Posts Tagged ‘Friday’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Open the last twelve posts on this blog

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

3. Use these words to form a sentence.

That’s it!

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

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

What happens next?

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

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

Who’s up for winning? Go! Go! Go!

Any questions? Tweet me @chiomachuka or @HL_Blue!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I’m so excited!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

I’m so excited!



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So, I spent Friday to Monday in Aberdeen, celebrating Talia Renee’s first birthday, a beautiful, gorgeous baby girl I’ve kept aside for my Boo Boo! He’d best be thanking me later!

Seriously though, I had a really fabulous time, and the party was great! It wasn’t a really big party with people flowing out into the street but we had great sunny weather (thank you Jesus), everyone was happy, food was great, we played loads of fun games, and I met up with old school friends and made a few new ones!

I think that quality friendships are very important, and I remember that I was engrossed in quite a few thoughts that night (after the party was over). Which of my friends would fly out to celebrate with me when I need them to? Who would I inconvenience myself to be with? Who have I been a really great friend to? Are the testimonies about me more than the sighs of gratitude when I’m gone (not dead o, I mean away from the place) or is the other way round?

There might be excuses for your friends not being great friends to you but what’s your excuse for not being a great friend to them? Huh? That’s one lesson I learned, took away a decision to be a better friend to my friends.

Another thing I learned? How to look after a baby!!! I learned about settling babies into routines, how it helps them know what to expect, and gives you the window to still have a somewhat full life. I also learned how not to fall to pieces when they cry, but I don’t think I did very well with that! I heard something my mom always says, “babies will keep trying to see the limits to what they can get away with, they won’t ever stop pushing.” *sigh* I just can’t stand it when they cry, totally breaks my heart!

I made a new friend, a lovely lady called Kadia who’s been married to her man since she was 21. 8 years and they’re still going strong like it was the first time they said they loved each other. Secret? “God is at the center of our relationship”, she said, “at the end of the day we go back to him”. Not like stuff has been perfect the whole time (she was quick to say they’d had their share of ‘I-don’t-think-I-can-do-this moments’) but at the end of the day, the love they have for God and for themselves (plus a bit of counselling), and her man is the best gift from God she could have asked for.

What else did I learn? It doesn’t take away from a man’s ‘manliness’ if he can cook, matter of fact it is a massive, massive plus! Whoop! Fran’s husband is an oil and gas structural engineer and he cooked EVERYTHING we ate on the day of the party! And it was amazing, looked and tasted amazing!! You’re going to have to wait for the post on the birthday itself, that’s where all the pictures are going to be!

My thoughts and learnings from this weekend trip are still coming together, but I just thought to share these.

Have a fabulous Wednesday!


Have you ever heard the saying, ‘may you live in interesting times’? I think that it was written for me! What people get through uneventfully, I must have enough drama to derive a story from! Now I love it, but sometimes it’s just exhausting!!

Ok, so first off, greetings from Aberdeen, quiet, peaceful, and my beautiful hotel room. It’s my friend’s baby’s 1st birthday today, and I am really excited to be here to help out, and of course share in the joy and fun!

I didn’t just appear here though, there was a trip. And in that trip lies the story I’m about to share.

Now, for some reason I had booked a really early flight (I’m never doing that again), which meant I had to leave my house at 4am yesterday (Friday). By 1am I was still up (was still trying to figure out what I’d travel with really) so I told myself I wouldn’t sleep, I’d just shower and stay up till it was time to leave (which is what I’d normally do). Sounds easy right?

So I sat on my bed, reading and trying to finish some writing I started earlier in the day. By 2am I felt sleepy so I started chewing gum, and I didn’t cover myself so I would feel the chill and it wouldn’t let me feel comfortable enough to sleep. I had my laptop on my lap, and both my pillows behind my back for support.

Next thing I knew, it was 5.41am. I was confused. What!!! ( I actually said shouted that when I looked at the clock)! I jumped up, got dressed, rang for a taxi (train was out of the question), and by 6am, we were speeding off to the airport. Now the hilarious thing there was I noticed that my duvet was still neatly folded at the foot of my bed, but I had somehow pulled off my sheets to cover myself. Also, the gum I had in my mouth was mysteriously placed neatly on the casing for my mac.

Anyway, we got to Gatwick and I had like 7 minutes before the boarding gate closed. I was checked in so I ran to what I thought was my gate. ‘Thought’ because I got there and brethren, this Fairy GodSister wasn’t just at the wrong gate, I was at the WRONG TERMINAL!! Ahhh!!

Had to go back downstairs, catch the shuttle to the proper terminal, I just knew it wouldn’t work, I wouldn’t make it. And I didn’t want to fly, you see I hate to show off, lol.  So I went to the customer care counter, and I had to pay some money to rebook my flight for evening. Had like 8 hours till the time so I headed home to shower (thank you very much), catch up on sleep, and get a hot meal (it was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g!)

Got on the train (thank you to the station manager who let me use my off-peak ticket during peak hours), and headed to London Bridge to catch my connection to Kent. Got on that one, and slept. I slept so hard next thing I knew someone was tapping me. Apparently there was a signal failure two stops to mine and so they had evacuated the train. My royal majesty was obviously oblivious, hence the gentle tap on my shoulder.

*sigh* I think I was dreaming of Booski…

They sorted themselves (after a 40-minutes wait, SMH), we boarded the train, and I got home in one piece, thoroughly amused when I looked at my bed again. I don’t think I’ve had my cereal that hot in a long time, and all the heaters in the house were on, full blast! Chatted with Booski, and then I fell asleep.

Got ready like 5 hours later, made it to the airport on time, cleared security, and had enough time to order a meal from Armadillo, more about the food later.

Then, I…

*that’s enough for one post abeg, come back in an hour for the next one!*

Wow!! So it’s been a month already since I got back? Thank you God for life, love, and all that good stuff, I’m definitely grateful!

Ok, let’s pretend I’m not back yet, or better still, that it’s the last week before I get back.

On Wednesday I spent a lovely evening with @attaswitch, @glamblackbarbie, and @tilishoz at Yogurrberry, one of the many spots in a place called Food City. I had beautifully grilled cod from Fish Place; well marinated and softly grilled so it was literally dripping with juices. The black sauce (native to Ghana) was a nice touch, was hot but I really enjoyed it! And the tomatoes, oh the crunchy yet succulent tomatoes! And they were kind enough to give me more slices when I ‘Oliver twisted’, plenty brownie points there!

Did I mention I met @maihoto (photographer/entrepreneur extraordinaire) for the first time there? Really cool to chat and share our food/business experiences!

Thursday I hung out at Vanity for a friend’s birthday party, and then it was off to Play for my first BYOB in almost 18 months.

Friday was the real deal though, boom! I went (on invitation) to Blakes with Deji and Peter. Deji is a seasoned (as in well spiced) content producer, editor, story teller, project manager (I could go on and on), while Peter’s an environmentalist, a German who’s in Nigeria (for the first time) interning with Heinrich Boll.

We got in, three children of God with dreadlocks (yes I locked my hair again), so everyone just assumed (wrongly) that we would be speaking patois, and it was hilarious to hear various versions with the greetings we got.

Anyway! We had chicken suya (wasn’t very impressed), and then we had grilled catfish. Boom! Was lovely! I took pictures, yep, yep!


By this time the performances had started. I made quite a few videos but we were sat upstairs so they’re a little far away. I promise you’ll be able to see what we saw, and the audio is great too!

Started with this guy doing tricks, lovely!

Then there were two guys dancing; I would advise them not to give up their day jobs, honestly.

Then this impression of Fela that was so cool, it got us up on our feet!

Aha! There was this guy who swung from Elton John to Carlos Santana, wasn’t impressed, especially since his back up singer was wearing knee high boots!

The clincher was the guy who sang Diallo, and then went on sing quite a few of Bob Marley’s songs. We were already up on our feet anyway, so we rocked to it!

And then it was time to go! We were exhausted, but I’m sure we all had a lovely time, and Peter enjoyed the fish! Was a nice way to wrap on a fabulous month in Nigeria, and I look forward to when I can go back to Blakes again!

P: S – Written exactly one month ago (wee hours of the morning of the 30th).

This series of posts cover a recent trip to Ireland, first weekend in February… Woke up and decided I would go, and I did. Enjoy it!

Thursday – had a pretty easy day, made palm oil rice with dry fish from Port Harcourt, was to die for!! Note to the #DearFutureHusband – get it together and show up already!! Need to put some meat on your bones, lol! Bedtime, couldn’t sleep; been having major issues sleeping since I got back from Nigeria. It’s become a cause for concern o, and it’s not like I take naps in the day or anything. One particular day I made the mistake of sleeping for an hour in the evening, woke up by 9pm and didn’t sleep till noon the next day! Crazy… very crazy. Of course the insomnia comes with the attendant headaches and stuff, not good at all… I don’t want to get stuck on sleeping pills, and I’ve counted sheep, dimmed my lights, played soft music, exerted myself physically, nothing helps. My eyes shine till 3am, and then I still get up at 7am the next day.

Friday – was up by 7am, had family in so I had to stock the house. By the way, in my wisdom I only packed this morning, so you can imagine all the rushing, last-minute decisions, etc. Popped to ASDA, and in-between getting through my shopping list and speeding through the aisles, I dropped £90, found out at check out. Nearly passed out, dang!!! Retraced my steps, didn’t find it, so I went to the Customer Care desk just to satisfy myself, only to be told that someone picked it up and handed it in!!! Whoop!!! Whoop!!! Thank you, whoever that person was!!

Reminds me of me leaving my brand new Nokia (Christmas gift from my darling aunty Pat) on the Fastrack A bus plying the Bluewater -Greenhithe route. I’d been out shopping, doing returns from Christmas shopping and getting a lesson in Final Cut Pro from the Apple Store. Was exhausted, and after making a call on the bus, I left the phone on my seat. Realised while I was walking home so I went back to Bluewater and was told to either wait 40 minutes for that driver to come back and/or leave my details and someone would be in touch in the morning. Decided to wait the longest, silliest 40 minutes of my life because I stood outside instead of inside, and it was between zero and two degrees. Driver came back, I told him I lost my phone, quick verification, and I got my phone back!! Whoop!!!

*Note to self – easy on losing things Madam!!*

Back to my trip, Aer Lingus flight was for 1.13pm, it’d take me an hour 30 minutes to get to the airport, and I got on the train by 11. 18am; cutting it so close, that’s another thing I need to stop doing!!

Now, because I was only going to be away for a weekend, didn’t see the need to check in my hand luggage, especially for £12. Thing is, I forgot that all the liquids in my toilet bag weren’t ‘hand luggage compliant’, so I lost them at the Security Checkpoint. A whole FCUK range, plus my perfume, even my toothpaste! Nearly cried, I know how much those things cost!!

Was impressed with the retina scanning at the security gate though, the strides we’re taking thanks to technology.

Aha! So I was the last person to board, and my saving grace was I checked in at home (major shout out to Ace for imprinting the ‘check in at home’ thing in my mind). Once I settled in, I slept. Woke up to a bit of turbulence; we’d been warned earlier but honestly it felt like we were landing (it was that bad), and then an old man swearing almost non stop cos of the rough landing we had. Was almost funny, till I heard that Irish Radio presenters ‘kinda’ swear on air, they say ‘feck’. 

Late lunch at Nando’s (first time this year), got some clarityn for my itchy eyes, made my new tea infusion (will share the secret soon), and then I started on a bit of editing, writing, that kind of stuff.

Just so you know, I slept past 3am!


When Miss @AbangMercy rang to tell me she’d be in London for a few days for the Green Deal event, I was excited! Not only because it would be great to see her (or because it was the making of a proper ladies weekend), I was finally going to get a first hand handle on Heinrich Boll, and what all the fuss about Nigeria going green ‘immediately’ was about.

Then I heard @xeenarh was coming too, sounded good – from the days of the Occupy Nigeria protests when she and a few others got tear-gassed and beaten by the Police (and/or military), I knew she was of a different ilk from the clanging  cymbals but no action type on Twitter. And I wanted to meet her too!

@Omojuwa was billed to come too, met him for the first time in May this year, we’ve been friends since. Weekend shaping up nicely huh?

Friday morning I popped to Kings Cross to meet up with the girls. After waiting a bit Mercy appeared, I dropped my overnight bag (do we still call them vanity cases) and then we were off to Finsbury Park. Three hours, some tears (of joy) and loads of shopping later, we headed for Westfield (Stratford City) to meet @aninoritse and @Tomi_Ola. Do I have memories of Westfield or what!!!

We met the ladies, and the craziness began! In and out of shops, we chattered, laughed, and just had a wonderful  time poking fun at ourselves! Can I mention that Tomi was meeting Mercy and Anino for the first time? I remember her saying, “Anino, you are really your tweets”. Social media moment, lol.

Back to the hotel, where we joked about everything under the sun, and then got a call from reception telling us to ‘please keep it down’. Of course it was them, I wasn’t even making noise at all!

Yep! Then we remembered we had to eat, and popped to Indian House for dinner. Meal was really good, Biriyani I think. I remember Mercy complaining about the jug of water with slices of lemon inside. “The water I know doesn’t have anything inside biko”; hilarity for days!

Next day we were up and out of the house by 7.40am, headed for? You guessed right, Oxford Circus! Shopped till 11am, ran back to the hotel and I nearly collapsed from hunger! By the way the ladies totally ruined my diet (not that I’m complaining *smile*)

Got changed and it was off to the Green Deal event. Awesome presentations by Xeenarh, Mercy and Omojuwa, was so proud of them! Robust discussion too, all of that’s captured in the ‘Green Deal: The Real Deal’ post.

We all had cake (further destroying the diet), and we took loads of pictures!! Whoop!

From left to right, @FidelisMbah, @Abangmercy, @DoubleEph, @ChiomaChuka, @Tomi_Ola, @Omojuwa, @aninoritse, @forakin, and @Operko. Don’t know the name of the guy behind Mercy…

Headed to Emukay for dinner with @forakin (what a gentleman); we got there about 7pm and were a little worried because the place was empty. Started filling up about  8.30pm and by the time we left, it was packed full. No wonder Nigerians have pouches, we eat so late! And see people guzzling beer! *Le sigh*

Last night of noise making, @Omojuwa dropped in for a few minutes with one cute guy like that. More gist after they left, and then we slept (more like we dropped off)!

Mercy took this picture of us in the morning, I absolutely love it!

And I love you girls, thanks for the most amazing weekend!

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Oh wow!

God has been good! It’s another Friday already, cheers to the frigging weekend! Friday the 13th I must add, with all the superstitions around that, but I’m headed in a different direction this morning. I’m more interested in ‘waking up’, the little thing we do every day that we take for granted because it just happens.

I woke up this morning feeling great, feeling grateful for the simple fact that I’m awake today. Regardless of your status or circumstance (whether you slept on a water-bed or on the floor) waking up every morning isn’t a natural thing. It’s a gift from God, out of His bounty regardless of our unfaithfulness, the wrong things we do on a daily basis His mercies are new every morning, Friday to Friday.

Kinda inspired me to write the little piece that’s below….. I hope it stirs up as much thanksgiving in your heart as it did in mine!

Friday to Friday to Friday to Friday,

I’m still here, no pain, no tear(s)

Life, no strife, peace, increase

all my wants He doth supply

and my needs, never denied.

Nothing compares cos He’s always there

Friday to Friday to Friday to Friday.

Enjoy your weekend, and stay out of trouble!

P:S – Meanwhile I just got good news from my besto!! Whoop whoop!!!

Still in the spirit of re-posting from my archives, this one was written on a flight from Abuja to Lagos, which was my most traveled route at some point in my life. I hope you enjoy this one, and not get scared with the pictures (You shouldn’t sha, if you saw either Paul, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, or Avatar)!

It’s titled, Extraterrestrial Influence!

He he he! Totally love this picture….

Been a while abi? I know!! Ok, so the Fairy GodSister had to leave Abuja again for the weekend. Thanks to Aero, I got a reasonably decent fare and started counting down to Friday.

Thursday however, was very funny. Do you ever find it difficult to sleep at night, especially when you have a trip to make the next day? It happens to the FGS too. I mean, even after the Mad Hatter encouraged me to sleep early (considering the long day I had), my eyes refused to close in slumber! Hell, at one time I sealed them closed with glue but my optical apparatus have got a strong-willed mind of their own!

Friday morning I wake up, skipped my exercise routine (after all I was running late), got ready and sped to the airport (Louis Hamilton style)! To start with, I really was late so when we got to the airport gate and there was traffic, I started panicking. Trust your Nigerian brothers and sisters to form almost 9 lanes, further increasing the chaos!

The Fairy Godfather being merciful, we got in and I dashed to the check in counter. As I entered the hall, I heard my flight being announced and in my mind I was like, ‘oh please, I can’t flap my wings all the way to the East now, I just got my hair done’! Fortunately (or so I thought at the time), one of the airline’s officials came, asked where I was headed, and then took my reservation to get my boarding pass. I was feeling fly, thinking that he was probably checking me out and stuff. Ok, so he gets me the boarding pass and I am grateful so I say thank you. He smiles and says, “Madam you have to buy me malt o” (‘have to’ being the operating word). Aah!!! Of course he wasn’t checking me out, he was checking out his pocket! I buy him the malt (his words implied I didn’t have an option anyways) and then inwardly smiling at my apparent silliness and naivety, I make my way to the plane.

Reminds me of a very embarrassing moment; I wanted to meet up a friend somewhere in Stanmore so I bought a day travel card and waited for the bus. When it came, I got in. Now, because the FGS is used to flying herself around (and not taking buses like you mortals), I didn’t know I was supposed to show the bus driver my card. So, I bounced in, and with the confidence of a very chubby crayfish, catwalked to my seat. I looked up and noticed the driver ‘staring’ at me. I looked away but when I looked back, he was still staring! Just when I was going to say, “Excuse me, but it is rude to stare” (in that voice), he said, “Excuse me miss but I do need to see your ticket”! Yup!!! You can imagine how I felt!

Ok, back to my story. So I sit down, and the wait began. I didn’t blame theairline, when you fly for next to nothing what do you expect? (At least that’s the general belief with mortals right)? And of course no explanation for the delay was given. I got the reason for the delay when approximately 40 minutes later the doors were closed and the extremely loud voice of one of the crew bellowed, “His Excellency, the Governor of……distinguished ladies and gentlemen”. (I know eye service was at its peak that day but did the plan include deafening the passengers)?

Two things
• They didn’t even apologize for the delay! Wasn’t really surprised, after all they didn’t explain why we were waiting in the first place!
• I don’t really remember o, but are passengers normally referred to as ‘distinguished’ ladies and gentlemen? Or was it part of the over zealousness that defined the flight? Help me!

Anyways, so we’re finally ready to take off and this ‘creature of God’ behind me decides that that’s when he wants to make an international call! Now the cabin crew had gone through the safety procedures and stuff but Young Jock had to make the call! Again, if it was a D.D.G guy with a blackberry, HP or some other smart phone his sin would have been pardonable; this guy was………..nothing to write home about (I’m sorry), and the phone for the ‘international call’ looked like something from the Trium and Sagem era! Truth is, even if he was fly and everything, it wouldn’t have been enough reason for him to be making a call when the plane was already in motion and we had practically been begged to switch off our phones! I mean, even ‘His Excellency’ had switched his off (well, either him or his Special Assistant in charge of mobile phone issues)!

Are you a baby? What part of ‘SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE’ didn’t you get? Arrgh!!

Fortunately one of the cabin crew went to him (at the exact moment he was discussing how many euro, yen, and pounds he had….oh puhlease), and stayed on him till he switched it off! Phew!! Imagine him sounding hurt, like he wasn’t supposed to have switched off his phone! He’s lucky I wasn’t one of the cabin crew, I would have…….!!!!

To end NTA news at 9, the highlights again:
1. Aero Contractors flight 737 lands safely in Enugu,
2. Fairy GodSister is received by the Fairy GodMother amidst hugs and kisses,
3. Man’s phone catches fire as he disembarked from Aero’s flight 737, extraterrestrial influence suspected!!!

Have a good week people, I insist!

*Originally published here: in October 2009

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…..