Drool worthy- Prince George cradles baby sister Princess Charlotte in first official portraits

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Since the Royal family welcomed the latest addition- Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge to the world in May, we’ve only had the privilege of catching a glimpse of her in her mother’s arms as they left the hospital shortly after her birth.

As the date of her Christening ceremony draws near, the Royals have obliged us with four adorable photos of Prince George and his baby sister at the Cambridge’s new family home in Anmer Hall.

The images released by Kensington Palace on Saturday were apparently shot by their mum, the Duchess of Cambridge show Prince George cradling Princess Charlotte while she’s only a few weeks old. For a 22 month old, George seems to be holding his sister in a very firm grasp and mummy’s photography skills really aren’t too bad either.

See more cute photos below.

Photo credit: The Princess of Cambridge.

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Source: living12

Women’s empowerment photo showing unshaved pits sparks online controversy

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by Azeezat Fadekemi Sulaiman

 

To shave or not to shave?

A body of work on women’s empowerment by US photographer Erica Jones has sparked a debate on whether women shaving or not shaving their armpits is appropriate.

The photos published on black American website Afropunk features beautiful black women, some nude and in their natural state with the aim of empowering black women by projecting positive images of women who look like them.

Photo: Erica Jones/Afropunk

Photo: Erica Jones/Afropunk

While most of the reactions to the photos were positive with many women calling it ‘bold’ and ‘beautiful’, one particular photo proved controversial as it showed one of the participants in the project Bri Collier with unshaved pits.

One of the commenters on the magazine’s Facebook page incurred the wrath of other users when he called for Collier to ‘shave those pits’ adding that unshaved women’s armpits were ‘disgusting’. His comment prompted a scathing reply from Collier, who called him out for his ignorance.

“To those who completely missed the message of the photo because they are too pressed about my armpit hair, this is what empowerment looks like. Empowerment for both women and more specifically, black women. We are both defying the societal norms of what is and is not acceptable on the female body – me publicly displaying my armpit hair (gasp), while both of us are unapologetically topless. The idea that our body and physical appearance only exist for the attention of men – or the “male gaze” – has been detrimental to the confidence of many women. It strips us of our autonomy and self-worth because when we do not receive said attention, it is implied that there is something wrong with us. Public displays of self-love such as these are needed to remind little girls that you are perfect exactly the way you are. Let’s stop teaching our girls to be ashamed of what naturally happens to their bodies, especially when we do not hold men to the same standards.”

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Controversial- Unshaved pits. Photo: Erica Jones/Afropunk

We couldn’t agree with her more. Whose right is it to dictate what a woman does with her body? It’s interesting to note that it wasn’t only men who disagreed with the image of a woman with unshaved armpits, even women criticised the women in the photos for their choice to not shave their armpits.

As Collier pointed out, the message in the pictures is not about individual preferences and perceptions of beauty, but more to do with appreciating natural (black) beauty in its pure unadulterated state and that, whether we like it or not includes body hair.

Society has got us so accustomed to what it dictates as ‘acceptable’ standards of beauty that we are now visibly repulsed by what is a very natural thing; body hair- whether on the pits, arms or groin, it doesn’t matter. The fact that we shave it off as soon as it appears doesn’t make it disappear or change the fact that hair actually grows out of your pits.

The reactions to these photos also shows how much our values have plummeted particularly in relation to how we define our own beauty as women. This is a debate that transcends just what your views are on armpits or the lack thereof, but the lengths we are willing to go to be accepted and considered beautiful to others.

Why do we even need to shave our pits? Does the hair make us uncomfortable? Some say they shave because apparently a full pit stinks, but surely this is a matter of personal hygiene and not necessarily just because you have hair?

If I were to really think about it, I shave my pits because I don’t want people to see hair when I wear sleeveless clothes. On reflection, I realise I’m doing this because I feel my pits is something no one should see. I feel as though it’s not a pretty thing for others to see, not because it necessarily causes me any discomfort.

We’ve become so conditioned to define our beauty by what others; society (especially men) deem to be beautiful, sexy and acceptable and this in itself should be questioned. Everyone should be able to feel beautiful just the way they are. Why should we need to change our appearance, our natural beauty to conform to society’s expectations? Only last week, news broke of the untimely and unfortunate death of a BET employee Kelly Mayhew who died after a botched butt enhancement procedure went wrong. Kelly was a beautiful woman by anyone’s standards, but we will never know why she felt she needed to enhance her derrière. Whatever her reasons were, we can bet the ever-increasing expectations placed on young women to conform to society’s beauty standard had a role to play.

What women like Jones and the women featured in this editorial are doing should be applauded not ridiculed, because they make us question society’s standards on beauty with a view to becoming more self-aware of our choices both conscious and unconscious.

We have a duty to ourselves to be the best possible human we can possibly be, part of that involves a great degree of self-awareness. No one should define your beauty. That power should belong to you and only you.

 

 

Source: living12

This is proof Erykah Badu is the coolest celeb in the world

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Erykah Badu celebrated a very peculiar one year anniversary during the week. There are many milestones celebrated on social media- the one thousandth follower, the five thousandth tweet and so on. The 44 year old soul singer told her almost 3 million Facebook followers that she was marking her one year anniversary since she began managing her own Facebook account.

Badu is well known for her hands on and unconventional approach and how she relates to her fans (whom she calls her ‘family’) is no different. While most celebrities have a team in place posting unto their social media profiles on their behalf with the exception of maybe Instagram and Twitter, Badu manages her own content, doing a great job of keeping fans abreast of what’s going on in her life, from concerts to holidays.

Photo: Erykah Badu

Photo: Erykah Badu

Badu wrote: “Happy 1 year Anniversary me. . .Tho this is technically my “fan page”, I have treated it like a personal family page. Cause I ain’t got fans – I got fam.
It’s been 1 YEAR since I have administrated and personally posted every single thing you see on this page ; Not excluding creating digi content and creating flyers for shows and sharing my intimate and personal self etc.
I am a very hands on artist who takes great care and pride in any work I do big or small.
I want to personally thank everyone who has contributed to making my work enjoyable and rewarding.
It’s a pleasure being of service.”

What’s even more impressive? She chats to fans who comment on her posts sharing cheeky jokes and banter. How cool is this woman?

 

 

Source: living12

Nollywood’s hottest couple Damilola Adegbite and Chris Attoh get steamy on the cover of Blanck Magazine

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They’re the African Brad and Angelina Pitt and have always had us green with envy with their sheer perfection, now Tinsel lovebirds Damilola Adegbite and soon to be hubby Chris Attoh have sealed their status as the hottest couple in these steamy photos in the latest issue of Blanck Magazine.

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The couple who met on the set of Tinsel romp about on the sheets for the shoot which had a sexy, intimate feel and the two actors certainly lived up to expectations with Chris showing off his well toned abs and tats while Damilola looked smoking hot in sexy lingerie.

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Read the full feature here.

 

Source: living12

Tina Lobondi presents new collection at We Are Africa fashion show

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May was a very busy month in the African fashion calendar with events taking place around the continent to showcase the diverse talent Africa brings to the fashion world.

Last Wednesday, the Maboneng area of Johannesburg hosted the world’s observers at the We Are Africa fashion show in South Africa.

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Source: living12

Former Delta Soap Model Nora Penawou celebrates 40th birthday with Nollywood pals in London

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Remember her?

If you grew up in Nigeria in the 90’s then you’ll remember the ‘Delta Girl’ from the TV ad promoting the popular Nigerian brand. Former beauty queen Nora Penawou who became famous after appearing in the ads for the toiletries brand Delta Soap and on the products has turned 40. Penawou’s flawless face and skin was part of a successful marketing campaign that propelled the brand from relative obscurity while entering the competitive Nigerian market to one of the country’s most popular brands.

The former model celebrated the milestone in style at the Hilton Hotel in London surrounding by friends and family as well as some of her Nollywood including Director Ruke Amata and 90’s actress Victoria Nyama.

The mum of three looked miles younger than her age in an ivory coloured embellished floor length gown as she posed for the cameras on her big day. London based dance group D3 dancers performed for guests as well as upcoming UK act Ada Snoop.

The pretty birthday girl. Nora Penawou looks stunning in a deep cut dress at her 40th birthday ceremony.

The pretty birthday girl. Nora Penawou looks stunning in a deep cut dress at her 40th birthday ceremony.

See more photos below. Photos courtesy Daniel Sync.

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Nora with D3 Dancers

Nora with D3 Dancers

British Nigerian rapper Ada Snoop

British Nigerian rapper Ada Snoop

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Nora with actress Victoria Nyama and Ruke Amata

Nora with actress Victoria Nyama and Ruke Amata

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The birthday cake.

The birthday cake.

Source: living12

Say goodbye to Bruce Jenner and hello to Caitlyn

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After years of rumours and speculations about his sexuality, Bruce Jenner has finally come out in the open to reveal his true self- a woman named ‘Caitlyn.’

Caitlyn makes her world debut in photographs shot by Annie Leibovitz which will appear in a special 22 page spread of Vanity Fair. Appearing on the cover of the magazine, Caitlyn speaks for the first time since completing gender reassignment, letting the world into a glimpse of what life will be like for her now.

Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair. Photo: Annie Leibotvitz/Vanity Fair

Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair. Photo: Annie Leibotvitz/Vanity Fair

She gave a very revealing interview to Diane Sawyer last month (while she was still Bruce), where she revealed that she’d been living a lie while pretending to be the man Bruce Jenner, when she knew deep down for years that she really was a woman.

Following the split from Chris Jenner, Caitlyn was photographed looking more ‘feminine’ than was usual while still Bruce. Longer hair, softer features from hormonal therapies, facial reconstruction to get rid of the Adam’s apple and breast enlargements were all part of the journey that saw Bruce transform into Caitlyn.

The Kardashian clan head has received immense support from his immediate family with his two previous wives and kids from those marriages standing by their father as this new chapter of their lives begin. The Kardashians have also expressed support for their father/step father with Khloe and Kim expressing how ‘proud’ they were of what their father was doing.

Within hours of setting up a new Twitter account, Caitlyn Jenner has already amassed over 2 million followers with her first tweet welcoming Caitlyn into the world being retweeted over 250, 000 times.

Caitlyn’s wasn’t the only big news from the cast of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Yesterday, his step daughter Kim Kardashian also announced that she was expecting her second child with husband Kanye West. Kim has been very open her struggle to conceive after giving birth to daughter North almost 2 years ago. The 34 year old reality star said the family was ‘beyond thrilled’ to finally be getting a new addition.

 

Source: living12

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie recounts harrowing tale of father’s kidnapping in Nigeria

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Blasts Nigerian security officials for ineptitude after family asked to pay for anti kidnapping equipment

 

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has told of the family’s pain after her father Professor Adichie was kidnapped by unknown men in the eastern region of Nigeria in May.

The 37-year-old author writes in a New York Times post about the horrid events leading up to the 83 year old’s abduction on a trip to Abba in early May.

Abductions aren’t rare in Nigeria, particularly of notable people or their relatives as they’re deemed to be ‘wealthy’. Over the years, the Niger Delta has also seen an increase in abductions of expats who command a higher ransom for their return than Nigerian nationals. Most victims of kidnappings are usually returned to their families after huge sums of money is paid to the kidnappers as ransom, but not all cases have such a ‘happy’ ending as some families have had to endure unbearable loss of loved ones after family members have been killed, sometimes even after the ransom has been paid.

Thankfully, the former was the case with the Adichie’s who are still smeared by the events of that fateful day. “My mother was planning his lunch for his return. They always call each other when they travel,” wrote Adichie,  as she described their closely knit family unit. When his wife didn’t hear from him by the end of the day, an alarm was raised, but it wasn’t until three days later before the family would hear about their patriarch with the kidnappers leaving the chilling response, “We have your husband. If you do not give us what we want, you will never see his dead body” as they finally answered his phone.

As any family would, Adichie describes how the family scrambled to raise the ransom amount (which she doesn’t disclose) as they attempted to work unsuccessfully with the Nigerian authority, who not only didn’t do much to try to rescue Adichie’s father, but also requested the family to pay for ‘anti kidnap tracking equipment’. This, despite the award-winning writer’s considerable access to senior security officials who assured her of their full cooperation.

The Adichie’s experience brings to the fore the corruption and inadequacies of the Nigerian security system, which seems unable to cope with the demands of protecting a country with the security challenges that a diverse country like Nigeria has. If someone with access like the Adichie’s were left powerless in the face of such an atrocity by the State, one can only imagine the fate of families who cannot afford such huge ransoms and have no means of raising such an amount of money in a short space of time.

We can also forget about the chance that any of these men/women will ever be brought to justice. As long as the Nigerian security forces continues to fail the people it’s meant to protect, such criminals will continue to enjoy free reign and we can expect many more stories such as the Adichie’s.

Read the full article here.

 

Source: living12

TOMORROWLAND launches its first UK womenswear collection

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It may be Springtime here in the UK, but Japanese label TOMORROWLAND is making us wish for autumn with this dreamy new collection. The brand founded 30 years ago by Hiroyuki Sasaki is known for its unique designs and textures from fabrics sourced n Europe and Japan, which are all then created in-house with the help of Japanese craftsmen.

“It’s been over three decades since we started TOMORROWLAND,” says Hiroyuki. “Our goal has always been to be an international company, and this season felt like the perfect time to expand to the U.K.”

For its Autumn/Winter 2015 Collection, the brand explored with fabrics, shapes and colours that accentuate the comforting elements infused throughout the collection. Casual-meets-elegant styling is realized through muted neutrals that complement this season’s rich pops of colour. Loose and free-flowing silhouettes bring luxury and romance to belted waists and detailed tailoring. These contrasts are incorporated harmoniously, resulting in a collection that feels both sophisticated and organic. TOMORROWLAND’S Autumn/Winter 2015 collection for women is available at Liberty and Selfridges.

Click on the gallery to see the entire lookbook.

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Source: living12

Photo of the day- New MP Kate Osamor joins anti austerity protest during the Queen’s Speech

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As the new Conservative government announces sweeping cuts on public services, some Labour MP’s have taken a stand against austerity measures and are speaking up for the masses.

During Wednesday’s Queen Speech, new Edmonton MP Kate Osamor joined other Labour MPs including Clive Lewis, Jeremy Corbyn, Rachel Maskell, Richard Burgon and Rebecca Long- Bailey to protest against suts of public services.

Good to see our new MP’s settling in alright eh?

The protests which held outside the Houses of Parliament were part of a string of nationwide marches which went widely unreported in mainstream news with Manchester, Bristol and many more planned for June across the UK.

Source: living12

What we learnt when our beauty Editor hung out with Kim Kardashian’s Make up artist Mario Dedivanovic

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by Temitope Beesley- Beauty Editor

 

Last Saturday I attended the makeup masterclass by the world famous celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic in London. To a lot of people, that name doesn’t mean much, but in the world of make up artistry and beauty, this is the guy beauty experts and countless of followers around the world refer to as ‘Super Mario’ or the ‘god of make up artistry,‘ thanks to his hugely popular make up masterclasses (some of which people actually fly in from around the world to attend!) and his very handy You Tube videos watched by hundreds of thousands.

Mario Dedivanovic has made a name for himself over the years as the ‘Go to Glam Master’ in the beauty industry, and I’m not even over hyping him, he is just that good. Most notably, he’s the one responsible for Kim Kardashian’s  ever polished looks with the incredibly sculpted brows, cheeks and fluttering eyelashes- a role that has seen him catapulted to fame thanks to his effervescent muse.

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So the date was set for the 23rd of May as London’s beauty bloggers and make up artists descended on the British Transport Museum for ‘Super Mario’s’ beauty masterclass, even the huge price tag was not a deterrent. As workshops go, this one was fun, informative and detailed. Arguably ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS YEAR FOR ME.

We got to watch him do live demos, a Q&A about the Insider secrets of makeup and what’s so special about celebrity makeup.

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Mario was very frank and told us how he got started. He began his unlikely sojourn into the world of beauty at the age of 17, working as a perfume counter salesman at American high end departmental store Sephora. Women came to him asking for advice about makeup and he decided to help them out. Soon buzz started about this young man and his skills and not long after, he got himself an agent in the beauty industry.

 

Fast forward 15 years and he is one of the busiest makeup artists in the world, thanks to a high profile roll call of celebrity clients led of course by Kim Kardashian.

 Here are some tips and tricks I got from the event.

– He doesn’t use primers at all as it affects the performance of the foundation and doesn’t allow it to sink in properly.

– He prefers to use cream foundations as it blend easily for him.

– Colour correctors are a gimmick and they are there purely to make extra money for the cosmetic companies.

– Most makeup brands are exactly the same. Most are made in the same factories with the same ingredients just different packaging and price points.

– Don’t waste your money on super expensive lipsticks. The formula is pretty much the same as high street lipsticks.

– Contrary to popular belief, he has never used the banana powder on Kim Kardashian. The company only said this to make millions.

NATURAL CONTOUR IS BEST. No harsh lines.

 

PS: The goodie bag was epic! Probably worth over £250 with products from Ananstasia Beverly hills, MAC e.t.c. Definitely worth it.

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Source: living12

Nailing Naomi Campbell’s Met Gala look just got easier

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by Temitope Beesley- Beauty Editor

 

Loved Naomi Campbell’s luscious Met Gala Look? Here’s how to nail it without the glam squad!

 

Naomi Campbell turned 45 the other day (can you tell?!). She is undoubtedly one of the most influential and longest standing supermodels in the industry particularly in Britain. Known for her long, lean and healthy physique, sassy personality and her influence on the beauty and fashion industry, it’d be easy to think this black beauty was at least 10 years younger than she is as she looks absolutely incredible!

Naomi’s beauty looks are usually quite predictable, but for the Met Gala, she opted for a much bolder look with  a bold winged eyeliner and red lips that really highlighted her facial structure and made her face just pop. This is a very good look for the summer season, especially as we make our way into the bridal season.

It’s a versatile look that isn’t too loud, but will ensure you stand out looking beautiful whatever the event.

Naomi Campbell and date Lee Daniels at the MET Gala in Burberry. Photo: Newyorkdailynews.

Naomi Campbell and date Lee Daniels at the MET Gala in Burberry. Photo: Newyorkdailynews.

Here’s how to achieve the look.

– Start off with clean moisturised face. Let the moisturiser settle in for 15 minutes.

– I recommend kiehl’s ultra facial moisturizer £16

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– Followed by Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24Hr Foundation. It’s the best for flawless red carpet makeup- £29.50

 

– For dark under eye circle, use the foundation in a couple of shades lighter than your face. Let it dry then add another layer. Set with a translucent powder ( Ben Nye)

 

– To add definition to your face use a powder 2 shades darker than your face to contour for cheek bone and nose. Use a light hand; you don’t want lines on your face. I recommend the sleek face form £8

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– For the Blush, I’d recommend Mac cosmetics in raizin. It’s perfect for darker skin tones and warms the face up just enough.

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– On the lips I’d suggest ruby woo by MAC with chestnut lip liner around the perimeter to blend it in and give it definition.

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– The eyes are simple with just a bold liquid liner winged out dramatically for a full on glam effect. Apply the same raizin blush in the crease of the eye for a warm effect.

– Eyebrows are simple and subtle. I’d recommend the Anastasia Beverly hills medium brown brow wiz pencil £15.

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Set the whole face with Mac cosmetics mineralized powder in dark deep and set with NYX setting spray to keep you looking fresh all day.

Source: living12

Awilo Logomba collaborates with P Square for new track ‘Enemy Solo’

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Ever since this collaboration featuring Congolese superstar Awilo Logomba and Nigerian Afrobeats stars P Square dropped, there’s been a lot of chatter in anticipation of the video and now it’s here.

The official video for the track ‘Enemy Solo’, was directed by Clarence Peters with choreography by Nigeria’s dance queen Kaffy alongside CEO  dancers’ Ezinne Asiugo.

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It’s not the best work we’ve seen from Peters, but it’s a dance track, who needs the video anyway?

See some behind the scenes photos from the video shoot below. Photos courtesy Michael Tubes.

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Source: living12

What role do women in Nigeria play in the country’s future? More importantly, what’s culture got to do with it?

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Harvard Professor Joanna Lipper’s film, The Supreme Price, follows the story of the late Kudirat Abiola- Wife of the late M.K.O Abiola. A successful businessman, politician, philanthropist and the acclaimed winner of the pivotal June 12 elections which shaped the future of Nigeria.

In 1993, Nigeria elected M.K.O. Abiola as president in a historic vote that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after, the election was annulled and a military coup brought General Sani Abacha into power. M.K.O Abiola was imprisoned and his wife, Kudirat, took over the leadership of the pro-democracy movement. She organized rallies and the longest oil workers strike in Nigerian history, winning international attention for the Nigerian struggle against human rights violations perpetrated by the military dictatorship. Because of this work, she too became a target and was assassinated in 1996.

The film’s Director, Joanna Lipper elegantly dovetails past and present as she tells this story through the eyes of their eldest daughter, Hafsat Abiola, who was about to graduate from Harvard when her mother was murdered. Her father died in prison two years later.

The Supreme Price is a stark exploration of the courage of women like Kudirat, and the struggle that women face in Nigeria’s society today.

We caught up with the filmmaker during the European premiere of the film at the Raindance Film Festival in London and we were bowled over by her passion for women’s rights and the role of film as a platform for getting women seen and heard in the cultural minefield that is Africa.

NL: What inspired you to make a film about Kudirat Abiola?

JL: I was fortunate to meet Hafsat soon after she’d graduated from Harvard. We had both been at Harvard University as students, but we hadn’t met until a few years later. When I first met her, her organisation- Kudirat Abiola Initiative for Democracy (KIND), was still in its infancy. I was so impressed by her composure, her resilience and courage that I followed the evolution of this NGO. When I went for the black heritage festival in Nigeria in 2010, I visited the NGO and I remembered it from when she’d started it from the beginning a few years back. Just building an NGO from scratch is challenging and in particular, this was soon after the transitioning from Military rule to civilian rule after she had been in exile for so long. For her to go back to a country where she lost her parents and experienced all those horrible things and then build something like that and see it grow was amazing. It was really that experience of seeing that happen over time and going from this place myself of incredible sadness after hearing the story for the first time, to this place where I saw incredible hope for Nigeria through this story that sparked this deep curiosity in the future of Nigeria. I’m always interested as a filmmaker in learning from my subjects. When I start a film I don’t have something that I want to prove or an idea that I want to illustrate in the film. What usually inspires me to make a film is that the subjects have interested me so much that I want to learn about the place and learn about their experiences so being able to do that through this film was a process of learning for me.

Hafsat Abiola. Photo credit: Joanna Lipper

Hafsat Abiola. Photo credit: Joanna Lipper

NL: So what was your experience like filming in Nigeria and how long did it take?

JL: I made the film over a period of four years. Travelling to Nigeria at different moments allowed me see Hafsat evolve from running the Kudirat Initiative for democracy to then being  appointed as a special adviser in Ogun state. I would say the experience I got from filming in Nigeria was really positive, because I was able to work with a Nigerian team and I was able to really see and be a part of Nigeria that would never have been accessible to me. You know, within the structure of the Abiola  family compound in Ikeja, but then also going out into Ogun state when Hafsat got her political appointment and seeing that region too. Going out and filming at night was really fascinating to me. Just the beauty and the energy and the sound scape and the colours was great. It was really a way of finding a poetry for the film and finding the vocabulary for the film and all that was as a result of my experience about being there, but also as a result of feeling comfortable there, and being immersed there.

NL: It’s interesting you mentioned you don’t have a point to prove when you start a documentary. In the documentary, you were very direct in showing women in different spheres of life in Nigeria and there were some stark scenes of the struggles women go through in the country. What was going through your mind while you were experiencing that?

JL: I was definitely interested in filming about women from a wide spectrum. I wanted to show women from elite circumstances like Hafsat, but also women in other circumstances that are really in a place where the government is not providing for their needs. The government is not providing for their most basic rights to safe delivery and the maternal mortality rates are abysmal, so I was interested in capturing that side of Nigeria. Not just the side of those who have privilege, but also to look at the universal theme in the story. Because even when there was privilege, there was still oppression. There was oppression within the home and there was pressure from the government and there was violence. You could say that these are two separate spheres and they don’t overlap, but what I think the film is trying to say is that these problems transcend class and they transcend economic status, they happen to women in Nigeria and they have to be looked at.

I think the women in the film, like Dr Joe Odumakin are in positions where for so many years, they’ve been speaking about their thoughts and risking their lives to do that. What the film does is to take the women that have been willing to take those risks and give them an even broader international platform. So that what they’ve been saying at voter education rallies and behind closed doors now suddenly has the weight it should have, which is its demanding an international response and attention. At the same time, the film shows the women who aren’t speaking; you know, the silent shots of women watching, of women walking, of market women. So I was trying to show; who are the women involved in this fight? Who are the ones speaking? Who are the ones not? And when you look at women in Nigeria in general, you see a population (at least I did as a foreigner coming in) that is incredibly visible. I mean, the way they dress is so beautiful, their presence is so powerful. In a way there’s this intrinsic power and film is a unique medium that can capture that. It’s the juxtaposition of the power that is unveiled in the film and the reality of oppression on ground that is preventing that power from being revealed.

NL: One of the reasons women are oppressed in Nigeria is partly due to our culture. How do you think this documentary could inspire women in Africa to balance personal ambition against cultural demands?

JL: While I was in Nigeria I spoke to Amy Oyekunle, who is the Executive Director of KIND about this same question. They’ve come up with this term called ‘Transformational leadership’. This, they believe is going to bring about change in the way women think, but they’re saying it has to be a psychological transformation in the understanding of what makes women of value. The question is, are you of value because of the supporting role you play providing for your family or being a wife? Also, the incredible role that women play in Nigeria as farmers, the reproductive and productive role they’re expected to play. There is a lot of physical labour involved as well, so I think the process of having that sense of integrity that says, ‘I want to be true to myself and what I think is of value to me’ is really important.

One of the things I think that’s really impressive about Kudirat Abiola, comes during one moment in the film. She says “Hafsat, if you could only see what I am doing now, you will be so proud of me”, and Hafsat said, “I’ve always been proud of you”. So, the idea being that she was embarrassed that she didn’t go to college while her daughter was in Harvard, she felt she never did enough. I feel like that was such a poignant and painful moment, because again it brings up this question: Can women just be valued for who they are? Not only what they do and what they accomplish? I think Kudirat felt that this public role that she took on and the struggle that she had, she sacrificed her life for it and she sacrificed her life for Nigeria at the same time. When Hafsat was growing up, she saw the personal sacrifices she was making to stay in the marriage and she gave her children the opportunity to be educated in the US. The title, The Supreme Price is not only about Martyrdom, although that is the central reference, it’s about the personal sacrifices on a daily basis that women have to make. Hafsat is living away most of the time from her family and Kudirat had to do the same thing in order for Hafsat to get educated in the US. You see all the sacrifices that are made along the way and then the question is why? We have to see if there is a way to change that patriarchal structure and make it so that less sacrifices have to be made.

NL: Do you think we have a lack of female role models in Nigeria?

JL: I think there are a lot of role models,  but I don’t think that they have the right medium like film that allows them to be widely accessible and seen by other women in Nigeria and around the world. The medium of film is taking the everyday role model that exists in every community. I think it’s a question of identifying them and giving them a platform, whether it’s through film, through a website or short video. Giving them a platform to have influence and to be accessible. I think the question of what makes someone really accessible is really important. Seeing someone at a rally from a distance, yes, they can be interesting and they can make a speech, but do you know their personal compromises or their inner battles?

I think that the capacity of film to influence how young girls are able to access role models and feel closer to them cannot be overemphasised and I think films are crucial for this, which is why I hope this film will service that. To be able to bring someone who could be seen as a role model, by the fact that she’s made bold controversial decisions and maintained her own integrity.

NL: Kudirat Abiola is one of the few Nigerian women who took risks by coming out to speak against the military government and ultimately paid the supreme price. Do you think young girls and women in Nigeria today would be prepared to take that risk given what happened to Kudirat?

JL: I think the film would do the opposite of discouraging girls to take risks and speak up. The message of the film is quite the opposite and I think that’s why Hafsat has dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights and ensuring their voices are heard- She couldn’t let the military win. In any of these conflicts all over the world, often times when civilian rule takes over, the situation of women doesn’t improve, even though they played a key role in overtaking the dictatorship and risked their lives, they’re status doesn’t improve. Their representation in elected political offices doesn’t improve, so this is now the current fight to be fought. I think the issue is not will women and girls be willing to run? I think the question is can the structure change enough that the ones that want to can be empowered to. It’s not just that there aren’t people available to do it, it’s more about taking the women who want to do it and getting them to the next level.

Joanna Lipper’s film ‘The Supreme Price’ is out in UK cinemas now.

 

 

*This interview was initially published in the Winter/14 issue of Naija Living magazine.

Source: living12

Here’s why Nigerians are crushing on the new president’s daughter Zahra Buhari

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Her dad has been recently elected as the new president of the world’s most populous nation but as Zahra Buhari makes her way back to Nigeria from the UK where she lives, all eyes are on her and not her dad and here’s why.

Zahra was on the front line of her father’s very successful presidential campaign with some crediting her for helping to amp up her father’s appeal to Nigeria’s cool, and social media savvy youths.

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She was also very vocal in her criticism of the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, tweeting on many occasions that her father Muhammadu Buhari would bring much needed ‘change’ to the country.

President Buhari arrives Nigeria ahead of tomorrow's inauguration, flanked by Zahra Buhari Photo: Twitter/Bayo Omoboriowo

President Buhari arrives Nigeria ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration, flanked by Zahra Buhari and her brother.Photo: Twitter/Bayo Omoboriowo

Apart from her ‘political activism’, she’s being adored by a growing number of Nigerian men for her good looks and great fashion sense. As her father strolled through the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Abuja, Zahra opted for a casual chic look in a black blazer and print trousers accessorised with cat eye glasses.

Photo: Zahra Buhari accompanies her der father President Muhammadu Buhari as he arrives Nigeria. Credit: Twitter/Bayo Omoboriowo

Photo: Zahra Buhari accompanies her der father President Muhammadu Buhari as he arrives Nigeria. Credit: Twitter/Bayo Omoboriowo

Is she a socialite? A girl’s rights activist? Budding politician? Or Fashionista? We can’t quite make up our minds yet, but something tells us she’ll bring a certain glitz to her father’s term in government and we can’t wait to see how her role will play out.

 

Source: living12

Three things Nigerians want President Muhammadu Buhari to sort- Power, corruption and unemployment

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It’s only a few hours to the inauguration of Nigeria’s president elect General Muhammadu Buhari into office on Friday, the 29th May. Foreign dignitaries including the US Secretary of State John Kerry have already arrived in Nigeria ahead of the celebrations and the man of the moment Buhari himself has been photographed arriving the country from London flanked by his family.

As Nigerians begin to look forward to what has been termed a ‘new beginning’ in Nigeria’s future, many have already begun to express what they feel the President should tackle first amongst the country’s myriad of problems. Chief among the list is Power. Nigeria, despite being the biggest economy in Africa still suffers from crippling power supply despite the privatisation of the sector and various reforms by successive governments, constant electricity is still an elusive theory in a country littered with generators and inverters.

In the past week alone, some areas of the country reportedly went without electricity for up to 72 hours after oil marketers went on strike over pay disputes under the current government.

Corruption has always been a huge problem for Nigeria and General Buhari is seen as a strong hand who can clean up the country and get rid of corrupt officials. How well he’d be able to achieve this considering how entrenched the problem is at all levels in the country will be a huge test of his administrations success.

Youth unemployment, education, the missing Chibok girls and regulation of the country’s oil sector are also top amongst the list of concerns for many Nigerians, as seen in this cross section of tweets on the BBC Africa timeline. The news organisation asked its followers to tweet what they wanted the President to focus on first during his first few months in office using the hashtag #dearbuhari.

It’s safe to say that if the new president only sorts out the country’s power sector at the very least, he may easily go down as the most popular leader ever to have ruled Africa’s most populous nation.

Source: living12

Coming to a magazine near you- Ciara for Roberto Cavalli

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Singer channels her inner goddess for new campaign photos for Italian brand

 

Singer Ciara has been unveiled as the new face of Roberto Cavalli’s Fall/Winter ’15 campaign. In the stunning new ads, the 29-year-old poses against an ethereal backdrop with turquoise coloured walls and an artificial sand dune.

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A statement by the brand describes the ads as one which “takes place in a surreal kingdom where incredible dresses come alive wore by the beautiful”. Ciara was apparently chosen for the campaign because of ‘her beauty and her hint of wildness’.

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Source: living12

Powerful Documentary chronicles the under reported role of women in Nigeria’s pro democracy movement

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When you see the caption “The Supreme Price” as title of a film what comes to your mind?  A question pops up, the price for what? You ponder, what does it mean? Is it the willingness to sacrifice all for a change to happen or the willingness to be positively radical in ones fight for democracy? 

The Supreme Price is a documentary by award winning Director Joanna Lipper. It tells the story of the  pro democracy movement in Nigeria, by using the account of the life of MKO Abiola and his wife Kudirat Abiola through his family and other notable people at the heart of Nigeria’s fight for democracy in the 90’s.

It tells of the 1993 election where Nigeria elected MKO Abiola as the new civilian president in a historically fair and none violent election. He had promised to put and end to corruption and poverty. This was the opportunity of a lifetime for the Nigerian people to end 23 years of Military dictatorship and send Nigeria into a Democratic era.

However, the election was annulled by the military who did not want to end their rule and General Sanni Abacha took the reigns of power. Shortly after, Abiola was imprisoned after he called upon the present Government to step down and allow his presidency to begin. His wife Kudirat Abiola an uneducated woman took over the leadership of the pro democracy movement, leading strikes , protests and rallies against her husband’s imprisonment and the annulment. She proved the patriarchal society that she a woman could mobilize people and bring about a positive change.

Kudirat became a torn to the Nigerian Military government and was assassinated in 1996. Joanna Lipper skillfully fits together both past and present sequences with interviews narrating events through Hafsat Abiola and her siblings with other noted speakers including the likes of Wole Soyinka and Dr J Okei – Odumakin who were also in the struggle for a better Nigeria.

At the time of her mother’s murder Hafsat was just about to graduate from Harvard. her father later dies in prison under suspicious circumstances. We see her return to Nigeria after many years in exile to continue her parents fight with a lot of determination. She was resolved to take the baton of leadership of the pro democracy movement to see her parents vision of a democratic Nigeria come alive and to see that the supreme price they paid was not in vain. She opens up about her fears coming back not knowing what to expect. But she becomes a voice for women who have been oppressed she wanted change and fights for it. She to too pays the supreme price by leaving her children with her husband in Belgium to take a government post in Nigeria.

In the film, Joanna gives Hafsat Abiola and her siblings free reign, peeling back the veil on the Enigma who was MKO Abiola and his life; the greatness he could have let Nigeria achieve and the legacy he left behind. We are told of their struggles their pain their fight for Justice their fight to release Nigeria from the hands of Military dictatorship, and the ultimate price of death paid by MKO Abiola and Kudirat.

the supreme price

The Supreme Price explores politics in Nigeria as the entry point to wealth in a country in which a tiny percentage are live like kings largely because of the access to the wealth of the nation. She takes us through the shambolic politics of Nigeria. From coup to coup military ruler to military ruler the every dangerous chess game placed by various Nigerian government.

The film is not about the Abiola family and their trials tribulations and snuggles but about the people of Nigeria, the violence corruption and oppression that Nigerians continually face even till today 22 years after the said election was annulled, The country is no better today that it was before. Through the Abiola family we see the political instability cultural diversity military violence and heavy handiness of thegovernment. A Patriarchal culture which does not value women, they have rights but are denied profusely.  We see her Kudirat Abiola’s  and her struggle as an uneducated becoming a hero and a role model for justices did for women.

Joanna allows the a natural flow she pulls at the hearts strings of the audience. Kudirats children are honest, truly revealing in all accounts they give. The film is still very relevant today with the chaos that Nigeria is in. Here’s hoping it will put a mirror to face of the Nigerian people and get them to act now or face being in shambles in another 22 years.

The Supreme Price is out in UK Cinemas now.

Source: living12

A step too far? Company advertises ‘weave loans’ for black women who can’t afford it

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OK, this is actually for real.

An American company called ‘The Weave Loans Store’ has launched a marketing campaign aimed at black women who need a financial raise to buy a weave.

Black women around the world are estimated to spend millions on their hair each year with preferences ranging from natural hair to weaves of all types- Brazilian, Peruvian, Indian and Malaysian in curly, straight and everything in between.

For black women who choose to wear weaves, the sums can add up really quickly with one bundle of premium 100% virgin hair selling for prices from £40 and above. The rise in popularity of these premium virgin weaves has seen a huge spike in demand for them as more and more women strive to keep with the trend.

Considering this, it was only a matter of time before companies like these sprung up offering cash strapped women a supposed easy way out, but is it really?

From the ad, the company makes it look easy for anyone to obtain credit to buy a weave even without giving much information about what the requirements are or what the repayments will be. Many of these fast credit companies here in the UK have faced mounting criticism over their extortionate interest rates and targeting vulnerable people who are already facing financial difficulty.

Is this something we should be cool about? Should we be able to get quick loans to buy the latest premium virgin hair we’ve been lusting over for months? What do you think?

Source: living12

Summer time fashion- 21 ways to wear the Ankara print skirt

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The weather is finally getting warm and you’re starting to feel perky enough to want to try out wearing some colours. If you’re after something unique, vibrant and ‘colourful’, why not go for an Ankara print skirt?

Far from being the sole preserve of black women over 40 or the dowdy African housewife, Ankara prints now come in various innovative designs and even women black and white in the west have gotten in on the act with celebs from Beyoncé to Rihanna all having been photographed in the popular trend.

They’re also becoming more popular thanks to their versatility as they can be paired with literally anything from a halter neck, crop top, formal shirt even to a leather jacket. This season, the high waist pencil skirt seems to be the favourite with hems just skimming below the knee, while the flirty and maxi Ankara skirt come a close second.

If you’re wary about finding the right seamstress to fit you for a bespoke piece, there are a number of online stores like Melangemode and etsy that have popped up over the years who stock everything from African print skirts, to shoes and accessories, and most deliver straight to your door too making the whole process hassle free.

If you’re after style inspiration, there a number of Instagram accounts you should be following who feature women wearing all kinds of amazing and creative African print designs like everydayafricanprints, africanprintdesigns and fashionghanarocks.

We’ve scouted some of this season’s must have designs below.

Click on the gallery to see more images.

Photo credit: Instagram

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Source: living12

Claire Sulmers shows off her stunning pins in shorts and African print top

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Fashion Bomb Daily editor in chief Claire Sulmers is giving us serious leg envy. The fashion blogger/globetrotter recently showed off her enviable, well toned calves in a pair of Topshop shorts and Ifescloset African print top.

Claire Sulmers. Photo: Claire Sulmers/Instagram

Claire Sulmers. Photo: Claire Sulmers/Instagram

The fashionista has also putting on a leggy display as she holidayed in Trinidad and Tobago where she’s part of a judging panel for the countries fashion show.

Photo: Claire Sulmers/Instagram

Photo: Claire Sulmers/Instagram

It’s so refreshing to see a sista who isn’t a ‘perfect size 8′ werking it and being confident in her own skin. It goes to prove that no matter what size you are, you’re beautiful.

We’re so hitting the gym.

Source: living12

Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala wins first BBC women’s footballer of the year award

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Nigeria forward and Liverpool ladies FC striker Asisat Oshoala has become the first woman ever to win the BBC women’s footballer of the year award.

The award voted for by members of the public worldwide saw the 20-year-old beat off competition from the likes of  Veronica Boquete (Spain), Nadine Kessler (Germany), Kim Little (Scotland) and Marta (Brazil) to take home the trophy.

The win rounds up a fantastic year for the Ikorodu born striker who also won the golden boot and golden balls award at last year’s U-20 women’s tournament. Her stellar performance also helped the Nigerian women’s national team qualify for the upcoming World Cup in Canada next month.

Asisat became the first African female to sign to the UK women’s league after she signed with Liverpool Ladies in January this year. Oshoala said of her win, “I am extremely proud to have won this award as it is a real honour for both myself and my family.

“Just to be nominated against such world-class players was a real privilege, but to have won the award is absolutely fantastic.

“Last year was an incredible year as I managed to help Nigeria U20s get to the U20 World Cup final, as well as being named African Women’s Footballer of the Year, so this award tops off a great year.

“I would like to thank everyone that voted for me, with a special mention to my supporters in Nigeria, including my previous club River Angels and my current club, Liverpool Ladies.”

 

Source: living12

Preview the new bridal collection by Haute Couture designer Herve Leger

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As bridal season is upon us (and we know how our Naija brides love their wedding dresses!), we can envisage throngs of brides heading to London in search of the latest bridal trends and dresses. Right in the nick of time, Herve Leger the label behind the body con bandage dresses have now introduced their first bridal collection.
A brief history on the label, it was created in 1985 by Herve Leger pioneering the bandage dresses which became famous in 1999; people called them feasts of technical virtuosity. The dresses were made to Haute Couture standard, each band of the dress was shaped and mounted individually giving the wearer a coca cola type body of a 1950’s pin up bombshell.
Herve Leger achieved this effect with curve cleaving elastic bandages, using materials traditionally associated with foundation garments to create bandage dresses that would mold and shape the wearer’s figure with its signature bandage-like strips. He defied tradition by molding  his fabric to the female form, instead of draping and cutting like all other designers.The dress struck a chord with women who wanted to relish and celebrate their bodies and sexuality,  Herve Leger made being curvy in fashion again. Celebrities like JLo, Beyonce, Kim Kasdashian , Dita Von Teese, are all huge fans of the Body Con dress.
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Now in its 30th year, Herve Leger is launching it’s own bridal collection. The idea came when a lot of clients would come in to the boutiques asking for body con dresses in white but with a little more embellishment. It’s not hard to see why brides would consider taking this route with the average wedding dress costing up to £5000 talk less of a Haute Couture wedding dress that can go up to £20,000, taking weeks or even months to make.

After all that expense and stress to get the perfect dress, it’s worn for one day and one day alone and put back in its garment bag and packed away in the attic somewhere never to be seen again. What if you could get a gorgeous Haute Couture dress from between £1300 to £2500 that won’t take months and months to get ready or wait for, but could be bought in a few hours and could be  worn again and again after the big day is done and dusted?

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This is the concept behind the brand’s wedding collection. Herve Leger in collaboration with Gina Foster and Aruna Seth invited the Naija Living team to an exclusive unveiling of their new bridal collection for this season at their Knightsbridge store. The red carpet was rolled out and we were treated to Champagne and Canapés and little fluffy marshmallows to get us in the mood whilst models walked around in the most gorgeous figure hugging dresses you have ever seen. We were greeted by the stunning store manager who showed us the collection which varied from short simple white body con dresses to long dresses with a heavy beading embellished all over. There is something for every bride in the collection as well as bridesmaids and mothers of the bride.
We also got to preview the bridal shoe collection from acclaimed designer Aruna Seth which would make for a great accessory to any wedding dress with their sparkling designs, while statement hats and fascinators by Gina Foster will add a touch of glam to that special day.
Aruna Seth shoes

Aruna Seth shoes

 For the full shopping experience, Herve Leger is at 29 Lowndes Street, Knightsbridge,
SW1X 9HX

Source: living12

Bank Holiday is more fun when Africa comes to London

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How did you spend your Bank Holiday? The Naija Living team spent it gallivanting round the capital as we dashed from one Afro event to another  during the long Bank Holiday Weekend (darn the organisers!).

First stop for us was CURLVOLUTION on Saturday which has arguably got to be one of the largest gatherings of the most fabulous black women with natural hair in Europe! There were so many amazing natural hair brands exhibiting as well as loads of natural hair inspiration (and fashion) which we’ll be bringing to you in due course. For now, we’ll share some of our favourite discoveries of the afternoon with you. We caught up with the lovely Nibi, founder of natural hair brand Kinky Apothecary who flew in from Nigeria with a stall full of goodies for the discerning naturalista. Our own beauty Editor Temitope Beesley who is also founder of popular haircare brand Mahogany Naturals was also on hand to speak to beauty bloggers and hand out some awesome tips for getting the best out of your natural hair.

The Fashion Fair team headed by the brand’a manager Connie Jackson were also on hand to give amazing makeovers, while American beauty blogger Felicia Leatherwood and Apprentice runner up Bianca Miller participated in some of the workshops.

Sunday AM saw us rocking up to Africa at Spitalfields which was like a minefield of all things African and beautiful. From fashion brands to interiors and accessories and who can forget the fabulous street food?! From the meat pies at Moyo London to the plantain flavoured cupcakes at Cupcakes by Esther and rounding off the tasting session with cinnamon flavoured Chin chin from Love Chin Chin. Africa at Spitalfields was arguably our favourite event this Bank Holiday weekend, there was far too much to see and do before we were whisked off to Islington for the Afro Hair & Beauty Show.

As expected, this year’s Afro Hair and Beauty Show was packed full of Britain’s best haircare and beauty brands, but that wasn’t all, we saw brands including fashion, media and even telecommunications at this year’s show as well as an array of goodie bags and amazing discounts, it was so much fun, we didn’t want to leave.

How did you spend your Bank Holiday weekend? Tell us if you attended any of these events and what you loved most about them!

Check out our gallery for some photos.

Nibi from Kinky Apothecary at Curlvolution.

Nibi from Kinky Apothecary at Curlvolution.

Kinky Apothecary stall at Curlvolution with wax print accessories from Ollie Studio.

Kinky Apothecary stall at Curlvolution with wax print accessories from Ollie Studio.

Curlvolution: Naija Living Beauty Editor Temitope Beesley and beauty blogger Natural Belle

Curlvolution: Naija Living Beauty Editor Temitope Beesley and beauty blogger Natural Belle

Plantain flavoured cupcakes at Cupcakes by Esther

Plantain flavoured cupcakes at Cupcakes by Esther

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Black Betty Boo greeting cards at Africa at Spitalfields

Black Betty Boo greeting cards at Africa at Spitalfields

African print baby accessories from House of Loulee.

African print baby accessories from House of Loulee.

Black kids dolls at Africa at Spitalfields

Black kids dolls at Africa at Spitalfields

Ankara shoes at Africa at Spitakfields

Ankara shoes at Africa at Spitakfields

Ankara earrings from Tirivamwe

Ankara earrings from Tirivamwe

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Lace and silk cushions from OT&O interiors.

Lace and silk cushions from OT&O interiors.

African print toys from House of Loulee.

African print toys from House of Loulee.

Girlie rugs designs from OT&O interiors.

Girlie rugs designs from OT&O interiors.

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Source: living12

Hot Nigerian media couple Toolz and Tunde Demuren get engaged on holiday

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As many Nigerians lament the lack of fuel, electricity and quite frankly good reasoning on the part of the government, two of the countries best know names in media were beginning a new chapter as EME boss Tunde Demuren finally proposed to his radio presenter girlfriend and all round darling Toolz (Tolu Oniru).

The famous couple who’ve been dating since 2013 got engaged while holidaying at a resort in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic.

From photos we’ve seen circulating the internet, Mr Demuren looks rather shy as he put a ring on it, while Toolz of course looked like she was over the moon.

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Now, all we have to do is wait for the wedding, which we’re sure will be well worth it. Congrats to the couple!

Source: living12