6 Worship songs you should be listening to!

Hey guys, 

Welcome back to a new blog post.

So initially I wanted to talk about my thoughts towards the Corona virus outbreak. You know- Corona, Miss Rona, Auntie Coro,The Rona, Coro Coro, and so on…
However I decided not to, since that’s what is always showing on every news channel you may find, every social media platform and I’m sure in every group chat there is out there. Yes, it has had a massive effect on all of us, some positively, some negatively.

But whilst I’ve been stuck in the house for the past 6 days, due to- yes you guessed it – The Rona, I have been listening to a lot of worship songs lately, mainly whilst I’m working, or doing any other sort of activity. To be honest, adjusting to this new working from home lifestyle has been crazy- and it has affected my prayer routine- let’s just say it’s been hard to get into my prayer time as of late- worship has been the only escape. I talk more about my journey with God so far here.

So here I am documenting 6 worship songs I have been loving lately- and I hope you will love too!

In no particular order:  

  1. Yahweh (Spontaneous) (Live)- Campus Rush Music 

What I love most about this song is that it is live, I guess it was taken from one of their concerts and I absolutely love how it puts you in the atmosphere of worship- just as if you were in a concert yourself. It also consists of a medley of 2 songs that I love – Yahweh and Adonai. You can really feel the spirit in the song and I’m so glad my friend recommended this song to me- one of my faves!

2. Casted Crowns- Jubilee Worship

I believe this song is new as it just came out in February, but I just love how uplifting this song is. Especially at the end, it almost brings you to tears! I am a fan of Jubilee Worship and their songs, one thing I really love about them is their videos- the fact that they always show people of all ages and backgrounds in one room worshipping, is just so beautiful. This is also a live version of worship; therefore, you really hear and feel the people in the room worshipping. 

3. You Are Awesome- Deborah Darling

I can only describe this song as beautiful, from the melody of the song to the instruments and the emotion behind it. This is actually my morning commute songs- as in I normally go for this song to start my day off, it just sets my mind on God before I start my day, even if I didn’t get to do my prayer time in the morning before I leave.

4. Most Beautiful/ So In Love- Maverick City Music, Chandler Moore

So, I had heard this song at worship concerts, probably 2 times before I had discovered it on YouTube, only this year! Again, this song is done with a group of people- generating a great atmosphere to worship in. by the end of a song, you are just left in awe of how worship can be so beautiful. And oh- can we talk about Chandler Moore’s voice please!!!!

5. Yi Naye (Live) – Ntokozo Mbambo, Joe Mettle

Being a Ghanaian myself, I never realised how powerful Twi worship was, until I heard this song. I don’t know but something about it being in a different language just makes it special! Their voices together are just so strong and powerful, and the song is simply about praising and worshipping his name because of how good he is

6. The Lord’s Prayer- Jubilee Worship

This has to be one of my favourite worship songs ever. The Lord’s prayer is literally as the title states, so it is a familiar prayer that many Christians are aware of, so making it into a song is catchy and easy to learn. But once again Jubilee Worship does it again with their amazing music and video. When I say there is a song that brings me to so much emotion and tears it is probably this one here. It is my go-to song if I just want to immerse myself in God’s spirit.

So, there you have it, 6 worship songs that I am loving at the moment, I will probably do another one in a few months in case some new songs have come out that I am not aware of. In the midst of all this Corona chaos, I hope you can find solace and rest in these songs and remember that God is in control.

Thanks for reading!

Ghana : Why Everybody Ran Back !

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After seeing this pic on the gram, I knew that the Year of Return in Ghana had to be my next topic I blog about. You guessed it, over 1.5 million people took plane, ferry, catapult or whichever method of transport to get themselves from all over the world, to the sunny and vibrant lands of Ghana. From Ludacris to Cardi B and her infamous chichinga incident to even the Queen B’s mother herself spent new years in Ghana.

Of course, I was watching like a lot of my friends from my phone via SnapChat and Insta stories. Whilst I was drying my eyes of the tears due to not doing up enjoyment like everyone else, I do feel glad that I somewhat saved money. Prices skyrocketed to over 1 grand, and that’s just the tickets alone. If you didn’t get transport and accommodation sorted also, then I guess your bank accounts definitely felt the pain! Nevertheless, 2019 was the definitely the year of African awareness and self-consciousness.

The Year of Return

I actually had to find out from a colleague what it was and why it meant so many people were returning home ( they need to teach this during BHM in schools ).

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia.”. yearofreturn.com

In hindsight, it was an invitation of all descendants from years and years of slavery to come back to their original roots, original heritages and come back to their true homes. The project has many goals and targets. One being for people to come and experience culture and enjoyment in their hometown, another to celebrate the freedom that Africans all over the world currently have and also to boost tourism as it can be a leading indicator to business and investment.

What does this mean for Ghanaians, Africans in general?

For me, I think it brings a new sense of emotion and patriotism for not only Ghana, but for Africa as a whole. If you think about it, Africa definitely wasn’t the dream spot that people wanted to spend their Christmas season at. If it wasn’t America, it was Canada. If it wasn’t the UK it was somewhere in Europe ! But the fact that thousands of people dream about going home to see the places where their parents were born and raised, really brings a sense of change and greatness.

Afro Nation, the festival which features many African and Caribbean artists sharing the beautiful and lovely music that Africa has to provide is also a massive contributor to many people going to Ghana. The festival celebrated the vibrant and emerging culture of Africa and it has definitely had an impact on the younger generation all over the world.

Overall, I am proud of where Ghana and Africa as a whole has transformed and come to be in this current year, it’s rise in popularity, public perception and view has made it a number 1 tourist destination. Who would of thought- not me ! and who knows, mabye Ghana will be seeing me this year after-all ! *crosses fingers*

Thanks for reading !

Confessions Of An Insecure Girl

Hey Readers…

So I remember writing this post back in April of what was 2018 , however something prevented me from posting this , but i thought its’s a new year and why let things get in the way of posting your great work and effort … so it’s not an easy post but it i’m sure it would motivate someone who may read this :

So, let’s take a trip down to memory lane… maybe around secondary school times. The early stages of puberty have just kicked in and you see yourself developing in various ways. Ways that maybe you didn’t quite understand. As unsolicited cushions of fatty tissue, unattractive blemishes and wild pubic hair begin to invade your body.

Then the social construct of insecurities comes along, and you start to realise that as your body changes, the images you’re faced with in a daily basis don’t. The covers of Vogue, Grazia and even page 3 of the Sun, look nothing like you. And before you know it, you’re out of the game. You tick none of the boxes when it comes to the world’s perspective of conventional beauty.

When it comes to insecurities, the thought of the body comes to mind, doesn’t it ? Don’t get me wrong, body image- the major player that men and women of all ages have to battle, even as we mature and emotional uncertainties about our bodies tend to remain forever young. This can range from height and weight, right down to awkward physical assets such as boobs or maybe deeper issues such as skin tone. It has been stated that by as young as 13, at least 50% of girls are significantly unhappy about their physical appearance. Upon reading this admittedly, I fell into the 50%.

University intensified this for me. Stepping into a new place where you barely know anyone and first impressions are imperative to making your mark. The first nights out are always the great ones meeting people and making close friends. However, it stood out to me that I was insecure about my appearance when I wouldn’ even wear certain clothes because it exposed certain things about my body . E.g weight gain. I feel like this was the case for many young men who aspire to be extremely built #Gains and women who want the cole bottle curves.

I guess it became quite serious when I was at the point if virtually starving myself, just to get the look that I wanted. The look that “society” deemed to be perfect. Now dieting is completely fine, and it is considered healthy- only when you are doing it the right way and for the right reasons though. Now, I can admit that I was doing it for my appearance and definitely doing the most unadvisable way. I would have frequent periods of simply not eating ; describing it as my way of “fasting” and adding my ideal body weight to my short lost of prayer points.

I fell deep into the dark side of social media and created a new goal for my weight gain.

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape which is mostly influenced by social media. I mean amazing bodies are literally glorified all over timelines and explore pages, and while this virtual fit-fam may seem motivating to one individual, it is a detrimental reminder of a constant insecurity to the other.

With around 800 million people using Instagram daily, it is inevitable to be influenced by the photos posted on the platform and not develop insecurities about it. Especially for a young adult in this generation, you are more or less likely to have at least one type of social media platform you use, whether it be Instagram, Snapchat or even Facebook. So you are bound to have encounters of public figures or celebrities with ideal body types which can be discouraging at times to the viewer.

I really got hit with anxiety with my self when it came to social media. I was constantly checking my weight, my appearance in the mirror, how my makeup looked whenever I was out and constantly reapplying that Fenty glow believing it would magically mask how I truly felt. I was so bothered by how others perceived me and would review old selfies to remind myself of the times I felt I was THE actual sauce. It took me a while to realise that it was in this constant cycle of feeling unfulfilled about myself and how uncomfortable I was to be in my own body. I knew I had to control this urge of wanting to improve something with my appearance, even when there was nothing to work on.

So here are some thing i’ve started to note to ease this feeling of not appreciating myself:

Written affirmations : I would write down my best assets and things that I value about myself and read them over and over again until I started to appreciate these things for their true worth.

My Faith: Being a Christian, I turned to God for help and I found out that Psalm 193:14 really aided me in struggling times, but after a while I started to overcome my insecurities with his help! I started to be honest with him about my insecurities and I started to realise that God has definitely made me the way he is for a reason.

So to end it here , I hope this motivated you to accept yourself for the way you are. This was a long one so thanks if you made it to the end 😂,

Thanks for reading and see you on my next post !

#ESSENCEINTERVIEWS 1

Hey Readers!

So I’m back with something exciting and new, since September I’ve been pondering on this new segment called ESSENCE INTERVIEWS, where I interview successful people on tips to do with motivation and their journey to get to where they are now. It wasn’t until the beginning of October that I put this plan into action, and by the beginning of November, this planned was birthed into reality !

So I start off this segment with a very dear friend of mine, someone I’ve known since I was like 4 years old and someone who inspires me more than ever- Desiree Henry. Desiree is a British sprinter from North London who competes in the 100 and 200 meters races. So far she’s acquired an amazing bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and a silver medal in the 4 x 100m relay in the World Athletic Championships in 2017. Amongst these many achievements, she is an Adidas ambassador and lover of photography ! It was such an honour to catch up with her since I haven’t seen her for over 7, maybe more years ! I’m glad that I got the chance to start off my new segment with her, and I look forward to continuing with this with more great people to interview! Check out the interview here :

  • So Desiree, how did you know you had a passion for athletics ?

    I feel that my passion for athletics began when I attended multiple competitions and just found that I was winning ! Of course everyone wants to be the best, everyone likes to win and feel successful and have their moment, and after winning a few races, I just wanted to do everything in my power to maintain this and be successful, become an athlete and be successful at it, so I believe my passion started from there.

  • Do you feel pressure to stand out amongst thousands of athletes that are around the same age as you, if so, how do you deal with this pressure?

    Most definitely , in terms of the pressure I have to realise that, yes athletics is an individual sport, and the competitiveness is extremely high in the UK, but I think what puts things into perspective is when I went to America, and found that not only are there girls my age running just as fast as me, working just as hard as me, but it was the numbers. I’m sure that there are 100 girls that could do what I do, and that could knock peoples confidence. But that could make me think how am I going to make myself feel even more special, I just think to myself my drive is completely different to their drive, it’s just remembering who I am, remembering the work I have put throughout the years and not discrediting it and just giving myself a pat on the back and realising that all my efforts haven’t been for nothing, and I’m going to be successful regardless, even if it means I’m my own cheerleader you could say.

  • What is your favourite thing about being an athlete ?

    Hmm, my favourite thing about being an athlete would definitely be the travelling aspect of it, being an athlete has opened up my eyes to so many cultural experiences, and not only cultural experiences but being able to experience it through travelling and going to different countries, a big thing for me when I started off being young, was travelling around the UK. I thought that was the greatest thing, but now athletics has brought me to places such as South Africa, China, The Bahamas, America etc. It’s just incredible that I’ve had these opportunities to go to these places ,so that’s not only comepetition experiences but life experiences, that have been amazing and have been able to achieve through athletics.

  • Do you feel that the sporting community is lacking in black females, form diverse areas e.g London ?

    To an extent, yes. I am lucky in the sense of  the generation of sprinters we have are top female sprinters , that are London sprinters, so I feel like we have the representation there. Of course we have to think about the future, what are the future generation looking like for upcoming sprinters ? and I wouldn’t say a lot of them are from London, but I think we are lucky for the support and for me to do my job which is to represent London the best I can, even if that means winning a medal. Just giving the younger generation, hope and a future. Then I would also look at a wider scale, London is partially represented in out sport, but on the grand scale, are black women represented in sport in general ? If it just means that I can do my role and get my face out there as much as I can, then I’m doing a great thing, we are on the right path of having well represented black female athlete.

  • What makes you gain confidence in times of anxiety, for example when you have a huge race coming up or a big interview etc ?

    Well for me, when it comes to races, I’m at the stage where I’m running against my heroes, my idols and all that kind of stuff. It’s really easy to crumble and get sucked in and forget all he hard work you’ve put in, but now I’ve been able to train my brain, that when I’m standing there on the line, those days of sweat,blood and tears that I’ve put in at training, it’s going to be for a reason. This is the moment that it’s all been worth it for, and I think it only takes me a few seconds to simply realise that and once I believe that all the work that I’ve put in has been worth it, and all the work is going to help me with my performances, I just feel unstoppable! I can look to my left and to my right and be like ” right, let’s go, bring it on!” because I’m confident in my work.

  • In terms of motivation, what would you tell your younger self ?

    I would tell my younger self, the hard work that you’re putting in right now, maintain it. It’s going to define you as a character and separate you from not just being an average sprinter but being one of the best in the world and a world class British athlete, so I would commend myself on that, on my perseverance and determination. I would also say- enjoy the journey ! You are going to experience a lot and in experiencing alot, take a moment to just appreciate every single opportunity. Whether that’s going to a new country and racing there- take a moment to walk around and explore the country because another thing is, you’re gonna travel the world a lot, but just make sure you get the real experience and not just see the tracks, the hotels and repeat that cycle but try and get that experience in. 

  • What would you say to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and gain exposure for their career e.g boosting themselves on social media ?

    I would start to think how can I help myself, and I would start with things such as charity events. That way you are doing a selfless act, something that is not going to bring financial gain out of it but to gain experience and communicate with people, that could be an amazing thing. So by charity events, this could be giving away old clothes or speaking at schools etc. Because it ultimately helps you to build your own character and it gets you think to think from another perspective, so if you’re going to a school and you are going to speak to people from another generation, if you’re an individual or an athlete, everyone has had life experiences, and everyone can learn from a moment and if you can share those experiences and what you’ve learnt to to a younger generation, again through that you have done a selfless act- share it on social media! It’s not a problem at all. And yes people can say, “oh well, you’re only doing it for social media clout” but also you did something amazing, you took time out of your day, not getting paid by it, but taking time to help others, I feel like that is a  major important thing. It’s important to build yourself first, build your own self confidence and to get to a place where, you don’t feel as well that you need outsiders to tell you are great or amazing, but simply spending time and building on your own self confidence it the best thing. 

  • And girlllll, I need some fitness tips so, what are the essential/starter-kit basic things to getting that body in shape

    Right, we are getting right in there ! When we say “fit body” people have to remember, it is not going to happen overnight. If you are going to the gym, I’m telling you don’t look in the mirror the next day, thinking you’ve made an improvement – because you haven’t. But this shouldn’t discourage you, but I think the number one thing is – brace yourselves- CARBS !
    As much as we love our rice, bread, pasta etc, that is the number one thing I would reduce on my list. I personally don’t have any carbs, but for someone that isn’t an athlete and they are doing their day to day things, I would reduce the amount. By this I mean having 1-2 carb dishes a week, eventually progressing to having no carbs at all. I tell you that is where a lot of fat comes from.
    Tip number 2 – everyone loves a good ab circuit workout. and if you can implement at least three ab workouts a week, roughly 10 exercises for each of them =, I feel like that’s an amazing foundation for you, just to introduce exercises into your body. Nothing too strenuous, something easy, maybe if you are watching a Netflix show or just chilling, something that is not taking major time or is taking out time from your busy day. I believe those two, would be my top 2 things, if you want to start your journey to a healthy and fitter lifestyle.

  • Any lasting things you would like to say..

    I used this quote the other day “dreams don’t work unless you do” and this can be applied in every aspect of your life. How I relate that to me- if I don’t go to training, if I don’t put in the work and effort, how am I going to be successful ? You or anyone else can apply that by making sure your going to lectures, going to seminars guarantees you graduating or getting the grade that you want, whether your a teacher or something, going to work inspires the next generation and helps them too. So that has been my quote for the day, – ” dreams don’t work, unless you do.” 

So that’s the first post of this new segment completed ! I’m so excited for starting this and can’t wait to see what come out of this. I would like to thank Desiree for contributing to this and you can find her on :

Instagram : desiree_lh
Twitter: @DesireeLHenry
Facebook: Desireehenryfanpage
Youtube: Desiree Henry

Thanks for reading !

 

 

 

Embracing Your Culture

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“Wouldn’t you just wish you were British” Hmm now me personally I haven’t heard that line or question from anyone in my lifetime and to be quite frantic, a place where over 270 nationalities and 300 different languages remain in London alone, So I wouldn’t be surprised if I never get to hear those words come out of a person’s mouth. So, in this twirl up of immense diversity and multi-cultural city, one may ask – How exactly do you embrace your individual culture?

Well me, I’m Ghanaian. That’s’ all I’ve got in me loool. Of course, I was born here in London and I’ve lived here my entire life. I know that my origins and roots are instilled in Ghana. Both my parents are from Ghana and that’s where they were born and raised. So, I’ve automatically been brought up and surrounded by Ghanaian traditions all my life. To start with, my name is Efe which is Ghanaian, Fante (tribe in Ghana) to be more precise, meaning I’m Friday born. So when people meet me they automatically know I’m from Ghana (or I get the occasionally odd Nigeria…) but overall my name just sets me back to my African roots.

I feel like surrounding yourself with people from your country really helps too. All my life I have been surrounded by Ghanaians in pretty much everything I do. From nursery, even till now I have had Ghanaian or at least African friends, my church is mainly Ghanaian and my area of where I live has a high percentage of Afro-Caribbean members in the community, so I’ve always learnt the ways of people from not just Ghana but Africa alone, honestly I can tell whenever someone is walking past me, if they are Ghanaian or not. They have a certain look to them lool. Obviously, areas of Britain with a low percentage of Africans in the community can make you feel quite remote.

Music and Social Media play a HUGE part in me Embracing my culture, you may think me living in Britain, I’m subjected to listening to Take That and eating Sausages and Mash yeah… Hell No. Africa is literally everywhere in terms of music and lifestyle. UK Afro beats have absolutely taken off and has grown over the years. Before, people would of been embarrassed to listen to the likes of Kwabena Kwabena or Sarkodie when they’re out with their friends. But literally I find listening to them and even the classics a normal thing to me, as I’m learning to embrace my culture in terms of music. With the likes of DJ Abrantee, giving us the sounds of Fuse ODG, Kwamz and Flava, J Hus, Moelogo, Mr Silva, Mr Eazi, Jaij Hollands, Lola Rae etc. the list can go on and on. The point is as well as UK artist and sound that we get to enjoy, we also get to enjoy Africa in our sound as well

Almost all social media platforms incorporate culture in their pages, posts or in their videos. Instagram has thousands of Ghanaian food pages, clothes pages and lifestyle pages that get likes upon likes all the time. This helps in me embracing what my country as well as other countries have to give unto the world. Hashtags and popular sites are nearly impossible to miss if you have a great community of friends having discussions and debates about their own country, especially about who makes the best Jollof rice (obviously, it’s Ghana, but we will leave that for another day)

Overall, I encourage anyone struggling to be proud of their culture, even if you’re not from an African country, may it be Asian or Caribbean, to learn more and have a deeper understanding f were their lives are fixed in. Ask friends and relatives to understand your countries traditions, food, clothing, lifestyle, music etc. and before you know it Embracing your culture will come naturally !