To say the last couple of weeks have been stressful for the average Nigerian would frankly be a gross understatement. The poor masses have found themselves spending more time on fuel queues and vehicular traffic induced by fuel queues than in any productive business. To make matters worse, power supply has been virtually non-existent in the last couple weeks. It is tantamount to going from one bout of untold hardship to another, as there had just been a bit of respite from the alarming downward spiral of the naira, when the recurring demon of scarcity of premium motor spirit reared its ugly head once again.
Today I am writing my 100th blog post. One hundred! A hundred posts of self-generated content! Even I find it hard to believe. It’s been about two years since I started this journey of pursuing my dream of taking up writing as a career path. From that unsure, tentative voice to a bolder one, I have to say that it has been an interesting journey. It seems just like yesterday when I published my first article on this platform. I was nervous about sharing it, I wasn’t certain how people would receive me. I had many doubts and worried about how I would sustain putting out original content every single week, while also holding a day job. I wasn’t sure I would last three months, but here I am two whole years later with a reasonable following for a blog that doesn’t post gossip.
“The older I get, the more I see reasons to speak less and listen more”– Ololade Ajekigbe
One of the major ways through which I conserve energy is by saying very little. The day I divulged this piece of information to my friend, she laughed and shook her head in that Lolade-and-some-of-her-unconventional-ways-again manner. Yet it was true, and is likely to remain true for a very long time. Sometimes, I would have some “hot gist” for a close friend, but when I remember the amount of time and energy it would require to give them a detailed account of what happened, I would put off recounting my story till a later time. I just find that I am one who would rather listen than talk, unless of course I am in a really chatty mood, or have something absolutely important to contribute to a discourse.
In the past couple of days, there has been some clamour for Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria products. The hashtag “Buy Naija To Grow The Naira” was even created to drive its awareness on Twitter. The aim is simple – Buy locally made goods to save the naira from its current alarming slope downhill. For all intents and purposes this campaign has become imperative especially in the light of the dwindling fortune of the naira against the dollar. Since the price of crude oil has been on a steady decline for a while now, oil producing countries have had to turn their attention to other sectors of their economy to ensure that their gross domestic product does not plummet. In a mono-economy like Nigeria there were no such options.
The Feast of Saint Valentine, a liturgical celebration of early Christian saints has since evolved into a yearly expression of love among lovers and loved ones. In a couple of hours, it will be yet another Valentine’s Day, celebrated on the 14th of February in many parts of the world. The euphoria heightens as the day draws closer, especially among the younger generation.
“Humility will take nothing from you, it can only add.”- Debola Williams
The first thing that may come to some people’s mind is…”Is she saying she wants to have kids with different men?” Why I wouldn’t owe anyone an explanation if I chose to live my life that way, for the sake of clarity, no, that’s not what I am referring to when I say I want to be like Nigeria’s music legend, Innocent Ujah Idibia, whose stage name is Tuface. I’ll pass on the happenings in Mr Idibia’s private life. But, I’ll also admit any day that this icon of the music industry is one man I have always found intriguing. Unarguably the greatest artiste of this generation not just because of his brand and unique style of music, but because of one attribute he possesses and which has become almost as legendary as his music. Humility.
“It is a crime to remain stagnant in a constantly evolving world.” – Ololade Ajekigbe
In less than 48 hours, the year 2015 will be history, and we will be ushering in a brand new year. As usual, there is plenty of euphoria and optimism about the new year…and rightly too. What better time to start afresh, and anticipate a better fortune than the dawn of a new season. However, it’s always important to look back and take stock of the last 365 days or thereabout in order to avoid the mistakes of the past and chart a better course for the future.
It’s like entering a store that you had always believed sold cookies and candy, only to discover that in actual fact, Bitter Kola is sold there! I don’t know about you, but I struggle with adulthood everyday. This is somewhat paradoxical because I pride myself as one who is quite independent. It’s amazing that as a child, all I wanted to do was grow up as fast as possible, and be able to do all the things (…well not exactly all) that adults do. As a kid, I saw my parents take money out of their pocket/purse at will (or so I thought), and automatically assumed that money was a natural accompaniment to adulthood. At times I felt my parents were only being stingy when they talked about how hard money was to come by, and gave me less than what I requested for. I remember voicing those thoughts on a couple of occasions. I didn’t get spanked for it, but I vividly recall that their response was, “O fee kan e na” which literally means “It would soon be your turn,” Needless to say, now that it is my turn, like they said, I know better.
“I really admire a woman for her intelligence, her personality. Beauty is not enough.” – Roberto Cavalli
In the last couple of weeks, music lovers all around the world have been found themselves serenaded and engulfed in the warm embrace of the British born singer Adele Laurie Blue Adkins’ hit single “Hello” off her third studio album, 25. After a hiatus of three years, the 27 year old returned with more than a “bang,” making her fans all over the world appreciate the long awaited album even more. I haven’t hidden my love for “Hello,” just like many other people. The buzz has been absolutely worth it and one cannot but admire this young lady who has mastered and stayed true to her craft with all the simplicity and elegance anyone could muster since she blessed the world with the sounds from her vocal cords by the release of debut album seven years ago.
In what seemed like a confirmation of all the conspiracy theory surrounding the “ominous” Friday the 13th (which is widely regarded as Black Friday, an unlucky day according to Western superstition), French nationals and the rest of the world witnessed deadly multiple attacks on the Bataclan Music Center, (where incidentally, the band named “Eagles of Death Metal” were performing) as well as the La Belle Equippe restaurant and the Le Carillion bar cafe. It was undoubtedly a weekend that the French would never forget as they were hit with the double tragedy of horrific terror attacks and a high-speed train derailment in Eckwersheim on Saturday too. Friday’s carnage was one attack too many as it was the second time in less than a year that Paris would be rocked by terrorist attacks following the French satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo shooting in January.