Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hair and Style Icon: Shingai Shoniwa

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I absolutely love Shingai Shoniwa. I especially love her hair and her style.

To my surprise, not many people know of her in Zimbabwe, but I have noticed her fame has been increasing since she came and sang a bit with Oliver Mtukudzi (a renowned Zimbabwean musician). She has such a gorgeous voice and she lead sings while playing bass on some songs, which is quite impressive.

The Noisettes

The Noisettes

Did I mention that I really dig her? Well I do, which is why I decided to do my first icon feature on her and maybe next time she’s here, I can do a real live interview!

Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa is a British singer of Zimbabwean descent. Shingai means ‘be strong’ in Shona. She is the lead singer and bassist of the UK indie band The Noisettes.

She is also signed with NEXT Model Management London.
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She was born on September 22, 1981 and has been singing since she was 8. “She used to hold a mugoti (big flat wooden spoon) and pretend it was a microphone and sing,” her mother told Zimbo Jam.

Impromptu performance at Mekka in Harare with Tinashe Mukarati and Dan Smith

Impromptu performance at Mekka in Harare with Tinashe Mukarati and Dan Smith

The Noisettes was formed in 2003 when Shoniwa and guitarist Dan Smith were attending the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon. This same school was attended by other well known singers like Adele and Leona Lewis.

The band first achieved commercial success and nationwide recognition with the second single of their second album, “Don’t Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go)” which reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in Spring 2009.

Since then the Noisettes have toured Europe and the United States extensively, with the likes of TV on the Radio, Tom Vek, Babyshambles, Bloc Party, the Mystery Jets, Muse and Lady Gaga.

They have also appeared at numerous festivals including the 2012 London Olympic celebrations.

Shingai with her mom Leoba Kureya

Shingai with her mom Leoba Kureya

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From Nokia's Shot by Fans

From Nokia’s Shot by Fans

At Club Mekka, in Harare, ZImbabwe

At Club Mekka, in Harare, ZImbabwe

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In Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe

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* Biographical info from Wikipedia and ZimboJam. All photos sourced from Tumblr.

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Categories: All Things Fashion & Style, Fashion Friday, Natural hair celebrities, Zimbabwean & African Natural Hair | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trim or Cut? Trim it is!

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Courtesy of Tumblr

 So posting about haircuts has made me really want to get one. I will be strong though and hold out. Maybe I should get a little trim.

 My options are; I either cut it myself or go get it cut at the salon.

 And since I don’t yet know a good haircutter or trust others with a pair of scissors to my hair, I would have to cut it myself.

 I previously trimmed my hair maybe every 2 months but my goal this year, since my hair has gotten healthier, is to trim every 6 months or when needed. I really want to retain length this year, so I don’t think trimming is necessary if my hair is doing well.

 So how does one know they are in need of a trim?

  • If hair has many split ends or feathering
  • If hair has dry, brittle ends
  • If heat is frequently used on the hair
  • If there is a lot of hair breakage (not shedding)

 The ends of hair strands are the oldest part of the hair and tend to be the most vulnerable. It is important to take care of them by:

  • Always sealing in the moisture at the ends especially (focusing on oiling and moisturising the ends)
  • Avoiding heat in the form of curling irons, flat irons, hot combs and blow drying as much as possible
  • If hair touches shoulders, wearing it in an updo style as much as possible as to avoid friction with clothes
  • Then general good hair health practices

 

So this is how I trim my hair:

  1. Get a good sharp pair of scissors, blunt ones will cause unnecessary damage
  1. Make sure hair is clean, dry and stretched (without heat, I usually do African threading)
  1. Remember that coily/kinky hair is not straight hair and can not be cut the same way. If you straighten hair using heat, then trim it, if you want it in its natural state again, it will most likely be uneven
  2. I plait my hair in twists or braids, it’s easier to trim more accurately and in the shape that I want than with hair that is free
  3. I then go through each braid/twist and look at the ends for split ends, feathering or brittleness and snip it off
  4. The goal is to trim off only damaged hair, so make sure you don’t over trim.
Categories: My hair | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Random Monday: The Introverted Vesion

A post I wrote about introversion, via Readers Cafe Africa http://readerscafeafrica.com/2012/07/the-introverted-version/ 

After years of being misjudged as aloof & snotty and hearing statements such as ‘Come on, smile” or ‘ you’re too pretty to be walking around angry”and ‘shame, she’s an introvert”, I always felt that there must be something wrong with me although I’m yet to see anyone who walks around everywhere with a huge Cheshire cat grin and be normal. Growing up, I always felt confused about myself, why my mind often went blank when someone asked me a question then later had numerous responses to the question; how other times, I would talk until I’m begged to stop;  how even today I want to be acknowledged yet feel overwhelmed with too much attention when others would feel thrilled. How I would dread social events and when I did socialize, how I would be fantasizing about being alone in my room watching a good movie over a cup of hot chocolate. It took me years and reading a few books including the book The Introvert Advantage to realize that I wasn’t some strange social creature full of contradictions but a normal introvert.

Extroverts being in the majority influence the entire cultural view of introverts and honestly, introverts get a bad rap. It doesn’t help when you have serial killers and sociopaths often described as introverted; those individuals are damaged people no matter what their personality type is. Extroverts get most of the good press and for most of my life, I’ve felt the pressure to be a certain way and conform. Most think that extroversion and introversion relate to how loud or quiet, fun or boring and people loving or people disliking a person can be. It is actually more to do with energy. Introversion and extroversion are opposing ends of an energy spectrum with most people falling somewhere in the middle, but on the extroversion side. People who fall on the introverted side focus inward to gain energy whereas extroverts focus outward to gain energy. Introverts keep energy inside, are very reflective and less expressive than extroverts, making it hard for others to know them.

If there ever was a model for an opposite end of the spectrum to me, it would be my closest friend. If we go for any social event or place where there are many people and there is a lot of activity, his face lights up, his eyes sparkle, he becomes excited and one can just see how he loves it. I’m amazed at how he says and communicates exactly what he wants or feels without having to think first.How when he is down or tired, he feels better when around people and activity, making parties, concerts and sports matches a must. As for me, I have to gather up energy for group activities or I shrink away because it’s too much stimulation and I end up feeling drained. I love observing and learning from watching and being around small groups of people if not just one other person.

Often people have differing opinions on what I am, some will say there is no way I’m an introvert because I’m not shy or reclusive so I would like to debunk some myths associated with the introverted versions of our population:

Introverts are shy wallflowers: I used to be shy and I sometimes am, but I have become considerably less so, as I have grown older. Introversion and shyness are definitely two different things and being able to distinguish the two has helped me work on my shyness that doesn’t mean I have become less introverted as I’ve grown older. Introverts are not scared of people, most like me, like people but don’t feel the need to always be around them and always be talking. As for being a wallflower, usually what drives introverts onto centre stage is different from extroverts, their quest for meaningful work, unusual circumstances or an unusual talent may bring them there but there is a big energy drain. Shyness is social anxiety, an extreme self-consciousness when around others it is not about energy.

Introverts are loners: We are not recluses who hate people, that is not characteristic of an introvert. Like I said before, I like people. I do like being alone too, but not all the time, I do enjoy being with close friends (usually in small groupings or one–on-one) even for very long periods of time. I am private but I do feel that I’m good at getting people to open up. I do share on what I’m passionate about but if no one finds it interesting I keep it to myself.

Introverts are boring: Truthfully, fun is relative. If your definition of fun is being in a crowded, dark, smelly space with music blaring and being unable to hear each other talk, then that’s not my definition of fun. I like adventurous things, I like concerts (as long as it’s not in a smelly place), and my definition of fun is also just sitting listening to good music.

Introverts are not very good with the opposite sex: I have extroverted female friends who like particularly introverted guys due to their mysteriousness. I know a girl in particular who said that these guys usually make the initial approach, although they might not be great at it, enough interest would have been garnered for her to give her number. It’s all about energy and setting; an introverted guy might not want to meet a girl at a club but somewhere like a music store, he will thrive. As for female introverts, once again the energy levels and setting have to be right. If the setting is wrong for me, I will most probably seem aloof. Most introverts also hate small talk, if there is nothing to be said, I would rather keep quiet.

There are a lot more myths and more I’m learning about this and myself. It is such a relief that I don’t have to be a certain way but myself and learn to work and live well with the majority of people, being in the introverted version of the population.

Categories: Random Monday | Leave a comment

Tempted to cut

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Source: Tumblr

I am a trigger happy person. With a camera. When I have a pair of scissors in my hands, I get really excited. That is why if I need a trim or a haircut, I shouldn’t do it on my own.

I usually cut my hair whenever I feel I need to be refreshed, spiritually, emotionally, you name it. This means I cut my hair on average every two years.

Now that I’m trying to really grow my hair and see how long it can grow healthily, I want to avoid this. My fingers are itching to get a hold of a pair of scissors though. So I will just dream:

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr


South African Singer Lira

South African Singer Lira


American actress

American actress

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Temptation!

Temptation!

Fierce model

Fierce model

Zimbabwean shoe diva Pokello

Zimbabwean shoe diva Pokello

Categories: Hairspiration | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

My Journal: I’m putting in twists!

Priscilla Shirer (Source: www.thinknextnow.com)

Priscilla Shirer (Source: http://www.thinknextnow.com)

Strangely, I haven’t done twists in my hair since I got serious about my natural hair. I’m going to have a go at them and report back with results.

A few years ago I met Priscilla Shirer, a well-know African American preacher/teacher/evangelist at a conference in South Africa. I was amazed at the length of her hair, which was natural and almost waist length. She had twists in her hair, which she seems to have most of the time. I’ve heard of quite a few people with long natural hair using twists as a protective style for a few weeks and it seems to be a great way to retain length. So I’m going to try it…

Two strand twists can be done on wet or dry hair. Twists on dry hair will show more length but less volume whereas on wet hair, your hair will have more shrinkage but more volume. Also twists on wet hair, will have more definition when you take them out. I’m going to try wet ones first, because I prefer volume at the moment.

After a little research this is how I plan to do twists on damp hair:

1. Wash my hair to cleanse and moisturise it. I want to make sure my hair is freshly washed, clean and conditioned

2. Pat partially dry with a micro-fibre towel or t’shirt, then put some leave in conditioner on my damp hair

3. I will use oil to seal the moisture in, which will be extra virgin olive oil mixed with castor oil.

Side note: Castor oil is a great sealant for my hair but because I have fine hair, too much of it, weighs my hair down, so I usually mix a little bit with another lighter oil. A lot of people use the LOC method (while hair is damp, apply a Liquid, which can be leave in conditioner or even water, then an Oil, then a Cream) when it comes to sealing in moisture. I usually leave out the cream.

4. Then with some oil still in my hands and some moisturising cream, I will twist my hair, curling the ends around my finger.

5. I plan to make my parts about half an inch each side and to make diagonal parts. I have fine and low/medium density hair so I don’t want my twists to look too scalpy, diagonal parts should help.

6. Then I will let my hair dry! And hopefully I will have pretty twists. Fingers crossed.

Make sure to sleep with a satin bonnet on or on a satin pillowcase. Also, maintain good hair practices such as moisturising.

Categories: My hair, Natural hair celebrities, Protective Styles | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Closer look at Mad Men actress Teyonnah Parris at the SAG Awards 2013

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Source of all pics: Tumblr

Categories: Natural hair celebrities | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Random Monday: Let’s Talk About Porn

Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Bodies writhing, ok maybe not writhing, more of spasmodic movements. Body parts at maximum exposure, no emotions shown or even feigned by the people partaking, as if they were doing something as meaningless and valueless as popping corn. Actually, popping corn would have more worth, it would seem. This is how Lillian* described a pornographic scene as she had seen it on a movie.

I met Lillian at university in Pretoria, she was what I would call, an example of true humility with excellence in all she did. She was kind, exciting to be around and a mature Christian. She also had a secret. She was addicted to pornography. And before the more self righteous among you, shake your heads in judgement, she didn’t just wake up one day with an addiction.

It was a 10 year progression, of being slowly drawn in to something that disgusted her, yet she was unexplicably curious of. It was a vile journey that started off with reading romance novels in High School, then to more explicit literature, to soft core pornographic movies on TV to hard core movies sold in sex shops. Then the internet, which contained a world of information, became her vice, opened up a plethora of pornographic sites and she found herself in a bona fide addiction. The pictures and film were no longer enough, she got sucked in to more, she was using adult chat rooms, connecting with people from all over the world, for sexual exploits through cyberspace.

We all know that pornography is a major issue in the world; by far the most searched for terms on the internet are related to pornography, but how about in the church? Surveys show that 60% of Christian men in America have viewed porn within the last year and 25% within the last 30 days. In 2000, more than 10 years ago, one in three visitors to adult websites were women, this statistic has probably more than doubled now.

Porn has already gotten hold of American culture and is gaining a stranglehold on cultures across the world, as they become more developed and more globalised. A reason could be in the false message that porn viewing is harmless and socially acceptable for the sexually frustrated. Stigma and fear work against Christians who wish to address this issue in the community of their church…. continue article here

Categories: Random Monday | Tags: | Leave a comment

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