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Author Archives: Naomi Bonman

Celebrity Hair Stylist Shares His Gifts through Beauty and Fitness

Taco and rapper Trina

Taco and rapper Trina

By Naomi K. Bonman

Seattle, Washington native Turner Yarbrough, more commonly known as “Taco”, is on the brink of becoming a well-known celebrity nationwide hair stylist. As a child, Taco spent countless Saturdays in the salon with his mother as she received her weekly style. Though he and his brother hated being dragged there for hours on end, a spark for an interest in hair styling emerged in him.

Upon high school graduation, the charismatic Cancer enrolled in cosmetology courses at Seattle Central Community College and later transferred to Gene Juarez where he received his license in 2001. From there he opened his first salon, Reign Concept Salon, at the tender age of 19 where he was able to establish a loyal clientele.

Throughout the early stages of his career, Yarbrough continued to learn more to perfect his craft. He has received education from well known trainers which include Paul Mitchell, So. Cap, CHI, Unite and many more.

Not only is Taco an inspiration to his hair clients, but he is also an example for those struggling with weight loss. He has lost over 126 pounds and is now a certified personal trainer. In a recent interview with the rising stylist and fitness guru, he discussed his future goals, motivations and most memorable career highlights.

Naomi: What inspired you to get into the hair industry?

Taco: My mother. She used to drag me to the hair salon and I hated it! [laughs] My cousin LaShawn was also a braider when we were growing up and she [subconsciously] kind of helped to push me into this.

Naomi: What makes you stand out from other stylists? What makes you unique?

Taco: My character. I’m just a funny guy. I’m a big personality. I know that there are a lot of hair stylists that have big personalities, nut I’m just different. I love to have fun and to make sure that everyone is okay by catering to the atmosphere. [I like to make sure that] that everything flows cohesively.

I think what also separates me is that I’m just crazy, passionate. I can only separate myself from the things that within myself meaning that I’m not separate from people, but that my own challenge is myself.

Naomi: You mentioned that your personality shines on set. Is there a reality show in the works?

Taco: There are talks of it. We’re actually putting some things together. I think it would be hilarious [laughs]. I’m just Taco, there’s no explanation for it. I’m just a crazy guy who’s always singing and doing something different. If someone is shy, I’m that kind of guy that helps them get out of themselves so that they can have an awesome experience.

Naomi: How did you come with the name Taco? It’s a very interesting and unique nickname?

Taco: My name came from my Grandma, In larger families, you tend to get stuck with various nick names that follow you for life”. [laughs].

Naomi: [laughs] Interesting. So who are some of your top celebrity clients?

Taco: I just wrapped up a photo shoot with Colyesia Chestnut from MTV’S ‘Are You the One?’ My main client that I love so much is Bad Medina, which is Floyd Mayweather’s massage therapist. One of my long time clients is Tori Lucas who just married Jamal Crawford. I just had the opportunity to cut Trina’s hair. She was really sweet, warm and welcoming.

Taco in action

I’ve also done several events such as a Women Standing Tall calendar which featured Shonie O’Neal and the rest of the basketball wives before they were on the show. It was cool to be a part of that before they went big.

Naomi: How did you get your start into doing hair for celebrities?

Taco: I’m a firm believer in what’s for me is for me. It just comes. I’ ve never advertised or put myself in the newspaper. I let my clients spread the word which say’s a lot on what people believe and see in my skills which I’ ve seen as a blessing to have come so far off just recommendations.

Naomi: How do you make the every day, average client feel like a celebrity?

Taco: My salon in Seattle is called Reign Concept Salon where I work with some of the most amazing girls, and there we create an experience. I’m always singing and serenading them (clients). I make them feel like celebrities because with every single client, no matter how tired I am, I’m going to give them that attention. To me, they are celebrities because they patronize me, and they feel a part of the process of me coming to new horizons [in my career].

Naomi: How did you come with the name Reign Concept Salon?

Taco: I am a Christian, and my whole belief system is to always know and to allow God to reign in your life. When I think of reign, I think of God. It’s my reminder to never puff myself up and to always be humble, and that He reigns over all.

Naomi: What has been your most memorable highlight in your hair career thus far?

Taco: I had a woman, just an ordinary woman, that came in and she thought her hair was damaged.  You could tell she had low esteem and that she was going through some things in her life. When I did her hair, I did it with so much love and took my time to not only love on her hair but to love on her. When I finished and turned her around to the mirror, the level of emotion that she expressed made her feel as if she was brand new, and it healed her. For me that was my gift to her. I didn’t make her pay. Sometimes it’s the little things that have the biggest affect on your life.

Naomi: Going into the fitness side of things, what kept you motivated to keep pushing towards your weight loss goal?

Taco: I was always a sort of overweight kid. I battled with a lot of low self-esteem. I definitely covered that up through my personality. It’s been three years since I lost over 126 pounds. I used to be 358 pounds, and was cast for The Biggest Loser twice, but that didn’t come through. They always chose the next person over me.

I have a wife and 5-year-old daughter, and needed to live for them. In this career you have to be healthy. So, I just said ‘ I’m tired. I can’t wait for The Biggest Loser to do it for me. I have to do this’. I just started. My inspiration is myself. I have to conquer me, and I want to do me as a physique body builder one day.

Taco, before and after his weight loss journey

Taco, before and after his weight loss journey

Naomi: Nice! So with body building being a fitness goal, what are some of your others?

Taco: That’s the next fitness goal, to compete as a Physique Body builder. I’ ve been blessed to pick up an international sponsorship with Pro Supps. They are absolutely amazing and they took me on because I started with them in the beginning of my weight loss journey and I was loyal to them. They give me so much love and support and I really appreciate that. I also want to lose another 35 pounds to aid me in my “road to the stage” to compete.

Naomi: What changes did you make in your diet?

Taco: Whew, so many changes! Your diet has to be on point. I learned healthy eating habits from pro body builder Alden Gamet who coached me in losing my first 100 pounds. I went from eating McDonalds three times a day to learning how to prep meals, weigh my food and portion control.

Naomi: What advice do you for those who struggle with weight loss and lose that focus to get to their goal, and that try different regiments that don’t work out for them?

Taco: My advice is to just go. The first step is to just get there. In the beginning you don’t want to do it because your body is used to whatever current routine that it is in. Your mind changes as you begin to change. Also, connect with people that will encourage you and keep nothing but positivity around you. Anything that is new is going to be difficult; the key is to just go. If you do fall back, don’t stay there. Get back up and keep moving.

Naomi: What are your overall personal goals that you want to achieve in life?

Taco: My overall goal is for the world to know me and  to not only be successful, but highly respected and sought after  globally for hair and health.

The sky is the limit for me, and I’m very excited about my publicist. I absolutely love her. Trea Davenport and Trea Day Management are just amazing. I have a lot of support around me, and at the end of the day, I’m just ready to go and welcome success.

To keep up with Taco’s career endeavors, follow him on Instagram @TacoMarche and @TacoReign. For booking inquiries, please contact Trea Davenport at treadaypr@gmail.com or (678) 327-8281

 

Editor’s Letter: Young People Protest Change across the Globe

Atlanta protests held Monday, August 18 in front of the CNN Center

Atlanta protests held Monday, August 18 in front of the CNN Center

By Naomi K. Bonman

L.A. Protest Photo Credit:  Joe Satran (The Huffington Post)

L.A. Protest Photo Credit: Joe Satran (The Huffington Post)

Throughout the previous years we have heard about history repeating itself, and 50 years later after the Civil Rights Movement to this present day, we see are seeing what we dreaded would happen. History has been repeating itself for the past few years now, but on Saturday, August 10, after 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, MO, outside of St. Louis, the issue of police brutality among African-Americans have sparked up the Nation causing multiple protests across the Country among both the young, seasoned and celebrity crowd.

In the immediate days after Brown was murdered the world seen yet another brutal shooting by the Los Angeles Police Department on Sunday, August 11, when 25-year-old Ezell Ford was shot and skilled by two officers while walking down the street near his home. According to the Huffington Post, by 2:30 p.m. several protesters had gathered in front of the LAPD headquarters. Protesters varied in age, race, ethnicity and creed. Some even came as far as San Bernardino, such as Sandra Nunez, who was there with her young daughter.

“I not only fear gang members killing my son, I fear the police killing my son. I feel helpless because I don’t know who will protect him from them”, she stated.

Another local L.A. resident, David Bryant, who is a former member of the Nation of Islam, stated that he has been arrested while protesting in exactly the same place in 1992, after the trial for officers who has beaten Rodney King.

“That was over 20 years ago, and here we go again. It’s déjà vu, but what else can you except when you have prostitutes and cowards as politicians”, he said.

Let us rewind back to July 17 in New York, before Brown was killed. Eric Garner, 43, who was an asthmatic father of six, was confronted by NYPD officers for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. When he resisted being cuffed, an officer appeared to put him in a chokehold, a tactic banned by the department since 1993.Garner was unable to breathe and unfortunately succumbed. The

Actress, singer, and business owner Tiffany Evans, joined protests for change in Atlanta

Actress, singer, and business owner Tiffany Evans, joined protests for change in Atlanta

city medical examiner later ruled Garner’s death a homicide, stating that neck compression from the chokehold killed him; however, officers involved in the arrest may not face charges if the homicide is found to be justifiable. Staten Island district attorney Daniel Donovan is investing the case.

Then on August 5 in Beavercreek, Ohio, two police officers responded to a 911 call about a man waving a gun at customers inside a Walmart store. According to the Beavercreek police department, John Crawford, 22, disregarded officers’ orders to disarm before being fatally shot in the chest. It later was reported that Crawford’s gun was a .177 calibre BB rifle that he had picked up from the store shelf.

On August 12, Dante Parker. 36, of Victorville, California who was a pressman at the Daily Press was tased by police after a Victorville resident told police a robbery suspect had fled on a bicycle. The police detained Parker, who by the way had no criminal background (other than a DUI), after a scuffle ensued which led to him being tased. He later died at a local hospital. The police assumed he was the suspect because he was found on a bicycle.

Who knows how long these protests will go on before justice is served and change is done. In the midst of these occurrences I read a statement from a young lady on Facebook, I do not remember her name, but she stated that “People react certain ways to prior fears”. She used an analogy of her being beat by a blue belt and as she gets older she still fears that blue belt every time she sees it because she

Atlanta protest. August 18, 2014

Atlanta protest. August 18, 2014

connects it to that incident of when she was beaten by it. So, the same goes for the police. Some may have a fear that could have been passed by to them by their ancestors, so instead of talking things out to come to a solution they automatically assume and react. Other law enforcement who do not have this fear, could just be a “dirty cop” instilled with evil and hate.

Hopefully at the end when all is said and done, we not only get the change that we need, but that Blacks start coming together as a people, as a force, because that is the only way we will get the deserved change that Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm XRosa Parks, and a countless number of others fought for 50 years ago. Right now they would all be turning in their graves to see how we have separated as a people and how our race has fallen. We don’t support each other in our business efforts as we should, we do not own hardly any big corporations, and the list goes on.

While you are out there protesting, keep in mind that as African-Americans/Blacks we need to continue to come together in unity. I would love to see a multitude of Black owned businesses emerging within the next years to come, and I would like to see us keep those businesses in our communities and for them not to be sold off to “white companies and investors”.

The Black community has the highest buying power, so if we take that power and put it back into our own communities, just imagine how much we would thrive as a community and what the future would like for our youth that will soon be taking over. Let’s be an example and stand up for what’s ours. Let’s take back our communities in a positive way.

I would love to hear your feedback, please tweet me at @NaomiKBonman on Twitter, or email me atnaomibonman@gmail.com.

Africans Living in the U.S. Connect with Culture through New Network

Spokesperson for Africa Magic GO, Juliet Ibrahim

Spokesperson for Africa Magic GO, Juliet Ibrahim

Interview by Naomi K. Bonman

Africa Magic GO has recently launched in the United States. The network is similar to “Hulu”, in offering the latest film and television series from the Continent of Africa. Now Africans living in the U.S., and other African culture lovers can connect with the African culture by tuning in via their computer and mobile devices.

This new service is available at just $8 a month where customers can stream hundreds of movies and TV shows. African Magic GO also helps people tap into the prolific offerings of the world’s largest film industry, Nollywood, as well as productions from other parts of Africa. To assist in getting the word out, popular Ghanaian actress, Juliet Ibrahim, is one of the new spokespeople for the network.

In addition to acting, Miss Ibrahim is a business-oriented person who proudly owns Envoque Beauty Parlor, House of Glamour boutique, Dolfins Modeling Agency, and Jewels Productions. She also recently delved into music and is soon to debut her album. In December 2011, the actress launched her Juliet Ibrahim Foundation (JIF) to start an awareness campaign about kidney cancer. The JIF is aimed at helping Ghanaians and other West African citizens to know their status and prevent kidney cancer from getting to the incurable stage. JIF is poised to help save lives and put smiles on the faces of the less fortunate living with kidney cancer but can’t afford to handle their bills.

Question and Answer with Miss Juliet:

Naomi K. Bonman: What inspired you to become involved with Africa Magic GO?

Juliet Ibrahim: Africa Magic is a major brand in Africa. It is a privilege to be a part of their new product Africa Magic GO, which enables Africans in the Diaspora to stay in touch with their roots while living abroad. Finally, my fans living abroad can get to watch my exclusive movies, TV shows and TV series way before the movie comes out on DVD. It’s a good brand to be associated with as a celebrity from Africa. For my fans reading this article, they can log on to www.africamagicgo.com and register and watch one of my latest movies on there is called “Blurred Lines.”

Naomi K. Bonman: What projects are you currently working on?

Juliet Ibrahim: I just wrapped filming my second personal movie production called “Shattered Romance,” and it’s a project I am so proud of. It features both Nigerian and Ghanaian actors. I am also promoting my new music video “It’s Over Now,” which is enjoying a lot of airplay currently. Lastly, I’ve been on a campaign to educate the public and create awareness for my kidney cancer awareness foundation; it’s been successful so far.

Naomi K. Bonman: Do you have any upcoming plans on doing more work here in the States?

Juliet Ibrahim: Certainly! I intend to work here in the States and am very open to offers and various opportunities here. I am not limited to working only in Africa. I am currently looking for an amazing PR person and manager out here in the U.S. so we get a lot of work done. Juliet Ibrahim is a brand that I believe needs to expand and be known worldwide. I have plans of launching my NGO in the United States as well; it’s already been registered out here.

For more information on the network, visit www.africamagicgo.com. To read more on Juliet Ibrahim visit www.julietibrahim.net.