Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Just did a short form post of this on Facebook but the matter hasn’t fully left my spirit so I thought I would come here and elaborate a little bit. I’m talking about advocacy and how some people believe (obviously erroneously) that they have a right to your beliefs and consequently social media posts.

So, someone posts about something and instead of identifying with it and moving on, or disagreeing with it and moving on, you come with, “but you did not talk about XYZ.”

For starters, this is absolute nonsense. I have very little patience for it. Nigeria is beset with so many issues everyone should be speaking about stuff, and all the time too!

Like, who has the register for what people should speak up about? Who made anyone the keeper of advocacy topics? And how does speaking (or not speaking) about one issue take away my right to speak about something else?

I am one person. I am somebody, but I am not everybody. The issues that affect me or I’m passionate about might not be the ones that awaken your activist bones. That‘s fine. The issues bothering me today might bother you tomorrow, and vice versa. That’s fine too.

This entitlement to the content people post on their personal social media profiles is silly, and the reason why Nigeria is what it is today. We talk about social media giving us a voice, yet refuse the individuality and ripple effect it affords us when we speak up. So confusing.

So we consciously or unconsciously ‘select’ people who should somehow know what we’re interested in, and talk about only those things. Otherwise, we heckle them. We outsource our civic duties and responsibilities to a select few, then cry when the monsters we’ve bred come of age. Sigh.

I read about a person who started #DistractionFreeFridays with a friend to get people to commit to driving without their devices on Fridays. We’ve seen hashtags like #SaveBagega, #NotTooYoungToRunBill, #CommonWealth4Peace, even #BBNaija. Do we tell one set of people to stop using the internet because we don’t subscribe to their hashtag? No. Live and let live. Advocate and let others do so.

You want to talk about female genital mutilation? Do it. Child marriage? Already. ‘Grasscutters’ and the other aberrations going on in the North East? Make it louder for those in the back. Audu Maikori and Elrufai’s sudden preoccupation with him? Go for it.

Whatever you want attention drawn to, start it. Gather information, and share it in ways that will resonate with people. Create a plan detailing what message you want to get out, who your target is, and what you want them to do when they’re aware of your messaging. Craft your messages in simple language, think about graphics if you can (the diversity of content is great and images are awesome as far as shareability is concerned). Sell your idea to your friends and get them to put it out for you at times when you know your audience is online, and keep posting/publishing. As it resonates with people, they’ll like, share, repost, retweet, whatever. And hopefully, they’ll take the commensurate offline action.

Here’s to your success, and leaving others to use their social media the way they want to.

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First off, there is a reason why I’m posting this the morning after – the way I felt yesterday morning wasn’t exactly the way I would have wanted to feel when I was writing this so I said I’d wait. And I’m glad I did!

So!! How did my birthday go?

I took a couple calls past midnight, and then afterwards I couldn’t sleep. You know when stuff just makes you think about your life, think about what you’re doing with yourself and how you want the rest of the year to go? Those kinda thoughts? Yup.

Finally fell asleep about 6am, was up at 7.45am when my sister sang happy birthday to me. Promptly pissed off my nephew who wanted to sing first so we had to beg him, and we made up for it by carrying him downstairs to the car. Na wa. Whoever said parents are slaves to children didn’t lie! Not like I’m complaining though, this munchkin has my heart!

Right. After they left I made myself boiled potatoes and egg sauce, and then I walked a mile with one of my exercise videos. I would have used the Brutal Hiit one but my sides and thighs were still super sore from the routine I did on the 19th. Na wa. This #FitFam life!

Had a shower, wore a new dress (very simple and pretty) and then it was off to Sheraton for a lecture from the Commonwealth Royal Society. I made some notes so expect that post in a bit. After the guest speaker was done, I went off to ‘chase money’. Did some work for some guys and how many months after, it just seemed like it was taking a while. Apparently it was God who asked me to go there because the person who was handling my paperwork had gone on leave. And didn’t hand over to anyone. Why? I was out of the country myself a week ago but I was still in touch. Why do people do that?

Anyway, that bit sorted, I went off to two banks to sort some transactions, then it was off to Chloe’s Cupcakes to get bites for the guys at the office. I think they loved the cakes!! Found out later that the POS transaction which I thought didn’t go through, went through. So I paid twice. Will definitely go back there today. Guess what? I didn’t even have a cupcake!

Got to the office, did some delegation (always great to do that, especially when the hands are competent), and then I had a quick, cheerful chat with one of the best bosses I’ve had in a while. I got the biggest compliments ever, that I had lost weight!! Yes! Yes! Yes! I know, normally, I’m annoyed with people commenting on my weight (and Nigerians loooooooove to do that) but abeg, I’ve been working hard for the past three weeks and it was nice that there was any change. Whoop!!

Sped off to a quick meeting which I will sign off on at 9am this morning, and then it was off to meet my sister and nephew at our aunt’s place.

Was nice to play with her children and just catch up with her, and she loaded our car with fruits as we were leaving. Team #FitFam in the building! Whoop!

We went to grab Indian, took it home, sat on the floor and ate it joyfully, and then my nephew insisted I carry him on my back. I did, and he was asleep two minutes later. By the way, my boy’s class have a sports competition on Friday and apparently, guess who’s representing his class? Ahh! Nothing on earth is going to stop me from attending! So excited!

Climbed into bed, took a couple more calls, and then it was lights out. A truly beautiful, fun day. Friday, we turn up!! Like, all the way up!! Massive love to my friends who are coming in from out of town to share that day with me, thank you!!

All through the day people were calling, others were texting, Twitter went crazy, folks put up messages on Instagram, Facebook, everywhere! God bless you guys! By the way, I found (thanks to @MrBankole) another Chioma on Twitter whose birthday was yesterday as well! Talk about namesakes and birthday mates!!

I’m grateful for a new year, for life, family, the opportunities in the offing, the lessons I’ve learned, people I’ve met, everything I’ve been blessed with, and the miracles I see every day.

I remember this day! It was a concert just before the elections! With these two guys (there's one more, Andy), I can confidently look for trouble anywhere!

I remember this day! It was a concert just before the elections! With these two guys (there’s one more, Andy), I can confidently look for trouble anywhere! And it does look like a mugshot!!

Thank you Boss, the one and only Big Mo! Still waiting to come on your show!

Thank you Boss, the one and only Big Mo! Still waiting to come on your show!

Dearest Mimi!! Thank you boo thang!

Dearest Mimi!! Thank you boo thang!

My one and only chekeleke who's flying in for my party on Friday! Love you boo!

My one and only chekeleke who’s flying in for my party on Friday! Love you boo!

Hello brurva!! Lol!!! Only Henry and the rest of the 'family' will understand...

Hello brurva!! Lol!!! Only Henry and the rest of the ‘family’ will understand…

Ha ha ha!! I sacrificed the photo of me for the message Anino wrote because it totally cracked me up! Last year I did the Sky Dive, and this year I think I'm going to climb Kilimanjaro. Hence all the warnings!!

Ha ha ha!! I sacrificed the photo of me for the message Anino wrote because it totally cracked me up! Last year I did the Sky Dive, and this year I think I’m going to climb Kilimanjaro. Hence all the warnings!!

So I just stumbled on this post I wrote in August, how I haven’t published it before now is beyond me!

Before I get to it, how are you enjoying the voices I introduced on the blog so far? Cool? What are you grateful for this year? What have you learned? And what would you change if you could? Anything? Use the comments section, let me hear you!

‘Let me hear you’ is something an ex-boyfriend of mine used to say, always made me chuckle, but hey, I digress; plus there’s a reason he’s my ex. Let’s get to the post already!

“Each day is a learning experience, each morning an opportunity to add new knowledge. Sometimes, beyond the things we read or seek out, things that happen around us present opportunities for stories or memories. On this particular trip to Nigeria, a couple things happened and I thought I’d share. Some are funny, some are not, and some others will be food for thought.

It’s amazing what little sums of money will do for people whose circumstances are not the same as yours. I asked the security man at my sister’s to help wash my car (correction – a car a friend graciously lets me use whenever I am in the country) and early in the morning because I had places to go. On my way out the next morning I gave him 1000 naira (just about £4), and asked him to give me my change later. To be honest I didn’t mean it, I just wanted to be able to ask him to help clean the car (and my sister’s) later that evening.

So I got back in the evening and as I was unloading my stuff from the car, the guy came up to me and said, “madam your change”. I was like ‘huh’ but I opened my hand and when I counted what he’d put in my hand, it was 900 naira. I was like, ‘what’…and he said, “hope I gave you the correct change, I used 100naira to eat”. Of course I gave him back the 900. Point is till the day I left, my sister’s car and mine were sparkling every morning!

That incident really touched me, and made me even more grateful for what I’ve been blessed with.

Still on little bits of money buying ‘loyalty’, my buddies Andy, Oche, and Eddie run a lounge called Eden Lounge in Maitama. The decor is out of this world! I especially love the walls, and I don’t drink but Oche is a mixologist par excellence! Kai! Dude can have you drinking your own urine and you would love it, he’s that good! Anyway, so I went to visit (first time at the place), and this security guard let me park inside the compound. When I was leaving to drop a friend off I mentioned I’d be back and asked him to save my spot. When I got back, he had saved it and so when I was leaving I tipped him.

VIP Certified

There you go! That was my IV to their opening night, making me ‘VIP Certified’…

The next night was the official opening of the place, and my buddies had hooked me up with a pass (I think I have a picture somewhere), and when I got there I noticed there wasn’t spot for me to park on the premises. Guess what? Not only did that security guy take the trouble to explain the owners of the cars to me, he had saved me a spot outside the gate where he and some other security guys were sitting! Soon as I pulled up they (as if on cue) stood up, moved their benches, and the guy came over to my window to say, “Madam I saved this space for you”.

Did I tip him when I was leaving that night? You bet!

Ok, so the weather is getting worse but my Saturdays are getting better!!! Last week Saturday I was in London town with my girls and friends from Nigeria and we had an amazing time!! Look up the post ‘Green Deal: The Background Story’ for my attempt at capturing all the fun we had!

This week, my darling Momma is around, whoop!! It doesn’t get any better baby! I’m really pumped about that, and I’ve had a really brilliant week too so hey! I’m all about enjoying this weekend thoroughly and looking to the new week for all the goodness and greatness it’s got in store for me! Whoop!

How did yours go? Want to share? I’d love to ‘read all about it’, said that in Emeli Sande’s voice, lol! While you decide if you’re going to share or not, here are the five pictures for the week! Enjoy!

Lmao!!! Look at the horror on his face in the third picture!

Don’t just beware, be aware!

We’re waiting boo!

Kids are so cute!

When the statue of liberty is tired….. (finish the sentence)

That’s it ladies and gents!!! Off to spend time with my family! Thank you for always coming back here, I appreciate you! Hugs!

D Fairy GodSister: Introduce us to Obi Darbas please?

OBIS DARBAS: My full name is Obiamaka Adabanya but for the purpose of not twisting your tongue I’m otherwise called “OBIS DARBAS”…..I am a Geologist, but a Geologist with a passion for makeup. Presently, I am a professional freelance makeup artist.

The Glam One herself!

D Fairy GodSister: What’s the relationship between Geology and make up artistry?

OBIS DARBAS: Ha ha ha ha ha! I wish I knew. First of all, I studied Geology back in the University. Secondly, I am a very stylish and fashionable person. Complimenting that is the fact that applying my makeup gave me an additional boost of beauty. I’m on a journey to spread that inner beauty….

D Fairy GodSister: So it’s all about spreading the beauty? Nothing to do with the money? Especially since you’ve done some work for some really big names!

OBIS DARBAS: Initially, I started helping the girls in school to shape their brows, choose the right foundation, eye shadow and do the entire makeup application for free. It just gave me joy. However I got a makeup job for an advertising company back in school. They paid me well, but I still did the usual freebies back on campus. This happened for about five years until two years ago, I took professional classes. And now….booyahhh! I do it for the joy and money….

D Fairy GodSister: Ha ha ha! I like the booyaah part! So, is it like a day job now? Or you’re in a geologist by day, makeup artist by night place now?

OBIS DARBAS: LOL….There is no day and night thing. I just have a way of roping both of them in. Most of my makeup jobs fall during the weekend. So it’s a win-win situation!

Beautiful, beautiful bride!

D Fairy GodSister: Tell us about the MUD deal…

OBIS DARBAS: MUD deal? Loool. Well MUD is one of the makeup schools I attended. The other one is Ulta (Chicago). I would say I was an outstanding student at MUD. After I graduated I’ve always been offered the opportunity to come lecture students and invigilate their exams, till date. MUD is like a parent to me….

D Fairy GodSister: Awww, and thanks for the clarification! What’s the biggest job you’ve done so far?

OBIS DARBAS: Ha! What’s your definition of biggest job? The pay? I classify mine by opportunity though. The pay may not necessarily be the “factor”….

One of her many clients…..

D Fairy GodSister: Nope, I meant the workload. I’ll explain. So let’s say you had to cater to a bride and 14 bridesmaids, that kind of big.

OBIS DARBAS: Oh I see! I have done a bride, the bride’s mum and six bridesmaids. And on that same day had to do three different looks for the bride’s different costumes. Funny enough, over time once I do the bride’s trial before her big day, they never want me to do their train. Reason is they don’t want my magic to make their brides maids any prettier than them!

D Fairy GodSister: Lol!!! Seriously?

OBIS DARBAS: Yup!

D Fairy GodSister: Do you always do a trial for brides?

OBIS DARBAS: Yes I always do. Usually two weeks to two months before their big day. Complexion and facial stress are things I need to sit and discuss with the bride.

D Fairy GodSister: Hmmmm. Do you ever have difficult clients? Have you ever seen a client and thought, “there’s nothing I can do to help this one’?

OBIS DARBAS: Oh Lord have mercy, yes I have!! You know what? Even while I was self-taught and at makeup school, I’ve always prayed never to meet difficult faces but trust me, I meet them on a regular. And they are usually willing to pay so much just to make sure I cover it all. However they have been my greatest joys because I see that I can hide/enhance some facial features and lift the burden for a day from their chest. Anyways that’s what I’m paid to do…”Glam them up”!

D Fairy GodSister: Whoop! Have you ever made a mistake? Like, scraped off the whole brow, used the wrong colors, etc?

OBIS DARBAS: No. I’m a very cautious person. That’s why I do a trial to avoid such mistakes. I always tell the brides to grow their brows for a while. And we work together to get the exact foundation/eye shadow/lipstick shade that best suits their complexion.

D Fairy GodSister: Who in this line of business has had the biggest influence on you?

OBIS DARBAS: I have been influenced by International celebrity makeup artist Wayne Goss. I have indeed learnt a lot from him. He is a makeup guru!

Pretty!!

D Fairy GodSister: Well done!! As we wrap up, what’s the place of your family in all this?

OBIS DARBAS: They know it’s something I love to bless people with and I have gotten the necessary support from them, even though they see a necessity for me to grow my oil & gas career.

D Fairy GodSister: Thank God for family right? What do you think of the makeup businesses springing up every day the days? Are you threatened?

OBIS DARBAS: Yes o, thank God for family! Makeup has a large market in Nigeria. There are millions of people you can apply it on, as a business it is quite lucrative too. People tend to believe we should struggle for the same clients but I’m not threatened because when you have excellence in your field, you will be preferred.

D Fairy GodSister: If you’re a geologist Monday to Friday and a makeup artist on the weekends, doesn’t leave time for much else does it? When do you have time for fun stuff? And what do you do for fun?

OBIS DARBAS: I’m not busy every weekend. There are some jobs I hand over to my assistant. During free weekends I cook, watch lots of TV and spend time with my loved ones.

D Fairy GodSister: Final question; where do you see OBIS DARBAS by 2015? As a young woman, an entrepreneur, and a geologist?

OBIS DARBAS: By God’s grace I would own a progressive and recognized makeup academy + Celebrity Fashion Stylist + Logistics and Supply Chain Consultant to Oil & Gas Upstream Companies.

D Fairy GodSister: All the best with that! Thank you so much babes for your time!!

OBIS DARBAS: You’re welcome! Anytime!

I totally love this one!!!

Do you want to feel glamorous? Get in touch with Obis Darbas on Twitter (@obisdarbas), on the phone (00 234 803 929 6796), via Blackberry (BB pin : 2609c524) or via her Facebook page, Glam by Obis!

Ok, I hope you went to church today! You know we are admonished in the Bible to ‘forsake not the gathering of the brethren’ – Hebrews 10:25. I did, and I had a great time! Matter of fact, Sundays at church are always the highlight of my week, honestly!

I have decided that there must be something from God’s Word every Sunday on this blog, and so far I’m grateful for the testimonies from people who have been encouraged, or uplifted as a result of a chronicle they read here. What else are we here for anyway, if not to lift our brothers and sisters?

This week’s sermon is about two years old (yes, I have church notes from that long), and I decided to put it up because it was a big blessing to me that day in church, and because the word of the Lord is new every morning, I know there will be fresh understanding for everyone who reads this today. In Jesus name!

The church was COZA (Commonwealth of Zion Assembly), in Abuja, and it was the 5th of July 2009. There was a special service that day that I had been invited for, and I remember the choir’s ministration that day was ‘You are the source of my strength’. Pastor Biodun (don’t know his surname) titled his message ‘I know the Lord will help me’.

You sure you are? Then you are entitled to his help!

He started by saying that anything we believe God to be is what/who He’ll be to us. Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” We are made in His image, and so should carry around that consciousness everywhere we go!

Deut 33:26. 1 Peter 5:9 says “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

Psalm 23:1 – 6 1 Cor 6:19

Isaiah 50:7, 9. Genesis 1:31, 2:18

Note that even when we don’t know we need it, God always identifies help, and helpers for us. Psalm 60:11

Jeremiah 31:17

By the way, don’t you ever forget, without the help of God, we are nothing. Isaiah 31:1 says “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!”

2Kings 6:27 Hebrews 13: 5-6

WHAT TO DO TO INVOKE THE HELP OF GOD?

1. Ask. Mathew 7:7. James 4:3,2. Yes God knows everything, but He still wants us to ask. I’ve heard men of God say that after Adam ‘blamed’ God for giving him Eve in the garden of Eden, He wants us to ask ourselves.

2. Know that God will use a man to help. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” So you don’t pray for finances and then start expecting to wake up and find the amount you need under your pillow!

3. Be a channel of help yourself. Eph 6:8. A saying goes, “the pipe carrying water can never be dry”. Is it all about you, you, you, or are you a blessing to other people, even with the little you have?

4. Be organized. 1 Corinthians 14:10. At different times in the Bible, people were told to ‘put their house in order’. Sometimes, reducing the chaos/clutter around us automatically reduces the crisis around us.

5. Sow towards it. Remember King Solomon? 2 Chronicles 1:6. His offering caught God’s attention. What do you give God, and how do you give? Grudgingly, because you’ll look funny if you don’t, or with a heart full of gratitude?

6. Declare it. God speaking to us in the book of Numbers says that “as surely as you have spoken in my ears, so will I do unto you” Numbers 14:28. What are you declaring/saying into His ears? Speaking positively or negatively? No need telling you how powerful our words are; bet you know that already.

Very true!!!

Enter the new week with the consciousness of who you are in Christ, and the power and help available to you as a child of the Kingdom. Nothing will confound you this week in the mighty name of Jesus! Amen!

Monday – first day of the week, and my first day at Uni for the year. I walked into the class, was astounded by the sea of unfamiliar heads, welcome to Production Labs, one of my modules for this semester. Somewhere between finding an idea to work on (which I still haven’t found), getting to know my group (Team Yellow), sorting out the people we’re supervising and the ones supervising us, I was lost.

Add that to the fact that I had a throbbing headache from not sleeping well at all the night before and Monday was literally ruined. I was happy to go home and collapse into bed at the end of the day.

P: S – Started a ‘Jesus is my boyfriend this week’ project with one of my  favorite friends,  Tomi.

Tuesday – Made it to a tutorial on poster design yesterday (I’m writing that here because I don’t remember what filled my morning). I didn’t sleep well, but it wasn’t as bad as yesterday.

Spent some quality time worshipping God today, and I remember asking specifically for good news, anything to make me smile ( do you get to that point sometimes) and then I got ready for uni.

Had a great time at my class! To start with it was Jase, Kaz, Leonie, Mark, and Simi (she’s new) and it felt like our space again. Of course Dave Harte (our tutor) was there, with Stuart Parker, the tutor for this module. Welcome to Social Media as Practice; I was happy that apart from what’s already outlined for the course, we did an audit of the social media skills we posses, and areas we’ll be needing  help from our tutor. We have to stage an event et al too but I’m loving the course already!

Got home to wonderful news from Nigeria that wrapped up an already beautiful day! My Boyfriend really pulled all the stops to make me happy today, and I’m truly grateful. Thank you Jesus…..

Wednesday – I didn’t sleep before 3am (get used to it). Then again the Dbanj/Snoop video debuted on Twitter and because I couldn’t sleep, I watched it, and I was disappointed. Before you bite me, I (like everyone else) is excited that Mo’Hits have again raised the bar, broken new frontiers, etc but to me, the video was just there. Nothing special.

I also watched the ‘Alabukun’ and ‘Change your parade’ videos (for the first time) by Pepsi boy, Lynxx – see for yourself (my first video on the blog, yay!!!). I’ve got nothing to say about both of them but, beauty_____ brains (fill in the blanks).


Erm what else did I do today? Yes, I exchanged some stuff I got for my brother (for the third time), and then went to volunteer my time (AND ENERGY) with a charity called Read International. There’s nothing like the fulfillment from knowing you’ve done stuff that in the long run will have a positive impact on people less fortunate than you are. Plus it’s great experience that’ll profit TBAM.

Today was left overs night; dinner consisted of left over potatoes, rice (jollof and white), plantains (diced and fried), prawns, veggies, and sausages all heated n one big pot! God is great sha, I’m sure only He would be able to help that digest!

Thursday – slept well. Very very well in fact. Even though two phone calls by @aninoritse and @toluogunlesi woke me up at different times of the night, I willed myself back to sleep (after tweeting a bit), and I slept well! Woke up at 10am (bite me) feeling very refreshed, spent an extra hour grooming myself, and then settled in to finish reading a somewhat scary but extremely interesting book.

Good news! My programme ideas (yes I had two) for the school radio station were accepted so I’ll be on air soon! There’s nothing like being on radio, once you’ve been there it never stops calling your name! Woo!

At Digging Deep today, we learnt about the blood of Jesus, and the different virtues we can draw from it. On why we ask for the forgiveness of any sin (of omission or commission) whenever we pray, the Pastor’s wife gave this analogy: if you have a child with diarrhea, every time the child poops on himself, you wash him (without fail), and comfort them for the pain they’re going through. While your desire (and what you’d be working towards) would be to take care of the root of that problem, you’d be happy to keep cleaning up that child for as long as it takes. Same thing for us; as we keep striving for perfection, Jesus works with us, cleansing us every time we slip up, and He’s happy to do that. Of course that doesn’t mean we should ‘abide in sin that grace may abound’. Be guided.

Thursday night was also heartbreaking as President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt did ‘the more you look, the less you see’ for his people (and indeed the world) when he said he wouldn’t be stepping down like we all expected. What is it with African leaders and clinging to power? SMH!

 

What stops us from living in peace with each other? The violence in Jos (etcetera) must stop! We can do it!

christians protecting muslims during the protests in Egypt

Friday – took a long walk today (in the name of finding an outfit for choir); the weather was great, my ears were plugged with music, and ‘like play like play’ I found myself walking (instead of taking the bus/train) for close to four hours! Of course my ankles et al hurt later but that’s a different story.

In other news, Hosni Mubarak stepped down today! Yay! After 30 years of dictatorship, he handed over to the military headed by Defence Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. It’s a little bewildering though, that Mubarak would install a vice-president but hand over to the military. We can only rejoice with the Egyptians though, and pray that this is the beginning of the freedom they have clamored for decades now, and not the proverbial ‘jumping from the frying pan into the fire’.

The prayer service today was great too, we specifically asked 2011 to yield to us every good thing God has ordained for us for this year. Can I hear an Amen?

Saturday – started by experiencing God’s healing, had a wonderful (however short) time brainstorming with the Gorgeous Social Media Army, and then misplaced my phone in a store! Two things: I found out on time, and then had the presence of mind to retrace my steps, and God being merciful, someone had found it, picked it and given to the manager of the store so I got it back! Yay!!!

Chanced upon an idea for a series of interviews I want to do on this blog, it’s too early to spill but stick around!

Sunday – end of what has become a beautiful week. Service was ‘on point’, and after the sermon the Pastor reiterated the need for us to talk to someone if we need help, encouragement, prayer, or anything. It’s true, I really believe that amongst other things, the house of God should be a place where we should be free to ‘lean on the shoulders’ of our brethren when we need to.

And that’s it, a summation of what my week has been! I’m looking forward to a wonderful new week, full of good news, and the fulfillment of all my desires. You should too!

Hiya! So I’ve found that the saying ‘easier said than done’ rings true. I didn’t think I would say this of myself but, here I am, eating the humble pie and wishing it tasted better!

At the beginning of this week I said I would do a chronicle a day for the rest of the week to make up for the time I had spent away from the blog. I think I started well (like we all do when we make a new resolution) but I didn’t put up anything yesterday.

I paid tribute to a friend I lost to cancer early this year, did my bit at lifting everyone’s spirits, and described a trip I took to Funtua last year. After that, it seemed like every force on earth (and beyond) swore wouldn’t write anything again. That in itself is a story but it’s not for today.

So a friend and colleague at Uni who cared enough to ask why I didn’t put up anything yesterday (shame on you if you didn’t ask) wrote something which i have posted below. Say hello to Andrew Watt people!

“As a Brit, my collected knowledge of Lagos and Nigeria comes from  Nigerians I have met and programmes on the television. Last year, the  BBC screened a three-part series called ‘Welcome to Lagos’ which showed some Lagos citizens living in squalid and dangerous conditions, making a living in any way they could. Coming from a country which has many people who believe the state owes them a living and sit on their backsides all day, I found their stories inspirational and fascinating. In fact it should be compulsory viewing for anyone who lives off the state. So, as a tribute to the people featured in the series, I decided to write this short poem.

Welcome to Lagos

For some who live in Lagos,

Their world is full of strife,

But you won’t hear them complain or moan,

Though poverty is rife.

In the Olusosun rubbish dump,

Life is very hard,

But some still have the Midas touch,

With the stuff that you discard.

Vocal Slender has a wish,

And every bit of scrap,

Brings him closer to his dream,

To live instead off rap.

Joseph is a trader ,

With two kids and a wife,

But he will work in any place,

If it improves their life.

Makoko is sandy slum,

Built next to the sea,

The houses are a mish mash,

Of various debris.

Chubbey is a fisherman,

With 18 kids in tow,

But wherever there’s a way to earn,

He’s always in the know.

Paul works at Ebute Metta,

He operates a saw,

But on funerals his money’s all been spent,

So he must sleep on the floor.

Handworking sandboys Dan and Kissme,

Make a living from the sand,

In a day they fill two dumper trucks,

Collecting it by hand.

These inspirational people,

Nigerian by birth,

Work and play in Lagos,

And are a gift from God to Earth.”

Market in Lagos

Image via Wikipedia

Thank you Andrew! And that’s it for Day 5!

Cover of "Shrek (Full Screen Single Disc ...

Cover of Shrek (Full Screen Single Disc Edition)

This chronicle was written March 15, 2010 but has been adopted for this week… Ok?

Ok, so like donkey in Shrek 1 I’m singing “on the road again”…or maybe I’m humming it. I’m not singing because I like the fact that Shrek is slowly into a Nollywood cartoon; part 3 wasn’t necessary at all! And did I tell you DreamWorks has announced there’ll be Shrek 4 and 5? But I digress, that’s a story for another day.

I’m on the road to Funtua, somewhere in Katsina, homeland to Nigeria’s one time absentee president (and no, I did not go for his funeral)! In fact, why don’t we leave the reason why I went there and concentrate on the journey to and fro which is always the fun part? Ok? Good.

So, the rest of the crew picked me by 6.30am (don’t forget I couldn’t sleep a wink the night before), and we set off. Pretty uneventful till we got to the border between Abuja and Niger State. Some guys in weird-looking uniforms (dark red and green) stopped us (had barricaded the major roads anyway so we didn’t quite have an option) and said they were environmental sanitation officers and they had blocked the roads so people would stay home and clean. Yeah right. One of us went to their boss, spoke to him a bit and they let us go. Curious to know how he managed that so easily, I asked what he said.

Crew guy – good morning, we’re from the BBC, going to Funtua for an important assignment.

Environmental guy – what is BBC? (And I thought we were known)

Crew guy – don’t you watch TV?

Environmental guy – oh, is it the one on TV?

Crew guy – (exasperated, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me look) yes

Environmental guy – ah, you should have told me sir, you should have specified (as if there are two BBC’s). Erm, my name is Official XYZ and we’ve been working diligently at this roadblock, trying to encourage people to clean their homes because we believe that health is wealth. (Suffice to note that by this time I was holding my sides in laughter). Oga (power had changed hands), would your people like to film us so you can show people that the environmental board in this state is…

Crew guy (cuts him short, knowing that power had changed hands and taking full advantage of it) – I told you we’re on an urgent assignment. On our way back, we’ll film this area for a special report.

And that my darlings, was how we were allowed to pass, and explains why I saw one of them saluting us! Moving on, we passed through Zaria (naturally) and we stopped at Rahama Restaurant to get a drink, pee, etc. I liked the place, it was pretty arranged. The guys selling suya were pretty much like bankers; with counters (numbered) and there was a supervisor guy (much like a branch manager) walking around and giving orders. I had to go so I went to use the surprisingly extra clean block of WC or pit latrine (choose your choice). Only thing that baffled me was, there were like a million kettles there, the floors looked so colorful! I mean, even if they were prepped for lunch/pee hour rush, they overdid the kettles abeg! Let me sum up the Rahama experience by saying this chronicle is one week late because I was critically ill after I got back. Please read between and under the lines.

Moving on, ABU Zaria gives life to the term, ‘University Community’, it’s so big! I mean, we were driving for more than twenty minutes and it was ABU on both sides of the road! At some point the walls of the school finished (and I don’t blame the wall – I would have finished too, the school, staff/students quarters, farms, etc stretched on for miles on end)! According to a tale, Sir Ahmadu Bello of blessed memory dreamed/proposed that ABU would start from Kwangila (contract bridge area), up to Funtua. Guess what? He achieved it to an extent because the school stops at Zaria Academy, and that’s a few spits from Funtua.

Makes me wonder what our leaders dream about: is it how to ‘import’ exotic women for their lewd pleasures, how to amass wealth through theft, or how to hoodwink the very people they pledge to guide? But again I digress, and I apologize.

Ok, so we continued going, abi? Somewhere in Shika, we saw a lorry load of guys waving sticks and machetes in the air. I was told they were hunters singing ‘battle’ songs. I was also told that if this (A) got into the bush and met another group (B), they would abandon their hunting expedition and start showing off their magic (juju), wrestling with each other (in other words, gingering their swagger)!

Ok, thanks to the Fairy God Father, we got into Funtua in peace, and on time too. I said I’d spare you the ‘why’ but I cannot but share these –

• No male shook my hand! Not even when we were introduced to the family of the person we went to see. (And there I was thinking I’d get air kissed or something)!

• There were so many little (aged 2 – 5) children running around in the streets! It’s almost like every family had enough kids to start a nursery! Jeez! (I found out though the communal head of the area we went to had just died and because of the peculiar way they mourn, all the little children were handed over to caregivers while their parents were in clusters; men in one place and women in another).

• There were so many dilapidated buildings! Some of the buildings (supposed to be schools) have campaign posters on them! Talk about a messed up conscience.

• Funtua has light o! As a matter of fact, I think ‘over light’ is worrying them! From the time we got there till we left, there was light, and full current at that!

Ok, that’s that about Funtua, didn’t see anything on the way back because I slept! This chronicle won’t be complete however if I don’t talk about the famous panty bomber who incidentally is from Funtua. I wanted to pay his family a visit but erm…..changed my mind just in time!

You know, back in January last year I tried to do a Mutallab chronicle but it didn’t click. One hour after and it still hasn’t come o, just imagined some stuff and I want you to imagine with me now. Just like 25 for Haiti, what if artistes the world over decided to do a song for Mutallab? I imagine the lines would be close to…….

No, how about you tell me what you think the lines would read like?

P:S – Day 3 of one chronicle a day this week! 4 days to go!

As children, my parents always gave us stuff to look forward to, sometimes with conditions; for example “if you place first in your class I will buy you a bicycle”, and other times, just for the fun of it, dad or mom would promise to buy us a gift, or take us somewhere on a certain day. That always marked a turning point in our behaviour/carriage for that period; we would become extra obedient, extra helpful, extra helpful, extra clean, pick up our toys, stellar wouldn’t even scratch the description of what we would be become! Watching my five-year old nephew re-enact that ‘overzealousness’ when I promise to take him swimming or to Wonderland amuses me greatly, and I think, ‘jeez, were we really that obvious back then’?

There’s nothing like hope, trusting that someone will deliver on what they’ve said they will do. And even when sometimes from the word go you know those people won’t deliver, human nature dictates that we ‘hope against hope’. Then we get disappointed, feel hurt et al but give us the same scenario and we’ll do the same thing all over again. Why? Hope.

The perfect illustration for that would be me trying to train Izzie, my late Italian Shepherd (14th June 2006 – 19th December 2009) to sit. Every time I tried, saying, ‘sit’ in English, French, Italian, Yoruba, Ibo, even Hausa, that’s when my darling doggy would swear she would die if she didn’t jump, climb my back, or just stand and stare at me. Funny thing was, even after getting frustrated and leaving with all the treats I got her, next day, yours truly would be back at her kernel again! Why? Hope!

Look at Nigeria too, since the elections that produced Chief MKO Abiola of blessed memory were annulled, we’ve been striving (without success) to hold credible elections; you know, elections without Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela and Jamie Foxx being Nigerian!

From 1999 we’ve moved from apathy to hope, to disappointment, and back to apathy. And now, just when everyone is ‘gingered’ to participate in the April polls, the fear that we might be disenfranchised is staring us in the face! It’s been reported severally that some registration centres up till now have still not been manned, some of the officials cannot use the equipment, others don’t have ink to print the data recorded, etc. yet every day we continue to troop to the sites, trusting that maybe today, stuff will go right. Why? Hope. By the way, if you still haven’t registered, where is your swag? If you don’t know the closest site to you, check http://yrn.me/maps, http://yrn.me/sng, http://yrn.me/nec, or http://yrn.me/clp; you should find maps, and directions. The registration ends on the 29th of January, so you don’t have a lot of time left!

Most of the time we hope/put our trust in things or people we know from the get go will not come through for us; have you ever stopped to wonder why that God never fails us? He does things we don’t even expect Him to do, yet funnily he seems to be the hardest person for us to hold on to?

How many of us sleep at night hoping to wake up the next day? None of us, because we just know that we will, and that our lives will continue. Do we hope that when we breathe in, our lungs will expand to receive the oxygen and then retract to let the carbon dioxide out? No, for us it just comes naturally. By the way, my doctor sister would be proud of that sentence!

If the foundation of our existence is taken care of on a daily basis by God (and without fail), what is that thing you can’t seem to be able to trust Him for? Sometimes I imagine if it were humans in charge of ‘switching each other on’ every day. Trust me we wouldn’t be having any issues with over population anywhere in the world! I imagine that some people would ‘forget’, and God help you if you fight with the person in charge of your switch!

My pastor talked about not giving up this Sunday, for me it was timely, and just what I needed (isn’t that how the Word of God always is)? He said that sometimes God tells us yes, and rushes off to give us what we’ve asked for, says yes but wants us to wait just a bit maybe because He’s seen that we’re not ready for it yet, and He should know! Other times He might say no because He knows what we want at that time will destroy us. Ditto for my nephew asking to drive the car, not with me o, but alone! I even saw an avatar that says that sometimes we ask God for stuff and He’ll probably be thinking, “you’ve got to be kidding”!

A good example would be Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast praying to God that all the local and international attention/pressure for him to cede power to Alassane Outtara (who’s the rightful winner of the elections) will go away. Are you for real Sir?

Good people, keep your hope alive. The Bible says “cast not away your confidence…..” especially in the One who doesn’t tell you He’s unable to sort you out because He’s too busy, is having a bad day or is on a vacation to the Caribbean’s. Keep your hope in Him alive, that’s what’s up!

P:S – Day 2 of one chronicle a day this week!