Sunday, February 27, 2011

Welcome to my Room

The first thing I wanted to do when I got home from the airport was see the house. When my mom moved back to Nigeria in 1999, me and two of my siblings went with her. We moved out of the condo we spent all of our summers in (on Victoria Island) and moved to the house my parents bought in Alagbado.

If you're not from Nigeria, you may not understand the significance of this. My parents moved their Americanized children out to the sticks man! Moving from V.I. to Alagbado was like moving from Malibu to Backwater, Alabama!

It was hard to adjust and anything but comfortable but my parents found the land they needed to build their dream home. And it just happened to be in an area of Lagos that wasn't as developed as other parts. My parents added to an existing building so we moved from the boy's quarters to the guest house. After they finished gutting and rebuilding the main house, we moved into the first floor and they started working on the rest of the house. This all happened in the four years I lived there, before I went back to the states. Now the second floor is done.

It's been a long project for them but I'm so happy for my parents; they worked really hard to make their dreams a reality! The neighborhood has developed along with the house. I'm very happy to be an Alagbado resident.

Now, anyway : )

That's my desk/ vanity table. I tried to pack light but it still looks like I packed a suitcase of products! But at least I've put the table to good use since I've been home ; )

I would like a round of applause for only bringing five pairs of shoes with me (excluding my flip flops) Some people assume I'm going on safari when I tell them I'm going to Nigeria. But Lagos State is a far cry from the bush and we have metropolitan areas just like any other state. Besides, hiking boots aren't going to cut it; women here take their foot game seriously!

That's about it! My room is pretty bland and it sort of feels like a hotel room. I don't have any artwork on the walls and it's missing my piles of magazines and books but it's mine and it's big.

I love it so, I truly do : )

I want to show you guys how we get running water so look out for that post!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Food: Wheat Flour, Vegetable Stew and Ewedu Soup

My first full day back, I woke up and my mom told me to get my hair braided.

Let me just say, the woman here can braid hair like nobody's business! They are super talented and criminally cheap. I think my braids would have cost about 1000 naira ($1.00 is equivalent to 160 naira) but my mom always pays more because people here always do a great job.

Anyway, my friend Leke called some time in the afternoon and said "hey, I'm an hour away. See you soon!" I wasn't expecting to see anyone that day but was psyched all the same. Going to secondary school in Nigeria (Home Science Secondary School what what!) resulted in life-long friendships that I value.

Here's a pic of me and Leke looking zexy.

After he left, it was time to eat!


Being home means eating my mom's cooking which is the best thing ever. EVER.

That night my mom cooked what we call wheat, vegetable stew and ewedu. Let me break it down for you:

Yum yum yum : )

The wheat is actually wheat flour made into a paste. My mom goes to the open-air market (Kola market is closest to us), and has the wheat milled to make the flour. When she gets home, she mixes some of the flour (the same type used to make bread) with hot water to make the paste.

The vegetable stew is made with green leaves we call "water leaf", chopped peppers, tomatoes, onions, Maggi and palm oil. It's sauteed. My mom usually adds dry fish to this dish as well but she skipped that part for me.

Ewedu is my favorite thing to eat when I'm home. Mainly because I don't even know where to find it in the states. Water leaf tastes like spinach to me so I have no problem substituting it but ewedu is special. The leaves are picked from the stem and then either chopped up into tiny pieces or blended. it starts to get this slimy consistency that used to kind of gross me out to be honest.

But I'm older now and appreciate foods more exotic than french fries.

Ewedu soup is kind of bland but my mom adds locust beans to it and I love those little suckers so I'm always happy when I eat them.

What do you guys think? If I cooked it, would you try the meal?

Smothering my Parents

The 26th was my first full day back in Nigeria. I woke up next to my parents which was really really nice.

And I slept with them the whole time I was there.

Don't judge me.

I'm usually a head case the first few days back. I go everywhere they go, even following my mom into the bathroom as she pees. My dad's going to put on the generator, I'm going with him. It's not that they're not capable of doing the same tasks they've done without me around for years; I just want to look at them. Being away for so long sucks in a way a lot of people can't imagine. My parents don't live in another state, they live in another country and it's not always easy to see them.

So I hover. Is it normal to sit on the toilet as your mom bathes? I dunno. Do I kind of feel like I'm regressing mentally? Eh, maybe. Do I care? Not really.

So I have a question for those in a long distance relationship with family; do you guys smother them when you visit?

Luckily for me, my parents don't mind me crawling into bed with them. And I dutifully told them they could tell me to get lost if they wanted to have some daddy/mommy time.

: )

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm Home! I'm Home! I'm Home!

Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

So, my dumb ass saved my posts as docx. documents and I can't access them here. I'm going to skip the massive hissy fit I feel entitled to and go straight to being productive.

The picture above was taken from the plane when I arrived in Lagos. My flights (three stops, three planes) over was uneventful. Lufthansa's vegetarian options suck but their movie options were good.

Oh, I sat across that BET 106 & Park VJ in Canada. He's cute in person.

Back to Nigeria:

I was so happy to be home, this overwhelming feeling of relief rushed over me and

I started crying like a PUNK!

But I collected myself, thank God.

Murtala's airport is located in Ikeja so anyone flying to Lagos is going to land there. I arrived around 6:00 pm and thought to myself "yay, it's still light out! I'm totally going to get home at a decent time."

Obviously, I've been gone for a long time because it took an hour for my bags to show up.

Once I got outside and saw my parents (yay), we spent three hours in the car before getting to Alagbado, the town my parents live in. Let me take this moment to add that the distance between Ikeja and Alagbado is supposed to be an hour. But the traffic is awful so that'll never happen.

By the time we got home, we were exhausted but I wanted to see the house because it's been a while and I wanted to see the changes my parents made to their dream home. After that, my mom made me eat, I washed up and passed out in my parents bed because I'm a baby : )

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Natalie Portman's Dior Cherie Commercial is Kinda Meh

No offense to Sofia Coppola, but I'm kind of disappointed. What did you guys think?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Today is the day; I am finally going to visit my folks in Nigeria and I am beyond psyched! I have awful luck when it comes to traveling and I'm kind of leaving in a rush but I'm praying everything goes well! Either way, you guys will read about it : )

This whole thing won’t be as fun without some questions. I want you guys to ask me anything! No question is too stupid. So what do you want to know? Ask away : )

Don't forget to check out my Twitter feed as well!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Quote It

"I'd rather die standing then live on my knees."

The Situation.

The Jersey Shore: a show about the lives of eight profound thinkers.

Nigeria: Could I Really Live There?

When I tell people I plan on moving back to Nigeria some day, a lot of them ask me the following questions:



To answer the why question, I miss it. I spent a lot of time in Nigeria as a child and lived there as a teenager for four years. To say Nigeria molded me into the person I am today is as obvious a statement as me writing that I’m a girl.

To answer the how question is always a bit trickier; it took me a while before I realized people couldn’t wrap their minds around me choosing to live in a third world country. I blame the media for this; they usually only cover the people fleeing from third world countries as opposed to the millions of people who make Africa their home and the thousands who choose to live here.

But if I’m being completely honest with myself, I don’t know if I could live in Nigeria. It’s been a long time since I have and that was a long time ago. I have no idea what it would be like now that I'm an adult whose lived on her own for almost ten years.

Which is why my little vacation couldn’t have come at a better time; I’m going home for three glorious weeks to visit my parents, see old friends and cover Nigeria’s Fashion Week for AOL Black Voices. So for the next 21 days, I’ll be blogging from Nigeria and my posts will be about all things Nigeria.

I want to share my home with readers so you guys can finally see why I love it there so much. Now you may be asking yourself how an African’s perspective of an African country is supposed to bring any new insight to the country. Well I am a Nigerian who lived in Nigeria. But I’m also an American who has spent most of her life in America. I haven’t even visited Nigeria for four years and from what I’ve been told, it’s a lot different now. I’ll be experiencing a lot of things for the first time and I want people to get a chance to experience it with me.

So you guys are going to get a glimpse of everything: what life is like here for a young woman.

This whole thing won’t be as fun without some questions. I want you guys to ask me anything! No question is too stupid. So what do you want to know? Ask away : )

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day.

"Of all the things that you could be, you never could learn how to be me."

Lisa Loeb.

Some mark the holiday with candy and kisses, I like angsty girl music.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Family is Everything.

My mother always told me and my siblings to cherish the time we had together because we were all going to grow up and apart. She was right; we've grown up and we're scattered across the country. I miss my siblings so much but I'm thankful my parents made us spend so much time together because we're all still pretty solid.

Anyway, the picture above is my love letter to the siblings.

I love you guys!

Africa Doesn't Need Pity

Enjoy the video above (my sister brought it to my attention because she finds all the awesome stuff first).

How adorable is this kid? He reminds me of my brother and cousin when they would reenact "The Matrix" for the umpteenth time. They were huge fans.

Anyway, nothing irritates me more than people treating Africa like a handicapped continent and its citizens like charity cases. I can't tell you how many times I've met people who automatically assumed I was poor, slow, hungry and slow of hearing ("HI JOANNEEEEEE! IT IS SO NICE TO MEET YOU!) because I'm African.

But more on that later.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Today in Frivolity

Is it weird that I'm sad about this breakup?

  • Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz are no more. *Cries out in emo pain*

  • Jude Law and Sienna Miller broke up too but I have a feeling I'll still be 24 by the time they get back together.

  • Miley Cyrus may be getting down with Amy Winehouse's sloppy seconds. In his defense, it's been a while since he dated the "Rehab" singer. But talk about going where no sane man has gone before...
  • Kim Kardashian is the March cover girl for Harper's Bazaar magazine. FYI, the September and March issues are the most important for most magazines. That's why the big celebrities usually land those covers; they need to make sure the issues sell.

    Kim Kardashian.
    March cover girl.
    Harper's Bazaar magazine.
    "Welcome to America" Prince.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quote It

"God made sin so we might know his mercy." Character Marco Venero in the movie Dangerous Beauty.

Well, that certainly is one way to look at it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"The Bachelor": Why I Watch Every Week.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter (right here if you're interested), knows I am a HUGE fan of the reality television show "The Bachelor". I watch it religiously (Monday nights at 8:00 PM Eastern time).

Anyway, my Bachelor obsession has resulted in some hilarious Monday nights for me. It's also led to a few people "unfollowing" me on Twitter.

Eh, I can't please everyone.

So what's the appeal? Why do I tune in every week to see grown women compete for a guy's affection? There are lots of reasons:

It's hilarious.

I'm sorry, I know this is evil and some may say it's my inner bitch coming out to play but I love reality television. Seeing a bunch of adults make asses of themselves is awesome. I thoroughly enjoy laughing at the stupidity of others. This is the draw of "The Bachelor", "The Jersey Shore", "The Real World" and many of the other shows I watch. Just ask Kristen Baldwin; she writes the best Bachelor related recaps EVER.

Twitter makes everything better.

Have you guys ever tweeted and watched your fave show simultaneously? Fun fun fun. Now I may be biased but in my opinion, some of the wittiest, most hilarious statements tweeted in 140 characters or less have come from Bachelor fans (shout out to some of my "Twitter friends": @iamSalt7, @Deedraesi, @Silprincess22, @mollyCLE, @keysygirl, @LoveMarci , @SoFlyLadyDi, @267rachael). And the drinking games these men and women have come up with gets my week started right. If you ever decide to join me, just know you have to take a shot every time someone on the show says "journey", "best date ever", "leap of faith", "I gave up so much to be here", "I've never felt this way before", "I didn't expect to fall this quickly", or anytime bachelor host Chris Harrison says "The most dramatic season ever!" in the previews.

The Bachelor is so popular on Twitter on Monday nights that people tune in just to see what everyone is tweeting about. If you decide to do the same, I highly recommend reading @Possessionista and @jenniferweiner's Bachelor tweets to fully submerse yourself in the experience. Hey, there's no half-assing this!

I'm an optimist at heart.
I enjoy a laugh at the expense of the Bachelor contestants and I enjoy doing that laughing along with everyone else watching on Twitter. But at the end of the day, I am rooting for these people. Despite the odds being against them (the cameras), some people actually find love on this show. It's fascinating to get a glimpse - albeit a small one - of that happening. These people may be a little crazy for being on reality TV but they're still real people. I want the bachelor or bachelorette to find love, I want Snooki to finally find her perfect guido-juicehead-monkey soul-mate and I want the seven strangers picked to live in a house to learn from each other and become life-long friends.

I may be a bitch but this bitch loves a happy ending.

Friday, February 4, 2011

This Week in Frivolity

  • It looks like "Laguna Beach" and "The Hills" alum, Lauren Conrad's won't be returning to MTV for more reality tv stardom. They don't want her new show. The pilot was probably a snooze fest without the drinking, party-hopping and boy drama.

  • It seems everyone is discussing the Halle Berry/ Gabriel Aubry Custody Battle. Yes, I mean EVERYONE. And I guess everyone is on a first name basis with the couple "Halle's always had issues with men so this doesn't surprise me" ," I knew Gabriel was too good to be true. You can't be that fine and not be insane.", "Halle has daddy issues" "Gabriel repeatedly called her the N word." Ofcourse I have an opinion:

    Poor Nahla.

  • Vanity Fair's annual Hollywood issue is out and is as underwhelming as ever when it comes to the diversity of the actors they chose to have on the cover. Disappointing? Yes. Shocking? Not really. I will say I love love love the cover despite the lack of representation. How yummy does Joseph Gordon Levitt look? Sigh...

  • So I guess Kim Kardashian was upset when she saw the cover of W magazine back in October. You know, the one where she's naked. I guess W magazine promised she'd be covered in artwork and she feels like she was taken advantage of.

    Really? I can't.

  • The White Stripes are officially dunzo. Boo : (

  • Julia Roberts is in talks with producers to play the evil witch in the "The Brothers Grimm: Snow White". Perez Hilton thinks she's too sweet to play the role. I think she's perfect for it.

    Am I the only one who gets a bitch vibe from her?

Subway Playlist

  1. Garbage – Metal Heart
  2. Ratatat – Nostrand
  3. Nelly Furtado – Turn off the Light
  4. Third Eye Blind – Losing a Whole Year
  5. No Doubt – Hella Good
  6. Martha and the Vandellas – Nowhere to Run
  7. Eric Clapton – Layla
  8. Blessid Union of Souls – Hey Leonardo
  9. Silversun Pickups – Kissing Families
  10. Weezer – Island in the Sun
  11. Metric – Glass Ceiling
  12. Our Lady Peace – One Man Army

Thursday, February 3, 2011

JMO but Really a Simple Fact: Black Women ARE Capable of Having Healthy Natural Hair

So I really hate the fact that I feel obligated to discuss this (it is 2011 after all) but I felt the need to add my two cents to a topic currently being discussed on black gossip sites.

So Tiffany "New York" Pollard from "Win a Date with Flava Flav", or whatever the show was called, recently posed for some photos as one of the celebrity faces of Image Cosmetics. The makeup was refreshingly understated but all eyes were on her full head of curls.

It looked cute and different and so much better than those horrendous wigs she used to rock so it must be fake.

So it really irritated me when I read some of the comments coming from readers on a black website:

"Natural looking afro wig. #yawn#"

"It's a wig..."

" Yeah right. notice she talks about a natural "look" and not her natural "hair". what girl rocking her natural hair talks about the "look"?!? it's all about the hair baby and that is clearly not hers.

She still looks nice with it though."

Because God knows there is no way she (a black woman) could decide to stop using a relaxer and grow her hair out to the healthy looking head of curls she's rocking.


Okay, I have nothing against wigs but I find it sad that black women seem to think it's an impossibility for someone to have pretty hair without using a relaxer or fake hair. It says a lot about our culture and none of those things are good. I didn't bother posting the more negative comments.

For the record, New York has been natural under her wigs for years.

If someone was curious about black women's natural hair, all they would have to do is go on Youtube. There are plenty of women of all shades and hair textures with big ol' afros.

Black on black hate is so lame.


I'd Hit It: Darren Criss

I've been sweating Darren Criss since his A Very Potter Musical Days.

So I'm thrilled that he's getting so much attention on Glee.

His Teenage Dream moment was cute.

But how sexy is this guy when he sings Robin Thicke's "How Do I Get You Alone"?

Sigh, so dreamy.

You can get me alone anytime you want Darren!

Quarterlife Crisis?

So I posted a tongue-in-cheek status on Facebook basically asking God for a lottery win or a rich man. Obviously I was joking though in all honesty, I wouldn’t turn my nose up to millions of dollars or a rich man. If I had great chemistry with him. God knows I've dated my share of successful men with personalities that rivaled rocks.

Anyway, some people took my status for what it was: airing of my frustrations through humor.

It’s what I do.

Others, who I know meant well, threw the feminist bible at me. “You are a strong, independent woman”, “You don’t need a man”, “You are female, roar bitch, roar”.

Yes, yes I know I am a strong woman who is capable of moving mountains and reaching the stars blah blah blah.

But I’m tired. *whines*

I've been pushing myself for 8 years and I don't even know what my goal is anymore.

What do you do when the thrill of the hustle is gone?