Author Archives: Dang

Educate the girl child

Educate The Girl Child

On Sunday, I went to Ajegunle to see the kids at LOTS Charity foundation. I wanted to see the area for myself because @tolu who heads the foundation is doing an incredible job but seems to always run out of money to do all she wants for the 163 kids she caters to.

My intention was to speak to the girls especially and follow as many of them to their homes to see how they live. This is important to me because I really did want to bond with them and their family.

It was an eye-opener for me. Seeing the abject poverty in this place. I cried when I heard how intelligent these girls are and how well they spoke of their family and how sure they are of their future.

I thought I grew up poor but I’ve now seen for myself what real poverty is and I was indeed grateful.

I made this video with @photojhenie because I wanted you all to catch a glimpse of what I saw. People living IN refuse dumps, risking their health but not having a choice. Brilliant girls who know they can do better for themselves and their family if they could just get out

The girl child education is very important to me, I’ve been on this journey for years and I hope you join me in sponsoring a child because as we do so, we are saving one generation at least, from poverty

Today, I’ll be posting the stories of 5 girls who inspired me. Although they made me cry, it was because I was and still are in awe of them. They are desperate to go to school and do better for their family. I hope their stories and this video moves you to help them

Video recorded and edited by @PhotoJhenie

Forgiveness: One of The Paths I Chose to Freedom

Forgiveness: One of The Paths I Chose to Freedom

Forgiveness: One of The Paths I Chose to Freedom

In my adult life, I have experienced extreme disappointments from people. There are so many things I don’t deserve that has happened to me via the people I had loved and trusted. There was a time it continuously piled up, I began to lose faith in humanity and the goodness in people. I would dig deep, write down the events and try to pick out where I had gone wrong for someone to betray me or cause me so much pain but most times, I really didn’t do anything. It was what it was.

In this case, forgiveness was harder. More than the pain of betrayal and disappointments though, was the pain that accompanied the struggle to forgive. Going over the past in my mind, remembering the person’s offence…this was painful. It used to be quite easy for me to forgive but when the betrayals, disappointments and heartbreaks piled up in a space of time, my heart became hardened and my spirt hoarded grudges.




Can you see how I entangled my heart and spirit in the web of the past? See how I allowed these same people who have caused me hurt to still control me even though they aren’t physically around to do so anymore?

There was freedom on the other side but I was so angry that I chose to stay in that web even though every day, I would tell myself “you’re wasting time, forgive and move on” But then I’d remember and the web of resentment would bind my spirit tighter. One day, I stumbled on a tweet that said “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different” I was weak. All these while I have been trying to change the past by staying in that web of anger and bitterness when I could have lived in the present and be free? All of that pent up negative energy left me like magic. I let it go, I let them go and even though some of these people never asked for my forgiveness or even tried to make amends, I made peace with them in my spirit.

For me, it was that easy because unconsciously I was already tired of being entangled in that web but holding on had become a habit.




Ever since I read that quote, it’s been easier to forgive people. This doesn’t mean I accept such people back into my fold but I don’t get angry anymore when I see them or hear them speak. In fact, I am cordial when I need to be and it is not me being pretentious. When you have big plans for your life like I do mine, you really don’t want anything clouding your mind that’ll distract you from your goals and your plans. You want a mind devoid of negativity so that positive energy can help you sort out your aspirations, this way, giving you a clear path as to how to proceed.

Oprah said about forgiveness “Make a decision to meet the pain as it rises within you and allow it to pass through. Give yourself permission to let go of the past and step out of your history into the now. Forgive, and set yourself free.” Karma? I Have Become an Employee to a Subordinate I laid Off

African mother

My African Mother, The Queen of Petty.

My African Mother, The Queen of Petty.

I’ll tell you when I knew my mum had petty in her. I’m never assigned the role of cooking meat because I always dice a whole piece of meat for myself as “tasting tasting”. I hated that this duty had been taken away from me so when both of my sisters resumed Uni and Mum had visitors, she had no choice but to ask me to go boil meat. She shouted from the living room “I have counted my meat o. Don’t even dare try me”

Since I had been caught in the past tasting anyhow, I came up with another idea: I sliced off thin parts of every piece of meat after it was cooked, put them inside a black polythene bag and stashed it at the bottom of the freezer. My midnight snack was made, I was happy with myself




That night, I woke up in the middle of the night to enjoy my life. Brought out two thinly sliced meat, snuck back to my room and had a blast. I washed it down with 5Alive

The next day, I went back to my stash only to find that it wasn’t there. I removed all the food containers in the freezer, searched the fridge too but didn’t find my meat stash. I knew my mum had taken it and I was genuinely mad at her. I went back to bed angry

When I woke up, she acted normal. I was ready for a lecture because, at that age, beating had stopped. My mum gave no clue, she even gossiped with me so much so I shifted the blame to my dad. It was just 3 of us in the house. She later sent me to rent a Yoruba movie for her. When I got back home, this woman had a plate of my thinly sliced meat in front of her. Only that it was fried and she was munching away




I was shocked! She looked at me while chewing loudly for the purpose of annoying me and said “ole gbe, ole gba” Meaning “You stole it, I stole it back”

How can somebody be that wicked?! I didn’t get over it for days.

Single mother

This Single Mother Got Laid Off Then Started A Candle Business That More Than Doubled Her Income

This Single Mother Got Laid Off Then Started A Candle Business That More Than Doubled Her Income

In April 2012 this single mother, Kristen Scott was laid off from her job where she was overworked, underpaid, and miserable when the idea of starting a candle business came to her. Despite the uncertainty and lack of knowledge about the business, she chose to take a leap of faith instead of filling out another job application. She initially started searching for tutorials on YouTube, but soon realized that her research wasn’t yielding enough information to know how to make the candles. The constant feeling of defeat became too much to bare, and she decided to call it quits soon after.

“I had somebody say it’s not burning down right—it’s not burning evenly, and there was no scent. That was like my first couple of months; then I stopped.”

Yet she kept having this nagging feeling that somehow these candles were tied to her purpose. She confided her new business idea to a friend and was referred to a woman with her own successful candle business out of Detroit, who schooled on the basics of business such as coming up with her brand name and getting her LLC. Kristin then purchased her first 10 pounds of soy wax, fragrance, and five boxes of glass jars with just a few hundred dollars to her name.




But having a mentor didn’t excuse her from the trial and error process of being an entrepreneur. Despite her newfound knowledge and research, the product, nor the smell, were coming together quite like she imagined.

Not willing to let go of her vision, Kristin took a trip to Detroit to pay a visit to her mentor in hopes of getting the first-hand information that she needed to make her candles burn without burning a hole through her pockets. This time she learned that seeing is different than doing, and no matter how many times she was shown the process, she still couldn’t seem to master the right wax-to-fragrance ratio and left feeling like she gained no more knowledge than she came with. Once again, she caved in and gave up.

“I just was like, okay, forget it; I was just done again,” she admits. “I don’t know how many times I felt like that in that first year; I put so much time in.”

This wasn’t the last time that she would feel defeated, but it was the last time that she would quit.

Around September she once again got the urge to try again. She got back in the kitchen and kept making mistakes until she finally got it right.




“I think it was a good thing for me to learn my way through trial and error,” she says. “I literally had to teach myself how to make them. You think you’re doing everything right until you get that one honest person like this is not worthy. And then you’ve got to really go back in the kitchen and just try different methods, you know, so, basically I just really taught myself.”

Confident that she finally had the perfect candles, Kristin began attended her first event in October 2012 to sell her deliciously fragrant soy-based candles. She’d light the match and watch the candles draw in buyers by the dozens. She admits that at this point she didn’t view herself as an entrepreneur; in fact, she lacked knowledge about the product that she was selling. When a potential buyer came up to her and told her that she could make more money if she advertised that the candle could also double as a massage oil once the wax melted, she was shocked, and maybe even a little embarrassed, that this wasn’t something that she was aware of when she began purchasing pounds of soy wax.

Once she began marketing her candles as massage oils, her sales dramatically increased, and she closed out her first year of business with almost $40,000 in revenue.

Taking her side-hustle seriously, she began researching the product and how to reduce her costs. At the time she was conveniently purchasing all of her supplies from her mentor, but the more her sales grew the more the profit-margin decreased, so she cut out the middleman and started purchasing her wax from a wholesaler.




She also realized that there weren’t enough hours in a day to be a full-time boss a full-time employee. Back in November 2012, she has picked up a job to pay the bills and was burning the midnight oil trying to juggle her job and her business. But between traveling and attending events to promote her product, the businesswoman had to make a decision to leave her full-time job, and in May 2014, almost two years after launching Gifts From A Virgo, began pursuing her newfound passion full time.

“I looked at it as, if I do this full time and it does not work I can always find another job, but I can’t go to these events and I can’t do as much as I want or get my company because I’m up 24 hours. Basically come home, making candles to two in the morning, getting up at 4AM or 5AM, getting my son up for school…it basically was like, Kristin you’ve got to just go for it and pray about it, so I did that.”

It’s ironic that Kristin, who admits that she never even had a passion for candles and no desire to even be an entrepreneur, is now shopping for an accountant for 2016, and hopes to eventually catch the attention of retail giants such as Wal-Mart to wholesale her products. It’s even more ironic that she still can’t tell you what made her even think to sell candles, and yet it’s the one thing that’s undoubtedly saved her life.

“My business has allowed me to grow and mature so much, and I’ve been able to have a better relationship with God. I was a lost person at one point in my life. My business, this is my everything right now. I put my all into this. I dedicate myself to this every day of my life.”

If that ain’t God, I don’t know what is. Read:Celebrity Diary Entry: For Two Years I was in a Massive Debt of N22M. This is How I paid Back Every Kobo

Culled from XONecole

sickler

“To Beat The Odds of Dying Young, I Was Asked To Drink My Own Urine”- Memoirs of A Sickler

I was born a sickler. There’s no other life I’ve known other than the one I live daily which revolves around hospitals and drugs. It’s been tough being a sickler because there are a lot of hurdles to cross which will be relationships and psychologically within oneself. Having friends that will accept you for who you are, friends that will stick with and stand by you through thick and thin. I have managed to come across such friends and I am grateful to them but their sticking around always came with a price. Especially when I was at the University during my undergrad days.

Growing up, I took different kinds of drugs, I even nicknamed them because it was hard to keep up with what drug. I always wondered when I was small why I had to use such drugs but as I grew up, I figured out the reason why. My parents were only trying to preserve my life because sicklers don’t get to grow up. They die because of their crisis. So the race to beat the odds began. My mom’s inspiration was and still is the 90-year-old sickler who happens to be my ex-schoolmate’s grandma.

I can’t remember precisely when my mom met this legend but she got to talking with the woman to find out what her secret to her long life is and honestly, the next insane and disgusting idea for my ‘race to beat the odds’ was unveiled. I had to drink my urine. Extremely insane and disgusting because why will someone drink what their body is passing out? I think I forgot to add that I am a stubborn child. Very stubborn so I refused to drink my urine. I will not be caught dead doing that. So, I went back to my concoctions and folic acid and Jobelyn and various other drugs from GSK. I honestly don’t remember their names and I will get to why.




I scaled through my education beautifully despite my constant trips to hospitals and various carryovers because of my admission to hospitals. At 23, I was already a Masters graduate. I’m thinking of going for my PhD but that will have to wait. I already got used to the fact that I am a sickler because all the mentions of cures and all don’t interest me to be honest. I mean adjusting to the fact that I can lift a heavy object and not suffer the consequences a week later scares me. I am fine this way. I have made a life for myself with my genotype and I know with God on my side, I will continue to make that life.

Except I didn’t believe that last year when I went into a coma.
On the 14th of November 2016, I had a really terrible crisis where I learned that I gave up for a few minutes and my mom had to perform CPR to bring me back and when she did, I asked, “why did you bring me back?” My mom couldn’t take it anymore so she had to take me to the hospital around 4am thereabout. I remember going in and out of consciousness because I was sedated, I remember having a little kid with his mom and grandma in my ward but I don’t remember anything after that.

I learned when I finally regained consciousness that I’d gone into a coma on the 17th of November, I’d been taken for an MRI to see what was actually wrong with me and it was discovered that I had cerebral malaria, and a lacunar infarctus which I later learned was a stroke and I was in my early twenties. I was a lost cause according to my medical reports.




It was a miracle that brought me back. The doctor told my family that if the last resort he was going to use for me didn’t work, then I’d be declared brain dead but I beat the odds.

I regained consciousness and the doctor still told my family that I may never use my limbs again. I had a physiotherapist come teach me how to use my hands and legs again. I have never hated myself more for having these things because just when I am getting comfortable with the idea of being a sickler, a stroke had to be added to my CV. I was at my low. I had gone from a mature young girl to a toddler because I had to be wearing pampers and I had to have POP round my neck because my neck wasn’t stable. I also learned that I got seriously injured while I had a catheter in me.

Worst of all is I forgot my family and my friends. My true friends. I forgot everything in my life. Everything I loved, everything I hated, everything that mattered to me, I forgot them all. My uncle came to see me at the hospital and he wept. I’ve never seen my uncle weep save for when his mom, my grandma died. That was how bad it was. I was placed on a six-month bed rest where it was hell, literally. I couldn’t keep food down, and I couldn’t do anything else, all I wanted was to sleep. I just wanted to sleep.

Slowly, with determination, I remembered everything about my life but I also decided that I was going to turn my life around. If God thought I was worth bringing back, then I am going to live right. I will try to live right.




I’m grateful to God because He gave me a family that never gave up on me. He gave me my friends.

I don’t know how this story is going to inspire someone but if it will, if you’re a sickler out there, honestly, I think it starts with you making a decision not to die. Making a decision to live and shame the world and their opinion of us.

Secondly, you have to live right. If you don’t think you’re worth it, God certainly seems to think otherwise.

Thirdly, surround yourself with good people. People that love you, inspire you, never let you think low of yourself at any given time. People that bring you up when you’re down. Lastly, do the things you love. I dream of becoming a writer. Paint, draw and sing, anything that will take your mind off of my difficulties. Read:As A Sickle Cell Disease Patient, I Have Endured Countless Hospitalization and Surgeries”-Dr. Lakiea Bailey

Written by: Morohunfayo Olubusola Iginla for Diaryofanaijagirl.ng

see me live concert

Simi See Me Live Concert: All About That and My Search For New Friends. Part 2

On Sunday at the Simi See me Live Concert, Before the show started, my friends and I hung out at the bar to munch on buffalo wings accompanied by drinks. I heard my friend whisper to me, “look behind you, can you see who I’m seeing?”

Yours truly, who is extremely bad at snooping did a 360 degree turn, looking everywhere without decorum, asking her loudly “who? I can’t see anyone”. My friend said to me irritably “stop turning around now. he’s walking past you now”

“Oh” I exclaimed as I saw who she was referring to. It was an ex to one of our closest friends and we thought it would be wise to show her evidence we saw the guy

“Take a picture. Hurry so we can send to her” My friend, overtly excited, pushed me on



I had been taking selfies earlier so I simply swapped the direction of the camera, dramatically pretended like I was taking a selfie and clicked capture.

The flash was on!!!

This guy was just two feet away from me and the flash was going to shine directly in his eyes. “Oh my God! I was going to get beat up at Simi See Me Live Concert” I thought to myself. Thanking the good Lord for fast reflexes, my right hand shot up to block the flash so the result was a picture of my palms

You would think my friends would commend my fast reflex…nah, never happened. I was accused of being the worst snoop ever, insults rained on me from all corners.



The fact that I could have gotten into trouble didn’t cross their minds, they just needed me to upgrade my aproko level to “professional”

You think it’s time for me to change my friends?

Read Part 1 of Simi See Me Live Concert HERE

tara fela-durotoye

“I’ve Had My Happiest Moments and Also Had The Darkest Moments in Running My Business” – Tara Fela-Durotoye

I got to interview Tara Fela-Durotoye. I must tell you, the wisdom she carries is powerful. Some of the information in this interview is what some people have paid to hear. Enjoy…

DANG: What brought about the idea of the CEO listening tour

Tara Fela-Durotoye: When I’m asked about business generally, I always say for you to have a great product or a great service, there are some fundamentals that need to be looked at:

Who is my product for?
Who does my product help?
Who am I?
What do I have?
What do I give?
How do I get people to know me?
How are people going to have access to your product?

One of the requirements of maintaining the standards that I came about is what we call “the listening tour”. The CEO listening tour in House of Tara is where I visit one of our branches. We have over 20 branches across Nigeria. We have branches in Kano, Kaduna, Ilorin, Abuja (we have four branches), we have branches in Benin, Enugu. We have a branch in Portharcourt. We have a branch in Asaba. We have a branch in Warri. We have a branch in Ibadan. We have 6 branches in Lagos alone. For you to be able to run a retail business, people need to be led. They need to be led by a vision bigger than them. They need to be led by inspiration. And that’s why I go round the branches. To touch base with the team. On arrival at some of these branches, I found that they were issues with our organizational structure.




I found that there was a hierarchical culture in some branches where branch members were not able to speak their minds confidently without references to their managers. There were other branches where there were liberty in their ability. I left there realizing that there was a need to break that culture. It’s a Nigerian culture but it is a culture that drives sycophancy. That doesn’t drive sincerity and genuine feedback. I also found that my visit to the branches gave people inspiration. I got the chance to speak about the company vision, where we are going, where every one of them can play and how working together can help all of us together collectively to build the company. So it was great. It was also great for me to connect with people. Many times when some people are employed by the company, I don’t get to see and experience them. But by going to the branches, I sometimes instinctively pick on people I see signs of great leadership, signs of great skills in. It opened my eyes to all sorts in Nigeria as a country.

You know, travelling across Nigeria. And as an organization, it also opened my eyes to theft in the system. It’s not because I saw evidence but because I picked it instinctively. And that’s one of the things about being an entrepreneur. There are some of the things that you feel. And then you’ll go and look for information to support it. And I did do that. Went through an investigative process to find out what was going on in some certain branches. Our internal control audit department worked on that. But this is the reality of doing business.

Even though I identified people who were dishonest, but I also saw people who were honest and committed to the vision. Seeing people who needed a hand to hold, mentorship. I love the company I have built and proud of what we have done. I have seen managers who have thrived and grown. I’ve identified areas where some managers were weak and how to help them in that process. So those are my findings on that journey.



And the jump that we do outside. I go to some branches and they are like you haven’t jumped yet. It just shows that as a leader, you have to connect with the people. And that’s what I was doing. Because every year once a year, we have people come into the company for a retreat. We can’t wait for that once in a year for me do that, for me to connect with them. Because it’s going to be a culture going forward.

DANG: Can you give us an insight into the life of a couple with a really busy schedule?

Tara Fela-Durotoye: We talk a lot at night. We’ve had a culture for over ten years or so where we get up in the middle of the night and sort of touch base. We go to bed early so it becomes important.

We also have our Wednesday night dates. We have when we go to the cinemas. We try to go quite late because my husband is quite a public figure. And many times when we go out, sometimes it can be distracting. When we want to have our own personal time together, whether it’s going to dinner or what have you. That’s how we catch up. We also have a custom of going away every year on the date of our wedding anniversary. We go away for about 10-12 days. Just ourselves without our children. To catch up, to bond. To spend intimate times without bothering about meetings. We go to where it’s just two of us. There are no meetings. No obligations. Just wake up and just basically spend time with each other. Going to places where no one knows you. So you don’t get distracted by that as well. That’s how we kind of catch up on ourselves. Sometimes we also go on walks in the morning. I walk in the morning. But usually, I walk by myself. But to spend intimate time, sometimes my husband will come with me on that walk.

I think we are both conscious of the realities of how much work is required to stay happily married and we are putting in that effort.

In the process of living that busy life, what gives is the amount of time spent with the children. As they’ve grown older, we’ve had to spend more quality time than quantity. There are three of them so they’ve learnt how to become their own mafia. They are very close and each other’s friends. But I think that what gives is the amount of time in terms of volume. But I think the respite for us is that when we do spend time, it’s the quality of time that we do spend.

DANG: How does changing lives make you feel, why is it so important to you?

Tara Fela-Durotoye: I recently was at a program where I was talking about the importance of social impact. I had shared to African entrepreneurs in the room that it becomes imperative that because of many social issues in our community as Africans, when we build businesses, we must just not build businesses that are profitable or generate revenue and income but we should also consider businesses that solve a social problem.



We are created by God, there are certain things that are inside of us that helps us achieve our vision. And I consider myself as one of those people who, the desire to impact has been put in. It’s not something I can pretend to have. It’s not something I can imagine I have. It’s innate. So impacting lives is part of the business that I run. So when I talked about customer segmentation earlier on and I said when you are creating a product, you have to ask who is your product for. What do I have to give? What I have to give as a person is empowerment.

I have to find a way to express it through the business that I run on a day to day basis. Because it is a gift that I have, I am on a mission to empower people. Women. Entrepreneurs. So until I’m empowering in whatever I’m doing, I don’t feel fulfilled. And that’s my reality.

It’s almost like an empowerment tablet given to me to swallow. And it’s expressed in what I do. It’s expressed through the House of Tara vision and how it is demonstrated. It gives me a high. It makes me feel successful. And every time I’m not doing that, I don’t feel successful. And so I measure my success in the lives of people I have impacted. Who House of Tara has touched. It is the 10,000 young women who have registered to become Tara entrepreneurs. And we spend and invest time and money and resources and our Network to develop them to become their own micro entrepreneurs and to hear their stories. Whether it’s 1000 voices or it’s 100 voices. That for me gives me a high.

DANG: How do you prepare for the TFD (Tara Fela-Durotoye) Series/masterclass? What are your expectations before you get on the stage to speak?

Tara Fela-Durotoye: The TFD series was an initiative of my mentor, Mrs Awosika. She wants to share more, that’s her life. Sharing and empowering is who she is. It’s what she does on a day to day basis. And she said to me that “I’ll like to connect more with young women around the age of 25”.



So, that’s what I was doing, giving her an opportunity to share. It also created a platform for me where I could also share. As the time went on, I also found my voice on that platform. And it was great to see the impact of my personal brand in a different light. It gave me the opportunity to be able to assess what value I bring. It helped me to actually become clear.

I think walking into TFD series room is always electric. It’s also always great to hear from people who paid for it, they send messages of how TFD has impacted their lives, of how they found their voice but also how they are paying it forward by doing the same in their communities. The program itself is really about structures, helping small businesses to build structures so that they can scale, using House of Tara as a case study of what I’ve done.

DANG: What’s your failure story? Every successful entrepreneur has one

Tara Fela-Durotoye: T segment of my life that I received some of my most successes is also the place where I’ve received some of my most failings. It’s where I’ve experienced some of my most failures and that’s my business. I’ve had the happiest moments and I’ve also had the darkest moments in running my business.

#DANG

see me live concert

Simi See Me Live Concert: All About That and My Search For New Friends. Part 1

Simi See Me Live Concert: All About That and My Search For New Friends.

I was at the Simi See Me Live Concert on Sunday evening and I must tell you, it was something

I have always been a Simi fan. I’m a fan of good music but Simi has always been one of my favourites from the day I heard her voice on Falz’s “Soldier”. I had to go google her and listen to all she’s done and I fell in love. So, hearing she was headlining her own concert at Hard Rock Cafe on Sunday was good news to my ears. I quickly sent the flyer to my friends and cajoled them into going with me

The show started at 8.04pm. It was supposed to begin at 8pm but for a Nigerian show, that was something of a record. I am one of those people who just want to see the headliner when I go to shows so I won’t lie if I said I took time out to listen to the artists that came out ahead of Simi, except of course Fumbi, who is going to wow the world in a bit.



So, when Simi came on, in her very glittery jacket and cornrows amidst cheers, catcalls and screams, I knew it was going to be a blast. Simi was also close to tears, I noticed her voice shook a little when she addressed the crowd. I guess being her first headline concert, she didn’t expect all those people and all the love she got. She had to start singing before the cheers stopped. The stage was small, she couldn’t move around as much even though she seemed like if she had more space, she’d dance more. Then she had back up dancers, who mostly were getting in the way and were absolutely unnecessary. I wasn’t the only one who got temporarily distracted by the dancers but I soon managed to focus on Simi and her music

Despite the small stage, Simi was fantastic. Still dancing, smiling, singing her lungs out and looking happy and comfortable doing so. Then, she brought on Falzthebahdguy who got the crowd screaming again, then Adekunle Gold whose chemistry with Simi was undeniable. With Falz, Simi was playful… performing with Adekunle Gold, she blushed some, was goofy and touched him A LOT. I LOVED IT!!!

The concert ended on the highest note possible, with “Owambe” and “Joromi”. Hard Rock Cafe was hot, people were sweating from the heat and more from dancing but when the show ended, I never heard one person complain. Simi See me live Concert was very nice.



There’s something about good music, I don’t mean the loud ones that temporarily make you forget your sorrow, not the “DJ play track 1” type. The really good music, with live instruments and the voice:
That makes you feel everything
That makes you dig deep
That lights up your spirit being into awareness
That may excite you but will definitely give you joy

I think Simi is on her path to have this effect on more people. I hope she doesn’t stop doing concerts like this. There’s always room for improvements but she is a Rock Star.

BankyW and Adesua Etomi Love Story Got Females Shook!

I was minding my business on Sunday outside the screening room of “A Hotel Called Memory”. It’s not my fault that some ladies chatted loosely beside me about their love lives. As usual, in my mind, I joined the conversation

Lady in Blue: So you think I shouldn’t call him?
Lady in mustard: Ah, in my opinion o, don’t call him, you’ve tried now
Lady in Blue: But what if he’s waiting for me to call again for the last time? This Susu and Banky thing is just making me reconsider my decisions
Lady in Mustard: Me too o. I just feel like getting married now now
Lady in Blue: Sometimes God sends you a sign. maybe this is a sign

Me in my mind: Ah sister whole up o! What you’re feeling is desperation. This is not a sign




Instead, I look at both of them and smile, hoping they’ll smile back and I can quickly give my opinion on the matter. They didn’t smile back, they were really shook and weren’t even looking at me

Lady in Blue: [Looks at her phone] Chai! see kiss. He can’t stop touching her and looking at her
Lady in Mustard: [Shares the phone screen with her friend] I know right. Hey God!!! I need a break o. I do. Adesua does not have two heads now, I’ve been a good girl

Me in my mind: Me too. I deserve a break. Sigh…

Both ladies continue to look at pictures and run commentary. Then the lady in blue suddenly says “I’m calling him”




Me in my mind: Please don’t.

Lady in Blue: He’s not picking. Can you imagine?
Lady in Mustard: Sebi I told you not to call him
Lady in Blue: I’m deleting his number, it’s not his fault. (In Yoruba)

Me in my mind: LMAO. Somebody that you have his number in your head. Yinmu! Kontinu…

My First Time Drinking Alcohol

My First Time Drinking Alcohol Was A Disaster… Sort Of.

My First Time Drinking Alcohol Was A Disaster… Sort Of.

First semester 200 Level, I met this guy, we called him Odemwinge.

Odemwinge lived next door so our relationship was a “see finish” kind of relationship. I could see all his movements from my apartment’s balcony. One of those days, while I waited for him to arrive from class, I saw him come home, holding a 5-litre keg filled with white liquid. I asked him, “What’s that you’re holding?”

“Palm wine” He responded as he raised the keg for me to get a clearer view. “Do you want?” He asked

I thought about it. I had never tasted palm wine or any sort of alcohol. I guess it was time for me to be an adult.

“Will it make me tipsy?” I wondered aloud



“No. I can drink this whole keg and nothing would happen” Odemwinge said to me

I practically jogged downstairs and out my building in excitement. I must have been bored that day. Looking back now, I see the wicked smile on Odemwinge’s face when I asked him again in his room while he poured me a cup of palm wine “Are you sure I won’t get tipsy?”

Wicked smile in place, he pushed a full cup of Palm wine in my hand

I took a sip. It tasted like coconut but sour then sweet. I couldn’t decide so I took another gulp, this time, I felt it in my throat, I liked the sour and then sweet taste. I gulped the whole cup and asked for another. Something that sweet can’t possibly make me tipsy. Odemwinge obliged me but I noticed he wasn’t having any.

“Why are you not drinking?” I asked suspiciously

“The way you’re gulping that thing, I need to keep an eye on you” He said as he handed over the second round



After the third cup, he asked me to stop then gave me a bottle of water. I was feeling just fine and no different until I opened my mouth to speak

My tongue felt heavy and I noticed I was slurring my words. On top of that, I giggled a lot. Note: I’m not a giggler…I laugh out loud or smile wildly but giggling has never been my thing. His 2 roommates came over to see what was happening…in the midst of my giggle, I gave them all High fives. Odemwinge said to me “You’re tipsy o. come and lie down”

I refuted that claim immediately. “I’m fine. I can walk a straight line. Let’s all try it”

So, I told all of them to walk behind me as I tried to walk in a straight line. I genuinely thought I was walking a straight line but they all laughed at me and said it was more of a straight zig-zag. I embarrassed the hell out of Odemwinge but he was a good sport about it. He took me home and I slept off almost immediately.



I didn’t drink alcohol again until I graduated.

I recently bought palm wine. While I poured myself a cup, I remembered Odemwinge…. I toasted a glass to him…May his soul continue to rest in peace.

What was your first time drinking alcohol like? Read: That Time I Met Dare Art Alade and I froze…

GTBank Fashion Weekend Chronicles: I Met Dare Art Alade and I Was Extra...

GTBank Fashion Weekend Chronicles: I Met Dare Art Alade and I Was Extra…

GTBank Fashion Weekend Chronicles: I Met Dare Art Alade and I Was Extra…

First, I must commend the organizers of the Gtbank Fashion Weekend. The fashion show plus the whole event was well put together. Gtbank is truly doing a good job of promoting and supporting the fashion enterprise in Nigeria. Kudos!!!

Yesterday at the GTBank Fashion weekend runway show, I sat beside Dare Art Alade at the runway. I didn’t know if I should cross my legs, sit up straight or rush him with a hug. Outwardly I was poised and calm, inwardly I felt like I needed to do something or say something but I froze

When we were introduced, my phone rang but I could have ignored, instead, I picked up my call and said to him “I have to take this…”




Sigh….what kind of foolish behavior is that? Instead of striking a conversation I decided to form busy

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Don’t blame me, it’s like the guy doesn’t age. He’s been on the radio since my 200level in Uni. He still looks the same and his voice is so cool. It sounded loud even though he wasn’t shouting. Baritone of life and destiny

So there I was, seated beside Dare, shoulder to shoulder, watching models strut their stuff. “Should I rub my shoulders with his so I can tell my friends I flirted with Dare without his knowledge?” I asked myself. Oh crap! He’s married. I sat up straighter, moved my shoulders away and behaved myself. I am a child of God




When he eventually got up to make some announcements, it was like I had been holding my breath all along, I could finally breathe. All my poise and good behaviour went out the window and as you may have seen on my insta-story, I was screaming “workittttt” at all the fine male models in their tiny mankini

I left earlier than everyone because I didn’t want to be caught in the rush. I saw Uncle Dare outside, he was rushing back in since he was anchoring the show. “Leaving?” He asked

I bobbed my head like a nuisance, began to search for something in my bag that wasn’t lost and continued to walk away. Not like he waited for a proper response but I could have answered with my mouth now, abi?

WHY AM I SO EXTRA? Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2017 Day 1: Catwalk, Fire and My New Best Friends

#DANG

Shopping in Lagos: My Encounter With Hulk Hogan

Shopping in Lagos: My Encounter With Hulk Hogan

Shopping in Lagos: My Encounter With Hulk Hogan

Yesterday at the grocery store car park, there was an incident, and yours truly was a participant.

You know how you drive around the Ebeano car park on a busy day hoping to get a free space and you find someone who’s about driving out so you lurk behind them to take their space as soon as they drive out? That’s what I was doing. Waiting patiently for a lady and her kids to settle themselves in the car and do the needful.

I was typing on the phone so when I looked up, I was a little taken aback to see another car lurking on the other side waiting for the family to drive out. C’mon…why are Lagosians like this? You obviously saw me waiting. Why would you rather fight for space with me instead of going to look for parking elsewhere?

I put my phone down, rolled down my window, waved at the huge man behind the wheels and shouted “Hi I’m trying to park here. I got here first”. He ignored me. So, when the lady moved her car, I inched in a little closer to the space, and I continued to do so until she completely backed out. The huge man in the G-wagon obviously had the same plan so both of our fenders almost collided at the parking space. This way, someone had to back out so the other could take the space.



Who would it be? Definitely not me because I got there first.

“Don’t bash my car woman. Don’t bash my car. This is not your father’s land so you can’t claim space in a public parking lot” shouted Hulk Hogan.

I decided it was my turn to ignore him so I accelerated a little closer, slightly touching his fender while I tried to secure my space.

Hulk Hogan alighted from his car, I immediately imagined steam coming out of his nose and his bald head. I quickly made sure my car was locked and I stayed put. He checked for a scratch, saw none and went back behind the wheels, waiting for me to budge. At this time, we had attracted the attention of the security. I became livid when the security guy addressed me first, trying to convince me into backing out of the space. Why me? Why not Hulk Hogan? I got there first and he’s trying to bully me.



I decided I was going to go do my shopping anyway if the security was bent on addressing just me. As I proceeded into the supermarket, Hulk immediately planted himself on my path. “Move your car” he said. “Gosh, he’s tall,” I thought to myself.

While security was still trying to cajole me into moving my car, two women with their trolleys full of groceries came to do supporters’ club for me. One of them said “Oga why can’t you be the bigger person and move your car? Besides, she said she got here first”.

Hulk Hogan ignored them, folded his arms on his chest, rested his back on his car and waited.

My back ached from cramps, the sun was scorching, the heat was real and I didn’t use my sunscreen. I started crying. Not loud but silent, stubborn tears. I wasn’t going to move my car but I was frustrated. The women saw my tears and got really upset. “Don’t cry. Why are you crying? Stop it right now. You will not be bullied.”

I shook my head vehemently “No I’m not backing down. I’m just tired.”



One of the women brought out a writing pad and a pen. “Here, write your list for me. I’ll go and do your shopping for you. Do you have cash or you can transfer money to me?”

I told her I had cash and a shopping list. I brought out my shopping list and gave it to her. Her friend moved their trolleys closer and stood by me. Hulk was not happy. My one-man supporter’s club stuck out her tongue at him, I thought that was cool so I did the same thing…

Hulk went into a rage.

“You’re very silly. You’re very rude. I don’t have time for this. I’m moving my car because I’m busy, not because of your silly acts. I have things to do with my time.” He shouted as he got back in his car and zoomed off in reverse.

Amidst my tears, I couldn’t help but laugh. My one-man supporter’s club gave me a high 5!

#DANG

Shola Ladoja

“A Lot Of Nigerians Want to Earn Money Without Working”- Shola Ladoja, CEO Simply Green Ltd

My name is Shola Ladoja. I’m 31-Years-Old. Founder of Simply Green created on 29th of May, 2014.

I always had a passion for farming but I never thought that at this age, I would be farming. I thought maybe the older years like 50, I’d be chilling on the farm. But I had a chance to do that at a younger age. I think it started when I was 24.

I came back to Nigeria looking for a job. I just left Norton, where I was assistant institute engineer. That was in New York. There is this mentality that someone that comes from a certain family should not go out looking for a job. His father should just pick up the phone and call the boss. So basically, I seemed like a rebel. Because I was always going out looking for jobs.

The stepping stone was me going to a very good school – New York institute technology. I just thought to myself “I’m grown now. I just left the States, I had a good job there so why should I come back and fall on the family?” It just doesn’t make sense. So I went out looking for jobs like everyone should do instead of sitting back waiting for your dad and mum to do it. That’s not real life. I got some offers which did not match my standards if I should say that.



Then, one day my dad said to me; “just go round all my companies that have been closed.”

I went to this farm that was owned by an IOC, my dad bought it over in 1995. It is a very good farm, set up properly too. Silos, warehouses, machinery… but the farm was closed. When I got there, I really felt like this was a place I could stay.

I dropped a seed on the ground and three days after, I saw it growing. That just sparked something in me. I wanted to be a farmer at a more older age but I had a chance to do it and I decided to take the chance and I never looked back.

DANG: So this was how your company, Simple Green started? Just like that?
Shola Ladoja: Simply Green was not created to be a business. Simply Green was created because I wanted to drink juice. I was like if I wanted to drink orange juice, then there is somebody out there who also wants to drink juice. Now, it just became this full-blown business.

When you look at it, we are flying in products from France, Belgium and these are things that can grow in Nigeria. But what most Nigerians don’t understand is that what we buy, is the rejects from all these places. I just thought about it. If someone can grow all these products and can match their packaging or even make it better, and target it towards the Nigerian market, it would make sense. So that was what I decided to do. That was how I started the new company.





Simply Green is basically farm to table company. What we are trying to do is to take out the middlemen, meaning we grow things directly from the farm to the end users. We grow Lettuce, cucumbers, kale, carrot and lots more. For now, we are growing everything that goes into making juices apart from apples and pears and we supply some stores vegetables and fruits.

DANG: The road couldn’t have been all the way smooth?
Shola Ladoja: I quit a few times because I lost every single thing, made zero profit. In between all of these failures, I suffered tragedy. I have been through a lot of pain that I would not wish on anybody. I have lost the two closest persons to me. I lost my mum last year same time I was fighting for my life. Two years before, I lost my only brother in a car crash. These challenges were not all for nothing though, when you have to bury your brother and you have to bury your mother plus losing money in the business you put everything into, your view of life changes. What really matters to you is no more money. It is living, truly living, enjoying every moment and loving what you do.

At the time I quit, I had no responsibility whatsoever. So at that point, I would still get fed. But I went back because I really enjoyed farming. At some point, I knew this was what I was going to do for the rest of my life.




DANG: Modern farming needs re-inventing, how do you catch up with all the changes going on in Agric?
Shola Ladoja: Almost every three months, I leave the country, travel somewhere else, go and work on a farm for free. I go to small farms, not big ones. Why do I go there? So that I can learn how they have been able to make their own small farms work and come back to Nigeria to do the same thing.

Agriculture in Nigeria is not like anything I have seen. Most people don’t understand that where you make money in agriculture is not by growing produce. It is by adding value to those produces. Think about it, if a farmer is growing maize, he sends to breweries. Breweries are using it as a raw material so that means it is not really a cost to them. Breweries will then send your finished products where that makes maximum profit. So it means you are not adding value to what you are growing. Why should I make my finished product your raw materials?

It didn’t really make sense so I decided to try this new approach; adding value. I cut down the scale of what I was doing to like about 80 to 90% in size. But as I cut down, I was making around 90% of profit. It just made sense that this is the right thing to do. Since then, I just never looked back.

DANG: What do you grow on the farm?
Shola Ladoja: We grow Lettuce, cucumbers, kale, carrots…a lot. I can still grow up to probably 12 vegetables and more. We are growing everything that goes into making juices apart from apples and pears and we supply some stores vegetables and fruits.

DANG: As a CEO, what are the toughest decisions you have had to make?
Shola Ladoja: A lot of Nigerians I have come across want to earn money but they don’t want to work for it. You can’t earn money without working for it. If I really want to value your work, does it really make me what I am paying you? So, someone comes to me and says I want to be paid 250 thousand Naira. It is not because you are making me 250 thousand is why I will pay you that. You need to be making me 10 times that before I pay you 250 thousand Naira because the company has expenses too. Most people don’t really value work and as the CEO of the company, my job is to make sure that the company succeeds. There are some of my staffs that I like but I need to fire them because if I keep them, I am not doing my job as the CEO. So those kinds of things come into play sometimes. I don’t want to do it but I have to. You should be able to make a choice to say no, this is what is right for business and that’s it.

The only other sacrifice I can see will be maybe not having time to spend with your friends. You are with someone and they are complaining that you are too busy. But at the end of the day, this is your life. This is you. This is what makes you, you. The farming is what makes me Shola Oladoja.




DANG: People have said you’re lucky, that you’ve come this far because of your privileged background

Shola Ladoja: I am not sorry that I come from a privileged background. I have been able to use it to make something. They also have something, have they used it? You could look in front of you and see tons of people doing better than you and be like “oh I want to be like this person” but have you looked back? There are millions of people behind you.

Oh yes, I can talk. I have been given something and I used it. And I am using it well. The farm would still be dead if I had not used it. What have you been given? You must have been given a chance at some point in your life. Your chance is still better than somebody else’s. So mine is not the best. My father didn’t give me anything. He gave me a chance to do something and I decided to use it and said yes, this is what I am going to do and I did it. And I tell people, land is the simplest thing to get in Nigeria. Have you been to the villages?

DANG: What are your dreams for Simply Green Juice?

Shola Ladoja: Where I want to see simply green in the next few years, is that I want to be able to have a restaurant and you will know that whatever we have on the farm is what we will be having in the restaurant. I want you to be able to walk into stores and know that whatever you are buying is fresh and not imported but made in Nigeria. So you know exactly what you are taking.

What really drives me is, I just want these products to be out there. I just want to see it sit in stores. I enjoy seeing the results not the money. What motivates me is the fact that this is what gives me joy.

#DANG Read:“How To Achieve Lasting Success as an Entrepreneur”- Tony Elumelu

Solo Travelers

Travel Tips For First Time or Solo Travelers

Travel Tips For First Time or Solo Travelers

Travelling is more than a good time away from home. It will teach you more than books or schools. More importantly, it will teach you about yourself, it will throw daily decisions at you which you must make, you will be placed in new situations constantly which you must adapt to and you will learn about real life, and witness the beauty of life and experiences.

Celina Sky, Igbo girl born in London is a 25-year-old black solo female traveler. She has traveled to over 100 countries over the last 7 years including Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, North America, South America…

Here is our interview

DANG: Do solo travelers have more fun?
For me, solo travelers have more fun and tales. It is better to travel alone. Currently, I am traveling alone through South America and it’s been amazing. The best thing about traveling alone is that I am more approachable  (compared to a couple or group) so locals are very keen to get to welcome me into their world. This is a key aspect of travel because it enables you to understand the locals better and gives you a real insight of where to go and explore to make your trip more effective




DANG: What is it like being a female traveler?
Naturally, women are more welcomed than men because we are seen as less of a threat due to size and other factors so I’ve found that people are mostly very patient, protective and kind to me. Of course, this differs slightly depending on the culture. Some cultures see women as weak prey, and foreign women as easy targets; I’ve been followed, grabbed, shouted at all by men who have a bad idea about foreign women because we don’t conform to their standards in society or religion. Another example is that women in some societies have to cover their hair or can’t drive which is completely alien to me.

Adapting to different cultures and societies is not a problem for me because I understand I am the one who chose to visit these countries so I must adapt to their rules. I must also be treated with respect if anybody in any country treats me like an object we will have a problem. For example, if I am being harassed by somebody I will react loud, make a scene and call the police. (I’ve realised that loud reactions are the best because it shames the victim). Simply put, travelers, men and women must learn to be confident, strong and self-aware to enable us to not let any situation escalate dangerously.

DANG: How do you fund your trip?
I own a small business which I can manage online. The business generates enough income for me to pay staff wages, office costs, business expenses and comfortably travel. The beautiful thing is that I can travel anywhere and work from my phone. I use to work from my laptop but these days I can access everything from my phone like emails and view/edit documents so it is great. The best thing is that I am MINIMAL. I can travel with close to no money and have a very comfortable experience. So even without my business, I will still travel the same way.




DANG: What is it like being a black traveler, do you experience racism?
It is great. I am so proud to be black and I wouldn’t have it any other way. People in other countries are so happy to engage with someone new, they are familiar with the white travel so us black travelers are interesting and fresh. In some cases, I have been the only black person that some people have ever seen in their lives! They are so curious and excited to meet me. Something interesting about being black is that many people find me more relatable to them. I travel in developing worlds such as South America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa and people over here relate to ‘the struggle’. So my experience is more real as people open up more. There is no prejudice, or hatred based on predated white colonialism.

DANG: Travel horror stories? Don’t scare potential solo travelers please.
– stranded in Chefchauen, Morocco
– witnessing the Neo-Nazi party in Germany?
– stranded in Moscow at Christmas from China
– sleeping at bus stations
– denied boarding in extreme Islamic country
– witnessing true poverty
– watching a killing in Ivory Coast?
– drugged at a bar?
– hitchhiking nightmare

DANG: Best Travel Experiences
* – Climbing the Atlas Mountain
* – Traveling and attending festivals
* – Santo Antao island in Cape Verde
* – Camping under the stars in the desert
* – Diving in the Red Sea with so many octopus and exotic fish
* – Tribal Celebration in Mali
* – The Western Wall in Jerusalem

DANG: Advice for new travelers
First of all, let go of all your fears and prejudices. Once you decide to travel you must have a clear open mind to new cultures, people and ways of life. Things that are normal to you in your everyday life, might not be normal elsewhere and you will need to bend to your new environment in order to have the optimal experience.




Do like the locals. Locals know best, it’s as simple as that. No travel guides, books or tours will teach you as much as the locals. That being said, you should be very open to socialising with the locals and asking their advice for tips throughout your trip. Locals know the best place to eat, best places to explore, cheapest places…

Plan & research. Use the tools you need to feel comfortable with your trip. For example download maps that can be used offline, book your accommodation in advance, be aware of any local customs so you are not shocked (such as bribes, tips and so on). Learning a few basic words in the language also helps, especially if you have special preferences such as dietary requirements, for example; I am vegan so I have learned how to say ‘No meat, no fish, no dairy, vegetarian’ in all languages

Don’t over plan. Overplanning leads to disaster and disappointment. Things just happen randomly sometimes and will throw your whole travel plan off balance. I suggest to have a loose plan and take each day as it comes. Once your accommodation and transport is sorted you don’t need to worry much about preplanning anything

DANG: Final words?
I hope that you are inspired to travel and off you are, please share your journey with others and encourage them to follow in your footsteps. Read:Cabo Travel Diary day 4: Portuguese Spies Got Me Shook!

#DANG

Click Here to connect with Celina on instagram.

Dating an over-thinker

To The Guy Who Is Dating An Over-thinker

To The Guy Who Is Dating An Over-thinker

I bet you are asking yourself repeatedly, “Why is my girl so worried all the time? Why does she ask me a million questions? Why and why is she so self-conscious about her self?” Well, the answer is, is because she’s an over-thinker.

Dating an over-thinker, you have to know a few things…

1. She will worry herself to death over crazy thoughts that come without warning. Why? No one knows why. It’s just who she is.

She can’t help who she is or how to control it. With being said, she has probably ALWAYS have been this way. Just love her for it. Love her for being herself around you, yes, love her when it sometimes gets annoying.

2. She will ask you if you still love her.

And please, please reassure her. She knows that you already love her but she loves to be reminded that you do. Don’t look at it as a bad thing because she isn’t second-guessing your love. She wants to hear it more than when you say goodbye, she wants to hear it randomly.




3. She will worry. Worry A LOT.

And it is not a bad thing. She loves you and cares for your sake so yes, she is going to worry about you non stop for the rest of your days.

4. You will think she over analyzes everything.

Which is true, she will. She will reread what you texted or rethink what you just said to her as well. She will read more into the messages or your words than she probably should. She might freak out on you or question what you just told her. Let her know that there is nothing wrong and that everything is fine.

5. Appreciate her and everything she does for you.

Because I know for a fact that she tries her absolute best to give you the world. You will not find another girl like her.



6. She’s not a controlling girlfriend.

She wants to make sure you got where you are going, safely. She will constantly think if something bad happened to you if you don’t let her know. It is a sign of caring not over controlling.

7. She will diagnosis herself.

If she is sick, she will over think it and think she is dying of something serious. Just let her know everything is okay and reassure her.

8. It will be hard for her to let things go.

It just will be.




9. Tell her that she is beautiful, constantly.

Sometimes, she will still wonder if she is. So what if she gains a few or lost a few pounds? Or cut her hair? Or simply just changed her wardrobe. Tell her she is beautiful no matter what she looks like or changes.

10. Don’t be short with her for no reason.

She will CONSTANTLY think that she has done something wrong. Please, never do that to her. I know you might have boring conversations but keep it alive.

I know dating an over-thinker will be hard at times but trust me on this, she will be the best of the best for you. She will move mountains for you. She will overthink. That is just who she is. And as I have said, love her for it.

Written by Gabbi Howard

My Anti-Bucket List: Things I Hope to Never Do Before I Die

My Anti-Bucket List: Things I Hope to Never Do or Do Again Before I Die

My Anti-Bucket List: Things I Hope to Never Do Before I Die

In life, it is very important to know what you’ll do and what you won’t. Here’s my anti-bucket list…for now.

Marry a Married Man: It’s all fun and games until it’s my turn to share “daddy yo’s” bed then I see my period! This means the other wife will have double portion of sex while I have none. Allofus will die on the line.

Get a Tattoo: If BankyW decides today to leave Susu for me and his one condition is “let’s get a tattoo of our names on our chwest” my response would be “Someone cannot play with you? Why take me so seriously? Me that I don’t like yellow boys”. I don’t have extra piercings not to talk about getting a tattoo because… Pain.




Serve time in Jail: Ah!!!!

Jump out of an airplane: I’m lightweight, the wind can decide to be wicked. I have thought deeply about it and scratched it out of my bucket list. Bucket list is about things to do before I kick the bucket, not things to do to help me kick the bucket.

Eat sushi: One time in the abroad, one guy was trying to impress me with caviar and sushi. He asked me where I would like to go, I told him to surprise me so he took me to a restaurant that served sushi. He said, “I’m sure you like caviar and sushi”. You’re sure? How? I thought about pretending so I could look fancy but I couldn’t do it. Why do people pay a lot of money for uncooked food including salted fish eggs? We ended up ordering for something for human beings like grilled salmon.




Get lost and find myself crossing the North Korean Border: Remember those American journalists that sneaked into North Korea but said they got lost? The American Govt did all they could to get them out and they succeeded. I know I play too much but that can never be my story. I am Nigerian, please who will rescue me? 2019 exchange of power campaign is close, everyone will be busy trying to get back to corruption while Kim Jong-un uses me as a sex slave.

Mistake Sugar for Salt while cooking: I had a helper who did this and I tried to be understanding, so I put the sugar and salt jar beside each other then tried to see if it’s a mistake I’ll ever make. They look nothing alike to someone with working eyes. That’s one of the reasons I let her go, she was losing her sight, which means she’s a walking tsunami.

Drink raw egg: The smell of egg alone nauseates me, if I was forced to take raw egg, I’d hang my tongue out all day to air dry. I don’t want to be put in such unsexy position




Jog on the Lekki Ikoyi toll Bridge: Have you seen the chaos going on that bridge at night? We don’t know who is jogging for real and who is selling market. If the trumpet sounds and angels are supposed to do a clean sweep, the anger the angels will use in sweeping everybody to hellfire, they’ll forget some of us are without sin. I don’t want a case of “sin by association” please. I’d rather remove myself from the situation. The Lord can come anytime

Swim with sharks: I love my life and the movie “Jaws” has ruined that chance. It’s never happening

Argue with Sheldon Cooper: I just recently moved this from my bucket list to my anti-bucket list. I have imagined myself being in the same room with this exasperating person and my energy drains just thinking about it.Plus I don’t have the brain power.

Do you have an anti-bicket list? Read:Things I Would Like To Do Before The World Ends On Saturday, 23rd September

Don’t Get Tired Of Starting Over

Find Your Grit: Don’t Get Tired Of Starting Over

Don’t Get Tired Of Starting Over

When people say “I’m an adult, I can’t change” it is understandable because mostly, it is true. But an unhealthy habit or behaviour that is a hindrance to your growth needs to give way because this is self-sabotage at it’s best.

What Did I Really Want?
Recently I came to the realisation that to perform at my best, I needed to wake up earlier which equals putting in more hours: Sacrifice and consistent commitment. What usually happened was, I would wake up late, rush out of bed, forget to pray then muddle things up and feel bad afterward for not reaching my capabilities.This can be very frustrating. So, I kept trying but failed many times and the times I succeeded, I wasted time doing mundane things because I assumed I had time.

Why Wasn’t I Consistent?
This went on for over 5 months so I finally gave up. Starting over many times was embarrassing, even to me. I told myself this is who I am. I sleep late and wake up late, I am easily distracted and I like to have fun while I work. My habits are my habits, why take life so seriously? What I knew at the back of mind was, no matter how fun my job was, I still had to work hard at it, this includes annoying admin work.




It’s Time I got Some Perspective
I was talking to an older friend about this and he told me, “you know you can put in more time if you’re serious. Don’t give up, start again and when you fail, start again. Make it through 21 days and it will stick with you”. The fact that he would think I wasn’t serious annoyed me just a little bit but he was right.

I Finally Got Some Grit
Truth is how can something mean so much to me and I wasn’t willing to change my lifestyle and challenge myself to succeed at it. It’s just sleep, if I manage my time well, I should still get 7-8 hours of sleep daily. So, I renewed my mind. To do it one day at a time and not put too much pressure on me. The 21-day mark at the back of my mind though. I set alarm for 3.30am and every 10m after then. On the 10th day, I didn’t need the 10 minutes extra anymore. After 18 days, I started waking up some minutes before the alarm.




I may not succeed every day at my job, but I never went to bed feeling bad or frustrated because I was certain I had done ALL that I could for that day.

You can be tenacious but still get stuck, it’s okay. Just don’t stay stuck. Forget how many times you have tried, focus on new ways to try but the key is to never get tired of starting over.

Habits are formed. I hope we don’t feel it’s too late to form a habit of determination. Read: Sometimes, Bad Things Happen So Worse Things Don’t Happen

Dating: He Told Me He Liked Me Too Much To Date Me - What Does That Even Mean?

Dating: He Told Me He Liked Me Too Much To Date Me – What Does That Even Mean?

Dating: He Told Me He Liked Me Too Much To Date Me – What Does That Even Mean?

Of all the weird things guys have said to get out of relationships, this one takes the cake: a guy I was seeing told me we had to stop dating because he was getting serious feelings for me. At first, it made no sense, but the more I got to know him, the more I started to see the REAL reasons he didn’t want to get serious with me.

1. He was a liar. Why wouldn’t he want to date me because of strong feelings? I felt like slapping him and saying, “You’re supposed to feel a lot for a woman you date, idiot!” But hey, maybe he was lying, pretending to have feelings for me that he didn’t actually have.

2. He was afraid to commit. Okay, so I know for a fact this guy had some commitment issues courtesy of his parents’ divorce and failed relationships in his past. But was he going to remain so commitment-phobic forever? It just seemed so lame, especially since he was nearly 30.



3. He claimed he was scared. When I asked him for clarification about what he meant, he said he was scared of serious relationships. I always want to laugh when guys say that. It’s like they’re saying they’re scared of the bogeyman or Bigfoot. What grown man would be scared of a real relationship? Experience has also taught me that when a guy is scared to get hurt, he’ll often end up hurting me.

4. He was willing to miss a chance. I really liked this guy and wanted a chance with him. I’d really thought we would have made a great couple, but he just didn’t feel the same thing. No matter how “scared” or confused he was, it didn’t matter. The only thing I had to remember was that he was fine with letting me go — and that shows he didn’t deserve me.

5. He tried to make me feel bad. A part of me was angry at this guy for his lame excuse. By telling me he felt too much for me, it was like he could shift the blame onto me: I had made him feel too much so he couldn’t proceed with our relationship. But screw that. He was the coward who chose to walk away.

6. He had issues. Another part of me wanted to make him change his mind, to see that committing to me could be wonderful. But I didn’t want to waste my time. He wasn’t going to be my little boyfriend project — I wanted a guy who’s clear about what he feels and won’t waste my time. I shouldn’t have to try to convince someone to see me as worthy.



7. He tried to spare my feelings. Sometimes I thought maybe this guy used such a stupid excuse so that he could save me from feeling rejected. He might have thought that by blaming his feelings, we could just continue being friends. He made it clear that he wanted to stay in my life, but honestly, it’s hard to be friends when someone doesn’t have the guts to be real.

8. He couldn’t deal with emotions. We got back in touch years after we dated, and he was in a long-term relationship. I could tell from hanging out with him that he was starting to push his GF away when things became more serious with her. It proved to me that this guy had serious issues with love and feelings, so I’m glad I dodged a bullet.

9. He hoped he could get what he wanted. When he rejected me but then told me that he wanted to remain friends, I agreed for a while. But then I started to question his motives when he began flirting with me and acting jealous when I was interested in another guy. It made me see that he’d been hoping to keep me around when it was convenient, without committing to me. What a jerk.



10. He proved to me that a man with issues rarely changes. I was glad that I didn’t waste too much time on this guy because he went on to experience loads of screwed-up relationships — and he was probably to blame for them. The last I heard, he was getting back together with an ex and their first attempt together had been a traumatic, stressful experience, so I guess he still hasn’t changed his ways.

11. He changed my view of rejection. There is one thing I can thank this guy for, and that’s how he changed my view of rejection. I always used to think there was something wrong with me if guys gave me a lame excuse for not wanting to be with me, but now I see that sometimes they’re the ones with the hectic issues. I’m better off dumped by these kinds of guys instead of dating them and get dumped with their baggage. Read: One Thing Real Love Never Does To You

Dating: He Told Me He Liked Me Too Much To Date Me – What Does That Even Mean? was written by Giulia Simolo

post-C-section Body

Here’s The Truth About post-C-section Body: Never Compare Yourself To Beyoncé

Here’s The Truth About post-C-section Body: Never Compare Yourself To Beyoncé

When I found out I was pregnant with my second son, having a C-section never crossed my mind.

From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I planned to have a vaginal delivery and an epidural, as I did with my firstborn. For nine months, I tried to mentally prepare myself for the pain and recovery process that no one really warns you about. During my third trimester, I was diagnosed with a condition called ICP, a pregnancy-related illness that affects the liver and can be harmful or even deadly to the baby. Still, a C-section didn’t cross my mind.

Earlier this year, Beyonce delivered the Carter twins Sir and Rumi via C-section. Her post-baby body makes a lot of women, including myself, say “It’s not fair!!” It’s hard for new moms to snap back like that after just having one baby, much less twins. Her posts inspired me and I kept thinking to myself, Those are #goals. I can’t wait to snapback. Plus, I didn’t have issues snapping back after my firstborn, so I figured how hard could it be?




But, nearly two months and emergency C-section later, I’m learning how hard a C-section can be on the body. I’ve also noticed how much I’ve been comparing my body to Beyonce’s. I see her well-toned body and then reality sets in — I look down, I see my sagging tummy and the rolls on my back. After some research, I’ve started to realize that it’s very unrealistic to compare my snapback to Queen Bey’s.

Don’t Let Anyone Fool You, C-Section is Major Surgery

Though the flawless Queen might make it look easy, recovery time can be 6-12 weeks post-C-section. Mind you, homegirl looked snatched a month after having Rumi and Sir. Moms are advised to not lift anything other than the baby, which is almost impossible. Though C-sections seem to be the norm, no one talks about the severity of them and the fact your major organs are shifted to get your baby out.

Pain is the Name of the Game During Recovery

The healing process takes time. I had an emergency induction which led to an emergency C-section. I had labored for 7 hours and when it came time to push, the baby’s heart rate started dropping, so their main goal was to get him out as fast as possible. Therefore, the technique is a little different than a planned C-section.

While recovering, I realized how much we use our core muscles. I took for granted simple things like getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom, bending, and lifting. It was the most excruciating pain ever and I do not wish that on anyone. While healing, I Googled every pain I had to see if what I was experiencing was normal (because it didn’t feel normal at the time). I quickly learned that some women start feeling like themselves right after their C-sections and some needed the entire recovery time to heal.




Snapback Season Doesn’t Follow C-Sections (Well, Not For Most of Us)

Some people say that Beyonce had some type of surgery to snap back so quickly. Keep in mind, she was in shape prior to the twins and I’m sure she was exercising while pregnant. Everyone’s body is different. On average, it takes 9 months to lose the baby weight and according to my doctor, 6-12 months. In all fairness, it took a full 9 months to put the weight on. My post-pregnancy weight was 140 and right before I had the baby, I was almost 170. I honestly don’t know my exact weight because I stopped watching the scale. I probably gained 15 pounds with my first, so seeing the scale at 160 post-C-section was a bit scary for me.

It takes time to get rid of that C-section pouch. Many women complain of not being able to get rid of it and some have been seen embracing their C-section scars. Beyonce has been seen rocking it all, from booty shorts to fitted dresses. It’s okay if your body doesn’t look as flattering in those same items. Learn what looks good on your post-C-section body and wear what you feel good in. Also, don’t hesitate to wear shapewear to help. I find myself staying away from pants completely because they still hurt my incisions




Listen if you recently had a C-section or a baby period, do everything in your power not to compare your body to Beyonce, Teyana Taylor or any other public figure who has been #snapbackgoals for that matter. Focus on healing and remember to be kind to your body and to enjoy your newborn.

Now every time Beyonce’s incredible post-C-section body crosses my timeline, I send this reminder to myself: I’m Yondel, not Beyonce and my story is different. She’s still my girl though. Read:Tokophobia: I Am Afraid of Child Birth

Written by Yolanda