Category Archives: General

10Sep/16
Fifty Shades of Duku

“Fifty Shades of Duku” is a Must Have for Headwrap Lovers

Ofentse “Princess Ofee” Maluleke is the CEO of Taji Holdings and author of Fifty Shades of Duku. Taji is a Swahili word for CROWN. The company is focused on manufacturing and distributing natural hair and skin products while teaching Queens how to take care of their crowns. She also has a relentless love affair with head wraps and began teaching others how to wrap in 2013 on her Youtube channel.

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Ofee was born and raised in Empangeni  (Kwa-Zulu Natal), South Africa, ensuring that she got an all-round South African experience and that she could speak at least 5 languages. Her love for entrepreneurship began in high school where she was nicknamed “the popcorn lady” as she sold popcorn during break times for pocket money. She continued to sell other items such as beaded jewelery and muffins all the way through to university.

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The way that African women wear their duku’s is significantly different to the way other ethnicities wear theirs.  Instead of tying the fabric below the chin or at the nape of the neck African women tie it on the crown of the head or on the sides and tuck in the fabric in the wrap leaving the face and neck exposed. This ensures the head is puled upwards and the features of the face  are highlighted. In other words, an African woman wears her duku as she would a crown.

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“My life purpose is to inspire, heal and help African Queens to look and feel beautiful and be their authentic selves for God’s glory through my products, seminars, blogging and vlogging online.”

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In this book, Ofee will showcase 50 different ways to tie a Duku step-by-step.

Headwraps (Duku) hold a significant role in the history of African women all over the continent and the diaspora. The tradition has been passed through the generations and has never gone out of fashion. Duku’s have been historically worn by both men and women of all races but, in recent times it has become associated almost solely with women of African decent.

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Among other incredible works, she also sells locally produced organic body, lip and hair products.

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Many thanks to:

 @FlashingLitesPhotography

@TajiShop

@Marabouess

@papi9525

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09Sep/16
https://tajimag.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/images-26.jpg

Lindi Roaming the Streets in Celebration of Our “Imbokodos”

In this edition of Lindi Roaming the Streets, Lindi celebrates our “Imbokodos” (Rocks/Women)!                                                                   

“Take a girl to the dance Campaign”

                                                           Agwata-Girls-Education-Initiative-mtg-early-apr2014-web  

Because every girl is a princess, they deserve that one night to celebrate their hard earned work. Rapunzel is a bit more relatable than the other princesses, especially because she doesn’t even know that she’s a princess until the very end. I like to think of her as the bohemian princess, as she’s barefoot and living in a tower. She paints and reads… She’s a Renaissance woman.

We are earnestly persuading all of our loving Queens out there to donate their matric dresses, and make someone’s prom night one they never imagined. This initiative gives education a meaning in rural and underprivileged communities, as they can only dream of nights like this.

This campaign runs from  01 August 2016 to 01 August 2017, in honour of all the hard working princesses that never gave up despite the obstacles that barred them from all angles, for they are our future QUEENS.

Imbokodos

                                                                  “Let’s take a girl to the dance, shall we?”

Please contact details below for more details and assistance.

Your donations are highly appreciated, and many thanks in advance.

IG:@muhlez

FB: Lindiwe Lee Tshitlho

Email: lindi@tajimag.com

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08Sep/16
#MustLoveBeards

#MustLoveBeards Profile: Gilbert Mathews

MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE BEARD #MustLoveBeards

If you loved marveling at the regal beard of past feature NESTLE SNIPES then let us introduce you to the man who made the pomade that made us gush over that beautiful beard.

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Gilbert Mathews, creator of the high quality, all natural product line Noir Classic is today’s #MustLoveBeards feature. This South Carolina family man is passionate, purpose-driven, and prosperous. In his adult life, he has almost always rocked a stunning beard. When he started in management years ago as a teenager, he was looked down on for rocking a beard. Black men already have to deal with racism in the workplace. Gilbert felt uneasy about expressing his aesthetic preference in the office because of the negative reactions from colleagues and supervisors. Eventually he cut his beard. Over time it grew back along with his resolve. Rather then continue feeling professionally insecure, he taught himself more about grooming. It was difficult to find products that worked for him. Non-Black bearded men would suggest waxes that dried out his hair. He started realizing that others were struggling with the same issues. Just like many other great inventors, Gilbert Matthews created Noir Classic to address a need.

THE PRODUCT

Noir Classic offers Black men natural products with healthy ingredients made specifically for coarse, curly, and thick hair. The following products are available for purchase:

ManWash– Our sulfate free, pH balanced shampoo and body wash.
Conditioner– pH balanced, moisturizing and light weight.
Pomade– Vegan and can be used for waves, curls and to tame beards.You can even apply some to your hands to fight ash.

The sulfate free shampoo and body wash are great. These cleansers clean our skin and hair a bit too well, stripping them of the natural oils they need to remain soft and moisturized. Moisture rich conditioners made of natural ingredients that restore moisture and give our hair and beards some sheen. The conditioner will help your beard look fuller and shinier in 1 wash. Bet. Natural moisture sealing pomade with Jamaican black castor oil. Jamaican black castor oil is great for thinning hair lines, as it helps naturally reverse hair loss. You can also purchase the FULL SET here.

All of products from Noir Classic are VEGAN, paraben-free, dye-free, and detergent-free with ingredients you can pronounce.

THE GIVEAWAY

Be sure to follow Taji Magazine on Instagram RIGHT NOW for an exclusive giveaway from Noir Classic.

THE MISSION

Through Instagram and barbershop talks, Gilbert Mathews is teaching Black men how to take care of their beards naturally while supporting a Black owned business. he is changing the face of male hair care and helping to give more Black men the confidence to rock their beards. We are created from the earth, so we use all the products from earth. From an environmental standpoint, natural products are key to sustainability. In growing my beard, I searched for natural products.

MAKING MOVES FOR THE FAMILY

Gilbert talks about the importance of being an example for his children and being the type of man his wife is happy to be with. As he reflects on life before and after being married at 22, he realizes that his wife has made him a stronger businessman.. “When I was younger it was all about me. I moved to the top in my career, but as I got older and started having children I realized that the world doesn’t revolve around me. We are interdependent. My children made that clear. My wife reminds me of that when I see her shine. Now I am more engaged in helping other Black men. Black male hair care is still a niche. Black women have led the way and we have to do the same. I have gained a sense of selflessness and peace of mind through this process.” As a man who loves his family dearly, Gilbert invests time into making sure his customers are happy. Any good business man knows that treating people well leads to great results.He noted that Black men have insecurities no matter how hard they are taught to hide it. “Our head may be shaped funny, we worry about feeling vulnerable–and men who don’t use my product may have dry or patchy beards–Noir Classic is a step towards a more confident man. That confidence leads to success and I want all of my brothers to succeed.

TESTIMONIAL

“Before trying Noir Classic Pomade, I had a hard time growing out my beard. I have tried numerous other beard oils that weren’t generated towards men of color. I experienced the dreaded “patchy beard” and searched high & low for the remedy. It wasn’t until I started using this product that I began to see those patchy areas fill in. It also helps that this product smells & feels amazing! I strongly recommend this to anyone looking to obtain that ideal beard of distinction.”

BUSINESS ADVICE

What tips does Gilbert suggest for emerging business owners? It’s simple: SERVICE. Service to our people is imperative. Service to the customer is essential. Put your customer above yourself and do it to genuinely take care of your people and they will take care of you.

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Baltimore is a mecca of Black creativity. There have been an astounding number of artists over the years who embody that spirit. Our #MustLoveBeards profile series at Taji Mag has introduced readers to Black men doing great things around the country. It is only right that for Labor Day we introduce one of the hardest working brothers on the East Coast. Today we had the chance to converse with the creator of THE INCREDIBLE CREATION, Milly Vanderwood.

Milly Vanderwood

The Incredible Creation is more than meets the eye. It is an umbrella brand that works with community members to uplift entrepreneurs and help them reach their potential. The organization deals with artist management, branding, culinary arts, and professional development. When young Brother Milly was 12, he wanted to break into hip hop. He was an ambitious rapper, even from an early age. Thirteen years later, he traded in the mic for management. At 28, he is now working with a number of artists doing the behind the scenes work it takes to be successful. On top of that, he opened an art gallery last year and has become a real force in his community. Along with the recording space and a thriving cupcake business, The Incredible Creation gives life. If you’re wondering about the caliber of the artists he has worked with, check out the incredible queen YoNasDa Hill. You can also visit the site to learn more about the musicians and painters on his roster.

Like many entrepreneurs, Milly does’t follow the rules and instead takes calculated risks. He is motivated by the success of others around him and keeping his customers happy. That drive to build up his network means that he is able to create endless opportunities. His aspirations to build his business into a multi-million dollar brand are certainly attainable at the rate he’s going. Any of his 8,000+ followers can tell you, this Black man puts in work.

“I just want to do better for us / by us because who else is gonna do it? I wanna show others that anything is possible.

You don’t have to be stuck in their system or way of doing things”

Despite some initial (and ongoing) struggles to find support, he has made it work. Finding hard working people who understand the vision can be daunting, but he handles the challenge like a champion. One lesson he has learned is that not everyone who approaches you will be capable or reliable. He has had to deal with his share of disappointments, but overall he and his business have grown from the experience.

What sets Milly Vanderwood apart from all of the other people out there chasing the same dream? In his words, “I basically do what I want…I get shit done.” One of his greatest influences is Master P. and it shows. He has a diversified portfolio, he cares about the community, his work is highly respected, and his empire continues to grow.

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30Aug/16
Pretoria High School

Pretoria High School for Girls Faces Fury After Black Pupils Told to ‘Straighten Hair”

2African pupils from Pretoria High School for Girls in South Africa are finally holding their school to account for racism. #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh was trending on social media on Monday (29/08/2016). Videos and photographs of pupils protesting at the school‚ one of the pupils sporting an afro‚ went viral.

The students say that they have raised complaints about the institutional culture and racism at the school in the past, but they have been told that their focus on race and politics is the reason why there is no black student among the top 10 achievers.

After protesting over the weekend against the school’s code of conduct, which instructs them to chemically straighten their hair, the girls held their posters high on Monday while many of them defiantly kept their hair natural. When the bell rang, some of the protesters made their way back to class, but a few of the students walked behind the MEC of Pretoria.

As they walked behind the MEC, they raised their fists in the air saying the “time has come” and “it’s been long enough” in reference to how long they had been fighting against racism at the school.

A student detailed how a teacher had told her to tie her dreadlocks in a way that would fit into the school’s view of tidiness. She tried to explain that her dreadlocks were too heavy and cut into different lengths so a hairband would not work. Her teacher put her in front of a mirror after class and told her to fix it.

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“She instructed me to fix myself as if I was broken,”

“My hair is natural and connected to my roots. They are not braids, they are roots.”

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A powerful image of a young girl in school uniform standing up to a man with her arms crossed above her head has gone viral. Her name is Zulaikha Patel. And the image of her defying the policing of Black bodies has become iconic. Zulaikha’s actions might have been directed at Pretoria High School for Girls, but her story resonates with many others.

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“SCALP FOR YOU”

I burn my scalp for you
To assimilate these strands into your world
I burn my scalp for you
To temper the African that flows through each follicle
I burn my scalp for you
To feed each root with the toxicity of your prejudice
I burn my scalp for you
For my afro may not block your worldview of me

I burn my scalp for you
To straighten the kinks out of my Nubian character
I burn my scalp for you
So that my Blackness may be obedient before you
I burn my scalp for you
So that these now timid strands lay in the grip of your elastic band
I burn my scalp for you
Lest these nappy curls stand up too much in defiance

You see, I have already burned everything else about me in your racist space
My melanin skin
My mother tongue
My culture
My crops on land you stole

It matters not that you have never burned your scalp for me
But you have policed my Blackness for too long

So now I refuse to burn my scalp for you
No longer will I burn within an ember of my authentic me
As I raise my fist past this mane of matted glory
You WILL accept me with my “kaffir hare”!

by Sean Burke

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29Aug/16
Chaz Pope

#MustLoveBeards Profile: Chaz Pope

Since GOD is everywhere, then THE MOST HIGH must be from where I’m from. #GodIsFrom

This week’s installment of our #MustLoveBeards series features Chaz Pope, “God Is From” apparel series creator. Taji Mag came across this king during our recent trip to Atlanta. We sat down with him at the Black owned business Boogaloo Lounge to find out more about this dope brother.

Chaz PopeThis Black man got into the habit of marketing when he was 13. Now at 38, he feels like he is in his groove. What most people don’t realize about him is that he taught himself how to screen print when he was 35. Most folks in their mid 30s are content to settle, but he was determined to step out on faith.

In his own words, “numbers don’t lie”. How did our #MCM get to this point though?

Once he got the idea that God is from everywhere, he reached out to a friend who owned a small corner store. The shirts sold out in an hour and he knew he had something special. He took his last $1,000 and moved to Atlanta to pursue his endeavors. After moving in with his uncle for a few weeks, his shirts quickly made that $1,000 back. He was printing bulk orders in his living room by the second month.

Once he came up with the term “God is from”, he searched for the trademark. Even with all the signs, he held on to the idea for all year before making any big moves. He started what he describes as all “shitty” website that stayed up for 7 months without really moving product the way he wanted. Then a big turning point happened. He met independent filmmaker Raxiel Sinz. From there, he met Big Tigger who got in touch via DM. Tigger, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Ludacris, Adrienne Joi Johnson, and a host of other celebrities started rocking his shirts. You can even catch our ongoing #WCW Da Brat in his “God is from” gear.

Aside from building a brand that speaks volumes, Chaz also teaches entrepreneurship to youth. He acknowledges the other Black entrepreneurs he has met over the years for motivating him to aim higher. Unlike a number of young business owners, Chaz believes that we have to work together to be successful. Thankfully, his ideology is one that is starting to trend among the Black Owned Business community.

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27Aug/16
Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

A Prestigious Event in Honour of our Queens: Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

Music Fashion QueendomsTaji Mag, together with ShowbizAfrica and HardRock Café SA, hosted one of the most prestigious events in honour of our Queens: Music, Fashion, & Queendoms. Women from all walks of life came together to honour one another’s crafts in the creative space.

“Africans must change their mind and actions. The keys to building your continent depends on your will-power, persistent effort and action towards self-liberation.”
— Lailah Gifty Akita

There were motivational talks, book readings, showcasing of local brands, and of course the night wouldn’t end without a prize.

This night was supported by the likes of:

Author of ‘Sigh the Beloved Country’ Bongani Madondo,

Radio Personality, Lebo Magolego

CEO of Malose Communications, Mr J

Music Fashion Queendoms  Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

 

Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

An array of fresh talent currently pushing their way towards their dreams, entertained the guests & supporters of this initiative, many incorporating a tribute to the Queens. The depth & variation of the rising creative talent, the aim is to nurture, was showcased by:

*Thabiso Thabethe

*Marley Bloo

*Queen Ofee

*House of Khalid Couture

*Queen Ink

*BlackDiamond

*KausKalture

*Dj

* Sinesipho Ngemntu

* Sabelo Moya

* Sphephelo Dludlu

* Kwanda Mchunu

 Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

‘Marley Bloo’ on vocals.

Hard Rock Cafe, Nelson Mandela Square, was a fitting venue with memorabilia displayed from various musical legends, giving some of these new artists a first taste of performing in an upscale venue.

Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

‘Dj Khanyi’ on the decks.

Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

Model and singer ‘BlackDiamond’

Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

Our lovely queen from the audience for the Duku demonstration.

Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

‘Queen Ofee’ with her Organic products from, Taji Shop SA.

Here’s to the crazy ones… the misfits… the rebels… the trouble makers… the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently- they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

‘The Khalid Sisters’ rocking their Duku’s.

Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

‘Thabiso Thabethe’ on the strings.

If we achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so, weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

Music, Fashion, & Queendoms

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26Aug/16
Shanice Thompson

Black Beauty: New Face Shanice Thompson

Shanice Thompson is a very strong fashion, swimsuit, afro-art and artistic model.  She literally took over the beach and drew a crowd.  She is a fresh face mainly featured on the runway and video projects.  This is her first official swimsuit photo shoot with this agency and we love it.

Shanice Thompson

Model: Shanice Thompson
Photographer: Fly Imagez
Set Direction/Concept: LJE Model Agency
Make-Up artist: Mariah Summerling
Location: Coney Island, NY
Agency: LJE Model Agency
Shanice Thompson Shanice Thompson IMG_0994
Shanice Thompson Shanice Thompson Shanice Thompson
IG/Twitter
Photographer: @fly_imagez
Make-up artist: @GlamMakeupDiva
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22Aug/16
#mustlovebeards nestle snipes

#MustLoveBeards Profile: Nestlé Snipes

There is something eternally sexy about a Black man with a beard and a plan. The everlasting regality exhibited by today’s #MustLoveBeards king is my blessing to all of our Taji Mag readers. In his own words, “My lineage is rooted in greatness. The history of Africa is one of high achievement and excellence that has set the precedent for the rest of the modern world.” Entrepreneur Nestlé Snipes sat down with Taji Mag to share his story.

So who is this fine, chocolate brother? Let me tell you a bit about the debonair Mr. Nestlé.

Creator and lead photographer for Made For a King Photography, Nestlé Snipes is an emerging artist, photographer, and actor living in the New Jerusalem (better known as East Orange, Jersey). He is a well-traveled navy man with aspirations for greatness.

Nestlé credits his love and appreciation for Blackness for making him the man he is today. Through independent research, he grew to love the countless contributions made by the Pan African world. This dedication to celebrating our origins goes beyond the for-profit arena. He and a collective of dapper Black men organized a “Rebirth of Cool” charity event that showed us what a classic man is really about.

His images are a classy mix of traditional, modern, and futuristic looks that are simply breathtaking. Scroll through his IG for more than 5 seconds and you will fall in love with your Blackness all over again. With more than 3,000 followers, his work is undoubtedly the blues in many a left thigh, trying to become the funk in our right… and that’s alright.

#mustlovebeards nestle snipes

Whether it’s his gold medal beard, his Malcolm-X-turned-hippie appeal, or the sheer brilliance of his passion, Nestlé Snipes is an intriguing Black entrepreneur on the rise. We are excited to watch out for what he does next.

 

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13Aug/16

Two Black Men Open Mobile Shower for the Homeless

mobile showerLive Fresh aims to provide Palm Beach County’s homeless individuals and families with a fresh shower, personal hygiene essentials and, the opportunity to Live FRESH via their mobile shower.

“Feeling Revitalized Encourages Sustainable Happiness”

“We will select service areas throughout Palm Beach based on critical need and community partnerships with local government, local faith based groups and non-profit organizations that assist the homeless. We will use our premiere mobile shower /personal hygiene facility, to make sure everyone in Palm Beach County has the ability to take a Fresh Shower. We will provide access to personal hygiene essentials including: Towel Soap · Shampoo · Conditioner · Toothbrush · Toothpaste · Dental Floss · Mouthwash · Lotion · Sunscreen · Sanitary Napkins (for women) · Condoms. We will provide support and assistance where possible. In doing this, we create a platform for refreshed communities, who generate fresh ideas, and begin embodying the notion that Feeling Revitalized Encourages Sustainable Happiness. By means of Genesis Community Health’s “outreach/ visiting clinics”, we will provide healthcare that brings services to the homeless. These clinics offer various health screenings, HIV Counseling and Testing, and referral services, linking the individual to a primary care facility and overall care with other supporting and partner organizations.”

Interested in Helping?

Almost 2.5 million youth, under the age of 18, experience homelessness in America each year. This historic high represents one in every 30 children in the U.S. Palm Beach County ranks #2 in Florida for children living in spaces not designed for human habitation. The average age of a homeless child in Palm Beach County is 7…

Help them make an IMPACT by contributing today! With your support, they can make sure our homeless brother sisters and children in Palm Beach County can live fresh.

Want to help out in a different way? Click here to check out the Live Fresh Wishlist!

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