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Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey’s Fierce Bond: How Their 40-Year Friendship Has Outlasted Every Rumour, Spat and Scandal

Lisa: Well, let’s get right to it! Every time I tell somebody, “I’m interviewing Oprah and Gayle,” the response is always the same: “Oh.  Are they, you know, together?” 

Oprah: You’re kidding. Are people still saying that?

Lisa: Every single person. And I say, “No, I don’t think so.” And invariably, they respond with something like “You know, you’re very naive.”

Oprah: I understand why people think we’re gay. There isn’t a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it—how can you be this close without it being sexual? How else can you explain a level of intimacy where someone always loves you, always respects you, admires you?

Gayle: Wants the best for you.

Oprah: Wants the best for you in every single situation of your life. Lifts you up. Supports you. Always! That’s an incredibly rare thing between even the closest of friends.

Gayle: The truth is, if we were gay, we would so tell you because there’s nothing wrong with being gay.

Oprah: Yeah. But for people to still be asking the question, when I’ve said it and said it and said it, that means they think I’m a liar. And that bothers me.

Gayle: Well, particularly given how open you’ve been about everything else in your life.

Oprah: I’ve told nearly everything there is to tell. All my stuff is out there. People think I’d be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn’t admit it? Oh, please.

Lisa: Do the rumours bother you, Gayle?

Gayle: Not anymore, but I used to say, “Oprah, you have to do something. It’s hard enough for me to get a date on a Saturday night. You’ve got to go on the air and stop it!” And then you realize you really can’t stop it. And, you know, somebody made a good point: “Well, every time we see you, you’re together,” which is true.

Oprah: We were just down in the Bahamas—I was giving a wedding for my niece there. And we’re having this big party in my suite. And who comes walking in—

Gayle: With my suitcase.

Oprah: With her suitcase! And I knew what all the waiters, what everybody was thinking: “They’re gay. This proves it. Has to be, because Stedman isn’t around.”

Gayle: And sure enough, the tabloid headline was OPRAH’S HIDEAWAY WITH GAL PAL. Ridiculous. But that said, I have to admit, if Oprah were a man, I would marry her.

Lisa: Sorry, Gayle, I just don’t buy it. Everyone knows Oprah’s not tall enough for you.

Oprah: She has a point.

Gayle: I do like them big.

Oprah: The truth is, no matter where I am, whether Stedman is there or not, Gayle’s in the other room. I mean, she’s always coming in and asking, “Whatcha doin’?”

Gayle: I really do marvel at this because if Stedman didn’t accept me, it would be very difficult for us to be friends.

Oprah: See, that would never be a question for me. If you don’t like my best friend, then you don’t like me. That’s not negotiable. Smoking is nonnegotiable. It’s just a deal breaker. Not liking my best friend—forget it! Or my dogs—you got to go!

Lisa: Oprah, how did you feel when Gayle got married?

Oprah: Actually, I was a little sad. Did I ever tell you that? Mostly because I just didn’t think it was going to work out.

Gayle: You didn’t? You never told me that.

Oprah: No—it didn’t feel joyful. You know how you go to weddings and they’re full of joy?

Gayle: Wait a minute! You didn’t think it was going to work out at the wedding?

Oprah: There are some weddings you go to and you’re just filled with all this hope for the couple. And you feel that there’s something special going on. I didn’t feel that at yours.

Gayle: But you were my maid of honour!

Oprah: Yes, but it just felt kind of pitiful. I never told you because it wasn’t my place to say that.

Gayle: I wouldn’t have believed you anyway.

Oprah: No. And also because I felt like, well, maybe it’s just me being jealous. Maybe I couldn’t feel the joy because I was feeling like our friendship was going to change. But it didn’t.

Lisa: What about when you had a baby, Gayle?

Gayle: Nothing really changed between us. Oprah was there. She came shortly after Kirby was born. She came shortly after Will was born. She was there.

Oprah: I thought it would change just in terms of time. But my gift to her was a full-time nanny.

Gayle: Right. The kids are 11 months apart, and Oprah goes, “I got you the perfect gift.” And I’m thinking, “Oh, good. She’s giving me a double stroller.” Back then double strollers were very expensive. But the gift turned out to be a nanny! She said, “I want to pay the nanny’s salary for as long as you feel you need her.”

Oprah: She kept that nanny for like seven or eight years. But what I love is that even as a working-outside-the-home mom, she was always there to put her kids to bed. She said, “I want my face to be the first face my kids see when they wake up and the last thing they see at night.” So it wasn’t like the nanny came and—

Gayle: Replaced me.

Oprah: I admire a lot of things about Gayle. But when I think about the way she raised her kids, that makes me weepy.

Gayle: Why weepy? That’s so surprising to me.

Oprah: Maybe I haven’t said it to you very often, but I say it to other people all the time. Gayle is the best mother I have ever seen, heard, or read about. She was always 100 per cent there for those kids—to this day. We’d be on the phone, in the middle of a conversation, and the kids would enter the room. This just happened last week, and her son’s 19. She goes, “Hi, Willser. You got your Willser face on. Mommy loves you. Good morning, Bear. Hi, Kirby-Cakes.” She stopped the conversation to greet them and let them know that they were seen and heard. And then she came back to the phone and carried on the conversation.

These kids have grown up with such love and support from Gayle, and also from Gayle’s ex-husband. I love the way she understood that though the marriage was not going to work, her husband still needed to have a space to maintain a strong relationship with these kids. That takes a real woman. It’s always, always, always been about what’s best for her children.

Gayle: Years ago when Oprah was thinking of leaving the show, she said, “You should move to Chicago, and we’ll incorporate you into the show. And then at the end of the year, I’ll pass the baton on to you—but you’d have to move to Chicago.” And I said, “I can’t do that because Billy wouldn’t be able to see the kids on a regular basis.”

Oprah: I said, “Do you realize what I’m offering?”

Gayle: And I go, “Yeah, I do.” But the kids were young, and I just said, “No, I can’t do that.”

Oprah: That’s why she’s the best, and her kids are the best. Her kids are my godchildren. There are shots of me riding around on all fours with Kirby—you know, playing horsey and stuff. I remember when William first came to the farm: He was running around saying, “Auntie O, you have a pool and a wacuzzi? Can you afford all this?”

When he was little, little, little, I had all these antique Shaker boxes. He was stacking them like

Gayle: Blocks.

Oprah: And knocking them over. I went, “William! Put those boxes down!” These kids weren’t used to anybody raising their voice—they were never spanked or yelled at. So he was like, wacuzzi or no wacuzzi, I’m outta here. And he told his mommy, “I want to go home.”

These kids made a lot of noise, and there were all kinds of bright yellow plastic things that made noise. And the TV was on and the same video was playing over and over and over. But Gayle helped me adjust.

Gayle: I’m always kind of taken aback, Lisa, when Oprah talks about me and the kids because I see a lot of mothers who feel about their children the way I feel about mine.

Oprah: But they don’t always have kids who turn out the way yours have. Everybody wants to raise good people, not just smart people at Ivy League schools and all that but good people. You have to be a good person to raise good people.

Lisa: Do you two talk every single day?

Gayle: We usually talk three or four times a day.

Oprah: Then there’s my night call. When she was on vacation with her sisters, and we hadn’t had a conversation, I realized I felt far more stressed. I’ve never had a day’s therapy, but I always had my night conversations with Gayle.

Gayle: We talk about everything and anything.

Oprah: What was on the show, what the person was wearing. What I really thought, what she really thought.

Lisa: Let me shift gears. It feels as if people are always trying to enlist my help in getting some kind of a letter to you, Oprah—and it’s usually for a worthy cause. But I was thinking, Gayle, you must get that every hour of every day. 

Gayle: Well, I know what Oprah would be interested in hearing and what she wouldn’t, and, you know, I’ve figured out a way to politely decline. But I love that people love her so much and are so interested in communicating with her, so I never look at it as a hassle or burden.

Oprah: She handles it. It’s one of the things that’s so amazing about this friendship. Gayle is more excited about my success than I am. It makes her genuinely happy. We’ve been friends since I was making $22,000 and she was making $12,000. We’ve made this journey together.

Gayle: Not much has changed, except now she’s making a stratospheric salary.

Oprah: The first time Gayle spent the night at my house was because there was a snowstorm and she couldn’t get home. She was a production assistant and I was the 6 o’clock anchor in Baltimore.

Gayle: Anchors and PA’s do not socialize—the newsroom hierarchy.

Oprah: But I said, “You can stay at my house.” The next day, we went to the mall.

Gayle: Remember Casual Corner? They had those two for $19.99 sales.

Oprah: I ended up buying two sweaters.

Gayle: I had to call my mother and say, “You know my friend Oprah? Guess what? She bought two sweaters!” I was into layaway back then, for one sweater. [Laughter]

Oprah: Years later, for my 42nd birthday, we were in Miami, and I decided I was going to buy myself a birthday present. So we were on our way to the mall, and we pass a car dealership where I spot a black Bentley in the lot. I’m like, “Oh my God, that is the most beautiful car.” So we pull over and I go in and buy that Bentley right on the spot. And I say to Gayle, “This is a Casual Corner moment.”

They get it all cleaned up, and it’s a convertible. The top is down, and guess what? It starts to rain. It’s pouring.

Gayle: And I say, “Shouldn’t we put the top up?”

Oprah: “No. Because I want to ride in a convertible on my birthday!” Anyway, Gayle was like, “You’re going to buy that right now? Shouldn’t you think about this or try to negotiate a better deal?” I said, “Gayle, that’s the same thing you said when I bought the two sweaters.”

Lisa: What’s that Paul Simon lyric? “After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same.”

Oprah: The scale got larger. I mean, you need a moment of silence every time I write a check for my income taxes.

Gayle: I can’t even wrap my head around all this. I knew she was talented, certainly, but who would’ve thought that it would get this big?

Oprah: One of my favourite moments was about ten, 12 years ago when we were in Racine, Wisconsin. We’re caught in a traffic jam because everyone was headed to the concert hall where I was speaking, and Gayle says, “Where are all these people going?” We pull up to the venue, and Gayle goes, “What’s going on here?”

Gayle: The cops were lined up, double rows.

Oprah: Gayle’s going, “Who’s here? Who’s here?” I go, “I am, you nitwit!”

Gayle: “You mean all these people are coming to see you?” I could not believe it. That was the first time it hit me.

Lisa: Gayle, when you started at the magazine, did either of you worry that working for Oprah might change the dynamic between you?

Gayle: I wasn’t worried. I don’t think Oprah was, either. But people did say, “Oh God, you should never work with your friend.”

Oprah: But that’s how I know people don’t understand this relationship because other people’s definition of “friend” isn’t what ours is. Just the other day, I was doing a show about when your best friend is sleeping with your husband. The ultimate betrayal. Well, that is not possible in this relationship.

Gayle: What I know for sure: I will never sleep with Stedman.

Oprah: What did you use to say, “If you ever find me in the bed with Stedman—”

Gayle: “Don’t even be mad. Just scoop me up and get me to a hospital, because you will know I’m very ill.”

Oprah: “Carry me tenderly out the door.”

Gayle: So people ask, “But how can you work for a friend?” I say it’s because I know that the magazine is called O. The bottom line is somebody has to have the final word. Oprah’s not right all the time, but her record is pretty damn good. That’s not to say you can’t disagree.

Oprah: That’s why Gayle’s so great for me at the magazine—she’s going to have almost exactly the same opinion that I do. But when she doesn’t agree, she’ll fight for her opinion as though there were a G on that magazine. We have “disagree,” and we have “strongly disagree.” If Gayle strongly, strongly feels something about somebody—

Gayle: It makes her pause.

Oprah: It makes me pause because she’s been my—she’s apple pie and Chevrolet. She loves everybody. So if there’s somebody she doesn’t like, that will get my attention because she’s truly everybody’s friend—far friendlier than I am. I would not call myself a friendly person.

Gayle: I’m very social.

Oprah: I’m not social. Nor am I all that friendly.

Gayle: All Oprah needs is a good book. My only request when she’s building any house is, “Could I please have a TV in my bedroom?” She goes, “You’re the only one who complains about not having a TV in the bedroom.” I go, “Well, everybody thinks it, they just don’t want to say it to you.”

Oprah: I don’t have TVs in any bedroom except Gayle’s. In my house, there’s a Gayle wing.

Gayle: I don’t want to offend her, but I’m never afraid to be truthful with her.

Lisa: So I’m hearing about differences. What are the similarities? 

Gayle: We became friends that first night because, for the first time, I met somebody who I felt was like me. I’d never met anybody like that. Certainly not another black girl. I grew up in an all-white community. I remember getting embarrassed in fourth grade when a boy in my class named Wayne said, “If it weren’t for Abraham Lincoln, you’d be my slave.” I can remember that very clearly. Oprah and I had the same sensibilities. We liked the same kind of music. We thought smart—

Oprah: Smart and articulate—

Gayle: Was not a bad thing.

Oprah: We were the only black girls in our schools, and I was the only black girl in my class who loved Neil Diamond. So when you’re around black folks, and they say, “Who’s your favourite singer—”

Gayle: I liked Barry Manilow.

Lisa: Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow? You guys were made for each other.

Oprah: It’s that whole being-the-odd-girl-out thing—we didn’t fit into everybody else’s perception of what it’s like to be a black girl.

Gayle: But we still had a very strong sense of being black and were very proud of being black. So to meet another black girl like that was, wow! And we were the same age, we were both single, and we just immediately bonded.

Oprah: But she was clearly upper middle class, and I was clearly from a very poor background. Gayle had a pool growing up!

Gayle: I had a swimming pool, a maid. We grew up very, very well.

Oprah: She had a maid. My mother was a maid. You know what I’m saying? I’d never met a black person with a maid. It was like, “Lord, really? At your house?”

Gayle: So that’s how we became friends that first night, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Oprah: See, we were always together in the newsroom. I remember when they decided to fire me—

Gayle: Not fire, demote.

Oprah: They wanted to fire me, but they couldn’t because of the contract. My $22,000 contract.

Gayle: They had run a big campaign: “What is an Oprah?”

Oprah: I’d been on the air, I started in September. By April they decided it wasn’t working, because of the anchorman—

Gayle: Didn’t like you.

Oprah: But I didn’t know it. I was so naive. The day they decided that they were going to take me off the 6 o’clock news, I said to Gayle—

Gayle: I’m just typing away at my desk. She goes, “Get in the bathroom now!

Oprah: We’d always meet in the bathroom. We were, like, “Oh my God. Do you think Jerry Turner knows?” Of course, Jerry Turner was the main anchor who was kicking my ass out, but we didn’t know that. Jerry was like, “Babe, I don’t even know what happened, babe.” You know, “Sorry, babe.”

Gayle: I was stunned.

Oprah: It’s like your life is over.

Gayle: You were going to see your dad that next day.

Oprah: And that was the hardest thing because I’d never failed in front of my father.

Gayle: He was so proud of you.

Oprah: It was devastating. But God closes a door and then opens a window. If I hadn’t been removed from the news, the whole talk show thing would have never happened.

But I didn’t know that then. It was like the end of the world. You are the 6 o’clock main anchor, and there’s been this huge promotional campaign. But I learned from that. When I came into Chicago, I said, “I will not have a big ad campaign. I will earn the respect and credibility of each viewer. I will not set myself up to fail.”

Lisa: Gayle, has Oprah ever said anything about you on the air that inadvertently crossed the privacy line? For example, when I was pregnant, I had the show on, and—

Gayle: Oh, I know, I know, I know. When she said I pooped all over the table during the birth. People literally stopped me on the street after that one.

Oprah: You know, in retrospect I might have thought a little more before saying that. But I was talking about pregnancy, what actually happens—and that’s one of the things people never tell you. She goes, “Well, listen—”

Gayle: “Next time you’re talking about shitting on a table, keep my name out of it!” I was a news anchor by then: “I’m Gayle King, Eyewitness News.” And I’d get people saying, “Yes, I saw you on the news—I didn’t know you pooped all over.”

Lisa: Let’s stay on bodily functions for a second. My best friend, Brenda, and I have established the Sunny von Bülow pact: If something ever happens to one of us, whoever’s still mobile has to come by every three weeks and pluck any unseemly facial hair.

Oprah: We don’t have that pact because it would happen automatically.

Gayle: My only instructions have been to go get her journals.

Lisa: And if something happens to you? 

Gayle: I would just want her to be involved in my children’s lives—always.

Oprah: Which we would do. Her children are my children. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her, there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for me. There is a line of respect that is unspoken, on both our parts.

I remember once when Gayle came to my house: I was already making a lot of money, and she was making not a lot of money. And we discovered I had $422 in my pocket.

Gayle: $482.

Oprah: Okay, $482.

Gayle: But who’s counting?

Oprah: I had $482 just sort of stuck into a coat pocket.

Gayle: In your pants pocket. You know how sometimes you just find a five? Or a 20 is like, whoo! She pulls out $482.

Oprah: Okay, you tell the story.

Gayle: In 20s. And I’d gotten to Chicago on a Super Saver ticket; you know, back when you had to buy 30 days in advance for a decent price. She was living in Chicago, and I was married, and we had scrimped—I remember that once Billy and I didn’t have $10 to go to the movies. He was in law school and I was the only one working. So for her to pull out $482 was like, wow! She goes, “God, where’d this come from? You want it?” And I went, “Oh, no. No. I’m good. I’m fine.” But I’m thinking, “God, that would pay the light bill, the phone bill, the gas bill.” And she just puts it back. It’s probably still in that damn pocket. She was just extending a gesture, just being nice: “Oh, you want it?”

Oprah: But years later, she said, “You remember that time you pulled out the $482?”

Gayle: I said, “I wanted that money so bad!”

Oprah: “I needed that money so bad, but I wouldn’t take it.” You know what that’s like? That is incredible for somebody like me who lives in a world where everybody wants a piece of you. I mean, people feel they deserve a piece of you. Strangers think that.

Gayle: Now I happily accept all gifts. No, but I just wouldn’t have felt right.

Oprah: She’s never asked me for a dime. There is a level of mutual respect that comes from being with somebody you know doesn’t want anything from you but you. There will never be an ulterior motive. I have to say, this would have been a much different relationship had that ever happened. Not that I wouldn’t have done it, but in order to have a real friendship, you have to be equals.

Gayle: That’s not necessarily financial equals.

Oprah: No, equal in respect. I can’t put myself in a position where I need you to do things for me or expect you to do things for me with any kind of strings attached.

Gayle: Yeah, I never feel lesser than, or one down. Never.

Oprah: But let me just say this, too. The person who has the money has to have a generous spirit. Early on, when I started to make a lot of money and we’d go shopping, I’d say, “Look, the deal is this: If you see something you really want, I’ll get it. I don’t want to play this, ‘No, no, no, you don’t have to buy that for me,’ because I’m really willing to get it for you.” I do that now with all my friends.

Lisa: That makes sense. Otherwise, you would have all this money and nobody to enjoy it with. 

Oprah: What you don’t want is a situation where the person always expects that you’re going to be the one to pay. Otherwise, you’re just the bank, and nobody wants to be seen as an ATM machine.

Lisa: People ache for connection. 

Gayle: They do, they really do.

Lisa: They want someone who doesn’t have an agenda, doesn’t see you filtered through the prism of their own needs.

Oprah: Absolutely not. And so in a way, our friendship is better than a marriage or a sexual relationship. You know, there’s no such thing as unconditional love in a marriage as far as I’m concerned, ’cause let me tell you, there are some conditions. So don’t ask me to give you unconditional love, because there are certain things I won’t tolerate. But in this friendship, there isn’t an expectation because there isn’t a model for something like this. There isn’t a label, there isn’t a definition of what this is supposed to be. It can be all that it can be, and it’s extraordinary, in terms of the level I’ve been able to achieve and to have Gayle by my side as happy as I am for those accomplishments.

Gayle: My God. Sometimes you don’t even realize how big it is. You don’t. Maybe I’ll get some perspective years from now when we’re sitting on a porch somewhere looking back on it all.

Lisa: Do you ever think about who’s going first?

Gayle: I think about when we get old, but I can’t imagine life without Oprah. I really can’t. I’ll go first if I can be 90 and you can be 91.

Oprah: Something about this relationship feels otherworldly to me like it was designed by a power and a hand greater than my own. Whatever this friendship is, it’s been a very fun ride—and we’ve taken it together.
SOURCE: oprah.com

 

Forgiveness

Mastering The Art of Forgiveness On World Forgiveness Day

Forgiveness can sometimes be one of the toughest traits to master.  Different life scenarios require some level of forgiveness in a day – like forgiving a driver who almost bashed your car in traffic or a co-worker throwing you under the bus at work or someone bumping into you.  For situations like this, you can decide to maintain the act of calmness and make conscious efforts not to allow them to get to you. However, some hurt runs deep and forgiveness becomes laboured.

I would know this because of a situation I found myself in 11 years ago. My best friend had just gotten a good paying job and he was constantly busy.  My calls were either missed or he had little or no time to talk. We had a fight one day  (I can’t remember what it was about now) and I promised myself I wasn’t going to call him to resolve it.  To me as that then my decision was a logical one.  The fight went on for about two weeks, by the second week I had a very strong urge in my spirit to call him to resolve our fight but I kept fighting it.  Close to the end of the week, on  a Thursday by 8 pm I was going to dial his number but pride, I said to myself “why do I always have to be the matured one that resolves arguments and says sorry?”

Three days after, I got a call, my best friend had passed away that Thursday night and his family members had buried him immediately. The times we spent together flashed through my mind’s eye and I couldn’t believe unforgiveness had cost me a chance to hear his voice one more time. Ultimately, unforgiveness had cost me saying goodbye to him. I don’t know how I went through that period and I can’t confidently say that I have gone through all the phases of grieving because I still have flashbacks and it still hurts when I do.

However, I can say the experience taught me some things about the art of forgiveness;

Forgiving someone doesn’t take away my power:

It is only my pride/ego talking when I feel like if I forgive someone it takes my power away. When I choose to forgive somebody, I am actually regaining my power by releasing what they did to me from my subconsciousness and in that way, it no longer subtly affects me – psychologically.

Forgiveness brings about a release of energy:

Anger and resentment consume a lot of energy to harbour, which can make one less productive if care is not taking. Ever wondered why when you forgive someone and it feels like a heavy weight is lifted off your shoulders? – Well, it is because anger and resentment no longer drain you of your energy.

Forgiveness is a gift:

You shouldn’t forgive someone because you expect them to make it up to you. I should forgive and have no expectations. Forgiveness is a gift and when you truly give someone a gift you don’t expect something in return.

Forgiveness doesn’t equate enablement:

11 years ago I thought forgiving was the same thing as allowing people to hurt me. I have come to realise I can forgive someone and acknowledge the fact that what they did wasn’t okay.

You don’t have to know the reasons why before you forgive:

You don’t have to wait until you understand why somebody did what they did before you forgive them. The truth is everyone has different life principles and because you consider something wrong doesn’t mean it is wrong and unacceptable to other people. Remember that when you forgive, you aren’t asking for anything in return—including an explanation.

You might have to forgive more than once:

You might have to forgive people more than once and that doesn’t make you the fool it is just that sometimes people never learn from there mistakes. So you cannot forgive with the condition they don’t repeat their actions. True forgiveness is unconditional. However, you can decide to do away with such people but forgive them before you do.

Believe in paying it forward:

Consider forgiveness an act of paying it forward. Perhaps someone will forgive you one day. Perhaps even this person you are forgiving now will remember this, and be in a position to forgive you one day.

I hope you will decide to choose forgiveness today and always! Have a fab day!

Written by Oluwayomi for Diaryofanaijagirl.

 

 

 

Perserverance

From Crashing Weddings to Being a Celebrity Photographer, Akintayotimi’s Success Story is Rooted Firmly in Perseverance

DANG: YOU SAID BEFORE YOU GOT INTO PHOTOGRAPHY, YOU WERE MANY THINGS, YOU WERE KEKE MARUWA OWNER, OWNED A RECORDING ALL THAT. COULD YOU TELL US HOW YOU TRANSITION FROM ALL OF THAT AND WHY YOU DECIDED YOU WEREN’T GOING TO WORK FOR ANYONE?

TIMI: During my third year, we were expected to do industrial training and I was opportune to work at Reddington Hospital, I spent 6months there and I learned a lot. The experience also made me realize that I have no interest in a 9-5 job in the long run.

After school, I bought a Keke plying Ajah to Badore, I opened a recording studio and a barbing salon. Also, I invested in a friend’s pure water business and I ventured into making class frames. It was then photography came to light. I did not quit the recording studio when I began photography, I just divided the apartment in two. In whatever I was doing then, I looked the part and it was hard to say no to my offer.

I took photography classes from Youtube and partnered with event planners. I will go to weddings to take pictures. That period was the beginning of the revolution of weddings in Nigeria and security wasn’t a top priority as it is now, making it easy for me to sneak in to take several pictures. I  grew from there and with time every other business dropped.

DANG: WHEN DID YOU GET YOUR OFFICIAL FIRST SHOOT?

TIMI: I can’t remember the date exactly but it was in the year 2014.  I can remember the details, they were twins and I charged them 50k with albums. I think I gave the money to the church because I was so excited.

DANG: WHAT EXACTLY WAS IT THAT CAPTIVATED YOU ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY

TIMI: It was the fact that I could work with people. Over time I’ve come to realize that I am an ambivert. As much as I like to stay at home a lot, am actually like a people’s person, I love to have a good conversation, I like to talk, and I love to rub minds. You know being a photographer makes you meet a lot of people and it’s so much fun when you discuss, how did you guys meet, and they tell you crazy stories, it’s very interactive and that’s one thing I love about it.

DANG: WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS IT FOR ME

TIMI: It was when I started looking at other reputable photographers wedding pictures. Aside from YouTube or Google, I was checking out blogs and websites of photographers that had one. I got fascinated by their works, looking at what they were doing differently. The beauty in their works made me hunger for more and it was then I felt it.

DANG: HOW DOES PHOTOGRAPHY INFLUENCE YOUR THINKING IN THE WAY OF LIFE?

TIMI: Photography has redefined my definition of beauty, it has made me realize that there is beauty in everything and everywhere. When I shoot I don’t go for someone who the society terms as perfect, I go for who I can connect with. As a photographer, you need to connect with people to tell their stories through the lens of a camera. Photography has made me appreciate the beauty in people’s stories and it has helped me see the world because travelling the world isn’t only luxurious, it’s educating.

DANG: AT WHAT POINT DID YOU REALIZE PHOTOGRAPHY WASN’T A PROFESSION OR PASSION BUT ALSO A CASH COW FOR YOU?

TIMI: It wasn’t a cash cow initially or rather, that wasn’t my motive when I started. I took on a lot of free jobs when I started. It was a new rave for me and I had no idea where it was going to lead to. I just felt this is my new craze and after a year I would just dive into something else. However, my mantra then was,  find a man who’s passionate about what he does, and he will stand amongst kings.  I just feel at some point there will be a breaking point where, my hard work, my passion, and my desire is going to bring financial returns.

DANG: WHEN OR WHAT JOB CLICKED?

TIMI: It was a job I did which wasn’t my job directly. I posted it online and it got a lot of reposts. Everyone wanted to know who Akintayo is. And about a week after, I got an email from Bellanaija saying they want me to be part of the photographers to shoot for Psquare’s wedding and from there, my status transformed from photographer to celebrity photographer and I  tried my best to maximize my new celebrity status.

DANG: HOW DID YOU MAXIMIZE IT?

TIMI: Well to an extent I was already in the public light, I had to push harder for people to realize I was a working photographer.  The harder I worked the higher my services were demanded and then I began to reflect on my prices. That was when I realize I could earn a living from this and live a decent life at least more than my bosses were living at the hospital.

DANG: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BROUGHT YOU SUCCESS MORE, GRACE, EDUCATION, LUCK, NETWORKING OR PERSEVERANCE?

TIMI: You know your work has to speak for itself for you to be flown to any part of the world for a shoot even when there are amazing photographers in those countries. All I will say is, it is grace. Education to me is not what you studied, it is having a general knowledge of how things work, interacting with people. I didn’t finish school with the best result, but I dabble in different things.

DANG: YOU KNOW EDUCATION HELPS YOU SELL  ALL OF THESE THINGS

TIMI: Yea, it helps you package yourself better. I don’t like the fact that people could call me paparazzi or oluya. I have come to realise that most times you are addressed as you have dressed. And if I am dressed accordingly it’s in high terms you will not call me paparazzi.  To an extent, it is because of education  I’ve been able to see a loophole. I’ve been able to find a way to work around it.

Perseverance is key, you just have to keep going even when it doesn’t seem like. Although the story I just gave you now makes it look like a sweet sailing process, I’ve had to do free jobs, I’ve had to be patient, I have had to learn to focus on my lane and believe in myself and time.

There was a time I was with my colleagues who relocated from foreign countries, we were having a discussion about what the various thing we were all dealing with and they will say things like they are working for this big company and they’re making $5000 per month. They will stop amidst conversations and to say  TY, what’s up with you? I tell them I’m a photographer and it looks like, dude but we went to the same school, where did it all go wrong exactly?

For me, what was even more challenging was the fact that my parents weren’t over pintable notion of primary school, secondary school as well. So, if I had it up to here, there was a job for me, waiting for me, I will just walk into administrative because there will always be something, but I knew what I wanted to persevere and then luck, let’s replace luck with taking opportunities or discerning the opportunities and just taking it and grabbing it.

A lot of people see opportunities and they are probably too slow or they procrastinate or they are not just fast enough to decipher opportunities that are staring at them in the eyes. It’s something that I’ve picked up over time. It’s not luck per say, it’s just discerning there is an opportunity in front of me and doing it. Even though it may seem like a stupid decision now, there is a bigger picture coming and that’s it.

DANG: IS THERE A PARTICULAR TIME FOR YOU TO GET THE PERFECT PICTURE, RIGHT ANGLE, SHADOW BLEND AND ALL?

TIMI: Those that are into photography come into it for different reasons and we all have different styles. For me, as a wordy photographer, I am more of a storyteller. I like to document the days as it goes by. I barely alter anything so, I’m the least photoshop guru. However, if I were to be a portrait photographer, I’m not documenting anything I’m not telling any story, I’m just taking a flattering picture of a subject.  Then, Photoshop will be one of my mantras but I can adjust because I want to get the best.

That said, for me, it’s not really a function of a good time to take a picture or a bad time to take a picture. As a wedding photographer, I’m always at alert you never want to miss a moment. Once you’re always alert even if you’re a bad photographer, you’re bound to get something. The concentration level I have, differentiate me from than other wedding photographers. I’m not technical when it comes to pictures, it’s not a sport, there are no rules even if there are rules, you break them.

DANG: WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM AND OTHER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS?

TIMI: The value I add to myself is what differentiates me. And a couple of other things. My personality  I honestly feel my personality goes a long way. My ability to switch from my serious side to a playful side and from a playful side to serious side. My personality shines through my work.

DANG: WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO RIGHT NOW?

TIMI: I’ve always liked Jide Alakija, I love his works. Another person I like his works is Joshua Dwayne. Both photographers are based in New York

DANG: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW WHEN YOU STARTED TAKING PHOTOS?

TIMI: Hmmm, I guess I eventually knew that with time everything will fall into place. I was too worried asking myself if I really wanted to be a photographer, can I have a life, can I marry, can I have kids? They were doubts, let’s be honest but if I had known that if you persevere for a long time you can have it all. If I had known this back then, the time I spent worrying, I would have used it to do other things.

DANG: WHAT GIVES YOU CONFIDENCE NOW?

TIMI: Experience. I’ve done so many projects, which has given me the opportunity to practice, learn, and grow. Experience has made me confident but then, also investing in myself has really made me confident. I do a lot of investment in myself and that’s why, when I pull my records for the end of last year, I realized that I spent $5270 on learning something new. Only when I do that can I have confidence because I knew I’ve learnt something. But if you’re not learning anything, you will keep getting the same results.

DANG: TO A BEGINNER, HOW DO YOU BUILD A PORTFOLIO?

TIMI: First of all, don’t crash weddings like I did. Try to network and associate yourself with a lot of people you admire. It may be a painful task but trust me it works.  I do get a lot of messages from people saying; I want to come intern with you.  Just keep trying, the guy I work with now, is a product of perseverance. I got tired, I blocked him on all social media platforms, but he kept coming and then I called him in, he worked fantastically well and that was it.

Don’t have that hammered mentality, don’t be in hurry for that, let’s the passion led you and then the funds will come in eventually. Be consistent, improve in yourself, don’t squander that money. Put back into what has given you this, so that you can get more. I think that’s really it. Peer pressure can be really horrible. Don’t associate yourself with people that make you feel you’re making the wrong decision or don’t see the value in you. In my first two years, I made a decision that 3 sets of people that I don’t work for; I don’t work for an extended family member, church, and I don’t work for friends who don’t value me.

 

“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

Yemisi Falaye

Girl Boss: Yemisi Falaye, The Most Celebrated Entertainment Lawyer in Nigeria

DANG: First of all, introduce yourself.

Yemisi Falaye: My name is Yemisi Falaye. I’m a lawyer. I was called to bar in 2005 and I’ve been practising law since then. I did my service year at the law firm where I work now, ACAS Law firm and got retained. I started working fully in 2007. I’ve been with them ever since. I’m a senior counsel of the firm and I head the entertainment law group of the firm. The entertainment law group used to be part of, well; it’s still part of the corporate commercial group/intellectual property unit of the firm. Until the department became a standalone.

DANG: The entertainment group, did it have something to do with you performing well…?

Yemisi Falaye: Yes. Prior to the department standing alone, we had been doing one or two things for celebrities, a couple of them are my friends. We’ve been doing stuff for them on a corporate commercial law basis and intellectual department basis. The managing partner then was, Mr Folabi Cacs Martin, who is my direct boss, he decided to make the department stand alone because of the emergence of entertainment law or entertainment as a whole in the economy of Nigeria. We thought that it was an evolving market and we should concentrate on entertainment. He went ahead to make me the head of the department because entertainment is my forte and I have a cordial relationship with celebrities.

DANG: So, how long have you been head of the department?

Yemisi Falaye: About 3 years now, we started 2015.

DANG: How has it been?

Yemisi Falaye: It’s been awesome. I have found something I will always want to do. The entertainment law group keeps me going. It wakes me up in the morning, energizes me, it makes me want to go to work, makes me want to work. I love to see an agreement that has to do with entertainment law. I discovered that’s my flair, that’s my passion, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.

DANG: What has given you the push you all this while? When there are hitches, timelines? What keeps you going?

Yemisi Falaye: Meeting timelines, crazy timelines have always been a part of me. I grew up in practice meeting terrible timelines. Meeting deadlines, being under pressure hasn’t been a problem for me because of my passion for entertainment and entertainment law.

DANG: So you are saying that if you have passion, you really don’t feel the pressure?

Yemisi Falaye: Exactly. It no longer becomes pressure. It no longer becomes work. You know, like comedians, it is work for them but then again, it is a hobby. For musicians, it is work for them but then again, it is a hobby and talent. That’s how it is for me as an entertainment lawyer. Entertainment law and entertainment law related agreements are like food to me. As a matter of fact, when I receive an email from my clients it gives me lots of joy. It gets me excited.

DANG: It took you 8 years to get here.

Yemisi Falaye: Yes. I think God actually has a purpose for all of this. I believe that, because, prior to 2015, work was work. Getting up to work every day was a real chore. But at the point where I personally discovered entertainment law, work now became or has become a pleasure for me. It’s become a passion for me. I find rest. I’m laughing. I meet my deadlines. Nobody needs to put me under any form of pressure. As a matter of fact, I now begin to put people under pressure because I want to impress my clients. So, I’m thankful to God; albeit late, but I’m still thankful to God.
A lot of people say to me that “finally, Yemisi you’ve found your passion…” I’m glad that I’ve eventually found it. And I’m pursuing it.

DANG: What do you go back to when it’s crazy?

Yemisi Falaye: I turn to God. I’m a very spiritual person. It’s amazing the kind of things that I “disturb God for”. The minutest things ever like where to park when I attend a party. I talk to God about everything. Most especially, when I’m worn out because, to be honest, it does get tiring. In my down time, I find rest in God and if it is work related I sort it out with my colleagues.

DANG: Entertainment law in Nigeria is not really keyed into in Nigeria. Can you explain more to my readers about it?

Yemisi Falaye: In the past creatives and entertainers did not see the need for entertainment lawyers but the narrative is changing now. It is never just an agreement to read and sign, it is important to consult a lawyer to avoid signing a deadly deal. Some agreements are capable of wiping out an entertainer’s career this is why it is important to hire a lawyer, let the lawyer guide you how to hire a business manager, road manager, record label and some. At the end of the day, you focus on your craft while the lawyer handles the nitty-gritty of the business side of it for you

DANG: So who and what do you cover as an entertainment lawyer?

Yemisi Falaye: I do everything. I deal with musicians, I deal with actors, I deal with bloggers, I deal with creative’s generally; songwriters, authors, sportsmen and women, everybody generally.

DANG: Who are your clients right now?

Yemisi Falaye: On my roaster right now, I have Toke Makinwa; incidentally, she is my first client and then I have Chidinma, Adekunle Gold, I have Small Doctor. I have Ice Prince, Waje, Beverly Naya and more.

DANG: Do you handle cases outside of entertainment law?

Yemisi Falaye: Yes. Absolutely. Entertainment law is just part of what I do. I still do intellectual property law; I do some form of corporate and commercial related law. I do company secretarial work as well. I do immigration law. I’m all-encompassing.

DANG: What edge do you think you as a person have over everybody?

Yemisi Falaye: For me, I tell my clients that when I say it, I mean it. “You have my 24 hours”. You can reach me at any point in time. I don’t see my clients as just clients. I befriend them and I try my best to make them comfortable around me. That way, they can confide in me to tell me what they are going through and I can give them a clear and objective advice. I am a friendly person which makes it easier for me. My clients can reach me at any time of the day even if it’s 1 am and I work very hard to meet their needs. No brags. That’s the truth.

DANG: I know people will have questions about being an entertainer. So what advice do you have for them?

Yemisi Falaye: The first thing is to focus more on the work aspect. The work will make you go for those shows. You can’t afford to mix it with play. Your diligence and your hard work will attract the glamour of the work to you.

DANG: I’m a lawyer and I want to go into entertainment. What part of Law should I focus on?

Yemisi Falaye: Do corporate commercial law. Become a transaction lawyer. I hate courts. I’ve never been to court. Litigation is not my forte. Focus your attention on corporate commercial law where you will be taught all forms of agreement; tenancy law, property law, telecommunication, tax, every form of law asides criminal law.
Expose yourself to all forms of contracts and specification of law. That way you will be well grounded and you will have sufficient knowledge that will be helpful to your clients. Spread your wings and don’t limit yourself to entertainment law.
Don’t limit yourself to entertainment law. I didn’t start with entertainment law. I was doing and I am still doing all forms of law. That has made advising my clients and doing entertainment law a piece of cake for me.

DANG: Have you had conflicts about your faith and law sometimes?

Yemisi Falaye: I have never had conflicts between my faith and my work. I work in a firm where our core values are; integrity, creativity, and excellence. These three items are somewhat God related. Creativity is of God, excellence is of God, integrity is of God as well.

DANG: So, you are a single woman working hard, how old are you?

Yemisi Falaye: I’ll be 38 in September. 37, now.

DANG: Do you ever get people making assumptions of what you do? Do you feel pressured?

Yemisi Falaye: I’ll tell you a quick story. I remember when I was going to buy my first car; I was going to buy a brand new car. I remember somebody saying to me, “Oh Yemisi, you are a young girl. You are not married yet, I don’t think you should buy a brand new car. I think you should just buy a Golf 3 that would cost you lesser than a brand new car. So don’t chase guys away from you.
I said to him, whether married or single, I would enjoy my life. I love the good life nothing is going to stop me from having a good time. I live once and I must make the best of it.

DANG: Have you ever pressured yourself?

Yemisi Falaye: There was a time in my life when I did. I would attend almost all singles program in every church. I have stopped doing that now. In fact, I rarely pray about it. Whatever happens, I’m good. That’s the point I’m in right now. If you pray for me, I’d say Amen. If I remember to pray about it, I pray about it. But I have stopped putting myself under pressure to get married. All I want to do right now is to advance in my career. And make money, good money.

DANG: In five years, where do you see yourself?

Yemisi Falaye: In five years, I will own the best and the only properly structured record label in Africa. And guess what? It’s going to be an artist-friendly record label because most record labels are not artists friendly.

Interview: ™Diaryofanaijagirl©

Mistakes: The Beautiful Ruin We All Need.

We all make mistakes. Sometimes it’s small while other times it’s a big mistake. There are times we let ourselves down or we let other people down. We do something we shouldn’t have done or act way below standards we’ve set for ourselves. However, our actions after such moments determine if we live a life we can’t stand and continually want to change or we living our best life.

Most people cave in, suffer emotionally by constantly guilt-tripping themselves and give up, while very few people hold themselves accountable, they acknowledge their mistakes, but they don’t let them become a virus that spreads throughout their lifetime

They have come to understand that in life there will be ups and downs, and they aren’t about to throw away the whole book because of one bad page/experience. They make a conscious decision not to allow a bad/sad page turn to a whole book their life is. Instead, they flip the page to the next chapter.

This decision is what most struggle with, they hold on tightly to that bad page. They let one argument ruin their entire day. They let one bad day ruin their week. They let one mistake define their life!

Move on! one mistake is not our entire life! one page does not define our book! Let go of the past. We do not have to suffer from the past for the rest of our life. We must throw away who we use to be because WHO WE ARE is so much bigger.

We are capable of so much more. But we’ll never get to that so much more unless we take responsibility for our results. ALL RESULTS, not just the results we want to claim, not just the results we want to see.

It is said that we are the authors of our lives. The decisions we make today determines what will be in the next chapter of our lives. Crying and fussing about something isn’t holding ourselves accountable but doing something about it.

Saying we are going to do something doesn’t count, it is what we do about it that counts.

It’s important we note that holding ourselves accountable doesn’t mean others will never do us wrong. It doesn’t mean everything is our fault. It only means, whatever happens, we are going to make it work. Whatever happens, we are going to win! whatever happens, nothing will stop us.

Be one of the few who is strong enough to tell the world: I was not good enough… but I soon will be!

10 days in sun city

Movie Review: 10 Days In Sun City

10 Days in Sun City is an action comedy about the adventures of Akpos (Ayo’AY’Makun), who took his beautiful girlfriend (Adesua Etomi) from Warri to Lagos to contest in the “Queen of Nigeria” pageant. Monique (Mercy Johnson) who Akpos knew from way back in Warri hosted them but soon sent them packing since they refused to live by her terms. Akpos gets into trouble with Otunba Ayoola Williams (RMD), a wealthy CEO of a cosmetic company as he tries to bully Akpos into letting go of his girlfriend… A series of action comedy ensues…

Most of the movie was shot in Sun City Resort,South Africa. If AY was not paid to promote this resort, he needs to send them an invoice because the visuals/scenery in the movie was beautiful. I want to see that place for myself. Cinematography was top notch, even an outsider could see there was a lot of hard work put into the production of 10 Days in Sun City. Read:Movie Review: “Isoken” AKA Oyibo No Dey Give Up

However, we can’t say the same for some the acting and Akpos’ dialogue. I laughed at some but some of the jokes gave me neck pain from cringing too much. There were so many repeated jokes from AY live, so apart from the fact that I had heard them before, some jokes also fell flat

I am so disappointed that Adesua Etomi was seriously under utilised in this movie. She is a good actress but was demeaned to the status of a beautiful couch.

Miguel Núñez’ character was funny and believable,Mercy Johnson exaggerated her role but Falz and RMD as expected, gave a stellar performance. If you’re going to see the movie because of Falz,know that he didn’t appear in more than 3 scenes even though his name was in the first set of the credits. I assumed he was a major character

Whoever edited 10 Days in Sun City needs to go back to film school.If you get to watch the movie, you’ll understand why…

10 days in Sun City is okay. I did laugh but I left the cinema feeling flat. AY should keep this production crew, fire the editor, stop being lazy and write new jokes for Akpos.

Body Image

Body Image: Daughter Calls Her Mom “Fat”, And Mother’s Viral Response Sparks Heated Discussions

Body Image: Daughter Calls Her Mom “Fat”, And Mother’s Viral Response Sparks Heated Discussions

When Allison Kimmey told her kids playtime was over, her daughter got so upset she said ‘mama is fat’. So Kimmey decided to teach her kids a lesson about body image and the right use of the word “fat”

“My daughter called me fat today.

She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that “mama is fat”.
I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat.
Me: “what did you say about me?”
Her: “I said you were fat, mama, I’m sorry”
Me: “let’s talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy. Do you have fat?”
Her: “yes! I have some here on my tummy”
Me: “that’s right! So do I and so does your brother!”
Her brother: “I don’t have any fat, I’m the skinniest, I just have muscles”
Me: “actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts.”
Her brother: ” oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me”
Me: “Yes, that’s true. Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much. But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand?
Both: “yes, mama”
Me: “so can you repeat what I said”
Them: “yes! I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat”
Me: “exactly right!”
Them: “can we go back to the pool now?”
Me: no ??
__________________
Each moment these topics come up I have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable.

Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest.

Just do you!
Xoxo
Allie”

6 Things You Should Stop Expecting from Others

Don’t Quit Your Day Job…Yet!

Don’t Quit Your Day Job…Yet!

As attractive and exciting as the jump from employee to business owner is, it’s far from easy and absolutely not for the faint of heart. Among the biggest and most intimidating aspects of the transition is the shock to your personal finances. It’s not a matter of if it will happen (it is all but unavoidable), but how well you prepare for it. With this in mind, here are some steps you should take as soon as you even think you want to quit your day job:

Start saving to fund your business as soon as you get that entrepreneurial itch: I would go as far as to say that, as soon as you get full-time employment out of high school or college, start a savings account earmarked specifically to put money aside to launch your start-up (separate and apart from your emergency savings account and accounts you might have for other financial goals), even if you’re not sure when you’ll do it or even exactly what kind of business you want to start. And if you already have a business idea or even an active side-hustle, it’s even more important for you to put aside income to feed and nurture the launch and operation of the business, until it is generating enough revenue to get past break-even and support itself.

Keep your day job for as long as you can: First, the savings you need to fund your business (see previous point) will be drawn from your current income. Second, especially if your business is in the same industry where you’ve pursued your career, excelling in the latter can result in key networking contacts, support and maybe even your first customers. (At the same time, be careful to avoid conflicts of interest and other issues that can cause your employer to question your focus, performance and commitment to your job.) Third, and perhaps most important: Don’t quit your day job yet if you have health insurance and other benefits from your job. You want to keep them as long as you can, especially if it will be a minute before your new business generates enough profit to both replace your salary and to fund your health insurance, retirement savings and other needs currently being fulfilled (and far more cheaply) through your employer.

Dump your debt: You need to pay down your loans as quickly as possible, as well as car loans and other sources of high interest debt. Your goal is to free up money that can be used to support your business

Totally blow up and recreate your household budget: Take into account the new expenses (as well as those that might go away, such as commuting costs if your business is home-based) and possible lost income that will result from the launch of your business and your eventual transition out of your job. Approach this just as you should if you were about to bring a newborn baby into the family, because that is exactly what you’re doing when you launch a business that will need to be constantly fed and nurtured in order to survive, stay healthy and grow. Just as your entire lifestyle would change as a new parent, it will absolutely require adjustments and sacrifices to accommodate your business. Which brings me to perhaps my most important piece of advice:

Cut your living expenses: Then cut them again. Then once more for good measure. Don’t quit your day job if you cannot responsibly cut your expenses. The transition from steady paycheck to the fluctuating cash flow of entrepreneurship is all but impossible if you cannot control spending and keep your debt under control. Often, people tell me they can’t find the money to fund their business. I tell them exactly where it is: In their closets. In their garage. On the walls of their living rooms, kitchens, dens and practically every bedroom. (How many flat-screens do we really need?) The money to fund and operate your business has to come from somewhere, so you will likely have to stop adding to your collections of designer shoes, give up the gym membership and exercise at home, seriously cut back on dining out, mani-pedis and other nice-to-haves-but-not-need-to-haves.

Foregoing instant gratification in favor of long-term gains is not only a cardinal rule of successful entrepreneurship, but of all wealth-building endeavors. There’s no way around this:

Don’t quit your day job just yet. Understand that to fund your business, you must stop funding many (if not all) of your other habits, at least until you’re successful enough as an entrepreneur to finance both your company’s needs as well as the lifestyle you desire.

Why Do Men and Women Prefer Male Bosses?

Why Do Men and Women Prefer Male Bosses?

Why Do Men and Women Prefer Male Bosses?

Having asked a lot of people questions and done some online research, I found out men and women alike would rather NOT work with female bosses. See their reasons below

1. Incapable of leaving their personal lives at home
2. Women are petty
3. Too happy to gossip about their colleagues
4. Feel threatened by colleagues.
5. Form cliques
6. Quite unreasonable
7. Clamour too much for respect
8. Too competitive and participate in office politics
9. Less approachable

Some women prefer male bosses because they can flirt their way to a promotion and get away with extra curricular activities. Some men say they would rather want to drink and hang out with their male bosses to form a bond which is unlikely to happen if their boss is female

The above list irks me because I have worked with men who have the above attributes. I believe women in leadership or management positions are judged unfairly because they act the same way as men which some people find off-putting. When women are firm and assertive she’s seen as aggressive . When a man does the same thing, he seen as strong and in control

I know it has been deeply instilled in us to see leadership as a male role, presided by a dominant figure, completive and in charge. The expectation of women is that they’re supposed to be gentle, nurturing and nice. However, I wonder why people assume that a boss lady cannot be in charge and nurturing at the same time.

I agree that there are women who could be difficult bosses but I ascribe this to them being under pressure to meet up to standard. Women leaders also owe it to ourselves to change this bias by helping more women instead of seeing them as useless or competition. We should also not be quick to judge one another rather give enough room to prove ourselves to one another

On the other hand, lets all (male and female) try to be fair in our assumptions about how men or women should ‘behave’. A boss should be seen as such and treated as such despite their gender.

For me, The bottom line is women don’t necessarily make worse bosses. They are just perceived as such

Be honest: do you have a preference for a male or female boss? Why?

children

Don’t Give Children Food or Drink Without Their Parent’s Permission

During NYSC, one of my neighbours had a small son, he wasn’t up to a year old then. His name was Nat. One day, we heard a quarrel in the compound and it was between Nat’s mum and another neighbour. Nat’s mum wasn’t really a troublesome person, in fact she was quiet and kept to herself most of the time. So everyone was surprised and wanted to know what caused her to be that angry.

We found out that the other neighbour had gone into her flat to visit. While she was in the bathroom, the neighbour had given Nat biscuit and a drink. Of course, we all wondered why that had gotten her so angry until she said “I do not eat or drink anything that comes from a party, either a child’s naming or birthday and neither does my child.”

It was then we all remembered that she attended The Jehovah Witness Church and it was a core part of the church’s doctrine.

The other neighbour however saw no wrong in what she had done. She kept shouting at the top of her lungs that she had done no wrong, and was not to blame.

Her refusal to see things from the point of view of Nat’s mum was what led to the quarrel.

A few days ago, I was at a store when I overheard a conservation between two women, obviously sisters.

One of them held a toddler by his hand and she was telling the other woman how offended she had been by what her mother in-law had done the previous day.

Apparently, mother in-law while eating had called the little girl to her side. She took half a spoon of rice, chewed it for a few seconds and then fed it to the child. The woman said she had immediately made her displeasure known to her mother in-law but the woman refused to apologise and even wanted to do it the second time, before she quickly dragged her daughter out of her way.

The sister had her opinion. She tried to reason with her, telling her that she should have employed more patience and wisdom in her outburst but the other woman was having none of it. She also asked her how should have known if the mother in-law had done that secretly. She said something like “Do you know the number of unhealthy things she eats at school?” “Just trust God to care for these little ones abeg.”

This statement got the other lady more angry. She turned to her sister, eyes blazing and said:

“She is my child, I bore her and I will give her only what I feel is good for her. How could she give my daughter food from her mouth? Sister, can’t Ada chew anymore? I just don’t understand the motive behind her actions. Don’t you see that it is so wrong? It is very gross! ”

I quickly caught myself before I opened my mouth to volunteer opinion no one asked me.

I can say it here though. I believe that she really should have employed more tact in dealing with the situation, but really, I think the mother in-law was wrong. They don’t bring children up like that anymore or do they?

I also know children will always be children. They eat and drink anything whenever their parents are not there to monitor them. But people, ask a parent for permission before you give their children food. Children these days react to just about everything. ASK o! You can never say.

Written by Ayo Al for Diaryofanaijagirl.com

Move out of your parents' house

When is A Good Time To Move Out of Your Parents’ House?

When is A Good Time To Move Out of Your Parents’ House?

I moved out at the age of 27. I lived with my dad then I later had to move in with my sister due to work proximity. Living with my sister was fun as I got to hang out with my nephews. My sister never bothered me and made me feel at home the best she could, it felt like I was living at home

Suddenly I started to feel uneasy, I was 27 years old, I could afford to get a place, why was I holding back? I remember my colleagues and I had this discussion and most of them said, “who will marry a single girl living by herself?”. So I stayed back.Even though I could come and go as I pleased, I felt like my sister’s young family needed their privacy

When I decided I didn’t care what anyone thought and it was time to become responsible for myself and my living situation, I didn’t give anyone a choice. I told my dad that I had gotten a place of my own and it would be nice if he could help me move as well. He looked at me like I was about to commit murder, then he asked me, “why?”. He looked so disappointed but I was ready for him, so I said “because I want to be able to eat the last meat in the pot without feeling terrible”. He knew I was messing with him so he shook his head and proceeded to lecture me on how to stay safe Read: Building our kids’ self esteem: A lesson from my mama

About the meat, I wasn’t really messing with him. It’s rude to eat the last meat in the pot when you have older people living with you or in my case, when you’re a guest. So imagine this: during my mid night munch I find that there’s only one meat left and I had already cooked noodles! It was time to move mehn, it’s time for me to eat the last piece of protein in the pot without worrying about decorum

Signing my first lease brought out a rush of emotions…I was scared, hopeful, excited and angry that I was scared. I was angry at myself because at 27, I was scared of being responsible for myself? I quickly signed the lease and gave my sister a hug. It was done, I really did it. Did I feel any different after I moved out? Not immediately. I missed home so much, I would go back to spend weekends with my nephews. Gradually, my home started feeling comfortable and I began to crave the comfort of my space, the freedom to move around in the house clad, semi clad or totally nude.

There are of course more responsibilities. Such as, paying utilities yourself, cleaning by yourself, doing laundry by yourself, shopping by yourself and sometimes having to stop by a fast food restaurant after work, knowing there’s no prepared meal waiting for you at home. These and more toughened me up in a hurry and it sure did me a world of good

You may not know exactly where leaving the nest will lead, but I promise you, you will forge your own path and learn a great deal about yourself and others along the way.

Lessons from dad

“Respect All, Fear No One”- Lessons From Dad

“Respect All, Fear No One”. This was one of the lessons from dad as I grew older

Every time there was an altercation and no one wanted to speak up, he would say this repeatedly. One day, I turned it on him

My dad refused for my sisters to wear shorts, I didn’t think that was okay as other kids wore shorts to the beach and we had to wear skirts. Also, it was cute and I liked to wear cute things. So when I was 14 and could save enough money to go to Katangora to buy “trending clothes”, I bought a denim short and a blue top with shoulder pads and ruffles.

During environmental sanitation which was observed on the last Saturday of the month, everyone on the street stepped out of their compounds to jointly clean the drainage. On one of those days, I also stepped out in my shorts and blue top

It was time to ‘pepper’ everyone on the street and also to make a statement to my dad

I remember him standing by the drainage resting on the rake, watching me walk up to him. Forcing a smile and twirling, “do you like my shorts?” I asked him. Even though I was shaking inside, I presented a bold front. He said calmly, “what did I tell you about wearing shorts?” “You told my sisters, not me. I’ve been saving up for a long time to buy this” I said to him…

At this point, my bravado was waning. “So you’re not afraid to walk up to me like this?” He said, now adjusting his stance, the rake on one hand and his other hand firmly on his hips. “But daddy you said we should fear no one” At this time, my voice was already shaking and I was about to cry. Even though he didn’t smile, as I write this I can still see the twinkle in his eyes as he looked at me, paused for a bit and said “Go and take it off so it won’t get dirty, you can wear it after environmental”

I could have hugged him if we had that kind of relationship. Instead, I ran straight to my sisters to brag. They were so jealous

I am the fearless woman I am today, because my dad taught me and then led by example

What lessons did you learn from your dad?

Diary of A Naija Guy: What is Marriage Really About?Turning Your Wife into A Househelp?

What is marriage really about?

There’s a married couple staying close to my apartment and they quarrel almost everyday. When they start fighting, you will hardly hear the woman’s voice but the man is always at the top of his. What they fight about are really unnecessary but what do I know?

Either the man gets angry that the woman didn’t greet him well or she didn’t serve his food well enough because she forgot to add toothpick. The other morning, it was about the woman not making the bed after they woke up. I heard her saying she stood up first to prepare breakfast while the man was still sleeping

In all honesty, this isn’t suppose to cause any wahala but then, the man started shouting again… “You are stupid, you are mad, idiot, you lack manners, you are proud, I’ll slap you…” and many more hurtful words.

I just kept wondering whether making bed was such a big deal. I would hear the woman in a low tone say things like “I’m not mad…I’m not stupid…”

Now, I just wanna know what marriage is about. Because as a bachelor, you do your chores without any help, you cook your food, make your bed, serve yourself without worrying about toothpicks and all. Is marriage suppose to change all these?

Is marriage about giving all your responsibilities to another? Telling your partner to do everything you can do by yourself? My neighbour and his wife both work. The woman is a medical practitioner. Yet she finds time to do everything and is still bashed for it

I’m a young man and I know this is wrong. In my opinion, this is matrimonial slavery and I don’t agree with it. By the way, I’m still learning about life. Everyday I work to kill my pride but one day, I’m gonna make someone’s daughter the happiest woman alive.

Written For Diaryofanaijagirl by KayKross

Nice Girl

Being A Nice Girl Doesn’t Get You Ahead

Here are 5 symptoms of you being a too nice girl, which will never get you ahead at your company.

The actions that won your praise as a little girl now probably won’t help you get ahead at your company.

Here’s how to find out if you’re too eager to please. There’s surely nothing wrong with being a girl. Nor do most people think being nice is a problem. So here it is: what’s wrong with being a “nice girl”?

As many of psychologists and authors have pointed out over the years, the qualities we value and praise in little girls being generous to everyone, friendly, quiet and contented at school, etc. rarely translate well when those girls grow up and go looking for professional success. Women who excelled in education find themselves too eager to please, they are too afraid of ruffling feathers, and too unfamiliar to failure and struggle to initially handle the rough business world.




So how will you find out if you’re a nice person in the healthy sense or a nice girl in the problematic sense?

1. Thinking you can be loved by being nice
Stop thinking you have to be kind and nice to everyone in order to be loved and accepted. Which is basically a ‘mission impossible’. This idea is based on a deeper one that says ‘you are not good enough’. So you have to do things and be in certain ways to be loved. So moving on can be a challenge.

2. Struggling to say no
Yes, don’t be that girl who will do anything for another at the office, or wherever you work. What can you do about it? Start practicing with what you consider being a small ‘no’ whenever you feel like. Be aware and take a few seconds before rushing to say ‘yes’ as you usually do. Then slowly you will gain confidence to add more ‘no’s’. More practical advice is on offer here, here and here.

3. Being scared of upsetting people
You’re scared of upsetting people because you feel responsible for other people’s feelings. And you treat them as if they were fragile glasses. Start small again and build your way up to greater authenticity.




4. Wearing a 24/7-smile
Honestly, no one really feels like smiling ALL the time. That means nor should you be too happy and cheerful all the time. Smiling even when you feel like crying, that’s a little bit crazy.

5. Feeling like criticism or disapproval is the end of the world
Of course, we don’t enjoy criticism. But those for sufferers of Nice Girl Syndrome hearing negative feedback feels like the end of the world. To overcome your fear start looking honestly at your so called negative qualities. They are all parts of you. Admit that every now and then it’s useful to be bitchy, and bossy to get things done. Accept and embrace them. And then you can choose to change. Or not.

From: womenontopp.com

family

Find Your Kind. Stay with Your kind

Find Your Kind. Stay with Your kind

I am a “relationship” person. I don’t do casual anything. I love deeply and with everything in me. I have only ever enjoyed sex within the deepest of bonds. I crave an unusual level of intimacy.. Physical, mental, emotional, with the people I am with

It doesn’t make me superior or better than anyone different. People have beautiful and fulfilling relationships without that level of depth. I respect this. Totally..

But what I do, is I leave those people alone. People who swim in the shallows.. Who believe in many humans connections,which make for a richer life experience.. I am friends with them. They are amazing, beautiful people. But I never make the mistake of trying to explore anything deeper with them. There is a beauty to their simplicity, the uncomplicated connections and disengagement. The ease of it.

But I recognise that I am different. And a pairing with them will leave both of us gasping. Them for air.. I will suffocate them. Me ,for the depth I need to thrive…the looseness of their bonds will leave me constantly insecure. Read: Love is Not Complicated

I will forcibly try to drag them to the depths so that I can survive. They will constantly struggle to keep me in the shallows so that they can breathe.

I’ve realised how much we hurt people by ignoring this and just going into the relationship regardless. Find your kind. Stay with your kind.

Sometimes The other person is as magnetic and attractive as hell. Know what you are getting into. And if you decide to enter anyway.. Don’t force the other person to change to suit you. It’s the recipe to unhappiness.

And be open about who you are, up front. It doesn’t mean introducing yourself with “hi, I’m tamedun and I believe in casual relationships.. ” but don’t pretend to be anything but what you are

We know it’s “nigerian” to be looking for commitment everywhere. But I think we have all been there,suffered through it, and bought the t shirt. We are tired. It’s okay to tire quickly. It’s okay to have a short attention span. It’s okay to crave the excitement of many. Don’t force yourself to comform.

Find. Your. Kind.

Written By:Yetunde Odugbesan Enendu

The other woman

To Thine Own Self, Be True

To Thine Own Self, Be True

Recently I met with a potential client. During our conversation he said people had said different things about me while he was doing his investigation. According to him, one thing they all agreed on was the fact that I go after what I want aggressively and I’m never worried about mumblings about me.

They are right. I stand up for myself and refuse to take less than I deserve during negotiations.Men assume women shouldn’t be hard bargainers because they (women) don’t need as much money as men do. My client also said some called me the “B” word, that didn’t surprise at all but my focus has never shifted from the prize

There is no such thing as satisfying everyone, this is why I don’t listen or pay attention to talkers, especially those who do it behind me. People will call you every name in the book especially if you’re a woman who won’t take crap or allow herself to be cheated

We tip toe our way through life by doing things in order to please others, not because it’s what we believe in. Eventually our actions, appearances, and lives become moulded by how we think other people perceive us. This means you have given control to others, allowing them shape your path in life

Your job is not to make yourself likeable, it is to treat others exactly how you would like to be treated while staying focused on your goal. Even though they do not like you, they will always respect you and they won’t be able to hide it.

It is not your fault that people don’t have the patience or goodwill to get to know the real you before reaching conclusions.Even when some get to know you, they’ll still find faults where you don’t see any. People will judge you, you can’t control that too. Take a deep breath, then do what you have to do. The good part is , those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind

We are not on this earth forever, so let today be the day you take back the wheel from strangers, and “to thine own self, be true”

Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Dear Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, RE: Congratulatory Message To 7 Nigerian-British Parliaments

Dear Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa,

Taking glory for someone’s success without aiding it and attaching yourself to the person’s story is a world wide phenomenon, but Nigerians do it way better than most

When I was young, Rashidi Yekini came to our house one time to see “Bros Tunde”,our land lady’s son. He stayed back to greet everyone and chatted up some of our parents. The next day was a Sunday, we stayed back extra 2 hours in church because my dad gathered his group, bought them meat pie and soda and relayed the whole scenario. Finally ending it with “If you want to meet him I can discuss with Tunde to make it happen”. In my mind I thought “Oh daddy…that’s not going to happen”.

I digress too much these days…

This congratulatory letter is not bad in itself, however, did you know…Some of these people whom you have written this letter to do not have ‘Nig’ in their bio, not to talk of ‘eria’

If you take out time to do some research, you’d see that they have not in anyway affiliated themselves with our dear country. If we look further, we may find that none have Nigerian passports. However, you go ahead and write them an epistle…#Whedonema Read: Dear Alhaji Atiku, I would Like A Taste of That Kunu

In addition to writing letters to youths “in the abroad”, who are minding their business and taking advantage of the enabling environment created for them by the UNITED KINGDOM, we would like you to include the following in your To-do-list ma

– As a special assistant to the president on Foreign affairs, could you tell us how the president is doing “in the foreign land?”. Lie Mohammed can never tell us anything that we’ll take seriously

– Create opportunities for exchange programs for the exceptionally good students here. Especially the ones in public schools

– Provide an enabling mentorship environment/program for youths who genuinely want to be career politicians. But then, who would their mentors be?.

In conclusion ma’am, do not seek glory for the success of Nigerians abroad, you should be ashamed that most people thrive better when they’re out of this environment

Dear God

Dear God, There is One Question I Do Not Want an Answer To

Dear God,

You created me to be curious. To dig deeper and ask questions when I lack understanding. So I ask, and I prod and research until I am satisfied with the answers I find to the questions that plague me. It is a gift, and I thank you for it

One question I don’t want an answer to, even though you have created me to ask questions and fervently seek answers is this: Why do you bless me so?

I am undeserving. I am deeply flawed, I do not tap into my full potential, my back and forth with you knows no bounds and I mostly forget to say “thank you”. I sometimes forget your faithfulness and so I ask questions like “Lord, why not me?”. Yet, you always put a song in my heart, you take my one jar of wine and multiply it by a thousand, there’s not a day that goes by without a reassurance of your love Read: the God Factor

I am scared to know why I receive special Favours from you, so I’ll just make up my mind to try harder and be a well behaved child. There’s nothing in this world that shocks and intrigues me more than your unfailing love

When I imagine you, I see you seated on a high throne, huge hands holding the world in place, your garment flames deep red even though I can still see that it’s white. When I dance all by myself for you, Just the two of us, bonding, I picture you smile at my silliness. I love it. I love you. When I bow down and hold your feet, it smells like the sea, refreshing…

Lover of my soul, My Comfort. Thank You!