Friday, June 30, 2006

For the Love of Anthony

Marie Fatayi – Williams has written a book in memory of her son Anthony who was killed in the July bombings in London last year. See here for more details.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Nigerian Teenager Jailed for Murder

A millionaire's teenage daughter who wrote a murder manual before killing an elderly woman has been jailed for life.
Kemi Adeyoola was 17 when she stabbed 84-year-old Anne Mendel 14 times during a burglary in March 2005 at her home in Golders Green, north-west London.
Read more here

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Goodness, I have been so busy these last couple of weeks and here's the reason why. These are the bags I make under my label Olivegirlthings. For now, I make just totes and messenger bags. Bags are all 100% cotton and the accent fabrics are all African prints. The bags are fully lined inside with the African prints you can see on the outside and all have a roomy inner pocket.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Marriage Myth

Over the last few weeks, I have read with great interest a couple of posts by some bloggers lamenting their state of singledom or giving how-to-get-your-man-to-marry-you strategies and so on. I have read these posts with a smile on my face and a shake of my head. I sort of blogged about this here and here some months ago but feel the need to revisit the subject. As you read this, please bare in mind that I am not trying to put you off marriage, just open your eye a little bit to it.

Many years ago, long before I ever got married, I was moaning to a married friend of mine about how much I wanted to get married. She turned to me with a funny smile on her face and said the strangest thing. She said to me ‘Those of us who are married want to come out and those who are single are dying to get in’. At the time I thought what the hell is she going on about? And ironically enough, these words were spoken to me at the wedding of a mutual friend. Now, almost 10 years later I know exactly what she meant by her words that day.

What my friend expressed then was not a regret of her married state but wistfulness and wishful –ness (if such a word exists) of what being single offers – FREEDOM.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been married now for five years and  I love my husband to bits, love being married to him and wouldn’t have things any other way but I will be the first to admit that  from time to time I wish I could be single again, even if it’s only for a few days.

What wouldn’t I give for those days when I could just come and go? And especially now that I have a toddler, those days of coming and going as I please are long gone. Even a date (what’s that??) with my husband to see a movie or have a meal has to be planned weeks ahead and with military precision. Perhaps it may be a little easier in Nigeria where one can get a nanny relatively easily and cheaply. Over here though, I have no such luxury.

Then there are the very unexciting and mundane day to day things that come with being married – the cooking (yes, what once used to be an enjoyable pastime, now becomes a chore.  Gone are the days of just having bread and tea for lunch because you can’t be bothered to cook), the cleaning, laundry, sleepless nights (if you have a little baby), etc. And if you have a husband who happens to be domestically challenged then you’d better believe that you’ll be taking on the role of the unpaid house girl as well. Oh you can rant and rave and rake, but if you ain’t going to do it, no one else will – except you don’t mind living in a pigs sty that is.

Oh and another thing, just in case you are not aware, when you get married you are not only marrying the man, you are marrying his whole family. But that’s a whole other issue.

And when you quarrel, you know how you could just turn around and walk off into the sunset or bang the receiver of the phone down on him when you were single and then a couple of hours later you’ll call back or he’ll call back and it’s all kiss, kiss, love, love, sorry, sorry and all will be well again? Sweetheart, when you’re married there’s no walking off into the sunset. You will be under the same roof with this man you are so pissed off with and who at that point in time you could strangle with your bare hands and na de same bed wey you go sleep in together. No receiver banging here. You will just have to sort things out and quick if you want peace and harmony to reign in your home.

Listen, marriage is not all fairy tale white dresses and parties and hearts and bells. Forget the movies. Marriage is HARD WORK. Period. Marriage is all about compromise, a loss of identity (usually yours if you’re a woman), a loss of freedom (at least in the early years of raising your children), and sometimes a suppressing of your feelings, your potential and your needs. Marriage can be sweat and tears and heartache. Many times in marriageYOU come last. Marriage is all about change, and the change is usually yours. Ask any of your married friends and tell me if my words are untrue.

I get so angry when women are made to feel that their sense of self worth comes only with a ring on their finger. We are born and we are daughters, then we go to school and we are students and undergraduates, then we start work and we are defined by our jobs, then we get married and are defined by our Mrs status and Mother status. When are we going to wake up and be proud of who we are, what we have achieved and what we can achieve in the future with or without a ring on our finger?

Oh yes, definitely, there are very good sides to marriage – being with the man you love, having your children together, being part of a close knit unit and so on. But please, please don’t feel that without marriage you are nothing or incomplete. This, as far as I am concerned is an unfortunate message that has been sent out by society to single women.

From the age of 25 or thereabouts, we are made to feel inadequate if we don’t already have a potential suitor knocking on our door. We are often questioned, sometimes by total strangers or far removed ‘aunties’, about our relationships ‘So is he serious? Ah, if he hasn’t said anything by now, you should drop him’. Or, ‘Hm, my dear, your clock is ticking oh!’ How rude and undermining.  We start to get worried when one friend after another gets married and it appears that we are going to be left on the shelf. And then we get desperate and if there is one thing a man can smell from a mile off, its the stink of desperation. And there’s no better ingredient than desperation to put a man off.

So from me to you, if you are single and reading this and have built into your head a picture of marriage as being a fairly tale heaven – disabuse yourself of this idea. There is nothing glamorous about marriage. Enjoy and celebrate your singledom. This is your chance to travel the world, take risks, get all the degrees you want, start that business, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!! YOU define who you are- not a boyfriend, or a job or a husband.  Live your life and stop worrying so much about getting married. Believe me there are many married women out there dying to swap places with you even for only one day. And that’s the truth.

I love you but can't stay faithful

It seems like this months TRUE LOVE West Africa magazine, is turning out not to be too good for my health. It’s certainly succeeded in getting my blood pressure rising.

It always takes me a while to get through any glossy so I didn’t read the ‘Doting Dads’ article until last night. In a nutshell, it was kind of a tribute to dads who are bringing up their kids on their own. Three dads where featured, but the one that left me stunned was Femi Kuti.

All in all it was an okay feature (of him being a single dad) but what beggared belief was a statement he made by way of explaining the break up of his marriage. When asked what happened, he replied, ‘…I’ll just tell you she accused me of adultery. What baffles me is that I always told her I can’t be faithful and she always said it was okay…’

Is this guy for real???? I may be totally wrong, but I find it very hard to believe that a wife will happily say to her husband ‘Oh darling, I am okay with the fact that you’ll be unfaithful to me.’ I don’t know why, but I was so angry when I read that article and my reaction was, and still is who does he think he is? I don’t know what else went on in the marriage, but based on what I have read in this article, I don’t blame his wife for walking out on him. Kudos to her! What a prat. I’ve totally gone off him now.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Calling all lovers of African food, The African Food Blog has launched. To see how YOU can contribute please visit THE AFRICAN FOOD BLOG.

Please spread the word!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The High Price of Fashion in Nigeria

Reading through the latest edition of True Love magazine, a letter in the ‘LETTERS’ section caught my eye and the writer was complaining about the prices of the clothes being featured in the magazine's fashion spread. She saw them as being ‘outrageous and unreasonable’. How unreasonable can the prices be, thought I and quickly flipped to the said pages to take a look.

I have to say that I agree with the writer of the letter. The prices of the clothes (all by Adebayo Jones - who is he?) really are outrageous!! The one that absolutely floored me was a black tulle skirt costing =N= 213,000!! Have I been living on another planet or do women really spend that much in Nigeria on a skirt?? By my calculations that’s about £850. Are people really earning that much to be able to splurge so much money on a skirt?

Now for those who would argue that designers on this side of the pond charge just as much and more for their clothes, I would say there are a lot more people with that kind of spending power here (when I say ‘here’ I refer to Europe/the States) than in Nigeria. The last time I checked the average monthly salary was about =N=80,000? But then, I could be completely wrong and things may have changed drastically from when last I lived in the country, so forgive me for my ignorance.

I guess the clothes are obviously considered to be haute couture and so meant to be bought and worn by a minuscule section of the society who can afford to pay such prices and not for the average 9 – 5 workers who actually buy the magazine.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

African Food Blog

I have a wistful longing for Naija food today and this longing has planted an idea in my ever wondering brain.

I would like to set up a blog dedicated to recipes for Nigerian dishes. It would be for all and sundry to post recipes, share cooking techniques and tips or simply to ask questions on how different dishes are prepared, and, for those of us living outside the country, where we can purchase various Nigerian ingredients from.

Or perhaps we can make it an African food blog as opposed to making it a Nigerian only thing…. Hmm, I like the sound of this idea even better.

Let me know what you think and I’ll get the ball rolling.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Don't Want To Grow Up!

I don’t want to grow up
And have a job and a car and a house
I don’t want to pay bills or vote or be on the pill
I don’t want to be a mum or be responsible or join the PTA
I don’t want a bank account or a credit card or a pension plan.

I don’t want to grow up!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A-Z meme

Accent – hard to say
Booze – Baileys – love it
Chore I hate – brushing my teeth – sooooooo boring
Dogs/Cats – ooohhh, difficult. Dogs I think, especially Labradors.
Essential electronics – PC, iPod, digital camera, CD player
Favourite perfume - Bulgari
Gold/silver – Definitely Silver
Hometown – a bit in Africa a bit in Europe
Insomnia – occasionally
Job title – Creative designer and budding business owner (newly acquired!)
Kids - One daughter, age 3+
Living arrangements – Simplistic and very Ethnic
Most admired trait - creativity
Number of sexual partners – Are you kidding?????
Overnight hospital stays – Yes, twice. One giving birth and the other – you don’t want to know!
Phobia - Flying
Quote – Don’t complain about things you permit – Mike Murdock
Religion - Believer
Siblings - Two older sisters
Time I usually awake – 6 a.m. I don’t have a choice as that’s when my daughter starts her day.
Unusual talent – I can cross my eyes
Vegetable I refuse to eat – Beetroot. Ugh!
Worst habit - Procrastination
X-rays – Oh yes! Quite a few but then who cares?
Yummy foods I make – Jamaican curry goat, apple crumble with custard, taboulleh, hummus and grilled salmon with lemon and dill, Banga and starch!
Zodiac sign – Am on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius

And for some Thursday fun I’m tagging Ore, Onada, Adefunke, Olawunmi and Ayoola


Hello June and a Fun Meme

I can’t believe how quickly May has flown by but what a good month it has been for me. In May I…

  1. stepped out of my comfort zone and started working towards making my dream a reality.

  2. came to the realisation that it is indeed achievable with hard work and commitment.

  3. have finally discovered what my passion is.

The month of June is going to be spent growing myself and my business venture, improving my talents, widening my network of potential clients and stepping out of my (self imposed) box.

And to welcome in the month of June, here’s a fun meme for you to try.

Put your first name followed by ‘needs’ into Google Search and list the first 15 searches, with no duplicates of course.

PTS needs

…alternate style sheet with *standard* links rendering.
…to pick up the tab
…Nova victory today and U Conn in the finals to win.
…increased funding to develop new projects that will alleviate the parking dilemma on the Tempe Campus.
…Humanities and the arts
…a language and a message domain
…more energy! (true dat!)
…4 enzymes to maintain inward flux and both glucose and free-energy sensing ability
a challenge
…to be multipolar
…complied po files
…to ensure that operators can migrate their IP
…to ensure a consistent pricing structure across the different access products