• 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 4 of 14 posts from February 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 4 of 14 posts from February 2011. Show older posts

Editor's Note: Spread The Love

Posted by AfroElle On 11:42 PM 0 thoughts

Dear Readers,

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.

We have put together the February ‘Spread The Love’ Issue with you, the reader, in mind. We have in store for you inspirational interviews, profiles, great tips and new features. Gracing the cover of AfroElle this month is Ugandan beauty Atim Birungi-p’Oyat. She is a sensational model and actress with an amazing heart. She opens up to AfroElle about her life, faith and profession in our cover story ‘Trusting Your Identity’.

In the spirit of love we feature The L.O.V.E Movement a network on a mission to empower women by meeting them where they are. We don’t stop there; we have a host of other interesting stories from an interview with Ghanaian designers and sisterpreneurs; the Dpiper Twins as they talk about their Jewelry and Clothing line to a profile of phenomenal woman, Diana Gaitirira, an actress, plus size model and a full time Certified Sign Language Interpreter.

Other great pieces in this issue include articles on several topics such as Marriage, Fashion, Singular, Finances, Relationships and Mind, body & Soul. In my quest to make AfroElle a blog magazine covering all aspects of our lives, we have introduced two new features; we have Motherhood with guest writer Shiko talking about her escapades as a mother and Lifestyle where Amani takes us back home with quick and easy tips on How to Create An African Inspired Space.

I hope you enjoy this issue of AfroElle. Once again, I thank you for taking the time to read and recommend this blog magazine to your friends. We appreciate your comments and feedback. You can join our online community on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to email your suggestions, questions and feedback to 

Remember to take the time to Spread the Love, not just to your significant other but to everyone around you.

In This Issue:
Featured Cause: The L.O.V.E Movement Network
Cover Story: Trust Your Identity
Featured Couple: Afam and Chichi
Phenomenal Woman: Diana Gaitirira
Sisterpreneur: Dpiper Twins
Fashion Inspiration: Malaika Pearl
RelationshipsMaking The Most of Your Long Distance Relationship
Marriage 101: I Wish Somebody Would've Told Me
Motherhood: It’s Baby Poop
Singular: What’s Your Order
Lifestyle: Quick and Easy Tips on How To Create An African Inspired Space
Mind,Body&Soul: Of Strong Women and Desert Plants
Finances: Valentine’s Day Blues


I’m passionate about causes by women that uplift other women in society and every month we feature such causes. This month, we feature The L.O.V.E Network Movement that empowers women and here is an interview I had with the movement’s founder Shivawn A.Mitchell.

Tell us more about who you are and what you do?

My background is in social work and I currently work for a counseling agency. I’ve always been the person who everyone comes to for advice so I knew counseling was the best choice for me. I have a heart for teenagers because I know how it is to feel like no one hears you when you need help. It’s very important to me to be transparent as much as possible so other people that I come in contact with don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made in life. I’m juggling at this moment building the L.o.v.e. Movement Network, finishing my first book and writing a column for an upcoming magazine. I have an extreme love for shoes, great food, a good novel and amazing conversation.

What is the L.O.V.E movement network all about?

The L.o.v.e. Network is about empowering women and meeting them right where they are. Most women have a burning desire to live their dreams but we usually get stopped somewhere along the way because life happens. We start to focus on not having enough money, children, our appearance and the list can go on. Slowly your dreams and purpose get lost somewhere in the background. It is my goal for every lady that I come in contact with that we obtain balance in  7 areas. I call them my 7 keys to L.o.v.e.  So we have established “chapters” where women can connect with other women on a monthly basis and discuss how to run an effective business, how to invest or work out as a group. Once we work on ourselves then we can effect change and have positive influence with our young ladies and that project is called “Designing Diamond Girls”. We are a movement because we want to move women to live out loud in their community.

What inspired you to start the L.O.V.E Movement?

I saw a need for women to have support in every area of their lives. Most networks “communities” focus only on one aspect of life (business or entertainment). But I know we need help in more than just those few areas. I wanted my network to become a wellness center for women.  A place where you could get feedback about your business but also get some tips on working out or how to maintain your finances. There is a need for women to get themselves in order so they can turn around and inspire the next generation not just to have a vision but to live it out loud.

Who makes up part of the LOVE Movement and which cities is the movement present?

Currently we have chapters in Atlanta, Canada, Ohio and New Jersey. The leaders are Leslie Bonds Atlanta Chapter, Sasha Watson New Jersey Chapter, Grace Mayele Canada Chapter, Shaundretta Boykins and Latika Larry Ohio Chapter, and Andria Thompson Canada Chapter. These ladies are known as our Circle of L.o.v.e. Leaders. They help coordinate meetings among the women in their area. They hold sessions that range from beauty tips, business ideas, entertainment, vision parties etc. However you can connect with us on the internet also if you aren't in the areas that are listed. However, we are always looking to expand and grow with new Leaders.

Some of your objectives include encouraging, inspiring and entertaining women, what kinds of activities are you involved in that help you reach these objectives?

Our most resent event that was held by two of our chapters (Ohio and Atlanta) was our vision board party.  The vision board party was to assist the women in outlining their personal vision while including personal and professional goals, hopes, wants illustrated with words, images, pictures and more. The Leaders helped facilitate this activity with the women their group. Our next activity that is planned for next month is our ultimate fitness party where several groups are partnering with a gym to promote the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. We are also working along with a nutritionist and one of our writers on are blog to help provide healthy but great recipes for the women in our network.

vision board party held by the Ohio group. 

Where do you see the L.O.V.E Movement two years from now?

Holding national conferences yearly that will bring in speakers, expos and networking opportunities. I see Designing Diamond Girls becoming an organization of its own. Focusing more on self esteem issues for young ladies.  I also see us having at least 15 chapters globally and becoming a household name because of what we stand for. As well as having our own tee-shirt line for women.

What is your message of love to every woman for February?

To love yourself first! Become your own biggest fan. We get so caught up in people pleasing that we lose sight of who we are. Learn how to make self happy or you will always be dancing to someone else’s music. Oh yeah Live L.o.v.e. Loud!

Ladies, this is definitely a great movement to be a part of. As the movement says
'Don't Just Have a Vision But Live It! Check out the L.O.V.E Movement's site and blog.

Cover Story: 'Trust Your Identity'

Posted by AfroElle On 4:51 PM 2 thoughts

Growing up Ugandan born model and actress Atim Birungi- p’Oyat wanted to be an actress. She came into the industry in March 2006 and since then she has done quite a lot in her profession, getting roles in TV shows such as ‘Law and Order Criminal Intent’, Life on Mars and ‘Like We Wasn’t People’; a theatre production. She has also walked the runway for top designers such as Adele Yen, Shan Keith, House of Chappelle and Cp Fusao.
A true definition of beauty and brains, the 26 year old has also pursued a degree in Real Estate concentrating in Construction and Design Management.

I met Atim virtually and she has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration. This month I want to share with you her story, her faith, life and profession.

Who is Atim?

First and foremost, I am a daughter of God who was born to the parents of Goretta Birungi and John p’Oyat in Kampala, Uganda 26 years ago. Being the middle child of five and the youngest of three daughters, I can say I’ve been blessed to learn some of life’s obstacles through observation rather than experience. In spite of the limited provision my father was able to give me, he made it his ultimate purpose to make sure his children understood that there was a Father who was more than capable to provide what he could not and that we should always seek Him first above all else. For that, I will forever be grateful to him. 

Unfortunately, I can now only express that gratitude by continuing to rise above the stumbling blocks of life, despite my father's passing. Isolation, physical illness, death, relational betrayal, desertion, and psychological instability these are all enemies I’ve had to subjugate. Admittedly, there were times (even now) I staggered through, ready to wave my soiled white flag and plead, “I give up, you win” and be dragged to the enemy’s terrain. But then suddenly, a voice within whispers, “Bent but not broken. Get back up”. And so, I do. 

Outside of the fashion and entertainment industry, I’m a business management student at CUNY, an intern at Black Star News, and an NYC volunteer. All in all, take away those titles and I’m simply a young woman journeying through life, keeping an open mind about forthcoming possibilities.

What was your first ever modeling assignment and how was it?

My first modeling assignment was actually a simple portfolio buildup for myself, the photographer, and the makeup artist involved. Having come in to the industry without experience, I wasn't aware of the scam artists pretending to be professionals. The photographer sold me a phony package deal. Basically, it would be two photo shoots (one in a studio and the other on location) of which I had to pay in full after my first session. Anyhow, as I was preparing for the second shoot proposed to be taken by the lake, I found out that the photographer had jetted town, was behind on studio rent, and owed so many IOU's to just about everyone he was collaborating with. That was an eye opener. I'm more careful now when I go to castings now. 

Since you launched your modeling career how has the experience been? 

Pursuing this career has been an eye-opening experience for me. So far, I’ve learned that the industry is unyieldingly comfortable with the lack of diversity within it. One’s silver spoon is often the collateral that offsets another’s painstaking work effort. Nonetheless, I’m continuously learning how to accept rejection, extract the negative criticism, and apply the positive elements to my future relations. On a brighter note, I’ve discovered that underestimating the Five Ws can cause an open door, intended for you to walk through, to be slammed and locked in your face. The biggest breakthroughs may sometimes come in seemingly small opportunities.

As a Christian in the industry have you encountered challenges and if so,how do you manage?

As a Christian in this industry, one has to truly make sure they set time aside for God. It's easy to be led astray given the deception, bribery, and self-gratifications of the "elite" class. Intimacy with Him brings the grace needed to overcome the struggles and stay persistent in my journey.

Has there been a point in your life when you felt like giving up and why?

Yes, in this industry you get a lot of rejections. You can go from casting to casting and audition to audition and still come out with no booking. Dry seasons can cause you to have wandering thoughts about getting a job with a “steady paycheck” but then again, no job is guaranteed to be secure.

How do you integrate your real estate major and modeling?

The entire whole world is fully aware of the calamity taking place in third-world countries. However, there needs to be a direct recognition of the cause and affect implications regarding the lack of housing within these nations. We need to first acknowledge the role we play in their current state so as to begin making a sincere effort to formulate a solution. 

Acquiring success in the entertainment industry is critical to my future in the real estate field. Media exposure would allow me to be able to integrate both careers by awakening a purpose to change at home for a change abroad.

“External beauty can only take one so far even before it has faded. It is important to combine beauty with brainpower, because knowledge is everything." Atim tells Black Star News.

What is your definition of success and who do you attribute your success to?

Success is when one no longer has to pursue their dreams and goals around their financial situation. When I hear my little nephews and niece praying quietly, or when they’re bright-eyed and anxious to tell me what they’re going to be when they grow up;that’s success. An imperfect family but together happy is success. I define several things in life as success. It would take a while.

"My family are the most important people in my life. Our struggles and triumphs have been tied together. They know me better than most people."

I attribute my success to my sister Achayo. She laughs every time I tell her this, but she truly is my hero. Even through her struggles, she exemplifies everything I want to be. Her compassion and patience is like none I've ever seen. Bloodshed doesn't come out of her mouth. I’m telling you, I look up to her immensely. Without meaning to, she’s taught me so much. Achayo has no high school diploma and no degree. Still, neither can ever be as valuable as the wisdom and sense of discernment God has bestowed on her life.

With the success in the your modelling profession, how do you keep grounded?

What keeps me grounded is the awareness that so many other beautiful and talented women, rather than myself, could have been chosen for the opportunities I've been given. Some people go to sleep at night never to wake up again. By the grace of God, I’m woken up every morning and am given another chance to do better than the day before. It’s that same grace that has brought me this far.

Words of Wisdom“In all the decisions you make, ask God in advance to open up the gates of heaven and bestow upon you wisdom, knowledge, and ideas so that you may be able view things through His eyes.”

What is your definition of true beauty?

True beauty is trusting your identity for what it is. Industry insiders, I’m not 22 year of age; I’m 26 wholesome years old. No I’m not 5’10 and above but this 5’8” suit fits me just fine. I can’t ever undermine the blessing I’ve been given nor bring back what I've lost throughout the years. 

"A woman of substance is a Proverbs 31: 10-31 woman.I’m not quite there yet but I’m working on it daily. Thankfully, I have wonderful women in my life that are leading examples."

What motivates you to wake up every morning to do what you do?

Knowing that I’m getting closer to my appointed purpose and destiny keeps me motivated. The older I get, the younger I feel partially because I've realized I have so much to learn and also because the excitement gets me all googly-eyed like a child all over again.

Who are some of your role models?

Stories like Oprah Winfrey’s are inspirational to me because God built her from ground zero up into someone so much bigger. She was and is a valuable vessel. She’s brought many untold stories to the forefront.

What book have you read that has changed your views on something or greatly impacted your life?

It’s actually a book I’m reading now, which I’ve read from time to time. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The title speaks for itself.

"I would hope the world remembers me for my character, sense of humor, and smile. I look forward to being used as an instrument for the progression of humanity."

What’s the best thing going for you right now?

Good health, peace of mind, and understanding that neither my mistakes nor my achievements define who I am. 

What's the best advice you can give to someone about life?

It’s not a message I believe many people want to hear. That advice would be to put God first and allow everything else to fall in place accordingly.

Find out more about Atim through her; website, blog; Atim Birungi-p'Oyat; My Ongoing Journey or her Facebook Page.  To get in touch with Atim,you can email

Chichi and Afam Eruchalu met in April 2007 where they were both volunteers at the OFNC Youth Conference. Chichi's mother who is also a Youth worker introduced the two. On 26th June 2010 at the Usmania Banqueting Hall in Manchester UK, Afam and Chichi became one. The couple shares their love story with AfroElle.

A simple 'hello' 

When my mother introduced us at the time we were very polite about the whole thing and were like 'hi - hi'. Four months later we were both going to the National Conference in Wales and Afam’s original transport plans didn't go as planned - through no fault of his own he missed his lift to Wales and I ended up driving us both down to the conference. It was during those two hours, talking about some many things {including Big Brother!}, that we realised that we had quite a lot in common and spent more time at the Conference getting to know each other better.

Living in different towns we communicated regularly by telephone and email. O2 and Vodafone made a lot of money during that period! A few months later after lots of talking and the occasional visits, our feelings towards each other start to develop beyond 'just friends' to 'something more special'.

'First Impressions' 

When Afam and I met, I knew he was a nice guy, but I liked him more as a friend. As I got to know him and know his personality, I remember telling my mum, 'yeh, he'll make a great husband for some lucky girl'. Little did I know that the lucky girl would be me!

Being tall he has presence whenever he enters a room, but he uses it well and is never arrogant or obnoxious. He cares for people and you can see this in how he relates to individuals.

'Step by Step'

We were both at a stage in our lives where dating was not an option, as in we didn’t want to be in relationships which didn’t have a purpose. Very early on in the relationship we laid our cards out on the table, which was key because we didn’t want to waste each other’s time. It was on a cold but romantic Saturday night back in October 2007 where Afam told me that he cared about me a lot and believed God was calling us to develop a relationship that would eventually lead to marriage.

That ‘kicked’ off things and he formally proposed  to me on the 28th December 2008 in Stratford-Upon-Avon and we held our engagement May 5th 2009 in Sale, Manchester.

'answered prayer '

This was the list of what i wanted in a man. I wrote it back in 2007. It might seem a lot but I was always taught to be specific when asking for things from God!

1. Man of God, loves Him, Serves Him and has Him number one in his life
2. Family values
3. Professional and hardworking
4. Good dresser
5. Funny
6. Tall {than me}
7. Good with finances
8. Respectful
9. Patient
10. Loving, caring and honourable
11. Willing to try new things
12. Confident without arrogance
13. Attractive to me {but doesn't know it!}
14. Driven and ambitious
15. A man of integrity
16. Good leader

God is faithful, He gave me everything on my list.

God also knows us and knows what we need. He then proceeds to bless us with a person who will compliment us, support us, love us, just as HE loves us. If we trust Him and let Him do His thing.

getting ready

the little details

" the rest is history...... "

I went to this relationship conference where it was talking about lock and key and the right type of person you want to get married to. At the time we were not together or talking and I remember sitting there thinking, I have let a good one go. Each time they mentioned an attribute a good spouse should have, my mind would take me back to Afam. I remember saying a prayer that day, along the lines of ‘God, if this is your will, please bring him back into my life. I’m not going to do anything’. A few days later I received a text from him out of the blue and we reconnected. The rest they say is history.

the entrance

the ladies

the gentlemen

"P.S I Love Him"

Afam is kind and incredibly selfless. He always wants to make sure I am okay, he consults me in everything and we truly are great partnership. He takes his responsibilities as a husband very seriously and loves the Lord with all his heart. He has taught me so much, encouraging me to grow and develop in my faith and skills as a wife, for which I am grateful.

let the celebrations continue

can I have this dance?

Endless Love

I love the companionship and partnership that marriage brings. Before I met my husband I was a very independent person, now I am an interdependent person. I love sharing my life with him and being able to support and be supported. I also love the stability it brings. To make your marriage successful, communication and trust are essential. Being able to effectively communicate with your spouse is so important. Every argument or fight is bringing you one step closer to oneness.
You also need to approach marriage with a selfless attitude and know that it is for life. So far marriage has taught me selflessness, teamwork and what it means to truly love someone.

Isn't she lovely

Just married

'whatever it takes'
We make our marriage work by praying  daily together and commit our lives and marriage to God. We also ensure that our own personal walk with God is sound as this is fundamental in ensuring our relationship is successful. We regularly read and watch marriage DVDs as well have an older couple who advise, support and pray with us.

It can become very easy to get sucked into the daily grind and forget about each other. You can make your marriage fun by reminding yourself why you got married and taking time out to spend with each other. Surprise each other - I sometimes put little love notes in my husband’s lunch box.

' Two Cents' 

Marriage is beautiful but also hard work. It takes commitment and you have to work at it daily as whatever you put into it, is what you will get out of it. Be prepared to make sacrifices and be prepared to learn, as marriage is a journey of personal development and growth.

For those of you who are not yet married, don’t waste your single years. Prepare yourself to become a wife (or husband) and strive to become selfless. Learn to depend on God and not in own abilities (Proverbs 3:5) as this same dependence and submission you have for God is what will be transferred to your husband in your marriage. Last but not least don’t settle!

Chichi documents her journey through Matrimony Boulevard in her blog From Now Till I Do where she shares great insight about love, relationships, God and life. She recently launched her event management business Matrimony Boulevard in which she specializes in wedding events coordination and design contemporary wedding stationery.

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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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