I am a second generation African immigrant. That means my mum and dad are the first generation of Africans (in my family anyway) to emigrate from their home country. Being a second generation African is not unique to me and is the story of several other people in and around my age bracket, the “millennial” generation. I do feel that being a 2nd generation African puts me (and others in my position) in a somewhat precarious situation.
I identify with being a Nigerian of Yoruba origin. I understand however I might not be able to completely fit in with my fellow people given the fact I haven’t grown up in Nigeria.
I also identify with being British given that I was born here and have grown up here. I do know however that to the average third generational English man or woman, (although I may be born here) I’m not really British. It’s a question I’m often asked at work, “Where do you REALLY come from?”👀
Where do I fit? As I thought about this question I realised a lot of people are faced with same question. It may be you are from different parts of the country I.e. Your mother is from Delta state and your dad is from Ogun state (both in Nigeria). It may be a continental thing I.e. your mum is from Ghana and Dad is from South Africa. It may be an emigration thing (my example fits here).
Can we really identify with a particular culture? Is it being born in a specific place that makes you a member of that culture or your ancestry? Now we can trace our ancestry with a simple swab test. Surprisingly enough – most people are not 100% of anything in particular anyway, which makes things EVEN more confusing.
I watched this video and it was eye-opening. I haven’t reached a conclusion yet, still thinking it over. What do you think?
Until next time
Memoirs of a Yoruba Girl
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.
Until next time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
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.
West Africans will know well that the origins of jollof Rice is hotly debated, especially between Nigerians and Ghanaians.
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.
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 😃.
Until next time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
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
These are some of the things I think you can relate to growing up in a Nigerian or even African house.
1. “Mum, can I have McDonald’s?” There’s rice at home
2. Your kitchen is full of mugs, plates and trays from parties, weddings, baby christenings you have previously attended
3. When you go to parties, party favours may include towels , umbrellas, paracetamol, salt, maggi cubes, storage containers, buckets, bags, serving spoons, mugs, trays, keyrings, pens amidst other items
4. Parents phone calls to family back home may involve a lot of shouting, rendering any other activity in the same room as the phonecall pointless
5. You have ice cream containers in the fridge or freezer that don’t have any ice cream but house jollof rice, stew, fried meat, chicken stock and other food items
6. You are the resident handyman or woman for installing new technology in the house and fixing it when it goes wrong
7. Your cupboard is FULL of “aso ebi” from weddings and parties that you have attended before.
8.You have Robb in your house (and maybe Aboniki balm too)
9. You have used maggi to season your food before
10. All other stock cube (irrespective of brand ) is referred to as Maggi
11. Garri or indomie noodles are potential options when there is nothing to eat
13. Your surname and or first name come up as incorrectly spelled word in word documents
Did I miss any out? Drop them in the comments
Until next time
This post is dedicated the the beautiful cultural piece of the amazing Yoruba people named the gele.
The gele is rooted in Nigerian and Yoruba culture. Gele is a Yoruba word that means head tie and is known as “ichafu” in Igbo.
I originally thought the gele was a Yoruba phenomenon, but a little research actually showed the act of tying a headscarf in this way is a West African phenomenon although most prevalent and flamboyant in the Yoruba Land.
Geles can be achieved from a range of fabrics such as Aso Oke, Sego/Zego fabrics, Damask, Jubilee, Swiss, embroidered, Singele (net gele), French lace
An interesting piece I read about the gele is that in times past, your age determined the direction in which you tied your gele. A forward facing gele was meant for young people who had their futures in front of them. A sideward facing gele was meant for a woman in her prime of life. A backward facing gele was for the lady who had lived her life.
I’ve included above a link to a song that has become synonymous with the Yoruba gele. This post wouldn’t be complete without it!
Hope you enjoyed this piece
Until next time
Hey blog lovers
I’ve been away for a while, I do apologise for my abscence. As you may or may not know, I dabble in fiction writing from time to time. I was looking through emails I had written, looking for something completely different when I came across a story I started (this happens fairly often). The story is literally in the beginning stages , it doesnt even have a name! Its still in its embryo stages. I decided to come and share it here, just to give you some afternoon stimulation . Have a read, excuse any grammatical errors you may see and drop any feedback in the comment box below . Love as always
Chapter Three (of the nameless story)
The 1st time Wale hit me was on the way back from a mutual friend’s get together. It was a black and white boat party in some place in London near Trafalgar Square. I was soo excited as it was the first formal outing myself and Wale had attended together. Although Wale was a student, he was pretty well off. He drove all the way from his London University to pick me up and drove me back home though admittedly he had wanted me to stay over at his. Wale looked delicious. I had to literally stop myself from salivating. He wore a crisp pressed black tux, with a fresh haircut and a neatly trimmed goatee to match. I wore a dress I picked in a Next sale, which luckily looked a lot more expensive than it actually was.
The drive to the boat party was heaven. Wale wouldn’t stop complimenting me and kept making me laugh all the way there. When we got the party, I got hit on quite a few times, even with Wale on my arm. Wale made the grave mistake of going to get us both drinks from the bar. That was all this particular creep needed to come up to me and start talking to me. He was actually very friendly but rather cheeky. I tried my best to be polite. I did not plan to laugh at whatever joke he was cracking, but I couldn’t help myself. Wale walked up just as the creep dropped the million pound question “so, can I have your number?”. Luckily he quickly retreated when he saw the look on Wale’s face. I laughed it off but the laughter quickly died in my throat when I realised Wale was still pretty upset. “Wale, what’s up?”. “Why were you talking to the guy?” “He came to talk to me, actually. I was standing here where you left me”. My answer wasn’t sufficient for Wale. “Don’t embarrass me like that Ada, do you get it? When you are out with me behave with some decency”. That comment made me frown, my eyebrows shooting up instantly. “Are you being serious Wale? you need to just chill out ok? It’s not that serious”. I thought he had let it go and the incident didn’t cross my mind again for the rest of the evening.
When it finally came time to go home, we did our rounds of goodbyes to the celebrants’ and the other guest and walked towards Wale’s car. I was walking slightly ahead of wale, because I came off the boat 1st. The night was cool and the view off the edge of the water was really nice. Next thing I knew, Wale’s hand grabbed my arm swinging me around and then quickly landing a hot slap on the right cheek. The shock of the slap made me drop everything I was carrying, including a very expensive glass party favour. When the glassed smashed on the pavement, Wale quickly realised what he had done. He proceeded to cry, saying he was sorry and didn’t know what had come over him.
I think the slap cleared any sort of good reasoning from my head, I couldn’t form any words. I picked up the contents of my bag from the floor, quickly stuffed them into my clutch and started off towards Wale’s car, my feet thudding with each step. The drive back home was very silent and extremely awkward. I stared out of the window as Wale tried to make conversation. I ignored him and didn’t even look in his direction. When he realised his attempts at conversation were futile, he left me alone. As soon as we got up to my campus halls, I grabbed my things and jumped out of the car. I didn’t even look back once and Wale had the sense to not try and call me back. Luckily it was late so all my friends were asleep. I quickly unlocked my room dorm, locked it behind me. I dumped all my stuff on the floor and shed my dress in favour of my pyjamas. I removed all the make up and got into bed. I lay there for quite a while with the evening replaying in my mind. I wasn’t sure if I had done anything to warrant Wale slapping me. I knew it wasn’t right for him to hit me. My dad had never slapped my mum in all their marriage together. The last thing I remember was my pillow feeling damp from my tears that had soaked through.