We're only in March, but so far so good in the music industry world! Check out the top 8 Nigerian music videos so far in 2017. Some serious JAMS included...
I'll be honest, I almost did not include this one on the list... just because I feel like it's MY spot, you know? But sharing is caring, so here it is.
The relaxation literally by the water spot.
WHEN TO GO: When you're tired of Lagos madness and just want to reflect by yourself, just focus or get work done.
Also when you want to meet up with a friend or two over wine and don't want to worry whether people can hear your gist?
This is your spot...
So I get this a lot, especially from my Instagram page, “Deinte, your Lagos is very different oh. You look like you’re having a blast!” And every time I hear this, I can’t help but laugh. It’s definitely the same Lagos oh, and yes!… I am having a great time.
I believe in order to enjoy life (wherever you are), it’s really about making a conscious choice to make the most of every situation you find yourself in.
And as I’m currently in Nigeria then by all means, I will find and keep finding ways to make sure I maintain a certain level of happiness.
Of course there are some moments I find myself quite perplexed, “Wait… Why did I move again?!” But then I go through one or ALL of my coping mechanisms (depending on the level of the predicament I’ve found myself in 😂).
... And Naij life becomes sweet again.
So first things first...
1. Focus on the things you can control.
There are so many things (and people) that can get you annoyed. Sooo many. BUT there are also so many wonderful things to see, so many people to love and so much more to experience. FOCUS on those. For example: Yes, some roads are terrible, but I mean, where else can you sit in your car and simultaneously shop for all your needs? – Plantain Chips, Gala, Fire extinguishers, New Literature... Even fried meat?! 😳
2. If you don’t have anything nice to say, try really really hard not to say anything.
This is toooo real. Once you start complaining, it triggers a domino effect that’s so hard to get out of.
That being said, I do think it’s okay (and maybe even necessary) to complain about everything… but ONLY once! So when something annoying happens the first time, complaiiiiiin (like I did here about a crazy customer service experience I had 😂). Complain and get it out of your system. But then after that, you’re done. Frustrating things happen, there’s no point getting worked up every time, unless it’s to figure out a solution.
3. Prepare in advance for things to take forever.
The idea of time is a very strange thing in Nigeria. It's almost as if time is irrelevant. So just prepare your mind that something that should take one hour will take three. This way when it takes two and a half you’ll actually be excited. You 'saved' 30 minutes! Whooop whoop!
4. Keep doing things you love.
If you’re interested in food, fashion, books, art, architecture, museums, fitness, fishing, polo, whatever – Make time to still do those things that have always been good for you.
5. Don’t let the traffic get you down.
Ok so there’s traffic. And then there’s Lagos traffic. The kind of traffic that has your car sitting in the same spot for 5 hours just because it rained for 10 minutes. Traffic can really be an enemy of progress, but there are ways to make it not so bad.
First option: If you can, simply avoid being on the road every day except Sunday… and early on Saturday before #WeddingSaturday begins. Lol If you must go to work or school during rush HOURS, just brace yourself, there are ways to get through it.
- Make sure you have a car charger. Nothing worse than having your phone die while stuck in traffic.
- Have your traffic playlist ready. The right song choices can keep your spirits up the entire ride. Plus, it drowns out the incessant honking that typically fills the air.
- Have an EPIC Prayer/Praise/Worship session.
- Use this time to return phone calls, texts, DMs, snaps, whatever else. If you focus your mind on other things, you’ll almost forget the mentos guy that just stared at you non-stop for 5 minutes. Almost.
Oh and look at the bright side - You’ll never get a speeding ticket in Nigeria! That’s a win.
6. Eat well.
One of the perks of being back in Nigeria is Nigerian food. No explanation really needed, just eat what you love to eat.
7. Ignore the haters.
Nigerians have the power to change your mood. THE power. I know people in general can, but trust me. Nigerians are typically very expressive people. When they’re happy, you’re very happy. And when they’re angry? It’s contagious. Protect yourself! Do a couple of woooosah’s, make a conscious effort to breathe and even meditate on the spot if you need to. Just do NOT get sucked into the trap. This is harder than you think, but I have faith you can do it.
8. Extend the “honeymoon phase.”
They say IJGB (I just got back) people are generally very excited and optimistic - They want to go everywhere and see everything. This is an attitude worth keeping for as loooong as possible. After a while it turns into habit. It might help to have a few IJGB friends - They'll keep you young. 😂
9. Give yourself a break.
Sometimes city life can just be overwhelming. Find a go-to place thats away from people. Lol My favorite option is to go to the beach. In Lagos there are so many different options of beaches to go to. Find a chill spot away from all the madness and reflect. Chances are you couldn’t just beach it like this in whatever city you used to live in.
And then when it’s “wintertime,” while all your friends abroad are digging their cars out of 5ft of snow, you’ll be at the beach - sipping from a fresh coconut... And you get to say, “Ha! Come join me!”
10. Stay optimistic.
We wouldn't be able to recognize good days if we never had bad days. So it's essential to embrace both, that's life. Always try to keep the focus on achieving your goals. Your attitude affects your reality so stay optimistic!
Ok that's all I have for now. What did you think of my list? What else do people do to enjoy living in Nigeria?
Our perspectives on “living well” are probably as diverse as the creatures of the sea. Our views on luxury though may be less varied. When you think of luxury, what appears in your mind? It's typical to have images of designer labels, splendor, extravagance, exclusivity, privilege, status and maybe even divisiveness. Most of these images appear to be hinged on “ownership” of the nicer things of life.
We all love nice things. Many of us (girls especially) enjoy shopping. I’m so guilty of this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping or really appreciating nice things but at the back of our minds,
it’s important for us to remember that moderation is key to a balanced life.
Living in a digital age where we’re constantly bombarded and even distracted by a million and one different items to purchase or drool over, we have to check ourselves sometimes to make sure we’re not placing too much value on material things. I say this because when we do, it’s almost impossible to be content; as we simply cannot physically own everything we desire, or buy all that is sold to us. And even if we could, who says such ownership guarantees happiness?
Numerous studies have demonstrated that the more materialistic you are, the lower your personal wellbeing and psychological health. 😳 In other words, there’s actual proof that we’re actually unhappy when we place too much value on these material objects.
This shouldn’t be entirely surprising. Research shows that when we spend money on actual experiences instead of things we achieve longer-lasting satisfaction. Unlike material wealth, enriching experiences are positively linked to happiness.
Even designer-extraordinaire, Tom Ford, gets the idea. So the next time you’re about to spend some good bucks shopping for a nice bag, a pair of shoes you’ve been feening over (or buying on impulse 🙈), just maaaybe you should consider investing in an experience that you know you would absolutely enjoy. At the very least train your mind to substitute the continuous itch to acquire material things with acquiring enriching experiences.
You’ll be shocked how we can live better simply by paying just a little bit more attention to our personal quality of life.
Luxury is about experiencing the beauty and sweetness of life. It can be about savoring the best moments and celebrating even the little things. It could be making time to witness a gorgeous sunset, spending quality time with your favorite people or person doing something unusual that you all enjoy.
When last did you run and scream on top of your lungs just because?! I do this all the time, trust me it's so liberating. Forget the crazy stares you may get. 😧😂
- When last did you go to the beach?
- Discover a new city nearby or really far away?
- When last did you listen to great music that takes you back to an amazing moment?
- When last did you eat a special meal you love but haven’t eaten in ages?
Living well requires intention, attention and appreciation which thankfully can all be achieved at minimal cost! And under this Buhari government, isn’t this refreshing?! 😌😏
Don’t just live! Learn to love your life.
Live life voraciously, devouring it with fervor, enthusiasm and focus, scooping up any left over crumbs with a perspective that not even a second should be wasted.
Embracing this perspective, my idea of good living is: smelling, eating not just any popcorn, but sugar popcorn at the movies. It's sipping some good chai tea, eating banana-nutella-dulce-de-leche crepes or reading a great book with a nice scented candle, a soft blanket with Norah Jones playing in the background. A nice soak with candles and jazz music also makes me feel like life isn’t bad at all.
What is your idea of living well? And remember, we're not including material wealth this time.
Good day gone bad.
It's a late Sunday afternoon. After church and brunch, I'm in a fantastic mood. I decide to go to the store because I need two things: Hangers for my clothes and shampoo.
It's my first time at the store so I walk around for a while searching for the items, but no luck. I finally see two ladies wearing the supermarkets' uniform nearby. If not for their uniforms I would never have guessed they worked there. They were sitting in a corner laughing hysterically. It was as if they were long lost friends, reunited and in the middle of an epic catch up sesh.
I almost felt bad that I was about to interrupt their gist, but they worked in the store right? And I just really needed to ask, "Please, do you know where I can find hangers?"
The louder one, still sitting down, looks up at me. Then with her nose turned up, as if everything around her stunk, she quickly responds,
"Ah Ah.. How we suppose know?
You don't see we're in another section?!"
Excuse me whaaat?
Ok so I've been in Nigeria long enough to know customer service is not one of our strengths... But COME ON! Did she just say that?
Her "co-worker" continues... "Just go there. Ask that man. That one." She points a few meters away, to a very short, dark skinned man with a huge beer belly. "He might know where they are."
I thought, "Oh great, this one might know. Lucky me, eh?" Smh
Before I got a chance to say thank you (although there were currently zero reasons to thank them), they resume their laughter and squeals and continue their conversation... Like I never happened. Like I wasn't still standing right in front of them.
To avoid further neglect I quickly took myself to the next guy and asked him the same question- this time trying to sound as Nigerian as possible. Maybe that would help. "Oga, abeg where are your hangers?"
He looks up to the ceiling for a second and scratches his head.
"Ah. Madam, I don't know oh. Just keep walking that way.
Just keep walking. I'm sure you'll find it. It's there."
It's there?? That was his advice? It's there?!? I mean duh it's somewhere! Could he at least pretend he knew? Or walk with me to help find it?
But no, he had done enough. Technically, while he was saying "it's there" he was also making continuous hand gestures pointing to only God knows where. So in his mind he had put in a lot of work, right?
At this point I had no choice, but to venture off on my own. As I went through all the aisles I finally found some shampoo, thank God. And later found the hangers - in between completely random, unrelated items - of course.
Typically I would keep wandering the store and end up buying a few other things, but not today.
With all this roaming, I was drained and quickly joined the line at the register. Great, yet another endeavor to overcome.
The lady in front of me was buying just a toothbrush that cost N300. She gives the cashier a 500 Naira note. The cashier responds, “Madam, you don’t have change?
“No, just 500’s”
“Ah. I don’t have change oh.”
“Okayyy?? So go and get some?”
“Oh ok ok, I’ll try.”
The cashier signals to another “co-worker.” Again, I’m using this term very loosely. “Abeg, help me get change.”
The girl snaps back, “Is that part of my job?! No oh. I can’t do that one.” She hisses and rushes off.
WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Our cashier lady continues standing behind the register and starts shouting over us asking every co-worker she sees, "You get change?" Finally one agrees to help her get cash, but then several minutes later comes back with literally only N200 in change. So just enough for the lady, but clearly not enough for the rest of us in this long line that had now formed behind me.
It’s now my turn, so I hand her the hangers and shampoo. She swipes and puts the hangers in a bag, but then when it’s time for the shampoo she says, “Madam, I’m sorry, but I don’t know how much this shampoo is. It’s not swiping.”
I look at her like you’ve got to be kidding. "Ki lo de! Find out how much it costs then.”
“I’m sorry ma, I can’t do that.
The person in charge of that section has gone home.”
LOL. I literally laughed out loud.
“Ok she's gone home. Sooooo what do you want me to do then?”
“Madam, you have to leave it. Come back and buy it tomorrow.”
At this point, my uber driver had been calling. And she still didn’t have any change for me to even just get the hangers. So I left. Can you imagine? After spending almost an hour in the store, I left with absolutely nothing bought.
I go outside and the Uber driver is no where to be found.
I call his phone and he answers, “Madam, I’m coming. I suspected that you were still shopping so I went inside to buy something as well. But I’m coming!”
Noooooooo. Even my trusty Uber? Uber that is usually the exception to this nightmare?
Nigeria, we’ve got to do better!
I should mention that I randomly went to the new Shoprite in Ajah the other day and the customer service there was outstanding. So I guess customer service does exist. Ajah is maddd far though! Any suggestions of other places to try out?
Have you had similar customer service experiences? Any tips on how to handle or avoid such situations?
1. Gather ideas – Brainstorm, get creative if you’re the creative type or simply get inspiration from other events. Pinterest is amazing for this.
2. Check out these resources: Amazon, Etsy, your nearest art supply and party stores and maybe even the market if you know where to go. In Lagos especially, there are a lot of good places within Balogun and Teju Osho so inquire about the actual locations within the markets so you don’t waste too much time navigating in the heat.
3. Take advantage of local talent – We have great carpenters, artisans, tailors e.t.c. consider using them to give your event a more personal touch.
S: So Liam's first birthday bash finally happened this past weekend. We had such a great time! Before Liam was born, thanks to his aunty Sona, we all called him BaNnanna. Get it? Banana combined with my last name Nnanna.....I'm actually cracking up at how corny it is, but I love the name! Since then we would incorporate bananas, monkeys and other animals into his outfits, cards, room design, books… just about everything. So when it was time to plan his party, an outdoor-safari-king-of-the-jungle type theme was the clear winner.
D: Oh gosh, we were so excited. 😂 We gladly created a #LiamsWildOne Pinterest board which manifested into a few weeks of incessant pinning.
S: We're obsessed with Pinterest. It can help you plan anything. It even has recipes! Who would have thought?
D: Well.. I actually knew that. Lol but from color schemes to cake designs, photo booth props and animal shaped watermelons – Pinterest really has a way of sucking you in and making you feel like you can accomplish anything...
S: And everything. Until reality slaps you in the face. 😳
We were planning the party in Nigeria. And not even in Lagos, a city we're both a lot more familiar with, but in Abuja. I didn't even know where to start from. We decided to buy a few things off Amazon.com and find a way to bring the items back home. We had a few DIY (do-it-yourself) projects and took advantage of the plethora of legit carpenters to make a tent that was closer to what we envisioned.
To a large extent, the getting stuff to Abuja part worked *cough cough*
D: Sigh. I’ll just say it - just because I know you want to. Even though I carefully and diligently packed and brought back all the Amazon items back to Lagos from the US, after a few weeks in Lagos I don't know how it happened, but I sort of might have maaaybe left one of the bags in Lagos? 🙈
S: Deinte, it wasn't a bag, it was a suitcase of stuff!
D: Ok fine, it was a suitcase. It actually wasn't funny at all. But to my defense though, I just blame Lagos. I was low key stressed. But that’s a story for another day.
S: Thankfully, my darling friend, Rahila, came to our rescue and brought some of the "forgotten" items with her to Abuja (shout out to Rahila, who came all the way from Liberia vis a vis Lagos with her wonderful fiancé!). But I really just couldn't believe Dein.
D: Ok, ok. Moving on… we made a few arrangements with vendors in Abuja and decided to make a few things ourselves to add a personal touch.
Our biggest DIY (do it yourself) projects were the “Face in the hole” and “Jeep” photo stands.
S: We got the wooden frames made and then went on a mission around Abuja to find arts and crafts supplies. The most useful place we found was a store in Emab Shopping Plaza called AB Art World. It's more like an Art Corner though. Smh! But it had all the basics - Paint, brushes, colored paper, glue, glitter and some other random stuff. So we loaded up the car, got home and got to work.
Dami was SO helpful and was with us all weekend, we miss her already!
D: If we were to do all of it over we'd probably paint instead of cutting and pasting sheets - especially to get the animal shapes.
S: Painting is way easier and would have taken far less time but paint at that store was expensive considering that we wanted very basic paint and not acrylic paint or anything more fancy. Both projects took about 5 hours to complete (almost double the time we anticipated lol)
D: With the frames, we then created a mini photo station area between two trees in the backyard. We printed and mounted some photos of Liam at different stages of his life and pegged them to a fishing line that hung from both trees. We kept a little table in between for the rest of the hand held props. The older kids especially loved it and kept pulling people to take pictures of them.