Happy New Year!
Welcome to 2020 a year that for so long was a time far, far in the future. I hope you managed to get some rest over the festive period and spent time with those you love. We at LYL want to wish you all the best in life this new decade. #WeMadeIt
2019 was a huge transition with multiple learning curves along the way. Although I enjoyed all the new challenges being faced as a result of changing industry and launching a fashion brand, I had no idea how exhausting this could be internally. I'm an avid believer in the mantra work hard, play harder. Why??? Because you have to find ways to celebrate your efforts, otherwise it feels like you're always working hard without taking any real time to enjoy yourself.
After 2019, I wanted to celebrate all that I had worked so hard to do and what better way than a trip to the sunny shores of Lagos, Nigeria for Christmas and Accra, Ghana for New Years, for the Year of Return.
By mid December, I was ready to let loose and have fun!!! I hadn't been to Nigeria in 5 years and it was way overdue. Lagos at Christmas is pretty much an adult version of Disneyland. So much to do and sooo many people to see. The food was fantastic and the nightlife as always, was 10/10.
I also used the trip as an opportunity to connect with amazing women and fashion designers on the continent that are doing INCREDIBLE things. By the time I got to Accra I was already shattered and had fought off a cold from excessive enjoyment, combined with team no sleep. But Accra was another phenomenal experience. Ghana’s Year of Return brought people from far and wide including many notable celebrities from across the world to celebrate the rich history, culture and beauty of Africa.
I found myself surrounded by people I had seen on TV or listened to on Spotify for years and realised just how alike we all are. It was magical and such a celebration.
The holiday blues are a real thing and after all the fun I'd had, I was tempted to extend my trip....but I also knew that I had done enough partying and it was time to come home and map out an awesome 2020.
After all the fun Instagram posts and stories (https://www.instagram.com/chierikaopukiri/). I had people genuinely asking whether I felt 'okay' being back. A totally valid question after enjoying 32 degree heat in the African sun for two weeks, returning to rain....and wind at Heathrow airport. ☹
Thankfully, I was still happy to come back. Yes the trip was phenomenal and such a great time. But I was excited to return and continue the LYL journey, putting one step in front of the other to build something that started off in my imagination, refreshed and ready for the new decade.
Happy New Year!!!