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Cooking & Travel Talks: How to Make Nigerian Suya

Last week I had my first Cooking and Travel and Talks Live where I made suya. I have to say despite all the nerves I think it went very well. I shared stories of when I have visited Nigeria, had the afrobeats in the background and engaged with all my audience. All in all, it was an hour of just good vibes. 

What is Suya?

I would say that Suya is a spicy meat skewer, like an English Kebab (but spicey and sexier). It originates from the North of Nigeria and is a popular dish in the West of Africa. Suya is usually thinly sliced meat marinated in various spices and then grilled or barbecued. The dish is served with extra helpings of dried pepper mixed with tomatoes and sliced onions in a newspaper.

I was impressed to see how many people joined in with me to cook on my first live! Many people missed the first live and have asked for the recipe, so I have jotted down the ingredients and instructions with some clips of the live on how to make suya. 

When did I first have Suya?

Believe it or not, the first time I tried Nigerian Suya was when I was a vegetarian. Yes, some vegetarian. I travelled to Nigeria as an adult and was constantly looked down on for not eating meat, but for some reason, I was swayed by the smells of Suya and ever since I never went back again.

Ingredients you need for Nigerian Suya

  • 1kg Beef or chicken
  • 1tsp Paprika
  • 2tsp Salt
  • 2 Maggie Cubes
  • 2tsp  Garlic Salt
  • 15 Wooden Skewers
  • 2 Tomato
  • 1 Onion
  • 3tsp Oil

You can buy your suya spice (suya pepper) in an African food store. I would always suggest washing and seasoning your meat with paprika, salt Maggie and garlic salt overnight. Below you can watch how I prep to make my suya.

The next day… 

First things first:

  •  Pre-heat your grill for about 180 degrees Celsius (375 Fahrenheit)
  • Soak your wooden skewers in cold water (this ensures that the sticks do not burn during the roasting of the Suya)
  • Add your oil and massage into your meat (this ensures that the meat doesn’t burn during roasting). 
  1. You may want to cut your meat if it’s too big. I would suggest to cut them into small pieces so that when you thread them on the sticks, they will not flap too much.
  2. You will then need to thread the fillets of beef onto the skewer sticks.

  1. Add your suya pepper/mix into a wide dish and dab the threaded fillets of beef into the spice so that the beef takes up as much of the spice as possible. Note: If you’re not keen on spice only add a little bit.  
  2. Place all the now spiced beef onto the oven rack and put in the grill to roast. As you will see in the clip below.
  1. You will then need to twist your meet regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn. The meat should take around 20-30 minutes to cook but do bear in mind that this depends on how thick your beef meet is.  
  2. While your suya is roasting, cut your onions and tomatoes and place them into the newspaper. 
  3. Remove meat from sticks and add to the newspaper
  4. Finish off with adding some more suya spice to the meal and enjoy! 
suya cooking and travel talks

Below are some pictures of people that cooked with me on my first Cooking and Travel Talks Live! I would like to thank everyone that joined in and cooked with me!

I hope you enjoy your suya – if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask me! And if you would like to cook with me on my next live then follow me on Instagram where I will be sharing what I will be cooking next!

Reads: How to Make Your Own Quarantine Brunch – Blog Brew Collab

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3 Day Itinerary: What To Do In New York

In New York, Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of there’s nothing you cant do now that you’re in New York. Empire State of Mind- JAY-Z ft Alicia Keys.

Hahaha! Hella cheesy, I know. But I do feel like you can’t write or talk about New York, and not think of this famous song!

I adore New York City!

The streets of Manhattan give me childhood memories of Gossip Girl. The busyness, and the food. Everything! It’s a jungle with class!

For those bougie ones (like me) that love the fast pace movements of a city! Every single time I arrive in New York, I always wonder what it would be like to actually move there.

I visited New York for 3 days for my birthday in 2018, and was surprised at how much I got done by myself. New York is well known to be an expensive ciy! And to be honest with you I can agree and say that the accommodation is quite expensive!

For me I was very lucky to have a friend that lived in Manhattan at the time, so was able to reap the benefits of free accommodation!! Yeah me!!! If you have friends or family in New York I would suggest staying with them, because I hear even Airbnb’s are not that cheap!

Anyways, despite the expenses! New York can and still is an incredible city to visit. Below are 6 things you must do when you are in New York City!

Top 6 Things to Do in New York City

As my friends had to work – because annual leave/vacation days are terrible in America, I was able to explore the city on my own. I purchased a tour ticket for the day at a reasonable price and off I went solo. Here is what I got up too.

1. Empire State Building

The first place I headed to was the Empire State Building. The building has a roof height of 1,250 feet and stands a total of 1,454 feet tall. I wanted a couple of snaps at the top, and can say I was very impressed with how beautiful the city was from the top!

Visit Brooklyn Bridge

I then headed over to Brooklyn Bridge! This is an Instagrammable location and one not to be missed when in New York City.

Interesting Facts: The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City. It connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Take a Ferry to The Statue of Liberty.

I then hopped on to a ferry. Be mindful of knowing the times of the ferries, I wouldn’t want you waiting around for ages. I was able to head over The Statue of Liberty! The ferry I was on got pretty close—another beautiful site to see.

statue of liberty in New York

While I was on the ferry I was able to learn that New York is divided into five administrative boroughs – Brooklyn, Queen, Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx. All these five boroughs were consolidated into a city in 1898.

Head over to Grand Central and reminisce on Gossip Girl

Haha! Grand Central Station will forever take me back to XoXo days when I was able to binge-watch Gossip Girl. While you are in New York, you might as well go and sit on the met steps.

Only real Gossip Girl fans will know what I am talking about.

Tour Central Park

The next day I woke up early to head over to Central Park for a stroll and some ice cream. Central Park is the fifth-largest park in New York City.

Do a photo shoot in Times Square

In the evening I headed over to Times Square! My friend has said it was better in the night, but I would still check out both!

There we have it. Have you ever considered travelling to New York City? Let me know if you’ve been before and what you got up too! And don’t forget to subscribe for more travel journals and tips!

6 THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK CITY

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6 Traditions You Need to Know About Singapore

Singapore is known to be a fine city, so when I knew I would be moving to there, I made sure that I learn all its laws and traditions. 

I have already shared the laws but today, I wanted to go into a little more detail and share a few more traditions and cultures I learnt when living in Singapore. I have already shared similar cultures and traditions over at ElleMacUK’s website. Be sure to check it out – Customs And Traditions I Learnt In – Singapore

6 Traditions You Need to Know About Singapore

1. It’s Tradition in Singapore to leave your shoes at the DOOR! 

While staying in my halls, I learnt that keeping my shoes on when entering someone home was a big NO-NO! I recall being screamed at when I walked into my friend’s dorm with my flip flops on! I assure you that I never made such a mistake to wear shoes in someone’s room again!  

They don’t wear shoes in their rooms or houses. So please take off your footwear before going into anyone’s place, it’s an absolute MUST!

Also, take off your shoes before entering any temple or mosque too! 

ME AT NUS IN SINGAPORE

2. Give your elders respect  

It was interesting to see how my customs and traditions of living in a Nigerian household would apply so well when I was living in Singapore. You don’t have to be related to everyone, but you can show some politeness. Calling an older “aunty” and “uncle” is a sign of respect for Singaporeans.  

This took me a long way when living in Singapore calling the staff aunty got me lots of goodies like free food etc. 

3. Keep to the left of the escalator  

I’m sure standing on the left is not unusually expected for everyone. Well, except for those that live in the UK like me – yes this is a thing!

When you’re on the escalator, follow this rule religiously.

Rule: The right side of an escalator is for people walking up the steps. The left is for people content with standing and waiting.

If you’re slow, keep to the left. Singaporeans are notoriously known for walking at the speed of lightning. Trust me on this one! 

4. Make sure you Q (wait inline) 

Singaporean queue for everything! Literally everything!! It can be for any of the following:

  • Trains
  • Bus
  • McDonald’s 
  • Hello Kitty toys, 
  • iPhone 11s, 
  • Favourite hawker food
QUEUES IN SINAGPORE

The queue is done in a very orderly fashion simply because they can get quite long. Soo there’s one thing you shouldn’t ever do – and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you?

Don’t

Cut any queues!!!

I mean I think that is pretty standard, but trust me when I say some people don’t get the memo!

If you see a really long queue and you’re not sure why people are queuing. Just join the line. Chances are, there’s something worth queuing for. 

5. Give up your seat 

Anyone sitting in reserved seats should be aware of elderly, disabled, pregnant women or young children who may need the seat. Failure to give up your place to those who need it more than you is another big NO-NO. 

GIVE UP YOUR SEAT IN SINGAPORE

6. Beware of Acronyms  

Sir, go by BKE or PIE?… Got ERP along CTE now, can ah?” – Every taxi driver. 

It’s undeniable that Singapore is a land of acronyms and abbreviations. 

From 4D to URA, these acronyms are incomprehensible to most foreigners. But with time and practice, you’ll be using acronyms and abbreviations like a local. Honestly, I was surprised by how much I picked up living there. If you don’t know what something means, it’s always a good idea to ask. 

6 Traditions You Need to Know About Singapore

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Singapore: The Difference As A Student Vs Tourist

I’m sure you are all tired of hearing me tell the story of how I lived in Singapore. The beautiful city-state haha! Well, today is your lucky day because we are going to talk about the difference with being a student vs a tourist in another country. If you are new to the blog you need to know that I lived in Singapore for seven months and studied at the National University of Singapore.

I’ve only ever been both a tourist and a student in Singapore. I guess some people can argue that I could be considered a tourist in the UK, as I’ve lived as a student and could be a tourist in the UK, but I think it’s more fun in Singapore. Don’t you?

Before we get into the differences. I thought it would be wise to define the two for ease:

Tourist

Visting Singapore Gardens by the Bay

Usually, explore the local landmarks, sometimes if they are in the country long enough tourist can learn some keywords or phrases. Tourists can go as far as having a chat with the locals take some photos of the sights, try some local cuisines and end the trip with a fun souvenir. 

Student

student at nus

Students, on the other hand, live abroad, which gives them the chance to truly know and embrace a city. There is more time to discover the charming little streets with the best cafés and the ideal spots for authentic cuisine. You can end the stay with a life-changing experience that no one can take from you. 

There are benefits to both studying abroad and visiting a destination as a tourist. If you want to really get to know a city, a country or place. I would always suggest that it’s best to live and take in the culture, food and in this case sun.

Going back to Singapore as a tourist last year was quite an overwhelming experience for me. I had left Singapore six years ago a place I called home and was now returning as a tourist. The many memories that popped up while I sat in a taxi to my friend’s house, left me feeling quite sad. Memories of pretending to be a tourist in the first month. Living in Singapore going to the Singapore Zoo, clubbing and the Singapore flyer.

Above I defined the difference, but what was the difference for me?

Tourist vs. Student in Singapore

Visa Process

Student – you get a visa – mine was for six months. And trust me when I say it is hella of a long process! I arrived later at my uni/college than the other students. This required me to figure out how to do the visa myself! I didn’t know where I had to go and what I needed to bring with me. The staff were kind enough to allow me as they could see how frustrated and flustered I was.

One thing I do remember is not being able to locate my identity box. In Singapore, you are either African or British. You can’t be both Black British, like the UK. This was something that I was naive to believe was universal around the world.

If you want to ever see my student visa it I’m happy to send a picture to you (I still kept it after all these years).

Tourist – You get a stamped visa after completing a form (ask for one on the plane and have a pen). You are then with this stamp, able to stay up to 90 days as a tourist, on business or on a social visit. 

Language

Student – you may think that I learnt to speak Singaporean, but I’m afraid Singaporeans don’t speak Singaporean either. The country has a mixture of languages – Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English. As a student, I was able to speak English to all locals.

Tourist – As a tourist, I would even expect you to learn any of the languages. I was happy to of picked up on some words when I was a student (all of which I’ve forgotten).

Meeting People

Student – you will make lifelong friends. Honestly, I made such good friend that I’m still in contact with today. And get this. Last year I was fortunate enough to be at one of my international friend’s weddings and even better her bridesmaid. See the picture below – in due time I will be writing about my experience.

Dulang girls and Malaysian bridesmaid
friends in singapore

Tourist – I was able to meet up with friends, but with the length. Staying in Singapore as a tourist I knew I wasn’t about to make any life long friends.

Culture

Student – as a student, I was able to experience vast amounts of culture and more. I learnt about traditions, tasted the richness of food and more! My personal faves have to be chicken rice, chilli crab and stingray! My mouth waters as I write this!

chicken rice

Tourist – I guess I was at an advantage because I had already experienced living in Singapore as a student. However, as a tourist, there’s only so much you can try! I would suggest the meals I stated above – or you could subscribe and find out places to eat in Singapore.

Views of the World

Student – Looking back now, I felt like, I honestly was able to gain a new perspective of the world. I came home with fresh eyes to the world and was ready to explore more. I came back and felt out of places to my friends and family. Having experienced so much of a different life to them. Time had moved for me. I had seen and experienced a new and different world a new perspective and a new culture.

china town

Tourist – Hahaha! Of course, you can taste another side of the world as a tourist. However, I have to say that it’s never the same as living somewhere else!

Thank you for reading my experiences, I do hope you enjoyed them, and it encourages you to move abroad. Have you ever been both a tourist and student or lived in the same country. What was it like share your comments below.

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[AD] Series: A Day with MBV In Brighton

Welcome to my series: A Day with MBV In Brighton. I believe this is my fourth addition and hope you are enjoying my series. Read Series: A Day with MBV…

If you have been following me on my Instagram, you will know that I went on my first press trip with Visit EnglandVisit Brighton and Traverse Events

What is #MYMICROGAP?

Well if you have been keeping up with my Instagram feed, you will already know! I had to say that again lol! MyMicroGap is about squeezing the best bits of a gap year into a few days somewhere in the UK.  

The trip in Brighton was about switching off from the usual bustle of life and unwind in Brighton for the day. It’s funny how I never really explore a different city in England. What I can say after now is that leaving London for a day was an excellent idea for me. I’m often looking on Skyscanner for the next plane to catch. When instead, I could just have a look at my doorstep. 7 Fantastic Tools That will Have You Solo Travelling with Confidence

Where is Brighton?

Brighton was granted the city status in 2001 by Queen Elizabeth II. The city is located by a seaside resort on the English Channel, 51 miles (82 km) south of central London. The city is famously known as London-on-Sea. This is because so many people commute daily from Brighton to London for work.

I have always made a visit to Brighton to see friends at University, but I had never explored it in the same way as I did with traverse. As this was a press trip, I will write the post in a different style compared to my usual format.

First things, First… Tour Guide

We started the day with a tour around the city by a tour guide named Julian. Julian knew so much about Brighton, even the small alleyways. The things we saw:

  • The Royal Pavilion
  • Brighton Beach
  • Quadrophenia Alley
  • Brighton’s Kissing Spot
  • Brighton Lanes

I was certainly impressed by how patient Julian was with us taking pictures of the sites he showed us! The tour lasted about an hour and made me think more about travelling to other towns and cities in England.

Second Stop… Food Glorious Food

We then went to do my favourite thing in the world after travelling! Yes, you guessed right we went to eat some food! Lunch was kindly hosted by Terre à Terre restaurant in Brighton Lanes. The restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant where vegetarianism is more about indulgence than abstinence. I have been vegetarian in the past for other reasons.

We were given a sharing platter between two of a taste of what’s on the menu. It included battered deep-fried halloumi cheese with vodka spiked tomato and pickled quails egg, Korean fried cauliflower with a chestnut puree, kimchi underneath and crispy kale on top, summer thyme socca with a tomato salsa, tofu in a wasabi crust with a black bean and red cabbage hummus and a seaweed takioyka rice cracker, a spiced Indian potato ball with black lentil dhal, coriander pesto and mango puree and a Arame Wakame vegetable thread salad. See the pictures below:

Third Stop… Yoga 

After eating, we headed to the beach to get stuck into our activities for the day. I first had a class with Bridget from Yoga in the Lanes. I have never done Yoga before, so was keen to try something new in a peaceful location by the beach.

Bridget, our teacher, was excellent. I can’t say I was terrific, but you can go and check out my moves on my latest IGTV on my Instagram page. One thing I did really enjoy about the yoga class was the focus on getting my breathing right. I learnt lots of movements for people who sit at their desk on a daily and think I might take up Yoga after this session.

Fourth stop… Sauna

This was a fantastic treat after a session of Yoga. The Beach Box Sauna was quite the experience! Now I have been to many saunas before but nothing quite like this one. The Beach Box allows you to connect with your body. We were first asked to drink lots of water – which I was grateful for and given a hat to keep our heads fresh. I have never worn a hat in a sauna, so I was really excited. There were two sauna sessions, one of which I experienced a special treatment haha!

I really enjoyed the sauna treatment. The staff treated me to a body scrub and fed me some the tastiest oranges I have tasted in my life. I felt so relaxed after that I couldn’t believe I was still in the UK.

The sauna is something I would suggest for anyone to do and it’s not expensive at all. You can have treatment as cheap as £10 for 60 mins. Things you might want to bring with you

  • Swimwear
  • 2 towels (one to sit on in the sauna)
  • Beach shoes, recommended in all outside areas
  • water bottle (water provided)

I hope you enjoyed my reading on my first press trip! I would like to give a special thanks to Visit England and Visit Brighton for hosting me on a well-needed Switching Off Day. 

It’s incredible how we don’t value a city close by to us. After taking this trip, I will be making more of an effort to see other cities close to home. What about you do you explore your own country? Give me some tips!

Read:

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Black History Month: 10 Black Bloggers Making Modern Black History

Happy Black History Month!

I have never felt so compelled to be part or take notice of Black History Month until my unfortunate ordeal in Greece this year. Read the post – Arrested At The Acropolis: What Really Happened

It saddened me that people can see colour and not take time to actually see us for our truth and how amazing we are in the world. As black people, our history is raw, and it’s worth celebrating.

As black people, I don’t think we are celebrated enough, and as Black Bloggers, we are often left unnoticed. I wanted to use my platform today and showcase several black bloggers for Black History Month. Please read below the amazing black bloggers that are impacting our community!

Sarah Toyin

Black History Month is such a great time to celebrate the people that have made an impact in the black community but also remember what others have done to pave the way for us today! 

Sarah Toyin

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

As a black blogger, I would not really say I have faced any challenges perse directly. due to being a black blogger so I have nothing to contribute here. 

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

As a travel blogger at www.sarahtoyin.com. I provide information on teaching English in Korea, solo travel advice, general travel tips and guides as well as accommodation reviews and tips. Blogging has challenged me and helped me grow as an individual because I  am here to serve and help people with their travels.

It is not actually about me but how I can make others lives easier through the information I am providing. This has allowed me to think of others more than myself and that is how I have grown as an individual through blogging.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month?  

This is an interesting question,  perhaps blog about it more, putting on events to celebrate it. and collaborations like this. As much as I love that there is a month for black history, I would really love for us to celebrate the history we have all year round.

YasminTells

I know its cheesy to say but every month is Black History month to me. I make a conscious effort to support black owed businesses whenever I can, all year round.

Yasmin Tells

I’m a travel blogger who focuses on travel in West Africa in particular. I relocated from the UK to the country of my origin Sierra Leone 10 months ago and I use the platform to share information and tips on Sierra Leone. I also used to work in Senegal so I have some information on there alongside other neighbouring countries such as my trip to Ghana last month for the Chale Wote Festival.

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

As its new industry, I find myself cultivating and trying to understand it like many bloggers. I haven’t faced any challenges as of yet if I’m completely honest. However, I am aware of cases of black bloggers being paid less in the industry. But tell me something new!

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

I think it has in many ways subconsciously affected my thought processes, for example, I pay attention to detail more than I used to. That could be because I’m a content creator, I think more about the why, the outcome and the experience. I do believe all of these factors come from the art of storytelling also known today as blogging.

Mellissa The Island Girl

Black history month is about celebrating all that’s black. It’s about black people also educating themselves about their past- not slavery but all the great ways that we have contributed to the advancement of the human race. It is a month to remember how great we are both women and men. If we unite, we can be even greater. It is a time to rediscover the love that we should have for our melanin. We are a beautiful group of varied people. We are creative, we are strong, and we are resilient. 

Melissa The Island Girl

I’m a travel, fashion and lifestyle blogger/content creator. You can find me at www.theislandgirl.co.uk.  

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

 My blog has made me braver. I’m more fearless and I’m learning to not worry about what others may think of me or what I am doing. I have attended events alone and have met some wonderful people. I’ve connected with people on Instagram and Twitter. I have become more expressive. Through content creation, I am exposed to different mediums of capturing moments. Most importantly my blog is helping me to discover me. I am definitely learning about myself-all the things I am capable of doing and all the inner boundaries I am able to push. 

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

To be honest, just like this. Highlighting how much of us there are in these creative spaces and giving us a voice and a platform to be seen and heard. Thank you for sharing this brilliant idea of featuring other black bloggers! 

JennasWorldView

Our history is too rich, royal and powerful to be condensed in one month. I make it a point to celebrate my blackness everyday. However I do appreciate that our history does have its own space on the calendar. But we shouldn’t wait until October (UK) & February(US) to celebrate our greatness. Its an everyday thing.

Jennas World View

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

Blogging has stretched me. It’s been my personal therapy that has helped me understand so much about myself and my journey of womanhood and blackness. Being able to use my personal experiences for content has allowed me to reflect on a deeper level. In addition to that running a self-hosted blog has taught me lots of new transferable skills. I’m constantly learning.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

I think that the black blogging community shouldn’t shy away from creating content that showcases our community. The power in our creative minds is next level phenomenal. We have the ability to bring our stories, views, experiences, current news to life. We should always aim to control the narrative and not be afraid to create content that promotes, edifies and educates those within our community. Nobody knows our stories better than we do. Black history month is the best time for all of us to contribute.

Cynthia Clarke

Black History month is an opportunity to “showcase”.  There are so many Black people who have done and are doing phenomenal things and we often don’t get to hear about that unless someone is being “showcased”.  It’s a time to celebrate how special we are, how talented we are, how resilient we are, how smart we are, and how beautiful we are! 

Cynthia Clarke

During my travels, I see and meet a lot of people but I don’t see as many black people as I would like, especially if I’m travelling somewhere other than the Caribbean. With Sojourner Moxie, I’m seeking to change that narrative by providing travel tips, destination travel guides, step by step instructions on how to start travelling, inspiration, and showcasing out of the box adventures. It’s a big world out there…let’s go check it out!  Another issue some Black women may face in regards to travel is finding someone to travel with.  Through my travels, I‘m showing them it’s ok to travel solo.  www.sojournermoxie.com

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

Good question! As a blogger, you are always reading other blogs, and if you’re not careful the tendency to compare yourself to others will hinder your progress.  My blogging journey has solidified my sense of self and what I have to offer.  The woman who is in her 40s and above, the woman who is now an empty nester, the woman who’s been married for decades and is now divorced…that’s my audience!  That’s who I want to reach.  I have to be authentic to do that.  Every day, I’m determined to be true to that.  That’s continual growth.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

I like what you’re doing!  Bringing Black voices together and showing the length and breadth of what we bring to the table.  I’m even thinking of doing something like this in the travel space.  Every blogger wants to be successful, but Black History Month is a great time to say look at my sister, look at my brother…see what they’re doing…they’re changing the game and it’s a beautiful thing!!!

Gabby Beckford

In three words, I would say pride, representation, and hope. Black bloggers need more visibility than ever these days, and representation absolutely matters. We are no longer fighting for tolerance, we are fighting for acceptance and celebration. Black History Month is an opportunity to show the world that yes, we’re still here thriving, working, and succeeding! Many of us! In abundance! And that is powerful.

Gabby Beckford

I am a travel and lifestyle blogger—the main functions of my platform at the moment are writing helpful and entertaining travel articles and sharing funded travel opportunities I call Packs Light Travel Opps. These opportunities are travel grants for international experiences such as conferences, fellowships, study abroad, internships, and more. I won more than $69,000 in scholarships in college much of which helped me travel, so it’s a passion of mine to advocate and share this resource with my followers! You can find me on all social media platforms as @packslight, and on my blog at www.packslight.com.

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

One of the biggest issues facing black bloggers is to pay discrepancies. Brands will pay other (often white or lighter-skinned) influencer considerably more than me when we are working the same campaign at the same time. I’m happy that most of the time, other influencers are open to sharing how much they are making so I can know about the unfair pay and address it. There have been times I worked pro-bono for a large company when they said they didn’t have a budget just to find out another non-Black influencer was paid. It’s ridiculous, unfair, and unendingly frustrating.

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

Blogging has definitely transformed my mind into one of business. I see a system for every action, a collaboration with every meeting, and a window for every closed door. Networking is fun for me now! Blogging specifically about travel has also made me so much more appreciative of my life and aware of my privilege. I love to travel, and I love to encourage other people to travel. Sometimes it’s not that simple, and blogging has been an invaluable tool in my reflection and growth over the past 6 years.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

Lifting each other up is the best way. Taking this month as an opportunity to promote other Black bloggers and creatives, cross-pollenate the black-blogger-love between your followers and watch the magic that happens! By sharing others, they share you. And also, writing about it. Talking about it. Showing our followers that we do care about Black History Month, it matters in 2019, and we need to take note of it and it’s the true meaning of community!

Saabirah Lawrence

Black History Month for me is a time to remember the individuals that have paved the way for us as a community today. It’s also a great time to discover and celebrate the individuals that are doing great things for the black community right now.

Saabirah Lawrence

When I started out I pretty much wrote about anything and everything, from makeup to social issues and at the time it made sense as I have many interests. Now I only focus on a few topics: wellness, empowerment, lifestyle and natural hair. I try to keep my content within those topics but I have found that I really enjoy sharing my blogging experience and any advice for other bloggers. 

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

I think my biggest challenge is finding brands/companies that I actually want to work with. As a black blogger, I find my go-to when it comes to brand collaborations is black-owned businesses. This obviously isn’t a bad thing, sometimes It just means the budget for work is smaller but If I see the vision I am totally on board. I just find it hard to know where I stand as a black woman with a lot of major brands. It’s a big turn off for me to see brands throwing the words ”diverse” and ”inclusive” into their campaigns when really it is all just surface level. there is no real work being done to challenge the industry’s views on working with black bloggers.

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

As I started writing about wellness, it has really made me become more self-aware and open to bettering myself. Mostly for me but I also think having a better understanding of myself and more confidence will make me a better writer. Blogging has definitely helped me find my voice, explore my creative side and meet some amazing people.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month? 

I think the black blogging community has been a useful source of information during black history month. It’s important to use this time of the month to highlight what is happening during black history month (events, films, new product/service launches, workshops, popups, etc), highlight some important and inspiring black figures and has conversations that need to be had within the community.

Debbie Adigun

When I think of Black History Month, I think about what I learnt about black history in school. Slavery. That’s all we learnt as if that is all Black history is.

So, for me, Black History Month is a reminder that we need to educate ourselves about our history. Although it shouldn’t be restricted this month alone, this is a time to celebrate our black heroes, look back on how far we’ve come and reflected on how we can do better in the future.

WanderlustCalls

I am a Travel and Lifestyle Blogger who achieved my goal to visit 25 countries before I turned 25. I use my blog to try to help and inspire people to step out of their comfort zones and to travel more. Like many, I love to experience a little luxury without breaking the bank, so I share tips on how to do bougie travel on a budget.

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

One challenge that I have faced as a black blogger is turning up to events and being the only black person in the room. It’s not even an exaggeration when I say that sometimes I’ve been in a room and felt unwelcomed by others in the room. I literally felt like an outcast. There are so many talented black bloggers, so seeing events like this really frustrates me. 

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

I’m extremely shy and blogging has really forced me out of my comfort zone. If you told a younger Debbie that I would one day put myself out there both online and off, I would never have believed it. But here, I am doing that on a regular basis. Even though I am still mad shy, it makes me realise how far I have come.

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month?

I think that black bloggers can use their platforms to share a different narrative to the one that we are bombarded with by the media. We can share black stories, uplift black people and collaborate with other black bloggers and businesses. This shouldn’t just be restricted to Black History Month. This should be a regular thing.

Jess Anyan-Brown


Black History Month is a great time to reflect on all the great things black people have done to contribute to the UK and just in general! The list is endless! I remember being in primary school and it was a time when we had posters around the school and put on events during assembly for this and this was special as 90% of the school at the time were black. However, I feel that it should all just be taught and thought about all year round (not just one month) and I hope to see this happen one day. 

Jess


I blog about travel and culture my website – www.roadtoculturedom.com  because I believe that you can find culture wherever you travel to (domestically or internationally) and I want to inspire others to do so through my experiences.

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

I feel like the challenges faced as a black blogger for me started with the lack of representation in mainstream travel spaces. When I started my journey, I had to search hard to find this and it gives the impression that you’ll have to work extra hard to have the same chance. This has changed as I got to know the black travel community more and connect with incredible bloggers both in the UK and abroad. I love how we are actively trying to change the diversity of travel and creating our own tables!

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month?  

The black blogging community is doing well to bring Black History Month through social media, events etc. It is not just to other blacks people but everyone else who is interested and wants to understand the black culture more. I feel like once we start making black history month something that is celebrated all year round. This will do wonders to change how the Western World perceives black history. Social media is very powerful so anything is possible. 

DiyWithJoy

Black history month is empowering to me. But it means so much more than celebrating for a month. It means every day I can unapologetically celebrate my beautiful melanated whole self, black people around me and the historical black people before me who paved the way so I have a voice, a voice of freedom.

DiyWithJoy

As a travel, food and lifestyle blogger on www.diywithjoy.com, I create content to inspire and encourage a community to find more joy in travelling and cooking, life & wellbeing. I love creating delicious and nutritious recipes inspired by travelling as I explore different palates and flavours globally. I share tips on how to #travelsmart, solo travel tips to inspire more people, especially women to take the first step to travel solo, travel stories and advice while having an enriching experience and discovering the beauty of the world through my lens. You can catch up with the Diywithjoy platform on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

What are the difficulties/challenges you have faced as a black blogger?

I feel that one of the challenges I have faced as a black blogger is that not everyone will like the content that you produce and that’s okay. This year I have really found my niche, my tribe and growing community in the blogging world and they have helped me understand what my audience would like to see more of from me.

How has blogging made you think and grow as an individual?

My blogging journey has helped me grow immensely in many ways as an individual. It has helped me strengthen my writing skills. Before blogging, I used to think I wasn’t much of a writer and more or a mathematician as I’m an engineer. I used to say to myself that I was better with numbers than words. Blogging has aided my cultivation for content writing and now I can boldly say to myself that I’m a great writer. Blogging has helped me become more organised, disciplined and accountable. It has also given me the courage to launch my travel business and has helped develop my confidence to put myself out there and network with other people which I am really grateful for.     

How do you think the black blogging community can contribute more to Black History Month?  

The black blogging community is really powerful and I think we can contribute more to Black history month but continuing to support one another, share more opportunities with each other and raise more awareness on why black history month is important and why it should be championed. 

And with that, I would like to say…

Happy Nigerian Independence Day

I hope you enjoyed reading about these amazing women and their journeys. Are your celebrating Black History Month? Check places to go – Read: 10 Black History Month Events to Attend in 2019

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