Doek Tutorial 2: Juicy Top Knot 

My first attempt at this doek style was an epic fail. 

So when I decided to celebrate Women’s month with doek styles from 50 Shades of Duku, I definitely had to give the juicy top knot another go. Looking at the final result, I can safely say: I am winning! 

The challenge with this style is securing the ‘bun’ if like me, you have a TWA. Thankfully 50 Shades of Duku author, Ofentse Tsipa, has found a way around this little problem. Have fun with it and don’t forget to tag me, @50shadesofduku and @truthepopup in your doek selfies to stand in line to win our amazing hamper. 

1. Create your bun shape from a pashmina. However, if you’re like me and happen to have crochet braids lying around, make a bun from that. 

2. Secure the bun on the crown of your head. 

3. Use the doek to cover your head and the ‘bun’ from the back of your head and pull the ends forward.

4. Cross the ends over each other and make sure the bun is secure and in place. 

5. Begin twisting each end until taut.

6. Wrap each twist in the opposite direction around the bun and tuck the twists under each other to secure. 

Stay winning! 

Doek tutorial 1: Two Toned Knot

When I read that this doek style is for days when you want to express yourself through colour, I knew I had to try it out.

50 Shades of Duku author, Ofentse Tsipa, said that this doek style can be worn as a side knot with the knot placed a little behind the ear. However, you can also rock it as a low bun with the knot placed at the back of the neck. 

I opted to share a tutorial for the option shown in the book – where the knot is placed at the front of the head – for that dramatic effect of course. 

I used my red and yellow Tsonga materials for this doek style as they are my go-to for when I want to stand out without adding more accessories to my look. 

The end result is really beautiful and is a great play on colour just like Ofentse promised. 

1. Start off with your two doeks. As you’ll be layering them, decide which one you’d like to show off as the centre of attention.

2. Place one doek over your entire head, make sure the middle of the doek is at the nape of your neck. Pull the fabric forward. 

3.  I began to twist the first doek slightly to secure it in place. Repeat step 2 with the second doek.

4. To make easier for myself, I began to twist the ends of the two doeks first before twisting them together. 

5. Now begin to twist the ends of the doeks together right until the bottom of the doeks. 

6. Twirl the two-toned twist in a circular motion above your forehead to create the knot. You’ll have to pull the knot a little tight ensure that it is secure and tuck in the ends under the knot to secure. 

Now go out and slay queen! 

Don’t forget to share your headwrap selfies on Instagram and Facebook and tag @icherryefresh, @truthepopup and @50shadesofduku to stand in line to win an amazing hamper worth over R500. 

Adjust your crown queen 

The last three months have been quite a rollercoaster – between having my car stolen, getting older and general adulting ups and downs, I’m glad to welcome in a new month. 

Here in Mzansi we celebrate women throughout August. This is because on August 9, we commemorate and celebrate the thousands of South African women who, in 1956, staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act.

What history reminds us with this march is the power in the unity of women. The 1956 march was a success which saw women from as far as the Eastern and Western Cape travel to Gauteng to join in. Women from all walks of life came together in solidarity to stand in defiance of yet another law which would further undermine their dignity.

Seeing the images from the march especially the iconic image of Rahima Moosa, Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, and Sophie Williams always does the rounds on social media when August 9 comes around and all I kept thinking to myself (without any attempts to undermine the cause) when I see the photo is: “if I only I was half as stylish as these women, even at a protest, they manage to look like absolute queens”

And so in celebration of queens throughout August, I’ve partnered with 50 Shades of Duku, a step-by-step doek tutorial book by Ofentse Tsipa, as well as my friends at TRU to share a 30-Day celebration of the doek. I’ve selected 30 doek styles from Ofentse’s book and will be bringing you one style each day with a special doek for the 31st! 

Each Wednesday I’ll be posting my doek #WCW and on Fridays I’ll share my favourite style with a step-by-step guide from the book. 

Thanks to the generous folks at TRU as well as 50 Shades of Duku author, Ofentse Tsipa, I have a hamper consisting of: a signed copy of the book, a doek from TRU and as well as icherryefresh accessories. In order to stand a chance to win this hamper worth over R500, tag @icherryefresh, @truthepopup and @50shadesofduku in your doek selfie – the more selfies you post and tag us, the higher your chances of winning. Competition open to followers in SA only. Winner will be notified and announced on September 1. 

Zithande beyps! 

“I need to be selfish.” 

When these words come from a potential boyfriend, anyone’s initial reaction would be panic and devastation. 

Ok maybe I speak only for myself because frankly I was shocked as I heard these five words and thought: “how can being selfish be a good thing?” 

A part of me immediately dismissed this notion but over time when the anger and disappointment of things not working out finally left me – I got it. He was right – prioritising oneself is key because you can’t give from a proverbial empty cup. 

Self-care is an essential part of our well being. It’s important to pay attention to yourself as it helps you to feel more connected to yourself and those around you. 

This month, because it’s my birthday month, I’ve made a decision to be kinder to my self and have some self-care activities which I hope you can also adopt in your self-care routine:

  • Unwind – tea makes it all ok – add some lemon and mint and some delish biscuits and you’re good to go.

  • Escape – my budget doesn’t allow for weekends away so I’ve chosen the more affordable way – I read. 

  • Mediate – I find this one challenging. It’s hard for me to quieten the mind but if you can take a few minutes each day to reflect, it all adds up. 

  •  Pamper – painting my nails while watching something on TV is a nice way to treat myself. From soaking, to scrubbing then moisturising my feet – it’s really the little things. 

  • Treat – a good glass of red, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate and spicy snacks are my go to after an exhausting day. Whatever the problem is, I’ll find the solution at the end of the glass. 

  • Write – ever since grade 6 English class, I’ve been keeping a journal. Writing helps me to ‘talk’ about my feelings without any judgement. I also love reading back past entries and giggle about some of the crazy things I’ve overcome. 

  • Record – count your blessings. Last year I read about keeping a good things jar and I started one this year. Each time something good happens, I write it on a sticky note and place it in the jar – when the year ends I’ll open it up and look back at all the lovely things that have happened. 

  • Listen – music is an amazing way to help lift the spirit. Despite the mood I’m in, when certain songs come through the speakers, I immediately feel good. 

  • Unplug – switch the phone off, go outside and watch the clouds float by. 

When self-care becomes part of your routine, you’ll feel less stressed; you become happier and are able to deal with situations more positively. Luckily good vibes are contagious so the people around you will be grateful too.

Please share some of your self-care activities with me so I can add them to my list. 

Work and play! 

I left the office life two years ago but I remember the struggle of looking professional, cute and staying warm during winter.

Knitwear is a fun addition to the wardrobe and it can be dressed up to give you a more office appropriate look. 

FBO Clothing has given me a few items from their newly unpacked winter range and I’ve put together some looks that will hopefully inspire you to slay in the boardroom.

The key to any wardrobe is investing in staple pieces with a higher price tag so they move not only from season to season but stay with you over the years. Most of the items I’ve styled with the knits from FBO Clothing are well over 5 years old but I can still rock them and will keep doing so for a long time. 

Fridays were my favourite days at the office, I loved that I could dress down and be able to put together a look that can go straight into the weekend. 

THE LOOK: Striped jersey, FBO Clothing; Boyfriend jeans, TORRID; Patent brogues, Melton jacket and Hat, Woolworths; Socks, Cotton On; Drawstring bag, Trenery; Zuzi earrings, icherryefresh

I was barely in the corporate space but I’ve noticed over the years that fashion is starting to loosen up and making way for a more relaxed look in some offices. 

I’m a creative so I’ll never go fully power suit but I think I’d be taken seriously in this ensemble. 

THE LOOK: Striped batwing jersey, FBO Clothing; Leggings with pleather detail, Donna; Black and White pointy wedges, Melton jacket and Bag, Trenery; Shades, Woolworths, Neckpiece, YATO Jewellery Studio and Wig, TRU 

Office wear doesn’t have to be boring and glitter makes everything fun. Who says you cannot sparkle in the office?

THE LOOK: Silver jersey, FBO Clothing; Pencil skirt and Bag, Trenery; Peep toe heel and Parka, Woolworths; Wig, TRU and neckpiece; from my mama 

The jersey under my pleather skater skirt is asymmetrical – I’m not a fan of this hemline so I opted to hide it under a skirt. I added a headwrap and beaded accessories because after all, I’m a working woman in Africa. 

THE LOOK: Asymmetrical jersey, FBO Clothing; Pleather skirt and Stockings, City Chic; Black and White pointy wedges and Bag, Trenery; Melton jacket, Woolworths; Indoni choker and Nefertiti earrings, icherryefresh and headwrap from my personal collection

I’m told black is slimming but the reason I love it is because of the canvas it creates for a look. I can add my accessories without feeling like it’s overdone. 

THE LOOK: Black V-neck  jersey, FBO Clothing; Pencil skirt and Melton jacket, Woolworths; Black and White pointy wedges, Trenery; headwrap, neckpieces, earrings, bag and bangles from my personal collection

Even though I haven’t been in an office environment in a while, I occasionally dust off the blazers and pencil skirts and amaze people and myself. Winter clothing can be bulky but with some planning, your looks can still be simple but still striking.

Going organic and not looking back 

May is gone and the TRU 30-day skin challenge is over. 

I must admit I didn’t think I would last the full 30 days. I thought by day 10 I’d be back to my old products and all the organic products would be long forgotten. But I’m happy to report that I stuck with it and I’m glad I did.

During the last few days of the challenge I must admit that the skin around my neck started to feel tight (I used the black soap to wash both my face and neck). I continued to only use the soap on my face and it’s been fine since. I’ve also used the soap to wash my hair and it’s proven to be the best option as it thoroughly cleans my oily scalp. 

I’m pleasantly surprised that the Moringa infused serum has been able to keep my face hydrated as winter set in fully. I’m happy to report that my skin is glowing and not shining and that’s the looking any woman goes for. 

I’m almost out of out the shea butter and will have to restock soon. It’s been a pleasure to use on my body and hair and I suddenly can’t imagine my life without it. 

I’m officially a convert. I always believed that the solution to my glowing skin and strong hair was inside a bottle or tub made in a lab somewhere by folks in white coats. 

My mom would often suggest natural remedies for various ailments and although those worked, I just wasn’t entirely convinced when it came to skin and hair products. 

Here are the 5 lessons I’ve learned from my challenge: 

1. Not all shea butters are equal. The shea butter from TRU is 100% certified organic Nilotic unrefined butter. This means it is creamy, soft and easy to apply onto the skin unlike its western cousin which has been described as hard and waxy.

2. Top to toe is the way to go. I was a happy to find out that I can use TRU’s shea butter on my hair, face and body – this means I don’t have to have 3 separate tubs for moisturising. 

3. Moringa is not a slimming tea. I learned that the Moringa plant is indigenous to many African countries including South Africa. It’s highly rich in vitamins and minerals. TRU has made their serum by infusing grape seed oil with the Moringa powder making it an excellent moisturiser for acne prone skin like mine. 

4. African Black soap is magical. The soap, which originates from West Africa, has a myriad of benefits including anti-aging, evening out of and fading skin discolourations (including acne scars) thus improving skin tone. It is a mild exfoliate with deep cleansing action and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties; this helps with soothing skin inflammation and irritations.

5. Once you go organic, there’s no turning back. I’m completely sold on TRU’s product range. I will continue with the range and hopefully I will rid my skin of acne, discolouration as well as acne scars. 

This challenge has helped me get into a good skin routine and I’m very happy with that. I hope to continue with TRU’s products and cannot wait to post my selfies when summer comes along. 

TRU’s products are available directly from them via Facebook, TRU: The Pop Up as well as Instagram, @truthepopup and you can also place your orders via WhatsApp on 084 882 6558. They are also available at the following salons in Jozi: Indalo Nubian Naturals, 77 Commisioner Street and Defhairnition Salon, cnr Fereirra and Commisioner Streets. 

Groovy baby!

I’m nostalgic.

It’s a blessing and at times longing for what was can be a burden but every once in a while, it’s great to look back.

When I told my photographer friend about the idea I had for the winter shoot in collaboration with FBO Clothing, he immediately knew where to go for us to pull off my 70s winter fashion shoot.

When we arrived at his childhood home in Daveyton, I knew we were going to create some nostalgic magic. I roped in TRU and their amazing range of their soon-to-launched wigs and I was ready to take it back to one of my favourite decades.

Winter is a difficult season for me because although it’s my favourite time of the year, the fashion can be cumbersome and in turn unbecoming, I love the layering but each year I end up looking more like a bag lady than a diva. 

I really wish I’d made a better choice for my bottom for this look I rocked at a recent networking event; I’d also be serving chic like my friend Margaret.

Dressing up for events in winter can be challenging (see above). I had to make things right so I paired this sequin ensemble (H&M MAMA top and Jane Norman skirt) with stockings from Donna, wedges from TORRID and a curly wig from TRU. Naturally you’ll throw your cute coat over the look before you leave the house and the upside about the wig is that you don’t need a hat to keep your ears warm.

The maxi dress is summer’s blessing to winter. It’s one of the items we don’t have to pack away once the cold winds start blowing. Like I mentioned in my Last daze of summer post, I love idea of pairing heels with socks or in this case stockings. This H&M floral maxi is perfect with my Call It Spring cork platforms. I know my thrifted bead purse is from two decades before the 70s but if you’re going to walk down memory lane, might as well wonder right? I finished off the look with the amazing headpiece from YATO Jewellery Studio. 

I think my attraction to the 70s is all this sequin and hair. Winter needn’t be dull and this fun H&M sequin mini speaks to that. I’ve paired it with a pair of stockings from City Chic and with my trusty Woolworths denim jacket over the shoulders and Zara box clutch in tow I’m ready to dance the night away in my TORRID wedges. This TRU wig was hard to part with – I’ve named it Pinky and hope to be rocking my very own soon.

It’s funny to think that I’ve only been wearing pants and jeans for five years – I honestly didn’t think they looked good on me but I eventually gave in to a pair and haven’t looked back. My sister got me these bootleg jeans from GAP a few years ago and I finally have a chance to rock them.
For this look, I paired them with the platforms and stockings combo as well as this crossover strap Zara top. The top is so cute and the first Zara item that I found in FBO that fits me. The earrings are from my upcoming Spring/Summer range. I added the thrifted clutch to match the heels.

Next up with the jeans is a cute grey sweater from FBO. I accessorised with my old MR Price feather earrings, bright pink crossbody bag I picked up at market in South Korea ages ago, my YATO headpiece and white and gold Call It Spring wedges. 

I love yellow in every shade and mustard is no exception. I must admit I wasn’t sold when the team at FBO pulled this top from the rack of goodies for this shoot but it’s definitely going to be a staple in my wardrobe. My thrifted bag collection is ever growing and I seem to have luck in finding them in a variety of colours and textures. The headpiece and neckpiece from YATO pulls this look together perfectly. 

The second Zara find to fit me is this this slouch t-shirt with zip detail. It’s a simple but edgy look with a touch of badass. I added my Woolworths jacket with stud details, Zara box clutch, TORRID wedges and stole the photographer’s shades to finish off the look.

This year I summoned the fashion powers of Chaka Khan, Diana Ross and Donna Summer and will confidently get through winter in style.

Fresh and Clean: 10 days to go 

I can’t believe May has flown by so quickly. 

It was only a few posts ago that I had announced that I’ll be using TRU’s Shea Butter, Moringa Infused Serum and African Black Soap and I’ve only got 10 days to go until my 30-day skin challenge is over. 

My first impression of the organic skin products was whether I’d notice any difference with the use of the products. After using an array of skin products over the years to tackle my acne, I wasn’t really sure I would find anything that would not only help clear my skin but would also not leave my skin feeling dry and tight.

The folks over at TRU explained to me that the products aren’t magic potions and my diet plays a major role in helping them work effectively. After my recent chocolate binge post Easter, I was advised to drink plenty of water and cut down on my sugar intake in general. Winter is a difficult time to discipline the diet but I suppose it’s not a challenge if it’s not going to push me out of my comfort zone.   

My favourite of all three products is the Black Soap; apart from loving its earthy smell, I love the way it’s washing my hair – I have an oily scalp and it’s dealing with it quite well with that. I must add that it’s also worked well removing make up (especially eye make up) and so I’ll be stocking up on more before this bar finishes. 

The Moringa Serum made me nervous – with oily skin like mine I found it quite strange to use an oil on my skin. I was reassured that the oil is a great moisturiser for my skin type and I’m happy to report that it feels amazing and doesn’t leave me with a bad shine. 

As I’m no stranger to Shea Butter, it wasn’t hard to convince me on it. TRU’s butter is unrefined so it doesn’t have any additives like essential oils. The smell isn’t what I’m used to – all those exotic fragrances in mixed body butters. It’s a pleasure to put on as it’s soft and easy to spread. 

With only 10 days to go, I’m very to admit that I’m happy to have accepted the challenge. Once May is through, I won’t stop using the products and I hope you’ll join me too. 

I’m giving away a TRU starter pack worth over R200 containing 175g African Black Soap, 120g Unrefined Shea Butter and 50ml Moringa Infused Serum. All you need to do to enter is subscribe to my blog, follow TRU and icherryefresh over on Facebook and Instagram then leave a comment on either platform about why you’d switch over to organic skincare products like the range from TRU and if you’ve already made the switch, let me know why you’re never looking back. The competition will run until the end of May and the winner will be contacted directly.

*Competition is open to followers in South Africa only. 

Keep howling 

I always joked about how I’d never have a reason to be seen in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni; Sphiwe Giba unknowingly had other plans for me. 

I had never met the 34-year who runs and owns, Wolf and Co Cafe but by the time I walked into his restaurant, I felt like we go way back. 

He explains that we shared the same sentiment about Tsakane but he soon came to realise that what he thought was a backward township in the Styx is actually rich with history and like many forgotten places in SA, it played a major role during our political struggle. 

The restaurant wasn’t hard to find once I made it through my hour long drive to Tsakane – it’s far guys – pack a snack! The converted shipping container stands out in Ngcobo Street and despite the cold weather that particular afternoon we decided to venture there, we were welcomed with warmth.

When he described Wolf to me as a space that is never static and constantly fluid; I couldn’t have agreed more. 

After my friend, Tumi and I parked our cars, we were immediately greeted by the Bicycle Stokvel, cyclists who were gathered around imbawula warming themselves after cycling in the rain for 2 hours from Vosloorus. Once we stepped inside the container, I felt as though I’d been transported back to Tottori, Japan with the quintessential golden Maneki-neko beckoning us into the space. 

He attributed the Asian influence in both the space and the menu to his history with Asian practices – he did Tai Chi and Kung Fu back in 2013 and was also into dragon boat for training. He also loves Asian dishes and Zen influence and for those of us who miss being in the Orient, the space brings all the elements we miss together quite beautifully. 

We tried ordering some warm drinks hoping we’d be sipping on mulled wine or an Irish coffee but Sphiwe explained that Wolf is an alcohol free zone. He made the conscious decision to not have alcohol served in the space explaining that he prefers his patrons to take in the space without any lubrication. 

I opted to sip on warm pineapple tea along with Palesa and Dimpho while Tumi had her cappuccino – attributed to a slight caffeine addiction. While the guys had their lunch before heading back on their bikes, I got some time to take in the various aspects of Wolf. We found an entrepreneur working quietly on her Apple Mac while the girls and I filled the space with giggles. I distinctly remember hearing some of my favourite hip hop jams while watching the cyclists change back into the clothes they’d left to dry. 

Sphiwe is a lone wolf and he’s taken this aspect of his personality straight into his restaurant – he cooks alone and has no waitressing staff. I was a little averse to the idea but it adds a lovely personal touch when he brings out his meals and tells you what he’s prepared for you that day. 

The meals change every time and he only serves them on Friday evenings, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons so if you’re like me and get attached to a dish, don’t. He won’t be making it again. I love the element this brings to my dining experience, although I’m sad I missed out on a few dishes he’s already served over the last few weeks before I came for lunch; I have no regrets about the spicy soup the self taught cook served us on Saturday. You can taste the love and passion in each spoonful and I will definitely be back to sample more of his amazing dishes. 

While we’re eating he chats to us about how this has been a labour of love for 5 years that he finally made come true in collaboration with J&B Hive. He’d been living in downtown Joburg since his late teens and made his return to Tsakane after his 30th birthday. After looking for the perfect house, buying it, adding the shipping container; he finally built the space to what it is now. 

He hopes the space will translate his creative process and energy and will transcend creative boundaries that we sometimes find ourselves hiding behind. The vision is simple: happy faces, full bellies, more dishes, single origin coffee and live performances. 

“I want to see a safe space for creative freedom that doesn’t discriminate,” he smiled. After my experience there, I can safely say he’s well on his way there. 

TRU giveaway 

It’s been quite an experience using the TRU products over that last 2 weeks. 

Being someone who’s fairly new to organic skincare products, I was both excited and wary to get started. 

As I’ve mentioned I don’t expect clear, baby soft skin immediately but I’m happy to report that I’ve not had any reaction to the products and as the temperature keeps dropping, the products have been dealing amazingly with the dryness that usually comes with winter. 

TRU has been generous enough to let me give away a starter pack to one lucky winner. 

The starter pack, worth over R200, contains to 175g African Black Soap, 120g Unrefined Shea Butter and 50ml Moringa Infused Serum. All you need to do to enter is subscribe to my blog, follow TRU and icherryefresh over on Facebook and Instagram then leave a comment on either platform about why you’d switch over to organic skincare products like the range from TRU and if you’ve already made the switch, let me know why you’re never looking back. The competition will run until the end of May and the winner will be contacted directly.

*Competition is open to followers in South Africa only.