A MAG is a Modern African Girl, so no subject is taboo. My purpose is to share things which may interest a MAG.

The Weekly Lifestyle Blog by Lydia, every Friday 1700 hrs. Nr 76 1st December 2023

Lydia's Weekly Lifestyle blog is for today's African girl, so no subject is taboo. My purpose is to share things which may interest today's African girl.

This week's contributors: Lydia, Pépé Pepinière, this week's subjects: Christmas Fashion West Africa, Mikosa Restaurant at The Sandbox Beach Club, Honey Suckle Ring Road.

Christmas Fashion West Africa

Embrace the Vibrant Festive Season: Christmas Fashion in West Africa.
As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to explore the unique and vibrant fashion trends that dominate the Christmas celebrations in West Africa. Known for their rich cultural heritage and diverse fashion influences, countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal showcase a remarkable fusion of traditional and contemporary styles during this festive period. From stunning traditional outfits to modern interpretations, West Africa’s Christmas fashion scene is a true reflection of the region’s creativity and love for celebration.

Traditional Attire: In West Africa, Christmas is an occasion to showcase cultural pride through traditional clothing. Women often wear elegant and colorful outfits made from fabrics like Ankara, Kente, and Aso-oke. These fabrics are known for their intricate patterns, bold colors, and symbolic designs.

Men, on the other hand, opt for traditional attire such as Agbada, Babariga, or Dashiki. These garments are often embellished with handcrafted embroidery or beading, making them visually striking and steeped in cultural significance.

Contemporary Twist: While traditional attire remains a popular choice, West Africans also embrace modern fashion trends during the Christmas season. Fashion-forward individuals are increasingly experimenting with contemporary styles and incorporating Western influences into their outfits. This fusion can be seen in the form of trendy dresses, jumpsuits, tailored suits, and stylish accessories. The combination of traditional fabrics with modern silhouettes creates a unique and eye-catching ensemble that perfectly captures the spirit of the season. Check the next blog for a continuation.

The Sandbox Beach Club in Accra also has a restaurant Mikosa inside, 4th Otswe Street La, which is good because there you are shielded from the all too common and too loud music outside, which on top of that normally comes out of a bad sound system. But the evening started badly. The place was poorly lit and we had to use our phone lights to be able to read the menu. To no avail, the lady first wanted me to fill in my personal details and then shoved an iPad under my nose. I insisted that we first wanted to order drinks, but she insisted as well, so we had to tell her off and demand a different waiter. Eventually, we had our drinks and an apology from our new and much more pleasant male waiter. And I obliged and filled the iPad, calling myself, Antje van der Merwe, wife of the hilariously clumsy South African boer Jan van der Merwe. Not many people were inside for a Sunday evening, the place seats about 80 but we were alone, though by the time we left there were another 4 guests. Pity, it's a beautiful interior with a huge artwork by internationally famous Ghanaian artiste Serge Attukwei Clottey. His works have been offered at auctions multiple times, with realized prices ranging from 500 USD to 468,004 USD. Ugh, he uses thrash to create his things.

The menu is interesting with dishes from 10 different African countries, that's the sort of thing we need, rather than KFC or Pépé's Pepper Pizza. For my starter I took millet and chickpea salad with baby spinach, pomegranate and lemmon and chili vinaigrette (Egypt), for mains, I had the eggplant tagine with couscous (Morrocco) and ras-el-hanout spiced (meaning the best from the shop, a bit similar to our Suya spice) Moroccan flatbread. Both were excellent and refreshing. My companion had a trio of suya (again suya) which was chicken, pork, and beef kebabs (Ghana) with green chili sauce and slaw, and a pan-seared tilapia fillet for mains, which came with “prekese” infused attiéké plus gborna with egusie and palm oil onion sauce (Togo, Sierra Leone). Quite a few mouth fulls, and the portions were generous enough and his was also excellent, and the fish was fresh which is sometimes difficult to find, and was correctly seared. For dessert, I took tea, which came with ginger, honey, and lemon liquid. My companion had a trio of sorbets with sobolo, mango, and citrus. Pity that they kept insisting on putting our main dishes on the table whilst we were still at our starters, twice, and we sent them back twice until they understood. Quite an interesting evening with lots of spices, even the bill was peppered. Good food, clumsy service. But I'll go back to try some more of their menu.

Honey Suckle Ring Road Accra has a very loud DJ evening on Thursdays, so I had to write my drinks order down to be understood. I also ordered grilled fish with rice. The fish was worse than the one I bought for X Mass last year and which I recently found at the bottom of my freezer when I decided to take all out and defrost and clean. Nope, drinks yes, food no.


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