Sunday, 26 August 2012

An evening with Farafina


I've mentioned on this blog before how much I absolutely love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Well what I didn't mention is, I also love anything Farafina related. For the past 4 years Farafina has organised an annual creative writing workshop sponsored by Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, with Chimamanda Ngozi adichie as the main facilitator. I've always wanted to attend the workshop, but time hasn't permitted to submit any piece of writing. Besides I need to polish my writing so that when I do make a submission I stand the chance of getting selected...No one likes being

After the workshop, a literary evening is always organized which is open to the general public.

This year's workshop began on the 14th of August and ended yesterday 24th of August with the literary evening. I was opportune to attend the Literary Evening and I was/am still ecstatic. It was my first time of attending and I totally loved it.

Armed with the two most important things to me at that time- my camera and my copy of Chimamanda's book, 'The Thing Around Your Neck' (Half of a Yellow Sun is too big to fit into the pouch bag I carried along and Purple Hibiscus was stacked up somewhere amongst my other books far away from my reach), I made my way to the venue, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The event was billed to start at 5pm, so I was quite nervous when I still hadn't reached the venue at 15 minutes to 6pm. Finally at a little after 6pm I got to the Grand Ballroom, Eko Hotel and Suites, so sure I had missed all the fun. I was so wrong. There was a cocktail going on, and according to the usher I spoke to at the entrance, after the cocktail, the main event was to start at 6pm. I was so happy.

I took a seat happily and in no time the event was due to start. I spotted Chimamanda coming in and I immediately took a shot of her as she exchanged pleasantries with a few people. It felt good to see my mentor for real in real

Muhtar Bakare (Farafina Trust), Chimamanda and Nicolaas Vervelde, MD/CEO NB Plc...Guess who's seated right there in front

 The M.C of the day was Iretiola Doyle of Oge with Ireti fame or more recently Tinsel (where she acts as 'Sheila')

First off was a short speech by Muhtar Bakare of Farafina Trust. Then was the presentation of certificates to the participants of this year's edition of the workshop. On introducing each participant, Chimamanda told us a bit about them and what she felt about their writing.

with the participants
After the presentation of certificates to the participants, the other three facilitators of the workshop, Binyavanga Wainaina, Jeff Allen and Rob Spillman, sat with Chimamanda on the stage. The former two read from their work after which they all engaged in conversation.

Couldn't get a better shot
Binyavanga read an excerpt from his book, 'One day I will write about this place' and the audience was in stitches as he read from it all too comically. I was forced to purchase a copy for myself at the end of the evening.
The Kenyan print version

Questions and contributions were entertained from the audience; ranging from 'What is African writing.....'?, to 'Why do you think Nigerians don't read.......'?, etc, then a bit of misguided criticism or more of a sheer display of ignorance that got what it deserved...Silence..., and lastly a valid contribution by Odia Ofemum, renowned poet and writer.

It was a blissful evening

The high point of it all was when Onyeka Onwenu took to the stage (yes, you guessed right) and got us shaking our bodies (including me, who doesn't dance in to her rich music. She sure knows her art well. 32 years of experience no be beans.

She loves dancing oh
Chimamanda joined her and they sang beautifully in Igbo


Chimamanda autographing my copy of her book
I had so much fun. I didn't want to leave but I had to because it was running really late.

It would sound so cliche, but I'll still say "You guys missed" Anyways I'll encourage writers and basically lovers of literature to attend the Literary Evening next time.

I'm so trying out for the workshop next year and I hope you'll do too if you're interested.

Till then I'll leave you with advice from Chimamanda, "Keep reading and keep writing" and "Make sure you write the truth and nothing but the truth" (okay she didn't put that this way that was my major take home from the event in my own words.)

Thanks for stopping by
Always stay happy and optimistic....:)

*Update: Special thanks to my friend who helped with taking the last two photos, and other photos not shown here... you know yourself.. :)

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Of theories, up-dos and God's will

I was in a sorta heated argument with a somebody last week and the whole wahala was "what's the definition of an intimate relationship". Now the person was/is of the opinion that an intimate relationship means a relationship in which the two people do a lot of physical touching etc and that, that's the only way a couple can bond, that's there no way a guy and girl can be in a relationship and they won't touch unless they are just friends.

My own opinion was "okay oh, hmmm...I've heard you, but the word 'intimate' is quite relative. Intimacy to me is not physical touching (it might include it oh, I dunno), but an emotional attachment of the couple to each other based on a bond developed as a result of friendship and a couple getting to know each other very well, inside out. The best relationships have a strong foundation of friendship and the good thing is that in these kind of relationships romance would definitely kick in at the appropriate God-given time in reasonable ways and end up full blown in marriage"..I now went on to state, (even though I have no statistics Oh) that "80% of the time, relationships founded on the basis of lust and physical intimacy, are doomed in marriage. As in, when all the physical touching/sexual activity is done and over done sef, what will glue the couple together when they don't have a foundation of friendship?" I feel everyone in a relationship should explore friendship with their partner first before any other thing. They should sha remember to flee from every appearance of evil.

After stating my opinion the person says that is my theory..

I rest my case.. Is this just my theory. Is it not like a major truth. Abi what I've just stated, doesn't it obtain in real life?
In moving on to other issues, let me state first that I hate trends. Yep I do. Just because it is what's in does not mean it'll look good on everyone. People should learn to stop following and set their own trends (......oh, then someone copies and then another and the cycle continues...*sigh*...whatever. But it usually starts from copying celebs sha)

This ballerina up-do thingy is becoming too common..I can't even count how many people in my class on a certain day have an up-do, when they decide not to make their hair. Funny, as much as I hate it because it is common, I still think it looks quite pretty sometimes and especially in the picture below;


 and in this one


Oh and this too


Gorgeous init?

Well, I don't see too much of gorgeous on the heads of people I have seen that spot this trend. I'm not exaggerating when I say I have seen an up-do like this:

I tried to do something with 'Paint' on my  

I'm seriously not exaggerating. Just can't get real pics because it will just be somehow (though I felt like snapping people's heads last week...:) ). I saw someone like this last week and I was like 'what??!!..the shape of head ehn....

The rule of thumb here is 'know the shape of your head and the LENGTH of your hair'. Just 'cause it fit Christina Milian, doesn't mean it will fit you too. Better still, fix in a weave so it looks full and much more pretty. Or just stay away from it!

Okay Oh... Now to a much more serious issue...

Have you ever felt like God is telling you to do something and you know it's good for you, but you're like 'Big guy', what's your own now. I'm really on the right path now'. It's really hard to  succumb to God's will for us sometimes. The simplest way I see it is like a father telling a child to do his homework oh,' face your book oh', but the child is always grumpy and refuses to go his father's way and prefers to play suwe with his friends. What the child does not know is that, his father has great plans for his future and he knows that if he (the child) heeds his (the father's) word and does well consistently, one day he might get a scholarship to study at Harvard.
That's the way I see it, but sometimes it's so hard to yield to God's will even when you know he's infallible and he will never lead you along the wrong path.. I'm still learning everyday and it's not easy, but by God's grace I shall succeed,

This was nice. Feels good to be back here :)

Wish y'all a lovely holiday.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Dem say, dem say

Have you been trying to apply for that job but ‘you heard‘ that no one can get a job in that place you are applying to unless they have ‘leg‘?..,

Have you been considering taking that new course but you heard that ‘they said‘ it is difficult and people always fail, infact no one has ever had an A?


Have you been contemplating sending the first draft of your novel to that publishing house, but you heard they ‘don‘t just accept stories like that‘?...

My dear friend, my message to you today is don‘t be discouraged whatever you are working at (whether it‘s part of the examples I cited above or not), don‘t listen to everything that people say because they most likely heard it from someone else, who heard from someone else.

Most people are just ignorant.
And some people will never see anything good in what you are doing and are most likely out to discourage you.

If there‘s one thing I‘ve learnt in this life, it‘s that there‘s nothing you cannot do.
Things don‘t always happen the same way. If you never try something you‘d never know what result it will yield.
I‘m sure most people can relate with stories of ‘maths is hard‘ from our primary and/or secondary school days. From what I‘ve seen, this preconceived idea moulded a lot of people‘s view about maths and they were not willing to even try at all to ace the subject.

As for me I don‘t listen to what people say without trying things out myself.

I‘m currently at a stage in my life where I‘m preparing to take major exams for entry into pharmacy internship programs and all I‘m hearing left, right and center is ‘do you know anyone?‘, ‘you won‘t get in without connection‘, blah blah.. It all sounds like a bit of hogwash to me. I‘ve at least answered a couple of times that ‘I know God‘. At most I just smile and keep quiet.

I‘m not bothered because it is the same thing I‘ve been hearing for a long time. Some people are even under the impression that I/my parents must have known some ‘somebodies‘ with how far I‘ve come in life.

It‘s funny how once, someone dropped their WAEC and JAMB result with my dad for him to ‘help‘ them with their admission into Uni, at a time in my life when my parents were busy praying for my admission into the same University the person was applying to. I won‘t forget how my dad left those documents on a shelf where they gathered dust for a looong time. Needless to say, the person got in, but without my dad‘s supposed help

I don‘t know anybody o.
I just know I try and I don‘t get discouraged. If 80% enter by ‘leg‘, then no wahala, I‘ll be part of the 20% that enter by brain and most importantly by the grace of God.


Feels good to be back here...:)

Wish you all a lovely weekend and stay blessed.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Age is just a number

My all time favourite Nigerian soap is Tinsel, which is currently in it's 4th season showing on DSTV's Africa Magic Entertainment, Channel 128.

Click for Full Image Size
Tinsel Cast

Two of my favourite characters are Emil Haruna and Angela Dede.
I just love the love they share in some ways. But wait Oh, I'm thinking does this kind of love happen in real life.

Okay lemme do a brief summary of their love story for those who don't understand what I'm talking about. So, Emil is Angela's boss's son. He is attracted to Angela and begins to fall in love with her despite her mental instability and all. She acts like she doesn't like him but gradually her feelings for him start to show. They start getting really serious. Emil's mum finds out about this relationship, but she's not happy. She calls Angela to her office and tells her to stay away from Emil, revealing that her son is just 17.

Angela runs mad (madder than she already She didn't know Emil was underage. I mean the guy owns his own business and looks like he's in his late 20s. Apparently, as she finds out later he's just a precocious teenager who  likes older women, like Angela who is 30!!
Emil is persistent and insists he loves Angela. He even moves in with her for a while when his mother throws him out for being a disobedient child.
Finally Emil turns 18 and he and Angela hit it off again and this time even stronger. It seems like their love is made in heaven.

So you gerrit?

Now, while Emil and Angela's story looks good on-screen, I can't help but wonder "does such happen in real life?". Like Emil's mother put it (although exaggerated), Angela is practically twice Angela's age. My opinion on this is, this doesn't happen in real life.
I give kudos to the tinsel crew for telling us such a story and keeping me entertained every you mucho...but me I can't danwo, I can't try that oh

Some proponents of 'Age is just a number' will insist it's okay as long as both parties have mutual respect for each other.
I feel, over time, the guy would start to lose interest in the woman. Also, the woman might begin to have some self-esteem issues and also feel the need to guard her man from younger women. There will be some other issues involved, including both families' acceptance of the union (if they plan on getting married) etc. And although we shouldn't make decisions based on what others think, but we should also put in mind that the society will also frown against such a union.
I feel if at all the woman is older than the man, it should be a maximum of 2 years abeg. It's just somehow. Well what do I know.

Anyways, there's nothing you will not see in a soap opera. I suspect they will still break up sef (Emil and Angela)..we shall see.

Does anyone know of such relationships in real life? Please lemme know o

In another news...
I came across this video on Myne's blog some time ago and I've been hooked since then. Dunno why o. But I just love the song ehn..And I thought I should share

Enjoy Oko mi by Ju Spice