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,

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.


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, 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.

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.

Latest Instagrams

© Curls Aunaturel. Design by Fearne.