Friday, October 30, 2015

That One Thing

Ladies.. let's  face it. We ALL have it. And have probably been ashamed of  it at some point, and have developed  a perfectly  reasonable  excuse to defend  our choice. Yes...Each and every one of us has that one item  in their wardrobe, it could be a cute little black  dress, a pair of heels, a coat, maybe even a pair of earrings or whatever  fashionable  item  that you absolutely  LOVE and cannot  get  enough of. You love it so much you may have worn it on too many occasions than you think you ought to  have, so much that each time you  wear it you almost cross your  fingers and hope the people  you meet won't  recognize  it from a prior day. Basically, the only reason you wouldn't  wear it is because  it's dirty and is  in the laundry basket. Because  that's  just how much you love it. And if the poor thing could protest or run away  from you, it probably  would have  done  so a long time  ago.

Look, I'm not saying  you wear it everyday. But if you're  going to a special  event and you start asking yourself  what to wear, it's usually  the first thing you think of. I will be the first to plead  guilty  and  confess that for me, it has to be my favourite  pair of shoes. A suede black platform, peep-toe with a sling back with a copper  heel. I have tried to wear this shoe with basically  everything in  my wardrobe  from jumpsuits to cocktail dresses to leggings,and most times  it goes perfectly  with the rest of the outfit but sometimes I have to  remove them with a heavy heart as  they fail to blend with the outfit.
The pair of shoes that doubles as the love of my life!


I remember when I saw this shoe through the store window in a shopping mall, I just walked in and headed straight for  it and asked the shop assistant if they had my size. That's  probably the  only  time  I've experienced  love at first  sight  haha ! I  almost  cringed the one time when  I met a guy at an event while  I  was wearing  the shoe and I  bumped into him the following weekend  at another event and  lo and behold  I  was wearing the  same  shoe! I almost  kicked myself. I mean this guy probably  thought that was the only pair of shoes I  have!

Nonetheless there will always  be the little treasures  in our wardrobes, that have sentimental value to us  and  are undoubtedly  our favourite  items. Essentially that one item you love so much you can't see yourself ever giving it away.

Seeing as I've  started the confession roll, it would be  interesting  to hear from you ladies! What is your  favourite (and most abused) item in your  wardrobe? Feel free to comment and tell us and if possible, any funny story attached to this  item.


Rumbidzai Ngwarai is a 27 year old fashion designer who owns the label Diella Reaux. You can check out her designs on www.diellareaux.com

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sony Emails On Leak


Editors note: This piece was written in response to the Sony hack where millions of emails sent between top executives were published on the Wikileaks site. 
Christmas came really early for bloggers, news stations and nosey people in general! I totally believe in the right to privacy and the protection thereof. However when something is in the general public, it would be folly not to look.
The juicy tidbits that I have been able to squeeze from these emails had me like:
Thanks Julian Assange


Naturally, I started by looking out for emails pertaining to black Hollywood and it was all interesting! The most important tone and message that I am learnt is that black artists, actors and personalities are waiting on white corporations to approve them. This is actually really sad. This includes the A listers like Jay and Bey, who are also gossiped about at Sony. Their value is only as far as their celebrity reach and ratings. Herewith the tea:

The Amazing Spiderman 2

They had an equally amazing discourse about which artist to use for the soundtrack and even on the song!! The first choice seemed to have been Rihanna or Lady Gaga (although it was felt she may be lame after the Die Antwoord dissed her). Rihanna apparently decided to pass on it and the next artists were as follows:

  • Lorde- "Shes cool"
  • Ellie Goulding- "Her fan base was questionable
  • Alicia Keys- one of the execs remarked that she doesn’t “get AK” and they weren’t sure if "she is right for Spidey though”.



Allegedly (as Aunty Wendy says), Jamie Foxx had prepared a song for the soundtrack that wasn’t even listened to by Jay Brown. Pharrell was then tasked with the song writing after the resounding success of “Happy”, which is the soundtrack to Despicable Me 2 movie, so they expected an encore with this one too.

There is so much  shade researching, processing, planning, discussion that goes on behind the scenes of the movies and songs we enjoy so flippantly.  I was personally taken aback about the comment on Alicia Keys, is that why her career isn’t as big as I/ we think it should be? Is that what could be happening to other talented artists like Keisha Cole? Monica? Brandy? Ciara? If a Sony executive doesn’t quite “get” you then you get passed on?

I don’t know how they finally settled on Alicia Keys, because it seems like Pharell was a done deal, I think Pharell stood up for her and convinced them it would work with her and Kendrick. I am personally not a fan of this song and I haven’t seen the movie, but at least they got to cut a cheque! I would have loved to hear what Jamie Foxx prepared, I love his music!




Destiny’s Child Film


On Jay Z’s birthday in 2013, illuminati Matthew Knowles approached Sony with the idea of a making a Destiny’s Child film. He was going to see Universal too but he gave Sony the first bite at the cherry as DC is under Sony. All the people in on the email were in agreement.
Its not a secret that people would be interested because of Beyonce and he proceeded to show exactly how much interested in numbers and stats:

“1.8 million online discussions about Beyonce alone in last 30 days and 72 percent positive.  She's still relevant and therefore the group's story can be.
Obviously a huge social media aspect. Beyonce has 52 million social followers on Facebook and 12.9 million on Twiitter.”

He also spoke about how they can use the casting process as part of a marketing/ advertising process, similarly to how Channing’s wife judged an open casting call for dancers in a Step Up movie. Uhmmm, Channing’s wife has a name! She is Jenna Dewan.


This frightens me because, then how would a Sony exec look at the average black person? It means in corporate America, there is no place for a lot of us. It also begins to clarify why some black celebrities don’t come out, publically, to support movements and campaigns in support of #blacklivesmatter. This may negatively affect their popularity across the board, reduce their ratings and that may mean going without a cheque. They are compromised. This also means we will never truly know these people because they are so guarded and every move must be calculated- unless they are decide to go the Dame Dash route!
There is a concern that it may be too early for the film, apparently One Direction didn’t do as well as they anticipated so they decided to do a viewer tack/ track?
I wonder how far back they will go, like will they take it back to the DC of “say my name” ??
Y’all think its too early for a Destiny’s Child movie??

Beyonce and MJ:  When the queen impeded the king!
So, remember when this happened???
beyonce-beyonce-album-cover
Well  apparently Beyonce went on and killed a good thing! When Beyonce decided to compromise my finances  by dropping her album unannounced, she apparently upset the circle of sales. The music label has discouraged other artists from pulling a Beyonce because this upsets the retailers of physical copies of the music as people will no longer be buying the physical albums.
86940-1
When MJ, well his estate, teamed up with Sony to launch his posthumous album there was also some background banter about how the album should be released through Music Unlimited. It was decided that 5 of the 10 songs would be made available through Music Unlimited and that’s it!
What are your thoughts on all the above? Do you feel like the execs at Sony and every other big corporate are pulling the wool over our eyes? How does it feel to see the world as it really is?

Finally, is ever ok to hack into someones emails?
Stay tuned for part 2!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Running Things: 3 Simple Guidelines To Stay In The Race

We do Trep Talk on Tuesdays!

I ran my farthest distance this Sunday and there are 3 lessons I learnt that can apply to running a business.






1) Start Running

A year ago if you had told me I would be running my own business and driving over 40km at 05:00 to run races I would scoff at you. I wouldn't entirely laugh you out of the room, but I would ask things like "where will I get the money to start that?" or "will you pay for the fuel for me to get there?". 

When I arrived at the race I was late because, of the 40 km drive, so the race had begun and I had to catch up. I was the last person for almost 1km, but I kept running and I kept going till I was no longer last. I am fiercely competitive so being last was never an option!

Its the same thing in business, when you start, there will be others already ahead of you. They are in the big media, their website has no glitches, they have an office - not a second hand desk in the lounge ,with a reception area  manned by a receptionist. You are in the race now too, you can either hit the ground running or allow feelings of inadequacy to hold you back two the point that you drop out of the race. Keep looking ahead and thinking about the medal or the prize you want to win and slowly you will begin to pick up pace and get ahead.


2) Be Principled



I love the teaching by Dr Myles Munroe on facts vs principles. He said a principle is unwavering and don't change, whereas facts are circumstantial. You need to stick to your principles in spite of the facts.

When it comes to running my principle is "do not stop running". The facts are the circumstances that keep coming like achy knees, back pain, change in gradient or weather. So when my knees ache- I keep running, when my back is tight- I keep running, when the route is uphill- I run harder! 

In business the fact is the economy is in a recession, clients are cutting expenditure and December is around the corner. Your principles will be tested, especially when it comes to integrity, loyalty and honesty.Yes, we live in Africa but I refuse to believe the fact that corruption and bribery are the only ways to do business successfully on the continent. We are the new generation of African leadership and if we want to change the African narrative then it needs to start with us learning to run uphill. 

3) Know Your Team 


I personally do not belong to a running club, I like that "lone wolf" vibe, besides I enjoy my music a little too much than I do trying to maintain a breathy conversation. 


At the race on Sunday there was this trio of girls who were in my periphery. At 9 km an older man, dressed in pink, came up to me and said "see those 3, they want to to beat you. Don't let them." From then it was ON!

Bring it!

They got quite far ahead of me between 10-12 km because I was in so much pain in my back that I actually had to stop for a few breaths. Then one of the little piglets fell behind the pack and I lapped her. My power song came on and I knew it was my "eye of the tiger" moment. The two girls were running together but I could see one was more fatigued than the other, so I kept running even when they would walk. Eventually I left them all behind! The two slow friends held one of the girls back from their goal of defeating me! 


You need to know your team and what their limits are. You need to know who is the person best suited for a task or a portfolio. As far as possible try to put people in positions that are in their strength zone. I suck at admin, but my partner loves it. When she joined she wanted to get things in order internally, set up the website, design new business cards, etc. I like to move so, I found a programme - Awethu Project- to help us take the business to the next level through coaching and business management lessons, plus a R 5000.00 grant. 

When you know your team well, you can set goals that are realistically attainable and no one will feel like they are carrying the weight of the team or being slowed down by the others. 




In conclusion, there is no sprint to success- even Usain Bolt knows that. I am not where I want to be and I am probably not qualified enough to be giving this advice, but I think its important to share what I do know. Look at Mark Cubans blog, it was last updated in August 2014, when people get to that level they don't have time to be blogging consistently but they want to tell their stories themselves so they wont delegate that. I will be in the same position one day, so I want to document as much as possible! :)


What are some lessons you have learnt in sports, or other activities that you can apply to running a business? I would love to hear about them and it will help others learn something new too!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Form and Function

Welcome!

I've been expecting you!




I pledge the following for your loyalty:

I will post a minimum of 3 times a week:

Monday: The Rant

Tuesday: Trep Tuesday (Sharing some of my hard knock lessons on enTrepreneurship)

Thursday: Throw Back Thursday - weighing in on issues of the week from social media, because we are up to date and current on issues!

Fashion Fridays: These will be hosted by my beautiful twin, who is also a fashion designer and mogul in the making Miss Rumbidzai Audrey Ngwarai.



Lady Shakara law in this instance!

There will be a new poll at the bottom of the blog each week, so please take part!

If you would like me to discuss a topic, or if you would like to contribute as a writer please leave a comment below and I will get back to you!

This is going to be fun for all of us!



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Launch!




Lady Shakara is officially on the scene!


This is not how I wanted to enter the web, but if I don't do it now, its not going to be done in 2015.



How I wanted to arrive


I had to start somewhere, so, I figured this was a good place to begin.

I started the blog Sisi In Sandtin when I moved to Johannesburg in 2011. I was young and naive, bright eyed and optimistic. 

I am not that green behind the ears anymore, but I will never stop being optimistic! I have learnt and grown so much that I cannot classify myself as that girl anymore. My style of writing has evolved, sharpened by my experience and life.

Sisi In Sandtin served me well and gave me the opportunity to give the voice in my head a hand. As Lady Shakara, I feel confident enough to lead the way and discuss those "ouch points", I am comfortable enough to expose myself occasionally because I want to reach all the Sisi's and Lady's (ladies-I know) out there. 

I hope you will support, engage and keep it real with me! 

So, here we go!





Monday, October 19, 2015

The 5 Guys I Adore..... But Could Never Date

I decided to rework a few articles from the past! This is one of them from 2011.. Some of the views expressed herein have changed eg, I no longer watch Jack-ass or South Park, I am off Weezy but on Drizzy! I might reconsider the pastor, if we can get on Preachers of LA! (joking)

I want to discuss 5 archetypal men I’ve known and adored, but with whom I could never build a successful long term relationship.

 1) The Mafia Boss!
American Gangster!

Not the drug dealer, but the head honcho- Al Capone or Don Corleone themselves. I’m an extremist, if I want to date the bad guy, I want the baddest guy ever! I think of myself as a fairly ride or die girl having dated a few mini thugs in my day and as an attorney I could do all the work and find ways to keep my man on the streets.. but I can’t deal with the guns, the constant hoodlums in the house and i am unable keep a secret so i wouldn’t be able to stop myself from bragging to my friends if he shot someone famous!!








2) The intellectual/ academic 
 I enjoy a mental challenge and intellectual conversation on a regular basis. I have a genuine interest in knowledge and a smart man who is well versed in many disciplines is so hard to resist..but once in a while I like to watch Jack-ass (isn’t it awesome in 3D) , South Park and scream for the sake of it with my 2 year old nephew!!


3)Lil Wayne..

I don’t wanna date a celebrity, or a rapper- I want Weezy! I would wear my hair down my back like his! Change my teeth and officially be Mrs Carter- right now I go by it but no one respects it :( .. We would skate board, swear and smoke weed n sip sizurrp, sag our pants and I'd lend him more skin to tat! Id attend all BET awards and sit with TI's wife throwing up gang signs at the camera.. In the real world where my grandparents are pastors, this wouldn’t happen because he will get old and saggy tatted skin with a permanent grill wouldn’t be something I wanna see every day.


4) The Pastor/ Preacher

Going to heaven is right at the top of my priorities! I love me some Jesus and I ain’t afraid or ashamed to say it.  I know we all have access to God but I feel like a pastor sees and hears things we all may not be open to, they have this spiritual alertness that can either lead people to salvation or demise, plus I like to receive prayers!I can’t deal with the duties of being a pastors wife! You have to be kind, nurturing, warm, no cussing, have a steady supply of baked goods and hold/kiss small children a lot. Plus I like Weezy.. I think that’s a point on its own

5) The Dictator


I think from my list one can see, I like men that have strong leadership qualities, I have a big personality and an even bigger mouth so I am not for the indecisive and I am very clever so manipulation comes as a sort of second nature. A man must stick to his guns or I will run you!  I won’t even go into the benefits of being a President’s wife.. but a dictators wife the benefits are well.. larger than life and unfortunately I mean this literally. Thousands of people die, are chased from their homes and much worse in order for one to live the life of luxury. This man is a leader, in most cases a revolutionary man who has risen above other men and they have found him worthy to take care of them as well as their children!

Bonus
Ill add Donald Trump


 What are the types of girls/ guys you always fantasize or daydream about but that just look good on paper? Coz you know it would not last!!
For guys; is it an Amber Rose- a girl that’s pretty all the time and is the life of the party?
Ladies; is it the athlete? Tall, toned and …..Come guy and gals, share J… What’s your fantasy?

Girls with Swords






Women: We are under attack.

 Our womanhood is under siege and so many of us are just laying it down for our rivals to pick up. I am not even going to get Biblical here, but I believe that God created us well, assigned the right genes/ gender to each of us.

I was going to write about how much Bruce Jenner irks me! I am talking about him before he put his peen in jar. My first encounter with him was on KUWTK and he was being mean to Khloe, telling her "you still look fat in black" and I knew we were dealing with the classic case of "asshole". Nothing has changed.

I think being a woman is a privilege and its like getting the 42 colour crayon set, whereas being a man is like getting the 6 colour set. Then some men think/ feel that the 6 colours arent enough and they want to take some pink, turquoise,jade, orange and end up looking like a science experiment. They think being a woman is about being "pretty, curvy, lusty and high cheek bones ". When I see women cheering on men transforming, I cringe because I feel that we are giving up ground!

Women are beautiful creatures, but can you honestly remember the last time you were worried about looking "cute" for a meeting? or do you worry about "will they take me seriously?", or "have I done enough to show that I am qualified for this position?".
I am not even going to address the side chics and whore-ish females who are setting us back. Those women waste their crayons- like the kids who colour and draw on the wall or go outside the lines- wasting space and messing up things!



We need to protect, fight for and take a stand for our womanhood. Dont share or waste your crayons! Use them to paint portraits for the world, such as Ava Duvernay, Sheryl Sandberg, Angelina Jolie, Michelle Obama, Oprah and YOU!

Africa Kwenu!

This may get me into trouble, if you read it wrong. Therefore I urge you to apply your mind and find the meaning in this rant- its actually at the end.
If anyone knows me, you know my obsession with Bella Naija Weddings page. Fridays are my day to go through the updates, with every wedding more opulent than the last.. sometimes. For those who are unfamiliar, this is OPW stepped by 1000 and some weddings are even beyond Top Billing.
Rotimi Alakija DJ Xclusive Traditional Wedding to Tinuke - BellaNaija Weddings -a88a1244aea16ec3e872143d4c024f3a



It is pretty clear that Nigerian people know how to get married, or at least throw a proper wedding! Everything is so spot on, from the proposal, the pre-wedding photo shoot, the white wedding and right through to the traditional wedding. The vibrant colours, box fresh fashion with top of the range fashion and musicality of the entire affair heightens the entire celebration. 
BellaNaija Weddings-Yoruba Nigerian Wedding at Oriental Hotel, Lagos-oyindamola-and-Temitayo-Traditional-Wedding-10186

BellaNaija Weddings-Yoruba Nigerian Wedding at Oriental Hotel, Lagos-oyindamola-and-Temitayo-Traditional-Wedding-10050


BellaNaija Weddings-Yoruba Nigerian Wedding at Oriental Hotel, Lagos-oyindamola-and-Temitayo-Traditional-Wedding-10052
3 pairs, 1 bride!




I decided that I was going to marry a Nigerian man.

Then a few weeks ago, like an epiphany it hit me. I am not interested in Nigerian men. Its the culture that I am enthralled by! I find it so attractive that the people, especially the men are so proud of their cultures. A man in an agbada can ask me for any favours and he will be met with little to no resistance (lol).

Yes dear!
Now that I am able to see clearly where my interests lie, I have been relinquished from dealing with some really strange men *shudders*- but thats a whole book on its own. It has also prompted me to look a little more into my own culture and learn more about what Tsonga/Shangaan people are about.

Twerking in part of my culture!

As feminist, I was put off culture because of how oppressive it is of women. However as a businesswoman who is developing products and services for the African market, I cannot overlook the importance of culture to the people I want to reach.

There are some very cool parts to culture like the flamboyant fashion, delicious food and vivacious music! I am going to enjoy those elements. The parts that do not feel good to me or align to my personal beliefs- I am going to leave out.

As modern African where do you stand on this issue of culture? How embedded into your life is it, if at all?



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I want to be the cover girl for Forbes Africa, not Forbes Woman