Yoruba Culture x Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove

I grew up knowing the gods of the Yoruba culture just as I learned the language and part of what made knowing them great is the storytelling that came with each god. Sango being the god of lightning, thunder and fire that breathes fire when angry and husband to several other wives, Osumare the rainbow god, Yemoja the goddess of all living things and many others. It was educative hearing the tales in Yoruba class and personal research, some of which portray them as being almost as human as we are although they had superhuman abilities. The Osun Osogbo sacred groove happens to be home to Osun, the goddess synonymous to water and fertility.

The history of the Yoruba culture is one of the richest in Nigeria if the not the whole of Africa and is conveyed from generation to generation through word of mouth mostly. The Yoruba people themselves amount to over 40 million presently. The Yoruba tribe stems from Ile-Ife, the bedrock of Yoruba history. At the turn of the century, there have been major strides to preserve culture and the Yoruba culture is one whose preservation is very key.

My sojourn through life landed me in Osun Nigeria back in February and I made it down to the Osun Osogbo sacred groove and Nike Art Gallery, Osogbo. Pribodunke wrote about the Lagos branch of the gallery in her post here. Unfortunately, we were not permitted to take pictures there so I have nothing to show for that except the beautiful artwork in my memory.

The Osun Osogbo sacred groove is pretty easy to locate if you’re conversant with the Osogbo environs. For a visitor, Google Maps will come in really handy. Right from the gate of the groove, you’ll see one or two or a dozen monkeys swinging from trees. The place is a home to them apparently and some of them are friendly and will pose for the camera.

Reaching the main entrance of the groove, the ancient architecture will have you bedazzled. You’ll be directed to a sort of reception area where you pay to enter the groove. The gate fee for students is 200 naira and non-students is 500 naira while for foreigners is 1,000 naira. Phone cameras cost 1,000 naira to take in and digital cameras attract the charge of 2,000 naira. I must honestly say there isn’t much to do at the groove, but the sculptures and architecture will have you wowed as well as the history behind the place. A tour guide will accompany you and tell the story of the groove as you go from one end to the other.

tour guide at Osun Groove

Tour guide at the groove

 

Places to visit in Osogbo

There are various wood and stone sculptures to see. Most of the sculptures there were done by Susanne Wenger who is a late White artist that visited the Osun Osogbo sacred groove and fell in love with the place. She divorced her husband then and moved permanently to Nigeria, got married to a traditional drummer and became an Osun worshiper.

architecture sculpture by Susanne Wenger at Osun groove

Statures at Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove

Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove Nigera

goddess Osun

Sculpture showing Osun with children

There are certain paths in the groove visitors are not permitted to go through because they’re sacred. A section of the groove houses some Osun worshipers. Reaching that section, they will pray for you and you can choose to give them money as appreciation. Close to the huts is the riverside by which the Osun Osogbo festival holds. The water there is called “Agbo” that is “Herb” and it actually does not look like clear water. People come from near and far for this water as it is believed to have medicinal value and for those wanting children, the goddess Osun being the god of fertility will help bring forth children.

Agbo l’Osun fin wemo re ki dokita o too de.

(Osun treats her child with Agbo before the doctor’s arrival)

 

huts at Osun Osogbo Groove

Home of the Osun worshippers

Osun Osogbo Forest

River Osun Osogbo

The medicinal river called “Agbo”

From the riverside, you’d proceed to another section of the groove which has a bridge which used to be a passage to other side of Osogbo. However, it is not functional anymore to restrict movement in the heritage site. The bridge is rather quite shaky and one of the tourists in our group was jumping up and down on it at some point, having the rest of us pray the bridge would not give way under us.

Osun Osogbo Sacred groove

The Osun-Osogbo festival holds for two weeks in August every year and has multitudes from all over the world flocking to the groove to celebrate the goddess. It lasts for two weeks and starts with cleansing of the town followed by lighting of a 16-point lamp called “Ina Olojumerindinlogun”.

Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove Nigeria

Stature of the goddess Osun

The Osun Osogbo sacred groove is best visited with friends or family as it really is fun that way. It can be one of the fun places to visit in Osogbo. As I said early, there isn’t much to do there but to learn about and appreciate the history of the place. It is an experience everyone should have as it will really help with culture appreciation. What are some of your favorite heritage sites in Nigeria? Is culture preservation important or not? Do share your thoughts about this post below.

Note:

All the pictures from this blog post were taken by the owners of Lifeofdammy.com and may not be used by anyone or business or brand without permission.

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

One term that defines my type of style best is casual and if you randomly run into me in public, you can bet on me having jeans and a T-shirt on except on Sundays and special occasions. Through the course of being a student, having to go for lectures made casual style almost too convenient and I must say I have become used to it. Today’s blog post is about casual street style featuring o21 designs.

o21 designs is a Nigerian brand into graphics, corporate branding, customized T-shirts and creating creative solutions. They are based in Lagos Nigeria but however provide deliverable items. They make branded items such as mugs and souvenirs as well, on both small and large scale.

Custom T-shirts design started in the early 1950s when some companies in Miami started decorating T-shirts with the names of local resorts and other tourist attractions. Custom T-shirts in recent times are used as a medium of expression and passing information through which individuals can express their political and social views, advocate for causes, or just to amuse people.

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

Still journeying on the natural hair lane, this T-shirt had my heart with the caption. The quality is top notch and it is super comfortable. This caption says everything, answering questions from those moments I have been questioned on why my hair is not relaxed or why did I choose to go natural. I have been natural for over two years now and honestly, there are days being natural is blissful and other days it’s just plain annoying.

My hair shrinks a lot and can be difficult to maintain which makes me put it in protective styles most times. However, I discovered leave in conditioner is super great in softening it up. It is my choice to go natural after all and I intend to enjoy the process all the way even on its bad days. Trust me, I have had some of those days in which you try out a YouTube tutorial and it comes out like nothing you watched your favorite YouTuber do. Who can relate?

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

I styled the inscription T-shirt with track pants which was a trend last year and paired it up with sneakers because casual is the way. The sunglasses was last minute accessory. How cute are my earrings from Nigerian jewellery brand Zivanora? You can style the T-shirt with other pants or skirt color as white goes with everything. Plus the caption T-shirt is available in other colors. Other ways to style this T-shirt includes; with a skirt and flats, with a skirt plus a jacket with high heels, with jeans with flats or sandals and with dungarees and sandals.

As an advocate of supporting Nigerian brands, I rate this T-shirt 10/10 as I really love it and would gladly order more and so should you too. Side story, the pictures in this post were all taken by my dad and he had so much fun at it that it brought back memories of him introducing me to photography when I was younger. Could you tell the pictures were taken at Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos? The place is really cool and a great site for taking pictures although the bus station officials told us to keep our camera at a point.

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

 

You can find and shop from o21 designs here. The best part of posting here is getting your feedback and comments. What are your thoughts about this post? Are you a fan of casual style? What is your go to fashion outfit? What do you think about inscription T-shirts? Do leave a comment below.

Zaful Valentine Inspired Female Outfits

Valentine’s Day is perhaps one of the annual celebrations a lot of people worldwide look forward to and it being a celebration of love, the colors red and white are synonymous with it. Personally, I am a fan of St. Valentine’s Day and I look forward to it every year with glee like a child’s. The story of how the day came to be varies but the essence of sharing love to all remains constant.

Zaful currently has a Valentine’s Day deals going on. Besides that, you stand the chance of winning a free round trip to your dream destination for Zaful Valentine’s Day 2018 between February 1 to 14. Sounds exciting yes? You can view the details and participate on their Instagram page. If you will be celebrating like many people across the world, these Zaful Valentine inspired female casual outfits will be great for an outing.

The Plunge One Piece Swimsuit

 

Going on a getaway or have swimming or beach plans this Valentine’s Day? This red swimsuit will have you feeling like a million bucks. I particularly like the plunge cut, as it leaves a little bit skin showing. It is made of spandex and wire free. This makes it easy to be paired with jeans and turned into a casual look. Pair with espadrilles or flats and you’re good to go.

Off Shoulder Embroidered Crop Top with Shorts

I have been a big fan of off-shoulder outfits since 2016 and still am. This outfit is perfect for a casual Valentine outing especially if you’re not a big fan of red. The shorts give freedom and the off-shoulder style helps show off the shoulders, not to mention the lovely embroidery made on the matching shorts and top.

High Contrast Cut Out Valentine Mini Dress

If you ever feel like showing off legs in heels, a mini dress is the go to outfit. This mini dress has hearts design all over which make it perfect for Valentine’s Day as the theme is love. Pair with a clutch and heels for the perfect look or ditch the heels and wear a sneakers for more comfort.

Gauzy Floral Embroidered Top and Mini Skirt Set

One word for this outfit? Hot! The fact that this outfit is two piece makes it possible to restyle in various ways. It is made of cotton and polyester which are two very light and breezy materials. The embroidery design is all shades of gorgeous. It is high waisted and perfect for a casual but chic look.

Bowknot Tube Lace Mini Dress

zaful bowknot lace tube dress

For the female not interested in wearing red, this pink dress will look extremely good as well. The knot sleeves create a form of off-shoulder design that will show off your arms. The asymmetrical design and lace material makes the tube dress one that would be easy and comfortable to wear.

Open Back Mini Cami Dress

This red open back mini dress has spaghetti straps for comfort and is great for a casual Valentine dinner. Show off your legs by pairing with black heels and clutch with accessories or a choker for a more girly look.

Spaghetti Strap Ruched Asymmetric Bodycon Dress

A bodycon dress is an essential that should be in every lady’s wardrobe. This wine ruched polyester dress is perfect for a Valentine’s Day party or turning up in the club after main celebration. It brings out body curves, has spaghetti straps and provides comfort in the hot weather. Add a bit of sophistication to the outfit with heels and you’ll be turning heads.

If I were to pick an outfit to rock on Valentine’s Day, I would go with the Gauzy Floral Set as it switch from a casual day to a night outfit. There are other outfits available in the Zaful Valentine’s Day sale and free delivery on orders above $30. Head over to their site to shop for these outfits, accessories and more.

The best part of posting here is getting your feedback and comments. How are you celebrating Valentine’s this year? Which of these outfits would you wear for Valentine’s Day? Male readers, which would you love your girl to rock? How would you style the outfits? Check out my Valentine’s Day music playlist for some music inspiration. Ciao!

Five Things To Know Before Going Into Photography

Photography is one of the major arts a large number of people have interest in, having them wondering most times what to do and know before going into it. I have had people ask me questions and things to know before going into photography quite a number of times. Ranging from the camera to software to photography itself, a lot is needed to be known and I can categorically tell you that a photographer never stops learning. However, if you’re ready to start a career as a photographer, here are five things to know before going into photography.

1. Photography is expensive!

The realization will dawn on you probably a couple of months into it when you realize the amount of gadgets and accessories you have to constantly buy as well as investment into publicity. I applaud people who use big cameras though. Some DSLR cameras cost as much as the tuition fee of private universities in Nigeria, just one camera! And the worst part of it? The prices keep increasing. So yeah, be prepared to spend a lot, even on software and upgrades.

A great option is to start with a moderately priced camera or look into used gadgets. At first it might seem somehow and skepticism comes in, but neatly used gadgets will save you a lot of money in the course. You do not need the latest and most expensive equipment to take great pictures.

2. LENS! LENS!

The type or brand of camera you get is great but most of the magic is done with the lens (and editing) used. Lens can make shooting as easy as you want as well as produce great images. The kit lens that come with most cameras is great but a second lens would suffice later for better photos. I shot for quite a while with kit lens and still do occasionally, I can tell you the difference is always obvious compared to pictures taken with standard lens. Great lens allow you to play around with focusing on subjects. Focus on getting the picture right before post-production.

3. Photography is time consuming

Going into photography means you’re ready to dedicate a large part of your day and life to everything that revolves around it, editing as well as learning more about photography. Don’t have the time to spare? Move along. I am steadily watching YouTube videos to learn how to do what. My first retouched photo was done by watching a tutorial late in the night.

Asides tutorials, textbooks and photography workshops are necessary too. Time is needed in shooting and getting better. There is a lot to be learned. If it takes 5 minutes to edit a photo, imagine how long it would take to edit 100 photos. Some shoots could take a lot of time as well.

4. Not everyone is meant to go pro

“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
— Ralph Hattersley

Honestly, not every camera wielding individual is meant to become a wedding photographer or portrait shooter. If you’re into photography simply as a hobby, you really don’t have to jump on every job you’re offered especially if it is one you’re not really equipped for. You will stress yourself out and might end up not delivering as expected. Going pro also demands that you know how to relate with customers. Taking on a job means a customer must be satisfied and if you lack customer relations skill, your career won’t last.

5. You have to know your camera in and out

Knowing your camera necessitates that you’re able to control it in all situations and lighting conditions. Some photographers under-use their cameras because they shoot mostly in ‘perfect conditions’. Know your camera and wield it like the gadget it is. Understand what functions what part perform and how the parts relate. Find out how the shutter speed works, each mode and the ISO level for what shots. Practice with exposure is a key part of the rudiments of photography. Shoot with high exposure and the picture might end up being too bright. Shoot with low exposure and the image will be dark.

These five tips will have you set and good to go if you keep them in mind. Photography is fun and beautiful but still not meant for everyone. You can see my work over at Playground Media. Cheers on the journey to being a photographer!

The best part of posting here is getting your feedback and comments. Ever considered a career in photography or photography happens to be your hobby? What are your thoughts about this post?

October For Cancer || Nigerian Bloggers Cancer Awareness

October all over the world is a month synonymous with pink which represents the fight against breast cancer. Now October might be over and this post is a bit belated (give it up for Nigeria’s network providers) but the talk about cancer isn’t. May the souls of those who have passed on due to cancer rest in perfect peace.

Spreading awareness about cancer was a very crucial part of the month so a number of we Nigerian bloggers from Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan inspired by Larisa and Winifred Atusue came together to create an awareness about cancer. We had these t-shirts custom made with a quote that resonates with our individuals and styled them according to our personal taste.

Nigeria bloggers cancer awareness

Breast cancer awareness

Cancer which is an abnormal growth of body cells and has more than 100 types, currently has no cure but can be treated through chemotherapy and radiation. We can only wait and hope there is a cure soon. I personally don’t know anyone who is suffering from cancer but I lost a friend to cancer two years ago and I can relate to the pain of losing a loved one to a sickness and I tell you, it is extremely life changing. It might seem like all facts and figures but there are actually folks who have to deal with this.

One of the ways cancer generally can be prevented is through early detection and treatment. The early sign for breast cancer includes a lump in the breast which can be detected by monthly checks. This can be done in several ways, one of which I practice and that is placing one hand behind the head and feeling the breast of that side with the opposite hand for lumps or an abnormal change in size.

Statistics estimate that about 400,000 Nigerians die from cancer annually and more than 4 million are currently living with it, men inclusive. So you see cancer isn’t just restricted to one sex. Bad news? Nope.

Some of the ways to prevent cancer include:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight
  • Exercising
  • Limiting alcohol intake and avoiding smoking
  • Breast screening in form of mammogram and examination

The only way to really fight cancer is through early detection or diagnosis and consequently treatment. If managed properly, it can be treated completely. Spreading the awareness about cancer goes a long way in the fight. It is important to share the knowledge with everyone.

The other bloggers who were a part of the awareness initiative are listed below and they have wonderful posts which are interesting and enlightening as well.

Lagos:

Ifeoma of Draped in Basics
Wumi of Wumituase
Lade of Lade’s Blog
Nonye of This Thing Called Fashionn
Orezi

Ibadan:

Breast cancer awareness

Debbie showing the checking method

Boluwatife of Pribodunke
Debbie of Tostda
Leye of Aojeniyi
Tolu of Toluajg

Abuja:


Bella of I am Brownie
Sarah of Princess Audu
Kachi of Staples and Style
Portia of Just Porsh
Chinju of Attics
Vanessa of Style by Ohaha
Oluchi of D Leona Life
Larisa of Larisa Le Fleur

Like my shirt says, real friends don’t let friends fight cancer alone. Support the cause fighting against cancer. Spread the word and save the tatas. We shall overcome!

P.s: The winner of the Boom headphone is Franklyn Ikemefune. His comment had me the most and I really wish him the best in his music endeavour. Forget me not when you make it lol.

Candid Talk | | Notion That Men Are Scum x Giveaway

With the sudden increase in advocacy for feminism this year and the last, the statement ‘all men are scum’ has found a way to feature in almost every day conversation, stemming from the fact that females suddenly think the male ways are dishonest. I was bound to share my candid thoughts about the notion that men are scum. In fact, there is a website that documents scum experience submitted by females and the scum guys are rated on a scumometer. Some of the experience I found on Lists Ng told by ladies include:

One of my faves. Saw nudes on his phone. Asked him about it. IN FRONT OF ME he deletes all the pictures then says to me “what nudes where?”

Dropped me at home so he could take another girl clubbing. Went to the club to meet them and he acted like I didn’t exist

I met wet pant in the bathroom n he said he bought it for me but wanted to wash it first 😂, he must have washed it too hard it was FADING. 😭

The things girls have gone through with scums will surprise you. I was trying really hard not to laugh and yet feeling pity at the same time. Had my own share of experience with guys that are scum but they’re just lessons now. I could summarize this blog post into the fact that we are all scum but being a scientist, facts are to be backed up and among the reasons we are all scum include:

We all lie

Show me a person who claims he/she doesn’t lie and we’d have a good laugh off it. Lying isn’t restricted to one sex and so long as everyone’s prone to lying, it makes no sense to call men scum because they lie or are deceptive, as we all lie one way or another. Lying isn’t restricted to any age either and being a scum cuts across all ages as well.

We are all selfish

As humans, it is fairly normal for most people to think of themselves before others and in the process of this happening, the scum feature sets in. This also makes it possible for either member of both sexes to cheat members of the opposite sex. I mean even family member behave in a scum way to each other yet people don’t say family is scum.

We all play games

I follow quite a number of Instagram relationship accounts and advice columns that post real life situations sent in by anonymous people. Let us be candid, girls play games in relationships (even friendship) and so do guys like I shared in my harassment story. The ratio cannot be equated because when you hear the story of a guy who proposed to a girl just to get her to have sex, you’d hear the story of a girl who led on a guy and eventually got enough money from him to marry the guy she actually likes. It’s pathetic, this generation of ours in which honesty has become gold.

Before you join the men are scum campaign, you should keep it in mind that we behave in almost the same ways. With these few points of mine, I hope I have been able to convince you and not confuse you that both men and women are scum. Thank you! *takes a bow*

The Giveaway!

This is to thank you, for supporting this small girl and her blog. I get overwhelmed some times when I see your comments and views.

boom headphones

Giving away one Tecno Boom headphones for a genuine music lover and blog reader. The rules are pretty easy and simple.

  • Be subscribed to the blog.
  • Share this blog post on any social media platform. Help other people find the blog plus sharing is caring.
  • Leave a comment below with reason(s) you want the headphones, your name and email. Won’t be selecting the winner randomly as I really want to give the headphones to someone who really deserves it.
  • Giveaway is open to Nigerians. Winner should have a way to pick up from Ibadan or be willing to arrange for delivery.
  • Giveaway ends on October 8, 2017.

Good luck!

P.s. The academic strike is finally off and my rant from the school is hard post seems slightly amusing now.

Five Female Nigerian Lifestyle Bloggers I Currently Love

A lifestyle blog is what I like to describe as a bouquet of fun posts that are captivating and about the life and experience of the bloggers who run the blog. So I have been in this blogging thing seriously for little over a year and I follow a lot of blogs, some of which I am a big fan of and some which I stop by once in a while.

Although I have more than five lifestyle blogs I am loving right now, the five female Nigerian lifestyle blogs which tops the list are as follows:

Kacheetee

kacheetee

Kachi Tila-Adesina had my heart right from the fact that she finished from my school, The University of Ibadan and holds two first class law degrees, she also happens to live in the city so dear to me, London. She is a lawyer by day and blogger by night. Her blog name was coined from her name and her husband’s. How sweet right? Kachi writes about life and everything in between. I particularly love her inter-ethnic marriages, interviews and travel columns. It’s beautiful how she shows that it is possible to be married to someone from a different culture and be happy. I am lowkey waiting for when she’d start blogging about her fashion though ’cause she’s got style!

Read Hacks And Tricks of Cooking Your Favorite Nigerian Foods

Portable Is The New Hot

portable is the new hot

I laughed so hard the day I discovered her blog due to the blog name, thanks to The Blogger Point weekly forum. Mide Adeoti happens to be my birthday mate and resident in Abuja, which is another city I intend to explore soon. Portable is the New Hot is mostly a motivational blog although she lets in peeks of her life now and then. Her blog is totally addictive and I get my dose of weekly Monday motivation from it.

Read Five Quotes to Kick Start Your Week

Dates with Danie

danie bature

I discovered Daniella Bature about the same time I found Portable is the New Hot. Danie also happens to be a contributor for The Blogger Point and she lives in Cyprus. How cool is that? Danie blogs about beauty, fashion and lifestyle. Her college and women hacks are my favorite parts of her blog. She and Mide had this girl talk column a while back and I really loved it.

Read 7 Reasons Us Girls Probably Keep Bae A Secret

Lifestyle of Oreoluwa

lifestyle of oreoluwa

Oreoluwa Aremo has been blogging for a year too and I have been following since. Her blog is lifestyle mixed with enlightening information. Unlike most of the blogs doing the same thing, Oreoluwa’s blog stands out with her music knowledge. She studied Mass Communication and she’s super good at Media affairs. She currently resides in Ireland but is Nigerian to the core.

Read Why You Should Trademark Your Stage Name

Hazy Fantasies

hazy fantasies

Oyinlola Atinsola is a lifestyle and Christian blogger. She however gives insights into beauty, college life too and fashion sometimes. Coincidentally, she studies outside the country too and much of the adventurer. I love the Christian posts the most. She makes learning about God so simplified and enjoyable.

Read A Complete Guide To A Skincare Regimen

Head over to their blogs and you’ll see why I love them. The links under each blogger’s name is clickable and leads directly to a post I like. Which of them do you love most? Comment below.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Poetry || Of Lies Doctors Tell

Of Lies Doctors Tell

Doctors are
unfortunately liars

The one who promised
the injection wouldn’t hurt
and it would be swift
– but the needle said otherwise
The buttocks know the story of the pain

The one that promised
Uncle B was fine
and would soon be discharged
– but two days after
had death pay him a visit

The one that promised
he was different from other guy
– but like many of his demon caliber
on a heart breaking spree
Forgive me
Forgive him lord

The one who dispenses
lenses to help see better
– but just for profit
and years down the line still shortsighted

I don’t believe or like them doctors
They make pain too easy.

– Dammy

Of Lies Doctors Tell is a piece from my book Heartistic. To read more, get a soft copy on Okada Books here and hard copy via Amazon here. You can find my writings under the Writings category. Read and share your thoughts maybe? Thank you.

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