Blog, Lifestyle

Success Journey VI.

It is necessary to state one important rule here; Unless there is a sudden urgency try and stick with the heirrachy as prioritised in your task list for these two reasons.

It gives you more control over your work/study period.
With time you adapt to it and will remember those tasks which you may have forgotten to write down in the morning.

Blog, FEATURES, Lifestyle

Success Journey V.

So my advice is usually to make running a habit. Run, jog, walk, whichever suits you but just keep moving. See it as a celebration of what your body can do and not a punishment for what you consume.

Blog, Lifestyle

Success Journey IV.

There is no substitute for any time spent with nature as I wrote in a previous post. Seeing other people while walking gives an indescribable but relaxing feeling. The hi’s, nods and waves convey our innate capacity as peaceful, warm and friendly humans. 

Blog, Lifestyle, Resources

Happy New Year: Let’s Create Value Together.

It is a new year but what changed?
What will change?
The answer is very little.
The difference between last year and this year is just one second.
And that can’t be adequate for any serious change.
It is not something you achieve overnight.

How then can you make the change significant?

Blog, Lifestyle

The Rise Of ‘Woke’ African Writers by Katchy Ohiaeri

Akwaeke Emezi identifies as a non-binary ogbanje. Just by reading the words, the term oxymoron is typified. Non-binary, a claimed gender, typically emanating from perceptions and feelings that one is no longer male or female but a phantom gender, is featured side by side to a metaphysical creature in Igbo ontology, ogbanje. Well Ogbanje I know, I don’t know non-binary in Igbo ontology! This is not transphobia but fact checking. Ogbanje’s are known to be spirits that invade the human race. They are born into families and these children hardly live past their teenage years before they die and “reincarnate” in the subsequent child that is born. Emezi, the self acclaimed Ogbanje and spirit being in human form, should be pushing 30 and I dare say, has defied all the odds that can make her a suitable example of an ogbanje. Ogbanje kids usually are sickly, of which modern medical science has attributed the belief to the sickle cell disease which was not yet discovered at the time of the popularity of this belief in Igbo land. I don’t think Emezi was a sickly child or even a sickler. She looks healthy, very healthy to me. The reason I write this is to buttress my resentments towards this knack for twisting African history, religion, ontology or what have you to suit the sentiments and the sensibilities of the west. I see that African writings are now skewed towards the western culture and sensibilities such that when they are churned out, they leave a bad taste in the mouth of true Africans who have lived the real African experience. The continuous lack luster depiction of African stories in hybrid forms aimed at reflecting the experiences of the west by intelligently infusing African history and ontology into western culture in a bid to get the reading audience excited and included, will remain a mirage to a lot of true African writers. The other day, it was a debate orchestrated by Chimamanda, that the culture of Igbo women marrying women in the family had a lot of correlation with bisexuality and lesbianism. All this to pander to the whims and caprices of the west? Such that we lose our history as it is and as it should be told! Where are the writers like Chinua Achebe, who simply put pen to paper and penned down deep insights into the African lived experiences? All we have now are economic African writers, from poverty porn to LGBTQ+ indulgence. In a bid to get the west to appreciate the “metaphysical and queerness” that comes with Igbo mythology, Emezi had to surgically yank off her breasts, remove her uterus and Fallopian tubes to underpin her opinions that to prevent an ogbanje from contributing to the human race that they are in essence sent to destroy, sterilization is paramount, in her own words, well not literally. Wonderful! @katchy Ohiaeri, 2021

Blog, Lifestyle

A Tribute To Mazi Ukonu.

Mazi Ukonu passed on today..if you grew up in old Imo state in the 70/80s then this legendary entertainer must have put a smile on your face at one point. Saturday nights were filled with fun as he anchored the popular Ukonu’s club..a weekly show similar to the Don Cornelius’ Soul Train..he will crack jokes..sing and dance to your delight even as various artistes and bands showcase their talent. I still remember his favourite song before interlude..🎶onye kpo nkita bia church 🎵chupu ya chupu ya🎶oga atagbu ndi n’ege nti🎵😅🤣 He lived life to the fullest and died at the golden age of 91. Rest in peace left many of us with sweet memories.

Blog, Lifestyle

The Sultry Colleen by Jude Idada

… It was a pool party. And they were there. Men who have achieved. Money, power, and fame. Men in their prime who tell time to hold still since they have refused to age and it grudgingly obeys in detente and in temporaneous. They dress young, they dance young, they act young. They are current on all fronts. Most of them married with children but mentally and emotionally single. At this party they threw in a high-brow residence in an exclusive neighbourhood in Ikoyi there was an abundance of food, drinks, drugs and real youth. The youth came exclusively from the girls that were in attendance. Girls in their late teens and early twenties. Well spoken and extensively traveled. Daughters of the materially blessed. All of them students. All of them naked. Some were in the swimming pool, some at the bar, some danced under the cabana, others were hobnobbing with the swimming trunks-clad men at various places in the specially lit pool area that stood under the starry night sky. And I sat with one of them. She was caramel smooth, finely contoured, delicately featured and doe-like. She was twenty going on twenty one. And a sophomore at Babcock University. To every question I asked, she took a drag from the reefer in her hand, blow out the smoke through her mouth and nostrils, took a sip from her glass of Hennessey and coke on ice before she responded. Her voice was sweet. And her smile was rapturous. “I heard students need permission to leave your school. How could you get out this late and stay overnight?” “We have our ways.” “We?” “Yeah all of us.” “From Babcock?” “Not all. Some from Covenant, Redeemers, Madonna, ABUAD, Pan African and stuff.” “No Unilag or UI?” “They ain’t boujee.” “Boujee?” “Yeah. They are crass. Men like you guys don’t want to roll with local cats like those right?” I looked at her silently as she took a drag from her reef. The aroma assailed it. It was caustic yet not aggravating. “What’s that?” “Comorado.” “What’s that?” She laughed. “It’s good stuff. Hits you slowly and then make you soar like Superman.” I looked around and saw the girls doing one thing or another in their nudity. She was staring at me. “Is this your first party?” I nodded. “No wonder you are asking all these hang questions.” “Why do you do this?” “I’m young. I need to live life before it becomes to serious and I have to be all grown up.” “But why the drugs?” “Because.” “Because what?” “Because this is how we roll. Everyone has their poison. If you not on reef, you do codeine or cocaine or heroin or speed or AZT or ecstasy or rophynol or fentanyl or meth or oxy or worst case you inhale glue and get your high.” I stared at her as she inhaled and exhaled languidly. “Why the parties?” “You get your hit for free here. You have fun. You make good money.” “But for you to attend those schools you must be rich.” “My parents are not me.” “But they give you money.” “They pay the tuition and all. Not like they can give me a million in cash.” “Do you get a million here?” “Well, two or three parties can make me that.” “Aren’t you afraid of running into your Dad at places like this?” “Naaaa… my dad is too square and busy but even if he is not then it is his problem, after all, he came here for what I came here for so he can’t tell me nothing.” I fell silent and watched her inhale and exhale smoke. “But you know, your folks put you in schools like that to protect you?” “To protect me?” “Yes.” “They are too busy to even bother.” “No, they are not.” “Yes, they are. They think the school will be both my teachers and my parents.” “I think they are just worried about you getting corrupted.” “I was balling like this under their nose and they didn’t even notice. Funny thing is that even the innocent Jane get influenced in school, so what was the use of all the headache of keeping us locked up in all these secondary schools that front as universities.” “They did it out of love and with the belief that those schools are way better than the public ones.” “Well, they fucked up.” “Fucked up?” “Is this an interview or what?” “No, I am just intrigued.” “And I am horny.” I fell silent. She dragged, exhaled, took a drink from her glass, sucked on one of the ice cubes in her mouth and asked in a whisper. “Are you going to do anything about it?” Written by Jude Idada

Blog, Lifestyle

A True Giant Of Africa.

Do you know that the man who turned the Toronto Raptors around to become the 2019 NBA Champions is a Nigerian? He is 49-year-old Masai Ujiri, an Isoko man from Aviara in Delta state. Ujiri was born in the UK but spent a part of his childhood in Zaria where his dad worked as a nurse. At the age of 8 during his primary school days, he used to play at the ABU Zaria basketball courts where he met his mentor and renowned godfather of African basketball Oliver B. Johnson popularly known as OBJ (An American who has lived in Nigeria for almost 5 decades churning out basketball proteges). Ujiri visits Africa every summer to help train young players through his foundation aptly named “The Giants of Africa”. Founded in 2003, the GOA train about 50 kids each summer boot camp in a rotation across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. Oftentimes 80% of the kids go on to play abroad. But this summer was special as Ujiri brought home the trophy to Zaria this August and was received by none other than his mentor OBJ whom he invited to Toronto back in June when they conquered the Golden State Warriors. As usual, he took his wife and crew around his hood to reminisce and reunite with old folks. I once read a report on his work with African kids where the guy said he hopes to change the continent through basketball. He will always tell the kids that, “Basketball will take you places” Someone rightly said that those who left Nigeria with nothing often come back to give back whereas those who have stolen the most from the nation stash their loot abroad while broadcasting to the world that the country is unsafe. In a few years from now, Ujiri will look back and proudly say that he has done for Africa what so many of her leaders couldn’t do. What a story. What a giant! Photo credit: @ABUZaria_DUA

Blog, Lifestyle

Semper Fidelis!

  We just won’t stop! CIC Enugu Alumni just won’t stop. We keep doing great things. Now check this out. After the Multipurpose Building was commissioned in April 2016 at a cost of ₦150m. We delivered a 450-bed Dormitory commissioned at a cost of ₦250m the following year 2018. In 2019 alone we have: 1. Renovated the Medical Centre & Classrooms. 2. Commissioned a renovation project of the old hostel. 3. Sank 2 boreholes for the supply of potable water. 3. Done the school perimeter fencing. 4. Ongoing efforts to recruit the best academic staff. 5. Solar Power Projects. 6. Further Dormitory Renovations. 7. Braille Center Renovation For The Blind. And finally the BIG ONE! In July 2019 we had the Groundbreaking Event for the Multi-Purpose Sports Centre (MSC) which will be delivered in 2022 at a mind-blowing cost of $2m. Oh yes! That is TWO MILLION DOLLARS! *APPLAUSE!*APPLAUSE!! CIC was established in 1942 and over the years has positioned itself as one of the premier colleges in the South East and indeed in Nigeria as a whole. We have produced 6 governors, key military officers and countless other professionals dotted around the globe. The International Alumni, formed 14 years ago has served as a rallying point for uniting CIC graduates from far and wide for a common purpose – Uplifting our Alma mater. From just a few members the Alumni has grown into a global force with branches across 4 continents and on various Social Media Platforms. The Annual conventions have become ‘must-attend’ events with its attendant glitz and networking. What makes our Alumni unique is the unparalleled willingness to give back to the school that made us. Under the able leadership of President Emma Denchukwu & CFO Chike Okoye, novel means of raising funds have yielded handsomely with various sets competing amongst one another on the WhatsApp platform which is abuzz 24/7 to take the top spot. Each set now has a nickname with their members meeting regularly to devise new strategies to outdo the others. All this is done in very good spirit & light humour. The MPB project was an audacious N150m project conceived 6 years ago. What started as seemingly a far-fetched dream by a few snowballed into a project that captured the imagination of thousands of Alumni from all walks of life that came together on a hitherto unprecedented scale to make the dream a reality. In 2016 the MPB was commissioned amid much fanfare with Sempers converging from all over to make it a memorable event for all. This singular event made such an impression not just in Enugu but across other cities and Alma maters who have been spurred into action by the sheer scale and magnificence of what we accomplished over such a short period of time. Not resting on our laurels, a new Project was conceived – a ₦200m 450 Bed Dormitory project. This building was commissioned at the 2018 14th Annual Convention in Enugu. Over the next 3 years, we will leave no stones unturned to make the MSC a reality. Over ₦150m & $20K was raised in pledges at the just concluded Seattle Convention which was a massive success. The MSC will be the top item on the agenda at the next convention which will hold in August 2020 in London. Watch below a clip of the MSC prototype.   Cc: Chukwuma Animba (Udala Nta)

Blog, Lifestyle

Newross & Co..the journey so far and a little encouragement.

I had read in one novel while growing up that a person is often distinguished by accessories. I was fascinated by this statement and while pondering it over I realized that these items are really the ones that we own the fewest. Ever since then I fell in love with accessories specifically wristwatches, sunglasses, and belts. I strived to own a few ostentatious ones that will stand out in any gathering. They are assets too because unlike clothing which depreciates in value, good accessories can retain their value or even appreciate in some cases. I learned this from a friend who is a watch freak. I once sold my £600 TAG Heuer for £800 after owning it for 5 years. I still bought the same watch for €480 on eBay in 2006. It is lying beside a £10k Cartier Balon Bleu and a £2k vintage Gucci Reptile Band Watch. They are articles of ostentation I know but they hold a value that may come in handy during times of drought. So it wasn’t accidental that I began with wristwatches when I decided to start a small business that will cover the cost of my frequent travels to Nigeria while living in the UK back in 2011. Or so I thought then. I registered Newross & Co with the Companies House UK and was able to secure a small overdraft of £2000 from Santander Bank. I started with about 30 watches and a few used phones. Initially, I was marketing on Blackberry and later on WhatsApp to friends mainly. I later extended it offline with 3 friends/marketers in Lagos, Enugu, and Port Harcourt. By 2012 I resolved to bring in a batch every quarter and by 2013/2014 the quantity had grown to over 100 items/quarter as I had included gadgets like Bluetooth speakers and other lifestyle accessories. In the Q4 of 2014, it peaked at 150 items, and then came the recession in 2015. That year I only imported 2 batches. By 2016/2017 I didn’t import a single item as there was little demand for non-consumables, people had to eat first and forex was practically out of reach. I was undaunted though. My long experience in the petroleum business had taught me that tough times are always temporary. Petroleum business for me was a necessity but this was by choice so I had to keep the faith and believe. So I wasn’t surprised when I started getting some requests from friends in 2018. They wanted to know if I still imported wristwatches. With forex now accessible all I needed was to recapitalize and adjust my mark-up to revive the business (I vividly remember that my shipper Amaechi Ani gave advice about mark-up/adjustments during a debate on my wall at the onset of the recession) I did these things and decided that I wasn’t going to do the business again without an offline shop. Our people love an address! The typical Amawbia man will dismiss you with ‘Nwokem inwero address’. That is to say that you can’t be taken seriously since you have no physical business address. So I rented a small shop in Enugu. It opened to the public in January and we are pushing forward with patronage and encouragement from friends and family to whom we will eternally remain grateful…. ___________________________________________________________________ Now for a little encouragement. In 2016 the forex crisis was at its worst. I recollect that sometime in that year I was in transit at Amsterdam Schipol, after some duty-free shopping I attempted to pay with my GTB card and it was declined for a bill of less than €80 because adding that to my previous spending had exceeded my monthly allowance of $100 A few days ago precisely on 11th March 2019, I transited through the same airport and paid for a shopping bill of over €320 with the same card seamlessly. Of course, I was aware that the monthly limit had long been increased to $1,000 since 2017 The same authorities that announced the recession also announced that the economy has bounced back to recovery yet the same people who danced at the former news quarrel with the latter. Well, it still doesn’t change the fact that the Nigerian economy is recovering. Let me advise you. There is little chance that you will see the positives in a given situation if you keep groaning and complaining. Smart Nigerians are those who see the opportunities in adversity. For instance, if your area suffers from incessant power cuts rather than complaining all the time why not try selling ice blocks even as you complain? You are not likely to sell ice blocks for more than a year or two before another idea of expansion pops up. Cold room, rentals or events management. And in a few more years you can sit back and reflect on what could have been. It only takes a step, a decision, a day, or a minute to start. But most importantly you have to start!

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