What if I told you my name is not Joan Akob? What if I told you this blog was all a façade and I’m just some sad old lady in the middle of an unnamed island, just catfishing people? Okay, abit extreme 😂. But not far from the truth either. Before I dive into the gist of my little online secret, let me just take a moment to celebrate the blog turning 1 since I first clicked “Published”💐.
It’s an anniversary everybody 🙌. Wow guys, I’m so excited! God has been involved in every aspect of The Curly Christian Girl from the get go. In the beginning, I prayed for this blog and every single subscriber. I said ” God please may every post I write edify the reader, may every post I write bring glory to you, may my blog not just be like any other blog, but may it carry your grace. And that grace has certainly shone threw. I did not expect to reach over 400 subscribers in less than a year. I still can’t believe it. I don’t give myself any credit cause I know it’s only by God’s unmerited grace. Proceeds to sing “Baba I thank you, Oluwa na God ooo”. So to celebrate I’ll love to do a giveaway, but I’m not sure what to give away yet. Please let me know what you guys will like the giveaway to be. All ideas are welcomed 🙌.
Just to be extra, every celebrant for any occasion must have an outfit to match the occasion, so here I am in a stunning black dress by Cameroonian designer @BrianShiraz. P.s, I was honoured to do a photo shoot last month for his Africa Fashion Week, New York Catalogue with award winning photographer, @KudzaiKing! And I CANNOT wait to share his stunning designs with you all, once I get the go ahead. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen this black dress but abeg just pretend you’re seeing it for the first time 😂.
Brief Life Update
So recently God has been shifting the relationships in my life. With friends, family and etcs. I was not ready for the separation but God has been removing people from my life, that are either a negative influence, or a hindrance to my progress. And it has been painful, but I’m grateful because it’s for my own good.
My job has been amazing and I legit cried when I got my first pay check. I was like God, you really know how to embarrass 😭! Education was worth it y’all!!!! I’m beyond grateful to be where I am right now. One day I will share my story, but my life has just been one giant miracle after the other. Proceeds to sing “Olowo gbogboro is turning things arounddddd!”.
Let’s Dive Into The Gist
#Gulps. So I’ve spoken about this briefly but not in detail on the blog. I took a gap year after highschool in 2011 and volunteered at a Christian NGO called ” Focus on the Family “. At this point in my life I had such a passion for writing and often used my break time to write in my journal. Until I discovered the world of blogging! Halleluyah! I wanted to have an online presence, but I did not want to use my real name. At the time I thought it was a smart idea to be like this secret blogger with no trace to who I am whatsoever. I wanted the freedom to write what I want, without my name being splattered all over the internet. I also didn’t want my friends and family to know about my online affairs. It was to be my secret and my secret alone! And before you create a blog with blogspot, you need a google account. And so here began the creation of my second image ladies and gentlemen. I created an account with the name “Thandi Lemana“.
Thandi was short for Thandeka, which was a Zulu name given to me in highschool. Then I just made up Lemana 😂. And that’s how I created my first blog. Thandi Lemana was my online name. The way I was so clueless about blogging fam😂. I changed my blog name probably 10 times. I had names like ” The Banana Blog” and “Let there be Hair!”. But I didn’t care much what people thought because it wasn’t my real name anyway and I never really shared my photos on that blog. My posts where also signed by Thandi, as the author. So it was all great! Until things started blowing up!
First of all, I finally got the hang of blogging and settled on ” The Curly Christian Girl” as my blog name. Then I created a Twitter account, Facebook page and Google plus account. I noticed a massive spike in my subscribers and followers across all social media accounts in a space of 3 years. It was so unexpected because after all, this wasn’t supposed to be “serious”. In the space of 3 years, my blog had 100,000 views, my Google Plus page had 2 Million views, my twitter was at 5000 followers and my Facebook page was at 900 followers. THE SHOCK! THE HORROR 😭.
Imagine being so well established online but under a fake name. Every account of mine was under that name. I decided to change my usernames to Joan Akob, but every notification was still being sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Infact till this day, my Google app store is under that account as well as my Google+ and twitter. Imagine? So I learnt my lesson 😔. Nothing remains hidden forever. I developed such a desire to actually do things right, and start afresh from an honest foundation. Which is why I deleted the blog and recreated this new one under my true names and email. And now my blog is known by all my friends and family! It’s so liberating! I don’t know what my 16year old self was thinking keeping a blog a secret 😂. It was actually a Christian blog too, with more posts on natural hair. So it wasn’t like I was posting anything dodgy. I just wanted to be under cover😂. Creepy right?
- The pro of being undercover was that I was able to make all my blogging mistakes and learn from them, without too much pressure on the kind of impression I’m making – because my name was not being put out there.
- The second pro was that I was able to build a good online profile. So when I had to create this new blog, I did not have to start from scratch on Twitter/Facebook page.
- The biggest con was having to start afresh, after experiencing much success with my first blog. But I have no regrets with starting this new blog! Perhaps God was training me for the real deal, which is “The Curly Christian Girl” you read today.
So that’s the gist fam! Thank God for second chances right? I laugh every time I think of Thandi Lemana. If you google the name I’m pretty sure it’s still making some waves online 😂. I love y’all and I’m soooo looking forward to another year of blogging on The Curly Christian Girl. Thanks for an amazing first year!
💞 Joan Awum Akob