#FeesMustFall – The Revolution Is Being Televised

My degree is officially 10 years old this year and although I’m proud to call myself a Witsie, my pride was even more justified when I saw what the students at my old varsity have started. 
Last week we were duped by the university’s management into believing that this was just a few hundred students who were disrupting classes but we soon learned that this was the start of a revolution. 

I watched my newsfeed on my social media fill up with posts #WitsFeesMust and soon enough #UCTFeesMustFall and subsequently Stellenbosch, Tukkies, Rhodes and other university students joined the moment and here we sit in our #NationalShutDown.

 

One of the most poignant images of University of Witwatersrand students peacefully gathered outside Luthuli House yesterday afternoon. (PHOTO: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO)

 
I thought back to my days in varsity and I’m almost ashamed to admit it but I was one of those students that didn’t understand why students would protest and want to bring an institution to its knees to bring such a pertinent point across. I was ignorant and blinded by my own privilege, I didn’t want to empathise – I was only concerned about finishing my degree and getting out of Wits so I can start paying back my NSFAS loan. 

I remember the day I came face to face with protesting students, I wasn’t harassed; they walked into the lecture halls and asked us to leave – some resisted and I watched (angrily I must admit) as the protesting students threw water at the resisting students and I was furious. I didn’t understand what their cause was, I was so far removed from what they were going through and felt, like some of the reactions I see around me, that these students are entitled and have nothing better to do than disrupt those of us who are going about our business of attending lectures. But how would I feel if the little stipend I got from NSFAS was used to help with groceries, school fees for younger siblings and other expenses? Instead my stipend went straight into my student account and I still remember my mom and sister saying “lucky you, at least you have some pocket money.” That was it, I still got my taxi fare and pocket money – no questions asked. So how could I relate when my Tuesday afternoons consisted of me waiting for my sister to drive us home while sitting down to my regular of cappuccino and complimentary croissant at The Matrix – how could I even start to get where they were coming from? 

 

Access to the university was blocked in the build up to the shut down. (PHOTO: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO)

 
I didn’t think that more than 10 years after being confronted with protesting students on campus, I’d witness the students from Wits sparking a movement that has become global over the last few days! 

Although the cause has been tainted by racism and violence I applaud the people who are actively involved in ensuring that these students are not discouraged and don’t lose focus of their goal to make quality education accessible to every South African child! 

Today I don’t stand behind you grumbling and complaining or in front of you trying to block you, i stand beside you raising my fist in pride!

This is not a struggle for a certain kind of people, it is for any and every South African who feels strongly about accessibility to quality education for all South African children. (PHOTO: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO)

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Eat, Drink, Meander with Food and Home Entertaining 

To end off my month long birthday celebration I had the pleasure of being part of one of the most amazing gastronomic evening to be hosted in Jozi last week Thursday. 
Food and Home Entertaining magazine was the first publication I interned at and so it’s always held a special place in my heart (and stomach). 

The best part about food meanders is that you get to enjoy a starter, main and dessert and three different restaurants so it’s like a buffet but even better! Last week’s event was hosted at Village View Shopping Centre in Bedfordview. It’s one of my favourite spots to meet for a quick brunch or a long lazy lunch catch up session. My sister and I opted for the Group 1 menu which saw us having our starter at the Thai restaurant, Erawan, our main at the Portuguese-style Pigalle and ended off with a decadent dessert at the popular steakhouse, Turn ‘n Tender. 

After registering and being welcomed at Tasha’s with warm drinks (we got to choose from hot chocolate and Glühwein – my choice being the latter, naturally) we headed off to Erawan for our selection of Asian starters. The feel and ambiance of the restaurant when you immediately step in makes you feel as if you’ve walked into a restaurant in Seoul, Kyoto, Bangkok or Singapore. The decor is simple and true to minimalist Asian style and had me wishing I was living in Japan again. 

We enjoyed a selection of sushi and dim sum and the memory of the flavour still makes my mouth water – I had my meal with Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir and my sister enjoyed some of the flavours that have been added to the Appletiser range with each of her meals. 

The selection of fresh sushi took me back to Tottori.

The yummy dim sum were served with a Thai soya and a chilli sauce.

Our main was at Pigalle and we enjoyed a chicken filet filled with apricot and wrapped with Parma ham served with a honey mustard sauce, vegetables and a smooth and creamy sweet potato mash. I opted for the Leopard’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc and it was my first full glass of wine and it went down pretty well with the meal.

 

I even finished all my veggies as I polished off my Sauvignon Blanc!

 
We ended our gastronomic journey at the popular Turn ‘n Tender where we indulged in a choice between Bar One baked cheesecake, salted caramel milkshake with caramel popcorn or cookies ‘n cream milkshake – I got to sample both as I went for the milkshake and my sister went for the cheesecake. 

 

The star of the show: salted caramel milkshake and caramel popcorn and the decadent Bar One cheesecake.

 
It was a lovely evening filled with great food, good wine and amazing company and it was a great way to sample menus without having to pay an arm and a leg – I’ll definitely be back at some of the restaurants to enjoy a full meal with friends. 
Of course the cherry in top was the jam packed goodie bag and the three month subscription to one of my favourite magazines and so I can’t wait to embark on another evening where I can eat my way through an evening and I sincerely hope Food and Home Entertaining will consider a kasi food meander where we sample some authentic township flavours!

The goodie bag will stay on long after the food and wine is finished.

“I’m every woman…”

I had the pleasure and privilege of watching the legendary diva that is Chaka Khan perform earlier in June at the Delicious Festival. When she came on I watched as everyone around me transformed into disco divas as we all belted out the lyrics: “I’m every woman/ it’s all in me.” As I was dancing and singing and dancing I looked to my left i spotted a guy singing from the top of his lungs that he’s every woman, that it’s all in him and anything his baby wants done he’ll do it naturally!

Now as I think back to the number of women and men I spotted singing along to the 1978 hit I got to thinking about how amazing we are. 

I could write a thesis on the beauty, strength, resilience, creativity and general awesomeness of women but that would take longer than what i bargained for so I’ve decided to spend this month celebrating the women who inspire me in fashion, culture, music, literature and everything inbetween.

I hope my little tribute will help you appreciate the women in your life. 

#wwStoriesofFlavour – warm winter food memories 

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m one of the many unofficial Woolies ambassadors! 

I literally eat, sleep and wear this brand like I get paid for it; so it obviously felt like Christmas and my birthday at the same time when a few days before I celebrated my 31st birthday, I get a message on Facebook that I’ve been rewarded with TV personality, Danine Naidoo’s #FlavourBox after commenting on the Instagram post featuring all the goodies in her #FlavourBox. 

You can imagine the joy in my heart when on my birthday the Woolies delivery man came bearing my goodies!

Luckily winter chills haven’t quite left and so comfort food is still mandatory. I’ll be preparing a dish a day which will be three savoury dishes and two desserts hoping my family will enjoy them. The Woolies campaign is about unique winter food memories so I decided to not just scoff down all the treats but create a menu incorporating all the amazing goodies from Danine’s #FlavourBox. 

I’ll be creating my own #wwStoriesofFlavour this week – which translates to warm flavours which remind me of my mom’s cooking while growing up. 

These are the goodies I got:

 

Here is Danine’s #FlavourBox: free range eggs, whipping cream, Tennis Biscuits, diced sweet potato, brown onions, Caramel Treat, white flour tortilla, toasted breadcrumbs, vanilla pods, carsmelised onion chutney, Italian crushed tomatoes, Peppermint Crisp, ground cinnamon, garlic and thyme infused olive oil, oregano spray, lean beef mince, Emmental and the ultimate winter indulgence: Glühwein!

 
Here’s my menu and the #FlavourBox goodies I’ll be using: 

MONDAY: Sweet potato and butternut cottage pie with creamy portabellini mushrooms 

For my take on mom’s cottage pie I used the lean beef mince, caramelised onion chutney, brown onion, cream, ground cinnamon and the infused olive oil.

TUESDAY: Fish and falafel wraps with sweet potato chips 

I’m combining two of my favourite flavours in this wrap with a little help from these: white tortilla wraps and the caramelised onion chutney.

WEDNESDAY: Emmental stuffed burgers with a tomato relish and potato wedges 

I’ll be using the leftover mince to attempt to not only make my own burger patties but stuff them with Emmental cheesy goodness along with the Italian crushed tomatoes, free range eggs, brown onion and the infused olive oil.

THURSDAY: Marble baked cheesecake 

This will be my first attempt at making cheesecake and I’ll be trying to make a marbled baked variety using the vanilla pod, Tennis Biscuits, Caramel Treat and cream.

FRIDAY: Peppermint Crisp tart 

And on Friday, I’ll try this South African favourite with the cream, Peppermint Crisp and the Tennis Biscuits.

happy birthday to me! 

So last year I was annoyingly counting down to my 30th birthday. And now that I’m celebrating my 31st birthday I’ve been reflecting on my first year in my 30s… it may seem a bit presumptuous but I have 30 things I’ve learned so far in my first year in my third decade:

1. Love – unconditionally, consistently but remember to not give it out without reciprocity.

2. Forgive – yourself and others. It’s so liberating to go through life without any grudges as well as not holding any of your own transgressions against yourself.

3. Learn – from the past, from mistakes, from parents, from children, from friends, from strangers. Seek out the lesson in your experiences and never live under the arrogant impression that you can never learn.

4. Laugh- at good jokes, bad jokes, cheesy jokes; until your stomach and cheeks hurt. Learn to laugh at yourself- life’s too short to spend it sulking.

5. Let go… I’ve found this particularly hard. I’m not one to let go of people easily despite them showing me in every way that they don’t want to to be in my life, I’ll pursue the relationship – whether romantic or otherwise – until the proverbial bitter end. However this year has taught me to not be precious about people’s presence in my life – to appreciate and acknowledge them but to never write off the possibility of them not being there forever. 

6. Value yourself – in my ability to not let go easily I’ve realised how this speaks directly to my self-worth. If my time and energy is as vital as I say it then I’ll know to not waste it on people who need constant reminders of that.

7. Respect – it’s deserved yet at the same time earned. It’s also the English translation of the name of someone near and dear to me…

8. Dream big – like the way your childhood dreams weren’t inhibited by anything continue with this in adulthood knowing that because now you’re older you can do anything and everything to realise these dreams.

9. Take risks – calculated and otherwise: you’ll never know until you try.

10. Challenge yourself and try surround yourself with people who do the same. Although it’s great to have a crowd cheering for you I believe it also great to be surrounded by people who push you further.

11. Believe in people – cynics will disagree when it comes to this but I sincerely believe that despite the bad in the world, there are people who are good. I’ve had the pleasure of being in the presence of them and it’s always strengthened my belief in the inherent good nature of people.  

12. Be kind – it isn’t always easy but showing kindness to me will hopefully plant a seed in another person to do the same and so it will continue that way – it’s seemingly naive but acts of kindness have such great impact. 

13. Change is inevitable, get used to it.

14. The things that made you lose sleep in your 20s will probably look silly to you. 

15. Greet people – as a child I was taught to greet my neighbours but as I grew older I no longer did this however there’s nothing lovelier than seeing the face of cashier light up when you simply acknowledge their presence with a simple smile and hello.

16. Play! I’ve never stopped being a child and I’m glad – I’m a better aunt to my niece and nephew and I’m certain I’ll be a great first friend to my child! 

17. Being alone isn’t lonely… I learned this lesson in my 20s already. I started to enjoy my own company and found that being alone is a great time to figure out what you want, who you want in your space and catch up on much needed reading and series binge weekends! 

18. Be your happiness – over the years I’ve come to discover that the things and people that made me happy even six months ago might not be around. Happiness has to come from within so that when the things are no longer with you- you’ll still be fine.

19. Creativity isn’t just a hobby – I’ve recently discovered that making things with my hands is not only fun but I’m hoping it’ll turn into a lucrative venture.

20. It’s ok not want to wear heels – they’re a social construction made by men to oppress women! but on the real I’ve been a #chickinkicks and #sneakerhead since toddler days and as you become older, people start asking why you’re dressing your age but thankfully the right people have spoken terms such as sport luxe into being and it’s suddenly chic to rock kicks – I’m so glad they’ve all caught on! 

21. You can never have too many accessories and if things go my way more women will start to own the ones #madewithlovebysiya.

22. There’ll always be people in your corner rooting for you – some cheer loudly with pom poms and screams – others pray for you silently hoping you succeed. Send back those blessings.

23. Dressing up is not a crime – wanting to look good and taking care of your appearance has sometimes been seen as a sign of being superficial and self absorbed but if you show up in a fleece onesie to work somehow your colleagues won’t be too impressed. 

24. Learn from your past, live in the present and look forward to the future – don’t let the three seep into each other.

25. Pamper yourself – even if it’s simply an ice cream cone or as extravagant as a weekend away at a five star resort – treat yourself to something nice every once in a while.

26. You are enough – whether at work, with friends or in a relationship – you don’t have to bend over backwards to be loved… if it’s not you they want, that’s fine.

27. Get a passport and use it! Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho are a taxi or bus ride away and then you start saving for those flights to Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, NYC, London and Tokyo. 

28. Family isn’t just blood – you meet people in life that just aren’t just go beyond the title of friend.

29. I’m an emotional being and that’s cool. I express my feelings and sometimes it gets over the top but I’m glad you’ll always know where you stand with me. I’m working on controlling the outbursts so that I don’t always come across as a screaming psycho – it’s a work in progress. 

30. Do you – it’s the best favour you can do yourself the world!

#madewithlovebysiya

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe While watching one of my nephew’s favourite show, Run’s House, yesterday evening I heard this quote from American pro tennis player and it gave me the validation I needed for my new venture. 

I started making beaded earrings in 2011 as a way to pass time and to re-use beaded necklaces that had snapped apart. I made myself a few pairs of earrings and wore them to the mall one day and reluctantly got my first customer. Gugu spotted me shopping in the Donna Claire store she manages and forced me to make her a pair… At that point I didn’t think that I could make more and sell these goodies – for me I couldn’t see people wanting to buy the things I’ve made by hand… this is the girl who can’t stay away from craft markets and has enough handmade accessories to start an online shop!! I’m grateful to her coaxing me into making her two pairs and a necklace to match. 

 

My first earring design made from my necklace that snapped apart.

  

I also made this designn from my snapped necklace.

 

Although I didn’t make earrings consistently I still made a few pairs every once in a while and had some pairs left. Last year I decided to give each of my friends who came to my 30th birthday and earlier this year one of my friends placed an order for more than 10 pairs to give to friends as gifts while living in Texas. So shortly after that I decided to give this making and selling of earrings a shot. 

And here we are, #madewithlovebysiya is here, I’ve made a few earrings and will be making more and hoping to expand the brand #madewithlovebysiya into a fully fledged accessories one stop shop. 

Hope you like them and place an order or two to keep you looking fresh! 

#YOULOOKDISGUSTING

Last night while looking through my Facebook I came across a link which lead me to find London based beauty blogger, Em Ford of mypaleskin.com and it opened up something I’ve never spoken about it: my acne.It started in my teens and it seems I’m still in puberty! 

While watching the video where Em shows the comments she got via social media after posting a photo of herself with and without make up, it opened up a whole file of personal issues that I’ve never spoken openly about. The comments were mean and vile when she posted a photo of her face without make up and although the compliments came streaming in when she posted her made up face, she still got several mean comments with some accusing her of false advertising.   

    

 Beauty is a subjective issue – it’s different things to different people but truth be told, there are some boxes one should check to qualify as being beautiful and good skin is one of them. 

For me it’s never been something I’ve ever been open about although a lot of the time I’m very self-conscious about my acne. I don’t use make up and despite the pimples and acne scars I’ve never used make up on a regular basis to conceal all of that – I figured it’s too much work and the tomboy in me always seems to get the make up everywhere and never keep it on my face! 

While watching the video I thought about my experiences and I haven’t quite had as horrible an experience as Em however it spoke a lot to things I’ve internalised about my looks. Although I’m über confident (a friend told me just yesterday that I’m feeling myself) the acne is always there background. It’s bad to the point that even when I get kisses on the cheek, I’ve wondered why people haven’t projectile vomited immediately afterwards. Sometimes when I’m getting ready to meet friends and I notice my break out, I’m close to picking up my phone and bailing out but I pull myself together and get on with it! 

When I’m out and I find people looking at me, the first thing that comes to mind is “oh crap they’re staring at my nasty skin! hide! hide! hide!” and sometimes that could be true but most times they’re admiring my earrings, necklace or lipstick.

I’ve tried almost every product on my face and have taken some pretty vile concoctions to cleanse from within as I’ve been advised but none of the treatments have quite worked to give me beauty product worthy skin and I’m mostly ok with it. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet people who’ve shown concern about my acne on three different occasions: the first time was when I was in varsity and I met a girl while walking home from campus munching on one of those sugar coated fruit sticks – she stopped me and told me to stop eating so much sugar, told me about some ointment and then pulled my cheek and told me I was beautiful. Although I used the ointment and it never actually worked (instead it dried out my skin leaving me with a ghastly peeling effect for a few days) I took away the compliment of being told I was beautiful and the advice to cut my sugar intake. The second instance was with a security officer at Sandton City – he advised me to rub aloe on my skin a few times a week in the evening and I’ll immediately start seeing the difference – according to him the dates would start flowing in too! I smiled and laughed with him as he told me that his grandmother had advised him to do he same as he also has a problem with acne which has been solved with regular aloe applications. I didn’t tell him that the aloe remedy has been tried and failed too in my teens, I thanked him and avoided using that entrance until I stopped working in Sandton! My most recent street dermatologist was on the Gautrain a month ago while travelling with my sister. A lovely Afrikaans woman travelling with her teen daughter started making small talk with us and eventually when we were about to reach our stop she scribbled a name of an ointment on a serviette and slipped it to my sister and waved goodbye. I haven’t thrown away the serviette but I also haven’t gone to the chemist to look for the ointment because like my previous experiences I don’t think it’ll work to give me that flawless skin. 

As I ventured into the plus size fashion blogger space, my biggest concern wasn’t how the clothes would look, I was really freaking out about how my skin will look in each post. Will people notice the awful break out? Will it take away focus from the outfits? Should I wear make up to conceal the acne for all my photos? However staying true to my no make up policy I’ve decided to keep it for special occasions.

The #YOULOOKDISGUSTING hashtag and the video and discussions around the issue had me thinking about how I’ve always looked at my beauty in comparison to other women- how in this one instance I’ve looked outside myself to find something that’s within. It’s hard to feel completely beautiful when you are the antithesis of every beauty advert: dark marks, spots, blackheads, whiteheads and redness but the lyrics of one song have always erased any trace of self doubt:

“You live, you die

And spend the years in between asking the question

Why you’ve been through what you been

You lose, you win

You even pay for other sins

But you most always adore the skin you are in”

(‘Glitches’ – The Roots ft. Amel Larriuex)

Being able to see beauty despite your flaws is similar to being able to enjoy life despite glitches. My journey with my skin problem has been internal and ongoing, I look forward to learning to love myself wholeheartedly and hope that if I ever come across the words “you look disgusting” it won’t faze me too much and I’ll simply remember to always adore the skin I’m in.

P.S. after posting this I’ve also dediced to enter plussizeisme.com 2015 Model Search because after watching the winner of reality show, The Face, Tiana Zarlin walk away as the winner of the second season of the American cycle of the show was inspiring as she was the only girl in the show that had an acne problem but she walked away as the face of luxury hair product brand Frederic Fekkai- spots and all! I’m not saying I’ll win but for the first time I won’t let my skin in the way of anything. 

Let’s eat cake! 

“I wish July was every month!” 
My 16-year old niece said to me as she grabbed her supper of grilled fish and chips with an avo, feta and Italian herbs salad this is inbetween my preparation of my mascarpone chocolate icing for my red velvet and chocolate brownie cake.

On July 1 I woke up feeling inspired to bake and so I made a pledge to make my family (and friends – as I regret the can of worms this has opened) at least one dish this month as I celebrate my 31st birthday. What better way to start than with cake to celebrate? 

 

The ginger loaf that had my niece volunteering to be my taste tester.

 
I started off with my trusted ginger loaf that usually doesn’t make it past the third day thanks to the amazing recipe from mzansi foodie and chef legend Dorah Sitole and decided to challenge myself and attempt a two tiered cake. I found a chocolate brownie cake recipe in a Woman & Home recipe book and decided to take add a bit of my freshe flavour and and make one of the tiers red velvet and used decoration inspiration from my favourite TV chef, Lorraine Pascale’s chocolate malt ball covered cake and with a little improv came up with the reason my entire family will buying clothes a size bigger this spring! 

My pièce de résistance of baking – the red velvet & chocolate brownie cake with honey vanilla cream cheese filling, mascarpone chocolate icing.

I’ll be seeing a few friends this month as part of celebrating my birthday and hope to unleash my inner chef to their benefit it detriment depending on how they choose to look at it! 

I’ve shared the recipes on Facebook and Instagram with a few tweaks- hope they have you drooling oh and if you live nearby come and pick up a slice – they’re going fast though! 

A fresh new change! 

“Change is the only thing constant”It isn’t something I thought I’d be contemplating in a barber’s chair but as I saw the red coils fall from my head I reflected a bit on the changes that have to come to pass so far this year.

 

Watching my hair fall as I suddenly contemplated changes in my life.

 
I’ve heard this adage being used to death and as I’ve become older, I’ve come to realise the truth in it…

When this year started I had no idea the number of changes I would have gone through by the time the first half of 2015 was over – I would’ve laughed at you had you told me I’d be single, would have quit two jobs, lost some very close friends and have a new hairdo! 

However by the end of January I found myself at the other side of a break up phone call and a few days later I was leaving my cushy Sandton job for a very brief return to community journalism which only lasted three months and in May i lost someone that meant the world to me which subsequently led to the loss of another dear friend. I hadn’t anticipated these drastic life changes and honestly I don’t think I would’ve fared as well as I have had I gained insight into what would be coming.

I’ve haven’t always seen the fortune of celebrating my birthday month in the second half of the year and I’ve always felt like the odd one out in my family (my parents and my sister all celebrate their birthdays in December) but I’ve come to embrace what I always see as a chance to not only get older but grow older.

The first half of this year was hard on me – I made some difficult decisions and went through heartbreak I thought I’d never recover from but thanks to the love and support of amazing friends and family, I’m still here living and loving it! 

Last month a friend of mine, Denise celebrated her 40th birthday and I had the pleasure of being invited to her high tea at the Palazzo Hotel to mark this amazing milestone of her life. She has been among the people in my life who are not only good friends but also serve as an inspiration. My sister put it aptly as we shared around the birthday dinner table: “Denise created the life she wanted and despite the changes that she was faced with, she didn’t lose sight of the ultimate goal of living her best life.”

She also shared 40 life lessons that she’s had so far in her first 4 decades of life.

As I enter the second half of 2015 as well as my second year in my 30s I decided to cut my hair – cutting hair had always had a two-fold significance in my life since age 22 when I had my breast cancer scare. I’ve cut my hair around CANSA Shavathon season to not only donate to the worthy cause but in solidarity with the women I met at the hospital who, unlike me, didn’t walk away being told that the lump in their breast was nothing to be worried about; whose lives and those of their loved ones changed drastically after being given that diagnosis. The ‘big chop’ as I’ve seen it being referred to by natural hair enthusiasts also marks a new start for me, that is, when my hair becomes immune to every available comb and brush, I visit a barber and make this small but significant change. 

My new barber, Femi, who works in a cozy salon on Fox Street, Jozi CBD made me realised the importance of embracing change with not his amazing skills with the clippers (my fades are on another level!!) but also his insight. This Nigerian native will mark his fourth year in South Africa this August after leaving his home country to embark on a new aspect of his life journey. When I asked him why he left his country to come here and cut hair here he simply smiled and told me: “I wanted to see what it would be like in a different place and so far it hasn’t been too bad.”

And Femi’s on to something, changes take you to something different and although uncomfortable at first, they aren’t too bad once you get used to them. I left the his chair feeling inspired and reassured to embrace the changes in my life and of course looking at the end result in the mirror left me feeling fresh!  

Femi and I at the end of my new cut. #freshe

welcome to echerryefresh!

I’d love to tell you that you’re reading my first ever blog post but I’d be lying.

My first ever blog post was way back in 2009 when I wrote for an online publication about my experiences as an African woman living in Asia, my second was for my (now defunct) blog about my thoughts and opinions and the subsequent posts that followed were written while I was working as a senior journalist for local newspapers over the last three years. So unfortunately I can’t say this is my first ever blog post…

Although I’ve started to blog in the past, I never seemed to stick with it but I hope because of what echerryefresh means to me, I’ll see it through all the way.

When I first toyed with the idea of blogging, I was interested in what was happening in the space of plus size fashion blogs. Although at the time when the idea first crossed my mind, a plus size fashion blogger was somewhat an enigma in Mzansi as well as across the continent and I could find plus size fashion bloggers in the diaspora. However, recently I’ve seen a number of local blogs aimed at plus size women where our bodies are celebrated and appreciated. I’ve been discouraged from entering the space of fashion blogging (plus size or otherwise) the most common reason being the seemingly frivolous nature of discussing clothing and although I understand where this train of thought comes from, I’ve also realised how important all things fashion are as they speak to, amongst others, body and image issues, identity, culture and even politics! 

Those who know me well are aware of my #FittingRoomSelfie feature on my personal Facebook and Instagram pages which started as a quirky way of showing my love for fashion and deciding what to purchase without having to commit to anything before some advice from friends who view the items in question. Posts like that have often led to me hearing things like “You should start a blog.” or “Have you ever considered a blog?” and so here it finally is.

What I hope to achieve through my blog is to speak to a woman who like me plans an outfit as soon as she has plans of leaving the house (yes going to buy airtime at the garage deserves an outfit) but isn’t just interested in pretty clothes but loves art in all its various forms ranging from photography, music, film to literature; will once in a while unleash her inner Siba and cook up a storm; and loves celebrating being an African right here right now. 

So welcome I hope you enjoy what I hope will be a journey that is exciting, engaging, entertaining and most of all efresh!