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Brown Skin Girl

I’m here to share with you some of my hacks to good skin, while saving your pocket from drowning in expenses!

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Brown Skin Girl
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4 Home Hacks to Good Skin

Joyliz Njenga

You’ve read the title and I know what you are probably thinking, and NO! These aren’t the lyrics to the Queen’s hit song. This, sis, is the cheat sheet to your perfect African skin.

We all know how our millennial influencers post their morning and night time skin routines; chanting “serums” this, and “tone with” that. To be quite honest, I weep silently while I watch, because I wouldn’t know where to get the products, and to hit the nail on the head, how would I even be able to afford the Fenty Beauty 3 set kit for your skin?

Enough of the gloom… let’s get to the glam. I’m here to share with you some of my hacks to good skin, while saving your pocket from drowning in expenses! Imagine that… a perfect natural glow, with no name dropping. Just you, and, your happy poreless skin so!

So, let’s get to it!

  • Brown sugar

Brown Sugar is one of the best exfoliators for the skin. The crystals help to remove dead skin, dirt, and excess oil left on the skin. Brown sugar is not abrasive and is good on sensitive skin. Using brown sugar, you can easily make your own homemade scrub. In your kitchen, just take 2 teaspoons of olive oil and half a lemon. Create your own sandy scrub and see how your brown skin turns into brown sugar just by using it 2 to 3 times a week.

Brown Skin Girl Asante Afrika
Brown Sugar
  • Baking soda, I got baking soda!!

You hear them speak about ‘Toners’. Well, here I am to give you the best affordable toner you have ever heard of – Baking Soda. This kitchen ingredient can be used to lighten the skin. Get me clear, I said ‘Lighten’ NOTBleach’. This ingredient corrects tone impurities on the skin gradually, and gives you a uniform skin tone. All you need is a tablespoon of baking soda and half a lemon. Create a paste twice a week and see wonders being worked.

Brown Skin Girl Asante Afrika
Baking Soda
  • Ms. Potato head

Potatoes are not only delicious, but they can also be used to correct dark circles under your eyes. No need to pound on the concealer if you have nothing to conceal. Just take a small potato, grate that yummy sucker while it’s raw, and apply under your eyes. You can use this method as often as you like, until you get the results that you want. 

Brown Skin Girl Asante Afrika
Grated Potatoes
  • Moisturise!

We have gone through scrubs and toners, now it’s time to moisturise, and its back to the kitchen. Olive oil is an essential asset. It is high in vitamin E, it is an antioxidant, and an anti-aging agent. Now tell me, who needs a serum? If you do apply makeup, this is also perfect. Olive oil can also be used to lift all the makeup off your skin.

Brown Skin Girl Asante Afrika
Virgin Olive Oil

I hope I have been of help. Go ahead and try these hacks, you won’t regret it!

In Frame 🖼 IG @karsiee.e
📸 Shot by IG @justshootitnana

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Lifestyle

Halloween Origins

“If Halloween had African roots, Africans today would call it ‘juju’ or ‘muti’ and it would not be celebrated.”

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Hazel Lifa

With Halloween having just passed, we take a look at its origins, and also how the celebrations are quickly gaining momentum in Africa.

Every year on the 31st of October is the esteemed costume celebration that is called Halloween. As more and more people start to celebrate this supposed American holiday, many do not know the actual origins of the holiday, and why it is heavily linked to death and all things undead. Many would be shocked to know that the holiday is linked to the Christian holiday ‘All Saints Day’. Scottish poet Robert Burns propelled the holiday’s popularity with his poem ‘Halloween’, written in the year 1785.

Halloween is said to have originated from the pre-Christian ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts occupied the region now known as United Kingdom, Ireland, and Northern France, and they lived 2000 years ago. The ancient society believed that the night before their new year, which was celebrated on the 1st of November, and which also marked the end of summer and the beginning of the cold and dark winter, the boundary between the living and the dead became blurred. Samhain was celebrated on the 31st of October, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

People would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off the spirits that were believed to cause trouble and damage crops. Celts also believed that the presence of these spirits made it easier for their priests to make predictions about the future. During the celebrations, people would dress in costumes typically consisting of animal skins and heads.

During the eighth century, Pope Gregory III made November 1st All Saints Day; soon, all saints integrated some of Samhain’s traditions. The evening before All Saints Day was known as All Hallows Eve, and with time, it grew to be called Halloween; a day filled with activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and eating treats.  

Halloween Origins Asante Afrika
All Saints Day

According to history, by the year 43A.D, the Roman Empire had occupied a large portion of the Celts’ territory. The Romans combine two of their holidays with the Samhain festival; Feralia which commemorated the passing of the dead and was celebrated in late October, and the second was the day of honouring Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. Pomona’s symbol is the apple, a possible explanation of the activity of bobbing for apples practiced on Halloween.

Over the centuries, the holiday has gone through a panel beating, removing the heavy notion of death associated with All Hallows Eve, and bringing to life the present idea of the holiday filled with costumes, parties, and scary decorations.  The American version of the holiday over recent years has been becoming popular globally, reaching even the shores of Africa. Halloween has been growing in popularity in African countries like South Africa and Ghana, which is baffling, considering Africa’s relationship with all things considered spooky and connected to witchcraft. 

With mob killings of any individual suspected of witchcraft still taking place; it is ironic that this holiday is even tolerated in Africa; it brings up the issue of western glorification. According to Ghanaian writer Akua Djanie, “If Halloween had African roots, Africans today would call it ‘juju’ or ‘muti’ and it would not be celebrated.” A sentiment true of authentic African behaviour when it comes to all things ghoulish or suspicious is usually ruled off as witchcraft, due to Africa’s close relationship with the supernatural.

Djanie also says, “If Halloween came to Ghana from Nigeria for example, Ghanaians would call it ‘juju’ evil, occult. Something never to be practiced! Ghanaians would have said:

Halloween Origins Asante Afrika“What? You want me, my husband and children, to go out dressed as ghosts, witches, and Satan? You want us to go to our neighbours and ask for a ‘treat’ for our children? If they don’t get a treat, we should advise our children to play a trick on our neighbour. Are you crazy?”

Africa is home to several festivals that share the same objective as Halloween such as the Wag /Paper Boat Festival from Egypt, Fancy Dress festival from Ghana, and Egungun Festival from Nigeria, to mention but a few. These festivals are treated with suspicion and seen negatively, yet share the same sentiments with this Halloween we are drawn to. Immersed in so much tradition of its own, Africa still takes to celebrating such Indo-European customs. It speaks volumes to how as Africans we view ourselves and traditions; some, yes, are outdated and should be toned down a bit, but should we forget them?   

Halloween Origins Asante Afrika
Egungun Festival – Nigeria
Halloween Origins Asante Afrika
Fancy Dress Festival Ghana

The US retail and candy (sweets) industries are booming around Halloween time with people purchasing candy to give away, and costumes not only for themselves but for their pets. The US National Retail Federation reports that Halloween spending for 2019 is as high as $8.8 Billion. A quarter of all candy sold in the US is purchased for Halloween. With revenue this high, it is understandable why Halloween is becoming popular globally, as it has become a tool for corporations to generate money, as Christmas time has for years.

Halloween Origins Asante Afrika
Halloween Origins

Africa is considered to be a huge untapped market by international companies; Halloween’s arrival will be accompanied by costumes, decorations, and many other gimmicks which one will just HAVE to purchase. No one is dictating how others have to live, but only asking that we have enlightened conversations about these new holidays that we are adopting.  The costume wearing is fun or course, and so are the parties that come with the holiday. We should address this suspicion of our traditions though, as it has a seemingly distant but plausible link to the core of the colonial rule of self-hatred instilled in many Africans.

Just something to think about… and with that said, to all those who were celebrating Halloween this year, Boo to you from our Crew, and here’s hoping you celebrated safely.

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Halloween Tales of Africa

It gets spookier; the rituals go as far as families opening up their loved ones’ resting places, and wrapping the remains in new cloth.

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Halloween Tales of Africa
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Rorisang Moyo

Hear me out… Halloween in Africa… A concept.

First things first, before we go forward with letting kids in Africa move around knocking door to door and trick-or-treating, one wonders how this would even play out… Imagine when you are expecting little children to collect sweets at your door; in comes Sbu from next door dressed in a superman costume, refuses to take some candy, and pulls out a gun. Boom! You’ve been mugged!

Not to say that getting mugged is a strictly African occurrence, but I would not recommend it in South Africa, for example. Imagine trying to explain to African aunties why you are wearing horns, or why you are wearing fangs. A headache!

Anyways, on to expanding the concept of Halloween through our African cultural practices, which are very real by the way, and would make for some interesting Halloween concepts… Here are a few bizarre African practices that would make an interesting horror movie:

The leopard society existed in Africa in the 18th century. These were a group of African men who practiced cannibalism, as they believed that it was a source of securing their power. They would kill westerners and slave traders, and eventually, they would also murder locals. They would dress up as leopards when they were killing people.

Halloween Tales of Africa Asante Afrika
The Leopard Society of West Africa

In South Sudan and Ethiopia, young girls stretch their lips. The process involves knocking out the bottom teeth to make space for a lip plate. In some societies, the size of the lip plate indicates the woman’s place in the societal hierarchy.

Halloween Tales of Africa Asante Afrika
Ataye Eligidagne, 20, dons a hardened clay lip disc, the largest in the world.

It is not all doom and bodily harm though. The African horror stories would make for a good laugh when it is time to tell spooky stories.

Legend has it that in some Zimbabwean neighbourhood, someone moved out of the neighbourhood with their house. Hear me out… the man packed his house in a suitcase, and went off to Malawi. Imagine the house next to yours disappearing! Your neighbour tells you that they are moving out tomorrow, then tomorrow comes and the house has completely disappeared as well. I don’t know if this is supposed to be a scary story, but it does make for some spooky content!

Mount Nyangani in Zimbabwe is a place that is viewed as sacred, and a place that harbours evil. When one goes hiking there, they are advised not to go to the sacred parts of the mountain. One is told that when they see a colourful snake, or a brick of gold, they should walk past and mind their own business. One is told not to wear red, or have any sexual activity, as to not anger the spirits. People report seeing trees with human faces. Some say that when they try to take pictures of certain objects, the pictures either aren’t processed, or some objects are absent from the picture. People are said to disappear on the mountain, like the two sisters who disappeared in 1981.

Similar to the celebration of Halloween is the Famadihana Festival, which is known as the turning of bones festival celebrated in Madagascar. The festival is referred to as a time to dance with the dead. Traditional healers and heads of families lead rituals to honour loved ones who have passed on. It gets spookier; the rituals go as far as families opening up their loved ones’ resting places, and wrapping the remains in new cloth. This is believed to be a method of keeping the house of the dead clean, and reconnecting with them.

Halloween Tales of Africa Asante Afrika
Famadihana Festival in Madagascar

Another story from the Matabeleland North Region of Zimbabwe is about a guy who was walking home at night. Despite him taking a familiar route, he felt as if the journey was getting longer and longer. He was found the next morning walking around a tree. He had been doing that for hours. Legend has it that you do not walk past that tree at night, or you will find yourself trapped under it all night.

Whereas Europe is filled with stories about Bigfoot and games like Bloody Mary and an Ouija board, we have stories like the cat that drives a taxi in Johannesburg, and the baboons that drive trucks for tired drivers over long distances. Let’s not even get started on Bulawayo’s “Jane the Ghost.” Africa is also host to an array of legendary monsters like Bigfoot; take Inkanyamba for instance; a huge carnivorous, eel-like creature, which originates from the Zulu and Xhosa people of South Africa. The creature controls the weather; talk about swag hey! Some might say all these stories have a rational explanation, but one thing remains true; they bring communities together, and people have stories to entertain themselves at night.

To those who celebrate Halloween in Africa, have a happy one and “Boo” to you and yours.

Lip Disc Image Source: https://julianafrancis.blogspot.com/2014/10/an-ancient-sign-of-beauty-designed-to.html

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Uganda, The Pearl of Africa – A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye

Ugandan citizen and gifted photographer Kagonyera Busingye shares some of his finest pictures of Uganda – the Pearl of Africa.

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What makes a pearl so precious? 

Precious Pearls are a rare find in Nature. Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is a rare find among the 50 plus countries found on the continent. Pearls are the only gems that are formed and located within a living creature. Uganda is that Gem found in the living creature called Africa.

Uganda is like an exceptional natural pearl created by Nature with no need for polishing or cutting by man. Uganda is, as has been said, “Gifted by Nature.”

Uganda boasts of stunning landscapes, crystal clear lakes, snow-capped mountains, tropical rain forests, semi-arid savannah, primates (especially the mountain gorillas which are only found in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda in Africa), birds and much more.

Ugandan citizen and gifted photographer and traveler Kagonyera Busingye, was delighted to share with us some of his finest pictures of the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda, The Pearl of Africa - A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye Asante Afrika
Kampala by Night
Uganda, The Pearl of Africa - A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye Asante Afrika
Bwebajja, Entebbe Road (Kampala) (an upmarket neighbourhood)
Uganda, The Pearl of Africa - A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye Asante Afrika
River Nile
Uganda, The Pearl of Africa - A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye Asante Afrika
Ssezibwa Falls (Located 35km East of Kampala in District of Mukono)
Uganda, The Pearl of Africa - A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye Asante Afrika
Nyakasura Falls, (Fort Portal)
Uganda, The Pearl of Africa - A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye Asante Afrika
Rubirizi District Tea Plantations
Uganda, The Pearl of Africa - A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye Asante Afrika
Mount Sabyinyo in the Virunga Mountains Vocanic Range
Uganda, The Pearl of Africa - A Photo Exhibition by Kagonyera Busingye Asante Afrika
Lake Mutanda (Kisoro District)

Follow Kagonyera on Twitter and Instagram, @buskago

Ref: https://kabiza.com/kabiza-wilderness-safaris/why-is-uganda-called-the-pearl-of-africa/

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