The Face of MelaninWonder
A bit about me…who am I?
I am Hannah Ofosu-Oware. I was born in Accra, Ghana, West Africa in the late nighties.
I came to the Netherlands at the age of 15 and have been blessed to enjoy the exciting journey of assimilating into the Dutch culture.
It has been a stark difference from what I left behind in Africa. The unlimited sunshine, heat and abundance of fresh tropical foods. The uniqueness of this deep culture and environment is what I feel adds depth to my character and look.
I am fun, warm, attentive and love to be around people. I also adore cooking and aspire to one day own a fusion African restaurant in Holland and in Ghana. I cook for friends, family and anyone that loves to eat!
” By nature, I am typically a very shy individual and have always had to motivate myself to break out of my shell. “
Why I took part in the MW contest?
By nature, I am typically a very shy individual and have always had to motivate myself to break out of my shell. However, I decided to let go of my inhibitions and take the leap of competing in this year’s campaign to be the female face of the Melanin Wonder brand. I have in the past taken up a few modelling projects and found it to be an art form that brings out creativity. I love it. 😊
For those who may not be aware, Melanin wonder is a Netherlands based online magazine created with the intent to educate, entertain, inspire and also highlight social issues affecting the African youth in the diaspora.
I would like to support and be part of a brand that uplifts individuals to spotlight when they do not have a voice or a face. As the popular saying goes, ‘Black is beautiful’, but many fail to acknowledge that.
I desire to be an inspiration to the Black OR Brown girl, woman (FEMALE) with her unique African lineage and truly believe that BLACK is indeed BEAUTIFUL.
Khoudia Diop inspired me a lot she said “Being black it’s not a crime, Be happy with what you have and who you are”.
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.
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.
“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.
Kay Obum Survivor of Deadly Explosion Blessed to see another day!
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.
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.
“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.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from what happened to you?
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.
“A brand that makes any burn survival man, woman, child to show all the hidden talent that they have”
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.
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.