to be African, to be Woman, to be Creative, to be Fashionable, to be Intelligible, to be Beautiful.....to be IMARA

imara by Mshana

This is the canvas and the pages on which I curate and display the life I wish to create for myself and other liminal hu-women like myself. I explore here my passion for fashion, present my literally inspired visual arts, write my visual arts inspired written works, share my linguistics, travel diaries, show my finding comfort in food, and heck, whatever else I feel like... Welcome and enjoy!

A symposium, a period and a worldwide web surfing session later


period survival tactics


Hi, lovelies!

I missed you on Friday but I promise it was for a good cause. I spent the whole day on Friday at the Dreaming Feminist Futures Symposium and didn't get a chance to post here. I promise not to make a habit of this but this was not one to miss. Although I do not have any pictures or anything visual to share with you, I have a whole entire Journal. Each year the Africa Gender Institute hosts a themed symposium like this and with it, they release a new issue of Feminist Africa. This year's issue is the 22nd one and it is titled Feminists Organising - Strategy, Voice, Power. I am so excited to indulge in the readings and I hope you will too. The cool part about it is that I got to meet some of the African feminist scholars that are published in the journal. It was absolutely phenomenal. 

The rest of my weekend was me menstruating, cooking and eating while perusing the online. This is pretty much my standard menstrual procedure πŸ˜‚ I wake up, cook what I am craving, stuff my face with it and peruse the web. So I thought it would be nice to share my favourite places to scroll when I am feeling meh... 

Image from AngoDiva's Website

Image from AngoDiva's Website

There aren't enough words to describe my love for this Netherland based Angolan mamaa. She is extremely fashionable and truly personable. She writes her blog in both Portuguese and English, something that I genuinely admire. This had me thinking that I may want to have a Swahili version of my site too. Her aesthetic is so effortless yet so complex...a true reflexion of that Angolan banga (πŸ˜‰ if you know what banga is, we can be best friends right now). Her style philosophy is that "there are no ugly clothes, but different ways to wear them," something that truly makes her stand out. She is not obsessed with brands or streamlining her style but rather making her style of everything she finds. 

Uploaded on YouTube by Ghanaian Artists on 2016-06-22

If you have no idea what Christie Brown is, you owe the entire continent an apology! I am serious! If Alicia Keys and Beyonce know Christie Brown then who are you not to?  All jokes aside, Christie Brown is perhaps the best African design house right now. This Ghana-based brand is the brainchild of Aisha Obuobi and it is now 10 years old. The house dressed the girls of An African city in Season 1 of the show. If you watch an African City then you know how popping the style in the show be. What attracts me to them is their modernity without compromising on an Afrocentric feel. Christie Brown says it exists "to satisfy the stylish urge of the woman seeking a true taste of neo-African culture" and it truly does. Their website says, "at Christie Brown, [their] aim is to infuse modernism into carefully curated traditional African aesthetics that transcend international tastes. It’s about the female expression of her experience of the cultural opulence of Africa without self-compromise." Tell me you read that and didn't want to get yourself something from them!

From Google: Alicia Keys wearing Christie Brown Ghana

From Google: Alicia Keys wearing Christie Brown Ghana

From Google: Ladies of  An African City

From Google: Ladies of An African City

Uploaded on YouTube by Vlisco on 2016-12-30

Vlisco is essentially fabric porn! The company has been around for over 170 years now and has made over 350,000 prints. I spend so much time just looking at their archives it is ridiculous. Their close ties with the African continent often get them confused for an African brand. The company is however only inspired by Africa. The fabrics themselves are "made with a technique derived from Indonesian Batik and designed in the Netherlands." Vlisco is conscious of the fact that African women are it's greatest supporters and so it maintains a great relationship with the continent. They support women courses across the continent and are at the forefront of working with African designers to create designs true to the African woman's aesthetic. Perhaps the most impressive part of Vlisco is rather the way it is able to produce the whole fashion value chain in-house. I am so here for this farm-to-body fashion business model.

From Google: Vlisco LookBook Outfit

From Google: Vlisco LookBook Outfit