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Say My Name!

I attended an amazing conference some months ago and the issue of names came up. The point being raised was that your name is your identity and it deserved to be pronounced properly.

After hearing the statement and processing it, I realised I had gotten comfortable with incorrect pronunciation of my name, literally for as long as I could remember. I’m sure many Africans can relate with an official phone call to the house and the person on the other line stumbling at the pronunciation of your name until they manage to offer one that bears a vague type of resemblance to your original name. Or having a supply teacher at school that would insist on calling everyone by their first and last names. Till this day I struggle to understand why this was necessary. Those with foreign sounding names would be subjected to a teacher butchering their name while the other classmates had a giggle at your expense. I wonder if this why we have just come to accept that bad pronunciation of names is ok? Sometimes the hassle of correcting the incorrect pronunciation seems so great that we accept the wrong one so we can quickly leave behind the very embarrassing situation.

In my experience, a lot of Africans (and other races too) accept really poor pronunciations of their names to make things easier for other people. I have also definitely accepted the lie that people not from where I’m from could not pronounce my name properly. The conference I attended helped me to understand what a big lie that is.

There are a plethora of foreign and non English names that are regularly pronounced correctly without struggle. So how hard is your Nigerian name? Your Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa name?

I’ve become so used to pronouncing my name wrongly that I will say it before even realising what I said. It’s something I will continue to work on

Until next time,

Memoirs of a Yoruba girl

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Life Without Autocorrect

Hi all,

Happy new year! Wishing you all an awesome new year filled with all God’s best for you.

Please excuse the loooooong duration since a blog post. The last time I blogged was ….. AUGUST 2017! O dear. Anyway, let’s start the new year as we intend to go on.

So, I’ve been using my phone without autocorrect for the last few months and it has flown by. Surprisingly. It has been one of the easiest and most difficult decisions at the same time.

My decision was inspired by my sister who had done the same thing first. Life without autocorrect has meant I need to sound out certain words I am unsure of previously when autocorrect would have supported me. If I couldn’t remember how to spell a word, I would put in the few letters I could recall and let autocorrect do the job. Now I have to figure it out myself. I think my spelling has improved because of it (not that it was particularly bad before).

 

Being without autocorrect has made me realise how easy it has been to just rely on autocorrect. It has made me lazy in that regard. It also makes me wonder about other things I do that are in fact making me lazy. Autocorrect in itself is great. But when it means my ability to spell certain words is slowly eroding away, something must be done. I wonder if I will ever use autocorrect again.

Until next time (which should be soon!)

Memoirs of a Yoruba Girl

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Enjoy Your Season

I passed my driving test in October 2014. I’ve been blessed to have been driving since then. Driving is great, really great. It allows you to leave home and your destination a bit later than if you were catching a bus/train/underground. Driving is enjoyable and gives me a lot of freedom.

HOWEVER, driving is an expensive habit. I call it an expensive luxury. I now have to think about insurance, MOT, road tax, changing my car tyres periodically, buying fuel, getting the car washed, keeping the car clean, avoiding a ticket, paying toll charges. To be honest, I am still figuring new things that I need to look after, service or pay for. The list goes on and on and on.

There was also a time I couldn’t drive. My only concern then was to buy my travel ticket or top up my oyster and plan my journey with TFL journey planner or Google Maps. I didn’t have to think about insurance or petrol or MOT. I could wile away my journey/commute lost in a book (one of my favourite things to do btw) or listening to music. I didn’t have to pay attention to the road, or the route. The driver get paid to do that. It was however more imperative that I left the house on time to avoid missing the train that came twice an hour. I was also at mercy of delays or cancellations to trains/buses.

I’ve said all that to remind you to enjoy your season. There are always positives to the current season and in the case of my driving, the season of not being able to drive is a one time season and once its gone, you can’t get it back. OF course you can still use public transport but you catch my drift.


Just some musings. Do you agree?

Comment below

Until next time

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl

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Why do Young People die?

Over the last few months, I have seen and heard of young people passing away. People younger than me, older than me, people of all ages and walks of life. It seems as though it has been happening very often of recent.

As a young person, I can find it hard to accept or imagine someone in their twenties or thirties would die. In my mind, as a young person, your whole life is ahead of you and it is a given that we will live long to see old age. In your twenties or thirties, you plan your life, your career, where you want to live, how many children to have, when to buy a house and a whole host of other things. These are all things that take time, usually several years. So maybe we take for granted that we have the time to see those plans come to fruition.

But seeing young people pass away of recent always shocks me into reality. We always pray for long life but who knows tomorrow? A lot can happen in a minute. One minute may be the difference between life and death. Life is incredibly delicate and when I think about it, life is difficult, if not impossible to hold on to. I often remember when we sleep, we are in a state of semi consciousness, almost a type of death.

I’ve said all that to say that life is incredibly precious and delicate. We cannot hold on it, however hard we try to. It ticks on and on and the surest fact of life is the fact we will all one day leave this earth. In light of that, I will do my best (and need to do so even more) to ensure I live everyday to the maximum. Ideas I have, I’ll try to not procrastinate them.

Until next time,

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl

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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 

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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