Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Love is Bigger Than Valentine's Day



21 ways to spend Valentine’s Day this year



After the joys and excitement of the New Year is the month of February. The ever so over commercialized day lies in there, the day where the married ones are overly expectant and the ones in relationship and waiting are even more excited than those who are legally-bonded. And then there is the single ones…wallowing in self-pity and thinking they’re not worthy of love.

…thanks to our generation, the pressures of this age is killing us slowly, destroying self-esteems and even something so pure and true as love.



Love...


It’s almost too chaotic and exhausting. Love is a beautiful thing and must be celebrated with no external pressures. If Valentine’s Day stresses you out in your relationship then you need to re-evaluate your love life.

Be so deeply rooted that Valentine’s Day can’t even unravel you.

The day is about love no doubt but there are different types of love. Because there are different types of love it means the day can be celebrated by everyone and in different ways.

Here’s my list of ways you can feel loved, and spread love and make the day count.

Just for the record, it is not obligatory to celebrate Valentine’s Day, don’t get lost in the sauce. You’re still dope, still special, still capable of loving and giving love in return.



Here goes…


1. Spend the day with people who have lost their loved ones. People who have suffered a great lost in recent months – give them hope that there is still enough love to go around.

 2. Be a morning person and catch the sunrise… be grateful for all the new opportunities you’re presented with and make sure to catch the sunset more importantly which is the promise of hope.


Catch The Sunset

3.   Go on a shopping spree, visit your favourite coffee shop or spot, eat your favourite food and spend an alone time with yourself. You’ll learn a thing or two about yourself.

4.   Spend the day with the homeless and less privileged. This will humble you and make you put things into perspective. You’ll then learn that there are more important things than the pressures of being single.

5.   Visit your grandparents. They are old and have limited time left so why not visit with their favourite drink and come bearing some pleasant tales of the past. All they need now is your time and love.

6.   Go to the cinema. Yes alone. Watch your favourite film and make sure to buy the largest popcorn and largest drink. Add a hot dog to that with extra mustard and don’t forget to get a good seat. Self-love.

7.   Do what you actually love, all the things you always wanted to do but never have time for. Sew that loose hem on your skirt. Cook your favourite meal. Write that poem and type up that article.

8.  Wake up early, dress immaculately and participate in 10 random acts of kindness. Make someone smile. Pay someone a compliment. Pay for someone’s coffee. Smile to strangers. Some need it more than you think.

9.  Stay home. Have a well-deserved lie in. Play your favourite songs at ignorant level. Binge on that TV series you recorded but never had the time for. Dance around in your pyjamas while you sip your favourite drink.

10.  Be a tourist in your country. Go to places you’ve never been before. Take photos of the memorable moments and enjoy the experience of experiencing something new.


Be A Tourist in your own City



 11.  Attend midweek service. Go to your local church and just thank God for your life and reflect on all the little mercies you’ve ignored while you were busy finding Mrs Right and Mr Valentine.

12. Go on a spa day and enjoy a good massage. Have a manicure and a pedicure. Sometimes life happens and you are left with little or no time for some self-loving. Don’t neglect your being. You live there after all.


Self Love is The Greatest Middle Finger of all Time!


13. Pick up that novel you’ve always wanted to read. You’ll be amazed at how     many pages you can get through when you are really enjoying a good read. These little things are good for the soul.

14. Go bowling. Go ice skating. Go swimming or hiking. Go to the zoo or the water park or amusement pack. Quad biking, horse-riding and go-karting. In short, go on an adventure and surprise yourself.

15.   Wake up in the morning and have a full blast of worship. Oh I love worshiping. Put your favourite gospel on and just worship lustily. Thank God for where you’re at and thank Him for where He is about to take you.

16.  Light the candles. Run the bath and have a long soak with a glass of wine in hand and your favourite music in the background. Lean back, close your eyes and let your mind drift to a place of bliss and light and love.


Have a Soak...


17.  Pay a visit to the hospital…the kids ward. Take a gift with you, a stuffed toy or something that will make them laugh or put a smile on their little precious faces. They need love more than you think.

18.  That dress you saved for Mr Valentine, put it on and grace the dance floor…live a little. That bottle of champagne you saved for Mrs Right, pop it open and enjoy while you watch your favourite sport…life is now.

19.  You’ve been in the gym all year trying to get that six pack for that chick and you a beach bum for the right man. But the day is here and they are not here…munch on your favourite fatty food while you’re at it understand that the right person will love you just the way you are.


Go On Life Adventures!
Live!

20.   Disconnect from social media and reconnect with yourself. Reflect and evaluate your life. Understand that you’re whole all by yourself and you’re exactly where you need to be.

21.   Say a prayer. Make sure you are praying just as much as you are wishing for it. Make God service your delight and make Him your foundation. Understand that in the absence of Valentine’s Day you are still you. God’s love is unwavering and ever present.
  

Jeremiah 29:11



Don’t be troubled by the pressures of this world. Be unshaken by societal pressures. Love is love and there are different types of love.

crave and yearn for that John 3.16 love...the kind that gives hope and is unconditional. The one that is not fickle and is built on a rock solid foundation. the love that falters not and will stand through the test of time. That God kind of Love.

You might be single…so what? You’re still a dope human. Don’t be reeled by people’s relationships…you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. You have no idea what their relationships are built on. 

Social media can get you all confused and envious or people’s lives. It can cause you to lose focus and send you into a destructive zone.

Don’t be that person. 

Take it all with a pinch of salt and understand that social media is nothing more than the best episodes of our lives….the not so happy ones you’ll never see.
So why be envious of an illusion?!

Be content and happy. Trust the timing of your life and enjoy the process.
I was looking for a sign once because I am a professional thinker and no one criticizes me more than myself...and I am always looking for answers. This writing on the wall appealed to me. And i knew i had to trust God more and learn to not overthink joy out of this beautiful life.


Trust The Process


I am exactly where I need to be. That was all I needed to know. We all need assurance from time to time. We all fail. We all have flaws. We all have bloopers.

In a relationship or not, don't neglect the duty of loving yourself and don't bow to societal pressures.

My point is, be encouraged and trust God, trust yourself more, trust your journey and trust your destiny. What’s for you will never pass you by and you will be who you were meant to be.

Your purpose on this earth might not be as you have rehearsed it in your head – meet prince charming or Mrs Right, fall in love and get married and have beautiful kids.

We all cannot have the same paths.

Not all of us will meet the love of our lives…some of us our purpose is way greater. Embrace it.

Love is bigger…way bigger than Valentine’s Day!




Till then

Xoxo



Thursday, 27 October 2016

Defining success….on your own terms



Create Your Own Wave



Relax

You’re doing fine. You’re doing great and you’re going to be alright.
Its baby steps till you get to where you’re meant to be. It’s one day at a time till you achieve that which you set out to achieve.

The definition of success have been shoved and pushed down our throats to the point that we think success has a universal face. No it doesn’t.

We’ve sized up success to be this one size fits all garment. Wear. Just wear, it will suit you. Perfectly. Take the universal umbrella and run with it!

Save your strength and stop!

Are you going to allow society to define success for you?
Are you going to be blinded by society’s standards of success?
Are you going to be burdened and amputated by the expectations of society?
Are you going to be lowered, reduced and dragged around by the success you see and read about daily?


Depressed and worried that you’re not doing enough. Sick and tired of the pace at which you’re progressing. Beating yourself up daily because you fail to measure up to the universal gauge of success.

So we live in fear and depression of not measuring up to what society deems as success.

It could all be so easy but we as humans are always looking for a map, some sort of guidelines, life manual or a list. Stop killing yourself slowly. Were you born with instructions?

Free your potential.






You must first understand and identify what is success to you. If you don’t know then you’ll be easily pushed around by the expectations of everyone else.

Walk in your own lane. Pave your own path at your own pace. Be prayerful and commit every move into God’s hands. Be proud of your littlest accomplishments. Celebrate every little achievement. Recognise your strength. Work on your shortcomings. Do not champion your weaknesses. Acknowledge your efforts and when you fail do not stop. Take a rest and try again.

Never push yourself to exhaustion. Amidst all your hard work, make sure you protect your happy.

Mama has spoken...Major Key!

If you gain the world and it can’t even put a smile on your face then you my friend is not succeeding.

If by any chance the only mountain you were able to move was you getting out of bed, so be it. Some days everything will go wrong, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Understand that you cannot give more than what is in you so always protect your well-being. And at the end after you’ve given your 100 and that extra 10%, sleep with satisfaction for you have done your best and remember your best is always good enough.

You fail at a task so what? Pick yourself up and try again. Most successes today were built on roadblocks of failures. Today they have a story, a story that inspires.

I encourage you to build yours….even if it’s one that everyone laughs at today at least it’s your story.

Don’t be distracted by the next man’s success. Don’t be jealous. You do not know how much they’ve prayed. My friend once tweeted that prayer is free…and indeed it is. So stay prayed up.

Avoid comparison for it is the greatest thief of time. Avoid looking back. Understand that you are in a competition with no one but the person you were yesterday.

Don’t allow anyone to scare you. Don’t allow fear to inhibit your potential. You have everything you need to succeed in you. Remember the grace of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot protect you.

Focus!


How Many People Have You Helped?


There is no universal definition for success and success does not have a face, tone or shape. Success does not come in this glamorous package either. Success is not one size fits all.

Success is more an internal affair than external. You find it within first.

Personally money and wealth makes a fine pillow and offers a comfortable ride in this thing called life but they don’t count as success for me.

I know a lot of wealthy people who are not successful at life. Funny right? Well its possible and its sad so don’t let that be you.

Do you want to know what success is to me?

Here we go…

Success in my life is good health, happiness and love of family. Success is me able to hear the voice of my grandmother and loved ones. Success in my life is being able to do the little but significant things for myself. Success is being able to see the sunrise, watch the sunset and being able to hear the pitter patter of the rain drops. Success is being able to hear my niece and nephews saying I love you Aunt Doris. Success is coming home to peace and quiet and the smell of my dinner from last night. Success is me coiled up on my sofa with my laptop on my lap and television on my favorite channel. Success is me lying on my bed listening to my favorite songs. Success is me having the strength to praise God, my maker. Success is me being able to inspire you by my ordinary, mundane and rather boring life.

For me it is my truth, it is raw and unedited and it is genuine. It requires no approval and I do not need to paint it to make it look like yours. I don’t need to deceive you into thinking my life is perfect and I succeed in all my endeavors.







I fail sometimes. I cry too and I have bad days ever so often. Just like everyone else.

Whether you choose to interpret my idea of success as ordinary, boring or exciting and crazy that is entirely up to you and I respect it.

You know why?
Because your definition of success does not have to be packaged the same way mine is and that my friend is the beauty of success.

Not all of us were born to conquer the world and make significant difference in a big, loud and massive way. Some of us were put on this earth to make the most significant difference in the most subtle manner.

You can succeed in farming, you can also be a success in politics, you can succeed in construction and you can be a success in teaching. You can be a success in mothering.

Whatever success is to you, embrace it unapologetically and be that!

You have your definition of success. Stick to it and work on it.

No one can tell you what success is to you but you. Unless they know what your capabilities, needs, weaknesses and strength are, then they can’t tell you nothing. Stay away from they and idle chatter and construct your own path towards success.

Define success on your own terms and package it the way you want to. Wrap it up how you’d like to see it and appreciate it for what it is.

It is your journey and it is your life. Ride it like its golden.






Remember a major part of being a success is maintaining your happy.






Till then



Xoxo

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Single And Building My Empire




“Single and building my empire” but who turned you into a builder?



Are We Really Building An Empire?!



What if I tell you that you can do both?

Why all the decorations?
All the trimmings and the confetti?
Why all the background noise and the tambourine?
It’s all a bit too noisy up in here …don’t you think?
So much that you’re getting lost in all the charade.

Most importantly, are you happy?


You’re sad because you’re single and I can’t possibly think of anything sadder than that kind of sad.

You’re single and you’re sad because you think no one wants you. You’re scared that you’re going to grow old alone and you fear loneliness.

You want to keep up appearances like Ali, sally and Nelly.

You want to prove that you can pull that guy too. Or you can get the girl just like the next man. Sounds exhausting.

You are sad and you’re withering away in this tedious fight to prove that you’re high in demand. If you fight so hard to prove that you’re the business, are you really the business?!

Each night you fight this fight of belonging, the fight to keep up appearance as you cry yourself to sleep.

You’re treating life like a race. It was never one to begin with, slow down!

You’re at a stage when you haven’t met that special someone and you think time is running out so you destroy your happy…one sad thought at a time.


God's Best Is Your Best



You have successfully embedded the thoughts in your head that the only way to your happy is through someone else.

You haven’t learnt how to appreciate your alone time so you’re sad that you’re single. You hug your pillow and wet it with tears of wanting and belonging, just because you’re single.

You’re struggling with this phase and the world need not know. So you mask it with all the trimmings and special effects and life’s most deceiving filters. The truth about those filters and trimming is that they’re like the Cinderella story, come midnight its back to reality as you lay on your bed, in the dark, feeling sorry for yourself for no reason as you cry yourself to sleep.

Each passing day leaves you bitter, unfulfilled and sad. So sad that it’s almost hard to convince the world that you’re still building that empire.

Sad is no place to be…not at any time in your life because when you’re not looking It eats you up real fast.


Sadness eats you up real fast


See those filters are not loyal. Those trimmings are not loyal either…so do yourself a favour and make you your first commitment.

You are your first commitment…don’t play yourself. And don’t ever forget that.
Hold on…are we still building that empire?


Stop.

What empire are you building?
An empire of self-pity, sadness and tears?!

You aren’t building no empire.
Or if you were….

I am here to ask you to stop building that empire. Just stop.

What is your story? Who made you a builder? Who taught you that you have to keep busy to decorate your singleness? Who taught you that it’s wrong to be your own person?

Put down the shovel and hoe. Take a rest child. Put down your tools and embrace your singleness.

You are whole all by yourself and darling…being in a relationship doesn’t scream wholeness. Trust me on this one.

I know you aren’t building no empire. You’re trying to tell the world you’re too busy for love when deep down inwardly you crave for a love so deep. 

You are desperate to find that one true love and your patience is running out. But while you wait you think it’s convenient to tell the wold that you’re building that empire.

Please abort this operation stay busy of building an empire. From what I can see, it is easier to decorate our pains than to face them.





There’s is no shame in being single. It is perfectly OK to be single. It is not a taboo to be single at any age and it is certainly not an offence to be single.

There is more to life than being in the couples club. You’re single and that’s OK. Being in a relationship doesn’t make you whole.

Our generation have skilfully managed to make being single look formidable. We’ve craftily turned singleness into a taboo… but you are in charge and whatever you believe and allow is what will happen to you.

Don’t be dragged into the trend of this generation. I say it again, being single is normal and it is okay.

You’re allowed to be single without making any excuses for your singleness.


Learn to bask in your ALONE time


If single is what you are now, have no shame in your state of being. There is nothing wrong with you and you are under no obligation to decorate your singledom.

You’re single. Period. Believe that it a complete statement that requires no validation. It is a complete sentence that makes perfect sense, no need for the decorative excuses and add-ons.

Don’t try too hard to fit in that you start looking like the jester. Don’t try too hard to fit in the box that you come out damaged and confused. Be your own version of you.

Who knows who you will inspire…by just being you?

Don’t miss out on all the fun trying to be a good look. The people you’re putting a show for do they really care about you? Have you checked that they are checking for you?

You might just be alone in this fight…you might just be both the audience and the entertainer.

Embrace your state of being and at the right time, you’ll meet that special someone. Be comfortable in that phase of life that you are now. There is a time for everything under the sun.

Never ever lose sight of hope because what keeps us going is not even the love you crave for so desperately or the air you breath, what keeps the engines oiled is HOPE!

Tell people bold and loud… (Only if you want to)


You’re single.
No add-ons. No trimmings. No decorations.
…a partner should only enhance your being.

Be whole.  Stay whole
GOD IS LOVE




Till then



Xoxo

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Girl with the Muted Elegance.



Girl I see you.



I see you struggling with your emotions. I see you behind that pretty I’m-Okay mask and behind that beautiful smile I see that teary eye.

Behind The Mask...



From a distance I sense your pain and your wavering self-esteem. I see you battle to get through the day and I see you play the happy girl.


I see you girl…I see you and I respect your strength.


I see you using social media as your therapist. And leaning on those likes and comments for validation. Girl I see you. I see you trying to find yourself through people and but all I really see is you getting lost in them.

I see how you diligently make Facebook your journal. But again I see a beautiful girl misplaced looking for answers in all the wrong places… I see a girl with endless capabilities.

I see your distracting mechanism. I see you snap at every little thing because you’re at your wits’ end. Take life off girl and rest.

I see you but I am not here to judge you. Heck I can’t judge you and I will never will be qualified to Judge you.

Girl I see you because I have been there. I was once that girl. I was that lost little girl.

But I am here to tell you that it’s going to be okay. All will be well and all will be well.

I was able to see you because we are one of the same. I like weird and awkward people. I like the rejects and I like the six fingers and the odd ducks. I like the misunderstood and I like the lost and broken. I like the loners, the one strand of grey hair and the underdog. I like the girl with scars and above all I love the girl with the muted elegance.

You know why? Because I am all of those.



It is perfectly okay to be vulnerable because vulnerability is transparency. It is okay to cry. I cry too. It is okay to not have it all together because that is the beautiful thing about life…none of us have life on a lockdown. We’re all trying to figure it out. One mistake at a time.


We're All Trying To Figure it Out



Stop beating yourself up. Stop walking on egg shells. Stop wallowing in self-pity and sadness. Stop. Stop being unkind to yourself. There’s insurmountable power in self-acceptance. Love yourself a little bit more…just a little bit more. Enough to not doubt yourself when you slip and fall.

You may never be enough in the eyes of some people and you may never be that girl but remember you’re not here to fit into a box. Look in the mirror and when you do, look into your eyes and there you will see the beauty that lies within.

Forget what you’ve heard. Forget what they’ve told you but more importantly recognise what you see.

Girl I can see the beauty. I can see the potential and I can see your greatness but it hurts me more to watch you whittle away…one Facebook status at a time.

So what… you failed at your relationship or you failed at being the super girlfriend. Or you failed at being the doting daughter or maybe those grades didn’t add up? So what? So what you failed at your job…so what?!


No experience is wasted. And don’t build a mansion on Regret Street.

Failure is information. Struggle is redirection. Ride your Journey.


When the lights go off, speak to that dark moment and ask it what are you here to teach me? Because believe me…every set back comes with a message. Listen up. Listen up girl.


Find yourself in your quiet moment. This can’t be done on Facebook. It can’t be done on twitter or snapchat. Social media is not your therapist. Believe me when I say out of the same mouth that releases praises…from there comes the harsh criticisms. People are trolling on social media looking for entertainment with a handful of popcorn and cola on the other hand.


Screenshots flying from one WhatsApp forum to the other. Your struggle becomes their tea and your life’s fight becomes their bedtime story. The truth is, if you put it out there for all to see, don’t be mad when you become the tea of the day. Don’t make yourself a victim.

Are you going to keep running to Facebook when things go wrong? I would love to promise you sunshine all year but that's not going to happen, there are going to be rainy days.. because that is life.


As a young girl I want you to own a journal. Pen down every challenging moment. And when you feel the urge to update your social media run to your journal…pen it down. When you feel the urge for validation, pray, pick up that pen and Journal and start writing.


Get A Journal
You'll Thank Me Later


When it gets too much, don’t be afraid to cry and above all remember there’s a God waiting on you to call on him. Man is fickle but God’s love is unwavering.


It works wonder. I assure you…that pen and journal will never judge you neither will God because he is not here for the righteous.


To the girl with the muted elegance…I challenge you to:

Learn to be alone. Enjoy your own company. Respect yourself and be kind to yourself. Speak positivity into your being and be true to yourself. Unapologetically ride your wave. Celebrate yourself. Stay prayed up.

Don’t try to figure it all in a day. Drink a lot of water. Life happens one day at a time.

You've Got This!


Our darkest moments lead us to a new passion and love for life. Wait on it.

And after it all, I hope you come out screaming. I hope you unmute your elegance. I’m here waiting…waiting to see you be the girl who will inspire other girls to use their voice.

I am waiting…patiently because I believe you’re going to come out of this stronger and wiser.

I want to see you be that girl. That Young girl who can do all things.


You'll Find A Way


Remember there’s nothing to prove to anyone. Live with an unmuted elegance and love yourself for the beautiful ambiguity that you are.

Allow Him


From the girl that cares…



From a distance.

With Love



Till Then

Xoxo





Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Chronicles of a Granny Pekin – Growing up African




It is my grandmother’s birthday today. She is 82. I love this woman. She is the Maya to my Angelou. She is the anchor in my wild sea. She is my conscience to the destructive voice. She is the reason I want to be a better me. She is the reason I fight. If there was one person I was scared to let down, that would be my Grandma Ola. 




She is the reason…full stop!




She is a huge part of my life and anyone that knows Doris, knows Grandma Ola. So it is only right I dig up some sweet memories of the time we spent together back in Sierra Leone.

I grew up with my grandmother in Sierra Leone where we lived in a traditional colonial–era board house at Campbell Street. Everything I did was a reflection of my granny, even up to this day, consequently I was labelled granny pekin…especially in school.

Yup... I am a certified and bonafide granny pekin.

Grandma Ola is strict. She has a no nonsense streak about her that is not to be messed with. (Even our mothers don’t mess with her) She is a true disciplinarian and will stop at nothing. She is kind, honest and genuine. She is the definition of what you see is what you get. No hidden layers. Her facial expressions doesn't lie.



Virtuous Woman



As stern as she is, she is the most caring and loving woman I know. She is compassionate and a mother to all. She is packed with a wealth of wisdom which I admire. My granny is a virtuous woman. How someone so stern can be so loving and caring at the same time is actually a very powerful thing in my books.

In my early childhood, our parents left my brother and I at the mercy of our grandmother who we got to know too well after we started living with her. We thought it was a holiday until she took off the Mrs Nice guy cap and wore the captain’s hat. You know what they say, come stay with me and come visit me are two completely different things. Too right!

Boakai, my brother and I never saw what was to come. I was the quiet one and my brother well … he was more than a handful. To the point that people doubted in school if we both were related. I was quiet in comparison to my rebellious brother but I had my own share of stubbornness which wasn’t tolerated or encouraged by my grandmother.



Boakai & I on my 10th Birthday.
check my hat out - Granny pekin certified


We were provided with everything we needed but rudeness and disrespect was never tolerated. I was an ill child but that didn’t stop her from plastering few slaps across my face when I stepped out of line. The cane for my brother is normally soaked in water for days in order to increase the elasticity. When that registers on your skin…Only God can save you.


In that small board house, we lived comfortably and amicably. Even though it was crowded. I think the crowdedness got us to appreciate the little holes in the walls which we referred to as our air conditioner because I tell you…nights were sticky and hot! But guess what that taught us….contentment.


I had friends who were staying in bigger and better houses but not once did I recall me wanting to live in their houses. My granny never made us feel like we were missing out on anything.

Together with my other cousins, we all lived in this crowded board house where the bath and toilet were outside. So let me tell you now, if you need to do your business, you better do it right before the doors were bolted with several padlocks and blocked with mortar and pestle. (To prevent thieves…apparently) 

When that door closes, nothing opens it. To this very day I can tell you that I wee before bed and that’s a must and I never get up during the night. There are various types of disciplines but that was bladder discipline at its finest!

Have you ever taken a bath outside, under a running tap? Then you must add that to your bucket list. Bath time is an event in our household. My granny has zero tolerance towards bad body odour. Armpits were layered with lime and left to marinate for few minutes and the teeth is first scrubbed with charcoal before you can use your toothpaste and brush. There I learnt that my tongue is pink and not white! 



The Real MVP on them toes



This is done every Saturday as she tends to leave us during the week to do our little thing we do that we call bathing but in her books it’s rinsing. You don’t know squeaky clean until she has scrubbed you head to toe with the strongest scrub ever and your toes brushed with the ever-so-strong scrubbing brush.
After that all there’s left to do is sleep!  Now that was our lesson in cleanliness!


Saturdays are cleaning Saturday without fail and without questioning. The house must be swept, dusted, wiped and our little bath outside must be scrubbed and the gutter cleaned and the bins taken out. No hoovers!

Then you have the cooking chores where we help with the cooking preparations. No blenders or grinders. We used the mortar and pestle and the grinding stone to get things done. We had a stove but that was only used as an emergency option therefore that was a luxury. So Three-stone wood-fired stove it was.


Where the magic happened


We all thought this woman liked working for no reason and there were no happy faces around, just mere frowns and murmurs and when she sees that frown she will ask you to fix your face before she fixes it for you. Trust me, you do not want her to fix your face (more like dismantle)

As for the murmurs…when asked to repeat what we just said, we lie and say we weren’t talking to you. Yes you have to lie at this point to save your jawbones and teeth because they will all go flying and calling for help when that slap registers.
Now that taught us the importance of hard work.

Sundays were to stew as Saturdays were to foo-foo and Saturday soup, okra and the likes. Now the only problem is I love my cassava leaves and that Sunday stew was becoming my nightmare. I hated it but do I dare tell my grandmother? Nope…I swallow it like it’s my Sunday best. After which we all sit and listen to Bongo, a Sierra Leone radio comedy show. No TV!

I can tell you that I am a world class human dishwasher. When asked to wash dishes and bowls and kitchen utensils they all have to pass my grandma’s approval. If not then I’m sorry but you’re going to do it until you do it right….cheerfully too. Glasses and tumblers must be so clean that the water must not be seen dripping in layers...it should flow. Plates squeaky clean and bowls no sign of oil or smell from cooking ingredients. Her face must be seen in the reflection of the spoons. This taught us lesson on doing something well or don’t do it at all.

She instilled in us the importance of knowing God and being in the house of the Lord. Sundays were set aside for church. Period! If we couldn’t make it to church we prayed together and I can recite a lot of psalms in the bible. Psalms 23, 91, 123, 100 and more. As for the songs…don’t try me. Hehe. In everything in life, my grandmother encouraged us to pray about it first. This taught us to be grateful and never take things for granted.

My granny taught us simple courtesies, like serving tea and drinks with a saucer (I don’t see that these days) and waiting for the glass if need be. The please and thank you must never go unsaid. She taught us the eye language which she used anywhere and any day. That eye is your cue to stop whatever rudeness you’re up to, get your life together and register it in your brain that you’re about to have the whooping of a lifetime when you get home. That eye really does spoil your day…it’s like a warning of what is to come.



Still Magic...



When you get home, prepare yourself mentally because the slap or the whooping can happen anytime, yea even in your sleep. You’ll be there thinking you’re dreaming, no darling your being whooped for that misbehaviour.

After that she will then explain to you that it is for your own good and that you’ll thank her later. (Am I thanking her now…hmm I’m not sure man, I’m not sure. Lool) at that very moment, those words are not what you want to hear so your anger level rockets. But you have to sit still, keep a very broad smile on your face and nod accordingly. Now that was respect!

At school I never show up at all the parties. I wasn’t allowed. My friends know this. If I am invited somewhere and want to go, I must earn it. I mean all my house chores must be done and everywhere clean and tidy. I must be on my best behaviour all week and there was no room for errors because one mistake could mean I won’t be going to any social function and guess what, I can’t fight that decision. It’s final! 

And I had curfew too...which was 10pm! Imagine when the party starts, Doris is heading home.

Chronicles of a granny pekin!

Once I was invited to my friend’s birthday party, I gave my grandmother 3 weeks’ notice and a daily weekly reminder. I was the nicest grandchild that month. I did all I was told to do, came back home on time from school and my smile was exceptionally cheesy and bright. Yes all for an answer to this birthday party.

So the day came, I woke up earlier than usual and I did all I had to do. Scrub my mouth and greeted my grandmother good morning, (yes you weren’t allowed to say good morning with a smelly overnight mouth.) and she asked why are you up so early, I replied, no reason with the gummiest smile ever. But my granny is no fool, she knew what was up. She piled more chores on me and diligently I carried all out. All for a party. I really wanted to go so I had no choice.

It was approaching 4pm when I started getting dressed slowly and her reaction nearly gave me a heart attack. She was like where do you think you’re going? (The eyes came out too.)

To which I replied, the party I told you about, my friend’s birthday. I said you promised I could go if I did all my house chores. (Her head did a U-turn and the eyes changed again only this time she squinted it as if she was trying to see if I’m ok in the head, her body did a little vibration) she went quiet and I nearly peed my pants (yep, an African parent’s promise holds no guarantee.) she did this thing where her breathing goes with her eyes and she tilted her screw face at me and I tell ya my eyes started running water (because I wasn’t sure if I was crying or just fearing for my life at this point)

She leaned forward and whispered calmly, take that clothes off, you’re going nowhere. I nearly collapsed. My heart sunk and now I started shedding real tears like I lost my dog.

Tremulously I said but you promised! It was after I uttered the words that I wondered where I summoned that bravery from. I quickly recollected myself and my face flushed with regret.

She was walking away when she stopped dead in her tracks and gave me the eye one more time. That was to say I am finished with you.

Few minutes later after I was done crying, I was in a corner sulking when she walked in on me with a plate of biscuits and a pint of Vimto (she knew Vimto was my favourite) and she was like, why would you want to go out? You don’t want to keep my company? Is it for the food or the drink? Then she offered me the plate and the Vimto while saying if it is for the food, here you go eat or the drink, take this cold Vimto and drink. Oh wait the music? She went on and put the radio on with a smile on her face.

I can’t say I didn’t laugh, I laughed (because that’s what you do) but I was still upset. I went to school the next day and faced the most dreaded question…why weren’t you at the party? They all knew the answer so I thought to just say it one more time. My grandma said I wasn’t allowed and the tales of what I missed started rolling out.

That was my life…I wasn’t allowed to show up at every occasion. And to this day I choose where I go because once upon a time, granny said ‘’you don’t have to show up everywhere.’’

Boys were more scared of my grandma than they were of my dogs...and we had lots of dogs.

It wasn't easy.

We are such a large family but my grandmother is the cotton tree. She keeps everyone grounded and everything centred. No matter how angry or stubborn you are when she intervenes, she will solve it with her carefully selected words of wisdom, you tend to see things in different perspective and with a large family, you learn that it is not always about you. Grandma Ola taught us family values and up to this day we are a closed knitted family despite everything. 

Family is all we’ve got.

She showed no favouritism towards anyone. We were all equal in her eyes. We were rewarded for good behaviour and good grades in school as she always emphasises the importance of education. Rose Apple was our favourite treat which was divided into four pieces and shared amongst us.

She taught us the true meaning of love. My grandmother loves me endlessly. There are things I question in my life but one thing I will never question is her love for me. She expresses her love at every given opportunity. She will check that I have enough to eat and drink at all times. She will make sure my clothes on my back are clean, hair braided and I smell good. She knows when I am about to fall ill, she is observant, attentive and always present. She will stand up for us when need be and never allow anyone to take advantage of us…not even our mothers.

Up to this day, her love for me still stands strong. She will call up and check on me regularly, ask if I’m keeping warm, visit me in the hospital and she never fails to leave half of her sandwich for me from her breakfast every Sunday. She will always have her scarf ready to hand me when I’m cold.


A love like that…. Unconditional and incomparable.





My grandma taught me how to bridle my tongue. To this present day, I do not swear at no one. I’m not saying I am a saint, I do use the words every now and again because I am rebellious like that but I do not swear at people. Never! In my grandma’s eyes, that was a no go! No compromise and no excuses. She was a disciplinarian but she never believed in vulgarity. This taught us the importance of words and the effect it has on people. The tongue is a powerful weapon.

As a granny of creole descendant, Grandma Ola communicated mostly in parables and I must say I learnt because there are few parables I can’t decipher. Yup, chronicles of a granny pekin.

We later moved to my grandmother’s newly built three-storey concrete house where we were living it up large. From oven to washing machine to hoovers and microwave...it was fully furnished and equipped. No more bath outside…YAY! Yea I was happy because I was getting to that age where I needed my privacy but my grandmother didn’t think so though…lol In an African household, you’re forever a child….regardless!

We came from humble beginnings which helped shape and mould our characters. Today I am a content and happy girl, seen it all. Been there done that and I won’t change a thing. (Maybe reverse some of the whoopings….yea!)

My childhood was great and I never felt like I missed anything. All I needed, was provided. Today, Material things do not move me but a good character in a person entices me and I do not value material things over people. Yea all thanks to my grandmother.

My foundation was solid for that I am grateful. I am implementing all these values in my daily life and I am ever so grateful for such upbringing.

If this is what they mean when they labelled me granny pekin…then I gladly claim the title.
I haven’t turned out too bad….hehe

And more importantly, my grandmother approves and that’s all that matters.  (She’s only waiting on the great grand kids now)


And I will pass these values on to them….by God’s grace!



Unconditional Love

Grandma Ola I wish you many more years to come in good health because at this stage in your life, all you need is more years in good health. I love you and I love you.



Till then

Xoxo