LIMELIGHT: NANA AKOSUA ADUMEA, TRAVEL BLOGGER | Anas Munira

20 November 2018

Nana Akosua Adumea is a travel blogger who is passionate about telling the stories of places through her travels. She describes herself as a storyteller, foodie, minimalist and zero waste advocate. She recently went on a solo backpacking adventure through all 10 regions in Ghana in 32days which she believes she may be the first Ghanaian to ever have with the sole purpose of exploring! This week on Limelight she tells us all about her escapades.  

1. I’ve always been curious about your former IG handle, why Chefinskinnyjeans?
Changing the name as cute as it is. I was big on food blogging and the word play was cool. Lol, there is this saying “don’t trust a skinny chef” it inspired it. I felt it was limiting, I got a lot of chef related questions so I changed it to my name Akosua Shirley

2. What inspired you to be a travel blogger and particularly go on this adventure exploring Ghana?
Every time I would speak to someone well-travelled, I loved how informed they seem to be and how they made references. You would only find that with people who read a lot or travel. I think the more I travel the more I learn about myself. I really love Ghana and I want to know as much as I possibly can. Its not everyday google search, sometimes find out for yourself. lol


3. How challenging is it being a Travel blogger especially in Ghana?
Its hard. Travel isn’t cheap. People don’t get it so thereisn’t a lot of opportunities to make something out of it. Thankfully whether I was blogging about it or not, I would be travelling. It’s important to me.

4. What were some of your memorable moments so far on the journey?
My favourite day was in the Brong Ahafo. The tour guide at the Kintampo waterfall was fantastic, he took the best pictures and videos; shout out to Robert. Then I went to Buabeng monkey sanctuary, the monkeys were so friendly, too friendly and the story around the appearance of the monkeys was amazing
My most epic moment was climbing down adfadjato whiles it was raining.
My scariest moment was when I got food poisoning. Also zip lining in Kwahu. That was scary fun. 


5. Did you prepare or plan for the trip or you just made the plans along the way?
I planned a little in terms of what I wanted to focus on during the trip. I wanted to visit all the capitals and as many places of interest as possible. I planned my general movement in terms of which region I would go to first, second, etc. I made a few accommodation arrangements in advance. I used “couch surfing” a lot, budget hotels and family & friends

6. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and what motivated you to keep going?
Lack of information or contact for some tourist places was really frustrating. I would get there only to be told the tour guides were unavailable, gone for funerals, today is their day off, something isn’t working well. If there was information online I wouldn’t have gone all the way. My motivation was I’m going through this now so someone doesn’t have to.
7. What’s the one thing you can’t travel without?
My phone! Lol. A source of light like a torch light, really helpful
8. How do you pay for your travels?
I have multiple streams of income, most of my businesses are online. I financed this recent Ghana tour with the money I got from selling my puppies. You should do a lot of travelling when your responsibilities are small.


9. What is your favourite destination and why?
Western Region. Its beautiful and there is a lot to see and do (swim, surf, skate, forts, lighthouses, hotels, beaches) I like to tell people it’s a lifestyle destination…you can chill literally.
10. What are your top 5 travel tips?
• In Ghana, wear a skirt when travelling long distance; bathroom breaks might be in a not so covered place.
• When searching for ticket prices remember to do it in the private/incognito window or constantly clear cookies
• Get onto platforms like couchsurfing.com, hostelworld.com, tripavisor.com for cheaper easiertravel experience
• Take the necessary medication. In some countries it isn’t so easy to get off the counter drugs as you would think and sometimes language barriers. Picture demonstrating stomach upset to a French pharmacist and everyone guessing what you are trying to communicate.
• Keep your money in different places and have photocopies and emails of all-important documents
You can check out Nana Akosua on all social media platforms @akosuashirley!
                                                                                               
                                                                                                         Love, Neera.

TALK IS CHEAP.... By Sammi AB

7 October 2018



"TALK"... truly is cheap; there is a big difference in talking about doing something and actually
putting your words into action. When this year began, I am sure most of us had some New Year resolutions written down and we were so eager to achieve all of what we had written down; some of us must have started the year well and right only for us to crash along the way, because life hit us with some realities.  Don't be discouraged or beat yourself up, just pick yourself up and continue from where you left off.  We are in the month of October, we have 2 months until the year is totally over, so don't give up or throw in the towel just yet, you can still make it.

        Yesterday there was avery big UFC fight that went down, between  a very famous and loud-mouthed Irish boxer Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov; before this much anticipated boxing match, there was a lot of 'talk' from McGregor, the Irish man had a lot to say to the Russian-Muslim and  he even called his manager a 'terrorist'; he even offered Khabib alcohol one time knowing he is a Muslim who doesn't drink. If you are familiar with how boxing matches work, there is always a hype period where the boxers basically get their fans all fired up for the big day. There are lots of press conferences and also lots of 'talk'. But with this particular match had way too many disrespectful 'talk'. McGregor lost the match and was jumped by Khabib's camp after the boxing match; everyone seems to be upset with what happened to McGregor but they are refusing to see the fact that the two opponents are from very different cultures and backgrounds and some words when used can be taken as a personal attack on the person.  Khabib on the other hand spent less time getting his fans all wild up by being disrespectful to this opponent; he understood the task at hand and fully concentrated on getting his fans the win they need from him; Whiles Khabib was putting his words into 'action' McGregor was busily 'talking'.It is one thing to get your fans fired up for the match and its a whole different ball game when you get religion and cultural differences involved; if you 'disrespect' someone's religious beliefs and basically trash everything they believe in, you are asking for a personal attack from everyone who shares the same belief as the person you spoke against' especially if you are in the public eye. McGregor did all that talking and still lost to Khabib, maybe the story would have been different if he spent more time in the gym preparing for the match.
     Life doesn't get easier, we just get better at dealing with our mishaps. And it will get more easier if we spend more time doing what we can to get our lives in a good shape instead of just talking about what we should do and do nothing about it. Don't talk about going on a diet; Go on that diet.. just don't talk about loosing weight, get into a gym and get on the treadmill, you gotta start from somewhere, the process wouldn't be easy.. but slowly and steadily, you will get to where you have to be. Don't give up no matter how difficult and impossible it might seem or look. You got this, Less talking.... More doing!!! Talk really is Cheap.. Actions aren't.
                                                                                     xoxo,
                                                                                Sammi
 

Seven Steps To A Long Lasting Relationship |Akido Wijayarathne

6 October 2018





Forget what you’ve been hearing all your life about how relationships need “work”. Relationships don’t need “work.” It isn’t the Bar Exams or Rocket Science. What makes a relationship last and strengthen are key added values on each side.
I am bringing you seven steps to take your relationship from that level to the ultimate.

01) Trust.

I know you’ve been hearing it everywhere, well, they are right. Without trust between the two of you, let’s just say you could be two mismatching socks, or a stuck gear setup or an orange shirt worn with purple tights, a brutal clash. Where there is no trust, comes doubt. Where there is doubt, fear advances. Where there is fear, jealousy docks. Where there is jealousy, arguments converge.. Where there are arguments, over-the-top fighting and breakups approach. Where there are breakups, relationship land is barren. The metamorphosis is comically true.

02) Employer / Employee Rule

I’ve constantly noticed that relationships with this string tend to go south more often than not. There are no driver and passenger slots in a relationship. It’s a team effort with both of you pitching in, ranging from emotional availability to mutual respect to financial provisions to romantic involvement and everything in between. Avoid the “that is your job, not mine.”s and “He/She is supposed to do this”s. You aren’t in a legal contract,  the bat swings both ways.

03) Keeping Score

“He did that to me, now it’s my turn to give him a dose…..” Oh, no, honey, you are turning your head, waist and feet, very much the wrong way. The moment your relationship starts becoming a slave to a scorecard, the relationship starts becoming a game. But you see the catch in the relationship games, there are no winners and losers. Either you both win or you both loose. Each of you feast in the “dosage.” Unfortunate side effects of relationship revenge.

04) Garbage In, Garbage Out

Much like the computer talk, the rule works for your relationship. Bring crap to the table and you’ll walk away with crap. Crap comes in all sorts of baggage, constant complaining, dissatisfaction,  lasting arguments, ego, comparisons, the past. I can go on and on. Dish out what you are ready to receive. Stop and think for a second, “will I be okay with this if our roles were reversed?” If the answer is no, refrain from throwing it at your partner’s face.

05) Pride and Ego 

Sign a contract with pride and ego, my dear your relationship will become a court order, forced and tiring. Learn to say sorry regardless of whether you turn out to be correct or wrong. Bend your head, lie low and accept responsibility. At the end of the day, is it your partner that is more important to you or is it your mountain of pride? If you have an honest answer to the question, you’ll know where you stand.

06) Privacy.

Yes I know ladies probably like discussing everything from last night’s dream to the broken button on the red skirt to how good Gary was in bed. That’s where your gossip mill should make a stop. If Gary is more than your “special friend”, keep what happens between you two to yourself. Arguments doesn’t have to reach Miss I Am All Ears’ workstation, your future plans doesn’t have to be advertised on Facebook and his Bedroom Fuckup can be a private joke.
07) Communication.

Well communication is what lubricants are to metal works or cartilage to bones, to a relationship. There is no smooth run up hill without it. You are angry, she is upset, neither of you knows what is making each other grumpy. Always talk it out, come to a compromise, hear each other out. There are endless merits in terms of strength in a relationship where good communication drives the mill.

With much love,
Akido.

Get That Glow! | Anas Munira

2 October 2018

Don’t you just hate when you ask someone with beautiful skin their secret and they go Drink water and mind your business. Then you are like, Ok I probably drink more water than you but whatever. Well worry no more. Today we are talking about some of the things you can do to get clearer skin especially if you are dealing with hyper-pigmentation and dark spots.

First you need to find what works for you and build a regimen around that. Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining clear healthy skin. So don’t be afraid to try new products. Remember it may not have worked for the first person but it may work for you. 

Which brings me to the second point. Don’t be afraid to include chemicals. These days we all want to go organic which is all well and good. But organic products may not be your solution. Not all chemical products are harmful and sometimes to get rid of those spots you need them.

Once you find what works for you, you need to build a regimen. Again find what works for you. For some less works better, for others more works best. But generally, you need to cleanse, exfoliate, mask, tone and moisturize.
When picking products for your regimen, you need to consider ingredients geared towards solving your skin problems. 

For Cleansing and Toning, you need to focus on products that will take the dirt off and not further clog your pores. Also avoid products with alcohol as they tend to dry out the skin. 

When it comes to exfoliation, exfoliants with AHA(Alpha Hydroxy Acids) such as glycolic acids are good for dark spots.For acne-prone skin you can consider exfoliants with BHAs(Beta Hydroxy Acids) such as salicylic acid. Vitamin C also works amazing on hyperpigmentation. Masks are a great way to further nourish your skin. Whether it is drawing out toxins using clay masks or feeding your skin through hydrating masks, they are an excellent way to keep your skin healthy and radiant.

Lastly a very important part of skincare is moisturizing. With moisturizers, the key is to get products that actually give your skin the moisture it needs. You need to focus on products that hydrate your skin. And of course never forget your sunscreen. Your skin problems will not get better if you keep exposing your skin to even more damage.

At the end of the day, in order to get clear skin you need to identify what skin problem you have and then find a solution that works for you. With a vast number of options available nowadays, you just need to do your research and you will find something that caters to your needs.

INTENTIONAL SUICIDE? BY SAMUELLA A-BOATENG

30 September 2018

This blog post has been on my mind for sometime now, since Demi Lovato overdosed on Heroin  and had a near death experience. Drug Addiction is a Universal canker; it is no respecter of  person, it kills the rich, the poor, man, woman and even innocent children who come into this world through drug addicted parents.  According to statistics, in the year 2014, 14.5 million adults aged 26 or older battled with a drug related disorder in  the United States alone. So many of the celebrities we know and cherish so much are on a drugs and have had a couple of stints in a Rehab Center in the bid of getting clean but majority of them have a problem staying clean after Rehab. Drug Addiction can range from Marijuana, Cocaine and even prescription Medication.
    Why do people get addicted to drugs? Why do people even do drugs knowing it's bad for them? Believe it or not, Substance Abuse is genetic. Genetic Vulnerability is the first cause of substance abuse; Some people get on drugs because genetically their passed down the drug addiction trait to them, they dud even have the option to not do drugs, they were born with it, so at their first try of any drug they are most likely to become addicted. Culture attitudes can also attribute to drug addiction, the value a person attaches to drugs is strongly influenced by the community they find themselves in. Self Medication is also leads to addiction; most people addicted to prescription medications don't start of as addicts; they get addicted through self medication; thus taking more than the required dosage and then find themselves addicted.
       It is really sad to see great talents been lost to drugs. The war of drugs is not for the government and Anti-Drugs groups only we all have to be involved in the fight for drugs. When you see a family member, a friend or a loved one  taking pain pills when he or she doesn't need them, kindly make it a priority to help him or her put the pill bottle down. American pop culture recently lost one of it's icon to drug overdose.Mac Miller and American rapper and the ex boyfriend of Ariana Grande died from substance overdose. The whole country and world was shocked by his death; he was only 26 when he died; and he was a very talented and loved rapper. Whitney Houston who was world know died from drug overdose too, her daughter Bobbi Kristina died the same way her mum died and her best friend died a year later. That's what drugs does to families; Drugs destroys families, before you think doing drugs is cool and trendy; don't forget that it will destroy you too.

Difference between Conceit and Confidence | Akido Wijayarathne

25 September 2018

Young women are especially encouraged and urged to embrace confidence and wear it like a crown of jewels. Inspiring, soul-building posts all over social media, motivational speakers on platforms, inspiring books written and pamphlets distributed are all doing their work trying to build character and confidence. Confidence is good, it is better than good, it is great. But when it takes an extra step, it meets its evil step sister, Conceit. There is a very fine line between Confidence and Conceit. Let’s take a bird’s eye view on an evaluation of the two cousins to distinguish between them.

Confidence is belief in one’s self, coming from a deep place of security and self-perseverance. Conceit on the other hand is poison seeping through the veins as a result of acknowledged or defied insecurity that brings exaggerated self-absorption and boastfulness onto the surface.


Let’s look through some common manners of confident and conceited people.

01) Attitude
Confidence is knowledge by experience that one is excellent at a particular task. He/She does not mark themselves above their peers but allocates equality all around. They work towards building other people rather than looking down upon them. Conceit does the opposite unfortunately. They have a self-justified view about their status over other people, “I am better than them.” They have no other party supporting their opinion of being superior. They work towards putting their audience down in order to make themselves feel better.

02) Accepting Compliments.
A confident person is humble and down to earth hence a polite, “thank you” accompanied by a smile is the answer to a compliment from him/her. A conceited person has a constant need to establish himself/herself as fitter than the rest. Commonly, their reply would be an “I know.”

03) Welcome constructive criticism
Confidence isn’t some loosely bonded ties strung together on paper. It has strong holds. Therefore confidence embraces criticism with open arms for it helps them to grow and avoid making mistakes. Conceit shuns criticism for their image constructed on false hypes threatens to shatter at the slightest remark that doesn’t go their way.

04) Accepting Blame
Confidence doesn’t shy away at the monument of admitting to a mistake and accept when they are wrong. They publicly acknowledge their blunders and work towards rectification. Conceit has a way of always being right and refusing to accept that they are ever wrong. Their egos are at their prime when it comes to owning up to a flaw. They expect the world to award them a perfection trophy.

05) Tone towards peers
Confidence allows an ear for all opinions, and doesn’t the need to make himself /herself heard over others, waiting for his/her turn patiently. Conceit on the hand, of course with his/her illusion that everyone else’s opinions do not matter, tries his/her best to scoff at and undermine other’s speech.

06) Praise of others
Confident people do not fear competition. They rather value it and enjoys the well being of a fellow mate. They encourages, uplifts and lends a hand to anyone in need. Conceits devote their time into singing blame and deconstructive criticism. They find fault in everyone at hand.

While a confident person is a breath of fresh air into a house, a conceited person is a nauseating vibe, intolerable and exhausting to be around. Know the difference between them to avoid being a victim of the latter.

With love,
Akido.



Ten Hacks To Nail Interviews | Akido Wijayarathne

15 September 2018


Interviews are tricky. You felt you delivered your best, the bald interviewer on the corner seat even smiled at you, your guts told you, it was certain that you had it in the bag, but when you do your follow up call after a long pondering await, your hear a crisp, snotty female voice on the other side saying, “I’m sorry ma'am, that position has been filled. Thanks for calling us and we’ll keep you in mind if any other slot opens up. Good day.” At that moment, you start doubting your religion, your educational qualifications, your family who supported you and worst of all, yourself. Now, we are here to present you with a set of tested, approved and implemented guidelines to rid you of all hesitancy and smash that Interview.

01) Do the homework on the company.

There is nothing more dissatisfying for an interviewer than meeting with a “clueless about us” respondent. “So do you have an idea on what our company does” is almost a requisite question and stuttering with the answer scores you no brownie points. Being familiar with the company’s work, policies and relations portrays an image of enthusiasm, earnestness and worthiness.

02) Greetings done right.

Most companies operate on client dealings. A prospective employee is judged on his charm at first impressions. Greetings and the luster at the starting can make a lasting impression on a looking employer. A polite and clear good morning or afternoon, depending on the time of the day of course, a round of three pump business handshakes and a smile, mind you not a berth, should do the trick for you.

03) Body language in your seat.

The seat requires a poised, eager but not a thirsty nor cocky candidate. Avoid leaning back and looking at home on the chair to ward off an air of arrogance and egotism while taking care not to lean forward that has telltale signs of nervousness. Sit straight back up and cross your legs at the ankles instead of at the knees to maintain a healthy posture with your hands clasped gently on your lap.

04) Bringing along of a document folder or an iPad

Market yourself without selling yourself. The folder or the pad on the desk shows off legibility of the candidacy, back up materials to support your CV. The iPad perhaps can carry along a short presentation which even if is not asked for can make a decent prop. A collection of previous work in the form of a portfolio, necessary government issued paperwork if you are on a visa, recommendation letters from previous employers and some records of valuable achievements is advised to be the contents of the folder.



05) Answering of questions.

Leave the inner story teller in you at home. Keep your answers upto point as well as upto date, short, informative and delivering. Relax and speak without a haste or stumbles. Where required, support your statements with any encouraging documents.

06) Asking of questions

Your online research probably do not cover the in-depth knowledge of operations needed for your job description. It is not rude to ask about the company dealings and affairs in order to educate yourself. Doing so thus, earns you a spot in the short listed candidates.

07) Maintenance of eye-contact

Looking down at your hands, the table , the giant wall clock behind the interviewer’s head, the dog chasing his tail outside the window or anywhere else but at the interviewer’s eyes is a mistake. Eye contact exhibits confidence, assurance and trust. Obviously a piercing stare is far from advised.

08) Tone of the voice
Maintain a voice of calmness and self-assurance with no overbearing tones and overpowering vibes. Conserve a clear, intelligible voice that is not punctuated with loudness or pitching. A confident and knowledgeable voice adorned in the right grammar, vocabulary and pronounciation is sexy to the ears of the beholder.

09) Dress the part.

Yup, power dressing is a thing. Your attire can make that much of a difference between wannabe and established man. Don’t be stingy to splurge on a good business suit or a fitting dress and some killer shoes. Impressing the panel starts the moment you walk in through the doors.



10) Be impressive

It comes down to your knowledge and charm, your wit and your grit. Let them feel the key added values in your resume, “self-motivated, high achiever, risk taker” take flight into reality by your speech. Let your brains speak out and enthrall the panel with your wisdom.
And that concludes our top ten interview hacks. Interviews could be as plain as any verbal test during your time in school if the code is cracked successfully.

Good luck and go nail it.

Lemme know about your experiences in the comments below 👇.

Love, Akido. 💖



Let’s Talk Suicide | Anas Munira

11 September 2018


September is World Suicide Prevention Month and Yesterday marked the World Suicide Prevention Day and one may wonder can we really prevent suicide. I mean the statistics are bleak. According to the World Health Organization, close to 800,000 people die by suicide each year and about 17% of the world’s population have contemplated suicide. The statistics go on...Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. For every teen or older adult who takes his or her own life, 100-200 of their peers attempts suicide.
This year the theme for the day was Working Together to Prevent Suicide and with such statistics, one can’t help but ask, is there anything we can do, can we even prevent it? I like to think we can
Majority of suicides are preceded by warning signs. It is important that we educate ourselves on these signs and how to be of help when we notice such signs.
Some warning signs include:
The person talking about killing themselves
Feelings of hopelessness
Having no reason or will to live
Increased use of alcohol or drugs
Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
Withdrawing from activities
Isolating themselves from family and friends
Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
Giving away prized possessions

The first thing we can do is talk about it. Talking about suicide hardly encourages an already suicidal person. Although it may be a difficult, it is important that we discuss it openly to allow people rethink their decisions.
Also we need to note that being suicidal is a sign of deep unhappiness and this isn’t always as a result of a mental health disorder. It is important that we take all talks of suicide of seriously even if the person is not suffering from any mental health disorder. 
We need to be very intentional about the words we use when talking to someone contemplating suicide. They should be our only concern. Talking about the pain they will pass on to others isn’t going to do any good. Instead we should focus on them and the pain they are going through.

Next,offer your help. More often than not, in addition to professional help suicidal feelings passes with the right social support. We should aim to be kind and listen without judgement and invalidating their feelings.You may not understand what they are going through and that is ok, you 
do not need to. You only have to listen, show empathy and not make moral judements. What most people need is a listening ear and encouragement to go on living.

The last thing is to always know that it is never your fault or that of the person who commits suicide. The feelings that drive a person to commit suicide may not always make sense to us but it is never a choice. Most people see it as the only way out and a way to be less of a burden to their loved ones. And if you are unable to prevent it, it is important that you do not blame yourself. Remember to always encourage people with suicidal ideation to seek professional help. 
                                                                                 
                                                                                 Love, Neera.

WHAT'S SOCIAL MEDIA? BY: SAMUELLA AMOAKO-BOATENG

9 September 2018



A lot of us have social media accounts which we use on a daily basis for different reasons; we can all agree on the fact that having a social media account means different things to different people. To some the use of social media could be for entertainment purposes, to some it could be for financial purposes and to some it could be to gain the attention they crave so much or lack. We can all attest the fact that most of us abuse social media and don't use it for the purposes the app developers intended it to be used for. Social Media accounts were created for people to network socially; this is great because we have to stay in touch with our loved ones one way or the other. We keep in touch with our loved ones through their Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram feeds and Updates. But one might ask are we really in touch with our loved ones through social media or we are just curious about their lives. We can all agree to the fact that what we see on social media isn't a true testament to peoples' lives; I am not saying all posts on social media is Fake but it has been been proven to be far from the truth. There have been instances where by people with "4,000 likes" on their Instagram pictures have ended up committing suicide because they were depressed. I used to ask myself;  How could you feel alone after '4,000' people basically showed you they agree with your lifestyle and consider it a way to live. But day in and day out; I learn that 'Likes and Loves' means nothing to a depressed person. Instead of 'Likes' pick a phone and call the person to check up on them; a smile on Social Media doesn't necessarily mean the person is happy in real life. Your phone call could save a life.
   Social Media, even though it was created for 'Social Networking' has been used as an outlet for unnecessary and unhealthy competition; everyone wants  to be seen as 'doing well' on their social media accounts and aren't bothered about how their 'real life' looks as long as their social media accounts makes them  'look good' and their 'followers' consider their non-existent life as goals. A couple in an abusive relationship could be having their worst fight of their relationship and will still 'pose for the gram' and not even bother to rectify their situation and set it straight. They feel a need to be the picture perfect couple and 'goals' until one ends up murdered. Most of the social media influencers as they call themselves have been called out on their 'fake lives' one too many times. You hear of how some influencers borrow the clothes and shoes they are seen posing with in their social media pictures; why go through all that hustle just for a like? It's different if these 'influencers' are making money from posting their pictures. We have some celebrities  like Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Kim K, Kylie Jenner, et.al who are actually paid to post on their social media; but the gag is these people had Fame before Social Media.


   We also have the ones who feel the need to put all of their private business 'Social Media'  it makes you wonder if they don't understand the use of social media or they just want attention or sympathy. There was once a story going around about how someone who was offered a NASA internship lost that opportunity after the person exchanged words with a member of the Board of Directors of NASA after he corrected the person on their use of language on social media. We can all agree to the fact that the inadequate use of social media has caused more harm than good. It is great to have social media, it is a great tool, but it can also be deadly, use it 'WISELY' to avoid any mishaps.
   Having a Social Media Account can be a very powerful tool to have, but don't let it influence you negatively. Most corporations make it a point to check frequently on the social media accounts of their employees because their employees represent their  companies, don't be one of the people who lost a good opportunity due to what they posted on their social.  Don't be part of the Fake Life on Social  Media crew, trust me we all don't believe your Lifestyle is that great. Don't be so addicted to social media you lose out on 'Real Life' either. Being a 'Social Media' bully or troll isn't 'cute' you are just a miserable person altogether; calling that person a name on social media wouldn't change the fact that you are a  miserable person and you  wouldn't feel any better until you change your ways and seek therapy where necessary. Use Social Media Wisely and Purposefully and you will see your  life 'Flourish'. Let's get talking.. 'What's Social Media'?

10 Steps To Modern Etiquette | Akido Wijayarathne

7 September 2018



Etiquette in less fancier terms is most of what your mom had been screaming in your ear almost all through your childhood and teenage years, “Don’t talk with food in your mouth. Don’t stick around when adults are speaking. Stand up when an elderly person addresses you…….” In short etiquette is the code of conduct, polite and acceptable behaviour or simply, good manners. We’ve assembled a list of adult etiquette rules to make you appear more gentlemanly and lady like.

01) If it is evident that you won’t arrive at the promised time to a meeting, a date or a meet-up, text or call the relevant parties involved with an apology, reason for delay and the expected approximated time for arrival on the venue.

02) Avoid arriving at a doorstep empty handed unless it is a business meeting. All personal houseguests are presumed to turn up with a gift, food, glassware, a plant or otherwise. If invited to a dinner, a bottle of wine or dessert presented is more appropriate.

03) Abstain from breaking up with a significant other via text messages or social media. It is a highly insensitive, cowardly and a much detested form of conduct. Respect the substance of the relationship to openly end it.

04) Ladies are in the fashion of lulling their handbags on their lap through a meal at a restaurant. Instead place the handbag by the side of the chair leaving yourself free to enjoy the company and the cuisine. It’s exceedingly unlikely that the bag gets stolen at an elaborate restaurant.

05) Step out legs first out of the car, going in with the leg by the door first. This allows you to carry yourself out elegant and poised instead of looking like a disheveled fumbling mass.

06) Do not, not attend a function after an RSVP to the host. The event takes place on a budget and it is financially distressing to the entertainer to have people on the list absent especially if a plus one had been added.



07) Make it a point to mail in a hand written thank you note once received a present to the sender at a wedding, a birthday, Christmas, baby shower or any other gift giving celebration. Appreciation and gratitude is made visible through this gesture.

08) Never drop by a house or any resendential quaters unannounced. A confirmation call inquiring the availability and convenience of the occupant is much advised.

09) A substantial tip of the standard 20% of the check left to the waiter or waitress is the common approach unless signalled that the tip is included in the bill. Most waiters’ wages depends on the tips collected for the night and it isn’t decent not rewarding a helpful service.

10) Evade the whipping out of phones to answer text messages coming in during a conversation. The other party may feel left out, unheard and insignificant. Excuse yourself incase of an incoming expected important call.

Etiquette isn’t a rule book established to make people’s lives harder. It lives rather to influence your and your peers lives much more pertinently. Etiquette is common sense on what hurts you and how others could be hurt by you.



I'd love to hear from you about your fav code of conduct. 
Connect in the comments below 👇
Loads of love, Akido 💖


The Evolution of Natural Hair | Lawrencia Amfo-Asiedu

6 September 2018


Growing up as a young Black girl, I constantly saw images of beautiful girls with long, straight hair. The misconception was in order to have desirable hair, it had to be bone straight and long. The indoctrination of believing straight hair was far better and signified beauty. From TV programmes, adverts and in the school playground ‘being different’ was rather complex. Beauty was categorised as having a lighter skin tone and straighter hair was the ideal. I rarely saw images of natural hair represented in the media, yearning for straight hair I vividly remember putting t-shirts on my head and swinging it from side to side pretending I had long beautiful hair such as Disney characters we adored like Rapunzel or Jasmine from Aladdin. As hilarious as it sounds, it is horrifying to think now why I believed or was made to believe my own hair was not seen as worthy or pretty. It was more than hair, this was me questioning my identity as a child in a world where your looks are heavily scrutinized. It was the year of 1996 when Spice girls hit the music scene with their infectious song ‘wanabe’. Finally, there was a Brown girl with a full head of glorious curls that was sometimes teased out in an Afro. Better known as Mel B (Scary Spice) finally a racially ambiguous young woman who was neither Black or White however possessed ‘Black hair’ unlike her other female counterparts in the girl band. Someone we could claim and represented ‘us’.

My own hair journey has been a rather interesting one, I cannot remember when exactly my hair was relaxed but I do believe it was at a tender age. An age where I could not decide for myself, the relaxer would irritate my scalp and leave me with burns however I adored the outcome. The thought of finally having straight hair like the girls in the school playground so I could swing my shoulder length hair from side to side and it moved when the wind blew. Growing up, I had a full head of thick hair however I felt my mother did not really know how to maintain it and felt an alternative style would be much easier and less time consuming than dealing with my natural hair. It was perceived as a hassle, getting a relaxer was an easier option. At the time, the popular TV show ‘Sister Sister” which featured the identical twins Tia and Tamera, the mixed-race twins had such divine, luscious Jet-Black curls then suddenly a few episodes later they had long straight hair. I remember my mum enthusiastically telling me once ‘when you relax your hair it will be like sister sister’. Again, reinforcing that straighter longer hair was deemed as prettier.



Fast forward to a number of years later, a majority of Black and Mixed race women have transitioned back to natural hair or have done the big chop. Some have called it a ‘movement’, relaxer sales were slowly declining and women became tired of the ‘creamy crack’. The false ideology of Eurocentric features that was once seen as attractive for so long was becoming a distant memory. More women are shifting from relaxed tresses to their natural hair which was once considered as ‘unruly or nappy’. I personally decided to transition in 2016 and big chopped last year, I have not looked back since. Currently enjoying every inch of my fro and every kink and curl. To be frank I wish I had transitioned a long time ago.

We are living in a time of transformation and major discovery with a plethora of products catering for Black and Mixed race women. Youtubers catering for natural hair and inspiring women to go natural. Products such as Cantu, Shea Moisture, Aunty Jackie’s and a million others have made it easier for women of colour, gone are the days were being natural was not always pleasant with our mothers struggling to define our hair types and using combs to ferociously part our hair in sections just to achieve the desired style.



With celebrities opting to display their natural hair such as Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union and Lupita N’yongo. Recently, I have come across a number of billboard advertisements with women with natural hair to think this was non-existent only ten years ago. As the rest of the world is starting to pay attention to natural hair and come to terms with it, I spoke to six different women to discuss their natural hair journey and the evolution of natural hair over the years.
Enjoy!



What Makes You Happy? | Anas Munira

What makes you happy?
We live in a fast paced world where we are constantly moving, I wonder
Do we ever stop to ask ourselves this question?
We go through life more often than not doing what we are supposed to and what others expect of us
Do we ever think to do what we want?
What makes us happy
What makes us excited to wake up
For us to do that we have to know what brings us joy
We have to know what excites us
What makes us look forward to the next morning
Today let’s all pause and answer this question
There’s no right or wrong answer
For some it could be cheese 
For others it could be their jobs
Some people derive happiness from helping others
Yet others derive happiness from simply breathing
We all have different journeys that reflect our happiness

Whatever it is, it is important that you acknowledge it and always go back to it when life gets exhausting.
                                                         
                                                        Love, Neera.

LIMELIGHT: TABITHA TONGOI, FOUNDER OF CRAVING YELLOW | ANAS MUNIRA

28 August 2018

Social media came into our lives and arguably changed it forever. Some would say it's a double-edged sword, well this week's limelight feature seems to have found a balance. Meet Tabitha, Founder of Craving Yellow, a natural hair enthusiast, blogger and entrepreneur.



1. Who is Tabitha and what is Craving Yellow?
Just as in your lovely introduction, I am a blogger, natural hair enthusiast and entrepreneur.
Well, why yellow? Yellow to me is love and sunshine! Craving Yellow began as a blog and most recently morphed into an entrepreneurial venture offers natural hair enthusiasts a range of products best suited for their hair.

2. Did you start out purposefully creating a brand or it's just something that came along the way?
Hehehe not at all! In fact when I began, the blog was a way for me to connect with the world during my time in abroad. Life abroad was quite lonely but the blog helped me connect with the world!
When I made the decision to return home, I explored the idea of creating a subscription box suited for all naturalistas. I took the leap and the results were greater than expected! I'm connecting with my readers in a new way and loving my entrepreneurial journey.


3. What makes you excited to do what you do every day?
The fact that I can help women at home and around the world restore their confidence in wearing out their natural hair and being who they were made to be with no apologies! It warms my heart that my hair journey has inspired young women not just in regards to their hair but also their personal lives. I enjoy interacting with my online community and I always tell my team, Craving Yellow is a relatable brand and because of this, we're here to not only listen to your hair needs but to your personal ones as well!
4. It seems that being a blogger or a social media influencer is the in thing right now, what advice would you give to up and coming bloggers?
What has really helped me stay in tune and focused is staying grounded, particularly in today's harsh social media world. There are so many bloggers out there speaking the same language, but what makes you different? What about you stands out? Stick to that and with time you'll carve out a niche brand for yourself.


5. Being any kind of entrepreneur means working from home sometimes and on your own terms, How do you structure your days to ensure that work gets done?
Time management is key for me. I'm up by 4:30 AM everyday and this gives me ample time to plan my day. I ensure everything I need to do is written out on paper and set aside time to complete my tasks. I then recap at the end of the day to see what worked and what didn't.


6. What has been some of your wow moments so far?
Hehehe that's a tough one! A lot of amazing things have happened in this past year that I've been home. But being back home has been a wow moment in itself! The fear I had coming back has turned into so much hope for the future! So many good things have come from being home! I've reconnected with friends and family and began to build my business. I couldn't be happier!


7. Do you have any plans of going back to the corporate world?
Hehehe I actually have been working for the most part of since I returned back home! I hadn't set my mind on this when I left Australia but once I was back, I thought, why not give it a shot?


8. Would you consider moving again and what country would it be?
I'm always open to new opportunities and if it arises why not? Although, I am looking to settle at home for a while and grow and rekindle old relationships. However, I would love to live in Rwanda! Funny as it sounds, it's a lovely country and I believe there's so much opportunity with its fast growing economy!


9. What's next for Craving Yellow?
Maybe I should start by taking you through what we offer as Craving Yellow. We have 4 products namely; the Craving Yellow Box, Craving Yellow Shampoo Bar, Craving Yellow Satin Bonnet and Craving Yellow Vanilla Buttah. The Craving Yellow Box is a subscription box that contains a selection of products with carefully hand-picked products both locally made products and international products that will help any naturalista either kick-start their journey or create and maintain a hair regimen. This is just the beginning-my team and I are still planning to expand our product portfolio.


10. What would you want Craving Yellow to mean to everyone who comes across the brand?
Firstly, I'd like for them to remember that Craving Yellow is love and sunshine! My platforms are a place for us to interact - whether to et answers to their personal and hair care needs or simply bond as online friends!




You can check out Tabitha on all social media platforms: @cravingyellow and visit her website : www.cravingyellow.com


  

THE TRUTH ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: THE ANDREA GRINAGE STORY | Anas Munira

24 August 2018





By now I’m sure most of us are familiar with Andrea’s story. I’m also sure most of us have gone from sad to enraged at the lack of justice. We’ve all probably questioned why people stay in abusive relationships, didn’t they see it coming? And some will even ask what she did to deserve being burnt alive. Well I’m here to tell you it doesn’t matter what Andrea did or didn’t do. Nobody deserves to go through what she did. It doesn’t matter whether or not there were red flags and if she ignored them or not. What matters is what he did. What matters is the justice she deserves and what matters is that we need to do better as a society.


See for so long we’ve blamed the victim. Stories of abuse are hardly ever about what the perpetrator did and mostly about the victim. The comments are usually about what she could have done and what she shouldn’t have done. Well not today! Today we are not going to tell Andrea how she could have prevented this because even a restraining order didn’t save her. Instead we are going to talk about Phillip and how to have less Phillips in the world. Let’s discuss how not to become an abuser instead of how not to become a victim because clearly adhering to the latter doesn’t work anyway.


Abuse happens when people are raised to be entitled. When you live in a world where you are taught you own everything, you begin to think you actually do. More often not the violence perpetrated is because the abuser wants something they are not entitled to. And when they can’t have it, they take it anyway usually with force. Be it love, attention or whatever, they feel as though they must have it and can’t fathom why they don’t.


Instead of teaching people to notice signs of an abuser, let’s teach people to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Let’s raise less narcissistic children and more sensitive children who grow up to treat others with respect and kindness. Unfortunately there are a lot of Andreas and while we fight for her to get the justice she deserves, let us also strive to have a world where there are a lot less Andreas. For that to happen, we all need to do and be better.

BATTERED JUSTICE- THE ANDREA GRINAGE'S STORY BY SAMUELLA AMOAKO-BOATENG

22 August 2018


If you are an avid reader  of this blog, you should be familiar with this story; we can all agree it is a very sad story and no one should have to go through that horrific experience, but our sister Andrea Grianage lived this and has to live the rest of her life with that horrific memory of being burned alive by her supposed fiance'.  She and her unborn child were set on fire by a man who was to love them and protect them. As scary and unfathomable this sounds. that's someone's life story.. an unborn child who was as innocent as she could be went through an abuse she had nothing to do with; she and her mother didn't deserve that abuse. But the question here is Who really battered Andrea Grinage and her Unborn Innocent Child? The Justice System or Laquinn Phillips her fiance'.
  Mr. Phillips her fiance is currently going to be let out of jail whiles they wait on a DNA test which would be used for the trial in December; I perfectly understand the judge has to go by the law and Mr. Phillips rights as a human being cannot be infringed upon; thus he cannot be held in jail until the DNA results is in, but I know and believe there can be an exception to every rule.  Putting Mr. Phillips under house arrest can be compared to him being given a meal ticket to finish what he started. This is a man who had no ill-feeling about setting his lover and the mother of his unborn child on fire, not only did she set her on fire; she left her for dead.. Mr. Phillips commited a crime and had every intention to  murder the mother and her unborn baby and he gets to be 'free' and gets to maybe finish what he started; Where is the Justice? Is this the Justice System's way of saying they don't care about Black Women or Black-on-Black crime?
    You might argue that not everything is about race; yes we know that but I am just wondering if the story will be different if the woman here is a 'caucasian' or of 'white' ancestry? If it was a 'caucasian' woman being set on fire by her 'black' fiance, will he get an ankle bracelet till DNA results come in or will he be held without bail until trial?  Where is the Child Protective Service (CPS) when you need them, well a 7 months fetus is considered a human being, so if  the justice system doesn't seem to be bothered by a lover's quarrel gone wrong, what about justice for the innocent child whose crime was the channel( Andrea Grianage) through which she was coming into this world. This little human deserves justice, this child deserves protection and for her sake Mr. Phillips cannot be let out of jail. The child's right to live was being taken away from her by a man who was to love and protect her from the cruelty in this world and no one see anything wrong with that? I do understand the law has to fully take it's course but isn't giving Mr. Phillips who deliberately set a mother and baby on fire  the  opportunity to come home and await trial under house arrest  abit too much?
    So are we waiting to see a Rest in Peace before we 'do something'? What makes you think someone who tried to murder a mother and her unborn child cannot do it a second time? Andrea Grinage survived this horrific attack because she is a strong woman and a survivor; the first attack was to kill her. Is the Justice System giving Mr. Phillips and opportunity to complete his task? Can an exception be  made in this case or Is the Justice System simply not really bothered by 'Black-on Black' crimes. A mother has to live with the horrific memory of how a man she once loved, left her to die from being set on fire with her unborn child, she has a 70 percent burn on her body to constantly  remind her of how she was hard to love and protect both by her fiance and the Justice System whose role is to protect the vulnerable. A pregnant and vulnerable woman was set on fire and thus forced into labor two months early and the culprit gets to walk on the streets with an ankle bracelet and a phone in his mother's house to monitor him. Tell me how despicable this sounds; is this what is left of the American Justice system? An Attempted Murderer gets to walk on the streets whiles a mother deals with her scars and heart break and it is considered okay because we are waiting on a DNA test?
     Who would have thought a human's right to live and enjoy her life is that 'cheap', all one get is an ankle bracelet for attempted murder of a mother and unborn child whiles DNA results are being waited on. Hmmmmm that's very interesting and absolutely disgusting  I believe the 70 percent body burn on Andrea's body is enough evidence to keep Mr. Phillips in jail until trial; the early birth of the child due to the much disturbing emotional and physical trauma the mother went through should be enough to hold Mr. Phillips; I am no lawyer or legal guru but I do know the safety of the mother and child should be top priority, but apparently it doesn't seem like it is. I am not telling the Judge or any legal team how to do their job, but all I am saying is letting Mr. Phillips out under  house arrest whiles he awaits trial isn't the most brilliant thing to do, we can't wait till the mother and child are attacked a second time before we says our 'could, woulda, shouldas' let's do something now to prevent another attack. Andrea Grinage will never be safe as long as Mr. Phillips is home on house arrest, This woman  and her child have  been betrayed by their  lover  and father, can the Justice system please not betray them too? Can any evidence in custody be used to hold him in jail until the trial? The Justice System should not fail Andrea Grinage and her child they have been punished enough; with the development of this story so far, if you ask me I will say Andrea Grinage has been battered by both her lover and the justice system; and yes the Black Woman is the most unprotected and underappreciated  woman in America. And to my fellow women. Domestic Violence is not Love, Flee from it and Protect yourself and your children, your lover and Justice System could fail you... Protect Yourself!!!!

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