Skipping Memories

In the wake of dawn Something evoked a dimple on my face just when I thought I lacked one. The simplicity of two teenage Hausa girls in the Southern part of Nigeria, adjusting their exquisitely tide wrappers and head gear, frequently picking up the shawls from falling off their nearly shrunk teenage shoulders. Their birth names I detectively uncovered to be Fatima and Fauziya. Their chatter is a tad bit noisy but the cocky smile on their faces is pure innocence when one of them says to the photographer who they had walked under the heavy downpour to meet, ” Uncle, we wan take picture, how much? and when the man replies “na 250 naira for one copy” they faintly reply “We get only two hundred’ abeg help us”, instantly the photographer replies with a firm NO!. In a split second, it all goes from smiles to a dejected look when the photographer insists they complete the money or leave. Her face has fallen already, Her friend, Fauziya ‘the slightly chubby one’ begins to edge away with her whispering softly. Even though she seems to be the one who can handle this rejection calmly, she also swiftly turns when she sees two strangers beckon on them to come from across where they stand, Its a beautiful woman in black and a very tall and handsome man by her side. its the man who tells them to come, He puts two and two together and tries to communicate in Hausa (judging quickly from the fact that the Muslim holiday was two days ago and they should be Muslims still in celebration mood). Fauziya responds to him because Fatima didn’t quite understand the hausa language.
“what do they want from us now?”, they wonder emphatically. They don’t even notice the duo till now, but they go to them in child-like innocence when he says “Zo” (which translates to “come” in hausa language), Something many adults won’t do. He and the pretty woman want to know why they are not taking the picture. They tell him the situation and he says to the photographer,” Take them the pictures and don’t collect money from them” we’ll pay.

Their smiles miraculously return as they take poses with feverish excitement. Let’s not forget, they said ” thank you Sir, thank you Ma”. The beautiful woman and her good looking companion now have a savior/superhero status in the hearts of Fatima and Fauziya- wonder woman and Superman.

Phew!! I had a good time recounting that event. I feel so alive. Do I have a significant reason for this? Of course, I will tell you(that’s why this is a blog remember).

In the nooks and cranny of a traffic jammed point in Benin city, Nigeria, you’ll always find Fatima and Fauziya with some petty goods for sale, trying to make ends meet. Where are their parents you may ask? They are hustling as well. Are you familiar with that word? It stands as a symbol of “hard work”. It may not always bring any immediate financial gain, but note the seriousness of effort expressed.

Do they have standard working hours? Yes, from sun up to sun down, They wipe away necklaces and bangles of perspiration all through the day. It is the peak of the rainy season in Nigeria, Most times, even the rain coming down with such an intensity that results in unprecedented” rain checks ” to meetings but cannot drive these young girls from their work stands because rain or not stomach needs food.
When I look at these girls, I see pure determination, I see a will to survive but Most importantly, I see a peace they exude so easily. I know an amazing person who prides himself as one who “brings peace and tranquillity into people’s lives”, He makes me smile, Fatima and Fauziya make me smile, Each time I have a dimple as proof because their peace is contagious.

sometimes we get so carried away by our problems and shortcomings that we forget to take a time out and appreciate what we have, we concentrate so much on our sorrows and fail to notice that one thing we have that alot of people have lost “LIFE” the ability to breathe which in itself means hope. the reason why the story of Fatima and Fauziya is such an exampilary one isn’t because we paid their bills or they’re petty traders “No”! it’s because every hour of everyday (Sundays included) these girls hawk petty things just to ensure they feed for the day, but still made out time to celebrate the Salah holiday and cough out 200 naira from an empty purse to ensure they captured that one perfect moment in their lives just so they’ll be able to remember that once’ even if just for one second’ they had fun and forgot their worries. I wish I could paint the image of the influx joy and gratitude that flooded their faces when we told them to keep their money and we’ll pay for the amount of pictures they snapped. whooshhh their happiness made me happy, made me appreciate my imperfect life a little more.

So hey, Let’s not take for granted our blessings each day and miss the peace they bring. What is peace? The definition that appeals to me more is ” the absence of mental stress and anxiety “.
My pen has an undaunted mission today to you highly esteemed reader, Worrying won’t solve your problems, You’ll just gather so many forehead lines which anti-aging creams won’t be able to wipe off. These little children and my friend do not have the whole world, but they have peace, which is the most attractive thing about them.
Peace of mind is you taking a deep breath (might come after the tears), and deciding to not make a memory of the one wrong thing in your life. It may be a lost job, lost relative, failed relationship, unemployment, betrayal, uncooperative colleagues,barrenness or failed examinations. You do not need all these to be alive you know. According to Someone, all you need is your nostrils and oxygen breathing into them, that in itself breathes hope.
Now, I am not saying you should turn a blind eye. Neither am I saying to be all, ” Que Sera,Sera “(the French translation for ” what will be,will be”). You have a responsibility in this. It is so tempting to say the wrong things in a bad situation, but please can you say only good and positive things?
The simple way with which Fauziya steered her friend Fatima away with a tiny shred of hope that they would remember this celebration anyway. The simple way that she responded when those strangers offered to pay for their pictures.
Think on this.
count your blessings while you can. Exude peace of mind, you’ll age slowly and gracefully i assure you.
problems and shortcomings? Take my advice and skip that memory. Change is constant.
I am super glad I got to share this story with You, The fact that you are reading this is the high point of my day and I am certainly not skipping this memory.
Till another day comes, till another adventure beckons,

I bid you farewell💕☺


Self confidence!

Who is a confident person?
During an online coaching webinar held on our Facebook page someone popped a question to me and I promised to write an article on it.

How do I build my self confidence??

well not everyone is born with an inbuilt sense of self-confidence, Sometimes it can be hard to develop confidence, either because personal experiences have caused you to lose confidence or because you suffer from low self-esteem, either way you still have what it takes to get it back.
A confident person does what they believe is right, even if it’s unpopular, they’re willing to take risks, admit their mistakes and learn from them, they’re able to overcome any form of intimidation/discrimination, fear or phobia. In simple term, they’re always optimistic in their endeavors and abilities. Does this fit your description? If not here are a few ways you can improve yourself:

1. Identify your weaknesses:
Yh Yh i know most times people tell you to concentrate on your strengths but hey, you can’t find solution to a problem you’ve not discovered, so make out a list of things you’re not good at, either you choose to completely avoid them or develop on them is left to you but knowing you’re not good at it helps you avoid situations where you’ll have to face them. For example, you’re not much of a singer, yet you choose to go for singing competitions, you sing trash and you get boo’d then your confidence level drops to the ground. But knowing you can’t sing helps you make better decisions. (that was probably not a perfect example but you get the deal).

2. Look at what you’ve already achieved
It’s easy to lose confidence if you believe you haven’t achieved anything. Make a list of all the things you’re proud of in your life, whether it’s getting a good mark on an exam or learning to ride a bike. Keep the list close by and add to it whenever you do something you’re proud of. When you’re low in confidence, pull out the list and use it to remind yourself of all the awesome stuff you’ve done, I mean, even the bible told us to count our blessings right?.

3. Identify your strengths
Everyone has strengths and talents. What are yours? Recognising what you’re good at, and trying to build on those things, will help you to build confidence in your own abilities, and also it’ll make you feel better about yourself. Note! No skill is ridiculous no matter how small it might seem. even if its using your tongue to touch your nose or wiggling your ear. its not an easy task, trust me.

4. Set some goals
Set some goals and set out the steps you need to take to achieve them. They don’t have to be big goals; they can even be things like baking a cake or planning a night out with friends. Just aim for some small achievements that you can tick off a list to help you gain confidence in your ability to get stuff done, then gradually move up to the big things.

5. Give yourself some pep-talk
You’re never going to feel confident if you have negative commentary running through your mind telling you that you’re no good. Think about your self-talk and how that might be affecting your self-confidence. Treat yourself like you would your best friend and cheer yourself on, nobody will blow your trumpet better than you will, so credit yourself more often. Side note” don’t be that person who tells yourself “nah, I can’t do that”. it affects your subconscious in more ways than you think.

6. Get a hobby
Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. It could be photography, basketball, knitting or anything else! When you’ve worked out your passion, commit yourself to giving it a go. Chances are, if you’re interested or passionate about a certain activity, you’re more likely to be motivated and you’ll build skills more quickly.
Back in high school most of my friends were good with the instruments, it was a compulsory curriculum so I had to do it, I would flop on the keyboard, violin, guitar, literally everything except drums, everybody would laugh at my music (at least that’s what I called it) and I’ll feel so deemed. THEN!! Sports!! I excelled in all sports especially basketball, I’d do the k-crossover, step-back jumper, the spin-move, behind the back and usually finish with a reverse dunk! I was unstoppable! I always made sure to play against everybody in the music class and humiliate them individually, my self esteem would immediately skyrocket to its apex.
What I’m trying to say here is, low self esteem isn’t inherited, grown or formed in the body, you pick it up from somewhere, it creeps into you from a mistake you made or something you failed at or things that just happen around you so change your mindset, change the way you perceive things and watch yourself transform into that super confident person that you are!.

Confidence is believing in who you are and what you can do, right or wrong don’t matter so long as you believe in your decisions. if you found these tips useful please share, like and comment. follow The Mahdheebah Blog – TMB page and join The Mahdheebah Blog Forum (motivation and lifestyle) group for more amazing tips on self development and many more.

Blessings to you☺💕