International Women’s Day is upon us, and Charisma Campaign presents it’s second International Women’s Day Empowerment Celebration. Why empowerment celebration? Because Charisma Campaign initiatives have always served to “change culture” empowering those in the community and advocating for some important issues around the world. Our celebration will embody our values and seek to bring together everyone from different corners of society.
For the longest time I’ve grown so tired of going to all black events. Any time that I did make an attempt to broaden my horizon and attend events outside of my circle I would find myself being the only black person at events with all white panellists who I struggled to relate with.
This event has been designed to bridge the gap and get together women from diverse backgrounds marking a very important day of women. It’s not going to be all women because men out there also need to be part of the conversation. You don’t have to be a business woman or work in a particular sector. If you don’t have enough money to get a ticket the event it is still open to you.
While, I understand and appreciate the role of niche events in serving and bringing people with similar interests together. I still believe that on this occasion as my TEDX talk 2017 mentioned it is important to create a change in society by engaging with people outside your everyday network and spaces. In order to help to learn about the different challenges that exist in communities outside your own , helping to resolve and address some of these issues.
Join us in celebrating and empowering our community Tickets
My first review of the new year marks a similar entertaining historical fusion as one of my very first book features “Homegoing”. I must have taken a very keen likening to historical fiction because I absolutely enjoyed the book feature in the our liberty legacy themed box. I found the contents included to be a great way of presenting African products .
The box is being sold for £29.99 featuring a number of goodies such as :
- She Would Be King Hardcover book.
- Bantu Queen Enamel Pin from Dorcas Creates
- Mama Africa iron-on patch from Create by Lani
- Happy Soul Sticker Set by Nubian Rock Chick
- Instant Ginger Herbal Tea from Dalgety
The book feature “She Would be King” is written by Wayetu Moore is going up on my book recommendation list. Without doing a spoiler and encouraging everyone to read the novel for themselves. I would summarise the novel as simply a great blend of history, adventure and fantasy. The story brings together the fate of three supernaturally gifted characters who long for freedom from persecution and the struggles that their social contexts has placed them in. A compelling story of Liberia’s formation told through fictional superstition. Gbessa one of the characters is born on a day proclaimed as cursed and she earns the label of being a witch by her village. Gbessa on top of this is endowed with the curse of never dying. Along with other characters such as Norman Argon who has the gift of invisibility, and June Dey who is born into slavery all come together by fate ,united in West Africa and set to use their gifts to demonstrate the true substance and purpose of freedom . This book is no doubt a thrilling read and I am truly thankful for it featuring in this box.
The Bantu Queen Enamel Pin was my favourite product from the contents included. I loved it, and used it as a styling finish for one of my outfits. I look forward to creating other style pieces with the pin.
Final products included in the box were the happy soul sticker,instant ginger herbal and Mama Africa iron on patch that I equally engaged with and found to be a great empowerment tools of African heritage.The box on a whole was particularly lovable. I am big on exploring knowledge in an accessible ways therefore the creativity fun, and engagement that the box provided me with was awesome! Learning so much history through fictional story telling; wearing a Bantu queen pin that has represented unity to so many people; sitting down to enjoy soothing herbal tea blend of natural ingredients and enjoying empowering art in the form of the iron on sticker and Happy soul sticker are all fun ways of being educated. Everyone can learn something from this box as I felt like a I gained a lot from the box.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts and visit the ourlibertybox page using my 15% discount code TINA15.
Liberty Box edition 4 is themed “Back Ah Yard” packed with an exciting “Caribbean vibe” to it. It features a number of great Caribbean themed items all of which I have never come across before making me even more thrilled to explore this box. One of the best things about having a subscription box will always be the fact that I see this whole box as an educative process where both items and the featured book helps in discovering products that you may otherwise have not had the opportunity to.
The contents of this month’s box include :
• The book of the month -How to love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
• Stay Tallawah A4 Poster
• Belly Full Likkle Caribbean Cookbook
• Love Rems Cocoa Kiss Body Butter
• Reggae Groove Cut Crisp
The book of the month is a collection of short stories which highlights self-discovery, identity and Jamaican culture from characters who present their experience of what it is like to be Jamaican, both at home and away. Key themes that run throughout this book include belonging and identity in different settings. The idea that a person’s identity remains determinant of their everyday experiences is embedded in the stories of the book.
Characters demonstrate the challenges that they encounter including sometimes having to convey and even defend their own culture. The first story in the collection“Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowland is my favourite out of the entire collection it is a good example of how a young Jamaican girl based in NYC tries to help her friend understand the complexities of being Black in America.
The book is not the kind of book that I generally would read mainly because I do not tend to read short stories. However, that being said I took it on considering it as a challenge . On first impressions, I was totally drawn to the burst of colours of the book cover in someway I find the cover to be very fitting for the diverse culture and identity issues that the book covers.
While I found the stories to be authentic. The whole book can feel disconnected so it is important to keep a mental note of that for those who are not used to reading such books . I would definitely recommend this to short story lovers ,but also those who are in the process of experimenting and reading outside their usual preferences.
The box on the whole has a great cultural theme, and I even tried my hands on some of the recipes from the Belly full cookbook. With Christmas approaching I encourage everyone to head over to the Liberty box website to purchase a box for their loved ones. One box including the book and content cost £29.99 , but remember that you can use the discount code TINA15 for a 15 % discount on your purchases. I am look forward to hearing peoples view on this book if they have read it or their experience of reading short story collections.
My summer has been filled with some amazing literary products and books from Liberty box. My genuine desire of being able to encourage reading and engagement of literature beyond the normative narratives we are always exposed to has certainly been fulfilled through this subscription box. Over the months I have been able to fully immerse myself in books that have critiqued and shared knowledge of different aspects of cultural experiences, history and African identities. The importance of this has been shared in previous posts I have written in this review series, however, it is important to note that with charisma campaigns committed to supporting the promotion of culture and advocacy this subscription box has proved to be empowering through the contents and stories have touched on various vital themes.
The most box with the theme “The Call Of Home” includes
- A Small Country By Gael Faye
- African Print Zip Pouch
- York Coffee
- Thank You Card from Noir
- Quote Pencil (Liberty Box)
The theme of home is something that we all can relate with as it is an innate part of our identities and the experiences what has made us. Not only does the box contents represent and link to Rawanda, but the book included in the box tells of a moving story of home.
The current book featured in the “Call of home” box is titled “Small country” a touching read by Gael Faye. Narrated from the perspective of Gabby a son of French father and Tutsi mother, whose coming of age and life of normality and comfort of playing with his friends and riding his bike gradually turns in to conflict. Set in the mid 1990’s during the Rwanda genocide. The book highlights the devastating impact that war has in tearing apart families , communities and countries.
This box is definitely worth the experience for just £29.99 and with discount code Tina15 you will be able to get 15% discount of the subscription box which for its offering and content is a treat for everyone. Visit Liberty Box
Following the abduction, many people around the world took to social media to demand justice using the hashtag #BrickBackOurGirls, which went viral. The abduction of the girls became a global issue, gaining support from celebrities and public figures and putting pressure on the Nigerian government to bring back the girls.
Over the last four years, the protests, campaigning, and negotiation by the Nigerian government has led to the release of more than 100 Chibok girls, although as many as 100 girls are still missing, and a dozen are thought to be dead.
Despite the unimaginable abuse the girls were subjected to, many of the returned students have turned into strong young women and begun attending university. But their release is bittersweet. One of the survivors, Ntakai said that although she is happy to be alive, “I’m thinking about my sisters who are still [in Boko Haram’s clutches].”
“We need to know if they are alive or dead,” said one distressed parent. “If they are alive, let them come back to us. If they are dead, let us know so we can at least pray for them and then overcome this grief.”
“Social media might be rife with #outrage, but the Chibok girls and the rest of Nigeria needs more than tweets and online petitions.”
The war that Nigeria has with Boko Haram is currently in its ninth year, and there have been thousands kidnapped and killed over the years all across northern Nigeria. The Chibok students are simply one set of many victims of the terrors of Boko Haram – they just happen to be the ones that have made it into international press.
Over the years, young boys have been burnt alive in their schools by Boko Haram, and countless other atrocities have occurred while the Western media turned a blind eye. The abduction of the Chibok girls, while appalling and heart-breaking, is just one of the many abhorrent ways Boko Haram has violently opposed the education of young people, particularly of young girls.
The abduction of the Chibok girls remains a typical example of how, around the world there are still young people unable to gain access to education without putting their lives in danger. While international agencies like the UN continue to make education a priority, northern Nigeria still hasn’t received diplomatic or military support from the international community. Social media might be rife with #outrage, but the Chibok girls and the rest of Nigeria needs more than tweets and online petitions – they need tangible action from the rest of the world.
It’s easy for those of us in the West to look at the recent return of many of the girls, celebrate, and move on. But for the families of the girls that remain missing, and the survivors of Boko Haram’s atrocities, they cannot forget. Until the international community steps up, young people pursuing education in Nigeria remain at risk
I announced last month my reading plans for the next few months, but most importantly I wanted you all to know about some great subscription boxes out there offering some unique and diverse contents including literary work and products with stories that are often excluded from mainstream platforms or even sometimes marginalised and blurred when it comes to addressing some important issues in society. As I mentioned in my previous post I feel that this would be a great way to celebrate and even discover some original authentic products and literary work that are not always as well known or celebrated as much as they should. I found the brand our liberty box to be doing just that and today I want to share a bit more on the current book that I have just finished reading from their monthly subscription box.
On the topic of addressing important issues in society this month’s book “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” puts the subject of racism right on the table and despite its controversial title does, in fact, speak and elaborate a lot on the issue of racism in Britain. I have to start by saying how much of an easy read the book is. I found it to be very accessible. I don’t know whether Reni Eddo-Lodge (The author) had a thought to herself that went a bit like “Hmm how do I break down such a complex issue to people?”. Whether she did or did not, it worked! Because her intentions in this book are very clear to all readers, and as much as anyone would like to criticise the book there are some hard truths in this book that everyone needs to wake up to. She mentions some very strong and propelling cases of structural racism which undeniably continues to exist and has existed throughout history benefitting white people. Reni challenges “colour blindness” a notion that I personally also find ridiculous as it does as Reni mentions turn the table to make the discussion about white people without actually dealing with the real issue of racism.
As a firm believer in dialogue and conversation, I think this book does a remarkable job in having a very genuinely bold conversation that people need to be having. Engaging in such conversations is the only way for anyone to gain knowledge and learn from the experiences of others that may not always affect their own day-to-day lives. You become aware of the life beyond your own. I’m certain that there are many who still don’t even grasp the concept or experience of racism. If you are benefiting from a system that allows you thrive and gives you the upper edge in life because of your race why would you need to?
In saying this, perspectives like this may often sound like a generalisation, however, at the same time it doesn’t make cases of racism any less valid as the truth is that there are inherently large gaps in society that continuously lead to the subjugation of minorities racism therfore is not just an issue of the past that I have heard some people mention it’s also an issue of today, and we need to in the words of the title of box edition “Chip away” racist and oppressive structures and fight it by challenging it and being more open to having conversation that don’t always sound like what we want to hear.
So far, I’m enjoying receiving my reading via our liberty box. It felt like I jumped right from the historical set of last month’s homegoing origins box to a contemporary period of dealing with relevant race issues within the diasporas and other minority groups in Britain. What will next month’s theme be? You will have to find out in my next post. For now, let me know your thoughts. Have you read the book? I would love to hear from you.
Do visit our liberty box page and support their great work and don’t forget to use my discount code in order to benefit from a 15% discount simply type TINA15 at checkout. Treat yourself!
I have had this post pending for a while now. Body Shop is genuinely one of my favorite brands. I wanted to do a skincare/beauty series to kick off the summer, and it just felt so right to start by reviewing body shop.
I won’t just be reviewing products in this series, but I wanted to share a little on the brands as well. If you are like me and love to experiment with different brands this will be a great series to keep up to date with.
So let’s cut to the chase with this body shop review. Honestly, I don’t know quite where to start because they are simply an amazing brand. I love natural products and it is safe to say that all of their products are made with natural ingredients. The brand is ethical, sustainable, community and environmentally driven. They do all this while providing quality products.
I’m going to keep their product review short and sweet, as that is what personally reflects my skin care, and I think when it comes to skin care it is just about finding what works for you.
My Top 3 body shop products include
Body Shop Shea Butter
I love a good Shea butter. It gives my skin life and naturally, shea butter is very good for the skin. No matter the weather you will find that shea butter has a very good nourishing effect especially if you have dry skin like me. This butter from the body shop range is a classic and has been around for a while so if you have not yet got your hands on it it’s about time!
Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion
For those of you who have especially oily skin, I would recommend you try the tea tree mattifying lotion. It does not add any extra shine. And even with my skin, I find that it blends perfectly.Top tip with this lotion is that it works as a fab as a primer as well.
Insta glow CC cream
Finally, this CC cream is really brilliant. The SPF is one its major draws and why I really love it. If you don’t like using too much makeup as well this would be a great product that gives off a nice everyday look. I used the dark one and I thought it would be too light for me as it looked a little pale, to begin with, but it was actually a nice smooth finish.
Of course, there are some other really great products from body shop range , but these are my personal favs. Let me know what your favorite products are, it would be great to find out your views on their products as well so keep me posted on your thoughts.
On the 2nd of April 2018, Winnie Mandela, wife of Nelson Mandela died at the age of 81.
While many people in the Western world only know Winnie as the wife of Nelson Mandela, if they know her at all, CNN referred to her as “one of the greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid.” Although Winnie had her critics, she was a female campaigner who made incredible contributions to South Africa, and she should be remembered as such.
From her early life right through to her final days, Winnie was politically active and worked to end apartheid in South Africa. She was involved in the African National Congress and was even still a member of South Africa’s parliament at the time of her death. Her achievements were so great that South Africans dubbed her the “mother of the nation”.
Yet, despite these incredible achievements, outside of South Africa, many people were unaware of Winnie as anything other than the wife of the famous Nelson Mandela. Sadly, this isn’t surprising or unprecedented. The international community has a terrible track record when it comes to recognising the achievements and contributions of African women throughout history and the present day.
Indeed, if you were ask someone to name a feminist or female activist, they’d likely come up with a long list of white, European or American women who have done incredible things in the fight for equality. They might be able to name black and African women in the disapora, particularly those involved in the fight for Civil Rights in twentieth-century America, but ask them to name African women fighting for change in the African continent, and they’d likely come up short.
“Far too many people who gave their lives in the fight for freedom are forgotten by the Western world, and it’s time for that to change.”
African women like Winnie spend their whole lives having their stories ignored, and all too often their stories continue to remain untold after their death. The Western education system rarely, if ever, discusses Africa beyond vague references to the British Empire and tragic tales of poverty, and as such the stories of African people, particularly African women, go untold. While there have been recent efforts to diversify the curriculum to include a critique on the important struggles of race, discrimination and equality in the diaspora, often these improvements shy away from the dark colonial past and the struggles for freedom and independence that many African women have contributed to.
There are countless other African women beyond women who historically, both in the colonial and post-colonial eras, have demonstrated bravery and leadership as women, defending the rights and freedom of their people. Women like Yaa Asantewaa, who was one of the first female Commander in Chiefs and led an army of men in the Ashanti rebellion against British colonials in the country now known as Ghana. Like Queen Nzingha of Angola, who fought for the freedom of her people from Portuguese colonial rule. Like President Johnson of Liberia, Africa’s first female president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and Wangari Maathai from Kenya, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for her work as an environmental activist.
These stories of African women prove the African women are strong, powerful, and brave. And the rest of the world needs to recognize that. Far too many people who gave their lives in the fight for freedom are forgotten by the Western world, and it’s time for that to change.
I wanted to post this mainly to review the amazing subscription box and contents of Our liberty box, as well as provide a brief review of my current read Home Going by Yaa Gyasi, and the importance of engaging with African literature.
Our Liberty box is essentially a subscription box that delivers every two months. It includes contents celebrating African culture through literature.I received the origins box 001 which was packed with some lovely treats that I genuinely enjoyed and found it to be perfect for my special “me time”.
Reading more is something that everyone wants to do, but even better, is being able to engage with books that explore rich aspects of culture and history representing marginalized groups and voices.We all know how powerful books are as tools of knowledge, your mind develops, and they are perfect for tackling stress. However, sometimes scheduling the time to “chillax” and indulge in reading for pleasure is sometimes a struggle for a lot of people due to busy lifestyles. It’s getting towards holiday season one of the challenges I am setting myself and everyone else is to come on board and join me as I read with Our liberty box. I think this would be a great opportunity to gather motivation and begin to explore books specially curated boasting of a great diversity.
The current book I am reading which is part of the first box is a book titled Home Going by Yaa Gyasi. Home Going takes a look at the history of colonialism and slavery in Ghana and America through the experience of two half-sisters spanning generations. The story personally reminds me of my visit to Elmina castle in Ghana which served as a slave post where slaves were shipped off during the colonial era.
My visit to the Elmina castle similar to those who have visited was no doubt an emotional experience due to the horrific conditions and purpose that the castle was created to serve. The dungeons where many slaves were kept captive were inhumane and just sickening to hear about. My prior visit to Ghana did make my read of homegoing even more vivid and create a sense of real connection.
Engaging with books such as homegoing can actually be empowering as learning about the past does make you want to work actively to make the future better and our liberty box together with charisma campaign would love everyone to be part of supporting the subscription boxes by purchasing your subscription box, but also sharing it with friends as well. It would be great to hear about your current reads and what you think about the book homegoing or if you are planning on reading it? visit Our liberty box website to be able to access this subscription box and future ones.
I will share on my next read from the box in June so get your hands on this one. You can use my discount code TINA15 to be able to recieve a 15% discount on your purchase. Shipping is available worldwide. Enjoy!