Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bye Bye 2014

Wow Can you believe the year is over? It's day 365 of 365 and truly it does feel like January 1st was just yesterday. I remember this day last year, I was on a road trip with some other ladies for my friend's wedding. I was a bridesmaid for the first time and emotions were on a high. And now another year is about to roll in. Truly blessed.

2014 was a good year, although I catch myself saying it was bad sometimes, I must admit it was a good year when I look back. God kept me through this year not because I'm just another pretty face to the world but because He's not done with me yet and my best day are ahead of me. I completed my Masters with a splendid result despite all the unmotivated days and frustrating days. I went to camp and came back, praise Jesus. I had three holidays this year to three beautiful destinations, really grateful for that. I experienced love, pain and growth this year. Long story short, I can't count my blessings and I know there are more to come.

I learnt a lot and I'm hoping not to make the same mistakes twice. I've planned and dreamed for 2015 so here's really praying that my 2015 is 15 times better than this year was. I wish you all a prosperous and wonderful new year ahead and I can't wait to share the joys and lessons of 2015 with you. I love you all so much, Thank you to all those who read my blog, comment, share on twitter and actually follow up in real life on my personal issues. You're the real MVP. God bless you all.


Don't Be Bored in 2015

While reading different blogs online, came across this post on 52 fun things to in 2015. How amazing, that's a fun activity per week. Although I'm not committing to trying one every week, I would try to do at least half of the activities on this list. Seems like a pretty good way to make sure you don't get stuck in a rut come 2015.

  1. Write a handwritten note and post it to someone you haven't been in touch with in a while.
  2. Make someone a birthday cake or celebration cake.
  3. Volunteer for the day, a local day shelter, home for the elderly or at a soup kitchen for the homeless.
  4. Take a bus or train to town, village or city that you've never visited. Just go to the station and get on the next one that comes in.
  5. Learn meditation, yoga, pilates or something new that you've never tried before.
  6. Make a scrapbook, print out photographs, emails and attach keepsakes.
  7. Go to an outdoor weekend festivals and sleep under the stars.
  8. Learn to play a musical instrument.
  9. Spend a whole day in bed, watching movies, reading books and snuggling with a loved one. 
  10. Look up your family tree and find out what you can learn about your ancestors.
  11. Sign up for a local community class, learn something new and meet other people who live in your area at the same time. 
  12. Forgive someone who has hurt you. And maybe let them know. 
  13. Plant seeds and grow something in a window box or in the garden. If possible start a small vegetable garden.
  14. Compliment a stranger, it will possibly make their day.
  15. Read an old classic. Choose one that has always caught your attention and be patient if you don't get into it immediately. 
  16. Start your own or join a book club.
  17. Go to a museum, the cinema or a restaurant alone. Enjoy your own company.
  18. Bake cookies and share them at work, when visiting friends or give them to a neighbour that might be living on their own. 
  19. Make your own birthday, anniversary, valentine or celebration cards.
  20. Go mountain climbing, hiking or a long forest walk.
  21. Eat lunch outside, pack a picnic in a hamper, sit by the lake, the sea, go to a local park or lay out a blanket in the garden.
  22. Roller skate. Hire or buy a pair and have fun while toning up.
  23. Let someone else order for you in a restaurant. Or cook something you will never normally try. 
  24. Call somebody you haven't spoken to in a while and make plans to visit. 
  25. For a period of time, a week, a month or all year, only shop locally. Purchase free-range, ethical and fair-trade goods, buy from independent retailers, at farmer's markets and give hand crafted creations as presents. 
  26. Invent your own cocktail, purchase your favourite ingredients and try out something new. Adorn it with umbrellas, fancy stirrers and edible glitter. 
  27. Play a board game with friends or family. Scrabble, monopoly or trivial pursuit sadly get forgotten due to technology. They are timeless classics and a great way to spend quality time together. 
  28. Swap the car for a bike for the day. So much more can be absorbed when cycling. 
  29. Attend an open mic night. Great entertainment and can be a perfect way to meet new people too. 
  30. Donate to charity, whether it's clothes you no longer wear, blankets to the local dog shelter or a sack of carrots to donkeys in india.
  31. Make homemade bread. It's very simple and completely delicious. 
  32. Switch off all phones, laptops and technology devices. Find different ways to communicate with those close to us and spend quality time with yourself or with others. 
  33. Have a major clear out. Declutter, if it's not pretty, useful or it hasn't been used in the last 6 months, be ruthless, let it go.
  34. Write out a will, might be morbid to think about it but it will give you great peace of mind. 
  35. Take all old books and magazine to a local waiting room for others to read. Write a note in the front of the book and leave in a public place for others to take on and enjoy and they can do the same when they've finished.
  36. Take you camera with you for a whole day. And capture anything and everything that catches your interest. 
  37. Attend a food or wine tasting festival. Most cities hold these events and they are usually free to attend. 
  38. Hold a mini movie festival at home. Invite your best friends, tell them to bring a movie they love and spend a whole afternoon and evening together curled up chatting, eating and drinking and sharing old favourites. 
  39. Organise a clean up with neighbours. Choose a particular hotspot that has turned into an eyesore and get a few people involved to help out.
  40. Get a few friends together and take a ball to the park. Play soccer, rounders, cricket or basketball and ask everyone to bring something to add to a small picnic afterwards. 
  41. Make your own soup- nothing tastes better. Especially if you add your homemade bread. 
  42. Learn a new language, especially if it's of a country you plan to visit. 
  43. Go for a swim (if you don't already). Or try a brand new water based activity, water/jet skiing, surfing, canoeing, sailing, kayaking. 
  44. Skip! it's free, burns a heap of calories and can be done anywhere.
  45. Take a road trip. 
  46. Camp out- choose a time when the weather is good, take a barbeque set and sleeping bags and a portable radio. Relax with nature and leave technology behind. 
  47. Read the community newsletter. Find out what's going on locally and get involved. 
  48. Try a new look- choose a new hairstyle or try wearing clothes that you like but would normally never wear. 
  49. Write a list of everything you appreciate. Sometimes things can go unnoticed and it's a great way of becoming more aware and then passing on the gratitude. 
  50. Watch a sunset, sunrise or both. Find a spot with a good view and settle down with a friend or loved one and enjoy. 
  51. Write down your life plan. It doesn't have to be specific or even achievable. Just a guide for all the things you would like to do and then you can tick and cross off the ones you want to work towards. 
  52. Take time out to let those around you know they are loved. Call up, write letters, visit and send the message out strong and clear to those that are most important to you. 
*Phew* Typing that almost took it out on me. Wanna make this fun? Write 1-52 on tiny pieces of paper, fold them up, put in a jar and shake it up. Whenever you feel like doing something fun you can pick a number at random and look up what it says then do it. I know some activities are geographically/culturally limited but they can be swapped with alternatives. Just get creative on your own. Looking forward to actually doing some of this... :D

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Personal Dilemma

So I came across this quote that Karreuche posted once on her instagram, following her on and off relationship with Chris Brown and it struck a cord with me. Perhaps because I can relate but I need to ask your opinion and I'll really appreciate if you leave a comment with your thoughts on this.

"The more chances you give someone the less respect they will start to have for you. They'll begin to ignore the standards that you've set because they'll know another chance will always be given. They're not afraid to lose you because they know no matter what you won't walk away. They get comfortable with depending on your forgiveness. Never let a person get comfortable disrespecting you"

Well we all know how the story ended (or the current chapter it's at). She's back with him but it doesn't change the authenticity of the message right?

If a person has hurt you more than once and you keep taking them back, does that mean they are taking advantage of you and does it mean you're losing respect, not just from them but from yourself as well?

It's easier to judge from the outside until you find yourself caught up in a dilemma like this. And if truly, they are disrespecting you, how do you walk away? I don't trust my judgement these days, which is why I feel like I need to put this out there...

Monday, 29 December 2014

10 Things I Plan To Start Doing in 2015

This post was originally meant to be '10 Things I Plan to Stop Doing in 2015' but when I couldn't come up with two things I wanted to stop doing, I had to go the other way. It could either mean my life is boring or I'm successfully free of bad habits and I'd rather go with the second option, hehehe. Anyways this is a twist to New Years' Resolution, so here's my list.

  1. I plan to start visiting the Dentist every quarter. Yes I've avoided the dentist like a plague because I was a regular customer as a child. I hated milk and I'm sure that's what affected my dentition, I had about ten teeth pulled out growing up. Not cool, I tell you.
  2. I plan to exercise more and regularly. I may look fit and slim but that's just God's mercy oh. The day He lifts it off, you will see my true weight with all the food I consume. Anyhoo, exercising isn't for weight maintenance on my part, it's to stay healthy and in good shape. I can't climb stairs without panting, even if it's just four stairs *covers face in shame*
  3. I plan to be more loving with my words. So don't be scared if I shower you in compliments and encouragements. I plan to build people up with my words and not tear them down. Not that I did that in the past *side eye*
  4. I plan to start watching news again. Yes I stopped as I couldn't take all the bad and heartbreaking news anymore. However, if my heart can't take it I shall retrieve back into my cave.
  5. I plan to call my friends more and visit often. That means calling a random friend every week to check up on them (might do more than one but for now let's stick to that number)
  6. I plan to read at least one book a month and learn a new word every week. Self improvement is key. Although I'm already an avid reader, I want to really commit to it. And so, I will start a 'Book Club' on the blog to discuss a book every month, kinda like a review.
  7. I plan to save more and spend wisely. I'll be keeping a financial diary, where unlike before where I purchased every shoe, bag and dress that caught my eye, I'll be more frivolous. It's time to save up for the future. If I want something bad, I'll discipline myself to write it down and save up if I still want it after 2 weeks (that's gonna be hard x_x). I also have a certain amount of money I want to have saved up in my savings account
  8. I plan to take more pictures in 2015 especially time capsules. My camera already has dust piling on it and it's not just the harmattan x_x. Might start a photo diary on the blog but let's see how that goes.
  9. I plan to give more, more of my time, my resources and my love.
  10. Finally, I plan to write more, try my hands at different things. I used to love creative writing and writing short stories, I haven't written that in a while so I'm going to get back on that.
So there you have it, ten realistic goals I've set for myself in 2015. To make sure I stick to them, I have a reminder on my calendar for April 30th, August 31st (my birthday) and December 31st to check my progress. How about you? Set any particular goals, wanna share some?

Friday, 26 December 2014

Gone Girl

He tells me how much he misses the girl in the picture, I miss her too but it's a constant reminder with him like I'm the only one who's changed in this relationship.

I miss the old him too, I miss the man I fell in love with, the one who made me laugh all the time not the one who drives me mad now. I miss the man whose presence alone sent a shivering feeling down my spine and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I miss the man who I could tell everything to and spend forever in bed with.

I miss the man I fell in love with.

Now I think maybe we bought into a false idea of who we really were. I don't recognise him anymore than I recognise myself. But if I'm a monster now, I'm his beautiful creation. With every lie, pain and broken promise, I plunged deeper into this darker uglier version of myself.

He robbed me of my personality and created this monster.

He misses the girl in that picture and maybe that's just what I should leave him with, a memory.....

Saturday, 13 December 2014

How I Feel About You

That's how I feel
I'm tired of all the fighting and the lying and the pain
I'm tired of walking on eggshells around you
I'm tired of hating you

I'm confused as to how we got here
Confused on if this is really true love
Or if it's an illusion I subconsciously set up
To avoid the truth

I feel lost
I feel lost in this relationship
Like I don't know my place
But worse, I feel lost in the world
Cause I don't know my place in it anymore

I'm worried that I put in so much energy into this
Two years is a long time
And I'm worried that at the end of it
I may not have anything to show for it

I think Bey sums this one pretty well in her song
With the same title
Because I gave you all of me
But you still had to hurt me
And even though I took you back, I wouldn't deny the resentment

A good portion of my life is spent unhappy now
And you seem to be the cause of it
You used to bring so much joy to my life
And now, my heart doesn't even skip a beat when I see you

Because I don't recognise you
You're the perfect stranger to me
You're still the same but you're totally different
I don't recognise me either
Where's the happy Me?
The me who dreamed and had visions for her life?
Now I spend so much time and energy fighting with you
And nursing my wounds
I stare in the mirror but a stranger stares back
What happened to us?

I feel sooo much towards you
The one thing I don't feel towards you is Love
And what good is a relationship if there's no love in it anymore?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

I Love/Hate This House

I love this house
It holds memories precious to me
People have passed through this house, touched in one way or the other
It has been full with people
And it has been an empty nest at some point
Lives were made here and some lost
These four walls hold a story that can't be rewritten or erased
And as much as I love this house
If given the opportunity,
I would tear it down to its foundation
Brick by brick
I hate this house with the same passion I love it with
I've suffered pain and loss in this house
I've wondered if it was really a home at some point
This very house once led me into my dark depressive years
I got lost and saved in this house
Although I left this house and didn't come back for a long time
I can't deny that it was a bitter sweet feeling returning,
I often pondered how true the saying
"There's no place like home" was
Because the thought of this alone was enough to depress me
Don't get me wrong,
There are memories as deep as the foundation of this house,
beautiful warm memories
But there are also hearts that have been shattered across the walls that hold this house together
My heart is one of them
And so I've found myself in love hate relationship with this house
I love this house
But I hate this house too

Sunday, 7 December 2014

When Is It Going To Look Like Christmas?

I love Christmas, admittedly I'm still a six year old on the inside and considering I've spent the past couple of years in London, I've been spoilt with the idea of 'White Christmas'. So you can imagine by disappointment when I finally got out (after being on bed rest this past week) and it doesn't look like Christmas in Abuja. How heartbreaking. Where are the christmas trees and lightenings and joyous attitude? It's just dusty and bleak. What a reality shocker for me.

I'm disappointed that this town looks just the same, not even christmas lights. I mean what do I expect when a whole capital city can't even have common street lights, talk more of christmas lights. How heartbreaking. When I'm in power, I'm going to make a big fuss out of the holidays, just to give people something to be happy about. If not for the adults, then for the kids at least. And please don't come at me with that "maybe it's too soon" excuse. It's never too early for Christmas! However, I do hope they put up decorations by next week.

To console myself, I've decided to decorate the christmas tree tomorrow just to put myself in the christmas mood. Might make a little tradition out of it, sing along to christmas tunes and wear christmas colours all through December. (Although now that I think about it, not sure how many red, green and gold outfits I own) Oh that means no fuzzy embarrassing christmas sweaters this year. NOOOOOO! Someone please buy me a ticket to London :(

If you're feeling like me, I'll suggest stocking up on Christmas movies, watching every Christmas Glee episode and listening to Christmas songs. You can also pull out the Christmas tree like me and decorate away. Let's not kill the Christmas spirit.

Ps. I pray I'm rich enough to make sure my kids always get a white christmas. Since my village has been destroyed by Boko Haram, I might make London my new village :D

Monday, 1 December 2014

Smile December

Happy new month beautiful darlings (hopefully not talking to myself here). It's a new month and the beginning of the end of 2014. How marvellous isn't it? That we all started this year and we are here to witness the end. To all the loved ones we've lost this year, may their souls rest in peace. 

For some, December is a cheerful month with the holidays around the corner. You can't deny we all love Christmas and the spirit it brings plus the message. Sadly for others, it is just another weary month. A month to worry about all the debts they've incurred or are about to incur. All the expenses in the name of the holidays. For some it's a frustrating month while for another set of people it's another period to be reminded of their loneliness and what's going on wrong in their lives. Many lives are also lost this period and so instead of celebrating some are left to mourn. 

Last year, we did the Random Acts of Kindness challenge but this year I want to propose the Smile Challenge. It's so simple, it's almost impossible to not participate. It wouldn't take a dime from you, not your time nor your energy. All it involves is wearing a smile all day from December 1st to 31st. I've noticed that Nigeria is a place filled with scowling, frustrated people and I've gotten more positive reactions from people when I smile than with my physical appearance or status. It's such a refreshing thing for them, when I smile and I'm polite and courteous. Isn't it sad that a smile and politeness is like gold in our country? So why don't we all push to smile more together. Greet that guard or cleaner with a smile. Smile at the clerk regardless of your status or whether you've been on the queue for two hours. You don't know their personal struggle and a smile could just about be the best thing that has happened to them in a while. 

And you'll be surprised that your gift of a smile will go a long way than that of material goods. Here's a little passage from "How to Win Friends and Influence People" to summarise my point,

"Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds. Especially when that someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realise that all is not hopeless- that there is joy in the world."* -Dale Carnegie

Let's smile and change someone's mood :)

Saturday, 29 November 2014

How I survived Camp

Before I start saying anything, it was the grace of God that kept me at camp. I must give Him thanks because he alone deserves that glory.

The last thing I expected was that I would stay at camp, let alone in a different state but somehow I did it. I survived camp in Benue state for 20 days. First of all, Dettol was my bestfriend. I baptised the bathroom with dettol every time I was going in to take my bath. Luckily the bathrooms were manageable but I always timed my baths to when the man had cleaned it in the morning and in the evening. 

I moved around with my sanitiser in my pouch. I sanitised at every opportunity I got. Ebola might be gone but I won't take chances with other germs. I then got myself on antibiotics medication, thanks to a pharmacist who fancied me (making good use of the opportunity, right?). I was ill quite a lot at camp, irritations, flu, migraines but nothing major so thank God for that again. 

Of course in a camp of over a thousand girls with different backgrounds, I had to be extra careful who I associated with. Luckily God blessed me with one good girl who I stuck with through out camp. Although I was friendly with all, I drew the line at our friendship. My motto was "friendly with all, friends with few". That way I avoided conflict. Because you don't want to know half of what these girls did when the sun went down. Sticking to one friend was about the best decision I ever made because I saved myself from the countless fights that broke out every hour in the hostels. I'm not kidding or exaggerating. If there wasn't a fight by the hour, something was wrong. 

After I had mentally accepted that it was God's will I then decided to tune my thinking. Some days, I pretended I was in a Nigerian version of 'Orange is the New Black'. Oh yes. I assumed the role of Piper, except less annoying and naive and I was no one's prison's wife. I'm yet to figure out what my crime was, being too sexy I suppose. I actually found myself in handcuffs one day (platoon joke, not to worry), so it all blended in well. Whenever we had sanitation, I pretended it was community service -__-  

Other days I pretended I was on a very low budget holiday in an uncivilised village somewhere in Africa. Yes. It worked. I constantly had to change it up so I wouldn't feel miserable. Other times I told myself I was writing a book and I was out here for research and experience. Lol I'm not crazy, I swear. But the truth is, if you change the way you see things, the way things are would change for you. I found that I never went to bed sad and I laughed almost every day because I fine tuned my mind. Works like a charm... 

I tried to get as much from my orientation camp as I could because truth is, it's a once in a lifetime event. And it's situations like this that help us develop character. I've learnt a lot from the three weeks I stayed at camp. I learnt to be true to myself regardless of where I find myself. So many girls found this time as an opportunity to be loose. One girl in particular admitted that she wasn't going to redeploy because her family was too strict and she could get to do whatever she wanted away from them. So they fooled around with corpers and soldiers because they had found themselves a little freedom. Sadly, I was told some married women did this too. I also found that just because I wasn't in a five star hotel or in my home didn't mean I would neglect my personal hygiene. I still showered twice a day and cleansed and toned my face twice a day too. I gave my clothes for laundry everyday and I hydrated as much as I could. I say this because some girls left their manners as well as their hygiene at the gate or at their state border. It shouldn't be so. Always be a lady no matter where you are with whatever resources you have. 

I saw life in a different perspective and came to appreciate the many blessings I have. It's so easy to become greedy and want more but sometimes you need to be taken out of your comfort zone just so you can see that there are people with way less than you have. Now I know I'm entitled to nothing but all I have, I've been privileged to have them. And for that I'm more than humbled and grateful to God. I learnt to appreciate the little things of life more. 

I ate at only one woman's place in mami. A friend had introduced me there and she was kind enough to take orders from us ahead of the meal time. So while others ate the usual indomie and egg and fried foods that every other food place served, we occasionally got pancakes, fried rice and chicken, spaghetti etc. it's important to stick to one person because jumping from cook to cook could result in an upset stomach. And you really don't want that at camp. I was weary of eating meat at camp though and can count how many times I did even at the lady's place. Plus there was a funny rumour going on about some of this cooks using jazz to keep their customers, yikes. 

Not to brag but I got male attention everywhere I went. And everyday a new boy approached me. I could never be alone because it created opportunity for them to walk up to me. Luckily I told a group of soldiers I was engaged and so I think they announced within themselves that I was off limits but still didn't stop the attention from the corpers. I had two options, enjoy the attention or carry myself the way I would want my daughter to. I took the second option. 

There was never a quiet moment in the hostels except when everyone was asleep or out at the parade ground. As I found myself in the middle of Yoruba association room and a room of people they always stole from, it was always noisy. You wouldn't believe how loud it got *sigh*. I constantly had to plug in my earphones at the loudest volume to tune out or fall asleep. How I never got headaches, I don't know. 

Anyways, camp is over and I'm glad it is. I learnt a lot and maybe your experience would be better than mine or not. I can't tell but if you don't try you'll never know. A big fat thank you to all who checked up on me and prayed for me while I was away. I'm home, safe and sound.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Camp Diary: Day 18

Yet another uneventful Sunday. I'm just ready to get out of here. Today can be summarised as hot and boring. Ugh 

Well except, there was this one boy who came to "toast" me. Soon as he heard they were sharing allowance, he ran away and left me there LOL. Then he later came back. If you were me would you even take him seriously? Na wa oh

Camp Diary: Day 17

One day to go. I just realised that I miscounted the days but who cares. Today was pretty chilled. Because the variety night ran late last night, we were allowed to sleep in. Thank God. 

I overheard a girl bragging to another girl of how she does her business at the back of the hostels. I was at a loss for a reaction. How mannerless. Something we were almost punished for. She's just glad camp is over. I hope she learns proper hygiene. And the other friend didn't even chastise her. Smh. 

It's a day to go and I must say, I'm a bit disappointed at the camp experience. Everyone kept saying 'camp is fun, you'll enjoy it' but honestly there's been nothing that fun about camp. I never went out for the social events in the night but I never heard good reports either. The two nights I went out were nothing to write home about. I only realised this when a friend asked me if truly camp was a good experience. Although I said yes he still questioned what exactly was fun. He said the only good thing about camp were the times we got to sleep or go to mami. Lol well.... I guess I have to admit there was nothing spectacular about camp then. 

Camp Diary: Day 16

Sorry there's no entry for day 15. I was so engrossed in "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie that I was oblivious to my surroundings yesterday. I even dodged the lectures in the afternoon so I could hide to read it and I'm really learning so much. I wish everyone in life would pick a copy and read it.   

Redeployment came out today. I'm back to Abuja. Yaaay. And our movie was exhibited today in front of 2000+ people. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time. This is it people, I'm going to be a big movie star! You better start famzing me -_-

Camp Diary: Day 14

Woke up today to find out that my bunkie's nieces name is the same as my sister, Janada. What a delightful way to start the day. Haha :) 

I've been enlisted to act in a short film. The producer insisted I must act the part even with my excuses, *sigh*. I had no choice but to do it so incase I become a movie star, this was my debut. 

In the evening Corpers played against soldiers in a volley ball match. And we won of course. I think we might get punished, LOL. Zuby and I went round provoking soldiers and screaming at the top of our voices. Upon the fact that I have a sore throat and I wasn't feeling fine earlier today. 

I came across a book stand in mami market and almost went crazy. There were so many books I wanted to get and read. And I was deeply impressed with their selection. I'm currently reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It's been on my "To Read" list and once I saw it, I knew I had to get it. Something to keep me busy during tomorrow's lecture. Tihihihihi 

Camp Diary: Day 13

Today I saw a pretty young girl selling pure water on her head without her shoes on. It made me so sad that I didn't realise when a tear dropped. Camp is filled with many kids below the age of 14 as young as 6, selling bathing water, drinking water, fruits and hustling in any way they can. And most of them hustle without shoes and it bothers me even though they are very used to it. Even the little babies of the women trading in mami market, hobble around without shoes on so its something they are used to from a tender age. 

Observing them has made me realise more just how privileged I am. And not just them but being in this camp and observing a lot of things. All I have is not because I'm entitled to it but because I was privileged to have been born on the other side. And there's a part of me that wishes a lot of the people I know could see this. So they'll know there's more to life than Chanel bags and Gucci belts. So that the next time they were "unfortunate" to not cop the latest luxury good, they wouldn't pout but re prioritise. And so that this false idea of "competition" that exists within certain circle of privileges friends would stop. Yes, the friends who secretly try to outdo each other, sizing each other's worth just so they appear to be richer or what not. It's juvenile and it actually happens. But there's more to life than that. There are kids on wannune surviving on the amount of jerricans of water they sell or by engaging in menial jobs like carrying boxes for some of the Corpers just so they can survive. Question is, what can we do to reduce the poverty level in Benue state? 

Camp Diary: Day 12

There's a particular girl in my dorm I'm worried about. She's allergic to clothes, her breasts are always out on display and in the full nude. I just don't get it. In a dorm full of over 200 women... I get being comfortable in your own skin, I am proudly comfortable in mine but I'm not cat walking round hostel with my breasts on display. Very puzzling behaviour...

We started our skills acquisition classes today. Zuby and I carried out indomie legs to "Dish Installation". The only thing I heard from the two hours long lecture was "press 1814 on your remote". What he said before that I don't know. What the key combination does, I also don't know. All I know is I have 7 more days in this place and I need to ply my escape from the March past. 

Camp Diary: Day 11

I've been quiet for 10 days but I feel like ranting today. I'm appalled and worried at the behaviour of many of the women here. I don't understand why a dormitory full of women should be this filthy. We are women for crying out loud! I believe the least age here should be 21/22, are they trying to tell me in their twenty something years of living, they haven't picked up a thing or two on hygiene? Or that they weren't trained at home on personal hygiene?

Why in the world would you do number two around the hostel? Just this morning, some girls were sent out to go pack the shit. Later they announced that if the culprit didn't come out we would all go and pack it ourselves. We then decided to contribute N10 each to pay the man who cleans the toilet to do it and some girls were fighting about ordinary N10. Honestly, rich or poor what will N10 do to you? Would you rather we all get punished for something we didn't do or just pay for a professional to clean it. If they do go through with that punishment, I swear I would walk out of this camp and forget about my certificate. God forbid! Pack another persons faeces. The person could have atleast "shot put" it. How disgusting. 

Also how can someone use the toilet without flushing it? Do you not realise that continuously washing and bathing in front of the hostels would turn it into a breeding ground for mosquitoes and God only knows what else? 8 more days, I really cannot wait to be back home and in the comfort and cleanliness of my own home.

I'm worried that these are people who would become wives and mothers in the future. Are they telling me they are only saving the cleanliness for their own homes or they weren't trained properly? O ma se oh. It is well with my soul. Thankfully, I've stocked up on antibiotics. I won't be a victim to anyone's disease breeding ass. 

Camp Diary: Day 10

Quite an uneventful day. Still part of the March past and I'm not happy about that. Oh I noticed tan lines on my body, which means I'm definitely darker now *yikes*. 

I take back my comment about the uneventful day. Yoruba association next door are fighting. Someone claims her gold was stolen. They complain about stolen goods everyday, are they the only ones they are stealing from? My head is paining me sef 

After trying to escape the Yoruba women and their shouting, I ran into an annoying "toaster". I escorted my friend to buy something at mami water when someone tapped me on my back. I turned  
Man: hello can I talk to you for one minute
Me: okay 
Man: please it's personal 
Me: so you want my friend to go away
Man: no I just want to talk to you in private even for just a minute

I take three steps from my friend so she's still around me 
Me: ok you have one minute 
Man: I saw you when you passed and you captivated me. I stood for a while trying to decide what to say to you before I approached you. And I'll like to get to know you better 
Me: ok before you carry on I'm engaged 
Man: wow, wow, wow (pauses for a minute) but can I still be your friend
Me: no I'm sorry I can't do that. I'm going to be a married woman soon, you have no business being friends with a married woman
Man: you're already cutting me off without giving me a chance. I've never been this captivated before. I'll cut off when you get married

At this stage, I'm getting irritated fast. 
Me: I'm sorry but I'm really not interested. I'm engaged and I respect my boyfriend enough to not misbehave even though we are miles apart. Put yourself in his shoes, can't you respect that?

My guy still continued pleading and making his case so I asked him why he wanted to be friends and he said i captivated him. As if that's reason enough. I asked what about me captivated him and he was hesitating so I asked if it was my beauty and my body and he said yes. So I retorted that it was a very shallow reason to want to be friends with me and I could easily be a witch or mami water. Before I said good night and walked away. 

Sigh. If I recorded every conversation I've had with some of these male corpers, I think I'll be able to write a book 

Camp Diary: Day 9

I'm getting frustrated. I really don't like the attention I'm getting at camp and I feel like crying. Why won't these people let me not march? Is it by force to march or is it now a curse to be "tall and fine"? Apparently I can't let my God given gift go to waste so since I'm not doing miss NYSC I should be part of those marching. Ugh I feel like walking out of camp and damning the consequences...

Today, a group of female guards called me and were questioning me. After asking my state and responding, one retorted "oh the terrorism state", I was irritated. And not because of what she said but the tone with which she said it. Excuse me, is that what we are known for now? Or is that our only identity? Msheeeewn 

Camp Diary: Day 8

Dear diary, I think I'm becoming razz. When did I start speaking Yoruba? Beau is going to deny me when I get home :(. Blame it on the fact that I sleep opposite a room full of Yoruba women who think the dorm is a market square. They shout all the time. Lord save my ear drums. And the next room are always fighting over stolen goods. It is well

The soldiers won't let me be, they've made up their mind that I must match on POP day, despite my messing up on purpose. Arghhhhhhh I don't want to!! Oh and I ended up in handcuffs, LOL. Don't worry, platoon joke, nothing serious 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Camp Diary: Day 7

I lost my voice yesterday cheering my platoon boys and I'm glad to say it wasn't in vain. We won the match and now I must nurse my sore throat and the flu I got three days ago :(

Guess who I saw today? Yup, soldier man sadly. I sat miles away from him to avoid any body contact. Can't understand the need to talk to me and touch me at the same time. Just irritating. He said stuff, I didn't listen. He needs to get that I'm not his wife neither am I interested. Gladly, my friends came to my rescue for they noticed my body language and came to seat beside me. Still soldier man didn't take a hint to leave even with my one word answers and slow reply. Ahh Ma fo e lori. Ki lo de?

Friday, 14 November 2014

Camp Diary: Day 6

My skin is reacting already to this place. I noticed some irritations and I've been breaking out on my face *sigh*. My first allowee is going to spent at Priscilla's Pride's spa as soon as I get home. I'll need a full body exfoliation peel... Yep

Oh I've cut off Soldier man, blocked his number although I ran into him at mami market. I think he thinks I'm his wife because nothing else can explain this needy behaviour 

We did our obstacle and assault course and I'm still here, alive and not paralysed or worse dead. Praise be to God. Only thing is I broke my left big toe nail in half. Kinda hurts. 
You won't believe what happened in my platoon today. Because our commandant is nice some people took advantage and didn't show up. As a result he was upset and had us punished by another commandant who had us frog- March (a cross section between matching and frog jumping) and then in our white on white he made us sit on the floor and March with our asses. LOL 

Camp Diary: Day 5

Today is a Sunday, I slept in till 7 and woke up happy. Yes, I finally got eight hours sleep. Although it was a free day, my platoon was in charge of kitchen activities. I have now discovered that I have a promising career as a mama put *LMAO* 

So while serving lunch, my platoon leader (who is one of those oversabis we had in secondary school who never grew up) called me "honey" and referred to me as his wife. I didn't realise when my attitude switched up from friendly to bitchy. I'm nice but don't take advantage of that. I don't even talk to him, I had only one conversation with him and I'm pretty sure he would have never looked at me twice had he not found out I was an international student from my record... Tsk 

Camp Diary: Day 4

It's a Saturday, my friend visited me with home cooked food. Thank God. I've abstained from every meat because I know bush rat/meat is very popular here in Benue 😕. And I would really not like to be the new case study for Ebola in this country. Just saying... Oh I made more friends today. I think I make new friends every day lol 

One lady asked me why I was so nice. And I asked her if I was supposed to be rude and she said yes. People who study outside and come to places like this are usually rude. Hmmmm.....

Camp diary: Day 3

Remember how I said I saw a hole I suspected to be a snake's? Well it was officially confirmed at the parade ground today that there are reptiles on the compound. 
Somebody get me out of here!!!!!!! Seriously. I hate snakes, can't stand them and to think that they could be lurking around ...😩

Today, soldier man slapped three small boys in front of me. I've never been more appalled in my life. I had a soldier uncle growing up that I was never fond of because of his violent outbursts. Although hate is a strong word I disliked his brashness and I automatically put soldiers into a category. Sadly. I know we should abstain from stereotypes but he did nothing to change my mind. 

In the few seconds of that slap and my mouth hanging low, my attitude towards him switched from friendly to irritated. How could I see him as a guardian if he slapped civilians as he liked. Because those boys did nothing, they just didn't run when he called them. But what was the use of running if they were just five steps away?

Hanging out in the cool evening where I usually charge my phone, I've learnt some really disturbing facts about some cultures in my country. It hurts my ears to hear of this young teacher's struggle with his students. Most of the females who are just in ss2 are married women with kids. Many of which are below the standard expectation for a senior student as they are taught in the native language. However the one that shocks me is the other man's experience in Calabar. This is a place known for its sexual notoriety, I mean we've all heard "Ekaette" and watched nollywood movies but I didn't expect to hear this other side. Young girls getting pregnant because it's an abomination to be single. And how married women go around sleeping with other men with the permission of their husbands. As long as they don't impregnate them. How horrifying. He goes on to give me an example of this girl sleeping with a corper, who didn't even know his name. So when she go pregnant and gave birth to a boy, she named him "corper". Is this really how our country should be? At this point, I'm glad my eyes are being open to some of the things that go on outside abuja and "elitist" circles. Why should schools be teaching in their native language? Why isn't basic education free to secondary level by now? The level of illiteracy in this country is damaging our human development and it shouldn't be allowed to go further. Right there and then, I said a prayer to God to show me ways in which I can use my privilege to help others and there are so many of us out there that can do so much for the unopportuned ones, if we just chose to leave our comfort zone. 

Camp diary: Day 2 Still

The hustling still continues to get out of here. However everything I've tried hasn't worked out so far. Can you imagine my frustration? I'm still persistent though, pulling all the strings I can find... That is until I get an epiphany or what I've assumed is one. 

On getting back to the dorms after an unsuccessful morning, I get a phone call from my mum and she says maybe this is God and he wants me to learn something and I should try to change my mindset and see it that way. At this point I'm crying and trying to make sure my dorm members don't notice. What she said is true, probably. I've tried everything and it's not working out, it can only mean God has shut the door from above and it probably cannot be opened anymore. 

As if that wasn't clear enough, I open my journal and find something I wrote on 6th July. 

"Promise yourself 
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. 
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to everyone you meet
To make your friends feel 
That there is something in them 
To look at the sunny side of everything 
And make your optimism come true. 
To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. 
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. 
To forget the mistakes of the past
And press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times 
And give every living creature you meet a smile. 
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself 
That you have no time to criticise others. 
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. 
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
Not in loud words but great deeds. 
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
So long as you are true to the best that is in you"
- Christian D. Larson

Couldn't be just coincidence that it's the first thing I saw when I opened my diary right? Probably a secret message from God... As if that wasn't enough, my mum called me saying the same thing that it's probably God's plan since we tried so hard to change it and it's not working out. That He probably has me here to learn a thing or two after all nothing just happens. By now I'm fully convinced that it is in fact my fate to stay at camp and I'm slowly making my peace with it. Plus, isn't that we always preach? Change your mind, change your life? Can't always be for the good days...

Friday, 7 November 2014

Camp Diary: Day 2

I barely slept last night. There was a crying baby opposite my.... Ok that's number one. I didn't even have a room. I was sleeping on the corridors, sigh. And what was that awful smell haunting the corridors. I knew this was it... This was as bad as it could get right? 

Back to the crying baby. A part of me wanted to go carry the baby and bounce him around, another part of me wanted to go scream at the camp officials for not exempting the poor mother. Is this any place for a toddler with the germ infested environment. Ugh, and we wonder why our infant mortality rate is up? The ignorance.

So my bed... There's almost no difference between my body and the spring. Well who cares right? I have a bed to sleep on but I was so conscious of my surrounding that I woke up at 2:57 and waited to go shower. Little did I know what was waiting for me in the normal bathroom since I didn't go to the "special bathroom", which you paid to use. At least that was cleaner. Truth is, I was terrified to walk there alone, especially since it was dark, close to the soldiers quarters and three I could have sworn I saw a snake hole when I was walking there last night. Maybe it was my paranoia. And I didn't want to call the soldier helping me since I didn't want to put myself in any risky position. 

Therefore, I had to resort to showering outside with a million other girls. I have seen more naked bodies than some of you men would ever see in your lifetime. I have different body shapes etched in my memory now, not that I was looking. Unfortunately for me, I didn't have a bucket talk more of water, since I hadn't planned on staying. However I had packed my things for camp. You know what they say, hope for the best prepare for the worst. Just that, I had forgotten to pack a bucket while preparing for the worst. But there was this kind angel, I am convinced she's an angel because I'm yet to find her on campus again. She offered me a bucket filled with water. Although our meeting makes me question divine visitations as she was asking me where she could do "her business" outside. Yikes... 
I made a mental note to be weary of where I stepped around the hostel. 

On going to the parade ground, we were there from 4 till 8, doing God knows what. Soldiers shouting orders in the cold while we half grudgingly complied. A slim girl started talking to me, at first I was grateful for the company then my body remembered it was not a morning person and got tired of replying her. No that's not it, she wouldn't stop talking nor would she stop trying to read the messages I was replying from last night which I just found rude. Plus she kept touching me inappropriately even when I moved away. I'm not here to spend 14 years in jail, I had already done 14 hours in a hell hole....

Camp Diary: Day 1

When my uncle and I arrived at the NYSC camp and I walked into the campus, I knew right there and then there was no way I wanted to stay behind. I resolved in my mind to do everything possible to not stay at camp. I mean it's one thing being at camp with friends but it's a whole different story when you're in a different state and you know absolutely no one on camp. Plus you came late so you missed the "making friends session" that usually occurs on the first day. 

So I started with the up and down, trying to stay positive and calm. One hour down, no problem. After all, it was just 11am. 

But when 6pm clocked and I barely finished registration, I knew I wanted to kill someone. I had cried, gotten angry, prayed, felt depressed and finally gave up. I was going to have to spend the night despite my "health conditions" that would get me out of camp. The absolute worst. 

Camp was hideous. It was filthy. The staff were not the friendliest, well except one lady in my platoon who managed to make us feel at home despite how strange our new surrounding was. The hostel had an awful smell and don't get me started on the bathrooms. But I was glad I hadn't been subjected to the humiliation of carrying my box on my head, frog jumping or kneeling down with my hands up/holding my lips. How any on those contribute to "serving the nation", I do not know. 

Fortunately I was entrusted in the care of a soldier who we had met at the gate and hit it off with. I was somewhat embarrassed with the attention it got me, he barked at everyone in my way and led me everywhere, "chancing" people at the bathroom, food stalls and the electronic stall for charging your phone. After a shower and a good cry later, I told myself it wasn't that bad. I mean camp isn't the worst thing at night when you get to hang out at mammy market. Everyone's loosed and relaxed with no soldiers barking down commands/insults at you. Plus, the sun's gone down and the temperature is just perfect to be out at night. 

Regardless... I told myself one night and that was it. I had had enough camp experience, after all I did do man-o-war. I had gone through all the emotions one could in just a day and I was just about prepared to get out. Imagine my horror when one night turned to ..... 

Awon Corpers

As most of you know it's corper season, yet another batch has been deployed for orientation camp. Much to my chagrin, I was deployed to.... (Drum roll) Benue. Although we true everything to change it, my fate was sealed. I would still have to attend camp and register before being redeployed. I decided that this could be a blessing in disguise, well I had to be persuaded but eventually I made my peace with the fact that I was here at camp, alone, in a state I've never been to before. Luckily, I had a lot of Benue friends in high school so I'm not alone, alone. Haha anyways, I'm keeping a camp diary and I'll love to share this journey with you. You would have to bear with me as the device is terrible so posts might not appear as frequent as you would like. 

Feel free to share your NYSC camp experience with me too. I'll love to post about it, if you want. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

I miss you

I hated how busy he was
And I hated how much time I had on my hands to notice that,
It made me feel needy
And I hated that more 
I hated how emotional I got over every cancelled date or that I only got thirty minutes in a day to see him,
If I was that lucky 
I envied my little sisters and their puppy love
Chatting away every minute and getting replies
Whereas I slept off waiting for a returned call or a replied message 
I hated this new phase 
But wasn't that part of being in an adult relationship?
Worse, I hated our fights 
We had come to this new place of misunderstanding 
He was stressed, I felt neglected 
I never meant to let things get this way
I just needed him and he couldn't be there
I guess he needed me too
And we found ourselves struggling with new responsibilities among other things
We just weren't prepared for the sacrifices we would have to make
Including us....

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


It broke my heart to see my mum cry and I was at a loss for what to do. Worse, for someone who had her way with words, I had nothing to say. Do I hug her or do I give her her privacy? After all she had wiped her eyes so fast when I walked in the room, I felt she was trying to hide how hurt she was. 

Three dead people in one day...


The word alone stung my heart. Although inevitable, one could never fully be prepared for the shock and vulnerability it brought with it. To be here this one second and gone. 
Two lost to Boko Haram and one lost to a car accident, all in the name of furthering their education. Was it then a curse to want to be better in life that you lose your life in the process? 

I had avoided feeling anything towards death but even I had to admit at the third news that day that I felt more vulnerable. Too scared to close my eye for fear that someone else may go or I myself would be gone... 

Here one second, gone the next

As I replay the day's events in bed, I'm reminded of my mortality like a rude awakening. Not that I never knew of the possibility but to be reminded again that tomorrow was never certain and should live a life holy and acceptable.