A Tribute to Black Hair

BRITISH-NIGERIAN ARTIST, RAY BLK, RENDERS ODE TO BLACK SALONS IN HER NEW VIDEO, PATIENCE

Quick trip down memory lane. Have you ever had to keep your head between the legs of an angry hairdresser to get your hair done and be unable to move your head around properly for a week depending on how much of your scalp was trapped in the braids? I think putting my head in between the hairdresser's thighs terrified me more than the pain did. 

Only just last week we were excited about the launch of an all black emoji app to help transform our conversations and now there is a video that perfectly details what goes on in a black salon; being black is beginning to feel like a gift! Salons for me should be a home away from home experience, you know a place where you get to meet new people and get your hair treated by stylists who actually understand your hair texture and know how best it should be treated. So YES! salons are a big deal in a black woman's life so thank you Ray for this awesome and relatable tribute.

Who is Ray BLK?

Rita Ekwere was born in Nigeria and grew up in Catford, London. Ray is coined from her first name and BLK from her three main core values which are Building, Living and Knowing. Born in August 1993, the 23-year-old singer and MC was nominated for best newcomer at the 2016 MOBO Awards and  On 6 January 2017, Ray was announced as the winner of the BBC's Sound Of 2017.

Follow her on

Twitter: @RayBLK_

Instagram: @rayblk
 

 

A Click away from Hunger

BLACK FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR, JASMINE CROWE, CREATES FOOD RESCUE APP TO FIGHT HUNGER.

It is common knowledge that food is a basic necessity for life alongside shelter. In Atlanta, more than 755,000 people including 300,000 children and seniors, do not have consistent access to food. Every year in the U.S., 33 million tons of good food is wasted, and it costs the country about $1.3 billion to dispose it. Families living in these circumstances have to eventually choose between paying for food and paying for utilities. 

The Goodr food app, which from all ramifications is set to be the next big tool in fighting world hunger,  is a real-time food-rescue app using shared economy that allows its users to redirect surplus food to soup kitchens, shelters, nonprofits and churches. Users include but are not limited to hotels, restaurants, schools and event planners. Birthed in Atlanta through the social-impact accelerator powered by Goodie Nation.

Coming a long way from 2013, Crowe has been fighting the cause for hunger and homelessness. Through an initiative called Sunday Soul she created with her company, Black Celebrity Giving, she’s cooked and served over 30,000 meals to those experiencing hunger. Crowe has partnered with several celebrities — hip-hop star Future, business mogul and TV star Kandi Burruss and R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn, among others — and engaged over 1500 volunteers in five U.S. cities, as well as hosted endeavors in Haiti and the UK.

Too often, people are making a tough decision between paying for food and paying their rent and other bills, this is unacceptable. No one should have to decide if food is a necessity in their household!

With a mission to reduce hunger by 15 percent and set out to feed 25 million people suffering from hunger in the US; the company has launched a Kickstarter campaign “A Dollar and a Dream to End Hunger” to raise $15,000. Funding raised from the campaign will be used to open a food hub where rescued food can be delivered 24/7 and to finish the build out of the app. While the app is starting in Atlanta, there are plans to launch in other major cities are already underway, with the next launches planned for North Carolina, where Crowe attended college at North Carolina Central University. 

Bringing this home to Nigeria, Orphanages despite their frequent visits with food and support from organizations and persons, need all the support they can get. Arrangement can be made between event planners and these orphanages so that if food and drinks are left over from ceremonies, they can be sent over to the centers of course within the surrounding locations. What this means is that a database of orphanages and child support organizations  would have to be sent to event centers and concurrently sent to event planners. 

#BlackGirlMagic- Hidden Figures

13 YEAR OLD TAYLOR RICHARDSON, RAISED OVER $18,000 FOR YOUNG GIRLS TO SEE THE MOVIE, HIDDEN FIGURES.

Earlier this week, Seventh-grader from Jacksonville, Florida, Richardson was deemed GoFundMe’s February “Hero of the Month” after raising $17,000 through the fundraising website for people throughout the nation to go see the hit movie. “Hidden Figures” is centered around three black women mathematicians who played a pivotal role in sending the first American into space. Taylor first saw the movie during a space exploration screening at the White House back in December and it changed her life.

TAYLOR RICHARDSON AT THE EXTREME LEFT

TAYLOR RICHARDSON AT THE EXTREME LEFT

When I saw the movie, I was inspired to work even harder to pursue my dreams.” She told People Magazine. “ It made meant to ensure we girls hep each other, not only get them into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), but to lead in the field.

The movie — starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe — is a biographical drama based on the book of the same name by Margo Lee Shetterly. It follows the true story of three female African-American mathematicians at NASA. Her GoFundMe campaign which started out with a goal of $2,600 in order to send 100 girls to see the film, but $15,400 later, more than one thousand girls were able to see the movie with snacks and even got a copy of the Hidden figures book. 

JANELLE MONAE, TARAJI SPENCER, OCTAVIA SPENCER

JANELLE MONAE, TARAJI SPENCER, OCTAVIA SPENCER

To date, Richardson has collected and donated over 5,000 books in Jacksonville and read to over 300 children. She’s also worked on an anti-bullying campaign with the CEOs of Florida First Coast YMCA and Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.

"I tell people all the time: what makes me most proud of Taylor is not what you hear and all these success stories, but how she handles her failures,” her mother told Huffington Post. But the persevering spirit of Richardson ― who was bullied, held back in the second grade and once struggled with literacy ― can best be captured in the way she turned around her ADHD diagnosis. “She calls ADHD: Abundantly Different Happily Divine,” her mother said. “I hope I live to see her go to Mars.”

Taylor’s efforts have inspired others and there are now over 70 campaigns nationwide raising money to pay for young women who want to see Hidden Figures.

“I feel it’s important for everyone who has a dream or who may feel they can’t reach it or are told they shouldn’t reach to see this movie,” says Taylor. “Girls need to know if we do the work and stick together like these women did, we can accomplish many things.

I am proud of Taylor and how far she has come and the heights she would achieve if she keeps up this frequency.

 

TINK's Open Day; The Fashion Report

FASHION IS AN ATTITUDE, TAKE A LOOK AT HOW OUR GUESTS CAME TO THE TINK AFRICA OPEN HOUSE IN AMAZING STYLES.

The TINK Africa Open Day which took place last Saturday, the 28th of January 2016 was turned out to be a huge success. From the chats to the chops, from networking to sharing ideas, everyone who came had something unique to offer but what was more unique, was everyone's personal style.

As you can imagine, people came out expressing their definition of style, and just as diverse as people's personalities are, so were the outfits they came decked in. From African print to coloured patterns and even more, traditional pieces, everyone came comfortable but most importantly, they came stylish. People came in accordance with the dress code which was "Afrocentric", and people didn't necessarily come dressed to impress but came expressing their personality and also selling their individual brands. The accessories, the shoes even the hair styles and of course the smiles made the the event complete because as they say, "you're never fully dressed without a smile".

One of the style statements that really caught my attention was when one of our guests showed up with African Fabric wrapped around the temples of a pair of sunglasses. Trust me, I have never seen that before! Not only did it catch my attention, it also defined "Afrocosmos" for me, which is the fusing of the African culture with the new cosmopolitan lifestyle. Let me not bore you by talking too much, so enjoy a gallery of the style moments from the TINK Africa Open Day, after all, a picture they say is worth a thousand words.

Kindly scroll through the gallery above.

Art in the Palm of Your Hands

HOW NIGERIAN ARTIST RENIKE IS FUSING PEOPLE'S LOVE FOR ART WITH DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY. 

We all love art. We all to some extent appreciate art, but for some,  if not most of us, we don't have access to art at our fingertips which is very understandable due to the fact that art is priceless, sometimes physically large and most times one of a kind. To change this, visual artist Renike is making the access to art more affordable and more accessible, How?  Well I'll tell you exactly that. 

Portrait of Renike taken by Joseph Iso 

Portrait of Renike taken by Joseph Iso 

Renike fuses her African themed unique drawings with the digital age and people's love for visual  aesthetics by imprinting her original art work on phone cases and other canvases for people to buy. Interesting right?  As an artist, it is sometimes hard to appeal and reach the consumers, more often than not, people admire but can't see the art as a part of them but, Renike has found a way to make people not only admire and appreciate it but also be able to have art in their palms. 

Imagine seeing a beautiful work of art every time you pick up your phone. Art makes people come alive, it inspires and it allows people to dream. Oh how colourful this world would be if people could see art everywhere they go! 

But why on smart phone cases and mouse pads?

In this digital generation we've come to be inseparable with our gadgets - phones especially - they never leave our side and though we have art galleries and art on our walls, the innovation of art on our phone accessories makes it much easier for us to also connect with the art work and artist. 

We're all aware of how expensive art is and some of us, if not most, would like to have art accessible and affordable to us in the most creative ways.  We love having our pictures or graphic designs on our phone cases but how amazing it will to have original art by an African artist as an accessory for your favourite devices. Very amazing! 

So what does this mean for all of us? It means that not only do people love art they love to have it accessible to them and as creators of visual aesthetics, it's important for us to appeal to the needs of the consumers while also creating avenues for our art to be out there, for the world to see. 

It's not easy fusing the African culture with the digital age, but we sure love to when we see people doing it effortlessly, creatively and stylishly.