Monthly Archives: June 2018

“I Have Learnt To Never Judge People By Their Mistakes Because I Have Made Some Myself”- Vector on Recovering From Downtime

Through my downtimes, I realised certain things:

First, I realised the power of women.
The truth is, I tried as much as possible not to let the downtime weigh me down but then, I didn’t know how to deal with emotions. Kudos to my girlfriend, she pulled her weight. There was a time I got really drunk due to all of the pressure, my girlfriend came to get me and found me in the toilet. She didn’t leave, she didn’t get disgusted, she stood by me. She tried to be there however she could.

Second, I realized that truly, at the end of it all, you’re all by yourself. So, I began to appreciate life more, it then made sense to me to be around people who I care about genuinely and those who genuinely care about me but I had ignored due to my busy schedule and fame. It just happened that around that time, my dad died. I wish we’d spent more time together, done nice things together more but I was always travelling.

I also realized the power of prayer. I was so into the heat of the moment and the race of the competition, I would forget to pray. Prayer elevated my spirit because whatever/whomever you believe in and you pray to, gives you some sort of energy and faith yourself. For me, I prayed to God and the moment I prayed and connected to my belief, my energy was renewed. I began to believe I can be better and do better

DANG: NOW THAT YOU’RE OUT OF THAT DOWNTIME, WHAT WAS THE ULTIMATE LESSON FOR YOU?

VECTOR: Few are the artists that have gone through my ordeal and are still artists till today. One ultimate thing I learnt during this time was never to judge people’s mistakes because I’ve gone wrong in my own ways and I’ve learnt from it. Karma will hit us all at some point in our lives, let’s stay calm, learn from it, grow from it and become better people

Whatever you’re going through right now, there is a reason why you’re being humbled with that experience. Take life and everything that happens to you as a process of growth. You must grow from your pain or it would have been a waste of your time and God’s.

For the First Time Ever, I Got a Laser Hair Removal, It was Suppose to be Bikini Line Treatment, but I Thought to Myself, “What if my Village People Decided it was my Jajaina’s Turn to Perish

One time we had a conversation on this platform about waxing and shaving. Someone wrote to me: “DANG just gets laser hair removal and be done with shaving and waxing forever”. I was reluctant but I really would like to get shaving/waxing off my to-do list. So, off to OasisMedSPa, I went. Why not? I like to experience new things

I was attended to by the beautiful Freda, who asked me, “are you ready for your laser hair removal?”. She was smiling too much, like when doctors want to birth a baby. I developed cold feet and said “Please I don’t want any laser going close to my jajaina. Can we try my armpit instead?”. I raised my shaved armpit eagerly and looked at her with pity in my eyes. I can’t do this, I can’t!

I guess I wasn’t the first person who developed cold feet because she smiled knowingly and nodded in agreement. She then proceeded to prep me for the laser hair removal. While my armpit was getting numbed, another doctor came in, His name is Doctor Bruce. He suggested I get a face polish as well due to the discolouration on my face. I agreed. After the face polish, I was admiring my face (as it had immediately developed a glass-like glow) when I heard Freda say “Doctor Bruce, give her the special treatment”.

I immediately felt the Doctor’s thumbs and Index fingers deep in my collarbone, travelling south… Ahhhh Freda, what are you people trying? Right by the tip of my breast, the Doctor stopped, squeezed, then pulled back his hands as his thumb travelled up my neck, pressed deep into it, travelled south again, then repeat (many times).

Jesuuuuuuuu. Doctor Bruce!!! Where have you been all my life? I didn’t know when I started making crazy sounds, I heard people laugh except Doctor Bruce, he was busy giving me the neck/collarbone massage of life and of destiny. I couldn’t feel my head on my neck anymore, WOW!
.
When you go to Oasis Med Spa, you better ask for that massage, IT IS FREE!

So how did the Laser Hair treatment go? It felt like I was tweezing my brows but it was over in minutes. I’ll be going back for more treatments.

Thank you Oasismedspa for being awesome. Doctor Bruce, you’re the real MVP!

#FlashbackFriday: When an African Parent Tells You “put it on my head”. Don’t Do It

I remember one time, mama just got back from a party, her gele (head tie) pushed up to rest on her forehead, indicating tiredness from too much Jollof (literally and figuratively). I was seated by the landline, waiting on a call from my abroad boyfriend while I read a Nora Roberts novel. I was immersed in the book, so I greeted her with the least enthusiasm ever, Ekaabo (Translation: Welcome).

“Hmmmm” she responded. If my brain was functioning at capacity at the time, I would have known that was a bad sign, but Nora Roberts got me hooked. I didn’t have time for anything or anyone, not even my own mother who pushed me out of her jajaina. From the corner of my eye, I saw mama remove her gele without untying it and handed it over to me. This is the way our living room was set up: Our landline had a special table and chair away from the living room sette, right behind the 3-seater. The 3 seater was closely connected with stools in the middle as demarcators. Mum was seated on the 3-seater which means she had two stools, a couple of settes and the extra space beside her to place her gele.

But she avoided all those and passed it to me. Still distracted, I collected the gele and asked: “what should I do with this?”.She mumbled something, I didn’t hear. I believe I was reading the chapter where the hunk had slammed the door and walked away, leaving his romantic interest sprawled on the floor crying in agony. Did she hold her chest to keep her heart from breaking into tiny little pieces? I can’t remember. But, it was an agonising time in Nora Roberts land and I just needed to knw if the hunk would turn back to make things right. They always turn back. Still, I had to know.

In the midst of all these, I asked mama “ma?” She repeated herself “I said put it on my head now”. Oh. Okay. She was probably going out again. I dropped my novel, face down, and I moved the telephone designated chair closer to mama and helped place the gele firmly on her head. I checked to see that I had done a good job and then I attempted to move back to my previous position to continue reading.

I don’t know what landed on the floor first, the book, the chair or me. Mama had a mean backhand and she flung it straight in my direction, hitting me smack in the face, causing all of us (book, chair and I) to hit the floor almost simultaneously. Nora Roberts landed faded quickly, I returned to real life, where there was no hunk and my mum was queen.  Shock kept me on the floor, as I watched mama calmly remove her gele and strut to her room with a warning side eye.

What have I done now? I thought ti myself. It took a minute but I eventually got it.

Shoot! Error!!!

Damn Nora Roberts!

Find your groove

Find Your Groove. Own It. Dance To It: How Ife Got Her Groove Back!

Find Your Groove. Own It. Dance To It.

I have extreme flaws, one of them used to be; trying to make people feel better about my ambitions. When I’m asked about my plans, I would worry that people may not understand or that I may intimidate them, so I either say nothing or simply be modest in my response.

Someone once told me, “You’re dropping too much content on your page, you’ll burn out and run out of things to say. Slow down, you have all the time in the world”.  My answer should have been “I enjoy writing, why should I stop doing that because I’m afraid my talent will run out?” Instead, I said, “Really? what do you suggest?”

Not like I intended accepting her suggestion but that was the best way to not seem over-ambitious.

Another time, a friend advised me to include some sort of celebrity/sensational news in my blogging style as this was what “brings the crowd to your platform”. my response should have been: “I trust absolutely in my abilities to hold my own without dragging people down in the process”. I didn’t say that, instead I smiled and said I’d think about it.

In my business, when I was asked to quote a price or margin for my product, I know exactly what price I’d like to set, but I didn’t want to seem over-ambitious, especially when clients say “you like money too much madam”. So, I tone it down a notch, give a lower price than I intended and then feel bad about it later.

I know what I want, I just didn’t like for people to judge me for it.

Things changed when I read “The Girl Entrepreneur” by Ibukun Awosika. I realized in no way would I reach my full potential if I continued to underprice myself, tone it down or slow things down because I don’t want people to feel bad. These same people who are living their best lives…

I then made up my mind to ask for what I deserve and speak like I mean it, I actually wrote down a list of people I needed to set right. I told my friend who was a client, I was done with lowering my prices just so I won’t look bad. “Henceforth I will demand what I know I deserve and we can take it from there”.

Guess what? She did not argue, I bet in her mind she thought “It’s about time”.

when the lady who suggested I may run out of things to write messaged me again and said, “Madam you’re still doing that thing we talked about”. I responded, “LOL. I love it”.  With a smile and heart emoji. She unfollowed me and I didn’t even notice.

It was like I found a new superpower, I stood up straighter and looked into people’s eyes when I told them my ‘ridiculous plans’. Now, I revel in my ambitions, I don’t feel like I owe anyone an apology and I feel so much satisfaction in fulfilling my purpose. In my mind’s eyes, the door to possibilities is wide open, I just have to walk in and explore.

This is such an exhilarating feeling.

If you’re reading this, Find your groove. Own it. Dance to it.  And when you need counsel, your soul always knows who to listen to and what their motives are.

#DANG

Vividly

The Time I Almost Committed Murder : Postpartum Chronicles

I vividly remember when I had my first child. Every day of the pregnancy was bliss. I was so strong and energetic that I didn’t know I was in labour until the doctor advised he checked if I was due for labour, to our surprise  I was already in labour. That evening, my husband and I decided to have a cup of Ice-cream and Sharmawa just because; “It was our last night of freedom, and we were going to enjoy  ourselves .”

The next day, had me strolling into the hospital to give birth to my precious baby. Barely less than 40 minutes into active labour, she came forth, no words can explain what I felt at that moment. Then came the time to sew the cut I had, they gave me anaesthetics and then the light went off.

You can imagine the pain that was waiting for me after the light came back on. The drug had waned off, they had to sew me without any anaesthetics.. Olorun mii. The pain was worse than labour was for me.

I had done all the needful to prepare myself for the experience of breastfeeding but I was not ready for the aftermath of the painful sewing of my vagina. When the procedure was done and it was time to feed my daughter, viola! No breastmilk

The nurses kept pressing my nipple (imagine the pain again) and when they saw my nipple was clean and still no milk, we were advised to wait. We waited again and again for two days, but all that came out was tiny drops of breast milk. My daughter was crying uncontrollably, but I had heard people say exclusive breastfeeding is the only way, and any other way doesn’t make you mother enough. So, I was persistent…

People will call me and the first thing they will ask is “hope you are lactating well, you must do exclusive breastfeeding please no artificial milk abeg”

Nobody asked if I was doing ok?  If I was resting enough if I was relaxed and adjusting well as a new mother. They were rather concerned about the exclusivity of the breast but not about the breast owner.

Less we forget I was in excruciating pain. Nothing was healing at all and in less than a month from delivery, the worst thing happened ….” My awful menstrual period started.”

Looking back at that time, I wasn’t as informed as I was then. Thank God for my husband, he’s a true man. He is really the priest over my life. I really wanted to be a complete mother and achieve the goal of exclusive breastfeeding but I was suffering from postpartum depression. I cried non-stop for weeks.I felt dead a lot of times though alive. Suicidal thoughts were always going through my mind but God’s mercy kept me.  There was a time  I was rushed to the hospital but they couldn’t decipher what was wrong with me.

Now, when I see a new mother, all I am concerned about is the mother. Only her. Check up on new mothers. Pray for them. Don’t you dare ask a new mother if she is doing exclusive breastfeeding if you haven’t asked her if she is doing ok. Also,  do not condemn a woman who didn’t do exclusive breastfeeding if you’ve never asked about her wellbeing.

Be constructive with the way you ask questions, don’t say are going through Depression?

And if you are going through post-partum depression please don’t keep quiet, ask or pay for help.

Talk to the Holy Spirit, He’s a great friend.

 

 

Multi-cultured Marriages and Inter-racial Relationships – The Story of the McClure Family

The McClure twins became an internet sensation when their mum Aminat shot a video of them fighting with their dad, Justin,  for eating all their snacks. And everything has snowballed from that moment. They had since shared their family moments with their millions of followers on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

Recently, the family shared their family portrait to celebrate their family’s mixed heritage. This has prompted thousands of people to share their individual stories of what it feels like to grow up in dual or multi-cultured families.

The Mcclure couple and their kids wore a West-African inspired outfit to celebrate Aminat’s Nigerian culture and heritage. Aminat who relocated from  Lagos, Nigeria with her family to  America when she was a young girl. She met Justin in Washington Heights, New York City when a guy attempted to hit on her. Justin had intervened by pretending to know Aminat.  There journey to forever had since begun from then.

Justin shared with BBC that they wanted to give the girls a lesson about how diverse the world is so they can learn to enrich themselves by opening their eyes to different cultures.

“As a family, we like to make bold statements and I wanted to celebrate Aminat’s culture.” – Justin

The clothes were made by a Cameroonian designer Claude Kameni, who contacted the family offering to design their outfits.

The couple, whose identical twin daughters already have a large social media presence, posted the picture on Instagram and Facebook where it has been shared more than 15,000 times and attracted more than 69,500 interactions.

The post which was captioned “Celebrate your culture, but also the culture of those you love. Who’s here for this?” has received more than 2,200 comments.

BBC shared that this isn’t the first time for the McClure Family to explore Aminat’s Nigerian heritage by visiting Nigerian restaurants to cook Nigerians such as Nigerian jollof rice and puff-puff.

There family portrait picture has encouraged people to share their inter-racial family stories and to appreciate the beauty of inter-racial relationships.

“Still Wearing My Accent as a Badge of Honor” : Diary of Naija Girl Living in London

When relocating to another country, you become so pumped up with excitement to lead a new life, experience a new culture and to literally see the world through a new lens, you totally forget to take a breather to think about this ‘new place’ you are going to. You forget to ask yourself questions like; will I fit in? Will I be accepted? Will the culture be totally or slightly different from mine? How hard or easy will life be in this new place?

As I am writing this, I’m reminiscing old memories, and I realise those were the questions I forgot to ask myself in my eagerness and excitement to begin a new life in the UK.

Settling into my new home has been surprisingly difficult, I have always perceived myself to be versatile, able to quickly adapt to a new environment just as easily as an indigene would. Maybe I am blending in well because  everyone around me (my family and the “few” friends that I have been able to make) seem to think that I am doing really fine but I think otherwise or at least not at the pace that I want (then again maybe that is just me setting the bar too high as usual and being hard on myself as well). Coming from Nigeria, a country where saying a casual ‘hello’ or ‘morning’ to a complete stranger is not just the norm, it is appreciated and expected. In London, the norm is completely opposite because saying a casual ‘hello’ or ‘morning’ to a complete stranger is not only seen as being overly friendly but intrusive and unwelcomed.

I had to learn ‘how things are done around here’ the hard way. I remember, my first month of being here, how I was still trying to find my way around, especially from Potters Bar where I live to the University of Hertfordshire where I am currently studying. Sometimes, I would miss my way going home or I miss my bus and I would have to wait for the next one (I had not learnt the brisk London way of walking). On this funny day, I had missed my bus as usual, (I call this day funny because I had an interesting encounter with a stranger) but this time just by a minute. Thinking back now, I think the driver might have seen me and chosen not to wait because I was literally running and panting to catch up with the bus as soon as I saw it move. I guess today is not my lucky day I said to myself as I sat, d trying to catch my breath I consciously looked around to see if anyone witnessed my unsuccessful attempt to catch up with the bus, to share a laugh with them if they did.

It was going to be a long forty-five minutes to get on the next bus. I had only sat for about a quarter of an hour when a  young man around my age came  along  being the Nigerian that I was eager to share a laugh with the stranger, I turned around to tell  him my tale of missing the bus by a minute and all I got was an awkward ‘hmmm’ as he hurriedly put on his headphones. I got the message he was trying to pass across loud and clear.

Even now as I remember the stranger and his awkward reply I am laughing really hard because I know that if this had happened in Nigeria it would have turned out differently. The stranger and I would have had a good laugh or the stranger would be sharing a similar story of him in the same situation or that of a friend who had been in that situation as well. My encounter with the ‘stranger’ made me confirm that the ‘heads down and hands typing away  on the phones’ and the ‘headphones on’ culture that I have noticed while  waiting for the bus or sitting inside the bus every time is a subtle message which I now understand to mean people do not welcome or appreciate ‘overly friendly chat with strangers’. A culture  I will soon come to imbibe myself.

Do not get me wrong I am all for learning and embracing a new culture, after all, they say ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’. The question is should you lose yourself or what makes you ‘you’ in trying to fit in? One thing I have noticed since being in London is the way some Nigerians in the bid to fit in or blend in lose their ‘Nigerianism’ (that’s what I call those things, for example, your name or accent that makes you Nigerian). These Nigerians in the bid to fit in make their names sound English or outrightly drop their Nigerian names and adopt an English one. Well, I do not blame them as that is the way they know how to handle being different coupled with the notion of having one’s name being mispronounced or the ‘what’? And ‘I’m sorry what’? the reaction that follows when you say your name coupled with the feeling of excitement when somebody finally pronounces your name right or makes an effort to.

I mean effort; actual genuine effort is all it takes to make a fellow human feel ‘seen’, feel accepted and that’s the reason I tell myself that it is not my responsibility to make my name sound cool enough or English enough for you to pronounce. It is your responsibility as well as mine to make an effort to pronounce peoples names right, as you do not know what meaning you take out of the names when mispronounced (Nigerian names are known to be unique and descriptive, so when mispronounced the meaning is lost as well as the story behind the name). I get it, I really do, I understand the need, the urgency to desperately to want to fit in and belong in a world where your difference is seen as clear as day. So, I get it, but I really do not understand why those Nigerians will give up their Nigerian names for an English one but I see it as giving up without putting up a fight in this battle to be relevant, to be visible, to be heard and to be acknowledged as an equal although different  but yet unique, because the difference is an identity,  a badge, it is what makes that Nigerian ‘Nigerian’ (so to say).

Now coming to accent or identity, as I will prefer it. Well, excuse me if I do not speak English like the English, after all, the way I speak is a reflection of my heritage, of my culture and of who I am as a person. I should not be resigned to hide from that or choose to become a reticent version of my usual chatty and outspoken self, like some people who speak different like me have been resigned to. One of the ‘few’ friends I have been able to make is a Chinese girl in my class who at first I thought was a ‘ quiet and reserved Chinese girl’ who smiles a lot. On getting to know her, I realised her real self is the direct opposite of this quiet and reserved façade that she has created in response to the reaction she gets when she speaks English, in the way she knows how to with her unique voice and an accent that reflects her heritage.

Another is my Ugandan classmate who has resigned to being quiet and not letting her voice be heard just because she speaks differently. There’s also my Pakistani classmate who has resigned to quietness, which is the direct opposite of her real self. I will not be resigned to creating a dual version of myself: a reticent version shown to those who see my difference and the real me that I show to those who see me as I am; the Nigerian girl who speaks English in her rich and unique Nigerian accent. No, I refuse to create a dual identity. ‘I am who I am’ and I will not apologise for that. I wear my accent as a badge of honour, that is a reflection of where I am from and who I am.

For now, I have decided to acknowledge and embrace my new world with its rich culture but I wouldn’t make my heritage any less while embracing it.

Written by Oredola Akinniranye for Diaryofanaijagirl

Image from: Shutter Stock

Mindfulness

Mindfulness – A Lifestyle You Should Adopt

 Practising mindfulness brings you into the moment. It gives you control over your thoughts and makes you conscious of the world around you.  It doesn’t take much to be mindful it can be as easy as taking a deep breath, or listing the things you’re grateful for. Mindfulness helps you filter out negative thoughts and helps you to become more productive in your day-to-day activities.

Mindfulness works wonders, but how exactly does one go about it? Here are few tips on how to go about it:

  1. Have an in-depth meaning of Mindfulness: Mindfulness simply means observing and acknowledging your feelings, thoughts or sensations without dwelling on them. There are times people convince themselves to do something and begin to over think it, naturally, the mind makes up stories and ‘spin’ around them. When this happens you lose focus  and spending time worrying without getting anything done.When this happens, take a deep breath and focus on one thing at a time, this will enable your mind to settle and you will be able to get more things done than you would have ordinarily
  2. Observe it every day: The easiest way to incorporate mindfulness into your life is to find a way to connect to it on a daily basis. Simple things such as noticing the sensations in your body or your breath as you brush your teeth, drink water, or drive home from work, Having a daily routine  helps you stay mindful.
  3. Release your expectation: Mindfulness requires that you release all expectations and  you sincerely appreciate the moment as it is. Without worrying or over thinking thinking the situation.
  4. Begin now: Just start! Make up your mind today to  stay mindful. The beauty of mindfulness is you can practice it in multiple ways such as sitting, standing, lying down, walking or eating. And it can be done at any place or time.

Mindfulness can be an ideal tool to improve your personal and professional life—something that can cause a “positive ripple” effect across both areas and it will ultimately help you to be successful.

Give mindfulness a try this week!

 

 

 

That Time A Married Woman Tried To Hustle A Single Man With Me

Yesterday, around 10:20 pm my gas finished while I was boiling rice. Please focus on the topic at hand, stop wondering “Ife, why eat so late?” What to do? No way I going to buy gas at that time of the night, so, I decided to call my neighbour, Chi

“Hi Mama, I hope I did not wake you?”

she replied, “Noo, we still get visitors for house, What’s up?”

“Well, I was cooking and my gas finished. Can I come through the back door to finish boiling my rice at yours?” I asked with no shame. It was payback time because one morning at 4:30 am she called me non-stop to ask for toothpaste so…….yea.

I picked up my pot of half cooked rice and went through the back door which was the entrance to her kitchen. My dear neighbour had turned on her gas cooker for me, I simply placed the pot on the burner and waited.

I asked her where her husband was and she informed me he was entertaining guests but I could peek my head out and say a quick “Hello”. I stepped out of the kitchen to a room full of 4 men in my pyjamas and a week old cornrows. I scanned the room quickly for Emeka (my neighbour’s husband) but my eyes landed on Idris Elba mixed Mbaku with a slight Micheal B. Jordan as an ingredient. Oh, let me clarify, this is one with all those people’s features. I don’t know who did it but something pulled my brows up, widened my eyes and I instinctively took a step back.

I bumped into Chi and I wondered what she was doing behind me. My brain soon kicked in and I smiled at the chocolate mixed with honey. He smiled back, full teeth, Jesuuu! Ekis sir put all your teeth back, I can’t breathe. Emeka then said, “Hey Ife how now?” Emeka had been beside me all along but teeth so bright, I lost focus. We exchanged pleasantries and I did a quick about turn into the kitchen, with Chi on my heels.

“Why are you following me so closely?” I asked Chi as soon as we got into the Kitchen. She said, “Shebi you saw that fine man. Hay God! He’s so cute. I knew you’d notice him. Let’s go back out again as if we’re going to the room, to take another look”

Huh?

“Ekis ma your husband is right there. Control yourself” I laughed out loud. She looked quite excited like she had found an accomplice. “What’s his name?” I asked Chi

“I can’t remember, everything stopped when were being introduced. And I can’t sit there, they’re talking business” she replied

Not that I didn’t want to see Captain America plus Black Panther again, I just wasn’t going to roam around the house aimlessly. When I told Chi this, her shoulders slumped and she called me a killjoy.

Just about then, Emeka came into the Kitchen to announce their departure, in an unspoke request for his wife to bid their guests’ bye. Shortly after, I heard the kitchen door open, I did not bother to look up from what I was doing on my phone thinking it was Chi. Then I heard an unfamiliar voice say “I had to come to say goodbye since you didn’t come out to bid us farewell”

“Bid us farewell” who says that? I thought to myself as I scanned the features of his face with a smile

In a flash, Chi was by my side, smiling foolishly, looking silly with no care in the world. I found my voice and  said to him “Oh sorry about that” I did not know what more to say, however, Chi took over in split seconds and said, “You must come back to visit, we will be glad to have you?”

Mr Caramel nodded, bid us farewell again and off he went. I told Chi “Could your lust be more obvious?” She planted her heavy behind beside me on the kitchen Island and gave me a side hug saying “Oh Ife, what a fine man. I hope he comes back.”

Oh wow! None of this was about me or how he came back to the kitchen to look for me”  SMH.

Issokay

Oprah

Oprah Signs $1 Billion Deal With Apple: 4 Things #OprahTaughtMe About Business

The tech race for the top streaming platform just got interesting thanks to our billionaire bestie Oprah’s newest partnership with Apple.

The $1 billion agreement will be the biggest in the tech company’s history and will up the ante in the competition between platforms like HBO, Amazon, and Netflix who said that they would commit a total of $8 billion dollars to programming this year.

In May, Netflix announced their multi-year deal with Barack and Michelle Obama, proving that web streaming is the wave of the future and everyone wants a piece of the action, even industry heavy hitters like Shonda Rhimes and Steven Spielberg.

Apple said in a statement:

“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.”

Oprah’s become one of the most prominent and visible businesswomen of our generation, and she acquired this title through a whole lot of hard work and black girl magic.

Here are four things we can learn from Oprah about business:

Build Your Resume So That One Day You Won’t Need One

I can bet that Oprah didn’t have to apply for this partnership. Apple, like the rest of the free world, was aware of her accolades and credentials before she even took a seat at the negotiation table. She didn’t need a resume. Sometimes it’s best to make moves in silence, but it’s also important that your hustle is visible to people that matter.

Never Accept Less Than You Deserve

According to Google, Oprah’s net worth is $3 billion dollars. Her recent partnership was equal to a third of her current net worth and is one of the biggest deals ever made by Apple. As black women, we are constantly devalued, especially in professional spaces. Oprah is proof that tenacity and some serious black girl sorcery will make even the biggest companies cut the check.

Balance Multiple Hustles

As a part of her agreement with Apple, she will remain Chief Executive of her own network. Under Oprah’s current contract with OWN, she is only able to make limited appearances on other networks. Our girl O finessed the situation so that the few appearances she does make are wildly lucrative. Your 9-5 doesn’t have to eliminate your opportunity to pursue other hustles. Oprah has a magazine, television network, book club, and has invested in a number of industries. She didn’t become a millionaire by being a one-trick pony, and now she’s a billion dollar stallion. Take notes.

Leverage Your Brand

Oprah has become wildly successful by building a business around being herself. The difference between Oprah and other women with the same career path is Oprah’s ability to see herself as a product and do business accordingly. Your brand is more than a logo and a website, but your ability to connect with your target audience and fulfil a specific need. According to Apple, her ability to uncomparably connect with audiences around the world made her an ideal brand to partner with. What value does your brand add to the world?

Oprah had no immediate comment, and no details on the partnership have been released as of late, but we know that O will bring the heat and has definitely made me reconsider renewing my iTunes subscription in the future.

Written by Taylor Honore for Xonecole

Father

Molding a Boy into a Father

Fatherhood has been an underrated topic. Presently, the world is more preoccupied with empowering the women and girl-child, and no one talks about how to equip a man or boy-child to become a good man or at least a better father. It is assumed that as a MALE, you are expected to know everything by default.

Unfortunately, it has been proved wrong beyond numbers, with the steady increase in the number of crime perpetrated by the male folk. Notwithstanding, the prejudice against either gender should be eliminated. Both the male and female child should be treated with both love and care, to be raised up properly by their parents to be better leaders in our society. Fatherhood is a lovely experience if only the average man is equipped with the right tools to carry out his role.

In Nigeria, an average boy grows in a hostile environment, where his father reprimands him when he is wrong but fail to encourage him when he does the right thing. He goes to school and battles with peer pressure, being bullied or becomes a bully because he is not shown love by his primary mentor, his father. Sometimes, the role is left void and his mother tries to fit into the role with minimal or no success at all. He enters into the tertiary institution where he is being asked to join a cult group to prove his strength. When he commits into a relationship because he his raised in a home filled with sorrow and domestic violence,  the only language he most likely understands is violent and more often than none he might beat his woman to submission.

We have so many men but fewer fathers. Fatherhood is indeed a blessing. To bring out an offspring from the loins of a  man and watch that seed grow in a woman to become a child, there’s no better miracle than that. Our society should begin to recognise the roles of fathers in the society.

According to Myles Munroe, “Every father is the foundation of the home”. He goes out to battle with daily forces, he experiences rejection and failure. He enjoys 10% or less of his salary to make ends meet. In essence, the father is there to support his wife and his children. He provides and he protects his home. He is there to be his children’s primary source of education before any teacher. The roles of a father cannot be overemphasized. And that is why the devil focuses on destroying more men to bring the society to a level of decadence.

There are men who neglect their roles as fathers because they were not taught from the beginning what should be done. They leave all the work of parenting to the woman, which is entirely wrong. Some grew up to see females as a means of sexual satisfaction to the extent they rape their own blood to fulfil that urge.

The Bible in Proverbs says, “raise the child in the way he should grow, so when he is old he won’t depart from it”.

The Home is  primary source of education. Tell him that impregnating a lady and denying the pregnancy is cowardly, sleeping around does not prove manhood, neither does joining a cult make him a man.

Raise him to know that beating a woman is not manly, that a woman should be pampered and in any situation of provocation he should leave. Make him understand as a man, there is strength in keeping his cool. That the bible gave us the right model and which is Jesus and to be a good man, a good father to his family.

Imagine a society where 70% of the men have good morals, imagine a society where fathers chose to stay at home to raise their kids. The society will not be only be better and also prosperous.

Girls will feel protected and will no longer be victimized by rape, boys will learn to earn an honest living and treat every lady with respect.

Henceforth, every MALE-child should be taught the morals of being a good man, assumption that he would pick the right way should desist. Because he will one day be a father too.

Fatherhood is not easy, we should always encourage them.

God bless fathers.

HAPPY FATHERS DAY

Sochy Uche for Diaryofanaijagirl

 

Hurt

Emotional Abuse Through the Eyes of the Perpetrator

I am inspired to share my story because to an extent I understand why some people are seemingly hostile, aggressive and cold to people, especially to those they love. I have a physical condition which was caused by an injection that was administered wrongly when I  was younger. It left my legs completely paralyzed. The doctors said I had zero chances at regaining the control over my legs and I would never be able to walk again. My parents tried all they could and were left devasted when the doctors informed them. But, I wasn’t going to have any of that, I refused to believe the words of the doctors.

My mum said, I was in the living room when she heard me make a vow to God, that if he healed me and I’m able to walk again, I would spend the rest of my life singing praises to him. ( for the life of me, I can’t believe I vowed to sing because my voice is horrible). I was only 4 years old and my mum couldn’t believe I understood what it meant to make a vow to God. She was also scared of the power of vows and the implications of not keeping it.

Fast forward to few weeks after making the vow, I tried to stand up from my bed to pray and then it happened, I didn’t fall. I stood upright. I screamed so loudly it woke my dad up, he rushed to my room thinking I fell from the bed. He was astounded to find me standing not only that , I was walking, although, I was limping what could we care? Jesus healed me and did the impossible. And we were glad.

I remember using myself to preach to people as a kid. Oh Yes!  I was a bubbly kid who got along with people, a little shy, but never found it difficult making friends. My mum says she was always shocked at how I would in her words “commandeer” people when they came to our home. Young and old, I would captivate them and we would automatically become friends. I  was bubbly, happy and full of life.

All that changed when I became I teenager. I guess you can say, that “self-consciousness” teenagers battle with had set in, but it wasn’t just that. I started to feel inferior to others. I felt I wasn’t good enough. I had friends who would mock me whenever there was a  little misunderstanding. “Go and sit down with your bendy, bendy leg”. “You are here talking, you that I would break your leg” those are some of the words I was mocked with then.

This got at me, and slowly, I started to lose myself. The first person to notice this was my dad. My grades were slipping and slipping terribly, unfortunately, I didn’t care. My Dad couldn’t figure out what was happening.  By the time my parents knew what was happening, it was already too late. I tried so hard to act cool but deep inside, I was lonely and guarded. Then something happened, while a class was going on in secondary school one day, I was a little chatty with some friends. Then the teacher turned and looked in my direction. He said a lot of things to me and ended it with, “You are using your disability as an excuse to misbehave. Don’t think I can’t  punish you”.

I tried to act tough and pretend those words didn’t hurt me, but when I got home, I cried my heart out. That was the first time anyone had called me disable. He did not scold the others who were chatty, he scolded only me, in the most degrading way, publicly. I didn’t want to go to school the following day, because I was ashamed of myself. Slowly, I started to build walls around myself. I struggled through school, not because I was exactly dull, but because I didn’t care anymore, I had told myself I wasn’t good enough and I was inferior to everyone else.

If secondary school was hard, then I wasn’t prepared for what was thrown my way when I got into the university. I would walk past people, and they would laugh at me. I found it difficult walking with my head raised high especially when I was alone. When my dad eventually got me a phone that could play music,  it was heaven for me. I would walk with my ears plugged because I did not want to hear the laughs.

The incidence that scarred me deeply and changed me totally happened in my mom’s boutique. The sales girls in my mum’s boutique were writing GCE exams and I offered to step in to help out whenever they had papers.  On this particular day, 2 girls walked in and I immediately recognised them, even though I could not immediately place their faces. I initially thought I had met them either through friends or in church, so I tried to be friendly with them. I noticed they were snubs, but I brushed it aside, I told myself  I was imagining things.

I showed them around, then they came across a pair of slippers which they picked up. Then one of them said, “this is the slippers that girl wey leg dey pain dey struggle waka with for faculty. E no know say leg dey pain am, but e go dey do shakara”. They busted out laughing while one of them looked at me and continued laughing.

 I was the girl they were talking about. The slippers were unique, weirdly unique and that is why I loved it.  They did what they wanted to do and left but not without making one or two unpleasant remarks again. When they left, I was dazed. I could not believe what had just happened. I zoned out. I was blank. I ca n’t describe what happened but I know I felt so much pain that this time around I could not cry.

I was in that state for what may have been hours, because I only became aware physically when the driver came to pick me. According to him, he thought I was sleeping because he blared the horn of the car for me to come out, but I didn’t.

When I got home, I avoided my parents, I did not utter a word. I did not have the energy to eat. I went straight to bed. When I woke up the following day, I was a completely different person. The first thing I did was break up with my boyfriend at the time. He wasn’t putting any effort into the relationship and I figured it was because I am flawed.

I vowed not to ever allow myself to be disrespected anymore. If I built walls around myself before, I fortified those walls with anger.  I would never look for your trouble, but if I sensed any form of disrespect me, I would pop off on you. It did not matter how little the offence was. Unfortunately, this rage soon consumed me. I became this angry person whose tongue will let loose to “put you in your place”.  I had accepted my fate that I was flawed and ugly. Heck, there were days I woke up and could not look at myself in the mirror. There were days when I woke up and did not want to leave the house. I remember missing some tests at a point because I could not leave the house the fear of being mocked held me bound.  However, when I did leave the house, I  wasn’t going to let anyone put me down. I continued through life like this until one day I had a spat with my mum. After I had screamed in blind rage and fury, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said  “I don’t know what happened to you. You were sweet and kind, now I don’t know what you have turned to. Whatever happened, I want my baby back”.

Those words cut me I felt guilty, ashamed and sorry. You see, I want to change, but it is almost impossible with people constantly mocking me besides I don’t know how to anymore. I live in fear of people, especially total strangers. Fear that they would be mean to me. I am not open or friendly anymore and the truth is the fortified walls of anger I have built around me have become so difficult to break.

 I am not trying to justify this behaviour, I am just trying to make people understand, that most times, people were never born angry and bitter, but they were made this way. Some people want to change, but unfortunately, they have been so hurt, they don’t know what being genuinely happy and loving really is. They have forgotten the definition of self-acceptance. Sometimes, anger comes from a place of self-hate borne from rejection and heartbreak and the need for love and acceptance. Most times it’s a defence mechanism.

Written by Yvonne O for Diaryofanaija girl

 

Ex Girlfriend

That Time I Tried on Love That Wasn’t Mine

I remember that time I tried on love that wasn’t mine. I convinced myself that it fit. The owner wore it without discomfort but love itself told me it belonged to me. I’d watch the owner wear it, and I’ll wait for my turn to try it on. But I had only a short time to try it on because it wasn’t mine. Then I’d pray to God, ‘let this love fit me. My heart wants it. Even love wants me’.

But it wasn’t mine.

So, I took it to a seamstress, “fix love for me”. I said. The seamstress turned it inside out, looked at me with pitiful eyes and said, “The owner has stretched it. There’s no space left to adjust for you.” I looked at love, it said, “maybe both of you can fit into me” I stamped my feet, pouted and put my arms akimbo “you’re mine, I don’t share”. Love said, “but you’re already sharing”.

Wow. Love was wrong, I wasn’t already sharing, I was borrowing. Even when I did borrow, it didn’t fit. The owner of love was living in ignorance, which was bliss. I, who tried on love that wasn’t mine lived in tears because of open wounds I had sustained.

From trying on love that wasn’t mine. In trying to forcefully fit it on, it tore at every corner of my heart, it hurt but I didn’t notice because I was focused on making a borrowed item permanently mine.

But then, the heart began to bleed. I eventually had to take care of my wound, so I stopped trying “IT” on. Love had No time for drama anyway. I was damaged, its owner was living la vi da loca. Love went back to where it fits.

I know now if love doesn’t fit, don’t forcefully try it on. Love looked beautiful and perfect but it wasn’t for me. Now, I choose Love that only fits without me having to squeeze myself in. Love that calms my heart, not the one that tears it apart.#Most importantly, I know now, love doesn’t have to be beautiful and perfect but it has to NOT have an owner. Then, I’ll try it on.

support system

Life is Hard – Get Yourself A Support System

So many things happened to me today, I feel like I must share some of them with you. Early this morning, my supplier slammed me with a shocking news: “No more credit sales, henceforth, you must give me bank guarantee of…(A huge sum of money) before I release product to you.

I sat up straight on hearing the amount and began to quickly find a way around it. As my head was calculating and throbbing at the same time, my friend called.

“Ife can you talk?” She asked

“I can if it’s an emergency” I responded

“Well, it is. I want to run away. Would it be irresponsible if I just dropped everything and go away for a while? This responsibility is too much. I’m so tired. I need to go away. The burden is too heavy on me…” My friend’s voice was thin and tired. I felt her words deep in my soul and even though I had my own stuff going on, I had to make a short stop to check up on her in her office. I couldn’t stay long but I was able to make her laugh and we were able to reach a solution as to how she can take a break but not run away.

I went back to trying to find a solution to my own situation. Then, this evening another friend called to talk about some things she was going through. She was weak and tired of it all when she was done sharing all that she was going through she said to me “look, I’m going home. I’m shutting down this laptop and going home to take a walk or just chill, we’ll pick things up tomorrow”. I shared with her what had happened to me earlier in the day and we ended the conversation encouraging one another

This is the lesson I took from today’s situation: no man is an Island. You can’t hold everything in yourself, you will crush from the weight of it all if you don’t unburden to someone you trust.

My friends and I felt lighter today after we helped shoulder one another’s burden. That enough, made us want to try again tomorrow.

Life is hard. Please get a support system. Though they may not be able to solve all your problems, you’ll never lack practical and emotional support.

 

Business

20 Profitable Business Ideas That Require #100,000 Start-up Capital

It is easy to sit and lament about how hard it is to survive in Nigeria however, there are opportunities all around us. All we need is to observe and sniff them out. Here are 20 business ideas that you can start with 100 thousand naira or less.

  1. Bedsheet/Beddings Production: Visit Lagos Island or Oshodi, where they sell bulk materials, take your time in selecting a quality and beautiful designs. There are tailors on the ground that will sew it in the market. You can start this business with less than 100 thousand, with patience and diligence the business will grow.
  2. Shirt production: This business comes with ease and can serve as a side hustle for nine-to-fivers. A regular visit to Taiwo street Lagos Island does it, scout for materials whose price ranges from #700-#1,000 and employ a tailor that will sew it for prices ranging from #1,500 – #2,000. You can sell at a retail price of #5,000 or #7, 000.
  3. Boxers Production: Schedule a trip to Aba market, The cost of production of boxers is cheap. The production cost for one can be as low as N300, all you need to do is to package it into three pieces in a pack. And market them properly, take quality pictures, ask your followers or friend on twitter to make a retweet on twitter or a re-post on Instagram. Let them be affordable to buy, you can start by selling yours for #1,200 and with time you will begin to grow.
  4. E-Payments and POS Business: You can a get POS machine from your Bank, and activate online banking: If you live in a place where banks aren’t much you can handle e payments for people and make a profit. There was a time I paid someone N200 to withdraw 10k in Ikorodu just because the queue at the ATM was extremely long.
  5. Mobile and electronic Accessories such Pouches, Chargers, USB cables, HDMI cables, earphones and more, can be sourced on Alibaba, Ali Express, Deal Extreme, etc. The more you buy from the vendors on Alibaba and the likes the lower the price. Fortunately, they are light so shipping won’t be a burden. Sell on your social media pages or on Jumia and co.
  6. Popcorn Production: For this particular business all you need is Bag of corn (which you can get from Mile 12), Branded nylon, Sugar, Salt and   The beauty of this business is that it’s the aroma of the popcorn that fetches you your customer and it can be served anywhere.  A manual sealing machine costs between 7-9k  while a popcorn machine costs #65,000 on Jumia.
  7. Sales and Customizing of Football Team:  Football team supporters always want to show how much they’re rooting for a team. You can get a free consultation from my sister @The_Ronke (on Twitter) she is opened to show you the ropes and how to thrive in the business.
  8. Snail farming: Snail farming in Nigeria is relatively cheap and it is a business that requires patience to thrive. Bear in mind that it takes up to a year for snails to fully
  9. Thrift Items: Mainly clothing such as Jeans, tops, skirts and the likes can be sourced from Although you wouldn’t get a bail with #100,000 you can mix the items and sell. All you need to do is to up your branding and marketing skills. Wash and Iron all clothes when an order is made
  10. Cleaning Services: Some people find it hard to clean their apartments because they’re busy all through the week. And during the weekends they have engagements to attend to or they simply want to rest. The required tools won’t cost up to 30k and you can clean 6 apartments a weekend.
  11. Home Cooking and Delivery:  This is a business you can run from home.  Cook variety of meals and apply customer services skills. @Soup_A_Market and @Marrgarritah (on Twitter) are more than capable hands to train you on how to start up.
  12. Digital Marketing: The success of any business is in its ability to effectively reach its teeming customers and this can be achieved by effective marketing: Get a Used Laptop and Smartphone, a modem or temporarily your smartphone can double as your hotspot
  13. Cakes and Confectionery: This is one business that always comes to play, people celebrate, and bakers are always Get the required skill, a decent oven, passion and customer service.
  14. Aso-Oke Beading and Stoning has been in vogue now, and this is another sweet business one can start with 100k.
  15. Home Service Barber: This is another profitable small-scale You’re meeting a need and you will only be charging a little above the regular price in which the consumers will be more than willing to pay. Get your equipment and while at it remember there are rechargeable clippers now
  16. Tutorial Classes: No matter your age, this is another well-paying job, either as part-time or full-time. Many families are willing to spend what it takes for their children’s success and there’s one subject you’re well versed at. Just close the gap, meet their need for a fee.
  17. Internet Services: Forget the extensive coverage of internet and the fact that people can assess it on their phones; Do you know how much applicants pay just to have Jamb applications filled online? You need a good system, printer & internet service provider (ISP). People pay as much as 1k per application
  18. Production of Zobo, Smoothies, cocktail, small chops, cupcakes and chin-chin: You’d realize the importance of this combo can’t be ruled out. You can render these services with 100k start-up capital coupled with proper marketing, branding, and
  19. Production of Hand-Made cards: Do you know people pay good money for these thing made of paper and strawboard. This is one business you can start with less than 100k. My friend @CraftsVillageNG (on Twitter) started in his bedroom! And his cards went far.
  20. Re-Invest your seed Capital in an existing business: Not everyone has the head for business but they can sniff opportunities. You can always sow your money as operating capital and draft an agreement on profit sharing.

Truth is there so much one can do with very little, it takes persistence, focus, interest and above all hard work. We can’t all be rich but we all shouldn’t be poor.

First seen on Twitter:@bodalanre

comparison

Get Off the Comparison Bus

The ride on the comparison bus is all-consuming and exhausting.  It is the true enemy of peace and contentment. One we usually find ourselves hopping on before we blink our eyelids twice. The tendency to compare ourselves to others is as human as any other emotion.

However, we must make the conscious effort to get off this bus. I was once on the comparison bus and it hurt my self-esteem badly, I never felt good enough and I used to walk around with my head bowed. A few years ago I found these practical guides that helped me get off the comparison bus.

  1. Become intimately aware of who you are:

As cliché as it may sound, out of the 7.3 billion people in the world, there is no one else like you.  You’re unique and special; you should look into the mirror every morning and tell yourself that. Write down all your dreams and goals, also, write down all that you’ve accomplished in the past. Let them serve as the motivation you need to achieve your dreams and goals.

  1. Keep a gratitude journal:

Write down everything you’re grateful for. It forces you to recognize the things you have and the things you take for granted, such as good health. It also takes your eyes off the person next to you reducing the chances of you comparing yourself to he/her.

  1. Remind yourself that nobody is perfect:

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Triumph requires an obstacle to be overcome. And everybody is suffering through their own, whether you are close enough to know it or not.

  1. Find inspiration in place of comparison

Instead of doing a chronic comparison between yourself and other people, let their lives inspire you. Humbly ask questions of the people you admire or read biographies as inspiration.

Remember the grass is greener where you water it and not on the other side. The people you compare yourself with don’t always have it easier.

Step

Diary of a Stepmom

I got married to a man who has a 15-year-old daughter, six months ago. She lives with us in Port Harcourt. She is the exact replica of her mother (I would have preferred she looked like my husband though but that’s not the issue).

The issue is I am expected to warm up to the child immediately. I believe that if both parties are forced to, there will be resistance which will create problems in our home.

Love requires an amount of time to grow. You may feel rush of emotions when you meet your partner or when a mother meets her baby for the first time but if not, it doesn’t happen automatically.

The society as conveniently overlooked the science that goes into the bonding process between step relations. It is more difficult to be a step parent than it is to raise your biological child. In raising your biological child, you know the values, standards and patterns of behaviour you want your child to possess.

When you are given a child whose attitudes and standards are not in sync with yours, then there are problems lurking around (this explains why people prefer to adopt toddlers to teenagers). Being unprepared emotionally makes step-parenting more difficult. The skills of mothering can be learned with time but rejection from children or negative influence from their biological parents can pose as a serious problem.

Most times, the step-parents are doing their best. Doing twice as much, out of duty to their new spouse but sometimes their best isn’t appreciated or good enough, simply because the child isn’t theirs. It is easy for men to shelf the responsibility because they are brought up to think they can’t handle children; after all, it is woman’s duty.  A woman may already have a toddler and be proud of her mothering abilities but have zero clues on how to care for a stepchild if given one.

Women, who are yet to give birth to a child of their own, are often pressurized by the society and themselves. They see step parenthood as an opportunity to prove themselves worthy of the opportunity. They instantly jump into building a relationship with their stepchild and when met with the natural difficulties of being a step parent they find it surprising and painful.

The bitter truth is you certainly can’t be expected to love your step kids simply because you love their dad. It’s an unrealistic expectation. Take care of them, help them with anything they need and be careful while at it to avoid marital issues. Please mind your business where necessary because remember no matter how hard you try, the child isn’t yours and you can’t take decisions for her like you would for your child. People in this situation need to understand this to reduce their guilt.

In my own case, I try my best to take good care of my step-daughter. I do the school runs, buy her expensive gifts, and help her with everything she asks me to. However, I don’t interfere too much. I don’t send her on errands and I have never tried to hit her no matter what. I can confidently say I’m easing into loving her a-step-a-day.

I believe she will even enjoy more than my biological kids because I always have to go extra mile for her just to prove to myself, my spouse and her, that I can be a great mother to her but for now I have no emotional attachments towards her.  There are no hugs, no kisses, and we have fewer conversations.

DOES THIS MAKE ME A BAD PERSON?

With all the efforts I have put in, my husband feels I haven’t done enough. Will this be the case if she was mine? I feel I have to set boundaries because there is a limit to the discipline I can give her. When it comes to step-parenting no one will ever tell you that the foundation of your marriage will be mostly dependent on that child and you will mostly walk on eggshells in your own home else you would be termed an evil step parent.

I opine that having a peaceful home when step-parenting is not dependent on just one partner, the spouse bringing the child (children) into the marriage has a role to play. They should not dump the child on the wife with high expectations to meet.

 

An anonymous writer for Diaryofanaijagirl

 

Read the Story of Kenya’s Serial Entrepreneur Who Went From Selling Yogurt to Building a Multi-million Dollar Telecoms Empire – Without a Degree

Before venturing into the ‘tech world’ I had tried various businesses before hitting this goldmine.

My first business was selling yoghurt from a friend’s car trunk to high school students. Also,
I was a part-time hairdresser, I was at the salon when I realized another business opportunity. Which was selling luxury merchandise to my high net worth clients. I would fly to London to get luxury goods for retail purposes.

In 2000, I co-founded East Africa’s first mass-market oriented Internet Service Provider (ISP), Wananchi Online (a Swahili word meaning ‘citizen’ or ‘the people’) it made Internet connectivity affordable for the average household in Kenya for the first time.

My name is synonymous with this company. The company is the reason why I am called the “Tech Entrepreneur” in some circles in Kenya. My business partner and I grew the business from a typical start-up to become the largest Internet Service Provider in East Africa, with a network of five regional offices.

As CEO, I raised the first tranche of $500,000 and the second tranche of $3M for Wananchi, eventually, the company’s worth rose to $238M.  I was responsible for raising the initial start-up capital for Wananchi Online.

In 2008 I was assigned to lead the restructuring of Telkom Kenya, a previously state-owned corporation. I oversaw and was instrumental in the retail brand launch of the Orange brand into Kenya and, in doing so, I handled a commercial budget of up to $44M. In commercializing the GSM network, I was responsible for 826 employees.

I do not have a degree however, I have done various certificate courses because I found that they were more practical in allowing me to achieve the things that I need to achieve.

I judge myself based on my performance vis-à-vis today’s challenges and opportunities. I am passionate about growth in others and myself. Success for me is defined by increased value – not simply financial rewards.  I think that there are lots of opportunities in this world and a lot of opportunities in Africa for both men and women.

I’ve demonstrated that being a woman is not a barrier to success. If you are determined, and passionate about what you do and work hard you can be successful no matter what.

First seen on BBC News

Scars

Dang Survivor: Kay Obum Shares His Truth on Self-Love and Living with Scars

Before the burn, I was a dark handsome kid with a high self-confident. However, at the age of  10, I experienced a change in my perception about life.

The change began with a fire outbreak in our home.  The fire started from a lantern, and I  got burnt.  The incident made me bedridden for a year and eventually discharged for a 3rd-degree burn. Nothing seemed to make sense, all I used to love made no sense anymore, I had no idea on how to live in my new skin. It was emotionally exhausting watching kids run from me when they saw on the streets or people staring at me.

For a long time, I was denied a chance of using the mirror. I was constantly in and out of surgeries with different orthopaedics within the country and outside the country. I was in constant battle with loneliness, pains and suicidal thoughts. To get rid of the loneliness, I decided to open accounts on several social media platforms looking for new friends. Friends who will see my struggles and understand me.

It took me a while to realize that I was only seeking attention and pity, rather I should appreciate my new skin and daily motivate myself. It was at that moment I experienced a change, that was my turning point.

I am really thankful to my mum. She spent a lot of money buying drugs, fruits and other stuff to make sure my recovery process was smooth. She even went as far as taking loans from banks to make sure I lived.

I am on the journey of loving myself, accepting my scar, accommodating people, believing in the unending grace of God. This as inspired me to start a blog to inspire people with scars.

It is not easy living with scars, however, I’m thankful I’m alive to share my story, my scars mean one thing: I SURVIVED!

First seen on Instagram: @humansoftheuniverse_