The Anniversary Issue
Issue # 53   August 2018

The Anniversary Issue

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I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want. So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.”

- Spice Girls, Wannabe

I can’t remember when I fell in love with magazines. It could have been the Buda catalogues my mother had all over the house with pictures of lean, blonde women in clothes that inevitably made their way into her wardrobes. Growing up, there were no magazines for me to dive into. And, they were also very, very pale the exact opposite of my family and friends. I know it has become popular to say people do not see themselves represented and so they start something to fill that void. I did not realise there were no black faces. At least not until I stumbled across a copy of Ebony. It was a shocker to me flipping through the blackness and because this cliché fits, in all its glory. Slowly, the pieces started to click. There were no magazines with women like me. There was Viva for a while. My mum confessed she had been asked to be a cover girl. She turned them down. I was aghast. She showed me the black and white picture. It is framed and hangs in both home. She is young, gorgeous, with a TWA and a top I later discovered was striped pink and white. I could even see the cover lines! Except she said at the time magazines were associated with women of a certain character. I think these days we insist on mistakenly calling them socialites. I wanted to shake her.

You want to hear the good news? She more than made up for it. My mother is my biggest fan. She reads my fashion columns. She collects my magazines. She is my toughest critic. She is the only woman who gets a free pass when it comes to giving me her opinions, and because you know me, and she is my mother, those are some weighty perspectives! When she come to visit she won’t leave unless she has a copy of COUTURE. She will take screenshots to ask me about stuff. Here is a true measure as to how life changing magazines have been for me. I do not have sacred topics and I have written some of the most risqué sex articles I can think of. She, and my other huge fan who I discovered snuck hot off the press copies into his bedroom, my dad, read every word. Olive and I would never consider my folks the demographic. Then again, they raised me, and I am Editor-In-Chief. It would be most natural to say my parents get me.

Now, on the 5 year anniversary of COUTURE, not to mention my second decade as a journalist, a path that started out with newspapers and led me to TV, I can look back and see how magazines have changed my life. From reading them to fashioning them out of thin air. I have had a mind blowing learning curve from a writer for True Love EA, to deputy editor, to Editor-In-Chief at DRUM EA, and now, here I am. Here we are. It is impossible to acknowledge where you are heading to without appreciating where I came from, and I have worked with some of the most brilliant minds in magazine publishing.

I just watched a YouTube video titled Never Tell People What You Do. Instead, tell people what you want to do. I will tell you this. What I want to do, is completely transform your experience of what a magazine is supposed to be or can do. What I want to do, is another decade of content that will one day inspire someone else to write an editorial about how this is the moment they realised what they want to do. What I want is for Africa to see itself in beauty, hair, skin care and fashion content so that I don’t have to log into the Dark Net …. My parents are already bursting with pride, so there goes that box. Magazines grew me up. I never had an older sister. So every time I curate and write, I go back to the questions I had whose answers I had to forage for. You know what else I really really want? I want you to tell me how magazines have changed your life.