Fried Plantains and Sauteed Shrimp

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Fried plantains.. when it’s not too soft and soggy or too hard (unripe plantain)…..Is just so nice!

It’s very easy to make.

  • Simply get your ripe plantains (not green and not too ripe).
  • Peel the plantains and slice with a clean knife. Place the sliced plantains in a bowl. I usually like sprinkling some cinnamon powder in my plantains but you don’t have to.
  • In a pan, pour some frying oil (Olive oil, Vegetable oil) and heat the oil.
  • When well heated, gently put in the sliced plantains. Flip each side once brown (as brown as you want) and your plantain is ready !

The sautéed shrimp

  • Get your jumbo shrimp; washed.
  • In a pan, pour a little oil (You can use Olive oil or the cooking spray oil)
  • Then add the shrimps, crushed red pepper, minced garlic, parsley and seasoning and stir occasionally until the shrimp is slightly brown.

Voila! Your fried plantains and sautéed shrimp!

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Interivew with Victoria Odu..Founder/Owner of The Glit Inc.

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             Victoria S Odu

She is the CEO/Co-Founder of The Glit Inc; a company that provides PR services, lifetsyle networking, wardrobe & image consulting. She is the beautiful Miss Victoria Odu.

  • Tell me a bit about yourself

My name is Victoria S. Odu. I was born and raised on the east coast in Maryland to Nigerian parents. I am the CEO/Co-Founder of The Glit Inc. PR and entertainment is my passion. Aside from PR and marketing, I also do hair, enjoy music, traveling and interior decorating.

  • How was Glit PR born?

Well the Glit PR was birthed under an umbrella company that I started in 2009 with my partner and best friend called the Glit Inc which consists of, of course the PR agency, a lifestyle networking and entertainment website (TheGlitInc.com), and a Wardrobe and Image Consulting Service.

The company was started while I was working for a film production company where I did PR. Through networking and building relationships with people in the industry, I came across several people that either were looking for PR representation or knew of someone who was looking for it. At that time my business partner and I had just decided to create The Glit Inc as a whole and it only made sense to start a PR agency under it.

  • Did your educational background prepare each of you for this?

My educational background definitely did contribute to my preparation of owning and managing The Glit PR. I got my undergrad degree in PR which gave me a lot of insight and knowledge on the field and after that, I got my MBA which helped a lot with the business aspect of it.

  • Most people shy away from working with friends, but you two started out as friends before being business partners, how has this worked out so far and how do you make this work for you both as business partners and as friends?

It was definitely challenging at times, just balancing out and learning to separate friendship from business, and agreeing on certain aspects but I think because we have that foundation as true friends, we always find our way back to a middle ground where things make sense for the both of us. We definitely had to learn each other as far as how one another works on a professional level and deals with things under pressure, etc. It definitely takes trust and a big one is compromise. I believe that any relationship whether its business or personal takes compromise, and I think that’s where we really found the balance.

  • One of the favorite projects you have worked on?

Wow…I would have to say our first. It wasn’t the easiest or best experience that’s for sure, but definitely the most memorable and meaningful project. Reason being is that it was our first, we got to learn what we don’t and do like, our strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly laugh at our mistakes and learn from them. We also bonded on another level. It was also a charity event for small business owners in this economy. That really hit home for us.

  • You are also the VP communications and PR of Rose by Vanessa Jean, what other things are you involved in and how do you handle the responsibilities of all that…including that of The Glit? What would you say are the perks and peeves for you?

I am involved in a few special event projects that will be taking place next year, of course the Glit Inc, and when I can, I still do hair along with other personal things outside of work including friend and family events. I handle the responsibilities of all of those things by prioritizing and time management. When my work load is really heavy and I am working on a major project and I know I still have a ton of other things to do, I just mentally prepare myself for no sleep. I’m used to it now. I also have an intern who is a major blessing especially when I am working on major projects.

Some of the perks of this industry are of course the VIP treatment…Lol JK. No, I would say the perks for me are traveling and meeting so many people. I love traveling and seeing different places, and expanding my network. The peeves are the long nights, and people expecting the unrealistic. But it is something that I have learned to get use to and deal with.

  • Being in the PR business requires one to constantly be up to date with current events, current trends, how do you stay current and make sure you are well informed?

Social media definitely. We are in a time where almost everything is becoming digital. Even if I am not tweeting, I still make sure I keep up with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and all of the other social media sites. I have news apps on my phone that update me daily, and I also am always checking out the fashion, entertainment and PR blogs.

  • Lastly, what has changed in the field of PR and what tips do you have for anyone interested in going into public relations as well as one day having their own PR Company like you?

I think with PR the one thing that has changed is the use of social media, and the digital and technology transition. Everything is digital, people connect and network through social media networks for the most part and definitely through technology. Most things are done electronically and people communicate through email, Skype, social media etc.

To anyone looking to get into PR and owning their own business, I would say definitely, stay up to date with social media, get involved with PR groups, surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing, build relationships with people, expand your network, and don’t be shy about interning and shadowing someone who’s done it before you or is currently a successful PR Professional.

I interned while in undergrad and that really helped a lot with the hands on aspect of PR and getting that experience. Constantly educate yourself. Don’t ever think you know it all or know too much about this industry. You definitely have to study this industry and that doesn’t necessarily mean going to school for it. There’s a world of knowledge about PR and owning your own business online for free. There are also a lot of PR professionals and business owners who’ve written great books that are definitely helpful.

What I found that has worked for me is keeping God at the forefront, consistently learning the new and just going for it!

   The Beautiful Victoria Odu

In His Time It Will Be Beautiful…

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You see that beautiful mansion over there….It took months of preparation, laying the right foundation, getting the right plan, the workers..

You see that big strong tree…..It took years from a small plant to this, to be deeply rooted, its roots extending far beyond its trunk..

You see that beautiful painting….It took time to capture the image, to draw, to paint, to get the right strokes, right angle…

You see my dear…Everything takes Time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says “To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die. A time to plant and a time to pluck what has been planted. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to break down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to cast away stones and a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to gain and a time to lose. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to sew. A time to keep silence and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time of war and a time of peace”

No one enjoys the time of weeping, the time of laboring but we all must go through these times.

A student might complain about the tons of assignments, having a lot to study but you have to go through those years to get an education, a degree..to have a good job in the future

A junior worker might complain of the years he puts in and complain about starting in the junior level but before you get to the top, you have to start somewhere and work your way up there.

An artist struggling to get his album out there, trying and trying might complain about the struggle but even now successful people like TI, Jay Z, Beyonce..actors like Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington…all started by singing in their local churches, rapping for family, local areas, acting in small films. Before they had their breakthrough.

Sometimes when we are going through the famine, through the war, through the rough times, through the planting season, through the weeping, through the waiting, through the pain. We think God has abandoned us. But I tell you, He has not. He never did and He never will. His timing is just not the same as our timing.

Remember the story of Lazarus’s death. When the people wanted Christ to come quickly but He took his time…even till Lazarus was dead and wrapped. Then He came and said “ Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43). Remember the story of Christ turning water to wine, when His mother wanted him to hurry and do something, He said “…My Hour has not yet come” (John 2:4) and when He finally turned it into wine, the master of the feast was indeed very pleased with the wine saying they saved the best wine for last…

God never leaves us…Actually we are the ones who leave him. He said His thoughts towards us are of good and not of evil to bring us to an expected end (Jer 29:11). If you know the story of Job (if you don’t please read it), Job was a man who had so much but it was all taken away from him. Yet in the time of pain, of agony. He did not curse God. He still kept his faith in God and when the time had passed, God blessed him with much more than he initially had.

God is a God on Time, He is a God of order….Just remember His time is not always our time. He does not work on our schedule. His ways are not our ways. Ecl 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end”.

When a child is born, before he becomes an adult, he goes through certain stages…adolescence, becomes a teenager…Every stage before he becomes an adult has its struggles but all is needed to become a wise adult. So also for every stage in our lives, we must overcome its struggles.

So when you going through the tough time, the pain, the struggle, the rain…Remember a rainbow is seen after the rain, not after the sunshine. Also stay steadfast in your faith In God knowing that IN HIS TIME HE MAKES ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL and will surely make yours beautiful when it is Time…

Please note: new site is http://www.lolaosun.com new posts will only be posted on the new site. Thank You
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VOTE!! 2012 ELECTIONS! VOTE!!

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VOTE!! VOTE!!! 2012 ELECTIONS!!

Again I say, go Vote!!.

You know at weddings when the priest is about to join the couple, he says “If there is anyone against this union, say now or forever hold your peace..” Well my dear citizens of the United States….I say “Vote now for who you want as president of the United States or hold your peace for the next 4 years”.

If you can vote, go out and vote!

In the last few weeks, we have seen both presidential candidates challenge each other at the debates. You heard what each had to say about their goals for the nation, policies, how they intend to solve different issues…

Vote wisely! Know the right information! Do not be deceived! Know who you are voting for into office!

Education! Student Loans! Jobs! Homes! Security…and more…All depends on who is in office!!

Vote Wisely!

GO VOTE NOW OR HOLD YOUR PEACE FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS

Please note: new site is http://www.lolaosun.com new posts will only be posted on the new site. Thank You

Yewizzy: She Loves The Finer Things…

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Ladies!!!! It’s your girl Yewande… Miss Yewizzy of She Loves The Finer Things… I got in contact with her months ago after seeing some of her very well explained step by step tutorials for some really nice patterns/styles to paint your nails. It’s been fun doing my nails with different patterns since then. I didn’t want to be selfish and keep this to myself so the beautiful Yewizzy has allowed me share this with you today! Lucky you!!

;

Beauty and Fashion trends are constantly changing, new things added to old things to revamp them…Years ago, ladies painted their nails with one just color but today there are so many different amazing ways for you to have fun with more than one color on your nails.

For step by step instruction on these beautiful patterns….For more nail art work….go to She Loves The Finer Things http://www.shelovesthefinerthings.com/

Please note: new site is http://www.lolaosun.com new posts will only be posted on the new site. Thank You

Interview: Lani and Hazee

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Lani and Hazee (Hazlan)

Lani and Hazee, together they make Hazlan…the lovely husband and wife and amazing parents of an adorable son….

  • How long have you been married?

H: Married May 2011 so that makes it a year

  • What qualities attracted you to your partner?

L: The simplicity; she is very simple, she is sincere, she has been sincere with me right from day one of our relationship with our long distance relationship. I was in Nigeria and she was here in the States. Her beauty, her dark skin color, she is hardworking, she is God-fearing, she is a good woman and she is an example of that woman the bible calls a virtuous woman.

H: There were qualities I saw in him that I liked but the long distance was right in my face that I could not really get to those qualities like I wanted to but I knew they existed but he was too far away. The qualities that I saw that I liked that made me pursue the long distance relationship are his relationship with God, He has a relationship with God, there is a difference between knowing God and having a relationship with God and that’s something I noticed, something that I admire and something I would like to have and I feel he can get me there. He is also very family oriented, he loves his family, loves to keep his family around him and that’s something I admire. He is also good looking and tall. He is very affectionate, very loving, very sincere, genuine and always open and honest with me, telling me how he feels, whether positive or negative. When I went to Nigeria for 2 ½ weeks, there wasn’t a day that passed by without him expressing his love for me and that sealed the deal; He showed me more affection than people that were at arm’s reach.

  • How has marriage changed your lives?

L: For me, I never thought I was going to get married at this age, but I told God I wanted my first child at 30 though I did not know how God was going to do it. I didn’t want to go into marriage and get out of it immediately after. My wife knows I like friendship; solid friendship leads to solid relationship which leads to solid marriage. I took my time to build that and I never believed I can be this happy with one woman. Marriage has really taught me a lot, patience, to forget about myself and always think about my wife, my family. Marriage has taught me to give my all, to make what is mine ‘ours’. It is teaching me to be faithful; not taught me but teaching.

H: Marriage has changed my life, because I have new priorities. My priorities is not work, me, its now my family and my husband.

  • Was your perception of marriage prior to being married the same as now being married?

H: I’m not going to paint the picture of marriage as one smooth ride, we are still doing a lot of learning about each other and that’s the perception you don’t really see until you are in marriage. You don’t see what people are learning about each other, so that understanding is just coming to light.

  • What do you do or what do you think is necessary to maintain marital happiness and success?

L: You need to understand what love is, you need to understand that love is team work and team says ‘together everyone achieves more’. You can achieve little by yourself but when both of you come together you achieve more. Like the bible says one will chase a thousand and two will chase ten thousand, so not even two thousand, it’s ten thousand. When you have a relationship with God, when you are close to God. Those are the two major tools. Getting close to God, understanding what God is, because God Himself is love. When you understand God really well, you get to understand your wife. As a man, you need to respect your woman, fear your woman, love her. See her as being beautiful everyday, because their body and system will change, after one baby, when they are 40, 60…they would look different. Things will change but you need to look for new and exciting ways to love. Make sure your marriage is exciting and not boring.

H: Love, communication and honesty. You have to be honest with each other, you have to communicate with each other; talk. Truth over harmony.

  • You have a 5 month old baby (going onto 6), how has that changed your lives individually and as a couple?

H: As a mommy, Adura (the baby) is like my second world because I have two babies. I’ve got the big baby and the little baby. I have two roles to play; a mother and a wife. Their demands, their needs are different and I still have to be a able to supply what they need and what they want. So the weight is not much but I am still coming into my role of giving them their wants, demands and still be ok, not stressed out. I am learning the role and loving the role.

L: It’s been an interesting journey having a child. Having a child is a thing of joy. He is very active, he loves what I love. I love music and he does too, he can’t do without it. I play music for him every morning. It’s a good experience and I know it’s not the end

  • Today we have a lot of people getting married and getting a divorce the next or get into marriage and relationships for the wrong reasons. What advice do you have for people who are going into relationships and/or marriage?

L: Like I said before, solid friendship leads to solid relationship and solid relationship leads to solid marriage. You have to know yourselves well. My wife and I have a game that we play called scruples and there are some questions she picks and she already knows what my response will be. And this came from the long friendship that we had to build. When the person is not your friend and you get married, when she makes a mistake, you would most likely leave the person or fight because you don’t even know yourselves. My advice is get to know yourselves very well, and if it’s not who you want, there is nothing in breaking up in a relationship (before you get married). You should also sit down and be able to talk about what you want, what you like and don’t like. As a man, you have to build in the woman what you want to see, teach your wife what you want to see in her. Don’t talk down at her. Be open. Marriage is an institution you get your certificate from day one but you never graduate from it, you keep learning every day. So enjoy it

H: It’s really about knowing the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. 6 months courting, dating is not enough if you want to spend the rest of your life with that someone. If you can’t be in the bathroom when they are there (pooping), then you are not ready for marriage. I’m sorry but these are things you have to do with your partner, you should be able to do with your partner, touch your partner and look at your partner in the weirdest scenarios and not even think twice about it. If you can’t do that then you are not ready. So it’s more than a year, more than 6 months. It’s really knowing that person. Those awkward things, you have to be comfortable with.

 

Isn’t he just adorable. Yes he is!

Interview: Mr O (Onome Ovwori)

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            Mr O aka Onome Ovwori

Some of you might have heard the song ‘Naija Go Better’ by Mr O. He is a musician who has released other songs such as ‘Mon Jade’ and ‘Iyawo Mi’ to name a few. You can follow him on twitter: MrO_Onome

  • Tell us a bit about yourself

I go by Mr O, coined from the first and last letter of my names Onome Ovwori (pronounced “owori”). I am from Delta State, Nigeria (but I reside in the United States). The third child of my parents. I am a husband, a father, an artist and a friend of God.

  • How did the journey of being an artist start for you? Was this always your dream?

Well I started playing the piano at about seven when my Dad bought it. I developed more interest as I grew older and I met people like Hezekiah Ezo, Bright Gain, Micheal Chidubem Ebere etc who shaped my musical ability. I also attended a brief course at MUSON (Musical Society of Nigeria). In the course of my musical journey, I have been privileged to play with and alongside various top Nigerian and American artists like Wunmi & Tunde Obe, Daddy Showley, Paul Play, Lagbaja, Kirk Franlin, Deitrick Haddon, Daniel Winans etc.

I have always loved music and I wouldn’t say I have always wanted to be an artist but I guess my love for the arts has brought me here today.

  • What genre would you say your type of music is?

Well, my preferred genre will be Jazz because of course, I play the piano but I’m diversifying into Afro-pop, hip-hop, R&B…so as to reach a broader audience. They say variety is a spice of life, so I am branching out and spreading my tentacles. I have always been in love with African rhythm and style so I always try to infuse it in whatever kind of music I do.

  • What was your first song?

Hmmmm, my first song was never recorded.. It wouldn’t make sense now if I did because I wrote it when I was a child. But my first recorded song was actually co-written with a good friend of mine, Akin Eboda. The song is titled ‘Iyawo Mi’. (You can check it out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i1qs8b3_z8 )

  • What inspires you when you start working on a new song?

Personally, for me I always get the music first (probably because I’m a musician) before I get the lyrics. I get inspired by anything, from current events like politics, something I see, someone I know, a beat I heard, something I don’t like, something I like etc.

  • Any artist(s) that has and still do influence you and your music?

Yeah I have several influences like Hugh Masekela, Wayman Tisdale, Fela Kuti, Art Alade, Oliver De Coque, Bright Chimezie, Ramsey Lewis, Russel Ferrante. That being said I also appreciate and follow the works of folks like Tuface, Tim Godfrey, Don Jazzy, Darey, Sammy Okposo, Jay Martin, Jumbo Aniebiet, Cobhams etc. I also learn a lot from listening to most Nigerian artists.

  • Your recent release ‘Naija Go Better’ has gotten some good popularity especially with Africans, what inspired this song?

I just get tired of all the negativity about Nigeria and Nigerians. Yes, we can’t count all the bad things going on in Nigeria and Africa. Yes, we can’t deny there are unscrupulous Nigerians. Yes, we can’t deny that the government continually fails the people with their policies. Yes, we can’t deny the fact that terrorism, tribalism, religiosity has become an order of the day BUT amidst all these (which by the way has been going on for years now), Nigeria is still together. We have not plunged into any kind of civil war even though it seems like all the ingredients for it is at play. This makes me believe that like most Nigerians we agree that the country isn’t going in the right direction but it can be fixed.
The hope we have for a better tomorrow pivots on how we see Nigeria today and how we treat her.
Nigeria is a blessed country and like other countries, we are faced with major impediments. Our quest for a better tomorrow resides in the hope that after all we have been through and in some cases still going through…Nigeria still has the propensity to do better and be better.

  • Where and how can others get this song?

The song Naija Go Better is available on the CD Baby Music Store http://cdbaby.com/cd/mro1. You can also get a download by visiting my bio page on twitter: www.twitter.com/MrO_Onome

  • Lastly, any project(s) you are working on that we should all look forward to?

Yes I’m currently working on a couple of projects. First is the video for Naija Go Better which should be out in September 2012 and then I’m back in the studio working on new joints and putting finishing touches to my album titled “Mon Jade”. Also I’m producing some tracks for others too.

           Mr O in the studio

Mr O featured in the CHALLENGER magazine (Temple of Praise Int’l Church) second year in a roll

       Mr O (Onome Ovwori)

 

What’s going on

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What’s going on?

I have heard a number of people say they don’t want to watch the news on TV anymore, because all they hear is sad news everyday, every minute. Now we can’t blame these people. (but it is good that we are aware of what is going on around us). Many people are dying. I know from beginning of time people have died and even till the world ends people will die and death is a part of life.

In the last few months alone, we have heard of these deaths; Tony Scott, a famous British producer committed suicide by jumping off a bridge, Chris Lightly according to reports also committed suicide. A recent shooting at the Empire State Building caused 2 death and 9 injuries (the killer had been let off from work and was going to kill his former boss). We all know about the shooting in Colorado Movie Theater that killed at least 14 people and injured several people. There are many other stories we have heard but these are a few.

People turning away from God, people turning away from therapy or it doesn’t seem work anymore. People turning to drugs, to guns. People don’t care about one another anymore. It’s all about SELF.

I ask again! WHAT’S GOING ON?

Was listening to this song; Kirk Franklin – Are You Listening. “Is there anybody out there listening? And does anybody know my name? My Friend we were not there, but we’re here and we care. And yes we feel your pain” (You can listen to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZrPcyyWRzI )

You see we can’t always know what pain someone else is going through. We can’t always understand or feel the magnitude of pain or stress a person feels BUT sometimes just being there, being supportive, encouraging people can help and goes a long way.

Everyone claims to be so busy yet you see many people on their phones constantly. We always seems to find time to text about new gossip but we find it hard to take a few minutes to send a warm text to one another, an encouraging text. Yes! Yes! sometimes we are genuinely busy but there are other ways we can reach out to others. Smiling and saying thank you to the lady at the counter after giving you your order might just make her day and make her feel appreciated and I have good news for you–It doesn’t cost you to do that. You might be listening to a song that motivates you and uplifts you; why not share that song with a friend.

Loosing your source of livelihood, source of income, a roof over your head or loosing a loved one is sad and painful. People deal with sad painful situations differently and we can’t very well justify anyone dealing with it by killing another or going out to shoot at a movie theater or any other place. However don’t we think there is something one could have done to help those people before it got to that point?

If you remember Lean on me by Kirk Franklin, the lyrics say “Friends are there to catch you when you fall…here is my shoulder, you can lean on me”. When was the last time we were truly a friend to our friends. Everyone easily calls everyone and anyone a friend but who really is a friend?

Do we pray for one another? When we hear or see an opportunity that would be helpful to a friend, do we let them know or do we shun it? When we know that a friend or someone going into a place, or getting themselves into a situation would cause them harm, do we warn them or shun it? How much do we really care about people around us, about our friends, about our family members?

We live in an egocentric society. Everyone wants everything for themselves! and themselves only! It’s all about ‘ME’. As long as ‘I’ am ok, as long as ‘I’ have what I need, then everything is ok, nobody else matters, nothing else matters. If ‘I’ don’t get what I want, if ‘I’ don’t have this my way then all hell would break loose.

I grew up always seeing my mom helping others. I saw people come to her to talk, and I saw her listen, talk and pray with them. Sometimes I hear my parents on the phone encouraging another person going through an unpleasant situation. I saw and heard my mom always praying for others. You see all these has helped shape me today. Sometimes when I’m praying, I find myself having the name of someone come to mind and without hesitation I pray for that person too. Sometimes when a person comes to mind, I just send a text to encourage them about school or an exam or just for the day.

We need to start caring about others and not just by our words but by our actions! Pray for others. Encourage others. When you see someone post their depressing state on their status on FaceBook, reach out to them. If you are in high school and you always see someone sitting alone at the cafeteria, say hi. If a friend of yours misses class three times in a roll, reach out to them, know what’s going on. If you know someone going through a situation and they need someone to talk to, you can suggest counseling and therapy and if they would rather talk to you instead, give them a listening ear.

Everyone needs a helping hand. Everyone needs a friend that cares. Everyone needs a friend that listens. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on sometimes. We are not always strong, some situations we can’t deal with on our own.

Let’s all learn to have a caring heart and not just to our friends but even to those that despise us (Luke 6:27-31)

Most of all let’s not get tired of doing good (1 Thess 3:13)

References

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/hip-hop-manager-chris-lighty-dead-apparent-suicide-bronx-apartment-cops-article-1.1148073

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/21/health/raison-suicide-tony-scott/index.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/25/nyregion/empire-state-building-shooting.html?pagewanted=all

Interview:Fashion Designer Sana Akibu

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            Sana Akibu

Fashion designer Asanat ‘Sana’ Akibu, is the CEO and mastermind behind Sha’Koju Clothing. She is a young, beautiful, talented lady whose resume is not limited to creating designs for her clothing line but also includes modeling, featuring in different blogs, magazine and many fashion shows as a model and as a designer. Sha’ Koju clothing does not only create clothes for the ladies, it also has something for the gentlemen.  Visit her clothing line at www.shakojuclothing.com. For contact: shakojuclothing@gmail.com. And you can follow on twitter: @Sana_ofSKC  Instagram: shakojuclothing

  •  What made you decide you wanted  to be a fashion designer?

Hmm…where do I start? I am often asked this question and it’s always a new response every time. I started drawing clothes at a very young age due to my love of modeling and fashion. I didn’t take it seriously until I took an art class in high school where I learned the female form and how to design dresses. The class was only for a graduation credit, but it opened my eyes to creating garments for women. However I still didn’t put what I learned into action until two years ago when I bought a sewing machine and started revamping my old clothes. After great reviews and tons of trials and error, I made my first garment for a friend. Months later after working at a clothing boutique for a while to learn hands-on about fashion merchadising/marketing, I made 20-30 more custom orders of my designs for other peopl. Then in August 2011, I registered my business and began introducing myself as a fashion designer.

  • When and how did you start this journey?

In April 2010 I purchased my sewing machine out of curiosity and boredom. I needed a hobby and something to do when I stayed home. I created my first pair of Ankara pants for the 2010 Nigerian Reunion and got lots of compliments. However, I didn’t sew anything again until December 2010 when I created my birthday dress,–by force due to a designer in NY backing out of making it due to his schedule. After that stressful moment and a great birthday dress my journey began…

  • The name of your clothing line is Sha’Koju, what inspired that name?

I have always loved the essence of fashion and style, so my clothing has always expressed my creativity and personality. When I thought of my clothing line name, I wanted something to represent me. I am Nigerian (Yoruba to be exact), and I love to capture attention when I am looking my best. After speaking with a few friends I came up with the name Shako Ju; which means “one that is showing off a lot”. However, I changed up the punctuation to give it a creative look, and that is when Sha’ Koju was born.

  • What inspires you when you start working on an original Sha’ Koju design?

I get inspired by everything around me. I am a true researcher. Not a scientific one, but when I want to learn something or understand something I begin seeking knowledge about it. Whether its the internet or the library, I have always been one to learn by my own means. So every time I want to start on a new collection or a new piece, I look up trends, blogs, magazines, street styles, and even my social media friends to see what people are wearing and what people like. When I use what I’ve learned to create a design, it must have a touch of “now”, a touch of affordability, and a whole lot of intense thinking (ME)

  • What matters the most to you as a designer?

Being different without looking like “what the hell was she thinking?” is what matters most to me as a designer. I love effortless fashion and I try my best to keep my clothing timeless; which means to wear it again season after season. Sometimes I get a bit too creative and make season-sensitive pieces, but most of my garments can be worn again.

  • How would you define your personal fashion style?

As stated in the previous answer, I love effortless fashion so I have a classic style. I use to call myself “plain jane” because I was just fine with a blazer, top, jeans, and pumps. Now I try to add colors and bold statements to my personal style, while still maintaining that effortless look.

  • Do you make custom order? If yes, how can people contact you for that?

I rarely take custom orders due to my busy schedule, but I still advise people to hit me up if they want a custom outfit just in case I have leisure time to make it. They can contact me at shakojuclothing@gmail.com (subject: custom order).

  • Are there any projects you are currently working on that we should look forward to?

Just to name a few, I am currently working on getting SKC in local boutiques (as a start), working on a launch event to officially introduce my brand to the fashion world, and lastly I am working on a web-series with an online production company.

  • What are some of your accomplishments so far?

Just to be recognized as a fashion designer to my peers, social circle and DC’s fashion scene has been a great accomplishment thus far. It is very hard to go from Model to Designer in an industry that wants you to look a specific way and stay there forever, but now I am the one calling the shots. So I am thankul for that. Also I have been featured in a magazine (www.cavamagazine.com – issue 2), on many blogs, have done countless fashion shows, and have recently been rubbing elbows with celebs that you will soon see in my clothes.

  • Lastly, any word(s) of advice for other rising fashion designers and those wanting to get into the fashion business?

This question makes me giggle because I still consider myself a “rising” fashion designer. There is so much to learn about this business and not all that glitters can be sewn (hehehe). I am learning what true rejection is on this journey, and I am also learning that networking goes a long way. This industry is not for the weak-minded individual and you must be confident in your product to handle what criticism you will encounter. I turned a hobby into a business and each day the struggle gets real, but so does the triumphs. My final piece of advice to any rising designer would be to research THEE best, and understand what you are about to embark on so you can one day be THE best. This journey has its ups and downs, but the true reward is seeing your vision come to life.

Store:  www.shakoju.bigcartel.com  Contact Email:  shakojuclothing@gmail.com

              Sha’ Koju

 

                     Sha’ Koju

                       Sha’ Koju

Victoria Rush (Model) wearing Sha’ Koju

 

Bianca Gold from America’s Next Top Model All Stars wearing Sha’ Koju

Interview with Hannat & Anthony

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Hannat and Anthony

Tell us a little bit about yourself

H: A college graduate, aspiring nurse practitioner. I love the Lord, like to see the best in people and like to have fun

A: From Buffalo, went to University at Buffalo (UB), a teacher and an Alpha Phi Alpha

How long have you two been together?

H: A little over a year

How did you two meet?

H: Black Student Union at UB

A: I was the chair of the Black Men United

H: I attended one of their meetings and that meeting is what put the nail in the coffin

What was the first thing that attracted you to your partner?

H: His chivalry and persona. Where some guys allow girls to do something, he was the one to say no

A: Her smile and her eyes. Most guys are attracted to what they see first but also what I heard about her do on campus and things she would let me know.

Today, unlike years ago, intercultural relationships are more widely accepted, would you say this positive reaction has lessened the pressure of intercultural dating for both of you? Do you still feel any pressures at all?

A: The fact that interracial relationship is also accepted does help intercultural relationships. Even if we are both black, there are still cultural differences but personally I don’t feel there are any pressures. It is exciting to learn more.

H: I never planned on marrying a Nigerian so I was ready for any pressures. So the first day Anthony visited my family, I was ready for any blows.

This question is for you, Anthony. Though Hannat was born and raised in the US, She has Nigerian parents and a Nigerian Yoruba background. What have you learned about Nigeria and the Yoruba culture since dating Hannat?

A: I’ve learned a lot about it, first from talking with her about it. Taking part in the family activities and also from studying about it in class at UB (University at Buffalo). Learning a few greetings in yoruba. I know “Ekaaro” and “Ekasan” . From going to traditional Nigerian baby dedication and traditional wedding ceremony, I have some Nigerian clothing and I love jollof rice.

Describe your partner in 2 words.

H: Handsome and everything a MAN should be. He is hard to describe in just 2 words.

A: I can’t use two but I’ll try. Beautiful in and out…….She redefines my understanding of what a WOMAN is and exceeds my expectation. She is inspring.

Lastly, what would you say has kept your relationship this far and any advice you would like to share with other couples?

H: Communication. It is imperative to any kind of relationship whether uncle, brother, parents, friends…Not letting things get to the point where things can’t be discussed without confrontation.

A: Yes, communication is key. Knowing what you have and knowing how valuable the relationship is. Creating a plan and working towards making the relationship grow.