‘Ngozi’ is Skin in Swahili

‘Ngozi’ is Skin in Swahili

Also known as the largest organ in the body

Skin, no matter how rough or smooth, makes us stand out

Skin, in its different shades, identifies our ethnicities

Skin, so authentic and created by a perfect author

Skin that makes you think of the consistency of white and dark chocolate

Skin that still finds a way to heal even when damaged

Skin truly makes us unique

But man(human beings) sets humanity apart by putting negative emphasis on skin

Man looks at the beautiful different shades and says one is more superior than the other

Man, according to society prefers lighter to darker skin as if it equates to more value

Man creates a barrier between humanity because the skin is of a different yet authentic shade

Man has put skin on a pedestal and caused suffering and slavery amongst many minorities around the world

But skin whether dark or light, black or white, is still skin

Crafted In different textures, shades, and elasticity to show how creative our Creator is

Therefore, the skin is not the issue, but the heart of man is

Ideally, it would be great to live in a world that looks at the skin as a beautiful organ -something to celebrate rather than a dangerous threat.

But for now, love your skin because your creator was intentional when creating you.

Yours truly,

Debbie Onzere 


(Feel free to replace the word skin with Ngozi as you learn a new word from a different culture)

3 Things Half of 2020 Has Taught Me

3 Things Half of 2020 Has Taught Me
I can be calm in the midst of chaos
What sometimes seems impossible can actually bloom
Hope is worth holding on to

2020 has been one unforgettable year, don’t you think?

I already see December around the corner. 2021 is that you? Many things have gone by really quickly. But of course, with different seasons, come many new lessons. Today I’ll share three.

  1. I can be calm in the midst of chaos

When the pandemic hit the whole world, there was an overwhelming surge of panic across many nations. I live in Kenya, East Africa. It’s a beautiful country with a vast array of cultures and significant innovations. However, our authenticity did not keep us from panic, just like any other country. I experienced the stages of grief.

I felt like I had lost something significant; my freedom. Staying home was fun at first, then it became increasingly frustrating. I needed an outlet. So I worked out, but that didn’t work out-pun intended. I wrote I painted, and I cried, I drove to places I’ve never been to before. Eventually, the new normal seemed reasonable. The anxiety and fear were no longer sipping at my strength. I decided to be more intentional about my daily activities, the time I woke up, when I ate, talking to friends frequently, listening to good music, praying, and without knowing it, I was in a state of calm and not overly freaking out. I took a day at a time, and I’m sure in the midst of chaos, you can also find your calm.

2. What sometimes seems impossible can actually bloom

This is still a work in progress. I am learning that anyone who is living a purposeful life right now, began somewhere. I am not crazy to think that I can live a life that is fulfilling and brings me joy. That doesn’t mean it will be devoid of pain, but that same pain will be part of my growing journey. I will be an entrepreneur one day (Yup it may not seem crazy to you, but it is to me) I am currently working on this. What’s funny is that fear is not holding me back from the taking steps I need to make for that purpose come true.

How many times have you told yourself that you wanted to start something and didn’t start it? The ideas may be there, but the practical bit may seem to take too much work, right?. I am here to encourage you, especially on the practical bit. Don’t be afraid to start; otherwise, you’ll never know what could have been if you didn’t try. Are you scared of failure? What if it told you that failure is a part of the process, would you believe me?

You are capable of doing great things in this life that serve a higher purpose. Why not start today? …Yes, like right now, this very moment. Go…wait, you’ll probably have to finish reading first.

Stop talking about what you are going to do someday and just get started . Make up an eighth day of the week if you need to and call it “start-day.”

Bob Goff

3. Hope is worth holding on to.

Now, this is what keeps me going even when days seem dark and empty. God has been my number one hope. Having a safe space to express yourself and feel loved at the same time is a glorious thing. So be hopeful and take those necessary steps no matter how small they may be. One day when you look back, you’ll understand why you held on to hope. You’ll be just fine.

Debbie Onzere

Eat…Drink…Abuja!!!

Eat…Drink…Abuja!!!

The #EatDrinkFestival Abuja edition is the second event that That Green Tea experienced in a more official capacity thanks to the EDL team. The first coverage, #EatDrinkLagos can be found here

James Beard once said that food is our common ground, a universal experience (for everyone because we all eat) and this was brought to life at the Eat Drink Festival held in Abuja for the first time after being hosted in Lagos for the past five years. The event which saw the coming together of food vendors, mixologists, chefs, food enthusiasts, and bloggers had something for everyone who came to Harrow Park with an empty stomach and a full appetite.

#EatDrinkAbuja

Most vendors familiar with the Abuja festival spirit would say that “Abuja people come out late,” which they did. But few hours into the festival, crowds were gathering, holding conversations, and dancing to the music while the vendors were doing their very best, from setting up their stand to organizing their wares in the most eye-catching manner to make sure that everything went on smoothly in their stall. An interesting concept which most of them employed was the switching up of things with their menus.

Press pass gang ( gang gang )

While Waffle Stop stuck to something simple to give people an easier going and fun experience, Jaka’s Grill who has been playing out the dare of owning a food business for the past five month, used the opportunity to up his game by launching a full menu with new and exotic additions like extra delicious burgers which are so cute you could eat them whole.

We love a good flat lay. We love a food flat lay even better

For lovers of a sweet tooth, Buttercream Abuja brought their best sellers and most popular indulgence; my favorite was the banana bread which literary breaks down into several pieces of joy as you chew. Legal Tender Cocktails lived up to its name, a lawyer owned business, it gave us the sunny side up of things with drinks like a Beauty & The Beet, Mojito, Glow Up which were 100% non alcoholic and geared towards freshness, a healthy lifestyle, and tremendous benefits for your skin all at very affordable prices.

The interesting about the festival for me, apart from the cook-off, Chef Punshak’s demo, karaoke, and virtual reality pods was the cashless policy of the event.

Thanks to the introduction of wristbands, where all your monies are stored up, vendors and customers were saved the stress of exchanging of currencies, standing in queues and worst of all, looking for change! (We know how stressful that can be).

How far can your love of food take you? The answer is very far because it was surprising to see that some vendors such as Korede Spaghetti, Ette’s Barbeque came all the way from Lagos and boy, did they leave their mark. Korede, a photographer and dancer who when forced with the dilemma of having to choose between three passions, chose the stove, gave the attendees, spicy hot spaghetti and his special; Korede ponmo ( for you non-Nigerians, this is cow skin. Yes. Cow skin. Keep it pushing) sauce which came with a side of fresh fries.

Ette’s Barbeque would give the feel of home with roasted items such as plantain popularly known as Boli and yam in extra spicy sauce.

Everyone can say that they had fun in the event, mainly because there was something for everyone who showed up. If you wanted alcohol, there was the Crazy People’s Cocktails or Entrees Cocktails that came in pineapple or extreme colorful mixtures. If you wished for sugar and more sweetness, Ice Pops which sold out by the way and Yougurberry was your go-to stall.

Of course, there is no Nigerian event without the signature Jollof rice, which thanks to Corperate Jollof, wore a tie and pretty good shoes with its original taste and flavor. Pow, a PanAsian restaurant gave us a feel of what it meant to have intercontinental dishes such as Pow special fried rice which contained eggs and Szechuan chicken, which was spicy.

Not only did the festival allow people to network, but it also created the perfect ambiance for friends, loved ones, and families who needed a place to unwind and chill. Most attendees testified that they didn’t expect the festival to be so all out and they look forward to the next one, I know I do.


All images were captured with permission by Shade Olaoye for the blog and are therefore the property of That Green Tea.

All vendors mentioned are welcome to post this on their respective media channels.

For any enquires and collaborations, email us at contact@thatgreentea.com

 

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Handle It Africa: Part 2

Handle It Africa: Part 2

Can Social Media Control Political Narratives? This was the discourse to kick start the fourth session. Moderated by Broadcaster/Political Enthusiast, Ezugwu Chukwudi, the panel had in attendance Founder, Rise Networks, Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji; Lawyer/Politician, Faruq Abbas; Founder, Let’s Make Impact, Ferdy Adimefe. So when I thought it was about time to hit the bar of boredom, is that political issues are filled with long talks with nothing to excite one, it turned out I (as well as many others) was wrong.


The youthful population of Nigeria spends a staggering amount of time on social media. The question is, what do they do online? Chukwudi reeled out the top ten search words on YouTube by Nigerian users in recent times with “Yoruba movies,” “Arsenal,” “Chelsea,” “Movies,” “Wizkid,” amongst others making a list.

Toyosi took the floor first, with her deep voice, dropping punch lines that rang in everyone’s head, causing people to make all sorts of exclamations, because she was speaking the hard truth about the realities of Nigeria. In her first few words, she said: “we live in a society where the future of a yahoo boy is brighter than that of a degree holder.” She held that our youthful population spends a lot of time doing trivial things; “Social media for the Nigerian youth is overrated.” She points out two categories of young people in Nigeria.

#Session4

On the one hand, are the educated, smart, and exposed ones, which form the inconsequential minority and nonchalant to elections. While on the other hand is the more significant part of our population, they feed one time a day, poorly or not educated, and are at the mercy of our politicians. These are the ones who will stand outside under the rain and sun on election day to vote for politicians who give them food or cash. “As long as our people are poor and uneducated, social media will not drive any political narrative.” In essence, social media cannot shape the political narrative.


For Ferdy, it takes more than social media to change the narrative. Staying online and talking does not change anything; it takes more than a tweet to change a nation. Action must be taken as we must play a big part in the process. Those in the Senate constitute a large part of our problems. They are overpaid and underworked people. We, therefore, must use social media as a weapon to effect a change.


Faruq appeared to be expressing his frustrations with the whole political scene, sharing his experience as a contestant in the Osun State House of Assembly race and strongly condemning the act of people collecting things from politicians in exchange for their votes, because we end up not having the right to speak against them as we have compromised our values. However, he shares the view that social media can change the political narrative, of course. But for him, the truth remains that we are not using it as we should. He, however, tasks users to engage politicians on social media by asking them logical questions that affect us.


My earlier prejudice disappeared into thin air as the session turned out to be the most engaging.

There is a whole lot more that can be done on social media, acquisition of knowledge, jobs, and so on. As the conference was about coming to a close, this was the issue up to discuss signifying the fifth session. ‘Creating Additional Value Using Social Media,’ was the topic, and media personality, Olayemi Ogunwole (Honeypot) was to moderate the session. The panelists include Nollywood Actress, Mercy Johnson-Okojie; Media Personality, Tolu Oniru-Demuren (Toolz); and On-Air Personality, Dotun Kayode (Do2dtun).

#Session5: ‘Creating Additional Value Using Social Media,

Dotun opined that social media is about selling perceptions. So what impression of you do you give on social media? A lot of things can be learned on social media, however, depending on whom one follows.
Does being popular automatically translate into having influence? For Mercy, they cannot be separated. For Toolz, one could be famous and not necessarily influence people. Having an impact is people wanting to do things because you did the same things.

I sought an interview with one of the panelists from the first session, Digital Manager, Ndani TV, Oyinkansola Ewumi, and asked her a few questions.

One might argue that the social media space is a whole different world on its own, do you see a connection with ourselves as individuals – does social media affect us one way or another?

Ans: “Yes, indeed, social media does affect us all as individuals in one way or another. It affects the way we think, it affects the way we perceive others, and it also has a way of changing our view of the world as a whole.

How engaging do you think the online social community is in Nigeria?

Ans:” I think the Nigerian community online is still growing. You have pockets of people spread across platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, e.t.c. And while the number is not as substantial as we may think it is, (Statista.com puts the number of Nigerian internet users at 92.3 million), – Nigeria’s population was 190.9million as at 2017 -, the prospects for Nigerian internet users in the future is excellent.

As it is, the Nigerian online community on platforms like Twitter have been instrumental to affecting actions in real time – governance and social engagements -, and acts like this can only grow more prominent in the nearest future.

Where do you see the future of digital media in Africa?

Ans: “Well, I think the future of digital media in Africa is bright, and with time, Africa may emerge as a force to reckon with in the digital sphere. From Kenya to South Africa, and Nigeria, more Africans are taking charge of the digital narrative, creating more content and pushing the boundaries of engagement across various industries.

The path to growth, if explored, can only get better. More Africans will be looking to develop their skills in digital, and hopefully, this would translate to the growth of other aspects of the economy and would mean a better Africa for Africans.

With all this shared knowledge, one can only confess that Handle It, Africa, being a great initiative, is living up to its expectations and is needed for this present generation that is so engrossed in social media. I look forward to what the conference has in stock for its fourth installment.


Olatunde received his Bachelors Degree in Philosophy from Lagos State University. He has a passion for social media and engagement and makes his debut as an intern for That Green Tea blog.

Follow Olatunde on IG: @olatundeh_ and Twitter: @olatundeh_

All images featured in this post are the original works of Olatunde and property of the blog. Any individuals featured were part of a public event were photography was allowed.

References:
Handle It Africa – Emerging Africa Social Media Network

Handle It Africa

Handle It Africa

Building an online presence is very much a necessity in this day and age. With an estimate of well over 4.3 billion internet users and over 3.4 billion active social media users, the online space has reduced the world into a global village. Social media today has gone beyond being a place for us uploading our ‘dopest’ pictures and exchanging ‘bants,’ it has become a lot more, even so, a knowledge tool. How then should social media be optimized to ensure growth, personally or collectively?

#HandleItAfrica

Handle It Africa with the motto: Reach. Connect. Engage is an impactful conference geared at revolutionizing how social media is used, consumed, and deployed effectively to realize desired results. The meeting convened Olufemi Oguntamu, the lead consultant at Penzaarville Africa, a social media marketing agency. With years of experience as a social media strategist, Oguntamu understanding the power of social media decides to convene this conference, pulling big weights from the social/digital media, entertainment, and political spaces to discuss the role of social media in these corners. With its third year running, Handle It Africa with the theme, ‘Social Media: Extending the Frontiers,’ expands the standard of sharing knowledge to maximize the benefits of social media, which has established through the years. This third edition which took place on the 17th of May, 2019 at Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, witnessed a massive turnout of enthusiastic young individuals seeking knowledge about social media and how it can be optimized for business growth and for building strong personal brands.

With an ambiance right for networking, after registration, everyone appeared to be engaged in discussions with one another, exchanging pleasantries, taking pictures against the backdrop, basically sharing good moments in general.

In the convener’s speech, “Today’s advancement in technology has had a comparable effect on social media. Trends are leaping in bounds, and only those of us who keep up can maximize the benefits of this growth. Our endeavors to harness the benefits of social media need a strategic approach, and this edition tackles all the best ways to not only maximize the benefits but also solve attendant problems.”1

The conference was designed to feature five-panel sessions, tackling five different topical issues that encapsulate what goes on in the social space today.

#Session1: ‘Creating Exciting Content that Wins the Clicks,

Session one with the topic ‘Creating Exciting Content that Wins the Clicks,’ featured panelists such as Akah Nnani, an Actor/Youtuber; Mc Lively, a Comedian; Food Content Creator, Winifred Emmanuel; Digital Media Manager, Ndani TV, Oyinkansola Ewumi; and moderated by Content Creator/Filmmaker, Adenike Adebayo-Esho.

Putting out content on social media is one thing, creating that which wins the clicks; that is one that goes viral and rings up thousands of likes and comments is another. This has got to be a budding issue for content creators. Akah was quick to point uniqueness as key to this problem, as he holds that social media is saturated and so one needs a content that stands out. In essence, find your selling point. An example is Winifred, who chose to base her content on food, thereby making it her niche.

One might ask, how does one get the much-needed attention on social media? According to Oyinkansola, what is needed is a robust online presence that engages and relates to people.

As a comedian who is famous with thousands of followers, Mc Lively emphasized that to “blow” is not as important as staying relevant. You do not want to be that person whose video or content goes viral or “wins the clicks” just one time, and then you become non-existent. It is imperative that you put effort into building yourself.

Wrapping up the session, Akah stresses the importance of consistency.

Session two started on a loud note, with the introduction of Tobi Bakare, ex-Big Brother Naija housemate. The girls couldn’t seem to get the hang of themselves, as the very handsome, stylish and sexy Tobi was making his way to the podium. Alongside Tobi on the panel were Amalia Sebakunzi, Marketing Director, Eat ‘N’ Go Limited; Terver Bendega, Regional Marketing Manager, Africa, Bolt; Sisi Yemmie, Food & Lifestyle Influencer. The session tagged ‘What Do Brands Really Want?’ was moderated by Chidi Okereke, Team Lead, Thisruption Communications.

No doubt, there is an increasing trend online with brands opting for “social media influencers” to help create awareness about a particular product or service, instead of the usual advertising on TV, radio or print media. There seems to be some friction between brands and social media influencers, where brands feel the influencers do not do enough as expected of them in discharging their duties, and influencers, on the other hand, feeling brands demand too much and even more, the demands do not match the pay.

For Terver, influencers are used to market or create awareness for something. It is therefore important to understand why you’re adopting influencer marketing as a brand: what do you hope to achieve?
Sisi Yemmie, however, was quick to the point that sometimes, the brands are inflexible, wanting influencers to stick to the script. For her, there should be room for some level of flexibility to enable the influencer be creative carrying out his/her duty.

#Session2: ‘What Do Brands Really Want?

For Tobi, brands should begin to engage influencers on a long-term basis; this allows for organic marketing. As a result, influencers will be able to create content naturally at any point in time, which most likely ignored as the influencer becomes a part of the family.

Amalia believed that the essence of influencers is to create original content for the brand. And most importantly, to drive awareness.
In all that was said, one thing stands out. And that is Tobi stressing that as an influencer, one needs to learn to say no at certain times. You cannot be an influencer who accepts jobs from any and every brand just because money is involved. Your focus should be on brands that their campaigns align with your image and persona, to realize a seamless synergy.

The third session started on a high note, with the moderator, Tomike Adeoye, a TV Personality, stepping out with a high spirit and oozing so much excitement. She succeeded at keeping the vibe in the room nothing short of one hundred all through the session. If ratings could be tallied, I think she would easily pass for the best moderator of the day. ‘Unleashing the Power of Lifestyle in Social Media Campaigns,’ the topic was, and the panelists were introduced. Ozinna Anumudu, TSC Agency Founder; Mimi Onalaja, TV Presenter, and Timini Egbuson, Actor. Now here we go, screams from the ladies because of course, fine boy Timini was on stage. I rolled my eyes while in my mind, I kept wishing they could just shut the hell up! I am not a kill-joy, so I would let them have their moment. LOL

#Session3: ‘Unleashing the Power of Lifestyle in Social Media Campaigns

There is a crucial role in which lifestyle plays in campaigns on social media. Brands look out for influencers whose lifestyle on social media fit their image as a brand and would do a seamless job with their campaign.
Lifestyle for Ozinna is what you are when people are not watching. However, there are two kinds: organic (natural) and created (mostly found on social media).

Instagram has got to be the best social media platform because it allows for the sharing of pictures and videos, supported with words, Mimi says when asked which she considers the best.

According to Timini, find what social media platform works for you and make the best of it.

Keywords from this session are from Ozinna and Tomike, holding that it is crucial to stay true to yourself and understand that social media is not real life. Tomike sharing the same view adds that life is not all about the likes and the comments.


To be Continued….