12 April 2014

Les Sapeurs

Somewhere deep in the capital of the French Congo, Brazzaville, there are a fascinating group of men that live an ordinary life by day, but when work is over and it comes to their social life, an extreme transformation takes place that will be blow your mind. They are a group of men of no particular age, who are known for their exquisite sense of style. Known locally as the Sapeurs, they stand out in their regalia, conspicuous manner of walking, looking very dapper and flamboyant like the peacock.

Their style, which leans towards a very French sophistication, is said to have been adopted from the French colonies and has been passed on from generation to generation. The Sapeurs fashion culture is not restricted to Congo, but is said to be spread over Africa, quite prominently in Cape Town too.

These men work hard in the day, and are not necessarily well off, but it's not all about money. They are known to be a close-knit clan and brotherhood that are happy to share their resources, making sure everybody is turned out well.

The Sapeurs when dressed up, are said to be the epitome of classy society, portraying an exquisite display of etiquette and decorum. They have become extremely popular with the local folk who enjoy their frivolity and treat them like local heroes and celebrities.

The new Guinness advert (2014), features the Sapeurs in a colourful celebration of this French Congolese style and elegance. It gives a positive insight into the backgrounds of these men who parade their culture with pride. Most of them were born into it and expect their sons to follow in their footsteps.
"It is widely believed that the first Sapeur was  Andre Grenard Matsou -who lived for a period in Paris and worked for the French army. Matsou fought for human rights and freedom from the colonial powers and as such achieved fame as a revolutionary, prophet and consequently- a national hero.

Known as the first ‘Grand Sapeur’, he was said to have returned from Paris in 1922 and, was the first Congolese to dress as an authentic Frenchman and not in traditional African robes, initially caused indescribable uproar among his fellow countrymen followed by subsequent admiration." - Ourafrica
Watch the 2014 Guinness commercial here:

Here's more about the men inside the suits:

A group of distinguished gentlemen, Dandies with loads of swagger.

10 April 2014

You are love.

You are made of all the things that make me smile, and I discover something new to smile at, every time I’m with you.

Your presence wraps me up in its warmth, a warmth that spreads through my being until it manifests itself in the twinkle of my eyes, and in the deepening of my very own smile.

Your smile comforts me, and tells me that there is so much more of you, waiting for me to explore.

Your eyes burn like fire and penetrate my heart, melting all the ice away, the remnants of yesterday, when I was cold and lonely, until you came and found me.

Your voice makes me tingle, and like a soft jingle in my ears I eagerly respond as it caresses my body, drawing me closer to you.

Your touch makes me tremble, and I begin to wish for all the things I never knew existed, before you and your kiss.

Your kiss is heavenly bliss, as I taste the essence of this…this love.

8 April 2014

Catching up with my sister-friends.

Image source: Clifford Bailey - Ladies Night.
After being MIA for sooo long, I finally broke the mould last weekend and met up with a few friends for a catch-up. One of them had flown in from the US for work related stuff but the three others are all based here in the UK, with two of them living local to me, but we hadn't seen each other for a very long time.

Sometimes you meet people and you just click, there's no pressure or hidden agenda involved because the bond comes from a place that is genuine and you find yourselves easing into a relationship that could last a lifetime. These are the type of friends that can see all your goodness, beauty and flaws but still accept you anyway.

I have met many people in my lifetime, and I can truly say that these special types of people are few and far in-between, so when you do find the right kind of people who make you feel loved, you should keep them in your life. Let them understand that you value them too, because it's all about give and take.

So the five of us got together, one of us playing host, we brought our bottles and ordered take-out. It felt so good to just sit and talk, there was so much laughter but we still managed to open up about some of the more serious stuff in our lives, and offer advice to each other.

The truth is that none of us are perfect, and no one is an expert, but we all bring something unique into the mix, and in the end we are still able to draw strength from each other.

It didn't matter that we had only been in touch via social media, Skype or text over the months, but we were able to pick up where we had left off and it seemed as if we had never been apart. It was easier to revert because we have known each other for so long now, that we almost feel like sisters.

I came away feeling so relaxed and wondering why I had stayed away for so long. Then I had to remind myself that I have had too many encounters with the other types of relationships that have left a lasting impression, and can almost put you off making friends for life.

So in closing, I am reminded that it's so important for us to be the type of person you would like to be friends with. Cherish your friendships, and in doing so, you gain new family.

7 April 2014

TNP Waistbeads - New for April 2014

Akopo Waist Beads 14A11 (green + limegreen + turquoise)
I always do my best to keep my designs as simple as possible because there is so much beauty in simplicity.   In keeping with this, the designs for April are very streamlined but equally elegant.

This single strand set of waistbeads consist of a mixture of green, lime green and turquoise glass beads. Also includes some yellow lime-green mother of pearl shell oval beads. A beautiful Jasper oval bead in green-black is used as the centerpiece. To fit sizes 22-40 inches.

'Akopo' means to 'show off' in the Yoruba dialect, and this simple but stunning piece was made specifically for this purpose. 

For this piece, the beads are strung onto beading wire and include a gold or silver plated clasp.

Available to buy online now.

If you prefer a custom made set of waistbeads please feel free to contact me for a free consultation. Email: info@tnpwaistbeads.co.uk

5 April 2014

Announcing the Winner for the March Giveaway

Congratulations to Maria B. who has won the March Giveaway. Well done! Please respond to the email with the relevant details so we can send your prize.

Winner was selected using Random.Org. 

Thanks to all those who participated. The next giveaway will be around June, so please keep an eye out for the details closer to the time.
Remember, you must be in it to win it :)


1 April 2014

Living a Fasted life 2014 - Day 86

As my fasting continues, I have become super alert and aware of the unnecessary things I have included in my life. Unnecessary people, things and situations that I have allowed to undermine the person God wants me to be.

Sometimes we hold unto unnecessary things, out of pure habit or the fear of letting go. If God opens doors for us, he can also shut doors behind us. Some things are just not meant to be dragged through the new open doors, but must be left behind, so that there is room to accommodate the new.

I have made up my mind to disassociate myself from anything, person or situation that does not fall in line with God's purpose for my life for today. I will not rely or hold on to yesterday's stale anointing. It's a new day and I look forward to a fresh anointing for today and for a time like this. 

Just like the manna that fell from heaven to feed the Israelites (Exodus 16), under God's provision and specific instruction it was sufficient for the day, but could not be stored until the next because it became stale.