Lusaka July, Zambia's Version of the Met Gala, Is a Royalty Explosion!

Cleo Clementine & Natasha Van Der Moss
By Mwabi Kaira

Every socialite and fashionista looks forward to that one event each year where they can don their finest fashions and be seen. In America, fashion enthusiasts wait for the annual Met Gala, where the most famous faces from the realms of fashion, film, music and art come together to raise money for the Met's Costume Institute and celebrate the grand opening of its latest exhibition. We wait to see pictures of arrivals and become fashion analysts, picking out our favorite looks. In Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city, the event of the year where we do the same is Lusaka July.

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How Long Will Women Sing About Men Doing Wrong Instead of Demanding That They Actually Do Right?

 Queen Naija 
By Mwabi Kaira

I heard a song called Medicine by Queen Naija on the radio the other day and immediately thought, “Oh, we’re still doing this.” Each generation hopes that the one behind it gets all that we got wrong right. I really enjoy watching young girls being so sure of themselves these days and I foolishly thought that they had found the formula and were done taking mess from men but the song confirmed that they are out here still discovering that not all men do right and will treat you like an option and not a priority if you let them. In the song, Queen Naija laments about her man ignoring her lately, seeing calls from “just friends” and him coming in at 6 in the morning. She is frustrated because she has been faithful and says she knows what she has to do and turns the tables and gives him a taste of his own medicine...

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16-Year-Old Devian White is a Naturally Glam Georgia Peach

Devian White
By Mwabi Kaira

Look at most young girls and they are busy mimicking the looks and actions of older women they see on social media. Everyone looks like the next girl; same hair, same make up, same clothes, and that's why it’s so refreshing to see 16-year-old Georgia Peach, Devian White, so comfortable in her own skin!

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Ami McClure Gets a Baddass Baldie & Teaches Her Girls That "Hair Isn't Everything."

The McClure twins with mom Ami
By Mwabi Kaira

Ami and Justin McClure rose to YouTube fame when a video of their adorable twin girls Ava and Alexis went viral in 2016. Their family has recently expanded with the addition of son Jersey. Ava and Lexi have become little superstars appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres show and walking on fashion runways and their parents are behind the girls popular YouTube channel - McClure Twins Family documenting their family life as they grow up.

In a recent vlog, Ami talked about how she is tired of this climate of hair shaming. Commenters leave messages on their videos about Ami fixing her daughter’s natural hair but wearing wigs. They have issues with it, saying, "how can you teach your girls about hair and you don’t love yours,” when that couldn't be further from the truth...

Meet the Powerhouse Exec Behind ESSENCE Music Festival’s Empowerment Experience

Gina Charbonnet via BlackEnterprise
By Mwabi Kaira

Within the minutes of talking to Gina Charbonnet, her love for New Orleans is apparent. Sure it’s home but her love goes beyond that; Gina is committed to showing the world New Orleans' rich culture, contributing to its economy, encouraging young people to create businesses and continuing the cultural traditions important to the city. Gina is an industry veteran and the woman behind GeChar Inc., the New Orleans booking agency, event marketing, and production company that provides turn key services for major events happening in the city, including the upcoming Essence Music Festival Empowerment Experience, which features conversations from influential leaders, artists and innovators ranging from media to politics. I caught up with Gina days before the festival, (July 5-8), to chat with her about how she makes the magic happen.

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Zeena Has an Unconventional Career as a Chaplain and She's Naturally Glam

Zeena Regis
By Mwabi Kaira

I met Zeena Regis over a decade ago in Kentucky. We were black girl transplants to Lexington and excited to meet since we had such similar interests. I immediately loved her hair, I had locs at the time and she had the healthiest natural hair I’d seen that she styled beautifully. Our hair was just one more thing we bonded over. I was fascinated that she had lived in Alaska and ended up in Kentucky after graduating from Agnes Scott in Atlanta. Here we both are living in Atlanta now and Zeena is a hospice chaplain and was recently ordained into the Sacred Order of the Holy Rascal, an international network of spiritual creatives using laughter and love to reclaim a compassionate and creative religiosity and to reveal, resist, and reverse the growing trend in big religion toward fascism, tribalism, ignorance, arrogance, violence, and hate. I love watching Zeena work in her field and still being fabulous while doing it.

No Hollywood Snapback for Tia Mowry & We Love Her For It!

Tia Mowry
By Mwabi Kaira

Let’s face it - pregnancy does a number on women’s bodies; the weight gain, the acne, the heartburn, the frequent trips to the bathroom, swollen ankles, you name it and we get it during pregnancy. And then we hold our precious babies in our arms after they are born and we know that it was not all for naught. Some women get their bodies back within weeks but the majority of women do not. Doctors tell us that it takes 9 months to gain the weight and will take the same amount of time to lose the weight but societal pressure has us wanting that instant snapback with a quickness.

Could Removing Butt Implants be the New Jam?


By Mwabi Kaira

I have been blessed in the derrière area and fill my jeans out quite nicely. I feel like it is pretty large as is and can’t imagine trying to make it bigger. Making it smaller would be of more interest to me. Even when I was 35 lbs lighter and in a size 8, I lost much of everything else but this derrière was still right here so it’s not going anywhere. I’ve come to terms with it. When Drake was recently photographed with a woman with a derrière twice the size of mine, I wondered how she could function with it. Also, along with the rest of the internet, we wondered when this butt implant trend would end because some of these jobs don’t look quite right as far as proportions go.

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Can We Let Women Not Have Kids in Peace?


By Mwabi Kaira

A girl I knew in my late teens once told me that she didn’t want to have children. I couldn't wait to become a mother and already had a name picked out so what she told me was outside my orbit of things I knew but I respected that she had her own orbit of things she knew as well. We are African and being mothers is as much a part of womanhood as breathing so this girl got a lot of grief for her decision. I always admired how sure of herself she was even back then and how her mind was completely made up and nothing was going to sway her. We’re in our 40’s now and she is childless, thriving and happy and I am a mother to 2 teens and loving this stage in my parenting journey. We knew exactly what we wanted and thankfully things panned out just as hoped.

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The Mbalantu Women of the Namibia Know the Secret to Growing Hair to Incredible Lengths

Eembuvi braids worn by women of the Mbalantu tribes from the Namibia
By Mwabi Kaira

The versatility of our hair and all of the hairstyles we can pull off is just one of the many reasons it's great to be melanin. I recently wanted a cornrow style and searched images to show my stylist and ran across an image of eembuvi braids that left me breathless. The black and white image was of three women with their backs turned and braids down to their ankles. Eembuvi braids are worn by women of the Mbalantu tribes from the Namibia. It’s a style that requires preparation from a young age when Mbalantu girls use thick layers of finely ground tree bark and oils– a mixture that is said to be the secret to growing their hair to such lengths.

Marjorie Harvey, Clapbacks & the Loss of Common Sense on Social Media

Marjorie Harvey
By Mwabi Kaira

I follow celebrities and I enjoy on the gram because I’m nosey. I like to see the going ons in their lives and to see how they navigate their fame. I started following Majorie Harvey, wife of Steve Harvey years ago because of her fabulous style. She’s Glam-Ma goals and I love her globetrotting glamorous adventures. She spent Mother’s Day in her hometown of Memphis and I loved seeing her Mother’s reaction as she opened her gift. I thought nothing of seeing Marjorie and her family enjoy Memphis and it didn’t strike me as beneath her since it wasn’t in Paris, Saint Tropez or any of the other places around the world she frequents. We all have beginnings and home is a place most people go to feel centered and remember their childhoods.
But we don't all think that way...

5 Mins. with 'Growing Up Immigrant' Web Series Creator Nathaniel Kweku

Nathaniel Kweku
By Mwabi Kaira

If your mom doesn’t like your show, it probably means you’re doing something right. Such is the case with Nathanel Kweku’s ‘Growing Up Immigrant,’ a comedic 6 episode web series about Ghanaian-American Nicholas Ajayi who has just moved in with his recently divorced Aunty and separated brother Kojo. Aunty is looking for a new love via social media, Kojo is working on winning his wife back and Nicholas is failing in the love game by not giving enough time to his girlfriend while trying to get-back-in with co-worker Nkem, after making a terrible first impression. Rasil Lee rounds out the cast as Nicholas's sex addicted co-worker and friend. Whew!

The idea to create, write and direct the project came to him when “African Parents Be Like” videos began burning up the web- which probably explains why his mom doesn't like the show. For this first-generation Ghanaian who loved writing, caught the acting bug in high school, and began acquiring a list of TV credits that would include ‘Lopez,’ ‘Rosewood,’ and ‘Startup,’ he’d found his calling. We recently caught up with Nathaniel to chat about the series and his own personal experience growing up immigrant!

Photo of Fawn Weaver via The New York Times
By Mwabi Kaira

I didn’t know who Fawn Weaver or Nearest Green were before I watched a Breakfast Club interview recently. The interview was so intriguing that I did some more research because I had to know more. Fawn Weaver was on vacation in Singapore the summer of 2016 when she read about Nearest Green (born Nathan Green), the Lynchburg Tennessee slave who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. Jack Daniel's, the global whiskey brand had its beginnings from a slave? Wow. Fawn was impressed too and soaked up the story; she wanted to learn everything she could about the slave she had to read about all the way in Singapore, and his importance to such a well-known global brand.

Harvard Law Review Elects First Black Woman President

ImeIme Umana
By Mwabi Kaira

Twenty seven years ago Harvard Law Review elected its first black President. His name was Barack Obama. Presidents of the Law Review in the 130-year history have been white, male, female, Hispanic, Asian-American, black, openly gay and now for the first time, the first black women has been elected. Twenty-four-year-old ImeIme Umana, daughter of Nigerian immigrants was elected this past January by the review’s 92 student editors as the president of its 131st volume.

Here's Why You Should Be Watching The Van Jones Show

Van Jones
By Mwabi Kaira

We first saw Van Jones as a co-host on the short lived CNN’s Crossfire in 2013 but he had been behind the scenes working tirelessly for years before that. He is a co-founder of several nonprofit organizations, including the Dream Corps, a "social justice accelerator that operates three advocacy initiatives: #cut50, #Yeswecode and Green for All. He is the author of 3 New York Times bestsellers; The Green Collar Economy, Rebuild the Dream and Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together. He served as President Barack Obama's Special Advisor for Green Jobs and is a distinguished visiting fellow at Princeton University. He is currently a regular CNN contributor and the host of The Van Jones Show. Are you watching the show? Here’s why you should:

Travel Blogger Sally G is Naturally Glam!

Sally G
By Mwabi Kaira

Travel blogger Sally G is always on the go seeing the world. This Kenyan-born world traveler calls Atlanta home, but friends know her as the one always catching flights. Where in the world is Sally G is a question we are always asking. I caught up with Sally fresh off her epic Eastern European adventure and before she heads off to Bali and the Maldives to talk all things travel and what she does to keep it all together!

Keyshia Cole got me Rethinking this Younger Bae Thing

Niko Khale & Keyshia Cole 
By Mwabi Kaira

I  have never been interested in dating anyone younger than me. I’m talking two months younger and I’m disinterested. I’ve always preferred to date older, I’ll even go 15 years older. Recently, there has been a 29-year-old fella that’s been trying to get with your girl and I haven’t gone past flirting cause he’s 29. If we are calculating then he is only 10 years older than my son and the way my mind is set up, that’s all I’d think about if I ever agreed to his advances. Everyone has been telling me to get over it and get my cougar on but it’s just been one of those things I’ve refused to budge on until Keyshia Cole.

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The Confusion of Tyler Perry’s Acrimony


By Mwabi Kaira

When I saw the trailer for Tyler Perry’s Acrimony starring Taraji P. Henson, I didn’t immediately want to call up my girls and make a movie date. The trailer showed a woman scorned and out for revenge and that’s just not something that appeals to me. I’m one of those people who takes the Iyanla Vanzant Fix My Life approach to things like this. I prefer the ‘work on myself’ approach while sending the one who wronged me love and light believing that karma always works. But when I listened to Tyler Perry on the Essence Yes Girl podcast and he said there was a twist in the movie, and I saw some status updates saying that the movie wasn’t like the trailer, I decided to go and see it for myself.

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Tiffany Haddish and Tracy Morgan Bring the Laughs in 'The Last O.G.'

Tiffany Haddish & Tracy Morgan
By Mwabi Kaira

One thing people that do time wish for is a pause button. They want to come home from their bid and find things as they left them. In the new TBS sitcom The Last O.G. Tray (Tracy Morgan) is a Brooklyn hustler who gets busted for on-the corner activities that sends him away to prison for 15 years. The night he gets busted, he and his girl Shay (Tiffany Haddish) are cuddled on the couch watching Kelly Clarkson about to win American Idol. Shay laying on his chest and the laughter and jokes they share right when she is about to tell him something are not a strong enough pull to keep Tray from the corner when summoned. Shay begs him not to go but he does. She watches him get arrested from her window.

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Roxanne Roxanne: The Roxanne Shanté Story on Netflix!

Roxanne Shante via Getty Images
By Mwabi Kaira

Before Cardi B, Nikki Minaj, Remy Ma, Lil Kim, Eve, Foxy Brown, Queen Latifah, Salt & Pepper and every female rapper you can think of, there was Roxanne Shanté. 14-year-old Lolita Shanté Gooden released her debut single Roxanne Speaks Out in 1984 and became rap’s first female star. She released Roxanne Roxanne and The Real Roxanne and both albums hit the Billboard chart. The Queensbridge native had a gift for freestyling and her battles became epic both in the street and on wax; the Roxanne Wars were a yearlong saga that followed Roxanne and her rivals. Roxanne didn’t care who she battled and she commanded respect and made male rappers take notice.

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