Monday, July 29, 2013

Half of A Yellow Sun

Photo from

 A while back I had this idea to start a magazine that showed the positives of my continent. It would cover everything from Business, Tourism to highlighting Africans making strides in and out of the continent. I conducted an extensive amount of research but somehow never followed through on the project – I guess I got a job and later grad school – huff!! excuses. Anyway, during my research, I stumbled on Chimamanda Adichie… devoured her books - Purple Hibiscus , Half of A Yellow Sun -  and rushed to get an autographed copy at her book signing in Union Square.

Side Note: Check out her latest book "Americanah" I hear its riveting and controversial

Chimamanda is best known for “Half of a Yellow Sun” a story about how the political-cultural tensions in post colonial Nigeria tear a family & a people apart. The story touches on many issues from loyalty, interracial/ethnic relationships and the economics of  a newly independent country. You can read more here.

I was very pleased when Ivory, my bestie told me the book had been adapted into a movie. With the major roles played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and Anika Rose. I was even more pleased to see iconic Nigerian actors in the movie – although, I doubt the movie was shot in Nigeria but I digress.

Photo from

Photo from

As I poured through the book, I realized how little I knew of the Biafra war; a civil war that erupted as a result of the Southeastern peoples desire to secede and a war that was largely an impetus for MSF. Growing up in Nigeria, I do not remember being given a detailed account of our history in school - specifically that history. I mean sure, I’d heard of The Biafra War but only in passing along with other historical facts like the death of Herbert Macauley. - (If there are any ACC readers out there, do you guys remember being given a detailed account of the Biafra War? ) - I also lived and went to school in Lagos (a Southwestern city), so perhaps that has something to do with it. idk.  One of my favorite writers Chris Abani (please check him out he is AMAZEBALLS) also agrees that the war was not discussed in detail for fear that it would reignite tensions – like that was not already happening.

I often tell people that I learned more about my country and continent after I left – perhaps such is the nature of immigration and holds true for every immigrant; but, Half of a Yellow Sun put a lot of things in perspective for me with regards to who I am and where I am from. It gave me pride and it made me sad because although ficitious, the events were very real and linger till today.

Ethnic riots were commonplace when I was younger; when these riots would begin, parents would rush to pick their kids from school and scoop the neighborhood kids as well;  schools and businesses would shut down until the riots were over, and once it was done, everybody returned to business as usual. I cannot count how many of these broke out when when I was a child, naturally, I was simply happy to have a day off from school and never thought more of it. The book opened my eyes to how sheltered we were, how my parents did an excellent job of making sure we were not really exposed to the dangers of  everyday life of a Lagosian – some are not so fortunate. Thank you mum and dad.

In the book, what resonated the most for me  was the fact that that generation of returnees (odenigbo who I think is somehow reminiscent of Ojwuku ) were ready to die for change, for progress... to make a better country for us. I finished the book with a rekindled ache to be an agent of change - you know, to stand for something; like those people - no like those heroes. They did not forget who they were; they went back home to BE the change. Alright,  I'll stop myself here before I start a pity-party about how my hunger to "do-something" fizzled. Point is, this a must - read! This is not just another African- war tale, but a compelling illustration of the human quest for betterment and resilience in the face hardship - at least that was my takeway. 

Half of A Yellow Sun is going to be featured in the Toronto Film Festival this fall and I think released next year. Watch the Trailer here

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Day at the Museum

As a relatively new mom, I face the old age problem of being able to spend time, .. no – quality time with my little one.  By the time I get back from work and blah blah blah, I end up spending barely 2 hours with my Yum Yum before she’s off to bed. And of course, in a typical mom fashion I worry about how this might affect her development. So, last weekend I decided to have a mummy-daughter day. A full on Yum Yum day with no distractions of chores and to-do lists – at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

A few things before I tell you how awesome her day was :) 
Children’s Museum of Manhattan (
Address:  212 W 83rd St  New York, NY 10024
Admission fee: $11 (children & Adults) ; $7 (seniors)
Children 12 months Under – Free 

The Museum had 4 floors each with activities for different ages. This is not the place for your 10- 12 yrs old – at least in my opinion; It's like a mini arcade with interactive –educational games. One of the reasons I was excited about the Museum is the classes being offered. We set out for her to attend the Mural Wall Painting classes (for children 4 & under) and  Art & Craft class (not the correct name) also for ages 4 and under. 

While we waited for the first class to begin, we stumbled on the “City Splash”, an area in the back of the building with water games – buckets of water. There were different water contraptions filled with toys; all the children were given smocks so they can have a perfectly dry splish splash. She had such great time fishing out the little toys, that it was a problem when we had to leave for the Wall Mural class. 

The second floor was every toddlers dream come true with vibrant with colors and life sized toys. She got distracted by a screen at the entrance that plays nursery rhymes upon touch.  Then there was the Alphagator which terrified her at first, but she later warmed up to when she saw other kids around it.

Oh and the Mural Wall Painting I was so excited about? Yum Yum hated it. She hated having the wet paint on her hands. She held up her little palms until I wiped off all the paint, she didn’t even attempt to wipe it on the wall. Yay for me I guess? My walls at home are safe. Anyway, she was happy to play with glow tubes right next to the mural wall. 

The Art & Craft class, she loved! With non-toxic glue, colored glitter, water color, a bunch of colored stringy & fluffy stuff -  the kids were all set to get their creativity on. And yes my daughter tasted the glue, I guess she thought it was yogurt. #thischildofmine.


We wrapped up our visit with a quick stop at Dora’s place on the 2nd floor with Yum Yum squealing “Ora, Mehmmy Ora!!!” the entire time. I made a metal note to make this our first stop next time – hopefully Dora’s still a hit when that time comes.

We spent a whopping almost-4 hours at the Museum and I was more than ready for some reprieve from children screaming in excitement to those having meltdowns because they didn't want to leave. Luckily, Yum Yum was pooped and ready to leave. At the stroller checkout, she quietly sat in her stroller when I unfolded it – very unusual behavior for her.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Color Run NYC 2013

​I’d been DYIING to do the color run for the past 2 years- no exaggeration, but they seemed to always sell out by the time I get to the website. Sohhh, this year, I Nancy Drewed that sucker and got in as soon as it went live. #patmyselfontheback. 

Tryna look strike a cute pose, little did I know I was going to get color bombed in my ear, 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Some Clean Dishes

Happy Fourth!!!

The day for hot dogs, burgers and all that good stuff thats not so very good for you. On July 30th mankofit launched an "Eat Clean Train Dirty" 30 day challenge on Instagram and twitter.

For those who do not know who mankofit is, this is what I know. Mankofit whose real name is Massy is an NYC (Dominican) Personal Trainer, Athlete and Body Builder. She has an insayine body and is popular for adapting contortion-type (i use this term loosely) moves to her exercises. Might I add that she is absolutely gorg. Anyway, one of the things I love about her is the positivity she exudes, she brings a refreshing approach to working out. Love her!

So far, here are some for meals I've made . I will try to post pictures periodically throughout this month for those who might be interested. Is anyone out there on an eat clean regimen? Please share some of your recipes.

Sweet Potato Mash/Broccoli/ 1/4 Avocado/Grilled Tilapia

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