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.

Impression

 

Impression

 

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

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The Artisan’s market: Art

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Hotel: Fleuve Congo

 

 

 

Family visit: Private properties

 

 

Celebrity meeting: Footballers Emmanuel Eboue and Marcel Tisserand

 

 

Tv interview for KIN 24

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Gala night to honour African footballers

organised by Singer Mohombi

 

 

Street Style

 

 

 

 

Restaurant River

 

Is Jnane Tamsna The hidden gem of Marrakech?

Is Jnane Tamsna The hidden gem of Marrakech?

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We booked our tickets as soon as the hotel confirmed this feature for the magazine ESIMBI. My photographer from Paris, Alena joined me to make this trip a time to remember, and it certainly was.

 

I was looking forward to going back to Marrakech after 4 years. The flight was pleasant and fast. Yes, I slept through it.  We landed on time and all I started to think about was if the hotel owner received my email about arranging the airport transfer, and she did.

Originally from Senegal and the French Caribbean, Meryanne Loum-Martin began her career in law in Paris. In 1985, she fell in love with the city of Marrakech, nicknamed the “red city” because of the color of its walls. She is not only stunning but also the most impressive woman I have met in a long time.

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The driver was there and very professional. The airport is really stunning. I remember the train station in Fez as being the most beautiful public place I have seen in Africa. The ceilings and the details of the architecture reflect the culture and the warmth of the people.

We arrived in the Palmeraie of Marrakech fairly fast, it was better than the images. Camels chilling in the heat is just a casual afternoon. I promised myself a picture with them.

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The boutique hotel has had many celebrity guests such as Brad Pitt, Giorgio Armani, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Mick Jagger and David Bowie, and here I arrived in these elegant and atypical villas.

I waited in the lounge whilst my room was being prepared. It was BIG!!! And the bathroom had a mirror who would make the every mirror jealous.

I jumped around with excitement and headed to my first lunch. Fresh food from the garden served in a luxury setting. It was delicious! I then walked around to take a few pictures whilst waiting for Alena who was landing from Paris a bit later.

 

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As soon as she arrived, we started checking out the different houses, swimming pools around the hotel. And it was no disappointment. The architecture was extraordinary with art pieces from around Africa. I am so happy to share these images with you and truly hope you will be inspired as we were if you can visit this hotel.

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We only stayed 4 days but really made the most of it. We also managed to take an afternoon off to visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum and Majorelle gardens.

 

YOGA BY THE POOL

I took my first class in London but Yoga by the pool beats it! A relaxed atmosphere for you to find your inner self.

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THE GARDEN (one of them)

 

PRIVATE SWIMMING POOL

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My meeting with Meryanne about her hotel Jnane Tamsna allowed me to know moe about her source of inspiration and her daily life. I loved every moment and truly look forward to going back!