Ododo isn’t a word I heard too often growing up in my Yoruba speaking household. I guess “flower” isn’t a word anyone uses too often in communication unless you are a florist of some sorts or a bright-eyed lover. At least I wouldn’t. Growing up, I was a tomboy. I climbed trees with my brothers, kept my dad company at the mechanic and abhorred dresses and frilly things. Flowers were no exception. I didn’t see what the fuss was about. I was hardly captivated by any floral scent and the thought of its short life span annoyed me. Until, I started playing with flowers as an event designer. Bouquets, centerpieces and arrangements, they were everywhere and I feel in love with them. Now, ododo seems like a necessary addition for my vocabulary.
During the recent Nigerian Presidential elections, Korede Bello came out with a catchy song titled “GodWin,” which not only became the unofficial presidential campaign song for supporters on both sides, but also a personal motto for challenging difficult life situations and ushering in victories. This song reminds me that regardless of the circumstances that may surround me at any given time, my God has a divine plan and purpose for my life and by His grace it will be fulfilled, because ultimately God Wins.
“I know who you are?” “An Ajebutter.”
I have been mistaken, yes — mistaken for an Ajebutter, one too many times. I can’t remember when I first heard the term used on me, but I do remember one instance. I was on a date (not really…I don’t believe in dating, but so you can visualize the scene…I was at dinner), sitting at a nice restaurant across from what appeared to be a cultured man who was sizing me over and said, “You are an Ajebutter.”
Growing up in the US, I didn’t hear it often. So unashamedly, I asked, “What?” “What does that mean?” He explained that it was a person who grow up pampered, privileged…to some spoilt. But he didn’t say it in a negative way, he wanted to actually say I appeared prissy. LOL. That I can be at times, but I most certainly wasn’t born privileged or was I spoilt. Every time I heard the terms, I resented them…the people that spoke it and the terms themselves. Because it discounted the late night work sessions, the endless note taking and tea drinking over life plans and strategies, the hours spent praying, fasting and studying my Word, so I could assure myself that I was staying in God’s will for my life. It got to a point where I complained to my pastor about my appearance of a charmed life even though my upbringing and constant grind was far from charmful. His answer? It’s the grace & favor of God over your life.
I thought and pondered over what he said. And realized, it’s the same grace & favor that sought out Esther from the other women and “pampered” her until she was positioned to save her people. So if God’s grace & favor makes me look “pampered,” that’s because I am and continue to be until my purpose is fulfilled. And I accept it.
Are you pampered?
When I was brainstorming the name for my blog, I wanted a name that both represented my cultural identity and feminine aesthetic. Initially, I wrote down every adjective I could think of that I felt represented me and my style, but the concepts didn’t give me that “yes, that’s it!” feeling. I was getting frustrated. because all the ideas I came up with didn’t click for me. But when I prayed, I felt more about peace with not having an answer right away. After some days, the name Gidi & Pearls came to me. Yes, that’s it!
“Gidi” stems from “Las Gidi,” the nickname of Lagos, a progressive city in Nigeria with a lot of young professionals accomplishing and reaching their goals. “Gidi” was also a play on the word “giddy,” my state when I’m excited and playful about something, which relates to my femininity. The word “Pearls” represents my feminine and classic tendencies. And that’s how Gidi & Pearls was born.