Archive for the ‘DAY 2 DAY’ Category

Exactly one week ago, I packed up, and left chilly Greenhithe for 28 degrees plus temperatures in Abuja, Nigeria, my home for the next month and a bit.

From the Asian on the leg from Frankfurt to Abuja who wouldn’t stop coughing (and couldn’t be bothered to cover his mouth), to the really lovely spaghetti bolognese I had on the flight, my trip was good, safe, pretty much uneventful. I watched ‘Frozen’ (that’s all I could stay awake for), and it’s amazing how little but very poignant life lessons can be contained in cartoons!

Massive thanks to my buddy for a ride home, and even though there was no power, it was really great to be home, and see my family, especially my darling nephew Boo Boo!

Went to the gym on Wednesday, big thank you to @EddieMadaki for an intense workout! Dang!

Woke up on Thursday morning, and bad news – there was a power surge, and my darling HTC One was slain. And so phone numbers, messages, EVERYTHING, I lost. And it was just the beginning of a horrible day. Massive thank you to my main squeeze Tokes for talking to me and cheering me up. Love you boo!

By Friday I was thankful for nighttime because I so needed an escape! I was overwhelmed, and even working out so hard my joints were burning didn’t make me feel better.

Wasn’t all doom and gloom though. I got a Samsung S4 to use (really grateful), but here’s my review of the device in one tweet.

Screenshot 2014-04-07 22.51.08

On Saturday I was up really early to play lawn tennis, and I had a fabulous time! Would have been nice though if they had warned me my arms would burn afterwards…but I had a great time! And the coach says I am a fast learner. Whoop!

Came home to meet my dad (yay), and it was nice to unload and rant about the incidents and drama from Thursday. Really nice. Was also really cool (always is) to watch him play with his grandson, who calls him ‘Tampa’ (Grandpa). Cute! Cute! Cute!

Had to babysit afterwards so Boo Boo and I went to get amala from my favorite Mama Put joint (it’s his favorite meal these days), and then I went off to a fabulous lunch at Salamander.

Mash, salmon, and wonderfully steamed vegetables. Love! Love! Love!

Mash, salmon, and wonderfully steamed vegetables. Love! Love! Love!

Food was great but their service really can’t be any slower. As in, service is courteous, waitresses are pleasant, ever smiling, all that good stuff but their service defines the word S-L-O-W. It’s incredible!

Went off to Designer Market Place (DMP) afterwards, and it was so lovely to finally put a face to some voices and names, and also to catch up with my old buddies! I was excited cos it was my first time of attending, and I had some really lovely cocktails too!

Got some fuel after that (and in that lies the curious case of the guy who appeared from nowhere and attempted to shunt the queue). SMH. Quick call to catch up with my girls Amanda and Deborah (miss you lots), and then after a fun hour spent with some other friends, it was finally home and bedtime.

House on the Rock The Refuge on Sunday, meetings, some major mileage with work and supporting my fabulous sister at an audition later in the day, and the day was over as quickly as it begun.

Monday I was stuck with a really somehow attendant at a cyber cafe I went to print some documents at, a really pleasant Medview flight (first time I used the airline and I’m sure there’ll be a second time), I learned that I can be over dependent, and learning to use my new phone, an Android called BeMatel. Really cool.

And that’s how my week went!

P:S – Greetings from Lagos, the land where taxi drivers use their brakes like they are an afterthought!

PPS: God has been super merciful to me! I can’t even tell it all, but He has!

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So, a little backgrounder to this article. Sometime in January a friend ran a series on her blog for people to testify about their year and I sent in this piece. Somehow she didn’t get round to using it.

I was searching for some document this evening (28th March) and I stumbled on it! And so I thought I’d use it for a end-my-first-quarter type of thank you post. And so, here’s my testimony of how brilliant my year has been so far, obviously I’ve added a bit more to the original post – God has really rocked these first three months for me! The additions are in green.

Ready? Let’s do it! Whoop!

 

I Testify!!

2014! Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude! Nothing more, this is the year that God and I have agreed will be full of gratitude alone. Gratitude.

2013 was a difficult year. Ooh, very difficult. So difficult some days I was scared that one day I would do something to hurt myself. It was incredible, wearing a smile outside because people were ‘counting on me to smile’ and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but I was really struggling inside. Like I really struggled.

To put this in perspective, I’m not a stranger to rough patches, but I’ve always seen the good in every unpleasant situation, felt like it would get better. But when I woke up on the 21st of July to news that my aunty Pat had passed, the term ‘numb’ came alive. Ooh it came so alive it nearly consumed me.

Can I say a big thank you to Olamide Craig (@RevDrCraig) here? I rang him, and he left school and his preparations for his exams, literally came running. I remember kneeling down by the train station, wailing. He stayed through my rants, tears, and only left after I slept. God bless you for me Craig, God bless you richly. And boy am I excited you scaled the exams! Proud of you baby!

By November it started dawning on me that the weight I put on in the hospital caring for my aunt wasn’t planning to ‘leave me alone’ (lol), and that was a very present worry. One day on Twitter looking through the handles of some fitness experts (if looking /watching Insanity curled up in bed with a hot drink could scare the pounds off my body I’d be anorexic by now I promise), I chanced upon an idea that became the #31Days31Writers project after I tweaked it a bit.

Amazing! Whoop! It’s one of the best things I did last year! Loved the distraction it became, and when the stories started coming in, oh what a joy! Mrs. E’ sent in an entry too, she was up on Christmas Eve! I’m excited at the Christians I’ve been exposed to and become friends with via this blog; it’s such a blessing to be part of a blossoming community of young people who love the Lord!

It wasn’t all gloom and doom though. Matter of fact, when I said I’d send in an entry, it was actually a challenge for me to find things to be grateful for.  All I had to do was think, and boom – testimony after testimony. Have time for a few?

In 2013, I was sought out on LinkedIn by the project manager of MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation to provide social media consultation for Shuga. We’re looking at bigger engagement for the project this year, and I’m proper excited about that!

In September I stood in for a friend (@Chude) at Social Media Week London, moderating a panel of people I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to meet all at once otherwise. Off that event, by December I had gotten two all expenses paid speaking trips for 2014. One of them is in three weeks (butterflies of life and destiny!) That event was Social Media Week in Hamburg, and God really came through for me on so many levels! There are new opportunities off that, and it’s all very exciting! 

In the same 2013, I went to bed and woke up every morning, no struggle. I traveled (and I like to move around), and there never was an evil report (except me missing a flight to Aberdeen, falling asleep on the train back home and therefore missing my stop, losing my train ticket – all in one morning, sigh). Even in that, there were funds for another ticket, strength to go back to the airport that same evening, and a safe trip to and fro. God loves me walai!

My family is healthy. Big miracle. We might have fallen ill once or twice, but we always got better. I remember crying to church one Sunday in October cos my sister sent me a photo of my nephew with bumps all over his body, suffering from a reaction to something. But, he got better, and now feeds himself! My darling boy! Boo Boo is playing football now (he’s all of 18 months, and I’m already looking for scouts for an academy! Hit me up if you know someone!)

Speaking of healing, God healed my dad of some strange, excruciating pain in his shoulder, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

I tasted love in 2013, met an awesome young man. I’m excited at the big and great things my Father has designed for me this year, for the grace and humility that led me to read books, listen/watch messages, especially in January. I’m growing (in faith and in my mind), learning about myself, amassing tips I will adapt as necessary; readying myself for the great man and home He has designed for me. And I can’t wait!

I asked God to lead me by hand this year, and not only has He been doing that (patiently, because I know I can be a piece of work), but He’s linked me with people I am accountable to, people I can openly talk to when I struggle, and not worry about anything. This is where I’m grateful for Francesca, Tomi, Wumi, and Tokunbo. Extraordinary women!

Bottomline, I’m not where I should be but ooh this year is so bright I’m excited at the things the rest of the months in the year will bring!

And so I testify today, of His goodness, and His mercy, and His grace, and His love, of His awesomeness and great glory.

I testify because there can never be a good enough explanation for God loving me the way He does, with all my flaws, imperfections and weaknesses. I can’t comprehend it (but then if I did, it wouldn’t be God na… He has to ‘show’ Himself)! Whoop!

I testify because I see 2014. Want to know what I’ve seen? I’ve seen a great year, full of peace, good news, love, hearing from and speaking to God, a complete dissociation from everything that doesn’t please Him, prosperity (oh yes, ooh yes), and immeasurable joy on every side.

This is the year, and I testify!

What are you grateful for? Share!

 

 

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I just thought to celebrate my canine today. My very first canine. I can’t wait to have my next one (which I won’t have till I have my own home and can ensure that I will never have to leave him to anyone to look after).

I came home from boarding school one holiday and daddy had this mischievous twinkle in his small eyes I couldn’t place. Did we buy a new car? Did they adopt a baby? Was Momma having a baby? I couldn’t place it. And he wouldn’t say anything beyond; “I have a surprise for you”.

That surprise turned out to be Blesso, our first German shepherd. He was about three weeks old, and was such a beauty!

Blesso (short form for Blessing – that’s what he was to us) became a member of the family immediately. I remember my mom making breakfast for my dad in one part of the kitchen, and my dad mashing boiled eggs and pouring milk for Blesso’s breakfast. As I type I can see the picture of both of them ‘working hard’ like it was yesterday.

Blesso was spoiled; truly spoiled. As a baby, if you set his food down and walked away, he would go have a look at the meal, look at you, and walk away. But if you pulled a chair and sat by the food, he’d come and eat. Even better if you fed him, he’d be seconds from purring! Blesso was spoiled, our truly spoiled baby.

I remember when he sprained his foot. Funny story. As a baby Blesso hated night time and going into his kennel, he’d do anything for a few more minutes of play every night. One night when we put him in, I don’t even remember how he was roughing the place up (angry that he was in his mansion) and next thing we heard something between a howl and a shout!

We all came out, and I promise you Blesso had tears coming out his eyes! He’d hurt one of his hind legs. Took him to the vet the next day, and it was bandaged a bit. Blesso milked it to death!! Ahh! He’d be walking normally o, once he saw one of us he’d start limping and whimpering. Just so you’d carry him. Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled!

But we loved him. Still do.

We had so many variations to his name, like Sir B, Blesso, at some point I started calling him ‘Jibi’, much to my brother’s annoyance (Lord knows how I thought that up)! Whatever I called him though, Blesso knew my voice, and that was enough.

After Blesso turned two, my fondest memories of returning from boarding school or from a trip would be letting him out of his kennel for my ‘inspection’.

Soon as he heard my voice, he’d bark nonstop till I appeared in front of his mansion. When I let him out, he’d smell my feet, lick it (perhaps tasting for consistency, lol), and then, satisfied it was me, he’d stand on his hind feet and use his fore to thump my chest. Boom!

For me, that was his way of saying, “welcome back boo! Where have you been?” And somehow, I started looking forward to this little ritual.

I came home once and not only was ‘home’ now in a different state of Nigeria (my parents had been transferred), but Blesso and his mansion were gone. Our lodgings didn’t have provision for animals and so my folks had given him out. Broke my heart so bad, I felt like someone died. For me, Blesso was ‘home’.

I’ve had two more canines since Blesso (Izzie and Waffles) but like the throes of passion only novelty induce, Blesso will always be in my heart.

P:S – I was inspired to search myself and write about Blesso after Priscilla from dogvacay.com got in touch to ask if I would write on the theme ‘home away from home’. Bringing up all the memories? Totally worth it!

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Hello good people of the world,

Good news! If you’re Nigerian and you’re used to Pentecostal churches, you would be clapping now. Otherwise, just clap anyway.

So, I had a giveaway, put out things people would need to do, and the deadline they’d need to send their entries in by.

Only one person sent in answers, IVY BEN, and so automatically they became my winner! She placed her order (remember the deal was books only), and the books came in on the weekend!

2014-03-16 09.38.32-1

The books are here, next thing is to send them to Nigeria this weekend, and ship them off to her!

PS – A lot of comments said they didn’t quite understand the rules of the competition. I sincerely apologise, and I will make it good (by organizing another giveaway soonest). In the meantime, the first six people to leave a comment get one of the following books given to me (and this cause) by my friends.

1. Preside or lead: the attributes and actions of effective regulators by Scott Hempling (three of this)

2.  “Democracy and prebendalism in Nigeria: Critical interpretations. Edited by Adebanwi and Obadare

3. Rewire: Digital cosmopolitans in the age of connection by Ethan Zuckerman.

4. The Message Bible. I mistakenly ordered two instead of one and so instead of returning one, I’m going to give it to one lucky person. Lucky because this Bible is so beautiful!

Mention the book you want in your comment so the next person sees that it’s already been taken and I don’t have the Solomon issue of dividing one book into halves to satisfy anyone (lol…)

Have a good week!

 

 

Right.

I’m a little upset tonight, and I’ll tell you why in just a minute. First off, apologies I’ve been inconsistent. I know I owe chronicles from my Hamburg and Abuja trips, and I will get to them in good time. This piece however couldn’t wait.

It is inspired by a post I saw on Joy Bewaji’s page on Facebook this evening, and because I want this piece to have the right context, I’ve got a screenshot for you.

Screenshot 2014-03-10 22.24.47

 

My comment was along the lines of I’d make sure I gave the person a permanent injury, and even if my breast was hanging out of my top or if I put it on my forehead (because it is my body part), it doesn’t give anyone the right to touch it. 

Then I saw a comment from a guy who said “You see — I have two daughters, one much younger and I tell them always to dress up and cover up — so that they don’t have crazies stirring at them in an unwelcome manner”.

And that got me really ticked off. For some reason it just really annoyed me. My comment’s below.

http://fairygodsister.wordpress.com/…/this-has-got-to…/ 

Did the 4-year-old in my blog from 2010 dress ‘indecently’? How does a 4-year-old entice a 45-year-old man?

I am not a parent John* (I see you’re throwing that around a little bit now) but I have this thing that my folks (who are parents) taught me, and that is self-respect. They taught me boundaries and God bless them, I have a brother who they taught him the exact things too.

Some men are animals. Not all, but a good number of men are animals. Animals because they lack self-respect, and self-control. Tis’ the absence of those two that make animals in the forest eat one another, do numbers one and two ‘anywhere belle face’, and all the things that generally separate man from beast.

In my first comment I said even if her breast was hanging out, heck even if it was on her forehead, he had absolutely NO right to touch it. That is what separates man from beast. It’s spring now, and the teens here are preempting summer and wearing the tiniest bits in their wardrobe. Are you saying because they are dressed that way they are ‘not being cautious’? Are you saying they are asking to be molested?

When I have children (and therefore become a parent), I will teach my children to dress decently only because it is the decent thing to do, not as a shield against molestation. 

It is these excuses we give for depravity that tire me. Absolutely grates.

Following on from that, here’s an experience that’s barely two weeks old.

I was in Nigeria in the last week of February, and amongst a number of meetings was one with a Senator. Venue? National Assembly. Now I’d never been there on my own, so I was already a little apprehensive. And it was HOT.

Got there dressed in a knee-length, sleeveless, black corporate-type dress, and brown heels. I got to the gate and was told I couldn’t go in because they had a policy against sleeveless dresses so we wouldn’t “entice the Assemblymen”. 

I swear I pinched myself to be sure I was neither being pranked, nor starring in my own horror movie. After all said and argued, ladies and gentlemen, I had to go home to change.

Got home, changed into black trousers and a blue top, same heels and the taxi drove me back there. Went in, met the children of God who are the ‘special assistants’ to the Senator, and when my business was done, I started the long walk under the sun outside to where my taxi was waiting.

Next thing a car passes me, reverses a bit, and stops. The right back window goes down and a man tells me “fine girl, leave the sun, come into my car”. I looked at him, gave him the dirtiest look I had, and continued walking. Brethren, the car followed me till I rounded the corner, and then it drove off. It had senate plates.

Wasn’t it for an animal like this I incurred bills on my taxi, and suffered more exposure to the sun than necessary? Isn’t it for these ones I was sent home because a sleeveless dress would entice? Who on earth are we kidding?

Ladies and gentlemen, you are either an animal or a human being. This excuse we give about women inviting molestation or rape on themselves because of the way they dress is sickening.

What did this girl on the way back from her grandfather’s funeral do to invite rape, by 6 men who threw her in a ditch and left her for dead afterwards?

It is also hypocritical because, like I said to the creature of God who asked what a young lady was wearing when she was molested by thugs posing as officials of the Abuja Environmental Protection Bureau, the easiest way to show that your argument is a lie is to let your sister or mom be raped or molested. 

Let’s have this argument if your first question is about what they wore to ‘invite it’. Otherwise can we please train our children up in the way they should go already?

P:S – I did a blog (can’t find it) once where I said I’d set on fire anyone who ever touched my kids inappropriately. 

 

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So I woke up this morning and immediately felt like I wanted to do a giveaway on the blog. Whoop! Excited much because I’ve never done one before, and the thought alone of “being the answer to someone’s prayer” (however small) got me on a small high!

There was only one problem though, I didn’t know what to give, or how to give it! So, I went on Twitter, and because Igbo people say a person who asks for direction never misses his way, I asked, threw the question out there.

Here’s the reply that rocked the most for me.

Screenshot 2014-02-13 21.16.44

Screenshot 2014-02-13 21.18.19

Screenshot 2014-02-13 21.18.37

Screenshot 2014-02-13 21.18.59

Screenshot 2014-02-13 21.19.17

What do you think?

Amazing! My seat almost couldn’t contain me! See, I love strategies, and so it totally excites me when people come up with ideas literally at the drop of a hat (or tweet, lol).

Remember my #31Days31Writers project? The idea was adapted from an idea I saw this same guy @HL_Blue talk about? Yes I credited him for the idea jor.

So yeah, that’s the story behind this first giveaway! I can’t give away too much (pun intended), but here’s three things to note:

1. You get to choose what you want to win (to a reasonable extent)

2. There will be multiple winners (whoop)

3. I’m going to try to increase the winnings in the next 24 hours, see if the gifts go a bit further! Want to add something? Holla!

Right! So, let’s do it! Fingers crossed the rules will be up tomorrow!

UPDATE (Feb 14th): Last night one of my big friends added two books to the giveaway pot, and this morning, another friend added three!!!

Details will be up tonight, with the question! Come back then!

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I heard of Danny and Sylvester’s deaths just about six hours apart – both were in the same age bracket, in the same industry, and both victim to the short, brutish life that Nigeria is gaining critical acclaim for by the day.

In 2008 I was selected to attend a BBC World Service Trust (now Media Action) training on “Reporting HIV and Aids”.

We must have been about 13 or so participants, all drawn from different radio stations in Abuja. I remember quite a few  of them, Sophie Petra, Danny, Chimdi (from Aso Radio as well, where I was at the time), Nonye, Ehi, if I’ve missed names they won’t be more than two.

I remember our per diem (more than my youth corper allowance at the time, the awesome tea breaks with a different set of pastries each day, and of course I remember filling out lunch cards and eating ‘whatever I wanted’ for lunch.

The banter and camaraderie amongst all of us was real, even though sometimes I felt like I couldn’t voice an opinion cos technically I was the youngest. Used to tell myself it was Danny in my head, but it’s a good thing I never said it out, cos I’m wrong.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I stayed in touch with at last 60% of the team. So from those I’m tight with, to the ones whose names I only remember when Facebook says it’s their birthday,  I’ve pretty much kept those doors open.

I saw Danny last around the end of 2012. I’d been invited to Kiss FM to be a guest on Nike Coker’s show and I went in to do the recording. I spoke on basic essentials for security online, just tips and tricks for people to stay safe in all their dealings online. I remember it was about the time that Cynthia Osikogu was lured to a hotel in Lagos and killed by some men she met/spoke to on Facebook.

I was excited to see him! Teased about him becoming a big boy at Kiss (I remember at a point wasn’t very excited with RayPower FM), and he teased me about being chubby. SMH Danny!

I heard Danny passed the same morning Sylvester’s death was confirmed, and all I could see in my head was the twinkle in his tiny eyes, the dimples in his smile. I could see the spring in his step, and the laughter which I couldn’t place at some point.

Danny, I don’t know the proximity of the candle to the generator that exploded that night, but I know your heart was pure, and you would do anything to make the next man happy. My heart goes out to your family and I pray God’s grace and comfort in this time.

Sleep well Danny Danosaur – keep making music!!

Danny

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Another one bites the dust…

Posted: February 9, 2014 in DAY 2 DAY
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Cory Monteith. Michael Jackson. Whitney Houston. What two things do these names have in common? Fame/wealth. Undisputed access to tons and tons of money, acclaim, all that good stuff.

The second thing is illicit drugs/death. Whatever it is they snorted, smoked, injected or inhaled, it led to their death, and very early too. Cory Monteith was 31, Michael Jackson was 50. Talk about lives being cut short.

Exactly one week ago, when I heard Philip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead on the 2nd of February with a needle still stuck in his arm and heroin (a special type called ‘Ace of Spades’) in packets around him, I was sad, then angry, then sad, and angry all over again.

Sad – he died young, he was just 46. He was very popular too, an Oscar award winner, and recently starred in Hunger Games (which by the way I have never watched and don’t think I will ever see because I don’t like fight fight).

Angry – are there not enough examples to prove that drugs are a sure way to die early?

Sad – heartbroken for his family, his wife/partner and their three young children. His parents, and the stigma of being related to the person ‘who died with a needle in his arm’.

Angry – what on earth made him go back to drugs after 23 years of being drug free? Whatever could have entered him all over again? They say his drugs could have been laced with something else. Ok, but why take them in the first place? Why?

I’m sure I could go the sad and angry route a few more times, but I won’t.

Psychologists say anything you do for 30 days becomes a habit – this man had been drug free for at least 8280 days! Then according to a report I read, he started abusing prescription pills, graduated to heroin, and then on to this substance that took his life.

I chatted with someone recently, and he told me the amount of thanks and gratitude he got because he gave him a $5 tip. 5 dollars. Reports say just weeks ago the now late Seymour withdrew $1200 from an ATM to pay for these drugs. $1200 on drugs when the next man is almost throwing a party because he was gifted 5 bucks.

Here’s another reason why I am angry – a child is attracted by the flickering light of a candle, and they want to touch it. Most times we let them because we know once it hurts them that first time, they most likely will not go back to it again. ‘Most likely’ because children have the attention span of a goldfish! Bless them.

23 years after, did he forget? Did he become so wealthy that he felt that the drugs would ‘fear/respect his money’ and not harm him? What was he thinking? The Bible says that the things that are written are unto us for examples.

Just like I wrote the ‘learn from it, don’t be it‘ post when Cory Monteith died, I’m writing again  - say NO to drugs. Say No, and mean it so much that whoever asked you before will be convinced you are not interested. You shouldn’t even be friends with such people in the first place!

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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First time Cheta introduced Sylvester to us at YNaija2015, I was just grateful for someone who was happy to travel and cover elections for us. We exchanged a few emails (on logistics, tasks, uninteresting stuff), and then he was off to Edo for the local government elections.

And then it was like a 300watts light bulb switched on inside of Sylvester once he got there. Show me ten men with excitement and passion for their work, and I would give you Sylvester. I think he came alive in a very special way just being on ground in Edo. He’s high up there on the list of my friends who become animated at the scent of anything political.

We talked a lot more after that, he was always quick to retrieve and verify information for me and spent one particular afternoon phoning up different people just because I asked for the elections calendar for local government elections around the country (a whole INEC doesn’t even have that, but that’s a totally different story).

For the farce that was the gubernatorial elections in Anambra, Sylvester outdid himself. Pictures, text (he would live-blog for each election), audio, and even videos, we didn’t lack for content at all. So much that when his laptop and phone died, he started texting me information! I remember he called me that night, miffed that they had been barred from entering the hall where the results were to be announced, and dogs had been set on them to scare them away. In all of the chaos, he said, “don’t worry Chioma, I will find a way to get in”.

When I saw on Twitter that he had been in an accident, on the same road that took Bankole Taiwo in 2012, I was heartbroken. I prayed to God, begged Him to have mercy, to save this one. I couldn’t be there to hold his hand; I wasn’t even allowed to speak with him any of the times I rang.

I was speaking to his wife on the night of the 4th, missed a call from Chude on my other phone. When we spoke, Chude said Sylvester was gone.  And I said no, that I had just spoken to his wife, and we had just believed God for a miracle. I don’t even know how to call her now, don’t know what to tell her. Words…words are so overestimated.

I never met you Sylvester, but I can imagine God needed someone to chronicle the happenings in heaven for those of us who aren’t there yet. And so even though we hurt, and our hearts are so heavy, we remain subject to His will.

I miss you Sylvester, we all miss you terribly.

Rest in peace, Sly Barzini. Je nke oma.

Sylvester...

Sylvester…

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Well, part one to this tale is here.

I wasn’t sure what documents I needed for this ‘interview’ to renew my Nigerian passport (renew o, not get a brand new one) so I took all the documents I had confirming my citizenship. I had to go off my route to retrieve some documents from a friend, and then it was off to the Embassy.

Got there, and I was told at the door that I needed to get a postal order worth £20 from the Post Office. Why didn’t anyone say this before? Mention or even hint at it? Online or the day I filled out the forms? Why?

Fortunately I didn’t need any form of transportation to get there but it was freezing, and was time I could have saved to be honest.

I got back from getting it, and because I already had a ‘number’, I sat down and watched a woman try in vain to control her four young boys whose favorite word in the whole wide world (and response to every request, directive, or scolding) was ‘NO’. I chuckled over and over.

Multiple cold repellents (read as hot chocolate) meant I needed to pee, and so to the conveniences I went. Full stop, but I took pictures.

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No comment.

Must have spent an hour and then it was my turn to be ‘interviewed’. Got to the counter and they just confirmed I had paid the application fee, collected the postal order and form, and asked me to go sit down and wait to be ushered upstairs for biometric capturing.

Huh? What happened to the ‘interview’? What of the documents I’d been told I needed to convince Nigeria I was Nigerian? I needed to justify the dossier I’d hauled from home. The man said, “you don’t need them”, and then called out the next number. I wanted to say something, but then I reminded myself that I am a daughter of Zion, said thank you (didn’t believe I had one in me) and went to sit.

Started blogging (obviously) till I heard an argument getting louder and decided to listen (how else would I have this story for you?)

This lady had filed out an application, but didn’t have her old passport. Where was it Missy? She said officials collected it from her at the airport because it was expired. Huh? That’s not normal now is it? The more probable thing is you won’t be allowed to fly in the first instance, or you’ll be turned back at the point of entry.

Madam didn’t want to hear that she needed her old passport or some documentation to be able to get a new one. And so there was a lot of yelling, “do you know who I am” thrown about, all of that drama. Of course that meant that my reading/blogging gave way to tatafo. I started thinking too, who did she think was 5 years old there? What did she mean by officials collected it from her? Which officials? And she walked away from them quietly after they collected it? O da.

I got called for my biometrics, went upstairs, and while I waited, I saw the Dame on TV, leading some prayer session. No I didn’t watch, I just took a couple of pictures.

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They prayed, they sang…fill in the blanks…

Got my photo and prints captured and I was asked to come back in two weeks. Sigh.

The End.

Update – I went in on the day and after waiting for about 30 minutes, collected the passport of life and destiny. And I hear I got it easier than most. Either way, I’m grateful!

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