Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Fatima’s Bridal Shower, a Celebration of Sisterhood
By E. Mesiyah McGinnis, Photo Journalist
Published January 27, 2022

Pam Bakewell and her daughter, Fatima Elswify, share a special moment and bond at her bridal shower.

On Saturday, January 22, a group of women gathered at the Jamaica Bay Inn in Marina Del Rey, CA, to celebrate Fatima Elswify’s soon-to-be wedding and marriage to Matthew Thomas.   The attendees were comprised of friends and family from various areas of her life.

The Inn was the ideal venue to host such a special event, with decorations created by Fatima’s sister, Amira Elswify.  Her cousin, Lauren Brazile hosted the intimate shower that was packed with elegant fun.  The group enjoyed fine cuisine, played games, shared stories, and danced while shouting to onlookers, “She’s getting married!”



Amira Elswify, Pam Bakewell, and Fatima Elswify at Fatima’s bridal shower at the Jamaica Bay Inn in Marina Del Rey, CA.

While at the event, The Sentinel asked Fatima, her mother, Pam Bakewell, and cousin, Lauren Brazile their thoughts on the bridal shower.

“My sister, Fatima, is my best friend. We’ve been inseparable our entire lives. Seeing the happiness on her face at the bridal shower brought happiness to my face. We’ve always been there for each other. I will continue to be her bestie and stand by her side whenever she needs me. I LOVE my Sis and wish she and Matt all the happiness in the world. Fatima is glowing!”  – Amira Elswify

Amira and Fatima treasure a moment between sisters and best friends.

“Today, as Black women and women of color, we celebrated the solidarity of a tribe connected by Fatima. The games were so fun!  We bonded as women and learned more about Fatima in the process. 

Some of her friends didn’t know Fatima’s rap side (smile).  I’ve known Fatima all of my life; she is always the life of the party.  I’m so proud of my cousin; she is a beautiful person and I’m so happy for her and Matthew.  I’ve never seen her so excited.”   Lauren Brazile

The games helped the attendees learn more about Fatima and each other.

“I am so proud and blessed to be Fatima’s Mom.  Seeing the joy and happiness in my daughter’s smile made the celebration of her becoming a bride most memorable.  Fatima is beautiful inside and out.   Seeing the love our family and friends showed to her, resembled a lovely bouquet of flowers surrounding my daughter.  

She is happy and excited to start this new chapter in life as a wife. I know God will direct her every step of this Journey as Mrs. Thomas.”Pamela Bakewell 


“My bridal celebration exceeded my expectations. Due to COVID, I haven’t been able to connect with my girlfriends and family like I usually do, and this event was truly a dream fulfilled. My soon-to-be husband, Matthew, and I decided on a courthouse wedding to avoid the stress of wedding planning in these unpredictable times. We always said we wanted our relationship to honor God first, each other, and everyone else after. 

Family and friends came together with short notice to help Fatima celebrate her upcoming wedding.

While we have peace about this, I began to feel this sadness that I wouldn’t get the opportunity to celebrate with some of the women in my life that I love most. Thanks to my mother, sister, and cousin, I was able to have a celebration that blew my mind. Every woman present means so much to me. I had aunts, cousins, sister-in-laws, new friends, old friends, and truthfully, each and every person there, who I believe, represent the people who will be there for me in my marriage. 



I am proud to have such powerful women of color and women of God in my corner.  Every single woman present truly exudes unconditional love and support. God really does answer prayers. This day was truly one of the best days of my life.

 And my mother is truly heaven-sent and never fails to go above and beyond to make me feel loved. She is special and because of her, I feel super special and prepared to enter this brand-new season of marriage wrapped up in so much love and indescribable joy.” – Fatima Elswify, soon to be Mrs. Thomas 


Fatima invited the women whose lives have impacted hers and those she wanted to share her marriage with.

The event culminated with pictures and embraces of gratitude and best wishes for Fatima, as she steps forward into her future but with a powerful tribe of supportive women by her side.  The remaining images tell a story of love and camaraderie with a beautiful group of empowering and supportive women of color.

Mr. Matthew Thomas and Mrs. Fatima Thomas were married on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.


Mr. Matthew Thomas and Mrs. Fatima Thomas (Courtesy Photo)

Categories: Crenshaw & Around | Lifestyle | Local | Uncategorized
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