10 Year Old Fashionista Egypt (Ify) Ufele Overcomes being Bullied and Share Her Views on Friendship

A 10 year old designer at the prestigious New York Fashion week?  Yes, it is true.  By now just about everyone has heard of Egypt (Ify) Ufele and her fashion line ChubiiLine. If you haven’t, you’re in in the right place.  We were impressed by her confidence and her determination and just had to talk to Egypt. At 10 years old she is the youngest person ever to debut a line at New York Fashion Week. Her grandmother taught her to sew when she was only 5 and she practiced by making clothes for her Barbie dolls. She started by using her dolls in fashion shows and later moved on to actual models. What is so fascinating about Ufele, however, is her motivation behind starting her own apparel line, called ChubiiLine.  Like so many kids Egypt was being bullied in school because of her weight.  She needed an outlet to relieve the stress and turned to sewing and fashion design. Having a friend or friends is really important if you’re being bullied so we wanted Egypt’s take on friendship.

AboutYourFriends:  What is your definition of friendship or what makes someone a friend?

 Egypt: My definition of a friendship is someone that is loyal & always a good listener.

AboutYourFriends:  Are friends important and why?

Egypt: Friends are important because they are great supporters when family fails you.

 How has your friend shown that he or she is a “true friend”?

My true friends are still my friends because they have continued to see me as neighborhood Egypt not the Child Prodigy.

  Why is your friendship special?

My friendship is special because sometimes you just want to vent and share your dreams with and I have that.

AboutYourFriends:  Can a best friend help with bullies?  If so how?

A best friend can help with a bully by standing together and let the bully know we are united front.

ChubbiiLine is an African-inspired collection of tribal prints and shapes that accommodate women and girls of all sizes.  Her line has garnered the attention from anti-bullying groups and fashion lovers everywhere. Egypt’s story reminds us that no matter how young or old we are we need friends.  True friends are a necessity in life no matter if you are young or old, rich or poor.
Egypt (Ify) Ufele with Models
Egypt (Ify) Ufele with Models
For more information about ChubiiLine, visit www.shopchubiiline.com or follow Egypt on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Ifychickufele For more information on how to stop bullying visit http://www.stopbullying.gov/get-help-now/ and https://nobullying.com/helping-a-bullying-victim/

What Did We Learn from Ryan Reynolds?

With the New Year’s arrival we thought about how many people may have lost friends within the last year and we are not talking about loss as in someone dying but loss as in the end of a friendship. This led us to think about what happened with Ryan Reynolds.  Our motto is “Love Laughter and Trust are the Cornerstone of True Friendship!” because you can’t have a true friendship without those three ingredients.  Ryan suffered a betrayal (visit http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/22/entertainment/ryan-reynolds-baby-pictures-feat/ for the full story) from a lifelong friend and went through the stages of mourning the end of a friendship.  Ryan’s story showed us that just because you’ve known someone for many years does not mean that person really is your friend.  We usually thing those people who’ve known us the longest would be more trustworthy but that is not always the case.  Don’t use length of time to determine friends instead judge them by their treatment of you. Did you end a friendship? If so why?

Memories of Father

Father’s day brings back so many memories.  My favorite is making ice cream from scratch with my dad christmas time. I used to spin the handle until I couldn’t turn it anymore then my dad would take over. To this day that homemade ice cream is the best ice cream I have ever tasted.  Now when I was growing up your parents didn’t say “I love you” all the time like they do now but you knew you were loved by the way they treated you, showed up and supported you. We had a lot of fun, my dad and I.  Jokes, teasing and just hanging out.  It’s funny but I feel like an orphan even at this age (don’t worry about the number). It’s strange that I no longer have parents but they live on in my heart.  On this father’s day I celebrated by remembering my daddy’s smile and those day of making ice cream with my dad. By Paulette S.

My Father, My Friend!

As I celebrate another father’s day I of course think of my father who passed away almost three years ago. I miss my dad singing happy birthday to me, his voice, his fatherly advice and seeing him on stage. Music was in his blood and the only thing he loved more than music was the most high and his family. I lost my father to Bladder Cancer.  A type of cancer I’ve never heard of until he was diagnosed.   Shortly after he was diagnosed I started seeing commercials about medicines that can cause bladder cancer.  Say what??? What is bladder cancer?  Bladder cancer is cancer that begins in the bladder. The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine before it leaves the body.   The bladder wall is made of several layers.   Most bladder cancers begin in a layer called the urothelium, which lines the inside of the ureter, bladder, urethra and parts of the kidneys.  Cancer may also develop in other types of cells in the bladder.  Approximately 69,000 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2011, and approximately 14,990 deaths were due to bladder cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.  About half of all bladder cancers are diagnosed when they are still confined to the inner layers of the bladder.  A diagnosis is almost always made before the cancer has spread to distant sites. As usual my dad was very protective of me and did not let me know when he started getting sick.  It was only when he realized something was really wrong he decided to tell me.  No matter how old I was my dad wanted to protect me. My dad was simply the best. He was my father and my friend.  I was in the same country with my dad for only thirteen years before moving away but in those thirteen years he built a relationship with me that time and distance could never change.  I was a true daddy’s girl in every sense of the word.  Growing up if you saw him I was right there with him walking arm in arm. “Jah Rastafari! Ever living, ever faithful, ever sure!” Hang around Rastafarians and you will sooner or later hear these words. My father was a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and some of my fondest memories are attending meetings and stage shows with him.  Many times he was one of the performers. One of my favorite songs of his is Children of Zion. I still remember him playing his guitar and singing. It was great seeing my dad on stage.  Many people do not think of Rastas as spiritual but a true Rastafarian is a spiritual person much like a Christian, a Buddhist or any other religion.  They read the Bible.  As the saying goes, “A chapter a day keeps the devil away,” and my father did read his bible every day.   He read the bible from beginning to end several times in his lifetime.  The minister that presided over his funeral said my dad knew the bible better than him!  How ironic is that? What made my father unique is that he did not force is beliefs on anyone not even his own children.  He taught us his beliefs yes and we had to follow his rules but we didn’t have dreadlocks as many children do.  He said, he will teach us about the bible and his beliefs but ultimately it is up to us if we want to become a part of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  We have the right to choose what we want to do.  That being said, my dad is more than willing to talk to anyone about the Twelve Tribes and the bible.  He was always up for a rousing conversation on the topic or any topic.  Another unique thing about my dad is that I could talk to him about anything (I can do that with mom too of course) and I do mean anything.  He didn’t shy away from any topic.  My father wanted to do everything he could for us and give us all that he didn’t have growing up and that meant being there for  everything that we do and answering any and every question we may have.  You could have fun with my dad.  He wasn’t a stern man by nature but you know exactly what to do and what not to do.  He mastered the art of the “look”.  You know the one that when your parent looks at you better stop whatever you are doing immediately or else!  To know Vincent Byfield was to love and respect him. My father commanded respect with his behavior and treatment of others.  He was a loving and caring man and he was taken way too soon. Gone but not forgotten! Say it with me, “Jah, Rastafari!” LaToya Byfield

Frienemies: A Like Story

Frienemies: A Like Story

By Stephen Holmes

 The world lexicon is in perpetual flux. Imagine Snookie drunkenly berating one of her equals or lessers (wrap your mind around that for a moment) while using the Queen’s English. “Thou best not be speaking to me, skank!” Even better, imagine an MLB player being ejected from a game for suggesting the umpire, “Fornicate with your own being and the noble steed on which you were transported!” Good, bad or indifferent, language evolves. As I SMH over all of the endless LOLs, I think of other modern phrases, some I still have to get my nephew to translate… TTYL?… WTF!!!! I understand the term “frienemies” and what it implies, but I just don’t understand the concept.  In a guy’s world (especially guys over 40) there are no frienemies. We don’t even have enemies, we have friends, friends we don’t speak to right now and former friends. Any of the aforementioned categories are just five Jack Daniels away from transitioning to the other. An evening can begin with a few drinks between friends and end up with both bloodied and missing teeth and only transition to “not speaking right now” status. “Former friend” status would have to be invoked with inappropriate advances to ones mother (Jack D. can’t even transition this… a Super Bowl ticket is the only fix for this one). There is only one situation where a man can have a frienemy – peace keeping.  When a man loves a woman he will put up with her friend’s asshole significant other. Whether it’s enduring a dinner as a couple or inviting the offender out with your boys, if a dude wants to get any sleep (or anything else), he will shut down all opinions and suck it up. Oh, it won’t be an easy evening for the asshole, but at least the attempt was made. Male frienemies are rare because, well… we’re not that deep.  Our friendships are very meaningful, but we don’t feel the need to excavate deep beneath the surface.  We believe that problematic situations can be handled by fighting, drinking or avoidance. Is there a problem?  Let’s not talk about it! Women want to analyze the subtext of relationships and give them, sometimes undeserved, nuances.  The over-thinking of friendships causes anxieties which creates new dictionary entries. It’s ironic that Gertrude Stein wrote what should very well be the male motto, “A rose, is a rose, is a rose,”  This was her way of saying, “ it is, what it is,” and how male a concept is that?

God’s Whispers of Love for Me

Phlox subulata 'Amazing Grace'
Phlox subulata ‘Amazing Grace’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Icy B. George
It’s amazing!  I remember growing up always hearing the saying “if you want to know who your friends are, let something tragic happen to you” and wondering to myself, I have good friends that could never happen to me.  Boy was I ever wrong.  I have always taken pride of considering myself to be a good supportive friend, the one to sit at your side for a Dr. Appointment, cook your favorite meal when you’re sick, or even help you make funeral arrangements when you lose your loved one.  Call me, and I would be by your side.  I just thought that this is what good friends do automatically, boy was I wrong. Two years ago, I was in an accident that caused me to have to take some time off from work for about a year, requiring two surgeries.  I had never considered myself a needy person, but who I thought would call and even stop by to see how I was doing, never came.  This was a real wake up call for me, where I had to turn to the one true source that strengthen me, when all else failed me.  I turned to God!  I would pray and ask God to soften my heart to not hold anger or malice in my heart, for I was convinced that not everyone can love how I love, because they were never taught.  I learned to lower my expectations of people so I wouldn’t be disappointed.  Boy was I wrong! On my road to recovery, I had become very involved with the social media community, where I started writing inspirational blogs that caught the attention of a circle of beautiful people that would change my life, and became a great circle of support to me.  There was Grace, she was from the Bronx, attended the same high school, but we had never met, and that we had found so much in common.  Grace had found out that she had an aneurysm on her brain, and let me know how my affirmations saved her life.  Little did Grace know, calling me daily just to pray with me, saved my life.  Then there was Lydia, she was a Jewish lady from New Jersey, who loved to read my affirmations that I wrote daily.  Lydia would email me with the most beautiful prayers, and some exercise for me to try to strengthen my arm in between P.T. sessions.  And last but not least is Keiki from the Philippines, but lived in NYC on a student visa. Keiki would call me every day to see how I was feeling and keep my spirits up, emailed beautiful poetry, and the funniest jokes.  I love them each in ways no one else would understand.  You see God has a way of sending Angels to whisper words of love and wisdom, just at the point that you need it most.  Where I thought my “friends” would be there, they weren’t, and that is ok.  But what I have come to realize my friends where there all along. Three beautiful strangers that have become my closest dearest friends, and have given my life so much perspective.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.

My Very Best Friend!

I want to tell you the story of my very best friend Heather.  She is simply the best friend ever.  We’ve know each other since our freshman year in high school.  We were the kind of friends that had sleepovers and ate at each other’s houses.  One day after my regular checkup my doctor found a lump in my breast which of course caused a lot of fears for both of us.  She stood by me throughout the whole process.  She went with me to doctor’s appointments and kept me laughing every day.  How many people can say they have a friend like that? It wasn’t easy finding out I have breast cancer but lucky for me it was in the early stages.  Heather was there for everything.  She would call me from work to see how I was feeling.  If I was feeling low she would find a way to cheer me up.  I don’t know how she did it but I can only assume that we’ve been friends for so long that she knows me better than I know myself.  I know I’ve said I’m lucky but I must say it again because I truly am lucky enough that I am now cancer free and I can’t imagine going through that without Heather by my side.  Even though I’ve said thank you to her so many times she’s tired of hearing it now I wanted to let her know on a large scale how much her friendship really means to me which is why I wrote this.  Heather I just want to thank you again for simply being the best friend ever.  I love you and I truly appreciate your friendship. Just know that I’m here for you no matter what. You are the kind of friend that anyone would be lucky to have.
  • Alicia C.

Friend of the Year!

I’m so glad to have found this site. So often we have great friends but we do not get to show our appreciation of their friendship. I want to say thank you to my best friend Lisa for being the very best friend anyone could ask for. Lisa is the kind of friend everyone should have. She was there for me when my mom had a rare form of cancer and died. She listened to me when I had to vent and listened when I had no words. We laughed and cry together. When I feel depressed I can call her and tell her about it. We share our successes and failures with each other and we never judge each other. We are each other’s counselors.:)  She helps to keep me sane. We are like two peas in a pod. If you had a best friend award I would nominate her for one. Lisa Johnson, I love you like a sister. You are the very best friend anyone could ever ask for. Thank you for being my friend. — Jennifer S. Toronto

I AM as smart as you – Maybe even smarter!

I thought Wayne was my best friend until I had a change in my financial status. I left my job to start my own business but it is a struggle. I just had it with corporate America and wanted to do my own thing. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. After 2 years it was still slow going especially because the economy tanked and people didn’t have as much money to spend. I noticed Wayne started acting funny and making sly comments about people leaving their job without having another (he is a corporate brownnoser and love the games of corporate America which is fine for him but it’s not my thing). He even went so far as to speculate with our mutual friends about how I’m living and not in a good way. Then he would call me less and less and only calls when he has a new gadget or job to brag about. Another year went by and I realized it was really bugging him trying to figure out how I was surviving because I never complained about money or borrowed money from him. He started asking mutual friends if they lent me money. I’ve known him for 19 years and never even borrowed a quarter. I am the type of person that if I can’t afford something, I’ll do without. I don’t have a problem asking for help when I need it but I don’t like borrowing money or asking for unnecessary favors. He finally couldn’t take it anymore and one day asked me how I’m doing it. “So how long did you save up to do this business, James?” “Did you save for 5 years? “ “Did you save in percentages or what?” He asked some other questions I don’t even want to mention but when he finally popped and asked me these things it made me wonder if he forgot we both went to and graduated from the same University. Normally these questions would be ok but his behavior made me realize somehow he didn’t think I was as smart or capable as him. You see he wants to start his own business but have not yet done so. I feel like dude we both have our degrees and even if I didn’t, it doesn’t mean that I am not capable of doing more than working in an office. I haven’t totally written him off but I don’t share like I used to. Funny how money or the lack of it, change the way people treat you. I just had to get this off my chest. Thank you About Your Friends! — James G. – NYC