HOW TO STYLE THE PERFECT LOOK
DRESS TO IMPRESS
SEVENTIES STYLE IS BACK
RETRO IS HERE
A TIMELY PHOTOSHOOTING IN NATURE
As I binge watch sappy romantic movies on Netflix on my day off, and yes you can envision me sitting on the couch with a shower cap with hair treatment brewing underneath. I couldn’t help but think about the typical story line on each movie; handsome man locks eyes with a beautiful girl across a crowded room and gets the courage to walk over and say hello or they bump into each other on a busy street and loose words as they gaze upon each other.
Then I thought of all the stories I hear around Nairobi, I couldn’t help but think how un-romantic everything has become. Ok, I understand that we are in a modern age where there are more ways of meeting people; Tinder, Grinder, Zoosk etc… I love that every type of person can potentially find someone.
However from the constant meet and greets I figured that once two people decided to commit, then the search stops. Nairobi seems to be singing a different song when it comes to monogamy. You think you’re exclusive with someone just to find out that he/she has a wife/husband or that person is already in a long-term commitment and maybe you’re a weekend boyfriend/girlfriend?!
We exchange these stories over coffee/tea catchup with the girls like its normal? “Oh guess what happened with the guy I was seeing… found out he has 3 kids and a wife”.
It makes me wonder if there are any truly committed partners in Nairobi anymore?
I sit down with my family to hear how my aunts and uncles found each other and their stories are truly sweet, and 20 years later they are still madly in love. Is it impossible to find that type of commitment these days? I would love your opinions of this?
Do you feel that monogamous relationships is slowly dying in Nairobi or are we all just concentrating on all the bad news and blocking ourselves from the potential or falling madly in love in our beautiful city?
As I finalised my tour details on a planned excursion to the famous Stone Town in Zanzibar, I refrained from researching too much as I genuinely wanted to be surprised when I got there.
With an early start, we began the hour long ride into town with the first stop being the slavery museum. As we arrived at the slavery museum, I began to learn about the sad, rich history of Zanzibar (being the gateway port for the slave trade between East Africa and the Middle East). I know its cliche to say how blessed a lot of us are, but being reminded of our history is the only way to snap back into reality sometimes and actually appreciate how lucky some of us are to be born into the free world we have now (to some extent, I will explain).
I know there are constantly threats in this modern age and its very easy to get depressed on the mayhem and sad news we hear day in and day out, but it has been through travel and learning other countries histories that we can just sit back and reflect on how far we have come…
We then proceeded to walk towards Stone Town, where I learnt a lot of the houses in the area consist of government housing. The people that live there pay a small amount to the government as compensation, but thats not what shocked me, I just thought; who knew that Kenya’s neighbours offer government housing?!
With the growing blooming Kenyan economy, how do we still have slums? Billions of shillings go missing every other day with the main suspects of those scandals roaming free! Think about all the progress around the city that could have happened with that money! We could have build a whole block or upgraded an whole section of a slum to better the Kenyan people! Our neighbours are setting the standard that I think we should follow and government housing would help so many Kenyans and should be a basic need that we should be subsidising.
Our tour guide also showed us a church next to a mosque and that Muslims and Christians respect each others faiths and live peacefully together. In fact, Christian and Muslim children go to sunday school together…
While on the other hand, Nairobi is biased on almost everything! Everyone judges each other constantly over the most irrelevant subjects. We segregate in faith, tribe, colour… We judge, clothing, cars, houses or simple social media posts!
How do you benefit from this? It takes more time and energy to segregate and talk about other people than just accepting and living our lives. Imagine how far we would be? We still have such a wide gap between the rich and the poor, no government support for those who are less fortunate and need it, and the only thing people seem to care about is destroying other peoples reputations or miss treating others for the smallest things.
I admired all the rich heritage and all the lessons I’ve learnt and highly recommend a visit to Zanzibar, not only for the amazing people and site seeing, but as a fellow Kenyan it can surprisingly cleanse the soul.
I almost couldn’t sleep the night before my flight, which was strange to me, considering that one of my proud talents is the art of sleep (literally one of those people that can sleep on command).
I guess I blamed it on the fact that for almost 5 years, I would keep telling myself that I was going to save enough money to go to Zanzibar and I know alot of you might be thinking, well Stef its Kenya’s neighbour, what took you so long?
I guess it was the fact that overtime I looked up tickets and saw how expensive it would be! A return ticket would cost around 65,000-80,000 Ksh from Nairobi! I always compared it to travelling toDubai and couldn’t justify flying so close for the same price as going to another continent!
Thanks to the world of competitiveness, Fly 540 has given us a beacon of hope! We can now finally fly to Zanzibar, and for half the previous price!
As I finally woke up at 6:30 am and started making my way through the Nairobi CBD traffic heading to the airport, I boarded the small aircraft and landed in Mombasa (I know you’re all wondering why Mombasa, but don’t worry I’m about to explain just hold on…).
I guess the way it makes it economical for the airline to have a full plane from Nairobi to Mombasa (a very popular route) then drop literally 3 quarters of the plane and pick up another boat load of people and then head from Mombasa to Zanzibar.
This stop over only took 45 mins of my life and to be honest if thats what it means for the flights to be cheaper than continue the fine work there at FLY 540!
Upon landing at the Zanzibar airport, I only had to fill out ONE form (yay! finally a benefit to the Kenyan passport!) and voila I was officially ready for a holiday.
Just a warning to everyone, there are no baggage carousels at the Zanzibar International airport so you may find people with your bags and you just have to show them which one is yours. Once you leave the terminal I wouldn’t let the “official baggage porters” (in yellow vests) or anyone take your bag as they want a tip to drag your bag a whole 10 metres.
I was then picked up by the friendliest chauffeur that went ahead to explain fun facts about the island as we began our upcoming 1 hour drive to the Residence Resort.
At first I was thinking where are we going? why is it so far? etc.
But as we arrived, I can fully understand why it is so secluded!
The privacy and exclusivity is worth it! Met on arrival with a refreshing watermelon juice and cold towel, I then began to get into holiday mode. Each villa has its own private pool! (yes I didn’t stutter) as well as all the luxuries of a 5 star resort… (indoor and outdoor shower, living room and secluded private bathtub, you get the point).
I just want to live here for the rest of my days haha
I had to show you all a glimpse of what I think is paradise in Zanzibar and I will post more fun facts and experiences later on this week.
Since I was a kid growing up in Nairobi, there wasn’t really options for girls with natural kinky curly hair. Our moms would normally take us to the salon for what they considered a ‘neat hairstyle’ that was socially acceptable at the time. Normally braids were most school girls hairstyle choice or when we were considered old enough and begged our moms consistently and were finally allowed, we would jump at the chance to get our hair “chemically relaxed”.
When we “chemically relaxed” our hair it was considered easier to maintain as it made our hair resemble westerners, and I’m not sure if we loved our hair to become softer because it was easier or if this came with the illusion that we were more beautiful if we resembled western women?
Some of you who were strong enough to not go with this popular hair trend might be asking yourself but why go through all of this? Well, with all the western influences in Kenya at the time, it was a popular misconception that beauty involved having straight smooth hair and from what I remember, the contact lenses trend followed as we wanted blue/green eyes (but that’s a story for another day).
It sounds so silly when I reflect on how life was back then but we simply didn’t have options. Black empowerment was not as influential as it is now and owning your natural God-given looks.
In fact,when I first got into the workforce I remember having weaves or trying to maintain my ‘relaxed’ hair as it not only made me blend into the predominantly white work force in Australia but it was seen as a more professional look than walking into meetings with braids or an afro.
I then started to follow natural hair movement blogs and got inspired by powerful young women that wouldn’t let society change who they were naturally. Why should I be undermined at a meeting just because of my hair style?
Am I not the same person with the same knowledge and know how?
I then put a stop to it and started my natural hair journey on the 15th of March 2015 and love every moment of just being me and not hiding behind a facade of what is considered beautiful because the simple fact is that our look is beautiful and unique and no one has the right to make you feel any other way.
It’s no secret that the make-up industry has exploded in recent years with the US cosmetic market alone recording a revenue of up to $56.63bn. Women all around the world are not only just picking a foundation that matches their skin colour or an eye shadow that compliments your eye colour. Beauty makeup products have been seen as a tool of sheer manipulation. Contouring to minimise, strobing to maximise, overdrawn lips to get sensual lips or mattifying for well… not sure yet.
The world of beauty has moved to a predominantly online platform. Women can now access tutorials from professionals and amateurs illustrating the best tips and tricks of the trade (or how to get the next Kylie Jenner look).
Surprisingly not? I’ve been watching trends of more natural movements ranging from hair to skin. We can only endure cartoon-like faces for so long, and thankfully, the beauty industry is experiencing a major shift to the opposite end of the spectrum.
Unpolished nails, textured hair, dewy skin, unfilled brows, the beauty “trend” of late is all about being in our natural state. Can we get a hallelujah?
The events that have led to this movement will be explored in part 2 of my natural movement post. For now though, here are some inspirational social media accounts that showing the world that we can be beautiful in our own skin.