Obalende Suya

First thing first, what’s suya? Obalende? Where’s that? Suya is like an “African barbecue” where fresh meat parts (could be chicken or beef) is roasted on an open fire with lots of spices and pepper (especially pepper), chopped up and wrapped in newspaper with extra pepper plus fresh onions! Woop woop! When not chopped up, the meats are staked on sticks mostly for presentation so you’ll find this more in restaurants.

 Suya originated from the Hausas and us Nigerians are meat lovers so this is an extremely popular snack or meal (in my case). It’s heaven-in-my-mouth, bliss, yumyum, beautiful, mouthwatering, sumptuous, beautiful… Ok I’m going off-point but it’s lovely… Just lovely! If it isn’t already obvious, I’m a lover of good food. Haha!

One of the best places to buy suya in Lagos is Obalende (if you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it!) so I took a much anticipated trip and bought some hot goodies with my parents. We didn’t even wait to get home. We started munching in the car. Have you tried it with bread and a cold soft drink like Fanta? Mehn, you’re in for some good stuff! 

Honestly it’s one of the things I miss most about Nigeria so I made sure to over indulged before leaving! 

The  fresh options: Take your pick…
Roasting time
It’s smokey!
A closer look
Chop Chop!
Let’s not forget the extra onions and pepper!
Newspaper wrapping
Happy Customer 🙂

Peplum Craze

Let’s just say I’m really really really feeling the peplum trend now. I’m not really one to follow trends and I usually wear what I like but I always seem to find myself wearing something with a peplum waist… I think it’s weird cause it’s not planned but oh well… I guess I’m in love and don’t even know it! Third time lucky… Check out the other two times here and here!

Ankara is a very popular type of material used to make clothings, bags, shoes etc and are usually very patterned, bright and multi-colored…

I’m so in love with this ankara! God bless my tailor for getting everything right! I plan on wearing it till it falls apart!


When In Ghana…

I visited Ghana’s capital, Accra for a night and it was my first time. Despite my short sejour, I was very excited and decided to make the best of it. I didn’t get to see much but I’ll definitely be coming back for more exploring!

Some things I learnt during my stay:

  • Banku– A sibling to solid foods Eba, Pounded Yam,Amala, Fufu and Semovita. It’s made of maize! Who knew they had such an extended family? Amazing right?
  • Yam Balls– They look exactly as they sound dearie! Balls made of yam or yam made into balls. However you want to describe it! I don’t know if I ate it right  (maybe there was a sauce/soup to accompany it) but it tasted really good alone. Initially, I mistook it for “puff puff” due to their similar looks and shape.
  • What we Nigerians call fried plantain, they call kelewele.
  • Machi means “Good morning”
  • Akwaaba means “Welcome”
  • Me da se means “Thank you”
  •  Ya fre me Miss LAJA means “My name is Miss LAJA”
Their official currency Ghanian Cedis
Pretty art refelcting African culture

 Sneak peak of my outfit post coming soon! Stay tuned! 🙂


To Buy Or Not To Buy?

That is the question…

Markets here in nigeria are busy, open and very different from supermarkets. Things are generally cheaper because one is able to “price” aka bargain the choice item as low as possible so the buyer and seller are both satisfied (though this isnt always the case). Pricing is a very important skill if you plan on shopping at the market because since prices aren’t fixed, certain vendors could cheat you of your money and you wont even realise it (or you’ll realize it after and it’ll be too late). You can’t learn how to price an item overnight; practise makes perfect.

Somethings I’ve noticed in the market:

  •          Once the sellers view you as a potential customer, literally everyone is calling you to do business with them. You’ll hear things like “Aunty fresh fish dey for here o!”, “Fine girl, you won buy tomato? Fresh tomato dey!”, “Customer, come and do business with me!” If you’re a JJC (Johnny Just Come aka beginner), it could be overwhelming because everyone’s calling out to you and you’re confused. The normal thing to do is ignore them and go your way. You’ll get used to it with practice but it still bugs me sometimes.
  •          Once you purchase from a particular vendor, you’re automatically a “customer”. This means you’ve kind of pledge an allegiance to the vendor that you’ll purchase from them in future despite other competitors. Some people are affected by this “customer syndrome” more than others. My dad thinks the whole customer thing is crap and he always goes for “the best one” even if it’s right next to the vendor he always buys from. The customer syndrome could be good in the sense that you get really good discounts but it’s bad when you become so loyal to a vendor they take advantage of you (especially if you don’t price the items with other vendors before making a final decision).    
  •          You can’t NOT price an item EXCEPT, there is a universally fixed price or you’re a JJC or you’re just plain dumb.  Pricing helps you realize whose cheating you and who isn’t. 
  •          Even after the price has been agreed, customers always want “fusi” or “jara”. These two words both mean extra of whatever it is you purchase. If it’s tomatoes, we want extra tomatoes added to the tomatoes we already bought. This jara could be voluntary or prompted by the buyer and is a determining factor of whether you become a “customer” or not.
  •          You can’t just flaunt how stylish your bag or wallet is. Most markets get really crowded and you could unknowingly attract watchful eyes. You hold that bag/wallet like it’s your life!
  •          Shakara is acceptable especially from the customers. If you and a vendor can’t agree on a price, it’s ok to walk away to price other places AND/OR come back to them if you realize they gave you the best deal.

I’ve accompanied my parents to the market since I was a young caterpillar but I went alone for the first time and it was uncomfortable. Why? The market I went to, my parents are usual customers there so they all knew I was “their daughter” and the customer allegiance pressure was more. I did a pretty good job but it was so uncomfy. Next time, I’ll go where no one knows who I am.

Maintenant, quelques photos!·        
Writing the “receipt”
:O Are those chickens?!
Tomatoes so fresh!
To buy or not to buy?
Paying for our stuff

The Typical Ika Outfit

I dressed up in my traditional Ika attire from Delta State, Nigeria, West Africa.  Here’s the video describing what I’m wearing.

And some pictures…