For any Ankara/African wax print lover, this shop is the true defination of Fabric heaven. Situated on Fuhlsbüttler straße 460 here in Hamburg is a charming little Fabric shop filled with the most amazing Ankara fabrics which are either made in Africa or from the Vlisco brand in Holland. The Fabrics are of high quality & is the reason why i often buy my fabrics from there. The lovely couple that owns the shop are always very helpful for first-time visitors on which print to choose or how much of the fabric to get.
So if you are ever in Hamburg & in search of some Ankara Fabric then don't forget to pay this shop a visit.
The trench coat is one of Fall's must-have piece of outerwear that is not only a timeless classic but also never really goes out of style. It can be found in many styles & colours & there is definately a coat for everyone's taste. Black, camel & grey are the most common colour choices but why not make a statement with a printed trench coat, like this Khanga one from our latest Collection.
And when you find a nice one like this, why not make it work double duty & wear it as a dress. Yes, i know it can be tricky with wind & the possibility of showing everything out, but it can totally work as daytime dress. A few important things to keep in mind are:
Denim jackets are currently all over runways, Fashion magazines & on social media, but with embellishments such as embroidery & interesting patches. I have been, as any fashion lover been consumed with the desire to own one, but the reality is that they come at a price, a very high one most of the time. And so I began my search for patches & the perfect denim jacket (which i got off Ebay). All sorts of patches can be found on Ebay, Amazon & Etsy, but because i didn't have much time to wait for them to be delivered, i walked around the local shops & found some really nice ones.
It is still a work in progress as I hope to add more patches as I find them & maybe even try my hand at embroidery, but i love how it looks so far.
It was an exciting & inspiring evening dedicated to the creative & cultural exchange between Africa & Germany. A forum of guests took part in the discussion led by Judith Helfmann-Hundack (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.) & these included Onejiru Schindler (Musician, Member of the Board of Viva ConAgua), Julia Grosse (Journalist, Founder Contemporary And), Dr Andreas Görgen (Director General for Culture & Communication, Federal Foreign Office), Roland Göhde (Member of the Board, Göhde Foundation & German-African Business Association), Mbithi Masya (Director, Writer, Video Artist, Musician) & Dr Ribio Nzeza Bunketi Buse (Chairperson, Music in Africa Foundation).
They all shed light on the potential of the cultural & creative industries of Africa, in order to intensify the exchange between Africa & Germany & to stimulate new African-German partnerships in those areas.
One of such partnerships is the film production company 'One Fine Day Films', founded by Tom Tykwer & his wife Marie Steinmann, which supports young filmmakers from all over Africa to realize their projects. Fascinating results have emerged, such as the feature film NAIROBI HALF LIFE, which was the first Kenyan contribution to the Oscars in 2012.
KATI KATI, the current production of One Fine Day Films celebrated world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this Fall where it was awarded with the FIPRESCI Prize in the Discovery Program. We were honoured to attend the Film premiere in Belin which not only brought together different partners in the creative & cultural industries in Germany & Africa but also talented Musician based both here & in Africa. Apart from the amazing Film, we were also treated to a live performance of 'Find a Way' (from the Film's soundtrack) by the beautiful & talented 'Mayonde' & 'Das Junge Orchestre'.
The Film which is directed by Mbithi Masya & produced by Sarika Lakhani will be shown in Cinemas around Germany including Münc´hen, Görlitz, Brühl, Düsseldorf & Münster so definately go out & watch it.
This kind of project of the One Fine Day Films is just one example of how Africa & Germany can close ranks creatively & economically.
What's not to like about this classic 'Denim on Denim' look which no matter how many times it has been done, it just keeps getting more interesting. I've always owned a denim jacket most of my adult life, but somehow last summer when the trend became popular again, I realised that I had none. So, I started looking for one, but somehow considering how full my workload is during the warmer months, i never got the time to find one.
Fastforward to a month ago when i decided to make a DIY Patch denim jacket that are at the moment cropping up in photos & videos everywhere. And I knew in my heart that the idea for the DIY that I had would look better on a denim jacket with a vintage/used look. But every Thrift store that I went to didn't have any because a denim jacket is considered to be a 'summer piece' so they were all not on display, & i searched in almost 4 Thrift stores. Fortunately, i managed to get the perfect one on Ebay (my favourite shopping website for all things vintage) at an amazing price of 10 Euros (claps hands excitedly). A few patches, pinning, ironing & stitches later, I had this amazing Patch Denim Jacket which I combined with a high waist jeans with almost the same amount of wash to get this look.
I will be soon be sharing with you a DIY post so that you can also try to create this (in my opinion) all year round piece that every 'Fashionista' should own.
This was my second time attending the annual 'Affordable Art Fair' in Hamburg & i quite enjoyed the experience this time, mainly because we didn't go with the Kids, so we had ample time to walk slowly through the gallery & take in the beauty of each and every piece of Art.
Over 75 national & international galleries participated in the exhibition which offers the public a chance to not only view the wonderful artworks but also buy them with a price ceiling of 7,500 Euros.
It was quite interesting to have a chance to see so many paintings, sculptures & even photographs in that inspiring atmosphere, and it is definately a highlight for us whenever it's shown in Hamburg. In as much as the price range of most of the Artwork was way over my budget, there is just something special & inspiring that you feel when you get a chance to view them & that is what I love.
The Gar Gar Foundation is the brainchild of the reigning Miss Kenya Germany, Fatma Hanke. Together with other young professionals based all over the world, the Foundation's purpose is to raise awareness about female circumcision which believe me is still being practised by several communities in Kenya & in Africa as a whole. We attended a Charity Event orgarnised by Fatma Hanke that took place at the Martin Luther Church here in Hamburg where we not only had some tasty foods, got to purchases original Maasai Accessories, enjoyed live dance performances but also had an opportunity to learn more about issues affecting the girl child in the nomadic communities.
Even though the Foundation is relatively young, it has been able to do quite a lot in helping the young girls back in Kenya, but more can be done. So, let us join hands & help Fatma realise her dream of ending Female Circumcision by donating funds to her Foundation. You can get in touch with her through her Page on Facebook.
This is my type of outfit on any cold day, a chunky knit roll neck sweater to keep me warm, a pair of printed culottes that is comfy but also stylish, a flat pair of shoes & a nude clutch bag to pull the whole outfit together. A simple outfit that you can put together quickly when you need to look presentable but don't have time to fuss with too many details. I kept my accessories to a minimum with just my usual watch & mirrored sunglasses.
A warm day spent at a Fashion Museum that is situated inside an ancient Castle is my defination of a good day. Schloss Meyenburg which was build in the early 1400 was restored and turned into a Museum that includes a Fashion Museum, Historical Museum & a public library.
There's something formal about Blazers that has a way of pulling together an outfit which makes it a must-have in any woman's wardrobe. And an Ankara Blazer is even better because it gives an outfit that serious look without being too plain or boring. This would be the perfect work outfit for anyone working in a creative field, an event, casual dinner, church or to a party.
Almost 10years & €789 millions later, the Elbphilarmonie was officially opened to the public by Hamburg's Mayor, Olaf Scholz. So of course there was no way we were going to wait any longer to see it & all I can say is that the wait was well worth it. It is such an amazing building which has a 82metre long Escalator that takes one through the Concert building.
The Plaza, which is the absolute highlight of the building is on the 8th floor & opens up to a round spectacular view of the City in an area of 37metres. With several restaurants, hotels & high end appartments, let's just say that this has been added to the sight-seeing spots in Hamburg & is a perfect location for taking Photos.
The 70-metre long replica of Noah's Ark is the latest & until now the biggest Project by Aad Peters(55), a Dutch Puppeteer, TV Entertainer & Journalist who has worked in many countries & conflict-ridden regions like in Libya, Syria or Iran. He came up with the idea to build the Ark as a way of telling the Biblical story of Noah not only to children but to adults too because he believed that most people don't know much about the wonderful Biblical stories anymore.
The Ark's interior which is so well decorated & is filled with beautiful wooden carvings of different figures in the Bible, made by talented Sculptors from Chechnya. Inside it is a small playground with lots of adventure swings, a restaurant that is fully equipped to cater for guests & Events too, a reading area filled with lots of interesting books, a piano, several cosy seats where one can just sit & enjoy the moment, an Aquarium, a small cinema hall where Films are shown & even rabbits which are kept inside the Ark and this is the highlight for most Kids.
It is truly a work of Art which not only takes you on a historical journey of the Bible but also gives you a totally new point of view of the Bible as a whole & it was such a blessing to have seen it. We were lucky to be able to visit it while in Denmark where it had docked in Esbjerg for a few weeks. It sails throughout Europe & you can visit their website here to find out when it will be docked in a city near you. This is one 'Museum' that I highly recommend to visitors of all ages.
Velvet, cold shoulder, peplum detail & Turtleneck all in one piece! Well, leave it to me to combine 4 trends into one amazing top. This started out as a dress but because I had snipped away a piece of this soft & luxurious fabric to DIY some shoes (coming up soon on the Blog), it ended up being a top with peplum details (mainly because I don't do croptops, well until I join a Gym someday).
I teamed it up with distressed skinny jeans, black chelsea boots & an Ankara Infinity scarf that was featured in this previous post. The scarf not only adds an interesting print to the outfit but also more warmth especially during this cold season. A simple but eye-catching outfit that is not too casual & can be worn during the week, or even over the weekend.
To offer the people of Rendsburg a small view of the fascinating continent of Africa & it's beautiful people. This is the aim of 'Auf nach Afrika' (Off to Africa), an Event orgarnised anually where vendors from all over Africa come together to not only display their merchandise, but also to give the public information about the various self-help projects based in Africa, whose products are being displayed.
It was our first time attending this Event, which was celebrating it's 10th Anniversary & I was very impressed with what I saw. Not only by the products for sale but also the Food, Music, Dances & Fashion Show orgarnised by the hard working students from Cameroon who are all based in Kiel. We had lots of fun as is always expected at African Events & we even got to win an original Painting which we will proudly display in our living room.
Below are some of the wonderful images that we were able to capture at the Event.
So Band tshirts were originally sold at specific Band concerts as part of their merchandise and were worn by their fans to show off a shared idealogy with the band or movement. But in the recent years, it has gained much popularity to a point that now it is being worn for how it looks than for the music.
I find them pretty cool because because they add a certain 'Edge' to a whole look. I am definately not a big fan of Rock Music or Heavy metal even though my Hubby is. That's actually why I decided to get myself one, (& also because I've seen lots of girls rocking it). When we first met, the only 'Rock bands' that I knew were Evanesense, Linkin Park and Nickelback (which he calls soft Rock, for girls). Now, you will find me nodding my head to tunes by Metallica, Motorhead and I even know who Kurt Cobain(Nirvana) is.
This was the outfit that I went for when we attended the Visual Leader 2016, a Photos Exhibition here in Hamburg where the best Photos featured in Advertisements, Magazines, Newspapers & Websites were displayed. About 280 impressive works of Art were on display and we all quite enjoyed the Exhibition.
Remember when Sanaipei Tande (a Kenyan musician & Radio Host) was once featured on Pulse Magazine in a Slip dress at some Award Show, and everyone (me included) was like, ''Why on earth is she wearing a a nightdress out of the house?'' Well, now I've been forced to eat my words because here I am wearing a Slip dress from my new collection, not once, but in 5 different outfits.
Keeping it cool & casual by combining it with jeans & a roll neck pullover for some extra warmth.
Denmark is known for it's long & endless beaches & that I am a witness of. One of these is the 40km long Blavand Beach which lies in the Western part of Denmark on the shores of the North Sea. It is bordered by the Horns Rev Sandbanks which make it perfect for swimming & wind surfing. On it's northern part is the Military & natural reserve Kallesmaersk Hede where many migrating birds find refuge.
Oslo is a beautiful city which we unfortunately only got to see a small side of. Our 4 hour tour of the city was part of a weekend cruise that we made on the Color Magic Cruise Ship to celebrate Hubby's Birthday.
Not even my babysitter cancelling on me at the last minute could keep me away from this Event. Honestly speaking, the 6 hour drive with the Kids was totally worth it because the Event was such a success. Fun, food, laughter, dance, networking, coming together for charity and just this great feeling of being among your fellow Kenyans was simply unbeatable. 'Dressed to Impress' was an understatement because everyone looked amazing.
The Kenyan Embassy, Berlin was represented by the First Counsellor, Miss Betty Cherwon & the Event was also graced by distinguished guests from all over Germany & UK too.
Kudos to the Event's organisers, Janet Wainaina & Tony Haublein & their Teams for putting up such a successful Event. You can count on our assistance & attendance in your next upcoming Events.
And to the beautiful ladies who not only took part in the competition but also managed to raise money & awareness to the different Charity Organisation of their choice, Thank You. To the winner and the new Face of Kenya Germany 2016, Diana Warindah , Congratulations and we wish you all the best in your new reign as a representative of all Kenyans living in Germany.
'Anytime women come together with a collective intention, it's a powerful thing.'
In today's world, there are several Cultures/Traditions that you might come across which often seem neither understandable nor relatable. And in as much as we may not understand them, I believe that the best approach is to respect them and maybe even learn a thing or two from them.
One such Tradition for me is 'Sponsoring an Apple Tree'. I had no idea that such a 'thing' even existed. Sponsor a child, a community, a school project, a business endevour, a tree (as part of Environmental Conservation), even a person's lifestyle...those I have heard of before. But as my Mum often says ''Wuoth eka inee'' (travel & you will see)! In Germany you can actually pay a certaim amount of money to one of the many Apple Farms here in the North, and you get a Tree which bears your name. This is done in honour of a child's birth, christening. a new marriage or relationship or to even symbolise the loss of a loved one. You get to do this for 1 year & during the Harvest season (usually in Autumn/Fall), you can pick the Apples from your 'Tree'.
Music is an essential part of the cultural identity of Mali. But unfortunately that all changed when in 2012 the Islam Radicals invaded the Northern part of the country.
The Documentary Film 'Mali Blues' which was screened this week in Hamburg describes how these Radicals accussed musicians of going against the ways of Islam, destroyed their instruments and threatened them with death. Most of these musicians, like Ahmed Ag Kaed, a Tuareg, fled the North, his home and Family to go live in Bamako, Mali's Capital City.
With more than 300,000 African immigrants living in Germany & a good number of them running successful businesses which contribute to the economical success of this country, an Event in Hamburg to celebrate them was definately worth attending.
The Night of African Entreprenuers in Germany orgarnised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, was a forum to discuss about the History, Conditions & the success stories of various African Enreprenuers based in Germany. In attendance were among others Clement Klutse (Designated Chairman of the Immigrant Entreprenuers Organisation), Miranda Oben (IT Engineer & Presenter), Dr. Norbert Tschirpke (Researcher at the University of Südwesrfalen), Theresa Franz (CEO of Intertranslations), Yolander James (Fashion Designer & Owner of Yolander James Fashion House), Derrick Tawah (Founder & CEO of NjangiList), Girmai Teclai (CEO of GT World of Beauty GmbH).
It was very inspiring to hear from all these successful speakers about their humble beginnings & what motivated them to work hard to achieve the heights of success that they enjoy.
3 Course Dinner, Champagne Reception, Live Music, Entertainment & a chance to give back to the Society; there was no way I was going to miss this Event. The Miss Kenya Germany Charity Event at the La Rosa Restaurant was organised by the winners of Miss Kenya Germany Beauty Paegant 2015 & 2016 to raise awareness to their causes & also to raise funds towards their respective Projects.
Growing up in Kisumu (my Home City), we always had Open Air Cinemas in our neighbourhood where Films would be shown once a month (if i remember correctly). And my Mum categorically forbade usto ever attend them, claiming that lots of brawls occurred there and it was totally unsafe for us Kids. The only time we were ever allowed to attend them was during Easter when a 'Jesus Film' would be screened.
It reaches a point in every small scale Business' or Entreprenuer's existence where there is a need to have an increased level in Sales. When you start any Business, every single order that you receive is a milestone that is greatly appreciated. But for any Business to succeed, there needs to be a constant flow of such orders to ensure a continuity in production which in turn means a continued existence for the ´Business.
One of the biggest African Festivals in Germany took place for the 14th time this Year and as always, it attracted many visitors who were able to enjoy the various Stands & Entertainment Programmes that were offered. It started on Friday 26th August & lasted the whole weekend. There were stands with Food, Clothing, Jewellery, Interior Decorations & even a Kid's Entertainment Tent. And the Live performances were just as exhilarating as always, with some amazing Talents like Wiyaala, Abou Day, Ejaspapa & Rachelle Jeanty.
Lawyer turned Artist, Nathan Sawaya resigned from his successful Law career and began to build famous Artworks using LEGO Bricks.
'Ogoya Nengo & The Dodo Women's Group' is a Kenyan Volksmusic Group led by the talented Anastacia Oluoch Akumu. Her talent was discovered as she as a little girl was herding her Father's cows & has been described as being able to sing before Chiefs & Warriors, both standing on their feet & dancing to her wonderful tunes.
The name 'Ogoya Nengo' is a reference not only to the 'Magoya-Clan' to which she belongs but also the relatively high renumeration that she is paid as the most expensive Dodo Dancer at the moment.
The confident Anastacia together with her Team are doing a great job keeping the old Genre of music alive for the new generations to enjoy. And that we did, when my Friends & I attended their concert here in Hamburg. This was part of their Europe & USA Tour which am happy to hear that they make every year. It was such an amazing experience seeing these robust musicians doing what they love & the love & applause that they got from the whole Audience. Everyone was on their feet dancing & cheering even though they did not understand a word that they were singing. It just goes to show how Music joins us all no matter what corner of the World we come from.
Am looking forward to seeing this Group live again the next time they come on Tour again.
Who would have thought that attending an Exhibition all about 'Sneakers' would be so interesting. I am not exactly a 'Sneaker/Sport shoes Fan' even though i have to admit that they are the most comfortable shoes ever made. But walking through the Exhibition & reading all about the history & development of this 'Kult' in the last years was really impressive.
It's said that you can tell a lot about a Woman's character by just taking a look at the contents of her bag. Well, in my case, that can be quite challenging because i carry almost everything in my bag. I love big bags in which i can just throw in everything that i need (which is a lot most of the time). So, when i find a nice big bag, i carry it every single day. And at the moment, am loving my new Dashiki Print Handbag, which will soon be available for sale here on our Website, & in different prints. It's big enough to fit in a lot but also stylish & just the right pop of colour that you need to add to a plain & simple outfit.
I was honoured to get an invite to showcase my products not only as a vendor but also in a Fashion Show at the recently held African Village Event in Basel, Switzerland. The Event was organised by Lilian Njoki who i must say did an amazing Job, seeing that this was her first time holding such an Event.
The African Women in Europe Conference is held once a Year in different cities in Europe with an aim to bring together women from all over Africa who live, work or are based in Europe. This is a Forum which provides them with an opportunity for them to meet & discuss various issues affecting them, how they can deal with such issues & to generally enjoy each others' company while learning about something new in the process.
It's unbelievable how mothers seem to always have the right advice to give when you absolutely need it:
Thank you Mummy for your Love, Advice, Prayers, Encouragement, Sacrifices & most of all, for my Siblings. I strive everyday to try & become even half of the woman that you are. We love you so much & wish you a Happy Mother's Day.
The annual Hamburg Marathon sponsored by HASPA (one of Hamburg Banks) took place today and as tradition, we were there to support the Kenyan Team & all those who participataed in the Marathon. The Kenyan athletes did really well as always attaining position 2 & 3 by the men.
To be honest, designing & making these African inspired evening gowns for the Miss Kenya Germany Beauty Pageant 2016 was quite a big challenge for me. In as much as I love my prints & bright colours, I always try & tone down on my creations, make them into simple outfits that do not 'shout' in any way & can easily be combined with other pieces already available in any woman's wardrobe.
Fatuma Hanke Miss Kenya Germany 2016
Today at last I get to share with you my first DIY. Well not really my first DIY Project but the first 'officially camera documented' one. I love DIYs, it's just fun for me to try out stuff myself & am quite blessed to have been able to turn one of them (sewing) into a career (Oriwo-Design).
'Boyfriend Jeans' are one of those trends that I prayed would go out of style soon so that I wouldn't have to try them out because, honestly speaking, I've never found them very flattering. I mean, how can a baggy loose pair of Jeans do anything for a woman's shape. But I have been proven wrong, this is one Trend that is here to stay, & as they say, 'If you can't beat them, then join them'.
Thus with lots of caution, I tried out this trend by making my own pair because there was no way that I was going to spend my money on something am not even sure how much I would love. So armed with a pair of scissors (small & big), Tweezers, a Kitchen grater ( a piece of sandpaper works even better, but I couldn't find one at the time) & an old pair of jeans that I have owned for some years & were a cool find at a Thrift Store, I set out to make my own pair of distressed Boyfriend Jeans.
The first Blog this year, i know crazy right. Things have been crazy, new Orders coming in everyday while working on the Spring/Summer Collection 2016, which is finally out. Am just greatful & happy for the new Doors & opportunities that are coming my way. Please, don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter to keep up with all that is coming up.