“Every time you pray, attach a scripture to it and you are guaranteed an answer from God because He cannot deny/ignore His word.”

This is one of the things Daddy Adeboye started his message with, and I was hooked. Simple logic really, but super effective. Remember school days when we had to write exams? Especially if you schooled in Nigeria where reproduction was promoted over individual thought/reflection, you’re more assured of high grades if you give the lecturer his words in an exam/test.

Same thing with God (except we have free will and are not under any compulsion to do anything) – what does His word say? Are you saying those words back to him?

So question is, do you know His Word? Here’s a few things God has said concerning us:

Mark 16:17-18 – “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” 

Matthew 10: 7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

Isaiah 41:10-14 - “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous.”

 

What is God to you? Who is His son Jesus to you?

According to Matthew 1:21 He is our savior, Exodus 15:26 calls Him our healer, Psalm 23:1-6 pegs Him as our comprehensive provider, John 15:1-5 says he is the fruitful vine, on and on, and on.

Know your God! Ladies and gentlemen know your God! You can only witness effectively about someone you know intimately. Take time learning and communicating with God!

Mark 2: 1-2 – The reason why my prayers might go unanswered is that the answers I seek do not have anything to add to the kingdom of God. How do your plans fit into the plans of God?

According to the scripture below, where are you ‘bringing joy’?

Acts 8: 5- 8 – Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.”

Once I become addicted to soul winning, John 15: 16 takes full effect in my life! What an easy way to get God’s permanent attention!

 

And then we prayed! Ahh! Daddy Adeboye is super proficient in leading prayers o, no gainsaying that at all. Here are the prayer points we used (paraphrased and can just be used as a guide)

 

  1. Worship Him generously
  2. Thank Him abundantly – for all the things we normally take for granted
  3. Lord you always answer people who worship you. As I worship, answer me today
  4. Father you commanded that I be fruitful and multiply – let those words find abundant expression in my life
  5. Father you promised that everyone who goes out to witness for you would be given whatever they asked for. Give to me (only pray this if you’re actually sharing the word o!)
  6. Save millions today Lord – this harvest is ripe – all over the world mighty father
  7. You said you came so I can have life and it more abundantly. Let me enter into and enjoy your abundance mighty Lord.

May God hear and bring speedy answers to our prayers in Jesus name!

Have a fabulous week ahead!

xx

Sausages and eggs for breakfast! Yes baby! Even though I had to ask that mine be microwaved. I don’t get it; why do these guys serve us lukewarm food? In the name of everything pure, we’re the only ones here! And then somehow they ALWAYS forget to turn off the airconditioning in the dining area (two split units which directly face the food) regardless of how many times we say so! Argh!!

Food over, work picked up in earnest. Did I mention we have a remote team working for/with us? There’s Henrik van Leeuwen our fabulous illustrator, Raewyn Whyte who did all the copy editing, Juan Gutierrez readily available to provide tech support, and then Julien Taquet who designed the book! I’m not sure I remember but if I’m right all our remote support guys were in different countries, different timezones sef!

Yeah, especially Raewyn who went to work each night as we went to bed, and then we’d wake up to feedback from her. Really cool huh!

Anyway, we were also introduced to the software we’d be working with/collaborating on called “Pubsweet”. What does that name sound like to you? Not even going to share what one of us said it sounded like, naughty children! Technology always amazes me though, that’s all I can say about it.

Today we spent some time outside, talking (and writing on more post its) the types of people we wanted to have in our book. We did it in a funny way. So again, we listed all the characteristics we wanted our characters to have – age, circumstance, education, profession, status etc. (on single sheets), and then we started forming characters from them. That’s when it all came together for me.

That's Rafeeat adding to our board of characters! To be honest, some of them just just remained on that board... no way we could have brought everyone to life!

That’s Rafeeat adding to our board of characters! To be honest, some of them just just remained on that board… no way we could have brought everyone to life!

We had an unending supply of post its!!

You can see we had an unending supply of post its!!

Lord knows what I was saying there... I feel like Elnathan felt I wasn't making much sense! Look at his face!

Lord only knows what I was saying there… I feel like Elnathan felt I wasn’t making much sense! Look at his face!

I mean I already knew (we’d agreed) that the issues we’d highlighted yesterday would be channeled through the characters, but it was nice to actually get there! You know, we’d whispered to one of the facilitators that we couldn’t wait to actually start writing, but the process leading up to this point really made things super clear, and easy! Characterisation was fun, I really enjoyed how we gave some people multiple problems in the name of creating them!

We’d been working in pairs all along, and today I switched from Elnathan (who’d started living the baby boy life which chose him rather than him choosing it, lol) and I started working with Azeenarh. Lovely, lovely, lovely girl. “Living the baby boy/girl life” has become a thing in our ‘house’ now, and I’m sure we’ve used it over 2 million times! Ok, I might be exaggerating about that, what isn’t in doubt though is the fact that it made me laugh every time!

Bonding in the common room (after we got off) was tons of fun, really nice getting to know everyone just a bit more, laughing (we laughed A LOT), and doing every other thing but characterisation and reading each other’s stories. We listened to music too, not even going to repeat the songs that were sang (hello self-censorship) but it was good fun.

Then it was bed time, so good night!

P:S – I was worried different times during the day. I’m still coughing, sniffing, and I really fear I’m going to pass this on to someone. Sigh.

PPS: Massive shout out to  Luis Antonio Delgado who took all the lovely photos and made a film off the entire event!! I haven’t seen it yet but you will as soon as we do!

Good morning! I slept very well thank you, woke up feeling very rested. There’s something about the way I’ve slept in the last couple days that’s made me sleep a bit better. Maybe go to Lagos a bit more often perhaps?

Woke up, caught the end of a cartoon while I got ready, and then I went for breakfast. Again, thoroughly disappointed. This time though, I complained. Didn’t just mean to whinge (and I wasn’t the only one who complained), but I’m now taking medication to clear this week-old flu and for the amount of mental exertion I see in the offing, the least I expect is a decent breakfast! Besides, I’m a growing child…lol…

Thankful to our Care Manager (that’s what I called Ghida in my head) who’d gone over and beyond with the provisions she’d laid out in our kitchenette. Cereal, chocolate, biscuits, fruits, unending supplies of tea and coffee, she even brought medication (we’ll get to that bit soon). I ended up having Special K every morning till we left – thank you Ghida!!!

Breakfast over, we piled into the conference room, our work space for the next few days, and Barbara introduced officially what a Book Sprint was, and all of that information is here. She told us how ours would work (it’s a secret, wait for the book), and then we went round the room with short introductions. Here’s a bit about everyone, all eight of us!

Rafeeat Aliyu () - Blogger, writer of fiction and non-fiction, history nerd. http://www.eccentricyoruba.wordpress.com

Elnathan John () - A full-time writer. http://www.elnathanjohn.blogspot.com

Yas Niger () - Blogger, writer (of a self-published book). http://www.yasniger.wordpress.com

Pearl Osibu () - Blogger, writer, designer. http://www.pearlosibu.wordpress.com

Chioma Agwuegbo () - Blogger, writer, aunty to the cutest baby on earth. http://www.chiomachuka.com

Kalu Aja () - Financial planner and coach. http://www.kalus20pounds.blogspot.com

Azeenarh Mohammed () - Noisemaker, privacy enthusiast, digital security trainer. http://www.azeenarh.wordpress.com

Fola Lawal ( ) - Publisher. http://www.shecrownlita.com

And then our facilitators!

Barbara Ruhling () - Book Sprint facilitator, filmmaker. http://www.booksprints.net

Simone Poutnik ()- Multi-stakeholders collaboration facilitator. http://www.natural-innovation.net

Yep, that’s us!

Then we talked a lot about our book what we wanted it to be – fiction or not, narrated or not, dialogue or full on prose, on and on and on.

I really liked the exercises (I must say), even though the next event saddened me. We wrote out on post-its all the issues we wanted to see represented in our book, and then we grouped them under broader headings like religion, state structure, corruption, etc. That exercise was almost emotional for me cos it was like unpacking a bag full of bad memories, hanging them out, and just reliving them again.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 08.38.46

And this was just one sheet of the things we listed!!

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 08.38.01

Figuring out what issue would work under what was a task and half!

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 08.38.17

Stop and think…

What was interesting though, was seeing that all our issues are so interwoven! So, here’s a random example – if we fixed the judiciary, stiffer sentences for crimes would ensure a deterrent, and the society would be a tad safer/easier to live and do business in. However, the executive and legislative have to ‘put down self’ to empower the judiciary. Easy right? But when you consider that half the people who should be in jail for one crime or the other are in the E and L, it becomes a bit more tricky. Even trickier is the mindset of the ‘common man’ who lambasts the E, L, and J but sees nothing wrong in bribing his way out of stuff. Do you expect integrity from that kind of person when/if they get into a position of power? If you are dishonest with a pound, you will be dishonest with a thousand pounds. Round and round this mulberry bush, ladies and gentlemen. Sigh.

It was about evening this time (notice I didn’t dignify lunch with a mention), and people were wired! All that talk and writing! So we all took a walk, laughed all the way – to the politician amongst us paying for the fruits we wanted, to seeing a private house with traffic lights (Nigerians are the best walai) – we laughed all the day! Of course I took a picture. What!!??!!

2014-11-08 17.43.09

Ah ha! Before I forget, our lodgings are around the house of the Inspector General of Police. Guess what? We weren’t allowed to walk on his side of the road (where his home is). “For security reasons”, his people said. Was hilarious, the banter we had with the mobile policemen but when you think of it, how much sadder can we get?

I would be embarrassed to live there to be honest – tank parked outside, mortar barriers, floodlights, and mobile policemen perpetually at the ready. Why? Whatever happened to protect and serve? Are they protecting the Nigerian people like this? Why is it normal for one person to be guarded this way, when our brothers and sisters are sitting ducks for Boko Haram in the North East?

Bleh.

Dinner was manageable, nothing I remember. We did a bit more writing, and day one was officially over! Four days to go!

A bit of a background to the series starting today. I was recruited by Heinrich Boll to participate in something called a Book Sprint. It involved 8 writers, five days in seclusion, two facilitators, and one film maker to produce a book. All we had? A potential book title. Everything else? We’d have to figure out in the five days.

This Book Sprint ran from the 8th of November (exactly one week today) to the 12th. Over the next few days, I will chronicle the days spent at our lodgings. Ready? Here’s day one!!

So I woke up, feeling just a bit better than the day before. Do you remember what my yesterday was? Of course you do! If you don’t, read this (BrandiQ and All Souls Church – A day in the life of a strategist!). you’re welcome!

So, back to the 7th, I ate my leftover lunch from yesterday (beans and catfish and plantain), Terra Kulture is the truth!

There was the incident with me getting locked in (and yours truly only noticed when I was at the door and didn’t have the key) but thankfully, I made my flight. Thank you Arik! And big thank you to the hostesses who gave me all the water I needed on the flight, I was totally dehydrated.

Cabin pressure aggravated my inflamed tonsils and blocked nostrils – not a very sexy me getting off the plane sniffing, I can imagine people gave me just a little more space than normal.

Met Pearl and Kalu and we jumped in the car waiting to take us to our lodgings Driver? Funny guy. He was driving us and carrying on this really long conversation on the phone – yes, I told him to please not talk on the phone (never mind it is dangerous, his voice was so loud)!

Got to Dullion Suites, and first off I was disappointed there wasn’t a pool. Yep, I was upset there wasn’t a pool. Anyway, I settled in, and then I had to push off to my sister’s to exchange the things I had in my suitcase for clean, fresh clothes and things. Also, needed to pick up some documents and get JT. Want to see my room?

Do you like my ankara shorts? Love em! Comfortable as anything!

Do you like my ankara shorts? Love em! Comfortable as anything!

2014-11-13 12.16.58

Decent… Amen to white sheets, and not making my bed myself for the next few days!

Got home, there was no power (electricity in Nigeria is one big unfortunate joke), and there was another incident with my car keys so I was stuck.

Bg thank you to my sister who dropped me back at our lodgings. Was nice to meet everyone (details about them tomorrow), and then it was dinner time.

To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with it; don’t think any of us were. At all. I didn’t even take a picture (and y’all know I photograph just about everything I eat). Fatush salad was good, but that was it.

Went out with Elnathan, hung out with a few people. Good, interesting conversation about our darling Nigeria, with all its proclivities and current troubles.

Got back to the hotel, all plans for #TurnUp trumped by a lingering headache and exhaustion, I was in bed and asleep by midnight. Work begins tomorrow. Good night!

The 6th of November was a truly special day, one of those days that can truly be described as ‘full’, and I’m about to tell you how it went down! Or up, because it ended on such a high!

So, I’d flown into Lagos the night before after spending a few days with my darling parents, was truly a gift to have been with them, and I can’t stop thanking both of them for the sacrifices they make to keep me comfortable anytime I’m around!

Anyway, so I woke up that morning, chest tight, nostrils blocked, the leftover of a bad case of flu that refused to leave me alone. Show must go on abi? So I got ready, and headed to Civic Center where I’d been billed to speak alongside some very renowned speakers at the BrandiQ Symposium. My topic? Politics, social media, and young people – Tolu Ogunlesi had put me forward as a panelist cos he thought he wouldn’t be in the country and then when he found he would be around, he just came to support me. Hallelujah for friends/colleagues like him!

Keynote speaker was former UK High Commissioner Christopher Kolade, special guest of honor was the most lovely older gentleman Apostle Hayford Allile, and there were academics, other top-notch people like that. I was on the stage with people like Martins Oloja (Editor, The Guardian), and to be honest by the time he was done with his speech, the first thing I said when I took the mic was “how do you top a talk like that”? Thanks however be to God who always causes us to do brilliantly, and not shame Him, our families or our friends!

So, what did I talk about? I started with definitions of some key words in the Symposium theme, (participation, stakeholder, tokenism, and young person) and then I asked two questions:

  • How many people in the room have voter cards?
  • How many of us know the heads of our local government areas  (appointed or elected)?

How do we then (as young people) claim to be stakeholders in a thing we cannot participate in because we’re not registered? Really, how? Aren’t we tired of clicktivism? When do we move on to action, in this case enforcing our thoughts/ideologies with our votes?

Then it was off to stats on voting patterns, how social media is a means to an end but must not be misconstrued as the end in itself, and all of that good business. Event was great, I had a really good time! Potential client and writing gig in the offing too! Whoop!

It ended about 3pm, and then it was off to Terra Kulture for a quick lunch, dress change, and then flying down to All Souls Anglican Church in Lekki, where I’d been billed to speak on social media for play or business, from a Godly perspective.

IMG-20141004-WA0001My date was moved to the 6th because I signed up to something (which I have readied a series for) that would start on the 7th.

So I got to the venue late because I grossly underestimated the traffic and side note? Dear Lagosians, Lagos is not working! Your roads are horrible, even in the so-called posh areas. Yuck. Thankful for my Cabbie Abubakar who lives in Ajah and so knew all the hidden routes to take to avoid the traffic. Na wa!

Anyway, got there in one piece, and after the worship session, I was up! It was a small, intimate crowd, and it was structured a bit like this.

I started with 1 Corinthians 10:31 which I paraphrased as “whether you eat or drink, or tweet or Facebook, do it to the glory of God”. The rest of it is below…

  • About me
  • What is social media
  • How do you use social media – Proverbs 27: 17, Hebrews 10:24-25
  • How not to use social media – 1 Corinthians 15:33, Matthew 5:29
  • Careers in/around social media – Matthew 5:16

Pretty simple/straightforward right? The interesting thing really was introducing the word of God to the different points above. I had a marvellous time! I loved the question and answer session, and I have since made a blogpost off a quick consult I did following that event! Something to do with how we use LinkedIn, you should see it.

It gets even better – they gave me a plaque! I was so emotional, it means so much to have received this! And the prayers, aww, kiss of my life!

2014-11-14 05.15.50

Super grateful to JT for dinner, and then it was bedtime, and out of Lagos the next day to join the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Book Sprint in Abuja!

Crazy, crazy, schedule, but I love it!

xx

I was in The Redeemed Church of God, Trinity Chapel, Barking branch on Sunday the 16th of November, and early on in the service Resident Pastor Dr Alade said it was dedicated to the late Dr Myles Munroe, who died on Monday. I blogged about him here.

The service pretty much revolved around the life and times of Dr Munroe, but with an interesting slant towards how we are living our lives now, and if how we rank when we take the ‘turbulence test’. Do you know what that is? I’ll tell you. But first, a selfie scripture.

Mark 4:20-21 says, “But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.  Jesus went on: “Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don’t you put it up on a table or on the mantel?”

Now, I don’t really remember the title of the sermon but I know the subtitle was – “How to experience my destiny of increase”.

Ok, so back to the turbulence test, here it is. If you’re ever in a plane and there’s turbulence and your immediate thoughts and prayer revolve around how you can’t die either because you’re not sure of heaven or cause you’ve not accomplished all (or half) of what you should, you’re not living yet!

Myles Munroe said, “if you cannot see the ultimate, you will be a slave to the immediate”. Kinda reminds me of politicians in Nigeria but let’s move on quickly.

Pastor Alade said (and I believe) that “God has deposited so much in us as His children; we do Him (and ourselves) a great disservice by not utilising those deposits.

2 Kings 4: 1-7 tells the story of the widow whose husband died leaving her in debt and the after the man of God asked her what she had left and she mentioned the cruise of oil, he asked her to fill drums etc. She kept on pouring, and the oil didn’t run out till her son said they were out of vessels. right?

Question for you -

  • Are you living or surviving?
  • Have you showed up or are you still hiding?
  • What are you doing with your oil?

How do we satisfactorily answer those questions?

Find your purpose. Why are we here? Why do you exist? Dr Myles Munroe said “if purpose is not known abuse is inevitable”. Purpose however, is informed by potential. So, babies crawl, but they have the God-given ability to walk. That only happens when they’ve grown a bit, exercised their limbs, etc. In the same way, much as a bird might love water/seas/rivers, it cannot swim. Why? It doesn’t have the innate ability to do so.

So, what’s your potential ability? Ask God, if you can’t figure it out. But find it, because you can be great in potential yet poor in performance. Again think Nigeria and all the ‘Giant of Africa’ business I’ve been hearing since I was a toddler. *rolls eyes* God will help us in Jesus name!

Still on potentials and purpose, what are we doing with our minds? Big question because the empires of the future are first the empires of the mind. The Bible says to keep our hearts/minds with all diligence. Will you do that? Will you?

xx

In the final post from the #ChroniclesFromBonn series, you’re invited to catch up on the previous stories. You can find them below

1. #ChroniclesFromBonn – The trip!

2. #ChroniclesFromBonn –Welcome to school, meet the team!

3. #ChroniclesFromBonn – Opening Day

Ah ha! Now that you’re up to speed, welcome to the most incredible of the days!

I had a very interesting conversation with Maria from Ukraine on the walk to the session, which was both saddening and heartwarming at the same time. We talked so much about the difficulties both our countries are facing, and I won’t forget the really big hug she gave me.

So what did we talk about? Loads of things – the unrest in both our countries, Nigeria may be a bit more severe (and multi-buffeted) – including the hopelessness that accompanies ‘international claims/offers for help’. The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, each country stands alone. There might be some fraternization on the basis of prevailing interests at the time, but at the end of the day, you’re alone as alone can be. Or is it plausible that a country will love your country more than they love themselves? No!

Look at the Nigerian example. More than a month after the American, British, and French governments (and the Israelis I think) came into the country to help with the search and rescue of the 219 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram on the 14th of April, nothing. *Remember this trip was at the end of June* Like sometimes, it’s even hard to believe that any of them showed up.

Moving on.

I sat in on a lot more sessions today, starting with the keynote given by the Federal Foreign Minister, in German. Translators (you know those little devices?) always amuse me. I was reminded of just how much when I used this one. At some point I was listening to both the translator and the Minister, trying to match the words with the translations. Funny only when you take into cognisance that the only German words I know are ‘good morning’, ‘thank you’, and ‘please’. :)

Anyway, so I attended a session that really spoke to me, one about activism and citizen uprisings et al in Africa. It was one I really enjoyed, but one that also annoyed me on several levels. What makes people feel that because a certain form of citizen disobedience worked in country A it will work in country B? I was so amused/impressed/annoyed by the discussion that I wrote this Africa’s Revolution: The Inaccuracy of Labels, thankful to Future Challenges for publishing it.

We (Digital Participation Camp) held our fishbowl session today too, and even though I HATED the idea of balloons (I have a living, breathing fear of them, and the sound they make when they burst), everyone else loved the balloons, the format of our session, and how interactive/fun it was! So, it didn’t bother me a lot.

Then, it was time for the boat ride! Whoop! I ran back to Bonnox, changed into a small white dress, and then I was river ready!

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Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!!

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Party time! Whoop!!

We got on the boat, and it was really lovely! The view, the music from the band on the upper deck where we were for most of the evening, and the food! There was a barbecue going on, so chicken, sausages, potatoes, and a really lovely salad! Then, Aya and I saw an ice cream tray floating around, and we followed it to the lower deck, only to find there was a full on buffet down there, including the amazing potato gratin I had a few days ago!

 

We had a bit, wandered around the ship for a bit, and then went back up upstairs, where it was really lovely to meet Isabel from Irrepressible Voices, and Eva from Tea after Twelve! I first met Eva in February in Hamburg during Social Media Week, and that meeting culminated in this post for their magazine - http://www.tea-after-twelve.com/all-issues/issue-01/issue-01-overview/chapter2/welcome-to-lagos/ – Lagos is truly the greatest city in the world!

I also met this lovely, really tall guy who goofed around with me! I remember staring and saying, “you’re very tall”, and then he said, “are you sure you’re not taller than I am?” Lol! Bless him!

2014-07-01 20.55.14

Wow… I take back every time I’ve ever said I was tall!

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…because life is too short not to have a laugh when you can!

 

Then, it was time for the party!! Whoop! We all went back down to the lower deck, and the GoodFellas played the entire time we sailed to (Sepideh where did we go again?) and back! Incredible music, 2000+ people on the ship dancing and having a really fun evening. Ready to see some videos? Cos I made some!

 

 

 

We docked about 12.30am, and I was so wired from excitement and exhaustion! The girls (Ruth, Aya) and I walked back to Bonnox, not before missing a turn that translated a 15 minutes work into an hour’s trek!

But, we got home ok, and everyone tumbled into bed immediately!!

Next day, the conference ended with speeches and a few other sessions, and the next day after that, it was off to Frankfurt to catch a flight back to Abuja, Nigeria. Bring on GMF2015 already!

PS – I blogged about GMF 2014 for Deutsche Welle, published by Future Challenges – a condensed version of this series. Find that here.

Men and brethren,

I woke up to news on Twitter, saw cryptic tweets saying things like, “how can”, “God forbid”, etc. I knew it was a religious leader when I saw a tweet that said, “I felt this confused when Bimbo Odukoya died in that plane crash”. Told me it was sudden, unexpected too (not like death is ever expected/totally prepared for).

Two minutes later, I saw it was Myles Munroe. And his wife. And seven others onboard an executive jet. One event, nine lives gone. Dr Myles Munroe would have been speaking at his 2014 Global Leaders Conference (billed to start today). But that’s been overtaken by events.

I was stunned. Shocked. Confused. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does our all-knowing God (who I know sits in the heavens and the earth is His footstool, and His eyes roam to and fro the earth, searching for those whose hearts are perfect towards him, etc.) allow these things to happen? Why? How? The questions didn’t stop coming.

My heart bleeds for their son and daughter Chairo and Charisa Munroe whose loss I cannot dare imagine. One day, a part of a family, the next, last two standing. And in such circumstances. My heart bleeds, and I pray that God holds them, comforts them, speaks to them, calms them the way only He can. I pray that God helps them get through the numbness, the questions, the agony – I cannot stop praying for them.

When my aunt passed, I felt all these things, and more. I recently found out my mom (particularly) was worried I’d suffered some sort of breakdown. My aunty is one in a million people, but she is one person. Chairo and Charisa Munroe just lost literally everyone. Sweet Jesus have mercy!

It is indeed a sad day for the church. For the world. For the families and friends of the 9 who perished aboard that Lear Jet in the Bahamas yesterday.

Strengthen the body of Christ, dear Lord. A lot of us don’t understand how and why, and this is the window the Devil needs to sow doubt and murmurs in our heart. Help us. Bring comfort to the families of all on board.

May the souls of the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
‪#‎RIPMylesMunroe‬

 

PS – Bomb blast in a science and technology school much earlier in the day, while the students were on the Assembly Ground. Suicide bomber. Latest count puts casualties at 30. Horrible. We cannot continue like this. We just can’t. #Nigeria

PPS – Saw this on Facebook a few minutes ago.

Screenshot 2014-11-10 10.10.57

 

I remember in August I wrote about a body I saw on the road at night, driver sped off. Victim died under a pedestrian bridge. Please, tell someone today. Pedestrian bridges are for pedestrians/human beings, just as express lanes/ways are for cars/things with wheels (excluding bicycles in the name of God!) Please.

PPPS – Let your life count. You know what you need to do. If you don’t, ask your creator. But, let your life count for something – today, tomorrow, everyday. Let people remember us for the smiles we put on their faces, the ways we made their lives just a bit better than the way we met them, and the values/principles we lived by. let it count.

God keep us.

Hugs.

*UPDATE – That number has risen to 50 dead, and more than 70 with various stages of injuries. I’m heartbroken. What was their crime? They were killed cos they were in school? How do we expose to this kind of violence? How do we leave kids with memories that paint school as a place of death? No trauma counselling, nothing. How have we stood by and watched life in the North East reduce to scrounging, to fear, to survival? Heartbreaking. God forbid.

UPDATE 2 – I have just updated the post based on new information (which I missed and I apologize) about Charisa not being on board the plane. She is alive and well. *Loads of hugs to them both*

Yes, this is an appeal. Yes, I need you to vote for us. And this is why.

YNaija 2015 is Nigeria’s first dedicated political blog. Launched in April 2013, YNaija2015 seeks to enhance youth participation in governance by providing a context and a background to events in a language, and using nuances they will understand. We are on Facebook and Twitter as YNaija2015, and our site is www.ynaija2015.com

YNaija 2015 deploys trendy, innovative ways to engage with its youth audience including photo-essays, online television, Twitter interviews, and other content, including polls, charts, a daily news tracklist, and infographics. Go and have a look for yourself!

Our Election Situation Room is a national template for election monitoring, getting the nation’s influential young journalists and new media influencers to monitor key state and local government elections as they happen. They coordinate with citizen reporters and our editors on the ground in each state and during each election to report, monitor and interpret the issues for the electorate and encourage immediate feedback and interactivity. So far we have covered elections in Anambra, Ekiti, and our premiere Election War Room was set up for Osun. You can watch here http://ynaija2015.com/warroom/

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Informing young people about political events in our country will give them the right mindset, and empower them to make the right decisions when they vote. Decisions that have to be made based on their convictions, rather than based on handouts from politicians or violent conduct.

It also makes them want more, makes them hold their representatives to account when we publish their activities x-rayed against the funding their offices receive, when they have reminders of what campaign promises have been made.

We have an opportunity to increase the scope and reach of our work by pitching for a grant with Making Our Voices Count. Our entry is here http://ideas.makingallvoicescount.org/a/dtd/YNaija2015-The-2015-election-portal/92985-26650 and we invite you to vote for us, and get your friends and family to vote!

Thank you!

PS – Please vote!! We have less than 25 days to get to the top of the list, and we’re currently at the bottom!! Please vote!

You won’t believe what happened on this day I’d been counting down to for the past three months! One, my monthly visitor came (without any warning, smh), and second, the night before I couldn’t sleep (AT ALL) and so about 4am, my head started pounding.

By 5am I found sleep, and regardless of the alarm I set for 7am, I didn’t stir till 8.30amm, and I think it was only because my dad rang! I don’t think I’ve gotten ready any faster than I did that morning, and I caught a taxi to the venue (non-refundable expense) because my sense of geography is terrible and I know that because I was panicked that I was late, it would be even worse!

Made it there, and somehow, I was still on time – somehow. Sorted myself, grabbed a cuppa, and after I had been briefed by Janusz, the business of the day began! My brief? Get people who ordinarily would not have met each other to interact, and on camera! Want to see the end result?

We’d drawn up a list of questions and given our respondents to answer in front of our cameras.

Some other teams came up with #MeetMe, and that simply was – a person with a board saying their name, what they do, and links to their work and other online presence. Again, want to see mine?

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That’s Dominick in the back!!

 

I listened in on a couple of sessions (was a little out of it – I can imagine I was grumpy) and then it was lunchtime.

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Lunch was beef kebab in peppers and veggies, potato gratin and chicken, and a strawberry chocolate mousse. The potatoes were out of this world! What!!! I would have asked for the recipe but I just felt like it was so good it had to be unhealthy! Dang!

Lunch was beef kebab in peppers and veggies, potato gratin and chicken, and a strawberry chocolate mousse. The potatoes were out of this world! What!!! I would have asked for the recipe but I just felt like it was so good it had to be unhealthy! Dang!

 

It was also really lovely to see Ole Wintermann again (we were on a panel together at Social Media Week Hamburg in February), and I met Mario Sorgalla for the first time! Mario is one of the bosses at Future Challenges, and it was really nice to talk. Great conversation, new ideas, and I’m super glad Mario has dropped the crutches!

It was also really lovely to see Ole Wintermann again (we were on a panel together at Social Media Week Hamburg in February), and I met Mario Sorgalla for the first time! Mario is one of the bosses at Future Challenges, and it was really nice to talk. Great conversation, new ideas, and I’m super glad Mario has dropped the crutches! 

Messed about with Salim at the end of the day, and then Ruth and I pushed off to the market, I mean a girl has to shop! Yes we took more pictures!

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Got home, cramps in full swing, and I still cooked dinner! Wanna see? Of course you do!

 

Tortelini with chicken and an avocado salad. Yum!

Tortellini with chicken and an avocado salad. Yum!

Tumbled into bed, and glory be to God who always causes us to triumph over insomnia, I fell asleep almost immediately!