ZAMBIAN FASHION DESIGNER BASED IN CHINA.

1) It’s an honour to have you on Aquilaspeaks kindly go ahead and give a brief introduction of yourself.

1. I’m Gabriella Amy Malonda commonly known as Amy or Gabby depending on which country I’m in. LOL. Proudly Zambian.

2) How did you find yourself in this field?

2. I’ve always loved the arts as a kid I just didn’t know which side of it until I started my journey to self discovery.

3) Did you have any doubts in yourself when you just begun?

3. Yes of course! I thought I was losing my mind to want to start a clothing brand with $50.

4) Do you consider yourself a Zambian designer or an international designer?

4. Well I’m Zambian and live in China what would that mean? 😂😂😂 Zambians barely even buy my clothes. So international it is.

5) I am very aware that you are currently based in China. How do you use this location to advantage if there are any at all?

5. I live in a country where possibilities are endless it’s just a matter of being resourceful and open minded.

6) You were some time last year featured on CTGN. How did that experience play for you?

6. It played out well actually. Nothing better than getting a little Recognition in a foreign land. They say be the change you want to see. And I want to do that in this industry.

7) State your top 3 designers and which designer inspires you the most and why?

7. Fenty( Rihanna), Balmain( Olivier Rousteig) & David Tlale… they all correspond with my personality, a little bit of elegance, sass and fierce.

8) Your clothing line was displayed at the recent Shanghai black fashion week. How would you describe that experience?

8. That Experience was Amazing, loved every bit of it. Nothing sweet comes without sweat right ? It paid off the sleepless nights.

9) Is the Zambian designing field progressing profusely? What would you say about it?

9. It really is progressing but at a slow rate and that’s because designers need to be on their toes and do more research in their field as well as encourage Zambians to get with the program. Fashion is what you buy, Style is how you wear it.

10) How has been the response from Zambia in terms of support and purchasing your products?

10. It’s Slow, Zambians don’t like to support each other. They support the hype! What’s happening right now! Kinda vibe.

11)Would you mind sharing some of your highest and Lowest moments in your career?

11. When I Great creative block, it’s gets really frustrating.. it’s like a doddling like a child with no direction.. 😂! Highest hasn’t occurred yet! Still got lots to do. I’m still a new born to this industry

12) What would your words be to young girls back in Zambia?

12. Young girls in Zambia. Start being more independent, find your yourself. Discover your purpose and fulfil it not matter the career path.

13) Lastly, where can we buy your merchandise?

13. I currently don’t ship out of China. But can be purchased from me directly. I don’t mind sharing my contact information.

AquilaSpeaks wishes to thank Amy for her time to stop by our blog. Wish you all the best in your future career pursuits. Hope all the readers are inspired and especially many young women out there as this post was hugely centred on woman empowerment. You can reach Amy for more information as per the information given below. Great weekend Abena Zambia. 👍

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THE FUTURE OF ZAMBIAN FOOTBALL: Hello Mubanga Vwalika

AquilaSpeaks: What are your full names and how old are you?

Mubanga: Before we start, I believe this is worth mentioning. I have a twin brother, who is also an amazing football player and everywhere I’ve been for football he’s been there too. Like everywhere! His name is Mwiza Bellington Vwalika. Any way my names are Mubanga Anthony Vwalika, I am 20 years old.

AquilaSpeaks: Where are you currently based?

Mubanga: Shanghai, China.

AquilaSpeaks: What club do you play for?

Mubanga: China Origin

AquilaSpeaks: What sparked the interest in football?

Mubanga: My parents took us for so many activities, we had way too much energy when we were young. But it was a special moment the first time we stepped on a football pitch.

AquilaSpeaks: What challenges do you face as an international footballer or just as a footballer in general?

Mubanga: Time management, staying healthy and discipline.

AquilaSpeaks:Which Zambian football legend or footballer do you look up to?

Mubanga: It’s always been Kalusha Bwalya, he really pushed the bar for Zambian football. But right now it’s the entire Zambia U20 football team and in particular, Patson Daka. Really good footballer, really nice and hard working and guy. Really amazing what they achieved last year collectively and individually (for Patson).

AquilaSpeaks: What are some of the proudest moments in your career?

Mubanga: Playing football in Europe. I have played in youth tournaments like the prestigious Gothia cup (Gothenburg, Sweden), Dana cup (Hjorring, Denmark) , Paris world games (Paris France), Valencia cup (Valencia Spain), Kommit youth challenge (Barcelona, Spain) to mention a few. The one that takes the cake though is playing for the U-17 national team, and to do that with my twin brother was all the more special.

AquilaSpeaks: What is your dream team to one day play for in future?

Mubanga: It is my dream to play for the Zambia national team and help qualify for our first ever word cup. We deserve to be there. Also to play among the Elite in the big European leagues.

AquilaSpeaks: How would playing for the national team change things for you?

Mubanga: As something I’ve always dreamed about since I was really young, it would firstly bring huge satisfaction not just to me, but the village that it took to make that happen. Secondly, it would be great exposure, only the best get to play for the national team and so it would open doors.

AquilaSpeaks: Ronaldo or Messi?

Mubanga: Messi is a remarkable once in a generation type of player, but Ronaldo all day for me.

AquilaSpeaks: Lastly, what words of advice would you give to young Zambians like you who are pursuing big dreams?

Mubanga: Never ever give up, keep dreaming, keep working hard. Believe that he who started the good work, will surely see it to completion.

AquilaSpeaks: Indeed He who started the good work, will surely see it to completion. Great words from Mubanga really. It is always encouraging to see young People, especially Zambians, that are taking a very special road that will direct to great history creation eventually. You can comment below if you have any encouraging words for Mubanga. I wish him all the best in his career and I hope that he and his brother could in the future help us qualify for the world cup and even win it.

Look out for the next interview next week with someone all the way from Nigeria.

Let us be the change we wish to see, Zambian youths, for we are the future.

If you have any friends doing great and need recognition, feel free to contact me

Thembi: Your favorite Zambian Make Up artist


AquilaSpeaks: Kindly introduce yourself to the people.
Thembi: I Am Abigail Thembiso Moyo aged 25, a pharmacy technologist by profession and a part time makeup artist.
AquilaSpeaks: How did you find yourself on this journey?

Thembi: Being artistic has always been a hobby from childhood, growing up I would express how I felt about a particular situation through drawing, painting and design. As I got older I developed interest in being a stage makeup artist for SFX makeup but due to lack of materials, I decided to focus on beauty makeup.

AquilaSpeaks: How has the journey been so far?

Thembi: Its been quite an interesting and amazing learning Journey being a self-taught makeup artist in Zambia. It has given me an opportunity to work and interact with different people within and out of Zambia.
AquilaSpeaks: Any Notable people you have worked with?

Thembi: I have worked with one of Zambia’s talented Photographers Davies Tony Marko, owner and founder of Tony Media, I have also worked with Zambian female dance hall musician based in Germany, Cassy Nyemba on her recent project ,I have worked with a few Zambian Models Christina, Mulenga Chileshe and Natasha Mapulanga. I’m yet to work with Wayaya Fashions on one of their big fashion shows coming up in March 2018.

AquilaSpeaks: Do you offer makeup Tutorials?

Thembi:Yes I do but it’s been a bit hectic because of my full time Job.

AquilaSpeaks:Small tutorial in a Paragraph?

Thembi:How to do a perfect brow. Clean and shape your brows by either threading, using tweezers or a blade. After shaping brush your eyebrows with a small makeup brush.
Use a brow pencil, gel liner (wax) in colour black or brown to define your eyebrows. If you are using gel liner(wax), you will need a small angle brush to define your brows especially in areas you don’t have enough hair, you can do the same with the pencil. When this is done, use concealer and a concealer brush to clean below and above your brows order to give it a clean finish look.

AquilaSpeaks: How appreciated is this craft in the entertainment industry?

Thembi: The makeup industry in Zambia has actually empowered local Zambian women because it’s a skill that has provided a source of income to Zambian women. Makeup artist are being hired for music videos, TV shows for the presenter’s makeup and fashion shows.

AquilaSpeaks: Which makeup brand would you recommend?

Thembi: I would recommend the following brands for face foundation, Maybelline fit me, wet n wild, loreal, mac, Estée lauder,nars, gosh.
Makeup palates morphe by Jacklyn hill, juvia palates, Nyx, ABH, Colour pop

AquilaSpeaks: Are you dating anyone?

Thembi: NO, currently single

AquilaSpeaks: Any words to female Zambians?

Thembi: Never look down on yourself you can be anything you choose to be the choice is yours. Get educated, always be innovative, be an entrepreneur and help other women get to the top.

There you have it everyone. Great to see a woman doing good. If you want to contact Thembi for anything, you can simply click, here. Thank you for your time, Thembi.

Look out for the next interview dropping next Monday. You never know who is next. 😎

SWISH – THE FACE OF FUTURE ZAMBIAN MUSIC?

Meet the rising star of a rapper hailing from Lusaka, he is the pride of Avondale. Enjoy the Exclusive interview with Swish.


 

AquilaSpeaks: Briefly describe yourself

Swish: I am a down to earth guy, crazy, funny and creative.

AquilaSpeaks: Where did you grow up?

Swish: I grew up in Avondale, Lusaka, Zambia.

AquilaSpeaks: What inspired you to become a musician?

Swish: I used to watch a lot of Channel O as a kid at age 9 and fell in love with the versatile styles of the late 2Pac, LL Cool J, Missy Elliot and got amazed how music can be used as a tool to inspire people.

AquilaSpeaks: What do you think of Zambian music presently?

Swish: Zambian music is growing vastly, the audio and visual quality has really improved.

AquilaSpeaks: Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favorite musicians?

Swish: My biggest influence is the late 2Pac. My favorite musicians are Nas, Kendrick Lamar and T.I.

AquilaSpeaks: What are some of the challenges you are facing as a Zambian musician?

Swish: Lack of airplay on some local radio stations.

AquilaSpeaks: You once had an interview with Trace, your music video has received some air play on Channel O. How did this make you feel?

Swish: It was a great feeling having my music playlisted on an international channel….it encouraged me to never give up, no matter what.

AquilaSpeaks: What is your vision as an artist?

Swish: To become internationally recognized and be affiliated to a wider platform that will help me encourage the youth to never give up on their dreams because I believe that if my dreams can come true, so can theirs.

AquilaSpeaks: What is your advice to fellow Zambian musicians?

Swish: Learn to be supportive of each other’s craft in the industry because at the end of the day, it’s collaboration that is the key to success, not competition.

AquilaSpeaks :Finally, What would be your dream venue ANYWHERE in the world to perform at?

Swish: At the Grammy Awards.


Latest album, Slideshow is available on the following online platforms:

1. iTunes -> https://t.co/i7b8UU9Erp

2. Spotify -> https://t.co/5x5SFSabub

3. Google Play -> https://t.co/foPX1I7QxC

4. Amazon -> https://t.co/XvchA2rGHO

5. Tidal -> https://t.co/vwYOmvfciK

6. Deezer -> https://t.co/dWdB4djdsT

7. Soundcloud -> https://t.co/SVKEbbdI5D

8. Mvesesani -> https://t.co/R8AGD6mQM3

9. Tuneworth -> https://t.co/PKcqHEshb7

interact with @Swishy_Swish on twitter

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE ZAMBIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY?

fill_up_fnb_stadium_highlights-960x642

Hello everyone, long time no blogging, but izzz okay I am back for now. Thanks to all of you that have kicked me out of the comfort zone. It is because of you that I keep going. Recently I have been carried away by lots of things. Some of you already know that I got elected union president for my university so you can only imagine the kind of pressure I am going through. I think after this post, I still have two more posts before we wrap up this year.

So this week twitter has been blazing with enormous pettiness, but thankfully not entirely. There has been attempts to air solutions to the Zambian Music Industry stagnation. I think stagnation for lack of a better description. Also there was extreme bashing of the industry, So I decided to do a post yet again about the Zed music industry.

I guess everything stemmed from the FILL UP FNB STADIUM tour by Cassper Nyovest where 68000 people in South Africa showed up for a concert not to see Chris Brown. Cassper is getting a reputation for doing this sort of thing, as he previously filled the dome. He was congratulated by so many of his fellow musicians who do admit the 28 year old has really shifted the level to greater heights.

So the aftermath of this historical occurrence among some Zambians on twitter was how it is that none of our artists ever came close to such a milestone, how it is that we are lagging behind compared to other African countries. First of all, I wish to state that comparison is the thief of joy. We can’t suddenly wish our own artists or demand them to do something that took years to build. Because Cassper filled a stadium doesn’t necessarily mean Chefy or Jay Rox should accept a challenge.  Secondly, Cassper should not set the trend for our artists.

What I think we should do is accept that our industry is an infant for now and if we keep comparing it to The Nigerian or South African ones, we may only end up disrespecting the very artists that make us dance every Friday night at the Lounge. We can’t overlook the potential that has recently resurfaced in Zambia. Have you seen Dizmo? Lol! The future is bright. We should give it more time and the system will resolve itself. I truly doubt if anything will suddenly change, maybe two or more generations to come and we could be there. I am the most optimistic person so trust me, i am only being realistic.

You know I wish I could take my own advice, but it is kinda hard because  every  day  I am on YouTube, I see a new immaculate video from maybe Diamond, Run Town or Tekno and involuntarily I am craving and demanding  to see a similar video by a Zambian.  I guess it is what fuels our anger when we wish our own people could be that good and they kind of aren’t. I guess the frustration isn’t entirely aimed at pissing off our musicians, but to actually push them to do better. It is so upsetting to see many African musicians making global musical history and none of ours is on the  list. We can justify our comparison as some level of nationalism.

So what is really wrong with our industry?

  1. THE INDUSTRY LACKS A FINANCIAL MUSCLE. Trust me, if a tremendous amount of money was injected into it, a huge difference would be made. Musicians don’t have enough money to do incredible videos. They lack sponsors and most importantly themselves are not wiling to invest their own money into the craft. If they keep waiting for sponsors, they will wait forever.  Anyway, what they do isn’t considered very valuable and so how do we expect them to make a living or rather be competitive? Very few people are willing to pay for albums or pay for shows over K100.
  2. POOR PLANNING, MARKETING. How many management agencies do we have in Zambia? Do we have real music promoters with actual contacts to the outside world? Anyway, before we go to the outside world, how well do our artists market themselves locally? Some artists are only famous in Lusaka. There are some songs that you will only hear in Mufulira and nowhere else in Zambia. Most artists just release a song and hope it blows, not realizing investing in marketing would make such a difference. This is why so many good songs remain underground.  After the song is done, the best most do is throw it on on one of the music blogs hoping, accidentally, it will be downloaded by thousands and become a country hit. what are the odds? Artists also fail to brand themselves. How will your fans respect you when they dress better than you? How will they respect you when you drink from the same spot as them? Artists fail to create themselves into a symbol of public admiration.
  3. THE INDUSTRY ISN’T AN OPEN MARKET. In one way or the other, I feel our industry is regulated, not by the government, but by the players themselves. Radio DJs already know whose new song they will play for free. What about the population of poor underground artists? If our industry was truly a free market, so many artists would have made it to the top and replaced the Mugabes. For years now, the top artists continue to be the same. Is it because they are truly the best? How many new artists have come through in the US since 2010?  Look at how many new Nigerian artists we have seen of late. Is P.Square still running the game? There is clearly no room for rotation here because the system is regulated.
  4. INCONSISTENCY: Lots of new artists lack a level of consistency. They really need to learn something from Roberto, Slap D, Chef 187, Ruff Kaida, Macky 2 etc. Its like some artists were born to be one hit wonders and exit. Like they just wanted to taste a bit of fame and that was it. They fail to keep up with the trends, they fail to study their fans and some times lack discipline and are not humble enough to learn from legends. Of course nothing is way to easy, but if others can manage to be consistent, so can they.
  5. ORIGINALITY: How could it miss the list? Zambians sound like everyone else not Zambian these days. I do not know how and why we have failed to brand Zambian music and sell it to the world. There are a number of hit songs we have, and for respect of the singers, I won’t name them ,whose concept was stolen from foreign songs. A lot of songs done after 2010 are devoid of that great Zambian substantial touch.
  6. CREATIVITY: Truly, we can not overlook the enhancement in the creativity, but some of us are just hard to please with the little exposure we have as music connoisseurs. Poor lyrics, poor beats, production. I think we need a music school. People need a level of education, to help them analyse, focus and predict situations. I believe when you spend more time on something, you create quality. Some people can create a masterpiece in a night, but not everyone. I personally see a lot of intellect in Pompi’s lyrics. I see great production from KB, Magg 44, T. Sean, Shenky, Jazzy boy, Stash, Magician, Ricore and Reverb. They can still go a little further to change the game, by introducing a newly defined  level of Zambian music production. Evolution is everything. The idea of stealing beats, concepts and songs should remain in 2017. Also with creativity, everything is possible. You don’t need to feature Wizkid to sell. I mean look at Roberto.
  7. CAVALIER ATTITUDE OF FANS: If it comes to being indifferent to something, Zambians win. Zambian fans don’t give a sh*t. You really believe with this current attitude anyone in the world stands a chance to fill a stadium? You can’t blame them anyway for not finding music valuable. I mean they are loyal to politics and football. Only H.E Mr Edgar Lungu and Chipolopolo fill the stadium. This means if music is well marketed, things could change.
  8. LACK OF GOVERNMENT POLICY. I think the government should enforce some play local only laws.
  9. DEMOGRAPHICS: How do you expect a million views on a Zambian video when only a minute percentage of the population have access to the internet? I can just imagine how many views would be on YouTube had it not been for the Zambians in the diaspora. How do you expect people to buy a ticket/album for K100, when they live under the poverty line? How do you expect to make money off a population that don’t appreciate your craft?

I still believe Zambia has done good so far, just that because other industries are moving at a faster pace, we tend to think we not doing enough.Any way this just a subjective perspective, everyone is entitled to their own opinion really.

 

Zambian Twitter- The Evolution

 

South-African-Twitter-trends-for-2015

The last couple of years to 2010 saw an escalation in internet accessibility and consequently a rapid increase in the number of Facebook sign ups. This was a trend common among so many youths especially those in high school and college. However, the twitter field was more less a desert. Enthusiasm levels were not so high for sign-ups.

There was a very minimal number of Zambians on twitter. The majority of these were in the diaspora and had benefited from early exposure to the social network because of the countries they lived in like the US and the UK. Many locals had not heard about twitter and even a few of those who signed up wished it came with a manual.

However, the population has come to grow. The arrival of the Blackberry Smart Phone saw more people sign up because the smart phone allowed them to use the app which proved more convenient and easier to use than the web version.  As the smartphone became more and more affordable more people signed up. With an affordable data plan, the blackberry was convenient for the most urban users.

In no time was some news of some Zambian users attaining verification. Crisis Mr Swagger, a Zambian rapper was the first to announce an official verification. More Zambians, musicians mostly, followed after him in obtaining verified accounts.

Zambians were also beginning to get together to discuss issues. Insaka became a popular Zambian twitter platform of discussion. Every evening, Zambians on twitter would hold discussions under the hashtag INSAKA.

By the years, Insaka lost popularity as people discovered other ways to utilise their twitter. South African twitter has been known to be so open where Sex is discussed openly and freely by users and this spread to a few young Zambians. A lot of female users claimed to be feminists suddenly and many political commentators sprung up.  Pan-African traits of Zimbabwean twitter also spread to the Zambian side.

Currently is an account called Zed Curate where each week, a new Zambian shares with other Zambians their experiences and directs topics for Zambians to discuss. Politics, the economy and social life are discussed mainly.

Of late, myriads have crossed over from Facebook. It is possible to hear stories of users who left Facebook for twitter. Some think it is all because the new audience is more mature, but Chansa Kapapula, a prominent blogger and Zambian twitter pioneer thinks people are just choosing to embrace a new social network.

Many youths have used twitter to raise awareness of social and political irregularities. Disliked politicians are usually bashed on the platform and some view this as a form of entertainment. But not only politicians are humiliated, in an environment with self-imposed, Grammar ‘correctors’, fashion police, everything is possible.

Zambian twitter remains an interesting community to be a part of.

 

NB: You can Interact with me on twitter here

WHAT IS ZAMBIANS CONNECT? 

On January 23rd,  I got to host Zambians connect. Zambians connect? Most of you should wonder. Well I was in the same position last year, only in my case I was left guessing. 

Was it a T.V show for Zambians in the US?  Well  at least that’s how the people tweeting about it made it seem from my perspective. Was it an event where Zambians abroad got to meet and greet? Well with patience I did find out. 

Zambians Connect or Zed Connect is a platform created by visionary Zambians who sought a platform to allow fellow Zambians to share ideas, express their views and showcase a glimpse of their lifestyles.

So technically, Zambians Connect is an account on Snapchat. I understand not many Zambians are on Snapchat,  so Snapchat is an app that allows you to share  videos and pictures from your camera. It is more addictive than my poor description of it. 

Similar to Curate Zed which most Zambians on twitter are familiar with, Zed connect has a host who answers questions or directs topics for discussion only the duration is a day for the Zed connect host and you get to see them speak in a video. 

What do I think of Zambians connect? 

1) It is so much fun. Some people have such contagious humour they brighten your day as they host. My friend, Margaret Mwanza is now a famous host. 🙂
2) It makes it easy for us who pay close attention to Zambian trends to analyse what direction modern Zambians are taking generally and what position they hold on national to global matters. 

3) It is inspiring. Seeing a host that is keen on success is an impetus for your hustle. 

What have I observed

Without a data census it is obvious that the most active Zambian users of snapchat are abroad. You can actually tell from the hosts. “Hey I am your new host my name is ……. and I live in the UK, US”. The most prominent reason as to why local users are not so active is because internet is  ridiculously expensive back home. You know the bundle life huh?  💪😬

The other reason I think is Snapchat isn’t of much interest to most people. Personally, I was on snapchat for more than a year and was unbothered  to add any friends. People are more enthusiastic about Facebook and recently twitter. 

The other observation is the prevalent attitude of Zambians being mean on social media. Most hosts complain of people ‘hating’ on their hosting (I am glad to not have encountered any incident during my hosting). I am not one to judge people, but I think we should put an end to laughing at some hosts’ accents. Zambia is not an indigenous English speaking country in the first place. Also when one does good, we need to appreciate. If one is wrong,  let us not turn them into a laughing stock and pretend we want them to host again so we can laugh,again.

The other thing I have noticed is hosts are not down to earth or simply real at times. It is imperative to be yourself. That’s the advise I got from one of the admins prior to my hosting. I enjoyed the recent hosting from the brother in Malaysia. He was so uninhibited. From speaking to singing to rapping,  he was himself. 

Some hosts are scared of speaking vernacular like they are still at a primary private school. Be proud of our mother tongues. I am telling you it is a mental prison to accept a language of another country at the expense of your own. Speaking good English is not a measure of intelligence. Be a Proud Zambian and emancipate yourself. 

Zambians connect is not about ‘flexing’. Flexing right? Well for us who don’t follow urban slang, I meant to say showing off. Personally I feel hosts should show us more of what is in their head than what they assume is on their bank accounts. 

Does Zambians connect need some rules? 

Definitely. With more than 20 000 and counting zambians following the account, it is important that hosts mind what they share. Talking of age restriction, the instagram page has a rating of 18+, but young users still have access.

How influential is Zed connect? 

 To a certain level I feel it is. I mean we now have Zambian girls and Zambians UK.Next we will have Zambians US or Zambians in Lusaka? That just shows how much of a trend setter it is .The hosts of the subsidiaries also follow the same procedures as the founding body. 

Also many people are so glued to Zed connect like it is game of thrones. I am sure some people know who the first host was up to the current one without having to check the Instagram Zed connect ‘Hall of Fame’. 😀

People are always tweeting about a host every day and when you do not know what ZC is, you get puzzled. So you can see how it has become a part of people. 

What do I think of Zambian girls? 

So Zambian girls is actually a very good platform too. Not just for us guys to see beautiful girls,  the girls are beautiful and we like that😍, but it is inspiring to see women with purpose. Nothing inspires me more or is more attractive than a focussed woman. So we are looking forward to seeing more educated ladies who we will one day work with to transform our third world country. 

How do I host?

If you are already on instagram, search for Zambians connect and message the admins who will present you available dates. On the day they will give you the password and id and voila,you are the host. 

If you are on snapchat Search for zambiansconnect on snapchat to follow the stories. 

Thanks so much for reading and also feel free to interact with me on my personal snapchat: aquila.ngonga