My So-Called Life

Ever heard the saying ‘life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans’, well dear readers this is the reason why I have been MIA for the past couple of months. Sorry about that.

Let me catch you up on the goings on in my life , here is a quick low down:

Business Owner – I am proud to announce that I am 1/4 owner of  AfroStar Tours. My girls and I had somewhat of an epiphany and realised that  we have a great passion for  black history. Being of Caribbean and African descent, we found  it highly frustrating that we were not taught about our inspiring history in school and had to learn everything regarding Black History through an American gaze. Black History Month in school consisted of tIMG_5351he same stories about the civil rights movements, watching Roots and a brief history about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Rosa Parks.  Not to diminish the great legacy of these amazing people but where was the history of black Britions and what we contributed to the nation? and thus AfroStar Tours was born.  AfroStar Tours aims to showcase the history,  beauty and culture of Black Britain. This is a super exciting time for us and we can’t wait to take people on the journey of London Town to learn all about the Black Power Movement,  carnival, African art and so much more. If you are interested in learning further about us then please click here AfroStar Tour.

Down Under – I flew to Australia for my friends wedding in March and as one of the bridesmaids I was given a first class seat on their wave of love. It was such a beautiful lush day and we were surrounded by rows and rows of vineyards which made the whole day feel so zen. Now that I am back home, I can’t help but feel like Katherine Heigl in 27 dresses, my wardrobe is full to the brim with bridesmaid dresses. Always the bridesmaid but never the bride. I may have to charge people for the use of my services.  I digress, apologies. Australia was amazing, the weather as you’d expect did not disappoint. It FullSizeRenderwas hot, hot, hot near enough everyday that we were there and I could slowly feel my iron levels getting back to normal. Living in England certainty does damage to my health.

I did not experience any racism like I had been warned about, instead I found Australians to be kind and very welcoming or maybe the bride just has awesome friends. However, there was a glaring omission of people of colour and I failed to see any Aboriginal people during my whole 10 day trip. When I did come across a black person in the city, the man in question proceeded to pull  my hair and stared me in face and said ‘don’t you know when you see another African you must say hello?’ No, I did not know this! Is this a thing? I was perplexed. I also got called a ‘fucking idiot’ by a drunk white man that very same day so needless to say that was the only downer that I experienced in Oz. Apart from these two incidents the holiday went off without a hitch, that is until it was time to come home. Let’s just say that our flight was cancelled and we ended up staying overnight in China, an experience I do not wish to repeat again. I felt like a zoo exhibit. I have never been gawked at so much in my life, it was truly unsettling. But hey that is a story for another day.

Work, Work ,Work – The world of work has been stealing my joy lately. It has been draining me of all of my energy and as AfroStar Tour has not made me a millionaire just yet, I still have to wake up everyday and go to my 9-5. The joy 😦

F.R.I.E.N.D.S – I have tried to make a real effort these past few months to catch up with all my girlfriends and check in on them. A lot has happened in the past few weeks, we have  had new baby arrivals, marriage proposal, new jobs, new relationships and a heck of a lot of gossip to catch-up on. My friends truly amaze me. It is so easy to get carried away with our own lives that we forget to give our friends a look in now and again. Have you checked in on your friends today? if not, do it now you never know who needs to hear your voice.  To my girls – I love you guys so much and I miss you. Let’s make a concerted effort to see each other more.

Anyways, I hope you have enjoyed reading this mish mash blog post. My life at the moment has been very hectic and sometimes I absolutely have no clue what I am doing. The blinding lights of London is seriously making me super dizzy. I need another holiday.

 

 Ghana

Gold Coast, Ashanti kingdom, Oh Ghana – Akwaaba

From Tema, to Accra to Kumasi is where I find my feet.

My best friend a vision in white, gliding down the aisle to meet her king.

Rewind to a couple of days before, all the girls, all obronis, trying to navigate the hustle and bustle of Kotoka international.

We step out into the sweltering heat, we taste the sun and we know we have arrived.

A flock of people surround us to lend a helping hand. But nothing is ever for free. 10 cedis later and we are on our way, it’s just the African way.

But no time to dwell, we have a wedding to prepare.

Spintex road is where we call home for a few days. A sprawling complex greets us with a gym and a pool. T.I.N.A! , we exclaim, Africans have come a long way.

Not even Dumsor can put out the light inside of us. Our excitement is igniting. We are finally here.

Months of planning and the Black Star is finally within our grasp.

We meet so many beautiful souls on our journey to the altar. It really does take a village to raise a child.

The calming nature and soft spoken tone of the Ghanaian people, contrasts vastly with our brisk English mettle.

The resilience of the market traders, trudging up and down in the unforgiving sun selling Bo fruit to Fanmilk feels me with awe.

One cedi later and Fanmilk in hand, I can’t help but feel guilty at the disparity of life. But on our way we go.

Sakumono is where the traditional wedding takes place.

Sakumono is where my friend becomes one.

Sakumono is where a part of me is lost.

Our Navy blue dresses surround her White – a bunch of Morning Glory’s protecting our seed.

1 wedding down and another one to go.

Our adventures take us to Kumasi, the climax of the whole affair, a metropolis seeped in rich history and wealth.

A quick trip to Manhiya palace and neighbouring markets quench our western desire to be immersed in culture.  Buy a dashiki here and there, buy a kente print bag here and there and now we are authentic Africans.

Now we are ready.

The big day finally arrives.

The hotel is a cacophony of sounds and shapes,

Makeup here and there, dresses everywhere.

We are late – no surprises there.

Wedding bells are ringing, to the altar we must go.

I take my place in line.

Nerves frayed. Deep breath. Smile, it’s her big day.

She is happy. They both are. This is meant to be.

Home.

She is home.

But where is home for me?

 Barbados

 

Well the title is a bit deceptive as I didn’t actually do any travelling in the city, rather, I flew to a small island called Barbados for 12 days and fell in love.

Barbados you had me at hello!

Touching down in the Caribbean, I was hit by a sweltering heat that I’ve never felt before and I knew I was home (excuse the dramatics but this was the best holiday ever!)

What is it about holidays that makes one lose their inhibitions and act so reckless? Going on holiday offers us the chance to reinvent our character by allowing us to lie to ourselves with the declarative ” what happens in (enter destination here) stays in (enter destination)”. This simple statement frees even the most timid and before you know it, you are face down, ass up and twerking on a random stranger without a care in the world.

I drank rum and redbull from dusk to dawn, and partied my stress and cobwebs away (my liver detests me). I’m not sure how you Bajans do it. Mount Gay Rum is lethal!

Bajans, are super friendly, with their sing-song accent putting you at ease and making you trust them instantly. Life in Barbados moves at a much slower pace. People are not rushing everywhere and forgetting to actually have a life. They take time to appreciate the beauty in their surroundings, I mean how could you not? when you are surrounded by fresh air and gorgeous beaches. I’m not saying that people over there don’t lead tough lives, far from it, however, their demeanour and spirit never seems broken. They pick themselves up and keep it moving.

The energy and vibrancy of the Bajan culture shines through wherever you go, from the music telling you to ‘put your hands up and roll that body’ , to the trips down to Oistins on Friday nights to partake in the biggest fish fry party and to the bright Purple & Yellow sign of Chefette’s, beckoning you to come over and sample some Roti, which I dutifully indulged – plenty of times. I stan for Rotis – so damn good.

The island can at times be stifling as it is overrun with tourists. We are everywhere! This can at best take away from the authenticity of the place, especially when you just want to ‘go down’ with the locals.

Nevertheless, I would most definitely go again.

I met some wonderful people, partook in dubious activities, drank copious amount of alcohol, partied on board the Jolly Roger and went swimming with the fishes (no Godfather).

Perhaps I will make it for crop over next year  .

Rihanna, I’ll see you there!