This year has been a year of venturing into the unknown, learning more of who I am and my caring habits, taking multiple leaps of faith, exercising trust in my journey and witnessing the same in my friends and family. This is a special post where I want to express some of my most precious moments taken from this year, from my personal and professional development, sharing magical moments in some of my family and friends’ journeys and our wedding celebrated in London (England), Accra and Prampram (Ghana) and Lagos (Nigeria)! This year has been one of magic, love and fulfilment. This post focuses to expressing gratitude, though there have been sad and painful moments, I wanted to reflect on the joys 2017 has given me. Enjoy – Mx
1) Receiving Printed Hard-Copies of My Stories
Every vision, every achievement starts with a step. No matter how small, I’ve learned the importance of celebrating the small while working towards the big. These stories published in Aké Review, Black Fly and Lizard & Other Stories were all written last year but I received the hard copies in the earlier part of 2017. What’s also been super exciting is seeing people share their copies of Lizard & Other Stories online. #grateful
2) Developing Afrikult. with Boss Babe Zaahida
As co-founders of Afrikult., this year our relationship has grown stronger as Zaahida and I have stepped out of our comfort zones and dared to dream bigger and aim for higher heights! I am truly grateful I get the opportunity to build on a dream with her and see how she is excelling in her PhD research. Having a friendship and working together has unveiled our deeper connection and shown us how much we are able to achieve, and also how much we trust one another with the work we have laid out. She’s my ultimate #womancrush.
3) Going Freelance
After quitting my full-time job last year I really don’t know how things were going to turn out but I knew that it would be a remarkable and testing journey. Owning my own time and working in the areas I am devoted to has been a real eye-opener of what I can do if I choose to believe. This year has taught me to stretch out towards to the universe with open hands and an open heart, and as I have received I have also learned to give. Imposter syndrome has been a huge hurdle to overcome but now I’m aware, I’m ready for 2018. #saynotodoubt
4) My mentor Irenosen
Irenosen Okojie is a phenomenal award-winning writer and an incredibly generous spirit. This year she offered me a lifeline when I felt I could not continue. With her attentive support and love, I have been able to make significant strides in my novel-in-progress and learned to work on my confidence. Irenosen is a blessing. Having a mentor is one of the best decisions I have made in my writing journey. She’s the ultimate #mvp.
5) Loving Myself Harder: Mental, Physical and Spiritual Health
I mentioned earlier that I suffered from serious imposter syndrome as I chose to step out into my dreams and goals. I am grateful that I continue to choose to love myself, to seek power in my vulnerability, and to see myself wholly and truly. I love me for being me. I choose me, again and again and again. This work has meant seeking help and not being afraid to admit to my fears and insecurities because through these steps I have recognised the beauty that lies within it all.
6) Building Discipline and Confidence in my Writing
I used to chastise myself ‘stop being lazy!’ until one day when it hit me, that I’m not lazy I’m just inconsistent. And this realisation has changed my perspective and approach to my work and to, specifically, my writing. It’s taken so much to get me to where I am, and it is now falling into place. In the background, the silent work is screaming with joy.
7) Saying Yes
I am learning to say yes to when my heart asks to be opened, when a challenge comes and when fear/doubt tell me to say no. In 2018 I am launching my YouTube series and my goodness, 2017 took a lot of work out of me to begin laying the groundwork for this. I have amazing friends who have supported this venture and I hope you love the series once it goes live!
8) Continuing to Build Healthy & Fulfilling Relationships
I have intentional relationships. Safe relationships. Nourishing relationships. Daring relationships. Trusting relationships. Fulfilling relationships. Supportive relationships. Loving relationships. Joyful relationships. 2017 taught me the most. The work it’s taken to get here, I am grateful.
9) They Took That Step: Concise, Ryzard, Jackie & Pearl
Yo! This year I’ve seen some of my loved ones take some major steps and I just want to celebrate them for saying yes, for feeling the fear and doing it anyway. They are doing the most.
My brother Ryzard is always doing the most. A super talented creative, he has always pushed whatever limitations are placed on him. 2017 he quit his job and went freelance. No one is ready for him: www.ryzardakita.com
Jackie is one of my lifetime friends, we’ve known each other from childhood. Jackie recently realised one of her dreams in film-making, specialising in documentaries. She’s taken the steps to launch her YouTube series and go on to study her Masters. Her work is meaningful and incredibly important to her and I’m glad to witness this step in her journey.
My girl Pearl has been doing the most with her work with children and always continues to surprise and enlighten me with her work and tenacity. From seeing how her journey has developed and how she’s grown as a person, I couldn’t be more proud of her.
10) Witnessing the Love of Tobi & Tunde / Tom & Tach / Miranda & Ayo
I love love, and what I love more is seeing my friends find and share their love publicly. This year I witnessed three of my closest friends do just that. I could write a long post (like this isn’t long already, ha!) on each of their journeys, their big and generous hearts and the love they share, but I’ll let the pictures testify to that.
Tobi and Tunde’s love is resilient and complimentary. They really work well together and light up every room they step into.
Tom and Tach’s love is soulful and loud. They proudly cover and carry each other, and you can hear their laughter fill up the corners of every room.
Miranda and Ayo’s love is silent and full. They embrace each other in every look and smile they share across the room.
11) A Year of Milestones: Ewurasi and Kiran
This is a sisterhood I cherish as sacred, one filled with love and security, one I prayed for silently over the years and have seen manifested in the beautiful souls of Ewurasi and Kiran. 2017 was a year of milestones for us! Ewurasi transitioned into motherhood (and what a stunning mother she is!) and Kiran pursued one of her life goals in moving to South Africa (always killing it!). My heart is full of joy and gratitude for these beautifully remarkable women and I can’t wait for 2018 to pop!
12) My Parents’ Joint-Business A Year On
My parents are my biggest motivation, and I am proud to see how they’ve held on to each other in trying and testing times and pursued their dreams on a joint-venture in Accra, Ghana. My mum opened her salon A Touch by Najate and my father Launchpad sharing a building they worked on together. They’ve also stepped out in doing media work with my dad’s radio show Unmasking Manhood and my mother in an upcoming YouTube series. Proud doesn’t even describe. Also, they are a very fine couple, very fine indeed.
We Secured Da Ting
13) Celebrating #Marcellani2017 in London, Accra, Prampram and Lagos
You read right. We celebrated our marriage in London (UK), Accra and Prampram (Ghana) and in Lagos (Nigeria). It was honestly such an amazing time in 2017 and the people that came through for us! Flying from six different countries. Gosh, I’m still in awe when I think of this. We have so many videos and photos but, for many reasons, chose (and requested) nothing be shared on social media. We wanted everyone to be present. Here’s a trailer from our engagement party in Accra.
14) My Parents and my In-laws
One of my greatest blessings. Our parents have given us so much and continue to support us in so many ways. I really couldn’t ask for anything more.
15) Our Next Chapter
We have a whole life ahead of us. A whole love to discover. We ready.