Jeje Days are Here

Jeje Days are Here

By Temitope Babaoye

Jeje Days are Here

Recently, I’ve reminisced a lot about my childhood in Ibadan. Those days of freedom and joy spent running or riding my bicycle around greenery. Life felt simpler and, oh, how I loved sitting out at night watching the stars while breathing the clean air.

More than recollecting, I have spent the past year regaining this connection with the earth, nature, and myself. When COVID-19 pulled the breaks on the bustle of regular living, I had no idea it would bring a chance to slow down, to plant my feet firmly on the ground, and to enjoy the chatter and, sometimes, the silence of sitting with loved ones.

I know that your life has changed too, our entire world has. One day, I was going through the routine of morning prayers, family time, and then long work hours immersed in the pursuits I adore: business, art, design, architecture. The next, Nigeria declared a lockdown in my city and, as time slowed, I realized that for years I hadn’t cooked or spent time indoors as much as I liked to.

Little realizations like this have followed and with them have come adjustments. Eating is no longer a to-do item crammed into a lunch break. Now, I pick out fresh ingredients and cook meals, allowing myself to feel the smooth wood of the mortar and pestle in my hands as I grind ingredients.

I have become adept at making my own ginger ale with its dash of honey and lemon. I linger. I smell food and savor each mouthful. Some afternoons, after lunch, I walk laps around the garden, feeling my feet sinking into the soil and enjoying the steadiness of my body on the ground. These are some of the things I have come to think of as Moyo’s Things.

I have been homeschooling my children and enjoying playful moments spent working on a giant jigsaw with them. Of course, work remains a constant part of my life, but I am finding ways to get things done without getting lost in a frenzy of tasks. This hasn’t come easily.

It has taken deliberate acts like planning daily siestas and time spent sitting alone outdoors on my Oko Chair to reflect and reprioritize. These deliberately slow moments of feeling myself live are gifts, pockets of stillness out of which I am relearning a way of being. The jeje way, a slow and deliberate path to equilibrium.

Perhaps, like me, your pace had been quick for years and now you are navigating new ways of being. I want to share a saying from my childhood: Jéjé ni omo náà. The child is gentle. There is no better time than now to revel in the gentle, simple, slow things and to rediscover creativity, nature, and yourself.

Slowness has been my way of being at peace with myself despite the chaos. Of centering myself to the ground, to God, and the things around me in a way that makes me feel complete and balanced.

This slowness is shaping my current expressions through Aga, as it reminds me that this was always the purpose behind Aga: reconnecting to culture, history, and roots—a refined way of doing things. This is what Aga stands for and I want to share these moments with you through our ideas, our products, and, importantly, our stories.

These are some of the things and thoughts that have shaped me in this time and I am grateful for these days slowness and gentility.

Dear friends, jeje days are here and, like me, I hope you lovingly hold on to them even when this season is over. 

Bye for Now | ó däàbò!!

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