Eighty years old!Today, my father turned 80. This in itself is an achievement. The fact that he has remained healthy, able to walk, talk and even exercise, makes it even more so.

I deliberately keep from discussing my family on this blog, but today, I will deviate from the norm because I have an important message to pass across. I will decide if this remains. 

Growing up, my father was very involved in my childhood. Not just mine, of course, there were 6 of us and he was as equally involved in everyone’s life. One of my earliest memories of my father was of him giving me a bath. He made it fun, unlike my mom who was very efficient and practical and faced her task with the purpose of getting it done properly and quickly.

My father was domesticated, changing diapers, caring for his babies, washing his clothes, cleaning floors, heating up food (his cooking took too long, abeg! So he would heat up food and make things like Eba e.t.c.). Allow me to share a memory with you – some 20 years ago, we traveled to our home in the village and we got into the task of cleaning the house. Everyone pitched in. And I mean everyone! As you know, Igbo people have big houses in their villages. We were no different (I told you I was typically Igbo).

My dad usually would not sweep because the dust would affect his sinuses. So we were a tag team, I was sweeping and he was either scrubbing or mopping. As was normal for him, he had a dust mask on and looked pretty ridiculous. A female relative that was resident in the village came in and was so shocked to see him cleaning that she clapped her hands, did a mini jig and all at the same time exclaimed: “Hei! Are you now the one sweeping the house?”  (if you understand Igbo, click below to hear exactly how she said it).


Audio and voice recording >>

And my dad responded immediately: Yes, go and tell them I am the one.


Voice Recorder >>

My young chest swelled with pride at this man that would not allow people’s perception of what his role was, influence him.

I mean, my dad was the sole breadwinner and for a long time, my mother was a housewife (no small task!) who had no income. For a lot of our men, they think this buys them an automatic pass on any housework or “women” work.

My dad didn’t ever fail to take us out during public holidays – boxing day e.t.c. We would go to amusement park e.t.c. As a matter of fact, while I was in boarding school (the first three of us went to boarding school and were away at the time), I was told by one of my younger siblings that they begged my mom to tell her husband to please give them a break. That they were tired of going out.  Silly kids! I knew of kids who were never taken out by their dads. 

My dad is the sort of dad that went out of his way to do things to make our lives easier. When I started Natural Nigerian, both my parents allowed me to overfill their house with box upon box of products. To give you an idea, at a point my things were so plentiful they overflowed to other rooms. It wasn’t the tidiest of arrangements but I was their daughter and they allowed me to inconvenience them. I remember them both staying up with me just before a meetup, getting my labels on bottles. As a matter of fact, once my parents noticed that my business would require certain herbs, my father started planting them. Unbidden. Because I am his daughter and that is what daddies do.

A few months ago, I had the most annoying conversation with a person who said that “daddy is always daddy, no matter what daddy was”. Basically, the moral of her speech was that it was okay to lower one’s expectations and that one had to love one’s daddy no matter what. I was not annoyed with her, far from it! Her own experiences colored the advice she doled out. I was annoyed that she had a father/parents who had imparted to her that low expectation of what a father should be.

I grew up with a father who surpasses (yes, even now), ALL expectations. This makes my expectations very high.

Why am I sharing this story?

I read all the time that ALL Nigerian men cheat. Whenever I say that my father was always faithful to my mom, there are dissenting voices. “You were a kid, how would you know?” While I
would like to counter with “If you were able to realize at a point in your life that your dad was stepping out on your mum, how can you disbelieve that I realized at a point in my life that my dad never did?” but for the sake of peace, I usually respond with “My mom is not the sort of person to help a person hide their shortcomings, especially if it is directed towards her.” Which is true. I am not saying that my perfect father was a perfect husband…it is difficult to be but fidelity was never an issue. It is possible. It is possible.

I know people that have fathers that outsourced their fatherhood or just didn’t think or perhaps even know how to be fathers. I know people my age that are shaping up to be like that.

Where I can, I encourage those that want more for themselves and their kids. Be the best you can be! It is not impossible to be that person. Forget that “the boys” would think you under the thumb of a woman or not manly enough. If you bring children into this world, they are your responsibility and not just a financial one.

With this post, I am trying to say:

  • Men, Women, People: Do good by your kids. They notice.
  • Women: Encourage your men to be all they can be. Do not assume that “All men must cheat.” Granted, it is getting easier and easier for men to do so, but it was also pretty easy during my father’s time.
  • Women: Do not lower your child’s expectations of what they should expect from a father. Even if those father’s are not in a child’s life, I do not believe that one should settle for crumbs of attention. 
  • Parents: Be careful how you bring up your children. Impart to them a sense of responsibility for those they bring into the world.

My parents are pretty awesome and if that was not your experience, I hope you are able to set things right with your children.

Happy Birthday, Daddy NN.

Natural Nigerian Christmas List

I am beyond proud of all the locally made products that one can get now. For Christmas, I think there is no way we cannot include these products in hampers or stocking or even give them out on their own. I have made an (inexhaustive) list for you!

Christmas Cards

A Christmas tradition is giving greeting cards. There are more than enough Nigerian themed cards to choose from now. Wish folks a Merry Christmas or a Merry Keresimesi by choosing cards from Not Just Pulp or Amama Design Studio. Amama Design Studio also sells yearly planners, leatherbound notebooks e.t.c for that special someone in your life (which could be you :)).

Amama Design Studio 

Instagram: AmamaDesignstudio

Get in Touch: Call 08025240205 or 08037562017 to place your orders.

Pick up at: DollHouseAfrique, Block 5, Shop 11, Bar Beach Towers, off Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Not Just Pulp 

Instagram: NotJustPulp

Get in touch: For orders: BBM D1F9C1E2  Email: notjustpulp@gmail.com

Holiday Hair

With all the parties, family get-togethers and outings during this period, hair has to be on point!

Yellow Sisi Mini Thread

Want to try a contemporary, threading  style? This not like any old threading style you know. This allows your hair to bounce. You can choose different thread colors, choose to add extra hair for bulkiness and even choose any length you want. The style lasts for several weeks. Please note that you will need to book an appointment for this particular style.

If this is not your style, they offer many many other options – updos, twists, crochet braids e.t.c.

A photo posted by YellowSisi (@yellowsisi) on

Did you know that you can purchase Natural Nigerian™ Products in the Yellowsisi salon as well? Just ask!

Contact

Address: YellowSisi Natural Hair Salon, Plot 28 Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1| Opposite Debonairs Pizza

Phone: 08182222204

Instagram: YellowSisi

Get Fit or Cry Trying 

People usually resolve to make good on their need to exercise by January, so getting them sportswear to get them motivated will be the perfect gift!

A photo posted by Joagh Sports (@joaghsports) on

Help out with this resolve by getting your friends sportswear that is sewn in Nigeria. Yep! Sewn here. Joagh Sports is totally local and have a very comprehensive line. An added plus is that the prices are nothing that will break the bank. You can get an exercise bra for as low as N990. That is a massive bargain!  You can mix and match as you like, so pick a grey top and a pink bottom or a black top and a purple bottom. You have total freedom to choose! Purchase here. Follow them on Instagram here.

Set the Mood at Home

During the holidays, give your home that extra special smell with the handmade candles, scents and more from Abela World. There are quite a number of variants to choose from. They even have beeswax candles for repelling mosquitoes.  All the products are wonderfully packaged and would make a great addition to hampers and Christmas stockings.

A photo posted by ÀBÉLÀ WORLD (@abelaworld) on

Contact

Follow them on Instagram

Purchase directly from their online store here

Natural Nigerian™ Christmas Presents

This Christmas we have made it easy for you to give away Natural Nigerian presents. You can purchase our Christmas box for the natural-haired person in your life or a Pack which holds our new baby range.

What is in the box?

  • Natural Nigerian™ Flax Seed Twist and Curl Pudding
  • Natural Nigerian™ Raw Shea Butter
  • Natural Nigerian™ Leave-In Conditioner with Shea Butter
  • Natural Nigerian™ Black Soap Dandruff Shampoo with Nettle, Red Acalypha & Salicylic Acid
  • Satin Scarf from Savvy & Chic
  • 2 Combs (1 wide-tooth, one “cutting” comb)
  • 3 Disposable Shower caps
  • Hair Pins

We also have something for babies and children as well as the young at heart 🙂 We just released our Baby Kit which contains

Natural Nigerian Baby Wash

Natural Nigerian Baby Wash

Natural Nigerian Baby Lotion

Natural Nigerian Baby Lotion

Natural Nigerian Baby Kit

Natural Nigerian Baby Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Black Soap baby Wash with Red Acalypha and Nettle
  • Baby Lotion with Red Acalypha and Nettle
  • Baby Oil with Calendula

All these products have been made with Red Acalypha which has been used for hundreds of years by Nigerian mothers to heal the skin of their babies or maintain good skin.

You can get the Baby Kit on our website until the 23rd of December (when we close) or until it is out of stock.

Both gift packs will also be available at Yellow Sisi Salon. They are open until year end!

Something for the Men

Men, don’t feel left out! We have something for you on our list. Azke Handcrafted has been making beautiful shoes and other footwear for years now. These Black Patent Brogues below are 100% handmade, with each hole carefully pierced by hand! (How many can you count?). If this is not your style, they have others you can choose from.

To contact them, leave them a comment on Instagram and they will get back to you!

A photo posted by AZKE (@azke_handcrafted) on

So, that’s our Christmas round up! Let us know if you get any of these things. Merry Christmas!

NITC 17 flyer- head into 2017 strong

Naturals in the City, Lagos’ quarterly natural hair meet-up is rolling back around this December! I had so much fun at Naturals in the City 16 in September, it really was my favourite one yet. Naturals in the City 17 is on December 17, the last weekend before Christmas, so let’s top the last experience, shall we? I look forward to hanging with you at our usual joint, Cafe Neo on 6, Agoro Odiyan Street, Victoria Island.

As usual, we will be having impactful talks and practical workshops. The theme for the meet-up is “Head into 2017 Strong!”, because you are so important to us, we want you starting on the right foot in the new year. Prepare to treat yourself, and the ones you love, by shopping from the great brands in our marketplace.

See photos from the last meet-up in this post HERE and more on the official website: nitcnigeria.com.

Have a great week!

Words by TheKinkAndI

learn-to-make-emulsions-from-scratch- nigeria- lotion- cream

One of the inquiries I get most is about making natural skin care products and if I can teach a class. Due to the demand, I created the Emulsion 101 course and have successfully taught 2 classes. One in Abuja and another in Lagos. I have to say, that both times, I met awesome ladies and ended up having more fun than I thought I would!

The class has come round again and will run from Tuesday, 29th November and end on the 3rd of December. We will begin with an online class that will span 3 days – 29th, 30th and 1st. We will then meet face to face to practice all we have learned during the week. (more…)

why-i-do-not-like-to-advise-on-hair-problems

I have always been pretty reluctant to answer any questions regarding hair growth, hair conditions e.t.c. If you have ever DM’d me or sent me an email, you may have noted either my reluctance or been the recipient of a delicious new option that opened up to me: I refer you to an actual professional whose business is everything hair. Someone who has taken several courses specifically detailing hair and scalp diseases and who has even done an internship with a reputable “senior” in the business. (more…)

Child sexual abuse nigeria

Today, I am deviating a bit from the central theme of this blog, forgive me. It is for a good cause though.

I have a story to tell. Please be patient and read it all.

The other day (a Saturday, 11th June, 2016), I was at home, sat on my balcony, working on something. I am hardly ever out there but that day I was. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man take position to urinate in the gutter in front of the house. I absolutely detest that but it is one of those things that are just done in Nigeria. I looked at him and “eyed” him to show my displeasure but didn’t say anything. He looked straight at me. I went back to what I was doing. I was quite intent on my task but I noticed that he remained there for quite a while. I looked up and saw him looking straight at me and then I noticed that he was shaking his penis which is something guys do when they are done urinating, no? I was intent on my task and went back to it. (more…)

Naturals in the City- NITC 15

Clear your calendar! Next Saturday, June 25th, 2016, is Naturals in the City 15 and you don’t want to miss it!

Naturals in the City is Lagos’ quarterly natural hair and natural lifestyle meet-up, and we look forward to hanging with you again!

Place: Café Neo, 6 Agoro Odiyan Str, off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island. (Opposite Svengali)

Time: 1:00 to 6:00pm.

It’s the 15th NITC meet-up, so really, if you’ve never been to one? You’re really sleeping on a bicycle o! Let’s fix this asap!

So. What do we do at NITC? What will we be doing this time?

LEARNING THROUGH TALKS AND WORKSHOPS!

At NITC, we make learning fun! Come, let’s talk about hair and health and wellness; how to be better! You’ll definitely learn a lot. Not going to spill all the beans just yet, but believe me when I say we have some very interesting topics lined up!

In addition to the talks, we will be having small workshops, very practical, very hands-on.

I SAID, WORKSHOPS!

It is the year of our Lord 2016, and I just learnt to do my eyebrows this year. Forreals. If you’re a late bloomer in this makeup thing, or you’re just not so into it, come, let a pro show you how to do your eyebrows. Beauty blogger, and makeup artist Oyime Jemitola (@makeupbyoyimej) will be there to show you how to draw nice brows- if you sign up for her class.

Also. Naija Girl Next Door will be there to teach you (if you are willing) another thing that seems really basic but is also, a potential life changer on your natural hair journey: HOW TO TWIST. Yes. Come with your hair, preferably loose, if you want to learn this skill for FREE, and of course,sign up here.

These workshops are very small, so they can be effective. Sign up to attend HERE, and you’ll receive a confirmation email on or before June 24, if you get in!

[tweetthis]OK Ladies! I am ready to get in formation at Naturals in the City! #NITC[/tweetthis]

SHOPPING

As usual, you can shop natural hair and skin products to your heart’s content at NITC! Also expect to see organic food vendors, as has been our recent tradition. At NITC, we are all about promoting a healthier, more natural lifestyle in and out, and our vendors are aligned with this vision. You’ll be in good company!

If you would like to be a vendor at this meet-up, you can still get a stand at NITC! Email  nn@naturalnigerian.com ; or call 09092132141 for vendor or sponsorship enquiries!

NEW FRIENDS, AND NEW CONNECTS!

I LOVE meeting new people at NITC! It’s this really safe, warm, fuzzy good vibes zone. And there’s always so much beauty all around, I love it! If you come and see any of this is a lie, please feel free to call me out after (hello@thekinkandi.com), or tell me about it there!

GIVING: PLEASE COME SUPPORT THE MONKEY VILLAGE SCHOOL!

At NITC, we love to partner with causes that we care about. Actually, if you have any causes to nominate, you can forward them to us for consideration. This time, we are supporting the Monkey Village School project.

It’s crazy that in a place as busy, and as business as Ikeja, there is a rural community in the middle of it all, called Monkey Village. There, the kids are not in school. They have very little, and many of them don’t even have underwear! Going without underwear can be a sexy ting for you, but for at-risk teenage girls in Monkey Village, this just means disgusting old (and young) men can ogle them, and who knows what else!

A group of people running this project have not been able to ignore this need, and neither should we!

They support the kids in the ways they can, with basic supplies, and by organising lessons for them on the weekends. They are really working to make a difference in these kids’ lives, and this is really not something too big for me and you to do.

So. What do they need? A LOT. But for starters? Money. Stationery. Books. Underwear. Clothes.

Nothing is too little. You can bring cash to the meet-up to donate to the project. You can also bring stationery, children’s books (text books and story books), gently used clothes in good condition, and NEW underwear.

You can also show your support by donating or buying hair products.  How, you ask?

SHOP FOR THE CAUSE!

If you have hair products you don’t want for whatever reason, please give them to us at the door. Our only condition is that, the product should not be more than halfway gone. New products are very welcome.

We will be selling these products at giveaway prices, and all the proceeds will go to the Monkey Village School.

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]I’m supporting @MVillageSchool at NITC! You should too! Here’s how > #ShopForTheCause[/tweetthis]

I’m super SUPER excited, because I know that we can again gather, to have a good time, and also, contribute as a community, to some positive change in our city!

As always, EVERYONE is welcome to Naturals in the City!

If you have any business questions, for vendor or sponsorship enquiries, please email:nn@naturalnigerian.com ; or call 09092132141. Any questions about the Monkey Village School? email: hello@thekinkandi.com or tweet at @thekinkandixx

The Kink and I, Carib Health, @Ms_Isioma and I look forward to meeting you at NITC 15! 🙂

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]See you at Naturals in the City on June 25! #NITC[/tweetthis]

Again, Naturals in the City is on Saturday June 25. Café Neo, 6 Agoro Odiyan Str, off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island. (Opposite Svengali) 1:00 to 6:00pm. Tickets are 1000 Naira only, at the door.

 

Words by The Kink and I

Natural Hair Relaxed Hair Big Chop transition

I love watching documentaries and one day, I watched one on the Pound shop. You know, the chain stores in the UK that sell everything under their roof for a quid. The floor salesperson being interviewed was asked what question he gets the most and unbelievably, it was “How much is this?

One would have thought it was fairly obvious that in a shop that told you upfront that everything was a pound, you wouldn’t have to be asked this question. It made me realize that those that ask me what I sometimes think are obvious questions are not just yanking my chain. They actually don’t know and want to know. And I accept that. (more…)

© 2017 Natural Nigerian. All rights reserved.