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Things We Love (and hate) About Nigeria 

So we just celebrated our 57th year post-Independence from the British crown. In all sincerity, there is nothing to celebrate about Nigeria.

But we can celebrate MI, cos if this ain’t being Nigerian, I dunno what is!!! This is the Nigerian humour they warned you about!

I am writing this post from a hospital shed, sipping from a #100 bottle of coke and trying to tame my anger.  All students who are heading to the Nigeria Law School are usually made to run some medical tests. I begin Law school in few weeks (AFTER WAITING FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR – another reason why Nigeria is not worth celebrating). I have not had time to do mine up until today. This morning, I woke up early, got dressed and began my journey to the UNIVERSITY OF PORTHARCOURT TEACHING HOSPITAL. Lo and Behold, THEY WERE ON STRIKE! I was directed to go to BMH, the State Government’s Hospital; on getting there, I was told they were on strike too!!!! Can you believe that? Note that these two hospitals are on extreme ends. I literally had to do 360degrees turn under the hot sun. 

How does one celebrate a country that stresses you mentally? That literally makes you want to slide down a wall?

But we Nigerians have this suffering and smiling attitude. And so we always celebrate admist lack, poverty, sorrow and anguish. It is always in the little things. And these are some of the reasons we love NIGERIA: 

1) Small Chops:

I really do not know how small chops became part of our national identity. For me, my romance with small chops started this year. 

My hands. Holding one of the numerous plates of small chops I ate earlier this year

I interned at Ernst & Young Nigeria for nine months and I can’t count how many times I ate small chops. It was shared during birthdays, general meetings, thanksgiving sections etc. I was always looking forward to small chops.

In Nigeria, smallchops are what our abroad friends may call finger foods. A plate of small chops contains the following; Battered Fish, Mini Sausage Rolls, Snails, Peppered Gizzards, Barbecued Goat Meats (Asun), Puff Puffs and even some imported world recipes can be seen; Samosa and Spring Rolls.

So Yes! #TeamSmallChops

2) Ankara and Danshiki:

Sisters and I rocking the Danshiki

I never used to be crazy about ankara until I met CHINELO NWANGWU. I used to call it “Traditional”, but after many years of living in Ibadan and mixing up, ANKARA became a fav!!!

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie rocking this beautiful ANKARA
I got this beautiful piece from BALOGUN MARKET, Lagos. And incase you are wondering, I took this picture at the NIKE ART GALLERY!!! Every Nigerian has to visit this place.

3) Nigerian Memes and Sense of Humour:

I will just go ahead and explain this with some screenshots.

Even brands are not left out of this

Follow Instagram handles like Urbanyoobakrakstv for more!!!

4) Aba Made: The creativity and skill here is so raw. If only the government would move a quarter of its attention towards Aba. I still have a slippers I bought for #500 with a strong label – AZONTO!!! Meanwhile, the footwear I bought from the MAX store at IBADAN MALL has since been dead and buried. #BuyAba #BuyNairatogrowtheNaira

5) LAGOS TRAFFIC: You have to experience it! 

6) BOLE: I am forever loyal to BOLE. The one eaten in the Eastern and Southern part of Nigeria. I am not loyal to Boli, the one eaten in the Western part of Nigeria. It is very easy for a BOLIST to fall for BOLE. Most BLOEIST like me find it difficult falling for the BOLI. You get my drift? I think it is very insulting to even place both of them on the same pedestal. Loool! Like, who eats roasted plaintain with groundnuts biko? 

Plantain with groundnut, BOLI, above, is eaten in the West. The delicious meal below, is BOLE, eaten in the South.

In the South-West, boli is eaten like a snack but in the South-South it is A FULL MEAL, a balanced diet eaten with roasted yam, roasted fish, sauce and vegetables. 

Truth is, there is so much to love about Nigeria!!! So much!!! Our joy is contagious. Our diversity is amazing, we find ourselves everyday. We have a rich blend of culture. Religion – we love God so much! Is it our close-knit family members? Or the ability of Nigerians to price every single thing in the market? Is it Mama Put? (Shout to MAMA TEE – Balogun market. I mean, who 17th floor epp), JOLLOF RICE, WHITE RICE, DODO!!! 

Our BELLANAIJAWEDDINGS page on Instagram would make you want to get married ASAP!!!

We owe it to ourselves to make our immediate environment better. We can begin by shinning positive lights in our schools, work places, churches, places of worship.

The government has since failed us. There is no electricity, our educational system is epileptic etc etc. 

It is our collective responsibility to make the next 57 years count. We owe it to ourselves and to our children, even those yet unborn.

I mean, at the end of the day, you can’t blame a brother for wanting to have a healthy long distance relationship with Nigeria. Can ya?

Love and Light!

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The Love You Give Yourself Is The One That Will Heal You – Kamnelechukwu Susan Obasi

Beautiful People!

How have you all been?

The Afro Reader website is up and running and I am excited about the many ideas in my head. 

I started a series : CONVERSATIONS!

Conversations is a weekly interview series with some of my favorite poets, novelists and book enthusiasts. 

Kamnelechukwu is as beautiful as her name. Her voice is a blend of milk mixed with purehoney. I first heard her talk at the Author’s Talk programme organized by the Kate Tales Foundation. I have always been a fan of her work but it was really great putting a face to the art. And so when the website was ready, she was top on my interview list. In this interview, she talks about her book BRAVE, photography, her phobia for flying roaches and her friendship with Romeo Oriogun – Winner of the 2017 Brunel Prize! All in 20 Simple Questions! When I read through the email, I felt as though I had come out of a liberating theraphy session. 

Kamnelechukwu is a Documentary photographer and storyteller from Ebonyi, Nigeria. She holds a degree in Computer Science. She acted as a contributor for the NORTH IS NOT NOT team whilst travelling and changing narratives about Northern Nigeria in 2016. Her Ongoing Project seeks to document the male body and its issues which it rather chooses to internalize by using silence as punishment and also defiance as well as how it deals with the decision to define ourselves, name ourselves and speak for ourselves than have others do it for us.

Her work has been featured on KONBINI, ELSIEISY and SISTER NAMIBIA. 

This interview has a lot of soul! Enjoy!
Click HERE!!!!! …. to read the remaining of the interview and to download her book, BRAVE!!! 

Do not forget to drop your comments.

Poetry from BRAVE!

Love and Light!

XX

My 9mobile Interview : Life In The Bush Of Books

Hello Guys,

My weekend has been busy and that is because I have been preparing interview questions for some of my favourite poets. The interviews would be posted on the new website; http://www.theafroreader.com. I can’t wait for you guys to read them. 

I got featured on the 9mobile Blog. An interview series for book enthusiasts. I was asked in the interview about my favourite book, my favourite author, and I was also asked if Nigerians read! 

Over to you guys, Do you think Nigerians read??? What is your best African Novel or Nigerian Novel and WHY???? 

Now that I think about it, if I were to take a book for a journey it would be SECRECT LIVES OF BABA SEGI’S WIVES and DEAR IJAWELE by CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE!

Dear Ijawele would spark up a goid conversation!!!

Please click HERE to read all of it. 

And remember to SUBSCRIBE TO THE AFRO READER website. That way you get to receive all the posts in your mailbox!!!

Love and Light!

XX

MUSIC THAT SANCTIFIES – HILLSONG: LET THERE BE LIGHT

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I’ve had this post in my draft since forever. Lagos won’t let me do a complete post. I had to squeeze out time to write this. Which involved leaving the office by 7pm.

Lagos. The city that makes you forget you have to observe your quiet time. You get up by 4:00am and get home by 9:00pm.

But Hillsong makes things easier for me. I do not know what my spiritual life would have been like if I did not know the lyrics of most Jesus Culture, Hillsong and Bethel Music songs by heart. Continue reading “MUSIC THAT SANCTIFIES – HILLSONG: LET THERE BE LIGHT”

BOOK READING : STAY WITH ME & TADUNO’S SONG.

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Hey Guys,

I have been wanting to post this but time and chance won’t just let me.

On the 14th Of May 2017, Patabah Bookstore hosted a book reading for Ayobami Adebayo’s Stay With Me and Odafe Atogun’s Taduno’s Song.

It was a wonderful experience. Continue reading “BOOK READING : STAY WITH ME & TADUNO’S SONG.”

THE LAST WORDS by Titilope Sonuga

This poem has to be one of the most wonderful things I’ve read this year. Titilope sees through me. I hope it melts your heart as much as it did mine.

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Source: BellaNaija.

“It’s not you, It’s me”

“I just need some time alone to figure things out.”

“I feel like I’m holding you back.”

“you’re too good for me”

“I’m not the man you need me to be right now.” Continue reading “THE LAST WORDS by Titilope Sonuga”

See Who Got A Post-Birthday Gift

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I’m stalking writers and on-line book stores on Instagram when I say out loud “I really want to read this Stay With Me”. Chinelo, my friend, but technically my sister hears this and says “I’m getting it for your birthday”. Continue reading “See Who Got A Post-Birthday Gift”

23

bd 2017-03-27 at 4.05.08 PMHey Beautiful People,

It has been a while. Lagos has been doing me and I have been doing Lagos too. LOL!

I turned 23 on Monday. I am super grateful to God for the gift of life. I didn’t particularly have “fun”, but Mr. Biyi (A partner at the firm) had the good mind to take my friends and I for lunch at Eko Hotels.

PICTURES: Continue reading “23”

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