Friday, June 29, 2012

How I Fell in Love with Two Women (Six)

I let out a little yelp, and my roommates gathered around me immediately. Dumb stricken, I let the phone fall from my hand – and someone picked it up and read the text out loud. They all went quiet for a while, and then started to talk all at once. Everyone had an idea on how to save the day, and each person felt their idea was best.

After a few minutes of hullaballoo, someone suggested that I dash out of the room immediately, meet ‘Tomi on the way, and head for the palace; I would turn my phones off, and explain to ‘Sayo on returning that I had to do something for someone urgently. They all went quiet, and then started to talk all at once again - everyone claiming the idea was originally theirs.

It seemed to make sense, so I picked my phones and wallet and left the room. As I descended the stairs, I called ‘Tomi to say I had gotten tired of waiting and had left my room – so we would meet halfway. She was already at the hostel gates by this time, and so said she would return to the bus-stop. It was still early in the morning and buses were coming into hostel areas to drop off students coming from Ife town. My plan was to take a bus from the Fajuyi Hall bus-stop, so doing reduce the risk of inadvertently running into ‘Sayo while walking to the main bus-stop at the Students Union Building.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Game That Heals; Jane McGonigal at TEDGlobal 2012

The first time I listened to Jane McGonigal speak, I was dumbstruck by her argument: she proposes that all of mankind spend 21 billion hours a week playing games!!! Yes, you read that right! 21 BILLION HOURS!

I mean... We're talking about what is really important in life - and this woman is here asking us to spend more time playing "Angry Birds'???

Turns out there's some logic to her argument...

Now, read more about how a game saved her own life at the Ted blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The 10 Greatest Social Entrepreneurs of All Time

In the end, it falls to us all to transmit this world not only better - but also more beautiful - than it was transmitted to us...

While it is admirable to build a successful business of any kind, some entrepreneurs do more than just make a profit with the fruits of their labor. Some actually help others, bringing resources, opportunities, training, and other assets to those who need them most.

The Online College has put together a list of the 10 greatest social entrepreneurs of all time... Read all about them and their work here.

How I Fell in Love with Two Women (Five)

This is continued from part four here...

Within one week of seeing that play, I re-discovered passions and hobbies I had thought lost forever. I would dream up some exotic activity in the morning and send texts to both of them – inviting them to ‘trip’ with me. Inevitably, ‘Tomi would say no – and in fairness to her, suggest some other activity that she preferred. ‘Sayo on the other hand seemed to exist for me, and so we did all sorts together.

We saw plays and attended book-reading events. We explored the Natural History museum and got lost walking around the Staff Quarters. I began to spend less and less time with ‘Tomi. In the past, I would plead with her when she refused to do something with me – and still hang out with her regardless of her decision. Now, all that had passed. I had an option, and a beautiful one at that. My heart would sometimes revolt, but inevitably acquiesce – after all, it felt good to finally do the things I wanted.

I had the best of both worlds. At least so I thought until it all came undone.

9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People

The most successful people in business approach their work differently than most. See how they think--and why it works...

I'm fortunate enough to know a number of remarkably successful people. Regardless of industry or profession, they all share the same perspectives and beliefs.

And they act on those beliefs:

1. Time doesn't fill me. I fill time.

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks.

Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.

Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time...

Great article on, read the rest here...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How I Fell in Love with Two Women (Four)

This story is continued from part three here.

As I turned around – almost in slow motion – to greet him, my heart prayed all sorts of prayers: that it was not really him, that power supply to Spices would fail all of a sudden and I would disappear under the cloak of darkness, that he would be here alone – looking to grab a quick meal before another one of his meetings.

I caught the smell of Omnia Green Jade for the second time in one night. As I extended my hand to ‘Koye, I saw her. She was standing right behind him.

You know how it feels when you steal for the very first time and get caught? I felt exactly that way. I went weak at the knees, and my mouth went dry. My heart cursed ‘Koye for showing up at this inopportune moment. It did not help that ‘Tomi was smiling at me, that full toothy vulnerable smile of hers. I felt like a cheating boyfriend, husband even. My epiphanies were yet to acquire legs: my heart was winning the battle with my head.

Monday, June 25, 2012

How I Fell in Love with Two Women (Three)

This is continued from part two here... You made read part one here...

I walked into Spices a few minutes before 9pm. It felt wrong, criminal even, to sit at the centre-table where I met ‘Tomi exactly four years to the day – so I chose a different one in the dimly lit corner. I sunk into my chair, acutely aware this was her favorite restaurant and she might walk in at any time.

Then she, the other she, arrived.

She came in and looked around – failing to notice me – and retrieved her phone from her clutch-purse. Evidently, she was going to dial my number. I made no move to stop her and introduce myself, preferring instead to observe her from the anonymity of my seat. She was lighter skinned, of a slightly smaller build, and had shorter hair.

In that instant, I realized I was subconsciously comparing her to ‘Tomi. I had just had my second epiphany of the day – my subconscious expectation that every woman in my life would be another ‘Tomi had led me to the point where I had only one female friend, ‘Tomi. My original epiphany now had a Siamese twin.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How I Fell in Love with Two Women (Two)

This story is continued from Part One here...

I became confused. She would not say a yes, or a no. I was lost. I had been so certain all I needed to do to ‘formalize’ our relationship was just ask. Now, I had become the laughingstock of my friends. After all, how many guys ‘chased’ a girl for four years? I prayed. I sang. I fasted. I thought. I dyed my hair. I got a new perfume. I changed bathing soaps. Nothing changed; well, maybe something did – my grades fell, alongside my self-confidence.

And then I met ‘Sayo.

My signature article, For the Love of Nigeria, was published on the Megaphone news-board at ODLT – and the editor included my contact details below the post. By this time, I had lost confidence in my ability to achieve anything. My CGPA had sunk despicably, my finances were in dire straits, and my friendships had badly deteriorated. Yet, my dream girl - the cause of it all – continued to elude me at every turn. I needed something to boost my self-confidence, to prove to myself that I was still good at something - so I decided to sit at the basement and watch people read and react to my article.

In retrospect, that was the first good decision I would make in about four years.

Friday, June 22, 2012

GEJ sacks Azazi

In a move that is typically Nigerian, President GEJ has sacked Azazi (former NSA) and Defence Minister (Dr. Haliru Bello).

In my opinion, they - Azazi in particular - should have resigned when it became evident that the Boko Haram issue was beyond their ability to manage.

It now remains to be seen if this move will really change anything... We hope for the best.

Read the Daily Times report here.

How I Fell in Love with Two Women (One)

All of a sudden, there was a lump in my throat.

Tears gathered in my eyes as I watched ‘Tomi cry, threatening to reveal the turmoil I felt inside. I swallowed hard as I fought the urge to put my arm around her shoulders and comfort her. I dug my fingers into the back of my chair till they hurt, willing myself to remain seated. It was better to let her cry, to leave her to settle this on her own.

It hurt me even deeper to see her hurt so. The sight of tears wracking her body, throwing her lean frame to and fro like a leaf before the wind, would haunt me for years to come. The sound of her crying would wake me from my sleep, stabbing at my heart in an endless rhetoric: “What If?”

I met her my first day on campus, November 28 2006. I was sitting in Spices, drinking Coke while I waited for my food. It was half an hour since I placed my order, and I was becoming angry at being kept waiting. I stood up to ask the waiter what the issue was, and then I saw her. She had beautiful hair, neatly combed and fit into a loose bun that bounced with her every step. She had dancing eyes, here this moment and there the next, leading you on and on till you fell under her trance. Her voice had a singsong quality: strong, yet alluring. She was beautiful. I sat down again.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rethinking Education and Employment

Watch Opeyemi Awoyemi of speak at TedxIfe.

Nice talk (forgive the poor video quality), and some interesting statistics:
"66% of job vacancies (in Nigeria) today do not have a specific course as a prerequisite."

"50% of job titles (in Nigeria), as they exist today, did not exist 50 years ago."

"Parents need to understand one simple thing. Do not stifle creativity. Rather, encourage it."

GEJ's ill-timed trip to Rio

President GEJ has been taking a lot of vitriol, deservedly, over his ill-timed trip to Rio.

Your people bomb and shoot themselves, and you travel to a United Nations Earth Summit? Grow some balls Mr. President, or take a class in Project Management!

In case GEJ does not know, we are at war. He is a war-time president. He needs to set the right priorities, develop the right strategies, and ensure Nigerians remain hopeful.

I have said my own.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Distorted, The Comic

This super-cool comic by Divine International is out!

I'll be giving out two free copies over the next few weeks... Watch this space.

I have not been posting a lot of late because I have been working on a story (non-fiction). It's a great one, a story of how a guy falls in love with two women... I'm sure you'll like it when it's done... :)

Advice for Entrepreneurs, by Francisco Dao

I came across this article by Francisco Dao where he gives entrepreneurs 7 items of street-advise... Thought to share.

You are not entitled to anything. This should be obvious to everyone but we now seem to live in a world where everyone feels they deserve special treatment. On the streets there is no special treatment. If you want something, it’s up to you to go out and get it.

Nobody cares about your problems, they have their own to deal with. Too often I see people complaining about trivial bullshit as if I’m supposed to care. The world is not your personal complaint desk. In fact, I don’t care at all, and odds are nobody else does either. Your problems are not my problems so handle your business and stop bitching.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My relapse years, by Sarah Heplon

...Lately, I have been trying to do things I am bad at, simply to remind myself that it’s OK. Right now, I’m learning to play the guitar. I’m awkward, which is embarrassing, and the other night I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom in Dallas (which is painted with eccentric diagonal stripes, like it was designed by ’80s new wave robots, or Blondie), and I was cursing my inability to properly make a C chord. I thought to myself: I am never going to play this guitar. And I would be 100 percent right about that if I did what I felt like doing in that moment, which was to send that guitar hurtling across the room in frustration.
Instead, I took a deep breath, and continued to fail...

Great article by Sarah Hepola, articulating a different perspective on failure... Read the full article here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thoughts From a Funeral

I like cemeteries.

I like to walk amidst the graves and calculate the ages at which the buried died. I like to read the epitaphs: poems, bible verses, and sometimes prose that family and friends write in honor of the dead. I like the quiet: the rustle of dry leaves underfoot, the sound of birds singing, the distant look of a mourner who has come to honor the memory of a relative long dead.

I cry. I always cry when I visit a cemetery, or attend a funeral.

Sometimes I cry quietly. At other times, I wail noisily. I leave sad. I always leave sad. But I leave more grateful for my life, for my friends and family, and for the opportunities I have.

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of Sanmi Awodogan, a young and promising man who lost his life in the Dana air crash. As always, I spent an hour walking round the graves - lost in thought. I will now share those thoughts with you:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Indescribable (Lyrics) by Chris Tomlin

I would like the share the lyrics of the song Indescribable by Chris Tomlin... The song really speaks to me at this moment... You may download it here.

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea,
Creation's revealing Your majesty,
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring,
Every creature unique in the song that it sings,
All exclaiming:

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name,
You are amazing, God
All powerful, untameable
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim,
You are amazing, God,

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go,
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow,
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light,
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night,
None can fathom:

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name,
You are amazing, God
All powerful, untameable
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim,
You are amazing, God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing, God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing, God
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing, God
You are amazing, God

The two mouths of Farouk Lawan.

On Sunday, June 10 2012, Farouk Lawan wrote:

"My attention has been drawn to several newspapers and internet stories alleging that a prominent member of the House ad-hoc committee on petroleum subsidy demanded and received the sum of $600,000 as bribe from an oil marketer.

I wish to categorically deny that I, or any member of the committee, demanded and received any bribe from anybody in connection with the fuel subsidy probe and I believe this is evident from the thorough an in-depth manner the investigation was carried out and the all encompassing recommendations produced there from as approved by the whole House.


"This clarification is necessary in order to clear all the insinuations being bandied about and, more importantly, to enable the government concentrate on the implementation of the report. The present mudslinging is not unexpected in view of the calibre of people whose actions and inactions were found wanting in the report. 

I am aware that in their desperation to discredit the report and divert the attention of the public from the real issues of large scale fraud in high places established in our report, a video footage displaying a caricature of my person allegedly having a dealing with a marketer reminiscent of the military era when dignitaries were invited to the Presidential Villa to watch a video clip of a phantom coup involving Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is already in circulation..."

And on Tuesday, June 12 2012, he confesses to journalists that he collected the money after Otedola approached him, and that he informed the police and his colleagues about it.

This new confession is confusing.

Seeing as I was so excited when his report was first released, even writing a post about it - now I feel so disappointed.

In the end, all of them are thieves. :(

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Myth of Job Security (One)

This morning, I saw on CNN that Olympus, the camera makers, have announced a 5 year growth plan that includes cutting 2,700 jobs. Only a few weeks ago, HP cut 27,000 jobs. Look around Lagos today, and you see lots of eBanking outlets - with GTBank a clear market leader in this regard. With an increasing number of ATMs that dispense cash and accept deposits, more jobs are set to go in the Nigerian banking industry.

One of the many truths that have hit me in the past few months is that job security as our parents knew it, is a myth.

In today's world, there is no such guarantee for the average worker.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Updates on the Dana Air Crash...

So a member of staff at Dana Air called in to a Channels TV program to confirm that the plane was faulty, management was aware, and they were 'forced' to fly the plane... Watch the YouTube video above... One would expect a number of arrests and prosecutions to follow this. The Nigerian government needs to take a strong stance!

Also, Daily Times put together a report detailing the history of the crashed plane, and proving that it was just a disaster waiting to happen... Read it here...

Linda Ikeji has collected a couple of pictures from the crash site into one blog post... See them here...

Lastly, a former Executive Director in Air Nigeria, John I. Nnorom, has warned Nigerians to stay away from Air Nigeria flights, describing them as 'Flying Coffins'... Read all about it here... Also see Air Nigeria's rebuttal here. Given the back-and-forth, I would expect the Aviation Authorities to take this up and investigate thoroughly.

As expected, the Senate has temporarily suspended the DG of the Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren. They have also suspended operations by Dana Airlines. Read all about it here. I expect the Senate to take this one step forward by establishing a Nigerian version of the National Transportation Safety Board - with the responsibility to investigate all traffic accidents and make clear cut policy and safety recommendations.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Foreigners Reactions to the Plane Crash

Every one needs to read the comments (particularly those by foreigners) on this Yahoo! article...



The Brevity of Life

The brevity of life.

I am confused. I can't think straight. I can't focus. I am in shock. The more I think of it, the worse it feels.

I have never been in an airplane, not even on a Primary School excursion. Right now, I almost wish I never see the inside of one...

As much as I try to be optimistic for my country, now it takes all my effort to keep from descending into despair... Nothing seems to work around here! Insecurity is rife as ever... Government has taken on businesses it has no business being in, neglecting the more focused regulatory role it should be playing...

It is widely reported that the Dana airplane had been undergoing repairs for weeks. Isn't there a system in place to ensure flight-worthiness of the many planes that fly the Nigerian airspace? Isn't there a responsive authority that the Nigerian staff who knew the plane was faulty could have complained to after the Indian management insisted on flying the plane? Is there a functional Nigerian equivalent of the National Transportation Safety board?

We know what will happen next... Mr. President will order a full-scale inquiry into the cause of the crash... Our flags will fly at half-mast for the next three days... He will ask the Aviation Minister, Princess Oduah to leave no stone unturned... Maybe Dana Airlines will be sanctioned, maybe not... The Distraction Committee will come up with something drastic to take our minds off the incident, like renaming the University of Ibadan... We will forget... And it will happen again...

Someone needs to tell the President that we don't need one-off inquiries... We need a system that works! We need our own NTSB to systematically investigate accidents, publish reports to the public, and make clear-cut policy and safety recommendations!

I know an eight month old baby, who is now fatherless. I know a woman recently married, who is now widowed... Families thrown into mourning... Breadwinners killed... Husbands, wives; fathers, mothers; children, lovers - gone in the twinkle of an eye.

Here this moment, gone the next; fading away like the stars of the morning.

More than ever, I am convinced that the only way to live is with a full consciousness of the brevity of life... There is no use postponing the achievement of our dreams and visions till some time in the future... There's something you want to do and be, do it now... Don't wait till you can sponsor a hundred kids, sponsor the one that you can now...

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my savior..."

Life can be difficult to understand...

Saturday, June 02, 2012

On Growing Passive Income...

I was recently re-reading my worn copy of the timeless classic, The Richest Man in Babylon, and I re-discovered the following paragraphs I would love to share:

"...To the building of an estate there must always be the beginning. That start may be a few pieces of gold or silver which a man diverts from his earnings to his first investment. I, myself, am the owner of many herds. The start of my herds I did begin when I was a mere boy and did purchase with one piece of silver a young calf. This, being the beginning of my wealth, was of great importance to me.

"To take his first start to building an estate is as good luck as can come to any man. With all men, that first step, which changes them from men who earn from their own labor to men who draw dividends from the earnings of their gold, is important.  Some, fortunately, take it when young and thereby outstrip in financial success those who take it later or those unfortunate men, like the father of this merchant, who never take it."

Many of us, desiring to be rich, forget that Rome was not built in a day...

Think on these things... :)

Friday, June 01, 2012

Lead City students diss 2shotz; in POOR English...

I checked out this website by Lead City University students yesterday, and I wanted to cry. Don't they like have compulsory English courses, electives or what have you?

I wanted to cry for the Nigerian educational system... These are Nigerian undergraduates... People that will leave school within the next few months/years and join the labor pool... And they cannot even express themselves in good English! Honestly, they should have just put up the website in pidgin English or Yoruba...

As the story goes, they invited 2shotz to Ibadan for an event, and he showed up (after much ado) - but did not perform... If you want to view the website and can cope with their English, please click here. Excerpts below: