Monday, July 27, 2009

Where I have been

Very busy with work and life (especially work, lol!)...

I decided to take a look at my life and prune away unneccessary things. I re-evaluated my life over the last few years and had to decide on what was important and needed improving on and what was just dragging me down. This became especially clear to me when Michael Jackson (I love you more!) passed on. It was again brought home to me the fact that every day we live equals to a day less here on earth.

Also, I have been flying a bit and there is nothing like experiencing extremely bad turbulence with "in the name of Jesus!!" screaming Nigerians to have your life flash you by.

So I have effected a few changes. I have always known that what is unnecessary is disturbing so bye-bye to:

Reading theybf and other gossip sites. I do not need to know every last thing that Beyonce or Kanye have been up to. Instead, I filtered what I was really looking for: pictures on their fashion and found another blog that focuses on that without all the unnecessary gist.

I have to mention the fact that theybf had very damaging stories on Michael Jackson. Including how he was strange and had all that surgery and was trying to be white. Okay, and so? It is not my business. I have my own issues and reading someone else's does not help me in anyway unless it is constructive in the sense that I am drawing lessons from another's experiences that will positively impact my life. In a way I feel that even reading those things about him added to his unhappiness. A burden that I no longer want to bear.
I need to add that this is not a personal attack against theybf. She tells a good story and is highlighted here because she was the only site of its kind I used to read (I am usually visually stimulated and she has loads of pictures to go with each story).

I am reading books that open up my mind. Not just reading for reading sake. My time here has to count. And how can it count if I am reading rubbish?

I still need to struggle with what I watch as I put away a lot of movies and series. Couldn't I be spending that time better.

Spending quality time with my daughter. Doing more things that will benefit her.

So there you have it. What have you been up to?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Heartbreak Hotel

I was watching this video yesterday and laughing.

Laughing at myself and how torn up I was listening to this song a few years ago. Kai! I had memorized the lyrics and could even tell you at what facial expressions followed the words in the video. That song resonated with me, I tell you! An anthem for broken hearts!

At the time, my then boyfriend and I had agreed to part ways amicably partly because he was relocating and we both agreed that there was no way we could sustain a long distance relationship. The agreement was that we would wait until he had left before we moved on to any new relationships. I kept my end of the deal. He went and started an emotional relationship with someone else and that was when the heartbreak set in. Yeah, nothing happened with her (he said, she also said) but I lost weight on top of the matter and was so despondent half the time, I don’t know how I managed to exist. I actually used to feel pressure in my chest, like my heart had broken and the pieces were heavier apart than they had been together.

Now, if you are reading this, permit me to give you a word of advice. Stop fixating, stop worrying. Believe me, it will all pass. The time that you spend wailing, worrying and generally feeling sad will never come back to you to use in some way that is more beneficial so SNAP out of it and get on with the incredible and beautiful business of living. Trust me when I say that you will look back and wonder what the heck was wrong with you. Also, don’t listen to songs like this when you are feeling down in the dumps. You will only sink lower. It is a great song, but listen to it when you can handle it.

To digress a bit: I am not just addressing people that are getting out of relationships. Hopefully even those that are in relationships that are less than adequate will realize that the time is NOW to take a stand as to whether you want to continue in that marriage or that friendship or that relationship or not.

Love yourself and others will love you.

And please change your playlists to songs like the one below that affirm the wonderful person you are!

BTW: My ex-boyfriend apologized several times and we have remained such good friends (more than 8 years down the line) that it is hard to believe that we went through a phase where the very sight of him pleased me as much as it hurt me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


If you have ever had the indignity of being approached by men who think that they are all that and a bag of chips, then this audio clip must resonate with you.

A few months ago, a married man approached me and offered me a car, driver and a house. Although I told him that I had the first two and was not homeless, he went on. He was going to rent the latter and according to him buy one for me if he was happy with the relationship. He also told me that on no uncertain terms was I allowed to date anyone else while we were involved. If I were to attempt to do so, he would know and that the punishment would be severe.

This clown also told me that he knew that since I was a single mother (he had to go there), I would need someone to take care of my child for me. He was going to act as a father figure to my child (make decisions for her and about her welfare) and all that he asked was that I treat him well and meet his demands. I was also exhorted to always remember that he was a very demanding fellow who needed me to ask "how high?" whenever he asked me to jump. True talk, he said that. Not in the same way or with the same words but it was the same message.

Did I mention that I had only just met this man, as in he spoke to me the day before and on the day he was reading me the riot act, it was day 2? He was also what my friend likes to call "grammatically dysfunctional." On top of that he had been sent abroad by his company to work for a year and had an affected accent plus a very thick Nigerian accent. It was painful to hear him speak.

Wondering why I even let him talk so much? My company liaises with his and I wanted to handle the matter in as undisruptive a manner as possible. Also, I was curious to know what he had to say especially as I recognized him for what he was: village boy who was lucky to get a good job that paid some money but not so much that he could be mouthing off like that.

When I told him my emphatic NO! he said he would give me some time to think about it as he felt that maybe there was something holding me back which I had declined to share with him. As far as he was concerned, he was offering a great deal and he may well be my last bus stop.

I could not take a day 3 of that ignoramus taking up my valuable time.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Frugal is the word!

This is a continuation from my last post. I am disabling comments because this is just supposed to be a list. If you want to add any thing to the list, please do so by commenting on the mail below.
Thanks to: Gee, Joicee, Moworld, Aloted, AfroBeat, Writefreak, Bloggarati (the name of the post came from him), Original Mgbeke and Tisha, for helping me build up the list!


Cut down on any unnecessary expense. A great way of doing this is tracking your spending. You buy anything, you note it down in a journal.

You don't need to buy the kids the latest toys. Gather all their toys in a big basket and bring out different ones each month. They would think it's brand new!

No more Mr. Nice Guy! Ok, I know there are some relatives that really need financial assistance but there are always some Oliver Twists in their midst. Anytime they show up, complain about UR financial woes. They won't bother u again.

Eating out/ Going out

Stop shopping on impulse for Clothin and shoes that are not NEEDED.

Cut down on excessive expenditure on perishable goods. Instead of buying lots of fruits and veg and end up throwing them away, buy just enough that you need.

Cut back on eating out, and you know Naijas love to eat out especially Naija people in Naija. As opposed to going to Mr. Biggs, Tantalizers, Happy Bite and whatever fast food is the new thing, pack your own lunch. I have saved so much money from not eating out 'cos that's how it adds up. Now I cook for the week in advance and pack it to work every day.

For people who go to clubs, they can cut down on it. Do you know how much a drink costs in those places?

Eat more home cooked food and spend less on buying food out of the house.

If you're constantly going to the movies, Silverbird about doing a movie day with the girls at your house.

Smart saving:

Live below your means: If you cannot save/invest at least 10% of your income you are living above your means. To live below your means you should save/invest about 20% of your monthly income, every other expenditure should be cut off or suspended.

Take a Health insurance and a life Insurance: This eliminates 2 major financial risks you and your dependents may face.

Invest in Real Estate using Investment Clubs: With the proposed decline in real estate, small investments in different real estate ventures, with minimal debt would be preferable to large investments. This form of investment is usually available using an Investment Club.

Fashion and Beauty

Buy a home manicure kit and do your own nails. I pluck my own eyebrows so that saves me $7 every 2 weeks or so that I would spend in waxing.

Cut back on impulse and unneccesary purchases i.e clothes, travel, weddings.

No more buying of aso-ebi. Ask for color code and check your wardrobe. It’s bound to be there (and if not, wear something similar, it's your presence that counts!)

If you no fit afford aso ebi let the bride know, cos for these parts some people charge some ridiculous amount for asoebi and bridal train dresses

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Surviving the recession

I have had a lot on my mind recently (yeah, what else is new). The thing that most occupies my mind is this global recession and how it affects me. I have tried to talk about it with some of my friends but find that a lot of people are not even sure that we are in a recession and a few others that do know think that they can keep living their lives normally until economic forces force them to adjust (pardon the pun). I find that the typical Nigerian behavior is reactive rather than proactive and what this means is that we wait until a simple challenge has turned into a complex labyrinth before we start working our way out of it. I am guilty of this too. After all, I am Nigerian.

However, I have decided that on this particular issue I have no choice but to be as proactive as possible. I am no expert but the way I see it, there are 2 things I can do.

1. Cut back on all unnecessary expenses. Frugality has to be the watchword. 

2. Find a source of income other than my salary. (I used to have one but kind of abandoned it   when I changed jobs).

I have even started reading some frugality blogs in the hope that I can learn a few things. Most of the tips don’t apply to us here in Nigeria. [However, this may interest owners of gold jewelry]. I did manage to find some tips here but some of them are much too extreme for my taste. This is the list I really like.

So I am throwing it open. If you have any ideas that are relevant in Nigeria, please put them down in the comment box and I will update the post by putting up a list of everyone’s ideas.

Let me get the ball rolling by putting up a few ideas of my own.

      1. Car pool. That way you save on cash spent on petrol. Also use the staff bus if that option is open to you.

      2. Draw up a budget every month and follow it. If you have a spreadsheet allocating money to specific expenses, it easier to see if there is an unnecessary cost or a cost that can be adjusted so that you can save money. I recently saved about N62, 000 after adjusting my daughter’s after school schedule. My spending is now more cost-effectively done since I started using a spreadsheet for budgeting.  

Over to you…

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Loony Mother

I met this girl recently less than 5 minutes into striking up a conversation, she was planning on leaving her son in my house for the weekend.

I was astounded. She was so flippant the whole matter that she may well have been speaking of dropping off meat in my freezer. I had to ask her if she did not have any concerns as to her son’s safety and specifically mentioned sexual molestation. Her watery response was that her son is old enough to speak and as such is able to speak up if he does not feel comfortable going back to a place he had been before. Yeah, right! Someone has clearly never read or heard about the psychology pedophiles use on children.

As far as she was concerned, it was a no-brainer. She would bring her son to meet my daughter and when coming she would pack a weekend bag for him. If her son and my daughter got along, she would simply leave the weekend bag there and go back home without him. Oh, and she meant that weekend. It was a Friday when I was talking to her so that was the very next day or that night.

I still can’t believe that such a thing was possible in this day and age and she went on to tell me I had hang-ups because I was a single parent. I don suffer no be small. Apparently, she and her husband wanted some alone time and although she had a nanny, the best way was to get her son out of the house completely. That was when I understood that it was a 2 for 1 deal. Nanny comes with the son. Ostentatiously to help in taking care of her son. Reading between the lines, I figured that she had exhausted her normal “helpers”. Maybe they had stopped taking her calls.

After the 15 minutes we spent talking, I decided that:

1. I will never let her “visit” my home.
2. She was looking for a free babysitter to foist her son and nanny on.
3. My daughter would never spend even an hour in her house as chic had disturbing ideas about parenting -who knows what sort of dangers she would expose my daughter to? And I will never go too. It may be some disease you can catch.
4. Chic was plain loony! Who puts a kid out there like that? With strangers. It is crazy.

5. Her husband must be crazy too.

Or am I really the one that is being uptight?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Obama sleeps on a Mouka foam mattress

Did y'all see this Mouka foam advert of Obama? It was in the papers on the day of his Inauguration. The cut off part says Great Mattress, Great dreams.

Think he should sue or come and collect royalties due to him for this ad?

Almost forgot to add that there were some claims that he is actually from around Rivers State in Nigeria and not Kenya as is reported. Obama is a Niger Delta boy! Yep, the crazies have started coming out of the woodwork.

And, what was up with banks and other companies taking out full page ads in the dailies to congratulate him? I don't get Nigerians, children are starving, there is no power and in fact there is a recession going on and we are spending money on adverts directed to a man that will not get to see them. And in the off-chance that he ever will, will not give any contracts (yes, nothing goes for nothing in Nigeria).

Run Obama, Run!! Don't let the crazies get you! And congratulations (me sef go try, who knows? He might just give me a contract to change the carpet in the oval room, LOL!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Random Thoughts: I dislike it when men...

I am sitting at the airport, waiting for the nasal lady to announce my flight (do they go to a special school to learn how speak in that unintelligible manner?) and of course surreptitiously taking in the arrival of other passengers.  I have a lot of people to look at (including a girl who is wearing sunglasses indoors plus knee high boots while others are melting – it is possible that her body is here but her mind or whatever regulates her temperature is in a sunny place where it is cold) and that has somehow inspired this post.

I dislike it when men:

  • Have over-defined bodies and then wear really tight tops to show them off. Arggh! It seems that the favorite top for these body builders is the one in the photo above. Almost forgot this one...the guy that wears a net top. It is cut away such that there is 10% fabric and 90% body on display.
  • I was going to say: wear colored shoes ( I can forgive red trainers) but some guy just passed by wearing a lime green t-shirt , a pair of jeans and lime green trainers. Not a bad look.
  • Can cook. While they are great at whipping up a meal, they can also be great at criticizing whatever you put before them. “There is too much salt.” “Just a little bit of curry would have pepped this up.” “Are you sure you put in garlic?” “It tastes kind of bland.”  I am a good cook but like everyone else, I have my off days.  I like guys that wolf down whatever you put in front of them. It will be great to be with one that cooks and agrees to help out that way, the only condition being that he has to reserve his acerbic comments. I don’t want to know that the food is not to your liking.
  • Have more cosmetics than I do. I was once amazed by a guy’s collection which included nail growth cream, hair mousse and hair gel. For the love of all things good! While I do not want a guy who is a slob, there are 2 major things wrong with these guys: They are too “aware” of themselves and anyone that they are with has to be on point constantly. Just like the cooks, they point out ashy elbows, overgrown cuticles and lightly chipped nail polish. I am generally well groomed and again, have off days when I do not need the pressure of a perfect looking boyfriend who wants me to match him. The second thing is that they look too "done". The not a hair out of place look is not natural. 
  • Wear see-through outfits.  And go commando. Where do you want me to put my eyes? Abeg!  Or they wear head to toe white sheer linen and top it off with flaming red boxers or worse, boxers with cartoon characters drawn all over them. It is a violation of my personal space.
  • Think that it is sexy to show their workman’s cleavage. Cringe worthy!

Enough for now. Would be interesting to hear what the men have to say about what women do.

I almost missed my flight today because I was typing this…..I had to run to catch the plane! The price one has to pay for being a gbegborun and not minding their own business.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Officially a Waffy Girl

I had to go to Warri for work a few days into the year. I had never been there before and got all sorts of warning and advice...yes o! Naija chic like myself. Naturally, a lot of them were just my friends jesting about the situation in Warri.

"Carry your Nigerian passport o!"

"Practice walking around with your hands in the air"

"Tan a little before you go".

With an earful, I boarded a plane headed to Warri. We were seated for more than 10 minutes but they still had not closed the door of the plane. We soon found out why...apparently someone's checked in baggage was leaking. They held up the small bag and there was liquid leaking out. Since they could not put it in the baggage hold like that, they needed the owner to come and check the bag. Dude got off the plane and opened the bag. It was 99% full of canned beer, one of the cans had been punctured and was leaking. Laughter rang out on the plane! Dude probably went for a party and carried awoof beer...I mean, as far as I know star beer is sold everywhere. The only reason one would want to transport it is because it was free.

The company I work for arranged for someone to meet me at the Osubi airstrip. As soon as I stepped into the arrivals "lounge", there were 2 guys to meet me. Great! They got my bags and we headed to the bus. That was when I officially started having doubts about my safety. I was the only passenger in the bus plus 2 uniformed & armed mobile police men. For what now? And on the trip into town, there was heavy army presence complete with barricades and sandbags. I had only ever seen sandbags on TV before. I have since learnt that the security threat has greatly reduced. The mobile police men that rode with me to work and back to my hotel were precautionary. They never really looked at me, apparently quite bored with these routine trips. After my initial surprise, I got used to having them there.

One last interesting thing about Warri: There are massive projectors? TVs? at Effurun roundabout and majority of the time, DSTV is on. I have seen it on at National Geographic, SuperSport3 and of course Africa Magic. Only time DSTV was not on, there was a documentary about the accomplishments of the state governor in the state. Not sure it has sound as the car windows never go down. One wonders how this helps the citizens of the state in terms of revenue generation.