Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

It’s been a while I had an entrepreneur on the blog, and so when I sent @IamuzayAp a message on Instagram and he graciously said he’d give me a few minutes, I was thrilled!

Yusuf Abubakar (Mr Tumi) is a computer engineer, designer, stylist, personal shopper, and a serial entrepreneur. He is a watch ambassador at Ritmo Mundo, and you can find a bit more about him here.

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Ready? Let’s do it!

FGS: First off, thanks for taking the time to chat, and at such short notice! I was going to make the meet and greet you had in London, say hello personally, but I was reminded last-minute of another engagement and there was no way I could merge the two.

Yusuf: The pleasure is mine, we had the event on a short notice so I wouldn’t fault you on that ha, but your keen interest is much appreciated.

FGS: Welcome to the 3, 2, 1 series! Let’s start with your Skype profile message which says, “when I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single talent left….” What does that quote mean to you?

Yusuf: it basically means using all the talents we have on earth to the best of our ability based on the fact that when we go back to the creator we won’t need any of those. I want my talent to be part of my access to paradise by helping as many people as I can and doing the best with whatever I have on this earth.

FGS: What are these talents you speak of? Put differently, what gets you out of bed every morning?

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Yusuf: Funny but I don’t see my self as being talented, I only get told I am.. I have been involved in a lot of things all my life. Let’s start from my secondary school days when I came up with a month-long campaign to adopt a class project and my mates laughed at it. The idea was to get parents to adopt classrooms and distribute laptops, tiles, electric blackboards, etc. I pitched the idea to parents on visiting day because it was a boarding school. At the time I calculated that a class would be transformed for about 5million or so. Before I left the school we had almost 7 classes out of twelve adopted and that’s excluding staff room and other facilities!

I have always tried to initiate things on my own; from a promotional event company, to working with a radio station in Leicester. Then I came up with my brand as a university project in 2011 – I love sketching. I may not be as good as I was anymore but that was my starting point of designs.

FGS: Incredible! Tell us about your brand. After the university project, were you totally convinced building a label was what you wanted to do, or was there a turning point moment?

Yusuf: I made a design for our entrepreneurship module and when I posted it online, my mates went crazy for the shoes. It wasn’t even any good based on the quality but they went ballistic so I registered my company immediately!

I got Leon Best to wear my jacket; he was with Newcastle and we were supposed to do a project together; he plays for Blackburn Rovers now. However, Ivory Coast play Tiote Check Ismael of Newcastle United saw my design, liked it, got in touch, and now we’re working together.

FGS: Speaking of football and footballers, how was that connection born?

Yusuf: To be honest I don’t know, I think if your work is good people will come through. I say hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.

FGS: Question 3 – If you had three wishes that you were sure would be granted, what would you ask for?

Yusuf: Hmmm. First, I’d wish that Nigerians and Nigerian companies embraced their own, supported other ventures besides music.

Second, I’d wish for checks. Africa has great designers but no product checks, no material checks, size charts, nothing. We need to focus on that.

Finally, I’d want to see bigger companies sponsoring African brands in Europe and supporting their standalone shops like the Christian Dior’s, LV’s, Bottega Veneta’s, Margiela’s, Gucci’s, etc.

FGS:  Awesome!  Looks like it’s all about the brand and the fashion for you; I notice you didn’t even have a private/personal wish!

Yusuf: Ha ha, I thought we were speaking just about the brand.

FGS: Nope, I’m interested not only in the brand, but the person behind it!

Yusuf: My personal wish would be for everyone to be successful… and that one day they could have my statue at Madame Tussauds.

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FGS: Ha ha ha! How many working hours do you have in your day?

Yusuf: To be quite honest I have exceeded my limit but let’s say about 17-19hours.

FGS: out of 24? Or are you one of the select few that have 30 hours in their day? What’s a typical day like?

Yusuf: I don’t think I ever have a typical day o. I could be checking what Forbes is saying or doing a Data Flow Diagram of an app I am working on or maybe I want to travel to a vintage city with a lot of English or any cultural history.

FGS: Question 2 – what are two things that an upcoming fashion designer needs to have to succeed in the business?

Yusuf: Business plan, supportive friends, inspiring environment, finance, work on retail outlet or if you can do it yourself fine, deliver well and deliver great

FGS: Lol, Yusuf I said two o! Do you have a ready to wear collection or you stick to bespoke outfits/couture?

Yusuf: All my stuff is ready to wear. We have our products in Cannes stores at the moment and we’re working on other places. Plus, I’m very easy to contact.

FGS: Cool. What was your biggest challenge with starting the brand?

Yusuf: Finance, support and knowing your target market. Then you need a feasible plan and measurable deliverables.

FGS: So did you have a pot of money when you started out?

Yusuf: nope I just had better networking. if I had a pot of money, my secretary would probably be doing this interview (lol). Truth is everyone has different strategy but money is king we all know this. I’ve been very fortunate.

FGS: I totally understand. It also means I should be grateful you don’t have a pot of money (yet)… Lol. Where’s the place of family in your business?

Yusuf: Family? I like to be discrete with that; I try not to mix them at all

FGS: I understand about that too. Final question. What is the one thing in the world you cannot do without?

Yusuf: wow… let’s say my Laptop, power, Internet; gadgets in general to be honest.

FGS: Lol, Yusuf, I said ONE thing!

Yusuf: Am I safe then to say technology?

FGS: Ha ha ha, that’s a sly answer, but it will do! Thank you so much Yusuf for chatting with me today, I really appreciate it!

Yusuf: The honor is mine, much appreciated dear!

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

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

Ready? Let’s do it! Whoop!

 

I Testify!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the year, and I testify!

What are you grateful for? Share!

 

 

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Hello good people of the world,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a good week!

 

 

fairygodsister:

Olamide Craig is a friend, a brother, and a great man of God without all the airs, the falsehood, and the half truths.

I saw this post this morning from a link off Twitter, and I just knew I had to share. Hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.

Olamide is @RevDrCraig on Twitter if you want to get in touch.

Love, light, and God’s great blessings,

FGS.

PORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN

Tonight, I want to stand with a friend of mine on a thorny issue. Pornography.  A vast number of Christians are struggling with various forms of online porn. A friend talked to me about his struggle, and as I listened to him share his story, I smiled. I smiled because it reminded me of my own struggle.

So tonight, I want to share with you my story, not his. Its easy for preachers to tell other peoples stories. But how about ours?

I picked up my first Playboy™magazine when I was in primary school. I flipped through the pages with a combination of curiosity and disinterest. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. But a seed had been sown, and its roots would take hold of the soil of my soul to bud much later in my adolescence. By the time I was a teenager, I was familiar with all the American, British and French porn magazines. It was much harder then. There were no phones, there was no internet. You had to sneak around with glossy magazines and hope that no one knew that under the Good Housekeeping or Ebony magazine was Penthouse or Oui or Nuts. All this while I was a committed believer, I did all I could to please the Lord, but I still had this one issue.

And then one day, I got called to leadership in my secondary school fellowship and went from Usher to President. I was sure God had made a mistake. Surely there were others better than me.  I tried to stop, I wanted to fulfill my role as President with a clear conscience. The harder I tried, the deeper I fell. Ministry was great. Souls were being saved. The fellowship was growing. Lives were being transformed, still I was stuck. Mind you, it wasn’t all consuming at the time. I’d probably steal a glance once or twice a month but the guilt that followed was like a crushing stone that stayed on my shoulder and stuck wt me for months and months; it didn’t matter if I hadn’t touched a magazine in months. I always carried around a sense of guilt and shame.In between I would be fine. All would seem perfect in my life again. Then one glance would bring it all crashing down. I won a temporary battle while I was in SS3. Hadn’t slipped for months. I realize now that I was too busy with WAEC  

Then we passed out of high school. I had handed over the ministry. There was no more need to be accountable…and the passions came back like a vengeance.  Before University, I did JAMB 5 times and in that period of depression and hopelessness, pornography became my escape; what had once been a once a month slip became a daily obsession.  Just before my 5th JAMB, I remember going to the roof of Anglican Church on 21 road in Festac and crying out to God. My life was in a mess and I desperately needed him to show up and sort me out. And I remember God telling me how much he loved me and how he had great plans for me. How will I ever make it I asked. All my mates were in school, I was still at home. My faith was a mess. I was a mess. And I heard words that I would NEVER forget. “Stop trying to fix it on your own, my grace is sufficient for you”  

Within that year, I joined FECA where I got my faith on track, passed JAMB, and got into the University of Ibadan. The things I learnt that year became the basis of the ministry I founded when I was just a 21 year old 100L student. Dianoia Foundation and Club Chayil over the past 11 years have since preached the message of sexual purity to thousands  

How did I break free from pornography? All I needed to do was let the Holy Spirit help me.  

The biggest mistake Christians make is trying to use discipline or strong will to keep away from sin. It NEVER works. Sin will always have the upper hand if combated in the flesh. Only GRACE through the Holy Spirit can win over sin  

Second I had to refuse to elevate that one sin above any others. The devil tries to make us feel one sin is worse… and so for as long as I hadn’t viewed porn, I could lie and be unchristian in so many other ways but wouldn’t feel it simply because I had hinged my acceptance in Gods eyes on whether I had viewed porn or not. The Holy Spirit taught me that in his sight, all Sin was as bad as the next. Murder. Lust. Lies. Same thing!  Once I learnt godly sorry for ALL my sins whether they were lustful or not, I realised how truly sinful I was and it was here that righteousness made sense to me. Jesus told me he had forgiven ALL my sins, and given me a new robe. I was righteous not because of what I had done, or didn’t do, but because of what he had done.  

Finally, SIN THRIVES IN SECRECY! If you want to be free you have to open up and let the light in. Tell someone!  Find a mature Christian and tell them your struggle. It’s one of the most important steps on your road to recovery. If you keep it hidden, it will grow. If you bring it out of the darkness, it will die. I promise you. Trust me!  Same goes for fornication and adultery. Expose the sin and it will wither conceal it and it will grow  

I’ve shared this so that you can know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There is help for you in God and he has not abandoned you  God bless you tweet fam!  

Thank you to all those who DM’d to share their struggle or to ask for prayer or to just say thanks… The feedback has been phenomenal.

Someone asked me how my journey’s been. “Has it been plain sailing since you started preaching sexual purity?”  It would be so easy to say that I’ve never touched the stuff again and strut around in a toga of self righteousness. Let me tell you as it is! This is a lifelong battle. There is no quick fix. There’s no magic wand. Once lust has occupied a room in your heart in the past, he will ALWAYS come back to see if there’s a spare room and when he comes back, you bet he’s come with family and friends and he’s gonna ask for the penthouse suite  

I thought it was a war that I had won once and for all. That I had defeated that enemy and he was finished. Your freedom has to be fought for daily. What you won was one battle. There is still a long war.  

I’m still fighting and wining my battle against porn. Its a tough one and sometimes I am valiant, sometimes I am not.  And you best believe that its so much easier to access porn now than it was when I won my first battle. I remember burning all my Playboy™mags with great fanfare ☺ No one buys Playboy magazines anymore. Porn is now online; no need to hide in a corner with a bulky magazine, or hide stacks of old issues under your mattress. One click and boom

But there is GOOD NEWS! The power that rescued me then is still potent enough to rescue me now. Hallelujah! And if you let Him, he can rescue you too.  

Lust is not gender specific folks. He destroys as many men as he does women. Don’t let the enemy fool you into thinking you’re the only one! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  

Same goes for masturbation, fornication, adultery. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Sin thrives in secrecy. Break the yoke. Be free!  Jesus died for all your sins including this one. His blood has cleansed you. Take your stand daily. This war can be won  

God bless you twit fam! Have a blessed day.

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Originally posted on menoword:

Menoword’s note: I follow an incredible minister called Rev Craig and he posted some tweets yesterday night that impacted me very deeply. I got his kind permission to put all his tweets together and create a blog post. The only editing I have done is to remove the words “young men” from the second sentence in the post. Please read this post with an open heart, I hope that it will bless you. And don’t think that this only relates to porn – I learned many of these lessons while struggling with financial responsibility – it applies across the board to anything that anyone might be struggling with and also contains wonderful lessons on generally living a victorious Christian life. You can find Rev Craig on Twitter @RevDrCraig or check out his blog at  http://olamidecraig.wordpress.com 

Enjoy: 

PORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN

Tonight, I want to stand with a friend of…

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So on Thursday night I said I would be doing a giveaway, the first ever on the blog, whoop! That story is here by the way, if you didn’t see it on the day.

I had a somewhat difficult Friday, and an entire day spent at the salon on Saturday (plus other sundry matters), and so I’m just getting to this now.

I got this tweet, and I was so touched she got in touch to find out so can I start by saying she’s our first winner? Congratulations Bukky Shaba! Thanks for caring enough to ask!

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Now, I didn’t say what items I would be giving out, but if you saw the update on the items my friends had sent in for me to give out as well, it should have given you a bit of an idea!

I’m giving out books! Books! Books! Why? Well because I love to read, and social media strategist notwithstanding, few things give me more joy than curling up with a good book. Not with a kindle or an iPad or anything like that. So, why not give out stuff that I love?

Here’s the twist though, I won’t force my reading list on you, you get to pick exactly what you want!

So, here are the rules, as dictated by my partner in this venture, @HL_Blue

1. Open the last twelve posts on this blog

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

3. Use these words to form a sentence.

That’s it!

No you don’t have to follow me on Twitter, send me a Facebook request or follow me on Instagram or any of those things. Naaa, you don’t need to.

You do need to be creative with the words you pick from the paragraphs though, if you want to win bad enough!

What happens next?

 @HL_Blue picks out the FIVE most creative sentences, you pick out ANY book you want on Amazon, and it’s yours! The only thing I ask is that you be gentle on my pocket :) There’s a £17 limit per winner. Use it wisely!

Time starts now, and the winners have to be chosen by Tuesday night! That gives me enough time to order, receive them, and send them down.

Who’s up for winning? Go! Go! Go!

Any questions? Tweet me @chiomachuka or @HL_Blue!

There are five other books up for grabs (thanks to my friends). If you want to give out a book too (anonymously or not), get in touch!

1. Preside or lead: the actions and actions of effective regulators by Scott Hempling (3 of them).

2. “Democracy and Prebendalism in Nigeria: Critical Interpretations” edited by Adebanwi and Obadare

“Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection” by Ethan Zuckerman

3. The Message Bible. (I mistakenly ordered two instead of one so instead of returning one, I’m going to give it one lucky winner!

P:S – Please leave your answers in the comments section! Would have said private mail me but I want the process to be as transparent as possible! Contribute to the body of knowledge! Lol (that’s something one of my tutors would always say.)

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! What are you up to today? What love-related activity are you going to partake in ‘in the name of love’? Huh? What did you say? Ok, whatever you do, let it be stuff you can defend before God o!

What am I doing today? Nothing extra to be honest, according to Pinky and the Brain, “same thing we do every night, try to take over the world”, lol. I’ve got quite a bit of work to get through, next week is pretty busy so the more items I can tick off my to-do list today, the easier next week will be. #Hustleface

I’m also going to Jesus House tonight with my girl Toks, looking forward to that! Apparently this branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God have a 24 hour praise event going on and what better way to spend the evening than in my Father’s House?  Plus I haven’t been to Jesus House since Christmas of 2010, so it’d be nice to fellowship there again. Yeah, so we’re going to go.

I’m also going to have lunch at Jamie’s Italian too, fingers crossed I can get the exact table we got this day, last year.

See, it is/was my awesome aunty Pat’s birthday, and it was just the both of us in the house so she asked me to suggest someplace we could go. We had a proper party planned over the weekend (caterer and everything) but she just felt like both of us should do something together. And since we were up to our eyeballs in Chinese, I suggested Italian. And so off to Bluewater we went. I will never forget it.

We ordered our starters, and when the mains came, she said, “is this it”? Lol! We ate, I was stuffed, she was not, so we ordered desserts.

Our bill came to just under £80 and when she paid, she said, “we should have used this money to buy perfume or clothes, stayed in the house and eaten our food jor! I’m still hungry!” Bless her.

We laughed, and went home. I’d given her the new DKNY perfume (aunty LOVED perfumes) – I don’t remember the name but it was the green of the 2013 apple series they did – she loved it! Thing is, aunty loved whatever she was given. Even if it was beneath her (and she’d never make you feel that way), she would accept it with thanks and one of her very big smiles!

Later that night she begged me to make semovita for her. After she ate, she said, “yes, now person know say im don chop!!” We both dozed off soon after.

Aunty. It’s already been 7 months since you went on to glory, and 8 months since the last time I saw you. I miss you so much, and I love you forever.

Happy birthday aunty!

 

 

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

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

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

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What do you think?

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

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

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

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

2. There will be multiple winners (whoop)

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

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

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

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

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Another one bites the dust…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I miss you Sylvester, we all miss you terribly.

Rest in peace, Sly Barzini. Je nke oma.

Sylvester...

Sylvester…

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I’m so excited!

When I was younger and living full-time with my folks, I would join church members to go out on soul winning drives, invite people to church, witness to them, that kind of thing. I loved it, looked forward to each and every one of those outreaches, and have tons of stories.

A lot older now, many times I’ve wondered how to keep that evangelism up, how to share my love and affection for God with people, more people than I did as a child. I just feel like there’s so much more I can do to bring people together to rejoice in Him and to share His Word.

And then on Sunday morning, I was listening to a message by Bishop TD Jakes and he said something about us Christians asking God to do things He had already empowered us to do – so we ask God to help us with things He has already released strength for us to do on our own, wherever we are. And in that moment, I just knew that I wanted to start something about sharing His word.

So I started thinking, wondering how I was going to do this from my little corner. And then boom! #PraisewithCC came into my head. Whoop!

What is this about? Very simply, we’ll just praise. Praise, praise, praise Him for 30 minutes on Wednesday, and Friday. We’ll do this wherever we are, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, wherever. I’m using the place where I’ve been called to make a difference, where I am most comfortable, to do what I was created to do.

Who’s in? Join me at 7pm on Wednesday, and 7pm on Friday. Let’s return glory to God for what we’ve seen, for what we’re seeing, and for what we want to see this year. What are you grateful for?

#PraisewithCC!!

P:S – I want to be able to curate as we praise, so please use the hashtag #PraisewithCC. I know that as we lift Him up, tell of His wondrous works, He will lift us up.

I’m so excited!

 

 

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