Tag Archives: black excellence

26Mar/18

The Asa! Movement with Akosua Akoto

If Wakanda were real, Akosua Akoto (@akosua_asa) would no doubt lead the Dora Milage. Her peak physique, intelligence, and passion make her one of the talented leaders of the exercise world. Her motivation is not money or fame but to improve the quality of health for her clients. With Asa!, she is able to do just that, providing services that are beneficial to the health and well being of our community. The low impact workout that is a hybrid of fitness endurance and energetic dance movements allow participants to get fit, attack all body parts, and have fun in the process.

Akosua ’s love for fitness started at the age of 3 when she began to learn about dance. Her gift in dance granted her opportunities to perform in many of the highly praised programs around the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Akosua showed her ability to not only excel as a great student but also as a great teacher leading dance classes by the age of 15. She would continue her growth as a dancer through the choreography of different dance companies and events.

As her dance career continued to grow, so did her interest in health and fitness. Akosua’s interest led her to attend Howard University, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Sports Medicine followed by her Master’s in Human Performance & Injury Rehabilitation at the California University of Pennsylvania. Her intention was to use her degree to train and educate clients about health working for an organization, but life had better plans for her gifts, leading her into the extraordinary fitness entrepreneur that she is today.

Akosua in one her designed costume’s from the FUZE collection.

Not only is she a boss in the fitness and dance worlds, she is also the boss of her own businesses including Asa! and FUZE, where she serves as co-founder and designer. FUZE is not only a great company influenced by African and Antiguan culture, it is also a movement that is meant to encourage wellness, homemade body products, and dazzling costumes that can be worn for festival activities. In addition to Akosua running her many companies, she also finds time to train clients on-one-one. With her education and background, she is able to set up goals with her clients for them to achieve. Her training methods are effective because her focus is less based on the aesthetics. Akosua’s goal in fitness training is based on improving health through proper body mechanics and nutrition. 

Although Akosua has the moves and looks to lure audiences, she prefers to be behind the scenes developing choreography but is often asked to be in front of the camera to perform. Her latest work was in the video “Boomerang” by Jidenna where she and a long-time friend artfully dance through the whole video.  She has also performed on many huge platforms like the BET awards pre-show.

Although Akosua isn’t a protector of the King of Wakanda or can provide her clients the with heart-shaped herb from Black Panther, she can protect her clients from unhealthy habits, informative health/exercise education, and supportive nutrition advice. Her passion that she pours into her work will only lead her to greater success and improve any that are a part of her journey.

Be on the lookout for Asa and FUZE events near you!

 

28Oct/17
K is for Kahlo

New Children’s Book ‘K is for Kahlo’ Spells Out Excellence: Taji Mag Book Club

Making Art as easy as ABC’s: Literally.

Can you name 26 influential international Artists? Well, thanks to the new children’s book, K is for Kahlo by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, we’ll all have the chance to learn.

Presenting artists from different disciplines, each is introduced within the pages of the book as a placeholder for a corresponding letter of the alphabet. Depicted in the bright color and simplicity typical of a children’s book, the illustrations done by Howell Edwards Creative are anything but typical. See for yourself. Available in hardcover and paperback from Amazon (and paperback on her website),  the book is described as ‘An artistic tour of the alphabet featuring notable artists from all around the world’. No stranger to accolades, author Dr. Pizzoli is best known for her critically acclaimed previous book, ‘The Ghanaian Goldilocks’, which received several awards. Recently released, her new book is already receiving praises, including a nod from the likes of Afropunk, which is known for lauding black excellence.

K is for Kahlo(image sourced from Afropunk)

This book is definitely going to be in quite a few of my holiday gifts this year. (Insert Oprah GIF here) You get a book. YOU get a book! EVERYBODY GETS A BOOOOOK!!!! Here’s why.

As essential as it is to teach our children the fundamentals of learning, such as the ABC’s, it is also our responsibility to inspire them. Dr. Pizzoli has dedicated herself to enriching the lives of children for years as a teacher and, now, also as an author. It is said that creativity fosters creativity and I believe this applies to life, not just art. The system in charge of educating our children outlines an overwhelmingly narrow path to success that often does not foster individuality nor artistic gifts as a mainstay. So efforts that successfully bring these elements together are worth noting. Talk about #Winning. This book puts into form the notion that we should be encouraging our children to take stock of their abilities and use them to create a life that is rich in texture and depth. It is never too early to show a young mind that it can dream in its own color.

Actually, all of her books encourage kids to live out loud. As an artist and someone who also works with children, I am so here for this! Using what we know to capture their bright-eyed attention, we can begin to mold together their emerging sense of self with their imagination. Not to mention the bonding that comes with reading to a child (cuddles. am I right?) and the fulfillment we get from knowing we are giving them wonderful tools for life. Honestly, I’ll be buying one for myself as well, just as much for myself as to share with the children I care for. You’re never too young, or too old, to be captivated and inspired by Art. Besides, you never know: you might just find out you’ve got a Baby Basquiat on your hands. You’re welcome.

Check out this book and 8 other titles from the Author here.

Social Media Links for the Author:

Instagram: @tamarapizzoli | @theenglishschoolhouse

Facebook: The English Schoolhouse

Twitter: @engschoolhouse

Until next time, keep reading ya’ll.

25Oct/17
Crysta Wicks Taji Mag

Crysta Wicks is Empowering Women Around The World

Crysta Wicks is a Chicago native and the CEO of The Boss Wife Enterprises Inc., a multifaceted company consisting of real estate acquisitions, self-development, apparel, and social networking events. Her current publication, “Everybody Is Not Made For This”, was written as a self-help book to empower women in every aspect of juggling life. She was inspired to put together a collaboration of her own personal experiences, trials, and life mastery. She created a book that was more than words but a tool that could be used to compose the best version of oneself in an easy to relate to guide. In writing her book, she became the change and value that she wanted to see in the world.

Crysta’s Wise Advice: Decide on who you want to be and do what it takes to become her!

Crysta currently has written three self-help books, one of which is self-published. Her current audience is full of women that share some of the same titles as her – wife, mother, current and aspiring entrepreneur. In most cases, women wear many modified hats which makes it easy to attract and maintain an audience of women.

As she developed her passion and expertise, Crysta fell in love with self-development books. She believes that no matter what level in life people are at, they should always be teachable. One of her favorite quotes is: “When the student is ready the teacher appears.” When I am ready to take things to the next level, I seek out the self-development genre and the teacher appears.

Her future goal is to, with exceeding faith and hard work, turn her masterpiece writing into an unforgettable box office movie hit that her audience will remember with great admiration and appreciation for her skills, talent, and multi-faceted gifts.

Support this amazing woman on her website as well as www.thebosswife.com and on social media! Facebook and Instagram: @authorcrystawicks @thebosswife; Twitter @iamthebosswife.

Crysta Wicks Taji Mag

09Aug/17
Maimouna Youssef

Shine Your Light with Songstress Maimouna Youssef

Grammy nominated music artist Maimouna Youssef has just released a new hot single “Shine Your Light” with DJ Dummy. Bringing back the old flavor of fun fueled concept music that had blazed the air waves in the 70s. Talented and beautiful, Maimouna Youssef allows listeners to escape melodically to an acoustic utopia. Taji Mag had the opportunity to interview her about her new single, her influences, and her sage like wisdom on life.

Taji Mag: What sparked your influence for your new single?
Maimouna Youssef: I wanted to develop music to make people feel good about themselves. Being that I grew up informed about the struggle through my family, I have not been surprised by today’s hardships. I feel like people that didn’t have similar upbringing, don’t know how to deal with some of the issues of today. I hear people say that they don’t know what to do with all this negativity going on in the world and I want them to know that it is going to be ok. That they can keep moving forward because what we are going through is nothing new.
TM: How did you combine dance and concept music in your new single “Shine Your Light”?
MY: I took influence from the 70’s that fused concept and dance music together for people to enjoy. Music shouldn’t have to be really serious or just dance music, it can be both and the 70’s were good for that.
TM: Would you ever consider doing a socially conscious album similar to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?
MY: I would love to do a concept album like that. The beauty of being an independent artist is that you are able to put whatever you want to put out without any questions. I love making whatever music I feel moves me. Instead of having someone tell me I can’t put out certain types of work, that limits me as an artist.
TM: How did you learn to keep self love?
MY: My mother inspired me and taught me to love myself. She told me no one else is going to give me that love, so I needed to learn to give it to myself. Everybody should have that love for themselves. I think that it is important now especially with what is going on today that you really have to have that self love.
TM: What advice do you give to your son about life? Women? Society?
MY: I talk to him everyday about his experiences and dealing with emotions. That’s why I have him in boxing in Baltimore with his uncle. To teach him about discipline and dealing with his emotions. I feel like some men of color don’t have that. A way to let out their emotions and not have it bottled in. You see a lot of men with good careers, lots of degrees, money, and are able to function externally but internally they are dealing with a lot of anger and frustrations that they don’t know how to handle. I don’t sugar coat things with my son and keep it real with him. I homeschooled him because during his time in pre-school I felt he wasn’t learning some of the things I wanted him to learn. An Example, in kindergarten he had the daily lesson of differentiating similarities and differences between objects. One day the assignment was to circle all the clowns with red noses and put an X on the ones with different colored noses. I noticed that he had a positive attitude towards the clowns that he was circling because clowns with red noses are the norm but when he had to X out the clowns with different colored noses, I noticed his attitude towards those clowns were more aggressive and dismissive as he was X’ing them out. Then just as an experiment, I asked him instead of using X’s which in our society connote something negative to be excluded and Circles to be something positive to be included, I asked him to use triangles and rectangles which don’t have social connotations neither positive or negative. So, he began doing the assignment and his whole attitude changed. He was feeling positive to all the clowns no matter what color noses they had. I knew right then that that assignment he was being asked to do everyday was teaching social intolerance in the most subconscious and insidious way. Its also teaching self hate because as a boy or color in this society, he’s going to routinely be the one that is different that society will want to X out. If we don’t have self love we didn’t have anything.

TM: Which artist made you fall in love with music?
MY: My mother and grandmother both made me fall in love with music. Especially my grandmother having a gospel background. They kept me exposed to artists like Mahalia Jackson and Donny Hathaway. I wanted to listen to groups like Total back in the day and they kept me on artist like Ella Fitzgerald. Both of them kept me into old school good music, that helped shape the artist I am today.
TM: Which other Artist influenced you?
MY: I have done some background work Lalah Hathaway who inspires me because she is awesome! There have been times where I have not been able to focus on my part as background vocalist for Lalah because she was so great during the performance. I also worked with Cody Chesnutt and I love his work as well. I always try to pick his brain and seek his mentorship because I think he is so talented and has great musical skills. I love working with Eric Roberson, he is another gifted artist. All these great artist are my mentors and I’m always asking them for advice to make my skills better.

Maimouna Youssef’s newest album “Vintage Babies” will be out soon and she also has an album release tour coming. Follow her on twitter @maimounayoussef and @mumufresh on instagram.

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]

Black Beauty: Patrick Marcelino

Model/actor Patrick Marcelino, aka Rascamarao, released his first calendar. All of the images featured are from photoshoots he did in 2015, when his career as a model officially launched. Patrick Marcelino is a Brazilian born and raised in The Netherlands, and currently living in New York. He gave up everything back home to make his dream come true in the States as a model/actor. Right now he is fighting to earn $5000 to pay for his working visa, and creativity decided to make his calendar. Buying one of these calendars will contribute to make Patrick’s dream become  a reality. Enjoy what you see. Remember: (everything in life is possible)

Contact: www.patrickmarcelino.com
Instagram: @rascamarao
Facebook: rascamarao
Facebook2: Patrick Marcelino
Email: [email protected]

Patrick Marcelino | © NayMarie Photography for Taji Mag | Hair & Makeup: Kim NIcole of KNC Concepts | Stylist: Ivan Leon | www.TajiMag.com

Patrick Marcelino | © NayMarie Photography for Taji Mag | Hair & Makeup: Kim NIcole of KNC Concepts | Stylist: Ivan Leon | www.TajiMag.com

© NayMarie Photography for Taji Mag
Hair & Makeup: Kim Nicole of KNC Concepts
Stylist: Ivan Leon
www.TajiMag.com

Nurtured Beauty

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Society puts so much emphasis on loving the glamorous look, the Revlon, Mac, Cover Girl is the better us. Through photography, we wanted show that when we Nurture ourselves, love ourselves, we Naturally are as beautiful as nature in its natural habitat…

Photography: Isaac Alexander
Mua/Hair: Keisha McAlister
Artistic Direction: Jowhari Trahan
Model: Leandra Mack
Model: Jasmond Smith
Location : Oakland, California

Nature | Natural | Nurtured Beauty

01Dec/15
Vol5

Taji Vol5: Black Excellence – Anniversary Issue

Release Dec 7 2015 | Vol5 of Taji is the anniversary issue, packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulling it’s theme of “Black Excellence”! This issue features producer, writter, actress, Jeanine Daniels; lyricist and activist, Messiah Ramkissoon, dancer and lupus advocate, Queen TuT Creationz; apparel designer, BrighTeyezTees; Taji’s model contest winners; beautiful art by Anais Sierra, the dance duo Kiki Ely & Sakinah LeStage of ATLA Takeova, and researcher Dr. Steve D. Mobley, Jr. !

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

Vol5

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol. 5

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