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My Stay at The Ned

This review of my recent stay in The Ned may be slightly biased, seeing as I work for the company. However I must say, the experience is entirely different when staying there as a guest. Of course it helps to have friends in high places, i.e. Reception and Guest Relations, who will usually do what they can so that you can really get the best out of your stay. However I’m confident that even if I were staying as a member of the public, I would have enjoyed my night there immensely.

My best friend Kiki and I were scheduled for a package called a Sunday Spruce & Sleepover since Sunday 29th April. Due to financial reasons mainly, we ended up rescheduling it three times so didn’t actually end up staying until Sunday 15th July, the Sunday just gone. It was originally supposed to be for Kiki’s birthday, then we had to move it to 20th May, then 24th June, which ended up being my birthday weekend, until it finally ended up being scheduled for last weekend. The package includes the hotel room, Sunday Lunch for two along with a bottle of house wine, which I substituted for a bottle of prosecco, £50 credit to spend in the spa as well as breakfast for two the next morning. It all comes to £350 in total, so £175 per person. Definitely worth it in my opinion. As it was a package, I did not receive a staff discount on it, but the price is more than reasonable for what you get, and I was definitely well taken care of by my lovely colleagues.

We arrived at the hotel at around quarter past one on Sunday. Check-in time is 3pm, so our room still wasn’t ready. However after being told that I had been upgraded to a Heritage Room from a Cosy Room (three room categories above – a really big deal!), I didn’t really care if I had to wait until 4pm to check in. Sunday Lunch was amazing. It was buffet style for both starters and dessert, however you had to order your main course. And ooh what a main it was, but we’ll get onto that later. I had initially planned to stuff my face with loads of Canadian lobsters, which was one of the starters on offer. However the lobsters are MASSIVE and the plates they give you are kind of small. Way too small for these lobsters anyway. So there was literally no way to fill your plate with them without making it look like you planned to empty out the whole restaurant. Not that I’m usually particularly fussed about this to be honest. However, after placing the one lobster on my plate, along with several pieces of sushi because I looove sushi, it was so much effort to open up the damn lobster once I sat down to eat, that I just couldn’t be bothered to have anymore. It was definitely tasty, especially with the hollandaise sauce that they were serving it with, but it was almost too much work for what you got in the end. Oh and the oysters…ew! Now I love me some seafood, like LOVE it, but oysters are fucking gross. I’d never tried them before. Well actually I tried one a couple of weeks ago while I was drunk, and clearly I was more drunk than I thought I was because I actually thought it tasted good at the time. I was wrong. Oysters do not taste good. They are disgusting.

The main though….ooh what can I say!? I ordered the half roast Banham chicken, served with pigs in blankets and bread sauce, and of course gravy. I’d never tried bread sauce before, but I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think it would taste quite as good as it did to be completely honest. The chicken was succulent and immensely tasty and I’d never seen such a colossal Yorkshire pudding in my life! Like seriously, it was almost the size of my head! I’d only had gross Yorkshire puddings in the past, served in my boarding school along with the rest of their slop. So I was a little hesitant about trying it. But I was very impressed, as I was with the rest of food, although I must say the roast potatoes could have been better. They were a little tough, and the quality just wasn’t on the same level as the rest of the meal. Kiki ordered the roast pork belly with crackling and apple sauce. I tried a little with the apple sauce, as I was curious, and I must say this dish was, in fact, on par with mine. I just wish I could have finished it all, but it was such a hefty portion that I just couldn’t force myself, as much as I wanted to. Especially when it came to that chicken. I almost cried seeing it being taken away from the table half finished.

We just about had enough room for dessert (of course!), so up we were again and back at the bar, where all the dishes that were part of the buffet were being displayed. I had a slice of Victoria sponge, a slice of red velvet cake and I picked up one of the cake pops that were on offer. The Victoria sponge and red velvet cake were beautiful, but if you know what you’re doing in the kitchen, then it can be pretty difficult to fuck up two tasty treats such as these. However I unfortunately did not get to sample the cake pop, because I just could not eat anymore at the time, so I put it in the fridge in our hotel room. But then I had work the next day, and still didn’t feel like it when we were leaving, so I reluctantly let Kiki have it along with the two she had for herself. As much as I wanted mine, because I’ve never tried cake pops before either, I don’t always have such a sweet tooth these days. However Kiki most considerately assured me that she would call me when she was eating it so that she could let me know what it tasted like. The bitch.

Anyway, lunch was amazing. One of my colleagues in Reception had called me to say my room was ready, so we went to collect our keys and popped up there quickly. Because we did have to wait quite a while to order our mains, we were cutting it pretty fine for our spa treatments at this point, which were booked at 3.30pm. But I just had to take a look at this room. Although I had been given a tour of quite a few of these rooms before, there was just something different about seeing the incredible super king-size bed and knowing that you were going to be sleeping it, looking at the enormous television whilst knowing that you were going to be watching it and staring besottedly at the inviting bathtub in the bathroom and knowing I’d be getting all up in it with some suds later. Which I did. It was all I could do to stop myself from clambering up onto the bed and jumping up and down like a little kid.

After a quick once-over of our mini palace, we headed downstairs to the spa for our pedicures. They treatments I had booked were called the Ultimate Cowshed pedicures; they were 75 minutes long and included a scalp and shoulder massage as well. The actual treatment was amazing, and I cannot tell you what a relief it was to have all the horrible dead skin sloughed off my neglected heels, but I was a little disappointed to see that the lovely “Pink Fizz” colour I had chosen had started to chip away by later that evening. Although this may have been partly my fault, as I did forget that I had shellac on my toes already, so they had to squeeze in a removal for me, meaning my therapist probably rushed the colour portion of the appointment. Booking extra time for a removal, or removing the shellac beforehand myself, is something that would have been embedded in my brain whilst I was working as a Customer Care Coordinator for Cowshed when I was on the Beauty Team. However, having been over a year since those days, apparently these things just don’t occur to me anymore. Ohh well, at least my feet feel soft and pleasant again. Well, as pleasant as feet can feel I guess.

After a while of letting our tootsies dry, Kiki and I changed into our swimming gear and went back down to the spa to have a swim in the indoor pool. The pool wasn’t quite as warm as I had hoped, but after thrashing around for a couple of minutes, it soon became quite comfortable. The sauna, steam room and hammam were much better though. Especially the steam room. Kiki kept saying that we should have put leave in conditioner in our hair beforehand, so we could have a nice steam and a hair treatment at the same time. Crazy she might be, but she definitely had a point there. A nice face mask wouldn’t have gone amiss either. Hmmm, there’s always next time. Surprise surprise, it was my first experience in a hammam as well, but it was not all it was cracked it to be compared to the steam room and sauna. It essentially just felt like a really warm room with a little bit of steam. We were only in there for a few minutes right at the end, before having another quick steam and departing.

When we went back to the room, there was a bottle of prosecco and a nice little chocolate mousse waiting for us as a Happy Belated Birthday to us both! This was thanks to my pal Darren in Guest Relations. Like I said, friends in high places, wink wink. So we didn’t really do anything after that but chill, drink prosecco and watch Love Island before falling asleep in the giant cloud of bliss. Despite being up watching TV and talking until 4am, I don’t think I’ve had such an amazing sleep since…well since the last time I stayed at The Ned!

So overall, an amazing stay. The Ned really is a great hotspot for the high flyers who can afford it regularly.  I am sad to say does not apply to me, at least not yet. Although the property is frequented by quite a few white prejudiced hotel guests, who were staring at me and my friend and clearly wondering who let the niggas in, this did not matter as the hotel staff were very welcoming in contrast. Ohh yeah, I’m being serious. This was probably the only slight dampener on the experience; one old lady was even talking about me and my outfit right in front of me, obviously not too impressed. I was wearing a pretty short backless dress, but so fucking what? It’s the weekend, it’s 30 degrees and oh yeah, I can wear what the fuck I like. I didn’t let this ruin my mood too much though. I must admit, it did ruffle my feathers a little bit at first. But it is a five star hotel in the centre of London, so unfortunately these kinds of visitors are to be expected. I just say fuck them. Fuck them, and fuck anybody else who has that mentality. They are not worth any of the energy I would usually muster up to react in anger, especially when this is energy I could be using to do productive things to better myself instead. Sorry for all the F-bombs, but as a black woman this kind of prejudice is obviously a subject I am particularly passionate about.

I got this kind of vibe when we went up to the roof for a hot minute as well on Sunday evening. If you know anything about The Ned, then you might know that The Roof Bar is one of the main reason that most people want to go there. I don’t quite understand it myself, because London is filled with other rooftop bars and restaurants, some of which you can smoke shisha in as well. Way more fun than what we have going on at The Ned, in my personal opinion. But some of these people just make no sense, you know. It was just funny, because this particular part of The Ned is a members only area, so is exclusive to members of The Ned and hotel guests staying in certain room categories. Because of this, so many people were so desperate to get into The Roof Bar. We just changed the rules in April so access would be limited to only certain hotel guests, in order to accommodate the increasing amount of members, as it isn’t the biggest space. As a result, my team and I have found ourselves dealing with a whole heap of complaints from the unlucky guests who won’t be able to access the roof during their stay, insisting that this was “the only reason they booked in the first place”. Well that’s a waste of money just to floss for the ‘gram. So it was funny to see that Kiki didn’t give a rat’s ass about the roof. I made the mistake of forgetting to tell her that you can’t take pictures up there, because those are the rules for the members only spaces. It’s a Soho House thing; it’s the exact same in all the other Houses as well. But she took a couple of photos and was abruptly told that she couldn’t do that up there. So I guess all the guests that do plan to floss for the ‘gram or their Snapchat are going to be bitterly disappointed. We couldn’t get a seat on the roof though. It wasn’t packed, but all the tables and chairs were occupied, leaving us no choice but to head back down. When I asked her what she thought of the space later on and she confirmed that she didn’t think much of it, these exact words were her explanation: “It’s too hot, there’s nowhere to sit and you can’t take pictures.” I can’t argue with that Kiki, I cannot argue with that.

 

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Cry and Carry On

Okay this is going to be slightly different from my usual content, but sometimes you do just need to get certain shit off your chest. So it’s rant time!

You know when you’re just feeling, not exactly shitty, but just “meh” for no reason? I mean, I do have reasons. But the things bothering me today are the same things that bother me nearly every other day, so it just seems a bit pathetic. However for whatever reason, each issue seems to have intensified in my brain by ten. I just kind of feel like I have so many ambitions, so many things I want to have achieve for myself, both professionally and personally, that I’m just about ready to explode. I’m not where I want to be financially or in my career or finished my book. I haven’t felt good about the way I look in a couple of months, but yet I haven’t lost the weight I want to lose. We’re literally only talking a little bit of weight on my stomach I’m trying to get rid of, but ladies I’m sure you feel me. If you don’t look the way you want to, even just slightly, it does fuck with your self-esteem. I need money for a new wardrobe for work, but I don’t have the money and couldn’t even tell you when I would have it. I haven’t even gotten my driving license yet (although now I’ve booked my test, I’m hoping that is only round the corner).

After I get my license and a car, not to mention insurance, then I can focus on saving up to move out. I was originally going to take my mother’s advice and just stay at home until I have enough to buy my own place, rather than waste money over the years renting. But I had forgotten about how much living with my parents, as much as I love them, drives me crazy. After my mother and I had the argument (see Old School Nigerians vs. Westernised Nigerians post), I decided that I was just not in the stage where I could put up with all of it 24/7. I love my family very much, but I feel like us being around each other all the time does nothing but outline our differences and our issues. It’s also just the little things, such as not being able to come home after a long day and blast out some music. Honestly, it sounds like such a minor sacrifice. But for those of you who live alone or in a much more chilled household, I don’t need to tell you how much better it makes you feel after a stressful today, to turn your favourite tune on full blast and pour yourself a large glass of prosecco. Or whatever might be your favourite tipple.

Anyway, as I’m sure you can tell, I have a lot on my mind. I really wish there was a manual on growing up. Of course the majority of lessons need to be learnt through your own journey and experiences. But still, it would have been nice to have a “Life For Dummies” book to have as a back-up. Am I alone in this by the way? Do any of you ever feel like you just want to do so much, buy so many things etc., that you just get so overwhelmed and essentially end up mentally saying, “fuck it” and just not doing anything? Well, maybe I’m being a little hard on myself. I’m definitely persevering with my goal to get my license this year, regardless of how many times I’ve been knocked down. I’m still eagerly pursuing a career in Entertainment PR, being sure to exhaust any possible opportunities where I can get my foot in the door, even if it has to be a receptionist position at a PR agency to start with. Ideally I would like to move out to my company’s Communications Team and keep it in the family, so fingers something opens up soon. So yeah, I am definitely pursuing some things.

But all that just doesn’t feel like enough. I see so many people making moves these days, and it just makes me think I’m really not doing as much as I should be. I have so many great ideas that I could take really far, but I feel like I’m dedicating all my time to my job and leisure. Of course when you have a full time job, spending more than half your time at work is hardly avoidable. However whenever I do have time off, I tend to just relax and do nothing and then feel like a terrible lazy slob when I go back to work and realise I’ve done nothing with my days off. It is difficult though; because when you’re on the go all the time, temptation to do absolutely fuck all is just too real. I would say I currently dedicate about 40% of my free time to writing. Not too terrible, seeing as I would say it was about 20-30% not long ago. However this still does not work. It definitely needs to be pulled up to a good 80-90% at least. I blame television. This is what I get for starting to watch Love Island. I shudder to think what will happen when I finally start watching Atlanta and The Chi.

I’d like to thank you all, and of course WordPress, for being my therapist for today. I very much appreciate it. With all this craziness going on lately, not to mention living in the era of social media where you see all these Instagram stars living their best life whilst you’re scanning Tesco daily for lunches that average no more of about £2 a day, it can be very easy to get down in the dumps and a little depressed. But I urge you all to find an outlet where you can escape, let all the bullshit out and then carry on.

So I Finally Started Watching Love Island…

…and I’m officially obsessed!

I’ve been considering giving Love Island a try since I first heard about it, but as I’m sure all my fellow binge-watching folks out there will agree, a decision to take on a new television programme is not something you enter into lightly. It certainly isn’t one that you make without thorough research into said television show first. You see, deciding to watch a new show isn’t quite the same as watching a movie you haven’t seen before. It is all a very complex process, from the initial idea of watching the television show to finally switching on the first episode. This process usually involves reading reviews from various websites, asking the opinion of different friends, family members or colleagues that watch it, as well as some serious private contemplation on your part. I know this may sound insane if you are not really a television person, but after watching Season 1 of Power and being unable to continue, I refuse to just dedicate myself to a new show anyhow. Yes I know, Power’s supposed to be the shit. I do like the premise of it, however, unless Angela dies, I just don’t know if I can bring myself to go back to it. But more on that another day.

After my extensive research, I decided to give Love Island a go now that they have put it on Netflix. For those of you that don’t know, Love Island is a reality TV show on ITV2 that started in 2015. The easiest way I can think of to describe it is Big Brother meets Ex On The Beach. The show takes place in a beautiful villa in Spain during the summer, and roughly ten or eleven singletons are thrown in there in order to compete against each other to find love. At the end of the competition, the winning couple are awarded a £50, 000 prize. So you essentially get an all expenses paid, six week vacation in a five star villa in beautiful, sunny Spain, where you just get to talk to hot guys, drink and chill by the pool all day. Then if you’re lucky, you could end up leaving with a new boyfriend or girlfriend, and £50, 000. Not a bad deal, right?

An entire season of Love Island is spread out over the course of six weeks, and is shown every day on TV. This would be the Big Brother-esque part of the show. The contestants don’t have any form entertainment apart from each other, so no TVs, phones or radios etc., with the exception of the phones that they are provided with for the duration of the competition. These phones alert them with a text message whenever there is any kind of update in the show, i.e. a new arrival, a couple are instructed to go on a date, etc. This of course would be the Ex on The Beach portion, the contestants phones being a substitute for the famous ‘Tablet of Terror’. The players all have to partake in various different challenges set out for them, another example of a text message that would be sent to their phones.

I think the first moment I knew I might be sold when I began watching the reality show, was when I saw that Jon Clark from The Only Way Is Essex was one of the contestants on the first season. Oh yes, I do realise that Love Island currently in the middle of a new season. However I am one of those people that have to watch anything new right from the beginning. Even if it’s just a reality show, I need to start from Season 1. I mean, who ever heard of starting something in the middle? That shit’s crazy to me. I think the only television shows that are exempt are the ones you’ll just throw on when there’s nothing else on TV, e.g. Come Dine With Me. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Come Dine With Me but you’d never catch me sitting down to watch it from Season 1. There are way too many episodes for a start.

As I was saying, Jon Clark was on the first season of Love Island, so I knew instantly I would at least be completing Season 1. I love Jon. He’s one of my favourites on good old TOWIE, and to be honest I had no idea that he was on Love Island at all, let alone that this was actually his rise to fame and the reason he joined the cast of TOWIE in the first place. Jon may get irate very quickly and easily, but inside he’s really a sweet guy made of honey. Because of this flaw, some people think he’s a bit of a dickhead. However I can relate to not being able to control your temper sometimes, although I do consider myself a lot more mature now.

Despite the fact that I loved watching Jon in it, not to mention his girlfriend-at-the-time Hannah who he had partnered up with, I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about the show yet. I mean I was only a couple of episodes in. Watching a new show is a bit like entering into a new relationship, you play it cool at first and act really laid back. When you’re a good few months in, then you can show your true wacky, crazy self. So I wasn’t about to be raving about how good Love Island was when I was only a few episodes in. With that being said, I am now two seasons in and am officially happy to confirm that I do indeed Love Island! There’s never really a period where it gets dull; they always seem to know when to mix it up and I like that. It’ll be smooth sailing for a bit and everyone’s all happy, then BOOM: a new arrival. It’ll be slightly too chilled for just a few moments, then BOOM: someone gets dumped from the villa. Sun, sex and six packs, the drama never ends. What is not to love!?

Anyway, I’m not going to go into detail about the contestants and what happened, because let’s face it: if you watch it, you already know and if you don’t watch it, you probably don’t care. However I will explain why I like it specifically for those of you that think reality TV is the trashiest, most “rachet”-est thing since…well, since the slang term “ratchet” was invented. I completely respect that opinion; I’m not going to lie, reality TV is trash. But occasionally, trash can be just so entertaining to watch. I do have limits though; I draw the line at shit like Teen Mom, Toddlers and Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. However I do consider Love Island to be slightly different. I find the concept intriguing, I mean think about it. When you meet someone in real life this is usually how it goes: you exchange numbers, talk for a bit, meet up for a date or sex, depending on the vibe and the person, you keep seeing each other for a few months, perhaps an average of three or four dates a month. Then it progresses, and you’re seeing each other more often, perhaps meeting friends or family members, and somewhere along the line, you eventually make it official. However in Love Island, you meet someone and then you essentially spend every waking moment together. I mean, every moment.

To be honest, the fights between the couples don’t surprise me in the slightest. Judging from what I know about guys, if I had to be in the company of one every moment of every day, I’d definitely have more than a few choice words for you after a while. One of the rules of the competition is that when you’re coupled up with someone, you have to share the same bed, even if it is more on a friend vibe (because unfortunately not everyone meets someone). This means that they wake up together, get dressed together, eat together, they chill together, because of course they need to get to know each other and there’s nothing else to do anyway, they brush their teeth together, and then of course they go to sleep together. I know that if you are genuinely enjoying someone’s company that this can be a good experience, however, best believe there will be moments that I will want to kick him in the face. I’m just saying. It’s only natural; anytime humans are around each other constantly, arguments are almost inevitable. When I used to live with my best friend, we would occasionally have little arguments about tiny little things. However, both before and after we lived together, we never had any arguments. It is wondrous how much of a difference just a little bit of space can make.

Although initially the biggest motivation for competing would naturally be the 50 Gs, it seems that there were quite a few pairs that did genuinely find love. So I guess the aim of the show does work for anyone who is genuinely looking. From what I’ve found out, a few couples have ended up getting engaged and even having children. A couple of them broke up with the people they were coupled with on the show, but ended up getting with one of the other contestants. So it’s nice to know that some of them did get their happily ever after in one way or another. However it is incredibly sad that the same cannot be said for the beautiful Sophie Gradon, who was one of the most memorable contestants on Season 2 of Love Island. A couple of weeks ago, the tragic news of her untimely death was brought to the attention of the media. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, however they have said that there was no sign of “foul play”, leaving many people to speculate that it was suicide. I personally feel that describing it as a tragedy is too much of an understatement. I may not have known her, but Sophie seemed an incredibly intelligent, kindhearted and amazingly free-spirited woman. I heard the news of her death before I had started watching the show, but once you make your way through Season 2 and watch her more and more, it just continues to weigh on your heart. I know they will probably never read this, but my still heavy heart goes out to both her family and her friends.

I am yet to start on Season 3, so I definitely haven’t made my way to the season that’s currently showing on TV. However there has been a huge outrage from a lot of viewers at the lack of diversity in Season 4 of Love Island. There is one black woman in the entire cast, who from what I have seen is gorgeous, but apparently she hasn’t found love so far and this gradually seems to be chipping away at her confidence. Not to mention that the remainder of the cast seem to consist of supremely sculpted, chiselled, muscled, ripped men and perfectly preened, plumped, nipped and tucked women, who all look exactly the same. No seriously, look it up and play a fun little game of Spot the Difference. I bet you’ll still be playing by the time this season of Love Island is over. Now I completely agree with all these opinions; my best friend and I were half-joking regarding the plight of Rachel in Season 1. Rachel was the token black girl of the first season, and she, of course, got no love. Which brings me back to the point I was about to make. I completely agree with all that is being said, however the lack of diversity on reality television shows in Britain is nothing new at all. Look at all the shows that are currently on TV: Made in Chelsea, Geordie Shore, Ex on the Beach, Love Island. For those of you that don’t partake, please just look up previous cast members on Google and tell me how many non-white contestants you see. Because from what I’ve seen previously, you are lucky if you ever get two in a season at once. Now I don’t think that the creators and producers are being racist per se. I just think that it doesn’t enter their ignorant minds that the public might want to watch someone on television who isn’t white and perfect looking. Well folks, I have news for you…we do!

So I assure you, I am not making light of an issue which I truly believe is a serious one. But it is difficult for me to share the same level of outrage as some of my fellow viewers because this all occurred to me years ago. This certainly didn’t begin in 2018, and I unfortunately I don’t believe it will end this year either. Not when it comes to British reality television in general anyway. However with Love Island specifically, what with the huge amount of backlash they’ve recently received, not just from the public but from previous contestants as well, I am confident that the cast of Love Island 2019 will look incredibly different. Mark my words: instead of the usual porcelain dolls along with the token black girl and the one mixed race guy, there’ll be five white girls/guys (one of which will be bigger than the average size), two black girls and two black guys (one of which will be bigger than the average size, take your pick), and perhaps one Asian guy just to go crazy.

You know what, if I generally thought I could handle the aftermath of it, I might even consider applying for next year myself. I do believe it might be the perfect time for a black girl! However, whilst I may feel that I’ll be okay in theory, I know that it will most likely be a different story when it comes to actually doing it. So being a future Love Island contestant may not be in the cards for me, which is probably for the best. However I very much hope that they do improve when it comes to their lack of diversity, as well as any other television programme being shown to millions of influential viewers. But nevertheless, Love Island definitely have me sold as a spectator in this juicy saga for the time being. Keep that shit coming ITV2!

Have You Ever Seen The Crowd Going Apeshit?

So in answer to the question above…err YES! All you had to do was be in The London Stadium on Saturday 16th June – at the very front row of the standing section, right up near the stage, between the hours of 8pm and 10.30pm. Going apeshit was certainly exactly what my best friend Keely and I were doing in those exact moments.

So I’m sure most of you who don’t live under a rock know that Jay-Z and the incredibly phenomenal Beyoncé have kicked off their second joint tour this year: On The Run II. I was one of the fortunate ones that was able to purchase a ticket to the second night of the tour in London last weekend. This was the night that Bey and Hove decided to drop the brand new album that they had been keeping under wraps. It’s called Everything Is Love and it is easily the best work of art that has been released since Lemonade. Seriously. I do realise that as a sworn member of the Beyhive I may be somewhat biased. However when you think of the release of Cardi B’s amazing album in April, along with the announcement of both Drake and Nicki Minaj’s upcoming albums, not to mention Pusha T’s, Kanye’s and J. Cole’s latest albums (which I still haven’t listened to completely yet, believe it or not), I was already under the impression that the bar had probably already been set pretty high when it comes to new music this year. Well Bey and Jay proved me wrong, because now that I’ve heard Everything Is Love, the bar is now so far up in the sky, the moon and the stars are looking up above and asking if it’s a fucking bird or a plane. Well moon and stars, no it isn’t. It’s the amazing Queen Bey and Jay-Z.

Anyway, I’ll go into more detail on the album shortly. Firstly, I want to illustrate just how amazing they were during the show on Saturday night. But merely calling it a show doesn’t seem to give it the justification it so deserves. It was more of an event, a work of art, a masterpiece of which spectators such as myself should feel almost as privileged as our brand new Duchess Megan Markle, at the fact that we can actually feast our eyes on such a thing. Actually, dare I say it, I think I probably feel even more privileged than Megan. She may have just landed a prince, but she didn’t get to see Beyonce perform mere feet away from her. Although she I’m sure she will get the opportunity at some point. She’ll probably even get to shake her hand and talk to her and everything, so I guess until then we’re about even.

As I watched the ebony goddess perform on Saturday evening, I found myself thinking about how she is consistently amazing. There are so many artists out there who are incredibly talented. But the reason I consider Beyoncé a force to be reckoned with is the way she outdoes her own self every time. Every single time we see her perform, whether it be live or from the comfort of our own homes, she unceasingly goes up a level if not two. And she appears to do it with such ease. Every move was executed with such precision and perfection, you’d think she came twerking out of the womb. Beyoncé always knows exactly what we want to see. Whilst she still holds onto elements of her style that we all love, she clearly simultaneously takes a close look at a lot of the new shit that comes out and incorporates certain aspects of it into her work. However she always manages to stay true to the Yoncé that we all love. To be honest, I have so many positive things to say about her and her performance, that I am finding it much harder to write this than I thought I would. I mean, how do you put so much passion, excitement and motivation into mere words? I guess it’s supposed to be my job to know that really.

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed Jay-Z’s performance as well. Not that I thought he wouldn’t be good. I mean, Jigga does his thing, I think we all know that. But I wasn’t really so focused on him up until the evening of. I was purely focused on seeing The Queen so close in the flesh and watching her slay, as any member of The Beyhive should be. And slay she did indeed. But anyway, yes Jay-Z went in also. Not only did he entertain us with his fairly new bangers such as The Story of OJ, as well as his mainstream bangers such as Niggas in Paris, but can you believe he also hit us with his old school tunes like 99 Problems and Dirt Off Your Shoulder. I forgot how much I loved Jay-Z’s music. I mean, I was never a huge fan like I am of Beyoncé. But I definitely agreed with the popular opinion that he is the best rapper out there. Yeah that’s right, I said it. Nas is the shit, but I don’t think he can construct a track quite like Hove. I think to be called the best rapper alive, at least one currently making music, you need to be constantly taking your music and yourself to another level, like Jay-Z does. And of course Beyonce. I just couldn’t exclude her from that, I’m sorry. Although I haven’t listened to Nas’s new album yet, so I can file that opinion in the TBC part of my mind until then.

If all this splendour wasn’t enough, the power couple decided to reveal their brand new video Apeshit, which was absolutely phenomenal. I’m purposefully not even going to describe it just to make those of you that haven’t watch it. But let’s just say that although you would not be able to go there and revisit it, Bey and Jay certainly made sure there would be an additional piece of art that can be associated with The Louvre Museum. The only thing negative thing on my mind during those few minutes of pure excitement and joy, is that my battery had died from the million and one videos I had taken throughout the evening. This meant that I was unfortunately not able to record it and post it for all my Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter to followers to start dying with jealousy that I was amongst the first to lay eyes on the masterpiece. It was all I could do not to suddenly remember there were actually other people around me, and make friends with the girl next to me who had got the whole thing on her phone to get her to send it to me. Not that I wouldn’t have if I thought there had been time in the final four minutes.

Everything Is Love: ahh what could I possibly say that would accurately describe the impeccability of this album. If you know me, you’ll know that I am a chatterbox. But I am genuinely struggling to find the words that will illustrate the power of the message in this album, and just how clearly each of their voices resonated through every word that was sung/rapped. I’m sure it’s no secret to most that Jay-Z cheated on Beyonce a while ago. The details of his betrayal are of course kept under wraps, as the dynamic duo have always been incredibly skilled at making sure the public only knows what they want them to. So Becky With The Good Hair is still out there somewhere, hiding from The Beyhive at all costs. Not that we know who she is, or she’d be six feet under by now. Or at the very least the branded name would be useless. She’d be Becky With The Nappy Hair, because no hair salon in town would ever touch her scalp again. No to mention that any bitch who would willingly fuck Beyoncé’s man would definitely take yours in a heartbeat. But I digress.

I would say Everything Is Love should be considered the final part of a trilogy. Lemonade is the album revealing the adultery, the 4:44 album is Jay-Z asking for Beyoncé’s forgiveness and Everything Is Love is the outcome of the aftermath. Both artists are speaking to the fans desperate to know the truth, but through their music. I remember listening to an audio of Beyonce telling us about when she first met Jay, and she explains that music was and always will be a strong connection between the two of them. So they used their mutual love of music, as well as the love for their beautiful children, as therapy in order for them to heal. The album truly is amazing. Every segment is extremely well considered, from the content of each of the nine songs, to the way entire thing is scripted in capital letters. They touch on so many things in each track: the importance of their role as two black billionaires (combined), Jay’s estrangement from Kanye West and Beyoncé makes it clear that music isn’t a numbers game to her by stating “If I gave two fucks about streaming numbers, would have put Lemonade up on Spotify.” Too true Bey, too true. They even take some well deserved shots at Donald Trump. Yes Mr. Trump, in the world of Black Excellence you will always be an irrelevant enemy. You’d best keep yourself hidden in the back streets with Kanye and the other white bigamists. I’ve listened to the album all the way through about four times now (and yes I am also listening to it right now), and I feel as if you get to know the dynamic duo so much better every single time you hear it. Beyoncé even mentions that she learnt a lot about her new elements of rap from her husband. Who apparently never writes, which is just crazy. It is clear how passionate they both are about their children, and how love and music has helped them both rise from the “ashy-ness” of the pain and betrayal like the beautiful phoenixes they are.

I know to someone who isn’t such a big fan of either of them, but since Saturday night I’ve been feeling…different. Then I after I listened to Everything Is Love for the second time, and I mean really listened to it, something struck me. As I was watching Beyoncé perform, it occurred to me that this woman doesn’t just slay because she’s amazing. I mean, she is. But she also slays because she works. HARD. Beyoncé has done nothing but rise further and further to the top since her early Destiny Child days, but she just goes harder. Every year she becomes increasingly more successful, but this does not ever slow her grind. If anything, the results just make her hungrier and reach to new heights the on the next occasion. However it didn’t really occur to me that Jay-Z had the very same work ethic until I really sat down and listened to every lyric of the album properly. I mean, he’s always been Hove but this has never stopped him. He’s gone from drug dealer, to rapper, to best rapper in the game, and finally to the balla and businessman he is now. But yet, he STILL continues to work like he’s still a broke nigga from Brooklyn. How crazy is that work ethic? It’s so crazy that it seems nothing short of unbelievably insane that I haven’t even cracked the surface. But yet I’ve literally been sitting on my ass in comparison. What’s that about? Well no more of it. Ever since last weekend, I really have felt a fire in me that I’ve never really felt before, and I really, really do not want to put it out. Because what music is to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, is what writing is to me. Writing is my therapy, except I am nowhere near finished with my session. Hell I haven’t even started; I’ve barely sat on the sofa and opened my mouth. You do get the analogy I’m going with here, right? If not, my apologies.

So this is exactly why I’m sitting here writing this. Still in the office just over two hours after my shift ended. It certainly isn’t because I love it here. It’s because I love this: writing is my escape, my release, my passion, my everything. It is me. But while I think I have a natural way with words, I am aware that I’ve still got a long way to go. I am literally days away from my twenty-fifth birthday, and while I know it’s not quite time to wear the “old maid” outfit just yet, it certainly isn’t the time to keep delaying the start of the journey. I definitely don’t consider myself the Beyoncé of the writing world, but I truly believe I could get there if I apply myself, show true dedication and work hard. Mark my words, one of these days I will have my own Everything Is Love, which I hope will inspire another budding talent such as myself. However, until then, I will continue to hone my craft and grind until I too can say that I slay.

Chicago: The Musical, The Review

So Bank Holiday Monday on 28th May was very enjoyable. My friend Keely and I went to see Chicago: The Musical playing in The Phoenix Theatre, London. I won the tickets in our New Year’s staff party (I had never won anything in my life up until that day, so this was a very proud moment for me!) and when I was given the tickets, I was told that I could book anything except Hamilton and Harry Potter & The Cursed Child. I know, boo right? It’s not like Harry Potter was my first choice or anything. But you know, free shit is free shit so I was not about to complain.

After doing my research, I was on the verge of selecting Dreamgirls as the lucky winner, when I discovered that Chicago would be coming to London in March, and that Cuba Gooding Jr. would be paying Billy Flynn. Well, suddenly it was a no-brainer! I had to see Cuba Gooding Jr. perform live. I was completely unaware of what his skills as a singer were, but this was not about to be the sole reason not to attend.  I mean, Richard Gere isn’t exactly John Legend himself but, as we all know, he killed it in the movie.

On the day, I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. I had been so focused on my excitement at seeing Cuba Gooding Jr. perform live, that I had forgotten how much I loved the way the characters were played by the actors in the original movie. To be honest, I completely underestimated how brilliant Catherine Zeta-Jones was as Velma Kelly. From the very beginning of the show, whilst she was performing All That Jazz, I had a feeling that Josefina Gabrielle would not do the role justice quite like the lovely Mrs. Zeta-Jones. I know that the entire cast in the movie did set the bar very high, but I just didn’t get the essence of the “Miss Velma Kelly” that you’re supposed to feel from the moment she walks into the room. I won’t go as far as to say that Josefina did a bad job, but I just didn’t love it.

Now Sarah Soetaert, who played the main character Roxie Hart, did fantastically in my opinion. When performing in something well-known, actors tend to study the original too much and just mimic exactly what we’ve seen before, rather than make it their own. Ms. Soetaert did not do any such thing. She still brought the playfulness and ditziness to the character, but she also compiled this with the perfect touch of comedy as well. I don’t actually remember the character being quite that funny when it was played by Renee Zellwegger, as brilliant as this was. So I was very impressed with what Sarah Soetaert brought to the role.

Another who impressed me was Paul Rider, who played Amos in the musical, Roxie Hart’s husband. Now for anyone who has seen the movie, or has been lucky enough to see Chicago on Broadway, I’m sure you remember that Amos is essentially Mr. Invisible. He’s described as not very attractive, a little simple and according to Roxie, not very good in bed. I think even referring to him as “a little simple” is me being kind-hearted personally. Because if we’re going to be honest, any man who would spend his life savings on his woman who is in jail for killing the man she cheated on you with, is nothing short of a mug in my opinion. I get it, love is blind or whatever. But he is still a mug. However I could not fault the actor’s performance.

Ruthie Henshall played the fabulous Mama Morton. Once again, I didn’t quite consider just how much of a mark Queen Latifah left with her portrayal of the matron. Ruthie Henshall certainly had some big shoes to fill. I wasn’t a huge fan of her characterization at first, however she did grow on me. I liked the fact that she seemed to have all the edge of Big Mama, but was still able to bring her own style of acting to the character. She didn’t quite resonate the confidence and power that I would expect from anyone who took on the role, but when she walked onto the stage, you knew it was Big Mama. She wasn’t actually big in size at all. But unexpectedly, this didn’t really matter to me. The only negative point I had was that she and Velma Kelly didn’t seem to have the relationship that they should have had before Roxie arrived. When it came to the climactic part of the performance, where Roxie has essentially replaced Velma as the big dog, I didn’t feel as much of an effect because I didn’t feel as if her and Mama had much of a bond in the first place. But overall, I did like Ruthie Henshall’s portrayal.

And finally, the wonderful Mr. Cuba Gooding Jr. Yes, I did indeed save the best for last! As excited as I was to see him perform live in the weeks leading up to the show, all I could think of once we were sat in our seats on the night was “please don’t mess it up Cuba, please. I love you so much, please don’t make me hate you!” And he did not disappoint. For an actor who is used to performing in front of the camera as opposed to on stage, I thought Cuba Gooding Jr. did an amazing job. I truly believe that Richard Gere would have been proud. Or slightly jealous perhaps. But either way, I loved it. Not only was he every bit as witty, funny, cheeky and daring as Billy Flynn should have been, but he was practically dripping with the suave and sophistication that we are used to seeing from Mr Gooding Jr. Only it was even better, because there wasn’t a sheet of glass separating me from him! Well, there will still several people, chairs and the stage, but that’s beside the point. I am genuinely struggling to find a negative element of his performance throughout the entire show.

So overall, it may not have been Harry Potter & The Cursed Child but it was amazing and my friend and I both thoroughly enjoyed it. I vote for a brand new film adaptation of Chicago with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Billy Flynn. Encore! Encore!

When Did It All Get So Complicated?

The human mind is a funny thing, isn’t it? It can play all sorts of tricks on you, such as making you focus on something that feels important at the time, when what you’ve really been doing is subconsciously trying to drive the issue which is really bothering you out of your mind?

A very similar phenomenon has been occurring with me lately. I’d managed to convince myself that I was actually a missing a guy I’d been seeing not long ago, who I wouldn’t quite say turned out to be a dickhead, but let’s just say he wasn’t for me. We went on a few dates and during nearly every single one he had made a big deal about the tiniest thing in the most unnecessary manner. Like most people these days, I feel like I am at work pretty much 24/7. So I don’t much enjoy spending my free time with someone who can easily cause an argument for essentially no reason. This is exactly what had happened when I last saw him; he pissed me off unnecessarily for a small issue, so this resulted in an argument, we haven’t spoken since then.

Now before it had come to this point, I really did feel a genuine connection with this man. One which I don’t usually get with guys if I’m being completely honest. Because of this, I’d actually managed to fool myself into thinking that it might be worth contacting him and seeing if he wanted to reconnect. Can you believe that? This is not somebody that I could honestly say I had spent nearly every day thinking about, yet here I was contemplating reaching out to him, despite the fact that he hadn’t contacted me since our argument either, when I had done absolutely nothing wrong. What for? I mean, yeah we had definitely had fun. But I couldn’t tell you one thing about him that I honestly missed. Apart from his car maybe. He drove a white BMW, just saying. I was actually fooling myself into thinking that this was someone I should allow to distract me. Even as I write that, it just seems so laughable. There is only one person I should be completely focused on at this point, and that is me.

But this was the problem. I’d done the same thing with the guy I wrote about previously, Damien. Although now I think I’ll just refer to him as Full of Shit, seeing as that is exactly what he is. I’m not even going to get into that though; the less said about him the better. I was really upset when Full of Shit seemed to have done a complete U-turn pretty much just after he’d confessed his so called “feelings for me”. But then it occurred to me: if I was being real, I didn’t honestly care too much about either of these boys. They were both time wasters, and I knew I could have gotten another of them in a minute (all hail Queen Bey). The thing that was really bothering me was me. Me and the career that I was planning on pursuing. The problem was that I didn’t really know which career that was anymore.

I’ve already decided that I definitely want to pursue a career that would involve writing. This has always been my greatest passion and the one thing I was the best at. Even at work when we write emails, a few of the girls would occasionally ask me for advice on how to word certain things when they were trying to get their point across. But at the moment, I’m kind of trying to weigh up whether I’d like to go into Entertainment PR or if I’d be better suited to working as a journalist for a magazine. I think I’d be good at both jobs really, but PR would be completely new territory for me, whereas I have a lot more confidence in the idea of journalism, depending on which kind I suppose. You see, this is where I’m torn. On one hand, Entertainment PR can be a really lucrative and exciting career, one in which you can make good money from in the future. However, I have absolutely no experience in this field, so getting into it from the start would be quite difficult. Not to mention, and I think this is my biggest worry, when I do eventually get something and start working, it might be completely different from what I expected and I may not like it. Remember, this is something I have never done before. So what if I find it isn’t for me, and then I’ve wasted a year and I’m back to square one? I know I am only 24 years old, but I’d still rather not waste any time if it is avoidable. Life is short after all.

On the other hand, writing for a magazine is definitely something else I think I’d enjoy. I’d love to have my own column in a magazine, or write a blog that’s featured in one. I definitely fancy myself as a black Carrie Bradshaw. Except I am also English, and have a much less fabulous wardrobe unfortunately. I will get to that level soon though, fingers crossed. Anyway, I’d totally love to do that and then eventually start my own magazine. It occurred to me just recently that there aren’t many magazines that are specifically for black women. I think I only know of Essence magazine really, and while their audience is definitely black women, it really is only aimed at African American women. This is fair enough; it is an American publication. However mine would be more centred around black women from the UK. We have plenty of issues and stories of our own, particularly as our generation is getting more and more westernised. The only bug on this windshield for me is that every journalist needs to specialise in a particular field…and I just don’t know what mine would be. I’m passionate about films, TV, books and music. So I guess entertainment journalism would be the obvious choice. Things such as television and film criticism, or celebrity coverage. I know I could write about all three of those subjects. I mean, I tend to dip and out of celebrity gossip when it suits me, but I could definitely dive all the way in when it comes to writing about it. I have plenty to say about a Carter or a Kardashian, I can tell you that.

But where to begin? I literally do not know how I would get into it. I suppose I could sort of use my blog as a platform for now and go from there; it’s certainly worked for a lot of bloggers in the US. But I’m not exactly a huge socialite with millions of followers. It’s going to take a while for my voice to be heard, and then what do I do in the meantime? I am currently looking into internships in PR to get started, but should I be doing the same thing with journalism as well? Should I be contacting magazine publications simultaneously, or is it literally all about the Internet these days? Should I go back to university and get a degree first? Would that make the path much easier and clearer? I have SO many questions, and I STILL do not know what decision to make! When I was eighteen, it just all seemed so much simpler. I never really thought I’d be in this position where I don’t know what I want to do, and the answer to every question regarding my career would be “I don’t know”. I like my job, but it is just a job to me. Even my manager knows this. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m in a shitty place for 24, but I just want to be on the right path. I want to be on the path to my dream career, even if it is only the beginning of the journey. Of course writing books, and maybe screenplays as well, is my #1 goal. However as confident I am in my abilities, anything creative is never guaranteed to bring you success. So as much as I say that I should just stick with what I’m doing and throw myself into writing, it just makes sense to have a back-up plan.

I’ve been feeling this conflicted for some time, and just before I started writing this post, my brain had been in complete overdrive and it really overwhelmed me. I actually had a good cry about it, which was such a shock to the system. I mean, I thought I’d been upset about a boy who wasn’t worth my time at all. But after I’d spoken to my friend and got to the root of the problem, I’d started bawling. I don’t think I’ve cried about a boy since I was a teenager, from what I remember. I used to be concerned about the stupidest things when I was younger, so that’s one thing I’m glad has changed. But here I was in despair over me, myself and I and what the hell we were going to do with my life. If only I could say that was a stupid problem to have. My crybaby moment kind of made me feel a bit better. It always feels a bit better to let it out. But I’m still not any more sure about the decision I have to make.

My friend’s advice was to just keep writing and keep it moving for now, and what I wanted to do would become clear in time. To be honest, I think she is right. Because I’m such a planner, I really prefer to know exactly what my next move is where possible. But I guess I do have to be accepting of the fact that it’s not a bad thing to go with the flow in your mid-20’s. I know one thing is for sure though: I am definitely in a phase where I cannot have anybody surrounding me who isn’t adding any positivity to my life. This doesn’t just apply to niggas, but to my friends and certain family members as well. I just cut off one of my friend a couple of days ago for that very reason. She’s the kind of girl that handles things very immaturely, and likes to create drama where there isn’t any for whatever reason. She’d done something very similar last year, and one of my friends actually told me she’d been talking about me behind my back because of it, and to be careful with her. I personally don’t give two shits what people have to say about me that they haven’t got the balls to say to my face, but don’t bitch about me to someone who will obviously tell me. It just makes you look like a bitch, and stupid as fuck to be honest. Because the matter was so petty, I didn’t even talk about with her and just forgot about it. But I was always careful with her after that. Then this same friend tried her bullshit again recently, and I just thought “you know what..nah. I don’t need this”, and that was it. This woman is almost 30 and still acting like we’re in school, but that’s her business. This certainly isn’t how I need to be rolling, and I most definitely am not interested in keeping up a friendship with someone who will try some more nonsense two months from now, and then some more bullshit on top of that in another three months. Like I said before, life is too short and I intend on making mine as enjoyable and fruitful as possible. In the meantime, anybody who doesn’t like me, the shit I do, or isn’t adding any value to my life, can kick rocks as far as I’m concerned. As the amazing Cardi B once said, “I’m quick to cut a nigga off so don’t get comfortable.” I know, I know, Beyonce in the last post, Cardi B in this post. I think I’ll quote Nicki Minaj in the next one.

If any of you gems have any suggestions about the dilemma described above, please do let me know. Believe me, any advice for me and my hopelessly scrambled brain would be very much appreciated. However in the meantime, please continue to read and share (like for real, help a bitch out) and continue to shine!

Old School Nigerians vs. Westernised Nigerians

You know what frustrates me the most? When people care WAY too much about what other people think? And when I say that, I don’t just mean people getting a little frustrated about comments that people make about them. The most confident people can let those little things get to them, even if it is on a rare occasion. I’m talking people who let the words of individuals that they either don’t like, respect or even know, affect them or what they do in their life.

Unfortunately I feel that this is the mentality of most old school Nigerians, my mother and father included. Even me just writing this would most likely be an embarrassment to them if they were to come across it. But as soon as I decided to write this blog, I promised myself that I would just be myself when I wrote. Essentially I would give zero fucks about how it might come off or what people would think. It’s a shame, because in so many ways my mother is such a strong woman. She is one of the things that inspire me to keep pushing and do exactly what I believe what I am meant to do, which is write. Yes, my blog is definitely a work in progress. I don’t have that many followers on Twitter or Instagram, at least not yet. I haven’t completed a book yet, and I’m not yet on the path of the career I’ve been envisioning. Yet. But I am on my way. I’ve also become a much more resilient and confident woman, and this is only in the past few months. I think my best friend is also partly the reason for that. She has inadvertently taught me how unimportant the opinions of others can be, especially when it comes to doing something you are passionate about.

However, my mother and I unfortunately got into a pretty heated argument a few days ago. Actually we’ve yet to speak again properly since then. You see, my mother has a lot of pride, a trait which is apparent in most Nigerian women, as I’ve mentioned previously. She doesn’t approve of a few things I do. Shining examples would be the clothes I wear, my tattoos and the pictures that I post on social media. Not that I follow them on anything, or have them on Facebook. I’m not stupid. She’s referring to pictures I would use for my display picture on Whatsapp. These aren’t anything horrifying; she’s literally referring to pictures where I rock a bit of cleavage, or a holiday photo where I’m wearing a bikini. Basically pictures that I personally don’t regard as inappropriate, but my parents clearly do. This is not only an opinion that they cannot seem to help constantly sharing with me, but also a topic which other family members that I don’t even talk to seem to speak to them about.

This was actually the root of the argument I had with my mum, and what I’m angriest about. There are certainly family members that have said some unforgivable things about me, my mother and my brother. So for that reason, I choose not to associate with them or even act like they exist most of the time. So when they deem it appropriate to voice their opinion on me and what I’m doing, which is often, I do not pay attention. I don’t understand why anyone would listen to someone that you know has no respect for you or you family, and choose to give their opinion any validity at all. If were all going to get judgemental, I have plenty of things that I could say about them. But I don’t. Mostly because I don’t care about them enough to talk about them anyway. However my mum was evidently embarrassed at the idea of them talking about me to my father. But why? Firstly, in the eyes of the Lord, any sins or transgressions that I may have are not any different to theirs. Secondly, I am well past the age that they can try and dictate my life or my decisions, whether they approve of them or not. I understand that this is the way with most Nigerian parents. But I’m 25 years old in a couple of months, and it really is just getting ridiculous. Their way of thinking just makes absolutely no sense to me.

I was so angry at my mum that the only thing I wanted to do after we had finished arguing, was get on my laptop and write this. But I took a few days to calm down before I started writing. I am very glad I did this, because if I had written it that same evening, I would have gone in on her and every single family member who never gives me the time of day, but yet still think they have a right to judge me and talk about me. So I’m very glad that I can sit here and do this from a much calmer place. I’m still doing my best to continue to grow and learn the most important lessons every day, and I don’t want to set myself back by talking about people that aren’t worth my time. I also want to be able to continue to love my parents unconditionally, which I do. But unfortunately, we may go through a good streak at times, but they will eventually break it by giving me more of this bullshit and they will continue to be like that. So as much as I love them, and as much as we are much closer than we were before, they will still always be a wall between us in some way. Not because I grew up differently to how they hoped I would, but simply because a part of them will always be this judgemental and unhappy with me, meaning they will never truly accept me for who I am. It’s hard coming to terms with that fact. I, on the other hand, am not quite like that. So while they do quite a few things I don’t like, I will still love and appreciate them regardless because they are my parents. At the end of the day, no matter what we may say to each other in heated moments, they still gave me life. They clothed me and fed me. They sacrificed so many things just so I could have a good education, and I will never forget it. But unfortunately, I will also never forget some of the horrible things they have said or done to me either. All I can really do though, is promise myself that when I have my own children, I will never make them feel ashamed just for being themselves.

I guess my reason for writing this is to say to all parents, Nigerian or not, who have a similar technique when it comes to their children, please think about how your words and actions towards them make them feel. We understand that this isn’t done out of malice, and that you were just raised in a completely different way. But we have not grown up that way, so things are bound to be different, which you should only expect. Yes, when your children grow up they may do some things that you do not approve of. But please try your best to just accept that they are old enough to choose their own path, and trust that when it comes to the fundamental qualities of being a well-rounded human being, you have done a good job in teaching them. I know this may be harder than it sounds, but coming from one of those children, doing the alternative, especially with extreme methods, will only push them away.