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Posted on March 11, 2018

12 words of wisdom from African mothers


When I think about my life and the person I have become, I think about how blessed I am to have had the upbringing that I did. My migrant parents laid an excellent foundation for my siblings and I to follow here in Ireland, and it led us to becoming strong and confident individuals. Had they chosen a different brand of parenting, a style that was a closer  match for a typical African household, then I genuinely believe I would not be the expressive woman I am today.

My mother in particular has helped create the template I wish to follow when raising my own children in the future. While there were stages in my life when we didn’t have the strongest mother-daughter relationship, there were certainly times when we did. Now that I am of a mature age, I can appreciate any unsolicited advice given by my mother. There is so much truth in every word she speaks and the life lessons she passes on are more value to me now than ever before.

Despite us growing up in different cultures, her African words of sage have proven themselves to be useful here in Ireland and this has made me proud to call myself an African-Irish. Among many other things, I have my African background to thank for a lot of my mannerisms and my nurturing nature. I think it has instilled values in me that I would not have had if I didn’t have African parents, or more particularly, an African mother.

The wise words of an African mother can sometimes seem harsh, but as life has painfully taught me, mama bear knows best. The most valuable piece of advice my mother ever gave me was “Don’t let your flaws get in the way of you going after what you want,” I recite those words every single time without fail in moments of doubt.

On this Mother’s Day, I wanted to celebrate African mothers and spread their words of wisdom. I’ve decided to ask my African-Irish peers to reflect on some of the values instilled in them by their mothers surrounding family, love, life and more. Here are 12 inspirational words of wisdom from the African mothers of Ireland 🙂

On Family

Always be on your best behaviour and protect the name of the family you’ve been given.

The river that forgets its source will dry out. You can never forget your mom.

On Love

You’ll appreciate your height when you’re older. Tallness is beautiful. Love yourself.

Only talk to men that want to carry you about like an egg, only those men will love you.

On Life Experience & Positivity

No matter how old you are, you will never have more rags than I do.

Be positive. Speak the positive things you want to happen for you and it shall come true.

On Following Dreams

Mommy says ‘as long as you speak the language, anything is possible,’ kind of letting me know that I have the keys or fundamentals to make it with just speaking their language. Combining that with any other skills, I have pretty much the recipes for success.

My mother said I can be whatever I wanted to be and I really believed it.

On Value

Never expect anyone to see you as an equal unless you posses the qualities.

Half bread is better than none

On Life

The best thing my mom always told us that stuck with me is ‘a thief doesn’t like to be stolen from.’

Also, ‘when your mind makes stupid decisions, it’s the body that pays for it.’

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you twice,  but if you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen to your mother!

Whether you’re an African mother, an Irish mammy, a young mom, a single mommy, a step-mum, still learning the ropes of motherhood or a soon-to-be mummy, Happy Mother’s Day to you! 🙂

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Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to pass on their mother’s little nuggets of wisdom to me. I hope each of you take away something extra from this blog post! Xx

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Posted on March 8, 2018

Today is International Women’s Day…but what does being a woman mean in 2018?

Sexuality/ women

Disclaimer: This blog post is referring to my own subjective experience of being a cis woman and my dealings with cis men. It is in no way to refer to trans or non binary people, I support them in their journeys and I would never want for this blog post to denounce their gender identity. New experience has taught me that the metrics I use to measure my womanhood are not representative of every woman, they are unique and very central to me (I may touch on the “why?” at a later time). I have no intention of being exclusionary as I wrote this blog from my own personal perspective, which inherently is that of a cis woman. I recognise that not all women identify as women in a similar way to me – and I think these differences should be celebrated! Outside of this discussion, we are all human and that is all that matters! I hope you enjoy this read and I look forward to hearing your feedback 🙂

Without further ado….

What does being a woman mean in 2018?

For all of human history, there have only ever been two sexes: male and female. What separated one from the other is that a male (or a man) has the tools to impregnate a female and a female (or woman) has the reproductive organs to carry out said pregnancy. Simple, right? I’m afraid not.

In our current climate of the Post-Truth era, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to define what I have always considered to be basic biology. The rise of gender theory and the concept that gender is non-binary and is something that can be chosen by an individual, is creating a landscape in which it is seemingly no longer acceptable to rely on simple biology to determine the things we have always known to be a factually true.

Gender theory removes fixed biological determinants for what makes someone a man or in this debate, what makes a person a woman. It proposes the idea that sex and gender are two completely different categories thus those who are born as male and consequently have male appendages can someday be women simply by saying so.

It more or less looks like this….

While I take no issue with how people choose to present themselves to the world, I personally feel that the contribution of science is something that we cannot ignore, especially when it comes to matters of what being a woman means. The notion that sex and gender are completely uncorrelated perpetuates a free-for-all world where males can be women and females can be men and as someone who has lived and experienced a lot of complexities that not only come from being born a woman, but also be born a woman of colour, I feel that maintaining such an idea devalues my unique female experiences. It fails to acknowledge some of the pressures that I was faced with being born a woman, but most of all I think it  reduces me to just one thing.

I do not have a personal problem with people who choose to identify as the gender that differs from the one they feel they were assigned to at birth, and being a woman who takes an interest in fitness and muscle building – something that some people may view as being typically  ‘masculine,’ I understand that masculinity and femininity can be shaped culturally. However, I also have a degree in Statistics, a mathematical science. So when I ask what a woman is, that question is being driven by the logical part of my soul. The part of me  that is responsible for logic and truly wants to get to the bottom of this sex and gender debate – if at all possible.

I have always been fascinated by the human body and its capabilities and it goes without saying that there is an abundance of scientific research that shows biological differences between men and women. The set of biological traits that differentiate women from men are things that I feel should be celebrated. In fact, some of them are things that I pride myself on.

As a woman I am empowered by my ability to give endlessly and selflessly and offer empathy to those who don’t deserve it. As a woman I am empowered by the relentless fight fought by female activists up to 100 years ago that led to women having the choices we have today. But most of all, as a woman, I am empowered by the fact that I have the tools to bring life to this world. 

Let’s be clear…

That’s not to say that women who cannot bear children are not real women. That’s no criticism on women with a history of miscarriages because they have struggles carrying a full term pregnancy. And it most certainly does not mean that women who choose not to have kids are lesser.

Are we clear on that?

I have my own personal reasons for why I shape my womanhood in the manner that I do and I understand that what empowers me might not empower every other woman out there. But…

I cannot change what makes me feel like a woman.

We all have different versions for what we think constitutes a woman and I am aware that what is true to me may not be necessarily true to every other woman. The variables that I use to define what makes make me a woman are for me and I understand that in a society that is ever growing and changing, it is not the same across the board. Which is why I ask….

What is a woman and what does it mean to be a woman in 2018?

My biggest fear surrounding the current dialogue around this topic is the greater impact of such a narrative. If we say that gender is non-binary and that people can claim membership for whichever gender they see fit then it takes science off the table completely.  If we don’t have a certain set of rules governing what makes a man and what makes a woman, and if we as a collective society cannot decide how to define these terms, then what are the implications for our future generations?

In a perfect world we would have a civilisation where each and every person could live as their best and most authentic self. But unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and that is why I think it is important to engage with these questions and have these discussions.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s pick each other’s brains a bit. Let’s explore the meaning of womanhood and all the beauty that it encompasses: ask yourself, what is a woman and what does it mean to be a woman in 2018? 🙂

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Happy International Women’s Day to all the ladies who identify as such x

[Last Updated: on Sunday 18th March at 7.00pm]

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Posted on December 1, 2014

Christmas gifts for her

Top products/ women

gifts for her

Working in a department store is the ultimate test of self control: I’m constantly tempted to buy the products I think I need – but will probably never use – and spend every day powering through the pain of being surrounded by things that I desperately want, but are way out of my price range.

Luckily, Christmas is a time for receiving gifts as well as giving them so while you’re shopping around for your mammy, sister and female friends, do keep in mind the things you’d like to add to your Christmas list too!


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Buffalo Carrie Glitter Pump Stiletto Black, PRICE: €128.00, Buffalo Shoes

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Marc Jacobs Daisy 100ml, PRICE:€81.00, Boots


Personalised Knitted Mug, PRICE: €22.38, Not On The High Street


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Brown Thomas Gift Card, Brown Thomas

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Molton Brown All-Year Round Aroma Reeds Collection Gift Set, PRICE: €128.00, Arnotts

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Yves Saint Laurent BlackOpium 30ml, PRICE: €57.00, Boots


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Statement Jewellery, PRICE:€15.00, The Cosmetic Outlet

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MAC Lipstick, PRICE:€19.50, Brown Thomas


All the above, of course! 😉

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8 signs it’s all in your head

men/ relationships/ women

signs it is all in your head

I recently spoke to a good friend of mine who was telling me how devastated he was about something that happened between him and his love interest.

While it was quite saddening to listen to, I also thought it was a bit of a relief – let’s face it, men aren’t exactly the best advocates for showing their emotions, so I found it quite comforting to see this happen for a change  (especially for him).

So what went wrong?

In my opinion, he made the classical mistake some women make when they are overwhelmed by the emotions they feel for someone – create something that isn’t really there. That’s right, he was in a dream-lationship (I totally just made that word up!), nonetheless, that’s exactly what was happening.

signs it is all in your head 2

So what are the signs that it’s all in your head? What are the signs that indicate you’ve been creating a relationship that doesn’t really exist and is simply a figure of your imagination?

Since being young and naive subjected me to go through exactly this (I like to think I’ve grown), I don’t find it too hard to pinpoint some of the behaviours and actions of someone who is clearly delusional about what is happening between them and their love interest.

Here are the signs that you need a reality check:

1. He never pops the question
He never mentions anything about going on a date with you, meeting up or simply spending time together. If he wanted to take you out, then you would have known at this stage.

2. You’re the only one starting sentences with ‘I feel’
You have no idea how he ‘feels’ and yet you are under the impression that you’re drawn to one another. You can’t unilaterally decide how he feels without him giving you a speck of a hint! It just doesn’t work like that.

3. You constantly imagine going on dates with him but you never actually GO on them
You see where I’m going with this one?

4. He never really rings you….or texts you…. or contacts you
Basically, he doesn’t show any initiative. You text him first, you Viber him during his lunch break: you are always making the first move – kinda self explanatory don’t you think?

if he wants you

5. You wonder whether or not you’re going to hear from him
If you’re concerned about the next time you’ll be hearing from him then clearly you haven’t established any sort of relationship with him.

6. You’ve never even kissed or been in a situation where it is likely to happen
Does the word friend-zone sound familiar at all?

7. You’re doing all the talking
It always seems like getting words out of him is almost like drawing blood from a stone. Yes, there are shy guys and then there are guys who are just disinterested.

8. You don’t know much about him                  
Again, you shouldn’t have to drag anything out of him. If the feelings were mutual then he would more than likely be talking to you about his interests.

If any of these are just too close to home, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate the situation! Lord knows I had to…..

Feel free to share your thoughts on this, if any and hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

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Posted on September 2, 2014

12 mistakes women make with men

men/ relationships/ women

mistakes women make with men

After giving it plenty of time and consideration, I’ve decided to finally unleash my inner Carrie Bradshaw. She wasn’t exactly an expert when it came to men and frankly, neither am I.

However, I do have some very interesting stories that pretty much go from one extreme to another  – that’s putting it lightly.

Also, after hearing stories from female friends as well as other women, I think it’s fair to say we’ve all made one or two of these mistakes at least once in our lives of being ‘young and naive.’

1. Confusing sex with love
Most of the time, sex is sex – nothing more, nothing less.

2. Getting too attached
Being invited over should never EVER translate to leaving your toothbrush at his – even if you did stay the night.

3. Overanalysing
The thinking: the constant and endless thinking that’s enough to put us in a straight jacket. Maybe, just maybe, the words ‘okay then,’ really just mean ‘okay then’.

12 mistakes women make with men 3

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4. Not making them work for it
Don’t just give it to any Tom, Dick or Harry who comes along, make them work for it – make them earn what they want.

5. Making them work too hard
The opposite applies too. Push them too far off the edge and they just might stay there! I guess the key here is just to find the right balance (let me know when you’ve found it!)

6. Opening up too soon
This pretty much sends them running to the hills. No poems, no love letters, no confessions – just don’t do it.

7. Putting them up on a pedestal
No good can ever come of putting your man, lover or crush up on a pedestal.

8. Emasculating them
I’m all for girl power and the whole women rule the world jazz, but let’s be honest; men like to set the pace. Sometimes, leaving the ball in their court will show you whether or not he’s really interested.

12 mistakes women make with men 2

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9. Expecting them to change
Change comes from within so don’t hold your breath if you think he’s going to give up one of his ‘bad habits’ before he’s ready. We think they’re going to change and they think we won’t – what a beautiful world we live in!

10. Becoming someone else
Women who change themselves for men are only setting themselves out for disappointment. Especially since the truth always comes out in the end.

11. Being too available
Nobody wants an eager beaver; it’s never a good look either on a woman or a man for that matter.

12. Expecting too much
At this stage, I’ve realised that sometimes it’s better to just count the blessings that are already there than to complain about the things that aren’t!

So there you have it, 12 mistakes women make with men straight from the horses mouth ( I kid!) but I can’t say I’m not guilty here! Feel free to share any thoughts you might have down below 🙂

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