An Open Letter To My Estranged Family

It was Thursday February 8th 2007 (my Mum’s birthday) when my house phone rang at around 5:00am. We all know that whenever you get a call that early in the morning, it’s usually not good news. I could hear my mother break down in tears from my bedroom. I ran downstairs to find out what was wrong, but I kind of already knew. My Aunt, my Mum’s big sister who had suddenly falling ill in Ghana had died.

This was a shock to my system, I just couldn’t comprehend the news, she had just left England which she frequently visited, at what seemed like every other month, so how is it possible that she went back, and this time passed away?

I worked at Royal Free Hospital for the patient transport services at the time, and to try and distract myself from the news, I decided to go into work that day. That was a fail. I was crying so bad that they sent me home, and they gave me a ride home too.

I remember getting out of the ambulance on that snowy day, and almost not wanting to go into my parents house to face this reality, my aunt, my second mum is dead, how could this be real?

We went through the traditional motions which in itself is traumatic, at times depressing, and also hard work, especially as a female as you have to be the server at all functions, and basically have no choice but to be on your feet to hydrate, and feed these people that have come to pay their respects.

I travelled 6 hours to Ghana from England for just 5 days to attend my Aunt’s funeral. I could not miss getting to say goodbye, despite it being what I thought would be my final year at University, and a crucial time of getting my work/dissertation done, I had to do this.

Coming back was tough, it was still coming back to the reality of what had happened. A lot of the family had obviously spent more than 5 days in Ghana as they had the flexibility to do so, so it was hard knowing that they were all still far away, and the reason why.

Little did I know that this untimely death would break up and disconnect my family when in fact it should have brought us closer together.

Different cultures carry different traditions, and there was one that we followed whilst my Aunt was on this earth, but as soon as she left this earth, it’s almost like my mothers now 4 siblings thought she had taken them with her to the grave.

Things slowly changed, it was a weird time, for me especially as I was always so connected with everyone in my family regardless of where they lived in the world. As things went from bad to worse, it slowly transcended to the cousins. Due to their parents feuding with my Mother, the cousins took it upon themselves to get involved in something that is none of their business. We are grown adults that needn’t take anybody’s side. Two of my cousins and I made a pact to not let this family feud get in the way of our relationship, as far as I am concerned, I am the only one that kept the pact.

Recently I heard a bunch of different things going on within my family. With the disconnect in place, and also me no longer living in London, England, I wasn’t sure of what was true or not, and I guess a big part of me didn’t want to believe what was possibly happening.

I had heard that my Mother’s estranged younger sister was coming to England from the USA for 3 days, why just 3 days? Why such a short time…. what is really going on I wondered?

I spoke to my Dad yesterday, he confirmed all speculation, and told me some bad news is soon to be coming our way. My Mothers sister in-law, the sister in-law my Mum shares the same Birthday with, February 8th, (the same date that we heard the news that my aunt had passed in 2007)

When my Dad told me the news, I didn’t know what to think or feel. I have been disconnected from them for so long that it seems hard to just pick up the phone and make contact. It is so easy for others to say just call otherwise you will regret it, but this blog post is not enough to cover everything that has happened within the family over the course of 10 years.

I woke up angry today, angry at my lack of emotion at this time, angry that none of my cousins, despite everything, didn’t feel the need to share this terrible news with me, angry that it has come to this.

I shouldn’t be surprised, because it was one person’s death that sadly broke the family up in the first place, but this cuts deep.

To my family, my grown adult cousins that may read this, let me give you one piece of advice; your parents are always going to be your parents, but please remember that like ourselves, they are not perfect. Moving forward please try and think for yourselves. Do not take sides nor continue to hide under mummy and daddy’s protection, because remember, they are not always going to be around……

From your estranged niece/cousin,

Roslyn Kufuor

Why I cut my hair

It was Friday October 13th, but it was 3 years in the making, when I decided to start again, and cut my hair.

I always knew I wanted to go natural, but I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon with everyone else like some fad or fashion statement, but literally, I had gotten to the point where I was kind of left with no choice.

My fine textured hair was short, and always looked sweet with a hint of color thrown into the mix, but unfortunately, this hair would constantly grow out the relaxer within a matter of weeks! Due to the short style I wanted to rock, I always felt the need to relax it as soon as you could see any sign of regrowth… big mistake!

I was always afraid of how it would look, I thought it wouldn’t suit me, I thought that it wouldn’t be accepted in the work place, and I thought it would be less attractive.

Before you judge me, I know I’m not the only one that once had/has these thoughts and feelings, and to be honest I despise them. For the most part, these ideals I had in my head were far from true, I had seen it with my own eyes on others, but for me to go natural it would be different-right? Thanks to the society we are living in, this is what we have been made to feel. Apparently straight shiny long hair is the way forward right?…….WRONG!

I did the ‘big chop’ in 2 stages. This wasn’t intentional, but I think it goes to show how much I wasn’t ready, but I knew it was the right time to finally do this liberating thing.

I first went to a Deva Curl salon in NJ where I had to basically beg the lady to cut more of my hair off, she even told me ‘If I cut too much off you may not like it’ I was confident and said to her ‘no it’s okay you can cut as much as you need as the aim is to start over again’ She then only went on to ‘trim’ a little more, and by this point I just assumed it was enough, paid them, and left somewhat liberated.

The following day, I woke up and took my bonnet off remembering what I had done the day before. I’m not going to lie, I was a little taken aback when I took that bonnet off, my hair was looking wild! That is when I told my friend that I just need to shave it off, which is what I wanted in the first place!

The second trip was to a barber. They basically hooked me up and gave me that new look  that I was hoping the visit from the previous day would’ve given me.

Whilst in the chair, as the female barber went lower and lower on the sides and the back, my friend looked at me, what she couldn’t see was that I was crying inside, I instantly felt exposed, like whatever I was trying to hide through my hair, I could no longer do.

It was done, and I knew that there was nothing I could now do to bring my damaged hair back, but I was happy with the fact that I could finally say I did it!

Almost 3 months on, I still sometimes miss the ease of having permed hair, but the feeling of finally taking the plunge, not to mention the lovely comments and feedback from family, friends and strangers, it definitely helps me embrace my new crown even more.

To anyone that is afraid to do the big chop, or believes that it wouldn’t suit them, do it in your own time, and just know this is how your hair is meant to be, and there are many different styles you can choose that will be sure to suit your look!

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Me rocking and loving my new hair!

 

 

Two Thousand and Greateen!

It’s Tuesday, 2nd January 2018!

I can’t believe how quick 2017 flew by… but I’m also not complaining as I lived and enjoyed each day to its fullest.

2018 is an exciting year for me! I hate to be one of those people that makes these types of statements, and then doesn’t follow by explaining why, but trust me, my plan is to write/blog more and through this you will learn more about my journey, and all that I have planned for 2018!

As I write this with heavy eyes and a hungry belly, I await my Uber eats order which took every bit of me to go through. The delivery was a fiver (translation: $5 in North American terms) and tax and all that, that brought one $17 meal to $25! Maybe I am my fathers daughter (tight) but I am not one to order in a lot, so this for me was painful.

My excuse is getting back from an amazing 12 days in NYC today with a slightly delayed flight, and going into work with my luggage in-tow!

This is going to be a busy, and possibly  trying year, but I am ready for whatever 2018 has to bring, I think I have had 2 years of warming up, now its time for me to start the race… For those that know, know!

Wishing you all nothing but greatness for 2018.

Let us commence.

Roz.K

The V word!

Valentines Day. It’s a day that you either love or hate. Whether in a relationship or not, it can be so stressful because of such high expectations that one feels need to be met each year.

Today felt like a normal day to me, I woke up, did some reading, research and then went off to work (yes on a Saturday!)

It didn’t even feel like Valentines day to me walking the streets of central London! When I got into work the presenter had brought in heart shaped candy which served as a reminder to me of what day it is, as well as the theme of her show!

I am single and feel that this day is totally overrated. But do I feel like this only because I am currently single, or is this just my truth? A slight piece of me cringes when I see a post or reference made to V-Day, but at the same time in my eyes I would want V-Day to feel like at least once a month in my world. If I were in a relationship on this day I’d prefer to spend time with my other half, have a lovely home cooked meal made with love and to  just relax and watch a movie, something simple.

How do you top going to The Shard, The Ivy or flights all around the world?! I feel that Valentines day is a marketing ploy that a lot of us feel that we have to buy in to. Let’s go back to basics and remember what being together is all about.

Try not to allow this one day to make you feel stressed or even question your worth or relationship. Allow Valentines day to be everyday and when the actual V-Day comes around, you won’t even notice!

Signed with Love,

Roz

Give yourself some credit!

It is so easy to forget how far we have come. We look back to the past of hurts and bad choices but we do not look forward enough to our goals and visions and what we work so hard for.

This week has been a week where I have had to do a lot of thinking and to pick myself up as I was being dragged backwards. This was tough for me as I am generally a happy person who appreciates life and do not take anything for granted.

I thought it would be good for me to remind myself and for others what to be thankful for and to remember how far we have come in life.

As I write down my acheivements I suggest you do it too when your feeling a little down in the dumps.

  • my degree
  • my work ethic
  • my culinary and baking skills are off the chain!
  • Weightloss as I have lost 4 stone in the past 3 years and kept it off and still going strong *fist pumps*
  • my job and always being able to get work
  • for 6 years at a major corporation and still enjoying every minute of it
  • for traveling to America and having the most amazing life changing experience
  • for being well travelled and seeing so many different countries with more to come!
  • For being good with my finances
  • For having a goal and setting my mind to it and always achieving even if it does take a little longer than expected.

Wow! I feel better already when I look at how far I have come and knowing that there are still places I have to go literally and figuratuvelly speaking.

Love yourself and give yourself a pat on the back, don’t beat yourself up, just move on and do what makes you happy.

Lent vs Life

So we are still in the season of Lent and have done 19 days successfully!

As this is the time for self examination and reflection rather then focus on what Jesus did, I wanted to take a moment to think about me and my life.

Here are some questions that I am going to answer and you can too:

What is important to you?

God is important to me as well as my family, my health and well being. Radio is important to me as allows me to be creative and make a product that others can enjoy listening to. Helping others is also important to me and seeing people happy and content really gives my life purpose.

Who is important to you?

My mother as she is a strong woman who despite her circumstances gave myself and my siblings a great quality of life, she taught us about, love honor and respect and how to be there for people, even if they were never present in our lives. She is amazing and is like my Mother Theresa and each day I pray God’s Blessings over her for all that she has done for my family and others even when they have thrown it back in her face. She is a selfless woman that does not believe in tit for tat and I pray I can be like her and more.

My family, friends and the real genuine people I am Blessed to have in my life. For me it is the little things that make me so appreciative of the people I have around me.

What could you do better?

I could be more pro-active when getting things done, apply myself more and not think of others being better then me or above me regardless of their age, experience, gender race or background. What my new motto should be without sounding like I am trying to copy Nike is to literally ‘just do it!’

More confidence in myself and my abilities and not allow that to hold me back as regardless of how we look we all have insecurities (I’d like to think Beyonce’ has some too right?!)

How could you be better?

I could be better by learning to be fearless and embrace the fear but do it anyway so I can look back and say at least I tried.

I could allow all the years of giving up certain things for Lent to be a everyday lifestyle and not something that I will struggle to do once a year. I can do better by not worrying about what others or society thinks about me and to be me and do me!

Heres to another 21 days left where I think we should make an effort to make a resolution for good during this Lent and apply it to our every day lives, whether it is reading your Bible more, not going on social media as much, gossiping, or self wallowing and feeling sorry for yourself when really and truly you are blessed to even be here and able to read this.

I am not perfect and neither are you, but together we can make a difference in our own lives and others by making small changes each day and before we know it it will be like second nature.

African Vegan?!

Lent– in the Christian Church is the period preceding Easter, which is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence in commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights (6 weeks). It runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday.

Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.

So….. for the past 6 years or so now I have been observing Lent. I remember the first time I observed Lent I gave up social Media which was only Facebook for me back then. I decided to do this as I felt I had spent too much time on Facebook and allowed social Media to consume a lot of my time. Another year I did Chocolate. We all like a bit of chocolate and lets say I liked a whole 150g bar! Due to this I decided to abstain from that for the 40 days.

Thereafter I mainly did Chocolate but added a twist to it where I didn’t have Chocolate, Crisps, Biscuits, Cake and basically anything nice, sweet and delicious, all I was allowed to have was either jelly or yoghurt, this was because I had developed what one would call an addiction to all these things, so for me I felt that removing it for 40 days would help me kick the habit!

So fast forward on to 2014 and I wondered what I would do for Lent this year, even whilst in America (which I still very much need to touch on) I was like I still have this sweet tooth but I can’t do the same thing again?! I even wanted to do social media again but for me at this stage in life it is not really much of a sacrifice as I do not depend, rely or go onto social websites as much as I use to, and when I do it is for work related purposes.

So back to Lent 2014. I really wanted to challenge myself and do something I have not done before this year and after a long chat with my sister and sister in-love we decided that we shall indeed go Vegan! Yes I said it VEGAN! For all that know me I absolutely love a challenge no matter how hard it is or how hard it may seem in the long run, so as of Wednesday 5th March I am Vegan for the next 40 days!

Due to the fact that I have gone Vegan I of course still have to cut out the sweet stuff which is very much what I needed to do anyway!

I intend on really trying my hardest to maintain some sort of diary of this whether daily or weekly but it would definitely be interesting for me to look back and reflect on this and I will explain why in the next blog.

Here’s to going Vegan! Wish me luck and I’ll write you soon!

RK. xXx