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Hello 2019: Taking Stock 2018

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Happy New Year Peaches! 2019! I am thankful for the gift of life and health from the Almighty granting us all access to 2019.

2018 has been a hell of a rollercoaster. Revelatory to say the least. To be fair though, I’ve had some great moments and met phenomenal people hence I appreciate it. All I’m trying to do right now is focus on the good and positive things that 2018 blessed me with but not dismissing the bad moments either. Those are the ones that have shaped me into who I am today. Not bitter at all, but better, composed, stronger and wiser. ‘Never a failure, always a lesson.’

2018 adventures and events:

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Zip lining. One of the most thrilling adventures in 2018!
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I made new friends. Cool fun people to be around.
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Laughter and good vibes
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I attended candid conversations and met my all time favorite Kenyan Lifestyle Blogger ~ ThisisEss!
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At the Candid Conversations event, I met phenomenal women who made me feel empowered.
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I got the luxury to stay at Watamu Treehouse. One of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Watamu. Made me realize that I love nature and art.
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I did yoga for the first time at Watamu Treehouse. It was a new elevating and therapeutic experience.
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First time seeing a whale with my naked eyes! I went whale watching at Hemingways in Watamu. Such humongous creatures. I wish I could swim with them.
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The bubble Suit at Rock and Sea in Watamu totally wowed me! The interior, set up, nature views! I was lucky to be there in the hidden gem thanks to Stephano who is the Manager. Also, one of the nicest people I have met in Watamu.
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Rock and Sea bubble Suit. Eye candy
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Attended Breast Cancer Awareness walk. It gives me joy to make a difference in someone’s life. I am also happy to have been a part of Rotaract Club Malindi. Very enlightening!

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Attended Youth Innovation event at United Nations in Nairobi through Rotaract Club Malindi – I met brilliant youths that were an inspiration.
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I attended the historic Sustainable Blue Economy Conference as a delegate at KICC in Nairobi, Kenya. It was educational and it was a privilege to be in the same room with very prominent persons. I am loooking forward to conserve our country’s Blue Economy!
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When I see women in power, it gives me joy and hope in changing the narrative of women in power. We need more women in power for a better future for the girl child.

 

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Collaborated with Aaliya (Imakeuplikethis) and Shahista (makeupbyshahista). It was a first Halloween make up for me and I totally enjoyed it!
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My girl Farhana launched her clothline and I will always support my friends so it is also the highlight of my year, because I love seeing my friends winning and I am always here for it. So proud of her!

 

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Attended Farhana’s pop up shop to support my girl. She has an amazing collection!

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I partnered with Watamu Transfer Tours and Safaris (still do). Through them, I am learning a lot especially when it comes to our wildlife Conservation and the Tourism Industry. Hence why I want to learn more languages. Through them also, I found my passion and for that I am grateful!
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The first people I met through Watamu Transfer Tours and Safaris. Such beautiful and talented souls!
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Watched dolphins for the 3rd time. It was one of the best dolphin views with a whole pod of dolphins swimming, diving, and jumping with joy. I’m still yet to swim with them. 2019 goal!
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I did snorkeling for the umpteenth time. Swimming while enjoying views of beautiful fish, corals, and all that’s glittery underwater is one of my favorite things to do
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Breakfast at the beach. It should be a lifestyle! Amazing views
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I met such wonderful people at Watamu Treehouse. Barbara is a total sweetheart!
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I learned a new water sports. Stand up paddling at Mida Creek in Watamu. It was intense work out in the scorching sun but totally worth it. Of watersports adventures!
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Mida Creek Adventures

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SUP sundowners! Amazing!
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One of the best most therapeutic experiences in my life was yoga meditation on water. I came out feeling brand new and healed. My mind is clearer than ever. Worked like magic.
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Shamsa got engaged! She’s more of a sister than a friend. Words cannot explain how happy I am. May Allah bless your union as we wait for the big day!
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And I slayed!! Favorite outfit of 2018. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!

A few important lessons I learned the hard way in 2018.

  1. Observe not absorb.  Being empathetic makes me question if it is a curse or a blessing because I can get sucked up into people’s energy and moods. I get so concerned with hurting peoples feelings more than I do care about mine. That has to change because it’s suffocating.
  2. It is okay to be selfish. A hard one and a bold one too. I came to the realization that you can lay down for people and they will still say your back is not flat enough. Favorite quote because it summarizes everything I have to say about it.
  3. Create boundaries. Walk away from disrespect. It is always so hard to walk away from people we love regardless of how they treat us sometimes. But there’s always a limit. We should stop making excuses for people’s ill behavior, unfiltered words, cheaters, liars, pretenders and back stabbers. Speak up, confront where need be and do not entertain anyone’s disrespectful behaviors towards you. We have to accept that some people will never respect you because they don’t respect themselves. Save yourself from such people.
  4. Financial independence is empowering. So is emotional independence. If you manage to achieve those two, you will live  a more peaceful life. Be your own sugar dad
  5. Empowering women and conservation initiatives are vital in the world for better livelihood.
  6. Follow your passion. Life is too short to work in a field you are not interested in, a waste rather. Also, I learned that it is never always about the money, but what gets your creativity wheel spinning!

Incase you didn’t notice, I took a long break from social media sometime in February 2018. As dramatic as it sounds, I was about to lose it! I could not focus. My mind was all over the place. My brains were about to fall out. I had to take a break. I could not form a sentence let alone think right or through things. I cannot really explain what I was going through because wild events were happening in my life back to back like the devil was on a mission to end me. I had to quit so many things and people dear to me to get my peace of mind; to save myself. Shockingly, I took a bolder step by moving  to a totally new place where I knew literally nobody – Watamu. Honestly, I needed some quality time alone to regain my sanity. Luckily, I got a job at Watamu Treehouse and ever since, Watamu has become my new founded home. Proudly, I can say that I have found inner peace. It’s not about the people, rather, the place itself; A hidden gem. Exploring and more.

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Here I am, today I can think somewhat clearly with no background noises of what if’s n whys. It’s peaceful in my head. However, I am still working on sharpening my listening skills. I am still adjusting my focus. I am still trying to find a way to forgive people completely and forgive myself for hurting people in the process. All I can say is, I don’t have it all figured out. I am a work in progress just like you and I. I might look like I have it all figured out but I’m far from that. Which is why I had to speak out when I was breaking silently for people to understand that I am only but human needing support just like I would support people who needed me. But I work everyday to improve on myself and learning to love myself and people I care about more fiercely. Most importantly, I am trying to work on stabilizing my emotions.

I hope 2019 is going to be a fruitful and prosperous year for everyone. Make everyday count and never lose hope.

To more adventures, new ideas, successful businesses, investments, travel destinations and healthier relationships.

Happy 2019 Peaches!

Live | Love | Laugh

Safari Blue Tour Watamu~ Dolphins All Over!

Welcome back to my blog Peaches. Allow me to introduce to you Watamu Transfer Tours and Safaris in Watamu, Kenya. Currently, I am partnering with them in their tours and safaris adventures. Excited to get this opportunity to explore our beautiful Kenya. Hoping that you will also hop onto the safari bandwagon with us this December holiday and enjoy the attractive safari packages offered. Happy holidays!!

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Let me throw it back to that fine Sunday in Watamu about two weeks ago where I had one of the best dolphin views, courtesy of Watamu Transfer Tours and Safaris.

I woke up really early at around 6:30 a.m. and was at Marine National Park in Watamu  by 8:00 a.m. for the Safari Blue tour; sea excursion package. I was looking forward to snorkeling, swimming with  dolphins, island hopping, and oh yes! Sea Food!

Sea excursion checklist:

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  1. Your National ID
  2. Phone
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Hat + Sunnies
  5. Dry bath towel / sarong/ kikoy
  6. Swim suit
  7. Underwater Camera
  8. Waterproof bag

And you are good to go!

Moreso, I would advice you to wear something light and put on some comfy sandals because of the scorching sun, for the temperatures rise up to 31 degrees no kidding! For me, I wore my light jumpsuit; jumpsuits are my lazy-on-the-go outfits. Conversely, a summer dress would be perfect too!

We were a group of approximately 23 people. I knew none of them so it was a good opportunity to socialize. Some were from Nairobi, some from Mombasa and others from, of course, Italy. Italians are the tourists majority in Watamu.

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The tide at that time was low so it was easier to hop onto our double-decker boat called Seahorse. We embarked on our sea excursion tour as our captain switched on the boat engine and sped deep into the crystal clear blue sea looking for dolphins. The boat ride was quite wavy with a stunning view of the ocean that I cannot get enough of! Absolutely beautiful!

We had to go deeper into the ocean to find the beautiful mammals. Dolphins have a way of playing hide and seek hiding underwater beneath us and next thing we knew, a whole pod of dolphins surfaced right in front of us!

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I hopped up on the upper deck of the boat for a wider angle view and it was amazing. That was definitely my lucky day for sure because we could effortlessly spot them! All ten of them, what?! Their magical presence got me so excited like a kid every time they jumped or teased us while showing off their fins as they swam in synchronization as though they were dancing to the beat of some sea music. I was so tempted to swim with them, but it was too deep and my paranoia kicked in as usual.

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After spending 15-20 minutes chasing after dolphins, the fiery sun had toasted us and we needed a swim to cool us off! So the captain drove us back to shallow waters where the tide was still quite low, safe for snorkeling. See how handy my jumpsuit came in? I just had to remove it one time without any hustle, well, I had my swim suit on of course. Without wasting time, I wore my snorkeling mask and h20 snorkel pipe and dived into the sea with a splash.

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Dipping my toasted body in the warm sea water was exhilarating! I floated so lightly while snorkeling, enjoying a magnificent view of the underwater sea treasure. Including beautiful corals, shells, anemones, zebra fish, blue fish and clown fish.

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Once I was satisfied with snorkeling, I hopped back onto Seahorse with the rest of the guests, dried myself with my towel and wore short jeans and a light cotton   vest ready for Sudi Island.

Up on the deck, I sat next to a slender Italian looking gentleman who was also from snorkeling, quite good looking I must say.

“Hello, I am Diego. What’s your name?”

His English was slightly broken. I had to struggle with ‘pardons’ and ‘excuse mes’ but I got to understand him eventually.

Me: Oh! My name is Habiba. Pleasure!

Diego: So you’re Kenyan?

Me: Yes! Yourself? (I could already pick from his accent, but to keep the conversation going, I asked) Italian?

Diego: Yes, smart girl! I am from Italy.

Me: That’s good to know. So where in Italy are you from? And do you have such dolphin excursions in Italy? Also, what do you call dolphins in your language? I find Italian language quite interesting and I wouldn’t mind learning a word or two.

Diego: I’m from Rome, the city of love.

“Mhh.. smooth!” I thought to myself.

Me: Wow! Rome is beautiful and  I’d like to go there someday.

Diego: You should, and we do have dolphins around the sea side. Dolphin in Italian is similar to English, dolphini.

Me: That’s great. Easy to remember huh. And how do you say thank you?

Diego: Grazie

Me: (with my African accent) Grazie Diego!

Diego: Ah, (laughs) bene! bene! (Good, good).

Feeling proud of myself, I smiled and turned my head to the sea view, and immediately got captured by the beautiful mangroves, villages, hotels and boats that I saw on our way to Sudi Island. The breeze was refreshing as water splashed due to the speed of the boat cutting through the massive waves. I was just swooned by the sea breeze and sea vibrations, unapologetically living in the moment.

Alas! The boat came to a halt and parked on the shore of Sudi island. That was when I snapped out of my relaxed zone as the captain gave us a hand assisting us out of Seahorse.

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Sudi island just like I had described in my previous Watamu blog post, is chilled with a spectacular sea view and grilling corner for all sea foods; Lobster, toasted bread, fish and prawns.

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Also, there are locals who sell handcrafted Maasai ornaments, wood paintings, and handmade bracelets made from mangrove seeds to sustain themselves.

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Lunch was ready so we sat on cemented benches carpeted with snow white sand. We were served with a plate of rice & coconut curry along with a separate plate of grilled lobster, prawns, and fish. Downing the delicious meal with soda and water.

As I was eating, I started making conversation with the people sitting next to me. This quiet girl that I recalled sitting on the upper decker posing to her photographer for pictures while I was snorkeling, was sitted next to me together with her photographer. And there was another guy with Bajuni features seated across me, his name slipped off my mind. Man! I’m so bad with names. He was actually impressively good with Italian that he was teaching us a few Italian words like poko poko which means slowly slowly.

The girl’s name was Asha. And guess what? She is a vlogger from Nairobi  (Asha Wairimu ) We exchanged social media user names as we talked about how beautiful Watamu is and how much we were enjoying ourselves. She later asked me to join them for a canoe ride that they were planning to go for into the Mida Creek after lunch. It was just an extra Kshs. 200 so I said why not?! I’m always up for some new banging adventures. Therefore, she definitely asked the right person!

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Once lunch was over, we entered the canoe about 7 of us including our captain, positioning ourselves to balance. Our captain used a long wooden stick to ride our canoe through the Mida Creek mangroves as he educated us briefly about mangroves plantation, and how the Watamu community is helping to conserve them.

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While we were about to turn back, another canoe passed by us on its way back with four cheerful Italian ladies and their captain singing Italian song Bella Ciao  .

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We made merry while singing bella ciao all the way back to the island, right in time for our trip back to Watamu island. Indeed, that was an enjoyable canoe ride!

Our Seahorse captain joined with a few others in Seahorse, singing his lungs out, drumming and entertaining us with cheerful Swahili songs as we cheered on till we arrived at our destination.

We alighted the boat and said goodbye to each other. I left feeling happy and beat at the same time.

It was a fun experience! Check out Watamu Transfer Tours and Safaris on Instagram. Dm, email, and call for the Safari Blue tour and other attractive safari packages. Thank me later!

Meet new people, make new friends and live a little Peaches!

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Live|Love|Laugh

MY FIRST ART & FASHION EVENT EXPERIENCE (WESTGATE SHOPPING MALL)

Hello Peaches, welcome back to my blog. Let’s talk fashion today, shall we? Specifically, the Art & Fashion event that I came across on my Twitter timeline which was scheduled on Saturday, 9/12/17.  I’m that kind of person who’d go out of the house searching for inspiration as opposed to just laying back waiting for life to happen to me, rather, I go out and make life happen (dear future hubby reading this post, please bear with me 🙃). Also, a bit of fresh air is good for the mind, body and soul because my head is not safe, ganged up with all these crazy voices. Come to think of it, I’ve never physically attended any fashion shows (none that I can remember) in Nairobi or anywhere before. It’s safe to say that the Art & Fashion event I attended on Saturday at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was my very first: exhibition of artists, fashion designers, and photography.

First of all, the entrance was free (I mean, it’s in a mall) so I don’t think I’m in a position to rant, however, it was scheduled at 1500 hours but it commenced at around 1700 hours; African timers! (I just had to). On the bright side though, Westgate is a huge mall so there are more things you could do, like shop around while admiring all the glamorous festive Christmas decors that beautified the mall or watch a movie while waiting. That’s the strategy I guess.

Marvelous visual art pieces exhibitions at the entrance walkway of the mall got me mesmerized. Actually, I do enjoy casual art viewing, appreciating people’s creativity efforts and handicraft. I perceive visual Art to be deeper than just a picture; a display of someone’s infinite imagination and emotions on canvas which in my opinion, make artists alchemists. ‘A picture is a poem without words,’ – Horace. Although I’m not an Art expert, I enjoy connecting with artists through gazing at their artworks using my ‘third eye’; it’s a magical feeling!

Live art was also happening as one of the artists present showcased his art by drawing live face portraits on paper in 15 minutes at a cost of kshs. 500. This cute Chinese lady was seated facing him as he scrutinized her facial features copying them with his hand and pencil on plain paper. He really tried as the lady looked well pleased, but in my opinion, it wouldn’t pass for her clone. However, that was a job well done.

Moreover, there was entertainment of acrobatics and African traditional drummers. The drums thudded louder in the mall at the rhythm of the beats created by the drummers who were in sync while singing at the top of their lungs in some vernacular language only they could understand. Kids were given the chance to play too which was cute to watch.

Entrance to the event on the same first floor, we were welcomed by a fun photo booth accessorized with masks, emojis, funky glasses, and funny word props. The lovely couple behind the Nairobiphotoboothco. was still testing the lights and all so I got a little time to converse with them. They are a new funky photo booth business owners in Nairobi up for hire in events at a cost of kshs. 45,000 @ 2hours. Oh and you can post your pictures directly to your social media platforms with an extra Kshs. 10,000. Pretty cool huh? I captured a few picture shots for the fun of it and joined the guests for the event which had an outstanding set up. From the Djs to the perfectly positioned runway stage.

Kids were the first to bless the runway modeling cute designers’ outfits. They were so adorable and brave strutting down the runway as boys walked with a bounce while the little girls did a cat walk swaying their tiny waists on stage.

This little boy stole the show with his somersaults tricks. Yes, literally, he was rolling on stage in somersaults which amused everyone in the audience. Well done boy!

Next performance was the fun display of acrobatics followed by yoga that was showcased by 3 flexible ladies in their yoga outfits, lying on their yoga mats stretching their bodies in specific postures which had specific health and fitness benefits. One of my favorite body workouts that I paid closer attention to was of the tummy, as I prefer mine flat and toned (wishful thinking 😫).

The MCs of the event: media fashion maven, former Miss India Kenya & radio host Pinky Ghelani and Aisha Wanjiku, entertained their audience making us more engaged. We were all requested to join the enthusiastic traditional drummers who had so much energy in teaching us drumming basics. I joined the fun too of course. The traditional drummers got into their positions and so did we, with drums and sticks following beginner-steps-instructions which made it look so easy but tiring doing it faster. At some point though, it almost felt like a juju magic ritual like those in Nigerian movies, however, it was an exuberant euphoric moment for everyone drumming and watching too. Most importantly, I’m glad that I did something new that Saturday as it was such an exciting & exhilarating experience.

There was a professional graffiti artist too, who did the graffiti paint live with his multi-colorful spray paints on canvas, unlike the murals painted illicitly on the wall streets of Nairobi. His dedication and focus inspired us since he started at 1600 hours nonstop for four good hours. It was remarkable to see how well he painted a hot woman’s face graffiti perfectly with just spray paint on a huge canvas (those luscious lips are goals!).

Later on, the adult models came on stage. Mr. Dj entertained us with some nice jams as they strutted down the runway. The diversity of the models was quite attractive. Also, seeing melanin Kenyan models modeling for Indian designers in Indian outfits was pretty interesting to watch. All the models (both male and female) were stunning, facing the audience in opposite sides while posing with so much elegance as they showcased different designers’ outfits: sport wear from Sports Planet, party & dinner dresses from, Couture, make up from Madora & Lintons Beauty, and casual outfits among others. Some of the gorgeous pieces modeled were showcasing African’s diverse culture’s creativity and heritage with their customized Lesos and Ankaras from Maisha Kenya, and local brands such as Sandstorm and Bata.

For the record, the MCs, Pinky Ghelani and Aisha Wanjiku were good at entertaining their audience, cheering us by selecting randomly a few ladies and gents from the audience to model on stage. Some of us shied away while a bold few took the dare. It was so hilarious, in a good way of course.

For refreshments, we had drinks and delicious snacks sponsored by Art caffe.

What I gathered from the Art & Fashion event is that all these stalls of designer clothes, bags, accessories and shoes are a product of hard work through years of tears and sweat, in that, it takes balls to decide venturing into any business as it requires a lot of upfront thinking, capital, consistency, and persistence because trends die so fast due to our fast fashion era. Supposedly, it takes hard work from design and development, to production, supply and logistics (which need a lot of quality control by the way), to Marketing & PR, and sales & distribution which you’d need some e-commerce & IT skills with a background research of the best brand outreach methods like choosing the right social media platforms to use. Simply because we – the tech-savvy millennials being the most influential consumer group in the fashion industry – have officially gone digital fully adapting to the online world. Also, it’s a challenging commitment and a full time job to sustain a fashion business as you would need to constantly keep your creativity ball rolling due to the fast fashion growth of millenials in the competitive fashion industry. Despite the Kenyan fashion industry seeming a little too saturated, the barriers of entry happen to be quite low because of the elusive trend-savvy millenials hence exposed to threat of new entrants – Michael Porter’s five forces – since all new fashionistas’ designers strive to be unique and innovative. However, that’s my observation as there was a point in my life just recently when I wanted to venture into the fashion business myself that I did a lot of extensive research but wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment (yet!).

Therefore, all the artists and designers in the Art & Fashion event and all out there who don’t get enough credit deserve several claps as recognition for their hard work in creating unique art & clothes pieces and in attracting loyal clients. As a result, it will inspire fashion enthusiasts and aspirants.

Last but not least, a standing ovation goes to all the hosts, MCs, designers, photographers, drummers, yoga performers, gorgeous models, choreographers, Djs, artists and all the sponsors of the event for making it entertaining. There was so much entertainment, striking displays of art, and flamboyant fashion designs which inspired me to activate my creative switch.

Scarf: Gifted

Lippie: Nouba

Top & sleeveless coat: LcWaikiki

Pants: Zara

Heels: Backyardshoez