What do you do when witches are eating your hair?

(This post has appeared on africanaturalistas.com)

When I was in senior secondary school, I had a close friend who had a coin-sized patch at the left side of her head. That patch made her look very strange and weird, and she sometimes came late to school because she was having to attend one appointment or the other, in order to seek solution to her hair problems

One day, she confided in me and said they had seen a white garment pastor who said it was witches eating that part of her hair and anytime the hair tried to grow, witches would keep eating it.

She told me this in all seriousness, and so I took her very serious

But even at that age and exposure, I knew there was something a bit off about blaming witches for one’s hair loss. I mean, we have heard of witches drinking and sucking blood, and because of that wreaking havoc on human lives and hair, which I don’t even want to get into since this is not a religious or metaphysics blog.

But witches eating hair???

What exactly do they want to use the hair to do? How does the hair increase their power? It’s a different case if the seer said they were plucking it with their hands, so my friend could look unattractive to guys, and should affect her chances of marriage. But he said they were eating it. Oh puhleeaaassseee.

Oh Please
Anyway, about a year or more later, the witches decided to stop eating my friend’s hair, and her scalp completely filled back up. Maybe they had done a lot of deliverance and anointing services, and the witches couldn’t resist the pastor’s powers anymore. And that was the end of the story.

Fast forward to this year, I suddenly remembered my friend, who is now a runway model, and I laughed. My career as a Holistic Practitioner of Trichology has exposed me to several cases of hair and scalp disorders.

So I began to replay the whole situation of my friend’s hair loss in 1997-1998. She had nothing more than Alopecia Areata. This is a form of here loss caused by an auto-immune disorder, where the body wrongly recognizes cells of part of the hair as harmful. And then, it begins to attack that area, and kill off all the cells, just like what chemotherapy is supposed to do to cancer cells.

Since it’s an auto-immune disorder, nothing can be done about it to treat it internally. In many cases, after a while, it corrects itself, and things go back to normal. The length of time it takes for it to correct itself varies from person to person. This condition, in many cases, is triggered by severe stress with a combination of other things.

Of course, my friend and her family didn’t know this. They saw a very strange, inexplicable patch of her hair that wouldn’t fill up. They had no explanation for it, and the next thing was to resort to a white garment pastor who told them that witches had been eating her hair, thus sending them on a wild goose chase of anointing and deliverance. To be honest, I don’t blame them. We know that people fear what they don’t understand.

So the question now is… what do you do when witches are eating your hair? The answer is simple. Just see a trichologist!

Atilola Moronfolu (HPT) is a certfied hair care expert and a holistic practitioner of trichology certified and accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and Mahogany Hair Revolution, Los Angeles, California. You can visit her Hair Clinic website by clicking here. To book a hair clinical appointment with Atilola in Lagos Nigeria, send a mail to hairconsult@africanaturalistas.com or call 07061141501.

Please help me determine the next direction of my life

Where's everyone?

For sometime now, all the blogger oldies have been disappearing one by one by one, like water leaking from a bucket with a very tiny hole in it.

This has translated to the fact that if I still want to remain on blogger, I have to start deliberately making new blog friends, and accepting the fact that the old ones might never come back again, or would just come once in a six months to update us.

Making new blog friends isn't exactly a walk in the park. You have to DELIBERATELTY reach out to new people, drop blog links, etc. I also feel like the randomness of my blog style and op-ed write ups was what made sense to my old blog friends, but might not cut it for the new blog friends I want to make. This might also be evidenced in the fact that the kind of phase I'm entering into soon would not allow for such randomness.

This now means I might have to serious evaluation about this blog now. I mean at some point, I used to rake in 60 to 100 comments every week. Now, we are just doing 15 to 20. This goes to tell me that the Nigerian blogosphere has evolved. And what do they say about businesses that refuse to evolve with the times? They go under.

Another option would be to go under, i.e. shut down the blog. But I refuse to do that. Almost every (99%) blessing I enjoy in my life now i.e. career, business, marriage, travels, spoken word deals in and out of the country, etc. is directly or indirectly as a result of my presence on this blog. So shutting down the blog would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Also, writing is my life. If I'm not writing for people to read, I'm sure I would just die.

Another option would be to keep writing, but not consistently, so I don't feel any pressure. But knowing me, this would never happen. I'd just die of self guilt because consistency is what keeps me going in every area of my life. Either I'm in or I'm out. NO MIDDLE GROUND.

So how do I get this blog back to level it used to be before, and even surpass it? It means it has to evolve. Content wise, and audience wise?

And that brings me to the most difficult part. How? How do I evolve? A lot of people are now blogging about lifestyle, the places they go, review about the food they ate, etc. but that's not me. I want to be more intentional than that. I want people to come here, and not leave the same, I want people to look forward to visiting the blog every Monday

So what do I do?

Do I change the theme to entrepreneurship (That's not the only thing I am, and writing about business weekly seems like a boring thing to me)
My life as a spoken word artist (This is so limiting)
My life as an author (Too seasonal)
Do I stick to the randomness and just focus on finding new friends? (I think it has gotten me this far, but won't take me forward)
Do I have to do a minimal blog redesign?

So in short, I'm confused. You guys are wise. Can you give me suggestions on what to do, how to make this blog evolve? I've been feeling this burden for almost a year now, so give me that opportunity to bounce my ideas off you. Please don't look at the reasons I stated in the list just above, just advise of your own accord. Thanks

I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing what you would say to me.

Am I the legitimate daughter of my father?

As a child, I used to watch as my father jumped ropes. He did it with so much fluidity that it was like magic. It was as if his feet never left the ground, yet rope kept going over his head again and again and again. He was like the proverbial cat with nine lives, whose feet never landed, just his toes.

We all had our own jump ropes but ours was tattered with broken handles and worn out ropes. We skipped clumsily, bent our knees and jumped so high like we were trying to prove to the world that we had the potential to grow taller than our infancy would allow.

My dad was a fitness buff. Even in our days of living in flat, he bought table tennis boards and kept it in the compound for everyone to use, just so he could play on it, considering the fact that he couldn't put it in his apartment.

Even though I admired him, I never wanted to be like him because he called me a lazy girl. Every Saturday morning, he made me and my siblings lie down and do sit ups and crunches, something I detested and still do. He pinned my ankles and knees down and shouted “sit up, you can do it. Don't let your legs move.” And I replied loudly “I can't, I can't. I can't sit up if my knees don't move. When he saw that I really couldn't sit up, he will say “Ati, you are a lazy girl” and move on to my other siblings who were blessed with better fluidity than me.

You see, my father's definition of lazy girl was a lady who wasn't agile, active and nimble, who couldn't hold her head amongst men, especially in the career world. My mum's definition of a lazy girl was someone who couldn't hold her own in the kitchen and take care of the home. Between both of them, I obviously had no choice but to turn out to be superwoman if I didn’t want to fit into their differing standards of a “lazy girl.”

Fast forward to my teenage years, my dad tried to teach me to swim. By this time, I had changed my mind. I really wanted to be like my dad. I pleaded with him to teach me how to swim. “I'm traveling out this Sunday.” He would say. “I'm going to the gym by 7pm. If you can meet me at the office, we would go together and I will teach you.”

And so I would move mountains to make sure I was at his office by 7pm on a weekday, and off to La’ Campagne Tropicana we went. He would hold my stomach try to make me float and teach me. It was so difficult. After about 5 times of this kind of trips, I gave up. I had become a lazy girl once again. So every Sunday we went to La’ Campagne Tropicana. He did all his gyming and all while I just played around and watched him. But I guess watching him was the only training I needed at that time.

Thankfully, my father had been blessed with another daughter when I was a teenager. I guess he didn't want to make the same mistake of her turning into the same lazy girl I had become. So he started her fitness training while she was still a toddler. To the gym they went every Saturday. To be honest I couldn't be bothered with his new companion. He had found a new play child, and the pressure was now off me.

He taught her to swim, a feat he couldn't achieve with me. They danced together, raced around the house together, a bigger house this time. Together, their reality was different from mine, growing up in a flat, and my dad pinning my legs down and screaming “sit up sit up.” They were best friends.
On a Saturday, they went to the gym together, did their swimming lessons. That was his last day on earth. No he didn't die while swimming. I wish he did though, it would have been far better than the way he was gunned down. She was 6 then.  I doubt she remembers him much .

I used to be a dancer, and we would rehearse all night like it was nothing. I had the energy of twenty people compressed into my small body. But someday in my mid-twenties, I danced rigorously to 5 songs and got tired. At this point, I knew I had to take all my dad’s earlier warnings and get my fitness game on. I couldn’t be one of those women who in their forties looked like they were really in their forties, and would reminisce on how they used to be so agile and youthful before marriage and kids took their toll on them.

And so I picked up my skipping rope, dumbbells, shoes, fitness gears and all. Now every morning, I jump ropes with nimble feet and fluidity. I do more than my dad ever did. I squat, I lunge, I push up, I crunch, I kickbox, I do everything I’m challenged with. I am no more a lazy girl. I am now the daughter of my Dad.

A week after my 6th birthday, and
my Dad was 33, celebrating
his master's graduation. Although he
lied to me that the party was for both
of us when I kept pestering him.
Gosh he told me so many 'lies'. Lol

P.S: I really need you guys to help me with a good title for this post. Something that would instantly grab attention and make you want to read the post. Thanks

InterTribal Marriage can get you into trouble

First of all, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who volunteered to read my novel. You guys are far too kind. Even though I gave two weeks window for feedback, I already have two in already. At a point, I had to stop sending out the novels because I had already sent to 12 people, without counting. I might still send out to more people, if I don't get the feedback I require from others. Thank you. You pipu are just three mush, lol.

I was hanging out with my friends yesterday evening when something happened to inspire this blog post.

My friends (a guy and a lady) are engaged to be married this year.

Guy has been my friend for 14 years, since 2002. At a point, we were very close because we were in the same class and fellowship in university.

Girl has been my friend for about a year. We have ended up becoming extremely close friends. We work in the same department in church, with the teens.

Both are on fire for God. Girl is Yoruba, guy is Igbo, and they really love each other.

Again, they are getting married in a few months. Since it was Mother's Day, guy decides to call girl's mother to wish her happy Mother's Day.

So guy calls girl's mother and they start gisting and laughing. Girl's mother complains about something and next thing guy says "eeya, pele" obviously trying to commiserate in Yoruba.

Girl and I turned to look at each other and then look at guy. We shake our heads and say "see this one, he doesn't know what blunder he just committed."  Guy is oblivious and keeps on shining teeth with girl's mother.

Immediately he dropped, we didn't hesitate to school him about Yoruba and the culture of respect. In Yoruba culture, to talk to elders, you have to put 'e' in front. You can't just say "pele"

Thank God girl is from a sane family. In many Yoruba families, that single blunder is strong enough to get a marriage cancelled, that is if they ever allowed intertribal marriage in the first place.

We told guy that it would have even been worse if girl was the one who was Igbo and guy was Yoruba. Imagine girl going to her Yoruba in laws and telling her mother in law "pele". Heaven would fall after they've called family meeting on her head.

So people how do you do it? How do you respect people of another culture when you don't even know what parameter of the language is considered polite, and what is rude? Or should we just stick to our own tribe and not bother intermarrying? If you choose to intermarry, how does one avoid getting blamed for a blunder one doesn't even know exists?

What is your take?