Tag Archives: lifestyle

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Oredola Akinniranye for Diaryofanaijagirl

Image from: Shutter Stock

Mindfulness

Mindfulness – A Lifestyle You Should Adopt

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

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

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

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

Give mindfulness a try this week!

 

 

 

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

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

“Hi Mama, I hope I did not wake you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Issokay

Ex Girlfriend

That Time I Tried on Love That Wasn’t Mine

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

But it wasn’t mine.

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

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

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

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

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

support system

Life is Hard – Get Yourself A Support System

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

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

“Ife can you talk?” She asked

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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©

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

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”

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

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”

That Time of The Month

Yes, It’s That Time of The Month

Aha! That time of the month when everything and everyone seems doubly annoying. I stepped in an awkward situation

Yesterday I got home and found out the construction going on next to my house had tampered with our power and the owner of the building was dragging his feet about doing something about it

In my annoyance without thinking things through, I marched over to the construction site, where I noticed countless shirtless men working and some well dressed men standing around. I walked up to the group of well dressed men and asked one of them “Good evening, do you work here?” He shook his head and pointed at a young man. I walked up to the young man and before I said anything, he said with a smile “Madam we’re working on fixing the wire. Nepa people are on their way here. So sorry”

Shouldn’t I have just turned around and walked home? It was the time of the month, when hormones were everywhere. “So why are you now smiling?” I asked the poor guy irritably “you tamper with my light and you’re smiling?” Now he looked pissed “what do you want me to do now? I should cry?”

The man who shook his head at me earlier then decided to wade in “Just go back home. Nepa is 5 minutes away” I don’t even know why that got me more upset “please I wasn’t talking to you. I came to you first and you refused to answer me so stay out of this” I said . From nowhere one of the shirtless guys jumped down from whatever he was doing and walked up to me shouting “I will slap you if you talk to my boss like that again”…Ah! Wahala. Why didn’t I bring back-up? Why didn’t I just leave after the first apology? But as a voltron that my brain was convincing me that I was, I said to myself, “no retreat no surrender”

I stood up to the shirtless sweaty guy and said “You don’t dare! If your saliva as much as touches my skin, mobile police will pick you up in minutes” (Note: I DO NOT know ONE mobile police) “I am going to get my phone, if you say another word when I get back you will be picked up” I said this while walking away in fake anger. In my mind I was pushing my legs to walk faster, I didn’t bargain for slap please

I blame everything on “the time of the month!” Did I go back to the Lion’s den? If you ask me this question in the comment section, you’re a wicked somebody!

Chigul

“When my Marriage Fell apart, I Felt Like I Had Failed at Something” – Chigul

Read below an excerpt from the interview with Chigul with KemiAdetiba’s KingWoman on Accelerate Tv

“I married at 33 and married a virgin.

My husband and I had our happy times. We were married for about a year. We just got to a point where we both didn’t care anymore. It just sort of fizzled. I’ve been made to believe it was my job to keep the marriage afloat and the fact that it sank, I take on my head. It was supposed to be easy. I had the Indian theme of roses in mind. I didn’t understand how no one cared. Except for my brother. I was depressed.

When my marriage fell apart, I felt like I had failed at something and I had nowhere to land… I felt like I disappointed my dad. But no one was there for me. And I wanted to be able to go to my mum and cry and tell her ” I am tired” but she was just always saying “go back to your husband”. The worst was when I found out my husband has a child with someone else and I found out my mum knew. Read: Chigul, on the pressure to get married

My mum and I, clash of titans. We clashed over everything. My mum and I quarrelled over my grades, my relationships, my marriage…I resented her.




There were days I would get back home on Friday and wouldn’t get up till Monday except go to the bathroom or kitchen. It was one of the worst things that happened to me but also one of the best because it taught me a lot. I am now more responsible. I’m learning how to deal with men folk.

Would I have changed anything about it? No. Because it happened for a reason. I’m happy it happened at one year with no children, no attachments.

I have come across people that have told me I was no good and I would never make it and I was ugly. My self- esteem was literally in the out. I had little or no self-esteem and it affected me in a way that I saw myself become quite a people pleaser…

My weight has always been a sore spot. Always. My mum was worried because she had a brother who was big and had diabetic and eventually passed away. The worst thing someone ever said to me was on Instagram. It was a picture with a friend of mine and somebody said, despite the heavy make up “it is finally good to see Fiona from Shrek in person”. It hurt me so deep. Now I do work out everyday. I have a very good teacher and a supportive group.”

Rejection

My Real Life Definition of Pain

Pain.

A dictionary defines it as a highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by a wound or injury.

Me, I say pain is more than a physical sensation. It’s more than a throbbing that comes from a wound. Pain is more than an ache a drug prescription can heal or an x-ray can see

The tears of a broken heart. The groan of a disturbed mind. The screams of a crushed soul. The wails of a drained brain. That’s pain. The kind I feel. That which comes from my heart, mind and soul.

A mind burnt by failure. A heart broken by society. A soul crushed by life. Read: Tales From Biafra

Life gives more than joy and laughter all year round. Sorrows and tears creep in when least expected. Yet we smile for that’s what the world wishes to see.

Physical pain lingers only for a while..as an awareness that it was indeed at one time painful.

This pain has the unique ability to come back over and over again.. No one can see it, no one can feel it, just me

Heavens be thanked for the skin that covers the soul. Nature be thanked for its beauty that radiates the earth even in the dark. Grateful are we for scars that do not show on our skins.

In all, I await the new dawn. The dawn that brings happy songs to the lips. The dawn that brings sincere smile to the mouth. The dawn where I shall live again. Let the dusk pass for I weary in its darkness. The shine of the dawn I want to bask in.

For in the depth of my soul is a glow. In the innermost part of my heart is a light. In my mind, is a girl who wishes not to hide.

Let my glow shine. Let my light be bright. Let my mind be free. Let my ache be eased. And my pain be ceased

Written by: Zaynab Yusuf

National best friend day

5 Types Of People You Should Kick Out Of Your Life

5 Types Of People You Should Kick Out Of Your Life

As you go through changes in life, the reality is that there are some people you have to leave behind. The following list describes five types of people who should become irrelevant to your life:

1. The people from your past you’re still trying to impress.

You don’t always outgrow feelings of inadequacy about certain people – usually from your past – that make you feel less than. Even if you haven’t talked to people in years, it can feel like that they still have a stronghold on your life. But you need to ask: Are you better or worse off by their perceptions of you? Once you know the answer, take steps to get to the fundamental root of why they make you feel inadequate. And leave them and their perceptions in the past.

2. Toxic exes that won’t let go (or don’t want you to let go).

For the record, you can be friends with your ex. But sometimes the question boils down to: Should you? There are certain exes who are toxic and who always find their way to you when you are feeling vulnerable. And although you might be tempted to fall for their antics in a moment of weakness, don’t fall for your short-term memory. Usually exes who are toxic are miserable, and misery loves company. It’s better to be content and alone, than in such terrible company.

3. The financially incompetent people whose habits you’re tempted to pick up.

It may seem silly to refuse to be around people because of their financial habits, but it is of utmost importance to your mental health and well-being. Yes, you can have friends of varying financial earnings. But it is to your benefit to make sure all your friends are financially competent. Whatever end of financial incompetence they might be on – spending what they don’t have, or spending recklessly – we tend to pick up the habits of those we’re around.

4. People whose friendship you have to beg for.

Friendships matter. And how tragic we would be to think that we can go through life without having at least a few good friends? But friendship, as we should know by the time we get into early adulthood, is a two-way street. And you should never have to feel like you’re chasing down someone and begging them to be your friend. Not only will that sort of friendship weigh on you in the long-run, it won’t bring you the love and trust that genuine friends do.

5. People who belittle you and your goals.

It’s true that some of the direction of your dreams will change in your twenties. You’ll deal with disappointments and failures probably more than you think – hang in there, get up, and regroup. Failure is better than not trying, any day. And you don’t need people around you who are going to belittle your efforts – life is hard enough without them. You’ll often find that those who belittle your dreams, don’t even have any of their own. Surprise, surprise. Surround yourself with people who do the opposite.

God-fearing man

Just Because He’s A Christian Does Not Mean He is A “God-Fearing Man”

Just Because He’s A Christian Does Not Mean He is A God-Fearing Man

He would “hallelujah” with her like a passionate pastor on Friday, pipe her down like Ray J did Kim on Saturday, then run back to his wife no one knew about on Sunday.

Then repent and repeat, of course.

But my best friend, a Christian, couldn’t fathom that he could possibly be doing her dirty – he was a man of God. I mean, he would never… right?

She was, by the way, abstaining from sex because of her devotion to God. And yeah, he’s Christian, too, but we all know that not even the words of Jesus Christ himself, etched inside the Holy Bible for centuries, can tame a man’s serpent from slithering out for a little temptation.

“But God wants us to have sex,” he’d tell her manipulatively. “He wants us to do this! As long as we have an intent on getting married, God’s all for it.” Spoiler alert – he didn’t give a flying fart about marrying her. Naïve and impressionable, my best friend succumbed to his wily advances.

Of course, she was devastated when she found out he was a compulsive liar – he was married to a woman he said was his sister and fathered kids he said were his nieces and nephews.

“How?” my BFF lamented. “He went to church with me, prayed with me, yet he lied straight to my face! How could he do this me?”

Simple, I thought. Just because someone is sweating bullets up on the pulpit, spewing out powerful proverbs at the top of his lungs does not mean a damn thing about how “virtuous” he is. Saying “I’m a man of faith” doesn’t insulate one from being a scumbag – I thought that was common sense, no? It’s painfully cliché, but it’s true: actions speak louder than words.

For years, as a celibate Seventh Day Adventist, she thought she would be able to find a man in church who shared her values: slapping sloppies is for after marriage, she always said. But instead, she said she found a lot of men who “pick and choose” which pages of the Bible to follow; unsurprisingly, the “pre-marital sex is sinful” stuff are verses they often tried to re-interpret or ignore.

One Christian man, she said, felt offended – yeah, you read correctly – offended by her celibacy. He said, “Well, you already gave up what was supposed to be for me to some other man, so what’s the point?”

“It’s not about you!” she told him. “It’s about me trying to focus on the more important aspects of the relationship – the core parts that would make it long lasting. God forbid, if sex isn’t part of the equation anymore because of illness or otherwise, I’ll know there is something greater than just that that’s keeping us together.”

But he fought her hard on this. “You already messed up. Might as well keep on keepin’ on,” he reasoned. He was a Christian, but he f***ed. And that’s final.

She didn’t bother, though. She realized one of the pros of being celibate is that the “Christian” wolves in sheep’s clothing revealed themselves faster than you can say, “no sex ‘til marriage?!” So she just threw these men by the wayside and kept looking for “the one.”

Just when she started to fall in a state of despair, she finally ended up finding her match.

He was a man who followed a straight and narrow path and respected her celibacy. Through his own experience, he, too, felt that sex clouded his judgment in finding the right partner, so he was on board with her even though he knew it’d be challenging AF.

But he’s not Christian – not even a little bit. He’s an atheist who often wonders if there truly is an omnipotent, divine being watching over us.

He doesn’t mind coming along with her to church on Saturdays because he loves seeing her in “her element” and enjoys being in her company. (Won’t he do it!)

“Whatever happened to being with a ‘God-fearing’ man?” I said to my friend, somewhat mockingly. By the way, I never really got the phrase “God fearing” – seems so ominous and sinister instead of being lovingly devout and worshipful, but I digress.

“Sometimes you find exactly what you want in the strangest places,” she said.

It just proved what I always knew – just because someone says they’re Christian, that don’t mean a damn thing. Observe their character and you’ll see how moral they truly are.

Written by: Kimberly Gideon for madamnoire.com God Fearing Man

fake orgasm

Women fake Orgasm: I’m 42 Years Old, How come I’m just Knowing This? – Diary of A Naija Guy

Women fake Orgasm: I’m 42 Years Old, How come I’m just Knowing This?

Dear DANG

I must tell you that I feel like an absolute klutz. I am a 42 year old recently divorced man and my ex wife told me last week, she faked a lot of her orgasm with me. I thought she was lying to get at me or make me feel like a loser so I shrugged it off . You see, we had an awesome sexual relationship. Even before we were married, it was really hot between us and we could never get enough of each other. After our child was born, she wanted sex more, I didn’t mind at all. We could be fighting but she’d never turn away my advances. Do you see what I’m saying? How can such a woman tell me she faked most of her orgasm with me?




On this day, she asked me about the girl I have recently started seeing. She especially wanted to know if our sex life was as hot with the lady as it was with her. I told my ex- wife I didn’t want to discuss my sex life. She then said “ Just make sure she’s not faking orgasm like I did”. That shook me for some seconds but she was laughing so I tried not to to take her seriously. However, she repeated it again, this time with a serious face and instances. That is impossible! I remember those instances and she looked like she was having the best of times. She told me, “ask other females”

My ex-wife was not my first sexual encounter, so when I couldn’t get over it, I started asking my old girlfriends and some of my female friends. I was scared to ask my girlfriend because I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the truth from her. They all said, “yes, sometimes we faked orgasm”. So, yesterday I told my girlfriend “I know you sometimes fake orgasm, I don’t think you should do that anymore” Her response was “But it’s not every time…” Ah!!!!! Jesuuuuu

This may have damaged my ego a little bit…But I feel a little better, at least they said it wasn’t every time… Or, who knows if they were lying?




You women folk should be feared. Henceforth, I will not take you folks at face value again. In fact, if you don’t orgasm during sex and you can’t tell me, that’s your problem. A man cannot kill himself because you lots refuse to be truthful and demand what is rightfully yours

Written by CY For Diaryofanaijagirl.com