Tag Archives: independent woman

Meet Tanzania woman Rebeca Gyumi; Who Fought Tanzania’s Child Marriage Laws and Won

She is popularly known as the woman who fought for an end to child marriages in Tanzania and won.

Tanzania is one of the African countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world – two out of every five girls marry before their 18th birthday with a prevalence rate of 37% nationwide, according to the country’s national demographic and health survey of 2015/16.

Rebeca Gyumi, in early 2016, filed a petition at the High Court to challenge the Tanzania Marriage Act which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married and won a landmark case that same year that raised the age of child marriage from 14 to 18.

Following the impact of her work, Gyumi was named the 2016 UNICEF Global Goals award winner for her work in advancing girls’ rights in Tanzania. That same year, she was named 2016 Woman of the Year by New Africa Magazine.

Today, the girls rights activist is preparing to receive the 2018 Human Rights Prize awarded by the United Nations.

She tells news site CNN: “I was pretty much shocked. So shocked and caught unaware that I was even considered for such a prestigious prize.”

Growing up, at the age of 13, she realized that some of her colleagues in school were compelled to abandon their education because they were given away in marriage due to pregnancy.

At the age of 20, Gyumi became aware that child marriage was not just a local problem in her community but a national one.

“It bothered me that the age for boys to be married was 18 but for girls, it was 14,” she said.

Sadly, that is the reality in many parts of the African continent including Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali and South Sudan. Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18 and if the current trends continue, the number of girls who marry as children will reach 1.2 billion by 2050, warns Girls Not Brides, a global organisation committed to ending child marriage.

Rebecca Gyuim
Credit: Missie Popular

Girls who marry as children are often not able to achieve their full potential, as they leave school early, suffer domestic violence and do not get access to proper healthcare.

Some even die during pregnancy and childbirth as a result of complications because their bodies are not ready. Child marriages affect the economies of several countries and it is worrying that some countries still allow the practice to continue.

While studying law at the university, Gyumi learned about the Tanzanian Marriage Act of 1971 and realized that there was an opportunity to challenge the law.

Along with her colleagues, she went ahead to do that, especially some years after pursuing law as a profession. What the team did was to petition the Tanzanian High Court to change the Tanzanian Marriage Act which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married, providing ample reasons as to why child marriages should end.

In July 2016, the High court ruled in her favour and declared that Sections 13 and 17 of the Marriage Act were unconstitutional and raised the minimum age to 18 for both boys and girls.’’

Though critics attacked her for promoting a “western culture”, many people across the country welcomed the news but their joy became short-lived when the government appealed against the ruling in 2017, arguing that child marriage can protect girls who get pregnant out of wedlock.

The case is in Tanzanian’s high court at the moment and a verdict is supposed to be out soon. Meanwhile, Gyumi believes that a victory for the government would “look really bad” as “it is not a victory a country can be proud of.”

Being the founder and the Executive Director of Msichana Initiative, an NGO which aims to empower girl children through education, Gyumi says the amendment of the law is not their only focus as their aim is to ensure that the law is being enforced at the local level.

“We need to teach girls around the country to stand up for their rights and continue engaging with communities,” she says.

In spite of the challenges from critics and some government stakeholders, Gyumi is optimistic that winning the 2018 Human Rights Prize would put her and her country on the map.

“It’s a proud moment for me and for the girls I stood up for and for the ongoing global progress that is happening around girls’ and women’s rights.”

Credit: howafrica.com

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

 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness – A Lifestyle You Should Adopt

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

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

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

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

Give mindfulness a try this week!

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First seen on BBC News

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©

Orphaned at 17, I Automatically Became a Mother of Four to My Siblings: Here is How We Survived

Hello DANG, I’m not a writer but I feel an urge to share this

Today makes it 15 years I’ve been an orphan. My parents were decent civil Servants: Mum a teacher and jack of any trade she was interested in, and dad an Engineer. We all fought for daddy’s approval. If you did well in school you were a favorite. Me? I was never close to first or second place in class. Rarely 3rd and mostly between 4th-10th place.

Life was comfortable and good…then, the worst day of my life happens. Both of my parents died on the same day!!! I still remember where I was when I heard…. I was in the house in Lagos where my family stayed anytime we come around. I was standing outside while my brother was in he bathroom while my aunt walked into the compound. I was not surprised to see her since she didn’t stay far away and would sometimes come around unannounced.

“There has been an accident, there was a plane crash and your parents were on it”. She said. I remember seeing the news of the plane crash shortly before then but it didn’t occur to me that was the flight my parents were on. Still standing as I stared at her in shock, I began to shake uncontrollably, everything became blurry as I felt like my body was no longer present in the physical

I snapped out of it quickly. “Oh Lord, my baby brother is about to turn 5. Will my sisters be ok?”. I couldn’t reach them immediately, they were in Warri at the time while I was in Lagos with my brother studying for our A-levels. I could hear my aunt’s voice, “We don’t know anything now, there may be survivors…”. I wasn’t listening, I also didn’t really believe her, I had quickly moved on to survival mode. At this time, I had not cried. We were taken to my Uncles house, where we found so many people crying and looking sober

I was thinking to myself, Why? What next ? What should I do mummy? How do I take care of 4 people?

I quickly realised, when you lose someone, theres nothing anyone can do or say to make you feel better NOTHING!!! I didn’t cry when anyone was around, I only cried from my sleep because in my sleep, I wasn’t thinking about how my siblings would survive. But my subconscious knew I had suffered a loss, so therein, I mourned. So many promises were made by uncles and parents’ friends but I think the most honest people said to me “All you have is one another”.

How true! Days and months and years ahead revealed the truth in that statement. I was scared my siblings would grow up without guidance. I wasn’t an academic genius so all I thought was how to find something to do to take care of my siblings. Help did not come where we expected but help came from people we had never even seen and never heard of. They knew my parents and came forward at the exact point we needed something to happen

I know not many people may have had their stories turn out this way, I can say that God truly is the father to the orphan. Today and at every memorial, I look back in gratitude. My lessons learnt;

– God always has a plan. You just need to trust and believe.
-The power of a praying mother never goes to waste

I have grown from being a scared, confused young Lady with so much uncertainty, to an executive in a multinational company and a very happy and fulfilled mother of 5 (My siblings and a beautiful baby girl). All lines have fallen in pleasant places and my gratitude to God and the people who came out of nowhere to help, knows no bounds

Written by Anonymous for diaryofanaijagirl.com

In-Laws

Do Not Act Like a Maid to Win Cool Points From Your In-Laws

So many ladies and some men are ready to do anything, including act like maids to win cool points from their in-laws. I believe most times, you help because you want to look good not because you’re showing respect to the elderly. Your intentions matter

One time I was invited to a Christmas party by a guy who was asking me out. I had nothing to do so I attended, hoping to make it brief. “Come and greet my mum” he said

We headed straight to the back of the house, where she was seated, giving orders to caterers and helps. Everyone was just going up and down acting busy. I greeted her, asked her if she needed help, she said “you want to join this circus?” I laughed, pulled a chair and sat with her anyway Read: When is a Relationship A Relationship?

I noticed she didn’t get up from her seat, just gave orders. I told myself to start a conversation with her instead of sitting there going through an awkward silence. So we struck up a conversation and it was one of the most intelligent and insightful conversations I had ever had. Turned out, my intelligence mattered more to her than my domestic skills

I didn’t lift a finger or go out of my way to help. But I was there anyway if there was something I could help with. That’s how my mama taught me, not to win cool points but to show respect by asking to help the elderly when I visit their home

Going to see your boyfriend, girlfriend or potential and helping his or her parents with chores should be a thing of respect, not because you want to win cool points. If you don’t have to do anything, sit down and be confident in who you are. Don’t run around trying to look domestic

If you do it for the wrong reasons, you’ll regret acting like a maid when you find out you did all that for nothing. Act normal, be nice and have no expectations

Those parents will see right through you anyway

These are the things I as a strong independent woman want from a man

Learn How to Stand up to your boss (and Force Her to See What You’re Really Worth)

I have never had a problem standing up for myself, even when I’m crazy in love, my brain still rejects bullying. As an employee, I had to learn how to stand up to my boss. So, when I encountered a very difficult boss whose sole purpose was to put me down and make my life miserable, this is what I did:

I knew this was a business I wanted to learn and do on my own in future, I also knew my boss was extremely good at her job. Knowing all these gave me an incentive to work harder and put my ego aside. How did I stand up to a woman who could fire me from a job I loved and wanted?

Empower yourself: First, I learnt how to become really good at my job. I envisaged questions before they were asked and wrote down answers in anticipation. I would read up in my spare time and give intelligent contributions during staff meetings. I made myself smart, handy and invaluable. Initially she didn’t like that she deferred to me, but I was working harder than anyone else and producing results, so she didn’t have a choice. When I became assured of my competence, I moved to the next step

Plan what you’re going to say: I started to write down the things I wanted to say to her. It wasn’t for lack of confidence, it was a strategic way to get it all out without talking too much. So, I wrote things down, cancelled and re-wrote. I needed to say everything on my mind in few words so as not to bore her or look like I was rambling. This was a tough woman I was dealing with, I had to hold her attention or lose my chance. So, when I was satisfied with my complaints and how I would present them, I moved on to the next phase

Choose the right moment: Because I had become closer to her, I began to study her mood and her down times. I also made sure to find out the visitors that put her in a good mood, news that elated her…I knew there was a time and place for everything so I watched and studied her until I knew the time was right

Be Confident and keep your emotions under control: When I eventually got her in a good mood and presented my case, I spoke confidently and looked her straight in the eye. I smiled a lot too. I told her how much I loved my job and how desperately I wanted to learn from her. But, as much as she inspires me to work harder, I would also like her to inspire me to want to come to work too. I explained that I felt used sometimes even though that may not have been her intention, and she talked down at me especially in the presence of visitors which dampens my morale. I finished off by saying “ I hope someday my hard work will be acknowledged and you will find it in your heart to treat me with respect”

Never Criticize or Sound Bitter: I told her how I felt, not what she did. So this made the situation seem more about me and less about her

Needless to say that was the turning point for me. Although after airing my thoughts, she said “I have heard you, leave my office”, things got way better and we became friends. I was able to be my best and I looked forward to going to work….

…Until I had to resign to go do my own thing. She went back to hating me

the first black PhD holder in Biomedical Engineering

“I Hawked Pepper On The Streets of Ibadan From Age 10”- Dr. Adeola Olubamiji, First Black PHD Holder In BioMedical Engineering

My name is Dr. Adeola D. Olubamiji and I’m the first black PhD holder in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

As the 5th child of 5, I always had to wait for my turn. I was the last, a girl child and raised by a mother who is a farmer and a father who has little. I hawked pepper on the streets of Ibadan as early as age 10 to help my mum. Went to public primary and secondary school in Ibadan. Attended OOU and studied Physics. Because I had a 2.1, it opened the door for me to proceed to Finland for a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering. During this masters degree, I worked part-time as a cleaner and did this after my Masters as well

Out of determination, I applied to over 100 schools for my PhD and finally got a full 3 year scholarship (later extended to 4 years scholarship) at University of Saskatchewan, Canada to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. While in that PhD program, I worked part-time as a makeup artist, teaching assistant, braided hair and fix weaves to make extra money Read: The Only Combined Cardiologist and Nephrologist (Heart and Kidney)Specialist in the World is a Nigerian, Dr. Olurotimi Badero

Today I walked the stage as the first black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from University of Saskatchewan, Canada!!! I walked this stage for you Mama Africa and for my Motherland Nigeria!!! I walked the stage for all of you black women disrespected and looked down on!!!! I walked for all of you from my ghetto hood “Mokola”, Ibadan. I walked for all OSU students and ex-students that got that look from people who think we are not brilliant!! I walked for all of you Africans in Finland wondering what is next for you!!
Specially, I walked for you my parents. siblings and extended family in fulfillment of your dreams! Specially, I walked the stage for you my late sister Omoleye Olubamiji and my late mentor Ayodele Olatunbosun.

Today I walked for my future husband and my unborn children who patiently waited for me to fulfill my dreams so that he can have a wife he will be proud of and they can have a role model to look up to. I walked for all immigrants and all young adults who strived everyday chasing their dreams!!! I walked in celebration of the unfailing love of my first and one truly true love Jesus Christ (in you I walk in you I live and in you I have had and will continue to have my being)!!!

Be bold, be innovative, be different, be you, be everything you want to be but remember to put God first!!! Let no man, upbringing, money, circumstance, colorism, past mistakes, institution, company, partner, background, let nothing tell you you can’t do it. Go smart! Go hard!! Go for Gold!!! Go with God!!! Just Get Going!!!!

Carve a Niche

9 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are

As a reminder that everything is going to be okay, here are 9 signs you’re doing better than you think you are:

You’ve got a roof over your head…

Now, you may not have the means to splurge on this season’s hottest bag. But you’re capable of providing, putting food on the table — you’ve got clean water, the lights are on, and, occasionally, you’ve got a little extra to spare on a “good morning” latte. Because it’s the small things (we often neglect the most) that make all the difference!

You’ve got a solid support system…

I’m not telling you to squad up, a la Taylor Swift. Your “support system” could be a trusted teacher, neighbor, childhood friend — anyone that’ll hold you accountable — but more importantly, will pray with you. Often, when we face hard times, we neglect the many blessings we currently possess. This person will kindly remind you that you’re doing better than you think you are! Everything will be okay.

You’ve got a little something to look forward to…

While you may not be in the best mood, drowning in bills, or worse, thrown in the towel altogether, holding on to that ONE goal – for example, finishing your degree — will provide you with the ammunition you need to just keep swimming.

You’ve learned from your mistakes…

While I certainly don’t have all the answers, one thing I’ve learned (countless times), is that there is no one way to approach this little thing called life. Remember this: as long as you make the conscious decision to get up when you fall, failure is nothing but a fallacy. Anything is attainable if you never give up!

You’ve become somewhat of a chameleon…

Change is inevitable. It’s how you approach a new season that makes all the difference. If you’re able to approach life’s disasters with a little grace – not saying it’ll always be easy – you’ve nailed it. Coping skills are crucial when it comes to success. If you don’t work at developing these skills, failure will eat you up repeatedly, honey!

You know there’s more to life than material things…

In today’s social age, it’s easy to get caught up trying to “Keep Up with the Joneses.” Only, truth is, genuine happiness doesn’t come by way of material things. Fortunately, knowing is half the battle. If you’re aware that joy doesn’t lie in that Birkin bag, a new car, or a bigger house, you’re prioritizing areas of your life that are lifelong and hold real value: family, friends, or your career.

You’ve chosen happiness on your terms…

You’ve stopped chasing the world’s definition of happiness, and have begun to define your own path. It’s not about the chase, but recognizing that happiness is right at your feet – if you just take a minute to stop and smell the roses. Read: Let Loneliness Spur you into something to live for

You’ve got some stories for the grandkids…

What’s life without taking a few risks? Much like taking a leap of faith, jumping head first here or there is a great learning tool, which will equip you will the skills necessary to take on whatever hiccups the universe throws your way. Even better, you’ll have an arsenal of stories to tell.

Last, but certainly not least…

You remember who you are…

These words are ones I’ve heard since I was a child. Since I can remember, my father would yell, “Remember who you are,” as I ran out the door to school, basketball practice, hang out with friends, start my first job – you name it. While I didn’t quite understand the meaning as a youngster, as an adult, I get it.

As I stated earlier, life is chock full of transitioning periods. Nothing is set in stone. You will encounter all kinds of people, face all kinds of hardships, and you will fail from time to time. Still, you don’t let a little fork in the road, disappointment, or loss change you. You are resilient. You are strong. You are someone who, when knocked down, responds with a quick upper cut. You remember who you are and where you’re going. Trust, that alone will help you sleep better at night.

Keep going, sis!

From: Ruu Hawkins for XONecole

Oke Maduewesi, CEO of Zaron Cosmetics

“Every Woman Must work no Matter How Small” -Oke Maduewesi, CEO of Zaron Cosmetics

Oke Maduewesi, CEO of Zaron Cosmetics is a widow and mother of two.She worked as a manager in Zenith bank, said she came to Lagos to start her company after the death of her husband.

“I came to Lagos after the death of my husband. As at the time I left banking, I knew there was more but I didn’t know what it was, I didn’t know what I wanted. I was living in Port Harcourt but I came to Lagos to start Zaron. I sold everything I had including my house

When I was leaving, my mother wept. She was scared and worried for me but I told her I had to go, I had to leave Port Harcourt because the memories were too much. Everything around me then reminded me of him [my late husband]. if I was not working when I lost my husband at 30, I don’t know how I would have survived.

Every woman must work no matter how small. I have two kids, where would I have started from? How would I have moved on? I always tell women, get something doing. Let your mind work.Read: I was a housewife before I opened the nail studio- Mrs Tokunbo Awogboro




There will be times when you will not have money. Don’t get discouraged. Embrace the fears and failures. Look for people who support you. Get a support system, people who can cover your weaknesses. You can’t do it alone. Find such people, mix with them.

Make it work: This is where Nigerians fail. They start something, hit a curve and give up. Make it work. Don’t give up. Put in the work. You have to keep going. When things get too comfortable, then there’s a problem. Get out of your comfort zone, keep pushing. Don’t sit still, keep pursuing a target.” -Oke Maduewesi, CEO Zaron cosmetics

Today, Zaron manufactures and distributes cosmetics and hair products which has been tailored to the specific needs of African women. Zaron currently has 26 outlets in twelve cities in Nigeria and Ghana as well as distributors in three African countries, United Kingdom and USA. As part of the brand’s community service, Zaron empowers Nigerian widows.

Source: TheCable

Life is Too Short to Attach Yourself to Anyone’s Boxers

Women like me are tagged “radical”, “fiery”, “tough” etc but I since realized a long time ago that my happiness stares me in the face.

I’m solely responsible for my own happiness.

Marriage doesn’t validate or quantify one’s success.

I’m not a manager of happiness. It’s ALL or NOTHING with me.

Prayers are good but only when both souls agree to it.

I won’t whittle out for anyone who doesn’t prioritize me.

I’m Afolake. I’m different. I’m not scared of societal labeling. I validate my own truth.

As I’ve prepared myself as a treasure as a wife then he who marries me, must be lucky to get me.

No half measures. No second guessing.

Life is too short to attach your happiness to another’s boxers, moods or emotions.

I will continue to challenge the unfounded traditional myths that equates marriage with suffering. NO. The status quo must change and give way.

There’s no special place in heaven for best Miss or Mrs.

Till we rid ourselves of the congenital and societal backed belief that marriage is the solution to life’s problems, certain women shall continue to live in grief, violent, grey and toxic marriages.

No woman’s worth should be validated by marriage much less an erring husband returning home as a prized possession.

This is my creed. _ Folake Oyetesho

10 Choices I Hope You Don’t Regret in 10 Years

Here are 10 choices  that ultimately lead to this phrase of regret, and how to elude them: “If only…” These two words paired together create one of the saddest phrases in the English language.

Wearing a mask to impress others: If the face you always show the world is a mask, someday there will be nothing beneath it. Because when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are. So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you. You don’t have to be perfect to impress and inspire people. Let them be impressed and inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.

Letting someone else create your dreams for you – The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find. A big part of this is your decision to stay true to your own goals and dreams. Do you have people who disagree with you? Good. It means you’re standing your ground and walking your own path. Sometimes you’ll do things considered crazy by others, but when you catch yourself excitedly losing track of time, that’s when you’ll know you’re doing the right thing

Keeping negative company. – Don’t let someone who has a bad attitude give it to you. Don’t let them get to you. They can’t pull the trigger if you don’t hand them the gun. When you remember that keeping the company of negative people is a choice, instead of an obligation, you free yourself to keep the company of compassion instead of anger, generosity instead of greed, and patience instead of anxiety.


Being selfish and egotistical
. – A life filled with loving deeds and good character is the best tombstone. Those who you inspired and shared your love with will remember how you made them feel long after your time has expired. So carve your name on hearts, not stone. What you have done for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for others and the world remains.

Avoiding change and growth. – If you want to know your past look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future look into your present actions. You must let go of the old to make way for the new; the old way is gone, never to come back. If you acknowledge this right now and take steps to address it, you will position yourself for lasting success.

Giving up when the going gets tough. – There are no failures, just results. Even if things don’t unfold the way you had expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. Learn what you can and move on. The one who continues to advance one step at a time will win in the end. Because the battle is always won far away and long before the final victory. It’s a process that occurs with small steps, decisions, and actions that gradually build upon each other and eventually lead to that glorious moment of triumph.  Read Mrs Awogboro’s story

Trying to micromanage every little thing. – Life should be touched, not strangled. Sometimes you’ve got to relax and let life happen without incessant worry and micromanagement. Learn to let go a little before you squeeze too tight. Take a deep breath. When the dust settles and you can once again see the forest for the trees, take the next step forward. You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going to be headed somewhere great. Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not. It just takes some time to connect all the dots.

Settling for less than you deserve. – Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to wait for what you deserve. Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller than you ever were before. Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision again. Don’t settle.

Endlessly waiting until tomorrow. – The trouble is, you always think you have more time than you do. But one day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to work on the things you’ve always wanted to do. And at that point you either will have achieved the goals you set for yourself, or you will have a list of excuses for why you haven’t

Being lazy and wishy-washy. – The world doesn’t owe you anything, you owe the world something. So stop daydreaming and start DOING. Develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Take full responsibility for your life – take control. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU.

From Angel Chernoff

6 Things You Should Stop Expecting from Others

I am Strong; But I am Tired

I am strong…But, I am Tired

I am tired of wiping my own tears

I am tired of being responsible for everyone. I want someone to tell me “relax, I got you”

I am tired of changing my own bulbs

I am tired of being there for everyone while I get half the effort in return

I am tired




The other day, I got back home from vacation and everything was as I left it. Plus, the gas had finished and my help was waiting for me to get back before she could refill. I got in my car to go find gas at 9pm. On my way, it just felt a little too much so I cried to God. “Lord I’m tired of doing everything myself…I need support”

And I heard a voice in my head “I have not made you a weakling. This is one of my gifts to you, your strong-will”. I was at the traffic light at this time so I pressed down my horn in frustration…”commonnnnnn. I don’t want to be strong all the time” I screamed at God “I am tired now. I want to rely on someone…sometimes”

Silence…

Sigh…

I bought the gas, got home, had dinner and showered

I AM TIRED. BUT, I AM STRONG. So, I’ll sleep, get my strength back and tomorrow, I’ll wake up with a tremendous will to fight. I will stay the path, keep my head high and keep going