I’m working on a couple of lists at the moment -and was looking for images of the uber elegant, Yvonne Nduom for my lists of the most stylish women of Ghanaian origin 2011 (the list is soo long and its driving me crazy and I might not upload it at all) when I stumbled across the following photographs of Mrs Yvonne Nduom via her face book page. Yep you’ve guessed it -were -Facebook friends!
Business woman, she is a co-founder of the Coconut Grove Hotel chain and maybe, a future first lady of Ghana -if her husband, Dr.Papa Kwesi Nduom has anything to do with it. Honestly, I know nothing of her politics (I’m non-partisan with regards to Ghanaian politic -I just want a government that governs -if you know what I mean) but I was struck by the first photograph which shows Mrs Yvonne Nduom sitting at her immaculate desk.
Many have commented over the years about what appears to be my elegant life, but the truth is….-I’m not elegant at all -if it appears that way -its truly God’s grace. I’m lazy and scruffy and if you were to see my desk right now -you would be incredibly disappointed. Packed to the rafters with magazines, tear sheets, Christmas this-and-that, my Jojo bits-and-bobs, loads of photographs of the aforementioned little man, my LP No9 perfume by Penhaligan’s (I don’t know what its doing there as I’ve had it for far too long to wear it), a couple of Kate Burki soy candles (the tuberose one is burning away -lovely..) a M&S’s ginger, lemon & ginseng herbal tea in my (presently) favourite ‘blue & white’ cup and saucer, a large white Noritake bowl I bought from one of those must-pop-into second-hand shops in ‘very alive’ Golders Green. Its packed full of fruits (some good, some died) and a lovely retro vase full of fresh non-smelling pink roses from Sainsbury’s …Nope I’m not elegant but I aspire to be -and I guess that’s why I gravitate towards the elegant…
The fresh flowers, neat folders (just seen), collection of Ghana flags, a selection of family photographs on a somewhat mature style table -but a nice one all the same -with a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes (or as we fashion gals like to call them -a pair of Ferragamos) just seen -smacks of real elegance to me.. The stark white interiors, cool floor tiles and as I look closer at the table -it appears to have been commissioned and made just for her -thus the whole office comes together -in a comfortable, functional, sleek but not showy -way…fabulous.
The truth is a desk can tell you a lot about an individual (goodness only knows what my one says about me) -and in a country full of faux plastic flowers and what I can only describe as ‘Middle Eastern plates and crockery’ -Mrs Yvonne Nduom’s love of fresh seasonal flowers and real crockery -just feast your eyes the lovely ‘blue & white plate she uses to display her homemade banana nut cake… are real indicators of her inner elegant workings.
So…, who said there’s no such thing as lifestyle in Africa? I think they are too quick to judge -and forget that even though we Ghanaians don’t shout and boast about it, we like nice things and are quietly enjoying them…. The following are Yvonne Nduom’s own words and photographs -and come via her Facebook page. Enjoy..x
Yvonne Nduom's elegant life….
Yvonne Nduom -The nourishment of our bodies…
After the 8 hours or so fast while sleeping the body needs nourishment to be energized for the day's activities. Thanks should be given to our farmers for bringing us all the good stuff for the nourishment of our bodies.
Yvonne Nduom -Elmina
The amazing beautiful, beautiful morning sun breaking out of the clouds at Elmina. I Woke up at 6:00am to an amazing beautiful, beautiful morning sun breaking out of the clouds at Elmina. There is nothing like the rising sun at the beach. It always makes me want to sing and extol God Almighty, which I do in my not so nice voice (my dear husband refers to my singing as poetry recital) as I slowly jog along the beach. I thank you Lord for such a beautiful morning, for being able to jog (20 minutes a mile) for the breakfast I am looking forward to, for the joy of yesterday and the anticipation of total rest tomorrow, for my loving family and the friends I hold dear to my heart. I thank all of you dear readers for your kind and thoughtful comments. May God bless you all abundantly!
Yvonne Nduom -Exercise…“I do not go to the gym, I just walk around my neighbourhood"……
Discipline is properly defined as doing something you really do not want to do, but you do it anyway because it is a function of your job, it is for the good of your community or it provides benefits for yourself.
Exercise for me is like that. If I really had my way I would snuggle in bed with a good book for one hour shower and get myself ready for work. However, I get up most often at 5am and go exercise for about an hour simply because my body needs it. I do not go to the gym, I just walk around my neighbourhood.
The expert consensus is that walking, briskly is one of the best ways to get your heart beat up. Walk for 30 minutes. All you need is a pair of good walking shoes and wear whatever clothes you feel comfortable in and just walk. If you do not have a safe area to walk, put good dancing music on and dance anywhere you can in your house. You could dance while watching the news for thirty minutes. You could also use hand weights while dancing. If you do not have weights fill two small water bottles with sand. I try to walk at least 45 minutes a day.
You do really feel good after exercising. You work all your body parts including your mind. Walking with a friend or spouse is fantastic, because the time passes away without notice. 30 minutes feel like 15 minutes.
Yvonne Nduom -Banana Nut Cake Time….
Just made banana nut cake! A slice goes well with morning or afternoon tea, preferably green tea with a little honey. I love my tea with a little soy milk. 4 medium size bananas mashed with fork 1 cup regular flour (whole wheat would be better) 1 egg 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup roughly ground walnuts or almonds. I have'nt tried it with groundnuts nor cashews- This could be good! Mix all ingredients by hand. No machine work here -it is excellent exercise for beautiful biceps. Pour mixture into thoroughly oiled and floured loaf pan or any good baking pan. I couldn't find my loaf pan, so I used a bundt pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees or at # 4 dial for 50 minutes or until it is done. Remove from pan and let it cool. Enjoy!!
Yvonne Nduom -Faith…“Have a restful and joyful Sunday”
"One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters, will himself be watered".Prov. 11:24 & 25
My husband was the chairman for the St. Peter The Rock Parish Church annual Harvest this morning, I accompanied him dutifully. It is so touching to see people bring so many things to be sold to raise funds for their Parish Church. I ended up with the statue of the Blessed Mary. I am delighted with it.
This is my husband's third harvest in two months. Today’s quote was "give and it shall be given to you" Luke 6:38 I have come to believe that it is only in giving that we receive in abundance. "Ketewaa biaa nsua." Start with your closet, weed out anything you have not worn in two years and donate to any one of the following institutions. Osu Children's Home, Pantang, Ankaful and Asylum Down Mental Hospitals, or any parish Church for distribution to the needy. You can also give of your time, to visit the lonely and the sick. Have a restful and joyful Sunday.
The Hail Mary is my prayer of choice. I believe that Mother Mary can intercede for us, whenever we find ourselves in need of intercession. I pray the Hail Mary before I travel, at the hospital, at work, when I can't sleep and in many other difficult situations. She has never failed me.
Yvonne Nduom -"Grow what you eat, eat what you grow"...
Grow what you eat, eat what you grow! This is 3 week old corn from my backyard garden. Can't wait for harvest time!
Yvonne Nduom -Aunty Theresa's Atwemo - Also known as Diamond Cookies
Recipe No. 14 - Aunty Theresa's Atwemo - Also known as Diamond Cookies
I moved to Milwaukee in September 1977 to join my husband. Until then, I had never met his maternal Aunt who lived there, her wonderful husband or her children. Aunty Theresa and her family became my own, not in-laws. She taught me how to cook delicious foods. A Fusion of Nigerian and Ghanaian dishes. Never did I think I would enjoy hot gari with okro, alefa leaves and salted cod sauce. She cultivated the leaves in her backyard. But the one thing I cherish the most is her Atwemo. They are simply amazing, especially in the morning with a cup of tea.
Aunty Theresa, thanks a lot for making my life wonderful during my ten long years in Milwaukee. I am sharing your special Atwemo aka Diamond Cookies with others. May God continue to bless you abundantly.
Atwemo Diamond Cookies
8 large eggs
1 and 1/2 or 12 oz evaporated milk
2 and 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sticks margarine or 1 cup butter
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Mix salt nutmeg flour and margarine
Mix sugar eggs milk almond and vanilla. Pour into dry mix and mix until nice and smooth. Roll flat about a quarter of an inch thick and cut into diamond shapes, deep fry until deep golden brown.
Yvonne Nduom -Who is the "weaker sex" in Africa?
***For more information about the Coconut Grove Hotel Group visit: http://www.coconutgrovehotels.com.gh/