for what we were, are and will be
Sept 2009 | ISSN 1758-6275
Books that made me: Folusho Phillips
Gbenga Adeyinka Tells Us About Women Bouqui Tells Us About Men
Obi ’s La gos
A man of many paths
Erin-Ijesa Waterfall Pastor Fineboy
Malaria, Africa’s number one killer
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Walking This Way
The regenerated you
As I write this, I recall an important incident that happened in a Christian Religious Studies class during my undergraduate days. “It is the greatest wonder in the entire universe that human beings could be begotten of God,” the lecturer began as he walked towards the blackboard. “Yet over the centuries of Christian history, the precious vital significance of regeneration has been neglected and gradually lost. Our topic this morning is regeneration.” Regeneration in theology was strange to some of us at the time. We were used to the term as students of biology in secondary school. We never knew such a term was applicable to theology. Some of us view regeneration as simply meaning a “new beginning,” a new start in a plant’s life. But we later understood that regeneration is also applicable to the human life. It has to do with some kind of reformation both within and outside. Now, that the summer holiday is over, we believe there is a newness within as you resume at work or as a student, you return to school. Therefore, we warmly welcome you to a new edition of Naija Times. This month in our fashion and lifestyle story, we define your style as we offer some useful fashion tips for both males and females. Just as the special feature story says, it’s not yet Uhuru for Nigerian education as the standards deteriorate even as students return to school. And of course, in this edition also, the mysterious one knocks at the doors of two big players in the cinema industry in Nigeria. “And what was the experience?” you’d ask. Why not read through the pages of the magazine to find out? Obi Asika also narrates his experience in the Lagos of his birth in the 1960s while the comical Mr. Fineboy stages a comeback with his hilarious piece on how he became a pastor. These and more are in this edition for your delight. And until next month, it’s goodbye.
- Funke Adetutu
Everyone Is Talking About
More than a pretty face
Alicia Keys was fresh off her first hit album when she agreed to hold a concert half a world away in Africa. She had no idea what she was in for. “It was 2002, when she was 22, just stepping out of Harlem for, like, the third time ever. That trip was her wakeup call. As soon as she got off the plane, everything hit her: driving from the airport and seeing the shantytowns right next to the golf courses, being asked if she wanted to go to a ‘coloured’ club ... And she met these kids who were younger than her who didn’t have any parents — they said they were HIVpositive. Within a year, she had co-founded a humanitarian group with filmmaker and activist Leigh Blake called Keep a Child Alive, which helps build clinics and provides medicine for kids and their families with HIV/ AIDS across Africa. ----- Marie Claire.com Uwashe’s words struck a chord with some people. She shed more light on the present day Nigerian Hip Hop, which has generated mixed feelings. While some people believe that there is a problem with the artistes and their lyrics, some others feel strongly about the ‘structure’, while some feel that something has to be done about the technicians who set up the world of ‘miming’ for the ‘musicians who cannot perform, but mime.’ However, most people agree that Hip Hop has come to stay.
The top 20 things Oprah knows for sure
1. What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what. (This is my creed.) 2. You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script. 3. Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only you give it power. 4. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. (A lesson from Maya Angelou.) 5. Worrying is wasted time. Use the same energy for doing something about whatever worries you. 6. What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.
CORA Hip Hop conference
The Hip Hop conference organised by the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA which took place on the 26th of July at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, will linger on in the minds of art lovers for a long time to come. Almost everyone listened with rapt attention to every speaker’s opinion. Speakers who unsettled the consciousness were, art critic, Ropo Ewenla, visual artist, Chinwe Uwashe and afrobeat act, Edaoto. Chinwe
7. If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, that will be enough. (From the German theologian and humanist Meister Eckhart.) 8. The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give. 9. Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction. 10. If you make a choice that goes against what everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart. 11. Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn’t lie. 12. Love yourself and then learn to extend that love to others in every encounter. 13. Let passion drive your profession. 14. Find a way to get paid for doing what you love. Then every paycheck will be a bonus. 15. Love doesn’t hurt. It feels really good. 16. Every day brings a chance to start over. 17. Being a mother is the hardest job on earth. Women everywhere must declare it so. 18. Doubt means don’t. Don’t move. Don’t answer. Don’t rush forward. 19. When you don’t know what to do, get still. The answer will come. 20. “Trouble don’t last always.” ---- Oprah.com
A bizarre moment on Facebook
Pictures of some Asian men butchering a black man were posted on Facebook some weeks ago before they were removed. It had generated a lot of controversy among Facebook users. Some of them described it as bizarre, gory pictures whose credibility was questionable. “ I don’t think they are true pictures” Emmanuel Toili wrote on his wall, they are too horrible to be true. “These pictures could lead to racial problems” stated Giann Valesque, “the facebook team did a good job to have had it removed on time”.
In The Next Issue...
- Highlights of our Independence celebration - Ifeoma Williams on Nigeria @ 49 - Odia Ofeimun talks about his Lagos - Amsterdam, a sleepy city no more Make sure you dont miss out, subscribe to Naija Times, and have your own copy delivered to your door.
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Top 5 Things
to watch out for in September
1. The First Friday Lagos Event takes place on Friday, 4th Sept 2009 2. Maltina Dance All Airs (from 6th Sept) 3. West Africa Trade Expo takes place at Eko Le Meridian Hotel Lagos, from Sept 16th to 18th 2009 4. Segun Fayemi’s art exhibition Sept 19th at Goethe Institut, Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island 5. Abuja International Film Festival comes up in Abuja from Sept 22nd -25th 2009th) 8
Travel & Culture Erin-Ijesa Waterfall My Lagos Fashion & Lifestyle Let Me Tell You About Women Let Me Tell You About Men A Defined Style Campus Life Campus News Model Reader College Life Careers & Development Good Grades Versus Experience Books That Made Me Leke Alder A man of many paths 10 14 16 17 18 22 24 26 28 30 32 Money What determines your choice of ISP? Young Entrepreneur - My Success as a Farmer Entertainment The Sweetness of Victory Pastor FineBoy The Por trait of an Ar tist The One 9ja Million Dollar Gameshow Health Malaria, Africa’s number one killer The Shop Mysterious Shopper The Ice Cream Factory Feature Not yet Uhuru for Nigerian Education Directories WebFILE Business Listings 36 38 42 44 50 52 56 59 60 62 65 66
A place where Mother nature beckons
By ADEDOYIN JOHNSON
Travel & Culture
he rays of the July sun fell brilliantly on the rustling leaves of nearby trees while its light played a trick on the trees’ greenery. The crackling sound of the leaves and the tweeting sound of birds nested on the tree branches created a harmonious sound that only nature could produce on a July afternoon. This was the kind of ambience mother nature had to offer at the Erin Ijesa waterfall at Erin Oke, Osun state, Nigeria. It was a downy journey from Lagos to ErinOke, the little village where the waterfall is located. We drove through little villages and settlements and the Ilesa Township. Ilesa was an energetic town that was alive to the cadence of the hot sun. Men and women went about their businesses in the full glare of the scorching sun. After some forty minutes drive, the bus veered off the expressway into a bumpy road that led to the drowsy village of Erin-Oke. The asphalt on the road had been overridden by sand and dirt. The car navigated its way through a path overgrown by shrubs before it finally pulled to a stop before a green wall. “Welcome to Erin-Ijesa Water Fall. The Living spring” read a battered signpost at the entrance. Although the inscriptions were almost vanishing, they were legible. Old cans of soft drinks and “pure water” nylons littered everywhere while shower cap vendors shouted their wares to the hearing of adventurous tourists and picnickers who thronged the waterfall daily. At the foot of the stairway lay a pile of debris which was an eyesore for a tourist centre like this. We hiked up amidst the threat of climbing different levels from those who were there
the previous year. Defying the threat, we trudged on in anticipation of what lay ahead, stepping on the murky water streaming down the stairway. Intermittently, as we scrambled upward the muddy, rocky slope, we paused for a couple of group photos before moving on. The lapping sound of the spring could be heard miles away as we climbed the muddy dilapidated stairs of the waterfall. The coolness of the springs permeated everywhere. After walking for 10 minutes we came face-to-face with the famous Erin-Ijesa waterfall. The water cascaded down slimy rocks turned green by the constant flow of water. Broken pieces of rocks served as stepping stones through which we climbed up to the water. The Olumirin waterfall as it is also called is lovely and the sight before us was breathtaking. We all screamed for joy at the sight of the gift that Mother Nature bestowed on us. With almost a blind rush, a few of us took off our clothes to have a first hand feel of the cool water gushing out of the rock. Many people climbed the spring up to the third floor with the hope of reaching the water source but some of them never did. Bunmi Adeleke, a native of Ilesa who also doubled as our guide explained that the source of the spring is on the seventh step, which would be a two-hour journey. “There are seven steps. Where we are now is just the first step,” she explained. The last step is a flattish area covered with trees. There are all kinds of fruits like pineapple, oranges among others there. The source of the spring is a rock like the shape of a pot from which the water gushes like a pump.”
Adeleke believes that for most tourists and fun seekers, climbing up to the third level can best be equated to traipsing the snowy steeply mount Everest. Obviously, being at these different levels and just basking in the invigorating freshness of the waterfall is an unforgettable experience, for most people. “The place to be is definitely the seventh level,” she adds. “Not only does it lie at the peak of the falls, it is also hosts a settlement where many of its inhabitants have lived for several years including a church.” According to her, from the top of the falls one could see the town of Erin-Ijesa itself. In the end, we could not help it but agree that Nigeria is indeed a beautiful country and Nigerians are very warm people with a very rich culture. From the Yankari game reserve in northern Nigeria to the Obudu Cattle Ranch, Nigeria is indeed a haven for tourists, with its breathtaking landscapes and awe-inspiring sceneries. The Erin-Ijesa water falls like any other tourist attraction in the country has a story to tell. “Amazingly, the falls do not look like anything out of this world until you begin climbing the seven levels of the ascending plains of the waterfall. The view at all the levels is wonderful and the freshness of the water is energising. However, the last and seventh level is definitely the most intriguing, well that’s if you ever dare it,” said a friend who had been to the waterfall. Although, we did not dare climb that far up, yet the refreshing water from the waterfall was irresistible.
I was born in Lagos in the 1960s. I was a
kid then yet I could remember vividly that there were no traffic logjams then. But then, as a kid I lived in England and used to fly through Lagos to go home to Enugu. Lagos was this crazy place while Enugu was this beautiful old clean city where we had all our friends. However, whenever I went to Lagos, I never wanted to leave.
was what living in Lagos entailed, then nobody in the house would drive a car; all of us must board Danfos and Molues to work. I was very radical and after two days, my father relented and agreed to give me a car to use. I remember also that the Lagos of those days had few nightclubs. At 18, I was already a veteran of club promotion. I had been doing it since I was 14 years old in London. Then,
“whenever I went to Lagos, I never wanted to leave.”
By the time I turned 18, after living in England for some time, I returned to Nigeria. I spent three months vacation in Nsukka as a student and I worked in Lagos for six months on Broad Street, at Western House, as a research assistant. It was crazy. You can imagine, coming out of a public school (exclusive private boarding school) in England to work in Lagos. My father was very strict. He believed that as an 18-year -old, I did not need any money. My boss was willing to pay me N2, 000 a month. Then Youth Corpers were paid N400. I had not been to the University but my Uncle was willing to pay N2000 which was good for me. Then with N5, I could buy a beer. I used to smoke then too. But my father objected to my being paid N2, 000. He insisted that I should be paid the N400 which Corpers were being paid. There were four cars in our house and if I tried to use one of them, my father would say no. He used to tell me to board Danfo or Molue. It was like that until my fourth day at work when I was running to get on a Danfo back to my home in Ikoyi, I fell and I could remember seizing all the car keys in the house. I told my father that if my experience clubbing was not really popular in Nigeria and the only time that Nigerians came together socially was through house parties. There were very few bars. There was De javu at Falomo, there was another place, whose name I cannot recall now. The period I am referring to was in 1986. Lagos had very minimal nightclubs. Going to the beach was also popular at the time. Lekki Sun Splash was fun and I used to drive my sisters there. Blackky was a popular artiste at the time and he was a friend of my sister’s. Then, I did not get to go to see Fela’s shrine but much later I went there. There are many people who never got to see the great man perform live. But then, those were some of the fun times that Lagos had to offer then. Live music was in. There were live shows at the shrine and at a place called the Jazzhole. That was the Lagos I really love. Now, there are different options. In those days, it’s not as if there were no options, though there are more clubs now than then. In those days too, I used to play football with my friends at the Kings’ College and the Italian school. I could still remember the old camaraderie more than 20 years after, even
Travel & Culture
though I did not school in Lagos. I am not a part of the KC or Corona clique but I made friends from that group when I was at the University in England. Lagos for me is a crazy city. It is massive. On my record label, we have done about five or six songs about Lagos. We have celebrated Lagos in songs and videos. We have shown the rough and the high end of Lagos. We just try to show that suffering is not totally synonymous with Lagos, there are beautiful sides of the city too. When you see the Yellow Danfos, it gives the impression that there is a hustle. I believe if you can hustle and make it in Lagos, you can make it anywhere in the world. Lagos is a tough place and it is like New York, in the United States, nobody has your time. That is my own experience and understanding of Lagos. For me, Lagos is like a no man’s land. Nobody can claim Lagos. It belongs to everyone. Every
one is Omo Eko. Lagos is a city of stress but it is also a place where you make your fortune. There is a new Lagos emerging now with the current administration of Governor Fashola. I am happy with the development. Marina is a beautiful place to see at night. It’s a totally different experience now. I am happy about the new Lagos. For me, it is fun and exciting.
By Obi Asika
In my opinion, being emotional is not a
gender thing, it is a personal thing. I have met some men who are very emotional and some women who are not emotional at all and their emotionality just upsets you. The notion that women go out for love in relationships, unlike men who desire sex, is true. Although it is a wrong notion and value, it is beginning to change. Nowadays, some women seek only financial gain in a relationship and this attitude has not helped relationships in Nigeria. Yet, I will say that women are God’s greatest gift to mankind. Without them, the world would not be as interesting as it is. They have added flavour and fervour to this beautiful world. They are humane and have the capacity to love, more than men. I am referring to women who are sensible and responsible. They possess the motherly instinct that every relationship needs. Although sometimes they can be possessive, and most times they are suspicious even when the man is faithful. Some women nag a lot. This is what I consider the major problem of women. However, I still cannot imagine a world without them.
My mum is the kind of woman who will go out of her way to do things for her children. She is kind and generous. She took great care of me as a child. My wife also does that, but women are rather more concerned about their children than their husbands. I am sure that while growing up my father envied us because my mother focused most of her attention on us. I believe that is what happens to us men as we grow up. I realise that fathers really suffer neglect, yet it is a part of life. My wife is a wonderful person who is always there for me. By and large, my wife and my mother both play different roles in my life. While growing up, I was attracted to women and everything, but once I attained my present level of fame, I realised that nothing really matters to me. I am very emotional, however, I try to hide it so that people won’t take advantage of me. Over the years, through the experience I gathered from my past relationships, I have learnt to be secretive. What I have come to realise is that if I am not, I will become vulnerable which is quite dangerous.
Gbenga Adeyinka, comedian
“Let me tell you about Women”
Fashion & Lifestyle
“Let me tell you about men”
he issue of emotionality between men and women is what I consider a character type issue. It would be absurd or wrong to say men are more emotional than women or jump into the conclusion that women are more emotional than them because of their gender. It is a character issue for the men and the emotional formation of the individual. For instance, choleric and melancholic men are of a passionate nature, they shake the very soul and act like an earthquake. On the other hand, sanguine and phlegmatic men have passionless temperaments, they do not lead to great and lasting mental excitement. So, the issue of emotionality among men is based on their makeup. I disagree with the notion that men seek only sex in relationships unlike women who desire love. In my opinion, what is sought usually depends on a lot of factors which determine the personality. The environment in which a man grew up in and his parental influences affect his values. I disagree with the notion that men value sex more than love in a relationship. I have seen many women who go for sex instead of love in a relationship. It is not about the gender, but who the person truly is. Men are expected to be stronger but sometimes they are not. When it comes to labour issues, they are helpers, however, when it comes to the issue of comfort, women cover up for them. Instead of being shoulders
to lean on, it is usually the other way round. It seems like all they feel responsible for is to get us pregnant. My dad was a professor and he was a strong man. He cared for his family and was very responsible. I owe my gifts and lyrics to my upbringing. I was brought up in an academic and religious environment. My dad was a God fearing and caring man. I would rather not say anything about my man for now. The craziest act by a male fan of mine which I disliked was when he “flashed” (beeped) my phone over twenty times at 2a.m. I concluded that it was someone in distress and I immediately called back, only to hear him profess his love for me at such an odd hour. It was really awkward. It does not bother me because I love the fact that they understand and appreciate what I do. Thus, if I can help it, I simply do not interact with my male fans and i don’t handle them because it is what you give out that you get back. When it comes to emotions, I am a balanced person. Taking little steps in the right direction has been the secret of my successful career. Asides from that, I am focused, determined and passionate about what I do. Finally, in my relationships with men, I have learnt to be patient, trust God more and believe that everything works together for good for those who love God.
A defined style
By Odiri Etireri
The worst fashion shopping mistakes one can make.
1.Don’t buy on impulse: Ask yourself these questions. Do I really need this? Does it fit my lifestyle? Where will i wear this to? Etc. 2.Make sure you itemise the things you are shopping for so you don’t buy extravagantly. 3.It is enjoyable to go shopping with friends but not with competitive friends. They will cajole you into buying more than you expect to. 4.Don’t assume an outfit will fit you when you know it won’t just because that’s what is in vogue. 5.Shopping for uncomfortable shoes can make you have nightmares mostly when they are expensive 6. Always shop for timeless pieces that never go out of fashion.
Fashion can be defined as style relating
to clothing, hair and general personal appearance. It is also about studying the latest style, an activity we deal with everyday. One basic thing in the fashion world is CHANGE. Fashion is not static because the industry always hunts for new and hot styles. Fashion is a unique language that tells a story about a person who wears it. It is a wordless means of communication that people understand. Some fashion experts say that fashion started right from the day God created man, when God gave Adam and Eve the first clothes which they used to cover up their nudity in the garden of Eden.
What Ladies are known for
Ladies are known to go shopping for anything in the world. And of course, they enjoy it. Some ladies can shop for a whole day, especially when it comes to windowshopping. The fact underlying women’s attitude to shopping is they want to look good and outstanding among other women. And so, they go for nice hairdos, makeup, handbags and lovely shoes. Some women love to flaunt their French nails such that one is left with the impression they don’t eat with them. African dishes like Amala and Ewedu soup may be rare on their menu list! Since they make good fashion statements with their well manicured nails.
Fashion & Lifestyle
Fashion Tips for Women
Invest in good quality Cosmetics: These include skin care creams, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, eye and facial makeup. Jeans: Invest in a well fitting pair of jeans, since this is a classic. Jewellery: Without jewellery your dressing is not complete, expensive or not. You can be confident that jewellery is always welcome or received anytime. Handbags: This brings out the chic side of you. So, everybody both old and young should indulge themselves in getting the latest handbags. Hair style: Though everybody wants to get involved in the latest hairdos, this may not be totally right. The fact that a hairdo is in vogue does not mean you should follow the trend. You have to
consider if really it looks nice on you. Nails care: Biting your fingernails is a bad habit which you must quit if you are guilty of this. It is a fashion faux pas. If you don’t have good fingernails, it is advisable that you fix artificial French nails. However, don’t leave the artificial nails on for too long as this can cause fungus growing in your nails.
Ahhhh, the men are not left out! Let’s see what they’ve got.
In the past, men wore funny looking shoes with tips like the shape of a dog’s nose on loose suits. They cared less if the colour combination was right or wrong. These days, men are fantastic dressers.
A good dress shirt is a must for a good suit. A long sleeved dress shirt is better and more professional than short sleeved shirts, a good tie compliments your suit and shirt. Nowadays, some men spend money on fitted trousers and fitted shirts because they feel cute in them. However, regardless of your standpoint, always complement your dressing with good shoes. In the next issue of the magazine, watch out for some tips on children’s clothing. On a parting note, remember that vertical stripes and patterns draw the eyes up and down, which makes you look thinner and taller.
Office fashion tips for men
The fashion police, if you have any in your office, will ensure you don’t get arrested once you adhere to the tips below. Try to be neat, go to your barber’s shop at least twice a month and please, do not shave your eyebrows guys.
“COMPLEMENT...WITH GOOD SHOES”
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University of Ibadan wins the MacArthur Foundation grant of $900,000.00
The University of Ibadan (UI) has added another feather to its cap as it was recently selected along with nine other top universities of the world for the MacArthur Foundation grant of $900,000.00 (N108 million), for its new Masters’ Degree programme in Development Practice. The institution is the only Nigerian university among the winners of the grant and one out of the three African universities selected. The other recipients are from the United States of America (3 recipients) and one each from Europe, Australia, India and China. Each of the lucky participating institutions is expected to produce 250 graduates with Masters’ Degree in Development Practice by the year 2012. The selection of UI followed a facilities tour of the institution by representatives of Columbia University, U.S.A, who initiated discussions with the university authorities on collaborative efforts in respect of the Masters Degree programme in Development Practice earlier this year. In a release issued by the Registrar of the institution, Omotayo Ikotun, it was disclosed that over 70 universities from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America submitted proposals for the grant, out of which only 10 were finally picked. Ikotun explained that the choice of UI and
nine others was based on numerous criteria including; ‘support from top university leadership, excellent infrastructure and academic programmes, the ability to serve as a regional hub, geographical representation among students, exceptional faculties and a timeline and business plan for financial sustainability when the said funding ends in three years.’
The federal government moves to bridge the gap between the University/ Polytechnic dichotomy
The Federal Government has intensified its moves for the implementation of some recommendations contained in the white paper report presented by the Presidential Committee on the Consolidation of Emoluments in the public sector, the minister of Education, Sam Egwu has said. In the recommendations, the Federal Government is advised to abolish all hindrances to the career progression of Higher National Diploma holders to effectively put them at par with their first degree holder counterparts. Sam Egwu, however says the policy is to be preceded by outlining some of the reasons which initially led to the structure of the dichotomy as well as proffering scientific recommendations that may support the ideal of discarding any form of dichotomy in the system.
UNILAG student emerges best debate speaker
A 400 level student of the department of law at the University of Lagos, Faridah Akodu, recently emerged the best speaker at a debate organised by the student division of the university. She scored 131.5 points. The chairman of the programme and Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Harris Dele Longe, intimated the need for courses like use of English in order to make up for the observed inadequacies in the spoken English language students in general. Shutta Oladipupo, who emerged the second, urged students to come out of their comfort zones to participate in competitions as it would help them master the art of public speaking. In addition, Akodu also admonished schools at all levels to organise debates, quizzes and essay competitions as it would help enlighten and provide opportunities for excellent academic growth.
Lecturers and students face interrogation over examination malpractice
About 360 lecturers and students of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin are under investigation over alleged examination malpractices they were involved in their final semester examinations. Musa Yeketi, the chairman, Governing Council of the institution, disclosed this when members of the Education Committee of the State House of Assembly paid a working visit to the institution. He stated that appropriate punitive measures would be meted out to anyone found guilty of the offence at the end of the ongoing investigations, to serve as a deterrent to others and bring about continued discipline, probity and accountability in the school.
Name: Harry Itie Educational Background: Primary education: Junior Strides Academy, Ebute-Metta, Lagos (1994-1998); Secondary education: Command Secondary School, Kaduna (1998-2000);the Grace High School, Gbagada, Lagos. (2000-2006); Tertiary education: Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State. (2006-date) Course of Study- Mass Communication http://harry-rami.blogspot.com www.yadamag.com
Harry the talkaholic
“Never settle for less than your dreams, somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow, you’ll find them” – Danielle Steel. This has been the guiding principle for Harry ever since he was a little boy. As a 20-year-old, most of his dreams are beginning to unfold. From his days in primary and secondary school, he has shown dynamic traits in leadership. He was the head of the Writers’ Team at Grace High school and was also the assistant class captain throughout his time there. After leaving secondary school in 2006, Harry gained admission into Covenant University to study Mass Communication. There he became active in a nondenominational international Christian organisation called “Youth with a Purpose” 24
(YWAP). He joined the dance team and the administrative department. Soon after, he was asked to join the leadership team of his center, known as the Core Group. Showing excellence, skill and determination, Harry was made the head of the Administrative department. In March 2007, Harry created one of the most popular youth blogs in Nigeria today ‘The Talkaholic’. It is currently ranked number 50 in Nigeria, according to Afrigator statistics. In May 2009, he started an online magazine called YADA, which is a ‘Journal-Zine’ that is aimed at imparting knowledge on various issues ranging from politics to entertainment to urban culture and general lifestyle. Harry has also been involved in humanitarian activities with the Care Department of YWAP through community development outreaches to hospitals, remand homes and the university community at large. He is also the sub editor of the trainee magazine of the Mass Communications Department at the Covenant University. In his spare time, Harry loves to hang out with his friends and listen to good music. He also loves reading and writing and he is currently working on his first major novel called ‘Kiss and Tell’. Other projects: Columnist, Pathways Africa Magazine Staff Writer, Viklife.com If you would like to be our next “Model Reader” please send an email with a high resolution picture of yourself attached, stating why you should be the next model reader to mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
AUTHOR: Ebuka Okoye, Sophomore (2nd year student) in the Civil Engineering program
I attend North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo located in the State of North Dakota which geographically is situated in the Northern part of the United States. It is referred to as being in the Mid-Western Region. NDSU’s campus sits on over 22,000 acres (89 km²) of land and is known as a major agricultural research institution in the country. At NDSU, one can get quality education at a relatively cheap price as compared to other schools.With over 13,000 students enrolled in the school from different parts of the world, it is the largest
university in the state of North Dakota in terms of population. The student to faculty ratio is 19:1. Approximately 600 faculty members teach at NDSU; 76 percent have the highest degrees in their fields and more than 80 percent of our classes here have fewer than 40 students. The school is well equipped with modern infrastructure and well-furnished laboratories where students can put what they have learnt in the classroom into practice. It is also equipped with modern gym facilities and a wellness center in order for students to maintain a healthy lifestyle.The school’s administration has a friendly approach and lends a listening ear to the plight of students, occasionally sending out either surveys on the campus atmosphere or surveys at the end of a course taken to rate the teacher who taught the class in order to maintain a high-level of academic excellence. Social life at NDSU is VERY different from the social life in Nigeria. As a born and bred Lagosian, there was always something to do or an event to attend. It is on a lesser scale here at NDSU mainly because the city of Fargo isn’t very large in terms of population.This makes it a very suitable environment for studying as there are less distractions and the campus and city as a whole is safer.There are over a hundred student organizations which cater to the various interests of students from the
International Students Association to ones such as organizations solely for people with video gaming interests.The school organizes shows and free parties a few times a year in addition to free movies at the school theater as well as other events in order to let the students take a breather from the stresses of academic life. As a school with a “dry-campus” (no alcohol allowed), there are no drunken brawls which threaten life and property. As an added bonus, we even have our own Police Department stationed in the University that patrols the University grounds on a regular basis. In my opinion, the police officers do not need to carry guns around the campus, as they hardly need it, a cane or a baton would be just fine. As for the campus sporting activities, most of the school’s athletics teams have a huge following and get a lot of media attention, they are also fun to watch. One may attend a sporting event either for love of the sport or to enjoy the friendly and energetic atmosphere, and the games are free. In a nutshell, I have given you a bit of the University environment in which I stay in for those who would like to know about it or for those considering higher education abroad. If you do think of coming to North Dakota, I must warn you of its famously cold winters. I promise you when I say your freezer will feel like an oven when compared to the winters here and the summers are not very warm either, which for me is a plus, what warms me up however, is the fact that the people here are known to be very friendly and polite.
Good grades versus Experience
by: Fawaz Bashir
The global requirement in the work environment is changing, organisations are beginning to focus more on acquiring people who have practical experience than those with fantastic grades. Getting good grades in school used to be the determining factor in obtaining employment, but now that trend appears to be changing. Students who are anxious about getting good grades at the expense of anything and everything else and therefore expect to find a job right after graduation will be shocked to realise that employers are looking to hire students with practical job experience just as much as good grades. Although some fields do emphasise good grades, adding experience to those grades makes you a more capable and qualified candidate. Organisations are looking for well-rounded individuals who have acquired some functional skills, which can only be realistically acquired while engaging in real work activities. Experience does not only add to ones skills but it enhances ones behaviour, manner of relationship and knowledge application in a work environment. Many companies are looking for more than good grades; sometimes grades take a backseat when considering other characteristics. It is therefore essential today that students should have gained practical experience in their fields, if expecting to be employed right after graduation. Sometimes an employer may ask for transcripts to ensure the student graduated, but it is not always a condition of employment. The following words of Donald J. Trump are instructive: “I talk a lot about education because I think a good college education can really take you far in life. At the same time, however, some people are incredibly book smart but are clueless when they deal with the real world.”
Careers and Development
In one of the seasons of Donald Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” where a whole season was based on pitting highly educated candidates against those with less formal schooling, it was discovered that the key to success was experience and not education. Experience comes from action - or doing – and that involves taking risks. Knowledge is essential, but knowledge alone certainly isn’t enough. Such knowledge must be applicable to work because doing is the means through
which people learn and how a prospective applicant ultimately will prove himself. Handson involvement is needed to understand anything - whether a task or an entire business operation. Experience gained only comes from actually doing - and doing often. Experience is very important from the employer’s perspective. Companies are looking for individuals who have experience and leadership skills gained from an internship, working at a company part-time, have started a business or have been involved with student organisations and non-governmental organisations. Apart from getting experience and knowledge by working while in school, an advantage to such prospective job seekers is that such experience can provide a clearer view of an applicant’s career goals since the earlier one has an informed career plan in place, the better. Getting an internship or part-time placement does not automatically provide the experience required, but doing the work with a mind to acquire knowledge, build relationships, manage behaviours and serve people will accrue and such ability cannot be gained in a classroom.
“Books that made me”
by Folusho Phillips, founder and head of Phillips Consulting
For the kind of work that I do and the implied ‘volume’ of reading that I have to maintain to be on top of my profession as a management consultant and business advisor, the choice of a book that impacted my life has been quite difficult and probably explains why I have tried to avoid making that choice. However, I have selected “The Fifth Discipline” as that book, which has influenced and indeed defined a particular mindset that has worked for me in creating and managing a successful firm like Phillips Consulting. The Fifth Discipline is one of my favourite all time “management books”. It was (and is) practical, relevant to my professional and business situation, providing numerous examples that brought these interesting theories to life. The book had such an impact on my thinking at the time, that I bought five more copies for the firm’s library and is today compulsory reading for any person joining our organisation. Failure to capture the essence of the book always showed up in the ability of such consultants to grasp the essence of how organisations function from a human and systems point of view. The five disciplines, which Peter Senge discussed and analysed in his book, were: Personal Mastery Mental Models (Paradigms) Shared Vision Team Learning Systems thinking (Interconnectiveness)
The first discipline – Personal Mastery
According to Senge, this journey starts with the individual’s ability to discover himself. Personal Mastery explores how a person can be the best that he can possibly be. It challenges each person to define his or her personal direction, have clarity about aspirations and appreciate the need to have goal congruence with the essence of their organisation. By discovering and doing what you are good at and therefore use such talent to the benefit of your organisation can only enhance careers, create personal satisfaction and achieve self actualisation. The firm runs a course on Personal Mastery.
The second discipline – understanding the impact of mental models
The recognition of the danger and therefore avoidance of being locked into a particular mindset – being influenced by a specific mental model – a paradigm, is the essence of this second discipline. Paradigms block our view and our ability to see other opportunities because we judge and see the whole world based on our set of rules of what is possible. This discipline encourages openness of thinking and acceptance of the possibilities of being wrong and others right and then exploring their own line of thinking even further until exhausted. This has been another very key learning in our firm and what we encourage organisations in their quest for creativity to adopt, by encouraging employees to understand and avoid the trap of this second discipline.
Careers and Development
The third discipline – Having a Shared Vision
Senge argues that having a shared vision is probably the most fundamental achievement that any leader can claim in creating a truly successful organisation. The ability to get a group of people to focus relentlessly on a common goal will always result in a breakthrough in performance. Senge, moved beyond the emotional commitment of visioning to the practical actions that is needed to actualize the achievement of a common goal and most important of all – testing its acceptance and implied validation.
could only be better imagined than seen Bringing it all together The critical lesson I learnt from this book is reflected in the way these five disciplines firstly became an operational model for our firm and secondly, enhanced our ability (through practice of the disciplines) to show people how to create change in their organisations. This book came into my life at the launch of the era of Total Quality Management, customer focus, continuous improvement, service excellence etc, which we adopted internally within our firm as an operational model to drive our culture and philosophy for driving performance but more importantly as our service offering to our clients in those early days (1993) when we were known as the “TQM” (Total Quality Management) organisation.(I hope most of you have read or heard of the book – “In search of excellence” by Peters & Waterman, which was popular during that era and was another life changing book) It starts with the emotional connection to each person’s cognitive skills (Personal Mastery), where each is encouraged and trained to have an open mind to new ideas and change (Mental models) and; work assiduously towards a clear and much larger goal shared by colleagues through their actions (shared vision) in which development and enhancements are achieved through collective learning and understanding (team learning) and finally appreciating the possible unintended outcome of their actions (Systems thinking). Pretty heavy stuff! I must re-read that book and see if my perspectives have changed.
The fourth Discipline – Team Learning
The ability to work together as a team is predicated by the ability to learn as a team. Team learning drives team execution, which gives energy to the pursuance of group goals in a collective manner. Team learning is driven by “team conversations devoid of the negative impact of paradigms”, which encourage communication and common understanding of situations. Team learning provides the foundation for “Learning organisations”.
The fifth discipline – Systems thinking
Everything is connected! The ripple from a pebble dropped in a pool of water is extensive even as the impact reduces with distance. When certain things happen, the impact is never linear. Senge, illustrated this so clearly in an example he gave of a business simulation activity called “the beer game”, where the systemic impact and resulting magnitude of the effect of simple decisions,
A man of many paths
by: Funke Adetutu
He walks into the black room, his arms swinging freely by his side. He is one of those people one would describe as an enigma because his appearance does not give an inkling of who or what he is. Leke Alder is one of the foremost names in Nigerian brand consultancy. As I discuss with him, he comes across easily as an intelligent philosopher and businessman. In addition, he is a consultant, lawyer, entrepreneur, artist, poet, architect, photographer and author. One wonders how he has been able to successfully blend all these roles. His talent, purpose and passion for entrepreneurship informed the genesis of his sojourn into the world of branding. This led to his creation of the Alder Consulting brand, with a focus on ideas & brand development, research, IT & multimedia services, political advisory and change management, among others. Leke Alder’s personality and creative disposition, heightened by a vivid skill for story telling has also led him to the literary circuit. The purity of his philosophical language is difficult to comprehend in today’s era. The influence of rhetoric in him can be seen in his poetry as much as in his prose and photography. His book, Life as I see It, is about how an individual can interprete different circumstances based on a fundamental understanding of human existence. It contains pictures taken in the course of his travels around the world that relate to a wide array of activities.
Leke Alder has written 12 additional books in the last 18 months. These include Minding Your Business, Brandit, The Great Alchemy, Conversations of a 21st Century Saint, Four Masteries and the Bizkit (a business development kit for entrepreneurs). As the Principal of the successful brand management firm, Alder Consulting, he consults for many of Nigeria’s blue chip companies. He has earned a name as Nigeria’s most influential brand specialist, known for his intellect and creativity. “Alder Consulting is an ideas, strategy and brand consulting firm,” he says. Our mission is to drive innovation, spur development and raise the standards of excellence by corporate example.” He explains that over time, Alder Consulting has employed lawyers, philosophers, scientists, economists, personnel specialists, business administrators, bankers, doctors, mathematicians, computer scientists, humanities graduates and designers. It has been able to deploy insights form these fields in creating unique client solutions. According to him, the success of his business revolves around a work environment characterised by drive, focus, originality and creativity. “Our work environment is intense, yet fun and we try to take time off once every month”, he explains with a smile. “We have a unique culture and our interactions are highly energetic and involving. The fast pace and intensity never ceases to amaze those who come in contact with us.”
The philanthropic Alder
As a lawyer, his thirst for knowledge, integrity and character is sharply modulated by his compassion for humanity. Alder Consulting stages an annual charity photo exhibition to raise support for nine orphanage homes spread across the whole of Nigeria. “The exhibition is just an extension of what we do on a regular basis as a company,” he explains. “We are very, very passionate about social responsibility. We have awarded many scholarships. We take care of many widows and elderly people. Twice in a week, we feed the poor in various locations around Lagos”. All the orphanages supported by the proceeds of the exhibition are speciality ones. Some take care of children that are abandoned on refuse dumps, while others take care of extremely sick children that nobody will ever take care of. “In some of the orphanages the brains of the children are exposed”. The orphanages supported are: the Little Saints Orphanage, Hearts of Gold Children’s Hospice, the Arrows of God Orphanage, SOS Children’s Village, Beth Torrey, Ijamido Children’s, Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment, Lagos Cheshire and Daughters of Divine Love Motherless Babies Homes. “When you attend the exhibition and see the joy of the orphanage officers as they join us in showing the guests around, it is indescribable. The charity exhibition is the largest event of the year for us at Alder Consulting,” says Leke Alder. The exhibitions present a collection
of expertly shot photographs taken by Leke Alder during his annual vacation abroad. “The experience has been interesting since the exhibitions began five years ago,” Leke Alder recalls. “Every year when I travel, I take these photographs. In the last five years, we have spent over N12million organising these exhibitions. When we produce the photographs, we don’t deduct the production and operational costs from the proceeds; rather, we plough it right back into the project. The proceeds from every photograph bought and all the money donated are given to the nine orphanages. We are meeting needs in a way that an ordinary man on the street cannot imagine.” The annual exhibition is not the only project embarked on by Alder Consulting. The organisation also has an Extreme LifeMakeover programme which takes care of a family that is completely down and out. The initiative takes care of the accommodation needs of such families. “We find and furnish the apartment. We put in place everything they will need; from the dining set, to the generator, iron, cooker, borehole, everything you can think of. We fund all that”. At the national level, we also fund projects. What is not known is the fact that we fund most of the programmes we organise. For example, at the brand seminar that we held in Abuja in 2006, we spent about N45 million of our own money in order to educate both the private and public sectors on branding.”
“All of Alder Consulting’s philanthropic initiatives are housed under The Leke Alder Foundation. And we will continue to do more. A lot of the support that the Foundation offers to people covers both Nigeria and abroad”. “Our job - what we have determined for ourselves is to keep these people alive,” explains Leke Alder. “We want to keep hope alive and we are calling other people to join us”. In the area of empowerment, we focus more on entrepreneurs and SMEs. That is what we do and why I write a lot of books. I’m making the knowledge that I have gained from my consulting and from running successful businesses available to SMEs and individuals who need it. That is why the books are doing well in the market. However, no matter how much the Leke Alder Foundation has done to improve the lot of the less privileged, the final solution seems not to be in sight. “The solution to the problem is more complex than training them in craft,” Leke Alder observes. “The fact that we empower them does not mean they will automatically stop being beggars. There are many beggarly talented people. But the problem is that we don’t have a social security system and this is a policy issue. Ideally, we shouldn’t have beggars in the society but in this country, we don’t have an ideal situation. So what can we do? We are a relatively small company. I know most people don’t believe that. But we will do what we can do.”
What determines your choice of ISP?
by: Onodome Jakpor
Nigeria may have little or nothing to offer its citizens by way of political ideology and the provision of basic infrastructure however, the soaring teledensity figures and access to internet services by many suggest that Nigeria has a lot to offer technologically. Mobile phones have become so popular such that anybody without one is given a disdainful second look, likewise cyber cafes can be found in almost every locality. It is common to find 9 or 10-year-olds glued to their computer monitors chatting with their local and international friends on Facebook. Youngsters are not left out of the Internet rave, which provides them the opportunity to shore up their school assignments, clinch life partners and secure great job openings. For media houses, banks and other financial institutions, the Web is now a lifeline without which business and other activities grind to a screeching halt. The recent breakdown of the SAT3 cable and its attendant effect on general activities bear this out quite well. In the midst of all this, there is however a paradox: while most Nigerians appreciate the importance of the Web, only a handful realise that the quality of Internet services depends on the effectiveness of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). “ISPs are organisations that have established the necessary physical connections and equipment to offer Internet connections,” says Jide Awe, founder, Jidaw. Com, an online interactive facility for IT buffs. Today, the number of ISPs (both genuine and phoney) in Nigeria can only be imagined, but 36 they include telecoms companies that blend their regular mobile phone services with Internet supply such as MTN, Glo, Zain, RelTel, Nitel, Multilinks, Starcomms; and companies only known for the provision of Internet services such as Linkserve, Hyperia, Netcom, Rainbownet, 21st Century Technologies, Swift Networks, IPNX, VSAT, among others. Most ISPs provide dial-up and wireless services to Internet consumers for a fee. While the former service is slow and relatively cheap, the latter is much faster and secure, although it is quite expensive to sustain. Though the number of ISPs in the country may be huge, that does not impress Awe, who insists that a technically weak ISP that doesn’t suit personal needs is only a waste of time and valuable resources. “The ISP has to tell you what its technical strength is like, i.e. in terms of personnel and equipment. In view of the number of “cowboys” claiming to be ISPs, such information provided by the ISP should be verified,” says the ICT guru. “Always ask technical questions, no matter how awkward. Is onsite support available? What is their response time to issues like? Is emergency support available? What are the limits, if any, on disk storage, e-mail or other Internet traffic?” The million-dollar question is whether such issues bother consumers or whether consumers will simply patronise any ISP regardless of the quality of its services? “In terms of GSM companies that provide Internet services, Starcomms is the best,”
says Mgbike Vitus, an airline executive. “The quality of service is second to none, and Internet access is stable, unlike what obtains with other telecoms companies that are also ISPs.” Six months ago, 28-year-old Francis Chukwura, an environmentalist, gave up on cyber cafes because he felt the quality of their services was poor and their Internet access wasn’t fast enough. He then opted for the MTN Fastlink, a USB device through which the telecoms giant provides customers pre-paid and post-paid wireless Internet services. “On a scale of 100% I’ll put the MTN Fastlink at 60%. This is because, depending on the weather, it is relatively fast and you can choose your service depending on how fat your pocket is,” he explains. “The only problem is, when the Internet service is down your money is spent regardless. MTN does not consider it necessary to provide a refund for services not rendered. It is still my choice, though.” “In terms of group services, Suburban and Linkserve are the best. However, their charges are so exorbitant that they scare those with low-end services in mind away,” says Ben Uzor, an IT practitioner. “But in terms of personal Internet connectivity, Multilinks remains number one. In the midst of this SAT 3 problem, it has remained constant. It has much better offers than other networks of its kind do.” Despite this, not everybody is bothered. Tosin Orogun, a Lagos-based computer engineer, says, “As far as I’m concerned, all ISPs are the same,” he declares. “It’s just a matter of speed, which is greatly reduced as more and more subscribers join a particular network.”
Even as several respondents insist that IPNX takes pride of place in terms of accessibility, 27-year-old Elijah Balogun, a media practitioner, says RelTel is his pick for the very same reason: “I prefer RelTel because their USIP is the fastest and when you’re browsing the net, speed is everything. Besides, it is the most secure, compared to those of other networks. What’s the point in going for an ISP if it cannot provide me with the services I need at warp speed?” As with everything else in life, personal preferences come into play as far as the choice of an ISP provider is concerned. Increasingly however, Internet awareness and access is growing. Many homes, businesses and companies are fast realising that access to the Internet amounts to holding the entire world in ones palm. Perhaps the growing trend will reduce the cost of Internet access and most of all, spur competition among ISPs for quality services to consumers. However, whether or not all of this will be the case in the near future remains to be seen.
My success as a farmer
Mosun mola Cynthia Umoru, Honeysuckles
My journey into farming started in 2004. When I was at the University, I used to think about what I could do differently. And then, I was privileged to undertake my internship with Exxon Mobil at their Environmental Laboratory. During that period, I realised that I needed more excitement in my life, beyond the regular 9am to 5pm job. I needed satisfaction and that gave me a reason to start digging into what I could do differently. Fortunately, my background is in Zoology which gave me the opportunity to take elective courses in Fisheries while in school. Hence I decided to give farming a try. Initially, Honeysuckles was meant to start off as a fish-farming venture but through the help of my father it took a different turn. I could recall that I was reported by my father to the general manager of the raw sourcing department of Tantalizers that I refused to take on paid employment. Through my discussions with her, I discovered that Tantalizers had problems with sourcing farm produce. I saw it as a good opportunity for me to fill the gap. I latched onto it and I started sourcing snails and later chicken. I had travelled to different parts of the country in search of snails and wherever I was told there were snails in abundance, I would travel down to buy and supply Tantalizers. Along the line, I discovered that snails were seasonal and I became curious and decided to attempt breeding them. That singular, yet interesting experience that I had with the snails has evolved into poultry farming and chicken processing and that was how I got into farming. I started the business in different phases. When I began in 2004, I had just N80,000.
That was all of my savings! That was the money I got from the sale of GNLD products (nutritional herbal supplements) and the cakes I used to bake. I plunged it all into sourcing chickens. Interestingly, in the early part of 2005, a friend read my business plan and he was so impressed by what I had put together that he gave me N300,000. That really helped because I could not get a bank loan at the time. I also obtained a loan from an uncle who was very supportive. Hence, I was able to meet up with the demand for my products. But as the demand grew, I had to get more money. I borrowed money from friends and family, this sustained me for a while. Later in 2006, I obtained a bank loan. It is a challenge to repay bank loans because clients do not pay me as and when due. Unfortunately, clients take products from you and they don’t pay any interest when they default on their payments. The financial institutions however are not concerned about this. I have to pay interest on the loan and this is tough. It is tough because there is no infrastructure for small businesses to grow. I have to obtain land, supply the electricity and put up a building. Everything is a big struggle. There are no commercial parks which I can latch on to to make use of the facilities available. Infrastructure is a big challenge and it is one of the reasons why I admire the courage of entrepreneurs in Nigeria. I have been able to survive through the grace of God and I have depended solely on the grace of God. I have also learnt that people matter a great deal. My relationships are treasured very much. The truth is people really do make things happen for me. Friends, family and staff in different ways have affected
the success and growth of my enterprise. I have learnt to treasure every friendship. I believe everyone is important because they play different roles and each of their contribution is a part of my success. Hence I guard them jealously. When I reflect on my journey so far, I can only say ‘thank you God’, because He is been gracious to me. Through the difficult times, he had always raised help. I have been very fortunate. It used to be very lonely because I thought I could do few things on my own. But I as grew older in the business, I realised that I could not do everything alone. I am never ashamed to ask the right questions. I am not concerned about people’s ridicules. I seek knowledge and look for information that will contribute to the growth of my business. I attend seminars, and last year I was fortunate to be one of Goldman Sach’s recipients of the 10,000 women project. It was an initiative to help women in business in developing countries get business education and it has helped a great deal. Leadership can be a lonely. It is lonely to be at the top, but for me it is different because I have attended seminars where I was able to share my burden with professionals who gave me financial advisory services and legal services and support. That has really transformed my view about business challenges. My farm is at Sango Otta and my first farm operation was in Akute. You can’t be an absentee farmer to be successful. But at the moment, I am working on an expansion project where I will have the processing unit by the end of the year. My space is a unique one. Seldom, there are women who are very successful in agriculture. A lot of women run their
businesses from their handbags. Very few of them have financial literacy. I have to attend seminars to get most of that. Another benefit I have gained from people is that they serve as an ad hoc committee for my business. They point me in the right direction and this has helped a great deal. I have also discovered that every day my problems differ. In the beginning, I thought my problem was half a million naira. Today, for me to say I am comfortable, I am looking at hundreds of millions. Life is in phases and my business is actually evolving by the day. I am in a different phase today, a major expansion phase. There is a belief that in Africa businesses never survive their fifth birthday. Interestingly, it’s our fifth birthday this year. It is a critical time for me. I believe Honeysuckles is here to stay and very soon it will become a household name in Nigeria. The future is bright because I have learnt and realised that I can do so much. The opportunities that exist in the country are enormous. Nigerians actually appreciate good products and are willing to pay for value. This is encouraging for me because what it means is that I only need to get my business structured properly and that is the only way I can meet the market demands. I plan to start a retail farm shop where people can get fresh agricultural produce, most of which will be sourced from our farm while others will be sourced from neighbouring farms. The vision is to get quality farm produce to the doorsteps of people. Customers can walk in to buy or call our telephone lines to order.
Qualification: BSc. in Zoology, Lagos State University Ojo, Alumnus of the Pan African University (EDS), Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management(CEM 7). Member Farmers Association of Nigeria alongside the Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association (LASCAFA). AWARDS: American Women’s Club Undergraduate Scholarship(2000-2003) GoldMan Sach’s 10,000 women Entrepreneurs Scholarship (2008) www.10,000women.org Business Owner of the Year (The Future Awards ‘09) www.thefuturenigeria.com Young Achievers Award (The Fountain of Life Church ’09)
Text by Adedoyin Johnson
The sweetness of victory
by: Adedoyin Johnson
in Gulder Ultimate Search VI, I made it to the sea school, was among the final 10, and also became the winner! In this interview Uche Nwaezeapu, winner of the just concluded Gulder Ultimate Search VI, tells Adedoyin Johnson his experience in the Omodo forest and how good it feels to win
God led me to find the horn
It was the favour of God that made me find the Horn of Valour. I did not know it was hidden where I eventually found it, otherwise I would have gone there first. We had searched everywhere for hours and I was too tense. I touched everything that I could touch, pushed stones, and dug tree roots. Then I saw another stone and rocks and I just decided to search further, then I eventually found it.
How I felt when I found the Horn of Valour
I felt great. I was a feeling out of this world. After trying for four years and finally winning, it was not just about being one of the ten contestants. I won knowing that the first runner up, Melvin, might have been the one to find the horn. I am so thankful to Nigerian Breweries and Gulder for this opportunity.
Times I felt like quitting
My experience was tough. In six days we only had two pieces of very small yam to go around and we had that yam, twice for six days. Honestly at the time, I considered going back home. I just wanted to leave the place to return home to some food, I eventually found a way to take my mind off food. It really helped since when others felt as though they would evaporate, I was just fine and okay even though I was hungry.
My four years of trying to be on the show
The first time I tried out for the Ultimate Search, I did it because I loved the concept of the competition. Because I am determined, persistent and consistent, I could not help but try again the following year. I failed again in the third year, yet I refused to let the failure affect me. It all started when I applied for the Gulder Ultimate Search III where I lost after getting to sea school. In Gulder Ultimate Search IV, I didn’t get to sea school but I got to the point of undergoing medical tests, yet I wasn’t selected. Then in Gulder Ultimate Search V, I got to sea school but didn’t make it from there. However, finally
My silence as a tactic
I wrote on my totem that I am determined and cool. The quietness was not a strategy, it was just my nature. I have two sides, the determined side and the cool side. It is difficult to single out a task as most challenging because every task was challenging. The next
day always brought a larger challenge than the challenge faced on the day. This is the first time I have competed in a show like this. I did not view it as punishment though, it is a game. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
What I like about Stardom
Stardom opens doors. You get favours and you get things done faster than any other person. I also like the fact that people like you and want to meet and get to know you. I believe I will handle it well, since I am a cool headed person. Naturally, I like meeting people and making friends and though it will be a little bit different, I won’t let the money get into my head since all I need is self control. My friends will remain my friends, my girlfriend remains my girlfriend, and my family remains my family. The relationship I had with them before I won will be the same.
The prize money
To be honest, I am not used to having all this money, otherwise I would not feel as excited as I feel right now. However, I am not hungry or poor and I was very comfortable before I came to compete in the Gulder Ultimate Search show. Now I can say I am more comfortable.
I dread being poor
When I go out and see children sleeping under the bridge, or see people living under harsh conditions, I know that I do not such a life for myself. Hence one of the fears I have is of not being rich. I dread it so much that it has provided the determination and persistence to pursue any dream I have or to have the ability to excel in whatever I lay my hands on.
What I will do with the prize money of N7 million
As the Gulder Ultimate Search winner, I go home with a cash prize of N7 million, an SUV worth about N10 million, N500,000 wardrobe allowance and other fringe benefits. The first the idea in my head now is how multiply this money and make it ten times bigger than it is now. Investments are not really advisable now when you considering the state of the stock market. Besides, it doesn’t have to be investment in shares only. There could be investments in physical assets like landed property and other kinds of investments. I intend to invest the money. I am also going to delve into entertainment and also business. A whole lot of things will unfold as time goes by.
I will not get another girl friend
I am staying with my current girl friend. We had a relationship before I won all this money and I will not abandon her now that I am a millionaire. I am fine with her and we will stay together. When other girls come around -and I know they will, I will politely let them know that I have a girlfriend who means much to me. We met last year and have been together for over a year. All I can say is that she is a nice person. She is very sweet and beautiful. If I had the opportunity to choose another woman, I would go for her over and over again.
I hail from Ibuzo in Delta state and I am the first son in my family. I have a brother and a sister. I have wonderful family and we are fun loving people. I am a recent graduate of Economics from the Olabisi Onabanjo University and I reside in Surulere, Lagos.
en a couple of days ago I was sitting here dumbfounded o. If I tell you say I no dey fear that day na lie. Hmm, let me give you the gist. See, my uncle V and aunt M are in town visiting, and I tell you, they are the most stressful people you’ll ever meet. Nice though, but very stressful. They always want one thing or the other. They also go to one church like this in Nige…it’s sorta controversial I think, so they’re always telling all kinds of stories about how people do jazz, blah blah blah. Chai, I’ve started with my long story again. To cut it short sha, they received a phone call on friday morning from their son in Nige, who’s a little older than I am. All I could hear was my aunty saying; “Eh? Kilode?” (What’s the matter?)
“Haaaaaaa! O ya were ke?” (She’s gone mad ke?) “What is she saying?” “Ehhhhhh?????” “Jesu ke? Mo gbe.” (I’m in trouble) “Ha! Were ni yen looto o!” (That’s a sign of madness for real o!) “I plead the blood of Jesus! I cover her with the blood of Jesus! No weapon…..” She was trembling, while my uncle and mum looked on. “Put her on the phone, I’ll give it to the junior pastor now.” The thing didn’t even click. Who be junior pastor? Next thing I know, she rushes up to me and hands me the receiver. “Oya Fineboy, talk to her, it’s Basira, the housegirl.” Shuo! Me ke? Why? “Err…what happened?” She shouted, “Pray for her now! She’s suffering from spiritual attack. Shebi you were an
assistant pastor in America. Hurry up!” See me see trouble o. I took the receiver. Me- Hello BasiratMamaaaaaaaay! Jesus. My aunt (to me)- Pray for her now! Plead the blood of Jesus. Me- Basirat, what’s wrong? Basirat- Wiiiiiiiiiiiii! Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Wiiiiiiiiiiii! Chineke. This girl don kolo for real o. My uncle- Pray for her now!!!!! Me- Errrrrm…..
Basirat- “Yeeeeeee! Jesu n no mi! Jesu no mi o! Yeeeeeeee!” (Jesus is flogging me! He’s beating me o!) Me (looking back)- Ha. Uncle, this one is serious o. Uncle- Pray now! Basirat- Yeeeee! Jesu no boto si mi lara o! (Jesus is flogging the heck outta me o!) Me- Why’s he beating you? Na una sabi. Wetin I for ask? I was so shocked by it all men, it was like I was in a movie or something. Which kin’ wahala be this? All because I gave them one fabu that me I used to be an assistant pastor with my pastor uncle in America. Chineke! It’s not good to lie, especially about church o.
Basirat- Wiiiiiiiiiii! Yeeeee! O wo white! O noooo mii! (He’s dressed in white! He’s flogging me!) I looked at my aunt, who was standing there with a horrified look on her face. She now stood at a distance, as if she was scared that the mad housegirl would jump out of the phone. I come begin wonder; “Wait, mad person dey answer phone?” “Aunty, are you sure you don’t need a psychiatrist for this girl?” “It’s the power of prayer! Pray for her jo!” I noticed she stayed a good distance away. Me- Er, In Jesus’ name….. Basirat- Wiiiiiiiii! Maaaamaaaaay! Wooooooooo!” Yeepa! Me- Erm, in Jesus… Basirat- Wooooooooo! Ahhhhhhhh! Ha! Omo, this thing that I’m saying like joke like this, it wasn’t funny at the time o. Anytime I mentioned Jesus, she would scream her head off. Which kin’ trouble I go find myself like this? You people must think I make this stuff up; it’s so ridiculous. Me- You are healed in Jesus’ name. Basirat- Yeeeee! Iwo! Iwo! (You!) Omo, I no do again men. If you hear the shrillness of her voice eh? I was bloody shaking. Imagine, from London o. I don’t know why but there’s something extra scary about Naija madness.
I couldn’t hack it anymore so I gave my aunty the phone, who passed it to my uncle. He now started praying over the phone and then finally spoke to my cousin, whom he told to take her to the hospital. Apparently, they found out later that she had acute malaria and had just been delirious. Na wa o. I never see where malaria patient dey go mad like that before o. Whew! Thank God it’s over sha, because that scared the ish out of me. It was even more scary ‘cos that my aunty and uncle are always talking about how they exorcise demons and things in their church. I come begin fear say this winch fit come jam me for night. This one wey Jesus dey flog am, she must be a really evil person. Okay, sorry o my people. Just had to vent. I know you’re wondering how I got the title of junior pastor. Okay let me give you the gist briefly. See, my uncle (my mum’s younger brother) lives in the states and has been there for like 30 years. He became a pastor like 20 years ago. When I say pastor, I don’t mean like Naija type pastor. I mean like those yankee style “Can I get an amen?” type pastors. The guy come look like American again. As in he’s a fine boy pastor o, with his bald head. The guy even gives them yankee-style pastor suits. Green, maroon, off-white…gbo gbo e. The guy get all kin’ funny colour suits. And his congregation is mostly African-American o. Anyhow, when I first moved to Yankee, I stayed with him and my aunt Desiree. See I was worried, ‘cos I thought it’d be hard living with a pastor, but he was cool as hell men. The first Sunday I was there, I had given them jeans, loafers and a blazer to church. My uncle of
course, had given them on baggy lime green suit like that. “FB!!! You can’t wear that o! You don’t know you’re an assistant pastor now!” That’s how it started. When I started running wild with all those freshman babes on campus, my mum would call and my uncle would tell her, “Don’t worry about Fineboy, he’s an assistant pastor here o. He’s being a good boy.” I guess it was just his way of covering for me. I love that dude. My mum was proud o. She started telling all her friends that I was a proper church boy now. One time she called and my uncle V and aunt M were with her. Uncle V asked me “So I heard you’re an assistant pastor. That’s good o. We can never have enough prayer. God is good.” Ye! I couldn’t deny it now. Me sef I replied that God was wonderful and in fact, I used to preach some Sundays. Na so the thing start o. They’ve been calling me a junior pastor since, and as per they’re proper born again Christians, I haven’t had the nerve to tell them I was only joking that day. Na wetin cause my wahala today be that o. Pastor ko, pastor ni. Don’t get it twisted though, I used to do stuff in that church for real o. As in, I used to give them full suit and tie every Sunday, and I was a ‘senior usher.’ But I was useless meeeeen. I dey always get one scoin-scoin or the other. I remember once when my uncle called me to the front to start behind people he was praying for. I took off my jacket and went and stood in front of the whole congregation. Meeen, that’s how one babe walked to the front for prayer.
Hot Damn! When I say babe, I mean BABE. She was smoking hot, thick in all the right places….you know those African American girls that have been eating chicken and biscuits their whole lives. Lord have mercy. I know I was in church, and na good good holy thoughts I suppose dey think, but I couldn’t help it men. Kai. She had on a tight pencil skirt with one white shirt and some heels. The walk sef was mad…..one of those girls that are just hot without even trying or realising it. Mm mm mm. Yeepa, I felt something start to shift in my trozziz. Aaaaaah! In front of the whole church. Which kin’ wahala be this, and I don off my jacket! Omo, that’s how my John Thomas started rising o. Yeeeee! My uncle moved to start praying for her and signalled for me to position myself behind her so that I could break her fall. (You know Yankee people gots to fall when Pastor prays for them now.) Omo! The babe took a step back so that the booty was right in front of me. Chei, I comot my eye quick quick. But it was too late men. John Thomas just dey rise, and rise, and rise. And because I had no jacket there was no way to hide it. I come begin think about different things. I tried to imagine Iya Bose, one fried yam seller in Lagos standing in front of me. No luck. John Thomas no gree o. Ha, see me see wahala. Sister Harriet, one yeye amebo usher like that, was looking at
me from across the front with one disgusted look on her face. I used style to twist my waist so she couldn’t see the full extent of the damage. This one na catastrophe o. Na so I begin say the Lord’s prayer in Yoruba. My brother once said that was the best way to curb this kind of problem. I tried to remember the words. Baba wa ti m be l’orun. . Ki ijoba re de. Err…I no remember the next line. That’s how pastor said something in the prayer that made her jump up and down waving her hands in the air vigorously. Yeepa. *wiggle wiggle* I wan die. My bolongo now chaaaaaaarged at fuuuuuulll attention. I felt like a sinner man. Why na for inside church wey Tarzan go come dey elongate like this? Men when the babe finally fell backwards into me, I knew she felt it. I tried to pull back well well, but I couldn’t avoid it men. She stayed on the floor for like 15 minutes. Omo, I thought she had fainted from the force of John Bull’s power sef. Men after that day, I dey wear jacket before I catch anybody o. I was utterly useless at the job, to be honest, because I have another bad habit. I can’t suppress my laughter when I find something funny, no matter how serious the environment I’m in is. One time I was standing at the front holding the offering bowl while one Naija woman gave her thanksgiving testimony.
“Praaaaaaaiiiiiise the Lord. God have been very good to me. For ten years, they say my husband will not see visa. The enemies is angry with us for many years because we are doing the work of God.” Hehn?? Shellomastic! I held the air in my mouth so I wouldn’t explode. The church was deathly silent, and I tried my hardest not to laugh. But the woman no gree o. She just dey drop bomb upon bomb. “But people of God, I just want to say thanks to our fada in heaven and this our pastor. This pastor is a good person. Even when they diagonise my husband with cancer, he stand by me, praying for me… DIAGONISE??? Is that a word? Omo I was fighting hard to suppress the laughter. I was dying to explode, I come begin look up and down…and then “But praise God because I have defeat all the enemy that have attempting to wicked my family!” Yeeparipa! Men I just burst out laughing and ran to the back of the Church. I couldn’t help it men. That was my last day as an “assistant pastor” o. My uncle didn’t find it funny at all. I had to explain to him that it wasn’t my fault, “it’s work of enemy.” Yo I’ll holla soon y’all. God forgive me for this post.
By: Mr Fineboy
There is no better way to get through to your hard to reach customers.
Call: (UK) + 44 20 8144 3403 or (Nig) +234-1-803 568 8896, +234-1-9565646 & +234-1-703 417 5968 for a Media Pack.
The portrait of an artist
By: Adedoyin Johnson
ork for female artists is never just the moment when they write or do other kinds of art like painting or photography, but it is a time spent in a deep reflection and research. A kind of voyage into that solitary space in the mind is more often, for an artist, a place where dreams and visions enter and sometimes a place where nothing happens. The need for this construed, uninterrupted space is often far more frightening to those who watch an artist enter it. It is in such a world that Ndidi Dike has rightfully claimed a space. Ndidi Dike is possibly one of Nigeria’s foremost sculptors. She majored in multimedia painting at the University of Nigeria Nsukka where she graduated in 1984. She taught herself to sculpt and has been practicing professionally and her career spans more than eight solo exhibitions and fortyeight group exhibitions which have taken her to countries like England, Sweden, Germany, the United States of America, Tunisia, Senegal, Italy, Indonesia, and Cuba among others. Dike’s art is a master of many genres of visual arts such as multimedia, installation
and construction. Her works produce a consciousness of the sumptuousness of the looted heritage of the African art. It also arouses a response that gives rise to a new kind of African art. The strength of her discovery serves as a lesson for those who dispatch the emblems, motifs and symbols of African heritage to foreign lands and who fail to see that they contain messages for the shaping and wellbeing of the community. For many years, variety has been the essential creative strategy favoured by Dike. Some of her panels incorporate varied elements like leather, brass heads, copper wire, cowry shells, coins, beads and rings. Beyond the sense of form and composition that permeate Dike’s work is the basic concern for the healing of Africa’s design elements that are faced with the prospect of destruction. Given the pace at which the infusion of western design occurs in Africa, Dike’s mission is in tandem with an essentially Africanist position. A survey of her works also demonstrate the fact that Dike ties some of her sculptural forms and motifs together by enfolding them within a design derived from postage stamps, thus speaking in restrained forms
about her passage into global spaces of international art practice and discourse. Modern postage stamps exist as a legacy of the colonial system of communication; they assure uninhibited movement across tightly circumscribed spaces of global capitalism. Dike is an artist who prides herself as one of the Uli ambassadors, as an abstract sculpture and painter. A combination of this and a reflection on her past gave birth to the title of her latest exhibition Tapestry of Life, which opened at the National Museum Gallery, Onikan, Lagos from April 26 till May 10, 2008. It is predominantly a product of some paintings she has worked on since 2004. “It is just the coming together of the things I see everyday. What I have tried to do is to bring different aspects of life together. It doesn’t have to be literary.” It is the passion for the job and the determination to expand her repertoire which sustain Dike and not the peanuts which she rakes in from her various exhibitions. “I believe I should not remain stagnant but have to improve on what I have done before. I should keep evolving as the years go by. I try to bring up new techniques so that I can continue to engage my audience. It is the environment and what I see in some aspects of tradition that inspire me.” Dike has not yet reached her zenith, in spite of the numerous exhibitions where she has registered her presence both home and abroad. Dike is not like some artists who work everyday of their lives as she takes some time off work; she may not work for several months. “I think I try to rest and I can’t really say I plan ahead of time. I may not work for seven months but when I get back to work, the result is usually fantastic.”
As an artist, Dike is a brand; it therefore, did not come as a surprise that so much has been put into the making of the brand Ndidi Dike. “Branding is an aspect of my creativity that I have taken seriously. It has not been easy combining the creative and business aspects of my job, but I try my best. I rely on my clientele and I have built up a good profile and reputation which has also helped me. The clientele keeps expanding with each exhibition. I do not have any sponsors. It is very difficult to get sponsors to sponsor art exhibitions.” Dike has been restless when it comes to style and she is someone who gets bored when a style becomes repetitive hence, after several years of doing sculpture she fearfully veered into painting, a terrain that is entirely new and different. “The painting is the new beginning and a look into my visual repertoire. I started with the sketches on paper because I wasn’t confident. The first one I did on canvass is titled Wall Gecko Tells after this, I felt confident that I could paint on canvass. I had this overwhelming composure to paint. I have my own vocabulary and alphabet and my paintings still have the sculptor touch to them. I’m not bored or confused with sculptor.” Even within her paintings, it is the same Ndidi Dike that one sees, just like her sculptures. It is a kind of continuum. “I am an abstract painter, she says, and I can identify with the works of the likes of Ben Osagai, Olu Amoda and Kainebi. Abstract works speak back to me. The most difficult time for me when I work is the conceptualisation of the work. The intellectual side is difficult. In my subconscious, a lot of ideas go on until they mature, I don’t put them down.”
the One 9ja Million Dollar Gameshow
By: Sam Omoruyi
It was 10am on a Friday morning when the
Lagos regional launch of the Etisalat One 9ja Million Dollar Game show kicked off. It was a day filled with expectation from the participants, as they progressed through the process of getting their mobile tickets scanned, there was an unmistakable spell of excitement and expectation on their faces. Amongst the participants was George Anozie, a man in his late 20s. He arrived early, got registered and was quite vocal from the moment he stepped into the venue about the fact that anyone who cared to listen was told that he (George) was going to win millions of naira. The show began when the host, Djinee gave his presentation speech. The Regional Manager of First bank was then called on to the stage to operate the game show machine
for a random selection of participants. As fate would have it, George Anozie’s ticket was the first to be picked and announced. He responded by running all the way to the stage and with clenched fists, he made triumphant gestures. The gameshow was well underway and when it was George’s turn to play the game, he shouted “080….” and the audience responded “Naija!” in response. “Number 34” Anozie said and before he could press the number 34, he was interrupted by Djinee with a question, “Why Number 34?” Anozie responded by saying “The spirit led me” and then he pressed the button on the game show console. There was an eerie silence across the whole hall as the screen at the back of the stage revealed the number selected along with the words “One Million Naira!” Everyone shouted in unison as Anozie leapt for Joy.
You are what you wear.
There were nine teams in all and each team selected 6 boxes on the game show console. Anozie’s team winnings in total amounted to 2.2 million naira with 2,150,000 naira attributable to Anozie as his actual wins. There were also lots of other non cash prizes and Etisalat branded gifts, up for grabs through dancing competitions and contests such as “remember the lyric”. George who is quite passionate about his work as the public relations officer for a Non Governmental Organisation vowed to use a good proportion of his winnings to fund an initiative of the NGO. The day ended with the handing out of goody bags to all the invitees and participants.
will give a percentage of the money to God and another percentage will be spent on my academics. I will invest the remaining portion in business. I hope to do something that involves Etisalat. However, before I do that, I will seek my parents’ advice. Gerald John Egeonu (1 million naira won): I will invest all my prize money in stocks. I don’t intend to spend anything out of it. Babatunde Coker (1.1 million naira won): I have been paid and I am glad I had the opportunity to win. I intend to invest my money in Etisalat. I hope to become one of the biggest Etisalat dealers in Kaduna. Kabir K-2 (50,000 naira won): I will do business with my money. It is not advisable to be frivolous with this kind of money. I have not yet decided on the kind of business I want to get involved in, but I hope to come up with a good plan.
Updates on some of the winners at the Kaduna Gameshow
Umar Saliu Abubakar (1 million naira won): I
Malaria, Africa’s number one killer
By: Adedoyin Johnson
It was few minutes before mid-day when Kolawole Olukoya
ran into a friend at the Atan Cemetery at Yaba, Lagos. His friend was attending the burial of a 24-year-old girl who died of malaria. As a microbiologist, Olukoya could not believe that in these modern times, people still die of malaria. Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes, which has been troubling the African continent for centuries. It was once thought that the disease came from fetid marshes, hence the name mal aria, meaning bad air. In 1880, scientists discovered the real cause of malaria, a onecell parasite called plasmodium. Later they discovered that the parasite is transmitted from person to person through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, which requires blood to nurture her eggs. Today, approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, mostly those living in the world’s poorest countries are at risk of malaria. The disease was once more widespread, but was successfully eliminated from many countries with temperate climates during the mid 20th century. Now, malaria
is found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and causes more than 300 million acute illnesses and at least one million deaths annually. The vast majority of malaria deaths occur in Africa, south of the Sahara, where malaria also presents major obstacles to social and economic development, even though it could be controlled for a fraction of that sum. There are several reasons why Africa bears an overwhelming proportion of the malaria burden. Most malaria infections in Africa south of the Sahara are caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the most severe and life threatening form of the disease. This region is also home to the most efficient, and therefore deadly, species of the mosquitoes, which transmit the disease. Moreover, many countries in Africa lack the infrastructures and resources necessary to mount sustainable campaigns against malaria and as a result few benefited from historical efforts to eradicate malaria. In Africa today, malaria is understood to be both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty. Annual economic growth in countries with high malaria transmission has historically been lower than in countries without malaria. Economists believe that malaria is responsible for a growth penalty of up to 1.3 percent per annum in some African countries. When compounded over the years, this penalty leads to substantial differences in the Gross Domestic Product between countries with and without malaria and severely restrains the economic growth of the entire region. Malaria also has a direct impact on Africa’s human resources. Not only does malaria result in lost life and lost productivity due to illness and premature death, but malaria also hampers
children’s schooling and social development through both absenteeism and permanent neurological and other damage associated with severe episodes of the disease. Akin Sowunmi, a professor of science at the University of Ibadan explains that there are people who specialise in the treatment of malaria and there are those who look at how the body mounts up or defends itself against malaria, and they can use the knowledge to develop vaccines. Sowunmi explains that malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum and is transmitted by Anopheles gambiae complex. According to him, efforts are being made by specialists to control the sickness while research is still on going for developing anti-malaria drugs and vaccines for a better understanding of the pathogenesis, vector dynamics, epidemiology, and socioeconomic aspects of the disease. An international collaborative approach is needed to build appropriate research in a national context and to effectively translate research results into practical applications in the field. The Multilateral Initiative for Malaria in Africa can combine all of the above strategies to plan and coordinate partnerships, networking, and innovative approaches between African scientists and their Northern partners. One of the greatest challenges facing Africa in the fight against malaria is drug resistance says Lekan Adebanwo, a researcher. Resistance to chloroquine, the cheapest and most widely used anti-malarial, is common throughout Africa particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the continent. “Resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, often seen as the first and least expensive alternative to chloroquine, is also increasing
in east and southern Africa. As a result of these trends, many countries are having to change their treatment policies and use drugs which are more expensive, including a combinations of drugs, which it is hoped will slow the development of resistance,” he says. Adebanwo says a number of factors appear to contribute to the resurgence of malaria on the continent. A primary factor is the rapid spread of resistance of malaria parasites to chloroquine and the other quinolines. Frequent armed conflicts and civil unrest in many countries are forcing large populations to settle under difficult conditions, sometimes in areas of high malaria transmission. He adds that the present strategy for malaria control, adopted by the Ministerial Conference on Malaria in Amsterdam in 1992, is to prevent death, reduce illness, and decrease social and economic loss due to the disease. “Its practical implementation requires two main tools: first, drugs for early treatment of the disease, management of severe and complicated cases, and prophylactic use on the most vulnerable groups of the population, particularly pregnant women; second, insecticide-treated nets for protection against mosquito bites. Each tool has its own problems in regard to field implementation,” he explains. According to him, Chloroquine remains the first-line therapy for malaria. However, the
alarming increase in resistance in eastern and southern Africa requires that sulfadoxinepyrimethamine replace chloroquine as the first-line drug. “Chloroquine remains the drug of choice in most of sub-Saharan Africa,” he adds.
There are at least 300 million acute cases of malaria each year globally, resulting in more than a million deaths. Malaria has been estimated to cost Africa more than US$ 12 billion every year Around 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa, mostly in young children. Malaria is Africa’s leading cause of under-five mortality (20 percent) and constitutes 10 percent of the continent’s overall disease burden. It accounts for 40 percent of public health expenditure, 30-50 percent of inpatient admissions, and up to 50 percent of outpatient visits in areas with high malaria transmission. Source: www.rollbackmalaria.org
y experience this month occurred by chance. On my way back home on a Friday, after a long day at work, my husband suggested we stop over to watch a movie. This, on the surface seemed like a nice romantic gesture, the reality however is that, it was a suggestion borne out of the need to avoid the Lekki Expressway traffic. We both agreed to meet at the Silverbird Galleria to watch the movie and unfortunately, it was sold out. After having a drink at the Galleria, we headed to the other cinema on ‘the Island’ (that is, if you fall within the category of Lagosians who view Lekki as being on ‘the island’), Genesis Deluxe Cinemas at the Palms Shopping Mall. When we arrived at the cinema to our amazement, I discovered that the ticket cost N500 each instead of the usual N1000 or N1500. It was great to discover that on Fridays and Saturdays after 9pm, all movies cost N500 and there is a Wednesday all day bargain for N500! Furthermore, the ticketing process was fast and efficient. The cinema was not as rowdy as the first one we visited. A quick tip for those who want a less rowdy ambience, Genesis Deluxe is the place to be. The queues at the popcorn stand were orderly and they were not long and the attendants were happy to provide mixed popcorn (for those of us who like both sugared and salted popcorn in the same bag).
Now at this point I am basking (actually swimming) in the euphoria of the fact that our movie cost N500 each and the popcorn queue did not guarantee lateness to the movie. My excitement was cut short when I walked past the toilet. The stench that assailed us was bad, no terrible. Words cannot describe the stench that engulfed us. I could not help but run into the cinema to avoid inhaling the foul odour. I was so traumatised, that after the movie ended, I had the presence of mind to remember to hold my breath whilst walking past that toilet, yet I did not actually venture into the toilets. What I also liked about watching a movie at that hour was the fact that the cinema hall was half full which was nice, there was no random applause, unsolicited commentary by others and the really irritating habit of people chatting on their mobile phones during the screening or worse, those really annoying ring tones (if you need to listen to Chris Brown please use your I pod, you don’t impress me by waiting to get to the chorus before you pick up your phone!) In conclusion, I had a good evening out. Check out their website which is quite useful at www.genesisdeluxecinemas.com/ lekkilagos.html
Ambience: 8/10 Food experience (buying and eating): 7/10 Movie experience: 8/10 Toilet: 0/10
How excited do you get when you think
of tasty luxurious ice cream especially on a hot Saturday afternoon? The Ice Cream factory is the place to go to on such a day. Owned by Folusho and Shade Ogunleye (yes, they are married), customers have a choice of over 23 flavours of ice cream at any time when they visit the shop. The ice cream offered is all home made with approximately 70% of the ingredients sourced locally. The ice cream factory however, is not all about ice cream, the menu also offers an endless array of suitable complements, all made in-house, such as- dessert crepes, apple crumbles, belgian waffles, brownies, cookies, and an array of cheesecakes and muffins. Due to the growing coffee culture, in Shade’s words, they also provide freshly brewed coffee on the premises. Folusho and Shade have not always owned a business, until fairly recently they were full time working professionals based in the United Kingdom; Folusho, an Economics graduate with an MA from the University of Aberdeen, worked as a Financial Analyst with British Petroleum and Shell International for a number of years, whilst Shade, a Chartered accountant with a degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury and an MSc. from the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science, worked for a few years at the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Consensus Business Group.
The couple however, always nurtured plans of moving home to own a business of their own. It was not all smooth sailing though. Initially they intended to bring in the Haagen Dazs franchise to Nigeria upon discovering that there was no Haagen Dazs shop in the whole of Africa! However, their application was to no avail since the interest in Nigeria was not shared by Haagen Dazs, they then considered and indeed approached a high end South African ice cream brand, also to no avail. The frustration associated with these initial set backs led them to seek some direction from God and eventually they decided on the option of learning how to make their own ice cream so that they could set up their own shop without the need to pay any prohibitive franchise fees. The initial set backs turned out to be a blessing in disguise. To gain the skills required in setting up such a venture, Foluso and Shade attended a worldclass training programme on frozen dessert production in the United States. After several months of research and practice in their own kitchen and random sampling with friends and family, the ice cream factory was birthed. Their belief is that the quality of the ice cream speaks for itself and in Shade’s words,
The Ice Cream Factory
by Derin Adefulu
Homemade ice cream at its best
“though it is expensive to make ice cream from scratch, especially using the ingredients we use, it is worth it- since you can actually taste the difference, we don’t use ice cream powder mixes or artificial flavouring”. The idea behind the name ice cream factory, according to Folusho “was to get a name that was catchy, simple and direct, which immediately you hear, you think of a place where ice cream is churned and makes you want to get some ice cream”. In terms of a target market, their belief is that ice cream has a wide appeal and that almost everyone has a sweet tooth locked up on the inside. They try not to exclude any age group or perceived target audience, everyone is welcome.
Though the response to the opening of the shop has been great in their words, they do still face challenges. The major challenge in running their business is infrastructure. The nature of their business requires constant electricity supply and due to the limited power supply, they have had to invest in a back up generator and an inverter. They also plan to buy an additional generator due to the appalling electricity supply. Expansion plans for the shop include having a major presence in every major city across Nigeria; though in the short term, their focus is on opening more branches in Lagos. The ice cream factory is located at Plot 1613B, Omega Bank Avenue, Off Adeola Hopewell Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Tel: 01-8780463
“Their belief is that the quality of the ice cream speaks for itself”
Not yet Uhuru for Nigerian Education
by Adedoyin Johnson
St. Bernadette Grammar School, Oyo
State is a beehive of activities on an August morning. Students run after a plastic ball from one end of the expansive field to the other. They are engrossed in their mini football match unmindful of other activities going on around them. The ding-dong sound of a bell down the hallway and the cloudy weather suddenly cut short their fun as they scuttle back into their classrooms. The classrooms at the school may not be a friendly sight to behold for a first time visitor, however the comportment of the students that afternoon shows that they are used to learning in classrooms with leaking roofs. When the issue of Nigeria’s educational system today is raised, the first set of thoughts that come to mind are: a rapid decline in standards, deterioration of facilities, examination malpractices and the mass promotion syndrome. Badejo Adenipekun, an educationist, says these problems call for an in-depth study and analysis aimed at tutoring every stakeholder in the education system on how their actions and inactions have individually and collectively contributed to the collapsing state of education in Nigeria. “Knowledge and skill acquisition which education is all about cannot be over emphasised,” he says. Successful development entails more than investing in physical capital, or closing the gap in capital. It also entails acquiring and using knowledge as well as closing the gaps in knowledge.”
In addition, to successfully confront the challenges of development, he believes that a developing country must acquire and adapt global knowledge and create knowledge locally, invest in human capital to increase the ability to absorb and use knowledge and invest in technology to facilitate both the acquisition and absorption of knowledge. Babs Fafunwa, a professor and former Minister of education once defined education as: “the aggregate of all the processes by which a child or adult develops the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour which are of positive value to the society in which he lives, that is to say, it is a process of disseminating knowledge either to ensure social control or to guarantee rational direction of the society or both.” Going by this definition in relation to the state of education and its process in the country today, as well as the attitude of its providers, the state of the Nigerian educational system, does not align with the vision of Fafunwa. According to Femi Oyekunle, a student of Computer Science at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, he does not have any access to computers at school and all his lectures are based on theory. “It is sad that I cannot put to practice the theories I am taught in class.There are few computers in the laboratory. We don’t even have practical sessions. I thought the school would provide some for us but that seems like a dream,” he says. Victor E. Dike is an assistant Professor of Information Technology and in his opinion it is
pertinent for the government to understand the role of modern information and educational technologies in the educational development of the nation. “Developmentconscious societies are constantly restructuring, updating and equipping their educational institutions with modern technologies, but Nigeria is still lagging far behind in acquiring the rudimentary technologies for its educational institutions,” he explains. According to him, the engineering departments of the nation’s tertiary institutions sorely lack the basic tools for effective teaching and learning. Thus, the problems facing the nation today emanate from the paucity of information and educational technologies in the nation’s citadel of learning from where ideas for national development emanate. Therefore, there is the need for modern information and educational technologies at all levels of Nigeria’s educational institutions. Hence, employers of labour and teachers are compelled to ask such questions as what has actually gone wrong with the education system considering the enormity of its effect on the output from the system in the area of productivity and the degree of acceptance in the labour market and educational institutions, especially outside the country. The response, explains S.I Omofonmwan, a lecturer at the Department of Geography and Planning, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, will be the militating factors stemming from the incidence of examination malpractice, poor facilities and indiscriminate mass promotion syndrome in schools. According to him, the causes of these could be traced to the government’s insensitivity to
our education needs and the lack of the spirit of hard work among students. “Unfortunately, education in Nigeria is bisected with a myriad of problems,” he says. “These include: poor funding leading to poor educational infrastructure, inadequate classrooms and teaching aids (projectors, computers, laboratories and libraries), paucity of quality teachers and poor or polluted learning environment.” In addition to these inadequacies, he explains, the school system is plagued with numerous social vices such as examination malpractices, cultism, hooliganism and corruption. However, he says for a meaningful development to take place in the educational sector, government needs to re-address the issue of funding. Adenipekun is of the opinion that private educational investors, teachers, parents and students need a re-orientation towards achieving the goals of education. He adds that education must be made affordable for all and sundry and the current monolithic approach to knowledge acquisition must be changed. Technical education and innovation centres must be encouraged and well funded, if this nation must move out of this present technological and scientific dependence. Government and the organized private sector must as well fund research programmes, inventions and mass production of invented products. To this end, Bimpe Oyeleye, a secondary school teacher says the foundation of a good education is laid at the primary and secondary school levels hence a good learning environment and good infrastructure are important for good education.
Sites Worth a Visit
www.fusionng.com Fusion media presents the O twins
www.sleeknigeria.com Hair and makeup at its best
www.lagostate.gov.ng The official website of Lagos state
www.lcc.com.ng The company executing the Lagos infrastucture project along the Lekki Peninsular
www.freedomfoundationng.org A non governmental organisation pioneering social reformation in Nigeria
Sinto & Biggie
Afro/European Hairstylists 721 Old Kent Road, London. 020 76357340, 07984385090
African Foods 16C Market Row, Brixton, London. 07863309258
Barbershop and Internet Café 4 Manor Park Parade, Lee High Road, Lewisham 07939933757
General Goods Store 396 Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton, London 02077372958
Beauty Salon 21 Rushcroft Road, Brixton 02077338891
Lace Fabrique Collection
(Fabrics & Laces) 43 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos 08029461611, 01-7412651
(Hotels & Hospitality) 2/4 Akinbolagbe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos 01-2703651, 08023166834 www.chariot-group.com
Music Store 406 Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton 02072475095, 07956946495
Candor Foods Limited Twice As Nice
(Shirts & Accessories) 55 Opebi Road, Ikeja, Lagos 08038491208t (Food & Bakery products) 2 Olafuyi Close, Isale Haruna, Ifako, Lagos 08060802646
Design and Tailoring 52 Granville Arcade, Brixton, London 07828419894
Katch A Fire
Restaurant and Bar 64-68 Atlantic Road, Brixton, London. 07904280733
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