Tag Archives: joburg

Birds of a Feather…

14 Aug

I’m no ornithologist but the birds in South Africa put American ones to shame. Though I will admit that might be an unfair judgement to make, seeing as how the State Bird in New York is basically the pigeon (ew).

I’m sure other states have more interesting fauna…

My Favorite Bird...

But I digress…According to my very legitimate Google research one bird in particular that I’ve been noticing for the past couple of weeks is called a Southern Masked Weaver (note the intense nest-making skills they’re famous for):

Southern Masked Weaver

Ain’t he a beauty? Please also note that I’m in the city of Johannesburg, so No, you don’t have to be on some safari or specialized bird-watching tour to catch a sighting of cool birds (wild cats, on the other hand, are another story). I’m just saying! Until next time, -Mbali-

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Do Black Covers Sell?

22 Jul

Such was one of the headings on the 14th anniversary April 2010 issue of ELLE Magazine South Africa.

Alek Wek on cover of ELLE South Africa

Well I bought it, didn’t I? As did thousands of other South African consumers, I hope! In fact, I gravitated toward april’s issue of ELLE with magnetic-like determination – I was drawn to the magazine by a force I can’t easily explain. Amidst a sea of white, Wek’s dark brown complexion was the answer to my subconscious prayers.

I’m an avid reader of fashion and lifestyle magazines, but over the numerous years I’ve been purchasing and perusing various publications, I can count on my digits all the covers I’ve come across sporting women of a hue similar to mine – and that’s a very disheartening fact.

Though the numbers still aren’t where [I think] they should be, one thing I do appreciate about being in South Africa is seeing positive portrayals of people of color more often than I do State-side. I came across an old issue of a (now defunct) South African magazine called THE DEAL from August 2007 and I became more impressed with each passing page. 33-year-old Ghanaian multi-millionaire Kenny Andam is featured smiling on the cover (with good reason haha) and inside are inspiring tips and success stories from different African countries.

Kenny Andam on cover of The Deal magazine

I salivated over an article on another Ghanaian named Fred Swaniker, who is the CEO and co-founder of Jo’burg-based co-ed independent boarding school – African Leadership Academy (ALA). ALA’s mission: to create and develop a generation of African leaders who will dedicate their various areas of expertise to improving their continent.

Sounds like the perfect medicine to some of the continent’s maladies.

– Let me know what you think –

Are there enough people of color on magazine covers? Do you think it matters?

What do you think of the ALA school and its mission?

Until next time,

-Mbali-

World Cup Soccer Madness

21 Jul

So I’m a little late with this post but better late than never, right?

I didn’t purchase any tickets but I luckily managed to attend one of the World Cup soccer matches (my brother surprised me with tickets!) and though I’ll admit I’m not any type of sports fan, I had a BLAST!

I went to the USA vs. Slovenia match on Friday, 18 June at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, which unfortunately resulted in a 2-2 draw (would’ve been nice to see USA win).

Disappointing final score aside, it was a thrilling experience to be amidst all the energy and excitement (and noise) that occur when 60,000 people gather in an enclosed space…armed with vuvuzelas. Below are some photos from the game:

Enthusiastic USA fans


Soccer fan wears Makarapa Helmet


Soccer fan shows players support with his Vuvuzela


Vuvuzelas-a-blazing


USA fans


Most of the country seemed to be on a soccer high throughout the month of the World Cup, so it will be very interesting to see how quickly the energy fades over the next couple of weeks.

How long do you think the spirit of Ubuntu will remain?

Empire State of Mind

11 Jul

As many of you know, I LOVE New York! I’m a walking souvenir t-shirt. I was raised in the BX and schooled in Manhattan (but I truly have love for all 5 boroughs). I love my city so much my dedication can be obnoxious at times (people from Massachusetts especially know how to bring this out of me haha). Even so, I’ve left my beloved city for one I used to call home. When I was 15 months old I lived in Johannesburg, South Africa for about a year.

(Where I am in the world)

And I’m doing it again!

In December I arrived in my father’s homeland. I’d like to think I’ve been getting by with my New York City smarts just fine so far…

Stay tuned for my South African adventures – I’ll be sharing my photos, feelings, and overall year-or-so-long journey as I adapt to my new/ex home.

Until next time,

-Mbali-