Hairstory (my hair history)

Good Naija Girl's Hairstory - age 10For the first 17 years of my life, my hair was relaxer-free and my mom was our family’s hair guru: she took care of the hair of five people, often staying up late to do it all, especially before school would start in September. This is one of the many reasons that I’d do anything for my mom—she was dedicated to our upkeep. At first she did the Yoruba style of braiding (irun didi, which looked like teeeny french braids) for my sister and I and sometimes she’d “thread” our hair (irun kiko? I’m sure that’s not the right term); later she learned how to cornrow (we called it weaving) which is similar to irun didi. Continue reading

On pregnancy

I first noticed it in 2008, when I went to Nigeria for the first time as an adult. There I observed that when a blogger is silent, it usually means something big is going on, and among the Nigerian bloggers who’ve gone (temporarily) silent over the years, it’s usually because they’re getting married or having a baby (or both!). This is when I started thinking about different attitudes concerning pregnancy in Nigeria and Canada. In 2008, a tenant of my grandma’s loved being photographed—she was always photobombing pictures I was taking of others, or asking for her or her children to be photographed. However, two years later when she was about halfway through her pregnancy with her third child, she hurried away whenever I brought out my camera and wouldn’t discuss anything related to her pregnancy (I remember asking her how far along she was and asking if she knew … Continue reading

What makes a blog valuable?

If you like your hobbies inexpensive and not too challenging (and you can type or tap keys on phone’s keypad), I highly recommend blogging. Plenty of people have started blogs because it’s easy to do, and the blogs end up abandoned not long after an oh-so-promising beginning. While I really dislike abandoned blogs, it’s better in my mind to stop blogging rather than regularly update a blog that’s not valuable—your readers can always tell when you’re putting out crap. Ah, value! Like beauty it’s definitely in the eye of the beholder: you may consider a blog showing you how to apply makeup a waste of time, but to someone whose attempts to wear eyeliner result in her looking like a raccoon, such a blog would be invaluable! The blogs I find least valuable are those that copy content from more popular sites—if you want to share about something like that, … Continue reading

What two musicians taught me about dreams

I don’t usually go around looking for messages in things but two things this weekend felt like signs pointing toward something, probably because my mind has been in that space lately—I blame my impending 35th birthday! I don’t mind getting older but this feeling of “I don’t know what I want to do with my life!” mixed with “I should just be brave and do something huge! But WHAT?!” pokes at me regularly. On Friday I did something on my own that wasn’t eating at a restaurant: I went to a Joe Zambon CD release party for his new CD, Brothers. Have you heard of him? Actually, go listen to I Just Want Peace and Why This Had To Be, and tell me what genre you’d classify his music because I’m not sure. I got to the concert on time, moved twice until I found the perfect seat, and was … Continue reading


There’s a dirty word that can be used to describe me—perfectionist. I used to think it was a good quality, now I know better. (There are situations where being perfect is a matter of life and death—most of us would want the surgeon operating on us to be pretty perfect at the procedure they’re about to do, for example. None of my actions fall under this category.) What’s bad about wanting to be perfect? First, you don’t get to do everything you want to do because your work never feels “good enough” to put out there, so you run out of time, and second, you’re always finding other small things that should be done before you do the thing you really want or need to do—perfectionists are often procrastinators, and though their intentions may be good, the end result is the same: stuff doesn’t get done. Life was better when … Continue reading