I recently had to travel to Nigeria to launch my lovely gift book for mums – ‘mum my superhero’.
It was launched in Abuja and then a book reading and signing was done in Lagos Nigeria. It was a wonderful and action-packed 12 days for me and I’ll tell you all about it.
In case anyone is wondering what the whole fuss is about, is it not just this little book? You may be wondering… It’s more than just the book, it’s the hard work that was put into it from start to finish the self-doubt and all. Moreover, not only did I launch the book, but it was to me like the launch of the Aunty Lulu brand.
My trip included reading sessions at schools both in Lagos and Abuja. This was very important because I intend to develop a children’s series based on the characters in my book.
There was an interactive mum’s chat at the Lagos event. The panellists each spoke about the role of Mum as a confidante. How it changes with the children’s age and how to manage it when the children have spouses. Attendees asked general questions about parenting and I’m pretty sure every attendee learned something new.
Regulars on the blog will be familiar with Mo and her mum Tola, as their beautiful story was shared on the blog a few weeks ago. I had the pleasure of meeting both of them and all I can say is that Mo is a ray of sunshine.
Tola shared with us the work she’s been doing to create awareness about down syndrome in Nigeria. She shared some heartbreaking stories about how some of the children are treated. There certainly is a lot to be done about special needs education in Nigeria.
It was all great, a really wonderful experience and I remain grateful to God and really can’t thank all of you my friends, family and readers enough.
Based on how enriching the mum’s chat session was, I have decided to do a yearly program for mums to sit and talk. To hear and be heard, to teach and to learn. This yearly program is going to be called “I am Mum”. There’ll be something for every mum, stay home mum, working mum, single mum etc. Every mum is welcome. I’ll tell you more about this event in the coming weeks.
Please don’t forget to order your copy from me or any of these stockists; Amazon, Troubador, Gift Source Abuja, Tabitha Kids Abuja, Kwamuhle Lagos.
Thanks again for your support and always remember to leave a comment.
Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Stress is a common experience in everyday life. We feel stress in response to situations that we find difficult or challenging. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.
Whilst a bit of stress can help to motivate us to reach our goals; too much stress can be bad for our bodies and minds. Feeling over-burdened at work, reacting to a major life event, and coping with a difficult situation we were not expecting are some examples of things people report as causing a high level of stress. Stressful life events do not necessarily have to be negative events. For example, events such as starting a new job, moving house and getting married can all be stressful. Overall these positive and negative pressures of life turn into stress when you feel unable to cope.
signs of stress building up include:
Not being able to sleep properly with worries going through your mind.
Minor problems causing you to feel impatient or irritable.
Not being able to concentrate due to many things going through your mind.
Being unable to make decisions.
Drinking or smoking more.
Not enjoying food so much.
Being unable to relax and always feeling that something needs to be done.
Headaches and muscle tension in the neck and shoulders
Feeling tense. Sometimes ‘fight or flight’ hormones are released causing physical symptoms. These include:
Feeling sick (nauseated).
A ‘knot’ in the stomach
Feeling sweaty with a dry mouth.
A ‘thumping’ heart (palpitations).
and symptoms of stress overload
Seeing only the
Anxious or racing
Depression or general unhappiness
Anxiety and agitation
Moodiness, irritability, or anger
Loneliness and isolation
Other mental or emotional health problems
Aches and pains
Chest pain, rapid
Loss of sex drive
Frequent colds or flu
Eating more or less
Sleeping too much or
cigarettes, or drugs to relax
Nervous habits (e.g.
nail biting, pacing)
you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in today’s demanding
world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time.
And that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly
every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your
digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and
stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving
you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress
Depression and anxiety
Pain of any kind
Skin conditions, such
Thinking and memory
Improving your ability to handle stress.
Realise when it is causing a problem and identify the causes: An important
step in tackling stress is to realise when it is a problem for you and make a
connection between the physical and emotional signs you are experiencing and
the pressures you are faced with.
Review your lifestyle: Are you taking on too much? Can you do some things
in a more leisurely way?
Eat Healthily: There is also a growing amount of evidence showing how food
can affect our mood.
Be aware of your smoking and drinking: If possible, try to cut right down
on smoking and drinking. They may seem to reduce tension, but in fact they can
make problems worse. Alcohol and caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety.
Exercise: well proven to reduce stress.
Take Time Out: To relax and do some self care.
Get some restful sleep: Relieves tiredness and helps you think clearly to
deal with stress.
Build supportive relationships: friends or family can offer help and
practical advice can support you in managing stress. Joining a club, enrolling
on a course, or volunteering can all be good ways of expanding your social
networks and encourage you to do something different.
Some people find they have
times in their lives when stress becomes severe or difficult to cope with. See
a doctor if stress becomes worse.
Further treatments eg pyschological
therapies or medication may be appropriate.
Take away bite:
If you continue to feel
overwhelmed by stress, seeking professional help can support you in managing
effectively. Do not be afraid to seek professional help if you feel that you
are no longer able to manage things on your own. Many people feel reluctant to
seek help as they feel that it is an admission of failure. This is not the case
and it is important to get help as soon as possible so you can begin to feel
better. Remember stress is a risk factor for and can precipitate physical and
mental health problems so seek help when you feel stressed and are unable to
cope and/or function.
Here’s another lovely passion for profession story.
I had a chat with sprightly Mojoyin -mum of three boys and founder of Jojo Shoes – a brand that designs beautiful shoes for ladies. Mojoyin is making a profession out of her passion for fashionable shoes.
Mojoyin was one of the fastest girls in my secondary school 😚and it was always a delight to watch her on the track. It’s interesting to see that she’s dropped her track spikes for stilettos and the likes 😀. This buttresses my point that we can excel at anything if we work hard at it.
Mojoyin could have easily chosen a career path following her natural talent as an athlete, but she chose her passion for fashion (shoes) and is putting all necessary efforts to make it flourish.
Let’s meet Mojoyin…
My name is Mojoyin Abolarin. I’m a mom, wife, homemaker, IT database Administrator and now an entrepreneur who designs beautiful shoes for women.
I was born and grew up in Lagos, went to boarding school for 6 years, studied biology at the University of Maryland with hopes for going to medical school. That didn’t work out as I had my first son, got married and decided to go for a masters in Information Technology.
Tell us about what you do?
I am the owner of Jojo Shoes, a brand that I started in April 2018.
After finishing from grad school, I started working as a database administrator and later on as a software developer. I then decided to start my own business of buying and selling clothes which failed so badly after so much investment. My love for fashion was still intact and I still desired to start a business around fashion.
I’ve always loved shoes, most shoes that caught my attention were usually either too expensive or not comfortable. So I decided to start making shoes for myself first and then others. Most shoe samples are in size 8, but mine is in 10 because there was a part of me that was afraid of failing and thought “ well if I fail at this at least I would be wearing all my samples to console myself.”. 😁
How did you get into Shoe production.
As stated earlier, I love shoes and I’m often drawn to the classiest shoes on display which usually turned out to be high-end shoes, but just couldn’t afford to buy them.
Also, I have bunions (even though not too big) , but enough to make my feet look weird and uncomfortable in stiletto shoes.
About 4 years ago, I bought a pair of green stilettos from Christian Luboutin and it was hell walking in them. I returned them and bought another style, thinking changing the style would help, but I also couldn’t fit! That’s when I thought of designing shoes for myself and making sure I enjoyed the comfort of those shoes while making them affordable to most at a high end taste.
Not why shoes, but why good shoes 😊? Good shoes will definitely take you to good places 😉. Just kidding. Shoes because I’ve always loved shoes and that’s the first thing I look at in a persons outfit.
I also want to make the feet beautiful. You see people wear clothes, makeup and accessories to beautify and enhance their figures and looks, so why shouldn’t we also adorn the feet that supports the whole body and make it look gorgeous.
Are there any big shoe companies you look up to, and why?
I really love Aquazzura. Their shoes are so unique and stylish, yet not as highly priced as some of the other high end shoes and they also have their original and classic designs.
What are you goals for your brand?
My goal for Jojo’s is to see it in every woman’s closet and to have it in main chain stores. I will like every woman to have at least one pair of Jojos.
How do you come up with your designs?
I have a designer I work with – Andrea (my Italian designer) he helps with the design process. If I have an idea, I draw it on a sheet of paper, he then marks out all measurements and uses design software to help perfect the design/idea so the manufacturer will understand.
I sometimes also draw in my dreams and they are crazy drawings but my designer in Italy understands me a lot and also helps improve my sketch. We eliminate until we sure we’ve created something wearable.
What do you mean by drawing in your dream?
Drawing while sleeping 😚. Sometimes I dream of shoes, and some designs and I just notice I’m drawing in my dreams, immediately I’m aware of it, I get up (I always have my pad and pen on my bedside table) and scribble a reminder or draw what I have in mind and then go back to sleep immediately. This has happened several times, the fear of failure is real I guess 😄.
What are the challenges you’ve faced in running your brand?
Well I have enjoyed every stressful part of designing , sourcing for manufacturers, going broke, sourcing for materials, choosing colours etc. I tend to be conservative but decided to go out of my comfort zone and bombard my shoe line with colours.
There are however many challenges, biggest being funding. This business is capital intensive. I started with my paycheck as a software developer, so I’m trying not to starve my kids all in the name of starting a new business especially as I’m avoiding getting a loan.
Another major challenge is getting a manufacturer to work with my minimum order quantity. Since I started business, I’ve had to switch between 3 manufacturers, and I’m still researching for better manufacturers in terms of price, quality and minimum order quantity. One thing I’ve realized is that the research never stops.
Sizing is also a problem, as is the issue of customers trying to make you go crazy! The numerous voices demanding different shoe styles is unbelievable. Some want wedges, some want, flats, some want even higher heels. One thing I realized is just to follow my vision and not lose track of where I’m going with my brand.
Where do you see your brand in 10 years?
By Gods Grace, I want Jojo Shoes to be in all Major retail stores. I also would like to have several physical stores in all major cities.
How do you manage running your business with motherhood?
It’s tough, but I just plan ahead – I do most of what needs done when my kids are in school. I have a flexible remote job and good support from family and friends.
Advice for budding producers?
start from somewhere with the little you have, do lots of research, be prepared
to do a lot of advertising, be patient and just trust God.
On a lighter note, What would you do if you had special powers?
If I had special powers, I would make everyone in the world peaceful with each other. It’s so scary with how much hatred and atrocities going on in the world. So I would want to be known as “Peace woman with a white cape and an all white outfit 😋. Imagine how the world would be if they wasn’t hate. 🏳👼🏾