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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Friday, 30 October 2015

e18hteam at the Lusaka International Film and Music Festival

Barefeet Theatre Film Night at 2015 Festival hosted at
FreshView Cinemas Manda Hill.
Fresh off e18hteam's win at SVAFF, it is coming back to Lusaka! If you have missed it now is your chance.

The last time it showed was at Barefeet Theatre's Film Night. The film was so highly anticipated, it was over subscribed in the end and kids sat on the floor to accommodate the demand.  I love how much support we are getting from the capital city.  Thank you for your support

Get your tickets within the next week, if you haven't gotten to see it on the big screen yet, from Fresh View Cinema.
Friday 6th November
Heads up, you will have to leave work early to beat traffic so plan accordingly. You are welcome for the week headstart to figure that out.
So glad people are still excited to go see it. Honoured to have it as part of closing night line up. Thank you to Charity Maruta for including the film this year.  She has been such a supporter since it premiered last year.  Wish LIFMF every success as it continues to grow in its second year and beyond.
> whoop whoop #CelebrateZambian">#CelebrateZambian> #AmAboutThatLife">#AmAboutThatLife> ❤">">— That African Girl ❤ (@ThaAfricanGirl) October">">October 23, 2015

For more information about all the local, African and global films showing, visit LIFMF website.

To keep up to date with e18hteam,  check the film out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Zed Love

I am currently sitting in the Emirates Business Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport, en route from San Francisco to Lusaka. Five years ago I was at in this very airport returning home from LA after my masters, excited by what was to come as I transitioned back to living on African soil. Is it coincidence that there are so many parallels to my journey when I started this blog? Methinks not.  Methinks the universe is trying to tell me something. I would be foolish not to listen. So thought I would ruminate over a coupla things on Thursday ;}.
I have clearly missed writing, and I am glad I have found my waxing lyrical mojo once more. I am so excited to go back home. I am so at peace with myself, and I am not worried about losing this feeling once I land.  When I left Ghana in 2014 I wanted to stay on, as I felt I would not be able to bottle that spirit I found in me there and dose myself every time I needed a pick me up.
What I want to say in this post is, a year on from Zambia's 50th, despite the recent woes with Zesco's crippling, schizophrenic loadshedding, the Kwacha plummeting - further adding to the debilitating situation caused by our energy crisis, and tradition/ religion being twisted to be used as a scapegoat to continue bad practices, to excuse unethical behavior/ decisions, as well as to quell the masses by passing the buck of responsibility on to a higher power/ dogma, I see a bright future.  There are still people out there finding a way to be and to do regardless of the situation.  I still firmly believe that the way to
  Being un-CEOrious during
e18hteam national tour, photobombing
a picture with Zambeef Manager
and audience members in Lusaka.
Photo Credit: PR Girl
survive and thrive is to not base your dreams, goals and route to success on who is in power, whom you have to accept as the people have chosen and respect their decision and just get on with it.  And if they haven't, well it is what it is, isn't it, so unless you can do something about it, once again you just have to find a way to live with that too.  The same goes for waiting on the perfect conditions arising, or any other fixed parameters that people can use and abuse for their own ends. If all is just right great. More often than not it isn't, so you just have to find  way to work with the cards you have been dealt. Zambia is far from stable enough to bank on things being just right and so I continue to adhere to the school of thought of just get it done.  Be aware of the current environment, the possibilities and the pitfalls present and the potential for either in the near and distant future.  Ultimately work with what you have and innovate perpetually, as being flexible and adaptable, is what is required.  If you are in constant evolution, you can ride whatever wave you encounter as you navigate the treacherous sea that is development, the state in which Zambia and much of the world is still in.  Even places in the developed world are no longer predictable, stable or giving, even when you do everything right.
Life is not meant to be easy, or there would be no point in living it as the highs and lows, the extremes and all that lies in between, is what makes it a great ride.  Zambia provides that in spades.  I like the challenge of it.  I now have found a way to thrive in it. I am no longer there to prove a point, that I am meant to be there.  I am now there because I choose to be, because it is the only place that affords the life that I cannot escape from, nor do I want to anymore.  I was able to reflect on this at the most beautiful sanctuary while at my 10 year Stanford Reunion on Independence Day. I am truly blessed to  be able to save to travel to my global family now because I live and work in Zambia, where I do not have to spend much to live a great life.  I don't know how I would have survived being away from the majority of the people who make my life worth living without the internet. However, the nuances of communication are largely lost and so in the end, it becomes necessary to see people in the flesh and to feel physical places and reconnect with environments and certain milieus singular to places and congregations of specific people. I have found the beauty, the humour, the work hard play hard balance and the company to make Zambia my permanent base to interact with the world.  Here are some more pictures from instagram that illustrate this:
The humour

Work hard play hard

 Great company

Can't wait to land in a coupla hours.  Hope the heat won't kill me though, it's scorching out there and the temperature differential is over 20C!

For more information about my journey this year and to keep up-to-date with everything going on with the film as well my other projects in Zambia and globally, follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Kamanga Wear Love Affair: Proudly Zambian Fashion More Than Just Style Part I

Kabungo Mumbi- Habeenzu
in signature Kamanga Wear
dress that you can Kamanga
(tie) in many different ways.
That jumpsuit ended up being
my first ever purchase!
It is well documented on this blog that I love Kamanga Wear. My obsession with them started in 2012 out of desperation. I had to help out my Aunt, Miss Zambia 2005, for a Japanese Reality TV show starring her friend Miss Universe 1st Princess 2006. They were convenient and coincidentally, after I introduced myself and what I needed, designers Christina and Donna informed me their Ready-to-Wear brand is very popular with Japanese tourists and residents in Zambia! Kabungo was pregnant and their signature dress was easily able to accommodate her bump, as it can be tied 8 different ways and is a billowy dress that can be cinched in, or not, depending on how you choose to style it. A great last minute solution, as I had been given no time to deliver what was required. We then took the crew and her friend to shop there after touring Lusaka as part of the shoot.  I was Olivia Pope media world style, before she even existed lol.

Kurara Chibana trying on her
gift from Kabungo after a day's
work for Japanese Reality TV
After that, I had to come to my own aid, as I wanted to wear chitenge (aka ankara, kitenge, African print) and proudly Zambian designs when I got my gig as a TV presenter late 2012.  Their clothes fit my body type well, and required little or no alteration, so it was easy to pop in every 2 weeks or so to pick up new pieces and to be fitted to satisfy my wardrobe requirements, working around my crazy shooting schedule around the country.  Their clothes are such versatile, ready-to-wear items that can reflect the whimsical, playful side of me, as well as the serious, baller too.  Thus began our love affair that continues on.

I have the most extensive collection of their clothing according to Donna and Christina.  The only person who can rival me is Mwanabibi Sikamo, Uprooting the Pumpkin blogger and ZedHair co-founder.  We literally have to check in to see if we are planning to wear the same outfit when we know our paths will cross! Recently we coordinated when we were both appearing on TV together as guests on ZNBC's Press Club Live with Chilufya Mwelwa.  We both rocked Kamanga but luckily there was no who wore it better, Sex in the City II Miley-Samantha moment ...

A photo posted by Ngosa Whoopi Chungu (@whoops.c) on

I also own the peplum top Mwanabibi is wearing but in a different print as Kamanga does not use the same print over and over for the same design and within sizes, so each piece is almost unique as they spread material across their collections. You see why we have to check in! I was styled by Mafashio for this TV appearance.

Since last October I have been officially Brand Ambassador for them.  I am so honoured to represent such a quality, affordable, quirky, stylish, edgy, iconoclastic yet classic brand, that uses primarily chitenge, but now also other African and global fabrics, in innovative, vanguard and creative ways. 

I have travelled to Europe and America with the film this year, and of course, Kamanga has come with me. I have dressed for success professionally and have been complimented wherever I go when I have worn something of theirs.  Whether I work hard or play hard, any day can be a #KamangaWearDay and that is why I I love them!

What started off as a way to reconnect with my roots in a way that reflects my global sensibilities, ended up being a way to proudly fly the Zambian flag as a lifelong peripatetic. Thank you for all your comments on social media about my style of dress.  I am honoured to have inadvertently filled you with pride as I represent worldwide.  Happy to continue to show just how cool and creative we are, that we too have much to offer in many spheres such as fashion. Time people got educated. Yes Africans wear clothes and they are stylish too he he he...

Here are some of the looks I have rocked this year. Whether I am representing the film, making a public appearance, or just living life, Kamanga Wear has the ab fab garb to accommodate my lifestyle. Styling is in chronological order.  At this point I am styling myself exclusively.

Custom cigarette tuxedo trousers in African brocade
L-R: Chosa Mweemba, me, e18hteam co-producer Juan Rodriguez-Briso
Photo Credit George Mutale

This was my outfit for the premiere of e18hteam at Fresh View Cinemas, October 2014. My copper jewelry is from Free Zambia, kente bow tie from Ghana (though purchased in Zambia) and my clutch is by Ted Baker.

This photo is an outtake from the Extraordinary Project
Photo Credit Gareth Bentley

This photo was created by projecting e18hteam and smoke to create a rainbow effect in the bush in Chongwe, Zambia at night. The peacock effect is with a palm frond I brought with me from my garden, as I was told to bring something to add to my diminutive frame, so I didn't look like a midget and subsequently not have a strong presence in the photo!

I layered with a black long sleeved stretch cotton shirt, as it was not quite Spring in Spain. Versatility to wear styles in different ways is important so things look fresh.  I am taking a leaf out of The Duchess of Cambridge's book - have much less money than she has so definitely have to repeat, mix and match my wardrobe pieces. That way, when I make public appearances, I am always sporting a new look.

L-R Chitundu Chanda Zambeef Brand Marketing Manager,
Zambeef Board Chairman Dr. Jacob Mwanza, me Zambeef Brand Ambassador,
Zambeef Joint Chief Executive Officer Dr. Carl Irwin,
French Ambassador to Zambia H.E. Emmanuel Cohet
This dress showcases Kamanga's timeless style.  They are great at making classic dresses that are interesting in an edgy, whimsical and/ or quirky way due to their careful selection of prints to reflect these qualities. This was at the press conference announcing the unprecedented sponsorship Zambeef provided to cover e18hteam's archival footage rights and my travel to film festivals.

 I have been working with the wonderful stylists, sisters Kii and Sekayi Fundafunda, of Mafashio since May 2015. All looks have either been put together by these lovely ladies, or I have consulted with them after picking out my outfit.

Custom variation of Kamanga Wear dress made strapless and out of
raw silk paired with a clutch from Chitenge Life and
shoes from Mangishi Love.

Kamanga have recently added jackets to their range and I am taking advantage. I have a lot of basic
monocoloured items that I can mix and match.  I can instantly up the ante with my go-to style, my uniform if you will: leggings/ jeggings and a bodycon top can instantly be more interesting by throwing on a print layer.

L-R me, Namwali Serpell 2015 Caine Prize winner at Audience with
Namwali Serpell event at Foxdale Court hosted by Lusaka Book Club.
Photo Credit PR Girl
I love colour and bold prints. Went all out with high waisted maxi skirt and picked up orange and yellow from the chitenge with my top and leather bag purchased during my trip to Ghana for New Years in 2014.

A photo posted by SVAFF 2015 (@svaff2015) on

Both the dress and the necklace are from Kamanga Wear.

For even more fashion, information about my journey this year and to keep up-to-date with everything going on with the film as well my other projects in Zambia and globally, follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Proudly Zambian InstaStoryteller

This dress was originally a Men's XL shirt that was trimmed with Zambeef Zamleathe &  turned
into a shirt dress by designer Musha and styled by Mafashio. This picture was taken
during the Livingstone leg of #ZambeefInYourTown. Photo credit PR Girl
I joined Instagram this year, and have found it to be a great way to be a visual storyteller beyond the realm of film, as well as an awesome possum way to document life in Zambia and/ or during my travels.

Twit Tuesday will have to evolve from just Twitter stuff I want to post on the blog, to curating anything on social media where I microblog, so Facebook will be included too henceforth.

Thought I would introduce my instapix through the life changing national tour that Zambeef sponsored. I always dreamed e18hteam would get to be seen by Zambians both in urban AND rural areas, as the story of the Chipolopolo is that of Zambia.  It belongs to all of her citizens and so it was only right I find a way for them to see it.  The sponsorship ensured that a cinetruck took it to them on the big screen for free!  I got to travel the country again, and during my sojourns, this peripatetic turned amateur photographer documented life around Zambia.  I also fulfilled a personal goal of visiting all ten provinces, as during my stint as TV Presenter, I only managed to get my total up to eight. I finally made it to Western and Luapula Provinces. It was a real privilege, and the warmth of the people and their embracing of the film with open arms will stay with me forever.

Hard to do, but I picked my favourite photo from each leg of the trip:

Kabwe, Central Province

Chingola, Copperbelt Province (Kopala)

A photo posted by Ngosa Whoopi Chungu (@whoops.c) on

Kitwe, Copperbelt Province (Kopala)

A photo posted by Ngosa Whoopi Chungu (@whoops.c) on

Kaoma, Western Province (Kwa Hae)

Mongu, Western Province (Kwa Hae)

Choma, Southern Province

A photo posted by Ngosa Whoopi Chungu (@whoops.c) on

Livingstone, Southern Province

A photo posted by Ngosa Whoopi Chungu (@whoops.c) on  

Chipata, Eastern Province

Mansa, Luapula Province

Lusaka, Lusaka Province (Capital City of Zambia)

A photo posted by Ngosa Whoopi Chungu (@whoops.c) on

Chongwe, Lusaka Province

A photo posted by Ngosa Whoopi Chungu (@whoops.c) on  

For more pictures check out me out on Instagram and live tweeted documentation of trip has been curated in #ZambeefInYourTown.

For more about my journey this year and to keep up-to-date with everything going on with the film, as well my other projects in Zambia and globally, follow me on Facebook  too.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Coming to America, Dream of Africa: To Zed with Love...

Thought I would finally redeem myself and start blogging again this Mama Monday. What has sparked my creative juices in a literary fashion once more? America!

Indeed it is the place where I started this blog 5 years ago.  The scene is almost the same; though in California, I am at Stanford, not USC in LA. I haven't been to America since I left in August 2010. This blog then helped me to work through my nervous condition of reconciling my Afropolitan nature. I think I have finally cracked how to be global living local but constantly need to check in when things get wobbly. Now, to sustain it this healthy cycle... 

This year has been a crazy year. A truly blessed year. But turbulent due to the fact that certain parts of my life, essential to my soul and spiritual health, were sidelined. I am finally able to afford to travel, thanks to e18hteam getting into film festivals and being brand ambassador for Zambeef, but I have barely been able to read, let alone write since I posted the traditional Top 10 of the preceding year.

Descent in to SFO in September
So how does America get me to write? Zambia, though I love her, requires so much of my energy spent on surviving the crazy to thrive, that I get lost in the thick of things.  If you have been following me on social media, you will have seen I have made a couple of trips to Europe.  There I am at home, so my soul gets a breather to just be, which is a prerequisite for regeneration, but not great at fostering growth.  What the US does is smack me in the face. I know it's going to occur many a time, yet it happens spontaneously, erratically, unpredictably, and I'm blindsided every time.  It challenges who I am, where I come from and what my place is in the world in such a singular way.  

I have not been back in 5 years and have not found a reason to be excited to return until a close friend's wedding, my documentary included in the Official Selection of SVAFF, and my Stanford 10 year reunion all coincidentally scheduled themselves within a month of each other in Northern California.  The trip was worth it on so many levels.  The film had just completed a national tour and I was in need of a break. So the wedding and reunion book ended my trip, so could travel for work while getting some much needed downtime in between.

Within two hours of arriving, switching from International to Domestic, as I made my way through security to embark on my 3rd flight, after 24 hours already spent on 2 planes plus a 4 hour layover, Amurrrica did not disappoint with why I left (so I am now at peace with that decision and will never look back), but also revealed why I need to come back to get some shock treatment regularly. When I handed over my passport to the lady at Security:

TSA Agent: Oh my God, I knew that couldn't be right! I was like whaaaaat, you can't be from Zamunda, coz that's a fictitious place!

She waits for a response from me, but all I can do is smile, gobsmacked, and with the foresight to just smile but not wave because I am not a penguin from Madagascar, but I could be King Koffi's illegitimate daughter at this point he he he...

TSA Agent: You know what I mean, right...

Me: Yes, yes I do. Coming to America.

TSA Agent: Yeah! So you are from ZAAAMBEEEEEYAAAAAH?

Me: Yes, It is in Southern Africa.

TSA Agent: Never seen that before!

In my head I'm thinking, why am I the one to pop people's Zambia cherry?!

In retrospect this is hilarious. Take this quiz to make you feel better. Coming to America is all sorts of wrong.  It was in the 80s, even more so now, but you have to see the hilarity in it or you'll just die inside thinking of all the damage through misrepresentation and ignorance it has caused. I proudly got 10/10.

I took another 6 domestic flights and visited California, Massachusetts and Illinios. These trips all created encounters with TSA Agents and people who tried to put me in a box they understood before their brain exploded, as I don't read to the stereotypical conditioning that is required for people to assign norms in order to interact:

Reading directly from my passport as they say this:

Multiple TSA Agents: Ah you're from Zimbabwe... 

Me: !!!!!!!!!!

Random conversations with strangers:

Thought you were from Africa! When I heard your accent, I detected French there...

In my head: I'm from an English speaking African country and went to school in England and speak terrible French so....

Oh so your name is Engasa? Is that from the click language, you know the one I am talking about right?

Me: Languages with clicks are further South in Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, but I think you are referring to Xhosa.

Yeah, that's the one. I'm actually trying to learn that. Do you know how to pronouce...

Internal dialogue: I love my name Ngosa, so small yet causes such great difficulty in pronunciation he he he.  Why do Americans only know about the click language?! Do they know that it's rude to refer to it that way and ignorance to not know there is more than one? And please if you are going to learn any language, KNOW ITS NAME out of respect for the people who speak it and the culture it represents. Inexcusable! And no I will not be an authority on how you butcher someone else's tongue...

Back in the day this would irk me to the point where I would need all my might to hold back the vitriol that would try to force its way out in volcanic proportions and decimation.  Before I needed to avoid Pompeii, now that volcano is not even dormant, it's extinct. I talk about these incidents with empty passion, devoid of emotion. I ask myself what lead to the crazy and attempt to work out a rational explanation for their words and actions, but don't stress about it, whether I can figure things out or not. Why? Because these moments are hilarious.  I find the humour in this derogatory ignorance towards my continent and my people.  All I can do is lead by example, but I am in no way obligated to educate. These are grown people, armed with the best access to the Internet and its treasures.  Google is at their disposal with a plethora of information to expand horizons, to increase exposure exponentially ad infinitum. But what I get from these jolts of crazy are a wake up call for my soul. Woolgathering ensues and I have been able recalibrate, refocus - reacquaint myself with who I am as well as who I want to be, and how to get there to be a positive force in the world and a part of communities.  

Wearing Poleka by @MutoniChola
and copper jewelry from Free Zambia
So thank you America, for now you have bulldozed through my writers block and exposed a whole new creative space that includes blogging. Once again, I have been forced to Nike and just do it, but what has also been revealed is my evolution.  Last time I started writing out of anger and despair, this time I write not from a place of irked and determined indignation, but from a peaceful, sage place of transcendent freedom and comfort in oneself that outside forces ultimately cannot put asunder.  No longer noxious, my relationship with America has turned from detrimental to a positive, catalytic, cathartic one.

So all because of some profound nonsense, (and you know I love me some of that), in coming to America, I did not dream of staying and being a model immigrant, but of going back to the continent to the country I love, flying the Zambian flag proudly ;}. So cheers to that, to writing again and to heading back to the continent tomorrow!

For more about my journey this year and to keep up-to-date with everything going on with the film, as well my other projects in Zambia and globally, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.