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  • Writer's pictureChef Nii

Banku or Eba Will Still Okro!

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Chalé!!! I used to be one of those guys who needed to have a plan for everything. My life had to move in a particular direction; I had it all planned out, with 2 back up plans just in case because, “you will never know!”. Anything outside my norm scared me! Black or White. Period! I mean it’s still there, but it’s not as bad as it used to be. Stop saying “REALLY?” because if you knew me before … Ha! We would be in a situationship.

I mean, just imagine this, I have decided that from tomorrow I will cycle to work. Nobody sent me and I don’t know why! But all I know is I have bought the bike, helmet, lock, phone holder, new seat and even downloaded 6 cycling apps. I have even gone as far as watching YouTube videos on how to cycle, what to know as a cyclist, what not to do, the whole shazam, yet guess what? I am still freaking out.

Thinking about it now... I mean, is it me or is this room suddenly hot! I am indeed sweating! Wait! Did I even deodorize myself today?? Gosh! Now this guy sitting next to me can definitely smell my armpits and is judging me! Oh God! He will think I am a “JJC!!!” I need ice cream! I need to calm down!  “Breathe Nii, Breathe!!!” And no! I am not comfort eating! I am just ... my mother says we are a big boned family ok?! 

This is me on a typical day when I have to try new things; when I have to meet somebody for the first time; when i visit a place for the first time; when I have to use a new route or new product. Basically, change my routine and I would immediately switch into panic mode ... “Breathe Nii! Breathe!!!”

You won’t believe it but the craziest of them all is when I have to try out a new barber; now, I must say, that is an entire episode! I know I am definitely not alone in this! “Can I hear your shouting!!!”

The fact that I am walking into a room full of people I don’t know, have to make eye contact and say hello, then carry on a conversation? Nope! I am definitely running. So when home service became an option, I jumped on it like a leech! That alone tells me there is a God and He so loves His children! it was a struggle man. However, in “London the leveller”, where nobody has your time, let’s just say haircuts are a myth.

It’s so bad that; I wouldn’t just walk into a new gym. I have to go online to check it out and visualize the entire establishment. Then I have to go by the day before to check out the equipment, see if there may be any I am not familiar with so I can research on them before I come in to work out. I also need to form a rapport with one of the staff, it’s literally an entire process! 

Anything new is a whole experience which commences days before it actually happens. Firstly, I have to visualize the entire experience, come up with various possible situations and then think of possible outcomes. What time do I possibly set off? Who will most likely be there? What questions will I most likely be asked! What will my posture be? Then the almighty, “What will I wear?”

Save me Jesus! 

Apparently, I have OCD, hence my thriving on routines and structure. But in writing this piece and looking back on my experiences, I realize that I did have a fear of the unknown and I can bet two plantains that there is a term for this phobia. I just wanted to be in control of everything and if things didn’t go as planned; my whole world will come crushing down.

I need a moment please!

There is a saying that “If you want God to laugh tell Him your plans”, well I must have made Him laugh a whole lot because when it came to planning, I was an O.G! But the truth is, we really cannot live like that! Your life is not a math equation where 1 + 1 = 2. However, day to day is not equal to the same. Imagine eating light soup your whole life and not trying groundnut soup with some long grain rice and fried plantain! Lord! Food will kill me oh!!! In this world with so many variables, uncertainty and very unpredictable people, living like that only means you are probably always stressed and overeating, or constantly upset and not eating at all. Imagine seeing a whole succulent Chofi (Chow-Fee) (Fried Turkey buttocks) and passing! God forbid it!

The interesting thing about this entire situation is some of my life altering moments, most memorable experiences, greatest lessons and treasured relationships came about at times when nothing was going according to plan; I had lost control of everything, and it seemed as if everything was falling apart around me. Was I uncomfortable? Yes! Was I afraid? Of course! However, I still pressed on and completed the task because courage isn’t the absence of fear! Courage is being afraid, yet still doing it anyways!!! 

So instead, I jumped on that roller coaster with everyone else even after they decided they didn’t want to gather content for my food blog *rolls eyes*. I tell you! I have never had so much fun! I resolved to basically enjoy my flight and also be a bit more engaging, even after they had cancelled that flight and altered all my plans. I literally had to sleep in this random place, wake up at some ridiculous and arrive in Singapore a whole day late, but guess what? It still is one of my most memorable flights.

I ended up sitting by this guy who has worked in my industry for over 40 years and has spent half of that time living my dream; travelling the world experiencing and documenting different cultures and their unique meals and cooking process. I learnt so much, he inspired me and made me believe that my dream was possible. We also ate so much on the flight, the staff loved him so much that they just kept bringing us food and snacks and as usual, I didn’t slack! At all!!!

We need to learn how to let others come into their own. We need to be flexible enough with our plans, accommodating others and their processes and ways of doing things; allowing them to make their mistakes until they come into a better understanding of things, learning the hard way sometimes is necessary. The fact that you have been blessed with certain life experiences and have been privileged enough to have gathered wisdom and knowledge on your journey, which has shaped your thinking and decision-making process does not necessarily mean it is the same way everyone else has had it. The truth is, it really isn’t, and they do not honestly know, so please “DON’T ASSUME!”.

Chalé until the cock crows again, keep eating your kelewele “against” your pure water.

The Sun, Sunshine

And sunflowers

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2 comentarios

Chef Nii
Chef Nii
27 jul 2020

We are glad you did! And don’t forget to always approach each situation with courage. You never know, you just might like it!

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26 jul 2020

I really enjoyed reading this. My major take away is "Courage is the absence of fear. Courage is being afraid yet still doing it anyways 🤯"

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