YouTube, Beauty, and Weddings with Wura Manola
Apr19

YouTube, Beauty, and Weddings with Wura Manola

Interview Conducted by Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine Part 3 of 3: Youtube, Beauty, and Weddings with Wura Manola CB Mag: Many of us see extravagant weddings. How do you advise brides to stay focused? WM: Everyone wants a lavish wedding. What I always tell people is remember you’re going to spend all that money on one day, everyone comes, eats, drinks, and has a good time, but no one goes home with you. It’s just you and your husband. The wedding is just one day. That day is going to go very fast. You don’t want to start fighting your husband because of money. And you don’t want to marry the wrong person because you want to have the “wedding of life”, as we Nigerians call it. If you can’t afford a Vera Wang dress, get an imitation dress.  If you can’t afford a 7 tier cake, get a dummy cake!  Life is too short for all of this. If you don’t have the money, it’s not worth it. Focus on the end goal which is your marriage and cut your coat according to your cloth. CB Mag: If you could plan one wedding, whose would it be? WM: If I could plan one wedding- it would be my best friend’s wedding- Nene Ntofon. She went above and beyond for my wedding. She did so much to the extent that my in-laws remember her. She took on the role of a sister and a wedding planner, and a way of me making her day beautiful is a way to repay her for all she did for my wedding. For me, planning a wedding is a personal thing, and I’ve known her since I was 7 or 8. So I could put sooo much personal touch into it. The other person would be an actress in Nigeria named Dorcas Shola Fapson She seems to be so much fun, like her snapchat is life. I’d like to plan her wedding because her wedding would be a turn up! I feel like planning a wedding like that will be so much fun, grand, tasteful but fun. CB Mag: What is your advice to young women preparing for marriage? WM: Marriage is not easy. It’s not a walk in the park. Young people need to ask themselves– Am I built for marriage? As a woman– am I confident, motivated, hard-working? A man will respect you when you have your own thing going for you. My advice- find yourself. Know who you are. Be confident and have goals. Love yourself.Also, be patient. Don’t expect it to be all butterflies. My brother told me to look...

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YouTube, Beauty, and Weddings with Wura Manola
Apr18

YouTube, Beauty, and Weddings with Wura Manola

Interview conducted by Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine (Part 2 of Weddings, Beauty, and YouTube with Wura Manola) CB Mag: What is your personal definition of beauty? And how do you work to portray this? WM: Uniqueness. I am obsessed with people who are able to stand out, whether it’s fashion or makeup, etc. Being confident in your own skin is also my definition. Everyone else is taken so you have to be yourself. I portray this in that I try to be unique. I don’t like looking like everyone else, so I try to dye my hair a different color. I have had grey hair, blonde hair, red hair. I love standing out. As women, we have so many issues that we are fighting in the world, such as equality,  hating your body should not be one of them. CB Mag: Do the standards of beauty differ in Nigeria and the UK? If so, how? WM: The standards of beauty definitely differ. In Nigeria, you are considered beautiful if you are light skinned. But, here in the UK, no one cares about that! I prefer the standards of beauty in the UK because here, it’s about how you put yourself together (i.e. your health, fashion sense, your hair etc.), which are all these are things you have control over. But if people define your beauty by how light your skin color is it’s harder because changing your skin color is more complicated than going on a diet or changing your wardrobe. I would say Nigeria has a lot to work on. I feel that the craze of being light-skinned to be beautiful in Nigeria is so backwards and needs to go away because it’s doing a lot of damage to women causing them to bleach their skin and it’s going to affect the younger generation. This isn’t that all Nigerians feel this way, and it’s not in ALL of Nigeria. Please know that it’s not a generalization. CB Mag: Has it always been this way? WM: Yes, because when I look at my mom’s generation and aunt I can see that some of them have bleached. They talked about it was the “in” thing. But I think the difference then is that it was a trend, but now I think it’s borderline discrimination. I’ve heard of men in Nigeria say that if you’re dark you’re dirty. There’s also an article in the newspaper about why a light skinned woman would make a better wife. Things like this baffle me. I wouldn’t want my child to grow up in a country that she thinks she’s ugly because she is dark...

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YouTube, Beauty, and Weddings with Wura Manola
Apr17

YouTube, Beauty, and Weddings with Wura Manola

Interview Conducted by Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine All things related to weddings excite Nigerian YouTuber, Blogger, Vlogger, Wedding Planner, and Stylist Wura Manola who’s destined to become a force to be reckoned with in the wedding industry. On her YouTube Channel Get Wedding Ready she discusses how to save money while planning a wedding, wedding day beauty tips and tutorials, how to select your wedding party, and much more! In addition to her love for weddings, Wura is confident in her own skin as a woman. This, she believes, is the standard of beauty more women need to set for themselves. Learn more about Wura in this exclusive interview as she talks about beauty, weddings, marriage, self- esteem, and social media.   ColorBlind Magazine: What is the benefit of being a YouTuber? Wura Manola: One of the benefits of being a YouTuber is being able to reach a larger audience. I started off blogging about my wedding journey, and I got frustrated because I only got 500 or 600 views. I felt like I was writing and no one is reading my blogs. So, I asked myself ‘how can I reach more people?’ and that’s when I decided to start my YouTube channel. Now I reach people all over the world from places like Hawaii, France, Ghana, Gambia, Germany, Jamaica, United States. For me, reaching that amount of people is one of the greatest benefits and connecting with people from all over the world Also, I’m recognized as a voice in the African wedding industry. People send me emails asking my opinion, which I feel is good because it shows I’m making an impact. I’ve only been doing it for 7 months and have almost 2,000 subscribers. I’m not at the point that I can quit my full-time job, but the recognition and reaching a larger audience and growing my brand have been benefits of being a YouTuber. CB Mag: How has YouTube helped you market your brand as a wedding planner, entrepreneur and blogger? WM: YouTube has played a great deal in marketing because I showcase my work; I put up work of weddings I’ve done, and my wedding. It’s free marketing for myself. I receive lots of emails from people asking me to plan their wedding. As an entrepreneur, it’s helping me build my brand as a wedding planner, YouTuber, and wedding blogger. In addition, I’ve been asked by people to be interviewed and to collaborate with them and to blog about their services. CB Mag: Behind the glamour and fame of YouTube comes challenges. What have been your challenges? WM: This is a difficult question because...

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September 2016 Faves!!
Oct15

September 2016 Faves!!

Hi Everyone!   I almost forgot to post this video!! Please enjoy!!  

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Do YOU See The Flag?
Jul08

Do YOU See The Flag?

Written By Leah T. Johnson  The NAACP flew a flag that read “A Man was Lynched Yesterday”  in New York City on Fifth Avenue to report lynching until 1938. I wasn’t around at that time to know what it was like to see that flag as a reminder of what was going on; the murders of African Americans. I can only imagine. But, wait…? Do I ONLY imagine? No, unfortunately I don’t have to imagine, as murders against African Americans have taken on a more common form- that of guns, and shootings by police. Not only do I not have to imagine it, I also don’t have to walk to lynching sites to investigate and see my ancestors not as humans, but as strange fruit, tarred and feathered in most cases. My “Shero”, Ida B. Wells did that. At some point, it probably numbed her to see another lifeless body swinging from a tree. But, somehow through that numbness she felt something, and that was what spurred her onward in her anti-lynching campaign. I wonder how she would feel knowing that in this modern world that boasts of fancy technology that all it takes its a simple swipe, or scroll, and you are instantly informed of the killings of black men. But not just black men; men who were fathers, spouses, young adults, teens. Yes, HUMAN black men. You don’t have to go to a lynching site when you can, in essence, hold it in the palm of your hand and view it from a screen. Lynching uploaded, downloaded, retweeted in a matter of seconds. This is the reality of our modern world, and for two mornings in a row, I woke up, scrolled and swiped as usual, but was left feeling as if I had witnessed a lynching. The recent deaths  of two African American men were the major news of the morning, the topic of conversation at work, and this time it was the comments, hashtags, and videos that broke the internet, not Beyonce. Now, I didn’t say I watched the actual footage. I didn’t have to be warned that it was graphic and violent. My eyes just can’t take it. Reading the accounts was already overwhelming. I can’t stomach to see it in action. Perhaps I’m letting my “Shero” down- Ida would probably watch the videos. And then she would investigate further, write about it, and publish it. Still, I hope she would be proud of me. Proud that I am relying on my passion for writing to serve as an opportunity to inform  and connect with others who are worried, angered, frustrated concerned, and confused while simultaneously...

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Oscars Shady, But the Show Must Go On
Jan22

Oscars Shady, But the Show Must Go On

By Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine   #OscarsSoWhite #OscarsStillSoWhite The hashtags have been surfacing everywhere thanks to 1) the lack of diversity of Oscar nominations and 2)the announcement of the Smith’s (Will and Jada) boycotting the Oscars.  In my opinion, we (meaning mankind in general) have bigger fish to fry. Yes, I said it. There are more important things to be concerned about than the lack of diversity at the Oscars, which could be argued that this issue was primarily brought to the forefront because Smith was not nominated for his role in the film “Concussion.” This issue isn’t new, nor is it a secret. Most people know that the academy is comprised of predominately Caucasian males, and that in the academy’s 87 year history only 35 Oscars have been given on behalf of talented African Americans. Is that number bad? Is that number low? Yes, and Yes. But, do we (meaning black folk) really need an Academy to tell us that we are great writers, directors, actors, and actresses? I’d argue that we don’t. Last year there was disappointment because Selma wasn’t nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. So? Does that snub of a recognition take anything away from the extraordinary Ava Duvernay? Of course not. She’s still the bomb, and her and the cast of Selma cleaned up at the NAACP Awards, BET Awards, and other award shows last year. Yes, we honored our own and there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s also not a secret is that Will Smith is loved by the Academy. Actually, he and Jada have made a great name for themselves in Hollywood. Not all people can transition from having a comedy sitcom from Philly to Bel-Air, to Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It in the music industry, to portraying a boxer known primarily by his three-letter last name, and another role as a rags to riches millionaire who was in Pursuit of Happiness. But, he (Smith) did that. He did it well, and continues to do it well. It just hasn’t been his time-yet. I will most definitely miss seeing him and Jada walk the Red Carpet at the Oscars this year. Being honest, knowing I would see them at the Golden Globes was the only reason I watched the Golden Globes. But, to each his own, and this year the Academy has obviously struck a chord with the Smith’s- a chord that had probably been struck before but this time the reverberations couldn’t be silenced. To them, like many in Hollywood, those who make up the Academy are like the Parents of Hollywood. And ironically, as Smith himself said years ago: Parents just don’t understand....

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2015 Wrap Up
Dec29

2015 Wrap Up

2015 Year End Wrap continued from Leah Figures it Out Written by: Leah T. Johnson Song(s) of the Year   “First Time For Everything” 1) During 2015, I changed my hair (color and style) a lot and since I’m enjoying my hair journey it’ll continue into 2016. I wore curly bobs, wavy bobs, medium length hair, high buns, low buns, up-do’s,  and sleek and straight. Although purple is my favorite color, I did not (and will not) wear purple hair, not even streaks. 2) I also invested in my first bottle of perfume. Typically I wear a lot of scented lotions and body sprays, so I’ve never had a need to buy perfume. But, this Fall I got a whiff of “Si” by Giorgio Armani, purchased it, and haven’t looked back. “If It Ain’t Broke, don’t Fix it.” Certain rituals don’t need to be adjusted, I’m jus’ sayin’ 1) Monthly mani/pedi (this is my “me time”) and since I have a great friendship with my nail tech it’s nice to be able to see her monthly and catch up on things. 2) Knowing how to relax-ALONE. My dad’s personality has rubbed off on me, because just like him, when it’s time to shut down and enjoy some alone time (whether it’s spent reading, binge watching Youtube Videos, or listening to music) it’s time well spent and it’s necessary to being healthy. “The “ruh-roh” moment of the Year” Need I say anything more? …...

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#1YearFacebookFree
Aug03

#1YearFacebookFree

By Jade Gonzalez/ColorBlind Magazine Facebook has many different functions; allows you to stay in touch with people all over the world, keeps you up to date on the latest celebrity gossip, keeps you in the know of your follower’s current political stance and opinions, and let’s not forget the viral videos that make us all laugh or even cringe. So it would be hard to not have this multi-outlet website, right? Well, one year ago I decided to ditch “The Book,” and although at times I ran into roadblocks, getting rid of my Facebook page was one of the greatest and healthiest decisions I had ever made for myself. I will be the first to admit that I had suffered from FOMO.  I wasn’t one that could go on Facebook strictly to just ‘stay in contact.’ I would find myself browsing my feed, almost zombie-like, comparing my life to my 1,000+ “friends.” “Wow, she’s already on baby #3? I wonder if I’ll even have children.” “Awe, they got engaged! They always seemed like such the perfect couple.” “Ugh, my ex bought a new car… I wish I could buy a new car…” The thoughts were never ending and always had one common denominator, I left my Facebook app feeling insecure about everything from my body to my relationships. Recently I came across a quote that describes this Facebook comparison epidemic perfectly: “One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick When I first got rid of Facebook, it was difficult. I was no longer receiving event invites to different parties, I was forgetting peoples birthdays because I no longer had a constant reminder in the top right corner of my computer screen (is this even where birthday reminders are anymore?), and I didn’t know about the hilarious videos and memes that were talked about when I would gather with my friends. But with time, this all stopped bothering me and I felt something that I hadn’t in a long time – pure happiness. I was no longer comparing every aspect of my life to the classmate I hadn’t seen in 7 years with 3 kids, a beautiful home, and handsome husband. I was living life for ME again and not for my Facebook friends. I even found numerous people online, writing blogs on being Facebook free and it really helped me with the transition. I would look at these blogs for guidance on how to handle the ups and downs of not being in the social media eye anymore. And to all those people who made posts, I...

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Teen Talk Month: College Bound…Maybe??
Jul09

Teen Talk Month: College Bound…Maybe??

From the time I was in 10th grade, I had college on the brain. I had some ideas of where I wanted to go, and knew exactly what I would major in. Although I was super confident and set on higher education, I knew that some of my friends had no idea if they even wanted to go to college. Deciding on what school to go can be a big decision, because it may determine what you will be doing for the rest of your life. My little cousin is coming into her last year of high school and is trying to decide where to go. While senior year is an exciting time, it can also be very stressful and not fun at all. I, for one enjoyed my senior year and it was actually my easiest year in school, but the college pressure did weigh me down a bit. So, in anticipation of those college years, here’s a YouTube video by science fiction author David Brinn, who offers some advice to college bound students. Seeing as how we are in the YouTube generation, I know video most likely works better than straight...

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Teen Talk Month: A Letter to High School Grads
Jul07

Teen Talk Month: A Letter to High School Grads

Written by Leah T. Johnson If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t.  Although graduation is an exciting and happy time, and full of promise, post-graduation life can be scary, uncertain and challenging. To all the new graduates, this letter is for you…  -Remember, you don’t have to have everything figured out. After all, you’re only 17/18! Maybe you don’t know where you want to work, what college to attend, or if you want to attend college at all. If you don’t know these things, it’s ok. Breathe. It’s going. to be. OK. Whether or not you choose to attend college or to work, use this as your time to grow. Learn yourself, what you like, what you dislike, who your friends are, etc. This is a time for growth. -Remember to make a decision. This may seem counterproductive from what’s written above. However, the two tie together nicely because as you take time to discern who you are and who you are not, the decision making process becomes much easier. Not making a decision actually is making a decision; you’ve decided not to decide. Procrastinating will greatly impact your life. Making bigger decisions is part of the adult process and establishing your independence. Welcome to life after high school, welcome to adulthood.  Best of Everything,...

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