Friday, 24 February 2012


Think of architecture and one name certain to come up is that of Herman Russell, the man who not only designed the first Hyatt Hotel, but also physically took part in its construction.  Built in 1967, the Hyatt was the first major downtown hotel to welcome Black people in a time when racial segregation in America was the norm.  From the Hyatt to numerous other buildings, Herman Russell has been credited with being a “jewel” for Atlanta.  He is seen as a man who made a difference.  And on Monday 18th February 2012, the City of Atlanta came out to honour him   during the 10th anniversary of the Heritage Celebrations.  At the event, Mr. Russell was presented with a Crystal Award and $100,000 worth of stay at any Hyatt hotel anywhere in the world.  The event was hosted by WXIA anchorwoman Karyn Greer and attended by high profile personalities such as Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jnr.  Beautiful jazz singer Kathleen Bertrand did a heartfelt reindition of Mr. Russell’s favourite song, ‘I Did It My Way' especially for him.  A variety of food, drinks and desserts were placed in strategic places around the ballroom and was available throughout the night.  

Herman Russell, Bernice King and dignitaries

with the former Mayor of Atlanta
With Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jnr.

With Martin Luther King Jnr.'s sister


After all the excitement of meeting Monica Pearson, it was over to meet John Legend who was appearing at the Georgia State University.  Before the event, I had the opportunity to meet John backstage where I reminded him that I was one of the emcees for his concert in Ghana.  Although he said he remembered me, I somehow doubt it.  Unfortuately, his manager would not allow any photos to be taken so John said to me “Come back after and I will take a photo with you.’  But as much as I love John Legend, I still had two other events to attend on that day so did not go back.  I must say, although I did not stay for all his talk, John legend is an inspiration speaker and great performer.  However, I think he needs to take a lesson from the likes of my good friend Nicole Ari Parker who no matter what, always has time to take pictures or stop for a chat with people who approach her.  Although it was not his fault and he did ask me to come later, I was disappointed in John Legend’s response to my request in taking a photo with him.  As someone who is also in the public eye, I have learnt to show love to my fans…a lesson John obviously still needs to learn.


For thirty seven years, Monica Pearson, the first African-American to anchor the evening news, has been bringing the news to people’s frontrooms via the WSBTV network.  And now after thirty four Emmy’s Monica has decided to retire.  On Monday 18th February 2012 I attended an event at the City Council where Monica was honoured by her colleagues.  In an event attended by the media and a handful of invited guests, Monica’s colleagues bid her farewell.  Incidentally, Monica was the woman who beat Oprah to the job of news anchor at WSBTV all those years ago.  I bet Oprah is not complaining now thou….

Monica Pearson interacts with the media

With former news reader Art Franklin

With Monica 

Michael Julian Bond, Council Member

News Editor at WSBTV

General Manager of WSBTV

The Mayor of Atlanta

Monica meets the media


Ok ladies.  If you like to shop for elegant, classy and sexy clothes, shoes and accessories in an environment that makes you feel as if you are right at home, in your own walk-in wardrobe, then you’ve simply got to visit Studio Coutour on Bennett Street.  From the moment you open the door and step into this wonderful world of fashion, shop owner Roy makes you feel as if you are a long lost friend.    Indeed this shop is so unique you would be hard pressed to find another like it anywhere else.  From the actual set up of the shop to the Friday nite wine and finger food get togethers (where sexy assistants Tyson and Ali mingle with shoppers) Studio Coutour offers its clientele a magical mix of shopping and chilling with friends.  If ever you visit Atlanta, add Studio Coutour to your ‘must do’ list.
Hostess with the mostess Ms. Brenda


Shop floor

Ms. Brenda mingles with guests during a Friday night drinks

Sexy gym instructor Tyson works at Studio Coutour on Fridays and Saturdays

Model and actor Ali is part of the weekend team at Studio Coutour

Accessories Section

Chilling area for clientele

Area for the shoe lovers

More shoes

A place to sit and wait for friends as they try clothes on


I have always dreamt of owning my own little coffee shop (mine will be called Kofe’s Joint) where creative minds can come and find some space to write, chat, think whilst enjoying a bevvy of cakes, drinks and foods.  So imagine my joy when I was introduced to The Green Room on Benett Street. Owned by actress, producer and writer Terri J Vaghnn The Green Room is the place to find the funkiest people in town.  In the day time it’s a bit quieter as people come in with their books or laptops.  On Friday and Saturday nights, the open mic session unearths new talents from a broad session of the arts.  As well as the most mouth-watering foods, drinks and desserts on sale, patrons can also buy mostly autobiographical books.  Make sure you pass by The Green Room on your next visit to Atlanta, Georgia.


Actress, Producer and Writer Terri J Vaughn  was one of the few black women carving a name for herself in Hollywood.  But one day, Terri decided she no longer wanted that life and gave it all up to return to Atlanta where after seven years in the making, she finally produced her first film.  Entitled ‘A Cross to Bear’ the movie stars Kim Fields and Malinda Williams alongside a group of first timers such as the leading actress Daniella Deadwyler.  The movie tells the story of Erica,  a young girl who grows up to be just like her mother – a heavy drinker who relied on men for her upkeep.  When her boyfriend throws her out of their home, the desperate and pregnant Erica finds herself living in a shelter alongside other drunkards.  In order not to spoil the movie for you all I will say is something awful happens and Erica ends up living in a home run by Joan (Kim Fields character).  What happens when Erica gets here?  You will simply have to watch the movie and see for yourself.  I was at the Atlanta red carpet premier where I met people such as actress Jasmin Guy and Producer Roger Bobb.  I enjoyed the movie, especially the performances of the up and coming new actors.  Watch out for Tamika Tanner the lady who played Tina.  She is going to go very far in this industry.

with Terri

Levern and Danielle 


When it comes to getting and keeping fit, Hollywood actor Boris Kodjoe don’t play.  He loves working out and often asks his wife actress Nicole Ari-Parker to join him.  Most time he is met with the response ‘My hair will mess up.’ One day, sitting at the kitchen counter with her daughter Sophie, Nicole thought ‘Wouldn’t it be good if I could work out without messing up my hair?”  And with that was born ‘Save Your Do’ - the gym wrap which allows women to work out and still have good hair.  From tearing up her husband’s old T-shirt which her six year old daughter sewed up, today Save Your Do has become an instant success.  And on Friday 17th February 2012, I was lucky enough to be one of the few select people invited to attend the launch at Dolvett Quince’s gym in Buckhead.  But even before the launch, I found myself being roped into a series of publicity events such as appearing on the Steve Harvey Show and attending the Bonner Bros. hair show for a meet and greet with fans.  From the morning of Wednesday 15th February until the day of the launch, there was very little sleep for the team as they worked round the clock to make things happen.  And it all paid off as the launch itself was a huge success.  If this is anything to go by,then Nicole Ari Parker is onto a big thing with her Save Your Do gym wrap.  Visit for more information.