I’ve been away away since I was 17. I moved to South Africa then back to Kenya then to the United States for two years then to the UK for one year then back to the United States for one year. Then to Australia for exactly 649 days.
In my latest Youtube video, I'm letting you in on my top tips for moving to Australia from abroad! Now I get brutal with you and share my experience applying for a visa, finding a job, changing careers and making new friends.
So my SnapFam knows I spent last Sunday at "Embrace Your Frizzique" - a picnic held at Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy North, that brought together several naturals from all over Melbourne. It was hosted by Zarah who runs Embrace Your Frizzique on Instagram.
25 has come and gone. A quarter of a century is now behind me. What a year it has been. My very first year as an adult. And by that I mean, my very first year of fully supporting myself. You know, paying bills, renting an apartment and kickstarting my professional career. Aaanndd, need I say, all in a foreign country!
If you're thinking of applying to MelbUni, think again. MelbUni was a nightmare. They took me round in very large circles and even lost my admissions letter. Lost it! In this digital age and in Australia of all places you'd expect good service. Their admissions team was very unhelpful and inconsiderate. #VENTOVER
England holds a very special place in my heart. England really transformed me. For the very first time in my life, I was completely alone in a foreign country with minimal support from my family and friends. I grew into myself in England. So much so that when I got back to Williamstown (see next blog post for details) everyone was like "Waow! I love the new you!" Hihi! Well well, I was flattered!
I was one of 100 students selected from around the continent to join African Leadership Academy's inaugural class. ALA was a life-changing experience - it opened up my mind to the complexities of development in Africa and afforded me the rare opportunity to study with some of Africa's finest talent. I took classes in literature with a focus on African writers, I listened to lectures from Africa's top business leaders and was coached by a dedicated team of African visionaries whom we had the honour of calling our teachers. I would study at ALA ten times over if I had the chance.
Phew! I've missed ya! I was unwell this week so I took some time to recuperate. I'm loads better now though. I hope you're keeping well. I thought I'd put together this series on my educational experience because many of you have asked me how I got to live in so many countries in such a short period of time. So in the next four videos I'm sharing the following:
Think back to that very fist day you discovered the natural hair community online! For me, this was when I was sitting at my dining room table in Nairobi in June 2011, just two months before I was to move to the USA for my undergraduate degree. I googled "How to take care of my African hair in Uni abroad" and the first site that came up was most likely CurlyNikki.com. The memory gets hazy now.
Phew! I don't know about you but Christmas and New Years have left me worn! All the hullabaloo of the end of the year, "holiday" has left me longing for a vacation. But since I've only started my new job, I ain't got no annual leave yet! In that case, I'm spending some time this week recuperating. From the rush. From the hustle and bustle of life in Melbourne as I've come to know it.
I have so much to be thankful for. So so much. Last year, at this time, I was headed to Colorado Springs for a snowy Christmas with my older brother. My first semester of my final year in University was almost complete. It had gone really well - so well, in fact, that my friends couldn't believe I submitted all my final assignments two weeks prior to their due date! Yes, I was done two weeks in advance! Hahah! I am quite geeky, can't deny that!
My bestie Rachel and I were chatting the other day about how tumultuous this year has been. Several events over the past few months have really shaken many of us to our core. Some of us have lost loved ones, lost jobs, failed exams or ended relationships. Indeed, some of us have lost hope, and many of us are struggling to keep hope alive.
What an interesting time of the year this is! It sure is strange to have spring in October. I am accustomed to chilly chilly October days with whistling winds that reverberate to my core!! I'm not complaining though, the United States can keep its snow! Besides, growing up in Kenya gave me a craving for sunshine, so I'll take heat over cold any day!
I've been featured on Curls Understood as the "Beauty of the Week!" AAww shucks! The blush mode is reeealll!! So thankful to Sylvia and the team at CU for the wonderful feature. Check it out by clicking here
Textured Talk is a blog that's run by Charlene Walton. Her blog engages everyday women in healthy hair conversations, while embracing various hair textures. Her goal is to provide a one-stop shop for research and resources to make your hair journey easy and enjoyable while encouraging women to be proud of their hair texture!
Adjustment has been the name of the game. Darn! I have to admit, I do miss the college life! Being grown up means that I have to think of bills and expenses, and savings and a mate. Yes, a mate. Speaking of mates, who else's Facebook timeline is FULL of engagements/marriage proposals?
Life. in . Melbourne. City. Nothing like I'd imagined it would be. But everything that I needed it to be: awakening, humbling, enlightening, gratifying. Moving to a new city filled me with lots of emotions - fatigue, excitement, longing, regret, fear, anxiety, surprise, joy. You name it, I've felt it over the course of the 38 days that I've been on this continent.
How are ya? I'm doing well! I like to think that as our hair grows, so life goes. So why not share more than just our hair journeys? :-) So this here is just that : an update from the land down under! Yep! I'm in good ol' Aussie chilling with kangaroos and koala bears! Haha! I kid! I'm chilling with family as I prepare to continue my studies. Geek I am, geek I am. (This is the fourth country that I am moving to for further studies!! 0_o )
There's something utterly divine about being a woman. I daresay, it's our ability to connect one with another and form deep lasting friendships. A fellow woman's heart understands my own. In unspoken conversations we can sense hurt, tiredness, excitement or contentment. There's truly something utterly divine, unmistakably beautiful and graciously fulfilling about having girlfriends.
Graduation Day is finally here. I'm crying tears of joy as I type this out. Tears of relief too, maybe. And some of anxiety and elation and longing and excitement. The emotions reign rampant and cannot be contained. I am eternally grateful to God for allowing me to get this far.
Graduation is tomorrow!!! Eeekkk!! I was going through my archived photos this morning and came across this precious bunch that I had totally forgotten about!! I took these photos with Doris for her class project on Documentary Photography. She was tasked with following a fellow student throughout their day so as to document their life - I was honored that she chose me!
We truly have lots to celebrate as the world's youngest and fastest growing continent! To mark this auspicious occasion, I teamed up with ten natural hair bloggers from around Africa (courtesy of ZedHair) to celebrate a day of #AfricaDayNaturals. Each of us got to share why we love AFRICA SOO MUCH!
Well maybe never never, but at least thats how it feels like right now. Graduation is in 29 days and I am f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g out! Quite frankly, I'm hoping that by the time I've penned this post, my nerves would have calmed down a little.
ZedHair is a wonderful and resourceful community of naturals based in Southern Africa. I loovee how global the natural hair community is. Where my South African sisters at? Kina Rumbi, Neo, Mmas? (I love shining the spotlight on my friends..haha!)
I figured that since I have been blogging for exactly 112 days, you might be itching to know a little bit more about me? Yes, Nah? :-) (PS - Did you see my Facebook alert yesterday? If not, be sure to check it out on my page Craving Yellow when you get a chance!)
Also, I connected with Karina who runs a blog on haircare called http://www.shesgotnigeriancurls.com/. Karina is Nigerian and she's based in the UK. Now I have a special place in my heart for my African sisters, because we go waaayy back.
Olivia of Kayi ni Afrika reached out to me to find out more about my hair journey and to get to know me a little bit outside of the blogosphere. To say the least, I was deeply humbled! She asked a really pertinent question that had me excited about Africa's rising trajectory. She asked, if I had the opportunity to change Africa, what would I do and why?
I hope you woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! We made it to this day and for that reason alone we truly have a lot to be thankful for! This week is surely off to a great start, solely because of Ajani Handmade. If you have yet to hear about Ajani Handmade, well wait no more!