The S.E.L.F. Image Awards (Recap)

A Showcase and Benefit Fundraiser Sponsored by The S.E.L.F. Image Awards Foundation

Mrs. Marci & Shanti Walker, Mother and Son. Owners of Madam Walker's Braidery and Schools.

   Marci & Shanti Walker, owners of Madam Walker's Braidery and Schools, hosted their 2nd Annual S.E.L.F. Image Awards Showcase and Benefit Black Tie Affair on September 24, 2011 at the Clarion Hotel, located in Oxon Hill Maryland.

Mildred Muhammad, writer of book Scared Silent, which tell of her accounts of living in fear of her ex-husband John Allen Muhammad, The D.C. Sniper.

   Domestic Violence, a topic very dear and near to Mrs. Marci Walker was the highlight of the night. To attend this event was $70 dollars per person, with a portion of the proceeds donated to two family rebuilding organizations, The Arden House - a Y.M.C.A. Domestic Violence Shelter and After The Trauma - Founded by Mildred Muhammad. $70 dollars is a a lot of money to spend to attend an event, however, when viewing the subject matter in the aspect of saving lives, $70 dollars used to purchase a ticket was without a doubt money well spent. 

   Statics show that an abused woman, after leaving her abuser goes back to him 7 times. It isn't until the 7th time she tries to leave is either injured severely or is murdered but the hands of her abuser. 1 in 4 women (25%) has experienced Domestic Violence in her lifetime. On average, more than 3 woman and 1 man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country everyday. Nearly 3 out of 4 (75%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of Domestic Violence. Keynote Speakers Kinaya Sokoya & Mildred Muhammad reminded everyone that Domestic Violence is not a private issue but a community issue.

Mrs. Walker, Shanti, Jamesha & I cheesing hard for the camera.

   The Arden House, showed a video presentation during the Awards ceremony of a 17 year old teenager who had moved into her aunt's house after the death of her mother. Once the teen moved in, her aunt began to physically and mentally abuse her. After months of living in pain and fear, the teenager mustered up the courage to call Social Services for help. The Teen shortly moved into the Arden House where she is now thriving, doing well in school, and was resently blessed with the opportunity to have a one on one photo shoot of herself in her prom dress.

   The last and final story that touched my heart was told by Cainan Walker. He shared a story of his Aunty Sharon who was smart, college graduate, and a hard working woman. Sharon was also a victim of Domestic Violence. She was shot in the face by her jealous lover who thought she was unfaithful in their relationship. Cainan expressed how the abusers actions changed the dynamics of his family and how although his Aunty Sharon had been deceased for a few years, he still misses her intensely.

The later part of this Showcase/Benefit was an Awards Cerebration for all of the Natural Hair Care, Braider & Barber Pioneers who have provided education as well as professional services to our communities. 


Orin Saunders: Mentor/Teacher, CEO of Locks N' Chops, New York. Locks N' Chops is a premier Natural Hair Institution known for its education, services, entrepreneurship training, culture and fashion in the Natural Hair Industry.

Malaika Cooper: Owner of Dreadz N' Heads Salon with locations in Woodlawn and Frederick, Md. Ms. Cooper is also the Founder of the Baltimore Expo and National Golden Scissors Award winner.

Sahande Sy: Owner of E-Braiding/E-Naturals, a Maryland-based organization that helps to develop and uphold standards, rules, and regulations for hair braiders and natural hair care professionals. The organization also publishes The Sanata International Braiding and Natural Hair Magazines.

Nafy Diagne: Co-Founder of E-Braiding/E-Naturals, and Owner of Rally's Hair Braiding in Largo, MD. Nafy is also CEO of The Nafy Collection Product line and National Golden Scissors Award.

Frank Love: Owner of Greggs Barber Shop since 1965. Mr. Love has been and is a main stay and one of the businesses that continued to operate during the fires and riots that destroyed the U Street Business Corridor in Washington D.C. Mr. Love is a Legend.

Anu Prestonia: Acclaimed beauty-industry innovator, specializing in Black Hair Care and helped to popularize artistic natural styling in the United States and abroad. She founded the internationally known Khamit Kinks Natural Hair Care Salon, has mentored many in the industry and has two popular blogs. Anu has a titular line of natural products, was the Co-founder of an annual natural hair celebration and is Co-producer of an expert consultant for several books, been featured many times in magazines and newspapers, on TV, on the radio. Anu is a sought-after stylist for film, print and broadcast media.

 My Personal Over View: The whole showcase/benefit ceremony was a joy to behold. Working behind the scenes gave me the opportunity to see first hand what it takes to plan an event of this magnitude. I've learned that there are no easy ways to become great in this industry, I have to work hard....and work hard continuously. Working with Mrs. Walker and Shanti inspired me all the more to focus on my own personal projects and ideas. I now understand that proper planning and working hard are the key formulas to reaping a bountiful harvest. 

Thank you so much for reading. Below are a few photo's and a video that captured the night. As always, share your thoughts.

Shanti Walker preparing a model for his extraordinary show. 

I am providing Loc Maintenance to a model for Shanti's Show.

The Beautiful Angela Lewis  Natural Hair Stylist.
Mrs. Angie & Mr. Glynn Jackson.
Mr. Glynn Jackson & I .
Jamesha Bazemore & I representing our businesses with big smiles.
KeeKee, that's ME! ;-)
Jamesha Bazemore, Laquita Thomas-Banks & I.
Jamesha & her Hubby looking Fab!
Mrs. Marci Walker Cheesing with excitement!
Mrs. Marci & Aziza Yasmine owner of A II Z Naturals in Bedford Ohio.
Mr. Walker, Mrs. Marci Walker, Jamesha & Aziza.
Tempie Satcher owner of AZAZE Natural Hair Salon and 
creator of D.C. LOVE LOCS Natural Hair Expo.
Mrs. Marci, Shanti, Jamesha & I. My teachers, who I love dearly.

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