Monthly Archives: January 2017

Finding Diamonds in the Rubble: The Story of Elikem and Pokello

I remember Elikem and Pokelo when they were both on Big Brother Africa. Elikem was a struggling tailor while Pokello was a boss lady, owned her own premium shoe store and was from a rich home. It didn’t look like there was a chance on earth she would agree to date him

Fast forward to after the show, Pokello the boss lady and Elikem took their relationship to another level. What intrigued me was the way she supported him 100%. She modelled his clothes, spent a lot of her time in Ghana to support his work and advertised him to the whole world. She said it on her page overtime, how much she believed in Elikem and how they were a team going places.

Even though a blind man couldn’t see them, nor could a deaf man hear them communicate, Pokello’s energy, firm support and confidence in her man oozed like a force; you could not deny it

Today they are married with a kid and Elikem keeps saying he has never met a woman this awesome. She didn’t ignore her business while she catered to his, she owned her individuality and was still part of a two man team. She now says it jokingly “I was there when he had nothing, look at us now”. Even though I feel this may not be 100% a joke, she has every right to brag

Ladies, there’s a fullness and fulfilment when we see the future with our man. A man who is hardworking, has his goals set, already making moves to better his life should not be seen as hopeless. The power of support a woman gives a “worthy” man cannot be over estimated. Getting in while things have already worked out is okay, but getting in while things are on the verge of working out is fine too

Do it whole heartedly, even though women have become cynical, I sure hope we have not lost our ability to see diamonds in the rubble

Don’t be afraid of your flaws, Acknowledge them: The Story of The Water Bearer – Ben Carson

A water bearer had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full.

For two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, fulfilled in the design for which it was made.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was unable to accomplish what it had been made to do.

After two years of enduring this bitter shame, the pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself and I apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and was cheered somewhat. But at the end of the trail, it still felt the old shame because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you not notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, and not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we’ve walked back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has flaws. We’re all cracked pots.

But if you let these flaws shine and try being yourself, then you can use your flaws to make the world more beautiful.

Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you, too, can bring something beautiful to this world.

IGP Idris Abandons Primary Duties, Leads Police Delegation To Visit President Buhari In The UK – Ayoola Ajayi

IGP Idris Abandons Primary Duties, Leads Police Delegation To Visit President Buhari In The UK

Do you know that smile? The one that spreads across your visage when you’re mad at someone and they have no clue, and you’re just inspecting them and looking for where to plug a dagger in their body, but that one strand of kindness in you is holding you back? That’s the smile I have on my face right now

I have read the above headline ten times and over and that smile hasn’t failed to take my face once. Just when we thought the photo of our president lounging with his legs on a centerpiece, watching ‘Channels TV’ (keeping up with goings on) is the most embarrassing thing we will see this month, this surfaced

Our president is in the UK, leaving his people here in Nigeria, wailing, crying, toiling, and struggling

My friend was so optimistic in 2014 and 2015, about this man. He was so convinced our messiah had come. Ah! He looked at the rest of us like the man who doubted the end of that famine in the bible and didn’t get to eat of the fruit of the land when they were harvested. I kept saying to him “Kayode, I am not convinced at all about any of these same set of people that keep revolving around power for years. I will not vote. I can live with the shame of not being a part of the solution, but the guilt of being a part of those who created the problem is something that will continue to haunt me”. Now, I hate to say I told him so, but I did tell him so, didn’t I?

It worries me, a lot, that we may never progress from this deplorable situation we have found ourselves. If you are leading a people, you should carry them along, and let them be in the know at all times. We all want the same thing – a better Nigeria. However, we are clueless. We don’t know what our president is up to, but we definitely know all the itinerary of his travels

“IGP Ibrahim Idris leads police delegation to visit Buhari in London”. To do what? To escort him back home? Or is UK the permanent resident of our president that a whole Police head had to go visit him?

Mr. President, are you planning on coming back at all? It is almost two years sir, we haven’t seen any progress. We are weary. We are tired. What more, your actions and that of your cohorts aggravates our worry

Which way Nigeria?

linda ikeji Chigul

Living Your Dreams can not be a Mistake, I Am a Living Proof of That – Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omerua

My name is Chioma Ijeoma Omeruah. I started Chigul in 2009/2010. After the voice note I did had gone viral, I started to gain some popularity. Last year July, I decided to move back to Lagos and resign from my job at ECOWAS. I worked at ECOWAS for 7 and a half years, first as a translator and later at the conference and protocol department.

The pay at ECOWAS was not bad at all but I wanted to live my dream fully. I have always wanted to be an entertainer. I did Chigul simultaneously with the ECOWAS job but it was hectic because I had to be in Lagos every weekend. Then when my day job began to get in the way of the Chigul brand, I thought to myself “God has given me all these gifts, why am I holding back? Do I not trust Him enough to sustain me?” . So I chose to resign at ECOWAS and fully concentrate on Chigul.

When you are transitioning from a 9-5 to being your own boss, it is difficult. For me, it had to happen, my happiness was at stake and I NEEDED to live my dream. Majority of my days are very good. Yes, there are bad times especially at the beginning when finances had to be strictly monitored because you no more earn salaries. But the good far outweighs the bad.

I’ll tell people who want to leave their day jobs to start out on their own, to make sure it is a GOD idea and not just a GOOD idea. Good idea is your own timing. God idea means that you are leaving in God’s time, when you are absolutely confident that your move is backed by God.

This way, when things are not going well, you know for a fact that, God will make provisions because it was His idea. Because I left in God’s time, He has been so good to me and I know that favours coming my way can only be God’s grace.

Also, humility will take you farther than your talent. I have been taught by family to be grounded and treat people with respect. Surround yourself with good people, because the people you surround yourself with, can make or break you.

I know there are greater things ahead and for me to achieve this, I must stay grounded. Living your dreams cannot be a mistake, I am a living proof of that.

Have Children Before It’s ‘Too Late’

Dear DANG: There is no Manual on How to Act When Your Motherhood is Questioned -Miss K

I am an ardent reader of yours on Instagram and immediately bookmarked your website as soon as it launched. This is why after reading your open letter to Tonto Dikeh, I took it upon myself to tell you my story. I am not a celebrity, so I hope you’ll relate with me

During my divorce with my ex husband, when we sat with our lawyers, he called me a bad mother. Yes, my ex husband and I used to smoke weed but our 5 year old never saw me smoke. Him and I never ever smoked in the house. He also insinuated I drink a lot and get home drunk on Fridays so this makes me unfit and he wanted sole custody. These were all lies 

When he said this, I panicked and my lawyer insisted I get drug and alcohol test done. My heart broke into tiny pieces because this is a man that had more influence than me. What if he goes and forge an alcohol test to prove himself right? We were seperated for a year. I have had no drop of alcohol since then partly because I was seriously trying to lose weight. 




Straight from the lawyer’s office I went to get the test done. I closed early from work the next day, picked up the test result and dropped it at my lawyer’s office then made over 20 copies. I drove around Lagos like a mad woman, submitting drug test results to his family members and mine. Trying to convince them to get on my side and talk to him not to do anything funny. I even got to his own lawyer’s house at 11pm, although he didn’t allow me in, I dropped the test result at his gate. Not only was I angry at my ex husband, I was scared too. That my child would be taken from me and everyone will say it’s because I’m a bad mother. I did a test every 3 days, submitted it round to the same people until the hearing in court

Thinking back, this was not ideal, dropping the drug test results with my lawyer was enough to shut down his accusations but I was desperate for people to know I was not a bad mother. I have sole custody of my son now. This is because the judge asked for my ex husband’s drug test too when she found out I was the only one that had that in her file. He submitted his and had cannabis in his blood. Case closed quicker than it started 




Dear DANG, can you see why I empathize with Tonto? Women pride themselves on being the best mother their child can have, so trying to ruin that part of her life will get her on the defensive and make her do what is sometimes unnecessary. But it is all in good faith

You already know I love you. Hopefully my story will make you see things from Tonto’s point of view. 

Love,

Miss K.

Dairy of a Nigerian Girl: Natural Hair Struggle – Chinaza Ezeani

I Decided to “go natural” with my hair because I thought I had sense and that natural hair will save money. Now, I share my breakfast with my hair

My breakfast mostly consists of coffee or tea, bread and one egg which is a complete balanced diet. I’ll now take out the egg which is the “ghen ghen” of the meal and the ‘balanced’ is gone. I’d be left with just…diet. As if it that is not enough, I’ll take out the coffee and I’m left with just carbohydrates to keep my tummy sane

Before you begin to wonder what I’m doing taking these things out of my meal, natural Hair blogs prescribe raw eggs and a coffee/tea rinse for healthy hair growth. Give me a reason why I shouldn’t establish a poultry farm for my hair when natural hair wants protein for lunch but I only have beans at home?

When you see me buying a pack of 5 alive juice please don’t assume it is mine, ‘eez’ not! My Hair wants to drink juice because there’s no money to blend fruit salad and empty on it! “Chinaza, the fresh tomatoes in the fridge were for our stew. Why is it on your hair?” Yeah that’s my mum! I don’t have any answer

And when I finally decide to consult YouTube videos for alternative measures, this is what I find:
“Add 10 bat’s eyes”
“Add 1 goat’s head”
“Add the white feathers of a dove”
What am I making?! Herbal medicine?

If I don’t feed my hair with protein and vegetables, this is what happens: I’m walking alone on the street –since I don’t have a car- looking like MC Jegede. Already my hair is tangled. Then my hair gets exposed to low and high humidity, which brings me closer to shrinkage, making ‘sanwan’ look like a burnt cake. It is common knowledge that all the mad men and women that roam the streets are either naturals or in transition, one of them will now come and mistake “yours truly” for their colleague

In the case of the above, the solution is four edge control! 4! Even at that, my edges still raise their hands and legs, body and soul to heavens in praise and worship. In fact, let me even use this medium to advertise…if you want to buy edge control…please I’m selling.

Natural hair gang, do you feel me?

Guarded: How I Learned To Love The Walls I Built – Iman Milner

“You’re too guarded,” he said.

This was his reason. This was why he couldn’t see me for me even after the better part of a year spent loving and building together. I cried on the other side of the phone because I felt that I’d been more open with him than anyone else in my past. Hell, we’d started dating after he was my friend through a terrible breakup. How could he not see me?

“What does that even mean?” I asked through tears, “I love you. I’ve been there for you through all of this. And you’ve been there for me…I’ve shared some of my worst secrets with you…” “That…right there…you said ‘some’. That is how I always feel—that I am getting some of you. I can’t do that anymore.”

I replayed that conversation over and over in my head for months. I combed my mind to identify the times that I hadn’t been completely transparent with the man who I loved and then it occurred to me—I had been. It didn’t take on the form that maybe he wanted but I had cut open my chest and showed him how my heart beat…what more could I do? I used to rebuke the part of me that didn’t make a new best friend in every social setting. I despised my unwillingness to share all of my truths at every ladies’ night. I ridiculed my inability to be an open book in past relationships.

I’ve always been selective with my sharing because I’ve always been observant.

I grew up in a household with two people who were more sensitive than a newborn baby’s soft spot. I’ve seen what betrayal does to a man who accepts people without judgment for a living (my father was a writer). I know all too well what disappointment does to a woman whose heart is always in the right place even when her words cut a little too deep (my mother is a dancer with a heart of gold and a mouth like a bow and arrow). I know what people do to people—-so I watch.
And wait.

Waiting has taught me this: my walls haven’t been built for fear of the opposition but in honor of the beauty inside of me. Every single one of the friends/lovers who have rallied for my transparency proved themselves to be people who wanted access to the depths of me just to say they saw what I had inside…not because they actually wanted the responsibility of protecting it

Know how I know?

Because they didn’t realize they had access until it was gone

Let me tell you what worthy looks like. Worthy sees the light you thought you lost to the darkness in your mind. Worthy knows when something’s wrong before the first tear falls. Worthy uplifts and makes you whole again. Worthy is nothing less than peace in the middle of your storm.
But more than anything: worthy never needs an invitation to prove itself. It just performs.

You are not destined to be alone and friendless because your transparency requires more than weekly brunches, happy hours, and mani/pedis staged for Instagram pictures. You are not impossible to love because you don’t want to share the story behind every scar that you wear. You are not “too strong”, “too closed off”, “too weary of others”, or any of the other “too-s”. You are protecting your light. And in this world, that’s enough of a fight. The battle to make your friends/lovers feel comfortable in their position in your life—let it go.

Have you ever struggled with being “too guarded”? How did you learn to embrace that part of you? Let us know in the comments below

The post Guarded: How I Learned To Love The Walls I Built appeared first on xoNECOLE

Meet the Amazing Zainab Akinyemi: 17 Year Old Car Re-Wire Female Engineer

My name is Akinyemi Zainab Abeke, I am 17 years old.

When I wanted to start learning car re-wiring, my parents refused. They told me to go learn tailoring or hair styling but I insisted this is what I want to do. My dad was reluctant because he could not understand why a girl would want to go into re-wiring and repairing cars. Even though he refused, I would stop by at the mechanic shops to watch the mechanics work, I really enjoyed doing that.

When my twin brothers died due to ailments I don’t know of, I told my mother:

“look at us and our family, our generation is poor, no one in our family has money to even pay my school fees at once. If we had money, you and daddy would have been able to take my brothers to the best hospitals. I want to do this so I can be ahead of my peers and become successful”.

When I was telling her this, I was crying because I was tired of my father working so hard as a tailor and still suffering. I don’t want to be like that, and I don’t want him to die like that.

When My mom went back to my dad to convince him and to tell him all I said, he called me to his room and prayed for me in tears. He prayed that I would be greater than everyone in my family and that my dreams will come true. After praying for me, he brought me here and I have been training to rewire cars.

My mum and grandma help the family as well.My mother left us when I was 4 and my step mum has acted as my mother ever since. I call her mummy because she is my mother now, she treats me like I’m her own child. For instance, whenever I need money for books, she will stay late in her shop so she can sell more items and give me money to buy the books.

During school holidays, I also have to do some work so I can buy new school uniforms because I keep growing taller.

I want to go to the university after secondary school. I’m not very good with maths, I’ve been getting Cs a lot. Learning the practical aspect of mechanical engineering will give me a better understanding when I get to the university. Also, I can work in auto repair shops when I’m not in school so I can help my parents and Grandma see me through school.

When my dad hears that boys and girls from my school stop by the workshop to laugh at me and take pictures on their phone of me, he comes to the workshop to tell me he is proud of me. This makes me more focused. Not that I care what people say, because this is my dream and my goals are different from theirs so they can laugh all they want. This is why when my dad asks me to go and play like my mates, I tell him there’s no time. I really wish I had started this early.

DANG: Early? You’re only 17

Zainab: Ah. 17 is not only o. I’ve been wanting to do this since I was 12, by now I would have been very good. I dream about car re-wiring, I see myself in my dreams repairing people’s cars. I should have started early, but it’s okay, I’ve started now. I tell my friends and younger ones,

“whatever you want to do, start learning now, no age is too young to learn, whatever you learn with your hands, you can never forget”TWEET THIS QOUTE

When I see women engineers on television, it makes me feel like I also can do it.My dream is to be an engineer like them too. I want to be famous for being the most sought after female engineer in the world.

Should Married Couples Share a Joint Account? A Naija Guy Perspective – Femi Oladehin

One of the big financial decisions you must make as a couple post wedding is whether to keep a joint account or not. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am totally not a fan of joint accounts and I hope you will forgive me for my position eventually.

A joint account is an account where more than one person has control over the management of that account. In essence, the control of inflows and spending from those accounts are managed by two or more people. Couples who keep a joint account accept joint responsibility for the management of the resource that reside in that account.

Joint accounts, in my opinion, usually involve a process where the man’s money belongs to everyone but the woman’s money belongs to HER!

Don’t get me wrong, a big advantage of a joint bank account is that there is a reduced chance of discovering financial “shocks” when all money goes into and comes out of one account that both of you can see. Couples may find it easier to keep track of their finances because all expenses come out of one account

On the flip side, however, some individuals may find it very challenging losing their financial independence post marriage – despite the union of marriage being generally interpreted to mean the loss of individuality and the birth of two becoming one. This change can be a shock and capable of straining relationships. I confess that I am one of such people. I simply can’t handle accounting my everyday spend to anyone. I would be very uncomfortable with my spouse knowing how much money I give my mum or when my brother asks for a loan I can afford? Get my drift?

Another major issue I have with joint accounts is the likelihood of one of the parties failing to manage their spending or keep to an agreed plan. If you were married to an impulsive spender or an addicted shopper, your family could become very broke, very quickly if that spender holds the family credit card. On the other hand, imagine if a philandering spouse keeps a joint account… there will be big big fights in that family

With the increasing rate of divorces and separations in Nigeria today, a joint account can become a major issue in settling the distribution of assets. If such a marriage breaks down, you should expect significant “fights” to determine who is entitled to what and why

Married couples can choose to maintain separate accounts whilst also running a joint account in which they deposit an agreed portion of their income. This provides the benefits of a joint account and the independence of individual finances.

Whichever choice you make, trust, mutual respect and prudence will always be critical in ensuring you have a long and happy marriage – Femi OladehinTWEET THIS QOUTE

My preference remains for us to keep individual accounts, agree who pays which bills, save jointly for the family and allow some independence to each party. Live and let live!

29 Year Old Harold Okwa:Launches virtual Airline App,Now You can Fly Private for Less

My name is Harold Okwa, I am 29 Years Old and the Co Founder of Jetseta. I came into Nigeria in 2009 and thought of going back to the UK after NYSC but decided against that

My first major hustle was selling Ankara fabrics, brocade and lace. Then you would see me with a big carton of clothes, going to friends and family to patronise me. My customer base grew and I found myself selling fabrics to governor’s wives and other top Nigerians. At some point, I got a job with OandO and was moved to Abuja so I stopped retailing Ankara. After a while, I felt like there was some kind of joy and fulfilment I got while I was my boss that I didn’t get from being an employee. So I took a risk, threw in the towel and started real estate. A lot of people wondered how I could leave a well-paying Oil and gas job to go hustle in real estate. But we started anyway, myself and two NYSC staff, we started small at a small shop in a plaza in Gwarinpa.

In 5 years, the company had grown so much we could move offices to Wuse II in Abuja. I started to ask myself, what else can I do? One day as I sat down with a client, he complained that people were not leasing his Jet because of recession. There and then, it occurred to me that I could put together a business model that would see both owners and users benefit.

I met up with another guy who already worked in Aviation, ran the idea by him and asked him to partner with me. This was how Jetseta was born. We started knocking on people’s doors to tell them about Jetseta, eventually somebody bought into the vision and gave us two jets to manage. This became our breakthrough, we could tell other people that we already had two planes off this person, this made it easier to get other people on board. By the time we got so many aircraft to manage, we had been building an app, which became an avenue to get more customers. Hence, the Jetseta app was launched

There are two sides to the Jetseta App: If you have an aircraft, you can monitor and manage the use of your aircraft. The other part is for the end-user/passenger. This is for the customers who can use the Jetseta App to schedule when and how they want to fly any of the private aircrafton our platform. This started to get some traction so we introduced three products. (1) Charter the plane (2) Get Discounted flights (3) We know this is a premium market, but we decided to democratise it by introducing the single seats, Pay per seat. This way you don’t need to charter a whole plane to fly private. This ticket has sold from $150-$500 depending on peak periods.

Now, we’re looking at expansion, in the next two weeks we’ll open an office in Lagos. For scope and accessibility, we will also be expanding regionally. Hopefully, we’ll continue to grow from there.

What we saw was a gap in the aviation business so we dived in to take advantage. However, Doing business in Nigeria is quite difficult, but I am a Christian and I believe in the word of God that says “the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent takes it by force”. You have to be ambitious enough to fight for what is yours or what you feel is yours. If you eventually cross those hurdles of difficulties, you’ll get your desired results

I wake up in the mornings, look in the mirror and decide “I will not give up”. So during the day when people tell me things cannot be done, this keeps playing in my head…”I will never give up”. For this reason, I persist and that thing that they said could not be done, I eventually get done. There is also the God factor, this is one of my secrets, I commit things to God and he comes through for me

If I try everything and I don’t get it, I know God is saying “NO” or “Not now”- Harold OkwaTWEET THIS QOUTE

Cobhams Asuquo: The Gift of Blindness

Cobhams Asuquo is a born blind Award winning Nigerian musician, producer, and songwriter. He is also the CEO and head of productions of Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions (Camp). He is known for producing songs for some of the finest artists in Nigeria- Asa, Timidakolo, Dare Art Alade, Omawumi, Bez Idakuka (Please google him for detailed information)

I met Cobhams Asuquo some 8 years ago. He came to perform in my church and as soon as he was done, I rushed to the exit so I could say hello and ask him some questions. When he walked past me, I could only stare, my feet wouldn’t move and my jaws became temporarily locked

I’ll admit I was star struck, and very attracted to him (he is cute) or maybe the idea of him and his talent. I watched him as he got in an animated but jovial conversation with the guy he was with and I said to him from my mind “I love you” “how do you do it” “how much limit does your lack of sight place on you?”

“It’s assumed there are many things you can’t do because you’re blind. And so, for me I had to prove that there are many things I can do because I’m blind, and that there are many things I have done because I’m blind.”- COBHAMS ASUQUO

Being blind has not set a limit to what he can or cannot do. We have excuses all day everyday as to why we can’t succeed, why we pause our dreams or why we can’t make extra effort in being the best we can be where we are

“I just believe that everything depends on everything and so whenever I have an opportunity I give it my VERY BEST shot.”- COBHAM ASUQUOTWEET THIS QOUTE

Let’s take a que from Cobhams, find the ability in our disabilities, focus more on why we can succeed than why we cannot and live our lives like THERE ARE NO LIMITATIONS!