Posts Tagged ‘social media consultant’

Every now and then you meet someone (even if virtually) who is such an encourager they act like they’re not on this same earth with all the attendant issues. That’s Eloho. From the first time she popped up on my timeline (I don’t know how) I’ve never seen her say an unkind word or anything that doesn’t uplift a spirit.

And she loves Jesus. Icing on the cake, or maybe the cake itself!

It’s so magical though, the way she is. And I’m sure you’ll love her entry as much as I did! She’s super special, and that’s why she’s up today, Christmas Day! Merry Christmas to you, and you, and you!

My name is Eloho, I am a financial analyst in Lagos, Nigeria and when I’m not doing that, I love to sing, read and just live life one day at a time experiencing God’s ‘stupendous grace.’ I also love kids, and love to see people happy and walking in purpose.

What did I learn? Let’s say I learned a whole lot. Let’s go

  • I learned that God IS!!! He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Like a pancake, seems like God turned me over just as I turned light brown to give me this assurance.
  • I learned that what we know will be tested and we had better be ready. 2015 tested my faith, my resolve and trust in God deeper than the most recent years. But I learned that God’s grace is sufficient, He doesn’t allow more than we can bear.
  • I learned about perspective and timing. It’s a new day at midnight, you know. But the only reason I can celebrate the new day is because I have knowledge and a clock. It’s the same thing with life. My attitude and response to the darkness is a function of my perspective.
  • I learned from my 6-year-old cousin, that ‘nice is different than good…’ Doing what is right and good doesn’t always feel nice but it is the proper thing to do. I’m still learning not to let the fact that the right decision might hurt someone stop me from going ahead to make it.
  • I learned that wisdom is greater than weapons of war. Not every time fight, sometimes just apply wisdom.
  • I learned that ‘Peace is a radar’, far above anything. It is the compass for my life’s journey. Constantly in my face is the image of boiling water and the lack of a reflection therein. Peace is all I need for clarity and if anything ceases to bring me peace, it has to go.
  • I learned that when we think we are infallible in a certain area, we set ourselves up to fail because we are least prepared in that area. Let Him who thinks He stands take heed lest he fall became very literal for me.
  • I learned that we cannot by an act of the flesh bring the promise to pass. Desperation and listening to people may make us feel as though waiting on God is not enough. But I learned by my own Sarah type experience to ‘lean in.’
  • I learned to appreciate the small moments. I lost a friend, Hammed Ajiboye this year. I miss him and wish I made some more time for him.

These lessons didn’t come easy. But I’m grateful that as painful as the experiences that birthed them might have been, I AM better.

Adjusts mic to an appropriate height at the award podium, smiles and pulls out a tiny sheet of paper.

  • I am most grateful for my stupendous wealth in family and my friends. I could go on and on here. God brought amazing people into my life as well. I was NEVER alone.
  • I’m grateful for favor. God continues to surround me with favor everywhere I go.
  • I am most grateful for revelation and clarity. Slowly and steadily, I am gaining a better understanding of what I am here for.
  • I am grateful for ‘discontentment’ and how it’s pushing me out of my ‘comfort zone.’
  • Grateful for my journey so far. Not the script I would have written but it has strengthened me and left me in awe of God’s sovereignty.
  • I’m grateful for service and the opportunity to give back. I derived so much joy from a lot of those moments.

To what I would do differently if I could? I would be a little easier on myself. Gosh, I was quite hard on myself for the mistakes I made but now I have resolved to fail forward and trust that everything is working out for good.

I would also imagine some more. Think I got jaded at some point and just existed. But no, God is able to do far more than I can ask or IMAGINE. So it is time to imagine wildly and boldly and LIVE again.

31 days of gratitude

She’s such a gorgeous soul! I can’t wait to meet you, has to happen in 2016! Merry Christmas @Eloxie (That’s her on Twitter, I say follow her, you’ll be glad she did!)

Awwww, I really like Tony! I remember meeting him at church once (House on The Rock The Refuge), but I don’t remember if that was the first time we met or if we’d met before. I also know he called me on my birthday this year, whoop! And he has a brother in the Army, who is on the frontlines of this fight against Boko Haram. Kai, I don’t know if I would be able to sleep at night ever if my brother was in the Army… then if he was in the Army and actually fighting! My poor heart. I’m just grateful his brother is fine, and ask that we all keep him in our prayers please?

Tony’s entry is lovely, really lovely, and then it’s so powerful, like punchline after punchline! It resonates with me in a lot of ways and encourages me in a lot of ways, and I know it will do just that for you too.

My name is Tony Atambi. I’m Nigerian (proudly so). I’m a lawyer who currently lives and works in Abuja; also a Christian gentleman.

As with every other person, at the beginning of the year 2015, I was all pumped up and ready to go. Felt like new vistas had been opened up to me and I was just going to cruise through. You know that feeling I speak about.

Errrm…Let’s just say as the year went on, motivation waned far too many times, I felt like I was stuck in a rut far too many times, not knowing with the slightest precision what to do next with my life. And so there were quite a number of times where, as a result of the worry arising from life not being in motion, I slid into depression.

Flowing from the above is the first major lesson I learnt in 2015;

  • Motion doesn’t equate progress. If you have ever tied motion (being up and about for up and about sake) with progress, you might wanna discard that thought. It is not valid. Being busy is simply what it is – Busy. Busy doesn’t necessarily mean progress. The guy trying to empty the Atlantic Ocean is busy but he will never make any progress.

On closer examination of my thoughts, I realized that I just wanted to be busy, regardless of whether it was productive or not. It pays sometimes to take a break and ask if you’re just running around or getting productive.

  • I learnt that my fears are not necessarily valid. In fact, I dare say fears are not valid. The fact that you fear something doesn’t confer it with the capacity to happen. There is no truth about fear. You fear what may or could happen. Yet it is never certain. So I find that sometimes, the things we fear are things we should really confront.

I’m immediately reminded of my brother who is fighting the insurgents in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. I used to be so afraid for his life, especially when we are inundated daily with stories of soldiers who are either missing or dead. But I realized that each time I call him, he’s always available to take my calls. So the fact that I feared that something could happen to him doesn’t mean it did happen. Discard your fears. They are not valid.

Plus, nobody became a great success because they feared, anyway.

  • Most importantly, I learnt to be thankful to The One who has the master plan and to trust in that master plan. I’m a firm believer in the plan that God has for our lives. I didn’t see clearly, everything He has planned out. But this year, I took my trust in God a notch higher.

There are an array of things I’m grateful for. But here are a few.

  • Peace of mind. The outgoing year brought along a few storms but in the midst of it all, I had the peace that could only have come from a supernatural place. God, actually. And so even when it seemed like the world was going to come crashing down on me, peace flooded my heart like a river.
  • I’m grateful for the beauty of falling in love (yeah, this is my emotional side) and being loved in return. 2015 brought along to me, a certain amazing lady and Lord knows, I’m in love. Baby, if you can see this, you know I love you to tiny little bits.
  • I’m grateful for second chances to start again. God has given me far too many of them. I wouldn’t give me that much grace if I was God. LOL.
  • I’m grateful for the grace to always speak a word in season that blesses someone. Every now and then, I put out tweets that serve to minister to and encourage people. I get very positive feedback all the time. In my little corner, God has used me to bring His word to people. He takes all the glory.

One thing I’d undo in 2015 is stalling the execution of a few plans. But hey…2016 is right around the corner and I hope to reach for higher accomplishments. We can now clink glasses and drink to an even more amazing 2016!

tony atambi

What a gentleman! Unfortunately ladies, this one here’s taken! Here’s to an amazing 2016 Tony, please invite us to eat jollof rice next year o, God bless you!

 

Brethren!

I’m super excited with the entry for today!

Now, Pearl and I have never met, and I was going to make her wedding but something came up and I wasn’t even in the country around that time, talk of the state.

The first thing you notice about Pearl is her smile. Alive and breathing, with her gorgeous white teeth! I feel like she can never be offended, she’s always smiling! She’s also one of those Christians who absolutely love the Lord, but don’t beat you over the head with it. I really really like her!

Her entry is beautiful, and I won’t keep you from it a moment longer.

 

Achuna ife uwa n’ike. Nwayo bu ije. Ebe onye oso ruru, onye ije g’eru kwa. Onye buru Chi ya uzo, ogba gbuo onwe ya n’oso. (Do not chase the things of the world with all your strength. Take life easy. He who runs and he who walks will get to wherever they are going, but if you go ahead of your God, you don do yourself be that.)

My name is Pearl Ijeoma Allison. I am completely Nigerian; omo Igbo, born in Hausa land and married to a Yoruba man. I presently work as a confidential secretary/administrative official and I live the in the ever-bubbly city of Lagos. I love Lagos, even with all her wahala. I share my thoughts on life through my eyes on this here page http://olorungemstone.com/

2015 was an incredibly interesting and amazing year. My Year of Indescribable Joy . . . but there can be no joy if one has not known sorrow. I have known sorrow, anxiety, fear and depression. Times when I wondered why I was still holding on and why I thought I needed to keep going. What was the point of it all?

Achuna ife uwa níke. . .

God wanted me to take my focus off those things and put it on Him. But as a headstrong omo nna who had to fend for herself, I kept trying to sort things out on my own or worry them away.

Why worry when you can pray?

He came through for me despite and in spite of Ijeoma standing in her own way. Everyday I’m learning to trust His promises, learning that they are not just words but TRUTH. Truth that I get to live out every minute.

I learned that God is faithful and some humans are very much like Him! My friends showed themselves strong on my behalf this year. God has surrounded me with faithful, diligent and trustworthy people. I am grateful most especially for my husband, amazing, amazing man! No bias, I swear.

I’m very grateful for the experiences I had this year. I don’t think I’ve had any year as eventful as this one. A wedding is definitely a big enough event, but there was also a relocation, a shaking, a moving & an uprooting.

One day I will write about these things…

I hurt my best friend and her family this year. Yeah, it was unintentional and all and I wish to God that it had never happened. I regret it deeply. We were able to make it through the hurt, pain and disaster by God’s grace and I think we made it through stronger than before. That’s how lasting, unbending relationships are forged; people who will stand with you through the good times and most especially through the bad.

Pearle-and-Adams-White-Wedding-2658If I could relive that, there’s definitely a number of things I’d love to change about the whole saga but we live and we learn. The other thing I’d love to relive is my wedding day, it was a deadly day! I really never esperredit. Lol. I’d love for my wedding reception to have just been dance, dance, dance! My brother in law’s band killed it that day men! You should have been there.

;)

Pearl Allison

I’m looking forward to 2016. I hope to live out everything I’ve learned and to take life easy. There’s so much more to this life and I want to live it to the fullest.

God bless you.

God bless you too sweetheart, and here’s hearty cheers to the new year!

Brethren! Welcome to Day 2! We started the series with my friend Adenike, and I’m totally pumped at how much joy I felt publishing her entry! I can’t wait for all the others to come in!

About Ochuko; we’ve never met, but I love his blog. I don’t even know how he found my blog, but his blogposts sometimes are some of the most hilarious things I’ve seen! This post on how parents pressure their kids on marriage is everything! Other times, he’s quite therapeutic. I’m super grateful for my blog family (didn’t know I would ever use that term, but I mean it), because I know they are always there like an invisible court, ready to offer a kind word, advise, prayer, whatever.

Before I digress too much, I give you, Ochuko!

Hi everyone, I’m Ochuko A. Akpomudjere but everyone calls me Chuk (out of pure laziness I gather), fear would not allow me type out my full name. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m Nigerian, yes we are the ones with names longer than our lifespan, a 20-something year old student of Biochemistry, in the beautifully old city of Benin, Nigeria. As for what I do, for now I’d restrict my list to Photography.

So 2015, where do I begin? Well let me not lie, if I say 2015 wasn’t what I expected when I was dancing in Church on December 31st 2014, I would not be far from the truth. That guy was just dancing away, not realizing that life was just waiting to hit him with the fat stick that is “reality”. Well I can’t fling all the blame at life, wait actually I can, but that would just be denying that some of it, ok a large part of it was my fault.

Ok, 2015 wasn’t that bad, it was great actually, perhaps even my best year yet (yeah I still can’t say that with a straight face). I’m just going to come out and say this, if I was to pick one thing I am truly grateful for, it’d be the people in my life. I’d just start from the back, in the space of 3 months quite a lot happened and for a while it felt like I was standing outside life, watching things unfold in my life.

I lost 2 friends within the space of 3 weeks, made more mistakes than I’d made in my last 5 years of life, life bending mistakes that all but cost me my life, but through it all, God placed people in my life at just the right point when I needed them. I did some things that would have earned me lifetime achievement award in the “Disgrace to The Family” awards 2015, yet all I got in return was love from my family. I became friends with my dad, a friendship that helped me remind who I am as a person and not what my circumstances made me to be. PS: My dad actually said “as long as you don’t give up on yourself, I won’t give up on you”. In my mind I saw the Hollywood sign for weeks after that.

As for what I learnt this year, I’d some it up in one word “Rest”. I learnt the hard way that it’s easy to preach about a situation, when you gone through it. It is even easier when you’ve never experienced it. After all anyone can wake up, sigh and say “Na God” but when life slaps you, you forget all the sermons you preached, all the articles you wrote and suddenly “Na God’ becomes “But God why?”. I learnt to rest in God, more importantly, to rest in his word. The present is temporary and so is everything that is bothering you. Death however is permanent, so you can either worry yourself to death, or trust that there is a way out of that situation.

Honestly speaking, I don’t know if I’d want to change anything about 2015, but if I had to change anything, it’d be not trusting my family & friends with my problems early enough; there’s only so far you can go on your own before life reminds you that “Hey this is getting out of hand, you need to tell someone”.

Oh by the way, this is the first thing I’ve written in 4 months, I can now say that all is well with the world again. Ok I’ve gotten to that point in my write-up where I start typing gibberish, so let me just go.

Till next year I hope.

See his cute, googly eyes! Ladies please allow him finish school first o, hian.

See his cute, googly eyes! Ladies please allow him finish school first o, hian.

Bia, Chuk, what did you mean by “till next year I hope?” Hope that only has to do with you writing in another #31Days31Writers series o, ehen, because you’re not going anywhere (anywhere not positive and great that is). Thank you!

Welcome to the end of March! Have you had a good month? I know I have!

Much earlier in the month, I was invited to Warri to facilitate at training for some officials from various organizations working in the Niger Delta. And I was excited, for a number of reasons. Since I ran a couple sessions late last year I discovered that training is something I really enjoy plus I hadn’t been in Warri since 199something and so I was really excited about the trip.

Flight was uneventful except I must mention that Arik Air thrive in the midst of confusion. It’s incredible! So my flight was for 8am, and I was at the airport before 7am. There was a rapidly lengthening queue, Arik Air officials doing what the Lord alone can explain because there wasn’t any progress.

And then of course people started jostling about and getting rowdy because their flights were getting announced. Guess what? They delayed the flight. Lol…

Anyway, we finally boarded the miniature plane, and off we went. Landed in Benin, and then did the 45+ minutes drive to Warri. I was taken to my lodgings, a place called Denaj Hotels. I was a little concerned when I saw these two signs but I said I’d be a good girl and not make a fuss about anything.

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This was at the bar.

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This was at the gate.

Have you noticed that when we say we’re not going to do something bad it seems like all the devils in hell relocate to our ends just to make us renege on that promise?

Children of God, the sheets had funny stains on them – not even going to hazard a guess around that. Then the toilet seat looked like there’s been a pissing contest for blindfolded guys.

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2015-03-08 16.26.29

2015-03-08 16.27.01

2015-03-08 16.27.17

I was confused. There was no menu in the room either, and I was starving.

I called for someone to clean the bathroom (not change the room – remember, no fuss), and then I ordered jollof rice, plantain and chicken. Food came on a tray without cutlery, and the cleaner still hadn’t come.

So I went downstairs, and had to get cutlery myself, and pried a lady attendant from her phone and argument with the receptionist about her not being the person to clean my room. I ate (don’t ask any questions – I was starving), and then had a meeting where I complained to the heavens about the entire situation (by this time chill had departed), and then I spread my mom’s wrapper on the sheets, and slept. The evening, the morning, and it was time to prep for the first day of training.

First off, I woke up with some sort of itch on my arms and feet. There was no hot water. I’d finished my water and I didn’t even feel okay buying water. So, no shower, and I settled for gargling with my mouth wash.

Was I grumpy or what!! Hian! I mean it was lovely to meet the class, 21 bright-eyed people who I was supposed to be useful to, but I couldn’t shake the itch and it was all so disorienting, two mugs of my favorite brew didn’t help.

We were moved to Protea that evening, and guess what I did first? Phew… Thank you Jesus! I had a proper dinner as well, three-course type of business. Talmabout getting my groove back!

So what did I teach the class? We did an introduction to social media, tools and platforms, what their organizations might need (or not), and the personal vs corporate communication. We also learned about keeping ourselves safe online, hyperlinks, infographics, blogging, and developing articles for their organizations. Of course there were lots of things we tried our hands at (internet permitting), and I ended up creating a WordPress blog for one organization, a Facebook page for another, and personal Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for members of the class.

I also met Samson Idoko, a very brilliant young man and co-facilitator who taught Microsoft Office in a way I’ve never seen/heard it taught before. Tips, shortcuts, tricks across Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, and it was a free class for me!! I learned so much!

There was also Frank, a staff of the organization who ensured we were always overfed! God bless him, one afternoon I said I wanted fish and a salad for lunch, and here’s the fish I got! I shared mine with Samson and we gave his out – walai I would have dozed if I ate that alone!

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There was James who drove us around, and had this hilarious bad eye he would give other people who were driving dangerously. Thank you for making me smile everyday!

And the icing on the cake? The feedback from the class! I grabbed a bit of it, and then there was the email from one of the attendees, which was the sweetest thing I’ve read in a while. Sweetest.

I learned lessons about myself, about people, and about social media on this trip. Start from confirming that Lagos, Abuja are on one level with social media, and the rest of the country on a totally different level. Totally different ladies and gentlemen. It might not mean much till you juxtapose that with political communication, numbers and expectations for these elections.

And now for a shameless plug: want a social media trainer for your organization? Get in touch, already!

Warri was great, I love the class, and it was my privilege to share my skill/knowledge; massive thanks to the organizers and technical adviser for the opportunity, and for ensuring that we were comfortable. Let’s do it again!

A few things told me I was ready to do an entrepreneurs edition of #31Days31Writers:

  1. I’d run the entrepreneur interview series on my blog several times, and not only did the articles get great feedback, they opened new doors of opportunities for the business owners. I have however been remiss in sourcing entrepreneurs for that category on the blog and so I thought, why not get the entrepreneurs sell themselves?
  2. #31Days31Writers (again on the blog) was a massive success the two times I’ve run it! Again, great feedback, the amazing stories and perspectives from the writers, and it was such a joy having fresh content every single day of the month!

And so I thought, why don’t I dedicate one edition solely to entrepreneurs? Why not celebrate the brilliant young men and women braving the odds working through unfavorable circumstances to keep their dreams visions alive? Why not offer them this platform to showcase their services, strengths, and unique edge?

Why not?

And that’s it folks, this is your space!

Criteria

Be an entrepreneur (defined by Google as “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit”). Is this you? That’s all the criteria you need!

 

Send 500 words, covering the following

  • What do you do?
  • Why you stated your business/what gets you excited about it?
  • What year did you start this business, and where?
  • Immediate challenges you faced then and what you did to deal with them?
  • Where do you see your business at the end of the year, and in five years?

That’s it! Please send in a photo with your submission – could be of your products/address/whatever you feel compliments your work; feel free to create one for this if you want. Send it to dfairygodsister(at)gmail(dot)com with your name and #31Days31Writers as the subject of the mail, and you’re in!

I’ve got 25 slots open, and the first people to send in their entries, get it!

Start sending in your entries in already!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

The first time I interviewed Elnathan on the blog, it was the definition of a ‘no holds barred’ discussion. For me it was a blessing that we could have that chat, because I was fed up of the Moslems versus Christians angle to the carnage that happened (especially in the North) after the 2011 elections. Elnathan was a breath of fresh air (still is) and it was great to catch him for a few minutes a few days ago to get his opinion on a few issues.

Enjoy!

D Fairy GodSister: Hello Elnathan! Nice to have you on the 3, 2, 1 series again; you know it’s always a pleasure to have you here.

ELNATHAN: The pleasure is mine Chioma

D Fairy GodSister: Are we going to start arguing about pleasure now? Lol!

ELNATHAN: Ok. I concede the pleasure

D Fairy GodSister: Lol! Let’s start with, I’m sure you heard of the bomb that went off in the Sultanate today (30th July 2012), what do you think of this whole bombing/Boko Haram business? As in your honest, unadulterated opinion?

ELNATHAN: I think these are symptoms of a much deeper country-wide decay. I do not like talking about the individual bombings. They are all together a pointer to what we as a nation have been sowing, namely, brazen corruption, deliberate underdevelopment, greed, clueless leadership, complacent complicit followership

D Fairy GodSister: Ok. It started out as a sect against Western Education, then on to Moslems destroying the worship places of other Christians, and vice versa.  In the first interview you granted it had a political undertone, young people disgusted at their leaders. What is going on now?

ELNATHAN: Many people have bought a franchise in what was once a strictly. ‘Boko Haram’ affair. One isn’t even sure who is doing what. People know that there isn’t a sincere serious leadership. So they are taking advantage of it. The real Boko Haram is still an outstanding issue. This is the result of too much corrupt money in the hands of too many desperate people.

D Fairy GodSister: True that…. *sigh* Let’s say you woke up one morning, and you found you were president of Nigeria, with all its attendant positives and negatives. What would do in the first one week?

ELNATHAN: First.

  • Stop all payments by government. Track and verify all payments. I would freeze all government accounts and do an audit to find out what we really have.
  • I would close our borders
  • I would ban sirens even for the Presidential convoy (which won’t be more than 4 cars).
  • I give MDA’s a deadline for all outstanding projects. Apart from these little things however I would nothing too quickly

D Fairy GodSister: Ha ha ha…. You would be very tough wouldn’t you?

ELNATHAN: I would assess the situation. Breathe. Then move cautiously but firmly.

D Fairy GodSister: True. Still sampling your opinions.. What do you think of ejecting the Fulani’s from Jos?

ELNATHAN: Do you mean Special Task Force eviction order in some Plateau towns? I think the STF initially didn’t handle the PR angle well so that what could have been a normal operation was read to mean an anti-Fulani campaign. Again because of the existing distrust between the Fulani and the Plateau government it was important for them to have done a lot of public relations work especially among the Ardo’s who would have passed a correct message together with assurances to their people.

There were many fears, a lot of them justified. Would they be allowed to return to their homes? Would they be taken care of? Would the Plateau Government be involved in relief distribution? Would they be assured of protection of their cattle as they moved out?

D Fairy GodSister: All that talk seems to have died down now. What are the options for them if they are evicted though? Where do they go?

ELNATHAN: There was supposed to be camps; temporary shelters where they would receive aid until the end of the operation when they would be able to go home. The STF to my knowledge has already started giving out these materials and I know that some Fulani have put together a fund to help primarily, the effort by Dr. Aliyu Tilde who has been in the forefront of protecting Fulani rights in this issue.

D Fairy GodSister: Why move them though? What’s the rationale behind moving people from a life they’ve known?

ELNATHAN: There was supposed to be a military operation to flush out certain ‘militants’ who were said to have been in the areas affected. The STF I believe did not want to incur a lot of collateral damage in the event of heavy fighting. However the issue of the sedentary Fulani communities in Plateau and the conflict with local (Berom) tribes is another issue. Complex as it is unfortunate.

D Fairy GodSister: *sigh* Away from the north, what was the inspiration for your ‘how to’ series?

ELNATHAN: The How To series was an attempt to shift a bit from the traditional sometimes heavy and boring way of talking about Nigeria. Satire is a perfect tool for this. It also makes for easy reading.

D Fairy GodSister: It’s absolutely hilarious!

ELNATHAN: I admire Peter Pan Enahoro and have looked up to him as an example in this regard with his ‘How to be a Nigerian‘ and ‘The complete Nigerian’. However one of the persons who have inspired me the most and still inspires me is the Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina; His ‘How To write about Africa’ was my immediate inspiration.

D Fairy GodSister: Ok. What’s the next in the How To series? A little scoop for my readers?

ELNATHAN: Ah part of the fun is the waiting! I can say however that it will be a part two of something I have done before

D Fairy GodSister: Awwww, c’mon!

ELNATHAN: Trade secret; go ask coca cola their recipe

D Fairy GodSister: Smh! I’ll let that go, if you tell us what you’ve been up to since the last interview you gave us.

ELNATHAN: Writing a book. Teaching. Working on bringing back the literary movement in my home state, Kaduna, putting on weight and mourning the loss of the love of my life Funmi, my sepia notepad which was stolen by robbers in my house. Funmi held a good many unfinished stories. But I am healing.

D Fairy GodSister: Well done, and my condolences on Funmi! Any human ‘love of your life’? Male or female?

ELNATHAN: No. Only a best friend who is more than making up for it. And kind amazing friends who make my world go round.

D Fairy GodSister: True that! Thank you again Elnathan you always rock my pages!

ELNATHAN: You rock! I am honoured to be on your pages. Take care.

Elnathan….

Ok, so I’ve really slacked in finishing this series, don’t blame me, it’s the work of my detractors (in Mr President’s voice). Lol, that’s not even funny.

This is the fourth and final post in the Edo Decides Series…. Click on the links for posts one, two, and three if you haven’t already read them so you have a bit of perspective. K?

So, who knows that it doesn’t just rain, it pours? You would think the rest of the day (Sunday) would go smoothly…. Nope. It didn’t.

I had the privilege of meeting renowned Channels political correspondent Deji Bademosi that evening, and we all went on a little cruise around the city, look around, feel the pulse kind of thing. We drove past the Esama of Benin, HRH Chief Sir Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion’s house. His Royal Highness is father to the former governor of Edo State, and is famous for his ‘when a child fails a class you let him repeat it’ speech at his son’s campaign for a second term. God save Nigeria. By the way, his house in the city sits on an estimated two hectares of land.

We also went past the castles houses of some prominent PDP stalwarts whose names I won’t mention because we didn’t drive past any of the houses belonging to the opposition. Agreed?

One thing is evident from the routes we took, on nine out of ten roads, there are no gutters, and so in the rains that fell from Saturday afternoon, the roads were flooded. Potholes + water = malaria dear Governor elect! Plus you owe me, my suede shoes were ruined!

Then we went to Ring Road, arguably the biggest roundabout in Nigeria (some folks say the one in Ibadan is bigger). People were everywhere, young guys and gals coupled in corners, a live band inspiring people in a group to ‘bend low’, suya spots, ice cream vans, sit out spots where alcohol and every possible peppersoup was up for consumption; there was a whole lot going on inside!

After we parked, and were walking to the fountain (me desperately trying to salvage what the puddles around had left of my suede shoes), we saw a Toyota Camry (2010) speed into the grounds (potholes and bumps regardless) with young urchins perched on the windows. I was about to panic then I saw they were waving brooms in the air. SMH I thought, these people have  their ways of celebrating.

We got to the fountain, couldn’t take any pictures because people kept walking into our shot (SMH), and then it was time to go. There were three army trucks arriving as we were walking back to the car, and even though I heard there were just there to ensure safety, I was happy we were leaving. Me and the army? Abeg I cannot shout!

We piled into the car, and headed to a fish spot called Tasties. Word of warning, when fish at a fish spot doesn’t taste nice/fresh, leave; chances are everything else will be rotten, including customer service. Was there an incident? Yes did I get pissed? Yes. Did I show it? Of course. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Same night Goldie was evicted from the Big Brother Africa house, and Twitter was on fire!! Dang! I didn’t watch BBA but from following tweets I’m sure I would narrate (with at least 85% accuracy) all that had gone on in the house till Miss ‘I love Prezzo’ left the house.

MONDAY

Woke up with a very upset stomach, I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that fish! More bad news, one of us lost her purse with quite a bit of money inside. More than that she had ID and bank cards inside too. The only place that could have happened would have been the fish spot but they said they didn’t see it. I kinda felt that even if they did, they withheld it as punishment for my drama the night before. *sigh*

We had a meeting to finalize on the report we were writing over breakfast. Breakfast reminded me of fries from Burger King, the chips were so crisp! Whoop!! Chicken was stewed to perfection, and I made a mental note to tip generously. I love food, bite me! Speaking of food, which of my readers have tried the Hallelujah diet? How far?

I learnt something new that morning from Dipo Fasoro, one of the members of the team. Dipo is a brilliant software developer, and the lead consultant at Macgrenor, how to share network connections. Whoop whoop!! I’ll share in a different post but help me say a big thank you to Dipo!

We headed for the airport, our flight was for 1.30pm. We got there an hour before, checked in, had lunch at Sizzlers, and then the wait began. I knew we were chopped and screwed when we heard FAAN had grounded one of their planes in Abuja (long story), and again thought about the monopoly Arik is abusing enjoying.

Sizzlers…..*sigh* With their dodgy catfish….

Some interesting construction work going on here….

About 3pm, a group of young, rough-looking urchins floated into the waiting area, a chubby looking fellow dressed in a sparkling white kaftan in between all of them. I knew I had seen that clean-shaven, wide-eyed look on a face before, and then it hit me, it was none other than Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari! Young Jock walked to the tarmac (of course he wasn’t searched) where a private plane was waiting, boarded, and then his chipmunks left the airport. *cough*

When Arik decided we’d waited enough, the plane arrived from Abuja, and we finally left Benin past 4.30pm. Pretty uneventful flight, Mercy and I chatted so much, was a wonderful 50 minutes! Horrible landing though, why do pilots around here land like they plan to bounce back into the air? Another tale for another day.

Good bye Benin!

Ok, so this post captures a bit of day one, but mainly day two of my trip to Edo State because #Edowasdeciding. Part one is here.

So, we touched down safely (thank you Lord), and first thing I noticed was a lot of construction work going on at the airport, very interesting. Who’s in charge of fixing up airports, the federal or state governments? I asked because I don’t know. Met up with @_yemia, @rmajayi, and @dfasoro who I was meeting for the first time. We loaded ourselves into our car, and went off to The Excalibur, our home for the next few days. Was a pleasant surprise to see @nigerianblogger, and to meet @jidealuko and Afolabi; they were both fabulous, were very helpful, and made our stay very comfortable (cc @_yemia). Got in to find that apart from my back acting like someone had set fire to it, my ‘friend’ was around so I had a bath, popped a few painkillers, and went to sleep.

About painkillers, @rmajayi and I went out to get them (she was feeling poorly as well), and two things stood out; police presence was scary. Kai! They were like everywhere, and since I don’t kid myself about the police being my friend I was uncomfortable. Especially since they were shouting and making noise on the road, for no reason! SMH! It was kind of good we went out though, because we spoke to different people, a lady selling lime, another one selling apples, the one roasting corn I think, quite a few of them. All of them wanted Oshiomole back, but not everyone wanted to vote. One lady said she was afraid, said, ‘dem fit fight’. Honestly, I didn’t doubt her, not with the security report we had access to before we got into Benin.

The evening, the morning….

Saturday. I was up by 7am, shout out to @Channels_TV for their live coverage of the elections . Noticed a few things about the place; the room was nice, was a suite actually, and it was really nice. Problem? Internet was crappy. More like they had no internet service at all. Good thing we had dongles and everything, our trip would have been in vain! I was still battling pain in my back so I could only sit for a few hours at a time, and I had to pop pain killers every few hours *sigh*

Based on our brief, some of us monitored conversations online, while the rest of us went out to do the monitoring in person. Below are four points I took away from ll the monitoring:

  • If you have to share any information online that isn’t originally yours, please time stamp it, otherwise you end up doing more harm than good. So you don’t come on Twitter at noon, see an incident your friend tweeted about 8am, and then start retweeting furiously. Especially in a crisis, it only serves to hype tensions and spread terror; it’s even worse if you’re sharing the information after the problem has been solved/crisis has been quelled. @Channels_TV was guilty of doing that severally, and at some point I had to tweet at them.
  • Sift through whatever information you accept. People will do anything to get a retweet, or a random follower, even if it means peddling absolute falsehood. It is your responsibility to verify before you accept. There was a particular incident during the elections where someone was tweeting from their bedroom in a city miles away from where the election was happening and tagging them ‘eyewitness reports’. Don’t fall into the hands of mischievous people.
  • People want to know. @rmajayi and I met a group of guys at one of the polling units holding the ReVoDa handbook. If you didn’t know, ReVoDa is an app that turns every one into a citizen reporter during elections. Powered via SMS and only functional with valid PU details, you can send a message about what’s happening at your polling center. One of them wasn’t sure what the app could do but we explained and he said he’d download it and use after he voted. That felt good, like we had just ‘converted him’.

Our convert. Lol….

  • Put your actions where your belief is. I believe the elections of 2015 will be different in the sense that not only will there be more eligible voters than there are now, but people more than ever are aware of the power their votes have, and are motivated more than ever to wield that power. Doesn’t matter if they’re voting for a candidate because he built a water fountain, it’s their choice.

Tired as we were, we took some pictures when we all got back, especially with @nigerianblogger who got arrested with @governoryves earlier in the day; full story is here. By the way, looks like ‘Oshiobaba’ is going to win!

From left to right that’s Mercy, Dipo, Me, Jide, and Scott!