Category Archives: Lifestyle

03Jun/16
Embrace

Black Beauty: “Embrace”

Accepting the strong softness of her own being, this model searches for the depth that describes her being in the softest of ways.  Located on a hillside overlooking the ocean she leans and ponders. Embrace.

Embrace

Embrace Embrace

Model: Natalie Jasmine
Photographer: Fly Imagez
Make-up Artist:  Mariah Summerling
Location: West Haven, CT
Agency/Stylist/Concept/Set Direction: LJE Model Agency
Booking Email: [email protected]

Instagram/Twitter
Model: @NatalieJazmine
Photographer: @Fly_Imagez
Make-up Artist: @GlamMakeupDiva
Agency: @LJEModelAgency
Booking Email: [email protected]

29May/16
DanceAfrica 2016

A Taste of DanceAfrica 2016!

DanceAfrica 2016: The photos say it best. DanceAfrica always brings out the most beautiful melanated beings of all ages and eccentricities. The festival has tons of Black Owned vendors and the actual DanceAfrica show held at BAM is cultural significant, magnificent, and necessary!!

NayMarie Photography for Taji Mag
Featured image: Models for Red Room Luxe Salon at OMhh | Hair by Debra Hare-Bey | Queens: Lola, Eugenia, Ray, & LaTasha

10May/16

Lindi Roaming the Streets of The Social Market in Pretoria

In this edition of Lindi Roaming the Streets, Lindi explores South Africa’s The Social Market Pretoria.

Lindi Roaming the Streets

“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. Being black is not a matter of pigmentation – being black is a reflection of a mental attitude. Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time” ~ Steve Bantu Biko’.

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Lindi Roaming the StreetsThis young lady spews Consciousness.

She labels herself as a socio-artist for the reason that she does her social work through art. This 23 year old was born in the dusty streets of Alexandra (Johannesburg, South Africa), a one square mile township filled with music, art, and the reality of nature’s life. She discovered a poet in herself at the age of fifteen, when she was introduced to Hip-Hop. In 2011 she became a part of a global girl activism movement; The V-girls and has been an art-activist since. She was inspired to host intellectual dialogues in her community as she saw the need for discussions in her community. Her highlight of 2012 was when she performed for an opening speech of the South African President, Mr. Jacob Zuma during the Alexandra Centenary Celebration. Her first book, published by Diaspora Publishers (2014), was titled “Psychological Cripple,” with the help from a beautiful soul named Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende.

Lindi Roaming the Streets   Lindi Roaming the Streets

Mantala Nkaotse

#BLACKGIRLSROCK

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Lindi Roaming the StreetsBorn of South African/Zambian decent and the influence of fine arts within the family, he started photography straight after high school. “Oh haha, did I mention that this was done with an iPhone?”

Ron Ndlovu’s passion for photography gradually became hunger, which led him to refrigeration and other odd jobs to save up for his dream. His first baby was a SONY NEX F3, a small entry level camera which did the job.

Through his regular posts on social media he was spotted, and did small gigs at kid’s parties and lifestyle shoots which later developed into a series of NOIR shots. This became his niche and led to the birth of GreyScale.

At an amateur stage, he did charity to large scale events, learning the ins and outs of the industry.

This multi-talented young man takes time to consult with up and coming musicians helping with song writing and production. “Secretly, I too can hold a note” he reckons…

Lindi Roaming the Streets

“The world is black and white, but  every story has a shade of grey”

@jay_dundidit

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“Let’s just be who we really are”

Lindi Roaming the Streets

Is that even possible in the conformed world we live in? Is it???

Well, these young geniuses from Venda (Limpopo Province) South Africa have flipped the stereotypes to what we call “CULTURE”. The Social Market Pretoria started in September 2014, whereby a platform for young entrepreneurs was created, to uplift and showcase their work in an inviting atmosphere of color, fashion, music, artistry and, most importantly, freedom of self-expression.

“We like everything about this movement, to us it’s like a beautiful African sunrise. One of the many signs of a very much alive African youth – the future not only looks beautiful, but also business minded and fierce in its expression.”

@seezor_sizzles

Lindi Roaming the Streets   Lindi Roaming the Streets

@maitele_wawe and @thifhe_sliq

“We saw a demand for a space in Pretoria where people with the same artistic, creative mind set could meet up and enjoy good music and company while being themselves,” says co-founder Maitele Wawe. Creating a social economy in the capital city, the market provides a platform for budding entrepreneurs to sell their products in a fresh environment.

Lindi Roaming the Streets    Lindi Roaming the Streets

From thrift stores to the latest hair products and the tastiest gourmet food, it’s all there to be explored.

Lindi Roaming the Streets    Lindi Roaming the Streets

“The difference is the nonconformity of the fashionistas that gather every first Sunday of the month, rocking crazy beautiful outfits that left us feeling as though we were flipping pages from a 3D fashion catalogue.”

Lindi Roaming the Streets

Lindi Roaming the Streets Lindi Roaming the Streets Lindi Roaming the Streets Lindi Roaming the Streets Lindi Roaming the Streets

Lindi Roaming the Streets

Before the Social Market, Pretoria had very limited spaces for creatives to come together and share ideas. Since its birth, word has been traveling across social media networks that the Social Market is the place to be.

@THESOCIALMARKET

Lindi Roaming the Streets

Pretoria has always had an inscrutable nature about it, particularly where art and creativity is concerned. The social market is a brilliant concept thought of by a vibrant collective of creatives who want to not only build and preserve culture and fashion in Pretoria, but also want to empower other young people, creative or not.

Lindi Roaming the Streets Lindi Roaming the Streets Lindi Roaming the Streets Lindi Roaming the Streets

Champions aren’t made in gyms. They are made from something they have deep down inside them – a desire, a dream, and a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.

This trio is what we refer to as the FASHION REBELS!

Lindi Roaming the Streets

“The challenge about success is keeping quiet about it”

Lindi Roaming the Streets

06May/16
Blaise Djilo

Cameroonian Photographer Blaise Djilo is Capturing the Real Africa

bl9Blaise Djilo is a Cameroonian photographer who is capturing the true essence of Africa for us all to enjoy. Bask in both the beauty of traditional Africa and how Djilo captures it. Our stories, told and shared by us, are important for the preservation of our history and culture.
Blaise Djilo Blaise Djilo

On March 5, 2016, Cameroon celebrated The Matakam festival held in the Alliance Franco Camerounaise Office in Garoua (Northern Cameroon). This celebration is held only once per year. These people live in the Mayo Tsanaga Division (the far north Cameroonian region). During this festive ceremony, the local tribes can be found eating and dancing all to commemorate their ancestors spirits.

“DITSUMA” means “JOY” in the MAFA language. It is one of the main tribes of the MAYO TSANAGA division, in the far northern regions along the Nigerian boundary of ADAMAWA State. Tsanaga division is a rocky, mountainous region and is mainly a rural area were people essentially live a life of agriculture. The main city of this division is MOKOLO but there are seven other subdivisions (Bourrha, Hina, Koza, Mogodé, Mokolo, Mayo-Moskota (Mozogo), and Soulédé-Roua). This part of Nigeria is crowded with more than 570,00 habitants and the area has a density of 131 habitants/km2.  Interestingly there are also thirteen diverse ethnic groups (Mafa, Moufou, Mofouélé, Hidé, Kapsiki, Minéo, Zoulgo, Bana, Kola, Guiziga, Baytsawara, Roua, and Fulbes) as well. These African communities are hard-working and the region is generally viewed as a very poor area. 
 
During harvesting season and the dry season, these African tribes traditionally hold annual ceremonies to celebrate prosperity of the villages. It’s also an opportunity for young people to learn their initiation rights and also to marry. During such seasons, some tribes also use the opportunity to give gifts to their ancestors by performing a dance which is concluded by killing a cow, which has been fattened in a dark room during two to three years in a narrow place. This practice is called Maraye. The initiation rights dance is called “ZOVOD” (“UNDER THE SHINING MOON”). During this particular ceremony each young person wears or handles something to show his skill (a skirt made of goat fur for a hunter, or a grass skirt for a farmer). During the dance of Maraye, the local villagers always wear traditional clothes, and use special sticks to see if the cow (which will be killed) will react in a good way.
01May/16
vol7

Taji Vol7: Afrofuturism

Release June 7 2016 | Vol7 of Taji is the “Afrofuturism” issue, packed full of Black Beauty & Culture! This volume features musicians and siblings Loumingou Night & Young Paris on the cover.Gracing the pages are sneaker violence opponents Fuggit; musician and actor Olutayo; rising star Sonyae Elise; web content producers The Village TV, written by Africa Jackson; “3 Tips for Lowering Your Grocery Bill” by Ñaomi Bradley; “The Immersion Excursion: Costa Rica” by Inez A Nelson; “Rape Culture 101: What Erykah Got Wrong & How We all Lose When Men Get a Pass to be Predators” by Tajh Sutton; our Health & Fitness Advice Columns with Trainer Clinton Walker & Delliz the Chef; the Taji Model Winners; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

vol7

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol. 7

Taji Mag is a Black Beauty & Culture specialty publication highlighting the artistry of our essence.

30Apr/16
SOWHAT

SOWHAT? African backpacks coming from Tanzania

SOWHATSOWHAT? backpacks combine the dopeness of African prints with modern designs. Based in Tanzania, Africa, Sam produces these cultural print bags made of Kitenge with a touch of denim for $20US.

Sam also produces sandals coveted in pure goat skin. He is representing Tanzania internationally! Be sure to follow him on IG @young_ambitious_empire and contact him via WhatsApp at +255655815132 to get yours.

 

SOWHAT
Photos | Peter makungu
Model | Winnie
23Apr/16
prince

Prince Nelson Rogers: 1958 – Forever

At 1:05p I get a text from my longtime homie Shan that reads “WTF is up with these people saying my original Baby Daddy is dead!?!” I simply replied, “Nas??” half caring about internet rumors, especially when I’ve only been awake for 15 minutes. Awaiting her response I inadvertently check a facebook notification, hit the back button which led to my newsfeed, and lost all air from my body… No, God, Please… Not Prince…

I went to check the singular news source I rely on for death notices and they only confirmed “someone” died. Then, at 1:17p my King messaged me: “Hey baby. Prince died.” He was the first person to actually say it to me. A minute later my best friend called and whispered “Are you ok?” …”No…” We cried. Hung up. My King called, I was still crying, he just listened, only half understanding. I didn’t have the words to explain it to him at the time. I washed, briefly went to the gym, and cancelled the rest of my day.

I was too mentally numb to party like it’s 1999 alongside the rest of the Prince stans at the impromptu Spike Lee block party or with Quest Love at Brooklyn Bowl, so I stayed in bed. When I first realized it was official, I didn’t think being on facebook was a good idea, but I’m glad I hit the window accidentally. It was tough, but the out pour of love for Prince’s artistry has been so fulfilling. I’ve gotten to see a few clips I’ve never seen before and watched the globe bask in why I’ve loved him as far back as my memory travels… Throughout the day I received the messages I needed to use to explain why the loss of this particular icon crippled me.

 

0

@ElusiveJ explained it best!

 

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It helped to know I wasn’t alone, like I so often felt when I spoke of Prince.

It also helped to laugh in between the blanket-soaking tears.

prince

prince

But of all, my heart was most moved by my King creating this piece for me… the tears burst through like a flood… The black and white version is in his Pan African coloring book, The Little Black Book. The colored piece is available as a print and t-shirt due to popular requests when he posted them.

prince theonewillfocus

prince theonewillfocus

My first facebook post read: “This sh*t is so unreal to me. I decided to go work more on [Taji] Mag to take my mind off of it and forgot I dedicated a page to him (it’s Vol 7, the theme is Afrofuturism, his Bday is June 7th and Vol 7 releases June 7th, etc), but now it has to be in memory of… I’m not ready.
Yesterday my old ipod finally died while I was listening to Insatiable (my fav song) and I was so momentarily pissed. If I only knew…”

I was devastated. I felt betrayed. But now… Now I’m listening to HITNRUN Phase One & Two imagining how his concerts would’ve been performing these songs so different from his 80s hits, yet still SO him.

prince

How I will remember him. Afro. Smiling. Protecting his 3rd eye. <3

22Apr/16
Samuel L Jackson

That Time Samuel L Jackson Gave Me #BlackGirlMagic

In 1997 I was a skinny tomboy with a ghetto name at a predominantly white school in the midwest. I lived with my father – let’s call him Tom – and his white wife whose daily message to me was that my hair was unkempt. I was going through a somewhat punk\alternative phase because that’s what the other kids were going through, and I wanted to fit in. I wore those super wide leg pants with holes in them and a pocket chain. Revolutionary adult me would have been embarrassed by such fashion choices, but 90s awkward preteen me was just trying to make up for the fact that I was dark skinned. It was a lonely and depressing time.

And then there was Samuel L Jackson.

Wait… the dude who yells in all his movies? The slave from Django? The ‘motherf—er’ man? Yes! The very same. I saw the film Eve’s Bayou, written by a Black woman named Kasi Lemmons (Caveman’s Valentine, 2001; Talk to Me, 2007). Set in the deep south, featuring an all-star Black cast (Lynn Whitfield, Debbi Morgan, Meagan Goode, Diahann Carroll, and, of course, Samuel L Jackson), the story was not centered specifically around the issue of race. Rather, it followed the experiences of Eve, a budding clairvoyant who could communicate with spirits. Eve was Black, and close to my age, so unlike my response to Shirley Temple, whose movies were pushed on me by my step-mother, I found myself moved by Eve’s character. The mother, father, aunt, and older sister all had darker skin like me. Eve was light skinned from a dark skinned mother. That had an impact on me because it meant that I was just as beautiful as a light skinned girl. Eve saw her mother as gorgeous and so did I. Every shade of Black was represented in the movie which made me feel like less of a pariah. Eve was curious and insightful. She cared deeply about her family and her heart was heavy with compassion. Those were qualities I felt trapped by as a child because I was oftrn described as ‘too sensitive’ or weird. I was captivated by both the literal and metaphorical presence of magic in the film.

A Black female director had little to no chance of having her film financed ny a major company in 1997. Knowing this, Samuel L. Jackson not only starred in the film, delivering what I still consider to be his best performance to this day, but he also produced it. In fact, this was the first film he produced. Younger me had no idea at the time, but a producer is basically the person who pays for the magic to happen. So, in many ways, Samuel L. Jackson is partly responsible for the ways in which Eve’s Bayou changed the trajectory of my self-image. I went from wanting to perm my hair to embracing my natural kinks (both Eve and her aunt had thick hair like mine). I felt more confident about my non-traditional spirituality. This was the first time I saw Afrocentric, non-Christian beliefs valued. Seeing Eve and her aunt as these women connected so closely to God and so comfortable in that connection was empowering. I learned the importance of patience and research when making decisions, after seeing Eve reflect on her own decisions towards the end of the film.

When I celebrate the Black artists in theater who influenced me – and cringe at fair-skinned, Zoe Saldana being cast as Blackface Nina Simone — I think back to the time Samuel L. Jackson and Kasi Lemmons brought me Black girl magic in Eve’s Bayou. So, instead of complaining that the beautiful and talented Uzo Aduba should have been cast to play one of the greatest musical activists of our time, I realized that we can, and should, make our own films. Samuel L. Jackson did it. Nate Parker did it. Love him or hate him, even the big homie Tyler Perry did it. We have everything we need to create our own magic. More than that, though, we have a responsibility as creative intellectuals to embrace and celebrate our natural shade. Some caramel colored girl will see Zoe Saldana in Blackface and think less of herself. I think about 1997 me being confused and turned off by Blackface Nina. Hopefully no Black children will see the film and will instead write, direct, and star in their own art that features them falling in love with their melanin, no matter the shade.

15Apr/16
Lindi Roaming the Streets

Lindi Roaming the Streets of Johannesburg, South Africa

Lindi Roaming the StreetsIn this edition of Lindi Roaming the Streets, Lindi explores South Africa Fashion Week in Hyde Park Corner of Johannesburg.

“Only those who go too far can possibly know how far they can go.”

This for me goes hand-in-glove with fashion; better yet “freedom”.A form of expression, driven by the act of fearlessness… To a point where ones’ story is told through their ageless soul of adventure, sparking the skills of simplicity, authenticity and serenity.

“As I strut my short long legs on the streets of JOZI.

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”Happiness that derives from the hope that inner-peace as invincible as my imagination lives on. Nothing is more creative, nor destructive than a brilliant mind with a purpose.

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That “misunderstood” old man, who wakes up in the morning just to play his keys on the corner of Juta and De Beer Street. Not because he wants anything from anyone, but because this misunderstood genius feels that he has more to offer, than the lads driving past him in big cars with flashy rims and a fat bank account.

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I’m talking about “uMama” who wakes up with a smile knowing that the woodwork she sells at Braamfontein on a Saturday will be enough for a weeks’ meal. The same woman, that sold handmade spoons and dishes for her kid’s Varsity tuition. #FEESMUSTFALL

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The term rétro has been in use since the 1970s to describe on the hand new artefacts that self-consciously refer to particular modes, motifs, techniques, and materials of the past. But on the other hand, some people (incorrectly) use the term to categorise styles that have been created in the past. Retro style refers to new things that display characteristics of the past. It is mostly the recent past retro seeks to recapitulate, focusing on the products, fashions and artistic styles produced since the Industrial Revolution, of Modernity. The word “retro” derives from the Latin prefix retro, meaning backwards, or in past times.

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Well I would like to refer to this as the “New age Evolution”

“Imagination is the air in the mind”

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Stepping out of the conformed definition of freedom is one of the most knotty challenges one can face, but for me this requires tact of some sort, merely because anyone who lives within their means, suffers from a lack of imagination.

“Live on Fashionista, Live on!!!”