In Gratitude

focus

Last week was kind of rough. I was in a very thick funk. Over the weekend, in my quiet moments, I was reminded that happiness is still a choice.

I wasn’t unhappy because I had malaria, or because the roads were extra extra stressful. It was because I was so focused on the bad.

A new week is here, and I’m determined to be happy in it, be thankful for it. Here are some of the things I’m happy about today:

  1. In today’s traffic, I got to watch the Lagos sky light up, and it was beautiful.
  2. Lagos traffic is theeee absolute wurst, (yes I said wurst!) but at least, I get to suffer it in some comfort.
  3. The gift of music. Another thing that gets me through. 🙂
  4. Good health is a gift, y’all. Last week I had malaria, but now I am well. When I was doing my chores on Saturday, my body was so happy to be moving, bending, doing things without feeling heavy, slow or woozy.
  5. Family. My house is a busy place. Always a lot of people coming and going, though the permanent residents of the house are actually just 3. I may not like it all the time, but I’m thankful for them. Some people’s family stories are like Nollywood scripts, and many are too scared to really be around their own relatives and family friends.
  6. Friendship.
  7. All the love I have in my life. ❤
  8. It’s my parents’ wedding anniversary! 24 years of marriage, and almost a decade before that! 🙂
  9. MeeMee got her work visa approved! This is particularly amazing because she studied (and has fallen in love with) one of those things that would be useless in Nigeria, 2015. Not useless o, Nigeria needs people like her- but have you seen any openings for Bio-ethicists on Jobberman lately? It’s really wonderful that she gets to work in her chosen field. This gift is one so many people take for granted.
  10. My cousin (he’s 13 months old) is finally learning to trust his own two legs and I’m finding it so amazing to watch. :’)
  11. My favourite song at the moment- Applaudise by Iyanya. I’ve played it so much, my CD will soon scratch, haha! 

Over to you. What are you thankful for?

You don’t have to share it with me, but I’d like you to make your own list too. 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

A Tuesday Afternoon at The Shrine

Hey guys,

This is not a hair post.

Tuesday was a good hair day for me, but beyond my twist out, it was also a really good day.

My friend L is around, and together we finally made it to the New Afrika Shrine. We’d both wanted to go for a long time, but she doesn’t live in Lagos, and for me- its been one thing after another. From the mall, we found our way to it on that Tuesday afternoon.

"The Secret of Life Is To Have No Fear". You hear?

“The Secret of Life Is To Have No Fear”. You hear?


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Hairspiration: Anitra

Hello Beauts! It’s another Hairspiration Friday and today we have an explosive combination of mane and music. Enjoy!

Anitra_Jay_Soul_Artist_Crown_and_Glory

Hi Anitra. Tell us about you!

I was born in New Orleans.  I’m a wife, a sister, a follower of Christ and a pescatarian.  I love to read mystery novels and watch movies in my spare time.  My favorite kind of movies are the super hero movies.  I also like to cook and recently started jogging again.  My all-time passion in life is making music!

Have you been natural all your life? If no, when did you go back to your kinks?

I transitioned to being natural in 2010 after being fed up with spending too much money and time with relaxers.

Tell us about your mane. Describe your hair in your own words. Does he/she/it have a name?

My hair is very thick and very dense.  It’s natural pattern consists of tiny coffee-stirrer-like curls in the back and middle and very wavy in the front.  My hair has a mind of it’s own!  It changes itself as it grows.  Sometimes, I have a hard time keeping up with it.  But it’s a journey and I’m loving every minute of it.

How would you describe yourself as a musician? Who are your musical inspirations?

I call my music organic soul.  A whimsical, high energy, acoustic mix of pop, R&B, poetry, and blues. My inspirations are Tracy Chapman, Bill Withers, Adele, India.Arie, and Stevie Wonder.  As a musician I love to encourage, inspire, and tell stories through music!  My live performances are memorable because I typically engage in a little improv and comedy with the audience.  Also, my lyrical content is takes you on a journey through love, faith, imagination, and hope.

So you have an album inspired by natural hair? Wow. We’ve seen poetry, spoken word, but not this.  What inspired you to make this album? It’s definitely not just about having natural hair.

I was inspired to make an album about natural hair by my own personal natural hair journey.  As a young girl I was taught by society that to be beautiful means to have long, straight hair.  I didn’t realize what an awful lie that was until I became an adult.  The “Crown & Glory” album testifies that wearing your hair naturally means a lot more than just hair.  For me, it was being able to see myself as beautiful by just being me.  I wrote these songs to encourage all of us to continue embracing being natural in whatever way that means to you.

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Do you follow a regimen? If yes, do share!

My regimen is pretty simple.  I wash once every other week.  I set my hair in twists and where a twist out throughout the week.  I love using a castor and grapeseed oil combo along with any leave-in conditioner I can get my hands on.  If I see my twist out getting old, I’ll re-twist overnight and voila.

What are your staple products?

OMG, I love using Shea Moisture Curling Gel Soufflé and IC Fantasia Gel.  It keeps a good hold and doesn’t flake up!  What more can a girl ask for???

Tell us two things Anitra’s hair cannot do without:

Moisture and oil.  My hair is so dry and I’ve got to fortify it with moisture and oil or else it will be knotty and wiry bushy big time.

How do you like to wear your hair? (Favourite hair styles, go-to hairstyle, protective styling?) 

I love to wear my hair in twist outs and I love to let it free with an afro.  Especially when I’m on stage.  It’s always nice to be wild-n-out when you’re singing about being a ‘Natural Girl.’

I noticed the streaks of green on your hair in one of your promo shots. I like that. How were you able to achieve that? 

Why thank you!  It’s actually liquid based eye shadow.  I put some of it in my fingers and rubbed it on my hair.  It’s a very fun time and it comes out in the wash.  I was thinking of getting orange or red next time!

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Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break? 

I’m struggling with the shrinkage factor.  I get at least 80% shrinkage.  It makes it hard to manage certain styles especially when humidity becomes a factor.  So I’ve been using several different methods and I’ve even tried wrapping.

What do you love the most about your hair? What do you like the least?

I love being able to pull my hair up into a chic hairstyle when my twist out gets old.  It’s very fulfilling to turn a bad hair day into a chic couture style.

Back to the music. What’s your favourite song on the album? What was your favourite part of making this album?

My favorite song on the album is “Beautiful Mane.”  It was so much fun writing it and I think it conveys the message about beauty and hair the most.  I thoroughly enjoyed working in the studio with my team!  They are the best.

In the future, what can we expect from Anitra?

In the very near future, I plan on doing a lot more touring.  With the release of the “Crown & Glory” album I’d like to visit natural hair groups around the country and beyond to do Listening Parties!  I am looking for natural hair expos and natural hair meet-up groups to connect with where I can perform.  If anyone is interested in having me perform let me know at 586.330.9183.  I’m very affordable too!  Don’t worry about budget!  We can work something out.

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What is your hair to you?

My hair symbolizes freedom – to be me.  It is a demonstration of my commitment to accepting myself and living for me compared to living the way someone else wants you to.

Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?

Everyone is on their own journey.  People say things out of ignorance and their own insecurities.  I just try to remember that and keep it moving.

Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?

My goal is to maintain long, beautiful, healthy hair.

Before you go, could you share a helpful tip or trick or a remedy you’ve tried & tested in your journey so far? 

Sure, for a longer look try braid outs instead of twist outs and wrap your hair around your head to maintain length.  And please, please, please DO NOT compare your hair to others’.  You can get into a lot of trouble like that.  I’m speaking from experience here.

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Any last words to anyone considering going natural?

If you’re considering going natural, I’d say to give it a shot.  It’s not permanent!  You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.

More you. Do you have a blog, twitter, instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?

Yes!  Please visit my blog!  I share lessons learned, inner thoughts and struggles, and my take on my journey in music.

You can also find me on my:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Youtube

 

Also, check out the album “Crown & Glory”!

Thank you for sharing your hair and your unique music with us, Anitra.

Have a brilliant weekend and treat your hair well.

– Mee Mee

xx.