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SEE ME NOW – A dark obsession with with light skin

SEE ME NOW by Glen Mackay is a a piercing fashion film that re-injects the reality of racial prejudices – a poisoned perspective that continues to run through the veins of our society.

The short film is piercing in the way it exposes the reality of women who despite being beautiful and bold, sadly became accustomed to being at the bottom of the beauty spectrum because of being dark.

It then flourishes into an beautifully inspiring showcase of women whom despite their experiences, triumph in self-esteem, self-awareness and appreciation, all doing their bit to change redefine existing, western fueled perceptions of beauty.

I caught up with Glen Mackay…

“I was at a fashion show in a country of majority black skin population but on the catwalk all the models had light skin. I turned to one of the photographers and asked – “where are all the dark skin models?”

He looked at me as if I was crazy and said – “The darker the skin, the uglier they’re considered”. I was shocked. I wanted to address this.

I’ve covered many fashion events and worked with numerous models. I’ve learned that beauty is about how one conducts themselves, and I’ve learned that if you feel beautiful, you will look beautiful…

I spoke to black models of different ethnic backgrounds, and was so surprised at how many could relate to the feeling that lighter skin was considered more attractive.

I also felt that making a fashion film, showcasing beautiful models was a way of promoting the message that beauty comes from within and feeling comfortable in your skin.

I met an amazing woman, Pia Cabble at the London BFI, who liked my ideas and asked to be involved. She found designers and outfits and gave me the needed support to make this all possible.

Some friends really got behind the message, and behind me…

And it then fell into shape…

It was all a very organic approach… and I’m proud of what we achieved”

Memphis The Musical – A real celebration of rock ‘n’ roll’, rhythm and blues

The night I finally get to watch Memphis the musical has finally arrived.

I’ve waited for Memphis…  interviewed the stars and supporting cast members… watched the Memphis press night preview, and pretty much immersed myself into this story minus hopping on a plane to going to Memphis itself!!

So tonight, after much anticipation was the evening I finally saw it all come together…


Starring UK’s own vocal powerhouse and phenomenal woman, Beverly Knight alongside Irish-born musical theatre performer Killian Donnelly, Memphis is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, who was one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.

On the night I thought my eyes were deceiving me as the Killian I interviewed earlier in the year wasn’t the one I saw on stage, it was in fact British Stage performer Jon Robyns, who name I recognise from hilarious show Avenue Q. Anyways, Jon played Huey Calhoun, the Memphis born and raised DJ, who later falls in love with the voice and soul of Felicia Farrell (Beverly Knight).


A real celebration of rock ‘n’ roll’, rhythm and blues

Memphis colourfully constructs a performance based on the ferocious and funky Memphis sound (at the time called ‘race music’), and the racially restrictive environment it had to overcome to be the influence that it is today. Much of this struggle was portrayed in the love story between Huey and Felica’s interracial relationship.

Respectively, the story was predictable in light of taboo nature of the relationship (both romantically and musically) of that time. This didn’t yield much in the way of twists or surprises for anyone even remotely familiar with the African American race struggle, but in its own may made for a cosy and predictable story.

What did take me by surprise was the absolutely jaw-dropping, I’ve went from tapping my foot to wanting to get up and dance -choreography! That’s what made the night for me. The energy, enthusiasm and life of the entire cast, gave me so much life! Between the incredibly fast set, costume and song changes, the moves (oh the moves!), plus slick jokes and boarder line gymnastics in play; was so much fun to watch and feel a part of.


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Greetings from Oslo – and jazzy job centre hotel #travel #Norway

…sorry for the silence!

I’ve been travelling a bit these days, and as lovely as it is, it’s had a knock on effect on getting my posts out. I trust you forgive me.

Excuses aside. I’m back, and I’m looking forward to sharing a truck load of things that’s been going on with me and within the diaspora. But before I get to talking about what’s been going on in Africa, here’s a little note from Oslo.

Following on from my trip to Frankfurt and Amsterdam, the next lovely city on my list was Oslo, Norway; the land that introduced sushi to the Japanese… apparently!

PS:Hotel – Oslo’s most innovative learning venue

I stayed at the PS:hotel and social project, in the expanding Vulkan area of central Oslo. Interestingly, nearly 90% of its staff were pushed out of the labour market for one reason or another (illness, unfortunate circumstances etc.), but found another chance for opportunity at this work space/studio styled hotel.


PS:hotel also operates as teaching centre – for the learning of a new profession or for finding solutions to their current situation. Some of the rooms and corridors are decorated with art works, which have been created by people with autism. The hotel is a project which is partly funded by the state, and has already received innumerable prestigious awards for its socially responsible philosophy.

It’s a pretty cool place to stay for short-term, laid back but work related trip.

Mathallen Market

Oh how I love a food hall! Just as well I was going back to a hotel room and not a kitchen…

Just adjacent to the PS:hotel was Mathallen food hall. Claimed as ‘the place to go for everyone who appreciates high quality food and unique drinks’. Inspired by other food halls in Europe such as the Mercat Santa Caterina in Barcelona, London’s own Borough Market, and the ToRVEhallerne in Copenhagen. It was exciting to see the variety of fresh fish and cured meats, just a pity I could take much of it back home with me. Definitely next time!

and as always, some street style ;-)

I like the industrial nonchalance style I’ve seen in urban Scandinavian, all with their own unique nuances, but an overall collective of effortlessly cool.


Tight deadlines,late nights and early mornings #coffeelovers

Tight deadlines,late nights and early mornings;

these are the conditions by which coffee was created.

Below is some stunning photography by New York based photographer  Lucio Bracamontes, from The Coffee Bar located in Washington DC.

I love the latte art, contemporary, yet rustic interior, and most importantly the dedication by the barista; the devoted artisan who knows how to give us the best start of the day.

Afroblush to take on Kuduro / Afro House dance class at @LatinoAfro

I’ve been looking for something fun, sexy and exciting to do in London after work, that doesn’t include eating, alcohol or both; and I figured what better than dance?

Being African by birth and Latino by heart (ha), I love Afro House and AfroLatino dance music. One of my closest friends has been trying to get me Kizomba classes for the longest time and I finally think it’s time I got involved. So I’ve decided, I’ll be starting an 8 week Kudoro and Afro House dance class in London’s Old Street, hosted by Studio AfroLatino… starting next Tuesday!


It’s a fun and fierce opportunity to discover Kuduro, a style of music and dance developed in Angola in the 1980’s. Initially, producers sampled traditional carnival music like soca and zouk from the Caribbean, and also semba from Angola and laid this around a fast 4/4 beat.

Studio AfroLatino is also the powerhouse behind this years Batuke Festival that took place over this summer. The batuke Project provided an opportunity for dance students, dance enthusiasts to develop their dance and performance technique through performance at BATUKE!

Sadly I missed the Batuke Festival this year, but it will be mine for the taking in 2015.

I’m going to have an absolute blast at during the course of this Kuduro class, so if you think you might be interested too, get in touch with Studio AfroLatino, the classes are £52 for the 8 weeks. More importnatly, if you do decide to join, let me know! Reach me on twitter (@afroblush), email or I’ll just see you there ;-)

Kuduro Fact: 

“The name of the dance was referring to a peculiar movement in which the dancers seem to have a hard ass (“Cu Duro” in Portuguese), simulating an aggressive and agitated dance style.” #justsayin

Also loving this playlist on Spotify:


More about Studio Afro-Latino

Studio AfroLatino have in house teams as well as popular dance teams they work in with regularly. They currently  showcases available in:

> Salsa Dance
> Tango
> Brasilian Show with live singing
> Afro-Cuban dance
> African traditional
> Afro contemporary
> Afro-Tango
> African dance troupes


Omari Dixon, Emmanuel Lawal, April Alexander, Kae Kae present ’The Origin’ #Africa #Design #Illustration


Photography by Jo’lene Henry

Print design by Katarina Voloder

Designers: Stephanie Ghoussain, Katrin Salem, Samuella Palmer

Make-up by Gina Blondell

Hair by Aaron Blondell

Style Inspiration from @stylishcurves, love this asymmetric shift dress by @monifcplussizes


Dress: Toni” Asymetric colour block shift dress, blue by


Detoxing into a whiter wardrobe

Good morning guys,

It’s the bank holiday weekend, and though I have wildness and loudness of Carnival tomorrow to look forward to, long weekends like this present an opportunity to sit back, detox, declutter and detatch from life in the inner city… *exhales*.

If you follow me on instagram (@afroblush), you’ll see about three weeks ago I had a wardrobe clear out. I’ve sent over half of my clothes to charities in order to free up space (my closet and in my mind), as there is nothing more irritating than sifting through loads of clothes you know you don’t need and/or want.

Since freeing up a bit more space, I’m hoping to gradually re sculpt my closet collections, and maybe even revamp my personal style.

I find that orchestrating a whiter wardrobe requires as much of a mental overhaul as it will a physical one. I’m craving purity and calmness right now, and appreciating how many designers explored the soothing potential of white.

Here are some of my style inspirations: 



Everyday Africa, Koforidua – The capital of the Eastern Region, Ghana

Notting Hill Carnival and my summer personality #Barbados @NewLookFashion

In the run up to Notting Hill Carnival this bank holiday weekend, I’m getting fully prepared to indulge in the fun, food and fashion surrounding Europe’s largest street party.

London’s vivid spectacle representing London’s multicultural past and present is always highlighted in my calendar and holds a special place in my heart as the capitals Afro-Caribbean communities come to gather to rejoice and revel in live music ranging from reggae to dub to salsa, soca floats, steel bands, uplifting beats, jerk chicken and fried plantain food stalls, and much more.


Pictures from Notting Hill Carnival 2013

And so it didn’t come as a surprise that ended up with Barbados in New Look’s holiday vs. personality quiz, so whether you’re a sun seeker like me, bohemian darling or all about the rock ‘n’ roll feel,  have a crack at the quiz and let me know what summer personality you are.

Holiday Vs. Festival Summer Personality Quiz by New Look




If you are a Caribbean queen like myself and make it down to Carnival this bank holiday weekend, be sure to send your snaps on Twitter and/or Instagram (@afroblush) as I’d love to see and share the fun!

 My Bajan inspired best buys from New Look 

Red and Blue Leaf Gemstone Necklace, £14.99Black African Stripe Pencil Skirt, £14.99Wide Fit Silver Chunky Ankle Strap Heels, £24.99Orange Metal Bar Back Cami, £14.99

Africa Fashion Week London – my thoughts (uncensored) #AFWL

It’s that time of year again… Africa Fashion Week London…2014

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It was the time of year again where designers, fashion enthusiasts and Africa’s culture collectives come together to celebrate Africa Fashion Week London. I’ve been attending Africa Fashion Week London since its inception four years ago, and this year, as promised, was a colourful assortment of fashion and design from in and around the continent.

I met up with Caitlin Leslie (@AperitifCaitlin), marketing mogul from, Emma Amoafo, founder/designer of Friday Born Designs and bloggers Maryam Bitege, owner of Creativ Junkie ; and Mary Desola Adeniyi, founder of to indulge in the latest developments from some of Africa’s most sought after designers, and catch a glimpse of what we can expect to see in the way of fashion from the diaspora.

Firstly, let’s be honest, AFWL isn’t really a Fashion Week is it?

As a whole, African Fashion Week London doesn’t give me the same level of excitement as it used to, and regrettably this isn’t so much down to the fashion itself, as much as the quality and execution of the event. Hosted in London’s Kensington Olympia’s main hall, this year’s event was a runway show, in the middle of a standard selection of African cuisine, a less than satisfactory VIP section, and a predictable selection of African market stalls (with the exception of Kiyana Wraps!).

Tickets for Africa Fashion Week London retail to the general public at £20 for unreserved seats, whilst VIP tickets with access to all shows, complimentary orange/apple juice and bread and chilli snacks range between £50-£70. I believe everybody I know who went were given a complimentary tickets, so I can’t help but feel anyone who sincerely bought tickets for AFWL must have felt hard done by.

There were over two hour interval between shows, with little or nothing for visitors to do in between, and repeat performances by Afrobeats pop singer Valentine, and his shirtless entourage, which was so incredibly cringe. I guess the silver lining was that as unforgiving as this post must sound so far, Africa Fashion Week London 2014 was significantly more palatable than the previous year.

Thankfully, I didn’t come for the frills, I came for the fashion.

I was most excited to see Sylvia Owori, KassKouture, RAAH, Fyyfe and of course Adama Paris; all of whom showcased collections that were very impressive and inspirational.

Sylvia Owori

I’ll start by congratulating my fellow Ugandan (whoop) Sylvia Owori, a leading fashion powerhouse, publisher and entrepreneur, who I admire greatly for championing global environmental change through her designs. Her prints are purely African with fabrics are tailored from her workshop in Mukono.

This year Sylvia debuted a tropical and electric collection comprising of mainly silk jumpsuits and dresses that although had a contemporary palette, had a vintage 1960’s style. Striking and exciting!

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RAAH Designs 

Next on my love list for the night was the ready-to-wear fashion brand RAAH designs, owned by Rahima Mohamed, who debuting her collection “Fly/Fly High”. RAAH designs, was the collections of all collections that given the chance, I would have bought there and then. I found myself repeatedly saying “OMG,  I love/need/want that”.

The designs were sophisticated and edgy, bold and yet still approachable. Rightly so, the collection received praise from the New African Woman Editor-in-Chief, Jane Jere and AFWL Founder Ronke Ademiluyi among others on the success of the showcase.

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Adama Paris 

The collection I endured the day for was by Senegalese designer, Adama Paris. I met and sat on a panel with Adama earlier this year at Cambridge University (read more here), where we discussed the future of African fashion. Adama Paris, is the real thing. She is the unstoppable force behind Black Fashion Week in Prague, Czech Republic, Bahia, Brazil, and this year for the first time in Toronto Canada.

With the lights down low, her models appeared on stage in a multi-coloured ocean of chiffon dresses, flooding the stage like beautifully spilt paint. It was truly mesmerising and worth the wait. Surprisingly, Adama seemed uncomfortable in receiving praise for her collection and hurried off the stage, with a look of what I would guess was dissatisfaction?!

Whatever the reason, her collection was as astonishing as I expected.

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This isn’t the first time I’ve expressed my confusion with African Fashion Week London, as I feel the event as a whole doesn’t give credit to the fashion itself. It’s a showcase, yes, but it is not a ‘Fashion Week’, and falls so way below any other international fashion week I’ve been witness to. It lacks the exclusivity, presentation and value (especially to paying visitors). Additionally, as an African, in London, who knows a bit about fashion, the perceived connotations of the  title are slightly misleading and that makes me quite uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, despite my objections, it is a stage for African designers, up-coming talent and visual inspiration; and for that I am thankful.

Follow me on Instagram @afroblush

Music I Love: JUNGLE – Easy Earnin’

This week I’ve been wrapped up in this the soul infused, self entitled album by UK duo ‘JUNGLE’.

The Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield inspired melodies, bring back sultry, melancholic and funk like qualities that are so effortless to listen to; especially on a Sunday afternoon such as this.

Only a few people I’ve spoken to know about the two behind the band (Josh and Tom), and I like that. As artists they’ve kept it more about the music than anything else. My favourite track of the album is Lemonade Lake, followed by Easy Earnin’.


If you had one Last supper to enjoy, what would it be? (don’t say chips) @yourlastsupper

If tonight was your last night, and you could enjoy any meal to savor your last edible moment, what would it be?


Granted this is a deep question, and I had to think quite long and hard about it to.

My top of mind thought was spaghetti bolognese, but I’m too proud to have such an elementary dish as my last, so I will opt for: the ultimate steak with roast potatoes, doused in vinegar, and eager to swim in some fancy premium tomato ketchup. For desert, I can settle for a passion fruit cheesecake, followed by nicely roasted Kenyan (Fairtrade obvs) coffee.

Anyways, the reason I’m having this foodie conversation (apparently with myself) about my last supper, comes from a very cool concept I had the pleasure of being a part of called The Last Secret Supper Super Club; founded by photographer Lauren McClean and food stylist Lottie Covell.

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(me in between The Last Secret Supper Super Club Founders Lauren McClean Lottie Covell)

The Last Secret Supper Super Club is hosted in the Palour, the home of cosy British Cuisine by top London Chef Jesse Dunford Wood, and is an evening of edible surprises. Guests pre-submit their ideal last supper, which includes a drink, starters, mains and desert; and Jesse Dunford Wood, one of London’s top London chefs prepares three courses selected from the submitted Last Supper submissions.


The concept was fun and the atmosphere was super casual, I loved it, and the theme of the event is interesting enough that you can’t help but spark up a conversation with the person next to you.

I was guilty of shouting across the table asking “Who is Danny Kahoe?? I need to meet you, because this passion fruit martini is tha bomb”.

I should note that at that point, Danny was equally enthused and we high-fived very ceremoniously; and no, I don’t use the term “tha bomb” in my day to day vernacular. It was the Martini speaking.

The evening is pre-book and pay (£35), which includes the submission of your last super, and covers a drink on arrival, starters, a main meal and desert; and if your Last Supper course is served, you get £10 off your meal!

It’s loads of fun and a refreshing change from just going out to dinner, check it out.



Out with the old, in with the Ko:Kou- @KoKouElectrical #afrohair #naturalhair

I was overjoyed to receive an email from Ko Kou; who had listened to my woes on twitter about the lack of quality hair dryers for afro hair types.

They decided to take a proactive approach in introducing me to their Professional Pro Pik hairdryer, which is refreshingly contemporary in design and technology, and suitable for afro hair textures; supplemented with its anti-frizz tourmaline feature.

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I put the Pro Pik for a live test on Instagram, whilst I went through my natural hair revive session; and truthfully, it’s the Maserati of afro blow dryers, powerful, sleek and attractive. It’s a relief not to be be subject to ugly, out of date, overpriced and under performing blow dryers.



Going natural doesn’t always mean I get to enjoy my afro the way I would like to.

Which is why protective styling techniques have since been my go-between place when trying to navigate between having healthy hair in a country with sporadic climate, hard water and a busy job that doesn’t stop.

So every six weeks, I prepare to take my hair out of whatever protective style I’ve wrapped it up in and acquire a new look, along with the replenishment of any hair products and accessories I need.


Thanks to London’s diverse population, Harlesden and Brixton alone host enough afro hair shops to protectively style myself into the next millennium. Which is great for acquiring hair products, but not necessarily hair hardware. It’s very rare that I find a technologically advanced hair blow dryer in an afro hair shop, with the exception of the overpriced options by WAHL.

Most models look like they’ve been on the shop shelf since 1994, with sales assistants who are of the opinion that if the hair dryer has an afro pick at the end, what else do I expect?

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In contrast, the range of products for European based hair available from retailers like Boots, Debenhams and Superdrug and that offer hairdryers with fancy features like “superior nanoe technology”; whilst our budget hairdryers available across our local and very much separated hair care distributors offer below basic functionality, causing frequent overheating and harsh exposure to sensitive afro textured hair.

Having put the Ko: Kou Pro Pik through the works, I was impressed by its performance, and my wish is for products such as these to be given more accessible distribution channels to reach the wider market.

An all around great product. 

Ko: Kou Pro Pick Professional Hair Dryer:

  • 2000W Max Power
  • Ionic technology
  • 3 Temprature settings
  • 2 Speed Settings
  • Cool shot switch, low noise

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Samira Wiley for @Refinery29 “Hollywood’s New Power Players” #OiTNB

I am so excited for the new season of Orange is The New Black, for both the season and recognition it’s giving to new talent and women of colour! #winning

Don’t we just love Samira Wiley’s photoshoot for Refinery29?!Shot by Olivia Malone, styled by Tara Williams and make-up by Tankia McConnel.


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