Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Do not call me dear, if I don't call you honey.

It's common place around here to greet an elderly person or 'egbon' as they love to bear 'good morning' and he or she lifts up a hand to give you a dismissing 'how are you?'.  Nigerians are well known for answering questions by posing another question, so it's almost permissible to respond to a greeting by asking a question.
When asked "how are you?", you will think the answer matters to them, they really do not want to know if you are fine, broke, busted, or hungry. Not like they care. It's just the 'egbon' syndrome. Egbons ask the younger ones 'how are you?'... I am yet to see anyone fire "how are you?" at the boss when he or she comes in and says good morning. The chorus would automatically be 'good morning sir/ ma'. "How are you?" has been reserved for the younger or subordinate.

Some add endearment to theirs, 'how are you, my dear'....Most occurrences, the 'dear' is a girl, woman, or a small child especially when it is coming from a non-relative. The younger men get "how are you my boy?",  "how are you my brother?"
Office environments are no longer kept official especially when it's a first name basis relationship, Nigerians go the extra mile to stop being official but endearing. That we relate on first name basis doesn't mean you are special to me or I am to you in  the office. Do not call me dear, if I don't call you honey.

So there is this new elderly man at the office security post, he should have been around for close to a month. For every 'good morning' or good 'anything' I extend to him, he replies with 'xxxxxxx my dear' , good morning my dear, good night my dear....I thought he was going to change.

Last week, 'the good night, my dear' almost spoiled my evening. I am your boss for crying out loud and I am not your sister or grandchild. Oh! yes! he is old! old enough to be a grand dad! old enough to be this and that...but this is an office, and you are not my dad and I am not your dear. I got into hubby's waiting car and told him how I felt with this oddity.

I was looking forward to the following morning for the greeting so as to deal with it. He didn't show up for another one week. Then this morning, he was there. As usual, he answered my greetings with a 'how are you, my dear'? .  So I looked straight into his eyes and told him, 'Oga, when next I greet you, just answer me good morning. Do not call me dear, I am not your dear'. He was shocked, his colleagues and supervisor were shocked, I was shocked too because normally, I endure all manners from the aged, but for crying out load, I'm tired of being everybody's dear.

Case closed!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

'You are a big girl now, forget aso-odun'

So 2015 is here, I must admit it kind of crept in. I still have some 'To do in 2014' undone, some goals yet to be achieved and some dreams still hard to pin down, but we move on.
One should be excited about the cross-over night especially when you chose your activity for the night. I chose to spend mine at church but I wasn't too excited; I did say my thank you's to Him who owns my soul but at a point it felt like a drag; I was forcing the gratitude out as I had flashes of many things that could have been but didn't. 

 The invited minister got up and started talking about me kind of; burdened heart, weary body, dashed hopes, bounced checks....he was just peeping into my heart and talking. Then he quoted Habakuk "Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation......"  oh! peace flowed through me.  Then I offered praises from my heart, telling God though I wanted the fig trees to blossom but still I'll praise him....it felt good eventually. It's hard to praise God when your Christmas check bounced. 

You see, my Christmas check was returned. Arrrr! My heart almost stopped beating, I've made plans. This period isn't just about the holidays, I have more financial commitments this period, some good works and some goodies for myself. I had been obsessed about 'aso-odun' for a while. I wanted a teal lace with bright-in-your-eyes yellow accessories, matching gele and maybe a 'bad' shoe to die for.  My buddy and I had made plans when to hit Balogun, buy the lace, buy neck and ear pieces with a matching gele. It was going to be a bright Christmas until the check was returned. 

But then, I consoled myself it would clear before the new year. I had called the account owner and he apologized telling me to represent the check. Then Christmas came and left, I fought the bad feeling that would come with that experience, I could execute every other plans but for the aso-odun. So I told myself, you are a big girl now, forget aso-odun. My friends and I had fun and was even at Agodi Parks and Resort Garden (That place is bliss, you should visit!) 

Presenting the check after Christmas holidays, I was fully assured I'll have money to blow around. I would console myself with a big pot of goat pepper soup on the 1st day of the 2015, boil ripe plantain, pop wine and blast music. Then cook a pot of rice for hubby's abokis; Abdullahi, Sanni and their friends. So imagine my despair when I got the bad news as a bank notification, the check didn't clear the second time. 

If I was White one would have seen the colour drain out of my face. My heart was sinking fast and before it got to my feet, I had to sit, then lie down. This time, I did the right thing between the issuer and myself; I ended our contract abruptly.
If the check was just about pepper soup, I can head to any 'mama ope' and buy me a steaming hot bowl of well spiced pepper soup, but my birthday would be in another 5 days and I had made plans too; host 30 friends, do some acoustic worship, dine, merry, take pictures, have fun. That would cost money too but the check was returned.
So, while in church, my mind was going to stay on that silly check. It was hard to concentrate but I won, if He won't withhold his son from us, would he not freely provide pepper soup and boiled plantain? 

So today is 1st of another 365. I'm home, I didn't make plans to go out, so I'm watching TV, popped wine, ate rice, stayed on twitter, revised goals, got angry, got excited, danced to songs without drums....and would maybe buy me that steaming hot goat meat pepper-soup later in the evening if the desire doesn't fizzle out.
It's the beginning of a fresh start, nothing would spoil the day for me. 

Awon onigbese jatijati!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

“Folks are usually as happy about as happy as they make their minds up to be”

I have always supposed there was something not right about finding happiness, I mean, why do we have to find, look for, pursue happiness like it has a made-up mind to always break away from us? Watching little children proved me right; they are not in search of anything, they just create their own happy state.

Bella thinks she would be happy if Desmond proposes. Her life would just be perfect and heavenly. And I am wondering, “What would happen if Desmond walks away, does happiness walk out with him?

Aunty Dee thinks just one baby would bring her all the happiness she wants. She’s gone from pillar to post in search of this miracle baby; she would call him ‘Tanwa’ when he arrives. Tanwa means – ‘what we have been looking for’. Here I am thinking -”what if Tanwa doesn’t come eventually or Tanwa comes as a girl, would that not be half cup of happiness?

Well, I want a big car, SUV or a car-bus. I’ll be really ‘happy’ when I get one. But you know life goes on without a big car, right?

Sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I’m upset, and sometimes I’m overwhelmed and get teary. It’s okay to cry, I tell myself always. The big deal is what happens after the crying episode, I move on. Staying unhappy takes too much energy from me; it drains me of life literally. So like a kid, I cry and laugh at little or no intervals. I have no explanation for this but it is pure bliss.

Kids fascinate me; give one a chore to do, he may grumble first, then reluctantly get on the chore and in another minute, he may be dancing, whistling or singing on the same chore he took up reluctantly. They don’t look for happiness, kids create theirs. I believe they are the one on the right path, the path of creating happiness around you.

Image credit: www.beyondthecarseat.com

The circumstances may be far from favourable, the tides may seemingly be against you but happiness shouldn’t be far from you always. Happiness stems from your own actions, what you choose to do- happiness is never ready-made, no one find happiness- you create it. Finding happiness is giving someone (or maybe something and an event) the responsibility of making you happy; I think that’s too much to relinquish.

May Desmond propose soon to Bella and if he doesn’t, may Bella understand that it is not Desmond that brings her happiness, it is the expression of her love for him that does that. She created her emotions by expressing it…may Aunty Dee’s Tanwa come very soon, and if he delays or decides to come as a girl, may Aunty Dee’s cup be filled with happiness always, the one she would continuously create. And may my big car not delay any longer. But while we all wait, we must sing Hakuna Matata always…don’t worry, be happy.

Happiness is a feeling created by the expression of love coming out of you, when you express or anticipate love, you feel happy…if you express emotions of fear and anger, you will experience same.

“Folks are usually as happy about as happy as they make their minds up to be” – Abraham Lincoln

You should nap at work, if you need to, Just do it Right

Sometimes ago, I walked in to a CEO’s office for a meeting and he was roused from under the table. “Oga was really tired, he needed a nap” said his P.A; the carpet was very comfy anyway, I’m sure he would only have missed his pillows. One can’t tell how many times these big ogas take a power nap behind their closed doors, we only know when they emerge from that door, they are ready to take on the world; truth is , a little nap at work does wonder and I am saying; “You should nap at work, if you need to”

Professionals in a busy city like ours are struggling to get enough sleep and would need a break during the day. Before you scream “productivity”, know that power naps boost productivity. Serious but tired employees get revitalized and ready for more after a short nap. I also agree that slobs would be more tired and need a bed, pillows, blankets and drawn blinds during work hours to boost their energy, this is not about them, it’s about those who are focused on deliverables at work.

I found this picture of an office in Vietnam, isn't it cool? It's sleep time at work.

Image credit: maxgoestovietnam.blogspot.com

It’s unlikely your boss agrees to zoning out for 30 minutes at work, “sleeping on duty” is regarded as a work crime here, but, if you need to take that nap, I might just show you how to do it properly.

Get a team- together everybody achieves more, right? And that includes more naps and productivity. You may need someone’s space for the nap and another to cover up for you the 30 minutes you are “gone”.

Master the art of the quick wake up- you have to wake up sharp, at alert and ready; no yawning, no stretching. Leave that till you hit the bed.

Thou shall not snore- if you snore, don’t sleep at work. If you sleep at work, don’t ever snore; it’s embarrassing. Go get your cup of coffee for the alertness as power nap isn’t for you. Sleep so adorably no one wants to rouse you “sshhhh… she’s such a sleeping beauty”.

Nap can’t be more than 30 minutes, if you are doing it right. I don’t want to cover up for someone who would sleep 60 minutes at work.

Remember the 11th commandment “thou shall not be caught” and if you are ever caught, then thou shall not be jittery. Tell the boss you needed that break for productivity.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Pee Colour is Serious Matter

Have you ever taken a peek into the toilet bowl after emptying your bladder and seeing the dark yellow urine then instinctively check your temperature? . Lol! I bet some of you did and still do.  I did countless times as more than often; my urine was amber or dark yellow. By reflex, I would feel my temperature to be sure I was not running a fever.

wasn't the kind to stop and drink water, maybe only at meal times or when I’m exhausted from running around with the boys. I always knew something was wrong with that colour of urine but since I wasn't running a fever, I shrugged it off time after time. Well, I wasn't totally wrong, urine is diagnostic but not for fever like I thought.
So what does your pee colour say about your wellness?
Ideally, your urine should be pale straw or transparent yellow. Urine gets its colour from a yellow pigment called urochrome. So when your urine has that pale or transparent yellow colour, you are well hydrated and healthy.
Do you know you can also have too much water in the system? No colour or transparent urine says you are drinking too much fluid and your body is eager to get rid of the excess water. When you are on a diuretic, you will also be passing water frequently. A diuretic is any substance that promotes the production of urine; it could be recommended drugs, caffeinated drinks and beverages or even high-water content fruits.
Dark yellow means you can do better and drink more water. But if your urine is amber or honey colour, you may need to get up and drink some water now, as in, NOW.
People who drink less than 2 litres of water daily do not only get dehydrated; they also have constipation. Too much troubles for not drinking enough water; I had them all.
The urine shouldn't get out of the yellow spectrum of colour. If the urine looks like syrup, it could be severe dehydration.  If drinking lots of water fails to eliminate the colour, please visit the doctor. You should know pee colour is serious matter, don’t shrug it off, if you notice any strange colouration please see a doctor!

Image Courtesy: Thinkstock/Getty Images

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Meet the new D.O.P. in town

You don’t know your limits, how far you can stretch until you try- and this is no motivation talk; it’s from an experience I had.

There were some things I thought I would never be able to do, that I had no capacity for. I knew I could write to express myself but being a director of photography, telling a story with pictures looked almost impossible but I needed to make this happen at work to create a beautiful experience.

Here is how I conquered; I called uncle K (Kelechi Amadi-Obi) and asked to sit with him for few minutes. Uncle K gave me sixty minutes of his time and taught me how to create a mood board. I did and created a theme.

I went back to the office and sat with P&Y team and together brainstormed on props and settings.

The D-day came and I got all props and executed these beautiful work. Ijeoma is known more as Ozichi and the cutie, Zemira is her spirited daughter. Check out the pictures and tell me if I am a good DOP…

The guitar girl

Time for the mama-girl dance

do as I do

You should buy this copy of Pregnancy and You magazine to see all the other beautiful pictures and read Ozichi's story. Check out Pregnancy and You on facebook and connect for more info

I'm so excited!!!

Oh I missed out my picture -

Friday, 31 January 2014

Nostalgia : Pleasant Memories

It was a Thursday morning and I was walking behind these cute boys and their mom heading to school. Mom was holding the younger one, while the other walked beside them carrying his school bag and food pack in his white joggers and blue vest; Thursdays must be their sport activity day.
Little brother dropped his pencil but momma wasn't looking at them, she concentrated on making it to school as depicted by her pace. The little one had to signal to his brother to pick up the pencil; little big brother did and held on to the pencil. Like a flash, the little one protested and made some funny faces at his brother who didn't wait to think about anything before handing the pencil over to its owner. I smiled! God knows how many times the pencil would drop before their final destination. And that brought me pleasant memories.
Growing up, my big brother led me to nursery class every day. We got a coin each for lunch and I would hold my 10 kobo in my hand. School was a little distance down the quarters and we trekked like most kids. The bladder holds so little and for shorter periods as kids and I was no exception, it only came with the drama of most cute girls (winks).  
You know little girls can be dramatic when they have to pee, I think they wait till their tiny bladder is about to give way before frantically pull down the panties and pull up their dress with some funny dance to accompany the activity. I would stop by to pee and most time I dropped the coin unknowingly while ‘doing’ the drama.

Time after time, I dropped the coin and when I grasped that the coin was gone, and I would cry so hard that Niyi would give me his coin. Sweet brother! Yet I never allowed him to hold the coin for me till we get to school.
Now, I think Niyi should have collected the coin from home and kept till we got to school or he should have allowed me cry out my eyes if I refused and loose the coin eventually. But wasn't that why we were children; pure in thoughts, innocence in acts and naive in reasoning?
I didn't have the honour of harvesting this act as my younger brothers went to a different nursery school.  God knew I may not have given them my coin.

Sweet thing is big brother still has my back till now, grown and no longer in the same nest, he still shares his stuff with his father’s daughter.

PS- this is my Neyoski as I call him 
Bimbola and  Niyi