Showing posts with label WOMEN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WOMEN. Show all posts

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Tell Your Black Girl Daily


A serenade for girls of African descent. You are beautiful, You are enough.

Tell your black girl daily
that her eyes are
colors of the brown citrine. smoky quartz
hot expresso. charming beauty. that.

that her lips.
Her lips. perfectly curated
with delicate defined edges. heart-shaped
dash shaped. all shape.
is stunning.

Tell your black girl. daily
that her hair is
beautiful. magnificently kinked.
an institution. a college of
learning. a collage of the.
the tightest and loveliest curls. that.

that her skin.
Her skin. the la peregrina. rich. her skin.
a mix of the rarest
pink star. the cullinan.
koh-i-noor. opal. jadeite.
exotic. detailed. all shades of her.
is gorgeous.

Tell your black girl. daily
that your serenades are true. that.
anything else is false. that.
she is second to none. that.
she’s got a good head on her shoulders. that.

that her voice.
Her voice. must not be cowed. not.
trimmed to suit. not.
lowered to fit. not.
raised to prove. just.
just flawlessly her, as she is. she.
she is enough.
and hey.
hey. tell your black boy too.

Jumoke Eniola Odepe

                                         READ MORE HERE 

Original Publication: Feb 13, 2020

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Remember I Told You, Black is beautiful


Photo by Trevory Kelly on Pixabay

Remember I told you 

Black is beautiful
Never cracks
One of a kind

You owe nobody
Walk tall
Own every moment

You deserve to be in
Every great room 
You find yourself

Jumoke Eniola Odepe
ON, Canada

Original Publication: May 22, 2020

Sunday, 4 April 2021

The Accidental Bride


The Accidental Bride by Jumoke Eniola Odepe

The Accidental Bride is a hilariously engaging short story about a Philly-based post-age-37 years Nigerian who returns home for her dad's burial with a pretend fiance after fleeing to Philadelphia for fear of her marriage frenzied family.

She finds out that her family is now even crazier about marrying her off than when she left.

Would she be forced to marry her pretend fiance or any man that comes by?

Grab a cup of tea and enjoy how this sidesplitting short story unfolds.

                                               READ HERE

{Post originally published on Nov. 2020}


Wednesday, 17 March 2021

The shoulders we stand on - #IWD

By Jumoke Eniola-Odepe, Written on Her Sides: The shoulders we stand on in celebration of women and women's history month:


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has" - Margaret Mead.


March is Women's History Month.


Rightly so.


With over a century-old women's rights movement, women have crossed many rivers to get to where we are today. 


Over the years, women have fought for the right to vote, equal representation in government, the right to equal pay, and a host of other rights. 


We, the younger generation of women, are proud to be in this era because of the work that our female forerunners have done {and are doing}.


Some of the women who paved the way for us are known; some remain unsung heroes. 


We knew nothing about the three women mathematicians who worked in NASA as human computers till the 2016 movie "Hidden Figures" brought them to our screen. 


Based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, the movie brought to us Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. 


In the face of segregation by race and sex, the brilliant work of these three African American women was pivotal in propelling the first American orbital spaceflight piloted by astronaut John Glenn in 1962.


In 2018, shortly after the movie, a bipartisan bill was introduced to designate the street in front of the NASA headquarters as "Hidden Figures Way." 


On June 12, 2019, the street was officially so renamed in honour of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and "all women who have dedicated their lives to honourably serving their country, advancing equality contributing to the space program in the United States."


These women went before us, opening the doors for other women to work in space exploration and aeronautics research.


In pre-1929 Canada, based on a narrow interpretation of the law, women were not regarded as "persons" and therefore were not eligible to sit in the senate. 


A group of 5 prominent Canadian women activists, Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby {the Famous Five}, challenged the interpretation of the law that excludes women as "persons."


On October 18, 1929, in the celebrated Person's case, Lord Sankey, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, announced the decision:


"The exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours. And to those who would ask why the word 'person' should include females, the obvious answer is, why should it not?"


October 18 has been declared Person's Day in Canada. A day dedicated to honouring the bravery and determination of the Famous Five and the historic decision to allow women's equal participation in all aspects of political life in Canada.


We stand on the shoulders of these women.


In Africa, we have Grace Alele Williams, the first Nigerian woman to obtain a Ph.D. in mathematics and the first female vice-chancellor in Nigeria. We have Mo Abudu, the first female to launch a pan-African TV channel in Africa. 


A cloud of female forerunners surrounds us, pioneer women, shattering diverse glass ceilings held up against us and showing millions of women behind them that impossibility is nothing.


We stand on the shoulders of these women. We see their work in our everyday lives. They have amplified our voices. They have extended available seats for us, opened more doors for us, and made us walk a few inches taller.


We, in turn, owe it to one another to pull each other up, to open the doors for one another, applaud the success of one another, and ensure you're not the only woman in the board room.


We owe it to the next generation of women to provide mentorship, keep pressing on, and paving the paths, so the next generation of women can thread on the paths we pave.


About the Guest Writer

Jumoke Eniola-Odepe is the author of two hilarious books, Memoirs of Great Ife and The Accidental Bride. A lawyer by day and a writer by night, she received her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Ife and her Master of Laws at the University of Ottawa. She is a lover of summer walks, family cookouts, and everything indoors during winter. She and her husband live in Southern Ontario with their two extraordinary boys. You can visit her online at


Friday, 12 March 2021

One day, women will rule in all ...#IWD


Have you ever thought of the possibility of women ruling? Have you ever thought of the possibility of a day when women will rule in every country in the world? At the same time? 

I have thought of it.

And so I wrote this poem in honour of that day. 

Enjoy it and long live the Women Era.

on a beautiful day.
in a few moons from now.
women will rule in.
every country in.
every continent of.
the world.

end child soldiering.
ceasefire here. 
ceasefire there. 
ceasefire. yup.
stop human trafficking. 
modern-day slavery.

calm the storms.
stop the wars.
rule with intuition.
balance. justice. equity.
rule of law.
peace on earth.

on a beautiful day.
in a few moons from now.
women must rule in.
every country in.
every continent of.
the world.


Sunday, 7 March 2021

Earth Runway. Fashion Is What I Say It Is.

What is fashion?
Image by Melody Jacob
Nothing inspirational here today but really do you sometimes conjure a few pieces of clothing together and deeply appreciate your creativity but you know that you are not bold enough to step out of your bedroom wearing your creation?

I do. Or more like, I do every time. 

I often wonder, who determines how we dress?

Who dictates what the appropriate color combination is and what shoes to wear with what? Who defines our ever-dynamic fashion?

I have been intrigued by fashion since I was a little girl. 

Mum wore heels that went on for days, I would try them on and walk around the house just like her. My sister and I would paint our nails with ink from red gel pens and rub it off before mum could see it. I was quick to start wearing lipstick, little did I know that my lipstick application was as good as sticking an extra lip on my lips. Of course, we eventually outgrew the sad lip part.

I find clothing and accessorizing the most intriguing part of fashion. 

I live to see and copy how models catwalk in baggy culottes with baggy sweaters, sleek summer dresses, evening wears, and I live especially to see how models combine their colors and styles on the runway. I aspire to imitate modeled fashion, this does not always necessarily translate well. Sometimes, my imitation stays in the realms of my imagination. 

I also find it crucial to have my own personal fashion, fashion according to me. This is what I term, my personal style. 

For some people, their personal style is street style, for others, it is corporate fashion, for some more, it is corporate casual or simply casual. For some, like me, it is a mix of all depending on my outing and mood. But it is essential to me that I am comfortable in whatever I wear. 

Every so often, when I'm planning my vacation, I find myself researching the best vacation outfits for my destination. For example, what to wear while vacationing in Kenya or how to dress while vacationing in Europe. 

I go on and on till I ensemble my travel outfits. That's fine. But what I do next is crucial. I transform the results of my research into my personal style. My personal style is street fashion, comfort and a pick of fashion styles from all over.

While there are many answers to the question, "what is fashion?" or "who determines how we dress?" I have learned that fashion is what makes sense to me. 

Fashion is about my comfort. Fashion is to be bold while expressing my creativity. It is to live my clothing and accessories, fearlessly. To combine my colors in a way that makes me glow from within. 

Fashion is to understand my personal style, the style that excites me, and then release that style to the world, walking the earth runway.

So I ask you, what is fashion according to you?

Jumoke Eniola Odepe

Originally posted Aug. 7, 2020

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Natural Hair - Poetic image

By Jm
Natural hair poetry

Babe, I see you

By Jm

Babe, I saw you this morn' when
Lots of deep conditioning did not
Alter the tenacity of your hair and you
Carelessly, in desperate surrender
Knot it, into a Cantu weave

I see you, I love you, I am you.

Jumoke Eniola Odepe

Monday, 8 June 2020

A day bridal shopping in Lagos - Lu

By Jumoke Odepe
Image by Carolina-Marinelli-Unsplash

My name is Lukeman, it's a boy's name so just call me Lu. My parent had wanted a boy so badly and had a name so when I came out as a girl, I got the predestined boy's name anyway. 

It was day 7 out of my 2 weeks bridal shopping vacation in Nigeria. Tan, my childhood friend, and chief bridesmaid had spoilt me silly. I had just shopped jewelry gift certificates for all my bridesmaids from the Lagos bridal jewelry shops of  Deinte and headed straight for my favorite food joint. In my over 10 years in Canada, the only thing I missed more than family is the food. On my over 15 hour flight from Canada to Lagos, I was encouraged by the thoughts of visiting my food joints. 

Refueled, we drove down to Cornucopia to shop for my engagement beads, Tan and I chatting like Parakeets. We were about to turn into Isaac John street when Tan gave me the look, I have always known the look which questions everything I stand for. That look, the look that says, "Hey there is something you are hiding from me!", that look! it bothers me. Before I could ignore and escape, Tan blurted

"Don't you think it's time you came back home?" 

I was totally unprepared. I melted in my seat. I traveled over 6,000 miles to recuperate from the effects of my dismissal from work where I was walked out of the premises by my haggard and brutal nin-com-poop British boss! 

My answer might make Tan feel I did not get on in Canada, that I was a loser. But who asks blow-below-the-belt-questions like that? 

I wanted to tell Tan that such discussions wear me out and render my African vacation useless. 

I wanted to say "hmmm... I have no regrets! It's been honey and sugar. My career skyrocketed and I was promoted immediately after I joined the company I work for. The kids still know my culture, in fact, they speak my language so well with little effort on my part and I don't miss home one bit. I look back and all my colleagues in Nigeria are at the same spot as I left them, so I don't feel any sense of competition. Morgage and bill payments are just like Nigeria, getting a driver, getting cleaners, getting nannies is exactly like Nigeria so it's been heaven on earth!" 

Instead, I found myself spilling the truth like a child bribed with candy.

But I knew Tan just resigned as director of her multinational, has bag-packed, and is all set to leave the country for Canada so there's no going back for her now.


Jumoke Eniola Odepe

Friday, 29 May 2020

Year of the woman

Women should rule. Politics. Non-Partisan. Equal voice
Women will rule in every country in...

on a beautiful day.
in a few moons from now.
women will rule in.
every country in.
every continent of.
the world.

end child soldiering.
ceasefire here. 
ceasefire there. 
ceasefire. yup.
stop human trafficking. 
modern-day slavery.

calm the storms.
stop the wars.
rule with intuition.
balance. justice. equity.
rule of law.
peace on earth.

on a beautiful day.
in a few moons from now.
women must rule in.
every country in.
every continent of.
the world.

By J.M.
Jumoke Eniola Odepe
ON, Canada

Photo credit: Jill Wellington - Pixabay

Friday, 15 May 2020

nurse's daughter

To our frontline workers. A poem to all nurses

to all the nurses
those who bore us and those who didn't

to all the nurses
those who know more than doctors and those who don't

to all the nurses, 
those who day shift and those who night

nurses are to doctors what law clerks are to lawyers
they make the professional fly and take less credit

in the name of my mother, a nurse indeed
i say thank you to all 
the nurses on earth.

Toronto, 2020

Figuring me

looking within. looking without.
looking above. looking beyond.
what work of art. what masterpiece.
so intricate. undiluted.
figuring me.

Jumoke Eniola Odepe
Ontario, Canada
Pix by demorris-byrd-unsplash

Monday, 11 May 2020

women should rule

Image by:Chris-Murray-Unsplash

women should
rule in
all countries in
all continents of
the world

women are the earth, the source the
women don't
do wars
they settle it all
over a waffle recipe

women would
dialogue, negotiate, persuade
no uptight ego to
make irrational decisions
women create
multiplication less
logic complications, semantics more
intuition, spirituality

women should
rule in
all countries in
all continents of
the world.

Ontario, 2020

pix by: chris-boese-unsplash

Friday, 28 February 2020

Finding me

we find our self
it's okay
just find
your self

Jumoke Eniola Odepe
ON, Canada

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Eru Iyawo list (Yoruba Traditional Wedding Items)

By Jumoke Eniola-Odepe
Eru Iyawo List

Eru iyawo (Bridal luggage) is a vital part of the Yoruba traditional engagement/wedding. The eru iyawo is the gift(s) that the groom and his family bring to the bride and her family on the traditional wedding day. 

Historically, there was no fun-fair with the eru-iyawo packaging, however, in modern times, we have vendors who package eru iyawo professionally and well-spaced event halls to entertain your guests!

That is one item off your to-do-list. Both the bride and groom's families meet a fork in the road when the appropriate list can not be provided. The list below is quite comprehensive, you can tweak it to your choice.

Eru Iyawo List

Engagement rings for bride and groom
1 or more briefcase (s) of clothes, shoes, and handbags including Yoruba traditional aso-oke fabric, 2 sets of lace+matching gele and 2 sets of Ankara
42 Tubers of yam (Isu)
42 Bitter kolas (Orogbo)
42 Kolanuts (Obi Tabata)
42 Alligator Peppers (Atare)
42 pieces of dried fish (Eja Osan)
1 Dish of peppered corn  meal (Aadun)
1 Pack of Sugar
2 Baskets of Fruit
2 Decanters
4 Crates of canned or bottled soft drinks
4 Crates assorted drinks
2 Cartons of bottled water
2 Bottles of non alcoholic wine
2 Cartons of fruit juice
1 Bag of salt
1 Bag of rice
1 Umbrella
1 She Goat
1 Keg of palm wine
1 Keg of groundnut oil
Packs of Biscuits and Sweets

Monetary Gifts (Modify)

Owo Ori Iyawo (Bride Price) – N2,000
Owo Ijoko Agba (Money for elder's consent) – N1,000
Owo Baba Gbo (Money for the bride’s father’s consent) – N2,000
Owo Iya Gbo (Money for the bride’s mother’s consent) – N2,000
Owo Ikanlekun (Door knocking fee) – N500
Owo Isiju Iyawo (Fee for unveiling the bride) – N500
Owo Aeroplane (Bride Aeroplane fee) – N1,000
Owo Iyawo Ile (Money for the Housewives in the family) - N500
Owo Omo Ile (Money for the Children in the family) – N500
Owo letter kika (Letter reading fee) - N500
Owo Telephone (Fee to call the bride out) – N500
Owo Isigba iyawo (Engagement gifts unveiling fee) – N500
Owo Alaga Ijoko (Master of Ceremony's fee) – N500

Eru Iyawo list