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What would you do if this happened to you?? Gist time!

Hi guys, how was your week? Valentine’s day is just around the corner and it reminded me of an experience I had when Princess T was 4 years old.

On Val’s day 2 years ago, I got a message on the class mum’s group chat asking if T’s mum was on the group, I responded to the kind lady and we had a private chat. She wanted to know if and when I’m dropping T off at school as she had something for her. I thought it sounded weird and unusual, her birthday isn’t around the corner so what could it be? Unfortunately, I ran late for drop off and we missed each other but she dropped a ‘Valentine’s gift’ for T (the balloon above) from her also 4 year old son!!!!!

If you’re Nigerian, African or understand any part of OUR  African ‘mindset’, then you must know how dumbfounded I was. Thankfully, Dr O was with me that morning and he is better at managing such situations.

What I couldn’t understand was how a 4 year old girl was getting a Valentine’s gift? I mean I couldn’t even tell my own mum I was getting gifts from boys till I was 21….hahahha!  So I texted a ‘British’ friend who has been very helpful in explaining certain parts of the culture to me and the expected response.

She said to me and I paraphrase “Ade, it is not unusual for parents to wrap presents at Val’s and ask their kids who they wanted them to give it to”. From my understanding, it is a way for parents to normalize exchange of gifts, expressing love and affection. Somewhere, it still didn’t sit right with me and I realised this was as a result of my own mindset.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

And there comes our discussion or maybe gist for today – ‘MINDSET’.

Since moving out of Nigeria 5years ago, I’ve found my cultural and religious mindset challenged so many times and I can tell you for free that we are held down more by our ‘unchanging mindset’ than anything else in this world and I would like to share a few thoughts on that.


Growing up in an African home, we weren’t given a choice to challenge tradition and culture, you just do as you are told. This way, years of unproductive and unreasonable culture has been passed down from one generation to another (and some good ones too).

So today I ask you to ask why!!

  • Why are you doing what you are doing the way you are doing it?
  • Why are you friends with the people you are friends with?
  • Why are certain relatives in your life who need not be?
  • Why are you in that profession?
  • Why are you going to that church?
  • Why did you get involved in that business?
  • Why did you marry that person? Why are you stuck on the traditional gender roles in your home when it’s not working for you as a family?

Asking the ‘Why’ gives you better perspective, and the freedom to change it. They say you’re not a tree, you can move. If the reasons no longer work for you, you can start to change it today.


Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter.

― Amit Ray, Walking the Path of Compassion

As we grow, it is important to approach life with a new mindset and do it for the right reasons. I like the quote above, literally, open your mind for fresh air. Entertain new ideas, listen to alternative arguments. It doesn’t mean you have to accept them, if anything, you grow the capacity of your mind.

Educate yourself and change if you find that you need to.


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Romans 12:2 NLT

The most important standard to measure our mindset on should be God’s word. It should change us from inside out. 

Place your mindset side by side with God’s word and see if there is a difference. Take the courage to change it accordingly.

Our generation is getting incredibly ‘more woke’ and choosing the world’s way over God’s way. Be careful that you do not fall into this trap, measure your life with God’s word ONLY as a standard and do not be afraid to stand out or be different if that’s what it means.

No matter our good intentions or moral standing, we cannot please God if we are not transformed by His word.

I hope you’ve a nice Val’s day celebration if it means anything to do (despite lockdown in some parts of the world). I’m looking forward to reading your comments, please tell the readers your experiences about culture shock, new mindset (maybe in a different country) or even challenging mindsets and culture in your own country and how you have/have not dealt with it.

I leave you with the peace of God!

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Korede Ogundipe

I agree be it our culture or culture of others there will be parts of it that are good or maybe just okay. Placing it side by side with God’s word to see if a change is needed is really good advice. Thank you

Pamela Shodeinde

Love this!! Such a brilliant way to reflect on how the society we live in can influence our values sometimes we don’t realise how much. Thanks for sharing 💖💖


Haha! I love this. I remember a day a classmate wrote me a love letter when I was like 9 or 10 in Nigeria. I almost died for fear of what my Dad would do if he found out. Scroll forward a couple of decades and they keep asking ‘when will you get married?!’ LOL

Tutu Palmer

Beautiful write up, moral of the story -> open mind! Lovvit
ps:Why do they call us all ‘Ade’😭😭😭

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