Thursday, November 9, 2017

4 Ways To Improve Sexual Intimacy With Your Spouse

Raising kids, dealing with work stress or the pressure to have children are just a few of the things that can kill your sexual intimacy.

For guys, prolonged absence of sex is hard not just because of the desire for sexual release which is higher than that of women, but because subconsciously, men tie their masculinity to sex. Soon their confidence gets eroded with the constant rejections from their wives causing self-doubt. When self-doubt sets in, it rubs off on other areas of their lives. Hence the need for someone other than their wives to help restore their bruised ego by providing sex even though they still love and are proud of their wives.

But do you know women also eventually start feeling the same way as guys do when their husbands stop desiring them, stops asking for sex, or showing any form of affection towards them as well? That’s why they get drawn to the first guy that fills that void created by their husbands.

So before you start looking outside your home and forsaking your marital vows, try these steps:

1. Whisper sweet nothings.

It is always important to talk to your spouse. When you want sex, say so but also talk about the feelings you have. Compliment each other as often as you can, share words of affirmation whenever your spouse needs it. If they are looking sexy (i.e. sexually desirable), tell them.

Share with each other the desires both of you inspire in each other. You can send a sex text (also known as sexting). Serenade each other with love songs if your vocals are on point. If you can’t sing, play a track and dedicate it to your spouse. Send a radio request if you know she will hear it. Don’t always wait till you guys are at home to whisper sweet nothings to your spouse.

SEE ALSO: Intimacy in marriage after having kids written by me for from

2. Be hands-on.

Touch as a love language is about those little physical contacts that create a sense of closeness without the commitment of sex. They include holding hands when you walk, a light peck on the cheek when your spouse comes in from the office or a hug just before they go to work.

Give a massage; cuddle not only when you want to have sex but regularly. You can cuddle with your clothes on sometimes and without the clothes but try very hard to delay the desire for intercourse in those moments of physical closeness. Burst out some ‘magic mike’ moves/strip tease if you can. That way you build a longing for sex that will come more naturally the next time you are together.

3. Have date nights.

If going out to dine, going to the cinema alone or renting a hotel room will break your bank, you can have a date night at home. Fix it for a time when the kids are asleep if you don’t have a babysitter.

Once in a while, turned off the TV when you are alone. Sometimes watching a movie can take away from being together. Take turns in planning Date night. Date night could be once a week or once in two weeks or even once a month. Let it not be only for birthdays and wedding anniversaries you plan a special time out.

Bring out the candles, prepare a special meal or buy take out if you prefer, sit and enjoy each other’s company. If organising it is burdensome and you know any group organising a couples timeout or get-away, sign up and join them. Maximise the opportunities you have to create special memories and moments alone with your spouse.

4. Update your sexual archives.

There is a place of mental preparedness when it comes to issues relating to sex. Once your mind is well primed, getting down to business will be much easier. Read up on all things sex and share with your spouse what you discovered. Let curiosity drive your passion.

Guys, treat her like a lady and a queen. Ladies, treat him like the king that he is. As your intimacy grows, even age won’t be able to stop you both from being sexually intimate.

Monday, October 30, 2017

World Anaesthesia Day: What you need to know

On the 16th October, while we foodies were celebrating World Food Day and discussing how to make food available for those most in need, the medical society was celebrating World Anaesthesia Day. It’s a day set aside to educate the masses on the importance of that sphere of medical science to their health care.

 Who is an anesthesiologist and what makes their work so important? Anaesthesiologists are physicians who give anaesthesia before, during, or after surgery or other medical procedures. Anaesthetics are used to block out pain or the memory of pain, leading to painless medical procedures. It also acts as a muscle relaxant in extreme cases and is capable of inducing a mild state of unconsciousness in patients.

 The practice began aeons ago, but the use of modern anaesthesia can be traced back to 1849 when a Boston dentist (William T.G. Morgan) used it successfully in a public demonstration on a patient at Massachusetts General Hospital. Before then people used to be told to bite down on cloths or other items when in extreme pain; some were even instructed to inhale substances with anaesthetic properties during procedures. But over time, it has been discovered that the body reacts differently(regarding side effects) to anaesthesia that is inhaled and that which is given intravenously. Although the dosage given can be responsible for that, it would seem the latter is the preferred method for human beings.

 An anesthesiologist is just as important to any medical procedure - especially those of a surgical nature - as the consultant or surgeons. The use of anaesthesia involves not only the administration of the drug before surgery but also monitoring of the patient’s vitals with machines during and after the surgery. It also includes watching out to reverse any unexpected adverse effect of the anaesthesia on the patient during or after the surgery. It’s not a-one-shoe-fits-all kind of practice because there are different areas of specialisation within anesthesiology. There is pain management, paediatric anesthesiology, or critical care medicine. As with any medical practice, it takes a total of 12-13 years to be a pro in this field.

I’m sure you are wondering how this information is useful to us Nigerians. If you’ve ever been on an operating table, you can relate to the importance of anaesthesiologists. In Nigeria, the tale of a two-year-old child died during a simple procedure because there was no anesthesiologist present after the surgery, have once made the headlines. Another regular occurrence is the inability to book someone in for a medical procedure because there was no confirmed report on how soon an anesthesiologist would be available. For such similar stories, the most prevalent question has been where did the anesthesiologist go?

The truth is, there is a shortage of anesthesiologists in the world. Most times in Nigeria, the available ones a booked back to back by different hospitals or health institutions. That is not to say I approve of a doctor leaving the theatre for any reason when the patient is on the operating table. My point is, such occurrences would be less frequent if we had sufficient doctors practising anesthesiology. For instance, in Benin City, there are only 52 anesthesiologists catering to over 5 million people. This problem is not unique to Nigeria because, in Liverpool, there are about 50 anaesthesiologists and trainees who serve over 150, 000 people in their community.

The implication of this is that many people find themselves in surgery without a certified anesthesiologist and when a complication arises, these makeshift arrangements cause a crisis. We may not all be knowledgeable in the medical field, but what we can do is, as patients, we can insist on having qualified health care providers. As parents, when our children studying medicine want to specialise, we can discuss the different medical fields with them and point them in the direction of anaesthesiology where there is a high demand for doctors with a range of employment options. Because an anesthesiologist can work with dentists, gynaecologists and surgeons during invasive surgeries, labour/delivery, cosmetic or eye surgeries, etc.

That is why this year’s celebration was tagged Count Me In. We all have a role to play in ensuring we get adequate health care. Once people are aware of any need, potential solutions begin to emerge. Until I met an anesthesiologist, I was blissfully unaware of why surgeries were planned around the availability of one. I’ve done my role in informing you. Now do yours in spreading this information.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Lovers Alley

It is not news that I have a Book Review show titled Book Lovers Alley on Youtube's Nimabox Live Channel, a new edutainment TV channel online. One of the reasons I could not say no to this show when it was presented to me was the fact that I needed to reawaken my love for books. Yes, I know, it happens to me too. As a reader, I had gotten sloppy; I found myself reading information shared on social media pages and reading strictly for research purposes to write more articles for other sites where I am a contributing writer. Not to mention trying to increase book sales for my books - The Quilt and Being Mummy and Me as well as being a mother and a wife.

I wanted a compelling reason to justify spending hours lost in reading a good book and basking in the satisfaction of fulfilment that I'm sharpening my fiction writing skills by studying the works of other writers. Not that I need one anyway, my career sort of requires that I do. Lol. I guess it is the pressure to earn passive and active income that makes me feel guilty for spending a lot of time reading. Sometimes everyone needs that extra push to get them back in a corner with a book. As writers, the push is to update ourselves by reading other authors' works. And just like everything else in life, reading has to be deliberate. Life throws so much at us that if we don't force or encourage ourselves to read, then we will lose a part of ourselves that enables us to be improved and open minded.

Another reason this show is important besides giving you that much-needed push to read, is that it helps you decide what books to read. That way you don't spend cash buying a book whose storyline you don't like or whose author's philosophy you don't share. That will totally make you feel like you wasted your cash. By watching this show, you can get value for your money on books you purchase. So far, the books I have shared on the Show are books I read years ago and the more we shoot, the more books I am forced to read. The show covers a wide variety of books from different categories and genre. We have Non-Fiction book reviews on Career/Personal development books and Fiction books from Children's Books to Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Thriller, etc. We also review comics and graphic novels on the show too.

So if you have missed any of the shows since it started running, follow these links to find your way back:

Episode 1 - Jeremy Fisher (Children's Book) and A Simple Plan (Thriller)

Episode 2 - Star Dust (Fantasy, Book turned into movie)

Episode 3 - 26 Big Ideas (Personal Development, Non-Fiction)

Episode 4 - Yellow Yellow (Drama, Fiction based on the challenges faced in Nigeria's Niger Delta region)

Episode 5 - Purpose Driven Life (Personal Development, Non-Fiction)

Episode 6 - Nigerian Comics (Fiction)

And Season one isn't done yet. By Season two, we are going to have author interviews and a much-rounded package for you. So stick with us and don't go anywhere. Invite your friends who are fellow book lovers to watch the show and share the videos from YouTube to your social media handles so more people can benefit from it also. If you have books you'd like me to review, you can suggest it and if you are a writer and you'd like me to discuss your book on the show, feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media platforms - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But please don't take offence if I can't put your book on the show, I reserve the right to say no because book reading is time intensive. And remember, I do have other jobs to tend to outside the show.

Bottom line, take out time and drop by the Youtube channel and Subscribe so you can get notifications on when to watch the different episodes of my show. It is one great way to renew your desire to read.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Excerpts from Being Mummy and Me [The tales of Motherhood] by Ann Esievoadje

Being Mummy and Me [The tales of Motherhood] is a non-fiction book on motherhood and balancing individuality in different facets of life. Many times women get lost in the identity being a mother create that they forget who they are as individuals. This often makes it difficult for them to adjust when the kids are finally out of the house or if something tragic happens. As women, we need to ensure we never lose sight of the attributes that make us unique as individuals and as spouses to our partners. The book is sprinkled with stories from real parents about real interactions with their children that come across as funny. Hence the addendum, the tales of motherhood.

So for a year now, only a select few have had access to my second book and today, I've decided to share a chapter in it. The chapter I will be sharing today is Chapter Eight: Motherhood and Raising the Kids.

"A parenting coach (Mr Adeh Jones) once told me, parenting is a reflection of you as a person. The first time I heard it, I thought it was preposterous, but the more I thought about it, the more it became real. I remember telling someone how upset I was that I could not leave my son to do his assignment alone because he would not make any progress; he would keep erasing whatever he writes assuming it is rubbish because it was not perfectly written even though the answer was correct. The person laughed and said I should not be upset because my son was a perfectionist just like me. I was shocked, not because I believe I am a perfectionist but because the more I kept insisting he should write in a particular way rather than just simply encouraging him, I was indirectly teaching him that what he was capable of wasn't good enough. So I had to back down on the need to force his handwriting to be perfect and allow him to scrawl on paper like the three-year-old he was back then. That was when I started believing that how we are as parents does affect how we raise our children. If you are a patient person, you’ll find you are more forgiving with the kids and their tantrums or mishaps, and this becomes the basis of normal behaviour to adapt to for your children. If you are hard on yourself regarding being an overachiever, the tendency that you would want your kids to become like that is equally high. But we have to recognise that children are unique individuals too. Just as we didn’t want our parents hammering at us to conform to their mould of life or perceptions of us, so also we have to learn to ease up on our kids and give them room to be their own individuals.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we should abandon our responsibility of training and guiding them into being responsible individuals who will be a blessing to generations. It just means we should be careful to not view our children as clones of us but as individuals like us as well. When you are aware of who you are, what your values are and why you want certain things to be the standard in the home, you’ll be better equipped to relate to your children and help them as they come to terms with who they are and why they are predisposed to particular preferences. You’ll end up being a role model that inspires rather than one that they place on a pedestal and dare not aspire to become like because you are perceived as too perfect.

True Story: "Mommy, how is baby going to come out?"
I slant my eyes at my son, who would be 6 years old in three months and admit to myself that a Mr Stork answer is definitely out of the question.
"When the time is right God will bring him out." "Will you vomit him?"
"No! My throat is too small for a baby to get through."
"You'll bring him out from the pee pee?"
Quiet sigh. "Yes."
Scrunching up his face, "Won't it pain you?"
"No. God relaxes my tummy and brings baby out 'poop!'"

Another thing to keep in mind when raising children is the fact that having your sense of personal identity doesn’t mean you need to exclude yourself from your kids. It’s not a license to drive everyone away for some peace and quiet till they no longer want to hang out with you or interpret your actions to mean you do not love them. You can introduce the things you love to the kids. For instance, I love to dance. I did a lot of dancing when I was pregnant and when I gave birth, I would sit my son down and dance in front of him (Dancing is one of my ways of staying fit). As soon as he got older, he too began to jump around whenever I danced. I took him to his school’s end of year party and cheered as he broke his shy exterior and began to dance in public.

By sharing activities you love with your kids, you help them see a side of you they would never have come to discover on their own. It frees them to build a friendship with you and creates an atmosphere of trust, communication and honesty. They get to know what makes mummy happy, sad, angry, tired etc. I also love being in God’s presence. I don’t hide to worship or pray, I let my kids see me connect with God. So when my son is taking a bath and feels like singing, he sings a worship song I fell in love with and sang very often when he was younger. He decides at random that he wants to go to church during the week or pray with his dad even though his vocabulary isn’t all that. And I love him more for it."

I hope you enjoyed that preview from my second published (but first non-fiction) book. Hit me up if you would like to get a copy of the ebook.

In other news, today is the launch of Nimabox TV, Whoop, whoop. Nimabox is a new edutainment channel on Social Media featuring a wide array of shows from Football live, to Tech files, Culture Clan, Igboro and so much more. I am elated to be part of this crew. Please follow all Nimabox media channels online and subscribe to Nimabox on YouTube to catch all these great shows. You can find Nimabox on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (@nimaboxlive) and on Youtube.

The big reveal of my show "Book Lovers Alley" is Tomorrow. I am nervous and excited at the same time. Do let me know your thoughts on the pilot episode when you watch it. Feedbacks are an excellent way to help anyone get better at anything they are doing. So please give a shout out when you do see it okay? Till then, remember: "Life is short. The onus is on us to make the moments count!" - Quote by Ann Esievoadje.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Celebrating the 4th of July

Happy Independence Day America! Greetings to my ever faithful readers in the USA. As you guys celebrate the democratic birth of your nation over 240years ago, I would like to use this day to commemorate a woman who stirred in me the passion for national reformation, whose birthday happens to actually be today. Her name is Dr Joe Odumakin.
I recently did a piece on her for Connect Nigeria which will be posted soon, and I was reminded again just how blessed we are to have a humble, dedicated and vigorous woman fighting for the cause of female liberties, justice and good governance in our country. I remember the first time I heard her speak; it challenged me to start paying closer attention to National issues and how I could use my gift of writing to make a difference in Nation building. I ran up to her after the program to not only have a picture of her but to volunteer my blog to be used to spread communique on any subject she deems fit to rally behind. As with all busy people, our communication stopped after a few emails. But the seeds she sowed in my heart forced me to ask myself critical questions like, am I ready to die for the cause of a better Nigeria?
These days we have so many social media activists in Nigeria, but when push comes to shove, everyone gets tongued tied because only a few have what it takes to endure what Dr Joe has endured in the fight for a better Nigeria. Only when you are willing to fight selflessly for a cause can you truly admit that you are dedicated to that cause. So here are some nuggets of truth I picked up from her life story when I was done researching on her:
1. Own a cause - There is a lot wrong with the world we live in today. Colin Tomlin’s book, Your A-Z for Growth, mentions having a cause as one of the prerequisites for personal growth/maturity. When you commit yourself to being the solution to any of the many challenges the world faces, you become fulfilled and a master at something. You don’t have to be the one in the streets leading the protests if you can’t handle the consequences of such actions from powers that be. You can help a cause by giving your time, money or skill. Support those who are doing what you would love to do and stay committed to them. You don’t have to solve an institutional or systematic wrong alone; start little by sensitising others, building a team of people as passionate about the cause as you are and start working on doable solutions to the problems. Look around you, who can you help? Take action, and like little drops of water that make a mighty ocean, you will find yourself championing a cause.
2. Have a stable source of income - There is a lot we would love to do to make our lives more meaningful. Like committing to an NGO or religious organisation, going on business trips or vacations abroad, getting recognition for our skills or enterprise. But all that cannot happen if we are broke. We need to be financially empowered to live out our dreams. To do so, you need to have the right education. Books are a powerful tool for mental transformation. So read widely, both what you like and what you don’t like for examples, history, memorandums, biographies, articles on specialist fields like medicine, computing, etc. Also, Study in the field of your interests, learn soft skills, stay hungry and be ready to work without making excuses.
3. Marry the right person - There is a school that believes no one is Mr or Mrs Right, but it's a known fact that there are factors to consider before tying yourself to any one individual in the bonds of marriage. One of which is having a spouse that supports your vision or passion. One who is willing to give you room to achieve the lofty heights you need to attain in life for your own personal fulfilment. Someone who understands what makes you tick and can help you resolve any issues or obstacles that can stand in your way of achieving your dreams. Also, make out time to treat that person special. Find their love language and reciprocate as often as you can. Nothing encourages a spouse as much as gratitude and mutual respect.
4. Have Mentors - It’s not enough to admire people from books or from a distance. You need to have physical mentors. People who will guide you in decision making, push you to give your best, throw you curve balls to overcome and stand with you both in public and private. The mentor does not necessarily need to be in your field of interest. They could be people who dared to do things by working with principles that will give you the result you need for your endeavours. People whose lives have the fruit and result you want in yours and are willing to dedicate the time to inspire you to become just that. A lot of people want to be called a coach and have people kiss up to them in their charge, but the proof of a real mentor is one who will continue to follow your progress, being actively involved even when the purpose for your union has long expired. I’m sure if I had more time, I would have said a lot more. It’s good to have someone to look up to. They may not be perfect or do things right all the time, but just being there gives you the strength to persist in your battles. Likewise, be such an inspiration to others around. As we all play our part, we will see a change in our world. Once again, Happy Birthday America and Happy Birthday Dr Josephine Obiajulu Okei-Odumakin.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


I've been a fan of Nathaniel Bassey's Music since I first heard him minister in Benin City five years ago. I was part of the choir that backed him up during some of his ministrations even though it was our church's show then. Don't bother looking for me in the picture; you won't see me - a black girl wearing black tends to fade behind lead backup singers. LOL. Anyway, I remember being so moved by it that all I could think about was heaven and being as far removed from the troubles of this world. Fast forward to last year during The Experience 11th edition hosted by House on The Rock. Although Nathaniel Bassey was visibly absent, foreign ministers like Micah Stampley and Donnie McCklurkin, couldn't help crooning his songs because they resonated with the vast crowd of believers gathered to worship.

Based on The Experience, it should come as no surprise that Nigerians are currently trending on social media with the one-hour midnight praise for 30 days (also known as the #HallelujahChallenge) initiated by Nathaniel Bassey which commenced on June 1st. But the one thing that seems to be standing out is not just the number or range of people turning up at midnight to sing praises to God for an hour; it is the ripple effect that it's making waves. Such as:

1. The numerous instant miracles and testimonies that began to pour in from people who participated.

2. The multiple mentions on social media (Statistics from Evolve Press: 10,000 posts with the hashtag "#HallelujahChallenge" and over 18,000 with the hashtag "#olowogbogboro") making it highly trendy in Nigerian and now globally with a mention from CNN.

3. The backlash (There is word going around that the movement was attacked on social media by a journalist, and there's been some outrage. But we'll come to that in a bit.)

4. The increasing number of News/blog reviews on the movement.

5. The genuine hunger for people to see God move in our Nation at a time where hate speeches and sectionalisation threatens to harm our national unity.

6. The building of a habit of spending time in praise and worship of the creator which in turn leaves participants spiritually fulfilled and positive minded mentally which is a good thing since the ease of falling into depression seems to be on the rise in the country and worldwide these days.

*This list will most likely increase by the end of the month, so it is not comprehensive.*

This is what I call a dream seed.

When the #HallelujahChallenge publicity started on Instagram, May 31st, I doubt Nathaniel Bassey had any inkling just how intense this would be, even though from one of the numerous pages attached to him, there is talk of how it's a manifestation of God's promise, "If you remember, We declared that THIS MONTH, God would do things in people's lives that will make GLOBAL headlines. Now, this is just a prophetic sign for you all. I repeat, what God is set to do in your lives SHALL MAKE GLOBAL HEADLINES in JESUS' name. Amen.THE OLOWOGBOGBORO himself(JESUS CHRIST) Goes Global." He's had to assign a worship session he missed while in flight in the US for RCCG convention to another worshiper to handle just to keep the momentum going.

This dream of sharing his worship time with the world via live streaming based on an instruction from God was a seed that has grown to touch lots of lives and will continue to do so till the challenge is over. Heck, it will even help build a culture of seeking to praise God among people so disillusioned and sure that God doesn't care for humanity anymore.

Famed Media Personality, Joy Isi Bewaji, tried to jump in on the action by raising another train of thought that should get Christians planning towards doing more than just 'feeling good' after communing with God and got tongue lashed seriously for her seeming insensitivity. Although she had a point, her comments were a bit ill-timed. If it had come at the end of the challenge or maybe if it was written without reference to the #HallelujahChallenge it might have been better welcomed.

The truth is, we all have a dream for a better Nigeria. And one thing our faith in God does is boost our confidence that we are more than capable of achieving it. When we reach out to God in worship, God reaches down to us with revelations and key insights on how we can succeed. And since God needs our praises more than our prayers, he always sends blessings our way through other human beings who make themselves willing vessels for his leading. If anything, a great nation is built by the combined working of all our dreams. If we all acted on our dreams and passions as much as we struggle with the current accepted norm, we would all have a better Nigeria.

Like I said earlier, this challenge is a dream seed. God might be a miracle worker but after the miracle, what next? We've all got to make him proud of us by doing what we know we can to make "His Kingdom Come, and His Will be Done" in Nigeria. Earth is our domain; it's up to us to live up to God's expectation of us which includes being hard working and resourceful to ensure his mandate for humanity is fulfilled.

So join in the #HallelujahChallenge. I know I will tonight. And watch God move beyond our limits to help make our dreams a possibility. When the challenge is over, get up and work like never before to ensure 'His Dream' of Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost for our nation comes true (not joy in our wealth, success or personal pride).

Thank you, Minister Nathaniel Bassey for heeding God's call upon your life and opening the doors of heaven for God's mighty outstretched hands to remind us that we are not alone in our journey on planet Earth.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Fixing Cornrows with Attachments, French Braids, Weave-on and Dreads have become a vital part of the modern day African woman’s fashion. Even with chemical relaxers, hot combs and straightening or curling irons, most women can’t do without fixing their hair at least once a month.

Braiding which is actually the intertwining of strands of hairs into a complex structure or pattern overlapping a mass of other hairs, can either be done close to the scalp or loosely from the scalp. Long ago, People braided for different reasons such as to show distinction in religion, kinship, status, age, cosmetic adornment and ethnicity or cultural preferences. These days, it’s done mostly to change up one’s look without causing permanent damage to one’s hair. But this is not a new trend brought to Africa from the West. Hair plaiting is one whose roots are steeped in Africa. In doubt? Check out the cornrows on any Nigerian Nok terracotta artwork which dates as far back as 500BC.

History has it that those ancient wall murals or Stone Age paintings – artworks like the Sphinx – in Egypt and Algeria (Tassili Plateau in the Sahara to be exact) which dates back to 3500BC show early Africans wearing their hair in plaits. This is not to say people in Europe or America didn’t also have evidence of their hairstyles then.

Take the Native Americans (aka Red Indians) for instance. It’s safe to say that before the arrival of the Europeans to North America, the Red Indians had their hairstyles. It was usually divided from the centre of their head and braided to the sides with feathers, beads or ribbons from deerskins either at the tip or at the spot where the tip was looped into the loose segment of their hair.

The ancient Celtics, inhabitants of today’s British Isles and Western Europe, as far back as 750BC wore braids. Those of noble blood or heritage wore elaborate hairstyles while folks from the lower class wore theirs simply for functional work purposes. The Greeks and Romans are not left out in the use of braids especially the Flavian and Antonine era where with the likes of the Spartans and Greek goddesses show evidence of its use as early as 79 -192CE. Although, they had more elaborate up-dos which involved crescent-shaped wireframes cascading with curls in the front, and divided, braided sections at the back.

Even Chinese men at a point in time (actually it was during their imperial dynasty’s last days, the reign of the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1912)), were mandated to wear their hair in braided pigtails and hide it under a ‘queue’ or be accused of treason. Don’t forget dreadlocks which the Jamaicans made famous, even though the first examples of such was seen in North Africa or among Maasai men from Kenya as far back as 15th century.

So you see, braiding is a universal concept even though proof of its origin lies in Africa. Braiding is not exclusive to natural hair, the use of Hair extensions or artificial hair integrations go way back to the source of braiding. Egyptians were known for wearing fringed wigs with braided and adorned strands hanging out from it. While in the Edwardian era, they were used to create pompadour hairstyles and elaborate ‘Apollo Knots’. By 1940s and 1950s more natural styles of hair weave returned and later in 1990s Asians learned how to mass produce them, and they became commonplace throughout the 21st century.

Braiding is also not exclusive to women only. History is full of men both modern and ancient who braided their hair from historical figures to athletes and musicians representing the hip hop culture.

Now you know the history behind plaited hair, feel free to use whatever style fits your face frame and express your personality more aptly.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fostering teamwork among kids in the home

Toddlers are never too young to learn about teamwork. I have a baby who is almost two years old, and when we have tasks to do, I try to engage him to give him that feeling of inclusion. It starts with little chores around the house like putting the shoes in the shoe rack or the toys in the toy box while mummy is busy sweeping the parlour or folding the freshly washed clothes from the laundry basket. As a mother, I know that keeping the house clean is a team effort.

Teamwork is all about harmonising team members’ strengths to achieve a common goal. It is a necessary skill for getting along with others outside the home and becoming a success in one’s career. However, it’s not right to leave the teaching of teamwork to educational institutions. The home is the first place where important, personal values that are beneficial to the society as a whole must be learned. And when everyone in the home pitches in, it makes the burden of running the home so much more easily managed.

Teaching teamwork to kids is important because they get to learn listening skills, how to communicate effectively, respect for other people’s values/opinion, it builds their confidence, gives them a sense of ownership in a shared vision, teaches them how to productively resolve conflict, and how to mentor or be mentored.

Here are some team building activities to engage in:

1. Playing indoor team building games such as working on an art and crafts project like doing a painting or making useful objects. Just watch Art Attack on Disney Jnr channel for ideas on crafts to do with kids. Others include fixing a puzzle, playing hide and seek, juggling balloons, playing board games, etc.

2. Working on family projects like planning a trip together or deciding on how to spend recreation times, trying to keep the house clean, embarking on reading challenges, etc.

3. Engaging in outdoor fun sports or games like blindfold obstacle games, egg racing relay, etc.

Participating in team building activities help to show if there is a trust gap in the team; if everyone is on the same page about what is expected of them. It also frees children to question the order of things and think individually for themselves when they see the outcome of their decisions with regards to the suggestions offered by others. For instance, when you tell children, don’t do this; they want to find out for themselves why. When they discover it was not beneficial in any way, they become willing to listen to reason and obey. I talk to my son like he is an adult; I explain why we do things, so he understands that he has a responsibility to carry out and has to be accountable as well.

Let’s intentionally build the next generation starting from home.

This article was inspired by a future project.

Friday, April 28, 2017


From the name of my blog, I’m sure you’ve expected to hear me talk extensively about relationships and other matters. But when you look through my blog posts and the categories I write on, it seems the latter has taken over the former. That’s not really the case. I’m no expert on relationships because to understand them, you must understand human behaviour, the fact that everyone is different and their expression of love varies. So rather than write on the subject of love, I decided to write about my love for issues like movies, writing/books, the state of my nation, caring for animals, etc.

So today, I’ll put a bit on that topic: Love.

What is love?
I am not going to philosophise and tell you what I’ve read in a book. The chances are that you’ve read that book too. Lol. So this is straight from Me to You.
Love is a nature, one characterised by caring, giving, sharing, selflessness, patience and all the awesome virtues that are above our comprehension. It is also a conscious decision to hold someone in high regard while expressing all those virtues and deep emotions to him/her.

Is love forever?
That’s a bit tricky. The nature of love is eternal but how we choose to embrace it is conditional. If we do not decide to embody love at all times, the chances are that we would soon find ourselves out of love. Hence the prevalence of the heart-breaking/confusing phrase, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”

What’s falling in love?
I believe it is the process of loving someone. It’s not infatuation which presents itself as love at first sight or sexual lust which is only finding someone sexually attractive. Love is more subtle than that. It sneaks up on you. Everything the person does end up making you feel drawn to them in an inexplicable way, leaving you wanting the best for them even if it means not being with you.

Can you love more than one person at a time?
Yes! Oops, I can hear the sirens going off and some people about to chew my head off. The truth is as unique as everyone is, there is someone else out there who is just like you (character wise); but due to different factors that influence their mentality in the course of their upbringing, they tend to be slightly different from you. And if a particular character trait is what draws you to someone and you find someone else who shares the same traits, chances are you will fall in love with them too.

So how can we stay true to loving one person?
I’m glad you asked. Once again, love has to be a conscious decision. You have to settle it within yourself that for the long haul, this is who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Then you have to choose to look no further. Don’t focus on the faults of the one you love while looking at the strengths of another who bears the same character traits. Compliment the one you love, help their inadequacies and work to see them become better persons because of you in their lives.

Love is a complex phenomenon.

Do you have a contrary opinion to the above questions? Please share in the comment section, let’s learn together.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Talking Movies

As March bids us farewell, I just have to speak of some movies with very compelling narratives starring women as the lead characters.

1. Joy – For weeks last year after it’s official release in America, this film sat on my laptop, but I'm glad I decided to watch it around the period where we celebrated the international women's day last year because this film spoke to me in different ways. It's the tale of a woman's rise in the world of entrepreneurship. The risks she took, the sacrifices she was willing to make, the discouragement from people and life as well as the disappointment from trusting those she loved. Seeing her sit idle, watching the discussions around her, made the character feel so real/down to earth because it was unlike the image of business savvy women that the world paints as the criteria to succeed in business. It showed the process of learning on the job while being determined to see your creation come to life. Released in 2015 and deemed as comedy Drama (genre), I found little to laugh about because of the nature of the subject matter. Despite being inspired by the actual story of Joy Mangano’s rise to success, there were deviations from the real story such as the fact that she didn't give up her education and she met her husband at the University (Pace University) where she studied Business. Her degree, however, didn't translate into immediate success for her as she still had to work low-end jobs as depicted in the film till she invented the mop. If you are a woman looking to go into entrepreneurship, you’ll enjoy this movie.

2. Room - Usually I judge a film by the first 5 minutes, and as I began this film, I was bored and wondered what the movie had to show that it extended to a full 113minutes (i.e. 1hr 53mins) but for some weird reason, I kept on watching. By 20minutes into the film, I had judged the characters as a prostitute with a child depending on a pimp for survival. An hour into the movie, I was in tears. I was so wrong about this film. This 2015 drama genre was suspenseful and harrowing as it touched on the subject matter of abduction - live in captivity and life afterwards. The trauma was so real that I could hardly believe it was a screen adaptation of a novel bearing the same name as the film, written by Emma Donoghue. It told the tale of a mother's love, how a child could save a mother from herself emotionally by giving her the will to live, it showcased the innocence of a child in the most traumatic situation. When I decide to watch it, I had no idea what the ratings or critics reviews of the movie were. It was kind of interesting to find out that though it didn't do so well in box office upon its release, the number of Award nominations for the film boosted its gross earnings. Made on a $13million budget, it went from a little above $5million after its release in October 2015 showing in 198 theatres to over $14 million in North America and $35million worldwide by April 2016. It ended up winning multiple awards and earning the reputation among critics as one of the best films released in 2015.

3.Hidden Figures - I have some friends who are committed to watching latest movies on a weekly basis, and when they saw this biopic released in December 2016, that was all they could talk about for weeks. When I finally got my hands on this movie, I could understand why. Hidden Figures tell the tale of three African American women who worked at NASA at a time where racial equality was a big deal for the black race. They fought for opportunities using their intelligence/skill and caused a change in their circumstances through unconventional means. Though the movie is a departure from the book (which was a non-fiction piece with the same name), the sensationalised parts brought with it a heightened effect of the triumph of these women. For instance, Katherine Goble/Johnson in real life didn't take 40mins break off work to use the ladies room daily. Neither did Mary Jackson go to a night white only class to earn her engineering degree, she simply asked the city of Hampton, Virginia for an exemption and was granted even though the school ran two parallel systems. Mary Jackson did finish her course, earning her engineering degree and got promoted. Also, Katherine didn't get a one-time opportunity to be part of the editorial meetings because that one meeting was most important, she had to persevere before she got into that circle of planners. These differences do not take away from the film in the least. It is still a powerful movie which I'd advise anyone to watch.

4. Queen of Katwe - A real testament to the strength of a mother's love and the power of holding on to virtue. I know my focus should have been on the journey of the 11year old Ugandan chess champ, Phiona, but I couldn't take my eyes off her mother, Harriet, whose character was played by Lupita Nyong'o. Life dealt her a hard blow, she went from being loved and protected to being widowed and struggling to survive, but she didn't let that dampen her spirit. She did all she could to ensure her children were educated and given the best possible chance in life if they chose the path laid out for them. Yes, she had a black sheep of a daughter, but all just goes to show that our champ's life could have easily swung the other way had she not determined to make something meaningful of her life despite her family background. I could feel the rising discontent Phiona must have felt when she experienced better living conditions. It ate at her for a while, but she turned that pain into a zeal to excel. This film stood out because although it had the typical Disney happy ending, it showed a side of life not usually identified with by Disney and that is a star#'s rise from abject poverty in Africa.

All ordinary women, who were moved to do the impossible according to the dictates of the standard of life familiar to them. These films go to show that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it, you'll find that hard work and determination do pay off and being a woman should not be seen as a limitation. Make use of what you have, strive to be the best version of yourself, and you'll be a reference point to the world someday.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy International Day of Happiness!

March 20th was declared the International Day of Happiness by United Nations General Assembly on June 28, 2012, to recognise the pursuit of happiness by humanity. Great religious leaders and philosophers have all postulated the ways in which one can achieve equilibrium in contentment and the drive to be happy.

So how do we celebrate happiness today?

1. Give free hugs all day.

2. Volunteer to provide services like washing dishes for a restaurant or waiting on people who take their order.

3. Pay for someone else's meal.

4. Organise or attend an interactive seminar that is geared towards improving your well-being and that of others like improving how you meditate, sing, smile, etc.

5. Spread joy to others by spreading messages of laughter

6. Make a personal pledge to help make society happier for all.

In the end, it's not a day of self-centredness but an opportunity to give back. I know today is almost over but now you know, you can prepare better for next year's celebration. For now, let Pharrell William's 'Happy' be your anthem as you dance around/play and be happy today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Celebrating Women

Last week the world celebrated International Women’s Day but how much of women’s rights and accomplishments were truly celebrated? On facebook, a lot of my contacts were putting up pictures of their mothers to celebrate them for their impact in their lives. Err… wrong! That you can do on Mothers’ Day. March 8th was specifically set apart by United Nations in 1975 to celebrate the achievements of women globally and find solutions to the challenges facing women. Challenges such as gender-based discrimination in the workplace, violence against women, poor access to education for the girl child and all round issues of inequality.

Gender inequality is so important because it affects everyone; not just the home but society at large. United Nation’s Development Project (UNDP) did a report and estimated a total of $95 billion US Dollars is lost every year since 2010 by sub-Saharan Africa due to issues of gender inequality. The fight to reduce gender inequality can lead to a productive growth in society as well as a more economically viable society for us all. This is especially good news for Nigeria who is currently struggling to get out of recession and build a united nation for its people. We have to be deliberate about women's participation in politics and also in economic arenas; rather than creating an office for women’s affairs where all they talk about is how to throw parties to gain recognition and who does whose make-up for the occasion.

Just last week, in the famous Big Brother Nigerian Reality show, a housemate was evicted for initiating sexual intimacy with a female housemate who was drunk and fast asleep. His eviction raised an outcry. Some said it was just part of the game or fun in the house, others saw it as a predatory behaviour that could have lead to rape on national TV. The issue of how important it is to have a woman’s consent during sex became the topic of discussion for that period and that was a good thing for the women movement. Do you know in the case of HIV infection women are twice more likely to get infected than men due to physiological and social reasons? The truth is the average African has no idea what women’s rights are or what is considered acceptable conduct towards women.

photo credit: chevanon photography

If you doubt me, ask yourself, how many workplaces have exemptions for female employees? When businesses are formed, how many owners take into consideration that female workers may have to rest a lot more when they are pregnant or pick up their kids from school? How many incorporate a creche in their facility to help protect the woman’s interest while she is slaying on the job till work hours are over. Let's leave work and talk about the home. Our very own dear President Muhammadu Buhari made a comment that was top of all the news reports because it raised the issue of African men’s perception of women, “she belongs to my kitchen… and the other room”. I know he was trying to be funny but it was a really bad joke if you ask me. In Nigeria, women are still seen as simply homemakers and nothing more, expected to be silent when men speak and stand in the shadows when they rise. When they try to speak up they are met with verbal/physical abuse.

One of the reasons people were sceptical about voting for KOWA’s presidential candidate in the 2015 presidential elections was because she was a woman. “What does she know?” they cooed, “she should start from the bottom and work her way up”. Yet they saw nothing wrong with electing a man who couldn’t produce an accurate proof of his educational background. Another heartbreaking scenario in the fight against gender inequality is when other women take down fellow women. An example was the reaction of women to Toke Makinwa’s book, On Becoming. So many attacks on social media from ladies who felt she should not have said a word about the issues she faced in her marriage in public. If we continue down this path, we may not be redeemable in the next 169 years as speculated by World Economic Forum as the time where gender inequality issues would cease to exist.

So how do we promote women’s rights?

In September 2015, leaders from 193 countries came together and decided to set global goals to help put an end to climate change, poverty and gender inequality. Some of those goals included ensuring women with leadership abilities are given a fair chance in governance (politics and economics) and public life; eliminating different forms of domestic violence and discrimination against females and promoting the concept of shared responsibility within families. For instance, no more should a woman cross her leg and wait for the man to bring in all the 'bacon' when he clearly has been dealt a bad blow of unemployment for a long period of time. Woman, get off your butt and get a job. You both can't be sitting at home because you think it is the man’s responsibility to bring in the 'big green'. Cast your fears aside, use your education, skill, passion and whatever it is you have and go out there to hustle and fend for your family. It doesn't matter who the 'breadwinner' is as long as there is bread for all to eat.

There are four major ways anyone an act to empower women’s rights. You can choose to challenge bias and inequality wherever it raises its ugly head; speak out against violence to women, support women’s advancement in any field and or celebrate women’s achievements. How exactly can you do these? Well, if you want to challenge inequality, you can start by pointing out whenever women are excluded or whenever you sense a bias and proffer alternative solutions to the problem. Don’t just point a problem and think you’ve done enough, offer a solution. You can also challenge stereotyping, let people know it's not okay to generalise women or put them in a preconceived box. Some people advocate for boycotting male only speaking panel but just like Chris rock did when he hosted the Academy awards in 2015 during the heat of #BlackLivesMatter saga, I recommend you show up and address the issue if need be, just remember to have a solution to the problem before you speak.

photo credit: Pixabay

As for speaking out against violence, the first step is to report it or get involved. Don’t just turn a blind eye. I know it’s easier said than done but if you truly believe in women’s rights, you won't keep quiet when a fellow woman is being abused. You can organise group training or one-on-one sessions to teach youths about how to avoid negative relationships by helping them learn how to identify positive relationships. You can campaign for violence prevention or work with an NGO dedicated to that cause either by volunteering your services or financially empowering them to continue the good work they have begun. Last but not least is the need to abstain from all forms of violence. Live the life that you are preaching about.

You can also help the cause of empowering women by supporting women-owned businesses. These days, the government has made it possible for financial institutions to have loans and special grants for women. As a woman, key into that opportunity to get funds to build your business. If you already have a business, hire female employees (on merit, of course, not because they are women), create opportunities for them within your business. If you are the only woman on a committee and you know other women who are just as qualified to be in that committee or you know women who have ideas that would benefit the committee, speak up about them and help bring them in. Don’t be afraid to recommend a fellow sister for a job she is capable of handling.

You can decide, I want to mentor someone and pick a young lady with potential. Show her all the ropes and help her find where she belongs in life. If mentoring one person is too demanding, you can organize one-off group trainings to teach women a specific skill that could be a game changer economically for her and her family like beadmaking, soap making, bread making, how to make zobo, how to sell online, how to write proposals and apply for loans to execute a business idea she has, etc. If you are in a working environment with no consideration for women, bring that up during staff meetings. Ask questions, pose scenarios, offer useful advice that can be acted on if your observation is to be deliberated on by management.

The easiest way to key into this movement and fast-track the elimination of gender inequality is to celebrate women. Recently, an online news agency, Ynaija, celebrated Nigeria’s 100 influential women. I wasn’t on it but it does give women like me something to aspire towards. When you raise visibility for other women who are making a difference, you are making yourself a spokesperson in the media for the cause. You can choose to be behind the scenes and fight for fairer terms for recognising women’s contribution like Today’s Woman Magazine or Genevive Magazine who take stories of ordinary women’s struggles/achievements and put them on a platform for all to see. When you tell the journey of a woman, her challenges and how she overcame or when you hail the success of women leaders in different spheres of life, you are empowering women.

So the next time international women’s day comes around, you know what to celebrate and how you can actually celebrate it.

My Experience at the #CNWritersConference 2019

This year has been pretty busy for me with mini collaborations here and there that are yet to come into the limelight. Don't worry i wi...