Smiley Happy Tehn and Jnr

Day two of my 30 day blogging challenge and what better way to kick off than with a “happy” song.

A couple of months ago, I first heard Zimbabwean hip hop artist Tehn Diamond as he performed on the runway for the Clothing Indaba fashion show, whilst we modeled Joanne Burgers swimwear collection.

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IMG_2975The song entitled Happy, featuring Jnr Brown has just been released on the last day of 2012 and is already becoming a popular hit here so it seems.  Several of the girls in the music video are also with Model Management, Shannon and Tari in particular gave the music video an extra special touch.  Not forgetting my friend Bubu too, who is also seen getting down to this tune in the video, although he would not be out of place adding his own couple of rap verses in there either.

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The unmistakable bright yellow t-shirt that Tehn frequently wears features two crisscross eyes and a smiley mouth spelling out happy.  At both Clothing Indaba and in the music video, some of the swimwear collection also features the eyes and happy smile on the bikini’s, completing the overall “happy” theme.  Shot on location in Harare, the girls dancing and partying around the poolside bar really captures the happy, fun party vibe of this video and mirrors Zimbabwean culture well.  With it’s catchy beat, funky rapping and Shona influence, it’s definitely one of the most interesting and likable tunes I have heard coming from a Zimbabwean artist lately.

Let me know what you think of it….

Looking back on 2012…

It’s already the 30th December and 2012 is nearly over.  We started our own family tradition of looking back on the years photos and video clips on the eve of New years eve, so as I get all the albums and files ready I have been reflecting back on 2012.

Here are some of the highlights  for me:

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Shan and I got married on 12.12.12, the day I turned 31 and spent the best day with our closest family and friends at Alo Alo restaurant.  We had amazing photos taken by Lesanne from Lesanne Photography, at the Quarry and a little animal park, and although it drizzled throughout the entire shoot, we couldn’t stop smiling and laughing.

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The food was outstanding, the drinks flowed and we danced a lot. We also didn’t stop when the restaurant closed, we all came back to our house and carried the party on, a two day celebration no doubt!

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Rocco turned one and Keira turned two this year and it still astounds me daily that they are both now small walking, talking people who make me laugh everyday.  The things they say and do!  Being a mom to these two is the most amazing part of my life, little cheeky mini-me’s that have the most tender and valuable hearts, they are definitely my biggest pride and joy.

This was them at the beginning of the year….and then this is them later on in the year in the car off to their first day at school.

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They started Playgroup / Nursery School and are benefiting from the Montessori programme and are making friends with the American children who also attend the school.  I started helping with swimming lessons there twice a week and have watched some of the kids go from afraid to eager.

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We moved into a beautiful new home early in the year, complete with swimming pool, tennis court, gym and staff quarters which meant finally our maid could live on the property and the kids have lots of space to play and run.  Despite no borehole and good old electricity cuts we love it here and were even originally planning on having the wedding here under a marquee.

The wedding was a highlight as I have already mentioned, but planning the wedding should also be noted as everything was arranged in 7 weeks.  No small feat but when we figured out what we really wanted, the rest miraculously fell into place.  We had considered everything from eloping, to having a ceremony only and no reception to a huge marquee in the garden to every possible venue in Harare.  Luckily we choose an unusual date, which fell on a Wednesday so nothing clashed with other people’s weddings on a Saturday in December and we could organise it at short notice.  My dress nearly didn’t arrive on time, we had issues with the suits, arrival of the flower girl dress and a guest list of nearly 200 to originally consider but like I say, it all fell into place beautifully because we got the most important thing right – each other!

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We got our cat, Diego, at three weeks old and we had to feed it out of an eye drop bottle when it was still a tiny kitten.  He quickly became a firm favourite toy of the babies and is a very loving and tolerant cat to date.

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Keira also started potty training and has made excellent progress with this.  She is still wearing nappies at night and when we go out but is fine wearing her little pants in the day.

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Rocco started talking and was speaking fluent sentences long before he turned 18 months.

I watched Shan get his first tattoo, done by Brad Conradie at Instinckt Tattoos and a visiting American artist added colour and detail to mine.

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We hosted a fun Mexican themed night complete with vast amounts of tequila, maracas, décor and amazing food. I had some help from a professional chef and we put on a delicious feast of tacos, burritos and chile con carne with all the trimmings.

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I organised and hosted a surprise baby shower for one of my close friends Tracey, that I have known since school and we watched her and Wayne walk down the aisle too.  Several months later little Luke was born.

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My two bridesmaids, Crystal and Leandra organised the best hen party ever for me and the three of us ended the night swimming at sunrise, after lots of cocktails, flaming zambuca’s, quizzes, games and Tezza, the most horrendous blow up doll complete with stubble.

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I started this crazycarlysworld blog to document some of the fun, crazy and demanding jobs I do and to try develop my writing skills again.  I enjoy the learning curve blogging sends me on too, I learn something new about myself and life often.

I enjoyed helping Shan realise his career potential in refrigeration again and felt proud watching him pursue this as it gave him a new found confidence and motivation.

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I launched a brand new business, Cosmetic Sculpt Studio, which is a non-surgical body sculpting and facial rejuvenation clinic.  I had no idea how intense starting a new business would be, but from securing a loan, to importing equipment, décor, marketing, company registration and a launch event I did it all myself and it was very rewarding.  I have personally carried out treatments to a number of clients and achieved some great results in inch loss and wrinkle removal.

I developed and managed my own social media campaigns for Wedding Wise, Cosmetic Sculpt Studio and Zimbabwe Plumbing & Maintenance, a combination of family owned businesses and personal ventures.  This lead to me falling into a new job within social media management and I now manage some large clients including Delta Beverages and Swift.

I started modelling again, after two years off and have been involved in runway shows modelling for a variety of designers including Intisaar Mukadam, Jo Burger Swimwear and Marija’s.  I did magazine shoots for my favourite Zimbabwean magazine Out Of Africa, and did some fun promotions for Bulldog energy drink, Barcardi and Cape Camisa including attending a charity golf day for Car Guard.

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We visited some fun local destinations including Leopard Rock in the Vumba, Troutbeck in Nyanga and Pamuzinda Safari Lodge.  Day trips to Mbizi Game park, Darwendale Dam, Lake Chivero and the Lion and Cheetah park were also highly enjoyable.

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We bought a professional pool table and I learnt to play properly, despite much frustration in the beginning, the goal of becoming a hustler spurred me on.  I can now hit the ball, which is a bonus and have been known to sink a few one after the other on the odd occasion.

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We enjoyed visiting kids friendly restaurant St Elmo’s on a number of occasions and loved the fact the kids are not only entertained but also supervised.  So we can sit back and enjoy the rest of the wine and pizza knowing they are having a ball on the indoor jungle gym.

We have met some interesting, crazy and cool new people this year too, and I have loved working with Judith Williams, Jackie Mgido and all the models at Model Management.

So an interesting, fun and full on year behind us, we move forward into 2013 and I am looking forward to the challenges, celebrations and successes ahead.  Here’s to a great 2013!

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Unlocking the VAULT

Unlocking the VAULT

So this morning I had the pleasure of meeting Zimbabwe’s very own, world renowned make-up artist, Jackie Mgido.  She is the perfect combination of grace and energy, and with her international accent, a mix of everything between American and Zimbabwean, she has an appealing conversational manner and makes you feel instantly at ease in her company.

Jackie is the founder of Vault Cosmetics and although her roots are from Zimbabwe she has lived in the USA for some time now developing her skills as a make-up artist.  She enrolled in an elite beauty school, undertaking a Masters degree in beauty and special effects in California and went on to earn coveted opportunities working with some of Hollywoods hottest celebrities, Sylvester Stallone, Neo, Maya, Snoop Dog, Cuba Gooding Junior, Russell Brand, Wiz Kalifa, Far East Movement , Randy Jackson, Ted Danson and John Legend to name more than a few.

Jackie’s career lead to her instructing and help develop other make up lines, until she eventually decided it was time to create her own.  Vault Cosmetics has been created in line with the belief of enhancing your features, not changing them and Jackie “wanted to create a makeup line that would help to make every women’s dream to look and feel beautiful a reality”.

Vault Cosmetics have therefore developed an extensive range of fresh formulas and stunning colors.  Whether you want to indulge in your outter image or unlock the inner vault of your beauty Vault cosmetics is designed to compliment women of every age, creed and colour.

Although Jackie is set to continue touring the world and is leaving Zimbabwe soon, you will still have the chance to meet her and see her amazing product line at a couple more events that are lined up.  With the launch of my own Non-Surgical Studio in the very near future, we are hoping for a collaboration with Vault Cosmetics, for the ultimate in pampering and skin perfecting solutions to make women out there look and feel beautiful.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

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Spinalong is set to re-launch and is promising to be bigger and better than ever.  No longer are they just the cool music shop you could buy all your cd’s from and listen to the new tunes on headphones, which was completely amazing at the time and unlike anything else in Zimbabwe back then in the 90’s.  Maybe you remember their stores, whether it was in town, Westgate or Borrowdale Village.  A popular local hangout for the kids and teen in Harare, the store in the Village, was so different to anything else and yet still a safe place with a good fun atmosphere.  Once you entered the door there were mirrors and very dark rock walls which had various things sticking out of the rock type surface, I think some were even CD’s.  The staircase was dark and mysterious, and it had the same feel as being in a nightclub.  Inside there would be the latest tunes playing and you could literally wonder around the CD displays for ages, in between queuing up to listen to a CD of your choice on the headphones.  In London, this is still a popular option amongst DJ’s as they wander between record stores in Soho listening to the latest tracks to mix so even then they were ahead of their time.  Spinalong in Westgate also had some unusual features, you would enter the shop and walk over some sort of scrap metal mesh bridge and again the store was unusually decorated and attention grabbing.  But apart from standing out aesthetically, what you really went to Spinalong for was the music; it was definitely the go to place for music.

So why not do the same the second time around they must have figured.  This time though they have so many more opportunities to enhance Zimbabwean entertainment, the digital world has taken over, internet usage is on the constant rise in Africa, and Zimbabweans are now so forward thinking things are literally changing before our very eyes.  With private radio stations broadcasting in Zimbabwe now, there is so much more potential to introduce the rest of the world to our music and culture.

So that is exactly what they are planning on doing.  They will be the online “go to” place for music with something like 17 million downloadable tracks.  You will even be able to download movies at very affordable prices.  They are partnering with some of the popular music channels like MTV base and even have connection with Forbes Magazine Africa.  They are re-launching as Spinalong Africa and they are building good relationships with everyone in the music industry across the continent so that they can bring the consumer the ultimate in entertainment.

There is a lot on offer at the moment, when it comes to fresh local talent showcasing themselves.  At the Shoko Festival you will see the fascinating collaboration between Amara Brown, daughter of the late legend Andy Brown and German DJ Andi Teichmann, along with other Zimbabwean rappers Munetsi, Flexxo and Psykotek on 22nd September.  On 13th October, P Square have just confirmed they will be the headlining act at the Lion Lager Summer Festival, which has been put together with the help of HIFA to provide an outstanding show.  Other Zimbabwean acts to feature include Roki, Ba Shupi, Alexio Kawara, and Amara Brown again.  Even at Arundel School on locals can soak up a bit of culture at Spring Strings where you will get to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dudu Manhenga and triple threat McIntosh Jerahuni, dancer, singer, songwriter performing.

PwC have recently stated that we are at the “end of the digital beginning” meaning that despite economic uncertainty the number of sales in tablet and smart phones has still risen dramatically and the Entertainment and Media Industry understand that digital delivery of entertainment is essential.  They understand the digital opportunities and are embracing them, adapting them into their operating models.  Digital is now business as usual for the Entertainment and Media Industry.

Spinalong Africa are quickly following suit allowing everyone access to millions of tracks online, covering every genre of music available, and all right from our own computer.  With their big plans, our amazing local talent in Zimbabwe and the digital age upon us, there is every chance they will still be “the” place to go for music and entertainment.