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Turning 30 isnt a big deal to me as it seems to most!


Don’t get me wrong, i am happy and thankful to thee almighty that i am alive. I am also thankful for my health, job and my family especially, but still, the big 3.0 doesn’t feel like a milestone. For the last couple of days, when asked how old i am going to be, i respond very quickly as I realized saying my age gets the same response,”but you don’t look it.” I am not really sure what a 30 year old should look like, but every wrinkle on my face, my eye bags, the steady decline in my knowledge of street culture and my need to have at least 6 hours of sleep daily, makes me feel it. “You are only as old as you feel” is a phrase I have used a lot in the past and will probably use again, i have decided that i feel 30 and i am LOVING IT.
As a little girl, I fantasized about doing and achieving lots of things before i hit 30. I dreamed of having a solid relationship and being part of a cool”power” couple like Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry in boomerang, having a massive mansion like Axel Foley’s crash pad in Beverley Hills cop, having Brewster’s millions like Richard Pryor and a roadster like Ferris Bullier. Be half way on my quest for global domination, which is a term I lifted from one of my favourite cartoons “pinky and the brain” and to have been the major star in a Music video, kinda like the kids from fame.
The biggest dream of all was to meet and become friends with MJ (Mary J. Blige)…LOLLLLLLLLLLL!!! LOL, indeed, I am yet to accomplish any of the above, I’ve been single for most of my 20’s as I WASTED a few years lusting after and loving some fool who will not be named (but feel free to guess, because I ain’t telling). I haven’t been able to save up enough for a deposit on my flat so that’s no to the mansion dream also. I am yet to have even a WALK ON part in a video, talk less of being the star.
I am more likely to be found running onto the set in between takes to adjust the clothing on the stars and video chicks.
I am yet to even meet 3T, so MJ and I being on 1st name basis is still very much a dream. Despite failing a pre-puberscent Ari, I am, for the 1st time in my adult life, EXTREMELEY happy! I have good health, exercising more than ever, I am working and never without work despite the recession and most of all, I LOVE ME MORE. Life hasnt always been so kind to me, i have been through a lot of hurt, but what doesnt kill u, they say makes u stronger!
With Mary J Blige and Stevie Wonder singing the soundtrack to my life, the rollercoaster ride i am on, has been brilliant of late.
My Mum (who her sisters and friends say I get my sense of style from), died when i was 13, i remember how badly it hurt, I
also remember trying to be strong as I was the woman of the house now, I had to look after my family as best I could. Even though I had my aunties around to assist, I felt that this job was for me. Whilst homekeeping and feeding the family, my dreams of superstardom became a means of escape as I felt secure and safe in the Bubble that contained my dreams. Being a fantasist helped me escape a lot from my reality and that’s what kept me strong. That’s what kept me going.
My dreams meant and still means a lot to me, as if they are going to come through, I had to make this happen myself. I had no choice, I aint got no parents to help me! My siblings( BLESS THEM ALLL), put up with my hair raising schemes and general bull-shit as I turned into an angry teenager. My bro, Trey, for ages, must have thought I was mental. I’d pick a fight every chance I got with the poor man. My sister, Erusi, bore the brunt of my frustrations as i spiralled out of control, fighting, doing fraudlent activities e.t.c.
.. it dont stop there. Soon, I was going across the country for fights, I remember one incident, I went down to COVENTRY to smash some girl up and my girls and I (you know who you are) got detained in the cells for a few hours by the police. My younger brother, Dafe, was the only one I wasnt mean to or harsh with, he was my mummy’s baby and I couldnt do that.
Looking back, I guess I was just angry that my Mum had been taken away from us soo soon. I am, however, not sorry for my behaviour in the past, I most definitely think I needed to go through my “rebel without a cause” phase to help me get to where I am today. I used to be in a group of 6 naija “it girls” in london, who knew everyone and were on guest list to all the cool parties and clubs. we also managed to date and shag the “cutest and coolest” guys and then cause the BIGGEST dramas at events, we just couldnt help it. Back then, even with no money in my pocket and working at the GAP, I pranced around town like I was an “AL FAYED” who had that ARAB money.
Truth is, I was borrowing money from friends and family to fund a false lifestyle (yes bitches, I have paid you all back). The best thing that ever happened was my gang of “misfits” disbanding after a massive fight in which one of my crew got jumped by some other members of the crew. I did and said absolutely nothing, though the girl who got mashed up was there for me and my family when we lost our big sister. I know this isnt nice but its true. Feeling totally ashmed of myself, i knew that something had to change, I had to change.
I went to Brighton Uni to finish off my studies. There, I found old friends I hadnt seen in a while. With no where to stay, I upped sticks from london and moved in with Yeye (who is in cancun with me as I write this). I shared her tiny room and single bed till I found accomodation. It was in brighton I realized it was ok to be different and that the whole “girl on the scene” was not really me deep down. Besides, being a tomboy, I was so tired of wearing tight fitting skimpy outfits that were staples in the “it girl” wardrobe. I refer to those days now as my “yardie” days.
My sisters ( Gogs, Ufi and Rusi) became and are still my best mates, they encouraged me to reach for the stars which gave me the confidence to embark on this journey I find myself on. I now surround myself with good people, who don’t secretly have personal gain on their agendas. I have friends from all works of life. Though i work in fashion, I dont particularly like hanging with the fashion crowd. I feel as though, they are too detached from my reality and couldnt possibly comprehend what my life would have been like.
My work mates at the moment are the best anyone could hope for ( SARAH W, DENNIS, MEZ, LEANNE, RACH, NATASHA, LAUREN, JAZ and EMMA), you are forever in my heart. Dennis you know how I feel about you my boy. My friend, my confidant. Last night, they threw me a surprise birthday party at PUNK! I couldnt believe it! It’s such an expensive venue and I am truly grateful. Prior to that, I had not had a party since I was 10 years old and even then, that ended in tears as someone nicked my pink frilly number from the washing line the day after my party 🙁
My boss and mentor, Sarah, continues to believe in me and allow me to express myself in various ways. She took a chance on me and I am eternally indebted to her for helping mould me into the woman I have become( lol..crikey, this is the 1st time I have reffered to myself as a woman). My friend, Catherine, has also been there for me.  She is my sister from another mother, and has always been a source of inspiration to me. She has also infected me with the travelling bug and over the last few years, I have been making great use of the sky.
My buddies from stylepantry.com are my kindred spirits, who like me arent afraid to push boundaries. They are a breath of fresh air, I would just like to say, thanks.
Chal, my girl, you know how much you mean to me. You have held my hand like a big sister for a while. I appreciate it.
So as my birthday looms, I wanted to say thank you to everyone I have LOVED, will LOVE and and those who LOVE me.
As I sit in HOOTERS doing body shots with some kids on spring break, looking at them having a great time and not being able to handle their drinks, makes me thankful I have been through that. Like Mary J said, “I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS” so from the bottom of my heart, to all my friends who really know me for me (Omo, Jako, Wino, Coniegal, Labzy, Hilda, Dami O, Z, Dennis, Fi, Alero Doyle, Jakpa, Ewon, Slyvia O, Ngz, Ojemzy, Freddie, Ange, Manu, Ese A,), thanks for being there for me. Here’s to 30 more years of friendship.
To my family, U R MY  HEART BEAT! I love you.


  1. veronica Ebie-Odeka March 11, 2009 Reply

    I was in tears, laughter, and a host of emotions as i read this blog..all ican say is im in AWE.. your words pour’d forth raw truths and im happy to know you as a person:)

    God bless 🙂 your truly an inspiration to many of us:)

  2. zed eye March 11, 2009 Reply

    awww ari, nicelly said sis, cried abit, cos i know were ur coming from, like u said,more gracefulllll days to come in the name of our lord amem,
    hope ur having a blast in cancooon:-) wish i could make it,(credit crunch)but i owe u some niger feast wen u get back
    take care and see u soon

  3. olu March 11, 2009 Reply

    wao!!!! what a journey the best in life are yet to come for u. keep been u we all love you. Happy birthday!

    Lady O

  4. oreke March 12, 2009 Reply

    Beautiful story, beautiful writing – amazing person.x

  5. Jakpa Ejiro March 12, 2009 Reply

    Babe, I’ve told u to write a book!!
    It was a funny read!
    It was an interesting read.
    It was a captivating read. BUT most of all
    It was a very moving read.. Almost moved me to tears but i restrained myself cos I’m in class!! lol!

    Look your dreams can still be realised!! Its never to late!! Its in your hands..
    Who knows u may write the book and it could fall in the hands on MJ or 3T (in like 10 year’s time) and you’ll meet them!!!

    But really… to another many many many years of friendship!!
    I believe in you… You can do it!! C how far you’ve come..
    Love u loads!!!

  6. Tolu March 12, 2009 Reply

    well amongst the tears and laughter Ari, I have to say, what I have thught from the day you gave me the opportunity to work in the world, I so much admire, you are a formidable strong, talented woman, Your raw honesty here has shown that there are bigger and better things in wait for you by Gods grace. I will count myself very lucky if I attain a quarter of what u ave achieved in your life. Your an inspiration girl!

    Be blessed xxx

  7. kemi March 12, 2009 Reply

    i don’t know you but i love how you were able to write your journey of life so far. you have accepted your past and focus on your bright future. keep doing your thing girl. i think you should publish this because alot of young girls can hear your story.

  8. Doreen March 12, 2009 Reply

    Arieta i dont know how i came across this (probably on your wall) But i am so touched and tears are welling up in my eyes…This a wonderful post and its wonderful to be able to talk about painful topics…a true sign of healing…and peace…God bless you sweetheart and have a wonderful birthday!

    Doreen Caven
    www. lovecranberry.com

  9. A. O. March 12, 2009 Reply

    I’ve always admired you from afar…you’re definitely my secret role model. Your blog almost made me cry. You are a SOLDIER and for that I salute you. I thought I’ve had the worst experiences in life (and I am only in my early 20s) but you have given me the courage to hold on tight and face the battles that are yet to come. You will definitely achieve great things and people like me would be saying, “yes, we knew she would make it.” If I could give you one thing for your birthday, it will be a day with MJB, who by the way I think you look so much alike, only you are much better. Anyways, Happy 30th Arieta!! Just keep believing in yourself and I am sure you will definitely achieve your dreams. I LOVE YOU….God Bless you!! I am sure your parents are watching down on you from heaven.

  10. Erhwon March 17, 2009 Reply

    I take my hat off to you girl. You i understand most of what you’ve written here. Congratulations! You’re 30 and you’ve achieved in that short time what alot of people will not achieve in a life time. You know what i mean, and sincerely like i told you a while back i still do see you up there. Keep doing what you love to do and remain blessed. Lots of love.

  11. :)_MamaD December 9, 2009 Reply

    Hey Ari,
    I just found your posting while googling stuff.

    I love you loads and I hope you behaved yourself at the Consulate today and that everything went well.

    You write beautifully.

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