How did you come up with the name Cay Cay’s World?
I must admit, I was really overthinking when I was looking for a name for my cartoons. I realized this is an attempt to give people a glimpse of her(my daughters) world and others. Also did I need something that the children could remember. A lot of people refer to her as ”Cay Cay” (pronounced: SySy). It was only logical for me at that time to give it the name Cay Cay’s World.
After seeing everything come together, getting a feel for what I want my characters to represent. I decided to change the name to ’Akwaaba Adwoa & Friends’. Akwaaba means ”Welcome” in the Ghanaian Twi dialect, by the Akan tribe of Ghana. Adwoa is a name that is given to females born on a Monday in Ghana.
My daughter was born on a Monday and this felt closer to home than her first name. My daughter’s name is Cayra (pronounced Sy-ih-rah) Anaiah Sage.
Where does Cay Cay come from?
Adwoa (Cay Cay) is a Ghanaian girl, both parents are from Ghana. The idea stems from my daughter.
You decided to tell a story based on 8 characters, why those 8 and why not more or less?
The reason why I chose to tell a story about these 8 characters is because in order to make this work to it’s best ability, I needed to start with what I know. I lived in the Netherlands for a majority of my life and was mostly surrounded by people from Suriname, Curacao, Ghana and Nigeria.
Besides, my mother is married to a Nigerian for 26 years now and my siblings are half Nigerian. I also felt it was important to choose from different parts of Africa and choose the countries I had been learning about prior to ’Akwaaba Adwoa & Friends’. These 8 will not only be a representation of themselves but also a voice for thei countries around their own individual countries.
There are 52 countries in Africa why not tell a story of Africa in general?
You see, the beauty of Africa is that the differences somehow unite us. I would not do Africa or people from the Diaspora justice by generalizing everything and everybody. I made sure I chose countries that different countries in Africa can relate to.
As these characters grow they explore and learn about their neighboring countries. Africa is a continent that stands for strength, power, survival, wealth, traditions, beauty and much more. Now tell me what Justice would I do it and it’s descendants by generalizing Africa.
What are the storylines going to be about?
My stories are going to incorporate Nursery Rhymes in English, Dutch and most importantly the language from each characters’ country. They will not always be together in one episode. Everybody is going to be in the spotlight seperately.
We will also be learning some words from their own dialects. My intentions are not only to bring black excellence into our households but to also spark conversations between parents and kids. We usually leave our country, reside abroad and leave behind our childhood memories. It is okay to adapt, but even greater to instill a piece of themselves in their upbringing.
“It is time for children of color to grow up and have representations of themselves”
Why do you think it is important to make colored animations for kids?
Whenever I watch a kids channel I can usually count the amount of colored kids on one hand. The majority of TV characters is Caucasian and you would maybe see 2 or 3 colored children. Representation matters! As a kid I would see some toy commercials advertising extensions to add to your hair. This was not even avaiblable in my hair texture/color!
You will subconsciously develop a low self esteem. I started to believe that I was not that special enough to shown on TV. It is time for children of color to grow up and have representations of themselves, to know that they are a part of beauty standards, because that’s not for anyone to decide but them. Representation matters!
“I believe this will make a change Worldwide. “
How long will one episode be?
One episode will be about 12 minutes. The audience I am targetting are toddlers and it is advised for them to have about an hour screen time a day. 12 minutes is enough for kids to pick up on certain things and to give parents inspiration on how to incorporate what they have seen in a for examples with games.
Do you feel like making animations will make a change in Dutch society or more in African?
I believe this will make a change Worldwide. In the Dutch society it will most definitly make make an impact on children of color.
They will become more aware of themselves and most importantly they will be more confident! Living in The Netherlands can make you as a North-African, think that you are nothing but trouble. A country where blacks are being confronted with mockery of their whole being just to honor a country’s tradition that stands for oppression.
Our kids need to see and know that they too are an important part of society.
What do you think the stereotype of black people is in Holland?
Haven’t we heard enough? It is either lazy, loud or uneducated just to name a few. My goal is not about changing what the caucasian think or say about us. My goal is to make sure that whatever they do, think or say that we will not it our reality.
What do you think about an online magazine such as melaninwonder.com, is it needed?
First of all I commend you for creating such a platform. Of course it is needed. There can never be too much representation! I will be starting a crowdfunding soon and your magazine has already given me the opportunity to put myself out there. Thank you for sharing the same goal as I do.
American based Randall Holloway singer, actor, Executive producer and so much more TALENT!
Who are you for those who don’t know?
Hello my name is Randall Holloway, and I am originally from Milwaukee Wisconsin the Home of the Brew. I have five older brothers and I am the youngest of the tribe. My brothers had a major influence in my life. When people see strong and educated black men standing together in numbers that is the most powerful image that can be displayed to the world.
Do you know anything about your ancestors?
That is a great question. Our family definitely comes from West Africa. I have got a little bit of European blood, but I would have to dig a little deeper.
“When people see strong and educated black men standing together in numbers that is the most powerful image that can be displayed to the world.”
How did you become a Filmmaker?
When I was younger, I was always writing stories and scripts and “doing it the Holloway”. Since coming to New York I have been acting and partnered with Bric TV and Harlem Fusion Studio. That led to being a producing handling tasks like location scouting, social media management, casting and now I am one of the executive producers of the Curvy Girls Rock Series. It is all Gods Plan.
Harlem Fusion Studios is a Production Company that was created by Shakesha Williams with the mission to tell honest stories to voice of the voiceless. So we are not afraid to push the envelope. Like Nina Simone said in an interview back in the day; “An artist’s job is to reflect the times.” So if we are not creating conversations with our art than what are we doing?
How long have you been acting?
Watch Randalls acting skills.
My parents started me off in the performing arts so I have been playing characters my entire life. I am currently developing my website, but if you follow me on instagram @itsrandallholloway and look up my name up on IMDB that will give you access a lot of my upcoming projects.
One of the shows I am currently in production with is called Miles & Associates an action packed legal crime series created by Frank Deniro that centers around a black attorney named Ray Miles and brings awareness to a corrupted broken system and sheds light on the ups and downs of black attorneys in America. I am also in production for a new series called Bubbly Brown Sugar, a love story about two soulmates meeting in their dreams navigating the ups & downs of life until they are destined to meet.
When did you start singing?
I started singing at the age of 10 with a choir that performed for high profile leaders, and political figures throughout the United States. I continued my training in classical voice at Milwaukee Highschool of the Arts. My parents always pushed for my brothers to go to Historically Black Colleges so I went on college tours and got accepted into Howard University “The Real HU”.
Who is your favorite actor and who would you love to work with in the future?
OMG I have so many, that I look up to and find inspiration from, but if I have to choose. I really would love to work with Sterling K. Brown, Viola Davis, Michael K. Williams, Samuel L. Jackson. So hopefully the Universe will listen.
How do you combine these three things and still manage to have a social life (acting, singing, directing)?
We make time for the things that are important to us. Successful people have the same amount of time like everyone else they just learn how to properly manage it.
“So if we’re not creating conversations with our art than what are we doing?”
Do you have a girlfriend or wife?
I recently got out of a relationship so at this point of my life I would rather just stay single until God sends me my better half to complete my life.
What do you think of all the Melanin in the social media now a days? Do you think its, real or a trend?
This is not a trend this is definitely real. I love the skin that I wear. There is so much pride, and beauty in the black community because we are the Kings and Queens of the world. With movies like Black Panther idolizing black culture I feel people are finally waking up and owning their magic.
How do you feel about light skinned men saying that they would never date a woman that is darker than them or a dark skinned woman?
Women are beautiful. If a light skinned man doesn’t find a dark chocolate woman attractive he’s dealing with his own insecurities, and you need to leave him alone. Keep in mind there is someone for you so don’t waste your time and energy with scrub that doesn’t see your beauty for what it is.
How would you advise others that want to pursue a career in acting, singing or film-making?
First think longevity. So many of us just accept whatever is handed to us not realizing how it could hurt us in the long run. So starting of; take on projects that speak to you as an artist.
Second find you tribe its imperative to find people that you surround yourself with that you can comfortably to bounce ideas and knowledge off of.
Be ready to sacrifice your time, money, and your relationships. Sometimes the industry has to create room for you so get ready for a lot of rejection and ups and down because it’s not an easy road to success.
Have u ever considered participating in a talent show like Idols for example?
I auditioned for American Idol three different times and X- Factor when they had their first season in the United States. For those shows what they don’t show is the amount of times you have to audition before you make it to the televised round of auditions.
The contestant that was in my final group was told by one of the producers of the show to change her audition song to something more popular at the last minute. I started teaching the girl how to sing this Alicia Keys song, and when it came time for me to audition I got eliminated, but she end up making it through all the way to the Top 10 for that season.
What is your favorite place to eat out?
One of my favorite places that I love to eat in the Brooklyn area is MangoSeed. I am addicted to their Oxtail and Grits so make sure you all check out www.mangoseedbrooklyn.com
Favorite song at the moment?
I just wanna put this out there first the navy has been waiting Rihanna so I’m gonna need you to drop that album, but in the meantime Kendrick Lamar All the Stars ft SZA is my jam, and I really like Majesty from Nicki Minaj.
Your favorite place in Brooklyn?
I like to go on long walks in Prospect Park and sit by the Waterfall. That’s when I feel that i’m truly connected to the Earth.
Do you ever think of changing your community? How do you plan on doing that?
Me and God got big plans. I eventually wanna open up my own Performing Arts School and help minorities get into college.
Tell us about Curvy girls rock and where can people watch it?
Curvy Girls Rock is a new scripted series about confident plus size women living their best lives in New York City. It’s not about fat shaming, and depressing narratives that were used to seeing. Its pulls from shows like Sex in the City, and Girlfriends the only difference is all the leading actresses are plus size women. Were hoping to that a major distributor in Hollywood will see it and pick up the series so that we can get syndicated. As of right now we have a few people interested, but if its not the right deal we’re not going to take. It’s only fair to the cast,crew, and our audience that have been rocking with us for so long.
“There is a missing voice in Hollywood”
There is a missing voice in Hollywood and here at Harlem Fusion Studios we are giving these women more of a narrative on television. Sixty-seven percent of the women in the United States are plus size, but Hollywood only pulls from the two percent. We are not holding back, so the audience better get ready because it’s about to go down.
Where can people donate or support your cause?
We still need help with editing some of our future episodes, and all that requires time and money so every dollar counts. If you would like to donate to our series please go to our website www.cgrseries.com and follow us on instagram @curvygrilsrockseries
Any last words?
Stay Humble People…PEACE
Mary SKYROCKETS with her MAFCouture Line and AMAZING and FAST design!
Mary from MAFCouture
When I was a child I was kinda the “happy feet” of my family.
What are your roots?
I am a Cameroonian with Some mix of Nigerian heritage. I came to the Netherlands when I was about 14-15 years old.
Do you have siblings?
I do have siblings here in the Netherlands that I stay with.
Is sewing a thing in the family?
No, sewing wasn’t really an inheritance from my family neither can my grandma or my mother sew. She’s (my mother) very creative but sewing I never saw her do. I actually developed this talent on my own and I enjoy it thoroughly.
WATCH the MAFCouture Launch Party coverage here.
What would be your passion if you didn’t choose to be a designer?
Hehe, Dancing!! When I was a child I was kinda the “happy feet” of my family.
Why are your designs different than the rest?
My designs are different from the rest because it comes from a place inside of me. When I want to get creative the most I shut off everything, go in myself and start imagining things.
Then will I sketch them all down. Every creation I design is clearly to be seen from the things I make for my clients.
It is like two different worlds. I am literally attached to my designs, because they are very personal to me.
Do you feel like you have any competition here in the Netherlands?
In Holland? Not that I have seen. In countries outside the Netherlands, yes! Like a Ghanaian designer called: Christie Brown. I love her stuff!
I feel like she is a game changer and it scares me the most because we think alike and that can bring some tension between us.
Who is your favorite manufacturer for Ankara fabrics?
I can’t say I have any. But who do I think they have creative patterns and designs in their fabrics? Julius Jansen in Helmond.
I can name designers that are better than Louis Vuitton and the rest
What is your favorite place u have traveled to up till now?
My favorite so far will have to be London.
Is your plan to go international?
Please learn how to support each other and connect with the person
Where do you expect to be in 5 years’ time?
My own small boutique here in Holland, France, Cameroon, London and Nigeria next to my atelier where I could freely express myself through my creativity and travel the world for more inspiration and collaboration.
Have u ever experienced being treated different because of the color of your skin?
Yes, I had this crazy experience once in Rotterdam Blaak. An interior shop that was close by the metro station Rotterdam Blaak was open that I was passing by to get some furniture to work with. I went to the shop and the door had a note that stated that the store was open . If the door was closed I should ring the bell so I did. I had a black hoodie on from sweatswithattitude and a black legging.
This guy walked up to me to open the door took a look at me and tries to imply that they were closed. When I brought to his attention what was written on the door he then asked me to come in.
I went in feeling this awkward “we don’t need you here” kinda stare. I saw amazing things and I was inspired! While looking around this guy stood by the help desk and stared at me the entire time meanwhile there was a Dutch girl in the place with a huge camera.
So I pulled out my phone to take some pictures; he rushed quickly to me and asked me to not take pictures of their stuff cause it is their new Collection bla bla bla.
Meanwhile the girl next to me was doing just that. Ok, I said fine. Before I knew it he handed me their card and said I could look at the things online and showed me the door.
I was not even ready to leave yet, men I was super pissed and I was sad the whole day because of it.
How do you feel about diversity in fashion?
I feel as though it is very much needed especially NOW! I can name designers that are better than LV and the rest.
We need those people to inspire our little black children at least they won’t be insulted by them or called names in public like these other designers out here do to black people. Our black kids should also know that their moms and pops are able to archive such names and success in the fashion industry as well to motivate them and most importantly inspire them.
What do you want to see change in the fashion nowadays?
The skinny models. Let’s start elevating the big girls and the world will be a little better . Because a confident woman can archive a lot.
Fashion to make our men look like women; Please stop that! I cannot allow my kids to be inspired by such designers, so they need us. They need change!
What do you consider fashion?
Fashion for me is a form of expression. Who I am inside shows on the outside by what I wear and how I present myself. But fashion has a lot of meanings and translations world wide.
Fashion comes with presentation.. how do I want to present myself to the world. Different, mixes, cultural influences or whatever.
Does fashion come with size or do all models have to be a size 4?
Like I said earlier, if fashion came with just one size which means the big girls won’t be able to express themselves. Fashion is for all sizes.
Do you have a partner?
Hehe, who would like to know?
Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I am happy when I am eating. If you want to make me happy, get me food.
What is your favourite song at the moment?
Assurance by Davido
Where can we FIND YOU!
“For the African male/females that have businesses in the Netherlands please learn how to support each other and connect with the person. Let love rules above all Love is the strongest. We can do whatever, give shoutouts, hold meetings or seminars but without love all we do is vain.” – Mary
“Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience].” 1 JOHN 4:7 AMP MARY
Momsdadslife – An interracial couple who wants to change the world
The founders of Momsdadslife
Ehinomen is 23-years-old and kelvin is 24-years-old. Kelvin has always lived in the Netherlands and Ehi was born in Nigeria (Benin city).
“I came to the Netherlands at the age of 12” Ehinomen says. Integrating into a foreign country was one of the biggest challenges Ehi had to face and deal with as a young child.
While studying in the Netherlands Ehi met her fiance Kelvin who was studying to be a nurse. There was a connection from the first day we met. The sparks were genuine and we started dating in no time!
Ehi and Kelvin shared had similar goals and imagined what their future would be like. They knew exactly what they wanted.
“We are like two trees blended together by their roots”
What are your views on interracial couples?
Kelvin: Dating someone outside your race can be challenging. People have their own meaning/opinion on who you should love. The first day I saw my woman was the day I knew she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Ehinomen: Dating outside my race made love even more exciting, we learned so much about each other’s cultures. It made us appreciate life, it made us realize that there is more to life than just our little bubble. We are like two different trees blended to each other by their roots.
“LOVE IS LOVE”
What do you do to help (single) parents with your platform?
Most of the questions we get from our single parent followers is “how they want to do better”. We tell them not to worry so much, the most important thing is to LOVE your beautiful child. A child needs LOVE and ATTENTION. The child can never be a victim. We tell them not to think like a victim but to think as a solver.
How does it feel to be a young parent, did you expect to be parents at this age?
Ehi: I always knew I was going to be a young mother just because I love babies but I underestimated the work raising a child. It is DAMN hard and especially with school, but I am blessed with the support I have from our family. Seeing my daughters smile makes every decision all worth it.
Kelvin: For me I never knew I would be a dad at the age of 23. I never thought of it being a problem. I knew if it happened I would always be there for my child even if I became a dad at 16. Seeing my daughter growing up gives me the greatest joy in life. Wouldn’t want it any other way.
Which follower inspired you the most during your philanthrophic work within Momsdadslife?
Our Momsdadslife followers all inspire me. Without them we wouldn’t be doing half of what we are doing right now. We receive all kinds of messages that sometimes make us cry our eyes out.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years’ time?
We see ourselves starting up our own family care farm. A place where the elderly can come to have a great time. Married with children and that our platform branches out in Africa.
Where can our readers follow you?