Blog Archives

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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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 

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 

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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