Tag: entertainment

Muhammad Ali – “Black and Pretty”


 “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see, rumble young man, rumble!”

I’m writing this while watching the multi faith funeral of Muhammad Ali live on television. We all know him through boxing, his rhymes, his poetry, his boldness (some may say arrogance), his highs, his lows, his triumphs and failures. We all feel like we knew Muhammad Ali. Transcending sport, a black man, civil rights activist and philanthropist.  

mandela & ali
Ali and Mandela

Ali in Ghana in 1964

Born a black boy in Louisville Kentucky at a time when black people in America were considered to be 3/5th of a human and no right to vote.

I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize, but get used to me. Black, confident, cocky — my name, not yours. My religion, not yours. My goals, my own. Get used to me.

Ali punched his way out of poverty, travelled the world and on the way ‘got back to his roots’ as he, an African-American embraced Africa.

ali kid
Cassius Clay – the boy
BOX-DRCONGO-ALI-FOREMAN-RUMBLE
Ali and his mother Odetta Lee Clay during a training session three days before the “Rumble in the Jungle” fight vs George Foreman (1974). (Photo /AFP/Getty Images)

#Alibomaye: Rumble in the Jungle  – Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo)

 ali zaire car

Ali is a symbol of inspiration and hope, but also a picture of a boxer who boxed too long. Probably because of money and all the people who relied on him.

Parkinson’s disease – It’s been widely believed that Ali’s illness was linked to some of the injuries he suffered from his prolonged career. But in true Ali form, he didn’t let that define him.

A positive was that he brought the neurological disease to the forefront, a need for a cure.

“God gave me this illness to remind me that I’m not number One. He is.”

 ali and mlk

The world will always remember The Greatest bBoxer Of All Time (#GOAT), for the champ he really was – inside and outside the ring. Ali wasn’t perfect but he made a difference.

 “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologise!”

 

“I’ve wrestled with alligators,
I’ve tussled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning
And throw thunder in jail.
You know I’m bad.
Just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.”

#AliBomaye

 

Pictures: Google, Getty

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#Lupita Nyong’o – #Cannes Film Festival 2015


There’s a brown girl in the ring tra la la la la…. You may not be familiar with this opening line to the Jamaican nursery rhyme, but you would definitely have heard of Lupita Nyong’o! Various phrases have been associated with the African actress, such as, “Pride of Africa”, “the most beautiful woman in the world” “Lupita Nyong’o dress”; the latter more so than anything else at the moment. Her acting skills brought Lupita centre stage, but designer outfits such as the grasshopper green Gucci dress debuted at the 2015 Cannes film festival, which ended yesterday, also keep Lupita in the spotlight.

Lupita #grasshoppergreen Gucci dress
Yes she can! Lupita Nyong’o at Cannes Film Festival 2015
Picture: Instagram @lupitanyongo
Cannes Film Festival grasshopper season, Ugandan inspired
Lupita Nyong’o grasshopper green #Gucci dress – Ugandan inspiration. Picture: Intagram @Lupitanyongo

It’s said that Hollywood is where dreams come true but Lupita’s meteoric rise to fame after winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her first mainstream film, must have been written in destiny. Most actors have ‘a look’ about them; Lupita’s most conspicuous attribute is her skin, more accurately, it’s colour. Of course there are a few black actresses around but even in ‘black Hollywood’ we rarely see dark-skinned female actresses given a chance to display their skills let alone applauded for them. colourism in the black communityUnfortunately when a black actress steps onto the scene, it’s not just about the acting… skin complexion is usually part of the equation. Colourism, the fungus which keeps on spreading is still an issue in the African diaspora whether they are in Europe, the Americas or the Caribbean. However, it does exist in many parts of the world, including Asia, so isn’t just a ‘black problem’. It’s disheartening that the shade of skin has such a heavy influence on who is given opportunities and who isn’t, but this is the current scene of the world today. A dark-skinned African woman with short afro given a chance to shine and be celebrated in Hollywood (arguably the world’s stage for film and entertainment), is a bit of a misfit on the common narrative in this context. In April 2014 People Magazine, named Lupita the most “beautiful woman in the world”. With all the talk of her looks and red carpet dresses, it’s easy to forget that first and foremost Lupita is an actress and I’m glad to see that she is staying true to her love, after all beauty is only skin deep. I first saw Lupita in the African TV series Shuga, but was intrigued by her story like most people, once she garnered attention on the main stage. #Lupita Nyong'o #career highlights Lupita’s physical reflection is the opposite to what has been considered ‘acceptable’ by many (including black) cultures, especially in the entertainment business where looks are everything! She doesn’t have Nicki Minaj boobs and booty, which some believe is the epitome of the black female physique (real or surgically enhanced) celebrated in black culture, but she does have tightly coiled afro kinky hair and smooth onyx skin. We’re so used to NOT seeing female actress like her, that it was a shock when she appeared on international screens and the same can be said for Viola Davis.

skin bleaching, confidence, inspiration, Fans, dark skin
Looking in the mirror – Lupita Fanmail

No one is perfect but within that Lupita oozes confidence, humility and joy. There was a time when she didn’t like her own complexion and asked God to change it. However, her talent on the big screen is a breath of fresh air, inspiring other women from all walks of life as she is the latest person to put the spotlight on the general perception of beauty, which just like talent comes in many guises.

In my eyes, Lupita Nyong’o is An African ‘Affecter’.

Affect (verb): Have an effect on; make a difference to.

 

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