Hello, friends!! We are back with a new instalment in the virtuous enterprise series. If you missed the last few interviews, feel free to read them here. I hope you took advantage of Tosin’s discount off items at zerefashionhouse. Now, let me tell you a little story of providence that explains how I managed to get Ruth Yimika Awogbade on the line up for the virtuous enterprise series.It is also evidence that only those who receive have asked and that the things you desire can come true if you prepare for all possible eventualities.

So when the series was still an infant lurking somewhere in my dreams, Ruth’s name was on the list. Ruth Yimika Awogbade is the CEO of Magnify magazine, a publication that prides itself on faith, feminism, and fashion. Damiloves lovers will know that I get excited when faith and feminism are combined. Ruth was recently listed as one of the 20 most influential black Christian women in the UK by Keep the Faith Magazine, she is also a board member of the Evangelical Alliance. I was certain that I wanted to interview her! I had read issues of Magnify, and I wanted to meet the beauty and brain behind the clean crisp yet loaded publication, that is the Christian woman’s fashion magazine of the century. How, did it happen you may ask?

In February I attended an event that was hosted by one of my mentors and her husband in London and while sat at a table chatting with several young women, guess who walked in? Yes! God did it! Ruth and her fiancée Ayo walked in and took a seat. Ayo, Ruth’s fiancé, was speaking at the event on being a purpose filled Christian single and I was excited because I had brought my business cards along with me!

I eventually walked up to Ruth full of fear and trepidation; I knew the worst thing she could say was no. But she said yes to my proposal and took my business card, and I left feeling glad, I had fulfilled purpose ! The way a prepared boy scout feels when he successfully lights a fire on a camping trip, with a spare box of matches.

In this month’s interview, Ruth encourages and challenges us to be diligent; she reminds us that dreams are not enough without hard work to back them up. I hope you enjoy Ruth’s interview on Damiloves; I know I certainly did. (more…)

I recently had a conversation with some friends about love. The consensus was that true love did not exist. These women were of a wide range of racial and social classes; their common denominator was heartbreak. As I attempted to encourage them that love did exist, they asked me to define love. In my attempt to define it to them, I had to ask myself certain questions. What does love mean? What does it look like? What kinds of love exist anyway and which was the most important kind of love to have? Because I feel that we have been lied to by most mainstream media, Eros may not be the greatest love of all. (more…)

I had a conversation with a friend a while back about deal breakers in relationships. According to her, everyone needed to have their deal breakers written down clearly with a plan not to deviate from them. We had been at an event, and she scanned the room searching for someone that would catch her eye. However, before even speaking to the people present she determined that the room full of bachelors was empty as far as she was concerned. One was too short, the other was ugly, another had a bad accent, one was wearing an ugly sweater; the list went on, and she is still single, I wonder why?

Now I suppose deal breakers are necessary, but where do we draw the line? When do we ignore negative character traits and focus on the positive aspects of the person? Now when I say deal breakers I mean things about a person that cannot be changed or that’ll need a higher power to manoeuvre. You guys recall that attempting to change another human being is futile; hence the adapt or die pattern many of us assume. So these deal breakers are not unrealistic, they are important and ingrained into the very fabric of who a person is. Things like how much money he makes, his height, his state of origin are not on the cards. However, his dress sense, where he lives and the car he drives are not going to be discussed either, because let’s face it, those things are easily modified without changing the person. So what are we talking about? Stick around (more…)

I recently heard that Linda Ikeji, Nigerian mega-blogger reportedly stated emphatically that she could not be with a man who was not successful. Several women proceeded to chastise her of the words expressed explaining that all men will attempt to stifle their wives. As a result, she was advised that her financial success was not good for a relationship. I thought this was interesting advice, and I have proceeded to give you advice on five things to do if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of making more money than your man. (more…)

I recently came across a video by ‘Battabox Nigeria’ where women in Lagos were asked how many boyfriends they had. The consensus was that most single women especially those in university had a minimum of two boyfriends at any given time. It appeared that many of these young women had a man for multiple life needs and they did not find this arrangement to be problematic. I found this to be startling because I assumed that the word ‘boyfriend’ suggested an element of exclusivity but I was proven wrong after I asked, searched and enquired. (more…)

I recently came across a quote from a Christian woman and author who had this to say about the feminist movement. Dr Kirsten Birkett said; “Feminism is a selfish movement with no sustainable philosophy, a fabricated history, and an incoherent morality. It does not bring freedom and fulfilment for women, and it will not right injustices. Many of us in this world rightly feel anger and sorrow at the terrible lives women all over the world can face; poverty and starvation in some places, violence and abuse almost everywhere. The answer is not to become more selfish. That can only make injustice worse.” (more…)

If you haven’t seen the foreverduncan hashtag, where have you been? African American women have been raving about this for the past week, so much so that African women worldwide have joined in the frenzy. #foreverduncan is the tag that has followed Alfred Duncan, who proposed to his girlfriend Sherrell at noon and surprised her with a wedding at 6pm on the same day. Videos of their union spread over the internet like wild fire, you can see Sherrell crying tears of joy as she is overwhelmed with emotion. Yes, I admit I was one of the women who watched the video in awe and admiration, that was before the memes started overflowing. When the memes arrived, I had to laugh because let’s face it, men of African and Caribbean descent have had a tough time proving their manhood. (more…)

I know he loves you. I know that is what he said, I know he claimed he would give the world to you. I know that is what you felt. I know your mother took it too, abuse in another form. I know they said men are cruel, I know you listened when the elders whispered. I know your skin is not made of wood, I know your bones are not made of steel. I know your heart is a soft haven, it was never made of stone. I know you want to be strong, I know you want to make it work. But I also know that dying before your time is not and will never be a sign of strength. (more…)

I wrote an article a few weeks ago as part of a six part fiction series ‘A Collection of Scars’, one of the monologues revolved around Zainab, a young woman who was unhappy in life, marriage and motherhood. Zainab was suffering from low mood, lack of motivation and low self-esteem; she diagnosed herself as depressed. When I read through the comment section on TNC where it was initially published, one thing was clear based on my interpretation of the words left below, many people interpreted suffering in different ways. (more…)

Pastor Adeboye, the general overseer of the RCCG, recently spoke to the youths of his church. He made some statements regarding marriage and the internet has been filled with memes and videos mocking him for his statements, while middle-aged people sit silently and observe. Women are arguing that his sermon propagates the oppression of females in the home. According to a recent poll involving Nigerian men, they report these men desire only sex from a future wife, but I disagree with that; because sex is cheap in today’s world, marriage is not. His message has caused a stir, but I am not certain why. Do you know why? (more…)

I recently read a post by MissO, where she lamented on her search for ‘the one’. She also wrote about knowing what she wanted in a future spouse. I began to think perhaps ‘he’ was out there, that looking for ‘Almost perfect’ was not so silly after all. The man she described appears perfect superficially, however, on deeper thought, he is likely to be a work in progress. I am assuming that what sets him apart from his counterparts is his willingness to be better. His desire to be the man his woman wants him to be is what makes him ‘the one’. Then I asked myself, does that not make him ‘Mr Perfect’ does that not make him ‘Mr Right?’ And if it makes him Mr Right, is that not a fallacy? (more…)

A few weeks ago it was my birthday, and I got a rather strange text message from an unexpected member of my extended family. After extending me the generic birthday greetings, she went on to write; ‘I am expecting a wedding invite’. Seeing as no one has taken yams or wine to my parents, I knew it was another; ‘when will you marry’ question, reformatted. I was like;image
I was not expecting that; it seemed like an unnecessary statement from someone I did not communicate with on a regular basis. An encyclopaedia should be written about marriage and the Nigerian female. When a young lady is in school, she is advised to ‘face her studies,’ apparently, all men are a distraction. However, upon graduation from higher education, it is expected that she present her husband-to-be to her family. My question is this, where exactly is said female supposed to find such a fellow?

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Image Credit: John Holyfield

Image Credit: John Holyfield

A Nigerian Pastor once said; “Chinese today, Sushi tomorrow, Italian next week. Sister Mary today, Lola tomorrow, Nkechi next week. Dating? Christians don’t do that!” I giggled at the time, not because I don’t like eating out but because I do not subscribe to the ‘trial and error’ pattern of 21st-century courtship. Consider this scenario;

Deji is a yam farmer; he spots Kemi at new yam festival seated with her parents. Each time he goes to the market he says hello to Kemi, he asks about her from her friends and family. He gets to know a little bit about her and decides he would like to marry her. So he tells his parents who approve and they all pay a visit to Kemi’s family. They have their introduction, and their courtship commences. Kemi has no fear of relationship breakdown as he and his family have already expressed a clear desire for marriage. Two months later, they are married, and Kemi moves into Deji’s hut. Herein is the beginning of their love story.

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Domestic abuse is a world wide phenomenon. Both men and women suffer, though more light is shed upon the abuse of women because they are the most susceptible victims. It is interesting that the average human being does not believe abuse is right, yet when faced with the situation many of us respond in an unexpected way. I was 12 and he was 12, we were in boarding school and I promise you, I did not see the slap coming. I wasn’t dazed, I just wanted to fight back, but I didn’t have that opportunity. Over the years, many people have said that it is forgivable for a 2 year old as he doesn’t know better, but a 12 year old should have. But what about a 30 year old.

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