Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fashola says - It’s the Little Things We do People Remember

Credit: Pixabay
Every 1st of December, a song plays over in my mind – ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ – and this year is no exception. I am excited.

Since Monday December 1st, I have been dreaming of Christmas, my most wonderful time of the year (call me childish if you like) where I will hopefully get to vacation till I drop, spend time with my family, hug my laptop and complete work on my script ideas, read novels, eat and drink without feeling guilty and generally, jonze about. You know the feeling…

Not until I attended this event last week Thursday, I realised my thoughts of Christmas have been centred on me and my family. Last week, I attended the town hall meeting of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund and its stakeholders. Our able Lagos state governor, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, mounted the podium and gave a sincere speech that got me thinking. No, I’m not talking political speech here though I know there must certainly have been undertones especially at a politically charged period like this.

He gave a brief history of the Trust Fund highlighting its achievements till date – how crime has been kept to a minimum in Lagos since the past 3 years. I do remember the countless robberies at several banks years ago which I noticed have reduced.

That’s not my focus though.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Just Do It!

I have a friend who loves to dream up grand ideas. I’m always in awe of him when he comes up with this big idea after another; he just makes you look like a lazy donkey. But when it comes to implementing his ideas, the same ‘he’ would bring up hundred reasons why it won’t work citing valid reasons that actually make sense. Each time we get into an argument about a grand idea once again tossed into the waste basket, I end up looking like the one without foresight.

The truth is: problems are everywhere. Heck, I can count ten reasons why I shouldn’t leave my bed
every morning. But I do anyway despite that Lagos roads are bad, the drivers are crazy, my car can veer off the road  and tumble into a ditch  and I may not even achieve what I set out to achieve and waste an entire day. Does that stop me from leaving my bed in the morning?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What if the idea of success is not as real as we think it is?

Before you read any further, kindly take this simple exercise. Write down three people whom you know (think) are successful. Done that? Okay, let’s continue. We’ll get to that later. Thanks!

I was once at a job interview where I was asked to define what success means to me. I can’t quite remember my answer just to show you how inconsequential my reply must have been, but I do remember that the question haunted me afterwards.

What criteria do we use to judge success? Is our definition of success influenced by our own needs and desires? What if success is more psychological than physical? Is success something made up by our minds?

Let’s first try to analyse the general view of success, shall we?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dear Moms, I don’t Know How you do it!

One fine morning, two weeks after visiting the labour room the second time, I stood up from my bed and watched the world slowly turn dark as if someone turned off the light behind my eyeballs. I realised that I was about to faint and quickly held on to the wall until the semi-unconsciousness, if I may call it that, passed. What had never happened to me in my entire life was about to. I was about to faint.

Here I was, only two kids in the home, and it felt like I could not handle one more day. I wondered how other moms that had four, five, even three, were coping. My firstborn, a feisty little girl was all the over the house, screaming at the top of her lungs in her own version of play. To her “shhhh!” was something mummy said to make her laugh. She found it amusing and even mimicked me most times. Her screams meant

Friday, July 4, 2014

A tribute to a beautiful soul - Amaka Igwe


If there ever was a person so full of life with a soul so beautiful it reflected in everything you did, it was you.

You did everything with such passion – your praises, your rebuke, your argument, even your laughter. I recall one time saying to my husband that there was something beautiful, warm, something pure about you; like whenever I was in your presence, I felt like I was a better person just by listening to you. You laughed a lot; I remember that – a laughter that came from deep inside you, a laughter that encouraged the person next to you to join in the little joke only you knew.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How to Approach Anybody, Anytime without Losing your Guts!

If you’re like me, you probably hate introducing yourself to a total stranger. Not because you don’t know what to say, but for the fear of being embarrassed or worse, standing there with the words stuck like a large bone in your throat. If you are like me, the incident that happened earlier this week (to me) would have been an opportunity missed.

So here I was, feeling all confident and swag in my heels, when a lady walked into the reception area, where I was waiting to see someone as well, and sat opposite me. Few minutes later, she was on the phone and for almost five minutes, I overheard a portion of her conversation and discovered she writes movie scripts; something we both have in common.

By the time she dropped the phone, I had arrived at my conclusions:
First, she was definitely more experienced than I was and I knew that introducing myself to her would be a challenge as I was about to give myself up as an eavesdropper! (*covers face*).
Secondly, she never once made eye contact which would have prompted me to introduce myself with a smile.

How did I overcome my struggles and get the best of the opportunity?
Simple: I demonstrated the points I am about to share with you.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

“Dear Fear, We Need to Talk"

I wish I can tell the exact moment I became aware of the emotion called fear. Not the type you feel when you are young and left in the dark; I mean the type that grips your throat tight when you are about to give a speech or the type that makes you blind right after a brilliant idea creeps into your mind.
When I was much younger, I was almost always called onto the stage for every school event – drama, public speaking, etc etc. Those days, I recall with fondness, I found it very easy memorising lengthy pages and even easier standing before a crowd, reciting from memory those long foolscap sheets out loud, hearing my tiny voice ring in the air, parents watching with rapt attention, and afterwards receiving pats on the back at the end of every event. I took risks like I was born for them. My childhood was filled with images of me as a bold and audacious child; nowhere in the pictures in my mind do I recall ever feeling afraid of taking risks.

Fast forward years later, and my palms have suddenly developed wider pores that churn out sweat when I am afraid. When I think of taking risks, a little devil with a pitchfork perches on my shoulder and begins to list all the reasons why I am the worst person to try this or that. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Secrets Every Successful Woman Must Know!

Do you sometimes feel that if you had someone to care about your success, you will be more productive or more insightful or work smarter?

If you feel the same way I do, you may seize the opportunity to join us at THE SUCCESS FACTOR Ladies Retreat.

One of the activities I am really looking forward to is the round table chat (not symposium or seminar but chat!) with some of our Nigeria's finest and most successful career women, who have promised to answer ALL our burning career questions.

A friend of mine is more tripped by the fact that it is affordable and she can take time off the hectic streets of Lagos to relax and unwind (we get to have a networking dinner).

Yet another business woman just wants to make new contacts and exhibit her products!

Whatever works for you, there is something to gain for every single participant.

So, if you are still thinking of attending, why don't you book a space by visiting HERE.

Don't forget to bring your business cards along.

I hope we'll meet there!

Monday, June 10, 2013

What’s Your Service Call?

Guest Post By:  Adaeze Nwanyibuife Obiako

This has been the question on my mind for the past year or so.
A service call is an internal, spiritual request all humans get, at different points in our lives, to be of service to others in the world. We are all created with special gifts and talents that we are meant to use in answering our service calls.

You could be naturally gifted with the ability to teach, like Oprah Winfrey, and called to help others find their passions and teach them how to live their best lives. You could be born with the gift of empathy, like Mother Theresa, and called to be a caregiver for the sick and physically challenged. You could be born with a natural gift/love for numbers and called to be an accountant or financial consultant for people. You could be born with a natural ability to sing and called to use your voice/music to inspire, uplift, and bring hope to people all over the world. You could be born with a gift for precision and develop a love for anatomy, which could mean you are called to be a surgeon and save lives. The list goes on and on.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Does the Fight for Gender Equality Really Matter?

A few days ago, I was chatting with a dear friend and referred her to my website to have a look-see. Few minutes later she was back on the chat, bristling with excitement, and then she used the dreaded word.

“I sense feminist undertones,” she said, regarding the website. “I am one (a feminist) at heart so I always know when I meet a soul sister.”

Feminist. Soul Sister. She could not have painted ‘the’ picture any better. What came to my head was the image of a woman with long dreadlocks wrapped with a white scarf, wearing a white gown, drinking Beer with other ‘soul sisters’. It was an image I was not comfortable with.
Last few weeks, I posted a link on my Facebook wall of Chimamanda’s speech ‘We should all be Feminists’. The speech, eloquent and insightful, had thrilled me with its factual content more than the title had, so when I shared it expecting responses on the content of the speech, I was quite surprised when a friend of mine, a guy, posted this on my wall:

Monday, May 6, 2013

7 Things Married People Won’t Tell You about Marriage

In this part of the world, we are more idealists than realists. If we face setbacks in business, we are comfortable with reciting the famous words, “it is well’. If rain soaks you on the way to the office, it’s ‘showers of blessings’ and a promotion is probably on the way. If our right palm itches, it means some long lost relative will send cash soon.

It is no wonder that for many ladies in Nigeria, marriage seems to be the escape from society’s pressures. Many of us fantasize, dream and even start planning a wedding before meeting ‘the one’. Worse still, the romantic movies of heroes falling in love with less than perfect women and sweeping them off their feet in a proposal at the airport, add kerosene to our flame of fantasy. The truth is: idealism is great; but the idealist never knows what to do when the real situation hits hard like a deadly punch from a wrestler’s fist.

Without sounding like a messenger of doom, I will share with you secrets many couples never share about marriage.

Friday, April 12, 2013

“Whom Do you Know?” - The Value of Horizontal Networking

 Few weeks ago, the ‘Oga at the Top’ slang was parodied, joked about and merchandised, but the implication left questions in many minds after the excitement died down. It reminded us that almost every situation in Nigeria is quite political and fraught with the ‘Whom do you know?’ syndrome.

Without politicising this note, let me go straight to the point. Many of us, especially youths, chase after big aunties and uncles to pursue our goals. They are there to connect us with one of their old friends or to get us that contract that will give us enough money to buy a piece of land. All well and good. But we are forgetting that the ‘Uncles’ and ‘Aunties’ are only there for a period. Their generation will soon hand over the mantle of power to you. Yes, to you and your peers. Meaning: that old classmate of yours whom you have refused to reply her email with a simple “I am well, thank you” may become the Minister of Women Affairs tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why Are You a Woman Anyway?

Last Sunday, the priest in my home church announced that a church member had put to birth. Before he could complete his statement, some church members finished for him “Boy! Boy!” After which the priest got angry and announced that he would no longer mention the sex of newly born babies if people could not respect all sexes. Sitting in my corner towards the back of the church, I was pleased with the announcement, still trying to recover from my annoyance at the church members; most of whom were women.

What happened at church last Sunday got me thinking about our attitude towards the female child especially in this part of the world. In the ‘other’ part people hardly care; Obama has two daughters, Bill Clinton has a daughter.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

7 Things I wish I knew before I turned 25

Looking back at the years since I left the University, I ask myself if I have achieved much. The answer is YES. Have I achieved the goal I set out for myself at my present age? The answer is NO. Am I getting there? Maybe. I am still at the bottom of the ladder looking up and definitely climbing fast.
But I know for certain that there are a few things I wish I knew years ago. Perhaps, I would have achieved more than I have.

So, here are my 7 things I wish I knew before I turned 25: