Okay, I had to say that upfront before I go into my angry Nigerian politics rant. How can?!? I mean how can?!?! seriously..........where did Yaradua come from? His brother is dead abeg let him enter his grave properly jare. what nonsense. I was one of the "Dukists" as it has now been coined. I truly believed in this man. He had vision, he was educated, he had exposure and most importantly of all, he had the one quality ALL nigerian politicians lack.....a sense of service to the nigerian country and nigerian people. This spirit is what I liked the most about Donald Duke. I think it's important for a new generation to experience what it's like to have a leader that believed, a leader that wants to serve. I can't explain in words how sad I am that we've all been robbed of this opportunity. There's a new generation of us who actually dared to dream and believe in this new election coming up. We wanted a new Nigeria and for once in a very very very long time, it really was remotely possible. Yes, very remotely but there was still that small chance. For me to even see the billboards for Donald Duke everywhere, to witness that was like a whiff of change. And that has been snatched from us.
"Our Fathers Have Failed Us" - so the PDP "primaries" rolled on and Yaradua's name is endorsed by the party, by the Governor's committee of sorts, signed, sealed and delivered. I'm not sure which i'm more angry at. This idiotic play of things or the evidence that this country is as far from "Democracy" as one can ever be. Nothing works. Everything is broken down. And the men up there could give a damn less. There has been fuel scarcity for the last week and the government and media have both ignored this. No reason has been asked for and no reason has been duly provided. This for a country who is the sixth largest oil producer in the world. Shame. Shameful. It's time people realized our fathers have failed us.
Ok,so unto other things that's been happening. Let's see.......there's a man who works for a service provider that I think is having an issue understanding that he has to deal with me, a young, female. He's about to get it from me I swear......
There's a man that I met through the weirdest means and we've been "communicating" and i'm finding myself a bit excited by it. I haven't been that in a long time so we'll see where that goes but I won't spill the beans just yet.....
Lastly but not least..............YAY!!! I was nominated for Professional of the Year by The Future Nigeria Awards. I'm so honored to be nominated amongst all these young people that are truly fantastic and working hard to make a way for themselves. Thanks to cool chick Bella Naija for shouting me out on her page!!!!! Stay tuned here to see if I win. My homegirl Ms.Minx is also nominated in the "On-Air Personality of the Year" category alongside Wildchild, Kemistry, Ronke Apampa, Denrele Edun, Kemi Adetiba, Gbemi of Cool FM, and some others! Very proud of her.....
What did you do last night?: Nothing much, friday night reality show night on MNET...seeing my special eppy of I Want to Be a Hilton was all worth it! (I don't know about no frikis.........LOL, still funny!!!) Oh and seeing Vanessa win Survivor South Africa made me eye water a lil bit, just a lil
The last thing you downloaded onto your computer?: I wish my comp could connect to the internet but I refuse to pay $100/month for service, ain't happening.
Have you ever licked a 9 volt battery?: Ehr.......no?!?! why?!?
Last time you swam in a pool?: High School when I thought i was drowning...
What are you wearing?: Black Skirt and Banana Republic top plus a white lab coat...don't ask..
How many cars have you owned?: In my dreams?!?!.....
Type of music you dislike most?: Heavy metal music
Are you registered to vote?: By the end of next week I promise...Donald Duke for 2007!!!
Do you have cable?: Dstv/Mnet
What kind of computer do you use?: Always a HP
Ever made a prank phone call?:LOL.......of course. With that robotic voice that'll call any number in US & Canada and spurt whatever you type online. I used to type freakish rants with cuss words per second and call random folks with it....lol!
You like anyone right now?: hmmm....that guy from Silverbird Entertainment I think...
Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?: Probably sky diving one of these days.
Furthest place you ever traveled?: Toronto to Boston.......on GREYHOUND!!! took 18 hours man...can't forget that day.
What's your favorite comic strip?: XMen
Do u know all the words to the national anthem?: Naija, Canada, American, South African, i think there's an African American one too that's hiding somewhere in my brain.
Shower, morning or night?: Morning of course...but these days with the dust and harmattan, you gotta do nights too.
Best movie you've seen in the past month?: As sad as it seems I haven't seen many movies lately.....maybe Devil Wears Prada?!?!
Favorite pizza toppings?: Green Peppers, Mushrooms, and Extra Cheese...hmmmm I'm sure Afia get's this!
Chips or popcorn?: Probably popcorn
What cell phone provider do you have?: MTN Nigeria
Have you ever smoked peanut shells?: Ehr...........?!?!
Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?: Ehr.......no
Orange Juice or apple?: Orange and Pineapple is the shit y'all
Who were the last people you sat at lunch with?: Sochi
Favorite chocolate bar?: Kit Kat (although I should probably be saying Dairy Milk?)
Who is your longest friend and how long?: just posted about this.....probably Sola in strict year terms but i'm not too close with her so I'll say Afia
Last time you ate a homegrown tomato?: don't know man...probably back in like 1990.
Have you ever won a trophy?: I'm sure I have but I can't remember.
Favorite arcade game?: Oh gosh i cant remember.
Ever ordered from an infomercial?: Nope
Sprite or 7-UP?: 7-up, I hate the Coca Cola company...
Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work?: Yes in Nigeria and at work on mondays we have to wear this red shirt that's provided, it's compulsory so some people call it uniforms....
Last thing you bought at Walgreens?: My passport photo
Ever thrown up in public?: I'm not really the throw up type
Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love?: Money...love is great but it don't pay the bills....unless it's love with a rich dude?!?!
Do you believe in love at first sight?: hmm, maybe. the first day I met who turned out to be the great love of my life, i was very very attracted...was it love? i don't know
SPONGEBOB OR JIMMY NEUTRON?: SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
Did you have long hair as a young kid?: lol......no
What message is on your voicemail machine?: voicemail? in naija? who wan waste credit for that kin tin?
Where would you like to go right now?: St. Tropez
What’s the name of your pet?: Used to have a cat, Lulu. Her nickname was Chiquita. or u could call her Lulu Chiquita.
What kind of back pack do you have, and what's in it?: Dont own a back pack
What do you think about most?: God, Death, Success, Money, Friends, Family, Boys :o)
Funny thing happened today...I went to the local cybercafe cuz i couldn't leave the house for too long (i'm at work now but anyway..)so I get there and the guy there starts flirting in that stupid annoying way that all naija guys think they can so i'm irritated already. I sit down and he's like "you need to switch computers that one is for our stubborn customers..." i'm like ok, wharreva, is this one faster? he says yes. So I sit and log on and wait and wait and wait for like 10min for a page to open. At this point i'm exasperated and i'm like "is this the one you say is fast?" dude acts all stupid and says yes why? "Umm, i've been waiting for 10min for ONE page to load".....he now looks at me in the most annoying annoying way with that stupid dumb accent people try to return at me when I speak, he says "oh wow, you've been looking for a page? waiting for a page? that's something, looking for a page..." He then gets up to move unwantedly very very close to me and starts pressing F8 on the key pad. I just log out, grab my bag, get up and leave.
I mean what the F? can u fix the dumb computer u idiot dirty, local, playboy wannabe...jeez!
First, something's been bugging me lately that i must blog about. It's that i've noticed that some people are so fake. Their relationships are largely periphereal, conditional type of friendships/relationships. As in, "ore asiko" (friend of the moment). When their moons change or their tides change, they quickly shed their skin and are on to the next thing. Some people tend to mistake that for being a "lean, mean" sort of go-getter. They misinterpret it as being focused but in reality it's more like tunnel vision and it's not a positive thing. I can't fathom living life like that. Me, i value the relationships in my life. If i don't like you as a person then I just ain't gonna bother with you but if I do then i'm a "ride or die chick", i'm with ya till the end. I'm a loyal friend and it just sucks that not everyone you meet is like that.
Which brings me to the second point, Friendships. Like I said anyone that knows me knows that i extremely value the friends in my life. They are absolutely my support system. People that love me and accept me for who I am, they know me and know that "the chick is a lil crazy" but it's alright u know. Let me shout out a few of them:
Afia - or 'Fifi or 'Fia. Afia is pretty much my longest running friend. I guess about six years now (i have friends for longer but we're not as tight as perhaps we were before so it's not the same). 'fia is a special babe on her own. She looks so small and timid but let no man be fooled, she packs a punch!!! I'm always amazed that guys always single her out and become very smitten with her very quickly cuz they think she's shy..........that girl is FREAKY y'all lol, lol. (Sorry Fia :o) ) One of the many cool things about Afia is that she's not judgemental and you can just call her and talk about ANYTHING. Nothing shocks this babe and she'll give you an objective point of view. She's also good at reminding you that "please, girl u can't do that ish....you broke!!!" yeah yeah yeah.
Enite - Enite is a party hard kinda girl. That's why there are many people out there who wouldn't believe that she's a more serious minded person than me! Her play time and her work time are very well delineated, she's a work hard, play hard sorta babe. Enite can be at the bar downing body shots of Vodka (i said body shots o!) but next morning she'd be very sad cuz one of her old patients is not feeling well or something. And she's a nurse! And a very hardworking and dedicated one too. She'll tell you the real too and is someone you can trust not to go gossiping cuz she really can't be bothered. Good peeps.
And then there's Dipo, Nicholas, Tayo et al. I would write blurbs on all of them but i just realized i'm tired so guess not...a simple shout out will do, sorry guys!
Thirdly, I've realized lately that i'm very proud of myself o! Very very proud of myself. A lot of people always ask me how I got my job, who do i know. And i'm like, no one. I did it on my own. Or who is the someone special that persuaded me to come to nigeria and i'm like, no one. I just did it. And there are many people that think and even convinced that the "big boss" and I have some sort of link, that's why he's shown confidence in me and i have to respond again. No. Nothing. It's my hard work and dedication and belief that nothing's impossible and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I really believe that. I've had so much opportunity come to me in the last year, that i have to wake up in the mornings and just give thanks to God. When I look at what i'm coming from, in the reality, and look at where things are now and how bright the future is, it's nothing short of amazing. Black Enterprise magazine used to have a feature on the top 100 businesswomen in America and everytime that issue came out, I used to read and read and reread every single profile. I even cut out the covers one time and pasted it in this book I had of what I wanted to acheive in my life. I remember that book and i'm happy cuz somehow, I can really see it. The path has actually cleared and it's not that far.
Finally, if one more ex of mine get married to the next girl they dated after me, I'm gonna SCREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!
Everyone was downstairs, gathered around the t.v mindlessly watching whatever 20/20 was feeding the nation. I walked upstairs. My dad was lying on the bed and the room was dark, as usual. It's like the further his health slipped, the farther hope was, the darker he wanted to keep his surroundings. So I entered, turned on the light and lay next to my father. He said "so u think we should do the Germany treatment." we had been discussing treatment options for the last two weeks. The family was divided. We all knew anything from now on would be palliative so the issue at hand wasn't how do we cure this but how do we keep him alive the longest. A doctor in Atlanta promised 6 more months with his immunotherapy which focuses on strengthening the immune system to battle the invasive effects of cancer. This treatment was costly. The other option was an Ukrain Therapy with a German doctor in ulm, germany. Ukrain was a new cancer treatment gaining momentum around the world but illegal in the United States mainly because of the pharmaceutical companies not being able to trademark it and making money off of it. Still, ukrain has been documented to prolong life for 11months. This treatment was extra costly. My mother and sister felt Atlanta is cheaper and more accesible to us, we'd be able to be with my dad the whole way while germany is largely a huge risk, costlier, and would take my dad away from the family for 3weeks. Time which really was running out. However as a researcher I read the graphs and the statistics and if Ukrain could keep my dad alive for 11 more months, then that is the way to go. My dad agreed with me so we were now just in a battle to convince the rest of the family. We talk treatment options. Just he and I in darkly lit room upstairs, on his bed. Then my dad bursts into tears. Starts crying in a very hopeless way. He said to me, "I don't want to die Lola, I don't want to die. I want to see you kids grow up, I want to see you get married and I want to see my grandkids. I don't want to die." I think at that moment we both knew that no matter how much he wished it, no matter what treatment, the reality is, he IS going to die and he IS dying. I want to cry too but I know that all my dad has left is hope. So I turn to him and tell him how proud I am of him. How proud I am of the way he is handling this whole thing, that I don't know anyone else who would be dealing with this with the same dignity and strength that he has been. I tell him that this is a hard thing for anyone to go through. how would anyone else react when their doctor says to them, you have at the most, 6wks left to live? I tell him at that very moment I respect and admire and love him not just as a dad but as a human being. I said he's alright. He stops crying and holds my hand. He always held my hand, and we just lay there, counting the moments. I knew that was going to be the most poignant point of my life.
I remember when I was young, my dadwas everything a little girl dreams of. To me he was strong, handsome, funny. He loved me and protected me. A smart, intelligent businessman who travelled the entire span of the world. I never got along much with my mother but my dad and I from day ONE were buddies...I remember being maybe 5/6 and we'd have guests and i'd still run into his arms and just sit there. whenever he was away on business and got back, I would run into his room and as he put his luggage away I would rat on every single person in the household and tell him everything everyone had been doing . I was his little secretary too when i was like 10. I'd help balance his checkbook, call his suppliers and tell them to "hold for your caller"..... he was a giant to me, a superman. From much younger he told me anything a man can do a woman can do so don't let anyone tell u because you are a woman blah blah blah. When I was older he said stay true to yourself and never let a man railroad you. The very first laptop I owned my dad had gift wrapped and sent it
to me in college for Valentine's Day. Always encouraged, always held my hand, there were times it felt like it was he and I against the world. The strongest man I knew and I had to stand and watch as literally he shriveled up and disappeared right in front of my eyes. I had a conversation once with my mother yesterday and she told me the day before my father died, he called her and said to her that for him, she has to really really take care of me and guide me, and support me. Even as he lay dying, he did think of me. At the morgue, I held his hand and even though it was cold, it felt familiar and it felt comforting and I just knew everything would be ok. And it is.
It's so weird when you have a parent die. Especially if you tie so much of your identity to that person. You lose that aspect of your life forever and are left wondering if all those aspects of your identity still exists if the person whom they stemmed from is dead. There's no day I don't think of my dad. None. Especially with me being in Nigeria. My Dad would have been soooo ecstatic to see it happen. He would have been OVER the moon. We always dreamt it together and when it came time for me to actually make that big step, he wasn't even around to see it. To be proud of it. Sometimes I forget that he's no longer here and want to rush to the phone to call him and gist about some of my experiences here. I can imagine we would have stayed on the phone for hours :o)! Or sometimes I think of some of those few last moments when even as it happened I knew I was going to cherish the moment forever. One of such moments was during Howard Dean's democratic "crazy rant"...........we were talking about it and my dad was like how crazy is that?!?!?! and he proceeded to re-enact the whole thing................."from here it's to Vermont, to OHIO, TO BOSTON, AND RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"................lol, all crazy like. lol, lol. Or when we finally convinced him to take the codeine pills he soooo refused to take, and he took it and within minutes just jumped up, and started joking around like his normal self. And my sis and I were joking that he's a druggie, he's high....................... :o) Man, if I were to write about my dad, my journey with him in this life, our journey with cancer et. al. it would take forever. But it will all sum up to this:
I love my Dad.
I miss my Dad.
Perhaps one of these day's i'll do a post on Eko Tourist Beach, which is like, my favorite place in Lagos I think. It's so beautiful there. If per chance.....very slim, very very slim one..........i get proposed to in Nigeria, it has to be there. It's just lovely. Ah well......long day, gotta head home now. thinking about buying diesel for the gen and paying cable bills.............arghhhh..........!
Never has the opiatic, under-developing effect of religion in Nigeria been so clear to me as it was last night, watching NTA. There will be no major change in the way aviation is run here, so long as the crash is classified as an Act of God, and our response to it conditioned to be one of prayer. Religion Nigerian-style numbs every sinew of the body, freezes the brain, and erodes any possibility of rational response, and above all, transformative action. It is, at present, a malign force – a force which does not transform, which does not heal. It is, as Soul says, the most vicious colonial effect
Why is this country so.........so.....so....stupid?!?! I mean seriously. I was reading the above blog and the thing just hit me like a bus. I am one person that didn't really bother too much about the plane crash. Not because i don't feel for the ones that lost their lives, but i'm just tired of everything going wrong with the infrastructure and nothing being done about it. I guess i've just been resigned and complacent, and i guess that's just not good enough. I mean someone, somewhere's just gotta start fighting for the right things to be done at the right time. I don't know, this bug's just been awakening itself in me lately. I went to one of these dinners that i usually go to and someone said something quite interesting to me, she said "what's scary about nigeria is not that many people (qualified or not) want to run for president but that there's NO ONE that wants to run for the local council chairman. what's happening down there?!?!" Now that's a very scary thought with sooo many repercusions. For one, does it mean that people are just "placing their friends" in these positions? Does it mean that no one cares about the ordinary people? Or does it mean our top politicians are really unqualified and unproven? ALL very grim options my people. I have a friend who's running for House of Reps. Very young guy, maybe about 27. He has inspired me really. I think many other young people should start thinking about it. Start at the bottom level.
Now on to this airplane crash. This get's me so angry now. NOTHING is going to get done about this you know. We'll all gnash our teeth, and read newspapers voraciously in pity, but outside of that. NOTHING. Which kind of country is this were people won't lift a finger to even better their own selves. And we are all guilty.
whooo........ok. i'm good now. second thing. there are very specific moments where I just love my job. I've only been working for a few months but i've gotten to meet and interact with a few peeps. Relatively cool peeps anyway. Mrs. Remi Tinubu, First Lady of Lagos for one, quite unexpectedly, inspired me, i first met her a few months ago and she threw me with how much poise she has. Job is cool people, job is cool.
Ok to da main event....(drumroll please - for me sista abeg just do it!)..............
ok, it's a bit dark but i'll try and lighten it up and repost tomorrow.....but yup, i was at the King Sunny Ade birthday dinner yesterday. I was very excited and it was beyond my dreams. I didn't realize how much I myself loved KSA until he was right there in front of me. And you start thinking, "man, this man wrote and sang all those lovely songs....man, this man is GENIUS, and he's nigerian..." it was amazing. I felt really really proud to be a Nigerian then. The event was organized by Special Events which is owned and operated by this young girl, maybe about 26/27 and she did really well for herself. It was attended by the First Lady of Lagos State Remi Tinubu (have i said how much i love this lady?!?!?), the Oba of Lagos and a few other Obas, Florence Ita Giwa, Jimoh Ibrahim, Dr. Kuku, and i'm sure a few other big girls and boys that for the life of me I wouldn't know about. When Jimoh Ibrahim came in and there was a huge rush of people, I was so clueless!!! Man..........these guys must really wonder where the hell I dropped from. For those who don't know, Jimoh Ibrahim owns Eko Hotel, Nicon Airways and some other things I can't remember right now.
Anyhoo...........I sha felt blessed to be there, just hope none of my pics end up in City People...(that's my fervent hope and prayer these days!)
I'm so saddened to write about the death of South African super sensation Lebo Mathosa who died in a car crash early Monday morning. She was only 29. Lebo had been performing most of her life and was part of the hugely successful South African group Boom Shaka. She released her first solo cd entitled "Dreams" in 2000, which went on to win her three South African music awards. She released her second solo album in 2004 entitled "Drama Queen". Lebo was asked to perform at Nelson Mandela's 85th birthday at which she was then handpicked to be the top act at the launching of MTV Africa. She's one of the most versatile and energetic singers in the African music scene and she was also an actress, appearing on several hit TV shows such as Backstage, Muvhango, and Generations (my favorite!).
Lebo was my absolute favorite African artist. She had so much presence and so much energy you couldn't help but be mesmerized by her and her voice was sooo big. To me, she symbolized a new African woman. In charge, and unafraid. She also reminded me of Brenda Fassie, the great singer who died a few years ago. But everyone saw that familiarity and always asked her about it. In an interview when asked about how she feels on taking over Fassie's throne, Lebo said that there's no way that could happen since Fassie is a legend and no matter what she does she will always be following the footsteps of the great singer. Somehow I liked that response. It sounded quite humble for this woman who is also fastly becoming a legend herself. And then on MTV base, i also heard her speak and she sounded so soft and her love for music and Africa just shone through so brightly. Immediately I identified with this woman. One of her songs, really has been a mantra for me from the moment I heard it, "Brand New Day". Seriously, everyday I get up, that song is always playing in my head and i just get that jolt of energy to get up and appreciate another day.
I'm so so saddened by this woman's death, i don't know, maybe because in so short a while somehow, her life touched me. And then i've just been thinking about death lately. How it grips us without our consent and some so young in their lives. It's very sad. My neighbour Tola Okoya-Thomas recently passed on from breast cancer and that death affected me so much. She was only 28 and she was so beautiful. She had just given birth to twins just two weeks before she died. I mean why are all these young ones dying so............young? what time is there in 28 years?!?! Life truly is short and we've got to live every single moment. I was also reading someone's blog where they were so saddened by the loss of a dear one, another blogger and that really saddened me as well. Young lives, young lives....... I always say one thing though, people, let's always be careful about the words that come out of our mouths. My mom always used to say you never know which kinds of spirits are passing by and will take your words up. Always be positive, talk positively about life, be full of energy and hope for the next day.
I'll leave with this quote from dear Lebo Mathosa when asked to comment after Brenda Fassie's death, she said "You can't deny death, you can't fear it. I'm sure God has a better place for us, if you're a believer". If you are a believer.
1. Lingerie Specialist - Plus Size Store (yup, proud of this one!)
2. Market Research/Focus Group Interviewer
3. Bingo Attendant (I called out the numbers of the card when someone yelled BINGO!)
4. Customer Service Rep - Insurance
FOUR FICTIONAL JOBS YOU WISH YOU HAD
1. Storm from Xmen
2. MTV VJ
3. Beyonce's job (wharreva it is!)
4. First Lady of Nigeria (yes, and i'm a feminist, u got something to say?!?!)
FOUR MOVIES YOU COULD WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN
1. The Preacher's Wife
2. Shrek 2
3. Best Man
4. Kill Bill 2
FOUR CITIES YOU'VE LIVED IN
1. Lagos, Nigeria
2. Toronto, Canada
3. Ottawa, Canada
4. Boston, Massachusetts
FOUR TV SHOWS YOU LOVE TO WATCH
1. Greys Anatomy
2. Survivor South Africa
3. Gilmore Girls - can't help it, i love Logan
4. Sopranos (i've recently fallen back in love with this show!)
FOUR PLACES YOU'VE BEEN ON VACATION/TRAVELED TO
1. New York, USA
2. London, England
3. Abuja, Nigeria
4. Littleton, Colorado, USA
FOUR WEBSITES YOU VISIT DAILY
4. www.google.com / www.gmail.com
FOUR OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS
1. Tofu Stir-fry with Wheat Pasta (i really really like it, i swear!)
2. Spicy Salmon Sushi (again, anyone loves me wants to take me to Bonzai?!?!)
3. Eggs - anyhow
4. Chilli Prawns
FOUR THINGS YOU WON'T EAT
1. Red Meat
4. "Bush Meat" - whadda hell?!?!
FOUR THINGS YOU WISH YOU COULD EAT OR DRINK RIGHT NOW
1. Pad Thai
2. Veggie Lasagna
3. Chicken Shawarma from Mango's
4. Greek Salad from Cosi
FOUR THINGS IN YOUR BEDROOM
1. My bed
3. My magazines
4. My ankaras - yay!!!!!!!!!!
FOUR THINGS YOU WISH YOU HAD IN YOUR BEDROOM
1. Walk-in closet
2. Someone to clean it
FOUR THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW
1. Black pants
2. Black bead bracelet
3. Peach Blouse
4. Livestrong band - yup, it ain't about fashion for moi!
FOUR PLACES I'D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW
1. Seychelles Island
2. London, visiting with my cousin's baby!
3. Budapest (i don't know, almost visited there once and since it's been on the list of places to go)
4. St. Tropez
FOUR FICTIONAL PLACES I'D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW
1. On Cloud 9
2. Visit that city where Gilmore Girls live...
3. Somewhere over the rainbow
4. Tony Soprano's house
FOUR PEOPLE YOU’D REALLY LOVE TO HAVE DINNER WITH
1. John Legend
3. Kanye West
4. Bill Clinton
FOUR THINGS YOU ARE THINKING RIGHT NOW
1. Hillary Clinton would be snooty
2. I'm gonna have to work at some point today....i'm so lazy right now
3. Can the lady behind me read what i'm writing?
4. I don't know how to clear the damn items....(don't ask!)
FOUR OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS
1. My family
2. VI/Lekki Phase I (let's not say Lagos!)
3. My new ankara dress
4. "Upgrade You" - Beyonce (i'm loooooooving this song!)
FOUR PEOPLE YOU TAG
Jeez, I don't know, i don't even think i know that much people that blog!
Ok, so I wasn't at the ThisDay Music Festival that held over this past weekend at Polo Club in Ikoyi. Which, let's be honest really sucks. The tickets were 25k per person or 100k per person VIP. I knew i didn't want to do the 25k thing, cuz if there's one thing i'm afraid of, it's nigerian crowds. Just my one experience at The Vault for the Big Brother eviction party, was enough to make up my mind. Pushing, shoving, too much "stushness", etc. So I wasn't gonna do that. Contemplated the 100k ticket for about a minute but then again, i came to the conclusion that it probably was a bad spending idea. I mean 100k could get me return tickets to europe, dubai, or south africa, definitely to ghana with some left over! Plus this is nigeria. After you spend your 100k they'll now tell you that there's a VIP extra and you can't go past that door (did any of y'all see that frasier episode?!)
Anywho, international artists were Beyonce, Jayz, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Ciara, Missy, and En Vogue. Plus some local acts...Dare Art Alade, D'banj, Tuface, Weird MC etc. I am actually quite proud of this event as I heard that at least the first night (with the top stars) went ahead without any hitch. Everyone keeps saying it was well organized which is a very big deal for nigeria. Ciara spoke some Yoruba and Beyonce sang the national anthem, which everyone is saying is the BEST they've ever heard it, so it's ALL good! Seriously I still can't believe that they pulled it off. Y'all should have seen the pic of Snoop at Murtala, I just CRACKED UP!!!! the man just looked like he was sweating like a Christmas goat, he didn't look so sleek.............Lagos heat'll do that to ya! This is definitely another sign that Nigeria is on the up and up. I don't care what anyone says about Obasanjo, but his administration have seen a lot of development in the economy, opening up of the image of Nigeria, and confidence in the country the world over. At least those are good things. So keep it up Nigeria & Nigerians!
Sorry about the quality of the pic, but hey, it's a newspaper, whaddya want?!?!
Considering that right now i'm loving Hausa boys, I may need to delve further it all of this. Dude was telling me about some sort of a celebration involving an Emir, complete with horse riding and full turban wear and everything, and warning me that, hmm............"you can't wear all that spaghetti strap things oooo!!!!" I'm already scared! But i tell him that shebi all those oyinbo women film these things for National Geographic, that i'd be fine. He's like, "have you ever seen video footage of inside the Emir's palace?" which i really haven't so now i'm really really scared.......me, i don't want to offend anyone o!
Oh, and when someone says "May God save and keep us all"............can i say "Amen, in Jesus' name?!?!"
I need answers!
Now KSA as he is very affectionately called has many things going on lately. Firstly, he's my almost birthday mate on September 22nd. This year however marks our great KSA's 60th birthday and the 40th anniversary of his band. He's having a celebration week in October kicked off by his performance at the ThisDay Music Festival (which claims to have Beyonce, Jayz, Missy, Snoop, Busta Rhymes, Mary J, among others, notice i said claimed, cuz i've heard me some stories...). Hopefully if all goes well sha, I should be attending that dinner. But looking forward to this event has got me thinking about our dear KSA. What makes him so great?!?!
Well, for me and many Nigerians, KSA signifies enjoyment, the good times, the party times. The times you danced your ass off at parties with your cousins to see who would make the most money via "spraying". It's indeed the soundtrack to many, if not all of our milestone moments and fondest childhood & growing up memories: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, naming ceremonies, everything. At least as a Yoruba. But many people from other ethnicities enjoyed his music as well. One thing I have come to appreciate about KSA is that he has made it a policy not to delve into political matters in the least bit. He has even said of his contemporaries such as the late great Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, that they chose to go that route but for him, it was not an option. His music is solely for the sake of music, for merriment, to make people feel good, even if for a moment. And one thing we need in Nigeria is that! So this Independence Day period, let's all take a moment to appreciate this wonderful ambassador of our country as part of our celebrations.
As for me, i'll come back and gist y'all about the dinner, should be great!
Anyway so I call the receptionist at my office to book a meeting room. Now, I've done this once before so obviously i didn't think there would be any issues. Alas, how wrong was I! Peep the convo:
ME: hello wendy! (all cheerful) good afternoon, i'd like to book a room please.
HER: who is this
ME: Lola from Marketing. FT
HER: OK. From now on, I'd prefer you to call me "Miss Wendy"
ME: unh?!?! (considering that this lady is unmarried and 31 years at MOST!) ok, well, i'd like it if you don't call me Lola anymore, call me FT. (i mean WTF?!? two can play this dumb game)
So I proceeded to book the room. Meanwhile my brain is still thinking what the hell?!?! So after the booking, I continue the matter at hand:
ME: 'scuse me do you have an initial?
HER: i don't use my initials
ME: well it's company policy so.....
ME: great. I'll call you WFO then....
HER: (cuts in) i said i don't use my initia....
ME: (cutting in) well, i only feel comfortable calling you that so that's what i'll call you. bye.
I mean seriously?!?! I should call her Miss Wendy?!?! who dash her? abeggi jo. Wonders shall never end. Come to find out that later that that's her regular stunt with corpers. Unfortunately for her, she backed up the wrong tree!
This story now leads me to other incredulous things i've heard in this workplace. Let me share a few.
ME: (walking gaiely to my office)
WEIRD DUDE: LOLA T-----
ME: (thinking wtf? turns) yes......?
W.D: can i give you a hug?
ME: (thinking WTF?!?) NO.
W.D: i've been seeing you around.
ME: unh, unh..
W.D: can i shake your hand?
ME: uhm, ok.
Or how about this one.
DUDE: do you play sports
ME: no, why.
DUDE: well......never mind
ME: why now?
DUDE: well, i think it's very sexy
ME: uhm, ok.
Wonders shall indeed never end around here...............you won't believe some of the other things i've heard around here. I can imagine anyone ever filing a sexual harassment lawsuit arouund here.......!
Anyway, so that night I went out to some french pub in Quebec (drinking age is 18 over there!) with this oyinbo babe....i think Brenda or something is her name......she was my only friend in Ottawa at the time, she had bright pink hair, wore too much black eye shadow, drank too much and was with her oyinbo boyfriend who was bald and had a big snake tatooed across his neck. Still it was fun and was fab!!! And then there was the birthday at Big Daddy's Crab Shack, my favorite restaurant in Ottawa, with my girlfriends, that was a very good bday. Oh, and that bday I invited 200 people to my party. I don't think that party was quite a hit, but it was quite a lot of fun planning and cooking with my girlfriends (at the time!). And then the party where somehow I forgot to invite all the babes! (in reality i had no more than 3 girlfriends and never thought that the over 12 guys I invited would like.........ehrm...options!!!!). Or I think of the breakfasts that never materialized......lol! Last year I think was my best one so far. I went to Virginia/Maryland for the weekend. Spent most of the day at Dipo's and I think he cooked, can't remember. Now those of you that know D know homie can cook, so that was cool. Or was that the day we went to Olive Garden?!?! can't remember sha, but it's not the day that was most important. Night came, and i decked out and looked FABULOUS that night i know, and we went to Dream. Only to find out it was a private party but we finagled our way in (I still think it's cuz i looked HOT!!!). Only to get downstairs and guess who's hosting the party?!?!???? WYCLEF. It was like I had died and gone to heaven. I LOVE LOVE LOVE wyclef. so that was tres cool.
Which brings me back full circle to this upcoming birthday and it's dilemma. Maybe someone reading this blog can help me out by way of comments!!! Ok, so here are the options:
1. Eko Hotel Sports Cafe - it's buffet style. Food is not that spectacular but hey, they got hummus, good hummus too! But i don't know......it's a bit impersonal i think.
2. Churrasco's - Brazilian and they have all you can eat meat! Prob is i don't eat red meat but on the plus side, they are very good with drinks!!! This atmosphere is more like it i think, very social, loud, everything that's cool. i don't know.....the meat thing?!?!
3. Yellow Chillies - Nigerian and generally black type foods (curry goat, etc.) but very good food, I really liked it when i went for a friend's lunch there. But i'd like to do something different I think. But their peanut chicken is hmmm.........
4. Marco Polo - Chinese, my favorite restaurant in Lagos. BUT, since people are making me pay for everything (why oh why do you have to buy crap for others on your own bday? makes no sense people!!) i don't know if 7k per head is gonna happen....(in fact, chance are VERY slim)
5.Bonzai - Japanese. Ok, i just put this one in for good luck!!! ain't no way i'm paying 10k per head....but i've been craving sushi soooooooooooo bad. If anyone reading this REALLY loves me, take me to Bonzai for lunch on that Sat. The food there is surprisingly lovely but I don't think Naija's take to sushi very much.....
So there we have it! any other ideas peeps?!?!!! I can't cook in my house so let's not suggest that and i'm currently protesting La Casa's stupid, ignorant, racist, sexist, and classist way of running their business. Anyway, i'll be expecting mucho comments, Thanks! See, birthdays are sooooo much FUN!!!!!
Ok, cut to Survivor Africa. First thing I noticed, they where all black, so i was very very happy with that. But they gave them like potato sacks to carry their stuff in (WTF?!). There was one lady who could barely speak english so that was interesting (and annoying) and three nigerians out of like 12 people so i know the other africans are probably mad at that. And then even though both Survivors had their contestants walking through the island village (and I mean village) the Africa one focused a lot more on the village, i thought i was watching Survivor Ijebu Igbo! And then u know what the african's challenges was? catch a stick as it shoots out of a hole and go to the village stores and buy what u need with so and so dinaras (panama currency). i mean what the hell is that? catch a stick as it shoots from a hole?!?!?! ok, whatever. Survivor Africa is going to be interesting to watch as it goes on cuz i can already see some issues cropping up. We are so drenched in our "culture" that i think we hinder some civilized progress for ourselves. Like when they had to go shopping for what they needed, the women took over cuz according to one contestant "we are african ladies, so we want to take charge with the shopping"............hmmm, ok! And then when they got to the island and had to build their shelter one guy said, "well, the woman contributed their own little bit that they could, but basically we men did all the work, they [women] didn't do much, we just let them sit and we did bulk of the work".......hmmm, ok! i'm sure that's going to come out somewhere..................like tribal council night, duh!!!! so i don't have much hope for the women on that team. but all in all sha, it was alright. let me take u through some of my favorites.
Yaga is Igbo from Nigeria. He (obviously) has a good body and all that but i don't know seems a little slow for me and young. He's kinda like a gentle giant at least so far. We'll see sha!
Mmm......here's Lloyd. He's from Zambia and he's an actor. Nothing much yet from him, but he's my eye candy so i don't need to hear him say much of anything. He keeps talking about how he and his brother have to take care of 13 people in the house. Whatever man.
Freida is from Namibia. She talks a whole lot but she also reminds me, facially, of my friend Afia (sorry 'Fia!!) I think she has a good chance of winning just cuz something is a little off with her chipper, i'm the leader attitude. I have a feeling she'll also get in a fight with one of the nigerian babes so that'll be something to look forward to.
On another note, I noticed there are many fabulous Naija babes blogging about their experiences in Lagos, doing fabulous things....i'll write more on this trend tomorrow
Anyone who knows me even a lick will know that the thought of not having hair on my head is almost as scary as............armageddon to me. yes. that bad. I see other ladies with very short hair and sometimes it looks good on them, but in that way that i know that i would never ever ever chop mine off. Also i think i've always convinced myself that it's about personality. Since I was little I always wanted long curly hair just cuz it seemed that it was what matched my personality. I mean, all giggling, wide-smiled, beautiful, young, ladies must have long curly hair, no? :o)
I went to Bobby's Sig to cut it off, and although those fellas can cut hair, sometimes, imagination and creativity is quite the problem. if you tell them EXACTLY what to cut, or show a pic, you're good. But if you go in and tell them something vague, like I want a short hair style with layered flips in the back.......you're screwed. Plus, i've just noticed that they're not too big on flips around here. Oh they'll cut layers, but it'll always be in a bob unless you tell them specifically to "tongue" it the other way.
But anyway, Saturday was the D day. I went in and i must confess I was so scared. I mean who was I without my hair??? Everybody knows, rest assured, Lola's hair will look fabulous with a fabulous cut (my dear, weaves are my specialty, TRUST me) but now, I can just imagine the shock people will have when this big chick with no hair walks in. Immediately they'd think I was some loud-mouthed, ghetto, chick in her mid-30s. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G i don't want to be. Then I tried to look on the bright side. Maybe it'd be cute and impish, like Audrey Hepburn, or Jada Pinkett, or Nia Long circa Fresh Prince........................but then again, those two latter ladies look way more fabulous with their long hair. Breathe In, Breathe Out.......you just gotta do what you gotta do. So off it went.
RANTI (the cute boy hairdresser): okay, u can put on your glasses now
ME: uhm, uhm......really?
RANTI: yes, put it on, it fits your face
ME: uhm.........u mean you're done?
RANTI: yes, put the glasses on Lola
ME: uhm....ok (hands trembling)
RANTI: u like it right?
ME: yeah..............sure! (like i would like being tortured in a Chinese dungeon) smile...
The hair style's been growing on me though. Maaaaaaan, as women, we don't realize how much we hide behind our hair.....i never ever ever thought it was that deep for us until i chopped it all off. you now start wondering whether people will treat you the same. That person that was attracted to you yesterday would he still be today? Would people judge me quickly (and wrongly) because of my short, almost non-existent hair? and then I start to think why should someone like me or not like me simply cuz of hair? especially someone who saw me last week and now today cuz of my hair, he's like "oops, big mistake".............it's quite funny but unexpectedly empowering as well. Especially since they've been playing that India.Arie song on TV all day...........
My name is Lola and I am not my hair!
The road to coming here was quite an experience in itself. The decision itself i think started quite a while ago. While I was in second year, I remember walking and just deciding casually that when I finish school, I was going to comeback. And that was that. So after working a year in Boston and not really feeling like i was on a GREAT career path (alright but just not GREAT), I started to think of my options and my promise to myself came back to me. Then the logistics of it all. So I just started to plan. Prepared a mental checklist of what could make this feasible and started on this journey. I think the most difficult part was really convincing myself I was going to do it because once I was sold then selling others was not only easier but less important. My mother severally tried to dissuade me in her own gentle manner. I think perhaps she was concerned that it WAS spiritual. Hehe....Many people encouraged me in a very faint manner, like a facade of encouragement. Like:
THEM (outloud): wow, what a big step, you're really brave.
THEM (inside): this chick is CRAAAAAAAAAAAZY. ah well, better her than me!
THEM (outloud): great. good luck man
THEM (inside): cuz you sho' gonna need it!
Ah.........those were the days. For those who'd like to know still, got my job through a career service: careers in africa. The largest multinationals participate in this job jair where they come to the UK to recruit african professionals back to african countries. Anybody looking to return should sure try it out. It's very rigorous though, they generally have a 30% employment rate which I consider good enough anyway. It's like an intense job hunt weekend. Some people get interviews scheduled but mostly you have to go there, hustle for interviews, hustle for connections, and work your magic. Usually it's HR Directors, MDs, and senior staff that attend, so really the buck starts or stops with them. Great experience.
Anywho............8 months. wow. Here are some interesting facts off the top of my head I've learned here:
- anything can fit on an okada(motorcycle for my non-nigerians). cow, sheep, ladder, planks, an entire family, and today i saw a person carrying a full-sized wheelbarrow with things in it.
- just a small drizzle of rain can cause an otherwise free road to become jammed. almost by magic. even the smell of rain can cause a 2 hr traffic jam.
- some hausa in the north share their children to prevent evil stepmother syndrome. So if a man has 3 wives, he might give 2 of wife number 3's kids to wife number 1. get it? just learned that 20min ago!
- nigerians call any hot substance tea. no matter if it's bournvita, milo, ovaltine, horlicks, theraflu, whatever. as long as it's hot and drinkable, it's called tea.
- Posting - leading someone on. e.g: "didn't biodun say the party wasn't jumping? why is he still there" answer: biodun was posting you.
- Scenti - learned about this in abuja but it's proved a very popular word in social circles. Term for whenever you're eating something soooo good that you say something utterly stupid and unnecessary. e.g: while eating a fantastic bowl of ukwobi (bowl of spiced meat for my NN) u ask "today's monday abi?" That's scenti.
- Most of you know this but reiteration doesn't hurt. If a Nigerian says they are almost there, they are at XYZ. Truth is they're still gisting somewhere. This equation NEVER changes. there's no maybe, sometimes, perhaps this time...........no. They are gisting. so chill.
- Chilling - leaving. eg. "i'm chilling" means i'm leaving soon.
- Doutch - money. eg. that dude's got doutch.
- Do not do La Casa if you're not with a male or if one person out of your group is looking.........woh woh ish(not quite right for my NN).
Woooooooo!!! i'm sure i'll add more on as i remember. But looking at it all. I give all thanks to God the Almighty who keeps me every single day, every single minute. One of my favorite rap lines is by Mos Def goes thus: God is sufficient in disposal of affairs. My people, let's never forget that!
Wow, been a long time here. Been so busy with work.....product launch, major promo going on, major project, etc. All at the same time. This friday I said whew, I must take the time to write! Ok, so what's been happening? let's start with the product launch. It was an absolute blast. A lot of work went into it, but it's one of those moments I absolutely wouldn't want to be anywhere else than here in Nigeria. At the end of the program, the band was still there, the music was fabolous, and we all just spontaneously started to dance. And i don't mean some timid dancing oh, like real real boogie down. We had a fashion show from each decade (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s) and the corresponding music so songs like "Rock the Boat", "Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate, some really classic stuff, "Septemeber" by Earth, Wind, and Fire. It was really lovely anyway. I've include some pics of the event. Some of you will notice NAFDAC Director Dora Akinyuli. Many of the guest there were biggies but I kept blundering the entire night. Some big guy would come in and i'd be like "scuse me sir, what's your name so we can seat you..." dude would now give me an incredulous look like uhm, where did u get this chick from?!?!?! "I'm so and so" they would then say very matter of factedly. It given got so bad that one of the workers at the event even came up to me specially:
HE: excuse me ma, u don't know oheiwerei?
ME: uhm, no
HE: (shocked and not understanding), that man, u don't know him?
ME: (getting agitated) no.......
He then quietly goes to sit down. I'm sure he must have gone home and told the story like "can you imagine this girl asked oheiwerei his name?!?!?! LOL. It's not my fault now........how am i supposed to know the "captain of industry" in nigeria? MD/CEO of Nigerian Breweries who apparently is soo powerful he was one of the main proponents of the third term agenda. Me I no know o!!!
Hmm.........what else has been going on?
yeah.....I put on my first sweater today!!! I mean, ladies and gentlement, I was actually cold. in Nigeria! wonders shall never end. That has always been one of my little chuckles in Nigeria whenever I see people wearing sweaters, i just smile instantly. Seriously, the weather here (lagos) rarely goes below 29 degrees C....which should be around 85 degrees F, it's like how cold can it get really...........but maaan, yesterday I had to sleep with my socks on and i've been wearing a sweater all day and I still feel cold. It's kinda strange. Next thing you know when I visit stateside next I'll be like one of those Naija JJCs wearing this huge, thick, cream turtleneck sweater, complaining about how cold it is in obodo oyinbo (the white man's land for my non-yoruba comrades).
Ron L. Hubbard, founder and spiritual head of Scientology once commented that the best way to make money in America is to start a religion. I think Nigeria has that beat. I mean, I have a friend whose neighbour is a pastor. Now my friend and this pastor are on the same NEPA link but while he almost NEVER has electricity, Mr. Pastor-Neighbour has electricity 24/7, aided by his automatic generator which I am absolutely sure is provided by his church. Now why it's part of his spiritual rights as a man of God to live in perpetual supply of electricity while his entire congregation and the building itself has no clue what that even looks like. Let's consider something else. 70% of Nigeria's population lives on less than US$1 per day, yet our pastors own yachts, private planes, investment accounts etc. I went to a church New Years Eve and during prayers the lead pastors gets up and shares his "revelations" with the church: 2 people will get a visa, 3 people will get married in the church - everyone start praying, it could be YOU! I mean really....
This whole thing just makes me really skeptical about and downright disinterested in churches in Nigeria. Since I've returned here, I made the decision to just frequent orthodox churches exclusively. The Baptists, Methodists, Anglican....these churches seem more attuned to my own spiritual needs. And it's a strong decision too. You know Nigerians now...everyone wants to invite you to their church/fellowship/gospel concert etc....ESPECIALLY if you're single (but that's a whole 'nother story!) so I just tell them, looking straight into their eye, blank faced...."sorry, I don't do pentecostal churches in Nigeria". This is like being the Anti-Christ itself in Nigeria and automatically you can see their eyes twitching as they itch to convert me from my terrible ways. (Remember I didn't say I don't go to church o, just simply, I do Methodist or Anglican).
THEM: but why
ME: nothing. don't like them. too active
THEM: (slightly confused) but God is everywhere
ME: Yes, that's why I like MY church.
THEM: So try mine.
ME: (still blank-faced) No
LOL........at this point they tend to live me alone! Actually this also reminds me of another "religious" type conversation I had. This one at work. For some reason, people pray EVERYWHERE, even in the workplace. I mean, prayer is not bad, but i'm used to freedome of expression/religion, etc...and in NIGERIA, no such freedoms exist. Your freedom of religion only goes thus far: CHRISTIAN (pentecostal of course) or MUSLIM. Notice I didn't say AND, I said OR. so prayers at work, doesn't mean both muslim and christian prayers. Anywho, I get dragged to this employee union meeting, and i stress AT WORK, i'd never been to and didn't even know what is about. I walk in and sit at the table quietly. The lady (who's never seen me and just met me not quite 2 seconds ago) beats the gavel, it's time to start the meeting. So here it goes..
LADY: Welcome everybody, glad to see you. Comrade Lola why don't you pray for us.
ME: (looking around like me?!?) Uhm......
LADY: (looking at me expectantly) Yes, Comrade Lola
ME: Sorry, you need to pick someone else
You can imagine the shock! Here's the convo after I had with her:
ME: Excuse me dont' feel it was right for you to call me out at a meeting i'm just attending for the first time. Plus I don't feel comfortable with mandatory public prayer at work, it's against my principles as a human being.
I'm sure that lady is now sure of my Anti-Christ status. She probably prays for my soul every sunday at her mega church where she gives her Pastor money for a 24/7 generator while her husband is secretly planning his afternoon rendezvous with his UniLag girlfriend.
Which leads me to my moment of revelation this morning. I was walking past the vulcanizer (or fuckanizer, means the same in Lagos), and I noticed that while the people congregated there really resembled area boys (or street thugs for my non-nigerian readers) my heart didn't even skip a beat, i just strolled past. I had noticed that yesterday too while I was waiting in the car for my colleague on Lagos Island, but not the cool, posh parts, i'm talking right in front of Sura Market. The place was packed and crowded with all sorts of elements, people where walking up to my window and pissing right in front of (i'm still not sure why), some random area boy just got up, cut a branch of tree and started whipping bus conductors unless they paid him money......remember I said randomly! Anyway amidst of this chaos, I was just chilling. So I thought to myself, where did i develop this sort of non-fear of area-boys???? Especially considering the fact that once upon a time I was scared of groups of African-Americans in freaking Buffalo (yes, it's true, Canada will do that to you)? The only difference between then, and now is..............................B-ROCK!!! Maaaaaaaaaaan...............once u do B-Rock High, you develop this thick skin........who knows, maybe docking bullets from a drive-by will do that to you......ah, the good ol' days!
Anyway, here's the week so far:
I feel pretty good. No work due to corper's week. Went to work to collect my NYSC clearance form (u need it to get paid the great NYSC allowance of N8000/month). Bumped into my boss and of course right there, impromptu, she asked if i had a flash drive and gave me work to do. Ah.....i'm used to it though. Work NEVER stops. Trust Me. EVER. I'm still depressed until someone told me Virgin Nigeria was having a sale to London for N60000. So I start praying fervently and running back and forth between airline offices trying to get something good. I mean it's not too late right? right? RIGHT????? Emirate Airlines?? yeah, i'll go there....wherever, just get me out......boy was i wrong. Looks like Nigeria it is. Depression is back briefly followed by resignation. I think Sango is punishing me.
Ah, another day. Gotta do clearance today. God of Mercy, I hate this place (local govt, not Nigeria, keep up!). I mean once i start nearing the gate of the local government my heart starts beating like crazy, and i start feeling faint. I feel like running. Fast. But can't. The place is crowded with all sorts of people. I'm still amazed that some of these people ACTUALLY got a higher education. I mean, university in Nigeria can be VERY expensive considering the stories i've heard of professors withholding your grades until something greases their palms. NYSC really sucks. We get there at 9am and basically we have to wait till whenever the zonal inspector decides she's good. I'm not playing. people have waited there till 8pm at night. And then when she does decide to start signing, EVERYBODY rushes to the front table and the serious gra gra starts. Pushing, shoving, yelling, cursing, biting, punching. Under the hot sun. Three quarters of those there don't even know what deodorant is. over 400 people. Scratching and biting for ONE lady to sign their form. Oh yeah, did i mention that this whole thing sucks? Anywho....today i wasn't feeling like hustling. At about 3pm, Mrs. S begins. For once, she decides to go by numbers. YOu would think that would calm down the mob at the front table...but noooooo. Nigerians always want to one up the next person. The crowd remains. To cut this story short sha, after waiting, I see this girl who just walks up to the table signs her shit and moves on. So i decide hustling can be the only way out of here. But lady is a witch. She seizes my NYSC ID card. See, whenever this happens you're supposed to either die, or give her your first born son. I just stand there, not really caring. She yells i should come back on Thursday to do it. Punishment. Whatever lady. I ask her rather rudely if she really believes i'll come here on thursday, smirk, and walk away. Ladies and Gentlemen, don't know if I will be shamelessly discharged from NYSC because of this, but do i care? NO. Egg McMuffin....Egg McMuffin.....
NYSC Charity Walk. Apparently from National Stadium to Alausa! These people are stark, raving, mad. I laugh. Home was fun.
YAY!!!!! Going to abuja!!! Love, love, love abuja. It's absolutely, clean, quiet and gorgeous. Plus you can literally smell power and oil money in the air. Hmmmm..........what sweet sweet smell. Every trip i've taken to Abj via Virgin has been great. Always, always meet really cool people. Joke Silva, NLNG folks, and some others i won't mention in case their wives are reading. lol. Travelling as a single woman to Abuja is like having a target on your back. Like there's a rule in Abuja that under NO circumstances must a woman be alone in the city. If u see one, it's a man's duty, absolute duty to work towards rectifying that. No. I don't mean hot, young, men, i mean old, randy, old filthy rich men. well, there are hot young guys too but they generally don't do the approaching. Just to clarify here.......i generally LOVE my independent single girl routine here and DONT respond well to approaches at all. For me, it's an opportunity to collect business cards. Business cards and networking are the soul of any businessperson in nigeria worth his/her mettle.
Continuing on sha............met Nnegest Likke, director of Phat Girls on the plane, she gave me an invite to the premier of the movie in Nigeria. Went. Delightful event and very chichi pu pu with Ministers of this and Ministers of that's wives. Tuface was there. Performed. Generally good time! Wanted so badly to take pictures but got to Abuja to find out that i left the memory card at home. Bummer. Met the guy who played Tunde too (his wife was GLUED, just GLUED to his side the entire time, can't say i blame the gal, Naija babes no dey play). Went with a friend. A Hausa friend of mine who kept on seeing girls he knew. Hausa babes now, all covered up and everything. I felt uncomfortable for a minute, i mean here I am in a see thru top (tank top under but still, my arms, my arms!!! they must think dude has taken to dating prostitutes.........I'm so self conscious here, I really don't want to offend anybody and get stoned but I really don't want to have to dress all covered up either.....hmmm, dilemma..
Either way that brings me to my latest obsession. Ever met someone and just thought, if only...or wow, this person's perfect for me? well, it's that sort of thing. Except I have no shame in pursuing this sort of ideal....once i can convince myself, i want, then I must get. I think it must be some stubborn wiring in my DNA...i mean why must the "terrorist" win all the time? Anyhoo...this has really gone to shameful lengths at this point oo!!! In fact, i'm 100% sure this is case of be careful what you wish for but.........jeez, i can't help it. Don't worry i'll post my wedding invitation on this very blog as a sign that you really can do whatever you put your mind to! (either that or look for my hiatus as i *visit* a rehab clinic....
Well, it's also a bit of good depending on how you look at it. It is a well documented fact that I am in love. I have been for a long time yet. The first time I heard his voice, I melted. So deep, so meaningful, so rich, and full of knowledge, he said "Let's go....." and I've gone since then. Ah.....yes, Johnny has been so good to me. No........not Johnny Walker, silly......John Legend. Only a few of us close enough to him are priviledged to call him Johnny. But now, he's up and left me. And for another naija girl no less!!!!
Ladies and gent.....it's true. Johnny is dating model Tayo Otiti. A fine, fly, naija babe like me....Here's a pic of them together at an event. I'm not sure whether to be ecstatic that Johnny of course would pick from our pool of gorgeous women, or to hate the biatch for stealing my man. I mean I coulda had him at that intimate event last year.....note to self here, man shall not survive on vodka alone............
Ok now the good news..................apparently next week is corper week, pretty much didn't care until someone told me they're using that opportunity to go to Europe. It was like a lightbulb moment. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think i'm going to move heaven and earth to leave this land of the dreary. I can't wait to go to McDonalds, and Starbucks, and Nine West, and Gap, and Banana Republic, and take the tube, and, take a bus somewhere, and, and, and.............oh god, i think i'm gonna hyperventilate!
Anyway....here's the fascinating part. Nigerians are trained to write notes in a class setting. And not just notes, but HUGE booklets. So they NEVER EVER EVER EVER do "active listening". Just sit in class, Write EVERY SINGLE WORD that comes out of the trainer's mouth and regurgitate them back to him -word for word- whenever he asks you a question. So I look around and everyone's frantically, frantically jotting down notes and i'm just there....listening, feeling a little odd. So here's the scene.........
TRAINER: "what is a brand?"
TRAINEE: "well, sir, in 1952, Mr.X of P&G blah blah blah (3min).....so he decided this is a more effective way to market products blah blah blah (5min) we now get to 2006 where branding is done is a sphere of dynamism that lead Bill Gates to quote in paragraph 4 of his article to Newsweek in the July of 2005 that blah blah blah (5min)....and that in my humble understanding is a brand"
TRAINER: "good...Lola do you agree"
And here's the strange part....at this course, they split us up in groups and we have to discuss and present a case. Cool, i can do this crap in my sleep. We're discussing Consumer Promo offers and someone suggests Shaving Kits for men, so i get excited about this and say "Yes, we can do that and add Shaving Kits for women to that way we'll kill two birds with one stone!" The room goes completely quiet and you can see the shock registered on their faces. Then a brave one fills me in....."Women? Shaving Kit for what? Women don't have beards what would they shave and they would never admit to having one even if they did?".....ah, ah, i say, by this time i'm a little confused. "but women shave armpits and legs now......?!?!" uhm. no. not in nigeria. uhm........ok.
That would explain the bearded lady I saw at NYSC yesterday...
I was reading on some oyinbo's chick's blog about this issue and it was a little interesting to me. How do you view yourself? when do you stop being a girl and start being a woman? I agreed with a lot of things she said. Like, generally I would like to be considered a woman but on those days when i put on Shakira and dance like there's no tomorrow in my skeevies (like all women do, don't lie), i would probably say i'm a girl. Or when I'm trying on a fabulous outfit I just bought and I do what my friends have labelled my little "new dress" dance (think 10 seconds of Paris Hilton on a dance floor), at that point I'm just a girl, in a pretty new dress. How about when i'm in an intimate moment with a boyfriend, i would say i'm a woman (I certainly would want said boyfriend not to be thinking of me as a girl) but after that first kiss with a date, i'm just a girl. So which one are we? It seems no matter how much we grow, a girl is the one thing we always will be. Throughout the years we'll go from wife, to mother, to grandmother, etc but no matter what stage we are at, the truest moments, the happiest moments, are when that little girl in us comes out to play. We can dress it up, paint it up, disguise it but she never leaves does she? Reading that blog just reminded me that we should always take the time to nourish our inner child and enjoy those fabulous girl moments!