Posts Tagged ‘blogger’

This is the second instalment of my Maiduguri trip tale. MTT. Sounds nice. Dope abbreviation. Sounds like something serious. This is serious biko. As serious as serious can get. But I digress. Part one is here. Let’s get on with it.

So! One of the first things that hit you once the announcement about the descent into Maiduguri is made and you look out the window might be that there is the Maiduguri we all hear of and the Maiduguri you meet (in person). Perfect opposition, especially if you’re besotted with foreign media reports.

It’s the red roofs and cream-colored buildings, the wide expanse of uninhabited land; it is the land itself. Green and luscious one minute, dry and scorched the next. This contrast presents itself throughout the duration of this trip exaggerated many times over by the insurgency.

Immediate thoughts on sights at the airport?

  1. Maiduguri international airport, like several international airports in Nigeria, is, unfortunately, international only in name. The absence of an arrival lounge reduced hopes for a carousel or conveyor belt to mischievous thinking. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait too long for our bags, and it was off to our lodgings in a convoy dotted with an armed security truck in the front and at the rear.
  2. Decrepit buildings, chipped away at some corners, time, negligence, and incompetence ensuring that even the lettering on the building announcing the airport was barely visible. I confirmed the airport had never been attacked. What was the excuse for this eyesore then?

The second thing I noticed (or that hit me) was the heat. Dry, prickly heat, and yours truly was wrapped in a jalabia and head scarf. I genuinely thought I was going to have heat stroke.

So, we got into our cars and drove in a convoy to our lodgings, a place called Lake Lale Guest Inn. Here’s an idea of the sight I became accustomed to for the rest of the trip.

military

The first room I was given had bad locks and because I didn’t want any how stories starting from “while she was sleeping…” I asked and was given another room which was cleaned while I was there. Tut tut tut.

We were to have a team debrief at 8:30 pm. I had been warned that the restaurant was a bit slow but I forgot meaning that the chicken and chips I ordered weren’t ready before our meeting. By the time the meeting was done, I got back to my room and asked for the food. It was brought and the rest I captured on twitter.

borno-2016

Anyway, I ate it like that, spoke to Tata and my folks, and slept off, grateful for safety, a roof over my head, and the privilege to be on the delegation to a place I had only heard about. A few mosquitoes, but nothing the airconditioning wouldn’t handle. Or so I thought.

The evening and the morning, the first day. Tomorrow? Bama.

First off, it was my birthday at least two weeks ago (say hello to thirty, whoop) but that’s not what this post is about.

It’s about another birthday. This blog is six years old! Screenshot 2016-06-02 09.52.06I remember the first time I ever blogged about anything. It was on Facebook, in the ‘notes’ section sometime in 2008. I called it Chronicles of the Fairy GodSister and I remember that post was about a Chinese affinity for warm water during and after meals someone had forwarded to me. I didn’t want to forward it on (I’ve never been a fan of mass-forwarded messages), so I decided to flip it a bit.

Interestingly, and I’ve said it before, by the time I registered my first blog on blogspot later that year, I chose ‘Fairy GodSister’ because I wanted to be able to deny it if people didn’t like the things I wrote. Lol. And then when I got tired of the chains that blogspot comes with, it was time to move here. And I did. Six years ago.

Whoop! A lot of things have happened in six years, in my career, school/education, family (my niece and nephew were born, for one), relationships, life and death have happened. And I’m thankful for all the experiences and lessons I’ve learned along the way.

I’m also thankful for people who have read this blog, who have come to know me because of this blog. I remember one time someone took a few weeks and read EVERY single thing I ever published here. How did I know she read? She commented on all of them. Yep. At the time I had over 280 pieces. And she read them all. Gotta be thankful for people like that, and everyone else who either joined along the way, or has been a fan from jump.

I’m also thankful for the folks who have lent their voices and stories to my #31Days31Writers series, the ones who have opened up themselves and their businesses/enterprises to be interviewed, the ones who have trusted me to tell their stories. Thank you.

To the ones who would message me when for one reason or the other I didn’t write as often as they expected, thank you for checking on me, and ensuring in your own way that dust didn’t gather (too much) on the url. Lol.

Happy birthday to The Fairy GodSister. Here’s to many more years of writing, of sharing, of chronicling.

So how do I know Chukwuka?

I saw a comment he left on one of the entries for this #31Days31Writers series and it just occurred to me to ask if he would be interested in sending in an entry. And he said yes! And reading this, I know it was God that wanted him to share his story to encourage everyone who would read, including me.

The year’s been a bit dodgy for some, ups and downs, and lefts and rights. Only constant thing is the One who made us, fashioned the earth, and is already in 2016 waiting to show us His greatness! I’m so encouraged by this!

I’m experiencing what it is to live by faith. When I heard Micah Stampley do the song ‘Heaven On Earth”, I never understood what he meant until I began to meditate upon those lyrics that “to be living in His favour and grace is just like heaven on earth”.  I usually don’t like speaking about what I’ve gone through in the past, rather I choose to sit in my quiet times and allow those tranquil thoughts go off my subconscious mind. 2015 has been a year of tests, trials and lessons for me.

2015 January started for me with fresh memories of my Mom’s burial ceremony in December 2014, I couldn’t think straight because there is nothing more painful than the loss of a mother. Later on when I thought all was going well, I lost my job.

At the time, it seemed like an orchestrated process by the devil to pull me back to square one as if a volcano had just erupted over me. I started getting addicted to alcohol gradually to suppress my deep hurt but I found no hope. Sometimes ladies think they are the only ones engulfed in the race of keeping pace with the realities of life. We guys do too! When our friend proposes to his bae, we smile and clink glasses but deep inside you feel like you aren’t measuring up! Yeah? When half of your friends suddenly hibernate only to appear on Instagram on the streets of Denmark, there is a feeling in you that makes you want to fly away too! It looks like some things have eluded you each time you compare yourself to people, and that was my case.

I was heartbroken; looked like the whole world had moved ahead of me, like really? I got rejuvenated after reading 1 Corinthians 15:41. I focused on developing myself, praying daily and leaning on God. It was during those periods of being out of a job that I got introduced to the Winners Family and joined in the daily 5.30am prayer sessions. Thereafter, I was introduced to what is known as “Kingdom Advancement Prayers”. These prayers ushered in a new dawn for my life in all areas. Where I saw lack I began to see abundance, where I had rejection, I began to see love, where I saw hopelessness, I saw light and things began to take shape.

My major lesson is this: I’ve learnt that friends are angels in human form; they exist in our lives to help us build a family away from ‘family’. God be praised for friends.

I’ve come to terms with investing in my relationships with people, my friends and even neighbours. I count myself lucky to have been blessed with godly, disciplined and purpose-driven friends.

I’ve learnt never to compare myself with anyone.

If there be anything I wish I could unmake or change, it will be that I will learn to take actions quickly.

Truly Heaven on earth has been my experience all through this year; I have no regrets rather I see my mistakes as a refining fire to bring out a better version of me. I might not be yet married, I might not have the type of cars my friends are driving but I am contented with the gift of life God has blessed me with – a passion for teaching.

I have channeled this gift into practical use for three years now volunteering with Beyond The Classroom Foundation. I am involved in a project initiated by Microsoft Nigeria –One Million Fingers Coding” where I teach the basics of coding to students in primary 4. My biggest dream in 2016 is to see these children come up with ideas about what their future careers will be and?

My next desire in 2016 is to be seriously engaged in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth, for that is the key to all of life’s breakthroughs.

My name is Chukwuka Anslem Ozor, I work and reside in Lagos, I like teaching. I work as Content Deployment Executive at Imaginarium Creative.

Amazing work!

Amazing work!

First off, my condolences on your mom… Here’s praying God’s great comfort on your entire family. Second, a very big yay! Very well done Chukwuka, my dad’s semi namesake (My dad’s Chuka, no full-form)… Here’s to a brilliant 2016 for you!!

PS: Have you heard of TechHer? I think we should do some work together next year when TechHer goes to Lagos….

Excited about the entry for today, it’s one of my favorite people on this planet, my own Boo Boo Kitty, Nana! Nana is that kind of friend who will love you fiercely and not let you self-combust, who will stand in your corner at her own expense, even to her own detriment! She’s gorgeous (inside and out), and I’m grateful for the gift of her friendship.

That said, this my friend is a little mad. Sigh. As in, hold her or she’s going to put all of us in a pot and set it to boil kinda mad. But we love her, today, tomorrow, everyday!

Hi! I’m Nana, resident in Abuja, and I’m a lawyer (amongst other things I do).

This may just be a good time to talk about my 2015.

2015 started with me happily waving my mum off at the airport to go home to her husband…okay, I love my mum to bits but when you are the only daughter in an Igbo family you know how it is.

So I had told myself that in 2015, I’ll be much more secluded and less nicer to people but you know how New Year resolutions go; I ruined it all by going to church.

I have lived alone all my adult life and I can count how many times I went to Church. I was not an atheist, I was born Christian but I always had this different simplistic ideology about how life should work and it was okay for me but I wanted more so off to Church I went of my own accord and diligently too.

I moved houses around April. I fell deep into depression, I didn’t want to stay alone and so I went to live with my Aunt for a month. It was funny because I always appeared all put together, smiling and going through the motions but I had all these pent up emotions waiting to spill.

Some random day, I walked into the Pastor’s office and spilled a quarter of what was bothering me. I half expected the religious boobooyaya but I didn’t get that so I spilled some more and it felt good.

Sometimes I tell myself that my 2015 began in July. In a sort of way, it did. I had my much-anticipated graduation, went on the holiday of a lifetime with long road trips. At this point, I have to state that I am a horrible companion on trips; I had a modus, which was to drift off in the middle of the gist and pretend to be awake enough not to snore during my sleep and yell “exactly!” when jarred awake. It worked sometimes.

I was not prepared for 2015. I still don’t think I am ready for a year that has 11 days left in it. I will remember 2015 as the year I realised the power of friendship (No kidding, my friends are rubies). I’ve tried to drown so many times and each time I have gotten the pull and the push.

I fell in love in 2015. I was really kidding with #SeizeTheBae2015. Really kidding! I had sexual plans for 2015 and none of it fell within monogamy. Planned a celibate part of the year and a raunchy part to end the 2015 with. With the list of cities I was going to have sex in.

Each time a plan came up, I wonder whose prayers it was (suspecting my mother though) it kept getting knocked off and that was how it happened, unplanned.

I don’t know what 2016 may come with but I have decided to go against planning my life; I’m winging 2016.

To my friends, family and lover, I am grateful for the food, the gists, the time, the hugs, the encouragement, the love, the scolds, the truth and the companionship. I am 99% of an asshole and 1% human. Thanks for seeing just the human.

Me.

She didn't send a photo but I have like a million photos of the both of us!

She didn’t send a photo but I have like a million photos of the both of us! See her small teeth..

I love you Boo Boo! Thank you for bringing an unplugged honesty to my blog today! By the way silly, you’re more than 1% human jor, shaking my head! Here’s to a 2016 that’s full of love, joy, money (girrrrrrllll….), and fingers crossed, a different country! Yaass! 2016 here we come!

 

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 hung out with a dear friend recently, she’s here in England to study ‘modelling and management of risk’ and walai, it has tripled the respect I have for her. In academics, there are two classes of people I respect; people who love maths, and people who love maths so much that they study it! I remember the tremor in my heart in Secondary School every time I knew we’d have math for first period, how I got a ‘C’ in my A Levels is beyond me! We had some maths gurus then, but when one of them said she was going to study further mathematics at Uni I must confess I kinda stopped liking her very much! What! I can’t understand things ‘as basic as quadratic equations‘ (rolling my eyes at my math teacher for saying it was basic), and you want to study further maths at Uni? Kai!

Anyway, I think I’m a bigger person now, because the friend I hung out with today studied…….(wait for it)….MATH for her first degree, and I still like her a lot. *hugs*

Ok, so after we prowled Oxford Street (the definition of girls ‘hanging out’), we started gisting on the train home, and somehow it  moved to flights. That’s funny enough. Then it moved to ’embarrassing moments on flights with Nigerians‘. Before I go on, what’s your story? Local or international, what has irked/amused or just totally cracked you up?

We started from the ‘rousing ovation syndrome’, and Fe told about (as I have heard severally before) about our people giving the pilot an ovation when he lands and is taxiing the plane to where they get off. Most culpable route? The DubaiLagos flight, on any airline. I won’t even start World War Three by mentioning (or even hinting at) the most culpable Nigerian geopolitical zone! I learnt that if the flight was without incident, then the pilot gets a regular applause, nothing special. But if there was turbulence anytime during the flight, ahh! Not only does he get a rousing ovation, some take the liberty to stand (never mind the ‘keep your seat belts fastened’ rule) and pour blessings on the pilot, which is a bad idea in itself because he CANNOT hear!

I told the story I’ve shared here before about the man who sat beside me on a flight from N’Djamena to Douala. That was just as sad as it was hilarious!

Another one comes to mind; I was flying from Lagos to Abuja, one of those days when I knew that thanks to the airline, I was going to be late for work. And it was a Monday morning, the worst day in the world to be late, or appear ruffled due to the mental/emotional exhaustion of driving the taxi with the cabbie!

I wasn’t in the mood to chat, was saving my energy for explanations back at the office. Till I noticed the guy in the seat next to mine didn’t hurt my sight; matter of fact, he looked really nice. I ran through a little list in my head, shoes and belt matched, crisp shirt, light whiff of his cologne…… ‘Not bad’ I thought. Just as I looked away, he said ‘hey’, and I smiled (more inwardly than outwardly of course). He said he’d seen me look at my watch a few times in the last minute so he was sure I was running late as well. ‘Doesn’t sound half bad too’, sucker for accents that I am. After a few minutes of chatting I turned away, and was counting down to exchanging numbers at the end of the flight. *wink*

Man proposes, God disposes. Abi? 25 minutes into the flight, what started out as a beautiful sunny morning suddenly turned dark and cloudy. With the clouds came turbulence in epic proportions. God of my fathers! I was AFRAID, there’s no other way to say it. I prayed, asking God to remember my service in His kingdom and have mercy, and if mine wasn’t enough, to consider my parents. Anything, I just knew I didn’t want to perish!

The hitherto suave young man beside was obviously more terrified than I was. Before I closed my eyes to pray, he had maintained a calm mien, like he didn’t notice the chaos. Just as I opened my eyes, and wanted to hold his arm (for support, lol!) the plane dipped. Immediately I heard, ‘chim o! Obara Jesus! Onye nwanyi gbaghara!’ What!! In spite of myself and the situation at hand, I started laughing. I laughed even harder when I realized the chants were coming from the guy! Ah! Where did the accent go? I could have sworn he wasn’t Nigerian before!

God being merciful (as always), we left the troubled spot, and 40 minutes later were taxiing to a stop at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. ‘Can I get your number’, baby boy said, assuming his cool demeanor again. ‘Nope’, I replied, without missing a beat. After that episode? No way! I smiled at him, got off the plane, and laughed all the way to my office. Na wa!