I probably shouldn’t write about this right? But I thought since I am working on being intentional and wanting to share my highlights with you, I might as well.

This is my view of one of my favourite restaurants and I will tell you why.

The highlight for me is going in for not just a bite of their peri-peri grilled chicken but also drizzle the peri tamer (kids) sauce on virtually every order I make in the restaurant. By now you know I am referring to Nandos.

Here are my top 3 reasons for referring to it as one of my favourite dining locations:

  • I like the synergy I get when I come into the restaurant. I usually love a private space when I go to restaurants but with Nando’s, I feel like I already belong there- the sound of music brings everything together for me.
  • Atmosphere: following up from the top list, Nando’s have this feel of Africanness to it. Aside the music that draws you in, the ambience of the place reminds me of the beauty of Africa and so many memories of my grand mother’s kitchen in terms of the wooden artefacts and flowers that form the ornamentals of the place.
  • Another interesting thing I like about Nando’s is their loyalty card. I believe this draws customers to them. I like that they reward their customers with this loyalty card and also share a secret recipe with them. For example, I enjoy going to have their peri tamer alongside the extra hot spice even though peri tamer is listed in the kid’s menu. You should try it.
  • Lastly and I believe is the most important- the Chicken. One time I asked a question on my Instagram story asking my followers to guess where I was. One of the responses that caught my attention was this: “I see Chicken and you are Nigerian = Nando’s”. As funny as it sounds, it is a reminder to me that Nando’s chicken is awesome. The Extra hot peri-peri sauce constantly drives me to the nearest restaurant. I remember during my undergraduate days, I craved so much for a Nando’s chicken I didn’t know when I found myself in the restaurant ordering a takeaway. That’s how much I love their chicken and partly because they do not undermine their quality and service considering how long they have been running for.

  That’s it – my top reasons for ticking Nando’s amongst my top dining location.

What is your favourite dining location?

I know this is a little late but there is a saying that goes ‘better late than never’. right?

At work yesterday, a message popped on my phone and it was basically for me to share a caption about international women’s day. It then dawned on me what day it was 08/03/19- International Women’s day.

A day to celebrate the female gender in their unique fields and their contributions all over the world regardless of their position- whether you are a CEO or a mom you are celebrated.

I was drawn by a quote written by an actor, Amitabh Bachchan on women and it says  “because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom”– what profound words. Invariably reminding us women of our individuality, our ability to be powerful in ourselves and make decisions on our own without waiting on someone else.

Today I take the opportunity to remind the woman reading this of how special she is. I need you to know that you are valued and respected. You have a voice as such deserve to be heard.

Above all, you are loved.

So still in the spirit of celebration, Happy International Women’s day.

Growing up I was taught to save and I did this by putting money (either the ones gifted to me on my birthday or by my parents) in a wood box built by the local carpenter. It was an exciting time for me as I get to put every naira or kobo in the box. What’s more exciting was, I could also include notes in the ‘safe’ or ‘Kolo’ as it was locally called in Nigeria.

My favourite moment is when I have to go withdraw cash from my ‘safe’ either to give my mum to get something for me or go to the shop to buy sweets for myself. I did this with a lot of excitement, sometimes desperation and anger on my face if my broomstick refuses to pick out the notes I want or picks nothing at all. Those days, when I look through the safe hole, I get excited at the green and red notes (N10/N20- 10/20Naira)staring back at me as back then, these notes were a lot of money and I could get new stuff for school or simply treat myself.

When I got a little older, I was gifted with a beautiful piggy bank with a lock. Oh how I cherished it. I kept it safe and wouldn’t let anyone touch it. By now I have mastered the art of saving and understood the need to invest.  Understanding this was priceless.

I remember travelling out of the country less than a year after I got gifted with my fancy piggy bank and had to part ways with it. That was one sad day for me- I had to give out this gift. According to my aunt, I wouldn’t need it in the country I am travelling to and since she needed something to remember me by, the bank came in handy. As painful as it was, I unlocked the bank, removed my money ( of course I had to )and gave her my little piggy bank.

Here is a very close sample of my fancy piggy bank. Mine was a square shape

Now as an adult, even though I have a bank account, I still find myself going shopping for a piggy bank to drop my 1p,50p, £1 and every change I can gather because I am sure, a time would come when I need to cash out. I remember having a chat with my friend last week and I said, rather than getting rid of my 10 and 5p’s, I will keep them in my piggy bank (I no longer call it safe)  and that will sort out the shopping bags and 17p water as you know in the UK, you no longer get shopping bags for free, you now pay for your bags when you go shopping in most supermarkets and if you haven’t got a 5 pence to complete your purchase, you won’t go out with it. Now see why every penny counts.

Here is my little piggy bank.

Another thing I do when it comes to saving is to randomly put cash in any of my bags. According to my mum, having spare cash at home helps for rainy days. Let me share this story.

One time during my undergrad, I travelled to a different city on holiday on my return, the taxi driver didn’t have change and it was a Sunday so shops were closed and I didn’t want to walk to the cash machine. Luckily, I remembered I had some cash and I paid him off. What my mum said was exactly true as having cash to lay aside saved the situation.

Another example was when I went to a restaurant in January this year. I opened my bag and saw the extra money I had randomly left. When it was time to pay, I realised the money i brought initially wasn’t enough. Rather than paying with my card, my random note paid off. Indeed laying money aside helps save for rainy days.

What are you into, do you still save with a piggy bank or do you randomly put cash away?

Let me know from the list mentioned what method you prefer to use when it comes to saving those notes and pennies or would you rather put all in the bank?

Now get your favourite drink with you as you are about to read one interesting story you hardly hear me talk about.

For some who aren’t aware, I was born in Nigeria. Back in the days, we had this child star make waves in the entertainment industry in Nigeria with her hit song ‘Osemudiamen” pronounced Ose-Mu-Di-A-Me and this is where the story of me being deceived comes into play.

When the hit ‘Osemudiamen’ by the young ‘Benita came on, the kids in the street, including myself and my neighbours were in love with the song. We will sing to it every time and our favourite moment was when it comes up on our television screen as we loved to watch Benita perform. As I come from a different tribe from Benita, I obviously didn’t know the lyrics to the song but I ‘chew’ my mouth in tune anyway.

My big sister knew how much I loved Benita and longed to see her so she capitalised on this and then one day, together with our neighbours who were twin sisters, conspired [yes! I say conspire because she knew I love to go to bed early and wouldn’t stay up late at night with them so it was indeed].  to lie to me so I could stay up longer rather than go to bed the usual time I did.

Back to my story.

So my sister conspired with the twins to lie that Benita came visiting with her parents and when I wake up in the morning, this is how the conversation goes:

My Sis: Ah!! Nne, you missed o

By the way; ‘O or Ah’ are a few among many Nigerian clichés we incorporate in our everyday conversation. I mean you hear people speak to their bosses at work or lecturers in universities like “Ah, excuse me sir  I can’t handle this course o” lol.

Come to think of it, if you haven’t included ah, o, abi, shebi in your conversation (Especially with your fellow Nigerian), are you truly Nigerian? **Food for Thought**

Again back to my story, apologies, getting distracted.

When she says that to me in the morning, me with the sleepy eye and hungry tummy, trying to find food to eat ignorantly replied ”

ME:  What happened?’

MY SIS: Benita came here yesterday

ME: It’s a LIE!!

MY SIS:  Ok, then, ask the twins

On hearing ‘ask the twins’ my eyes  will lit up and I screamed like:

ME: ‘Oh my God!! why didn’t you wake me? *Already on the verge of tears *

MY SIS: I was trying to wake you but you refused. You said I should leave you alone so we (Herself, the twins and Benita) ate puff puff and she sang her song to us”

*Puff Puff is a Nigeria snack.

I would be so upset and I’d run to the twins. Their story was always the same. So I pleaded with them saying

ME: Please, when next she comes, wake me up

TWINS: Don’t worry, she (Benita) said she will come today, we will try waking you up

On the night of Benita supposed arrival,  I stayed up, fighting sleep until nature eventually called and I gave in. This continued until I figured they were playing tricks on me but we laughed it off. I stopped being gullible.

Now reflecting on this, I decided I will make my nephew and niece pay for their mum’s shenanigans by making them stay up late. Or would I? Since I really want to be their favourite auntie. I guess they won’t have to pay for their mama’s sin.

Moral of the story???

Why not tell me what you deduced from this story yourself?

Till I write to you again, enjoy reading and enjoy the video below.

Yayyyy Valentine is eventually here. February 14th. A day that holds so much and changed my life. That story is for another day.
So it’s valentines day tomorrow. I hope you were able to get your spouse or loved one a special gift from my list last week? It’s not late to check it out and get your last minute gift.

We all love Valentine, don’t we? The flowers, pink and red colours everywhere especially your tv screen, people celebrating, looking happy and bringing food to share. such a fun time.

Today being ‘valentines eve’- not sure if there is a word like that..anyway, I hope you are prepared for tomorrow. Personally, it will be a very long day for myself and a lot of others who have to hit the 5 pm traffic on the motorway just to get back and celebrate valentine. For others, Valentine’s day is the loneliest day of their lives as it is to them a reminder of what could have been or their inability to find someone. For another set of people and this is the painful bit, they aren’t single but it feels like they are because they long to be treated like a queen or a king on this special day but unfortunately, this is only a wish.

So for these categories of people, here are a few things I need you to bear in mind as you celebrate Valentine.

1. Don’t Stalk: I know you’re thinking, c’mon Nneka, this is one hell of a difficult task. I mean everyone will be posting pictures so refraining from stalking your ex is a dream.
Ok, I get it, if you can’t refrain from stalking, at least do yourself a favour by not comparing yourself to your ex’s lover.

And while It’s difficult to watch your ex show or express love to someone else other than you on social media, refrain from leaving salty or petty comments on their platforms.

2. Remember the theme of the Day-

You are already aware that Valentine is about celebrating love. (I am not saying there is or there should be a timeline as to when to express or show love) what I am saying is, since it is about expressing and showing love, what stops you from showing love to yourself? I know a lot of people especially the female gender struggle to treat and give themselves extra attention (You can imagine why). So why not use this opportunity to pamper and treat yourself. Read here to see a list of fun things to do on Valentine while single.

Lastly,
3. Enjoy Your Singlehood: Remember you won’t remain single forever. So while you are alone, treat yourself and be selfish to yourself because, when you eventually find the one, you will no longer worry about yourself alone but about ‘two people’.

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