I’m Moving…

Why do people blog? I suppose some could just love writing, some just want to rant, some want to promote their businesses, and some want to make money. Uhm, what else? I’d love some input please. I think i first got into blogging mainly because i was curious. My first blog lacked direction. For real. I looked at it one day and i realized it was way too personal. I mean, some of the things i wrote, i would be embarrassed if my mother saw it; and i was posting them on the Web! How dumb was that? So, i took it down.

After several tries i thought my blog should showcase something i totally love – pictures, so i put this blog up. And then, i thought, i needed to practice my writing skills, so i put this blog up. And then, i thought, i needed to write about my work- it would make me sit up, learn, and create awareness, so i put this blog up. Then i thought, hey, what about my fashion interests, and so i put this blog up. In a way again, i’m lacking direction and managing 4 blogs. And even though they are low pressure, i can’t put my all in all of them.

I’ve been trying to get my career off the ground. I’ve got plans. And sometime ago i thought, hey, why can’t you just start off now? So, i’m putting all my personal blogs on hold and concentrating on The Corner Shop. The Corner Shop is true to my career- Sustainable Business Strategy. It will feature Nigerian Small and Medium-scale enterprises, with business advice, and a few fun stuff. Don’t worry, i won’t let it get all stuffy. I’m giving it my full attention, and i pray and hope that it will grow into something special and meaningful. The blog is a big part of my career plan, so fingers crossed for me, and for everyone else trying to make their dreams come true!

Photo from weheartit.com

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Is The Nigerian Voter’s Registration A Sham?

On Thursday, 27th of January, Agnes (not real name) woke up at 3:30am and quickly went through her morning ritual. Her normal wake up time was around 5.30, so understandably, she was yawning like a hungry lion in a Kenyan safari. Despite this, her movements took on a hint of urgency, and then, by 4:00, a hint of hysteria. She hurried out of her little apartment in Lugbe, and walked at a brisk pace, worried because of the dark and the lack of human activity on the dirt road from her house to her destination.
She breathed a sigh of relieve when she finally got to the corner store about 15 minutes later- she had met no drama on the lonely road, and there were only 5 people (3 men and a woman) standing around the store. She made small talk with them while signing her name on a list one of the men was holding. The sun hadn’t risen yet, so she made herself comfortable on a concrete slab, jacket wrapped around her, waiting for daybreak and the INEC representatives that were to register her so she could vote for the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan.The Nigerian voters registration has been plagued with problems from the get go. Nothing much was reported to have gone wrong during the planning stages, but from current events, we have to conclude that several things did. I can’t say much about other cities, but in Abuja, if you wanted to get registered, you got to the registration site at around 4:00am and waited. If you decided to go back home and come back at 7:00/8:00am, you ran the risk of finding a whole other list, and so, you were back to square one.

Now don’t ask me why the list business came up at all. Why didn’t people just line up upon arrival? The list was simply complicating issues and giving people the opportunity to ask for bribe- notably the policemen and civil defense staff that were sneaking names into the list, or tearing earlier made lists up.

Then of course, is the problem of the Digital Data Capturing machines themselves. Most of them didn’t work. And if they did, you could bet on about 30 entries a day. A lot of people were on the line for 3 days. Last week, a girl fainted. Another was on the line for hours with her month old baby. A young lady was robbed early one morning on her way to register like Agnes. A few men went to the site early with mattresses. A Hausa man started adamantly claiming a girl’s name (Amaka) who was being called but hadn’t shown up, “I don stay for dis line for 3 days, why my name no go change?” he replied to indignant disbelieving shouts.

I believe all this confusion was caused by two main things: first, inefficient procurement processes, most probably characterized by skimming some money off the top, and so, ending up with DDC machines that look new, but aren’t. And second, the lack of foresight of INEC to see that it is virtually impossible to register millions of eligible voters across Nigeria in 1 month, 1 week, and 2 days. INEC, instead, should have started this process months ago to allow for machine testing and more registrations.

Thankfully, the voter’s registration will become a continuous process in any INEC office near you. But if you didn’t register, you can’t vote in this coming election. That’s a shame since, probably for the first time, awareness and willingness of the masses to vote in the April 2011 elections has been something close to awe-inspiring. Nigerians are believing that their votes will count, and that’s something special. Still, this registration exercise has been a sham, characterized by bribes, frustrations, rumors, and anxiety.

Photo Credit: We Heart It and Thisday Newspaper

Seven Things About Me

I should slap myself! I’ve not written anything over here for about two months; not funny. Honestly, i’ve been kinda busy, but honestly, i’ve been kinda lazy too. It’s no excuse though. It seems like i’m forgetting why i started this blog in the first place. I have to keep reminding myself or else i’ll have another relapse. Maybe the answer is pacing; choosing to write a minimum number of posts each month. But i’m back, promising myself, like an addict, to have no more relapses.

For my amazing comeback, i’m going to write a little about myself cause i was tagged/awarded by the beautiful and talented Ginger. I’m totally jealous of her writing and analytical skills. She reviews movies a lot, and i absolutely love that cause i love movies. The award is the Stylish and Versatile Blogger (which i totally don’t deserve), and the rules are simple: write 7 things about yourself and pass it on. So, here goes:

  1. I love to sleep. It’s a miracle how i get out of bed in time for work. I’ve had close calls countless times! One day, my boss even asked me how come i’m at work really early (that was a fluke). But this year, things are changing…hopefully!
  2. I love the night. I would be so awesome as a vampire cause i’d have no angst about never seeing the sun. The night is quiet, starry, and beautiful. I’m definitely an owl (like right now it’s almost 1:30am, and i’m still wide awake)
  3. I love to watch movies. That’s one of my favorite ways to relax. I get to watch them and not think too strategically (well, except for Inception maybe). Movies help me escape…for 1h45m.
  4. I love music. I don’t know what i’d do without it. I look forward to hearing new songs and finding old ones. I’ve only got about 1,300 songs on my system though, cause i delete the ones i don’t LOVE. I can lip sync to every one of the songs i have. They range from classics, to rock, to RnB, to dancehall.
  5. I want to take photography lessons. I suddenly became obsessed with pictures last year. As part of that obsession, i started a blog that showcases all the joys of life, in pictures. I love it.
  6. I love to eat, and hang out, in bed. There’s just this lazy and relaxing thing about it, even if i’m working on office stuff. Being in bed is really relaxing, and it’s sort of like my haven
  7. I’m a tad antisocial. I can probably go weeks without seeing any friends. I just like to be in my own space a lot, and i really appreciate those friends of mine who understand and are not like ‘why didn’t you call me?’. There’s a limit though, where i realize it’s not really healthy to be holed up, away from everyone. So, a shout out to my Blackberry for helping me out here

Okey dokey! That’s seven things about me! I’m passing on this award to: Chic Therapy, Looking Glass of an Immigrant, The Amalgamation of Me+Moi+Emi, The Messenger Bag, and Drollgirl. These are amazing gals that i always go back to on the blogosphere.

P.S. Check out Life…Captured (the joys of life blog) for 7 things about me in pictures! I just couldn’t resist hehe.

Raise Your Glass To The Dirty Little Freaks

I love Pink’s new single Raise Your Glass. If the album art looks familiar, it’s because it’s just like the famous ‘Yes We Can’ commercial done around the ’40s/’50s when the roles of women where changing from working in homes to working in industries. The song talks about being different and being happy about your difference. It’s okay to be ‘wrong in all the right ways’.

Sometimes i find it amazing how society has molded so people, mostly against their wills. Society makes it okay to be one way, but looks at you funny when you’re another way- when you’re ‘left’. In fact, little things like being left-handed, or dyeing your hair bright purple, will get people whispering about you and looking at you through the corner of their eyes, secretly urging you to go hide in your basement if you can’t deign to be like everybody else.

But what most people fail to understand is that one of the things that makes life good, joyful, and interesting, is diversity! There’s a place for Ganstas, Ballerinas, Rock Stars, Suits, and everybody in between. A worthy topic to preach, therefore, is acceptance. But self-acceptance must come before you can accept anybody else. And you can only accept yourself when you know who you are, you know that God meant for you to be who you are, and you find your place in this world, a place that feels like home.

So, raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways, all my underdogs. We will never be never be anything but loud and nitty gritty dirty little freaks. Won’t you come on and come on and raise your glass. Just come on and come on and raise your glass

You’re The Leader you’re Ranting On and On About

Whenever you ask anyone what they think is wrong with Nigeria, you can expect one adamant robotic reply – ‘Our leaders!’ What they mean to say is ‘our government leaders’. They totally forget that everyone is a leader at different points in their lives. I know they forget because no one likes to say ‘hey, I’m the problem’.

The same people that say ‘our leaders are our problem’ are the ones jumping queues like everyone else is invisible; they’re the ones giving their kids money to ‘sort out academic problems’ cause everyone else is doing it anyway; they’re the ones padding their expense accounts and budgets like the mayor in ‘Cloudy with a Chance…’; they’re the ones…in fact, I could go on but I need to spare my fingers from all that typing!

Nobody seems to realize that WE are our nation’s problem. The root cause isn’t the system! Gather all government officials in one building and bomb them. The government that will replace them will still be just as bad, putting systems in place that are sure to turn us into a country fit for hell itself. We’ll only be replacing disease for disease.

It seems like such a hopeless situation, because the next generation that we can hope to replace this one, and make things better, is just as bad! Check out how much exam cheating goes on, as if all Nigerian youth have brains made of sieves. I wonder, do we have to wait till the next next generation for Nigerians to start saying ‘hey, I’m the problem’? I sure hope not, but that seems quite likely, and I may just be being optimistic.

Photo Credit: Miss Vintage Vixen

That’s Right, Lie Your Hat Off!

A group of us were talking about lying. We were going on merrily about how we need to stop and someone even said he’s condition was chronic, he has to be making resolutions to (stop) reduce lying. Then someone dropped a bomb: ‘I don’t know how to lie. I don’t have the capacity to lie”. Ugh?? He says it’s not that he doesn’t know how to tell a good lie, it’s that he CANNOT, DOES NOT, tell lies, and he can’t remember the last time he told one!

This guy is a serious Christian (or at least he gives the impression that he is, these days you can only vouch for yourself), so I guess I can understand why he would make such a statement. But all of us just took on him, and the conversation got that much more interesting.

Now, I think (even though it may make me look less ‘Christiany’) that although lies are bad, they are sometimes necessary. Not good, but necessary. The trick here though, is to know when you have to lie, and when to put on the Holy Cap. For example, you can lie to save a life- example? Look at Rahab in the Bible (see Joshua 2: 3-7) who hid God’s prophets and told and outright lie that she was not hoarding them. God blessed her for this lie right?

Another example, the grandmother of a friend of mine had a heart attack and died when she was unceremoniously told that her son was dead. It would probably be more prudent to lie ‘no mama, he’s fine oh’ and then break the news when the time, and place, is right. Right? Another example- my little cousin is learning how to cook. She made some downright horrible spring rolls last week, but I told her “dearie, these are great! Just add some salt next time kay”. I lied. They were NOT great. But if I told her my true feelings she would probably never open an oven again.

I admit though, some may say that God plainly said “NO LIES”! Jesus NEVER lied, and God and His Word never lie. So, as Christians we should never lie. It’s like saying ‘lie when necessary is the same thing as steal when necessary- the end justifies the means’. But I’m saying, this is where wisdom comes in. If someone comes to your home and says, where is your husband/wife, I’m supposed to kill him/her, are you going to say “Oh my God, I can’t lie, he’s/she’s in the bathroom”? But then, you should never lie for selfish reasons. There you go.

But all this is just me. What do YOU think? Are there times when lies are necessary? Even required? Should we opt to never ever tell a lie, no matter how ‘white’ it is? And is it possible for a human being to not remember when last he told a lie?

Photo Credit: Heartache

You Know How You Don’t Know Where You’re Going Till You Get There?

When I hear people say ‘I feel the urge to write’, all I think is “ugh? What does that even mean?” Well, I knew today. It’s not a feeling you can explain. It’s like stuff is piling up on your chest- as heavy as an elephant, and you just need to…well, to spill. But worse, you don’t even know how to say what you need to say- you might not even know what you need to say. Like right now, I don’t know if you’ve realized that I’m pretty clueless about what I’m writing :s

Okay, in the midst of this gibberish, I have realized that I need a creative outlet. I think everybody does, especially when they have a boring job. My job involves a lot of research and writing, but it’s not fun writing, it’s ‘businessy’ writing, and I’m only just realizing that I need to be good at something creative- something I can do for myself. So, this leads me to wonder what creative thing I like. Uhm…give me a moment…a minute…an hour?

Okay, I like to draw- I remember I really loved fine art in JSS but I totally lost touch. I’ve also been seriously thinking about learning how to design clothes and sew- this urge comes on particularly strong when I’m dealing with my tailor. Oh yeah, and I came across some awesome DIY style blogs and I got really green. So if I like it that much I might as well get some sewing lessons! I’m liking this idea. I’m liking it plenty. Another thing I know I like is photography but I suck a** at it!

Okay, this is my creative resolution for the year: (1) learn how to draw and design female clothing; (2) challenge myself with DIY fashion projects; and (3) practice photography and teach myself Photoshop. I also resolve to not get discouraged cause right now I know NOTHING!

So eagerly, I have created yet another blog (this blog creation is getting out of hand *cringe*) where I’ll be gathering fashion and style DIY projects and How Tos. Wish me luck! I’ll need it x(

Photo Credit: Gasspanic