Thursday, 26 November 2009

Pride's Crimbo 09 Issue

The December issue of Pride hits the shelves round about now and features Hollywood hottie Zoe Saldana on the cover – isn’t she lovely? The actress is set to star in the forthcoming James Cameron directed sci-fi blockbuster Avatar, and talks to Pride about her role, embracing her Black Latina roots, and not wanting to be viewed as a ‘black sexpot’ (Pah! We’re not sure if we believe you on that one Zo’s). Other articles to look out for include a discussion about the BNP post Question Time, the British recolonizing the Turks and Caicos, as well as interviews with the Editor of Now magazine, Abigail Blackburn, and Secret Millionaire star Caroline Marsh.

Ensure you pick up a copy, I think we've put together a great issue this month.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Christmas Shopping Offer to TCD Readers

London based stylist Zoe Husskisson has launched an online gift consultation service which is perfect for xmas. Style Elite Personal Shopping Service promises to take the stress out of shopping, by saving you much needed time and energy. Style Elite Personal Shopping is offering readers of The Cocoa Diaires this service at a discounted rate of £10. If interested, please email quoting reference Cocoa Diaries.

See below for a sample gift portfolio, showcasing a few gift ideas:


Purchaser: Sister
Recipient’s Age: 21
Gift Occasion: 21st birthday present
How much does the purchaser want to spend: £0-150
Recipient’s Style: Vintage Chic
Any other relevant information regarding recipient: “My sister is a girly girl who loves feminine and vintage things (clothes, bags, jewellery etc). She has just moved into a flat with her best friend and loves finding unusual interiors from markets and her travels. She prefers vibrant and soft colours as opposed to dark tones. She is also a perfume junkie who loves to collect unusual bottles. I would like to give her something special for her landmark birthday that will last and she will treasure”

Gift Ideas:
Based on your responses to the form we have found a few gift ideas for your sister.  All gifts reflect your sister’s love for vintage products and also her interest of fashion, beauty and home interiors. We are confident that your sister will be more than happy with any of our choices and look forward to helping you find your next special gift.

First choice: Mirror, Mirror

This unique birdcage mirror is the perfect addition to your sister’s new home. The bird perched on top of the frame makes this a stylish and unusual present. She will love the charming vintage mirror which will instantly add a romantic feel to her home.

Price: £125

Second Choice: Heaven Scent fragrances not only smell divine but will also look so chic on your sister’s dressing table. 

La Prairie’s three Life Thread 

Price: £42.50

Product Info: La Prairie has created a new trilogy of fragrances that suit the many moods and moments in a woman’s life. Silver, a warm, sensual fragrance that is somehow citrusy, floral and musky; Gold, a spicy scent that is both feminine and powerful; and Platinum, a sophisticated scent that screams luxury, with woodsy tones meeting strong floral. The three are encased in gorgeous lucite bottles wrapped in strands of silver, gold and platinum, respectively.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Alexandra Burke is Looking for Support

Hey folks, just wanted to alert you to the fact that my fave X-Factor winner, Alexandra Burke, is looking for a supporting act from anywhere in the world through for an exclusive 'Nokia Good Things' concert in the UK on December 9th. 

Click here for more info

Here's a little bit of background info on

 Talenthouse is the leading platform for creative collaboration, providing artists opportunities for recognition and compensation. Talenthouse embraces artists at every level of their career, as well as all supporters of the arts. Attracted by the potential for discovering, collaborating with and mentoring emerging talent, many global brands and acclaimed industry icons are involved with Talenthouse by hosting Creative Invites. Brands choose Talenthouse to engage in a dialogue with their audience in a targeted, relevant and credible context. Talenthouse currently focuses on film, fashion, music, art and photography. For more information, log onto


Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Rebirth of Janet: Don't Stop Till You Get Enough

It took Janet to bring me out of blogging retirement, God bless you Ms Damita Jo. But I had to, just HAD TO give props to the woman who I’ve admired since I was a greasy faced teen trying to learn the entire dance routine to ‘What Have You Done for me Lately’ in my Ma’s bedroom. 

Back in the 80’s Janet was unstoppable. Ladies, who didn’t want to be as sassy and badass as Janet in the Pleasure Principle video? Remember that banging fringed weave? The casual cool of her black slacks and denim jacket get up? The rude girl choreography? One word: fiyah! And what about the effortless execution of the intricate military moves in the iconic Rhythm Nation video?There’s no denying that Janet was the shiznit, although she didn’t receive the respect and kudos that the likes of Madonna and Whiney did. But then the unthinkable happened. Janet fell off. It happened somewhere after the Velvet Rope when her musical output nosedived in quality and became a sea of banal, uninspired, corniness. By the time the Superbowl ‘nipple-gate’ incident occurred I had sworn off Janet completely. The woman who I once held in such high regard had in my eyes transformed into a desperate, attention-seeking has-been, who was doing her hardest to try and stay relevant Ooooh the shame of it!

In a tragic twist, it would be the death of her big bro Michael that would bring her back to form (or at least in my eyes anyway). To be honest, when I heard that Janet had a new tune out I couldn’t have been less interested. But the opening bars of ‘Make Me’ stopped me dead…Wait a minute, this sounds like throwback Janet. Like hot gyal Janet. Like ‘do you know who my brother was’ Janet. Yay, what a result. The video premiered today and I’ve played it around 5 times already. Admittedly there could’ve had a bit more choreography for me to copy, but I know I'm just being greedy. Great to have you back JJ!

Sidenote: And how much do I love that little ode to MJ "Don't stop it baby, don't stop till you get enough"? Awww, RIP Michael. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Relax. Just Do It.

Hey folks! How you doing? Just wanted to take a few moments to apologise for my blogging absence. I wish I could say there was a particular reason for me going awol, but there isn't really. I guess I'm just feeling a little burnt out. So my brain has decided to take a mini vacation, but I promise I'll be be back soon. In the meantime take the time to get acquainted with the fabulous links listed on the bottom right. I'm promise you pure Blog Fiyah! Oh and I haven't disappeared offline altogther. I've more or less given up on Facebook, but you can catch me on Twitter pretty much all the time.  Click on my Twitter button if you wish to follow follow me.

Ciao for now

Ms Quichexxx 

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Stills from BBC Drama - Small Island

Here are some images from the forthcoming BBC Drama, Small Island, starring Naomie Harris and Ashley Walters. The two part series is based on the award winning novel of the same name written by Andrea Levy, and tells the common tale of young Jamaican immigrants who arrive in the UK in hope of a better life, only to get a hostile reception from their host country. Really looking forward to this. Let's hope the Beeb do it justice. Transmission date is unconfirmed but will most likely air in October. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

R&B Singers Turn Entrepreneurs

Here's a sneak peek of Beverley Knight's ad campaign for her new make up range K By Beverley Knight (launching on September 17th) and Mica Paris's fashion collaboration with plus size retailers Simply Be. What do you think?

Naomi Would Rather Keep Earning Than Not Wear Fur

Naomi Campbell is featured on the Daily Mail's website, after pictures emerged of her modelling in a new ad campaign for New York fur designer Dennis Basso. The writer of the piece accuses the model of being a hypocrite due to the anti fur stance she took when she was a model/spokesperson for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), who created the famous tag-line "I'd rather go naked than wear fur". In all honesty I thought Naomi had long severed ties with  PETA, and had been spotted wearing fur on a few occasions since. Whatever the case, she still looks amazing. Click here for the article

Monday, 31 August 2009

My Carnival U Turn

Picture source

Wasn’t it me who only a few days ago said I wouldn’t be going back to Notting Hill Carnival? Umm, so why did I find myself yesterday afternoon packed like a tin of sardines being carried along with the crowds on Portobello Road? Yup, I succumbed. It took only a few persuasive phone calls from my cousin and there I was heading to our designated meeting place, bringing Khy along for the journey. The good news: it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, and to my surprise Khy wasn’t at all frightened by the crowds or the noise, and on the contrary was bopping along to the sounds of Donaeo like a carnival pro. The bad news: it was long. We spent the whole day walking for miles trying to find the floats with the flamboyant costumes and before you knew it Khy started to get really tetchy. Things got progressively worse when he announced that he needed to go to the toilet and needed to go quickly. Anyone who has ever been to an event of that size knows that’s an impossible feat. But my son being my son refused to empty his bladder in a discreet place “Mum, I can’t, everyone will see my bum bum”. So instead I headed to the yucky Porto loos where there was a ridiculously long queue, and I knew there was no way he would hold out for that long. My only other option was to use a shop or someone’s house. Sounds like the perfect solution, but the catch is of course you have to pay for the privilege. The places I came across were charging anywhere between the region of £1 to £3. I know - blue murder! Eventually we came across this lovely looking Notting Hill apartment where the man at the gate uttered the magic words “kids go free”. I virtually pushed Khy through the doors before he changed his mind, and voila - problem solved. Or so I thought. After rejoining my fam and anticipating at least a couple of hours of dancing, my son simply decided he had enough. All it took was me refusing his request for an ice cream before he embarked on one set of wailing that could be heard above the booming sound systems. That was it. Enough. I promptly said goodbye to my carnival crew, headed to the nearest train station and was home in an hour or so nursing the biggest headache and sore feet. What is it they say about always trusting your instincts?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Kinda Strange: Puma's Bolt Arms Ad

Okay, I'll admit I've developed another obsession with Usain Bolt following his earth shattering, record breaking performance at the World Championships in Berlin. I just came across this ad by Puma advertising the Bolt Arms -  which is basically a foam constructed pair of arms replicating his famous lightning pose. I saw a few spectators at the games waving these around, and thought it was pretty funny. Anyway, the ad is kinda cheesy. Poor Usain. 

Friday, 28 August 2009

It's Baccannal Time!

Tomorrow will mark the 45th birthday of the Notting Hill Carnival, wow, forty five years! Back in the day, around this time of year, I’d be making some serious preparations ahead of the carnival celebrations. My girls and I would be deciding what outfits to wear, what sound systems to check out, and you know yours truly would be practicing the latest dance moves to execute them at Europe's biggest street party. But that was then. Today my Bank Holiday shenanigans are more likely to consist of a visit to Ikea, or a vigorous house clean from top to bottom followed by a couple of hours spent with relatives. Yup, I know - BORING! You see, unfortunately once you get to a certain age the fun element of carnival is superseded by fear. I know in my case, year after year I’d read the horror stories and worry that I might be caught in the crossfire of a gang war, get robbed, crushed in a stampede or some other life threatening incident. The last time I remember attending around 6 years ago, true to word, I did get caught up in a crush and promised myself that if I ever got out alive, I wouldn’t go back. So far I’ve kept my promise. Not to say I don’t miss it though. I do. Desperately. I was contemplating taking my son to the kiddie carnival on Sunday, but I don’t know if either me or him are ready for that (he’s only 4). Maybe next year. Just maybe.

But anyhoo, in proxy of me actually going down to West London to ‘hol’ up mi foot and jump’ I thought I’d compile a little list of top carnival tunes as voted by my Twitter and Facebook fam, followed by a little homage. So here goes:


Let the Beat Hit 'Em - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, as voted by ME!

Flex - Mad Cobra, as voted by my Richie

Dollar Whine - Soca Boys, as voted by Diane, Christy and Marie

Feeling Hot Hot Hot - Arrow, as voted by Janice

Tease Me - Chaka Demus & Pliers, as voted by Mikey

Hol Up You Foot and Jump - Zulu Lightning, as voted by Shach & Laura

Gimme D Ting - Lord Kitchener, as voted by Senga

Fools Paradise - Melissa Morgan,  as voted by Venice Webb 

You Know You’re at Notting Hill Carnival When…

- You pay £10 for a piece of jerk chicken, rice and peas and a can of coke and don’t even screw about it.
- Walk for at least 20 miles and spend the entire day dipping it low like a teenager, not feeling the effects until two days later when you can‘t get out of bed.
- Whine with at least one aesthetically challenged/ dirty old man who you ordinarily wouldn’t give the time of day to. Hey, it’s carnival after all.
- Spend most of the day arguing with your friends (or most likely a friend of a friend) about which sounds to visit: “What do you mean she wants to listen to acid jazz? Listen, this ain’t in Camden. Laters to that”
- Devote too much time and energy to finding the Westwood stage, only to get there and find yourself squash up in a Slam dance situation (Onyx stylee) with dudes who looked like they’ve just stepped out of Pentonville.

For further information on the Carnival visit

Thursday, 27 August 2009

MOBO Awards Nomination Pardee

Kanya King: MOBO Awards founder and CEO

So last night I attended the MOBO Nomination Party at the Mayfair Hotel and have to admit - I had a bloody good night. Call it the free booze. Or the fact that I haven't been out in eons. Or maybe it was ha ing the opportunity to have a giggle and a quick boogie with old faces I hadn't seen in ages. Or was it the fact that I got to meet Britain's Got Talent dance crew, Flawless? I dunno what it was exactly. But all I know is that I stumbled home just after 10pm last night feeling all giddy, excitable and filled with a lorra lorra love. If I'm being honest I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the nominations, but you can read the full list here. I did enjoy the performances though. Bashy and Estelle's little sis, H-Boogie performed their single 'Your Wish is My Command' with plenty of gusto. Then little bitsy Jade Ewen took to the stage and executed a very confident rendition of her single 'My Man',  I was quite impressed. While she was singing I kept shouting to anyone who would listen "Why didn't they give a song like this to Alex (Burke), she would've killed it" (NOTE: I'm too upset to talk about Alex's debut single... I just can't). Other artists in the building included Beverley Knight, Lemar, Sabrina Washington, Wiley, Kano and Peter Andre. They've yet to announce who will be hosting the awards, but they will take place in Glasgow on September 30th. Planning on attending? 

It's definitely raining hot magazine covers at the moment, and with this in mind I couldn't resist posting ID's latest cover featuring the latest crop of supermodels including Jourdan, Chanel Iman, Sessilee Lopez and Arlenis Sosa. I love the aptly titled cover line - Pretty Young Thing, which is also an obvious nod to MJ (RIP).  I'm also loving the Robert Palmer Addicted to Love  video homage. One look at the simple black dresses, slicked back hair, and bright red lippy, lets you know that the fashion director was definitely pumping the iconic 80's rock anthem through his/her speakers when thinking up concepts. Loves it! 

And now for the original 

Rihanna: Strikes a Pose!

is absolutely untouchable in the style stakes at the moment, no other R&B starlet comes even close. Hark at my girl on the cover of the September's Vogue Italia this month.To coin fashion's most overused phrase: simply fi-eeerce! Source

Naomie Harris Covers Pride

Hey folks, I've been a bit off the radar of late, but I'm back!! Just a quick one to prompt you to pick up the latest issue of Pride. Actress Naomie Harris graces the cover and was interviewed by yours truly. Naomie will be starring in the BBC's adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel, Small Island which will air this autumn. I've seen a few clips of the film and it looks as if it will be pretty decent. I hope you like the interview if you get a chance to read. Naomie is a total sweetie, but that can sometimes work against you when writing features because there isn't anything particularly controversial to draw upon to generate discussion and debate. That said, I admire Naomie's low key demeanor. She doesn't really do the red carpet "celebrity" thing, and just wants to bag decent roles and make great films. Some of today's entertainers should really take note. 


Monday, 10 August 2009

Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick - Chicken!

So off I headed to the Horniman Museum for what I thought would be a relatively calm and serene Sunday afternoon event. THIS IS WHAT I WAS FACED WITH. Was soooo not prepared for the madness, mayhem and exceedingly long queues of yesterday's Jerk Cookout festival which took place in Forest Hill, South East London. I went to the same event about 3 years ago and there were literally about 500 people I'd say. Yesterday, apparently the numbers were in the region of 20,000 plus. Wowser. I'm really happy for Tony Fairweather and his team who put the event together, but I'm really not certain if they'll be able to hold it at the same venue next year if it continues to grow so rapidly. And admittedly, it is a good idea. The initial format was to have a handful of Caribbean food caterers battling it out to see who could make the baddest, lip smacking jerk chicken. This year I think they scrapped the competition element and instead opted for loads of Caribbean food stalls selling their mouth watering cuisine to plenty of willing customers. The queues were huge people - I'm talking an hour's wait for a piece of jerk chicken. Yeah it tasted good, but the verdict is still out on whether it was worth such a long wait. This year along with the food stalls, they also added 2 stages with live music, PA's and even attempted a world record of 5000 people doing 'The Candy Dance' simultaneously. Would love to tell you how that went but was too busy standing in line for chicken.

*Note: I blatantly nicked the pic of Facebook. If it belongs to you and you object to it being posted, please feel free to email me at 

You're Beautiful...Woman

This post is super late, late, late. But for my UK based peeps, I need to ask what you are you up to this coming Saturday? Nadda? Okay, well if that's the case then I urge you to head down to the Highgate Newton Community Centre in North London to check out You're Beautiful Woman, a groundbreaking event celebrating black beauty inside and out. With a host of events to empower and inspire, guests can immerse themselves in the wonderful things on offer such as seminars, workshops, beauty demonstrations and stalls selling everything to make you feel beautiful. My mate, the lovely Ronke over at The Musings of Ondo Lady is part of the You're Beautiful team, so you know it's gots to be good. Visit their official site for further details. 

And I'll leave you with this oldie but goodie, that I always think of whenever I hear the name of this event.  

Can't Get it Outta My Head: New Bashy

Just checked out Your Wish is My Command the new video by Bashy featuring Estelle's lil sis H-Boogie. I hear this track on 1-Xtra all the time and had no idea it was Bashy. Loving the whole tongue in cheek retro vibe. Check out the tight pants and Travolta-esq pelvic thrusts - luvs it. Huge big ups to Bashy for always attempting to take it there by being witty, provocative and  inventive in equal measure. And with the 70's being of my favourite artistic eras, he gets extra extra cool points. 

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Gimme Some of That Good Hair

Another trailer from Chris Rock's forthcoming comedy-doc 'Good Hair', scheduled for a US release in October. No word on whether it will be released in the UK as yet (boo). It looks brilliant.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Richard Sits Pretty On His Hot Tin Roof

Image sourced from 

I’m delighted to hear via that Richard Blackwood has landed a part on the forthcoming West End production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. The classic Tennessee Williams play will run at the Novello Theatre from 21 November to April 2010, following a successful stint on Broadway. Directed by Debbie Allen, the former dancer brings with her a heavyweight cast including James Earl Jones, Adrian Lester, Phylicia Rashad and Sanna Lathan. Richard is the latest addition to the cast and he is set to play a character named Brightie. Having never seen the play I can’t confirm whether this is a substantial role, but then again, I don’t suppose it really matters. Being part of such an esteemed cast in one of theatre land’s most anticipated plays can only be a good thing. This is a great feat for the actor/comedian who has never shied away from revealing the personal turmoil he has endured over the last couple of years (click here for an interview that I did with him last year for a recap). Proof once again that no matter what life throws at us, we should never write ourselves off. Congratulations and all of that Mr Blackwood. And wow, I sooooo can’t wait to see this play.  

Friday, 24 July 2009

August issue of Pride

The August issue of Pride magazine will be out next Friday, featuring UK soul singing sensation Beverley Knight on the cover. Our Bev is gearing up to release a new album entitled 100%, which is out in September. It will be the first release from her new record label entitled Hurricane Records. The singer will be extending her entrepreneurial wings even further with the launch of a new make up range called K Cosmetics, available in stores such as Selfridges and John Lewis from October. I've had a quick dabble at some of the pressed powders and lip-glosses, and it's actually pretty decent. Best of luck with it all Ms Knight. 

Bev's new video Beautiful Night

Pride's beauty spread

Pride's fashion spread 

July issue of Arise magazine

The July issue of Arise is out on the stands and features Nigerian supermodel Oluci on the cover, and looks great as usual. Check out a few pics.

Catherine Kallon: Fashion Blogger on the Rise

Check out the Evening Standard's profile on fashion blogger, Catherine Kallon, 34, who runs the popular style blog The piece traces Catherine's career trajectory from city PA earning a decent crust, to unexpected redundancy, to current role  as full time blogger. Click here to get the full low down. Really inspiring. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

You Lil' Beauty: England Crowns First Black Pagaent Queen

Congratulations goes out to Rachel Christie who was crowned the first black Miss England last night, and will now go on to represent her country in the Miss World 2009 competition taking place in South Africa. I don't know, but for some reason I thought there had been a black Miss England before.  Just goes to shows how much I pay attention to beauty competitions *shrugs*.  Rachel is the niece of sprinting champ Linford Christie, and less than 24 hours after her win some are already speculating that it was nepotism that led to her victory.  Hmmm, let's see how this latest development pans out shall we? In the meantime, I say enjoy your victory Rachel. 

Vogue Italia's Black Barbie Speesh

Vogue Italia attempt to prove their naysayers wrong by releasing a follow up to their high-profile 'A Black Issue' edition, which featured a winning cast of black models and was published last summer to much fanfare. Many critics were wary that the Italian fashion rag created the issue as a cheap gimmick created to appease those who accused the fashion industry of being too Eurocentric. So to prove their critics wrong, this year they've put together a 21 page pictorial supplement consisting of a variety of Black Barbie dolls. I'm sure Naomi, Jourdan, Chanel Iman et al were delighted by that decision. However I'm not gonna lie - I adore these images.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Jessica Huie on the Cover of Tesco Magazine

Check out the beautiful Entrepreneur/PR extraordinaire, Jessica Huie along with her daughter Monet on the cover of Tesco magazine.  I've yet to pick up a copy, but judging by the cover line the piece focuses on Jess being motivated by her daughter to achieve her goals. Ms Huie is one of the fastest rising stars in the the business world. In 2006 she founded Colourblind Cards, a black greetings card company based here in the UK, and has gone from strength to strength. Visit for details. Don't mama and daughter look stunning? 

Mica Paris Tour Dates

One of my fave ever songstresses, Mica Paris, announces details of her forthcoming nationwide tour. If you've yet to see her live, I urge you to do so. See below for dates:






Hotel Babylon Actor Releases Debut Novel

Talented actor Michael Obiora is one of the leading cast members of BBC TV series, Hotel Babylon in which he plays the camp and charismatic hotel worker, Ben. I haven’t seen the show in a while, but always enjoyed watching Ben’s performances. To me his character was funny, daring, and a refreshing change from the archetypal drug-dealing, gun toting roles that keeps Britain’s Black male acting population in employment via TV programmes like The Bill. I’ve since seen Michael as a guest on various shows appearing as himself and he seems incredibly insightful and intelligent. On August 8th he will be releasing his debut novel ‘Black Shoes’ published by Matador books. The book is about a young, black successful Property Developer who is constantly reminded of the stereotypes assigned to his race. The press release reads: "Through the exploration of love, friendship, paranoia and ignorance, Black Shoes looks at a professional man's quest to find his way through the maze of negative stereotypes, and his own personal battle with his identity." Mmm, sounds interesting.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Gone Too Soon, but Never Forgotten

Closure... At last.

Sleep well Michael


Stevie Wonder had the world in tears

And so did Usher

Powerful euology from Rev Al Sharpton

Touching speech by Brooke Shields

Mariah & Trey Lorenz

Andrae Crouch Choir (No More Crying Now, We Are Going to see the King)

Friday, 3 July 2009

A Long Time Coming: VV Brown's Debut Album

Singer-slash-song-writer-slash musician, VV Brown releases her long awaited debut album on July 13th entitled Travelling Like The Light. Signed to the iconic Island Records, the label has been cleverly creating a buzz around VV by releasing several tracks in advance of the album such as ‘indie doo wop’ anthems Crying Blood and Leave. But can the singer live up to the hype? I had a brief listen at work today and must admit, although it’s not necessarily the type of music I would load onto my MP3 player, its definitely listenable. Its got bag loads of energy, attitude, and Ms double Vee's vocals and lyrical phrasing is as original as it gets. I’ve been endorsing the style icon in the making on this blog since I first became aware of her, so needless to say, I wish her the best of luck. 

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Reminisce on the Love we Had

My adolescent self has taken a battering over the last week. Learning of the demise of one of my favourite Charlie’s Angel (RIP Farrah), and then the shock death of Michael Jackson a few hours later… Believe me when I say that the tragic events of that day will be forever etched in my memory. Then yesterday when I logged onto my Twitter account (which has become somewhat of a digitalised grim reaper) I noticed that Vibe magazine was one of the hottest trend topics. The talk in Twitterville was that the magazine had folded. Jeez... Hasn't my fragile, tween-aged self suffered enough over the last 7 days? 

Vibe magazine inspired me to pursue a career in magazine journalism. I can remember clear as day the first time I became acquainted with what was to become my holy grail of the magazine world. I was living at home with my folks, swotting for my exams with my college friend Aretha. After a few hours of studying, Aretha (who was a lot trendier than me) pulls out a copy of this new magazine called Vibe that she claimed was the mutts nuts. Instantly I was mesmerized. The mag had a stylish black and white cover of Naughty By Nature‘s Treach, not to mention, breathtaking photography, provocative features and candid insights into the lives of our favourite celebs. 

Subsequent to the launch issue I bought virtually every issue during the mid to late 90’s. Vibe spoke to me like no other magazine had. The magazine not only concerned itself with matters of celebrity but it also tackled pertinent socio-political issues of concern to young black adults such as Aids & HIV, crime, domestic violence and sexuality. It represented my young adult self, and was perfectly packaged in this big, bold glossy bound magazine that dominated the space on every newsstand that it graced. I’d get lost in the bylines of writers such as Danyel Smith, Asha Bandele, Karen R Good and Emil Wilbekin like a pupil in training. Needless to say my ultimate goal was to become a staff writer there.

When I travelled to New York one summer with my friend I visted the offices of Vibe and recall feeling as if I was standing on sacred land. I decided to casually drop by to introduce myself and left my CV with the guy at the reception desk. At the time the offices were virtually empty but I couldn’t care less. I was so giddy with excitement that I wanted to document the moment by taking a picture. As I rummaged through my bag to find my camera my friend who was with me at the time shot me a look and told me to put it away. When we left the building I asked her why she acted that way, and I’ll never forget her reply. “Well if you’re intending to work there one day, don’t you think it would have come across as quite unprofessional if you’re standing there taking pictures.” Point taken. But still…

So where does my relationship with Vibe stand in 2009? Ironically I was reading a brilliant book on feng shui at the start of the year which urges budding practitioners to get rid of things that no longer serve them emotionally, intellectually, spiritually or otherwise. I thought long and hard about my shelf full of Vibes taking up my book/magazine space. Do they still serve me? The answer was I hadn’t even flicked through any of them for the whole time I’d been living in my flat which is coming up to 10 years. Nuff said. So off I went to the recycling station on the main road to dump them. I kept hold of a few issues that I thought were priceless gems. The cover with Lisa ‘Left Eye’ posing as a fire woman when she was in the midst of a real life arson trial. The strange one of Biggie snuggling up to Faith, their opposite complexions colliding like day and night. *Clears her throat and sings in a Barbara Streisand voice* Memories. Of the way we were. 

I stopped buying Vibe around the early noughties I’d say. I’m not sure whether it was mainly to do with me just getting older and being concerned with more pressing matters than 50 Cents latest beef. Or whether Vibe had merely lost its soul. Probably a combination of both in all honesty. But now the shock has worn off, I take solace in the principles of feng shui that espouses that whenever we let go of things we shouldn’t pine over it as we’re simply making way for new things, new thoughts, ideas and creativity. Onwards and upwards peeps. 

Night night Vibe. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Good Times

Every time I think I’m coming to terms with Michael Jackson’s untimely death, I receive an email or a Facebook/Twitter link that pulls the life out of my heartstrings. The attached clip is one such item. It’s merely a random interview recorded at the height of Michael’s fame, which features MJ and big sis Latoya just sitting around in their house participating in random chat, as brothers and sisters do. Take a look at how happy he seemed. How at ease he seemed. How stunning he was. How funny he was. Seriously guys, I’ve got a lump the size of a buffalo lodged in my throat. Michael’s life should not have ended so tragically. 

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Michael & Janet

Beautiful photo tribute to the relationship between brother and sister, Michael & Janet Jackson. For more pics visit the Essence website here

Still can't believe it...

About Me

My photo
I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.