Friday, August 7, 2009

This One Is For You






Yah, this is my 100th Post at last! And it is dedicated to you all. Thank you for your honest rants, serious debates, off-days, goofy days, thankful days, random days, interesting slangs…
Whenever I’m feeling 'somehow' I remember Blogosphere. And the way you express yourselves is so original. (Once upon a time I used to be discouraged about our –Nigeria’s that is- level of creativity; in the papers, I could almost always tell an article that was culled from The Daily Times or bbc because it was always more interesting/stimulating. (I’m not trying to put us down oh! It is what I observed, once upon a time. Newspaper articles are cooler now).

Then I discovered Blogville, so in my itty bitty way I’m saying thank you all (note: for fear of sounding too mushy -or as if I’m about to receive a Grammy- I’m keeping it short):

To our beautiful and strong-spirited Adaeze- I wish to be as kind-hearted; to the level-headed Adrian; to my first blogger friend and very brilliant writer Azuka (who has not updated in a l o n g while :- (); AkaBagucci the interesting and deeeep thinker…

To the funny and friendly scriptwriter(am I right?) Bibi; to poetic Blogoratti who makes weekly planning a pleasant activity; to the passionate, very funny and strong BrownSkinNaijaChic who likes Mortal Kombat(lol); my friend B. Suleiman who vamoosed before I got the opportunity to ‘stalk’ his blog…

To our so lovely, half-Northern sista Cappuccine Baby who has a new blog I don’t know yet; to Chikito, the blogger that introduced me to blogging…

To the encouraging brotha Dan Asabe (Dan Arewa); to the thoughtful and poetic Deola

To the honest, so refreshing ExSchoolNerd Laide, whose rant about her Mumsi I always remember (lol); to the delightful, observant Enkay whom I just discovered, oh me like you!

To the really friendly and pretty Fareeda who goes the extra mile to support Nigerian artistes like Darey; to deluvly, hard working Funmi

Ladidi! level-headed, intellectual and lovely Northern chica; Laspapi, the deep thinker whose Girl Whisperer articles I thoroughly enjoy; Levi & Irene- Levi who speaks so warmly about his beautiful wife Irene; the lovely, encouraging Lolia (who posts amusing cartoon sometimes), whose confidence in Nigeria strengthens mine; Stand Up Comedy’s finest: Lucy! whose mix of humor and Physics always impressed me; the peaceful, beautiful and so talented Lyricist Cathy D; to Miss Leggy and her interesting family, friends & sincere poems…

To the honest, totally deep Milesperhour; the cool talented actress herself Miss FlyHigh; to the pretty Natural Muze who is so good at writing…

NaijaGirl di ndu!! Encouraging, super inspirational, forgiving (don’t ask me how I know, I just do lol), who always makes me appreciate God more(“nobody can do it like He does” in deed); Nice Anon, whose writing style and really deep post about relationships (in May I think) so tripped me…

Observer whose cutting wit I so appreciate; the sweet One (and 1 + The 1 equals Unlimited)…
To the level-headed Pam (lol, I always remember her post on our foreign affairs minister- “kai, Ojo… Ojo… Ojo!”)…

To the kind-hearted, good natured Roc (whose sensual tales doth make one read on and blush :-)…

To the truthful and funny Saved Girl, who taught me to say “mooch”, lol; to the inspiring, encouraging Simeone; to the cool, July baby Smokie; to the awesome don-t-just-sit-there, do-something! activist Stand Tall!; to the amazing Solomon Sydelle, with intense TTTEC issues and lovely tales of TK, TE & Bomboy- a mother and loving it- I usually wonder what is adorable about super-active, noisy, attention-craving little people and I have actually found answers in 2 places- here & my Sis’ kids place)…

To T’s very informative blog and interviews; to the cool, analytical TaireBabs, whose self-confessed love for tv I can so relate with (and whose description of someone smiling like a pussy cat still amuses me); to The Ice Queen herself! Warm, sweet, humorous, and such a Johnny Depp fan; to The Lamp (of Light Her Lamp)… awesome, inspiring…

And to this guy Walkwater! Your sincerity and passion is really something my friend. I’m glad I know you.

In summary, I so appreciate you. You are His very own. I love you I love you I love you! Nmuahh!! (LOL! That I will never receive that grammy does not stop me from channeling the stars! But my appreciation is sincere).

Kurungus!

Nigerian Calabash



Bad news for consumers in Naija. By the end of this month, we may no longer have the chance to retrieve quick cash from nearby ATMs, as the Central Bank of Nigeria is serious about getting rid of every ATM situated at non-bank locations -shopping malls, airports, hotels, etc (oh mahn! That’s so wrong).This is because banks have broken CBN’s operational guidelines for ATM placement. More info in the dailies.

Moving along…

This was inspired by Mo Abudu, and I fapped the first three from her show. Name at least 5 things Nigerians are brilliant for:
1. We show people warm hospitality – we know how to cook and accommodate even impromptu guests (it’s funny that in these days of GSM this still happens); we also take care of our elderly folks.
2. We are quite respectful, be it title-wise (Aunty/Brother/Uncle), gesture-wise or tone-wise. (I remember some people saying Hausa folk are so disrespectful because they don’t attach ‘Sista’ or ‘Brotha’ to names, forgetting that each ethnic group is entitled to its own unique way of showing respect).
3. Our energy and resilience is remarkable (this has its downside sha- we tend to accept bad things without much fight)
4. Our food - spicy and diverse. And our colorful attire.
5. When we are truly serious about something, we excel in it

This was post no. 99

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's called 'Western Education' today

Sadly, the North continues to be synonymous with religious crises. Sometimes it is called a political upheaval, but recently it’s supposedly about Western education.

As someone once pointed out, the youths encouraged to carry out these horrific deeds are the uneducated ones who have not reaped the benefits of Western education; the people who believe that “the world is flat and rain is not caused by evaporation…”, as The Times of London quotes.

Right now there’s temporary peace, abi, so it’s time for people to vamoose while they still can. In places like Kano, Kaduna, Plateau State, numerous folks have packed their things and relocated to more peaceful(at this time) states. That September 2001 Jos experience really rocked us, but we still weren’t prepared for a repeat… followed by another… and another. It becomes useless for struggling businessmen to pick up the few pieces they have, only for them to be destroyed again & again.

Those who stay behind are to remain vigilant; their lives depend on it. It’s so bad; when folks have finally managed to relax, hell erupts again- and it doesn’t help that it starts in the early morning hours (the last thing on the mind at 2am is fada (fight) -unless you’re having a vision inspired by God or by excess beans in the belly). So the advice to “check if the elderly beggars are still on the streets” is clearly out (this was the advice I was given when schooling in Minna. The theory behind this is that beggars are warned about impending riots).

But I still thank God; I shudder as I realise that for some countries, life is infinitely more uncertain than this. War is a daily reality. Mass burials, decay, no food to stock up on, no place to hide, agony... things I’d rather not dwell on. But while we thank God that our portion is not as heavy, the fact remains that Nigeria is in trouble and we all know what the problems are. It’s how to move from ‘here’ to ‘there’ on the back of a totally lame government that confounds.

Still on somewhat related news…

I get confused sometimes. ‘Why did I stress myself to go to the university again? Erm, so that I could/can get a good job.’ This answer usually pacified me, until I was faced with a class full (kai, school full) of young ladies who were uninterested in schooling. ‘Is it enough for me to say ‘Yan Mata (young ladies) you need to get to Uni too so that you can get a good job’? Not really. I’m sure I could have attached the you-will-become-an-independent-woman tag, but it wasn’t the correct answer to me. In the end I just shut up and focused more on forcing Chemistry down. If only I had come across this article sooner:

“What is the purpose of education?”
By Luke Onyekakeyah, The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper, 4th August 2009.

“…Though the fundamental philosophy [of education] has always been to impart and acquire knowledge through teaching and learning procedures as is done in school or any similar institutions, the purpose of spending time, energy and resources to impart and acquire the knowledge depends on the society’s needs... The Eastern world has a distinct educational system tailored to solve problems in those countries… I discovered that because Japan is an earthquake prone country, their educational system is tailored to handle this problem. School curriculum is designed to produce experts that would effectively tackle society’s problems. Consequently, Japanese engineers, architects, planners, etc are trained to carry out their profession with the country’s problems in mind. Thus, buildings, bridges, highways are designed and built to withstand earthquakes…

[But Nigeria’s]educational system is blindly tailored to the colonial education system [whose target then was to produce clerks, accounts officers, administrators, managers and other white-collar job oriented manpower]. But the colonial education purpose in Africa is no longer relevant. No country in Africa has been able to develop a homemade education system that is tailored to address local development needs. That partly explains why most countries in Africa are retrogressing…

One of the greatest problems facing this country since independence is energy. At the same time, we have in this country abundant solar energy, gas resources, coal, wind and geothermal energy to name a few. We have abundant solid mineral resources that can’t be exploited because the educational system has failed to produce the needed manpower to exploit these minerals…”

Of course, the universities offer the necessary courses- petroleum engineering, geophysics, environmental science, etc but you know now: output is negligible.
His solution: We need an educational revolution. Mercy Ette says she knows that the solution she profers is likely to vex folks, but sha, the educational system can be revamped only when all the institutions are closed down and re-structured. Ahh! I can imagine not only the President’s face, but undergrads’ too. They certainly won’t be doing this:

Well, we hope a revolution will happen on that elusive “one day”.
Till then.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

At last


It has been a while oh; I’ve not had any access to the internet until now (thank you Sis) and I agree with so many bloggers that Blogosphere is experiencing harmattan this summer (hahaha… yeah, some jokes are funny only to the person that cracked them). I have lost track of all the things I’ve been wanting to blog about (lie: I have been having “blogger’s block” for long now). For now, lemme just do a this-n-that post:


Who has read Chimamanda’s book of short stories titled “The Thing Around Your Neck”?
I read one of the short stories in her book from Nairaland and it’s awesome: http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-258296.0.html


Who was once a fan of “tests, tests and more tests” like me?

1.Time you’re spending with an old friend seems less and less enjoyable. The two of you are drifting apart. Your response:
a. stop returning phone calls or IVs and quietly let the relationship die
b. honestly tell your friend it’s just not fun for you anymore
c. express your concerns and work it together

2. Your other half has a habit that is becoming increasingly annoying. Your response:
a. threaten to end the relationship if things don’t change
b. live with it. You have annoying little habits too
c. honestly tell them what annoys you
d. try making a joke about it

When internet access initially got to the country, aside from checking emails, I always frequented emode.com (which later became tickle.com, which later shut down). Nobody loved their “tests, tests and more tests!” like me. I introduced as many people who had spare time to check it out, and we always had a fantastic time sampling alternative ways to react to situations and learn a little more about ourselves (tsuntsaye biyu, dutse zallah –lol- two birds, one stone).So I was just reminiscing when I posted the above questions, fapped from ivillage.

A Soft Rant
I have never ranted in my blog, and I say it’s high time:
I want to be 17 again! I want to be carefree like I (never) was back then. I want to keep having crushes on cute actors of all age-groups without worrying that I’m an agbaya. Oh! Let me get to the point: I wanna have a crush on Zac Efron but now I’m too ooooold! :-/

Hm. As if I want to re-experience WAEC/JAMB/parent/boy troubles. My Kawata Har Abada (BFF) and I had a real good time watching 17 Again though, mostly because Zac Efron is sooooo cute (I’m sure I can get a witness, lol). As I never liked High School Musical et al, I never really noticed him until now. I was seriously unhappy when he morphed back into his older, Matthew Perry self in the movie. Well done, Guy. If only I was 17… :- )

But really, this is how it’s going to be abi? Every year the actors get younger and cuter while you get older but “younger at heart” (I am so taking it personally, sulks).

So, I hope your weekend has been relaxing and interesting. Have a good new week.
Cheers!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

LIFESPAN THE MOVIE!



Hi! Hope your weekend has been good? "If so, doxology" (heheheh, an over-used phrase one of my English teachers yabbed us for using whenever we were told to write letters during examinations).

Ok, so in case you haven't heard, there's a new 3-D animation coming soon, straight from Naija! It's called Lifespan, and I'll leave Emmanuel Anyifite to tell you all about it:

It’s hardly news to say that Nigeria has not caught up with the worldwide advances in feature length animated films. South Africa beat us to it, and produced the first African 3D animated movie. But now, Mighty Jot Animation Studios are out to change the state of affairs, and have come up with a movie which when it premieres in December, will become Nigeria’s first animated movie.

Written and directed by Stanlee Ohikhuare, the film is titled ‘Lifespan’, and will be released in cinemas locally but will stand up to the best that is out there internationally.
A pioneer in 3D technology in Nigeria, Ohikhuare is well known for his television commercials for various companies and brand names, including Zain, Coca Cola and Chicken Republic. He had to stop two other films in other to concentrate on ‘Lifespan’, a self-funded project which has taken three years to make.

Lifespan is a compelling movie whose central theme is the scourge of malaria. In an imaginative leap, the film is set in the past, about 4,000 years ago in the ancient Benin Kingdom.
A colony of mosquitoes are split, with one group wanting to remain the bloodsucking predators that nature has made; while the other group prefers to tow the line of prudence to ensure their survival by other means and be less menacing to humans. They attempt to get a magical potion for malaria, and so embark on a quest to a cave inhabited by men.

The aim is to get a dose of human blood to perform a purification ritual that will end the spread of malaria forever and lead to a peaceful co-existence with mankind. But all is not what it seems, and there are hidden agendas and selfish interests at play.

In a trailer preview, we glimpse a movie which when released would be comparable to the best that Hollywood has to offer, including blockbusters like ‘Antz’, ‘Happy Feet’, ‘A Shark’s Tale’ and ‘Madagascar’ – all standout works in new technology driven movie making. Ohikhuare hopes giants like Walt Disney will help with the international distribution and marketing of ‘Lifespan’.
South Africa’s first 3D movie, titled ‘Wild Safari’ was released in 2005. It combined real images with animation and special effects, enhancing the stunning visuals in three dimensions. ‘Wild Safari’ was based on an inspirational contemporary tale targeting international viewers of all ages. Many noted its debt to classic American animation like ‘The Little Prince’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ – with the added elements of fantasy, high emotion and entertainment.
Similarly, Lifespan would attempt to capture audiences with its storyline. Its makers say the film will show the scourge of malaria in a captivating style that only 3D movies can. It also promises a wholly Nigerian outlook: characters have Nigerian names; local music is played; and some of the country’s most popular actors are featured.

Characters in Lifespan will be voiced by popular actors and actresses, including: Joke Silva as Queen Shebaz; Kate Henshaw as Queen Shekil; Bola Edwards - Akpor; Ashionye as Ivie, and Femi Sowoolu as Opiah. Others are Idia Imahe as Omon; Ighodaro Umaigba as Waspie; Patrick Edwards as the Ant and ace comedian, Basketmouth as Scout.
3D animation in Nigeria is largely limited to television commercials at present. It is expected that the genre will witness a major turning point with the release of Lifespan.
The estimated cost of the film is N300 million, still a pittance in comparison to the whopping $300 million used by director James Cameron for his own animated movie, slated for release soon.

“Lifespan is not an attempt to become a local champion, neither is it a project for local consumption alone,” says Ohikhure. He insists that the film “will put us in the spotlight for global scrutiny and criticism, to enable us get better and eventually bridge the gap between us and big time production firms like Pixar and Dreamworks.”
-Lifespan and the 3D revolution by Emmanuel Anyifite


To watch the Lifespan trailer, the youtube link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaHE5rZXURI&feature=related
Cheers!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You've Bean Served!


I remember the time
You never liked me at all
Though Mama coaxed and Aunty threatened,
Your dislike for me just got more intense
You never thought I made any sense

Then you went to boarding school,
Breathing many a sigh of relief
But to your horror,
There I was, a major part the welcoming committee:
Rice & Beans! Grits & Beans!! Weevils & Beans!!! Pap & Beans!
(Actually, the Kunu & Kosai was nice-
Kunu & Kosai ke? It’s Pap & Bean-Cake, bush girl!” Your School Mummy teased)

For six years, it was-
Beans, Beans, and more Beans
Until one day, you simply stopped fighting-
You fell in love with me
And now your week is so incomplete
Without me as your precious girki-treat

But enough of me and my lame info-
Please allow me to intro
Our very own maestro-
Mabel Segun!
[girki = cooking in Hausa]

-Brief Interlude-
Me: Whew! Beans dear, you are a great dish but a really crappy poet, ok? Just stick to your normal job.
Beans: Whaat?! Do you know how long it took me to create that masterpiece?
Me: Not long enough. Don’t be offended. We are all gifted in different areas; all I’m saying is “akara becomes bone in the mouth of a toothless person”.
Beans: Eh?
Me: A Yoruba proverb, meaning a simple matter becomes a problem to a person of little ability.
Beans: Oook, it’s like that ba! Me too I sabi am- “Medicine that is mixed with food – if it does not cure the disease, it will cure hunger”. A Nupe proverb, meaning nothing is entirely useless. Even though the poem was crappy, it still passed a message across.
Me: Ok o.
Beans: And I have another proverb for you, since you are giving me the patronizing silent treatment- “One should not eat hot food in a hurry”
Me: That’s simple now. Analyse this one: “Where dishes break, the breaking of calabashes is of no consequence” (Urhobo)
Beans: Eh-heh, I get. “Opelenge fell against a dish but the dish did not break. She fell against a mortar and the mortar split”. Figure that one out.
Me: (shakes head). You’ve forgotten that I am the “system” and I know everything ko? It means some people overcome a major disaster, only to be overcome by a minor one. Ok o, I’m tired of this banter, as everyone else is right now.
Beans: (smiles sagely) “He who says ‘we don’t want any more food’ makes himself unpopular” A Yoruba proverb ‘your omniscience’ should have remembered. You should never presume to know other people’s minds. You should only speak for yourself.
Me: Toh. Whatever.
Beans: Yess! I win! The name’s Beans, people… James Beans (poses coolly… in my plate)

Ok, so onto Mabel Segun’s translation of a Yoruba praise song for beans. (Note: I am NOT apologizing for my extremely goofy post. Lol)

O Beans, protector of the soil
Who has spread your tentacles
Over the entire farm
Filling food that staves off hunger,
Whose customer develop
A craving for water
Assuming various forms-
You become *ekuru
Eaten with wraps of *eko;
Assuming various forms-
You become a stew, *gbegiri
Without which people
Simply toy with their bowls of *oka;
But when beans thrive,
They gorge themselves with oka
And burst the seams of their attire;
Not for nothing does tasty *akara-
Put on bold airs in the dish-
Whether it is *llarado,
Fried in medium oil,
Or *towobopo
Wallowing in deep oil,
More delightfully, O Beans,
You become transformed into that delicious food which goes by the name *oole.

Ekuru –steamed, seasoned bean paste eaten in crumbly form
Eko – cooked corn paste wrapped in leaves
Gbegiri – delicious bean stew
Oka – cooked yam flour
Akara – aka kosai (Hausa) or bean-cake; fried bean balls made from bean paste
Oole- short for olele, another name for moyinmoyin
Ilarado & towobopo she didn’t identify, sorry.


NOTE: All non-goofy info fapped from Mabel Segun’s book “Rhapsody: A Celebration of Nigerian Cooking and Food Culture”.
This post was inspired by Roc (in your recent comment) and NaijaGirl (you once said proverbs always make one wiser/authoritative). Thank you v. much!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Space In-Between



“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness.
An awareness of our freedom and power to choose is affirming because it can excite our sense of possibility and potential. It can also threaten, because now we are accountable.

Any time your emotional life is a function of someone else’s weakness, you disempower yourself.”
Stephen R. Covey, The Eighth Habit.


Makes serious sense, but I also understand that positive change takes some time.
PS: I haven’t been able to think of one solid thing to blog about; the days have been “somehow” (but at least I have now updated, lol).

Also, you might have heard about the danger of putting your car's air conditioner on before allowing fresh air in -it may cause miscarriages and cancer. So many things researchers are finding out these days. (My bro who has been complaining about his dry skin doesn't even want to use glycerin for fear of what future research might reveal :-)

Anyhow, happy weekend.
Huta lafiya! (Rest well!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Treat Me As I treat My Neighbor"


By Max Lucado

Hi! Before you read some Max Lucado, here’s a thankful post (I read Adaeze & Lolia’s thoughtful thankful posts and they reminded me of what someone once said: “When you hear the appreciative words God’s children say to Him, you fall in love with Him”).

I seriously appreciate:
1. Company, as in, people I’m comfortable with. Whenever I’m chanced to have meaningful conversation, discuss/listen to interesting issues, learn things, laugh etc I do it with passion.

2. Christ – the exciting possibilities we have because of what He did/is doing for us. For example, imagine the power God has given us against all evil, not because we’ve done (or have promised to do) anything holy, but because of Christ (Matthew 10; Titus 3:5).

3. ‘Comic Relief’- truly, a sense of humour is a blessing. A newspaper columnist admitted that he’s really tired of writing about the same problems our country is having, and has decided to cultivate his sense of humour to help him cope. Country aside, life can be horrible. But I have a question- it may have an obvious answer: Do you believe Nigeria can be transformed in our own generation?

4. Churches – When I was in university I stopped attending church for over 2 years. It was a double case of “too much Church, too little results” (in my life and in others’ lives- yes, I was very judgemental), and “too many Churches, orishirishi (different) doctrines”. It was an uncomfortable period for my roommates and I, and eventually they became very annoyed with me (you know how religious we can be) but in the end clarity came: with the Bible as a reference point* or ”anti-virus”(or anti-antiChrist), one can learn so much from different churches- from how to pray, to receiving God’s blessings. Now for closing hymn, let me sing “Years I Spent in Vanity and Pride” :- )

5. Creative, courageous people.

6. Cute actors like Freddie Prinze Jr, Ryan Reynolds (Van Wilder, Wolverine, Just Friends), Denzel Washington… etc (ok I was watching a witty Prinze Jr. film -Jack & Jill vs The World - when I wrote that).

*See Galatians 3 & 4; 1Cor. 1. The early christians faced the same confusion many of us are facing, so it is a merely a case of DHCN - ‘Doctrine Has Changed Name’.

And now for some Max Lucado>>>

"Treat Me As I Treat My Neighbor."
Are you aware that this is what you are saying to your Father? Give me what I give them. Grant me the same peace I grant others. Let me enjoy the same tolerance I offer. God will treat you the way you treat others.

In any given Christian community there are two groups: those who are contagious in their joy and those who are cranky in their faith. They've accepted Christ and are seeking him, but their balloon has no helium. One is grateful, the other is grumpy. Both are saved. Both are heaven bound. But one sees the rainbow and the other sees the rain.

Could this principle explain the difference? Could it be that they are experiencing the same joy they have given their offenders? One says, "I forgive you," and feels forgiven. The other says, "I'm ticked off," and lives ticked off at the world.

It's as if God sends you to the market to purchase your neighbor's groceries saying, "Whatever you get your neighbor, get also for yourself. For whatever you give him is what you receive."
Let's take this a step further. Suppose your neighbor's trash blows into your yard. You mention the mess to him, and he says he'll get to it sometime next week. You inform him that you've got company coming and couldn't he get out of that chair and do some work? He tells you not to be so picky, that the garbage fertilizes your garden. You're just about to walk across the lawn to have a talk when God reminds you, "Time to go to the market and buy your neighbor's groceries." So you grumble and mumble your way to the store, and then it hits you, "I'll get even with the old bum." You go straight to the skim milk. Then you make a beeline to the anchovies and sardines. You march right past the double-chocolate ice cream and head toward the okra and rice. You make a final stop in the day-old bread section and pick up a crusty loaf with green spots on the edge.

Chuckling, you drive back to the house and drop the sack in the lap of your lazy, good-for-nothing neighbor. "Have a good dinner." And you walk away.
All your brilliant scheming left you hungry, so you go to your refrigerator to fix a sandwich, but guess what you find. Your pantry is full of what you gave your enemy. All you have to eat is exactly what you just bought. We get what we give.

Some of you have been eating sardines for a long time. Your diet ain't gonna change until you change. You look around at other Christians. They aren't as sour as you are. They're enjoying the delicacies of God, and you're stuck with okra and anchovies on moldy bread. You've always wondered why they look so happy and you feel so cranky. Maybe now you know. Could it be God is giving you exactly what you're giving someone else?
Max Lucado,
In the Eye of the Storm

Sorry, the post was long. Happy new month!

Saturday, May 30, 2009



This was inspired by Bibi, BSNC & Miss FlyHigh’s cool audio blog. And partly Nice Anon. They were talking about ‘firsts’- first crush, first fight… you get. I had a little time, so I thought of some of my random, okay ‘firsts’-

- First blog I read:
Her username was Chikito, and I was thrilled by her hilarious F.G.G.C Owerri tales. That was in 2007, and I never knew what a blog was. That was the first time I was reading a story written by a Nigerian (on the web), and I was blown away. She had stopped updating since 2005 though. Since then, I have been exposed to interesting blogs… like yours :- )


-First Fight:
My first and last physical fight was in Primary 5, with a boy who always bullied me. While I have forgotten the names of many classmates, I still remember his name and surname. The annoying thing was that he wasn’t bigger than me (we were the same size). He just had the ability to tell the softies from the tough no-nonsense ones. Well one fateful day, I’d had enough when he threw a chair at me. I started slapping and beating him and he managed to put in a good number of kicks before people came to my rescue.

-First Female Friend…
…will always be G’green (one of her nicknames in school). In such a mixedup world, she who findeth a true girlfriend findeth a good thing indeed. We attended the same Primary and Secondary school, and we talked about everything, till Uni. separated us, and it hasn’t been easy keeping in touch since then. But she always has a special place in my heart (I take a moment to hold my right hand to my heart… and my left to my phone) :- )

-First book my Dad bought me, titled Luka and the Television. Excerpts as follows:
There was a boy named Luka who loved to watch television. As soon as he came home from school, he would rush to the tv, switch it on and would watch it for hours, still in his school uniform. Sometimes he never even noticed that he had not eaten. His father was very disturbed by this, but regardless of all his threats, Luka remained engrossed with the tv. His results in school became increasingly terrible, and Luka himself was becoming a terror in school- he had developed a vicious temper which resulted in fights on an almost daily basis. One day his weary father called him aside and said to him, “Luka, you know that what you are doing is not good. All this television is causing you to misbehave. Why don’t you want to change?” Luka replied, “I don’t want to change. I want to be used by the devil to do his works.”
So Luka never changed, and soon he paid the price.
The End.

Never mind the (weird) story plot, esp. Luka’s where-did-that-come-from response; I was totally silent when I finished reading it many years ago. I was wondering, this story book was bought specially for me. ‘Did Daddy browse through the book before he bought it, or does he actually consider me as terrible as Luka?’ Yes I watched tv a lot, yes my results were not vey good, yes I was quite rude to my Aunt, but haba!
Though I have forgotten the exact phrasing of the story, and even the price Luka paid for his disobedience, I always remember that response he gave his Dad. And I still wonder.

This is related to my next ‘first’, titled Cider Eats a Big Slice of ‘Humble Pie’-

-First major lesson I have learnt this May:
I wrote a job aptitude test some weeks ago. My GMAT (job aptitude tutorial book) has 5 sections of mathematical skill tests, comprised of quantitative reasoning and comparison, data sufficiency, and graphical analysis tests. The probability of being asked to analyse graphs is therefore 1/5 (my thinking).

I had precious little time to study-thanks to my love for dvds-so I decided to really concentrate on the other parts and completely ignore those weird graphs. Besides, in the few tests I’ve written, I have never been asked graphical questions. Well, as good-for-you stories go, the only math questions we were asked were graphical- and not the simple graphs I’m used to.
Now you know you’re in for a rough time when you cannot give correct answers to examples the examiner is guiding you through. But things were only about to get worse. I’d never bothered to ask anyone about the type of questions they thought the company would ask. I just thought, ‘ok, make sure you practice so and so very well’. And I knew I should have practiced the secret-but-famous SHL questions, but time was gone man. At the test center, it seemed I was one of the very few people that didn’t know wassup. We were going to be asked over 40 hot thermodynamics questions.
For someone who claims to be good enough for cutting edge organisations, ‘careless’ doesn’t come close to describing my attitude at all. As my bro. in-law would joke, “You don’ fall your hand two times abi?” (Bcuz this is the second time I’ve botched a major job test). It’s somehow funny- people think I read like crazy. They always tell me to take it easy (Big LOL). Anyway, I am happy to say that the laziness that used to overpower me whenever I was about to read has been vanishing per day. No more self deception; I am seeing the light:

(Economic Situation in Nigeria) + (Current Economic Recession) + (Exceedingly Large Number of Job-Seekers) + (Tek Company) – (‘Connections/Long Leg’) = “Critical Assignment”

- First (trivial) news piece I found amusing this month:
Our Minister of Health promised to give each household in Nigeria 2 mosquito nets; nets that are “special and very efficacious in tracking down and killing mosquitoes” (Sunday Punch, 3rd May 2009). Talk about Madam Kwoskwos and Other Scary Tales. I hope I never see the net while it is doing its tracking and hunting down operation sha ;-) ;-)

June is here = 6/12 = half of the yr already. As you go all-out to achieve your goals for the year, don’t mind the setbacks; rejoice in the days the Lord has made (shebi I sound like a ‘Christian horoscope’? Lol, that’s d first oxymoron I’ve come up with). PS: I am fully utilizing MTN’s free dictionary, as I had to confirm what ‘oxymoron’ was – “conjoining contradictory terms, as in ‘deafening silence’” Yay! I was correct.
Cheers!



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Nigerian Food Taboos

By Mabel Segun, in her book Rhapsody- A Celebration of Nigerian Cooking and Food Culture.

In Yoruba culture every lineage has its food taboos which members must observe strictly. The penalties prescribed for breaking a taboo are sometimes deliberately drastic in order to frighten people into complying with the prohibitions. These penalties include sterility, a breast that will never produce milk, a child who will forever crawl, and- death. But in reality, many of the prohibitions are commonsense rules meant for the good of both the individual and the community.

She categorized the taboos, and I’ve picked only a few (I don’t really know if I’m breaking any copyright laws oh! (scratches head). But I won’t tell if you won’t). It’s informative, though:

1. Yams must not be kicked. (Yoruba)
Penalty- The culprit will become lame.
Real Reason- According to Yoruba legend, Yam was once a man, hence it should be respected. Yam was the most popular staple food in the country before the introduction of manioc. Kicking a yam tuber might break it and this would speed up deterioration. In any case, this is not a clean habit.

2. Salt must not be trodden underfoot.
Penalty- The soles of the offender’s feet will ooze water. (Yoruba)
Real Reason- In ancient times, salt was so scarce that it was exchanged for slaves and therefore should not be wasted through being spilt.

3. Women must not cook late at night. (Igbo)
Penalty- Evil spirits will put a spell on the food.
Real Reason- To prevent women from neglecting the welfare of their family by keeping them hungry.

4. A man may not eat in the home of his wife’s parents and they may not eat in his home. (Hausa)
Penalty- It will prevent the wife from bearing children.
Real Reason- Probably to avoid friction between the two families.

5. Yam must not be peeled inside the house. (Yoruba)
Penalty- The inmates will quarrel
Real Reason- Houses in ancient times were dark inside because they had no windows or had very tiny ones and someone coming from outside might slip on the yam peels and injure himself/herself (which, of course, could lead to a quarrel).

6. A wife must not allow her husband to see her eating. She must first cook his meal and serve it to him in the open courtyard and later retire into the house to eat with her daughters and young sons. (Hausa)
Penalty- Community censure
Real Reason- It is said that she might open her mouth too wide and so anger or disgust her husband.

7. A child must not eat a chicken’s gizzard. (Edo, Igbo, Yoruba)
Penalty- He will not grow.
Real Reason- The gizzard is reserved for the head of the family or household since it is considered a delicacy.

8. A child must not squat to eat. (Yoruba).
Penalty- The child will never be satiated.
Real Reason- Squatting encourages farting, and this would cause pollution at mealtimes.

9. A woman must not eat too many kolanuts (Igbo, Yoruba)
Penalty- She will have an ‘abiku’ (Yoruba) or ‘ogbanje’(Igbo) child, that is, a child who dies young and keeps on reincarnating and dying again, thus causing its mother great misery.
Real Reason- Traditional Nigerian societies did not know the cause of infant mortality but believed that a woman who ate too many kolanuts would not feel hungry and so would not be well nourished or healthy enough to bear strong children.

10. One must not put a live duck in an overturned pot.(Yoruba)
Penalty- It will turn into a snake.
Real Reason- To prevent it from suffocating. Since snails are kept in this manner or under an overturned mortar for a few days but do not die as they can hibernate, some people might be tempted to keep more delicate creatures in the same manner.

Mabel Segun is also the author of children’s book, My Father’s Daughter (which I haven’t come across yet but am sure will be a v. nice read) and books for adults such as Conflict and Other Poems. “She has a varied professional career that includes teaching, broadcasting, editing, public relations and a two-year diplomatic appointment as Nigeria’s Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.”
As an aside:
Is it that the people back then were too stubborn to handle the “real reasons” behind these rules or what?? If you’re curious about what people were like before-before, Ellen Thorp’s Ladder of Bones will come in handy. It gives the pre-colonial history of Nigeria, dating back to 1853.

Baibai!

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Good People, Great Nation"

I just read this article on advertising the Nigerian brand. Though it is 3 years old, it really addresses the current feelings people are having about the rebranding issue-

"What we need to ask ourselves is simple: what is the current image perception of Nigeria? (How do people outside of our country see us – rightly or wrongly)? What problem has that created for us in economic and political terms? And finally, how do we solve the problem?The solution is not always a one minus one equals zero solution.If for instance Nigeria is noted for corruption, violent crimes, political turmoil and poor infrastructure, the advertising idea should not necessarily be around the inspector general of police announcing to the world that Nigeria is now a corruption-free, crime-free state. The better approach would be ignoring the negative and focusing on our strong points. In any case, whatever the IG says would be purely political and would never be credible in the international media. This means that having identified our current international image, we should determine our desired brand image. What do we want the rest of the world to believe about Nigeria?
What may be more pertinent to us economically may in fact be projecting ourselves as an accommodating people, open to foreigners, welcoming investors, friendly to the international community. A simple television commercial showing happy, friendly, and cultured men, women and children would do the job. If we flog this idea well enough, international perception of Nigeria as a friendly nation will overshadow any other negative image being peddled in the world media. Brands have their strengths. They have their unique selling points. When you say Ariel, you think of tough stains.When you say Maggi, you think of great taste. When you say Bagco, you think of super sack. Nations should have their selling points as well. When you say Brazil, what comes to your mind? Soccer. When you say Japan, what image crops up? Technology and cars. When you say Nigeria, what should come to mind?"
By Paul Ugoagwu

He went on to talk about how we must also do ourselves a favour by fixing our roads, improving our standard of living, and so on. If only the people on top would listen. On our part (individually) we are ready to "represent", shey? The full article can be read at http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/columnists/commercialbreak/commercial-august17-2006.htm

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Lie To Me"











According to Will Smith’s character in the romantic comedy Hitch, statistics show that 65 percent of what we say doesn’t come out of our mouths. Our bodies do all that yakking, and this is the idea behind ‘Lie to Me’, one of the newer series created by Samuel Baum and the producers of the hit series 24.

The main character, Dr. Lightman, can tell if you’re lying by studying your body language and micro-expressions, and this helps him solve many criminal cases, because he believes that gestures of contempt, fear, anger, deceit, etc are universal. He buttresses his points with clips of Bill Clinton, Nixon, Condoleeza Rice, Barrack Obama, and other influential people in the news. Real, convicted serial killers’ expressions are also analysed. Of course, the cases covered are all fictional.
The series reminded me of an exercise Big Sis and I did a few years ago, on facial expressions. It has been said that “men can rotate 3-dimensional objects in their head and women are better at reading emotions of people in photographs”- Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott – so I uploaded some pics for you to test your facial expression intuition (lol).
PS: Sis is doing very, very well (God 14points; Satan 0). I thank you for all your prayers and kind wishes. May God give you peace that surprises understanding in every situation you face, amen.











My answers: disgust, sadness, surprise, and of course, sadness. Accurate answers can be gotten from http://www.wwnorton.com/college/psych/psychsci2/content/activities/ch10a.asp#test

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bits and Pieces of News Here

- North Eastern Nigeria and parts of Plateau State have been without light due to electric cable vandalisation. (1. Thank God we were not affected 2. Those people need to be punished seriously... but they are still at large)
- Dbanj launches Kokolet Mansion reality show on HiTv (ok that's not new, but its news)
- Sis will be having surgery in a few days, so I’ll be away from here for a few wks. (Thanks for your anticipated prayers ;-)). I’ll be Super Nanny Cee to the rescue! (lol)

Initially, I was like, ‘she looks so strict. How effective can she be?' (mind you, she wasn't smiling like she's doing in the pic). But when I saw how wonderfully she handled so many troublesome kids, I was convinced. And she never used bullallah (koboko) on them. “Jo Frost, as Supernanny, can tame the wildest toddler, soothe the savage six-year-old and get the most difficult child to overcome problems with behavior, sleep, mealtime, potty training and other challenges that have vexed parents around the world for centuries. After just three episodes of the show aired in the U.K. in summer 2004, Jo Frost became Britain's hottest new TV star and a godsend to desperate parents who were dazzled by her amazing results with unruly children.” –
http://abc.go.com/primetime/supernanny/index?pn=about). They don’t call her Super for nothing.


Also, happy new month and work-free May 1st in advance. For me and for MelonBoy there below though, it’s going to be business as usual ;- )

Here’s a reminder that there are some kinds of work God never intended for us to do.

“There are certain mountains only God can climb. Ascend them and you'll end up bruised and embarrassed. Stay away from them and you'll sidestep a lot of stress.

These mountains are described in the final phrase of the Lord's Prayer, "Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forevItalicer. Amen." A trio of peaks mantled by the clouds. Admire them, applaud them, but don't climb them.

It's not that you aren't welcome to try, it's just that you aren't able. The pronoun is thine, not mine; thine is the kingdom, not mine is the kingdom. If the word Savior is in your job description, it's because you put it there. Your role is to help the world, not save it. Mount Messiah is one mountain you weren't made to climb.

Nor is Mount Self-Sufficient. You aren't able to run the world, nor are you able to sustain it. Some of you think you can. You are self-made. You don't bow your knees, you just roll up your sleeves and put in another twelve-hour day ... which may be enough when it comes to making a living or building a business. But when you face your own grave or your own guilt, your power will not do the trick.

You were not made to run a kingdom, nor are you expected to be all-powerful. And you certainly can't handle all the glory. Mount Applause is the most seductive of the three peaks. The higher you climb the more people applaud, but the thinner the air becomes. More than one person has stood at the top and shouted, "Mine is the glory!" only to lose their balance and fall.

"Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever."

What protection this final phrase affords. As you confess that God is in charge, you admit that you aren't. As you proclaim that God has power, you admit that you don't. And as you give God all the applause, there is none left to dizzy your brain.”

- Max Lucado, “Thine is the Kingdom…”

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Small Slice of Family Life

Starring:
Baba
Mama
and
Aunty (resting now)

Co-starring:
Big&Beautiful Sis
Genius&Easygoing Sis
independent&Smart Bro
Fair&Lovely Sis
and
Petite&Baby Sis (aka “Shuweet” once upon a time)

Episode Title: Interesting things happen when impressionable Nigerian kids watch too much Western tv
We always had it at the back of our minds that “yeah right”, “damn it” and “Sheish!” were un-African slangs, and we always knew that Western tv was having a big influence over us, but we realized this most clearly in the Water Fight Between Independent Smart Bro and Big Beautiful Sis:

Shuweet (Baby Sis) and Fair&Lovely were staring at their two elder siblings wide-eyed, not paying any attention to Aunty, who was also staring at the two with undisguised anger. How could these children be arguing so loudly in the presence of mu’umeen (guests)?! They didn’t have any shame anymore. See spoilt children! Nobody would tolerate such nonsense back at home.
No matter how much she scolded, they kept arguing hotly. The two guests watched on in silence… kai, such shameful behaviour. She shook her head slowly. An’ya.

Meanwhile, Big&Beautiful Sis had stood up, filled with indignation at Independent&Smart Bro’s disrespect. Did he think they were mates? Well he obviously thought so. Or maybe he even thought she was less than his mate.
While she towered over him, he calmly continued eating his food, ignoring her. (This is called “kunnen Doki” or “Horse Ears”. Saying “whatever” hadn’t been thought-up yet).
She was so mad, she did the first thing she thought of- she threw her cup of water on him, like that woman Terry(?) did in Another Life a few days ago.
This created a different dimension entirely.

Everybody gasped, apart from I&S Bro, that is. He waited approximately five seconds before he took off his glasses and placed them on the deep freezer beside him.

GAN GAN! (Suspense music)

By now, B&B Sis must have been thinking ‘Now why did I do that, eh?’ but she kept staring him down.
I&S Bro slowly got up and reached for the big water jug beside him. B&B Sis was like ‘if you dare!’ and he dared.

Big Splasssh!

Fair&Lovely Sis and Shuweet began to hoot loudly like monkeys (this was Reality Tv Live!), glad to have dodged the splash. Unfortunately, the guests seated some distance behind BB Sis weren’t so dry. Aunty nearly collapsed with humiliation. They never uttered a condemning word; they just stood up and quietly left. Suna da labari, kam.
Fair&Lovely Sis and Shuweet also had a story to tell Genius&Easygoing Sis, who was at school at the time. And of course, Baba and Mama would hear from Aunty and deal with both parties effectively (shudders).

Another time, one of us was quite caught up with the idea of running away from home- on tv the reunion was always wonderful. In reality though . . .

These all happened several years ago, and I’m happy to say that we’re all well-adjusted citizens. (Somebody shout hallaluyah).

On a more serious note-

‘Empty-Nest Syndrome’ is a general problem, and ma Mere is going through it.
I thought that it was predominantly a Western thing, and since my folks (Mum especially) have not been as, erm, affected as we have been (courtesy tv and other influences), I had thought that they wouldn’t experience this. But this all-Nigerian couple is facing it, and they are not alone. One of her former co-workers said point-blank, “Madam, the worst is yet to come. When the big ‘R’ comes, you will know…” R for Retirement.

“Empty nest syndrome has become more prevalent in modern times, as the extended family is becoming less common than in past generations, and the elderly are left living by themselves.
In many cultures, such as those in Africa, India, the Middle East, and East Asia, one's elderly parents were held in very high esteem and it was considered almost a duty to care for and respect them. In contrast to most Western societies, extended families were common in those places. However, nowadays, even in these countries, as cities become more Westernized and industrialized, values are gradually changing. It is sometimes rather inconvenient or impractical to live with or care extensively for one's parents in a modern setting…”
– courtesy: Wikipedia.

It is a disheartening thing to watch parents go from “Kai, these children should do and go now!” to “Oh, I miss them. The house is so empty. I feel somewhat empty too.”
It is easy to tell them to find other things to occupy themselves with (wait a minute, it’s not so easy). But what kinds of things can an old couple living in Nigeria really look forward to sans children??? I’m the last one, about to “fly the coop”, so I feel extra guilty. I found this tip useful though: “Arrange with her when you will phone her and stick to that. Please be fair about this and remember to call when she is expecting you to. An extra email or text message on top of that will probably help to cheer her up. But don't do so many that she comes to expect them. They should be a pleasant surprise for her - and a pleasure for you to do, not a duty.” -
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/womenshealth/features/ens.htm

Yes O, the Seasons of Life! (shakes head) Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Eights


8 Things I did yesterday

1) Prepared Sweet and Sour chicken (my greatest accomplishment of the day. M and D sed it was goood).


2) Cleaned house, as usual

3) Watched news for longer than usual, and found out it was Earth Day yeserday. Learnt other stuff too, thank God

4) Texted a lot of ppl (finally)

5) Listened to Pastor Chuck Smith, The Word for Today

6) Started reading a good book: "Boundaries Face to Face:
How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding"

7) How cud I forget this one: sorted out groundnuts with Mama (some were rotting bcuz water had gotten into them). We use groundnuts for everything -kunu, miya (soup), name it.

8) Slept

8 Things I wish to do (make that four for now, please)
1) Read my Gmat and Engg Math
2) Create some tek videoscripts
3) Participate in missions here in Jos
4) Eat

8 shows I watch (oh, I luv this one. Easy)
1) CSI (Las Vegas and NY)
2) Grey's Anatomy
3) Hell's Kitchen
4) Wetin Dey (it's been a wyl)
5) Star Trek (it's been long too)
6) Las Vegas
7) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
8) House

8 bloggers tagged(arrgh... everyone's been tagged already)
1) Walkwater
2) Ladi (pls pls do this)
3) Fareeda
4) IceQueen
5-8)...Sorry!

This was a long one sha. But it was cool. I didn't list the 8 things I look forward to bcuz time isn't on my side. Thanks Bibi, Saved Girl.

"Enjoy yourselves veeerrry well", as one of my ex-roommates would say.

"Trip on some Grace Juice, Baby"

This is what Marsuvees Black, a weird character in Ted Dekker’s book Showdown drawled when he was about to do something strange. I’m not going to talk about the book (I cannot remember much about it- only that it was the first of his books I considered too weird for my liking).
I just needed a cool title for my post ;-)

We hear about it a lot. We know we need it, but its definition is still somehow vague(at least, to me) so I’m asking, “What do YOU think of grace?”
It’s a kind of tough question, esp. if you haven’t been thinking about it, so if you need a little assistance, here are a few perspectives on it courtesy Scandalous Grace, by Julie Ann Barnhill. The more you read, the more you understand, I hope!


“Grace happens to me when I feel a surge of honest joy that makes me glad to be alive in spite of valid reasons for feeling terrible. Grace happens when I accept my wife’s offer to begin again with me in love after I have hurt her. It happens when I feel powerfully free to follow my own conscience in spite of those who think I am either crazy or wicked. Grace is the gift of feeling sure that our future, even our dying, is going to turn out more splendidly than we dare imagine. Grace is the feeling of hope.”
– Lewis B. Smedes

“Grace is uncontrollable, arbitrary to our senses, apparently unmerited. It’s utterly free, ferociously strong, about as mysterious a thing as you could imagine. First rule of grace: grace rules.” -Brian Doyle.

“God gives his gifts where He finds the vessel empty enough to receive them.” – C. S. Lewis

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3: 23- 24, NASB

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9, NASB

“When we open our hearts to each other we allow grace to enter. It is as simple as that. And suffering – events that break open the heart- can become the refiner’s fire that leaves us fully open to the truth about love and compassion.”- Kathleen A. Brehony

“We are to be dispensers of grace, not dispensers of judgement.”- Dr. Ben Carson

“Grace overcomes shame, not by uncovering an overlooked cache of excellence in ourselves but simply by accepting us, the whole of us, with no regard to our beauty or our ugliness, our virtue or our vices. We are accepted wholesale. Accepted with no possibility of being rejected. Accepted once and accepted forever. Accepted at the ultimate depth of our being.”- Lewis B. Smedes.
And of course:

“Grace: it’s the name for a girl. It’s also a thought that [can] change the world” – U2, from their sloooow song Grace.

P.S: Actually I understand “grace” better when it’s an experience, rather than a definition. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any experiences at the moment :- (
Anyhow, "may the grace be with you."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sycophant Business Can Be Slow

“Ita zata shiga Aljanna, amma ke ki fadi cikin wuta! Ga kayan ki baki kamar zuciyar ki!”
“She will get into heaven, but you! Fall into hellfire! See your dress, as black as your heart!”

At most Northern weddings, you meet different kinds of people- a large crowd of old friends, colourful dancers, happy Bride’s maids, gaily-dressed Groom’s men, and, depending on the social class involved, sycophants.
From the moment the wedding service is over, they start singing loudly and beating their hand drums to VIPs.

“Ranka dade!/Live long!
“Everybody knows you; knows your good deeds!
You have the masses at heart!
Kai, may you live long…”

As long as you don’t put your hand into your crisp new garĂ© (designed brocade) and bring out some cash, they will only sing louder. They don’t mind overshadowing the MC or the music playing. When you still refuse to ‘shake body’, they’ll stop and speak:
“After all our work, you are supposed to give us something. In all this heat fa! See how we are sweating.”

When the notables still ignore them, they add: “Toh we are not going if you don’t give us something. We even had to get high before we could do this. Haba, pity us!”
At this point, some people give them something, because they are causing a scene. As soon as that group goes off, another group comes. Country is very hard.

It was when one of such men continued harassing a notable’s wife, that the woman seated next to her said (not harshly), “Go now. Can’t you see you are disturbing her?” And he blasted her, saying her heart was as black as her suit. That the woman he was even asking was not complaining. She just looked past him and never replied. He kept coming back and showering black looks and new abuses on her. Of course, he never got anything from either of them.
Syco. business (and other more dangerous businesses) will continue being a nuisance as long as our money doesn’t get distributed fairly.

In unrelated news…

How to Manage Motion Sickness
I’ve tried eating well before traveling; I’ve tried not eating at all; I’ve tried taking liquids only, but I still get very car sick when the road is bad. I recently discovered that I get slightly air sick too. Baba tried to console me by saying I don’t have “baboon stomach” like the rest of them who don’t experience this (as per, baboons can swing from tree to tree without feeling sick). Harhar! Didn’t know you had a baboon belly did ya ;-) ;-)
At any rate, my “refined” stomach and I decided to look into the matter:
1. Motion sickness cannot be cured.
2. You can only limit its occurrence by employing some of these coping strategies-
a. Look straight ahead rather than at side windows
b. Get a lot fresh air
c. No reading, as “the movement your eyes detect can conflict with the movement your body is detecting, and result in motion sickness”
d. Take peppermints and ginger tea
e. Apply pressure to your upper wrist (acupressure treatment)

I have tried a – c without success, so I hope the last two will help. I got this info from http://www.googobits.com/articles/p2-2939-motion-sickness--understanding-coping-and-ten-ways-to-seek-relief.html

Tagg

Hellow! I’ve been tagged by Spesh and NaijaGirl –thanks!- and here it is:The rules;*use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions.*they have to be real....nothing made up! if the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers.*you cannot use any word twice and you cant use your name for the boy/girl question.*dont google youranswers.*make it as interesting and fun as you can.
1. What is your name: Cider
2. A four letter word: Cozy
3. A boy's name: Chidozie (one of d guys I admired in Sec. School :- ))
4. A girl's name: Chinyelu (she made my day recently)
5. An occupation: Cook & Cleaner(limited to my home sha)
6. A color: Cream
7. Something you'll wear: Clear lipgloss
8. A food: Coated yam
9. Something found in the bathroom: Conditioner.
10. A place: “Crazy Place” (in my head, for >5 minutes everyday)
11. A reason for being late: Cooking disaster.
12. Something you'd shout: Chai!!
13. A movie title: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Johnny Depp
14. Something you'd drink:Chocolate-flavoured Viju Milk
15. A musical group: Coldplay
16. An animal: Cangaroo... jk… Cat
17. A street name: Challenge Street.
18. A type of car: Civic
19. The title of a song: Consume Me; dc Talk

This was a nice exercise! Nos 15 and 18 were hard, bcuz I don’t know much about cars (I nearly made one up: Chybrid for China Hybrid- they’re certainly innovative enuf)

I pass the luv to: Saved Girl, Walkwater, IceQueen, Cappuccine Baby and Adaeze.
Cheers!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Did you know that 'Easter' means new dawn/beginning? It also marks the passover festival for Hebrews (Pesach). Most importantly, it is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. As I've neglected my spiritual life for a while now, this is a good time to start over. Thank God for His grace. Meanwhile here's word from Max Lucado. I'll be traveling to my hometown tomoro, so have a Good Friday and Easter in advance.

"God's greatest blessings often come costumed as disasters. Any doubters need to do nothing more than ascend the hill of Calvary. Jerusalem's collective opinion that Friday was this: Jesus is finished.

Such was the view of the disciples, the opinion of the friends, and the outlook of the enemies.The Master who sits behind the wheel thinks differently. God is not surprised. His plan is right on schedule. Even in--especially in--death, Christ is still the king, the king over his own crucifixion.Can't he do the same for you? Can't he turn your Friday into a Sunday?Some of you doubt it. How can God use cancer or death or divorce (or recession)? Simple.

He's smarter than we are. He is to you what I was to four-year-old Amy. I met her at a bookstore. She asked me if I would sign her children's book. When I asked her name, she watched as I began to write, "To Amy ..."She stopped me right there. With wide eyes and open mouth, she asked, "How did you know how to spell my name?"

She was awed. You aren't. You know the difference between the knowledge of a child and an adult. Can you imagine the difference between the wisdom of a human and the wisdom of God? What is impossible to us is like spelling "Amy" to him. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:9).
-Max Lucado, Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread



Monday, April 6, 2009

War Against Biting Hunger

A bill is about to be approved by the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly regarding the sorry state of the Nigerian economy.

The Senate has decided to call it “A Bill For An Act To Provide For Responsibility By The Federal Government To Directly Intervene In Matters of Production, Provision, Importation, Supply, Sale and Equitable Distribution, Trade And Commerce In Certain Categories Of Goods Deemed Essential Commodities To Render Them Accessible And Affordable To Nigerians And For Matters Connected Thereto.”

Cramming and citing this long name may pose a problem to the hungry man that the bill is targeted towards, so feel free to call it ‘The Bread and Butter Bill’, or BBB when you are really hungry.

-fapped from The Saturday Sun

Friday, April 3, 2009

Traveling Light

By Max Lucado

I fell asleep in the Louvre.
The most famous museum in the world. The best-known building in Paris. Tourists are oohing and aahing, and that's me, nodding and snoring. Seated on a bench. Back to the wall. Chin to my chest. Conked out.

The crown jewels are down the hall. Rembrandt is on the wall. Van Gogh is one floor up. The Venus de Milo is one floor down. I should have been star struck and wide eyed.
Denalyn was. You'd have thought she was at Foley's Red Apple sale. If there was a tour, she took it. If there was a button to push, she pushed it. If there was a brochure to read, she read it. She didn't even want to stop to eat.

But me? I gave the Mona Lisa five minutes.
Shameful, I know.

But it wasn't my fault. I like seventeenth-century art as much as the next guy … well, maybe not that much. But at least I can usually stay awake.
But not that day. Why did I fall asleep at the Louvre?

Blame it on the bags, baby; blame it on the bags. I was worn out from lugging the family luggage. We checked more suitcases than the road show of the Phantom of the Opera.

I can't fault my wife and daughters. They learned it from me. Remember, I'm the one who travels prepared for an underwater wedding and a bowling tournament. It's bad enough for one person to travel like that, but five? It'll wear you out.

You think I'll ever learn to travel light?

I tell you what. Let's make a pact. I'll reduce the leather bags, and we'll both reduce the emotional ones. After all, it's one thing to sleep through the Louvre but quite another to sleep through life.

We can, you know. Do we not dwell in the gallery of our God? Isn't the sky his canvas and humanity his magnum opus? Are we not encircled by artistry? Sunsets burning. Waves billowing.

And isn't the soul his studio? The birthing of love, the bequeathing of grace. All around us miracles pop like fireflies. Souls are touched, hearts are changed, and…

Yawn. We miss it. We sleep through it. We can't help it. It's hard work carrying yesterday's guilt around.

It's also enough to make you miss the magic of life.Then let's get rid of the bags! Once and for all, let's give our luggage to him. Let's take him at his word! "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28 NLT).

From Traveling LightCopyright (W Publishing Group, 2004) Max Lucado

Cider Schemes

It is not good enough of me to associate going to my hometown (Mubi) with torture, but I do. It’s supposed to be five or so hours from here, but because of the horrible road, it is nine plus hours. There was a way someone described that stretch of road- that it has been lifted up and thrown aside, dragged off in chunks, twisted, squeezed… - I cannot remember how she said it. Last December I threw up violently four times, and all they said was sorry. I wish they added ‘next time you don’t have to come’.

It’s not just the journey that makes me miserable. When we finally get there, there will be so many people… so many things to do… unending kitchen work as troops of empty stomachs come and go… no one to rant to (all my sisters are married now)… weeks of gathered positive mental attitude will be decimated in the face of great resentment… my face will grow long and they will say I should smile because I look ugly when I bone, which will make me bone more, which will vex them more… and so on. It is bad enough that we must go every new yr, but now for Easter/weddings. That’s not fair.
But when Sgt. Baba says ‘yes’ nobody can say ‘no’.
Unless… I fall sick a few days before… he is a reasonable man, so that should save me. Now, I just need to conduct myself well/not behave suspicious. Then two days to go... bam!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Series of Curious Events

I invite you to take a trip with me down Blog Lane, C.Sweet Street (I fapped this idea from Ladi):

A young lady gets into a car with an elderly man, but six seconds later she jumps out, looking very mortified. Why? (It’s more comical than naughty)
http://cidersweet.blogspot.com/2007/06/can-i-help-you.html


Do you think this man is really mad, or is he just one of the many victims of our terrible economic condition?
http://cidersweet.blogspot.com/2007/05/mr-peter.html


They say “Once bitten, twice shy” but this girl is clearly not getting shy about this issue. Perhaps she has been bitten by something else?
http://cidersweet.blogspot.com/2008/02/body-betrayal.html

In the heat of an argument, fine English words are forgotten in A Lecturer’s Dilemma.
http://cidersweet.blogspot.com/2007/06/lecturers-arena.html




P.S: Blogging is becoming quite addictive. Should I be worried?

NO I shouldn’t:- It’s one of my best ways of getting perspective on a whole range of issues. Reading blogs is very enlightening, amusing, thought-provoking... My vocabulary has improved too.
YES I should:- It doesn’t leave me much time to do less interesting but essential things.
Sha sha...

Hey, don’t forget to tune in to the G-20 Summit proceedings. Being informed is the first step toward progress. Cheers!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Escape V














Escape velocity was one of the few Physics theories I was able to understand in Sec. School, and I like it more as I read The 8th Habit (this book is too much) by Stephen R. Covey (this man is too much):

Q: I find it’s almost impossible for me to change my habits. Is this realistic? Am I unique?

A: You are not alone. Let me explain why.
Where do you think the most power and energy is expended on [a] journey into space? Going a quarter of a million miles to the moon? Returning to earth? Orbiting the moon? Separating and redocking the lunar and command modules? Lifting off the moon?

No, not any of these. Not even in all of these together. It was lifting off from Earth. More energy was spent in the first few minutes of liftoff from Earth-in the first few miles of travel-than was used in half a million miles for several days.

The gravity pull of those first few miles was enormous. It took an internal thrust greater than both the pull of gravity and atmosphere resistance to finally break out into orbit. But once they did break out, it took almost no power to do all those other things. In fact, when one of the astronauts was asked how much power was expended when the lunar module separated from the command module to go down and survey the moon, he answered, “Less than the breath of a baby.”

This lunar voyage provides a powerful metaphor for describing what it takes to break out of old habits and create new ones… If you will simply start down the pathway of Finding Your Voice and Inspiring Others to Find Theirs and stick with it, you will develop the power of this new habit to grow and change in today’s world of tremendous challenge, complexity and opportunity.

Fire Fox - A True Story


It all began when he met her.
He was handsome; she was beautiful. He liked what he saw; she liked what she heard. It had nothing to do with the foxes.

Mama and Baba were uncomfortable with his attraction to her. Weren’t there other burrful young women in town he could choose from? He shook his head, no. His intense eyes were for the Timnite girl only; she was diamond among graphite. In ba ita ba, sai rijiya.

His parents acquiesced, and they did the required introductions and got married. Seven days later, however, he stormed out of Timnah, leaving his Amarya behind after being tricked by some of her malicious people. What kind of woman would agree to deceive her new husband? Several weeks passed, but it was not like he had abandoned her for good. He just needed to clear his mind, resolve his anger, arrange himself, that kind of thing.

Only… her father didn’t know that. So he said.
“EH??!!! See, I KNOW you didn’t just say you GAVE. MY. WIFE. AWAY. to my BESTMAN! Ha!” he raved. “That’s just impossible. Error!”

But his (now ex-)Father-in-law didn’t reveal any hidden Candid Camera. He merely gestured as he said “I thought you didn’t love her anymore.” Done was done. Say bye bye to denial. The sooner the better, please.

And that’s when the foxes made their dramatic appearance.
“Now I will treat you people’s nonsense,” Samson raged, and treat it he did. The powerful man tied firebrands to 150 pairs of foxes he’d caught, “and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.” (Judges 15: 5).

As you can see, it had nothing to do with the foxes.

NOW…
If I was supposed to have had a choice in my life’s destiny, God would have sought my consent about the race, country, century, family, or blood type I would prefer to have. He would have involved me in the planning of my life. He would have waited for my go-ahead. It would have been a partners’ affair- God & Sati Unlimited.
But it’s not. Why? Because it has never been about me.

I’ve heard it so many times: “it’s not about you; it’s all about Him,” but it became sharper when a Man of God in Zamfara linked it to this Samson and Philistine event.
There was beef between Samson and the Philistines before the foxes came onto the scene. Likewise, the battle between God and Satan has been raging since the time ‘before-before’; before we had come into the picture (Ezekiel 28: 12 – 19). Satan did not only rebel against God, but he is also currently stealing and destroying what God values so much- His children. (Samson’s plight pales in comparison sha).
As at today, the Battle is almost over, and of course we already know who the Victor is. Right now He’s tying firebrands to as many ‘foxes’ that are willing; equipping His End-Time Army, to set peoples’ hearts on fire for Him.

I am one of His Fire Foxes(Trainee FireFox, to be honest), and I pray that you’ll aspire to be one too. In word and deed. Signed and sealed.

Thank you, Gideon Ekele, for being a ‘Fox’ that set us on fire to set others on fire.
The End-Time Army is growing, and maybe a couple of us will make a series on this and call it The 144,000 ;- ) ;- )

(Shey you get: The 4400 … which, come to think of it, is not so hilarious, esp. as it's a totally reverse message. Hmmm)

144,000 represents the very large number of people who will dwell in God’s Presence, having been saved by His Son Jesus Christ. Revelations 14.