Why You Should Avoid A Black Guardarropa

Take a cursory glance when you walk into a office, perusing what the female employees are wearing and the color ‘Black’ , is a predominant color. Sometimes I think the official color for most Naija women is black.

My first job was at a leading financial institution. The official colors were black and dark navy blue. Gosh! How depressing it was back then. I remember thinking, there is no way I am going to be stuck up in a black or navy blue suit all day, traipsing the streets of Lagos without a personal car. The heat and humidity out there will suck the energy out of me.

My female boss who was light years ahead of her time, gave me the leeway to dress whichever way I please, so long as it was not vulgar, tight or transparent. I stuck to the bright end of the rainbow spectrum. Till date, I do not own a black handbag. While I own 2 pairs of black shoes, my shoe collection consists of orange, green, blue, pink, red, nude etc. No dull colors for me. Along the lines, female colleagues handed over cash so I could procure the same clothes for them. When the principal manager of the branch, felt my influence was rather pervasive, she approached my boss to complain and was told to ‘back off’.

One of the few things you can do, to aid your career growth in the workplace is to ditch a black wardrobe especially if you work in an office, filled with expatriates. The colors black, brown, navy blue completely washes you out. Keep in mind that your skin color is not a major consideration, by western manufacturers, when making these clothes. I am always at a loss anytime I am on vacation overseas, and see people of African descent, adorning black. Girl! YOU ARE INVISIBLE….No one and I mean no one sees you especially people of other skin colors.

This is the practical truth. The next time you are in a video conferencing call, seated in a room of expats which can range from Caucasian to Asians, take a cursory glance on the screen and see if you are visible or not. If you are wearing the colors mentioned above, chances are high that you are washed out on the screen. Let me give you a visual aid. Your hair color is black, your skin color is brown or a darker tone, you love the colors black, brown and navy blue. You need to put an end to this debilitating habit, as it makes you invisible along the corridors of power.

When a Caucasian or Asian wear black, you can interpret the fleeting emotions on their face. You on the other hand, have simply boxed yourself into a corner, as no one can interpret the emotions on your face, as you are completely washed out. The same thing occurs for Caucasians, when they adorn white and bold colors. These colors wash out their pale white skin.

Instead, adorn yourself in bold, bright colors. In the workplace, you must make it a habit of registering your presence in the minds of your expat colleagues, when you walk into any room. Bold, bright colors accentuate your skin tone and in a room filled with expats, no one will ignore you. Your opinions will be sought for. Just make sure you own your end of the intelligence angle. Trust me, you will always be remembered as the lady who leaves an impression with her color choices.

Remember, no se permiten flores de pared aquí….which means, “No Wallflowers Allowed Here”. For the month of March, I am offering great savings in your cart when you purchase here.

Glossary:

Guardarropa – wardrobe

Keeping & Maintaining your Real hair during harmattan

Yeah I know…I’ve never been one to write about hair or beauty matters but in the mood of the festive season, I decided to share my thoughts on hair maintenance cum product review. So this is what my hair length looks like now. I’ve not been the type to indulge in braiding, twists or weaves because I have a scalp that is quite sensitive to any nature of hair that’s not mine. So I end up with an hairstyle which only lasts for 2weeks before removing it.

Over the course of 10years, I’ve cut my hair thrice in the style below:

A lot of people have told me that it must be my genes that’s given me such fabulous hair. However I differ on that note cos I’m of the opinion that it’s due to the constant and consistent maintenance procedures I have adopted over the years that has been responsible for my hair growth consisting of the following but not limited:

  • Constant scalp massages
  • Steaming twice a month which has become a weekly routine now
  • Avoiding hair styles that pulls at my hairlines
  • Moisture, moisture and more moisture
  • Opting for sulphate free shampoo, moisturizing & a protein deep conditioner
  • Avoiding flat irons, blow dryers
  • Opting for protein treatment
  • Opting for wide tooth combs against tail combs
  • Learning to speak up at Naija salons on any perceived mis treatment of my hair (I don’t really care if the salon is Bobby’s or not as I’ve come to know that a lot of the stylists who work within these so called salons don’t know a fig about hair maintenance)
  • Dusting or trimming my hair myself instead of leaving it at the mercy of these ignorant stylists
  • Relaxing new growth 3 times in a year

One major change to my hair routine has also been the use of ‘Jamaican Black Castor Oil‘.

I have used it consistently. Does it work? Sure it does. My hair has become denser and thicker since I commenced use. I have since ditched all my hair pomades. However please note that castor oil is thick and should be used sparingly on your scalp and to coat your hair ends which are exposed on a daily basis. If you’ve got receding hairlines, then it’s time to start using castor oil. It’s imperative that you use castor oil as an hot oil treatment during the harmattan season to avoid breakage and weak ends.

Compliments of the season peeps!

Banky W’s Note to us!!! Join the fight to a better Nigeria.

“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” – Shakespeare

First, please read the quote pasted above. Let the gravity of those words sink into your system. Then, if you haven’t already, and if you’re strong enough to stomach witnessing sheer and absolute horror, please click on the following link: http://www.anglicandioceseofjos.org/dogo.html 

There is no other quote that better describes the recent inhumane attacks in Jos, Nigeria. If “a picture is worth a thousand words”, then what do we say of pictures like these? It’s unimaginable. Each picture represents a horrific, gruesome murder. Innocent women, children (and men) were brutally ambushed, attacked, maimed and murdered worse than animals. It’s unthinkable that in 2010, after the world has gone through so much progress and development, some of us in Nigeria are still living like this. It’s heartbreaking to witness these events. It’s heart-wrenching to think of what happened on the morning of March 7th. It’s unfair and deplorable. It’s mind-numbingly sad, pathetic, and downright insane. 

But this is the Nigeria we live in. A country full of extremes. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty. Extreme Joy and extreme pain. It’s hard to imagine that this is the same Nigeria that just hosted the U-17 World cup; that just celebrated it’s 50th Year of Independence and boasts of some of the most expensive luxurious lifestyles in the world.

Nigeria is the most populous Black Nation in the world; it is also very much a melting pot. It is home to 250 to 400 different ethnic groups, and is almost evenly split amongst Muslims and Christians (not to mention various other traditional Religious Belief systems). However, while in some metropolitan areas of the world, vast diversity is generally a positive attribute, in Nigeria that diversity is ripping us apart. We are different, but that should be a strength.. not a disease. Instead of learning from each other we resort to fighting. Instead of maximizing our varying degrees of potential, we resort to killing each other.

How men can devise this kind of terrible plot is beyond me. News reports have put the death toll anywhere between 200 and 500 people. Probably More. Innocent lives snuffed out for absolutely ignorant, ridiculous reasons. Mothers and children. Families destroyed forever. All because of some ethnic disputes, disagreements over land, or even religious differences. What’s sad about occurrences like this is the fact that usually, there’s some underlying resentment towards policy, authority, Government or the powers that be. But instead of finding some other way to address these issues, people resort to killing other innocent (and probably-frustrated-as-well) human beings. Maybe you’re justifiably upset at the way things have been… is that reason enough to take the life of someone else who is innocent, and like you, probably just trying to get by in these harsh times? 

The worst thing about the Jos attacks is the fact that this is not the first time that we’ve witnessed such horror, and conventional wisdom says it won’t be the last. There’s a song on my last album called “Why”, where I tried in my very limited capacity to speak from the heart on situations affecting our Nigeria. I specifically mentioned “fighting in Jos, killing one another no remorse”. This song was created by Cobhams Asuquo and I over a year ago; I was inspired to write, when similar killings occurred and a friend of mine lost 2 immediate family members. Little did we know that the song would prove to not only be an account of times past, but a prophecy of things to come as we are now witnessing the same evil history repeat itself. 

My heart aches for those that lost their lives in Jos and for the families that mourn them. My heart aches for the present state of Nigeria. My heart aches for the future of Nigeria, but it shouldn’t have to. I once read that the definition of Insanity is repeating the same actions over and over, while expecting a different result. We are all frustrated with the political and economical climate in Nigeria. We all complain and we are quick to point out everything that has been so wrong for so many years, and rightfully so, because it’s just pathetic. But if we decide as a generation to do nothing about it; if we decide to turn a blind eye and ignore the need for change, then our future generations will inherit the EXACT same issues. And that will mean that we have failed them. 

We all witnessed the inauguration of President Barack Obama in the not too distant past. The whole world watched in awe, as America, once the chief criminal in slave trade, voted in its first Black President. We all know the U.S.A. still has issues its dealing with, but President Obama’s swearing-in is a day that will forever go down in history as a day that changed America. Prior to Obama becoming Commander-in-Chief, most people thought that there would never be a Black Man voted in as President of the USA. Prior to Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and co, most people thought black people would never be able to vote in America and that Segregation would never be demolished. I put it to you that we CAN change Nigeria’s future, using similar formulas. Obama became President largely because the younger generations (and those young at heart) decided to exercise their God-given rights by voting for change. We can do the same here in Naija. 

Change does not happen overnight… Some will recall that in the USA in 1994 there was a revolution of sorts, but partly due to somewhat dubious circumstances (Florida, etc), the Bush Regime lasted an additional four years. We are used to Politicians in Nigeria treating Power as a birthright and votes not counting, despite our calling it a democracy. But in the same breath, how many of us actually turn out to vote? 2011 might be the year that changes our country forever. We may or may not succeed in toppling the “birthright-mindset” of our leaders immediately, but we MUST, in the very least, get the ball rolling. We the (young) people must decide that we are fed up of the nonsense we’ve seen for years and vow to change things. 

We still have no constant power supply. We must vow to do everything within our power to get our government to #lightupnigeria. We have leaders that are complacent and corrupt. We must vow to register-to-vote and to actually vote. We can, possibly, abruptly change and take charge of the future of Nigeria in the 2011 elections. Or in the very least we can IMPACT it so that it never stays the same. We are fortunate enough to not have to deal with any Natural Disasters, like the recent earthquakes in Haiti, or the Tsunamis in Asia. It’s time for us to stop BEING the disasters, and to start being part of the solutions. I will be one of many young people completely devoted to bringing about change in this country because I believe we deserve it and it’s long overdue. I hope you will too. 

Lastly, my heart still bleeds for Jos. I will never claim to be an expert on the problems that the region is dealing with, or the solutions. I do know however that we must all decide to collectively be a part of the change we all desperately hope for and deserve. May those who died Rest In Peace. May their deaths not be in Vain. May Peace reign in all parts of Nigeria and Africa. And lastly… May Change Come. Enough is enough.

~ B.W.

Now that Jonathan has taken over…

What next for our future as Nigerians? Why are we bedeviled with bad leadership on the African continent? Did you happen to watch Aonodakaa’s interview with Christianne Amanpour on CNN? It was embarrassing to say the least. When asked if it was normal for a president to be absent from his country for more than 60days, he had stated that there was nothing abnormal about the situation.

Now that the Vice President has been sworn in as Acting President, I hope things will better. Notice that I do not use the word ‘pray’. I’m not against praying, I think we have prayed too long and God would pretty much appreciate if we dust off our asses and get to work by becoming an advocate of ‘No More Mess’ in this country.

Say No

I listened to an interactive programme on 101.5FM (Star FM), on my way to the office this morning. It was anchored by Moyo Oyatogun and the topic for discussion was concerning ritual rites performed, when a king passes onto the great beyond. A particular Erelu spoke on this issue extensively for about 10 minutes highlighting the age long tradition (which I believe must be repudiated), involving incision on the body of the late king, hanging the body (like a common criminal)to hydrate, while the heart and some other parts are taken out for preservation for the next king, who is expected to consume these parts upon ascending the throne.

It was ‘Tales of Horror by Daylight’ at its’ best if you ask me. We would be deceiving ourselves if we deny that this hideous practise is not prevalent within most parts of Africa. She also gave some startling revelations about what was done to the late body of Funsho Adeolu (if you ever watched ‘The Village Headmaster’), you’ll know who I’m talking about. She said, his body was hung to dry, while several incisions were made on his body, and some vital organs were removed for rituals and preservation for the next king. This was done before she assumed the title (just in case you’re wondering, what she was doing there). According to her, upon assuming the title of Erelu, the late king appeared to her in a vision, and told her of what was done to his body, and how he was finding it pretty difficult to rest in perfect peace. He led her to the people who committed such atrocities and she demanded for a release of his body parts, so a proper burial could be conducted for the late king.

It was as a result of this, she decided to start a campaign against ritualism and cannibalism. If you are wondering why such a traditionalist should be speardheading this campaign, she spent most of her years outside this country, acquiring education, skills and knowledge before coming back to assume this title. From my own point of view, I find it reprehensible that we are still engaging in such dark practices while the rest of the world (who are saner), are thinking of improving the welfare of their people. This is why Africa will never develop where such people abound. I shudder to think of the innocent souls that have been wasted. I support this campign wholeheartedly, and so did a lot of people who called into the programme to contribute to this topical issue.

My people, we can only get better. Please if you’ve got a blog, discuss this issue and raise more awareness. If you’d like to be involved in the campaign, you can get in touch with the Erelu via: saynotocannibalism2009@yahoo.co.uk (I hope I got it right)  and if I did not, do let me know so I can get in touch with the radio station, to obtain the correct email address.

Online Purchase? How do I handle it?

One major complaint I hear often is frustration involved in paying for goods and services online using the various mastercar’d available in the country. Oftentimes, these cards are not accepted when paying for goods and services. I remember what I had to go through when paying for web development services. I had to transfer the funds on a bi-weekly basis incurring other charges.

However, those days are long gone at least for me cos I stumbled across a most innovative product at Zenithbank known as the Mastercard Websurfer. The Websurfer card by Zenith Bank is a debit card that gives you the same functionalites as your normal marstercard. The big difference however, is that you’re hardly charged for any services or goods paid for online. It is not a personalised card and you can only use it online and no where else…so don’t even think of using it on one of your trips abroad except you’ll be making online purchases.

If you’re interested in having this card, visit www.zenithbank.com and apply online for the websurfer card. You will need your driving license or an international passport for registration and identification purpose and you will also be required to select the nearest branch where you would like to pick up this card. The process usually takes about 15minutes and voila! you’re off to the bank. You’ll be required to activate this card with $120 ($20 is for annual charge while you’ll be charged $5 everytime you reload this card).

This has saved more money than the normal mastercard where I was incurring some stupid charges that were unexpainble. So, i’ve been paying for online goods and services ranging from VictoriaSecrets, web design and development, business cards and stationeries and several other things that were shipped directly to Nigeria. So, if you need a revolution in the way and manner you conduct online e-commerce transactions, the WebSurfer card is the way to go.

Are you game?

A social online community based overseas, will be launching their services within Nigeria and Ghana in about a months time. Basically, they’re searching for individuals who will be expanding their services throughout West Africa. If you’re game and would like to be part of the team, please read further:

“Wanna join our global mob squad and earn great rewards doing what you know best how to do? If you’re hip, trendy, young, savvy, knowledgeable, gregarious, open minded, fun loving, love meeting people and a great resource for spreading the latest gist or news, then what are you waiting for?”

Send a one page summary of how you use these attributes listed above on a daily basis to gain a good followership and you may stand the chance of becoming part of the global mob squad.

Our Commandments:

  • you must be a current student of any teritary institution within Ghana or Nigeria.
  • between the ages of 18 – 25 years
  • your one page summary should also include a brief insight into your social and academic background

Send your applications to: todaysnaira@hotmail.com

Please note screening starts immediately and all successful applicants will be contacted as soon as we launch.