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Showing posts with label Candid Talk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Candid Talk. Show all posts

Candid Talk || Bassey Ikpi.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Hey Guys!
Long time, no candid talk post right?
Well, its back now! Quite a number of people said they wanted more candid talk posts in my blog survey - your wish is my command! Oh, please kindly help me fill the blog survey if you haven't Here. Thanks!

In case you missed the very first post featuring the awesome Wana Udobang, you can read that here. I also talked about why I started this feature series in that post, in case you're just joining us.

Today, I have another equally amazing woman - Bassey Ikpi, gracing this here blog and sharing some of her wisdom and life lessons with us. I was so excited when she agreed to do this because if you know me, then you know how much I fangirl for Bassey.
I've talked about how I happened upon her and the subsequent girl crush that followed it here and you can check that out before you proceed further.

Done? Alright, Let's meet Bassey!

Hi Bassey, please can you define yourself and what you do?
I’m an underachieving overachiever, lazy perfectionist. I’m a Black African Nigerian woman who writes, speaks on stages and on TV and lives and loves the best way I know how.

When will you say was the defining

moment you realized you want to be
doing what you're doing now?
I honestly don’t know if there was a single moment. There was a chain reaction that started when I was 4 years old and moved to the US. I was losing my native language and hadn’t quite captured the nuances of English so there was a communication gap for me. That inability to communicate is what fostered my love of language and words and disdain toward shutting up.
I also was completely enthralled by books and how writers were able to communicate very specific emotions and situations that still applied or resonated with me though I didn't have the same background.
That's where the writing came from.
The journey towards perfoming is far less interesting.

I'm a lot shyer and anxious than people realize, so getting on stage took a lot of mental energy.

How did you get started in your chosen field(s) ?
I started doing spoken word when I was 18. I had always written but I didn’t know that standing on stage and doing it in front of people was a thing.
The first time I saw that, it changed everything. It gave me voice and showed me the power I had with that voice. It wasn’t the first time though, I was a cast member of Teen Summit on BET during High School and that empowered me through validation of my opinions and point of view.
It also taught me how to be on camera and in front of an audience which helped later in my career. I’m a very nervous person and I have really bad nerves whenever I perform. I learned ways around those nerves.

On working your way to the top?
I’m not sure anyone who works hard to get to certain places in their lives and careers actually believe there's a "top".
I know that I’m never completely happy with where I am in life. It’s not about not being grateful, I am certainly extremely grateful but I have been so lucky and fortunate in my career but I’m never satisfied.
I know that if I push a bit more there’s something else: a new field to explore or a higher shelf to climb. I like to say that I never claim perfection; I claim evolving. And I mean that personally and professionally.
It’s about always being better than the last time and then better than that and so on and so forth. I’m a work in progress and process.

What keeps you going through moments you feel you can't deal anymore?
Besides medication and instructions from my doctor: Morning. I’ve been through a lot due to my mental health condition and the one thing I’ve always been able to count on, to hope for,to wait for, to know is always coming: morning.
Sometimes, it meant staying up all night and watching morning from the wrong side but the fact that i knew it would be here told me that I had at least one more day and often that was enough to push me through.

That’s for when things are really bad.
When I’m struggling on a day to day basis, I think about what I have accomplished. It’s easy to talk yourself down and think that you haven’t done much. It’s that “What have you done for me lately?” Janet Jackson thing.
And you know that there’s always time but you need some reminders of what you have done. I like to affirm myself. It comes off vain and arrogant but if you can’t be your biggest fan then who can?
I’m very hard on myself. Very critical.
So when I can look in the mirror and say, “i’m dope as sh*t” it reminds me that before I felt like I couldn’t, I did. And I did it well.

Also love. It’s the fuel. I know that I am surrounded by great and persistent love. I’ve recently gone through a very difficult situation and it was the love and commitment of my family and my friends that pulled me out. Their love pulled me out. My love for them keeps me out.

*forgive me, I just had to butt in here because Yesssssssss! I totally relate!* And I recommend this to anyone to. 
Hype yourself to Yourself, love the shit out of yourself and be fiercly proud of your accomplishments.Click to tweet!

What are some of the things you struggle with and how are you working to overcome them?
This contradicts what I said earlier but I struggle with self doubt a lot. I feel like a fraud sometimes. Like I lucked into this life and career and one day, everyone will know it. So when I’m unable to create or get work done because I’m too scattered, it weighs heavily on me.

I also live with bipolar 2 disorder, so there are some issues there when it comes to seeing myself and what I do and who I am accurately. Which is why I said I’m constantly reminding myself and telling myself that who I am is different than who my brain wants me to believe I am. 

Every day is a challenge. Especially living with a disorder that basically lies to you every day. I’m constantly reminding myself that the negative self talk and paralyzing self doubt are illusions. I make sure medically that I’m taking care of myself but I also make sure that I’m also aware of my emotional state and take some time for self care. If I can’t write right now, then I can’t write. Simple as that. Putting pressure on myself will only make me more frustrated, which will only make it even more difficult… who needs that?
Everything can wait. Nobody ever died or killed anyone because someone missed a deadline. But people have almost killed themselves trying to make a deadline. On a personal level, I’ve learned to curate the people in my life very carefully. 

I’m an empath and have a sponge heart so I take things in very quickly. Being a public figure, people tend to want to touch and feel and soak you up a bit and that’s exhausting. I try to make sure I have a strong hold on who I am publicly so that behind closed doors, I have something left for the people who recharge me. The people in my life are golden. As I said earlier, “love is fuel.” It keeps me going.
What is the most significant  experience in 
your journey and what did you learnt from it?
I think having my breakdown while on tour with Def Poetry Jam. It changed everything. It changed my approach to life. I was really running on empty and pushing myself so hard because I had this idea of  success. I nearly died chasing this thing. I had to slow down and reassess my goals and my actions. It also made me more conscious of how my mental health affected my physical health. That experience also encouraged me to speak openly about mental health and to help people come to terms with things that they may have been ashamed about.
From that point on, my work and presence had a greater purpose. It’s been difficult but it’s been worth it. I can’t imagine being silent about these things anymore.

Quick advice on love for twenty-somethings still trying to figure it out (from your own experience)..
- Never apologize for how you choose to take care of yourself.  It isn’t selfish. It isn’t arrogant.
- Don’t feel that showing love or being in love means that you put someone else over yourself. Especially, if they expect it from you and don’t appreciate it. 
- Know who deserves you and who deserves to never say that they had you.
- Take your time. You’re not the same person at 22 that you are at 32 or you shouldn’t be. If you are, then there’s a problem.
- Live life. This Nigerian nonsense of “go and marry”at all cost is destructive. Nothing against marriage at all but I believe that people should grow together and benefit each other in love and dedication not for small chops and aso-ebi. You have time. Take it.
Never apologize for how you choose to take care of yourself.  It isn’t selfish. It isn’t arrogant. Click to tweet!

What's the best advice you've ever received?
I don’t know if it’s the best but it’s the most recent that has been helping me : Trust the world with your writing.

Random/ fun fact about you?
I’ve never been in a physical fight before. That’s neither fun nor random. Um… I can wiggle my right ear. Is that fun?  I don’t know. I think I love to laugh and make people laugh. I don’t consider myself a comedian but I’m definitely not as serious as my writing implies. I’m not a serious person at all!
Thank you so much for granting me audience Bassey and for agreeing to this feature. I appreciate you!

I could particularly relate with feeling like a fraud sometimes and doubting yourself. Like her, I'm also learning to silence the voice of self doubt too whenever it creeps in.

I hope you enjoyed reading her replies as I did? Did you have any takeaways? Please share! Also if there's anyone you'll like me to feature/questions you'll like me to include. Let me know please.
As always, let's connect!

Candid Talk With Wana Udobang.

Thursday, 17 September 2015
Hey Guys!
Today, I'm so excited to bring you the first feature in my new blog series 'Candid talk with'.
This is something I've been sitting on for a while now, waiting for perfect conditions to be able to deliver it in the exact way I had it planned in my head : a video chat series but because broke unemployed med school graduate (Read about my graduation/swearing the physician's oath here and my subsequent job hunt here), I decided to just start anyways.

I like to describe this blog as not just a "fashion/lifestyle blog", because its a bit more than that. One of the aims of my space is to inspire people (however cliche that might sound), to let them know that they aren't alone in their struggles hence the transparency in my life/musings posts and the choice of poetry I share here.

With this blog series, I plan to get influencers and people I find inspiring, to share some of their wisdom and stories, as it relates to life, love, and everything in between.

I met Wana Udobang (Wana Wana as she's popularly called) for the first time at the redefining beauty event which she put together with Glory Edozien, although I had already followed her on twitter prior and also read through her blog which I pleasantly found that I could relate with some of her write ups and poems.
I was really excited when she not only agreed to be featured on my blog but also replied and treated my emails in a timely manner. Thank you Wana for making me feel important small.
Wana Udobang is one prominent name in the arts/culture/entertainment scene. She is a radio presenter at inspiration FM, hosts the Airtel touching lives and is an ambassador for social causes (read her piece on the Mirabel rape crises centre for Aljazeera here)
Let's meet Wana!
Hi Wana, please can you define yourself and what you do :
I am a broadcaster, writer, poet, performer, documentary maker, filmmaker and curator. Fundamentally I am a storyteller and a creative busy body of sorts. I seek to educate, entertain, inform, inspire, change and transform. I am ambidextrous. I hate boxes and limitations. I am little over sensitive, very emotional yet easily detached and quite moody.

When will you say was the defining moment you realized you want to be doing what you're doing now?
I just remember my friend Tarella coming from her father’s funeral with all her hair shaved off as a child. She told me they had used a razor blade and then doused her head in alcohol and it didn’t seem normal to me. Then in a matter of weeks there was talk on our estate that relatives had come to take their cars and other things, not too long after the family had moved out. My own parents were also embroiled in quite a physically violent marriage before getting divorced. There was a certain shame and embarrassment as well as helplessness we experienced. I think from those moments I knew I wanted to talk about things nobody wanted to discuss. So those experiences were the very beginnings of everything for me. I felt that with journalism I could talk about things that we wouldn’t naturally talk about as a community but I think it has evolved into other mediums and fundamentally telling peoples stories.

On working your way to the top?
I don’t know that I am at the top, I think I am still trying to figure it out. All I know for now though is to stay consistent on your journey and open your mind because sometimes we get too stuck in an ideal of where we want to be and how we want to get there but sometimes I feel like the universe has many interesting plans so its important to be focused but an open mind is vital so you don’t miss the awesome moments. Sometimes those weird detours are leading you to where you are truly supposed to be.

What keeps you going through moments you feel you can't deal anymore?
I have a strong sense of purpose to why it is I am here and what my contribution is to the planet.  That has always kept me grounded and focused. So when I feel that way, I retreat and meditate. Spending time with yourself and getting re-acquainted with your inner self is so important. In that moment of isolation, I have to ask myself those questions again, why am I here? Why am I doing what I am doing?  Why am I really feeling the way I do? I must be able to answer those and retrace my steps and do whatever is necessary to attain that sense of balance. Also surrounding myself with things that move and inspire me.

Some of the things you struggle with and how are you working to overcome them?
I have so many interesting struggles like everyone else. Self doubt is a huge one. I am constantly plagued with feelings of not being good enough, experienced enough or learned enough. So with regards to that, I always set myself challenges and exercises and the more I scale through them, the more I affirm myself. I also rid myself of any kind of pressure by staying in a place of introspection. I realized my state of mind is crucial to how I see myself and assess my self worth.
Another weird struggle is the fear of being financially dependent on someone else. I grew up with everything and then it all fell apart when my parents marriage ended. So there is a chronic fear of having to need things from people so I have always built a self sustainable fortress in terms of a minimalist lifestyle, minimal debt, being entrepreneurial and living below my means so that I am always financially in the surplus. As much as I sound like I have it all figured out, the challenge is that it takes me longer to take certain risks that I should be taking and risks that should propel me further for fear of financial insecurity. But I have been reprogramming my brain for a while so it is getting better. So for every financial risk I take I try to have a little back up that way I don’t freak out too much.

What is the most significant experience in your journey and what you learnt from it?
Nigerians are special people and I love them for it. But for a very long time I always had people tell me I was too serious and I needed to do all sorts of things to be ‘Successful”. I needed to hang with certain kinds of people, be seen at certain places and do things a certain way. Everyone though well meaning seems to have a better sense or idea of who you should be other than yourself.  I have always had a strong sense of self, so stuck to my own sense of authenticity. When I look at where I am now even though I am a far cry from where I hope to be, I think just staying consistent with my own vision of myself has been the most vital lesson in my journey. Then remembering that I am on my own journey and not anyone else’s. Everyone goes home to his or her individual beds at night and I have to live with myself. So I have to be okay with that person when she is alone and no one else is looking. I choose to be inspired by people and their journeys but I don’t aspire to be like anyone.

Quick advice on love for twenty-somethings still trying to figure it out (from your own experience)..
- Enjoy the moment.
- Know what you are worth so you aren’t treated as anything less.
- The most important things you learn from relationships are about yourself, It’s part of your own evolving process.
- Be with someone whose company you really enjoy.
- You always have a choice in who you want to be with,  so don’t feel pity for yourself or the other person because you have a right to choose .
- Don’t stay in a miserable relationship, you aren’t doing yourself any favours.
- Don’t seek anyone to make you whole because it is just a recipe for disappointment so be find completion within yourself.
- Don’t apologise for who you are.
- Make sure no one makes you feel any less than you are. Be happy.
- Unrequited love is bullshit.

Best advice you've ever received.
Be grateful for your jihad

Random/ fun fact about you
I cry when I watch award show speeches. Not the bragadocious kinds though. Usually the Oscars and the Baftas
Thank you for granting me audience Wana and for sharing some of your wisdom with us.

I really enjoyed reading her replies and there were lots of takeaways for me. I could especially relate to the bit about Nigerians and the notion that you have to act in a certain way/go to all the events/hang out with a certain crowd to be successful.
Did you have any takeaways? Let me know please. Also is there anyone you'll like me to feature/questions you'll like me to include also? Please leave me your suggestions.

Connect with her : Blog | Twitter | IG

Previous Posts 

Candid Talk || On Friendships.

Friday, 14 August 2015
Started writing this a while back and only just completing it.


I've been wanting to write about friendships for a while now because you see this friendship thing is my achilles heel.

For as long as I can remember, I've been seeking a friend for the end of the world but it hasn't quite worked out.

No, I don't mean the type of friendship where we both hang out together and look like #friendshipgoals in pictures.
I'm talking about the real deal :
The I can talk to you about my four A.M thoughts and we're there to support each other type.
The we can laugh, cry, argue, and most importantly talk about anything and everything type.

That's what I'm about : Quality friendships...

I'm a bit of a mush ball even though I don't know how to show it so when I care about someone, I tend to give it my all and every little thing that's not said or done affects me.
I usually end up emotionally stressed ( Oh, you thought only boy-girl relationships can give you emotional stress? welcome to my world) because the other person isn't vibing on my level.

I recently decided to stop investing emotionally in one of my supposedly best girls because I realized that we weren't quite on the same page even though we've known each other for years now.
I wanted deeper conversations and a more quality friendship but you can't force that on someone right?

I like to think that I've been real unlucky in this friendship department and on some days this fact takes its toll on me but I'm definitely more in control of my emotions now.

I think the whole point of this post is me slowly coming to the realization that I really shouldn't stress and its probably one of those things that should just happen on its own so I've let it go.

I'll probably still have moments when I wish my life was a circus filled with people, laughter and real talks but I'm learning to connect more with myself, to learn myself and try not to overthink things.

All I really ever needed was a squad but If this is what I get, then I got this.

I'll just take this opportunity to appreciate my friend Shaenk (although he's a guy and I'm more interested in female friendships lol) for being so good to me, for vibing on my level and being absolutely present! You're gold.

If you have such friends in your life, tag them in this and give them a shout out/appreciate them in the comments. You've got gold. :)

Pictures by @chikadbia

P.S - I was a bit undecided on whether to use candid talk' in the post title seeing as I plan to start a feature series with that title soon. I guess this is me asking y'all to please accept the repitition in advance

Candid Talk || Thoughts at 4 A.M

Sunday, 20 July 2014

I never sleep at a stretch, i always have "half breaks" in between.  Im not sure if its a blessing or a curse but so many things come to me during my half break and I learn myself all over again. I think about everything and nothing. Life becomes a bit clearer thanks to my half breaks and consequent late night thoughts/revelations, I have started to figure out how to go about this weird thing I have of wanting to inspire people on life, love, relationships and everything and because i suck at public speaking what other means can i use if not my blog eh?
You know its amazing how many broken people are out there wondering if they are alone in this and not knowing there are so many other broken people out there wondering the same too.
Its amazing how many females are out there right now dealing with all sorts of issues and not thinking they can have it better elsewhere. Its amazing how when you look just a little bit closely and try to come out of your own bubble and problems, you"ll find out that people out there have real problems and dont know how to go about handling it.
I've decided to start this new segment called "candid talk" , where I'll let myself be real and put down all the things that bother me at 4am in the morning. I mean i'm still learning myself and this "life" thing too and i also want to share that process with people alongside sharing my journey to finding my style and hope that someway somehow we can both learn from each other
Who is with me?
Cassandra Ikegbune

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