Posts Tagged ‘#Ibadan’

In 2007, I went to hang out with my sister in Ibadan for a bit; she was a house officer at the glorious University College Hospital, and it was one of those periods my dad and I couldn’t really agree on anything. So, off to spend some time with my sister.

Ibadan is an amazing place. Like, if I could choose, I would raise my children there. First they would learn Yoruba (yes I love the language), but they would also be exposed to the culture, the music (and the world knows Yoruba’s are the kings and queens of ‘turn up’); all of this in a cheap, ancient, picturesque-type (depends on where you are to be honest) city. I have very fond memories of/in Ibadan, memories that won’t leave me in a hurry!

Anyway, so at UCH they had this blood drive week, and everyday people were given gifts for donating to the hospital’s blood bank. I wasn’t really moved by it till my sister came home one day with her own gifts: a pretty jotter and pen, a mug I think, a can of malt, and one of those pin-up stickers that said she was a life save because she was a blood donor. Whaaaat! I made up my mind to go the next day.

And I did, got there early, and presented my arm for a sample to be taken. A few minutes later, the matronly, much older woman came out and asked

Nurse: Who is ‘Sheomah’?

Me: It’s me (excited)

Nurse: Follow me

(Inside her office)

Nurse (loud enough for the folks in the waiting room to hear): Are you on ‘ya menses’ (on your period)?

Me: (cringing) No

Nurse: Did you just give birth?

Me: (wondering why she has to be that loud): No

Nurse: Did you do ‘aboshan’ (abortion)?

Me: No. Why are you asking me these questions?

Nurse: Ah. Your blood is not enough for you se! How do you want to give someone else?

Brethren, I don’t know if it was the embarrassment, or the way my excitement was punctured, but I left the clinic feeling very inadequate. Why didn’t I have enough?

Suffice to say, I never tried to donate blood again.

Till Sunday the 4th of July 2016. My niece and nephew had been really ill for a few days, and we had to take them into hospital when it didn’t look like they were getting better. We saw the doctor, I endured watching my nephew scream and wail while the IV line was set in his wrist, and then we went up to our ward.

Can I stop for a minute and wholeheartedly recommend Angelic Care Hospital in Area 3, Garki to every parent in Abuja who reads my blog? The nurses are truly angelic, and the hospital is truly intended for little ones. The stairs are a bit steep, but that was the only complain I had. Happy, friendly nurses, very clean environment, and their food is not bad at all!

Away from gushing about the hospital, there was a woman with a severely jaundiced baby in the same ward with us, and apparently the baby needed an exchange blood transfusion which simply involves exchanging (in very little bits) the baby’s ‘unhealthy blood’ with healthy blood to stop the excess bilirubin from wrecking havoc. Yeah?

So the baby’s daddy got screened, but he apparently had hepatitis B and so couldn’t donate; the mom obviously couldn’t donate too. They were going to reach out to a relative to help when I offered. The parents were desperate so it was a really emotional moment, and then I headed to the lab with the nurse. On the way I prayed, asking God to please let my blood be enough, to let it be just right for the baby, literally every prayer I could think of.

We got there, she took a bit, and I waited. Then she said I was good to go! I settled in on a bed, and she brought the bag, needle, tourniquet, etc. Then I remembered my fear for needles so I looked away. I had said I would film but the prick of the really big needle stunned me for a moment; my sister explained the size of the needles ensures the cells are not crushed.

I still made the video, a bit shaky but a goody!

Donation over, I had to lie down for a few minutes, and then I went back to the ward.

The transfusion was done that night, and I’m happy and really excited to say the baby is doing better today. And we’ve made new friends. And I’m thankful I could be useful on such a personal level. It is such an amazing feeling, and I enjoin everyone to contribute to a blood bank close to them.

Even better, we’ve been discharged, and my babies are doing a lot better! God is great!




Sunday the 30th of November (exactly two weeks ago) was supposed to be my day of rest. Long story (which is found in the Chronicle from Ibadan) but let’s move on swiftly to today.

Just as we entered Lagos, we stopped at a traffic light and two young boys (on closer inspection I found out they were girls) came to clean the windscreen with this apparatus that looks like a cross between a selfie-stick and a mop.

Without stroking any feminist embers (I hope), I wondered when young girls (or any females for that matter) had started this business, and my friend and I traced the trajectory of female existence on the streets and the possible unpleasant scenarios those kids were looking at. We asked ourselves (rhetoric of course) about their parents, and it reminded me of some tweets I’d seen the night before. A young Nigerian lady, internationally acclaimed designer had talked about not wanting to have kids because she was going to adopt. She said (and after seeing those girls I am even firmer in agreement) that there were not enough parents in the world for the children around; “why bring more in”, she asked.

The only problem though, was what people said each time she said that – what society thought of and interpreted her decision as. Think on it. What would people (fit in anyone here – friends, family, peers/colleagues – say if you took that decision)?

Photo credit: Events by Bani! This photo was in the thank you email they sent us! Love it!

Photo credit: Events by Bani! This photo was in the thank you email they sent us! Love it!

The society. People. Who defines right or wrong? Flip that a bit – who defines beauty, sets the standards for it? Who determines what is acceptable and what is weird? And how do these standards affect who we are (or try to be) and the things we do?

This was pretty much the thrust of the girl talk session organized by Glory Edozien and Wana Udobang, hopefully, first in a series. Below are a few things I took from what turned out to be a no-holds barred, straight up evening. I’m writing this way so I don’t make mistakes with attribution, and also to keep privacy. Yeah? Here goes.

  • There is real pressure on all women to look, smell, and carry ourselves in a certain way.
  • Everyone, I repeat EVERYONE has that one bit of their bodies/life that they don’t regard as perfect. From the skinny to the slender, the curvy to the chubby. Everyone.
  • Our society has placed such a premium on appearances to the detriment of mental capacity so bad that ‘pretty girls’ are unconsciously expected to be unintelligent. Ever heard, “I didn’t know you were this intelligent?” There you go!
  • Children today pay a lot more attention to their appearance (especially the females) and have a greater say/hand in what they end up wearing than we did in our time.
  • There is intense pressure for children in schools to be ‘seen’ and ’accepted’ as beautiful. That has led to insane (in my opinion) behaviors like dieting, experimentation with makeup, etc. amongst much younger children.
  • Parents must (of a necessity) affirm their children; let them know they are beautiful and are expected to be knowledgeable as well. In other words, it is acceptable to be both.
  • You are what you think/tell yourself you are. You will fall apart (literally) if you allow yourself be blown around by every wind of doctrine, especially as fashion/looks/our bodies are concerned.
  • Is your young child suddenly acting/wanting to look different? Before you rake/shout/bring the house down/spank them to infinity and beyond, ask what the reason for the change is.
  • It’s ok to want to have natural/permed/textured hair. Don’t allow yourself to get pressured into doing anything because it is popular at the moment.
  • Some people by genetics and no fault/action (or not) of theirs will be skinny. Others will be chubby. Some bits you can change

Bottom line? Do you. Be you. More importantly, be happy. Life is too short to be anything else. Funnily, in 2012 I wrote something revolving totally around beauty, perception, and being happy.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, there’s nothing like babes being honest with themselves, sharing real issues, and not putting up this facade that ends up giving people false hope and misleading them. And I met Uche! (@cherox) Nice to meet you babes! Finally!

It was even nicer to finally meet Wana Udobang (@Misswanawana) in person! I think she’s gorgeous, in a class of her own,  super talented, special, I could go on and on! Did I mention down to earth, and talented? Gosh…

And I met Glory Edozien (@MisGloryEdozien), who says she’s read/she reads my blog!! What are you saying!! Am I blessed or what! I was super pleased, grateful, and just chuffed to be in the presence of effortless brilliance.

Took some selfies afterwards with my main chic, @ZanyFran (wrote this for her birthday).

Selfie this, selfie that!

Selfie this, selfie that!

Thank God for the person who finally took a photo we liked!

Thank God for the person who finally took a photo we liked!









After we’d all gisted a bit, we headed to Bogobiri for a night of performances from people like Titilope Sonuga (from Gidi Up), Efe Azino, Femi, Wana (whoop), and a few others.

Truly incredible evening!!


I’d promised Tolu Ogunlesi I would make his wedding slated for the 29th of November 2014 and because I am a child of God who keeps her promises, I got into Nigeria early in the morning of the 28th.

A bit about the flight – British Airways was super disappointing biko. The in-flight entertainment didn’t work (at all) the entire flight. After the initial apologies when we first boarded and talk about sorting it out, nothing o, till we touched down in Abuja. Very unlike British Airways.

On the other hand I had pesto pasta and a lovely, lovely pudding. British Airways, you’re forgiven – go and sin no more.

Anyway, so we touched down and one of my bags was damaged. Lord have mercy! One hour, some yelling (I’m sorry), and some sarcasm (not sorry for that), and a filled out damages form after, it was home time. Of course Boo Boo had gone off to school and I missed seeing him.

Rushed out almost immediately with my cabbie, first to the bank, then to run some errands, see my sister, then we sped off back to the airport so I could catch a 4pm flight to Ibadan.

3.30pm. All checked in and waiting to be called to board. 4pm. 4.30pm. 5pm. Flight was finally announced, and we queued up. Next thing I heard some commotion at the front of the line. Apparently, Overland Airways/Airlines (whatever they’re called) said the ‘plane was full’ so we would have to wait for another one that had taken off to Ilorin to come back for us. What!!!!!!!! As in, who does that!?!!!  How did they not know the capacity of the plane and sold tickets accordingly?

I was exhausted, and angry! Sweet baby Jesus I was angry! Everyone was furious, and they almost moved from being physical with the station manager to full-scale violence.

We finally boarded at 7.30pm and of course I dozed even before we took off; I was beat. Touched down an hour later (thank you Lord) and just as I was getting off, power at the airport went out; didn’t come back on for at least 10 minutes. Do you know what the Bible calls ‘gross darkness’? Hian! All I could think of was what would have happened if the power had gone out while we were landing. God forbid. By the way, there were no buildings at the said airport, just canopies. Jesu!

Caught a cab to the hotel, a bit of drama with the cabbie and his car (I ended up changing taxis and paying 700 naira instead of 4000 naira) and as soon as I showered, had dinner, and checked in with my friends and loved ones, it was bedtime!


Woke up feeling really rested and excited – whoop! Took my time with my shower, got ready, and had a cup of tea. Almost had a wardrobe malfunction (that only Mercy and JT know about because God will not allow my enemies to laugh at me) and then it was time to go!

Egghead picked me up, we got Mercy and then it was off to church – but first a selfie!!!

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Duck mouth!

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Selfie in church – don’t worry, service had ended!

Wedding ceremony was great, funny how people just assume they know what a couple want. The Pastor said, “in a few months from now, Kemi will be pregnant”. Yes o, instruction from the Lord ke nan!

Wedding over, it was off to the reception – beautiful, gorgeously decorated hall, sufficient stewards, and really tasty food! I learned something I think I’ll have done at mine – guests were fed as soon as they sat down. There were menu cards, and as soon we sat down our orders were taken and delivered. After we ate, the couple came in and the reception proper started – much better than starving your guests and leaving their eyes alternating between the clock and the order cos they’re anxious for ‘item 7’.

High point of the reception? The daddy/daughter dance – it was everything! Loved it! Kemi was crying though, I can imagine my dad is going to cry too.

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With the one and only Gbenga Sesan!

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With Eggie!!

Courtesy Omojuwa, who defines the word 'LOYAL'!!

Courtesy Omojuwa, who defines the word ‘LOYAL’!!

Loads of dancing, small chops chowing, selfies and co after, it was back to the hotel for a bit more rest. Here’s a bit about my room, told in photos.

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So. This is the name of my room. It was really the Queen’s room, as in Mama Charlie!

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Not bad at all to be honest! Really spacious, loved that I had a bath and a shower in the bathroom, and two air conditioners (ended up turning both off in the night when they threatened to freeze my lungs!) Notice the portrait hanging over the bed? Queen.

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Everything is a decoration. These two coaster sets were on the table. Queen.

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Another wall, another Queen portrait.

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Yet another portrait. Queen.

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Is it me, or the owner of this hotel deserves to be knighted? More Queen!

Still on the hotel, in the morning I rang the reception and asked for a taxi. They didn’t have any so I asked if they could find one for me. Guess the reply I got when I got a call back?

Receptionist: Mr Ojo’s mother is ill so he has gone to Ilesha to see her.

Me: I’m sorry, who is Mr Ojo?

Receptionist: That’s the taxi we wanted to call for you.

They couldn’t just tell me he wasn’t available?

Later that evening, we went out for drinks and a laugh (or two or three depending on what the subject was). I ordered a small chops platter which took forty minutes but came with ‘microwaved-from-frozen’ items.

2014-11-30 00.46.27Sigh.

Ah!! Did I mention there were ladies in the lounge wearing lace? Even saw a couple with gele! Not kidding!

Back in the land of the queen (also known as my room) it was bedtime, with prayers that I’d be up early enough to catch my ride to Lagos! Thank you @Babsburton for the ride, and @seyitaylor for the company!

This was written from the safety/warmth of my lodgings in Lagos, totally grateful to God for safe travels (London-Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos) over four days. Beyond non-functional in-flight entertainment, delayed flights, and bad roads, my trips were without incident. For that I’m super grateful.

It was awesome to catch up with my old friends (too numerous to mention) but also to meet folk from Twitter! People like @BisiOgunwale (Mr President), @Obadayo (helmet), @OkShorty1, and the delectable @LAkintobi!

To @eggheader, egbon of life! Thank you for making sure we were comfortable/taken care of. Thank you.

And to the latest couple, @toluogunlesi and @kemichronicles, congratulations! Welcome to the best years of your lives.

Photo courtesy Eggheader. Isn't the bride just gorgeous!! I love her gown! Simple and oh-so-beautiful!

Photo courtesy Eggheader. Isn’t the bride just gorgeous!! I love her gown! Simple and oh-so-beautiful!

Love ya!

My best friend got married yesterday. Whoop! Before I tell you all I can about the wedding, maybe I should tell you a bit about her.

I met Wumi in Birmingham in late in 2010, at church (the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Covenant Restoration Assembly, Perry Barr). Someone had gotten his friend to invite me to church, and I remember the morning they came to get me with the church bus, I wasn’t sure I had heard a louder group. But service was great, I fell in love with the church, and Wumi and I started to chat.

I don’t know when I fell in love with her, but I did. Real? Check. No airs? Check. Daughter of God to the letter? Check. Kind? Check. Caring? Check! I could go on and on. Wumi knows me sometimes a bit more than I know myself, and she loves me like that. Just like that.

We’ve been through sick days, heartbroken days, days we were broke (like last to our last 10 pounds type of broke), happy days, excited days, plenty money type of days, we’ve been through loads of stuff together. And we’ve come out stronger. Each and every time.

Ok. Before we have a problem keeping her head in check (with all my praising), on Friday my sister, nephew and I were supposed to fly into Lagos (I’d left Lagos on Wednesday), and then Momma was supposed to come in as well (see how special Wumi is to all of us)? Coordinated the flights so we’d land about the same time. There’s a little race of life story, one in which we forgot to take identification for Boo Boo so like halfway into the trip to the airport we had to run back to the house, and then start flying back to the airport.

Timecheck when we got to the airport gate and met the queue of our lives? 9.49am. Flight time? 10am. Let’s just say we still made the flight, and I’ll spare you the details of us pleading at the counter, racing to the plane, and then finding out that our friend at the airport had actually moved from one airline to the one we were to take! Na wa! To think we were looking for people to help us board!

Got into Lagos ok, Momma landed a bit after, and off to the hotel we went. Can I say money spent on hotels in Lagos doesn’t really go far? And I will leave it like that.

Wumi and Bimbo came a bit after, and then we really got in the ‘wedding’ mood! I had to nip off to Shoprite with our cabbie to buy some items, and Momma and the gang took a stroll. Dinner over, loads of gisting after, gifts presented, it was bedtime! Was I exhausted or what!

Saturday morning, D-Day!

Rushed a shower, and went over to the room where the photo crew, makeup artists et al were already at work. And here the photos begin!

See my girl!!! Gorgeous!!

See my girl!!! Gorgeous!!

Then we milled into our cars and headed to the venue for the engagement…

Gorgeous people!! Just gorgeous!

Gorgeous people!! Just gorgeous!

No he wasn't about to kiss her, he was just 'telling her something'!! This pose was a special request from me to be honest, don't ask me why!

No he wasn’t about to kiss her, he was just ‘telling her something’…lol!! This pose was a special request from me to be honest, don’t ask me why!

Engagement over, it was time to change and head to the church. Did I mention my darling Boo Boo was ring bearer? Want to see his suit? Hotter than fire!!

Boo Boo of life and destiny!!! Dapper as!!

Boo Boo of life and destiny!!! Dapper as!!

Thank God for Beloxxi biscuit which my nephew loves and therefore can be used to get him to stand still!

Thank God for Beloxxi biscuit which my nephew loves and therefore can be used to get him to stand still!

A little side view... God finished work on my nephew walai, like there's nothing else that could have been done!

A little side view… God finished work on my nephew walai, like there’s nothing else that could have been done!

Sharing a kiss and a cuddle with Grandma! Did I mention he always mixes them up? So sometimes he calls the 'Pa', 'Ma'. Lol.. Love him to pieces!

Sharing a kiss and a cuddle with Grandma! Did I mention he always mixes them up? So sometimes he calls the ‘Pa’, ‘Ma’. Lol.. Love him to pieces!

Then, it was off to the car to be sure our super bride was ok, not needing anything, that kind of super FGS type business (he he he). Beautiful, so beautiful!

I'm definitely doing cream/ivory on my day... It's such a gorgeous color!

I’m definitely doing cream/ivory on my day… It’s such a gorgeous color!

Ahh!! Here’s the fun bit! We’d been trying to get Boo Boo to walk with a card that said “Here comes the bride”. Well, on the day it didn’t quite work. Want to know what worked? This photo of him and the little bride – cute as anything!

Two year old and one year old - something says we should stay in touch with the mom as per bride for my boy! What do you think? Baby girl had the cutest smile!

Two year old and one year old – something says we should stay in touch with the mom as per bride for my boy! What do you think? Baby girl had the cutest smile!

I managed to get a selfie with my boy inside the church – don’t even wrinkle your noses biko, anything to keep him awake, he was exhausted!

See his boy!

See his face…my boy! Ignore the sweat on mine biko…

All the formalities done, it was time to head back to the events center for the reception! But first, a few photos!

Mom and the brand new couple!

Mom and the brand new couple!

The couple and the sisters!!!

The couple and the sisters!!! My nephew was two minutes from asleep at this point!

Then it was off to the reception, where I said a few words about the cake and the couple (couple I know, cake I didn’t bake), and the food was really yummy! Tokes came too (yay), and it was really nice to see her!

Then we danced! Wow! Turn! At some point my people had to leave to catch flights back home and as soon as they were safely at the airport (Lagos traffic, sigh), I could relax. I think the number of squats I did yesterday (to pick money) has covered up for all the exercise I haven’t done in weeks!!

It was a really gorgeous day, and I’m so pleased that despite a few hitches that reared up during all the planning. we had a full, fun day. They’re married, God’s name was glorified in everything, and I’m looking forward to being a godmother to their munchkin (guys – take the hint and get to work already biko)!

Wumi and KP, I love you two to the moon and back, and I know your marriage is blessed, is fruitful, and will become an example for marriages everywhere. Success, peace, love, joy, togetherness, great intimacy, patience, I wish you both these and many more. Welcome to the best years of your lives!



If you read my ‘I have a dream‘ post, beyond my hopes and dreams for this blessed country Nigeria you’d see that for most of my life I’ve wanted to be different things. Before I go on I must thank my parents for putting up with all of them, and supporting me every step of the way.

I’ve wanted to be a doctor (thank God for my unique JAMB score that convinced me medicine wasn’t for me), I’ve wanted to be a tailor (after getting frustrated severally by tailors), and yes, I’ve wanted to be a bead maker (I actually took classes for this). Let’s talk about the beads for a minute shall we?

It was early 2007 (the year of the famous driving lessons). I was in Port Harcourt, back from Ibadan, and desperately in need of activities to occupy myself with while I waited to serve (NYSC). By the way, I’d resigned my job as a banker Christmas of 2006. I woke up one morning and said I wanted to learn to make beads. I talked about it all night, all day, and by the next night my dad had found a lady who taught classes. I was under her tutelage for a month, and then I collected ‘capital’ from my dad to buy beads and start my business.

I sold a couple o, and then it was Mother’s Day. I made three beautiful sets (with the best of my beads) to give the older ladies I admired in church and I remember my dad asking, “with all these gifts you’re giving when am I going to start getting returns on my investment?” Suffice to say he’s still waiting on that return today because after a while I became content with making stuff only for myself. Bless you Daddy!

Back to the ‘letting go’ title of today, sometimes we find that things that used to excite us don’t excite us anymore. Quick example – I was hooked on Chicken Royale (with extra cheese) from Burger King and I lived for days when I’d just pop in and treat myself. I weighed myself in September though and what I saw on the scales all but killed that craving! I haven’t had one (or any other burger) since then. Not cos I don’t like them, but because there are ‘bigger’ things at stake. Ahh!

What is suffering because you’re putting up with something/someone you should let go off? Could be work, family, career development/growth or maybe your own happiness you’ve staked for something that doesn’t/shouldn’t rank as high?

Note that I’m not telling you to become a quitter – walk away once people/things don’t work out instead of trying to fix them – not at all. Of course you should try. Satisfy your conscience that you’ve put in your best, and then let it go. Simple. According to my mom, “there’s no need postponing the evil day, pull off the plaster already.”

letting go

So, if it’s not working, if it’s causing you more grief than it’s giving you happiness, if your safety is being compromised and you cannot fix it regardless of how hard you’ve tried, let it go.


I’ve been traveling a lot recently (a friend of mine said he can’t wait for me to stop loafing or ‘breading’ around)! I don’t blame him; fairy things are too deep for mere mortals to grasp!

Anyways, I went to one of the pillars of Northern Nigeria to attend a friend’s introduction over the weekend. Talking about introductions, I was fascinated by the whole thing and I think I want to do one too. Thing is, who is going to come to be introduced to the fairy godmother and father? Who is worthy? Ha ha, discussion for another day!

Kaduna is a beautiful place o, it’s one of them somewhat ancient places that thrill me. They also are a big disappointment and I’ll explain. People say America got to where they are now after 200 years abi? Nigeria is 49, Kaduna being one of the older states would be expected to be topping the charts as far as education, health, light, water, etc go. That unfortunately, is not the case. Away from this sha, that’s gist for another day!

Beautiful view from the top……

The last time I was in Kaduna (Croc city according to a friend of mine), I washed my hair in a regular salon for N120 and I thought that was a great deal because I’d do the same thing here in Abuja for about N600 or more! I was feeling sexy with myself till I was told that the stylist cheated me. I left my hair on purpose this time around and went to a different salon where I’m proud to announce I got the same thing done for N100! Ha ha, you can imagine the big pat on the back I gave myself.

What did I love about the place? The building (and environs) where Lord Luggard was doing his thing from (he should try coming there now na)! I also enjoyed drinking fura (even though I hear it makes you add weight in leaps and bounds)! Then of course, I ate suya so much, I’m sure I’d puke if I saw another stick!

Now, since I’m not from anywhere near these parts, I asked a couple mortals I talk with for the fun places in KD. One reoccurring name was NAF club and so I vowed I would go there! And go I did, on Saturday night. Don’t want to start a religious crisis so I’ll just say I didn’t expect to see what I saw (use your own tongue to count the rest of your own teeth)! If you’ve ever been to Ibadan, it was the regular ‘Options’ setting, just that this place is a lot more secure (try yourself na), and a lot bigger. Forgive me o, I just thank God Nigeria has not had any crisis (terrorist wise) in her air space because, if the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) were called to do the ‘Jack Bauer’ thing (24), would they be able to ‘extricate their optical apparatus from the wriggling gargantuan posteriors of the daughters of Eve’ to do anything? Ha ha ha!


Back to my story. Apart from the fact that I saw a lady wearing a hooded track suit top into the club (Kaduna averages a temperature of 40 degrees), and some other ladies I can swear were underage, stuff went well. I won’t tell you about the ‘goings on’ I saw in several ‘dark’ corners when I decided to talk a walk, of course I won’t tell you! We (yes, me and the other fairies) were there for a while then we moved to Maharaja. Now, to me it’s either the owner is Indian, an Indian wannabe or loves the first letter of the alphabet (so many ‘a’s in the word)! Not bad too, upstairs, open air, with tiny bells that you depress and then a waiter appears. Not bad at all. We had a couple of drinks, loads of suya (yes sir), and then headed back to NAF. Hung out there for a while till my pager went off; the fairy godmother said it was my bedtime! So, I went back to my hotel (which I won’t name). A wonderful place o, I just giggled when I saw the rates…….. they had provisions for people who’d need a room for only two hours! Ha ha, croc city!

I’m writing this from my bed, mum says we have to leave tomorrow and I so hate that but I know we have to go! I have a secret though, I’m planning a trip back here, sometime soon. If you promise to be good this week, put a smile on someone’s face, look corruption in the eye and say no, but most importantly, rock the week like it was your last, I’ll take you!

Yup! This was definitely made in Kaduna!

*Originally written here: in July 2009.

I’ve had some turning point encounters in my short time on earth; I daresay those encounters are the reason I am what I am today. For example, as a child, getting scalded by oil the day I felt I could taste plantains from the fire behind momma’s back taught me that there is no shortcut to a meal.

Another turning point encounter was in 2007 at the pool side of Premier Hotel in Ibadan where I watched a guy drown (I would later find he was the only child to a widow) because he was diving to impress his girlfriend. Two things amazed me, homeboy couldn’t swim (he was still learning to use his arms in water), and most painful was the fact that the said girlfriend was in the bathroom at the time this son of God decided to display his foolishness. Thanks to a merciful God, he was resuscitated; I enjoyed watching his friends beat him immediately after he was revived. From there I learnt, live your life already! The person you’re falling over yourself to impress is 80 percent of the time not aware that you’re even trying!

You know the ‘children listen to and obey your parents’ scripture? I have a little story around that. So I told my momma a certain banker had called a friend of mine and me to work on and publicize the launch of his book. She seemed excited hearing me go on and on about it, but then she said, ‘get him to sign something binding him to your deal’.  Immediately I said, ‘ok mom, but even if he doesn’t, he’s a ‘big’ boy, he’s got integrity (which incidentally was one of the thrusts of his book), he won’t do anything untoward’. Typical momma, she said, ‘ok, if you say so’.

Fast forward eight weeks later and I was on the phone to her, complaining and cursing about how ‘Mr. Integrity’ pulled out on the deal the very day after my friend and I poured out everything (strategies et al) we had that he would need for the launch. Need I say the lesson learnt?

People I’ve met have also shaped my life and my perception of things. Somehow I believe they are the ones that have made for a more rounded, fulfilling life on the one hand, and the millions of stories I have to tell on the other. Some of the meetings have been divine, others….well, not so divine (for lack of a more printable description).

So I’ve always been a book, newspaper, ‘all you can read’ kind of person; at a time in my life I would be content to read dictionaries just for the fun of it. At some point sha, I just lost it. Two men I now hold dear to my heart would tease, implore, force, and even bribe me to read!

With one of them I had to tell a new word I had learnt every day and be able to use it in context, read up on random things from Greek mythology and he still wouldn’t be impressed! It’s almost rare these days to find friends who are more interested in your intellectual/professional development rather than ‘mundane’ things so I’m really grateful for them.

Another thing, however sad that was served as a wakeup call for me, was/is death. From April till October this year, counting the number of friends, friends of friends, and acquaintances that passed on would exceed the digits on both hands. Let’s take a minute in their honor, and in honor of anyone you might have lost this year; may their soul’s rest in peace, amen. I’m getting used to the fact that death is final, means that we must maximize every opportunity we get, be our best every chance we get!

Finally, I daresay I met some really foolish people this year (God forgive me), people who fall into the category of my favorite proverb that when translated means, ‘you’re trying to save a chicken but it insists that it wants to taste death’! I’m thankful for the laughter you brought to my heart by your actions, and for the lessons learnt too.

What else can I say? I’m grateful for you!