The first MELANIN woman in ages to join NASA!
Jessica Watkins has been selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class! She will report for duty in August 2017. The Colorado native earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University, and a Doctorate in Geology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Omowale – The lost child that returned home
He has many names!
My name is Silvano Rigmar Haynes, my friends also know me as ‘Vano’
My little secret is that I use different (yet still my own) names to keep people guessing. I’m an 80’s baby and was born on the Caribbean island called Curaçao.
Since a young age I’ve always been very curious about my surroundings and what makes people do things differently than myself.
My best-friend partially rubbed a lot of his ‘’why’’ attitude unto me.
Which led me to ask questions like:
‘’Am I really less intelligent than others who had a higher school diploma?’’ ’’Am I aiming high in life’’? ‘’Do I got any talents?’’
It was this attitude that created the basis of who I am today.
You also go under the alias OMOWALE ASANTE, what does this name mean?
Malcolm X became a great hero to me around my early twenties’.
During his tour in Africa, Nigeria to be precise. They gave him a Yoruba name: Omowale. Meaning the (lost) child has returned home. Let’s say the name sank into my sub-conscious. And I basically fell in love with the Yoruba people shortly after that.
Then came the Asante who I also felt some connection to.
In late 2016 I put those two names together to recreate my Africanity
Later I came to found out that Asante means because of war.
So, ‘the lost child has returned home because of war’ was born. And with such heavy meaning, I just had to ‘’own’’ this name.
So at what point in your life did you grow with passion for African history?
Well that started around my 17th birthday when a cousin of mine told me:
‘’There are a strange group of people in Rotterdam that almost speak our language’’.
He was referring to the Cabo Verdeans which led me unto the beautiful but enormous rabbit hole of the history of my ancestors. And that’s how I created the brand Atunwa in 2016
The definition of ‘Atunwa’ in Yoruba theology translates to reincarnation in your direct family-line. The philosophy of my brand is: teaching African history and Black empowerment through fashion. Pan-African consciousness meets gritty urban Black culture.
Your brand ‘Atunwa’ promotes African culture, what is your mission and vision with this brand?
My mission is not only to promote African (diasporic) culture but to shake people into taking action. Every order comes with an infographic to show what we can do as one and why it’s important to OWN everything around you. Let me put it another way: making people aware of how dope African history/culture and it’s people are and start building with the correct mindset.
My vision, without the fluffy
T-shirts, Hoodies, flipflops, sneakers. Our invasion won’t be televised.
Why should we buy from Atunwa and not from other African designers in the Diaspora?
To semi-quote an article on our spiritual predecessor:
‘’created to specifically target young Black/African consumers.’ Their clothing was as a response to high-profile fashion brands expressing they didn’t want to market their collections to particular groups of people.’’Unknown
I won’t mention their name but to add to that, I’ll say that we aren’t looking to fuse ideas, gaining a particular strand of mainstream attention or selling Black culture to other cultures while being detrimental to our own. Atunwa didn’t come into existence in a reactive manner. She was born to fill a void of a new cultural revival.
To how many African countries have you been and which one of them stuck the most?
Sadly enough just Egypt. To be precise the upper Nile region. The city
called Aswan is pretty much where you can still feel the ancient African
So yeah… pretty cool place and people.
What have you learned from Africa?
That we all share a common cultural source. We are just different branches/expressions of the same tree. It just happens that people aren’t very aware of that. Two things I love the most is how organized we used to be in all aspects of life and the central role of African women.
How does a continent like Africa affect you personally in your daily life?
The most simple answer I can give is: showing me that everything happening
What is the best way for melanin people to find their (unknown) African roots?
And if you want to know what DNA-markers are the most dominant within you. Use the company called AfricanAncestry.com
Do you believe in DNA tests like MYHERITAGE to find out where someone’s roots are set up?
Please check the infographics made by AfricanAncestry. Those other companies…
BoB’s for life is the path to greatness.Silvano
Michael Cary aka MiJaCa the Talented DancingExtraOrdinair
Who is Mijaca?
My name is Michael Cary also known as Mijaca in the dancescène.
I’m a person who really tries to put my whole heart and soul into dance. I do that because it is one of my biggest passions. ( also known as my life ?). My other passion are spending time with family, Friends, life partners a.k.a my squad. We all have our own individual passions and the same passion which is dance. We also share many same goals. If you look at my life partners in my crew it will really reflect who I am as a person.
My sister and I were raised by my grandmother(she is American btw). Also do I have 3 brothers. I am 21 years old by the way.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Zwijndrecht which is close to Rotterdam city in the Netherlands. I lived there till the 3rd grade in elementary school. After that I moved to Vleuten and finished elementary school there.
Not too long after that I relocated back to Zwijndrecht and finished highschool in Dordrecht. Also did I graduate from the dance school in Utrecht Overvecht called “Creative college” it is an street style school where you learn a lot of stuff about the whole hiphop dance-scene.
So your greatest passion is dance?
That is correct and my fam “the squad” as well ofcourse.
Because i do literally everything with dance. I think in dance; I move with dance and I cannot imagine that i will ever completely stop dancing.
This also goes for the fam. I can’t imagine the fam stopping any time soon.
Dancing is also a way of dealing with my personal stuff. It brings me joy and I love being joyful with other people. I travel more due to dance as well. My whole life is influenced by music and dance.
What other passions do you have?
I love doing so much stuff it is hard to name them all. I am interested in a lot of things. Doing photo-shoots is one of these things.
I really like doing them and it would be so funny to see these pictures when I am older and look back at them.