VLISCO ME ALL DAY

VLISCO ME ALL DAY

Imagine having a bad day and reading an email that changes your mood for the better. What bad day? Please ‘bad day’ my appointment with you is over, I’m busy filling my head with good thoughts ooh!

73C269E8-2D88-4442-BAAC-23A0AFB307EA

The email acknowledged and praised my sense of creativity including my style and an offer to visit Ghana briefly for a campaign shoot. Did I read ‘billboards in over 6 African countries, magazines etc…’ Mama where are you? I’ll surprise her instead.

04D0E709-686C-4326-A1B9-4C1306017316

My last visit to Ghana was to bury my little brother hence this email was a welcome distraction from my grief.

The realisation of seeing Mum again made me happy as I impatiently counted the days to immerse myself into this incredible experience.

0AC871BE-4813-492F-94EA-DDFF76D9FEF8

Vlisco Group was founded in Helmond, The Netherlands in 1846 and produces fashion forward African Wax prints. Vlisco fabrics are an integral part in most African homes particularly in the Central and Western part of Africa. I grew up knowing about Vlisco from my Mum as it was her favourite in terms of design and quality.

22DBE2B1-1B7C-4DAA-B044-E55A1F6FF686

Mums vintage African fabric pieces are from Vlisco and they still look new (I  rummage through her wardrobe and wear them whenever I’m in Ghana).

Vlisco Group’s brand portfolio consists of four brands: Vlisco, Woodin, Uniwax and GTP..

A77B528C-7699-423A-BD6B-82CECD90A720

INTRODUCING OUR CAMPAIGN STARS |

Fafa Gilbert @ndudu_by_fafa puts Ghanaian cuisine on the world map via social media. Coming from the Volta region in Ghana but living in London, she skillfully interweaves both cultures in her recipes as well as in her unique fashion approach.

Fashion by @lumierewoman.

BC3B1FF8-4C80-479E-A4AC-9ADB637270CE

The positive energy  on set was electric as each creative individual expressed themselves through the entire shoot. I’ll talk more about this later in another post; including the two amazing ladies I worked with during this campaign.

The theme for the campaign was ‘NEW BOLD ROMANTICS’ and they certainly made me feel like a ‘Queen’.

5BF5EB6F-6C91-4848-97E7-74F429091B03

Link below to purchase the fabrics directly from their website.

https://shop.vlisco.com/en/all-fabrics?collection_code=760

The designers chosen for my outfits were Lumiere Woman and Sadia Sanusi, Hair by Kush Taylor, Jewellery by Chyba Jewellery, Make up by Woena Makeup Artistry, Photographs  by Matthew Miziolek with Creative Directors Grietje Schepers and Sanne Huijsmans.

To be continued……

All photos and videos are by the Vlisco.

 

 

 

 

 

THAT ACCRA LIFE

THAT ACCRA LIFE

3CA9220D-F0AA-490C-8E47-9378EA297D7E

The gentleman sitting opposite blatantly stared as I held his gaze for what seemed like eternity. His gaze told a brief story of worry and anxiety as I smiled to say it’s okay ‘today to shall pass’.

I sipped on my chilled glass of fresh Watermelon blend as another gentleman approached in a pensive mood. Oops! Why the stern look, I asked myself.

The conversation between the two gentlemen explained both their moods. My ‘konkonsa’ ears were activated 🙈

Seemed Mr. Worried Gaze has been naughty at work and was getting an earful of ‘blasting’. I decided to walk away from where I was sitting to save the gentleman from any further embarrassment.

I found myself by the poolside (which was quiet as I set my plan in action to surprise Mum and cousins for breakfast.

This surprise could go two ways, they either surprised me by declining  my invite or better still honour the invite and interrogate me. I preferred the latter but not the interrogation.

CB17362E-131D-4ECA-B32A-4217981A7301

The look on my Mums face was priceless coupled with the exuberant conversations that ensued thereafter. I managed to have an informal interview with Mum, however I missed recording most part of the interview (maybe due to my excitement 😢).

37E6B80A-30D9-4952-82A8-372544075A3C

We headed to a local Chop Bar as I craved Fufu and Goat Meat Light soup with a chilled glass of Star Beer.

D0760820-1B6A-41AC-9413-CACA3482BC60

The next 3 days were packed with the main reason I went to Ghana (which will be revealed at the opportune time).

Accra’s aura felt so different this time round; maybe because I looked at it from an artistic and creative point of view.

Accra exuded confidence in its warm embrace of hardworking individuals who either gave you the occasional smile or blank stare.

It felt good to be home, however I knew I had limited time and couldn’t catch up with everyone (which was disappointing).

The atmosphere felt positive as mothers dropped their kids off to school, the Police doing their random checks on vehicles, hawkers balancing their wares on their head whilst skilfully dodging on coming traffic as we traveled to different locations across the city.

The smell of charcoal roasted ripened Plantain filled the vehicle as we all had a bite of this wonderful Ghanaian snack, whilst driving past the Accra Supreme Court

B8A3C12A-73EA-448C-9AA3-21C8F522F7D3

The entire crew had dinner at the Gold Coast Restaurant and we ended the night at Carbon Night Club which was an incredible experience.

The final filming was done as the crew headed back to Europe and I had 12hrs free to spend with Mum before heading back to London.

Watch excepts of my short time spent in Accra. Hope you’re intrigued enough to visit Ghana soon.

 

 

 

 

I arrived in London on Monday morning, dropped off my luggage’s at home and dragged my tired self  straight to the office. Phew! What a memorable weekend and a priceless experience.

Watch Accra through my eyes in a compiled video and photography below;

Don’t forget to like the video, share and subscribe.

All photos, recipes and videos are by the owner of this blog.

PLAYING ‘DRESS UPS’

PLAYING ‘DRESS UPS’

13ACFAB2-B2ED-4AAD-8473-AC85FD9B45B7

Today is going to be a ‘Me’ day, said ‘I’ who stretched out of bed at 5am. Can I make it to the Carnival today? I knew the answer already (🤫) if I had to even ask myself that.

I spent yesterday spring cleaning the house and my wardrobe; which meant today was scheduled for a self indulgent ‘dress up’ day!

The few bags of clothes could wait till tomorrow for the charity shop as I began to run the bath for a long relaxing soak.

9E6FDF25-71AD-4394-8B36-DBC6CEF4BB55

Why am I writing this?

Over the years I have been working relentlessly towards my dreams and pushing myself even when I should have taken a break. I achieved most of the things I wanted but I also lost a great deal. I lost the little priceless things that made me feel alive, connected to my spirit and outrageous.

I did not realise this till I lost my little brother and became grief stricken. I could not hide from this pain, I couldn’t brush it aside… I tried picking myself up but I couldn’t… So I decided to write a letter to my brother instead. The one letter has turned into 6 letters so far. I didn’t realise I had so much to say…phew

BE7F7344-A6F7-48D8-AE64-32F4F0FD8648

I decided to do some self loving this bank holiday weekend, (feeling lighter and positive) by changing the ambience of my environment starting with the house.

Just as I was about to put on something comfortable after my bath, I had the thought to dress up instead and go about my day. I grabbed my puffy Gold Kimono gown from Lumiere Woman, cowrie necklace from Malene Birger and cloth from  Vlisco (head wrap).

Wrapping the headpiece took me back to my childhood, where I dressed up wearing my Mums vintage dresses (and quickly placing them back before she got home) and dreaming of being a Princess one day 😂😂😂.

3E1C0B70-2562-4EB0-A285-967291B294F6

Dressing up for me was a perfect escapism for a life I wished for, a dream I held close and the courage to pursue them. Growing up in an environment where being different (especially with your thought process) wasn’t encouraged, made it difficult to be expressive and creative. However I found a way of expressing myself with no inhibitions by dressing up (this time not hiding from my Mum) as I imitated her mannerisms and looks which made her laugh, to convincing my cousins Francisca and Jeanette to sing ‘Long Time Ago in Bethlehem ‘ at an Aunts wedding 😂😂😂 inclusive of the dreaded dodgy dance.

I had to take a few pictures for my memory bank about today. I feel lighter, I miss my brother (I told my cousin Juliet whilst writing this piece how much I miss Theo) I’m actually ‘welling’ up…phew.

 

 

 

40 LIFE LESSONS

40 LIFE LESSONS

988F0CDC-467A-4BEB-B130-26BFA7A6BE79

40 lessons on my 40th year

1-Fafa don’t forget to live.

2-Do something a day that will make you smile.

3- Select your core group of friends with attributes such as honesty, empathy, love and adventure.

4-Forgive to rid yourself of pain

5-Stay humble but don’t be a walkover.

6- Be selective 

7- Be brave

8- Read a book each month or learn something new

9- Give hope and love

10- Laugh it off

D07F5F09-009B-4D0B-8E24-AD19D43B6D36

11- Gain wisdom from your experiences 

12- Be a blessing in other people’s lives

13- Enjoy each day of your life

14- Don’t forget your manners and if you do ‘apologise’.

15- Don’t involve your self in other people’s business 

16- Walk away from unnecessary drama 

17- Believe in yourself

18- Be proud of your achievements

19- Eat well

20- Feed your soul

7C8A64D6-FFA0-4197-877D-3CF50133D457

21- Push yourself each day

22- Place yourself in uncomfortable situations that increases your knowledge bank.

23- You only need 1 house and a car

24- Travel

25- Save at least 3 years worth of your salary

26- Do 1 random thing that’s out of your comfort zone at least once a week 

27- Spend a minimum of an hour a week meditating

28- Have a plan

29- Visit your plan each week 

30- Don’t waste your time around ungrateful people 

597118B5-AAF3-4A4C-97F6-B437049A4510

31- Be kind

32- Treat people the way you would like them to treat you

33- You loose your crown if you ever look down on another

34- Be slow to anger

35- Be patient

36- Love without boundaries 

37- Be loyal

7E8257E7-77CE-474A-B817-FE88253B8B67

38- Don’t publicise your generosity 

39- Make sure everyone leaves your presence feeling much better

40- I’ll learn my 40th lesson today🙏🏽 

A8D0DC59-2753-474A-BA85-5A16CBA71851To be continued….

Thank you @lumierewoman for my outfit 😘

TOUR OF MY KITCHEN & MORE

TOUR OF MY KITCHEN & MORE

3513DBDF-A69A-498E-BE17-CC7858B47DB9.jpeg

My weekend is usually packed with filming, editing and researching; hence the idea of giving a Kitchen tour filled me with both excitement and dread. Over the years I’ve had requests for a Kitchen tour but I declined each offer or suggestion due to my packed schedule.

Each month, I do a spring clean of my Kitchen, hence I knew it will be only natural to film this episode, especially when Sisi Yemmie requested a tour.

My Kitchen is what I describe as an organised ‘mess’ and contemporary. I hope you enjoy the tour coupled with my dodgy dance and ‘Rap’.

Watch the full Kitchen tour video below;

Don’t forget to subscribe and share.

EXOTIC SUNSHINE

EXOTIC SUNSHINE

FullSizeRender

African fabrics are colourful and an extension of our never dull personalities. Each country has its own unique creation from the  handwoven Kente from Ghana, Bogolan cloth ( Mud cloth) from Mali, Batiks, Wax prints etc. Some fabrics are exclusively made by specific tribes which has a lot of meaning behind the designs.

FAFA GILBERT

In recent times African designers are proudly showcasing the African print in most of their designs. I’ll be showcasing more African fabrics and designs on this blog. Are you inspired yet to include more African prints into your wardrobe?

My sense of style is an extension of my playful and creative nature. The various looks above, combines both my passion for African food and African fabrics.  Ensure your style is unique to your personality, an extension of your personality and equally inspiring.

Please don’t be tempted to copy fashion blindly, rather find what suits your body shape and makes you comfortable (the key to an effortless look).

DSC_0816

Personally my sense of style is dictated by how I feel on a daily basis; hence I could look demure, glamorous or eccentric somedays and at times outrageous.

I’ve decided to incorporate more African prints to my wardrobe and I’ll update this page with my new styles.

For inspiring recipes, visit my food channel on YouTube, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ and don’t forget to subscribe.

 

SLIT & KABA

SLIT & KABA
IMG_6799
Designed by Sadia Sanusi

‘Slit and Kaba’ is the national costume for Women in Ghana. The ‘Slit’ is a long fitted skirt which hugs the curves of women beautifully. The ‘Slit’ is  held up to the waist of the woman with an inserted string, which is then tied and secured. In modern times the string has been replaced with a zip, which gives the wearer a seamless fit.

The Kaba is a fitted top that sits beautifully on the Slit, yet again accentuating the curves of the woman.

The style of the Slit and Kaba can vary, from a simple look for an everyday wear or an elaborate look for special occasions.

IMG_6835

Traditionally Kente is used to sew intricate and elaborate Slit and Kaba styles for Weddings,  Traditional marriages, Christening etc

It’s a colourful and cheerful affair when you attend an event and every lady is in ‘Slit and Kaba’, either made from African print or Kente.

DSC_0753
Designed by Sadia Sanusi

I’ll talk about the beautiful Ghanaian Kente in a future post, but for now it’s all things  ‘Slit and Kaba’.

The ‘Kaba’ (top), works perfectly when paired with Jeans or a pencil skirt for a smart casual look. I tend to wear my ‘Kaba’ (top) most Fridays with Jeans and love the compliments I receive from my colleagues at work.

IMG_6801

My choice of clothes  for filming season 2 of my Cookery show ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ on ABNTV, Sky 235, were Slits and Kabas. This was deliberate as I missed wearing them and secondly wanted the world to know about Ghanaian clothes and fashion.

Thanks Sadia Sanusi for designing such beautiful  clothes, within a short period of time and your incredible customer service.

What do you think about a ‘Kaba & Jeans’ Friday? Take a picture of your outfit, name the designer and the best looking designs will be featured on my blog and social media platforms.

All photos are by the owner of this blog.

CHEF FAFA

CHEF FAFA
IMG_6656
Chef Fafa

Chef Fafa Gilbert specialises in fusion African cuisine, where she mixes both African, Asian and Western ingredients together to create her own recipes.

Fafa is from the Volta part of Ghana and a town which shares a border with Togo. Fafa spent most her free time in the kitchen with her Mum and learnt the traditional way of cooking in Ghana and Togo.

The traditional methods included but to mention a few, char grilling tomatoes to make stews, grinding spices in an earthen ridged pot with a wooden pestle and grinding chillies on a stone slab.

Fafa enjoyed watching her Mum enhance the natural flavours of ingredients by adding spices at the right time, the importance of cooking at the right temperature and food presentation.
Fafa fondly talks about visiting the food market at dawn with her Mum (the perfect time to get fresh produce) , watch her Mum carefully select the best of ingredients through smell, touch and the importance of building great relationships with farmers.

IMG_2200
Mum

Fafa comes from a family of foodies and restaurateurs which has inspired her style of cooking including spending time with her Grandma in Togo (which shares a border with Ghana).
Fafa learnt how the same ingredients were cooked and tasted differently in both countries,(Togo has the French influence in their cooking methods).

A favourite memory of her Grandma was the freshly caught Char grilled fish, smoky spicy Tomato salsa with salad and baguettes accompanied with her tales of wisdom, which encapsulates Fafa’s methods of cooking.
Fafa spent 2 years with a Lebanese and Ghanaian (from a different tribe) family which again exposed her to some Middle Eastern dishes with her favourite being the Za’atar bread.

IMG_6774
Chef Fafa

In 2000, Fafa moved to the UK worked in Marketing, as an Insurance broker and also trained as an Interior Architecture. However  it was meeting her husband that influenced her to start ‘Ndudu by Fafa’. A food blog and vlog about creative African cooking.

‘Ndudu’ means food in Fafa’s African dialect called ‘Ewe’, (from the Volta region of Ghana), where she embodies the term ‘a twist upon a twist’ with her Food blog, YouTube page and second series of her popular cookery show ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ on Sky 235, ABNTV.

Fafa started incorporating her husbands English heritage of ingredients to her classic West African cuisines  and has carved a niche for her recipes which has earned her the title of the most influential African Foodie for 2016.

Fafa has featured on BBC talking about her fusion recipes, as a guest Chef on ITV, This Morning and CNN Africa, sharing her flavoursome dishes. Fafa has written for a few magazines (Vital Woman, Mambo Magazines) about her recipes and hosted various events including one at the SouthBank centre and Facebook headquarters.

Fafa has a great following on Social media namely ‘ Instagram, Facebook and Twitter under the name ‘Ndudu By Fafa’ where she shares recipes via her blog www.ndudu-by-fafa.blogspot.com, interacts with her fans and pays great attention to her fans, food styling, presentation and food photography.
Fafa’s passion for cooking is evident when she talks about it and it’s incredible to watch her film her own videos, edit them and document the recipes especially now that she’s writing her cookery book.

Welcome to Fafa’s new lifestyle blog, where she will talk about entrepreneurship, style, nutrition, exercises, travels, mental health and more.

FAFA GILBERT

IMG_6656

Fafa Gilbert is a creative African TV chef who fuses both African, Western and Asian ingredients together to create her own unique recipes; like the Cocoyam & Coconut tart, Crispy fried Plantain salad, Jollof Arancini, Yam soufflé etc

Fafa Gilbert  also touches on traditional Ghanaian dishes and finds quicker and easier ways to prepare them. An example been her ‘Fresh Fufu in a pot recipe’, ‘The Perfect Jollof rice’, ‘Waakye’ to mention but a few on her food blog ‘Ndudu by Fafa’.

IMG_6661
Chef Fafa

Welcome to the lifestyle blog of Fafa Gilbert, where she will talk about Fashion, Food styling, Recipes,Kitchen Hacks , Healthy lifestyles, entrepreneurship,interviews with other creatives and stimulating general chitchats.