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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

How to feel alive? Every year, try to visit a new place.

How to feel alive? Every year, try to visit a new place.

 

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This year, I made myself the promise to visit a new country, to educate myself and face the fear that some people try to put on me by telling stories from their bad experiences. Now when I fear something, I try to find a way to just do it and deal with the consequences. The opportunity came to cover the Fashion Week in Niamey, Niger and I was really excited!

The African Union also had a summit with all the head of States and I was invited to attend the gala dinner and the seminars.

The Visa

The visa process was quite easy in term of what needed to be done. It was all online. The only issue I had was at the airport. I didn’t receive my invitation letter on time, so it took some a while for them to check through all the emails and let me through.

The Flight

I was flying with Royal Air Maroc and the flight was good. I was lucky that none of my luggages were lost but many other people on the same flights did not get their luggages for days. When travelling, I must say that I always try to keep to a minimum number of luggage.

The Hotel

We were supposed to stay in a nice hotel but due to the Summit and the lack of available rooms, we simply had the worst time I could ever imagine. From one day to another, we didn’t know where we would sleep as everywhere was fully booked. Even hotels that had cockroaches as big as a mouse running like they rule the world. This definitely made the trip very difficult but the people were so lovely that I would like another opportunity to visit the country and be able to stay at the Radisson or Noom hotel.

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This trip experience taught me the importance of going with the flow. It is true to say that not everything always go as planned but there is always a reason for everything.

The African continent has so many beautiful undiscovered places. I hope to visit many more.

The culture in images…

What my first Afro Punk event was like.

What my first Afro Punk event was like.

Saturday 13th of June, I had the pleasure of attending the festival Afro Punk at La Seine Musicale, in Paris for the first time. Headlining the concert was Solange Knowles and Janelle Monae.

I must say that it was surreal to see so much creativity in one place. It was like being on a movie set where new characters coming out of nowhere every 2 seconds. It was amazing.

I made an effort to add some African touch to my outfit as I really didn’t know what to expect there. I was definitely NOT overdressed and felt like I could have been a little bit more extra. It was impressive to be in the middle of so much art.

They had massive flags which I obviously used  to take a picture 🙂 . It was not easy with the wind but we managed to take something nice.

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Here are a few pictures I took at the event. It would be great to hear your comments if you experienced this event in Paris or elsewhere. There is another festival in the desert that I was looking into but I am not sure I will be handle to handle all the nakedness that google search has showed me.. ( ah aha ah)

 

 

 

GOLD CHOKER, Tribal jewellery from NACHO JEWELS , a label from Argentina.

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My friend came from Brazzaville, Congo to display and sell her clothing line, LIPUTA SWAGGA. If you have a minute, please have a look at her amazing work!

 

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Reasons why Rome was my worst getaway trip so far.

Reasons why Rome was my worst getaway trip so far.

I went to Rome for the first time over 10 years ago. It was an unplanned trip and I didn’t visit much of the city so I was really excited to return in May 2019 and do the photoshoot with footballer Steven Nzonzi for the cover of my magazine.

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A friend and I booked an Air B and B in Vatican City as we wanted to be able to do some sightseeing too. Big mistake. Although the apartment was lovely and close to a supermarket and a few other places, I had the worst weekend in an European capital of my entire life!

I love Italy, and I visited many places before for longer periods, Milan, Naples, Salerno, Capri, Grosseto, Florence, etc… but never I have felt the racism like that weekend in Rome. Of course, I am black and I get noticed but come on!!!!!! In 2019, can we just try to respect one another and get on with our lives?

Any coloured person I heard speak about Rome this year, had the same experience so I thought I would just write about it.

TAXIS

We had to take a UBER everywhere because Rome is actually quite big and beautiful. So much history to discover and the fantastic fresh food. But how does anyone explain a 10 minutes ride with UBER costing 60 Euros????!!!! Clearly, the Italians in Rome are like the French in Paris, rude without a cause. My best friend is Italian so I cannot find the words to say how much that weekend traumatised me.

The “regular” taxis all tried to rip us off as we didn’t speak the language so we thought at least with the rating system of UBER, things will be a bit better. The drivers were certainly nice but those prices completely outrageous. I guess, they have a reason to do this so “regular” taxis don’t get out of job. Hopefully in time, it will get better.

FOOD

The food in Italy is always tasty. But the service is another story. In London, customer service is key and maybe we are spoilt with that, same for America. But Italy has a long way to go in treating people equally with the same respect!

HOTELS

I won’t name them here but they were SO rude that we chose to rent a flat instead. NO COMMENT.

OVERALL 

We really tried to have a good time and Steven and his family made sure we felt at home.  The Vatican was simply splendid and I really wish we had more time to look at everything.

 

FONTANA DI TREVI and other places we saw…

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STEVEN AND HIS SISTER KAREN NZONZI

 

I did an impromptu shoot with my gorgeous red dress with my best carefree spirit in the middle of people staring at me like I was not part of the furniture. FUN TIMES!

 

We also had the honour the be invited by Steven to assist to his game, with his team AS Roma. Good thing, they won! And we got to see Ronaldo and Blaise Matuidi too!!

 

I hope you enjoyed the few photos. If you had a different experience in Rome and want to argue or add to mine, please feel free to share below or via email. I am working on adding content to our YOUtube Channel, ESIMBI Magazine and I can’ wait to share that later on.

 

 

If we don’t tell our story who will ?

If we don’t tell our story who will ?

Early 2017, I was still thinking about my trip in Congo which happened in October 2016. With a few volunteers, we organised a talk for over 600 students and a workshop for 250 kids, in the form of a drawing competition for www.esimbi.org . It was truly the most amazing experience of my life.

For the first time, I really felt the pressure of weighting every word because I understood the impact they could have on these young people’s lives. Kinshasa taught us lessons we didn’t expect. They say if you want to be a millionaire, spend time with millionaires. Your entourage will determine who you will become. Jay Shetty once said that we live in the perception that others have of ourselves. We can’t be what we have never seen. So how to bring those exceptional role models to these young people in a country that is in constant trouble? So one day, they can inspire to great things and believe that they can be who they want.

We certainly always seek the results but do we want to go through the process of what it takes to have that lifestyle. A life long commitment to being better than what surrounds us. It is hard. It is hard especially when you live in such conditions like these children in Congo. Everything is a luxury to them, a pen, a piece of paper, water.

The idea of the magazine came from all this thinking. I wanted to do something more. I wanted to give them something that they didn’t have and could keep. The fear kicked in about 5 minutes after thinking about making this magazine happen. What would the content be? Who would design it? What title could fit my thoughts? and so on…

It started to feel too complicated already. But a voice was telling me to just do it. It was necessary, not for me but for them. They needed to see people who came from similar backgrounds going places. They needed to look up to them and be inspired.

So I jumped in. I chose to call it ESIMBI ( meaning “it works” in Lingala ) like my social initiative. I then ask a work colleague who was good with graphic design to help me with a logo. My colleague and I started to do research about Congo, the history, the forest, the artists, the charities, etc…. and what we found was amazing. Tons of content.

www.esimbimagazine.com

 

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My biggest fear was not to find things to talk about. No content to captivate whoever would read this free magazine that was supposed to be a one off. We simply wanted to give the final product to the schools and libraries. But our audience was larger than that. In fact, it was global. So the project ended up catering a niche of people hungry for knowledge. They want education over entertaining, so our goal became bigger.

I am thankful to every one who helped us on this journey. Especially the ones who told me not to do it because it would ruin my fashion career. This project helped me grow into a better version of myself without even knowing it and I simply hope that this magazine will keep going strong. The african community has a narrative to rewrite and we want to contribute to that immensely.

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Impression

 

How to keep it stylish during Fashion Week Paris AW19

How to keep it stylish during Fashion Week Paris AW19

This time last year, I attended London Fashion week with a friend who is a Fashion agent. My post is a bit late than usual as I had lots more events to attend than i expected.

I can definitely say that my style has changed in the past year along with my body shape. I do enjoy wearing skirts more and darker colours. Simple cuts whilst still making a bold statement… to myself. People around me always said cliche things like when you get older, you will do this or that. Style evolves in time, with our personality, things we learn and our surroundings. I just didn’t think I would now dress so simply…

Here are a few looks I chose for winter 2018-2019. I would love to hear about your favourite styles and designers.

LOOK 1: NAVY OVERSIZE COAT FROM ZARA

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Top House of CB, Skirt and Coat Zara, Sunglasses CELINE, Belt Arrogant Cat

FASHION WEEK PARIS AW 2019

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LOOK 2: THE BROWN COAT

Coat Zara, Belt Tara Jarmon, High Knee Boots Eram,

Bag Louis Vuitton, Sunglasses RayBan

LOOK 3: ALL NAVY EVERYTHING

Coat Zara, High Knee Boots Eram, Bag Louis Vuitton, Skirt H&M

Discover 5 industries where women are thriving in their careers!

Discover 5 industries where women are thriving in their careers!

Upcoming event today in London

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CLICK HERE TO ATTEND

For this month, March for Women, let’s celebrate ourselves and our achievements. I made some research in order to find 5 industries where women are thriving in their careers.

There is no better way to celebrate women than by discussing the progress women have made in the male dominated workplace. Here are five insights on how to break into these male-dominated industries:

1. Finance

Female accountants and finance workers are not unusual. There are a number of jobs available that women now occupy in the accounting industry and finance sector. Many females find these roles attractive, so the finance industry will need to consider the adjustments that can be made to foster a better work environment for the growing female workforce.

2. Technology

Technology is traditionally dominated by males, but with the job growth in this sector, there are many opportunities for women. About 25 percent of the computing workforce is female. Research shows that the industry will thrive even more with female influence and input, since 85 percent of purchasing decisions are determined by women.

Finding a mentor to help you, displaying confidence and learning everything and anything you can about the industry can only make you more powerful and knowledgeable.

3. Construction

The construction industry is the most male-dominated industry in the world. Construction workers engage in many tasks that require physical strength, which can sometimes put females at a disadvantage. However, representatives in the construction industry say they are looking for females to fill construction roles.

It makes sense to look for women to fill roles in our industry that have been traditionally filled by men. Increasingly, women are becoming aware of the wide array of opportunities available to them in the construction industry and are going after them, which I think is an asset to both customers and employers. Just over 9% of women are employed in the construction industry which is rapidly growing.

4. Engineering

Around 62% of women globally work in the engineering industry. This is one of the most unwelcoming industry for women. With women joining the ranks of their male counterparts more often, opportunities from their diverse viewpoints only means the industry will continue to expand.

The growth of organizations such as IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) and The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) — which seek to find and provide women with support, education and opportunities in the industry — means times are changing for the better in the engineering.

5. Mining

The mining industry has the lowest number of women on company boards as compared to any other industry worldwide. However, females are making tremendous strides to enter this industry.

Organizations like International Women in Mining look to support women entering the field. With the goal to increase women’s participation in the field, the hope is to further balance gender and professional development opportunities.

 

Tips for Breaking Into Male-Dominated Industries

Contrary to popular beliefs, some of the characteristics needed to break into male-dominated roles are not unfamiliar to women. Women are hardworking, determined and when educated a force to be reckoned with. Therefore:

Reviewing the skill sets needed for these jobs and honing them is important to landing a role in the industries discussed above. Do not get complacent, industries, companies and internationals climates change all the time and can impact your industry at all times.

Prove yourself to your before proving yourself to anyone else. Male dominated industries are set to be cut-throat and a very much dog eat dog world. But if you want to be a leader in any industry prove it to yourself by developing a thick skin and pushing through regardless

Setting yourself apart will help you secure a role in a male-dominated industry. After all, men aren’t the only ones who can create rivets. Being the only woman in the room shouldn’t be intimidating it should be empowering. Knowing that you are not only paving the way for other women but also helping make decisions and developing ideas that will impact the world is a goal that every woman should have.

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Read about the Most Profitable Industries for Women Entrepreneurs in 2019!

Read about the Most Profitable Industries for Women Entrepreneurs in 2019!

The Most Profitable Industries for Women Entrepreneurs

It’s no secret that there is an inherent gender bias when it comes to small business financing. In fact, women are approved for small business financing less often than men, and when women do receive loans, theirs are typically for smaller amounts, over shorter periods, and with higher interest rates.

Since 2015 women are owning more and more small businesses which perform better and achieve 3 times more return than businesses ran by a man. Even against all odds, women are some of the best business leaders in the world.

Entrepreneurship is for anyone and women are choosing to be the driving force of entrepreneurial progress. To help encourage more women to enter the world of entrepreneurship, here are the five most profitable industries that you should consider as a woman.

On-Demand Mobile Industries

Mobile businesses — not to be confused with mobile phone apps, although the two aren’t mutually exclusive — are services that travel to their customer’s home or place of work rather than the other way around. Increasingly, consumers are becoming used to receiving what they want in an instant. And why shouldn’t your businesses capitalize on that?

Laundry delivery services, in-home massages, grocery deliveries, getting your errands taken care of — there’s an on-demand mobile service for just about anything you can think of.

Childcare and Child-Related Businesses

Millennials are now the largest living generation, and the need for childcare services is increasing.

There are many opportunities within the realm of childcare and child-oriented businesses. Services for new mothers are very much in demand. Although these businesses require some education and certification costs, they are relatively inexpensive to keep set up.

If you have an interest in instructing children in a number of fields — yoga, gymnastics, music, foreign languages — now may be the perfect time to start that private education business.

Finally, youth is becoming synonymous with technology. Parents want to give their children opportunities to be engaged, entertained, and educated (as well as occupied). If you have an awesome idea for a child-centric learning app for smartphones and tablets, now is the time to start.

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CLICK HERE TO ATTEND

Online Education

People want to learn more, but they want to do so from the comfort of their own homes and at their own pace. And even if you’re not an academic, there’s probably something you can teach. Offering an online course is a great way to help others while also earning money.

Sites such as skillshare, Udemy, and Udacity, to name a few, you can create videos and share your knowledge and expertise with the world.

YouTube is also a popular place for people to find free content and education, especially when it comes to fitness. Features also now include the option to create closed video live sessions that you can charge people for.

If you’re thinking of getting into the online education, try taking advantage of the community you’ve already built, if they see you as an expert.

Female entrepreneurs may still face an uphill battle, but it’s one worth fighting. The more women we have running small businesses or become head of large corporations, the easier it will be for future generations to do the same. Take advantage of these profitable small business opportunities, and everyone will benefit.

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