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African Immigrants and a Dying Culture

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

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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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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 

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 

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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