Category Archives: Diva Urban Groove/Society

Have You Heard?

A new pilot stands up to modern slavery in the Nigerian community

A new pilot campaign launched today will help tackle modern slavery within the Nigerian community in the UK. It will focus on helping those trapped in domestic  slavery, where victims are typically kept against their will, mistreated and forced to work long hours with no pay.

Leading local charities, community and faith groups including Celestial Church of Christ Manchester, Redeemed Christian Church of God – The Pathfinder and Nigerian Community in Manchester are working together to raise awareness and increase reporting within at-risk communities.

A short film, developed in partnership with the Salvation Army and child protection charity AFRUCA, is being launched to highlight how incidents of domestic slavery are happening under the radar in Nigerian communities across the UK, and to empower communities to report concerns confidentially and anonymously to the Modern Slavery helpline.

Slavery is a problem in every country which has tried to measure it.  There are an estimated 10,000-13,000 victims of Modern Slavery in the UK today.   No community is immune; we have encountered modern day slavery in nail bars, car washes, on fishing boats and farms and in people’s homes.   Nigeria remains one of the UK’s major source countries for victims of Modern Slavery, including human trafficking.

The ‘Have you Heard?’ film, produced by award-winning Nigerian film maker Ogo Okpue, demonstrates the devastating impact of being held as a domestic slave (also known as illegal househelp), underlines the potential consequences for perpetrators and the specialist support available to victims.

Young Nigerian women are particularly at risk – one such victim is Glory*. Thirteen year old Glory was trafficked to the UK from Nigeria by a woman who told her mother she could have a better life in London. In reality she was forced to work between 6am-9pm, and often beyond. Glory was shouted at and beaten for incidents as minor as not realising her Madame had finished her cup of tea, with the frequency of the beatings increasing as time went on. Sometimes her Madame’s husband would visit Glory in the night and sexually assault heri.

Anne Read, Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery at The Salvation Army said: 

“Have you Heard? brings a very hidden crime to the surface and drives the message home that it’s the responsibility of all of us to spot the signs that someone is being kept in unfair conditions and report it. It may be a crime that happens behind closed doors but the signs are out there – we just need to look for them and do something about it. People should feel confident that anything suspicious they report will be acted on and anyone rescued from this kind of exploitation will receive the specialist support they need from The Salvation Army and our partners.”

Debbie Ariyo, Chief Executive of AFRUCA said: 

“There are many indicators which point to someone being kept in forced domestic servitude. If you have a suspicion, ask yourself does the person seem afraid and anxious? Do they seem to stand out from other family members? What conditions is the person living in? We’re hoping Have you Heard? will encourage people to report suspicions so victims can be get the crucial support they need.”

The Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism Sarah Newton said:

“Domestic slavery devastates the lives of victims and strips them of their basic human rights. We are proud to support the Nigerian community in bringing this terrible crime into the spotlight.”

“The Government is driving world-leading action to tackle modern slavery but we cannot do it alone.  Professionals, charities and the wider community all have a vital part to play as we work together to end this.”

To report concerns, seek advice or get help call the confidential UK Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700 or visit the website www.modernslaveryhelpline.org

The Have you Heard? film is available at http://bit.ly/2nhxL0i

 

London’s Diverse Creative Landscape To Be Celebrated In New Exhibition In Greenwich Peninsula

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NOW Gallery announces that it will celebrate London’s diverse creative landscape in a new cross-cultural installation, Home Affairs, running 20th August – 4 September 2015.

The exhibition is a collaboration between furniture designer Yinka Ilori, fashion designer Christine Mhando of London-based CHiCHiA and creative consultant Arieta Mujay. Together they will create four theatrical, visually compelling conceptual spaces, brought to life with curated film, archival footage and performance. Framed by the language of traditional Nigerian & Swahili parables, the spaces will be filled with thought-provoking furniture, indigenous plants, designed objects, garments and wallpapers inspired by bespoke Khanga textiles, with visitors encouraged to navigate and explore.

The installation will be further enlivened with illustrations by Lulu Kitololo and spoken word performances by Project Tribe’s Bazaar •{Bohemian}•

More On The Creatives…

Yinka Ilori is a London based designer. He specialises in up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics that surrounded him as child. He has exhibited internationally in solo shows: This Is Where It Started, The Whitespace Gallery, Lagos, October, 2014; Yinka Ilori, Just Africa, Stockholm March 2014 and It Started With a Parable, Jaguar Shoes, London in collaboration with London Design Week, December, 2013. And group exhibitions: Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Basel, March, 2015 touring to Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Autumn 2015; Africa Calling, Africa Utopia, Southbank Centre, September 2014; Creative Britain feature stand, British European Design Group, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), New York May 2012. Yinka Ilori’s pieces are available for purchase here, at lifestyle stores in London and at Temple Muse, Nigeria and can be viewed by appointment at his East London studio.

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Yinka Ilori

 

Yinka Ilori
Yinka Ilori

Christine Mhando is a Tanzanian-born, London-based designer. Mhando launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, CHiCHiA, in 2007, an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was born and raised. The label’s signature transpires from the artful application of the ‘Khanga’, a traditional East African cotton-printed fabric used by local women as wraps. With Beyonce as a fan, Chichia goes from strength to strength as an international African brand that modernises and transforms traditional East African textiles into stylish, contemporary and considered fashionable attire.

Christine Mhando
Christine Mhando

Arieta Mujay is a fashion creative who has been working in fashion at various capacities for 15 years across the UK and Africa. Arieta has styled and worked a host of celebrities including Rihanna, Kelis, Amber Le Bon, Kelly Rowland, Alesha Dixon, Pixie Lott and Lily Allen. Mujay is a reviewer and contributor for Cosmopolitan Magazine’s online platform, a mentor to young businesses and an avid supporter of female empowerment.

Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay

Bazaar •{Bohemian}• (Vanessa Coore) is originally from California and is currently based out of Atlanta. Coore, one half of Afropolitan blog duo Project Tribe, uses her social media platforms to provide creative nourishment, spread #PositiveLoveEnergy, and highlight new and developed brands from all over the world. Through her social media platforms she’s been able to offer distinct and creative visuals that tell stories through a bohemian inspired lifestyle. Her goal when featuring brands is to highlight them in a unique, and aspirational way.

 

Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore

NOW Gallery, conceived as part of the on-going regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, sits within a hub designed by architects Marks Barfield moments from the O2 and North Greenwich station. The hub, formed of two curved glass pavilions linked by a patinated brass-edged canopy – longer than the wing span of an Airbus A380 – contains NOW Gallery, a cafe, restaurant, sky bar and charcuterie. As visitors emerge from North Greenwich tube station and look to the right they will see the pavilions, the art installations within and also through them to the Emirates cable car along a line of latitude.

DULWICH PICTURE…Ravilious

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Dulwich Picture Gallery will present a major show of work by the celebrated artist and designer, Eric Ravilious (1903-42) with a unique focus on his output as a watercolourist. Featuring iconic paintings such as Westbury Horse (1939) and Train Landscape (1940) alongside rarely seen works from private collections, ‘Ravilious’ (1 April-31 August 2015) will follow the evolution of a remarkable talent and cement the artist’s position as one of the finest watercolourists of the 20th century.

Dafen Village, © Flickr User Michael MandibergThis exhibition will adopt a thematic approach to a career which spanned peace and war, breaking down the chronology which often separates the two periods. This will highlight how Ravilious integrated rather than abandoned many of his ideas and instincts when he was appointed as an official War Artist in 1939. A focused selection of over 90 watercolours, complemented by selected lithographs, wood engravings and archive materials, will highlight common characteristics in Ravilious’s painting, ultimately bringing us closer to understanding the motives and ideas of an artist who famously said little about his work.

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From a boyhood spent in his father’s antiques shop to being taught by Paul Nash at the Royal College of Art, various experiences influenced Ravilious’s style and adoption of particular motifs. The exhibition starts with ‘Relics and Curiosities’: paintings which reveal Ravilious’s fascination with interesting objects such as in No. 29 Bus (1934) and Talbot-Darracq (1934). This theme is revisited in the rarely displayed nautical still life Anchor and Boats, Rye (1938) and later in wartime paintings such as Bomb Defusing Equipment (1941) where he approaches military hardware from unusual angles to capture the strangeness of objects.

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‘Interiors’ highlights another thread to Ravilious’s work where neatly made beds, empty chairs and patterned wallpaper recur in his paintings Farmhouse Bedroom (1930) and Interior at Furlongs (1939). Ravilious’s domestic scenes rarely contain figures and yet his shadowy interiors, strange perspectives and objects often create a sense of human presence. Ravilious excelled in balancing interior and exterior worlds, an element that recurs in his wartime pictures such as The Operations Room (1942).

Vicarage in Winter
The exhibition continues to emphasize common themes in Ravilious’s oeuvre; ‘Figures & Forms’ highlights Ravilious’s rare but sensitive portrayal of people, such as in his studies for the mural for Morley College (1928-1930) and in his timeless visual records of men at war. In ‘Place and Season’ we see how Ravilious often combined topography, atmospheric conditions and light to record the often unusual locations he travelled to and in ‘Changing Perspectives’ we follow the evolution in Ravilious’s handling of composition and perspective, as he moves from more novel subjects to painting well known landmarks such as the White Horse of Westbury.

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The exhibition culminates with an exploration of the artist’s career-long interest in light. Displaying the fireworks of November 5th (1933) next to the gunflashes of HMS Ark Royal in Action (1940), reveals how Ravilious treated both as exciting visual spectacles. In moving from peacetime paintings such as Rye Harbour (1938) to wartime works such as Midnight Sun (1940), we follow the artist on a journey of discovery as he sought new ways to capture the light of early morning.

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Curator James Russell said:
“This exhibition has given me the opportunity to look more closely at familiar paintings, and to explore others for the first time. I love Ravilious’s playfulness, and the subtle, surreptitious use of distorted geometries in his paintings, and the fact that he made so little public comment about his own work. In some ways this has made my job more difficult, but at the same time it is liberating: anyone can enjoy the work of Eric Ravilious, but there is also plenty there for people who want to go deeper”

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While acknowledged as a fine wood engraver and designer, Ravilious saw painting as his true vocation; it was this work that he exhibited, and he cared deeply about its reception by fellow artists. His 1939 show, at the prestigious Tooth and Sons’ Gallery in London, was greeted warmly by critics, who described his work as ‘almost untranslatable’ and ‘magic, almost mystic’. Two-thirds of the twenty-seven paintings displayed are included in the exhibition.

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The exhibition is curated by James Russell, a leading specialist on Eric Ravilious. A passionate advocate of 20th century British painting and design, James writes and lectures widely. His books include the popular four-volume series ‘Ravilious in Pictures’ as well as titles devoted to Edward Seago, Peggy Angus and Paul Nash.

Loans have been secured from a number of lenders including Towner, The Fry Art Gallery, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Imperial War Museum, Tate, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Royal College of Art, The British Council, as well as multiple private lenders. With Philip Wilson Publishers, Dulwich Picture Gallery will produce a fully illustrated colour catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Author James Russell explores the evolution of a remarkable talent and offers an intimate portrait of the artist, making this a definitive guide to the luminous, evocative and timeless watercolours of Eric Ravilious.

Continue reading DULWICH PICTURE…Ravilious

Jai Fears (Singer, Songwriter, Actress) — The Story of a Survivor

Jai Fears is on the cusp of superstardom. A multi-talented Pop & R&B singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and model, Jai’s tenacious work ethic is the result of overcoming many obstacles in her childhood. From being homeless with her Mother at the age of 16, to being diagnosed with a rare skin disease, Jai has persevered to make quite a name for herself. Born and raised in Detroit, Jai developed an appreciation for the Arts at a very young age. Her Mother would play old school R&B records at home all the time, unknowingly predetermining Jai’s future dancing gigs with Motown greats Aretha Franklin and Charlie Wilson. At the age of 14, Jai flew to Los Angeles to compete in a national talent competition. With her first win under her belt, she was “bit by the bug.” Since then, she has danced with Nsync, Aretha Franklin and Charlie Wilson. In 2006 she performed at the Super Bowl 40 Pre Show with legendary Stevie Wonder and R&B sensation John Legend. She has opened up for Keyshia Cole, K Michelle, Ryan Leslie, Diggy Simmons, Charlie Wilson, The Gap Band and Melissa Morgan.

Performing at numerous sold out festivals and events hosted by Radio One’s Hot 107.5 and BET in Los Angeles, Venice Beach, Detroit and Chicago, Jai’s breakout performances were both in 2012 on BET’s 106 & Park “Wild Out Wednesdays” talent competition. Winning both times to a standing ovation, she snagged the coveted “ALL STAR FEMALE HIP HOP/R & B” title.

In 2012, she won “Best Female R&B Artist” at The Indie Music Channel Awards in Los Angeles. Other credits include being featured in national print ads for Nike and Degree Deodorant and on screen in major feature films “The Wood,” “MVP” “Oogieloves Big Balloon Adventure” and “Crossover.” Her explosive portrayal as Eboni in “Crossover” co-starring Wayne Brady and Eva Pigford has earned her several nods from movie critics. These days, Jai can be found on tour gracing the stage as a background dancer and choreographer for Grammy Award winning R&B singer Charlie Wilson – the former lead singer of the Gap Band. In between shows, Jai spends time recording new songs for her upcoming EP, teaching dance lessons to kids, and performing at local venues throughout the Detroit Metropolitan area.

On September 27th 2014, Jai was requested to put on a high-energy performance at the 2014 Fashion In Detroit event hosted by DODGE and Project Runway’s alum Joe Faris. Jai and her dancers did not disappoint. She performed Top 40 Pop hits by Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Rihanna. At the conclusion of her performance, like so many before, Jai received a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd Jai Fears has had quite the journey. Looking back on the series of trials and tribulations she has endured, Jai understands she could not have made it without her unyielding determination and strong faith in God. Here’s what she had to say:

“I am a woman that has been through so many hardships in life. I literally feel like I can empathize with just about anyone dealing with any unfortunate situation. Growing up, I didn’t realize the reasons why I was going through so much heartache and experiencing life-altering situations. It wasn’t until later that I understood that God was preparing me for something greater. I was being tested. And because of that, I am a survivor. My purpose is to share my story with others to assure them that no matter what they have ever been through, they are not alone!”

#1 IF YOU HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE…YOU ARE NOT ALONE

“I can remember one early spring morning, at the age of 10, my grandmother entered my bedroom and fell to her knees near the edge of my bed. She stared in my eyes, and in panic told me to help her because she couldn’t breathe. She was drowning. Her lungs were filling up with fluid due to Pulmonary Edema disease… “… I remember screaming out loud for help. She laid her head in her hands, slid off my bed to the floor, and in a matter of seconds she died right there in front me. It was one of the most traumatizing experiences I’ve ever had. She meant so much to me. Also, the loss of my brother and step-father had a big impact on me. By the age of 20, I had lost several important figures in my life.

#2 IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN HOMELESS…YOU ARE NOT ALONE

After failing to meet a security deposit deadline on an apartment we were supposed to share with a friend, my Mother and I were left without any place to stay. During my senior year of high school, we spent nights sleeping in the car and filthy motels. It was a horrible experience. I remember one motel in particular was infested with roaches. It was so bad that the sounds of my Mother killing roaches in the morning served as my alarm clock to get ready for school. I promised myself that I would do everything in my power to get us out of that situation. I hated it. I didn’t tell many people about my living situation. Eventually, things did take a turn for the better. Through it all, I managed to graduate from high school with Honors. I believe our strong faith and determination is what helped us make it through. Looking back, it only made us stronger. Sometimes, my Mother and I sit and laugh about it, but back then it was no joke!

#3 IF YOU HAVE EVER HAD A DISEASE…YOU ARE NOT ALONE

On October 5th 2005, I woke up to what I thought was a case of the Chicken Pox. Little did I know, it was something so much worse. My entire body was covered in red bumps that would burst, leaving open sores of all different sizes. The sores caused excruciating pain. They would turn into scabs and my entire body would itch. I can remember years ago, when I was a hostess at a restaurant, I would uncontrollably scratch myself while trying to seat people. It was really embarrassing! Just wearing everyday clothes was painful. To make matters even worse, the University of Michigan Hospital – one of the top hospitals in the country – couldn’t even provide a diagnosis. All they could tell us was that I was suffering from a type of rare skin disease. Over the years, my skin condition has significantly improved and has practically healed completely on its own. These days I feel so much better, so much more alive, and I’m so blessed to have made it through. I owe it all to God!

Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is set to wow brides-to-be at this month’s Bluewater Bridal Fair.

Jamaica is one of the world’s favourite and most unique wedding and honeymoon destination. From 17 – 19 October 2014, the JTB in partnership with Jewel Resorts will be at Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, for one of the UK’s largest wedding fairs. Jamaica has the reputation for being a great place to ‘tie the knot’, and JTB officers will be available at the Fair to discuss wedding options with prospective brides and grooms on getting married in the Caribbean’s most appealing wedding destination. The team will also offer exclusive wedding packages to attendees. There will also be information on must-do honeymoon experiences, from climbing Dunn’s River Falls to cycling through the breathtaking Blue Mountains as well as options on romantic resorts or locations where children can come along and be part of the big day.

Couples can marry just 24 hours after arriving on the island, with hotels like Jewel Resorts providing their guests with all-inclusive wedding packages for a stress-free occasion. At Bluewater, Jewel Resorts will share information about their celebrated wedding packages, available at each of their three Jamaican resorts. Whether it’s an intimate ceremony or a larger celebration, brides at Jewel Resorts can pick from wedding packages ranging from ‘Precious Gem’ to ‘Diamond’ which allows them to combine their dream-honeymoon with their nuptials. In addition to the beautiful ambience and luxurious accommodation, Jewel Resorts also offer complimentary Honeymoon Registry, and allow friends and family of the wedding party to treat newly-weds to special wedding gifts, such as upgrading to a honeymoon suite or a couple’s massage.

Transitioning Into A/W 2014…#BurberryProrsum Inspires…

An injection of colour into your wardrobe can really brighten up your transitional style. Work some mellow yellows into your colour palette and ease into autumn with uber chic stylish layers.  For the colder months, add colourful tights for a bit of quirk, personality and warmth. Inspired by Burberry Prorsum London Fashion Week A/W 2014 collection, I hope you like the styling x.

Get inspired, define, create & splurge.

BY Adaobi Iwenofu

As Seen At Burberry Prorsum London Fashion Week A/W 2014
SOPHIA WEBSTER
Riko cutout patent-leather sandals
£525

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD ANGLOMANIA
Renee felt-paneled leather jacket
£595

 

black Up Lipsticks in: no 17 Matte Finish & no 20 Matte Finish
HERVÉ VAN DER STRAETEN Hammered gold-plated necklace £365
HERVÉ VAN DER STRAETEN Hammered gold-plated necklace £365
MARNI
Gold-plated pyrite earrings
£250

TOPSHOP UNIQUE
High-rise pleated wool-twill culottes
£165
ZARA LEATHER CITY BAG WITH ZIP £89.99

BUMP ALERT! Kelly Rowland Launches New Wrist Wear With TW STEEL

Looking stunning in a grey cashmere calf length frock with a matching grey cardy, 33 year old Kelly Rowland showed off her blossoming baby bump when she hit the red carpet in LA at the launch of her new watch line which she partnered with luxury lifestyle brand TW STEEL to create.

The limited edition wrist wear also spotted on the divas wrist is called The Kelly Rowland Canteen Bracelet Special Edition. Time is definitely something we think the diva can’t wait to fly as she is expecting a baby boy this autumn with husband Time Witherspoon whom she got hitched to this May.

Speaking to FOX411 in July, the gorgeous diva inadvertently revealed her baby’s sex when she let slip by saying during her interview : ‘We’re very excited,’ she said. ‘So far, everything has been good. I just feel like the baby is already [spoiled] rotten–like literally, my Caress family has gotten him all of his little bathing stuff, his toys. It’s just so cool.’

Check out the pictures of Mrs Witherspoon, doesn’t she just make you feel broody? #DivaLoves

Ciara Gives A Cute Father’s Day Shout Out to Beau Future With Their Baby’s Pic

She couldn’t have wished her man Future a cuter father’s day message. Singer Ciara used the occasion to give the world our first glimpse of her and her rapper beau Future’s little man Future.

Clad in an adorable jersey top with his name spelt on the front, leather trousers [already a contender for best dressed babies list], and cute little booties, gosh we are in-love with those cherubic cheeks, little Future couldn’t have looked any cuter if he tried.

Ciara gave birth to her bundle of joy on the 19th of May read more http://www.divascribe.com/DivaUrbanWorld/Cest-Magnifique-Ciara-Welcomes-Baby-Boy-With-Fianc-Future-a-380.htmland on the message she sent to her 30 year old fiancé she wrote: ‘Hey Dad aka Big @Future. Baby Future Loves You. #HappyFathersDay’.

Sharing more intimate snaps with her fans on her instagram account, the diva shared another adorable image of the tot with him holding on to his papas index finger. To accompany the image, the Love, Sex Magic singer wrote:

‘From The Moment Baby Future Arrived, He Was Holding Your Hand So Tight, He Knew You Were Dad. Seeing That Melted My Heart…

‘When I Look At Him, I See You Shining Through, And That’s One Of The Most Beautiful Things Ever! 

‘You Are Truly One Of The Realist, Most Caring, Hard Working, Loving Dads In The World, and I’m So Proud Of You.I Love You. Happy Fathers Day@Future.’

 

Nollywood Veteran Richard Mofe-Damijo Suffering Mystery Ailment

Looking a shadow of his former self, Nollywood veteran Richard Mofe-Damijo is allegedly having a serious health issue. The divo who once set female hearts aflutter is battling a life threatening liver ailment. The news is yet to be confirmed by Richard’s camp, but going by the image that was posted on actress Stella Damasus’s facebook page, all is not well. Her comment that accompanied the image asking people to pray for him set alarm-bells ring. She said:  “One of the Popular Nollywood Actor and a brother from another Mother Richard Mofe-Damijo A.K.A. RMD is currently battling with Live threatening sickness now, this is evident from this picture. May God preserve his life and heal him For us”.

Before and Now

Richard last public outing was on the 9th of May to honour the Nollywood icon and producer Amaka Igwe who sadly passed away from asthma related ailment on the 29th of April 2014. Whatever the ailment is, we wish a speedy recovery for Richard as we still want him to set our hearts aflutter.