Helllllooooo!!! Ki lon pop? What’s popping? How are you doing? It has been a while since my last post, but since I promised one post per month and May has not ended, we are still alright, right? I knew you would understand – chop kiss! 😊
Speaking of my last post, whoosh! The comments and reshares were quite overwhelming in a good way. I was so surprised, and the best part was that a lot of people said it was very timely. Oluwa is involved in this blog matter o! I actually wrote a post in my gratitude journal thanking the Holy Spirit for the inspiration to write that post and for making it resonate with a lot of people. Oluwa is always involved and it makes life so exciting!
*now singing* You and I are meant to be together, baby; can’t you see, you are the only one for me!!! I am currently listening to Plantashun Boiz’s album and it is bringing back so many memories. If you don’t know who the Plantashun Boiz are, please dear, you must start calling me Aunty Kemi. T for thanks!
I am sure you might have been looking out for my photos and videos from y Easter in Jordan. *sigh* Brethren, Jordan did not happen o! The story is not very long; we were denied our visas because we are Nigerians. Going into details will just give me “sifia“chest pain again so I will not bother. However, I have to commend Naija Nomads for pulling every string possible to make it happen. However, the strings were not long enough just because we were Nigerians. To say I was disappointed would be a gross understatement – I mean Jordan was supposed to be Country 40 and just a whole vibe. We had planned to go to the ancient city of Petra (which is one of the 7 New Wonders of the World) and even sleep in bubble tents in the desert. The itinerary was LIT and the group was even LITTER. But all that ‘litness’ was just for the WhatsApp group o, hehehehehehe. It was not to be exported to Jordan, lol.
A few folks went to Lebanon instead (again, shout-out to Naija Nomad for planning an epic alternative trip in less than a week) while the rest of us licked our wounds in Lagos/PH and Abuja, lol. I can’t even remember what I did that weekend except going to watch the incredible Moremi production at Terra Kulture. The awesomeness of the show helped heal my broken heart small sha.
All the recent visa gymnastics happening to my beloved green passport are just making me weak – from the suspension of drop-box renewal process for the US visa, to Schengen visas now requiring appointments (instead of the previous walk-in style), and Mozambique now being extra about Nigerians getting visas on arrival – it is all just sad! *deep sigh*
Moving on to happier topics, I have been going to a LOT of weddings of late! In the last 6 weeks, I have attended 3 weddings – one wedding every other weekend! It is like it is 2012 again and there is a fresh wave of people getting married.
You know I love LOVE and it is always a privilege to share in the love of my people. As you know, wedding reception parties go on till forever these days, so Sunday mornings have been a struggle. However, your favorite usher has always found a way to ‘gbe body e’ – nobody sent me work to be doing butterfly on Saturday night, lol.
Last week Monday was rough – I had spent Sunday evening partying with my girl, Stephanie Obi, celebrating the 30th anniversary of her 3rd birthday where I was both MC and hype man. To now arise on Monday was a STRUGGLE! I just wonder how people who drink alcohol can function normally the morning after a party, when ordinary chapman and zanku leave me so exhausted! Please if you have any party recovery tips, please share in the comments section. Thank you!!!
It has not been partying galore all the way o – I have also had some speaking engagements – Lagos Shapers ‘Meet the Leader’ series and the RCCG LP35 Career Fair. It is always a privilege to be asked to come and share and I remain grateful to God for continued relevance. There are a few more speaking engagements coming up.
I have also written articles for both Spark by Business Day (click here to download) and Leading Ladies Africa (click here to read). I have read 3 books – Risk and Return Africa, Love Letter to My Ex and A Petty Trader Driven By Purpose. It seems to be busy season, but God always gives grace! Halleluyah!
The one event I am most proud of is the closet sale I held last weekend. It was a private event for about 20 of my younger friends that I fondly call my aburos (i.e. younger sisters). I had done some spring cleaning at my family house during the elections period (all the curfews and cancelled election days did not go to waste) and decided to give out most of the clothes. I realized that because I lived across 2 places, I had clothes sitting fallow all over the place. To be honest, I did not give away ALL the clothes I packed from my family house, but I would say about 90% of them made it to the closet sale stash. It is not very easy to give away baffs (a.k.a. nice clothes), especially when they still fit and are in top condition. In fact, it is HARD, but I did it!! I will share some of the lessons I learnt from that experience.
Your children/people are always watching. Shout-out to Mama Kemi for being a good role model of the ‘if you have not worn an outfit in 6-9 months, then it does not belong to you anymore’ principle. My mum always gave out clothes that were in great condition, if she had not worn them in 6-9 months. Unfortunately for me, we have never been the same size, so I never benefited from it, but her example registered in my brain. A few times when I still lived at home, we would do spring cleaning together, so she could add my clothes to the stash going to the missionaries. Her example made it easier for me to do the same. Some of the folks who came to the event have decided to do the same for the teenagers in their spheres of influence. So cool!!!
Pay it forward whenever you can. I have been a massive beneficiary of my both my ‘OluwaMama’ and my Aunt/Deputy Mummy’s frequent wardrobe clear-outs. I have saved a ton of money from not having to buy clothes because these angels were steady supplying me baffs. I am a big believer in Matthew 10 vs 8b – ‘Freely you have received; freely give’ and this was my opportunity to pay it forward.
Use your network for the benefit of others. Although a few of my aburos had been raiding my wardrobe for months, hosting a proper event was a way to spread the love to more people and provide a platform for them to meet each other. I believe in the power of strong peer networks and since most of them are in the same stage of life, I felt they would benefit from connecting/networking with one another. I saw meaningful connections being formed and by the end of the event, contact details were being exchanged. That made me so happy! On a lighter note, I think I also needed an excuse to order small chops to my house, hehehehehe.
It is hard to do big things alone. Even though I had my stash since March, I only got around to executing the event last week. I was trying to do it by myself but just felt overwhelmed every time I thought about it. I would never have pulled it off without my squad of ‘helpers’ – same squad that helped with the 2018 Christmas giveaway. In just about 2 weeks after I shared the idea/vision and assigned tasks, we were able to successfully host the event, yaaay. It is important to have a team that you can work with to execute your ideas. I also leveraged my Karen Ubani Apparel brand ambassador status (hehehe) to buy some items from their clearance stock and those items moved like hot agege bread. The ‘helpers’ that were helping to sort and tag the clothes wanted to even buy everything before the party started, lol.
Tying things to a higher purpose makes you do better. When I initially thought about this closet sale, I was super uncomfortable about charging a token for the items (most of the items were between N1,000 and N7,000). I wanted the aburos to attach some value to what they got but I also didn’t want it to be as if I was broke and now trying to raise money, hehehehehe. So, I let them know that the proceeds would go to a charity of choice. By Monday afternoon, after the tithe (because Oluwa is always involved) and some costs were deducted (the small chops didn’t fall from heaven), we remitted the balance to the Joy Hub – a non-clinical, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory emotional and mental health walk-in centre where young people dealing with depression, trauma, anxiety and thoughts of suicide can access help. If you want to give to the Joy Hub, please visit http://joyinc.xyz/support-the-work.
We all know how important the issue of tackling mental health is, so this was our little contribution to the cause. I know that my sales girl swag was 10x more because I knew the sales were for a higher purpose and not just for my pocket. You should have seen me recommending outfits and styling people like my life depended on it.
The closet sale was a huge success; people shopped, networked and I got to share some personal experience through a totally unplanned and informal Q&A session. There was also a bit of a prophetic prayer session towards the end because Oluwa is always INVOLVED!
If you know you have more clothes than necessary, maybe you should consider doing a closet sale too. Even for those of you who think you don’t have enough clothes, if your waist line and your baffs are not on the same level anymore, maybe you should also consider doing a closet sale (about 20% of the clothes in the sale were in this category, lol). If you are relocating to Canada, do a closet sale (you won’t need all your local champion baffs in Canada, lol).
You need to get rid of the old to make space for the new! The same day I did the closet sale, I got 2 new outfits gifted to me! Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Alright, I think we are mostly caught up on what has been going on since I last posted. I am gathering the ginger to do the MBA post (Holy Spirit, please breathe on my brain) and I am looking forward to sharing it with you all soon. In the meantime, please let me know what topics you want me to write about in the comment section.
Testimony time – one of my closest aburos got a fully funded scholarship to attend the school of her dreams! I use her as a point of contact for everyone trusting God for such a miracle – I look forward to reading/hearing your own testimonies shortly in Jesus name! Amen!
Stay blessed everyone, stay joyful (despite all the higi-haga in the land) and stay hydrated, lol.