VISION BOARD DECOR

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Infuse your home with inspiring images that remind you of who you dream to become.

You don’t need to break the bank, or, live in a mansion to create a beautiful space for yourself.

 

 

 

Bulawayo, My Home City

Bulawayo is the City I was born and raised in. It’s the second largest city in Zimbabwe, with a population of over 653,000. It is a beautiful city rich in culture and still boasting beautiful colonial British architecture.

I was raised in a middle class, black family in a suburb called Parklands. My sister Laura and I attended exceptional private schools, including a Catholic  all-girls school called Dominican Convent High School. Extracurricular activities included Toast Masters, Sports, The Debate Club, Scripture Union, Yoga, Drama, Choir, to name a few. The nuns who taught us were strong willed, independent German and Zimbabwean women who pushed us to be only our best selves, excel and accept nothing less in life.  God forbid patrolling prefects caught you talking to anyone of the opposite sex, trolling through stores unsupervised, or, worse…wearing a jersey without a blazer in the city’s CBD! Punishment by death!

I excelled in French, Literature, Drama and Choir. I got along with everyone. I was often found in the library during recess, or, in between classes, reading Nancy Drew and Self Help books. The nuns appointed me Assistant Librarian in my final year. Explains a lot!

At Christmas the city’s primary and secondary schools united for an annually anticipated night of Carols at the great white City Hall. Hell even the cool kids wanted to be seen there. It was magical, with a full orchestra and grand organ more than 20 decades old. Those have long since stopped. Sad. But, the Catholic church does still host Carols By Candlelight every year. Thank God!

I’ve always wanted to get married, or, christen my baby in a grand cathedral because of our Saint Mary’s Cathedral. A stunning relic in our city. The girls in school always went gaga when the boys from our brother school, Christian Brothers College (CBC) came to service at the old church. The Convent is adjacent to it. PERFECT VIEW! LOL.

To me the ice-cream’s so much more amazing, the freshly baked, unsliced bread is heavenly and our food is still NON GMO…delicious and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

Many of us had a pretty sweet childhood in Bulawayo. Safe, CLEAN, friendly, conservative and industrious.

2016, The Year of #ItsComplicated

 

 

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2016 was probably the greatest year of my life, yet. And it was also one of the toughest. Reality as we once knew it is being turned on its head and I am truly excited.

This year alone I noticed the life experiences of millions of young Millenial females seem to be freakishly in sync. I  would experience a personal strife, or, epiphany and I would hear the exact same story, recounted from other young women in Johannesburg and around the world at the exact same moment. Time and again. I mean articles, blog posts, conversations, social media shares resounded with “What! Me Too!”

Welcome to the Age of Aquarius! More and more of us are picking up on  truth vibrations and we are shifting from an epoque of control to the dawn of human expansion. It’s like we’re all in the same class as preparation for what is to come.

Energy Experience 1: The Millenial Generation has found itself in a new world unlike anything that humanity has ever experienced. Nothing makes sense, nothing is black and white. The past 3 years for billions of us young adults have been high pressure, confusing and anxiety-ridden.

Energy Experience 2: We felt ourselves being forced to realise we have to change our careers and exist in a transitioning earth where global systems are disintegrating before we can even find our feet. We just couldn’t seem to get our money, or, career choices right for a moment there.

Energy Experience 3: We’ve been under pressure to only live a life that fits our gifts, passions and personalities. In the past one could ignore their personal truth, or, calling and get on with fitting in with the status quo and safe. For the average Millenial, living outside of one’s truth causes a painful reaction in the energies and experiences around us. If you don’t follow the calling, or, live in your integrity, your ass gets kicked. And I mean black and blue!

Energy Experience 4: #ItsComplicated was the dominant “dating” theme in 2016. Hell was anyone dating at all? We are marrying even later than before and struggling to attract even a boyfriend. Frivolous frog kissing just isn’t cutting it with the Divine. For every Charlotte crying out “Where is He?” the Universe seems to force us into a time of solitude, spiritual evolution, knowledge acquisition, sexual enhancement, financial and career grooming from a spiritual perspective as well as forming a companionship with the Divine. Only once the process reaches a certain level does the true “Soul Mate” come in. In fact, we are under pressure to mate with our own souls and only then love comes in. Really ladies! Nothing less is acceptable to the Universe.

Ladies do share your 2016 experiences. I think we can all agree something great is at work here.

The Beginning of The End in 2016

The past two years have been a time of quantum leap expansion for humanity. We’re going through systemic disruptions, the rise of global populism and activism, seemingly growing isolationism and on an individual level, the realisation that establishing an internal locus of control is the only way to navigate the craziness and manifest the change you want to see in your world.

Here’s my outlook on some of what went down this 2016.

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Education has come under fire around the globe over the past 15 years. Schooling standards across Africa are worse than disgraceful. Reformers like Michelle Rhee brought to light the failing American school system. Keely Mullen organised the #MillionStudentMarch of 2015 and student activism in South Africa, led by Nompendulo Mkatshwa, soared to heights unlike anything we have seen in decades.

In my humble opinion, #FeesMustFall isn’t the conversation we should be having. The core problem here is that what we learn and the business model of higher learning needs a complete overhaul. In fact we should be shouting #EducationAsWeKnowItMustFall! We’re fighting a dying beast. The new world order is no longer conducive to leaning on the crutch of an expensive Bachelor’s Degree. Because, dare I say, maybe, just maybe the four year degree is becoming obsolete in the long term.

In fact, I would go as far as to propose that not every field requires a degree, and not every child has to go through tertiary learning…and THAT’S OK!

This is the age of Education Entrepreneurs and Open Source Learning that caters to a generation of self-leaning high school graduates who choose to go straight into employment and business ownership.

VIVA to the death of the industrial method of churning kids through a linear “one-size-fits-all” machine. You know…from preschool to primary school to high school through tertiary then employment, retirement and finally, death!

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Ok. Let’s try to see the positive side of this.

Could it be that having more youngsters skip the pain of expensive, inaccessible tertiary education, diving right into the job market, or, launching a trade of their own…and I can’t believe I’m typing this…coupled with having an entrepreneur like the “Donald” at the helm of the free world may be just what we need to further energise self-empowerment, business and ingenuity. Welcome #NextGenCapitalism.

Another perspective would be that Clinton’s loss speaks not only to how far women have come, but, also how fair the playing field has turned out for both genders. Ladies and feminists hear me loud and clear, the world is not going to go easy on you and dole out a free pass just because you have a uterus. We wanted fairness and equality, well now we play and live by those rules regardless of circumstance and station. So quit your whining because gender maketh not a leader, well not a credible one anyway. Society will judge an individual on merit and ethics. Period.

Here’s another perspective; we have officially entered the golden age of true self-actualisation. You really have the power to manifest a dream, or, desire regardless of notoriety, race, gender, sexual orientation, class and nationality anywhere on this planet. What sphere of influence, or, desire are you willing to “Trump” today?

And finally my friends, now we intrinsically know that Brand America is simply that…a brand…an illusion. The idea of one solitary super power is fast becoming out-dated. We are morphing into a society that celebrates excellence, but, will not hype said excellence into bronze demi-gods statues with…clay feet.

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We saw the rise of the marginalised majority (in some cases minority) and their shocking political tactics to be heard! Black vote for the D.A. during South Africa’s 2016 municipal elections, CHECK! Typically docile and industrious Zimbabweans rising in protest, CHECK! Poor white America voting ‘Make America Great Again.’ CHECK! And we’ve made it cool to believe that a black life matters, DOUBLE CHECK!

Need I say more? The people have spoken! Albeit while not always making the smartest of choices.

But, the biggest lesson from populism is if you really want to win hearts, dare to be the voice that says what they’re all thinking, but, would never utter in public! Second, just because a certain demographic is silent, it does not mean they have nothing to say, or, query. Always ensure everyone is heard! Always check in.

Third, maybe, just maybe the disenfranchised are not relegated to a particular race, or, the low income class. As of today, never again will I make the mistake of assuming that the silence of the overlooked, or, those presumed to be well-off equals contentment. Watch out because it will come back to bite you in the butt!

EPIPHANY

All in all, this year’s international politics and activism have awakened everyone to the realisation that one really would be foolish to relinquish the outcome of their life, livelihood, learning and happiness to an individual, party, or, system. We must, at grassroots level, find the solutions within ourselves for our own lives. They cannot help you!

Also, understanding that the world is continuously in flux and trying to stop the waves of change is like trying to flat iron a raging sea. What you resist persists. The old guards have lost power, the behemoths are failing. Don’t fight a dying system, simply create a whole new blue print. Go to war where there actually are spoils people!

So, take advantage of this new found freedom! You are the master of your universe. The next decade is going to be a prosperous time for those who choose to awaken, say it like it is, seize the new day and use their own creative super power.

One would swear the universe purposefully refused to give us another ‘Hero’ to look to, to save the day. Instead we have to be our own saviour. And now we are truly free!

 

ECONOMIC BUST BEST TIME TO START YOUR BUSINESS

2016 seems to be a year of new beginnings and self actualization. You’re starting a new job, working on a new side business with a friend, or, simply going it alone on your dream business venture.

Still, many are a little intimidated by how fragile the South African economy is beginning to appear: a weakening Rand, growing rate of unemployment and more. If anything one only needs to be still for a moment and expand their view of reality. Things may not be as bad they seem at face value.

Solve a Problem. Meet a Need: Here’s the deal, economic downturns create problems, problems that require solutions! And you could be the guy, or, girl to bring innovative solutions to the market.

Create Opportunities To Continue Indulging On A Budget: Second, purse-strings are pulled tighter and people search for cheaper alternatives for goods and services. Take the “Lipstick Effect” as an example. During a bust, demand for “affordable luxury” rises as people seek cheaper ways to indulge in guilty pleasures. If I can’t purchase the Balmain dress, I’ll opt for weekly ice-cream, or, nail polish, or, lipstick purchases instead. What will be your stamp on the “Lipstick Effect” this year?

You Have Negotiating Power Over Suppliers: Remember, as spending declines, this also gives you negotiating power over suppliers who are trying to move their goods faster when spending is on the low.

Buy a Struggling, or, Fixer-Upper Business: Some ailing businesses may decide to sell off assets, therefore, you have an opportunity to acquire these assets, or, the businesses themselves at a far lower price than you would during a boom.

Less Competition: Lastly, most people have the same belief that one cannot start a business during economic uncertainty. So, less startups enter the market and this means competition is at an all time low by this point! Meaning more share of market, less competition for funding and so forth.

Here are employment and funding opportunities you could look into:

Samsung Launching People

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Samsung Launching People has partnered with METIME to bring you the Ideas Bank – away to turn your entrepreneurial ideas into a reality, and help address the issue of youth unemployment in South Africa.

 

National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)National Youth Development Agency 

The NYDA Grant Programme provides young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to access both the financial and non-financial business development support to establish their businesses. The programme focuses on youth entrepreneurs and offers grants from R1 000 to R100 000.

Tshepo 500 000

Tshepo 500 000

 

The South African Supplier Diversity Council

SASDC.ORG

HOTTEST FEMALE MUSIC PRODUCERS: WEEK 1

Ever wondered where the hell all the female music producers are? Each week I’ll introduce you to the hottest women on the planet in the music production game.

Producer: Runway Star | @RunwayStar

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Production Credits: “…the 1st successful record I had was 2010’s Teach Me How to Dougie. I made the beat for that song in less than 15 minutes…by the end of the following year it had been downloaded over 2 million times, inspiring the world to do “The Dougie”

 

 

Producer: WondaGurl | @WondaGurlBeats

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Production Credits: Jay Z | Rihanna | Lil Wayne | Drake | Travi$ Scott | PartyNextDoor | Young Thug | & more.

 

 

 

Producer: K.Flay | @kflay
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Production Credits:  Life As A Dog (2014) | Suburban Rap Queen (2004) | Mashed Potatoes (2009) | I Stopped Caring In ’96 (2011) | West Ghost (2013) | K.Flay (2010) | Eyes Shut (2012) | What If It Is (2013) | Easy Fix (This is The End: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | It’s Strange (feat. Louise the Child for FIFA 16)

Producer: TOKiMONSTA | @TOKiMONSTA

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Production Credit: Midnight Menu (2010) | Half Shadows (2013) | Desiderium (2014) | Fovere (2016) | Bedtime Lullabies (2008) | Cosmic Intoxication (2010) | Creature Dreams (2011) | Los Angeles 8/10 (2011) (with MMike Gao) | Boom (2012) (with Suzie Analogue, as Analogue Monsta)

 

 

Producer Group: Future Brown (Fatima Al Qadiri, J-Cush, Asma Maroof, Daniel Pineda) | @FutureBrown

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Production Credits: Wanna Party/ World’s Mine (2014) |  Future Brown (2015)

 

 

ANOMALY OF THE MULTIDIMENSIONAL BLACK WOMAN

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In this new world order, multidimensional black sisters are an anomaly most of society is trying to grapple with and accommodate. The girl who can twerk in a club one night and be a truly aligned spiritual sister simultaneously. The girl who can talk dirty with boys over a beer one minute and believe in God, marriage and family.

We’re assertive yet accommodating. Kind and merciful yet unable to suffer fools easily. We reside in a modern culture that abhors female vulnerability. Inside we’re little girls who are helpless romantics, yet, we can cut off a toxic relationship without a sign of mercy no matter how deeply we feel for someone.

Some of us are petrol-head black girls, dreaming of biking cross-country and owning a fleet of the coolest muscle cars on the planet. Sisters pray to Buddha, are curious about extraterrestrial existence and many think the “god-idea” is unfounded and beneath themselves.

We’re the brand new bi-product of today’s inner-space-exploration. The descendants of Oprah, The Secret, Sex and The City, Beyoncé, The Obamas and Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Do not get it twisted, we’re in no way confused about who we are. We are fully aware of our imperfections, perfections and humanity. But, in no way lost. In fact you could not have found a more assertive and self aware generation of women.

She is you, she is God, She is we.

Cheers to the evolved black woman!

Flower

THE THUNDER, PERFECT MIND

I was sent forth from the power, and I have come to those who reflect upon me, and I have been found among those who seek after me. Look upon me, you who reflect upon me, and you hearers, hear me. You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves. And do not banish me from your sight. And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing. Do not be ignorant of me anywhere or any time.  Be on your guard! Do not be ignorant of me.

For I am the first and the last. I am the honoured one and the scorned one. I am the whore and the holy one. I am the wife and the virgin. I am

and the daughter. I am the members of my mother. I am the barren one and many are her sons. I am she whose wedding is great, and I have not taken a husband. I am the midwife and she who does not bear. I am the solace of my labour pains.

I am the bride and the bridegroom, and it is my husband who begot me. I am the mother of my father and the sister of my husband and he is my offspring. I am the slave of him who prepared me. I am the ruler of my offspring. But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday. And he is my offspring in (due) time, and my power is from him. I am the staff of his power in his youth,and he is the rod of my old age. And whatever he wills happens to me.

I am the silence that is incomprehensible and the idea whose remembrance is frequent. I am the voice whose sound is manifold and the word whose appearance is multiple. I am the utterance of my name. Why, you who hate me, do you love me, and hate those who love me? You who deny me, confess me, and you who confess me, deny me. You who tell the truth about me, lie about me, and you who have lied about me, tell the truth about me.

You who know me, be ignorant of me, and those who have not known me, let them know me. For I am knowledge and ignorance. I am shame and boldness. I am shameless; I am ashamed. I am strength and I am fear. I am war and peace. Give heed to me. I am the one who is disgraced and the great one. Give heed to my poverty and my wealth. Do not be arrogant to me when I am cast out upon the earth, and you will find me in those that are to come.

And do not look upon me on the dung-heap nor go and leave me cast out, and you will find me in the kingdoms. And do not look upon me when I am cast out among those who are disgraced and in the least places, nor laugh at me. And do not cast me out among those who are slain in violence. But I, I am compassionate and I am cruel.

Be on your guard! Do not hate my obedience and do not love my self-control.

In my weakness, do not forsake me, and do not be afraid of my power.

For why do you despise my fear and curse my pride?

But I am she who exists in all fears and strength in trembling.

I am she who is weak, and I am well in a pleasant place.

I am senseless and I am wise. Why have you hated me in your counsels?

For I shall be silent among those who are silent and I shall appear and speak.

Give heed to me.

‘The Thunder, Perfect Mind’ is a cryptic meditation poem written in the voice of a feminine divinity and discovered among the Gnostic Scriptures at Nag, Egypt in 1945.

Flower

15 Signs You’re With A Good Man

Source: 15 Signs You’re With A Good Man

WHY YOU SHOULD GET YOUR SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE FROM A ‘PLAYER’

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Dear Women,

I hope this letter finds you well and you’re having a great start to your 2016.

Today I want to bring life changing enlightenment to you. Today I need you to stop seeing yourself as a mere human. As just a woman, or, female and / or the weaker sex who is always loosing in life and love. Change your perception of yourself and experiences and your life will evolve at a faster and more positive momentum than you could ever imagine.

I’m going to use an analogy that will make this comprehensible and also possibly change how you live and date.

Women complain about men who are out there refusing to commit to a relationship,  indulging in seemingly meaningless sex with whomever they please. But, I need you to really have a good look at what you’re actually observing here. God speaks to us in mysterious ways. Are these people being selfish? Absolutely! Are they being true to themselves, where they’re at and what they desire? Yes! Is that wrong? Be honest…Selah.

I have come to learn over the course of my spiritual journey that these are souls who have come into this time-space reality to teach women a profound spiritual law and truth, helping them regain the divine being-ness and the confidence they lost over the centuries.

Thus sayeth God, you and you alone are the powerful and deliberate co-creator of your reality. You are powerful creative vibrational energy. So my beautiful’vibrational-energy,’ in order to create a favourable reality, you must align with the divine source (God), live through that alignment and from there follow your truth and bliss. You will then vibrate and attract only that which is in your favour.

The aforementioned men, that society tends to judge and abhor, are merely souls brought here to loudly declare and demonstrate this powerful law. What an impactful job they’re doing! They are unapologetic, conscious architects of the life they desire. They choose to be true to one’s self, point blank and period. The majority of men, in general, have this incredible sense of self and remain loyal to that despite a woman’s incessant demand to acquiesce. They choose to calmly hold on to their hearts, vibrating at an aligned and intentional level. The universe conspires in their favour and time again and the result is they create and then cleave to a mate who fits that desire. So simple, fluid, clear and true.

With such strong conviction, self-connection and intention is it any wonder that for them, it is truly “a man’s world.” A reality which they vibrationally mould into whatever they want. A world in which society says “your wish is my command.” A world in which they’re surrounded by countless subservient women / souls who become the physical manifestation of such deliberate intent, clamouring to do whatever it takes to be the ‘chosen one.’

How powerful! How supernaturally extraordinary! It’s been right in front of our faces the whole damn time. You become and create what you believe, feel and just know. The law of alignment and attraction is demonstrated to us in all these nuances.

Ladies, instead of being a victim and indulging in negativity, don’t you want to use your energy to become mistress of your own universe.

So here’s the grace and love and beauty of this law…. the universe, or, reality is not at all limited to the intentions / creations of one group, or, person!

Life can be whatever you want it to be! In fact, it’s not a man’s world. It’s your world. What do you want? Our loving and gracious God really, truly has lovingly designed the cosmos to work in your favour. And He lavishly placed in your hands the free will to be and have and enjoy whatever you want or need. To be mistress of your destiny!

Stop self-sabotaging beloved because you feel it is a woman’s lot in life to never have what she wants. To struggle in love and career and society. We need to end that horrible belief and dialogue as a society. It’s been a nightmarish, fulfilled prophecy for far too long now. ENOUGH!

If you want true love, vibrate, believe and align with true love. Love is of God. God is love. If you’re not aligning with love, then it is simply an indicator that you darling daughter are not aligning with your God, your source. See?

God is love. So of course he wants to see love prevail! So, like your male counterparts, grow a pair, become your own boss. Get cocky and simply believe in it, become it and selfishly vibrate it. Dare to be arrogant enough to simply know that you are a girl, or, a woman who only brings into line that which she wants.

Divine beings, let’s co-create great relationships with likeminded men. Stop observing and talking about men we deem unlovable and wrong. They don’t exist in our time-space reality; therefore, we do not give them the time of day. If you encounter one, it’s an indicator you’re somehow out of whack in your vibration. Simply face what’s going on, do an internal recalibration, get back to source and move on in love. Be true north. Don’t get caught up in the pain and negative contrasts of life. Keep on joyfully aligning.

A “player’s” self-image, lifestyle, conversation, mind, conscience is geared around sex and sexual conquests. They obsess focus on and pursue sex. Therefore they attract and partake of as much of it as they want unapologetically. Ignore what you don’t want and incessantly talk about, be, pursue and indulge in what you do want. Bad men don’t exist. Aligned men who believe in and attract what they want, whether we think it’s wrong, do.

Choose to be mistress of your space and do life with the ones who are in line with what you want. Period!

Powerful Forgiveness & Empathy

Courtesy of OWN Network

Screw ‘You’ This 2016

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Hello 2016! Thanks for the slap in my face today and reminding me of the greatest lessons I had to learn in 2015; it’s not all about me; patience is a virtue; love unconditionally; you were never a victim.

I’m a self-confessed bless-me, fix-me, prosperity junkie. I spend numerous hours fixating on what to fix about myself and what I need to achieve and acquire in order to manifest the grandiose life I envision for moi.

One never realizes that life is passing by, one’s awareness and perception of the world becomes stunted, one dimensional and you miss out on nuggets that could’ve been acquired from simply partaking of the colourful personalities and opinions and experiences around them. Most importantly you miss out on love and a life even more rich and amazing than what you have in mind.

When was the last time you did anything lavishly kind and loving for other people, for an entire week without drowning in concerns about you? I say kindness is next to Godliness. To stop, be still, simply observe the world and talk to people, and listen to them and lend a helping, or, loving hand.

Can you go a day without trying to fix something you feel is “wrong” about you? Can you go a day without trying to rectify a problem you see in your partner, whom you feel is inconveniencing the expectations / vision you had of the relationship in your head.

Can you go a day…let’s just start with a day… simply liking yourself and your loved ones, as and where you are, regardless of perceived imperfections? Can you love him today even if he hasn’t proposed, called, or, showered you with affection? Can you love your imperfect parents, who did the best they could with what they knew and had?

When did we start to believe that all there is to life is me? it’s narcissistic. I’m tired of me actually. I want to wake up and experience the world AS IT IS. No trying to change anything, or, anyone. To simply live, breath slowly, eat well and chill. I’m open to where I’m at now. The future has it’s own battles. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

I’m open to who my mother, my father, my sibling, my God, my man, my friends, my society are.

Lighten up folks. The sun shines us all!

Not Just a Local, African Kid. I’m a Global Player

This TED Talk by Magatte Wade really speaks to my ambitions, the impact I’d like my legacy to have on humanity and how I’d like to go about fleshing it out.

I’m proud and blessed to have been born and bred in Africa. But, I feel in all honesty that Melissa Russell transcends merely being African. I am a global citizen and game player. I do not subscribe to premise that I’m this one dimensional idea of what it means to be African. I grew up in a world where borders have long since collapsed online and we’re all now a part of one global community and streaming consciousness.

I want to build an iconic brand that establishes me as a global conversationalist, problem solver and culture-caster. I’m not just a local kid. I’m a cool global player. I believe this personal brand and ideology can help me contribute in a culturally relevant, effective and popular manner towards advancing the world around me.

BET Experience Africa 2015

 

 

 

 

Three-time GRAMMY Award nominated international R&B, soul and pop singer, actress and television personality Tamar Braxton joins fellow R&B sensations Maxwell and Raphael Saadiq on the line-up for the BET Experience Africa. The three R&B superstars will perform during the gala concert alongside two of Africa’s top artists, multi-instrumentalist Flavour and Bongo Flava star Diamond Platnumz at the BET Experience Africa, a spectacular global celebration of urban culture, music and lifestyle from entertainment channel BET (DStv channel 129).