Sunday 2 November 2014

Anna Luks In Dar

This summer, I was back in Dar-es-Salaam, my home town for a vacation with a difference.  Instead of enjoying the wonderful sun, sea and sandy beaches it was more of a working holiday.  My aim this time around was to introduce my clothing brand Anna Luks..
Being home is always a blessing.   Despite being born and growing up in the city (Dar-es-Salaam, the Swahililand), I found myself surrounded by a "new" Dar!!  A world of new faces and lifestyle, it felt strange but understandable at the same time.  I was reminiscing of the beautiful old Dar, familiar places and landmarks, many of them are very sadly no more!  Things just seemed totally new to me!

I was quite fortunate to have family and friends helping me out in my venture.  Karolyn Klaire and Carola Kinasha were the main force behind Anna Luks in Dar by introducing me to many wonderful people in my field.  I couldn't have achieved what I did without them.
I had an opportunity to be part of one of the fast-growing Pop Up shops in Dar known as Pop-Up-Bongo which is run by Natasha. The Pop-up-Bongo exhibition event took place on the 2nd August in Slipway Dar-es-Salaam. The turn out and interest was amazing.  I was also thrilled to have finally met quite a few of Anna Luks supporters in person for the first time!
The highlight of my trip to Swahililand was being invited by one of the prestigious Fashion Magazine, Bang, for an interview and a photoshoot at Albert Manifester studios in Mwenge Dar-es-Salaam.
I have put together a few highlights/behind the scene of my working holiday in Dar.  Enjoy!


Venue:  The  Terrace , Slipway Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
 My buddies Tony Joett (TJ) with Sauda Simba.  Thanks guys for the love!  xxx

Natasha of Pop-up-Bongo and Karolyn Klaire wearing Anna luks skirt and crotchet top 
Rope Jacket

Rio-the- Stylist rocking Anna Luks Rope Jacket

Tz model  Chelsea E Santana

Tz Designer of Pax Fashion label  Judith Ngonjela

At Holiday Inn Dar-es-Salaam
With Khadija 

Ruth Luks talking about her Jewelry.

Photo Shoots
Behind the scenes
Ladies in Red.  The coat dress
Dyed hessian fabric 
Karolyn  in Hessian Coat Dress
Nasreen of Enji Pai Jewellery 

Its a wrap guys!  @ the Bang Magazine shoot with awesome photographer himself Albert Manifester.

Other Business
 Nasreen Karim of Enjipai and I

Karolyn and I chilling after a meeting with Designer Ally Rhemtullah at the Fish Market in Msasani Dar-es-Salaam
Ally and I
Ally with Anna and Ruth of A&R Luks accessories

Chillaxing ; Anna & Ruth Luks of A&R Luks accessories

Thanks to: 
Karolyn Klaire, Carolla Kinasha, Athanasius Lukindo, Natasha of Pop-up-Bongo, Lyn Lux, Tony Joett, Zainab and Jabu Maalim. 
Much appreciation!
See you guys very soon!
Anna x

Saturday 6 September 2014

Aint No Sunshine & Ladysmith Black Mambazo

A Brief History Behind

It`s in my nature to look deeper than what I just see.  If something gets my attention, that's what I do.  I find out who, what, where, when, how, and why.
"Ain`t no Sunshine", is a classic song, that I really loved from a very young age.  Coming from a large family, my older siblings use to play it a lot. We listened to the rendition from Bill Withers to The Jackson 5's and later on Isaac Hayes, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and many more other versions.
It was not until a few days ago whilst relaxing on my holiday. I caught myself listening to the song by Ladysmith Black Mambazo video, again with my brother and sister (reminiscing).  This time aroundmy consciousness was curious to know more than just the music, more than just a fantastic video.
I immediately contacted my good friend who is from South Africa.  I told her about my curiosity and asked a number of questions.
This is what she came up with, and would like to share it with you.  Enjoy reading and the music

Ladysmith Black Mambazo featuring Des'ree

I love how the rhythmic crashing of the waves compliments the rhythm of the smooth voices. 
A masterpiece!!

Ladysmith is a little rural town in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The town was named after the wife of Sir Harry Smith- governor during British colonial rule.

Founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala hails from this town, as well as other members. 

The word "Black" was chosen because it is believed that the strongest animal on the farm is the black ox. Mambazo means axe in isiZulu. This refers to Ladysmith always winning all singing competitions- axing all competitions.
This style of singing is known as isicathamiya which means to walk stealthily- like a cat in isiZulu. hence the fluid leg movements when they sing.
isicathamiya developed like many other music and dance styles out of the Apartheid era- out of pain and struggle and the human spirit to keep the creative side of being human alive and well.
This style of singing and moving developed out of the migratory labour system in the many gold and diamond mines of South Africa.
Tens of thousands of men would live in huge dormitory-style hostels. They came from all over rural South Africa, as well as other Southern African countries. Many male acapella choirs were formed. Competitions were held amongst these hostel choirs. The trans-African style of call and response is often used.
Ladysmith came together around 1960. Joseph Shabalala tells an interesting story of a series of dreams he had. In these dreams, he would hear these harmonious, rhythmic voices. This is when he decided that this was his calling- to bring harmony to the earth through the human voice.

In 1986, after collaborating with Paul Simon, Ladysmith was flung onto the international stage. Since then they have won many awards, and have entertained crowds all over the world. Many groups singing in the isicathamiya style exist all around South Africa, with each adding their own local flavour to the art form. They accompanied Nelson Mandela to Stockholm when he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

One could also say that Ladysmith rejuvenated Paul Simon´s waning career. Simon`s album Graceland was produced after he had met with Ladysmith, and their influence is clearly audible on the album. As we know this was a best-selling album for Simon.

Isicathamiya is a genre of music that is born out of pain and struggle: Apartheid - Migratory labour system- the disintegration of families- fathers being away from their families 11 months out of 12.
Definitely NO JOY and NO SUNSHINE. Working those long shifts underground, literally meant NO SUNSHINE, even in the summers. The hostels were no homes, only a house. The families that were left behind in the villages had no joy and no sunshine either Their homes turned into houses, as the families slowly disintegrated. So NO JOY and NO SUNSHINE In the hostel and in the village hut.

Jennifer Solomons - Cape Town

Friday 1 August 2014

Introducing Anna Luks

Anna Luks will be introducing their brand for the very first time in Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania tomorrow August 2nd from 11am to the  Pop-Up Bongo event.
Come shop with all of us at Slipway Masaki.

Friday 18 July 2014

Tuning into Summer with Michael Franks

"Summertime and the livin' is easy....... " as the lady of jazz Ella sang.  I shared with you in one of my posts the Unmistakable voice of Ella Fitzgerald.   I appreciate every era that begets amazing artists.
I was introduced to Michael Franks in the early '80s, the track was Tiger in the rain.  I remember never stopped listening to it, and I remained yours truly with Mr Franks ever since.
Michael Franks is one of the artist that has the 'it voice' unmistakably.  
In my opinion, I find it hard to distinguish musicians nowadays.  I feel the originality is fading away.  I remember the days when one could, without doubt, identify the group of singers, in almost any music genre.
  With Michael, it's not just his voice, it's his style of singing.  When he sings, you get drawn to whatever he's talking about.  I call it 'sing-talk'.  He has a unique style.  His singing brings a smile to your face.    
He talks about everyday happenings; casual things such as walking barefoot on the beach, and enjoying the weather, when the cookie jar is empty, watching the snow, the Yellow House, or what to do when sly calls.  I'm not sure if I have any favourites, I just love them all. At times he makes me laugh.  

If you haven't come across this great artist and like me, if you like this kind of jazz, then this will put you in the summer mood.

I will end with a quote that best describes Michael Frank's unique style of music.
Willard Hewing 6 months ago:  Michael franks can sing about washing clothes and eating pringles and it would sound like a work of art. He takes regular experiences and makes turns them into beautiful works of art. I will download everything he's ever done when it's all over. I rarely hear his music on the radio but I will spend the money on his songs. Anyway thanks for this playlist. 


Friday 27 June 2014

Resort 2015

A&R accessories

I wanted to make this collection very simple.  A transition, inspired by sixties fashion.  I loved the idea of taking elements from the past and jazzing them up with the present.  An easygoing chic, simply zip-up-and-go.  

The look is boxy and loose.  Anna Luks brings the girl next door feel for this season in simple shift dresses with dropped waists, flowy trousers in block and fun summer colours.  Pockets have started to become a new Luks feature this season, so expect more pocket chic to come!

 I continue to keep the silhouette simple but stylish.  As it is summer, I thought of going for a younger, vibrant and fun look.   A style for all.
This collection is made out of silk gauze, silks, cottons, cotton drills and silk jersey fabrics. All very summer friendly spiced up with the A&R accessories.  The style is designed to fit all sizes and shapes, you can not go wrong with a drop waist dress.  Coming soon!!!

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Summer Breezing with.....

 Dolce and Gabbana illustrations

Over the past few days, I had some of you readers asking me whether I have gone full-time into blogging.  I was quite touched I must say.  The answer to that is, I wish!!
As much as  I like the idea of writing, I cannot keep up with it because of the nature of my work.  Nevertheless, I do get to it whenever I can.  I thank and appreciate each one of you; and all of you who pass by.  Thank you so much.
Lately, I encountered a work situation that had caused a pause in what I do. "Fortunately" I used the opportunity and squeezed in time to look up some inspirational writings to share with you.

The past week was quite a somber week for me personally.  Today, I thought I'd create a cheerful atmosphere, to put me in the right creative mood again.  I am working on my own illustrations at the moment and thought it is a good opportunity to share some of the things I am looking at.

Well, summer is here!!! I chose a few of my favorite illustrations from one of my favorite designers, Dolce and Gabbana.
What I love about these illustrations, is the attitude.  Charming, full of fun, sleek, and definitely so refreshing.  Makes some of us start planning for the summer holidays ahead!!  

Friday 30 May 2014

A Tribute To A Legendary Poet

Maya Angelou

"In honor of the legendary poet, Maya Angelou “And Still I Rise”. A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights, a novelist, actress, educator & activist. A national treasure has passed beyond the veil, faded from view... -Bishop T.D. Jakes"

 Dr. Maya Angelou, a woman of unwavering faith in the Creator and in the transformative power of love.  Maya Angelou lived with so much style, grace and humility.  
The revelation that changed Maya Angelou's life, is when she fully realized the essence of the word Love.  A powerful word, which brought her comfort she says, when interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.  
We know and believe that this word has a source, and that source is The Almighty God, the creator of the universe.
A lesson from this interview shows us how Maya stopped and thought and actually got the true meaning of the word "Love".  A word that we all take for granted.  But when we stop and think, it is much greater and deeper than what we really think. Simply because its source is God!  
In the book of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, it defines this powerful word.
It says and I quote; Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Enough said, get the picture from the interview of Maya Angelou by Oprah Winfrey 

 The poem that speaks volumes to me, and probably to most of you, is  " And Still I Arise"
 This is my personal favorite. I would not dare miss this poem in this  Tribute to Maya Angelou.
Please listen to this powerful poem of hers.

No doubt you are now in your eternal mansion that the Lord has prepared for us all. (John 14:2: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.")

Born:  April 4, 1928 St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Died:  May 28, 2014, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Sunday 25 May 2014

The Art of Photography

Meet Gosta Peterson

In my previous post, I mentioned Gosta Peterson the photographer, a man who saw beyond colour, the man who against all odds, made a model's dream come true.  Naomi Sims.
Peterson, a Swedish born who migrated to the US in the late 1940s.  As an illustrator and a self-taught photographer, Gosta Peterson worked as a  fashion photographer with the New York Times. His images are what I describe as works of art and purely timeless in their own style. 
Here are a few of my favorite shots
Super Model Naomi Sims