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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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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 

Finishing every book you read  

If you’re a book reader like me,  you know the feeling when you read a book that resonates with you. Every word speaks to you (literally). They literally jump off the page. You feel like you can take over the world. Then by the next day, you can hardly remember what you read 😅. This is OK if it is a fictional story you are reading but for books that you want to impact you, or books you want to learn something from, that is not so helpful.

In no particular order, these are the tips I’ve found (and am still trialing) for getting the most out of non-fictional books I read.

  1. Choose the book – duh! Of course choose the book but I mean choose something that interests you. If you pick a book you don’t find interesting, you may struggle to finish it. Read the description, read reviews (Amazon is awesome for this)
  2. Takes notes – a search on Google gave some great ideas on how you can do this. You can have subheadings that match the chapter of each book and summarise into a few sentences what you’ve learnt. So when you come back to your notes, you can get an idea of what was impactful.
  3. Highlight key standout phrases – we are all wired differently and what will resonate with me may do nothing for you. They will resonate for a reason so highlight it so you can revisit it again.
  4. Read the book more than once – this is the real struggle. It’s great to finish a book you’ve enjoyed but then it’s not so enjoyable reading it again. Consider giving it a bit of time but read the book again, you may find there are things you missed the first time you were reading
  5. Action! – with what you’ve learnt, what are you going to do? If you take no action, you’re better off to have not wasted your time reading the book in the first place. The action may be a new lesson learnt, knowledge gained or an action taken but you should leave with something benefical.

      I hope you use these tips to change your life with some new books. Do you have any other ones? Add them below 

      Until next time 

      Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

      Budgeting 101

      This has quickly become one of my favourite topics and passtimes. 

      An interesting thing about money I have found is if you don’t plan for your money, it will develop its own mind and you won’t be able to account for where it all went. Given the early wake ups and long commutes home we make to get this money, I think it makes sense to look after it. I’ve also found there are alot of things calling out for the attention of the money you have worked for e.g optional insurance after purchasing an item, the three for two offer at Tescos when you only wanted one item, the biscuits you shouldn’t even be eating.

      Budgeting helps to ensure you don’t run out of money before your next paycheck and don’t have to live off your overdraft. It also means you get to stack up your savings 🙌 (another of my new favourite topics).

      This is the way I have decided to tackle budgeting at the moment (I am still tweaking it).

      1. I write down somewhere ALL my monthly expenses i.e what I spend my money on everyday, no matter how small. I write this on my phone and later in a book but you might do better using an excel spreadsheet. This way you can identify any bad spending habits you have and get rid of them.

      2. When I get paid, I make sure I remove all my expenses first!! Doing it first helps to ensure you don’t run out of money to cover your bills and other important necessities.  If this section is taking a lot out of your expenses, consider a review of what you are spending on.

      3. After I have removed the money to cover my expenses, I remove some to save – unintentionally I save roughly  a third of what I get. I think the key is to save as much as you can. A penny saved is a penny earned. This third may be further split depending on what I’m saving for so I may put some money away for my holiday and some into savings I don’t touch.

      4. From the remainder, I remove money for petrol, food shoping and personal care products – I separate this from expenses because this may fluctuate, but putting money aside for it helps me keep myself in check. 

      5. From the rest of the money (which by this point is not all that much) I keep some money to play with. So money for Nandos, cinema, getting a massage and other leisurely activities come from here. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and that is especially true with your money.

      6. At the end of the month I sit with my receipts (which I advise you to keep) and “balance my books” 🙌 – I look at any money I have left over and save that, look at any bad/wasteful habits and where I could have saved more etc 

      What are your budgeting tips to help you save that money? Share below 

      Until next time 

      Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

      Maiden names are underrated

      We all know the story. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love, boy proposes. Boy and girl get married. Then they live happily ever after.

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      What happens to the Maiden name? It is common place that the woman will change her surname after marriage and be fully amalgamated into her husband’s family.

      My question is why does the woman have to change her Maiden name.

      1. What if she doesn’t like her husband’s name that much? To go from maybe a Michael to a Ogunlana or Koleosho might not be the easiest transition (no shade intended)

      2. What if she prefers her original Maiden name? Nothing wrong with that right? She has only had the name since she was born

      3. What if the husband likes her surname more than his? Can’t he change his name to hers, the only constant thing in life is that fact that things change, I guess your surname can follow that trend too

      4. Why can’t everyone just keep their own surnames? That will prevent any confusion from either parties

      5. Can we make a new surname together and roll with that

      I have often wondered about this as someone who would like a hypenated surname. Technically there is no good reason why everyone could not keep their original names. I can however hear the words “culture” and “tradition” floating around.

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      On the plus side, there is no complication with having to change the names on your important documents, certificates and passports. It also allow you retain a name you’ve had all of your life so far, which will be important to you and your identity.

      On the other side, taking your spouse’s name would help you to maybe feel more “married”. It would make for less confusion especially when children come into the picture. And invitations and letters addressing the both of you would be easier to address.

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      What do you think? Is keeping your maiden name important? Or does it not make a difference? Comment and let me know what you think

      Until next time

      Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
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      Jollof Rice – The Origins

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      Jollof Rice is hands down THE most popular West African rice dish for a number of reasons. It is a delicious tomato, bell pepper, onion and scotch bonnet based rice dish. It can be served with a number of equally delicous sides including chicken, fish, fried plantain. I think Jollof rice is always best washed down with a chilled bottle of supermalt.

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      West Africans will know well that the origins of jollof Rice is hotly debated, especially between Nigerians and Ghanaians.

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      Personally being of the Nigerian variety (Yoruba to be precise 😉) I think Nigerian Jollof is obviously the best. I’m sure

      Jollof however is not an indigenous Nigerian name (at least not a Yoruba name) which would cause me to conclude it was not originally a Nigerian dish.

      A little bit of research on the name Jollof  reveals it is related to The Wolof people who are an ethnic group in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania. The term Wolof also refers to the Wolof language and to their states, cultures, and traditions. Older French publications frequently employ the spelling “Ouolof“; up to the 19th century, the spellings “Volof” and “Olof” are also encountered. In English, Wollof and Woloff are found, particularly in reference to the Gambian Wolof. (The spelling “Wollof” is closer to the native pronunciation of the name.) The spelling Jolof is often used, but in particular reference to the Wolof empire and kingdom in central Senegal that existed from the 14th to the 19th centuries.

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      So Jollof rice does not indigenously belong to either Nigerians or Ghanaians but actually the Wolof people of Gambia or Senegal. We can conclude and agree that although Nigerians are not the originators of Jollof Rice, they are instrumental in the perfecting of the dish 😃.

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      Until next time
      Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
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      Are Africans Losing Their Culture?

      Hi all

      I was recently watching a video on YouTube by Tunde Kelani (who by the way makes some of the best Yoruba movies I’ve watched). He was speaking to Olamide about his song titled “Bobo” (a pretty good song if you wondered).

      In the interview, Olamide was talking about wanting to celebrate the Yoruba Culture and celebrate the language and this was why he only sung in Yoruba. I noticed that as he and Tunde Kelani continued conversating, he would mix English words along with Yoruba words.

      That made me think about how diluted conversational Yoruba has become. Looking inwardly, I notice it can be personally difficult to continue a full conversation in Yoruba without the use of some English words.

      Growing up within the Yoruba culture has helped me understand how deep of a language it is. Yoruba has become diluted to the point that I hear words I’ve never heard before that are for use in day to day conversation. I wonder if this is in anyway related to colonisation of Nigeria. If this is as a result of colonisation, other colony countries will have similar problems.That is another topic altogether.

      Just my thoughts, what do you think?
      Until next time
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      My Story is available for download!

      Hi all,

      I’m quite excited to write this post today. For anyone who may have had a look around the “Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl” blog, you will know I dabble in fictional writing from time to time.

      My writing journey started with a story on this blog with a post titled the “The Colour Red” in around 2011/2012. (Here’s the link in case you wanted to read it https://memoirsofayorubagirl.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/my-first-attempt-at-writing/?preview=true )

      At the start of 2015, I set myself a number of goals, one of which was to write a book. As the title indicates, the book now exists and is ready for download via Amazon Kindle. I hope and pray that by God’s grace, this will be the first of many.

      Please kindly pop along to the Amazon Website via the link below.

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      http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B018D9WAPC/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1448303561&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165&keywords=esther+akorede

      Download, read, enjoy and give me your honest feedback. Most importantly, please share!

      Hoping to hear from you

      Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl

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      What is African Time?

      Hi everyone, hope this post meets you well.

      Wanted to touch on a very sensitive and controversial issue. Africans alike know it as African time, Caribbeans know it as Black man time (I believe) and I’ve heard Indians refer to it as Indian time. All the terms are a nice way to refer to the fact the we as Africans and Black people in general are intentionally late for events and have a overly relaxed attitude to punctuality.

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      It’s such a legitimate term it has its own dedicated Wikipedia page! “African time (or Africa time) is the perceived cultural tendency, in most parts of Africa, toward a more relaxed attitude to time. This is sometimes used in a pejorative sense, about tardiness in appointments, meetings and events. This also includes the more leisurely, relaxed, and less rigorously-scheduled lifestyle found in African countries, especially as opposed to the more clock-bound pace of daily life in Western countries. As such, it is similar to time orientations in some other non-Western culture regions”. (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_time)

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      The first place I noticed this was at African weddings and big scale functions. The invitation will state a certain time and nobody gets there at the stated time, even the celebrants! For example, a 50th birthday party is scheduled to start at 6pm. Guests may not properly begin to arrive until 7:30pm. The celebrant may be fashionably late and arrive at 8pm or 8:30pm.

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      Unfortunately what can happen is this “African time” mentality infiltrates all other areas of your life. Which translates to you just scraping being on time to work, school, college, university, church or interviews. It can mean you miss trains and buses you could have easily otherwise caught. It translates to you arriving late to parties and potentially your own wedding!

      I think the conclusion of the matter is discipline! (Admittedly I’m still working on this myself!)

      Until Next Time
      Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
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