Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Truth - By Temi Adepoju

(With humble permission from a friend, Temi Adepoju, who wrote this..don't think I could've articulated it on..)

As women we are divine beings- made to love and be loved- I mean, men want and need to be loved as well- but women - we need it on a whole new level. We can choose to accept this important part of our makeup or deny it and run away from it- creating a lot of uneccessary pain, hurt and bad choices (in love).I've always believed we have much more at stake as women- afterall, we're the species that release the hormone progesterone after sex -talk about catching feelings faster and deeper than the guy- Then we have the babies (lets not even talk about the excruciating pain of that), whose umbilical cords contains this magical hormone as well so we're designed to always be in tune with our offspring and cannot abandon them- unlike most animals in nature. We are usually the #1 caregivers and home makers, the nurturing mammals under whose care the family blossoms, we're instinctive and intuitive, basically able to plan stages ahead for the unexpected and all over the world we are the worker bees, the mules and the pack horses (especially black women) . There're more women engaged in breadwinning activites including farming, both in developing countries and the West! So whats the point of having all of the responsibilty and none of the glory, sweetness, the loving, the divine feminine aspects? None! But we do this to ourselves- we let ourselves be treated like pack mules, instead of the beautiful, fragile, but strong creatures we are. Remember, "people treat you the way you let them" (Oprah W.)Let me break it down this way- Sisters- enjoy your femininity, elevate your womanhood, revel in your abilities, enjoy the love and respect of your men- and teach your little girls not just how to be the 'little helpers' but how to engage the boys and men in their lives to support, protect and love them. Teach the boy-child how to love and protect his sisters/mothers/cousins, how to encourage and help them flower into beautiful powerful beings- If your men won't then teach these boys the practicals of cooking, opening the door for ladies, ideals of 'ladies first', holding out the dining chair and all around chilvalry- don't complain about the lack of these qualities (as if you're not contributing)- afterall we're mainly in charge of raising the family and crafting these young 'uns minds and behaviors. (No doubt, I've made a huge assumption that you've chosen your mate, carefully and in faith that you have the same ideals, and plan to walk the earth and grow together as long as possible- and he is your #1 supporter)Speak your truth, speak it often- take time out for yourself. Allow yourself to be pampered- ask for it! Show and tell- don't expect a mind read ladies- especially if your guy is african- most likely he wasn't brought up this way- but I assure you he is willing and open to pleasing his queen, the way she pleases him and blesses his life with her love, grace and beauty!

Asa's coming to Lagos! Finally!

Latest and hottest thing happening in Lagos this coming weekend: Asa the great will be in town!

Performing at the Civic Centre June 14th 2008. Tickets N15,000

2nd show @ Oceanview Restaurant in VI - June 15th 2008. Tickets N10,000

Apparently she will be showcasing her new album. Another new album while the current one is still raging? Wonderful abi? I've never seen her in concert before..the late bloomer that I am. If I go to the show, I'll be sure to post my review.


Notes on Happiness..

(Written 16th April 2008)

"It is God who gives happiness, true happiness, not man. If you try to seek or get your happiness from the world, it will always escape you. You won't get it". "Life is too short my dear, for you not to be happy from 'within'. make sure you lead a life that's happy". This was my Aunt Anita talking to me last night. I cannot begin to tell you, how badly I needed to hear that. She'd been in Nigeria for the past two weeks with my cousins (her sons) to bury her husband (my late Uncle Ayo). We were having a long chat late into the night about many things; mostly about her, life, etc. I found it amazing that even in the thick of her grief over the sudden loss of her husband and the one tru love of her life, that she was still able to say these words and make me a believer. So just as I was leaving and saying goodbye to her, as it was very late at night and I still had to drive quite a distance back home, was when she said those words above to me. It felt like she was sent specifically to say that to me. The directness and randomness of it was quite eerie. I realized in that moment, that those words were specifically intended for me to hear. And to top it all off, the timing couldn't have been more appropriate. Those words have since had me pondering. It is indeed true, that our happiness should not be made to be anybody else's burden or responsibility. It is specifically because we do that, that it is so fleeting and inconsistent. Happy today, misery-filled the next, maybe even angry the next day after that. Unhealthy. Take charge of your own joy and don't leave it to someone else to manage for you. I think of this conversation everyday...especially on a day such as this..

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Saymama’s Favorite Things: The June 2008 Edition

Here are a list of things that I’m loving right now…

1.Hooter Hiders - Whenever I’m moody ‘cause I’m broody, I’m all over this site. I think they make such cool gifts to new and nursing mothers and they come in a variety of different cool colors and patterns. Imagine these in Ankara patterns? Hmmm….

2. Azaria Vudu Bag My good friend and Lagos-based bag designer Buki De La Zaria* designed this hit of a bag. When I returned home after my one year hiatus in early December last year, this bag was all the rave in Lagos. I got me one in blue. It’s huge and perfect for that awful Heathrow ‘one carry-on bag only’ policy type travel. It’ll house your laptop for the flight, a sweater or pashmina, wipes, duty free purchases and every other thing that you’d ordinarily patrol the airport with and more! For more details on how to get this bag, or to check out other Azaria gems for the modern African gal, email me at for more details. And click here for other a bit more info on Azaria.

3. Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume – Oh my! This scent is
absolutely divine! It’s my favorite perfume ever and it coups my nearly two decade long love for Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel. It is light, sophisticated, modern and has the ability to make me feel beautiful, from the inside out. Not to mention the gorgeous bottle it comes in.

4. Sasha’s CD – this young and sassy female MC’s current album is off the chains! I first saw her on stage back in 2003 where she opened for Joe’s concert at the Oceanview in Lagos for the valentine’s weekend concert (my first ever concert in Nigeria I must add!). I remember her performance being solid, original and very well coordinated (with her dancers). I remember thinking, our very own Naija female rapper? And she pulled it off? Fantastic! This was when I first noticed the trend and re-emergence of bonafide and talented Nigerian artistes bursting on the scene. Blog notes for another day. Back to Sasha. The second encounter with her was at Tejusho market about 2 and half years ago (before it burnt down, sob!). I was standing in front of a sequins stand making a purchase when she came up to the same stand to do the same. She then said to me “are you a designer or stylist?” I said, “no. Aren’t you Sasha the rapper?”. She smiled sweetly and said yes. We went on to have a nice little conversation and I gave her my card. She was so personable. Then I was in traffic just a few days ago, feening for some new music material to listen to since I pretty much have a collection of all the popular naija music that’s out right now. Then I realized I’d heard snippets of her more recent work but was hesitant to buy the entire album. Anyway, on this day I bought it. Put it in the cd player and boy was I beyond impressed!! It rocks! The material is original, ‘grooveable’, and almost each track gave up something new and different with a good flow throughout; which is rare. I looooove it! This you must get! She deserves all the success she gets and much more. I must alert the TB onto this new CD. We share a love and appreciation for the impressive emerging naija music scene. Sasha is definitely and unquestionably one of our finest “Proudly Nigerian” export yet. And she’s here to stay. Eve needs to top her hat off to our home girl. Plus they have a couple things in common; they are both First Ladies of their record labels. Sasha P (as she is fondly called) is the First Lady of hot Nigerian label, Storm Records. Saymama gives 4.5 stars out of 5!
Favorite tracks:
-Adara (track 3)****
-Only One (track 4)***
-Not 2nite (track 5)**** (this track is perfect for an open rooftop drive in a 4-wheeler of your choice, be it an Escalade, Rover Sport, or the GL 450 wagon, which I’m loving to no end right now, with cool or hot air blowing through that long hair or $600-weave..LOL!)
-Baba mi (track 9),
-Run with it (track 13),
-E wa ba mi jo (track16)*

5. Farafina Magazine – This magazine is published by Kachifo and also affiliated with Farafina book publishers; publishers of the local versions of popular books by Nigerian authors Half of a Yellow Sun, Everything Good Will Come, Purple Hibiscus, Goodbye Lucille, etc.
It’s a shame that this publication is not made more widely available. Perhaps that’s intentional? However, I would tell you that the articles are of the intellectual ilk, insightful and extremely well written, touching on Nigerian/African issues that other media shun to discuss and talk about. I comes out once every 3 months (I think, please do not quote me on this) and features some of the most interesting topics you’d ever come across. You can find the online version of the magazines here and if you’re in Lagos you can pick up a copy at Glendora’s or Quinessence at the Falomo Shopping Centre on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sex And The (Lagos) City

Blimey, it’s June already! So much has happened this year, and I just had to propel myself out of my self-inflicted anti-blogging mode and get back into the “blog” of things. I have lots to post, but let’s start with the most pressing topic on my brain at the moment; the Sex in the City movie!! This is a review as well as the experience endured in the process of trying to see this movie yesterday – The Lagos experience.

First off, kudos to the Silverbird Cinemas people for making sure they brought the movie to Nigeria and it was being released here the same day as it was in the UK, United States and every other major city in the world that’s filled with Sex (Carrie and co.) crazed fans. And I might add, that makes Lagos a major world city, whether that’s acknowledged internationally or not is another issue entirely. But this weekend, we Lagosians were proud world citizens.

So, back to the actual experience. My dear friend BDZ, aptly planned a themed party-gathering type social event around the movie. Just like several groups of girlfriends around the world were getting together with limo Sex In The City –themed parties, BDZ planned a champagne cocktail party at the Silverbird theatre for a whole bunch of people, along with text messages instructing us to dress up fashionably conscious and like your favorite Sex* character – or whom you think yourself to be most like. Personally, I think I’m most like Miranda with inner specs of Charlotte and Carrie. But I’d say 70% Miranda. Anyway, getting all excited in anticipation for this excuse to be socially “among”, I tried to gather as many of my friends as possible to be part of this exercise, and you can imagine how tough that was, I don’t really have that many friends in Lagos. After all, the whole point of Sex* is the relationships we have primarily with our girlfriends. And the friends of mine that truly fall into that category for me are all scattered on a couple different continents you see. Nonetheless, I tried to gather a few of my good ones living here in Lagos and classically, they each fell out of the plan, due to one excuse or the other. ND dropped out, because she was pissed she’d lost her diamond pendant the night before, so she definitely was in no mood for camaraderie (and I don’t blame her), and AP had babysitter issues and couldn’t leave her kids, and BIM (my favorite cousin in law) had exams the following day, so as all smart girls should, she prioritized – “exams over Sex*”. I don’t know if I would’ve been so graceful. So as a result, I ended up going by myself as I couldn’t bare to wait another day while the rest of the world watched and had they’re fill. It had already been 2 days since it opened, and I couldn’t wait another. Tried to see it on Friday, the day it actually opened, drove my zealous self to Silverbird to try to reserve tickets for the evening showing, got there and was told that the movie was “on ground” and at the “airport” but not yet actually in the theatre yet. Hilarious bordering on the ridiculous. But for Carrie, I rose above those issues and faithfully pressed on. Then I was told by the ticket agent that he’ll “personally” try to reserve tickets for me and will call me in a couple of hours to confirm. Then I got a call from ND that she heard Nike Oshinowo was having a red-carpet event to commemorate the opening, which I took to mean that she took it upon herself to have a “Sex in the City Premiere” event in Lagos. O-K, I thought to myself in exasperation. Nike is about to cramp my style and possibly make it impossible for me to get tickets on the opening day. The mere thought of my sister and friends watching it in the States before me, made me want to bite somebody. Myself at this point. In any event, all attempts to watch Sex on Friday went up in pink hazy smoke (smoke is already hazy, right? Whatever). With my tail between my legs, I went home and looked forward to watching it on Sunday (yesterday) instead along with BDZ’s posse event.

Fast forward to Sunday. BDZ had reserved and gotten almost 60 tickets for a bunch of people for the 5pm show. But champagne and small chops were in waiting beforehand and a critical analysis party to discuss the movie afterwards. I got there at about 4.30pm (rushed there actually, as I wasn’t for any reason not going to get a good seat or miss a minute of the movie starting) and a section beside the popcorn stand had been quardroned off for “us”. I got there to meet with a thick diva stink in the air, girls checking out other girls (uniquely Naija style), designer bags looking like designer weapons and ladies looking Carrie/Samantha/Miranda/Charlotte-ified. I guess that was the whole point. And I admit, I wore a floaty wrap dress with a flower in the corner, casually over jeans, as I imagined it was the type of outfit Miranda would wear. And in the movie, I even had a similar hairstyle to hers (except my hair color wasn’t ginger ;-) ). There was a photographer arranged and waiting and after feeling starred down enough and just totally outta place with the vibes, I decided to quietly get my popcorn sans champagne and chops and go into the theatre to get myself a good seat and wait.

Drama in the theatre. It turns out that a few girls from Team Champagne had gotten the same idea and had decided to come into the theatre to sit and wait. Made sense as it was 13 minutes to 5 and the movie was meant to start at 5pm. I sat in the 2nd row from the top and it turned out that BDZ had originally reserved the top 3 rows for Team Champagne, but due to poor communication on the part of the cinema folks, nobody was manning the area to make sure that other people don’t sit there and the said tape (which I didn’t see as of the time I got into the theatre to sit down) sectioning off the area had been broken and regular people sat there. By the time I got in, the first row was fully packed and seated with people. The manager now comes in to tell the seated folk to get up as those seats had been reserved. They refused to get up, saying that they were not told of any such thing. I’d imagine that other regular folk who walked into the theatre to be seated “on time” before the movie starts, did not see the tape either and proceeded to sit in the top rows as they pleased. With random comments flying across the theatres as people expressed their disgust at the notion of being told to stand up for reserved seats for a special ‘lot’ of people and daring the cinema staff to not show the movie, 5pm finally rolled round and the previews to the movie started. By the third preview, all of the sudden the screen went blank and the movie was turned off. In true Naija fashion, you can imagine the uproar that ensued. The movie had been halted because of the seating issue for Team Champagne, and as a former team member, I sat down to watch the drama unfold. The manager finally comes in again, using a microphone to tell the theatre, now chuck full of people, that the first 3 rows had been reserved and the random people sitting there should please get up for Team Champagne and that they will be reimbursed for the “inconvenience” caused along with a free ticket for any other show of their choice. Mr. Manager’s voice was aptly drowned out by the “collective” retort, with people yelling that they did not want to be reimbursed and they were not going to get up for anybody! It was quite comical to say the least. The movie was then postponed till 6pm instead, until the matter was resolved. All in all, the people stubbornly sat in the seats, refusing to get up or be reimbursed and I guess everybody else had to find elsewhere to sit. Not that I blame them; I do think that the cinema company, Silverbird, handled and planned the whole thing quite badly; because honestly, had I been on the other “side”, and I was asked to get up when I was sold a ticket, was not specifically told not to sit in a particular area’, bought my popcorn, ready to enjoy my show, I CERTAINLY would not have gotten up either. Silverbird, should have numbered the seats, since it’s an extremely popular show, coupled with the fact that it was the opening weekend (worldwide). Then they should have sold/reserved seats 1-50 or whatever to Team Champagne and then sold the remaining numbers out to the public. That way, people have to sit according to the numbers on their tickets. That’s what is done in other countries and would have been the smartest thing to do and would have avoided the near riot that almost took place yesterday. And the movie finally started again. *Phew*.

The Movie Review. In an effort not to completely ruin the movie for my dear readers that may not have watched it yet, the movie in my opinion was awesome. Call it chick-flick partiality if you like, but I was a bit leery of how good it would be because of all the pent up hype about it over the last 2 years almost. Because of its immense popularity, there had been a lot of leaks to the press while the movie was being shot in New York City last year. A lot of pictures from the set had also been released by the paparazzi to virtually every soft-sell on the planet. But true and loyal sex in the city fans (like me) patiently waited and ignored the leaks to the story line. In spite of all these, I honestly and objectively thought the movie was VERY good. My sister, who had watched in on Friday (before me :@), and who is also a tough critic, had said to me that she thought it was fantastic also sans Jennifer Hudson’s performance in it. So I looked out for that and tried not to be biased by that comment. She wasn’t great, but she wasn’t half-bad either. Other than that, I thought the storyline was quite authentic, believable and realistic in terms of relationships and their ups and downs. I could identify with a lot of the emotions and feelings in it, as I’m sure a lot of gals could and it wasn’t as predictable as I’d feared it would be. I’d imagine that it is near impossible to make a movie after a very successful run of 6 seasons of a show. One would think, what else is there to tell “really”? And I must say, that they successfully pulled that off. However, focusing on the fashion element of the movie, which is a BIG part of the flow, I think that overall they over did it a bit. While with the series, whenever the girls went out on the town, they made clear fashion statements in accordance with being true New Yorkers, they were also realistic when it came to just hanging out at home, in sweats or old tee-shirts, etc. But with the movie, even in the laid-back home settings, they were always overly and glamorously dressed up, big earrings and all. Hard to keep up. But hey, that’s why it’s a movie I guess – total or partial escape from reality. Feeling rather melancholic afterwards, I Bibanke-d all the way on my drive home. And actually, there were many moments during the movie where I felt that a couple of tracks from Asa’s famed cd would have been so appropriate; many “Bibanke” moments especially – would have been appropriate. As an aside though, we need to get more of our extremely talents Naija artistes on more Hollywood soundtracks. Debate for another day.

On that note, I won’t go any further, ‘cause that would be telling. Saymama gives Sex in the City 5 out of 5 stars ***** (with a few conditions)! Enjoy and let’s banter about it further in my comments section.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bible Verse for a Broken Heart..

(Written October 2007)

I finally found it! In the depths of my despair earlier this year, I searched and cried for ages, looking for a verse or a reference or something that would settle (soothe?) my frayed nerves and help to heal my sorely broken heart and soul. A balm for the deep cracks. After almost 10 months of highs and lows (mostly lows), while I wasn’t looking, I found it! Psalm 62 and Psalm 63. I could totally have used this back in March of 2007, but reading it now, I feel a fresh soothing, a confirmation that I’m ok. That my soul’s on the mend and that I’m on the cusp of something beautiful.

It’s hard to explain in written word, but I’m sure you get the idea. It is important for us to hold on to some form of faith and hold on to it for dear life; especially when it’s being tested in the midst of an emotional tsunami of issues. I felt so emotionally battered and my world seemed like a pretty dark and grey place. I felt turmoil, confusion, disappointment and deep regret. But day has since broken and I’ve learnt, in place of the regret that I felt, that there was something in it that I had to learn. And one cannot truly learn without first experiencing. I find that I’m ready to face my journey head on and will learn to deal as I am challenged and hope to rise above each time. Higher and higher. Ah Jah Bless…