Category Archives: Culture

29Sep/16
Swazzi

African Artist Swazzi Released New Tune “Skolo”

Meet the New Skool African Prince, Swazzi.

Swazzi is on a mission:

1. Redifining African Music. Swazzi
2. Promoting African languages and culture through music.
3. Unifying all Africans together with a common knowledge of ONESS
4. Using his voice as an entertainer to reach out to the less privileged.
5. To make a remarkable impact that becomes a Legacy.
6. To satisfy your soul with undiluted sound and using music as a tool
7. To remain there for you

Through the Swazzilians (his fans), Swazzi is bringing Africa to the world. Signed to label Thugluvin Records, Swazzi is highlighting his newly released record after the release of his smash hit “Elele” produced by Dj Coublon. His new song is titled “Skolo”. It’s also produced by Dj Coublon. The video is directed by UK base Nigerian, Director Q. Check out the video below and be sure to follow him on social media at @OfficialSwazzi.

29Sep/16
Alan Gray

Taji Artist Lounge: Alan Gray

Alan GrayAs a kid, Alan Gray always loved comic books and anime. He adored reading comic books and the depth of the storytelling. His father used to watch anime with him and they would bond over it. Alan began drawing in kindergarten and hasn’t stopped since. 5 years ago, the direction of his art changed.

“With me coming into knowledge of self and learning whats been happening to my people, I wanted to use my art to represent my community through the medium I love so much. I never had access to digital resources, so I always focused on perfecting my craft the old fashion way.  I’m hugely inspired by the comic book artist I saw as a child, but anime has really influenced my style and storytelling.”

You can find Alan’s art on instagram at @blackgodcomics and at blackgodcomics on facebook.

 

28Sep/16
Afro Women Workshops

Black Royal: Afro Women Workshops

Afro Women Workshops is a group of African women, creative entrepreneurs who stand in solidarity.

Afro Women WorkshopsPhoto : Christelle Cognac, Photographe

Clothing : A’S de la Perfection

MUA : Jennifer Bui

Models: Afro Women Workshops Founders (Angélique Marguerite Berthe Diène aka Blacky Gyan – Alice Niang – Mariama Dabo aka Emerau)

Follow them on instagram at @afrowomenworkshops.

Afro Women Workshops  Afro Women Workshops  Afro Women Workshops

Afro Women Workshops

22Sep/16
craig c

Taji Artist Lounge: Craig C. Tha’ Artist

craig cCraig Carter, also known as Craig C. Tha’ Artist, is a self-taught mixed media visual artist from Houston, TX. He uses any and everything to create his art pieces from acrylic paints to different hues of coffee and tea. He’s always striving to find amazing and creative ways to express himself artistically and continue to grow as a visual artist. Most times he tends to go the extra mile when it comes to working on a piece. He always knew he loved art; watching the 80’s hip hop film called Beat Street is what solidified him into drawing. Seeing “Ramo” put those color combinations together on those graffiti pieces had him fascinated and he knew he wanted to do something with art. As a kid and teenager, it was just a hobby – something to pass time and stay out of trouble – but the more people kept complimenting him on it, the more he took it serious.

Everyday he wakes up passionate about art because it’s another day to create and learn another technique. “For me, it’s time to unwind and ponder about other things on my mind like music and traveling. I’m also passionate about doing live art events and getting the youth involved in the arts as well. Hopefully by them seeing me create, it inspires them.”

His work has been featured in different galleries and publications both nationally and internationally.

More of his artwork can be found at https://craigctheartist.carbonmade.com and on Instagram @Craigctheartist

craig c

21Sep/16
ibiop

YtheDoula introduces the IbiOp App for Birth Options & OBGyn

ibiopFinally an app that lists all Doulas, Midwives, OB-GYNs and more of Color: the IbiOp app. Yasmintheresa Garcia is 24 year old Afro-Dominican from East New York, Brooklyn. This Midwife in training, Doula, and Childbirth educator is recently the creator and developer of the IbiOp App.

Yasmintheresa recalls practicing being a Doula when she was 12 years old, before she even know it was a career. She began to focus on her career as a Doula to gain experience to become a midwife 3 years ago after watching the “Business of being born” documentary.

What made her interested in this field of expertise was the want to make women feel empowered by supporting them during the moment when they become super humans but may also feel the most vulnerable.

ibiopDuring her extensive research to find a Midwife to be her preceptor as Midwife in training, she realized the lack of accessibility there is to different medical providers. Many Midwives who have their own private practice don’t have time to update their facebook page or twitter let alone have a website. Roughly only 27 states allow Certified Professional Midwives to have their own practice outside of hospital institutions, therefore she made it her mission after training with the Farm Midwives of Summertown, TN to create a directory where not only clients can find these birth workers who specialize in natural birth, but students interested in the field also.

Since her freshmen year in college, Yasmintheresa knew that as a millennial she would have to create something in the tech world or else regret not using her knowledge of advance technology that she acquired while growing up. She came up with the idea in January of 2016 when she created a virtual vision board for the spring season and added a photo of the app store logo to remind herself everyday to research and create an app to serve the industry she works in. After intensive research and creative surges she drew up her app, gathered data, and began to work on hers. Yasmintheresa wants people to know that not all millennials are lazy. That even though she has had many doors closed in her face, she still manages to create what she wished existed, including her own opportunities.

IbiOp was created to allow women all over the world access to health care focusing on gynecology. With the IbiOp app, women can now access a directory of medical providers or labor and birth support persons anywhere in the world. This app will allow women who travel the touch of a button access to options available in their community for gynecology services or antenatal, prenatal, and postnatal support.

Women who are expecting or just concerned with their health will now have an app where they can find anything from a Midwife who does regular check ups and all well women care, to OB-GYNs who focus on high risk patients, or expecting mothers who are simply looking for labor and birth support from Doulas. The app also includes events happening worldwide that focus on women’s health, expectant mothers, and family planning.

Their goal with IbiOp is to have as many options for women to choose from when selecting a labor support person or medical provider. IbiOp will benefit every woman who has access to apps worldwide. Now an 18 year old in college who just had her first experience with a guy and wants to get checked but is to shy to walk into a clinic can find someone on the app that looks like her and who she feels comfortable with. They have even considered the woman who is pregnant and travelling who needs to see a midwife for a sudden check up in a foreign country.

Yasmintheresa is an ambitious young woman thriving in an industry that was once known for having mainly elder midwives as birth attendants and gate keepers of life and death. Today the maternity industry has women of all ages catering to mothers across the board while jumping through loopholes and creating new rights for women to be able to birth freely. She works tirelessly to fund her own Midwifery education and career and hopes that others see the necessity in support for women of color.

IbiOp is now available for download in both Apple & Google app store for FREE.

Get Involved! Get your tickets!

ibiop

 

19Sep/16

#MustLoveBeards Profile: Derrick Weston Brown

If you have ever visited DC’s famous Busboys & Poets for their poetry night, you have this man to thank. This week’s #MCM is Charlotte’s own Derrick Weston Brown, author of the acclaimed poetry book, Wisdom Teeth. His talent has taken him all over the country including San Francisco, Oakland, Vancouver, upstate New York, Philly, Seattle, and of course DC. This week’s #MustLoveBeards brother is the always delectable Mr. Derrick Weston Brown.

Derrick Weston Brown, Wisdom Teeth author and poet

Smooth jazz made sweet love to classic prose and Derrick Weston Brown was born. Our #MCM #MustLoveBeards feature will remind you why good poetry matters.

He is more than just a nice smile and thick beard you could fall asleep in. Brown is an insightful poet with a passion for education. He has played a number of roles including poet-in-residence, teacher, lecturer, and performer. He goes by many names on social media: Fatback McGristle, Neegrolicious Jones, Nipsey Rustled, Rad News Brown. No matter what alias he sports, this brother is beyond talented. With inspirations like the Black Rooster Collective, Gaston Neal, Risikat Okedeyi, Amiri Baraka, and Sonia Sanchez, his work was always destined to shine. He credits his mother and Black women for much of his success. Let’s be real though, Taji Mag loves this bearded man because of his willingness to be emotional and vulnerable in a world that tells Black men they’re only allowed to be hyper-sexual, ignorant beasts. Word after word, his art is unlike any other creator we have come across. It also doesn’t hurt that his locks and chocolate skin are the gateway to heaven.

Advice for Future Authors

If others want to publish their first book, Mr. Brown has some sound advice. “Have a good support system who can help cut through the insecurities and doubts. Let them talk you down, and keep your ego in check. I actually turned down the initial offer to get my book published. I was worried that people would assumed someone was doing me a favor. It took me a while to come around. My loved ones gave me that reality check that I may not get that opportunity again.”

The publisher approached him again and he finally accepted that the book deal was based on his merit rather than his connections. His story is a testament to the necessity of support in our community. Support systems matter. His experiences taught him that real friends will let you know when you’re being a knucklehead. That’s what love is: when your friends are clear and honest. He admits that he would not be where he is without his close friends, family, and mentors like Dr. Tony Medina (Howard University professor), Alan King (new book Point Blank comes out in November), Fred Joiner (Center for Poetic Though in DC).

What else has he learned on this journey?

  • Avoid any book contests you have to pay for! That is a trick for them to fund their publishing so they can often be shady. Use the resources/connections that you have as you’re establishing your book tour. Be very selective about your free copies and where you send your book for review.
  • Libraries are you friend! Get a good relationship with the local library. It will be cataloged and could end up in libraries around the country. Be aware of your publishers’ strengths and weaknesses. How do they treat other authors? Do they have the means to push your work? Are they too big? Does your book fit their format.
  • Connect with Black women! Black women are the biggest reading demographic. Get in good with the sisters and you are set. They get their children reading. They get their men reading. They get the community involved. Black women are about 60-70% of my audience.

Derrick Weston Brown is currently working on a new manuscript called “Halo of Arms“. It’s not in book form yet, but he is looking for a place this new work can call home. For the people who already know and love Wisdom Teeth, they will feel the growth in this second book. The subject matter has changed. He is less guarded and more willing to take risks. For people who don’t know him, this book breaks some misconceptions and brings awareness regarding vulnerability and Black men. He will deal with doubt, anxiety, and seeking balance.

For all the latest on Mr. brown’s upcoming book, follow him on TWITTER and check him out via ColorLines.

12Sep/16

#MustLoveBeards Profile: Thomas C. Knox

You know what’s sexier than a Black man with a beard and a plan? A humble Black man with a beard and a plan. #MustLoveBeards

This week, Taji Mag sat down with one of Brooklyn’s finest: Thomas C. Knox, CEO of Date While You Wait. What started off as one brother at a table with a game has turned into an exciting potential prospect for New York commuters.

#MustLoveBeards

Most people don’t realize that the dates are not about romance at all. These dates are the first few steps to change the world. One question we will probably get from our readers is getting handled from the jump. If you want to know whether he is single, please email: [email protected]

Thomas C. Knox embodies the perfect balance of confidence and perseverance. A conversation with him is a refreshing reflection. Ask him how he got so famous and he’ll admit that he doesn’t really know. “Maybe people just have deep feelings to let out. We are all searching for ways to connect beyond a computer screen or a tweet.” As easy going as and approachable as he is, he won’t let anyone dictate the purpose of his project. In the beginning, there weren’t really any barriers. Every person did it without being solicited. They saw him sitting at a table and approached him. These days, though, the major obstacle is finding the time to make it happen.

Thomas is the kind of man who challenges everything. Equipped with the heart of a weirdo, he has managed to avoid following trends. Reciprocity, integrity, and respect are the core of everything he does and that’s something his parents taught him from an early age. Funny enough, his family has mixed feelings about him talking to strangers on the subway. “some of them are so proud of me and some of them think I am crazy.

tck

As a 29-year-old man who cares about the community, Thomas is on the verge of greatness. Mental health among you people is an issue he takes very serious. This project aims to address some of the issues while inspiring others to strive for the same. He plans to uplift a generation and deliver messages that make a difference. Date While You Wait continues to grow along with the spirit of what he’s doing. One major goal is to spread the good vibes so that more of us can connect in real life.

Thomas believes that building a community matters so much and we have the power to be a catalyst for real global change. Thanks to the work he has put in, more of us are willing to look up from our phone and get to know the beautiful world around us.

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If you’d like to know more or want to join the movement, visit DateWhileYouWait.com or email Thomas directly: [email protected]com

11Sep/16

Barkers-Woode x Wild Moon are Reshaping African Fashion

Generally, Taji Mag pays homage to traditional African fashion so Westerners can connect their roots, but we’d be a hendering one way road if we did not view the other direction. l’âme inconnue, a creative management firm, is an advent believer that Africa has some of the greatest talent to date. Their motto is to redefine African designers into a modern aesthetic and to help them integrate into the Western market.  A new addition they’ve added to their roster is Ghanaian designer, Nina Barkers – Woode of Barkers-Woode and her collaboration with jewelry designer Asia Clarke of Wild Moon, thus Barkers-Woode x Wild Moon.

Barkers-Woode x Wild Moon

The Barkers – Woode brand embodies a minimalist aesthetic. Each garment is made up of clean lines and an essence of timelessness. It is inspired by world history and generations of women. Androgynous artworks play on the mixture of masculinity and femininity.

The Wild Moon’s jewelry collection lies on the border of fine jewelry and nature-inspired and industrial aesthetic of everyday jewelry. Elegance and tribal sensibility in her design are achieved through the incorporation of 100% recycled and eco-friendly Fine Silver with Brass, Semi-precious stones and 14k gold nuggets.

All of this inspiration has sparked their campaign of “New Africa” – an interpretation of the shift of stereotypical ideology of African fashion to a modern day look. The fashion presentation takes place on September 23, 2016 in Toronto, ON, Canada with stagnant models in Barkers-Woode and Wild Moon jewelery. The room covered in muslin and canvases will depict the street art of their movement.

Various creative and African descentdant influencers are photographed and filmed, in both designers recent collections, a series of questions that speak specifically to the Black youth of today. Each influencer plays a big role in our community honing the title as an activist.

Be social and give them your support! @bakerswoode @wild_moon

Barkers-Woode x Wild Moon  Barkers-Woode x Wild Moon

 

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

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: [email protected]