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- Back to School Shopping Made Easy…2 Tips that Will Save You Time and MoneyThis post is brought to you by Office Depot. All opinions are my own. “Relax…I’ve got this all under control. I’ve been a mom for 24 years. I know what I’m doing.” That’s what I told our 10-year-old daughter last week during her melt-down (she is going to be a sixth grader in middle school […]
- These 4 Traits Can Turn Your Child Into a Money MastermindYou want the best for your children. So what can you do to ensure they become adults who are happy and prosperous, rather than ones who are stressed out, living paycheck to paycheck? Teaching them about saving, debt, and compound interest is a good start; but instilling them with the right attitudes and mindsets is […]
- Benefits or Backbone? 4 Reasons to Stop Wasting Time in a Bad RelationshipBy: Ankunda Carrolyn Growing up as a Non-Christian, all I ever wanted was a man who could love me, spoil me with gifts, provide for me, and take care of me (which isn’t bad, by the way). My spiritual eyes had not been opened yet to the importance of marrying a spiritual man. I later […]
- Too Comfortable? 5 Ways to Breathe Life into Your Dull MarriageBy: Dr. George James Has your relationship lost its spark? Maybe you and your partner have become too comfortable with each other and you don’t make the effort anymore. The good thing is that this is a normal phase in every relationship. The bad thing is, if you allow your relationship to get stuck in […]
- Marriage and Money: 4 Easy Steps to Financial Closeness with Your SpouseThis is part of a sponsored campaign with Wells Fargo. All opinions are my own. Recently, I had such a wonderful time sitting on BMWK’s Financial Intimacy panel sponsored by Wells Fargo. Founders of BMWK, Ronnie and Lamar Tyler, strategically positioned this discussion as the kick-off event to their 3rd annual BMWK Marriage Cruise—to make […]
- My Husband’s Sick Mom is Destroying Our Marriage. What Should I Do?Dear Dr. Buckingham, My husband and I have been married for five years. Recently, I left our home that we have shared for the last seven years. His mother is living there now that she is ill, but she has been saying hurtful things to me which caused me to leave for the last month. […]
- It Takes a Squad: 3 Types of Friends Every Woman Needs to Hold Her Down When She’s DatingHave you seen the movie, Girls’ Trip? Theaters around the country were smelling like cocoa butter and coconut oil because the “Sistas” showed up and showed out, making this film a box office success! Maybe we were so excited to finally have a celebration of #BlackGirlMagic and our friendships on the big screen (We haven’t […]
- 3 Ways to Fight for Your Marriage (and Win) After an AffairAffairs are messy. I’m not trying to be glib but for lack of a better word, messy just fits. Everything becomes a mess when a man, or woman, “puts asunder” what God has joined together in holy matrimony. When asked to write this article, I was first reminded of the fight of my life. My marriage […]
- Here’s How My Life and My Marriage Changed When I Allowed God’s Plan to Take OverBy: Angelique Redus-McCoy Two years ago, my family and I moved from our hometown to a city that, quite truthfully, had never been on our radar. I left a job that I loved and where I felt loved. We left the home where we started our family, a home I could’ve lived in forever. We left […]
- Parents: Seek Advice or Parent on the Fly? These 5 Tips Could Help You DecideBy: Dr. George James Is there a perfect way to be a parent? Maybe you’ve read all the books, heard all the stories and watched all the videos. At the same time, there’s a part of you that has tried to figure it out on your own. It is normal to oscillate between wanting support […]
- Back to School Shopping Made Easy…2 Tips that Will Save You Time and Money
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Anytime you beg friends, family, and co-workers to give you thousands of dollars to go meet your estranged family members in a foreign country over 7,000 miles away, things are bound to get interesting. As interesting as things were at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, they didn’t prepare me for where I would be staying.
My driver safely navigated through the streets of Lagos to deliver me to Lekki (Lekki Lagos Nigeria Peninsula is a developing suburb considered a prime real estate location). This trip was a 4-hour feat. That’s right it took four hours to travel to where I would be staying. Along the way we experienced a great cross-section of the diversity that is Lagos.
A man selling watches caught my driver’s eye. His time pieces were stored away in pockets that had pockets. The street vendor walked alongside us displaying his watches while we crawled through traffic. His best pieces must have been tucked deep because he always had a better watch to show for each one that was rejected. About a half a mile and a dozen watches later we hit a wall [not literally]. My driver needed to make a decision and couldn’t chose between three different pieces. So, the plan was to get off the exit that was about a half mile up the road. The only thing that seemed like a catch was- traffic picked up and that meant we would leave the vendor in our dust. Much to my surprise he ran all the way to where we parked off of the exit, and was there as soon as we looked around for him. I knew that if my driver wasn’t going to buy a watch, I had to give something to the hardest working watch salesman I had ever seen.
After the excitement over the newly purchased timepiece calmed down, we were now getting hungry. That was not a problem either. Along with mattresses, tires, cabinet sets, magazines, dresses, travel kits, and windshield wipers, there were several food items to be bought while in motion on Lagos roadways. Given my apprehension to eat any of the sliced fruit or unpackaged food, we settled on plantain chips. The chips did exactly what they were designed to do. The kept me from taking a bite out of my driver’s right arm.
Soon, we were in the area where I would be staying. Some of the houses were huge, while others were literally shacks. It was interesting to see such wealth and poverty cohabiting literally feet from each other. One thing was sure, security was a major consideration. Each major estate was only visible above the 8-10 foot wall that guarded it from the outer world. I remembered seeing houses that were guarded like this, once before. The only houses that I had witness using this much security were the ones in Beverly Hills.
We pulled up to the house about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the driver, “Yo Holmes! Smell ya Later”.
No, seriously, it was like I had pulled right into a Bel-Air Estate. The one thing that would divert from that comparison, that I noticed right off the bat, was a distinct smell. It wasn’t ganja or anything crazy. It was actually something pretty good. I am at a loss of words for what fragrance it was but it was definitely African. I had smelled this smell at the poetry spots in the US. It was like a black soap/Nag Chompa/shea butter/non-european smell. I wish I could explain it better. Whatever the ingredients, it was both welcoming and fresh!
The maid opened the door and ushered me upstairs to greet the owners of the home, the Desalu Family. I quickly learned that I had family in Nigeria that I didn’t even know about. The owners of the home are not related to me by blood, and yet they treated me as their long lost son. Therefore, they literally turned me into the Fresh Prince from our first conversation. This was the home that they toiled hard to build and I was enjoying the fruits of their labor with maids, drivers, cooks and all!
When entering the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Desalu, the maid did a curtsey gesture. I first thought that this was done because she was a domestic servant and that it was expected of her. I later saw all people who were younger than the Desalu’s greeted them the same way, no matter their position or profession. That’s when it became evident to me that Africans have a very deliberate way that they pay respect to their elders. The respect that the maids showed to the Desalu family was indicative of their way of life. I liked that.
Another thing that I liked, was the fact that I had my own wing of the house. The suite where I was staying was fully equipped with a frig, microwave, sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom. The walls were adorned with beautiful art and I had they key to the suite. This was dope!
Every morning breakfast was delivered to me on a tray with linen’s and freshly squeezed orange juice. The only time it didn’t arrive, were days when we had to leave the house early.
[And yes, they do have Aunt Jemima in Nigeria]
Outside of my suite was the rest of the beautiful estate, which included: a living room, two sitting rooms, dining area, several bathrooms and bedrooms, an Olympic sized swimming pool, and a back yard with a view of the ocean. You could tell that ‘living’ had gone on in this home, good living.
After the initial shock of the thought of staying with Affluent Africans, I began to see the real value that their home represented. It was a home that entertained guests, raised children into adulthood, housed relatives, and covered this family. It was anything but the empty mausoleums that we often see celebrities use to shield themselves from society. It was a real home of a real family that is doing really good in Africa.
As you can see, I was involved in a lot of maxing and relaxing during my trip to Nigeria. Check back to hear more about the places I went, people I saw, and the things I did during my time in the Motherland!
Click HERE to learn about my first day in Lagos, Nigeria.