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Friday, April 30, 2010

Written By: MIM!—It's the end of the month, and our big news this month is that we launched a new look for the magazine (April 2010: Live Your Life) and joined Facebook! Don't forget to follow, friend and/ or like us on Facebook, and together we'll define the voice of this generation's African women.

When we were publishing the magazine nine times a year, our April issues marked a time of the year when we were deliberately reflective about where we were yet hopelessly optimistic about what was in store. In 2006, it was time to Spring Forward with Rosemary Chileshe (Zambia) on our cover. In 2007, we brought in Something New with covergirl Mirembe Campbell (Uganda). In 2008 we celebrated Black Beauty with Liya Kebede (Ethiopia) gracing our cover. And in 2009, Sehin Belew (Ethiopia) showed us how to be Simply Fabulous by being on the cover of MIMI with no regard for her age.

Here are the hot topics that we were blogging about in past Aprils:

2007: First Malaria Awareness Day In The United States.

(Caption: Reading MIMI Magazine Online (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes))

(Photo Credits: © iStockPhoto | STEEX)
Written By: MIM!—Just A Band's video "Ha-He" has been credited as Kenya's first viral video. Here's the catch: it has only been available for a little over a month, and during this time the video has made it big, no really big, with its spoof of of blaxploitation films, featuring the hilarious protagonist Makmende.

Just A Band (Kenya) - "Ha-He" with Makmende from Akwaaba Music on Vimeo.

We ♥ Just A Band's particular brand of supernerdycool electro synth (Afri) pop. Look out for more of Just A Band in an upcoming issue of MIMI, and for now, enjoy their video.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Written By: Nani Hapa—As Research Editor, I usually spend hours (mainly online) looking for all news Africa, hoping to find just one noteworthy story to cover in the magazine. Every now and then, however, a gem magically falls in my hands. This was the case with the free African Swim album (yes, free).

First, the what: African Swim is a free compilation album of some of the finest South African hip-hop artists (Zola, Jozi, Magaz) that was released in 2008 by Adult Swim. Which brings me to the who: the Adult Swim network released the album; bringing South African hip-hop to an audience likely unfamiliar with hip-hop from outside the US is definitely a good look for the network. Where: the entire album is available online for free download (again, yes, the album is free) at this link When: I'm nearly two years late in "discovering" this album, but better late than never right? And finally the how: as I mentioned when I started this post, this album landed in my hands (figuratively speaking that is since it's a digital download) because a MIMI reader thought to email us about it. Thank you MIMI-ista!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Written By: MIM!—Our favorite singer-stylista Anna Reynolds recently released the new collection from her ANNA ALPHA BETIC line, titled ALPHABETIC No.2. Like Anna, the collection is fun and fashion forward. Get the style scoop at

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(Photo Credits: ANNA ALPHA BETIC)
Written By: MIM!—Ghanaian jewelry designer Nelly Hagan Aboagye and her business partner launched Duaba Serwa with the idea of creating a jewelry line incorporating indigenous Ghanaian, Sierra Leonean, and Ivorian beadwork all hand-made with contemporary designs fused with middle eastern stones. The result is uniquely spectacular. Visit to learn more about the line.

(Photo Credits: Sefa Nkansa For Duaba Serwa)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Written By: MIM!—Today, Sade revealed on her website the stunning artwork for her new single Babyfather. The video will be available to purchase on iTunes starting May 4th. Get the inside scoop on Sade and her projects by visiting
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Written By: MIM!—Lira is undoubtedly one of the hottest performing artists in South Africa. Although she has been singing since childhood, it was the 2006 release of her second album Feel Good which catapulted Lira to the stratosphere. A sweet mix of Afro-Jazz, R&B, and soul, the album earned her several South Africa Music Awards (SAMA) nominations including Best New Artist, Best Female Artist, Best R&B Album, Best Single, and Best Video (which she won). At the time (2007) the title track off the album enjoyed more radio airplay than any other South African song. Today, Lira has another album under her belt, Soul In My Mind, and her star continues to shine bright.

(Photo Credits: Sony BMG South Africa)
Written By: MIM!—London-based textile artist and designer Anita Quansah specializes in creating one off handmade embroidered wearable art, flat and 3 dimensional fabrics for interior, fashion, accessories and wall art for commercial and private installations using new, vintage and recycled materials. Her bold and dramatic statement jewelry has the fashion world taking notice of her. Here are some of our favorite pieces ...

Get more information at:

(Photo Credits: Shrimpton Couture)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Written By: MIM!—Incorporating an African aesthetic into your everyday look is all the more easy with Free People's Rebellion. At the helm of Free People's Rebellion is American-Liberian designer Sarah Williams who creates modern handmade accessories, including earrings, necklaces, bows ... even shoe laces, using vibrant African fabrics. Sarah not only makes a point to hand-make her accessories entirely with fabrics manufactured in Africa, she also donates part of the proceeds of each sale to the Children’s Comforting Yard, a charitable organization that provides food, care, and education to Liberian children. The designer who is all about breaking the mold proclaims as her mission statement: "We the FREE people on this earth refuse to be brainwashed by those namebrands that steal OUR style and sell it back to us for their own personal gain. It's time to REBEL against selfish consumerism and make a difference with our purchasing power. Who says you can't look fly while simultaneously saving the world. Welcome to FREE PEOPLE'S REBELLION."

Get more information by visiting

(Photo Credits: Free People's Rebellion)
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Written By: MIM!—Aïssa Maïga is a Senegal-born actress who has stared in a number of French films including Paris, Je T'aime and Bamako, for which she was nominated in 2007 for the Most Promising Actress César Award. From her first role in the 1997 thriller Saraka Bô, there was no denying Aïssa's star power; on an obvious upward trajectory, today, Aïssa has 31 films under her belt and is one of France's most celebrated actresses. As she explains, ‘‘Directors are starting to call me for movies because they knew me. Not because they wanted a black African French girl.’’ A mother of two, Aïssa keeps her personal life private and instead lets her growing body of work speak to her talent.

(Photo Credits: Laboratorio Immagine Donna)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Written By: Jamelia Mmari—These photographs of poolside summer fashion remind me of retro African glamor.

(Photo Credits: © iStockPhoto | ALiJA)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Written By: Nani Hapa—Janice Celeste is co-owner of Celeste Studios (, an international wedding production company that produces platinum weddings for brides who love a great story. Celeste Studios produced Nana and Akinola's wedding that took place in Newark, NJ. I adore the video of their wedding. Watch it below and celebrate L.O.V.E. MIMI-istas.

Nana + Akinola's African-Chic Wedding from Janice Celeste on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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Written By: MIM!—Born and raised in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, her name means "gift" and many of her fans would agree that she is just that, a gift to the South African music scene. Simphiwe Dana has become one of South Africa’s favorite daughters representing her culture and heritage all around the world. Described as a young Miriam Makeba, Dana’s voice transports you to that golden era in South Africa’s history. Her music is rich with warm harmonies from her backing vocalists and stylishly held together by her band's jazz grooves. Simphiwe is the winner of 7 South African Music Awards (SAMA) for her two albums Zandisile (2004) and The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street (2006).

(Photo Credits: Simphiwe Dana EPK Provided Courtesy Of Gallo Records)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Written By: Jamelia Mmari—In a word: beautiful. Take the time to visit Peace Images' Etsy store (@ and discover the natural beauty of African-inspired handmade jewelry. My favorite jewelry from the "Etsy-tailer": the Ear Vine 2 Butterflies pair of earrings.

(Photo Credits: Peace Images)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Written By: MIM!—We already shared with you pieces from Palesa Mokubung's fabulous spring summer collection in the article SAFW: Summer Collections. Here are more stylish spring summer pieces from Palesa Mokubung:

SAFW had the following to share about Palesa's inspiration for this collection:
Palesa intensely considers that inspiration is "a moment that can revolutionize your perspective and your sense of being." For her it is somewhat a light that directs one somewhere, which only the bold hearted follow. It is this ingenuity of "the power of creative imagination" that she believes Alexander McQueen possessed! Palesa attended the 10th year anniversary celebrations of the South Africa—Nigeria Bi-National Commission in October / November 2009, where our Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthr and counter-part the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan were among the dignitaries that hosted a series of activities. The impact of having attended such a prestigious cultural event gave her a ‘taste’ the ‘raw’ culture and feel the ‘depth’ of what in reality constitutes, the order of the day for her African siblings—whether through music, lingo or culture. This show attempts to unravel her inspiration on a journey from South Africa to Nigeria and on to the rest of the world; an act she terms "in-spire-action."
To see more from this collection, read SAFW: Summer Collections from our current Spring 2010 issue.

(Photo Credits: Ivan Naudé)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Written By: MIM!—The Spring 2010 issue of MIMI has been published; read it by following this link: Spring 2010—Live Your Life. To commemorate our 5 year anniversary, we have changed our look, and incorporated the best design features of the past 5 years of publishing, including a Table of Contents and Feature, Style, Heart & Soul, Lifestyle and Africana articles. What do you think?

We're also finally on Facebook! We're looking forward to getting to know all of you on this new space; together, we're defining the voice of this generation's African women.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Written By: MIM!—Future revolutionaries need look no further than to find positive stories from the Diaspora of the past and present. As the young, black, and gifted founder Gabrielle ("Gabi") Smith explains, "The name thenublack comes from the idea that my generation and those born to parents of the African Diaspora have had a path paved for them by their ascendants." MIMI caught up with Gabi to find out what inspires her to continue paving the path of greatness.

MIM!: What inspired you to start
Gabi Smith: I started thenublack in October of 2008 by way of a challenge to see how many positive stories, images, quotes, articles I could post each day for Black History Month in the UK. The blog pretty much continued from then on. I was inspired by the websites, blogs, artwork and features I’d come across and wanted to showcase their talent.

MIM!: I've noticed that in your interviews you ask, what is thenublack philosophy according to you? I'd like to turn the question around: what is thenublack philosophy according to Gabrielle?
Gabi Smith: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"Eleanor Roosevelt.

MIM!: Who are the Nu Black?
Gabi Smith: Thenublack comes from the idea that my generation and those born to parents of the African Diaspora have had a path paved for them by their ascendants.
Although we may not have experienced first-hand the effects that many of those well known figures had on the world, I have hope that we're aspiring to be equally as great, as revolutionary and box-breaking as they were and still are. We do what we love and we do it extremely well.

MIM!: What is a "normal" working day like for you?
Gabi Smith: I work as a Junior Designer for ITN (a UK based news station). My day starts with a meeting and ends with a briefing. During that time period I create graphic elements for various news stories. Although it’s a crazy environment due to the nature of the news, one of the things I like most about the environment I work in is the ability to be creative and also that I may be looking at a blog in my free time and use it as inspiration while working on a project.

MIM!: What inspires youwhat is your favorite book, movie, and artist?
Gabi Smith: I’m reading The Josephine Baker story at the moment, which I’d say, is a favourite. Also Redemption by Stanley Tookie Williams. Favourite movie has to be She’s Gotta Have It. Favourite artist is Kehinde Wiley, there’s something about his work that constantly intrigues me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Written By: MIM!—Exhale! After what seemed like an eternal holding pattern, today Angelique Kidjo's fans can finally enjoy the release OYO. On her new album, Kidjo revisits the music that was instrumental in her artistic formation in Benin, the country whose communist dictatorship she fled in the early ‘80s. Although OYO is primarily comprised of covers, the music is instantly recognizable as Kidjo’s: rhythm and blues, soul music, jazz, and Beninese melodies.

(Photo Credits: Alexei Hay)