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Kay Obum Survivor of Deadly Explosion Blessed to see another day!

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burn survivor Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke

burn survivor Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke

Who is KOSISOCHUKWU?

My name Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke I know a Mouth Full. This stems from my heritage Nigeria, more specifically from the Igbo tribe. I am from Abatete in Idemmili North local government of Anambra state. I am the first son and issue of parents, sir & Dr ifeoma obumneke-Okeke P.hD.

I have and elder sister married with kids and 3 younger siblings a Lawyer(Chisolum) micro-biologist/pharmacy student (Mmesoma) and our last child a Medical student (Idimma). I am a Psychologist by profession. But a writer, blogger, photo model, counselor, live motivational speaker, computer worker (software only) and human rights activist.

 

burn survivor Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke

burn survivor Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke

What is the story behind your scars?

It was as a result of adulterated kerosene lamp explosion, landed me in the hospital at the age of 9.

A litre of fuel sells for N145.00 while kerosene sells for N250.00.  So it is easy for people to mix kerosene with fuel to make more money. The most recent explosin happened in June this year in Cross River State. It was an indescribable disaster and at least five people died and several others are fighting for their lives. 

I am lucky to see antoher day and chase all my goals and dreams.

A litre of fuel sells for 145.00 while kerosene sells for N250.00, so it is easy for people to mix kerosene with fuel to make more money Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/06/criver-residents-panic-multiple-kerosene-explosions-wreak-havoc/

Kerosene and Fuel mixed Lamps, commonly used in Nigeria

 

“My outlook on life changed after surviving this explosion.”

 

How do people in the environment treat you , strangers and people close to you?

People in the hospital understood that I was once dead and was brought back to life by Gods grace because I was in  a coma for 4 to 5 weeks. The fire burn degree was the 3rd . But I made it home after months in the hospital (those were so helpful and cheered me up then).

Home was my family they did all they could to get me all patched up making sure that I feel alive.

STRANGERS this the group I still deal with up till now. I was a young lad filled with energy and vigor wanting to be accepted into a world that loves complete looking people. Rather than those that has a story of life’s greatest survival.

 

burn survivor Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke

burn survivor Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke also known as Kay Obum

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from what happened to you?

Self-acceptance.

What do you have to say to all people around the world who have experienced the same?

Hey there, do you remember those moments your only wish was to see if you can sit up in bed? Those moments you wanted to leave the bed and just put your feet on the ground? Those moments the doctors said your wounds are responding to top treatments? That day the doctor said you can now be signed off to be an OPD (Outpatient department) patient? When it finally healed but the itching sets in?

Lastly it healed but your scared of how you look when you look at the mirror and other how other people perceive you? Really? Hey you will make it again all I listed was all the worst times we had above and we made it we will make it too.

Love yourself.

“A brand that makes any burn survival man, woman, child to show all the hidden talent that they have”

burn survivor Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke

burn survivor Kosisochukwu Obumneke-Okeke posing

What do you have to say to people who did not experience the same as you did?

An accident is nothing that we came into the world with, it is not (innate) it is just as a result of life’s activities that it happened.

Burnt survivor Kay Obum

Burnt survivor Kay Obum

What are your dreams for the future?

I am working on having a brand that makes any burn survival man, woman, child to show all the hidden talent that they have within them and as a psychologist I will also employ some of my other friends to help me in clinical assessment of those burn victims. Giving them a chance to develop a nice personality that they could be proud of. Knowing that they have survived a very strong life challenging experience and still live to see another day.

Getting married to that one lucky woman that adores all of me.

Having great children that points at me in front of other children and says that is my daddy.

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Entrepreneurship

Eric Jones builds his empire, from Fayetteville, AR to LA – The American dream

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We reunited with Eric Jones, CEO and lead designer at LFLS shoes. He started his business in 2016, after graduating and mourning his late mom and dad. He pulled through and continued building his empire, making his late parents proud, building his life with the goals he in-visioned.

His mother in particular was a big part of designing LSLS shoes. She helped him create the first designs of LFLS’s 1st collection while he was finishing up college. Unfortunately, she was not there to experience the launch of his collection or witness his graduation. She passed away a few weeks before he graduated. Eric’s first collection was very important to him, as he was holding a piece of his mom in his creations.

 

 

We asked Eric how life changed since the first year into entrepreneurship.

”My life has changed tremendously, it is literally like comparing night and day!” 

” My slow success has allowed me to build so much character and it has molded me into an individual that has the influence, courage, resilience and story to inspire a nation. I’ve had the chance to experience so many things that I couldn’t have imagined. I worked with people that I never thought I would be able to work with MJ Harris ,Tasha Page Lockhart, Anthony Anderson and Desi Bank just to name a few.

From left to right MJ Harris, Tasha Page Lockhart, Anthony Anderson, and Desi Bank

I achieved goals that exceed my wildest expectations. I also, recently took a huge leap of faith and relocated to Los Angeles, California a little over a week ago. Coming from Helena, AR, these are things that I could have never imagined doing in my life! ”

Eric’s life changed tremendously in just 24 months!

Exposure – he has been recognized my national and international media and has been featured on Global Grind, Because of them We Can, Melanin Wonder, Voyage LA/Dallas, and a host of other platforms! New friends, gaining MJ Harris as a friend and mentor.

Building his CV, booking multiple speaking engagements and also speaking on panels across the country to share my story. Recognition, being recognized by my Alma Mater and moving to Los Angeles, just 2 weeks ago!

Are your shoes as dapper as you are?

It’s a guarantee because you can’t find shoes like these anywhere else. I have added my own unique touches to each shoe and they have become a high demand for special occasions like weddings, galas, proms, graduations and red carpet events. The shoes are the representation of a lifestyle that many individuals want to live. A lifestyle of modern luxury with a sprinkle of good old classic vibes.

How do you test the product quality?

I test the quality of my products by having a sample developed of a specific shoe that I have designed and want to send into production. Based on how the sample comes out will determine what changes are needed or if I will work with that particular factory or not. 

What was the main reason you chose to start making women’s shoes as well?

I decided to start making women’s shoes because so many women would ask me about shoes for them or if I made kids shoes that they could fit. I tested the market to see if women would actually purchase the pair of flats that I ended up designing. It turned out that they liked them a lot and at times purchased more than my customer base of men would.

 

So to circle back around on the question, the main reason I chose to start making them is to please the ladies hahaha. But then it also became bigger than that because I made sure the women’s flats matched the men’s loafers, which lead to our his and hers collection. My late mother Gloria also loved shoes a lot, I plan to design a women’s shoe dedicated to her in the near future.

 

What’s the next up-and-coming trend Eric?

”I’m not much of a trendy person, I tend to create them versus keep up with them!” 

If you weren’t making shoes, what would be your craft today?

Branding and social media strategy for sure, along with still inspiring people through my journey! I love everything about branding and how a business conveys its story to their potential customers, whether that be through visuals or strategy. This is one reason why I started offer branding/business development consultations. I also love styling too, so I’m sure I would also still be dabbling in that industry even if I wasn’t a shoe designer!

You recently moved to LA, how will this impact the LFLS brand?

” This move will take the brand to the next level!” 

Being in this environment around celebrities, stylist, red carpet events, influencers and a host of other entrepreneurs/creatives is all I could ask for plus more! You never know who you will meet here in LA, so many doors will be opened for myself and the brand that could have never been opened back in Arkansas. I’m thrilled to be here and just honored to be able to have the faith, courage and resilience to take such a huge leap of faith and sacrifice for my future.

 













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Comment under this article and repost it on your socials.
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Winner will be announced in the third week of september.
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Media

Melanin Excellence from Politics to Disney – our 2019 so far

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We are in the home stretch of 2019 and 2020 is fast approaching! What a year it has been! Black Excellence is truly on the rise! Personally, I have never been this proud to see our culture represented in such a positive light. – Tiesha

In the Political News – The United States has a black woman on the ballot for President of the United States!

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Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris, United States Senator from California, is really making her mark in the presidential race. She is the first black woman that has run of the office for president in over 9 years. The US has had 11 black women to run for President of the United States over the years. 

Her campaign slogan “For the People” is not just a slogan but a true testament for the changes she has initiated in her political career. From introducing tax cuts to the middle class, proposals of tuition-free higher education, protecting the rights of refugees and immigrants, and so much more. Her work showcases her commitment to the advancement of the United States. These are perfect qualities of a President!

But Kamala Harris is not the only Black presidential candidate. Wayne Messam, a Florida Mayor, is also in the running for the election. His parents came to Florida from Jamaica with only a 5th-grade education to build a better life. The work ethics that were instilled in their son drove him and his wife Angela in building several highly profitable minority construction businesses.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Wayne Messam
Wayne Messam

In the career of Wayne Messam, he has been an advocate of higher wages, job security for US workers, leading the cause of protection of immigrants to come to the US for a better life, and many other contributions to the country. His campaign slogan “For America” shows that he has what it takes to bring wealth and prosperity to the US.

In Entertainment News – Disney has not one but two new remakes that have featured lead black cast members. This is a major accomplishment and advancement for Disney. The last black lead role in Disney pictures was The Princess and The Frog released in 2009.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Halle Bailey the new Ariel
Halle Bailey the new Ariel

The Little Mermaid Reboot featuring Halle Bailey as Ariel is a beautiful addition to the Disney family. Halle Bailey is a part of the R&B Group Chloe x Halle who rose to fame after their rendition of Beyoncé’ Pretty Hurts. This led to the group to be an opening act for Beyoncé’ Formation World Tour in 2016.

Halle being the starting role unfortunately suffered major backlash from critics.  Hashtags #NotMyAriel were trending on Twitter causing an uproar of negativity to the star due to the changing of the skin color by Disney from fair to a melanin complexion.

Even through the criticism, an outpouring of support on social media came forth for Halle. Fellow celebrities Willow Smith, Mariah Carey, Donald Glover, Jordan Sparks, and many others came to showcase support for her as well for the upcoming remake of the Disney film.

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Donald Glover as Simba in the Lion King live-action movie

The Lion King remake has a host of black excellence in the cast. Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Chance the Rapper as Bush Baby, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, Eric Andre’ as Azizi, John Kani as Rafiki, Florence Kasumba as Kamari, Phil Lamar and J. Lee offering voice supporting roles, and legendary artists Alfre Woodard as Sabri and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

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Beyonce as Nala in the Lion King live-action movie

The Lion King remake has made over 540 million dollars to date. It was reported by Forbes magazine to be the top-grossing live-action remake! Hats off to the cast!

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The movie “Little” features youngest executive producer 14-year-old Marsai Martin from the ABC hit show Black-ish.

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Marsai Martin – Youngest producer ever

This was a great breakthrough for the youth in film. Working alongside Regina Hall, Preston L. Holmes, and Josh Martin who also executive produced this film, offered support and guidance as she embarked on this journey. This movie opened more doors of opportunities for Marsai to produce a film adaptation of B.B. Alston’s debut novel Amari and the Night Brothers and another film Step Monster with future release dates coming soon.

In Beauty News -The US has three major Black pageant winners!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst
Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst

Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst from North Carolina, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin from New York, and Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaleigh Garris from Connecticut.

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Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaleigh Garris

This is a record-breaking history-making victory to have such representation at one time in this space. For years black beauty has been commercialized and society unaccepted.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Nia Franklin
Nia Franklin – Miss America 2019

As a black woman being born and raised in Mississippi, I have seen firsthand many accounts of racial injustice and heard countless stories from my elders. To see Black people, rise above the pressures of opposition and move into their appointed victory in black excellence inspires me to do the same.

I truly believe that James Brown says it best “Say it Loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!”

Blogger: Tiesha (Latiesha Olive) is a beauty blogger with her own blog beautifulnaturalcurls.com. You can also follow her on Youtube- ‘Beautiful Natural Curls’ and Instagram @Bnaturalcurls. Tiesha is our USA correspondent for your Melanin Wonder News!

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Art

De KROON

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On the sixth of May, 2019 something horrifying happened. The Dutch lifestyle and fashion TV show allowed one of the cast members to make racist comments about Afro and kinky curly hair.

This exploded in a negative in all the news platforms and many if not all black and brown men and women were grossly offended. Robin Ramos (20) and Kymani Ceder (19) wrote a poem as a response. They used the poem as a positive representation by, from and for the Afro-Dutch community. The goal is to use the movie “The Crown” (De kroon) created by Robin and Kymani to create awareness and free the Black community from the chains of stereotyping of Afro hair.

Footage from the short film – de KROON

Robin and Kymani chose to form the video as a school assignment with a theme family.

Robin Ramos

Kymani Ceder

Using ‘Black hairstyles’ as a point gave them the inspiration to show different historical and tribal connotations involving Afro hair. In many cultures, it is still a way to be in contact with the ancestors. Besides braiding, is doing hair an activity done throughout time and has it has been a signature activity in black families.

The short film portrays a paradox time-machine with precolonial impressions. It takes you on a journey back to the age of where the traditional braids were used to connect the past with the present.

The movie is a re-enactment of history acted out by present-day Dutch Africans. How do Dutch Africans experience their African identity after the physical alienation that has taken place after slavery? How do they feel about their hair now? How do we feel during and after watching the short film?

Around 80 people were involved by the making of the short film: De Kroon. Some well-known artists and actors from the Dutch entertainment such as Sylvana Simons, Veronica van Hoogdalem, Digitzz, Clarice Gargard and Guillermo Babel.

Sylvana Simons & Robin Ramos

“De Kroon” is a poetic storyline about the relationship Afro Dutch citizens have with their natural hair and hairstyles. The Natural Hair movement is becoming more and more visible in the world. And we are loving it.

For all readers from the Netherlands: Want to read more about the backstory and behind the scenes, straight from the creator/inspirator of this video? click here

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