Blog Archives

Why do Young People die?

Over the last few months, I have seen and heard of young people passing away. People younger than me, older than me, people of all ages and walks of life. It seems as though it has been happening very often of recent.

As a young person, I can find it hard to accept or imagine someone in their twenties or thirties would die. In my mind, as a young person, your whole life is ahead of you and it is a given that we will live long to see old age. In your twenties or thirties, you plan your life, your career, where you want to live, how many children to have, when to buy a house and a whole host of other things. These are all things that take time, usually several years. So maybe we take for granted that we have the time to see those plans come to fruition.

But seeing young people pass away of recent always shocks me into reality. We always pray for long life but who knows tomorrow? A lot can happen in a minute. One minute may be the difference between life and death. Life is incredibly delicate and when I think about it, life is difficult, if not impossible to hold on to. I often remember when we sleep, we are in a state of semi consciousness, almost a type of death.

I’ve said all that to say that life is incredibly precious and delicate. We cannot hold on it, however hard we try to. It ticks on and on and the surest fact of life is the fact we will all one day leave this earth. In light of that, I will do my best (and need to do so even more) to ensure I live everyday to the maximum. Ideas I have, I’ll try to not procrastinate them.

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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Timeless skincare tips 

Skincare is a riddle. Sometimes your skin is ever fleeky and other times it refuses to co-operate. I was having one of these non co-operation moments recently and so I decided to go back to skincare basics.

1. Wash your hands BEFORE they go anywhere near your face

I think we can sometimes forget how easy it is to pick up germs and grime on your hands. From touching the bus handle to picking up your phone on the floor, there are germs absolutely everywhere. It would be highly risky to then take those hands to your face. Who knows what kind of spots you may end up with?

2. Wash your face twice daily

Washing your face in the morning is to remove any sweat from your sleep and washing before bed is to remove any grime from the day. I would say washing your face before bed is of great importance.

3. Take off any makeup PROPERLY before bed

A makeup wipe alone doesn’t really cut it in my humble opinion. After reading an article where the woman used makeup wipes and checked her skin afterwards using some skin microscope or something, she noticed some of the wipes only moved the makeup around her face. A great makeup remover is coconut oil (will talk more about this later).

4. Regular face masks are benefical

Once or twice a week for a face mask is  a good amount. Regular face masks are a preventative thing by removing any deeply seated dirt, oil or whatever else. Keep in mind there are a whole host of face masks that deal with various things, so it may be wise to choose one that addresses your skin need at the time. 

5. Wash your makeup brushes 

Again for the same reason that grime can get stuck in things that are not regularly washed, your brushes can harbour germs and bacteria. When you now use those brushes to apply your make-up, you push germs deep into your skin, which may lead to very painful spots. I learnt the hard way that this is key.

6. See a professional 

I am a big advocate for professional help, especially if you’ve tried all you can. I blogged about it here. Professionals have been trained in this and so will have some knowledge you don’t. Professional facials are important too, I would recommend this every few months.

7. Drink water 

Water is one of those things we know to be good for us but we never get enough of. Water facilitates the process of detoxification in the body and so drinking plenty of water will help to ensure this process is not hindered.

Hope these tips are helpful

Until next time 

Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl 

What does this bag have to do with Ghana and Nigeria?

​Who doesn’t know this bag?

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You use it to pack clothing, laundry, things to put in storage, practically anything. I’ve seen these used for travel luggage. They retail for a few pounds here in the UK. They are fondly known as “Ghana must go” bags (Side note: I wonder if Ghanaians find the term offensive?) If you’re either Nigerian or Ghanaian, you will be WELL aware of this stripy plastic bag. It even became a designer bag for a spell. The Ghana must go bag got its name from an unfortunate set of circumstances affecting the Black Stars and the Super Eagles.

Ghana was one the first West African countries to gain independence from British colonial rule in 1957. Nigeria later became independent in 1960. The independence of Ghana made it an attractive destination to emigrate to for Nigerians. Ghanaians did the same, emigrating to Nigeria during this time.

More specifically in the 1970s, there was some economic difficulties in Ghana. With the discovery of oil in Nigeria around the same time, it made Nigeria a good place to go in search of greener pastures. Nigeria quickly became a fast expanding economy that the Nigerian labour market was not equipped enough to serve alone. The gap was filled by workers from various professions coming from Ghana.

Unfortunately, good things don’t ways last forever and by the 1980’s, with the collaspe of the oil boom, the prosperity that came with it had dwindled and Nigerians faced economic hardship. Someone needed to be blamed and unfortunately, the Ghanians were the ones blamed. It was said that the Ghanians living in Nigeria at the time were involved in crimes such as armed robberies and were taking all the jobs from the Nigerians.

On the 17th of January 1983, a law was enforced (it was already in place and had not just been created) by then Nigerian president Shehu Shagari made it compulsory for all foreigners to leave Nigeria within a few days or risk being forced out.

Up to two million people (mostly Ghanians) were forced out of Nigeria in only a few days. People were forced to pack their belongings in a very short space of time.They had to pack as much as they could into cars, trucks, basically whatever was available and tried to get out.

The main way home to Ghana from Nigeria was through the neighbouring countries of Benin and Togo.

Imagine the sheer amount of people travelling at the same time, it would have been total gridlock.I can only imagine what a difficult time it must have been. Because they had such little time to pack up and leave, they began using the striped plastic bags (which are actually made in China) to pack their belongings. This was how the bag got its name.

Next time you see the bag, you will know its history

Until next time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
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Special thanks to following links for helping me write this challenging post 🙌

https://yen.com.gh/16384-ghana-must-go-exodus-nigeria-remembered.html

Karo Orovboni: Ghana must go? Ghana has gone and become great!

https://www.naij.com/407017-shagari-is-alive.html

http://saharareporters.com/2014/11/19/ghana-must-come-rudolf-ogoo-okonkwo
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://afrrevjo.net/journals/multidiscipline/Vol_7_no_3_art_24_Aremu.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjDhMCZgL3PAhXpJMAKHR3HD6IQFggvMAg&usg=AFQjCNEL_j0Mlczq1SMN8N0my1Skk-QGVA&sig2=HOjK7vmhUaTmmwwMgwKJQw

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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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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