carnivals in the caribbean 2014
Carnivals in the Caribbean •
Aruba: Lent (Aruba Carnival website)
Bahamas (Junkanoo): December (Boxing Day) – January (New Year’s Day Parade)
Barbados (Crop Over): August
Bermuda (Bermuda Day/Junkanoo): May
British Virgin Islands (Emancipation Festival): July-August
Carriacou, Grenada: Lent (3rd & 4th March)
Cayman Islands (Batabano): April-May
Cuba: Lent (3rd & 4th March)
Curacao: Lent (Curacao Carnival website)
Dominica: Lent (Dominica Carnival website)
Dominican Republic: Lent
Guyana (Mashramani): Lent
Jamaica: April (Bacchanal website)
Montserrat: December (website)
Puerto Rico: January-February
St. Barts: Lent
St. Croix (US-VIs): December-January
St. Eustatius: April-May
St. Kitts and Nevis: December-January
St. Lucia: July
St. Martin: Lent
St. Maarten: April
St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Vincy Mas): June-July
St. Thomas (US-VIs), April
Trinidad and Tobago: Lent (Trinidad Carnival website)
Turks and Caicos (Junkanoo): December-January
Dates for Lent: 2014: 3rd & 4th March
The majority of Caribbean countries have their own Carnival or Carnival/Junkanoo related event. Trinidad Carnival, which is also the biggest in the Caribbean, has roots back to the days of Slavery and the Emancipation Day, mixing with European Carnival traditions. Other Carnivals with similar roots have been installed later which is one of the reasons that there are festivals almost throughout the whole year. Write to Nu Woman Magazine on your island lineup of events for 2014 and 2015 to have them added to our calender. Email: email@example.com
“Her Deepness” among world renowned scientists leading International Environmental Conference in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Bahamas National Trust is thrilled to announce that they will host underwater explorer, Dr. Sylvia Earle as well as Glenn Olson, of the National Audubon Society during their upcoming Bahamas Natural History Conference to be held March 3 – 7, 2014. Known as “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times, a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and Time Magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet,” Dr. Sylvia Earle, has led more than 100 expeditions as an oceanographer and explorer, authored 180 publications, and lectured in 80 countries including Panama, China, the Galapagos Islands and of course The Bahamas. Vanessa Haley-Benjamin, the Director of Science and Policy and one of the planners of BNHC said, “It is an honour to host Dr. Earle during our scientific conference. Her commitment to ignite public support for a network of global marine protected areas can challenge us to recommit ourselves to the protection of the biodiversity of our island nation and awareness of our Bahamian waters.” In addition to Dr. Earle, Glenn Olson, The National Audubon 30 nuwomanmagazine.com
Society’s Donal C. O’Brien Chair for Bird Conservation and Public Policy will also attend and speak at the conference. Audubon has supported conservation and science efforts in the Bahamas since its founding in 1905 including saving the West Indian Flamingo from near extincytion in the 1950’s Olson has been with Audubon in various capacities since 1976 always supporting bird conservation. Additionally, he was a founding member and chairman of the Central Valley All Bird Joint Venture, and appointed by US Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar in 2010 and reappointed in 2013 by Sally Jewell to the council of North American Wetlands Conservation Act and to the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Advisory Committee which have collectively disbursed more than $4 billion to support bird and habitat conservation efforts over the past 20 years. The National Audubon Society is currently working with the Bahamas National Trust to identify key locations for endangered shorebirds like the piping plover and establishing a National Park at Joulter Cays, Andros which supports ten percent of the entire Atlantic population of piping plovers. In addition to speaking at the event, Olson will also be announcing a multi-
year project in partnership with the Multi-Lateral Investment Fund within the Inter-American Development Bank and BNT to develop bird-based tourism on Inagua and Andros islands. Additionally, former BNT Executive Director and accomplished international scientist, David G Campbell, is the featured presenter at the 2014 conference. This year’s theme for the conference ‘Discovering our Ephemeral Isles’ was inspired by the book ‘The Ephemeral Islands’ which was written by Campbell. The BNT is encouraging the public, not just scientists, to register to attend the conference and benefit from the information to be shared during the week of conference presentations and special events. Interested persons can register via the BNT’s webpage, http://www.bnt.bs/_m1885/Conference-Registration, call (242) 393-1317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org “The Bahamas Natural History Symposium brings together over 50 scientists who are presently conducting research on species and ecosystems in The Bahamas. We encourage everyone to learn more about the work that is being presented at the conference and to attend as many of the sessions as possible,” said Eric Carey, BNT Executive Director. Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing
Achievement and in 2011 the Dominican Republic’s Medal of Honor, the Royal Geographical Society’s Patron’s Medal, and Australia’s SIMS Green Leadership Award. Glenn Olson was Executive Director of Audubon California for 5 years and helped spearhead a CA Climate Atlas on Birds that has recently been expanded nationally to predict the impacts of climate change on the ranges of nearly 600 species of birds given various future Greenhouse Gas emission levels. Olson has also served as Audubon’s National Field Director from 1995 to 2003 starting Audubon’s network of State Offices in 27 states across the country. Olson began his Audubon career in 1976 teaching at the Audubon Camp of the West in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. Olson holds a master’s degree in public health from UCLA and a bachelor of science degree in zoology from UC Santa Barbara. He studied in the Galapagos Islands on a scholarship from the Charles Darwin Research Institute and inventoried Golden Eagle populations in Southern California as a research assistant at the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. In 2002 Olson received Audubon’s Charles H. Callison Award in recognition of his conservation achievements. Website: http://www.bnt.bs/ Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/pages/Bahamas-National-Trust/25034035861?ref=hl
FYI- Dr. Sylvia Earle is Explorer in Residence of the National Geo-
graphic Society, Leader of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, Council Chair for the Harte Research Institute, Founder of Mission Blue and the SEAlliance, and formerly the Chief Scientist of NOAA. A graduate of St. Petersburg College and Florida State University with MA and PhD from Duke University she has 22 honorary doctorates and more than 100 national and international awards including the 2009 TED Prize, the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, the Academy of 31
ith a face structure and physique to make you “Ooo” with curiosity at first glance, 20 year old Kimhia Toussaint is definitely set to turn heads, making one do a double, if not triple take. This island beauty, aspiring model and passionate naturist, remains profusely proud to be from the sublime and picturesque home of the twin peaks and Helen of the West: St Lucia. Having migrated to the UK from the ripe age of 12, Kimhia says she has finally broken out of the sporty/boyish phase of her early teens, and Oowee do we agree! Why, Hello Kim! Her love for art and the wealth of wondrous beauty that nature has to offer, is certainly comparable to and reflective of the fierce, yet sultry, angles and intriguing wilderness that remains strikingly apparent when looking at her through a lens, as well as off screen. In August of last year, Kimhia graced the stage of the Miss Universal Carnival competition, held at the Luton Carnival Arts Centre in the UK, where she swept up the awards of The Face of Miss Universal Carnival as well as the people’s choice with the Miss Popular title. She says that this is only the beginning for her and she is already set to take part in the upcoming Miss St Lucia-UK competition, due to take place in London, in February, on the cusp of the island’s 35th year of independence. She has deemed 2014 #OperationTwenty and hopes to attack the year and those following, with her aspiration to model in the big leagues. Already, she has walked for the launch of London Fashion Week 2013 and modeled for London’s Top Carnival Mas Band – UCOM. Along with these are up and coming fashion brands Paradise Prints, La’Cint Designs and Takita Takita Jewelery. Kimhia talks about her recent cover shoot for Nu Woman magazine, gushing, “When Fiona called me one day during my lunch break at work to inform me that there was a future project she wanted to work on with me I was immediately excited. Once we finally set a date to actually get the show on the road a few days after my birthday, that’s when the real excitement kicked in because it’s always a pleasure shooting with Fi, she is simply amazing at what she does. Being that I had admired Fiona’s work for quite some time before working with her, I always like to work my best.” She continues, “On the day of the shoot, I did my hair as I had already had it in a particular style for my birthday. Once I got to Fiona’s, the makeup artist immediately started working on my face, which she claimed to be one of the easiest she’d ever done. The atmosphere was chilled and pretty laid back. It was like a group of old friends had come together, thus making it easy to relax and put on a show once I got in front of the camera. We had so much fun shooting but the best moments were Fi’s screams of excitement every 20 seconds. She makes shooting with her so easy that you forget you’re working and the fact that we accomplished this in just over half an hour attests to that.” Kimhia admits that to this day, having worked with Fiona on those shoots has made this collection,
by far, her most impressive body of work. Aside from modeling, Kimhia is happiest when partaking in activities such as rock climbing or hiking (of course, a natural born wild child!). Her love for, and support from, her family is also something that she says keeps her striving to reach and exceed her personal best. This young beautyâ€™s future, just as the sun rises with a burst of vivacity and a kaleidoscope of colours, certainly appears bright! There is most definitely lots more in store for Ms. Kimhia Toussaint! Article written by Curmiah Lisette Photography. Fiona Compton Makeup : Tanya Nicole Edwards Neckpiece : Sian Rambally Watch the behind the scenes video here: https://vimeo.com/87157668
A Grandmother’s Love - (AGL) How One Girl’s Initiative to Keep Her Grandmother’s Spirit Alive Is Helping the Community
22 year old Anna Moss of New Providence, Bahamas, is doing big things in communities around the island. She, with the help of her older sister Abigail, her younger sister Amy, her cousin Allena and her parents Sharon and Oden Moss, have established “A Grandmother’s Love”, which is a community-based program that aids in giving back to the elderly. The idea was brainstormed in 2012, a few months after the passing of Anna’s grandmother, the late Christine Mott-Hanna. After reflecting on her grandmother’s life, Anna realized that her grandmother spent her life loving and giving. She notes how on many Sundays, she would take bags and bags of bread and basket items from her church pew into the homes and kitchens of those within the community. As a result, Anna sat her mother down and told her about wanting to start an initiative to honor her grandmother’s legacy. Essentially, AGL is an organization which seeks to provide Christmas gifts for the elderly in various communities around New Providence, who may tend to be forgotten during this time of year. When asked about the success thus far, Anna notes, “We were able to get to two Homes: the Naomi Christie Home and the Sandilands Geriatric Hospital last year, and we hope to expand this amount at Christmas this year”, adding that she and her family’s goal is to lift these people’s spirits and put smiles on their faces, letting them know that they are not forgotten. Although Christmas 2013 was AGL’s first trial run, it was a success. A total of 71 gifts were presented, each received with full gratitude. While they were pleasantly surprised at the gifts, it was the recognition and company they received from the smiling faces and warm hearts, during what is known as “the best time of the year”, which really served as their best gift. One of the gentlemen even exclaimed how he was so surprised and happy to just be remembered. However, despite the fact that it got off to a good start, Anna has bigger and better plans for each year to come, which she now knows will require more frequent and earlier advertising, so as to receive lots more support and donations going forward. “Because I was coming home in the middle of December it was thought not to be the most feasible option at the time. I told myself next year (2013) it had to be done. So, guess what? Regardless of, I came home in the middle of December, decided it would be done, and with a little over 1 week left ‘til Christmas Day, I began making preparations, using my pocket to cover any minimal balances, and completed my first initiative to get the show on the road. I thank God I did.” Not only does AGL evoke a sense of appreciation within the elders, but Anna also thinks that it is a great avenue for the youth of The Bahamas today, thinking, “If we, as a unified Bahamas come together and really listen to the stories, journeys and lives of the elders in our community, oh, how much we could learn. If we are able to respect our elders, then this same respect may be transferred amongst each other.” She also recognizes how The Bahamas, at one time, placed huge emphasis on the elderly within communities, painting them as pillars and as the heads and leaders of society. When asked where she sees AGL in about five years, the soon-to-be Law graduate of the University of Leeds, UK, responded, “In 5 years I see AGL giving Christmas love to ALL elderly homes in The Bahamas, Family Islands included. There is also an inclination to expand to demographics other than the elderly, but at present, they are the program’s main recipients.” She also adds that she wants to host events other times in the year, not only Christmas and that she hopes for AGL to become a well-established and well-respected organization within The Bahamas, gaining more and more assistance from society each 36 nuwomanmagazine.com
year. There are even thoughts of a documentary in the near future, which will highlight life stories of some of these amazing people, who still have a lot of wisdom and knowledge to offer to future generations. Finally, Anna’s main goal is to get people to understand that although elders may be old, they are not dead or useless, and should never be treated in such a way. She also wishes that people reading this would look inside themselves and make the decision to help those in need, knowing that any genuine act of kindness is never too big or too small. Anna also offers a little advice, stressing, “I know that there are many people who have dreams of starting non-profit organizations but may not know in which direction to turn, but I say, write out your plans and begin to determine avenues which will make these possible. Do not convince yourself that someone else will do it, because it is with this type of mindset that there, probably, would be no Red Cross, Salvation Army, Cancer Society, Sir Victor Sassoon Foundation and many other nonprofs.” Anna leaves with these words, “We have the answers inside of us, and with God’s assistance can these answers be revealed and dispersed throughout the world. Know that elders living in these homes are lonely, in need of listening ears, good conversation, a hearty laugh, and just the presence of people who mean them and the country well. I believe that these elders hold the key to answers that can improve society, but these answers may never be known because there is no one willing to listen. So, we at AGL, are hoping to become the bridge that connects the old and new generations, with the trust that this unity will bring about a positive change within The Bahamas.”
Baha Men was the Bahamian band who took the world by storm in the 1990’s earning a Grammy Award in 2000 for their hit single, “Who Let the dogs Out?”, along with several other awards (Best Dance Recording; Billboard Music Awards for World Music Artist of the Year and World Music Album of the Year). Mr. Rik Carey was a lead vocalist in this band.
on radio stations now. The last I heard, it was #3 on the Bahamas Weekly Top Countdown, and I think it made #2 on Island FM. I’ve also just completed a project I produced for Visage, called “Happy Hour”. Rik talks about ‘Happy Hour’ and how it came about
Since that time, Rik Carey has taken on many roles and has become an integral part of another band- Visage. This Grammy winner, father and painter took some time out to talk with Nu Woman Magazine about his craft and give us an update on what he has been doing.
“Happy Hour” is basically a fun, party-type, dancetrack. The band who is gearing up to do some things now, saw what I did when producing the Tribute song for the Golden Knights and liked it so much that Obi Pindling (Visage’s manager) asked me to come on board and help with “Happy Hour”.
“I’ve been working on my personal projects. I just did a release of a song called “You Can’t Blame Me”, which is
He loves how I did the track and says it’s the new wave of Bahamian music.Who am I to argue with that? So, I’ve
decided to take the project on and it’s finished. It’s completed. Visage - Happy Hour, featuring Wendi and Dyson Knighthttp://youtu.be/_d2H_7nJ04Q Rik revealed that he has also been working on a personal single, “U Can’t Blame Me” that just came out. “My personal single is out now, and I’m juggling different things; between myself and Baha Men, and I got the art thing going as well. I just did a display yesterday.” Rik, who started painting back in high school, said he left this passion to pursue music, but that painting was always his first love. “I’ve always had it in me. I picked up my first show ‘Island Collage’ which was a combination of the Arts and music. In 2010, I had a little concert, along with a showing of my Art and I also invited other vendors. It was a success! Many people came and actually bought the work. I think they got excited because I gave them a pre-viewing and they picked out stuff. So after that I kept going. I’ve gotten invitations from people to their events like fashion shows. I’ve also been working with Cia Monet for a while.” Rik also mentioned his involvement with The Heart Ball, who he says continues to bless him. “I do that every year at Government House and host other displays at various places.” About his paintings.. The paintings combine his music and art and his experience with Baha Men. “This year I went with painting a lot of instruments. I paint the people playing. I design Junkanoo drums: goat skin drums, Tum-Tum, cowbells and horns and other items like
that and I put it on a canvas. So far people have been going crazy for it, so, I decided to create smaller pieces because with the economy, not everyone can afford a $2000 piece Rik says that a piece can start at $150 (4 x 9) and go up to $500. “I have some pieces in the car right now, that’s how busy I’ve been.” About his ‘New Ink’ (tattoo).. “I got it this year, in the summer. I decided to do a tribute piece. The tattoo combined the Lignum Vitae flowers, the goatskin drums, the cowbells and the horn and was designed by Allan Wallace who designs murals.” “If you see all the murals downtown, Allan actually designed them. I let him put my ideas together, I took it to him and told him to take this to the next level, so that I could put it on my arm and this is what he came up with; I was blown away.” “A guy named LA tattooed it.” Nu Woman: Let’s go back to those years of Baha Men.. What was that like traveling etc? Rik: Very, very busy. Very hectic. Living out of a suitcase, basically. It was a constant rush. It was exciting. Good and bad experiences but mostly good. Taking that into effect, one can get a little cocky. People think that this is the first impression.. But if you sit down and talk to me, I feel that I am quite humble. NW: How many Bahamians do you know with a Grammy Award? Rik: That’s true, and that’s why I say with that stimulus, people think that, “Oh, I am supposed to have this larger than life attitude”, but, I am the same old Rik. I am proud of my achievements. Not many can say that, coming
from a small country, but, people respect us around the globe... You know. That is a big milestone, I am still proud to this day. NW: So what is the band doing now? Rik: Like I was saying we are just completing the Sony deal, the album. NW: Oooh Rik: Yeah, we signed a deal, I think it’s a 3-album deal. As you know in this day and time, the music business is very rough. You’ll find some of the top artists, like Usher and all these guys, dabbling and doing different things and the record companies aren’t dishing out as much funds as they used to. So with a company like Sony... NW: So how did that come about? Rik: They came here. We had a meeting set up by members of our management team. They would always come around the island and look/scout for talent. They always knew about us. This is Sony Latin America. They were looking for a Caribbean band and we were always an option. We had a private function at the Atlantis where they watched us perform. We also invited members of the government, who came, as it was done in conjunction with the government to see how they could further market The Bahamas. I know the ball is still rolling, as far as getting a tour together, but we have completed the EP (like half of an album), with about six/seven songs. That was a part of the deal. (With that we brought heavy hitters like D-Mac. He produced two songs for us. One of them is going to be a single) We are working with Troyton Remi, a young Grammy Award winning record producer from a multi-cultural background (Jamaican-Bahamian). He works for Black Shadow Records. He has been a supporter of the band, so it’s good to know that there are young talented people out there who have an interest in our music. He has a good background in pop music also. Sony Latin America wants to take us to places like Brazil, mainly Southern American regions, and a lot of the Caribbean regions as well. Europe and China are also on the agenda. Rik Talks about family life.. NW: You have been back home for a while, what has life been like for you? Rik: I’ve been back so long, it’s like a regular day for me here. I’ve always been a family guy, I think you’ve seen that. A regular day for me is waking up early to get my kids ready for school, dropping them off and then dropping my wife to work. Afterwards, I sometimes go straight into painting. Or, if I have a project to do, I’ll go straight to the studio and finish off some work. Sometimes, I work around the house too, or in the yard. But, it would most likely be 40 nuwomanmagazine.com
painting. Around this time of year, December, is when I tend to sell a lot of my pieces, too. Even though I’ve already sold a number of pieces, I still have to keep going for the rest of year. People always find, if they are looking for gifts, that they want original material. They don’t want any copies, so I have to keep paintings in stock. I have some regular gigs over at the Atlantis. Check out Rik’s new single “ U Can’t Blame Me” on Youtube http://youtu.be/snECd2AQhQ8
A Peak At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014 (New York).
Designer David Tlale walks the runway with models at the David Tlale fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 at The Pavilion at Lincoln Center on February 9, 2014 in New York City. Photo by Frazer Harrison
Nene Leakes walks the runway wearing Dolce and Gabbana at Go Red For Women Photo. Frazer Harrison 43
Ivan Aguilar - Presentation. Photo. Fernanda Calfat
A model walks the runway at the Mark And Estel fashion show.
Diane Von Furstenberg. Photo. Neilson Barnard 44 nuwomanmagazine.com
Trina Turk - Presentation Photo. Fernanda Calfat
Lee Jean Youn
Lee Jean Youn. Photo. Frazer Harrison
Herve Leger By Max Azria. Photo. Frazer Harrison 45
A model walks the runway at the David Tlale fashion. Photo. Frazer Harrison.
Model Anne Vyalitsyna walks the runway at the Zac Posen fashion show 46 nuwomanmagazine.com
Designer Katya Zol - walks the runway at the Katya Zol
Ricardo Seco fashion show. Photo. Fernando Leon
Dennis Basso fashion show\ Photo. Frazer Harrison
Katya Leonovich fashion show Photo. Frazer Harrison
Alon Livne - Presentation Photo by Fernanda Calfat
Georgine fashion show Photo by Arun Nevader 47
Removing the Masks By Erica Meus-Saunders
There comes a time in everyone’s life where major change occurs. For most people change is difficult and it’s achieved only after major upheavals. For myself, change is a constant as I realize there is no growth without change. As my 40th birthday approached, I began to think more of ‘Self’ and some of the changes I’d made leading up to this point. I thought about the effects these changes had made on my personal growth. One notion that became firmly planted in my head was that I would be more “Authentically Me”. In last year’s fall magazine, we had done a photo shoot and body painting session with photographer Monty Knowles and he emphasized ‘bringing out the natural beauty’ of a woman. He used his paint to enhance and sculpt out our model’s naturally beautiful assets. But before his session, he demanded to see the models without make-up and with as little clothing as possible. These initial meetings with the photographer proved difficult for most women, who I realized were not comfortable without the make-up, the weave, and definitely could not take-off the clothing. I wanted to understand why many women felt they were not, or could not be considered ‘beautiful’ or attractive without these additives. And why many in our society do not consider a naked body a thing of beauty. I wondered how I would react in a similar situation and realized that I could cope with it; in fact, I wear very little make-up on a daily basis and for the most part welcomed my flaws and assets. A friend argued that if I was more overweight or looked much older than my years that this acceptance of ‘self’ would be more difficult. I disagreed with him. I reminded him of all the women who I knew that were considered ‘overweight’ and others not thought of as ‘beautiful’ by society’s standard who were most comfortable in their skin, I would go so far as to say more confident and comfortable than any runway model or celebrity. Questions came to mind: 1. What makes a woman beautiful? 2. Whose standards of beauty are we judging ourselves by? 3. Why can’t we create our own standards? The answers did not come all at once, but they came and with them a new sense of self. I put this newfound power to the test and did something I’ve always wanted to do, a photo session with Laurie Klein. I met up with Laurie the evening before the shoot. She had flown down from New York on a family trip and also to do some photography. The evening prior to the shoot, I was still undecided. I thought, ‘nude photos’ I can’t possibly do that, what would people think? I had every intention to meet with her and talk about another kind of shoot. She started talking about her work and showed me a book published with other works. I was impressed. Laurie told me about this location that she had in mind for a shoot. I had lived in Andros for my early childhood, but did not know about this location. I told her I wanted to see it and we drove and came upon this old seaplane landing in the sea. It was beautiful and I could see her concept come to life. 48 nuwomanmagazine.com
I decided then and there that I would do the shoot and we agreed on a time the next day, keeping the tide and the sun in mind. I was excited. I spoke briefly to a good friend on the upcoming shoot. His question to me was, “Are you comfortable?” I was and told him so. The shoot took place the following morning. We removed the frills, the jewelry, the make-up and the clothes. It was just the photographer and I on an old seaplane landing. The barriers came down. After a few hiccups of actually getting to the location, all went smoothly. I can’t describe the sense of power and acceptance that came with this shoot. There were no more questions of who I am. I was simply ‘me’ and I needed no other affirmation. When I was ‘bare’ I was most vulnerable, yet most powerful. If we as women can master the art of loving ourselves without any or all of the embellishments, who then can make us feel less than we are, we will be confident and powerful beyond our imaginings. I thought it was important to share this piece with you and I encourage each of you to DIG for your authentic selves. Photography: Laurie Klein. Website: http://ps.laurieklein.com/
TESSANNE CHIN, WINNER OF THE VOICE
Long before she made her way to The Voice, Tessanne Chin made her debut onto the music scene with her hit single, “Hideaway”. “Hideaway,” received heavy rotation on Jamaican radio and select stations in New York. Both the single and its music video were very popular. This Jamaican reggae-fusion artist is no stranger to the stage as she has performed at several live shows, including The Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2006, Reggae Sumfest 2007 & 2012, the Deck Cafe, The Port Royal Music Festival, ABC Slim Traxx, and her very own show “Arabian Night.” Tessanne gave Caribbean people a new ‘in’ and encouraged many up and coming artists when she won Season 5 of the American reality TV singing competition The Voice, as part of Adam Levine’s team. Concluding 13 weeks of hard-fought competition, Tessanne scored a second win for her coach Adam Levine after a run of flawless performances — from “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Redemption Song” to her final solo performance on Monday night of Whitney Houston’s, “I Have Nothing.” Just a week before, the competition was an open race, with no clear winner in sight. But after Monday’s final performances, all signs pointed to Tessanne. Of the three songs each finalist performed on Monday, Tessanne’s “I Have Nothing” topped the iTunes singles chart overnight, while “Let It Be,” her duet with Adam Levine, hovered at number three. 50 nuwomanmagazine.com
Will Champlin’s solo and duet performances also made it into the top 10 on iTunes overnight but that wasn’t enough to secure him a runner-up status: that went to Jacquie Lee, Christina Aguilera’s 16-year-old protégé, with Will taking third place in the competition. Tessanne’s prizes included a new car courtesy of Kia Motors, a recording contract with Universal Music Group and $100,000. But she’s also won the hearts of the entire Caribbean and many in the US as well. We love to see the region share so much love. Thank you Tessanne Chin for making Caribbean people everywhere proud!! FYI. Tessanne has opened for famous acts such as Patti Labelle, Peabo Bryson and Gladys Knight, and toured for three years with Jimmy Cliff. She is the younger sister of singer Tami Chynn. Visit Tessanne on Facebook- https://www.facebook. com/TessanneMusic
Photo credit” Live at Shaggy and Friends. Photo courtesy of Adrian Creary www.fb.com/adriancrearyphotography
Ras’deniro Thompson Mover, Shaker and Nation Builder of The Bahamas By Nasia Colebrooke
“Ras’deniro” is not a name you hear every day, but it is guaranteed to be in the minds and mouths of many Bahamians in the very near future. 22-year-old Ras’deniro Thompson, is a self-proclaimed “Mover, Shaker and Nation Builder” of The Bahamas. This Sophomore, who is majoring in Bahamian and Caribbean History at The College of The Bahamas, has big and bright plans for his future and the future of The Bahamas. “A nation builder is one, who through his personal endeavor, impacts those around him, and makes a meaningful contribution to society. I think I am on the right path”, says Ras, as he is affectionately called. Having originally majored in Secondary Education, Ras states that he made the shift in his studies, because he thinks he can reach more and do more by focusing mainly on the History of the society. Recalling how he knew that being a social activist and community leader were the right paths for him, Ras notes, “As I left high school and entered college, I realized that there is a much wider world out there and I wanted to become a part of it in all ways possible.” He then adds that growing up in the 21st century offers one so many career choices, that people no longer have to remain in one field all their lives. Ras is surely taking advantage of this notion, trying on many “hats” and using his talent wherever it can invoke positive change. “I describe myself as versatile and multi talented. Through my God-given talents and any other skills that I may acquire in life, I will use them to build my Bahamas.” As the eldest of six, Ras has always had to 52 nuwomanmagazine.com
be a leader and example setter. This kind of responsibility has prepared him for his current role as a young adult civil rights leader, social activist and community leader. Some of Ras’ notable achievements are: volunteering with an after school program, serving as a Youth Advisor for the Bahamas Urban Renewal Development Program, Bain Town, (which is a Government-implemented program that serves to better the lives of the underprivileged, uneducated, financially-challenged and those who live in areas that are deemed as “slums” or “ghettos”, such as “Bain Town”) and he has also spare-headed a literacy program at a local Junior High. When Ras is lucky enough to find free time between all of his hard work, he spends it traveling, reading, swimming or writing. He has even had enough time to start working on his first book. “I’m writing somewhat of a ‘tell-all’ book about my experiences with love last year, and I am also working on establishing my own media company, but this won’t be for a while, as I have quite a few wrinkles that I need to iron out first.” At the end of it all, this 22-year-old Bahamian male is making something of himself: going to college and getting involved within the community. He has big plans for the future of The Bahamas, and will do whatever it takes to truly keep The Bahamas as “the best place on Earth”. He urges all Bahamians, especially his peers and future generations of The Bahamas to, “be the change you want to see”. With “failure” being his biggest fear, Ras is surely on the path to greatness, carrying the weight of his nation on his shoulders to higher heights.
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CELEBRITY CORNER 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award (SAG) The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring the best achievements in film and television performances for the year 2013, were presented on January 18, 2014, at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. It was broadcast simultaneously by TNT and TBS. Winning Outstanding Achievement Awards in their various categories were: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club as Ron Woodroo Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine as Jeanette “Jasmine” Francis Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club as Rayon Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave as Patsey Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award • Rita Moreno Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture American Hustle – Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Jack Huston, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola,Michael Peña, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Röhm and Shea Whigham For a full update of the winners visit:
Actors Lupita Nyong’o (L) and Emma Thompson. Photo by Mark Davis
Actors Cuba Gooding, Jr. (L) and Jennifer Lawrence, photo Theo Wargo
Actor Brad Pitt Photo by Michael Buckner
Actor Matthew McConaughey(l) and Camila Alves McConaughey Photo by Christopher Polk
Actress Jennifer Garner Photo. Kevin Mazur
Actress Julia Roberts attends 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Photo by Christopher Polk
Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita NyongÂ’o Photo. Kevin Mazur
Actress Amy Adams Photo by Stefanie Keenan
Actors Jared Leto (L) and Ben Affleck. Photo by Michael Buckner
Oprah Winfrey attends 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Kevin Mazur
Bradley Cooper attends 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 58 nuwomanmagazine.com
Matt Damon and Michael Douglas Photo. Kevin Mazur
Actress Lupita Nyongâ€™o Photo by Stefanie Keenan
Actor Morgan Freeman and actress Julia Roberts Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris 59