I got these images back a while back from a test shoot I did recently with photographer Larry Letters in San Luis Obispo, California. I took a minute to post these because I have traveling, I just got back: I literally shot these images right after my early morning class, no make up, ward or hair stylist. This was the first time I have ever shot portraits, the test shoot went well so we are lining up some more projects to work on. Check out more of photographer Larry Letters by visiting.
Have a wonderful and productive week Everyone. Xo Miss Santa Barbara
I was writing a history assignment for my African History Class, and it dawned on me that ever-since I came to the United States, I have changed the way I spell and pronounciate some words.
In Ugandan schools we are pretty much taught about European history, english, and math. It’s very strange that we are taught very little of African History in favor of European history. We get punished severely for speaking African languages, the main stream language used in schools is English, and if you speak any other language it’s abominable and calls for severe punishment.
No wonder my accent and writing gets mixed up. I’m conflicted on whether I should write colour or color: recognise or recognize, gonna or going, wanna or want: My dictionary doesn’t even recognise the European spellings and keeps underlining red over all the European words. No wonder my accent is all over the place it’s neither Afrikaans, European or American. I guess this is why I’m drawn to people who are more traveled or have lived in more than one continent. And as to my accent, I have decided that there is no right or wrong- I embrace it all.
I leave you with this image from the Cayman Islands. And remember to be yourself just because it sucks being anybody else.
This women’s day is dedicated to all women around the world; especially the single mothers. The pain, effort, and hard work you put into raising your children doesn’t go unnoticed. I can definitely relate, even though my mother is now happily married, she raised me, and my siblings as a single mother. We traveled with her everywhere she went from Europe, and eventually to the U.S. Always in search of a better life and opportunities for us. I never used to understand it all as a child, it was like a disney movie to me; and I sure enjoyed the traveling, partly because I didn’t have to care about the behind scenes stuff; — like the sacrifices she had to make for us to have that good life. But as I got older, I understood, and still I can’t figure out how she did it. Everyday I strive to be half the woman she is.
Because of all my mother’s struggle, hard-work, perseverance, dedication, and determination over the years. I dedicate this post to all the single mothers out there.Some of you may think that your kids don’t get it because they are too young, I’m here to tell you that they do. When I look back I remember all the things my mother did for us and sacrifices she made. I may not have understood it as a child but as I got older it definitely clicked: I believe that my strong mind, hard work, determination, and drive to succeed were because of the wisdom that my mother passed down to me. Seeing her overcome tremendous challenges in life has a made me a strong believer that there is nothing impossible if one is willing to put in the work.
Single mothers your work doesn’t go unnoticed, and to all married women raising children including working, and stay home mum’s. Your are celebrated every day, HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY.
I made the above collage of the whole family, we are really blessed, and we awe it to our mother who never gave up and kept climbing mountains.
More family pics below:
This weekend while navigating through my hectic schedule and the heavy rain drops at the Central Coast and Los Angeles. I had an opportunity to be back in L.A in time for my girlfriend’s birthday celebration at the Andaz Hotel aka R.H in Westhollywood. I decided to rock my natural afro in celebration of my African Heritage.
As much as I love lacefronts, and hair extensions, I decided to go natural. As I have gotten older, I feel more empowered as an African woman, I have more confidence when it comes to my culture, who I’m and where I came from and I love myself even more. I love celebrating my African uniqueness, my afro and natural beauty. Therefore In celebration of my Heritage I decided to rock my natural afro, I believe this is the beginning of many more natural afro days to come. Happy Oscar weekend:
Here are some pics of me before stepping out to celebrate with some friends.
Below are some more pics with the birthday girl and selfie’s: Hope you are all having an amazing weekend. Xo Miss Santa Barbara.
I had a talk with one of my college mates today. In my eyes she is super woman and a go getter. she has traveled more than most, she is a leader at my college, she is part of a fraternity and has to always make events, email people and pretty much make things happen in-addition to keeping up with social life, homework etc. It can get pretty hectic: It made me think of my own life and how frantic it is on a daily basis. I can honestly say that I don’t even know how I get things done. Ever since I took on the title for Miss Santa Barbara which is such an amazing blessing and I feel completely honored to have this title: But I wish had more time to prepared for it.
Wake Up Call!!!!! for all those considering joining a beauty pageant competition, get your sleeves up because it’s not just all about looking pretty, no no no!!!!!!! there is actually a lot of work involved. As Miss Santa Barbara there is so much that I have to do, I have to meet up with politicians in my local community i.e mayor, and other Representatives of local community, go to public community hearings, so that I hear the concerns of the people, I also have to do as much charity as I can possibly get done in my community and sometimes partnering up with other Pageant Girls to support causes: In addition to fundraising.
As a beauty Pageant title holder you have to be at your utmost behavior otherwise that title can stripped from you just like gone with the wind. So whatever you do, you Kinda of have to think twice, for example before I held this title I didn’t mind taking a pic holding a drink or glass of wine and now it’s turbo: If I’m holding a drink I will immediately put the drink down before the camera flashes. You actually sign a contract to be utmost behavior, the moment you say I do to that Pageant title: Because you are representing a whole city and county, the people that live there, the politicians, e.t.c: So it’s not about you anymore. In other words like the British would say “Lady Manners”.
I have to go to events and make appearances- this is a must for networking reasons: And let’s not forget all the time and efforts the publicist puts in to make things happen. which is always fun but in my case the events are always in Los Angeles and hence not my place of residence. I moved to the central coast which is between San francisco and Los Angeles: Pretty much between Northern and Southern California. Three hours from Los Angeles: That’s how much I drive every-time I go to an event, I’m so used to the drive now it’s a breeze. Thank God it’s scenic route too that helps too, views of ocean and mountain. I kinda look forward to it every time.
Furthermore I’m a pre-law student which comes with so much reading, assignment after assignment.The reading never stops. I seriously go to bed with a book in my hand. I never seem to put books down. I parted my ways with Television a long time ago. But I still get billed for direct T.V. If I turn the T.V on I feel little bit of guilt: So I don’t turn it on. And Frankly unless I’m watching HGTV like property brothers or some real estate show, I prefer to use my time to read, there is so much of it: I may as well get it done and over with it. I’m so squeezed with time even finding moments to hang with my friends has to be on a calculated timetable down to every second. To solve this problem I have made it a point to invite my friends to the events I go if they live in Los Angeles and if they live at the central coast walking with me to library, or escorting each other to the parking lot, library or even just studying together is time well spent.
I don’t get a day off. But I that’s okay. I have this notion that I will rest when I die. As long as I’m still alive: I want to do the best that I can while I still can: After all even the greatest kings of kings couldn’t live forever. Even though I still feel like there is so much more to get done. I like how Malcolm X put it in his biography on educating himself in prison. “I read until the lights go out in prison, and that is about 3am. I only sleep for four hours. I have no need for sleep, I slept so much while I still in the streets”.
For those who are considering going a beauty pageant competition you can email me questions: I will gladly discuss how I’m handling my journey. If you have been in pageant competition and you have had a different experience share your comments. Or if you are a busy bee and you feel like me: let me know.
see you all on my next blog. Until then spread love.
Below are a few images from a shoot I did recently in San luis Obispo. With Photographer Preston Johnson and Make -Up Artist Mj Johnson. The Shoot included a few pieces from Alonys Art designs. You can check out some of her designs at http://www.shreadbyalonys.com. If link doesn’t open, copy and paste into URL. The gold band around my hair is actually a necklace from Greece. Happy Weekend Lovers.
Hope you are living out your dreams. Yours Truly Miss Santa Barbara Xo
I love this quote from Augustine of Hippo: “The World is a book and those who do not Travel read only a page”. Another Scholar was said that if you want to learn about the world, don’t read what other people write but travel and find out for yourself. I’m not trying to preach here but I have encountered quite a number of people who have never traveled, or even left their state. I can only imagine how much these people are missing out, I’m so grateful for my mother who gave us an opportunity to travel to Europe as kids and reside their, experiencing the culture, and people. And as an adult I have made it a point to travel around the world. I also believe these are the sparks that come with being single. The fact that you can jump on a plane without having to worry about babies or anything else. So why Travel?
When I take an inventory of how I have learnt about history of late, traveling is the first thing that comes to my mind. The Classroom is a great place to learn about history. But sometimes we tend to romanticize about countries and places that we have just read about in books. After doing some traveling around the world and living in three different continents. I believe the best way to learn about history, culture and people’s traditions is by traveling. For example reading about Roma Italia or Greece is not the same as actually visiting the place. I know I’m guilty about romanticizing a place according to what I have read regarding that particular place or country.
Before I went to Greece and Italia for example, I romanticized about these two countries, the kind of people that lived there, the culture, and traditions. I almost dreamed that Zeus was walking among them and I know this is going to sound cliché and very ignorant but I literally thought the Greeks had this Greek god blood in them and that they were the most beautiful — angel-like creatures that God ever made. Until I went to Athens, Delos, Mykonos and Santorini, It dawned on me that the Greeks were just humans and not god-like. They had regular problems just like us here in the United States. In fact in Athens right now there are so many problems, the street buildings are filled with graffiti everywhere—after spending some time there. The virgin romanticized image I had about Greece and Italy was forever erased from my mind. Point is the best way to learn about History in my opinion is by traveling. Yes documentaries are very good especially in places that not friendly to travel to, for example North Korea- or Zimbabwe and other places around the around that are not safe or tourist friendly, instead of risking your life to go to these countries. By all means watch a documentary, that is the next best thing to traveling. But just learning about History alone in the Classroom or reading what other Historians have written in my opinion is just not enough. Travel and find out for your self- it will be a life changing experience.
Live the life you have always wanted, Wish it, Dream it, Do it.
Happy New Year Lovers. It’s been about 10 years now since I landed in the amazing sunny southern California. And as I approach 2014 I can’t help but be grateful for the wonderful things that I have accomplished in 2013. I feel so blessed and grateful to God for giving me the strength to do what I need to do and providing opportunities that have come my way. Life is really all about following your dreams and never giving up on vision but also embracing the opportunities which ever way they come.
You can’t just dream about the kind of life you want, you have to go out there and pursue that life. In most cases your vision will require a hefty down payment, and making many sacrifices, but then again life is about taking risks. If you never take a risk for your goals and the kind of life you envision yourself having, you will always stay in a dream.
Enough about that, here are a few images I just received from the weekend shoot I did with photographer Paolino, More will be up soon. I have worked with Paolo for a very long time now. I truly appreciate his technique of shooting, the model/photographer chemistry we share that is able to capture my inner soul and bring it to life via photography is amazing. As a model I have worked with many photographers, and I know how important it is to have a great flow of model/photographer chemistry in-order to get the perfect image.
Half way through the shoot we realized that the sash was up side down.. ..awwwww—– all the hours of shooting had gone down the drain. I decided to use the images anyway.
Check out some of Paolino’s Photography work at http://about.me/pcphoto. You can also contact him for a shoot, his rates are pretty reasonable for L.A standards. Did I also mention that his work was highly praised by directors at the Beverly hills Casting in Los Angeles. I know Los Angeles has many talented photographers, and Paolino is definitely one of them. Enjoy and God Bless.
Life the life you have always wanted: Wish it, Dream it, Do it.
Hey Guys today’s blog is about my travels to Italia ( Italy). The reviews here are completely based on my opinion and experience. This Blog is a response to some of the questions people asked on Facebook about blacks in Italia.
First of all let me start by stating that I really enjoyed my visit to Italia and I look forward to going back. With that said, I was really shocked to see all the African/Black People hustling on the streets- by that I mean that many black people were selling merchandise on the streets, some were selling handbags or Jewelry. Most Black-People I encountered spoke fluent Italia. Some didn’t even know English, so that tells me that most of them were born in Italia. I have to state however that Italia has a huge problem with illegal immigration from Northern and other parts of Africa.
I encountered a few more black people who were doormen at Hotels. Keep in mind that these were all Black Males. So I really don’t know what type of Jobs Black women are doing in Italia.This blog may sound unpleasant, I’m just writing what I saw and encountered, if you have traveled to Italia and you have a different prospective, you can leave your comments below.
Everywhere else that I went ,I only encountered only white- Italians behind the counter in shopping stores, banks, to restaurants. The cities I visited were Roma ( Rome), Napoli ( Naples), Sorrento, and Amalfi Coast. I don’t know if there is a lot of Racism in Italy, I didn’t encounter it and I wasn’t there long enough either. I only saw a few Asians in Rome. An Italian friend of mine whose home is in Genoa-Italy, told me that most immigrants who come to Italia are from Africa or Eastern Europe.
Also in Roma and Most Tourist places, the chefs were from Bangladesh. But I was told again from an Italian native that it’s only in Tourist areas. Other-than the lack of Racial Equality in Italia, I had a fun time- and I look forward to going back.
Apart from the racial inequality in italia, it’s a very beautiful place, full of culture, respectful and nice people. There is so much to do and see, I definitely couldn’t do it all in a month’s visit. If you are planning to visit make-sure you go to Amalfi Coast and Sorrento. I didn’t enjoy Napoli that much but Roma was definitely lots of fun. There is no place in the World like the Amalfi Coast . Also make-sure you are not on a diet- they seriously have the best food in Italia. I went during September so the weather was perfect. I look forward to exploring more of the Mediterranean Europe in the near future. Also keep in mind that most Italians don’t care for English, so try to learn a few words, you will get a more pleasant response when you try to find directions and more respect if you speak some Italian.
This post was about Italia. I will posting more on Greece( mykons, Santorini, Athens and Delos.) and Instanbul- Turkey; Ciao.
Under the Tuscan Sun:
Check out short Youtube Video of Sorrento Italia. Copy and paste into URL.