Gifted hands (part IV): The conversation

Are we there yet?  I asked the young man  taking me to his friend’s shop. The shop is by the corner of the road, he replied.

So now, I’m thinking in my head that there are many shops by the corner, which one is it? I hope this young man is not trying to take advantage of me,  I thought to myself.

Sweating and panting so hard, amidst the numerous voices cheering this young man, as we continued to his friend’s place.

Some of those cheering were more like Aboki! Who be this fine girl? Your yarinya fine o!!!

Of course  the young man was grinning from ear to ear. I began to feel uncomfortable as the cheering got louder.

(After few minutes)

Young man: Fine girl, I wan stop for Meshai, I dey hungry, I wan drink am for tea, this young man politely said.

Me: no problem , (as if I had any choice, lol).

(We’ve walked for 30 minutes)

Me: Are you sure your friend still has a sewing shop?

Young man: Haba Madame! Why I know believe me? (You guys,  he meant to say why didn’t I believe him, lol).

So if you are familiar with the Hausa tribe in Northern Nigeria, you will recognize that the first person pronoun “I” is used for everything.

 Image result for conversation gif

(After much conversations of this manner)

Young man: We don reach the place (pointing to the blue building, by the roadside).

Me: Finally! ( Huge sigh of relief)

( In the shop)

Young man: Mr Eddy , how market ?

Mr. Eddy: market dey o! We dey push am small, small. Na who be this fine girl wey follow you come?

Young man : Eddy! Eddy!  I  bring market for you. This fine girl wan learn how to sew cloth. Eddy international!  I tell am say na you be the original fashion designer wey dey rule this town.

Eddy: Thanks for the compliment, my brother! ( grinning from ear to ear).

Young man : this fine girl say na student. She talk say them dey strike. I know know which one be strike but she wan learn how to sew cloth.

(I was laughing so hard at this young man’s attempt to explain why I  was interested in sewing, as I introduced myself to Mr. Eddy).

Me: Hi Mr Eddy,  My name  is Akudo.

Mr. Eddy: Interesting ! You are namesakes with the lady that taught me how to sew! Nice to meet you, young lady. I hear you are interested in  sewing. Can you tell me more about yourself?

Me: Absolutely! that’s why I’m here. I am a student in  the University of Nigeria , and we are on strike again. I don’t want to stay home idling away my time.

Mr Eddy : Have you ever used the sewing machine ?

Me:  No Sir! I do know how to use a needle and thread.

(Reaching for my purse to display some of the items sewn by me)

Me :Here they are!

Mr. Eddy : Amazing!  If you are that good with needle and thread, I’m positive that using a sewing machine will be easy.

Me: Thanks for the compliment!

Mr Eddy : There is a problem. I have stopped accepting students until next year August. I’m afraid I can’t help you.

(You guys! My jaw dropped and my countenance fell. It felt like the world had fallen on my shoulders. In this moment, I reflected on the journey to his shop. I was not going to take no for and answer).

Me: Oh no! Sir! You don’t understand my dilemma. I don’t want to waste one more day at home. I really love sewing. Please squeeze me into your schedule. I am begging you!

(At this time tears were running down my eyes, I was literally on my knees begging. I was so determined)

Me : I promise that you will not regret having me as your student. I promise to abide by your rules.

( I went on and on with my plea)

Mr. Eddy: This is a tough decision! In the past, I’ve accepted students pleading in such manner, and for the most part, they end up breaking rules.

Me: I know that we are just meeting for the first time. I am asking that you give this chance to prove myself.

( the young man also joined in the plea)

Young man: Haba ! Mr. Eddy, make you consider this fine girl. At least, do am for your friend. Na me bring am come your shop. Abeg, no fall my hand oh!

Mr. Eddy: Talk is cheap, but I will give you a chance. Let me warn you. I do not tolerate lateness, laziness, and disobedience. Here is a list of the required items needed to commence classes: A sewing machine, pair of scissors, brown paper, notebook, pen, measuring tape, a crate of soft drinks and a packet of cabin biscuit.

Me:  I’m so excited! But the drinks and biscuit? what do we need that for?

Mr. Eddy: Well! It’s an old tradition. These food items are given to other shop owners in the neighborhood. It indicates that we do have a new student.

Me: Interesting! What is the cost of learning?

Mr. Eddy: I charge 3, 000.00 naira per year.

Me: Thank you so much ! When do I start?

Mr. Eddy: As soon as possible!

(feeling so excited)

Me: Oh my God! I can’t believe this is finally happening! Thank you so much Mr. Eddy!

(To the stranger) Thank you sir! What’s your name?

Stranger: My name  na Ali

Me : Thanks Ali. God bless you!

By the time this conversation was over, it was getting pretty dark.  I hurried home quickly, to share the good news with my family and friends. You guys,  it felt like I had just won the lottery. I didn’t know what to do with my self, lol! Finally, my dream was becoming a reality!

On a second thought, what if my dad refuses to give me the money to start my sewing lessons?  What if he suddenly changes his mind?   My dad’s mood is like a roller coaster.  lol! You don’t want to be around when he’s having a bad day. In order to collect that money, I have to wait till he’s in a good mood. More like trying to be the  early bird, at a clothing store, on a black Friday sale! Go figure! Lol! Real struggles!

I waited patiently for the weekend. My dad had just woken up from sleep. I over heard him whistling while he drank coffee from his favorite coffee cup. I thought to myself,  here is my moment! If I perish, I perish! Like what’s the worst that can happen?  Should he refuse? Bump this! At least I made an effort! 

 

…..to be continued!!!!

Yours truly,

this nigerian_chic

 

Photo credit: Online source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tribe

It’s almost 9 years of residing in the land of my birthplace; 9 years away from the motherland! I vividly remember, one of the situations I struggled with, was  having a true tribe.

A part of me wanted to remain patriotic and adhere strictly to tribes that reminded me of the motherland. It didn’t matter if they were not adding value to my life, I just felt unnecessarily loyal. Lol!

On the other hand, were a  group of individuals, of which it was obvious that we did not share any resemblance or cultural heritage. Just like Elizabeth in the Bible, “my baby leaped for joy”(Luke 1:14) every time, I found myself around them. I became my best and felt connected but, I still struggled with accepting the truth.

 

The truth that, a true tribe may not look like or share the same cultural heritage.

 

Isn’t that typical of humans, that we sometimes, lie to ourselves because the truth seems different from our initial hypotheses?

Until, disappointments begin to set in and we are at constant war with our internal being.

One of the reality checks of life, is to be friends  today and tomorrow become strangers.

Some learn this principle quickly, while others learn after multiple disappointments.

Some have this loyalty mindset, to remain faithful, even when it’s obvious that “the horse is dead” and it’s time to dismount!

 

There’s nothing wrong with being loyal, but honey, it might be a wasted energy in the wrong place.

…just saying….

 

So here’s my question, because I’m so curious, lol , who’s in your tribe?

A true tribe will celebrate your accomplishments.

A true tribe will encourage you  in your worst moments.

A true tribe is not intimidated by your successes ( I can write a text book on this one, lol).

 

Still trying to figure out what I mean by a tribe? Well, here you go!

Any group of individuals that are not afraid to celebrate you at your best and remind you of your potentials at your worst. More like your ace, boon, coon, your ride or die ♥♥♥♥♥

 

Got it?Image result for Tribe animation

Y’all, I wish I could say this in a better way but, truth be told ;

 

You are not always going to remain friends with some of the people you started with and it’s ok!

Selah!

 

Remember the higher the altitude,  the lesser the oxygen available,  so it is with your tribe.

You are going to lose some and gain more; keep an open mind!

If your tribe is not quite it! Don’t rush the process! Soon the fair-weather friends will fall off and you will experience that joy which accompanies a true tribe♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

I hope you enjoy viewing as much I did while writing.

Sending love your way!

this nigerian_chic

Photo credit:  online source

Let’s make a Sunshine difference!!!!

The best place to be is where the sun is shining, and it is truly shining over here in this 86 degrees weather!  Summer time, y’all!

It is 1400 in this part of the world, and I am just waking up from my bedtime. Apparently, my life is operating against my natural circadian rhythm. This means that I sleep while most people are working and work while most people are sleeping. Got it?

Hence, I had to read your post thrice (Y’all, this night shift struggle is real! Lol!) ,  to figure that “voice it!” has  nominated me, to participate in the Sunshine blogger award.  I’m approximately 3 weeks old in the blogging realm- totally humbled by your nomination ♥

This chic is my secret blogger mentor – she literally, walked me through the process of blogging, despite the 6 hours difference.

She is truly my sunshine !

Known you from the womb; Girl! We go way back !

Anyhow, kindly check out my girl @ Voice it! ; she is it!

 

 

Let’s make this sweet and simple, here is what the Sunshine blogger Award is all about;

It is an award is  given to bloggers who are seen as inspiring and creative.  Kindly follow the rules below while accepting this award:

1.Thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog.

2.Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.

3.Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 questions to answer

4.Notify your nominees;

5.List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post.

Here are my answers to the questions from Voice it!

 

1.If you had to trade writing with another art, which would you choose?

Sewing is an art that I discovered from childhood. It’s my second nature; I literally sew in my dreams, lol.  Sewing brings out the best of my creativity, self esteem, boldness, confidence, and self worth. Sewing has stirred the wheels of life, through a journey of a life time, that I will forever cherish.

2. Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert? Which are you? Which would you rather be?

For the most part, I am an introvert and I love being that way. My extrovert nature pops out when I’m around persons that I’m comfortable with or when I’m doing something that I love.

3. What is the one thing you’d by all means love to accomplish before you die?

I’d love to sky dive. It sounds scary, but I really want to do it!

4. What does happiness mean to you?

Happiness to me is my initiative to maximize my abilities as I recognize and enhance my weak areas.

Alright! My turn! Here are my questions:

  1. What inspired you to blog?
  2. Name that one person, that you really want to meet. Kindly state why?
  3. What is your favorite childhood cartoon character and state why?
  4. If you had a choice to own a super power, what would it be?
  5. Name one characteristic that’s awesome about you?

My nominees for the sunshine blogger award are:

  1. Voice it!  (had nominate you again #new blogger struggles , lol!)
  2. Zuzu cuisine
  3. ‘BeliJose’s Fashion Hauz’

Keep up the good works guys! Love to read your post ♥

 

Summer time baby! Peace out!

♥♥♥♥this Nigerian chic ♥♥♥

 

 

Gifted hands (part III)-The plan

Me: Hi Belinda! It’s been a while ! What are you up to these days?

Belinda: Girl! I am fine! I’m taking sewing lessons, somewhere downtown.

Me: Wow! That’s great! Can you take me there ? I’m interested in learning how to use a sewing machine. First of all, how much is the cost?

Belinda: I’m not quite sure of the price, it’s been a while since I registered. I think it’s between three to five thousand naira.

Me: Wow! That’s a lot of money. Do you know if your learning place will take me. Like, I want to start as soon as possible.

Belinda: I’m not sure but, there are other places in the area, plus I can accompany you if I’m less busy.

Me: Thanks girl! I have to ask my dad for the money.

Belinda: Good luck with that !

Me: I’ll give it a shot! What’s the worst that can happen? I keep you posted. Keep me in your prayers. Lol!

After the conversation, I  went home, and silently prayed the prayer of  my life. Asking God to forgive me of any sin that will not allow me to gain favor before my dad. Lol!

Y’all, this was a serious ordeal for me, knowing the caliber of person, he was. I had to get my facts in order and rationales to back up my request,  lol! Talking about real struggles. Lol!

(Later  that evening)

Me: Hi dad!

Dad: what do you want? (Brows raised with a frown).

Me: (Stuttering)  I would love to enroll in a sewing school.

Dad: Where did that idea come from? (Frown on the face)

Me: So since this ASUU strike has no expiration date yet, I figure that registering in a sewing school will be a good use of my time.

Dad: hmm ! Let me think about it. .

Me: ok! Thanks!

(Next day)

Me: Hi  dad! Did you consider my request?  I really want to utilize this opportunity. ( begging and saying silent prayers )

Dad: You’re aware that I’m not a fan of learning trading skills. University education is the best way to have a great life in my opinion.

Me: I know , dad (low voice). It’s just a hobby,……

Dad: I hope so! No child of mine will become a tailor! Go do your research and keep me posted on the cost.

Me: Thanks!(All smiles)

(Next day)

Me: Belinda, are you available to accompany to the place we talked about last time?

Belinda : Girl,  I’ve got stuff to do but, here is the address. Good luck!

Me: ok! No worries!

After this conversation,  I was disappointed that Belinda could not go with me. I’ve never  gone downtown alone. Y’all know downtown is downtown home and abroad, horrible stories and all. Lol!

I had mixed emotions, all these thoughts , questioning my passion and decision. At one point,  I said to myself,  “maybe it’s a sign that I shouldn’t explore this part of me”. Nevertheless, I left home in search for the mystery address with optimism. 

 

I arrived at the geographic location that I thought the address should be, after the hassle of asking people around, and being pointed to the different directions.

Frustration was creeping in like a flood, I was close to “throwing in the towel” Then I ran into some random sewing shop filled with a bunch of young men, speaking a different language aka Hausa language.

I showed them the address that I was looking for. They told me the owner had moved to a different location. Guys, you should have seen my face. My countenance suddenly fell. I was sweating profusely and looked so helpless.

One of the young men noticed my sudden change and asked what the problem was. He thought that I was some customer and maybe the tailor had relocated with my clothes.

To his utmost surprise, I replied no. I told him of my ordeal of the school strike, and my interest in fashion and designing. He smiled and said ” no worries,  if you don’t mind,  I know a great place where you can learn”. The young man who owns this  place that I’m going to show you, is my childhood friend. I’ll take you there but, I don’t know if he is still accepting students.

I responded quickly,  “Absolutely!” I literally,  believed this young man’s words and agreed to go to his friend’s sewing shop.

Side note: Each time, I reflect on this segment of my story, it gives me chills. How do you trust a total stranger? Remember,  it’s downtown ! Anything can go wrong!

I believe that when purpose and passion collides with destiny, the impossible becomes possible! The world we leave in, questions the authenticity of assistance from strangers,  sometimes, strangers are angels indiguise!

For the record, Do not follow strangers.

 

Image result for angel stranger

On this note, do you think that this young man was truly an angel,  Are you interested in the conversation that took place at his friend’s shop ? Do you think my plan actually worked?

Stay tuned for part IV…..

Much love! Muah!!!!

this Nigerian chic ♥♥♥♥

 

Photo credit: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=angel+stranger&FORM=HDRSC2

 

What’s your name???

If I had no ties with my mother land,

Certainly, I would wonder at the complexity of our names.

Repetitions of consonants in odd places that makes one feel like a tongue twister.

Spelt with phonetics to make pronunciation easy.

Alas! Can it be any simpler ? One may ask.

“I can’t make any promises but, those names, Yes! Those complicated names are truly beautiful!”

 

Image result for Popular Nigerian Names

 

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,

Truly! I believe!

Who’s society to define beauty?

How much more the beauty of names?

 

From Boma to Ibinabo,

Tonye to Wariboko,

Better still, Teniola or Omoshalewa,

Whatsoever your delight,

The choice is yours!

 

Names bring identity, sense of belonging, and cultural values.

Chimamanda is absolutely right!

“There is a danger to a single side of the story”

Absolutely! I agree!

It’s time to get out of life’s bubble!

Get to the know the person and the story behind the name.

Selah!

 

 

 

With love,

this Nigerian chic♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

Glossary

Chimamanda– Nigerian female writer and author of “Americanah”

Boma-blessing

Wariboko– Access or doorway to a house/home

Ibinabo– coming with good and happy tidings

Tonye– God’s will

Teniola– God’s prosperity of wealth

Omoshalewa– a child has chosen a house to be born into

Shout out to big brother, Owanate Max-Harry, for explaining the meaning of the  names ♥♥♥♥♥

 

Photo credit- https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Popular+Nigerian+Names&FORM=RESTAB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifted hands (part II) The strike!!

Repent! Repent! For the kingdom of God is at hand! (just like John the baptist, crying in the wilderness….lol!) These words from a group of enthusiastic students,standing in front of our hall of residence.  Pretty much excited to share their faith and invite everyone to fellowship with them. We  had various faith based groups on campus-CASOR, CU, ASF, BSF, NCF, Abiding word, etc.  You name it! These words were the alarm clock that woke most students up each morning at 0400am.

Bathrooms were found at  both ends of the hall way. God bless you, if there was no power supply and you needed to shower in the morning, for your early am classes. All those superstitious  scary stories of Lady koi koi; we literally believed them, lol!

How can I forget our hall mummies?  Let me guess that some of my readers are wondering what I mean by “hall mummy”. Apparently, if you belonged to any fellowship on campus, you are automatically assigned to someone (usually a senior) who acts like a  guardian aka hall mummy. It’s pretty cool having one until , you’re hear that knock on your door in the wee hours of morning. That “knock” meant that you need to gather some where with others for morning prayers, led by your hall mummy. The wee hours is when sleep is beautiful, like who wants to be up at 0400am praying ?

On the contrary,  during final exams, students showed up for prayers early!  Some will volunteer to wake others up. Desperate students eager to ace their exam. We prayed for everything, lol!- exam dates to be rescheduled, lecturers to resign ( the difficult ones), prayed to displace a difficult roommate, etc.. What’s interesting is that , those prayers worked! We even prayed for strikes to be called off! LOL!

The strike! Yes! The great and dreaded ASUU strike! Let me tell you about this strike.  If you are  a  bona-fide student of any government owned university in Nigeria, it is impossible to forget about the ASUU strike (excluding the private universities).

Here is the deal, in order to save yourself a cardiac arrest or dissapointment, here is my advice, if your course of interest is a 4 year program, you are advised to add 2 to 3 years, because, this ASUU strike is destined to happen. When it does, you might stay  home for as,long as, it is resolved. This is the gospel truth…lol

In case you’re still wondering what this strike is all about.  In my own words,

 

“The ASUU strike is the weapon of mass destruction, used by the Senior Staffed Lecturers, of any government owned university in Nigeria, to ask the government, for incentives and increase in monthly salary, or for overdue unpaid salary”

I use the phrase “weapon of mass destruction” because this strike destabilizes the government, and leaves them no choice but to pay up!

Usually, it starts with series of meetings- the Federal government versus ASUU. Honestly, this meeting feels like the “clash of the titans” battling on the field of education, lol!

  • Image result for asuu strike animation

Then, rumors of warning strike on campus. Warning strike that last for at least 3 days, followed by another meeting, then a strike!

Students are usually notified via notice boards, placed in strategic locations. Classrooms are locked, and students living on campus are given few hours to go home.

Going home in such occasions can be bitter-sweet. There may not be enough money for immediate travel. Most students have to figure out how much luggage to travel with (technically, no one knows how long the strike will last), where to leave the rest of your luggage because you are not allowed to leave them in the dorms. At this time, the motor parks are flooded with students, chattering in loud voices, exchanging pleasantries and bidding their friends farewell. One can sense the excitement in the air.

Lots of miracles take place during the strike  lol! Miracles of weddings , pregnancies, engagements, some might change school, some go on spontaneous vacations abroad, etc

On one of such long strikes,   this Nigerian chic decided to  register in a sewing institute, to officially become certified, as a fashion designer. It sounds exciting and looks like my father will be happy to support, right? Keep in mind  that I was raised in a Nigerian household with a dad who is very traditional, and believes that anything asides from school, is the devil, lol!

This Nigerian chic had to come up with a plan-this plan that stirred the wheels of my life through a journey, that I never imagined, most importantly, I don’t regret!

Y’all want to know what this plan was?????????

……to be continued……

 

 

Thanks for viewing,

this Nigerian chic ♥♥♥♥♥

 

Glossary 

Lady koi koi- the ghost of a female teacher known for wearing heels. Apparently, she comes out when the lights are off.

ASUU- Academic Staff Union of Universities

 

Photo credit: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=asuu+strike+animation&FORM=HDRSC2

 

 

Asoebi !!!!- the concept

If you’re a Nigerian female, your life is not complete without some type of function that requires asoebi (at least in my opinion ♥). These days we have asoebi for everything ; naming ceremony, wedding, baby shower, graduation, funeral, etc.

Shout out to my Yoruba peeps! You guys are always on point! People, the yorubas do not compromise when it comes to asoebi.  The preparation is like a full-time job, LOL! I mean that’s how I felt after almost 9 years away from the motherland, trying to prepare for my sister’s (from another mother) wedding. Don’t get it twisted; it is fun to participate!!

This is a judgement free zone, right? So allow me to define asoebi

” as that uniqueness which brings  family and  friends, into a circle of oneness which signifies unity, joy, celebration, hope, laughter, tears of joy, fine dining and wining and any type of positivity you can think of! “

(FYI: this definition is found only in my personal glossary, lol!)

In other words, asoebi means colors, new shoes, clothes, new hair do, manicure, pedicure, head-pieces aka gele , assorted dishes , moimoi, jollof rice, fried rice, ofada rice, pottage yam aka asaro, fried plantain, moimoi, salad, assorted drinks, etc. Have I made your mouth watery yet ? Fried chicken, grilled chicken, the list goes on and on.

Also, looking at fashion  catalogues, and the best tailor in town to make the perfect style to be outstanding is part of the ordeal. Keep in mind, that cultural diversity and financial strength, creates variety and slight differences in the preferences showcased. Therefore, asoebi is a dynamic concept.

Remember the head-piece aka gele? It’s important to find someone who is good at tying one. I had to watch DIY videos on YouTube channel, at least 100 times, to familiarize myself with how to tie one. The struggle, guys! A good struggle,  indeed ! LOL!

Ooops! There it is ! ⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓  Can you spot me?

 

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

It’s important to learn those trendy steps for the dance floor because, you don’t want to be left out. In my case, azonto, shakiti bobo, shoki, etc, pretty much the order of the day. As a wise Port Harcourt girl, I had my waist dance as a bonus; just saying…

Yes! we spray the dollars in the air as the couple hit the dance floor ; that’s why your guest lists has to be people with generous mindsets (hint, hint). Therefore, in a wedding scenario,  appointed members of the asoebi are in charge of picking and counting the money, making sure no one makes away with, as the bride and groom dance away to the rhythm of the night. However, in other scenarios, the asoebi just sit and have fun.

This concept of asoebi is applicable to every culture, home and abroad. After all, what is an event without food, fun and most importantly colors?? It is indeed, the life of any party! It feels really overwhelming during the planning stage but, at the end of day, everyone is merry all the way!

Truly yours,

♥♥♥this Nigerian chic♥♥♥

Photo credit: Andrew