Posts Tagged ‘A post a day’

2015-08-21 11.04.12Have you seen this before? Or maybe I should start with, what’s your attitude to beggars, destitute, and people in difficult places?

It’s manifold for me, and I’ll try to explain. First off, there’s the anger that arises from the ‘yet we have a government and there’s a stark difference between the rich and poor, and inequality, etc.’ part of me.

There’s also the ‘why is this person with this ailment/this old/this young on the streets begging’ part, because I wonder where their families are, etc.

There’s the outrage when I see a young person with two hands, two legs, speaking (English or whatever language), doing nothing but begging. It really annoys me. Why? Blue, white, pink, or even orange collared, there must be something… I broke off on that sentence because sometimes I’m not really sure. Truth is there are no jobs readily available anywhere, but even more in Nigeria. And things like electricity, access to seed funding, etc. mean that entrepreneurs don’t really have it easy, except your daddy is a billionaire. I agree. I still however believe there must be something someone can do. I don’t know, what do you think?

While you’re thinking, here’s what happened to me a few days ago. I had one of the longest days, planning an event. Was running to and fro with my staff buying stuff, getting things ready. And then in the market we see a young man pushing an elderly man in a wheelchair, brandishing hospital papers that were barely legible. I did try to read it from the car but I couldn’t. I noticed a little child in their company though, carrying a walking stick taller than him. I gave them a little token, and we moved on.

After I dropped off my staff, I had to stop to get a new SIM, and to switch between two networks. When I came out of the store, a young man walked up to me, begging. To be honest I thought he wanted to rob me and I was already doing a quick recap of the boxing techniques I picked up recently. Then I figured he was begging and I just shook my head, got into my car, and drove off.

About two minutes from where I left, a very young boy came up to clean my windscreen, and I said no. Normally the next thing they do is beg for money, but this one just walked off really quickly to the next car. And immediately I asked myself a few questions, including what a child that young was doing on the streets past 8pm in the name of hustling.

And then I desperately wanted to give him the groundnuts I’d bought, and a bit of money. Problem, how to get his attention cos he wasn’t looking my way, didn’t turn when I honked, and there was gridlock traffic so I couldn’t move. I finally got to him, and gave him both. His smile (big, wide, pure, with his stained teeth), made me tear up. From my side mirror I watched him look in the wrap I gave him, then start shouting.

Paranoid me, I couldn’t make out what he was saying so I started panicking, especially since I saw a bigger boy running towards him. But that one got to him, and my little friend gave him some of the groundnuts and both of them started eating. And then I started crying.

And then I drove off.

I don’t know… I just don’t know…

Like every other Nigerian desirous of movement between two states with airports, I bought Arik Air tickets to Asaba for the 23rd of April, paid for them online.

That morning I rang our friend at the airport to get my boarding pass only to be told the airline had issues and wouldn’t be flying at all that day. I saw in the papers later that day that they were owing airport authorities over a billion naira and so were stopped from flying. The shameful thing is they were still selling tickets, with no plans in place to cater to customers with disrupted flights apart from “we apologize for the inconveniences caused!” Why?

Anyway, since Aero unceremoniously stopped flying to Asaba about two weeks to this date (their site said no flights till the second week of May – again for no reason at all), my only option was to go by road and get a refund from Arik. Suffice to say, one full month plus after I’m still talking to Arik about this refund – it’s incredible.

Road trip abi? I haven’t done this in a loooong time so I was excited, very curious too. The entire gist about roads getting fixed, etc, I was more than eager to see. I was also curious about the rest stops on the way, like has anything about them changed from the time my main means of interstate transportation was by road? Would I sleep as soundly as I do on planes? Would I have a neighbor who wouldn’t shut up? Questions, questions, questions.

Friday morning I got to Dunamis Motors (a long distance car service) where I would have just taken a car by myself, and they said all their cars had been chartered. No surprises there at all.

I went to Delta Line, and there were only buses, the cars had left. Ok. I decided to buy up a row of seats so I would be comfortable/by myself/undisturbed. I explained to the lady selling them said she had two seats on the row I wanted and then one at the back of the bus. I explained (like the 3rd time) that I was the only one travelling so single, scattered seats all through the buses wouldn’t profit me much.

When she offered me the same two seats on a row and then one of the seats in front with the driver, I quietly paid for the two I already had and went to sit down.

When it was our turn we boarded the bus, and I made sure to tell the older gentleman beside me I paid for the two seats because I wanted space, and then I started arranging my bag to fall asleep. A loud voice (coming from a very elderly lady) totally cussing out the driver delayed the sleep; apparently she’d seen him smoking something and asked him if he was the driver. He said no. Then he gets in the driver’s seat and she proceeds to rain curses that reminded me why I should never piss off an elder. She cursed him, his generation, on and on and on till people started begging her, that the guy she was heaping all these curses on was going to drive us (including her) to Asaba. Then she chilled.

Two minutes after the door was shut, THE SAME LADY said we should “commit the journey AND THE DRIVER into the hand of Master Jeses” I started laughing. Hilarity. The same driver you just cursed out? Ahn Ahn!

No jokes o, this old lady started singing and invited us ‘children of the Most High God’ to join her in worshipping the Lord. So from ‘in the morning’, to ‘all glory glory glory’, ‘we are gathering together’, brethren in Christ, we sang. I was so amused!

Songs and prayers over, the driver drove into a petrol station, where we spent the next 50 minutes waiting to buy fuel. I nearly lost my mind. How do you pack all of us into this kind of rubbish movement? What happened to getting fuel BEFORE picking us?

It gets worse. For the hour we spent on the queue, guess how much fuel we bought? N1870. The princely sum of one thousand, eight hundred and seventy naira, including the 10-litre gallon he said he would need (which of course we ended up not needing). Kai. I haven’t been that angry in a while.

Well, we set off, finally, and I can count at least 6 times we nearly hit another car, a pole, ran into the bush, flew over a speed breaker, or some other avoidable incident. At a point I wondered if it wasn’t the curses working a little quickly.

We got to the rest stop (I promise I don’t remember where it was again), and I went to pee. The young girl manning the place nearly followed me inside the cubicle in the name of calling me ‘ma’. When I was leaving I tipped her, and then had to ask her to stop following me. Even if I had a child and didn’t know, SMH.

Got back outside and the bus and driver had disappeared. Hian!! At first I thought I’d taken too long and the bus had left me till I saw a cluster of the other passengers talking at the top of their voices, asking for our driver dearest. I started laughing, and checking that I had WIFI so I could tweet and ask for anyone in the area to come get me. Moved closer to the passengers and someone said the driver went to fix his brakes, that they were bad.

What!!! Bad brakes and we’d come all this way? Sigh. The things we do beggar belief walai. And he couldn’t even tell anyone, it was the lady he bought water from who told us!!

He came back, didn’t apologize to anyone (matter of fact started raking that we should be lucky he noticed the brakes were dodgy). Of course that meant I didn’t sleep from there to Asaba, we were all driving with the guy.

God being most merciful, we got into Asaba ok. A lot later than we should have, but we got in ok. And Momma came to get me from the park, so I promptly forgot the driver. Till I was searching through my bad for aspirin (naughty headache that’s refused to go away) and I saw the ticket for that trip.

And I had a good laugh. And then I chronicled the trip for you.

PS – Written on the 23rd of April.

How easy is it for you to forgive? Easy/difficult? Or something you don’t even dare? Are you one of those people who say they can forgive but they can never ever, ever forget? Lol… I used to be like that.

I attended a service in Asaba late in 2014 and my father preached on the horn of unforgiveness. As always I made notes you can share in, so welcome to church!

He started by saying, the company you follow/accompany determines what will follow/accompany you. I totally agree.

Zechariah 1:17-21

Unforgiveness is refusing to let go of something or someone who in your opinion hurt you.

Unforgiveness is not holding my peace and letting God fight for me but forcing Him out of my fight because I want to do it all myself. That’s scary, who are we without Him?

Matthew 18:20-21

Genesis 50:17 – ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.”

Who has noticed that forgiving people can be a difficult thing? And the greater the grief they caused, the harder it might be to forgive. But it is a clear instruction from God. We must forgive.

2nd Chronicles 7:14

Psalm 130:3- 4 “Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies”

Zechariah 1:17-21 (yes, we read it again, for emphasis).

So, how do we defeat the horn of unforgiveness, which is rooted in anger? By the way, anger is some sort of inflammation, deep-rooted resentment or upset. The dictionary defines it as…

Psalm 103:4-5 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.”

Ephesians 4:26-27

Daddy mentioned something I want to ask about; do you know how your heart skips a beat when you round a corner and see someone you’ve got beef for/with? Lol… Unhealthy stuff.

And the sad/unfortunate thing is that most times the person we’re beefing is not even aware so we’re just stressing our hearts and minds and the person is walking around free!

How do you deal with anger? (Err, don’t worry there’s no magical or high-sounding formula)

  1. Keep your cool
  2. Don’t say or do anything when you’re angry. This is something we probably already knew but did you know the Bible mentions it too? Proverbs 25:11, 15:1,3.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 –Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.”  Verse 17 of the same scripture says, On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time?”

Did you learn something? Now to ask God for grace to let that learning shine through the things we do so that the few minutes we spent reading this don’t waste.

Dear Lord, help us to always turn our fights over to you, to remember that living like/for you means we must forgive people who offend us just like we’re forgiven all our sins as well. Help us to live right, amen.

Have a good week!

PS: Did you go to church today? Hope it’s a yes…

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 …



Screenshot 2014-06-30 23.43.40

You know how this idea for the #31days31writers project started? To start with I know YNaija’s done something like that in 2012, I think I wrote for that sef. I did! It was an article on babes beefing each other for no reason, and you won’t believe the gender that bashed me the most on that piece? Lol!

For this one though, I saw someone tweet in November (I swear I don’t remember their handle and I’m on a Twitter fast so I can’t go look) but he was talking about it and I thought, this might be cool for the end of the year. I didn’t act on it though till the 26th of November, and then I gave all my writers till the 28th to hand in their pieces. With benefit of hindsight, it must have a freaked a number of them out!

Anyway, so I must have asked 40 people, and out of those I got 30. And I am more than grateful that they took the time to squeeze their 2013 into 600 words, and send in the lovely pictures they did. From castration for sex offenders, to faith in the Lord, rebuilt confidence, loyalty from friends, second chances, to resolutions for the new year, homosexuality and homophobia, 2013 was different for every one of my writers, and I am so proud of them!!

Did you miss any of the articles? Well, you’re welcome, I’ve listed all of them below!

  1. DAY 1: The first in the ‘a post a day’ series – Chude Jideonwo
  2. “I learned that I matter” – Francine! #31days31writers
  3. “I have learnt pain is a part of the process” – Emeka #31days31writers
  4. “I use writing as a tool to make a difference” – Chijioke #31days31writers
  5. “No more Mr Nice Guy” – Mr Mobility! #31days 31 writers
  6. “I’m thankful for stability” – Saratu #31days 31writers
  7. “I would shut up and let her do her mothering” – Vickie Remoe #31days31writers
  8. “The internet lives” – Pa Ikhide starts the second week of my #31days31writers project!
  9. “I am gradually learning to love the silence” – Dosh Mabonga! #31days31writers
  10. “I have learnt that dreams can actually come true” – Bisi Alimi #31days31writers
  11. “I learnt to let go and forgive” – Onaedo!! #31days31writers
  12. “I have learnt that light always comes at dawn” – Alkayy!! #31days31writers
  13. “Who says black men shouldn’t cry?” – My girl Francesca Uriri! #31days31writers
  14. “Our human species have truly trashed the planet” – Jeremy!! #31Days31Writers
  15. “2013: Of numbers, expectations and unspoken promises” – Dami #31Days31Writers
  16. “I won the lottery!!” – Tolu #31days31writers
  17. “I’ve learnt to let go and let God” – the delectable Nike Coker! #31Days31Writers
  18. “People change and so do you” – Ewoma gives us home truths! #31days31writers
  19. “Castration as an act of mercy” – My girl Zima goes hard! #31days31writers
  20. I learnt a lot about public engagement as a public servant” – Ohimai!! #31Days31Writers
  21. “I live and breathe food” – Nky Iweka #31days31writers
  22. “I have so much to be grateful for!” – Mac-Jordan #31Days31Writers
  23. “I’m glad that I followed my intuition and took risks” – Chris!! #31Days31Writers
  24. “This year taught me to represent” – Eziaha (The Fab Sister) is up today! #31days31writers
  25. “Loyalty makes a friend family” – Nonso’s up for our Christmas special! #31days31writers
  26. “I have come to love and accept myself” – my bestie is up! #31days31writers
  27. “I don’t even remember my resolutions for 2013″ – Andy Madaki on #31days31writers
  28. “I have learnt that homosexuality exists in 450 species” – Okechukwu is a shining star on #31days31writers today!
  29. “I understood faith as a lifestyle this year” – Lizzie
  30. “Your friend is your need answered” – a surprise appearance on the #31days31writers project!
  31. “Thank you for being part of my 2013″ – Guess who? Me!!!

Thank you guys for honoring me and my blog. Best wishes for the new year!

Love, light, and God’s many blessings!


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

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

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

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

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

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

My baby channeling the Christmas spirit!

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

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

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

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

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

2. Succeed! Big time!

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

Peace, love, and God’s great blessings,

The Fairy GodSister.

2013-11-30 22.31.29

Miss CC!!

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

I met Mr Ekpo in May 2012, when I worked as the social media consultant for NERC as they implemented the MYTO 2 (price increase in simple English abeg). It was my second ever interaction with bureaucracy as personified by government, sigh. I remember having to explain what exactly social media could/would achieve for the organization so many times I could recite it in my sleep, but it was worth it when things started to change!

I infected some of the principal officers at the commission with the social media bug, and it is a thing of personal pride that Elecoblogs exists.

When I first toyed with the idea of asking Mr Ekpo to grace my blog for this #31days31writers project, I worried it would mete a ‘familiarity breeding contempt’ kind of reply. So you can imagine my excitement when between an introduction to another young person to provide a service, I mentioned it, and he replied, ‘sure, what is it about’? And voila!

It is my honor to present Mr Eyo Ekpo’s submission for my #31days31writers project!

My name is Eyo O. Ekpo, Nigerian, working with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Abuja. There, I lead the Market Competition and Rates (MCR) Division. I’m also a newbie blogger, on electricity (of all things), at Elecoblogs. I’m planning to be 48 in June (can’t wait to be 50 and see what the fuss is all about) and have fended for myself since I became a lawyer on 22nd October 1987.

My Lessons Learned (or, Perhaps, Re-Learned)

I sit here in the garden at home in Calabar and ask: “What do I say to readers whose average age is less than 35? I have no common ground with them. I dislike their music, their loud voices, their hurry-hurry, their dressing. I dislike everything about them!!” Then, I say to myself: “But you do know quite a few fantastic young people o”. The list runs through my head and…it just keeps growing. From my two out-of-this-world daughters, 20 and 16, to the bright young guys and girls of NERC, to @ChiomaChuka, my Media Adviser, who opened up for me a new world, social media, of which I was blissfully ignorant, on to the irrepressible people I’ve met and conversed with in that youthful, vibrant and colourful world.

I’ve re-learnt a lesson as old as time. I am you and you are me and the river just keeps flowing. Time is timeless. It stands still. In order to be alive in it, we are the ones who must keep moving. Stand still and die. Looks indeed are deceptive. During the year, I looked more closely and saw that the youth of today are me of yesterday, not even as good. The same all-embracing fire of idealism, expectation and desire for progress that I had in October 1987. Now, my biggest desire is not to become one of those masquerades that have dedicated themselves to killing that fire.

My Gratitude

Kahlil Gibran, for whom my 8-year old boy is named, said about Friendship in his timeless magnum opus, ‘The Prophet’: “Your friend is your need answered.” I am eternally grateful for the blessing of friendship; and grateful to my friends who have provided all I have ever needed. Three of them, two female and one male. Don’t ask and I won’t tell, except to say that one of them is my dearly beloved wifey, Oluranti.

2013, in spite of its daily anxieties and worries, was signposted along the way with a few happy events that served, at just the right moments, to boost a flagging momentum. It has also proved to be a year in which were validated, reinforced and sometimes learnt anew, many of the lessons from 26 years of a multifaceted professional career. Lessons of life. Hard work, character, ethics, paying what is due, the constant striving to learn, perfection never having upper limits, leadership and people management. Above all, lessons about responsibility, a word deep with meaning.

And…My Futile Quest for A Time Machine

If I could go back, what would I do differently. I hurt two people I love dearly. We live in the present and I can’t go back but I can make amends, which, thankfully, they have allowed me to do.

I am most certainly a very fortunate pilgrim. I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences that life has brought me in 2013. As the year ends, I look forward to 2014 with eagerness for a year that would be filled with activity, even more beneficial to all around me than in 2013.

Thank you Sir!

Thank you Sir!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you FGS!


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


Where do I start from with Okechukwu? I met him once in 2008, while I was still at Aso Radio, and then we became work colleagues in 2009 when I started working with the BBC World Service Trust (now Media Action). Remember the mornings with kose and bread at Amma House? The listen back sessions? The noise and camaraderie in that our production corner, how we would drive Oga Eze crazy with our chatter? Do you remember the day you played out Beyonce’s ‘Telephone’ song for us in the office? I have never heard that song since then without thinking of you!

Okechukwu is a shining light, a true example of a young man who has his sights on greatness and is doing all he can to get there. He plays hard, but there’s no gainsaying that Okechukwu words hard, and I am mega proud of him! He has a Wikipedia entry here, and he sent me his submission in hours of my asking. Rockstar!

My name is Jake Okechukwu Effoduh; I am an unrepentant Nigerian.

I anchor a national radio programme on governance under the platform of the BBC Media Action called “Talk Your Own Make Naija Better” I also serve as a Special Adviser to the Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies where I work as a Research Fellow.

One thing I have learnt this year? Asides cramming so many statistics on human rights and minority populations, I have learnt that homosexuality exists in 450 species but homophobia exists in only one therefore without knowing a thing, one must not hate.

What I am grateful for? I am grateful to God for so many things! First, for making sure I’ve NEVER been ill for the 26 years of my existence. Second, for blessing me with a genotype that makes me immune to malaria. Third, for giving me a mighty and extraordinary appetite that has attracted a team of Israeli nutritionists who have come to Nigeria for the purpose of using me for an unprecedented survey, which I am getting paid for (although the money is very very small sha – these nutritionists and their aka gum. Lol) As for this year, I am grateful to God for my entrée into the prestigious University of Oxford on a very generous scholarship.

One thing I would do differently if I could? If I could, I would do many things differently, e.g. I would like to wear mufti to court; speak pidgin at meetings; and then most importantly: dance more on the road. The thing is, I love to take long walks with music blasting through my earpiece from my phone. For me, there is nothing more refreshing than listening to my favorite songs in the middle of the wind while in locomotion. It always induces me to bust a move, but I find myself responding to the music only when people are scarce on the road so that I don’t create a scene.


Don’t even let the serious face fool you, Okechukwu is a joke and half! And err, he is single. Is he? I don’t know o! Confirm before you start ‘busting your own moves’.

 P:S – Three days to the end of the #31days31writers project. I’m excited! It’s been an amazing ride; so many lessons, laughs, emotive moments, I will definitely do this again!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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