Monthly Archives

September 2016

Hair

Watch Me Transform..

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Hi there! Thanks for stopping by.

Don’t be alarmed.

The above image is the IamTinashe that in the past, only my very close friends and family would see. As Beyoncé said, “I woke up like this”.

A sleep deprived wife and mother who works full time. No foundation or makeup, no filled in eye brows – not even Vaseline to moisturise my lips. My natural hair had been washed the night before (my natural sisters know all about shrinkage – got me looking like a criminal on the loose) but as you can probably tell – no comb had tended to my hair. Everything has been stripped away so you can see me.

The real me.

All of me.

*Pause*

I will say this – like most people would, when they look at themselves in the mirror just as they are – it can be confronting to see such rawness. For a moment, I felt just like that – then I got over it. Why? I still see a lot of beauty in my natural state – if you can’t be comfortable in your own skin ask yourself – what’s going on?

I probably could have smiled for the photo – but how many before pictures have you seen of a model smiling?

My point exactly.

When I took this picture it had been exactly 36 hours since I had removed the braids I had earlier. I had made arrangements for a home hairdresser to come over and do my hair. This process alone is not easy because, like most women of colour would know, when you get a hairdresser to do your hair, you are basically giving them ALL of your trust to make sure that you don’t look crazy in these streets. Finding a reliable hairdresser in the African community can be difficult – either they don’t show up, come hours late, charge absurd prices, or leave your hair looking like a hot mess. So when you find a good one, you hold on to them – TIGHTLY.

To be fair, it’s not easy being me. I change my hair once a month – it keeps my hair fresh and my Husbae thinking he is with a new woman every 4 weeks. Hahaha, I have jokes.

This month I decided that I was going to rock a curly and frizzy weave. Which is a strange choice, because I have never been one to like weaves – wigs are more my thing.

BUT now that it’s not just about me and what I like, I have to be somewhat considerate of others. Why? Well, Imagine having a wig on and you’re feeling yourself and then the next moment you take the wig off and you are left with just the wig cap covering your not-so-evenly-spaced cornrows – it can be confronting for the baby and worse still for your better half. Can anyone say, mood killer?

So I needed something semi-permanent, minimum fuss – maximum appeal and glamour. Whilst weaves are not my favourite, I think they are a great protective style for my nappy hair. Thus, I decided to document the process so I can show you my transformation.

To achieve this look you will need (I used):

  • Hair extensions – I used synthetic curly hair. Brand – Noble Gold, Style – Bloom Curl, Colour – 1B
  • Comb to untangle your hair and create lines for cornrows
  • Oil to soothe your scalp – I like to use coconut oil
  • Weaving thread and a weaving needle – essential tools for the hair install
  • Scissors – allows you to shape and even out the hair

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Step One

My scalp often reacts to the hair extensions’ film, so before I do anything I like to firstly wash my extensions with apple cider vinegar. This removes any unwanted residue. The hair doesn’t smell so good after that so I will then wash it hair with baby conditioner or anything that I can find in the house.

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Step Two

To lay the foundation for the sew-in weave my entire head of hair was braided in cornrows- from forehead to the nape of my neck.

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Step Three

Starting from the back row, sew in the weave using your weaving needle and thread.

Step Four

Repeat step three until you have sewn over all the cornrows on your head with the weave.

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Step Four

Cut and Style until your heart is content.

 

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You know, I have had weaves in the past and if I lasted two weeks it was one hell of an achievement. My scalp always gets irritated under the weave resulting in odd head pats or reaching for the bobby pin to scratch the hard to reach places. So far it’s been 3 weeks, 4days, 6 hours and 18mins and I can see the 4-week light before I switch up my hair once more…

I did this post because people were asking about my hair. And whilst I would have loved to say it’s all mine boo boo – the truth shall set you free.

IamTinashe. xx

Mini Me

Growing Pains…

It’s not easy being a working mother. If you fail to prepare you literally prepare to fail.

One of the best things we did was to enrol our baby into a day care before she was even born. Now that it’s time for her to go to day care, we are well ahead of the pack. No stress. No drama in our life – just the way we like it.

Two weeks before she was supposed to start day care, we organised an orientation. There’s that HR side of me coming out. This basically involved us taking her to day care for two, three, and four hours at a time. One day we went in the morning, the next day during lunch and the next day mid to late lunch and it just kept rotating. We hoped that this would ensure a seamless transition into day care.

Without tooting our own horn this was ingenious because we got to know the teachers and they got to know our baby girl. Our baby got to experience day care whilst knowing that her safety blankets (dad, mum and grandma) were just nearby.

Fast forward to today and its hard to believe that she has been going to day care for over two weeks now. It feels like I’ll blink and she’ll be graduating from high school – things are happening so quickly!

The night before our baby’s first day at day care I hardly slept. I kept waking up, wondering how she was going to cope all by herself in this new environment. I questioned whether it was a good idea for me to return back to work. Maybe I should have just stayed at home with her.

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My first bout of mothers’ guilt.

It is difficult to leave your child in the care of strangers for the first time. You worry about if they will get enough attention and proper treatment. Will they change her diaper enough? What if she doesn’t eat? Will they give her enough water to drink? Will she be able to sleep without me there? It sounds ridiculous as I write this let alone read it again, but the feelings were real.

My second bout of mothers’ guilt.

These are all natural and perfectly normal feelings according to other working mothers who have placed their children in care. I have said this once and I will say it again, support from other women is a wonderful thing. Speaking to women in the same boat has me prepared mentally and emotionally – it’s made it easier to cope and reassure myself that we had made the best decision.

Even with all the effort we had put in I was still very anxious.

The morning of her first day at day care she was all laughs and giggles – excited that she was up early and going somewhere. I just hoped she wasn’t going to be in for a nasty surprise.

Once she was settled we said our goodbyes, gave each other our last hugs. As I walked out the door, she began to cry, you know that ugly cry – fighting her carer so that she would release her so she could come to me. I continued walking but it was at that moment my heart sank to my ankles. I continued walking and turned the corner without making eye contact – just as the books and articles I read had said to do.

I waited a few minutes and looked back – she was fine.

Later on in the day I called the day care to check up on her. I held my breath as I waited for an answer. They let me know that she had settled well, eaten and was fast asleep.

I guess the point of this post is that, as our kids grow it’s harder for us, the parents, to let go. We find it hard to accept that this person is becoming more and more independent and carving their own way in the world.

With all the feelings I experienced leading up this experience, I am mostly proud that our baby adapted well to change. May she continue to always welcome change.

tasima

 

Fashion

This Brush…

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The incident below took place in Brisbane, and as someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, I thought I would share.

When I go to work I like to dress up – think, “an outfit that puts the fear of God into mankind”- heels, a touch of makeup to enhance my god given features, add a nice bold lip colour and a spray of a heavenly scent and I’m good to go.

When I am working in Brisbane I catch the train to the city and walk to the office. On this particular day, I got on the train, secured my seat and began watching YouTube videos. The twenty-minute train ride seemed to go relatively fast as I learnt how to style a lace front, how to highlight and contour for the make up gawds. I suddenly realised that we were fast approaching central train station and I needed to find my go card in order to exit the barricades at my final destination.

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I stood up from my seat and started to walk towards the train doors. Unfortunately for me, whilst rummaging through my bag one of my side pockets opened up and out popped my toothbrush. Not the toothbrush that I use to clean my teeth with, but my “edges” toothbrush– . You know the toothbrush I use to tame my baby hairs. Women of colour stand up – you know what I am talking about right?

*crickets*

Don’t leave me hanging now…

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You could say this brush has seen better days, but I feel like it’s finally at the stage where it can do its job properly – keeping them baby hairs laid.

Anyway, as the “toothbrush” lay there in the middle of the train hallway all eyes were on the ‘seen better days’ bristles. I kind of just froze. All I could see was people giving me these “Ewww gross, you’re dressed like this but you brush your teeth with that!!?” looks.

For a moment I was disorientated. BUT, I have invested too much time to shaping this “brush” to be just right. This thought sprang me into action. I picked up my brush placed it in my bag and walked out the train with my head held high.

Why not!? They can judge if they want – but they don’t know the struggle to tame my edges…

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Dress – McFayden Fashions, Leather Belt – Country Road, Shoes – Wittner

IamTinashe

Guest Blogger

Boys To Men…

Often times when society thinks of black fathers they think of them as “absent” or “deadbeat dads”. Unfortunately, they are often portrayed as men who are happy to enjoy planting the seed but disappear the moment any signs of a new life begin to appear.

At least, that is what the media and mothers who use their children for emotional blackmail and monetary gain would have you believe.

I speak for myself when I say this has not been my experience. My father, who is now deceased, was everything a father should be and then some. In the short time that we were blessed to have him he imparted powerful knowledge, wisdom, skills, strength and confidence for me to be who I am – no apologies. My father worked hard every single day so that we could have better opportunities in life. He sacrificed so much so that we could have more, be more. My father possessed qualities that I admired and knew I would need as a minimum from my husband.

Which is probably why I was so drawn to my Husbae. You know, I thought it was impossible to love him more, but now that we have a child together seeing him in action makes it possible to love him even more. He feeds and eats meals with her daily, he bathes, diapers and dresses her daily and he also reads and plays with daily. I think he now understands the true meaning of unconditional love. The way they look at each other – you can see there is an incredible bond and understanding that cannot be broken. Literally, love is in the air and baby girl has her father wrapped around her wee finger and there is nothing he won’t do for her. Nothing.  It is a beautiful thing to witness.

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It is Father’s day today and I feel like too often our black men are being undermined and not being recognised for the strong, intelligent and influential men they are. I wanted to take the time to celebrate our black men and in particular – black fathers. It’s not an easy path they walk, but a father, no matter who he is, plays a vital role in any child’s mental, emotional, physical and spiritual development.

Feeling the spirit of Father’s Day I  interviewed three black fathers.

Let’s read their stories below:

About You
Father: Taurai Masvingise, 33
Location: Sydney, Australia
Father To: Mullian Tadiwa Masvingise – 1+

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What is the most special moment you have shared with Mullian? Getting his first haircut that was identical to mine…that was magical because he loved it.

Describe fatherhood in four words; Loving, Patience, Happy, Strong.

How has being a father changed your life? I learnt to prioritize whats important in my life and my his life.

What is the best advice you have received about fatherhood? Learn a lot about your child, don’t plan his future career but be supportive of his future by planning  now.


About You
Father: Khuli Nhliziyo, 36
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Father To: Linda – 11, Serena – 8

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What is the most special moment you have shared with your girls? Whenever I hear a ” Thanks Dad”. It makes me realise how blessed I am . Everyday has its best moments in a different way.

Describe fatherhood in four words; Fatherhood is to Protect ‘ Love ‘ guide’ Provide

How has being a father changed your life Fatherhood has made me to become the best role model I could ever possible be. To lead by example in everything . They do as you do so be careful what you do in front of them.

What is the best advice you have received about fatherhood? Make time for your kids and spend quality time with them . Get as many hugs and kisses whilst you stil can!


About You
Father: Brian Gaka, 31
Location: Blackwater; Queensland
Father To: Brenton – 3yrs 6months and Bentley 2yrs 6months

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What is the most special moment you have shared with Brenton and Bentley? One night when Brenton was about 11months old, his mother went into labour with our baby number 2 and had to be flown to hospital in Rockhampton.  The situation was real. It was just Brenton and me. So, I looked him in the eyes and without speaking I knew we had an understanding that we had to go easy on each other lol. For about 3 or 4 days it was just me and Brenton.  We did everything together. I can say safely that he is no mummy’s boy.

Well, it was bed time just like every other night and Brentley said a prayer “Dear Lord thank you for daddy. Amen”. That was so special.  He had been thanking God for his amazing mummy and on this one evening he thanked God for me.  It was such a special moment. It warmed my heart.

Describe fatherhood in four words; Fatherhood is Inspirational, Loving, Exciting, Responsibility.

How has being a father changed your life? I now have a clear sense of purpose.  If I wasn’t a dad I would not have achieved most of the things I have achieved so far. I am also driven to be a good example/role model for my kids. Kids learn from their parents. They watch everything you do.

What is the best advice you have received about fatherhood? Enjoy it! Every dirty diaper, building castles and cracked mobile phone screens.  Enjoy it all because time goes by really fast and before you know they are all grown up. This is such important advice because you could spend a lot of time complaining about how you are so tired or how you have no time and end up missing out on fully appreciating that first smile or those first steps.


I would like to thank these fathers for taking the time to share their thoughts on fatherhood.

We need more positive images and words associated with black fatherhood, because the reality is most black children are not fatherless.

IamTinashe xoxo

Fashion

Suck It In…

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Dress like Kim Kardashian West they said – it will be fun, they said.

Love her or hate her, Kim Kardashian West is quite an astute businesswoman. In my humble opinion, I think she has gained confidence and extra momentum since marrying Kanye West and becoming a mother.

I was reading a magazine the other day and because the Kardashian –Jenner clan are basically everywhere (there are, like, 6 of them!), Kim was being featured. In one of the magazine articles, Kim talked about how she wears two pairs of Spanx when she wants to look extra slim.

Since giving birth to my baby, my stomach area has become a problem for me – which is new territory, as I’ve always wanted to emphasise my itty-bitty tiny waist.

Monday morning I picked out a freakum dress. I was scared and nervous as I had not worn one for a while. The double layering of Spanx was going to give me the confidence I needed – or so I thought.

First Spanx on, sucks it in, sucking it in – ah ha – then the second Spanx is on.

Deep breath. Here comes the moment of truth.

At this point, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to breathe today – but I’m a good sport.

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One glance at myself in the mirror and the excitement made me forget the extreme discomfort and pain I was under – not to mention the blood circulation that had just about stopped.

Once I was in the office, I pranced around as I walked to the printer – feeling myself.

I’m feelin’ myself, I’m feelin’ myself

I’m feelin’ my, feelin’ myself

I’m feelin’ myself, I’m feelin’ my, feelin’ my, feelin’ myself

In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea to conduct this experiment during work hours. For starters, I couldn’t really eat or drink – stomach didn’t have room to move. Going to the bathroom? Forget about it – it would be easier to get Kanye to smile at the paparazzi.

By about 4pm (an hour to go before it was home time) I was feeling dizzy and I honestly thought I was going to faint. The material of the Spanx was now digging into my back. I couldn’t take it anymore.

Part of me knew that this was going to happen at some point so I had packed, shall we say, a spare pair of normal undergarments to change into.

Freedom.

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As the oxygen was now freely circulating to my brain, I could see why someone like Kim would resort to such extreme measures when her job description is to look good – no matter what angle or situation she is faced with. After trying this so called Kim-approved “feel slimmer” tactic, part of me thinks that it was said as a marketing ploy to have people like you and me buy more of the said Spanx.

Having tried and tested this ploy take it from me – there is seriously no way she is actually doing this.

What I can attest to is that this experiment gave me time to reflect. When it boils down to it I am just a humble working mother, wife, sister, and friend who sometimes dabbles in blogging. My life, my body, they just aren’t built for these levels of extreme body sucking activities. In other words, I have no business here. I need to move along, nothing to see here.

I have never been one to wear body apparatus to appear slimmer. I personally think that if you want to achieve “the look’ – do it the old fashioned way. Eat your salad, no dessert and sweat it out baby girl.

My only regret in this whole scenario is not taking pictures whilst I was I was wearing my two pairs of Spanx. You probably would have been able to see my eyes welting up with tears.

With that, I leave you so I can go into ‘beast mode’ on the cross trainer.

IamTinashe

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