Abidjan Through Nabie’s Lens (Part I)

At exactly 23:59 on July 07, 2019, I touched down in the city of bright and bold colors; the city of zouglou and coupé decalé; the city of attiéké and alloco. Abidjan—a windy, wide awake city—was more than ready to welcome me after nearly six years of absence from its soil.

It was a steamy night, but I refused to let the soaring temperatures spoil my sense of excitement……. this was the beginning of my re-connection with this vibrant, progressive city. I left Abidjan on September 03, 2013 aboard Air France, en route to Washington D.C.—I had made an audacious decision to relocate to D.C. At the time, this was a terrifying experience for me because it meant moving away from those I cherish so dearly – my mom, my sweet family. Good thing I was determined never to avoid change out of fear. Besides, life has taught me that to gain what we want, we must be willing to sacrifice what we already have [in some cases]. And that’s ok, nothing comes easy. Don’t always expect a win-win.
Also, there wasn’t any indicators that my decision at the time was the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ move.  And guess what?  I gave it a try—a commitment to passion, I call it. And today, I can safely say it was the right move, at the right time. It has presented me with a chance to reinvent myself.  Anyway, that’s an entire topic for another time.

So, though my eight-week visit to Abidjan this year was engulfed in sadness due to the passing of my rare, cheerful mother, I still found a way to brighten it up by visiting a few alluring scenes across the bustling, cosmopolitan city. Below is a snippet of Abidjan Through Nabie’s Lens:

Centre Artisanale de la Ville d’Abidjan
This picturesque, homey arts and crafts center is your go-to for: (a) cute carvings, (b) exotic cloths, (c) gleaming jewels, (d) unrivaled wooden masks, (e) paintings on glass that are unique to Africa, (f) pleasing shea and cocoa butter products, (g) stuffed animals made from authentic African fabric, (h) alluring bronze, brass and silver work, (i) beautiful wooden bowls and baskets, (j) leather-covered boxes, and many more. 

Located in Treichville, one of Abidjan’s 10 urban communes, this vibrant artisan village is endowed with everything you could ever image in the world of handmade arts and crafts. In fact, it is a place where art is crafted in your presence! Just don’t forget to negotiate the prices. Happy shopping and haggling while out there.

              ..stay tuned for more on Abidjan

Farewell to My Precious Mother

ABIDJAN It has been 40+ days since my precious mom left me. Her name was Koné, Fanta; she was born June 08, 1959 and made her peaceful transition on June 11th, 2019. Though I missed the opportunity of being with her when she passed, I am uber grateful for the privilege and honor to care for her. She made me laugh; she taught me to be strong and encouraged me to be independent in action and thought. Teeyah (as she was affectionate called) was an inseparable part of my life and world, and I was heartbroken the day she left. Below is a brief pictorial of a 40-day memorial and prayer service held in her honor. Continue reading “Farewell to My Precious Mother”

When Home Feels Gloomy

A cross section of friends and family at my mom’s 40-day prayer service

ABIDJAN Sunday, July 21, 2019, marked exactly 40 days since my rare, super cheerful mother left us.  But guess what? It still feels like seconds ago. How I wish this was just another horror dream that would be over soon, allowing me a chance to: (a) see my mom again, (b) hear the soft, sweet sound of her voice, (c) touch her silky smooth skin, and (d) feel the softness of her palm against mine. Continue reading “When Home Feels Gloomy”

An Unbearably Intense Feeling of Loss

My super cheerful mom, Koné Fanta (Teeyah)

The cruel reality about losing my mother is that right after her death was when I needed her the most.

Teeyah, my super cheerful mother, died just two days after turning 60. 

Over the years, she endured excruciating pain but fought through like a champion, until Monday (06/10/2019) when this lone light in my life was blown off by the winds of death, leaving a vacancy that will NEVER, EVER be filled:  Continue reading “An Unbearably Intense Feeling of Loss”

The Daylight Robbery that Women Commit

 A couple recently broke up because, according to the boyfriend, his girl stole his iPhone 6, an allegation never denied by the young lady. She remorselessly admitted to stealing the mobile phone, which costs nearly $800 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to rent a flat for her mom. According to her, this boyfriend of hers happens to be a hard-to-spend type and so, stealing his phone was the only way to get what she wanted. Was her approach to solving this financial crisis of hers the right way to go?  Continue reading “The Daylight Robbery that Women Commit”

African Prints: Timeless Beauties

 Deep yellow, blue, pink, or red fabrics sold per yard, African textiles are distinctive for their bold patterns and bubbly colors. These timeless beauties are expressly infused with the rich history and culture of Africa, especially West Africa where the chicest of these prints have continued to dominate the textile industry for decades. In fact, these all-time  classic prints are currently experiencing a HUGE resurgence in popularity and I can’t help but go with the flow.
Continue reading “African Prints: Timeless Beauties”

Côte d’Ivoire’s Ethnic Conflict Flares Anew

Several homes of the Dioulas were set ablaze

Several homes, businesses and vehicles belonging to members of Côte d’Ivoire’s Dioula ethnic group were randomly set ablaze in a new ethnic-based violence that rocked the country’s far west on Monday, April 1, 2019.

Ben-Hounien, a densely populated city in western Côte d’Ivoire, was engulfed in flames after a Yacouba motorbike rider ‘accidentally’ drove his bike into a parked truck belonging to a Dioula, sustaining severe head injuries. He eventually died of his injuries. Continue reading “Côte d’Ivoire’s Ethnic Conflict Flares Anew”