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Christianity – The Nigerian Way 

​Hi all

I’ve been privileged to be a part of an African church for several years. I must say that no two days are the same and there is always something to make you giggle, always. Below I’ve shared just some of the unique things about attending or growing up in an African church

1.Hymns are subject to various types of remixes – hymns are usually quite sombre songs but I have heard hymns on the keyboard, with a talking drum, with beats and on the saxophone – and all suprisingly quite good too.

2. Any excuse to dance is welcomed with open arms – during the offering, if the pastor wants a dance session, if someone is bringing their new baby to church, if someone has a testimony, the list goes on

3. “Offering time = blessing time”, “Testimony time =blessing time”, “up up Jesus = down down satan” are some of the more popular phrases that everyone knows.

4. The service is liable to run over stated time once in a while

5. You don’t really need a background in music to join the music ministry – all you need is a willing heart and a voice (whatever it sounds like)

6. New years eve aka crossover night is mandatorily spent at church 

7. Sunday service requires your Sunday best – so best outfit, shoes, hair, make up, only the best for God’s house 

8. Testimony givers will most likely sing a song unless warned otherwise 

9. Attending an African church gives you non biological mandatory family who will expect invitations to all major life events 

10. Mum or dad making a night vigil compulsory is pretty much iron clad – whether or not you feel like it or not 

11. Special church occasions mean Jollof Rice,  fried rice, cake, drinks or all of the above 

12. The service always ends with “the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God…..” always.

These are the few I can think of. Do you have any other ones? Share them below!
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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The Infamous Gele

Hey everyone

This post is dedicated the the beautiful cultural piece of the amazing Yoruba people named the gele.

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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

MemoirsOfAYorubaGirl
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Letter To My Childhood Sweetheart

This is a letter to my childhood sweetheart. Read it to the end , I’m sure you’ll really like it.

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Letter To My Childhood Sweetheart

It was great seeing you today, after not seeing you for ages. It was amazing how you had changed , you looked older but you still looked youthful at the same time, I guess it’s a little hard to describe. I felt ashamed that you saw me the way I was, but you were never judgemental.
I saw you walking down the street with a really pretty girl. You always had loads of friends even before we became friends.

We’ve known each other as long as I can remember. My mum and dad knew your dad for a long time so we automatically became friends.
You were my first and best play mate. We would spend hours playing in the streets , riding bikes and knocking doors. Mum and dad let you sleep over so many times, it was almost as if you lived with us. The sleepovers used to be so much fun. We would stay up all night telling stories and making each other laugh until our little tummies hurt. I thought we would be together forever. It was my new friends that came between us. It’s sad now I think about it. You wanted me to stay away from them, but I didnt want to hear any of it.

Eventually, we just grew apart. We never spent time together anymore, I always cancelled on you last minute to do something else. The little time we did spend together was rushed and insincere on my part. I was a terrible friend. I knew you still really wanted to speak to me and see me, but I just didnt have the time anymore. I guess you wanted the old me back. Looking back, I guess I felt a bit guilty for treating you so badly was why I couldn’t admit I was wrong.

I still always invited you to family functions because it would have been weird you not being there. You were always at my birthday parties, at Christmas parties, family BBQ’s and any other mundane family function. I guess you were like family to me. It did become more and more awkward though because all we would say was hi and bye. I could see in your eyes you wanted to say so much more but you never forced it. It was as if you were waiting on me to make up my mind.

Church was your favourite. You made me love church and Sunday school. You always knew all the answers and you never wanted to go home. I guess because your dad was in charge of everything was why you loved going so much.

I really regret how I treated you and seeing you brought back all the old feelings. All you ever wanted was to love me. You wanted to soothe away the stress of my day and whisper sweet nothings in my ears. But I never had the time.

I realise now that I have always loved you. From the first time we played outside together, I knew I would always love you. You were and will always be my childhood sweetheart.

You know about my husband, my kids and my job. I don’t know how my husband might feel about it but I guess I have to be true to my heart, whatever happens. Jesus Christ, lover of my soul, my childhood sweetheart, can we pick up from where we left off?

Yours Truly,

A old friend that really misses you
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Hope you guys enjoyed that. The idea for this short letter came because I realise a lot of christians have known or known about Jesus for ages but have only developed meaningful relationships with him as they have grown up, a bit like a childhood sweetheart. Hope you enjoyed this. Let me know what you thought of it.

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Until next time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
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