My Top 5 Books of All Time

I am a massive fan of history, African history to be more specific.  Throughout my years growing up, I have spent countless hours reading and learning about the history of my favourite continent in the world, Africa.  I am a compulsive researcher on Africa. I always try to learn something new everyday about Africa and I always find myself reading and researching on the continent as if I’m about to sit an exam! lol It is already known that I have a passion for Africa (clearly) and it all started as a child when I read my first book on Kenya’s history. I previously posted a longer story on how I grew to love Africa more and more.  Anyway, other than African history, I also love and I mean LOVE wisdom books. It has to be a real good wisdom book though that has pure truth and sense in it before I will go and buy it.  My favourite author to date who writes more specifically about wisdom is Don Miguel Ruiz.  If you haven’t heard of him, look him up! His books in a way changed a massive part of my thinking and way of seeing life.

So, to begin my top 5 books I will start with number 5. Now number 3, 4 & 5 are just as brilliant as any but I just feel I gained a lot of wisdom from my top 2 books which changed my way of seeing life in a way.

5.  Purple Hibiscus – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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I stumbled across this amazing author online. Her name popped up on suggested books just as I was purchasing a Yoruba book from one of my favourite book store websites.  Chimamanda is a Nigerian author & Feminist born in Abba, Anambra State, Nigeria.  This book among her many other great books, is a great novel about a 15 year old girl Kambili who lives in fear of her father who is a violent Catholic. The story goes on to tell the tale of how she moves to her aunt’s house with her brother where she discovers some truths about the old God’s and the new, the difference between love and hatred and so on. This book is so detailed and brilliantly written that you almost feel like you are there in the scene. Now, this was not the first book of Chimamanda’s I purchased and it was in fact my number “4” in my top 5 books that I in fact discovered first.

4. Half of a Yellow Sun – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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Now, this book again, by Chimamanda, was the first I stubbled across. I am still able to see it is by far my favourite book of hers and I am glad it was the first of her many books I read because it caught my attention and made me keen to learn more about the author. A short intro of Half of a Yellow Sun – Set in Nigeria during 1960’s, a story following 3 lives, Ugwu who was a boy from a village and who worked as a houseboy for a university lecture. A young woman Olanna who abandoned her life in Lagos to live with her partner who was a professor and third, an English man namely Richard who is shy and quiet man.  During 1960’s Nigeria was blighted by civil war. “When the shocking horror of the war engulfs them, their loyalties are severely tested as they are pulled apart and thrown together in ways none of them imagined…” ~ From the book.

I enjoyed this book during a long flight out to Ghana and it was an absolute brilliant read!

3. 12 Years a Slave, A True Story – by Solomon Northup.

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This book is by far one of my absolute favourite books of all time! Every single page of the book is just outstanding and detailed so well that I could feel the whole scene play out in my mind.  I did a lot of research on Solomon Northup during the years while learning about slavery, one of my biggest interests.  I read his stories previously online from an online slavery history website and during a quick stop at the supermarket I stumbled across this “Collins Classic” book of the original story of 12 Years a Slave. I bought it at first thinking maybe it is just a remake of the book and not the true story. Turned out it wasn’t. It was in fact the detailed in-depth story of Solomon Northup.  Solomon Northup was a FREE man, who was tricked and kidnapped into slavery by two men who pretended to offer him a great opportunity of playing the violin (as he was a great violinist) professionally as well as offering a daily wage for his services.  He was either drugged or spiked because just a day after he set off with the two men, he woke up in a slave pen chained to the cold hard ground. From thereon, the story continues to tell how he was brutally forced into slavery and suffer 12 years of the hellish life of a slave.

This book is one of my favourites for many reasons. One, because of the history told in the book, two, the real cold truths of slavery and three, the great detail gone into this wonderful authors story. I personally have to say though, the movie didn’t live up to the book if you ask me. A lot of the books great details were missing from the movie and also a few added fiction scenes there too. still a great movie though!

2. The Four Agreements – Wisdom Book – by Don Miguel Ruiz.

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This was the first book I read of Don’s.  This book actually doesn’t belong to me. I “borrowed” it from a friend just before catching my train back to Scotland from Birmingham. I didn’t bring along a book to read and my friend kindly offered to borrow me this, unfortunately he has yet to see his book again (Sorry Tola) 😜

I knew that this book is going to be brilliant because the person I borrowed it from has great wisdom and I knew that he never reads nonsense.  I was completely hooked on the book right from the start! It got me thinking in a whole other way I’ve never thought before! This book teaches 4 very important things that we need to be taught. 1. Be impeccable with your word – say only what you mean, avoid gossiping, use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.  2. Don’t take anything personal – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a reflection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. 3. Don’t make assumptions – ask questions and don’t assume. Communicate clearly to avoid dramas, sadness or misunderstandings. And 4. Always do your best – under any circumstance, always do your best and you will avoid self-judgement, self- abuse and self-regret.

Believe me when I say this book changed me in more than one way. I say changed, well, what I really mean is that it made me see life clearly and things started to make prefect sense. The dramas, sadness and self-judgement in my life changed because I learned how to change my mind and think in a whole other way to avoid these problems. HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is really ready to become a positive, freeminded happy person from within. I promise you it is worth the read.

1. The Mastery of Love – by Don Miguel Ruiz.

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“Don Miguel Ruiz illuminates the fear-based beliefs and assumptions that undermine love and lead to suffering and drama in our relationships. Don Miguel shows us how to heal our emotional wounds, recover the freedom and joy that our birthright, and restore the spirit of playfulness that is vital to loving relationships.” ~ From the book.

This is my ABSOLUTE favourite book among all the books I’ve ever read! For countless reasons! Again, a book of wisdom. Looking at the title of this book, you would think maybe it is a book that teaches you how to love others? My thought exactly. But…no, not quite. It is in fact a wisdom book that in fact teaches us to LOVE OURSELVES. It teaches us the real true meaning of love and makes us see clear that love exists and it is not what we are made to believe. It goes on to talk about how we must truely love ourselves before we are able to love other people unconditionally. It reveals some real deep truths that really get you thinking about how wrong the word “love” is misunderstood. Below are a few of the very in-depth paragraphs in the book that really stuck in my head and changed my whole outlook on love:-

“Happiness can only come from inside you and it’s the result of your love. When you are aware that no one else can make you happy, and that happiness is the result of your love, this becomes the greatest mastery of the Toltecs: the Mastery of Love”

One of my favourite chapter’s in the book was “The Magical Kitchen”  now, this chapter was long so let me break it down in my words and highlight the message behind it.

If we see our heart as a magical kitchen, in which has all the food you can ever dream of, should someone come to your door and say “I will give you free pizza everyday if you just let me control your life”, the first thing we will say is no thank you, I have all the food I need already here with me. Then let’s say one day that magical kitchen becomes empty, we have no food left, we haven’t ate in days and we become desperate for food. The same person from before comes back to your door and offers you free pizza if you let them control you. We will accept the pizza all because we are desperate for food.  Now let’s say this kitchen is your heart. If your heart is already filled with self love and self respect, no one can come and offer you what you already have inside you. If you don’t have self love and self respect in your heart, just like that empty kitchen, you will become desperate and accept in any attention and “so called love” from anyone even if it means being controlled by them.

This really truely touched me and woke me up to fully realise that I have love in my already.  This book taught me that love is not something we take from another it is rather what we already have inside us and its just a matter or recognizing that and believing in ourselves.

This book taught me that we have to fully love ourselves and accept ourselves as we are in order to accept others too just as they are without conditions, without fear and without expectations.

This book made me realise what love truely is. Anyone who struggles with understanding love, then definitely read this book and I promise you that you will really see that all the things you thought was love, really isn’t. You will see the real true meaning of love and it will make you see everything in a whole new wonderful light 🙂 after reading this book I felt so wonderful. We all have it in us and these kind of books are just reminders!

So there you have it, my top 5 books of all time. 🙂 Any great book suggestions please leave your comments. Now that you know my type of books 🙂

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Learn Yoruba From Home

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After posting a few posts before about my experience in learning the Yoruba language i have had a lot of emails and comments from people who are trying to learn Yoruba them self.

Now, first of all i understand how hard it can be and how frustrating it can be when you don’t know where to start or what books to use etc so i thought i could share some tips and suggest some books to you and also name a few books that i also used.

First of all i would say that patience is the number one key to learning Yoruba and i have learned that the hard way! I was someone who wants to know how to speak Yoruba NOW.. i had no patience when i was younger and got frustrated at why i wasn’t learning as fast as i would have liked. It does take a good few years to really get a good grip of the language and i learned that only about a year after i started learning Yoruba. So please have patience and give it time. Don’t forget that Yoruba is a tonal language so it is a bit more difficult too. I am Scottish so you can imagine the difficulty i had trying to speak Yoruba with a Scottish accent lol Try and adjust your accent to the correct tone.

Below are some more useful tips that i found very helpful when learning Yoruba:

  1. Spend at least 1 hour every night reading and speaking Yoruba – This keeps it fresh in your mind. Reading your books and also writing in Yoruba too. If you are not confident enough to speak it in front of others then speak it on your own and try videoing your self so you can hear where you are going wrong and learn from any mistakes you make in pronouncing etc.
  2. Watch Yoruba movies with subtitles – Watching Yoruba movies is very helpful as it can help you hear how certain words are pronounced rather than just reading it from a book. It also helps you take it in more when you are hearing it from another person.
  3. Listen to Yoruba music – Again, like watching movies, this helps hear the pronunciations. For me this is one that helps me a lot because if you think about it, when you are listening to music, that song gets stuck in your head all day correct? So having a song sung in Yoruba stuck in your head can help you remember certain words. I also advise you to look up the lyrics of the song, that way you know what they are singing and learning how to say it at the same time!
  4. Try and surround your self with Yoruba friends – I have a lot of Yoruba friends but unfortunately i was not confident enough to speak Yoruba with them as i always thought i would sound silly given i have a Scottish accent lol But looking back now, i see that it was just lack of confidence as a person not only in speaking Yoruba. I wasn’t really a confident person a few years back but now that im fully grown i wouldn’t think twice before speaking Yoruba aloud! lol Confidence comes with age i think so don’t worry if you are still young and lacking confidence. It will come naturally later on. Don’t stress on it too much.
  5. Try practicing speaking Yoruba with your closest family member – This one is the part that came easy to me. I was always scared of speaking it with friends as i worried so much about making mistakes or that they would laugh. But with my sister (my closest family member) it came naturally and we just had fun in speaking it. I even taught her some words here and there and even till this day we speak it and joke around with it. Its always more comfortable speaking it with a close family. That way you won’t feel scared about making mistakes.

Below are also a few books that i used while learning Yoruba –

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Beginners Yoruba by Kayode J. Fakinlede

This is a beginners book and it comes with 2 audio CD’s which is very helpful for hearing how the words sound. It is very well written and contains enough information to have you speaking basic and daily conversations. This can be bought on Amazon or Book Depository.

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Teach Yourself: Yoruba – A complete course for beginners 

I found that this book is only very good if you want to be perfect in writing and reading Yoruba BUT i wouldn’t suggest using this book if you want a fast track to speaking basic sentences. This book is more detailed and very time consuming because it covers every word, phrase and sentence you can think of lol some of which you will never really use on a daily basis. I would only fully suggest this book if you were about to sit a Yoruba exam or something way more deep than just learning Yoruba for daily conversations. I got rather impatient with this book as i wasn’t really learning how to speak Yoruba but rather learning how to write and read Yoruba only.

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Je K’A Ka Yoruba – ~An Intermediate Course by Antonia Yetunde Folarin Schleicher

This book i wouldn’t suggest until you are passed the beginner stage. It isn’t quite as detailed and helpful for beginners, of course this is because it is an intermediate course duh lol The book is mostly written in Yoruba and not much English translation. So i would really only suggest getting this book when you are further into your learning. The main reason i posted this book was because it covers a lot of phrases and information that the beginners book may not cover. Its a helpful book to have at a later stage.

So as you can see there is a lot of useful tips and books to help us learn Yoruba right at home without paying huge fees and taking endless expensive classes to learn Yoruba. I am not saying going to study Yoruba or join classes is a bad idea but learning from home in your own comfort zone at your own pace is somehow a better way to fit it around your every day life style and job etc.

Just remember that Yoruba isn’t something you will learn over night and it is ok to take a longer time to learn it or to make mistakes! It is all part of learning and even myself still learns new things and new information about Yoruba so it is a learning path just like everything else in life.

If you have any questions or would like to add me on facebook or drop me a message for any other information then feel free to do so 🙂 All my contact information is in the “Contact” section of my blog.

Thanks again for reading and good luck learning Yoruba! 🙂

Street Hawkers

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Picture above: One of the lovely ladies i met on the way to Kumasi.

I’ve noticed that the word “hawker” is used differently in different parts of the world. Of course a lot of us only use it when referring to someone who sells good on the street by chanting out to people but after a bit of research on “Hawkers” i noticed Hawker is actually used slightly differently around the world.

Funny thing is that in my old home town in Scotland, the word “Hawker” is a word used to insult someone or saying someone is dressed badly or dirty. Like telling someone they look like a hawker would mean someone doesn’t look presentable or tidy. Not in all parts of Scotland but where i grew up that was the word older people tend to use a lot lol

My own definition on what a “Hawker” is, is pretty much just the same as most people. Someone who sells good on the street. A lot of people can be ignorant towards hawkers though and mistreat them as they see it as annoying to be disturbed by them. I think this is ignorance because they dont actually know and realize that they are just trying to make a living or earn some money.

While i was in Ghana of course there was a lot of street hawkers around and while some of them may be in your face a lot it is still something i learned to deal with and understand. A lot of people don’t stop to think about how hard they are working for a small amount of money first of all. Not to talk of the long hours in the heat too! Also i have heard some ignorant people saying they should just go and get a “real job” ! when in actual fact they have no idea why they don’t have a “real job” ! Street Hawkers can be doing that job because of a lot of reasons. One being they might not have the money to pay for university fees to get the job they dream of or some people might just be doing it as a job on the side. I have a close friend who’s mother is living very comfortably and has other jobs yet she still sells goods as a side job just because she enjoys it. So i think people shouldnt be quick to judge.

I actually met some lovely friendly people while out in Ghana who are street hawkers because i am a huge food lover and couldn’t resit buying almost every food i seen lol one thing i actually miss about Ghana was buying different foods from hawkers. Also i found it very handy when i was on the road a lot and got hungry or thirsty and there was the street hawkers to buy some food from.

I am interested to know what other people think about Hawking so feel free to post comments below 🙂

I haven’t been able to post on my blog as often as i would like to due to work but i would like to say thanks for all the views and comments! I’ll try and get more posts up soon as i will be back in Ghana on September to work as a volunteer as most people already know. So i should have a whole lot more to upload when i get a minute ! 🙂

Feel free to add me on facebook or drop me a message/email if you are interested in volunteering with us in Ghana too as we are still looking for people to come along and work in the school 🙂 You can find the ling below for our volunteer facebook page or visit the contact page on my blog for where to contact me direct. Thanks again! 🙂

MakeChange-Africa – (Our volunteer organization) – https://www.facebook.com/makechangeafrica

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian Author)

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I came across Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian Author, last year while looking online at books that i may be interested in buying and this lovely Lady quickly caught my attention (not only because she’s Nigerian! lol) but because of what she stands for and writes about.  Chimamanda is from Enugu, Nigeria and from what i know she is Igbo. She did study in a university in Nigeria but later moved to America to study. I also read that she studied Medicine but later In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in Creative writing. I don’t know exactly how her personal life was or much about her career yet other than what i have read (But i tend to not always go by what i read by press or google! as it may not always be true lol)

Chimamanda has became very popular for many reasons other than her writing. She has also been called a “feminist” which she openly spoke about on one of her speeches by saying what her view and opinion on Feminism is. Like she said on her speech featured on Beyonce’s “Flawless” song : – “Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” which i think summed it up perfectly! I really look up to this woman and i think she is an icon for Women and young children.

A lot of Men feel that she is doing wrong and that she shouldn’t say half of what she says.. which i have experienced when i posted a status on facebook quoting one of her brilliant speeches and quickly the Men on my Facebook got a bit heated and annoyed! lol I think this is just because some people cant handle the truth in my opinion! I Don’t believe that she is sexist nor do i believe that she says or writes anything offensive towards men. She is simply saying and writing what she feels and to me, he words and speeches are very inspirational and something to learn from. I think the world needs a lot more Women like this who can openly speak their mind on what they believe.

As most people know and as i mentioned before, Beyonce featured Chimamanda’s speech on her song.. Below is the full speech.. My reason for reposting it is because i think he speech is what really made this song a whole lot better. Wise words from a intelligent and great author: –

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors – not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” 

Chimamanda has quickly became one of my favourite authors and i would even go as far as saying she is one of my role model’s. I look forward to reading more of her work and i hope everyone else gets the chance to check out some of her great work. I think she deserves more praise than she already gets because she is a very talented woman!

You can also check out her Facebook page below where you can follow her latest updates –

https://www.facebook.com/chimamandaadichie?fref=ts

 

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Stereotypes about Africa

Something that has been really bugging me for a while is the stereotype people think about Africa most especially in my country (UK) where almost everyone I’ve meet and talk to about countries in Africa there reactions are always very irritating to me.

First of all, the biggest one i hear almost EVERY time i tell someone i was in Ghana is “oh you were brave” or “wasn’t you scared going over there?” and this is coming from people who have never visited any country in Africa. So in my opinion, if you have not visited that country you have no right to speak a bad word about it based on what crap you see on TV!

The majority of people i’ve met around the UK see Africa as a “country” which is for one ridiculous and makes them sound pretty dumb! With all due respect but if you are judging a country based on TV that shows your level of intelligence for a start!

A lot of people have questioned me on why i am going back over to Ghana and Nigeria to work as a volunteer as they think it is too dangerous and unsafe! From my experience, UK is more dangerous than Ghana! While in Ghana i felt nothing but respect and love from people i met. They greeted my and were extremely friendly. Below is a picture i took in Ghana and i will go on to explaining my reason for posting this picture below.

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This picture was taken while i was in Akim Achiase Villiage in Ghana, you have probably seen my post before about Akim Achiase. The lady carrying her baby on her back was a very lovely and friendly lady who brought us in to shelter from the heavy rains as she seen us pass by soaked! This was very touching and a great act of kindness in my eyes. Where i come from this would never happen. I am not saying that my country is all bad because it is not but the manners and kindness of the people i met in Ghana was really touching.

So for people to tell me that i am brave to go to Africa is ridiculous because there is nothing to be scared about. In Scotland i wouldnt think about walking outside passed 12pm in the dark. Yet when i was in Ghana i would walk around the village at 1am enjoying the noise of the crickets and bothered by no one. Throughout my stay in Ghana i came across some of the most lovely people and i am privileged to have met them.

I know and understand that Yes, there is some problems around Africa but to judge it based on what you see on TV and judge it as some poor dangerous sick & diseased continent is ridiculous!! because no matter where you go in the world there will be good and bad.

Take a look at the news each month for Britain or America. Is it all picture perfect with no evil and cruel things going on? I don’t think so!

I have and will always admire Africa for all the good things and good people i have came across and i cannot wait to go back to work as a volunteer. 🙂

Thanks for reading and take a trip to one of Africa’s lovely countries and see for your self what Africa is really about.

Education In Africa

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My post today is not to talk about how education is carried out in Africa because i know it is not the same in all countries around Africa. My post today is more about why education is seen differently in countries in Africa than in other parts of the world. Now, First of all i will start by saying this post is not to offend or insult anyone or to make anyone look smarter or better than anyone else. It is simply to give people an understanding of how education is seen in Africa compared to other countries like UK or USA etc. I will be using UK as an example as i was born and raised in the UK while spending all my life learning about Africa and traveled to Africa. So i feel i have witnessed and understand a lot about the way education is seen in both the “western” world and in Africa.

A lot of people can be judgmental about westerners and how some don’t take education as serious as they should but i have to just say, its not always the kids fault. If someone is born into a certain culture and way of life they simply feel they are doing no wrong. Also there is thousands of children who focus their whole life on their education so i don’t think the stereotype is always true.

Anyway, if we take a look at education in certain parts of Africa we can see it is somehow looked at differently, which i experienced when visiting schools around Ghana , other than the obvious things like language, culture and religious education which is sometimes different in each country but other than that the subjects are basically the same Maths, Science, history etc but how adults and children around Africa look at education is kind of different to the UK. I believe that this is because, in Africa, Education is EVERYTHING! Without education there is almost no opportunities for young children and young adults to gain employment or work placement or a better future. YES education is very important world wide! BUT in some countries like the UK, there is help from our government and other options and opportunities for young adults to gain employment and better their life’s. For example there is something we call “get ready for work” Course which young adults can join even without school qualifications, this scheme is funded from the Scottish government education funding. On these courses they will find a work placement for you and also train you how to do well in the work place as well as a small salary, not much (around £55 per week) which is not a lot in the UK as living costs here are very high, BUT it is still an excellent opportunity for young adults who want to better their life and gain work experience. In Africa an opportunity like this is no common at all and some governments in Africa don’t help with free education or courses. So having good grades and education is very much essential if you want to better your life.

If you know any parents or friends from Africa it is most likely that they do ALL they can to assure their children have the best education they can and do well in school and pass! It is not always easy to get money in some parts of Africa to pay for good education but for those who are fortunate enough to get the chance to go to school or university then it is extremely important that they give it their all! Some people think African parents are too strict on education with their children but no, they are not. They simply want a better life and future for their children and they have worked hard to get the money to make that possible.

I totally admire the friends i have all over Africa as they are totally focused on their education and try hard to make their parents proud. As for the parents who work so hard to fund their kids education i take my hat off to you all! It is even hard for some people to gain employment in Africa even after graduation so i really pray that the future will start to look up for Africa and i pray everyone gets the chance to have a good and comfortable life after all the hard work and effort put in.

Well i hope you enjoyed reading my post for today and i hope it has been informal. I do know that i may not know everything about Education in Africa and i may have missed a few facts but this is judging from my experience and what i know so far. Feel free to share your comments but keep it friendly please as i will just delete negative comments 🙂 Thanks again and thanks for all the lovely comments so far.

Ese Pupo! 🙂

My 4 simple steps to a quick Efo riro ati iyan

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Efo riro is a very easy and common dish around Nigeria, mostly Yoruba people eat this dish.

People have many different ways of making their efo riro. Any way you make it will still taste delicious, but I personally love to make it this way. follow my steps below for a quick and easy Efo Riro dish!

You can find the following ingredients in any local Nigerian store/market.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 tin/Jar of chopped tomatoes (or 4 small fresh tomatoes if you prefer)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 scotch bonnet chili
  • 2 large bunches of fresh spinach
  • Palm oil
  • Efo seasoning
  • salt
  • chili powder (optional)
  • Maggie stock cubes
  • chicken/Beef/Goat what ever u prefer
  • Yam or powdered Yam <<Not advisable, Real yam is always better
  • water

Directions:

Step 1 – Add your chicken/beef/goat meat to a large pot with water and 2 or 3 maggie stock cubes and a little salt. Allow to cook for 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 2 – Get a large pot or pan and add 3 table spoons of Palm oil. Now chop 1 onion into very small pieces along with your scotch bonnet, add the seeds too if you like it spicy!. Add your onion and chili to the oil and allow to fry for 5 minutes.

Step 3 – Now blend all you tomatoes/ chopped tomatoes together and add to your oil with 2/3 table spoons of Efo seasoning and 1 table spoon of chili powder (optional) and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. Then wash your spinach through out. Chop your spinach up and wash again. Now add your spinach and cover the pot and allow to steam/cook for 15 minutes. (some people cook for 5 minuets but i personal like it well cooked as does my Yoruba Boyfriend) Add your chicken/meat to the soup when your chicken/meat is cooked through out.

Step 4 – Prepare your yam!

Fresh yam – If you are preparing fresh yam, I would advice you to:

  • Cut and dice your yam before preparing the soup, then boiled your yam in a pot.
  • When your yam is cooked and soft (you can check if it is ready by stabbing it with a fork to check if it is soft) put your yam pieces into you pestle and begin pounding.
  • Pound all the large peaces first and then pounded all the lumps out of it. (this can be tiring) hehe. Add water little by little to get the right texture. Its best to use the water you cooked your yam in as it has more starch!
  • Powdered Yam- Simply boil water, about 2 cups, in a pot and add the yam powder and mix through out, try to mix fast and press against the side of the pot to remove any lumps.
  • Set your yam by shaping it with your hands (wet your hand first)
  • Rap your yam in clingfilm to keep its shape and heat if you are not going to eat it right away.

Now serve and Enjoy! 🙂

Nigerian Snacks

I am not a fan of snacking on healthy food, although i know i really should be. lol Not that i dont enjoy healthy food, i do, but its just not often that i snack on a carrot O.o So for anyone looking to loose weight or looking for a very healthy guide or post, i am probably not the right person to come to, i love my heavy Nigerian food too much hehe

So today i thought i would make a little list of what people in Nigeria and also me, like to snack on. Anyone who knows Nigeria well, will know snacking is not the same as it is in the UK where you can find a shop on every street and get ice cream or a hundred chocolate bars n cakes lol

So what do Nigerians do when they fancy a snack? (Any many others who enjoy Nigerian food)

Below is a list with pictures of SOME snacks i know i enjoy and many of my Nigerian friends enjoy too:

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  • Puff Puff – A very well known snack in Nigeria, though it is not something that would be eaten every day or even every week. Puff puff is almost like Donuts, only heavier! lol puff puff is a deep fried snack made with Plain Flour, yeast, nutmeg, Sugar, salt, Vegetable Oil (for frying).

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  • Plantain Chips – This one is probably more known to many people as it can be bought almost everywhere now. Plantain chips is fried ripe or unripe plantain. Crunchy small snacks.

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  • Chin Chin – Chin chin is a very basic and simple snack made with milk, sugar, flour, margarine, nutmeg and oil for frying. Almost everyone in Nigeria must have made some nice crunchy chin chin at some point in there lifes, some more than others lol. I enjoy having some chin chin once in a while but the problem is, i don’t know when to stop when i start eating a bowl lol good thing about chin chin is, when you store it in a air tight container it can last for weeks!

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  • Shuku Shuku – Just the thought of these little coconut balls makes me want to munch a whole bowl! lol as i am a BIG fan of coconut snacks. Shuku Shuku is a snack/desert made with coconut chaff, egg yolks, icing sugar and Bread crumbs. Sometimes it is made with Evaporated milk instead of the egg yolks. I think thats for the non baking method.

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  • Nigerian Meat Pies – Now i know this isnt always a “snack” for everyone. but for me, its something i would call a snack as they can sometimes be made small too. Nigerian Meat pie is usually made with Minced meat, Potato and carrot. Its pastry is suppose to be nice and moist not flaky. I notice something though, Nigerian meat pie is not actually any different from the one we made back home in Scotland.

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  • Suya – Suya is a spicey meaty snack or can even be eaten as part of a meal, If you are like me and will put anything together and call it a meal 🙂 Suya is made from Strips of beef with mixed spices, ground nut and peanut oil. Easy to make.. This is a great snack for meat lovers!

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  • Sugar Cane – Now, this one i have not yet tried as it is hard to come by in the UK. But i have been told about it by my boyfriend a lot. I believe they suck it to get the natural sugar from it.. i’m not 100% sure on that.. My boyfriend enjoys it a lot when he is in Nigeria and i am also looking forward to trying some!

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  • Indomie – Ahhhh the famous indomie! lol This may not be considered a snack to everyone, but i see it as a snack and also a meal. As i like to have it sometimes for a quick snack or if i am really hungry, ill take two packets as a meal 🙂 Indomie is simply instant noodles, With a little packet of flavoring and chili/spice. Someone people think it is the same as all instant noodles but i don’t agree as the flavoring is somehow better! Everyone in Nigeria must have eaten Indomie on more than 10 occasions hehe It is a very easy and quick snack. You will find students who go away from there home and there mothers cooking, tent to live on indomie through out college, mainly boys! lol!!

That is just a few Nigerian snacks to give you an idea for those who dont know. There is of course many more snacks in Nigeria but this is the ones i enjoy most 🙂

Thanks again for reading and for all the views and comments so far. It is very appreciated! 🙂 God Bless

Traditional Yoruba Weddings.

Traditional Yoruba weddings are very different from your average wedding. Although all weddings have the same outcome, two people in love get married and live happily ever after, oh so we wish lol

Anyway, I thought i would let everyone know who doesn’t already know, a bit about Traditional Yoruba weddings as i plan to have one of my own in Nigeria.

First of all, if you want to marry a Yoruba lady, you must get her parents permission. So this will start off with the groom and his parents going to meet the bride and her parents to have their blessing and to agree to give their daughter to her future husband. The groom and his family will also take along gifts for the brides parents. If the brides parents dont agree with the groom, then it will not be great for him, because in order to marry her he will have to please her parents and get his permission. This is how it is done traditionally although modern day people have started slacking on this, which i think is not good. Keeping up with your tradition is always best.

Soon after the meeting of the two parents, a date will be set for the wedding and planning will take place. Another wonderful thing about Yoruba weddings is the clothing. Yoruba clothing is very beautiful and colorful. You can see some pictures below of traditional Yoruba wedding clothes.

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Funmi's Engagement 1

Yoruba weddings are usually large and full of many people.  There will be a lot of dancing and lovely food. Also the grooms relatives will greet the brides family in the traditional Yoruba way. This is known as “Yoruba prostration”.  They will lay out on the ground to show their respect to the brides family. This will take place as soon as they enter for the wedding to begin.  You can see in the picture below an example.

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Greeting Yoruba parents  in the right way is VERY important. You can read more on about this in my previous post “how to greet Yoruba parents”. Next, after they enter and greet the family, The Proposal and Acceptance, This  proposal ‘letter’ is presented by the grooms family and read out loud by the youngest member of the brides family. After which an acceptance letter is given by the brides family. The groom will now enter to join the family and bride.  Their will be prayers by both families for the bride and groom.  The groom will then prostrate once with his friends for his family before proceeding to his seat. Next the bride will enter, greeted and welcomed with prayers and blessings.

Finally it gets down to the rings! The groom will take the ring from the bible/Quran and place it on the brides finger. Pretty much what happens in every wedding haha. i also once read about the “Bride Price”… Various envelopes containing everything from the bride price to money for the wives, children and elders in the her family are handed over to the brides family. It is very common practice for them to the envelope containing the bride price, the belief is that both families have become one and are giving their daughter away versus ‘selling’ her.

Next the cake will be cut, Final prayers will be said and from then on, Dancing, singing and eating plenty Lovely Yoruba dishes. 😀

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So as you can see, Yoruba weddings are a little different from other weddings. I cannot wait to have my own Yoruba style wedding one day 🙂 With traditional Yoruba attire.  We love traditional weddings, with their vibrant colors, rich food, playful banter and more, what’s not to like?

Not all Yoruba’s Celebrate weddings in the same way but the traditional Yoruba wedding is most likely to be like this.

I hope you learned a thing or two from my post and feel free to add anything as i love to learn anything i don’t already know 🙂

Thanks Again for all the views and comments.