Happy New Year!

Photo from Rafh Zee
How did you welcome the New Year?

Here in Sydney, we ushered in 2016 in grand style. I was one of the more than 1.5 million spectators lined up in various locations across the city to watch the famous Sydney fireworks. 

It's My Birthday!

Makeup by Thulie @styledbythulie
On this day, several years ago, a beautiful princess was born to an influential Efik chieftain of a riverine tribe in Bakassi kingdom. She would grow in wisdom to embrace her Efik roots despite having the spirit of wanderlust. She is Eneanwan to the Efiks. Rosemary to others and one of the few skinny Efik gals who refuses to add on "assets."

Happy Boxing Day Birthday to me. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you my amazing readers. 

Stay safe!

My Evening With Oprah Winfrey

It’s always good to know someone who knows someone that works in an upscale restaurant where everyone who’s anyone goes to eat. The possibility of scoring free premium tickets to cool events is high.

I got to see Oprah live on stage. I and thousands of others thronged into the Allphones Arena at the Sydney Olympic Park to listen to her words of wisdom.

Apologies For The Long Absence

Hi all,

It’s been over two months since my last post and I've gotten several questions about my absence. I’m still here. I’ve just been inundated with postgraduate hassles. I underestimated the amount of work and mental preparation that I needed for this journey.

I’ve had to take on courses that I would normally have avoided and I’ve done projects that seemed insurmountable at first but were actually interesting once I delved into it. I had help from Dr. Google and YouTube, of course. You'd be amazed at the depth of free information and real knowledge that can be acquired on these two platforms.

Sydney Fish Market

I like my seafood. I’m sure I’ve said this a few times. As a descendant of proud, dedicated fishermen, I'm appreciative of the blessings, from the sea, that mother nature bestows on us.

Oz Fact: A Bar Is A Hotel

A hotel is a bar and a bar is a hotel. I was just as confused as you are now when I discovered this little piece of information. I had no idea. How can a bar be a hotel, you ask? That's exactly how it is here. A hotel refers to two things. 


That's how Australians say Australia. Straya. I've discovered that Aussies like to abbreviate a lot. I added a funny video by two Australians, at the end of the post, that explains how you can speak Stralian.

Efik Maiden (Nkugho)

I've been away for a while. There's a reason for that. I moved base. I left Nigeria about two weeks ago to fly 21 hours down under.  I've been busy ever since. You know how it is when you're trying to settle down in an unfamiliar terrain. 

Ekoki Ibokpot - Efik Corn Pudding

How do you like your corn? Boiled or roasted? I like mine in Ekoki. It's corn season. The only time we get to make this quintessential Efik dish that is cooked with freshly-cut corn. The kind that is milky and sweet. Ekoki is a delicious meal but it requires painstaking preparation.

For Nigerian Women Who Value Quality Over Pocket Size

We eat with our eyes first. If the food is visually appealing, we’re more inclined to take the first bite. And possibly a second and third bite. This also applies in a man-woman attraction scenario. At first meeting, the eyes skim the outward package, then as you get to know the person, you decide if the package has substance or if it’s shallow.  

Spicy Lemongrass Fish Peppersoup

After the trip to the fish market, I had a craving for a simple, spicy Sole fish pepper soup (broth or just soup for non-Nigerians). Sole fish is a lean, fragile fish that tastes delicious with little seasoning.

Instead of cooking the normal fish pepper soup, I enhanced the flavour by using lemongrass-infused water. Lemongrass is a key ingredient in various Asian cuisines. I wanted to try it out. It was an absolute delight! 

Fish Market in Calabar

Fish is an essential addition in Cross Riverian cuisine. Whether fresh, smoked or dried, there's no soup that doesn't have the all important ingredient. It is also readily available.

There are a number of places to buy fresh fish in Calabar. You can decide to visit the wharf (Esuk) at the Marina in old Calabar just as the fishermen return from their trip. You can also find some at the two major markets, Watt and Marian markets, as well as various street corners around the city.

But the major fish market is situated in Lagos Street, a short stretch of road within the vicinity of the popular Watt market. Depending on the season, you can find all kinds of fresh produce sourced from the surrounding salty and fresh seawater.

Remembering the Days of Humble Beginnings

I consider myself a proper village girl. Put me anywhere in the world and that will not change. But I can keep up with the Joneses and speak through my nose when the situation calls for it. I was fully immersed in my culture when I was growing up. My parents made sure of that. I got to spend holidays in the village. Mingle with my cousins and do things that village kids do.

Unripe Plantain Porridge with Periwinkles - Iwuk Ukom ye Mfi

If you like periwinkles (mfi) like I do, then you wouldn’t mind putting it in every meal. Except rice of course. I love it so much that I’ve actually boiled it separately with salt and added it to my pepper soup. Weird. I know. But we’re a family of jolly periwinkle eaters. We add it in most soups and there’s always a bag of the good stuff laying about just incase.

For Sunday lunch, I made plantain porridge with the spiky-shelled periwinkle. I prefer those ones to the smooth-shelled periwinkles because they are usually not bitter.

Kidnapped: Five Lessons on How to Handle a Loved One’s Abduction

On a quiet Sunday night, I was getting ready to go to bed when I got the call that my dad had been abducted. That was the beginning of a torturous week of waiting and desperate pleas to authorities to facilitate his release. Everything else stood still. Nothing was more important than negotiating for his safe release.

I learned a few things from the frenzy of activities that ensued. Things I didn’t think about until I actually experienced the horror of being the family member to a kidnap victim. It’s not something that anybody wishes for but since it happened to us, there are several lessons that I want to share here.

Dark Clouds

I haven't been able to write anything these past two weeks. It has been a difficult time for my family and me. One that I hope we never have to pass through again. I cannot begin to describe the anguish. It was like we were characters in a catastrophic movie. A crime drama. One that was broadcast to a myriad of spectators.

But it’s over now. We can get back a semblance of our former lives. It won’t be the same. It might be better. Because we’ve earned it.

Forgive me for being cryptic. I’ll explain later. Maybe in another post. Lessons learned and all that jazz. For now, I just wanted to say hello. To explain that I didn’t flake out. I didn’t suddenly abandon my little space here for nearly two weeks for no reason.


Jollof Rice With Coconut Milk

I like all kinds of food. If it looks good and tastes good, I eat it. But since I’m currently living in the heart of Obio Efik (Efik land), surrounded by Efik kin, it’s only natural that I get to eat more of my local dish. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t make other kinds of food.

In fact, I’m like the consultant for all kinds of pepper soup and rice meals in my house. Jollof rice. Coconut rice. Fried rice. Concoction rice. Whatever rice. Everyone knows to call Adiaha (first daughter).

Efik Marriage “Knocking” Ceremony - Mbub Ndo K’ido Efik

I recently attended the Mbub (literally translated “asking”) of a close relative. It was my first time observing the activities in an Efik Mbub. I was expecting a small, intimate affair with only the two families involved but it turned out to be very elaborate. A Lot of guests. Affang and fufu very plenty. Enough drinks.

Efik Fisherman Soup - Efere Ine

This soup is the creation of the fishermen (Oko Iyak) in the creeks. Ine is a shack where the fishermen stay while on their fishing expedition. These men could leave their homes for several weeks at a time. They usually stay to smoke some of the fish and shrimps in preparation for the market. Out there, they survive on food from the sea. 

Natural Beauty: Healthy Skin on a Budget

Let’s talk skincare today. How to nurture your skin to radiance without hurting your wallet. There are a lot of products with fancy names and ingredients out there. I used to buy into all the hype. Spending money I didn’t have on products with disappointing results.

Valentine Then And Now

A pox on INEC for freeing up February 14. Now, there’s no excuse not to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The pressure is back on ladies and gents. What are you getting for that special someone? Or are you thinking of taking the cowardly way out? Pick a fight this week. Make up next week.

Efik Palmoil Rice (Iwuk Edesi)

Iwuk Edesi is very popular in these parts. It's known by a variety of names; Palmoil rice, MTN rice (it's yellow after all), Grandmother rice (I saw this one at the Tinapa Buffet Night) and Local Jollof rice. 

It's also one of the simplest meals to make. You only really need four basic ingredients — rice, crayfish, dry fish, palmoil and then your spices (pepper, salt and maggi). But we Efiks like to go all out. Cook big. Or don't cook at all! 

My Iwuk Edesi in Pictures.

What Nigerian Men Want – The Paradox

A friend sent me an email in response to my post Things I Don’t Want to Hear at 30 here. Even though it’s more of him musing about what he wants or doesn’t want in a wife, I thought it was interesting. So, I decided to post it here (with his permission of course).

Body Magic: What You See, Not What You Get

I’ve been getting a series of broadcast messages advertising body shapers aka body magic. All of them assuring the buyer the hourglass shape of her dreams. A figure that’s guaranteed to make a man swoon. Because, it’s all about what the men want. Right? The law of demand and supply.

Things I don’t Want to Hear Now That I’m 30

I recently turned 30. The big 3.0. You know what that means. Female. 30. Unmarried. Cue in the concerned citizens and members of the marriage and procreation society. Armed with their unsolicited remarks and advice. 

Ekpang Nkukwo

Ekpang Nkukwo

One of the things I love about being Efik is the food. We’re known for our mouth-watering dishes and their elaborate preparation process. I like to think that most Efik women (and some of the men) can cook. 

For us, food is much more than a means of sustenance. Food is a way of life, meant to be savoured. That’s why we take great care in the preparation, using a variety of rich ingredients.

Why I’m Skinny And Still Exercise

Add Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_varka'> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
By Naija standards and certainly that of my Efik roots, I need more flesh in the right places to boost my selling point. But if you’re judging based on a fitness perspective, I’m well within the normal BMI (Body Mass Index) range.There’s a common misconception that people who are slim shouldn’t exercise. 

New Year's Resolutions. All Talk No Action

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_aleutie'> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

We’re well into the first month of the New Year. Most of us have gone back to our daily hustle. It’s time to gather and recoup from all the expenses and profligacies of the holiday period. For those that went to the village and “made it rain,” you better start planning now for another big showing. It’s common practice for a lot of people to make New Year’s resolutions. 

To New Beginnings

I’ve been meaning to start this blog for a while now. But I kept procrastinating. Tomorrow. No, next week. Maybe in another month. On and on I went. Truth is, I was terrified of putting my thoughts out there. I’ve been writing mostly for myself. It’s safe. I didn’t want to be criticized. Or judged.

I held on to my silly fears. Made all the excuses in the world and kept pushing the idea of blogging further into the future. I call them silly fears now because I thought way too hard about it. But then again, I'm my own biggest critic.

A few months ago, death dealt a blow close to home. It became very important for me to live. You see, life is not a guarantee. There’s no point just dreaming and making plans without taking the necessary steps toward fulfilling them. I thank those friends who have constantly reminded (and hounded) me to take the plunge. 

So, here’s to living. One day at a time. A toast to new beginnings. To lording over my fears.

Here, I write about life as I see it. The things that inspire me. The fun stuff. Efik culture. Food. Fitness. Natural skincare and everything nice…

I hope you would follow me on this journey of self discovery…


Let's be buddies

Tweet me - @skinnyefikgal
Write me - skinnyefikgal@gmail.com

Custom Post Signature

Custom Post  Signature