Yes! A Web-Series I Can Totally Relate To! Introducing: ‘An African City’

 

 

One of my friends on Facebook tagged me and a few others in a video post, saying it would be something we’d like.  She wasn’t wrong!  It was the first episode of a new web-series called ‘An African City’, created by Ghanaian writer Nicole Amarteifio.  It’s set in Accra, Ghana and “tells the story of five beautiful and successful women who confide in one another about their love-lives (or lack thereof) and find new ways to deal with being a 21st century woman in Africa.”

When I watched the first episode, I was like “Oh my gosh!  This is exactly what I was saying in my post about my most recent trip to Ghana!”  Of course, it was inspired by ‘Sex & The City’ (as with anything that features an all-female cast), but it’s so nice to watch women who are like ME and my friends, thinking the same things I thought when I was there, and wearing African-print styles like we do.  Michael Jackson wasn’t lying when he sang, “You are not alone”.

My kind nature means I’m going to make it extremely convenient for you to watch all 10 episodes of An African City right here (if you haven’t already), and let me know what you think!

 

 

30 Good Things That Have Happened in 30 Days

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There’s a young lady I know who had somewhat of a revelation after turning 30 last year.  She realised that life is all about actually living it, and so decided to set herself challenges of doing 30 various things she hadn’t really done before.  Things like watching 30 movies – one from every year of her life, tasting 30 delicacies from around the world, or giving 30 hugs to 30 different people.  It’s a really good idea, and many others have become involved.

An activity that one person announced that she would be attempting was to write down one good thing that happens every day, for 30 days.  Hmm, thought Wendi, this is something I think I also need to attempt.  This year so far (excluding being in the Ghana sunshine) has been… kinda crap if I’m honest, and it could be very easy for me to slip into lack of motivation mode, and not be arsed with anything.  But we don’t want that, do we?!  So here’s my list:

Jan 24:  My cousin came over for the night with a bottle of wine.  It was a nice, unexpected girls night in.

Jan 25:  I woke up.  Sounds silly, but really there have been so many horrible stories in the news regarding death recently, so I’m just thankful.

Jan 26:  I received a belated birthday present.  Another of my cousins came over, bearing more gifts!

Jan 27:  A friend did the chivalrous thing of waiting for my bus with me.  He didn’t have to, so it was a nice, unexpected gesture.

Jan 28:  A fax that I sent was successfully received.  A step closer to resolving an ongoing issue.

Jan 29:  I received an email inviting me for a job interview.  Fingers crossed!

Jan 30:  I attended a nightclub launch party.  It got me out of the house for the evening.

Jan 31:  Had a lovely day out with my mum.  She’d never visited the Westfield Shopping Centre before, so we went shopping for shoes for her. We ate at Nandos, and even though we had ordered two glasses of sangria, we were given two jugs and two glasses!  You can imagine the merry giggles that followed for the rest of the day. Winning!

Feb 1:  A bus driver let me on for free.  The whole time I had been waiting at the bus stop, I completely forgot to go and top up my Oyster!

Feb 2:  I found £5.50 in my coat pocket!  Nuff said.

Feb 3:  I received information I was waiting for, for a post on It’s All Lurve.  Have you been visiting my site?

Feb 4:  I participated in a live Google Hangout web discussion.  It was for I’mPossible’s monthly discussion ‘Talking Tuesday’s, and it was fun.

Feb 5:  I caught up with a couple of friends on the phone.  They were guys. My ego was fed.

Feb 6:  I was able to keep my physio appointment despite being late.  I’ve been having problems with my lower back for months.

Feb 7:  I learned how to make jollof rice like my mum!  I’ve made it before and I didn’t like it, but this time it was mmm mmm goood.

Feb 8:  I gave myself the most relaxing and pampering bubble bath.  Complete with a glass of something.

Feb 9:  Spoke to my nephew in Ghana.  My lil Hurricane has moved to Ghana to be with my brother and go to school, and I’ve missed him since I left to come back.

Feb 10:  My brother and I treated ourselves to a takeaway pizza.  ‘Cos we felt like it, dammit.

Feb 11: (I won’t lie, I’ve completely forgotten what happened)

Feb 12:  I finally cleared my suitcases in my room.  I’m one of those “in denial” people who take ages to unpack after a holiday.

Feb 13:  Had a group video call with my girls.  It was great!  One of my girls has moved to the U.S and it was her birthday, so the five of us Sistas had a lovely catch up.

Feb 14:  The post I published on It’s All Lurve became the most viewed on the Facebook page so far  :)

Feb 15:  I went for a great night out and only spent £2 from beginning to end. That’s what I’m talking about!

Feb 16:  Met my friend’s gorgeous newborn son.  I’m an “aunty” again.

Feb 17:  I started a 30-day challenge to drink at least 2 litres of water a day.  If you know me, you’ll know that this is truly a challenge.

Feb 18:  I made myself a gorgeous big breakfast and had another fabulous bubble bath.  If only this could be life every day.

Feb 19:  I was asked to write a biography for someone.  One of the things I do.

Feb 20:  I was a listening ear and advisor for two of my friends.  It was nice a feeling.

Feb 21:  I found my new hairstyle.  I change my hairstyle frequently and it’s one of the things I enjoy the most.

Feb 22:  I came up with an idea for more blog posts here!  Watch this space.

If you’re looking for some challenge ideas, check out the ThirtyAfterThirty blog.

Are We Really Ready To “Move Back Home”?

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Happy New Year folks!

Okay, I know we’re nearing the end of January (already!) but the reason for my lateness is that I’m on my way back to London after spending a month in Ghana.  God/The Universe didn’t feel it was right that I hadn’t travelled abroad for the whole of 2013, so thankfully it was made possible for me, a couple days before Christmas.  I’m actually sitting on a plane right now, as I draft this post on my trusty writing-pad.  (Obviously for you to be reading this, it means that I’ve had to type it up after settling back at home).

Before I continue, I would just like to ask one favour of you all; if you ever hear me say that I am going to travel to Ghana again on an indirect flight, please shoot me so that I can’t go.  Don’t kill me, just make it so that it is a physical hassle at that moment.  Changing flights in Madrid has been bloody awful!

Anyway, one of the reasons I went to Ghana was to see if there may be any possible work opportunities there.  Nothing was happening for me in London, so why not, eh?  I wasn’t looking for any boring office job, because I could easily do that without having to pay for a plane ticket, I was looking for something in my fields – media and events.  I haven’t come back with any offers, but due to knowing some good people, I have been able to make some contacts, so I’ll be chasing them up.

During the course of my stay, I realised something:  A lot of us say that we want to move to our countries of origin, due to the British government doing their best to give us no other choice.  But, in my opinion, some of us are looking at it through somewhat rose-tinted glasses.  All we’re thinking about is the fact that the weather is beautiful all year round, there are beaches, you can have your own house built and not worry about mortgage payments and council tax, you can have house help, jobs can come with houses and cars – it all sounds cushy!  What occurred to me is that we’d just be moving from one type of stress to another.  My observations while in Accra were:

Customer service is horrendous.  Something has changed in the three years since I was last there.  The ‘no sense of urgency’ has reached new levels, and it winds me up.  I have a few examples, but the main one is that there has been no landline or wifi/broadband service at my dad’s house for nearly nine months now, because Vodafone Ghana don’t give a shite.  No matter how many times my dad goes to their headquarters to demand they come to install it, nothing is done.

You have to have quite a lot of money to start off with.  If you want to rent a place to live, you have to pay either one or two years’ deposit upfront.  Can you imagine?  If you don’t drive, you’ll spend a helluva lot on taxis, and if you do drive, then you’ll be spending that money on petrol (The traffic in Accra is baaaaad, it’s like rush hour the whole day).  There are a lot of little expenses you don’t initially think about, including the tips you have to pay just to get some things done.

I was told more than once that Ghanaians can be very stubborn, so the way that some of us think that we’d be coming from the Western World with ideas and strategies that we KNOW would help the running of whatever you think makes no sense – forgerrit.  You’ll rather have to concede to their way of doing things.  On one hand – why should they change?  It’s their country.  On the other hand – have you seen the journalism in some of the publications?? My poor, aching eyes – they need me, dammit!!

Please don’t in any way think that I’m trying to put you off visiting Ghana, because I’d never do that.  You’ll have loads of fun there – guaranteed.  This was my 10th visit, and I’m not the sort of idiot to go a place I dislike, 10 times.  I just think some of us need to look at moving ‘back home’ through the eyes of the locals, and not those of tourists.

I have actually been excited about returning to London this time (*cue your side eyes), because I’ve missed what’s normal to me.  I’m able to be self-sufficient, whereas in the past month I have had to wait and rely on others, daily, and I don’t like that.  I’ve learned that although I intend to live in Accra for longer periods, my life isn’t at a place of self-sufficiency yet.

Do you get what I’m saying, or am I not looking at a bigger picture?

What Lessons Have You Learnt From Nelson Mandela’s Life?

Mandela

The world’s grandfather is now at rest, and as much as I have dreaded this sad moment, I’m not as upset as I thought I would be.  I truly feel that he achieved his purpose on this Earth, and is now tired, so deserves to rest.  It is now time for us to learn from his work and words, and fulfil his legacy as people.

In all the tributes I have watched on television and read online since last night, the one thing that remains consistent is how in awe people are at Nelson Mandela’s level of forgiveness.  He was imprisoned for 27 years just because he wanted black people and white people to be able to live together peacefully in his country.  Eighteen of those years were spent in solitary confinement.  Can you imagine?  Yet, upon his release in 1990, while people were expecting riots and some sort of war, and even stocking up on canned foods in case they had to hide in their homes, he peacefully celebrated his release, and peacefully continued the work towards building the South Africa he believed in.  There was no threat of revenge for what he had been through, he rather chose to forgive those who had treated him so badly.  If anything, he got his revenge by winning.  Imagine that was you.  Would you have dealt with it in the same way?  I can’t say I definitely would have.

This makes me think about forgiveness in general.  There are very few things that people are ‘beefing’ about, that would be on the scale of what Mandela would have had ‘beef’ with, and yet he was able to let it go.  Therefore I have learned that holding a grudge isn’t worth your energy.  Well actually, I think I’ve been learning this over the past few years, in relation to issues between family members; deal with it and move on, or get over it and move on.  Either way – move on, and this has been reiterated for me in the last day.

So what have you learnt, if anything, from Nelson Mandela’s life?

R.I.P Madiba.

Do Nots & Don’ts Of A Successful Workplace

Source: mybroadband.co.za

Source: mybroadband.co.za

I know I keep talking about work related things, but the fact is that that’s what’s pretty much taking up most of my thoughts, as I search for that elusive permanent position.  Over the past year (at least) I’ve worked in quite a few different offices as a temp or freelancer, so I’ve noticed different practices that, to me, don’t make particular offices ideal places to be for a minimum of eight hours of your day. There are some things I just think you shouldn’t do if you want to create a happy work day or workplace…

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF INCOMPETENT COLLEAGUES

Trust me, I’ve learned.  The thing with incompetent people is that they can be dangerous, because they know you could do their job better than they can.  There are some who, instead of learning how to be better, will sneakily suck up to the boss and tell tales to try and get you removed from your position, because you pose a real threat to theirs.  If you are able to avoid working directly with an incompetent person – do it!

DON’T HAVE A MICROWAVE-LESS OFFICE

Do you know how much money you can save in a week if there’s a microwave to warm your leftovers from last night??  So much!  As long as there is also a kettle, mugs, teabags, teaspoons and sugar in the office, you won’t feel like your pay is just money you’re getting back for expenses.

smallbusiness.chron.com

smallbusiness.chron.com

DON’T NOT THANK STAFF

If you’re a manager or boss, there is no harm in thanking your staff for their efforts.  I brought this up in a conversation with someone recently, and they said, “But if you’re getting paid, why do you need to be thanked?”  Because, my learned friend, there are times when you have gone above and beyond your call of duty (also known as your contract), and acknowledgement would be nice.  You don’t have to spend your time making someone else’s dream a reality, so a little “Thank you for your hard work” wouldn’t go amiss.

What others can you think of from your experiences?

Random Thoughts & Observations From The Office III

Source: unionversity.com

Source: unionversity.com

Working for 4.5 hours is perfect for the work/life balance.

I look like Kim from Eastenders? Really?  Gosh, it’s been ages since I heard that – at least 24 hours!

Wouldn’t it be funny if I was ‘papped’ in somewhere like Primark or Superdrug in Tooting Broadway, and Heat or OK! Magazine featured it as a ‘Spotted – Eastenders’ Kim’?

The conflicting views I get from things I tell the two groups of people I’m closest to – my friends and my cousins – are funny.  Variety is the spice of life I guess.

Bruv… you are really not hot enough to be THAT stush.  Who doesn’t greet the receptionist??

I don’t understand why only one person knows how to do this job.  Surely a couple others should be trained to carry out these duties.

The Daily Fail Mail make me laugh.  How would they report ‘news’ if they didn’t have Twitter to do the work for them?  I need to stop contributing to their stats.

I’m actually GASPING for a cuppa.

800 letters to post????  Good Lawd…

Sometimes I wish I was one of those chicks who is comfortable wearing heels in the daytime.  Or even in the evening.  Or at night.

Man… I really hope I never have to use that horrible online system for the post again.  That was a bleedin’ nightmare!

We Now Know One Of Victoria’s Secrets…

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SHE’S ILLITERATE!

I don’t care what kinda play on words they may think they’re using – this is pure and simple apostrophe abuse!!  Apostrophe was there chilling, minding his own business, when Victoria and her people came and grabbed him just to mistreat him in this way.  Who is Body?  We’ve never seen Body’s what like this?  Do you see what I mean?  Surely there’s a word missing.

To get their point across they could have said “YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A BODY LIKE THIS,” right? Or “YOU’VE NEVER SEEN BODIES LIKE THESE.”  It still makes sense.  They’ve written it so boldly too… *Sigh*

I’m off to write a full A4 page of “bodies” so I can get my mind right again…

Throwback Thursday: My Earliest Memories of Michael Jackson

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Today would have been Michael Jackson’s 55th birthday.  I don’t really believe in saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to someone who is no longer here, because I just don’t see how it could be ‘happy’ for them if they’re dead.  That’s just my personal belief though, so you’re welcome to disagree.  I prefer to remember them, so that’s what I’m gonna do.  In conjunction with it being a Throwback Thursday, I’m going to recall my earliest memory of him.

I was five years old and living in Guyana, South America.  There were no television stations there at the time, so I remember my parents used to play a lot of music (and this is where my love of Soca music began).  One of the albums they had was the Thriller album, and I don’t remember whether it was one of their favourites or if it was played so often to keep me occupied, but I know I absolutely loved it.  I used to sit with my ear to the big speaker we had in the sitting room, because I thought Michael Jackson was in there, singing.

Of course the whole album is just a masterpiece, but I distinctly remember having an opinion on three of the songs back then.  The first one was Wanna Be Startin Somethin.  It was a BIG deal to me that I knew when the “Hee hee hee ha!” bit came in the instrumental break.  I think my mum had laughed and commended me one time, because she was surprised that I knew when it came, and this made me feel like a genius or something.

The second song was The Girl Is Mine.  I didn’t have a clue who Paul McCartney was, I just knew I didn’t like him because he was trying to fight with Michael Jackson and take his girl.  There was no way the girl was Paul’s!  Not over Michael Jackson.  No way!  Horrible man.  Leave Michael Jackson alone, he told you he’s a lover not a fighter!

(Notice I have to say Michael Jackson’s full name, because back then no one ever referred to him as just Michael.  He was Michael Jackson.)

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The third song I had thoughts on was Lady In My Life.  It was the part when he sings “Stay with me/I want you to stay with meeeeee…”  Five year-old Wendy felt so sorry for him!  (Yes – ‘Wendy’.  I started spelling it with an ‘i’ when I was 12).  Why didn’t she want to stay with him??  Why would Michael Jackson have to ask you to stay with him??  Why was everyone being horrible to Michael Jackson? :(

One thing that baffled me was… scroll up to the photo at the top of this post… Can you see the way he has two very prominent veins sticking out of his wrist area?  How??  I didn’t understand it and it made me study my own wrist trying to figure it out.

It wasn’t until we came back to live in London that I saw the Thriller video, and I became a walking contradiction.  The video scared the sh*te out of me, but I loved it.  My cousins had The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller on video, and on my orders we had to watch it every single time we went to their house.  But I loved Michael Jackson and was scared of him in equal measures, because I thought that every time he appeared on TV he would turn into a werewolf.  I have a memory of watching him perform Human Nature (I think) on Top Of The Pops, and watching it while hiding behind my hands…  The good ole days, eh?

I’ve always said that no man has ever created excitement for me the way Michael Jackson did, so all I can do is thank him for his creativity.

RIP Michael Jackson x

My “WTF?” question of the week so far…

How the hell did Miley Cyrus manage to get her bum to look like that??

Source: weknowmemes.com

Source: weknowmemes.com

I wish you could see my face as I look at that photo.  I just don’t understand it, and I would really appreciate someone explaining it to me.  Or maybe even demonstrating it for me, just don’t be offended by my facial expression.  I feel like I can smell the raw chicken emanating from the screen.  If I don’t blog again, it’s because my laptop has been poisoned.

Dear God,

May that never be me.

Amen.

But really though – WTF???

9 Highlights of Notting Hill Carnival 2013 – For Me

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Ok, I know I keep talking about the Carnival, so I promise this will be the last post about it for this year (I think!).  I had so much fun yesterday, just as I expected, and these are my highlights of the day:

The weather being perfect!  Enough sunshine to make the day very warm but not hot – exactly how you’d want it while wearing a big head dress!

The absolute fabulousness and vibrant colours of the costumes!  It seems that every band stepped it up a notch.

The fact that our friends, who were participating for the first time, proved us right when we said that they would have the most fun!  New converts – hurrrrah!

Seeing familiar faces in the other bands.

The way I seemed to make people’s day by simply agreeing to pose for a photo with them.  When I say you feel like a celebrity, it’s not a joke!  At one point it was like we were surrounded by paparazzi!

The policewoman who actually passed us her phone so that she could have her own copy of a photo taken with us!  It was hilarious!  I feel sorry for some of those on duty sometimes.

The overall feeling of friendliness and unity.  Even if it’s only for one or two days, it was if we were on holiday and everyone was just free from the problems a normal weekday would bring.

The well-stocked UCOM truck bar!  The Rum kept me schweeet…

The soca song that got everyone excited:

ROLL ON 2014!!!!!!

Did you attend?  What were the highlights for you?