Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hilarious!

Hey everyone! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I just stopped by to post this video by my friend Chinonso of Purely Lovin and her sister Chinyere. It is so funny.... You gotta watch it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Two Years Bloggin'!

Isn't Photoshop cool?
Today makes exactly two years since I started blogging.... Wow! When I started this thing two years ago, I really didn't know what to expect, but I'm glad for the warm reception I've gotten. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my readers , those who comment and those who don't ;), for stopping by from time to time. And just to let you know, I REALLY appreciate comments, so thank you to those who do drop a line or two on my posts.

Looking back, I've enjoyed talking about books I think are cool, events at my school, my trip to Haiti, a bold online suitor , Nigerian nurse syndrome , graduating, my deep desire to visit Nigeria, dollar choppers, heart-shaped potatoes, my mom's Facebook habits, and much more! Lol...

I've found it somewhat therapeutic to sit down and hit the keys to talk about a random subject or something that just pricked my heart. Sometimes it was out of sheer boredom. On the Facebook fan page for this blog I felt like the page was just sitting there collecting digital dust. I wanted to engage my page likers, so I put out this message:



























I had a lot of fun making silly poems for my friends, so I kept it up for a few days:
 
 



Then my cousin decided to make one about me:
 LOL! Yeah, there have been some fun times with this little blog here. Definitely won't be stopping anytime soon!




Friday, December 16, 2011

Tosin Oyelowo.... Suicide? *UPDATED* CONFIRMED*



Right now, the case of Tosin Oyelowo doesn't look good. Police have found her car with her purse inside parked on a highway bridge, and people have reported seeing a woman jump from the bridge and into the river. The police have yet to find a body, or confirm if it was Tosin. Click here to read the rest of the story. 






*UPDATE*

Charleston City Paper released an article last night saying that police have identified the woman who jumped the highway bridge on December 9 as Tosin Oyelowo, though they haven't recovered her body from the water below. Click here to read the rest of the story. Quite a sad end to the story, if it is indeed true. 

**FINAL UPDATE**

Tosin's body was found Wednesday; today it was confirmed that it was her body. Click to read. A very sad end indeed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tosin Oyelowo, Missing from Charleston, South Carolina... Have you seen her?!

This beautiful young lady, Tosin Oyelowo,  is missing from the Charleston, South Carolina area. Please click here for more information.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chinedu Ikedieze gets married

If you know me, you know my favorite Naija actors are Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze, better known as Aki (Chinedu) and Paw Paw (Osita). The actors are grown men who have very small statures. Thy often play little children in Naija movies and they are HILARIOUS to me. Well, Aki just got married! Vanguard Newspaper posted pictures of the ceremony on Facebook, and they are quite beautiful. The event was held in Lagos and attended by many Naija stars, including P-Square.

Picture from Vanguard News - Click the picture to see the entire album

It's wonderful that Chinedu could see this happy day. I know many will be speculating that the woman is a gold-digger, but we can't assume that. Love is a pretty strong force, and it can cause people to do things that the rest of the world would see as foolish. So let's just assume that she really loves him and wish them long life and happiness together.... 

After all, one man's meat is another man's poison... One man's trash is another man's treasure. Osondi, owendi!

Weekend Wahala

My people, what's going on? Your family, kwanu? Your children, nko? Lol.... Let me tell you what happened last weekend. No be small thing o....

Last  Friday I attended my friend's induction into an academic honor society. It was quite a lovely event with a live saxophonist, a keynote address from one of Detroit's well-known pastors, and a candle-lighting ceremony. My friend even ordered meatpies and fishrolls from me, so I got me a little cash. She failed to plan the logistics of the night, so afterwards, the people who came to see her ended up eating the stuff in the parking lot. We won't talk about that. Lol....

Saturday is when the real wahala started. People had come from Abuja so that we could renew our Nigerian passports or apply for them for the first time. It's a shame because even though there's an embassy in Washington D.C., they basically ignore anyone who contacts them by mail or phone. So you have to travel there if you want to do anything with a passport. It's a hassle. So it was great that the necessary officials came from Nigeria for people in the Detroit area to do their passports.

The problem was that it wasn't well-organized. Many people didn't know that they were coming until the day before or even the same day. Some people didn't know all that was required and had to leave and caused confusion when they wanted to come back to the front of the line while others were shouting for them to go to the end. There were only two people processing applications and fingerprints. So it was a. . .l   o   n   g . . .  .   s  l   o   w . . . .  p r o c e s s. . .

But on Saturday, we had other obligations. So after waiting for some hours, we had to leave. One of my sisters was competing in a scholarship pageant, Inkster Distinguished Young Woman, which she won!!! Next it's off to the state level :)

 Sunday was the second day of passport processing, so we went back there to finish up (and missed church because of it). It was supposed to go faster for those who had come the day before. Not! We were there at 9 a.m. like they told us to, but they were late (of course) and it still took forever before we were called. One good thing that came out of it was that I got to see one of my childhood friends that I only see every once in a while now.
My dad, my mom, and I were able to complete the passport process, but my three sisters were not. We had to leave again because my sister who won the competition had to attend a meeting for all local winners,  I had a meatpie order to make and deliver, and my other sister had  to perform in a dance concert at her school.  After we left, people that we knew were calling us and said that the passport people had called my sister's names to process their application. But it was too late.

Anyways, my sister's performance was fabulous! She even had a solo in the beginning.They do African dance from central Africa. Here's a little clip...


video
That's her you see when the video first comes on

It's funny because growing up,  my sister was always to shy to dance in public, but look at her now! It was a great end to a hectic weekend. This weekend it's all about doing some hair and birthday parties/dinners, so not as hectic but still fun. Bye!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Heart-shaped potato



Yesterday while cooking, I reached into the bag of potatoes in my kitchen and I pulled this out...


a heart-shaped potato! Such a unique thing. My sister was like, "That's a GMO." I was like, "A what?" "A GMO," she said, "a genetically-mutated organism." I told her I didn't think so. I really think it's one of those rare occurrences. But does it mean anything?


Who knows? I'm not superstitious or anything, so I don't think it necessarily means something. Still it would be nice if this was actually a symbol of things to come.

Seems this time of year always makes me want to find that special someone a little sooner. Maybe it's the cold weather, perfect for snuggling; maybe it's the Christmas movies and specials that they play on TV. Or maybe it's how the end of the year makes me reflective about every area of my life.


Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm dying to be with someone. I'm single by choice.  I just can't bring myself to be with someone for the sake of it. My heart really has to be in it. I'm content with the wonderful people that are in my life. And It's great to be able to pursue my goals uninhibited.

It seems that lately though, I keep meeting guys who're like, "What's a lady like you doing single?" One of the oldest lines in the book (rolling my eyes). So it doesn't really move me much ;). Sometimes I lie and say I've got someone just so they'll leave me alone quicker. Lol. It'd just be nice not to have to lie anymore. So is 2012 going to be my year for love? I guess I'll see :) Who knows, I might be singing this...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Facebook....smh

I had just gotten back from the gym and was eager to get in the bathroom and take a shower, but I found that it was currently occupied by my mom. Being the good and patient daughter that I am (lol) I decided to wait around for her to get done. What other choice did I really have? So I got some water, and turned on my laptop, expecting to spend just about 10 minutes waiting.

25 minutes later I look up, and she's still in there. So I go to the bathroom door. The shower's not running; there are no signs of activity on the other side of the door. Then I hear a "click" of the variety that only cell phone cameras make. "I'm waiting for you," I said through the door. She quickly opened the door, cell phone in hand, snapped another picture of herself before gathering her stuff and making her way out.  "Ha! Faaaacebook!" I said, as she laughed. She knew she had been found out.

You see, since my mom joined Facebook about two months ago, she's been constantly trying to take "good" pictures of herself. I say "good" because it's not like any of her pics are really bad, she's just remarkably picky. Mainly because she's not the toothpick of a girl that she was when she left Naija. And she was apprehensive about reconnecting with old classmates. That was her excuse for the longest time and it kept her away from Facebook. Yet her first profile pic, the one on the left below, was one she had had in her phone for a long time. Quite lovely, isn't she?


When her father died in September in Nigeria, connecting with people in Naija became very important to her because she saw first-hand how time could rob you of the human connections you cherish the most, if you're not careful.

So I'm glad that she's joined Facebook. She's reconnected with many of her friends from Naija and people she went to school with, even some family members.  But she ain't gotta be hogging the bathroom just to take pics. I mean, come on! That's the only place the rest of us can take a shower, but she can take a picture anywhere.... LOL!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Most Unique Naija Videos

In my browsing of Youtube over the past few years, I've come across some videos that stand out to me because of the creativity of the music, the video, or the overall concept. Here are a few of my favorites.

Plenty Nonsense by Trybesmen
The first time I saw this video, I couldn't stop laughing. I think it's so brilliant how they poked fun at situations that would make anyone upset.


Never Far Away by Lagbaja
This video combines excellent vocals, musical composition, and story. And of course, Lagbaja in his famous mask. Truly world-class.


Necessary by Zule Zoo
Everything Zule Zoo does is unique, but Necessary was the first video I saw from them, and I was truly intrigued. The language that they spoke was new to my ears. It wasn't Yoruba, I didn't think it was Hausa, and it definitely wasn't Igbo. After doing a little search, I found that they were from the Tiv tribe.  I also found that one of their videos was banned in Nigeria because it talked about adultery. The video and song, I think. No such thing as freedom of speech in Naija. Lol.....
 

Lee Lee by Resonance
I definitely fell in love with this song and video the first time I saw it because I loved how it combined Igbo and English. And the white lady singing in Igbo was quite charming, I thought. :)  

Naija Luv Thing
Though the video is only a stream of pictures, the song is quite funny and kinda cute. It describes the shakara and forming between a guy and girl who are really feeling each other. Makes me laugh, cause it's so real...
   

If There's Any Justice by Lemar
First name Lemar, last name Obika; that makes him Igbo baby! Though he's based in the U.K., he's got that Naija blood, so I'll include him here. The first time I heard his voice, I absolutely melted. And the song? I feel like I could have wrote it myself. Sigh......  It's all good though. :)

 

I think that's enough for now, right? What are some of your favorites?

Extremely good weekend

Thanksgiving weekend was extremely good this year. Certainly I thank God for all of his blessings in my life, in the form of people and things. Lol. Really though, family and true friends are really part of what makes life worthwhile. We ate and ate until we couldn't move, watched movies, talked. It was awesome!

The next day my three younger sisters woke up and went Black Friday shopping. I didn't join them because I just said, make I keep my small money! Lol.... I did give them a little money to buy me some new black shoes and they brought me back something nice. 

See, I don't even try to fool myself; I know I have shop-a-holic tendencies, inherited from my mother, so I decided to not even go shopping. Don't get me wrong, I'm very practical when it comes to shopping. I like my stuff cute and cheap for the most part. Lol. Not really one for name brands. So joining a long line of eager deal-seekers at 4 a.m. is definitely not my style. It seems when I go shopping, it's either for a couple very specific things. Otherwise I'm on the other end of the spectrum, looking to revamp my entire wardrobe. I've actually done that a few times in my working life. My wallet and bank account cries, but my closet thanks me. LOL! Won't be doing that again though, for a long time. I've slowly learned how to manage my money better.

I've been contemplating my next steps as I'll be finishing with my video, graphics and web program in February. Juggling a few options, but I know things will work out in the end.

Does the end of the year make you as reflective as it does me? It seems like every year, from September to December, I reflect on the year, the past few years and the path I've taken to where I am. Also get clarity on my next steps during this time of year. And many personally significant things happen in this time of year for me. This year is no different. I'm kinda excited for what God is doing, but pensive at the same time.................... Oh well, bout to go take care of some business... Take care!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Milestones

Yesterday my mom directed me in cooking my first pot of okra soup, and to me, it was quite monumental.  And it was very spur of the moment too. She had just came back from the African food store and was in a hurry to go out again so she was like, "Ok, since you already know how to cook everything else, it's time for you to learn how to prepare a simple soup." She didn't know it was already on my to-do list, so that was pretty amazing :)

The soup, complete with smoked turkey and fish turned out great. I was nervous because she had to leave before the soup was done, but everything went well. Guess the Naija side of me is coming up ehn!  Hahahahah....

I can cook almost anything I put my mind to, when it comes to American-style cuisine, from different styles of chicken and fish to beef, potatoes, pasta, and stir-fry. Except don't ask me to make macaroni and cheese cause I've never gotten that down, and don't really try, probably cause I don't really care for the stuff. Lol

When it comes to Naija food, I've got jollof rice, fried rice, rice and stew, and meatpies, down. I'm alright on moin-moin, mainly need more practice. Throw in some meat, plantain and some vegetables (gotta add something healthy) and you've got a meal! But I couldn't be fully proud of my knowledge of Naija food until I learn how to make some soups. So I got okra down now. On to egusi! Lol.... The pounded yam or garri that goes with is is a no-brainer :)

I guess I'm just now learning to make these soups now because for years, I would not eat them. It was strange because when I was little, my mom said I ate them all the time. But for some reason, around age 5 I stopped, even though my parents always made it. It was like that with all of my sisters too. Maybe it was due to exposure of American foods at school and coming home with a different attitude to traditional Nigerian food. Or something like that.  Only a few years ago did I start eating egusi and other soups every now and then. It's not that often though. Still, it's good to know how to make these traditional foods. Gotta keep the culture alive in me so I can pass down as much as possible!

Oh and, if you're looking for pictures of all the tasty food I just mentioned, you might as well stop your search. I don't take pictures when I cook because, well, I'm very practical when it comes to cooking. I'm usually in a hurry to fill empty stomachs when I cook, no time to be snapping away. Food is meant to be eaten, not photographed. Unless you're advertising it, like I did with The MeatPie Girl. Lol. But seriously; I roll my eyes whenever some chicks on Facebook make statuses about what they're cooking and/or post pictures of it. I'm thinking "Woo hoo! Good for you! You can cook huh? Clap for yourself!" Hahahaha.....!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

FAZE!!!!!!

Did he cut his hair??? He still fine anyways :)
I may be late, but I just saw this yesterday and I love my FAZE!!!! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roads

For some reason, I'm fascinated with roads. Roads that we travel everyday lead to different cities, towns - places where people live a parallel existence, as oblivious to you as you are to them. I'm often excited when I find myself on a familiar road far away from home. I'm intrigued as I follow the road, passing landmarks, homes and businesses that are different from the ones I know. Sometimes I even take the long way home from just to see different sights.

Now don't get me wrong; I don't just go crusin' carefree whenever I get the whim. Gas is already far too much of my budget. But skipping the high-speed freeways every so often can be quite satisfying. And I've really got no other choice. I live in the part of the country that put the car on the road en masse: the Motor City. If you wanna get around here, you've gotta have a car because public transportation is not reliable. So since I'm gonna be on the road anyways, I might as well enjoy the ride :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gadhafi Dead

I know Gadhafi was a dictator, mercilessly killing his own people, but the videos of  him with blood dripping from his body while people celebrate all around, are quite sickening. I mean, people were jostling his dead corpse as if it were a toy or something. I understand that Libyans feel vindicated for the many wrongs committed against them. And while I definitely don't support the man or what he stood for, but there should be some sanctity in death. That is all...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Naija people get mouth

(Continued from the previous post, Nigerian Hospitality)

On the other hand, I can't pretend like Naija people can do no wrong. That would be, well..... dilusional. Hahahaha.....  One thing I've noticed growing up: Naija people get mouth. In other words, they say what they have to say, whether you like it or not.

In America, where politicians and advocacy groups fall over themselves to be politically correct, Nigerians are one group of people who don't always play by these rules. They often say what they have to say bluntly. It's usually not to hurt anyone's feelings either. That's just the culture, I guess. However, those who have assimilated more into the way things are done in America have learned how to have a little more tact. Still, there are those who sabi open mouth. They haven't quite learned the skill of self-censorship.

I can't count how many times an uncle or auntie has said something that has made me want to bust out laughing because of its harshness. Most of the time I do my best to stifle the laugh by biting my tongue or cheek because I know they weren't trying to be funny. Here are a few choice lines I can remember...


Tha'ts me on the far right almost 11 years ago. It was at this church, around this time that I heard...
If you embarrass me, I will slap your head on the wall!
Said by one lady at our old church to a group of us who were preforming a dance that she taught us. As if the point ouf us dancing was to praise her. Mcheeewwww.....


 In 2009 I cut my hair, and I loved it.
Ah ah, Chichi. We're trying to hear wedding bells, and you're cutting your hair?
Said by one aunty in 2009 when I cut my hair. Smh. Can you imagine? So because I cut my hair short, I become so unattractive that no one would want to marry me?! Who said I'm catering my hairstyle to get a mate? Who said I'm even ready to get married, all of 21 year old at that time. I of course didn't say these things, but I sure thought them. I've noticed a similar complex with older Naija people, particularly women. I think it stems from the fact that many of them, when they were in school in Nigeria, were forced to cut their hair so that they wouldn't be focused so much on trying to be cute. As with most things that any young person is forced to do, they hated it. And for girls, it's quite understandable that they would be unhappy with being forced to cut their hair. And they had to go way short. We're talking boy, close-shaven short. So now that long, glamorous hair is available to all, they can't understand why someone would choose to sport short hair. I used to feel similarly, but when I cut my hair in 2009, I saw the light. I was fly, and you couldn't tell me nothin'! Lol. As my hair grew, I found that it took more time to maintain it than I had. So for now, I've gone back to weaves and braids. But my natural hair is now an option, where I didn't think it was before. And I now know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Hair long or short, weave or no weave, I can feel and look beautiful. Anyone who says otherwise is silly. 


You people are wasting away in America eating hamburger!
Mr. Vincent C. Anigbogu, founder and director general of the Institute for National Transformation, spoke at the African Christian Fellowship National Conference back in July. He chastized both the youth and the adults for getting comfortable in America and forgetting about the state of their home countries. Really had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing on this one. He made some good points though. He had actually lived and worked in the United States for 30 years before he went back to Nigeria and has since been making great impact through his organization.





No wonder you are this big.
My dear uncle actually left this comment on a Facebook picture I had posted. It was a picture of a guy holding a bowl of chips at a surprise party for one of our friends. The guys is, well, quite big, as my uncle so "tactfully" observed.


No wonder it was somehow unrounded
Ummm... no pic for this one. Even if I had one, I wouldn't post it. Lol. My friend told me that her mom was looking at her backside and wondering why it didn't look as round as she remembered. It was due to her change of underwear (a thong) ;) Hehehehee....

And these are only the ones I remember right now. My mom told me that before she came to the U.S., she was walking down the street in Lagos. She had tied her headscarf in a particular way. One man along the road called to her, "My sista, you think you look good. You don't look good o!" Hahaha... Then another time, when she went back to Naija to visit, she was walking with my dad's older brother, her brother-in-law. Their car had broken down and they were forced to walk. Some "keen" observer called out to her "What are you doing with that man? He's too old for you o!" Hehehee... see our people o. Chei!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nigerian Hospitality

Man, I swear, I love my Naija people. We have our negatives and we have our positives, but in the end, there's nothing but love for them in my heart.

One contrast between Americans and Nigerians was made so clear to me a few years ago. A few of my friends and I were spending the night at one of our other friend's house. We stayed the night, woke up the next morning and were with her throughout the day. Do you know that she didn't offer us anything to eat the whole time we were there? I know we were there to hang out and help her with the event she had the next day, but I was like, come on. The night we got there we went and bought ourselves some food and the next day, we just went hungry until we ate at the event.

My friend obviously wasn't Naija! I mean, how can people come to your house, spend the night, and you won't offer them anything? Tufiakwa! It could never happen. If you enter a Naija person's house, you won't be there more than 10 minutes before they start bringing out little snacks and drinks.And don't be surprised if they start bringing out a full meal for you. Forget offering - they set it out before you and you're expected to take a little, at least, to show your appreciation (and that you trust them enough to eat their food).



My dad scolded us when we were young when we didn't bring out something for our guests, so now it's like second nature to me. I have to remember though, when I'm at the home of one of my American friends, that this is not always the custom.

Americans can even be eating right there in your face and won't even offer you anything. I'm thinking, "No, I didn't come to your house to eat, but are you really gonna sit here eating chicken in my face and not offer me some?" Lol.  Not all Americans are like this though. Some will conscientiously offer you something, but they certainly won't insist if you're hesitant. Hahahaha......

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grandpa's Gone

Left to right: unknown aunty, Uncle, Aunty and cousin, Grandma, Grandpa
When my mom got the news last week that her father had died, she was devastated. She didn't know that he was sick and was still expecting to see him when she finally traveled home. It had been 19 years since she saw him last.

I was very sad too.  Though I don't really remember that much about my grandfather from when I visited Naija years and years ago, I remember talking to him on the phone over the years. He was always expressed his eagerness to see us... Now that will have to wait until we all meet in heaven. Chei....

You see, it's very easy for people to forget the original intent of coming to this country, America. No one plans to lose loved ones in their quest for a better life. But the reality of the situation is that it happens. People in Nigeria and other parts of the world dream of coming to America so they can just drink from the sweet waters that they believe are flowing here; but when they come, they are met with a bittersweet taste.

True, life in America affords us many things considered luxuries around the world: general security and safety; a somewhat reasonable justice system; the ability to go to school and get an education without the fear of strikes interrupting courses; constant light and internet. But life here can be difficult. Debt seems to be the way of life and as bills stack up, it seems many live to work instead of work to live.

The constant fight to keep from complete financial ruin can make it hard to live up to the expectations of those back home. They expect their lives to be transformed from grass to grace because they have a relative in America. But it's not always that easy. And as time goes on, people forget what's important. They don't want to go home because they are ashamed that they haven't achieved what they had hoped. They don't want to be ridiculed. And even if they wanted to, they couldn't afford the trip. Heck, it's hard enough scraping together funds to send home every pay period. So time passes and whole generations grow up hardly knowing their family overseas. What a painful existence. And when it comes down to it, it's all because of money.

I have decided, so help me God, that I will not perpetuate this cycle. As soon as I'm able, when I finish my program, I'm going to Naija to see my family. At the end of the day, the love for family surpasses anything that could deter harm.

This situation also spurs me on to excel in my field so that I can make a difference in my family's life. I refuse to accept life like this.

An excerpt from my poem,  Ada: Statement of Responsibility

Before I was born the prayers of my grandmothers
were going forth on my behalf,
beseeching God to do something new:
Now, here I am.

I am Ada:
First daughter of my family’s
Nigerian dream
to cross the ocean and fulfill the
American dream
and carry it back home.

I’m not here to live for myself
or just to have fun;
I’m on mission to improve the lives of my family,
both here and there.

Too many sacrifices have been made
Too many prayers have been prayed
Too many tears have been cried
Too many have longed to see, but died
waiting for the dream to be fulfilled;
And too many yearn for it still for me to forget them.




Excerpt, Ada: Statement of Responsibility by Chidinma Ogbuaku

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What a way to get a job!

I saw this story on TV today and it just blew my mind. This 24-year old guy, Matthew Epstein wanted to work for Google as his dream job. So he made this video:




And guess what? Gooogle called him! So did Microsoft, Amazon, and a few other companies. In the end, he landed his dream job with a company called SigFig.

So creative, isn't it? Talk about creating opportunities for yourself, huh?

Friday, September 16, 2011

High-quality Nigerian Movies

Usually when I watch Naija movies, I gravitate toward ones that have Osita Iheme, Chinedu Ikedieze, Nkem Owoh, and/or John Okafor in them because I like funny Naija movies the best. Those ones wey sombody dey do juju and all that kind of stuff.... I no like am. But I've just been awakened to some really high-quality Nigerian movies, in terms of video picture, acting and plot. My only problem is that they're not yet available to me to watch or buy.

While browsing Nollywood Forever I came across a movie called Anchor baby that really caught my interest.  I guess it's showing in the UK.



Then I stumbled across Black Gold, which is showing in Nigeria and at a few film festivals in the US, according to the IMBD website


Now that's what I call a movie! Does anyone know how I can get a hold of any of these?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boaz

A friend on Facebook posted this... Thought it was so funny, but true :)
To all the girls who are in a hurry to have a boyfriend or get married, a piece of Biblical advice: Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz." While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don't settle for any of his relatives; Broke-az, Po-az, Lyin-az, Cheatin-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, , Goodfornothing-az, Lazy-az, and especially his third cousin Beatinyou-az. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz.... Repost if this made you smile

Monday, September 5, 2011

ACFYA Detroit

Designed by moi :)
This weekend was madly busy, full of multiple trips to the grocery store, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring my sisters around, trying to do some homework, doing my hair, church, guests at the house, and such. Yesterday though, my friend Emily and I did a video announcing the start of African Christian Fellowship Young Adult Chapter, Detroit. To find out more about ACF, here's the national website.

And here's the video:



Hahaha... We had fun making it. We played the music out of Emily's car and turned it up, dancing on the sidewalk. Some of the neighbors must have thought we were crazy..... Shout out to my awesome friend Shavar who shot and directed the video for us. I'm looking forward to what God is doing. :)


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Doing business with fellow Nigerians

So yesterday I was talking to one of my lifelong buddies about business and such and we got on the topic of doing business with Nigerians. She's an Igbo girl like me, but she does hair and sells Avon (her blog is here, )while I've been selling jewelry my mom makes, along with trying to sell meatpies. Eventually, I plan to have my own web and graphic design business. And before any of you start talking about Igbo people and business, just chill out. That is just a stereotype, though we seem to be fulfilling it. Lol...

Anyways, we were talking about how our people always insist on ridiculously low prices or discounts when buying something from each other. Lines like,"Come on, I'm your brother now?" or "I will give you $25" for a service that's actually worth $50 can be a real pain. And if you're dealing with your elders- forget about it. They want to treat like a child and you're supposed to 'respect' them by allowing them to run you over.  In my teen years, another of my friends (also an Igbo girl) swore off of doing Nigerian ladies hair because they never wanted to pay a fair price.

One thing I know though, is that if an American was to charge the same price for a good or service, Nigerian people will pay, though with a little haggling. But when it comes to their own people, they want an unreasonably low, unfair price. They want to talk about, oh I'm your brother, I'm your sister; but why won't that brother or sister do right and support their brother or sister's business?

My friend did mention one thing that's true, though: 

Africans won't sue you; they'll just cuss you out.

Homegirl had me straight rollin' when she said this. It's true though. And that might be the one advantage of doing business with our people. Hahahahaha........

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Healing Music

On Friday morning when I woke up confused from a dream that I had interviewed Gadhafi, I knew I'd been watching too much CNN. Lol. Seriously; I literally dreamed that I was in my office at work interviewing Gadhafi and he was wearing some jean shorts and a T-shirt, complaining that Libyans were just copying what they saw in Egypt....  Yeah, definitely to much CNN.

To keep up with going-ons in Naija, I read Vanguard newspaper online. But watching and reading news can often be draining. I like knowing what's going on, but its often depressing. Bombings in Abuja, floods along the U.S. east coast, shootings in Detroit... Add all of that on top of my personal problems and it can really bring a girl down! Thankfully, the Lord is always there to pick me up again and help me face the world.


Music always helps too. It has unexplainable power when it comes to healing souls and touching hearts. Here are a few artists who have music that is really great at lifting spirits.

From You Hold My World, to Friend, and I Am Not Forgotten, If Not For Your Grace Israel Houghton is skilled at making music that praised God and uplifts people. The dude is really talented. I don't think there's a song of his that I don't like. If you're not familiar with him, do yourself a favor and Youtube him.





Then we have Mr. Sonnie Badu. Hailing from Ghana, my brother is now based in the UK an makes amazing African praise and worship music. When I first came across him on Youtube, I was floored by his talent and anointing. Baba is one song that I love to play when I need to cry out to God. In fact, let put that on right now.... :) All of Sonnie Badu's songs are awesome, and he does a really great job at bringing Africans together in worship by singing songs from several African countries.  His Africa Worships series is an example of this. Also, there's his song African Medley, a beautiful upbeat worship song that mixes together songs in different African languages.



Though I don't understand Yoruba, when Lara George sings, my heart listens. The first song I heard by her was Ijoba Orun, and it brought tears to my eyes. My mom, who understands Yoruba, was able to translate for me, so I now know that the song is about how a car, money, and so many other things can't take her to her home, heaven. Another song I really love by Lara George is Ko Ma Si and of course, I can't do without her song Hallelujah, a very danceable praise song that I truly love.









I first found out about Coffey Anderson when he came to my church last year. He opened up with his fun remix to Umbrella. Love that song. From seeing him in person, I saw his energy and charisma firsthand. Truly a great artist. I bought the two CD's he was selling on the spot after hearing him. The acoustic one, Worship Unplugged is awesome.  His song You Are My Strength is another one of my favorite.

Needless to say, there are countless musicians who make music that I love, but if I sit here and keep listing them, I probably wouldn't be able to finish and you'd probably get bored, so, I'm done (for now) :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rain + Wind + Lightning = Rainbow

Pic courtesy of Google
I saw the most amazing thing on Saturday. I was driving with my sister and some of her friends, taking them to dance at a wedding reception.

Heavy thunderstorms clouded the evening sky and pounded the roadways with sheets of water. Lightning flashed frequently. After the rain died down, the clouds moved back and we caught a glimpse of the sunset.

In one part of the sky, the clouds were orange and purplish. Lightning lit them up periodically and in the midst of all that, part of a rainbow was visible. It was the most amazing thing. I really wish I could have taken a picture of it. My passengers scrambled for their cameras, but they missed it too because we were driving on a freeway ramp and I had no opportunity to stop.

I'm always amazed at wonders of nature like these. Even the routine sunrise or sunset still strikes me as breathtaking. But a combination of so many beautiful elements - clouds lit by sunset, flashing with lightning with a side of rainbow - that's downright spectacular!

I don't see how anyone can really believe that this world and all its beauty just came together just by coincidence.  The earth is too majestic to have been created on its own. Things like this are proof that there is a God and He's much too awesome for any of us to understand.

 God spoke to me through what I saw though what I saw: after the heaviest storm comes the most beautiful scene; the heavier the storm, the more beautiful the outcome. I took that to heart because I'm facing some tough storms in my life right now.  I know for sure that God will bring me though and on the other side, I'll be much better than I ever was. Faith is a fight, but I keep coming back round after round. Can't keep this girl down!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Work Week

I work at a very small newspaper where I did an internship during my undergrad. Working there has it's pros and cons. The biggest con is the pay. It's, ummmm...... Well, let's just say that it's less than desirable. Lol. Someone with a bachelor's degree should definitely be making more, but I know it's just a stepping stone to greater things :) 

On the other hand, the pros are that I don't have to work nights or weekends (love that!); I'm getting a thorough understanding of how city governments work (useful stuff); I get to meet all kinds people; I write things that make a difference in the community; the work staff here is like family, so my boss is very flexible and I have no problem getting days off if I need them.

This week I decided to have a little fun and take a picture each day of the week at my desk...

 
Monday I was feeling refreshed from church. I even wore (almost) the same outfit as I did to church the day before (sshhhhh, don't tel anyone. Lol). I go to Detroit World Outreach. My Bishop, Ben Gibert, preached an awesome word called "Have Faith in Your Faith." It was truly awesome, as is every message he gives. Here's a link to all the videos of services ahttp://www.dwo.org/VideoOnDemandArchives.php


On Tuesday I got fancy with my eye makeup and used two tones (green and a purplish-brown) to match my outfit. Of course you can't see it that well. It was a pretty good day from what I can remember. Oh yeah, that's right. I got to talk to one of my good friends who moved out of the state. He always makes me laugh... :)

On Wednesday I was ridiculously exhausted because I stayed up all night making jewelry. On top of that I had to go to school in the evening. Ugh. But that leads me to another pro of working at the paper. It's really encouraged the entrepreneur in me. Since I make so little; it's forcing me to get my hustle on! Lol. I'm finally having a jewelry party to sell stuff my mom, my sisters and I have made over the years. On another note, I can't even explain to you how glad I was to see my bed when I finally got home from class.



 On Thursday I threw on some pearls and black slacks for my meeting with the mayor of River Rouge, Michael Bowdler. Can you see the difference between Wednesday and Thursday? Chei, sleep is important o! Lol. I also got to interview Kiante the Sneaker Man over the phone on Thursday. Before his publicist called our office, I had no idea who he was. After finding more out out him from his website and interviewing him, I can see the guy is young and doin' it! Happens to be the name of a show he hosted in New York and a magazine he runs. To find out more about him check out his website. Click on his bio to read his amazing story.


 
Today is Friday and I'm soooo glad about it! It's pay day (yay!) and I can take care of some things. Not the least of which is my hair. Ugh. I just did it last week but I didn't take as good care of it as I should have. And you can't mess around with long curls. They'll tangle up on you in a second. So I'm going back to straight hair for now.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No chop my dollar o!

Nkem Owoh is famous for his song, "I go Chop your Dollar"
The other night while doing my hair, I decided to watch some Naija movies to get me through the long process. Lol. I went on Youtube and searched for Nkem Owoh and found a host of films. I started watching FIFA Agent 1, then 2; Osuofia in World Cup 1. When I got to Osuofia in World Cup 2 (it was a long night, lol. I paid for it dearly the next day) I was surprised by the intro to the movie, an anti-piracy public service announcement.

Nollywood stars Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki), Osita Iheme (Paw Paw), Nkem Owoh (Osuofia), and John Okafor (Mr. Ibu) had a short message for viewers. The stars thanked their fans and supporters the world over for their patronage. Then they got down to what they had to say: people selling counterfeit copies of their movies was causing them to lose money. I found their ad quite  humorous.



Click here to go to the video on Youtube if it doesn't work here.

Na wa o. See as they just dey beg people to stop buying pirated movies. Dem say, no chop my dollar o! "We no dey eat again, all because of piracy!" Chei. I think that's a huge overstatement. Sure, they're losing money. But to say that they are starving is not believable. I'm sure most Nigerians would not take these guys seriously. The average Nigerian who is suffering probably won't have much sympathy for these rich actors claiming that they are going broke.

The irony is that these very same actors are always making movies about some scheme to cheat people out of their money some way or another. Nkem Owoh is famous for his song, "I go Chop your Dollar." I can't count the number of movies where Osita and Chinedu have played little thieves, pocketing money that doesn't belong to them. In fact, the very film series where the ad was placed featured Nkem Owoh running a huge scam, claiming to be a FIFA world cup official.

I understand that these are movies and the roles the actors portray may not match their true character. But the abundance of these types of dealings in movies shows that it has become so much a part of Nigerian mentality: "Take what you can from who you can, right or wrong, to sustain yourself and even get rich, because after all, I'm suffering."

Government officials, 419ers, and yes, those selling pirated DVDs are all thinking like this. It's wrong, but it's accepted as a way of life. Making an ad against piracy is not enough to change a deep set mentality. I think these actor's efforts would be better used to create some kind of initiative to give people jobs. At the end of the day, that's the reason why most people turn to crooked ways: poverty and lack of income or greed for more.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Happenings

So dudes, yeah I'm back! What have I been up to? Ooooh, just weddings, and baby showers, and beaches, and picnics, and barbecues, and swimming, and chilling, and graduation parties, and working out, and dancing to loud music and all the fun that is summer :)

A couple weeks ago I went to Los Angeles for the African Christian Fellowship and it was awesome. ACF is a national organization where Africans grow in Christ and fellowship together in small groups all across the country.

My sisters, our childhood friends/cousins, and I



When I was a kid the Detroit area had a pretty good sized chapter. The people I grew up with there are like family to me. But as families moved away for jobs and such, the chapter kind of died.  When I was in Cali though, I went to the young adult sessions, sang on the praise team, and connected with so many outstanding African young people. I felt led to bring ACF back to Detroit, the young adults section anyway. There's so many African groups in the Detroit area, and all over Michigan really. But so few of them are Christ-centered. Teaming up with my friend Emily and our sisters, we've begun the planning phase of ACF YA Detroit. Our Facebook group is here. I'm excited to see what God will do.

My trip to Cali was also interesting because it was the first time that me, my mom, my dad, and my three sisters have flown together. For two of my sisters, it was their first time on a plane. Traveling with all of them was a little hectic. It was kinda funny too, especially with my dad always worried that we would miss our flight and us getting to our gate at the last minute and then finding somewhere to stuff all of our carry-on luggage when we finally got on the mostly-full plane, people giving us dirty looks and all. Heheheee....

It's really been a time of new things for me... going places I've never been, doing things I've never done, meeting people I never knew before. I've discovered one thing for sure...... I LOVE TO TRAVEL. In state, out of state, out of the country, it doesn't even matter... as long as it's somewhere new, I'm down. I got a chance to go to Ft. Meyers, Florida earlier this year and that was quite lovely. I may have the chance to go to Washington D.C, in a few weeks to cover the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr., memorial for the newspaper where I work. Exciting! And when I'm finally financially stable, I'll be in a different city every weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meah Tweh







I love when I come across people doing things in creative new ways, so I was enchanted to find out Meah Tweh.

Meah's a Detroit girl publishing her own book of poetry Color Me Beautiful and Other Poems about Life, Love and Dreams and is doing via her own publishing company, Zealot Press.

The book is a collection of Meah's recent poetry. It aims to uplift women of all races, especially black women, to stand up and be who you are. It's a message that black women in any part of the world can appreciate. Ms. Tweh happens to be born of a black American mother and a Liberian father, making her a Liberian American girl :).







Another unique aspect of this project is that Meah is using Kickstarter.com to raise a portion of the funds. Kickstarter allows people with an idea to put it in front of the world and receive pledges from backers. The person sets a goal and if met, Kickstarter collects the pledges and gives the money for their project. However, if the goal is not met, Kickstarter cancels all pledges. It's all or nothing! Either way though, Meah's book release party is set for July 22.

So far Meah's got $370 of her $500 goal and Tuesday June 14 is the last day. I know she can do it! If you're interested in supporting Meah you can do so on her Kickstarter page by clicking here or going to Kickstarter.com and searching Meah Tweh. To find out more about Meah you can go to her website www.meahtweh.com.

It's funny because I only found out about Meah because of a Facebook suggestion to like her fan page. It turns out that we both graduated from Wayne State and have quite a few friends in common. It's a small world indeed :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today was a good day... (Icecube) Lol

Today was a pretty great day for me, I must admit. Early in the day I went to meeting for this business meeting and it was pretty inspiring. I came away with these words of wisdom:

The way you do anything is the way you do everything
Character isn't compartmentalized. The kind of person you are in one area of your life is the kind of person you are in all areas of your life.

Successful people are never busy people
Because they plan, and plan, and plan so when the time comes to do things, they've got it all figured out and it goes smoothly. No rush, no fuss, no bother.

It's not who you know; it's what you know
Definitely heard this one and it's true.

Later in the day, I went to a Zumba class for the first time and it way HYPE! I had so much fun, sweated like a Christmas goat (lol), and hope it's the beginning of a new workout habit. I've been doing workouts using videos on Youtube and stuff on my own, but being in a class full of people gives more motivation to keep going.



I went with my sister and my best friend. They played some really good Latino music, including a Latino version of Waving Flag. You may be familiar with the Naija remix with K'Naan, Banky W, and M.I. Love that song. They also played Jessy Matador's Décalé Gwada which made my sister and I smile. That song's a bit of a legend around here cause two years ago the guys in our African student group did a routine to that song that really put them on the map.

Anyways, like I constantly remind myself, it's really the little things that make me smile....... :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3 Months Plus

Yep, that's how long it's been since my last post. Terrible, I know. One of my friends called me Sunday and lamented my lack of updates. So I just thought I'd let anyone interested know that I'm still alive and kickin'. Hehehee....

So what's been up? I've really been focusing on some personal goals and learning a lot in my new school. The world's really a changed place since I last wrote. So many things have happened, no need to repeat the news broadcasts here... Just makes me grateful for the life I have. Though imperfect, it's not hard to see that many are in far worse positions than I. Baba God, I thank You.

On another note, I'd like to share a few Naija artists that I discovered on my hiatus and have been jammin' to ever since. Tim Godfrey & Xtreme Crew. A highly skilled gospel musician, Tim Godfrey and his crew mix Igbo and Naija praise with modern instrumentals for a very impressive effect. "Igbo Melody", a medley of several Igbo praise songs, was the first one I heard by the group and it's awesome (as are the group's other tracks) Click the picture to take a listen!

Tim Godfrey & Xtreme Crew







Then there's Axios Choir, whose main instruments are their own voices. Their song "Ibu Ngalaba" is the only one I came across on Youtube, and it's desperately beautiful. The words of the chorus, "Ibu ngalaba jisi ndu mu eeeh" mean "You are the pillar that holds my life," referring to God. The song has been a real encouragement to me.  I also found the disclaimer they put at the beginning of their video quite charming,"Axios Choir will set you free from the habit of bad vocal chords." Hehehehe....

Those of us familiar with the Nigerian church scene know that whenever it's time to sing, our people like to sing loud, no matter the quality of the voice: from average to cracked. And often times those singing the loudest are those with the worst voices (aka those aunties with the high, shrilly, screeching voices LOL!). You can even find some of these individuals in various praise teams and choirs, oddly enough. It's good that our God is a loving God who doesn't put any stipulations on the praise that we give Him other than that it comes from the heart. :) Anyways... Click here to listen to Ibu Ngalaba.  Bye for now!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Amazed at Egypt

Watching the turn of events in Egypt, I can only be amazed. It seems a new way to overthrow leaders who have held their grip on power for so long has been discovered. Everyday as I watched the news, I held my breath and prayed that the protest would not slide into uncontrolled violence among the protesters or just as bad- that the government would retaliate mercilessly, tired of having its power challenged.

But even after small battles between pro and anti Mubarak protesters, the overwhelming tide of the desire for change swept through Egypt and won. It's truly amazing to me. Now that Mubarak has stepped down, my prayer is that as people are rejoicing, their joy is not turned to sadness. Peace is what is needed, no matter what. I pray that Egypt stabilizes and the next rulers of Egypt rule the country with justice and respect for the desires of the Egyptian people.

One of my friends posted a status on Facebook saying that if Nigerians knew that they could oust a president through protesting, they would have brought an end to Ibrahim Babangida's regime. It's an interesting thought. But the victory for Egyptians came because of a combination of things, including the president's unwillingness to unleash violence on his citizens and a multitude of international media attention and pressure on Mubarak. Would the rest of the world care as much if it was a country like Nigeria? There are crises all over Africa, but look at how little coverage they get in western media. Also, so many governments are willing to use harsh violence against their citizens, which is a quick way to put down a revolution of people who are poor and have little to fight with.

Still, it leaves me wondering if this is a new pattern that will be continued across the world in places where people are unsatisfied with their government. We shall see...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lessons in integrity

Yesterday I went online to check my bank account for my paycheck, which was due to be deposited. I logged onto my account and to my surprise, more than twice the amount I was expecting had been deposited. Chineke me! Instead of to ask for money, dem go even add extra to my account? This na reverse 419!

At first I was like "Oh my goodness! My pastor was prophesying double portion over us on Sunday...Maybe this is it!" Hahaha... That only lasted for a second, though. Though I definitely believe the man of God, I definitely know that anything God gives to me will be done decently and in order with honesty and integrity, not by trickery or mistake. So I decided to just make sure with the payroll office today.

It turns out that somebody's entire check (one Igbo guy named Chi-something) was deposited into my account in addition to my own. Ehhhh wooo. See me see trouble o. The lady that does payroll  mixed our names up and put his hours in my name.

You see, I worked at two university departments last semester. One of the jobs ended when I graduated in December, but the other will last until June. I got paid as usual by the department where I  still work now, but my old department accidentally put that Chi-something guy's hours under my name, resulting in overpayment. Now I have to make a check out to the department's account.

I knew I had to do the right thing, but chei! That money was looking good in my account oh!. I had some things I could have really taken care of with it. God I know you've seen me oh! Please bless me for this act of integrity. I know He will though. And my double portion will come another way. The right way. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back to Bookish

Before I was ever a writer, I was a reader. As a child, I devoured book after book as a favorite pastime. One auntie even seemed worry about me. "Chichi, go play with the other kids," she would say when she came to visit us. Her kids and my siblings would be tearing up the house (inside and out) in a crazy frenzy of raucous noise, but I could still keep my focus on the latest paper treasure that I had found.

As I grew older I got more social, but I still loved to read all the way though high school. Then came college.

No longer was I able to spend vast amounts of time reading books of my own choosing for pleasure, for I had huge reading assignments from textbooks that could put even the most avid reader to sleep. No more free reading for me! At least, not much of it.

Now that I'm done with undergrad, I can read again! I'm excited for that. Reading is a true love of mine. My favorite books are autobiographies. To me, it's just so amazing to hear a person's life story, with all it's twists and turns, and see the person they've become.

Right now I'm reading Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama, his autobiography.
Please excuse the silliness. Lol.
I can remember about four years ago my friend Louise was braiding my hair. She had won the book in a drawing, but she wasn't particularly into it. It was sitting on the floor of her room and I picked it up.  I started reading it, but didn't get far. We had no idea who the man would become. Now that we all know who Obama is, his story is even more fascinating to me. How did he become who he is? So far, the book hasn't disappointed. Obama is eloquent and his written voice tells a story that makes you want to keep reading.

I'm a big fan of the library, so that's where I got the book. I also checked out this book:


Investing Online for Dummies. So far I've learned that I have no business investing money in the stock market until I build up a solid savings. I'm working on that right now. Bringing my lunch everyday instead of buying, buying gas from Kroger because they give great discounts to their customers, not going shopping for those new pairs of jeans, and getting books from the library instead of buying them. Ahhhh frugality.

But anyways, Yaaaaaaay reading! Lol. I sound like a supernerd. But that's ok. :)