Dream BIGGER. Dream NOW.

As a child, what did you dream of? Are those dreams still the same? As you’ve grown older, sure you may have traded your old dreams for new dreams, but does this mean you should be dreaming any less?

I’m slowly warming up to this thing called adulthood. I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet (honestly I am not in a hurry) but there are two things I never want to let go of: dreams that scare me, and my sense of wonder.

Some dreams are crazy big. TOO big, you think. So big you can’t say them out loud, dreams you can only share with your bestie. Dream them anyway.

What’s the point of just dreaming dreams you can easily see the path to? Is that a dream or is it a plan? I don’t think growing up means you let go. Instead, why not expand?

A few years ago, after telling him what I wanted for my life, a friend of mine asked me about my dreams for Nigeria or Africa. It made me realize how small my dreams were, if they only involved me. I didn’t have the right answer then but now I do. A very rough sketch, but I can see it. His question has remained on my mind ever since, and I pose it to you today.

What are your scary dreams for yourself? For your community? Your country? For Africa?

So much has been said about the problems in the country, on the continent and beyond.

Way more troubling to me than some disturbing views being thrown about, are comments like this: “Oh, maybe the next generation will fix our tribalism problem or be less corrupt.” “It’s going to take about 30 years for poor South Africans to mentally advance from being xenophobic.”

Why are we talking about the next generation when we are only just beginning? I am twenty two freaking years old. Why should people in their 20s be talking about what the next generation will do? Why are we shifting this responsibility? 30 years is a long time.

Rome was not built in a day, but I think these statements, this kind of thinking is more harmful than helpful. We think like this on the big scale and apply it to our little lives as well. I’m not being unrealistic by saying this but when you say you “realistically” see or imagine us progressing from point A to point B in 30 years, does this “realistically” encourage people to get moving? Tomorrow, tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow is too far. On the little scale, I hate when we talk about how “Life happens” before we even begin. We are already preparing for the possibility that we won’t make it, that something, anything WILL get in the way. We are PROCRASTINATING.

I’m asking you today to dream now. Dream big. Dream bigger. For yourself, and bigger than yourself. For others, beyond your family. Bigger for this nation, these nations we are building.

This isn’t me pretending to have all the answers, actually- I’ve been stuck in some kind of rut lately but I KNOW this is not where I’m supposed to be.

“It’s easier said than done”

“Well done is better than well said.”

No dream comes alive without you working it into being, but don’t let this make you underestimate the power of the mental process. The process that propels you to do the saying in the first place.

And what better time than now? Whether you’re still stuck in the 70s or 90s. Whether you’re one of those people who think good music died in the 90s or fashion in the 80s, whatever you moan about this generation of blessed “Millenials”, we are an amazing lot. Soooo many young people out here setting the world on fire, doing real things. It’s inspiring. This is the generation that is blurring the lines. This is the generation that is challenging the status quo, refusing to be boxed in, we do not want to have to choose- we want it all. Whether we actually can or cannot is not the question, we are going to very well try. We have our own problems, but I have faith. As long as we keep dreaming dreams, and focusing on our power to chase them, there is so much more good we can do.

So much YOU and I can change. It’s not easy but what have we got to lose? When you try, you either get it or you don’t. But when you don’t even try…

March Loves

Hey Beauts!

It’s election day in Nigeria! Will you/Did you plezz ya hand?

Today, AB and I are sharing with you a collective list of the things that we discovered and/or fell in love with in March.

In no particular order:

1. Ackee & Saltfish

I love this web series by Cecile Emeke. It follows the stories of two bestfriends Olivia & Rachel. Their exchanges are so funny (Olivia is a case!!) and episodes are 5 minutes long, very good for my limited 3rd world Internet. A new episode airs every Sunday at 5pm, GMT

2. Banana Bread

I would have said baking, but the only thing I can bake now is banana bread. I fell in love with this a few months ago, and I made mine with my two hands from scratch last month. It’s all I’ve baked ever since.

3. Big Sean’s Dark Sky Paradise

I think I like ‘IDFWU’ a weeeee bit more than I should. So after singing this for months, I finally decided to get the album, which happens to be Big Sean’s 3rd. So many times I’ve bumped this with no skips, from beginning to end. Listened to quite a few albums this month and Seanny boy did it for me. Love. 

4. To Pimp A Butterfly

I have never paid attention to Kendrick Lamar’s music until now. This album is genius, I think. I think I’ve listened to it everyday in the last two weeks.

5. Chris Messina

Chris Messina. Chris Messina. My new celebrity crush. I met him at the beginning of the month, when I saw his Indie movie 28 Hotel Rooms. It’s based on an unrealistic premise (aren’t half of them?) but I liked it. Very interesting stuff. These 2 people hooked up one time at a hotel they were both staying at, and they made it a habit to meet everytime they were out of their cities, for work. She was married, he later got married. It got really complicated of course- and ended neither here nor there. But the story and the elements in it are a full discussion for another day. Last week, I saw season 1 of The Mindy Project which is heeeelarious by the way! To my great delight, he’s a regular on the show. Whoop!

6. Stacey Kent

AB said that if I made music, I’d probably sound like her. That’s probably why I love her so much! There’s something about her voice that makes me feel things… and then the music she creates with it? jadhburvheiualrbfubwhafh.

7. Yummly (+WP update)

I’ve had the Yummly app on my phone for a long time, but I only truly appreciated it this month. Yummly is an amazing app for recipes & beautiful food inspiration. It’s super easy to use. You can search recipe names or search by ingredients. I like to try new things with food, but I don’t always have the patience to troll the Internet for the inspo. Yummly makes it so much easier. If you’re looking for healthy recipes on the go, you can even use the Nutrition filter. And, after using the app for a while, it starts to customise suggestions for you.

(Also. The new WordPress upgrade for iOS is pretty dope. I’ve been using this app for two years, so I’m happy that FINALLY, we have an upgrade that’s worth the mb. If you’re a WP blogger, you want to have this!)

8. Crochet braids

I am currently wearing crochet braids that I made for myself. Love, love, love them. This month I have had a bunch of clients book to make crochet braids and boy, do I love doing them! For about a year and many many months, I have only protective styled with marley twists, now I have found the perfect switch up.

9. Brown Sugar

No more shall I use white sugar for anything but drinking gari. Brown sugar is so much better with everything- so nice & so moist. I encourage you to try it. Brown sugar pancakes anyone? Noms.

10. MAC Frost Lipstick in Fabby

I take it as a sign of maturity that I’m comfortable with nude lippie now. This shade, MAC Fabby is pretty nice. I like it a lot.

What did you fall in love with this month? Can you guess which of us loves what? Have a happy, safe weekend, beauts!

– MeeMee

xx.

Something Different- Magnify!

Hey guys-

In our first post of the year, we asked you what you’d like to see more of, and one of the suggestions was more lifestyle and personal stuff. This is unbelievably hard to do, you personal bloggers are the real MVPs!

The Kink and I remains a hair blog, but occasionally, we’ll talk about other things we find interesting, or things that matter to us. I wrote this post a month ago, and could not get myself to publish it. But for some reason, now feels right.

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Let’s talk faith today.

Are you a person of faith? I mean- do you believe in God?

I do. I was born into a Christian family so that automatically followed me on default. Growing older and becoming my own person, I realised that this isn’t enough. By not enough, I mean, I feel like I am a lazy believer. I accept my belief as my belief, but I feel like I lack the deep conviction I should have.

Generally speaking, if we want to talk about religion, or religious practices and observances in Nigeria, I think you can liken it to hair porosity. Just broad strokes, probably not the best analogy, but think about it. Some people have a low-porosity attitude, others a high-porosity attitude, and okay, let’s believe there are medium/ normal porosity ones. Like my hair strands, my mind is in the low-porosity bracket when religion is the subject. My cuticles are super selective, if you get me, you get me- and if you don’t, maybe another day. 🙂

Towards the end of last year, I was particularly disturbed. Tormented even. It became so hard for me to reconcile the idea of being Christian with being black, and also being a woman- given the history of blackness, the past and even the current situation of womanhood. To simplify the struggle, in MeeMee’s words, I’m just trying to understand how the Bible, how this faith applies to me in 2014 (now, 2015)

One day, in the depth of it all, I got an email from Biki, who blogs at My Fashion S/Ash Life, inviting me to the launch of a Christian women’s magazine called Magnify. We had earlier spoken about meeting up for something else, so I agreed to go- just for her, an opportunity to meet for the first time, as a prelude to the other thing.

It was after I had said yes (and thereby committed to a very inconvenient journey!) that I decided to look up the website. It looked good, by all standards, but it was their What is Magnify page that really drew me in-

MAGNIFY is a platform that gives women the opportunity to explore the Christian faith and how it can impact being a woman in today’s world.

At the time, it felt like serendipity. A very pleasant coincidence. I had begun to feel bad about having all these questions, it was nice to feel understood by one more person, for a moment.

The event came and went, all the hassle had me wondering if it was even worth it to have stressed myself in the first place. It went well oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s just- Lagos stress. It was difficult getting there and going back, the stress had me feeling I could have just stayed home and watched TV. That type of day.

I flipped through the magazine afterwards, impressed with the paper quality and the print and the fashion editorials, and soon forgot about it.

In January, I picked it up again and finished it in two days.

I love it. I’ve dabbled in Christian magazines, the Christian blogosphere a little, and I know it only speaks about the bloggers themselves, but there’s often something a weeee bit off putting. Like there isn’t enough space for dialogue, and where gender relations or other concerns peculiar to me as a female are discussed on these blogs, I feel very very VERY uncomfortable with the tone. I think the word for it is “Pandering”. Surely there can be a way to raise male consciousness about female issues without begging, or discuss things without massaging their egos first.

But Magnify is different. There’s so much goodness in Magnify- brilliant, witty writers, and interviews of remarkable people sharing their stories- winning at life while balancing their faith. I’m not trying to say that they told me what I wanted to hear. I felt challenged to be more receptive, I was given quite a few things to think about. About faith, and the practicality of my own. It’s a personal race, I’m working on myself, but I just thought I’d share. Maybe you’re at the intersection of these struggles as I am. Maybe you’re just looking for something edifying to read- even if you aren’t Christian, this is good stuff.

I especially love that the editor, Ruth Awogbade, is a young woman. Seeing the quality of the magazine, my mom wanted to know who the editor was, and when she saw her picture at the bottom of the editor’s letter, she was very surprised. You hear that guys? You aren’t too young, or too small to do your thing. She actually started working on this idea while still in university, in 2009.

If you’re in Lagos, you can buy copies at L’Espace, Grey Velvet and Terra Kulture.  Their addresses, and also London stockist info are over here.

Magnify is a bi-annual publication, I look forward to the two issues they’ll put out this year. No way I won’t be getting them! Until then, I have their website, time and again: hellomagnify.com

P.S. It is perfectly okay to have questions, it’s YOUR journey.

P.P.S. If there are any faith-based blogs or writers you love, please point me to them in the comments. Thanks.

Love,

AB,

xx

What’s In Your Bag?

On Valentine’s Day, Afoma did the What’s In My Bag tag (see her colourful post here) and she nominated us. Ebun also did the tag, over here. Because I’m a little nosy, I kind of enjoyed reading about the contents of their bags so it was only fair to do the tag. Although, I think you may be a little disappointed here. Nothing interesting in my bag. Without further ado:

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  1. Sunglasses- my favourite pair, they’re from Forever 21. I’ve had them for almost 2 years now. I rarely wear them these days, mainly because walking under the hot sun is no longer a part of my daily routine. NYSC days, they were a staple. Also I’m very very shortsighted, my prescription glasses are not optional. I can only wear Sunnies when my eyes aren’t really in use. I still carry them around though, just in case.
  2. Bad Feminist- I pledged to read 50 books this year, and so far, I’ve been slacking. Will still make it! This book has been rotating from bag to bag since January. Enough disrespect, I should finish it by next week. And then, another book will be put on bag duty, to keep me company in uncomfortable spaces, and during long waits.
  3. A notebook- the black notebook under the novel, to scribble in when I’m on the go. It isn’t always this one in particular, I just make sure to carry a notebook.
  4. White Powder- because most days, Lagos is too hot for makeup, in my opinion.
  5. Power bank + Phone cable
  6. Pens
  7. Lip balm (in the heart shaped Beauty Boss tin)
  8. Lippie: I always carry whatever lipstick I’m wearing for the day, although I rarely need to reapply because making it through the day with my lipstick very very intact is one of my many talents. ^_^ These days it’s usually either MAC Fabby or my (and the people’s) fave, Ruby Woo.
  9. Ventolin Inhaler: a necessary prop since I was 10. Funny thing- every time I think I’ve outgrown my Asthma & stop taking my inhaler with me, it comes back like LOL JK.
  10. Phone
  11. Wallet- this very pretty wallet was a Christmas present from my aunt. :’) And, I always have bobby pins in my wallet.

So, to keep this going, I’m tagging in no particular order:

  1. Kim- Dark Child Love Thy Hair
  2. Sandra- Naija Girl Next Door
  3. Oyime- Oyime’s Musings
  4. Tuke- Tuke’s Quest
  5. Eleanor- Eleanor J’Adore
  6. Nafisah- Coily Head of Hair
  7. Alex- Nappy Haired
  8. Amma- All Things Amma Mama
  9. Lade- Out Of My Head
  10. YOU! If you’re interested, this is me tagging you. 🙂

I hope you do the tag!

What’s in YOUR bag?

Love, 

AB,

xx

P.S. MeeMee did the tag a few hours ago, her bag is more interesting than mine- see it here if you missed it.

What’s In Mee’s Bag

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This is a long overdue tag by Afoma of ihundasmusings.com. I was a little reluctant because my bag = dump. But hey! I finally gave it a good spring cleaning and overhaul. You’ll be surprised how much money ends us hiding in my bag, never be to discovered until decades later. I’ll probably be one of those grandmas that’ll bequeath her handbag to her favourite grandchild. This grandchild will get mad when she finds out that all she gets is grandma’s old, cluttered handbag. But one day, three years later, when she decides to clean out the bag, she’ll find so much money stashed away, she won’t know what to do with herself. Nollywood, knock yourself out.

Alrighty, here are the contents of my everyday bag:

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(Bottom – Top):

1. Wallet: My mum ‘bought’ this for me for my 19th birthday (she probably doesn’t know she did). I can’t bring myself to change it after all this time.

2. Glasses case.

3. Umbrella: Yup, spring is sorta kinda here. Which means non-stop rain.

4. Glam Body Lotion: Kim K’s product line. I really like it. It’s shimmery and smells really good. I use it as a hand lotion.

5. EOS Lip Balm: Whoever invented this packaging basically discovered gold. Everybody and their mother has one of these, if not multiple.

6. Keys: You see that keyholder with the star? My romantic friend, Uby, named a star after me for my 21st birthday. The keyholder was sent from the astrologers as a memento.

7. Revlon lip butter (pink truffle)

8. Painkillers. Not sure why those are in there. I probably got them once, a year ago, on an emergency, and they just never left the bag.

9. Flowery tag thingy: Supposed to be for IDs and keys or something. Everyone was getting one at work and I got one too because, crowd mentality.

10. Little book: I write. I prefer pen and paper to typing. So I use this book for when I’m on the go and am hit with a brilliant idea.

11. Work ID.

12. Blister lip balm: perfect for winter.

13. H&M matte lipstick

14. Revlon (black cherry): Favourite lipstick.

15. Hand sanitizers.

16. Index cards: I have no idea why I carry this around.

17. Baby wipes: From spills to runny nose to bathroom saviour. I have made a habit of having these in my bag. They’re great.

And that’s my bag’s content.

That’s all folks! I hope you have a brilliant start to the new week, beauts!

– MeeMee

xx.