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My Africa Is Presents “How Do Africans Kiss?”

I caught this video on Dream Hampton’s blog and I had to share this with readers. Growing up as a proud Nigerian, I still found it cringeworthy to watch Africans kiss in Nollywood films. I cannot even fathom witnessing my parents and loved ones kissing. There’s something about that romantic gesture that screams the following: fake, over the top and simply extra. I had it fascinating that there’s a documentary (done by My Africas) discussing this topic and I agree with every word Adepero Oduye had to say about this topic.

About My Africa Is:

My Africa Is is a documentary series taking you on a journey across the continent through the eyes of an insider. We know what you’ve seen and heard about Africa – what they think is happening, what they think she needs, what they think she is. The four things that come to mind when people think of Africa are population, problems, poverty, and promise unfulfilled – headline media reports on the continent but that’s not the whole story.

Perspective changes everything.

My Africa Is wants to show you something different. We’re not about hiding real issues or over-hyping good news. We’re more than aware of the challenges, but we also know that we are not helpless. We hustle. We find ways to overcome. We survive. Every day, we are changing our communities – it may be a process, and it may be a little bit at a time, but we’re changing it nonetheless.

I’m definitely looking forward to the future documentaries made by My Africa is.

Cultural Mark is a feature highlighting influential Africans leaving their impeccable mark on the global community for a positive image of Africans outside of the Diaspora.

Cultural Loop: Adepero Oduye’s Oscar Moment, King Peggy’s Book Release, Omotola Goes Glam for StyleMania, Keke Palmer’s in Loza for Vibe Vixen & Alek Wek’s Deola Sagoe MFW Stunner

This new edition of Cultural Loop highlights Adepero’s Post-Oscar moment, King Peggy’s Book release, Omotola’s glam StyleMania Magazine cover, Keke Palmer’s wearing Loza Maléombho on the cover of Vibe Vixen and Sudanese model Alek Wek bringing Aso-Oke to Milan Fashion Week!

Pariah breakthrough star Adepero Oduye shined at the 2012 Vanity Fair Post-Oscar party. Adepero joined Oscar nominee Viola Davis and Oscar’s In Memoriam performance star Esperanza Spalding in celebrating natural hair. Prior to her Oscar appearance, Adepero as first published on Tumblr stepped out in a two-piece yellow and blue ankara paint suit at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards.

Food for thought: Wouldn’t it be great to see Macy AND H&M collaobrating with Jewel By Lisa and prominent African fashion designers like Washington Roberts, Maki Oh, Tsemaye Binitie, Lanre Da Silva, Virgos Lounge and Chichia London for their in-store designer collaborative initiatives???

During my weekly peruse of Barnes & Noble, I check out a hot new recommendation called King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed An African Village. The book chronicles how Peggielene Bartels went from being a secretary at Ghana’s Embassy in Washington, D.C to becoming African royalty of her late uncle’s village Otuam. Visit her official website on where to buy her book and to see her book tour dates.

This clip highlights the accomplishments King Peggy made during her month-long Fall 2012 trip to Ghana. She not only distributed food to needy families but open a new well. What a class act!

Nollywood starlet Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde shot a stunning cover shoot for StyleMania March 2012 Magazine. This is by far her best looking cover feature. Follow Omotola on Twitter (@realomosexy) to keep up her latest Nollywood projects. See the full shoot over at!

Actress Keke Palmer stuck a pose in a Loza Maléombho printed ruffle blouse from her Spring/Summer 2012 collection for the new digitial Vibe Vixen December 2011/January 2012 issue. You can check out Loza’s SS 2012 collection via Facebook. Loza, born in Brazil and raised in Abidjan and Cote D’Ivoire, is a womenswear designer based in New York with a strong mission of women empowerment, social and economic trades in West Africa. Loza’s fly and social conscious – gotta love it!

Sudanese model Alek Wek wore a blue and gold Deola Sagoe Aso-oke dress to Roberto Cavalli Fall 2012 show during Milan Fashion Week. Alek first wore this dress and the same gold criss-cross heels for the inaugural issue of Arise magazine back in November 2008 and at a JoinRED event. Great to see Alek  continue to support Deola! This is a style repeat offender that I appreciate!

Speaking of Fashion Week, anyone else anticipating ARISE Fashion Week in Lagos? 77 Designers will showcase their latest collections in a fashion extravaganza from March 6 to March 12! Get full details here on when and where! Below is the full list of designers expected at the huge style event:

Adama-Paris (Senegal/France), Amine Bendriouich Couture and BS (Germany/Morocco), Amrapali (India), Angelo Van Mol(Belgium/Ghana), Be-Grey (Nigeria), Bestow Elan (UK/Ghana), Bridget Awosika (Nigeria), Buki Akib (UK/Nigeria), CHICHIA(UK/Tanzania), Christie Brown (Ghana), CLAN (Nigeria), David David London (UK), Davida (Nigeria), Duaba Serwa (Ghana),Ejiro Amos Tafiri (Nigeria), Eki Orleans (UK/Nigeria), Frank Osodi (Nigeria), Funlayo Déri (UK/Nigeria), Gavin Rajah(South Africa), Gloria Wavamuno (Uganda), HOUSE of DIVAS (Nigeria), House of Farrah (Nigeria), House of Nwocha (Nigeria),ICONIC INVANITY (Nigeria), Imane Ayissi (France/Cameroon), Jacob Kimmie (UK/South Africa), Jewel by Lisa (Nigeria), Kastle Designs & Treasure Chest (USA/Ghana), Kaveke (Kenya/UK), Kevan Hall (USA), Kezia Frederick (UK/St.Lucia), Kiki Clothing(Ghana), Kinabuti (Italy), Klûk-CGDT (South Africa), Koke (Botswana/India), Korto Momolu (USA/Liberia), Lanre Da Silva Ajayi(Nigeria), LaQuan Smith (USA), Laurenceairline (France/Ivory Coast), Loza Maléomsho (USA/Ivory Coast), Madam Wokie’s Couture (Sierra Leone), Mai Atafo (Nigeria), Maki-Oh (Nigeria), Mataano (USA/Somalia), Meena (Nigeria), Mustafa Hassanali(Tanzania), NKWO (UK/Nigeria), Odio Mimonet (Nigeria), Okunoren Twins (Nigeria), Osman (UK), Paul Hervé ELISABETH(Martinique), Poisa (Kenya), Re Bahia (UK/Nigeria), Sandra Kennedy (Jamaica), Sandra Muendane (Mozambique/Portugal),Sunny Rose (Nigeria/UK), Taibo Bacar (Mozambique), the Vessel. By Lois (USA/Jamaica), Tiffany Amber (Nigeria), Timo Welland (USA/South Africa), Tsemaye Binitie (UK/Nigeria), U.Mi-1 (UK/Nigeria), Virgos Lounge (UK/Nigeria), Viv La Resistance(Nigeria), William Okpo (USA/Nigeria) and Zekaryas Solomon (Eritrea/UK).


image credits –,, Loza Maléombho, StyleMania  &Vibe Vixen

Cultural Loop is a must-read news rundown within the fashion & entertainment industry!

Cultural Pulse: Adepero Oduye

Introducing a new segment on – Cultural Pulse. This new segment is a weekly feature celebrating talented influential African-Americans in the entertainment and fashion industry. 33 year-old Nigerian actress Adepero Oduye is someone all should admire for her pure talent! This week we’re celebrating Pariah breakthrough star Adepero!

Pariah trailer

Quick Facts about Adepero Oduye

  • Pariah, a film Spike Lee produced and a 2011 Sundance Film Festival participant, is Adepero’s feature debut.
  • Adepero on the lesson she hopes Pariah viewers will get: “It’s a great time for the film to come out, to make people a little bit more aware of the issues that’s been happening for a while but many people haven’t been paying attention to,” she said. “Here we have this story that’s really specific, but it’s so universal. You take away race, you take away sexuality by identity and at the end of the day when you watch it I feel like you realize, ‘Wow, we’re all more similar then we are different.” –Huffington Post Black Voices
  • She was a pre-med student prior to turning to acting.
  • She’s a Cornell University graduate.
  • She was raised in Brooklyn, NY to Nigerian immigrants. Her father’s death pushed her into acting. “He had a master’s. He had a Ph.D. Eventually, he got an M.D. but passed away before he could really pursue that. He died young. He died suddenly. When he passed away, I realized why I was in school. Why I wanted to be a doctor. It was because of him. When he passed away it propelled me to really figure out what really I wanted to be.”- Denver Post
  • Her mother didn’t understand her acting career choice: “She didn’t see it as a profession. Acting was not for people like us. For her, movies were not for African or black people. I remember thinking, ‘Yes, mom, I know I am black but I still want to act.’ She knew instinctively it was going to be a hard road.” –Daily Beast
  • Pariah’s story touched Adepero’s mother’s heart.After Sundance, my mother was in Nigeria and she called me and said ‘Pariah needs to come to Africa because they are killing people here because they are gay,’” said Oduye, smiling broadly. “She never talks about LGBT issues anywhere. But my participation in this film opened her mind up a little more. If that can happen to my mother, anything is possible.” -Daily Beast
  • Her biggest nod came from Vanity Fair magazine which crowned her as one of Hollywood’s fresh young stars of 2012! 

Pariah film star and Cornell University graduate Adepero Oduye appeared on the Mario Testino-shot cover of the coveted 18th annual Hollywood Issue for Vanity Fair Magazine. Each year the publication annouces their picks for Hollywood’s next generation of it girls. The shining recognition comes fresh off the heels of critically-acclaimed buzz the young Nigerian actress has received for her starring role in Pariah! When asked about the praise surrounding her performance in Pariah, Adepero said, “This is the beginning of a dream come true. It’s been so surreal and overwhelming, but in a good way.”

From the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue:

January 2012: Adepero Oduye

Provenance: Brooklyn, New York. Age: 33. Is there a doctor in the house? The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Oduye, who had always planned to be a doctor, graduated pre-med from Cornell. A convert to acting: After seeing Robert Duvall in The Apostle, her new path was decided. “I remember thinking to myself, This is why I want to be an actor. I want to be able to tell stories that mean something to people. I definitely feel like this is my purpose in life.” Try telling that to her mom: When Oduye told her mother about her career plans, “it was as if I was talking a foreign language. She was like, ‘Something happened to you—you’re crazy!’ But as long as I’m happy, she’s happy.” Plenty to be happy about: Last year’s Sundance Film Festival saw Oduye’s latest film, Pariah, become the critics’ darling. “This is the beginning of a dream come true,” she says. “It’s been so surreal and overwhelming, but in a good way.” And with Pariah’s release scheduled for December, more good things are sure to come.

Photograph by Ben Hassett.

Oduye wears a dress by Donna Karan New York; earrings by De Beers. See complete credits. VANITY FAIR

Judging by all the well-deserved praise Pariah has received and her recent Vanity Fair magazine cover, we predict more roles for Adepero in 2012. Maybe famed novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie might cast her in her next book-to-film adaptation? Hint, hint! 

Cultural Pulse is a weekly feature celebrating talented influential African-Americans in the entertainment and fashion industry.