• MAN TALK
    • MARRIAGE 101
    • FAITH


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

Time flies, can you believe we are already past the half year mark? Just the other day we welcomed the New Year with long lists of resolutions. Well, the year doesn’t feel so new anymore, it’s that time of the year when energy levels sink, we get sucked into the routine of life and many times become complacent. All these are symptoms of Mid Year blues.


Posted by Editor On JULY- 18 - 2011

Growing up, I was a ‘someday girl’. I had dreams of someday publishing a book, someday working for a newspaper, someday being an editor, someday. Until one day many years later I woke up to the realization that someday was today; the only assurance we have, not 2 years from now or tomorrow but today.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

For some April habitually brings in to mind Spring; sunshine, blooming flowers, the green of trees and sliding into flip flops. For me, April is just April because luckily where I live the beauty of ‘Spring’ and getting high on Vitamin D is something I experience every day.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

As I kid, one of my all time favorite TV shows was 'The Jefferson’s'. As I write this, the theme song is playing in my head. “Well we’re movin’ on up, to the east side, moving on up, to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Moving on up, to the east side, moving on up,we finally got a piece of the pie.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

February is a special month, apart from the red roses, boxes of chocolate, great deals and the romance, it’s also the month we celebrate the history and contributions of African American men and women to society in the name of Black History Month.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18- 2011

Happy New Year!Yes, I know I'm a little late on the wishes just like the way I'm late with our new January Issue but it's finally here. New year, new layout, new name, basically, new things. Its all about the new new! For all those who knew this blog as The Ladies Room, I now introduce you to AfroElle; a blog for women of afro-descent from all over the world.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

The year has literally flown by, I can't believe it's already December. To many, December is a month of in depth self evaluation and stock taking; taking that walk down memory lane to see if you accomplished the goals you set at the beginning of the year.It's also about looking at your present to see what has worked for you or what you need to eliminate before you head on to the new year.

Showing newest 7 of 8 posts from September 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 7 of 8 posts from September 2010. Show older posts

Editor's Note; In Brief

Posted by AfroElle On 9:15 AM 0 thoughts
Dear Readers,

Welcome back to The Ladies Room and for the new readers sit tight and the enjoy the mirrors, sinks and toilets in form of hearty conversations. In last month's issue, our main topics were rising and overcoming tough situations, in this issue we empasis on what women want in relationships. Have our needs changed or are we still after the same?

Our round table discussion focusses on this; 'What Women Want'. We interview 9 different women on their relationship needs and what they look for in a potential mate.

We have also lined up amazing articles by various guest writers. This includes Inspirational words by Guest Writer Heather about Being Alive and Living. Our featured article is from Guest Writer LaToya A. Kearney who talks to us about The Rules of Love. We also have Vini; a lover of life, writer and amatuer photographer sharing her experiences in our feature Singular with her article 'Back to the Basics of Loving Yourself.' We also have the Just Wright movie review by Guest Writer and author of A Heart To Mend; Myne Whitman. This month we have a recommended article about women waiting for mister perfect called 'Man Up!' by blogger Wanjiku Ndung'u.

Phenomenal woman of this month is Elizabeth Muyu; a finalist in the upcoming Miss Africa Texas Pagent dubbed Beauty With Purpose. We interview our featured couple; The Marshall's in Love Stories. Find out why years of separation could not keep them apart and hear what they have to say about marriage. We also have a recommended article 'Man Up' by blogger Wanjiku Ndung'u.

In our attempts to keep you encouraged, informed, entertained and inspired, we hope to bring you The Ladies Room issues on a bi-monthly basis, therefore we need your article contributions. Are you a writer or do you simply have experiences you want to share? Do you want to take part in our discussions? Then find out how you can do that here.
The Ladies Room would not be a place of open arms and hearty conversations without you. We look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Hope you enjoy this issue of The Ladies Room and make a point of coming back. Follow us on Twitter, or 'like' our page on Facebook or us.

Thats all folks and its never too late to wish you all a Happy Month of September.


Feature Article: The Rules Of Love

Posted by AfroElle On 12:16 AM 0 thoughts

I had been jilted; betrayed; sucker punched by the man I loved.

Memories from a distant past jarred me from a nights’ sleep like it had all happened yesterday. But it hadn’t. I had survived a war most women are familiar with - Love. There is no greater battlefield. If you look closely, beyond the hip hugging jeans, the carefully applied makeup, and earrings that sing when I walk you can still see that I also fashion the scars, memories that haunt me from time to time. And I like to think that I wear them well.

I never dreamed that I would raise a child alone. What happened? Where did I go wrong? How could I not have seen the signs?

These are questions that I ask myself now that I am ready tackle love again no longer as love’s prisoner but now as a student in pursuit of the right person, relationship, and eventually marriage. My journey is one of patience, forgiveness, and at times chance. I still stumble from time to time when I shoot cupids’ arrow but I manage to get back up again slightly injured and equipped with new arsenal to put in my bag of discernment. If you are wondering how you’ll know when you’ve found ‘the one’, or if the one you’re secretly crushing on will fulfill an open space in your heart. We should talk.

First things first, if you are going to venture out on the battlefield, you must know the rules of engagement. Here are three cardinal rules that every woman should have but are not easily mastered.

Rule Number One: Find out what you want

Someone once told me to write down the qualities that I wanted in a man. So I did and I brought my list before God highlighting certain areas like… please Lord let him be loyal, smart, genuine, kind, someone who loves and protects me and my daughter, slow to be angered, funny, strong, passionate about life, good looking, has goals, supportive, takes care of himself, has ambition, a great job or working towards it, and etc. It wasn’t long before my little list grew into somewhat of a working novel.

I’ve realized that while it is important to know what you want, how do you know if what you want is really what is best for you? Was I ready to receive the person that I sought? And how many of the qualities that I ask for in a man are qualities that I meet? This is how I came about finding what I really wanted. To be a better me so that the next time I walked into something so beautifully orchestrated as love I would be ready to take on its challenge.

Rule Number Two: Trust your intuition 

Is he cheating on me? Why does he take calls in the bathroom? Why is his phone turned off at certain times of the night? Why can’t I reach him? Something’s not right.

You’re right. Something isn’t. There are always signs given to us when we are in relationships going off like smoke detectors clueing us of things to come. It is up to us to pay attention. Choose wisely because the decision you make will begin to shape not only your relationship but the part you play in it. You can tell a lot about a man by the fruit he bears. This is an old proverb that is still true today. He can talk a good game, but what does his actions prove? If these two items do not line up you’ll end up disappointed every time.

Rule Number Three: (and this one is important) Don’t give up

Love always hopes, love always trusts, and lastly love never fails. Maybe you’ve been badly hurt by someone that you thought you would spend the rest of your life with. Or maybe the one you wanted to be passionate about was just not as passionate about you. It’s ok. Take a moment to grieve but get back up. I know that it hurts but if you stay where you are you could miss out on something wonderful - You.

In marriage, the same rule applies. Don’t give up. I have so many married friends with the ‘grass is greener’ syndrome. They are married to good men who suddenly become not good enough. If you know that no one is perfect, then you also know that you cannot mold him into the man you want him to be just as he cannot mold you into the woman he wants you to be. Together you are a work in progress.
There are many other lessons that you are sure to gather along the way but if you keep these three cardinal rules apart of your foundation, the next time you encounter love you will be all the more wiser in knowing what to expect. And even if you fall at least you’ll have the courage to get back up and try again
LaToya Kearney is a writer currently residing in Virginia, US. She started the Dear Love Diaries on her quest to discover all things love. She is currently working on her debut novel.
Demond Marshall and Tanya Turner met while in college in 1992. Demond's best friend was a roommate with one of Tanya's teammates from track and they met at one of the many parties they had.

Demond and Tanya dated for a few months but broke up and Tanya went to the military for 10 years, they were to be reunited in 2007 after Demond found Tanya on MySpace.com and they were instantly back on track after such a longtime. Not even knowing where the other was they soon realized they had been living less than 15 miles away from each other.

They have two beautiful daughters Kayla and Niya.

First Impressions

My first impression of Demond was he was cocky but confident, he had been awarded a scholarship to go play football at LSU and of course he thought a lot of himself. In his words I brought him back down to reality, because I too was an athlete and didn’t mind telling him off (LOL). He was a gentleman though and once I got to know him I saw the southern hospitality he had and couldn’t resist.

The 'One'

I believe there is someone there for you, like a soul mate.I have had many relationships with people that I thought were meant for me blindly looking for what I wanted this person to be not who they really were.

When I met my husband I didn't have to look it was staring me in the face. I can be difficult to deal with at times but he had a way of cracking the exterior of me and getting to the heart of the matter and it flowed without too much interferance.

I knew he was the one when I came home from work one day and he had cleaned the entire house top to bottom and cooked dinner!! He was a keeper!

A Dance to Remember; The Proposal
We had plans to go to a Valentine’s Day Ball and he was all nervous and rushing me, he kept telling me to make sure I was comfortable because he wanted to dance all night. After we arrived I found out he had reserved a table for us with some of family and friends who were attending which was great.

A few hours into the night the DJ announced there was something special about to happen and called for everyone’s attention. I looked around for him and I didn’t see him but all of a sudden I heard “our song” which was Prince’s “Adore”, and I got excited and mad because he wasn’t’ sitting with me but then I heard his voice.
He was on the microphone and he was proclaiming to everyone that he had been through so many things and never thought he’d want to get married it wasn’t for him but he had found someone who he felt was created just for him! I was done!! He walked over to me and got on one knee and he asked me to marry him in front of everyone! I couldn’t stop crying I was stunned! In between sobs I said yes and he stood me up and we danced to “Adore” and everyone clapped while we danced!! Amazing!

'I Do'; Miami Meets Dirty South
Table Centre piece

Our wedding was on September 12, 2009 on Demond's birthday; so it was more than a wedding it was a celebration. We were married at my home church Macedonia Baptist Church in Hammond, LA. The theme was “Miami Meets the Dirty South”, we love Louisiana and all its uniqueness. The colors were Turquoise, Red, Chocolate, and Champagne with gold accents and crystal decor with peacocks as trim.

Getting Ready

Here comes the bride; Tanya wore a Sottero &Midgley couture gown; a beautiful Ivory blush with a champagne overlay.


Stunning bridesmaids

The maids of honour; Kayla and Nayla in Champagne dresses carrying the rings in Faberge ring style holders and Tanya's sister in the middle.

The toast

Marriage 101

I can say marriage is a daily workout, mentally and physically. It tests limits you didn't know you had and also gives you a sense of security you didn't know could exist. It's peaceful yet boistrious at the same time.

I have learned "patience". I didn't have much before and was quick to jumpt to judegement, now I am more able to handle those situations because my husband has taught me how to be patient and to wait on the TRUE outcome. I must say it has eased my tensions more.

So far marriage has proven to be a blessing and a 24 hour job. It takes compromise and understanding. If you don’t have understanding you won’t make it. You have to put away the 'I’s' and always remember the 'We’s'. Marriage is an institution of love and desire as well as selflessness and dedication.

Marriage has taught me patience and perseverance. There are many things that I never thought I’d do and find myself doing without question now. A good marriage is one were communication plays a great role and understanding the other person’s right to have an opinion not always like yours and accepting them for who they are not who you want them to be.

Mountains To Climb

First dance

Both Demond and I have said the biggest challenge has been letting go of our independence and trusting that the other would be there for us. We both come from very different backgrounds and we both had our own ideas of how things should be from which way the tissue was put on the holder to how the household income should be managed. It was a challenge to let go of what we had been doing for so long in order to learn to do it together.

Please don't stop the music!

Words of Wisdom

To the Single Lady;

My advice is to be patient and open, there is no perfect man but there is a perfect man for you. It’s not always about what they have but what they aspire to be can be a great journey to take with them. Don’t look for the material things but be patient and open enough to see the good in a man. Sometimes it’s the ones you least expect who become the most devoted and loyal husbands. Always be honest with yourself and don’t’ try to be someone you’re not just to get a man because it will come a day when you’ll have to be yourself.

To the Married Woman;

Trust in God and keep Him as the third cord in your tight rope. Stay open and flexiable to the others emotions and no matter how much it may hurt be HONEST!!! Communication is the number one key to keeping a marriage together, you can shower them with gifts and things but a persons word is stronger than anything and if you talk about it you can work it out.

Simplicity with Flare

The Marshall's currently own a bridal decor and event planning business. They both recently made major steps in their lives. Demond recenlty became a Mason in Precious Jewel Lodge #108 and Tanya recently began her journey as an Eastern Star.

We wish them God's blessings and favour in their marriage.

The Ladies Room is looking to feature married couples or those engaged, we would love to hear your story.

Round Table Discussions; What Women Want

Posted by AfroElle On 10:27 AM 0 thoughts
Its been said that women are complicated that at the end of it all, their 'yes' is 'no' and their 'no' is 'yes', that they want this today and something totally different the next, but when its all said and done, they all want the same thing..love. Is this true, has this changed?

Is it still about shooting stars or has it changed to shoes and cars? Men do you wonder what women are looking for in men? Wonder no more, we speak to 8 women on what they want from potential relationship and marriage partners. Join the conversation.

Meet the Ladies

Victoria, 29, Accounts Manager& aspiring writer, Very Single, Maryland, USA
Ritah, 26, Administrator, Dating, Uganda
Norma, 25, Incident Manager (IT), Happily in a relationship, South Africa

Purity, 25, Single, South Africa

Nawala, 23, Lover of life, In a relationship, Maryland, USA
Chido, 23, Student, Single and content, Australia
Oye, 23, Nurse, Single, Houston, TX
Njeri, 23, Ass. Corporate Events Administrator, Single, Nairobi.

1. What qualities do you look for or find appealing in a man/ potential marriage partner and explain why for each quality?

Victoria says:

Honesty: Without honesty you don't have a relationship. That's the foundation of any partnership. If I can't trust my man, then what's the point of being with him?

Creativity: I'm a writer. I love art. I need someone who can appreciate going to museums, plays, movies. It's a big part of who I am.
Intelligence: An intelligent man is soooo attractive/sexy to me. Education is what helps you to have a successful life. Without it, you suffer.
Sense of humor: I'm goofy. I need someone who loves to laugh. Life is hard so you have to know how to laugh through the hard times. I need a man who can find the humor in any situation.
Attentive: I love it when men do the "little things" to make you happy. I'd be more impressed if a man left me a poem on my pillow than if he took me on a shopping spree. It's those small things that show you he really cares.
Independence: I like my alone time. I don't need to be with my man 24/7. I like a man who has his own life and his own interests. I need a man who is comfortable with us being apart sometimes. That way we appreciate each other that much more when we are together.

Ritah says:

Educated: This is because I am an educated woman and dating one who is not will be burdensome. We won’t be on the same wavelength…. Intellectually.
God-fearing: Somebody who has some faith, in a God somewhere. I prefer Christian since I am Christian. This is a perfect foundation for a family.
Respectful: A man who is respectful will not hurt u unnecessarily. It’s a virtue.
Honest: Honest men are rarely cheats. And God knows… everywoman doesn’t need a cheat in her life.
Above all he should not be married to another woman or better yet… not a divorcee because its gets complicated in these situations.

Norma says: The qualities of a person show over time but the main things I have taken into perspective are potential ;sensitivity ;honesty ; communicator ; height ; confidence ; respectful ; his relationship with GOD .

Potential – I definitely look at potential as a big factor for me because as a helpmeet I always want to see where this man wants to go, who he wants to be and how he plans to get there. I believe that a man with potential makes you see who he can be and you begin to see how you can take him there. It’s asking yourself in 10 years time what value do you think I will have brought to you. I feed off potential because you can’t fake it or try to create it, he either has big dreams or not.
Sensitivity - I look for a man who can sense what I need. A man who knows when to hold your head and as much as women have a way of saying no when we mean yes a man who can understand the unspoken words. A man who is able to be completely himself without worrying what anyone else will think or say who doesn’t mind if his boys are around or not ,who is willing to be an utter fool for love ; because he understands that when he shows it you appreciate it.
Honesty – A man who can tell you the whole truth and stand by the truth is a man who is appealing .Honesty starts from little things like him telling you exactly where he is, if you ever ask and his honest opinion on your latest hairstyle .A man who is not afraid to be real is a man who hardly hides anything .Hence honesty comes out tops.
Communicator – A communicator is a man who has the ability to allow you as a couple to discuss issues .He speaks clearly and allows you to have your say in issues .I find it appealing when you can sit and talk for hours on any issue and grow your intimacy through words and really get to know each other rather than a man who does not say much. A man who can say what is on his mind and what he wants from me is a definite keeper.
Confidence - I definitely find appealing a man with a good dose of confidence, not arrogance. You see if he is confident in who he is and what he is about ,he will have confidence in you as a couple . I want a man to lead the show and if he is doing it without a shadow of doubt it allows me to trust his judgment, even if we end up 400km lost (lol) .He’s the head after all.
Respectful – It’s a definitely appealing for a man to be respectful, a man who speaks to me with respect and who does not shout or swear at me .If a man can swear at you he has the potential to even hit you .If he can respect a car guard; a waitress or an elderly person then he has a basic respect for any life on earth. A man must not speak to you like you are some hooker he picked up; he must respect you as a person and as a woman. Like Aretha said R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Relationship with GOD – A man who loves GOD and puts GOD first even before me is the best thing since sliced bread. If a man loves GOD his morality is secured and he depends on a higher power and he is accountable to GOD .Him loving GOD will be personified in how he loves me.
Height – I’m a sucker for tall guys, it sounds fickle but every time I’ve prayed and asked GOD for a tall man HE delivers. I like the height difference because I am very short so I do not like short men. The taller the better (lol)

Purity says: Integrity because it’s important to me. Humor; I love to laugh, he should too. God fearing; this opens up so many doors, in terms of how he treats me.

Nawala says: The main quality I look for in a man is HONESTY, for two reasons. One, this quality encompasses other very important qualities to me and two, because a few years ago I realized how trying to fit men into these boxes or list of qualities wasn’t getting me anywhere, and at times limited my ability to accept people as they are.
Honesty is so very important to me, initially because I’ve been lied to and can’t stand that experience. To me, a strong, nurturing, growing, and loving relationship can’t exist without the individuals being willing to be honest with themselves, honest with their partners, and in the process willing to give their whole self to their significant other. Someone who is true to himself is perfect for me!
Another key quality for me is a COMMITMENT TO GROWTH. It is important to me that a man strives to be his best self and be open to change but more importantly learning and growing from what we learn about ourselves and each other. Growth is so necessary to avoid issues like the same arguments over and over again and to support one another on this very long life journey.
Chido says:

God fearing – I don’t know if it even needs explaining but it would never work if you don’t fear God because to me he comes 1st in all I do including my relationships.
Respectful- if you do not respect a person then how will you notice their good qualities
Attentive – so I’m re assured he will give me attention when I need to be heard
Passionate - that way I know we set for a great future
Great sense of humor- don’t they say laughter is the best medicine
Honesty- who want to be with a liar…definitely not me I find it being a base on which all other values stand

Oye says: Good looking, religious, educated, funny, caring, loving, understanding, trustworthy, family oriented

Njeri says: A God fearing man is an attractive attribute – it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a worship leader or something, but a man who knows and acknowledges that God is indeed the King in His life is a very strong attribute. Reason being, we normally follow the guidelines of that which we believe in right?

The other attribute is a hard working self driven man; a man who knows what he wants and is not afraid to get it. A man who takes up a challenge and makes it work for them. This is a guy you are sure knows his stand and helps me avoid unnecessary babysitting.
A man, who is well groomed, smells nice. Everyone wants to be seen with a clean man. It’s appealing. The other thing is a caring man; one has compassion for the less fortunate, speaks to the waiter with respect and will open a door or pull a chair.

2. What is the number one item you want from marriage or in a relationship with a man?

Victoria says: I want a man who is my best friend. I need a relationship in which we actually enjoy each other's company beyond the physical, sexual and romantic components. Friends first then lovers.

Ritah says: Love and Faithfulness. Once that one is established then children can come in because it will be a safe place to raise children.

Norma says: Companionship – Life in all its goodness ,in all its craziness ,in all its ups and downs deserves to be shared .I believe the greatest memories I have are not by myself but with those that I love . Those memories are priceless and if GOD has blessed me with life and blessed me with the opportunity to share it, why not with the Adam to my Eve? There are places and moments I want to share with someone I love and care about a lot. The lows of life are not that bad when you have someone who is willing to say I will walk with you and see you through this. GOD created pairs and life as a pair is the greatest desire I have.

Purity says: Friendship based on trust, love and truth.

Nawala says: The number one thing I want from a man is his true and highest self whoever that is. I want a spiritual connection and partnership, and just someone to share and create this life with.

Chido says: Love and respect tie on No. 1

Oye says: Happiness

Njeri says: Happiness; when you’re happy it means even though everything else – such as the big car don’t fall in place, your happy with you lives n make the most of it. Happiness means that friendships are maintained, you laugh and make merry. Other aspects such as love and trust fall into place, financial stability will also fall into place- be happy and make the best of everything!

3. Do you think that physical looks matter?

Victoria says: Yes, physical looks do matter, but they are not necessarily a top priority to me. I need to find the man I'm with attractive, but it's ok if he isn't 6'4. It's ok if he doesn't look like Denzel Washington. It's ok if he isn't tall, dark and handsome. Being a good man will make him attractive to me.

Norma says: I think becoming obsessed with physical looks is a problem. I think what really makes up the person is what is on the inside but what attracts us to the person is the outside .Hence I will say it depends on each person to what degree and extent they believe looks matter. At the end of the day honestly looks fade but what stays is the core of that person. That being said you are drawn to what you see as attractive that is an undeniable fact, how caught up you get with just the looks is what determines to each person if looks matter. To me looks don’t matter.

Ritah says: No and Yes.
No because looks don’t buy happiness. He may be a cute face but very oppressive, aggressive, disrespectful, arrogant, unfaithful… all for what. Yes because of the off springs. We want cute babies’ lol .Therefore someone should settle for what’s comfortable.

Purity says: No chemistry does

Nawala says: Yes and no. I know looks aren’t everything but I believe it is very important to be attracted to your partner, especially because I believe that feeling of attraction is deeper than physical. I like to think that the energy that pulls us in response to a particular man is profound and keeps you connected to that person forever. It’s why people can still find their partners attractive and desiring even after they’ve changed physically, I feel. It’s true that people are sometimes attracted to what they are used to liking, what they think they should like, and their society’s influence in the matter, but with these things put aside, attractiveness matters!

Chido says: YES!!!!! I personally have preferences; tall masculine

Oye says: Absolutely. I wouldn’t date someone that I didn’t feel like I “should” be with.

Njeri says: Ooh yes! Before you get to know someone- you must have looked at the really right? Some physical attribute they posses draws you to want to know them better. At some point things get physical- you need to connect on that level too. If you marry someone you don’t think is hot, honeymoon?? It’s not the core of the relationship – but it’s important as well. I’d want to walk around with him, hold his hand and have my friends compliment him- someone I’m attracted to physically does wonders to a relationship! Women are emotional beings you know, and when we get emotional we want a shoulder to lean on or a hand to hold- and it better be someone you find attractive right?

4. What values do you treasure in a relationship?

Victoria says: Honesty is big for me. Every relationship I've been in that has ended, has failed in part because of a lack of honesty (on both my end and my boyfriends'). What I know is that, even if the truth is painful or difficult, I can always work with truth. But lies, cheating and other forms of deceit automatically kill the relationship.

Ritah says: Love, Faithfulness, Respect

Norma says: Commitment and Prayer -As a couple the ability to commit to each other and vocally affirm this is definitely gold and praying together or for each other .Prayer strengthens you as individuals but being able to come together and lift each other up spiritually is a winner for me .

Purity says: Family, friendship, truth, acceptance

Nawala says: I value honesty, openness, growth, love, peace, communication, learning more about yourself and seeing your reflection through your partner, allowing the love you have with your partner positively impact others, community, the little lessons along the way, the uncomfortable moments of vulnerability, the arguments that help you grow.I love everything about relationships when they’re true and real.

Chido says: Commitment, honesty, respect and equality

Oye says:  Good listener, honesty, good lover, trust, comfort and loyalty

Njeri says: Respect, Trust and Love. Yes in that order. Before a man loves me he must trust me and before he trusts me it means he respects me. I would never date a man who disrespects women, especially me. A man who speaks ill; my hubby or boyfriend should be able to respect my values, as well as I respect him, this way mutual respect is built – leading to trust – where you turn to each other and issues such as faithfulness and honesty are not mind bogglers – because you respect each other eventually leading to fully bloomed love!

4. The world is changing and it’s been said that women are changing and it’s not the same ol ‘All I need is Love’, mantra, what do you think about this statement, has genuine love changed?

Victoria says: I think that the media and the mainstream are pushing a newer/faster/less substantive brand of so-called love. That makes me sad. I'm old fashioned. I like a slow courtship. I don't kiss on the first date. I don't have sex for months and months and months after dating a man. But I find that a lot of men aren't accustomed to that anymore. I think that if we get back to what you call "genuine love" then we'll all be happier, relationships will last longer and less marriages will end in divorce.

Ritah says Genuine love hasn’t changed but I don’t think women trust men that much. They have introduced this thing they call not loving someone 100%; leaving a space for disappointment. Then another league of women who have been disappointed after they’ve given true love now prefers to go materialistic. If they don’t have anything they gain in a relationship then they won’t date you at all.

Norma says: Times may have changed and women may say they have changed or are changing but the one genuine desire we have of being loved and loving someone still exists. It might be said that what people have begun to value is different but even though people claim that love is not enough, we as humans; have been known to go to extreme lengths to receive affirmations of love. Genuine love still exists that is why even in our generation people can meet and settle and be together for more than 6 months .However the fear of play or get played has cheapened the use of the word love .I love is like a get out of jail free card during a game of monopoly ,it’s been over used and almost de-valued .Love is a constant it cannot change ,what can change is people ;how we treat each other and how we uphold love .Even saying I’m in love is downplayed .Going back to defining what love is and how it is shown or celebrated in a relationship is what has changed . Love is like GOD, we change but HE never does.

Purity says: Love is constant it won't ever change. Maybe we have changed in the way we love. We don’t take nonsense e.g. infidelity. We are educated we know we can make it on our own.

Nawala says: Well as hippie-holistic type of chic, I’m still all about the old mantra .I just think women and people in general have this one-sided view of love. When we hear the word love we almost automatically think of it in the sense of romantic love and relationships. For me the word love encompasses the love of self, the love of others, and the love of God/life. So, in that sense of the word no, all I need is not romantic love.

I need a deep sense of love for myself and a passion for living. Women are changing because they are realizing the not only need the love of a man, but more self-love, a love for life outside of all the ways we define ourselves {wife, mother, daughter, career woman, etc}. I think love is evolving; we are becoming more aware of our needs and truest desires, as well as all of the ways we need to be loved {through self, others, God/life}.

Chido says: I would say half and half I still believe genuine love is still very much there and in people as much as I also believe that sometimes it has moved from the “all I need is love” mantra some people find love not being enough because of circumstances.

Oye says: There’s definitely still genuine love. Maybe not like it was back in the day. I’ve found that quite a few people I know say things like “if he has money, I’m ready to settle down”. I don’t believe in that. I have yet to find love and I refuse to settle for just anyone. People may call me delusional especially in the kind of society we live in but, I’ll take my chances and wait for my true love!

Njeri says: Yes it has. Sad thing but we women have become soo materialistic. Yes a man should be able to bring home the bacon, but remember we are still meant to be their helpers. Not all women are like this. Some of us have lowered our standards too far- and run around sleeping with every Tom Dick and Harry just because he drives a flashy car!

Genuine love is there – it all depends on how you carry yourself, what values you hold. A man will always treat you the way you present yourself. Really, don’t be afraid to have standards. It may save u loads of heartbreak. And sift out the man for you from the boys.

In my opinion men crave for love as much as we think they don’t. They are way much more emotional than us. When they find love, real genuine love trust u me they will know. They usually have a reference point- their mothers. It’s not all a bad thing. Look at how our mums love and care for family- how genuine their relationships are with our dads. How they have grown together physically, emotionally, even financially! So ladies please don’t go for a man for financial security reasons, he also needs someone to help him up. Be genuine to yourself n love as you would love to be loved.

5. ‘No Romance Without Finance’ what do you think about this?

Victoria: I don't need to be with a man who is wealthy, but I do need a man who is financially stable and self-sufficient. A man who is in control of his money is a responsible man and that is important to me. There are also a lot of experiences that I'd like to share with my boyfriend/husband that require money, so a man with a little in his savings account is a bonus.

Ritah says: I used to think otherwise but trust me money is basic when it comes to romance. However it should be the element which attracts you to the other party. That way you will be a gold digger. Every activity that encompasses romance sure has a finance bit attached to it. Say for example if you want to go out, to the movies, to the lakeside, you want to buy something special or show your significant other you love them in a special way; you got oa pull out some bills.

Norma says: Simply put I will explain this like this : Love /Romance is like a wedding cake it takes a few months to bake a wedding cake ,the stewing of fruit etc etc is a process that requires patience . The icing however and decorations takes mere hours to be put together and spread over the cake .Likewise finance ,money or wealth are the icing ,it comes and goes but the core of the person is the wedding cake ,that is either done well or is a flop . Money comes and money goes be careful to lose out on love because of being fickle. If you love someone for their money what are you after him or his money? Be careful that you will chose wealth over love and in those case you wind up miserable and very soon without money .How much did you pay for GOD to love you? .There is nothing cute about being a gold digger ,being a gold digger shows you are lazy and can’t go out there and make your own .

Purity says: Money makes life easier. I won't pretend; I need to know his able to look after me. Plus buy my good quality food.

Nawala says: This question is a little difficult for me mostly because I haven’t had to deal with romance and finances at the same time, since I am not married. However, I don’t think that the issue is necessarily ‘No Romance Without Finance’ as much as ‘No Nothing Without Finance.’ We live in a very money-centered society and world and money easily becomes a hindrance for doing and accomplishing and experiencing ANYTHING! Our struggles with money impact everything as much as our romances. I think that out of all things it is very unfortunate that we let our romantic relationships suffer, end, or never begin because of this. The lack of adequate money makes all of our dreams difficult, from traveling to helping out family members, to changing our communities. This all makes finances very important and one aspect of life we MUST overcome to make better use of this tool.

Chido says: Romance can be found without finance but I find the no finance bit can be a real strain on the romance part being financially wounded in a relationship/marriage stresses hence pulling all sort of strains on the romance part.

Oye says:  Bullocks! The modern day woman should be able to provide for herself to an extent. You should not rely on a guy for his money. I have no problem being with a man who doesn’t have as much money as me. Given, I do not want someone who is poor or lazy, but I am not looking for “the owner of the bank”. The most important thing is for me to see the potential to grow financially.

Njeri says: It depends on how you look at it. There can be love without money – but that does not mean that you do not need money. Look at it this way- everyone man or woman needs someone who is on their feet somehow; you both need to go for dates, and eventually get married and have a home- all these involve money.
So it’s important to have money but do not confuse it to putting a price on love. You cannot love someone because of money because when the money is not there, there is no love. Love is everlasting.

Recommended Read: Women Waiting For The Perfect Men in Wanjiku Ndungu's article 'Man Up'. 

There you have it folks. As a woman, what do you want from a man or potential marriage partner? Men, what do you think? Join the conversation, share your thoughts.


Phenomenal Woman ; Liz Muyu

Posted by AfroElle On 9:20 AM 5 thoughts

We talk to 20 year old Elizabeth Muyu , a young woman passionate and zealous about the things she believes in and a finalist in this year's Miss Africa Texas Pagent dubbed 'Beauty With A Purpose' taking place on October 16th, 2010 in Plano, Texas.

Let's Meet Her

Q: What are three adjectives that describe you and why?


I will say I am tenacious because I have come to the realization that to make our way, we must have firm tenacity combined with strong passion. And all these are mere useless without Jesus Christ in your heart and I daily work out my salvation with fear and trembling. Knowing it is Christ in me the hope of glory'

Q: What do you do?
Liz: I recently graduated in May 2010 from a theology school in Dallas TX; I am currently still in Texas, USA on a one year internship with a ministry work in my area of study. I love music; - anything and everything to do with it. Singing, dancing, playing, composing, etc. I also write from poetry to every day to day life and hanging out with friends is always the highlight of my week.

Q: Is this your first beauty pagent?
Liz: Well I have always been someone who didnt see me for beauty, I have been endeavoring in other areas of art except pageants. I just recently decided to expound my boundaries; this technically will be my first beauty pageant. Hoping it won’t be the last either.

Q: What ways do you give back to the society?
Liz: I volunteer 16 – 20 hrs a week in a local community church. I work with the children as a dance choreographer, with the youth I teach music theory and offer one on one piano lessons. I also counsel and encourage young teens. I have a heart towards this generation and I want to be able to fully live to see that all those I ever came in contact with breathed easier not because of who I am but because of what God has enabled me to give.

Q: What is your definition of success ?
Liz: Success is the limit which a person decides to set their goals. It is a limit they believe to achieve within their life time. Success for me is the limitless goals I set before myself .

Q. What do you want to achieve in life?
Liz: Achieving is coming to a stop. I never want to stop learning how to stretch myself skillfully and spiritually with every season that comes and goes.

Q:What or who motivates you and why?
Liz: The fact that I wake up each morning in complete assurance that God is smiling at me and ordering my path, and he is walking with me through every single step I take. Unlike humanity he will never leave or forsake me. That motivates me to know he always got my back. I choose not to be motivated by people or things because people pass away and circumstances change, the only thing that is the same today yesterday and forever is God. Jehovah’ the great I AM’

Q:What does a woman of substance mean to you?
Liz: A woman of substance is a woman who has been attacked by the terrible situations of life but instead of letting the circumstances tear her down, she used them to build herself up. She makes lesson from every good and bad season of her life and increases herself in wisdom. She is a woman who will maintain bravery through any storm that comes her way. This is what a woman of substance means to me’

Q.What one thing do you want the world to remember you by?

Liz:I want to be remembered by the little gifts of love I gave to impact and change one’s life. For our tokens of compliment and love are for the most part barbarous. The only gift is a portion of you. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd his lamb; the farmer his corn; the miner a gem; the sailor coral and shells; the painter his picture; Thus I bring me’ to live for others’

Q: What makes you a phenomenal woman?
Liz: Phenomenal is a heavy word to live up to, and I am definitely humbled to be termed as one on your blog. Yet I believe it’s a process I am still being moulded into one. And coming to this realization is what makes me a phenomenal woman’


Back To Basics;Loving Me.

Posted by AfroElle On 8:06 AM 0 thoughts
I was registering myself in just another networking site, same forms and same info.
Single, OR Engaged, OR Married, OR In-a-relationship, OR It-is-complicated” and without even giving a thought I ticked the box next to “Single”.
I have a tee that has this unquoted quote written on it, “I am not Single, I am just ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED!”

It may sound as simple as that when filling up forms or getting quoted tee-shirts or tweeting about happy-single-lives, but when it comes to life, even the smallest of the trifles are given life to, and adds a new perspective.

Two decades have passed in this world but am yet to get into a romantic relationship. Do I feel bad? Are guys an invisible element to me? Do I hate romance and relations? Am I just staying intentionally single to cook new theories of relationships?

NO. A Big No for all the above. So, do I have any problems within myself? Yes, I guess I can say that. The problem, a serious one, within me is me myself. My heart and mind. The one unique thing in this whole galaxy that creates all sorts of unimaginable fictional fantasies yet wants everything to be real, simple and practical.

Confusing right? Well, life hasn’t been great or rocking for me. But then, life is always being a learning experience for me, a continuous and an intensive one. Since my teenage, I would be stuck or held up or working through my way with some issue or the other, that I always think that a serious relation would seriously be a difficult thing for me.

When I was 15, I had a crush a lovely innocent one which I presumed to be love and that I had met my guy and all such stuffs without really caring about how little I know about him and how much of a stranger he was to me. All I saw were his looks, his smile to be specific, his fame in school and his attention for me.

But, when it got crushed into pieces, I sure was too hurt for words. But I am thankful to God for giving me a good mind that accepts and realizes every single element in life. I learnt the difference between a true powerful love and a short-lived purposeless infatuation.

The differences taught me what really a love is. The love that is not particular to a person but that which is the driving force of the whole world. The love that is universal and built by trust and truth and happiness. The love that can be shown on everyone yet will not depreciate. In addition to my broken crush, there were many other cards that involved in the process of my understanding of Love.

I had witnessed family fights, especially of my parents, and the effects it had in a sweet- home. I had been sought for support by my close friends who had got terribly distraught by break-ups and misunderstandings.

And on the positive side of the lesson, I had always known many beautiful real-life love stories that made it to Life. I admit honestly that I am someone who believes in magic tales, of meeting a prince somewhere along my path who would rescue me from some evil witch or someone who wakes me up from a trance with a life-kiss. But then, I want these to happen with someone who understands the depth and truth behind a true love, someone who sees love as what I see yet loves me in his own ways.

The attractions that I had ignored and the proposals that I had denied and the attentions that I had avoided, though those involved goodness and fun and beauty, I could not just feel the reality behind, the reality that could turn Life into a Miracle, something that gives yet another life to life. Let me, for the moment, just say that I am waiting for the Magic to happen, the magic that I could feel within me and relate it to the real life. Till then, there are lot of things, like nature, rain, chocolates, music, etc. and lot of people, like friends, family, inspirations, guides, teachers, etc. to love and live for. Life can be directly equated to love and happiness when you love yourself and the world.

Vini is a college grad, a nature lover, a dreamer and self-proclaimed writer and amateur photographer.

She is a believer of the contagious factor of positivity and smiles, loves writing the feelings and capturing the visions, always happy to help out and guide people in need, and always a slave to love in friends’ criticism, care in mom’s shouts and affection in granny’s complaints.

Follow her on Twitter and read her blogs Life Goes On and Click and Light

Inspiration; Being Alive and Living

Posted by AfroElle On 8:00 AM 0 thoughts
(Mombasa Sunset by photographer Sami Khan)

There is a song that talks about trying to know the difference between being alive and living. This is a question that I think everyone at some point in his or her life asks, or at least should ask themselves.

Being alive means fulfilling our basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, oxygen and water. But there is SO much more to life. Saying that there is more to life however, doesn’t make life any easier.

I’m not saying there won’t be potholes along your path. A detour that takes you somewhere you’ve never been. Across a bridge that hasn’t been tested. Over a hill that seems too high. Through a forest when you can’t see the other side. There will be trials and tribulations. It’s when those moments happen that you have to push through. Sometimes the way is lonely; and sometimes you may need to find a copilot to help you along the way. A friend, a family member maybe even a stranger.

But then there are going to be highs too. A straight path with no deviations. A smooth road. A forest with a clear cut path. A bridge made of solid stone. It is at those moments when we most appreciate life. But that is not the only time to appreciate it. Because it is the rain that teaches us what we are made of. What we can accomplish. It reminds us that we are stronger than we think.

What does it mean to really live? Is it getting that prestigious job, or getting a job where you will enjoy every minute of it? Is it finding Mr. Right, or finding yourself? Is it having a big house full of fancy things, or living close to family and spending time with them? Is it about getting that to-do list done just to get it done, or is it about finishing that list so you have time to do what really matters to you?

When I started blogging in January of 2010 I struggled to come up with a title for my blog. I knew that it would contain stories of my life, of my journey to really LIVE my life. I knew that faith would also often be addressed. So when thinking of a title I was drawn to a quote from The Guardian, a book I have read several times. Let me set the scene: it’s between a US Marshal and a witness he is protecting as they are becoming good friends. She is busy working for a political figure from a remote location and he comes to her as she is working:

'There are more calls to finish.'
"Those will wait. The sunset won't"
"Slip away and come watch the sunset."

This was a wakeup call for me. How often do I get wrapped up in the emails that must be written, the to-do lists to finish, the calls to make, the rooms to clean… I realized that I often worry about getting things done, and getting them done as perfectly as possible. But that’s not what life is about.

It’s about loving as much as you can. It’s about living the best you can. It’s remembering that moments are precious. It’s remembering many things can wait, but The Sunset Won’t.

Guest Writer Heather blogs at The Sunset Won't check her more of her inspirational works there.

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AfroElle is an online destination for women of Afro-descent around the world.AfroElle's overall aim is to provide content for black women around the world and for them to find empowerment and encouraged to lead fulfilled lives through this magazine style blog.
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