I’ll keep this intro short because I’m writing this at an hour when some people are waking up, but questions were light this month, likely because I didn’t post as much in September as usual. Between rolling out the Cohort Sistas mentorship program, trying to finish a few rooms in the house, and taking some time off for my birthday, it seems like the month really flew by.
Before we get into the questions, Happy Independence Day to my fellow Naija peoples!
Hair & Beauty
How do you keep your afro luscious and hydrated?
I honestly, truly, just leave it alone! After washing and twisting, I typically wash every 3 weeks and retwist & remoisturize at the 1.5/2 week mark. I might add in some leave in or a butter if it’s feeling super dry but I really don’t do anything to my hair lol.
What is your weekly hair care routine?
I haven’t been keeping a hair routine since I’ve been focused on work and the house. If it’s not worn in a stretched fro or a twistout, it goes up in a puff during the day. And at night, I just wear a jumbo satin-lined bonnet.
Have you experienced any damage from the hair dye?
Nope, my hair is flourishing since my last hair coloring session! I even got it touched up with a semi-permanent rinse right before I left Kenya and it still looks and feels health.
How do you achieve your signature afro?
I let humidity work its magic. If I’m wearing a twistout and want it to fro out, I’ll shower without a shower cap. But I usually just have to go 3 or 4 days and my hair will fro up on its own. A fro is its natural state so it always wants to get back to that.
Get more style and beauty content here.
Career Advice, Grad School & Academia
Any advise to a 20 year old trying to decide which career path to take between academia or pursuing a job in healthcare?
Try both! I’m a huge believer in dipping my toes in everything that interests me so that I can make a decision based interest.
How did you discover your purpose? And how did you decide what occupation you are best aligned to?
My journey to discovering my purpose was years long, and I don’t know if it’s even over. A combination of praying, journaling, and talking to people who know me well about my strengths and skill sets helped me find more clarity in what I could be doing to better walk in my purpose.
As for the occupation, I currently work three very different jobs — postdoc, influencer, and non-profit director — so I’m still deciding!
I am moving to the US in January 2022 and everyone is telling me to become a registered nurse. Can I get into the nursing career because it pays well even when I’m not interested?
Can you? Probably. Should you is a different question.
As my mom, who ironically was a registered nurse, used to say, “just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge doesn’t mean that you also jump.” Meaning that you’ve got to decide some things yourself and not listen to what others say.
I am thinking about starting an organization for African Diaspora in my field. Any ideas on where to start?
I’m not at all clear about your question — feel free to email me to share more details.
What would you advise a 26 year old who wants to start a talk show?
Ooh interesting! Have you gotten experience with TV before or with presenting? I’m not sure if you’re more interested in being a talk show host, producing a show, or something else, but either way the entertainment industry is well established and tough to break into, so I would try to get as much experience as you can before starting your own thing.
Do you have people at Cohort Sistas who review proposals for PhD applications?
Officially, no. Unofficially, there are folx in the community who support one another in different ways, one of which is reading people’s material. Only way to find out is to join the community and be engaged!
Get more school-related content here.
Find more posts on work, productivity, and finances here.
Home, Family, and Relationships
How do you balance work, family, the blog and everything else?
My most recent answer to this is here.
How is your relationship with your parents now that you are a parent yourself? And do you now understand why they made some of the decisions they made?
My parents and I are homies! Our relationship shifted after I got married, not so much after I became a parent too. But I 100% understand why they made the decisions they made now that I’m a parent. Moving to a new country also made me better understand some of my parents perspectives when we were growing up.
Aside from the social media alliances, did you make real friends in Kenya?
Lol I didn’t make any social media alliances, that’s a really interesting way to phrase it. But yes, I made real friends in Kenya, most of whom are not social media people.
He’s great now that he’s back with his momma!!
What will you miss most about being on your own now that you’ll be reuniting with your family soon?
I think I’ll miss the chunk of time I usually spent in the evenings catching up on work. Now that we’re back together, 5-9 is precious family time, so I won’t be able to eat dinner while responding to emails or stay up late to create content (as I’m doing right now).
When TKB and Jonathan come to the US, is it for good?
I don’t even know if I’m here for good! They’ll both be here for a few weeks, then we’ll head back to Kenya for the holiday period (most likely).
What changed your mind about showing TKB’s face online?
Short answer is I missed him and wanted to reflect on that, and ran out of photos where his face was completely obscured.
Longer answer is that I don’t care as much about his privacy and security as I did when he was little. It’s probably due to a combination of 1. him not being so young and delicate, 2. me not being so sensitive and protective anymore 3. there being a pandemic and more important things to stress over, and 4. being back in a place where I’m not recognized by people when I go to the grocery store.
Does TKB have dual citizenship? If not, what is your reason for him to just be a US citizen?
He is a dual Kenyan and US citizen.
What has been the most challenging part about leaving your son abroad?
Feeling like I’m missing things that he’s learning and discovering. He can now sing songs, and I heard him sing for the first time, an entire refrain of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, on the phone. It’s the tiny little moments that are hard to replicate that I missed the most.
Your interior design work in your new home is amazing. Did it come naturally?
Thank you! Yes and no. I’ve been reflecting on this lately as I get more into design, and what I realized is that I’ve been reading and studying design blogs for years. I just never had a space that I owned, or enough disposable income, to play around with and bring my ideas to life. So it comes naturally now because I’ve been studying it, kind of unknowingly, for years.
How is it living in South Bend, Indiana?
It’s fine! People are nice for the most part. There’s plenty of shopping malls, a decent downtown area and ok restaurants and bars. I haven’t explored much because I’ve been decorating in my free time, but I think it’s a nice town for a young family.
Get more home & living content here.
Fitness & Personal
Do you have any weight loss tips especially as a busy person?
The only way to lose weight naturally is to increase your calorie deficit by either eating less or burning off more calories. Working out is not a priority for me right now, so I try to eat healthy — which for me means home cooked meals that are balanced with veggies, whole grains, and protein.
You look amazing! Are you still on the WW program?
That is so kind, thank you! I’m actually struggling with my body image right now so I appreciate that. I’m not doing any form of fitness or wellness program right now, because I really just don’t have the time and energy to do so.
How is your Swahili?
Nearly nonexistent. But when I was planning for my spring class I saw that Notre Dame has a Swahili class so if I can make it work with my schedule I might take it since it would be covered (I think) by my job!
Don’t forget to check out the Q&A archives, which include tons more advice on a variety of topics.