Tuesday, 19 August 2014

My Woman/Style Crush!!!! Nhlanhla Nciza

Nhlanhla Nciza, the female singer of Mafikizolo (one of South Africa's fave music groups). I first found about her and music group when their song 'Khona' (from their Reunited Album) gained popularity in Nigeria and reached my ears. I fell in love with the song, their style, the dance, EVERYTHING!!! I can lipsync to the song and say some of the lyrics which is in Zulu language (tnx to Google) and even have an understanding of what the song is about. The rhythm and beat of the song is just super catchy and gets u moving. I did not really bother checking up on her until the 'Tchelete' song came out, which was a collaboration between Mafikizolo and Davido. This was when i realized her style was something different and i loved it!! It was fresh, especially her neck pieces, head gears, dress cuts, color selections, hairdo. Impeccable & Unique!She obviously pays attention to her style. I'm fascinated and in loveee! can u tell? lool. I googled her and found out her name (beautiful and captivating name, its Zulu and means Luck), her interviews, her IG page and that of Theo (the male singer in their music group) and much more. She has been featured on quite a no. of magazine covers including Forbes Woman Africa.
I read up on her life and she has been through a whole lot, from the loss of her daughter (Zinathi) in a car accident in 2009 to the loss  of the 3rd member of their music group leaving just 2 of them who are currently in the group. She went solo for about 4 years before Mafikizolo was reunited.
I admire her strength, to be able to rise above all these happenings, find her voice and passion and delve back into music and still remain so beautiful. She is a true survivor, she is 36yrs old and married with a son at the moment and has been into music for just over a decade.

Their genre of music is Kwaito (which i'm a big fan of) while some can put it under Afro-pop, Mafikizolo has won awards this year including Best Group and Song of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2014 and several nominations including for the Best International Act:Africa at the 2014 BET Awards (they also performed as part of the Music around the Globe presentation  at the BET Experience at L.A live) . Another reason i love the duo asides from their singing abilities is that they put in obvious work in their lyric content, stage performances, outfits and even music videos. They have released 8 albums till date. Their songs also bring back fond memories of Brenda Fassie's Vulindlela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka's Umqombothi and other related songs. 

Check out her IG page and Theo's IG page and definitely listen to their music, my fave are Khona (featuring Uhuru), Majika, Emlanjeni, Tchelete-Good life (they were featured by Davido) and Happiness (featuring MayD). Sure u'll fall in love with her too and Mafikizolo's songs.

Naija Food the modern way and more-Dooney's Kitchen

You know how much i love my naija cooking!!! Here's one of my top faves for recipes- Dooney's Kitchen. I love how she takes her time to write her posts and put up pictures of the process for the reader to be able to understand and simulate the process easily. What i love most about her though is her knack for finding easy ways to implement otherwise stressful traditional Nigerian meals with modern equipment and ease stress and the western twists she puts on it, her presentation of the meals is also very appealing.#2014Nigerian cooking is the way forward for modern wives like me who have no interest in spending forever in the kitchen e.g. her Blender pounded yam is my top tried and tested and loved innovation, she also has the Handmixer Amala, Food processor Ojojo and Ikokore and sooo much more. She's working on a cookbook and i can't wait to have it once its out. She just joined Youtube so stay tuned for a lot of tantalizing and mouth-watering vids. You can check out her blog for loads of recipes to experiment with both Nigerian and Western dishes and her mixed creations lol. Dooney is a blessing to people like me that wanna make awesome meals but wanna do it in efficient ways leaving enough time and energy for other things after cooking is done. You'll see Blenders, Food processors and the likes put to use like never b4!
Check out my previous posts here and here on amateur cooking/healthy living and other food blogs to watch. Thank me later :)


Friday, 8 August 2014

Lumo Naturals Salon Updated Review (Lvd it!!)

Read my most recent post (Oct 2016) here.
Everyone deserves a 2nd chance or 3rd chance or umpteenth chance that is if they want that chance though and i have to say i'm greatly pleased to have given this salon another chance. I'm proud to say they have now found a customer in me and i will gladly make the trip to Gwarinpa for their service because they have proved to be worth the effort and my hard earned cash. Is this the same gal with no good things to so about Lumo Naturals salon in her last post?  Yup!! Na the same me o my beautiful people! I really do appreciate growth and improvement when i see it displayed and do my best to commend such in order to promote more growth and even much more improvement. 
I called out the salon in a post i wrote in April after 2 visits (late December/early January which i specified in that post) there and getting extremely unsatisfactory service. There was no feedback initially after the post before all of a sudden in July, comments came in on the post and then i got a buzz on whatsapp from the owner of the popular Nigerian blog i had mentioned in the post where i had read up on the salon before my disappointing visit, she asked what was going on between me and the salon and pleaded that i remove her blog name from the post because of some legal thing or smtn like that was being brought up and she did not want to be involved which i perfectly understand. I really wondered why a big fuss was being made about my post since it was about my experience there and i had written it a while back also specifying the period of my visit.
I eventually found out the cause of the fuss. I had forgotten the address of the salon as i was preparing to make my 3rd visit (for the updated review) and decided to google the salon to get the address, as i scrolled down the 1st page of the results, there it was, the cause of all the drama! My post on the salon was on the 1st page of the google results!! No wonder! I had absolutely no clue of this 'cos after my visits to the salon and putting up my post i had more or less written them off, forgotten about it and moved on. I scrolled through to see the other results from Google and found another interesting post, this time from the Lumo Naturals blog and it was a rejoinder to my post (explaining the reason for the service described i my post and being overwhelmed and some other stuff) and that was honestly also my first time seeing their post. The only feedback i had noticed were the comments made on my own blog to the post and the only one i took seriously was that of the Salon Manager who apologized for the service and asked that i pay them another visit nothing about the rejoinder was mentioned in her comment . Anyways all that one don pass, lets move to the koko of this post make i no bore una with my long tori.

I kid u not, this salon is now the ish!! I'm not one to succumb to pressure and though some of the 'commenters' tried to bully me with their comments, i honestly didn't give ahoot about them, i made up my mind not to do an updated review till i visited the salon again for myself especially for the sake of the salon Manager who had commented on my previous post and though it was a bad review was courteous in her comment. Every single item under my 'What can change' list in the 1st review i did on them HAS changed!!! like really really changed and for the better! (i'm sure its not due to my post though as they said they were transitioning to the salon the times i visited, i had no knowledge of this till i stumbled on their rejoinder to my post)
Below is the closing comment that i wrote in the 1st post/review i did about the salon
"I'm furious at this salon because it has a lot of potential, i don't know any other 'Natural Hair' salons and there is a high natural hair community in the FCT from the last NITC meeting i attended. 
What can change?
The salon arrangement
The scheduling process for customers
The seating provision for customers
The no. of staff
The no. of appliances,shoulder towels, shower caps, etc. for customers to use
The customer service
The provision of entertainment for waiting customers (can be looped Natural Hair Youtube videos-hairstyles, advice, products, etc.)
The storage of hair products for sale (against theft)
I believe these changes will take the salon a long way!"

I was very detailed in my last post and i owe it to u guys and it is only fair to the salon that i be just as detailed in this post. I would have taken pictures also but i didn't want anyone to come on here and start commenting about unauthorized pics and what not so i'm gonna put a pic of my hair instead, hopefully the salon manager will take some cool shots of the salon at some point and post it on their blog so i can link it up here and you guys can get a visual of the changes, then again you can just opt to visit the salon and see it for yourself.

I called the phone no. i found online to book an appointment, the person was courteous and noted the time and day i will be coming and also told me how much the hairstyle would cost after i described it to her. I received a call from their landline about 20mins to my scheduled appointment to confirm if i would still be coming (i was very impressed by this). I got to the salon at around 3:30pm on Thursday, it was a nice sight for my previously sore eyes, the salon was refreshingly light and airy,a beautiful beige/eggshell off-whitish wallpaper was at a section, while the rest of the walls had an off-white paint color to it that blended very well and made the salon space seem more spacious and airy. There was a 2-seater sofa in the corner with a small table, a TV was up on the wall, the hair dryer has been replaced with a wall mounted mount one that can be moved to where the customers are seated. The main customer section is now fitted with 3 mirrors with drawers attached leaving enough leg room space. I also spotted a pot plant in the corner, the chairs where mostly green or orange with just about 2 black ones in the mix, these colors added a very nice touch to the space and y'all know green is my fave color anyways. There were 3 staff clad in work aprons in the salon while i was there and they were extremely courteous, 1 of them picked the attachment while the other 2 braided my hair, this was the part i enjoyed the most to be honest 'cos i'm not a fan of picking attachment and i was able to enjoy my novel (Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). I was also given a consultation form to fill which is a good thing as this will aid feedback from customers and help build a relationship with them if properly reviewed. There were about 3 wall shelves, 2 of which contained the hair products for sale (Jamaican black castor oil, Natural Nigerian products, Shea butter, Argan oil and much more) while the last shelve was close to the washing area and contained mostly products for washing. There were also wall hooks with hair bands/scarves, Spritz bottles, combs and similar hair accessories for sale. I also noticed that they had hair clasps and ankara bangles for sale. My favorite feature of the salon has to be the Natural hair quotes hung on the walls and the centerpiece lighting, it was too gorgeous!!! The lighting was a dangling 3 step cube with colorful yarn of turquoise, red and yellow spun randomly with a different color on each cube, it gave the salon the nice finish that it needed. The salon was also kept clean as the floor was swept as soon as i was rounding up with my hair. They also had an air-conditioner installed and two wall fans and there was also a generator and there's enough ventilation through the window and 2 screen doors in the salon. There's also a fridge although i don't know if they sell refreshments as i did not ask for any I took a look at their general rates and they were very reasonable and affordable.

A proper towel was around my neck while my hair was being braided, i had already washed my hair and de-tangled at home before heading to the salon, i bought my attachment from the market closest to the salon as the salon does not sell extensions or weaves. 2 people braided my hair while the 3rd picked the attachment and asides for a customer i initially met there, once she left i was the only customer there till i left. My hair was started around 3:50pm give or take after the attachment had been pick and cut and they were completely done (trimming and all) by 6:58 pm  ( i looked at the time to be certain) which is approx 3 hours and very good timing for the braids i did. I paid 3k for the braids (which is really affordable for Abuja even if i add the cost of transportation to/from the salon) and filled the consultation form and left a very happy customer! I do not know their closing time, i'm guessing it depends on customer traffic but they closed shop after i left as i was the only customer there. I will definitely be referring this salon to my friends (both naturals and otherwise) henceforth. My braids are extremely neat, they were also very careful with my front hair. I'm glad i got to do this updated review and at the changes in the salon. Great customer service and prices! What more can a natural gal ask for :D Keep up the good work! 

This is not a sponsored post and i was attended to just as any other customer would be, as my identity was anonymous and i also paid in full for the service rendered. Naturals in the FCT! this is where you wanna get your hair done! Call to get an appointment, their land line 09-2911727 works and they give preference to customers who book an appointment over walk-in customers, You can visit their blog for more info on them. Avoid unnecessary antics to get u to relax ur hair  from regular salons because the stylists think your hair is too hard or any of that annoying stuff!!

Change is the only constant thing, Embrace it.