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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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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 

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 

      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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      Things someone who grew up in a Nigerian home would understand

      Hi all

      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)

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      9. You have used maggi to season your food before

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      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

      12. You are familiar with these images
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      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

      MemoirsOfAYorubaGirl
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      A Personal Vent On Domestic Abuse in Nigerian Culture

      This is a personal vent. I’m sure people may agree or disagree but I am entitled to my personal opinion which I have decided to share.

      Nigeria has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in Africa. More than two thirds of Nigerian women are believed to experience physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of their husbands. (Lifted from this website: http://www.havenrefuge.org.uk/index.php/about-the-haven/international-projects/nigeria)

      I keep hearing stories of woman who died at the hands of an abusive husband. I’m only aware of this in Nigerian culture but I am sure this will happen in other cultures too.

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      In the Nigerian culture, it seems rampant that females who are suffering from domestic abuse are always encouraged (especially by pastors or those in spiritual authority) to stay with their abusive husbands because God will change him and God doesn’t like divorce. I totally believe God can change anybody and I am not an advocate for divorce on any account. The bible doesn’t document any support of divorce apart from if either of the partners commit adultery. What I don’t agree with is encouraging a woman who being abused by her husband to stay with him and endure beating after beating and continue praying and never consider leaving. People that offer that kind of advice to people have no heart whatsoever. If it was your daughter or a member of your own family on the receiving end of blows from her husband, I don’t believe you would encourage her to stay there and continue to receive abuse. You would likely go there and pick her up yourself.

      The people who are being abused can very well end up DYING and leaving their children with no mother. If not to that extreme, the children may see their mother being hurt by their father and this can start a vicious cycle in children who are moulded by what they see. I’m not married so I may not understand how it is but what I do know is that either as a married person or a single person, every one has the right to live without fear of being harmed or hurt by someone that is meant to love them. If anything or anyone is challenging that right, I believe you need to leave, for the sake of your life and your safety.

      Is a person that can lay their hand on you worth dying for? Definitely not. Jesus did however already die for that person so get yourself safe and pray that God will change them. You can’t change them and staying to receive beatings will definitely not change them. God is the only one that can change someone anyway.

      That’s my two pence. I find it so sad to hear a woman stayed with an abusive husband to “make it work”. From the first time he hit you, making it work shouldn’t be what you were thinking. Saving your life should be what you are thinking. A quick Google search will show how serious this has become.

      http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/may/22/domestic-violence-west-africa-irc

      Until Next Time

      Memoirs of a Yoruba Girl

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