Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Hello people!

So, let’s catch up on my Saturday, and some thoughts accruing from that.

So I woke up to photos published by Dele Momodu in his new The Boss Newspapers about Diezani Allison-Madueke and how cancer has ravaged her body. It reminded me of my first degree, and how a particular lecturer would always say, “the medium is the message”. So, for instance, former president Goodluck Jonathan (and now President Muhammadu Buhari) have a peculiar penchant for talking to foreign media over our local journos. Why? The medium.

I feel like if that interview had been published by anyone else (insert the name of a print publication you trust/favor/think are credible), the backlash and accusation of image laundering would have been greatly reduced.

That said, I don’t like to have discussions about cancer when I can help it because it’s very personal to me, and regardless of who it is, somehow I’m always drawn back to 2013 and my aunt, etc. And I talked about that a bit on Saturday because I think that we’re slowly losing our humanity – this rejoicing we do when harm befalls someone. I talked along these lines when the death of Diepriye Alamieyeseigha was announced, I might publish thoughts on that too.

Another thing that amuses me is the deluded way we now ‘hold court’ on Twitter. Has someone committed a crime? Report to the appropriate authorities. Sue them. Charge them to court. Research, find out how you as an ordinary citizen can strengthen the case against them either by gathering signatures for a petition or writing to your local or national representative. But coming on Twitter to pronounce them guilty? Lol. So unfortunate. Even worse, you hear people say things like “they have to come on Twitter to defend themselves”. To whom/before who? Or else? Who are you again? This thing people smoke/drink that gives them wings should be studied.

It’s a dangerous trend we’re setting; ruining reputations on the basis of what one person (many times faceless) has said. What’s to say it’s not a smear campaign? What’s to say the facts haven’t been exaggerated? What’s to say… I could go on and on. And even if they were true, Twitter is not the place where a murderer or a rapist gets their comeuppance. If, for instance, someone’s been raped, the (logical) thing to do would be to report it. If the Police Station doesn’t treat you right (and that’s the more probable thing that will happen), come; let’s march to the Police Headquarters with you. Let’s write letters, raise a storm online that will translate to offline justice.

But don’t come on social media and ruin people’s reputation hiding behind a computer, especially with incomplete, potentially incorrect information. It’s just awful. Ugh! We say trials by the media are bad, well, mob action via social media is worse!

My mother says if you call someone a thief in the marketplace, if/when you find out the person is not a thief, you won’t be able to call everyone back to say you were wrong. Social media in many respects, is a marketplace, with no barrier. “The phone has become the predominant portal for Internet access,” says David Greenfield, a psychologist and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction in West Hartford, Connecticut. “Which means you can do it all the time. There is literally no threshold to cross.” So a lot of us have become thumb warriors, wreaking havoc and causing grief either because we’re influential, or because we want to be influential. It almost becomes a competition to see who can be the nastiest, who can be the most brazen.

This is where personal social responsibility comes in. Would you normally say everything that comes to your mind? Hopefully the answer is no. Why do we feel the need to act differently then because we’re online? Why do we not spare a thought before we click ‘send’?

We must as a matter of urgency, do away with the school of thought that says that the things we say online are without consequences. On the other side of the great power/influence that social media affords us are the greater risks. Freedom of expression/speech? Definitely, but with freedom comes responsibility. We cannot be touting freedom as an excuse to incite others to violence, to mask hate (under intellectualism especially), or to provoke mass hysteria.

A lot of us end up with egg on our faces because we jump into conclusions we’ve formed based on one side of the story (we and whoever we influence as we go) when we can look to the appropriate quarters for complete information.

We can do better. Let’s do better.


It’s my friend Tokes’ birthday today, and I thought I’d wish her a happy birthday by reminding her of the incredible time we had for her birthday last year! Ready? Not before you say a birthday wish and prayer for her… Done? Story story!

So, I spent most of September 2014 in England, and the original plan was to come to Nigeria on the 6th of October to follow through on existing and new projects. Two weeks to the day, plans changed, thanks to people who not only have my ‘mumu button’ but know when and how to deploy it!

Anyway, my plans changed from leaving on the 6th to the 11th of October because the 9th was Tokes birthday, and she wanted to spend it in Cardiff!

Who is this ‘keeper of my mumu button’? I met Tokes early in December 2013; we were on the same team planning Nigeria Dialogue’s fundraiser for January 19th 2014. Somehow God brought us together and after a meal at Busaba Ethai with Fumbi were we discussed everything from careers, food, to boys, Tokes and I have become literally inseparable. I couldn’t be more grateful for this gorgeous, beautiful-spirited young woman; she’s a real sister!

She’s also CEO of Bubble Tii in Nigeria! They’re on Instagram as BubbleTii, website is and you can find them on 34 Adeola Odeku beside Spice route VI. Call 09093840201 to get your deliveries anywhere in Lagos!

Anyway, before her head swells to uncontrollable proportions, let’s move swiftly on to the birthday do!

So, itinerary for the 9th of October included going to see John Legend play (whoop), and I remember that night we were battling with to secure our seats. Hilarity!

Before we knew it, it was the 9th. Whoop!!

Actually, the birthday fun started the day before; I’d booked a spa date for us at Crystal Palace, somewhere near Marylebone station (oshey GroupOn). It was so much fun!!

Anyway on the 9th Tokes had to drop her mom off at the airport, I had errands to run, etc. Of course we missed our trains, but here’s a photo of the birthday girl while we were waiting for the bus!

2014-10-09 12.28.48-1

Birthday lunch on the train? Hello Burger King! Anyway, a couple hours after (Cardiff is far jor), we got in, and here’s a very big thank you to the man we chatted to on the train who pointed us in the direction of our hotel!

2014-10-09 13.50.10

A couple selfies just to welcome ourselves to our lodgings – the 15th floor at Radisson Blu – and it was time to explore the city! And shop, smh. We decided however to start with Cardiff Castle and Museum and oh, what a beauty!

2014-10-09 17.08.57

The ceilings were everything!

2014-10-09 17.03.30

Now, we got to the there about 4pm. The museum was to close at 5pm, the House at 5.30pm, and we could traipse the grounds till 6pm. So, off to the museum we went! We were all shades of silly inside there!



If I had a gun...tra la la la la...

If I had a gun…tra la la la la…

Defeat the army Tokes, we're counting on you!

Defeat the army Tokes, we’re counting on you!

In solidarity with this nurse. Or the Red Cross. Or...

In solidarity with this nurse. Or the Red Cross. Or…

Then we went in the house, given as a gift to the people of Cardiff. So, while indigenes of the area are allowed in for free, people like us parted with £15 apiece to get in.

But it was lovely. Having a walk through the building, looking at the beautiful ceilings, the furnishing, how the Arabian room was strong with beautiful Arabian scents, it was all really beautiful! And we had the loveliest guide to talk us through everything, give us a bit of history, etc.

Sigh... We're supposed to be grown women o!

Sigh… We’re supposed to be grown women o!

But it was a lot of fun!

But it was a lot of fun!

This guy was the son of the man who gifted this castle to the people of Wales. So we decided to 'marry' him!

This guy was the son of the man who gifted this castle to the people of Wales. So we decided to ‘marry’ him!

Then, it was off to the castle! According to our electronic guide, there were 130 steps to get to the top, and we were determined to climb them all. And we did!


Climb every mountain...

Climb every mountain…


We went from singing ‘wiggle wiggle wiggle’ on the way up to begging God to guide us safely down when it started drizzling because the steps were so steep!

Imaginary friend: Who's that hot girl? Can I get her number?  Me: From up here? Hian!

Imaginary friend: Who’s that hot girl? Can I get her number?
Me: From up here? Hian!

We made it!!! 130 steps!!

We made it!!! 130 steps!!

Got down without incident (thank you Jesus) and after a quick dinner at Carlucci’s (everywhere was pretty swamped), we ran home to shower and change for John Legend’s concert! Whoop! The man himself!

I just love sea bass... #Foodie

I just love sea bass… #Foodie Don’t think I’ve ever eaten this quickly ever!

But first, a selfie, in the elevator!

This is the 'best' photo I can share o!!! The rest? For our private collection!

This is the ‘best’ photo I can share o!!! The rest? For our private collection!

Fortunately, Motor Point Arena, where the concert was to hold, was spits from our hotel so we made good time. And our seats were pretty decent; we were only 5 rows from the stage! Yaaaasss!!



Number after number John Legend serenaded the crowd – what an incredible, effortless performer! He talked us through some songs he’d been on when he was still coming up (I had no idea) and it was really nice that he acknowledged the people who helped him up on his journey.

Sometimes we stood, sometimes we sat, sometimes we screamed, other times we cried; emotion after emotion, Legend worked the crowd! I made two videos, so you can imagine you were there too!

What an incredible night!

Next day – breakfast where I overdosed on smoked salmon and salami, lol. We did a bit more shopping (sigh), and then we literally had to race for our train!

Still on a birthday high!!

Still on a birthday high!!

Tokes can photobomb for Africa...and Europe!

Tokes can photobomb for Africa…and Europe!

Here’s the incredible part. Soon as we got back to BlackHeath I shoved my things into a cab and we started racing to the airport! I know, but there was a flight to Nigeria I couldn’t (literally) afford to miss!

Babes do you remember there were flowers waiting when we got back home?

Babes do you remember there were flowers waiting when we got back home?

Happy birthday sweetie, hope I told the story of this super fabulous day correctly. I’m super glad you convinced me to stay and do this trip with you. We have to do Morocco together soonest! Love you!

Like every other Nigerian desirous of movement between two states with airports, I bought Arik Air tickets to Asaba for the 23rd of April, paid for them online.

That morning I rang our friend at the airport to get my boarding pass only to be told the airline had issues and wouldn’t be flying at all that day. I saw in the papers later that day that they were owing airport authorities over a billion naira and so were stopped from flying. The shameful thing is they were still selling tickets, with no plans in place to cater to customers with disrupted flights apart from “we apologize for the inconveniences caused!” Why?

Anyway, since Aero unceremoniously stopped flying to Asaba about two weeks to this date (their site said no flights till the second week of May – again for no reason at all), my only option was to go by road and get a refund from Arik. Suffice to say, one full month plus after I’m still talking to Arik about this refund – it’s incredible.

Road trip abi? I haven’t done this in a loooong time so I was excited, very curious too. The entire gist about roads getting fixed, etc, I was more than eager to see. I was also curious about the rest stops on the way, like has anything about them changed from the time my main means of interstate transportation was by road? Would I sleep as soundly as I do on planes? Would I have a neighbor who wouldn’t shut up? Questions, questions, questions.

Friday morning I got to Dunamis Motors (a long distance car service) where I would have just taken a car by myself, and they said all their cars had been chartered. No surprises there at all.

I went to Delta Line, and there were only buses, the cars had left. Ok. I decided to buy up a row of seats so I would be comfortable/by myself/undisturbed. I explained to the lady selling them said she had two seats on the row I wanted and then one at the back of the bus. I explained (like the 3rd time) that I was the only one travelling so single, scattered seats all through the buses wouldn’t profit me much.

When she offered me the same two seats on a row and then one of the seats in front with the driver, I quietly paid for the two I already had and went to sit down.

When it was our turn we boarded the bus, and I made sure to tell the older gentleman beside me I paid for the two seats because I wanted space, and then I started arranging my bag to fall asleep. A loud voice (coming from a very elderly lady) totally cussing out the driver delayed the sleep; apparently she’d seen him smoking something and asked him if he was the driver. He said no. Then he gets in the driver’s seat and she proceeds to rain curses that reminded me why I should never piss off an elder. She cursed him, his generation, on and on and on till people started begging her, that the guy she was heaping all these curses on was going to drive us (including her) to Asaba. Then she chilled.

Two minutes after the door was shut, THE SAME LADY said we should “commit the journey AND THE DRIVER into the hand of Master Jeses” I started laughing. Hilarity. The same driver you just cursed out? Ahn Ahn!

No jokes o, this old lady started singing and invited us ‘children of the Most High God’ to join her in worshipping the Lord. So from ‘in the morning’, to ‘all glory glory glory’, ‘we are gathering together’, brethren in Christ, we sang. I was so amused!

Songs and prayers over, the driver drove into a petrol station, where we spent the next 50 minutes waiting to buy fuel. I nearly lost my mind. How do you pack all of us into this kind of rubbish movement? What happened to getting fuel BEFORE picking us?

It gets worse. For the hour we spent on the queue, guess how much fuel we bought? N1870. The princely sum of one thousand, eight hundred and seventy naira, including the 10-litre gallon he said he would need (which of course we ended up not needing). Kai. I haven’t been that angry in a while.

Well, we set off, finally, and I can count at least 6 times we nearly hit another car, a pole, ran into the bush, flew over a speed breaker, or some other avoidable incident. At a point I wondered if it wasn’t the curses working a little quickly.

We got to the rest stop (I promise I don’t remember where it was again), and I went to pee. The young girl manning the place nearly followed me inside the cubicle in the name of calling me ‘ma’. When I was leaving I tipped her, and then had to ask her to stop following me. Even if I had a child and didn’t know, SMH.

Got back outside and the bus and driver had disappeared. Hian!! At first I thought I’d taken too long and the bus had left me till I saw a cluster of the other passengers talking at the top of their voices, asking for our driver dearest. I started laughing, and checking that I had WIFI so I could tweet and ask for anyone in the area to come get me. Moved closer to the passengers and someone said the driver went to fix his brakes, that they were bad.

What!!! Bad brakes and we’d come all this way? Sigh. The things we do beggar belief walai. And he couldn’t even tell anyone, it was the lady he bought water from who told us!!

He came back, didn’t apologize to anyone (matter of fact started raking that we should be lucky he noticed the brakes were dodgy). Of course that meant I didn’t sleep from there to Asaba, we were all driving with the guy.

God being most merciful, we got into Asaba ok. A lot later than we should have, but we got in ok. And Momma came to get me from the park, so I promptly forgot the driver. Till I was searching through my bad for aspirin (naughty headache that’s refused to go away) and I saw the ticket for that trip.

And I had a good laugh. And then I chronicled the trip for you.

PS – Written on the 23rd of April.

Now this was one interview that I enjoyed, but took the longest time to sort out! And it’s my fault… The process of getting an entrepreneur, scheduling and having the interview, and then writing up can be a lot but nope, not making excuses. Just trying to get you to temper justice with understanding!

Right! We’re bringing this interview right after the one with the King of Interns with a personal friend and all-round gorgeous lady, Adetola Taylor. Now Detola is a mom, a Dentist ( the prettier ones are usually put in Dentistry she says *wink*) who graduated from the University of Lagos and has a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Warwick.

She’s also the brain behind MsNella products. The range currently features hair and body butters made from a Shea butter base.

Let’s get into it already!

FGS: Let’s start with the number 3 – if you were told everything you had would be taken from you and you could only keep three things, what would they be?
DETOLA: Hmm, do these three things include people or just inanimate objects?
FGS: Any three… you decide if you want to mix them or not!
DETOLA: My wedding rings, my family, my memory
DETOLA: Phew! Never had to answer that question before. Definitely a difficult one.
FGS: Love your answer! Let’s talk a bit about your work – how does a doctor dabble into hair and body butters?
DETOLA: Haha! I’ve always been fashionable I guess. I repressed it cause I thought I needed to be taken seriously. And spending all that time in medical school never really leaves room for much else.
DETOLA: I stumbled on the hair butter by accident. I had just had a baby and while I have been blessed with good hair all my life, I realised I was losing hair because the pregnancy hormones were slowly leaving my body. My hair was coming out in tufts. So I decided to give my hair a breather from relaxers (I usually used to apply relaxers twice a year prior to baby)
DETOLA: While on the break from relaxers, I started researching into products that would help me restore my hair and nurse it back if you will, to former status and that’s how the hair butter came to be.

Detola 1

FGS: You must have hit gold with your research because you now produce the hair butter and distribute across continents! How easy was it going commercial?
DETOLA: Not very easy, because now that I am no longer selling to friends and family I have to put systems in place.
DETOLA: I now have to register the business, get a NAFDAC number and think about an advertising budget and distribution.

FGS: Do you have that locked down now? Can I apply to join your sales team?
DETOLA: Ha ha! I wouldn’t say I do. You see money answereth all things. I am working on raising capital to execute it all though.

FGS: How does your family feel about their doctor mom/wife/daughter’s side hustle?
DETOLA: Very supportive (well except my dad who doesn’t know that I have a beauty side hustle). In actual fact, they believe producing these products are way better suited to me than being a doctor. Oops!
FGS: Two things that make you keep on whenever you feel like giving up?
DETOLA: 1. Testimonials from customers. It humbles me to have a product that someone actually wants. 2. My husband. His total belief in this business leaves me no room to throw a pity party.
FGS: How do you juggle the home, school, and your business?
DETOLA: Honestly? I don’t know
DETOLA: Sometimes I think I’m mad
DETOLA: Ha ha. My friends have called me mad
DETOLA: But I grew up tough and I think that has helped shape my perspective of life. Someone out there is doing this and has not died so why can’t I?

Detola 2
FGS: Lol… What would you tell a young potential entrepreneur to watch out for?
DETOLA: Hmmm… Amass a war chest.
DETOLA: I’m no entrepreneur honestly. I just found a business doing stuff I like. Hard-core entrepreneurs go all out. I just believe I have been lucky and even I don’t believe in luck :)
FGS: But surely you have done a few things right to be where you are today…
DETOLA: I must have ☺. Knowledge is not overrated. If you’re going to do something, know it in and out. If there is a part of your business you believe you will need help with, get the best help you can find. I am totally poor when it comes to doing the books but I get help with these things.

FGS: And I have to ask, how do you source your ingredients? Locally (Nigerian) or from international locations?
DETOLA: Since I’m currently in the UK, I source from here. Back when I was in Nigeria, I used Nigerian sources. Either way, I find the cheaper source and keep my products affordable.

Because I was rounding up my masters, I put the business on hold. Attending a cosmetics course in the summer and relaunching with new packages. Keep an eye out!
FGS: Ok. Finally, one thing you’ve done that you’d do again, again, and again…
DETOLA: Not see the whole staircase but take the first step.
FGS : That’s it!
FGS : You’re amazing Detola. Thank you!
DETOLA: No, thank you! Thank you!!

And that's my gorgeous friend and brain behind Ms Nella, Detola!  PS: Her efo riro is not even of this world! Dang!

And that’s my gorgeous friend and brain behind Ms Nella, Detola!
PS: Her efo riro is not even of this world! Dang!

All MsNella products can be purchased from the online store or physically from SocialLagos-94 Awolowo road Ikoyi. You can also find MsNella products on Konga.

Sorry for the break in transmission with this story, there were things like work and my birthday to get through!! Whoop!

Right! So part four now,  (because I know you’ve read one, two, and three), I’ll be reproducing the Roundtable proper. First off, there was so much knowledge in the room, and I know I asked myself more than once how I was that privileged to be in the room with the calibre of people there!

My amazement under control, there were quick introductions and a first word that elicited comments like “as we think of futures and foresight/fore sighting we must not forget where we are coming from and where we are now”.

Foresight is super important because it helps create policies that cater to eventualities; helps governments be better prepared to handle anything that comes their way and leave an easier tomorrow for the ones coming after them.

We talked about the key trends Africa should be focusing on and their potential effects on individual countries, and the continent. We also discussed the role of business, entrepreneurship, the potentials with industrialization, and what exactly we’re doing with donors and their monies.

Totally fascinating discussion, and for me was an eye-opener into the reason why we got some themes to write on that I thought weren’t for ‘today’. It was also really interesting listening to the different perspectives and how issues feed into each other, whether they be across countries, regions, or even the continent.

Here’s a video from the day that might help put things in perspective…

And there was this too!

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 17.29.29

There’s also a storify you can catch up with here as well –

There was a quick tea break and we were back discussing. Can I just say that the organization of the event was spot on? So down to the folders we received, you could see the painstaking effort that went into making everything look feel spotless.

Here’s the thing. Africa needs to look inwards, within its local spaces for answers to its problems rather than backing each other and looking to institutions they think care about them but in truth are just looking out for themselves. (An Igbo proverb says you cannot use someone else’s eyes to see).

There’s a lot about Foresight for Development that will interest you, and you, and you, and I encourage you to visit the website, and get an education. And thank me later!

And you can search our hashtag #SAMPNODE if you just want to catch up on the conversation for the day. I know I was tweeting a lot.

Long day over, we moved to a cocktail by the pool, and then on to dinner. Here’s what I had, and we got another helping of brownies and fresh custard. Bliss.

Next morning Ruth and I went to Sandton City Mall, and first off, we took pictures, which I suddenly cannot find. So annoying! Like I know they are in a folder on my computer but I can’t for the life of me remember what folder! Sigh…

Then we went in and bought a few things. We had to rush cos we both had flights to catch; she to Uganda, and I to Abuja via Addis Ababa. I’m keen to visit South Africa again, and this time go to Soweto; I hear there are stark disparities between the posh Morningside/Sandton areas and Soweto and the other inner communities. I’d also like to attend a concert, I’ve fallen in love with a number of South African gospel choirs and I can’t wait to hear them!

We made it to the airport just in time; Ruth had to run for her flight, and I had just enough time to decide I wasn’t going to waste my money on the overpriced items at the Duty Free stores or change the rands I had back to dollars because it just seemed like a proper rip off. I’ll spend it another time biko.

Was very unfortunate to sit beside a really smelly man, but he didn’t talk to me and I distracted myself sufficiently with all the movies I watched so that wasn’t too bad.

We got to Addis ok, and glory be to God I was put in another hotel! Panorama hotel was lovely! There was WIFI, the room was clean, smelling really nice (I really do have a thing for scents and smells), and I had a wonderful shower. I slept very well.

The food however, was still rubbish, leading me to think that what Ethiopians have in beauty/figures, they lack in foods and preparation of meals. But maybe it’s just me, and the places I’ve eaten/had to eat in so far.

I did something interesting while I was waiting for the flight, passport watching. I would look at passports of everyone who passed by me trying to figure out what their own ‘green’ was (there are apparently a lot of African countries with ‘green’ passports). That was fun to do.

Next morning, hopped back on a plane, and in a few hours, I was back in Nigeria. I think I was too tired on this flight to make any notes, so I just ate, and slept. And was grateful for the gift of writing, and the opportunity to write, and oh-so profitably.

That’s it, SA Chronicle done!

First off, there is a reason why I’m posting this the morning after – the way I felt yesterday morning wasn’t exactly the way I would have wanted to feel when I was writing this so I said I’d wait. And I’m glad I did!

So!! How did my birthday go?

I took a couple calls past midnight, and then afterwards I couldn’t sleep. You know when stuff just makes you think about your life, think about what you’re doing with yourself and how you want the rest of the year to go? Those kinda thoughts? Yup.

Finally fell asleep about 6am, was up at 7.45am when my sister sang happy birthday to me. Promptly pissed off my nephew who wanted to sing first so we had to beg him, and we made up for it by carrying him downstairs to the car. Na wa. Whoever said parents are slaves to children didn’t lie! Not like I’m complaining though, this munchkin has my heart!

Right. After they left I made myself boiled potatoes and egg sauce, and then I walked a mile with one of my exercise videos. I would have used the Brutal Hiit one but my sides and thighs were still super sore from the routine I did on the 19th. Na wa. This #FitFam life!

Had a shower, wore a new dress (very simple and pretty) and then it was off to Sheraton for a lecture from the Commonwealth Royal Society. I made some notes so expect that post in a bit. After the guest speaker was done, I went off to ‘chase money’. Did some work for some guys and how many months after, it just seemed like it was taking a while. Apparently it was God who asked me to go there because the person who was handling my paperwork had gone on leave. And didn’t hand over to anyone. Why? I was out of the country myself a week ago but I was still in touch. Why do people do that?

Anyway, that bit sorted, I went off to two banks to sort some transactions, then it was off to Chloe’s Cupcakes to get bites for the guys at the office. I think they loved the cakes!! Found out later that the POS transaction which I thought didn’t go through, went through. So I paid twice. Will definitely go back there today. Guess what? I didn’t even have a cupcake!

Got to the office, did some delegation (always great to do that, especially when the hands are competent), and then I had a quick, cheerful chat with one of the best bosses I’ve had in a while. I got the biggest compliments ever, that I had lost weight!! Yes! Yes! Yes! I know, normally, I’m annoyed with people commenting on my weight (and Nigerians loooooooove to do that) but abeg, I’ve been working hard for the past three weeks and it was nice that there was any change. Whoop!!

Sped off to a quick meeting which I will sign off on at 9am this morning, and then it was off to meet my sister and nephew at our aunt’s place.

Was nice to play with her children and just catch up with her, and she loaded our car with fruits as we were leaving. Team #FitFam in the building! Whoop!

We went to grab Indian, took it home, sat on the floor and ate it joyfully, and then my nephew insisted I carry him on my back. I did, and he was asleep two minutes later. By the way, my boy’s class have a sports competition on Friday and apparently, guess who’s representing his class? Ahh! Nothing on earth is going to stop me from attending! So excited!

Climbed into bed, took a couple more calls, and then it was lights out. A truly beautiful, fun day. Friday, we turn up!! Like, all the way up!! Massive love to my friends who are coming in from out of town to share that day with me, thank you!!

All through the day people were calling, others were texting, Twitter went crazy, folks put up messages on Instagram, Facebook, everywhere! God bless you guys! By the way, I found (thanks to @MrBankole) another Chioma on Twitter whose birthday was yesterday as well! Talk about namesakes and birthday mates!!

I’m grateful for a new year, for life, family, the opportunities in the offing, the lessons I’ve learned, people I’ve met, everything I’ve been blessed with, and the miracles I see every day.

I remember this day! It was a concert just before the elections! With these two guys (there's one more, Andy), I can confidently look for trouble anywhere!

I remember this day! It was a concert just before the elections! With these two guys (there’s one more, Andy), I can confidently look for trouble anywhere! And it does look like a mugshot!!

Thank you Boss, the one and only Big Mo! Still waiting to come on your show!

Thank you Boss, the one and only Big Mo! Still waiting to come on your show!

Dearest Mimi!! Thank you boo thang!

Dearest Mimi!! Thank you boo thang!

My one and only chekeleke who's flying in for my party on Friday! Love you boo!

My one and only chekeleke who’s flying in for my party on Friday! Love you boo!

Hello brurva!! Lol!!! Only Henry and the rest of the 'family' will understand...

Hello brurva!! Lol!!! Only Henry and the rest of the ‘family’ will understand…

Ha ha ha!! I sacrificed the photo of me for the message Anino wrote because it totally cracked me up! Last year I did the Sky Dive, and this year I think I'm going to climb Kilimanjaro. Hence all the warnings!!

Ha ha ha!! I sacrificed the photo of me for the message Anino wrote because it totally cracked me up! Last year I did the Sky Dive, and this year I think I’m going to climb Kilimanjaro. Hence all the warnings!!

So, have you been following the story?

Part one is here,


Part two is here.

You’re welcome!! Now, let’s get on with part three!

Hello Johannesburg! Na wa… First thing? There was a certain coldness I saw with the officials at the airport, seriously. I can’t explain, and I don’t want to sound prejudiced to all the stories I’d heard about the place, but there was that coldness I noticed.

Anyway, so when it got to my turn I walked up to the officer and said why I was in the country and that I was leaving in 48 hours. He asked a few questions about my visa and while I was rolling my eyes (in my mind), I noticed some guy trying to explain away his life to another officer and the officer repeatedly saying, “ I don’ believe you, I don’t believe you will leave.” No the young man wasn’t Nigerian; his accent was from a region (in Africa) I won’t mention because I couldn’t see his passport so I’m not sure.

As I took my passport back and walked away, I wondered if they would bounce him, and what fine his country would have to pay. And then I thought about a world so equal (or close to equal) that people could come and go as they pleased. Sigh.

Got my suitcase and the driver was waiting. His name is/was Max, and he gave us quite the tour as we drove to 20 West, Morningside, somewhere in Sandton. Benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t have changed so much money for a 48 hour trip; now I have to find/squeeze another trip to SA to spend it. I’ll explain this sentence later.

On the way, we listened to radio, and at some point a song came on which I heard for the first time in San Antonio last Christmas. Guess what I did? I rang my cousin Chuma so he could hear the song! Lol! Such a laugh.

20 West is beautiful. Repeat after me, 20 West is beautiful. It’s both a hotel and self-catered apartments, and somehow, because my room was given out by mistake, I was upgraded to a self-catered apartment. Thank Jesus for mistakes that turn out to be blessings. Somebody shout halleluyah!

I went upstairs, and after oohing and aahing over the place, I took pictures! Want to see? Of course you do!

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All of this and I’m just here for two days? Please, amen to another trip already!!

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I gushed about the view so much I forgot to take a picture! Lol…

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Err, my photography skills were not up to the point of getting everything in this room. I missed the shower (left the toilet bowl out intentionally though, nothing special there biko)

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Then I hid my #FitFam uniform in a closet and ordered the juiciest burger I’ve had in a bit, complete with an extra helping of avocado. And a hot chocolate ( I know, I can’t be helped). And then I went to sleep. Peaceful sleep.

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Look at all that cheese… get in there!!


Woke up a couple hours later, caught up with Ruth Aine (who I first met in Germany in july 0f 2014), and after I spoke to friends and family, had a shower, watched a bit of TV, it was dinner time.

All about the Braai

Truth is, I would have passed up on dinner if Ruth didn’t mention we were having a “braai”which is the local name for a barbecue of sorts of different types of meats. So if I said, ‘I want to braai it’, I could easily have said ‘I want to barbecue it’.

Unfortunately, we were a bit disappointed. The meats weren’t super tender/exciting, and there weren’t enough options for it to really qualify.

Even the potatoes weren't all that...

Even the potatoes weren’t all that… Ah. Sausage was lovely…

But, the corn was super tasty ( we had a lot of corn), and Benjamin Mipanghi, the Food and Bar Supervisor said yes to our request for fresh custard for our brownies. That was lovely!!

You can never go wrong with fresh custard!

You can never go wrong with fresh custard!

He also told me about a local dish I know I’m going to try when next I’m in South Africa; it’s called papa and mogudu, which is a maize meal and beef/tripe/offals stew. Even though I’m not one for offals (you’ll never find me in line for ‘assorted’ meat), I’m looking forward to trying this one. Really looking forward.

Dinner over, it was back in the room for a bit more work, a bit more TV, and then bed. Not before I took this incredible picture (if I must say so myself) of the view of the pool from my floor. Incredible.



Good night everyone, come back for part four soon!!

Right! So two days ago we started on the prep and the trip to South Africa via Addis Ababa for Foresight for Development’s Africa Roundtable. Of the options I was given for travel, I chose Ethiopian Airlines because I wanted the stopover story…

Good idea or not? We’re about to find out!

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We got into Addis about 8pm, and I was starving! We had to fill out forms with our seat numbers, country of departure, etc. thanks to Ebola, and then it was time to retrieve my luggage and find the bus which would take me to the hotel I’d been allocated.

Apparently, the name of the hotel was, ‘Ethiopia’. Turned out to be horrible. Jesus Christ! The WIFI only worked in the reception, the porter was rude, the food was (I cannot explain), and the room? On and on and on, I could complain for days, and you know I’m not exactly finicky. Kai.

Looks lovely, but believe me, this explains the 'not all that glitters is gold' saying perfectly!

Looks lovely, but believe me, this explains the ‘not all that glitters is gold’ saying perfectly!

Kai. I’m just upset. However, I bought a really lovely satchel I want to use as a laptop bag. Paid $10 for it, and the strap cut before I left the country. Tourist behaviour I know.

Next morning I got dressed and went down for breakfast before the ride to the airport. Note that I slept hungry (two bottles of coke helped, but only a bit), so I was looking forward to a good meal.

The 'orange juice' tasted like all those concentrates we used to dilute in secondary school, only that this one had been diluted waaaaaaaay too much! Ended up eating only the bread roll (with their sexy butter).

The ‘orange juice’ tasted like all those concentrates we used to dilute in secondary school, only that this one had been diluted waaaaaaaay too much! Ended up eating only the bread roll (with their sexy butter)… The other things I didn’t understand.

Left for the airport and the entire stretch there was a heavily armed policeman (more like army if you asked me) every block or so. Seemed weird, too much policing biko. Also seemed like everyone was running in one direction or the other (in the name of #FitFam), sometimes completely unconcerned by oncoming cars or bikes. I asked someone and she said the punishment for a driver knocking anyone down (especially if the person dies) is life imprisonment. Wow. Premium placed on the lives of their citizens as far as I am concerned; don’t know that it means people shouldn’t have common sense sha.

I was also told that you’re encouraged not to invest in the country if you’re not Ethiopian. Like, it doesn’t profit you and the government will work to frustrate you out. So much for foreign investment that Nigerian leaders are always junketing about for.

Ah! Before I forget, the sun rises very early in Addis! Like really early! About 5am it felt like noon… and there were a lot of people playing footie when we went outside. Looks like a lot of interest in fitness if you asked me!

I was excited to be back at the airport and away from that horrible, horrible hotel. Please don’t ever go there if you want a good night’s rest. The plane to Johannesburg was a lot better (did I mention in the first post that my seat was dodgy) and the food was lovely. Sexy butter anyone?

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On this flight I watched Penguins of Madagascar (love it), and B is for Boy, a film in Igbo. B is for Boy was incredible, and even though I didn’t like the way it ended (felt like the writer got tired and just wrote ‘the end’ in the middle of the story), it was a good film, telling the struggles of women trying for male kids because of tradition. It was very touching, the tribulation she suffered, and reinforced for me that in a marriage, the strongest tag team is between the man and wife. Not the man and his mother. Meaning that we (myself included) have nothing (or should have nothing) to do with grown ass men who great and intelligent and gorgeous and everything else that are, still work around connected to their moms via an umbilical cord made of heavy metal. Know any such people? Sigh. Back to the movie, it was really good, I remember tearing up at some point.

We touched down, and people started clapping. I was confused. No turbulence, no incident, nothing. Why clap? I mean I’ve heard tales of people clapping on the Dubai to Lagos route but I didn’t understand this one at all! Na wa.

By the way, Ethiopian ladies are beautiful. And their hips don’t lie! Gentle reminder for me to pick up on my squats, not about to ‘carry last’ biko.

Also seems like everyone is married. I don’t think I saw any lady without a ring on her ‘wedding finger’ Not one. Hian. Pressure us small small biko; there’s already so much pressure at home. Sigh.

Part three’s up in a few days, and it’s all about Johannesburg! Don’t miss it!



Who has noticed I’ve got my groove back? Whoop!!

Very recently I wrote about being almost subsumed by work, stress, and so many emotions that made it difficult to write. Guess what? I’m back! Whoop! Slowly catching up with most of my writing commitments, and oh what a joy!

Thank you Jesus!

So let’s talk about something that happened recently which I’m very concerned by, especially since it has happened before. Before I start though, quick question: what’s the most important thing for you when you apply for a position/job/project/whatever?

For me, it’s knowing all I can about the people hiring. It’s like dating ( by the way, I refer to relationships so much these days I think an Agony Aunt column is in my future) and if you don’t get to know your partner, how can you please them (or at least try)?

Agreed? Not saying that’s all you need to look out for but believe me when I say it’s important. Very important.

Second thing for me is that I need to care enough/want it bad enough, otherwise there is no point. I won’t get it. To be clear, I haven’t been accepted everywhere I applied for a job, matter of fact there was a research project I put in for a couple weeks ago with a team, and we didn’t get chosen. We did get great feedback though, on what we did right and wrong, so much as I really wanted us to win the tender, I’m not beating myself up at all.

Anyway, back to talking about other people. Lol.

For about two years I’ve recruited ad hoc or full-time staff for myself and for clients, and so I’ve gone through a number of CV’s. And that’s what this post is about. The entire gamut around securing a job, from sending a CV to the interview, to negotiating your pay, to whatever comes after. I know we all talk about the scarcity of jobs, and the difficulties around women finding and being in work but have we thought about employability?

A month ago I needed two researchers and so I asked on Twitter – and most times I will tweet about positions I need to fill – that people send CV’s and a link to anything they had written to an email address.

I got the weirdest responses. From the guy who addressed me as “Hi Chi” (forget the inappropriateness of the salutation, anyone who knows me knows any adaptations of ‘Chioma’ never work with me), to the person who sent me her social network names for me to ‘check her out’, then the guy who sent me a CV which had more errors than correct sentences, phew! Then there was the lady who sent me a nice CV, but then an article that was full of ‘lols’, ‘smhes’, and ‘rmes’. How do you send that as a writing sample for a research position? Who does that? Hian!

About 72 hours ago I joined a panel to interview some people for an internship position. Three guys, two ladies, and somehow the guys went first. First guy was alright, second guy maybe just a bit more qualified, and the third guy sounded like the perfect ‘bullshitter‘ (forgive that word please, I’ll explain). We asked him how he would solve a problem in our organization (which he claimed he was well aware of, and then he said he wouldn’t be able to give us an answer till he had “researched into the foundation of the issue because everything takes root at the foundation then starts to grow”. What??? You know how people just go round and round the mulberry bush because they don’t have an answer? This guy.

Anyway, it was the ladies who worried me. Greatly. The first one knew next to nothing about the organization, kept on smiling in a ‘I-don’t-know-as-much-as-I-should-but-I’m-hoping-my smile-makes-up-for-it’ kind of way, and said she didn’t use social media but had a Facebook and Twitter account. Haba!!! When social media management for the organization was there as one of the tasks? Did I mention she wore jeans and hot pink lipstick? And generally gave off a very unserious vibe?

The second lady did just a bit better but all the interviewers knew the race for the position was between the guys. The ladies were (to my mind) just there to make up the numbers.

And so it is to the sisters I write today. Do we not care enough? Is the problem that we are not aware of what we should do when we’re job-hunting or we don’t want these jobs bad enough? I don’t know. It was distressing though, super distressing. And then we’ll go to our places of worship to pray for favor when we put in ZERO effort. I don’t know…

Thoughts, anyone?

PS: Written on the 21st of March, 2015.

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.