ARTICLE

 ESIMBI in Kinshasa: how the charity is pushing for arts and culture in education.

 ESIMBI in Kinshasa: how the charity is pushing for arts and culture in education.

ESIMBI believes that there has never been a better time to instill the values of arts and culture in the lives of children and young adults. It is especially important now, as the education system in Congo is not doing significantly enough to develop the talents of the young Congolese population. The world is in a constant state of change; schools need new accountability measures and often struggle to reach the minimum requirements to educate their students.

For Congo to advance, we must do thing differently, financial and institutional capital have been the focal points of education and for addressing society’s challenges. Perhaps changing the way we look at things and take a more creative approach will most definitely have a different social impact. And, this is where the arts and culture are necessary in the Congolese curriculum.

 

 

Arts and culture nurtures and sparks the cognitive ability to imagine, and unleashes creativity and innovation, letting people think differently, develop differently and solve problems differently. Arts and culture is known to breaks barriers, connect people across cultural differences, and engage people who share the same values and skills. There is no investment that brings people closer together and moves people to action more than arts and culture.

The arts sector in Congo is very silent and invisible, so pushing schools away from arts subjects is the norm. There has also been relatively little public discussion of the way that arts and culture or creative learning might need to shift and change in order to play a role in the Congolese education system.

 

 

Article 31 of the UN Convention on the rights of the child states that– All children to be able to participate freely in cultural life and the arts – without providing ‘first access’ at the very least within the school system, how can a Congolese child, understand and develop artistically? The reality is, if the nurturing of arts and creativity is left to families and informal institutes, the Congolese arts and culture sector cannot and will not thrive.

What is ESIMBI doing?

Focusing our efforts on strategies that foster real collaboration—finding the best ways to leverage existing partnerships, work around them where they get in the way, and eliminate them when there is no growth or progress.

Identify the stakeholders who must join, support, and advocate for solutions—we must reach beyond the “choir” to find the right and best people that we can work with and advocate our cause.

We urge Congolese people and Congolese organisations to get out of their own way. Often we are too busy trying to rally people that we are not identifying any solutions (programs, structures, policies, practices, and financial models) that might be outside our comfort zone.

We learn from others and ourselves—a great deal of thinking and work goes into what we do and it shows in the results that we yield.

 

0Z7A7099

 

We know and understand that it will be hard and will take a long-term commitment—this is a meticulous task. The political challenges, economic constraints, competing interests, priority gaps, and complexities are all real and significant challenges.

Ultimately, we must act now. Congo is unstable and has been for some time. We do not need or want to be another African study or statistic. Yet this is the time for substantial challenges that can lead to significant reforms and investments in Congo but only if we have a game changing approach which can transform the country.

What you need to know about your skin and the skincare staples.

What you need to know about your skin and the skincare staples.

Assessing your skin type is necessary for creating an effective skin care routine. It’s important to know where you fall in the spectrum of possibilities because skincare products are specifically designed to work for certain skin types.

How to find out what kind of skin you have?

1 / OILY

Shiny, slick, often thick skin.

Absorbs powder readily and begs for more.

Large pores on the T-zone (forehead, nose and cheeks).

Oil-based moisturizers are not absorbed by the skin.

 

 2 / DRY

Dull, thin and flaky skin.

Quickly becomes chapped and parched.

Soaks up moisture and thirsts for more.

Pores may appear virtually invisible.

Fine lines and wrinkles are more apparent.

 

3 / COMBINATION

Combination is skin is characterized as either combination-oily or combination-dry.

Having otherwise normal skin with an oily t-zone is characteristic of combo-oily skin.

Normal skin that sometimes experiences dryness is indicative of combo-dry skin.

 

4 / NORMAL

Skin is naturally moisturized without looking too dry or oily.

Does not require additional oil control or hydration throughout the day.

Pores do not appear to be overly large or extremely small.

 

shutterstock_590528576

 

Each of the basic types of skin is both a blessing and a curse. If you have oily skin, you have your own natural moisturizer and less tendency toward wrinkles. But you’ll have more of a tendency toward acne and larger pores.

If you have dry skin, you’ll have a greater tendency toward wrinkles but much less tendency toward acne and large pores. There’s something positive about each skin type.

Black skin tends to be more often have combination and oily skin. The Key to taking care of your skin correctly is making sure that you are aware of your skin type and treat it accordingly. Therefore, having the right products that work with your skin type will have you looking great every day.

This does not mean that you fully need to change your skin care routine. If you have staples that work keep them. But what all the skin types have in common is that they need skin care essentials. Here are skin care products that have proven useful over the years with good science to be beneficial for your skin.

CLEANSERS

Using a cleanser for 30 seconds a day not only has a therapeutic effect on your skin but is also good enough to wash away the dirt and harshness of every day weather. Contrary to popular beliefs, your skin does not have to feel squeaky clean in order to be clean.

MOISTURISERS

Moisturisers are worth using especially if you have dry skin, they will help you prevent fine lines and improve the appearance of your skin over time. Here are my tips on how to get the most out of your moisturizer:

  • If you have oily skin, use a moisturizer like a gel that will hydrate (add water to) your skin but won’t add more oil.
  • If you have normal skin, use a lotion or light cream.
  • If you are very dry, use a heavy cream that takes a minute or two to absorb into your skin. Apply it more frequently than once or twice a day.
  • Everyone should use a moisturizer around their eye area and on their necks, because we all have very few oil glands in those areas.
  • If you’re oily through the T-zone area, just use your moisturizer on your eye area, your cheeks, and your neck.

 

shutterstock_324717266

SUNSCREENS

Although the melanin in black skin does give some protection, the environment has changed and it is affecting the efficiency of the natural sun block.

Although people with dark skin may not sunburn as easily as those with fair skin, they are still at risk of skin damage from excessive sun exposure.

People with light skin types have a much higher incidence of skin cancer than people with dark skin types. But having dark skin is not a guarantee against skin cancer.

Sunscreen is the most important product you can use on your skin every day. It should be at the top of your list of skin care essentials.

The more damage to your skin cells from sunlight that you can prevent, the better your skin will be for years to come. If you have pre-teen or teenage children, particularly if you live in a sunny climate, encourage them to start using sunscreen on their faces everyday.

Sunscreens and sun protection are the single best way to prevent prematurely aged skin, age spots, brown spots, leathery-looking skin, and the deadly skin cancer, melanoma. In fact, melanoma is the biggest cause of cancer deaths among kids in their twenties. Choose a sunscreen based on your skin type, your climate, and the intensity of your sun exposure.

  • For oily skin, choose a powder or very light lotion for your sunscreen.
  • For normal skin, choose a lotion or a light cream, and for dry skin, a rich cream.
  • For mature and drier skin, look for a sunscreen that adds some repair to it.

That is a lot of information but remember that skin is not only the biggest organ in the human body it is as vulnerable, on your face especially, as the rest of your organs. So, whilst you make sure that you have healthy heart, liver and kidney, do not forget to take care of your skin also.

Article by Gaelle Mokoy for ESIMBI magazine

Kuba textile from Congo DRC

Kuba textile from Congo DRC

Here I present my styling for the Kuba textile from Congo DRC. I got the material from the local artisan’s market and met with my cousin’s seamstress. She made a few belts for me and I am so happy with them.I previously shared the story of the tribe who makes them. I look forward to your comments.

 

Advertisements

What to do to impress your future boss and be prepared for that interview.

What to do to impress your future boss and be prepared for that interview.

How to prepare yourself for an interview? What to do to impress your future boss.

You’ve taken the time to look at the job specifications and decided to apply.  They’ve now contacted you back after looking at your impressive CV and have scheduled an interview with you. If you follow these steps you will always be prepared for an interview either face to face, over the phone or skype.

CHOOSE A NICE AND CLEAN OUTFIT WITH A SHIRT

RIGHT: YES    LEFT : NO

 

Before the interview

Regardless of the type of interview you’re preparing for, research and planning are key. One question that a recruiter will always ask you is why you applied to work for their company. Saying that you need money or that you were bored at home is simply not going to cut it.

Generally, you should:

  • Consider how you’ll explain problematic aspects of your career, such as gaps in your work history if you have any.
  • Identify the skills, interests and experiences that the organisation is looking for by looking at its website and social media channels. Look at the skillset desired for the job role and match them to your experience and roles. If it is a graduate role match the skillset to what you have learnt on your course.
  • Plan your journey in advance, aiming to arrive ten minutes before your interview is scheduled.
  • Prepare answers to common interview questions, as well as your own questions to ask at the interview.
  • Find out about the people who’ll interview you. If you haven’t had time to do a quick check on LinkedIn, add a few questions about their current career at the organisation.
  • Research the issues, trends and opportunities affecting the organisation and the wider industry and how you think your skillset will make the organisation stand out from the rest.

During the interviews

An interview is all about the recruiter and potential manager trying to get a feel and an understanding for you and how you will fit into the company’s style and culture. Winning interview techniques include:

  • Positivity – Be well-mannered with any staff you meet before or after the interview. During the interview, avoid talking about any personal problems unless completely necessary (such as clarifying issues in employment gaps), and never badmouth your previous employers.
  • Body language – Give a firm handshake to your interviewer(s) before and after the session. Once you’re seated, sit naturally without slouching in your chair or leaning on the desk. Throughout the interview, remember to smile frequently and retain eye contact.
  • Clarity – Give clear and concise answers, waffling will show that you are nervous. Evidence each answer with your most relevant skills, experiences and achievements. It is ok to pause before answering a difficult question to give yourself thinking time, or asking for clarification if, at first, you’re unsure what the question means.
  • Enthusiasm – The interview is not just about your skills. It is also about you. It’s important that you allow your personality to shine throughout, as well as ask thought-provoking questions at appropriate moments.

After the interview

When leaving the organisation, let the interviewer know that you’re available to answer any follow-up questions. If you feel things went particularly well, you could email the interviewer the next day, thanking them for their time. In this email perhaps add any extra information that you think the recruiter would like to know such as your availability and chosen working hours (if a shit patterns was advised).

In most cases, the organisation will now have enough evidence to make their decision.

Don’t worry if you don’t get the job. Simply ask the recruiter for feedback, and build upon that to give an even better interview at the next occasion.

 

IMG_4261

 

11 advice to consider before you kiss 2018 Goodbye?

11 advice to consider before you kiss 2018 Goodbye?

The general mood at the end of 2018 was quite funny to me…

People all seem to struggle with the same things, bad relationships, whom to cut lose or keep in 2019, society’s opinion, finances, drama, anxiety, doubts and fear. We probably would all relate on a quote saying ” May your social media life be as good as your real one for this coming year. ”

For the first time, someone really close to me tried to commit suicide and this simply affected me in ways I didn’t comprehend. But it also showed me how miserable I was feeling by forcing myself to do things that no longer made me happy. It is hard to be honest with ourselves more than it ever was. Hard to keep the noise out with all the social media frenzy. We kinda all are living the painful life of celebrities, trying to keep up with apparences. We are buying into fake friends and fake lives even if we dont realise it straight away, unless you live in the village I grew up in :), they really don’t care about none of these and I almost envy them sometimes…

KEEP IT SIMPLE, KEEP IT REAL

 

What is the truth? Is social media bad for our health and mental wellness, or is it actually helping us to cope by dreaming and portraying the life we really want?

Tricky isn’t? Unless you believe in the “Fake it until you make it” motto of course.

This year has been challenging for me and all I wanted was to find my peace. I make to do list all year long, so new year resolutions are nothing special.

Here are the things I would like to work on to achieve that:

1/  Give up overthinking, procrastinating and holding grudges ( yeah… )

2/  Don’t raise your voice, improve your arguments

3/  Quit holding on to the past or even pleasing everyone 

4/  Do what works for you at your own pace

5/  Don’t be afraid to fail, fall or love again. This is the only way to learn more and do better

6/  Focus on progress not speed

7/  Keep your private life private

8/  Spend time with your family 

9/  Do what you are passionate about as much as possible

10/  Unfollow anything that doesn’t go with your vision

11/  Travel, Travel, Travel. The world is such a beautiful place and there is no excuse to not explore it nowadays.

All these because six months of hardcore focus and alignement can put you 5 years ahead in life. Don’t underestimate the power of consistency and desire. In life, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. That’s the truest  cliché you will read today.

 

FAMILY SELFIES ON MY BDAY

FAMILY PORTRAIT

 

 

What not to miss on your next trip to Kinshasa!

What not to miss on your next trip to Kinshasa!

My holiday in the Democratic Republic of Congo this year was a full on trip. I had such a tight schedule for 2 weeks but for the first time, I also had help from a friend.

As you may have seen on my previous posts about the waterfalls in Zongo and the national park of N’Sele, I really lived my free time as a tourist and it was beyond my expectations. I just wanted to do a separate post about my travel diary and the places I went to in the capital, Kinshasa. A little city guide for you if I may 🙂

Restaurant Chez Pierra

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-36-15

 

The Artisan’s market: Art

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-36-19

Hotel: Fleuve Congo

 

 

 

Family visit: Private properties

 

 

Celebrity meeting: Footballers Emmanuel Eboue and Marcel Tisserand

 

 

Tv interview for KIN 24

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-36-26-4

 

Gala night to honour African footballers

organised by Singer Mohombi

 

 

Street Style

 

 

 

 

Restaurant River

 

What should you do with a day to spend in Sharm El Sheikh?

What should you do with a day to spend in Sharm El Sheikh?

A day in Egypt…..

My first time staying in Egypt more than a few hours has finally arrived. I landed at 2am on Monday 10th December and the airport was deserted. Fabulous. 🙂 No queue for the passport check, no queue for nothing.

My car was booked and waiting for me outside. A lovely man had my name on a board to take me where I stayed, the Cleopatra luxury resort and it was so beautiful!!!! Much better than the google pictures I saw when trying to do my research. The hotel was only 15 minutes away so a very easy ride.

So a picture is sometime better than a thousand words so here’s my travel diary.

Cleopatra Luxury Hotel

The sea and the God

IMG_6448

Cleopatra Luxury resort in Sharm El Sheikh is a beach front resort located in the Sinai peninsula in the amazing Nabq Bay. The bay is on a promontory overlooking the straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.

IMG_6446

 

Poolside

IMG_6470

The beach

 

South Sinai desert

IMG_6485

 

IMG_6507

IMG_6533

IMG_6506

4 steps to great looking skin under your makeup 

4 steps to great looking skin under your makeup 

How to prepare your skin for makeup

Applying makeup to enhance your features should be an easy, safe and fun experience. However, if the skin underneath is not in good health the makeup will look dull, patchy and unattractive. You need to prepare the face for makeup to obtain a radiant, flawless and immaculate look for yourself.

Before starting talking about makeup application you should first know the skin very well, so doing a skin analysis is important. One thing you need to know is that your skin changes over time and that it will mature and change over time.

Doing a skin analysis every 6 months to a year and updating your skincare routine for optimum skin health is important. This is an essential rule as makeup means enhancing your best features, a skin analysis will therefore help you know what products to use to achieve this. Follow these cardinal rules before applying makeup onto your face to achieve a perfect complexion.

woman girl beauty mask
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

1. Cleansing

This helps to remove all traces of dirt from the skin’s surface. This should be your first step in preparing your face before applying make-up. All you need to do is gently massage the cleanser over your face and neck using fingertips and be sure to rinse it off well with warm water or cold water (in the summer for cooling effect, and also tightens your pores).

  • If you have an oily skin, choose gentle and oil-free cleansers, while for a dry skin, cleansers that moisturise the skin are the best choice, and cleansers that soothe and heal the skin for sensitive skin.

2. Toning

This is great for removing excess oils, dirt and grim of your face. It is good if you have oily skin to do this extra step to prepare your face for a full day of wearing makeup. Because the face deals with every external factor from cold to rain, the dead cells need to be removed before applying makeup.

  • Face toners are also known as skin conditioners i.e. removes any traces left by cleansing as well as tighten pores. Toners with high alcohol content are great for oily skin, whilst mild toner are for sensitive skin, while if you have dry skin it is not necessary to use face toners.

 

person pouring plastic tube bottle
Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

3. Moisturising

The daily routine will keep the skin prepped up all the time, not just for makeup. Use a moisturising that is suitable for your skin type and hydrates the skin all day. This will give your skin a smooth even surface to apply makeup on.

  • Makeup is best applied on moisturised skin. Apply face cream on wet skin as the skin will absorb more cream. Try to use a face cream with sun protection factor if you do not have a sunscreen that you use daily. Moisturisers with SPF 50 are usually recommended.

4. Priming

This helps the skin fill in any pores, minimise them as well as provide an extra barrier between the foundation and the skin leaving it extra smooth to apply makeup on. For best results, use a primer that contains silicone as this will act as a protective barrier that prevents your moisturiser and skin’s oils from combining with your makeup.

  • Not everyone likes primer, so using moisturiser alone can also work, however if you would still like to have an extra layer of protection a skin prepping spray is also good.

Now that you have properly prepared your face before applying make-up, you can begin to use foundation and the rest of your favourite products on your newly clean, even skin.

By properly preparing your skin for make-up, you are sure to achieve a radiant, even finish for your make-up. Your face is a canvas and just like any piece of art, the products won’t sit well unless you do a bit of ground work.

 

assorted cololr lipsticks
Photo by Free Creative Stuff on Pexels.com

Is the Congolese community ready for the Art industry to prosper?

Is the Congolese community ready for the Art industry to prosper?

The answer is YES!

PHOTO-2018-11-10-11-47-37-1

On November 9th, I attended the exhibition AKAA ( Also Known As Africa ) in Paris. This is the first contemporary art and design fair for African art.

It took place at the usual Carreau du Temple and had over 49 exhibitors and 130 artists who came from all around the world.

Here are a few images from my favourite artists, but you can see more on their website www.akaafair.com

ARTIST JP MIKA

 

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-46-08-4

 

DIDIER CLAES

IMG-20181109-WA0004

 

FREDDY TSIMBA

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-46-07-7

 

PATRICK BONGOY

IMG-20181109-WA0005

 

MON LOOK PARISIENNE

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-46-07-6

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-46-08