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Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger – Chrissy Z

 

I created this website so I could document my wears and my opinions.

Variety is the spice of life as they say – so its always exciting for me to have a guest blogger. Why? They share heart warming stories that leave you feeling like you have known them for ages.

With that I would like to introduce you to Chrissy – a woman who marches to her own beat and rocks platinum hair reminiscent of EVE way back in the Ruff Ryders days.

Who are you? Chrissy Z

Age? Twenty Something

Location? Sydney, Australia 

Profession? Hairdresser 

What is your favourite hairstyle? Being a hairdresser it’s easy to change my hairstyles whenever I want, but my absolute favourite was my short blonde natural hair. I got to play with creating different shapes and tones. It was a lot of fun. 

How would you describe your personal style? I hate conforming to a specific style because I’m always open to stepping out of my comfort zone and switching up my looks. I have so many different pieces in my wardrobe and I love mixing and matching different pieces to create unique outfits with some of the same pieces. I can’t say that I choose to adopt a specific versatile style, because I’m naturally attracted to various looks and concepts.

What is your go to fashion outfit? A classic pair of jeans paired with a statement top, and a pair of ankle boots or sneakers. Being a mum on the go I need to be comfortable. 

What are your must have items in your wardrobe? I need my black staples, such as black jeans, black dress, black pants. These items are always a perfect starting point to any outfit. 

What inspires your style? I grew up in East London where people are very expressive with their clothes and individuals who are daring and creative have always inspired me. Also, growing up, the women in my family have always had fun with their style. Anything that is not my norm has always intrigued me, so I find myself purchasing international fashion magazines and following bloggers from countries I have no connection to. 

5 things about you that the world should know about you?

  1. I love learning new cultures and languages;
  2. Before I was a hairdresser I was an accountant;
  3. I love to cook! If I had to quit hairdressing my next career would be a Chef;
  4. I am an adrenaline junkie, bungee jumping, sky diving – you name, it I will do it!
  5. I love reading Shona novels.

What is your relationship Iike with your body? Growing up I was always comfortable with my body, absolutely loved it. After having my daughter I had to fall in love with body all over again. I was a size 6 before and I became a size 16 after. I didn’t want to be that size as I felt really unhealthy. I worked hard to get down to my size now which is a 10. I struggled and it took me a while to get to a place where I can say my body changed because of this precious little human it created. How can you absolutely hate your body for doing something so magical that gifted you with a beautiful child. Also, having a daughter has made me very careful as to how I speak about my body in front of her because I don’t want her to feel insecure about her body from watching me not loving my own. 

Do you like your body? Every stretch mark, every weird toe, my saggy boobs, MY imperfect body – I love every inch of it. 

If anything what would you change about your body? The only thing I want to change about my body is to be fitter and stronger. 

What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate anything! I have a major sweet tooth!

Special thanks to Chrissy for giving us an insight to her life. When we were talking about this blog post she said that she had never featured on a website. She did a fantastic job of staying true to herself and sharing the real real.

Are you the next guest blogger on IamTinashe.com? I would love to hear from you, email me if you are interested.

Love and light.

IamTinashe

Guest Blogger

You Have My Heart, Mai Zee

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As a mother, you love your child even before you’ve seen or met them. You guide them through life, celebrating their mile stones and helping them through their mistakes. Most of all you love your child for who they are and not what they are.

One of my friends recently celebrated her daughter’s birthday by posting a beautiful message. I was so moved by her message I asked her if I could share it here.

Prepare to be moved. *Grabs tissues*

My darling Miss Zee. 

I honestly cannot believe that four years ago I was just starting to go into labour. You bring so much love and light to our family. I am so proud to be your mama and daddy is so proud to have you as his little girl. You make us both happy. Your aunties, uncles, cousins, gogo and friends are so lucky to have you in their lives. 

You have grown so much in the last year. You can spell and write your name. You can count to 20…well, almost. You tend to forget 13 and 17 and call 11 eleventeen. Four seems so big to me. You asked me the other day if I’d still be able to pick you up and cuddle you in bed in the morning when you were four. I promised I could. I can still cuddle and hold you close, but you don’t fit as snuggly up against me as you used to. I love your dragon breath while you keep kissing all over my face saying “good morning mommy” it makes me feel so special. How did time pass by so quickly?

Princesses are your life. Frozen still rules the roost in our house, but Sofia The First is close behind. Dressing up is your favourite past time and you’ve never met a dress you didn’t like. Pants? Forget it. Unless it’s leggings (to go under a dress) I can keep dreaming. Your love for anything that sparkles still amazes me. Our weekly coffee and cake dates after your music classes, little shopping trips and you telling me what to buy because it will suit me… I never want them to end. 

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Your singing might be my most favourite sound. I honestly can’t get enough. You’ve memorised over a dozen songs this year, including most of the soundtrack to Frozen. You started playing the keyboard and singing this year and you love it. It’s hilarious to watch your little fingers on the keys and hearing your beautiful voice singing along. Cartwheels are now easy peasy.

There is magic in your personality. You are kind and sensitive, but when you are mad, ooooh are you mad! I swear sometimes you could spit fire. Your looks would stop anyone in their tracks and often times, even though I’m infuriated, I have to hide my face to keep from smiling. That side look you give is hilarious..you are little Missy Bossy. But that’s what makes you who you are and I wouldn’t change a thing. I know one day you are going to be an amazing mother because it’s in you. I watch you play with your dolls especially with Tweaky..how you hold her and dress her up so loving and gentle. 

This is the first year you’ve talked about a boy. You’ve told us you are going to marry him. You’ve told us he’s your boyfriend and you love him so much. Daddy and I weren’t prepared for this!

What will four bring you, Miss Zee? I hope a year of fun, learning and happiness. You are my bright shining star, my love, and I wish you a very Happy Birthday.

My biggest reason for living calls me Mommy. 

I love you.

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So there you have it, such beautiful words shared by a mother who is watching her daughter grow right in front of her eyes.

IamTinashe xo

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

Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: “I Am Who I Am”

For those on Facebook (say I!) you would have been invited to groups created by people who lets say share some similar interests to you. Lord knows I have been invited to groups for weight loss, new mothers, beauty products, fashion etc. When invited I normally just accept the invite give the group a 30 day subscription to my life and bail if it doesn’t interest me. I am what you would call a silent observer not an active participant in the group. There is a difference. I mostly just lurk in the dark corners reading what has been posted and checking out pictures – constantly amazed how much people are willing to share on an online forum.

For those on Facebook (say I!) you would have been invited to groups created by people who lets say share some similar interests to you. Lord knows I have been invited to groups for weight loss, new mothers, beauty products, fashion etc. When invited I normally just accept the invite give the group a 30-day subscription to my life and bail if it doesn’t interest me. I am what you would call a silent observer not an active participant in the group. There is a difference. I mostly just lurk in the dark corners reading what has been posted and checking out pictures – constantly amazed how much people are willing to share on an online forum.

It is in one of these Facebook groups that I came across this month’s guest blogger – Ms Tatelicious Karigambe. Ms Tatelicious posted a picture of herself rocking an outfit, boldly declaring herself Zimbabwe’s first transgender. In Zimbabwe, the idea of transitioning from being a man to a woman is unheard of and considered taboo. I was immediately drawn to her – I had to know more. Not just the superficial bull crap we all talk about on first sight – the real her. I reached out to her. She was so warm – we became instant friends and she has kindly agreed to share her story here.

Bruce Jenner made the transition to becoming a woman but because of his ‘celebrity status,’ I am sure like me you couldn’t help but wonder if Bruce was becoming Caitlyn because it’s who he always was or because of the added fame, fortune and notoriety. Regardless of our own personal opinions, you can almost say it’s a fact that we as humans are always afraid of things they don’t understand. Like me, I think we can all learn a lot from this down to earth and brave woman’s story.

Over to you Ms Tatelicious….

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How would you describe yourself?
Ms Tatelicious Karigambe is a loving person whose blood veins are elongated with fibres of love. My motto to life is spread positive energy to everyone especially the haters because only love can make them understand how diversity makes us stronger. As for my loving friends and family, I created a special monumental place for them in my heart because they care. In brief, I am what the world needs now, breeding a strong dogma to everyone around me and beyond.

When did you know you were transgender?
I first realised I was a transgender at the age of 11 and before that I thought I was just gay.

How did you start to make the changes?
My changes started to occur when my beautiful mother promised to stand with me in my transformation and gender revitalization process.

Do you dress as a female all day every day?
I dress as Tatelicious Karigambe because fashion has grown beyond gender binaries theories. Gone are the days where we used to say pink for girls and blue for boys. I believe people should dress as they wish and like. And beyond the inner parts of my soul I know for certain that I am a woman so my dressing should not be dictated with femininity or masculinity conceptions.

Have you had surgery?
Yes, I had two surgeries i.e the breast augmentation and the vagina reassignment surgery.

How has your family reacted to your decision?
Mixed reactions and emotions were evoked when I decide to live my authentic life. I really was overwhelmed with the love I was given by my beautiful mother and my ever loving two sisters. Generally, 95% of my maternal and paternal family members still hate me with a passion but what keeps me going is the love I have for them and I know one day they are going to ask me what is really happening with the new me then we discuss and reach to a closure of everything. The family is important and I still hope that everything is going to be fine.

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What of your friends, how did they react?
I was left with no friends because they claimed that I was satanic and a product of shame in their circle. My online friends have become my new hope of acquaintances and I really cherish and honour them because they came in the right moment when I needed company and warmth. Above all the Universe smiled deeply at me and it blessed me with two remarkable sweet passionate friends my husband and my daughter. These two rock my world and believe me I will trade nothing to replace them.

What your favourite thing about being a transgender?
My favourite thing being a Transgender is living my truthful life as Ms Tatelicious Karigambe. If I die today I know that I never lived a lie and also my voice has become a light to everyone who has been judged, discriminated, persecuted, tortured or abused in trying to be their true selves.

What is the worst thing about being a transgender?
To lose everything and start again from scratch. I miss my home country Zimbabwe where I was I forced to exodus because I almost died being me and trying to just live a truthful life.

I applaud you for being so brave true to yourself. In your own words, what is it like to be a transgender African?
Thank you for the sweet applaud. Being an African transgender woman is beautiful and exciting. Almost everyone in Africa thinks that the issues of transgenders are ‘white people’ concepts which are ridiculous. Being transgender is a reality to all human beings despite which continent their roots comes from. It’s my duty to spread the issues of transgender lives in Africa. There are some Transgender Queens and Kings who came before me and died because of this issue I feel it’s important for me to pass the knowledge and confidence that I have to the next generation, thus honouring their sweet souls resting in eternal peace. I also personally applaud the transgenders in Africa who are spreading an insight of what and who we really are. In a nutshell, we are just human and we need respect and acceptance.

What advice do you have for other Africans that are afraid to be their true transgender self? They must stay strong and be ready to let go of the negativity which almost everyone will impose on them. It’s not easy this I know but they should not live a life of regrets. They should be brave enough to give birth to their new selves and focus on the reality of their principles to life. They should also know that Ms Tatelicious Karigambe loves them so much and they can write to me and we can talk more and link each other to our allies of the LGBTIQ Family.

Finally, what do you want the world to know about you?
I want the world to know that Ms Tatelicious Karigambe is the fruitful product of Heroes and Heroines which came before me .I am very much obliged not to let them down that’s why I am happy to be an Ambassador of the Transgender Community in Africa. I am talking about the Remarkable Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi,Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jnr,Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and living Inspiring comrades of our time Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox and the sweet beautiful Janet Mock. I too want my name to be written in books of history that I was able to foster a sweet loving gender revolution change in Africa.

Ms Tatelicious if you were here I would give you a big hug to thank you for the knowledge that you have transferred. I think in reading this we have all learnt something. We wish you all the best now and in the near future.

IamTinashe xo

Guest Blogger

Get Your Mind Right…

Tendai is one of my favourite people in the world. We are both proud members of the gap tooth brigade so naturally every time we meet we chop it up and laugh so hard that we go home with sore cheeks.

I was in Melbourne just last week celebrating hubby’s birthday and we had dinner with the lady of the moment, Tendai. During the dinner we started talking about things that we were passionate about and I could see Tendai literally foaming at the mouth discussing Mental Health. Seeing this passion lead me to ask her to write a piece for this blog.

I will now hand it over to the Tendai.

Hi everyone! My name is Tendai and I am your guest blogger for his month. When Tinashe asked me to be a guest blogger on this fantastic blog, I was so excited… Me? A writer? Yeah! Bring it on!. Then reality set in..&^% a few other profanities here and there. What will I write about? What if I don’t make sense? What if its just boring? I spent hours and days pondering these questions, until I said. Tendai, write what you are passionate about – I am passionate about mental health. My mental health.

There were days when I would wake up feeling off, when I would rather roll over, cover my head and for just that day.. I didn’t have to exist. For a while I would spend hours trying to figure out why I felt “off” and really have a go at myself for not trying to feel better. What’s wrong with you? I would say…There are people out there who have it worse than you so get it together! What do you have to be sad about? You are hopeless! Weak! I could go on…. Occasionally this would extend to situations where things didn’t go my way. It became a habit of putting myself down. The constant self-berating had to stop, something HAD to give…

Over time, with failure and success I have learned that caring for my mental health is important. It is just as important as caring about my physical health. When my body is run down or under stress, my immune system is comprised and I get sick. It’s either I get cold sores, or flu like symptoms or both. And when I get sick, I take a sickie, chill out, rest and recover! I take a time out! I have learned to do the same for my mental health. I have learned to strengthen my mental resilience by regularly taking mental timeouts or ‘me days’ as well as incorporating little ‘things‘ here and there.

My mental timeouts involve meditating throughout the day using an app called Stop Breathe and Think. This app has short targeted guided meditations. By doing this, I allow my mind and emotions to recalibrate and not dwell on too many negative things. My days are usually a Saturday or a Sunday once a month when I do absolutely anything my heart desires. I watch movies, listen to albums, read a chapter, stare at the ceiling, get a mani or pedi and chuck in a facial.. just some good me time. I realise that I’m fortunate my lifestyle allows me to do such and if pressed for time. A few hours can do for you.

I exercise. I make it a point to exercise 3-4 times a week 30-45mins at a time. I am probably the least physically active person I know but the benefits I experience motivate me to get moving. When I exercise, I feel good, sexy and energetic. Gotta love those natural endorphins 🙂

I stay connected. I catch up with friends and family. I make a conscious effort to follow up and lock in dates for catch-ups. We often say “let’s catch-up” and months will go by and nothing. So take the initiative, make that call, make that reservation, plan, organize.

I challenge myself. I am always looking for opportunities for professional development. I love my work and I strive to provide a quality service. In order for me to do that effectively and efficiently, I keep learning and exploring new concepts and ideologies. In addition, every now and then, I will put my hand up and volunteer in non-work related things.

I share my interests. Anyone who knows me, knows I have an abnormal passion for the game of tennis. I will gladly put my life on hold for a Serena Williams match. January is all about the Australian Open; you will find me there with plus two or three. Not forgetting the late nights for the other 3 major tennis tournaments. I do have other interests! I swear! Concerts, cultural/ food festivals and markets.

Lastly…Gratitude. Before I go to sleep. I spend sometime thinking about three things I am grateful for throughout the day. Using an app called Gratitude I can journal this. Not only do I go to bed with happy thoughts, but it forces me to reflect on the goodness of each day.

There you go those are my secrets to develop and maintain my mental wellbeing.

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I don’t know about you, but as someone that is always on the go – this blog post couldn’t have been more timely. I wanted to thank Tendai for being a guest blogger this month – she have provided some handy hints that will allow us to be present in the moment and grateful for all things big and small.

If you have any other techniques that you use and would like to share, please join the conversation by sharing in the comment section of this blog post!

Guest Blogger

Its Not You, Its Your Eyebrows…

Did you know that next to teeth your eyebrows are the most important feature on your face. I know that your not trying to look crazy out in these streets – so its important to get them done by someone that knows what it means to ‘shape’ your brows so your face is on point.

The door creaks loudly, someone put some oil in the damn hinges! Haha, I play too much – enter Tate, our guest blogger who is going to share her eyebrow shaping technique. Lord knows we could all use some guidance.

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Looking at the photo above, she is serving us face and lets us know she means business. Listen up readers, over to you Tate!

Hi everyone! My name is Tate, thanks for joining me on this guest post, its an absolute pleasure to share my experience. So were to start? Well to ensure that your brows are on fleek at all times you need to make sure that they are well “manicured”. To achieve this look I choose to thread my eyebrows. It just so happens that IamTinashe came with me to an threading appointment just so we could get a visual of the threading process. You can watch the video above and see how it really goes down.

Technique
Threading is an ancient method originating from Central Asia and India.  It is the art of hair removal by the use of an antibacterial cotton, that is twisted and rolled across the skin, gently removing the entire hair from the follicle.  The advantages of threading are, unlike tweezing in which single hairs are pulled one at a time, threading removes short lines of hairs and unlike waxing threading allows for more precise control of shaping the eyebrow.

Process
Before threading the beautician or threading artist will remove any make up that may have been applied and apply powder to the eyebrow area to ensure the cotton does not slip off the skin.  The beautician will usually start with the top of the brow working from one end to the other.  The only way I can describe the feeling is, it’s like someone pinching and pulling you skin, followed by a scratch with really sharp stiletto nails.

The whole threading process takes about 10 minutes and completed with a tidy up trim of extra long hairs and the application of a soothing lotion…..I opt out of the soothing lotion as I have sensitive skin and often react to it by getting crazy razor mountain size bumps around my eyebrow area. Reaction to the lotion is dependent on your skin sensitivity, I know plenty of people who have not problems with it – so see how you go.

Why do I endure the pain?
Same reason we endure waxing…..no pain no gain. Beauty is pain, pain is beauty as IamTinashe would say.

I tell you though with each stroke of thread to my brow, I feel a sharp tinge of pain then immediate relief. When I was fairly inexperienced – I cried! Actual tears would stream down my face. The unexpected pain is always a shock to the system but from the first time I did it I was not only hooked, I was converted.

Each time I look at the at the end result – I am excited. I can see that my once thick bushy eyebrows were for the first time tamed, clean cut and perfectly shaped.  Like waxing you get used to pain of threading. The anticipation of the ordeal ahead never goes away but it allows you to mentally prepare yourself.  Like anything the more you do it, the easier it gets. Before you know it you will be able to tolerate to the pain.

Personally speaking though I find this technique is longer lasting than tweezing. This means I get a threading touch up every three weeks (four if I’m busy). Threading is also much gentler on the skin than waxing and the precision in shaping will enhance your overall look.

So there you have it, this is my eyebrow shaping technique – what’s yours?