Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who needs guns when you have ignorance?

Twin boys Itohowo and Kufre stand surrounded by angry villagers who believe they are bringing evil to their lives

I read this story on Jeremy's blog last week. I am yet to get over it. Don't know if I ever will.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I work!

A few months ago, my doctor told me that he felt I was suffering from depression and his prescription was that I get a boyfriend. I told y'all about it in this post. I was not about to follow up on his depression theory - maybe because as an African, I believe that there is nothing you can't grin and bear. It may also have been because I felt that I could do nothing to help my boyfriend-less state. You see my life follows a very structured pattern: I go to work and I go home. Sometimes, I go out at the weekends to get my hair done, my eyebrows shaped and un-needed hair waxed. In all that time, I have never been approached by a guy and never felt motivated to approach anyone. I had not been to even the movies for over 3 years. Going to watch a theatre@terra play was just because I wanted to show solidarity to a fellow blogger.

So, my doctor's theory and advice went to that portion of my brain where all things un-important reside. And I continued like a machine to go through the everyday rigors of life >>>>> Until, I got introduced to some dude. The first day we ever interacted, he wanted us to go out for drinks 2 hours later and I almost ran away. I thought he was rushing things...*yes, stupid me*. We ended up going to watch a movie the following day and 2 months later, we are still hanging out, seeing where it goes.

This post is not about him. He is great and all, but this is about me. My major trip about the whole thing is that I work! I work!!! I thought that I could not get with anyone again. Thought I was too disillusioned for marathon texting and 2-hour calls. Grateful that I can make plans for dinner, dancing, a movie, drinks, coffee…and not think that the heavens are going to come crashing down on my head for daring to even think that I can be young and free again.

Reading over what I have written, I admit that it sounds a bit theatrical, but I don’t care! I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I work!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

An Unfortunate Accident

My cousin's driver was taking the children (aged 6 and 4) to school the other morning and was unfortunate to be involved in an accident. He killed someone. A little girl. It was a hit and run.

The details are a bit sketchy but from what I gathered, seconds after the driver realised what had happened, he stepped on the gas and zoomed off with a fleet of motorbikes a.ka. okada racing after him. "Luckily", the roads were free and he was able to out-race them. He eventually got to the house and dropped the children off safely.

I heard this story and after I had gone through a range of emotions, I wondered what had made me so callous about a human being's death. I was sad someone died, anxious that the driver and the children would be caught and certainly would have had jungle justice meted out to them. Relieved that the roads were free and that they were able to get away. If that had been my daughter on the road, I would not have had a different set of emotions. Blinding grief at her death and raging anger that the perp got away. Overall, I was more relieved than anything.

My rational mind would not have minded if the driver got caught and was forced to face the law. However, my Nigerian/Lagos mind that knows how things go knows that if he had been caught. The mob would have burnt the car, given him the devil of all beatings *or even burnt him along with the car* and certainly harmed the children that were in the car with him. At the very least, those children may not have been physically harmed but would not have been able to get home seeing as the driver they were riding with would have been in no state to take them home

I am at a loss as to how to end this post, my feelings and thoughts on the matter are all jumbled up. Jungle justice or saving the lives of 3 people?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don’t you know that I am a married woman?

An acquaintance came to me to tell me that she was getting married. I was at a loss as to what to say. “Congratulations?” “I am so happy for you?”

It is common knowledge that the groom-to-be beats her openly, cheats on her even more openly and rather than contributing to her living expenses, “borrows” money from her that never gets paid back. Strange as it may seem, he appears to have hit upon a magical formula because this girl wants to “die put” on top of his matter and has now reaped what she thinks is the ultimate prize.

A husband who is anything but.

The right to say to people: “Don’t you know that I am a married woman?”

An MRS, as opposed to us lesser mortals that settle for an MSC or an MBA.

She searched my face keenly, waiting for a response.
I settled for a barely whispered “All the best”.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The latest NEPA/PHCN scam

I have hit upon what I believe to be a scam by our UNfriendly suppliers of power. I stand to be corrected, but I think that the coincidence is a bit much.

About 2 years ago, my friend who lives about 2 streets away from me started coming to my house at irregular intervals to do her ironing, blending and electricity connected thing-a-bobs. Her reason was that NEPA had started a load shedding schedule on their street. The explanation from NEPA went along the lines of the transformer needing servicing and how it was overloaded. The load shedding continued for months until the residents on the street got tired and contributed money which they gave to NEPA officials to fix their ailing transformer. I was not privy to how much was spent but within weeks their transformer was transformed.

Move on to about a year ago. An acquaintance who lives a street away mentioned in passing that they had a load shedding situation going on. Apparently, their transformer needed servicing as well. I caught up with her about 2 months ago and guess what? The street formed an organization and took it upon themselves to contribute about N1, 000,000 for the transformer to be fixed. NEPA officials gave them a ballpark figure for the repairs. It took them a year of levying every flat/house on the street to come up with the money. The very week I ran into her was the week that NEPA had stopped shedding their load. Mere weeks after money had changed hands.

Now here’s the thing. NEPA/PHCN started load shedding on my own street about 3 months ago. I have been made to understand that there is some special oil in the transformer that needs to be changed. Apparently it has not been changed since the ‘70s and now the transformer is unable to carry the load it normally carries. Yaddah yaddah yaddah...

I smell a rat, a fish and a skunk.
PS: Special thanks to the guys at for thinking my post My Life in the Niger Delta worthy of wider readership. I noticed a spike in the number of hits my blog got and traced it back here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

An almost passenger

I was in Surulere the other day and a mad man (complete with matted dreadlocks and a loincloth) was standing near a speed bump. Naturally, as I went over the speed bump, I had to slow down. This guy actually reached out and tried to open the door behind. Luckily all the doors were locked. I was in shock!!

If the door was open, would he have tried to get in the car? Would I have been quick enough to drive off even if it meant losing my door and possibly injuring him? If all of that had failed, what would he have wanted if he managed to get in the car? A ride? Some conversation? Money? Would fellow drivers that witnessed him getting in my car have stopped to help get him out?

The questions are endless. Just so you don’t have to find yourself answering any of these questions anytime in the future, please always lock your doors when you get in your car.

You never know o! E fit be you!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Life in the Niger Delta

I heard on the news today that there has been yet another kidnap of a child in the Niger Delta. By Militants. That is the euphemism for criminals. My colleague who was listening to the news same time as I was shouted “Chei, this thing is getting out of hand, government should settle these people, abeg”.

I assured her that it was not that easy and that even when money had changed hands in the past, it had gone to the elite in the community.

How do I know? I worked in one of our multinational oil companies. Not in the Lagos office, but in the operations terminal. That’s right- the heart of business. Not for me the poshness of a Lagos office with nary a community scuffle blowing up right in your face. Granted, it was not as turbulent as it is now, but still there were cases of kidnap and violence.

The manager of my department got kidnapped for a few days for giving a contract staff job to someone who was an indigene of the state but not from one of the core communities. (Very petty as contract staff do not even earn a lot). Other managers got kidnapped from time to time as well. One particularly corpulent one was waylaid on his way to work and stuffed in his boot (trunk). Generally, they left the little folk alone, but once or twice they went on a rampage and went a-pulling (Yoruba) people from their homes, claiming that they were outsiders bent on taking over their oil.

I cannot remeber how many times we would go out to join the staff bus to work and then get word that there was some community wahala and that we should go home until we were contacted. We once stayed home for over a week.

A drive around the state would show that nothing else worked. A massive bottling company and other large industries had been shut down for varying reason. The buildings of several large scale industries were in a state of disrepair and had an unmistakable air of desolation about them. There were absolutely no big companies anymore leading me to believe (even then) that the very indigenes that keep shouting about how they wanted the oil company to leave so that they could take over the management of “their oil” would certainly knock that job as well.

They complain that expatriates are constantly flown in to do the work that Nigerians can do. I accept that the scales are not tipped in our favour. However, I personally know several Nigerians (yes, even those from the Niger Delta) that have been expatriated to work in America, the UK and other foreign countries. Their children’s school fees are paid. They are given nice houses and earn more than their local based counterparts. They drive cars that their American, British, Dutch counterparts (working in the same company without an ex-pat status) cannot afford. I have witnessed first hand the joy of a family that had been informed that their father was to be expatriated abroad. The thanksgiving was not a small one. The little children told everyone they could about how they were going to start a new life in Houston.

So, am I claiming that the oil companies are always right? That they always do their best? My answer is NO. However, the one I worked for was pretty alright and the environment that we worked out of was cared for. However this could not be compared with the daily damage. The death of aquatic life after an oil spill is a gruelling sight. There was a gas flare 24/7/52/365 and my trips offshore showed that the bluish-green sea was spotted with pockets of oil slicks. The oil booms and chemicals could not get those off. However, the environment that we worked out of was cared for (to some extent). They provided electricity for two of the communities around the terminal, provided teachers for the public schools, scholarships for deserving (and sometimes undeserving) students. Trivia: My manager told me that the Nigerian government taxes the oil companies for every cubic meter of gas that is flared. Makes you wonder what the incentive would be for the government to put down it's foot as regards flaring. Why would they want to lose the money they gain?

I once saw (with my own 2 eyes, no be say them say) a letter to the leaders of a few communities that had been affected by an oil spill. This letter itemized the amount of money that was being paid as compensation to the communities. Each community got hundreds of million of naira. I lie not, I had to cross check to make sure that the figures were not a figment of my imagination. There were enough zeroes to make my poor head spin.

Reading that letter, I knew that the poor fishermen and farmers that had been directly affected would not see more than a few thousand naira. Maybe about 100,000 if the leaders were really generous. The rest would be pocketed by these leaders who would use the funds for self enrichment. They would build houses abroad, send their children to foreign universities or at the very least keep them far away from the state. My quarrel with this whole thing was not that they advanced themselves with the money but the fact that they would use the non-elite to rouse trouble whenever they ran low or wanted their pockets lined again. Then the cycle would repeat itself: Elite would rouse discontent amongst the non-elite leading to trouble by the indigenes, Oil Company forced to “donate” some money which would be shared by this elite few. A few thousand Naira to the non-elite (enough to leave them temporarily satisfied until their “thuggery” was needed again). I met some of these non-elite people and I can tell you that the hatred was palpable and all directed to the Oil companies. As far as they were concerned, their leaders were on their side and were championing the fight against THE MAN.

A clear example will be Bayelsa State where their former governor was as corrupt as they come and yet got a hero’s welcome when he flew back into the country. Trivia: There is no potable water in Bayelsa and basic infrastructure is almost non-existent. Alamieyeseigha should know. When he was ill, he did not go to any of the hospitals in the state. Rather, he flew out of the country to get medical aid. He should have utilized what the state he had pillaged had to offer.The average family in Bayelsa may not be able to come as far as Lagos for medical aid. They have to make do with what their Hero has left them. Another example is Odili. His state budget for a year was about $130billion. He gained at least 2 new jets, spent about NGN65 million on entertainment, yet the life of the Niger Delta youths in Rivers State did not witness any change. Rather, they remain desperately poor.

In the end, the Niger Delta youths will have to realize who the enemies really are and face them squarely. The enemy certainly is not Margaret Hill or any of the other many toddlers/children that are being kidnapped.

Photo from here

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I got flowers today

Someone sent this to me today. Usually, I delete all my forwards, but I feel very strongly about domestic violence, so of course, I had to put it up.

We had our first argument last night, and he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me. I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said, because he sent me flowers today. I got flowers today. It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day.

Last night he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare, I couldn't believe it was real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry because he sent me flowers today. I got flowers today, and it wasn't mother's day or any other special day.

Last night, he beat me up again, it was much worse than all the other times. If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? What about money? I'm afraid of him and scared to leave. But I know he must be sorry because he sent me flowers today. I got flowers today.

Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral! Last night, he finally killed me. He beat me to death. If only I had gathered enough courage to leave him, I would not have gotten flowers today......

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Open letter to Madam House of Reps Speaker

Shame! Shame on you. The suffering of your people do not touch you at all. Shame! The amounts of money that you spend on projects reflect your lack of decency. The amounts are vulgar to hear.

In a country where children go uneducated because their parents can not afford to send them to school.

Where people go hungry because they lack N10 for food.

Where families huddle together under a bridge because they lack shelter.

Where children carry goods on their head and sell from morning till night so that they can eke out some sort of life for themselves.

Where the police shoot people dead over a N20 bribe.

I went to a school that charged N220.00 for a semesters tuition. I found out that some people were so poor they had to pay twice. When the fee was raised to N420.00 there was a riot.

To put it in perspective, my mates in other (not private) universties were paying as much as N10,000. Also, my weekly allowance was more than N420

My friend went to school with a guy who could not afford to have his bath with soap more than 3 times a week. He could only afford a bar of soap per semester.

I could go on and on but find that I do not even need to paint this picture for you. YOU KNOW. You just choose not to see it. I am sick and tired of people stealing money and getting away with it.

I had great hopes when you were made speaker. "A woman would have the sensitivity a man may lack" I said to myself. You proved me wrong.

I have a blogger friend whose morning prayer includes asking the Almighty to kill all the corrupt politicians. I told her she was too harsh, but you give me reason to re-think my stand. I almost wish for the justice of the Japanese. Maybe that will wake people like you up.

I understand that you mother says that this is the work of your political detractors. That does not concern me. Their motive is not important here. It is what you are doing that is.
I am sick and tired of paying tax and having your ilk do with it as they wish. You all are what makes Nigeria bad.


This is me being tired of not talking about things that affect me.
Me I go yarn, Me I go speak my mind. Make we yarn, you think say we blind.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Being Broke

I am so broke that today I went to the ATM to cash the last N500 in my account. Yes folks, I am that broke. I have not been this broke in years. And to make matters worse, my car just stopped working.

We'll see how this goes.

BTW, the ATM did not give me any money because I did not have sufficient funds for the transaction. That is, I did not have enough to cover the N100 charged by the bank that owes the ATM.

The last time I was this broke, I did not have a job and that was years ago.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Wife's Commandments/Guidelines

I was wondering through blogville and hit upon this post from here. I read it and re-read it and re-read it. When I saw the title, I was getting ready to display my women's lib side but found myself agreeing to most of the simply laid out guidelines. (I prefer to call them guidelines, as commandents sound a little too hard).

A lot of marriages would work if both parties took time to be considerate to each other.

I am not in agreement with the latter part of guideline 2, but I have to say that I like this document and count myself lucky to have come across it. It may come accross as old fashioned, even archaic, but our ancestors were doing something right. Divorce rates are way up and we need all the help we can get. Besides, even for the unmarried ones amongst us, if use these guidelines loosely in our dealings with our fellow man, the world would be a better place.

Caveat: This is not to say that I do not think there should never be an OUT if there the ma(rriage is not reedemable.

Enough talk from my end. Read on.

A Wife's 10 Commandments

1. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and you shall love your husband as yourself.

2. You shall not make your husband into an idol, but you shall love, honor, respect and submit to him as unto the Lord.

3. You shall not take your husband's name in vain through gossip, slander, criticism, complaint or mockery; but you shall bless him both privately and publicly.

4. You shall work heartily as directed by the Lord and your husband, not by your own ideas of what should be done. You shall not be so busy working that you neglect to get alone with God every day. During this quiet time, you shall pray diligently for your husband. Be willing to put aside work in order to "play" when your husband asks you.

5. You shall honor your mother and father, but you shall not elevate their position or opinions above your husband's.

6. You shall not resent or revile or hate your husband, but you shall grant him grace, forgiveness and mercy and haceed love.

7. You shall not commit adultery, nor shall you think lustfully toward another man; but you shall thank God for your husband and be pleased with him.

8. You shall not steal from your husband. You shall not steal his marriage by threatening divorce. Nor steal his wife by leaving him alone all the time. Nor steal his time by placing unnecessary demands on him. Nor steal his joy by complaining. Nor steal his peace by endless nagging. Nor steal glances from other men by wearing provocative clothes and causing them to stumble. This defrauds your husband of an honorable wife, the other man of pure thoughts, and the other man's wife of her husband's faithfulness

9. You shall not lie to your husband, but you shall speak the truth in love. You shall practice a quiet and gentle spirit.

10. You shall not covet another woman's husband, children, friends, house, looks, wardrobe, possessions, talents and gifts, ministry, or any other thing that is hers; but you shall be content with all God has given to you.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Better late than never.

Imagine, even my linked people that almost never update are asking me to update. E go better. Things are happening o!

So I went for Laspapi's show on Sunday. We laughed a great deal, it was mad fun. Unfortunately, I did not get to meet any bloggers because

1. I was too shy to introduce myself
2. I had a traumatic drive there with my friend who is a learner driver and we had to leave early. Want the full story? Read below.

I tried to talk to Laspapi's so many times. caught his eyes. gave him my special wink. sent him subliminal messages repeating my blog name over and over again. Unfortunately, he is neither clairvoyant nor clairaudient so he just passed me by.

I decided to take a picture of him just to prove that I was really there. He was a great sport and did not even look my way when all that flash came out of nowhere. He was so intent on asking if the seat in front of me was vacant. BTW, the guy with the brown collar "videoed" almost the entire play with his Nokia phone. (So if the play is released in vcd, you'll know where it came from).

The drive to the play

I was supposed to drive to the play, but my friend called me to say ask if she could please drive me to the play since she needed the practice. (She has had the car for more than a year and she still has an Learner sign on it - I have yabbed, abused, cajoled, pleaded- nothing has moved her). Anyway, she got to my place 20 minutes late. We proceeded to go pick up a friend of mine who also live in the area. If I had disembarked and walked beside the car, I would have gotten to the friend's place at the same time, if not earlier.

After we picked her up, we headed out to the Island. I don't want to go into how many times I stepped on my imaginary brake or had to coax the learner to remain on her lane. It was not made easier by the fact that my friend has a mouth like a fisherman's wife. She was veering off her lane and ran into a white bus. Rather than feeling sorry that she had hit someone, she screamed and shouted about how the guy was at fault for being involved in a brush off with someone who was a learner driver. Ol' boy, I just weak. I called my sister (who lives in Ikoyi) and made plans to pick up her car. So we got to Ikoyi and switched cars so that I could maintain my sanity.

We had to leave the play early though so that our Learner Driver would not be stuck driving at night. After another curse-filled ride, I was finally delivered home safely. By this time, I was not really on talking terms with Madam Learner Driver. She had screamed at me for interrupting the "intense mental work" that driving entailed. .

Monday, July 16, 2007

All cars parked at owner's risk

I was talking to my friend about how you just can't fight with some people, especially in public. I can't remember now what lead to that conversation but that's not important. I started telling her about a girl that I knew from University. In the middle of the story, I thought that I should gist you guys too. So here it is.

Let's call her Joan. She is an Igbo girl. Tall, fair in complexion and "pleasantly plump". The first time I noticed her was when she came by my room to see one of my room mates. I joined in their conversation just as she about to leave and after that time, whenever I saw her in school we'd exchange pleasantries.

One day, there was "drama" in school. My room mate told me about it. It turned out that Joan was the center of events. Her ex-boyfriend had come to school with about 3 of his friends to “jack” her for what he claimed was the theft of money from his house. He started shouting in the middle of the faculty quadrangle about how she stole his 25k and he wanted his money back. He was not quiet about it at all. Joan had an answer for him. Here's what I remember of what she allegedly said:

"Everybody come and hear o!"
"I used to date this guy and we broke up. The other day, he saw me walking on the street, gave me a ride and we ended up back at his place. When I was dressing up, I noticed that he had some money in his wardrobe. I counted out and collected N25,000. Why not, when we dated, I got pregnant and since he refused to pay, I had to use my own money for the abortion. I was merely collecting what I was owed."

Then she looked around: "Was I wrong?"

Are you wondering what was happening with the guy and his friends? He turned tail and walked off with his friends. The abortion was probably supposed to be the ace up his sleeve. The next thing he would have said to disgrace her. Well, apparently no-one was disgracing her that day.

Fight 2. There was another fight in front of the faculty and again Joan was in the middle of it. This time, one of her friends had annoyed her badly and she started shouting.

“You stupid girl, I made you what you are. I was the one that picked you up from the gutter, gave you clothes and introduced you to that Alhaji and now you think you can give me mouth? I don't blame you. In fact, that top you are wearing is even my own. I want it back. I want it back now”. Then she attempts to tear the top off this girl. In broad day light, with a crowd of people as audience. The girl in trying to save herself, attempts to tear Joan’s own top off her body. She really should have known that absolutely nobody disgraces Joan. If she's going to go down, she'll take herself down. So what did Joan do? She ripped her own top off and (this one is according to them o!) took off her bra as well and then resumed the fight.

After that last fight, ol' boy I greeted that girl with fear and never prolonged any conversation with her. Who knows what will set her off?
Some people you should never fight with.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hello, My name is In My Head and I am a germophobe

About 7 years ago, I was sitting in a friend's car when I noticed a guy leaning on a nearby car ( I guess this is where I say that he was really handsome and I was irresistibly drawn to his foine body...Wake up!! So not happening) The first thing that drew my attention was the loud sneeze he was in the middle of. It looked something like this:

I kid you not.

Anyhoo, the bros used his hands to catch what he could (you know that using his hands to try and contain the sneeze) and then wiped said soiled hands on his trousers. I was like this:

Next thing, the friend that I was waiting for comes towards the car. This sneezy guy claps eyes on my friend and because he recognises Mr. Friend, his face splits into a broad smile and he offers his hands (avec beacoup germs) for a handshake. Unsuspecting Mr. friend takes hand and gives a firm manly shake. Then, to my horror, points to me and says "Meet my friend , In My Head ". Snotty sneezy guy then turns to me and offers his hands for a handshake. ( The only thing I could hear at that moment was the loud "Aw, Hell No!" resounding in my head)

At that very moment, I became the girl who does not shake hands. It won me a lot of enemies, but I kept my sanity and my hands reasonably clean.

Fast forward to the present: There is this guy at work that always presents his hands for shaking. I am used to having the reputation of being the girl who does not shake hands and I can't believe that there is still a human being alive that does not know about my germophobia. I have been managing this business by offering a closed fist. but yesterday he even held open both hands for a "Hi-10" Did I mention that his hands are always clammy and cold?

I have restrained myself from having to tell him because

1. He's really sensitive and might be scarred for life.

2. I am really not sure how to pass the message across tactfully. I usually just get to the point but this won't work for Mr Sensitive.

So I need your help. What do you thing think the best way is to tell him?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fashion awakened...the last part

Pregnancy treated me well. My hair became fuller, my nails grew and stayed strong. My complexion was clear. I was glowing. I was beautiful.

When I had my baby, I remember that my stomach was still a bit flabby and naturally I wondered if this was the beginning of the end. I mean, the baby was out and my stomach still maintained a 3-month pregnant look.

However in about a week, I was back in my normal clothes. In two weeks, my stomach was completely flat and had lost the blackness that came with pregnancy. I had a lot of time on my hands and money coming in although I wasn't working so I decided to focus on buying things to wear back to work. I was just so fed up with the dowdy maternity clothes and decided to give myself a treat. (yep, my mother was right). I even changed my glasses to berra ones.

My first day back at work was an experience. My office is a bit competitive in the ways of fashion and style. Let me walk you through a scenario of what you can expect when you get back from a Maternity leave.

First of all they sight you..Then their gaze fall to your tummy while their mouths are going through the motions.

"Hey, you are back! "

"Look at you, you look so good!" *Glance at the tummy*

Hug, hug *Surreptitiously feel the tummy for bulges and lumps*

Pull back, look at your face and sometimes, *hug hug again, in case they weren't sure what they felt the first time.*

May the Lord save you if that stomach is not as flat as a washboard, your gist will go round before you do.

I decided to save them all the trouble, I wore a tightish tank top and a jacket. Left the jacket unbuttoned. That way, no one would have to bother me with all the hug hugging.

true to type, this was what played out:

"Hellooo!! You!!"

Come in for a hug and secretly glance at tummy. (I actually see shock register) and then they throw all caution and secretiveness to the wind and actually stare, followed by gasp followed by

" Ah, look at your stomach. Hey, May the Lord do this one for me o! What did you do? "

I quietly assured them that I never exercised. I see that they don't believe me.


I have digressed jare. Let's just round up with saying that I decided to dress to flatter my body. Luckily, my sense of style has woken up (finally) and now I look good 90% of the time. Not bad for the nerd that started out earlier.

In case you are wondering why I wrote about this, it's actually for my fellow nerds who want to let out their sexy, stylish self. This is my success story. And for all those out there who think that a nerd can't chicify or blokify, you berra watch out. (S)he may just overtake you in the style game.

Friday, June 15, 2007

June 15th

Today would have been my second wedding anniversary.

Thank You Lord, for saving me (and my child) from what would undoubtedly have been cruel and unusual punishment.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Gaining Fashion Consciousness..the second part.

Perhaps the month I conceived (that sounds really grown –up) my daughter, I bought my first pair of high heeled slippers. They were brown with leather upper and wooden soles. The heels were 3.5” high and stiletto-ish. My friends and family were surprised as I have only done a maximum of 2.5” and they had to be solid block heels. Not for me the thin needle thin heels that my mates seem to favor. I always liked stability. Anyway, this time, my colleague in trying to make a sale, asked me to try on the slippers and walk around with them on. I did and I was curiously comfortable, so I bought them.

Those slippers did wonders for me. My scatter -scatter walk immediately got corrected. The fact that I was wearing heels forced me to walk slower and presto! I was walking daintily. The juju in those shoes also appeared to make me walk straighter. My boyfriend at the time was 6ft 4” to my 5ft 6” (okay, okay, 5ft 5” and something). It was great to bridge the gap.

I must have been about a month pregnant at the time. Feeling bolder and wanting to replicate this new found chicness in black, I asked my sister to buy me high heeled shoes when she travelled to England. When I received my new shoes, the heels were even more dainty and had more ratings on the chicness scale. I tottered around in them, they were so dainty! I was so into wearing my heels that I stopped wearing anything but my two new best friends. It got to a point that one day when I went for antenatal, a nurse called me aside and told me that pregnancy and heels don't go together and that I should go and invest in some flats. Scheew! I resented the fact that I had to (temporarily) say good bye to my shoes but I had to do what was best for my baby.

As my stomach grew, I started rotating the same old clothes all the time. Maternity clothes are frightfully ugly and the really nice ones are frightfully expensive. Pilgrimage to Self, you know how that is, dont you? My mum predicted that after at least 4 months of forced dowdiness, I would want to show the world my fashionable side. She said that for a lot of women, once they drop their "load" they suddenly go to the full hog fashion wise and even make several fashion faux pas trying to prove to the world that baby or no baby, they still have a great body.

sorry, can't finish this now. Will do so ASAP.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fashion Unconscious (Part 1)

Me minus the smile

I hardly write anything personal about myself. Not surprising when I think about it as I like to keep my private affairs private. Whatev. Here's a post about me.

I just had the most hilarious/revealing phone call with a guy pal I knew when I was growing up. I don't quite know where to start the story. Starting from the phone conversation may be a little confusing for all ye folks so let me go back a little and give you a little background on my humble self.

I was the sort of child who grew up not wearing trousers. I was clueless fashion wise and I allowed my mom to buy my clothes even up to my University days. I scarcely remember buying anything for myself- even underwear. I really could not care less. My mum would travel to Dubai and sometimes Hong Kong (she bought clothes to retail) and would also get me stuff to wear for lectures. Not all my clothes, mind you, but an uncomfortable percentage way over 60. Try and imagine how I looked wearing mainly mum-approved clothing. To make it even clearer, my mum has only very few funky bones in her body.

For anyone that has followed my blog, you'll also know that I suffer for myopia so I have worn glasses for a long time. Not for me the nice, barely there glasses. They were almost always made of plastic ( I found that I reacted to metal) and at a time, they were red. I remember that pair. I think I was in my 3rd year. A boy in my faculty once told me to get rid of them (he thought he was helping me gain my fashion feet), but on discovering that they were Paloma Picasso, he said reluctantly “perhaps they are manageable". Till today, I do not know if they were the real deal or what I like to call "pirated of the original copy"

Are you forming a picture in your head, yet? Let's move to my walking. I have flat feet and I don't know if this is related, but I throw my feet carelessly when I walk. I could never have been accused of walking gracefully. That would have been a barefaced lie. When I walked, people could tell it was me from miles away. My walk was compounded by the fact that my posture was far from perfect. This already bad posture was made worse, when in a bid to redeem myself somewhat, I bought really small metal frames that I realize now are often used as reading glasses for every day wear. The result was that in order to see my everyday things through my reading glasses, I had to bend forward and peer through it in a certain way. This led to stooped shoulders.

Then I gained weight. Due to a change in my daily diet, I bloomed to 75kg. I dd not see it coming. Just got comments about how I was adding weight and I thought that the whole world was going crazy. I mean, I was still wearing my old clothes. Then one morning, I woke up and tried to wear a top and it was too small. Oh boy, i climbed a scale and found that I had moved from about 62kg to 75kg. It did nothing for my look. Yeah, I lost 5kg in like 2 months but that did not really make any difference. I looked and felt heavy.

At a point, with all the yabs, I started dreaded getting married and falling pregnant as I did not know how on earth I would be able to carry myself. If I couldn't carry myself when it was just me, how was I supposed to manage when I had to carry someone else?

I got a job and flowed in with my "unique" fashion style. This time, I was the one shopping for my own clothes, but it did not make things better. I still had some really terrible combinations. Looking back now, I know that the guys that dated me must really have loved me for the person I am and not the person I looked like. I had some really correct bobos o! Why, the other day, a colleague met one of my ex boyfriends and said "Wow! He's cute- I want to meet him". Hmmm.

Did I forgot to mention that facially, I am really not bad looking? I have an oyinbo (small and straight) nose and good complexion and that just presents the rest of my facial features in a pleasing way.

Fast forward a few years, I got pregnant and slowly, a side of me that I did not know existed, came to light...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not my words

Please read this.

It's not my post so I am disabling comments on this end.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pregnancy Issues

“I am leaving my husband.”

I fell quiet when my friend dropped the bomb. I had last spoken to her a month ago so was not abreast of current changes/happenings in her life.

“I will leave him and then get a Senator to pick up my bills. Someone who will send me on shopping sprees abroad. When we fight and he needs to apologize, he may just do so with a trip to Seychelles or Paris. You know now! Get ready o! I will need someone to go with me on those trips.”

I quietly reminded her that she had a child and was pregnant with another.

“So? Look, Daisy Danjuma had four children when she met Theophilus Danjuma. Four children! Did it not work out for them? Don’t you see her in the papers? She’s even a topshot in government now. She wears diamonds. Diamonds! If you like say you will not follow me when it is time All I need to do is slim down a bit and tone so that my whole body will be one color.”

I asked what her husband’s offence was.

“Nothing! I just realized that I have not been living life to my full potential. This is my year to change things around. All I am waiting for is to drop this child and move on with my life. Kai! There is nothing worse than marrying a poor man. At least if you marry a man that has money, when he annoys you, you can close your eyes to his shortcomings with a shopping spree. Look, In my Head, forget everything I ever told you about marrying for love. Marry a man that has money! Marrying a poor man is not the best.”

I asked her if she has told her husband.

“No, I will just surprise him. When he gets back from work one day, he will find me gone.”

I remind her that I can hear her daughter in the background. She must have listening to her mum all this time. How do we know that she will not run to her dad and report the conversation (her mom’s side of it)?

“I am just praying. Don’t mind that girl, she loves her daddy more than me. She is always running to him to report my every my movement. Scheew”

That was when it dawned on me that this chic was not doing too well mentally. So I asked the next logical question.

How has the pregnancy been?

“Its okay, but you know I have been out of work (true she left her last job so that she could rest during this pregnancy) so I have a lot of time on my hands now to think about things. My mind has been everywhere. Thinking about what could have been if I had not married this poor man. You know the sort of people that were chasing me before now. Kai, if I knew then what I know now, I will not be here.”

Yes, it was the pregnancy talking. This poor guy had better not be anywhere in the labor room as my girl has some real anger issues and may just find some reason to hurt him physically there. Pregnancy has been known to affect people in strange ways.

Some people get bitchy. Some get cravings. Some even get suicidal.

Be nice to a pregnant woman today.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Please note, I am not a student of Unilag

I had to write some exams recently and as a serious student, I journeyed all the way to Unilag (University of Lagos) to read in their classrooms. This was never my plan but I found it impossible to read at home-what with friends dropping in and staying for hours. In fact, the first day I got to Unilag, I got a call from a friend who told me in an exasperated voice that she had been knocking for a long time and that no-one had come to let her into the house!

Anyways, my game plan was simple: Get to Unilag as early as I can (say 9 a.m) and study till about 6 p.m-with a few breaks in between of course. Nothing was supposed to distract me and I figured that the only way to justify the distance I had to travel from my house to Unilag was to make sure that I actually acheive all the targets I set for myself for the day. So I packed my bag and wandered forth.

In my mind, there would be no distraction. I was not to know that the biggest distraction would be the school itself. I will not say much more, just that by Day 2 I knew that I had to definitely take my camera with me.

Let's go on a journey together. (By The Way, I only made it as far as the Education's the one closest to the main gate. I did not have the strength/need to go further in)

Walking into the faculty. I used the classrrooms on the first floor of the building ahead.

A view of a section of the grounds.

Another section of the grounds. Students are usually found taking a break under the trees.

Ready to come into class with me?

TBack of the class. This is a view from my My back hated these seats. I wonder if they have any courses in ergonomics? The person who approved these back breakers needs to take a course ASAP.

Picture surreptitiously taken of the other people in the class. The school was on strike so there weren't a lot of students around.

This black thing on my seat took me a while to figure out. No matter how hard I wiped, it did not come off. I think someone just stuck their bubble gum on the seat months ago. It has become one with the seat.

Yep, that's my foot. I propped my legs up on the seat in front of me.

That's Madam Amina Hall across the road. I took this picture from the class. I could hear the female porter making announcements: "Residents of Madam Amina Hall that goes out should make sure that they have their ID card with them when they comes in." She said that ALL day! LOL!

Unfortunately, this picture is not clear. See all the writings on the wall? A lot of them are requests for a girlfriend/wife. The one above the door says that the writer needs a girlfriend. He even provides a phone number that he can be reached on. All the classes had these. Why, one even said that he needs a nympho. No Unilag babe should tell me that she can't find a man...I meaan they are advertising in the classrooms. LOL!

The classrooms had windows that went all the way to the floor. So I looked down and took a picture. The presence of refuse was predominant throughout the faculty. Only thing is, I don't think it was regarded as refuse anymore. People had probably gotten used to seeing the refuse that they did not see it anymore. Capiche?

Luckliy, the classrooms were really airy and I did not need to put on the fan.

But then, I wonder if I would have been able to do so. You see, There are 2 fans in the class and the fan in the picture is controlled by the thingabob on the right. O.k, I confess, out of curiosity, I actually tried to put on the fan but I was not able to work all those wires. Meanwhile, some experts would walk into the class and in leass than 30seconds would have the fan going.

About these controls, notice that the one that has the cage is the one that still has it's casing. Is that because of the cage? That would have been an obvious yes, except who steals only 3/4 of a control panel?

That cage is intruiging. If it was closed, then an individual with short fingers may not be able to reach in sufficiently enough to reach the knob and turn it. Who knew that long fingers would actually be necessary to survive in the world?

I was on a break and decide to walk around a bit. Stretch my legs and rest my back. Those seats...chei! That's a picture of the staircase. What you have next to the light is not a piece of string. It's a cobweb! The spider that started this web must have passed on the job to his children who passed it on to their chilren and so on and so on.
This is on a wall along the hall. The exco of that year justifying the dues that each student is made to pay. Need a definition for ugly? This is it.

This was a source of fascination for me. Perhaps because of it's location. Let me give you a better view.

And another.

Yet another

Now, what got me was that this is a roof (obviously) and someone had poured A LOT of refuse on it. What happens when it rains? Note to self: Not having an umbrella in Unilag is not an option.

Anyway, so I went in for a closer look and see what turned up

Did you notice it? On the left hand corner of the picture.

Mmm hmm... I decided to go downstairs for a closer look.

If those are out there and this is the Male toilet....
...with a big padlock on the door, then where are people supposed to go when nature calls?

This room (which I assume is another loo)with all the liquid oozing out of it was on the ground floor. If the outside can look like this, I am not going in there. Lord knows what I will find.

Just opposite the displaced WCs. Nothing like dried flowers to brighten up the scenery.

This notice was stuck on a wall in the faculty.

But they do have a notice board. Here it is:

I guess it's no longer really in use, huh?

And why are they keeping the door? Want to fix it up and use it later?

And for those who aspire to leave the country to further their education, "help" is here.

If the faculty us not winning for points for neatness, maybe they can pick up a stellar award for outstanding Safety practices. I do not care if this thing has no electricity coursing through it (can't confirn that it does not), it should not be there.

The post is about to end and so no-one will say that I did not learn the sandwich method of giving feedback from my "Managing People Effectively" training, here are some nice pictures to finish up with.

Faculty grounds

More of the grounds

More pictures of Madam Amina hall.

I feel that I have to mention that things were not much different when I was in school (LASU). I just got used to seeing those things everyday and they did not stand out that much.
My brother who schools in University of Nsukka tells stories of how there is a wire running through the through his hostel. A naked wire that is obviously overloaded as it glows red hot from all the load on it. At night, it is clearly recognisable from afar. (He just mentioned that it has been fixed, but the job done was really shoddy and the connections are beginning to go haywire).
I find it difficult to believe that the schools do not make enough money to take care of these little things. And because we grow up in surroundings like that, we are not as beautiful as we can be. It also reflects in our attitude to work, our sense of beauty. It has far reaching effects which I will need a seperate post to go into.
Winfrey rejected suggestions that her school was elitist and unnecessarily luxurious."If you are surrounded by beautiful things and wonderful teachers who inspire you, that beauty brings out the beauty in you," she said.
quote culled from Uzo.