Creatively Cool 2015:

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(l-r): Chidinma and Chuckwunonso Dureke of NkemLife. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

(l-r): Chidinma and Chuckwunonso Dureke of NkemLife. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck


Editor’s Note: A new year of Creatively Cool always bring about new ideas to take things to another level. Between the time from our first selection and now, we’ve been exposed to a growing number of amazing mover and shakers, not only in Baltimore, but in the the surrounding areas. As we keep our main focus on Charm City, it never hurts to check out what our neighbors in other parts of Maryland, and beyond, are doing. These two sisters, the latest story for you in our Creatively Cool series, hail from Prince George’s County.

For a moment we thought they were twins. There were a number of times during our conversation with the Dureke sisters, where Chidinma (also known as Chi-Chi) and Chuckwunonso (also known as Nonso or Angel), who are actually 2 ½ years apart, would finish each other’s sentences.

“We’re very close,” Chuckwunonso, 23, said. “But, when we were younger, we wanted to get separate rooms, and our mom would be like, ‘No you guys need to stay in the same room, so that way you guys can be close when you get older.'”

“Exactly,” Chidinma, 26, said. “So that just manifested itself into so many other things. Whenever we’re going through things in our lives or we have an idea or something creative, we just automatically share it with each other. So through our own personal life experiences, or things we’ve gone through with guys, or…”

“Clothes,” Chuckwunonso added.

“Right, haha. Or being raised in a Nigerian household,” Chidinma finished.

The sister creators of created the lifestyle blog influenced by their Nigerian-American upbringing experiences. It’s essentially a personal blog for the two siblings. That’s emphasized in the title of the blog, “Nkem” -pronounced “En-khem,” which is a word that means “mine”or “my own” in the Igbo language. So in translation, the title is “My Life.”

Regardless of the first-person accounts, NkemLife has been a conversation starter of a number of topics, especially in the African diaspora.

“I feel like NkemLife does justice to help people gain more insight on African culture -Nigerian culture, specifically,” Chuckwunonso said.

But they also wanted to use the social platform to diverge their blog’s content consistent of things more than the “average personal DIY blog.”

“We kind of got tired of the blog that only talks about fashion,” Chuckwunonso said. “Yea, fashion is amazing, fashion is cool. I am female, but there’s more to me than how do it yourself project or what shoes I wear or outfit of the day.”

“So, we wanted our blog to be a collection of whole-ism.”

And since starting the blog just last summer, expressing that “whole-ism” meant discussing just about everything, from head to toe about their lives -even the mental and emotional aspects of their lives. They are not afraid to go deep and they are not afraid to be proud of their power as women and their Nigerian heritage. “We want other people, especially women to think outside the box,”Chuckwunonso said.

“We’re so over this certain type of way to be cool. We honestly have found a lot of people like our blog because we are just trying to speak truthfully to who we are,” Chidinma said. “And not everybody in their 20s knows who they are and what they want to be.”

“And that’s not to say we know 100-percent who we are,” Chuckwunonso added.

“But because we’re still figuring it out, that’s the beauty of it. As we’re growing we’re sharing our journey with other people,” Chidinma said.

NkemLife’s journey, so far, has included radio interviews in Nigeria, features on other sites, and even takeovers of events, like the 3rd Annual Naturalista Hair show, coming up this month. Independently, Chidinma is a visual artist, while Chuckwunonso is a brand consultant and freelance writer. NkemLife, brings you in to a world of a colorful and busy journey for the two.

“There’s a lot of thought that goes into this blog, and we hope that it shows,” Chidinma said.

It certainly does.

Creator & managing editor of Strangers With Style. Happiest when her work allows others to shine, too. Lover of collabs, social media, blogging, fashion, food & the color blue.

  • Nas

    Moravia Rd!! (Although I’m not sure if the contest response should be posted here or on IG

    • strangerswithstyle

      Nas! You need to head to to answer. Go, go, go!

  • Zadia

    12 lived on Moravia rd. Cool

  • Amma Mama

    Love them, their authenticity, confidence and overall blog! It’s actually one of my FAV blogs to read. They’ve accomplished a lot in one year of blog life. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for #Blessings <3

  • Bisola

    I enjoyed this post about the sisters from I’ve been following them from the beginning. It’s definitely refreshing to see the expressions of Nigerian-Americans on a digital platform. It encourages my own writing on my blog, Gidi & Pearls. Olivia thanks for this series!