Posts Tagged ‘BBC World Service Trust’

Whoop! Our entry for today is a very dear friend who is using our hearts to do ‘tumbom tumbom’ by moving between Lagos and Abuja (don’t worry my dear you’re coming back next year)!

Tilly and I have been friends since 2008, and moved from Aso Radio to the working for the Queen (BBC World Service Trust, now Media Action) together. We’ve spent happy and sad times together, and have enjoyed many a turnup together! I’m excited that she’s on the blog today, and hope you enjoy her piece as much as I did!

I haven’t found the appropriate words to describe my year thus far. When it started, I had no resolutions nor defined plans. At the time, I was freelancing at a company where I was working for next to nothing but its attendant experience. A few friends thought I was crazy but for me it was also a period of penance -my Catholic background may have influenced this thought.

You see, I had made a judgement call late last year that cost me dearly and in Pharisee-like manner of over two thousands years past, I was handed over to be judged and I fell short. For a while I battled with self-doubt but had to  perfect the facade of ‘….’ Fortunately, my absolution came in form of a doppelgänger and she is one of the many things I am thankful for as I write. She’s fast become a mentor and friend. My confidence level now nko (you may ask), well it’s shooting through the ozone level!

I am thankful for my family; Iya Wale, Engineer, Wale, Lyna, Daniel & Daniela as well as Phil. We started the year in good health of mind and body, still are in top form and are confident in God that we will end the year happy and healthy.

I am also thankful for the realisation that my simplicity is my crown and my cross. I struggled for a while to accept this as I was often taken for granted but knowing how powerful it can be, I count this gift more than once when counting my blessings.

I am most grateful for my friends and acquaintances, too numerous to mention but especially for these two:
1. Okechukwu Jake Effoduh who has been my trusted partner, friend, cheerleader, style consultant and more rolled into one for many years. Those who know him will understand the depth of pride and admiration that fills my heart to be blessed with such a friend who is not only selfless but also grows in leaps and bounds daily.  Though we don’t see often, the expression “outta sight is outta mind” doesn’t resonate with us. #NuffSaid

2.  Omolola Faleye: her resilience and generosity I am in awe of. She’s been my guardian angel and I am thankful for her everyday and thrice on Sunday!😊

I am thankful for the unions of friends and births witnessed this year: for Big Mo and Willie; Franque and Oyin; Akin and Jola, Tega and Tracey – to mention a few.

I regret time spent second-guessing myself and a few epic moments when I didn’t tell someone off; they earnestly deserved it! For 2016, I wish and will work towards more laughter, a consistent walk with Christ, opportunities to travel the world and write, but most of all, ataraxia unlimited.

I am thankful for the ability to write this post for my dearest friend, Chico on my cracked-screen phone with 11% battery power on a hot night warding off mosquitoes, it means I can still feel something despite the tiredness that grips my body after a long day at a job I am most thankful for.

Laughter... Gorgeous girl...

Laughter… Gorgeous girl…

I think I took this picture!! I should consider photography as an alternate source of income, whatchu think?

I think I took this picture!! I should consider photography as an alternate source of income, whatchu think?

My gorgeous, happy friend! Here’s to a fabulous 2016, full of great joy, the fulfilment of all our hearts desires, and lots of egg on the faces of our enemies!


A few times this week I’ve had cause to use this phrase “may we not become the thing/person we criticise” and after I used it this evening while chatting with my darling girl/expert tensioner Francesca, I decided to write about it!

First off, I was pushing off to Lagos on Tuesday for a meeting/meeting some actors on location and I met Nasiru at the airport. Now, Nasty (what we affectionately call him) is a long time friend and former boss at the BBC World Service Trust while I was there.

Nasty is a very good friend of mine (offline and online), and probably doesn’t remember how he encouraged me sometime in 2009 when I had a really rough period because of one silly diary I found. I remember everything you said to me Nasty, and I’m super grateful!

Anyway, so we talked about our old office, and how things have changed, how people we thought of in one way became a totally different thing, and I expressed fears about the corrupting effect power has on people. Nasty was quick to remind me that not everyone is misled by power, and we wrapped that conversation with “may we not be the thing/person/people we criticise”.

The day before I was trying to register for a voter card (didn’t happen eventually), and I remember thinking all sorts of angry thoughts because of the really stressful day I ended up having. These thoughts included everyone who had something to do with the really shoddy preparations for the registration, including the policeman who threatened me (chronicle coming up soon). And while I talked to someone about it later that evening, he tried to make excuses for a few of the people I had it really bad for. Of course I didn’t want to think of it, but I did (later), and I hoped people would give me the benefit of the doubt when I needed it.

And then there was the conversation with Fran earlier this evening, we talked about a somewhat mutual friend and the drama she gets at home. While I agree that she definitely could have it better, I also know that it’s very few parents who would intentionally set out to hurt their kids. And so I said to Fran that I pray we don’t become the parents our kids talk to their friends about, the ones who give them loads of drama.

There’s at least two more instances this week that I’ve used this phrase, and I honestly don’t remember if I came up with it or if I read it somewhere, or if someone said it to me. I just know that it’s worth taking a minute to reflect before we chew the next person out. Not saying to cover evil or condone ‘anyhowness’, but people make mistakes, and we can too.

Have a smashing new week!


PS: It’s Francesca’s birthday next week, and I’m super excited! Francesca is a beautiful daughter of Zion, and has become one of the strongest arms I lean on, always there when I need her. I would go on and on now but there’d be nothing to put in the card, and she’s the kind of person who would refer me to this post just to tell me I’ve said the same thing twice! Love you long time B!

PSS: She wrote for the first #31Days31Writers series, and she’s so intense! Loved her piece!

PSSS: God please do not let anything happen to Joan Rivers (who is reportedly on life support). She might have a really caustic mouth but I really like her!

I heard of Danny and Sylvester’s deaths just about six hours apart – both were in the same age bracket, in the same industry, and both victim to the short, brutish life that Nigeria is gaining critical acclaim for by the day.

In 2008 I was selected to attend a BBC World Service Trust (now Media Action) training on “Reporting HIV and Aids”.

We must have been about 13 or so participants, all drawn from different radio stations in Abuja. I remember quite a few  of them, Sophie Petra, Danny, Chimdi (from Aso Radio as well, where I was at the time), Nonye, Ehi, if I’ve missed names they won’t be more than two.

I remember our per diem (more than my youth corper allowance at the time, the awesome tea breaks with a different set of pastries each day, and of course I remember filling out lunch cards and eating ‘whatever I wanted’ for lunch.

The banter and camaraderie amongst all of us was real, even though sometimes I felt like I couldn’t voice an opinion cos technically I was the youngest. Used to tell myself it was Danny in my head, but it’s a good thing I never said it out, cos I’m wrong.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I stayed in touch with at last 60% of the team. So from those I’m tight with, to the ones whose names I only remember when Facebook says it’s their birthday,  I’ve pretty much kept those doors open.

I saw Danny last around the end of 2012. I’d been invited to Kiss FM to be a guest on Nike Coker’s show and I went in to do the recording. I spoke on basic essentials for security online, just tips and tricks for people to stay safe in all their dealings online. I remember it was about the time that Cynthia Osikogu was lured to a hotel in Lagos and killed by some men she met/spoke to on Facebook.

I was excited to see him! Teased about him becoming a big boy at Kiss (I remember at a point wasn’t very excited with RayPower FM), and he teased me about being chubby. SMH Danny!

I heard Danny passed the same morning Sylvester’s death was confirmed, and all I could see in my head was the twinkle in his tiny eyes, the dimples in his smile. I could see the spring in his step, and the laughter which I couldn’t place at some point.

Danny, I don’t know the proximity of the candle to the generator that exploded that night, but I know your heart was pure, and you would do anything to make the next man happy. My heart goes out to your family and I pray God’s grace and comfort in this time.

Sleep well Danny Danosaur – keep making music!!


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The entrance to my city……

Wake up in the morning at 6.30am, do my devotion, a bit of exercise (especially if I indulged the day before), quick shower (try to keep it under 20 minutes) and I’m off to my job as an assistant producer working on the award winning drama series Story Story for the BBC World Service Trust, Abuja.

Get off work at 6pm (or later depending on the schedule for the day) and then either go to the gym for a late night swim (it’s priceless, you should try it), attend service at Winners Chapel, get a drink with my girls, or go home to my loving family.

Entertainment for the weekends (remembering that Thursday is the new Friday) includes seeing a movie with my girls, taking my nephew to Silverbird or Wonderland (and watching my money go up in flames), one iBlend activity or the other, GAP on Sundays, anything (knowing again that Abuja is never bereft of events)!

The regular complaints in Abuja would include light, heat (sometimes I feel like the Sun in Abuja is there to punish us for our many iniquities), cost of transportation (with the prices of cabs swinging like a ‘wild’ pendulum), erm….what else?

Your friends are never more than a phone call, taxi, or BBM away, and yes, there are loads of somewhat unconventional places to go and eat (remembering that I love food)! Ever been to a place called ‘under the mango tree’ near Ceddi Plaza? A friend took me there sometime last year and honestly, my life hasn’t remained the same since then! I remember going there with another friend around lunch time during the just concluded Ramadan. Now even though we didn’t meet the place bustling with activity – which should have told us the obvious – we sashayed to the serving are (with the confidence of blooming lilies) and asked if they were open or if there was food (I don’t remember which) and then laughed at our silliness all the way back to the car when we were reminded that they were fasting!

That’s my Abuja for you – Abuja with the street solar lamps that function almost as good as candles, with the daredevil convoys (I cannot count how many near death experiences I’ve had thanks to them), with the pretence of fixing up one Area Council to the detriment of all the others.

Abuja with the eateries on every corner, shops/stores with the exorbitant rents (and we wonder why stuff is pricey), with the lounges springing up one week and closing the next, with the one million plus entrepreneurs trying to get their own piece of the national cake. On cakes, where’s the famous cake our government wanted to use to get us into the Guinness Book of Records since they obviously cannot get us in there for any other reason. But I digress.

Abuja, where the most common and I daresay over-flogged phrase is “upwardly mobile”, where the three ‘essential’ fashion accessories are a blackberry, car keys, and bragging abilities; where (whether we like it or not) it matters who you know.

Abuja, with the beautiful parks and countless recreation centres, where all you need to become somebody is your dreams, a plan and the determination to keep at it till you get an answer (ask the City Crawler), where everyone is a ‘consultant’; where the social circles are so small and interwoven you’ll always see a face you know at any event you attend.

Abuja to me is like a market with all sorts of commodities; you get what you ask and pay for (not literally); whether it be friends, business partners, relationships, networks, platforms, experience, skill, or a good education. Abuja to me is the perfect definition of the missive behind the Rihanna/Neyo collaboration, ‘I hate that I love you so’.

Guess what? I miss Abuja. I miss my family, friends, and the life I knew. The smiles, air kisses and catching up with acquaintances you bump into. I miss knowing what to expect at every time, summary is I miss the predictable chaos that is Abuja.

It’s hard settling in, meeting new people, and doing the whole making friends process all over again. It’s not going to be easy determining who’s sleazy and who’s for real, who’s a brain and who should moonlight for Ed, Edd, and Eddy! Those, and a lot of other things, bother me sometimes.

These days I’m drawing strength from what a friend once told me, “though you’re a fairy (and the Fairy Godsister), you’re also a princess, and there are minimum standards of conduct, even for grief”. So while I miss Abuja a lot, I will do what I came here to do; get a good education, make the Fairy Godfather, my family, and you proud, and have a lot of fun while I am at it!

This is me, getting in the groove…..