Makho Ndlovu

Friday, May 20, 2016

Black Coffee, WizKid & AKA all nab 2016 #BETAwards nominations

Yes to all this #BlackExcellence!

The BET Awards announced their nominations for the 2016 BET Awards and some of the top African artists were shortlisted for the BET Intl Act: Africa nominees list. So who got a nod this year?

 Best International Act Africa

  • AKA (South Africa) 
  • Black Coffee (South Africa) 
  • Cassper Nyovest (South Africa) 
  • Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) 
  • Mzvee (Ghana) Serge Beynaud (CΓ΄te d’Ivoire) 
  • Wizkid (Nigeria) 
  • Yemi Alade (Nigeria) 

You can vote here for your favorite artist. But friends, let me level with you - I know who I am rooting for. This is a very competitive crowd but there is a clear winner for me.  Who are you rooting for?

The BET Awards will air live in the US on Sunday June 26 at 8:00pm on BET.

For my peeps in Africa the show will air on Tuesday June 28th at 7:00pm CAT

Don't miss it! Here's the full list of the BET Awards nominations


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Deets on E! Africa's new show "E! VIP" + Minnie Dlamini & Katlego Maboe landing a hosting gig on the channel

Tiwa Savage

Remember when E! Africa launched last year with a series that gave us in depth interviews with some of South Africa's top stars? Refresh your memory here. Well they back with part deux and this time around the focus will be on a plethora of top African celebs across the continent. 

Rita Dominic
Who are we talking? Nigerian born superstar Tiwa Savage, Nollywood actress Rita Dominic, Tanzanian singer Diamond, South African singers Mafikiolo and Mzansi rapper Cassper Nyovest. The 12 part series  - "E!VIP" - will give viewers an unprecedented access into the lives of Africa’s most notable and loved celebrities. If you want to know what it's really like to be in the limelight - this is the show for you.
 "E!VIP" will premiere on June 12 at 8pm WAT only on E!
In other E! Africa news...

It was announced that presenters Minnie Dlamini and Katlego Maboe will host the red carpet for E! Africa at the SAMAs. Read about that here. Congrats to them! I know they will kill it, they are both awesome hosts!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

How to get Gabrielle Union's gorgeous Ghana braids

Upon first glance, it really is hard to believe that actress Gabrielle Union is 43 years old. She looks half her age. I mean even without makeup on, she's a stunner

A photo posted by makhondlovu (@makhondlovu) on

I am loving her new hairstyle friends. Her Ghana braids are so fresh and so clean. Perfect for the summer!

A video posted by The owner of Kookies' Salon (@kookiemaffett) on

And now you too can rock these Ghana braids just like Gabby with this super easy to follow tutorial. Check it out below:

I did same exact hairstyle a few days ago on my Mama's hair and I was so surprised at how easy it was to follow along.  Let me know if you try it and tag me in your pics on Instagram too!


"Empire" actress Tasha Smith shares pics & videos from Botswana trip

Actress Tasha Smith is living it up in Botswana.

But before we get to her EPIC trip, did you guys watch "Empire" last night? Her character Carol was cuttin' up. So messy!

Everyone and their mama was tweeting about the show except for Tasha, she wrote "You guys I'm in Africa and I'm mad I missed #empire tonight"

But back to Botswana, the "Why Did I Get Married" star is in the beautiful country for a series of workshops aimed at students with an interest in the arts. In case you didn't know, Tasha owns a company named TSAW which provides multi-level instructional training for actors and actresses.

Dope! I am all about multiple streams of income life.

Check out the pics and video from her trip below:
A photo posted by Tasha4realsmith (@tasha4realsmith) on

A photo posted by Tasha4realsmith (@tasha4realsmith) on

A video posted by Tasha4realsmith (@tasha4realsmith) on

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New comedy series "African Booty Scratcher" examines the immigrant experience in America. But ummm what's up with the show's title?

From one of the writers of ABC's hit show Black-ish - comes a new comedy series centered around a Nigerian immigrant family in the United States. Friends, I'm so here for this! More African faces on TV? What's not to love? Created by Damilare Sonoiki, the show features Tunde and Ann in their struggle to balance the pursuit of a better life for their son Ayo - all while maintaining their traditional values and cultural identity.

Ooooohhh this hits close to home. Based on the trailer, this show looks like they planted a hidden camera in my house. It really could be about me and my Zimbabwean family. I am totally rooting for it to get picked up by a major network.

As an immigrant, I can certainly identify with the pan African experience in America. Things like having people butcher my name incessantly (how hard is it to say Makhosazana- say it just like it's spelled),  having to shatter stereotypes that Africa is indeed a continent and not a country and my favorite - explaining that I grew up in the city and contrary to popular belief -  not in the wild playing with lions and leopards. All those things are *still* part of my immigrant story so naturally I am thrilled that someone is writing a sitcom that runs parallel to my unique life in America.

But here's where the love affair sorta comes to a screeching halt. What's up with the title? AFRICAN BOOTY SCRATCHER? When I first arrived in America over 20 years ago, kids teased me relentlessly and called me an African booty scratcher. I had no idea what it meant- and honestly I still don't know. But I will never forget the tone in their voices when they hurled those wicked words my way. Make no mistake - African booty scratcher was used in a vile, derogatory and demeaning manner. I wasn't with it. I hated how it made me feel. Thank God, I never lost pride in my culture and where I was from, but as a 12 year old that sh!t hurt like hell. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

That's when I first realized that people had such a warped and wrong view of the continent.

Last night, in an effort to get more understanding, my good friend Suede and  I tweeted with the show's creator Damilare Sonoiki. When asked about the show's peculiar title he wrote:

I honestly can't find humor in this. It's almost like the n-word debate, some words just carry so much power and weight that you cannot take away the pain behind them. So I responded: 
"Don't watch" LOL! Did he just say I shouldn't watch because I don't agree with the title? Even though I said the pilot looks awesome? Wow! Just WOW! He later added:

Listen, let me re-iterate that there is no hateration here. I want to see this show on TV but that title? In the immortal words of rapper O.T Genesis, he "needs to cut it."

But Damilare brings up a good point. Even though I'm not feeling the show's title - I want to know if you will still watch? What are your thoughts on the term African booty scratcher?

P.S. Click here to watch a snippet of the show


Thursday, May 5, 2016

8 Cool Ways to ROCK a headwrap

Here's a little bit of good news about bad hair days. They are a great opportunity to become resourceful and think outside of the box. You'd be hard pressed to find an easier style to wear than headwraps. These chic accessories have been around for years but they are still so severely underused. Worn with the right outfit, style and confidence you can go from wack to WOW in just a matter of minutes.

Take a style cue from the ladies below and discover your next headwrap inspiration!

I love this natural look on Alicia Keys 

Beautiful Boity

The Wrap Life is a great resource- she has tons of tutorials on her Instagram. Make sure you follow her!

This Haitian beauty is just a ray of sunshine

South African media personality Pearl Thusi. Damn I love a Zulu girl!

A photo posted by Pearl Thusi- Real Black Pearl (@pearlthusi) on

Instagram star Kefi Boo 

Babies can get in on the fun too. How cute is this?
A photo posted by Mrs. Dunnie OH! (@missdunnieo) on

And don't forget to buy your headwraps from Shop Zuvaa
A photo posted by Zuvaa Marketplace (@shopzuvaa) on

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Let 'Em Know: Lupita Nyong'o schools Vogue Magazine on her TRUE natural hair inspiration

Actress Lupita Nyongo was without a doubt one of the BEST dressed at the Met Gala this past Monday. Wearing a dazzling emerald colored Calvin Klein dress she SLAYED y'all!

The Oscar award winning thespian nailed this year's theme of merging fashion and technology like a red carpet veteran. What stood out for me was her hair - EVERYONE was talking about that glorious gravity defying mane. But when people talk, they often get it wrong. Like very wrong.

Take for instance Vogue Magazine, this is what they said about Lupita's hair.

Via Vogue:  "The sculptural style is also reminiscent of the updo Audrey Hepburn sported in a 1963 Vogue shoot with Bert Stern. And the similarities between the two ingenues extend beyond hair; both, like Hepburn’s famous incarnation of Eliza Doolittle inMy Fair Lady, have mastered the art of transformation, from head to toe."

Oh shame, How did this happen? Lupita even told Vogue's Andre Leon Talley that her beautiful hairstyle was inspired by "sculptural hairdos from around the continent" as well as the iconic singer Nina Simone. So how did they get Audrey Hepburn from that? Do they not remember when Lupita once said "Our hair is like clay. You can mold it into whatever you want it to be!"

Lupita's classy clapback is brilliant -short, concise and to the point. She tagged Vogue Magazine and responded via Instagram detailing her true influences.

A video posted by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

PREACH Lupita!! Why are people so adamant on erasing our culture? #FixItJesus

Even though it's a continual struggle against ignorance, I am just so happy to have gorgeous black women such as Lupita and Danai Gurira showing the full breadth and spectrum our beautiful African culture.

 They are so inspiring! School 'em Queens.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Being a writer, presenter or model shouldn’t be complicated. 3 quick tips to help you elevate your game!

Shhhh I have a secret to tell you. You ready? Lean in real close! OK here goes- contrary to popular belief, the entertainment industry is not as glamorous as it looks. Can I give you the real tea? It's a lot of freaking hard work. Someone said this to me recently "an overnight success is 7 or 8 years." Sobering isn't it?

Earlier today, I was on Twitter and saw the hashtag #OpenTheIndustry and became intrigued. In a nutshell, people were tweeting about the challenges facing actors, presenters, directors and writers in Mzansi. Initially, it seemed some of the tweets were directed at the talent that continue to land the top jobs in South Africa but the conversation evolved into a more holistic view of the entire industry. Are people getting booked for gigs based on their social media followers? What role do the channels and production companies play in who we see on TV? Does having an educational background in TV really make a difference?

As a freelance reporter for the past 4 years, I have worked with Africa Magic, BET Africa, Global Grind, SABC 3 etc... so I had a lot to say on the matter. Sometimes a 140 characters isn't enough. So to that end, I wanted to put my spin on the convo. If you are just starting out in this industry, here are 3 immediate steps you can take to get you to the next level.

A photo posted by Minnie (@minniedlamini) on

1. Relationships are Everything

In this game, your network is your net-worth. It's all about who you know AND what you know. Building genuine relationships means connecting with people beyond a superficial level. For example, if you are at an industry event, it's important not to just dish out your cards - the goal is to trade cards. So what happens if you can't get in the room with the people you want to meet with? Herein lies the beauty of social media. Follow them on Twitter and go a step further by engaging with them. Desperation reeks - even in the digital space, people can smell that funkiness a mile way. Build a relationship first, ask for favors later.

A photo posted by Bonang ''Adebimpe' Matheba (@bonang_m) on

2. Work On Your Craft

Truthfully to really REALLY make it in this industry, you have to be talented. Once the talent is there it has to be developed and constantly worked on. The presenters and actors we see on TV killing it prepare like crazy. They are not winging it folks! It's that preparation that makes it look effortless. I took a hosting class recently and it changed my life. I blogged about it here. So forgot about the hair, makeup, wardrobe and fame- DO THE WORK first!

3. The Internet Is Here....

Speaking of work, work, work, work...thank God we live in the Internet age. Be clear, it takes a lot of time to start making money in this industry. Lord knows I wish my pockets were fatter but for now my focus is on my hustle. If you want to work in TV, film or commercials there are instant resources that you can take advantage of. Here are 3 quick examples

1 You want to work in radio? Start a podcast or get an internship at your local radio station. Think outside the box.

2.  Want to be a host? Make sure your YouTube page is poppin with your reel and other relevant work, Getting on the red carpet and hamming it up with your favorite celebs is difficult and takes time. But in the interim, you can start with interviewing people on the street and start building your reel/following that way.

3. Oh you want to act in movies, TV and commercials? Look up agents in your area that represent people that look like you and find out how to get signed for representation.

My point is where there is a will, there is a way. Again, forget the illusion of an overnight success.

A photo posted by Claire Sulmers (@clairesulmers) on

Claire Sulmers is the brain behind the amazing blog Fashion Bomb Daily. The style maven is celebrating her tenth year as a successful blogger this year and she said something poignant that stuck with me - "sometimes it's just a game of endurance and just sticking it out for the long run..."

"And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."- Paul Coelho

© Makho Ndlovu

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