Here Comes The Sun – Review

BOOK – Here Comes The Sun

AUTHOR – Nicole Dennis-Benn

PAGES – 345

PUBLISHED IN 2017 by One world publications

ISBN 978-1-78607-239-9

Blurb

Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis-Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.

First of all, I’d like to put it out there that I read a signed copy! I brag different.

The first thing that attracts you to this book ( if you’re like me) is the cover.

Bright, sunny and beautiful just like the Jamaica we foreigners know. The one we visit expecting to sip cocktails with occasional shots of rum on a beach half naked in Montego Bay. Well, sorry to break it to you but this is not the Jamaica you read about in this book and I really love that it isn’t. Every now and then we need a dose of reality. This story is told from a local’s POV. So you get to see the not so shiny and attractive aspects of Jamaica.

This book is centred around three women. Delores and her two daughters Margot and Thandi. Margot grew up hustling, doing whatever she could to survive because her mother,Delores pushed her into the world at the age of 14 without caring if she was ready or not.

As expected that put a huge strain on their relationship. Margot was willing to sell her body to make sure her sister, Thandi never have to go through what she did. Thandi would seem like the lucky one in this story, having a sister that would literally do anything to make sure you have a good life, a mother that was willing to do the same. She grew up always being reminded that everyone is sacrificing everything for her. Whew chile! The pressure.

The story gets a little complicated as you progress and it unfolds slowly but beautifully. It explores heavy themes – Homophobia, prostitution, sexuality, colorism, racism, survival, trauma and its long lasting effects.

Here Comes The Sun is as raw and authentic as it gets. Nicole unapologetically wrote some parts in patois which I particularly enjoyed. It made the book even more memorable for me.

The book is like a roller coaster of some sort. It starts off really slow paced, you almost want to ditch it (Don’t make that mistake), then it gets so good, you literally cannot drop it and you find yourself reading it everywhere and then before you know it, it’s over!

You know a writer is good when you start to come up with reasons why the most horrible character is the way they are. When you start to justify the silly things a character does. Nicole made me feel things with this book and I’m thankful for that because at least I know I am still capable of feeling things.

I initially gave this book 5 stars but changed it to 4.5 stars because the ending was unnecessarily abrupt. My heart did not need all that, Nicole.


Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?

Also, Let me know if you’d like to see more book reviews on the blog!

TOSIN

The cutest outdoor bar in lekki – Bolivar Bar review

Sometimes life happens and everything around you screams “Take a break!” and then you do, but nothing compares to eventually bouncing back – we will probably share all about that much later but today, a serving of good tidings in your quest to find a less crowded yet picturesque hangout spot.

Bolivar bar is that lowkey place in lekki you go if you’re just trying to have a likkle fun here and there but nothing too grand. Also, If you’re a fan of art, you might also appreciate this place.

Titi happened on Bolivia bar on instagram and we decided to check it out. Their doors open at 4pm so we had to occupy ourselves with other things till then before we headed out. See that we are pretty dedicated to putting out great content, yes?

The drive there was pretty short from our location as Its an outdoor space located on Wole Olateju street.

Ambience – very nice! It gets nicer once it’s darker. Also they have an art gallery upstairs with a great view. It’s definitely picturesque enough to satisfy Instagram cravings. We gave this 4/5

Food- We did not try their menu but they had finger foods and the options weren’t exactly enticing. I guess because it’s a bar they didn’t prioritize this but food should always be a priority. We gave this 2/5

Staff- They were all very nice and eager to work. Although the place was not busy so that might have contributed. We gave this 4/5

Drinks – We were slightly disappointed by the cocktails. We got the bolivar special and it was pretty much Wilson lemonade. We had to confirm if it was a cocktail or a mocktail. Although we complained and they didn’t hessitate to fix it.

Price – It was not more expensive than your average bar on the island. Most cocktails cost N3,500.

Pros – Affordable, nice ambience, lovely art gallery with a view! Friendly staff.

Cons- Limited options on the menu, drink standard was a bit poor.

I have a love/hate relationship with the effort put into decorations in restaurants. Love because i love cute spaces, hate because food is just as important and I don’t see the effort put into that. What are y’all thoughts on this?

Oh please do me a favor…. Please share our post on social media. It’ll really really mean a lot to us.

Love

Titi & Tosin.

Warehouse kitchen review – The perfect intimate restaurant

Hey readers and friends! How’s it going?

So let me share a quick joke. The long break was 4 days long and guess who did absolutely nothing? Yes you, me. LOL. But you know what? We shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it, we are human and sometimes we want to just stay at home and be unproductive. So stop beating yourselves up when you’re not being as productive as you’d like.

Okay so back to why we are here.

As y’all already know. We like food and enjoyment. In the words of Bobrisky “Enjoyment fit us die” . Now we kinda have to balance the enjoyment because the economy isn’t friendly and adulthood is a real thing.

We decided to look on Instagram for where to have lunch after a lazy morning. We went out the night before and let’s just say Lagos can actually kill you. We decided on Warehouse because we’ve barely heard about the restaurant (and in Lagos this is sort of a good thing) and it was super close to the house (or so we thought). Now the address on their Instagram page says ‘near fidelity bank ATM’ whatever that means!

So that’s how we started Israelite journey to Fidelity bank ATM. After finally locating the place, we saw a sign that said the restaurant had moved and we needed to turn around.

We did and luckily found the famous Fidelity bank. We drove in and realized they have valet parking – oh so fancy.

We took a bunch of pictures outside the building then quickly entered because at this point we were pretty hungry and over Lagos heat. We initially wanted to sit upstairs but they had a birthday thing going on there so we decided to stay downstairs .

We both ordered a glass of juice while we waited for our seafood pepper soup.

Food surprisingly did not take too long to arrive or maybe it did and we didn’t realize it because we were busy taking pictures. Either way, it came at the right time.

It tasted so freaking good and the portion wasn’t bad at all.

We paid about N11,000 for everything in the picture below plus the two glasses of juice. So I’d say you can have a decent meal for N7,000.

We did not get to explore as much as we wanted but we’ll definitely do that next time we visit

Pros

Nice ambience

Good food

Not too expensive

Free WiFi

40% Uber code to get there

Polite staff

10% off if you pay with your Visa card

Cons

Not so easy to locate


Warehouse kitchen is definitely one of my fave restaurants in Lagos atm. Have you been? Was it a good experience?

TOSIN

3 Must Read Articles This Week

Hi guys,How’s everyone doing today?As random and frequent as that questions is, we really need to take time to sincerely ask and then listen when people respond. You might even need to say “No, i mean it, how are you doing today?” In a world where we are used to routine and cliches, this would really mean a lot to someone. Also, listen to what they \ndon’t say – that wry smile, the drooped shoulders, the heavy sigh. Some people really need someone to show the littlest concern and genuine care, be that person for someone.So I ask again, How are YOU doing today? (do share in the comments)Now to the post – It’s quite different from the norm, but here goes:Most nights, I find myself needing that winding down time, so my night routine involves reading a lot of articles, the motivational ones are my best as they go a long way in helping me unlock the secrets to overcoming the struggles I personally deal with.Of course I have struggles, it’s part of what makes us human.So today, I’ll be sharing some of these articles with the aim of helping just one person out there or who knows? maybe even more. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite reads this week.1. This one was a great read on self love. “What is real self-love? Self-love seems to be one of the hottest words at this moment.Some people think self-love is self-care. For example, a lazy doing nothing day, a bubble bath, a massage and a Netflix day. Some people think self-love is they do whatever to please themselves. For example, buying a designers handbag, booking an exotic vacation, or becoming a serial dater just to have fun.What is your definition of self-love?”Read more here2. “No New Friends” is a trash slogan and this post explains exactly why i think so. Read all about it here3. A popular phrase used in work emails is *Gentle Reminder* but is it ever really gentle? This is a very short read that captures this effectively and teaches us to be direct yet compassionate. I will try this next time I have to send a mail. Read all about it here.I hope this was helpful. Don’t forget to answer my question. How are you?Love.Titi

Life lately.

Hey guys! How’s it going?

I haven’t written a personal post in a minute and I haven’t been so active on Instagram so I thought I should share what I’m currently up to.

So I’m currently…

Accepting that sometimes things are not okay or going to go well and that’s life. It’s not necessarily about me or what I’m doing right or wrong.

Reading two books atm. If Beale street could talk by James Baldwin and When the crawfords sing by Delia Owens and funny enough I see some similarities. Loving both so far! I have three paperbacks and two ebooks on my TBR list this month.

Loving my new job. I’ve learnt so much in a such a short time. It’s actually quite amazing. I also love that it’s flexible and I get to sleep at home every night. #Winning.

Practicing this self love thing. I read about it and I’m always reposting things about self love on my instagram story but I have been trying to actually go beyond just reading about it. When life gets overwhelming, I am practicing self love and taking care of my mental health.

Feeling stressed but blessed. I’ve had a rough first quarter of the year and to be able to say I’m feeling blessed is a blessing on its own.

Trying to be more patient with people I love. Trying to see things from their perspective sometimes and not react based on my expectations.

Learning to save for the rainy days. Y’all I don’t know how to save and it’s mad stressful. I usually blame it on unplanned expenses but It’s really just an excuse.

Interested in volunteering. I mentioned this thing last year but somehow never got around to it. Please I need an organization that needs volunteers. It’ll be nice if it’s easy to join as well. Know any? Please share! I’m actually begging guys.

Hoping to get all the schmonayyy I need for all the numerous exams and plans I have before the end on the year. Pray for me guys!

I know this list can go on and we’ll be here till tomorrow so let me stop here so you can get back to your life.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share what you’re currently doing in the comments section.

• TOSIN

Circa Lagos – Worth the hype?

There’s a popular saying about how time waits for no man. Have you ever wondered the patience levels it has for women? Non existent!

So it was that on this particular day, Titi and I were bored and wanted somewhere to pass time and have fun. Somewhere close with good scenery and food – also fit for our musings without distractions.

And so we prepared but then, it seems every time we want to do something together in Lagos, the weather decides to f*ck shit up! Because down came the rain. See, I’m not even sure why it’s raining in March. 🤷🏾‍♀ Anyway, we weathered the storm (see what I did there?) and still headed out. The focus was obviously on a place with a nice indoor ambience and proximity to the house.

We decided on Circa Lagos. We’d heard a lot about this place and it was fun to finally be here

There is a “Circa non pareil” located on Admiralty road. This is more of a bar I think. Circa Lagos is located at No 2 Kola Adeyina Close, Lekki phase 1.

On getting there, we saw the famous wall and decided to have a mini photoshoot. The security guy on duty politely agreed to take pictures of us. He was even open to corrections as regards the positioning of the camera. This was already a good sign as far as we were concerned.

After our photoshoot, we entered the restaurant and noticed it’s a small space compared to most restaurants in Lagos but it has that minimalist vibe which we absolutely love.

We loved that It wasn’t so crowded as well maybe because we visited on a week day.

We came there to work and they had free WiFi. So it can actually double as a quick work space if you’re a creative. Obviously we were loving it but the most important thing for me is the food. It’s not ambience I came to eat dears.

We quickly scanned through the menu and placed our order. I ordered Fish and fries (because I’ve learnt that in Lagos I’d rather be safe than sorry) with a strawberry margarita. Titi ordered some sort of seafood Alfredo pasta with a virgin Pina colada.

The waitresses were polite and indulged our numerous requests to take pictures of us while we waited for our food. We didn’t have to wait too long before the food arrived and the food was so delicious. The portions were not bad either. I don’t eat large portions but I was full and still had some to take home with me. I wasn’t so impressed with the cocktail – maybe because the week before I had the same cocktail at Crossroads and it was heavenly but I wasn’t so bothered because the food made up for it.

The budget for having a decent meal here is approx. 10k per person.

I got at least 3 Instagram messages from random people saying they really love the restaurant and the food there. So they are definitely doing something right.

So if you’re looking for a cute , intimate restaurant for lunch or dinner alone or with friends in Lekki, then Circa Lagos is the place for you.

You can follow us on Instagram for more pictures because like I said we had a mini photoshoot and you must see everything.

Location – With google maps you should easily locate it. However it does not look like a restaurant from outside so you might think you’re entering someone’s house.

Budget – At least 10k per person

Ambience – 👍👍👍👍

Food – 🤙🤙🤙🤙.5

customer service – 👍👍👍👍👍

I hope you enjoyed reading this review. Have you been to Circa Lagos? Will you revisit ?


Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook .

— TOSIN

Swinging out of mood swings

Hey guys! How’s it going?

So a little personal information, You know how it seems like Nigeria is set up to just frustrate you and drive you bonkers? I’ve been experiencing that first hand recently as I’ve been struggling with getting a decent job. It’s been about 2 months now and lately I find myself getting moody and sad about it and life in general – tempted to use the word depressed but then I’m a doctor and I know I absolutely am not depressed.

I often get in these moods on Mondays maybe because I feel every responsible adult is off to work and I have nothing much to do. Recently however, I have found 6 ways to get out of these horrible moods and I know someone is going to see this post and just relate or even try my get-out-of-a-bad mood plan and it just might work for them! . So hey! I thought I’d be nice enough to share.

The first thing i do is pray – I don’t know if this is a regular thing to do but it works for me. I pray and then make a list of reasons to be thankful in my head and then I go ahead and just thank God – especially for the fact that I even have a list.

To be honest, I feel just slightly better right after praying so I move on to the next thing which is

– Eat. I find something I’m craving and eat it. Don’t worry if you feel guilty for spending money you’re not making. It’s normal. Just eat. – try to eat healthy o cuz I won’t be blamed/ responsible if you have chronic illnesses. (Haha!) Thanks

– After eating, If i still don’t feel better, I call or talk to a friend. Just let it all out. If possible cry. If the tears are held up, I just talk and talk until I realize I should probably let my friend get on with her life because I mean she has a life and things to do as well. I believe in the power of positive venting especially to someone who actively listens.

Also please, be sensitive and always ask if your friends – no matter how close y’all are, are available to talk. Don’t just bombard people with rants.

I usually feel like 70% better after praying, eating and ranting but then they don’t call me napaholic for nothing. I take a sweet nap. Guys I always wake up feeling refreshed (except the devil is working overtime that day) and at this stage I’m like 80% better.

To round it off, I go on the internet and read random peoples stories – mostly HONY. Nothing gets me out of my shitty, unemployed, sad mood as fast as a story of how things could be so much worse.

Tip: (sometimes, what we need is to attract positive stuff, so reading success stories is also another way to get going)

Now usually I’m about 90% better and I snap out of it and just get on with my day and try to be as productive or unproductive as I can be.

I remember asking people on Instagram how they get out of bad moods and here are some replies I got.

Be by myself for a while, self pep talk, listen to music.

Eat, cry and sleep.

Change the environment or write it out.

Go out of my way to be nice to someone.

A good read, music. Sometimes I call any of the really great people in my life.

Cry

Eat

Listen to music , paint or I lay down and go to my own imaginary world. It’s not so bad there.


If you’ve read up to this point, I hope you’re already feeling better. Also, don’t forget to share with your friends and family.


I’d like to know how you get over a bad mood. Who knows ? It just might help someone out there!

The perfect getaway spot in Lagos – Lakowe Lakes

Daily we rant and vent about how draining Lagos can be. From the hassle of waking up early (to beat traffic) and get to work, to the stress of closing late (and getting stuck in traffic) to get home. We crave that relaxing getaway but our bank accounts tell us “don’t try it!” and the thought of long journeys make it all not worth it. But what if I told you there’s a friendly neighborhood solution to this?

So let’s say you are looking for a perfect spot for that trip with your girls? A baecation? Or just want to spend some time out of your house but still within Lagos? Ladies and gentlemen, think Lakowe Lakes!

During the month, I was invited by Filmorealty to spend the weekend at Lakowe Lakes and I must say, my expectations weren’t grand but by the time I had to leave, they were pretty much exceeded.

The resort is located at KM 35, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lakowe, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos. (Just use Google maps and save yourself the stress). Don’t let the KM deceive you, It’s not on the way to Ibadan, but just slightly after Ajah – slightly.  The first thing that caught my attention as we drove in was the beautiful buildings arranged systematically, with pedestrian pathway, this is perfect for you fitfam folk who like to jog and run.

We arrived at our apartment, a one-bedroom apartment with a view. Apartments come in different shapes and sizes – cabins, apartments of different sizes etc. and all fully furnished. There’s also cable tv (so you can keep up with your football games or series), kitchen utensils, towels, shower gel were also provided. All you basically need to do is bring yourself. Oh! I love the fact that you can cook if you so wish to. There is also a restaurant available if you are like me that wont be caught cooking on a getaway.

Beyond the living area, there’s other fun stuff to do around the grounds so if… just if you get bored, you have alternatives.

I will be detailing all the activities I got up to but list is not limited to this. Lets dive in shall we?

TAKE A STROLL AND EXPLORE LAKOWE LAKES

The entire resort was so calming and picturesque.

LEARN HOW TO FISH AND MAYBE CATCH A FISH

I have never done anything like this so I was definitely pumped to experience this. I was hoping to catch a fish and maybe roast the fish, sadly I didn’t catch any. It was fun all the same.

GOLFING

This was also a first-time experience, The instructors personalized the experience and made time for a one-on-one training with everyone. Immediately I got the hang out it, your girl couldn’t stop.

MOVIE UNDER THE STARS

We ended the day by seeing a movie under the stars, popcorn and soda were provided.

SPORTS

I love the fact that right in front of my apartments, table tennis and bicycles were available for the sports love. Of course trust me to explore this. Learned very quick that I suck at both.

Please share your thoughts on Lakowe Lakes, will you be visiting?

Want more information, Interested? You can reach out to us on Instagram or twitter for any enquiries.

January Reads

Hey y’all!

How’s it going ? So if you don’t know my reading goal for the year, you should probably follow me on goodreads – Tosin Ade. For those that know, I think I’m doing alright.

I read 4 books in January. Bear in mind that January was one of my worst months ever. A lot of things happened that made me question life. I’m alive and healthy tho so I’m still thankful.

  • The first book I read was Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

I absolutely loved this book.

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The book is largely about Eilis an Irish lady in the 50s who lives with her mother and sister in Ireland. A very simple and boring life if you ask me. She however was struggling to get a job when an Irish Priest from America came and told the family about job opportunities in America. Colm takes us on a journey of how she struggled in her new environment away from the familiarity and comfort of her home, how she fell in love with the sweetest guy, Tony , how she experienced new things. The book was divided into four parts and I must say the fourth part was super frustrating. (This is why I gave the book 4.5 stars) Eilis is such a sweet character tho and I think Colm did a fantastic job with her. He wrote so well you could almost understand and feel what she was feeling.

  • The second book I read in January was Wake Me When I’m Gone by Odafe Atogun
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Ese, a young lady who recently lost her husband lives in a remote village somewhere in Nigeria with her son Noah. The book follows the story of Ese, her life, the tribulations and trials she went through. The ridiculous traditions and cultural practices she had to endure. It was a very simple story but I did not love it. It was almost impossible to connect with the characters. I’d probably not have finished it if it was a bigger book.I did find some parts hilarious but it was still pretty bleh for me. Just felt like a pointless story if I’m being honest. An unrealistic plot. I gave it 3 Stars.

  • The third book I read was Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This is such an adorable book!

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It follows the story of Simon a gay teenager, his friends and his journey to finally coming out and meeting his secret friend/lover who he has been emailing for a while. The emails between Simon and blue were my favorite part of the book. It was also super easy to read. Written in a conversational tone. I started listening to the audiobook but I just couldn’t finish it so I switched to the ebook and I couldn’t drop it. The guesses and the struggle to figure out who Blue was kept me glued. I gave it 4 Stars.

  • The fourth and last book I read in January was I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart

You guys! I loved this book!

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I’ve always been a fan of Kev so I knew I’d enjoy it. It was a book about his life and journey to fame. Of course I expected it to be funny because duh it’s Kevin Hart! but it wasn’t just a funny book about his life. It also felt like a motivational/inspirational book. With kelvin there is always a lesson to learn. I basically had to stop myself from taking pictures of every page. So many good quotes man! He also seems like a very positive guy (I could definitely learn a thing or two from him in that aspect ). I lowkey wish he wrote it after the cheating scandal tho. Always here for the juicy behind the scene gist. Of course I gave this 5 Stars!

So guys, how many books were you able to read last month?