Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Leah Mubwandarikwa, the petite 38 year old Zimbabwean beauty, and the CEO of Leah African Designs, a UK based outfit that specialises in a wide range of  bespoke African haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles ranging from evening dresses, cocktail gowns, bridal wears and various beautifully tailored clothes is an electrifying show stopper in the African fashion business. To the 1994 fashion and designing graduate of Harare Polytechnic, it's all about creativity and her collection exudes glamour. Based on this, her collection largely  focuses on luxury textiles, characterised by vibrant and colourful accessories. She recently launched her label  in the UK which featured her latest collection of bespoke kaftans and African print blazers for both sexes. She plans to spread the exclusive creations beyond UK and across more African countries in 2014. Leah, whose inspiration centres around culture, cultural crafts, African fabrics and prints says she has always had passion for clothes right from her growing up years when she used to play with dolls, make clothes for them by cutting up and designing with her mother's tablecloths.  Her versatile brand comes with a twist of Southern African contemporary ethnic designs. Leah has showcased her collection across Zimbabwe, South Africa, Germany, UK and USA. 
She was our guest recently........ 
What is the fashion scene like in your home country?
The fashion industry in Zimbabwe seems to be growing rapidly and we are having a very good and positive contribution from The World Tourism Board. Zimbabwe has a few fashion activities across the board, Zimbabwe fashion week is one of the events that people love and embrace. It also boosts the textile industry in Zimbabwe.
What are you doing to project Zimbabwean Fashion?
We are projecting Zimbabwean Fashion through charity events. Leah African Design (LAD) is working closely with other amazing fashion designers who are based here in the UK and in Zimbabwe. We are organizing a charity fashion show event early next year as a platform to sponsor some of the less privileged children/orphans in Zimbabwe. In July 2013, LAD hosted an official launch of our summer collection and 20% of all the proceedings on the night were shared equally to charity organizations like the Girl Child Network (Betty Makoni), African Mothers' Foundation (Bekezela Nsigo) and United Women's Club.

What is the typical fashion wardrobe of a Zimbabwean woman without the contemporary?
A typical Zimbabwean woman is very comfortable in her dressing, classy, elegant and unique with designs, without the contemporary. But the modern Zimbabwean ladies work in offices so they feel more comfortable in dressing in exclusive,executive wears. African print blazers/floral blazers are a big hit in Zimbabwe. 
Where would you say Zimbabwe is on the fashion map?
Zimbabwean designers are working so hard to see the Zimbabwean fashion scene on the world map. I have created some garments that have attracted a lot of audience from all over the globe. I can confidently say that Zimbabwe's fashion is global and well recognised on the Map.
Who are your role models in the designing world?
My role models are :Alexander Mcqueen, Kate Moss, Kimora Lee Simmons and Adebayo Jones,
What would you say is the most satisfactory show you have ever done?

A lot. I have hosted a lot of great shows: Miss Zim USA, Miss Zim Germany, Miss Zim UK, Durban SA Fashion Week. I was invited to showcase at the World Tourism Summit in Zimbabwe and I also hosted my official summer collection/launch in the heart of London. They have all been satisfactory.

Different women have different crazy passions. What is your weirdest one?
My weirdest passion is changing my hairstyle every friday of the week. I do my best to keep up with the trendy hairstyles out there all the time.
What does Fashion mean to you?
Fashion is my life. I was born with a great passion for fashion. I eat and breathe fashion. I believe one's beauty is defined by accepting and embracing one's identity and mine is being an amazing fashionable African woman.
What is your lifestyle like?

I was brought up from a humble and loving family. My life style is simple. I work very hard and I play hard too. As a wife/sister/mentor, I am a role model to all the young girls out there.

Why do you wear what you wear?

I wear what I wear because I feel fab in them and I am my own designer.



Sunday, 15 December 2013


The 10 days of commemorations for the late South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela ended today with his funeral in his ancestral village of Qunu. The funeral started at 7:55am and attended by 4,500 guests, his family, relatives, foreign leaders and dignitaries, including Britain's Prince Charles, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Former President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda,  talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, British business man, Richard Branson and many others. Mandela died on the 5th of December aged 95 after battling a chronic lung infection for months. The funeral was a soulful mixture of eulogies and tributes amidst military processions coupled with the traditional rites of his Xhosa abaThembu clan.
He was laid to rest in the afternoon when the sun was at its highest according to the tradition of his homeland.
South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma paying his tribute
Mandela's grand daughter, Nandi eulogising him

Oprah Winfrey, Partner & Richard Branson
Military procession
The corpse being conveyed to his final resting place
95 Candles lit in his honour at the funeral
Prince of Wales at the funeral
Mandela's widows

His wife, Graca could not hold her tears


Friday, 13 December 2013


Earlier today, Beyonce dropped a surprise holiday gift for her fans on iTunes without a previous notice. The 14 track album featured Nigerian writer and author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. She featured in the video of a track called "Flawless" in a spoken word section.
Chimamanda is an Igbo writer based in America. She climbed into prominence through her distinct works, particularly this year, based on her 2013 novel, "Americanah", the story of a Nigerian woman who leaves Nigeria in search of education in the USA, and the flick "Half Of A Yellow Sun" a 2013 Nigerian drama film based on her novel of the same title published in 2006. The drama features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Genevieve Nnaji and others, It was screened as a Special Presentation at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
The multiple award winning 36 year old woman is from Enugu, Nigeria. She is also the author of "Purple Hibiscus"(2003), and "The Thing Around Your Neck" (2009).


Speaking after his arrival from India, Nigerian music producer Babatunde Okungbowa aka OJB Jezreel is thankful to God and his courageous wife Mama J who waded through the numerous SAVE OJB campaigns vigorously and who stood by him during the low period of his heart condition which also affected his kidney. Now back in Nigeria and recovering after he left for treatment in India in August accompanied by his wife, who donated one of her kidneys to save her husband. OJB has descibed her as a courageous woman and his life saver. But Mama J says they owe it all to God. She was not discouraged even in the eye of the storm, not even when the doctors analysed to her that the process would include the removal of one of her ribs and that she would be dissected all the way to her back.
The family kept his arrival away from public glare, because they know members of the public would come to receive him, but they have to adhere to the medical restrictions which included wearing a surgical mask for 6 months, rigorous medication, hygiene and sanitation and not coming into close contact with people. OJB who says the whole survival process has made him have a new perspective towards a lot of things and also value his life more than ever, because, according to him, his case was severe as well as life threatening and would have led to stroke, but through it all, he has come out unscathed. Despite the fake donations announced, lots of bounced cheques, failed promises by close associates, he is still thankful and full of  praises and prayers to all who supported him with their money, time, and energy, particularly the media. 
The people he called heaven sent are Governor Fashola of Lagos State, Governor Amaechi of Cross River State, and one Mr Felix Edebo who is presently helping him reconstruct his home for hygiene purposes with a donation of N6 million. He also gave him a gift of a Land Rover Jeep on arrival.
OJB who says he can't wait to get back to work, has P Square on his list, the remix of his old songs and the setting up of a foundation to help the needy.  
OJB and wife

After his surgery in India

Friday, 6 December 2013


The funeral arrangements of the late first black President of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela has been announced. In his address, the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has declared 10 days of national mourning. Sunday, 8th December 2013 is the National Day of prayer and reflection. He has asked people of different beliefs to gather in their various places of worship to pray for the departed hero, his family and the nation. On Tuesday, the 10th of December, the official memorial service will be held at the FNB Stadium, near Soweto. From 11th to 13th December, his remains would lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was inaugurated as the first President of the democratic South Africa in 1994. He will be laid to rest in his home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday, the 15th of  December.
The former President who is fondly called "Tata" - The father of Nations died in Johannesburg at exactly 8:50am on Thursday 5th December 2013 at the age of 95. He is survived by his former spouse Winnie Madikizela Mandela, his spouse Graca Machel, his three daughters - Makaziwe, Zenani, Zindzi and many grandchildren and great grand children.
Farewell Madiba
The young Mandela

He loved boxing
With his late son, Thembekile who died in 1969

Marriage to 1st wife, Evelyn Mase in 1944
Marriage to 2nd wife, Winnie in 1958
With his daughter Zindzi on her wedding day
Married 3rd wife Graca Machel in 1998
With his daughters and grandchildren

With his oldest surviving child, Makaziwe

Inside the tiny cell that housed him for 27years
With Michael Jackson
With Whitney Houston
Madiba's last days

His son, Makgatho Mandela died in 2005
He would lie in state at the FNB Stadium

Mandla Mandela, his grandson


Sunday, 1 December 2013


Right about now, the wedding between Omolara and Olaniyi Afonja (Sanyeri) is on going at the Anchor Event Centre, Agidingbi, Lagos. The couple met several years ago at the National Theatre, Lagos, ever before Sanyeri became popular. They decided to formalise their wedding and be legally married after living together for several years. They are blessed with two children.