Father’s day Gift Ideas for the Modern African dad

I’ve consistently found my dad is the hardest person to buy any type of gift, regardless of the occasion. I guess because he is a rather simplistic guy and is satisfied by the more “serious” things in life. I imagine most other African dads (or dads in general) are similar to mine in this respect. Anyway over time, with LOTS of trial and error, we’ve been able to figure out gifts my dad will tend to like and so I’ve decided to share some of those ideas.  They may help anyone else who is also struggling to pick a gift for their African dad.

In no particular order;

  1. Sports related gifts (Mainly football)

African dads tend to be the same in their love of football so gifts related to this tend to be winners. A good gift we were able to choose was a stadium tour and this way probably the best gift we got my dad till date.  This may include a football jersey, tickets to a match, there are loads of options for sports related gifts.

  1. Personalised Gifts

Personalised gifts tend to be a winner with everyone no less African dads. I think the key is buying something that will be functional or goes alongside a hobby/interest e.g. a football jersey with his name printed, personalised stationary, a personalised number plate ( if your account can stretch that far).

  1. Clothing items 

These tend to be more practical than “fun” but you can never have enough socks, cufflinks or shirts. Obviously, ensure to choose something your dad would wear/use or you may end up buying him something that he will use to decorate his wardrobe. So if your dad is not the tie wearing type, it may be wise to avoid buying him this. He will say thank you but he will probably never use it.

  1. Sentimental gifts 

Sentimental gifts are always meaningful and are usually highly valued even if they don’t cost that much money. These may include old pictures revamped in a new frame, a painting of a picture or a photograph on a canvas or something that captures or reminds him of a special time. The options are endless and will depend on what your pops likes/needs

  1. The gift of service

It is not a must you have to buy a gift. Acts of service may be just as or even more meaningful as a gift you’ve purchased. Maybe your dad enjoys a special meal that you don’t prepare very often – make that. Maybe your dad has been mentioning he needs his phone fixed or needs some new shoes – do that. Dads are human beings too and acts of service are a thoughtful way to say you care.

  1. Destination gifts 

This is obviously if you can afford it. Dads need to relax too and the spa is a great place to relax. You can book him a spa day or a massage. Some of the stress you give him can be alleviated this way. A holiday/ weekend getaway is also great (if you can afford of course).

  1. Hobby /Personal interest related gifts. 

This will come from studying your father and knowing the things he likes and dislikes. My father is a book lover and so books are always a safe winning option. I also have been able to identify the type of genre of books he will read. This has come from simply studying him and looking at the books he tends to read. This has helped me streamline my gift buying to things I know he will definitely use and find useful.

These are some ideas I was able to come up with. Do you have some more ideas? Share them below

Until next time

Memoirs of a Yoruba Girl

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Things I Hate About Being Late 

This topic right here, it is slyly the story of my life.  I think a lot of people (especially black people) can relate to this. I have racked my brain for a starting point or a particular event that has brought about about such a lax attitude to punctuality and unfortunately I can’t think of one.

This post was inspired by this video I watched on YouTube. I’ve linked it below ⬇

So in no particular order, here are some of the things I hate about being late;

1. Having to prepare a credible argument/excuse for why you are late – this is figured out while still on the way to the destination. Excuses may range from oversleeping, to missing the bus, traffic on the way or another valid excuse.

2. Missing the beginning of the event – especially when it’s an event you have been looking forward to. For me this used to be the praise and worship part of the Sunday church service at my church at university. I LOVE praise and worship and hated missing it (obviously not enough though or I would have been earlier)

3. Sprinting/power walking to catch the train or other mode of transport to get to where you are trying to be – you give it your all to catch the said mode of transport, especially the train/bus that will help you scrap “on time”. If you miss it, there is no hope for even scraping on time.

4. Trying to cram the morning routine into 5/10 minutes – this tends to happen after oversleeping or when the alarm doesn’t go off. The morning routine which would normally take 30/45 minutes is crammed into 5/10 minutes. This is not an easy thing to do and involves aspects of the routine being omitted or being done on the way to the destination.

5. Feeling bad as you give yourself a telling off for being late AGAIN – you always scold yourself that it will not repeat itself again. Until the next time….

6. The knowing stares when you have to walk into an event late – especially when everyone else was on time. In these situations, it is advisable to perch QUIETLY at the back of the room to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

7. Having notoriety among friends for being repeatedly late 

9. Feeling a great sense of achievement when you FINALLY get to a place early or on time – it is possible. Takes a lot of planning but it is definitely possible.

Can you think of any more? Share them below

Until next time 

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

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Coconut Oil – the BEST make up remover

Coconut oil is the best make up remover I have ever used, ever. It literally dissolves and breaks down the makeup and lifts it off your face. Looking at common make up items a lot of them contain oil and as we all well know water doesn’t dissolve oil, but oil dissolves oil, hence why coconut oil is such a good make up remover. Although coconut oil is my preference, I have used olive oil which worked just as well.
How to use oil to remove your make-up

You will need

  • Coconut oil
  • baby wipes/ make up wipes
  • Skin cleanser

1. Add some oil around your face, you want all of your face to be coated but not dripping with oil

2. Gently work the oil into the face, not forgetting the eyebrows, eyelashes and lips. Rub the oil in circular motions.

3. You should notice the oil on your face should begin to discolour, especially around your eyes (you may look like a panda when you are done 🐼)

4. Wipe off the make up and oil from your face using the wipe. Most (if not all) the makeup on your face should be gone by this point.

5. Proceed to wash your face as normal

This is a technique I use and would recommend to you too.

Try it and let me know how it goes.
Until next time 

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

Book of the Month (March 2017)

When this book was first released, it was surrounded by a lot of buzz and still is. I was curious about the life and story of Toke Makinwa so I decided to read the story. The book for the month of March 2017 is On Becoming by Toke Makinwa.

 Credit to Linda Ikeji’s blog for the image

Credit to Amazon for this image 

SYNOPSIS

The book is a biography about Toke Makinwa’s life up to this point. She talks about her life experiences from childhood, the tragic loss of her parents and  the breakdown of her very famous and public marriage. She uses her story to share key lessons on life and relationships in a candid way.

The Book’s Description

Toke never envisaged that she would be a successful media personality. She began her journey as a bubbly child but grew into a lonely teenager after the devastating loss of both her parents. For so long after, it seemed as though she would never find herself.
On Becoming is the real Toke Makinwa telling us what it is like to be one of the most talked about celebrities in Nigeria. She reveals the truth behind her 14-year relationship with the man she finally married. A marriage that ended
in an atrocious scandal that nearly brought her to her knees.
In the wake of the peaks and troughs that characterise Toke’s experiences, she now shares her struggle with blinding betrayal, finding forgiveness and drawing strength from her faith in God.

On Becoming is Toke’s journey through pain to victory.

POSITIVES

It was interesting to get to know a bit about the person behind the name. Toke Makinwa is a private person so although she is a socialite, there isn’t that much we know about her apart from the information she has made available about herself. I found the parts she shared about her childhood and about her parent’s very open and honest.

I also appreciated her honesty in sharing the things she did about her marriage relationship because some of the things she shared are things that are very private and people would often want to remain that way.

NEGATIVES

I would have liked to know more about her career journey to success.  As I touched on earlier, Toke Makinwa is someone that is private and only shares things about herself that she wishes to. I feel there would be a lot of useful knowledge to glean from her career story. Although she did touch on it very slightly when she talks about staying in London for some time, she doesn’t really explore this more.

At times, it felt it little like the story jumped from one topic to another, kind of losing us on the way there.

KEY LESSON (S)

  1. Do not ignore the red flags! While reading Toke’s story, it became clear there were behavioural patterns that were repeatedly displayed by Maje.  It would have saved Toke a lot of heart ache had she have paid attention to the flags.
  2. Do unto others as you would have them do to you – from Toke’s account of her experience, it doesn’t appear as though Maje considered Toke’s feelings much. I am apprehensive to completely say that because there are always two sides to a story and we have not heard Maje’s side. It may completely flip the script.
  3. Love is powerful and very addictive – love clearly can make a person do things they wouldn’t have dreamt possible. Toke shares how she started using creams to lighten her skin to make her appeal more to her then spouse
  4. In the multitude of counsellors there is safety – Toke shares that a number of people warned her about her relationship with Maje and went as far as to say even his own sister warned her. There is definitely truth to the scripture in Proverbs 11:14.

MARKS OUT OF TEN – 6/10

Hope you enjoyed my review; do let me know if you read it yourself

Until next time

Memoirs of a Yoruba Girl

Timeless skincare tips 

Skincare is a riddle. Sometimes your skin is ever fleeky and other times it refuses to co-operate. I was having one of these non co-operation moments recently and so I decided to go back to skincare basics.

1. Wash your hands BEFORE they go anywhere near your face

I think we can sometimes forget how easy it is to pick up germs and grime on your hands. From touching the bus handle to picking up your phone on the floor, there are germs absolutely everywhere. It would be highly risky to then take those hands to your face. Who knows what kind of spots you may end up with?

2. Wash your face twice daily

Washing your face in the morning is to remove any sweat from your sleep and washing before bed is to remove any grime from the day. I would say washing your face before bed is of great importance.

3. Take off any makeup PROPERLY before bed

A makeup wipe alone doesn’t really cut it in my humble opinion. After reading an article where the woman used makeup wipes and checked her skin afterwards using some skin microscope or something, she noticed some of the wipes only moved the makeup around her face. A great makeup remover is coconut oil (will talk more about this later).

4. Regular face masks are benefical

Once or twice a week for a face mask is  a good amount. Regular face masks are a preventative thing by removing any deeply seated dirt, oil or whatever else. Keep in mind there are a whole host of face masks that deal with various things, so it may be wise to choose one that addresses your skin need at the time. 

5. Wash your makeup brushes 

Again for the same reason that grime can get stuck in things that are not regularly washed, your brushes can harbour germs and bacteria. When you now use those brushes to apply your make-up, you push germs deep into your skin, which may lead to very painful spots. I learnt the hard way that this is key.

6. See a professional 

I am a big advocate for professional help, especially if you’ve tried all you can. I blogged about it here. Professionals have been trained in this and so will have some knowledge you don’t. Professional facials are important too, I would recommend this every few months.

7. Drink water 

Water is one of those things we know to be good for us but we never get enough of. Water facilitates the process of detoxification in the body and so drinking plenty of water will help to ensure this process is not hindered.

Hope these tips are helpful

Until next time 

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

Book of the month: January 2017

As you may or may not know, I am an avid reader though I haven’t read as much as I would have liked to over the last few months. With that being said, I’ve decided to start reading more and sharing with you what I’ve read in case in turns out you are looking for a good book too.
The book of the month for the month of January is “The Smart Money Woman: by Arese Ugwu

This was such a great book. It gives very practical financial tips in a way that is easy to relate to. It is a book I envision I will read over more than once though the first time I read it, the story was so interesting, I just wanted to find out what would happen.

SYNOPSIS 

It is a fictional story about a lady called Zuri who finds herself in a precarious financial position after a bit too much enjoying and not enough budgeting. We follow her story alongside a few of her friends as they learn valuable financial lessons that in turn improve their financial status. 

The book’s description;

Meet Zuri. She’s living a fabulous life. Great car, gorgeous apartment, well paid job. 

Meet Zuri. Broken down car, an apartment she cant afford, a job she’s about to lose. 

What’s a broke girl to do?

With her best friends Tami (the flighty fashion designer), Lara (the tough oil and gas executive), Adesuwa (the conservative lawyer), and Ladun (the fabulous housewife), Zuri grows a little, learns a lot and navigates her way to making better financial decisions and building wealth. 

This book tackles, debt, spending, the consumerist culture of the African middle class, the fear and misconceptions surrounding money and the lack of it, love, friendships, cultural and societal pressures and the roles they play in success. With each chapter comes a Smart Money Lesson, there to help you work your way up the financial ladder.

POSITIVES

I liked that the author used a fictional (and quite interesting) story to help paint her picture and I also liked how the author has used the fiction to weave in key financial lessons which makes the book interesting and educational without being boring.

I think it does a great job of articulating key financial principles and is a great book for anyone who is taking an interest in financial education.

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM / IDEAS

My only criticism is the way the story ends, which I felt was a bit sad. But given that I am a sucker for happy endings, this is probably why I think I felt this way.

I would have also liked more practical information on the investing portion, especially as a newbie investor. Some of information did seem geared to people who live and work in Nigeria which is fine, only that those of us across the pond want to invest too!

I think an accompanying workbook to go along with the story would be great.*UPDATE * An accompanying workbook is actually in the pipelines.

KEY LESSON(S)

  1. Just because you have a well paid job, doesn’t mean you will automatically be wealthy. That takes some planning and money management 

MARKS OUT OF TEN – 7.5/10

Until next time 

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

Ode to the public transport “blocker”

Hi all 

I wrote this short poem for the days we travel on public transport and there is the unrelenting commuter that insists on blocking everyone’s path.  If you can relate, this one is for you. (Side note: “ode” in the context of this post is “a lyric poem, typically one in the form of an address to a particular subject, written in varied or irregular metre” and NOT ode in the Yoruba language, used as an insult 😅)

Dear passenger,

We all have somewhere to be 

Please tell me why you are blocking me?

I understand you don’t know your way

However understand this is neither the time nor day 

Members of staff are available to help 

So please be kind enough to keep to the left 

All I want today is a smooth journey 

So I may arrive at my destination early

When you stand in the middle of the walking path you see 

You block the flow of movement for everyone  (including me)

So please be considerate of what you are doing 

And keep to the left so we can all keep moving

Please believe I wrote this in about 5 minutes  (I’m shocked too!)

Until next time 

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

Not everyday DIY 

Happy new year 

Hope christmas and new years celebrations have been enjoyable and a fun time with family.

I am the biggest DIY advocate ever. In the era of YouTube and Google, what do you need a professional for? I have used YouTube for a number of things most especially related to hair. That includes styling, reviews, tutorials and a host of other things.

That was until I went for a professional hair consultation. I learnt so much in the few hours I was with the hair consultant I saw. Although she told me a number of things I already knew, because I saw her, she could actually look at my hair and assess it in a way I just couldn’t have done alone. 

This I guess may not be applicable to everyone as some people are more hands on than others but we can’t be experts in  everything. It’s impossible to be equally good at everything. The focus, time and practice it will take to be a pro in one particular area cannot be replicated for all other areas. It’s actually impossible 🙄. Why not then go to see someone who has the expertise in the area you are not so strong. Remember the saying “jack of all trades, master of none”. That being said I am still a DIY diehard, but I’m not afraid to ask for help.

Until next time 

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

Damilola Taylor, “Our Loved Boy” BBC programme review

I vividly remember around the time that Damilola Taylor passed away. I remember going to bed and laying on the top bunk of my bunk bed in the dark at about 10 years old and being able to not comprehend what had really happened. It was scary to think of someone so young dying that way. Damilola Taylor was born in 1989 and would have been only a little older than me.

Damilola Taylor was a few weeks shy of his 11th birthday when he was murdered in a completely unprovoked attack.  Even till today, it is still heartbreaking to think about what he went through.

So I was understandably interested to watch the show and learn more about Damilola Taylor before he came over to the UK.

The programme was based on the true life events that facilitated Damilola Taylor’s coming to the U.K and the events that happened after his demise.

My review 
I loved that they were able to bring some joy out of what remains a sad situation and I appreciated they allowed us to get to know who Damilola actually was. He was a dreamer and had high hopes for his future. The actor that played Damilola, Sammy Kamara brought out his playful and childish side excellently because that was what he was, a child. He did an amazing job of bringing his character to life, I felt I was able to actually get to know who Damilola was a little better. 

The actors chosen to play both Damilola and his family all did a great job of helping us to see a little into the Taylor family’s world, especially after loosing their son. I feel I was able to gain a bit more insight about them and the reasons they chose for bringing their family to the UK.

The most heart wrenching scene of the programme I felt was the phone call made by Damilola’s older brother Tunde to his father to break the news to him. The silence and the tears spoke great volumes. It was amazing acting on both parts and spoke of the great strength both of them had in the face of  great grief.

I appreciated the programme didn’t paint the family to be angels but allowed us to get a realistic picture of who they really were and the very really struggles they  would have gone through as a family trying to come to terms with loosing a loved one.

It is also great to know Damilola’s family decided to keep his legacy alive through the Damilola Taylor Community Centre. My prayer for the Taylor family is that God will heal their hearts and give them His peace.

Until next time 

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

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