Category Archives: TREND ALERT!!!

El hambre de la riqueza

Millennial: This is the most popular term used to describe people like me, these days. When I say people like me, I mean people in the same age bracket as I am: people generally born between the early 1980’s, mid 1990’s to early 2000s.
But what is it about this generation?
Why are we labeled as lazy?
Why are we labeled as shallow minded, materialistic, and even disrespectful?
In fact, it seems we’re constantly being described by words that can make us hate ourselves?
Are we really shallow? Or are we even lazy?
I think some these things are true!
Now before you have my head, please read a little further.

Graphic from whymillennialsmatter.com

One thing we cannot deny is the desperate thirst and hunger for wealth and luxury in our generation. Yes, I know, politicians are guiltier…but I’m talking about US here.
Is there anything wrong with wanting to be wealthy? Absolutely not! I mean, it’s the reason we were told to “go to school and face your studies, success would follow”, right? Exactly! So I’m all for wealth.

I was chatting via Instagram, with a friend the other day, let’s call him Bode. He vented a bit about the “condition” of our generation. Initially, I thought he was being corny but I listened a bit more paid closer attention and BAM! I realized we do have people with depth in our generation. He wasn’t faking being deep or nothing. My take on all he said is that our generation is too desperate, not for just success, but MONEY and WEALTH and all that comes with them. Not just that, we would do ANYTHING to amass wealth! And therein is where the main problem lies. Is he right? Yes!!

Prior to my little chat with “Bode”, I was talking to my co-worker earlier about this: his name is Qwinn, an American, and he made some valid points. He said he thinks people in this generation are in constant pursue of wealth because it has been sold to us as success. You’re taught to go to school, work hard, raise a family…and continue the cycle. Therefore, if we’re not getting wealthy, doing well at work, getting the glamorous white-collar job, we fear being “a failure”, because success stories include wealth!

So now I had the perspectives of two different people from two different backgrounds.
Now what do I think?

I think both guys are correct. And I don’t think it’s healthy to not be in pursuit of success. Now you’ll have to define what success is for yourself. I’m still on that journey of defining what success is for me- and fulfillment: losing weight, getting another degree, writing more, keeping more in touch with my friends, being able to drop some bad habits, etc. are all examples of what my success story include.

“This piece is getting too long…”-my current thought. Oh well~

Now here is what bothers me:
What are we going to teach the coming generations about fulfillment, self-awareness, morals, values and the likes, if we rate pretty low in those aspects ourselves?
Why are young people being daily arrested for fraudulent activities? AND why are they being praised for that lifestyle?
Recently, a popular Nigerian rapper, FalzTheBadGuy, said in a short interview that certain things needed to stop being glorified!

Picture from Nollywoodaccess.com

Of course, there were mixed responses to that-some supported, while some called him a hater. Which begs the question: How on earth are we not all automatically against being fraudulent? And other things related to it? To make matters worse, a lot of these people use this sudden or not so sudden wealth for Guccis and Pradas, Vixens and Yatches. So Pray do tell, how are we not all 100% against such?
How is this trend of getting rich at ALL cost, becoming a norm? Because it is…
How is the idea of getting a 9-5 job a lame move?
When did earning an honest living, no matter how mediocre become less praiseworthy than popping bottles of Moet and Ace of Spades in Guccis and Audemars Piguet watches (I WANT ONE TOO!!!) – for the sake of being “Bad and Bougie”? Sorry I really like that song, haha!
When did being a professional /Instagram/Snapchat “slay mama” become more exemplary than busting our butts (no pun intended), to earn an honest living while keeping our moral compasses upright?
I don’t know about you, but it’s mind-boggling!

Picture from familywhitecounty.com

If at this year, stage, age and time, our society is this way, PLEASE tell me, what are we going to teach our children? We say “it takes a village to raise a child”, on what grounds would your village help raise your child?

Or am I getting this all wrong?? Please let me know!

The Wedding Party: Deardre Winston’s Danielle Down

Hello Everyone!! It’s been quite a minute!

A lot and i mean A WHOLE LOT has been going on…good things, mostly! I’d get to them at some point- the right time.

I’m not writing about life lessons or none of all that fun jazz today! I’m writing about someone-no, not a boyfriend. Lol!

I’m sure a lot of us have watched the famous movie, “The Wedding Party”, maybe more than once too, I don’t blame you oh! That movie was EVERYTHING!!! And I bet everyone has a favorite character, one they can relate to, or see themselves in. So do I. I definitely saw myself in one of the characters- a story/series for another day. This is about my favorite character!!!

She is none other than Deardre Winston, one of the bridesmaids, played by Daniella Down.
I’d like to know someone else who was intrigued by her asides me.

Daniella Down aka Deardre Winston

What was it about her, you ask?

First, this isn’t the first time I’d see a foreign actor play a role in a Nigerian movie, or a white one for that matter. The difference this time is that Daniella’s acting was ORGANIC!
I live in the midwestern part of the US, where I would usually find myself as the only black person in a class, work, store, restaurants, etc. Also, I’ve had to invite a few of my caucasian friends or even other races over for lunch at my house, birthday parties, and the likes, where they end up being the only one of that race in the midst of my “very African” friends and I. Why am I going into these details?
There is a high level of curiosity, sense of wanting to belong and a type of “hunger” for knowledge about our culture a lot of these friends of mine possess. It’s conspicuous, yet obscure at the same time. That is what I saw in Daniella, the whole time she was Deardre Winston. I absolutely loved her! I hope she actually ends up with Nonso Onwuka, the groom’s brother, played by the absolutely gorgeous Enyinna Nwigwe! LOL! *day dreams for a bit*

Daniella Down as Deardre Winston in The Wedding Party

Okay I’m back! Her acting skills and my curiosity about her made me reach out to her, and guess what?! We’re meeting up for coffee whenever we do meet! Lol! My dreams are valid, you guys!!!!!!!
Anyway, she replied me, and I conducted a little virtual interview. She answered the questions some of us might have in mind for her. I’m not going to bore you with the nitty gritty details of all the questions, so below is a summarized version.

I asked Daniella about her growing up and background. She said: “I have had a rather unusual upbringing”. She spent most of her life growing up in Hong Kong, China, even though she is British originally. Daniella did end up moving to London for a few years, but it wasn’t the city for her. Therefore, she has been living in Amsterdam for the past 2 years and loves it there!

I further asked her about her upbringing. Her school growing up was a big melting pot of different cultures. She said “I grew up surrounded by cultures and friends who came from different countries…I learned from a very young age about beautiful cultures and how easy it can be to live in harmony with and in a foreign culture”. This obviously has a big impact on the way she sees the world.

Then we went on to the “elephant in the room”- HOW ON EARTH DID YOU END UP ON THE WEDDING PARTY MOVIE??? It was a pretty simple answer! Apparently, it wasn’t her first Nigerian movie. Daniella had featured in a movie called Mum, Dad, Meet Sam with Joseph Benjamin, I guess her skill spoke for her, as she was invited for an audition for The Wedding Party. Although she started her career in theatre in the UK, Daniella has starred in other international projects (Chinese, Hong Kong, etc.), commercials (advertisements), cartoons and a few others.

Deardre Winston and Joseph Benjamin in Mum, Dad, Meet Sam

Although, we all know that Nollywood has been on a constant rise in the last decade, I still further asked her about the difference(s) between shooting Nigerian movies and others she has featured in. She says: “There are challenges shooting something as complex as a feature film, which can be out of productions control – like generators or Lagos traffic. Needless to say, I’m back for my third time, so I have a definite soft spot for Nigeria.” And we have a softer spot for you, Danielle! She also went on the buttress my point that Nollywood is growing at a very rapid rate, making references to movies like Fifty, 93 Days and Taxi Driver: Oko Asewo. She says “Film’s like The Wedding Party 2 can act as a lens for the west to gain insight into Nigerian culture and for Nigerian film to expand to the west.”

Danielle’s first time in Nigeria was in 2013, therefore my final question was about her preconceived notions about Nigeria were, if and how they have changed. She said ” I’m glad to say that Nigeria is my first insight into Africa; Nigerian culture, the food, the people.. the Music!! The longer I spend here, the more I learn about Nigerian culture, especially the arts here…Knowing Nigeria makes me want to explore more of Africa, there are so many more adventures to be had”. She further explained that the people in Nigeria and the rich culture keep drawing her back to Nigeria.

One of her advice to people looking to break into the Nollywood scene is that everyone’s experience and career path are different. But generally, to work hard, be dedicated to constantly develop both your Business and Acting skills, and network!! She chipped in that “You don’t have to get caught up in social media celebrity, the most valuable thing is to stay true you and honor your own happiness – do what makes you happy. My personal mantra is to be open to new opportunities and find pleasure everything I do.”

Even with all these, she says she is still at the beginning of her career.

You can check her out on her website at Danielladown.com

Gender roles and its shenanigans!

Don’t judge the title, coming up with titles are ridiculously difficult!

Lately, it seems everyone has been going ballistic about gender roles. There is a certain “silent war” between Feminists (both male and female), “Meninists” (both male and female), and the younger and older generations, Men and Women, Religious/Believers and Unreligious/Unbelievers…the list is endless.

Before you ask me, I do not stick to one of these groups, at least not that I know of.

www.wierdlings.com

Sometime ago, there was a clip floating on Facebook and other sites, of a very well known Nigerian Preacher. In that clip, he was quoted that women should not marry a jobless man and men should not marry a woman who cannot cook or pray in the spirit for an hour. People lost it! Some were out rightly calling him names, some were on his side, and some were in between, while some of us really did not and do not care!

I ask myself, “Why do gender roles cause so much ruckus?” According to hesperian.org, “Fulfilling the roles expected by the community can be satisfying and can give a woman a sense of belonging and success. But these roles can also limit a woman’s choices, and sometimes make her feel less valued than a man. When this happens, everyone-the woman herself, her family, and her community-suffers.” The problem highlighted in this sentence, is where I think the problems of gender roles lay.

I grew up in Nigeria. Nigeria is a culturally dynamic country, but there are some factors that cut across all the different cultures in the world. Some of those factors are: religion, gender roles, respect for elders and probably respect of the husband from the wife (not necessarily vice versa) and so on. These have existed for centuries in many countries, passed down from one generation to another, refined, modified, recalculated and presented in different forms. But one cannot deny the fact that gender roles are deeply rooted in the foundations of a lot of countries. It is the reason Hillary Clinton is the first woman to be nominated by her party to contest in the Presidential elections, it is the reason men still earn more than women in the same position (forbes.com), it is the reason people would say to a woman: “No matter how many degrees you earn, you’ll still end up in the kitchen!” or to a man: “you are the husband, you need to provide all the needs of the wife”, the reason a man would beat up his wife because she is “disrespectful” towards him, or “whatever I say in this house is final, I am your husband, you do what I say!”.

Theodysseyonline.com

On the other hand, I still believe in certain gender roles, please don’t have my head!I believe there is a reason we were created in different bodies and there is a reason those bodies cannot all do the same things naturally (I hear men can get pregnant and give birth now). When I say body, I mean everything inside and outside the body. From the mind, to the heart, to the physical reproductive organs and the bone structures-all of it! The only thing I blatantly refuse, is when one gender is deemed more important than the other-no, we’re all equal.

Life is set up in a way whereby one cannot be by one’s self. We all need the other person. To have the other person in your life, you have to love them and respect them the way you do yourself or you want to be done unto you, regardless of your age or gender- ha! The famous “Golden Rule”.

Lastly, a few things:

-I think a man should equally be able to pray in the spirit for an hour, if his woman can.

-A man should definitely not be jobless when ready for marriage; the same applies to a woman.

-A man should be able to whip up a meal for himself and his family and also help out at all times even if his wife is more than willing to be in the kitchen always.

-Men are not wired to cheat and women wired to be faithful. We are adults, we make our own decisions to cheat or not.

-Men are not the only ones that crave respect, women do too-as much as men, if not more- I know I do.

-Women are not the only ones that crave love and attention, men do too- as much as women.

-Women are not the ones to raise the children; the PARENTS are to raise the children.

-Men can still open doors for women and pay on a date, without thinking women are the “weaker gender”, loosen up, ladies!

-Women can still cook most of the time, without thinking she’s less than her husband and vice versa.

-Women are not the only ones who can be physically and sexually molested.

-Men are not the only ones who can get arrogant and dominant in relationships.

There are many more roles and misconceptions generally assigned to each gender, I say, take the role of the opposite gender and PLAY it like your life depends on it! It’ll make the world easier for each person.

Fabius Maximus Website

Finally, it is our duty as parents and the whole society (It takes a village to raise a child, right?), to not raise daughters based on these archaic beliefs and gender roles. It is our duty to raise sons and daughters who love and respect and help each person, equally, regardless of their Gender!

Eyebrow Threading VS Waxing

Growing up in Nigeria, I saw women with different ways of managing their brows. Some let the brows grow out, some got rid of every single hair and drew a thin line. As I grew older, the art of grooming the brows became more popular, and most people used a blade. I still ask my mom to send me packets of those blades, they are little rectangular shaped metals, and extremely thin too.

On getting to the US in 2010, there was the art of waxing, threading and tweezing. Threading is something I have fallen in love with. I still shuttle between waxing and threading and I’ve done a series of research about the two, and according to Teen Vogue, all methods work just fine.

I have been able to take pictures of the two eye brow threading ladies I came across in Bloomington.

Pictures by Felicia Akanmu

According To Studies, Abstinence from Alcohol may Lead to higher mortality rates

All videos were shot and edited by me, Felicia Akanmu.

A group of researchers from the University of Texas have recently completed a study on the relationship between alcohol consumption and mortality risks. The study shows that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced mortality rate among middle-aged and older adults.

Video and Video production: Felicia Akanmu