Reminiscent photos of “Felabration” 2014

I wish I could have blogged in real time when I went to Nigeria to participate in “Felabration” last October however Internet issues wouldn’t allow. Here is a brief recap in pictures. It was a fun trip!

Before we left Accra:
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Upon arrival in Lagos I met Femi and Yeni Anikulapo Kuti, children of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
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After this meeting I was whisked off to the hotel to get some rest for the following day.
Next day at sound check at the shrine:
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And then later that night:
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Here I am backstage with Wanlov:
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..and Nneka:
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The next show was held at Freedom park on Victoria island and I have to say that was my favorite show:
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These last two images were captured by Logor, a truly talented photographer whom I sat and had a chat with for about twenty minutes before the show. He seemed truly passionate about what he does and it shows!

After all the concerts I had a day off for a little sightseeing. Ummu, my assistant for this trip, took me into a Hausa community where I got a sneak peek into the lives of the people who live there. I also got me some awesome Henna tattoos:
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When I look at these beautiful designs I think of the women who surrounded me with love and gave me this gift in ‪Nigeria‬. I remember the beautiful young artist, made to cover herself, not daring to look into my eyes or have a full conversation with me because I am not one of “them”. When she did look at me and smile, I felt her pain and I understood that her art is a huge outlet for her. I think of the ones who rushed over to have a peep at me. They rushed back into their rooms before it was found out that they had actually ventured to go outside. Then I think of the mother of a newborn, who came and handed her 10 day old baby girl to me as if to say, “please bless her and give her your vibes.” It was almost as if she hoped for a different destiny for this baby girl. I couldn’t take pictures with them but their faces are drawn on the canvass of my mind. When I look at these drawings I see the hopes and dreams that may never materialise. These are the souvenirs I brought back from Nigeria. ‪‬

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Independence day – “kpa kpa kpa!” playlist

It’s independence day and I’m so tired…

Physically, mentally, emotionally,.. its been quite intense lately. We are facing great challenges as a nation and each and every one of us is affected. Corruption is the disease that is eating through our governing institutions,  and miseducation is keeping most of us in a self imposed jail. 

The latest thing is the ongoing “Dumsor” crisis. I mean, this problem has been in existence here ever since I can remember but recently, it’s the worse it has ever been. “Dumsor” means “on-off” in twi – a Ghanaian local language. This is referring to the regular power cuts we are experiencing as a result of inefficiencies in our energy system. Electricity is scarce these days. Cost of having it is so high. Cost of NOT having it is even higher. Businesses are folding up and saying goodbye because they can’t afford to continue running their businesses in such difficult conditions. It’s time for us to find sustainable solutions. Of course we’ve heard of solar power and other alternative energy solutions but where is the effort, hard work, discipline, and selflessness that needs to go into making these ideas work for Ghana?

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Students study for their exams by candlelight

Electricity is not the only challenge. We have water problems, waste management issues, rising cost of living, and some really serious environmental issues. I always try to look on the bright side of life (no matter how hard it gets) and I must say I’m really proud of some Ghanaians for their “adaptation techniques” [kpa kpa kpa! << inside joke!]. I'm not just an artist, I'm also a business woman, sharing the pain of my fellow Ghanaians especially small-scale entrepreneurs. I've had to adapt, to re-strategize,  to manoeuvre,  and to "kpa kpa kpa" my way through the first quarter of this year and today, on our 58th independence day, I thank the electricity company of Ghana for keeping my lights on while I take the day off. Today I want to do absolutely nothing apart from having a nice day with my family and as I type this in my bed I wish all Ghanaians a reflective independence day, and I hope the lights stay on.

Here are a few "Dumsor" songs and clips on YouTube (yes it's that bad):

DUM – SOR by Creo concepts

“Mi ma mo Dumsor” – 1Fame feat. wanlov

Dumsor song by wOne

This one is a track I did with UK based producer – Richy Pitch:
“Mother dey suffer” – Richy Pitch feat. Yasmeen

And if you just want to listen to some of my tracks (but of course you do! Lol! )

Here’s my ReverbNation link:
Yasmeen songs on ReverbNation

Or..

Click here to visit my soundcloud

One love!

Cupcake soaps: Bath and body novelty

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These cupcake soaps may be sitting here looking all pretty but I assure you I had such a rough time making them today. First of all I bought the most annoying icing tool in the world, and secondly, I used a formula that went very hard very fast. Arrrgh!! I almost pulled my hair out. But thankfully I made it through. 🙂

I’ve been making cupcake soaps for a while now but with a different, softer formula than the one I used today. Today I just thought I would challenge myself with a different formula and a variety of color combinations. The icing tool though, was NOT meant to be part of the challenge.

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If you are a soap maker attempting these for the first time let me offer a few words of advice. Stick to making smaller batches, using maybe 2 colors at a time until you’ve really got the hang of it. Use a formula that won’t go hard on you too fast, and be careful of fragrance oils that will accelerate trace and the hardening of your soap.

Despite the craziness I went through to get these done I’m quite happy with them and look forward to making another batch real soon. Cupcake soaps are a novelty bath and body item that give a more exciting look to your bathroom. They make great gifts, souvenirs, and giveaways for weddings and parties of all kinds.

They smell fabulous by the way! 🙂 🙂

Till next time..

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