Posts Tagged ‘Nigerian’

Welcome back! Part one is here, and ended with me falling asleep, despite my best intentions to watch Minions!

Addis Ababa.

We disembarked, and I met up with Fatu and Shamsudeen who were going on to Kigali, and Japheth and Rotimi who would spend the night and meet us the next morning.

And then the struggle for WIFI began. I’d flown through Addis at least three times this year, and I knew the airport didn’t have WIFI. But, my companions said to ask one of the Customer Care agents and she pointed us to one connection that didn’t work. So we went to a café and they said if we bought stuff worth $30 ($10 each), they would let us connect one device each. Didn’t make sense either, so we walked around for a bit, and then it was time to get on our connecting flight.

Oh, before I forget, while we were waiting in the departure area, there was this guy playing music really loudly from his phone. Like, with every song, the music became louder. So, I brought out my Bose mini speakers, covered it with my poncho, connected it to my phone, and started playing Nigerian music. Turn up! Didn’t take long before the guy turned off his music. (I’m sorry!)

We boarded, took off and for some reason I was really hungry. Ate, went back to sleep (again movies were useless), and then interestingly I dreamt about the movie Raid on Entebbe. When I woke up, even more interestingly we’d landed at Entebbe to drop off some guys and pick some others. I told Shamsudeen we were in Uganda; he said we were in Kigali. I looked at the time and said we were more than an hour early to have landed in Kigali, but somehow he convinced Fatu and they both got off the plane.

Hian. I thought about it again, got out of my seat, and went to the door of the aircraft. I asked one of the hostesses and she confirmed we were indeed at Entebbe, and then I saw my friends standing there (by this time they’d found out they were in the wrong country), smiling (shaking my head).

Anyway, so we got back in our seats, and it was back to sleep for the hour-long flight to Kigali. We touched down at 2am.

Hello WIFI! Like, it was a bit like Frankfurt airport, where you’re spoiled for choice with WIFI. Apparently, there were a lot of us who’d come in, and after we finished with immigration, sorted our visas we got into buses and headed for our hotels. Mine, the beautiful Lemigo!

My room was reminiscent of the old bedchambers I’d seen in movies, so quaint, so warm, so beautiful. Want to see?

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Fit for my royal majesty!

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What a beauty! When I make up my own house I must have a bed like this…

By the way, there was a beautiful Bible on the bedside stool, and two packs of condoms in the drawer beneath it. Lol. I stayed awake long enough to take in the beauty of the room, and then it was lights out. Literally.

By the time I woke up, it was already time to head to the first of the sessions; rushed a bath, grabbed a bite (their food is gorgeous), and off to the meeting halls we went. God being super merciful, we were lodged in the same hotel the event was holding. Good stuff!

Potatoes, the sexiest sausages I've had in a while, and eggs. A bit of a tale with the eggs, communication, and language. I asked for egg whites with peppers only, even pointed them out to the chef. I got eggs with bacon. #StillGrateful #INeedToBrushUpMyFrench

Potatoes, the sexiest sausages I’ve had in a while, and eggs. A bit of a tale with the eggs, communication, and language. I asked for egg whites with peppers only, even pointed them out to the chef. I got eggs with bacon. #StillGrateful #INeedToBrushUpMyFrench

I thoroughly enjoyed the panels, listening to election issues and hindrances to youth and female participation across Africa. Interestingly, the problems are the same – high cost of participation, election funding, tokenism, lack of intergenerational trust and knowledge sharing, partial election umpires, patriarchy, I could go on and on. In that regard, can’t we say that Africa is a country? Up for discussion.

Then it was lunch time and after we said hello to a bunch of people (ticked off the ‘networking box’) we made our plates, and joined a table where one lady was spitting half her food out as she spoke. I was happy to leave the table. Urgh.

We got back into the sessions and Nana who was supposed to be up the next morning had been moved to that afternoon. Boy did she bring it! She spoke as a young female actively involved with a political party, and I was so proud. So very proud of the knowledge she brought to the panel, the confidence of her delivery, and the passion as she expressed truth after truth. So proud!

That night, we decided to go to the hotel gym. Brethren in Christ, it was an intense workout! According to my Polar, I burnt about 750kcal; very productive.

Dinner was a drag. I rang room service, ordered chicken and chips, and they said it’d be ready by the time we got downstairs. We got downstairs and it wasn’t ready so we waited. 30 minutes after we sent the first person to the chef, nothing. He didn’t even come back. I was irritated by this time cos I was hungry and the language barrier made communication a bit more difficult. Nana sent the second person to the chef but it seems the thing that swallowed the first guy swallowed this one too!

Of course we left. Ended up in a lounge called People’s and the music was off the chain! From Nigerian songs to the 90’s, to chart toppers, the video DJ (like audio wasn’t enough) dropped hit after hit, after hit! Turn up! Oh we had an amazing time, and I had two bottles of water instead of ordering food because I was distracted by the really great music, and it was really late anyway.

Got back to the hotel about 3am and the receptionist said my food was ready. Shaking my head! I just went to bed. Good night jor!

Yay!!! I’ve got Chuka on today! Whoop! Chuka is special, not because his first name takes half of my father’s first name, not because he’s super cute (cough), but because he’s intelligent, and kind, and caring. And married o, before anyone gets any ideas!

Ah ha. As I was saying, Chuka’s a lawyer, and I remember meeting him on a trip to Lagos in 2013; was it 2013 or 2014 Chuka while I was in a meeting with Chude and Debola in one restaurant somewhere in/on Victoria Island. Don’t think we spoke for more than 15 minutes, but we’ve been friends since then, and I’m thankful he’s graced my blog today.

I agree with the words on friendship, and had to take some difficult bites of those this year myself; thankful however because really, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And wiser.

Rise… Fall… Dominate… Repeat

Lessons for the lucky, are words from the wise and experienced, who were not so lucky. 2015 was an interesting year for me and perhaps I use the word “interesting” loosely but it certainly was. The thrills were unending and the lessons came in torrents (lol…pun unintended).

It started like dawn, with the sun peaking out from beneath the veil of darkness that had earmarked the end of my 2014. It was beautiful and held promise. Looking back at my year, I dare say, it was a good year.

My biggest lesson was most definitely valuing second chances. No other element breathes life into anything than the chance to actually live again and for me, I learned real quick, the importance of starting over. Almost always looks like the longest thing ever, and sometimes it can be the least desirable option. However, through a year that had it’s annoying turns with trust tossed in the year and hard questions asked, I learnt to value the importance of second chances.

Winding down the year, and getting in on the final lap, what I’m most grateful for? Friends. I’ve never been one to have close friends and not so close friends. The dichotomy is tiring. You’re either a friend….or you’re not. There can never be a middle ground with something as incredibly important as friendship.

Through a rather strange storm, I found that sifting through the chaff of acquaintances was incredibly simple and while disappointing, it is something that I’m unendingly grateful for. I found that sacrifice was something I had taken for granted and realised that the act of true friendship must not only be unforgotten but must be repaid without consideration of measure. Friendship is rare and one must sail seas to ensure that a warm connection with a friend so true is salvaged and protected at all times.

Many a time, in my lifetime… I’ve been asked about what I would undo if I had the chance. The answer was “absolutely nothing”…until quite recently. The one thing I’d like to change is something that can never be undone. Death will be a part of us as keenly as life and I have no desire to dwell on what is beyond my control (regardless of how ecclesiastical I consider myself…lol).

So, there it is. I actually enjoyed writing this. Now the arduous task of avoiding the gaps of food poisoning while making Christmas lunch for my family awaits me.

Merry Christmas

Chukwukaelo Ajuluchukwu
Nigerian
Lekki Phase 1

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Merry Christmas to you my dear, and to your Mrs; shame I missed the turn up on the 26th! Here’s to a fabulous 2016, stripped of every form of bullshit. 

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.

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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.

Now, Tolu and I have never met. I stumbled on his blog early in the year, where he tries to chronicle everyday of moving back to Nigeria, and after a short while I would run there for a laugh, encouragement, or just a glimmer of light for my dark day.

He is VERY funny, writes brilliantly, and I was excited when he said he would join this project. Holding up the 14th day of my #31Days31Writers project, the lovely Tolu!

My name is Tolu Onile-Ere, I am Nigerian (& British), and I work at Playhouse Communication Ltd, a digital advertising agency in Nigeria.

One thing I’ve learned this year? Well, I found out I was adopted.

Just kidding, although am sure my parents and siblings often wish it was true.

Sorry, couldn’t resist and it felt like I had to say something major. But truth be told I know I’ve learned loads of small things but nothing that major. Wonder if that is something to be thankful for or something to worry about cos it could mean that I have coasted through this year and have not pushed myself.

Okay, I’ll have to think about that and tell you what I learn next year.

What am I most grateful for? I’m grateful for winning the lottery.

Just kidding again.

Ok, no bullshit, everyday I am grateful for what I have – my family, my friends, everything.

And if I could, one thing I would do differently.

Sorry, am writing this so I set the rules. So I’m not saying just one thing:
I wish I had loved more,
lost my temper less,
taken more chances,
worried less,
laughed more,
attended fewer funerals,
been closer to my God,
spent more time with my son…

And I think I’ll stop there.

Feet!!! Tolu!! By the way, Tolu has an amazing blog here... http://playhousecomm.wordpress.com/

Feet!!! Tolu!! By the way, Tolu has an amazing blog here… http://playhousecomm.wordpress.com/

My fondest memory of Dami is tweeting her questions from my nephew’s assignment sometime last year. She was so quick with the answers the 7-year-old was amazed! I remember he said, “see how aunty Chioma helped me with all my homework without delay”. I felt so smart! I should tell him about Twitter soon!

Dami is smart!! She’s my online dictionary, and I know that whenever I’m stuck on a sentence or anything related to English, my first DM goes to her. 

She’s very reflective in this post, and I’ll let you get on with it already! Here’s Dami!

My name is Dami Oyedele, I am Nigerian, and I work in management consulting. As an aspiring math nerd and a child of the Pentecostal Faith Movement, I’m a big fan of numbers and their significance. Hence, around the end of last year, I became filled with a sense that 2013 was going to be a landmark year for me. It would be the 7th year after I went through a personal crisis that changed the course of my life – a path that is still beautifully shaping me to this day. It was also the year I would turn 25! I had massive expectations for where I wanted my life to be as I turned prime-number-five raised to the power of two; grace squared; a quarter of a century.

By mid-January, I already had my year planned out in my head and on paper. I knew where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do, and where I didn’t want to be for every month till the end of the year. I even drew up a countdown calendar for one of my goals, and I ticked it religiously and excitedly (as evident from my picture!).

Countdown Calendar

Calendar.com

Did 2013 live up to my plans? I struggle to conclude on that, especially now, three weeks to the end of a year that has been simultaneously harrowing and intensely beautiful; disappointing and pleasantly surprising. Let’s just say that as the year progressed, most of my plans were either remixed or thrown out of the window.

For someone whose signature mantra is “fly with me – the journey is the destination”, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I always am. The twists and turns I inevitably encounter in getting from Point A to B are full of rich lessons. This year, the lessons were summarized as thus: in my own strength and on my own terms, I am average at best. I saw clearly how I repeatedly sabotage my own progress, and I discovered far too many character flaws that need work. I would despair at this epiphany, but I am fortunate to also be coming to terms with the unconditional love of the One who encoded my DNA, flaws and all.

He made promises for the year 2013, but didn’t spell them out to me in full because I would not have believed. He just unraveled them as the days went by, and is still leaving me stunned. 2013 did not turn out precisely as I wanted it to. It even missed the mark in many ways, but by God, it has undoubtedly been my best year yet. For that I am truly thankful, and can’t wait for next year.

White House Photo Cropped

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

First time we met, I don’t remember if I was just jealous she was skinny (with a happy appetite) or if I was thrilled to make a new friend. After spending a few days on her blog, a depth to her was opened to me, and she’s been one of my favorite people ever since!

Say hello to Dosh!

Silence

My name is Elizabeth “Dosh” Mabonga and I am Ugandan, Nigerian and American. Biologically, I am only two of these and legally, I am also just two but together, they have contributed to making me who I am so I claim all three without shame or favor. My church owns a school and I work at the Early Education Center, teaching school aged children in the after-school program. I am also a graduate student hoping to earn my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling by the end of next year.

The biggest lesson I learnt (and I am still learning) this year is silence. My filters don’t work right but life has taught me to shut my big mouth and let some things be. Not every opinion needs to be heard, not every emotion needs to be expressed and not every err needs to be pointed out. I am gradually learning to love the silence and discover the secrets to it; how to smile with just my heart, hurt passively, go around like a ninja… unseen and unheard.

The thing I am most grateful for this year is that I got to go home, to Nigeria. My mother is so technologically handicapped that she refuses to get a smart smart-phone or learn how to turn on a computer so I only get to see her on the rare occasion that she dedicates 30 minutes to taking and texting me a picture. Concrete mumu that my genes are, they decided to inherit some of this disorder. On a brighter note, going home meant I got to spend time with her, get breakfast in bed, eat pounded yam nine times in less than two weeks and have someone fuss over me round the clock. Priceless!

I read somewhere that “people take care of those they love and those who love in return are willing to accept that caretaking”. If I could do one thing differently this year, it would be to open my eyes to the depth of my relationships. I took some friends for granted and placed those who couldn’t care less about me on a pedestal. When people love you, they love all of you, tolerate your dark side and call you out on your foolishness. Unfortunately, it took a whole and three-quarters of foolishness to for me to realize this. Most of all, I hurt some of my favorite people in the world by not sharing my problems with them. I don’t think I understood how possible this was till they confronted me about it and counted instances in the past when I didn’t let them in. I grew up as an only child and learnt long ago to depend on just myself, my mother and my God so opening up and confiding in best friends/romantic partners is new territory.

In the end, I feel like a 5-year old who is learning the appropriate times to speak up and when to remain silent. In speaking up, I am learning that it is alright to seek comfort from the people who love me but not to yarn my church mind ever so often. In hushing up, I am rediscovering the secrets to silence, and the quiet is deafening.

http://doshix.blogspot.com

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Protests and visible discontent are an integral part of any democracy. Agreed?

Today, Thursday, the 26th of September 26th at 10 am, Enough is Enough Nigeria, United Action for Democracy, Say No Campaign, ReclaimNaija and other organisations will meet at the National Assembly (in Abuja) to make 5 demands of our representatives. The demands and the rationale are summarized below:

  DEMAND RATIONALE
1. Immediate comprehensive breakdown of their budgetary allocation of N150 billion for 2013. They have been very vocal that the N150 billion is not only for salaries but the entire National Assembly structure.The Economist magazine says they are the 2nd highest paid parliamentarians in the world.There is no authoritative breakdown of what the N150 billion pays for.We want them to provide this breakdown.
2. An account of the N1 trillion received since 2005 before the next recess in December. N1 trillion is a lot of money.Have Nigerians gotten value for money?They have to tell us.
3. Functional contact information – numbers, email addresses and physical addresses of their constituency offices.We demand the names of at least two contact people attached to the numbers and email addresses. Our representatives must be reachable!
4. ALL voting records on ALL constitutional amendments. Nigerians have a right to know how their representatives honored their wishes for changes to the constitution.
5. We demand that the attendance list for each plenary be made public. Pictures show both chambers relatively empty on plenary days, yet members are quite opposed to suggestions that they work part time.How many people actually attend plenary and contribute to discussions?Are Nigerians getting value for money?

Please share with your networks and join us if you can! Our Nass 7 Our Nass 6 Our Nass 5 Our Nass 4 Our Nass 3 Our Nass 2 Our Nass 1

That’s why we’re marching today.

More information can be found here – www.eienigeria.org/ournass.