It’s a Shorelicious Monday…..

Dear readers of the 365 blog,

Today is a very special day for sooooo many reasons;

1. It’s the first day in the month of May

2. It’s the first month in the second quater of this year

3. It’s a Monday when Nigerians don’t have to go to work

4. It’s is a day that celebrates all professional workers

5. It’s the second day of the GT banks food and drinks fair 2017, and……………..you all must go:)

But most importantly….

SHORELICIOUS is going to be at the GT bank food and drinks fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I will describe shorelicious in instagram language – #madeinNigeria #sweetbuthealthy #fitfam #soulcompanion……get it! It’s a must try!!!!!!!

Their range of products currently includes;

All of which, I 100% approve of……….So make it a shorelicious monday at the GT food and drinks fair. Kindly leave comments below on your Shorelicious experience, follow shorelicious on instagram @Shorelicious and stay tuned to the 365 blog for a review of each product.

Love,

The 365 blog…..

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A dream come true….

Maa chi/Maa ha/Maa jo,

Ye fro wo sen?

Remember I answered on question 25 of  The TMI Tag, that one of the places I will like t visit is Accra, Ghana………….people of the 365 blog, it finally happened. I, your girl, finally go to visit Accra. And the best part is the trip was sponsored by a reader of the 365 blog!…….*jokes*. But people, real talk…..would it be so bad gifted your girl an all expense paid holiday trip?……lol!

You know how sometimes, things coincidentally come together to work out as if it was planned to work out that way………yeah, you sister, I know you catch my drift. Anyway, that’s how my The TMI Tag post and going to Ghana worked out. I wrote the post on a Thursday, and by Monday, an opportunity to go to Ghana had presented itself, and by Friday of the same week I was touching down in Ghana by 7:20 am.

Did you know Nigeria is an hour away from Ghana? Anyway after the hassle of Nigerian airport procedures *eyes rolling*  and  35 minutes of a mouth-watering club sandwich at the Oasis Lounge in MMM 1, we boarded our Air peace flight, and arrived in Ghana at 7:20 amI only spent a day in Ghana. The actual program I went for was done by 10:00 am but my return ticket was not 6:00 pm Ghana time, so there was soooo much time to spare. I had not really planned any fun activities to do during the day because I expected the program to run much longer than it did.

After the program, we ordered an uber taxi that took us round town for about an hour, and I must say “Accra is clean and pretty”. After that, we headed to the famous Accra mall for lunch. I would have opted to have the famous Wache…..remember from Runtown’s Mad over you, “I know say she sabi cook wache”, but we were told the best place to find those are in mama put kind of places not fancy restaurants. Anyway, we settled for pizza at pizza hut and then went on to watch beauty and the beast in the cinema, to while away time. Desperation for free wi-fi led us to settle for at a coffee shop, in the mall, called Second Cup where I had an amazing drink called “a Berry Tea Chiller” and from there we went back to the airport. 

Berry Tea chiller
365 Blog – Second cup Berry Tea chiller

So, people……as expected, our flight got delayed. Must Nigerian Airlines always disappoint! can you believe that at 6pm, the plane that was supposed to take us back to lagos had not arrived in Ghana? I mean the one time I need you to be on time you are two hours late. And when the plane finally arrived, we were being passed from one gate to another like headless chickens, because the airport officials were also confused about where the gate was. The harrowing 3 hours spent waiting was not all bad……it came with the opportunity to have really amazing wheat croissants among other nice snacks at the Sanbra lounge……real talk guys, I really recommend this lounge for any persons who plans to visit Ghana, especially is you plan to go with a Nigerian airline, because they may just disappoint.

I have some random things I also want to tell you but I just can’t find an appropriate title for it….so, I will just list them below

  1. Nigeria, what the hell is wrong with us! Once I stepped into Ghana, I became embarrassed for Nigeria. How Ghana, which is not the so-called ‘Economic giant of Africa’ can have better airport than Nigeria still baffles me. Guys the whole airport was so organised…..and guess what they had more than one gate for departure! The whole process of departing the airport and arriving at the airport was hassle free…..I mean you did not have 50 million people checking your passport at every corner, so why Nigeria?
  2. Why is it that in Nigeria, at departures; there is one person to check your passport at the door, someone to write and check your details in front of the check in desk, another check at the check-in desk, another person to check when you about to get to the immigration queue, two people at the immigration queue, another immigration officer right after the immigration desk, another checker at the after the immigration, and another as you are about to board the plane……see I just don’t get it. Particularly with all the gbeborun immigration officers, who always want to associate your last name with a famous/wealthy Nigerian, and on occasions where they successfully make a link, intend to ask for ‘something for the weekend’…….*deep sigh* . I wonder, is it a lack of competence in one immigration officer that has caused the need for 4 different immigration officer to have to cross-check passports? and is the solution increasing the quantity or improving the quality.
  3. A guy at the mall was wearing a Zenith Bank printed fabric, a group of school kids wore uniform trad for school trip to the mall, and an airport official was wearing the national airport service fabric. From the airport till I arrived at the destination for my appointment, I kept seeing Ghanaians representing in their traditional attire. Thinking about it, Ghana is well-known for the high standards of its tailors. We were told that Fridays are an unofficial national traditional days, and that’s why people were dressed that way.

 

Mee da si for reading!

What do I do…..

I just cannot stop myself from staring at his face. He probably does not know it, but the mix of emotions I am currently under is like a spell that has left me partially deaf. Since he got on his knees, I have only been able to pick out 3 phrases; ‘most important’, ‘when I first’ and one other one that ended with ‘my mother’. This is one of those moments I wish I could remember every detail of for the rest of my life, I just cannot believe my brain has decided to fail me. I only hope that he wrote a speech, which he rehearsed for this proposal, at least that will leave me something to hold on to in memory of this moment.

Chuka and I’s families have been friends for three generations. His great grand father and mine had both grown up together in Imo state and although they were born to different families, they became more like brothers. The relationship between both families, although existent, would water down in the following generation and re-manifest in the relationship between our fathers.

Chuka and Akinlolu, my older brother attended the same secondary school, which made them very close friends. Chuka being an only child was always seeking Akin’s company and the fact that we lived in the same estate did not help because he was always over at our house. By the time I got into secondary school, the boys were already in their last year and after they graduated, he moved to England for his A-levels, then University degree and I don’t remember seeing him after that.

The next time I will see Chuka, I am in my second year in University and my brother is back in England for his graduate studies program. Tutu, my brothers girlfriend, had planned a surprise 26th birthday party him at a restaurant in Canary Wharf, London. I had missed my train to London, and had to take the another train an hour later. So I had to arrived at the restaurant still dressed in my home clothes and later on went to get changed in the bathroom. Being a successful party planner, Tutu had planned all the details down to the T and she did not fail to include sitting plans. I was to sit next to Chuka and upon arriving at my seat and exchanging greetings and we got talking. I enjoyed talking to him, and I think he felt the same because the only silent moments between us was when we were eating. He caught me up to speed, and that how I found out he lived and worked in the same county as my University and had been on the earlier train which I had missed. The coincidence got us laughing they kind of laughter that had tutu and some of her friend throwing glances at us, whilst birthday boy was completely oblivious.

The following day, we took the same train back home and our conversation had got even more interesting and that’s how it has been till date.  We exchanged contact but barely stayed in touch, because in between my crazy school schedule and his busy work schedule, there was not much time to spare……or at least that’s what I thought until last week when he told me I was totally wrong. Randomly out of the blue, he said to me “Do you know how much restraint it took me to stay away from you after Akin’s birthday?” that totally snatched my attention from the TV program I was watching. He continues saying “thinking back now, I think even then I wanted to marry you and I did not want to mess that up”. This was not the first time he would drop hints about marrying me, but I always ignored them, after all, guys say that all the time.

Chuka was one of the very intelligent ones. He had graduated with a first class degree in Economics from University College London, one of the top Universities in the United Kingdom. It was not unreasonable to expect that his master’s degree will happen at either Oxford or Cambridge University but to my utter shock, he joined me at Warwick University, the year after we met, for his Graduate degree program. I will soon find out that he had actually gotten an offer to go to University of California but had turned it down to come to Warwick…..I keep hoping one day he tell me the real reason why he declined the offer.

We started dating at end of my third year, not long after the night when he disguised our first date as a random cinema trip. I remember that night, mostly for the awkwardness of our first kiss and I smile. For about 5 months after we started dating, I lived in the fear of my brother finding out about us, but Chuka did not mind at all. In those months, I pleaded with him on several occasions not to tell Akin, although he soon found out. Chuka lived off Campus and sometimes when I wanted to get off the stress of studying medicine, I went to spend sometime at his apartment. I was having one of those days and I decided to go to his apartment, I call him but he does not pick up and so I just assume he is in class, and so I text him. For some reason, I find it easier to sleep in his apartment than I do in my school accommodation, and sleep is all I do. I wake up to my brothers face staring down at me, disapprovingly. Chuka starts to explain but instead Akin pushes him out of his way and storms out of the apartment. Akin returns not long after, calmer than he was when he left. We explained and although he was not very convinced, he learnt to accept us.

Three years later Akin is getting married to Motara and Chuka is proposing to me at their rehearsal dinner. Our mothers know Chuka and I are dating but I think the both fathers are still clueless. Once my mother said to me without mincing word that the only Ibo man she would permit me to marry was Chuka and I had laughed. Akin did not tell her, so the only way she must have found out was from her friend, Chuka’s mother.

On completion of his graduate studies, Chuka had returned home, whilst I completed my Undergrad studies. His father had insisted he come back home to run the family business. Once, Chuka had confided in me that he wanted to be an aeronautic engineer, but had to give up on his own dreams to protect his father’s legacy, and neither of his parents knew that. They had assumed that his flair had always been for economics.

I am pulled back to the present he is still on his knees, but now everyone is staring at me. Feeling the pressure of their stare, I close my eyes and I feel my hand stretching out to him and a couple of seconds later, I feel something foreign on my ring finger and loud cheers and claps. I finally open my eyes and he pulls me into his arms. I am speechless and continue to be until we all the cheering, hugs and congratulations stops.

I excuse myself to go the bathroom and for the first time I get a good look at the ring. it is a silver ring with perfectly arranged equidistant small-sized diamond stones covering its entire circumference, with a circular, medium-sized amethyst gem stone in the middle. Frankly, it’s the most beautiful ring, I have ever seen, not that I have seen many. I see a lot of thought has gone into it because it has got my birthstone, amethyst in the middle, there is only one which symbolises my birthday, 1st of February. I quickly count the number of small diamonds and I find there are 8 of them. I quickly check what month has diamonds as its birthstone, and I find its March.

I am still thinking what the 8th of March represents when I come face to face with Chuka as I swing the bathroom door open. He walks towards me forcing me to move back inside. He does not say anything, he just grabs my ring hand and I see he is relived when he finds my ring is right where he put it. He tells me he thought I had come to the bathroom to take it off and when I ask why he says “You just seemed so distant and hesitant out there. Initially I was scared you would say no and when you said yes and came to the bathroom, I thought you had said yes, not because you wanted to, but just so I was not embarrassed in front of our friends. I have died a thousand deaths out there not knowing what to think. Baby….please tell me we are on the same page”

“We are on the same page. I said yes, didn’t I?”

“So what’s wrong?”

I am a little hesitant to tell him why I had to go through our history but then I decide to tell him. So after a couple of minutes of silence I say “My father has another family” and I can see from the look on his face that he has some questions, so I proceed to answer them “Akin is completely clueless and you must not tell him. He tried to hide it but my mum knows, although she pretends they don’t exist”

We remain silent for a couple of minutes and then I go on to tell him my mind “I was distant because I had to run through our entire relationship to convince myself that entering a life-long commitment with you is the right thing. I don’t want to ever be in the position my mum is right now”

He is quiet for a while, we both are and suddenly he pulls me into a hug and after a while he says “I can’t promise to be the perfect husband, but I promise I will never put you through what your mother is going through. I will never cheat on you, the mere thought of it makes me cringe”

I start to think about the ring and I immediately the question that has been bothering me comes to mind and so I ask “why the 8th of march?”.

“Wow that was fast, I knew I married a smart woman, but I did not know you were that observant. Well….the 8th of March was the day I realised that I was in love with you and that I was going to marry you. I think it had something to do with that eye-opening kiss we shared at the cinema” He goes on to kiss me again, this time, it’s not awkward or eye-opening, instead its reassuring and deep.

 

************

Dear readers,

What will you do if your bf/gf proposes to you and you are not ready for marriage?

What do you reckon is the best way to deal with a partner who is not ready for commitment?

What will you do if you are her mother i.e. your husband has another family? Will you pretend they don’t exist too?

Let me know what your answer to these questions are, and your opinions in the comment section below. Please like comment and subscribe.

Thank you for reading.

Love,

365 Blog.

My first blogger recognition award

Ecstatic!

That is the only word that accurately sums up how I have felt since I read Ihuoma of OMA’S SERENDIPITY‘s blog post, where she nominated me for this very prestigious award. When I say nothing has been able to rid me of this feeling, I mean nothing! – not even the sleeping baby whose urine left a stain the size of  Africa on my ankara skirt.

As much as I will like to pour out my heart in an Oscar-worthy acceptance speech, this chain post award has some ground rules nominees have to follow. They are:

 

Fall Festival

So, first of all……

I will like to say a big thank you to someone who has made me dance shoki, galala, sekem, azonto, etigi, makossa, skelewu, shakiti bobo, yahooze,and alanta all at the same time in my head. This is no one other than the wonderful and creative Ihuoma of OMA’S SERENDIPITY who nominated me – y’all need to check out her blog.

2. I guess that refers to this post…..keep reading for more juice

3. How I started my blog:

I created my blog in October 2016, although I did not start posting until January 2017. I was going through a very rough period where everything just seemed to be going down south, and a good friend suggested that it might be a good time to start that blog I had always talked about. After a long conversation lamenting to my friend, I summoned courage to create the blog, but not the courage to write. I thought that I would suck at writing a blog because honestly essay writing was what I found most challenging about English Language at Secondary school. Also when I got to senior secondary school, I had to drop Lit-in-English course, because my teacher told my writing was as bad as that of primary school student……. LOL…. story story 

Fast forward to 2017, I promised myself the new year was going to bring about a new me. I was going to summon the courage to face some of my fears After 3 weeks, I finally decided on what to write in my first post – The six commandment of suit

So ……..here we are 3 months later, the 365 blog born out of deep sadness has become my refuge and a source of ecstasy.

4. Advice to new bloggers

As I write this, I hear a voice quietly whispering at the back of my mind “you just started blogging, what……3 months ago, do you think you are in the best position to give advice to new bloggers?”

Hmm….I will reply to this voice “experience is the best teacher, and although my experience is limited, it is still an experience and so I will share only what I have learnt”

So what have I learnt?

  • Don’t be forceful with your content: When I was doing my ground research for the blog before my first ever post, I read so many things about content planning and its importance, so I decided to give it a go……AND IT FAILED FOR ME. Trust me when I say that is probably what held back my first post. The title I had in mind for my first post was totally different from ended up as my first post. I spent a lot of time doing my content plan and I really wanted to make good use of it. But I found myself stuck……..a writers block before the real deal even begins, can you imagine? After so much time dragging it out, I finally finished writing the planned post and when I read it, it did not sound anything like I wanted it to. It did not flow well, it was what I’ll call……….forced. I guess what works for you works for you, a lot of people say planing content works for them, so it may work for you. But what I am trying to say is, if planning content does not work, don’t feel like you are doing something wrong just ‘let your inspiration drive you content’
  • When I first started, I was a bit lost…I thought I was doing something wrong because the number of views was not very impressive – another thing I learnt “let the numbers motivate you, not discourage you”. I contacted Berry Dakara of THE BERRY SWEET LIFESTYLE via email, and she told me something very important I will like to share with you. she said “At the same time, you might have a creative streak and think up 20 posts at the same time – in those times, pace yourself and schedule your posts in advance. There’s nothing like having already scheduled posts in the middle of writers block”.

I know you are confused…..isn’t that the same as content planning? Not really. This one involves writing as it comes to you and scheduling it for future posting, as opposed to the other which involves planning what you want to write before writing. The latter, for me, lets me write what inspires me when it does and gives me content for those times when I have a writer’s block.

  • one more thing…. I know it says 2, but I feel like I should add this one. I did not have any blogger around me  to put me through when I first started and so I contacted some established bloggers to help. As expected, most did not reply and finally Berry Dakara of THE BERRY SWEET LIFESTYLE responded. So in case you find yourself in a similar situation, try to contact other bloggers for help and don’t be discouraged from trying others if some don’t reply.

So the moral of the story is:

  • let inspiration drive your content
  • don’t be forceful with your content
  • when ideas come to mind, try to execute them as soon as possible. You don’t have to post them immediately, you can keep them for the time when you have a writer’s block
  • Let the numbers motivate you, not discourage you
  • Try to contact other bloggers, if you need someone to put you through. Feel free to contact me here. If it something I can give you advice on based on my limited experience, I will surely help.

5. Winners!!!!!!

I am glad I have the opportunity to pass this award on to other bloggers. And so….the 365 blog’s winners for the ‘Blogger recognition award’ are:

  1. Ngito Makenas of NGITOMAKENAS
  2. Kelly Sundberg of On Being Alive
  3. Oluchee of idle head
  4. missmondaymonday of This square peg
  5. Berry Dakara of THE BERRY SWEET LIFESTYLE
  6. When in the city
  7. Akintunde Aiki of Koroba
  8. Xceptional43 of 4unansweredprayers
  9. 21st century disciple 

 

Dehumanising rites

Adaeze, his sister, taps me on my shoulder to ask for his car keys again. Its the third time she has asked since Ken took his last breath an hour ago. I did not dignify her with a response the first two times and I am not going to this time, so I turn around and through my tears I stare at her for a few seconds and look away. I am now sure she has no emotional intelligence because she asked a fourth time as if she had been unaware of the hidden message in my stare, and so this time I tell her where it is and my tears amplify.

I was given very strict warning against this Yoruba – Ibo marriage by so many people but Ken promised me there is nothing to fear. He promised me that we had moved into the 21st century and those archaic traditions no longer applied. Whenever I reminded him about what I had seen in movies happening to widowed women, he got really upset with me and always asked “are you praying for me to die?” There he had me, I always pushed away those thoughts and found consolation in his promises.

Dear Ken Chimela Elechi

After 8 long days, it is the day we are finally laying your body to rest. I was informed that it is your family’s tradition for you to be buried in the village on the 8th day, but I suspect that is as much a lie or as archaic as some of the things I have heard in the past couple of days. All I feel is the heart break from your death and broken promises; and shame from all of the dehumanizing and ugly experiences I was put through. “Ken, I hope you’re seeing the results of making a promise you cannot keep”.

On getting home around 9pm on that day, I found all your sisters with your two of your uncles in the living room and now I knew where they went with your car after they suddenly disappeared from the hospital. Your office, my office and our bedroom was turned upside down and your sister Ginika started shouting “WHERE ARE THE DOCUMENTS TO OUR BROTHER’S HOUSES?” and that was how I found out what they were looking for and also that they had not found our secret safe. When I try to explain to them that I had no idea where they were, they start to make sentences that imply that I killed you. How could they even think that? I married you knowing you were a type 2 diabetic patient, and the doctors had just explained that you had a severe case of Myocardial infarction.”

After all the drama, I was informed that we had to leave for Owerri the following day to commence your funeral rites. The way they ganged up on me, I knew I could not object because the next thing they will resort to is to call me names in your language which I don’t understand or , the one that hurts the most, claim that I killed you. The following day, I was ready when they told me to be and the first thing they did when they saw me was to tell me I was in the wrong attire. Apparently, your sister had gone out of her way to sew me the only acceptable mourning uniform in your town, a black cotton wrapper and buba, and I was expected to be grateful for this. I watched as your sisters unpacked my suitcase removing all of my toiletries as they told me that I would not be bathing for the next 8 days while I morn you; and felt disgraced as they making snarky comments about some of my underwear. When they were done they told me that I had to remove my hair extensions, because I looked like a “prostitute” not a woman who had just lost her husband, but the interesting thing is your sister Ngozi had on hair extensions too. By the time they were done, I was a shadow of myself in an all black attire and that is the best I have looked in the past 8 days.

As soon as we got to Owerri, I was officially initiated into the Owerri widows club when they came to shave my hair. I had never cried as much and as hard as I did on this day, since the day you died, leaving me a widow; and when my mother died, leaving my sister and I, orphans. I did not cry for the loss of my hair but for the fact that I felt I had lost a connection to you. You described my hair, in its jet black richness, as a combination of gold and graphite, and you even hinted a couple of times, that this was what attracted you to me in the first place. I have not slept in 8 days, I have dozed off from the exhaustion I feel from crying all day and having to sit on my mourning throne – a very low stool, with no back support, all day. They believe that this is the only way your spirit will rest in peace and so I would not mind doing this and more, but for the three-month-old seeds, you sew, growing inside me.

After 7 years, we finally get what we have been searching for and you will be missing when they finally come. You did not tell your family because your sisters have not left out barren from the list of abuses rained on me daily, and I am glad you didn’t because they may have done something to hurt them . I have never been more determined to keep them alive, so determined that I ate whatever Dolapo, my sister, brought me in the toilet, when I took bathroom breaks from my mourning throne, during the 5 days hunger strike you family made compulsory for me.  I have come to know your family as united in wickedness, I am surprised you came out the gentle, loving man you were. Can you believe that your sisters have even allowed your Father’s cousin – Mama Nnena, who you hated so much and maltreated you to sleep in our master bedroom in the Owerri house?

Last night, I was finally allowed to step out of the Owerri house. I was given a towel and a bucket of water and under supervision by your sisters, I used the towel to wipe you clean, each time soaking and squeezing the towel in the bucket of water. As they watch, there is an argument going on in your language behind me, and I soon find out it is about whether I should be made to drink or bath with the water in the bucket. When I am done, they have reached a conclusion, and it is that I bath with it, after which I sit with your corpse until it is taken to the burial ground. I am reluctant initially, but then they tell me not do as they have said is to admit to killing you. 

Here I am Ken, I have been through hell and back for your soul and spirit to rest in peace. Now that we are finally going to bury you, the hell has to end as your body enters the ground. I have told Dolapo to pack my things, I leave this place today. Remember the promotion I was up for a couple of months ago that involved moving to South Africa, yes! that’s what’s next. But before I go back to work, I am moving to Lagos for the rest of my bereavement leave and I am going to be renting out our residence in Port Harcourt – before your family send me packing. As for the house in Owerri and in Abuja, they can have it. I have also decided to change my last name from Abolanle Elechi to Abolanle Ken-Elechi because I love you and I want my kids and I to continue to be associated with just you.

For the first time since you told me of the safe when we first go married, I looked inside it that day before we left for Owerri. I found the documents for all your properties and the agreement you made with your business partner, Chris, to transfer 30% of the company’s monthly profit to me, and in the event the company is sold, that I should be given 50% of the profit made from the sale. When I get to Port Harcourt to pack out of the house, I will post your sisters the documents for those two properties which I have given to them. I will also be instructing the bank to transfer all the money in your personal accounts to your sisters and uncles accounts, dividing it evenly while I keep what we have in your joint accounts. 

I love you and I will continue to love you. I don’t see how I will ever stop loving you having known you for 17 years and been in love with you for the last 12 years. Thank you for being patient loving and caring. Most of all, rest in peace but never leave my side.

Your Nkem.

I fold the letter neatly and put it in the inside pocket of the dark blue suit his sisters have insisted he wear. “Oya, its time to go to church” Sister Ngozi said as she adjusted the upper one of her two piece wrapper and a gold necklace, Ken bought for me sitting on her neck. ‘They told me I we were supposed to wear the black mourning outfit, but I guess that was meant for only me’ I think.

***************

Do you think Abolanle could have made better decisions? let me know in the comment section below

The TMI Tag

  1. What are you wearing – A powder blue top and a grey and black skirt
  2. Ever been in love – Not yet…..can’t wait to see what the fuss is all about
  3. How tall are you – 5ft 1in
  4. How much do you weigh – 56kg
  5. Any Tatoos – None….I am not kin on scaring my skin
  6. Any piercings – one piercing on each ear
  7. Favorite show – I have too many but at this second on this day, it is ‘Being Mary Jane’
  8. Favorite band – SDC – show dem camp and Maroon 5 (Adam Levine is bae)
  9. Something I miss – Ebeano chicken shawarma(you know if you know)
  10. Favorite songs – I am loving Omo Wobe Anthem by Burna boy and Olamide; and Adore her by Poe and Funbi.
  11. Zodiac sign – Pisces
  12. Quality I look for in a partner – The most important things I look out for are: the ability to care and love deeply; prospects of being successful (i.e. Intelligent, hardworking, and dedicated – overall, sha serious about being successful – I did not say desperate o!); and Tall (I need to help my children.)
  13. Favorite quotes – 1. “Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they’ll become… habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.”- Margret Thatcher. 2. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”-Bernard M. Baruch
  14. Favorite color(s): Blue,Teal, Orange, Purple, Black and White
  15. Loud or soft music: Honestly it depends on my mood. Sometimes I want something soft and quite and other times I want really LOUD music
  16. Where do you go when you are sad – Mostly my room. I just always find comfort in my own space
  17. How long does it take you to shower: Between 5-10 minutes. But on average about 6 minutes because I tend to be in a hurry most of the time (blame it on the extra sleep)
  18. How long does it take to get ready in the morning: On a no make-up day, roughly 10 minutes and on a make-up day, between 20 and 30 minutes
  19. The reason I started blogging: To pour out some of the crazy things that swirl around in my head all day, to give people a good read and to connect with new people.
  20. Last book I read: Everything good will come by Sefi Atta
  21. Book I am currently reading: Check my side bar
  22. Last person I talked to: My cousin, Tayo
  23. Relationship between myself and the last person I texted: Friendship – really close friends
  24. Favorite food: Jollof rice: white rice and fried stew; and mixed okro and any swallow,especially Pounded Yam….Oh Lord!
  25. Places I want to visit: Nice, France and Accra, Ghana
  26. Favorite sweet flavor: Butter mint, spearmint and vanilla
  27.  Favorite piece of jewelry: I had a really cute pair of gold earrings but now I have lost one ear – so sad
  28. Last song I sang: Amaghimo by Password – horrible attempt because I could not properly pronounce most of the words of the song
  29. Who should answer these questions next: Oluchee@ idle head and Oma @ OMA’S SERENDIPITY

The Hypocritical Dedication

I stare at his face and for the third time this week, I feel a rush of emotions. Those brief couple of seconds between the moment I finally pushed him out of my uterus and his first gulp of air amid his tears, I felt a very similar rush of emotions. It’s a cocktail of emotions: the pain I felt during the incident that brought about his existence; the fear of the situations where he will be deprived of certain things because of how he came about; the joy that he came out alive; and the fear of what he would think of me, his mother.

Today, I heard it from the pastor himself – my son will not be dedicated in church on a Sunday during the service, he will be dedicated on a weekday in secret. The two women sat behind me in the mother’s corner of the church last Sunday had said pretty much the same thing. The one with the six month old daughter, Bose, had said “Look at her, filling a dedication form for a child born from fornication. Does she really think that the Pastor will dedicate that child?”. The other lady had replied saying she had heard that I had my baby for a married man and so I was not only a fornicator, but an adulterer and a home breaker, after which she went on to give a detailed explanation of how she would castrate her husband if he ever got a woman pregnant. I never explained to anyone the circumstances surrounding Ebunife’s birth and the whole church had resorted to spreading rumors with fabricated theories. It was in moments like this that I took my mum’s experience when she left my father , as good enough reason not to deeply involve myself in church activities. My mother was that woman who was on every church committee, she was a church worker and she even preached on some Sundays, but as soon as she left my Father, she was treated no better than a new member.

Maybe my mother and I should have explained our stories. Hers of how she was serially battered into submission; how she was forced to financially sponsor her husband’s drinking habit; how she made up excuses to her children for his absence; how she was endured being raped every night for almost four years in her marriage; or how she spent those years at the receiving end of brutal emotional abuse. Mine of how my mother’s experience left me very distrustful in my relationships, and that was why I was not married at 31; how my quick rise to the top my career was because I worked much harder than most people and not because I slept my way there; how Ebunife was born from the forceful stripping of my virginity; how that night, I had only been walking home from exercising on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge; how the men took turns, one pointing a gun to my head, whilst the other had his way with me; or how I named my precious son, Ebunife, not because he was a product of sweet love-making but because he was a product of God’s love since my attempts at aborting the pregnancy did nothing but increase the complications I had during his birth. We certainly could have told them all this, but question is will they really understand?

I highly doubt this and by her actions, I think my mother will agree with me.These were supposed to be my companions on my journey to a stronger relationship with God. They were supposed to be my guide and to help lift me when I am down. But these were the same people, who against God’s laws, put me down by continually judging me. The same people who would not accept that God has forgiven me and as such, they had no right to continue to look at me through the lenses which they did. The same people who believe that they are much better than I am because they only participate in lesser sins like lying – but who were they kidding , the same bible says that all sins are equal because they all amount to breaking the law. The same people who would not accept that my child was a new being as such my sins, or lack thereof, should not affect him and so they should not treat him differently just because of the circumstances surrounding his birth. The same people that failed to understand that Ebunife entered the world in the same way other babies did and as such he should be celebrated the same way other babies are.

My son, Ebunife, will NEVER be treated less than any child because he isn’t. I have decided that I will not participate in this hypocrisy the church has cooked up to make my son and I feel less than we are. I think to myself, why did I want to dedicate my baby in the first place? I never really put any thought to this and perhaps if this did not happen to me, I wouldn’t have. I find that I have no answer to this question and the only reason I was ever interested in the topic of baby dedication was because it was something all mothers were expected to do to their new-born in church. I start to search the bible for the true meaning and implication of baby dedication. I found the story of Mary – dedicating Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem and Hannah – promising to dedicate her child to God, if he gave her one. A baby dedication is a public declaration by parents that they will train their child in the way of the Lord. But really, how many publicly dedicated babies ended up not being trained in the way of the Lord?

The following Sunday after the episode with the pastor, I remain after the church service.  I notice there are only a few church members left and so I tell Risi, the nanny, to sit with our bags while I carried Ebunife to the church altar along with a bottle of olive oil . I open the bottle of oil and go on my knees and I begin to cry to God. I tell him I have brought this child to him for his care and protection and that I promised to train Ebunife in his ways.  When I am done, I take some of the oil  and use it to make the sign of the cross on his forehead. I walk out of the church carrying my baby with Risi coming behind me, and I resolve not to return to this den of hypocrites A.K.A I am going to another church.

 

Thank you for reading this blog post. But you should know……….This is pure fiction

Debras grace – A wonderful shopping experience

Dear fashionistas in Nigeria,

First of all (don’t go down low), one fashion lover to another,………………………………..this is NOT a sponsored post.

Like a lot of you, I was as clueless as a some men are when it comes to distinguishing between Brazilian hair and  Funmi hair , but now my eyes are clear and I am here to rid you of your clueless-ness too.

So I spent a while searching for a place to shop for work appropriate clothes online. In the cause of my search, I came across a lot of websites that sell female clothes but it was either they did not deliver to the very remote location I have recently found myself, their website looked too shady to be trusted or their sizing at times was confusing and other times non-existent. I was discussing this with my cousin, who then suggested I go to Instagram and there I found bliss with DGL.

I had gone through several clothing retailer but every time I am about to place an order, my friends bad experience (the photo of the outfit on Instagram and the what she got delivered could not have been more different…Lol!) with such vendors changed my mind. Then one day I found DGL. I did not know they had a website but the originality and quality of the photo’s of the products in their instagram posts was enough to convince me to give them a call. When I called, I reached a very pleasant customer service representative who informed me about their website and I was very excited.

That same day, I went on the website to check it out and it was like shopping on the Topshop or Mango website – with a cart and a list of sizes, that were actually available, to pick from. On this same fateful day I order the following three items;

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7 days later, I added a pair of trousers, a dress and a skirt to my closet.

I will start by answering the biggest question I had which was about delivery? They deliver outside Lagos, in a reasonable time span and at a reasonable cost. The total cost of getting my items shipped was 3000 Naira and it came within 5 working days to a location about 4 hours outside Lagos.

The next big thing that crossed my mind when I was searching in affordability of the clothes? Yes they are very affordable. Considering our current economic situation, I most certainly expected the clothes to be more expensive – I wonder if they will be much cheaper when things get better. Anyway the cost of clothing item range from about 4,000 naira to 8,000 naira which is really just between £10.00 and £20.00! How great is that?

Affordability is one thing and quality is another thing, I know! But at DGL, they are one and the same. The items look like they are of very good quality in their photos and that’s exactly what they are. I did not order any item that looked a different color or form from what it was on the website you get exactly what you see, no jokes!

In conclusion (because this is very essential in letter writing according to my junior secondary school English teacher), DGL is the place for affordable, good quality clothes with affordable speedy nationwide delivery. So get shopping!

P.S. – I will like to shout out to Yetunde, the nice customer service personnel I spoke to when I called! and all the other DGL team members that helped to get me my order in time.

Yours sincerely,

A fashion lover!

Church doctrines vs What the bible says

Disclaimer: This is my opinion and I am entitled to it! I am no Christianity guru, I am only just learning and understanding God and what he expects. Please read and enjoy and let me know in the comment section what you think

I find that lately, that more than ever before we have become before slaves to church doctrines at the expense of what the good book says.

P.S: I am not saying that church doctrines are always on opposite sides as the bible. I am only discussing instances where I feel they are

A quick example was what I heard whilst  watching a certain church program last weekend. It was a sort of general marriage counselling program where people asked questions on certain situations they faced in their relationships i.e. marriage and dating. A lady asked if she could marry the a christian from another church denomination and the person in charge of answering the questions replied saying “In this church, we allow our members to marry from any church denomination except the white garment churches”.  People I was shocked, how can a church represent something that the bible is totally against- namely judging and condemning others (Luke 6:37).

Some say some white garment churches have been found in the past not to be totally Godly in their ways. But really who are you to judge?, I am quite sure if we dig deep enough some pastors in some of this church’s, that is busy condemning other sects, branches are not all totally Godly in their ways as well – who knows! But that does not give me the right to claim that all the other church branches are unholy in their ways.

I also gather that the white garment churches may have certain practices which is different from other what most other churches have. But different does not always mean bad! Besides how do you know who is worshiping God and practicing Christianity in the right way, talk less of knowing your way of worshiping God is the correct.

I don’t know it all but I just don’t understand why certain church denominations feel that they are better than others, when its the same bible that says ‘with pride comes disgrace and with humility comes wisdom’ (Proverbs 11:2). Please can someone explain to me how this is not a form of brainwashing. The bible,which is the main and only guide on how to live as a Christians, says we should not do something but because our church doctrine implies that we should do it, we go ahead to do it.

The honest truth is that I often wonder;

do these churches, with their all righteous doctrines, ever really understand the bible?

why do we believe that the churches with their doctrines are the most correct interpretation of the bible or that they cannot mislead us?

why do churches fail to practice what they preach? After all, its this same churches that tell us not to judge or condemn other people

that even if these churches are right about the ungodliness of other denominations, do they believe the Jesus way is to condemn and isolate them? because as far as I know, the right thing to do is to accept them with the hope that you can help them move closer to God.

Maybe I am the one who sees things from a ridiculous perspective or could it be that my eyes have opened to the perspective that we should be looking at things through or maybe I am just wrong and I don’t know.

If you have answers to the questions I have asked above please kindly answer it in the comment section.