Silvermyst


yeahsexyweaves:

Decorating the chop off Follow for more styleshttp://www.yeahsexyweaves.tumblr.com

Black hair is amazing and African Americans and Caribbeans are wizards when it comes to doing hair. 

yeahsexyweaves:

Decorating the chop off
Follow for more styles
http://www.yeahsexyweaves.tumblr.com

Black hair is amazing and African Americans and Caribbeans are wizards when it comes to doing hair. 

— 3 weeks ago with 31 notes
#black hairstyles  #natural hairstyles 
African American in Africa: Meet Pamela in Kenya!

ancestrallyyours:

Meet Pamela Mohamed in Kenya!  Pamela moved from the U.S. to bustling Nairobi, Kenya with her husband and children to escape a hectic American lifestyle.  That was almost five years ago and she hasn’t looked back since!   Pamela shared wonderfully open insight on adjusting and settling into her life in east Africa!

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How long have you been living in Kenya and how long do you plan to stay there?
I’ve been here for almost five years.  I’m not sure how long we will stay, but you never know where we will go next!

Is this the first country that you’ve been to in Africa?
This is my first time living in Africa, however I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Senegal, Somalia and Uganda for business/work and Zanzibar for pleasure.  My must-see places to visit, InshaAllah (God willing) are South Africa, Morocco and Ghana.

What brought you to Kenya?
I literally moved here for a change in life and opportunity and for our three children to experience a world outside of the States. My husband and I visited my brother-in-law who had moved here for a job in 2005.  Fast forward, I came home from work one day very stressed out and told my hubby, “baby, let’s move to Kenya”. Two months later to the date we did just that. My Somalian born hubby was all for it.

imageMe with my amazing hubby Bashir.

Can you talk about what you do professionally?
I’ve been a registered nurse for over 20 years in the States and I made sure I immediately got my license here since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do professionally. I completed the required training, and as of September 2013 I am a Registered Midwife.  In addition, I graduated with a Masters of Public Health in December of 2013.  My dream is to open a health center and provide excellent maternity and child care, InshaAllah.

I also co-own a restaurant and bakery with my brother-in-law called The Mug, in town.  Alhamdulillah (Thank God) the restaurant is doing well. I feel there are more business opportunities here versus in the States.

imageThe Mug.

imageDelicious desserts on display in The Mug.

What advice can you give for African Americans who want to be involved in starting a business in Kenya or in Africa? 
Find something you are passionate in, have patience and do not to be naïve or quick to trust people.

What’s life like in Kenya for you?
Our life here is good, Alhamdulillah. As long as I have my hubby and kids here I am happy and can live anywhere.  I transitioned well but admit I stressed my poor husband out because when we first moved here I wasn’t busy and didn’t know a lot of people.  My husband encouraged me to go back to school for my masters which took that boredom right out the door.  Now I’m comfortable living here, have my own routine, meet great people and appreciating this experience of living abroad.

What do you love the most about living here?

  • The quality of life is better here, especially for a family, and I’m able to spend more time with the kids.
  • Having an extra pair of hands (nanny/cook) to assist with cleaning, cooking, and transporting helps tremendously.
  • I love the weather.  99% of the time it’s perfect - not too hot and not too cold.  
  • I love that my family is eating organic fresh foods and as well as healthier less processed food.
  • Importantly, I feel more comfortable being a practicing Muslim. Our children are able to learn even more about our religion.  I enjoy spending the Ramadan month of fasting even more than just the date because there’s much more of a community here, even among the non-Muslims.  I was surprised how many Eid greetings I would receive from friends who are not Muslims.  
  • Our children attend a British curriculum private school where they are taught multiple languages: French, Kiswahili and Arabic, which I think is wonderful.
  • Everything is here!  You can find any kind of restaurant, nice movie theatres, home massage treatments etc.  And I have a young lady come to my house to do my daughter Naima’s and I’s hair.

imageMy daughter Naima touching a baby crocodile at Mambo Village.

What were the most difficult things to adjust to?

  • People’s concept of time is terrible. The term ‘African time’ is true. It’s difficult for me because I’m very punctual.
  • Traffic is terrible and there are aggressive drivers, especially the public transportation drivers, however infrastructure in this sector is improving.
  • People assume that since I’m from America I have Donald Trump money. I quickly school them on that.
  • It’s frustrating how much of everything is a long tedious process. Something that could be handled fast and easy isn’t always done that way. And to make matters worse, people assume you know the process.
  • I had to learn how to deal with many Kenyans style of communication as they do not like confrontations. They can’t say “no”.  Most times they can’t come out and say what they really mean. I have no tolerance for it. However, overall they are friendly people.
  • Not having a Target or Wal-Mart here is frustrating. That should be number one on the list of most difficult things to adjust to.  A store that sells EVERYTHING is nada here. One day I was driving around looking for buttons for my daughter’s uniform. Going to town was not an option.  Of course I go to the one store that does supply the buttons, and it had closed at 6pm. I arrived 6:02pm. 

Can you give an overview of the cost of living?
Housing, food, and clothing is expensive in Nairobi.  Labor is the only thing reasonable.

How’s your life socially?
I have a great social life and have met many people who I consider to be dear friends, Kenyans and non-Kenyans.  There is a fairly large African American community here.  I’m blessed to have four of my brother-in-laws having moved here so my local family is growing with more sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews.

I’m also able to enjoy frequent date nights with hubby and Kenya is simply a great place to raise our children.

I do miss my graduate chapter Rho Zeta Omega Chapter (Atlanta) of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Did you always dream of living abroad?
Yes, but I didn’t know exactly how, where and when. I believe we are here for a reason. The transition has been uneventful. Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally have my “I hate Kenya”, days especially when I’m driving, but the good outweighs the bad.

Do you think enough African Americans visit Africa?
I don’t think so in my opinion. Unfortunately, the media portrays Africa as a place with nothing but jungles and huts so people are afraid to venture out and see what it’s really all about and experience it’s true beauty. Maybe some would love to visit but can’t because of finances, work, family, or having that time to get away. I will also say that you can’t just come here for a week.

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For the folks that think we live in a jungle… a visitor in my backyard few minutes ago enjoying the fruit from the tree.

What would you say to encourage more of them to visit?
Be open-minded, take a chance and visit. If you know someone currently residing in an African country you are interested in, take advantage of that opportunity and visit!  Do some research, Google, ask questions and then see for yourself.  If you don’t have a passport get one now.

Why is visiting Africa an important trip?
It’s important to experience various cultures, meet different people, to see also how other people live, as well as to see a true definition of poverty. The experience will make you appreciate life even more.  I did an internship at a health center in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Kenya and it was the most humbling experience of my life.  

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Holding this precious baby at a health centre.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My husband and I have no regrets of moving to Nairobi. We can’t believe it’s been almost five years since we made that big move! The world is big so we are open and we want our children to feel the same. I feel extremely blessed.

I do miss my family and close friends in the States.  Only one dear friend who I’ve known since high school has come; she visited a year after we moved move here. I pray more family members and friends will visit us!

imageMy kids with their grandparents, visiting from Toronto, at one of the malls in Kenya.

Thank you Pamela!

— 3 weeks ago with 11 notes
#black love  #ancestral connections 
African American in Africa: Meet Yvette in Togo!

ancestrallyyours:

Meet Michigan born Yvette who recently moved to Lomé, the beautiful and historic capital city of Togo!  After getting hired to teach Togolese children, she packed her bags and moved from Minnesota to Togo with her husband!  Yvette’s African ties are also closely linked with the nation of Cameroon, where she married her husband in an amazing traditional ceremony!  

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Yvette and her husband at Anaho, Togo, near the border of Togo and Benin.


When did you move to Togo and how did you end up living there?

I live in Lomé and have been here close to five months.  I came here for a teaching job.  I decided to leave the States and come to Togo to be in a new place where my husband and I would both be ”foreigners” and could experience something new.

How long do you plan to stay in Togo?
I plan to live here as long as the job allows.  My husband and I are also seeking new opportunities daily. So if those lead to something promising, we will stay for a few years.

Is this the first country that you’ve been to in Africa?
No, I have been to South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, and Nigeria.

Was the immigration/visa process difficult?
The initial visa was not difficult at all, very straightforward.  I flew into Ghana and then traveled by road into Lomé.  When you reach the Ghanaian border, you will have to secure a transit visa which will be good for seven days.  Once in Lomé my job handled the other parts of the visa process.

You are married to a Cameroonian and got married in your husband’s village in Cameroon!  What was that like?  How have you been welcomed into his family?
We were married in his village in the West province area of Bafang. The experience was wonderful.  We had two wedding ceremonies. The first was the traditional one. Quite a celebration which occurred at night in the home of my husband’s parents.  The next day we had some traditional rites performed with kola nut, dimdim and palm wine.  

The second ceremony was the registry wedding performed by the mayor and chief of Bafang. I have been welcomed completely into my husband’s family and they have no issue with me being a foreigner.  As a matter of fact, after doing some DNA ancestry research, I have ancestry from Cameroon too. How cool is that?!

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Yvette and her husband Constantin during their traditional wedding in his Cameroonian village, eating dimdim (a small seed).

What’s life like in Togo for you?
Life here is very laid back.  It has the feel of a large village to me.  I enjoy the village life so this is a perfect “second” option.  It’s relatively quiet in Lomé; not too much traffic most days but the streets have the usual morning traffic of any metropolis.

What do you love the most about living in Togo?
What I love most about living here is the weather, the beaches, and the easy going lifestyle.  There is not much to do in the way of attractions.  But there are events that take place. For instance when I first arrived we visited the house of slaves in Agbodrafo.  We’ve been to the Trade Fair that happens annually, and also attended the 40th tribute to Bella Bellow(Read about Bella Bellow here.)

Easiest things to adjust to?
The food and the climate were easy for me to adjust to. I enjoy hot weather and also love eating African food.

Most difficult things to adjust to?
The most difficult thing to adjust to at first was the language.  Although people here speak French and English, sometimes when you want a taxi or to buy items in the market, using Ewe (the local language) would get a better response and perhaps price.

What is your social life like in Togo?
I am somewhat introverted, so I do not go out to nightclubs etc. often and have not since I have been here.  But the beach is something we enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.  There are private and public ones. We also visit friends and go to religious services to meet our social needs.

Can you share a few details on the cost of living in Togo?
The cost of living is considerably inexpensive. A two bedroom apartment
is approximately $250 USD per month depending on the neighborhood. Food is very inexpensive if you shop in the street markets.  Going to the indoor supermarkets is about triple of what it costs otherwise. Restaurants
or cafe-restos have hearty meals costing under $8 USD.  Eating at the upscale restaurants where most expats hang out can set you back $15 to $25 USD per person.

Did you always dream of living abroad?
Yes, I have always dreamed of living abroad… since I was about 11 years
old after seeing the movie Roots and telling my parents I was going to live in Africa.

Please share a few personal reflections…
I wish I would have kept up my French over the years.  I would be fluent by now and that would help me navigate around the city a lot more. 

Also as an African American, I am still seen as a foreigner and not necessarily as a brother or sister.  My friends here acknowledge the kinship because they know about the slave trade, but still, I come from a culture different from theirs.  I have been told that our accent is not audible.  So I find myself speaking slower and also projecting more in my speech.

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Yvette dancing at her wedding celebration in Cameroon!

Best advice for someone who wants to move to Africa?
My advice would be to visit first.  Also have a list of negotiables and non-negotiables (like a wish list of things that would be acceptable or unacceptable) to prevent disappointment or frustration. For example, some may prefer a bustling night life and that is non-negotiable. Some may prefer lots of Western comforts and cannot forego certain amenities. I am very simple in my needs, so not having some comforts from the States hasn’t been missed.  But I do miss soul food.  

Also it is a good idea to learn some basic language and customs by meeting natives in your original home area before traveling if possible. The internet is not always accurate and even with basic information nothing beats having some first hand knowledge from a native to whatever country you wants to visit.

Moreover, have enough money set aside in case you want to move back home or even relocate to another country. And by all means have a plan of action that consists of a business venture to start because finding jobs in most African countries is difficult but not impossible. Teaching English is a good way to earn income in lots of countries.

Do you think enough African Americans visit Africa?  Why is it an important trip?
Africa is the birthplace of humanity.  I don’t think enough African Americans visit Africa. I would encourage more African Americans to visit.  Some of us consider it home, some do not and have no connection whatsoever. With DNA technology we are discovering some ancestral lines that bring us back, so I am confident that more of us will visit. And because of Africa’s rich and diverse cultures, that alone is worth a visit.  And if nothing else, visiting may demystify some of the stereotypes or may solidify them. I would say come see Africa for yourself; everyone’s experience is different. Come and have your own story to tell.

Is there somewhere we can follow your experience?
Yes, I have started a blog.  You can find some of my experiences at
www.rootzandwingz.wordpress.com.

— 3 weeks ago with 6 notes
#lack love  #ancestral connections 

talisman:

No sympathy for rapists, no sympathy for abusers, no sympathy for those who side with them. No excuses for their behavior, no justifications, no exceptions.

(Source: akalittleone, via ntg-0511)

— 3 weeks ago with 349613 notes

silverblade895:

Ivory goblet - Owo, Ondo state, Nigeria.

Worked ivory box, Benin.

Waist Pendant of an Oba with Attendants, Benin.

(via silverblade895)

— 3 weeks ago with 2 notes