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LOUD WHISPERS: Sixty Random Thoughts

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Tuesday, August 1st, 2023
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When I turned 60 recently, I figured that attaining this age needed to come with some perks. I thought about all the things I would normally not want to talk about, have the courage to say out loud, or admit to, things about myself that people might not know, or questions that I have been asked in one form or the other. These are some random thoughts arranged in no particular order.

  1. I can say ‘No’ without feeling I have committed a crime
  2. I can say ‘Yes’ knowing I am honour bound to make good on my promise
  3. I don’t have enemies. I know there are people who hate my guts but calling them ‘enemies’ is exaggerating their importance.
  4. I hate prayers that ask God to ‘kill my adversaries’. How will they see me in all my purple glory?
  5. No matter how rich you are, you can only sleep on one bed at a time.
  6. I don’t worry about things I can’t afford. I focus on what I have or what is within my means.
  7. The best things in life are indeed free, examples are smiles, sunshine and sleep
  8. I hate exercise. I do it anyway.
  9. I no longer feel bad about not liking breakfast. I found out that there are many like me
  10. I love chocolate. I love Amstel low-sugar malt.  I love Neapolitan ice-cream. I love apple pie. However, I don’t commit all my sins at once (Hope my Doctor is not reading this)
  11. It started during COVID and the lockdowns, but now, I no longer feel guilty about enjoying my own company.
  12. I can’t sleep before 2am, maybe I have abused my ‘internal clock’ too much over the years
  13. I always set my watch and phone fifteen minutes late, that way I make sure I am on time
  14. I am never late for flights. Why would I want to break my limbs huffing and puffing through an airport?
  15. I hate feeling like a stuffed sausage, so I avoid Spanx, girdles, body magic, and so on. Worn all of them, been there, done that, not anymore.
  16. You can wear an outfit that costs a million bucks, but your best accessory is a smile
  17. Talking about outfits, why would anyone talk about how much their outfit or accessories cost? Tacky and classless.
  18. If you are sending me a T. shirt it has to be X Large. If it is from China, make it 2X. Life is too short.
  19. Never tell a woman she ‘looks fat’. Not only are you guilty of body shaming, not only does it make you a nasty person, she already knows.
  20. Mind your own business. You don’t know how many wars you can avoid with this.
  21. Limit exposure of your small children/grandchildren on social media. Let us stop raising a generation of kids who do not know what it is like to live offline
  22. I am a Feminist. Please don’t let it bother you, and if it does, I can drink a cup of tea on your behalf.
  23. Dear Bride, stop dancing and heaving as if you want the earth to swallow you. Take it easy, there will be another bride next week. Be graceful and elegant.
  24. Dear Bridesmaids, the Aso-Ebi was a minimum of 4 yards. Where is the rest of the fabric?
  25. Dear Groom, stop encouraging your bride to kneel to serve you cake. It makes you look like a dinosaur. No, it is not culture, we never used to have cakes.
  26. Dear Gen Z Masters of Ceremony. Please make sure you upgrade your skills on a regular basis so that your jokes don’t sound the same, your wedding games don’t look the same and your fake accents don’t grate all the same.
  27. Young lady, you can’t ask my husband for a selfie without asking me to join in. What is your agenda?
  28. Young man, I can’t take a selfie with only you, I don’t know you, however, you can bring another friend to join in.
  29. I don’t deal with religious merchants. They are in the business of selling salvation and grace which is free.
  30. Still on religious merchants. If you want a peaceful and healthy life, don’t indulge them
  31. My two cents (or Naira/Cedis) on the Jollof Rice wars. Senegalese Jollof known as Thieboudienne is the best. I once ordered it at 1am when I checked into a hotel in Dakar, that’s how much I love it.
  32. I love good Chardonnay, though I don’t drink that much of it anymore. My favourites are Meerlust Stellenbosch (South Africa) Jacob’s Creek (Australia) and Louis Jardot Pouilly Fuisse (France)
  33. I am quite adventurous but there are things I will never so such as Bungee Jumping, Skydiving and mountain climbing. And I definitely will not be flying to outer space or diving in to the deep seas
  34. Talking about adventures, there have been many. Riding a camel called Mickey Mouse in Cairo (it almost threw me off), dancing on the streets at a Jazz Festival in New Orleans, driving through war-torn Sierra Leone in a battered Peugeot 504 for 7 hours, checking twenty women into a hotel in Beijing (1995) which took a record six hours, driving past elephants roaming across the road in rural Zambia, admiring awesome ancient cathedrals, mosques and temples in Mexico, Turkey, Dubai, Nepal to mention a few. The world is a wondrous place.
  35. For almost twenty-five years of my life, I was a shopaholic. Name it, I bought it. I would wander through local markets in strange places haggling fiercely, and my efforts always paid off. Now, I am gentle, but still fall off the wagon every now and then.
  36. My favourite food is pounded yam and Egusi. It used to include Bushmeat, but Ebola and Covid put an end to that. My favourite lunch is Boli (Roast Plantains) and groundnuts.
  37. I love street food such as fried yam, fried plantains and Akara. Not everyday though.
  38. My favourite places in Africa include Cape Town (South Africa) Zanzibar (Tanzania) Mombassa (Kenya) Jinja (Uganda) and Ekiti (Nigeria).
  39. My favourite places around the world include Florence, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Bahia, Singapore, Dubai and New York.
  40. The things I love most about travelling are new experiences, comfortable hotel beds, local cuisine and markets.
  41. The thing I hate most about travelling is how long it takes to recover from a trip the older you get.
  42. My favourite fabric is Cotton. I used to love Silk till it became apparent that it is an unforgiving material.
  43. I am a card-carrying member of my political party. I however also belong to a party to which I am 1000% loyal and which I will be a member of till I pass away. The party of WOMEN.
  44. We have Godfathers. There are also Godmothers, they are not a myth.
  45. I have been a size 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20. And I have the photographs to prove it.
  46. I have had my hair permed, braided, locked and in wigs. And I have the photographs to prove it.
  47. I love all kinds of music, and it does not matter if I don’t understand the lyrics. The rhythm is everything for me. This is how I fell in love with Jerusalema before it became a global phenomenon.
  48. I have regrets, but that is all they can be. Regrets.
  49. I love binge-watching TV dramas. There was a time I didn’t mind keeping up with weekly dramas and setting my video-recorder to record if I was going to be away. Then I learnt the joys of delayed gratification and would take my time for a series to end then BOOM – I would get some chicken wings and wine and it would be bliss.
  50. Your qualifications, connections or even luck can get you a seat at the table. It is your manners that will keep you there.
  51. Be curious about the world. Seek knowledge about things you would like to know more about. There are so many ways you can learn now, unlike years ago.
  52. There are no witches or wizards after your progress. By God’s grace (not through any intermediary) your time will come.
  53. He/She who has ears, let them hear. There is a reason why ‘raincoats’ are available for purchase. Do the needful, wholesale or retail depends on your utilization capacity.
  54. There will be a time and place when you can talk without inhibitions
  55. There will be a time and place when you need to keep quiet, you can’t quote silence
  56. You don’t need to inherit enemies and you should not leave enemies behind as some form of inheritance for others.
  57. ‘You are the first’. ‘You are the only’. ‘You are the best’. It is all lies. They have said the same to others.
  58. It does not cost anything to be kind. A kind look, word, or hug might be enough.
  59. Cheer for the person who has won laurels. It will be your turn next, stop plotting how you will take theirs away.
  60. You don’t need to compete. You only need to be the best version of yourself possible.

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

4 Responses

  1. This sure is from the fountain of wisdom ma’am. I couldn’t get tired from re-reading this article. Interesting and insightful at the same time. Weldone ma.

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