Are You A Gay?

It violated.
Really did.
I sat there first stunned, confused and then angry. Very angry.
I ran it up the flagpole with my closet people. It was one of the most disrespectful things I had ever had said to me.
It still ranks very high on the list.
“How could you?” I kept asking myself.
Before I even get into what happened, remember this – you are not above disrespect, ever.
Even the ones you expect so much from, can let you down.
Healthy adulting is hoping for the best and planning for the worst – even in friendships and though we won’t admit it, in love as well.

Quick question – how would you feel if the man you were in love with and dating said that he thought you were the type to sleep around for money?
And that he had run some of your pictures and behaviors by his friends and they agreed.

As the love of my life at the time suggested that I could be gay because of _ (THE REASONS DON’T EVEN MATTER), I was stunned, hurt and disappointed.
Not because being gay is bad.
But to know you to be the opposite of something and still say it or suggest it felt very strange to me.
To find that someone you had intimately shared your body and soul with, could not hold their own real opinion on something was even more upsetting.
That was what hurt the most.
Imagine how hurt you can be when your youngest sibling fixes their mouth to call you stingy after all you’ve sacrificed because their friend heard you say no to them one time?
Yeah, that feeling.
The exact one you just had is how I felt.

For those that may make this about being gay – it’s not about that exactly.
I invite you to flip it – imagine being openly gay. Living, loving, thriving and then a partner you love says “I think you are putting on this gay thing for show”.
Yeah, there it is.

It’s the same type of feeling you would have if you told your story of how women can sometimes be more emotionally abusive than men. As per your own experiences.
But then one of your closest ‘friends’ says that you give off “women hater” vibes from your tweets.
Failing to acknowledge your lived experience of being raped at 9 by a woman and being sexually violated by older women till you could find your voice.

Who are you?
When someone asks you that, what is the answer you give. Most times, we start with our names but think beyond that for a second.
Who are YOU?
Are you kind, considerate, giving, thoughtful, patient, intentional…?
Is that you?

I believe it’s truly important to know who you are deep down.
One of the reasons it’s so important is because people will actively work hard to make you feel less than or like you are something or someone else.
Rather than rejoicing in the complexity that makes us all unique, so often this world tries shrink us to make us more manageable.
So those attempts will come but who are you?
How are you standing?

Know your core early enough, so you are able to feel how I felt but not lose yourself or drift.
I remember finding confidence in the most confused looks on my friends faces as I questioned them.
You ever be accused of something so far from who you are, that you even start to question who you know yourself to be?
In this case, sexuality is one thing but it can be replaced by anything else and it would still hurt.
For example, imagine thinking of yourself as very humble but someone you care about tells you they believe you to pretentious or not genuine.
And that they could point to this and this evidence of such.

This situation taught me something, you can find almost anything you want to find when you look closely enough.
If you want to believe a friend of yours is ungrateful, you will find the moments where their “thank you’s” aren’t loud enough. Or if you want to believe that nothing good happens to you, I am pretty sure you can point to evidence that it doesn’t.
That is life.
And why you have to choose to see the light you want to see in people. Especially the ones we claim to love.

Have you ever been so wrongly accused by someone you loved that it brought you to tears?

New podcast episode dropping today.
Click here to listen to my thought on everything from Will & Jada, to 48 Oyster Bay, Wedding Dress to to church and so much more.
Also please leave me a comment on how you feel about this post.

Song of the Week:
Wande Coal – Ebelebe ft. Wizkid: It’s been a minute since I drifted towards Afrobeats. My last few months have been spent enjoying sounds from other regions of Africa. Heavy on the music out of South Africa, Kenya and even Ghanaian highlife.

But I really like this song. You can tell that Wande still mostly freestyles his songs into hits but I love the synergy between them. A part of me feels like they shot the video before Wiz’s mom passed, God rest her soul but I enjoyed seeing him smile.
They both could do with seasoned writers – ugh, imagine a studio session with Johnny Drille, Kizz Daniel, Wiz, Wande and maybe like a Nonso Amadi or Tay Iwar?
Lord, that would be magical!

Anyway, enjoy the song and an even better video.

Please comment, repost and share.
Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

#WhatTheHeckMan © 2023


There’s Rice at Home

It’s Friday evening.
8year old you is with your two younger siblings 6 & 4.
Mummy and Aunty Jade were supposed to pick you all after drama rehearsals and on their way back from Lagos Island.
You waited.
The sun started to go down and there was notway for you and your siblings to make it into the house.
Eventually, your neighbor Mrs Nduka, who is also your mom’s go-to person in the neighborhood invites you into her home to wait for your mother and aunt.
Seems simple right?
Yeah, those pre-GSM days.

You are suddenly gently woken up out of sleep.
Dazed but recognizing the familiar voice, you slowly rise up. It’s your mom and aunt.
They have come to get you from your neighbors place.
As you all find your belongings and stumble out, you catch a glimpse of the giant Deeper Life wall clock on the wall.
It reads 10:08pm.
You make your way into your house.
It smells like – home.
Exhausted, all you want to do is sleep.
You know everyone is tired. You are still in your school clothes from 7:12am this morning when your neighborhood bus came to get you.
As you drag yourself to your room, your aunty asks what you all want to eat. She assumes you must be starving.
You sleepishly reply that you all had eaten at Mrs Nduka’s house.
Stumble into bed.

You have not a care in the world as you rise on Saturday morning.
You start with cleaning your room like you have been raised to do.
You can smell the Akara frying from the kitchen. You had picked the beans on Thursday after all , you remembered.
A little over an hour later, your siblings assemble to eat their akara and ogi but yours isn’t plated.
Surprised you go to the kitchen to find out why – your aunt redirects your curiosity to your mother in the living room.
She is doing some work and listening to TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network in the background).
You approach and she proceeds to grill you about why you let you and your siblings eat at a strangers house.

You are stunned.
Mrs Nduka’s kids have slept at your house before. Your family has eaten there before.
This woman is your mom’s friend.
You are just standing there wondering. Then it hits you years later, not in that living room.
But thousands of miles away. It clocks that our parents just didn’t want us eating at other people’s houses, especially when they weren’t there.
Before the days of telling us we couldn’t have McDonald’s because there was rice at home, there was rice at home.

You cannot find your special thing in everyone, stop looking for it everywhere.

I was talking to my friend once and they brought up my interesting encounters with love.
My friend asked me if I felt like my constant search for love and belonging might have sent me to places that I didn’t need to be in.
Omo as a proud man, it felt like a slap in the face.
A jolt from within but she was right.
I sat on FaceTime that day as she made her sandwich and I kept feeling like I had just been plastered with one.
It was hilariously painful.

I feel like all my adulthood has been me trying to find love and belonging, and truthfully sometimes in places where I knew I shouldn’t have gone in the first place.
I remember my mind being blown one time when someone sent me a full breakdown of how I wanted to be loved.
It got me so hype and I felt so seen but I was too high on the moment to flag that even the person that was posting out all the ways I wanted to be loved, was incapable of loving me the way I wanted to be loved.

Since 2018, I started keeping a running list of things I prayed for in a partner and a letter to the woman I choose to marry.
Neither of the lists are stagnant – they are very fluid and ever evolving.
But you see, I haven’t always felt like I had a the blueprint written out and truthfully – I haven’t always followed it.
So despite knowing exactly what I want, I still found myself considering things and people that I simply knew could not meet up.
It was that same search for love that led me into the arms of this friend of mine. The same one telling me that there was rice at home but didn’t have rice in their home at the time.

I remember one day Mrs Nduka was advising my mother because I had been seen with a girl down the street by a church member – we were just walking o! She was telling my mom to be more present and stricter with me.
My mom would ultimately discipline me but not because of what I did but because I “allowed Mrs Nduka, the right to speak to my mother about how to be a mom”.
It felt like an insult to her especially when Mrs Nduka’s son had been arrested with some cultists last year.
Who was she to give my mother advise?
It got me thinking – the message might not come from a source you like or respect but it should not diminish the quality or value of the message still coming through.

As someone who has ended up more hurt and confused by searching or even exploring love in the wrong places.
Work on loving yourself, first.
If you don’t love yourself, you’ll tolerate quite a bit and a lot of it won’t even be up to par with what you want or need.
Be honest with yourself about who you are and what you want. And frankly, my message to you all now is “don’t compromise”.
Ladies, drill into your list – we know you have one and decide what you truly want from someone and stick to it.
Don’t just fall for his words or the bread crumbing.
Fellas, bum bum is great. Trust me, I’m a victim. 🤣
Now add in stunning smile, melanin toh bad and a raspy but inviting voice?
Hold firm. Be flexible but don’t concede early. Stand for what you truly want and continuing being what you truly want for yourself as well.
Sidebar: why is that people think that you cannot take accountability for your actions but also explore the perspectives that made you how you are?

In line with not all the “love” dangled in your face is actually love and more importantly, it’s not all “love” that you should accept or collect.
One thing I have always found interesting is how quickly “love” turns to anger, disgust and so on, once you decide you don’t want what they are offering. Many times even before you have tasted said love.
I’ll say this from a man’s perspective because that is really what I can speak on more than other perspectives.

I have seen too many times where you attract someone who professes their love for you – they are sure before they even know you well enough, that you are right for them and vice versa.
You knowing yourself better than anyone else, once you see early on that they aren’t what you need, you make it clear and if you have to, cut ties.
Before you are able to settle, you’re blocked and cursed.

I don’t think Mrs Nduka ws wrong for attempting to feed you and your siblings – people will always give what they have.
You just have to decide if it is really what you want and most importantly, what you need.

Make sure you have rice at home and for those not catching on – rice in this instance is genuine and healthy love.
So have it at home, so when you go out, people don’t offer you things not up to par and you feel compelled to collect it.

Song of the Week:
Buya – UMUTHI ft. Mawelele & Makhosi : This song literally transports me to place of calm and makes me wish I was living in South Africa or Kenya for a year. It’s beautiful, the melodies, the lyrics are rich. Enjoy and let me know if you like it too!

Please comment, repost and share.
Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

#WhatTheHeckMan © 2023


It’s all gone MENTAL

It’s 1:37am, I woke up a little over an hour ago.
I swear when I woke up I thought it was the morning but I found out that I had only been sleeping for a handful of hours.
Anyway, it’s Wednesday now, so I can post. First of all, thank you to everyone that read last week’s post and also listened to my new episode of my podcast – I really appreciate it.
If you haven’t read last week’s post, please do so here and you can listen to me return on the microphone here.

As some of you who have been following me for a while will know, I have been managing and working on my mental health for years now.
Today on #NationalMentalHealthDay – I wanted to share a few things:

Your mental journey is just that, a journey.
Focus not on a destination but managing the journey. Think about your mental health journey as a marathon. 
You want to manage the journey and coast through the process – never too fast or two slow.
Steady is valuable.
Too often life forces us to be faster, or dwell longer – you want to strike the perfect balance.
It is also important to not get too hung up on times you are too high and times where you are low.

It is very easy in high moments to want to do everything to hold onto them and yes you should try to stretch your happy moments as much as possible but don’t fall victim of them.
Allowing yourself to enjoy the moments in them, being present and cherishing them is more important than trying to hold on to those moments.
Said moments will fade and can ebb + flow, so allowing yourself grace to move within them is important.

Track the highs and the lows – find the triggers and the highlights in both settings. It will help you navigate both as they come up. Most importantly, allow yourself to feel it all.
There are valleys and dizzying peaks. Days where everything you touch turns to gold and the next where the sun doesn’t rise outside and suddenly you question everything about your existence.
Sometimes I find that trying to prevent myself from feeling low is what leads me into a deeper hole. Versus just understanding what triggers may have come up, feeling things temporarily and relying on my (healthy) coping mechanisms to get me through.

Therapy is expensive but not healing or evolving costs more.

One thing that you don’t find out till you are in it is how expensive therapy can be – financially and emotionally.
Therapy will tax you emotionally and invite you to cash in the secrets that have built your walls keeping you from the outside world and the risk of being hurt.
And for example if you don’t live in America or have good health insurance coverage, you can end up paying a lot for a lot.
Financially, it adds up too.

But one thing I have realized is that if you don’t address it – it being your mental health, it will cost more in the long run.
Think about your life right now and think about the friendships, relationships and more that you have lost because you feared getting hurt or you self sabotaged.
Or things you couldn’t fight for because you were so on E from life draining you.
The costs add up. I recommend prioritizing your mental if and when the funds allow it, it will save you a ton and from a ton in the future.

Song of the Week:
I Get Backing –

Win small battles and get practical about your everyday.

You showered today?
You didn’t cry?
You ate?
Oh you actually went outside?

All small wins. With tremendous ability to have great snowball and downstream effects.
I used to struggle to do some big ticket things, until I started to try to win incremental battles. Please note that all I am speaking about is not during phase where you may be dealing with deep clinical depression.
I for one am now living functionally with my situation.

A few years ago, I started going to the gym in the mornings – it greatly improves my mood.
But I would struggle to get out of bed in the mornings, so I started putting my clothes in front of my bedroom door, so all through the night when I would go to the bathroom, I would see the items and know that I needed to go to the gym.
It won’t always be that straight forward but that simple act helped greatly improve my mood and made me feel closer to winning.

Guard your mental health jealously and selfishly
It won’t make sense to everyone but guard your mental health. Especially when you find out your triggers.
Those triggers can be in people, places, projects and more.
It won’t always seem easy to get for others but you have to know you and what gets you.

Remember though, that sometimes the guards you put in place to protect yourself could be triggers for others.
So while you try to protect yourself, understand that not everyone is out to hurt you – even if they eventually can and they just might.

Understand Your Internal Working Model

Internal working model of attachment is a psychological approach that attempts to describe the development of mental representations, specifically the worthiness of the self and expectations of others’ reactions to the self.

Your internal working model will influence how you view yourself and it tries to reinforce how you feel about yourself through things that happen to you or around. If you believe you deserve love, when it comes you’ll feel justified. If you feel you don’t deserve love, when it doesn’t come, you say “ah! Exactly, I don’t deserve love”

It will contribute to:

  • Self doubt
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Negative talk
  • Self sabotage

Understand how you see yourself and the interrogate that.
Why do you see yourself as less or why do you feel like you don’t deserve good things?
When clearly you do.

God above all

My mental health is largely influenced by my faith.
I go to God first. But I still struggle like everyone else.
I let depression sneak in and I may try to fight it myself, instead of praying.
I start almost everyday with prayer and worship but it doesn’t always mean that I do the right things internally.

Many times, my depression is brought on by my sin and falling short of God’s expectations. Which sucks because he forgives me and I end up not forgiving myself.
Like how sway?
It’s so backwards but it’s how I sometimes treat myself.

So truthfully, my mental health would be much better if I did what God wanted. Many times, I do the opposite of what he wants or I do the opposite of what I should do and then I feel worthless.
This then triggers my depression or negative talk.

Worshipping helps me a lot. I get to submit and just tell him how much I need him.
I want to stay in that place more and not just run there when things go south.

I don’t think I have everything about my mental figured or sorted but I can say the following

  • Stay with it, it gets better. I promise.
  • Therapy changed my life.
  • Therapy requires application – the theory has to transfer to real life.
  • You will have to get it wrong to get it right
  • Be wary of false dawns. Do the work, the nasty, gritty work – you will be better for it in the long run.
  • Be patient, be kind. You are figuring this out as you go along.

Please comment, repost and share.
Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

#WhatTheHeckMan © 2023


Look What You’ve Done

I just sang a Yoruba hymn in front of 100’s of people live and thousands online at one of the biggest companies in the world today.

Sanmi – Tuesday, October 26th, 2023

It’s 8:33 pm
I am parked in my Tesla on the side of the road across from my apartment.
I finally give in.
I am talking full snot, wheezing, throat clamping eye bawling session.
I broke.
In gratitude.
This was easily one of the best days of my life and my soul is drenched in thanksgiving.
Let me tell you how we got here.

I should start this story from way back in June but I’ll come back to that. Let’s go back to just yesterday.
I was meant to pick up my car rental at 10am and drive to my office HQ which was about an hour away.
How can it be Monday morning with 11 customers in line and only one person at the counter of the car rental pickup?
I was already so frustrated.
I needed to get to HQ for a couple of meetings and I also had soundcheck for the event I was participating in on Tuesday.
I finally picked up my car after almost an hour of waiting and headed to the office.

At the end of every year, typically in my hotel room in Lagos, I review my goals for the year.
I grade myself and give myself marks which I eventually share with you all, while prepping and outlining my goals for the coming year.
Coming into 2023, one of my business/professional goals was to speak in front of the company or on behalf of the company.

On Tuesday, that goal became a reality.
Back in April, there was an email about being part of an annual event at my company.
I kinda brushed it off but then I remembered a Black woman who led the same event last year, so I decided to apply.
I specifically wanted to make sure you all note that I chose to apply because I saw another black person like me doing something and thought I could too. This is for those of you out there worrying instead of doing it afraid – the next person you could be inspiring to greatness is waiting for you. Do it.

Anyway, back to my event.
I applied when the entries were 200 words or less. And so you can imagine my shock when my application to be the key speaker was chosen.
I was stunned.
I spent the following months working with a couple of coaches and an amazing team that prepped me for the big day.
I was going to tell a story about my life in front of my entire company. Huh????
I couldn’t believe it. As we fine-tuned the content of the event, we finally got to a place where they wanted to see if I could sing at the event.
I would sing a favorite hymn of my grandma’s in Yoruba.
Yes, I walked out on stage singing one of my favorite hymns in Yoruba at one of the biggest companies in the world.

As I walked through soundcheck and got mic’d up. I just remember asking for the Holy Spirit to take over. I was so nervous and worried about failing that I just kept praying.
I am so thankful for God but also for my relationship with him. The praying and deep breathing brought me calm.
I would need that calm in abundance the next day as well.

On the day of the speech, my parents were running late due to traffic and I was very worried that they would miss the event and my speaking segment. My anxiety was out of this world.
I was constantly needing to remember to breathe.
They would eventually make it there.
Right before I went on stage, I went to the bathroom.
Got down on my knees and just blessed God, I thanked him and then asked him for the grace to deliver.

I felt he was going to deliver that day from the morning at the gym.
My playlist was hitting. Look What You’ve Done by Greatman Takit came on and I knew it was so apt because look at what God has done.
My tailor started calling me Irawo Agbaye in 2019, I met a woman who started calling me Sunshine in 2019, and my mother started calling me Eniiwaju in 2020. Today, I shone bright.
Everything I touched felt magical and ordained.
Standing up there and just telling my truth in my own way, was everything.
It felt good to see all the layers of me interact with each other.
My faith didn’t take a back seat at my workplace. My creativity put me front and center and my God no dey wear flip flops.
It felt magical.

So as I sat across from my apartment in my soon-to-be-returned Tesla, you can understand why my heart was filled with gratitude and I was bawling my eyes out.
The mighty one came through and I’m forever grateful.
Even before this week, I had been getting word of the Holy Spirit taking me into a season of shifting.
I randomly stumbled on a sermon about there being a shifting in this season.
I didn’t know exactly what it meant but I felt it.
It stuck with me.
And all through last week and even as I put the finishing touches to this post at 2:55 am – I feel it.

The last time I felt this type of move in my spirit was in 2018 and that year my life changed for good.
It’s amazing to see what God has done especially because I have been feeling very unworthy.
Not only by how I have been within myself but also by how I feel like my heart has been responding to life around me.
It’s been truly beautiful to see that God has not forsaken me or his promises for me.
I find myself in awe of what he has done for and through me this year.
I am excited for what is to come and for the testimonies to be complete but before it all becomes “perfect”, just take a moment to see what God has done and Look at What You’ve Done.

Update: I came back to add this part at 3:25 am. I truly believe this part may help somebody.
Oftentimes, we see the highlights of people’s lives and we try to base our lives on that. We see someone appear to be shining and we believe that our lives should mirror that, even without knowing what that person is going through in the background.
For example, the picture below on the left is me maybe 5 minutes after bawling my eyes out inside that Tesla outside and the one on the right is me opening my phone to change a song while I cried and I caught what I looked like.

One of the reasons I love writing this blog is that I give you all my real perspective on things but most importantly, I don’t hide things from you all. That day, I was a mess. Completely.
If not for God, I would have folded.
But you see, I only posted the picture to the left on my IG, I know how many people would have thought my life was perfect and I was so happy.
Yes, it was an overall happy day but it had ups and downs.
Like life always does.
I pray you share the full you in every space you can, and let people know that one of the reasons your light shines so bright, is because you are not afraid of the dark.

Keep the lights on, in everything you do.
Soon your light will be so bright, you won’t even be able to hide or contain it.
Till next time, keep your head up.

Oh, and I have a surprise for you soon. Stay tuned.

Song of the Week is very easily:
Look What You’ve Done Already – I miss you and I always think of you when I hear this song. You’re always in my heart.

Please comment, repost and share.
Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

#WhatTheHeckMan © 2023