Posts Tagged ‘Online Communities’

When I put out the call for writers, Abimbola said she was up for it, and promptly sent in an entry. For some reason, I didn’t find it, and so I emailed two weeks after asking if she was still interested. Right after I sent it I found her piece, and I apologised (truth is I’d had a really dodgy day), and somehow we exchanged emails that told me her piece would be perfect for today. Today, the 21st of July, 2014.

Thank you dear for writing in, and for taking the time to email back and forth the other day. You don’t know what it did for me. Hugs!

When I started writing this, the rains had just emptied out in a ferocious, torrential display of annoyance. Another Nigerian had just died; my aunt and the downpour reflected all that no words could say yet. Getting the email from Chioma around this time I could only think “what the heck, not like I’ve got any business to promote?” and the still small voice reminded me “what about the message burning in your heart?”

I am Onaoluwa Abimbola, 100% Nigerian and Health Care-for-all Advocate.

Despite the disparities or perhaps because of it, disease and death is definitely a leveler. Everyone dies and diseases do not discriminate these days. Previously labelled “big-man’s” diseases are now rampant in the general population no thanks to GMO foods (if you believe that propaganda anyway).

This first half of the year has been an extended period lesson on the importance of appropriate health care access for all regardless of class or personal station. Watching mothers cry on two occasions now and lament the wickedness of the “doctors” who kept on treating malaria for two weeks without benefit of a monitoring electrolytes screen till a patient crossed over into renal failure; I felt the weight of the system failure. Perhaps with regular laboratory workups on hospital visits (which incidentally was one of the conclusions of my project thesis at UNN), Mama Wale would still be with us. At the time her doctors ordered an Electrolytes /Urea/Creatinine test, her blood urea levels had already hit the roof and she was referred to another hospital for every other day dialysis. Referral Thursday evening, dead Saturday morning! She had shown no physical signs of kidney disease, no edema of limbs, no swollen belly; even in death, she had remained her ultra-slim beautiful self.

Still I am grateful to God, who always loves us, providing the right help at the exact time of need; a smile, a word - ‘hello’, a text message, sometimes comments by complete strangers on social media and a life is renewed. We die daily and that which reawakens in us the urge to keep fighting is aided by the love we get from wonderful family and friends; found even in unexpected places. That has been my testimony from late last year… an unexpected hospital admission far away from home, mismanaged Malaria and the sequelae of drug side effects that followed inspired a post on HAID Initiative’s blog.

What’s left of 2014 and beyond? I look forward to a Nigeria where force no longer wins rights, where violence and anarchy are not the ready tool for making demands.  As a corollary to that, a beautiful dream of mine is of a Nigerian health sector where the key players recognise that a team made of only a lead horse tied to several others behind is more prone to accidents: a united team of horses in their majestic beauty does the job and excellently too. When Presidents, Ministers are able to trust our hospitals again, the man on the street will no longer feel that where healthcare is concerned ‘OYO’ is the buzzword. Perhaps, even our beloved Dora would be here, as regular checks in the land where she lived and worked would have meant an earlier detection. A first sign that this dream will become possible for Nigeria, would be the suspension of all strikes in the public Health Sector henceforth and hopefully a renewed willingness by all involved in the business of healthcare provision in Nigeria to bury the hatchet and begin to chart a new course - forward.

I remain unapologetically Nigerian and the task of ensuring Nigeria trumps all her teething problems is our collective responsibility.

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Kindred spirit!

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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Every time I put out a call for people to write in (for whatever reason), I almost always believe that it’s only people I know I’m going to get responses from. And so I am humbled each time when people read whatever I’ve asked for, and deem me (and my blog) worthy of their experiences and stories. Really humbling!

Chidozie is one of those I’m super grateful for, and he has a really interesting story too. I’m humbled (again) that this series inspired him to start his, and I wish him all the best with everything! Enjoy it! 

2013 ended with a punch on my left ear, I had concluded my compulsory youth service scheme in Ekiti state as a corps member of batch C 2012 with the mind-set that I would get a job and start making some money ‘sharp-sharp’, but I guess God had a better plan ahead. 2014 was ushered in as I led the praise and worship section in church, and when the time came to make the prayers for the year, I spoke from the heart and boom, July is already here!
 
Oh, where are my manners, my name is Prince Chidozie Okechukwu Nwachukwu, emmm, there is no space to put the Nelson, a.k.a, NELLYDOZZY. I am a Microbiologist, a Production Executive/Quality control personnel at Beloxxi Industries Ltd, a blogger/writer  (my sweetest hobby), a lover of good music/singer and most importantly a Nigerian to the bone marrow.
 
Sincerely speaking @chiomachuka, if I had to detail (in detail), elucidating each event that occurred from January 1st till June 30th, I’d be writing a book, but I will play by the rules (600 words). January 2014 saw me going from one aptitude test to another, from Access bank to NLNG to Ernst and Young, to PZ, to Unilever, kai, I waka no be small! You need to see the multitude of people seeking for jobs or better offers. Truth be told I passed all their tests, but one way or the other I just didn’t make the final lists (shakes his head); it got so serious that a friend of mine said “Guy, you sure say them no dey pursue you for ya village ni“. It taught me something though, to never despise small beginnings.
 
I started small as a primary school teacher, I taught Computer studies, and Physical and Health Education, sincerely I put in my best in that job, channeling my time and love to make my students future leaders of Nigeria. Remember it is the foundation of a house that determines its durability.
Maybe that was why God put a smile on my face around April – yes, I initially thought I was being ‘April fooled’ but lo and behold, it was real. Today, I am most grateful to God that despite my going late for the aptitude test and doing an interview with other four candidates, I got the job with Beloxxi Industries Ltd, Nigeria’s number one producers of cream crackers biscuit as a Production Executive, it could only be God.

In the second part of the year, I look forward to concluding my project #31Days31Epistles (inspired by @chiomachuka) on my blog (www.generaltatafo.blogspot.com and www.nysctatafo.blogspot.com). I also intend to conclude my plans to study for a Masters in the United States.
Most importantly I look forward to finding my other half; I really wonder why it is looking difficult (hisses), “abeg make una help me tell am say where ever she dey make she cross my path o, after all if Mohammed no gree go mountain, the mountain suppose locate Mohammed na, abi no be so dem dey talk am?”
Finally, I intend to join forces with like-minded people to organize a youth empowerment camporee in August; I guess that’s the little way I can give back to my community.
 
Shalom.
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Whoop! Thank you Chidozie for sending this in! Here’s to finding your better half, sorting out your Masters, and a truly productive second half of the year. And, I love Beloxxi biscuits!

Ike has been my friend for a very long time. From attending the same church together, to looking forward to his comments on my blog, some people you just know will always be there when you need them.

He’s a fine gentleman, loves the Lord (ladies y’all need to check if he’s single – and ready to mingle), and I know you will enjoy his post!

My Name is Ike Onuzulike, I am Nigerian, and I work in a Bank.

This year started off for me laden with some good expectations; I would be due for a promotion at work by the time our company’s annual appraisal will be conducted mid-year though it wouldn’t be automatic and also, I would turn 30 by the month of June. I pretty much knew I needed some good measure of focus and lots of favor so, I turned to prayers. A three-week fasting exercise observed in church provided an excellent platform. I seized the opportunity turning my goals into prayer points on sheets of paper.

As the days rolled on during the exercise, it not only brought me favors at work but also a lot of focus that rubbed off well on my work. I was among few selected in my Division as the outstanding staffs and I was given a letter of recommendation by my Divisional Head after our Annual Divisional Retreat.

A twist of events occurred just a few weeks to the appraisal month, I began to witness some lows, a couple of errors that threatened my unit’s performance rating. The fear of this blip working against my appraisal piled a bit of pressure, and increasingly my confidence dipped. After a while I sat back and reviewed the period and I knew obviously that my foundation were shaken. So this time, I turned to family to join me in prayers and with them offering support, the tide changed. Mid-year is here, some of my mates unfortunately missed out on the promotion list but I made the list and in the month it took effect, month of June I turned 30 (on the 28th of June to be precise).

I would say that I have come to learn that hard work alone is not enough, there will always be the moments when all you need would just be a lift to push on and for me, prayer and lots of family support always comes in handy. I am most grateful so far for the people around me. I feel that beside “Time”, the gift of people around you is one of the most valuable things God had blessed us with. That is why for me He placed premium on us loving our neighbours. I work hard in keeping the love alive for people around me whether to offer a smile, a kind word, a shoulder when things are not going so well, down to offering material help because at the end, there may be low moments when they will be the ones to will fill in and offer you that much needed lift.

The remaining part of the year for me? I need a lot of stability and so I’m looking to God for directions. I am torn between going back to my first love, Engineering for a graduate course in one of the top North American schools or to advance my career in Banking. I have been doing the preliminary tests required for the admission but, I need lots of direction.

And yes, I’d like to have some stability at work and good health.

So far though, It’s been great!

Congratulations on the promotion Ike, and happy birthday again! When are we getting the wine to ‘wash’ all these?

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Ladies! Don’t say I didn’t do anything for you!

 

Berry’s been my friend from university… dunno if we used to talk everyday like that sha, but since we’ve been through, everyone’s grown up a bit more, and she’s one of the strongest supporters of my writing and this blog, and I’m so grateful for her! Berry’s gorgeous, and when she said she wouldn’t be able to write in at first, my heart sank.

Minutes later she said she would, and was actually one of the first to send in her entry! Super girl! Can I use this medium to thank you for every comment, ever like, every tweet? I notice, and I appreciate you from the depth of my heart! What I can’t really fathom is why we haven’t met up till now! We must remedy that biko, and soonest!

Enjoy Berry’s piece!  

My name is CHIDIEBERE NWEZE. This sounds funny because a lot of people didn’t know prior to this time. My friends in secondary school ‘nicknamed’ me “Berry” and it took over my real name. Even my parents call me “Berry” now. *I digress**. I’m Nigerian (obviously).

This year has been rather fast (if you asked me). ‘Yesterday’ was Christmas and we are in June already. Too too fast. Plus, it doesn’t help that it means I’m getting old fast(er) too. *Hiss*** Anyway, it’s been an amazing year, nevertheless. I travel a lot (not as much as the FGS does sha) and this is a year I get to make a lot of trips (both Local and International). Amazing!

I’m most grateful for LIFE, family, friends and ‘Le beau’. Talking about family, my siblings and I are very closely knit and I keep praying to God that the bond only gets stronger. Just very recently, my younger sister sent me an sms that read: “Berry, did you forget me?” just because I didn’t speak to her in two days. That to me was PRICELESS! My beau on the other hand, has been very wonderful. God delivered me from a very nasty relationship and put me in this one. So, those and more are stuff I’m most grateful for.

What am I looking forward to in the second half of the year? Em, A LOT! A better me, a better relationship with God, better opportunities and an amazing end to the year.

Thanks FGS for giving me this platform/opportunity. You’re welcome boo!

PS: I had my hair locked this year (June precisely). I’m so loving it. So, I’m #TeamNatural now, baby!

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Berry’s super gorgeous too! What do I have to do to get this dress?

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!

 

Ladies and gentlemen, did you go to church? Yes? Good! No? Oya go and kneel down in that corner there,seriously! And raise up your hands, close your eyes, stick out your tongue (if you went to secondary school in Nigeria you should have a little chuckle somewhere inside you)!

Seyi wrote this piece in answer to my call for reflections on the year, and whenever people I didn’t know before send in pieces, it amazes me how the internet and indeed emerging technology shrinks our world so easily, making us interact and learn about people we probably would never have met!

I’m grateful to Seyi, and I know you’re going to love his piece!

My name is Oluwaseyi Ige. I’m unrepentantly Nigerian.  I’m a broadcaster, author, publisher and media consultant.

The other day at the office a colleague walked up to me. It’s a scene that has played out several times.

‘This your hair, why don’t you cut it?’ she said, with a matronly look straddling her face. She was saying it for the umpteenth time! (Now, I’ve been wearing my hair that way since 2005. I trim it quarterly. I love it lusciously ‘bushy’.)

‘Really?’ I said, sounding as mischievous as possible. I enjoy the look on their faces when I give my reply.

‘If I’m your wife, I would have cut it while you were sleeping’. She said.

‘No, she won’t. She’s used to it already, and she understands’, I replied. I wanted to be diplomatic, you know, take it like a good sport.

Within me though, I wanted to give her a very tiny piece of the angry part of my mind. Really, I would have told her: ‘how is my hair any business of yours? Maybe that’s why I didn’t marry someone like you, amebo’.

Truthfully, I don’t get why I have to be civil always. I should have kind of given it to her, maybe it will keep others away.  For crying out loud, there is no ‘hair code’ in our staff regulations, and I don’t understand this concept of having a prepared picture of how others should wear their hair, makeup or even socks.

We always want to fit others into our prepared cells for them in our minds, because we know what is best for them, even the person to elect at the polls. And when they refuse to fit in, as it happened recently, they are half-developed Neanderthals as far as we are concerned. Maybe that’s one of our country’s problems.

Neither can I really comprehend why I can’t always say what I think.

Aside from such instances of people trying to help me mind my business, it’s been a smooth year so far. I didn’t make any resolutions in January, which means so far, I’ve not been disappointed. Every achievement – and challenge (read problem, and they are so many!) have been taken in stride.

I’ve learnt that people are never who they seem. They could be better or most times, worse. I wish I had stuck with more of my ideas. Right now they look good on paper!

I am actually grateful for all the people, privileges and pleasures I enjoy. And the grace God has given me to be alive.

I’m really looking forward to a better rest of the year (don’t we all have that wish!). But to aid that wish coming to pass, I have to start doing what I really want to do, even if it looks weird. Life is too short to waste any moment of it. Maybe I can re-invent me. I should reach out to people some more too.

And I must pay more attention to my spiritual convictions. Very important.

So, maybe at the end of the year I may have had enough courage to go do the dreadlocks I’ve always wanted, hoping it will make people stop asking me to barb, and I would have expressed my mind a few times.

@thisverySeyi

facebook.com/seyi.ige

thisveryseyi.blogspot.com

http://www.rmedleys.gnbo.com.ng

DO THIS

PS – I loved this! Oh how I would love to say what I really think sometimes! But there’s the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ question that just ‘offs’ that fire…

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.

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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.

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!