Posts Tagged ‘31days31writers’

I’ve known Tilly since 2008, that day I walked into Aso Radio thinking, ‘what on earth am I doing here’? I’d been posted there to serve (this thing we call the National Youth Service Scheme), and I was as bemused as I was unamused with the place. But, God knows how/why He orders our steps, and He knows I’m super grateful for that opportunity, and all the others that came from it!

I met Tilly that first day, and somehow we’ve been pals since then! Ride-or-die type chic, even though now that I think of it there was that period where our friendship lulled a bit. 

Tilly’s passionate about her work, always giving 110%, and is one of the most versatile media people I know. We’ve covered each other’s backs at Aso Radio, planned charity events together (won’t forget you played Santa at the ‘Do They Know’ Christmas party for orphans in 2009), braved locations for the BBC World Service Trust (now Media Action), and even partied together (with our own crazy dances)!

Tilly’s up today, enjoy!

At the start of the year, I was in a job I loved but under working conditions I despised and looking to get out, the prospect of unemployment was scary-seeing as I had been there in the not too distant past-but not enough to faze me and I opted out.

I was also in a relationship with a man I believed I’d walk down the aisle with when boom! before the 1st quarter of the year was done, I found myself single and back to ground zero. Was I devasted?! Maybe not but I was truly pained that time/emotions spent building the relationship was lost like sand slipping out of a crack on an hourglass.

Whilst fighting bouts of depression with the help of #FriendsTurnedFamily whom I lived with, I got a call from an old employer offering me a job I’d always wanted. It was even under better working conditions than when I left, only snag was it was in another city than I was currently resident in which meant a fresh start in an old environment. House-hunting wasn’t a thrill I wanted to experience and having sold good ol’ Louis, my car in the last year, mobility didn’t look certain, infact every other thing save the fact I had a job offer, was UNCERTAIN!

And move I did! Not only did a long time friend take me in-no questions asked, help  came from unexpected places -strangers even, whilst people I listed as friends fell short as push came to shove (I won’t bore you with the details). I was also privileged to travel out of the country within my first few weeks of resuming my new job and upon my return home, I had made valuable friends I’d love to keep for life.

I have learnt that there will always, ALWAYS be dark and gloomy days with several hurdles thrust in our way at certain points in life, but I have also learnt that living one day at a time and holding onto hope will bring a ray of light. Hope is surely a good thing.

I am a Nigerian who works in the media by name, Ogunleye Matilda Olusola and I am ready to LOVE again! :)

My super gorgeous friend!

My super gorgeous friend!

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!

Enjoy!

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!

To start with, can I just say that I’m so sorry that this is up today instead of yesterday?

It’s not my fault o, blame WordPress! I woke up this morning, and everything I’m admin for that is WordPress or even self-hosted, didn’t work. I tweeted them, emailed the techy guys in our company, nothing. :( And so that’s why I was silent. But we’re up today!

Eddie emailed this morning to ask if I received his email, and coincidentally I’d readied this for this morning (so I decided to put this sentence in even though it doesn’t really add anything to the entire post). Lol! That was a mouthful. People, enjoy Eddie’s article please, and have a super-productive day!

No one born of a woman could have predicted the result of today’s game; I dare to say even the late Paul the octopus would have lost seven legs on this one. But, and only, the football magician, Jay Jay Okocha, foresaw the unthinkable defeat of the Spaniards in the hands of the Dutch team. He even predicted a 6-1 loss (I have always suspected he fell from the sky).

“What do you think went wrong?” I asked Obi, my colleague, and a die-hard lover of the Spanish game. “Tiki-Taka is dead,” he replied; attributing the defeat to the now predictable style of play of the Spaniards. “The world has finally found an antidote to Tiki-Taka,” he said.

The Spaniards had dominated everything in the world of football in the last seven years. They had won the last world cup and carted away the last two European cups. And the two biggest clubs in Spain, the core of the national team, had also won everything there was for football clubs in recent times.

They had a style of play that not only dominated their opponents but dished out humiliation that bore holes in the national flags of their opponents. They were so good one would be forgiven if he mistook their games for a workout session between men and mannequins.

The Dutch team must really have concocted an antidote as they had answers for all the advances made by the Spaniards. On this very occasion the Dutch team was the headmaster and the Spaniards the pupil. What an interesting game it was.

Like many other sudden and surprising life events there were take home morals. And as I made my way home, more than just thoughts of the game, I pondered on the lessons therein for me.

I had barely driven out of the parking lot when the law of diminishing returns crossed my mind; failure to change or progress beyond a success.

Living in the inertia of an everyday routine; basking in the glories of yesterday – a tested recipe for failure.

How would I feel eating the same delicious groundnut soup every day? That delicious soup would soon turn sour to my taste buds.

A wise man once said: “less is more.”

The Spaniards, they never saw any reason to change or modify their style of play; as the pundits would say: “you don’t change a winning team.” Belive me pundits are wrong most of time.

In stagnancy, age, fatigue, demotivation, predictability and the rest of the world caught up with them. Like Obi said, the world found an antidote. It was only a matter of time.

The Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes talked about seasons and times – it talked about change. The world around us is changing. And if you don’t embrace and make provision for change, sooner than you know it you will go extinct like the dinosaurs.

So what should I do so I don’t find myself at the wrong side of the curve? I guess the answer is to abandon the curve. Abandon the curve and keep reinventing myself.

Stop plucking those “low-hanging fruits.” Embrace change and set new stretchy targets. I ought not to get too comfortable with the successes of yesterday like the Spaniards. My good can get better and better can be best. And at best, I should find another good. There is always a better way.

My thoughts were interrupted by the police and I had to show my ID: I am Eddie Jimete , marketing executive and  business development consultant.

Nice!

Nice!

 

Yes Sir!! I absolutely loved this! Change is everything! Thank you Eddie!

 

What’s most important, on your list of important things? For me it’s family. My folks, siblings and nephew are everything to me, like nothing messes with that! Family to me is like a car service center where you go to just get refreshed. You know how you take your car to a car wash for it to be primed, cleaned, oil changed, tyres scrubbed, everything touched around till you come out all shiny and ready to take on the world? That’s what family (and friends who have become family) do!

And that’s why SungHee’s piece is so heartwarming, and babe I’m sending loads of hugs and warm thoughts to you and all your family at this time. xoxo

My name is SungHee Tark, and I am South Korean. I study Economics at Earlham College, IN, USA.

A lot has happened this year: from starting my year with my best friends in NYC to traveling in Europe and attending an eye-opening conference with a brilliant group of youths in the Netherlands. However, the very event that I learnt the most about the important thing in life was my grandpa’s funeral a week ago.

I was traveling in Europe after attending the conference in the Netherlands in the beginning of the summer. However, my travel had to stop when I got a brief text message from my dad one early morning in June.

“Your grandpa has passed away.”

There was no emotion or anything reflected in the text message. It was around 8’o clock in the morning. I jumped out of my bunk bed in a small hostel in Istanbul to grab my laptop. Then, I booked my ticket to come home in South Korea that afternoon.

It took me 10 hours on the plane and 5 hours on a bus to return home.

I saw all my family members, starting from my parents, sister, cousins, uncles, aunts and even far relatives that I haven’t seen in years all gathered in a hall at home. All of their eyes were wet, and nobody really spoke.

Although my grandpa had spent almost a year in hospital, his death still came as a surprise. Nobody was really ready for it. It came as a shock to me as well, especially because when I saw him last, he had wished me a safe journey to Europe, and I had promised him I would bring him a gift. And I had that gift with me.

I stood there, speechless. I cried helplessly for the whole day that day.

The next day, the air seemed a little different. Everyone in my family seemed to have decided to think that grandpa had gone to a better place. We started comforting each other, talking to the picture of my grandpa, wishing him a safe journey to a better place. We shared good and fun memories with grandpa and planted trees and flowers near his grave in the backyard of his old house altogether. We talked about grandpa but in a very different light. Everyone was still in shock but we focused more on comforting one another because we all knew that that’s what our grandpa would have wanted us to do.

Since then, we’ve been visiting my grandma who still lives in the old house every day, everyone very willingly.

My grandpa has been a very big man to me, always listening, and encouraging, and someone who had supported me through all my hardships and difficult times. Because he was the pillar of our family, his missing presence is being felt greatly. However, I am very grateful to have all my family members in my life. Without them, I don’t think I would be where I am right now and I wouldn’t be able to recover from the loss of our beloved grandpa.

Among all the things I hope to achieve and I am looking forward to in the second half of the year, I wish for my family to achieve what they desire in their lives, keep caring for one another and stay healthy the most.

Because I know I can overcome anything with them in my life.

Sunghee 2

My gorgeous friend SungHee!

SungHee

Hugs!!

 

One of the reasons why I love the #31Days31Writers series is because somehow it provides a mash-up of cultures, ethnicities, and people doing the most diverse things! This month is the most diverse yet, and you should look forward to voices from just about every continent there is! SPeaking of which, I need more guys to come through with their pieces! Want to get involved? Email dfairygodsister(at)yahoo(dot)com and I’ll be in touch!

Dozie is a friend on Twitter who saw my call for entries and was super gracious to not only indicate interest in the project, but also sent in his piece on time! Thank you! From his piece he appears to be a serious-minded, eyes-on-the-ball kind of person… 

The phrase “may you live in interesting times” has never been more apt for me than at this time in my life, never mind the purported origin of the phrase.  I have been back in Nigeria for two years and each day takes on its own character!  My name is Dozie Okpalaobieri, I am Nigerian and I am the Special Assistant on Energy to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance.  So for one, the activities in the power sector keeps me busy among other work that I do.

Every day is a learning experience and I dare say, if I had to rephrase, I would say I have learned three major things….We work long hours, meeting with people, ferreting out facts and figures and cranking out briefs and one very important lesson is need to take a break, look after my health and get some rest.  It is certainly easy to keep running on adrenaline, ignoring the headache and curing that obnoxious malaria with yet another dose of Coartem.  As I once learned, seeing the doctor may just be as important as that malaria may indeed be Typhoid and in addition to medication, rest is a must.  It is important that despite pushing ourselves to the limit, we need to recharge our batteries to enable us come back and continue the work.

I have also learned that I cannot please everybody at work and at home even though there is a balance somewhere there and lastly, especially given my experience in the last 18 months, never believe everything you read in the newspapers.  It is always amazing to see something you worked on, reported in a distorted way or with some assumptions that make no sense whatsoever.

Having said that, I am certainly grateful for family, for their support and their patience in the face of my late nights at work and for friends who continually provide support but challenge us in the face of our policies we come up with.  They are also important in making us stay grounded and enable us to understand how others perceive and understand the impact of our work.  I am of course grateful for my direct colleagues and others who help to contribute to responsible development in this country of ours.

NBET3

Ladies, do you want to find out if he’s single?

 

I am currently concerned about two things – the security situation in the country and politicians whose verbal diarrhea does not bode well for political discourse.  So for the second half of the year, I look forward to an improved security environment and hope that the politics of the 2015 election does not have a negative impact on citizens.  Generally, I would hope that we can continue to get results and move this nation forward.

I’m so excited! It’s the 1st of July, and officially the start of the #31Days31Writers – mid year edition! Why am I super excited? Well, so I’ve been all over the place this past month, and by the 26th I wasn’t sure I would still be able  to pull this off. But, here we are, and I’ve got such a spread of voices from around the world I’m mega excited!

We start with my friend Yama! Yama was our designate driver the night we went from The Hague to Amsterdam to see the Red Light District; he’s a fantastic, super brilliant guy, and it’s my privilege to start the month with a voice from Afghanistan!

 

Hi there,

First of let me start by saying: You look absolutely stunning today!

My name is Yama Akbari. Born in Afghanistan, living in The Netherlands. Student and business owner.

What I’ve learned in the past 6 months is that life is so incredibly difficult to plan. I’m not much of a planner anyway, I usually take things as they come. But I decided that needed to change a little (a part of growing up maybe…). Didn’t really pan out the way I wanted. I planned to focus more on my studies, but ended up working way more than studying. Was really planning on staying single, instead got to know someone I really could not let go of. This made me wonder: Why do I suck so badly at planning my life? I came to the conclusion that life is pretty much ‘unplannable’ for the most part when I started thinking about ‘planning’ on a larger scale.

For example, who could ever ‘plan’ the following: a kid born in Kabul in 1990, wanting to leave for the gym on the 30th of June 2014 (should have been studying for his exams, shame on him) would remember; promising a very inspiring Nigerian girl he met at a conference in The Hague, to write a few words for her blog. Crazy right? But kind of beautiful at the same time. Imagine the string of events that had to take place before this moment. Unfortunately, a lot of those events weren’t as joyful as this one, which leads to the second thing I learned in the past 6 months: Andre 3000′s fashion sense isn’t the only thing that’s spot on, his cryptic life lessons are as well. On the Outkast song ‘Ms. Jackson’ he sings: ‘you can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather’. I finally got it Andre, you keep on spitting mad truth and dressing dapper as hell!

That brings me to what I’m looking forward to for the second half of this year .. Not really easy to say after all of that ‘life is crazy and unpredictable’ stuff. I am actually thinking about what I’m looking forward to while writing this sentence and I’m realizing that it’s such a blessing that I’m not sure what to look forward to (huge smile on my face right now). All those unplanned moments of joy; that feeling of relief when everything turns out well after a moment of uncertainty, an unexpected phone call from an old friend, coming home and getting served your favorite meal, being the best at something very random and useless, witnessing a cute moment between two lovers, stumbling upon a family of ducks swimming in a pond (I’m running out of ideas..), seeing an old lady feeding those ducks and making sure the weakest one gets as much as the rest. All I’m planning and looking forward to (apart from studying and working, duh) is actually enjoying and appreciating all those little unexpected moments of joy.

I urge you to do so as well. Even if it’s something very unexpected and random. Let’s say: a guy from halfway across the world, at the start of his post on this blog, complimenting you that you look stunning without even knowing what you look like …

 

Yama.

Screenshot 2014-06-30 23.43.40

Today is the last day of 2013, and the end of the #31days31writers project. Whoop! I am more than grateful to everyone who took the time to send in an entry, and for the ones I asked who for one reason or the other, couldn’t. I’m excited that everyone learned something, and blessed that thanks to one platform, I could share the experiences of 31 amazing people. Thank you so much!

2013 has been my most challenging year, I’m not even going to muck about. From losing 4 cousins and an aunty in a road accident, to an uncle, and then my most precious aunty Pat, there have been times when I didn’t know if I wanted to see the next morning. And it’s not like I didn’t lose anyone else, I just stopped counting. Death is cruel, shameless, and without discretion, but it taught me a few things. I learned to make every minute count, to make the effort to keep in touch, to love hard, but also to  know when to walk away.

I learned that acquaintances are plenteous, but friends are few, and to cherish each friendship (and pray to God they return the favour, lol).

I learned firsthand that depression and suicidal tendencies are real, and not just the exclusive preserve of the ‘West’. And I learned that God is bigger. Oh He’s a whole lot bigger!

I learned that I just might have a little issue with replying emails in a timely fashion. And I am determined (and working towards) not having that on my list of things to work on by the end of 2014.

It wasn’t all gloom and doom though (according to Russell Howard) – my dad launched his writing ministry this year with six books, and has since written another three (rockstar), my Boo Boo turned one this year, and at eighteen months is feeding himself (my baby Einstein)! I did quite a bit of travelling this year (for which I am grateful), and there are locked down work trips for the new year already! My mom, big brothers and sister are alive, healthy, prosperous; God is leading us to our place of rest and I couldn’t be more grateful. I love you guys to the moon and back!

My baby channeling the Christmas spirit!

My baby channeling the Christmas spirit! He’s the cutest baby on earth!

I am grateful for Nike Coker (Chief Sista), Francesca Uriri (my sister girl), and my bestie Wumi; friends who have literally become blood. People I would give anything for, people I would lay down my life for (hopefully they don’t ask *smile*); people for whom I am number one (sometimes, anytime, more than one time, lol!), in words, thoughts, and deeds. I love you and I am thankful you were a part of my year.

Now that I’ve covered what I’ve learned and the people I am grateful for, what would I do differently if I could? Nothing. I would say I’d keep all those precious ones from dying but that’s not my decision to make (wouldn’t have happened in the first place if it was).

And, because I can (and it is *cough cough* my blog), I have two resolutions for the new year:

1. Work VERY hard to reply emails/messaging in nothing over 24 hours.

2. Succeed! Big time!

Thanks a million for being on my blog today, and therefore being a part of my 2013. Have an extra productive new year!

Peace, love, and God’s great blessings,

The Fairy GodSister.

2013-11-30 22.31.29

Miss CC!!

P:S – I thought I would do one separate post thanking all my writers and listing all their articles; that story is here.

How did I meet Lizzie? One day, I was working on some document, and all of a sudden, my iTouch started buzzing like every other minute with notifications I knew were from WordPress. I knew I didn’t upload anything on the blog that day so I was wondering what the novelty was about. After I’d heard the 16th buzz, I peeled myself from my seat and picked up the device. The entire screen was covered with ‘Lizzie liked a post, Lizzie left a comment, Lizzie reblogged this post…”, there must have been 40 notifications at once!

Ahh. I googled her o. Then I checked out her blog. And I fell in love with her. But it took me a full day to catch up with replying all the comments she had left! By the time she was done, she had read EVERYTHING on this blog, about 320 posts, in just under two weeks. I have never been that flattered in my entire life; nothing else comes close.

We spoke, and it was funny that she was completing my sentences, from things she had read here. Cute, cute, cute! 

Lizzie’s a Pastor’s child like me; she’s got a beautiful heart, and it is an honor to have someone who knows me in and out on the blog today. And I am looking forward to meeting her, it’s definitely on my to-do list for 2014.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, for the 29th day of my #31days31writers project, Lizzie!

I haven’t had a year like 2013! No, I haven’t. To think I’d someday grow to the point where I can consciously evaluate and chronicle my year and even share confidently, not just in a diary. Hmm…one word; progress!

Hi! My name is Elisabeth Ezekiel. I’m Nigerian and a final year student in the university, fulfilling requirements for a BSc degree in Sociology. Seems I’m the youngest of the lot (career wise), who ‘does’ people for a living.

Yes, you read right; I’m inexplicably intrigued by people and this intrigue forms the template for career options I would pursue in the nearest future. Up until what I do for a living can be categorised conventionally (or not), I ‘do’ people for a living – serving, uplifting, reaching out. It’s who I am. Essentially.

2013 started on a high note, in fact, the “word” for the year was, “uncontrollable exhilaration” meaning events, people and situations would always be orchestrated as reasons for laughter. I did find reasons to laugh no doubt, however more in the lives of others than mine. Ironic…no?

As the year wore on, I found myself balancing school work, fellowship and other commitments, perfect smokescreens for the high & low pendulum my life swung to and from. In fact by the time I wrote my first semester exams, I was so depressed, I entertained bargains with God that bordered on Him taking me home as I was just tired and didn’t think I would be sorely missed…lol.

Well, as you can already tell, He didn’t take me *smile* My guess, no scratch that, I’m convinced, the timing wasn’t right and more importantly, He’s got an ultimately GOOD plan for my life that He’s unravelling by the day.

By the second half of the year, ASUU struck. *mirthless chuckle* and morphed into what would eventually be a long, approximately six month break from school, ultimately extending my stay in the university to 2014. Oh, we moaned, sighed, complained, joked, shook our heads, the works. Alas! Our Ogas At The Top couldn’t be bothered.

Disappointments and self-deprecation followed this period, but I decided to see the good in all of this. I needed to, for my sanity.

As 2013 draws to a close, I’m thankful for the ‘interesting’ experiences and the realities that came home to me. In a sense, 2013 seemed like a year of years to me, you know, like I lived a number of years bundled up in one year; I would eventually come to understand that as catching a glimpse into God’s timelessness, His eternity.

In all of this, I learned this year that I matter. More than that, I learned that I am not the sole member of the appreciation committee, that my life was worth being celebrated by others too. I saw ME through really cool glasses this year. I understood Faith as a lifestyle (understanding and living in God’s will for me always) and not just a ticket to material resources. The meaning of CHIMAMANDA also came home to me this year, I experienced God’s Love-Commitment to me.

Oh, I’m most thankful my writing mojo came back, after a long time. It helped me put myself out there, learning to live life wholly, full & free. I’m grateful for blogs, relationships, good health and music this year. They literally saved my life.

What would I do differently? That’s easy, I would redeem the time. I won’t be caught napping when unexpected surprises come. I lost time this year sadly, but I press on. I would take more risks, exploit the power of alternatives, stay connected to the rhythm of my source, maybe trust more and by God, I would leap over walls in 2014.

Thank you FGS!

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Rockstar!!! Can’t wait to meet you babe!

 

How did DD and I meet sef? Some little mix up on Facebook in 2008; apparently he served (NYSC) in the same state with my sister, don’t really remember the details. He visited Nigeria (posh kid), and we hung out (do you remember ice cream and moi moi in Chicken Republic Andy)?

When I moved to Birmingham in 2010, Andy showed up and amongst other things, gave me his waterproof jacket (still wear it today), and he introduced me to the lady who took me to The Redeemed Christian Church of God (Covenant Restoration Assembly, Perry Barr), which became my church, my family, and I’m so grateful for that!

Andy is a great guy, we’ve been buddies ever since. He is quiet (sometimes), fun to hang out with, and places such an enviable emphasis on family it is heart warming. He’s a hard worker too, and I’m proud he’s my friend!

4 days to the end of the year, here’s Andy with his #31days31writers submission! 

Random: The bad part about being friends out of maturity or a good heart with people who have hurt you is the fact that you can never tell some stories without imaginary fingers being pointed at those people or without you appearing to be an unforgiving son of a ‘biscuit’. I have so much to say about the year in review and the first things that crossed my mind were the bad things and tough times, then I remembered I was meant to be writing about the highlights of the year – the hypocritical world called my mind.

I didn’t learn how to play a guitar in 2013, I didn’t learn how to speak Spanish and I can’t even remember my New Year resolutions for the year. I don’t even remember having any because as usual I forget them by the end of April. I think my yearly resolution should be to make a lot of money.  2013 wasn’t the best of years for me, neither was it the worst. One thing I know for sure is that 2013 was a year of lessons. I lost love for one, found it, lost it, before learning what it really was.

Best decision I took in 2013… I took a couple of steps which I had been planning but took me 5years to get off my ass and work on. I moved from the United Kingdom to Nigeria; truth is that felt and still feels so good. A lot changed for me, huge promises and castles that never saw the light of day, people I thought I knew flipped on me like pancakes, friendships were lost and some were rekindled.  Importantly I was able to lose 8-10kg at some point thanks malaria and stress, I finally felt proper fit until my mother visited me with multivitamins and “akamu” and ordered me to start eating.

I’m grateful my for family and friends; the new ones, the old ones, the fake ones and those who have stuck by me through thick and thin. I finally do not feel like a stranger in a foreign land, I found peace and realized certain things can only be experienced and not told. Principally I am happy for the gift of life, an overactive mind, ideas and people who believe in me. It is amazing how much we claim we do not care about what people say or think but one mean sentence stays in our minds for eons, and one line of encouragement can give you a boost to make you feel you can conquer the world.  Bla Bla Bla, just be nice to the next person and be thankful for still being alive, ok?

My name is Andy Madaki, I am an I.T security consultant and a Business Development Manager with Brinq Africa (A CBN approved Payment Terminal Service Provider). I ramble randomly on my blog once every month. That’s the one place where I am most truthful about things you think and experience but won’t talk about. I am Nigerian.

DD!!! Oya o, now accepting applications for a wife for Mr Eligible Bachelor here! How many yards is your wife material?

DD!!! Oya o, now accepting applications for a wife for Mr Eligible Bachelor here! How many yards is your wife material?

I met Nonso in April, after we’d chatted, Skyped, BBmed, Ruzzled, and probably sent a million messages to each other from the first LinkedIn message one awfully cold day in February. Awesome guy. Hot ‘school’ head, and a brilliant photographer too. Tried to teach me but there’s only so much my brain can carry abeg, happy to just ooh and ahh at the really great photos he takes. Have a look here.

Had to be special, today’s Christmas day! Before you gorge yourself on whatever feast you’ve laid out, here’s Nonso for the 25th day of my #31Days31Writers project!

I am Nonso Obi. I am a Nigerian, although many people don’t believe I am (I supposedly look South African). I am a researcher in Environmental Science and a photographer. I love peace and I enjoy being happy.

Two things I learned in 2013? To never worry about the things I can’t change, and to never give up hope. I learned that it would be better to pray more about everything. 2013 was a challenging year; I took a bold step with my academics and struggled a bit with my finances. However, I learnt new skills in research and photography and I met a lot of wonderful people. Gotta be grateful for that.

I am grateful for family. I didn’t say family and friends because I consider my true friends to be family – loyalty makes a friend family, and my family has been awesome. They’ve stood by me through everything; even when I took wrong turns they were there to support me. I am especially thankful for ‘ Ada Obosi’ who taught me a lot and has been a true inspiration.

One thing I would do differently would be to guard myself a bit better. I’ve learnt that sometimes I am too nice and it is not a good thing, at least not all the time. I am making adjustments already – so please don’t take this as being not nice.

Happy holidays!

Nice!

Nice!