Prominence Magazine Holiday 2010

Page 1

It’s more than a way of living; it’s a state of mind.







Inspire ***PLACE AD HERE.

Clothing & Jewelry Statement Defined 2011




31 16


6 8 12 13 45 46


26 2010 Fall Trends: This year Fall is taking a turn and bringing back some of the most unique and stylish trends. 28 Holiday Gifts Ideas: This time of year calls for some of the most unique and special in gift ideas. FEATURES

THE 411

34 The Belle Of The Ball

16 Omari Hardwick is staking his claim in Hollywood and has no plans of going anywhere soon as he prepares for the release of the highly anticipated For Colored Girls.

Kiara Akita is a woman with strong ambition. The actress, producer, and entrepreneur shared with us why she has staying power.

18 Patti Labelle takes center stage in FELA adding her voice to a powerful story and pleasing fans in the process.

38 Why We Can’t Be Friends

20 Off the Shelf books are worthy of adding to your list of must reads. The Sunday Morning Wife, The Power, For Colored Girls, and Living and Loving Outloud. 22 Marsha Ambrosius, one woman with one flo, is making her comeback and gaining respect in the process. 24 Indie Is The New Major is becoming the norm as independent artists are taking matters into their own hands. 3 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

With the 2011 NBA Basketball Season upon us, many fans will keep their eyes on what has been termed the Dream Team; LaBron James, Dwayne Wade, and the Miami Heat. 42 Keeping Your Spending Merry During The Holidays Financial Expert, Shay Oliveria shares with us how to keep our spending under control this holiday season. 44 Ready For A New Season Finding this season to be a rebirth for things brand new starts with reflecting on what to bring forth from inside.

Happy Holidays from

It’s more than a way of living; it’s a state of mind.




Katherine Rodriguez ON THE COVER

Photography Adam DeGazon VP of Advertising Reginald L. Barnes DESIGN & PRODUCTION


Kaira Akita One determined actress, producer, and entrepreneur with a plan.

Shay Olivarria Keri Ford Adetunji Layde Dr. Syleecia Thompson Gayle Patterson INQUIRIES

General: Advertising: Story Ideas: Feedback:

PROMINENCE Magazine is published bi-monthly by Evolve Media. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored in any kind of retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher.

5 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

Publisher’s Letter The holiday issue of Prominence Magazine allowed me to see my strengths and weaknesses. Forming a vision that you believe in can put you to the test, a test that I was not willing to take, until I was forced to look the last week before this issue’s release in the face. The life of Prominence rests in my hands and I could either give it life or take life from it. I had the power to let the emotions I was feeling stop me or push through, keeping my vision in front of me to fuel the passion from which Prominence was born. As you see from viewing this issue, I chose to keep my vision in front of me. Between these pages you will come to learn more about those we’ve come to love on film, television and stage. The features on Kaira Akita, Omari Hardwick and Patti Labelle inspired me to follow my heart and I hope will do the same for you. Our lives serve as a vehicle to inspire someone else. What you think is a minor detail about your life could be the fire that that ignites the passion for a dream in someone’s heart. Never underestimate your life and how it can inspire others.

A Renewed Season The fall season is my favorite time of year. It is a rebirth, as all seasons are, but for the fall there is something quite special that cannot go unnoticed. The leaves change from a summer green to a palette of golds, browns and oranges. The air transforms from a warm breeze to a light and crisp caress. We put away chic summer wear and pull out the wool coats, cashmere sweaters and boots to keep us warm yet stylish. There are many reasons why I love the fall and while the above mentioned are just a few reasons why, I am sure you have your own. We can sit and talk for hours about what makes each season special, but what is important is that we take notice and appreciate the blessing each allows us to have.

I challenge you to renew yourself this season and shed what is holding you back. Keep your vision in front of you and continue the race until all that you desire is before you. I will be there on the sidelines cheering you on! Enjoy the issue,

Glenys l HOLIDAY 2010 I 6

PROMINENCE a : readily noticeable : CONSPICUOUS b : widely and popularly known : LEADING

Contributors Keri Ford is a Spoken Word Artist and Writer. She has performed at several open mic’s throughout New York City such as; Chocolate Monkey, Crash Mansion, Foot Prints, Santos Party House, Avena and Notice Lounge. Her poetry consists of a variety of topics from life, to love, to sex, and political issues. She is all about exposing her creative talent.

Shay Olivarria is a motivational speaker, financial literacy coach, and author of 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money and Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook. As an ambassador for financial freedom, Shay travels all over the country to educate people on responsible financial decisions.

As the daughter of legendary soul singer Syl Johnson and older sister of Grammynominated R&B singer Syleena Johnson, Dr. Syleecia Thompson, educator and author of Rhythm Without Blues, has a strong passion for music. Sharing her insight on Indie is the New Major, light is shed on why so many artists are taking matters into their own hands and how they are making their dreams come true.

Born and Bred in Brooklyn, NY, this former University of Oklahoma Football player graduated with a degree in Journalism. Since that time, several of his articles have appeared in Yahoo Sports to the Big Lead. A rabid sports aficionado, he brings an intelligent flair and unique perspective to the world of sports news.

The Westin Hotels WWW.STARWOODHOTELS.COM 1.800.937.8461

A Perfect Picture Speaks On Its Own.

Vision brought to life in pictures

Your Ad Here

Advertise with Prominence Magazine and reach your target market. ::


Thanks for featuring the nine power playas we should know. If it was not for your publication we would not have known who they were. Showing that you do not have to be famous to be featured in a magazine, proves to those on their way to making it happen are just as important as anyone else.

I have been inspired to keep striving. Seeing individuals go after what they want and seeing those dreams come to pass, is all the proof I need. May Prominence Magazine thrive and touch the lives of many. - Marsha Williams

- Michael Richards

Such a great start for a wonderful publication. Congratulations on your first issue and staking your claim in the world of media. - Terry McFadden

11 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

I see Prominence Magazine going places. Your vision has been set free. Great job! - Katrina Sheppard

What’s Hot - Smartphones It is no secret that technology has evolved since those ancient times of when some of us carried around our car phones in cases big enough to be a small backpack. Cell phones today have become a must have for anyone on the go which is why we have gone in search of the hot right now phones to have, and have come to realize they all offer what any busy professional could ever want at their fingertips. From the Blackberry to the HTC, we have found a couple that gained our interest and we hope you will agree. Blackberry Torch – The new Blackberry Torch offered by AT&T is what we term the new wave in blackberry. With touch screen phones being the newest feature since Apple released their iPhone, Blackberry stepped up to the plate and offered the best of both worlds; a touch screen keeping the standard keyboard intact. If you are a Blackberry user, this maybe one phone you may find yourself itching to give a try. HTC – HTC phones carry a long line of powerful handsets that continually push the boundaries of innovation to provide true mobile freedom. HTC is constantly broadening the range of devices it offers – introducing devices to support specific applications and new form factors that meet the increasingly diverse needs of its customers. HTC phones are capable to make any tech savvy professional happy. The question remains which one will you try?

Reviews HTC Evo: The HTC Evo 4G delivered respectable 4G speeds, and the mobile hot-spot feature lets you connect up to eight devices. The smartphone has a front-facing camera for video chats and also comes with an 8-megapixel camera with HD-video-recording capabilities. The Evo ships with YouTube's HQ video player, Android 2.1 with HTC Sense, and an HDMI port. The bottom line: The HTC Evo 4G is easily Sprint's best smartphone and one of today's top Android devices. It also shows the promise of 4G, which will grow as Sprint's WiMax network expands, but until there's broader 4G coverage, it's hard to agree with the mandatory premium data add-on fee. Blackberry Torch: The RIM BlackBerry Torch combines both a touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard. BlackBerry OS 6 brings such improvements as a better user interface, universal search, and an improved browser and multimedia experience. The bottom line: Though performance could be better and it could stand for some hardware upgrades, the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry OS 6 offer much-needed improvements to stay in step with the competition, and keep BlackBerry. Reviews by Bonnie Cha l HOLIDAY 2010 I 12

Exploring all opportunities

Photograph by Mark Lewis/Getty Images

BELIZE An island of many treasures Do you desire to make a getaway to a place warm and inviting during the holiday season? Well, Belize is on our radar with spectacular attractions, views, and beautiful sandy beaches. Offering the best of what you could want in a holiday vacation, the options for adventure are endless. Located in the northern hemisphere above the equator, Belize is bounded on the north by Mexico, the south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. If you decide to make Belize your holiday getaway, there are a number of fabulous options to lay your head; from luxury resorts, family style hotels, vacation rentals and condominiums, guesthouses, and campgrounds. As you will see, there is someplace for everyone to call a home away from home. Whether you choose to rest undisturbed in a hammock under a palm tree watching the waves break in the distance, snorkel for the first time in waist deep water amidst schools of colorful fish or, to participate in active marine activities like scuba-diving, wind and kite -surfing, kayaking, fly fishing or sport-fishing, the reef and islands of Belize can offer a location that is perfect for a great escape. Placing this beautiful island treasure on your travel list this holiday season can boast many surprises for the thrill seeker who seeks a different alternative to the traditional holiday vacation. If you choose to make a nontraditional trip to Belize, you will not be disappointed.

13 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

Belize Fast Facts Population: 292,000 Capital: Belmopan; 9,000 Area: 22,965 square kilometers (8,867 square miles) Language: English, Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna, Creole Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant Currency: Belizean dollar


Omari Hardwick Every Man


Omari Hardwick: Blazing His Trail like None Other By Katherine Rodriguez


e is an accomplished poet, an experienced athlete, a passionate actor, and a dreamer whose perseverance has propelled him towards a promising future in Hollywood. It has been a journey filled with struggles and personal defeats, but Omari truly believes that “quitting is not an option!” For some people, dreaming might seem like an unreachable fantasy that bares no fruit, but Omari believes that “this world was built by dreamers.” His ability to fight for his dreams is surely paying off as the young actor becomes more noticeable in the Hollywood scene. Currently, Omari is credited in film and television projects such as Sucker Free City; Beauty Shop; Kiss Ass; The A-Team; and TNT’s fiery drama series Dark Blue. Nonetheless, the desire for acting wasn’t something new for Omari (the Man); rather it was a passion within Omari (the Child) since the tender age of four or five. As a young boy, Omari became very active in sports, playing baseball, basketball, and later football. Soon after, he attended the University of Georgia on a football scholarship and minored in theatre. Although he had long drifted away from his true passion it became evident Omari was destined to return during his junior year in college. Nevertheless, playing sports took Omari’s passion to another level and exposed him to certain selfdisciplines that would later benefit him in his future acting career. Omari soon made strides towards accomplishing his dream of acting and realizing that “things come back full circle,” as he stated. 15 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

When asked how he prepares for a role Omari immediately responded, “I check in with people like Katherine from Prominence Magazine to let me know I’m on point, then hear it from Hollywood.” Well Omari, we will certainly let you know the honest truth at all times but in the meantime we are impressed. After accepting a role and preparing his character Omari admits, “I read a script about twenty times until I know it inside out…throw away all of the training.” He breaks down a character by “creating for the character what they don’t like about themselves and defending them.” He tries to “figure out why they are there.” Being a poet and an athlete really allows him to incorporate that level of passion into his acting. He also believes that it is important to have some “quiet time to meditate and prepare for a role.” For Omari quiet time can be just being away from people or going for a ride on his motorcycle. Omari has a starring role in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, a much anticipated film adaptation centered on the struggles of Women of Color. Nonetheless, many critics have expressed their opinions on Tyler Perry adding males to the script originally staged with all females. Omari sheds light on his experience filming the theater classic: “It was great…Tyler Perry nailed it. It’s a hell of a remix!” Like music, not many can get away with re-mixing an old classic. Tyler Perry attempts to bring male characters to life and add a new flow to a great, classic project. When asked about his experience working with Tyler Perry and Janet Jackson he simply said, “It was absolutely everything I hoped for and more…Janet was [pausing]. I mean, it’s Janet!” Not many words are necessary to understand where Omari is coming from on this one, but we can only imagine how great of an experience this must have been. Omari hopes to have a great pipeline intact in the future that will connect him with studios and powerful people interested in helping him create his own projects. We look forward to seeing what opportunities Omari land, and in the meantime, support the upcoming film, For Colored Girls in theaters everywhere November 5th 2010. Keep dreaming and keep it Prominent!

Photo credit: Emily Perez l HOLIDAY 2010 I 16




fter viewing Fela! during previews last year, I knew I was in store for a treat. However, nothing prepared me for the experience that transpired while watching Fela! a second time. At the outset, the entire cast engaged their audiences with chants of “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” This gesture sets the tone for this non-traditional Broadway musical which completely tears down the “fourth wall” and dares its Photo By Jenny Anderson © audiences to build it back. This choice of delivery, choreographed and directed by Tony-Award winner Bill T. Jones, compliments the life and legacy of music pioneer Fela Kuti. In the 1970’s, Fela Kuti was a revolutionary in Nigeria during a time of police and government corruption. He used thought-provoking lyrics, passionate choreography, and music infused with an African/Latin/R&B composite called “Afro-Beats” to incite a nation to change its self-deprecating ways of thinking. During my viewing, this Broadway musical was led in cast by an endearing and charismatic Kevin Mambo. Through lyrics, choreography, set design, costuming, and a powerful band, Mambo was able to tell Fela’s story to a fault. Nonetheless, all of these elements no matter how distracting is part of the process to get the point of Fela! Fela was thought-provoking and non-apologetic to his critics and sympathizers, especially when addressing his drug usage and love of women. Fela! is told through the eyes of one man who loved women which is evident in his love and admiration for his African-American girlfriend Sandra Isadore played by a talented Oneika Phillips, and his mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti played by Grammy-Award winning artist Patti LaBelle. LaBelle’s Funmilayo is an innovative woman in her own right after being the first woman in Nigeria to ride a bike and drive a car.

17 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

Funmilayo was also a teacher and activist, and from LaBelle’s first appearance onstage you can feel the powerful nature of Funmilayo through the powerful performance of LaBelle. This Award winning Broadway musical co-produced by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith told through a story of an innovating man with a lasting legacy was the treat, but adding Patti LaBelle’s beautiful and quasiangelic tone truly became the icing on the cake. At press time, Fela! tickets were being sold at Eugene O’Neill Theatre & until January 2011.

Photo Credit: Monica Simoes

NightinGayle Casting The Integrity Professionals

We are a premier casting agency nestled in the heart of the city matching professional

talent with clients challenged with navigating a constantly evolving global market. l HOLIDAY 2010 I 18

The 411


The Sunday Morning Wife By Pamela Rice Yolanda Clarke, the wife of the renowned and respected pastor of Brightstar Tabernacle is living a life many women would love to have. A beautiful home, successful career, money in the bank, and a husband many adore. But the life many on the outside thinks she has, is only a dream to her, for behind closed doors her perfect life unravels at the mental and physical abuse her husband dishes out to her. Her life takes a turn upon meeting Andre Hunter, the handsome and attentive gentleman, who draws her in and gives her exactly what she’s been missing in her marriage; love and attention. Knowing in her heart the affair she enters with Andre is a sin and guilty pleasure, she finds herself falling deeper into a life of deceit only to realize that with Andre is where she feels the most safe and protected. When her husband, Timothy, learns of her affair, things take a turn for the worse that will change the lives of all involved forever.

The Power By Rhonda Byrne Author Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret revealed the law of attraction and how we can use it in our lives. Now she reveals the greatest power in the universe; The Power to have anything you want. The life of your dreams can manifest all by using The Power within.

Author, Pamela Rice, has crafted a page turning story that will grab the reader and pull them into a world that many women experience firsthand.

Living and Loving Out Loud By Cornel West and David Ritz Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir by the legendary Dr. Cornel West will open your eyes to the life of one of the most influential people in America. After reading about West's journey from a hot tempered youth to becoming one of the leading educators, writers, and lecturers in the American academy you will be left feeling inspired and encouraged to follow your own "calling."

19 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf By Ntozake Shange The Obie Award-winning For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf is a passionate and fearless body of work. The author’s words reveal what it is to be of color and female in the twentieth century. This is one book that can change the lives of many women.



Notorious ' Elevation '


A Conversation with Dennis LA White

The 411


Marsha Ambrosius: One Woman, One Flo

After several years of absence from Floetry, Marsha Ambrosius has emerged onto the scene with a blazing new album, Late Nights, Early Mornings. Her first track, “Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player),” is a true testament of her sheer talent and vivid depictions of reality. Other tracks to listen to are “Start…Finish,” “I Lost You,” and “Sunshine.” In terms of collaborations, Busta Rhymes, The Game, and Little Brother add their own hip hop flavor to this music maven’s first solo project. Prominence Magazine congratulates Marsha on her new endeavor and anticipates more incredible work from Ms. Ambrosious. At press time Late Nights, Early Mornings was slated for a Fall 2010 release.

21 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

Indie is the New Major By Dr. Syleecia Thompson Over the last decade, there has been a shift in the music industry towards the independent artist. The rise of this particular group has prompted Major Record Labels to truly evaluate their business, bottom line, and business strategy. Several factors have contributed to this uprising. One, the digital emergence of music has significantly allowed more self-starter type musicians to make their mark on the music scene. Two, the increase in independent record labels account for more than 20% of the sales in the industry. Finally, the spirit of the entrepreneur and the risk taker has given new artists the ambition to pursue their dreams. Major labels are still a prominent force in the music industry. However, the rise of the independent label and artist has increased competition and leveled the playing field a bit. Artists such as Jim Jones, Lela James, Syleena Johnson, Fat Joe and many others have succeeded with their own “Do It Yourself� Independent Artist Model. Artists are taking risks, making great music, and keeping their fans involved. With the advent of Myspace, Twitter, Facebook and other Social Networking sites, artists have been enabled to stay active and reach the world without the power of a Major Record Label. Independent record labels such as E1 Entertainment, Shanachie, TVT, Matador and Malaco Records have been the foundation for many great artists. Indie is truly the new Major!

Photo Credit: BJ Formento

Get Your Copy of Poetic Wisdom Today! What is it about poetry that moves us? For some, it is the stark reality painted into the mind with the elegant brush of the writers' words and form. It shows us life; reaches down and touches us in places we've let sleep; gives us insight into the world we live in. In the words and sounds of Katherine Rodriguez' Poetic Wisdom, we see the urban landscape in ways we may never have imagined; we see and feel life, full of passion and resonating with humanity. Rare is the gift of a true poet, yet here in this book is a true rending of her life; full of passion, beauty, and of course, Wisdom.

Available at the following locations: :: :: :: :: iTunes

23 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

HE/SHE it’s not complicated

Photo Credit: Robert Glenn Photo Credit: Robert Glenn

He/She the basics


Fall Trends

By Keri Ford

Military Clothing Trend It’s no surprise that the military look is back in style from the 80’s. For the last two years this look has been a killer on the runway for both men and women. Designers like Burberry Prorsum, Prada, Dolce Gabbana, Versace, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and John Varvatos have taken this trend to a new level. This season, no evokes throwaway glamour.” All the A-list designers such as Michael Kors, Brook matter what you wear, be sure to add a Brothers, Stella McCartney, ASOS and DKNY are making this a part of their ready to little military to your look! wear collection. Men’s Trend The men’s 2010 trend is looking very steamy and sexy. The tailored suits are ripping the runway and bringing down the house. The “Double Breasted Suit” (a coat/jacket with wide, over lapping front flaps and two parallel columns of buttons) is seen in designer’s ready to wear collections such as, Tom Ford, D&G and Chanel. This trend had been around since the 80’s and early 90’s and the conservative look has been around for decades. It is one of the most business professional looks of all time. Designers such as Ralph Lauren, and Salvatore Ferragamo make this the number one trend for the fall. Women’s Trend The women’s 2010 ready to wear fall collection is on fire. This year’s most talked about coat that stands neck to neck with the leopard coats are Camel Coats. Designers like Michael Kors said, “camel looks indulgent like winter white but has the pragmatism of gray and black. It’s the best of both worlds… A camel coat

What stood out to me the most were the sheikh ready to wear “Terrific Trousers”. This design definitely fits its terrific name. This High-Rise, flare look is made to look longer and feel sexier. It’s a glam must have. You can wear these trousers to work, an after work lounge hot spot or night out on the town. The trousers can best worn with a silk blouse and skinny belt. Designers taking the runway this year with this fabulous look are Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs and Salvatore Ferragamo. “Romantic Lace” was one of the most tasteful yet sexy looks to hit the runway this year. No matter what you wear, a little lace will always give a little edge to your look. Consider this look daring and bold. Catch the runway models walking the runway wearing the romantic lace from designers such as; Julien Macdonald, Oscar De La Renta, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Christopher Kane, Francesco Scognamigilo, and Diane Von Furstenberg .

Fall Trend Must Haves 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

25 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

Military Leopard Velvet Knee High Boots Leather Jacket/Leather Skirt Capes & Ponchos l FALL 2010 I 24

He/She the basics

Holiday Gift Ideas Odell's Owl Cocktail Ring features the sweetest, sparkliest barn owl that you ever did see. Odell perches atop a split band, and her feathers are made from pave set CZs in clear, canary, citrine, and champagne hues. Two round cut faux onyx CZs make up her eyes, and her head is turned as though she is glancing backwards. By emitations, $234

Mistral produces the finest French soaps which are crafted according to a time-honored French soap tradition. Scented with the highest quality, original fragrances, Mistral Triple Milled Shea Butter soaps are guaranteed to delight your senses. $8

Diptyque's Special Edition Holiday Candles The height of sophistication, these luxury scents include scrumptious Roasted Chestnuts, woodsy Benzoin, and fresh Pine, $68

A timeless, elegant fragrance that emerges from the spirit of family tradition and symbolizes the matchless bond between loved ones--Pearls is nature's gift. At first breath, the scent embraces the feminine sparkle of bergamot and lemon and the vibrant impression of anise and verbena, along with the luscious aspect of apricot and peach. $45 Polished silver bangles, Stephen Webster, $1,100- $2,000, at Saks Fifth Avenue

27 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

This Casio Men's Sea Analog Illuminator Dual LED Dive Watch is a great gift this holiday for those on a budget and looking to buy something the person will actually use. This Casio Sea analog illuminator watch offers all the convenience and durability of a sports watch, with an adaptable style well suited for a work day. $50

If by some sort of error he’s never seen Entourage before, then be the one to introduce him to perhaps the greatest guy TV show ever made. For guys more up-to-date on Entourage, consider getting him season five. Season 1: $18

The Amazon Kindle is a popular ebook reader that was revamped and improved this year and continues to dominate people’s Christmas wish lists. If he’s into reading and into gadgets then the Kindle should be perfect for him. $259

Eliminate cord clutter by charging up to three devices by simply setting them on the Powermat. $99.99

The Tumi Imagination Messenger Bag is organization and style in one clean package. Tumi bags are perhaps the very best for men and the Imagination messenger bag is no different. $495 l HOLIDAY 2010 I 28

Dolce & Gabbana Chunky cashmere sweaters, velvet smoking jackets, and big, enveloping shearling add a layer of volume and softness to the design pair's reliably trim business and cocktail suits. The Dolce & Gabbana customer is still a creature of the night, but his evenings just got a whole lot more comfortable.

Kenneth Cole A black wool coat does more than add a classic look to any wardrobe; it brings a level of style and flair to the prominent woman who demands and gives her best. l FALL 2010 I 29

30 l FALL 2010 I

The Belle of the Ball A Conversation with Kaira Akita By Glenys Colclough


woman who knows where she is headed in her career and life is a woman who has taken control of her destiny. The same is true of actress, producer, and entrepreneur, Kaira Akita. The Washington, DC native has made a name for herself first starring in the 2006 Sundance favorite, Somebodies. Moving on to work on such Tyler Perry productions as, Why Did I Get Married and The Family That Preys as well as Meet the Browns and House of Payne has helped to make Akita’s face recognizable and adored. The petite stylisita took time out of her busy schedule to interview with Prominence Magazine and we have not only learned a great deal about Akita and her future plans, but have come to respect her passion and hustle for getting it done. PM: You are best known from your roles in Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, The Family That Preys, and the BET sitcom, Somebodies. Outside of your acting career, what is it that you would like your fans to know about you? KA: My life is a weird mix of experiences. I was born in the murder capital (wassup DC!), lived in Germany until I was 15 (wie geht's Deutschland!), and have since made my home in black people's paradise aka Atlanta (what's good shawty!). I feel so blessed to have been around so many different types of people and have so many different experiences. Not everyone can say that. My world has never felt small, and I don't take that for granted. Outside of acting, I feel free to pursue so many different things. I originally wanted to be a copywriter for major ad campaigns. I may still take that on someday. I'm also fascinated about how society, politics, and capitalism

intersect and what that means for minorities and the poor. I hope to be a cool, activist old lady one day, helping our people to really think about their place in the world. That would be hot. But I should mention that I'm a huge procrastinator, so I may not get around to empowering the people as soon as I would like. PM: You are the founder of A Clothes Encounter which has recently taken on a new brand as The Fab For Less Fashion Collective. Share with our readers how this concept came to be and its mission. KA: The original A Clothes Encounter was created to strictly produce seasonal Luxury Consignment Events in support of local charities. I've always shopped consignment, thrift, and off-price retailers so I wanted to create something that merged my love for savvy shopping with a swank social experience, affordable shopping, and community giving. However, I soon discovered that I needed an umbrella to encompass everything that I love so I expanded the brand to include a variety of dynamic events, unique styling services, and creative media options. Now, under the Fab for Less Fashion Collective mantra, A Clothes Encounter can cover a variety of concepts that show modern, savvy women how to live and dress beautifully without breaking the bank. PM: You are heavily involved with various nonprofits in the Atlanta community. How important is it for not only celebrities, but those who have the time and resources to give back to do so? Continued on page 35 l HOLIDAY 2010 I 34

KA: Giving back is not an option, it's essential to bringing out the best in all of us. We get so busy that the idea of helping others can sometimes feel like a burden that doesn't fit into our hectic schedules. But when you give back, you get perspective on just how lucky you are to be in a position to give and touch someone else who is less fortunate. How amazing is that, to know that your time, talent, or resources can help shape someone else's existence? That's a powerful concept that everyone should experience. If you don't, you're really missing out on the scope of grace and humanity. It's an amazing thing.

PM: What is the one thing you would like to do in entertainment or in business that you have not set out to accomplish yet? KA: Well, I'm just getting started in my journey so there are many things I still want to accomplish. But if I were to choose just one, it would be to establish myself as a comedic writer and producer with a distinct point of view. I love to write and I love to connect people and ideas together, so this feels like a natural next step. PM: Looking at your life and all that you have accomplished thus far, what advice could you share with someone who may not know how to realize their dreams? KA: The hardest part of the journey is getting started. We are so ruled by fear that we often undermine our own potential. Know that it's not always about being the best, or the smartest, or the most talented. It's about overcoming the fear to get started and to stick with it and be willing to learn, grow, and make mistakes along the way. Always remember, 99%of success is showing up! PM: What's next for you? KA: Spending more time in LA for casting opportunities and writing & shooting my own sketch comedy project

35 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

PM: What or who inspires you? KA: People who have a balanced life, who know how to create the life they want for themselves on all levels -spiritually, emotionally, financially, etc. I struggle with finding that balance for myself, and I really admire those who have achieved that. People who live a full, meaningful life across the board -- that is an admirable feat! PM: By the way, have you ever thought about writing a book about fashion/styling, etc? If so, I would definitely buy it! KA: Awww, thanks. A lot of people have been telling me to write a book lately. So, you never know...


The holidays never tasted

Atlanta’s Dessert



oooooo good!

Why Can’t We Be Friends By Adetunji Layade

37 l HOLIDAY 2010 I




he scene at the end of the 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal game was a joyous one. Surrounding USA Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the USA "barely" Men’s Basketball team, mostly comprised of players too young to remember the triumphant 1992 Olympic Dream Team, jumped around in a synchronized and collective embrace after toppling the host country, Turkey (81-64). Led by 21 year old NBA superstar and tournament MVP Kevin Durant, "Team B" [as they were nicknamed] played through the chorus of boos, whistles, and "Beat the USA" chants. The mutual sentiment was heard throughout the crowd and in ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla's Pro-European coverage during the course of the tournament. For this group of young players, it will be a shared bond they will likely carry between themselves for the rest of their NBA careers. And it is this setting which likely led to the creation of the "Super Team" in Miami. It is no secret that LeBron James and Dwayne Wade have been friends since they both came into the league in 2003. As fierce adversaries on the court; LeBron starring for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Wade playing for the Miami Heat, their friendship blossomed during their gold medal run as teammates playing for the USA Men’s Basketball team during the 2008 Olympics. It was that friendship which led to LeBron’s “Decision” to leave Cleveland for the white sandy beaches of Miami to join his fellow NBA superstar. Reaction to the “Decision” was swift. Criticism for LeBron’s apparent unwillingness to gut it out on his own in Cleveland was meted out far and wide. Most notable were the remarks made by the old guard of NBA superstars.

Win Hall of Fame power forward Charles Barkley accused LeBron of “hanging onto Dwayne Wade’s coattails.” His former Olympic teammate and NBA icon Michael Jordan stated, "There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry, called up Magic and say, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team.” Fellow dream teamers Larry Bird and Magic Johnson also followed suit, stating they would have not chosen to play alongside each other. While the veterans of yesteryear may have never dreamt of cutting through the smoke and pyrotechnics at start of the game, as their names blared out over the arena's public announcement system in the starting lineup, it is almost impossible for today’s stars to come into the league without working alongside their peers before ever stepping onto the NBA hardwood. And because of that, the line of demarcation between the players may have completely dissapeared. Today’s stars are afforded numerous opportunities and have an earlier start to play together and showcase their talents compared to the players of Larry and Magic’s day. As prized High School basketball stars, they’re jettisoned around the country, invited to attend one of the many big time basketball camps such as the Nike All America camp, or Sonny Vaccaro’s famed ABCD Camp which featured the likes of Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, and more recently Greg Oden, Joakim Noah, and Brandon Jennings. With the birth of these camps as a part of today’s game, the distance which once restricted many of yesterday’s players from intermingling or meeting each other are no longer, as many of today’s elite players are grouped and paired together in many of these tournaments. Continued on page 39. l HOLIDAY 2010 I 38

This is in stark contrast to era of Magic and Bird. Although they briefly paired together in a short lived team of college All-Stars in an international roundrobin competition back in 1978, their rivalry began during their college days as Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans defeated Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores in the 1979 NCAA finals. That rivalry eventually graduated into their pro careers, being on opposite sides of the revived Lakers vs. Celtics rivalry. After several NBA Finals battles between them, it would be a few years before Magic and Larry finally spoke. During the shooting of their famous 1985 Converse commercial, much to their surprise the two longtime adversaries quickly bonded. Both raised in the Midwest, growing up in tight knit families, Magic and Larry realized they had a lot in common with each other, as a friendship developed which remains strong to this day. So well did they get along, it prompted Magic Johnson to say after their meeting that it “changed my whole outlook on Larry Bird."

39 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

Fast forward 25 years later, and the barriers of time and distance which kept Bird and Magic from interacting are no longer. Whether its basketball camps, the advent of email or twitter, there are more avenues for players today to play together as well as interact with each other on a frequent basis. So should it be a surprise that LeBron James and Dwayne Wade decided to pal up for a run at the championship? The climate of today’s game has blown away the borders which separate the players. While the old guard may raise questions about it, who’s to say a young Michael Jordan growing up in today’s world of basketball would be against playing alongside another superstar, recalling their times as teammates at a Nike camp? Who are we to disregard the possibility of Charles Barkley coming into the league with another NBA superstar being in his “Fav Five”? What separated yesterday's players is a part of yesterday. And while many see it as a problem, we are all looking forward to see the end result.



Keeping Your Spending Plan Merry During the Holidays By Shay Olivarria


othing can blow that spirit of goodwill like taking a look at your credit card statements after the holidays. Here are a few tips to keep you merry this holiday season.

Shop online: There are many good discounts to be had online. Shop early and check prices often. Sign up for online notifications from manufacturers and/or businesses that have a tendency to offer good sales. A great place to find deals is www.SlickDeals.Net; check the forums. Shop clearance:

Decide who’s in: Think about your usual holiday spending pattern and decide who you would like to consider in your holiday gift giving. You get to choose how you spend your money. Don’t let anyone force your hand. Open up a holiday account: I would guess that you have an amount you’d like to spend when you think about holiday shopping. Instead of waiting until October/November to start planning your budget, why not open a “holiday account” at your local credit union or bank and add a specific amount every month so that when the holidays arrive, you’ll be sitting pretty without going into debt. 41 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

Check out the clearance page from the manufacturer you want to purchase from. Also, stop by the page for refurbished items if you’re purchasing electronics. Almost every business from designer clothes to cars has to get rid of older stock. Savings of 50% are common. Follow these tips and you’ll be thrilled to watch your loved ones open their gifts knowing that you won’t regret any of your purchases. Shay Olivarria is a financial educator, speaker, and the author of Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook and 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money. Visit her at

40 l FALL 2010 I

December 4-11 The Only Thing Hotter is the Weather. Chill Out, Make it Sizzle, Feel the Heat at Club Med's Exotic Ixtapa Pacific. Perfect sunny days lounging under an umbrella. Casual afternoons grooving to the sexy sounds of salsa in a Zumba class. Moonlit nights dancing and partying under the stars with your Zumba friends. Zumba Week at Club Med's wondrous Ixtapa Pacific Resort in Mexico. Not just any family vacation. Your other family vacation. This is your time to get away from it all. Treat yourself to an experience you'll never forget, and experience it all with your Zumba Family.

An All-Inclusive Party: Sun and Fun. Delicious Food and Drinks. Lots of Zumba magic. And a great time with Beto.

Call 1-888-WEB-CLUB l FALL l 45 l FALL 20102010 I 39 l FALL 2010 I 43

A season unknown

Ready For a New Season By Katherine Rodriguez

I’ve been through many seasons in my life There are so many reasons for my life And I thank God for purposing me For truly nurturing me For placing me in the race For placing in me a measure of faith And putting belief in my spirit Regardless of the grief in my spirit For many seasons come and go And this particular season I do not know… You are doing something which I cannot see Glory, Glory I shout on to you in the midst of my confusion Help me Lord to see past the illusion Help me to see through your eyes Help me to be wise… Help me to work it out Fill in the areas that are in drought

43 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

Living in New York City is marked by the beautiful changes in season. Being one of the most fashionable, trendy, multi-cultural and richest cities in the world, you can get a glimpse of upcoming seasons well in advance simply by viewing window displays in stores. We are always one season ahead! After summer has fully blossomed, you begin to see fall items on display. Once the fall season has arrived you begin to see beautifully decorated window displays welcoming the winter holidays. Many times when we see these items we are shocked, but after that initial response we become excited about the beautiful new things available to us. I find this to be much like the seasons in our lives. Life requires change and many of us have a difficult time adjusting to those changes. We sometimes become so comfortable in a particular season that we fail to realize that seasons cannot be extended beyond what they were intended. Sometimes we want to hold on to people, places, and things that were only intended to be in our lives for a season. We fall into a slump at the idea of moving on without them; however, seasons do not require our approval in order to change. The only thing we accomplish by holding on, is denying ourselves the ability to walk fully into our new season. Think about going into the season of winter wearing your fall clothes, or how absurd it would be to wear your winter clothes in the spring. Yet we do it all of the time. I wonder how much more responsive to change we would be if we could just catch a glimpse of what our new season has in store for us? What if we could get excited about our new season the same way we get excited about those beautiful displays on the store fronts? Do not get stuck in a season that is passing you by, instead, get excited about what is yet to come. We must have hope and faith that there is a reason for every season and those seasons are what mark our lives and make them worth living. Each season has a beauty and a time of its own. Leave your old season taking only experience with you so that it may be the wisdom you need to make your new season bright. I am so ready for a new season in my life!

The first print issue of Prominence Magazine will be with the January 2011 issue. Join our mailing list to stay current with what’s happening in our world

In The Spotlight: NAME: Jermaine “Jay Everyday” Smith OCCUPATION: Radio Host, Playwright, Producer HOMETOWN: Brooklyn, NY HIS PHILOSOPHY: "When love and skill work together, every day expect a masterpiece."

A man with a mission, voice, vision, and unwavering determination can make anything come true. Jermaine “Jay Everyday” Smith has that drive to see the end result. One never knows the back story of someone’s life until it is shared as a testimony. Growing up, Smith's childhood showed him a raw view of drug addiction, death and a fractured family structure. It was those deep valleys and trials in his life that birthed his passion for writing and a desire to share with the world his pain. Overcoming a childhood that could have taken him down a different path, Smith is successfully living a life in the spotlight as a radio show host, producer, and playwright. The story of his life proves that no matter how high the odds are stacked against you there is a way to rise above it and win. 45 l HOLIDAY 2010 I

In The End

Expectations By Gale Patterson


reat expectations, you might have them in mind for your life, but are you communicating them? Can you articulate what you want in terms of your plans, goals and dreams? What if we were evaluated on our life expectations? What would constitute satisfactory, needs improvement or outstanding? Few people can succinctly define their priorities, goals, successes and failures. As a result, we walk around assuming the best or worst and are never able to clearly identify our own expectations. Some of us do not know how to set life expectations. Perhaps we have not received clear instructions or carefully considered our own ventures. Why do we fail at the expectations game? Often our lives are so busy; we just do not find the time to create a plan for our lives. If this is the case, you need to have a conversation with yourself about your expectations. One reason why we do not communicate our expectations is because it is mentally hard work trying to decide what we want from our lives.

We must consider and determine our immediate needs for a healthy mind, body, and soul. Many of us refuse to accept accountability in those areas because we will not slow down, eat right, seek quiet time, or are carrying baggage from the past. When we lose control over our lives, we find that perhaps fate is calling the shots. This can cause resentment, anger and regret and is more than likely expressed through negative comments, unsatisfactory living habits and withholding the things we desire and deserve from ourselves. Take the time! Map it out. Have your goals identified and search for key areas in your life to maximize results. Make suggestions on benchmarks or objectives you can make to evaluate yourself during the year. This will enable you to effectively plan your goals, commit to results and monitor your progress toward achieving your goals and reaching your expectations. l HOLIDAY 2010 I 46

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.