December 04, 2012

The Book I Thought I Would Write Four Years Ago!

This year I turned twenty eight and wrote a book, an eBook, a book nonetheless.

I wrote it because I was in church one Friday and the Pastor brought to life the topic of the message that day by asking people who had used their talents to change their condition to share how they had done so.

An author volunteered and said she had written a children’s book which was now in high demand. I remembered that I too wanted to write a book.

I had been reminded.

At the end of the talk, the charge was for each person to think deeply about what they could do with what they had to get further ahead. The following Monday would be a public holiday so it was going to be a long weekend.

I had the time.

Months before, I had penned my goal to write an eBook. I wanted visitors to my blog to have a freebie and something personal from me when they visited it.

I had my reason.

I thought of different things to write about but settled on one. I had worked with a company for two years, taken a bold step to leave and experienced some things because of my choices.

I had my story.

I spent a full day indoors and by the time I was done I had a complete book!

Today I exchanged an email with the Editor of Femme Lounge who is doing a review of the book. Reading that what I wrote inspired her with the message that hard work and determination pays, I went and read the book again to see for myself.

It took an effort to take myself out of memory lane so I could experience her point of view instead of reliving my memories. I tasked myself to find what the morale of the story is for me. It’s a reminder. A reminder that if I think I can then I should. Whether that is seating in a room an entire day to write and design an eBook or doing a great job at work or continuing to pursue a dream whose date of fruition I don't know.

Thinking those thoughts reminded me that my eBook was once a dream. Four years ago I said I would write my first book when I turned 28.

I had my dream come true.

Several events I could not have planned worked together to make it happen. Ambitiously scribbling in my journal four years ago, a random message I heard in church, an author’s testimonial, working in one company, reading eBooks and a million things I can’t call to mind even if I tried.

This profound realization lends evidence of the existence of another dream come true in some three years or months or days, who knows?

Today you visited this blog and read this post and probably went to see what the eBook was about…

You just got reminded!

Find the time. Find your reason. Make your dream come true.

November 29, 2012

Ditch the mirror, ask the boyfriend!

I have never met a mirror I didn’t love but I am really beginning to hate the mirror in the office. The other day as I walked over to the sink to wash my hands during a pee break, I caught a glimpse of myself and shrunk in horror.  There were gaping spaces in my eye brows and the pimples which I thought were tiny were peering back at me with brazen confidence. Then I started to feel tardy and a little grumpy until I met up with The boyfriend for lunch.

He noticed I wasn’t as cheerful as usual and asked what the matter was. “Nothing” came the reply. I wasn’t going to say how “unbeautiful” I was feeling. So lunch ended and we headed to the car park. As I walked through the doors, I saw copies of my reflection on them.  My attention was drawn to the scars from a chicken pox infection years ago and by the time I took another look in the car window, I was ready to break every piece of glass I saw!

“What’s wrong?” he asked, observing me slam the car door shut. It all came tumbling out then and The boyfriend just listened with a patient smile on his face.

“Baby, you are beautiful” he said, “Those mirrors have nothing on you”. Five minutes later I was back on top of the world realizing that the office mirror had only amplified the imperfection on my face and I had fallen into the trap of seeing the worst not appreciating the best.

Two days later, while at home I picked up my makeup mirror and scanned my face. I spotted a freshly delivered patchwork of pink faced pimples on my left cheek and fled into the bathroom to my stash of toners, cleansers and scrubs all with the prescribed 5% Salicylic acid. I then dashed back to the mirror hoping my desperate antics would have restored my skin to velvety smoothness. Alas, the pimples remained. This time I didn’t seat down and ask the mirror on the wall, after all it had once been unkind in telling me if I was the fairest of them all. I just grabbed my phone and called my boyfriend.

September 09, 2012

Why I am thanking YOU!



I want to say thank you to all my friends (You, you and you) who follow this blog. Readers tell me about how they were tickled with laughter when they read about my Lagos experience or inspired when they read an interview I’d done. They meet me at weddings and ask if I will be writing about the occasion or at church and tell me they read my ebook and it was powerful. Some say I inspired them to start a blog or improve an existing one. To all who have said “I read your blog”, “Welldone”, “Keep it up”, I truly want to say "THANK YOU”.

But sometimes someone comes up to me and asks “What is the big picture”? “Why are you doing this”? I’ll tell you.

# The big picture.

Somewhere in the near future I dream of being a media powerhouse, taking my ability as a communicator and multiplying it over a plethora of platforms. I dream of owning and hosting my own show on television, interviewing inspiring people as I have always done and inspiring young people to aspire for a great life. I also dream of being a published, best selling author with books to my credit that make you go out and be the best you in the world. I want to explore all of my skills learned and employ all my talents gifted.

# Why I am doing what I do

I am practicing for those wonderful opportunities in the nearest future where I get to take my talents to the height of possibility and change my life and the lives of other people. 

# What I want you to take out of this

Remember LCM in primary school? It stands for Lowest Common Multiple. The principle of LCM (my philosophy) claims that what you will be in the future is what you are now multiplied by years of effort. So you should begin to exhibit the Lowest Common Multiple of your future now

# My LCM Moments

I was a faccilitator for a women's heart to heart session at church a few weeks ago. My job was to encourage conversation, hear what was meant by what each woman expressed and communicate those sensitive feelings shared in a moment of trust and vulnerability, accurately with a larger house. When the pictures from the event came in, I had an LCM moment going through them. 



Pastor Ken and I



Guest and I

Speaking at event
                                                  # What I want you to take out of this

                                         Opportunities abound. They may be 
                                                  
                                          camouflaged as a colleague who gives 

                                          you his workload, or as an unlikely 

                                          community effort. Say yes.


A few weeks before, my friend invited me to host a children's talent show at her dance studio. I had another LCM moment watching the young kids do hip hop routines like pros. I thoroughly enjoyed making them feel like they were child stars performing on a much bigger stage than they could ever dream.


Me Anchoring

Totally awesome kids

Me with the Krump Dance Studio crew
                                                  
                                                     # What I want you to take out of this

                                            There are no small gigs, the big is 
                                                                                            
                                             in the small.


When I saw the glossy pages of my wellness piece published in Metropole, an Abuja lifestyle and city guide magazine, I had another LCM moment.

My article in Metropole

And when today my segment on the 99.9 Kiss FM's Sunday melodies aired at 11am in the Federal Capital, where I debuted as a new presenter on the Top 10 Gospel Countdown segment, I had another LCM moment.

                                        
                                   # What I want you to take out of this:

                                     Whether you wrote a book or wrote

                                      a page, what matters is you wrote.


On the way to my HCM (Highest Common Multiple) described above, my job is not to wonder when the dream will come true but to keep the dream alive trusting that all the small and big things I am doing right now, will add up to something colossally wonderful, far above and unbelievably beyond my highest expectations and wildest dreams. It is my hope that I will one day feel that I have lived up to the Omonaikee I know I can be.

So thank you for being a part of the beginning!

August 15, 2012

This post is not about how I met Jim Iyke!



 Many months ago, I made a new acquaintance who for a reason I no longer remember, mentioned that Jim had opened a fabulous store in Garki, Abuja. It wasn't information I could use or so I thought, until a few weeks latter when an Editor of one of the magazines I write for became interested in running a story on Jim's store. I had the perfect excuse to seek out the Nollywood star the result of which, you are reading now.  Being granted the interview and meeting Jim in person was very exciting. As I sat in his office I dreamt of my own plush piece of dream- come- true some day. I also kept pinching myself at the thought that it was really happening- I was interviewing JIM IYKE!
Unfortunately it didnt work out with either the magazine or others I tried to publish with... for reasons tucked between editorial guidelines and poor timing, but whether the challenge was deciding to do it anyway or the back breaking work of transcribing a 34 minute long voice recording or crafting and recrafting tidious Q&A into an easy read or waiting to hear from an editor or just plain wondering what Jim or his team would think of the no- show the story was becoming... I am proud I didnt let it be forgotten, not on an editor's computer or on mine.  
It is worth telling when you find layers of a person which pleasantly surprise. It's Jim like you've never seen... enjoy!
                                                              xoxoxoxoxoxxoxo


I stepped into Jim Iyke’s Untamed closet and immediately recognized the sound coming from the speakers. A gospel song was blaring “we lift our voice to bless you, we lift our hands to reach you, we lift our hearts to love you, holy is your wonder”. I stopped in my tracks to check if I was in the right place. With the exception of a sign bearing Jim’s picture at the gate, there was little else to announce the presence of a fashion store in the quiet Garki district where Untamed closet resides. The exterior of the bungalow didn’t give it away either but once in, the d├ęcor and ambience of the store were impressive.

I wondered why the store was in Abuja. Was Jim trying to court the wallets of the politicians and big spenders in the Federal Capital? “It wasn’t really a geographical reason. It was a question of moving.” he says. “Lagos at some point was crazy for me. The traffic was sickening, it took me hours to get home from the airport because I travel constantly, I couldn’t achieve more than one meeting in a day, it was so choking. Here it’s a little bit more subtle. It is not overrated like Lagos, it is not loud like Lagos. Everything about Lagos is over expressed. It’s too colorful, it’s exaggerated. There are richer people here without them being too loud about it. I wanted a place that will have that complete aura of power and yet be demystified enough for the ordinary man to walk in and that’s what Abuja does. It takes in every type but not everybody can survive in it”.

His excitement was convincing but I reflected on his last comment. Could Jim Iyke and his enterprises survive in this city with an ever widening gulf between the rich and poor? “Abuja is crazy, I love it here. Do you know how many cars I’ve sold on the road? Somebody will cross you over and start bidding right there and I’ll be like “this is crazy”. It doesn’t happen in Lagos”.

The store had sections. The white label for women’s wear had items from other designers but the black label for men became the subject of my interest when I saw an interesting suit paired with shorts. I asked MR UNTAMED if he designed the collection himself. ”It will not suffice for someone else to put that stamp of authority or signature to my brand without me having at least 90percent opinion on it.” He replied. But did he have formal training in design school? , “It’s overrated” he said, quickly pointing out that while some people thrive in formal settings, he wasn’t one of those people.  I am not a classroom person.”

He told me a friend of his in the fashion industry took him under his wings. "Whenever an African would come into the store where I was under tutelage, I’d go to the back and he’ll call me “Jim come out here and serve the customer”. I would grudgingly come out and I’ll tell him under my breathjust know that you’re not pay me a freaking salary”, he’ll tell me, “It’s ok, my door is always open. The same way you walked in, you can walk out". I think he was the best boss I ever had. I became a better boss when I came back, a far more humble boss”.

 He also remembers a day when a Senegalese walked into the store and recognized him. Laughing he reenacted the experience like he was acting the scene of a movie.
Shopper: “Are you that actor?”

Jim: Silence
Store owner: “No he is not”.

Shopper: “I could have sworn you were the one. You look like one Nigerian actor but any way I know you are not because he will never work in this store.”

At this point I burst out laughing. He refers to all he had to do to learn as a sacrifice. While it’s hard to picture Jim Iyke in a factory somewhere, the actor says it happened. “I was taken to about eight different factories and within that time I probably crammed in what I would have spent six months learning in a classroom. I was very patient and they kept commending me on being early”. 

 Wow” I said in mocking disbelief recalling how many hours I’d been kept waiting for this interview. He cracked up laughing when he saw the expression on my face.“I am not very good with time. I know my weakness but I would wake up early in the morning, go there and they will tell me this is the way they think it should be, I’ll tell them “no you understand fashion, I understand myself and it has to rhyme –fashion and me. People are coming to wear me. Coming to wear something that I created”. They taught me the rudiments of design and I taught them who I am and so when we put that together that’s what we created.”

But it’s one thing to have style and be fashionable and another to create a style for other people, so what gave Jim the confidence to do that? Defending his street credibility, the actor said “You’re either born with these things or you’re not”. He confessed to breaking protocol by wearing sneakers to black tie industry events and admitted that stunts like that have earned him criticism. “It takes balls to come out and dare to be different but hate or love me, you cannot say that I’ve tried to be anybody else, I do it my way.”

There were shirts in his collection and i asked what made them different from those by brands like H&M or GAP? “What we intended to do in UNTAMED is deep and extensive research on the people that we were willing to serve and at the end of the day have them walk in and say “Was he thinking about me when he rolled this out? You can see this is what somebody at least thought about and I have put even our climate into consideration.”

 The actor looked pained as he addressed what he called a media conspiracy against him. “Am I responsible to the duties I am supposed to carry out as a man to every sphere of my endeavor? Yes, I work very hard. When you can truly answer that question, every other thing becomes extremely small for you including criticism no matter how loud it is.”

But Jim didn’t only feel misunderstood by the media.  Outsiders find it very hard to understand me. Even people that like me sometimes say hateful things just to say something that makes it look like they have an opinion and in the advent of the social network some of them are all of a sudden an advisor or a critic.”

 So everyone wants a piece of Jim Iyke, but who does Jim Iyke want a piece of? Marilyn Munroe! She is his darling of all time he said. Observing the light in his eyes as he talked about her, I thought about his fans who have the same fixation with him. Would he have wanted to be with her if it were possible? I asked. “I can fantasize from a distance, I don’t know about being with her and I think that’s where people fail to draw the distinction, including me because people get carried away because I am on television and they forget that there is a regular life, a three phase life- the public, the private and the secret.”

 I paused in thought wondering about celebrities courting fan love for their movies and music only to hate the attention when the same fans pry into their personal lives? I wanted to know how Jim handled it when people turned on him. “God made me a certain way and because he made me a certain way I can’t share what I have with everybody. You pick your crowd as you go and trust me the ones that are not for you will go. It is called in a sense, spiritual weeding. What you must develop is a thick skin; on my part I have developed a rhino skin.

There was pain in his eyes as he continued, “Sometimes people that are mostly strong against you are people that know where you are heading. They know that if you get there it may not serve their purpose or it may reaffirm their weaknesses so you have people of all kinds of backgrounds coming after you and you are wondering "why me?". You have rich people and you’ll be like "What do they want?" They are already successful in their own right. You have poor people and you’ll be like "wow, isn’t this guy supposed to ask for help instead of trying to kill me?", Then you have friends and you’ll be like "I’ve given this person love, his debt is to return it back". Then you have family and you’ll be like "this person shares a lineage with me". You have yourself fighting yourself, you know you can do better yet you chose to run bad because the right road is just so damn hard. Put all these things into one and you understand that your destiny is in your hands and if you choose the right path, trust me that right path is not going to enamor you with a lot of people.”


The veil was torn open then and I could see beyond Jim Iyke, the Nollywood star. His earlier mention of God wasn’t lost on me, I asked. “I’m the man that when I make a mistake I go to Him first and I know that I am forgiven and the second part is to forgive myself.  Then the third part is to ask people that deserve my forgiveness to forgive me so when you make peace with these three elements of your life, you can hold your head up high. It’s not arrogance, its conviction of God in you.


The actor who has had what would seem like a short lived music career, says his fans have been some of his best customers since his foray into fashion. But what drives him to try these new ventures? “I woke up one day and I told myself what took a lot of money from me. Fashion was one. And so at the end of the day I decided to throw every passion that was unproductive to my economy into an enterprise.”

 He also says one has to be multi faceted. “There is one talent in you that outweighs every other talent. Find it, nurture it, train it, propel it, apply it then it will give birth to other open doors. The wise thing to do is to find other men to man those doors for you. That’s how you survive everyday of a multi-faceted life.

 So what’s next for this multifaceted force or is he done? His answer was revealing. “Some people grow older and grow lazier and less convinced about their path in life. Some people get richer and compromise as they go. Some people grow less hungry as they get richer.
With an acting career, a musical stint, and a fashion line, Jim Iyke is certainly not slowing down as he gets older!

July 24, 2012

YOUR TURN: A PIECE OF XOXA...

Hey people, I am featuring this piece by friend and sister, Xoxa Icha... I hope you enjoy it!

MY NEIGHBOURHOOD

I live in a hood where everything is for sale
Money talks, walks and steps on those who fail
Consciences, truths and witness all tagged with prices
Where virtues are suppressed to uplift vices

Where I live boys are men and men are boys
And women save a select few, are turned into toys
To make a better life happen faster
The dream of climbing higher
With a bunch of colored paper as master

Where I live the law is the robber
And the robber is the law
Positions are bought and sold
Not earned anymore

Where I live fruits come before the seed
Students don’t write exams
But yet they succeed
Good jobs no merits
Others worthy but jobless... loaded with credit

For those who go to school and choose to make honest grades
Find learning a tiresome yet worthy wade
Through a sea that seemingly has no end
Under broken bridges that never mend

Where I live rocks fall in place of the promised rain
The silenced men below struggle to stay sane
Their silence outweighs the collected bribes
A better life-an idea imbibed

In my hood people die when the truth is told
Honest men are few and hardly grow old
The liars capture them
Not just at night, even in the day
And bury them unashamedly with anything they have to say
Some men look on and others look away

The jails are filled
Yet the guilty walk free
Gnawing at an inheritance left to my brothers and me

This is my hood
The real picture
This is my area
My neighborhood, Nigeria

July 11, 2012

A DREAM IN HAND IS BETTER THAN TWO IN THE BUSH.


I took a risk and quit my job five months ago. I wasn’t prepared to move but I was ready to leave. And once I made the decision, the rest of my life caught up to where my convictions had gotten me. It was a significant change and it let me learn new things about myself and ask questions of my fears rather than take counsel of them. I learnt that:

# It wasn’t true that I couldn’t survive without a job. There was time to work on my projects and convert other skills into income. 

# It wasn’t true that leaving one job without having another waiting was necessarily a poor decision. Telling the next employer you are ready to start immediately could put you one foot ahead of someone who needs to give their current employer a month’s notice. 

# It wasn’t true that finding another job would be hard. It wasn’t.

I also experienced many amazing miracles. Little and big things worked in my favor. Someone aptly described it as taking a leap of faith and thankfully, I landed on good ground.

In other news, I am celebrating!

It’s my birthday today so this is me YAYing! (“Yaying” is Haruna’s definition of me jumping with one leg in the air, arms stretched upwards with glee!)
My birthday comes in the second half of the year, giving me another opportunity to take a look at where I am and what direction I am headed like I do at the beginning of the year.  I always like to reflect on my life and I tend to measure my life by accomplishments and progression in my career and goals. But today is not for the shadows of reflection, it’s all celebration and taking in the good will and blessings of my nearest and dearest!  

On a parting note, The phrase “a dream in hand is better than two in the bush” titles a realization I had yesterday. Somewhere in the future I see myself doing many things, things I am reaching for with the present. But yesterday I caught a glimpse of other accomplishments being presented to me- equally desirable dreams that require the energies of today if I will achieve them.
While we are chasing a reality we want to accomplish in the future, there are several dreams tittering on the brink of our awareness waiting to be gifted to us in the now. 

So I have decided to be in the moment so I can make the most of the gift and timeframe called the present.

Today? I am celebrating love, life and living!

June 23, 2012

FOR NDAKO WITH LOVE



Pardon my silence. It was not because I had nothing new. It was because my voice was claimed by overwhelming emotion that made words of no use. 

In the last few weeks I have felt pain, anger, fear. Pain especially, for my friends Farida Shehu Kaikai who I lost in the Dana air crash and Ndako who lost members of his family who were enroute Lagos on the same flight, to attend his wedding slated for the following Saturday. 


I wondered how he felt, I wondered what I could say or do to help, I prayed but I knew it was not enough. But I pray still.

The stories of other victims on the ill- fated flight surfaced quickly in the days after the crash and a lifeless manifest came to life as we heard about Rev. Akin of House On The Rock who left behind his small kids, Vivien Effiong, the crew member who was due to get married, Ndako’s elder sister who perished with her cute babies, husband, mother and other family members, Echendu and Jennifer Ibe, the Mother and daughter who were to board a flight in Lagos to India for medical checkup, staff of CIHP, NNPC and CBN, not to talk of the people who were killed when the plane crashed into their homes.

Each seat number and torn building had a story. It quickly became more than just another plane crash as everyone found the human story behind the events of June 3rd. As the stories spread, they were clearly about the human lives abruptly ended by a tragedy. A human tragedy told in many stories by storytellers that evoked our sympathy and rage.

A few years ago, Author Chimamanda Adichie talked about the danger of a single story. A single story is a one- sided account about a person, group or event. She said that the problem with one story is not that it is untrue but that it is incomplete. And it is dangerous when that incomplete story becomes the whole story and defines entirely the person, group or event.

I watched a video of a similar tragic event that had occurred. The uploaded video told the story. A man rode a jeep into the premises of a business enterprise and an explosion occurred which set the building ablaze. It told a single story. Like the plane crash, there were many stories as were many lives lost in this event. Unlike the crash there weren’t many storytellers to tell the human story. So we were sold the story of a building blown and a media house attacked. And we reacted differently; we made no tributes, we held no vigils, and we did not call for donations to assist the families bereaved.

Adichie introduces the principle of Nkali as she makes her case for the rejection of the single story.

So that is how to create a single story, show a people as one thing, as only one thing over and over again and that is what they become. It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power. There is a word, an Igbo word that I think about whenever I think about the power structures of the world, and it is "nkali." It's a noun that loosely translates to "to be greater than another." 


Like our economic and political worlds, stories too are defined by the principle of nkali: How they are told, who tells them, when they're told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power. Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person,but to make it the definitive story of that person. 


The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story and to start with, "secondly." Start the story with the arrows of the Native Americans, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story. Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not with the colonial creation of the African state, and you have an entirely different story.”- Chimamanda Adichie

I started this post by talking about my friend Ndako. He got married. His story reads a new line- happily married to lovely wife. Now when I think of him, I think of my friend Ndako who I grew up with, as Ndako who is starting a new family with the love of his life.

His life is not defined by one story but by several, with several happy ones to come! To define him by a single story is the greater danger of all.

Congratulations Ndako! I wish you happiness in your new life!

June 02, 2012

Places to go, people to see!

             
Hey everyone, I am introducing a new feature called PLACES TO GO, PEOPLE TO SEE where i will will tell you about an event you can go to and a person you should know. So the place to be on the 9th and 10th of June if you are in Abuja,  is a promising garage sale (see flier) and the person to meet is friend and brother (from another mother), Ibrahim Suleiman. I love his poems and this one in particular is tasteful, no pun intended. He calls it Holocaust Kitchen...enjoy this offering and see you at the garage sale!

HOLOCAUST KITCHEN
I once knew a terribly good cook
Who very seriously his job he took
He had a ready smile
And a big, hearty laugh
He cooked with panache and style,
Going the extra mile and a half
But he was big as a whale
And oh, twice as mean
And if they could, a horrible tale
Of where they've been
The food would tell...
He guts the fish, without as much as a death wish
Whipped the cream because they wouldn't scream
Like a sergeant from 'nam, he grilled the ham
Knead the dough and beat the eggs
[Oh, if only they had legs]
Stuffed the turkey and plucked the chicken,
All this did the jolly heathen
He roast the beef and without skipping a beat
Went all out and minced the meat
With gusto he pounds yams and mashed potatoes.
Feeling happy and proud down to his toes
He blend the plump tomatoes
He froze the cream [a firm favorite for him]
He put the squeeze on the lemon
Giggling like an impish demon
He racked the spices,
Punishing them for their prices
He joyfully banged the saucepans
Saying they were lucky he couldn't dance
Telling them it was for their sakes,
He tossed the poor pancakes
He sloshed the vinegar
Until it was rather sober
Stuck a large apple in the roast pig's mouth
Because he knew it couldn't eat it!
he was a great cook, believe it
And they always looked good enough to eat
When questioned about his ways
He would laugh loud and say;
"To win the hunger races,
You gotta put the food through the paces!"

edomalo2009

May 23, 2012

APPEARANCES

So my On Air Personality friend invited me to be a guest on his show “Naijalysis” on 99.9 Kiss FM Abuja and the topic was sex education in Nigerian secondary schools. It was a good conversation wth Tobe Nneji hosting, Bunmi supporting and me being interviewed on my views about the subject.  

Did I think that sex education should be introduced into the curriculum in schools? I thought it was necessary for kids and young people to be taught about their bodies, to understand what was appropriate or inappropriate for someone to do to them and what they should do about it if it happened. 

I felt it was important for teenagers to understand how their lives would change should they contract a disease or be put in the family way. I said it is important to present options and show the consequences of them. If parents or care givers didn’t do it constructively, someone else would do it destructively.

When OAP, Tobe asked me how early kids should be introduced to this, I responded that as soon as a child can identify his/her sex or the child begins to wonder at the differences in his body and mommy’s for instance, he should be helped with age- appropriate information.

Two weeks after, I came across a video of a young 11 or so year old having sex with a 4yr old. Yes, I said 4 year old. She did things to him and showed him where to stick his tongue, hands and penis in her and that’s as far as I will go on that vivid video. 

I was disgusted in my spirit as I saw this 4year old learn habits he would not quickly forget and this 11year old do things someone else had probably done to her, things she would pass down to Lord-knows-how-many other small kids. And where would it end?

If we worry that telling a child about his sexuality would expose him too much, then see what perverts in the person of house girls, aunties e.t.c are lurking around, waiting to teach our kids, nieces, nephews and neighbors’ kids. Odikwa very worrisome sumtin! 

While I was in the Kiss fm studios, I ran into Big brother Amplified’s Vina, did y’all know the girl can sing?

In other news, dressed in cobalt blue with a matching blue and white clutch, I attended Abuja’s quarterly fashion fair and was impressed with all the creative fashentrepreneurs out there, and yes, fashentrepreneurs is a word in my dictionary and you saw it here first! Lol!

I purchased a pair of the cutest earrings from Selara, a vintage mini mirror from entrade and stroke a pose or two. This last one was with my fellow last born, Konrad!



Moving along, Metropole launched its preview edition at a venue fitting for the top dignitaries in attendance. The Shehu Yar’adua centre was bustling with life as the FCT minister, the special adviser to the president on media, past senate presidents, DGs, ambassadors and top people in government and the media came together to celebrate Abuja’s newest lifestyle and city guide magazine. Dresscode was a touch of black, see the photos I took with Emeka and Bella. 


That's all the catching up I can do right now, ciao! Read about my previous forays in radio here.

May 03, 2012

My own Reality TV






A chunk of my day goes to watching my small flat screen TV. Hoisted strategically on the wall of my tiny studio apartment, I can watch it from every angle even whilst in the throne room doing my business (great yeah? I know!).

With reality TV shows there are two types of people on earth. There are the ones who can’t bear to watch, hear or talk about reality TV and the others who live with the Kardashians and sleep with Ice and Coco and their dog- Spartacus. 

For the former, they think "Why would I watch another person living their lives when I have mine to live?" They think that every minute spent watching Kim Kardashian is a dollar spent paying the reality star. I get them.

The other group of people live from show to show: The Amandas, Big Rich Texas, Kimora and life in the fab lane, Keeping up with the Kadashians, Khloe and Lamar, Jerseylicious, Ice loves Coco … the shows are as endless as the channels on DSTV. It’s entertaining. You get to see a day in another person’s life and world.

While I don’t recommend watching TV all day, every day or spending too much time marinating in the influence of the vain and excessive lifestyle depicted on some of these shows, there truly is a lot to learn from the exposure.

Some of these shows offer the best business cases I have seen. From the Gatsby owned by Gayle of Jerseylicious, to Dash owned by Kourtney, Khloe and Kim of keeping up with the Kardashians, to Baby phat and KLS brands owned by Kimora Lee Simmons and The Amandas owned by Amanda of The Amandas, you get to see how these small and medium scale enterprises, mostly manned by a small team of five, achieve great feats.

It’s interesting to me that these small teams promote celebrities globally, create products used worldwide, gross in millions of dollars and achieve feats in weeks that African businesses on this side of the world would not achieve in their lifespan.

Watching the level of team work, project management and organization; the quality of brand positioning and corporate strategizing plus the right use of technology and social media for publicity, I am learning how these global brands work.


Information about big brands and names are not secret any more. The entertainment business is demystified as we see the level of work artistes and their management put in to blow up their stars.


It is an education in itself- One management class I don’t mind taking at all.


Has watching anything on TV helped you in your everyday life? Drop a note and tell me about it. 


Off to class!

April 07, 2012

THE WRITER’S CURSE

We will not find the cure.

From the time our gifts are discovered we will begin a journey that promises to end in greatness of some kind. Maybe we will write a great book, make an earth- shattering discovery or save a precious soul. Destiny will be the beginning and the end, the exodus and the promised landWe will not see the journey ahead. The one fraught with bouts of self- doubt, procrastination, lack of money, shortage of motivation, even laziness.  We will not see our battles, the bloody fights that will tear down our confidence or the dusty rubble from which we will rebuild our sense of self. We will not see the besetting fear we were immune to in childhood or the crippling worry that once couldn't harm us. We will forget who we are and need to be reminded, we will use up our innocence and need to recover our virginity.

We will find the writer’s curse.

We will often be plagued by a dose of Narcissism. We will take our work like we take ourselves- seriously.  It will be personal. We will use hours, even days to write 500 words worth of wordsmithery. The world might disagree with what we say it is and call it an essay or article. Although we would rather refer to it as a piece of work or a work of heart, we would not complain. It will take us hours to marinate in a subject, hours to contain thought in expression, hours to finish what we have started , hours to read what we have written and more hours to destroy what we have done. We will enter battles with norms of English language- should we change “that” to “which”? We will second guess ourselves removing a “the” one minute only to re-insert it the next. We will be caught by inspiration at random moments; at the start of a productive writhe while we enjoy a good shit or at the touch of warm water to our outer layer.

It will not be our fault. It is the curse.

Writing will be like having children, we will remember each work by name. It will be our life. It will capture our essence and take our time, life, life time. We will hope that the ones who meet our work meet us in it. That they understand that life would have felt meaningless, talent would have felt wasted and time would have passed us by if we hadn't done it. We will face the reality that when the reader holds our work in his hands, he might presume his duty is to judge it or form an opinion of us with it and eventually he will discard it and move on with his life.

The blame will not be his to take. It is the curse.

Reading reviews will be a sickness with no cure.  It will matter what they thought of us..... our work, us. We will check every blog comment and read as many badly written critiques as we can stomach. We will want to explain why a sentence was that way. No, it had nothing to do with the rules of English! It was about what we saw, what we felt, what we thought and what we were taught by what we saw, felt,......what was deep in thought. Because it happened to us, because our experiences chose only us, we will wonder who they think they are to criticize, who they really think they are and who the hell they are.

We are not unwell. It is the curse.

Some of our critics will cruelly trap us in the world we create. If we write about heart break, we have to be heartbroken. If we write about love, they will insist on wishing us and the supposed object of our inspiration well. It will not suffice that a well-teased mind, a well- fed eye and a well- practiced ear is enough. They will not be able to tell the difference when life inspires art and when art reports life.

It is not their fault, it is the curse.

On and on we will write, not with pen or paper but with heart and soul. The hours will fly by while we fuel with self the labor for our honest fruit. Bodies will go unwashed, stomachs will fall silent unfed, and friends will get lost unattended.

It is not us. It is the curse.

Our articles will take only a few minutes to read, our novels a few days to shelve, our blogs a few clicks to finish. The reader will smile or cry; scoff maybe insult. If we are lucky, he might give our name a glance or duff his hat to us but soon he forgets.

It is not him. It is the curse.

“What did you expect?” the world will ask. Recognition? Money? Fame? Influence? Praise? Comments? Like the laborer who bares his back to the sky and tills the ground till the sun tires of watching, we will labor with words, thoughts and blank pages. Possessed by dreams of glory and hoping to leave a legacy, we will fight the drudgery and pen painstakingly minutiae emotion, fleeting feeling, fading memory, diverging lines of thought and conflicting points of view.


Don't mind us. It is the curse.


Sometimes we will think we should quit but yet do not. It will be as though Destiny is at hand to fulfil itself according to what is written and what is appointed in the womb of time.   Our lives will be different. Our ability will carve a life for us in a future that accomplishes it. It will design a future for a life that uses it. 


We are not odd, we are not queer. It is the curse

Although our craft will not be easy, in it we will find a strange enjoyment. A pride in our work. Our toiling will bequeath to us our uniqueness, our authenticity- a quiet knowledge of our dignity. We will have a voice, a taste, a feel. To us will be given the realm of thought and the power to see.  We will learn and teach, write and read, live and tell.

And in the end it will not matter if the reader took and did not return, did not reuse, did not affirm; it will not matter if he bought, stole or borrowed; photocopied, plagiarized or pharaphrased; commented, liked or followed; subscribed, retweeted or quoted. What will matter is that the gift was meant for giving and we gave. Indeed the important matter will be that this gift was first gifted to us and we made a life just for us with it.

And maybe we  will never write a book that will change the world, influence a culture or affect an era; maybe our talent will never raise us to prominence, renown or wealth, but to us it will matter that we did something with what we were blessed with- this curse.










See how I got inspired to write this here and here
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