Black people in Miami are creative, talented and beautiful. That was signified this week when I attended some amazing events around town. Plus, I have some amazing news from Tanzania, Africa with a South Florida connection.
Ibiza in Miami Swim Week
It is summertime. It is blazing hot, and so was my Miami Swim Week experience. Miami Swim Week was from July 11 to July 16. For the past three years, I have been attended Swim Week, where I have encountered some unique designs and even a celebrity or two. However, this year I was not interested until I received an invite from Desiree Parkman.
She invited me to the Ibiza in Miami swim show, and boy was it scorching hot.
Ibiza in Miami is the “Melanin Edition” of Swim Week. The models’ skin was popping in every shade of brown. The models “brought it” on the runway at NOMI Restaurant in North Miami. All of the fashion was purely original. The stylists were all emerging, but they bring more than some of the established designers that I have seen. The designers were Afrozaks, Eido Swimwear, Eselle Swim, Gsaintsgirls, Mermaid Life Swim and Quite Alluring.
I took the theme of the night literally, and I was dressed for the part. I wore a black and gold dress with splits to the hips. After all, it is Miami. It was Swim Week, and we needed to bring that Ibiza essence. Ibiza is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea that is known for its nightlife.
The turnout of the event was ginormous to the point that people had to utilize the standing room.
I am looking forward to attending this event next Swim Week.
She believed she could and she did
Miami native Tashoy Walters has been a volunteer helping women in Africa for several years. She is a graduate of North Miami Beach Senior High School and Florida Southern College.
Walters volunteers with Friends Together, a nonprofit formed in 1999 that helps the HIV community of Tanzania.
In 2015, Cathy Robinson Pickett, founder and CEO of Friends Together planned a trip to Tanzania to help schools receive books, school supplies and to find a non-governmental organization to partner with. That’s when Walters decided to take a leap of faith. She raised money social media, and she was able to drum up enough funds to make the trip in June 2015. Once in Tanzania, Robinson Pickett and Walters noticed many young women were not going to school or work. After inquiring she found out the truth.
They had no access to feminine hygiene products, sanitary napkins, disposable and reusable. The cost was too high for families and working mothers. That’s when the pair launched the Friends Together mission of “The Flow project” to help aid the girls in school and working woman. Robinson Pickett and Walters have helped 5,000 women since June 2016 and for 2019 they are projected to help 1,800 women.
Friends Together is currently on a mission in Africa.
They went to Ngorongoro and provided Masai women with reusable pads. After a presentation to 16 women, they stated they were very grateful for the reusable Sanitary napkins and information.
They also went to a secondary school and did a presentation to 86 girls. None of them had reusable sanitary pads. One young lady spoke on behalf of the group. She said every month when it was her menstrual cycle, she did not know what to use. Sometimes she would use a dirty cloth or nothing. Now that they have the reusable pads, she knows she will not have to miss school along with her peers.
Another way Walters has helped women and girls in Tanzania is by bringing back Ankara, Dashikis and African style clothing made by hand by women there. The brand called Maishamatamu is high quality and authentic. I bought some pieces and they are as beautiful as ever. All of the proceeds go directly back to the women for feminine hygiene products.
While embarking on the trip this year, Walter decided that she wanted to challenge herself. She was going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Walter made it her mission to get to the top with a reusable pad attached to her back-pack to show young girls and women around the world that having a menstrual cycle is not a curse, handicap or a limitation to who and what you want to be. With this mission in mind along with her late mother, she found inspiration to make it to the top. The climb took six days and five nights. Being about the clouds and having to use African toilets were challenges for Walters, but her mind remained focused on the mission ahead. During her climb, she gained the name “Pole, Pole,” which means slowly, slowly in Swahili and “Dada Simba,” which means sister lion. At 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 18, Walters ascended Uhru peak with red lips, names of the late Friends Together volunteers in her bag and a reusable sanitary napkin on her backpack.
Walter hopes to continue to inspire women in Florida and Tanzania as a volunteer with Friends Together.
It takes $20 a day to sponsor a girl in Tanzania. For more information visit http://friendstogether.org.
Next week, I will talk about an R&B singing contest that happened that same weekend and also one of Miami Northwestern’s class reunions.
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