SMJ Magazine Fall 2016 issue #15

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FALL 2016 CANADA $4.99

EXCLUSIVES Carlo Rinomato:

Rock Star Architect

The QEW Shuffle: Natalie Lue’s Journey from TIFF to LAC


Carlo Rinomato in Eaden Myles BySMJ Envoy Photography Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


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SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016


Table of



7. 10. 37. 44.

From The Desk of Shelley ... by Shelley Jarrett Life & Struggles With My Mirror ... by Maliaka Bryce Meet ‘n Greet with the Hon. Navdeep Bains ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka A Day in the LIfe: In Conversation with Paula Brown ... by Sheralyn Roman 45. Kamshuka: Surviving Warrior ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka

Lifestyle 8. SMJ BEAUTY CLOSET Feel Fabulous for Barbara Onwumere & Tamica Jackson 12. Trist Lucid at TOM ... by Claris M. Manglicmot 34. Inspirational Corner ... by Josephine Casey 35. Your Health Is Your Wealth ... by Dr. Lisa Ramsackal 42. Affairs of the Heart: Creating Magic with Matchmaking ... by Akua Hinds


BUSINESS 38. 39. 40. 41.

How to Start A Business ... by VIctoria A. Morgan Budgeting Made Simple ... by Shalini Dharna ‘Tis the Season To Be Social ... by Kelly Farrell Taking Stock of the Xchange ... by Shelley Jarrett

features 16

14. EXCLUSIVE: The QEW Shuffle: Natalie Lue’s Journey from TIFF to LAC…by Andrew Terry Pasieka 16. EXCLUSIVE: Carlo Rinomato: Rock Star Architect … by Andrew Terry Pasieka 19. FEATURE: AFRICAN FASHION WEEK TORONTO 20. Helmer Joseph: Avant-Gard Superstar Designer ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 22. Abedayo Jones: Godfather of African Fashion .... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 26. AFWT 2016 Abedayo Jones Collection 28. Kwesiya’s Klean Lines ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 29. AFWT’s Issac Ansah: Talking About Years 4 and 5 ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 30. AFWT Look Book

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


Image. Lifestyle. Business

Founder & Publisher Shelley Jarrett Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka Creative Director/Layout Sheri L. Lake Chief Photographer Lubin Tasevski Fashion/Design Editor Claris Minas Manglicmot Contributors

FRONT COVER Photograph by: 4c photography & media Model: Nini Amerlise Outfit: 2 King of Couture Adebayo Jones Luxury Venue: House of the Hill Estate Hair: Angela’s Beauty Box Inc. Graphic Layout: Sheri L. Lake

Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Claris Minas Manglicmot Josephine Casey Dr. Lisa Ramsackal Shalini Dharna Barbara Ownumere Tamica Jackson Maliaka Bryce Victoria A. Morgan Kelly Farrell Sheralyn Roman Akua Hinds 4C Photography (AFWT Events) Abraham Samy Amanuel (Centre Page) Envoy Photography(Carlo Rinomato) Stallone Media (The House Of The Hill) Publicity LIM Media Group Inc. Website

DISCLAIMER: We reserve the right to edit all content for space and clarity. All submissions when edited become the property of Seventh House Publishing Arts. No part of this magazine may be produced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. We make a conscious effort to ensure complete accuracy of all content; however we accept no liability for any inaccurate information. SMJ Magazine is published with limited print editions four (4) times a year. To advertise in our publication, be featured or for more information, please contact us at or visit For editorials contact

The SMJ Team is


Shalini Dharna Shalini’s background in financial statement preparation and analysis, from an accounting and tax perspective, provides businesses with solutions and strategies that maximize operational efficiencies while supporting growth and profits. Dharna CPA professional services include financial planning, accounting, business consulting, tax and wealth management.


SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

Contact SMJ Magazine is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. Fall 2016 Issue No. 15

Welcome to the fall issue of SMJ Magazine. Can we all agree that summer came and went too fast? I think we can also agree that this was one of the hottest summers in recent memory. The hottest month of them all was August, and it wasn’t just the temperature. That month played host to THE next great fashion event in the GTA. African Fashion Week Toronto celebrated its 4th annual show, and SMJ Magazine, entering our 4th year of publication was there. In this issue we will spotlight the designers, prominent among them African fashion’s godfather Adebayo Jones, and the next superstar, Helmer Jospeh. We covered the showcases, the award show, and two after events. In fact, when we include the Look Book, almost half our issue covers AFWT. The next best thing to a Special Edition! Our Editor-in-Chief has told me he is always impressed with magazines that include a story on some mansion and its owner. A peek at how the other 1% live! We finally have a story of our own. Andrew was able to obtain an exclusive interview with Carlo Rinomato, an architect like no other. He built an incredible edifice he calls The House Of The Hill, which was the location of one of AFWT’s after events. We also have an exclusive with Natalie Lue, the new CEO of Mississauga’s Living Arts Center, whose main claim to fame is that she comes to the position after over a decade at the world-renowned Toronto International Film Festival, or TIFF. We welcome new contributor Shalini Dharna, who will be writing about all things money. In this issue she tackles budgeting. A writer we introduced in our previous issue, Maliaka Bryce, begins her regular feature looking at the humorous side of daily life. Apparently she let our editor decide on what the feature would be called. So you be the judge if Andrew’s title, ‘Life & Struggles with my Mirror’ fits. As we continue to spread our wings and grow, I strongly believe in partnerships and collaboration. That is what we hope to forge with organizations like AFWT. We will continue on this path and we encourage other small businesses to do so as well. Thanks again to our valued readers, contributors, supporters, and social media followers. Keep following us and tell others about SMJ Magazine. May many blessings locate you!

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


CLOSET FeelFabulous for Fall By Barbara Onwumere (and aspiring entrepreneur Tamica Jackson)

Fall is full of bright colours, why not wear them? Enjoy the broad spectrum of fall colours in eye shadows, lipsticks, hair, and accessories. Let the colours of this season inspire and not limit you. Whether you wear cosmetics or not, a daily cleansing and moisturizing routine is a must. Cleansing your skin on a daily basis during the fall and winter months is a great way to remove the impurity and dirt from your pores. Less is more. Use fewer products to prevent your pores clogging. Allow your skin to breath freely and naturally. Limit your use of harsh products on your skin. Remember to read the labels. Avoid products that contain alcohol, in order to reduce damage to your skin and the buildup of dryness. Apply creams with added oils and moisturizers to your skin on a daily basis to protect it from the natural elements.

Now that you have given yourself a welldeserved pampering, you are ready to apply your make-up. Make-up is applied smoothly; its first task is to clean moisturized skin. To achieve that flawless look, use your sanitized make-up brushes and sponges when applying your make-up. Purchase products that can have multiple uses (e.g., lipsticks are no longer just lipsticks...apply it on the eye lid. Blush is no longer just blush...apply it to your lips). For daytime, again less is more. Find your favorite fall colours and wear it like a star. For the evening be daring. Try a smoky eye and add some shimmer. Take a look in the mirror and pick out that one thing you love most about yourself. Then accentuate it. For example, bold lipstick; pick a shade of red or plum, for those who may find a smoky eye a challenge. Whatever you do, have it looking like it was done by a professional.


SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

Remember just because the days are getting colder and shorter doesn’t mean you still can’t be cute, beautiful or sexy. Don’t let the cooler weather keep you dull. Be bold, like those autumn colours. Get creative and make “Smart Choices!” For Hair Consultation, Hair License exam preparation, Hair and Skin products and services, please visit:

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


By Maliaka Bryce

Life & Struggles with my

Mirror Mirror

If you woke up like

that, why did it take you 45 minutes to

get all dressed up?? Just saying??

I am no Beyonce, and I certainly don’t wake up and just walk out the door. Oh no no no. This girl needs around an hour to tuck, perk and compress this beautiful body God and Macdonald’s fries have blessed me with. So I give thanks, and I mean, I am so super, super thankful that I can finally afford the wigs, masks, and makeup that transform me with Houdini-like magic every morning. We all have our “Before and After” photos. SHOCKING! Sometimes is hard to even fathom it’s the same person. My ex says it is modern day witchcraft. Now, I wouldn’t go that far but I see his point. Magic in a bottle sold by Mac, Black Opal and even one of my good friends the owner of EV cosmetics here in Toronto. THANK YOU ALL! But what I am especially thankful for is the four dollar “magic face powder” sold at the Korean beauty supply outlet. At a $4 price tag --I absolutely do not want to know the ingredients or how many animals were harmed during the process (leave me in my ignorance, please and thank you)--I must confess this powder stays on my face forever. I can’t even wash it off. It’s like


SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

some kind of permanent marker. The best magic ever! Lashes, eyeliner, shape the brow; apply the base, the other base and the final base. When it’s all said and done your girl is a three base looker! I go from a 6 to a 10 in about 60 minutes!! The bonus is my face actually looks natural. It’s hard to tell that I have any makeup on. I am flawless. #Selfietime! My mirror supports me only as long as my confidence stays. Then the girl in line at my grocery story takes notice of my natural… ahem,…store bought beauty and starts dishing out compliments like, “Oh my god you’re sooo beautiful! I love your skin... it’s sooo smooth - how do you keep your skin so clear? That’s when the theme song from “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” starts playing in my head and I am transported to the game show in front of a live studio audience. I’m standing behind the podium with the answer button in my hand. The possible answers start appearing on the scene. The spotlight is on me and I can feel the heat.

Oh no, my mirror is talking to me again. It never seems to be satisfied.

The host repeats the question. “So Maliaka, how did you get your skin soo smooth and clear? Is the answer A,B,C, or D? A. Awwwhhh you’re so sweet - follow me online for more makeup tips B. I woke up like this C. It’s all me - WHAT?? - I have the receipt D. Little gurl, don’t ask me no stupid questions My palms are getting sweaty and the clock is ticking. All eyes are on me now and I need to answer. The buzzer goes off. Pouff. Now what? Do I admit to this adoring fan that it’s all an illusion or do I play it off and lie through my teeth? I say to the girl, “Maybe I was born with it or maybe it’s Maybelline.” Then quick, back to the car and to my mirror! If you want to learn more about this professional speaker, producer and comedian, contact or go to:



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Sheri L. Lake (647) 272-3624

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FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine



By Claris Minas Manglicmot

This talented young Canadian designer and this writer have had an interesting connection over the past year. I was at a fashion show last March 2016 when he came in with a beautiful model, Saki Wani. She introduced me to Trist and then we added each other on social media. When I checked him out further, to my surprise he was the designer of the women’s collection that I liked in a fashion show I covered for SMJ Magazine a year ago. His women’s collection was very impressive, so I invited him to showcase the collection at Couture Culture and Arts (CCA) last July 10, 2016. About six weeks later, I was at TOM to see him launch his men’s collection. The collection caused quite a stir. Many are astonished by his designs; they have become a conversation piece among fashionistas. Here is my Q and A with Trist Licud.


SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

SMJ: You have already made a name for yourself by designing for women. What was the inspiration in adding a male collection to your line? TL: It has been my dream to design for both men and women from ready to wear couture pieces. Although men’s clothing might be the harder fashion to succeed I am excited and fully pumped with great ideas for innovative designs in menswear. SMJ: Describe your men’s line inspiration and your target market? TL: My men’s line was inspired by ‘High Fashion Street Style.’ Street Style popularity allows me to be more experimental and creative by texturizing and embellishing garments with some metal attachments and other type of fabrics such as leather. Dope/rad/lit, or the designer translation structure/functionality/aesthetics, are my key elements in elevating men’s fashion. Young edgy men will be the target market for this particular fashion story that I created. SMJ: A lot of young designers are focused on their designs and do not pay attention on monetizing their efforts. Do you have a solid business plan on how are you going to manage your chosen career?


TL: The business side of fashion will be always hard for us young independent designers, because we are so consumed by the creative side of fashion. However, it is really important to focus in the business side of it because at the end of the day fashion is a big business. Having said that, I am planning to launch wearables, suitable for all ages in both men and women, but am always open to customize for special occasions as I was originally trained. SMJ: At the moment, how do you manage to sustain your cost? Do you have a financial investor? If not, are you looking for one? TL: Managing my cost is really tough as I only have limited resources of funds and I’m the only one running this whole venture at the moment, but finding a financial Investor will totally elevate my creativity and market fashionably. SMJ: Who do you want to wear this collection? TL: For this first collection I was totally captivated by a high fashion gangster kind of mood where everything is completely lit. Adventurous high fashion men will be my target market, but it always has been my dream to dress up stars, especially in the music industry. I think my designs will make an impact in music videos and stuff like that. SMJ: Which personalities are on your wish list?

TL: I can see Justin Bieber, Zayn Malik, and Jaden Smith wearing my TFL-MEN. SMJ: What are you plans for the next year? What do you want to accomplish after 5 years? TL: The best thing I can say on my plans for upcoming years is to ‘create more innovatively’ for both men’s and women’s fashion until I hit my ultimate target market. Only then will I be able to create lines for all ages, sexes, and sizes in that market.

Toronto-based Filipino Fashion Designer Tristan Licud is a natural born artist with a background in architecture. Born in June 21st 1990, Tristan Licud recognized his talent in arts at very young age. At university, Tristan made the pivotal decision to shift his degree and interest from architecture to fashion. Utilizing his architecture experience with lines and proportions, Tristan has combined these visual techniques to create timeless and well-balanced pieces. This young designer has many offers for runway shows abroad, but wants to keep it as a surprise for now. FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine



No one less than Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has said that Natalie Lue “has big shoes to fill,” as the incoming CEO of The Living Arts Center (or LAC), following predecessor and longtime beloved newspaper publisher Ron Lenyk, who tragically passed away in September 2015. What is also true is that Natalie herself has a tough act to follow, coming to her new post from being Vice President of Production and Visitor Experience at the world-renowned Toronto International Film Festival, or TIFF. We wondered which has been the more daunting, the leaving or the arriving. She sits back in her new corner office at LAC and remarks that it has been a little of both. Leaving TIFF has been hard because there isn’t another organization quite like it. When she joined in July 2005 from Harbourfront Centre, TIFF was just about to break ground on their permanent site. Her first thought was, “I want to be part of this.” She was on the construction team and at that time led a small group of mostly part timers responsible for producing the September festival. Ironically, she is leaving just as TIFF is gearing for its 41st annual festival. She says both organizations have been most accommodating about the transition,

so part of her exit strategy in Toronto will be to head up her now large team for one last TIFF. “It’s hard to step away from that…very exciting and intense, concentrated time, but an opportunity presented itself.” That opportunity was in the form of someone putting her name forward for the LAC position. An initial selling point was the fact that LAC will be celebrating 20 years of existence in 2017; “a major milestone for any organization, and an opportunity to think what the future might look like, and work with a team to build on that.” She continues. “My mandate here is to just have this building sing, and I’m getting that back from the people I’ve come to work with…they’re ready…the creative juices are already flowing…(but)…let’s be clear. There are those who have gone before me that have made this all possible. I feel very privileged to be taking this on. I do feel the big shoes to fill and the responsibility is huge.” Born in Jamaica but raised in Canada, she was not surrounded by the arts growing up. Her parents wanted her to become a doctor. Her interest first started with books, then books that were made into plays, and finally theatre scripts. She did some acting and production, but backstage enthralled her. She loved “creating magic that no one knows how it’s done…being in the background and making it all come together. It’s complicated…technology…science…not just what happens on stage.” 14

SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

Natalie is married to a production manager and has two girls, neither of which have shown an inclination to the arts as yet, but whom get exposure from their parents nonetheless. She effuses,

“Art is the pillar of every great society,” and goes on to say that we find out about cultures and lifestyles through art. That is why in the press conference announcing her appointment she said that one of her first tasks will be to find out who is LAC’s audience.

is a dearth of any professional media in Mississauga. Natalie is careful to respond. “I don’t know if I’m in a position yet to comment. There is no question though, that media support plays a huge role in the success of our programs and events.” But in the end, Natalie Lue does know this. “We need everyone to participate in the success of the building…we are looking for partnerships and collaborations…we want everyone in Mississauga to come to the Living Arts Centre and participate and connect and enjoy.”

“I want to know what the appetite is for the arts because we want to deliver… We want to offer up programming that’s going to encourage conversation…maybe challenge some preconceived notions…maybe get some really great dialogue going.” Two of those preconceived notions have to do with LAC being greatly underused and heavily subsidized. “I was challenged to understand the underutilized notion. I think what people are really saying is that we are not telling our story well enough and we’re not actually promoting everything that’s going on.” Natalie found out from LAC’s main booker that every dance school in Mississauga and west GTA come here for their main recital. Between community classes, craft instructions, and kids practicing in the hallway there is a steady flow of users. And that doesn’t include the evening and weekend bookings. In addressing the heavy subsidization claim, Natalie says there is financial support, but also a belief in the programs. The facility is City-owned, but operated by a separate not-for-profit, charitable organization. Once again, it’s a question of getting information out. So the question is put to her. Could it be that this disconnect has less to do with LAC and more to do with the fact that there FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


Exclusive Interview With

Rock Star Architect Carlo Rinomato and Invition to SMJ Magazine inside his Masterpiece

THE HOUSE OF THE HILL By Andrew Terry Pasieka

Carlo Rinomato cuts a flamboyant figure. He looks like the featured artist you would meet at his art gallery opening, or the manager you would bump into backstage at his clients’ concert. So forgive us when we arrived at his airily spacious mansion north of Toronto for an early afternoon interview and the house became the star! The star is called The House Of The Hill (more on the name later), and the driveway gives away its namesake. (We’re not saying it is a 45-degree climb, but it sure felt like it!) With Mother Nature in all its glory just beyond the series of patios, walkouts, and stairs that surround the building; a sculpted, neatly arranged shrubbery along these borders and throughout a

well-manicured lawn; and the sharp elevations of the uniquelydesigned and shaped structure rising above the tree lines, the overall effect is stunning.


SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

honorability. His dad was originally a drywall contractor, and wound up working at that profession for over 50 years. Carlo started out as a laborer, forming New Generation Drywall in 1988, before dGH came into fruition. He recalls the proficiency of his dad’s teachings, and says proudly that he was better than any university professor. From these simple beginnings came projects that were anything but that. The House Of The Hill took three years to build, and Carlo described it as a difficult, intense, romantic time where success came more readily from staying calm. We asked about the apparent conflict in terms and how he kept his emotions in check. He said he focused on how honored he was by being able We were met at the lower level garage entrance by Carlo himself, nattily dressed in navy blue, from open neck design shirt down to skinny jeans and loafers. After a short tour, we sat down in his ornate living room/dining room, on clear glass chairs around a clear glass table, with a large line sketch of a stallion’s head on the wall to our left.

to say “I shall build a home and invite the world to come.” He wanted to build something that embraced both fashion and construction; he says the individual rooms are like articles of clothing that make up a wardrobe. Far from bragging about the finished product, he wants to remain in a personal space where “humility is everything.”

Looking around this incredible 5000 sq. ft., 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathroom living space, words describing designer and builder Carlo Rinomato and his company design Generation Homes—innovative; trend-setting, luxurious, cool, and sexy—come to mind. Yet we are talking to an artistic environmentalist in the design sense, as his motto is ‘less is more.’ He used the environment, in this case, the hill, as a blank canvas, and poured the details of the house out from the hill, instead of imposing a structure on the hill. He was inspired by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who stated, “No house should ever be on a hill…it should be of the hill, belonging to it. Hill and house should live together, each the happier for the other.” Ergo, The House Of The Hill.

Humility helps Carlo to stay grounded, especially since he has been tagged ‘Celebrity Designer’ and ‘Rock Star Architect.’ Even though his talent is designing/building, he relishes those ‘glam’ labels and says artistry is his real gift. He has written some poetry and music and models, but it is more than that.

When we offered an opinion that the house was more about the view looking out than the engineering looking in, Carlo nodded in agreement, and enthused that anyone who could imagine the house in an exotic setting would reap its full value. For Carlo, his setting is overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Was this passion always there? The beginning of design Generation Homes and its predecessors, mind you, was 53 years ago, so obviously Carlo Rinomato was not there at the outset. He says that the company was formed on the philosophy of hard work and

“I was raised in Italy in a fashionable environment. Everything I have done has had an element of fashion in it. Everything that I have built I have considered art. That is why I say that I have over 200 art pieces.” Both his celebrity and rock star monikers were on display at an Open House held in July, and a private fashion show featuring celebrity designer Adebayo Jones in late August. What was his take on the two events? “July felt like a man who had fallen in love with a woman whose affair had become so intense that it culminated in a marriage of souls. August was like a honeymoon with each model’s parade through the rooms a verification of the vows. All dreams can come true. You just have to find the right audience.”

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


Leaving The House Of The Hill and driving down that steep driveway, it struck us that whoever becomes the new owner may not be a celebrity or rock star, but they will have to be a dreamer. A dreamer of an exotic place that is befitting this ‘House Of The Hill.’ http://www.designgeneration.a/house-of-the-hill.html Other House Of The Hill photos: Stallone Media Carlo Rinomato in Eaden Myles: Envoy Photography


SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016


FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine



SUPERSTAR DESIGNER By Andrew Terry Pasieka Talking with designer Helmer Joseph at AFWT, we were still in awe of his out-of-this-world ‘touch-and-feel’ showcase of the night before. After a blackout period in which the runway room was darkened, and the entire audience plus photographer gallery were ushered out, we were all summoned back into an intoxicating experience of light and sight, of hair and flare. An immediate connection by this writer to the late David Bowie’s futuristic, space-infused ‘soundandvision’ videos was made. Models were arranged in still poses all along the runway. Not only were close-up photos possible, but so were the possibilities to ‘touch-and-feel’ the fabrics and to pose with the models. How did he come up with such an inspiration? It was all about showcasing the men and women who modeled and noting the fine details of the fabrics up close. He thought it would be a way for those in attendance to appreciate the art of fashion in a new way.

This has not been the first time Helmer Joseph has thought outside the box. Recently he had a show in Montreal where he paraded models in designs made out of glass. The preparation time must have been enormous. Not really, not in the way we would normally think. He could have taken 120 hours to do a dress or 40 hours to do a hat; the intricacy he was most concerned with was making a masterpiece fitting for each of the ten models he used.

Helmer’s journey in fashion has taken him from his native Haiti to Jamaica, Paris, and Montreal. Were the moves deliberate or spontaneous? The first one from Haiti to Jamaica was out of necessity. He had to leave to study fashion because men were not allowed to apply for such a course in his homeland. The move to Paris was more spontaneous because he wanted to learn couture. He stayed long enough to obtain contract positions with all the major couture houses there, and to learn how to collaborate.


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In Montreal he has observed that the fashion scene is like a collection of medical specialists, where each designer has their own specialty. Yet the reporting and blogging can’t seem to articulate this, because the media by and large is not well enough versed about the craft of design, and cannot talk intelligently about the art of fashion. Helmer does admit that at least the reporting in Canada recognizes that design is a legitimate profession, and through shows like AFWT, that African-inspired designs and fabrics really speak of an origin of fashion. In Africa itself, designing is still more of a hobby and the designs downplayed. The legacy he wants to leave is not nearly as outlandish as his designs. He wants to establish schools in Haiti and in Montreal to reinforce the notion of the art and the craft that goes into design and fashion, that designing is a legitimate knowledge-based profession, and to reveal how a designer works. Establishing the project with him is fellow Haitian and former Governor General Michele Jean. He may be an avant-garde designer, but Helmer Joseph is a down-to-earth, nononsense man who wants his skill taken seriously by all who have a passion for fashion.

For more on Helmer Joseph, go to:

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


By Andrew Terry Pasieka On the way to fame and fortune, a rising star can pick up a lot of titles, some good and some not. But if legacy is what the goal truly is, the titles are all good. So it was with Adebayo Jones, who as a young man in Nigeria had a dream to create beauty in womens wear. Today he is giving back as much as he has taken, and has a reputation as golden as his latest collection. Adebayo Jones is known throughout the fashion world as the Godfather of African Fashion and the King of Couture. In Toronto to celebrate another African Fashion Week Toronto, SMJ Magazine caught up to him after the Saturday evening showcases. Dressed in a lightly patterned, soft grey suit, light blue open neck shirt and a matching blue and grey designed pocket square with gold-rimmed signature shades, Adebayo Jones looked every inch THE celebrity designer.

Adebayo Jones:



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Asked about those two labels, he answers that he is happy with both because one refers to his heritage and the other to his style. When he started out there were just a few black designers from the Caribbean; it was not yet considered a profession in Africa. He is glad he made the sacrifices to legitimize this craft in the continent of his birth, to a point to where now there are others following in his footsteps that he can mentor. Regarding the King of Couture reference, he loves the art and the intricacy that goes into detailing the final layer of an original piece, a layer that will set it apart from imitators and that people will know instantly is Adebayo Jones. That young man in Nigeria did not have to dream alone. He had the influence of his mother and elder sister. Talking about them with obvious pride, he says they gave him everything; the sources for his first inspirations and constant encouragement, and made him believe his dream was achievable. Did he decide on the Central School of Fashion in London, or did London choose him? He laughs, and replies that it was a little of both. He wanted to make a name for himself and his African origin in one of the major fashion cities of the world. New York was too far away, and while the other three were all of equal proximity, he thought he would stand out more in London than in Paris or Milan. The schools reputation had a lot to do with his final choice. He has just marked thirty years as a designer, so we wondered about his thoughts on this milestone. He smiles and shakes his head.

“Where did the time go? I have enjoyed every minute of it. If I have been dreaming, don’t wake me up! I feel wonderful, and I don’t want it to stop! I feel blessed to have been walking in my purpose.” Talking about his purpose gives us basis to delve further into his process. Looking first at concept, when he looks at a fabric does he conceive in his mind the design, or is he inspired with a design first and then the fabric? He answers that it can work both ways; a fabric can give birth to design ideas based on the applications of the fabric; or a design drawn different ways can assist in visualizing fabrics that would work with it. Looking next at paper, how important are his sketch books? Has he kept them all? Does he ever go back and look at them? Even for Adebayo Jones, he cannot go from mind to matter in one step; he needed his sketch books. Just as any artist is inspired in their mind, writing or sketching the inspiration solidifies the details when measuring and cutting the fabric. The sketch books are also an embryo version of his legacy; this is where the beauty began. They form a sort of resume that both reinforce him in down periods and can re-inspire him to new ideas. And yes, he has kept them all! Finally we come to the finished product. Adebayo Jones work has been described as lavish and luxurious, elegant and glamorous, classic and royal. Is that the final stamp of approval? Does he feel any of those qualities himself? He says those qualities are very flattering; they were earned over time, but that is not him. He will always take his work more seriously. He could not afford the best fabrics at the beginning, so he constantly had to challenge himself: what is the best thing I can do with this fabric? Now the reason for his presence here in Toronto. Any comments on the evolution of African Fashion Week Toronto over the years, and what he will be doing in this fourth year?

“ The first year they were persistent until I finally gave in and said I would come. I am glad I did, because I met people with passion, vision, and drive to make an impact. I have come back every year and now it feels like family. I am so proud of them; very soon they will not go unnoticed in Canada and the world.” And what will be in the Adebayo Jones 2016 celebrity showcase? He said he did a Liquid Gold presentation in 2015, and has decided to do a Volume 2 this year. The overall length will be shorter, but the beading will be there and so will the capes. Signature Godfather Adebayo Jones.

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SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

Photograph by Abraham Samy Amanuel

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SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


KWESIYA’S KLEAN LINES By Andrew Terry Pasieka

Catching up with Kwesiya’s founder Fanny Ngantcheu at both AFWT’s main runway and the after event boat cruise, we can’t help but remark that she seems rejuvenated. While she did a couple of accessory shows in 2015, she took a step back to re-evaluate her line before coming back with a vengeance. On the unglamorous side, she remembered all over again what it is like to sew all night! A great feature of Fanny’s work is the attention she pays to finishing touches, and it was never more in evident with her current collection. Button holes, lapels, sashes, hems, and edges are stitched together so well they sometimes appear seamless, like they are part of the overall fabric. Usually though, they become Fanny’s version of couture. Would she go as far as saying this is fast becoming her trademark?

“I always have felt that detailing is important not as much to stand out or become an outer layer like couture as it is to give the piece a polished finished look. It’s another way for a prospective client to discover something unique about myself and come to trust me and my work.” By the time you are reading this, Fanny has had a follow up event to her multiple appearances at AFWT. In late September, she would have taken part in a cross-Canada internet pop-up boutique. And you can be sure that her ‘trademark klean lines’ will be prominent!! You can learn more by going to:


SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

AFWT’s ISAAC ANSAH: TALKING ABOUT YEAR 4 AND YEAR 5 By Andrew Terry Pasieka The fourth year of African Fashion Week Toronto was marked by two interesting postscripts: a private viewing of Adebayo Jones ‘golden showcase’ in a mansion called The House Of The Hill and a mini-fashion show as part of a boat cruise. Talking with co-founder Isaac Ansah, he says that AFWT is evolving and the goal is to do new and different things each year in order to reach new audiences. The private showing came off because the opportunity to do something at the mansion presented itself, and it just made sense to feature Adebayo Jones. There was a strange symbiotic connection between the elegance of the costumes and the elegance of the rooms that the models drifted in and out of. The fact that Adebayo Jones has made an appearance at AFWT every year has given the event credibility, but what has been even more important is that he has endorsed the product presented here each year. This was especially crucial in Year 1 when no one knew what to expect. How did AFWT face the challenges of year 4? Ansah felt there was advancement in the face of obstacles that came up. They were dealt with as if the outcome never was in doubt and the process was perfect. He said in particular production in the showcases was up and the demand for AFWT designers also increased. Two other highlights included the showcase of Helmer Joseph, who came to the organizers with his unique idea for a showcase to add value to the brand, and the increased quality of the student design competition, which prompted a couple of the main designers to exclaim that they were glad the student final showcase was separate from everyone else’s, so as to not show up the established designers! Isaac is ready to start work on Year 5, by once again bringing something different besides what has already been done. He wants to emphasize that while Year 5 is special, they have accomplished four years with limited resources. He is very hopeful of an expanded budget in 2017 to justify the sacrifices they have made for their community up to now. One last comment. Does Isaac think that AFWT has a greater opportunity for a breakthrough in Year 5 now that MasterCard Fashion Week Toronto has been shut down? He replies that while it may be a possibility, he is sad that it happened because their presence motivated his team. Still, their demise is great learning tool about event growth outstripping audience response and financial support. AFWT website:

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FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine



Beautiful October Sky By Josephine Casey

A day near its end when she wanders outside While looking up at the beautiful sky, The month is October and it is a colorful day As she sits on her porch looking out and away, Gazing up to the sky she sees birds flying by A kaleidoscope of color into the blue canopy high, Gracefully they flap and hover then soar Up through the clouds not to be seen any more, A mesmerizing view as she ponders and thinks Her mind is at ease her eyes peacefully drink, Taking all of it in as she stares up in awe Fascinated and captivated by the beauty she saw, Sunset’s stupendous streaks have no disguise What a beautiful time to watch the October sky, Now on the horizon the sun begins to dip below A view that daily the heavens bestow, The sky dazzles and peaks as the sun says goodbye She hopes that this October won’t go just flying by, A month of October that longingly endures, One full of memories and blessings ensured, Blessings so rich that she can dare stand to say Everything on earth will be beautifully ok, She looks up again to the beautiful October sky Colors fade in transition--the evening is nigh, A beautiful day which is done that began with the sun Evening moves into night under a beautiful October sky.


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By Dr. Lisa Ramsackal

As we wind down into the shorter days of fall, it’s nice to take some time to reflect on our busy lives and look at ways we can keep ourselves healthy and energetic. Who would think that proper breathing is one of those ways? Abdominal breathing is our natural way of breathing; we have been doing it since the day we were born. Also referred to as diaphragmatic breathing, it can be helpful in helping to manage anxiety or panic symptoms. It also helps to reduce strain on neck muscles that are overused with chest type breathing. As a health care professional, I see many patients with improper or reversed breathing patterns that not only play a role in creating muscle tension but also contribute to other symptoms such as anxiety. Breathing seems like a “no brainer” activity; however, breathing patterns are shallow or reversed for many. So how is it that we have somehow forgotten to breathe? Years of poor posture and tension often results in faulty breathing patterns. They tend to be rapid, using more of the upper chest; leading to over-breathing and depletion of carbon dioxide stores. There is a simple experiment you can do in finding out how you breathe, and learning how to use your diaphragm. Follow these steps:

breathe mainly from your upper chest, you have to breathe more rapidly in order to achieve proper gas exchange. This rapid breathing results in letting go of too much carbon dioxide, disrupting its balance with oxygen, and can make you prone to overbreathing or hyperventilation. Abdominal breathing, allows for a slower and shallower rate of breathing, optimizing carbon dioxide-oxygen balance. The good news is that you can actually retrain your faulty breathing pattern by spending a few minutes per day practising abdominal breathing. To start, • Lie on your back, relax and close your eyes • Put one hand on your upper chest and the other over your navel • Breathe out slowly and gently until your body naturally begins to inhale • Then, allow your body to inhale until it naturally begins to exhale • Repeat this cycle for 5 to 10 minutes

You should notice that your breath is slower, longer and deeper. Your lower hand should be rising first with little movement from the upper hand. Diaphragmatic breathing is a natural and healthy way to manage our symptoms of anxiety, anger and panic acquired through years of stress and poor posture. Other benefits include reduced muscle tension, increased blood circulation and improved blood pressure, improved sleep, energy, and sports performance. Just 5 to 10 minutes a day of abdominal breathing can help you feel cool, calm, and collected again! Dr. Lisa Ramsackal H.BSc., D.C., R.Ac. Chiropractor & Acupuncturist Green Health Clinic (3-265 Queen St South) Miss. T: 905-997-4468 / M: 647-234-3747 W: E:

1. Rest one hand on your upper chest and the other over your belly button 2. Breathe normally for a minute 3. Notice which hand rises first when you inhale If the upper hand rises first you are using upper chest breathing. If the lower hand rises first you are breathing with your diaphragm. If both move at the same time you are using a combination of both. If you

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SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

MEET ‘N with GREET the HON. NAVDEEP BAINS By Andrew Terry Pasieka

This first generation Canadian, the MP for MississaugaMalton, is turning 40 the same year Canada is turning 150. SMJ Magazine attended his first meet ‘n greet and asked him for a comment on the two milestones, given that two generations ago, his family would have had no contact with Canada. After responding tongue-in-cheek that we really knew how to rub in his age to Canada’s special birthday, he waxed eloquent about his country’s ability to bring in a sense of belonging to his family. They are indebted to Canada “for all that we have, for all that we own. It is the best place to live on Earth.” The Hon. Bains took his post-secondary education in Business Administration and took on positions in finance with Nike and then with Ford. At that time, what was his career goal? He replies that he was hoping to succeed in corporate Canada, and with the auto multi-national, had the lofty goal of CFO. That path was suddenly curtailed with the unexpected election to Canada’s 38th parliament in 2004. He was the youngest Liberal MP at 26, and became Parliamentary-Secretary to the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin. How did he view that early success? “It was a great learning experience; I had no regrets. Being in opposition just two years later in 2006 was a great challenge, but losing my seat in 2011 was a very humbling experience. I found right then that politics is very unpredictable; you should take nothing for granted. At the time I was out of politics, I didn’t know if it was all over.” Returning to the House of Commons in 2015 must have felt like a vindication of sorts. Working under a vibrant new Prime Minister in Justin Trudeau, he became Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, and effected change at once by restoring the long form census. Could he describe those feelings? “Well, it was a very important issue from the government platform that we wanted introduced immediately. With more information collected, Canadians can expect better services; more sensitivity to small business, more and reliable data for Canadians with better outcomes/standards of living.”

To contact the Hon. Navdeep Bains, go to:

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How to Start a Business By Victoria A. Morgan

In my previous article, we talked about having the right mindset to start a business.

Now we are going to look at how to actually start one. Before you rush out to advertise that you are open for business, you will first need to decide its name and how you want your business organized. There are several types of business organizations or structures; for instance, sole proprietorship, general partnership, and corporation. The type you choose will affect the way you report your business income and how you operate your business. Sole Proprietorship Sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure to operate. It is owned by one person with the owner claiming all the profits and bearing all losses. This structure has no separate legal identity and is attached to the owner. This means there is unlimited liability. The owner can be sued or held liable personally and this extends to personal property and assets. If this business structure is suitable for your situation then you may want to consider protecting your business with insurance as an option to negate your personal liability. You do not need to register your business if you are operating under your exact name but if you are using a business name or a variation of your name, then you will need to register your business. Partnership If working by yourself is not ideal, then partnership is another business structure you may consider. To form a partnership, you will require two or more individuals. This is another simple and easy business structure or organization to form. Each partner provides money, skills or resources in return for their portion of the profits in the business. All that is required to form a partnership is verbal agreement to be partners. However, it is always a good idea to put the agreement in writing in case of any disputes


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arising amongst the partners. It is important to remember that all partners have unlimited liability and can be held both jointly and personally liable for any losses the business sustains. Corporation A corporation is a legal entity and thus more complex. A corporation can own property and enter into contractual agreements. For example, corporations can purchase an office building or warehouse in its name. The financial status of the corporation is liable for its losses. It stands on its own, unlike a sole proprietorship and is easier to raise capital. The owners transfer money to form the corporation in turn for shares in the business. The owners of the corporation are referred to as shareholders and have limited liability, and are not responsible for any loss the corporation sustains. To form this business structure, the owners file documents called “articles of incorporation� with federal or provincial authorities. Corporations require regular shareholder meetings and assigned directors. Once you have decided on the structure of your business, the next step is to choose a name. You should ensure that there are no other businesses using the same or similar name. To do so, you will require A NUANS report. This is a search of relevant databases or registries across Canada to uncover any similar or conflicting business names already registered. If the name is available, you can then register your new business name with the Canada Revenue Agency. Upon registration you will be given a 9-digit number, which will be your business number. If you maintained the correct mindset and followed these steps, you are closer to becoming an entrepreneur!

Made Simple


By Shalini Dharna

These days managing a family budget can be stressful. With the cost of living constantly increasing, especially in large cities, family income is being stretched further and further. It’s no wonder that more families than ever before are living in debt. Budgeting is essential for families to manage their lifestyles within their income. Many people don’t like the word budget because it feels restrictive; all of a sudden you’re tied to some excel spreadsheet and counting every penny (or dime…since we don’t have pennies anymore!). For anybody feeling the pressure of finances the first thing they need to do is change their mindset. Money is a powerful symbol of respect, wealth, worth, or anything more than a means to an end….be careful with it. In a world where everything is instant and fast-paced, it’s easy to get tap happy with your credit and debit card. And really, it is the little things that add up fast and hurt finances the most. So how do you prioritize your finances? 1. Identify all your must-pay expenses. These are financial obligations that you cannot avoid paying. These include: a. Mortgage/rent payments b. Car payments and public transportation passes c. Other house payments such as property taxes/hydro/water d. Basic food budget (not including money spent for eating out) 2. Identify all your “must-have” extra-curricular expenses such as: a. Recreational activities (gym membership, children activities, etc.) b. Cable/TV/internet/cell phones Once you know all the things you are obligated to pay every month, see how much you have left over – if anything. If your income is not enough to cover 1 and 2 then you need to make some lifestyle choices. Do you need all the extracurricular obligations? Can you make them cheaper by downsizing packages or eliminating them altogether? For example: children’s activities can be done through community programs which tend to be cheaper but still offer valuable experiences. Many people can get rid of cable and find their programs online or through services

such as Netflix. Do you use all the features of your cell phone that you’re paying for? And finally, is your choice of home is sustainable – can you downsize or move and have a cheaper mortgage/property/utilities bill? If you do have disposable income after items 1 & 2 are covered, but you still have no savings, then it’s time to look at your impulse and frivolous purchases. For instance, what’s a $10 lunch really going to do to my finances? Over time these can be deadly, and can be identified in two ways. Receipt. Often we don’t take the receipts given to us by vendors. Take them. And at the end of the week review them. Or if you have a credit card go online and review the purchases you made. Journal. Every time you pay for something, you log it in a journal. At the end of the week you review your entries. Either way, the goal is to track what you’ve spent in a week and give yourself a reality check. You’ll be amazed how a week’s worth of $5 lattes and $10 lunches can add up! If self-discipline is not your thing, the solution is to give yourself a budget in CASH every week. DO NOT CARRY YOUR DEBIT CARD WITH YOU. You’ll think twice about how to spend that $20 if you know you’re not allowed to withdraw any more money for that week. Add a budget for entertainment as well; you can either spend $10/ day on lunch or $50 at the end of the week on a nice dinner! At the end of this exercise hopefully you have a better understanding of how your money is being spent, and are aware of your spending habits, both good and bad. Once you accept that your costs identified in 1 and 2 above are more important than that $5 latte… you’ll also stop seeing money (and budgeting) as restrictive. You might even happily make your own lunch if it means you get to keep your child in his favorite after school activity!!

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‘Tis the Season to Stay Social By Kelly Farrell

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” It’s also the busiest time of the year! You’re not alone, everyone is scrambling to choose the perfect gifts, plan holiday parties, schedule family time, and…keep their businesses running. As entrepreneurs, we have a unique challenge at the end of the year, particularly if the holiday season is a peak selling time for your business. Often, the thing that can be most important to keeping our business alive is the last thing on our list to become part of our plans, and that is social media. Success on social media is two parts creative content and one part strategy and planning. What most busy owners are lacking is the latter. A little pre-planning can go a long way during the busy months of November and December and can prevent your social media accounts from becoming lost in the shuffle. CONTENT Sharing creative and interesting content is important to keeping your followers engaged. Good content can include images, articles or interesting facts about your business. Your content forms the base of your social media strategy and should act as a frequent reminder to your followers of the value that you add beyond your core service. The holiday season is a perfect time to jump on trends, post funny memes of holiday wrapping disasters or shopping mall battles. Don’t forget to show a personal side of your business by including creative shots of yourself experiencing these same trials while also sharing a moment stolen to enjoy a spiced latte. Using hashtags is a great way to join the conversations that are happening on social media and include your brand in a meaningful way. Remember, content is not just about sales! Target your advertising efforts by using Facebook Ads Manager, Twitter Ads or email blasts to let your audience know how your product or service can offer them something special that suit the season and stand out in crowded social newsfeeds. Entice your audience to click on your link by offering incentives and creative headlines that match the overall message you want to get out about your brand. SHINY THINGS With the sparkle of the season, it’s easy to get distracted by the shiny things and forget why you logged onto your social accounts in the first place! This is when a content management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite can really help amplify your efforts by providing a platform to pre-schedule your posts and monitor their reach


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without the having to spend more time than necessary on the social platforms themselves. In addition to using a content scheduling tool, every business owner should have a content planning calendar to maintain a cohesive direction for any holiday marketing efforts. Your content calendar should include plans for offering specials, advertising, email marketing and anything else that will enhance your blog and social profiles. Once you have sketched out a content calendar there are many tools you can choose from to post on a schedule. Sitting down once a week or every two weeks to set up the postings frees up your time day to day to focus on sales and all other holiday obligations that keep you busy this time of year! STAY SOCIAL Beyond all measure, don’t forget that being on social media includes being “social”! You should comment on other people’s posts and remind the social networking world that you are a real person. Holiday greetings and personal messages are a great touch. Keep to the spirit of the season, share your celebrations and stay social!

Taking Stock of the


By Shelley Jarrett

I had an enjoyable September Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Casino and Race Track. Before you wonder at my choice of pleasure, I will tell you I was there on business. (Yes, Woodbine has meeting areas!) I was there as a guest of a publicist for something called the Xchange. The Xchange is a networking and socialization event for like-minded African, Caribbean and other Canadian entrepreneurs, business leaders, public servants and other professionals to meet, communicate, connect and build meaningful personal and professional relationships that will lead to employment, strategic alliances, joint ventures, referrals and other endeavours. This year’s theme was MAKING WISE INVESTMENTS! It was a great experience. I got firsthand look into a program for young entrepreneurs. There were three eager young adults pitching their business ideas, while the four panelists observed. I sat down with co-founders Cynthia Kwakyewah and Mark Ansah after the event was finished. SMJ: How do you feel about today’s conference, from the workshops to the networking, speakers and “The Big Bang’ presentation? Cynthia: This is our second year and I have seen how it has grown. There is definitely a demand and it’s my belief that it will continue to grow and capture that business community we are looking for. I know this is a journey, everything starts small, but we have gotten great feedback.

Mark: I feel we had a successful event. The attendance exceeded my expectations, and I am happy about that. The feedback was positive and everyone agreed that there is a need for awareness. This kind of community engagement is necessary; those that attended made good connections; the young entrepreneurs got the kind of information they needed. SMJ: What inspired you to plan such an event? Cynthia: Our Company Kama Solutions works with small businesses, young entrepreneurs and non-government organizations. Within this framework we see the many challenges young entrepreneurs face. They lack social capital, knowing the right people to contact, and not having the right mentorship. They need good advice, someone to tell them what to do, who to talk to. So I wanted to create a platform where this exchange can take place between young entrepreneurs and mature business leaders who can guide them. Mark: I had this vision…to bring big speakers like Les Brown and anyone else interested in workshops, mentoring and coaching. SMJ: Is what you experienced today what you envisioned for the event? Cynthia: YES! Though I am not completely satisfied, I am happy about the outcome. There is always room to grow. If only a few people came out and got something out of it then that’s alright, because I know the information can help them.

Mark: It was more than I expected. To see people come out and engaging so well made me very happy. Cynthia deserves credit for this, as she was more hands on with the project. She was my pillar. SMJ: So where do you see this event going? Will you continue with this model of networking? Cynthia: Yes! We will continue bigger and better. I think we will try to communicate with our audiences throughout the year. We are considering organizing smaller events, maybe every three months, in order to create momentum and promote to more entrepreneurs and professionals from different cultural backgrounds. Mark: That is a good question! I believe that is something we will sit down and discuss more. I will be asking for feedback, so far I like the way we are structured. “The Big Bang” is our bread and butter. We will promote this more to make it bigger and the selling point of the event. We would also look at getting more endorsements and sponsors. One of my passions is to create a platform for young people, an opportunity for anyone who wants to start a business. My goal is to have a panel of professionals available for young entrepreneurs who can ask any questions they want. For more information about Kama Solutions visit: To contact Mark Ansah email: Or go to:;

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


AFFAIRS of the

HEART: Creating Magic with Matchmaking By Akua Hinds

There are many different ways to seek a compatible mate. Online dating is the preferred modern method that singles worldwide use to find love in the 21st century, but a long-standing and more traditional method is through person to person matchmaking. Perhaps your great-grandparents met via matchmaking; a mutual friend thought they would be a nice couple and arranged a meeting for that purpose. For Toronto-based Antoinette Freeman who works as an image consultant, relationship coach, and professional matchmaker for her company Take II Introvisuals (www.Take2Introvisuals. ca), pairing two people together who have never met before is a very deliberate and detailed process. Freeman explained. “A matchmaker’s role could be compared to that of a head hunter or better yet, a casting agent for a movie... A matchmaker seeks to connect men and women who share the same relationship goals, have similar values or morals in addition to lifestyle compatibility. A matchmaker would be responsible for taking the “guess work” out of courting by conducting a background check and verifying their members’ personal information. In addition, some matchmakers provide relationship coaching. This helps the client discover their actual needs and wants pertaining to a developing a healthy relationship.” Part of the reason why many single people opt to use professional dating services like reputable websites or matchmakers is because those services provide instant information to relationship seekers about potential matches. Speed dating events are popular for singles living in large cities to meet new people, but Freeman cautions that speed dating isn’t useful for everyone. “Unlike matchmaking, speed dating is a trend. For a nominal fee, a person can get a chance to meet someone. It is all based on physical attraction; there is no screening process. These events are usually held by event planners instead of matchmakers. However, their priority is about filling the spots, for example, 10 male and 10 female. Maybe all in the same age range. Lifestyle and financial status could be a huge set back. Furthermore, if no one selects you, it can be the ultimate form of rejection. To avoid disappointment, don’t have any expectations.” As everyone knows, you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. People who are serious about building healthy partnerships will make extra efforts to look appealing. Freeman advises to look into this area prior to putting your profile up for making contact.


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“ Developing a personal style is crucial. You only get seven seconds to make an impression. Unfortunately, judgements are made before we speak. Grooming habits such as flossing, removing chipped nail polish, or covering your hair dye is essential. You will project confidence knowing that you took the time to invest in yourself; if you would do this for a job interview, why not for a potential life partner? An image consultant can help you identify which colors and silhouettes best compliment your style personality. Some people have no clue about the importance of making a good first impression.

Although you should strive to be the best you can be during the matchmaking process, Freeman also cautions singles to be themselves and focus on areas of compatibility. “Have your own identity. Do not take up hobbies such as golfing, or Latin dancing if you have no genuine interest in it. You may find your mate, but you will not be able to sustain them if you do this on false pretenses. Set your boundaries. Know your worth and what you will and will not settle for.”

Akua Hinds dating sites are:,,

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine



in the


In Conversation with Paula Brown, on the topic of “Girl Power!”

By Sheralyn Roman

As the mother of three daughters and long time community advocate, Paula Brown is a natural spokesperson for the empowerment of girls and women and is passionate about programs that promote positive self-worth and self-confidence. Paula wants girls to think: “Maybe I’m worth something and I can do something with my life.” This is why Paula recently became involved with the pilot of Technovation in the GTA. Technovation is an innovative “STEM” program that empowers girls to become future leaders by encouraging careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. “It fuels me,” says Paula, describing her current role as a Regional Recruiter for Technovation as “sheer passion.” She goes on to say: “I want to see girls succeed from a very young age and I want them to feel like they can compete and win.” With such energy and dedication this is one strong community advocate and this is one pilot project that’s sure to succeed. Paula originally became aware of Technovation through her work with Girls of Destiny, another powerful girlcentric program that runs for one week each summer just west of Toronto in Mississauga. With Technovation, she saw an opportunity to continue working toward female empowerment on an even broader scale. The pilot project saw over 100 girls registered in a 12-week curriculum that allowed girls to work towards solving a problem either locally or globally. Divided into teams of typically between 3 and 5 members, they determined the problem they would like to solve, built a business plan, learned how to create a mobile app for that plan and then implement it. The teams are then invited to “pitch” their app to corporate executives in the hopes of winning the opportunity to travel to San


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Francisco where they then pitch their idea, against teams from over 57 countries around the world, to giants in the software industry. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and a win-win for everyone involved. Paula explained one of the concepts that drew her to the program. While the winning team receives an all expenses paid trip to the global event, even non-winning teams can opt to pay for their own travel to enjoy the week with top industry professionals. If travel is not possible, teams may also choose to do their pitch online in a non-competitive environment. In this way, the program truly ensures an optimal number of girls still benefit from getting involved, even if pitching on a global scale is out of their comfort zone! Throughout the program, girls are mentored by senior executives from local organizations. IBM, SalesForce and RBC are just some of the companies involved. Individual mentors and teachers from local elementary and secondary schools are also encouraged to become involved. One idea that emerged from the pilot year was an app aimed at taking “secondary quality” food and finding a market for it. Perhaps just bruised or irregularly shaped edible food could be connected with agencies that could best distribute it to where needed. Avoiding waste and feeding people means Technovation isn’t just empowering girls to consider careers in STEM, it’s fostering an attitude of how to work together to make our world a better place. Technovation is designed for girls ages 10 to 18. Paula has taken some time off from her own business studies at Humber College to help promote this innovative and unique program to schools and community groups around the GTA. If you would like to learn more about Technovation, or how you can become a mentor, contact Paula Brown today. With someone like Paula in their corner, young girls and women are bound to succeed! Contact Sheralyn Roman at



By Andrew Terry Pasieka


We first met Belinda Kamshuka Barrocks in 2012 at an event where she was showing off her multiple artistic talents, from photography to dance. She has won awards for her photography, most recently 2015 CIBWE’s 100 Black women to Watch, so it is more than a pastime. Did she see it as a profession from the beginning?

My passion is people. I love diversity. I love to travel. I love to hear stories.

Photography has given me these platforms. I didn’t know I had the talent until I picked up the camera and started shooting. As a child, I was always the one taking photos but never one of the ones in them.” Belinda graduated from a Travel & Tourism course just as 9/11 happened. Opportunities in that field quickly evaporated. She was working at Canada Post overnight from 11pm to 7am when she found out that her husband’s father was opening up a photography studio. Upon her insistence he hired her as his receptionist. About two months after opening, her father-in-law overbooked and since there was no one to take the booking, he trained Belinda to cover for him. She was very nervous, but she discovered that she was able to push

FALL EDITION 2016 SMJ Magazine


through the fear, a trait she developed that, “gives me a rush.” She had a wonderful time at the event, which was a wedding, but had to wait two weeks for the negatives to be processed. Some of the final shots were blurry, but by-and-large a story was told; she captured some things no one, not even her father-in-law, could have done. Soon after she start managing the store, expanding into child’s photography and glam shoots, then eventually going into business for herself.

her aunt’s boyfriend during the three years when she lived in India after escaping Uganda.

Her background is quite the mix: her father is Ugandan; her mother a combination of Portuguese and East Indian. Her middle name, Kamshuka, means ‘the impact of stars in the sky.’ She was born in Uganda and has a brother two years younger. They were victimized by the Ugandan Bush War when she was 3 and 4. Belinda’s mother was able to leave the country with the hope of obtaining visas to bring the entire family out. Belinda still remembers the day her mother left; she was awaken early in the morning and made pancakes together, as her mother taught her to do. Then she told four year old Belinda that she had to be the mother to her two year old brother.

The latest closure is her book, Becoming Warrior. We couldn’t help drawing the comparison between Kamshuka and Xena: Warrior Princess, the cult TV show from the 1990s on Space Channel. Belinda laughs in surprise at our revelation, “Lucy Lawless is my absolute favorite actress, and Xena my favorite TV character. I am pretty much Xena.”

The emotional scars mentioned earlier started showing up as emotional instability with flashbacks of the war. Her father used to lay his hands on her and pray; sometimes it worked and other times she was still tormented. Today it is lurking just below the surface.

The publicity of the book reveals its message to be moving from a victim mentality to a warrior mentality. Belinda nods in agreement.

Belinda had no physical scars from the experience, but came out of it with emotional scars that were not immediately evident. It is why she says, “Everything that I have done to this period in my life has given me closure.” A case in point was the 2010 Aroni Award, which she received for her commitment to youth entrepreneurship. She gained closure in other ways. Belinda returned to Uganda, talked to the survivors of the civil war, and went back to her village, the one her mother left early that morning. She undertook a two week 2013 mission to India where she ministered to women in brothels, some as young as 13, by teaching them crafts and bringing in gifts, many times walking right past the pimps to get to them. This trip was made for three women; her mother, who wound up inadvertently in one of these houses; her aunt, who was a victim of a violent relationship; and herself, who was a victim of domestic and sexual abuse at age 6 and 7 at the hands of


SMJ Magazine FALL EDITION 2016

“Becoming Warrior is me embracing what is already inside. We as women have to move in every way from being a victim to a place where we can command respect”. We will look at Becoming Warrior in more depth in our Holiday/Winter Issue. To follow Belinda Kamshuka Barrocks, go to: kamshuka. {images by @capturedbyshani}

Belinda Kamshuka Barrocks Photo by @capturedbyshani

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SMJ: Support is a big deal in major events like fashion shows. Did the Cancer Society support all the way? KV: Yes! I would say I had full support through their emails even though the Cancer Society was not at the event. I would surely do this again. My friends, my family they believe in me and I also believe in them. SMJ: I see you had great attendance. What is next on your horizon? : Another fashion show in the near future? KV: Sure, this is just the first one. But I just launched my fashion line, so in the immediate future I need to kick-start that. I am looking for buyers, customers, meeting other designers, and trying to take things to the next level, to see how I can develop in the fashion industry.


By Shelley Jarrett

Kartia Velino is a Toronto fashion blogger whose motto is: If I can style it, blog it, write it, I can make it happen! I spoke to Kartia moments after coming off stage from a very glamorous and exciting fashion show this past May. SMJ: You are what they call a true fashionista. Growing up, where did your interest for fashion originate? KV: You know what? I think I am born with that name. Growing up as a little girl, I always had passion for fashion. The love and flare for fashion was always part of me all the way in school. I did not go to school to learn this, It’s just in me. SMJ: Great! When did you first get the idea to do a fashion show? How did it come about? KV: I have always been thinking of doing this but did not know where to start. So what I did was to start going to fashion shows and different fashion events to get ideas of what to do. Really! My main reason for doing the fashion show was to raise money for uterine cancer research. After my flyers and invitation we were out, about three months, I decided to produce my own clothing for the show. Why wait? I have been dreaming about this, and with having the opportunity to fundraise and be involved with other fashion designers, it was time.

THE KARTIA VELINO COLLECTION WORLD OF BEAUTY AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS NOW INCLUDES THE PRODUCTION OF A CLOTHING LINE. SMJ: Very inspiring. This being your first time as you stated; what have been your greatest challenges? What are some of the things you had to overcome in putting this show together? KV: Making a lot of mistakes. I had no sense of direction. I took some wrong steps. I lost some money, but God picked me up, channeled me through the right path and helped me learn from my mistakes.

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squash). But, when it’s necessary to move on with your life, you must do whatever it takes.


By Akua Hinds

AFFAIRS of the heart

Having More Than One Soulmate Have you ever questioned what society and your family taught you about love? Humans are wired to question things that don’t make sense to them. And, for some people, the idea of having only one love soulmate in life does not make sense to them. A soulmate is someone who you feel you are destined to be with in spite of any obstacles that you face. Each individual on the planet has a life path. For some, their life paths will lead them to the realization that they have more than one person to choose as life partners. It is best to be monogamous with one person at a time, but when one relationship ends, there are future possibilities to consider.

Being in a romantic relationship with the same person from the time you meet each other until death parts you is a romantic notion and tradition. There is certainly nothing wrong with remaining in a faithful and loving partnership. There is, however, something wrong with staying committed to someone who is not the right person for you even though you might have been a great pair together once. There is little to be gained when you use your pride as a reason to refuse to part ways with someone who you no longer love. And, unfortunately, pride is one of the many reasons why some people choose to stay in loveless relationships. I remember answers to an Internet poll question years ago, and the question was posed to readers to find out if they regretted getting divorced. I was shocked when the majority of responses from men and women regretted not getting divorced sooner. Most of those commenters

had also expressed their happiness with finding new partners who were more suitable for them. As I reflect on my own past relationship triumphs and trials, I’m literally grateful to God that I didn’t marry them because I know that if I had, I might have felt mentally and emotionally stuck with those people. Getting a divorce is such a time-consuming process in which emotions run wild. I usually delay filing my income taxes until the very last week of April because I want to put off having to deal with all of the paperwork for as long as I can before I’m forced to face the April 30th deadline date. I can only imagine how long I would drag out having to file for a divorce if I was in that position. Having to pay court costs to get out of a relationship, presenting my case in front of strangers in a court room, and dealing with all of the emotional drama sounds as unappealing to me as having to eat squash (I don’t like

I personally feel that each person’s number one job is to take care of themselves first before they take care of someone else. Keep your eyes open and recognize the signs that your relationship with your partner is showing you. After you have tried everything you could, it might be time to move on from a union that is not serving you the way that you deserve. You might have more than one soulmate.

possibilities and be focused on whether or not your connection is healthy. Just like it is your job to find food, clothing and shelter for yourself, it is also your task to find the right person for you. You need to make the effort on a daily basis to be in the relationship of your dreams. You might feel tired, disappointed, and discouraged, but ask yourself this; if you applied for a job and you didn’t get it, are you going to stop searching for work? If you stop seeking, then you stop receiving. It’s your job to find and recognize your next soulmate!

One of the three online dating companies that I own is a Christian dating site. I have always believed that God blesses many remarriages, and that He gives people as many chances as they need. I also feel that the Lord always teaches humans lessons through our experiences, and He will let us know whether or not we passed or failed. When we fail, I think He always wants us to get back up and try again until we learn our lessons. When we learn and understand, that is when we have succeeded. I know there are Christians who feel that God doesn’t bless divorce and remarriage unless adultery is involved, but I feel differently about that. I believe that there are different forms of betrayal other than just fornication. Gambling, abuse, irresponsibility, emotional unavailability, and deliberate cruelties are strong and justifiable reasons to reconsider being involved with someone. You need to stay open to the




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