That time I took a chance and ended up at the championships

That time I took a chance and ended up at the championships

You see, I was the type of little girl that didn’t run around too much, didn’t play too rough, didn’t fall down and get injured. But the confidence and settled-ness of my 30s are opening me up to trying new things, spurring me to push past imaginary boundaries of comfort zones towards purposely creating a full life that I am proud to live. So, when my friend sent out an open call for new players, my response was not “why”, which is the question that I have received the most when I tell people about this new past time, but “why NOT”? Since joining, I have been in awe of what I have discovered. I know for certain that I made the absolute right decision and I feel very privileged to be part of this league.

Do you speak your language?

Do you speak your language?

I think that if we consider this a problem, then we must acknowledge that it is a very elitist one and that it is only getting worse. Another aunty (all of whose children speak Igbo) was complaining to her daughter that none of her grandchildren speak Igbo and that she is the only one who speaks to them in Igbo. This was a really heartfelt conversation. And while I think some of it is due to generational differences, we must ask ourselves what we will have, who we will become if/when we lose our languages? I think we should probably listen to the undertones in what the older generation is trying to tell us.

Book Exchange!

Book Exchange!

There is something about the summer that makes it the perfect time to read. I have a theory that the most anticipated books of the year come out in the summer. This summer, I've already read An American Marriage, and I am looking forward to reading Educated with a friend.

Have you heard about the Global Book Exchange? Have you already participated? Once I saw it on a friend’s IG story on Sunday, I knew I had to be part of it.

In life, as in football ;)

In life, as in football ;)

Q: What type of soccer fan are you?
A: I’m glad you asked. In team based sports, I always root for the underdogs, except in tennis (because Serena) and other individual sports >> where the better player needs to win. I grew up in the heyday of ManU and its EXTRA fans, and at that time I just wanted anyone playing ManU to win, but they’ve been humbled in recent times, so…

Water fa!

Water fa!

Have you noticed that in recent years, after you wave at or ignore the beggar that comes to knock at your window, they will ask for your already opened half-full bottle of water. I had never heard of or noticed this until a couple of months ago, in February, when a visiting friend mentioned it. Since then, it has happened to me three times, or every time that I have had a bottle of water in plain sight.

Mother Superior

Mother Superior

I think that being a mother is not about whether your child walked at 11 months, or how harried your morning routine tends to get, or whether they are wearing matching socks. Being a mom is about the instinct and heart that you have for your children. The way you consider them and always put them first – above even yourself. This is why, as I tell my friends all the time, as long as you are trying, you are the best mother for your child, the only mother they will ever need.

Happy Mother’s Day! You have the ability to transform mere bricks and mortar into the safest most loving place on earth; your arms are the most comforting blanket; your lap, the best seat in the house >> initially for all of my weight and eventually, the resting place for my head; your hand in mine, the greatest foundation and encouragement; your voice and words, the sweetest sound, the truest truth I have known >> compass, guide, beacon, conscience.

Val's Day > Valentine's Day, and here's why...

Val's Day > Valentine's Day, and here's why...

I know we all know what tomorrow is, not least of all because the telecommunication companies have been ringing it in our ears: “welcome to the month of love”. From the look of some of the posters going around it appears that, not wanting to be left out of any arena, some of our churches have jumped onto this bandwagon with ridiculous programming that will make even spas that provide “happy ending services” blush in response.

Running on asphalt

Running on asphalt

I am not anything that remotely resembles a runner. There is a smirk on my face as I write the word “runner” in conjunction with my name. I know some runners – I am not one of them. I quite literally, “run like a girl”; this phrase would not be an insult if applied to me. This is so, not because of my run time or my athleticism, but rather, the way my hands sway and my hips sashay. In secondary school, they laughed and jeered when in my SS3 my house was so desperate for runners that they included me in their 4 x 400m relay lineup >> I ended up being the linchpin, so "dusts my shoulder".

On Names

I have always had a fascination with names. Often times when I meet someone, I will marvel at their name and ask what it means >> this is how I randomly came to know that Adiya means Queen of Women. By now, I am very familiar with the meanings of many common Yoruba names, notwithstanding the fact that my Yoruba is only at an elementary level. I can’t lie, I’ve been in love with Yoruba names since I was a teenager.

About Blog

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I have always been in love with hearing (sharing?) stories >>

  • stories about the animal kingdom that I heard at my grandfather’s house;
  • stories about our families that I swapped with my best friends in secondary school;
  • stories about romantic relationships that I swapped with my college friends, intertwined with stories about Russian, Italian and American history that I heard from my professors;
  • stories about real life that I heard at my first job;
  • stories about companies navigating growth and going bust that I heard in business school; and
  • stories that change and shape lives that I heard at the feet of my mom and my aunties.

The reasons for this blog is simple:

1.  |  I have always loved women, women’s issues and womanhood – I love Nigerian/African women; like colored women of all geographies our strength and craziness is matchless, and like women everywhere, we are complicated AF. So I was continuously and increasingly frustrated by the plastic and single archetype of the Nigerian/African woman that I kept coming across. I didn’t recognize her because she is one dimensional, and bears no resemblance to the women that I know. The women I know are complex AF, multifaceted, cannot be taken in in 6 months, never mind several minutes. We are confusing, confused, walking contradictions. AND I wanted to create a platform where our stories can be told.

2.  |  I have always had a heart for the women behind me… This is for them, so that they know that they are not weird, alone, lost, helpless, hopeless >> that they know the power that they wield >> that they never second guess themselves, that they stand firmly in their truth, that they understand their beauty (physical, internal, emotional, mental, spiritual).

3.  |  It is also for my goddaughters and for my daughters unborn >> whenever I see a picture of my mom where she was between the ages of 19 and 29 (I came in her 30th year – OMG, I just realized that my mom must have found out about her pregnancy with me, just a month after she turned 30 >> can you imagine a more perfect gift); when I see pictures of her I always wonder, what was she thinking, was she happy, what were her views about the world, her place in it, what was she excited about, worried about, what were her dreams for the future, does the woman I know today, remember the woman in the picture? I think it is important for us to have deep and real conversations with the women that we love, who came before us and who come after us, to ask them not to sugarcoat things, not to think about propriety or concepts like shame, to speak the truth. O, the depth and richness of these conversations.

4.  |  I started this site because I never knew I had any creative ability until I started sharing my writing on my private IG page. I think we are all writers, definitely all storytellers, the thing is that not all of us are willing to be vulnerable and pour out our hearts. This is a place for me to develop this craft and to connect with all of you >> I respect that privilege, I will cherish it.

It is a place for my world view to be challenged and expanded by your experiences and opinion. It is a respectful community.

5.  |  This site is here because it wanted to be. It consumed me for 18 months, pounding at my seams. It would not be appeased, not until it was birthed.

 

Maya Angelou said that we should gather in her name, it is my greatest desire that this is the place where you will choose to gather, I hope that when you do, you will come away feeling like you have been hugged by a friend who really cares about you.

Thanks for reading! I am really glad you came.

About Akay

Hello and welcome here,

When I was creating this page with my friend, M, I said with much excitement, “we need an ‘About Us’ page”, and she looked at me and said, you mean an “About” page, there is no us. Thing is, there kind of is.

Right now, it is only me, Akay and a couple of contributors, but the plan is to develop this into a collaborative blog. As a result, I am always mindful that notwithstanding their absence, I am building our shared story.

I am the first child and I was raised in a home with a tremendous amount of love. I think these are the biggest parts of who I am.

Biggest life influences: My parents; Lagos; All the Chicken Soups (and now HONY); Oprah; Claire Huxtable/so many TV moms; my aunties; the many women who have come ahead of me and fought so hard for me to be able to live my truth however, I define that to be; KAw (a senior woman that I worked with in banking, who showed me that women could be fierce, “physically absent on weekdays” and still raise exceptional kids (she will tell you she had a lot of help) ALSO she shattered that stereotype of bad female bosses with her mama bear hugs <3.

Most significant cultural influences: Igbo, Yoruba, American thought (political and philosophical, liberal ideology and popular culture)

Favorite Food: Ofe {Oha, Onugbu, Akwu, Okazi and peanut soup} and garri | Avocado Toast | Oatmeal

Favorite Instagram handles (current): Nayyirah Waheed (ok, so I don’t know whether I should gush about her now or save that for a post, but if you are woman and you have ever felt any emotion before, please follow her on IG, her handle is: nayyirah.waheed), ellevest, GirlBoss, LevoLeague, CareerContessa, Kasfacts, goodgirlbadthoughts, officialbonnetchronicles, maraji_

Favorite blog: Cup of Jo (I love Joanna so much, her blog name was once the password on my laptop)

Favorite place to vacation: Any place with water and mountains

Favorite thing ever (current): Amazing conversations, quotes, podcasts and memes

Favorite thing to watch: The West Wing, Procedural Drama (alladem, but mostly Law & Order SVU and CSI and Bones), History Channel and PBS

For the nuances, you have to stay tuned, but I'm sure you noticed that I can't pick one favorite anything.

Thank you for stopping by.