Dealing With Loss and Uncertainty.

Just as the title of this post says, 2020 has been a year which has brought just that- loss and uncertainty.

The other day, in my bible studies group, we were discussing how this year has brought so much loss for many people. COVID being one factor, waking up to the same BBC news report of the number of cases going up and up, you would wonder if the next person would be a family member or your loved one.

Regardless of that, this year has not been easy. We all suffered the loss of basketball star Kobe Bryant- sitting here writing this post, I guess it still feels weird to say he has gone. I also remember the exact moment Caroline Flack sadly passed- I just began to question why we are all constantly reminded of time to grieve and mourn, whilst we are also reminded that people are loosing their lives on a daily.

Nevertheless, dealing with this period is not easy. I am very grateful that I haven’t had to experience it so deeply myself, but I know of people who have had to deal with it, and it can be tough. Whilst I went around doing my research and speaking to people, I realised that there are many ways of dealing with loss and uncertainty, it is subjective. But I hope these next three points would help anyone who would be going through a difficult time.

1. Remembering there is a time for everything

I’m a Christian, and you’ll always here about my faith on here. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about how there is a time for everything. There literally is a time for every single moment, and as unpleasant as it sounds- there is a time where we will all depart from here and from our loved ones. All good things must come to an end and it is okay to take time to adjust to good things or good people’s lives ending

One thing I also want to stress is to not live in fear- to not let our current circumstances around us drive us to insanity wondering if it’s yourself or a loved one going to pass next- I don’t believe this is God’s intention for us.

2. Dealing with it in your own way
Many people experience and handle loss or uncertainty in different ways, I believe there is no wrong or right way to do so. Finding what works best for you will likely make the process much easier and help you to get a speedy recovery. Whether that be spending some time to understand your loss by yourself- or spending it in the comfort of your friends and family. Whatever works for you well is the way you should go forward with it.

3. Looking for a positive future
We are more than halfway through the year, and whilst it hasn’t been an easy one, you have to look for a silver lining somewhere. It’s not the best to have a mindset that nothing positive could come out of this year. Whilst the grieving process can take a while to go through for people, try not to let it consume the remainder of the year. There is still hope that you will go through this tough season, and this could take the help of family and close ones to be with you through the journey.

What ways have you managed deal with loss and uncertainty? Comment below

Thanks for reading!

Essence Interviews – Magknit App

It’s been a long time since I’ve done an #ESSENCEINTERVIEW. A time where I get to speak to people who are creative, inspirational or who have made a major breakthrough in their field. If you haven’t already, you can read the last interview here.

Since I haven’t done one in a while , I knew I had to have a big comeback, somebody I found really unique and inspiring – so I decided to base this edition around tech ,we are meeting Jordan Johnson, co-founder and CEO of the new student-based app- Magknit.

Magknit | LinkedIn

The Magknit App acts as a platform to look for other students who would like to join forces on projects or similar interests. The app aims to transform the way students’ network and collaborate whilst meeting new people.

1.Tell us about yourself

My name is Jordan Johnson, I come from a Nigerian background. I’m 22 and attend Lancaster University. I am a Christian who loves drumming and singing. I am also the founder of the Magknit App

2.Where did the idea behind the Magknit come from ?

The idea behind the Magknit app started in my second year of university. I started a YouTube called SSV which allowed me to feature different perspectives of religion and have different faiths on there – similar to BKChat but more polished I guess. I had to end it as there was a lack of resources in order to continue and I wanted to focus more on uni.
I was attending a few networking parties due to this, where I could meet people and I thought why not create an app for this ? Surely there are hundreds of students here who would love to collaborate on projects or similar interests, why is there not an app that can help with this ? That’s where the idea originated from.

3. What were the steps in getting the app created ?

I first had to create the concept. This involved myself and 6 of my friends coming together and brainstorming the idea, creating features to add to the product. We then had to conduct focus groups and lots of market research to test our assumptions.  I did lots of reading ‘lean startup’ and watched lots of videos ‘Gary Vee, Steve Bartlett’ on start-ups and business. We then went to a university innovation hub who were hell bent on us filling in lots of sheets of paper in an attempt for us to further understand our goals for the business.

We then had to prove the concept of it. This involved creating  Facebook group that allowed students, societies, businesses and charities to advertise their skills or willingness to contribute to a project. Over 110+ people joined and over 12+ connections were made however it was painfully obvious that people needed a platform that allowed them to connect on their own as I had to encourage people to post. Upon market research we found that people didn’t really come to Facebook to network but just to watch meme’s, videos and see what friends are up to.

Thinking this was enough, during the summer I went around London looking for investment with my then co-founder. A ridiculous offer was made to us after consecutive meetings with a particular investor, which we decided to turn down in order to further prove our concept in order to gain more leverage in our negotiations so that we could properly convince the next investor. So we created a basic information capture website that allowed me to get a database of people who either had an idea or project, or had a skill and wanted to connect. We succeeded within a day and managed to sign up 30+ student 5+ ideas and 3+ businesses. Allowing me to cold call and connect the people who need to be connected.

Secure Investment and Find a Team – A particular angel investor finally believed I had enough to go ahead and start building the app.  It was through aforementioned website that I found my co-founder Siddharth Notani who was a computer science student and was on the database to help build a website for a Restaurant. I convinced him to join the company and with our resources we found a team to help build our platform and since then it’s been 1 year of building the product and doing research, lots of testing and ideation. We are now approaching launch.

4. What have been some difficulties with the app e.g. creating whilst being a student? Finances, getting a team?

I would say finances had to be the most difficult challenge, every other challenge I faced somehow involved finances getting in the way. Sourcing a team was also difficult as many dropped out along the way due to other workloads/projects. I also found time to be a challenge with it as at the time I was working at Sony, so I had to balance my job with trying to make the most out of the app,making it the best it could possibly be.

Other challenges that I faced which affected me personally included me learning how to humble myself, not letting myself get too involved with the hype of it all. I had also decided to leave university at this point which was a huge challenge for me! Simply because coming from an African background, education is instilled into us from the moment we are able to walk practically ! so I had to convince not only my parents I was serious about taking this step, but also my family and friends of my parents who tend to have an opinion at times.

Lastly, I would say loosing friends. Whilst I had friends that wanted to hang out or chill on a good lad’s holiday, I was dedicating my time to working on the app. This meant I lost friends along the way.

5. What have been some strengths from the app? e.g. getting new skills, networking opportunities

There have been many strengths I have gained from the app. Mainly in leadership. I have had to become very self-aware, be able to reason well and be receptive to criticism both positively and negatively. In terms of hard skills , I would definitely say admin skills is something I have gained and developed, additional skills involve accounting, managing finances and just having a priority to learn stuff that I needed to know . I learnt many things along the way.

6. What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and develop their own app?

I would say just start- there is no such thing as waiting for when you are ready otherwise you will never be. I would say this to people who are especially of a younger age, simply due to the fact that you don’t have any major responsibilities e.g. kids, spouse, house etc.
I would also encourage you to look into where there is a demand for what people need. Try and cater to people’s needs. Innovation is the child of demand.

7. What makes this app unique from other apps that students mainly use ? e.g. Instagram, twitter etc.

There are many things that that makes this app different from others. Twitter which is used a lot by students is conversational, you simply go there to voice your opinions and talk to others. LinkedIn is corporate so you tend to create a façade of yourself, whereas the Magknit app is a collaborative platform, rather than a social networking or corporate platform, the Magknit app allows you to collaborate and network with others based on your interests or projects you are working on.

8. How was your relationship with God affected by the app ? negatively/positively

Working on this app has brought me closer to God. When I go thorough hard times, troubles and doubts I look back at how far I have come and understand He will complete what he started. Being a son of Nigerians, failing university once is a curse from the devil and failing twice is an affliction. For me through business, my understanding of The Word and God has allowed me to find my own faith instead of believing in the word of God the way my parents do.

Failing first year and dropping out of my second year, working in my third year has just taught me that everyone’s journey to greatness is not supposed to be the same route or timespan and I thank him for the opportunities and lessons he has taught me along the way. I don’t demand from God; my main prayer is to ask his will to be done in my life and be humble enough to understand that I can’t understand while I’m going through it.

For more about the Magknit App:

W:
https://www.magknit.co.uk/
T: @MagknitApp
F:@magknitapp
IG: magknitapp

Am I Being Useless ?

“In this self-isolation period I have :

Started 7 businesses

Learnt how to trade

Hosted my own masterclass/live webinar

Read 10 books

Invested in 3 start-up companies

And so on…”

Now, I have likely lost count of how many times I have seen a tweet, story, picture or post similar to the above quote. Somebody posting of what they have achieved during this lockdown period- leaving me to question as a blogger- am I utilising my time wisely ? Am I plainly being useless ?

No, and you aren’t either.

The lockdown period had brought many changes to people’s everyday livelihood. What once was a time where we could freely go out and just celebrate our freedom, is now a time of it being taken away from us. And is now suddenly a time where everyone wants to be the most “productive” “successful” and make the most money. Everyone is preaching about how this lockdown period should make you :


LEARN A NEW SKILL

That’s the phrase, that’s exactly the words that got me up thinking on my Sunday afternoon, and I have two ways of viewing this

Playing devil’s advocate:

Now for those people who are driven by success, whether that may be in financial terms or fame, then I guess I can understand why they are so adamant on possessing a new skill or thinking fast of ways to fill their bank accounts. At the end of the day, in this current season- the internet is your golden token. So that’s why you are seeing more people write E-books, do masterclasses or webinars, start YouTube channels or collaborate with brands/companies. I guess the whole obsession with learning a new “skill” is what is important to these people, so they would be set once this bondage.. I mean lockdown is over.

Here’s my take:

I’m no expert in business, or branding at that, but what I do know is that it is not easy to start up a business. AT ALL There are lots of downfalls, cash losses and pits that you fall in, therefore just because we may have all the time in the world does not mean we should be so eager in starting one. There is no harm in learning a new skill honestly. Learning skills is what pushes us in life- however learning a skill with the pure incentive of becoming rich overnight ? I don’t think that’s the best thing to do. Additionally, I think that we shouldn’t be pressuring people to learn a new skill without no drive behind it. If you want to learn a new skill, normally there has to be a genuine interest that comes from it, otherwise it just becomes a chore.

And you would be surprised, there are a lot of business owners/ or content creators out there who are even urging people to not rush into anything, to get used to the change in routine and take some time to yourself- and I would agree. I would say to anyone feeling guilty of not being useful in anyway- DON’T. Trust me we are all in the same boat, learning how to adjust to the new system.

What are your thoughts on this ? are we rushing too much into the whole phase of learning new skills ?

Thanks for reading !

Your Mental Health in this Quarantine Period.

It was after an online prayer session with my church group this week, where one of the leaders stated “ the reality of this period is that people’s mental health won’t be the same, they would come out as a different person” and I started to think of how true this statement was.

Adjusting to the WFH lifestyle was already tough. Being confined to a small desk or small space without the freedom of the commute (no matter how annoying it would be) to express your minds and have a think was really tough. Accompanied by the fact that you couldn’t separate work from home- if you had a stressful day or a heavy workload you would have to remain in the same place or environment where you dealt with it. All in all- it’s been tough.

I have compiled 5 tips together, which I think are essential with helping you with your mental health during this season. I hope these tips are useful and guide you to improving your mental health day by day.

  1. Stick with your regular routine

For many of us our regular routines of getting up and getting ready for work would have changed drastically since the lockdown period, and I’m sure this time would have had an affect on any entrepreneurs/self-employed workers too. However, this does not mean your routine needs to change. If you practiced self-care every Monday – continue ! If you went for a run every Saturday morning – continue ! (only once a day of course lol). The point is that life does not have to stop due to the pandemic, keep to your regular routine of doing what you love and make sure to stick to that routine even whilst working from home.

2. Limit your time on the news/media

As much as we want to keep up with the news surrounding the virus, keep up on any vital information the government may be providing us, it may be daunting to constantly hear negativity or hear sad news of deaths- it can increase the feelings of hopelessness and constant worry about how the virus is deteriorating. Therefore, limiting the amount of news you hear to just the morning may be best- get the negative news out of the way and then turn on a positive mindset for the remainder of the day

I would avoid listening to the news just before bed, this will prevent you from having worries during the night, it may even prevent you from getting to sleep on time for an early work start the following day.  

3. Get fresh air at least once a day

Although we are advised to stay indoors, I am so grateful that parks and large sparse areas are left open to do at least 1 form of exercise a day (and 1 form only- don’t go and sunbathe!) After watching a report on Sky News today, they  explained how they were purposely left there for exercise but also for mental health reasons. People use large spaces to free up their minds and release their thoughts- it can be your only form of escape during this time.

Several studies have confirmed that separation from nature is detrimental to human development, health and wellbeing, and that regular contact with nature is required for good mental health.

Therefore, if you feel like being in quarantine is seriously affecting your emotions then take advantage of the natural spaces around you

4. Speak to at least 1 person a day

If you are at home with family then this can help as you can talk to your siblings, partner or parents about how your day went. However, during this time where you may not see your friends or loved ones in a while- technology is your best friend. Whether it may be audio call, FaceTime, Skype, finding a way to talk to someone can distract you from the thought of being confined to one space. Having that one important phone call session can help distract you from the constant news of death or uncertainty and can help clear and free your mind.

And they always say- check up on those who appear the strongest !

5. Think Positively

This current period can bring nothing but anxiety, worry and confusion. I’m sure nobody would have imagined the sudden changes that we would have to follow due to the outbreak, and this can have an effect on people negatively- to avoid this, change the way you perceive the current situation we are in.

I think this graphic explains it best. This year would have brought many disappointments to plans such as travel plans, birthdays, social events etc. But if you learn to change your mindset from the FEAR ZONE to the GROWTH ZONE, it can improve your mindset as a whole. This is something not done overnight, and will take some time to implement

There you have it ! 5 tips to help your mental health during this period

Thanks for reading


Has God entered my 2020 ?

Hey !

So, after deciding what post to write before March started, I thought to myself, I haven’t discussed my faith/journey with God on here in a while.

No particular reason, I guess I’ve had a transformation or a twist with my relationship with God lately.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way:

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2020 started on a high. I was in a good mood and everything I envisioned for this year, I looked at with a positive mindset towards it. I guess I can say the same for others, all I would hear from people were how they wanted to start afresh and leave the disaster that 2019 was. To start a new decade with a bang. 3 months into the year and I can say it’s been good so far, not easy but good, I guess.

Now, one thing I didn’t do this year was make a mood board/ vision board. My regular pattern of creating a vision of the year by writing it all out on pieces of paper and sticking it on my wall had taken a halt for this year. I guess I wanted to not put so much pressure on myself regarding goals I had to achieve and to just live, take each day as it comes.

But that came with a risk as I wasn’t being held accountable for anything- one being my relationship with God. The mood board acted as a way for me to check on myself and see if I was truly keeping up with what I wanted to do, so now that I didn’t have my mood board- I had no accountability.

My main goal for the year:

One thing I established in 2020 was that I didn’t want my faith/relationship with God to fluctuate. As that happened A LOT throughout 2020, one season I’m reading my bible and praying and then another season I found myself drifting away from God even more (blame procrastination). I did not want that to happen this year !

So how is that goal going – it’s much better than what it was previously. Although it’s only been 3 months I can say I haven’t fluctuated much, but I think the main goal is to increase my relationship with God. And not the typical saying of “get closer to God” but actually make it personal. I would like to find out my way of hearing from God. Some people hear from God through dreams, visions, the word- I would need to find my method

One thing I want to do is do deeper bible study. See the thing is, the Bible is really a history book, (this should be a walk in the park since it’s what I do in uni) so, it’s basically just evaluating what happened in each time frame of the bible, taking the valuable life lessons from it and applying it to my daily life !

How is your relationship going with God at the moment ? What are you striving to do to make this year count ?

Romans 8: 38 “ And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love”

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2020 Is That Year.

2020. The year of clear vision.

The start of a new decade. I really had to sit down and ‘deep’ it. I have lived for a decade and I’m about to enter into a new decade. As I listen and read the many phrases of “you are about to enter into your best year yet” and “2020 we’re not slacking” I start to wonder how I can make this year my best.

2019 was hard. I’m sure many people can attest to this, for me personally the combination of second year of university, working on my personal development, my blog and applying for placements (which is too complicated to go into I don’t even know how to explain) it was a tough rollercoaster. It’s weird how people can relate to the feeling of 2019 bringing nothing but disappointments, lack of achievements and hurt.

But hey- it’s 2020, if you don’t remain positive, who will ?

1. Stop saying “New Year, New Me”.

Now I’m not trying to be a negative Nancy here, but stop saying this phrase unless you are actually going to do something about this “New Me” thing. I’m sure many of us on social media have seen the various stories and posts of how 2020 is going to be better than the previous year (including the woman who is stepping up on those steps with a box named “edges” signifying she is not leaving that behind lool) and how this year is going to be the best year yet because “I am now a changed person”. But it’s easier said then done. Don’t just say the phrase for saying sake- act on it.

Yes 2020 is the beginning of a new decade and it is good to have a positive outlook of your character for the year; however, it is important to remember that come December 31st 2020, you are not going to see a change in yourself unless you have worked on it
consistently throughout the year.

2. Get an accountability partner.

So, if you are going with this “New Year, New Me” vibe, at least get someone who can be
accountable for this. My suggestion will be to write down all your goals, either financial,
spiritual or character motivated and hand it over to someone who will be willing to check you up on some of your goals you had for the year. This can be someone close to you like a sibling, parent or a good friend. Make sure they are reliable and motivational though, you wouldn’t want it to be someone who doesn’t care about your growth or wellbeing. Therefore, look for someone who is going to add to your improvement and be accountable for your goals.

3. Get a gratitude jar.

I was introduced to this idea by my friend Tisha, who suggested getting a jar and writing on a piece of paper something you are grateful for within that day. By the end of the year, you can empty the jar and read all the things that you are grateful for within that year. I think as we go through the year, we may go through struggles or difficult time that makes us forget the smaller things we can be grateful for. Just having air go in and out of our lungs each day is a blessing, that can be something you put in your gratitude jar !
If you want this year to be remembered as a year of success, this gratitude jar will help you achieve it.

4. Just live.

This point applies to my generation, the younger 20’s or the older teens. I’m sure you have heard the saying “This new decade is going to be wild- you’re going to be married, having kids and buying a house” wait up, hold on a minute ! Please we are just 6 days into 2020 !!
Yes, the next 10 years ahead of you may look like a lot in terms of life changes, and it’s
nothing to be afraid of, but I urge you to just take this year and just live.

There is nothing wrong with staying focused on your future, but also remember to take the time out and just enjoy the year that is ahead of you. My “New Years Resolution” as people would like to call it is to just branch out of my comfort zone and try out new places and new activities, travel more and just LIVE- Not be so caught up and be strict on the goals I had planned for the year.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful year, and here’s to
new posts within the new year “ *clinks glass*

Remain Blessed.

When In Dam.

So, I officially managed to squeeze in a trip to Amsterdam before the year ended. It has always been a fascinating place for me, somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while, not for any particular reason and yes guys not to smoke or anything! I guess it’s a place where young people can just go out for a weekend away. I was there for a total of 4 days and I will be sharing what I got up to plus some useful tips for making your stay there pleasant and enjoyable!

Day 1:

We arrived the day prior in the evening, tired and drained from travelling from the airport to our Bnb we decided to start our ventures on the following day, we went to a lovely place called The Breakfast Club for our breakfast in Sloterdijk, I found out about this place via the gram, and surprisingly they have some branches in London which I did not know about. This location was perfect as it allowed us to go into central straight from there via train, where we walked around, saw various souvenir places and got to experience the Dam trams.

The tram services in Amsterdam are great, as it acts as a mini tour bus, so if you see something you are interested in you can simply get off and walk to it. It runs direct through the city, and majority of trams stop at Amsterdam Centraal station where everything is situated.

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In the evening we explored the nightlife of Amsterdam Centraal, going to a bar called the SkyLounge. This was located above the Hilton Hotel just outside of the station and had a spectacular view of the city of Amsterdam, it had a rooftop for you to take pictures on, however due to the cold winter night we decided to stay inside and order a few drinks. I would recommend exploring the nightlife, just like you would in any city, Amsterdam has plenty of bars and restaurants for you to try out, however I would advise you to book in advance as places can be pretty packed!

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Day 2:
We visited the infamous VenusTempel museum also known as the place full of statues of parts where the sun doesn’t shine!

This is located in Centraal once again and was surprisingly very cheap! This was the only museum we visited, the Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh museum were all sold out, turns out you have to purchase tickets 2 months in advance!

We then went to the Hard Rock Café deeper into town, turns out they also have branches in the UK also! That’s the great thing about Dam, if you are not up to trying out new/foreign foods, there is always the safe option of sticking to what you know-majority of restaurants/cafes here in the UK are bound to be there also.

Near the Café was a souvenir shop where I could buy some keychains (I have a keychain collection for every country I go to). Although this shop was not expensive, I would recommend going to the market stalls for souvenirs as you can get some good deals there and buy souvenirs for a much cheaper price.unnamed-14

Day 3:

Day 3 consisted of activities galore! We first went to the Magna Plaza in centraal, I would say a slightly less fancy version of Harrods, but still decent. This place consisted of shops such as Mango and Coach, but we still tried to go to Dutch shops to gain a better experience of their style of clothing.

After bike riding around town, we went on the Amsterdam City Canal Cruise. This was a boat ride that took us around the many canals of Amsterdam, turns out there are many landmarks to see along the canal cruise such as the Crooked Houses, the Illuminated Laundry (AKA Neighbourhood) and the Mayor’s house! I would definitely recommend the boat cruise as it allows you to see the city of Amsterdam without going through the hassle of changing trains or trams.

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Useful Tips:

The Amsterdam City Card:

The Amsterdam City Card is a pass that allows you to get free transport on Metro,Tram, Bus and Train as well as access to museums such as the Van Gogh museum and the Rijksmuseum. This pass allows you to gain access to key tourist areas and allows you to go on the one hour canal cruise ride which was very worth it ! In all, you save loads of money and time from buying tickets and waiting in queues. If you are planning on going to Amsterdam very soon, then I highly recommend taking a look at purchasing the card if you are there for a long stay:

Wrap up warm:

Regardless of what time you go to Amsterdam, the city is full or large lakes and canals, emphasis on the canals- THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. Where we stayed had a huge canal outside, the minute we came out of our door, and although they can be peaceful and they provide a serene atmosphere to walk along with, walking along them at night can be very difficult. The combination of winds with the cold waters can make your walk really annoying, therefore a good coat, scar and hat will do you just fine!

Rent a Bike:

One thing I noticed once arriving to our BnB is that there are well developed cycle lanes everywhere, and EVERYONE rides a bike. It’s almost like it’s the norm to ride a bike, from young kids to elderly women all on bikes. When my friend’s said that they wanted to rent a bike to ride I definitely strayed away from the idea. I have never and will probably never ride a bike on these London streets, I’ve heard of too many accidents happening to cyclists and I wasn’t going to end up being in one, especially not in a foreign country!

However, renting a bike and riding along the streets of Amsterdam Centraal was one of the highlights of the whole trip for me, I felt like I got to indulge in the true Dam experience of riding a bike and especially since there were plenty of bike lanes, I felt more safer than ever ! I would definitely recommend renting a bike, they are cheap ( 1 hour was 4-5 euros) and effective in getting you from A to B.

And that’s all folks !

Thank you for reading my Amsterdam travel blog and I hope to document more of my travels in this pleasant upcoming year of 2020!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Standards.

Hello! and welcome back to another long-awaited blog post. One of the reasons (amongst many other reasons) that I haven’t blogged in a while is because of lack of topics. 2019 has been quite peculiar if I must say (blog post coming on a review of 2019 soon), it’s been hard for some but also amazing for others.

Now, I love me a controversy, and I have posted blog posts about controversial topics in the past, but I have never dared myself to talk about a topic that has caused many mixed opinions. I thought this would be a great way of introducing the topic of double standards that girls and boys have and how it has affected us in our daily walks of life.Anyway, time to get my Wendy Williams on!

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So, if you haven’t heard already, TI stated that he takes his daughter Deyjah to the gynaecologist to check that her hymen is intact. At first, I thought it was rather funny and awkward that her daughter had to endure that, since its rather a personal thing to go through, having your father involved with that inspection is probably the last thing you would want to do. I decided to go on and read more about this (as if I already don’t have a lot of stuff to do) and it began to feed my interest even more.

One website stated that it was an absolute invasion of her privacy, at the end of the day her body belongs to herself and that it should remain this way, with information about her personal body parts remaining between herself and her doctor.

I also had to check up on what The Real girls said by watching their YouTube clip as I knew they were going to speak on this topic. And I found their views interesting also, with the majority stating they opposed T. I’s decision and said it was a disrespectful act against her daughter, whilst Jeannie gave her view, by stating that as young girls we get exposed to things early and it leave sus to become promiscuous, therefore you can’t blame her Dad for worrying !

ti gif

(Cheeky GIF, I know)

This led me to discuss with some of my friends about the double standards that boys and girls may go through, after all the majority of comments were actually against T.I as he doesn’t actually give the same energy to his son who is only 15 years old…

The Workplace:

This year, being the year that I started a placement, meant I entered the life of “corporate”. I now know the major difference between women and men. Yes, we are entering 2020 and equal pay is something we are still fighting for and when we are going to achieve it- who knows!
A lady I work with actually said to me “ be careful when you go into meetings, they will most likely make you quiet and be the note-taker for the duration of the discussion” and my mouth actually dropped open, to think that in this day, I may ( God forbid) have to endure that really shocked me.
On the other hand, I must say that I am proud of the amount of SH-E-O’S that are arising, whether it’s influencers, hair businesses, MUA’s, fashion designers etc, ladies are really changing the game, and gone are the days where we would be limited to smaller roles such as – note takers.
I guess the double standards we face hasn’t disappeared over time, we still have to chase after roles such as promotions and CEO positions whilst having other duties at home.

The Home:

Now this may be a cultural thing, and me writing this, I can only speak for the African culture that I know of. In my previous post about Growing Up As The Only Girl. I talk about being raised in a house amongst boys, made me the “second mum of the house” and even at age 20 going on 21 this role still applies. I think the double standard here is that in our current society, women are going out nd making money in comparison to before where they were expected to stay at home and cook and clean. However they are still expected to be the foundation and the sustainer of the home by keeping it in perfect shape whilst, boys or men are not expected to do so. I guess as time goes on things may change, and with the fast rise of technological gadgets, we won’t have to rely so much on women to fulfil roles around the house.

Thanks for reading this short post, and for being patient with me during my times of inconsistent posting !

 

awkward get me out of here GIF by Talk Stoop

Remain blessed !

ESSENCE TALKS 5 – THE BBL DILEMMA.

It’s Friday. You’ve just come home from a long week of work and your girls have invited you for a night out of drinks and fun. Despite your feet aching, your hair not being washed and your heart desperately yearning for your remote to watch Netflix in bed – you decide to go. That silk black dress that you know is figure hugging is eagerly staring back at you as it lays on your bed.. but then your head slowly starts to drop down almost as if you are a baby struggling to stay awake as you look at your “FUPA”

Okay story telling is over- let’s address the elephant in the room. Orrr page…

Yes, the infamous BBL, the abbreviation that is going all around the streams of social media and has now become the new trend/phase lately causing numerous of girls to go under the knife and causes numerous amounts of debates online. And here I am to add my own 2 cents into it.

Why am I calling it a dilemma? :
I decided to name this post the BBL dilemma only based on the reason that I am literally stuck on whether I support the option to have a procedure done and whether not to. I wouldn’t say I’m contradicting myself by supporting two different options but let’s just say I am in support of a person’s choice to change an insecurity if they have the means to and it is not detrimental to anyone’s wellbeing. However, I am also in much support of women not automatically succumbing to social trends based on their body part and then going under the knife is then seen as their only option to getting rid of a body part that society has deemed unflattering. So, since I haven’t come to a solid conclusion about which side, I’m on I will call it a dilemma.

The Biology Lesson:
BBL’S or Brazilian Butt Lifts is a surgical procedure in which fat is transferred from different body parts such as the abdomen, hips, lower back and thighs through liposuction and then transferred to the butt to create a desired look of a larger butt or a curvier body.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started to be on the rise in terms of popularity, but I believe it began to be an American craze before it crossed borders to the UK. According to the BBC there are several reasons why BBL’s cause severe damage or even death to women, such as injecting the fat the deep muscle tissue which can be incorrectly put into the veins, fat being transferred to the bloodstream and then to the heart, or it being done by inexperienced practitioners.

Image result for bbl surgery

Average People:

This whole post was inspired after watching Live from Layfield’s YouTube video talking about the problem of average people (mainly being influencers, youtubers etc) getting these procedures done. It leaves us to really question where the line has to be drawn with it. I like the points they were making, and it really made me question some of the things regarding these surgical procedures, one being about insecurity.

I’ve started to notice that you are never really going to be happy with your insecurities, whether it be the size of your height, your FUPA or the size of your butt, how it doesn’t agree with the size that society has deemed to be acceptable. But the fact that going under the knife to create something that agrees with societal standards, doesn’t mean deep down you have changed your insecurity, you have almost just masked it.

So, when its average people promoting this procedure and ‘influencing’ to follow suit, I guess it leads us to question are they really influencing body confidence, or influencing societal standards?

Solutions:
Like the YouTube video said, I believe the main solution to this is to know who you are in Christ/ or at least know your worth if you are not religious. God did not make any mistake when making you, this is evident by making you very unique to everyone else, no one else has your fingerprint even, if you think God made you the same would he have let things such as the amount of hairs on your head be the same as everyone else’s? I’m not trying to preach here but its’ food for thought.

Others include:
-Limiting your social media time: One tip that Is recommended is to have a limit on your social media time, I would say Instagram the most, bodies are plastered constantly all over the explore page and it can be discouraging to one’s eye. If it’s really affecting, you decrease your time

-Verbal agreements: if this means standing in the mirror every day for 5 minutes repeating to yourself “I am happy with my body” then by all means do so. Verbally repeating something to yourself each day will aid in increasing your self-confidence.

Thanks for reading x

#ESSENCEINTERVIEWS 4

Hey!

So, I am back with a long-awaited ESSENCE INTERVIEW, where I discuss life with inspirational or motivational people, and I ask them about any tips they can share about their journey to their current position or about any life lessons they have learned. If you haven’t already you can read the previous interview I did with Laila Mensah (Fusion of Cultures) here

So, in this edition, I have Manny Ade, a YouTuber and a radio presenter of his show protonixmusix

manny ade

I wanted to bring someone with a different perspective, since he is my first male on here since starting ESSENCE INTERVIEWS (*dances away*), I thought it would be exciting to talk with him and discuss his passions for Christ and his love for music, so here is the talk I had with Manny!

So, tell us the background behind your creative side e.g. your channel, radio show, your photography etc?

Funnily enough it came from a dark place of frustration actually. I was born in the UK and then moved to Nigeria when I was six, came back at 16, spending a total of 10 years out there. In Nigeria we didn’t have subjects like media within academia, so I wasn’t tapped into that, but I realised I was always a creative kid (making and creating stuff). When I came back to the UK, after GCSE AND sixth form, you’re at the point where you are trying to figure out what you would like to do in the future. Initially I had picked computing and ICT as that was available to me at the time. It got to a point where I realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was never into 9-5’s and I realised it just was not for me at all. I am a very outgoing person, so I started to consider if this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

One thing I always loved was music, as a kid I would always be on blogs and eagerly waiting for the next album to come out and drop. I then considered becoming a producer at one point, then I thought of starting off my own label- I really had big dreams.

Around 2015, I started planning towards a website, started blogging and launched the website on my birthday. This website included a radio feature and from then onwards I have just been enjoying doing radio!

What/who inspired you to start Protonixmusix?

Protonixmusix is a pop culture show, but I play Christian hip-hop. It still touches on mainstream media but also touches on the Christian hip-hop scene, this is because I am now a fan of it and I find it is really minute, so I feel like I’m in a good space to help push it.

A guy called J.Monty was the first guy I came across in terms of Christian hip-hop, ever since listening to him I have been inspired to really promote Christian hip hop.

You changed your show from mainstream to Christian hip hop- as a Christian, what’s your opinion on Christians listening to secular music?

It’s a tricky one! Certain people may say it’s a conviction, certain people may say to rule it out completely, certain people my say not all secular music is bad. Personally, it’s hard to detach myself from hip-hop as that is something I will always love, however at certain times, there are certain people that I would not listen to. I do think it’s a conviction thing to a degree, if it’s something that influences you wrongly, I would say cut it out for a period of time and see how it changes you, if there is a change. But to be on the safer side, cut it out completely. For me I still listen to secular music but there is a balance between the two.

With music it’s hard to put a cap on it, there are attachments to it, I have grown up on the Kendrick’s and the J Coles, so they have a place in my heart.

How do you keep focused on your path with Christ, being a young male especially with social pressures e.g. raving, parties etc?

For me, certain things come easier for me e.g. not drinking or smoking. So those things have never been my vice. With regards to relationships, during university things such as lust and sexual sin are things that we have to battle with. But in general, I don’t find it hard. I don’t find myself in situations that would get me to act out of my Christian character, even when I do, I am just me. I am very solid in my walk with Christ, I’m no superman but I have always been individualistic, I don’t get influenced by my friends a lot also. If there are things, I struggle with then I take that to God and we figure it out.

You are very open with your faith online, e.g posting scriptures and making your show Christian based ,what would you say to younger people who want to be bold in Christ but feel shy to?

I would say go for it. I don’t care where I am with my walk in Christ, there are times where I feel super on fire, and there are times where I don’t feel it. The logic behind it is that- the sacrifice that God has made through Jesus, it’s almost selfish to me to know that this is the greatest gift to man, why wouldn’t I want someone else to experience it. If I know that having Christ in my life is this good, then why wouldn’t I share. It’s as simple as that. I don’t care about what others think ( to some degree we do we are human beings after all) I personally feel that Jesus is the solution to everything, so if I can help someone and give them a glimpse to what I know to be- the greatest gift, and I might as well share and give them the greatest gift that I have received.

You have been on YouTube for quite a while now, what are the lessons you have learned and what tips can you share to anyone who wants to start a channel ?

BE PREPARED- know what you are getting into, don’t look at the glitz and the glams of it, there is a lot of hard work be super consistent.

When I got into it, it was for the fun of it. If you are going into it purely for the money, then try and reconsider doing it. Do it for the fun of it but know if you are going to take it seriously, it is a full time job.

I would say prepare and be consistent- something I even struggled with. You can find there is a good high at the start, but there was a point when it got daunting (consistently editing and uploading)

If you can do it, go for it- but be an individual and be unique, you don’t want to be packed in for being like everyone else, you want to go into it and want people to know you for your individual self. Have your unique selling point- someone is going to gravitate to you.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out Manny’s socials for more content !

YouTube- Manny Ade’
Instagram : mxnnyade
Twitter : @MxnnyAde
Protonixmusix: