Sunday, February 22, 2015

The sad state of medical affairs

This morning I read on a friend's fb tl that her hubby was extremely ill and would be medi-evac'ed out of Nigeria to... wait for it,  Kenya.  Now I do know I've been out of Nigeria for a minute but how on Earth did Kenya become better for medical treatment than Nigeria? What is going on in Nigeria that Kenya is now a better place to receive health care? I hope some of you respond and comment on this because I'm so sad. Is this possibly true?

Has Nigeria's health care system really gotten this poor? Is Kenya that much better? Any experiences? I'm very curious to hear your thoughts.

Good night. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Laolu @ Meridian 23

Tonight at Meridian 23,  161 W 23rd St, New York City,  Laolu and the Afromysterics will be performing two sets,  followed by DJ Eli Fola.  Tickets are just $10. Come show us some love ya'll.  Amazing original Afrobeat,  Reggae and AfroSoul by Laolu Senbanjo.  Check them out at

The Power of Yahoogroups

So in my lifetime,  I've been so blessed.  People have mostly blessed me with information, that information has led me to some great successes and continues to do so.  One thing at the heart of my success has always been,  yahoogroups,  oddly enough.  I don't like yahoo mail, never have, never really used it much but all the yahoogroups that I've been part of,  still am part of have been instrumental to me success in life.

Yahoogroups have given me friends,  housing,  jobs,  things,  beds,  cribs,  and much more when I needed them. My yahoogroups connection once gave me 3 job interviews the same day I learnt I was being laid off.  When I lost my housing yahoogroups helped take me in within hours.  When I was in transit and needed things that I couldn't easily access because they were in storage again, it was yahoogroups that helped me.

The other day, I needed a crockpot because I had a crockpot emergency (that's a story for another day) and it again it was my yahoogroups that saved the day.

Yahoogroups are kind of like phantoms.  You can't really see anyone (not like Facebook or instagram), it doesn't judge you,  but you just post to a group and people post back.  Simple.  Lovely.  Beautiful. I love my yahoogroups.

I'm going to take time right now to thank them. 
Thank you to the abuja_expats yahoogroup, without you there would never have been a Kate in Abuja.  There may not even be this blog for that matter!
Thanks so much to CortelyouMoms yahoogroup and flatbushfamilynetwork yahoogroup, right now I'd probably be in Jersey if not for you!

Yahoogroups has changed my life.  Taught me so much.  Taught me that there are so many good people in this world.  Taught me that I should appreciate all that I have and give back when I can. I'm truly blessed.  I love my community.  Flatbush is the best.  Brooklyn is so much better because of this real community.

Yahoo, you may not be Google,  but in some ways,  your way better!

Thanks for listening.

Much love,


What are you waiting for? Go search for the yahoogroup that will save your life!

Friday, January 16, 2015

We need to speak up about the situation in Nigeria.

The time is now,  to speak up about the atrocities that are occurring in Nigeria.  We cannot sit and wait and hear about more lives lost.  The West cares, sometimes,  but that doesn't matter.  We protested and matched when the girls went missing but now that they are mostly still missing and now that upwards to 3000 lives were taken last week in Baga,  now what? Do we match? Do we cry? What can we do? I cannot take up arms and fly to Borno, nor can hardly anyone for that matter.  So what can we do?

I know I have a voice.  I'm going to use it.  I'm going to talk. I'm going to discuss with everyone I know.  I'm going to share my experiences about living in the North of Nigeria and how much I loved it.  Now,  my version of Nigeria is dead.

Please share my video.  Get people talking.  Follow me on Twitter @katehallet on instagram @katehallet
let's get people talking!
Watch and share this video on vimeo.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Chocolate Mousse by the Oyinbo Cook

So tonight, I made Chocolate Mousse from scratch.  I have not done this in years, literally since I think maybe 2001.  My Mom and I had made it during Christmas a few years before she had passed away.  However, it was not from scratch.  I bought some box mix from somewhere, I think World Market or something.  Yet, we did make homemade chocolate bowls to serve it in.  It was delicious.  This recipe has a very different story to it though.  My Mom would have liked this story.  She probably would have liked this recipe as well.  It is extremely easy, as long as you know how to cook.
I love NPR.  Anyone that knows me, knows this.  So last year (I think) I was listening to this NPR story and the woman was talking about how she lived in Paris and at dinner parties everyone would serve chocolate mousse for dessert.  It was often women who couldn't really cook.  The mousse always tasted the same and she loved it.  She tried a million recipes and it never tasted like the mousse she at the dinner parties.  Anyways, long story short, someone gave her a Chocolate Nestle Bar and low and behold the recipe was inside.  That was the secret.

Anyways, I decided to give it a try.  It is delicious.

Below are a few photos of my time making it.

The photos are out of order.  Anyways, stay tuned to see images of the final product.

In case you want to watch the youtube video it is here:

and the npr story is here:

Good night!

Chocolate Rum Cake made by the Oyinbo Cook

So I've decided to diversify my baked products lately.  This one was inspired from two things!  One, the band (Laolu & the Afromysterics that I manage just turned one this week, and it slightly reminds me of a rum cake that we used to have at my Aunt's house during Christmas while growing up.  Her neighbor (a Jehovah's Witness) used to make it and give them out as gifts.  Her's was strictly a rum cake but I decided to change it up a bit.  I tried out a few different recipes and this is a photo of the smaller cake I made with extra batter that I had.  Just in case you don't know, I sell my baked goods and deliver them for free in Flatbush or Prospect Park South and will deliver to all parts of NYC and depending on the location, some parts of Jersey.  

email me at if you are interested.  

Just know that you are supporting a family that solely survives on its art forms.  So you are helping make the world a better and happy place.

This cake was divine.  We scarfed down the entire pan at the Shrine on Saturday night when we celebrated.  It was moist, has pecans, and  very boozy... Yum!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Baby Dreams

Baby Dreams

Ever since I was a little girl I had dreams of having a family.  Growing up I played with dolls and pretended to be a Mom,  in fact,  a working Mom who juggled ever facet of life.  When I was a little older I even watched my nephews on a regular basis.  Later,  I baby sat on the weekends and evenings and during summer holidays.
I continued to care for children throughout my college career,  then made a career of it in fact by getting a master's in Education and in the end being the Head Mistress of a Nursery and Elementary School in Nigeria.

For years,  I made friends with midwives and doulas, lived/worked/collaborated with organic farms,  food coops, and environmental organizations.  Working in Education I attended and even taught at conferences regarding the latest teaching method and parenting skills.  I had this idea of how easy it is to actually to be that dream parent. You know the one I'm talking about,  the kind that only feeds your kid organic food,  who never turns on the TV,  who makes all the food from scratch, etc.  I stupidly blindly believed the utter crap and nonsense I was preaching until I had a kid of my own.

So along comes baby Naniya.  She was born in Jersey and shortly after we moved to Brooklyn.  I started working full time when she was six weeks old.  But even before this,  all those ideals and beliefs I had long been thrown out the window and I opened a new window.  I call this window,  "whatever works for you as Parent's window. " Lol.

I breastfed her until about 8 weeks.  Around week 5 I had to start giving her formula as well because I couldn't supply enough milk.  She was literally sucking me to death.  It was painful and time consuming.  The pump I got didn't work and I didn't at the time have access to more resources that I got later on,  where I would have been able to pump probably had I had a better one.  I was blessed because my Mother-in-law lived with us and she took care of Nani while I was at work.  But my first two dreams of one breast feeding long term and staying home longer with my baby were dashed quickly when the start reality of NYC life set in.

It's funny because at the School I ran,  parents kept telling me, "Oh, you just wait until you have kids of your own. " Lol.  I've already used that line myself now.  And now I truly get it.  In fact,  when my sister or friends tell me stories about their babies,  I can totally call their bluff within seconds.  In my yahoogroups I often feel guilty when some parents make comments and talk about how they raise their child in what was my "dream" way of raising Nani.

But over time I've gotten over the guilt.  She's 16 months old now.  She's strong,  healthy,  extremely happy,  energetic, and I'm no longer embarrassed to admit,  that yes,  sometimes Elmo is her Babysitter, and sometimes Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. I'm no longer ashamed to admit Yes,  she would bounce in her jumper chair for at least an hour up to 3 times a day.  In fact,  she's got amazing legs because she spent hours doing squats, lol. Also,  I'm not ashamed to admit that at one point she stopped eating anything,  like anything and would only drink milk.  But you know what,  at some point that stopped.  She decided to start eating again and did so with vigor. I'm also not ashamed to admit that yes,  on the average she goes to bed after 11pm and sleeps till 9am or later. I'm sure most of you reading this are in utter shock by my last words and want to call the authorities on us.  Now before you all faint or start screaming, let me tell you why.   Her father is a musician and an artist.  Her mother is a writer and works as a consultant.  Naniya has adapted to our schedule which also helps us be the ones to take care of her.  She's not in day care.  She's in our care.  Naniya has never really been sick before.  I can say this is because she's not been in daycare.

We still strive to feed her well rounded organic meals,  make sure she has lots of activities which teach her things and burn her energy and give her a balanced life she needs. We are doing the best we can.  And it may not be the dream way I thought I'd parent her but it is the best way I can for now.

So the moral to my story is this,  please don't feel guilty for not being perfect but feel proud for trying as hard as you can to just be there and finding what works for you. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Jealousy is an emotion that I wish I didn't feel.  I don't often feel jealous but when I do it is strong and vicious.  I am incredibly loyal and devoted to the ones I love so if I feel someone is threatening my territory I naturally strike back.  I'm fierce and will fight back or even attack if the need be.

Jealousy is an emotion that knows no logic.  It's uncontrollable like a storm.  It has no boundaries.  It's dangerous.

Recently, I've been afflicted by its disease for good reasons but I wish it were one that could be controlled by a pill or something because it's literally killing me from inside.

It's this impossible thing that makes you paranoid, nauseated, and all consuming like a bad case of typhoid or some other tropical disease. 

How do you deal with your jealousy? How do you deal with jealousy when your lover is the jealous one? Comments happily accepted.

Good night.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Laolu and the Afromysterics Upcoming Performances

As most of you might know, I am the manager of the band, Laolu and the Afromysterics, I'm going to be making a post every so often here so you will keep abreast of the upcoming events.

So here we go:

August 7th @ Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, NYC 6-7:45 Free
August 29th @ Spike Hill in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 9p-1am
August 30th @ Bar Chord in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn 9p-12a
September 5th @ Silvana, Harlem, NYC 10p-12am
September 13th @ East NY Farmers Market, Brooklyn 11a-2pm
October 17th @ Shrine in Harlem, NYC, Felabration, 9-12am

photo courtesy of Alakija Studios

Also, check out
instagram: LaoluSenbanjo
Facebook:  Laolu Senbanjo
twitter: @afromysterics