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I’m a part of what you might call the generation of today, a part of the 68% of the 170 million Nigerians that is ‘young’. Not the ’60-year-old’ ‘yoot’ status political party members ascribe to themselves, the true demographic.

And I am different. I neither corrupt nor thieving, I do not appropriate the allocations or benefits of others to myself under any guise. I am a hardworking entrepreneur on the one hand, and an employee on the other. Why? Apart from the fact that I love to do both, and there are more than enough brain cells to allocate to both ventures, if I don’t hustle in the days of my youth, when will I?

There are millions of others like me, braving one unfavorable circumstance or the other to stay in their jobs or keep their businesses above water. Some of them have moved from being employees to employers themselves, others (just for the love of it) have founded social enterprises and devote the 24 hours they have each day to making sure that the next man has a better quality of life. All of this independent of government.

When ‘dependent’ on government, there are loads more who will not touch bribes, muddle figures, or taint themselves for a quick buck. They prefer to receive their wages with joy (or murmuring), and either find a way to augment it, or adjust their lifestyle to fit their budget.

People say of Nigerians that we are the happiest people on earth, regardless of fuel scarcity, epileptic (or non-existent) power supply, deplorable schools and Boko Haram (amongst others). We have also been described as the most hardworking and resilient. I believe all of that because I know how hard I work, and I have peers who make the hours I work look like child’s play.

I have a ‘Mama Put’ I patronize every time I’m in Abuja, I could swear by her meals! I was there recently, and my favorite, beans and plantain, was lukewarm, and I’d gotten used to piping hot food from there. Even worse, I bit on a stone!

Did I complain? Of course I did. Did I stop going there because of one incident? No. Why? Because one bad experience cannot be enough to cancel out all the brilliant meals I’ve had there. Same way you don’t bin a crate of eggs because you cracked open a rotten one. No, you try again.

It would be foolhardy to paint every Nigerian you meet with whatever evil brush you inadvertently acquired via the news, a local or foreign blog, or even worse, off hearsay. If you were wont to do that before, we forgive you.

Nigerian youth have excelled in spite of a glaring lack of good role models to follow. Where are they? From Babangida, to Abacha, Shonekan to Obasanjo, down to what we’ve got now, where is the inspiration? Just how much inspiration do all these great men muster between them? So precious little.

Yet we have thrived, soldiered on bravely in a landscape barren of support. We’re asking questions, championing causes, holding this government to account, and most important, we’re providing solutions.

I might not be able to say this about the others, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that this generation, my generation is different.

PS – Written in May, after a discussion with @bubusn. Edited after a conversation with @eyooekpo.




I met Kalat (we preferred to call him ‘Dale’ then sha, sounded very posh and all) on the NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) camp in Abuja. There was a bunch of us who would hang around together, Simi, Ini, Dale, David Barau, someone else who’s face I can see but whose name I can’t remember, and myself.

Camp got done with, and Dale was in my Community Development Service (CDS) group, the one and only Editorial Board. And the camaraderie continued, I remember the park at Area 1 where we’d have CDS meetings, and the awesome support Dale and our other friends gave. Super people!

Dale is married now, with a gorgeous baby girl, and I’m so proud of what he’s become!


My name is Kalat, I am Nigerian and I practice Law in Abuja.

I started this year with a decision, a resolution really. I resolved that this year I was going to be more together, more competent. Half way into the year I’ll have to say the biggest lesson I’m learning is to take one day at a time.

Multitasking. Pulling everything off seamlessly and coming out of it all looking unflustered without a hair out-of-place. Some people seem to have that gift. Not me. It seems like I’m always busy, juggling 101 things at the same time. Sometimes I feel like such a scatter brain.

I have found out I’ve rediscovered that life’s going to keep throwing curve balls at me and the best I can do is plan and prepare for what I can foresee. For everything else, take it as it comes. So for rest of this year, I’m still going to keep crossing all my “t’s” and dotting the “i’s” as much as is within my power. For everything else, I’ll do the best I can and won’t beat myself up if it doesn’t go as I planned.

Recently I posted this piece on my blog, it’s called “Just for Today”. It has helped me put a lot into perspective. Don’t know who wrote it but I’d like to share it with you. Please take a look if you have the time. I hope it helps you as much as it has me.

What am I most grateful for? I’ll have to say love. The love of my family helping keep me sane, a lighthouse in this treacherous storm called life. The love of my friends who put up with all my foibles and my constant abandonment, and the love of a God that I will never understand.

Love keeps me humble because I’m convinced I hardly deserve any of it, so I’m grateful and constantly looking for a way to pass it on. Not to earn it mind you, but to show love to someone else who may feel as undeserving as I do in the hope that they will do the same. Love might just change the world.

Kalat is on Twitter as @talakbags. Thank you Dale!

Just look and remove your eyes, I told you he's married!

Just look and remove your eyes, I told you he’s married!

Are you enjoying our movement? Nigeria to Afghanistan, to South Korea, to The Netherlands, on, and on, and on? Incredible! So many different stories, diverse views on the year!

Today, we’re off to Botswana to meet my friend Silindile (she will attest to the fact that I was one of the very few we met in The Hague who could pronounce her name perfectly – whoop!). Silindile loves studying (like me), and she’s a gorgeous girl, inside and out so it’s an absolute pleasure to have her on today!

A few days ago I turned 25 years old. Yeahyness to me I am a year old. So, in true Silindile style, I decided to reflect on the past few months of my life like I do each year. And I just realised how much I have grown and learnt so much, and I owe this to every single human being I have had an encounter with. Whether be it a stranger’s smile on the street, a stranger stopping and taking the time to assist me or through family and close friends, I can say am truly humbled for the impact you have all had in my life. Yes, all of you, even you I am yet to meet because I believe, every encounter or experience is an opportunity to learn.

So what did I learn from myself and all of you so far? Well, I really learnt a lot that I much I know, but to avoid going round in circles as a talkative person, I will try to get right to the point and highlight three lessons that have stood out for me.

I have learnt to believe in myself and put my trust in God. I know this might sound like a cliché for some of you, but honestly the belief in me and my potential even through moments of doubt and fear have manifested into the great things I have achieved so far. I not only got awarded a scholarship to study in Europe, but the bonus is that as a person who loves to travel my programme affords me the opportunity to study in five different countries (Denmark, France, Portugal, Poland and United kingdom). Sounds exciting right? It’s absolutely amazing and sometimes I have to pinch myself because even to this day it still feels surreal.

To always smile, even at strangers. I have not fully applied this into my life as it can be challenging especially when I am having a bad day because a smile is contagious, it radiates positive energy and can make someone’s day. I know this because many smiles from unsuspecting strangers have added brightness to my day whenever I experienced a challenge.

I have learnt to be grateful, even for the small things that we sometimes take for granted. I am grateful for the gift of life, the opportunity and chance to be the best Silindile I aspire to be, my family, friends, who love me for who I am and the lessons I have learnt along the way. Lastly, I am grateful to God, my heavenly and earthly, the ever constant presence in my.

As we enter the second half of the year, I plan to take my lessons with me and continue to learn and grow each day through my experiences. I want to love more, laugh more, dance more, smile in spite of, travel a lot, take risks, continue chasing my dreams and finally getting round to learning French and learning how to swim. My goodness, these last two things have been on my list since forever, I think it is about time I got around to learning them lol.

My name is Silindile Mlilo, from Botswana and I am studying toward a Master in advanced developed Social Work.

I wonder why I didn't take this lip color off her when we met! Post it to me babes!

I wonder why I didn’t take this lip color off her when we met! Post it to me babes!


I met Sabine Ewald, project Manager of the team hosting social media week Hamburg 2014 @ Social Media Week London 2013. She said I had to attend at Hamburg and I was excited at the opportunity.

The story about the visa application is a short one, a few pages to confirm I was resident in England, bank statements, invite, you know how that works. There was a curious declaration form though, actually two I had to sign saying I wasn’t a terrorist. I remember a particular question asking if I had recently received training from …(listed a number of countries), and another lumping Nigeria and some war-torn countries together.  That hurt.

So I got the visa, now it’s on the trip proper. If you’ve travelled anywhere with me (via this blog), you’d know I cannot sleep the night before any flight. Last time I slept, not only did I miss the flight, I started in my own ‘league of unfortunate events that morning. It wasn’t funny then, glory be I can laugh about it now.

This night though, I slept I was exhausted, and so I slept. But I asked the Holy Spirit to wake me (that’s something I’ve started doing recently), and soon as I put my things together/booked a taxi for the next day, I hit the sack. Flight time? 7.40am. 

I woke up about 4.50am, 10 minutes before my alarm (thank you Lord). Shut my eyes to pray (still cozied up under my blanket) and I promise you I had gotten through one song and a few words of prayer before…I heard my phone ring and it was my beloved father asking if I was at the airport! Lol. Bless him!

I jumped up, took one more wake up call (thank you dearie), and then it was in, out of the shower, and in my taxi at exactly 5.50am; of course I dozed all the way to the airport.

Thankfully my hosts had paid for check-in luggage and I was on time so I went to drop it. 

Do you know that the Nigerian passport doesn’t do us  a lot of favors sometimes? Ok, so I got to the counter and after asking me where I was going and why, the lady rang someone to ‘register/confirm’ my passport and visa. Incredible. Just incredible. And that’s all I will say about that here.

Cleared security, got to the Duty Free Area, and a little devil wanted to tempt me to look around. Was ambling towards the perfume display then I saw my gate was closing in 11 minutes. Which perfume? Would it guarantee eternity? I dashed for my gate, made it just in time!

Boarded, and beside me was this stern looking lady, na wa. All of a sudden I heard my mother tongue behind me, whoop! Ladies and gentlemen there was a young man blasting Ibo on the phone – I was so excited! Tweeted that, said a prayer, and fell asleep!

Hamburg baby!

Touchdown! Cleared immigration (again got the extra scrutiny), and then I went to grab my luggage. It had dawned on me that I was on my own (no my hosts weren’t meeting me at the airport), so I went out, found a cab, and that story forms the beginning of part two!

PS – Written on the 19th of February, don’t even ask why I’m just publishing it now!


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I haven’t reblogged anyone in a long while, but I had to keep a record of this.

Like I said on Twitter, with Ayo’s response, this mass is ended. Let us all go in peace and serve the Lord.

Originally posted on Ayo Sogunro:

Dear Sadiq Abacha,

I do not know you personally, but I admire your filial bravery—however misguided—in defending the honour of your father, the late General Sani Abacha. This in itself is not a problem; it is an obligation—in this cultural construct of ours—for children to rise to the defence of their parents, no matter what infamy or perfidy the said parent might have dabbled in.

The problem I have with your letter, however, arises from two issues: (i) your disparaging of Wole Soyinka, who—despite your referral to an anecdotal opinion that calls him as “a common writer”—is a great father figure, and a source of inspiration, to a fair number of us young Nigerians; and (ii) your attempt to revise Nigerian history and substitute our national experience with your personal opinions.

Therefore, it is necessary that we who are either Wole Soyinka’s “socio-political” children, or who are ordinary Nigerians…

View original 1,336 more words

Ladies and gentlemen, drum roll please! 

A week plus ago I said I’d be doing my very first giveaway, and I was pretty pumped about it. Then I did another blogpost with the giveaway details, and the deadline when I had to get the answers by. 

The task was to: 

1. Open the last twelve posts on this blog

2. Pick the 5th word of the 6th paragraph in each post

3. Use these words to form a sentence.

Simple! The deadline was Tuesday the 18th of February, and I haven’t updated on this because I’ve had to do quite a bit of traveling in the past week.

I got many messages saying they were working on the answers to the one question @HL_Blue had, but one person took the time to actually do it all, and sent it in before the deadline. So, I have a winner!

My winner is IVY BEN! Congratulations! You get to use up ALL the prize money (on books), and you get one copy each of the books donated by my friends!

Email dfairygodsister(at)yahoo(dot)com with the list of books you want, and even though I’m in Nigeria at the moment, I’ll place the order for you, and we can start waiting till you get them!

1) Happy birthday to my darling Aunty Pat
And: AND God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering of the water He called sea.

2) My first ever giveaway!!
Idea: IDEA is the singular form of Ideas.

3) For Danny Danosaur
Everyone: EVERYONE should take their seats please.

4) Another one bites the dust
Family: FAMILY always comes first with me.

5) The right solution for the wrong problem
Window: WINDOW blinds come in different materials and designs.

6) For Sylvester – words are not enough
His: HIS (Nelson Mandela’s) biography, ‘A Long Walk To Freedom’ is a must read!

7) #PraisewithCC! This is why we’re here
Very: VERY few christians practice what they preach.

8)The quest to renew my Nigerian ‘pali’ (Part
As: AS long as there’s life, there’s hope.

9) Separate yourself from unnecessary pressure
We: WE are heirs of the Father, we are joint heirs with the Son.

10) The quest to renewing my Nigerian ‘pali’ (Part One)
To: TO whom much is given, much is expected.

11) Rev E.A Adeboye on “Overcoming Mountains”
Children: CHILDREN ought to be sent to school and not be used for child trafficking.

12) Breaking news: I changed two bulbs today!
Thinking: THINKING of you gladdens my heart and makes me yearn for your return.

Congratulations again IVY BEN! Get in touch!

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Sometimes it looks like I’m always complaining about the service I receive – make no mistake about it, if the service or service providers are crap, I will complain. Call them out sharply.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you’d probably be aware that so far, my greatest albatross is banks. I have stories of terrible service from GTB (which they rectified), and from Stanbic IBTC (which they rectified too).

But, I’m excited! Like proper, proper excited with GTB!  There’s a little back-story, before I tell you why I’m excited though.

Sometime in 2012 (must have been about October), I needed a corporate account for CC Consulting Services, and I went to GTB. Met some lady in marketing for the form and the how-to. Long story short, she gave me such a run around I completely abandoned the idea. Till Monday.

I went to GTB (because again the need for the account arose) in the afternoon of the 24th, and I approached another lady. No exaggeration when I say she was so helpful! I was there with all the necessary documents anyway (not like it helped me that day in 2012) but this lady was so helpful!

I had to refill the forms because my signature wasn’t regular (never is by the way), and she talked me through it all very patiently. Turns out we have a mutual friend (Queen Rita of Hot FM), and by the time I was leaving just under an hour later, everything  was sorted! It was so ‘sorted’ I made a deposit.

It gets better. She rang that night to say she’d gotten my account number, and sent an SMS with it less than an hour later. I was so chuffed!

And so I celebrate Ikalone Udo today – beautiful, patient, and super efficient; talk about someone who knows her work in and out!

She’s new to Twitter too, as @Ikaloudo. Please show her some love, and thank her (very very well) for me.  Try not to disturb her too much with your GTB issues o, we don’t want to chase off Twitter with our requests!

She’s one of the reasons I had a fabulous 24th of February, so thank you GTB!

What stories of great service do you have?


How’s everyone doing? Nice week? I got two fabulous testimonies yesterday, another brilliant one on Wednesday, I just feel like God is working through my file of requests! Hallelujah!

Quick post today on a lesson I learned early this morning. So I spent the night at a friend’s. We had a strategy meeting and I knew it was going to end too late for me to go home so I’d mentioned to the wife that depending on how late, I would spend the night. Bless her and her husband for hosting me (and everyone else who attended the meeting) really nicely. Shout out to all the good men who cook, your reward is in heaven! Whoop! And maybe on earth too, if you get my drift, but I digress.

Anyway so we watched a really lovely movie after the meeting called ‘Something New’, and then it was bedtime.

I got into bed and was asleep a few short minutes after. But I woke up about an hour after cos I was hot. I reduced the amount of clothing I had on, and I was still hot. Shed a bit more, and I woke up in a sweat!

A bit perplexed, and annoyed that my short sleep was getting even shorter, I woke up and opened the window. Now that’s something I never do at night, I always fear something might come in and carry me away. It’s a very real fear o, even though I can manage to laugh about it with Booski.

Anyway, even with the window open, and the close to 0 degrees, somehow my royal majesty was still hot. I woke up, and started to gather myself to go lie down in the living room when my eyes strayed to the radiator, and I saw it was on, and it was on the highest.

I smiled, turned it off, and learned the lesson I’m sharing with you now.

Sometimes we go through stuff and we wonder why we don’t feel better, or it looks like regardless of everything we’re  doing to solve it, the problem isn’t going away. Have we stopped to think that perhaps we haven’t correctly defined the problem? Look at me for instance, everything I did didn’t help the heat because it was aimed at the wrong thing.

So, think about it, pray about it, and be sure of the problem you’re trying to solve before you start running around like a headless chicken, in vain.



The offending heater... Thank God for heaters, lol

Ladies and gentlemen, how are you doing today? Good? I’m great! Hope you attended church… I’m typing this on the way to Hillsong London, mighty excited because I haven’t been in two weeks! Missed it terribly!

So I want to talk about separating ourselves from unnecessary pressure. What influenced this?

Had a look at some photos on Instagram last night, and a friend of a friend had put up some pictures of her and another buddy at a party. She had on a lovely black dress, accessorised with red jewelry. I thought she looked fabulous!

And then I saw a comment that said, “but you’ve worn this dress before”. And of course that sparked a not so nice argument about how many times you can wear a dress, how many times you can put up a picture of the same outfit on Instagram etc. I was just disgusted.

First off, I checked that the so-called fashion police official wasn’t following me on Instagram, and then I started thinking.

How many times do we let the things our peers influence the things we do, especially unconsciously? How do we need to get a new smartphone only because our friends pre-ordered it? How many nice looking clothes in our closets do we trip over in the name of ‘I’ve worn it before’, and then spend money we don’t have in stores, scouring for tthings we don’t need? Take a minute, think about it.

Recently I bought a really lovely dress for an event. Now that I think of it, I didn’t have to buy that dress, I could have done without it. Even though I didn’t have anyone’s opinions in mind when I got it, and it looked fabulous (if I must say so myself), reading that conversation made me think a little.

Have you yoked yourself with buddies who you know you cannot afford? Afford in the sense that you are constantly under financial pressure to keep up with their spending? Why are you doing that to yourself abeg?

Who says you cannot say no, or say you’re not interested in something you cannot afford? And if they mock you, you’d be aware of a few more people you shouldn’t be friends with.

Please. Separate yourself from pressure, and focus on more important things, like …. (Fill it in yourself).

Enjoy your day!

By Jove there’s got to be something between banks and I, and all of the wrong kind! If I didn’t know better I’d say/think it was karma but it’s definitely not. Not with the slave hours I put in as a marketer for Intercontinental Bank (now merged and renamed Access Bank) back in 2006. That’s a story (or some stories) for another day.

Remember the GT Bank drama chronicles that I documented? Sigh… That was an ugly experience for all the parties concerned, my humble self included. Glad it was sorted, and I still feel sorry for the persons burned in the process of me getting sorted. Do you know I ended up looking like the mean person when I was the one who had been wronged? Sigh again.

Ok, let’s chronicle this episode, shall we? I had been told that Stanbic IBTC, being a ‘foreign bank’, would have less issues with caring for their customers. After this encounter with them though, only ‘same ten and ten pence’ comes to mind when I think of them.

So I was in Nigeria in August for my aunt’s funeral and decided to use the opportunity to sort out my accounts – shut down some, and start to use others a bit more.

Got into Stanbic IBTC on the 14th of August with my cousin who works in the Asset Management wing. We went to the counter, I said I needed to register for internet banking, and I was asked to fill out a form. I filled it out carefully and was told I would get a text in 24 hours. Did I get it? Of course not!

Went back on the 21st,and I was told that I didn’t get the text because…(wait for it)… the phone number on my account wasn’t a Nigerian number. What!!! Is there a reason why no one mentioned this when I filled out the form? When I opened the account in February? The lady said she noticed after I had left. No one could email to say this?

Breathe FGS, breathe. I was asked to fill out a ‘change of phone number’ form (or some other silly sounding document). I filled it, and again I was told I would get a message in 24 hours. Yeah right, of course I didn’t get it. Wouldn’t have needed to blog this if I’d gotten it.

Now, my flight back to the UK was slated for the night of the 26th of August and so that morning, in the course of my last-minute errands, I dropped by Stanbic IBTC to ask about this mysterious text that had probably sworn not to appear on my phone, and ask about their definition of ’24 hours’.

Got there, and brethren that was when someone pulled out the ‘change of phone number’ document to attend to and put through the system! Then they said to “go home and expect the text in 24 hours”.

That was when I ‘sparked’. How many times would I have to go and come for something as inconsequential as internet banking? How many times would I go and wait for a text that was clearly never going to come? I was miffed. Especially since, being the typical Nigerian lady, the ‘never-smiling’ urchin behind the counter decided to mask (or attempt to mask) her incompetence with bravado and sass.

Wasn’t having none of that so I asked to see the manager. And I asked for her name (Temi) because I didn’t really see what I would be describing to the manager. I went upstairs, met him, and complained, complete with dates and times. He apologised profusely, rang and had harsh words with the customer care team because apparently I wasn’t the only one who had complained of poor treatment from a customer care unit that’s supposed to ‘treat you right’.

Ladies and gentlemen, I got the so-called text within the hour! Why must issues degenerate to near fisticuffs before people do what they are supposed to? Why?

Not only did I get it, the manager told me I could have sorted out the online banking business online! Mind you, the customer care guys had said it could only be done in the bank.


P:S – I wasn’t told I needed a token for transactions, so chances that there will be a part 2 to this tale are very high!

UPDATE: a couple hours after this blogpost was published, I saw this message on Twitter from Stanbic IBTC.


Very nice of them… I will be getting in touch!