Posts Tagged ‘Social media’

Welcome to November! Whoop! Like play, like play, we’ve come to my favorite part of each year, Christmas! Whoop! Even though technically we’re still like 40 days from it, I’m still excited!

Anyway, a bit about the last week of October and the things I got up to –this last week was super interesting, with lots of mixed feelings/emotions. Start from Monday, and of course I had meetings to attend, and general business to take care of. Met up with my mentor/principal, and spent the evening at an event with him and a few others. Good fun, even though I wished it ended at least 30 minutes earlier than it did.

Tuesday I did quite a bit of reading, prepping for classes I would teach on Wednesday and Thursday. See, I’d been invited by Gatefield Learning to facilitate at training for Nonprofits. Of course it had to do with social media, would I have been teaching them aeronautics or neurology? Ha ha ha. Great things in the offing with Gatefield, and I’m looking forward to a consolidation of that working relationship.

On the first day I taught the basics and history of social media, auditing the social media for their organizations and personal vs corporate communication via social. And on the second day, I took the class through a bit about mobilization via digital, focusing on ingredients for a successful campaign.

So, Wednesday morning, bright and early, JT and I pushed off to the venue of the training, and after standing (and talking) for two hours, I had a bit of lunch, watched a bit of Scandal (more like I binged on 3 episodes at once), and then I went home. I can testify to being marvelously helped, and I was on a high, ready for day two!

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Second day my class started at noon so I didn’t have to run out of my house early in the day but if you know me well, you’ll know I still ran. Lol. Got there, delivered my presentation, and had to leave immediately cos I had other things to do. On the way I chatted with a lady, fresh from university and she told me she was always scared of networking, the thought of meeting new people always terrified her cos she was scared of getting snubbed. It was nice to encourage her and tell her of the benefits these meetings offer.

Then, I went off to a 3pm meeting that didn’t start at 3pm because the person wanted to ‘quickly dash somewhere’. Meeting eventually started at 3.45pm, good thing was it was super fruitful. Couldn’t be more pleased.

Dropped a colleague off about 6.27pm, and then I was battling within myself whether to take JT to be bathed and primed, or to buy Indian takeout for dinner with the fam. Somehow the car wash won over the Indian and I went to give JT a good bath at one of my favorite shops in Wuse 2. Did I mention that for some reason, JT who would go from 0-80 in seconds was having trouble picking speed? I felt like it was God getting me to go slower so I didn’t bother.

I drive into the car wash and the attendant motioned frantically for me to get out of the car. I grabbed my laptop (sigh) and jumped out. Apparently, JT was smoking and my royal majesty didn’t notice!

According to them, I was a few minutes from a ‘knocked engine’ or even worse because the temperature dial of the car was hitting the red notes! My dear, the realization of how bad things could have gone pissed me off and made me super grateful at the same time.

After I gave the car dealer an earful, I rang Ace who dispatched a driver to rescue my now shaking self. Where would we be without friends who give life to being literally ‘a call away’?

Anyway, so the next day they fixed whatever upset JT and made her overheat and all of that unpleasantness. And I still grabbed my Indian that night.

I’m just super grateful for the mercies of God that kept me safe and directed my wheels to the car wash over the Indian restaurant (considering that I love food). So grateful.

 

*Written in November 2014

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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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 weeks ago I sat with some friends in one of my favorite places in Lagos (Terra Kulture) and we talked about everything, ending somewhere between relationships, entrepreneurs, that kind of thing.

How did it even start? I know there was a statement made about the scarcity of good men and after both males and females argued a little bit about generalizations, we talked about the difficulties young people face in relationships, either in starting or keeping them.

I totally forgot about that conversation till I was going to blog about Social Media Week Lagos and as I was noting talking points, I remembered the session on ‘Women in Tech’ and how disappointed my friends and I were at the gloss that was slathered on the entire discussion.

Matter of fact, my friend Saratu asked a question that echoed all my sentiments. She wanted to know why none of the speakers spoke about the challenges they’d faced in building their businesses, why no one was telling the real stories behind whatever successes they were currently standing on.

Here’s a personal experience. In 2012 I was in a bank, frustrated with my account officer because they’d said I could get pounds from the branch and then I drove all the way to Area 11 and I don’t remember what excuse they’d given but I was pissed off.

While I was discussing with the said account officer, a much older man asks to borrow my pen. I give it to him and when he’s done, he says I’m pretty and he wants my number. Now, if you read my blog you’ll know the day before I travel is normally the crazy day where I have 1000 things to do, I’m literally running/speeding everywhere and even 26 hours wouldn’t do. Plus, I was ticked off at the bank so a much older man asking for my number was the last thing I was in the mood for. I refused with the last bit of respect I had and after he asked why I was sweating and in a foul mood, I mentioned I still had a client’s office to visit, I had a trip to get ready for etc.

Long story short, we exchanged cards, he wanted me to prepare a social media strategy for the ministry in which he was a director of finance or something. I did, adapted one I’d written for another client, and emailed it that night.

My quote was at least 60% cheaper than the other proposals he had received (he’d given them to me when I swung by to collect a brief) and with the elaborate document I handed in, to my mind it was a matter of when.

I called a few times from Blighty and he said they didn’t have ‘network’ in the office for him to read it, and one day he talked about him coming over so I could explain it to him. A director of a ministry flying (all the way) to England so a prospective strategist could explain her proposal? Lol.

Let’s end the story quickly. I refused to play nice, so he stopped taking my calls and one day told me he was going on a one-year course and not/never to call him again. And that was that. I remember ranting on Twitter, and Ruona Meyer encouraging me in my DMs. I won’t forget that.

So, back to the discussion at Terra Kulture, I said something about unconsciously putting up walls whenever I interacted with men partly because of work and how the slightest smile is misconstrued as ‘consent’ and then a ‘no’ becomes a problem because you led them along (by smiling). I talked about how it was easier (and better) for me to be first seen as mean/hard looking and then soften up (maybe) as the work takes off properly instead of being taken for a ride from day one.

I mentioned how those walls then become a problem when you’re with your special someone because they might feel like you’re not completely open with them but it’s just you forgetting that you can take a break from protecting yourself because relationships should be safe spaces. It’s just you transferring your protective shell/demeanor to a space where you can/should be vulnerable. And that causes problems.

That’s just one challenge.

How many women have to work twice as hard while the rest of the world preaches ‘ empowerment/inclusion’ and ‘giving women a place on the table’? How many women become who they are politically only because they are married to or are children of the Old Boy’s Club? How many of us are frustrated day in day out with the weakest links around our projects?

Here’s another reason why I feel like women should be just a bit more ‘open’ with these conversations. We have these events and everything sounds like a piece of chocolate cake, freely handed out to us because we’re ‘whoever we say we are’. And so the young women listening press forward, maybe even decide to switch careers because we have it so good here.

Then they come and are buffeted with all sorts of challenges they didn’t imagine were possible or are prepared for in the slightest. And then they run away. Or they give in to whatever pressures they have find they have to (furthering the ugly stereotype). Very few will dig their heels in, and fight to get that place on the table.

At the next gathering of women we’ll lament that there are very few entrepreneurs. There will be, because they’re not ready!

It’s the same thing for relationships to be honest, but that’s a totally different discussion for another day.

Final word – can we be a bit more honest with these things? Sure. So let’s do/be that.

Good morning!

Happy New Year! How did you spend the holidays? Did you have a good, restful break? I did. I sure did! I spent time with family in San Antonio, Houston, and of course, London. What a great time of refreshing, of love, of fellowship! I will blog about that trip in due course, don’t worry…

What are you up to this year? What plans/goals? Are you in the New Year resolutions gang? I stopped bothering with those a few years ago, prefer to work towards goals following on from the previous year. Profits me more to be honest. Are you on your way to ticking off those goals? January’s almost over!

What’s new, wherever you are? In Nigeria, we’re living and breathing the coming general elections – exciting, yet very tense times. One piece of advice if I may? Go out and vote. Please, go out and vote if you have your permanent voter card. If you don’t have it, try to collect it. Do it.

It’s 4am, and I’m working and watching my nephew sleep like a clock on my bed – dude is literally turning round in his sleep! He’s formed the habit of coming in for a cuddle at bedtime these days; sometimes he falls asleep here, other times he leaves. Today was one of those ‘sleep with aunty Boo Boo’ kind of days. God is gracious I tell you, who are we that He entrusts the care of these precious ones in our hands? Truly gracious.

What’s new for me this year? Work (duh, lol) – God is opening great and effectual doors and I am more than grateful. Like, jaw-dropping doors, and I can only receive grace to be effective, efficient, and of course to remain grounded.

What else is new? I have a new-found love for all music of South African origin. I’ve become hooked on people like Solly Mahlangu, Keke Phoofolo, Zaza, Benjamin Dube, Ntokozo Mbambo, etc! Vocals are incredible, the intensity of their worship, I’m in love! And I found this site where I can sing along to the lyrics of my favorite songs – what a blessing!

What says I can’t push off to South Africa to watch either (or all) of them in concert this year? My birthday is in May so that’s a gift idea for you. Yes you!

This was intended to be quite short and so let’s stop here. I pray this year is all you dreamed it to be, and I ask for grace and strength so that we all put in the work it takes.

Have a fabulous 2015!

Love,

FGS.

 

A bit of a background to the series starting today. I was recruited by Heinrich Boll to participate in something called a Book Sprint. It involved 8 writers, five days in seclusion, two facilitators, and one film maker to produce a book. All we had? A potential book title. Everything else? We’d have to figure out in the five days.

This Book Sprint ran from the 8th of November (exactly one week today) to the 12th. Over the next few days, I will chronicle the days spent at our lodgings. Ready? Here’s day one!!

So I woke up, feeling just a bit better than the day before. Do you remember what my yesterday was? Of course you do! If you don’t, read this (BrandiQ and All Souls Church – A day in the life of a strategist!). you’re welcome!

So, back to the 7th, I ate my leftover lunch from yesterday (beans and catfish and plantain), Terra Kulture is the truth!

There was the incident with me getting locked in (and yours truly only noticed when I was at the door and didn’t have the key) but thankfully, I made my flight. Thank you Arik! And big thank you to the hostesses who gave me all the water I needed on the flight, I was totally dehydrated.

Cabin pressure aggravated my inflamed tonsils and blocked nostrils – not a very sexy me getting off the plane sniffing, I can imagine people gave me just a little more space than normal.

Met Pearl and Kalu and we jumped in the car waiting to take us to our lodgings Driver? Funny guy. He was driving us and carrying on this really long conversation on the phone – yes, I told him to please not talk on the phone (never mind it is dangerous, his voice was so loud)!

Got to Dullion Suites, and first off I was disappointed there wasn’t a pool. Yep, I was upset there wasn’t a pool. Anyway, I settled in, and then I had to push off to my sister’s to exchange the things I had in my suitcase for clean, fresh clothes and things. Also, needed to pick up some documents and get JT. Want to see my room?

Do you like my ankara shorts? Love em! Comfortable as anything!

Do you like my ankara shorts? Love em! Comfortable as anything!

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Decent… Amen to white sheets, and not making my bed myself for the next few days!

Got home, there was no power (electricity in Nigeria is one big unfortunate joke), and there was another incident with my car keys so I was stuck.

Bg thank you to my sister who dropped me back at our lodgings. Was nice to meet everyone (details about them tomorrow), and then it was dinner time.

To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with it; don’t think any of us were. At all. I didn’t even take a picture (and y’all know I photograph just about everything I eat). Fatush salad was good, but that was it.

Went out with Elnathan, hung out with a few people. Good, interesting conversation about our darling Nigeria, with all its proclivities and current troubles.

Got back to the hotel, all plans for #TurnUp trumped by a lingering headache and exhaustion, I was in bed and asleep by midnight. Work begins tomorrow. Good night!

The 6th of November was a truly special day, one of those days that can truly be described as ‘full’, and I’m about to tell you how it went down! Or up, because it ended on such a high!

So, I’d flown into Lagos the night before after spending a few days with my darling parents, was truly a gift to have been with them, and I can’t stop thanking both of them for the sacrifices they make to keep me comfortable anytime I’m around!

Anyway, so I woke up that morning, chest tight, nostrils blocked, the leftover of a bad case of flu that refused to leave me alone. Show must go on abi? So I got ready, and headed to Civic Center where I’d been billed to speak alongside some very renowned speakers at the BrandiQ Symposium. My topic? Politics, social media, and young people – Tolu Ogunlesi had put me forward as a panelist cos he thought he wouldn’t be in the country and then when he found he would be around, he just came to support me. Hallelujah for friends/colleagues like him!

Keynote speaker was former UK High Commissioner Christopher Kolade, special guest of honor was the most lovely older gentleman Apostle Hayford Allile, and there were academics, other top-notch people like that. I was on the stage with people like Martins Oloja (Editor, The Guardian), and to be honest by the time he was done with his speech, the first thing I said when I took the mic was “how do you top a talk like that”? Thanks however be to God who always causes us to do brilliantly, and not shame Him, our families or our friends!

So, what did I talk about? I started with definitions of some key words in the Symposium theme, (participation, stakeholder, tokenism, and young person) and then I asked two questions:

  • How many people in the room have voter cards?
  • How many of us know the heads of our local government areas  (appointed or elected)?

How do we then (as young people) claim to be stakeholders in a thing we cannot participate in because we’re not registered? Really, how? Aren’t we tired of clicktivism? When do we move on to action, in this case enforcing our thoughts/ideologies with our votes?

Then it was off to stats on voting patterns, how social media is a means to an end but must not be misconstrued as the end in itself, and all of that good business. Event was great, I had a really good time! Potential client and writing gig in the offing too! Whoop!

It ended about 3pm, and then it was off to Terra Kulture for a quick lunch, dress change, and then flying down to All Souls Anglican Church in Lekki, where I’d been billed to speak on social media for play or business, from a Godly perspective.

IMG-20141004-WA0001My date was moved to the 6th because I signed up to something (which I have readied a series for) that would start on the 7th.

So I got to the venue late because I grossly underestimated the traffic and side note? Dear Lagosians, Lagos is not working! Your roads are horrible, even in the so-called posh areas. Yuck. Thankful for my Cabbie Abubakar who lives in Ajah and so knew all the hidden routes to take to avoid the traffic. Na wa!

Anyway, got there in one piece, and after the worship session, I was up! It was a small, intimate crowd, and it was structured a bit like this.

I started with 1 Corinthians 10:31 which I paraphrased as “whether you eat or drink, or tweet or Facebook, do it to the glory of God”. The rest of it is below…

  • About me
  • What is social media
  • How do you use social media – Proverbs 27: 17, Hebrews 10:24-25
  • How not to use social media – 1 Corinthians 15:33, Matthew 5:29
  • Careers in/around social media – Matthew 5:16

Pretty simple/straightforward right? The interesting thing really was introducing the word of God to the different points above. I had a marvellous time! I loved the question and answer session, and I have since made a blogpost off a quick consult I did following that event! Something to do with how we use LinkedIn, you should see it.

It gets even better – they gave me a plaque! I was so emotional, it means so much to have received this! And the prayers, aww, kiss of my life!

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Super grateful to JT for dinner, and then it was bedtime, and out of Lagos the next day to join the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Book Sprint in Abuja!

Crazy, crazy, schedule, but I love it!

xx

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DESIGNATION
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5. Advising and collaborating with management on content and social strategy
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Above 18 years old
Excellent writing ability
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CC Consulting is a 23rd Century – yes, 23rd Century – Social Media servicing company, duly registered in Nigeria that provides consulting services for individuals, companies and governments looking to achieve strategic goals via social media. We transform ideas, values and visions into professional design solutions that communicate and support our clients’ objectives.

By the second day, everyone had made friends, cliques had been formed, ad people generally knew who they were more comfortable hanging with.

We went to China town (isn’t it incredible how there’s a china town literally everywhere you go)? Dinner was fab though, and it was nice sitting and chatting with Sirenya (South Africa), Silindile (Botswana), and Kaushalaya (Sri Lanka) – lovely, lovely people!

Somehow, I had a lot of work to deal with from home, and by the end of the day, my presentation was moved to the next day.  Didn’t mind much though, because our sessions would hold at the world-famous Peace Palace!

The Peace Palace (also called the international sear of law) is a historic building, housing things like the International Court of Justice. By 2013, it had been in standing for 100 years, and is one of the United Nations heritage sites. Beautiful, breathtaking, I could go on and on!

Of course we took pictures!

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I presented a 20 minutes talk on ‘Young people and politics – transcending borders and maximizing impact via social media’.

It was such an honor to talk about Nigeria, to plot the graph of our social media usage and how, regardless of the horrible things we’re seeing now, we’re coming into our own because we recognize we have a voice and boy are we going to use it! I’m so proud of my peers, of every young person who is daring to be different in their little corners – it is because of you that there is hope for this country!

Of course there were questions about Boko Haram being a Muslim vs Christian war, the abduction of the 200+ girls from Chibok, Borno, and the usefulness (or not) of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag. Here’s a summary of my answers:

  1. Boko Haram is not a religious war – it is the ambition of a few made manifest in the most devilish way.
  2. The fact that 45 days after we still cannot agree on the exact number of girls missing is absolute cause for concern.
  3. The day we did the march to the National Assembly and got drenched in the rain, the Chibok community in Abuja thanked us for standing with them when no one believed their children were missing. When we saw international support (in the form of the celebrities and movements springing up to echo the hashtag), we (I know I did) felt encouraged to keep going out, day after day, after day. Are there people who have hijacked the hashtag for their selfish ambitions? Of course! Doesn’t take away from the fact that we need our girls back, now and alive!

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*While I am not particularly impressed with the ‘West’ coming in to help, I believe that the light the international community has shone on Nigeria and our practices will hopefully, embarrass us into effecting changes we desperately need.

There was another presentation by from , and I really loved learning about her country. Loved it! Plus she’s got such a love for travel and adventure, and a signature shot she does in each country!

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Enough of the talk, here are a few more pictures!

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Later that evening we had a speech performance by …. She’s amazing! Like, each time she was doing a speech, the hall would be so quiet it was incredible! She’s so good! Wish I would steal her and plant her in a room with our leaders so she can coach them. She’s so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So, if you didn’t know already, I am in Nigeria! Good news! Wondering how you will wrap your head around a social media campaign for your cause, idea or business? Holla! Email chioma(at)chiomachuka(dot)com, or tweet @chiomachuka.

You’re welcome to book a social media consultation,  and I’ve got great rates per the hour. Get in touch already!

 

Now, let’s get on to the flights and the chronicle for the day. One of the first things on my plate soon as I came in was a trip to Lagos, and that happened on Monday. When I was booking the tickets, I told myself I wanted to use an airline I had never used before, and somehow I ended up with Medview.

Cost? N19000, probably that high maybe because I booked it on the day; Aero was 19k too). Arik was about 24k for a single, and since I’m not minting money in my room, I decided on Medview.

Flight time was supposed to be 4.30pm but we started boarding at that time, meaning that we took off about 5pm.

Got into Lagos ok, we thank the Lord for safe travels. Lagos was great, working out of Red Media’s offices, planning big things, meeting people I’d known only on social media, I really had a good time!

All good things have an end though, and Wednesday evening was the time appointed for me to return to Abuja. Thanks to all the warnings about traffic, I set off for the airport about 3.30pm (for a 6.45pm flight). Got there about 5.30pm (hallelujah that I heeded the warnings), and I started reading, passing time.

At 6.45pm the first delay (for 25 minutes) was announced and I started berating myself (again) for picking a flight that late. A further 20 minutes delay was announced about 7.25pm. I quietly started making arrangements to spend another night.

Just before 8pm we were called to board, and there was a bit of drama when one passenger threatened to beat up one of the airline officials. Apparently the customer was lamenting the delays and the staff said something like, “am I the pilot?” Of course sentences like ‘do you know who I am’, ‘I can pay your salary’ etc., featured in the argument. Reminded me of a very despicable person I’ve had the misfortune of knowing and I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes.

We boarded and the pre-flight announcements began. Oh wait, not before some lady convinced herself she was going to have my seat, even though my seat was clearly marked ‘window’, and hers was marked ‘aisle’. Of course it didn’t happen. SMH.

The pilot came on and apologized for the delay, citing horrible weather in Abuja. Even though I’d seen tweets telling of the really shitty weather, I still rolled my eyes, and was going to keep rolling them when it hit me that the pilot was singing!

Oh my word! He was actually singing! Something along the lines of, ‘thank you for flying Aero Contractors today, you’re the reason we’re in business, we’re sorry for the delay, may God bless you, la la la la’. It was so cute! I was so amused! And he used the tune of a popular song (can’t remember which) but by the time he was done, we were all laughing and clapping, all the anger forgotten.

Concert done (lol), he mentioned there would be some turbulence as we approached Abuja but it was nothing to worry about, and then said to enjoy the flight.

As I am wont to do, I dozed. Was woken up by the hostess to take my snack pack, and I didn’t wake up again till we touched down. Either there wasn’t any turbulence, the pilots did a good job of maneuvering, or I was just too tired to wake up and notice. Of course God was in charge of the flight (let’s just get that straight).

It’s the first time I’d flown Medview ever, and the first time in a while I flew Aero, but I was so pleasantly surprised by the Aero flight. Shame I didn’t catch the pilot’s name; I would have asked for an autograph. Or even better, a selfie.

*Written on Wednesday the 9th of April

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Another one bites the dust…

Posted: February 9, 2014 in DAY 2 DAY
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Cory Monteith. Michael Jackson. Whitney Houston. What two things do these names have in common? Fame/wealth. Undisputed access to tons and tons of money, acclaim, all that good stuff.

The second thing is illicit drugs/death. Whatever it is they snorted, smoked, injected or inhaled, it led to their death, and very early too. Cory Monteith was 31, Michael Jackson was 50. Talk about lives being cut short.

Exactly one week ago, when I heard Philip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead on the 2nd of February with a needle still stuck in his arm and heroin (a special type called ‘Ace of Spades’) in packets around him, I was sad, then angry, then sad, and angry all over again.

Sad – he died young, he was just 46. He was very popular too, an Oscar award winner, and recently starred in Hunger Games (which by the way I have never watched and don’t think I will ever see because I don’t like fight fight).

Angry – are there not enough examples to prove that drugs are a sure way to die early?

Sad – heartbroken for his family, his wife/partner and their three young children. His parents, and the stigma of being related to the person ‘who died with a needle in his arm’.

Angry – what on earth made him go back to drugs after 23 years of being drug free? Whatever could have entered him all over again? They say his drugs could have been laced with something else. Ok, but why take them in the first place? Why?

I’m sure I could go the sad and angry route a few more times, but I won’t.

Psychologists say anything you do for 30 days becomes a habit – this man had been drug free for at least 8280 days! Then according to a report I read, he started abusing prescription pills, graduated to heroin, and then on to this substance that took his life.

I chatted with someone recently, and he told me the amount of thanks and gratitude he got because he gave him a $5 tip. 5 dollars. Reports say just weeks ago the now late Seymour withdrew $1200 from an ATM to pay for these drugs. $1200 on drugs when the next man is almost throwing a party because he was gifted 5 bucks.

Here’s another reason why I am angry – a child is attracted by the flickering light of a candle, and they want to touch it. Most times we let them because we know once it hurts them that first time, they most likely will not go back to it again. ‘Most likely’ because children have the attention span of a goldfish! Bless them.

23 years after, did he forget? Did he become so wealthy that he felt that the drugs would ‘fear/respect his money’ and not harm him? What was he thinking? The Bible says that the things that are written are unto us for examples.

Just like I wrote the ‘learn from it, don’t be it‘ post when Cory Monteith died, I’m writing again  – say NO to drugs. Say No, and mean it so much that whoever asked you before will be convinced you are not interested. You shouldn’t even be friends with such people in the first place!

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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