Affectionately known as Nolo, the South African born/New York City raised pan-Africanist and feminist works in the fashion marketing industry. Nolo coined the term Tropical Jawn, as she aims to create solidarity by respectfully putting an authentic spotlight on the African roots that Black Americans, Caribbean people, and Afro-Latinos share. Nolo uses her diverse experience, her connections within many New York scenes, and her South African upbringing to help build the Tropical Jawn™ cultural movement as the Event Planner and PR/Brand Manager.
Sibabalwe is a freelance NGO strategist and consultant who was born and raised in South Africa, where she found her voice at the prestigious University of Cape Town. Driven by her passion for the peoples and politics of Africa, she moved to New York in 2015 to pursue a Master's degree in International Affairs at The New School, and focused her energy on urban socio-economic development and identity-based social justice. Ambitious, impassioned and ideas- and solutions-driven, Sibabalwe captains Tropical Jawn's strategic brand development.
JASMINE S YOUNG
Jasmine is the Operations Manager for a young, influential menswear brand in New York City. She grew up in Long Island, and returned to New York from Chicago in 2014 to pursue her Master’s degree in Fashion Studies at the prestigious school for design, Parsons. Jasmine’s passion is to create new economic avenues for millennials to express creativity and simultaneously build sound business models in both fashion and the arts. She channels these passions and skill sets to direct the finances and operations for Tropical Jawn.
KADIJA "DJ AQ" BAH
Also known as DJ AQ, the Harlem native is of South African and Guinean descent. Kadija has a long-standing love for entertainment, as she began dancing and playing the violin at the age of seven. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Buffalo State before returning to New York City to realize her ambitions as a DJ and professional dancer. An abbreviation of “Afrikan Queen”, her name encapsulates her specialization in the sounds of the black diaspora; afro-house, afrobeat, reggae and hip hop. AQ is Tropical Jawn’s resident DJ, and represents the brand as an ambassador as she gains popularity in New York’s nightlife scene.
Mpei identifies as a South African New Yorker: she was born and raised in South Africa up until 2006 when she immigrated to Brooklyn, New York to further her studies. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management from St. Francis College, where she became the president of the African Cultural Club and began feeding her passion for shining a positive light on Africa's narrative through educational, interactive events. She aspires to be an attorney & currently works as a para-legal & a licensed New York Real Estate Agent. Mpei contributes her legal & management knowledge to Tropical Jawn as the Operations Manager.
Zoë moved from Cape Town, South Africa to New York in 2005 to pursue her passion for the Arts. With a background in Fine Arts and Communication Design, she is an event coordinator and gallery manager in the fine arts industry, where she frequently interacts with local and international artists. Zoë aims to further promote art of the black diaspora, and uses her acute networking skills to connect and build Tropical Jawn’s audience and foster new artistic collaborations.
Thina was born in South Africa and moved to New York at the age of 12 in pursuit of better opportunities. Her interests in human behavior and the global unequal distribution of wealth has led her to the study of Economics at Buffalo State University, where she is set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2018. Thina aids in managing the finances and operations of Tropical Jawn.