Tuesday, January 26, 2010

REVIEW OF THE BOOK L'ATTENTAT BY YASMINA KHADRA!




I bought this book by Algerian author Yasmina Kadhra a month ago while browsing through one of our local bookstores. I had been curious about this gifted author who goes by a feminine pen name since his years in the Algerian army.

So ok had the book and told myself that I would be reading it at some point until one quiet saturday night while watching the two "mean" culture critcis Zemmour and Nholo on "On est pas encore couche" give him mixed reviews.

On that show, each week, a group of celebs face two sarcastic and hard french Simon Cowell to discuss about their curent work. Mr Kadhra conducted himself with old school dignity, laughed of some of their coments and suggested that they read his book once more. That following morning all I wanted to do is smash into the litterary word of Yasmina. The novel I read "L'Attentat" was thought provokating and I didn't put it down until I was done reading it that same day.

It's centered around a young Jewish couple that seems to be living the life, Dr Amine is a Palestinian doctor living in Israel with his beautiful wife Sihem. They've been residing as a happy couple in Israel where they build a new family of friends. On the surface, despite the regular terrorist attacks, Dr Amine was really happy until the day of a an explosion in Tal Aviv which will change his life forever. While trying 2 save the lives of the victims of this unfortunate ordeal, Dr Amine had no idea that his life was about to sink.


He founds out that his sweet and kind wife, Sihem is not only dead during the attack but that she was the author of this horrible crime. Through this book we go through his relentless agonoy hour by hour, minute by minute, the anger, the sadness, the wild bitterness he feels...

He wonders why his beloved wife who seemed to have everything and more would engage in such a senseless killing of innocent victims. All his life, he has tried to focus on his career and distance himself from the Israelo-Palestinian conflict. But with the death of Sihem he has to face his people. He wants to understand what would prod his people to kill others. This book gives us an insight on fanatic people, I finished this book understanding a bit more why some people would be so desperate, so deeply hurt that they woulld want destroy other people lives.

No matter what efforts Dr Amine put forward to focus on his individual life he's forced to go back to his community. He's part of them no matter the level of success he has accomplished. The poor people living in Israel are fighting the way they know how, for them dying is now a mission of honor. Yasmina describes a cousine of Dr Amine who was sweet and entirely devoted to her grandfather until the day the army came and destroyed her family house after a sibbling of hers became a terrorist.She saw this as an injustice and decided to become herself a kamikaze.
Bref I would def' recomand reading this book Yasmina Khadra is a beautiful lyrical writer, the way he describes smells, scenes, emotions is delicious as apple compote.

Here's his website:

http://www.yasmina-khadra.com

You can catch Yasmina and Zemmour in action, HERE

Djaa our brothas from Algeria are truly talented:)
Eyeee Wayeee:)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"SAY YOU ARE ONE OF THEM", BOOK REVIEW BY FANTA SOLANGE LOPEZ!






I received an email from a good friend of mine, Fanta Solange Lopez. She wanted to know whether or not, I had featured "Say you are one of them" by Nigerian author and ordained Jesuist priest, Uwen Akpan. I hadn't yet..she suggested writing a book review..because the book left her breathless. Looking at the articles on Oprah's site I could see that she wasn't the only one.

Angelique Kidjo after reading the book was inspired to write a song called " Agbalagba"in which she encourages the youth to cherish its african traditions while call the world 2 fight against poverty.

Thank you Fanta for this touching and well-written book review!


"I AM ONE OF THEM", SAYS FANTA!



Uwem Akpan’s much acclaimed collection of short stories entitled “Say You’re One of Them” is bound to leave you breathless. Not just because of its cultural richness, or its factual accuracy, or even its astoundingly raw pictorial prose; but rather because it is a universal masterpiece of humanity and truth.


All throughout the five short stories weaved in his book, Akpan speaks in the innocent and pure voice of children about some of the harshest realities plaguing our African continent. From poverty and child prostitution in “The Ex-Mas Feast” to child sex trafficking in “Fattening for Gabon”, to religious, social and national divisions in “What language is that?”, “Luxurious Hearses” and “My parents’s bedroom”, Akpan artfully spells out the beauty and humanity behind the dark curtains of these much publicized horrors.


We’ve all heard of the disasters of child prostitution on the streets of Lagos, or felt the shame of child sex trafficking as reported from the shores of Gabon, or shielded our faces from the disturbing images displayed on television screens around the world of the genocide in Rwanda. Yet few of us have managed to hear these stories from the mouths of those most affected by them: the children. That is exactly the simple, yet extraordinary feat that Uwem Akpan so successfully accomplishes in his work.


Through the voices of children such as Monique in Rwanda, Jubril in Niger, or Kotckikpa in Benin, Akpan cracks open a much needed window on the humanity behind these stories. These are children, African children, filled with hope, promise and future, who despite the shame of selling their bodies on poorly lit city streets to sustain their families, still know how to laugh when being tickled. These are children who do not understand what it means to be sold as sex slaves by their own families, yet still love the very perpetrators of these crimes with all their heart. These are children who cherish other children just because, despite religious and societal barriers imposed by childish adults who do not know any better. These are children who look at Death in the face, walking in the dark, their feet shuffling in pools of blood, instinctively, unknowingly pursuing Life. They embody the meaning of Humanity, Love, Endurance, and Friendship.



They do not condemn, neither do they judge the world that already condemned and sentenced them. They simply tell the truth of their stories to whomever wants to listen. And listen we should, because these stories are not just about some remote part of the world we get to peek at and return to our everyday havens. Because these are stories about us, about how we, as human beings, see ourselves, about the definitions we assign ourselves, and the denominations we assign others. About the shame and guilt we feel as a result of not knowing and upholding the truth of who we are. About the moral dispossession we fall prey to, for elusive want of material possessions. About the shattered innocence and broken dreams that is the bulk of the inheritance left by the heavy toll of previous generations, oblivious of the gift of Tomorrow. About Life, Death, and Redemption.

About you and I. I am one of Them.

SD


You can find articles about the author and the book , here:


Djaa my Nigerian brothas sont trop dedans:)
Eyee Wayee:)

IN LOVE WITH PEPE OLEKA' SOULFUL AFRO SOUND!




Sorry guys,my home net connection was not working properly..that's why I've gone M.I.A on y'all:) I'm de retour..hope you guys are having a beautiful week.let's gooo:)

Writing about Pepe Oleka is long time overdue, her music simply speaks to me.
I connect with her voice even if I don't speak her language.
Pepe is mixed, her mum is from Benin and her papa from Nigeria and yes u can be mixed and still look black. She was born in Naija, and raised in Lome. She currently resides in France.
On top of being a fly singer, Pepe also plays the udu (a tradional instrument from Benin), percussions,maracas,the calebasse and other instruments..

As a youngster she was always involved in music talent shows,singing in church or on the Lome streets..basically she's an authentic singer.
She collaborated in the past with a lot of artists especially hip hop benenise artists such as H20 Assouka,BMG Yari..ect
I love her, I know she may be underated..but sometimes those artists are the best, I can tell that she puts her whole heart into her work..
Here's her webpage:
www.myspace.com/pepoleka
U can check out the video for Houenou, HERE (love this song)

Djaa my sisters from Benin sont dedans:)
Eyeee Wayee:)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

TO AUNTY DEBORAH HOLLIMON....

I can't believe that I won't get to be hugged again by sweet aunty Deborah Hollimon .
Aunty Deborah is the lovely mother of more than a friend to me, my sister Kimberly Hollimon Hazley.
Back in college, when I was still getting used to the American culture and way of life, still didn't know my way around this american campus, Kimberly was there to help me.
This young African American woman stood out among the rest of the students by the way she held herself, by her strong sense of purpose and spirituality.

They say behind a great man there's a great woman, but I say behind a strong woman, there's an even greater mother. If it wasn't for her mother there would be no Kim. Aunty Deborah was just courageous and loving even when times were hard ..when I think of her, I think of her smiling face when she would see Sheeva & I, her daughter's dearest friends in college.

I'm thankful that she was there to witness 3 major events in Kim's life: her college graduation, her wedding and the birth of baby Jordan. On Kim's wedding she was there, beaming with pride , love and care for not only her daughter but Oye her son in law. I remenber when Kim was leaving for the reception how peaceful she looked, how happy she was for her daughter.
On Kim's graduation, as soon as she saw me she hugged me tight as if I was one of hers, it felt like she was saying are you ok, I'm here now child..

Despite the physical & emotional pain she was going through, despite those ups and downs that we human beings all have to go through, aunty remained as strong as she could be...
She did a great job not only raising Kim but her 4 other beautiful sistas:Tamiko, Rostine,Genea and Dawn. During her journey on this earth she was blessed with a great marriage to their late father, Alfonso Hollimon whom I wished I had the chance to meet.

Aunty was also busy being kissed and loved by her 8 grand children..so see she's done a whole lot on this life. We'll try not to be sad because I know if she could talk to us she would say I'm ok, it's such a blessing with the Lord..I can actullay see her smiling from heaven..so my sister Kim please don't cry..:)

This poem on her legacy guest book page spoke volumes to me and I wanted to share it with y'all:

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay
.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again;
you were missed while you were gone.

As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.
God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to you....in the middle of the night.


When you think of my life on earth,
and all those loving years
because you are only human,
they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry;
it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers,
unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.

But one thing is for certain,
though my life on earth is o'er.


I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.
There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world,
the world will give to you.


If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......
"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;

I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.


And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free, remember you're not going.....you're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)

I love you aunty , I'll def' look over Kimmy for you:)
We all will...Until we see each other soon:)

Deborah Hollimon , October 28th 1956/ January 1rst 2010

Yaye

Sunday, January 03, 2010

DRESSED BY AMAYEL, DIOR & MAI SCREAM "WE ARE SENEGALESE WOMEN & WE'RE PROUD!

Once upon a time, there were 2 Senegalese young women
On the left Dior Youga Ndao and on the right Maimouna Fall
this is their story:)



Dior is of Wolloff ethnicity
Maimouna is of Fulani ethnicity

Goree was indeed welcoming us

Mai lived in DC during her college years

The both believe in minding their own businesses, they're not into gossip and
both wish there would be more solidarity between women

One of Mai's beauty secret is shea butter,
she loves pampering her hair with this African natural ressource


They both are proud Muslimah women

They both wish that Senegalese women woud be natural
in the way they use make up, do their hair ect..


Wasis Diop is one of Mai's fav' artist
Another one of my fav'
I love the yellowish background
that picks up the beautiful colors of Dior's outfit

Did you see this gal? Yes gal....he's a thioff lol

Mai is wearing a top by Tima Couture
and the pagne is by Amayel


If it wasn't for God we wouldn't be here

Therefore Thanking God is a must

This lady was so gangsta lol..
I loved her
This is a typical stand where they sell fruits, nuts ect


Both ladies are dressed by Amayel
I love how they seem to walk towards the water



Dior & Mai at the Goree Museum, if you do get a chance to visit Goree make sure to stop by,
you'll learn a great deal about Senegalese history



Mai looks so graceful, pointed toe and all lol

Mai is dressed by Tima Couture, while Dior is dressed by Thiouba Thiam
Dior is so pretty in this Amayel ensemble

Mai in Amayel Design
Mai checking out painting inside the museum

Lol where are y'all going?


Mai has been wearing her hair natural for almost 2 years now

One of my fav' thing abt Dior is her generosity..

They both are down to earth young women

Mai is a hard worker,
she believes in working hard to reach her goals



Dior is one the biggest Youssou Ndour's fans in the world

Mai in real life is into jazz music

One of both ladies fav' restaurant in Dkar is Le Toukouleur

Tourists on the island were crazy for Mai

Proud of what our mamas gave us

Fabulafricana woman ..period
Another one of my fav' pics of the bunch

There's such a sense of feminity to Mai

Dior sitting pretty in a dress by Aladji Cisse
The futur is right in front of you

Beautiful face
Outfit by Amayel


Mai looks so beautiful in this saumon anongo by Thiouba Thiam

This is one my fav' pic..I love everything about it

Je te tiens, tu me tiens...
I love that Dior is a confident woman
Mai is like a beautiful feline on top this historical ancient canon


Knocking on the door..


On the streets of Goree , Dior is admiring paintings
by local painters


La Vie est Belle
Beautiful smiles


The blue of the water compliments the lovely
pastel colors of the Amayel outfit Dior is wearing
What Mai & Dior are carrying in her hands
is called in wolloff" eupoukaye"


Maimouna Fall & Diour Youga Ndao..
two beautiful amazing Senegalese young women representing Senegalese women. I choose to shoot both these ladies at the same time, because to me they represent the diversity of Senegalese beauty. One is blessed with gorgeous dark skin& beautiful curves while the other is blessed with brown skin and a beautiful shape. Mai and Dior represent two different ethnic groups, Maimouna is fulani while Dior is wolloff.

They both love their land , speak wolloff & french perfectly . It was interesting interviewing them because they are two strong women with two different upbringings and life experiences. Through this fashion shoot with Amayel Design , Tima Couture Thiouba Thiaw & Aladji Cisse..I wanted to show the beauty of a Senegalese woman & senegalese fashion.

I would like to thank Ama Wane-Lanse of Amayel Design for allowing me to dress these 2 gorgeous fabulafricanas, diarama sista:)
Let's goooo

1- In each other how do you see the senegalese woman reflected?
Mai: In Dior I see the Senegalese woman reflected with her beautiful ebene complexion that we are known for,. We Senegalese women are also known for our beautiful curves. In her I see the "terranga" the typical Senegalese hospitality that we are also known for.
Dior: In Mai I see the beauty of Senegalese women. I see it through the graceful way she moves . I also see a strong and ambitious woman who's trying to fight for her goals.


2- How do u manage balancing our tradition and modernity?

Dior: Contrary to Mai I didn't travel abroad therefore I don't have the western influence so much however I don't regret. I am proud of the tradional values I was given....
Mai: I had a modern upbringing , I lived in Dakar lived in the States, therefore a result of those experiences. I don't think about balancing both I am just who I am.


3- How do you view the position of women in marriage?

Mai: I don't believe in feminism, for me there shouldn't be a question of equality between a man and woman because we're not equal. We mutually respect each other, I'm a professional communication director in a bank in Dakar, I can financially take care of myself, but when I get married my husband will be the leader of my family, and I'm aight with that.
Dior: I totally agree with Mai, I also think that there shouldn't be a question of equality between men and women, I also am a professional working in accounting. I work , I take care of myself but when I'll have a husband , I'll be more than happy to let him lead.


4- What is being "mok potch " for you?

Mai: lol being mok potch is knowing how to take care of your man, it's everyday it's not just being able to wear sexy lingerie, it's being attentive to your man. For example if your man is watching tv and seems tired why not bring him some tea or something like that. It's not being weak to me it's actually a joy to be able take care of your man, every woman should be happy to be able to do so. It's also lettting your man think that he leads while you are the one in the driver seat lol.
Dior: Absolutely lol, totally agree being "mok potch" is important, not letting yourself go, taking care of yourself, being there with a lot of sweetness towards your man is essential if you want your relationship to work.

5- How important is cooking and putting thiouraye in your house?
Mai: Cooking is not only 1 thing I enjoy doing, but it's also important to keep your man lol... Senegalese men love eating..... Thiouraye is also a part of taking care of your house, making your house smell good it's a plus.
Dior: I agree with her , a woman needs to know how to take care of your house that's part of the things we've learned from our mothers. Besided who would want to come back to a dirty house and nasty food everyday...

6-How important is spirituality for you?
Dior: I'm a Muslim, I pray 5 times a day and fast two days a week. My faith means everything to me, it helps me be strong it helps me stay serene and happy without it I don't know where I'll be.
Mai: Faith is important to me, to me it's a personal relationship between one and God. I practice my faith of course I have days days on and off but I truly believe in God.

7- How do you feel about yourself?
Mai: I love who I am and wouldn't change a thing, I'm totally comfortable within myself. I'm human so some days I may feel myself a bit less but in general I'm totally fine with what Gold blessed me with.
Dior: Same here, I wouldn't change a thing, I love my curves, I may not be perfect but that's totally fine with me.


Thank you ladies for a beautiful day , it was one of the best experiences I've had regarding "fabulabricana". Sharing laughters and your girly moments was just a blast. I thank you for embracing one another , being respectful and helpful towards each other. This was a first for me, and I would like to thank Amayel once again, diarama:)

www.amayel.com

Djaaa les gos du Senegal sont trop dedans:)
Eyeee Wayeee:)