Juice Cleanse in Puerto Rico

Soak up some Caribbean Sea!
Soak up some Caribbean Sea!

Peace FAMILY!!!

We have two Juice Cleansing experiences!!  A Last minute one for anyone who can get here to PR by May 24 – 30!! For YOU…ONLY $500!!  CALL ME if you want to get in on this one!!

The next one is in July!  Hotter than July!  Yes! Summer Time!  Its here! Come on down and spend some time with me on a one week Power Juice Cleanse!  Summer Special…ONLY $700

Skai Juice has been hosting affordable wellness vacays for over 6 years while living in Puerto Rico. She is a nutritional coach and Vegan and Raw Food Chef. Her wellness retreats are created for folks who are open to checking out Puerto Rico from the islander’s perspective. Her home comfortably houses up to 6 retreat guests and is located right in the heart of the pueblo of Luquillo, PR…right around the corner from world famous Luquillo Beach. While hanging at Casa del Sol you will hear the morning sounds of Roosters, and at different times of the day you will hear the occasional Salsa, Bachata or Reggaeton blaring from a car driving by. Its all part of the culture here.

Skai Juice will guide the group before arriving to Puerto Rico on a transition diet so that we can jump right into juicing for the entire time of the trip. Having the support of several people around you doing the same thing makes it easier. We will be juicing greens, fruits, coconut water, and if necessary Green Smoothies will be added if anyone requires more bulk. Meanwhile we will be going to yoga classes in the morning on the beach and hiking in the rainforest and river and beach swimming. The evenings can be for relaxing at La Pared along the beach, watching fun movies in the house…or even going out to find some good Salsa dancing….that just depends on everyone’s energy level.

Daily Schedule:

  • Juicing all day…mixing it up between Fruit Juices, Green Juices, Coconut Water….and sometimes Green Smoothies
  • Yoga in the AM on the beach…no yoga mat required…just a beach towel
  • Hiking
  • Beaching and River Swimming
  • If you want to do some optional excursions like going to Old San Juan, Loiza…etc…let me know…we will build this into your trip.

The retreat center is actually our humble 5 bedroom house: Casa del Sol in Luquillo, PR…We have been hosting guests for years and have all the common amenities to make one feel comfortable. We do not have air-conditioning, but each room has regular box fans…that keep everyone cool. The house is not typically hot even in the summer unless it’s just one of those days when the seabreeze is not blowing. In that case we take it to the hills. We have a total of 5 bedrooms and two bathrooms which are shared by all.

Fly into Luis Munoz Marin Airport San Juan International (SJU)
Arrive on Sunday, July 26th before 2pm
Depart on Saturday, Aug 1st before 2pm

You must book your shuttle through Luquillo Taxi and Tours at http://www.luquillotaxi.com…the usual rate is $75 per trip and if everyone arrives around the same time you can all split that.

Interested…contact me right away…only space for 5 people!!

Talk to you soon!

Skai Juice
Helping You Create Your Healthy and Abundant Life!


Dr Laila Afrika and other stuff

Happy Sunday!

Peace and Love and all that is good and yummy. I just wanted to let you know a few things on the press….

Dr Laila Afrika and his wife, Dr Stevenson will be in Puerto Rico this January and has contacted me to put the word out that they will be offering certifications in Holistic Health. They have a few different programs that they are offering to small groups intererested between Jan 5 and Jan 12. If you are interested in coming down to PR to participate in this awesome education then please message me. I will help to arrange the program and accomodations. Think quick! If you have any questions…feel free to ask.

Next thing, I wanted to share is my amazingly cool teespring campaign…the ALKALIZE Tee! Its time to bring awareness to Acidic diets, Acidic Relationships, and most of all Acidic Mentalities. You can check it out and order one here!! Hurry they are only available for ONE WEEK!

Also, the Wake Up and Live Retreat is being pushed back to April…for folks interested in coming still. The Wake Up and Live Retreat is an extended program…between 14 days and one month where you can have the opportunity to stay in Puerto Rico while I pamper you with a healing diet catered to your needs, a wellness regimen filled with yoga and hiking and time with a personal fitness trainer, and free time for you to reflect about creating your amazing life. Sometimes you need to unplug from it all. Many people showed interest however we believe that the dates were too soon. Let us know your intentions asap! So we have opened February up for smaller retreats. Check out the Paradise Wellness Website for more info! Please mention this 15% discount…extended to all retreats through MARCH 31st! http://www.paradisewellnesspr.com

MONEY, HONEY! We are looking for Youth Group Coordinators to recruit student groups to bring to our farm here in Puerto Rico. Yes, we are paying a stipend, however you must be able to have a group of students to gather together. In other words, you must be a parent or teacher that works in the schools or something of that nature. For more info, please contact Joany Carrasco of the Luquillo Farm Sanctuary. youthjourneypr@gmail.com

Check out this tornado sipping up some Rainbow!


Well, I hope you are all having a deliciously warm and healthy Sunday. I love you all! Love is the true healing for all mankind. Let me know how I can serve you!
Peace and Love!

Skai Juice
Helping You Create Your Healthy and Abundant Life!

Energy Exchange Opportunity in Puerto Rico

Hey You!  We are looking for someone amazing who would like to help us in our home in Luquillo, Puerto Rico from one to three months.  The work exchange opportunity is for housekeeping, cleaning, laundry and tutoring our 6 yr old son. For you, a nice simple bedroom, shared bathroom, wifi, Vegan meals and freedom to explore Puerto Rico.

We need someone who is passionate about cleaning…like you not only have to be able to do it…but you are really good at it. We live busy humble lives and need the help.  We consider it an exchange because it is a perfect opportunity for an individual who needs to save some loot…not having to pay any rent, while helping us with our needs.

Our house is a 5 bedroom casita right in the pueblo of Luquillo, PR. You can walk to the beach easily in 60 sec…right around the corner. There are restaurants in the area, and you can walk to Walgreens and the Grocery Store in about 10 mins….not too far.  Ideally, this position is for someone who works online part time which means that you have some money to do things, get around, some snacks, doesnt drink or smoke at all, loves wild children, is conscious about life and the world we live in…that way we can have some amazing conversations and is just pleasant in the right way.

The position is opening up again for October so let us know asap. You would need to cover your expenses to get here.  We can put you in touch with those who have helped us before as well.  Let me know asap.

And pass the word.  We know there is someone amazing our there willing to exchange with us!  Thanks Skai

Have them email me at:  skaijuicepr@gmail.com

With picture, phone, resume, and at least 3 references

Somethings I think you should know…


I admit it… I LIKE trivia, though it serves no purpose for me since I can never remember any to bring up in conversation. But still, it is fun, so I’ve created this list of amazing trivia that I found to be absolutely riveting.


1. Snails can sleep up to 3 years.

Not so amazing actually since I managed to sleep thru 6 years of Jr. High and high school.  And when you think about it, what do snails have to do all their lives?  Sure, they leave great slime trails and make excellent targets for salt shakers and little boys, but other than that there’s not much more to do but sleep after an exhausting run across a sidewalk.


2. American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first-class.

Until I read this, I was convinced that there was an olive missing from my salad, yet no one would believe me. Now I am vindicated! I am now searching for proof that the airlines have taken one peanut from each bag… I’ll keep you posted.


3. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.

After reading this, I realized that I know of many people with the same problem! But that’s an article about politicians I’m working on. For me, it’s usually that my eyes are bigger than my stomach…


4. Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.

Well, I’d like to see anyone keep this up long enough to actually lose 150 calories.  Now that I think about it, I DON’T want to see…


5. Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn’t wear pants.

This is completely understandable… I mean, who wants to look at a duck with no pants on?  Besides, I understand that it is the law for all birds to wear pants in the city limits of Finland.


6. If you pass gas consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.

I tried to prove or disprove this, but two things stopped me … I couldn’t stand to look at a bowl of chili after the third day, and my husband threatened to leave me … although it was kinda hard to tell what he was really saying with that gas mask on.


7. In ancient Egypt, priests plucked EVERY hair from their bodies, including their eyebrows and eyelashes.

Now, this piece of trivia leaves ALOT to the imagination, which is probably a good thing. BUT, I would like to point out, you’d have to be pretty limber to get some on those hairs… nuff said.


8. The ant always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

I know this trivia fact isn’t true ’cause I’ve gone drinking with my ants several times and I’ve watched them fall over in several different directions… usually they tend to fall on my uncles though.


9. The average human eats eight spiders in their lifetime at night.

I don’t know about this fact … I’ve seen several spiders at night and never once felt compelled to eat one. Though I hear that spider is tasty if barbequed correctly.


10. And now for our final fun trivia fact:

Some lions mate over 50 times a day… No wonder the females do all the work.


Hope you enjoyed these fun facts!

Skai Juice



Win a Trip to Puerto Rico!
Win a Trip to Puerto Rico!



We have decided to up the gogofactor by offering another incentive to encourage folks to support our project.

All those who sponsor $100 or more will go into a pool at the end of the campaign.  We will draw one lucky winner to receive:

***If we meet our goal of $20,000: The winner will receive a TRIP TO PUERTO RICO, including Airfare from Miami for two people, Accommodations for three nights, an Island Tour, and Dinner by Chef Skai.

***If we meet at least 75% of our goal:  The winner will receive a TRIP TO PUERTO RICO, including Accommodations for 3 nights, an island tour, and Dinner by Chef Skai. Does not include airfare.

***If we meet at least 50% of our goal: The winner will receive a TRIP TO PUERTO RICO, including Accommodations for 2 nights, an island tour, and Dinner by Chef Skai. Does not include airfare.

Take advantage of this huge incentive!!  This helps us!  Thanks for EVERYTHING!!

(And for those of you who already live in PR, you can gift your prize to a friend of family member to come down and visit you!)

No Blackout Dates. Other rules may apply.  Check out the campaign HERE!

Release the Grease 3: The Raw Treatment

Peace and Love Friends!

Happy Weekend! Hopefully you all are having a fun time this weekend…for some reason it seems like this is the pivotal point where summer ends…BOO! Well, we still have some warm days ahead…thankfully. Any who, a couple things I need to briefly mention to you…you know how I am:

After having two successful Juice cleanses, Release the Grease, our Wellness Center members want to continue the mission with a 30 day Raw Food Challenge…starting THIS TUESDAY! I know right! Hey, you gotta be spontaneous here. Jump to it. So if you are interested in participating, I would like you to join this new list: release the grease 3: the raw treatment … where I will be sending out daily emails with tips, recipes, and the protocol on how to eat a raw food diet for 30 days successfully and without going into debt. The coolness about this is that: A) You don’t have to commit to 30 days…that may be too intense for most folks…but committing to as many days as you can is AWESOME! B)If you are not ready for this Tuesday, you can jump in at any time you like during the month of September and get lots of awesome information…ALL FREE!

Now, if you are really serious about participating and feel that you may need more help and resources than just a simple (fabulous) email from moi, you may want to consider joining our Online Wellness Center, hosted as a private group on FB. This forum is setup as a destination to: communicate with others for support, advice, questions and anything else; and to browse our ridiculous library, my collection, of books and videos. Yes, Im sharing almost all of my raw food, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, and fitness info to the members of this amazing group and you can partake in the sharing by joining Our Wellness Center. The cost to join TODAY is only $20, which has been discounted by 30%…however come Sept 1, tomorrow, we jump back up. So HOP on it! The Value is AMAZING! To join: email me -> ecorican@gmail.com

So, hope to see you involved in the healing…we are going to call this next cleanse: RELEASE THE GREASE 3: The Raw Treatment…I just made that up! YAY!

Have fun and be safe this weekend….Im gonna get prepared for the cleanse and make sure you guys are ready too!


Love and Peace,
Skai Juice

Skai Juice
Skai Juice guides you on the next RELEASE THE GREASE program

Letter to the Editor of The Shuttle, Weaver’s Way Co-Op, Philadelphia

Dear Editor of the Shuttle newsletter:

This is in response to the article written by Norman Weiss (Suggestions), Weaver’s Way Co-op (Phila., PA) purchasing manager, in the Aug addition of The Shuttle (pg 19)?   Quite an interesting read. I was all in except for his disturbing answer to Devon’s question. For some reason, the energy that the first part of the article was written was absolutely opposite the last part.  Granted Weaver’s Way is a business and when it comes to making business decisions…the bottom dollar always wins when it comes to making conscious choices about the health and welfare of our community and the earth in general. I just thought that his answer to her was a bit harsh…and I could even read into it more deeply to say…that the entire reason of creating a community based food co-operative was just flushed down the toilet with his answer.  Let me dig deeper:

Norman says: “Stop persecuting GMO items.” Why? How are we going to change the system if we don’t stand up for what is absolutely wrong on all fronts.  Why are other (entire) countries burning down crops of GMO foods and refusing GMO food donations even though most of their people are hungry?  There is something to be said of the little staffer girl in a small community who speaks up for the entire world. (Give her a raise!)

Norman says: “We are and inclusive, tolerant and diverse organization that welcomes all God’s children.” <<< Is Weaver’s Way a church?  And if this is the sentiment of all of God’s children…then recognize that GMO foods are not from God.  So I could argue that they are not of God’s children but of Man’s children…or like some people like to call GMO…the Devil…which is far worst.

Norman says: “We have to have some white sugar or the shoppers will rebel.”  <<< No they won’t! Most folks know where to get cheap GMO white sugar…Acme, Shop Rite and any other corporate conglomerate that doesn’t care about the people, just their bottom line.  Like was mentioned in the article, Weaver’s Way doesn’t have the resources to do a full on investigation of all the products it sells, however the mission of Weaver’s Way clearly states that it strives to educate its members and community about consumer issues and the cooperative movement. Not to mention that the mission also states that WW is committed to the Environment…in these words: We work to sustain a healthy planet, promote environmentally sound products and practices, encourage and support local and organic farming, and try to act with environmental consciousness in all our endeavors.   Im sure the members will be grateful to know that their co-op supports the earth rather than the profit.

Norman further states: “I don’t know of a non-GMO sugar-beet-cheap white sugar we can get.”  Um…is this the purchasing manager speaking here?  There are plenty of non GMO sugars out here: Agave, Coconut Nectar, Stevia, etc…But if someone wants cheap white sugar, there are other places to go….Shop Rite.  Here is where education is needed…folks need to really stop buying it altogether.

Oh yeah, and this is the part that inspired me to write this. Norman finally ends his answer to Devon about her post on the GMO Hellman’s Mayonnaise (and white sugar) that Weaver’s Way sells:

“Please remember that exploitation of the Earth and its people is what helped make this country great and allows us in the middle class (read: privileged) to enjoy a lifestyle we’ve all come to cherish.” <<< When in history does the exploitation of people and its lands benefit a country? Thoughts come to my mind: Slavery, “Third” World Debt, China, Indentured Servitude, Walmart…you get it! Someone saying that exploitation is what gives us this comfortable cushy life where we can buy Hellman’s GMO Mayonnaise and Cheap GMO white sugar if we choose to is great and something to cherish is…all I can think of…Scary!

So how did this article get passed the Editor? Doesn’t Norman’s answer to Devon come as a red flag to the integrity of the organization? To the community?  To others (non-middle class)? To members and non-members who appreciate the fact that this awesome organization offers something more? Hey! I’m not interested in Norman’s head on a platter… but I am just responding to the contradictions that his answer implies to the mission of the entire organization. Im just wondering why, when a simple and profound statement is brought up to the purchasing manager of a small (yet revolutionary) organization answers like this are acceptable…and printed. Plain and simple, Norman’s answer was absolutely horrible! I hope this letter connects to the members and inspires to raise awareness not about the fact that Weaver’s Way sells Hellman’s and other GMO brands (well, yes, that too), but to realize that this is the type of organization that is pivotal in creating change in this society and to use these types of opportunities to educate and advocate for our community, our environment and our world in general. Hopefully something wonderful can come out of this!

Yours truly,

Skai Juice

Beans! Beans! They’re good for your heart!

Beans Beans Beans!
There are 100s of Beans!

A Healthy Way to Cook Beans


Who doesn’t love beans?  If you don’t, then where are you from?  Mars…for real!  Bean are such the comfort food.  Let me be honest here, beans are one of the main reasons I cant fully commit to the Raw Foods diet.  That is how much I love them.  And being a vegetarian for over 25 years, beans are a true staple in my home.  I buy beans all the time.  Even when I have stacks of them at home….you never know…a hurricane can come through or something.  Beans to me is REAL FOOD!  Thing is do folks really know how to prepare them right? Not all the time.  It really depends on where you are at the time.

Personally, I prefer bean made latina-style.  I like my beans with onions, garlic, tomato sauce and some pumpkin in it.  And the cool thing about it is….I can do this with ANY bean.  Any Bean!  Did I say ANY Bean…yep, and peas too!  The way folks make them in the southern parts of the US…is ok.  Not my preference.  Not really into sweetened beans….but they get a pass.  My grandmother used to cook her beans in a pressure cooker which shortened the time that it would take from those suckers to get soft.  I promise myself to get one soon…because I think that cooking dried beans is really energy consuming, which is why using can beans is sometimes what I do to cut cook time.


Don’t forget to read to the end…I have included a Bean recipes for you!


Cooking beans
Cooking Beans requires the right pot!

Have you heard of a Bean Pot?

A bean pot is a variation on the crock pot or slow cooker, but it is not electric. It is usually a ceramic pot intended for slow cooking, and is particularly suited for bean cookery. Bean pots are really nothing new. In fact, colonial women would bring crockery pots of beans to the local baker’s to be baked slowly in his oven. You can cook beans by this old-fashioned, money-saving method using a modern bean pot.

How Does It Work?

Using a bean pot is very simple. For beans for dinner on Friday night, begin on Thursday evening by putting dried beans into your pot and covering them with water, at least 2 inches above the beans. In the morning, pour off this soaking water, cover the beans with fresh water (again about 2 inches above the beans), and add any flavorings you like (onion, garlic, herbs, ham hock, etc.). Don’t add salt or anything acidic – these ingredients will prevent the beans from becoming tender. Cover the bean pot and place it in a cold oven, turn the oven to 300 degrees, and leave the beans all day. The design of the pot prevents burning, but you may need to add more water. Check on the beans periodically to be sure they are not drying out.

Another option is to bring the soaked, flavored beans to a boil on the stovetop, then pour the hot mixture into the bean pot, cover, and place in a preheated oven.

You can cook canned beans in your bean pot, too – more on that below.

What Are the Advantages of Using a Bean Pot?

-Beans are very healthy, full of fiber and nutrients such as protein, folate, and magnesium. Having a bean pot will encourage and enable you to prepare more of this healthful food.

-Dried beans are much cheaper than canned beans.

-Dried beans are generally healthier than canned beans. Canned beans often contain large amounts of sodium, and consumers are concerned about chemicals in canned foods, particularly BPA. BPA is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt hormonal balance, and is often used in the lining of food cans. BPA has even been implicated in contributing to obesity. As noted above, you can cook canned beans in your bean pot, and if you prefer to do this, consider BPA-free canned beans such as those made by Eden Foods. There are also low-sodium canned beans available.

-Slow-cooking beans at a low temperature makes them more digestible, breaking down the starches and sugars thoroughly.

Bean pots are an old idea that is quite applicable to today. Beans are inexpensive, readily available, and versatile. A bean pot can help you to take advantage of this little nutritional treasure.


PUERTO RICAN BEANS:  Vegan Habichuelas Guisada

Puerto Rican Stewed Beans
Puerto Rican Stewed Beans

1 can Pinto beans or 2 cups of cooked dried Pintos (soaked and softened)

2 C Water (or Vegetable Stock)

5 tbsp of fresh sofrito (Onions, garlic, green pepper, cilantro)

1 potato of handful of Calabaza (pumpkin) peeled and cubed

2 bay leaves

Bohio brand Sazon (MSG free)

½ tsp Smoked Paprika

5 spanish olives

1 tbsp Annato Oil

4 oz Tomato Sauce



Heat  annatto oil and sauté the sofrito for about 3 min.  Add the tomato sauce, sazon, olives, smoked paprika, and bay leaves.  Sauté for another 2 min and then add the beans, potato/calabaza, and water/veggie stock.  Bring to a boil then simmer on Med/low heat until potatoes soften and suace thickens. If it is too watery try mashing some of the potatoes in the sauce, it will thicken it right up.

From:  eatingveganlikerican.blogspot.com


And this recipe is from my next book coming soon:

Black Beans Stew

  • Black Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Water
  • Sea Salt


  1. Soak beans overnight and then rinse thoroughly
  2. In a nice big heavy pot, I put about 2 pounds of beans with about a gallon and a half of water, turn the heat on High and get the beans rapidly boiling
  3. Cover the pot about half way, so that some of the steam can escape
  4. Let the bean cook til soft and then start adding all the seasonings and veggies.  Add as much as you need, but normally I would add about one whole chopped onion, several chopped tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, a teaspoon or two of the cumin seeds.
  5. Monitor the water, because at some point Black beans will stick something terrible to the bottom of the pot….and you never want that to happen.
  6. I let the beans cook until they almost disintegrate into a bean dip like soups.  Where most of the beans are not even noticeable…Hmmm, so good, chile!


Have you heard about NOLLYWOOD?

Not Hollywood…and not Bollywood. Nollywood is the Nigerian Movie Industry

No, this isn’t a typo.  Nollywood is the Nigerian version of Hollywood and Bollywood. It’s their movie industry. They have their own stars, themes, languages, and styles. It is the second largest movie industry in the world after India, and before the US, in terms of movies produced annually…some 1200 – 2000 yearly.  However, Nollywood comes in third place after the US and India in terms of how much money is made from this industry…approximately from 200 – 500 million annually depending on where you source your information.  And top Nollywood actors have a net worth of close to $500,000 (US) which translates into millionaire status back in Nairaland.

I remember the first time I actually saw one of these movies. It was rather interesting to me because I didn’t even know what I was watching. I thought it was one of those Jamaican movies because it was so funny.  It starred these two young guys…they were playing brothers, Im not sure if they were small people or children, but they were fantastic. I mean, how often do you see an all Black movie where the quality of the filming is a bit “low budget”, but the story is great.  Must be island, I thought to myself. I was used to Jamaican films because naturally living in the Caribbean, we tended to support one another in that way.  Not to mention the issues shared in the films and the comedy were comparable. Famous comedians from Jamaica, like Oliver Samuels, were hits in the islands and his production even came to the Virgin Islands years ago where I went to see a play of his.  And just like the Nigerian film industry, Jamaican plays became movies and became a big hit.

Nollywood movies go straight to DVD
Nollywood movies go straight to DVD

So I thought I was watching a Jamaican comedy film the first time I saw a Nollywood movie until a friend of mine said it was Afrikan.  I was intrigued because as bad as the quality was the storyline was rather entertaining. And so began my love for the industry.  At first, when I was living in Baltimore, I had to find and borrow movies from folks who were able to get films from NY on DVD.  Or when I would go to NY, I would go to the Afrikan open air market and I would buy like 5 movies at one time.  They would sell them so cheap, like $3 a pop.  I usually assumed they were bootleg and always wondered how this industry was able to make any money.

Of course I investigated that issue…and Im still not sure about all the facts…but from what I have found, Nollywood movies hit the streets rather quickly after production. And is a straight to DVD industry.  They don’t do movie theatres because there was a lot of crime happening in the theatre’s and so people felt more comfortable in their own homes. The DVDs sell for about $2 (US) each which is affordable for the average Nigerian. And in a country with limited resources and lots of people, one movie can easily sell 50,000 – 200,000 copies…before it hits the black markets…and with a production budget from $15,000 – $25,000.  That is a pretty good turnover….not to mention that these movies are being released EVERY SINGLE DAY…more than one at a time too!  So, Im sure it’s highly competitive and people start to develop their taste for their favorite stars.

Nollywood film production is wrapped up in one to two weeks
Nollywood film production is wrapped up in one to two weeks

Now what makes a Nollywood movie so good?  Well, let me assure you in order to really be impressed by one of their movies you need to throwaway all your American ideas of what a good movie is, because it doesn’t apply here.  In fact, if you view a Nollywood movie with American ideals, you would be sadly disappointed. From an American standard, Nollywood movies may just insult your intelligence a bit.  First of all, the quality of the entire movie is subpar!  I mean, the music is always so bad, the editing is horrid, and sometimes the storyline is long in parts that should have been cut off, and not enough information in parts that should have been developed.  From an American perspective, their movies are Amateur at best. Thing is, Im really not trying to discredit how amazing Nollywood is…Im just trying to be real.  Get a bunch of Americans to sit down and watch a Nollywood movie and they will most likely say the same thing….or worst.  I think that I understand the idiosyncrasies a lot more because I grew up in the Caribbean, which is second generation Afrikan (people act the same way there)…and I was around Afrikans a lot in college.  I was the Vice President of the International Student Association at an All Black school…and the only international students we had were Afrikans, and Caribbean students.

Nollywood movies seem to not really be movies at all, to tell you the truth. First of all, unlike in Bollywood movies, where the movies run about 3-4 hours, one Nollywood movie tends to always end right around the 1 hour mark without fail.  Not that the story is over either.  Which make me feel like Nollywood movies are more like a Soap Opera or short TV series, because at the one hour mark, in most cases, the story is incomplete. So you have to look for part 2 of the movie to see what happens next. And sometimes a part 3 and a part 4 too. Hilarious!  Because once again, by American standards, a movie is one complete story, right?  Well, we are not using American standards here.  Stay with me now!

I think that the main thing that is entertaining about Nollywood movies is really getting a glimpse into Nigerian culture…which to me is taking a glimpse into Afrikan culture in general.  Im sure most Afrikans won’t agree at all with this.  Ghanaians have their own movie industry…but from where I sit…it all looks the same.  Im sure a Ghanaian and a Nigerian could tell the difference but things are not that distinct to me with my American eyes.  Watching the customs of how people bow down to elders, and the way they dress, and some of things that they say over and over again…like when they say “HEY!” when they find out something shocking is quite the edutainment that I would assume foreigners come to enjoy when they watch these movies.  And just in the way things are pronounced it is pretty interesting too.  Now, even though they are speaking English, in most cases, their dialect is slightly British and slightly Afrikan…I guess.  So you really have to key in to what they are saying because you might miss something.  Im sure I miss things all the time because there are things that are said that only their culture would know. It’s like I was talking to a friend from England and she didn’t know who Urkel was.  So she loses out on the entire joke because culturally she wasn’t privy to what most Americans have heard before.  Same thing applies to watching Nollywood movies…they say things all the time that would make me think that I would have had to grow up there to know that.

Another thing I like about Nollywood movies is that I am supporting a Black film industry. Now if you are Black, you would understand this. And this doesn’t mean anything more that what I am saying.  People love to see their own and it is as simple as that. I feel a sense of pride seeing Afrikan people on the screen doing their thing.  Even though there are strong cultural differences that are obvious, it doesn’t matter because there is a kinship that is very strong here and I know that we are connected.  Not to mention the fact that when I see those fine Afrikan men on the screen, I feel like Im looking at something here. (wink wink) Do you get what Im saying?  I mean people forget to realize that Idris Elba, one of the world’s hottest men, is in fact a pure 100% Afrikan man. I mean I can get into some of America’s hottest actors (Denzel, The Rock, Brad Pitt, etc), but folks don’t realize that there is whole ‘nother set of eye candy coming out of Nigeria now.  Check out Richard Mofe Damijo, better known as RMD.  He is fine like a bottle of wine!  HA!

RMD:  Nollywood's Hottest Male Actor
RMD: Nollywood’s Hottest Male Actor

Let’s not forget the women of Nollywood. They tickle me so much. These women go from traditional Afrikan styles with their gele’s (head wraps) and traditional garbs to hot, modern women with their super straight hair wigs, color contacts, and stilettos…and all in the same movie.  Nollywood films don’t really have a theme all the time; once again, this is coming from an American standard.

The women actors must have their own following. Their beauty is diverse and I can see it ringing through the screen. One of them that I find most intriguing is Mercy Johnson.  What got me is I find her not only intriguingly beautiful, but also extremely convincing too. I mean, this girl has made me cry on several occasions.  She is awesome! I have seen her in several movies and I always love the parts she plays and how she plays them.

Mercy Johnson, my personal favorite
Mercy Johnson, my personal favorite

Speaking of the actors, don’t let the beauty fool you. The acting is really bad.  But I don’t really think it’s the acting that is bad; I think it’s the writing that is bad.  I think the actors do as much justice to their scripts as they can, but I feel many times that the script is what it is. So the actors work with it and keep it moving. I think if Nollywood movies were to be made better it may actually take away from the authenticity of the film…but I would hope that just because a movie is “low-budget” doesn’t mean that it is authentically Afrikan. That wouldn’t be fair. I would have to say that I do believe that their film industry could do much better in their editing departments. The way movies are cut up and repetitious soundtracks that don’t even apply to what is going on could really be improved.  There are times when we are sitting watching the actors eat their entire dinner, not talking to one another, and realize…ok…is this just one of these filler sections?  Cut it out!

Im sure that most people on the outside are really unaware of what life in Afrika is like.  These movies tend to give an outsider a glimpse of the real Afrika. I love how they showcase life in the village vs life in the city.  There are still many people that don’t think that Afrikans live in real homes, have cars, TVs etc.  Nollywood movies shut all that down right away. Some movies are based in the villages and others in the cities, but you can see that life is diverse. And for those folks who think Afrika is stuck in time they will find that there are highly mistaken.

So why would an intelligent person want to watch a Nollywood movie?   It’s the same reason why people watch Chinese Karate movies, where people are flying through the air over the houses and trees, where their English editing is way off, and where the Karate moves are choreographed in a way that is far from realistic.  You know, there is something delightful about watching people from another culture in a sort of satirical way…Looking in from the outside, observing, learning,  and being entertained. Embracing other people! It’s connecting to what you recognize from your own culture and lifestyle, and understanding things that you never experienced. It’s why people travel and explore the Earth….to have new and amazing adventures.

So there! I hope in some way I have inspired you to check out this amazing industry.  You can actually catch thousands of movies on YouTube…just put in the search: NOLLYWOOD! I think you will quickly become addicted.  Thanks for watching!