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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hello...



Hello... it's me. If you're looking for Adele, click here.
I'm dreaming of a mini escape.
This music video is mesmerizing. Have you heard of Stromae?
The only vampire movie I approve of.
The book I would have written if I'd had a Neapolitan childhood.
Swakopmund. An idea worth spreading?
Stylish monochromatic Amsterdam apartment.


Sunday, October 04, 2015

Fresh perspectives

Now on my favourite blogs list: New York based stylist LaTonya Yvette // via Design Sponge
The perfect pineapple // via Design Sponge
I think its safe to say that this is one of the Most Influential Design Blogs
What do you think of the Wikipedia Loves Africa campaign?
Lupita Nyong'o on Broadway -- awesome interview also with Liesl Tommy and Danai Gurira!
Contemporary African thrift style = 2ManySiblings


Thursday, October 01, 2015

WORKSHOP: How to Build a Community Library


Today and tomorrow I'll be giving a workshop on how to build a community library at the Namibia Book Fair! The workshop will provide guidelines on how to collect suitable literature and display books, and manage access to neighbourhood libraries. It also aims to inspire volunteer librarians with tools on how to engage readers including starting book clubs, hosting public readings and using themes. It is FREE and open to youth, community leaders, parents and reading advocates.

Thursday 1 October 17.30 - 18.30 @ the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (118 Robert Mugabe Ave) with one of Namibia's most dedicated librarians Mariet Hayes from the Greenwell Matongo Community Library in Katutura. 

Friday 2 October 13.00 - 14.00 @ the Polytechnic of Namibia library (c/o Brahms & Haydn St Windhoek West) where I hope to engage with students. 


 The Namibia Book Fair is organised and initiated by the amazing Helvi Itenge Wheeler of Yambeka Education Trust.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

I like that! *WITH LINKS*

Update: I got unlazy and added links to my Instagram recommendations -- ENJOY!
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I'm spending a bunch of my online time on Instagram lately. You can find me on @muta.nadimi
Check out the images I've been liking...



@parisianfloors #ihavethisthingwithfloors -- I love this guy's feed! Such gorgeous floors!
@tanyaturi local graphic designer and art activist -- I adore her whimsical perspective!
@blavitylife -- images of beautiful, strong and flexible bodies. I am woman I will stretch!
@louxthevintageguru our local Dapper Dan -- Lourens Gebhardt




@thejungalow -- plants and design. Who doesn't need that?

@penguinukbooks -- pretty book covers!!! Yes please!!!
@igobyfrankie -- crazy girl and fashionista who loves picnics and bright lipstick. Too much fun!




@bydvnlln photography maestro Devin Allen captures real life in Baltimore and Harlem and all places where black lives are lived. His black and white photos are magic! His colour work is deeply enticing, He attends music festivals, protest marches, and captures ordinary moments in a most extraordinary way. I love his work!
@zoeyjewel local natural hair enthusiast. The brain (and hair!) behind the first Natural Hair Expo in Namibia.




More Devin Allen and Parisian Floors! I can't help it!
@hammamimaan -- Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam -- soooooooo beautiful.



And more of the above mix including @facethefoliage

Whose images are you enjoying on Instagram? 


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

4 / DISCOVER art

The Netherlands has a wealth of art heritage and amazing museums of classic and contemporary art. and seeing that Amsterdam is one of the world's art capitals -- do yourself a favour and go to a major art exhibition. The five and half years I lived in Amsterdam (Dec 2004 - June 2010) two major museums were under renovation. Namely the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum.


Monday, August 10, 2015

3 / DANCE the night away

There are so many shows, concerts and clubs to go to in Amsterdam. We went dancing at the Melkweg on one of their hip-hop nights.


Friday, August 07, 2015

Putting loss and love in words

Someone very dear to me passed away recently. Her selfless devotion to her family and community serves as an example to many of us who were raised by her. She is beloved and cherished by many and although her funeral took place a continent away those of us here at home have had to hold on to each other for strength and support. I have almost no words to express the paradox of what I am feeling... the deep sense of loss and yet a calm knowing that she is in a better brighter place.


I just read this beautiful post on How To Write a Condolence Note from one of my go-to-blogs and it couldn't have appeared at a better time. There is a condolence book at the family home and messages from friends and family near and far have been pouring in via email and telephone. I'm gathering my words...

Wishing you a tranquil and loving weekend.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

She's here... my New Boho Book

How gorgeous is this book?


 Blakeney shows us 20 "Bohemian" homes and divides them into 5 categories:
1. Modern: clean and functional
2. Folksy: art and objects with history/ancestral
3. Romantic: sweet
4. Nomadic: tons of colors and fabrics
5. Maximal: all of the above


The verdict is out -- I am a Nomadic Bohemian.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

TV commercial shoot

Last week I had the pleasure of being production manager on a TV commercial shoot. It was my first time working with this local production company with an eye for storytelling. Here are some impressions. Looking forward to seeing the ad on TV!



Thursday, July 09, 2015

Crazy Rich Asians


I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying reading this book. It's already being adapted into a Hollywood movie and with a sequel out the author is busy working on another follow up. This is perfect beach / hammock reading.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Relax @ Nomad Spa






If you've been to the Nomad African Spa in Windhoek - click HERE to vote for them as Best African Day Spa for the World Spa Awards. If you haven't - click on to their website and book yourself a relaxing treatment. You never feel like you deserve a massage until you get one. So just do it!

Day at the Spa

Last week on a Tuesday morning my mother, oldest daughter and I went to a spa. We were all reeling from weeks of upset -- we had a death and subsequent funeral on my mother's side of the family, two of my children had been ill with severe diarrhea and vomiting, I had just recovered from a horrible chest cough and all this in the middle of winter when it's freezing inside and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and hibernate. Besides, I really wanted to treat my mother to something special after breezing past Mother's Day and her birthday without making much of a fuss.

So... after a week of driving past the Nomad African Spa on my school pick up run I e-mailed them for their treatment packages and booked the Ondelela Experience: a 90-minute mother and daughter package of a full body massage and a divine rose water balancing facial. It was just what we needed. We arrived to soft drumming and a welcome song and passed through the small courtyard entrance to a dressing room. We then hung out in the backyard oasis with a dipping pool, hanging chairs and pool loungers where we sipped on tea and sunbathed in the morning light. We laughed at ourselves for taking life so seriously when all we needed was time together and some warming winter sun. And tea -- tea makes everything feel better and we each picked something different from their varied assortment. Once in the treatment room we were calm and quiet and each had a designated wellness therapist treating us.  I felt so deeply physically relaxed afterwards and spent the rest of the day with a rosy gaze in my eyes.

Friday, July 03, 2015

House loving

 (photo via Lonny)

I have friends visiting in 3 weeks and all of a sudden I have an intense urge to finally give attention to my home and garden... OK I get this urge every year - but this time I have a deadline! The funny thing is they're bringing me my copy of The New Bohemians but I can't wait - I'm painting my boundary walls pink and moving plants around! I think the fact that my friend is an interior decorator is making me want to shape up. I'm happy for the push! Here are some links to things I've been thinking about.

The most organised laundry room - seriously with 6 children this woman has it sorted out!
Namibia relevant tips for creating a drought-friendly garden - I'm working on these! 
A place to go to for a little whimsy: Anthropologie - one of my favourite American stores.
And my secret life as an architect - or 'How I wish I was David Adjaye'.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

On reading colour

I read what I like. 



That said, I'm sharing links to articles about reading books by or about people of colour.

Why I’m Only Reading Books By Writers Of Color In 2015

The Author Of 'Crazy Rich Asians' Has A New Book, And This Is The Best News

25 Books by non-white authors and what surprised the reader:

Part of the lesson for me there was that “ethnic” writers don’t just write “ethnic” books about “ethnic” things. As Ben Okri argues, black writers are often “expected to write about certain things, and if they don’t they are seen as irrelevant”.
What this means is that if diverse books are only valued because they can be categorised as being different per se, they are still othered. Even if writers from diverse backgrounds might do commercially well and be critically acclaimed, they face the risk of being stereotyped for their work. Valuing a writer only for their diversity, but not their humanity or talent – that’s tokenism.

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Random but fun links


A fashion blogger from Botswana
What dreams mean
An inspiring creative studio
#AskRachel is a black pop culture twitter response to Rachel Doezal / test yourself!
Some scoop on the home, style and creative life of actress and model Joy Byrant
I love this lady - let tidying up begin!

Have a good week!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

A very short story

One Day
by Mutaleni Nadimi


One day the river would stop flowing. For weeks now the rain had been relentless. Beating down like bullets on the zinc roofs of the informal settlements. Beating down like drums on the school halls. Beating down like diamonds on the taxi’s windscreen. Shipanga was afraid his wife would be upset that he was late. He swerved into the right lane without indicating, instigating a roar of car horns from the traffic now behind him. He turned right at the traffic lights and took a shortcut through the the small shopping centre parking lot to get to the office block. There she was. Pissed off and gorgeous as ever. So what, she wasn’t really his wife. But for fifteen minutes every weekday morning and another fifteen every afternoon he drove her to and from work. High heels, pants suit, red lips and that lovely heap of hair. Just like the women in the ladies’ magazines. She was pissed, but at least she was pissed at him. His wife. “You’re lucky I didn’t jump into another taxi!” she throws her collapsable umbrella on the seat next to her. He watches her pretty face staring out of the window from the back. “Sorry I’m late Madam.” Interrupting him, “Don’t even start! Don’t you use your watches? You have one in your car, one on your wrist and one on your phone. What’s the point?” She takes out her phone and starts typing madly as if her life depended on it. What was the point of working on a computer all day if all you did after you left was work on your phone all evening? Didn’t her fingers tire? He smiled and inhaled the bitter beauty of her presence. One day she would afford her own car. One day he could afford a real wife. For now, it just felt good owning the moment.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Namibian books


So many good titles!

Mama Namibia and Jahohora via Wordweaver
The Namibian Princess via Queen Ndaponah Shikangala
Sam Nujoma via Yambeka Children Media

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Emoji


(cartoons via The New Yorker)

 The New Yorker! 
Here's the story behind Barry Blitt's Hillary Clinton emoji cover"Seriously, how does anyone understand anything that’s written with only letters? I feel sorry for the alphabet."

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

One + One = ?


Some great advice from Babycinno on teaching girls maths positively!

Emilie says "Girls still seem to lack confidence when it comes to maths" so here are her tips on being a role model and teaching girls maths and science
Also - handy tips on teaching the multiplication tables

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

French toast

Fruit + egg + milk + cinnamon + bread = French toast





Monday, June 01, 2015

Children reading

Café, Ghent (Belgium)

(photo via @disruptia)

Children chilling

Parliament Gardens, Windhoek



Friday, May 29, 2015

Books lately...

I've been working on an editorial project and reading for leisure. With all the reading I do for work you would think I'd want to do something else for fun. But nope.



I finished ready the exquisite novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I still remember the moment when I read the title of the book in the thick of the story when the characters are holding on to dear life during a hurricane. Thrilling! I love that moment. This classic book is echoed in Salvage the Bones the 2011 (US) National Book Award winner for fiction which I read a few years ago.


And this is a relationship book a friend recommended... I wasn't sure if I should read it or Esther Perel's Mating in Captivity. I love Perel's TED Talk  on desire and follow her on Twitter -- but I decided to give The Queen's Code a shot.


New Arts & Crafts Manual for Namibian Teachers

It's been a long time...





This week I was fortunate to be in attendance at the launch on 26 May of a new Arts & Crafts manual for Namibian teachers held at the Finnish Embassy in Windhoek. This exciting new publication was funded by the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) and the Finnish-Namibian Society more than 13 years after Cabinet approved a policy on Arts and Culture. The manual was developed over 2 years and 9 months through workshops with teachers with the integral support of  NIED. A lot of emphasis was given on the importance of art in a holistic academic programme and the benefits of developing fine motor skills and teaching individual expression.

All the speakers -- including Ambassador Anne Saloranta, NIED Director Dr Hertha Pomuti and the speech given on behalf of the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Honourable Katrina Hanse-Himarwa highlighted the challenges that Arts teachers face -- including tight budgets, lack of classroom space and art supplies and general attitude of arts education as a luxury. The fact that arts training is not a requirement in teacher training education means that many tasked with this role have little if any experience with arts and crafts. The hope is that this manual engages and provides them with all the necessary tools to have effective and inspiring art lessons. It is jam-packed with activities that are culturally relevant and crafts that can be made using locally available materials, either from nature or recycled packaging. I would love to see what results a more supported arts education programme yields in the next 13 years.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lemons and small change

My mother gave me a huge bag of lemons from her lemon tree and we've been squeezing it into lemonade. It got me thinking of the mantra "When life gives you lemons... make lemonade!" and my children and I joked that Ouma doesn't have to buy lemons from the shop anymore. Then I thought about the lemonade stand and then my random musings got me thinking about all the loose change my children have been collecting for ages, and my own coin collection in a small ceramic bowl I keep in my kitchen...


So I went to my bank last week and got a pack of coin bags. We collected quite a chunk of money and I could easily deposit it at my bank. Win! Thanks for the lemons mama!

Friday, May 15, 2015

I love my chai

There's tea... and then there's spiced tea. I love my chai!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

2 / SHOP at one-of-a-kind stores

When traveling abroad I always make a list of things I want to bring back... always hoping I'll discover new finds too... and then inevitably end up having to make choices because "I can't possibly fit all of THAT into my suitcase!?!" Well this time around I decided to allow myself time to wander, discover new stores and to buy only what I LOVED. Here are some highlights:


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Scientists and other cool women

Today I logged on to a cool Google doodle. Women like Inge Lehmann, Anita Sengupta and Amelia Earheart are set to be role models in my house. My youngest daughter is fascinated by planets, space and generally how things work: 

"Mama, how do batteries work?" 

"How do cars drive?"

"What makes electricity work?"

"When I go to Mars, do you want to come with me on my spaceship?" 

"Mama, I think God lives at the edge of the universe."



She wants to be a scientist. Sometime last year she asked me:
"What do I have to study if I want to be an inventor of cool stuff in space?"
-- I told her that I thought the best career path for her would be to become an aerospace engineer. I even went as far as researching where she could study. I think here or here are good options... I know, she may change her mind, but I can't help being excited at the prospect of raising a future scientist. I hope she grows up supported by her peers, like Einstein and Marie Curie.


She is also, like most children, very perceptive and would ask questions about the order of our society:
"Why are presidents always boys?" 

-- To which I've answered, "They're not. Women are world leaders too."

This "issue" of the lack of visibility of women in science and politics really bothers me. In a good way -- because it motivates me to seek information and images and present them to my children. If the media and our schools don't do it then we as parents have to step up. I took a stack of newspapers and started looking for positive female role models. I figured it would reflect reality better than a glossy magazine (which are often filled with sexy models and super polished high achievers, both of which we are meant to want to be) and I liked this challenge because it means even households who don't have or can't afford magazines could do this project. So here is what we came up with.




I love using our fridge as a gallery because everyone uses the fridge at some point during the day and I can position things at child height. We found pictures of a football team, a local professional tennis player, a happy school child holding books, a university graduate, a young boxer, a taxi driver, and entrepreneur and a pilot.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Friday, May 08, 2015

Parents pics = good karma

They say its good feng shui to have a photograph of the child's parent(s) in their room.

A wonderful Feng Shui secret for establishing parental influence is to have a picture of the parents in the child's room. This is the subtle and best way to assert your authority.  [Feng shui for mothers]                                                                                         It's also a lovely way to display more of our photos at home.                                                                           



This photograph of Ruben and I was taken in 2004 by our friend Laurent Ziegler at a small park in Rotterdam.  It fell out of a book I was dusting from my bookshelf. I tore the background out from an old magazine and framed it in a spare frame that was lying in a random drawer. So much nicer to see it frequently and share it with our daughter.



This photo in the butterfly frame was taken at a formal family photo shoot with Windhoek based photographer Leigh Daniz. Before this it is was stuffed in an envelope. Loving photos can act as gentle reminders for us to show more affection. I hope it also helps with the whole "authority" thing!


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Marketing nerds

There are so many nerds out there that are easy to love. Seth Godin. He's one of them. I've been thinking a lot lately... well, for years actually, about what I consume. Food and cosmetics. Household supplies. Stationary. Fuel. And often, when I'm in the store (or petrol station) I wonder who I'm supporting. Two things often cross my mind:

1. How much do I want to spend?
2. Where is this made?

I'm very bad at sticking to my decision under question one. So as much as possible I shop with a list. The second question is sometimes framed "Is this Namibian?" and the answer is often "No". It irritates me that we consume so much and seemingly produce so little. I keep saying to myself, "I need to talk to Team Namibia". Maybe I'm not well informed. I want to be an empowered consumer.


But above and beyond where my clothes, cosmetics and food is made (or grown) I worry about content. Information. Entertainment. Culture.


As much as I read Namibian books and listen to Namibian music and go to local performances, there is no denying that my appetite is fed from mostly exotic sources. Same for my children. This is something I feel I can at least contribute to bringing towards a better balance. I love listening to American podcasts, watching a Ghanaian web series, reading South African magazines and enjoying every good thing the world has to offer. I just feel we should bring more to the pot. And for those of you doing it... keep bringing it! Let's get the word OUT. I want to see Team Namibia stamped on everything produced here. Let's use our spending power to our own benefit.