Pads for Rusape

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Pads for Rusape

Recently I have been having conversations about how absurd the price of sanitary products is, like literally having your something, which is something you don't choose to have, is a financial set back. Let's also not forget the chocolate, tissues and bits and pieces we invest in when Aunty Flow pays us a visit. We have been discussing why sanitary products aren't as accessible as condoms and how we are extremely privileged to be able to afford them (this isn't an exaggeration there is literally conversation out there about women who have to choose whether to buy sanitary products or bread to feed their children). 

As I was scrolling down the timeline a few days ago I came across a post by one of brothers in New Zealand about his trip back to the Zimbabwe and how he is fundraising to provide pads for the sisters in the village he grew up in, Rusape. This is a beautiful and necessary cause, read below for what he had to say about his trip. 

Most of my friends would have heard me rambling on about my trip back home to Zimbabwe after decade, its like 5 months away but i’m too excited anyway. That’s besides the point.

As much as i’m looking forward to my holiday, i’m also looking forward to doing my part in helping small communities. Growing up as a male i didn’t face many, if any adversities associated with a maturing body - other than acne. In comparison to girls, they have to pay for sanitary products and they are quite expensive. Since i grew up in a village, after coming here and noticing how expensive all the products to do with periods are here..i wondered how girls back home dealt with the issue? Although the subject is taboo in my culture, even here. who better to ask than my own mother, Faustinah Ndlovu about it. She didn’t shy away from explaining how they dealt with issue and how they are still dealing with it now. I learnt that, instead of pads they use a cloth - which they basically wash and reuse. Or they won’t turn up to school or any public gathering. I think that is a way of stripping someone’s dignity.

Anyway, i have decided that, rather than feeling sorry for them, i’ll do something about it. What better way than fundraising? So instead of getting overly excited about my coming holiday, i’ll do some running and mountain climbing and challenge myself for something i think is important but is never properly addressed. (if you have any fundraising ideas let me know).

The goal is to provide sanitary pads to primary and secondary schools in the district i’m from.

Every idea needs a starting point, and this post is the starting point.

Givealittle: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/padsforrusape

Edit: bank account number.
38-9010-0392504-02
— Tafadzwa Hove

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THEBLVCKMUSE x AFRIKAONMYSLEEVE

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THEBLVCKMUSE x AFRIKAONMYSLEEVE

We are excited to announce that in September we are headed to Melbourne to host a Goals & Head Wraps session in collaboration with THEBLVCKMUSE. More details about that coming soon!

So who is THEBLVCKMUSE?

Elesha's experiences of being ostracised in a predominately white community and even her own community is what led to her creating THEBLVCKMUSE movement. The main purpose is to empower, promote, uplift, support and unite POC living in the Asia Pacific through social media promotion, collaborations, projects and events.

'I experienced racism for the first time at the age of 7,   I was the only black girl in a group of 6 and I thought that I belonged until I overhead two of the girls planning to kick me out of the group because I was  'too black'. I was so  hurt and heartbroken, I honestly didn't even know how to react, I just stopped hanging out with them and sadly enough, I haven't really had many white friends since then due to fear of judgement.' -that was one of many experiences.


Racism, colourism and tribalism  are issues that affects you emotionally and psychologically and I know that a lot of us just want to be accepted which is why creating a platform for ethnic minorities to share their stories and speak about their experiences was so important to me. 

'I remember in Year 12, one of my teachers told me that I would  never amount to anything' instead of being hurt, I used it as a motivating factor and a lot of us are discouraged of our capabilities  because of the colour of our skin and are left scarred by those words.

Being black means that we have to work so hard to be respected and if we don't support each other, who will. THEBLVCKMUSE is all about breaking barriers and taboos and opening conversations about mental health, injustice, relationships and so much more. We shouldn't be afraid to share because of fear and I want to give a voice to the voiceless.

I see THEBLVCKMUSE growing each year and expanding it's outreach to more people, yes it's  based in Melbourne, but I am excited to expand to other cities in Australian and other nations in the Asia Pacific because there are so many of us here that feel alone and honestly, I just want everyone to feel accepted and supported in their own community.

Apart from THEBLVCKMUSE, Elesha is also studying a Double degree in Communications and Sociology.

Get is sis! 

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Normalising African Inspired Fashion

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Normalising African Inspired Fashion

Favour Gift (aspiring fashion designer) asked herself, why is it that in her experience people only wore what they conspired African inspired fashion at African events or as costume? Why was it that not many people were wearing their African attires to work, to hang out with friends and why was it not being integrated into their daily look?

As part of Kora - The Third Culture Research Project, Favour is looking for 5 people to wear some pieces she has made as part of their daily look and write down how they felt when they wore the piece. The styling will be entirely up to you and on the day we will ask that you take a few photos from different angles (hello blogger pose: looking to the side with your feet crossed) you know do it for the 'gram and write down how you felt rocking the piece.

If you are interested please send an email to africaonmysleeve@gmail.com or slide in our DMs on Facebook. We will get back to you with some options and arrange a time for pick up or drop off.  Scroll on for a sneak peak of some of the pieces Favour has made in the past. 

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Humans of Afrika

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Humans of Afrika

As part of Kora - The Third Culture Research Project, Synthia (project lead) is photographing people of African descent in black and white. You will be invited to a studio where you will have a portrait taken and the whole purpose is to have more visibility firstly of people of African descent and secondly the diversity of people of African descent. 

If you are interested in participating and having a photo taken by the talented Synthia (peep her work below!) send an email to africaonmysleeve@gmail.com or slide in our DMs on Facebook. We will send you an invite to a studio session with some times and you can come through have your photo taken, have a munch, bop to some Afrobeats and learn more about the other projects. 

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Black Love Is

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Black Love Is

I once read somewhere that black love is the manifestation of acts of love between people of colour. Whether it be a couple, a mother braiding her daughter's hair, two black men acknowledging each other on the street with the "nod", sisters of colour gathering together eating and dancing and it is also un/learning what it means to love yourself as a black person. 

Black love is coexisting in each other’s space and always feeling safe and protected.
— Unknown

As part of Kora - The Third Culture Research Project, one of the projects is exploring the interactions and relationships between people of colour, specifically people of African descent. Rumbi (the project lead) is looking to develop affirmations for people of colour based on their perceptions, experiences and definitions of black love. 

We wanted to know:

What are the three words that come to mind when you hear Black Love? 

You can answer the question however you want and if you have photographic examples even better! Let us know what you think on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

If you want to offer your thoughts, also slide in our DMs or send us an email on africaonmysleeve@gmail.com 

Black love is the sacrifices your parents made for you, to see you flourish, and the miles our people walked to see change in equality. It’s that love guarded by grandma’s prayers
— Unknown

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I AM AFRIKA ON MY SLEEVE - Exhibition

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I AM AFRIKA ON MY SLEEVE - Exhibition

I AM AFRIKA ON MY SLEEVE

Third Culture African Voices

On the 27th of May we had the pleasure of opening the 'I AM AFRIKA ON MY SLEEVE' exhibition at The West Auckland Research Centre. What an amazing afternoon we had sharing Afrika on My Sleeve's journey. Thank you to everyone who came out and celebrated with us, we are humbled. 

The last four years of collaborations and projects wouldn’t have been possible without the love & support of the people that came on board and most importantly the community. Thank you for being a part of campaigns, for attending workshops and for fully embracing the platform with an understanding that this is for us by us. Thank you for standing beside Afrika on My Sleeve, the manifestation of the Ubuntu spirit (all for one and one for all) has been reflected and continues to shine through because of your actions and unwavering support. 

What started off as a fashion show to provide a platform for designers inspired by Afrika has now blossomed into a platform thay champions for authentic voice representions of people of Afrikan descent in New Zealand and across the diaspora. It has also been a journey full of lessons and a lot of growth.

Thank you thank you thank you! Sisters and brothers of Afrika, your melanin and your Afrikanness is a blessing, sometimes it may not seem like it but trust me the glory is in you. Thank you for journeying with this platform for the last four years, I am looking forward to four more years infinitely. 

Thank you to Peter for dressing me. Click here to shop your own Afro-inspired look

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Finding Temeraire - Play Review

Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned!

Finding Temeraire, a play written by award winning writer Stanley Makuwe is a story about love, betrayal and forgiveness that left me in chills. Set in the mining town of Mashava, Zimbabwe, the play is about an estranged lover who returns after serving a 25-year jail sentence for the murder of her new born child. Blazing with rage & fury, the woman seeks sweet revenge against a lover who scoffed when she told him she was pregnant. With patriarchy being his blessing, after he scoffed, he returned to his life like nothing happened. He doesn't even remember her. 

I imagine the 25-years she spent behind bars her motivation to see each day was the thought of confronting him, of him seeing what he had done to her. I imagine the pain, shame, guilt and hurt burning inside her skin and resembling an itch that you just can't quite reach so its always there. Come to think of it the revenge she seemed to seek wasn't one of hate and malice, it was the revenge a pained and confused person seeks. She was someone who wanted to be heard. It was from someone who wanted to be listened to. 

Without giving too much away, one can say the short of it is: unrequited love is a bitch, something that you and I already know, but throw in there predatory behaviour and a setting of a culture riddled with respectability politics and you got yourself a hot, complex mess! It's right there in the way she describes their encounter, his advances and their joint behaviour that drives my mention of respectability politics home. She is punished for it. Not him. Her. Even though it takes two to tango. I digress. 

As she goes on to describe the gruesome manner in which she killed her child, I couldn't help but want to reach out and hold this woman. I wanted to get her a cup of tea, run her a bath & read to her poems. I wanted to part her hair and gently massage it with shea butter, yes that level of intimacy. You're probably thinking, sis are you okay, did you not just say this play is about a woman who killed her newborn child? While her actions are inexcusable and not okay, I thought about her. I thought about the treatment of women in some parts of Zimbabwe. I thought about the stigma around pre-natal & post-natal depression. I thought about how abortions are illegal in Zimbabwe. I thought about if she had access to any healthcare or help. 

I thought about how we are conditioned to not consider her. I thought about how we are conditioned to blame her, to feel no empathy for her. I thought how problematic it is. I thought about how we quickly rule something as right or wrong without considering socio-economic factors, equality, gender related violence and the cultural/political/economical setting of some of these circumstances. 

What I also found interesting while watching the play was that a few days earlier I had read a piece about how more women were choosing not to have children and the mixed reactions. I couldn't help but think in the words of Frank Ocean is a woman just a container for the child? Do we treat woman like she is a container for the child? I remember thinking about the friends I fiercely support when they tell me in whispered hushes like it's a dirt secret that they don't want to have children. How genuinely surprised I am that they are relieved that I don't react otherwise. My reaction is founded on this belief that it's your life, they are your reproductive rights & you have agency over your body. These are the same women who mention what great Aunties they are going to be and slide in my DMs with videos and pictures of cute children because they know how clucky I am, they know how much I want to have children and instead of looking down at what I hope for the future, they instead celebrate it. So why can't I afford them the same love? What makes my decision to have children more superior than their's not to? 

Munashe Tapfuya, Tawanda Manyimo & Stanley Makuwe

Munashe Tapfuya, Tawanda Manyimo & Stanley Makuwe

So many questions! Big bravo to Munashe Tapfuya and Tawanda Manyimo for bringing to life such a thought provoking production. A birdie told me that they will be more screenings of the play in the near future and I can't wait because not only is this play amazing in the way it unfolds before your eyes but it is also excellent commentary on social issues. I mean the state she finds Temeraire in speaks of so much more like the political climate in Zimbabwe, the state of affairs of the nation and how it is impacting people, the economy, the effects of colonialisation and the health of people, but that's a story for another day.

IG: @nubiianphenomenon 

IG: @nubiianphenomenon 

Makanaka Tuwe

A neatly packaged combination of several things, Makanaka is a social development dreamer, book reading, free spirited dynamite. Can be found laughing at inappropriate memes or happenings of life.  Hailing from the Southern part of the African continent, Zimbabwe, I am a citizen of the world and above all a womanist.

Makanaka is the Founder & Creative Director of Afrika on My Sleeve & is currently in the process of self-publishing her debut title 'Questionable Intimacy - what goes in, out and around'.

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      Notes of Gracious  I grew up in a family where I was always told that I could be anything I wanted to be. I remember one day many years ago when I was in my early years of high school and I told my amazing father that I wanted to be a hip hop dancer (LOL, I am incredibly lazy to dance) with much enthusiasm in his voice, he said  “okay bring me a business plan” . Days later I did just that, of course that dream didn’t last, I quickly changed my mind and wanted to be something else. Not long after, people kept telling me that they thought I was a good communicator, writer and I was good at organising and administration. At first I thought these were just compliments until I realised what joy planning a youth conference or my mum’s yearly birthday parties bring me (She’s surprised every year by the way). I slowly started realising these gifts within myself and slowly started tapping into them, until eventually they became a part of me I hope I will never lose.   Fast forward to 2015: The birth of  GRACIOUS EVENTS, MARKETING & CONSULTANCY .      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Starting my own events company has taught me to TAKE ACTION, have COURAGE, and to COMMIT through anything. It took one friend at the beginning of 2015 (as my father had done years before) that recognised my gift and believed in me. This eventually led me to believing in myself as well. It kept dawning on me that I found it easy to fit in with people who do photography, art, decor, events, make up, writers, bloggers, and designers. The year turned out to be a great year for my company with four successful events planned (two charity launches, blogger's seminar and art exhibition). I always knew that my gifts were meant to make room for me but I lacked vision and a vision is as far as you can see. In other words if you don't see it, you won’t do it. As the year went on the vision of the company became clearer. Our vision is to plan and host, accurate and, professional events effectively. We have a deep understanding of time and effort that is included in planning a successful event, and we always want our customers to be satisfied. Gracious Events is an Event Management and Marketing Enterprise that, wants to continue to host and plan the best events possible. Quality customer service and satisfaction is at the heart of the company. Our services can be used for occasions such as weddings, conferences, exhibitions, launches, parties, meetings, award ceremonies and MORE.  My company and the planning of these events is about people who have been told that their dreams, desires and plans are insane and impossible, that the ceiling is too high and you cannot break it, GRACIOUS EVENTS shows them that is NOT TRUE, not for me and not for any of us. Take any dream you have, put it on steroids and make it your reality.   Live the life you Love.    -Gracious Tapfuma Director & Founder.  On the 24th of June, Gracious will be hosting a hub for Entrepreneurs. Click  here  for more details.    Gracious Tapfuma is a freelance event planner and  blogger  based in New Zealand Auckland, but has travelled to countries such as the United Kingdom doing events. Gracious began planning events many years ago for a small church community; she was able to create invitations, concerts, and birthday parties from her room. Her creativity was recognized by her family and she has since opened “Gracious events, Marketing and Consultancy” and planned bigger concerts, 21st Birthday parties, Baby Showers, Graduation parties and art exhibitions and charity events. Gracious is obtaining a Bachelor of Communications degree with Unitec Institute of Technology, and has won several awards for her events. 

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Notes of Gracious

I grew up in a family where I was always told that I could be anything I wanted to be. I remember one day many years ago when I was in my early years of high school and I told my amazing father that I wanted to be a hip hop dancer (LOL, I am incredibly lazy to dance) with much enthusiasm in his voice, he said “okay bring me a business plan”. Days later I did just that, of course that dream didn’t last, I quickly changed my mind and wanted to be something else. Not long after, people kept telling me that they thought I was a good communicator, writer and I was good at organising and administration. At first I thought these were just compliments until I realised what joy planning a youth conference or my mum’s yearly birthday parties bring me (She’s surprised every year by the way). I slowly started realising these gifts within myself and slowly started tapping into them, until eventually they became a part of me I hope I will never lose.


Fast forward to 2015: The birth of GRACIOUS EVENTS, MARKETING & CONSULTANCY


Starting my own events company has taught me to TAKE ACTION, have COURAGE, and to COMMIT through anything. It took one friend at the beginning of 2015 (as my father had done years before) that recognised my gift and believed in me. This eventually led me to believing in myself as well. It kept dawning on me that I found it easy to fit in with people who do photography, art, decor, events, make up, writers, bloggers, and designers. The year turned out to be a great year for my company with four successful events planned (two charity launches, blogger's seminar and art exhibition). I always knew that my gifts were meant to make room for me but I lacked vision and a vision is as far as you can see. In other words if you don't see it, you won’t do it. As the year went on the vision of the company became clearer. Our vision is to plan and host, accurate and, professional events effectively. We have a deep understanding of time and effort that is included in planning a successful event, and we always want our customers to be satisfied. Gracious Events is an Event Management and Marketing Enterprise that, wants to continue to host and plan the best events possible. Quality customer service and satisfaction is at the heart of the company. Our services can be used for occasions such as weddings, conferences, exhibitions, launches, parties, meetings, award ceremonies and MORE.

My company and the planning of these events is about people who have been told that their dreams, desires and plans are insane and impossible, that the ceiling is too high and you cannot break it, GRACIOUS EVENTS shows them that is NOT TRUE, not for me and not for any of us. Take any dream you have, put it on steroids and make it your reality.


Live the life you Love. 


-Gracious Tapfuma
Director & Founder.

On the 24th of June, Gracious will be hosting a hub for Entrepreneurs. Click here for more details. 

Gracious Tapfuma is a freelance event planner and blogger based in New Zealand Auckland, but has travelled to countries such as the United Kingdom doing events. Gracious began planning events many years ago for a small church community; she was able to create invitations, concerts, and birthday parties from her room. Her creativity was recognized by her family and she has since opened “Gracious events, Marketing and Consultancy” and planned bigger concerts, 21st Birthday parties, Baby Showers, Graduation parties and art exhibitions and charity events. Gracious is obtaining a Bachelor of Communications degree with Unitec Institute of Technology, and has won several awards for her events. 

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How to slay your interview in 6 steps

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How to slay your interview in 6 steps

For the past couple of years, I have lived and breathed recruitment and in that time, I’ve come across the good, the bad, the ugly and just the plain bizarre. Sometimes people attend interview after interview with no luck and just don’t know why. What exactly are businesses looking for when they put you in the hot seat? If you have a job interview around the corner, you need to make sure you’re prepared. Here are the top six factors that will make your interview fab or fail:

Research *cough cough* Stalk


Most nervousness in an interview comes from people feeling like they don’t know what to say or why they are there. Do some light research on the company; what do they do? What are they known for? Who are their main competitors? Look up some commercials on YouTube to get a real feel for the image that they are trying to promote and think about how you’d be able to fit into that. Do the same amount of research for the job you’ve applied for – imagine yourself doing the damn thing. If you can already picture yourself in the job, your confidence will naturally start to glow through. 


Slay!


Kimora Lee Simmons once said “Leave the house dressed as if you’re going to bump into your haters.” Basically, if you look good, you’ll feel good. A dress code will be stated in your interview confirmation email, and 9 times out of ten it will either be formal or business casual. Both terms are quite broad, so don’t feel like you should completely revamp your style. General rule of thumb: keep skirts no more than 10 cms above the knee and wear heels below 6 inches. Pick the type of outfit that will guarantee to have the IG likes popping. It’s important that you feel totally amazing in how you look as this will subconsciously affect your body language and presence in the interview. 


First Impressions


Much like a first date, first impressions at a job interview can either make or break the encounter so you must make it count! How you come across in those first few minutes is subconsciously being judged by the other person. Turn up 10 minutes early (don’t be late!), sit and stand up straight, smile and give a good hand-shake. That first impression counts for a huge majority of your interview.


Pop your Personality


Anyone can be taught anything. But it is your personality that will make you stand out from all the other applicants. Through your previous stalking you will hopefully have a good idea of the overall vibe of the company and department, so do your best to show that you’re someone who would fit right in.  You can’t change who you are for a job, but it is largely what will determine if you get the role or not – whether you’re a right fit for the team – so it’s best to be the best version of yourself. Try to steer away from making any crude jokes, and unless the other person does it first, bringing up politics or religion is a no-no. If you’re nervous and fidgeting, it will show that way. Instead, try your best to come across as calm and confident. Do you what you can to hold your head high.


Show off


You’ve made it to the interview stage, meaning that you looked good on paper and didn’t make a fool of yourself over the phone. I love Kendrick, but I would ignore his advice about being humble. Now is the time to toot your own horn and sell yourself. Remember, I’m telling you to be confident, not delusional babes. Don’t be shy! What skills do you have to bring to the table? Even that crappy fast food job you had in high-school gave you hella skills. Time management, working in a team, writing, sales, communication – the list could go on. Your current skills account for a lot in the job interview. Make sure you’re equipped with solid examples to back up your offering.


Question Time


Past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour. For this reason, you will find that most of the questions will ask a lot about your previous jobs. Make sure you listen carefully to what is being asked so that you understand the point of the question. Don’t rush your answers. The person interviewing you will be expecting you provide specific examples so it’s important that you’re concise. Take a sip of water from the glass in front of you if you need a break and to buy yourself some time. If you’re talking too fast it can make you seem a little nervous and over the top. Naturally you’ll talk fast in this kind of high pressure situation, so do everything in your power to slooooooow doooooown. 


Once your interview is winding down you’ll be asked if you have any questions. Always take advantage of this opportunity, it’s a great way to show you’re curious and to create strong engagement with the person sitting across the room. Don’t feel like this is a trick question, as an interviewer we genuinely want to know if there’s something that we haven’t explained to you properly. 


Use these tips to help you when you’re next entering the job interview situation, and while you still may not get the job it will leave a good impression and leave you a little more optimistic for your next try! 

Paid Chinamo

As a recent graduate, I have begun my career in the recruitment industry by exposing myself to both permanent and temporary recruitment in a professional and blue collar capacity. Currently I work as a talent acquisition partner for New Zealand Post, where my responsibility goes beyond just filling vacancies. When it comes to attracting blue collar talent, I aim to ensure that I am using methods that are customer centric while efficient and productive at every step.

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Goals & Head Wraps Wellington

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Goals & Head Wraps Wellington

On Sunday 7 May we hosted our first workshop and event in Wellington ever! What an amazing afternoon we shared with the sisters that came out discussing goals, passions, purpose, what the future looks like and how each day steps can be taken towards that future. It was so heartwarming to hear about the plans each sister had including traveling to Zimbabwe to do something in mental health, buying a house with a partner, resting/taking time out, traveling and finishing off university.

Yesterday as we were reflecting on the time we had spent in Wellington, the gram alerted us that someone had tagged us in a post. The following was something written after the workshop by one of the sisters.

#motivationmonday admire someone’s beauty without questioning your own. Growing in a country were I was the minority, I was often bullied and told I was ugly, or my birthmark (mole) was gorss and countless colourful things mean kids say so never considered myself a beautiful person. It’s been a long journey to learn the truth, everyone is beautifully and wonderfully made and beauty really comes from within. Thanks @afrikagram for running an amazing event to empower women to be the best “YOU” they can be.
— Laura

Our hearts were warmed and they are full right now. We are looking forward to more workshops with women and who knows maybe something for the fellas soon.

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The Good Eye: Nom Mpande

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The Good Eye: Nom Mpande

Part time visual content slayer, full-time goals.

Zimbabwean-born Kiwi, Nom Mpande, is the curator of The Good Eye* lifestyle blog. Unapologetic for one, she oozes confidence, intellect, depth and ambition with a remarkable eye for beauty. Whether she is travelling, showing off her latest outfit or decorating her showpiece cakes, you can't help but want to be part of her squad. 

Queen? We think so too!

I think for a while now there was always this push for me to share with the world the things that I see through my ‘good eye’. I'd say it was my mother who has always encouraged this, hoping for me to be the next Patricia Bright or something haha. And then one day I just woke up and decided that instagram and snapchat just weren’t going to cut it anymore.


I love being behind or in-front my camera, a self proclaimed tech geek. So first and foremost I’m big
on photography. My niche? Definitely portraits. I try and concentrate on this field more than anything, especially during my travels. My main goal is to capture a life story in the features and expressions of a stranger’s face.

In a perfect world, you would find something you like, a talent of somewhat and stick to it. Unfortunately that's not exactly how it works for me. My father raised me to believe that I could be anything I wanted to be and I guess I took that literally. The word can’t, is seldom in my vocabulary. I thrive on educating myself about everything and anything. Guess this is how I randomly stumbled into decorating cakes! Here I am, a medical scientist, undertaking two Masters, part time blogger, part time photographer, part time cake decorator, full time car enthusiast! (laughs). It’s exhausting but I wouldn't have it any other way. I live in a self-built cocoon of my passion and interests.

Not quite sure where life is taking me but I know it's gonna be wonderful. I'm always looking for a new country with lots of culture to visit and on my list is Cuba, Mexico and Portugal to name a few. I can go from five star snob to slum dweller with ease because I want to experience it from every perspective.

My advice is build your self-awareness. if you know your weaknesses you can do everything to improve them and if you know your strengths, well, be damn unapologetic in their use. 

It's no doubt that we'll be seeing more of this woman in the future. Keep an eye out world!

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      Success: it's a mindset   Success. People often assume it’s some sort of financial accomplishment. In reality, however, it’s really any sort of accomplishment made as long as effort has been expended to achieve it. To be successful then, is to become what you set out to be, this is why for most, success is the ultimate goal. Everyone at some point wants to become accomplished.   If this is the case, why is it that the general model of success is almost exclusively white? They seem to dominate the lists of successful people even in New Zealand. Just look at “New Zealand’s Top 100 History Makers” list on Wikipedia, only 12% are made up of the ethnic minority (Maori). Is this reflective of the reality that white people are more likely to become successful, or simply a reflection of population in New Zealand?  In my opinion, it’s both. Seeing as 69% of New Zealanders identify as European, statistically there would be greater chances for people to succeed within this large population compared to that of the 31% minority groups. The greater the chances of success that occurs, the greater it’s reflection on the racial group that’s achieving it. Therefore, if there were an equal number of ethnic minorities within this country sharing the same population statistic as the white man, then surely we would see greater models of success from across the board.   However, this logic seems to ignore the fact that though white people dominate the population, they also dominate the actual likelihood for achieving success in general. Why, you may ask? Simple, it’s in the existence of the societies mindset. Let’s throwback to the  last post  where we touched on the stereotype of  “black people are lazy”  and the fact that this negativity creates an obstacle to success due to it’s pervasive connotation that blacks are incapable. As one of many racial stereotypes that exist across society, you can see how these stereotypes create a negative mindset for the minorities that fall victim to it. We have to struggle, where whites do not. The concept of being white has far more advantages for the population as they don’t have to contend with racial negativity. This is why it’s called white privilege.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      So how do we combat this problem of white privilege? Again it’s simple: think like the white man. Seeing as the mindset establishes a set of attitudes held by a particular person, we become subject to what the mindset believes. If we are trapped in a cycle of negativity, we are only ever going to believe ourselves as failures. On the flipside, if we see ourselves as worthy and capable then individual success is a given. As minorities in society we have to act as if we don’t hold the technically lesser position. We may not be the largest group in society, we may not have the greater likelihood of high paying jobs, come from high decile schools or even capable of owning our own property. Statistically, we may not even be in a position to achieve as greatly, but we are capable of achieving despite it all. Like the white man, we are equally capable for success to whatever degree – we just have to believe that we are.   This type of positive self-image is one of the key things to success as it informs you’re identity. It reinforces your ability to yourself. It reminds you that you are able – like the white man - and that you are who you believe you are. Success then becomes that much more attainable, but it needs to be followed by effort in pursuing it – whatever the success you want to achieve. For this reason, desire for success will be the subject of my next post, addressing the willingness for your own success whether it is big or small.  Until then the song of the week goes to Kendrick Lemar – I.        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"          Strength, Love and Blessings.       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Karla Abrigo  Living by the mantra “to be a strong, intelligent woman with substance and style” she advocates for the capacity in all of us to be the best we can be. Also living by the rule that understanding is the answer to all problems she emphasizes the old Aretha Franklin adage, RESPECT in everything she does and writes with a purpose that, at the very least, everyone deserves that much. So read and be critical, open discussion is what she relishes in as engagement she believes, allows for collective growth.        IG: thenigmaeffect | Snapchat: bl4kbe4uty

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Success: it's a mindset 

Success. People often assume it’s some sort of financial accomplishment. In reality, however, it’s really any sort of accomplishment made as long as effort has been expended to achieve it. To be successful then, is to become what you set out to be, this is why for most, success is the ultimate goal. Everyone at some point wants to become accomplished.


If this is the case, why is it that the general model of success is almost exclusively white? They seem to dominate the lists of successful people even in New Zealand. Just look at “New Zealand’s Top 100 History Makers” list on Wikipedia, only 12% are made up of the ethnic minority (Maori). Is this reflective of the reality that white people are more likely to become successful, or simply a reflection of population in New Zealand?  In my opinion, it’s both. Seeing as 69% of New Zealanders identify as European, statistically there would be greater chances for people to succeed within this large population compared to that of the 31% minority groups. The greater the chances of success that occurs, the greater it’s reflection on the racial group that’s achieving it. Therefore, if there were an equal number of ethnic minorities within this country sharing the same population statistic as the white man, then surely we would see greater models of success from across the board.


However, this logic seems to ignore the fact that though white people dominate the population, they also dominate the actual likelihood for achieving success in general. Why, you may ask? Simple, it’s in the existence of the societies mindset. Let’s throwback to the last post where we touched on the stereotype of “black people are lazy” and the fact that this negativity creates an obstacle to success due to it’s pervasive connotation that blacks are incapable. As one of many racial stereotypes that exist across society, you can see how these stereotypes create a negative mindset for the minorities that fall victim to it. We have to struggle, where whites do not. The concept of being white has far more advantages for the population as they don’t have to contend with racial negativity. This is why it’s called white privilege.


So how do we combat this problem of white privilege? Again it’s simple: think like the white man. Seeing as the mindset establishes a set of attitudes held by a particular person, we become subject to what the mindset believes. If we are trapped in a cycle of negativity, we are only ever going to believe ourselves as failures. On the flipside, if we see ourselves as worthy and capable then individual success is a given. As minorities in society we have to act as if we don’t hold the technically lesser position. We may not be the largest group in society, we may not have the greater likelihood of high paying jobs, come from high decile schools or even capable of owning our own property. Statistically, we may not even be in a position to achieve as greatly, but we are capable of achieving despite it all. Like the white man, we are equally capable for success to whatever degree – we just have to believe that we are.


This type of positive self-image is one of the key things to success as it informs you’re identity. It reinforces your ability to yourself. It reminds you that you are able – like the white man - and that you are who you believe you are. Success then becomes that much more attainable, but it needs to be followed by effort in pursuing it – whatever the success you want to achieve. For this reason, desire for success will be the subject of my next post, addressing the willingness for your own success whether it is big or small.

Until then the song of the week goes to Kendrick Lemar – I.


Strength, Love and Blessings.

Karla Abrigo

Living by the mantra “to be a strong, intelligent woman with substance and style” she advocates for the capacity in all of us to be the best we can be. Also living by the rule that understanding is the answer to all problems she emphasizes the old Aretha Franklin adage, RESPECT in everything she does and writes with a purpose that, at the very least, everyone deserves that much. So read and be critical, open discussion is what she relishes in as engagement she believes, allows for collective growth.

IG: thenigmaeffect | Snapchat: bl4kbe4uty

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Back Pedal - Bajan-Kiwi Vibes

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Back Pedal - Bajan-Kiwi Vibes

Bajan-Kiwi Queen Amber has just dropped her newest single 'Back Pedal' and we are honoured to be the first share it. We are loving this track as it speaks on something that we are passionate about: freedom of expression and freedom to be. The track is the result of what happens when 90's dancehall meets modern pop-fied hip-hop and when Amber's warm smooth vocals are introduced the track hits that fine balance. As you listen to the track you can't help but bop your head!

Filmed in the streets of Barcelona, Spain, 'Back Pedal' is a tune that captures the spirit of being free from societal conventions. It is an anthem for reclaiming independence and finally refusing to be limited, tamed or changed. For those that know Amber musically, this will be her first time giving us insight into a different side of her music personality. Flowing over a beat influenced by Caribbean culture and 90's dancehall, this track is a banger! Press play and remember you heard it hear first ;-)

To keep up with Amber's adventures & get familiar with her music, show her some love on Facebook.

If you vibing with 'Back Pedal', the track is also available on Spotify

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I've got your back

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I've got your back

Growing up I was your average African girl child, I think some would even say I was a bit of a below average child. I played no sports, participated in no extracurricular activities, very shy and basically invisible. I managed to just exist through life till my teenage years where life decided to bring some spice.  At the age of 16 I began to struggle with a “medical mystery”, I suffered from chest pain that could not be explained. After being told by my family doctor that I just had to endure with this condition, my family and I lived in the hope that one day this nightmare would soon disappear from our lives. Little did I know that this nightmare was going to be the best thing that could have happened to me. 


During my first year of University I grew a curiosity for Chiropractic. I knew I wanted to work in the health field but there were so many things that just didn’t make sense to me and it was as though Chiropractic filled a gap and the puzzle of my health began to make sense. Upon following my curiosity, it became as clear as daylight that my career path had to change. I immediately applied to study Chiropractic at the prestigious New Zealand College of Chiropractic. I became a Chiropractic patient around the same time and the change was evident. After a few months of receiving regular Chiropractic Care my chest pain episodes were long forgotten and peace was restored to my family. What?!? Just like that? Indeed it happened just like that. 4 years of constant agony gone like the wind. 


After this life changing experience I made it my life goal to bring Chiropractic to all masses especially my African community. You see, when I started getting my spine checked regularly, it was not just the chest pain that changed. I began to stand up straight (I had a hunched posture because I had nothing to look up to and self- esteem was running on empty but that is a story for another day), I suddenly had more energy, no more back pain,no more headaches, a lot more coordinated, I was more alert and you know what? I just became a more confident person, achieving things I never thought were possible. So it really got me thinking, how much more could this profession benefit my people? Who else is missing out?

Chiropractic acknowledges that the human body is controlled by the spine and the brain (also known as the nervous system). As a result, there are communication pathways between the body and the nervous system, known as nerves. Interference to these pathways can cause information to not flow as well thus causing the human body to not function to its full potential. Contrary to what many think, Chiropractors do not fix back pain, in fact we do not fix anything. Chiropractic’s role is to remove interferences in the nervous system and allow the body to self-heal and self-regulate like it was designed to. This explains why I experienced all those benefits I did once I started receiving Chiropractic care. 

As a child growing up in middle class Zimbabwe I saw far too many people die and suffer due to lack of “proper health care resources”. With Chiropractic being a health care profession that only needs the Doctor and their hands, imagine the change that will come about if we trained a whole lot of Africans to be Chiropractors and bring about change themselves instead of waiting for foreign aid? Can you imagine that? Uh I get so excited at just the thought of it. 

Dr Kudzai Zvenyika is an Auckland based Chiropractor who provides Mobile Chiropractic services. Life gets busy sometimes but I am here to bring Health & Wellness to your door step. There is absolutely no need for your busy lifestyle to come in the way of your health and wellness. Say bye-bye to seating in Auckland traffic while Anxious about whether or not you will make it to your appointment. Save yourself time and money, get a mobile Chiropractor.

www.drkudzai.com
hello@drkudzai.com
0278440682

 

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In Transit

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In Transit

At the heart of this play is a very important slice of NZ history.
— Auckland Theatre Company Literacy Unit

In Transit is a New Zealand/African play that gives voice to former refugees and migrants as they transition from everyday lives in their African homelands, and the unnatural and often perilous journeys across continents and oceans to their new homes and new lives in Aotearoa.


Based on true stories collected by Wanjiku Kiarie Sanderson (now archived in the Oral History Collection, National Library, Wellington), In Transit presents the real-life experiences of African people living in Aotearoa NZ with a thought provoking theme of intergenerational conflicts between parents and the first generation of NZ-born young people, desperate to be recognized as New Zealanders; who see themselves as KIWIS, not Africans; and struggling to establish their own identities, while maintaining respect for their parents and the cultures they’ve left behind.


The play revolves around eight different characters of various backgrounds.  The ensemble: actors, musicians and dancers are from African, Pasifika, and Māori communities in Auckland and Wellington.


Importantly, the production presents a visual and vocal answer to the question, “What happens when African and Pacific cultures meet and fuse their theatre and performing arts traditions in a contemporary context?”


Justine Simei-Barton, Director, is an accomplished producer and director of theatre, films and television, and a long-time collaborator with performing artists of many ethnicities.  She brings to this production, a wealth of experience in intercultural performing arts in New Zealand and the Pacific region.


Justine says, “I always knew there were similarities and connections between African and Pacific traditional performing arts.  The challenge of fusing the two to create a new and unique platform with high artistic merit is one that I embrace whole-heartedly, and am very pleased with the outcome.”


In Transit, written by Wanjiku Kiarie Sanderson, is as a tribute to the late NZ actor, Martyn Sanderson, and his life-long involvement with African theatre, and with the African communities in Auckland and Wellington.  It was meant to be their next project after the successful production of Muntu in 2009, but Martyn passed away two days before Muntu opened.  Wanjiku has spent the last seven years bringing In Transit to the stage.


She says, “The tradition of telling stories comes very naturally to many Africans, but what amazed me in the interviews, was the generosity and warmth of the interviewees when relating some of their most horrific, as well as humorous experiences, and I knew that all New Zealanders would appreciate their stories as I do.”


In Transit opens 4 May and runs through 13 May at Mangere Arts Centre.

WHAT:  First ever Pasifika and African theatre production in New Zealand
WHEN:  4-13 May, 2017
WHERE:  Mangere Arts Centre, Bader Drive and Orly Avenue, Mangere 2022
For interviews and more information, please contact: Kubé Jones-Neill, Producer 021 0847 3590; Valeria Edwards, Media & Public Relations 021 775 652

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The train of salt and sugar

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The train of salt and sugar

Film: “The Train of Salt and Sugar” 2016
Director: Licinio Azevedo
Actors: Matamba Joaquim, Thiago Justino, Melanie de Vales Rafael
- By Khayelihle Moyo

“The Train of Salt and Sugar” is set on a train travelling from Mozambique to Malawi in 1988 during a war between the Government and armed guerrillas. Apart from the obvious struggle trying to get from point A to point B without dying; this film tells a story of a predictable romance complete with a damsel in distress, a detestable villain and a dashing hero. Nonetheless, it also has multiple complex underlying themes that reflect the present-day world. It shows the world as it is as well as what the world has the potential to become.

Religion is one of the main themes of this film. The religions represented are Muslim, Christian, and Ancestral and Spirit worship. Practising differing faiths did not create any animosity among the characters. The “goodness” of a person was not determined purely on what divine power they believed in. Their actions also contribute to their “goodness” or lack of.

This film also explores relationship dynamics through society (men and women, educated and uneducated, soldiers and civilians, and politicians and the rest of the nation) and how they are affected in tense times such as war. As these relationship circles are not separate from each other, their hierarchical nature often leaves those at the bottom unprotected and abused. 


I found most of the main characters two dimensional. Their cliché good vs evil behaviour contrasted the main theme of the film. However, the dialogue was thought-provoking as it gave a folklore like impression though the use of proverbs. Some of the dialogue is hard to follow and its meaning may have weakened in translation.

Overall, “The Train of Salt and Sugar” can be watched multiple times but is not for those that are easily distracted. They may find it quite slow paced as the dramatic moments are few and far in between. The realistic shooting style, subtle use of music and the portrayal of the characters all come together to create the film’s authentic feel. The grey areas that are represented in this film are clearly present in all aspects of life, but as humans we tend to simplify most issues to black and white to fit our own agendas. You can find good and bad people on either side of a war.

Khayelihle Moyo

Self-aware flawed people, self-knowledge, harmony with mother earth, body butters, the love; hate relationship with I have with Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal, Economics, an organised closet, babies that don’t cry and books. These are a few things I love. I have multiple personalities and twice as many passions. I consider myself what Emilie Wapnick calls multipotentialite (check out her TedTalk, its great). Writing is one of my passions. Whether it’s rants, think pieces, poems, short stories and now, film reviews; it’s a healthy means of self-expression that I indulge in when the spirit moves me.

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In conversation with Constance Ejuma

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In conversation with Constance Ejuma

Once again the power of technological advancement led to an interview with the star and producer of Ben & Ara (one of the films that will be showing at the African Film Festival New Zealand). It was a pleasure to e-meet Constance Ejuma and find out more about her and the film. 

AOMS: Was there a particular event or time that you recognised that filmmaking was not just a hobby?


CE: Before 'Ben & Ara,' I never really considered myself a filmmaker. I've always been an actor and up until that point I'd viewed the acting profession as a separate thing. I remember the moment I realized I wanted to be a storyteller. There was one summer where I got to watch a lot of Bollywood films and even though none of them were subtitled, I was fascinated by the fact that I could still understand the story. There was something about good storytelling transcending language that made me interested in the world of cinema. It wasn't until I was about 16 that I realized that acting could be a viable field to pursue to satisfy this desire I had to tell stories.

AOMS: Films evolve through the creative process – sometimes most dramatically in the editing process. It’s often really hard to reconcile the difference between what we desired and what we achieved. How have you encountered this and how do you move through it?


CE: The editing process is really tough because it's the time that you get to see what you actually have on your hands. Sometimes expectations and reality meet. Sometimes they don't. When that happens, you have to work with what you have and allow the story to shape up the way it wants to. In our case, we had very limited resources so we had to make the best of what we had. Fortunately, the final product turned out ok.

AOMS: What one theme out of the many running through the story resonate/d with you or influenced your decision to take on the Ben & Ara project?


CE: I liked the idea of two people with completely different philosophies having an encounter and somehow being compelled to change their thinking. So much conflict in the world could be avoided if we just took a moment to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and allow ourselves to see the world through their eyes, even just for a moment.

AOMS: One thing the film does well is offer several diametrically opposite view points on big issues such as religion/faith or lack of it without overdramatising, as do other storylines that attempt to discuss such issues . The question is was it difficult to keep the cinematic depiction of the story grounded given the subjects addressed in the story often Elicit polarised view points?


CE: I think the most grounding element of the film is the love story between Ben and Ara. While their intellect makes for interesting conversations, their philosophical debates can be fairly abstract and hard to grasp. But that's the very thing that feeds their love and attraction to each other, which is the main thing the audience picks up on and holds their interest.

AOMS: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life creating film?


CE: There isn't a specific blueprint for being a successful filmmaker and in this day of smart phones and YouTube, there aren't as many barriers to creativity as there used to be. So I'd encourage aspiring filmmakers not to wait for permission and to create storytelling standards based on personal taste rather than what's popular.

AOMS: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?


CE: A great film either surprises me, hits me in the gut, or keeps me thinking long after I've seen it.

AOMS: What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?


CE: This is always a tricky question for me because there are so  many films I like from completely different genres. I was still trying to figure out the answer to "Mulholland Drive" years after I'd seen it. "The Matrix" definitely caused a mental shift not just in the way I thought about what was possible on film but also in what's at the core of a good story. The staging device used in Lars von Trier's "Dogville" kind of blew me away. "Enter the Void" remains a favorite because of it's exploration of life after death. And my current obsession is "Tanna" which took me back to that experience I had a child tapping into what's at the core of our shared narrative as human beings.

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Ben & Ara

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Ben & Ara

Ben and Ara is a story which  follows the developing relationship between a middle class white male and ayoung woman of African descent. Through the central characters the viewers are led to examine their own perspectives on themes including the meaning of love, religion, gender, sexuality, and the role that tradition plays in setting a moral code of ‘acceptable” individual behaviour.

From Ara’s perspective, life is only lived fully out of a place of faith. She is a black Muslim and has a strong sense of family and duty. We see her struggle with self-determination in the face of societal and parental expectation, which at times would seem at odds with her strong religious beliefs. She has her future mapped out and is on course to complete her studies when she meets and forms an unexpected relationship with   Ben. 

Ben’s character represents what could be seen as the western world concept of individualism or freedom of choice, to be and live as one desires, with no particular attention to societal or community consensus on what would be considered right or wrong

The story is told with well-articulated dialogue expressing what I think are eternal truths such as the concept of cause and consequence, action and reaction and the assertion that thought develops better outside of oppression. My lasting impression was that true freedom and peace are to be found in authentic connection with others and acceptance of who they are as they are.

Overall a thought provoking and emotionally moving film which is a must see. I give it five stars.

Sierra Zion is a youngish woman native to the Shona peoples of Zimbabwe and has made Auckland her home. She is invested in several artistic pursuits including written expression, and on stage antics. 

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African Film Festival New Zealand

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African Film Festival New Zealand

The African Film Festival New Zealand is back for the third year and we are super excited to be on board again. This year the film festival features 12 films from the different parts of the African continent which ultimately allows for us to be taken on a cinematic journey through the motherland. 

For the last two years the film festival has provided another avenue and insight into the diversity of the Afrikan arts and we love it. This year not only will Rialto Cinemas Auckland be home to this vibrant and necessary event this year, the Embassy Cinema in Wellington will also have the pleasure in being home to the festival's first year in the world's coolest little capital.  Viva Afrika!

AUCKLAND
6TH TO 12TH APRIL 2017

Rialto Cinemas
Newmarket
Auckland

WELLINGTON
3TH TO 5TH MAY 2017

THE EMBASSY CINEMA
10 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria,
Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Both opening nights will show The Wedding Ring and tickets will include nibbles, a glass of wine and maybe some entertainment!

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