MY TRIP TO BENIN CITY, EDO STATE NIGERIA

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Hey beautiful people! How are you doing?
So over the long Sallah break for Eid el Kabir I traveled to the Ancient city of Benin in Edo State Nigeria. 


And let me tell you the city was indeed ancient. Initially I was both excited and slightly scared about travelling to Benin. Excited because back in secondary school we had learned so much about the Benin Empire which is supposedly one of the oldest in Nigeria. I was looking forward to seeing tons of artwork  and lots of cultural display too as well as western influences in the form of colonial buildings.

Now I was a bit scared  of African technology (witchcraft), I won't lie. And my family did not make matters any better. My Nigerians we all know these things are real.  The entire region is quite known for fetish behaviors such as this and sometimes as the headquarters of everything lol (no offence to people from the region). Anyways after reminding myself of what the bible says about fear and who I am as a child of God I braved the trip. 


I traveled from Abuja to Benin with Big Joe motors with a quick bus break in Lokoja, Kogi State. The bus fare was of course hiked up due to the public holiday. I paid 5,000 Naira going and 6,000 Naira coming. This was one of the cheaper alternatives by the way. The ride was bumpy as per usual with our Nigerian roads and the driver which I thought was reckless did not make matters any better. There we were jumping around like pop corn. The drive took about 8 hours.

Taxi Cab along Ring road

I found Benin as a city to be quite rustic. Everything looked old too especially when coming from a major city like Abuja. The little taxi cabs painted red and yellow were cute (hey colour blocking). A lot of the buildings were old architecture styles from back in the day. This is such a sharp contrast to places like Abuja where everything is green and new. As an old soul at heart, you bet I loved them and had to take pictures too. My companion was not having it and even got quite annoyed but hey that's the life of a blogger. 


I spotted quite a few colonial structures like this one located along Ring road en route to the popular Kings Market. Also on a walk through Asemotta street which reminded me of Old Calabar I sited quite a few colonial buildings too. And oh, least I forget the post office which was also a colonial structure. Unfortunately I was unable to take a picture of the building.

The streets were filled with sculptures and statues especially the road leading to the Oba's palace. When asked, I was told visitors could no longer tour the Oba's palace or even get close enough to get a clear picture so sadly I didn't make it there. However, the statues I was told are shrines of protection for the traditional rulers. 

Ring Road roundabout

We of course stumbled on another colonial building which appears to be of some significant value, however there was no tour guide on ground. Though get this, behind this building below were a group of traditional worshipers, only God knew what they were doing there, you best believe I covered myself with the blood. 

The sculptures below upon research were erected by the Late Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia  who was a military governor of the Mid-west state also known as the Bendel State. The structure serves as a reminder of all the lives lost during the Nigerian civil war. Where are all my history lovers at?






I also met my blogger friend, Sogie of The Diva Diaries. This was one of the highlights of my trip. She reminds me so much of my younger sisters and cousins. When asked, she said there wasn't much to do in Benin, much to my disappointment but you can still see that I made the most of my short stay there.

I spent only a few day in Benin so I didn't get around much but like I mentioned earlier there isn't much to see sadly. Our government has a tendency of neglecting tourism. Anyways, so far I have traveled to Benue, Cross River, Anambra, Edo, Kogi and Lagos State (if you count the airport). 

Most of the pictures were taken with my phone, an Infinix hot S as I didn't want to deal with anybody questioning or harassing me. I enjoyed my trip but I attribute this to the people I hung with as opposed to the city itself.

I am wearing a shirt from the Tee Hub and mom jeans from the Vintage Closet Naija styled here and here

Overall, travelling is great because you learn and observe so many things. Like first of all how most places outside major cities in Nigeria are dull. The major cities are livelier but most road trips involve sad roads and tons of farms and villages that you see in passing. I do hope to travel to a couple more places before the year ends.

Have you been to Benin City? What are you thoughts? What other states in Nigeria or countries in Africa have you visited? What do you think of roadtrips in Nigeria? 

You can catch up on my other travel adventures as well


Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
Hey beautiful people! How are you doing?
So over the long Sallah break for Eid el Kabir I traveled to the Ancient city of Benin in Edo State Nigeria. 


And let me tell you the city was indeed ancient. Initially I was both excited and slightly scared about travelling to Benin. Excited because back in secondary school we had learned so much about the Benin Empire which is supposedly one of the oldest in Nigeria. I was looking forward to seeing tons of artwork  and lots of cultural display too as well as western influences in the form of colonial buildings.

Now I was a bit scared  of African technology (witchcraft), I won't lie. And my family did not make matters any better. My Nigerians we all know these things are real.  The entire region is quite known for fetish behaviors such as this and sometimes as the headquarters of everything lol (no offence to people from the region). Anyways after reminding myself of what the bible says about fear and who I am as a child of God I braved the trip. 


I traveled from Abuja to Benin with Big Joe motors with a quick bus break in Lokoja, Kogi State. The bus fare was of course hiked up due to the public holiday. I paid 5,000 Naira going and 6,000 Naira coming. This was one of the cheaper alternatives by the way. The ride was bumpy as per usual with our Nigerian roads and the driver which I thought was reckless did not make matters any better. There we were jumping around like pop corn. The drive took about 8 hours.

Taxi Cab along Ring road

I found Benin as a city to be quite rustic. Everything looked old too especially when coming from a major city like Abuja. The little taxi cabs painted red and yellow were cute (hey colour blocking). A lot of the buildings were old architecture styles from back in the day. This is such a sharp contrast to places like Abuja where everything is green and new. As an old soul at heart, you bet I loved them and had to take pictures too. My companion was not having it and even got quite annoyed but hey that's the life of a blogger. 


I spotted quite a few colonial structures like this one located along Ring road en route to the popular Kings Market. Also on a walk through Asemotta street which reminded me of Old Calabar I sited quite a few colonial buildings too. And oh, least I forget the post office which was also a colonial structure. Unfortunately I was unable to take a picture of the building.

The streets were filled with sculptures and statues especially the road leading to the Oba's palace. When asked, I was told visitors could no longer tour the Oba's palace or even get close enough to get a clear picture so sadly I didn't make it there. However, the statues I was told are shrines of protection for the traditional rulers. 

Ring Road roundabout

We of course stumbled on another colonial building which appears to be of some significant value, however there was no tour guide on ground. Though get this, behind this building below were a group of traditional worshipers, only God knew what they were doing there, you best believe I covered myself with the blood. 

The sculptures below upon research were erected by the Late Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia  who was a military governor of the Mid-west state also known as the Bendel State. The structure serves as a reminder of all the lives lost during the Nigerian civil war. Where are all my history lovers at?






I also met my blogger friend, Sogie of The Diva Diaries. This was one of the highlights of my trip. She reminds me so much of my younger sisters and cousins. When asked, she said there wasn't much to do in Benin, much to my disappointment but you can still see that I made the most of my short stay there.

I spent only a few day in Benin so I didn't get around much but like I mentioned earlier there isn't much to see sadly. Our government has a tendency of neglecting tourism. Anyways, so far I have traveled to Benue, Cross River, Anambra, Edo, Kogi and Lagos State (if you count the airport). 

Most of the pictures were taken with my phone, an Infinix hot S as I didn't want to deal with anybody questioning or harassing me. I enjoyed my trip but I attribute this to the people I hung with as opposed to the city itself.

I am wearing a shirt from the Tee Hub and mom jeans from the Vintage Closet Naija styled here and here

Overall, travelling is great because you learn and observe so many things. Like first of all how most places outside major cities in Nigeria are dull. The major cities are livelier but most road trips involve sad roads and tons of farms and villages that you see in passing. I do hope to travel to a couple more places before the year ends.

Have you been to Benin City? What are you thoughts? What other states in Nigeria or countries in Africa have you visited? What do you think of roadtrips in Nigeria? 

You can catch up on my other travel adventures as well


Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
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Hey beautiful people! How's everybody? I love white as a colour, it always gives that angelic fresh glow whenever worn. However when it comes to rocking a full blown white on white look, I have a few qualms.

One, it gets dirty so easily. Two, it can quickly make one appear bigger, which is not flattering. 

Now last week, I attended a bloggers brunch organized by the Blogger Point at the Laguna Lounge Abuja. The dress code was all white. 

People came dressed to kill and I drew so much inspiration from the various white on white looks I saw. All sorts of trends were sported, ranging from the flared trousers, flared sleeve trend, billow sleeves, off shoulder and cold shoulder looks as well. 

This post will not necessarily be about the event but a quick guide on 10 ways to style white on white. You can however catch up on what went down at the event on Deola's blog and The Blogger Point

1.
As a lover of all things high waisted trousers, I was pleased to see quite a few bloggers incorporating this into their all white outfits. Tonye over here used the power of a statement belt to make us think that her outfit is actually a jumpsuit. It is rather a cold shoulder ruffle top paired with trousers. I was a bit taken a back when I found out but then I remembered the power of a statement belt and my makeshift jumpsuits rocked here and here


2.
Jasmine added a touch of sexiness to this jumpsuit by opting for a one sleeve and it definitely worked, I mean look at her toned arms and shoulders. I love the addition of the flared sleeves and the little detail of the pom poms on the sleeves.

3.
Vanessa is giving us all bohemian vibes with these fun flared/bell button trousers paired with a raffia bag.  And guess what she made the trousers and bag by herself! She also has a tutorial of the bag here, so check that out 

4,5. 
Love how Lemma and Larisa opted for flared sleeves paired with a high waist trousers. And of course Lemma shows us that one can be modest and covered while still slaying. Love that she knotted the maxi shirt too. Also it doesn't show in the pictures but Larisa sported a really lovely retro beaded purse which added the perfect pop of red to her outfit. 
larisalefleur
Leemlarh and Larisa Le Fleur 

6.
Mabel is giving old school retro vibes which I just love. I loved how cohesive her all white outfit is. The billow sleeves, lace embroidery details on the dress, raffia bag plus afro hair were perfect touches. 
 Mabel Ozumba

7.
Oroma shows us simplicity is key with this basic shirt/shift dress. Although a tad bit too short for me but very flattering on her as it goes perfectly with her body type. The gold details in her frames, bag and block sandals were a plus too.

8.
 This look had to be one of my favourites. I loved how all the details came together to spice up and transform this look. Right from the hijab which added a lovely pop of colour to her leopard print pumps and structured purse. The amazing thing is that this lovely lady is the designer of this outfit. Her outfit made such an impression that I just had to say hi. Where are all my Muslim sisters at, this could serve as a perfect Eid/Sallah outfit. This look was one of my best dressed.

9.
The billow sleeves were perfect in adding that extra touch to Thelma's outfit. I loved everything about her all white look right from her high bun, to the on point makeup and fringe lace up sandals. As per modest fashionista, I wouldn't rock this but it worked so well for her. This just goes to show how important it is to understand how to dress for one's body type. Thelma is one of my best dressed actually. 

10. 
Finally, this stunning lady kept is simple yet classy with a one shoulder ruffle dress. Loved the pop of red too and the loose fit if the dress. 

As I said earlier all the bloggers came out dressed to the nines but these are some of my favourite looks and those that made an impact and inspired. Of course there are a lot more but since I didn't take my camera, I was unable to get good pictures of everyone's outfit.

Here are a few pictures of the event. 
I'm with Deola of Portable Is The New Hot and Alexandra of Lily of Nigeria
Loved Mabel's raffia bag
I'm with Alma of The Style Cheapskate and DVF Style Collective, the only make blogger who showed too.
  Dancing with Alma of The Style Cheapskate, Portia of Just Porsh and Oluchi of Dleona

I hope you enjoyed this post and drew some inspiration on how to style white on white

Photo credit goes to  Larisa Fleur (thank you for always helping out with lovely shots girl, I appreciate),  Thelumik and the Various bloggers featured.

Did you attend the event? What were your favourite looks? Which ones would you most likely wear? Who was your best dressed? How do you feel about rocking white on white? 

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
Some of you might already know that I put this post up sometime last week. I however took it down shortly as I felt the topic was a bit delicate and the post was missing something. 

Now after getting inspired from a thread on Twitter I decided to come back and discuss this because it has to be said. So let's talk about sex guys!


Sex is like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. A lot of people seem to be engaging in sex ( willingly or unwillingly), more so than I think but no one likes to ever talk about it. There has always been a certain hush hush surrounding this particular topic.

Yes we live in an over sexualized world but the nitty gritty aspects of it are ignored. The fear I believe is that knowledge of sex will spark an increase in the practice. But with the way the world is going I can't help but think perhaps we need to get over that fear. Because there is a major problem in our society when it comes to this issue.

My heart breaks everyday when I read or hear of new cases of sexual assault, mostly on minors. A three year old rapped to death by a forty something year old and a young teenage girl gang raped, new case to case everyday. What's wrong with the world these days?

One has to wonder has the avoidance of the sex talk fixed any of the present problems? We look at the outcome rather then the cause. knowledge they say is key. If there was more talk on sex, would it prevent assault? If more young men and women were given sex education in the right context, would it make a difference. Now I'm not even talking about an in depth talk but rather a brief on the expectations of sex. A run down  basically like this "Sex is supposed to be between two consenting adults, not minors or family.
Don't you think this sort of structure would perhaps help people stand up in cases of abuse. Can you imagine someone being sexually abused for years by a relative and not saying anything? Well I feel it's probably because the standard was not set. Because a lot of victims of sexual abuse never knew they were abused until much later in life.

Growing up, the closest to sex education I ever got was my mom saying "Sarah men are bad, when they get what they want they leave so keep yourself until marriage". I remember being quite puzzled and of course uncomfortable about the topic of sex. My initial thoughts of how a woman gets pregnant is still ludicrous. I used to think that the sperm flies out and gets a woman pregnant just by the fact that they both lie in the same bed. What was I thinking lol.

We might say the sex talk encourages sex but seeing all the things happening today, is it perhaps time to reconsider? Shouldn't we consider formal sex education even in schools. Why hush something that's a part of us. Plus these days with the internet there is a lot of exposure to sex (porn), if the younger ones are not taught from home don't you think they'd find it somewhere else and God forbid even learn from bad friends? So why not work in building the right knowledge from home. Charity begins at home doesn't it.

This is a tricky topic to say the least and my intent in writing this post is not to encourage people to have sex but to encourage more of an awareness of what it entails with the intention of hoping to curb abuse/assault through more knowledge.

As a Christian my stance on sex is that one should wait till marriage. It sure isn't easy but I believe with self discipline and conscious efforts, it can be done. Now on a moral point of view, I say save it for some one worth it but what do I know. 

Should there be more talk on sex? What do you think of sex education in schools, would this help or provide an adverse effect? What are your general thoughts on this topic? 

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
Hey Beautiful people! 
Lately I've been wondering is it ever okay to quit or give up? Yes I know one should try and try and I'm the first one to preach that but is there ever a point when it's time to let go? If you follow me on Twitter, you would probably understand where I'm coming from.

As mentioned in my last post, your girl is getting older hence I've been thinking a lot about my future goals as I re-access some of my lifestyle choices. Certain things have either got to give or just go but let's save that for another day shall we? Shout to all of you who gave some awesome advice by the way, thank you.

Ankara peplum top, made in Nigeria, made in Aba, African prints, culottes
Ankara peplum top, made in Nigeria, made in Aba, African prints, culottes
Lets talk about this fit!

Ankara is so beautiful, I can't help but love my African prints. And today, taking a hint from some of my favorite blogger in this post, I decided to style this lovely Ankara peplum top from Native and Sewn, a made in Nigeria brand all the way from Aba, Abia State (Yas).

Now as much as Ankara is beautiful and so lovely when styled, finding that perfect tailor who both delivers on time  and understands you is no easy feat. We've all had our fair share of Nigerian tailor horror stories I believe, I shared some of mine here. However, the lovely people at Native and Sewn delivered with this cute Ankara peplum top.
Ankara peplum top, made in Nigeria, made in Aba, African prints, culottes
Ankara peplum top, made in Nigeria, made in Aba, African prints, culottes
Here are my thoughts:

Packing: 
Amazing job, one of the best I've seen. The top came nicely wrapped in a package in a tote bag. 

Fit: 
Perfect, too perfect even.
Thanks to less stress, more sleep and food I managed to gain weight within the time the order was placed and the time I received it. Hence this top is too fitted, it was even a struggle putting it on lol, my baby sis who helped out asked me, "what are you eating?"

Quality: 
Great, the top has been washed already and the color did not fade  
Finishing: 
So neat and professionally done, no loose threads hanging, I was impressed.

Time Frame: 
The order took about three weeks including the shipping time which is quite okay seeing the quality. Also I believe they had a little hitch along the way which was one of the reasons for the slight delay. 

Shipping: 
They ship Nationwide and Worldwide!

Bonus: 
Native and Sewn also delivers customer orders and fabrics on request. For example if you want a specific style in a certain fabric, they have got you covered. They cater to both Men and Women's wear. Great customer service too!

Price: 
A bit on the high side to be honest but they deliver so it won't be a waste.
Ankara peplum top, made in Nigeria, made in Aba, African prints, culottes
Ankara peplum top, made in Nigeria, made in Aba, African prints, culottes

In styling, I wanted a not so cliched way of rocking this top as ankara peplum tops are often styled with jeans which can be quite boring at time.  Hence I paired it with my favorite black culottes styled (here, here and here). I initially considered layering a  shirt underneath but with no room to even breath thanks to the extra weight, that was impossible. I think this would make a great work look with pumps, you ? In the future, I'd probably layer a shirt underneath or pair it with either a skater skirt or peplum hem skirt so stay tuned!
Ankara peplum top, made in Nigeria, made in Aba, African prints, culottes
Photography by Ruth Audu

Would I recommend this brand? Of course! so check them out if you're ever looking for a faithful Nigerian tailor. Plus you also get to support a "Made in Nigeria" product. 

Get the top (here, Sunglasses: Zaful (here), Shoes: Zaful (Similar)

If you're a brand and would like to work with you're girl, shoot me an email at . We can definitely work something out. 

How would you have styled this top differently? What factors do you consider when looking for a tailor? What are your thoughts on quitting, is it ever okay?

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
 Happy new month my beautiful and ever loyal readers!
It's been quite a while guys, can't believe I have not even opened my blog for the past few days, wow. Consistency as a blogger takes a lot of planning and when one fails to plan properly, disappearing acts are bound to happen. 

And I apologize for that guys. Please stick till the end of this post for an update of new posting schedules which I will stick by, I promise!


So the other day I was thinking of rewinding the clock of life to five years ago when I was seventeen and constantly telling people I was twenty something because most people always thought I was older than I looked. Honestly, with my twenty third birthday just around the corner (September baby), I can't help but feel so old. This adult thing is really not all I was made to believe it is guys, it's hard!

At seventeen life was definitely a lot easier. All I had to do was go to university, get good grades which I did quite well and then go shopping. Now it's all so different. Recently the feeling of getting old really sunk in and I'm going to tell you why.

1. The Responsibilities 
The other day my mom listed out grocery items and simply said these are the things you'll buy once you get paid. I honestly don't know why I was surprised because my mom has been dropping hints ever since (typical Nigerian mother). I'm not sure if she's serious but we'll see. I've basically got to be responsible. No more asking for things or relying on others, one has got to get her life together.



2. The Aunty Greetings
Children now greet me with "Aunty" or "Ma" and I answer normally and even expect it. In the past this made me feel so old but now it just feels like a right of passage. Now, for my international readers, in Nigeria we generally greet our elders either with  "Aunty" or "Ma", it's a sign of respect actually.

3. The Marriage Talk
And can we talk about Marriage, dating and relationships especially in this part of the world. Every where I turn, all I hear is marriage. Everybody is just out there getting married and having babies which is great actually. People are either advising me to get married rather than pursue my graduate studies or people are asking me "what are you waiting for" when I say I'm not ready for marriage.

 The pressure hasn't gotten to me yet. Marriage is definitely in the plan but not for now. I just have to deal with people and of course mom who has been dropping hints. In the meantime, I'll just keep praying for future hubby, God's will for my life and life partner basically.

It's funny to think I was in such a hurry to grow up when I was younger but now I've realized they lied to us! As I said in my Sarah Speaks I wasn't really missing out on anything spectacular in adulthood.

Photography by Beniboba

Now onto the outfit. These pictures were taken last year towards the end of my service year in Calabar. I actually made the pencil skirt and Ankara vest during my sewing days which I can't wait to get back to. The skirt wasn't perfect as you can see but I was so proud because it was my first DIY sewing project. The Ankara vest which I did a better job at was styled here in my collab with Alma. 

How do you all deal with getting older? Can you relate with some of my reasons? What makes you feel old? How do you all deal with the pressures of marriage? Any funny stories about your Nigerian or African mothers? I'd love to know guys!

And before I forget, new posts will now drop 2-3 times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Also Sarah Speaks will now fall randomly during the week as it's slowly becoming a favorite.

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!

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