An African In Winter

Ethnicentric

Ankara Skirts

Prints relieve my nostalgia for the sights and sounds of Lagos where I grew up so I’m constantly looking for ways to make prints relevant for the UK weather

Here are a few ways to wear African Wax  prints in Fall/Winter

img_5691 Ankara skirt

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Oh! My Word am I a failure by Olamide Balogun

I like to start off with definitions. Before I go into definitions I feel I must explain why I have not upgraded as I announced a few blog posts ago.I have two daughters in digital marketing who assured me it was not necessary and I would not get any points for upgrading… so I have not upgraded the blog site.
I am trying to do only what is necessary. We all, however, know that life is not that black and white. Some things may not be necessary but we do them anyway because we can and because it brings somebody joy (not necessarily us).
Back to the definition. Failure is the absence of success. So what is success? The dictionary says it is the victory or triumph of a thing. The good outcome of a thing. This reminds me of a fact about New York crime fighters.
Apparently, when the anti- drug enforcement team are celebrating a huge drug bust, the anti-vice squad have increased work, keeping all the druggies who need a fix and are going crazy committing all kinds of crimes because the cost of drugs has gone up as a result of the drug bust.
This means that success may not be a universal word because what is recognised as success here may be the opposite in other quarters. So, for example, social media is good on some fronts but terrible on some others. Sometimes what was initially celebrated as a success may end up being referred to as a failure in the long run.
I remember when social media brought down a government , many hailed social media. however, the country where this happened has become war torn and the jury is still out as to the success of the role of social media in the preceding anti-government attack via social media.
There is the example of marriages that go south soon after wedding ceremonies. Before the ceremonies, the families think they have been successful but when they go south they think they are failures. However in the cases of domestic violence even upon separation some families think they have been successful because at least their family member came out of the situation alive and not dead or maimed.
I don’t know if you can tell that this was not the way I expected this blog post to go. I was feeling a little down in the dumps because I don’t yet have a break through on one or two of my projects and was going to have a public pity party. Also, it is almost the end of the year and we tend to make all kinds of assessments at this time
.
I am now seeing however that success has many shades and sides to it. So I am not a failure depending on which side of the coin you are looking at. I can comfort myself by saying that I at least started a project. Many are locked in a comfort zone with golden handcuffs and they cannot see they are prisoners. (Again if this describes the always smiling lady at the check out in your favourite store , then I hope she stays there because her smile is what people need sometimes).
I may comfort myself by saying the snail speed of the project does not mean failure as a turnaround may just be round the next bend in the road. I may comfort myself by saying that tomorrow morning is another day for me to change things and turn them around.
There was a king called David many years ago who experienced what he and the people at the time called failure. So,  he committed adultery with the wife of one of his soldiers who was fighting at the war front. When the lady got pregnant , King David tried to cover up by giving the soldier an exeat from the war front to visit his wife.
Even though the soldier came home he refused (from a sense of duty and team playing with his fellow soldiers still at the war front) , to lie with his wife thereby defeating the whole purpose of his been brought back home. This meant that the lady could not pass off her pregnancy as her husband’s. To further cover up King David sent the soldier back to the most heated part of the battle and engineered his death.
He married this lady and she had a baby. The baby eventually died and King David become depressed. He wrote a popular verse asking himself why he was so downcast( so unhappy).
A few pointers here. When you are feeling like a failure you need to acknowledge that feeling and ask yourself why you are feeling thas way. When you think deeply ( again, thinking a dying but important art) you will get answers that will help you move forward. Do not get stuck. Try to retrace your steps to see where you went wrong. The mind is powerful and can play games on you. ( This is true, go and read about the right brain and the left brain).
This project or whatever, may not even be for you. You may need to take another path that you can use your same skills and passion for, but just not this particular thing.Be careful not to be too all over the place. You may be trying to do too much. when I was younger , you got points for “multi-tasking” now we know that even though you may do two things at the same time , you are not likely to do them both at the same level of quality. You may also be killing yourself with stress and cortisol.
Is it possible that you are not looking at the coin from the right angle? So to go back to King David, even though his affair was not a good thing in the end because of introspection , he repented and himself and this lady had a child that is now known as the wisest and richest man who ever lived.
Is it possible that you are not patient enough to see the success that is not visible right now but is actually there? Who do you surround yourself with? This project may not mean much to them but mean the world to someone else. You may be trying to serve the wrong people.
I watched an Oprah show once and she said everybody always wants to now how they had done on the show whenever the show ended, even the most influential people. We are most times so concerned with public opinion. Maybe the public does not know much about much or maybe you are not asking the right public.
This sounds to me like I have said this before in an earlier blog post. Please forgive me if you have heard this before. It is not for you but that person reading this  for the first time.
Apparently, the man who invented the contraceptive pill died a pauper, almost unknown and unloved. Over the years there have been mixed feelings about his invention, which has now been proved to help keep cancer at bay in the women who use it.
When King David had asked himself the hard truth of why he was so unhappy, he made a wise decision to always put his hope in Almighty and always praise Him. Why should he bother with this, after all Almighty was there before his predicament of seeming failure.
He had however read Almighty’s words that say if He (Almighty) is on your side , you may trip seven times but you will always get back on your feet. Almighty’s words are truths that you can take to the bank because they are everlasting.
This is not the time to throw in the towel. Go back to the drawing board. The world is waiting for your input. You are extremely important and precious. Don’t waste your time pity partying. It is an expensive venture and not fulfilling in the long run.
To answer the question, no you are not a failure but a success about to happen.

Olamide Balogun is a God chaser, a Wife, Mother, HR Consultant, Women issue champion, Inspirational speaker, Health nut, Enabler, Finisher, Mentor and Friend.
She writes her own Blog catapultbylb.wordpress.com


Michelle Obama’s Rules for success

Video Credit: Evan Carmichael

Bullet Points
1. Never be embarrassed by your struggle
2. Be Authentic
3. Work Very Hard
4. Don’t be afraid to fail
5. Choose your own path
6. Earn Success
7.Take your role seriously
8.Enjoy the balance
9.Do what is very hard
10.Have Fun
11. Ignore the noise
12.Love What you do
13.Remember you are not the limited edition of what people want you to be.
14. Don’t take short cuts


An African Delicacy l love

Bitter Leaf Known as Ofe Onugbu in Eastern Nigeria or Ewuro in Western Nigeria.

Particularly in the Igbo-speaking areas, bitter leaf soup occupies a prominent position in the culinary treats of the people. In the past, this soup was such an important meal that any housewife lacking the knowledge of its preparation was not considered worthy of her status. Even with the knowledge of other soups from other places now increasing, bitter leaf soup still retains its appeal among the people.

Bitter leaf as it name implies derives its name from the popular leaf called Onugbu, which is medicinal and good for everybody. It is a good source of vitamins, fibre and antioxidant vitamins. Intake of this nutritious soup helps in fighting against many diseases.

Studies have shown that intake of bitter leaf helps maintain a healthy weight and also lower chances of developing breast cancer. Taking this nutritious soup also helps in prevention of anaemia, constipation, diabetes mellitus and other ailments. Take this nutritious soup and enjoy all it therapeutic properties.

Ingredientss Quantities

Bitter leaf 1 large bunch

Cocoyam (thickener) 5 small size

Fresh meat 6 medium pieces

Dried fish 1 medium size

Snails 2 medium size

Stockfish 1 medium size

Palm oil 2 cooking spoons

Crayfish (ground) 3 tablespoons

Ground pepper 1 teaspoon

Castor oil (ogili) 2 wraps

Iodized salt To taste

Seasoning cube 2

Water 2 litres

Method of preparation

Wash bitter leaf for about 15 to 20 minutes with ordinary water.

Boil the washed bitter leaf with potash for 10 minutes and wash again for about 5 minutes.

Peel and boil cocoyam for 20 minutes until it becomes soft

Pound in a mortar to form paste.

Remove the snail from their shell and wash properly with water and alum.

Wash beef properly for at least 10 to 15 minutes until they become tender.

Depending on the number of people to be served, add red oil, pounded cocoyam, crayfish, ogili and pepper.

Stir and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste but remember that excess salt intake can raise the blood pressure.


An African In Winter

Ankara Skirts

Prints relieve my nostalgia for the sights and sounds of Lagos where I grew up so I’m constantly looking for ways to make prints relevant for the UK weather

Here are a few ways to wear African Wax  prints in Fall/Winter

img_5691

Ankara skirt


Oprah Winfrey’s Top 10 Rules for Success


Video Credit: Evan Carmichael

Bullet Points
1. Ask yourself what is the next right move
2. Seize your opportunity
3. Everyone makes mistakes
4. Work on Yourself
5. Run your race as hard as you can
6. Believe in yourself
7. We are all seeking the same thing
8. Find your own purpose
9.Stay grounded
10.Relax, its going to be alright


Denzel Washingtons top 10 rules for success

Ethnicentric

Video Credit: Evan Carmichael

Rules
1. Dreams need goals
2.Aspire to make a difference
3.Ignore others opinions
4.Stick to your guns
5.Bring your dreams to life
6.Share your gift
7. Work Hard
8.Fall Forward
9.Take whats useful
10. Tell great Stories

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