Posts Tagged ‘Nigerian Blogger’

I decided to go visit my folks in Asaba (especially my dear Momma who I haven’t seen in 11 months) and so I packed a bag (or box, since my Royal Majesty doesn’t know how to travel light), and off to the airport I went.

By the way, Abuja folks, there is this new taxi service at the airport called ‘Viko’. If you take them to or from the airport, your next trip is free. All you need to do is text them your desired pick up location, time, and contact details 24 hours before your next flight and someone will come for you. And on time too! I used them so I can tell.

So I got to the airport, and funnily that’s where I met Emem who I’d tried to meet up with the night before. We had a quick discussion/meeting before her flight was called and she pushed off.

I went into the Biobak in the departure lounge and bought a pie and donkwa (Northern snack made of groundnuts and peppery spices). My flight was called, and I went to board. Waiting for my boarding pass to be checked, some lady came and stood before me on the queue. Of course I didn’t stand for it but it made me smile. What was she thinking? I tweeted…

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Then I went to board, and because I have the habit of leaving this particular handbag open the person to do the body scan saw my small bottle of water and said I had to drop it. I tried to explain that I needed my water and wasn’t a law against water on the plane but you know how we Nigerians get when we only have an instruction in our heads; no room for discretion – we just keep repeating the instruction over and over again. By the time she she’d said, “ madam you cannot take the water on board – it is not allowed” the 4th time, I left the water with her. Yes I was fuming. Ok, only maybe just a little bit.

Got to the door of the aircraft and I met two members of the cabin crew and a/the pilot. I turned to the one smiling (a guy) and asked how much water I was allowed, and he said one. I was thinking of the miniature bottles they offer and so I asked if I could get a second one because I’d been asked to drop mine and I’d been feeling pretty dehydrated all day so I was a little upset.

Pilot (who I wasn’t talking to) said, “you are not allowed to take liquids on a plane anywhere in the world”. Fallacy. So many things wrong with that statement (including the fact that I wasn’t speaking to him in the first place) so I said, “it’s not true”. Then he goes, “ don’t teach me my job”. Ticked me off so I very quickly said, “don’t have any plans to teach you your job. More importantly, I wasn’t speaking to you so if you’re not the one who will serve refreshments later please let me conclude this conversation”. Turned back to the guy, confirmed I would get an extra bottle, and then I went to my seat (after warding off some politician who had said hello earlier and now wanted to hold my hand). Why? Cos I’m blind or unable to lead myself to my seat? Arrghh!! Tweeted…

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Of course there had to be someone on my seat (because it doesn’t rain but pour). While I tried to gather my composure enough to say so, another hostess came to say it was free seating. I thanked her, and moved to the next row that had a window seat only for the lady sat on the aisle seat to roll her eyes at me when I asked her to let me get in. Made a big show of standing up for me to get through but I was too exhausted (physically and mentally) to even bother. No energy.

I sat down, took a few deep breaths and smiled. Then I brought out what I’m reading at the moment, “The Social Media President”, brought out my donkwa too. Next few tweets capture what happened next.

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Beggi beggi, after rolling her eyes at me. Took all of me not to chuckle.

Got to Asaba ok, and ran into the loving arms of my Momma (after helping some lady trying to coordinate her infant, handbag, and a small box), and as soon as we started gisting on the drive home, everything else (pilot, beggi beggi, lady at the foot of the aircraft) paled. Felt super to be home!

xx

PS – I got my water. Two bottles.

PSS – Liquids are allowed on planes, depends on airport, quantity, where you got the liquid (naturally Duty Free Area works rather than before you cross security). I wasn’t just channeling drama. At MM2 in Lagos, normally depending on who it is, they’ll ask you to take a sip of it and then it can go through. Lord knows what (all over the world this ‘international pilot’ was referring to).

PSSS – this post was written on the 10th of July. :)

PSSSS – Flew from Abuja to Lagos a few days ago. Flight was hella smooth! Let’s not forget the smooth, soothing voice of the pilot *wink* …Slept right through it, and of course, I tweeted… And learned his surname is actually Norton.

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*wink*

Olamide is one of those friends that I cannot do without. Does he drive me up the wall? Absolutely. Is he one of the closest friends I have on earth today who I can go to with anything and not feel judged or looked down on? Absolutely. Is he one to uphold his friends in prayer, with words of encouragement, with love, and with physical manifestations of that love? Yes Sir!

I love Olamide (lots and lots), and can I say congratulations on your engagement? She’s a gorgeous lady (in and out), and I wish you both all the joy possible.

I give you @RevDrCraig!

A few days ago I got a surprise call from a friend from school I hadn’t seen in many, many years. That call birthed this piece you now read.

This week I met up with that old acquaintance, a lady whose exceptional beauty back in high school made all the boys go gaga.  She was vacationing in the capital and wanted to know if I could show her around. After picking her up at Euston station, we went to Trafalgar Square, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Madame Tussauds, Westfield Mall, and goofed around like tourists taking pictures of everything and anything that caught our fancy. As we caught up on the 15 years that had gone by, I couldn’t help but wonder where the ‘wow’ factor went. She was still quite good to look at, but the exquisite beauty she once had seemed to have faded away, or at least paled into a less blinding glare. For the first time since I’d known her, I actually saw who she was, talked to her, wasn’t carried away by her looks, and realized that there was more to her than was so obviously apparent. I wondered how many people, like me, had missed out on seeing a wonderful person simply because all we saw was ‘a fine face and a hot body’.

I really enjoyed spending the day with her and as I walked away from the platform at Euston, I pondered at the absurdity of our generation that ubiquitously employs beauty as the foremost yardstick in the selection of a potential mate. This absurdity was first made apparent to me when, after I announced my engagement a few months ago, an associate of mine clapped me jocularly on the back exclaiming, “You’ve done it bro! Congratulations! You have finally found a woman finer than you who has agreed to marry you”. You see, I met my fiancé last year, just when I was coming out of an extended period of deep self-reflection following a string of very bad decisions. For months, I had been acting out of character and ironically chasing after beauty, weaving in and out of fragile relationships with some of the most beautiful women I had ever met; tall, short, curvy, straight, dark and fair. It took falling in love with this one to make it clear to me that the true worth of a woman is vested, not in the beauty of her face, or the curves on her body, but in the depth of her soul.

When pictures of my fiancé and I emerged, the most frequent comments were those praising her beauty and what a beautiful couple we made. One friend asked jokingly, “Did you conduct a beauty pageant and then propose to the winner?” LOL! Sure, most of these comments were made in good faith and were not in the least bit intended to offend nor did it mean that those who made them were shallow or anything of that sort. They were merely commenting on what they saw weren’t they, admiring a beautiful couple that were sure to have a beautiful marriage? Maybe it was all harmless banter, simple admiration, and unveiled praise.

Unfortunately, the reverse might also be the case. I know this because I too was once stuck in that place where deep in my heart I held to a primitive notion that the more beautiful a couple are, the more likely it was that their marriage would succeed. Perhaps the Disney fairy tales of beautiful princesses and handsome princes that ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after had fatally tainted my view of reality?  I know for certain, that a handful of those reading this now also share this view I once held, for it seems to me that the Ovation wedding culture of the past, once the preserve of the super rich has trickled down and has become the BellaNaija wedding culture of today. It is no secret, however, that some of the most celebrated high-profile weddings of the most gorgeous couples do not even last a year!

So to answer Chioma’s question; “What have I learned?”

I have learnt again something that I should never have forgotten. It took talking to a woman whose beauty once mesmerised me to remind me of a truth I used to know; Indeed, Beauty fades but character is enduring.

To all the beautiful girls out there who have character but are only sought after for their looks, I apologize on behalf of all men. But remember, if that’s all you put on the table, then perhaps that’s all we are inclined to see.

My name is Olamide Craig. I am Nigerian.

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When I saw the title for her piece, I must confess I was a little puzzled. ‘Do it afraid’ ke? Especially for people like me who underneath a strong exterior are ‘soft and fuzzy’ on the inside. Lol. 

But then I read the article, and I went, ‘Yes Sir’ (which is what I say when I’m super impressed with anything)! And this is special, because it resonates like she read my mind!

I met Jola in October last year, in Djeregbe, which is a town in Benin Republic. Feel free to catch up on that series here, I called it #TalesfromDjeregbe. Jola is gorgeous, a hard worker, and there’s something about people who ‘mix’ professions  that is really inspiring. She’s a lawyer, photographer, and a writer!

Enjoy this really deep piece ladies and gentlemen, you’ll be glad you stopped by today!

 

The trick is to do it afraid…

The most important thing I’ve learnt this year is to do it afraid. My name is ‘Jola Sotubo and I am a writer, a photographer, a lawyer and a Nigerian.

I’m no stranger to fear and I’ve come to realize that, hate it though we may, fear could be one of the greatest things that could happen to a living thing.

I recently made a very big change in my life, the kind of change that could either raise you up to success or leave you down and out. The kind of change that everyone around you says is a crazy idea and tries to talk you out of.

I’ve made a form of reputation out of doing things afraid; I went to law school and decided afterwards that I was not going to practice law like my proud family members expected. Instead I bought myself a DSLR camera to explore my love for photography and then I took up a writing job. Was I certain I was on the right path? No. I was afraid, as I almost always am.

Fear can be either good or bad, depending on how you react to it and what you let it do to you. You can either use it as your springing step or let it paralyze you. If your dreams do not strike fear in your heart, then they are not big enough.

This is why I wake up afraid and I go to bed afraid, not shivering or shrinking up like a wilted lily but rather filled with adrenalin knowing that I can either fight or flee but I have chosen to fight. I fight for my place at the top and the great destiny that awaits me and for this, I must stay afraid lest I become complacent and accept what the world believes is my due.

I am grateful for life and the privilege to wake up with a purpose and with zeal to do the things that I love and live the life that I deserve.

And as for the rest of this year, I have no worries, for I intend to seize every bull by its horns and face every challenge head on, albeit with fear in my heart but it shall be my strength and not my weakness.

Have a great rest of the year loves and stay afraid…

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I’m horrible with writing about death, but then I guess everyone is, and at some point or the other in life, we will have to do things we’d much rather we didn’t. Even the death of an enemy leaves a sour taste, talk less of a friend, family member, or in this case, someone I really admired and would have been super privileged to meet.

I watched a TedTalk at the end of 2013 Mr. Dumor gave on reporting stories out of Africa, and he should know, he’s been the face of BBC’s Focus on Africa from the inception of the programme in 2012. Everyday. His talk was so funny! Beyond the laughs, I was totally smitten by his confidence, his eyes, alive with excitement and maybe mischief and I was upset when it ended.

I told myself that I would meet him in the New Year, and even though I didn’t immediately have a plan to do that, I purposed to try.

On the evening of the 17th, I was chatting with a much older friend of mine, and Komla came on. I mentioned I was a massive fan and I wanted to meet him, and this friend said they’d been in the same class at Harvard and sure, he’d facilitate an introduction the next morning. I was super excited, and the only thing that stopped me from insisting on an introduction there and then was the fact that it was a little late, and I was literally on my way home.

And then about midday the next day, I saw on Twitter that Komla Dumor had passed. What??? “Cruel jokers”, I thought, racing to BBC’s website to prove they were wrong. BBC didn’t carry it immediately, but staff were already tweeting condolence messages.

Just like that, he was gone. Aged 41, Komla Dumor passed of a suspected heart attack. One day on TV, gone the next day. The uncertainty that this life is.

I grieved like I had lost a personal friend – because it was yet another reminder that life is short, and we must do whatever we need to do as soon as we can. Grieved all the way to Instagram.

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And so today, exactly six months after, somehow I can now write and bid him farewell, hope he’s in a better place, and tell him he was a shining light for us young uns.

More importantly, I pray for God’s great comfort on his family.

Rest in peace Komla Dumor.

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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.

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My gorgeous friend SungHee!

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Hugs!!

 

From Afghanistan yesterday we go to the greatest country in the world, Nigeria!! Whoop!
Lynda (with a ‘y’) is a really good friend of mine. Don’t remember how we met but I know she’s gorgeous, is both an employee and an entrepreneur, and her posts on Facebook are a super source of information for me on all things legal and political (especially as it concerns her home state)!
You best be leaving pretty comments on this one otherwise she’ll sue (lol)! Without further ado (notice the rhyme scheme there), I give you Lynda!
Ok so here I was lazing through my Facebook and I see a message from my runaway friend who’s been away like forever but somehow we manage to stay in touch because she’s one of those people who stimulate me mentally and intellectually and that counts for something because not a lot of people do that for me so she’s one of my special people. 
Hi there I’m Lynda Inyareghdoo Adzuanaga. Nigerian, legal practitioner by training and fashion designer by choice and interest. 
2014? Wow! The year of my epiphany or rather the year of the manifestation of my epiphany because I woke ‎up one day late last year and realised I wasn’t really cut out for a regular 9-5 job.  Not because I hated order and regimental life but I wasn’t one to be stuck doing the same thing without the opportunity to ventilate my new ideas and opinions and in a way albeit a sad one my chosen profession particularly in Nigeria isn’t amenable to change so that was my first issue.
Secondly, I found that some ordinarily latent talents were coming to the fore and I couldn’t hold them back any more. Having been a tomboy most  of my growing years and then realising my femininity gave birth to my interest in fashion so apologies to the average Nigerian designer whose cliché line is ‘ I always made dresses for my dolls and bla bla’. I never made clothes for my dolls and even though I had a grandfather who was a tailor, when his sight started failing I always ran away when he called me to thread his needles! I preferred to climb trees with my brother or play football in the streets.
I however found myself as an adult drawn to fabrics and designs of clothes and way before I ventured into the foray professionally I started to create my idea of fashion: simple, chic, effortless and decent and this was represented by me in my style at work and at play. Therefore when the day of reckoning came I didn’t have to do much so I practically hit the ground running so to speak. That is the story of the birth of the line Tailleur Ensembles.
2014 has been interesting, I’ve had the usual challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Nigeria: power, funding, a dedicated work force, a drive for excellence and most recently insecurity  amongst others. 
Like most Nigerian designers upcoming and established, I looked to the West African coast for professional tailors because of the niche they have carved over time in the industry (one of the challenges previously mentioned). So I procured ‎ the services of some Ivorien nationals and after all negotiations were done and they were ready to ship out two bombs went off in Abuja and that was the end of Solomon Grundy literally! LOL. I then had to look inward, to source locally and so far I have been working with locals who often need to be reminded of the need for a standard in every chosen field.
Funding has also featured prominently as a challenge as loans and the likes aren’t easily accessible here; the commercial banks ask for such outlandish terms that are in the same range as asking for your grandmother’s birth certificate! I basically started with my entire savings which doesn’t amount to so much for starters … but on the whole it’s been refreshing, a learning process, learning to delay gratification, patience( I’m a control freak), resilience, improvisation etc. Been working from home but working on/ at getting a business premises that’s easily accessible to my clientele.
Gratitude would be in the regard of me killing that spirit of procrastination that had plagued me for the better part of my life and standing up to do what I really love despite all odds. Also for support from my family, loved ones and friends and indeed detractors who felt I was a loser for leaving a professional terrain to venture into the unknown. All of these have contributed to the nurturing and birthing of this dream.
As the second half of the year creeps in I’m filled with trepidation because I’ve not done all I want to but that in itself is spurring me to do better,work harder, train people so I can delegate duties and above all stand out in my chosen field by being excellent in what I do.
Thanks Chioma for this opportunity! I do hope my story inspires someone who’s nonconformist and leftist like me to go out there and ‎just be what they have always wanted to be. Just go ahead and do  YOU!
I love you babe!
Inyareghdoo
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

Awww, I love you too babe! Coming to see you once I get in for a dress!

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.

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So at the Hope XXL Triple A Summit we were asked to write short speeches we could present if we had two minutes to address the world. The speeches would be recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Now, I don’t know if they’ve been uploaded but here’s what I wrote.

If I had two minutes to address the world I would say

  • Stop, think – a lot of the evils we perpetuate against each other (wars, violence, intolerance) would be no more if we thought a bit more

I would say

  • Listen, learn – our universe speaks new things to us daily, if only we seek its knowledge.

I would say

  • Live, learn – long as our lives may be, it is more about the life and love in our lives than the length of the life.

I would say

  • Help, hope – the existence of a new star does not diminish the brightness or shining of the others.

I would say

  • Care, share – our earth is on loan to us from our grandchildren and it is uncharitable not to repay a loan, or to do so with damaged goods

If I could address the world for two minutes I would use one. I would ask every one to use the second minute to look the next man in the eye, recognize the beauty and positivity in them, and bow to it. Namaste!

Cheesy right? I love it! (If I don’t love it, who will? Apart from you, who I know loves me to bits:))!

Now, back in London after the conference, I went to Westfield Shopping Mall around Shepherd’s Bush and amongst other things I got up to, I had dinner. Want to see?

Lebanese... I don't remember what it was called on the menu but the fish was fab!!! I'm eating a lot more clean proteins these days by the way, lifestyle changes over fad diets babay!

Lebanese… I don’t remember what it was called on the menu but the fish was fab!!! I’m eating a lot more clean proteins these days by the way, lifestyle changes over fad diets babay!

 

Now, on the way home I heard music, like really fabulous drumming coming from something that sounded like pots and pans. So we went to see. I had to make a video! Matter of fact, I made two; the guy was so good!

And then I couldn’t stop watching so I made another one!

That’s it about this post, I really had to share this video, and I hope you like it as much as I did!

There must be something about drums and me; I have another blogpost with a video of young boys playing drums too, this time made out of milk tins!

What is that super cool thing about you? Tell us about it!

Sometime in February, I had a chat with a Pastor friend of mine, and what started out as me doing him a favor turned out to be the fulfillment of the perfect plan of God for him to mentor me. Apparently he had received this word as far back as 2009 but at the time we spoke (2014) the time was right. Don’t you just love God and the way He absolutely plans things?

Anyway, by the end of the evening (and we must have talked for a little under four hours), I was the proud owner of a beautiful Message Bible, and Rick Warren’s ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. Whoop!

I dug up a book by my Father in the Lord, Pastor Obi Goodheart Ekwueme which just has little pearls of wisdom for each day and so my devotion literally revolves around these two and a devotionals on my phone on the YouVersion App. This particular one is a 40-day Bible reading plan, created by Hillsongs (my home church), whoop!

So! I started on all three, and brethren (testimony mode), it’s been great! Some days I’ve been so excited with the new knowledge I glean that I call my Momma to preach it to her! PS – my Momma has prayed all three of us into loving the Lord, and am I grateful for that or what!

A few days ago, the topic for the day in ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ was all about surrendering to God, worshipping Him in ways that are acceptable to Him, and becoming intimate with Him. Yeah? Now that I think of it, that’s been the theme over the last four days or so.

Anyway, this particular morning the topic revolved around loving God being a process rather than a one-time action. It said it was a marathon (never-ending), not a sprint. The same way friendships and relationships get stronger and grow fonder courtesy constant interaction, the same way our relationships with God will grow only by constant communication. You don’t love your family and then not talk to them in weeks or months ( I can safely say I speak to at least one member of my family). Seven if you add my 23month old Boo Boo! How much more God?

It also talked about offering ourselves up as a ‘living sacrifice’, again alluding to the need for constant fellowship with God. And this is the part that amused me. It said the reason why we need to constantly rededicate ourselves up to God is because a living sacrifice can “crawl away from the altar”. Lol!

When you think of it though, we are alive aren’t we? Think of crawling babies; I know for sure that they never remain where you keep them (my nephew is a living, breathing, testimony to that)

And so everyday is a fresh opportunity to say to the Lord, “I’m willing to be used by you today, talk to me, I love you and want to please you with my day”. It doesn’t mean you should be on your knees for the 24 hours in your day, it just means you shouldn’t sing “Onward Christian soldiers” on a Sunday, and then go AWOL on a Monday! Lol, that’s another thing that amused me from the devotional.

I’m going through a phase in my life right now and these words have helped me stay strong and rooted in God; I hope they bring encouragement and joy to your heart today. Amen!

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Have you been following my movement? Lo. I’ve been called Jeremiah (I don’t get it), Mrs Ajala (smh), and a host of other names. SMH again!

By the way, I’m in Abuja! Whoop! Always a blessing to see my nephew! Quick, somewhat uneventful trip to be honest, nothing out of the ordinary (have to chip in though that Discovery Air is brilliant), except that I will/can never understand why people go all out with their dressing/makeup for flights. Especially the night flights, where the basic idea is to board and sleep, not like day flights allow for parties or board meetings if you get my drift. I don’t get it!

When I travel I like to be so comfortable I’ve formed the habit of not even wearing belts so there are less things to take off when passing security and so nothing ‘holds me while I’m sleeping. If it’s not winter I’ll most likely be wearing slippers, again so I don’t have to wrangle with my shoes.

Now even though I know everyone isn’t me (or like me), it never fails to amuse me when I see babes dressed to the nines, heels and all! Anyway, according to one of my friends, ‘you never know where you will find love (or work) and you must be ready’. Of course she is consistently guilty!

Anyway, I’m in Abuja, weeks after my super fabulous birthday! As always I’m grateful for safe travels, for a roof over my head, and the privileges I have. God is so good to me!

Now quick update on my giveaway (I must be the worst person you have seen do a giveaway, sigh), I sent off these six books to Ivy Ben,

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and the Message Bible to @eBunite.

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@eBunite sent that photo via Twitter, and then emailed to say thank you but I haven’t heard a sound from Ivy Ben. Did I ask for too much in saying winners should send a photo of their items when they receive them?

It is a tad funny/disrespectful for me because I sent a number of emails that have so far received no replies. The transport company however confirmed to me that the books were claimed, so let’s just leave it at that. These things happen, ey?

Moving quickly to update number two, the remaining winners were (((LIST))). Now, that I’m around again I can send off the books by Scott Hempling to the winners so please email an address, full name and contact number and your preferred transport company soon as you can to dfairygodsister(at)yahoo(dot)com!

For the winners of “Democracy and prebendalism in Nigeria: Critical interpretations. Edited by Adebanwi and Obadare”, and “Rewire: Digital cosmopolitans in the age of connection by Ethan Zuckerman’, I’ve got really bad news.

The donor wasn’t able to send them in to me, had some issues with logistics. He sent these two as a replacement though, and both of you (Lade and Dede) are welcome to them. Again, please email your details so I can send them out!

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Final update – there’s two copies of the book by Scott Hempling (Nonye has the first copy), and the first two people to email me their details gets it!

Everyone else who didn’t win something, I’ve got another giveaway in the offing (and I promise it won’t take this long) so stay tuned!

Finally (I mean it this time), there are still slots open for people who want to join the #31Days31Writers project for July! You need to reach me at dfairygodsister(at)yahoo(dot)com while there are still spaces! Get in touch already! If you don’t know what it’s about, there’s some information here.