TEXT OF FAYOSE’S SPEECH ‘ARMING’ THE LOCALS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AGAINST FULANI HERDSMEN

I checked twitter this morning and Fayose was trending. I wasn’t surprised really because the Ekiti State Governor has always find a way to be in the news especially since this new administration. But when I checked why he was trending, I saw it was a video of where he was “arming” the local hunters to “defend” themselves against the rampaging Fulani herdsmen. I watched the video, listen to every word he said and I decided to transcribe it so you can read and judge for yourself. 

Ayodele-Fayose

…Secondly, I will raise 2.5Million Naira for the affected family. I want to say it very clearly, everything you need me to do I will do.  Because the moment you are not secured then I am better resigned as a governor of this State. If I cannot provide adequate security for you, it’s better for me to leave this office.

The only reason I was voted is because they know that I am competent to do the needful in circumstances like this. Nobody will take Ekiti away from us. This killing of our people must stop. It is deliberate and we must take all actions to stop it. They have killed two, those two people killed; they have killed all of us. A fight against one Ekitiman is a fight against everybody.

The president must rise up to the challenge and stand against this present decaying situation in terms of security situation in the face.  We can’t continue like this.  When they defeat you, they will go to the next community, when they defeat that community, they will go to another one, this is Ekiti- parapo war and it must be fought in the totality of our spirit. I stand by you, I stand for you, and that is why you have elected me in times like this, I will not disappoint you.

One of you will go with us now, but I want you to do that the money will not equally cause fight.  And regularly, monthly whatever little I have to keep you sustained, I will give it. I want to assure you.

Like I said earlier, you want a pick-up, today today; I will provide a pick-up for you. So, the man going with me to Ado-Ekiti will come back with a pick-up. In that that pick-up, I will provide mobile phones; I will provide gadgets enough for you to operate. Because if you are defeated, I am defeated; and I cannot be defeated. And you will not be defeated.

Let it be told and let it be said “Those people behind these herdsmen, we will defeat you”. We will defeat you. Enough of these political herdsmen, operating as herdsmen but they are Boko-haram. They are coming to South-West gradually, we’re going to fight you; we are going to fight you. I will give you all the logistics, I will support you.

Anywhere you find a cow that is grazing unnecessarily on our ways, call my attention, we will bring them down, we will take them out. And I will not stop at this, I am telling you. I am going to the house of Assembly to criminalize grazing in wrong areas. Because when you hide under grazing and killing people, you are operating in the night. Where will you tell me somebody grazing found AK-47? Some people are behind them, using AK-47. You rape my wife, you rape my children, if they attempt it, bring them down. Terminate their lives, if they say they want to sleep with your wife, they want to touch your children, bring them down.

It is a war against Ekiti and it will be fought with the totality of our strength. You can’t rape my wife, kill my wife, kill my husband and be raping my children in my presence. And kill our mothers and slice their lives and slice their bodies, it is unacceptable. I want to reassure you we will provide the necessary security to keep you in your community, don’t run away, don’t go to another community, it is your home and nobody will drive you away.

 

TRANSCRIPT OF HADJIA AISHA AL-HASSAN ADDRESS TO BBOG

MAMA TARABA

The Internet almost broke yesterday evening when some twitter handles were reporting “Bring Back Our Girls” movement and Chibok Girls’ parents meeting with the President inside the Villa. Reports has it that the President later came out to address the group and the parents but before his arrival, the Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hadjia Aisha Al-Hassan was very rude to the group. So when a video of her address came out today, I decided to transcribe it so that you can judge if she was rude or some members of the group were just being mischievous. Watch the video below and Read for yourself.

I want to tell you here, maybe there is information that you do not know. When Mr President made the promises he made to you, he did not just make them, went back and sit without doing anything.

Mr President is not that kind of person; we all know. Mr President with all of us have been on deck, working to see that our children are brought back.

The security people who are making effort to make sure we bring back our girls alive are all here with us. and everything Mr President is doing is to give them directives to work towards bringing back our girls alive. And that he has done, he has given then instruction, the mandate to bring back our girls alive.

And they have been working; they will tell you by themselves what they have been doing. But mind you, I need to tell you that this is a security issue. It is not everything they are doing that they are going to tell us, including me. Because of operational whatever, they will tell you.

On the part of social welfare which is under my ministry; the Ministry of Women affairs and social development. I have been directed and I have spoken with the Honourable member representing Chibok in the House of reps, I have told her the effort we have made on the instruction of Mr. president. And I have spoken with my namesake Hadjia Aisha Yussuf on it, I had looked for my Sister, Dr. Oby on the issue to tell her what we have done, what we are still doing and what we intend to do – I did, before the Christmas. It is not as if Mr President made the promise to you and went and sat down.

I have been instructed to open a Chibok Girls’ office which will serve as a liason office between you and the government. I have been instructed to do that and I have informed my namesake Hadjia Aisha Yussuf that I have done that and we have a Deputy Director heading the office – just one office on Chibok girls issue to show you how important the issue is to the government. The government can never open an office for just one single item. But that has been done, that is one.

Secondly, We have been drawing programmes, I had told the representative of Chibok in the house of Rep and I had told my namesake Hadjia Yussuf of the programme that we intended to do before Christmas. But it was too tight and we decided we should have it during the Christmas period and we should wait until after the New Year. And we still intend to have that programme, and the programme is one of…(edited out)

So, for us my Dear Sisters and Brothers from Chibok and my sisters and brothers from the movement, It is like you feel the government is insensitive to this cause, because if the government is, when you hear the things that are being done from the security agencies, the little that they can tell you because they can’t tell you everything that is being done to bring back the girls, that is one, and secondly you have heard that this is what we have done and thank God I had informed the leadership of the movement, Hadjia Aisha Yussuf, and even the member of the house of Rep representing you that “this” is what we have done so far on the social welfare part and “this” is what we intend to do. I told them and I write a letter at the time. But you (Hadijia Aisha Yussuf) told me that we should take it to the Unity Fountain, that we will meet you. My officer went there 3 times without meeting any member of the group. But I said well, it was Christmas and New Year period (lots of “it’s a lie” “at what time?” murmur from the crowd).

I have no reason to lie to you, if I didn’t do it, I will tell you I didn’t do it. Because we wrote a letter, they went there three times because I had actually told your leader Mrs Aisha Yussuf that I was going to write a letter and I asked her I wanted an Address to which I should send the letter, and you told me to sedn it to the Unity Fountain. If I didn’t intend to write a letter, I wouldn’t have looked for your number, called you and asked where to deliver the letter. Because your people are shouting that “it’s not true, It’s not true” and I have no reason to lie to anybody here.

So, my brother and Sister, the government has not left you, the government has not rescinded on the promises they made to you for you to say you are going to sit here until Mr President comes. With due respect, I think it’s not nice enough because in the first place, Mr President is a busy person and he has a schedule. If we had been told earlier than you told us, we would have made Mr President present here and speaking to you. We still intedn to have that programme we didn’t have at the end of the year so that Mr President can be there to see you and talk to you. What Mr President will tell you is not more than what he told you before that we are making effort and the promises that he made which he had directed us and the security people to do, so I plead with you to talk with us.

Mr. President sent us here, the Minister of Defence is here, the National security Officer is here, the Chief of Defence staff is here, I am here on the social welfare part representing the government. I think Mr president has done well especially with the short notice that you have given for today’s programme. Today is your programme and it is not too good to say you will just come on a very short notice and see the President, so I am begging you, I’m pleading with you to agree to see us. Tell us whatever you can, whatever you want to tell us. and we will tell you what the government is doing. So that when we arrange that programme, Mr President can still come see you tell you what the govt is doing, and we can still tell you what the government is doing because these are the officers responsible for bringing back the girls and we want them back alive.

And the social welfare aspect, I am responsible. My ministry is responsible, I have the office, I have the desk, the desk officer is here, Mrs Bulus, (to Mrs Bulus) can you come forward please? Mrs Bulus is the Deputy Director and in the letter we write to you, we gave her number, my number, you have our numbers and we say you can reach us 24/7 on whatever you want to find out. we are the liason, that office in the Ministry of Women Affairs is the liason between the government, you the group, and the parents. And we said 24 hours you can call us, 7 days a week.

You can call us at any time and ask your questions or tell your grievances to us and we will forward it to the government. Ok?

So, I will now hand over to the Minister of Defence, to tell you… and in the budget for this year we have planned mobile consulting clinics to be visiting you, to be counselling you, to be talking with you so that you can feel some relief before our children are brought back. We pray that we get them today but it’s not within our making, these children have been gone long before this government came to power, and you have heard promises. We don’t want to bring them as corpses to you to bury. We want to bring them alive, and we have to go slowly to make sure that they are brought alive…

 

 

 

 

BÀÁ’ÀMI – MY GRANDFATHER, MY FRIEND.

Grandpa

Exactly 1 year ago, on a Sunday morning, I was in the bathroom when my phone rang, I was reluctant to go back and pick it because I was almost late for a TV show recording I had that morning, but then I went back and it was my Uncle. I wondered why he would call me on a Sunday morning; he is a pastor and should be preparing for church if he wasn’t there already.

Then, I picked.

I heard his croaky voice from afar; I wondered why he sounded so distant, so shaky; I thought he was crying but then I had never heard or seen him cry. I pressed my phone to my ear. “Bamidele, baba is gone, he died early this morning” he sobbed.

I stared into space, droplets of tears trickled down my face as they are now while writing this. I love my grandfather so much. The bond between us was special. Baa’mi was next after God in my life; why would God take him?

Memories came flooding.

The first time I met Bàá’àmi was sometimes in early 1982, I was young, just about 4 years old, I remember waking up tired, I remember my pregnant mum, older sister and kid brother were on a long journey the day before. I didn’t know where we were coming from or going to. But I do now. My father had just died, my grandfather’s first son and child, a young mobile police officer, and we had been brought alongside his corpse from Uyo (present day Akwa Ibom) to Ara (present day Osun State) I remember waking up that morning to see plenty people around Bàá’àmi. He was inconsolable then, he was inconsolable even 32 years after.

Bàá’àmi was the only father I grew up to know. I don’t have any memory of my Dad no matter how hard I try; I only have his pictures to look at. Bàá’àmi  would bathe for my younger brother and I, take us to school and to farm, and once in a while to church, he wasn’t a “churchy” person, but he would insist we attend every Sunday and he allowed and encouraged us to join the Royal Ambassadors. Bàá’àmi was a godly man. You would never find a man that can give his everything to other people like my grandfather in the whole of my town. He was buried the day after he died; the church said they had never witnessed such a crowd at anyone’s burial since it was founded. More than half of the town was there, Christian, Muslims, traditionalists alike.

Bàá’àmi was a giver.

Every weekend, my younger brother and I would follow Bàá’àmi  to the farm. The one close to the only secondary school we had in my town back then; Baptist Secondary School, Ara. Where he was the only security man on duty; where everyone called him “Baba N’gate”. He would cook yam or coco-yam or Esuru (Cluster yam) in a gourd-like pot, spread banana leaves and slice the yam on it, and then we would all eat with palm oil and salt. many times till our tummy could take no more, and still have extra to carry home. I remember how angry my brother and I would get each time we are coming from the farm and grandpa would give cooked tubers of yam, Cluster yam (Esuru) or Coco-yam to everyone who greeted him and ask “Baba N’gate, Ki le mu bo O” we would frown our faces, but he would tell us “You people don’t know anything, Everything I am giving now, I am sowing them into your lives, so that when you go out there, strangers will give you and feed you” This and many more of his wise sayings turn out to be true.

Bàá’àmi was a teacher.

He taught me everything I know today. He taught me to be kind, to forgive, to treat people right, to let my word be my bond. He told me there are friends for a reason, a season and a lifetime. He taught and told me to rely on my instinct and God to be able to identify one from the other. His favourite advice and watchword to me was “Ranti Omo Eni Ti Iwo Nse” (Remember The Son Of Whom You Are). I never saw him hit my grandma; they never stayed one day without talking to each other no matter what happened the previous day. My grandfather taught me to always allow my woman to be a big part of my decision. He would call from his phone and tell me to hold on for grandma. My grandma was a talker; I got my talking part from her. Grandma would talk, advise, pray say a lot of things and just keep going on and on. She would end her talk with “Ba baba yin s’oro” and all grandpa would add will be “The way your mother has said it, is exactly my position, listen to her and God will be with you” Bàá’àmi wanted me to get married; he wanted to carry my child so bad.

I am sorry Bàá’àmi, you know I tried to do so, I tried to make you happy but it didn’t work out.

I can go on and on about you. But I don’t want to bore my readers. It is one year today since you left us. Maa’mi called me yesterday, she still misses you, she knows I am going through a rough patch in my life right now; she prayed for me, she prayed like you both would always do anytime we talk on phone. 32 years was a long time to wait, that was the number of years you waited to watch over me and my siblings. 32 years was how long you had to wait before you were called to be with your son, My Dad, again. And I am sure you are re-united with him, your son, Adeniran Julius Oyeyemi.

Bàá’àmi – my grandfather my friend.

‎Ààyè lóhùñ arà ìsojà

N’ìsojà kún, Omo elésin ire

Ààyè ní b’obìrin ò bá l’ómú

E má ba jà, Baba won ló fi kán’ri kése jo

Omo Awónbíogbón, Omo a sòro wò bì àgbà

Àgbà ò l’ówó, à ní ó gbón.

Omo Olówó ñse bí Oba l’óko, Omo ìwòfà t’ibi ègún bèrè

Oyèyemí Omo Alárà, Sùn Re O!

Until We Meet Again. Continue To Rest In Peace. Pa Adeoye Oyeyemi.

HANDLING YOUR PARTNER’S INSECURITY

INSECURITY

Yes! Sometimes ago, I said I wasn’t going to write on relationships for a while, I am still not writing. But, some weeks back I was a guest on a twitter relationship interactive platform, No Holds Barred Interactive. (NHBi) I was invited to “talk” about “Handling Your Partner’s Insecurity”. After the interaction, I got so many feedbacks, questions and replies from participants; it also earned me a few followers.

Few days after that, one of my friends who is also on twitter asked me to put the tweets in a form of feature article and post on my blog. So, that’s why I am doing this. How do you handle your partner’s insecurity? I am talking about a loving partner in a relationship, I could have said “and marriage” but twitter “Omniknowests” have decreed that once you are not married, you can’t talk about marriage in any form or shape, so I will just say this is for loving partners in a loving relationship only. So let’s delve into it. But I’d love to leave the points numbered, same way I tweeted them. I believe the points will be easier to read and track. Thank you.

  1. Insecurity as a word is defined as uncertainty or anxiety about oneself and lack of confidence.
  2. In relationships, insecurity is often characterized by lack of confidence, self-doubt, unassertiveness, timidity, uncertainty, nervousness or inhibition.
  3. Romantic relationships thrive on intimacy, and intimacy gets stronger from the feeling that you can safely be your true self with your partner.
  4. And the painful truth is that insecurity can lead to the death of intimacy in a relationship.
  5. Insecurity in relationships often leads to jealousy which in itself is not such a very bad thing especially in the early stages.
  6. But if insecurity is a constant and central feature of the relationship then, yes, it is a problem and a potential cause of breakdown.
  7. Because some of us have been badly hurt before by our former cheating partner.
  8. And even if a part of us knows that our new partner is decent, caring, and honest, we always still feel “It’s just a matter of time” before things go wrong.
  9. When we enter an intimate relationship, we can feel very emotionally vulnerable; especially if we have felt let down or hurt in previous relationship(s).
  10. So, when our partner is quiet, we start panicking “What is he/she planning?” “Has he/she met someone else” “Am I losing “him/her?”.
  11. And then we start acting all crazy, and communicating with our partner starts becoming like walking on egg shells.
  12. But since are talking about our “partners” today, what are some signs that your partner might be insecure?
  13. How do you determine your partner is insecure? How do you know you are not reading him/her wrong?
  14. It is vital to figure out whether the person you are with is genuinely excessively insecure or not.
  15. Truth is there are normal ‘mechanisms’ to any relationship. There are ebbs and flows and mood changes.
  16. There are moments of intimacy and closeness, but also comfortable spaces. These ebbs and flows are normal.
  17. Sometimes, insecurity can come in a form of over-control. A sign of insecurity in relationships is when the desire for certainty becomes too strong.
  18. Sometimes, demanding complete and utter certainty in all and everything forever is not possible.
  19. Imagination can still make up doubts. So stop looking for certainty where it doesn’t apply; you will become insecure.
  20. Only death and taxes are certain in life; the latter is not even very certain in this clime.
  21. People with the mindset like, “All men are lying bastards!” or “All women are promiscuous money grabbers!” Often become insecure in romantic relationship.
  22. Insecurity drives people to become too ‘clingy’ or needy and this creates problems.
  23. I know this because I have been in such a relationship. My girlfriend then was a control freak.
  24. I couldn’t go out with my friend unless she gave her ‘permission’ which was always non-existent.
  25. I played musical instruments back then and my friends would invite me to their churches for rehearsals or concerts.
  26. So, most times, it was a tug of war anytime I had to go for a concert or a rehearsal at a friend’s church.
  27. We eventually broke up and it was messy, as I couldn’t handle it then; I was young and I didn’t know how to deal with it.
  28. So, how do we handle our partner’s insecurity? Do we just call it quit and look for someone else.
  29. Insecurity is a common problem, but it doesn’t always signal a relationship’s demise – if you both love each other.
  30. So, if we love our partner despite their insecurity and we want them to stop, what do we do?
  31. Do we just tell them “Hey, stop being insecure, I love you and you know it”? – Maybe! But it doesn’t really work.
  32. Fact is, we all have to live with a level of uncertainty; so insecure people will still feel insecure even when they are told they are loved.
  33. Insecure behavior lies along a broad spectrum, from mild peevishness to full-blown panic attacks.
  34. But, if your partner falls on the extreme end of that scale, and you love them; they need help.
  35. There are things you can do to help your partner’s insecurity.
  36. People who do not struggle with insecurity are often unaware how little it takes to trigger an avalanche of doubt in one who does.
  37. So, what do you do? How do you handle insecurity in a loving partner?
  38. First, ASK! Am I part of the problem?
  39. It never hurts to examine your own behavior in search of emotional land mines you may be unwittingly placing in your partner’s path.
  40. Do you routinely fail to deliver on simple promises, like promising to call or come around and you never do?
  41. Keeping your word and always doing your best is good practice in any relationship especially when you know your partner needs extra assurance.
  42. Be conscientious about following through on promises and meeting your partner’s ‘reasonable’ expectations.
  43. If you consistently demonstrate to an insecure partner that you can be counted on, over time a jealous partner will become more trusting and less suspicious.
  44. Does your idea of good-natured humor sometimes include poking fun at your partner in public?
  45. Do you talk about past partners more than you should, and may inadvertently make things worse with thoughtless words and actions?
  46. Many people respond to jealousy or insecurity in a partner by expecting them to simply “get over it.” Do you do that?
  47. If your answer is “Yes”. I’m sorry to tell you; not only is that approach uncharitable, it isn’t practical either.
  48. Insecurities are usually fueled by painful memories that are untouched by efforts to prod or shame them into silence.
  49. So, after asking yourself if you are part of the problem, what else should you do?
  50. Try not to dismiss or discount jealous partner’s feelings. Don’t always say “Not again” “You sound crazy” or “Where is this coming from?”
  51. Discounting a partner’s feelings only makes that person feel more misunderstood and it does not help solve the problem.
  52. Never let the relationship progress too far without discussing major issues.
  53. Because, when an insecure person is forced to fill in the blanks, his or her assumptions are likely to be dominated by worry and doubt.
  54. Always do your best to preempt that reflex.
  55. But In many cases, we may simply shrug off a little insecure behavior and purposely decide to live with it.
  56. But sometimes, we are tempted to ask; what part of my partner’s insecurity is tolerable?
  57. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  58. I’m not stopping you from encouraging your partner to address the underlying issues.
  59. But in the meantime, if it is very minor and both of you can live with it; it doesn’t have to dominate your relationship.
  60. Sometimes, insecure behavior can’t be so easily accepted or ignored — because it sometimes imposes unreasonable expectations upon you.
  61. But it helps to give careful thought to exactly where your “can’t stand” boundary lies, make a list with specifics.
  62. That way, if the time comes to insist on meaningful change in the relationship, you’ll know exactly where you stand and why.
  63. Yes, it’s not easy. But meaningful romantic relationship, like everything else that is meaningful, does not happen by chance.
  64. So, pertinent questions include, “Is this likely to change?” Does my partner seem capable of change and growth in this area?”
  65. Is he/she willing to invest the necessary time and effort in true healing?
  66. If you get affirmative answers to those questions, handling and healing might be an investment worth making.
  67. If however, you conclude that he/she is likely to remain mired in insecurity no matter what you do, that’s a recipe for relational suffocation and slow death.
  68. You might have to move on sooner rather than later; cos the longer you linger, the more difficult that decision will become.
  69. Finally, it helps to keep in mind that while it is possible to help an insecure lover become more secure, such changes do not happen overnight.
  70. So, think about dealing with such problems in terms of months and perhaps years. And in many cases, counseling is often needed especially if you are married.

So, that’s it for my thoughts on “Handling Your Partner’s Insecurity” I hope I have made some sense to you. You can ask me anything; tell me your own personal story/encounter with insecurity, or any form of feedback. Thank you.

Image Credit. Google

DOMESTIC ABUSE: WHEN IT IS RIGHT TO HIT A MAN

woman-slapping-man

 

This topic is not one I was thinking of writing about anytime soon, but listening in to a group of young women having a conversation around it, I decided to see if I can make sense out of what they were discussing.

They were talking generally about domestic abuse, and one asked if the other two had hit a man before as she had never done it and would consider any woman doing that as one with a death wish. One of them replied she had actually slapped a guy she was dating back in school and when she was asked the reaction of the guy, she said the guy was shocked and he simply walked away probably because he knew the gravity of what he did and he knew he deserved even more than the slap he had just received. Well…!

Truth is domestic violence or abuse against men is not what anyone wants to really discuss though it has been around for centuries but has been a largely hidden issue. It is a common knowledge that it isn’t just women who are victims of domestic abuse, there are abused men too and they live in our society. Domestic abuse against men takes many of same forms as it does against women; physical violence, intimidation, threats, sexual, emotional, psychological, verbal, property damage and social isolation are some forms of abuse men go through as well. And like some of their female counterparts, abused men often face many barriers to disclosing their abuse.

In Nigeria, we have many support groups and services for abused women but I have not seen any of such for the men who are being abused, mainly because there is a perpetual bias against these men and little understanding of the issues the face. I have heard about women who poured acid on their men because they cheated, some cut off their man’s penis, and not too long ago, a picture of a burning Range Rover car surfaced on the social media, the story behind it was that the owner (a man) cheated/broke up with his babe and the babe set his car on fire. Last month, Freeze of Cool FM posted pictures of injuries he sustained from violent abuse from his ex-wife, but was there outrage? No, rather people were abusing him especially on blogs’ comment section. Some asked him to grow up; some called him a drama queen, some called him an outright liar, while some simply call him a weak man – most of these comments were from women.

Whenever I date, I always try to look out for your level of aggression; I have always believed an overly aggressive person will someday become an abusive person. Of course you don’t have to believe in what I believe in, but when you are too aggressive even to other people, we can’t even go far. I remember one ex of mine I dated when I was 20. I just rented my first apartment – a very small room somewhere in Agege and was feeling like a big boy. One day we had an argument over some neighbor (a girl) she claimed I was talking to and she wasn’t comfortable with; the argument became serious, then she became wild, turning the apartment upside down, tore my calendar into shreds, yanked my clothes off the hangar, tore the nylon containing foodstuff, threw the kerosene stove outside and was still looking for other things to destroy but there was none, because I didn’t have any electronic gadget- not even a transistor radio. I allowed her to cool off and after about two weeks, I broke up with her. I am not a crazy person and I would rather let crazy people date one another.

A lot of men who are abused cannot come out the way Freeze did because they are afraid they are likely to be told that there must be something they did to provoke the perpetrator’s abuse. They suffer shame, embarrassment and the social stigma of not being able to protect themselves especially from their friends and fellow men. And in cases of married partner violence, they can fear that if they disclose the abuse or end the relationship, their partner might become more abusive and/or take the children especially if the partner is more financially stable than they are. Support services are less likely to ask whether a man is a victim of family violence, and when they do ask and he confirms, they are less likely to believe him. In everyone’s mind, a man must be the perpetrator and never the victim. And because of these barriers, men are much less likely to report being a victim of violence in a marriage than women. We have seen advocates of abused women argue that proponents of female perpetrated violence and abuse especially in marriage are part of an anti-feminists backlash, and are attempting to undermine the problem of male perpetrated abuse and violence by championing the cause of the battered man over the “much more serious” cause of the battered woman. They believe if we talk about female perpetrated abuse in marriage, the notion that domestic abuse is an extension of patriarchal dominance would no longer be valid.

But does it mean that we men don’t do things that would make a woman feel like pounding our face with a pestle once in a while? No. But if we think domestic violence and abuse against women is bad, no matter the level of provocation from the woman, we should say the same for men too. Women shouldn’t go around slapping men, burning their cars, destroying their properties and throwing acid on them just because they felt whatever they did is bad and deserving of such “punishment” we are all human beings and should be treated like one. For me, DOMESCTIC ABUSE AND VIOLENCE is a NO, and there can never be anyone deserving of it at any time, be it a woman or a man. What say ye?

Image Credit – menshumanrightsireland.org

ACTORS AND PRESENTERS’ AUDITION: WHAT TO DO AT THE AUDITION

auditions ima

Last time, we discussed what you should do before you go for any audition but if you missed it, you can read it HERE.

Now that you have it and know that we stopped at you arriving early, let’s go straight into today’s topic which is what you should do when you get to the audition venue.

REGISTER:

At every professional audition, you are most likely to be auditioned on first-come-first-served basis, unless you are going for “call backs” where you might be auditioned based on who you are paired with. So, when you get to the venue, don’t just sit in your car, or in some corner, ask for a list, where your name and your arrival time will be written. And let your name be legible because if the coordinator comes out to call people and he/she can’t read your name because of your poor handwriting, you might just miss your chance to be auditioned on time. Another important thing is your phone number and e-mail address, write it very clearly and always write your primary phone number first, it’s the one they are likely to call when inviting you for call-backs.

You are also most likely to be given a sticky tag with same number as the one on your audition form, you are meant to paste the tag on your upper body for the camera to see as you go in to face the judges. It’s important you place it correctly so it won’t be too hard to sort out your form when they are playing back the video

BE CONFIDENT:  

The audition starts from when you walk into the room, so walk in with confidence, be aware of your surroundings, smile at the judges and greet warmly. Do not put yourself into an emotional “state” trying to “get into character” before you walk into the room, or else you’ll miss the opportunity to reveal your own personality when you walk in, and God forbid, have a meaningful and fun conversation with the judges in the event they want to. But remember not to be overly chatty or too eager to please, and don’t flirt with the judges even if you know any of them, please don’t! You are there for a serious business; keep everything moderate. It’s also advisable to have a monologue ready to perform at an audition either you have been pre-informed or not. Most presenters’ auditions will ask you to present something of your own – your own story. Be prepared because you would want to be memorable; the judges are seeing hundreds of people in a day.

LISTEN VERY WELL:

The panel of judges will always give you some instructions. Your job at the time is to listen very well; you don’t want to come across as an actor who doesn’t know how to listen. They will ask you to introduce yourself, turn to the right, towards them, to the left, and back towards them; this is for the camera to get your profile shots. And then ask you to tell them what role you are auditioning for. This process is called “SLATING”, and it is a simple process of telling your name, age (sometimes) and the role you are auditioning for in the case of a theatrical audition, so keep it simple and semi-formal. All you need to do is look into the camera and say “Hello, my name is Chris Bamidele Oyeyemi, I am 30 years old and auditioning for the role of Dayo” or something close to that. The key to slating is to be natural, it should not be “over the top,” and it should certainly not be boring, do it just like when you first meet a person; you want to give a good first impression that shows confidence and ease. And please do not say, “My names are” it is wrong; it is bad English, except your names actually ‘are’ Chris, Bamidele and Oyeyemi. You get my drift?

DITCH THE FAKE ACCENT:

I wrote about “Unidentified Flying Accent” sometimes back. You can read it HERE. Throwing fake accents around happens a lot at presenters’ audition, and unknown to many wannabes, this lower their chances of being selected by more than 70%. Stick to your normal accent, and only try to pronounce properly. No one is going to be impressed if they can’t place your accent anywhere or if you switch several accents in a paragraph while trying to sound “posh”! All you need to do is speak proper English and pronounce your words properly. At the last audition I worked, I noticed a lot of people especially ladies don’t/can’t pronounce properly. Most pronounce “Three” as “Tree”, “Ask” as “Aks” and some pronounce “Egg” as “Hegg”. My Yoruba fellows will understand this. LOL.

Also, if you attend a professional acting audition, you are likely to have a reader who will read the script with you. The reader is not an actor; he/she is just there reading the lines of other characters for you. Don’t get carried away by the presence of this person, he/she is there to read while you are there to listen to him/her for your cue and ACT as you read your own lines. DON’T FORGET THIS!

The last point is what you should do after the audition.

ANSWER YOUR PHONE AND CHECK YOUR MAILS:

The production house might decide to call you back for a second stage of the audition within 24 hours or more if you perform well at the first general audition; it’s advisable to ditch the mindset of “They already know who they want to cast”.  So, always ensure you check your e-mails regularly, and your primary phone line stays on at all times, if you missed a call from an unregistered number after an audition, try to call back or send a text message. And always be polite while answering your call, the person calling you back might be a pompous and angry production assistant, if you sound rude on phone, he/she might just cut the phone on you. So, smile as you pick up your phone, sound professional and courteous when you talk, and go ahead to clinch that role that will make you a SUPERSTAR!

ACTORS AND PRESENTERS’ AUDITION: WHAT TO DO BEFORE…!

auditions ima

I posted the preamble to this article last week and if you didn’t read it, you might have missed a whole lot of information and I wouldn’t want that to happen to you. So, I strongly advise you read it HERE before continuing with this one.

Ok, now that you have read it and you know that I will be talking about what to do before, during, and after a professional audition; let’s dive fully into today’s serving, which is what to do BEFORE the audition itself – before you walk into that room where you will face the camera and the panel of jugdes which might include casting director(s), producer(s), and sometimes the movie director. Remember, the only thing you are going to do in that room is to make a positive impression on the panel and you might not have more than 2 minutes to do that; sometimes less. So what do you do before you go in and rake in all the “YESES” from the panel of judges?

  1. GET SOME TRAINING

No matter how little, get some professional training before you start attending any audition for acting or presentation. Know the difference between acting for stage and for television; know what they look for in a TV presenter. I mentioned in my last article that acting or presentation is as much art as it is a talent. While I believe some people are natural; a lot of people can still train to become better. So, go to a school, watch a YouTube video, get some tutorial, whatever you want to do and however you want to do it, make sure you get some training so you won’t go for the audition and look like a joke in front of the panel.

  1. LOOK IN THE RIGHT PLACE

As unbelievable as this might sound, a lot of people who want to become actors, don’t know where to look for auditions. A good number of them still rely on those black and white posters on PHCN poles screaming “ACTORS NEEDED FOR NEW TV SERIES”. My dear, if you are one of these people, you are not ready to attend professional auditions; you are just looking for people that will scam you or pay you N2000 for your acting role at best.

This is 2015, serious production houses don’t print posters and paste in some obscure areas in Agege or Ajangbadi; they call for auditions on mainstream media and on social media. Some established actors/presenters get called for auditions on their phones but for you as a “wannabe”. You have to know the right place to look and on time too. I hear lots of young people tell me they are not on any social media especially twitter and yet they want to know what is going on around them before anyone else. I have seen professional audition-call on Facebook and on twitter and I didn’t get to see same on TV or maybe I just couldn’t catch them because of electricity or because I wasn’t home when the ad ran. So, first thing is for you to look in the right place for the right kind of audition.

  1. REHEARSE; PREPARE

If you are attending a professional audition, you will always get a script 1 – 3 days before the audition date. At worst, one would be given to you right at the audition venue; but since you’ve had some training, you should be able to memorize and internalize a few lines before you go in to face the panel. But if you get your script days before the audition, then you have enough time to rehearse everywhere. Rehearse in front of your mirror, in the kitchen, in the bath, with your sibling, your friends, just anywhere but not while crossing an express road though; but ensure the lines become part of you before you step into that room. Because you are expected to act the lines and not just read them. Remember, you are auditioning to act in a play or present to a TV audience and not just to look cute.

  1. ALWAYS HAVE A PHOTO

At every professional audition, your photograph will be required and if you are a serious ‘wannabe’ you would always carry one or two with you to every audition without being asked. The required photo at auditions is called a “HEADSHOT”, an 8×10 inches photo. But here in Nigeria, 5×7 inches photo can also work. I have seen some people come to auditions with a passport photograph, my dear that’s no headshot. And bad headshot can actually limit your chances of getting picked especially if the person doing the eventual sorting was not sitting in the room when you auditioned.

Here are tips for a good headshot: Make sure it looks like you, don’t airbrush yourself out of the photograph. Note that it’s more than just a shot of your head, forget the fact that it is called a headshot; casting directors need more details about you by just looking at your picture and without having to playback the tape. Also its advisable to go portrait and not landscape, let it be coloured and not black and white, and also stay away from cheesy angles and poses.

  1. STUDY THE CHARACTER BIBLE

This is for actors. Most professional auditions will provide you with what we call “Character Bible” It’s a document that gives you background information into the character(s) you will be auditioning for. It contains the age, sex, attitude, physical description and personality of the character. Sometimes, production houses let you choose the character you think you would fit into perfectly, so it is important you read this character bible (when available); so you won’t be rehearsing for the role of a 55year old Chief, when you are just a 25 year old man. No matter how good you are or think you are; the panel will not take you serious if you don’t look like the character described in the character bible, as long as one is provided.

Character Bible will also help you in choosing how to dress and look for the role you are auditioning for. For example, if the character bible talks about the lead character as “A man in his 40’s, suave, smart and distinguished-looking. He comes from a middle-class upbringing. He dresses for comfort and practicality rather than fashion.” You better look for someone who have a good dress sense and tell you how to dress and look the part so you don’t turn up and look like a wannabe rapper.

  1. COME EARLY

I often drum this to people ears at auditions. The audition call says “Audition starts from 10am and ends at 5pm” Some will stroll in at 4:30pm and when you tell them they can no longer be auditioned, they go “Bros, but they announced the audition ends at 5pm, it not 5 pm yet” that’s how most wannabes are. Auditions closing time means when everyone must have been auditioned, so audition coordinators sometimes close the list some hours before the closing time slated for the audition so that everyone on the list can get auditioned before the closing time of 5pm as announced.

Also, I would have loved to tell you everyone will be judged same way and with same parameters. But reality is the judges are human, they get tired.  Especially after watching countless auditions that were less than inspiring or memorable. So, in order to make the best impression, make every effort to come earlier.  Not only are the judges fresher and more alert, there are also fewer auditions for them to compare you to.

So, I want to believe you will put all these into practice and also get to your next audition venue earlier than you used to. Next week, I will tell you about what to do once you are at the audition venue and when you eventually get called in. CIAO!

ACTORS AND PRESENTERS’ AUDITIONS: DO’S AND DONT’S (PREAMBLE)

auditions ima

A lot of Nigerians want to act, a lot can act; as a matter of fact everyone can act, just that not everyone can act for TV or stage.

That said, a lot of wannabe actors in Nigeria understand next to nothing about becoming a professional actor. They wake up feeling they are natural born actors and then believe they can just waltz into our TV screen and make us scream for admiration of their acting prowess.

Acting is as much art as it is a talent. While I believe there are natural born actors, they are few and far between, as most good actors you find today have spent years training to become even good enough for small parts.

Professional acting has become very competitive and even in Nigeria, the days of “I randomly followed my friend to a film set, the director saw me and handed me some nice role because of my looks; and from there I started my journey upward…” is over. No one gets a movie role that way anymore, Nollywood is stepping up and rapidly too; most casting now starts with audition process. But because a lot of people think they are talented actors or they have acted one or two stage plays in their church, they are tempted to jump right into the audition process. My advice is if you are a beginner with no training, the best thing you can do is find some sort of acting class or tutorial. No matter how good you think you are, the last thing you want to do is to go to an audition and not know what you’re doing – which is very common these days.

So, in my next two or three articles, I am going to be telling you what to do and what not to do at that audition. I am going to stick with auditions for actors and presenters because that is my area of competence for now, and for actors, it’s going to be for Television and not stage. 

I will classify audition process in Nigeria in about 3 categories; even if these categories are not official or formal, I have been to a number of auditions in Nigeria to know what goes on there and I am sure many wannabe actors have been there as well.

So, I call the first category of audition process “SCAM AUDITION”. In other words, the people behind this audition process are just a bunch of hungry men and women looking for young and unsuspecting wannabe actors to scam. They are not producing any film or any TV series; they are just looking for quick money and some young ladies to have sex with and then disappear right after. There are signs to look for so you don’t fall victim to these scammers, and I will tell you a few.

  • BUY AN AUDITION FORM: When you go for any audition and they tell you to buy a form for N500 or N1000, remove your pumps or stiletto heel shoes, keep them in your bags, take out your slippers, wear them and run very fast. You might think it is just N500 Naira and it is such a small price to pay for you to become a celeb actor, but N500 in 2000 places is a whooping 1Million Naira. So please keep your money for gala and Lacasera.
  • REGISTER WITH US: Some of these people will want to get your confidence and reel you in slowly. They won’t ask you to buy audition form, they will let you audition and call you back that you made the cut and then ask you to buy registration form to become a part of the production house. Once they do that, it’s a red flag, it’s a scam. RUN! Remember, you are applying for a JOB! Means, they pay YOU at some point and not the other way round.
  • SUBMIT “STEAMY” PICS: Some will ask ladies to submit pictures in lingerie, swimsuits, or even topless. Some will even ask you if you know how to kiss very well and ask you to kiss some guy among them. They will say all sorts of things to convince you, RUN. No serious casting directors (Acting) will ask you any other thing than a “headshot” or “full body shot” (clothed). Don’t do anything out of the ordinary, your steamy pictures or videos could appear anywhere – without your consent.

I can go on and on but I need to touch the other two.

Next category of audition process is “QUACK AUDITION” These ones are not going to scam you, but I call them quack for lack of a better word. These ones call for auditions without any formal document or something to prepare you as an actor or a presenter. The casting director might tell you something like “Assuming you came home from work and find your husband on top of your mother, react let us see” Then you see people rolling on the floor, jumping up and down, doing all sort of rubbish to convince the “quacks” that they know how to act and react.

Some quack casting directors will just look at a lady and cast her for a role because she is light skinned, tall, endowed and pleasing to their eye. But when the real shooting starts, same lady might not be able act to save her life. I featured in a popular soap back in 2002 from the acting school I was attending then; at the audition, the casting director just looked at the tallest guy with the meanest look among us and gave him the supporting act role. When we got on set, and the director yelled action! Dude froze in front of camera; he couldn’t say one line even after more than 5 takes. They had to call some established actor to come play the role and we wasted 2 days sorting that out. Sadly, there are still many casting directors casting this way in Nollywood. You people need to repent and become professionals; it’s not that hard to have a proper audition.

The third one is the “PROFESSIONAL AUDITION” the one I call proper audition and the one I will be preparing you for later on this blog. For most professional auditions, ‘auditionees’ must bring a professional 8″ x 10″ photo called a “head shot” and a resume that indicates their acting experience and training. Though they might still audition you without those (depending on how generous the casting director is feeling) But It is highly recommended that actors bring a copy of the head shot and resume.

At a professional audition, actors and actresses are given “Audition sides” which are often a few pages of the script with the roles that they are auditioning for. These sides are often given to the actors 1–3 days before the audition and some will provide you with “Character Bible” which contains information about the characters; name, age, sex, personality, attitude etc. This is to guide you as you try to play a character, so you don’t start reading and practicing for a character you don’t fit into. You might love to play the lead role but if the lead character is 20 years old, fair complexioned, soft spoken… you can’t audition for that role if you are 45 years old, dark skinned and with husky voice. It has nothing to do with your talent; it simply means you don’t fit.

So, next week, I am going to start telling you what to do and what not do before, during, and after a professional audition as you strive to become that TV presenter or celebrity actor you’ve always wanted to be. CIAO!

U.F.A (UNIDENTIFIED FLYING ACCENT)

ACCENTS JPEG

It is estimated that there are almost 7000 languages on earth today; some are almost going into extinction with just a little over 1000 speakers. But I am not talking about languages and their extinction today; I believe I wrote something about that before. Read it HERE. I am looking at something that has to do with languages and dialects – Accents!

Accent is a distinctive manner of expression, it’s an individual’s distinctive or characteristic inflection, or intonation, or choice of words — usually a way of speaking typical of a particular group of people and especially of the natives or residents of a region” When they say “He speaks with an accent” it means the way he speaks betrays his social or geographical origin. So, it means there is a particular way you are expected to sound if you are from a particular place. 

A lot of Nigerians are so fixated on speaking with British or American accent, and I am still trying to understand why a lot of us would do so when live and grew up here and when majority of the people we communicate with daily are Nigerians and will understand us better with our Nigerian accent.

A good number of our OAPs are guilty of this and while I cannot say if it is one of the criteria or the major criterion for being an OAP in some Nigerian Radio Stations, it is disgusting most times to hear people who have no mastery of a particular accent trying to assault our eardrums with their bad spoken English.

Most social scientists argue that some accents are found more aesthetically pleasing to the ears than others because of the social connotations ascribed to them; I believe nothing intrinsic to accents makes them more or less pleasing to listen to; it solely depends on who is listening. Some Nigerians believe speaking “Nigerian” accented English is wrong; this is absolute nonsense! As long as you speak and pronounce correctly, I don’t see anything fundamentally wrong in being “Nigerian”
 with your accent. We hear Germans, French, Italians, Kenyans and people from all other world speak English with their accents and we don’t laugh at them; if it is not wrong for them to do so, why should it be wrong for us Nigerians?

The very annoying one for me is when I hear Nigerians speaking through their noses and then they believe they have an American or British accent. In the first place, who says we must sound like the British or Americans when we speak English? Do you sound like them when you speak Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo? When I hear anyone trying to form an accent he/she does not understand, I conclude that such a person has low self-esteem and is suffering from slavery mentality.

 There is nothing wrong with you as a Nigerian if you were born in France and grew up speaking English with a French accent. But what is wrong is thinking that once you speak through your nose, you are suddenly speaking some foreign accent and you are sounding cool and sexy. No, you are not, rather you are sounding dumb because we cannot identify where your accent is coming from; your accent is flying everywhere, and we cannot identify it.

A lot of Nigerians only travelled to the UK for a 2 week holiday and boom! They are back with a heavy accent that cannot be placed anywhere because you obviously cannot pick up any accent even in 1 year not to talk of 2 weeks. There is a general belief out there that if you spend a good number of years living in an English speaking country surrounded by locals who you’re speaking with on a daily basis, you’re going to adopt their ways of pronouncing certain English words and sentences. Well, while that is true to a certain degree, it is your own determination and effort that determines whether you’re going to speak with the accent of people around you or not! You don’t “pick up” a different accent just because you’re listening to people; you have to make the effort to SPEAK with that accent in order to acquire it. This is the reason Kanu Nwankwo who spent almost 20 years in different parts of Holland, Italy and England playing football didn’t come back with any accent whatsoever, but young Nigerians these days will go to Qatar to work in a factory and come back with an American accent and even their friends who saw them off to the airport will likely come back home with a British accent.

And there is another annoying thing Nigerians who live in Nigeria do when having conversations with any Caucasian or white/red/black skin foreigner here in Nigeria; they speak through their noses, trying to “funkify” some words and sound like “them”. Most of these people do not even have international passport not to talk of travelling to any European country and they are here trying to form ‘accent’ for an “Oyinbo” man in Nigeria. This is absolutely rubbish and I can slap you if I was close to you when you do that nonsense. I worked with an international film crew last year, they were from different European countries and have different accents, but they had to learn how to cope with my Nigerian accent too because we were having loads of conversation throughout their 10weeks stay. While I will make effort to pronounce words properly and make correct sentences, I will never modify my tone/accent just to sound “good” to you no matter the colour of your skin.

So, back to the people who would like to become presenters, actors, OAPs, compères and all, please make effort to pronounce correctly, and do not waste time practicing any accent other than your own, the one you grew up with and speak naturally, except if you are required to play someone with a different accent. If you go for an audition with a fake and unidentified accent, you lower your chances of being picked by 50% no matter how good you look. And who says Nigerian accent is not sexy? Check this CNN article back in 2014 HERE and see for yourself.

Next week, I will talk to aspiring actors, presenters and the likes about auditions: What TO do before, during, and after; and definitely what NOT to do. CIAO.

CALABAR! AMAZING DESTINATION FOR YOUR EASTER HOLIDAY

scenes-from-calabar-by-jide-odukoya-1

Easter Sunday is one of the most celebrated festive events among Christians worldwide. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death, according to Christian beliefs and as written in the bible. This year’s Easter falls on the first weekend in the month of April as Easter Sunday is on Sunday, April 5, 2015.

One thing out of many things Nigerians do a lot at Easter is attending church services. Most churches will experience more attendance than they would on a usual Sunday morning. For Christians in Nigeria, going to church on Easter Sunday is a must and one must prepare for multiple ‘thanksgiving’ offering.

Another thing we do a lot is going out on picnics. When I was a kid back in my town in Osun state, we would all attend “Galilee” on Easter Monday to meet with the “Risen Jesus” (at least that was what we were told). All the churches in my town will be at the secondary school football field under different and colourful canopies, choir singing, friends and families sharing foods, meeting new friends from other churches and a lot of fun activities. In a city like Lagos, Ibadan, Port Harcourt etc., it might be a bit different. As a lot of people will go to cinemas, restaurants, shopping malls, beaches where available and other fun places available.

Other activities include travelling to the village, organizing a family feast, attending traditional weddings, events and the likes. But sometimes you just want to go to a totally different place, maybe somewhere you haven’t been before, and do something new. So, if your question is “Where am I/are we going to spend this holiday?” worry no more, I have the answer for you, and it is, CALABAR where the warmest welcome in Nigeria awaits you.

If you are still wondering why Calabar should be your destination of choice for the Easter holiday, let me tell you some places to visit and fun things to do while in CALABAR.

  • TAKE A BOAT RIDE TO THE CREEKS  

    Calabar Creek

    Calabar Creek

You can take a boat ride and explore the creeks which have been unhampered for centuries. You can also visit exciting spots such as the first Christian house of worship in Nigeria (1850) Creek Town Presbyterian Church and its historical cemetery. Eyo Ema Ekon’s 1895 prefabricated building shipped in from the UK, Mary Slessor’s prefabricated house dating back to 1887 and various landmarks of historical importance.

  • VISIT THE MARINA RESORT 

    Tortuga Island (Marina Resort)

    Tortuga Island (Marina Resort)

The Marina Resort in Calabar sits on a great historical site, the water mouth of Calabar. It stands near old slave trade sites where 30 percent of the slaves that left Africa were deported. Today, the Marina Resort is a preserved historical site, an ‘island’, a cinema house, and recreation center with a carousel and other entertainment for the children and extraordinary views of the Calabar River.

FilmHouse Cinema (Marina Resort)

FilmHouse Cinema (Marina Resort)

The slave history museum is located right inside Marina Resort, and you can have an experiential tour and gain greater understanding of the immense travails leading up to the emancipation of Africans sold as slaves. Sights and sounds of that era have been enacted to take you back in time and feel exactly the happenings of the past. The famed Tortuga ‘island’ is a sit-out inside the resort overlooking the Calabar River lapping alluringly on the well-fortified edges of the long rows of well-trimmed flower hedged walk ways. You can order from a well-stocked bar and expertly roasted fish alongside a few other things you would sure enjoy. You can also enjoy a movie or two at the Filmhouse cinema located inside the resort.

  • VISIT NIGERIA’S FIRST ‘STATE HOUSE’ 

    Old Residency Museum (Nigeria's First State House)

    Old Residency Museum (Nigeria’s First State House)

The old residency museum is a place to visit while in town. The imposing and ornate building once served as the headquarters of the Protectorate of the Southern Coast until 1906 when the capital was moved to Lagos, and currently houses artifacts and relics of historical and archaeological interest.

  • ENJOY THE LOCAL CUISINES

    Afang Soup

    Afang Soup

You don’t want to visit Calabar without trying out their tasty cuisines like freshly prepared Fisherman’s soup, Edikang-Ikong Soup, Afia Efere Soup, Ekpang Nkukwo Dish, Afang Soup and many others.

  • TASTE THE NIGHTLIFE

    Pinnacle Pub and Nite Club, Calabar

    Pinnacle Pub and Nite Club, Calabar

Lastly, if nightlife and clubbing are your things, nightlife in Calabar is fun, the clubs have amazing DJ’s, and the girls are beautiful. Some of the clubs are Jasper 131 (Marian Road), Mayfair Lounge (MCC Road), Quorum Lounge (Atekong Drive), Pinnacle Nightclub (MCC Road), Pete’s Ville Nightclub (2nd Avenue, State Housing Estate), Bay’s Bar (Diamond Hills), Beverly Heels Club (Calabar Municipal) and many others.

So, what are you waiting for? I suggest you call your travel agent now and experience Calabar this Easter Holiday.

 

ANOTHER YEAR!

images

Another year has come and gone,

It’s my birthday once again.

I’m another year older

And though the world seems colder

Yet, God is kinder

 ♥

Another year is here

A tear cascade down my collar.

My tear not because I’m happy or sad

Life hasn’t been so good or so bad

Yet, God is my father

 ♥

Another year older

I grow much bolder

Yet my heart still burns

And for love it forever yearns

Till it gets the one whose smile ignites

 ♥

Another year wiser

More pages added to my folder

Letting go of past rage and pain

Living life trying to feel sane

Yet, my love will not wane

 ♥

Another year stronger

Learning how to breathe better

Searching for the courage to create

And for the courage to say

Yes, I am inspired

 ♥

Another year better

Another lesson further

Never love too soon,

Never judge too soon

Never expect too high

But I’m not afraid to try

Another year farther

Another rejection to smother

Life is for me to learn from

As calculated as a mathematical sum

As softly as a milk tooth leaving a baby’s gum

Another year older

I appreciate my heavenly father

Life might not go as I ponder

But I am in his debt forever

Cos he’s got more for me than I pander

And By His grace it’ll even be better.

♦♦♦

GUYS: YOUR GUIDE TO HITTING YOUR WOMAN’S G-SPOT (18+)

g-spot

Some of us believe once a babe is screaming and writhing in “supposed” pleasure as we deliver hard strokes with our “kondo olopa” then, we are hitting the g-spot. Maybe yes, since some of us have read a few things online, or in some romance magazine about how G-spot is that place that produces a very powerful kind of stimulation and enjoyment for women. So for most of us, once a woman screams our name endlessly or wriggle in ‘utmost pleasure’ while we are slamming away, we are hitting the G-spot. Shikena!

Well truth is nothing is farther from the truth concerning what we thought we knew about that mythological fountain of women that is believed to be full of treasure, pleasure, and all knowledge of self and humanity.

Noticed I said ‘mythological’? Yes, because not all women even attain orgasm during sex, not to talk of knowing where their G-spot is, and some who claimed to reach orgasm are just faking it; trust me, women can tell you more about ‘faking’ it, if they want to be truthful. So, what is the truth?

The clitoris before now was considered the only trigger for the female orgasm and even at that, finding the clitoris has been and still is a daunting task for many men, especially in this part of the world where we practiced/(still practicing) female genital mutilation and a large chunk of the clitoris area must have been severed. But in 1950, a gynecologist and sexologist, Dr. Ernst Grafenberg found an even more mysterious female pleasure spot hidden within the vagina (which was later named after him in the 1980s) but, I’m sure the gynecologist must have been looking for something else  before stumbling on something else that when stimulated, produces a very powerful kind of female orgasm; and in some women, produces female ejaculation, colloquially known as “squirting” (Trust me, I have seen few girls squirt and oh! what a feeling…) *winks*.

So, the question for men is how do you locate, stimulate, and discover the best sex position to hit the woman’s G-spot which has become the Holy Grail of female pleasuring?

First, where is the G-spot located? Sexologists told us that the location varies from woman to woman but generally should be located about one to two inches back from the vaginal opening inside the front vaginal wall. That should mean as if you are moving towards the belly button but from inside the vagina. So, how do you locate it? Well, the fastest way and maybe surest way of locating it will be using your finger while your partner is lying on her back and possibly propped by a pillow for maximum effect. Gently insert your index or long middle finger into her vagina as far as it will easily go and use your thumb or the other index finger on the outside of the hairy area above the pubic bone to lightly massage the skin in the area where your middle finger which by now should be turned up towards yourself (as if you are gesticulating to someone to come towards you) then try sliding the inserted fingertip along the top of the vagina until you find an area that is rougher than the rest of that vaginal wall. If you find it, your woman’s reaction will surprise even you. But, make sure your fingernails are trimmed mbok!

If you don’t get a reaction, don’t be too shy to ask her if she feels especially sensitive when you touch what you think is the spot. You may need to use a fair amount of pressure to find the G-spot because it is located within, not outside of the vaginal wall. Now, let’s say you have found it, how do you stimulate and continue hitting it during sex? Afterall you will not use your finger all through the… you know?

Well, the general misconception for men most time is that, we believe the size of our organ will determine if we hit a woman’s G-spot everytime or not. Well, it is not true, because you do not have to possess a horse-like phallus to hit the G-spot, but at the same time, you don’t have to possess a micropenis penis sha, as that might make it more difficult to even reach the place. So, after finding the G-spot, let the woman remain in the same position, lying on her back with the pillow underneath her ass thereby propping her up, this position brings the front wall of the vagina closer and tilts the G-spot upward for adequate penile stimulation during sex. Other sex positions that will ensure hitting the G-spot include: The “woman on top” (cowgirl) position, posterior (doggy style) positions, the seated scissors position and any other one you can try out to achieve the purpose of hitting the G-spot.

But while several men may have to find positions that maximize penile contact with the front wall of the vagina in order to hit the G-spot, a man whose penis has a natural upward bend, (like I know some guys do) has got it made. So, even if he decides to stay missionary all night long, his woman will enjoy repetitive stimulation of the G-spot.

But in all these, you can still enjoy sex with your partner with or without finding and hitting the G-spot as not all women are G-spot sensitive, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t make her squirt or get that special reaction. Communicating with your partner and trying out new things with each other (not BDSM biko) can ensure you discover other areas in her body that she responds to, even more enthusiastically.

 

4 TIPS TO BECOMING A MATURED LEADER

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Leadership and entrepreneurship are intertwined, because to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to first be a successful leader. And since you would need to motivate and inspire yourself and your team every day, one can safely say, if you were not matured enough as a leader, your entrepreneurial skill set would not be a complete one.

Leadership is a quality that can be learned and then continuously strengthened until maturity. Some of our most celebrated business leaders didn’t start out that way, they matured into their leadership roles by actively responding to the world around them, re-evaluating their strengths and weaknesses and taking notes from all experiences they come across as they go by. 

Here are four things you need to keep in mind if you want to become a matured leader.

 

  1. DON’T BE SCARED TO FAIL BIG

Most aspiring entrepreneurs have great ideas, but they are consistently blocked by some variety of fear Ron Holland said “Failure can either be a stepping stone to success or a stumbling to defeat.” But I believe that if you never tried to do anything at all, you would never know if you would be achieving success or kissing defeat eventually.  As a person, I can give you a long list of decisions I have made which turned out wrong, but the good thing is, I try to fall forward, learning from each and every mistake. If you read testimonials of some great and successful men, most of them failed and failed big at some point in time. But they got up, dusted themselves and moved on more intelligently.

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND BANISH SELF-DOUBT

Most times, we are often our own worst critics. We overestimate the risk in our minds and see ourselves as more vulnerable to them, forgetting how competent and capable we have been and could still be.  If we keep paying more attention to that feelings of doubt or anxiety, our self-image would be distorted, and the lack of confidence will stop us from taking charge. So, in order to keep self-doubt at bay, let’s stop focusing on what we haven’t done, look at our daily progresses and celebrate past accomplishment.  This will help in keeping our confidence level high thereby ensuring those necessary tough or unpopular calls are more doable.

  1. BREAK THE MOLD; THINK INDEPENDENTLY

Our brains are wired to recycle ideas we’ve already heard from others, but independent thinking will ensure you create a truly outstanding product or service. When solving a challenge, always make effort to think things through and think a step ahead of the pack, do not focus too much on standard style, but on the result. People think of new solutions everyday, so don’t get stucked in other people’s way of solving problems; zoom out of your comfort zone to see variables that others might have overlooked and as much as you can and rule out elements of solutions that are most expected or obvious.

  1. CULTIVATE GENEROSITY

Creating an organizational culture of generosity is healthy for business. Researches have shown that engaging in acts of kindness is associated with greater happiness. While being stressed and in a negative mood puts our bodies into fight-or-flight mode and limits our range of thoughts, making us less effective problem solvers, positive emotions can improve productivity and inspire innovation. An organizational culture of generosity encourages employees to work collaboratively. It also gives employees a sense that what they are doing is valuable; it gives them the opportunities to feel they’re getting fulfilment through their work and not just a paycheck.

NIGERIA’S PRESIDENTIAL CONVOY AT NIGHT [VIDEO]

This video of the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s convoy was discreetly filmed by a man walking back to his apartment in Lagos. I think this has to be one of the largest Presidential convoys in the world. What do you think? See video below

 

YES! YOU CAN OWN A BLOG; HERE ARE 7 TIPS

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I know there are lot of blogs out there, but yours can still stand out, you can still command your own audience and readers; all what you need is to start. Blogging will make you a better person, because you are now responsible to a whole lot of people, and a better writer, because you are now writing more often than before. I agree we all cannot be writers, but if you can tweet; you can write.

Most of us believe writing is very hard; an arduous task that requires a lot of brain power. Maybe that is true but you sometimes tweet 10 times in a day and if your tweet has 140 characters which is the maximum you can type, posting such 10 times in a day would make you have 1400 words on twitter. So, imagine if you wrote that and post it on your blog. And you can also make money from blogging someday, which in my opinion is the best thing that can happen to a blogger especially in such economy as ours.

So, here are some tips for you if you have been thinking about blogging forever and you don’t know how to go about starting one. These tips however, are for beginners or people who think blogging is so hard. If you are already a pro, you might just help add some other tips not mentioned in this post. Enjoy

  1. CHOOSE A PLATFORM:

I started writing few years back and my first platform was my Facebook wall. I would make FB post and then tag all of my friends. But as times went by, I moved to other platforms and I am currently thinking of moving to another. So, as a beginner, you need to choose your preferred blogging platform, (free blog platform preferably) learn how to use the different available themes, most of which are free, and then you are on your way to becoming a blogger.

  1. WRITE FOR YOURSELF:

After getting a platform, learn how to write for yourself. Don’t be too conscious of people reading your blog. Just focus on your own thoughts, your opinion and your capability. Ignore the fact that anyone else will read what you write, all you need is to figure out how to put those things in your heads into words. Just know that, the more you write for yourself, the better your writing becomes, and the more people will key into your style of writing.

  1. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE

As you continue writing, you will have to narrow down your audience by deciding which topics you want to write on and who you want to write for, this is most times determined by which subject(s) you are most knowledgeable at. When I started writing, fiction was comfortable for me, so I stayed writing fiction for about 8 months, and my audience naturally came to me. Most of them are my personal friends and business partners today. So, when you identify the kind of audience your writings attract, you would know how to develop your general content.

  1. GROW YOUR BLOG AND GATHER IDEAS

Next step is to grow your blog, make it bigger. One way of doing this is to gather ideas of what topics people would most like to read about, when you write what they would love to read, your blog will grow automatically. You can gather ideas from your social media accounts; Interact with your friends and followers on twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn with an engaging quote or topic. If they respond well to it, write about it and watch your blog grow.

  1. WRITE CATCHY HEADLINES

Your content might be great in no time, but no matter how great it is, if you have wacky headlines, it won’t count for much. First timers to your blog have a split second to decide if they should click on your post or not, and your headline will make them decide. Your headline should also be concise as it is very essential in making it easy and desirable for people to share your post. Keep your headlines simple, powerful, useful and bold. If you don’t know how to word your headline, ask for help from someone who knows.

  1. BE CONSISTENT

Consistency is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to take for granted. Losing your traffic is actually much easier than it is to build it up, so you have to find a way to post consistently. It doesn’t have to be every day or every other day, but you must have a pattern. Your readers must know they will find something to read whenever they visit your blog. The temptation to abandon a blog is very huge, trust me, but if your plan is to start a blog and be a blogger, you have to be consistent somehow.

  1. REALISE IT TAKES TIME

The web is a big, noisy and “over-saturated” place and unless you’re willing to invest a greater period of time than others especially in blogging, you’ll find success nearly impossible. If you’re seeking a quick path to recognition or a very quick return on investment, blogging is the wrong path for you, just do something else, like bunkering maybe. But if you plan to invest time in your blog and you constantly improve yourself, you will achieve something remarkable.

THE ASTONISHING GOAL THAT GOT NIGERIA THE 7TH AYC TITLE [VIDEO]

A first half wonder strike from Bernard Bulbwa saw the Nigeria U-20 team beat hosts Senegal 1-0 in the 2015 African Youth Championship final for a seventh title. The game was a very tough one as the Senegalese were determined not to lose to Flying Eagles in front of their home fans for a second time in the same tournament, after they were beaten at the opening match of the tournament which ended 3-1 in favour of the Flying Eagles. with two goals coming from the boot of Taiwo Awoniyi and Ifeanyi Mathew getting the third.

But only one goal eventually separated the sides at the final of the tournament which was played at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor, Dakar on Sunday. It was a very tough match but the difference was the goal of the tournament which was scored by Nigerian number 7, Bernard Bulbwa. Take a look at the goal which I believe should be nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S MESSAGE TO NIGERIANS [VIDEO]

Listen to President Obama’s message to all Nigerians as we go to the poll to elect our next crop of leaders. Also read the text after watching the video. Thanks

Hello.  Today, I want to speak directly to you—the people of Nigeria. 

Nigeria is a great nation and you can be proud of the progress you’ve made.  Together, you won your independence, emerged from military rule, and strengthened democratic institutions.  You’ve strived to overcome division and to turn Nigeria’s diversity into a source of strength.  You’ve worked hard to improve the lives of your families and to build the largest economy in Africa. 

Now you have a historic opportunity to help write the next chapter of Nigeria’s progress—by voting in the upcoming elections.  For elections to be credible, they must be free, fair and peaceful.  All Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear.  

So I call on all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in democratic elections—and that they will not incite, support or engage in any kind of violence—before, during, or after the votes are counted.  I call on all Nigerians to peacefully express your views and to reject the voices of those who call for violence.  And when elections are free and fair, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help keep the peace, no matter who wins. 

Successful elections and democratic progress will help Nigeria meet the urgent challenges you face today.  Boko Haram—a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children—must be stopped.  Hundreds of kidnapped children deserve to be returned to their families.  Nigerians who have been forced to flee deserve to return to their homes.  Boko Haram wants to destroy Nigeria and all that you have worked to build.  By casting your ballot, you can help secure your nation’s progress.  

I’m told that there is a saying in your country: “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.”  Today, I urge all Nigerians—from all religions, all ethnic groups, and all regions—to come together and keep Nigeria one.  And in this task of advancing the security, prosperity, and human rights of all Nigerians, you will continue to have a friend and partner in the United States of America. 

GUYS, WOULD YOU CONFESS TO CHEATING?

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I always hear people in relationship or marriage say that openness and full honesty is the only way to go, and when I talk to most women, they tell me they would rather marry a man who would say the truth at all times, but there is a quote that says “A man who has never lied to a woman, has never respected her feelings”. So, these things could be conflicting, women want nothing but the whole truth, but men want to decide when to say the truth, and when to say ‘the whole truth’. So, the question I am asking today is; if you find yourself cheating or you have cheated on your woman, should you confess to her or just let it slide, especially after you’re through with the affair?

Let’s not pretend like we’re all angels here, men having an affair or a one night/afternoon stand for whatever reason happens all the time, even the most loyal of boyfriends/husbands do. I also know it can be prevented because I have seen men who never cheat on their woman, but if you do find yourself crumpled in someone else’s sheets one afternoon or night, don’t hate yourself for it, kick yourself, yes, but hate yourself? I don’t think so. You know some things just happen and we don’t see it coming until it’s too late.

Maybe recently, your bag of guilt has gotten heavier with each passionate night with your cheating partner, and now that you’ve decided to end it all and come clean; you should know that there’s more than a good bath that you’re going to need. Let’s face it. Your woman is not going to be pleased to hear of your affair, in fact, she would be rather pissed off, feel angered, repulsed and disgusted. But her final reaction, you can never tell, as some women will eventually forgive you and move on as if nothing happened while others would practically bring down hell and its fury.

But here are my candid opinions

  1. Weigh The Pros and Cons

As much as going ahead and reveal it all to your partner while kneeling down and she is sobbing is the right thing to do, you must ask yourself how you would be able to sleep at night if all you hear after the confession and after every argument or small fight is “cheater… cheater… cheater…” But here’s the thing, and I think it is personal. Would it be better to shut your mouth and avoid the cheater cries or would it be better to confess and live guilt free? Weigh the pros and cons around it and make up your own mind… you cheater!

  1. Will Her Reaction Be Extreme?

It’s your wife or long term girlfriend we are talking about here, and I assume you would be able to guess how she is likely to react in such circumstance. Therefore, If you know or you think that are reaction would be extreme, you need to ask yourself if you are willing to risk your marriage or your relationship over a little fling or an affair that had already ended; of course you cheated and had an affair behind her back, but do you intend to do it again? Is your love deep enough to survive the confession to an affair? Is your partner understanding enough to accept your lack-of-sexual-control and forgive you or would she try to get back at you by having an affair of her own? Or would she just want to end the relationship or marriage completely? The answers you get to these questions will indicate if you should give your confession a serious thought or not. I think confession is good and you should confess if you must, but it would be wiser to do so only if you know your relationship is strong enough to survive your screw up. Sometimes, locking away the guilt is way easier. It’s a sick thing to do, especially when your wife/girlfriend truly thinks you’re a saintly lover, but you’ll have to deal with it somehow.

  1. Can You And Your Woman Put The Episode Behind?

I have actually seen and heard about few scenarios where a confession actually brought the partners closer in a relationship/marriage. But that would only happen if both of you are willing to put it behind as a bad memory. So you need to ask yourself how certain you are that your woman has a secret box in her head where she can stash all your filthy dirt away and not bring them out once in while whenever there is another issue not related to the confessed and discarded affair.

  1. Can You Live With The Guilt?

If you’re truly in love with your woman, you’re going to be terribly guilty when you cheat on her with another woman. So it all boils down to if you can really live with your guilt and lie in your partner’s arms after having sex with someone else, If you can’t, I advise you confess. But if you can live with your guilt, then lock the secret away and don’t ever talk about it with anyone. You may feel uncomfortable for some time, and you may even have sudden urges to confess. But think of the damage it could cause and hold it back in. Promise yourself that you’re through with your cheating ways, and try to stay with only your woman from then on. It’s a mistake I believe you can make up for, somehow.

But for a moment let’s forget about the above considerations, there are times you definitely have to confess to cheating or else it will cost you more when bubble eventually bursts. Here are few examples of when you must confess your infidelity:

  1. You side chic/one night stand threatens to blackmail you by means of, pictures, sex videos and the likes, and you are sure she has the materials.
  2. A close friend or family to your woman sees you and your cheating partner in a compromising position, in a compromising location.
  3. When you pass on a sexually transmitted disease to your woman whom you surely know is loyal to you only.
  4. When your woman walks in and finds you in bed or in a compromising position with your secretary or your cheating partner. In this situation, I know some guys just like in Nollywood movies will say things like “this is not what it looks like, it is not what you think it is” Dude, seriously, are you Jim Iyke? What does it look like to you?

GUNMEN ATTACK TUNISIAN MUSEUM, KILL 19 [VIDEO]

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According to reports, gunmen wearing military uniforms stormed Tunisia’s national museum, killing 17 foreign tourists and two Tunisians on Wednesday in one of the worst militant attacks in a country that had largely escaped the region’s “Arab Spring” turmoil.

Visitors from Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain were among the dead in the noon assault on Bardo museum inside the heavily guarded parliament compound in central Tunis, Prime Minister Habib Essid said, 22 foreign tourists were also wounded. The museum is known for its collection of ancient Tunisian artifacts and mosaics and other treasures from classical Rome and Greece. There were no immediate reports the attackers had copied Islamic State militants in Iraq by targeting exhibits seen by hardliners as idolatrous. 

Scores of visitors fled into the museum and the militants took hostages inside, government officials said. Security forces entered the building, a former palace, around two hours later, killed two militants and freed the captives, a government spokesman said. A police officer died in the operation.

Television footage showed dozens of people, including elderly foreigners and one man carrying a child, running for shelter in the compound, covered by security forces aiming rifles into the air. (Watch Video Below)

“All Tunisians should be united after this attack which was aimed at destroying the Tunisian economy,” Prime Minister Essid declared in a national address.

Video credit – YouTube

SIDE CHIC, KNOW THY PLACE!

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Before I start, I believe we all know who a side chic is or what it means to be one, but in case you don’t know, ‘side chicism’ dated back to the time of the Bible when Mother Sarah didn’t have a child and asked father Abraham to sleep with her maid Hagar, who later bore a child who was named Ishmael, and when the maid started to do “gra-gra” she was promptly reminded of her status as a side chic and shown the door before matter go come spoil. Well, I guess we now know the origin of side chic at least as recorded in the Bible. Good!

I know some of you ladies are thinking right now why a guy in a relationship or marriage would have a side chic; and the only thing I can say to that is, many ladies simply love to be side chics. I know there are so many ladies out there who are proud to say, married men are more romantic and responsible than single guys, and they are actually dating the married guys, thereby effectively restricting themselves to side chics’ status. Some would tell you, there are no longer single guys, so just date whoever you like and shove some other babe out of his life to become the number one. So, whichever way you look at it, there have been side chics, there are side chics, and there will always be side chics. And if you are among those reading this and saying “Over my dead body, I can’t be a side chic and my boyfriend cannot have a side chic” but your mum is the second or third wife in your family, Biko! Take several seats.

Now, let’s talk about staying in your lane as a side chic; before you start claiming some non-existent rights, and embark on some gra-gra spree. Truth is, if you’re a side chic who wants to keep up a relationship with a guy who has a main chic; then you have to know the rules of the game. You can’t expect the relationship to be more than what it is and you are not expected to worry about where the relationship is going, because the minute you start to question your status as a side chic, or ask for something more, all of the fun will go out the window. So if you want to be a good side chic, you have to stop stressing out and learn to have a good time with your man, or else you’ve gotta get out. You dig?

So, here are few things to do to help you stay in thy place and maintain thy lane.

  1. Give Us Space.

You don’t have to always be the first to text or call, give some breathing room please. In short, don’t call first, if we want to get in touch with you, we’ll send you a text or call you; if you try to call or text anyhow, you could be putting us in an awkward situation because we may be with the main chic; and since we don’t plan to have more than one wife/girlfriend, it’s advisable you stay on your own job function, which is to be something different, and to be fun. You even have the right to do your own thing most times, so go out with your girlfriends, have a good time, but don’t worry about checking in with us every five minutes.

  1. Don’t Ever Have “The Talk”

When you start having the “What are we doing?” “Where is this going?” “What are we now?” kind of talk, you are actually pushing us away. You have to know your lane, stay there and quit all the serious talk that only the main chic has an exclusive right to. Yeah, some side chics do somehow end up as mains, but you don’t upgrade yourself, and you don’t force it, we decide when you should be upgraded; and that is, if there is ever going to be any upgrading in the first place.

  1. Go With The Flow.

There should never be a reason you should get into any disagreement or argument with us. That is the main chic’s responsibility. As a side chic, you should always be cool and should never be the one who stresses us out. You are our vacations, our time off, and our ‘go-to guy’ when the main chic is acting up. So, if you start bickering, criticizing us, or complaining about everything, there won’t be any reason to stay with you for a minute more.

  1. Easy On The Questions.

You can’t be asking “Where were you?” “Why didn’t you call me?” “Why are you always so busy?” “Who was that?” “Who were you on the phone with?” and all those kind of questions, unless you are tired of the relationship. Those questions are reserved specially for the main chic and you are not the main chic, you knew the score before getting into it, so there is no point acting jealous or surprised.

  1. No Holidays

You can’t be trying to spend holidays like New Year, Christmas, or democracy day and even birthdays with us. We decide if we want to spend it with you, maybe if the main chic is not around or something of sort. Outside that, we might celebrate these events with you the day after or before, but for the most part, don’t expect anything like a gift or acknowledgment. Don’t call to wish us anything, you can send a text message though, but don’t call under any circumstance. And as for Valentine’s Day, you can pretty much bet that we’ll be spending it with the main chic.

  1. Always Look Your Best

As a side chic, you have to always be on point. Remember you’re not a girlfriend but a side chic; therefore it is inappropriate to be hanging out with us in sneakers, sweats, and casuals. In other words, don’t get to comfortable; if you want a guy you can get comfortable with, you can look for your own boyfriend. The fact of the matter is you are expected to look your best every time we are with you, because you’re a side chic. I know it is not easy, but no one said it was an easy job, but you took it anyway.

  1. Don’t Get Obsessed With The Main Chic.

You deserve to stay happy, and one of the ways you stay happy is to avoid researching the main chic or thinking about her too much. You see, ignorance is bliss, and you must realize that the more you know about the main chic, what she looks like, what she does for a living, what her name is; the more annoyed you’ll be about the whole thing. Before you know it, you may start getting overly jealous and obsessed with the main chic. So, save yourself some insanity, don’t get obsessed with the main chic or bring her up in any conversation, and everything will remain as smooth as it could get.

So, dear side chic, I hope you now know thy place going forward. Thank you.

ARE YOU ANTI-SOCIAL?

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Many of us will answer an emphatic “NO” to the above question, because we might tend to conclude that being anti-social is when we don’t mix up with friends, party with them, or visit fun places as often as we should; instead we’d rather concentrate on our phone and chat away. But that is very far from the truth, if one would rather stay on phone all day than mingle with people, one is suffering from a condition called “Nomophobia” (No Mobile Phone Phobia) a term created by British researchers in 2008 to identify people who experience anxiety when they have no access to mobile technology, and which I shall look into someday. Now, that we know that wanting to stay on your phone all the time is not exactly the same thing as being antisocial, let’s delve into what anti-social disorder is, and what are the signs to look for to determine you are anti-social or someone you know is.

Anti-social disorder is a condition which goes beyond a person simply not wanting to be around others; it is in fact a brain disorder that has a variety of outward signs, the hallmarks of an antisocial personality could be on display right in front of us, and many of us might fail to take notice of them or we might just casually explain them away. But even if we do that, one thing is certain about people with anti-social disorder; their behaviors could be harmful to other people around them. So, you might want to read through these 7 signs, and if some of them ring true with you, you just might be anti-social or dealing with one.

  1. You Have Trouble Conforming To Social Norms:

An individual who is typically more likely to engage in illegal things or have less regard for laws or observing the rules of society than most other people could be said to be anti-social. This kind of behavior generally starts from childhood and is often exhibited in school, where you may have been repeatedly suspended or even kicked out of school for avoidable bad behavior.

  1. You Display A Reckless Disregard For Your Own Safety Or The Safety Of Others:

If you take a lot of uncalculated risks in your everyday life, something as simple as drinking and driving or speeding and driving recklessly, without having concern for other drivers on the road and how they might be harmed by your driving habits, it could mean you are anti-social. Also, when you do not care about what happens to other people in any situation you find yourself; it might just be a warning signal that you are anti-social.

  1. You Are Unable To Show Remorse After Mistreating Others:

We all sometimes hurt people that we love or that we are friends with, but if you often show a lack of remorse when you have hurt or mistreated a person, or you simply don’t have the ability to feel sympathy or empathy for others and have no feelings of guilt when you have hurt someone, and most times you don’t even notice you have hurt people’s feelings; you might just be anti-social. Lots of young people who feel they are too handsome or pretty and that they are God’s special gift to the opposite sex often display this tendency.

  1. Gross Irresponsibility To Your Family And Job:

Anti-social personalities tend to shirk responsibility and have a hard time dealing with any obligations at all; they sometimes feel these things are not worth their time caring about. They have the capability to take care of their family and to succeed on their job but yet; they are mostly irresponsible when it comes to those two aspects of their lives.

  1. Unnecessary Aggression And Irritability:

If you are often aggressive and irritable without a commensurate cause, and you tend to get involved in a variety of physical altercations, you are likely an anti-social personality. I have had friends, who get irritated at the sight of policemen or other officers of the law for no reason, and their first reaction whenever they were pulled over was aggression; I eventually had to stop riding with such fellows for fear of stray bullets from an equally angry policeman. I also once had a flatmate whose reaction to everything was physical fight, I had to quit the house for him the day he was looking for a gospel CD which cost N100, and he was threatening to break my head with bottle if he couldn’t find it.

  1. You Take Pleasure In Mistreating People:

If you are often cruel to other people just for the sake of it, or you have been involved in a series of abusive relationships where you physically and emotionally mistreated people just to satisfy yourself or make you feel in control; this is a good indication that you are anti-social.

  1. You Have Not Regard For Others And Their Properties:

There was a story of a girl who set her boyfriend’s Range Rover on fire because he cheated on her or something of sort; I also once dated a girl who would break everything breakable in the house once we were having petty quarrels. My former flatmate I talked about earlier would break everything in his girlfriend’s bag, tear her cloth and destroy her necklace or any accessories she was wearing anytime they were fighting, these kind of people suffer from anti-social disorder, and do not observe social rules in order to coexist in today’s society, and they are likely going to encounter a lot of trouble in social situations and relationships throughout their lives.

So if you have one or several of these traits, there is a good chance you may be suffering from anti-social personality disorder, and there are many reasons that can lead to this disorder, out of which some might be beyond your individual control. Part of the cause could be how you were raised, where you grew up, your social surrounding and home environment; while part of it may be genetic. Most times, your parents might have exhibited these same symptoms and issues in the past, and if you look at other members of your family, you may see similar behavior patterns. But regardless of the cause, it is completely within your control to start dealing with other people in a fair and reasonable manner and to stay out of trouble, realize that it is up to you to make a conscious decision to seek treatment for this disorder and then to make the choice of receiving the appropriate therapy by finding a suitable doctor or therapist to talk to. Stay Blessed.

EDO PDP CHAIRMAN, EXECUTIVES DECAMP TO APC

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The Chairman and eleven members of the executive council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Monday, decamped to the All Progressives Congress in Ukpato Ward, Orhiomwon Local Government Area of Edo State.

Receiving the PDP decampees at the Government House, the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said the exit of the executives has further reduced decimated the PDP in the state.

He said: “your journey is coming at a very strategic period. When the PDP postponed the elections, they wanted to buy time but as they buy time, they are losing people and as they lose people and they are losing more votes.

“I believe that God has a purpose for touching everybody’s heart who have joined the movement for change because people like you who live in the rural areas know much more than anyone else the pains of poverty, the pains of the failure of the Nigeria State.

He said, “When we buy you a transformer, there is no light. When light comes, the fees the community is asked to pay is more than the entire income of the community. Other than what the state government is doing in Orhionmwon, there is no federal presence in the community.

Read Full Story HERE

STORY BEHIND ROONEY’S CELEBRATION OF THE SEASON [VIDEO]

Wayne Rooney scored Manchester United’s third goal against Tottenham after barging his way through some suspect Spurs defending in the 34th minute to score United’s third and final goal in a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday. And then he produced arguably the celebration of the season by punching the air and then falling to the ground. (Watch the celebration below)

The match was arguably the best Manchester United has played under Loius Van Gaal in 2015, but the match will be remembered more for Rooney’s cheeky celebration.

The England captain celebrated by punching the air and falling to the ground in response to newspaper reports that he had been “knocked out” by Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley in a boxing match in his kitchen. (Watch the “kitchen knock out” below)

 

A newspaper had earlier published a video of the Manchester United striker apparently being knocked unconscious during a ‘lads night in’ at his Cheshire home. The video shows Rooney and his friend Phil Bardsley wearing boxing gloves and sparring playfully before the intensity increased and Rooney was knocked flat on his back by a left hand from the Stoke defender.

LADIES: 3 TIPS TO WORKING WITH FEMALE BOSSES

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Most times we don’t get to choose who to work for, and depending on the kind of job we do, the person we directly work for might change from time to time. So really, the fact that you prefer a male boss to a female boss or vice-versa might not really matter eventually, and all you might be left to do would be to learn how to work with/for either of them at different times.

Male bosses love having power over others, and they exercise it as often as possible, but so do female bosses. Female bosses are seen as tyrants, but so are some male bosses, though some people have argued that there is a possibility that a female boss would favour their male subordinates more than the female ones and this could be for a number of reasons, but I am just going to look at one.  – The Queen Bee syndrome.

Queen Bee syndrome has been long recognized by psychologists and several studies have been carried out on the phenomenon. A woman who has worked her way up to the top in a male-dominated organization, and she probably got there by behaving how a man would behave – appearing tough and not at all soft and mushy, could just metamorphose into a Queen Bee without even realizing it. This kind of woman would forget the sisterhood, and would forget to smash a hole through the glass ceiling and throwing a rope ladder down to her younger female colleagues; she is unlikely to mentor younger women because she quite likes her unique position, and may feel threatened by younger females rising up the ranks; because in her opinion, she had to work hard and break every known barriers to get to where she is, so she’s not about to give other women a helping hand on a platter of gold – they have to work their way up just as she did.

 A Queen Bee is unlikely to have sympathy for a woman who cries in the office or needs time off because of a sick child, she’s not likely to be tolerant of those women she perceives to be “not strong enough” maybe because she might have had to sacrifice her own private life, family or spouse to get to where she is or for other reasons. Most times when you are a female with a male boss, he might give days off if you suddenly broke down tears in the boardroom over an issue you are going through at home. But don’t count on it when you have a female boss; chances are she would tell you to deal with your issues outside work hours as she is a woman who is dealing with her own issues too. And since it is a lot easier for our bosses to replace us than for us to replace them, we might just have to find ways to work around working with them.

I am not a woman, so if I had a female boss, my experience might just be different, who knows we might even fall in love (read that as LUST) Hehe!

So, if you are a female and you work with a female boss, here are things I believe you should do or not do to have a cordial boss/subordinate relationship.

  • PLAY TO HER WEAKNESSES.

This strategy is applicable no matter the gender of your boss. All you need do is find out what your boss does not know how to do very well, it could be writing, strategizing, budgeting or anything that is work-related and is essential to her office. But remember you have to be subtle, you don’t want to sound or seem like you want to take her job or implying that she doesn’t know what she is doing. Just find a way to do something you noticed she has not been doing so well, and do it better without shoving it to her face. When I was working with a private security firm in Lagos, I improved on how our weekly, monthly and even yearly reports on Microsoft excel are being done, I am good with Microsoft Powerpoint, so I dazzled my boss who never liked me when I got employed with it, and before long he could do his presentation with more graphic illustrations and less write-ups, he liked it and liked me. So, one way of making sure you work well with your female boss is to perform, make yourself invaluable to her and deliver value that will be appreciated by her. Do that, and gender goes out the window.

  • LET HER BE THE BOSS.

You know power is very complicated, and that is what being a boss is really about most times. So realize that she is your boss, she is more powerful than you; she’s holding the cards, and you’re not, and now that you’re in that situation, it’s up to you to figure out how to work it to your advantage. So, it doesn’t really matter if you like your female boss or not, if you think she should have the job or not, or if you have a problem with her or not. The only thing you need to do is let her know that you know she’s the boss with your words and actions, don’t try to sound right all the time, don’t show her that you are more intelligent than she is. In the end, it may just even be that she is not out to frustrate you, but she just wants respect and be recognized as the boss that she is.

  • DON’T BE HER BFF.

This is the only “DON’T” I have for you. You need to know that the workplace is not a social club, and it is not your job to align yourself with the girl who has the most cake. Many young women fall into this trap of befriending their female boss and even trying too hard at doing it. Getting dinner together, going on a yoga retreat together with your boss and acting like sisters or best friends could be tempting, but it is a loser’s move, it doesn’t make you better at your job; though it makes going to work in the short term more fun, but it doesn’t advance your career in the long term. So, if you are thinking of being your boss’s BFF, do yourself a favour, DON”T. Stay blessed.

AS THE POLL BECKONS, ARE YOU FOR YOUR COUNTRY OR YOUR PARTY?

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If the military had not interfered claiming they would not be able to provide security services to Nigerian people they swore to protect against external enemies, Nigerians would have been looking forward to May 29th when either General Muhammadu Buhari or the incumbent President Good Jonathan would be sworn in.  But here we are, still looking forward to what might likely be the toughest and possibly closest presidential election in the history of Nigeria.

Of course I’m aware that there are other Presidential aspirants in the race, but every Nigerian knows that at this point, we are going to the poll to make a choice albeit a hard one; between President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari. And as it stands today, from several conversations going on; by supporting either of these men, you are either for Nigeria or against her. A lot of people will disagree on this and call themselves ‘fencists’ but it is what it is.

This election’s campaign in particular has witnessed more theatrics, drama, attacks and counter attacks, propaganda and more than any other one since our return to democracy after the last military rule, but this is not why I write today. My issue is that many of us are confusing loyalty with patriotism; they don’t mean the same thing and can never mean the same thing. On and off twitter, I have seen and heard people who call themselves patriots and claim they believe in Nigeria more than the other man who is not supporting or loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan. On the other hand, people who are supporting GMB are also claiming they are doing it for the love of Nigeria. But the question is who is right and who is wrong? Who is loyal to a party and a presidential candidate, and who is patriotic to Nigeria as a country?

Loyalty is defined as faithfulness or a devotion to a person, group, or cause. What can be the object of loyalty however has been disagreed on again and again as some have argued that loyalty is strictly interpersonal and only other human beings can be the object of loyalty. But when it comes to patriotism, there are no blurred lines. Generally speaking, PATRIOTISM is cultural attachment to one’s homeland or devotion to one’s country and it is/supposed to be ALWAYS. Mark Twain said “Loyalty to country ALWAYS; Loyalty to government, when it deserves It.” and that is what I call patriotism. The country is bigger than whoever is the current President or whoever occupies leadership position, but it seems in Nigeria, it is the other way round; it is now “Loyalty to the government/party/President ALWAYS; loyalty to country, whenever it suits our narrative”. And anyone who holds a different view is UNPATRIOTIC.

It breaks my heart when I listen to people my age talk on and off twitter and they cannot differentiate between a country and a government. Those two are never the same, they are like soldier and barracks in our local parlance. One goes and comes, while the other permanently stays. So many charlatans on social media have designed the toga of patriots for themselves all because they support the current government. But, I tell you, even if that makes you sleep at night, you are not a patriot, you are nowhere near one, because a true patriot will and must always be ready to defend his country against his government, no matter who is in government.

When this present government came into power sometimes in 2010, through the protest of the people of Nigeria, people who stood up against the ‘government’ of the day to demand that the then Vice President should be the Acting President in the absence of the ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, those people were the patriots; even when the people (cabal) holding the country to ransom didn’t think so. And in 2011, Nigerians came out massively to vote for President Jonathan entrusting the affairs of the Nation to him for the next four years.

Fast forward to 2015, the GEJ led government has lost so much trust and goodwill it enjoyed in 2011, that everything good in Nigeria only happens on pages of newspapers, on social and electronic media and/or on billboards. Most parts of Nigeria cannot boast of 2 hours electricity in one day as power has gone from bad to worse, corruption is celebrated and rewarded, and any government official who speaks up is sent packing. Government will tell you the trains are now working, but they won’t tell you that the journey from Lagos to Ibadan which is about 101 km and will take you 1 hour by road will take their locomotive train 5 hours. They will push statistics and figures in agriculture sector in our faces, but they won’t tell you a bag of rice was selling much lesser in 2011 than it is selling right now, NBC will tell you they are sanitizing what we watch, but won’t raise a finger when DSTV is raping us. President GEJ will tell you he is commissioning Power stations, but you and I know that an average Nigerian spends at least N30,000 (some spend more) to buy fuel in his generator every month, that is more than some people’s monthly take home.

Last year, when 59 students were butchered in a school in a Federal Government College at Buni Yadi, there was nothing as little as official statement from the government, but they suddenly deem it fit to visit the school and ‘share’ in the pains of the parents one year after, and 4 weeks to the election date. How touching? The next day after Chibok girls were kidnapped, President Jonathan was dancing Skelewu somewhere at the PDP rally, and his spokesmen spent hours and money debunking that no girl was kidnapped from the school until it became too late to do anything. Members of the cabinet were not left behind in the impunity. Abba Moro took advantage and engineered the death of more than 20 young Nigerians who were desperate for jobs, all we heard after that, were promises and nothing more. In reasonable countries, Abba Moro would be in jail. If he had dignity, he would have resigned immediately after the incident. Or at least, a responsible government would have sacked him to show that they care about the people and not just the public officials. But no, he must remain a minister to ensure “continuity” as ministerial position is now a tool for settlement or compensation, and to keep friends and loyalists of the President happy at the expense of the country. Only yesterday, Musiliu Obanikoro who was heard loud and clear on tape threatening a Brigadier General of the Nigerian Army in Ekiti, that he would sit on his promotion if he wasn’t a happy the next day was asked by our shameless senate to take a bow and go become a Minister- again without asking him a single question concerning the so called #Ekitigate even in the face of opposition house members demanding the case be looked into. His goons on social media and all PDP members hailed the unfortunate incident, and tomorrow they will tweet #SupportOurTroops. But for now, his complicity and obvious disregard for the officer of the Nigerian Army in that tape was nothing to worry about; they just have to celebrate his appointment to show their loyalty. I can go on and on about the ills and impunity of this government, but you know them already.

As it is, those who will vote for PDP/GEJ have their minds made up already, and those who will vote for GMB have theirs made up too. But to the ‘undecided’ or people who say they won’t vote because their votes won’t count, I will leave you with the words of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, a German scientist and satirist who said, “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better”.

6 TIPS FOR HOUSE HUNTING IN LAGOS

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I recently relocated back to Lagos after my almost two years “sojourn” in Calabar, and I can tell you for free (though you already knew) that finding a rented house/apartment in Lagos can be a strenuous and a prolonged exercise, especially with a lot of us leaving our homes as early as 4am and would not return until midnight sometimes. Then weekends are then used for laundries, religious programmes, parties and social visits thereby leaving us practically with no time to do any other thing apart from the routine. So, if you have been living with families of friends and you need an apartment to rent for the very first time, or you are changing apartments due to an upgrade in your pockets or status, or you are relocating to Lagos to start a new job, these tips will help point you in the right direction and help save some of your time.

1. DETERMINE THE LOCATION

If you are just saving up for a new apartment or you are trying to draw a budget, knowing the location or the area where you want a house would go a long way in helping you out. When considering location, you might want to think about your place of work – how far or close it is to where you are hoping to get an apartment, how much money you would be spending to and from work, how accessible is your preferred location to the major road especially since you might be getting home late. if you have a car, you might arrive at your decision without much thinking, but if you don’t, spend some time in determining where you want to live.

2. TALK TO LOCAL AGENTS OR MOVE AROUND AND LOOK FOR RENT SIGNS

Okay, looking around for rent signs might be old-fashioned, but so are some landlords.  I got my last apartment in Lagos by calling a number I saw written on a white paper pasted on the flat. Most times, certain homeowners do not want to give their house to some unscrupulous agents, but are hoping someone in the neighborhood will know someone who needs to rent a house. Again, some homeowners do not want to rent their house to just anyone, they would rather wait for that friend of a friend — which could be you.

You can also talk to house agents; only make sure you talk to reliable ones. It is better for you to ask someone you know and trust to refer you to a house agent who is reliable and trustworthy; you don’t want to be scammed of your hard earned money. Then just give the agent your budget and price range, it would be helpful. You can also search online as we now have many websites dealing with properties purchase and rentals. 

3. WATCH OUT FOR FLOOD RISK

Once the agent gets you a place and you are seriously considering moving in there, watch out for flood risk. The rains in Lagos actually are not the major problem but the floods resulting from them, which normally lead to loss of lives and property. So, one day you might just wake up and you no longer have an apartment or your properties are gone. Worse still there could be loss of lives if the flood is heavy. So you might need to ask the experts about the area you want to be moving to. Don’t let the beauty of a particular area convince you into moving there, all that glisters are not gold.

4. VIEW AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE DAY AND TAKE PICTURES

So, let’s say you have now gotten an agent and he is taking you round to check houses in your preferred neighbourhood. When you see one or two that you like; before you make your final decision, go back and view the house at different times, there are flaws you will be able to discover only in the daytime, and there are flaws that can be discovered only at night.

Also remember to take photos, as they’ll be a useful reference point when all the apartments and houses you have found blur into one. Later in the day when you are settled and calmer, you can go through those pictures and make up your mind about which one suits your purpose

5. CHECK FOR OBVIOUS DEFECTS

Don’t pay rent, commission and agreement in full only to discover obvious defects in the house that could have been fixed by the landlord.

Check for wet spots on the wall, look for cracks up the ceilings, open doors and windows and shut them behind you to make sure they all work.  Flick switches, turn lights on and off, especially those with older switches. Inspect the plumbing, flush toilets and turn taps on, check the drain’s flow. Also check your phone and confirm the apartment is not a mobile dead zone or else you’ll be missing out on twitter. Lol

There might be some little issues you can fix by yourself since it’s the apartment you are going to be staying for a while, but for major issues, make a list so you can ask the landlord to fix them before you get the keys.

6. KNOCK ON THE NEIGHBOURS’ DOORS

Neighbours, not necessarily the one inside the same building where you are getting your apartment, may offer tip-offs on the area or house. Some landlords have a weird way of treating their tenants, some give quit notice just after one year, some give you unbelievable rules and regulations after you must have moved in. talking with neighbours around might just give you an idea of the kind of apartment you are planning to move into or not.

Be safe, and remember to collect your PVC and vote for your preferred candidates on March 28th and April 11th. 

 

3 YEAR OLD LENDS HER VOICE IN SUPPORT OF CHIBOK GIRLS (VIDEO)

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Malala is not the only young woman lending her voice towards the cause of #BringBackOurGirls. This 3 years old girl is my firend’s daughter and also doing her best in asking our government to  help bring back the missing girls. Watch and tell me what you think. I think she is very smart and sincere. Enjoy

 

WHY I WILL VOTE FOR GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI

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In the forthcoming general election in Nigeria, and out of the 11 presidential election candidates so far, one thing is clear; Nigerians are faced with two clear choices; advancement or retrogression. We are faced with choosing between a known incompetence and an unsure competence. We are faced with staying with the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan or voting for General Muhammadu Buhari for a change, since a lot of us don’t even know the other candidates or their parties.

I will not mince words in telling you that I am voting for General Muhammadu Buhari, and my reasons are simple. If you keep doing something the same way repeatedly, you will get the same result. The only way you will get a different result is if you do something else, or you do same differently. If you don’t do either of these and you expect a different result, then INSANITY has been fully defined. More than that, I will shed some light on my stand.

Without lying to ourselves as Nigerians, we all know that corruption has become a cancer tearing the soul of our country to pieces and it should be a major issue that will work for or against the incumbent especially. But I am saddened when I see the issues being discussed as the major ones especially by those supporting President GEJ because they are PDP members; particularly by people like Ohimai Amaize, (who has never seen a working train in Nigeria until GEJ came and until 2012 when he joined PDP), Femi Fani Kayode, and the likes who used to be staunch critics of President GEJ and who are now supporting him because of one thing – hustle.

Among these ‘non-issues’ is religion. Back in 2011, a lot of people were told that if Buhari became President, he would Islamize Nigeria. Some gullible ones even those who had University education swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker. The PDP knew and they still know that religion is the opium of the masses, and people will do anything in the belief that they are serving the interest of God. They used the combustible nature of religion so well to gain undue advantage; their touchdown was when they circulated the picture of President GEJ kneeling before Pastor Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. And the story was “he is so humble that he knelt before God” people bought into the façade and ran with it. The story about his poor background, not having shoes while growing up, and carrying his books in his hand while walking several kilometers to school also attracted sympathy across the country

But this is 2015; we are in the season of political campaigns and President GEJ has spent 5 years as the President of Nigeria without interruption. We have seen his best and his worst, the smoke-screen is now clearing away and people can now see clearly. And even as the campaigns and the falsehood and the propaganda have kick-started, I am fully convinced that this is not the Nigeria we need for ourselves and our children. Political campaign in itself is about influencing other people to attain positions of governance based on a worldview or set of principles. It ought not to be about hate-mongering, so like some GEJ’s supporters; I will not descend into hate-mongering or spreading falsehood and propaganda just because I want you to vote for GMB.

First, I am under no illusion about Buhari being a saint. But, one thing is clear even to those who suspect him of indeterminate offense; no one speaking the truth will doubt his unimpeachable personal integrity. And in this time and age where the whole world is gearing towards rapid development, not everybody is cut out to lead as a President as we have seen under this current leadership. It takes a special kind of person, someone tough, smart, and driven, to lead a Nation as complex and as big as Nigeria. GMB is tough, smart and driven. I will not want to draw examples from when he was a military head of state 30 years ago because this is a democracy and he is coming as an elected President and not as conquering military head of state.

A President must always show he can face crises because there will surely be crises and there will be influential people behind those crises. GMB has shown that he will be able to face these crises and the people behind them without shifting blame inappropriately. This is unlike what we have now where every security issue will be blamed on the opposition first, then we set up a committee to ascertain the level of the damage, before we issue a statement to condemn the situation – end of story.

Buhari is also a man who will not tolerate corruption. This is one reason why all the corrupt individuals in Nigeria are campaigning against him, bringing out the case of Umaru Dikko and the rest to convince people that GMB will jail everyone once he gets to power. I know many people will tell me no one is corruption-free in Nigeria, but while I would want to agree with you, I need you to tell me why PDP as a party that has produced 3 Presidents so far has not been able to find anything on GMB since 2003 that he has been the main opposition. Or do you think they would not be happy to reel out all the money he stole and send him to jail? So for me, until you are able to prove with court judgements or established case(s), Buhari is NOT corrupt.

I would have listed other things he achieved as a military head of state, but like I said I will not bring that here. This is 2015, and we are in a democracy. Military style won’t work now and we better forget it once and for all.

But more than all the above reasons; why am I voting for Buhari and not Jonathan? In the last 5 years, I believe Jonathan has failed to provide the leadership Nigeria needs to progress, he has chosen blatant politicking overtaking actions that further the nation’s unity. We need someone with integrity and courage to lead from the front. We need a president who is not afraid to show and prove that stealing is corruption no matter how you look at it, that the crime is in the deed itself and not the size of the money stolen. We need a president who will notice and acknowledge that the military is in tatters and ill-equipped despite billions of dollars in allocation and not just go on campaign ground and accuse a government that was in power 30 years ago of not buying one rifle for the military.

We need a President whose officials will not see unemployment as a means to raise money from the already impoverished population the way they did with the NIS job scam. We need a President who will not be afraid to go to where the problem is in Nigeria, to visit in solidarity the people who have lost their loved ones to terrorist attacks. We need a President who will not shift blame all the time and every time there is a major crisis. We need a President who will not see in the 21st century, an outdated, locomotive train that travels Lagos-Ibadan in 5 hours as a big achievement. We need a President who will get at least one thing right in one tenure, one thing as little as power. We need a President who will not shield convicted thieves like DSP Alamieyeseigha. We need a President who will fight corruption and not the one who has NO plan whatsoever in jailing people that have stolen money and he says so repeatedly. We need a President who is Presidential in words and in deeds.

No matter how we look at it, we all need to realize and admit that Nigeria is heading in the wrong direction, and President Goodluck Jonathan has not been able to show us in the last 5 years that he’s the man to steer the ship back on course. This is the time to vote not because there is a better alternative but so that incompetent leaders will know and fear the people’s ability to elect and reject you at the polls no matter what gives.

I would have wanted someone else too, but given the choice before us, GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI is undoubtedly the man. So I implore you, get your permanent voters’ card, make sure you vote for General Buhari, make sure your vote counts, and protect your vote. God Bless you and God Bless The Federal Republic Of Nigeria.

NB: This article was first published on ConnectNigeria.

MY BLESSONS OF 2014

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It’s the first day of 2015 and it is officially my first post in the New Year. I know some of you will be wondering what on earth is ‘blessons’. But all you need to do is click on my first ever post on this blog written on my birthday in 2013, HERE. In that post, I explained how LESSONS and BLESSINGS cannot be so wide apart, how they are not like word and opposite, and how they are intertwined. And that it is only when we see the BLESSINGS in the LESSONS that challenges and seemingly bad/good people taught us in our journey of life; that we can fully appreciate life in its entirety and maybe only then can we decide to make lemonade out of lemon given to us. And then we can decide to have some ‘BLESSONS’

Writing about my blessons of 2014 is not about blaming anyone or cast anyone in a bad light. I am not perfect, never will be, but I am constantly striving to stay on the road to perfection. It is also not about showing off my strength or achievement in any area, but just to reminisce and reflect on the past year, and share my ups and downs as much as I can. So, let’s go there!

2014 started on a very good note, work was going on well, love life was amazing and everything else was looking great. How can I forget how I pulled a surprise New Year’s eve visit on my girlfriend after I already told her I wouldn’t be in Lagos till the New Year’s day because I was working on the 31 day Calabar festival. But I pulled a fast one, sought permission from my Director on the 30th, hopped on a plane to Lagos, landed and drove for almost 4 hours in mad Lagos traffic to magically appear in her parent’s living room, and eventually attended the New Year’s Eve service in her church. I can still remember all the hugs, giggles, kisses, laughter, food, drinks and all the love. It was amazing – definitely one of my BLESSONS of 2014.

Same 2014, I decided to fully relocate to Calabar since I had been living there from 2013 and I thought maintaning two ‘expensive’ apartments in two cities was not the best thing for me. So, I let the Lagos apartment go with everything in it. and settled for the calm, peaceful and friendly city of Calabar. But it wasn’t easy when few months after, I had to move back to Lagos out of necessity, and I had to start house hunting again. But eventually, everything worked for good, everything turned out to be a BLESSON

I have been in the Film and TV profession for a while and have worked on big projects, but 2014 was exceptional as I got to work with some of the best hands in Nollywood and some very experienced Hollywood technical crew. It was a great experience and learning process for me and a massive part of my 2014 BLESSONS. I also have never been a writer until I started blogging in 2013. But in 2014, I got my first ever payment for writing and I am still getting paid, my works were also sampled on electronic media, and people loved them. I never ‘hespererit’ LOL. 

2014 was the year I planned to quit bachelorhood (persin don dey old) and thankfully, bae and I both started the year with loads of love, happiness, and laughter. So, I made real commitments, I prayed, I worked hard and my heart was hoping and planning for a “Happily Ever After”. But maybe because there are no absolutes in life, or things were destined not to happen, things went south; I was devastated, angry, and confused. I felt very bad to see all my plans fade away before my very eyes while I seemed completely helpless. But I have learnt overtime that when you think you have lost something very good, it is mostly because something better is being packaged for you. Just don’t relent and don’t give up. So, I grieved, I stopped grieving and I am moving on. If I have offended anyone, I hope I would be forgiven in this New Year, and if anyone has offended me, I have forgiven and forgotten. It’s the New Year; those things were/are all part of my 2014 BLESSONS.

But the saddest thing and the only thing that happened to me last year and I have not been able to deal with was the death of my Grandfather on 30th, November 2014. I was on a project in Lagos and was planning to go and see him in Osun State once I finished; he died 3 days to the end of that job. My grandfather was above 90, but I cried so much and I haven’t really stopped crying. I will do a full post sometime soon so that you will know why I cried so much. (I can never stop missing you Grandpa)

Well, I need to stop here, but how do I stop writing without thanking you my readers? You all have been the best thing that happened in my life till date. Many of you have been with me since 2013 when I started blogging; others joined along the way and invited their friends over. You all read PLACES IN MY DREAMS”, WEDDING BLUES”, LIKE A DREAM”, and countless articles i have posted on my blog, and I cannot appreciate you enough for staying with/by me even when I was not consistent; May God bless you all in this New Year. So, let me use this opportunity to wish all of you my readers A HAPPY AND FRUITFUL NEW YEAR. STAY BLESSED

9 SAFETY AND SECURITY TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

safety

The festive season, especially the end of the year/the new year is a time to look forward to. It’s a time of merriment, holidaying, family picnics and all sorts of fun. But unfortunately it is also a time when crime rates go up drastically especially in the cities. Therefore, it is a time to be more vigilant and more careful with our belongings and properties. So, let’s check out a few tips for safety and security during this festive period.

1. ENSURE DOORS AND WINDOWS ARE LOCKED This season, homes can be vulnerable to burglars, particularly when they are unoccupied in the late afternoon and early evenings. When leaving the house unattended, make sure all the windows and doors are locked. Pay particular attention to doors and windows at the rear of the house. And if you have a shed or garage, do not forget to lock them even if your house is fenced.

2. ILLUMINATE THE ENVIRONMENT I know most of us don’t have regular power supply, but if you are one of those people who can afford an inverter, try and illuminate your surroundings at night. Burglars like the dark, but an outside automated light can act as a good deterrent. Also remember to switch off the lights inside the house when going to bed or going out.

3. KEEP THINGS OUT OF SIGHT Ensure that car keys are kept hidden out of sight especially if you live in estates where apartments are not fenced, and don’t leave keys to your house under a plant pot outside or a door mat. If you have to make a duplicate key for everyone, please do so.  Also make sure presents are kept out of sight and after presents have been opened, dispose of the boxes properly to ensure the contents of the house aren’t being advertised unintentionally.

4. RUN A CHECK ON YOUR SECURITY SYSTEMS If you have security systems in your house, this season is a good time to run a check and ensure they are still working properly.  If you use the service of a security firm and you have alarms fixed in your house, it is advised you run a security drill. Set off the alarm and see how soon your security company will respond. A lot of houses will be empty this season and most especially on December 31st and you don’t want a response time of 1 hour if any intruder was in your house. The drill will let you know if the time agreed as ‘response time’ is adhered to, or if you have to start looking at hiring another security firm.

5. DON’T BE ‘TOO’ DISCREET While most of us would like to just sneak out and come back because we don’t want everyone to know about our movement, informing your neighbours that you are not going to be around for a few days might help you in the long run. You don’t have to tell them where you are travelling to, but if they know you are not home, and no one is going to be in your house while you are not there, they would be able to interrogate anyone seen around your property/house.

6. CLEAR ALL TOOLS AROUND THE HOUSE So many people are moving into their new homes in a new neighbourhood just before this festive season. If you are one of them, ensure you don’t leave ladders, spades or tools of any kind outside, as they can be used to gain access into your compound and break into your house.

7. GO CASHLESS When you go to do your shopping, try not to carry around large sums of cash, use your credit and debit cards instead. It is easier to replace the cards than to get back the cash that you lost or were robbed of.

8. DON’T EXPOSE YOUR PURCHASES When you buy your Christmas presents, be it gadgets or any other thing, do not leave them on the car seat especially while your car is parked or even while you are driving in traffic. If you have a car that has trunk space, put them in the trunk so they are not seen. And if your car doesn’t have much truck space, put the goods on the floor of the car to hide them from the public glare as much as you can.

9. DRIVE SAFELY If you are travelling at this period, make sure your car is in top shape. And unless you know all the police check points on the highway you are travelling, it’s advisable you travel during the day. If you are travelling in the afternoon, do not stop if anyone waves any item at you claiming it fell off your car. Always make sure you get to a safe area before you park and check. Ensure you do not drink and drive, obey the road signs and the speed limit and ensure that all passengers in your vehicle are properly secured using seatbelts, and all other safety devices. The festive season should be a time of relaxation and giving but let’s ensure that we are not giving our belongings to criminals on a golden platter, and we do not lose our lives due to our recklessness. 

PS: This article was first published on ConnectNigeria.com.

ABSENCE OF POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE, AND PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE

election violence

I have listened and read the opinions of many Nigerians both online and offline especially as we approach the next general elections and it is interesting to know that more than before, more Nigerians are ready to take part in the 2015 elections.

In the contemporary world of today, elections have become the most accepted means of changing the government. And whether we like to admit it or not, Nigeria is at a point where we need to make a collective decision of changing the present government or re-electing it to continue with whatever it is doing. Truth is, Nigeria is bad enough as it is, you don’t have to agree with me. But how we will fare in the next four years will be determined by how wise/foolish we use our ballots come February 2014.

In Nigeria and in so many countries in Africa, elected office is a monopoly of the rich, powerful or famous; the masses only play the role of docile participants for the exercise of political power, position and influence. In other words, elections merely enable the oppressed masses to elect their oppressors every four or five years. So, the only joy the masses derive is to see their standing and waiting endlessly under the harsh weather on Election Day not taken for granted. If the election will be rigged eventually and the people’s wish will not be respected, there is actually no need to call them out for elections. When election is NOT free and fair, the masses will feel alienated from the political process and once they entertain a sense of being short-changed or taken advantage of, the consequences could be calamitous. This is why post-election violence is gaining grounds in Nigeria – elections are always rigged.

I will never support violence in any form and I condemn it in its entirety, but sadly it is in our world and currently lives with us. Some people or a group of people are just violent by nature, no matter what you do to them, no matter how you do it, the only thing that works for them is violence. Boko Haram, ISIS and all other dangerous groups will still be violent even if all their ‘demands’ are met; the best bet for the world is to fight this kind of groups to submission or to oblivion.

But, what I am talking about here is post-election violence. It is not a new thing in Nigeria, so propagandist and people who were born yesterday and always want to associate post-election violence to one candidate or a party should take note. For example, the violent protest (Operation Wetie) that took place in Ibadan when the people deemed 1964/1965 general elections as fraudulent led to the beginning of the end the First Republic in 1966. Am I justifying violence? No, I am not. But even the meekest of men will raise his voice when faced with injustice. Late Nelson Mandela who some people would love to compare out present President with had this to say at the opening of his defense in the Rivona treason trial in 1964. “I and some colleagues came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable; it would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force. It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle.”

Like I said, I am not justifying violence, but how do we treat issues in Nigeria? We all marched to Ojota and occupied it for days protesting the removal of fuel subsidy. We were hoping something would be done, subsidy thieves will be exposed, tried and jailed, instead the government of President Jonathan rolled out tanks and guns against us and it worked; while the thieves and criminals siphoning our money are now receiving National awards. But this is not the talking point today.

History has shown that it is usually difficult to hold elections that are totally free and fair. But the importance of a good electoral act cannot be underestimated. We must keep trying to get it right until we get it right. 1993 general elections were peaceful and largely free and fair; the results were glaring for everyone to see. I do not know if it was because of the Option A4 system that was used but irregularities if any, were easy to discover right at the polling booth since you would have to line up behind the poster of the candidate you were voting for, get counted, before you go in to thumbprint your ballot. But as Nigerians, we have discarded something that worked for us and decided to continuously use the one that is never going to work.

So, I am of the opinion that if after declaring results in each polling booth, same results are collated at the ward level and announced to the people from the ward, to state, and the federal level, the general population will feel carried along especially at the grassroots and the general results will not be contested as much.

Another thing is the impartiality of the electoral body and monitoring bodies. A sitting President cannot unilaterally choose the umpire in the same election he is a contestant and one would be assured of a free and fair election, it is never done anywhere. While the election might appear to be FREE, it will never be FAIR. Most of us would have stopped watching football long time ago if the coach of one of the competing teams is given the right to pick the referee and the assistants. A sitting President who is also a candidate cannot be using the police and the army to intimidate the opposition on Election Day and you say that same election is FAIR. Because all of us including the opposition pay the police and therefore their main job on Election Day must be to protect the voters irrespective of the candidate they are voting for.

Lastly, let me come to the victims of post-election violence. Most times, victims of violence would believe that if an appropriate authority will not seek justice on their behalf, they can help themselves. And then, further hostilities and bloodshed are bred. A group of young people who are probably high some illegal substance can just go to town, chanting the name of any candidate, kill and main people, destroy businesses and properties, and nothing will happen to them. Instead, the ruling party and the sitting president will simply issue statements condemning the act, and calling on private citizens to appeal to the criminals killing people, end of story!

No one person has been prosecuted for 2011 post-election violence because some people are deemed ‘untouchables’ and you think it is going to stop by making docile speeches and quotes calling for peace? We must be joking as a people. Asari Dokubo calls for war regularly, threatens violence and terror if the sitting President loses election, Tompolo is buying warship and no one is even looking their way since they are supporting the sitting President. Yet, we will go to town praying and wishing for a peaceful election, same election you are planning to rig; I am sorry, we are not serious yet. When we are serious, we will do everything to prevent post-election violence and we will give justice to the victims of past violence, because justice delayed is justice denied. And in the absence of JUSTICE, we cannot wish or pray for PEACE.

Photo Credit : Google

TURNING POTENTIAL INTO REAL SUCCESS

success

Everyone has the potential to be someone great or to do something great.  As an entrepreneur, an employer of labour, or a manager; you might be tempted to think people working with you or ‘under’ you are mere tools to achieve your day to day organizational results, and while this might be true to an extent, you need to realize that the same people possess the potential to help you achieve your set goals and reach the promised land of enduring success. All you need to learn is how to harness people’s potential, get top performance from each individual you manage and build a sustainable culture of success.

Here are six steps you can take to harness potential and turn it into a real and sustainable success.

Have a Plan; Communicate it

A concrete plan, timeline, diligence and the right attitude will ensure you are able to measure your success from time to time. If you don’t have a clear cut periodic plan, you might just be living on past glory. Yes, people will do their jobs, money might be coming in as expected but you and your department or organization might still be where you were five years ago. So, have a clear plan, communicate it to your people, and stick to it; it will give you a clear sense of what you want from them, and where you want to go.

Prepare The Workforce

The most common mistake that most people in management make is that they don’t prepare the workforce for opportunity. They don’t give room for people to hone and practice their skills. In order for anyone to utilize their potential, they must practice, they must enhance their skills. You can do this by organizing training, seminars and talks. Also let them practice by assigning responsibilities.  If someone is on leave or you need to fill a vacant position, always look inwards first and see if someone else could fill that position even if it will be temporary. By doing that, you will discover some potential you never thought could be found among your workforce.

Create Enabling Environment

No matter how much you try to motivate people, motivation still remains an inside job. This might not sound right, but it is. Know that your job as a leader is to create the environment in which each person’s internal motivator is cranked up to “high” and drives them toward accomplishing mutually agreed-upon goals. Focus on people’s strengths, let them know they can do it, and focus on what is going right at the moment while addressing other things not going as expected. Before you can turn potential into success, it must be turned first of all into performance. So when you see the behaviour that you like and want more of, help build, strengthen and grow it, and watch performance soar.

Tap Into Innate Talent

People have natural talent, and it is critical to tap into that. Don’t always put people in a box for several years. Create room for horizontal or vertical movement within the organization; because everyone has something they love to do, something that feels natural, something that brings excitement and passion while they’re doing it. They may love to sit and analyze numbers, nurture and care for others, innovate and invent things, build things, sell products, develop other people, or do any number of other things. Your job is to find a good match between what they are naturally good at and what you’ve employed them to do. When someone’s natural talents, abilities, and interests mesh with what they are doing, their results are stellar, and it leads to organizational success.

Set Their Mind Free

It sounds logical to keep doing things the way we have been doing them especially if the results have always been favourable.  And it is reasonable to expect others to just follow suit, since the model hasn’t failed even just once. But there is always a better and faster way to do things; you might not know this unless you try out new ways of doing them.  Let people know what is expected of them, define the end result and the outcome, define clear challenging goals and objectives, define how results will be measured and rewarded, and watch your people suggest new ways of achieving those results – new ways you never thought of.

Know your people. Know what gets them excited; what challenges them, what fires them up. Create opportunities for them to do things their own way once you define clear objectives and expected outcome. Free them up to bring their unique ideas, approaches, and creativity to help the organization reach its goals. Customize your leadership style for each individual.

Help Individual See The Impact of Their Work

If you really want to turn potential into performance and create a culture of success, you need to value individual for who they are and what they do. You need to create a culture that can maximize their contribution. Let’s face it. Not every job is challenging. Not every job is exciting. How then, as a manager can you help people be enthusiastic about their job no matter what their job is? Help them see the benefit of the work they do. Knowing and valuing the importance of work increases commitment, increases job satisfaction, and enhances performance. Helping your people see how they make a difference helps you build a culture of success. Each person on your team is an individual, different from every other. This might include such differences as where they’re from, their values, their sex, their beliefs about work-life balance, their perceptions of leadership, their race, their life experiences, their cultural background, their gender, their previous work experience, their expectations, and their motivation. These are only a few of the attributes that make each of them unique. You can’t treat all of them the same and get maximum performance from each individual.

 

5 WAYS TO BE AN EFFECTIVE BOSS AND LEADER

LEADER

So, you have just been promoted as the new head of your new/existing department, or you are just starting out as an entrepreneur and you’ve employed a few people to work with you, congratulations! The good news is, you are now a boss; great news actually. However, being a great boss is not just about wearing power suits and ties all week long, neither is it about barking instructions at your subordinates like some emperor. What you want to be is a leader, an effective one at that. You want to have certain characters or qualities that make your workers respect you, that make clients and prospective customers want to associate with you, and ensure you consistently inspire employees or subordinates to perform well and remain loyal.

Leaders are not necessarily born, they are made on the job daily, and this means that even if you are not that great of a boss now, you can learn how to be an effective leader. One critical aspect of being a good boss is recognizing that much of what goes into being an effective leader is, in fact, learned behaviour. Of course, there always have been and will be bosses who seem to have a flawless touch in leading and motivating. But for every natural, there are just as many top flight bosses who became that way by attending management classes and seminars, and reading books on effective leadership. People can definitely develop good leadership capabilities, because to a certain degree, we all have innate traits that make us good bosses. All you really have to do is work to develop those traits to their utmost.

The first thing you should know, is that being a manager does not necessarily make you a good leader, and a leader is who you want be in today’s dynamic work environment. One good distinction between a manager and leader is managers want credit, while leaders credit their teams. Effective leaders don’t strive to be the first to take credit for positive outcomes; rather they credit their team for the ‘big wins’. And this pays off in the long run by establishing a more positive company culture where employees are driven toward more successes as a team.

So, what are some characters or qualities you need to have or develop to turn you from just a boss to an effective leader?

Acknowledge Results

Studies show that acknowledging the great things your employees do can be more motivational than bonuses. When results are coming in, and things are going well in your organization, let your team know– early and often. Publicly recognize productive employees for their contributions. Make a big deal about it. You don’t have to buy a big gift, but you need to encourage outstanding, sustained performance by showing your employees how much their efforts are appreciated every day.

Build Rapport

If you are younger boss, there is a possibility that older people and especially the ones you met at your workplace won’t like you very much, and they will prove to be difficult most times. But your job is to make sure you address immediate needs and requirements to help you be more successful. You need to realize that effective managers are good at engaging with difficult personalities and situations.

Give Up Control

These days, we see many bosses with the title, MD/CEO, and majority of them especially people who started their companies by themselves are gravitating toward the old command and control model where the boss’ fingerprints can be found on everything. However, the problem here is, the business will never grow bigger than you as one person can manage effectively. If everything has to flow through you, an unnecessary bottleneck is sure to be created, and people would have to wait for you to sign off before they can move ahead.

You won’t get the best ideas out of your people.  Another negative with not giving up control is once your employees/subordinates understand the company is set up so that everything revolves around you, they will not take the time to develop their best ideas and you won’t ever get the best ideas out of them even if they have some.

However, once you give up control, and let people make their own decisions, an intriguing thing happens; invariably, the number of mistakes will go down because once they know they will be fully responsible for their decisions, they tend to be not only more creative, but careful. The upside to this is; they will do a better job and you will have more time to think.

Make Accountability a Process

Your employees and subordinates must trust and believe that there is a fair and accurate process for keeping track of their actions and tying their behavior to real consequences. You must ensure that your employees know that they will have to explain their actions to you up close and often.  Be the boss who is known for holding people accountable, raise your standards, focus on concrete actions within the direct control of the employees and separate your role as the boss from your personal relationships. You must take charge from day one and you must be seen to be taking charge.

One Person at a Time

You need to realize that no two employees are the same, so you have got to keep fine-tuning your approach with each individual by asking yourself and answering these questions; Why do I need to manage this person? How should I talk with this person in a work environment?  Where should I talk with this person? You have to learn to talk like a performance coach. Develop a way of talking that is both authoritative and sympathetic; both demanding and supportive; both disciplined and patient. Don’t wait for problems to start coaching. Performance coaches tune in to the individual they are coaching, they focus on specific instances of individual performance.

These qualities and characteristics are just a few out of so many. So read extensively, pick a mentor who has leadership qualities and make deliberate efforts at getting better daily. Do that, and you are on your way to becoming an effective boss and a leader.

This article was first posted on www.connectnigeria.com

Photo credit —- Google

HOW TO CREATE A VLOG AND RECORD YOUR VIDEO

This article was first posted on connectnigeria.com

vlogging

A vlog is simply a video blog or video log, and it is a type of blogging for which the medium is a video. It is a form of web television created by making a video of yourself or an event, uploading it to the internet and publishing it within a post on your blog or on your YouTube channel.

Your video blog could be your own video, your favourite collections of videos or just some exciting videos you record with your phone or a digital camera. A lot of people like to make videos about interesting topics, such as beauty, lifestyle, art, their opinions and points of views, or just recording their daily life and posting it.

We have a good number of vloggers in Nigeria and they are increasing in number by the day. So, if you want to be a vlogger and you are not sure how to go about it, here are easy steps.

Find a Reason and Theme

Before you start a video blog, you’ll need a reason or a theme for it, or else you will run out of content after a few posts. Video blogs can be created for various personal and professional reasons. You can vlog about anything as long as it doesn’t offend people unnecessarily.

Find a Platform

After finding a theme, the next thing to find is a platform. For vloggers, I would recommend YouTube. The reason is that YouTube currently ranks among the top three most-visited sites on the web, and it is a high traffic area for vloggers.  YouTube has created a platform for participants to present their personal videos, which oftentimes are filmed using hand held point and shoot cameras or a simple phone camera. So, go on YouTube and register a video channel.

Prepare Content and Name Your Vlog

It is easy to generate some content when you are just starting anything, especially anything that has to do with media. You will need to add new content regularly, especially the type that will generate a lot of interest from your target audience, or else people will lose interest and stop checking your vlog. So, before you go live with your video blog, make sure you have enough content to keep it going for a little while until you are able to glide naturally.

As for the name, though the content is more important than the name, having a catchy yet easy-to-remember title can attract more viewers and keep them coming back. 

Get a Camera and Make a Video

Any recording digital camera can be used to record your content. Also, any video-capable camera will do. Although the quality might be low, with a little extra lighting, you can make it look professional enough for the eye to look at. You can mount your camera on a tripod or give it to someone else to hold for you as long as they can stay steady so that your videos won’t have much jerking around. However, I would recommend a tripod for shot stability.

Edit Your Videos

After making your video, save it as a file on your computer and use any of the free software to edit and compress it. If you are using Apple systems, Final Cut Pro or iMovie will work for you. And if you are using a Windows 8 or XP Windows, you can try Movie Maker. Try to cut down the length of your videos; a lot of people won’t have the patience to watch a video longer than 10 minutes.

Upload, Share and Promote

With a relatively recent computer with a high-speed connection, you can upload your vlog online. Remember to upload to your platform with appropriate title; you don’t want your audience to be put off by watching you blabbing about things totally unrelated to the title of your video. After uploading, get the embedding code of your uploaded vlog file and share on social media with your friends and their friends.

You also need to promote your vlog to gain greater audience for it; you’ll need to let the world know that it exists. You can do this through blog aggregation sites, search engine optimization and good old fashioned self-promotion, i.e. sending out an email to all your contacts or sending the link through their BBMs.

Keep at it, Stay Connected

To have a successful video blog you’ll need to continuously create and update your content. If you’re creating videos about a topic that you love, keeping an up-to-date vlog should be a joy and not a chore. Also communicate with your followers, don’t shut them out or ignore them. Take time to respond to comments, messages, and video responses you receive. You can’t be too busy for your audience; it will leave an impression on them. So what are you waiting for? Start a vlog today.

TOP 6 EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS YOU NEED

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This article was first posted on connectnigeria.com

It’s no news that good jobs are hard to come by, especially in a developing nation like Nigeria. But as hard as it may seem to find one job and hold on to it, lots of people are finding several job offers and changing jobs with ease. You might want to ask what exactly these people have or possess that gives them that edge above others in getting and holding jobs with a variety of employers, and how they seemingly easily move across different employment sectors through their working life.

The answer is not far-fetched; all you need apart from your qualifications, which by the way are essential to a very large extent, is a range of skills that will make you flexible in your working patterns and enable you to change jobs or sectors once better opportunities arise. Employability skills could be a range of skills that are applicable in the workplace environment, but primarily, they are essential abilities that involve the development of a knowledge base, expertise level, and mindset that is increasingly necessary for success in the modern workplace.

Don’t get me wrong, your degrees and grades might make you very ‘eligible’ to apply for a particular job and probably help you get it. But times are changing; employers are now often looking for skills that go beyond qualifications and years of experience. They are looking for someone who can make critical decisions, and someone who can think on their feet and solve problems. They are looking for skills and competencies that you have developed through your education, training, work experience, interests and extra-curricular activities that make you flexible and effective enough to be an asset.

So, what are some of those employability skills that are necessary for you to have so that you can get and keep your job in any sector you desire to work in?

1.Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking skills will help you in your assertiveness, evaluating information, decision making, problem solving, and commercial awareness. When you can evaluate the information at your disposal, your mind will be opened to a variety of solutions, and then it will be easy for you to choose the most appropriate option based on the criteria and situation. Once an employer can determine that you are a critical and creative thinker, he is more likely to believe that you would be able to devise new ways of doing things that add value to the work environment, thereby making systems and procedures more efficient.

2.Communication Skills

This is the main reason most employers conduct written and oral interviews, even before the final screening. Modern employers are constantly looking for people who communicate well, both verbally and in writing.

Some people do very well when the employer calls for written tests, but when the time comes for oral tests; they flunk it totally, because of something as little as good eye contact or inaccurate pronunciations. Communication skills are essential; if you need to learn, please do, if you need to improve on them, do as well. A lot of people that I know lost good job opportunities because they could not clearly pass their messages across. The importance of communication skills also increases rapidly when you have a job already. One thing your employer is sure to look for among other things when considering making someone a manager, is the ability to speak and write with clarity and conciseness.

3.General Knowledge Skills

I am not referring to highly specialized learning that can only be obtained with extensive training and information confined to a single medium. Rather, I’m talking about culturally valued knowledge communicated by a range of non- specialist media and encompassing a wide subject range.

A few years back, I nicked a job and an instant upgrade on the position I applied for because I was able to provide correct answers to security related questions and terms.

So, what am I saying? Keep your mind open to new experiences and try to know something about everything. You can never tell what your employer might be looking for.

4.Interpersonal Skills

A lot of us have this on our C.V, but truth is we don’t know what it means most times. But thing is aside the skills being written on your C.V, your employer wants to know how well you participate as a member of a team, how efficiently you manage your time, how well you negotiate, how tactful and diplomatic you can be on the job, and how well you can build rapports and interact with other people to produce desired results for the organization and achieve a better working environment. Interpersonal skills include everything from communication and listening skills, to attitude and deportment. These tend to be prerequisites for many positions in an organization.

5.Presentation Skills

Presenting information clearly and effectively is one of the key skills employers are looking for and they are required in almost every modern employment area. Presenting information does not just include making formal presentations – information could be presented in the form of notes, reports, research findings, business plans, scenario planning, risk assessments and strategic documents.

Before going for an interview, learn how to use presentation packages like Microsoft PowerPoint, and improve on your report writing. This will help you a great deal in terms of your employability skills.

6. IT Skills

Acquiring basic IT skills, or just being familiar with using a computer may open up a wide range of employment opportunities and increase your employability and marketability in the workplace. You need to be familiar with at least some computer applications and know how to use them. Some basic computer knowledge like using Excel Sheet, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Word can go a long way. I was told that a lady was declined a job appointment at the final stage of an interview exercise because she could not sum figures using Microsoft Excel.

So, what are those skills you are lacking from the few mentioned above? Acquire them today, read a book, ask someone; just get them. Or do you have all and more? Hone in on them today and get better, so you can make yourself employable without stress.

6 TIPS TO DELIVERING A WINNING PRESENTATION

presentation

Giving presentations to audiences, large or small, can be a daunting and anxiety-ridden task. And while some presentations are extremely formal with highly detailed information that requires not getting lost in the detail and lose the overall message, others are informal, but still there is the difficulty of controlling the cross-talk. Whichever form of presentation you are giving, one thing is constant; you’re going to be in front of a group of people, some you may know, some may be total strangers. You’re probably going to be on stage; all eyes are on you, and the audience will have expectations. And every word you say, every nuance, your appearance, the tone of your voice and largely the content of your presentation will be scrutinized in every way.

Presentations are mainly for the purpose of informing, persuading, or building goodwill. So, when your audience leaves at the end of your presentation, they must have been duly informed, persuaded, and must be impressed with the overall presentation. So whether your presentation is about sales, training, entertainment, political, image building or motivational; handling it properly would ensure your audience is left satisfied and would want to listen to you another time. Because anytime you stand in front of an audience, all you should want to do is to grab their attention, stimulate their imagination, inspire confidence in them, and help them develop a better understanding about something.

So, how do you accomplish all that? I have few steps that will offer you some guidelines. Enjoy.

PREPARATION

A good preparation precedes a good performance. So when preparing your presentation and you happen to be using a presentation tool such as PowerPoint, you might want to minimize the number of slides, so you can maintain a clear message and keep your audience attentive and interested.  Also choose a font style that your audience can see from a distance, it is better to avoid fonts that include fancy edges. Another thing is to keep your text simple by using bullet points or short sentences of ten words or less and try to keep each to one line; it’s a PowerPoint, not a PowerEssay. And the aim is to make your audience listen to you presenting your information rather than them reading everything from the screen. More than that, the most essential part of your preparation on the day of your presentation is showing up early to verify that your equipment works properly. Never assume that your presentation will work fine on another computer, ensure that all equipment is connected and running.

RESEARCH THOROUGHLY

You don’t have to be the world’s leading authority, but you have to know the critical facts about your subject of presentation. Talking about things everybody already knows without new facts is a recipe for boredom. Also remember to practice your presentation so that you can speak from bullet points rather that reading them to your audience. The texts on the screen should be your cues and not the full message. Don’t forget to document your sources as well, as you would not want to sound like just a person with an opinion. Though your personal opinion may very well be important but it must not be the only thing you present.

START STRONG, BE PASSIONATE

You better believe that first impressions are powerful. The audience wants to like you and they will give you the first 2-3 minutes at the beginning of your presentation to engage them, those minutes are the most important— don’t miss the opportunity. Don’t go on rambling about some superfluous background information or your professional history, or you will lose them. About passion, know that the biggest line between mediocre presenters and world class presenters is the ability to connect with an audience in an honest and exciting way. Don’t hold back. Be confident and let your passion for your topic come out for all to see. You need great content, great dressing, and well-designed visuals; but a deep, heartfelt belief in your topic will ensure all other things count for something.

ASSERT YOURSELF

For your presentation to be effective, you need to be assertive, but not aggressive. Work on your posture and presence as these two things help you in asserting yourself in public. It is good to dress well and appropriately for your presentation, but don’t forget to appear confident at all times especially during presentation. Your posture while presenting to your audience will create the mood they will see. If something goes wrong, avoid physical apologies by hiding behind a desk or lectern, and don’t be afraid to wait for an audience to settle down before you start speaking or to ask for quiet if this does not happen. Create a strong presence and remember to match your physical behavior to your presence or else your very expensive suits won’t matter at the end of the day. Making a presentation puts you on public display, as an audience not only listens to your ideas, it also responds to the way you use your voice and your body. You need more than a well written presentation to make an impact. You need to deliver it in a lively, flexible and interesting way.

VOICE USAGE

Your voice is a very flexible and powerful tool. You can use it in many different ways by varying the volume, pace, and pitch. Make sure that your voice is loud enough for your audience to hear clearly, but know that speaking too loudly or too quietly can make it difficult for your audience to follow your presentation. Learn when to raise or lower your volume for emphasis. For example, a conspiratorial whisper can draw an audience in; a loudly spoken exclamation can make them sit up and listen. Voice technique and control is a bit technical and there are professional schools around Nigeria where you can register and have a better grasp.

BE PROFESSIONAL, COURTEOUS AND GRACIOUS

Your audience deserves the best version of you, no matter what’s going on in your world. Once you are standing in front, you set the tone and mood of the room, and though it may not be visible, any distractions will be apparent to the audience. Also, when audience members ask questions or give comments, you should be gracious and thank them for their input. And even if someone is being difficult, you must keep to the high ground and at all times by being a gentleman or lady and courteously deal with such individuals. The true professional can always remain cool and in control. Remember, it is your reputation, so always remain gracious even with the most challenging of audiences.

REMEMBER THE ‘B’

This is a bonus tip for people who are new to PowerPoint. Whenever you need to digress a bit from the topic you are discussing, or you want the attention of your audience to be placed solely on you. Just hit the “B” button while your PowerPoint slide is showing on the screen, it will give you a blank screen. And when you are ready to move on with your presentation, just hit the “B” key again, and your slide reappears. Stay Safe

CHEATING: THINGS THEY DON’T SAY

cheating-man

I know I promised myself not to write about relationship or anything remotely connected to it. But I guess relationship talks are not something you can just wish away; the talk will somehow crop up, either on social media or with our buddies. So when I woke up today and got on Walter’s blog to read a couple of stuff, and I stumbled on a particular post (the writer called it admonition) I had an opinion – again. and since I wouldn’t want to leave an epistle as a comment on someone else’s blog, I had to do a post. The title of the post I read on Walter’s blog is “THE THINGS THEY SAY…ABOUT CHRISTIANS AND SEX” and it was written from a woman’s angle, so I believe the writer is a woman, but I cannot tell if she is married or not. I will quote some of her points, I will paraphrase some, and then I will give my opinion.

She started by talking about how a character in a ‘Christian’ Nollywood movie she watched, advised another character (her friend) to cover herself with the blood of Jesus anytime she has to have sex with her unrepentantly promiscuous husband as a “preventive” measure against STIs and highly possible HIV. Then she wrote that she sampled the opinion with other women and a good number of them agreed with the advice and according to her, thank God her jaws were fixed; if not, her mouth would have been lying on the ground probably from the attendant shock.

Now here is her advice verbatim, “Dear sister of mine, I don’t give two rats left ears what your Pastor said about “owing” your husband sex. You don’t! Marriage is a contract and one of its terms is fidelity between a husband and a wife. If your man is making a habit of housing his koboko in different containers, protect yourself with condoms or stop sleeping with him. I said, I don’t care a twit what your so-called Christian brothers and sisters mean by saying you cannot stop sleeping with him unless by agreement. Did he agree with you before breaking those vows of fidelity?”

“When you catch and die of HIV, they won’t be there to raise your children as you would have. The highest eulogy you’ll get is “Eh yaaah! Poor woman…so young…”

That pastor will stand at your tomb and intone, “God giveth and God taketh…” Which God?

God giveth commonsense – USE IT!

Condoms are not of the devil – BUY THEM!

You can survive without sex – STOP SLEEPING WITH HIM”

Now, it seems our dear counselor gave 4 perfect “tips to deal” to a married woman whose husband is an “unrepentant” cheater.

(1) If you have any common sense; stop sleeping with him.

(2) If your common sense is having some ‘guilty conscience’; pity him and sleep with him but you must buy a condom.

(3) I don’t care how you would do it, and it doesn’t matter how, just make him use the condom whether he likes it or not.

(4) If 2 and 3 do not work for him, revert to 1.

And then all your marriage problems are gone – solved. Peace will suddenly return, and you will suddenly have a good home and a model marriage. How easy?

I agree completely when the writer said “marriage is a contract, and one of its terms is fidelity between husband and wife” but truth is fidelity as conjugal faithfulness cannot stand on its own. I am not trying to make any excuse for a cheater, and I believe the reason behind the cheating is not as important as cheating itself; because for me, when you cheat on your married partner, there is no reason enough to justify the action. But life is always about causes and effects. If you always treat the effect without identifying the cause and try to correct it, you might find yourself in an unending circle, a maze, a labyrinth that will leave you perpetually bewildered.

I don’t claim to be an expert on marriage or any issue, and truth is nobody is. We only have a perspective or a few, from our experiences and other people’s experiences. And since no two relationships or marriages are exactly alike, your knowledge would be stunted if your own relationship or marriage is the only experience you draw out from.

Truth is most marriages fail before the couples tie the knot – better believe it. You will be surprised if people could tell you the truth as to why they are getting married to their partners, but nobody will. We all pretend to be fine, since he is a brother in the church, he has a good job and drive a nice car, and she is a sister in the choir with the angelic voice and the body of a goddess; everything should be fine, but you see, everything is not fine. Most churches these days only teach abstinence, and being born again (The Nigerian way) once a brother passes the abstinence test, and he is ‘born again’; he is good enough to be your husband. And once a sister does not wear those skimpy clothes and she prays in tongues, she is the will of the Lord for any church brother. But for people outside the church, it’s a bit different. As a guy, you need to have swag, 6 packs, you have to be tall and handsome, you know kind of Idris Elba look-alike, then you need to have a very nice ride with a nice job and a cozy apartment, you also need to be a horse in bed, and make your woman cum regularly, then you are a husband material. And as a lady, you need to be a ‘lady’ (I don’t know what it means) have a good job, slim, fair in complexion or have Lupita’s skin, graceful steps all the way, know your way around the kitchen and then in bed. Hmmm, I think people outside the “church” are more creative, don’t you think?

Marriage is a contract, a very big one, and it lasts for a lifetime (supposedly) so what are we doing wrong? Let’s see some terms of the contracts as contained in a traditional marriage vow which we read in part in our marriage ceremonies. “I, (name), take you, (name), to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live”

So, my first question is: is the man you are taking as your ‘faithful’ husband, faithful to you in your relationship? Oh! He was cheating on his girlfriend with you, then he upgraded you to the status of the main chic and you think you have won the battle? My dear, you won the war, the battle continues. Don’t get me wrong, people change, they meet someone and their life takes a different turn. But you know he cheats, and he would not stop, he would not change, and you expect the ring or the ceremony on that Saturday to change him. You are asking for too much my sister. A chronic cheat in a relationship will become an unrepentant cheat in a marriage.

Another question is: are you faithful yourself in sickness and in health? Do you love him in bad times and good times or just in good times alone? When he was having some challenges at work or that time he was out of job, did you not ask him to forget about sex and think of how to be “a man” again? When he had this lovely business idea, and was considering resigning from his paid job and launch out, did you support him or did you shoot him down and make him feel little and foolish? Now some woman out there supports his goals, listens to him talk, shares his burden, encourages him, and now you put all the blame on him when he sleeps with that woman? Remember the law of causes and effects. This is not Dettol advert.

Another question: do you honour and respect your husband? Now, Naija feminist will pick up arms against me and ask if the man should not respect and honour his wife as well. But you see, women and even feminists respect their Pastors more than their husbands, and will do anything the Pastor asks them to do, meanwhile he doesn’t give a damn about what they think. I always say to married women that if they could show their husbands, 50% of respect, honour and patience they have for their pastors, marriages in this part of the world will have fewer problems to sort out. But the husband is their equal, and the Pastor is far above. You relate with him like he is your houseboy and someone else relates with him like he is a king, what do you expect? I tweeted about a couple I listened to few days back. The wife insisted that sex is not food, so the man must be contented with having sex once or twice in a month because she doesn’t like sex. So, I asked, Do you think they play Ludo in marriage? they screw in marriage and pretty well too. Lol

Am I giving reasons for men to cheat? No, I would never do that. But when something that was almost perfect gets broken, you try and fix it, and not throw it away. When you stop sleeping with your husband (who was never a cheat before you married him but he is now suddenly cheating) just because you CAN survive without sex and he CANNOT, you are adding to the problem, not fixing it. If you knowingly married a chronic cheat all because he is handsome and rich and you are hoping you being a good wife to him, or him wearing that wedding band would change him, I am happy to announce to you that your struggle aiin’t over yet, keep at it. But if your husband who has been faithful since you were dating suddenly starts cheating in marriage, and you have proof of it; have a talk with him, if he confesses and possibly promises to change his ways, you can both decide that he must go for STDs check before you can start sleeping together again. If he refuses to change, you can decide to move into the guest room or let him know you won’t be having sex with him till the issues are sorted, or speak to a counselor that would tell you what to do next. But if you just ‘lock up’ and decide within yourself not to give him sex anymore till he probably begs for it, what you are saying is that your own 30-something year old Veejay is covered in honey and spice while the 23 year old veejay he is shagging outside is not. And someday, he would miss your honey and spicy veejay and come back begging for it, and become a changed man once he realizes what he is missing. it doesn’t happen that way. So communicate, fix things, find solution, and don’t just lock up and hope everything will go away.

Space will not permit me to write more on this subject, but you can raise or ask anything in the comment section and I will surely answer. Don’t get me wrong, a cheat is a cheat no matter what you do or fail to do. But don’t encourage your otherwise faithful husband to cheat. By the way, wives cheat too, and some husbands contribute to why they cheat, I wrote about it sometimes ago, Read it HERE. Stay Safe.

MARTYRS OF THE KINGDOM OR VICTIMS OF RECKLESSNESS?

scoan

When on 12th of September 2014, a building inside the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) collapsed and killed “unverified” number of people, the news as usual filtered on to twitter. Before long, figures were dropping from different sources, bloggers and acclaimed eye-witnesses were all having a field day. Some said 17 were dead, others said 20, some said more than 40, but no one was sure, we all waited with bated breath, some of us even wished it was just a rumour or some badly told pranks, until we started seeing pictures online and our fears were confirmed.

But the first reaction of the church to the incident was to try and cover up the news as much as possible. The church members became aggressive, attacking emergency responders, journalists and anyone who had a camera; preventing them from taking pictures or doing their jobs as they should. Lagos state government soon stepped in and State’s emergency workers were given free access to the site. Then the church switched over to their second plan; controlling the narratives, feeding the press with the story of people who walked out miraculously. One freelance journalist named Ihechukwu Njoku was quoted by many bloggers. In his narration, (I didn’t see the original) he focused mainly on the survivors and not the dead. Bloggers quoted him painting the picture of people who were “miraculously” rescued from under the debris; a man in his late 40’s who was asking if he was really in that building when it collapsed, a woman being stretched towards a waiting ambulance and was shouting ‘God of T.B Joshua, thank you’, a child brought out of the wreckage alive and was reunited with her anxious mother, and plenty pictures where people were seeing jubilating and punching the air in excitement because scores of people were rescued from the rubble. All in a bid to show the public that ‘a lot’ of people miraculously survived the collapse, thanks to God of T.B Joshua.

Then the twitter battle started, especially when Lagos state government informed the public that no approval was given to raise the building from its original 2-storey plan to a 5-6 storey which was the current state of the building before its sudden collapse. And as always, one side believed we should not touch the anointed man of God, we should not ask questions or criticize until we know what really happened, forgetting people were dead already, people who had children, who had families, who had loved ones and their only sin in all these was because they chose to attend the Synagogue Church. Four days after, Mr. Jacob Zuma, the South African president announced that 67 of his compatriots lost their lives in the incident; he ordered the concerned government department to help family members identify the bodies of their loved ones and repatriate their remains as soon as possible. But what did the Nigerian government do? Nothing as usual, instead, some bigots were asking us to pray for T.B Joshua.

As at today, the death toll stands at 80 and counting, and I am angry because of the statement that was released earlier today by the church, in which they blamed the incident on a strange aircraft. “…This incident was preceded by the appearance of a strange aircraft which flew very low over the building four times and then disappeared…” and the other parts of the statement which states “…while those who passed on – martyrs of the Kingdom of God – are retrieved, identified and treated respectfully…” When I read this, I lost my temper. WHAT THE HELL IS THE MEANING OF THIS? Who and what is a martyr? After blaming some strange aircraft, all what you could do for the victims is to refer to them as martyrs? No name and no Nationality! How are these people even martyrs? Did they willingly suffer death rather than renounce their religion? Were they put to death on behalf of a belief, principle, or a cause? Who made martyr of them? The government, some anti-Christ organization or who? So, because an aircraft was seeing hovering in the sky around the church environment, which by the way is a common sight in Lagos especially when the airport authority has not cleared the aircraft for landing; Synagogue church has concluded that these people were killed because they were serving God, right? I watched the video of the Pastor himself talking to his members, and they were still clapping for him, interjecting his blaspheme with thunderous applause. What is it with Nigerians; do they distribute stupidity free of charge in our churches? Has anyone paused to ask why would the church under the leadership of Pastor T.B Joshua decide to raise the building from a 2-storey building to a 5 or 6-storey without necessary approval? Why is the building raised in the first place? Is Synagogue making money from this building? Are they culpable of being negligent? We won’t ask all these questions, we would just decide not to judge or touch the anointed.

If one random landlord or a random politician (especially the one we don’t like) in Lagos did same thing and his house collapsed, we would be calling for his head right now. But this is T.B Joshua; no architect, no contractor, no builder, no owner will be arrested and called for questioning, we all are supposed to be looking for the strange aircraft because the Man of God said so. How idiotic and gullible can we be as a people? And then some of his church members and other overzealous religious zombies who believe that, men of God are infallible, you cannot criticize them, you cannot say anything against them, and you cannot judge them are jumping to his defence. Nigerians have a culture of turning “Men of God” to semi gods or better still “GOD” himself and even if these men were caught red handed slaughtering human beings, they would still be excused because they are superior to the rest of us. You all remember Revd. King right? Are we breeding another killer in the fold? Let me even ask you, whenever you say “The God of Oyedepo” “The God of T.B Joshua” “The God of Adeboye” “The God of Bakare” “The God of Oritsejafor” and the rest of them. Are you really sure and very convinced you are calling on the same God that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob served in their time?

Let me disappoint you while you answer that. You see, these men of God are mere mortals like you and I, if they overfeed on wrong combination of food, they will purge, if they don’t bathe for days, they will smell, and if they strayed into a lion’s cage in any zoo, the lion would have a good lunch; they are not exempted from consequences of their actions or inactions. They are subject to the same laws, spiritual or otherwise governing you and I. So, please quit behaving like spiritual mumu and read your bible if you have one. Christianity does not mean you disengage and evacuate your brain for your Pastor to fill it with sawdust. Be like the Berean Christians, who after being taught, will get home and confirm from the scripture if what they were taught was the right thing or not. So, to SCOAN and their apologists, members and non-members alike, you can tell yourself anything, if it would make you sleep better at night, but those people who died in that building are not ‘MARTYRS OF THE KINGDOM, but they are “VICTIMS OF YOUR RECKLESSNESS” Deal with that!

IN BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE PLUS 30%

apc pdp

Nigeria is between a rock and a hard place, we are in a dilemma; a situation offering at least two possibilities, neither of which is acceptable. At least that is what we have come to believe with the discussions going on around us offline and online. We are in a Morton’s Fork situation where our contradictory arguments lead to the same conclusion, albeit unpleasant.

Democracy is a very interesting concept. When I was in secondary school and offering government as a subject, democracy was simply defined for us as “A government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. But growing up and see what democracy is really about, I have come to realize that empirically, the above definition of democracy will only thrive on the pages of a textbook, and in small homogenous communities. So in our increasingly complex world, the only possible form of democracy we can have or should I say the best form we can get, is a situation where the people cede the power of government to one or another of competing elites – it’s called “Elite democracy”.

Agreed, the kind of democracy being practiced now, gives the public/people some opportunity to air their views even when apparently, the elites are the ones governing. But when we air our views, our roles as the public is reduced to that of a rubber stamp, lacking any real power to change anything; especially once we are done electing the elites that will rule us for a specified number of years. So, the only time the public/people have the real power in a democracy is during elections.

Elections give the people the power to accept or reject ‘the elites’ who stand for elections, it gives us the time and chance to scrutinize the choice(s) we would be stuck with till another election. But sadly, in every democracy, no single party anywhere in the world is made up of saints. There are thieves, rogues, crooks, even people who should be behind bars calling the shots in all the parties in any democracy. If you think the Republican Party is far better that the Democrats and vice-versa, maybe you have not been following American politics. But that’s not why we are here.

In Nigeria, some say we have 63 political parties, others say 25 of them are registered. But whichever way you want to look at it, we have only 2 parties who will “seriously” slug it out in next year’s Presidential elections. We know that other parties will be on the ballot papers too but it’s truly a two-horse race between the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC). But the snag here is PDP has been in power since the return of democracy in 1999. The ruling party has produced 3 Presidents so far and unless you are a PDP member or you just want to economize the truth, you would not argue if I said Nigeria has gone from bad to worse economically, and security wise; but you can still argue all you want, that is why there is a comment section after this post – use it.

Last year, few parties came together to form a strong opposition to the ruling party, and presently they are plotting everything they can to “wrestle” power from the ruling party (Power is no longer with the people, so get used to it) While most people will argue that APC is an amalgamation of political parties with different ideals, a marriage of strange bedfellows, others would tell you, that the singular action of that coalition was the best thing to have happened to Nigeria’s political landscape in the last few years. Whichever side of the divide you are; no one will deny that the competition has just become fiercer. If the ruling party thought they could win votes by merely throwing the ethnic or religion cards on the table like they did in 2011, they are wiser. They know the people would still have to vote; and we all know the class of people who vote the most, and the region with the highest number of voters among all the geo-political zones.

But here we are, faced with the reality of PDP and with the uncertainty that APC brings especially when both of them appear to only know how to tackle or accusing each other rather than stating their ideals and policies to move the Nation out of this quagmire. But the truth here is, we don’t have a political party that is a coalition of angels yet, and we won’t have Jesus Christ on the ballot paper come next year; so, we must make a choice out of the ‘unpleasant’ options. The truth for me here is; I am tired of PDP government, it’s either they are not capable of leading this country or they are simply deceiving us. You cannot be in control of a nation like Nigeria in the last 15 years, and we cannot get basic things right. Yes, electricity is improving in some parts of Nigeria, but isn’t that how it always improves when we are nearing election year? It is called Rope- A –Dope. You know that fighting style Mohammed Ali used in his 1974 Rumble in the Jungle boxing match against George Foreman? Yes, that is it. It’s a simple strategy in which one party purposely puts itself in what appears to be a losing position, attempting thereby to become the eventual victor. So, they give us light very close to election period and we are happy, singing “Kumbayah”. Then we go and vote them again. As soon as the election is over, darkness will return and they will slam us with another fuel hike. (NOTE THIS!) I am no bearer of bad news, but isn’t that what always is happening after each election year?

So in my book, PDP has failed woefully, they have not been able to provide security, they can’t bring our girls back, they can’t even be sincere in their fight against Boko Haram, the soldiers are being owed and their allowances are being shared and swallowed by some pot-bellied idiots in Abuja. Unemployment is on the rise, health facilities are grounded to the extent that our President cannot treat a common headache in Nigeria. Our schools remain shut more than they stay open. They extort the jobseekers and now the Youth Corpers; plus many other crimes of this government which I cannot mention here because of space. So, I have made up my mind to try the opposition at the Federal level, I don’t have to belong to any party to do that. And I stand to say I am NOT a member of APC, I have never voted for ACN or APC in Lagos neither have I voted for PDP. But when it comes to the center, the presidency; one has to choose between APC and PDP. I choose to vote against PDP for now. And if after APC got into power, they are as clueless or more clueless, I will still have the power to vote against them.

My reasons are simple. PDP regime has tolerated corruption more than any other regime in Nigeria. (Please argue in the comment section). The PDP killed young graduates with NIS scam, and no one got punished for it, and they only paid lip-service to the dead. The PDP refused to bring subsidy thieves to book; rather they made us pay more for fuel in our own country. The PDP accuses APC leaders of sponsoring Boko Haram everyday, but they have never been able to prosecute even one of them. The PDP has not been able to bring our girls back till date, and they want to stay in power for the next 4 years, even if this was a marriage, so many of us would be filing divorce papers by now.

Well, those are some of my reasons why I won’t vote for PDP. What are your reasons for planning to vote for them? Don’t tell me the only reason is because APC is not better or you are not sure they would do better. You’d sound unserious if that is your only reason. Make a choice to either break down the rock or go through the hard place. No sitting on the fence here, there is no neutral ground.

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And for the proponents of #30%ornothing, this is to you. Being young isn’t a guarantee of vision, selflessness, patriotism, principle and loyalty. In 2011, women negotiated a certain quota in governance and they got it. How has that improved the lot of the average Nigerian woman? Besides, who told you that for you to get 30% slot, it must be given to you after you must have threatened the “oldies”? Your problem is that you have an irrational sense of entitlement. It won’t kill you, but it causes you to believe that you deserve everything for doing nothing. The names you drop everywhere of our past leaders who were in positions of leadership as youths, the Awolowos, the Pa Enahoros, etc; they didn’t get to be leaders by demanding for their quota, they were the best among the rest, they stood up when others were whimpering under the colonial rule. What do you have to show? How have you even defended the interest of the youths you claim to be your immediate constituency? The Chibok girls are not youths? The ones killed by the NIS job scam were not? The corpers that are being asked to pay N4000 to download call-up letters from some web portal are not? Oh! I forgot you don’t care; you simply want to be in leadership positions. You just want 30% of the National cake or nothing. Abolore Akande (9ice) didn’t and isn’t asking for any quota, he simply went back to his hometown and offered himself for the job, and it’s now left for his people to vote for him or not. So, if you wanted any slot, even 1 percent; throw your hat in the ring, roll up your sleeves, and enter the fray. Come out and show us what you got, contest, test your popularity and stop hiding behind one nonsensical political hashtag. We can see through your deceit, afterall most of your leaders called Chibok a scam, they demonized #BringBackOurGirls. And no matter how you look at it; no matter the angle you view it; length, breath, circumference; being young is NEVER a currency for leadership – anywhere.

TOUCHING HER VAGINA: 6 STEPS (18+)

touch vagina

Women love to be touched, and they respond more to touch than men. I guess that is why they are always constantly pushing men away from having any form of physical contact with them. While a guy will go all hard and swallowing his Adam apple at the sight of a curvaceous woman. It takes most women more than your good looks or your six packs to get to a point where they can’t wait for you ravish their body. And one of the ways you blow your girl’s mind is if you know how to touch her vagina professionally, yes. As in, handle it like a profession. Trust me if you can do it well, you would have her looking forward to relive the experience with you over and over again. So, how do you do it right? How do you touch your woman or any other woman for that matter *winks*

Learning how to touch or finger your woman’s vagina can help improve your sexual repertoire. With the right type of stimulation, you can help her reach orgasm just by using your fingers and hands. It’s also a great activity to do when you’re not in the right place or don’t have time to strip off all your clothes. You know when you are in a dark corner on the club’s dance floor, or while you are just making out during lunch break at work.

But the best situation to touch your woman is when you are both relaxed, or at worst, when she is relaxed and you are both in the comfort of your room. And in this scenario, you might need a lubricant. Yes, lubricant. You can ask around for some good lubricants and you can just ask your girl. Now, let’s get into the art of touching her step by step.

  1. Know what she likes.

All women are different and have different sensitive areas on their genital regions. Some women enjoy full finger penetration, while others would prefer you stay near the outer edge of the vagina, which is usually more sensitive. Clitoral stimulation is key for most women while fingering, but some women don’t like having their clitoris touched directly. But in all, knowing what your woman wants is the beginning of taking her to that sexual Eldorado. All you need to do is just ask.

  1. Start slow.

No matter what she tells you, or what some of your friends have told you about touching a woman’s vagina; never jump in full force. Remember, you have to arouse her first. Talk dirty, touch her breasts, rub her thighs, kiss her belly-button, kiss her thigh, suck her toes, make her shiver – just whatever your partner needs to get aroused is exactly what you should be doing before you finger her vagina.

  1. Touch her softly.

When she’s aroused, she is sure to be wet. After that, proceed to rub her vaginal lips softly, starting at the base of the vaginal canal. You’ll feel the moisture and know that you can go in deeper. But continue this motion for a few more strokes to get her more aroused. Don’t touch the clitoris just yet. Make her moan and whine that beautiful waist. By now, she would even be asking you to insert your finger deeper, but don’t fall for the temptation. Your goal is to satisfy her and make her have your number on speed dial whenever she is in the mood to play. So take more time to touch her softly until she is more aroused.

  1. Now insert your fingers slowly.

When she’s plenty wet, insert your finger, the first one, mostly the index, two or three fingers – whatever she likes, into her vaginal canal. But remember to vary your movement, you can ask her if she likes you to insert more fingers, yes. Some women can take the whole fist. Ridiculous? Maybe, but nothing is impossible.

  1. G-spot is next.

I remember I have written about how to locate the g-spot. Most of us get it wrong and we never actually find it. If you didn’t read it then, learn it here. When you insert your fingers into the vaginal canal, push them upward toward her stomach. You may be able to feel a small area that has a different texture than the rest of the vaginal canal, much like the roof of your mouth. That’s the g-spot. You might not be able to find it in all women, but if you find it, push on it with full thrusts, as you would your penis during intercourse, stimulating it with fast, even motions.

  1. Don’t forget the clitoris.

For the majority of women, clitoral stimulation is the key to climaxing. Rub softly all around her clitoris, which is located just inside the vaginal lips near the top of her genitals. Don’t forget to borrow some lubrication from her vaginal canal. Never rub a dry clitoris or clitoral region. Once she gets really revved up, you can touch the clitoris directly and quicken the pace. You should also be varying the motion, such as flicking back and forth or rubbing in circular motions. When she’s close to reaching orgasm, touch the clitoris directly and move fast. Keep moving faster and faster until she climaxes.

But note that you should not be touching a dry vagina because this will likely be uncomfortable or even painful for her. If your woman is not wet enough at first; use lubrication like I suggested earlier, before starting the fingering process. In my opinion, water-based lubrication is the best.

After all these, do NOT forget to eat her pussy. Yes! DO NOT FORGET. Maybe I might write on how best to eat your woman someday. Or maybe a generous female reader can help us. Just indicate in the comment section. Stay Safe.

AERO CONTRACTORS: AN AVIATION MISFIT AND “LET’S THANK GOD” EXCUSE.

Aero-Contractors 1

I have never been out of Nigeria, but I don’t like flying an aircraft in Nigeria, I don’t even like travelling that much except it is very important. But travelling on Nigerian roads and flying the airspace is very less attractive to me. Nevertheless, whenever it becomes a necessity for me to leave where I am, to move around a bit, and see other people in other places, I don’t have a choice than to do so. I have been living in Lagos since 1994, and apart from occasional visits to Osun State to see my grandparents, I rarely leave Lagos except when it has to do with my job. I don’t go on holiday and I don’t attend parties or events outside Lagos. It’s a personal decision. But then, I started doing freelance work in the media, and the travelling around Nigeria commenced. One of those freelance jobs took me to Calabar where I have been for 1 year and half now. And within that period, I have been in the sky more than 10 to 15 times, for official reasons and personal reasons most times.

Before now, I have been treated shabbily by airlines, got my flight delayed, spoken to rudely by some of their staff at the check – in point, but my experience with Aero Contractors on the 3rd of September 2014 on my Calabar to Lagos flight was the height of it. And then I encountered a typical Nigerian mentality of “Let’s just thank God and move on” mentality.

My flight was booked well ahead of time for some reasons, and the departure time on my ticket was 2:25PM. But before leaving for the airport, I checked online to see if the departure time had been changed. And behold, the flight had been rescheduled for 4PM, and I didn’t receive any sms to that effect. I still decided to get to the airport on time; at least I could check in and maybe write some stuff while waiting for the plane to come.

Cab dropped me off around 2PM at Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar (Whoever named the airport ‘International’ ought to be bitch slapped). It was raining as it always does in Calabar at this time of the year. And the whole check-in area was littered with plastics and buckets because some parts of the roof were leaking (You know, in line with the transformation agenda or Mr. President). I ignored all that and proceeded to the counter which had been opened for check-in, thankfully. I got my boarding pass with no hassles and the departure time indicated 3:20PM (rescheduled again, typical). I shrugged and moved on to the departure lounge.

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Margaret Ekpo “International” Airport

I decided to eat at the only shop that sells snacks at the lounge. While there, I met a young lady who I later got to know is a writer and a blogger like me. She is also married, been married for 6 years, so no P-setting was intended (Lol). Eventually the announcer informed us over the PA system that the plane to take us to Lagos will land at 4:30PM or thereabout. (Not very sure now, but it was another rescheduling). The plane landed and we boarded, it was a big aircraft, and we were more than 120 passengers on board. We were in the aircraft for about 30 minutes as it steamed or so I thought. Soon after, the aircraft shut down and later came up again after about 7 minutes. By this time I was sweating, because everywhere was stuffy and the young dude sitting beside me whose body odour can annihilate my whole village was not helping matters (God, don’t let him read this, he would remember my face. Amen) I had the window seat and I was praying earnestly for the aircraft to take off so that I could stick my nose towards the glass as much as possible for the next 1hour 15 minutes journey. Just then, my prayer was answered but not the way I wanted. The captain’s voice croaked through the PA system announcing that there was a mechanical/technical hitch with the ground equipment needed to power the aircraft and we would have to deplane while they try to fix it. I heaved a sigh of relief as I carried my hand luggage and headed for the departure lounge alongside other passengers.

After endless wait, it was getting dark and the rain was still pouring. The Station manager, one Mr Ajibade came to inform us that the plane would not be able to fly anymore that night, and that we all should go back home and come back the next day by 7AM to check in again for our flight that had been rescheduled to take off at 9AM. (Whaaaaaaat!!!) He even added that we should thank God that the fault was discovered while on the ground and not in the air or something like that. That God could have been trying to avert something disastrous, (Seriously?) That was when I exploded. “How dare you hang this on God’s neck? What has God got to do with your inadequacies…?” I kept ranting but to my surprise, other passengers (Nigerians) were telling me to stop being ungrateful. To just thank God and come back tomorrow, they asked me if I would have preferred the aircraft to crash after take-off; if I would rather die than to be late for whatever I was going for. I told them I’d rather be alive and be treated like human being. I also reminded them that death is not limited to a plane crash, a drunk driver could hit me, an ebola patient could decide to pee on me, and also like Ayo Sogunro said sometime ago, everything in Nigeria will kill you. And you just might not have a luxury of choosing which one, and it’s a matter of time before one eventually does.

Some Italian guy was very angry, he sounded funny as he tried to express his anger in English. “Me got flight Italy 9pm in Lagos. Who pay my money? Who take me there?” he fumed in a rather sexy Italian accent. The Station manager simply kept begging until someone asked him what would happen to our accommodation for the night. Then he said the airline would not be responsible as the incident fell under “Force majeure”…! My head sparked once again. “WTF is force majeure in all this matter? Force majeure forced you to reschedule your flight till evening knowing fully well that Calabar airport cannot operate night flight due to no electricity on the tarmac…?” I made up my mind not to leave the airport until I receive some form of compensation no matter how small from the airline whether officially or not.

In less than an hour almost all the passengers had left, then the lady I met earlier came to ask me what my plan was. I told her to follow me if she was interested. We both went to the Station Manager office and oh boy! I gave them trouble. (If you fly Aero to Calabar, ask Mr. Ajibade to tell you) To cut the long story short, I got some form of compensation; the lady got hers too. Though not enough to cover our hotel bills, but we were the only two passengers who stood till the end and got something.

NEXT DAY

I arrived at the airport at 7am as instructed and we were promptly checked in. The scanner conveyor belt was not working (In line with the transformation agenda of Mr. President) so we had to open our luggage and bring out the content for the custom officers to check. After checking in, the wait started again! They brought the equipment to fix the plane, and it turned out to be the wrong one. So they had to wait for another plane to bring the right one from Lagos or PH, I wasn’t sure from where.

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Engineers battling with the plane! Oops! Wrong equipment!

I simply made up my mind to stay and wait it out. I didn’t have any urgent appointment in Lagos but I pitied those who had missed their flight the day before and some who were about to miss another one. A particular PDP leader in Lagos that I met the previous day told me he was rushing back in time for his daughter’s wedding slated for 12pm on Thursday. (4th. Sept) but as it was, he wasn’t going to be there. A lot of people had international flight to catch. A couple, with a beautiful set of twins was going for embassy interview in Lagos and so many urgent and important cases like that. But the Aero guys didn’t care, they didn’t bother to send another aircraft from anywhere to come and airlift us, they simply wanted to fix the same one and we had to just wait for them. We didn’t have a say in the matter.

When it was apparent that we were not going to leave on time, and Arik was scheduled to leave at 1:20pm, some passengers started asking for refund and they got it. But once Arik noticed people were getting refunds and buying their own tickets, they jerked up the price. The last person I spoke to bought her ticket for 32, 000 Naira. One way to Lagos, economy! I could understand the people who bought that ticket for that price, because if I had an urgent appointment in Lagos, I would buy too without any complaint. But since I didn’t have any, I chose to wait and I told those Aero guys that the only way I would not be on their next flight to Lagos would be if they shut down their operations. “I don’t care it if it had been fully booked online or not” I told them. Around 11 AM, they brought their normal inflight snacks for us, without the bottled water though, just the snacks and that fruit juice.

Arik aircraft came, picked its passengers and left. Soon after, our plane was fixed at about 2PM and we boarded. As I approached my assigned seat, the dude with amazing body odour was in his seat already. I looked around and thankfully there were empty seats on the plane, so I just smiled at him and told him he could take the window seat while I look for somewhere else to sit. He simply smiled back. I settled in my seat, waiting for the aircraft to take off. As soon as it did, I slept off. When I woke up, we were descending into Lagos; I asked the lady beside me if I had missed the inflight snacks because I was sleeping, she told me there was none. The airline insisted we had taken our inflight snacks while waiting at the departure lounge! I couldn’t believe my ears, but then again, this is Nigeria, the land of ANYHOWNESS and plenty RELIGIOUS people. Let’s just thank God we are not dead. C’est fini

 

 

 

 

LUST. LOST. LOVE ! (2)

lozt. love

Thank you for following this story, this is episode 2. But before that, if you missed the 1st episode, kindly get it HERE.

THE FIRST TIME:

It was a very cool evening on campus; Taiwo was only taking a stroll with her friend, Toyosi her class mate and best friend. They both have been friends since their secondary school days and now, they continued their friendship in the University.

“Taiwo, you need a boyfriend oh”.

Taiwo pretended like she didn’t hear him, she continued humming her “wide awake” song by Katy Perry. After all, she had a head-set on and she could pretend like it was on its highest volume.

“Tee, you will pretend like you didn’t hear me abi? You will pretend like you didn’t know I was talking to you.” Toyosi said with a bit of anger, he hated been ignored by Taiwo, who really knew how to ignore him. Toyosi was forced to hit Taiwo; she removed the headset and let out a seemingly wicked laugh.

“TY, did it pain you?” she continued her laughter

“Taiwo, it pained me sha, it pained me oo, I was only trying to help you out of your lonely state. Instead of you to say something, you started snubbing me; I won’t even talk about it again. It’s your business sef”

“Toyosi, why take it so personal? All these boys coming to meet me, I don’t like, so why worry over me? Look, this is not even an issue jare; let’s say something else.” Taiwo opined.

With that, Toyosi let the matter go, but he wished in his heart that she would just date someone in school; he even started to think that maybe he was the hindrance because a lot of guys in school saw them together and they probably thought that they were dating and wouldn’t want to ask her out.

The rest of the stroll continued with their usual daily experiences, they will always laugh at their various lecturers, over-sabi course mates and so on. They were used to this every night, their laughs, giggling and jokes usually took the better part of the night.

Finally it was time to go to their hostels; Toyosi explained that he didn’t have the strength to walk her down to her hostel, so he bade her goodnight on the path that leads to her hostel.

“Is that guy your boyfriend?” someone said from behind her.

She turned around, to see who was talking or to see if the person was actually talking to her.

“Are you talking to me?” she queried.

“Yes I am, is he your boyfriend?” He asked again.

“No, he isn’t, he is my best friend.” She said and turned away as if to walk out on him.

“I hear that best friends these days have more benefits than boyfriends, is this true on your case?”

She paused and turned around, smiling and a laugh was let out.

”oh! I don’t even understand you, because this is really funny to me, I have never heard of that, but my best friend is my best friend and he has a lot of benefits for been my best friend, so whatever you’re saying is strange to me”

“Ok o, sorry to disturb you, I only asked a question, I have to go now, at least thanks for your audience even though I was here saying thrash, good night have a nice night”

“Good night to you too and have a nice night”

****** ****** ******* ******

The next day, on their way to class, Taiwo couldn’t stop repeating her story to Toyosi about the stranger she met last night.

“ehn ehn my Taiwo now has a boyfriend, thank God oo”

“Boyfriend ko, someone I didn’t even see his face, you know that path is always dark, but he is a little taller than you sha and his cologne tho, It was like that one you got me on my birthday that was why I even stood to talk to him more.”

“Congratulations, we must drink to this.”

“Drink ko, drunken ni abeg, let’s hurry up before that man enters the class.”

Later in the evening that day, Taiwo had gone to buy some snacks from a mini mart close by; she was standing on the queue to pay to the cashier. When it was her turn to pay, a guy told her not to worry that she had her bills on him. So as not to cause a scene of which she dreaded a lot, she let him have his way. They both left the mart together.

“Thanks for paying, I really appreciate it, but it was really uncalled for.” Taiwo alleged.

“There is nothing wrong in that, because I suppose that your best friend does this all the time.” She giggled, “I guess you are the guy from last night.

**** ***** ***** **** **** ******* *****

About two months later, Toyosi and Taiwo decided to take a stroll, of which they both hadn’t done in a while. They agreed to stop taking their strolls or be seen together too often in other to at least respect their partners.

“I wonder why you still call my one and only Yinka “the guy from last night” you know his name don’t you? It;s like me calling Amaka the… Toyosi cut in while laughing real hard.

“Taiwo its okay, sorry I won’t call him that any longer; Mrs. Adeolu, any other one is a counterfeit, well except his mom oo.

eyin le mo oo, oko Amaka”

“I am proud of my new nickname” he bragged.

Taiwo quirked , and silently thanked God that they were both in relationships that at least had a headway, it was almost the same way in the mind of Toyosi except that he wished a little more for Taiwo.

After a few minutes of just walking and no talking, Taiwo broke the stillness as they approached the popular “lovers garden” on campus; and as the name implies it’s a secluded area with dim lights and small bamboo huts.

 The almost deserted area during the day is an arena for talking, kissing, hugging or some just gisting and chatting happily under the colored dim lights in twos at night.  

“I think I have to go now TY, my boyfriend will be waiting for me already, I told him to give me about an hour to spend with you tonight, he had beeped me twice, I guess he is somewhere around here.”

“Okay then, there is no problem, we will chat over BBM then and even if you didn’t send me, I will send your regards to Amaka tonight and my regards to “the guy from…”

“From last night you mean?” came the voice of Yinka from behind them both.

“Oh look who is here” cried Taiwo as she turned and gave her boyfriend a big hug and kiss on the cheek. Toyosi and Yinka shook hands with each other, chatted a little, centering their chats on their girlfriends.  

“Why don’t you call Amaka to join us, I guess she will be more than glad to.” explained Yinka.

“no oo, both of them will finish us here, let me even be on my way; I have to see her, because the way Tee is pressing this her phone eh I can bet that she and Amaka are on their amebo gist again.

“Please go jare, you have insulted me enough, go and give Amaka her own and I will tell her that you said that she is a pain on your neck, you should trust me on that.” After they laughed at Taiwo, Toyosi finally bade them good night.

Following Toyosi’s exit, the two kissed one more time, this time it was longer and more passionate. Yinka took this passionate moment further as he slipped his hands into her boobs and gave the tits a little massage.

He was about to slip his hands into her pants, when she reminded him that they were in public, he stopped immediately, while whispering into her ear which in turn turned to a laugh for them both.

“ADEYINKA ADEOLU, why did you do what you did” Taiwo inquired.

 Her face was as straight as a TD ruler, but her emotions betrayed her as tiny drops of tears found their way down her cheek.

Written by Temitope Johnson. Follow her on twitter, @aunty_temi

Episode 3 comes up next Monday. Watch Out

 

 

 

 

 

LIES GIRLS TELL

lies

Girls are so mysterious, most times enigmatic. They have more layers than an onion, and no man, not even the very wise King Solomon was able to figure them out. Girls are just confusing by default. Though many of them strive to be honest, truthful, and forthright; truth is they do not always tell the truth. Don’t get me wrong, men tell lies too, but most of the time, women tell the bigger lies, especially when in a relationship, trying to lock down a relationship, or trying to get out of one. These lies ranges from white lies, half-truths told to keep the peace, or sometimes just a lie of the highest proportion. Like I said, guys lie too. And maybe some of my female readers will decide to be awesome and tell us the lies men tell from their own perspective.

Now like I said, girls/women tell lies sometimes to get something from a man, get into a relationship with a man, lock down an existing relationship with a man, or trying to get out of a relationship with a man most times because of another man. Let’s hear some of these lies.

  • I’ve slept with just two guys:

Ordinarily, men should not bother to ask their women how many guys they have been with before them, I wrote about body count before and it was even a big issue on twitter few days back. When a woman is asked for her body count, she will almost definitely lie about it and reduce the number. But the worst liars are the ones that will tell you “I have slept with just 2 guys, the one who deflowered me, and one guy I was dating in school, and it happened only once” When a girl tells you this, don’t believe her, don’t argue with her. Even if she has slept with 300 men, she can tell you her body count is just 3, and if 130, she might just tell you 13. It’s a matter of removing one or two zeros. So, whatever your woman tells you her body count is, don’t argue; just keep quiet. That’s not why we are here, abi?

  • The sex was great, you are the greatest:

Listen bros, I am not saying you are not good in bed, But almost every woman will tell you that you are the next best thing in bed; that the likes Crixus and Spartacus are learners compared to you. But I need you to know that it’s hard for most women to be frank about sex, especially when the news isn’t good and they want to lock down the relationship with you. You are advised not to listen to her, but rely on her body language instead.

  • I have never cheated on you and I never will:

This is very easy to say for women, especially when you are just done taking her to cloud 9; she will swear will everything that her honey pot has never been tasted by anyone else apart from you and it is meant for only you till thy kingdom come, she will even swear to that effect. My advice? Don’t bother your head, don’t start finding out, just nod like a zombie and carry on. Remember: what you don’t know can spare you.

  • I’ll be ready in a minute:

Listen very carefully: You are going out on a date with a woman but she had earlier asked you to come to and pick her up at home. When you get to her and she goes “I’ll be ready in a minute” Tell her you want to get a recharge card down the road, turn your car back, go back to your house and slot in season 1 of 24, Game of Thrones of any interesting series. And before you are done with episode 6 probably, she would call to ask you if you had gotten the recharge card, then you can switch of your TV and DVD, and drive back to her house; you’d be right on time this time.

  • I’m fine:

If you offend your woman, and before you apologize, she tells you “Don’t worry, I am fine” Biko, start calling everybody, her mother, her father, her grand uncle and anybody that you know she listens to, and tell them you have fucked up and you are a repentant sinner who needs forgiveness from your woman. If you fail to do that, you can start writing your will or something close to that.

  • I will never get possessive and I will never nag you:

If any woman tells you this, it’s either she doesn’t love you at all, or you are a maga, simple! Women get possessive and women nag. If you believe otherwise, come and collect your learner permit.

  • I usually don’t give guys my number, I don’t know why I am giving you:

Do you want to hear the truth? You are the number 9,999 dude in your hood that is getting that number. So don’t start jubilating that you have hit the jackpot, don’t dull yourself and start loving up, play your game very fast and tap out as quickly as you can. Yeske! except yah name na Fally Ipupa

  • You are the only one I ever wanted:

When a woman especially the one from 30 years and above tells you “You are the only one for me, you are the one I wanted, I have been waiting for you all my life” Just nod and tell her you feel the same way, that she is the most FANTASTIC woman ever! Don’t argue, after-all you are the fall-back option, the last resort, the only one who didn’t run. You are the Awilo Longomba of Nigeria.

  • It is not you, It is me; you deserve a better woman:

This one of the classic lies women tell when they want to leave for a fresher, richer and more handsome dude. You will do yourself a great favour by not drinking hypo or Dettol. She is done with you, she is leaving. All those talk na bobo.

  • My father dreamt that something bad will happen if I marry you:

I will not say much about this, if a woman tells you this and you believe her and start hurting or running to your pastor to pray concerning the dream, when her father’s name is not Joseph; you will have to give me your Pastor’s number, you need to be delivered from the spirit of mumunism. Yes, there is a word like that. Ciao

HOW TO KNOW AND DEAL WITH JUDGEMENTAL PEOPLE

judgemental

The world is full of judgemental people and we all must have experienced them one time or the other in our lives. Whether a boss, co-worker, family member, church member, religious people, friend, partner or perhaps, a passing stranger, once they are judgmental, they always have some critical remarks and judgement on everything we do, be it  right or wrong. But the good thing is, dwelling on their negativity and critical outlook is completely up to us, we can choose not to.

While some judgmental people never change, it is helpful to know where their negativity stems from, and how exactly you should navigate their particular social nature. You need to know and accept some interesting realizations about why exactly judgmental people are the way they are:

  • Most judgemental people are critical of everything. Whether people or things, their opinions are focused on purely negative aspects, and fail to see much that is amazing. So it is safe to say they are the ones with the problem. And as much as they would like you to believe that everyone else is the problem, and they are near perfect, the flaw in their arguments is glaring. It is important to also know that their judgmental and hypercritical point of view comes from deeply rooted personal insecurities and unhappiness. Judgemental people feel extremely vulnerable about their own lives, and thus, prey on the people around them in order to feel better about their own situation, or self.
  • Judgemental people also lack empathy and they are insecure. Highly judgmental people don’t have the ability to understand, and share another person’s feelings. They are never willing to see the world through another’s eyes and therefore discredit anyone else’s beliefs, choices, fears, and opinions that differ greatly from their own. They don’t realize the pain or offence they may cause someone by one of their judgmental comments, or perhaps they just really don’t care. Judgemental people always fail to see there are multiple perspectives of the world. And they often fail to see that there are many ways of looking at the world, and everything in it. This inability to see diversity causes much of their judgment. They also believe there is only one true answer to any question, and this belief allows them to believe they are right in judging other people who don’t share their same beliefs, or opinions

So, if these are some of the truths about highly judgmental people, how are we supposed to deal with them? How do we deal with their incessant critical point of view?

  • KNOW YOURSELF, AND BE CONFIDENT.

 Judgmental people can quickly make you doubt yourself and your beliefs with their constant critical remarks. And to deal with them, you need to know, and be sure of yourself. They will constantly want you to believe that your opinion or viewpoint is incorrect, but you must know within yourself that you are entitled to your own way of looking at the world, and yourself. Judgemental people will comment on your known insecurity, such as a particular part of your body, or perhaps a mistake you’ve made in the past. But to counter them, you need to embrace what you have, embrace your mistakes, and what you believe, and be sure not to let any judgmental person leave you guessing about yourself or taking their comments as credible observation or advice.

  • DON’T TAKE THEIR NEGATIVITY TO HEART.

 Remember that judgemental people are the ones with true insecurities, and their negativity comes from within. So, don’t take their negativity seriously. Their negativity is not a reflection of you, but of their own reaction to your situation or your person. If you know yourself, what you believe to be true, and frankly feel good in your own skin, then you cannot let their negativity and critical view of the world bring you down.

  • CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES CAREFULLY WITH JUDGMENTAL PEOPLE.

Some of us like a good argument. But remember that you cannot control a judgemental person’s actions, but you can control your own reaction/response. The futility in arguing with highly judgmental people is their inability to see multiple points of view. And trust me they enjoy an argument because it allows them to say many more critical things about you and your situation. So it’s better to be the bigger person and steer clear of any arguments, as you will most likely never win, and at the end of the argument, you will undoubtedly have gained nothing simply because they would have refused to see your side of the story and try to compare notes.

But note that you can’t always avoid judgemental people as some of them are our family members or colleagues or even bosses. But you can deal with them in a way that will rid you off their negativity and help you grow as a person in life. You can also learn more about yourself and another person based on how well you are able to react to their judgemental and negative view of life.

20 TECHNOLOGY DOS AND DON’TS IN A RELATIONSHIP

technology-relationships

Do you find yourself constantly checking your Blackberry—even when you’re on a date? Is your blackberry, iPad, tablet, iPhone etc. closer to you than your partner? Have you ever tried to send a raunchy text to your partner and somehow you realize that you mistakenly sent it to a random friend, your boss or worse your pastor? Have you tried to guess your partner’s password as to have access to their e-mail or twitter DM without their knowledge?

Well, maybe you haven’t experienced any of the issues above; it’s likely that you’ve encountered the intersection of technology and relationships. And maybe you’ve wondered how to set some rules for yourself and your partner having it in mind that mixing love with the latest technology could be a bit cumbersome especially if you have some unexplainable attachment to your gadgets, and sometimes your partner’s. So, let’s look at some dos and don’ts of technology gadgets in a relationship.

  1. DO plug in your partner’s iPhone, Blackberry or computer in when you see the juice is low. That is kindness, it pays to be kind.
  2. DO share the joke with your spouse if you laugh out loud at something on your Blackberry or phone. You don’t want to be selfish.
  3. DO text and email your partner with the same care you did when you first started dating. E- Mails don’t take more than 2 minutes to send. If you have been sending each other online messages, it is not the time to stop. Make time to send sweet-nothings to each other over Facebook, BB, sms, and email especially if you were doing it regularly when you just started dating.
  4. DO upload new music to your partner’s iPod and new books to their kindle (If they have). If they like games on their iPad or tab, download interesting games for them. New tunes, books and games will be a sweet surprise when they see it, and it will show that you think of them and their interests all the time.
  5. DO give technology as a gift, but not for a romantic occasion. Note! If you need to charge it up, plug it in or program it, it probably doesn’t make for a good romantic anniversary present. Try one of those things Davido said his girl doesn’t want in “Aiye” for anniversaries and romantic occasions.
  6. DO have a discussion with your partner about what technologies are OK for big discussions. Personally, I don’t talk about serious issues on phone, I prefer to do in person, and my girl knows. But you and your partner might be fine discussing emotional topics via BBM or DM, just discuss it and make sure you are both fine with it.
  7. DO put away your Blackberry or phone on important occasions. Like when you have a rare date is some rare exotic locations, or you are discussing something very important. And ask your partner to do the same. If you have to pick your call or check your gadgets, take permission from your partner and tell them the level of importance.
  8. DO set a time limit for Internet surfing and BBM/Whatsapp chatting while you’re hanging out together. It can’t just be all about your virtual friends, when your partner is sitting right in front you in flesh and blood.
  9. DO save cute texts, email, voice-notes, and voicemails. Such memories are priceless.
  10. DO check again and again to confirm you have the right number/contact before you hit “send” button while sending raunchy sms/chat/photo. Or else your pastor or a random person might know your raunchy secret, and your pastor might call you for counseling and deliverance.

Now that we have the DOS, let’s check the DON’TS.

  1. DON’T exchange email passwords with your partner especially when your relationship is still very fresh and it is not yet defined, no matter how good of an idea it seems.
  2. DON’T hack into your partner’s email or phone to read their messages, just because you assume they are cheating on you – people kill people for this. Even snooping can get out of control.
  3. DON’T send flirty text messages or emails on your company’s device. Before long your director of IT will have a catalogue on you.
  4. DON’T browse while talking to your partner on the phone. You may think you’re a multi-tasking queen/king, but it’s distracting for both of you and it makes it seem like you only half-care about what they are talking about. You can always tell them you are in the middle of something very urgent, and ask for a few minutes to round off and get back on phone.
  5. DON’T bring up important topics in a medium that your partner is uncomfortable with. Don’t send BBM/ Whatsapp chat that you’re mad at him if he/she prefers to hear your voice.
  6. DON’T use emoticons and/or tech lingo that you know annoys your partner. LOL/ROTFL can be annoying if your partner is telling you how shitty their day has been and how low their boss made them feel at work.
  7. DON’T sound snobbish via technology, your partner cannot see your face, your voice will communicate your state of mind. While chatting, don’t just type “Fine! I’ll do it” try “Alright dear, I will get it done”
  8. DON’T bring tech to bed unless it is absolutely necessary. Like when you are both watching something raunchy on it before embarking on the journey to cloud 9.
  9. DON’T walk away before picking a call while your partner is there. They will suspect you of cheating and they would be right. Even if your side chic/assistant boyfriend calls you on the phone, and you must pick up, try to ‘code’ things. Pick and pretend the network is bad, and take permission from your partner to move away. (A sharp babe will follow you sha)
  10. DON’T take send nudes. If you think you must send, don’t include your face and any other part of your body that is easily recognizable. (Like the tattoo on your arm, the birthmark on your chest/thigh). Or else, you might just trend on twitter Nigeria someday.

So friends, do you have any other tech tips for relationships? Share them in the comment box and let’s talk.

ARE YOU BEING TAKEN FOR GRANTED? 9 SIGNS!

takenforgranted

Love, as happy and blissful as it seems, can still be a minefield of confusions. If you’re trying not to show too much affection, your partner may think you don’t love them. And if you’re too giving, showing lots of affections and all, your affections and your giving nature could be taken for being too desperate and before you know it, you would be continuously taken for granted. Do not get me wrong, there are still true relationships out there where both partners are constantly striving to put more efforts to nurture their love and they don’t ever stop the efforts even if something goes wrong or there are disagreements as there would be when two people of different backgrounds and convictions want to live together as one.

In a loving relationship, some people get taken for granted so easily, while a few others are never taken for granted. But at what point would questions like “Does my partner really love me?” “Would they ever leave me?” “Am I still good enough for them?” start bugging your mind. Truth is even if both of you are madly in love with each other, you may still find these questions floating in your mind every now and then. And it is the insecurity that the questions create that makes you try harder to woo your partner all the time even if both of you are dating already. I always say it’s a good thing to be comfortable in love, but if not properly handled, it might become a bad thing. Because most of us will get to that point where we feel so assured in love, especially after our partner must have proven overtime that they really love us; it is at this point that gestures and expressions of love suddenly turn into expectation and careless demands. We then start to believe our partner would never leave us because they’re so much in love with us, and our minds start to take it easy and we may stop trying hard to woo them or impress them. And then, we start taking each other for granted.

Now not all lovers take each other for granted. But most of us do, even if we don’t realize it. As a girl, maybe ever since you started dating your boyfriend, you have been doing something special for him all the time, like going over every weekend to cook and preserve the food that will last him for a whole week for him. But at some point of time, he had turned this romantic gesture of your affection into an expectation. And some weekend, you are not able to go and cook for him, because you mum needs you to do something for her, and then next weekend you are a bit tired to go to his place, you may discover that your boyfriend might take this personal and may be slightly annoyed with you! And that’s a clear case of being taken for granted in the relationship.

So does that mean you should stop being affectionate to your lover?

No, it only means you need to start letting your partner know just how much of an effort you’re making each time. Don’t be a martyr. You may think being a silent martyr works because your partner would understand just how devoted and loving you are someday, but it doesn’t always work that way. When you’re being taken for granted by your lover, it all starts with your overwhelming silent love, and your partner’s lack of reciprocation and increase in expectations. Know this; you have every right to expect your partner to treat you with the same love and affection that you shower upon them. And the day you start to believe that you need to do more to win their affection or to hold on to them; is the day they’d start to take you for granted.

If your partner starts taking you for granted, they may not care enough for you or they may treat you like you don’t deserve their love or attention, all because they believe they’re too good for you or that you’d never leave them no matter what they do, because you need them so much more than they need you. That is the point you really need to talk to your partner about it, or you may end up feeling miserable and useless in the relationship, even if you’re the one who’s more giving and loving in the relationship.

But if you are reading this piece and you are still not sure if you’re being taken for granted in your relationship or not; Read these 9 signs in your partner’s behavior and you might just know for sure!

1. He never returns your call or text:

When you call or text your partner, they don’t call you back even if several hours pass by and you know they’re not that busy and they can afford to recharge their phonesAnd this is going to the ladies especially, if a guy tells you he has been so busy at work for the whole week, and he can’t call you or take your call for the period and this happens several times; you are being taken for granted.

2. He/she gets very impatient with you.

If your partner loses their temper very easily every time he/she is trying to explain something to you, especially when you are the one who asks for that explanation; watch it. He/she is starting to take you for granted. 

3. Your partner doesn’t care if they lose you or not.

This might be hard to tell sometimes, but when your partner does not seem to care who you go out with, or what you are doing at any point at all. Or they boldly or subtly tell you while having arguments that “I know you’ll never find someone as good as me”; you might just want to have a discussion before it’s too late.

4. Your partner forgets you a lot.

Your partner forgets your birthday or your special days and it happens repeatedlyand he/she doesn’t really care to know about what is happening in your life, and doesn’t bother to even ask you about your day because they believe their life is so much more important than yours.

5. Your sacrifices don’t always count.

You may have sacrificed many things for your lover, your friends, your habits and maybe your plans. But yet, your partner doesn’t respect you and still behaves like you’re such a small part of the relationship.

6. You are reminded only of your mistakes.

You may treat your partner with a lot of love and affection, and you may try hard to please them all the time. But no matter what you do, it just goes unnoticed. And on the other hand, even if you make one mistake, they make it a point to never forget it and keep bringing it up at every instance they get.

7. You know you deserve to be treated better.

Sometimes you feel this, but you’re too scared to say it out in the open so that you won’t lose your partner. And you’re too broken inside to even acknowledge that you deserve something better even though you know you’re being wronged in the relationship.

8. Your partner expects more all the time.

You are doing your best but it always seems not to be enough, but yet, you just endure it in the hope that they may see just how giving and loving you are and love you back same way. But the harder you try, the more they take you for granted and expect more from you. No matter what you do, it’s just never enough to please them.

9. You constantly feel used and unappreciated.

Most times, you feel used, hurt and disrespected in the relationship. You know you are a strong individual around other people, but your partner has broken that pride of yours and always makes you feel useless and small in the relationship. You don’t even think of leaving them, but you’re constantly worried about whether your partner would leave you someday. And this worry/fear makes you try harder to please them. But the harder you try, the more they expect from you. And what starts off as a little doubt turns into a vicious cycle that hurts you and leaves you feeling more vulnerable and defeated all the time.

Now that we know some of the signs, what do you do to reignite the lost spark in your romance and to not being taken for granted? This is another question to be answered altogether another day, because I believe anything broken can be fixed. There is no relationship without its troubles, and if you fail to fix the one you are in, who says the next one won’t have same trouble or worse? So, for now, I suggest both of you talk about it firmly and find ways to fix things, maybe your partner is just lost and he/she will soon realize that they need a change of attitude, and start doing the right things.

LUST. LOST. LOVE !

lozt. love

(BEFORE NOW)

(Twins eulogy…)

“Ẹ̀jìrẹ́ ará ìsokún.

Ẹdúnjobí

Ọmọ ẹdun tíí seré orí igi

Ọ́-bẹ́-kẹ́sé-bẹ́-kàsà,

Ó fẹsẹ̀ méjèèjì bẹ sílé alákìísa;

Ó salákìísà donígba asọ.

Gbajúmọ̀ ọmọ tíí gbàkúnlẹ̀ ìyá,

Tíí gbàdọ̀bálẹ̀ lọ́wọ́ baba tó bí í lọ́mọ.

Wínrinwínrin lójú orogún

Ejìwọ̀rọ̀ lojú ìyá ẹ̀.”

Taiwo can’t seem to get enough of her ‘oriki’ each time she hears it from her soon-to-be husband, it makes her feel jittery and extra loved at the same time.

“Oh God, if your love doesn’t kill me, ehn, Sesan I wonder what will”

“Taiyewo, my love won’t kill you, even if it does, I will kill myself and follow you to wherever you’re going. God will understand”

They laughed, hugged, and kissed.

Sesan looked into her eyes and said

“Ekuro ni alabaku ewa emi ati iwo”

“Sesan, oya it’s enough, please be going home, I want to sleep” she pleaded.

“Okay, I will leave soon, Erm but, I really need to ask you to marry me; at least you’ll have to stop telling me to leave you every night.”

Iwo lo mo, be on your way oh, we both have work tomorrow morning and my boss is nicer than yours, you know that right?” she concluded

She walked him to the end of the close, he hugged and kissed her and told her good night.

“I Love you Taiwo.”

“I love you too, Sesan.

**** **** ****

The next morning when she woke up, she got a text.

“Good morning my princess, Eji lo wole to mi. Bu mi ki nba o rele, yin mi ki npada leyin re. Nijo ejire ti daye ko jale ri, oju oloko ni se je tie. Mo lepo nile, Mo lewa loode, Ejire eelaki maa bo lodo mi. Ireke mi ree. Aadun mi ree”

As she was about to reply, her alarm went off. She was contemplating typing a befitting reply when her phone beeped again. It was another sms, which she couldn’t read because she had to dash off to the bathroom.

As she was dressing up in a hurry, she checked her schedule, it was meeting day with Sache and Sache group.

******

Sesan called her phone twice, but because she was driving, she couldn’t pick the phone. She decided to call him back at work.

As she turned in into the junction leading to her office, she saw Sesan standing by the gate, smiling like he just won a lottery. She pulled up by the sidewalk, alighted from her vehicle and strutted towards him.

“Sesan, why are you here, you ought to be at work baby”

“My hugs first before anything else”

They both hugged

“Now my man, tell me why you are here”

“I just came to see you are alright Tai, wanted to be sure you got to work safe”

“Sesan! Please I’m fine, go to work ahhh” she says with a chuckle

“Ok, ok. Whatever you say is final” Sesan raised his hands in surrender, kissed her forehead and whispered in her ears, she giggled and the said their goodbyes as he left.

 

Taiwo was the talk of the office, those who loved her talked about her hard work, and those who didn’t, usually said she was favored because she was pretty. Either way, talking about her worked for her both ways. Her dress sense was totally unique, her polished Nigerian accent, her physique, her beauty and elegance; and most of all, her intelligence.

The first time she stepped into that office was when she came for her internship in the company of Yinka; both of them were students of the same university. After their internship, she was retained but Yinka wasn’t.

***** ***** *****

During her meeting with Sache & Sache, Sesan had called her again, but she was really too busy to pick. After the meeting she returned his call.

“Hey baby, I missed your call earlier was so busy with work and I even had a meeting” she explained from her end of the phone.

“What work eh Tai? What work? Do you know how it feels not to talk to you for 5 hours, Tai 5 hours, it is so unfair” he says before hanging up on her.  Taiwo was stunned at Sesan’s reaction on phone, she wanted to call him back immediately but she decided against it, instead she cleared her table and headed downstairs to her car.

Downstairs, Sesan was there already leaning on her car, a brand new Audi Q7 she bought for herself just few months ago to celebrate her birthday; she stood still and looked away like he was not there.

“I’m sorry Tai, I was missing you badly” Sesan said and moved towards her.

“I’ve heard you Sesan, you can leave now. I have had a long day and I just want to go home and rest. And please don’t bother to come tonight because I really need to rest” she said as she moved past him, and into her car.

“Tai, please wait, listen to me baby…”

She got into her car, and zoomed off despite Sesan’s plea.

*****

Later that night as she was tucked in bed and waiting on sleep to come, she heard a knock on her door. She didn’t think Sesan would come that late unless she wanted him to, but she decided to check if it was him at the door. She got to the door, opened it gently and looked around, but she saw no one, except a parcel carefully wrapped with a note stuck on it at her doorstep. She checked the note that was addressed to her but the name or contact of the sender was not on it, so she assumed it could only be Sesan. She went back in to pick her phone and call him and thank him for the gift, but Sesan denied sending her anything or having any knowledge of it whatsoever, as he hadn’t even gotten home because of traffic. However, he advised her to dispose of the gift as it might be from a serial killer or someone dangerous stalking her. She thanked him and dropped the call. She checked the note and read the line one more time.

“I’m sorry Taiwo, I love and miss you”

Her mind was telling her the handwriting was vaguely familiar, but she decided not to agree with her mind, she concluded it could still be Sesan, trying to apologize and pretending not to know about the gift. “He does that a lot” she reasoned. But because Sesan specifically asked her to throw the gift away as it might be from a stalker, she was undecided on what to do.

Sesan later called her up, and begged to come over. She allowed him, because she had missed him, and because she was still puzzled about the gift. Sesan later apologized and she accepted without saying anything about the gift, she wanted them to have dinner first. It was Friday night and they had no plans to go anywhere.

After dinner, they were both on the couch, she was lying down with her head on Sesan’s legs as he sat and played with her hair. After a few minutes, he casually asked her about the gift, he asked to see it.

 “Oh that. You advised me to dispose of it and I have done exactly that; so, either waiting for whoever sent the parcel to show up and tell me he did, or I will just leave it out there to rot.” She replied off-handedly.

“I’m sure it was from your office, someone noticed that we had a misunderstanding and now the person decided to send you a parceled gift to woo you over” Sesan said with a hint of disdain in his tone of voice.

“Sesan, this jealousy of yours about everything I do and everyone I work with is getting out of hand, I can’t seem to understand it anymore. Was I screaming at you in my office, or did I carry a placard that you and I a slight misunderstanding? Or how would someone in my office have known that we had a quarrell” She raised her head off his laps and was about walking away, when he pulled her back and gently gave her a warm kiss, she resisted at first but then, she allowed herself to savour the kiss, and the moment.

The kiss went on and they got into the bedroom. They kissed each other hungrily and she threw her head back as he traced his tongue from one of her mounds down to her navel area. Then her phone rang, she hesitated at first, but she had the urge to pick and find out who it was. She held his head to her lower abdomen and picked up the phone, the number was not registered.

“Hello, who’s this please?”

“Hi Taiwo, it is Adeyinka Adeolu”

“Adeyinka Adeolu…., Yinka, is that you?”

“Yes, it’s me Taiwo…I…”

She hung up the phone before he could complete his sentence. No way could Yinka have called her. No way at all.

NEXT EPISODE COMES UP NEXT WEEK MONDAY! written by Temitope Johnson. follow her on twitter @aunty_temi

LESSONS, BLESSINGS OR BLESSONS!!

“I believe it is when we are able to view painful LESSONS as BLESSINGS, a BLESSON is what happens.”
— Unknown

It is my birthday today and like I said last night, I don’t believe in birthdays’ rituals. I always just do mental stock taking before/after celebrating it (in a little or big way) depending on the health of the Almighty pocket!
I remember some people and events in my life, I have also heard people talk about how some people/events are meant to be LESSONS in your life and some, BLESSINGS. But, I slightly disagree and here is why.

Just like the Witches told Macbeth “Fair is foul and Foul is Fair” I have always looked at the Equivocation of life – its paradox; I have always noticed nothing is ever black or white or simply evil and good. I believe LESSONS and BLESSINGS can not be so wide apart, they are not like word and opposite, they are intertwined. And it is when we see the BLESSINGS in the LESSONS that challenges and seemingly bad people taught us; that we can fully appreciate life in its entirety and maybe only then can we decide to make lemonade out of lemon. Maybe we can decide to have some ‘BLESSONS’

So, it happens I have had some ‘BLESSONS’ in my life in the past few years and in the spirit of my mid-life birthday, I will randomly share a few. Now, you can laugh at me or even judge me all you want but before you do, take my shoes and walk a mile in them.

(2013)

There has been no celebration whatsoever for my birthday today, not a gift, not a cake, no rice; not even a bottle of soda. I however received numerous calls, twitter shoutouts, FB messages/greetings, BBM updates, as I write, I am still on more than 15 friends’ dp, text messages were numerous even Access Bank, Stanbic and ARM pension sent me sms…. Lol..! Am I not lucky?? But last year was different, I had a near perfect celebration. It was on a tuesday in my office and I had three days left to clear my table as I had earlier collected appointment letter from a bigger and better organisation, so my birthday was merged with a mini send-forth party by my colleagues. There were cakes and drinks(non-alcoholic) at the office, I had another cake for my choir members as my birthday fell on our rehearsal day and I later celebrated with that special person….!

******

April 1st, 2012. I resumed in my new office beaming with smiles, thinking of the better pay, limitless opportunities and a future with the ‘special person’ though with a largely deflated bank account as I had just changed my apartment one month earlier due to Lagos and its Landlords’ wahala!! But I was undeterred, I am that type of guy who would stretch out a leg even without seeing the bridge and like Elizabeth told me earlier today, “One can not be looking at the sky before going to the farm”…… I didn’t look at the sky, I went to the farm; I carried on with my plans hand in hand with my ‘special person’ and exactly 60 days on the new job, the unexpected happened……

********

Today, I remember Segun, who was editing for me a wedding programme I had recorded sometimes in December 2010, we were putting the video together for two days. On the second day, with his right hand on the computer’s mouse, he slumped, jerked, gasped for breath and was dying in my presence, I yelled for help, we scurried him to the hospital but was pronounced DOA (dead on arrival)….. I was traumatised for months but I am still here, alive and well…… With all the intrigues that followed that event. Hmmmmm.

Today, I remember Olamide (OOU babe), who on her second visits to my house facilitated the disappearance of my expensive Sony camera, I think about how trusting and foolish I was, and I just smile!

Today, I remember Funke, whose heart I broke because I would not do “commitment” despite her insistence that we ‘might’ get lucky when we start having kids with my AC genotype combined with hers which was AS. She got married 3months later. Today, she is happy and I’m happy for her!

Today, I remember how I started my Inter-collegiate magazine (CAMPUS XCELLENCE) back in 2007 with a loan and after the 2nd edition, all the equipment in my office were stolen in one day leaving me with a mountain of debt…..that, got me broken..yeah! Very BROKEN!…..Yet, I am still standing!

Today, I remember how Seye who was my best friend and confidant in the organisation I resigned from started mocking me when my new organisation went under, telling every former colleague how I had made a mistake in jumping at the new offer and how foolish and immature I was to leave ‘certainty’ for ‘uncertainty’ but he forgot that Tax and Death are the only two certainties in life…. Errr, the former is not certain in Naija.

*****

Today, I remember how my ‘special one’ broke up with me on phone just after the new organisation I was working with went under and I was out of a regular job. Using the oldest line (read as LIE) in the book, she cooed,…… “My father disapproves because he had a dream that something bad would happen to me if we got married”…… Hmmmm! My guess was, she just thought…. “I am too young and too beautiful to date a jobless guy o jere”…. My whole world came to a halt and then…crashed…..! But do I blame her? No! I have always known that we are responsible for our choices in life and we have the right to choose whatever we want and since right or wrong choices are subjective, well………, Now, am smiling, because that event was/is a BLESSON….. I won’t go into that now!

Today, I remember the good times, the very good times, some bad times, some baaaaaad times and very baaaaaaaaaad times. I just smile because people, circumstances, challenges whether good or bad have all turned BLESSONS for me!

I got to go, I’m blogging from my phone and the battery is dying! NEPA palava!! Ciao!

P:S: All names used are fictitious, except for a certain ‘Elizabeth’!

@degreatest2

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE ‘MARITALLY-INTENDED’ RELATIONSHIP

intended relationship

Written By Obayomi Abiola

Hey people, this piece is actually meant for those who see themselves getting married someday. It is no longer news that marriage is an honourable thing and the desire of nearly every young person today, male or female alike; is to be called husbands or wives of some persons in some not too distant future. Having a plan in mind to be married someday can be likened to having a plan to develop a mighty edifice. You don’t start building anything from the top, but rather; from the foundation. Having a desire to have a successful marriage begins from how well and strong both intended couples manage their pre-marital life, the one we all refer to as courtship. So, peradventure you are reading this and probably married, kindly refer the piece to your friends and relatives that are yet to be.

I have come to realize that if relationship in whatsoever form is not being taken seriously, they may come to an abrupt end. Humans are of course social creatures- we crave friendship and positive exchanges, just as we do food and water. So, it makes sense that the healthier our relationships, the happier we are going to be. Any form of relationship usually becomes effective when the people involved listens and hears each other out. One sure way to do this is by asking questions and hearing each other out. In the course of my few years of courting my wife to be, I have found the following useful tips to be highly effective for maritally-intended couples.

Patience: this is one of the fruits of the spirit as documented in the bible. As a matter of fact, patience came immediately after temperance as penned down by Apostle Peter in 1peter 1:6. Apostle Paul also wrote in 1Corithians 13:4 that love is patient and kind. What it then means is that an integral part of love is being patient with one another. No better time to start learning how to be patient with your spouse to be than during your courting period. Your spouse isn’t perfect, and there are times some actions of his or hers might not go down well with you. In period like this, patience will serve as a protection against those wrongs. Leonardo da Vinci is credited with saying “Patience serves as protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind”.

Da Vinci could not have put it better than the way it is being captured above. Recognizing the fact that your spouse to be is from a different background from yours also necessitates the need for the both of you to exercise some form of longsuffering with each other. Relationships often present many circumstances that call for patience, which is necessary to having a healthy and functional relationship. As a matter of fact, patience and love are inseparable. What better way to develop patience than through the bond of a loving relationship? Begin to exercise your patience towards each other right now while courting and this will not be difficult when both of you eventually settle down in marriage.

Transparency: there can never be real intimacy in relationship without transparency. Just as there can be no trust without honesty. To be transparent is much like it sounds. For example, transparent materials such as glass, clear plastic, even water are see-through. When both of you choose to be transparent in your relationship, you are allowing your mate to see all of you. An agreement to be transparent means that you will self-disclose and be completely honest. It implies openness, communication and personal accountability. It is not only telling the truth but providing access to all the relevant information and encouraging inclusiveness in the decision making process. There is no better time to develop transparency than during courtship. Once this is settled, doing it during marriage will become less stressful.

Mutual Understanding: love for each other should be established on understanding, trust, and conviction which are the building block of a successful and pleasant relationship. The truth remains that the both of you might disagree on a number of issues sometimes, but your ability to arrive at conclusive end regarding such issues is what matters. Through mutual understanding, genuineness and benevolence, and with great wisdom, the both of you should reach a consensus on any matter. True love is no way simple, or easy. It takes time, patience and understanding. If you truly and really love each other, you both will smile your way through anything. Being intimate is not only limited to the physical definition.

The most beautiful of intimate moments is when you and your spouse-to-be understand each other on a level no one else can comprehend. Attaining this fit doesn’t have to wait until you both are finally married, it must be developed while courting. I for one enjoys the best of understanding from my partner, and this has helped us scaled a number of hurdles together. Put this into practice and watch out how effective your relationship will turn out. Don’t keep things to yourself and expect your partner to understand you, he or she isn’t a witch or a wizard.

Sincerity: this is the hallmark of every relationship. In its simplest form, sincerity is all about saying what you think and meaning what you say. When you do this, a great deal of stress is removed out of your relationship. Whatsoever it is that is not equal to sincerity is nothing less of manipulation. While insincerity may work for you in the short while, it however does not last, and it can never build positive, productive and lasting relationship. Sincerity is all about being truthful to yourself and your partner to be. The need to be sincere cannot be overemphasized. There is no better time to start practicing sincerity than during this period of courtship. Therefore, go to work on yourself now. Practice sincerity. Build a reputation as a truthful, reliable and open-minded partner. Make yourself trustworthy. This calls for hard work on your part. Do not be afraid of your partner taking advantage of your openness and sincerity. Do not blame anybody for your troubles if you refuse to change.

Praying Together: the place of praying together in maritally-intended relationships cannot be overemphasized. The scripture says that two heads are better than one. Also, one shall chase a thousand and two shall chase ten thousand. Praying together is an important habit that must be consciously formed in maritally-intended relationship. This habit should not be delayed until the two of you are eventually married, it may be very difficult to do then, since you both aren’t used to it. Prayer promotes spiritual connection, just as physical intimacy reaffirms your oneness. Although, the subject of where and when martially-intended couples should pray together has been heavily discussed among Christian authors, but none of these authors has totally discredit the role that prayers play in keeping the relationship safe and sound.

Lastly, I believe you have been able to pick a couple of things from this piece that would help your relationship stronger that it was before. As you carefully observe the points raised here, you and your partner can only become better and stronger together by the day. Thank you for reading and God bless.

Follow Obayomi Abiola on twitter @abibeo_oba