Tag Archives: nigerian

And The Award Goes To… Not Your Child

Last week, I played the role of supportive big sister and went to my brother’s secondary school for this end of year show and it was so intriguing to witness exactly how parents behave. Every single school thing I’ve ever attended, I’ve been on the other side. I’ve been the one waiting to be called up with everyone else’s eyes on me.

To sum up what I observed, there’s nothing like a public acknowledgement or lack thereof of the achievements of the fruit of your loins to bring out the absolute worst in you. Body language is the biggest snitch. Sure, some parents will never outwardly express their absolute disappointment in their child during such events but you can sense it. You can feel the subliminal God, did I give birth to this foolish child thoughts just swirling above your head as they sit and watch every other child but their own get an award. I found it so funny as the parents waited with bated breath to hear their child’s name being announced only to exhale with silent bitterness at the child that did win. It was a like a war of worlds between the miniature fist bumps and the heavy but stealth eye rolls of contempt.

Being surrounded by it all got me thinking how Nigerian kids have to deal with all that plus a hell of a lot more by the time they get home. It all starts in the car. Your parents will give you the silent treatment but the second everyone is in the car and seat buckled in and the key is in the ignition, someone will start: “Why can’t you just make me proud? Why can’t you just focus on your work and win an award or did all the other children that win have two heads? No, we cannot go to McDonald’s, there’s rice at home.” If you’re lucky and you go to a fee-paying school, there is no way you won’t hear “after all the school fees I’m paying, simple award you cannot get.”

If you haven’t lived through it, you wouldn’t know. I can’t tell you much it sucks to try and do the best that you can, academically or otherwise, to then have your parents tell you “but why couldn’t you get higher than this?” or “what did everyone else get?” I’m guessing it’s a Nigerian thing. Competition is embedded in our DNA and a lot of parents are of the mind-set that their child must have a title attributed to their name in terms of a profession to be able to say, “yes, my child is not a bastard.” I honestly believe as a Nigerian child, you will hear the words doctor, lawyer and engineer thrown at you at least 700 times before you reach the age of 16. I know they mean well because job security and financial wellbeing are attributed with such jobs but they are not the only jobs in this world, for goodness sake. And how many times have you said “I want to be a singer/writer/artist” to only have those dreams shut down faster than you could even imagine?

I’m actually extremely lucky. My parents have never been soul crushing, dream stomping monsters but they’ve never been the ones to ignite a flame that couldn’t be sustained, you get me? They’ve allowed me to find my own feet and find what suits me as they fully understood that whatever I chose to do was what I would be saddled with for the rest of my life, not theirs. For instance, when I was really young, I was convinced that I was Beyoncé’s protégé. I was destined to be her next in line. I used to watch the Crazy In Love video on repeat, I nailed the walk and the sudden drop to her knees and everything. I could lip-sync like there was no tomorrow, I actually could sing…ish and I had confidence in the bucketloads. One day, I just said “Mummy, I’m going to be a singer when I grow up.” My mum looked at me, utterly bewildered yet astonished, I can never forget how she looked that day, and she said, “Maybe you should have a backup plan, just to be on the safe side.”

When I think about it, I always wonder what my own response would have been if my own child said something like that to me. I want to say I’ll be the best mum ever and say “sure, baby, you can be whatever you want to be” even if my child sounds like a cat being dunked into a bathtub. I mean, I want to be as encouraging as I can possibly be and I want my children to know they can get to the top of any ladder this world offers them to climb. I want my kids to know that they can be whoever they want to be and they’ll know that I will be the one forever in their corner, no matter how epically they fuck up because they will and that’s okay. I want to be that mum who screams her head off with joy even when my child comes last in school races or brings home C minuses on their report card because that’s what every child wants. Everyone needs that little push just to know they’re on the right track. But as always, I worry. I worry I say all this and create this foolproof ideology of how to parent in my head until I am faced with hardcore motherhood to only have my Yoruba genes shroud my sense of open-mindedness and for my inner we-have-rice-at-home mum mode to kick in.

I guess I’ll know when the time gets here and there’s no use fretting over something that hasn’t even happened yet. All I do know is, awards don’t mean anything… most of the time. I mean, look at Kanye West: wasn’t he voted least likely to succeed? In primary school, I didn’t win a single award until I was leaving the damn place. Every year I was boycotted, if that’s even possible, until finally, finally, I won the science cup in year 6 and well, look at me now, bitches. Secondary school? I used to get awards and certificates like they were plates of jollof rice on a Sunday afternoon.

But that’s besides the point. Don’t live by someone else’s idea of you. You are you and as long as you’re being the best you there could ever be, everyone else can nose dive off a very tall building. That is all.

Song of the Week

Remember, my news? Should tell you by next week 🙂

Georgina ❤

What’s In A Name?

I’m still reading Americanah and I just finished this bit in the book in which the white Americans kept asking the protagonist, Ifemelu, whether they were pronouncing her name properly and how it was such a beautiful name and all that. The book then went on to talk about integrity in keeping one’s God-given accent and Nigerian name and that’s where I paused and had a rather existential moment.

We all know my name is Georgina, it is the name my parents chose for me, it means “farmer”, it’s the female variation of George which is actually Greek. But, it’s weird because, I’m Nigerian. Growing up, I used to ask my mum why I had such a name, not that I don’t like it but all my fellow Nigerian peers have Nigerian names as their first names. She would tell me that was the name they liked and it suited me but of course, as I got older, I asked again and my mother told me it was to make my life in the diaspora easier.

Secondary school in Nigeria, however, wasn’t necessarily easy with such a name. I know for a fact that I made people uncomfortable just with my name: it was too hard to pronounce, too foreign, too pretentious. I cannot count the number of times I’ve told people my name for them to ask me where I’m from ethnically and then see the abject confusion spread across their face almost immediately. Some people even think I’m lying, they tell me “No, for real, tell me your real name” or “but you said you’re Nigerian, what’s your name?” as if I’m one of those fake people who come to the UK and completely reform themselves, with an equally as unrecognisable accent in tow. Don’t even get me started on the way people butcher my name, the mispronunciations would be hilarious if they weren’t being directed to me. I have to choose which name to use, depending on what, who and where. It’s not confusing, I’ve grown to be adaptable and to answer to either of my many names. There was just something about that book that struck a chord – does me having an English first name make me a cheater? Does it reduce my sincerity, my Nigerianess, my integrity simply because I do not bare the pleasure and sometimes burden of having a Nigerian first name?

Nowadays, I feel like I have a point to prove by assuring people that I do have a Nigerian name, just to fit in. It’s absurd, I know. I’m not the first Nigerian with an English name as a first name but come on, the ones that you know have nice and easy names like David and Joshua or Sarah, they have Bible names, not peculiar names that you don’t hear everyday.

I grew up feeling an English first name was the way to go, it set you apart and it was what I would do for my own children: they would reap the benefits of having an easy to pronounce, simplistic name, to ensure their survival in the Western world. My brother and I are the only ones out of all the cousins from my mum and dad’s families to have English first names, isn’t that saying something?

With all this being said, it still doesn’t ensure a smooth ride. I was in Starbucks with my friend after our exam yesterday, ordering Frappucinos and standard, the barista asked “You want cream?” “Yes.” “Your name?” “Georgina.” She paused and glanced at me, as if I was actually fucking with her. I proceeded to spell it, “G-E-O” and she put her hand up, motioning for me to stop and she says “G is enough.” Like, bish what?

I can’t help but feel a slight pang of betrayal towards the motherland when I really think about what my name is. I feel like I’m letting my peers down, like I’m taking the easy way out by having an easier to understand name whilst they have vowel-rich, syllable-overloaded, beautiful, lyrical names with the most wonderful meanings whilst I’m just the farmer. It doesn’t make me want to start using my second name on a first-name basis because, well, better the devil you know. It just makes me think. And no, I don’t know what names my future children will bear, I haven’t decided which burden I will bestow upon them yet.

Song of the Week

#ThrowallthewaybackTuesdayTune

Don’t miss me too much,

Georgina ❤

My Many Questions on Womanhood

This is pretty long, just thought I’d warn you. It’s almost like an essay. Just my inner humanities student popping out, as you’ll be able to tell soon enough. Get comfy, get a cup of tea and try to understand what I’m trying to talking about. 

Being on the internet at around 1 AM has never been a good idea, especially if you’re half asleep but too lazy to transfer yourself to bed but nonetheless, everything happens for a reason. I was half-heartedly scrolling through my tumblr dashboard when I came across this gif photoset. It was then that I realised the Universe was trying to get me to talk about something in particular instead of what I had originally planned to write about this week. I want to talk (or more appropriately, ask) about why life is so seemingly hard for a woman, anywhere and it seems, at any given time.

Friday: I was on the train home, reading the Evening Standard (it’s a newspaper) and there were these horrific pictures of these women who had been facially deformed by acid attacks, tucked away in the middle section of the paper next to an advert for something meaningless. There was a less than 200-word article attached to the pictures, explaining how a former-NHS doctor had gathered £50,000 to travel to Pakistan and perform facial reconstruction on these women out of the goodness of his heart. The article went on to explain how sulphuric acid is as cheap as 15p in Pakistan and why the women were attacked: out of jealousy; out of spite for rejecting a marriage proposal. I was mortified to say the least.

Saturday: I found out that one of the girls I went to primary school with got married. There’s something about marrying young that unnerves me nowadays. At one point, it was all I could think about: I would daydream and wish I could get married that very second because marriage seemed to be the solution to everything. But now, I think, I’m only now just truly beginning to understand who I am and creating, or better yet, discovering my identity. If I were to get married, how would I know who I really am? How could anybody really know who they are if they get married at such a young age? Do you understand my logic or am I just being difficult?

Anyway, I was showing my mum the pictures of the wedding and from there, we started talking about marriage itself. You always hear a lot of wives saying “marriage isn’t easy, it takes a lot of work, it’s all about compromise, you have to keep your husband happy and interested” and I’m sure most of you have seen how your mothers are with your fathers. Well, I started to ask my mum what it was really all about. I asked her if I would have to change or conform my personality, my being, in order to live a happily married life and she told me “No way. You have to hold on to your identity, you cannot become someone else, how could you expect to last long if you had to play a different person every single day?”

And naturally, I started thinking. It wasn’t until I saw that photoset that my thoughts really began to accumulate. Maybe this is just an African thing, no, a Nigerian thing, but wives are expected to:

  • Know how to cook.
  • Know how to clean.
  • Pop them babies on demand but finding out you’re pregnant when it wasn’t planned is entirely your fault.
  • A career? What the hell is a career?
  • Cater to her husband in every way possible. Keep him happy. Keep him satisfied. Keep him interested. If he wanders, it has to be your fault.
  • Keep yourself together, you are someone’s permanent arm candy now.

It’s just how we’re raised, it’s what we see and what we hear, it’s what is expected.

But, I must ask, why is this expected of me? Why should I have to be the chef, the maid, the baby boomer, the housewife, the walking beauty salon just to keep a marriage functioning? Why should I have to alter my body’s hormonal chemistry to ensure the sex feels “good” as opposed to a man simply putting on a damn piece of rubber? Why should I have to be physically destroyed all because I won’t marry you? Why does my life have to be so hard just to keep a man happy? Who comes up with these things? It’s all down to something we know as gender roles.

It baffles me how unjust the little things of this world are, even on a social, day-to-day level. A boy can bang all the girls from here to China because “boys will be boys” but a girl can lose her virginity and be diminished in an instant. A girl could choose to not have sex until she’s married or until she’s 100% sure she knows what she’s doing but she can be called a prude and uptight for something that has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else but herself. Girls are expected to be homely and want to stay at home so it’s almost a natural response to see a woman who has never been married, never had any kids but has an amazing career and a beautiful legacy and call her selfish or to say she doesn’t have her priorities straight but if a man does it, it’s totally fine. Do you see what I mean though? Even on a musical level, Beyoncé addresses her sexuality on her self-titled album and all hell broke loose but these useless men can scream about bad bitches and f*cking women on a daily and be praised for it and have the balls to call that trash music? Why does having a penis ensure such an easy ride in life when a vagina is what brought you here in the first place?

You might argue and say it is fundamentally so, women just have to be that way, women have to serve, they have to be submissive, that is what they’re there for. You could say our bodies are biologically designed to be nurturing and delicate so we must depend on another man to exist. It’s fine if you want to live your life that way but all I’m asking is, why is this so in the first place and why is it such a bad thing if a woman doesn’t want to be all these things?

I guess this is why I’d make a good scientist, I like to ask questions, as you can see. And maybe in 10 years’ time, when I’m blissfully married and my husband irons our clothes whilst I cook our dinner; runs errands whilst I look through this blog, I can answer all these questions because somehow and some miraculous way, all will be right with the world and women will finally be given the absolute respect and reverence and undiminished equality that we so absolutely deserve.

Even I don’t know why I feel so strongly when it comes to things like marriage because, hey, I’m still young and I do want to get married, it is an ambition of mine, it’s not what I live for but it is something I want. As long as it’s a partnership not a domination. I’m pretty sure I’ve scared off a reasonable chunk of potential suitors because what boy doesn’t get scared shitless when marriage is mentioned let alone by someone who is as strongly-voiced as I seem to be?

Regardless, I will get married in the fairly distant future to someone who will see the world through the same kaleidoscope glasses as I. I’m only being enthusiastically observant and sharing my question-fuelled, highly confused perspective.

A note to my future husband: you’ll never be bored, let me just leave it as that.

If I could come back to this world, knowing and not knowing what I do now, and have a choice of being a man or a woman, I would be a woman every single time. Without women, the world wouldn’t turn, simple as that.

Did anyone notice that I managed to talk about all of this without mentioning the single word that makes everyone run for the hills? I’m talking about the ultimate f bomb – feminism.

Song of the Week

Quote of the Week

Yup.

Until we meet again…

Georgina ❤

A Case of the Blues

I know I said I wouldn’t let Valentine’s Day get to me and I know I said I was a very single Pringle who was oh so ready to mingle (that still stands, gentlemen) and even though I am a kickass individual with a titanium outer shell, I’m still a cotton candy flavoured ball of fluff in the middle. I saw one too many flower bouquets and I almost exploded.

So as you all know, I suffer heavily from a bad case of judgetitis and well, I did something pretty shitty on Sunday. My friends and I were leaving the cinema, we had just finished watching Fifty Shades of Grey (a little disappointing but that’s what happens when you try to turn a crappy book into a decent film, it reeks of mediocrity no matter how hard you try. Soundtrack was good though) and I noticed this couple on the escalator heading out. They couldn’t have been much older than me. It was the lady who caught my eye. She was short and stout and she knew she was womanly, you know? She carried her body with pride, she rocked her flesh. She had a buxom like I had never seen before, she had a little blue turban on her head, killer weave underneath and her makeup looked good. In hindsight, she did actually look good. As she was walking away with her date, I just looked at her and I said out loud “if that’s her boyfriend, there’s hope for me then.” One of my girlfriend’s looked at me like I had just sworn at her and I might as well have. I couldn’t stop thinking about that girl and as I was walking home and I concluded that I am a confused little mess.

Absolutely no shade to thin girls but I would rather have thunder thighs than a thigh gap on any day. I admire big women, I admire their courage, their confidence, their ability to stay true to themselves and to their God-given voluptuousness when the world is cramming this seemingly desirable archetype of a body down our throats. Curves are works of art, they are beautiful, defined lines on a woman, lumps and bumps everywhere that carve us out from skin and bone. I’m not a size two and I am proud of that.

So why was I such a bitch on Sunday when I saw that woman?

Because I’m a jealous old cow.

I don’t feel overjoyed seeing couples, everyone knows this. I’m one of those “if I can’t be happy, no one can!” people but for theatrical reasons. I am wanting, okay? “So why don’t you put yourself out there?” you say. Well, I see it as how do you put yourself out there when there isn’t really anything to put yourself out there to? Do you get what I mean?

I think this is just a prolonged case of the blues weighing down on me. Writing is therapeutic for me and it’s even better knowing you are reading this, having an emotional response to this.

I guess, when I saw that lady, I mentally did a comparison as to what she could offer and I could offer and I couldn’t quite understand how she had done it. You know when you see people you know in relationships and you’re just thinking, “hold up, you were more than single 6 months ago, how the f*ck did you move so fast?”

I’ve been seeing it a lot lately and it leaves me utterly flabbergasted. I don’t get it, am I the only one? Is there some club everyone is joining that guarantees you will find a boyfriend?

I guess it’s down to experience. I’ve never been in a relationship with someone I’ve met here in the UK. Born and bred Nigerian boys all the way. I think there’s just something about Nigerian boys who were born and brought up here that literally repels me, maybe its’s the lack of awareness? I feel like there’s an actual brick wall between me and them whenever we try and converse, absolutely nothing is being assimilated. Sigh, the drought is real.

Anyways, about that lady: it was a bitch move on my part and if she ever reads this, I apologise for oogling at you like that. I don’t want your boyfriend (y’all looked cute though), I was just amazed at how you’d found him, that’s all.

Did any of this make sense by the way?

Quote of the Week: “Still finding myself, let alone a soulmate.” – Drake

Song of the Week: Jungle – Drake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lKH5dMNcq0

Drake’s got me all in my feelings, as you can tell.

Georgina ❤

New Year, New Me? I Don’t Think So.

Happy New Year, beautiful people!

tumblr_nhjvvvbNsz1tn6jtno1_500

I’m really beginning to understand the lack of enthusiasm that a lot of adults seem to have when it comes to entering a new year. I transitioned into 2015 in the comfort of my living room, sipping on mimosas with my pops (my mum can’t stand alcohol and my brother is, well, underage). I would rather stay in my house than be surrounded by a bunch of people I probably don’t like, experiencing small bouts of social anxiety. Call me an old soul, I’ll take it.

Anyway, we are officially in 2015, fully grounded into it. Nothing like hopping on to a packed train at 9 a.m. to get you back into the swing of things. My anguish with public transport continues. I’ve been having a tonne of dreams lately though and I’ve been driving pretty well in all of them. Is this a sign?!

New year resolutions and myself are not a thing. We do not agree. I make a habit to not make them as I never keep them. You shouldn’t have to wait for a whole new Earth orbit to begin before you decide to sort yourself out, should you?

I hope some of you have noticed the new layout. Changing it got me thinking about what this blog is actually about. I did some contemplating and I put it down to ethnicity. Read on, it makes sense.

I’ve noticed there are around 3 types of Nigerians that I have been exposed to so far:

1. Nigerians who are only Nigerian because their parents are. Anyway, their blogs/social media outlets are just something else. Totally incomprehensible.

2. Nigerians who are cultured, educated, worldly, aware, who claim their Nigerianness and are not ashamed of it, whilst maintaining a degree of sensibility. Some may have blogs. Some may just sprout a lot of philosophical stuff on twitter. I call them the bourgeoisie Nigerians.

3. Lastly, we have the Nigerians who are Nigerian, proud and LOUD. These are the ones who have YouTube that teach you how to tie gele (pronounced ge-ley) one minute then tell you how to appease your husband in the next. Very versatile.

The elaborate head gear is the gele. The bigger, the better, methinks. Isn't she gorgeous though?

The elaborate head gear is the gele. The bigger, the better, methinks. Isn’t she gorgeous though?

The bourgeoisie Nigerians are cool, I think. Their blogs are all deep and moody and intellectually challenging (ish) and I was wondering if I was preaching the wrong kind of gospel on my own blog. I considered switching my posts from writing about chesticles to intense poetry reflecting the importance of the female body; from writing about wanting a boy friend to shoving the fact that I am a strong independent woman who doesn’t need male counterparts down your throats.

Don’t worry, I am so not doing that. I promised to be real and I feel the need to talk about all kinds of things all the time.  I’m not going to attempt to stick to the status quo (High School Musical was released 9 years ago. NINE.) I’m just going to sprinkle my confetti of quirky sass on all of you, hope you like it.

DO YOU FEEL OLD YET?

DO YOU FEEL OLD YET? BECAUSE I DO, I AM SHRIVELLING UP AS WE SPEAK.

Back to business. We (yes, you and I) need to address some things.

Guys, I’m upset with most of you. Every week, I post a song of the week and I know how many of you actually listen to them. This not only implies that you guys think my taste in music is shit but it also says you guys think my taste in music is SHIT.

So, let’s take a poll.

The results will be discussed thoroughly next week. You’re all in trouble.

Next on the list, my lovely blessing of a friend gave me an inspiration pot for Christmas.

My little pot of textual gold.

My little pot of textual gold.

As you can see, it is filled with quotes, heart-shatteringly necessary quotes. So, they will become the quote of the week, I’ll take a picture instead.

My mini rants will still exist, maybe not consistently. I’m still pissed off about something almost all the time so they will definitely still be around.

Oh, guys. Quick question. Let’s have another poll because these are fun. I’ll probably talk about it next week.

And, one more thing. I appreciate every single one of you who read this and continue to read this, who give me feedback and make me feel all mushy inside from your lovely words. But, guys, I want this blog to grow and I need your help. Please share this blog. Let other people be aware of my weekly gumdrops of fabulousity. Follow on me twitter and retweet stuff. Share posts that you find utterly thought-provoking. Tell your mums, dads, grandparents. Actually, no don’t do that. Do NOT tell your parents. I beg you. Please and thank you!

Until next week, mes amis,

Georgina ❤

A Few of My Favourite Things

This is the last Monday of 2014. To say this year went by fast would be an understatement. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year but it’s been one of the best years I have lived through.

6yic0l

The woman above is an accurate representation of how I feel about 2014. In honour of this, here’s a blog post about 21 things that have made the year so wonderfully interesting for me. There’s no deep meaning behind having 21 things listed. Only 21 things came to mind at the time.

Warning: it’s a long one so get comfortable, get a cup of tea and begin. (Public Service Announcement: I took all the pictures here!)

Ibuprofen (200mg because 100mg is for wimps) – it’s a painkiller, for those of you who aren’t familiar with this wonder drug. It came in handy on the days when it didn’t seem like the lining of my uterus was shedding but my uterus was indeed ejecting a baby. However, I do feel I have immunized myself from its pain-attacking powers. I’ve got 400mg running through my system as I write this but my headache is still rather severe. Oops.

Snapchat – I really began to appreciate Snapchat this year. It was there for me when I was feeling myself and wanted to show off a selfie that wasn’t quite as good for Instagram but good enough to be seen for 5 seconds. Also, I could keep track of people and pass judgements accordingly.

My Snapchat of the month? I'm so sad.

My Snapchat of the month? I’m so sad.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha – being an iPhone user for like a year and a half made me accustomed to suffering. When I hold my phone now and hold my 4S, I almost can’t believe how I managed to use it. Android all the way, especially Samsung.

Hand Cream – I have been blessed with luscious chocolate brown skin but that lusciousness didn’t extend to my hands. My hands are crusty almost all the time. Hand cream has saved my life, especially this winter.

wpid-20141229_133035.jpg

MIRACLE WORKER.

Automobiles – I had the opportunity to visit two countries this year: Spain and Holland. I also had the opportunity to reach these places in two different ways: in the air and on the ground. I’m telling you, I would much rather sit in a car for 8 hours non-stop than sit on a plane for 2 hours. I just can’t. Here are a few of my favourite photos from the places I visited this year.

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Music – my musical taste has grown with me this year. I’ve consciously made an effort to listen to different things. I’ve heard some real gems this year, some may give you a headache but at least I can bump to them. Also, thank the Lord for Beats by Dre.

FotorCreated

Albums that I’ve listened to continuously this year.

The gym – I’ll admit, I put on some weight this year but I can safely say, I am now at a place where I can look at my body and think “not bad, woman”. I’m not where I want to be in my head but in my head, I want to be Beyoncé so that’s not happening.

She's an absolute goddess. Image source: tumblr

She’s an absolute goddess. (Unfortunately, I didn’t take this picture. I wish.)

Chipotle – do I need to say any more?!

Two of my favourite things in one picture: Snapchat & Chipotle. The arm belongs to Robin, here's his blog:http://thefatseries.wordpress.com/

Two of my favourite things in one picture: Snapchat & Chipotle. The arm belongs to Robin, here’s his blog: thefatseries.wordpress.com

Bras – no, I didn’t just discover bras this year but I now know the power of a bra. It can make you feel frumpy as hell one minute, the next, it’ll be making you feel as if you could walk up to a beautiful man, kiss him right in front of his girlfriend and dare her to say something. Power is in the cup of the beholder.

This is the Victoria's Secret on Bond Street in Central London. I was beside myself with joy, just standing outside. It is here that I discovered the world's most amazing bra.

This is the Victoria’s Secret on New Bond Street in Central London. I was beside myself with joy, just standing outside. It is here that I discovered the world’s most amazing bra.

University – it’s been an emotional merry-go-round trying to get into university this year. If you had asked me in January if I was going to be in a university in London studying pharmaceutical science, I may have spat in your face. But, I thank God all the same for eye-openers. I’m really beginning to see the potential that lies ahead with this course. I’ve made some amazing friends already and I’ve used university as an excuse for many of my acts of deception so, it’s all good!

Two of the most amazing people I've met this year, waiting outside one of our labs. Don't we look cool?

Two of the most amazing people I’ve met this year, waiting outside one of our labs. Don’t we look cool? I look like a squirrel with acorns in its mouth. #BigCheeksGang

Whatsapp – not only can I talk to my friends whenever and wherever they are without blowing up my phone bill but that blue tick update saved my life. People can know when I do not want to speak to them and now I know who’s being a goat and airing my messages too. It’s a very good system.

Maturity – you know how puberty felt? It just hit you like what I imagine getting hit by a double-decker bus feels like. I think maturity is nature’s second puberty. For me, it seemed to just happen overnight. I just woke up one day and realised what I should be doing, who I should be doing it with and all the other little issues that I fretted over became beyond irrelevant.

Actual words to live by.

Actual words to live by.

Orange Wednesdays – I’m not cheap, I’m just not one to depart with my money too easily. If you had an Orange (the network provider, not a literal orange) phone, you were eligible for 2 for 1 cinema tickets on Wednesday. I’ve watched some great films this year with equally as great people. If you’ve ever been in a cinema with me before, I apologise for all my Nigerianisms during the movie. Sometimes, you just have to yell “what is the meaning of that?” in your most Nigerian accent at the screen, in the middle of a crowded viewing.

Emails – I’m still fascinated by them. You can send letters to people without leaving your house, without it costing an arm and a leg and it gets to them in seconds. It’s mind-blowing, okay?

Student Discounts – because I’m a broke-ass students who has an online shopping addiction. Tip – if you’re looking to open a student bank account, shop around. Some banks offer really good incentives like an NUS card which gives you discounts on almost anything. Also, download the Unidays app. It is essential, trust me.

Provisional Driving License – I’m in no rush to get on the road but my provisional has come in handy so many times this year. Have you ever been clubbing and seen someone bring their passport as I.D.? That sure won’t be me again, I’ll tell you that. Having my provisional gives me pride. I want to whip it out even when I’m not asked for it. Bite me.

Online Box Sets – I don’t have a subscription to Netflix because ain’t nobody got time for that (well, a lot of people do but I don’t) but TV has produced some real nuggets of entertainment lately and there will always be days where schoolwork can suck it and you just want to get into bed and binge watch something. This year, my shows of choice have been Orange is the New Black, Walking Dead (even though I’m taking some time really getting into it), How To Get Away With Murder and Masters of Sex (not what you’re thinking, dirty child.) Watch this Vine of a violinist playing The Walking Dead theme song. So COOL.

Novels – Just before 2014 started, I gave myself a challenge to read a lot more American literature and I actually stuck to it this year. I finally read To Kill a Mockingbird which actually deserves to have sold a gazillion copies worldwide, it was fantastic. I read loads of the other considered “greats” and some weren’t all that, in all honestly. As of now, I’m this close to finishing Charles Bukowski’s Women and it’s put me off reading any more of his work, this one was just… too much. Up next, I’ve got Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. Prayer is needed, I know it’s a mind-f*ck of a novel. I think my next challenge will be Nigerian literature. Anyway, novels are escapism; they obliviate journey lengths. They are needed and always will be. Also, I don’t see myself getting sucked in to this e-Books thing. If I want to read a book, I want to feel paper and weight. Call me old-fashioned, whatever.

From left to right: 1. The book I'm reading now. Struggling to finish. 2. The mindf*ck of a novel that I am so looking forward to reading. 3. Funniest book I've read all year. Found it in Waterstones for £1.50! 4. I read this again and it still made me teary-eyed. 5. Have you watched the movie for this?! INSANE. 6. My favourite book of all time. These aren't nearly half of all the books I've read this year but I borrowed a lot of them from public libraries, you see.

From left to right:
1. The book I’m reading now. Struggling to finish.
2. The mind-f*ck of a novel that I am so looking forward to reading.
3. Funniest book I’ve read all year. Found it in Waterstones for £1.50!
4. I read this again and it still made me teary-eyed.
5. Have you watched the movie for this?! INSANE.
6. My favourite book of all time.
These aren’t nearly half of all the books I’ve read this year but I borrowed a lot of them from public libraries, you see.

Candles – I’ve taken a serious liking to scented wax this year. I think my favourite candle right now has to be this sugar cookie one in my room. I’ve had it for a couple of months now and my room permanently smells like a Starbuck’s toffee nut latte. It’s magical.

My candle from Heaven.

My candle from Heaven.

Prescription Reading Glasses – if you’ve known me long enough, you’ll know I’ve always wanted glasses. Actual prescribed glasses because any other way would have been lying and that’s not cool. Well, this year, I succeeded in degrading my sight to the extent of getting reading glasses. I’m happy.

And last but not least,

Blogging – starting a blog has probably been one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. There’s just something about knowing I have a blog; knowing that every week, I will push myself to retell my week in a way that will keep both you and I interested enough to keep the cycle going. It’s helped me in more ways than none and I’m very sure now that I’m in this for the long run. Thank you all.

Just to let you know, I plan on changing the theme of the blog for the new year so don’t worry if you find yourself on here and the layout is completely different. It’s still the same blog. Hey, I might even pay for the new theme, that’s how invested I’m becoming in this blogging thing.

I wish you all a Happy New Year, whatever it is you’re doing to bring forth 2015. Be safe, either way.

See you on the other side!

Georgina x

Big Sister Duties

I have a little brother, for those of you who do not know. That’s him, the tablet (discussing this later) and myself here.

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I like having a little brother, I wouldn’t trade that for the world but there are days when I wish I wasn’t the oldest.

In Nigerian households, age determines pretty much everything. I’m the eldest grandchild on both sides of the equation. You know how it is, all your little cousins are instructed to call you auntie and if your relatives are really Nigerian (thankfully, this isn’t the case for me), the little boys will start prostrating for you and the little girls will start curtseying too. It is mortifying, let me just tell you that. I am an activist when it comes to kids doing that to me. I’m still a kid as well so who am I to demand respect in that way?

This is someone’s engagement day and this is what Nigerian men prostrating looks like. It is elaborate. Image courtesy – see image (duh)

 

Anyway, being the oldest can be a drag some days. You are the pinnacle, you are the golden example. You slip up and you are partially responsible for the (possible) failures of those who fall behind you. It’s a big deal. If your youngers are messing up, you need to get their asses back in line because you’re letting the troop down. When I finally got in to university, I got phone calls from everyone, congratulatory messages flew in from all directions. My uncles reminded me that I was indeed the oldest and I was leading all my cousins down the right path. No pressure.

Yesterday, my brother f*cked up. My dad bought him a tablet for his birthday this year and within a month, this brother of mine cracked the screen. It still works but it has this black blob right in the middle, pretty unsightly. My dad recently remembered that he had bought it for him and was asking why he hardly used it anymore, considering it was only a few months old. My brother would slyly dodge that bullet and say it was dead. Well, yesterday my dad wasn’t having that. He wanted to see it. Let it charge all day but he wanted to see it switched on. Long story short, my brother switched it on, my mum saw the black blob and asked what it was, my brother had the guts to say it was a customisation he’d done to the screen. If it wasn’t such an intense moment, I might have rolled on the floor with laughter. Soon after, my dad pointed to me and this followed:

“Your sister doesn’t lie! She might give you the run-around but she’ll get to the truth eventually! Why can’t you be more like your sister? Bolade (my Nigerian name, by the way. Pronounced bo-la-dey), talk to your brother and find out what his problem is.”

Am I Crimewatch, people?

I like being a big sister, I do. I am protective of my brother because, after all, he’s the only sibling I have and I do hate seeing him in trouble but jeez. This must be a problem a lot of fellow older siblings face. I can complain about this from morning ‘til night but this is a just a responsibility for life, I suppose.

But besides that, I have a cold and I’m feeling rather slow, if you couldn’t already tell. I need to beat this before Christmas Day or how am I going to chow down effectively? Pray for me, please. I can’t not induce myself into a state of comatose due to over-eating this year. It breaks the tradition.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

No rant, this itself feels rather rant-y.

Oh and my exam on Friday went alright. My friend caught someone cheating throughout the whole thing. Just casually scrolling on his phone under the desk. Best believe, she reported his hairy self.

Song of the Week – Uptown Funk (Featuring Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPf0YbXqDm0) & G.O.M.D – J. Cole (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY2P8cURs5s)

Quote of the Week –

https://twitter.com/AZEALIABANKS/status/545840093484044288

If I Were A What?

I have an exam on Friday and now, university is really becoming real. I know what it’s like to sit in the library for 4 hours straight and read until your eyes feel sore. I know what it’s like to almost feel dependent on energy drinks (shout out to Red Bull, Monster and Relentless). I know what it’s like to not be able to sleep until 3 in the morning, knowing you have a deadline to meet and several topics to cover. I know how tempting and delighting it feels to want to binge watch The Walking Dead and How To Get Away With Murder, simply pushing your responsibilities out the window. I know what procrastination is. But hey, that’s life. Can I also point out that my university seems to be the only university in the whole world that is still open? Pray for me, for thou art this close to losing thou shit.

Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

I was walking down one of the many stairwells in my university with my friend and out of the blue, she asked me if I had written this week’s blog post yet. The following transcript, more or less, sums up what came next:

A: “What would you do if you were a boy?”

G: “That’s so random, why would you ask me that?”

A: “That’s how I am, I’m random.”

G: “Well. I would bang my way through a bunch of girls. I’d have a million girls numbers saved on my phone as babe number 1, babe number 2…”

A: “Oh gosh.”

G: “Seriously.”

A: “That should be your blog post.”

Well, A, you got me thinking.

Before someone threatens to lynch me, I was JOKING. But then, I realised that I only said that because it’s a reality. A very possible and very real one. Too many boys like this exist, I can scream this from the rooftops and no one would bat an eyelid because it has been this way for, well, forever. It’s shitty, I know. Not all boys are like this, I’m aware of this but too many are like this. Do you know how many times I hear boys speculating over the body of a girl as she walks past? Or how many times, a fleet of boys turn their heads simultaneously as a girl walks by? I’m all for grabbing someone’s attention, I’m all for strutting what your mama gave you but what about personality? What about what she likes to do in her spare time, what her favourite colour is?

If I were a boy, I would be 6 feet tall (hopefully), I’d be that dark-skinned hunk that makes every single girl go weak at the knees. I’d be that guy because hello, who wouldn’t want to be that guy? But I wouldn’t ogle at girls (or at least, I’d try), I wouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable. I’d start conversations, I’d sit next to you or anyone who looked lonely and get to know you. I wouldn’t make you feel as if I wanted sex from you or was wondering how large your breasts were or how you looked naked, no. I would genuinely be interested in how your day went and how you were finding university and becoming your friend first. I wouldn’t make it my mission to nudge my boys as you walked by to make sure they were aware of how your ass moves as you walk. I might not even tell my boys about you because you’re not a conquest, you’re just a friend.

But then I remember that’s not going to happen because damn, who does that? I mean, I may be a boy but I’m not a freaking angel. I am Nigerian. It’s in the blood.

Why is Beyoncé the featured image? Why shouldn’t she be? Who doesn’t need to see Queen Bey grab her crotch? Hello?

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On my course, I have zero guy friends. I say hi to two of them regularly-ish. One of them is so timid, I feel I might send him into cardiac arrest whenever I smile at him. The other is totally on to me (this isn’t even a matter of wishful thinking or paranoia. He is on to me. Ask anyone) and it is beyond obvious that a friendship cannot exist without it inevitably leading to undesirable territory. I want a guy friend, okay? In fact, no. I just want a friend who happened to be a male. Who was my age, who went to university with me, who didn’t see me as anything but a friend, who I could have intellectual conversations with and send ugly snapchats to without feeling I’d just made the biggest mistake of my life. Who could come to Starbucks with me and my friends or who I could go to wherever he wanted to go with his friends without there being this unspoken sexual tension hovering over our heads. I want. I am wanting, deeply.

I know people like this exist, platonic relationships exist. They cannot all be extinct, surely?

To my future boy bestie who will not eventually become the love of my life, this is my message to you: I will look for you, I will find you and I will befriend you.

 

Mini Rant of the Week: PERSONAL SPACE. I don’t think I can stress this vital aspect of life enough. We all have a bubble and this bubble is fundamental. This bubble protects us from ghastly scents of B.O, Ebola-laced coughs, dangerously motile dandruff and just helps us keep a hold on sanity. What really and truly pisses me off are members of society who walk right into my bubble when they have absolutely no reason for doing so. I’m standing at a platform and you come and walk within millimetres of my body when there is ample space for you to walk. What is the meaning of that? Can’t you see? Are you asking me to trip you up because it would be beyond a dream come true to extend my foot a few inches more and send you flying, it really would. Don’t invade the bubble. You’ve been warned.

Song of the Week: More like, album of the week. J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hill Drive” was released last week and it’s really good. I’m loving how albums nowadays tell stories. It reminds me of Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid M.A.A.D City”, not production wise but progression wise. Everything gels. Preview it here, it’s gooood – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/2014-forest-hills-drive/id940845223

LION BABE – Jump Hi (Feat. Childish Gambino) it’s really really good too (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHqsE2EOpJE)

Quote of the Week: “Don’t give ‘em too much you. Don’t let ‘em taint your soul.” – J. Cole

Georgina x

(P.S. 10 more days and it’s Jesus’ birthday, omg.)

(P.P.S. I got my second ear piercings on Thursday, am I a rebel or what?)

Starbucks Date with Myself.

Hello everyone 🙂

So I’m having one of those weeks where nothing has out-rightly struck me as blog-worthy or better yet, many wonderful things have happened but I’m not readily allowed to blog about them (I don’t want any trouble) so I turned to The Daily Post. They post these things called Daily Prompts which literally do what they claim: they prompt. This is the one I chose. Et voila.

Good Tidings

Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to. (For the sake of simplicity, I’m talking to 10-year old me. 8 year old me wouldn’t be up to this, I’m sure.)

*I couldn’t find a picture of myself at 10, no joke. So, here is 6/7/8 year old me. Not entirely sure.

Hey, don’t you look tragically cute. I look a lot different, right? Not nearly what you expected to look like at 18. You thought you’d be skinny by now and well, so did I.

Next year, you’re definitely going to boarding school. Mummy and Daddy may be making you do all these exams for all these other schools over here but trust me, you’re ending up in Nigeria. For that exam, just remember BODMAS. It may seem like the stupidest acronym ever but it is a life-saver. Boarding school is nothing like what you’re thinking it could be. Every night is not one sleepover. You will cry every night for the first week. You will bathe with freezing cold water at 6 o’clock in the morning. You will eat things you never thought existed. You will be the victim of puberty. You will be on the receiving end of a collapsing bunk-bed. You will meet people who find your diary, read it and chase you, threatening to club you with a metal T-square because they couldn’t handle the truth. You will make a public fool of yourself (I know you will but don’t send a lovenote to the cute guy in your class. He’s kind of an ass, he’s only 11, he doesn’t know any better). You will become very thin and it doesn’t look good on you but it happens. You will get what the school doctor claims to be malaria almost every month but you know it’s worse than that. You will convince the parents to let you out of that school after the first year.

Somehow, you end up in a proper Nigerian school. Yes, those schools. Where they have even more canes and the teachers aren’t afraid to slap you for not greeting them properly. Sticking out like a sore thumb is the least of your problems. You will get typhoid, it is very unpleasant. On the plus-ish side, you will actually meet someone who you fall in love with years later and he loves you right back. I’m not even making this up, I couldn’t. I won’t give away too much but it’s a disastrous mess to begin with. You will sometimes regret knowing him but despite all of that, both of you find a way to function dysfunctionally. Hang in there, okay? I mean it, really hang in there. Think about it like this: he’s like a stray cat that won’t leave you alone but you feel almost anxious when he’s not wondering around.

Finally, you make it to the Promised Land of schools. This is where all the magic happens. You make friends for life. You will meet your soul sister but she’s Indian, that’s the only difference. The number of amazing memories that you’ll make will astound you. There’s a particular teacher who does library with you. He turns out to be pretty awesome and makes you read stuff you wouldn’t normally touch with a pole. He’s very cool. You will love that place, that’s all I can say.

You will come back here when you’re 16 and you are going to be chucked right into the deep end. People will find your accent – yes, it happens – a little funny but you’ll learn to do you. You’ll meet some people who you’ll wonder how you managed without them and others who you’ll totally regret looking upon. You do a lot of adaptive maturing in those 2 years of college.

Only thing left is university. You get in, that’s for sure. I’m still figuring out the rest.

Your life really begins the second you’re left to fend for yourself in boarding school. You become who you’re looking at right now. I know how bittersweet you feel about it. You’re scared about not making friends and all the friends you’re leaving behind. All the important things and people will stay put, that’s not an issue. Don’t worry about a lot of things, it’s all pretty trivial. Just stay focused and stay happy. Keep smiling. Keep writing. 8 years may not seem like that much but it is and it goes by quick so just go with it. Put your heart into it all, that’s what you do and always will do.

Coffee tastes pretty grim at 10 but just wait until you come back to Starbucks to buy things besides their cookies. Coffee is life-enhancing.

Do you still love Beyoncé? Love is an understatement.

No rant this week, I’m in a happy place.

Songs of the Week: Beyoncé – 7/11 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4YRWT_Aldo) & Sebastian – Embody (https://soundcloud.com/edbangerrecords/sebastian-embody)

Quote of the Week: “One thing I’ve learnt in uni, you’ve got to go and get it yourself. Whatever you want, probably won’t come to you.” – Laveen M

Georgina x

I am Me, Not My Chesticles.

I’ve wanted to talk about this for a really long time but I felt it was too soon to be thrust upon you. However, we’re 8 weeks in, I think I’m allowed to discuss this.

Disclaimer: this has nothing (okay, maybe a little bit) to do with recent events (yes, point at yourself, I’m referring to you) so don’t think this is one my shadeful, judging lollipops to you. This is just an outcry for help of understanding the immense interest, or more like, the obsession with breasts. If you can’t handle the word ‘breasts’, you shouldn’t be on the internet, let alone this blog, okay?

When God made me, He decided that when I grew older, my breasts would also grow with me. He also decided to make boys completely fascinated with breasts right around the time that I (and a lot of other endowed girls out there) were beginning to accept and deal with their assets. I don’t go around shoving my breasts under everyone’s nose, I don’t confine myself to the wonders of turtle/bottle necks either. I wear what I want but I am decent. I wear tank tops under certain items of clothing, I wear camisoles, I am continuously tugging my tops up to prevent epic disasters. I even invested in a pair of minimiser bras from Marks and Spencer’s recently. I can’t help it if I lean over and you see Paris from inside my shirt. Leaning is a fundamental exertion. Let me live. There are times when I myself am awed by my own cleavage but I keep those moments to myself, mostly. I’m no Kim Kardashian, as you can probably tell.

I refer to my breasts in many varying ways such as boobs (even though I use this the most, it’s one of my most hated words. it’s just so… irritating), jugs (only to my nearest and dearest), breasts and my all-time favourite, chesticles. I call them chesticles because there is power in this word. If a man stood before me right now and we were trying to engage in a somewhat meaningful conversation about the controversy over the reception of Ebola in the diaspora, for example, and my eyes continuously fleeted between his own eyes and his testicles, wouldn’t he be itching to grab me by the chin and tell me through gritted teeth, “Hey, eyes here. Eyes no go there.” Well, that’s exactly how I feel when I attempt to converse with many a member of the opposite sex. My eyes are on my face, right above my nose. They are not dangling from my chest. I don’t know, am I missing something here? Am I unaware of how my own breasts appear? Are my breasts the first to have ever existed? I’m starting to think that if one day, I had a mastectomy, I wouldn’t have nearly half as many boys attempting to speak to me. I really think my breasts are like a beacon for some of these aforementioned boys. It’s sad. I am a human being, you know. My bra size doesn’t determine how much of a person I am. I like to think I’m a good person, I’m intelligent (ish), I’m friendly, I can cook (ish), I like to read, I like sleep, I like buying things on Amazon compulsively, I like listening to music, I like blogging. All these things have no effect or are not affected by my breasts. So what is the problem?

I get it: there’s something arousing about them. There’s something sexual about them. There’s something there that makes the boys go loco. It offsets this burning sensation to mention my breast size, just to make sure I am aware of the power I possess on my chest. Hey, I do it too. I ogle at fellow ladies every now and again, I comment on their breasts. Even my friends do it too. They tell me how mahoosive my chest is. I can deal with people telling me or commenting on my chest size, it’s the very loose equivalent of commenting on how large someone’s eyes/nose/mouth is. It’s just another body part. But, sex is associated with breasts. And because of this, a lot of boys make it their mission to acquire information and visual data on as many heavily endowed girls out there as they can possibly get their hands on, no pun intended. And I’m done with that sh*t. No one should expect something like that from me or any other girl out there who isn’t parading their chesticles like a pay-per-view channel. Things like that equate to vulnerability, intimacy. I’m not just about to throw things like that to anyone. I don’t care how big a deal it is or isn’t to you. Even if I did want to share such moments, it would only be with my lover. My absolute lover. Or my mother when she walks in on me in the shower but you get the idea.

So, to my male readers and even some female readers (yes, I see you), think before you ask for that picture or before you comment on her chesticles in a way that you know will immediately eject her from her comfort zone with you. Think about the effects, short and long-term, on both her and yourself. Do you really want to wreck a friendship/budding romance/whatever because you couldn’t control what’s in that mind of yours or those boxers/briefs/whatever? Think about it. Think long and hard.

Remember ladies, you choose what defines you. If you want to be known for your chesticles, here’s a fist pump in agreement. If you don’t, here’s a fist pump in agreement. Don’t let someone call you prudish or uptight or even outlandish because of what you want for yourself.

Do you, honey boo-boo.

Mini Rant of the Week: Please look after our planet. I’ve watched enough films to know the people who write these things probably know more about the fate of Earth than I do. Recycle, turn your lights off when you’re not in the room, turn the switches on your plugs off, don’t throw food away if you can’t finish it. Save it for later or give it to someone who will happily eat it for you. Walk, ride a bike, take public transport more often. Interstellar (the movie) not only confused the hell out of my mind but it’s scared me sh*tless as well. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to meet an untimely death and I would like my children and at least my children’s children to live in a fairly decent world. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the generations to come. And if you really couldn’t give 2 sh*ts about humans in general, do it for the polar bears because who doesn’t love a polar bear?

Song of the Week: Miss Amor – Azealia Banks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6SgqYMl5R8)

Quote of the Week: “My feelings don’t disappear but I’ve learnt, with age, to use them for the greater good.” – Unknown.

Georgina x