Sunday, 29 March 2009

reTighteing Ara's locs,long after 2 mths.

The 1st pic is of 2st twists installed in feb 2007 to begin the locking process. Ara's locs today in march 2009, being retightened -by me, using the nappyloc tool, using R4 pattern. Her locs are thick so the medium sized nappyloc tool is the ideal tool for dem locs. She had about 1 1/2 in growth from over 2 mths. There was some repair work to be done, plus I started about 6 new locs from loose hair. You can see a baby loc at the hairline. Her locs are 2 yrs 2 mths old. They started out as small 2 strand twists. See here: I did 2 rows in the back and went to her local braider down the rd(GHANA) and showed them what I wanted done. It took 4 young ladies under 1hr(45/50min) to put in 305 twists. They charged about $5.00 for this service.I also taught them to retighten using the latch-hook and nappy tool. They did a pretty good job maintaining her locs the 1st year, charging her very little or nothing cos she was a student!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Jade Goody knew Jesus. She wisely secured her place in eternity

I'm not a reality TV fan,(IMO it's full of mindless drivel, fusses and fights and reinforces all that's awful about society today) and I wondered what all the fuss was about Jade Goody, UK's reality TV star who rose from humble beginnings to become a very rich woman. Something caught my eye one day and I found myself reading about her fight with cervical cancer on the news. I noticed that this young woman was a fighter. I couldn't help admiring the courage she displayed in the midst of pain, facing death. How she determined to exploit the media attention to raise as much money as possible for her 2 small sons, now being raised by their dad. As I began to follow the story, I discovered that she was indeed very close to death. I felt compelled to pray that this dear girl would make her peace with God and put her trust in Jesus. I knew many others must be praying for her too. When we heard she'd died, aged only 27yrs, on mother's day, I looked at my daughter Arashia. I said 'I know she went to heaven, I've got that gut feeling.' She said 'me too, I have the same feeling.' Later as I read the news surrounding her death, I found she had been baptised alongside her kids and made a statement to the effect that she wanted them to know Jesus so hopefully they'd keep in touch through him as she was going to be with him! Wow! I thought this woman achieved a lot in her short life, publicly repented, admited she'd made some poor choices in life - yes- she had an unfortunate background, not very educated - nevertheless, wasn't ashamed to mention Jesus' name publicly and let it be known that she believed in him. This woman certainly had guts even if it was her bad behaviour on mindless TV that propelled her to fame. She was smart enough to marry, barely a month ago, saving her kids £1million which the taxman would not have hesitated to grab. She not only raised awareness of the disease, she secured her sons' financial future, and left amounts to various charities. To think she endured being in the spotlight whilst very ill, to raise money for those kids knowing that she'd never see a penny of it. This woman has been criticised, called names, 'thick' etc Maybe she was and she can't help that, she didn't choose her parents. But who are we to sit in judgement over her? Would we really behave differently if we'd had her rough upbringing, if we'd been in her shoes? At least she chose the right thing in the end, and that can't be said of everyone who's 'laying' into her. She took care of this natural realm for her boys' sake, but cerainly did not neglect her spirit and made secure her place in eternity. At the end, she became a Wise young woman.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Which shampoo?

I've been doing the no-shampoo, no soap routine. I find it a little disconcerting to have no suds when washing my hair, but it works. However, I overdid things a little at my last wash. I used too much baking soda. My hair feels so dry and wiry. Anyone got some advice? Dare I use some diluted conditioner? Many of my locs aren't locked yet. Meanwhile,I discovered ORGANIX Teatree Mint shampoo whilst shopping in BOOTS. It contains no sulphates, so I was sold. It's smells, lovely with just the right amount of 'tingle' factor. But I'm torn between this and NIOXIN shampoo. Nioxin is specifically for thin/thinning hair. It contains ingredients supposed to create the right enviroment that allows your hair to grow. I used it early on, but gave it up in order to allow my locs to settle. I like everything except for the sodium lauryl sulphate. But I want to give it another go. Do the benefits outweigh the potential risks? I may give it a few weeks and re-evaluate. Or can I use both? What do you think? As you can see, I love trying new things, but I always return to the old 'faithfuls'.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Tribute to Elizabeth

My good friend Elizabeth died on my birthday 23rd feb 2009. We go back 20yrs, way back to KT/AL days when we never missed a church service or meeting. She was well known for arriving at AL(Abundant Life) meetings with enough ground rice and soup to feed the entire group. She used to invite me and Arashia(when she was a tiny tot)for a meal or should I say meals cos she always had at least 5 dishes lined up! Efua as she was also known,was from Cameroon, but her late mother was a fante from Ghana. We lost contact here(UK) but met up in Ghana when we moved back 10yrs ago. Efua had returned to Cameroon, but decided to make Ghana her homeland and made the trip by land from Cameroon to Ghana crossing Nigeria, Benin and Togo to get to Ghana. That's the kind of person she was. Very adventurous. Although my husband and I moved back to the UK, we kept in touch my phone/ email and I always spent time with her when I went to Ghana to visit. Sometimes, she'd come and stay overnight(laden with all manner of fruit) and we'd spend most of the night laughing and talking and generally having a good time.On my recent trip to Ghana, I felt this urgency to go see her soon after I arrived. She tried to put me off and this made me slightly suspicious. The next day, the urge to see her was stronger than ever-I called and announced to her that I was going to find her wherever she was, and demanded directions to her house. She laughed out loud, told me I was crazy and went on to give me directions. Any Africans know how dodgy these can be and I got lost 2x and after following dirt roads avoiding large potholes,finally found her in a neat little 1 bed maisonette type house. She lived alone(no husband no kids) with a young maid to help her. She looked ill and had just come out of hospital having spent several weeks there. There was something wrong with her lungs and this affected her breathing her heart and other internal organs and was on strong medication. Which explained why she hadn't wanted me to come the day b4. She was the type that wants to cook you 5 or more meals to welcome you to her house. She was overjoyed to see me and overcome with emotion. We spent the next 3-4 hours praising God, praying and reading the bible, as well as catching up with some news. We hugged just b4 I left and I promised to come back to visit. I meant to suprise her with a few gifts. The next day she called me and just burst into tears saying ' Ofo, God brought you,you don't know what your visit meant to me. You came all the way to see me,you've strengthened me more than you know'. I was busy the ff week and began to call her mobile the week after that. I got no response for3-4 days. Eventually, someone (her uncle)answered and told me that 'Elizabeth passed away on mon 23rd feb' I sat and stared into space for a very long time. Finally, I took my Bible and opened to a random page. It was Mat 25:36 and this line jumped out at me'...I was sick and you visited me' I just bowed my head worshipped and thanked God for prompting me to go and see her. He knew what was going to happen, that this was the last time I was going to see her on this side of eternity,and was guiding my steps all the time. I've shed some tears, but I am happy for her too, because I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that she's busy enjoying the glories of heaven. Friends, heaven is very real and Jesus paid the ultimate price so you and I can have a place there. All you have to do is acknowledge that you can't save yourself or free yourself from your sin,(Jesus did that for you) and accept his FREE gift of salvation. This life is very short, even if you live to be 100, it's over sooner or later. Make certain of your place in eternity. I know I'll be seeing Efua again, someday. 'In the meantime, Elizabeth,Efua-enjoy rest from your labours here on earth. It was a privilege to know you. I'll never forget how you stepped in and helped in my hour of need, how you took Arashia under your wing when she was in Ghana, how you always looked for ways to bless me. You were always telling me how beautiful I was. You yearned to know about your mother and her side of your family. Now you're reconciled with your mother. Da yie, I'll never forget you'

Friday, 6 March 2009

More Photos and the sisterlocks huddle

Ama had just finished retightening my locs, sun 1st march. (I've decided, I need to lose some weight and get toned and be just like her. Both she and twin sis Amba,look so good.)

we thought about having a sls Ghana meetup. But in the end, we settled for a 'huddle' - just a handful of us, including the youngest and 1st child sls wearer in Ghana. I think Kuks has become a bit of a celebrity.

Me, Abi and Ama.

Ama's locs were described to me by Seiwa as long liquid licquorice before I saw them. She was right, except they are now a gingery colour. Quite frankly she turned heads wherever she went.

In case you're wondering, she 2st twisted and bantu knotted them. She took down the bantu knots, but left the twists in, in these pics. It's a lovely look. After a few days, she'll take the twists out for a crinkly look. I can only imagine how gorgeous they'll be.

This is the front view of the house my brother and wife built.

The pool in the back courtyard of the above house.


Thursday, 5 March 2009

I'm back from Ghana, with some photos

Kukua's the 1st child in Ghana with sls...only aged 2, is she the youngest ever to wear sisterlocks?

Ama (her mum) installed her locs over a 1 month period. Kukua loves her locs and mum's more than happy she doesn't have to use the comb anymore.

This is Till's place in Gomoa Fetteh in Ghana(about 30 miles out of Accra)

Ama Abi and I at the funeral of a famous doctor in Ghana. I know we are smiling, but that's cos funerals are also a bit of a social event where you meet a lot of familiar faces. There were 400 or more people at this particular funeral.