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Mar 2010 | ISSN 1758-6275 for what we were, are and will be

I really
do love
my 9ja
Britiko Babe

Between my
wife and
my car
Yemi Blaq

Omowunmi Akinnifesi
the Eco Warrior
The kando
Lu uild

In the coastal Communing with the Lucky Ejim - in a

city of Abidjan masked ancestors race against time

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Here we are again!

Editor’s note
Welcome to another exciting edition of With the CBN Governor’s recent
Naija Times. This month, we bring you the announcement that the Nigerian economy
remarkable story of Omowunmi Akinnifesi grew by a healthy 6.9 per cent in 2009, in the
who has been involved in many things Money Section, our economic analyst, Kweku
since she handed over her crown a few Brown asks the ultimate question: Is Nigeria’s
years ago. Recently, she was appointed the economy really growing?
Environmental Ambassador for the Lagos
State Government’s Green Lagos Project. Of course the hilarious Mr. Fineboy is always
She talks to us about this project and other here to keep your ribs cracking while we
works she is involved in while she remains take a look at the meaning of the word
mute on her love life. “swagger” which is currently suffering some
kind of abuse. With the article Ten things
Have you ever communed with your to remember about Lagos, a Britiko Babe’s
ancestors? You may consider this weird but experience with Naija Boys, and others,
culturally some people do. And the story: here is this month’s edition for your reading
Communing with the masked ancestors pleasure. See you again next month!
looks at the Egungun Festival in Ogbomoso
town in Oyo State. In spite of the political
turmoil, Cote D’Ivoire still boasts of
beautiful tourist centres as the story The
Coastal City of Abidjan shows. - Funke Adetutu

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naija I got a copy of the January edition of
NaijaTimes at the Silverbird Galleria. I
With all respect I will like to appreciate the
good work you guys are doing. I saw your
publication for the first time yesterday and
really love it and I found it quite interesting.
Internet Phone I would love to have subsequent editions I can’t but appreciate the quality. But am
Did you know you can use the Internet to make free to cheap international and of the magazine, kudos to the team for a not too happy with the cover title. It was
national telephone calls. This is all possible through the revolutionary Voice Over IP job well done. Mushin makeover and not slum make over.
technology. …Good quality print.
Miracle, utilises this technology, together with its powerful set Sunday Alegbemi,
of applications to offer members telephony services through their internet
connection. All you need is a Laptop or PC, a microphone and some speakers and I came across the magazine at a friend’s
away you go! house and I was so amazed by the content
and quality of production. I could not I really love your great works in Naija
Calls to other members on Naijaconnects are absolutely free, whilst calls to fixed help but read through at once. My friend Times. Keep it up.
lines and mobiles are very cheap. Join the Revolution now. Tell friends and family did not want to let go of his copy when I
and start connecting. “Now we’re talking” asked him to give it to me. Teekay Raoul Gonzales
How do I get a regular supply of the
magazine? I really like the edition that had
Social Networking the winner of the Etisalat “9jillion” Game Luv Naija Tmes
Meeting and discovering new and old friends online can be very exciting. Show on it, Kizito. I like the magazine for Am so much in love with this Naija-Times acts as a social networking platform that puts you in contact the packaging, colour, and the celebrities it because it educates and changes (people’s)
with people like you. Discovering new people on is very easy, features. It really a must have and must- orientation. Thanks for a great job.
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March 10 Omowunmi Akinnifesi 34

Travel & Culture Money

Top 3 THINGS Ten things to remember about Lagos 10
In the coastal city of Abidjan 14
Is Nigeria’s economy really growing?
The Young Entrepreneur
TO WATCH Communing with the masked ancestors 16
OUT FOR IN Fashion & Lifestyle
Live from Lagos; Random Musings 44
March The house Lukando will build 18 Lucky Ejim in a race against time 48
Swagger One word, many meanings 20 Monthly Challenge 53
1. 12th Art Harmattan Workshop: Between my wife and my car 22
Featuring Jimoh Buraimoh, Junkman of I really do love my 9ja boyz but ‘ssss’ is not Health
Under attack; the story of Sickle Cell Anemia 55
18 Afrika, Jide Adeniyi-Jones and Kolade
Oshinowo – Niger Delta Cultural
the way to call a woman you fancy… 24
Check that cough, it just might be tuberculosis! 58
Centre, Agbarha Otor, Delta State. Campus Life
41 February 14 to March 27. Internet: An emerging tool for exam The Shop
malpractice? 26 Nulon PSO: Worrying about the octane level
in your fuel?
2. The 14th Tale: One-man play by
Careers & Development
Nigerian-born spoken-word performer Sports
Model Reader - Ify Aniebo 30
Inua Ellams – National Theatre, South Angola 2010, the Aftermath 62
An early appraisal of career goals 32
Bank, London SE1. Till March 13.
Cover Story Directories
3. CCA Art Workshop: ‘On Independence Omowunmi Akinnifesi the Business Listings 66
10 48 and The Ambivalence’ – Centre for
Contemporary Art (CCA), 9 McEwen
Eco Warrior 34

Street, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos. Till March 6.

8 naijaTimes 9
Travel & Culture

Ten things to remember about Lagos

Olujoke Areola

Though pedestrian crossings are markings are generally seen as a decoration by some You should haggle for the price of every item that being impatient is not the best. As the
made on roads in accordance with universal drivers who just speed past without taking you intend to purchase. In Lagos, the idea that classic saying goes, ‘police is your friend’,
traffic laws to indicate areas where cognisance of the pedestrian crossing. They the price tag on an item is its actual price does which means you have to slow down at
pedestrians can safely go across a street, don’t usually care if some has stepped on it or not count. It is a fallacy, especially in the local every check-point, switch on your inner car
these white stripes on some roads in Lagos not. They are simply in a hurry to go. market. For instance, a friend went to a Bureau light, smile and have a friendly chat with the
de Change on two consecutive days. The police. Trust me, it works.
exchange rate was astoundingly less on the
In Lagos, Okada is the term used to second day of her visit, she was about to keep In Lagos, Okada is the term used to refer to

refer to the commercial motorbikes,

her foreign exchange for later when the Mallam the commercial motorbikes, which are now
selling said in pidgin: “how much you wan pay? the preferred mode of transportation because
(meaning how much do you want to pay?) After of heavy traffic jams. It is fair to say that its
a long bargain, it was actually a better price for drivers generally have no knowledge of the
her than the price quoted on the first day. Highway Code.Therefore, do not expect them
to obey any traffic rules because rationality
If you choose to socialise at night, remember is not in their dictionaries. For them, like the

10 naijaTimes 11
Machiavellian maxim, the rule is the end justifies speak any of the native tongues; Ibo,Yoruba, Hausa
the means. Hence as long as you get to your and others.You can only use the Queens English
destination, they feel accomplished. It does not and American English to impress your family and
matter whether you get there alive or not. On friends. If you dare try to flaunt your Queens
the other hand, if you are a car owner and you English in the public place like a local market,
encounter one while driving your car, don’t be then you stand the risk of being swindled. For
surprised if one jumps in front of you. He may example, a friend wanted to take a taxi from one
even curse or throw tantrums at you for not part of Ikoyi to another; she went on to bargain
‘looking in front of you. Always remember to with the cab driver in her foreign accent to the
keep your wits and drive very carefully because cab driver. “N10,000.00,” he said while keeping
you are not only driving for yourself but also for a straight face. My friend could not understand
Okadas and other careless drivers. what necessitated the hike in price since there
was no fuel scarcity. Even the new Fashola air-
In addition to Okadas, Keke Marwa or Marwa conditioned taxis don’t cost that much for a ten
as they are popularly called, are equally as minute ride. “Are you serious?” my friend asked.
bad as Okadas. Although, better regulated, its “The roads are bad, there is traffic. I swear aunty
drivers do every crazy thing that an Okada that’s the price, but since you are new here bring
does. At times, you could encounter relatively N9, 500.00,” he replied. Swiftly, my friend spoke
sane Marwa drivers. the local Yoruba dialect. She explained to him how
she took a taxi for just N300.00 the previous day
L.A.S.T.M.A. is the acronym for the Lagos State to the same place.
Traffic Management Authority, which is under
the state’s ministry of transport.They are the If you need a job in Lagos, you have to be very,
other staple on the roadside other than the very careful.Try to be realistic about your
traffic police.Their primary job function is to expectation as regards time, so that you are not
facilitate the efficient and free flow of traffic.To disappointed. Based on a detailed random survey,
be fair, they actually direct traffic and try to sort 80 percent of the people that you think can help
out issues that could cause traffic. However, you get a job cannot and they will not say so.
since there are no traffic signs in some parts Remember that you are a Nigerian or in Nigeria
of the metropolis, some road users tend to get “networking is key” and follow up on leads, this is
into trouble with LASTMA officials. In the end, because, who you know, works faster than what
such victims are usually worn out after long your right is. It is accurate to also say that many
arguments with the officials who are supposed of the things you see and hear will shock you, but
to educate ‘offenders’ on the right thing to do. everyone else is used to it, so you must remain
And so, they have become a menace nobody strong and adapt but stick to your morals since
wants to encounter. changing it won’t guarantee success (even in the
short term).
The new twist to the Lagos experience are
the BRT buses, which come in red and blue Finally, if you are single and hoping to find a
colours.They are state owned hence they are partner, take a few months or at least make sure
designated lanes on major roads in Lagos.They you know someone who actually knows the
are fairly reliable and affordable.You should potential partner, not just someone who has
however remember not to drive on lanes barely heard of them.This is to prevent being
designated to them because there is a fine misled by shady characters. So remember, be
attached. careful with your heart and wallet.

If you plan to visit Lagos, you must learn how Welcome to Lagos!
to communicate in Pidgin English if you cannot

12 naijaTimes 13
Travel & Culture

In the coastal
structure was criticized when it was built still boasts of beautiful tourist centres. For
due to the comparison between the lavish instance, about 100km east of the former
building and the impoverished surroundings. capital, Abdijan is the beach resort of

city of Abidjan
Yamoussoukro has about 120,000 inhabitants Assouinde; other places being developed as
and wild bush has been a constant threat tourist attractions include Tiagba, a stilt town;
to Yamoussoukro, growing menacingly at Grand Bassam, whose sandy beaches make
the edges of a city that this country’s first the place a favourite weekend retreat for the
ADEDOYIN JOHNSON president turned into a surreal capital. inhabitants of Abidjan; and Bondoukou, one
of the oldest settlements in the country. In
So rich is the soil in this swath of West Ifon Museum, as well as the National Museum The president, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, took Abidjan and the surrounding coastal resorts,
Africa, so nourishing the sun that shines containing historic artefacts, statues and ivory. what was a village, which also happened to be there is a dangerous deep current and
on this corner of the earth that the bush Known in French as the Basilique de his birthplace, and gave it six-lane boulevards, swimmers should stay near the shore. Local
always threatens to smother what humans Notre Dame de la Paix de Yamoussoukro, luxury hotels, a presidential palace with advice should be taken.
have raised. Villagers may travel for a few meaning the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of a crocodile-filled moat -- and the world’s
months and, unless they have taken proper Yamoussoukro, is a Roman Catholic minor largest church. After Houphouët-Boigny There is also good coastal and river fishing.
precautions, return to find their homes basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Peace in died in 1993 and his successor showed no Red carp, barracuda, mullet and sole can all
sinking in weeds and shrubbery. Yamoussoukro, the administrative capital of interest in the city, Yamoussoukro became a be caught from the shores of the lagoons. Sea
Côte d’Ivoire. The basilica was constructed ghost town, a capital in name alone, eclipsed trips can be organised through travel agencies
Yamoussoukro is about 230kilometres north between 1985 and 1989 at a cost of $300 by Abidjan, which remained the centre for to catch shark, swordfish, bonito and marlin.
of Abidjan, a town with a lively market, the million. The design of the dome and encircled business and politics. And when Houphouët- Boats and instructors are available in Abidjan,
Palace and Plantations of the President plaza are clearly inspired by those of the Boigny’s fiercest opponent, Laurent Gbagbo, where waterskiing facilities are also available.
and the Mosque. Also of architectural Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican City, became president last October, most Ivoirians
interest but, above all, of statistical interest, although it is not an outright replica. The figured that the bush would, once and for all,
is the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix. cornerstone was laid on August 10, 1985, and reclaim Yamoussoukro. ‘’Yamoussoukro used
Fractionally smaller than St Peter’s in Rome, it was consecrated on September 10, 1990, by to be Yamoussoukro,’’ says Yacouba Sylla, 45, a
it incorporates a greater area of stained glass Pope John Paul II. businessman who has lived there since 1985.
than the total area of stained glass in France. ‘’It was a pleasant place, a glorious place.
Roman Catholicism is a minority religion Contrary to popular belief, this particular Everybody wanted to come to Yamoussoukro.
in Côte d’Ivoire (some say that the basilica is not a cathedral. I was told by a guide But since Houphouët’s death, look at what
cathedral could accommodate every Roman that the nearby Cathedral of Saint Augustine has happened.’’ Standing beside the lagoon in
Catholic in the country several times over). is the principal place of worship and seat of front of the gigantic Notre Dame de la Paix
Yamoussoukro was the birthplace of Félix the bishop of the Diocese of Yamoussoukro. basilica, Sylla pointed at overgrown weeds
Houphouët-Boigny, who was Côte d’Ivoire’s The Guinness Book of World Records lists on the side of the road, exclaiming: ‘’Look
president for 33 years. The cathedral was it as the largest church in the world, having at those weeds! We never saw that before!’’
paid for almost entirely out of his own surpassed the previous record holder, St. But the death knell, it turned out, sounded
pocket. Peter’s Basilica, upon completion. It has an prematurely for Yamoussoukro. Succour
area of 30,000sq metres (322,917 sq ft) and arrived from a most unexpected corner when
The former capital and largest city, Abidjan, is 158meters high. However, it also includes Gbagbo, who spent years in exile because he
is dominated by the Plateau, the central a rectory and a villa (counted in the overall had dared to challenge Houphouët-Boigny,
commercial district. The older, more area), which are not strictly part of the church, announced in March that he would resume
traditional heart of the city is Treichville, and it can accommodate 18,000 worshippers, the transfer of political power from Abidjan to
home of many bars, restaurants and compared to 60,000 for St. Peter’s. The Basilica his old foe’s village.
nightclubs as well as the colourful central is administrated by Polish Pallottines. It is one
market. There is a very good museum, the of the hot tourist spots in Ivory Coast. The In spite of the political turmoil, Cote D’Ivoire

14 naijaTimes 15
Travel & Culture

with the person (man or woman) whom he The Egungun are known to emerge at almost
has touched, or by whom he was touched, any time of the day or night, but they are
and so also would every woman present,” he always certain to be present at the annual
adds. While these policies have changed since Egungun festival. These festivals last seven,
British colonization, there is still great respect fourteen, seventeen, or twenty-one days
for the mysterious Egungun. and their date is set by a diviner. During the
festival, it is believed that the spirits of the
The costumes of the Egungun vary greatly Egungun come down from the heavens to
from region to region. Some Egungun “share physical fellowship with their relatives
cover themselves in raffia, while others are on earth’” adds Adeojo. Each Egungun is
concealed under an elaborate costume of scheduled for a specific appearance, like

Communing with the

cloth. The masks they wear may be carved Ajomagbodo who appears every two years,
wood, made of contemporary materials, or and in the effort to present the most
composed of such objects as antlers, skulls or memorable show, there is often a great deal

masked ancestors even modern gas masks. In some regions it is

popular to cover the face with cloth instead
of a mask. This is often combined with a long
of negotiation on the part of families to
secure a date from the cult when the least
number of other Egunguns are to appear. “On
ADEDOYIN JOHNSON train of fabric that trails behind the Egungun; a day a lineage Egungun comes out, the lineage
the longer and more elaborate the train, the drummers assemble early in the compound of
Oke Elerin area in the ancient town or Eluku, she would be put to death without wealthier the family. To complete the illusion, the lineage head, they start drumming, calling
of Ogbomoso remains impassable on mercy. While Yoruba women today are still the Egungun must also disguise his voice, the names and invoking the spirits of the
a hot afternoon in August. The annual excluded from taking part in Egungun rituals, which is often disguised in a low rumble or principal men that are deceased in the family,”
Egungun festival is at its peak. All manner they now play an active role in some of the high falsetto. adds Adeojo. As the time of their appearance
of masquerades are parading themselves secret Egungun cults. draws near, the drummers and the women of
in their resplendent regalia. Drummers Each Egungun may represent a particular the family begin to sing as the music grows
and people are carrying whips as they The Egungun are masked men who represent person, a family lineage, or a broader concept louder and louder. When the Egungun finally
throng after their favourite masquerades the spirits of the living-dead. That afternoon of the ancestors. When contacted at a family emerges, their first stop is the graves of the
for the ultimate fight that heralds the as is the custom, the masquerade appears shrine, the Egungun who appears is generally male members of the family. After a short
commencement of the festival. as a robed figure which is designed specially thought to represent the ancestor who is ritual, they move on to the homes of their
to give the impression that the deceased is being summoned. In the past, such an Egungun relatives, where they bless the living and
In the ever-changing world of the Yoruba making a temporary reappearance on earth. might be requested by officials of the tribe receive gifts of thanks. They then continue on
people of South Western Nigeria, one thing This impression is enhanced by the complete to discipline or even execute wrongdoers. through town, where they stop every so often
that remains consistent is a close connection coverage of the individual. “It is absolutely Some Egungun are also known to have used to display their dancing skills and to bless
with their ancestors. The ancestral spirits of essential that not a single part of the human their powers to lead entire communities to those who have come to watch.
the Yoruba are much more than just dead form should be visible; for, if this rule is war. During happier times of celebration,
relatives, they play an active role in the daily broken, the man wearing the robes must the Egungun most often represent a family’s
life of the living. They are sought out for die (presumably as an imposter!), and every ancestral lineage. And there is yet another
protection and guidance, and are believed to woman present must likewise die,” says Adigun group of Egungun who are professional
possess the ability to punish those who have Obasola, a masquerade cultist. entertainers. These Egungun “dramatise
forgotten their familial ties. While there are contemporary events in each community.
numerous ways the ancestors communicate According to him, having any physical contact For examples, they mimic prostitutes,
with the living, one of the most unique is whatsoever with an Egungun can prove deadly sanitary inspectors, white couples, drunkards,
their manifestation on earth in the form of for both the Egungun and the other person, etc,” observes Raufu Adeojo, the cultist of
masked spirits known as Egungun. so a whip is often carried to drive people Ajomagbodo masquerade. While the people
away. “Should he do so ever so slightly (e.g. if that present themselves as Egungun are
In previous times, it would have been the wind causes his garment to barely touch always male, they may play the role of either a
unthinkable for any woman to have the garment of any ordinary man, woman or man or woman. Some Egungun even appear as
discovered the secret of the Oro, Egungun, child) he would be put to death, together young children which are called Kunduke.

16 naijaTimes 17
Fashion & Lifestyle

The house
different cultures from different parts of the and Versace. Ready-to-wear pieces by the East
continent. They all had one thing in common, African designer, John Kaveke and Southern
a goal to become the next M-Net Face of African designer, David Tlale were also
Africa. An incredible six month journey showcased.

was brought to an end at the grand finale
of the competition which took place at the And then, it was time to announce the
Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos winner, out of the ten, Rosanna Hall, Thembi
recently. The girls had been taken through Kobedi, Ernania Rainha Manuel, Marvis

will build
a series of rigorous trainings in Mombasa, Chinelo Offor and Lukundo Nalungwe were
Kenya. They had to push themselves to the selected as the top five. The girls were edgy
limit. Those who did not make it to the final as the final winner was to be announced. The
ten, were sad and they cried for sorrow while show’s anchor, Fareed Khimani added to the
ADEDOYIN JOHNSON for those who did, a whole new world of tenseness of the atmosphere as he called on
opportunities has been opened onto them. Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi to announce the
The event was broadcast live to a large winner. “The winner of the Face of Africa,”
T wenty two years ago, in the little village of Kabwe, Zambia, a little girl was born. As a teenager, audience across the continent via DSTV. she said after a long pause, is Lukando
she never knew the fate that awaited her when she decided to give modeling a shot as a career. The beauty of the contest lies in the fact that Nalungwe fromZambia!” Immediately, tears of
regardless of where the girls came from, they joy flooded Lukando’s face and the other girls
Like every other girl, Lukando Nalungwe, came with nothing but a dream, thousands of girls from had equal opportunity to contest for the came to share in her joy.
highly coveted title.
“I am really grateful to the Lord,” she said
The show that evening kicked off with the ten much later. “I feel honoured by the judges
finalists, Rosanna Hall of Zimbabwe, Blessing to see something in me,” said an overjoyed
Bassey of Nigeria, Diana Nekoye Sifuna of Lukando.
Kenya, Ernania Rainha Manuel of Mozambique, “I was there 12 years ago,” recalls Oluchi who
Luvuvamu Esperan a Vemba of Angola, Lilian was a member of the panel of judges. “It was
Alphonce Mduda of Tanzania, Lukando difficult to choose the winner but I believe
Nalungwe of Zambia, Marvis Chinelo Offor of we chose the right person. We have judges
Nigeria, Thembi Kobedi of South Africa, and and people who have been working with the
Tholakele Dlamini of Zimbabwe, strutting the girls for the last six months. Lukando was
runway in ten exquisite works of art from chosen because she was always on time for
across the continent dressed by Nigeria’s any activity and was always there. We wanted
bespoke fashion designers like Zizi Cardow, a girl who will be there on time whenever
Frank Osodi, Tiffany Amber, Adebayo Jones, she is needed.”
Yemi Osunkoya and others.
As the winner, Lukando took home, a sum
This was followed by a performance by of $50,000, a three year modelling contract
D-Banj who nearly held the audience with O Model Africa and she has already
spellbound and a few members of the commenced working, she modelled at the
audience wriggled their bodies to the rhythm New York Fashion Week for Arise Magazine
on their seats. among other prizes.
Lukando mentioned that she intends to buy a
The girls also showcased beautiful jewellery house with the money she won. “Immediately
pieces from across Africa. It was a collection I was announced the winner as soon I got to
of beads made of cowries, shells and ostrich the back stage, I called my immediate older
feathers by local blacksmiths. Also featured sister. All I could hear were screams as they
were resort collections directly from Paris were excited I won. I could tell they were
made by Christian Lacroix, Emmanuel Ungaro really happy,” she adds.

18 naijaTimes 19
Fashion & Lifestyle

Swagger: For many young Nigerians, swagger is more

than just a word; it is now a culture, a way of
King Jr. and even Bob Marley, they are called
great not merely because of their talent and

One word, life! A search result on Facebook shows that skill, but because of how they mastered their

thousands of young Nigerians have changed skills and delivered it to the world with such
their middle names to swagger or one or expertise and grandeur that makes it hard
more of its variants like Swagalita, Swagaholic, for others to imitate them.
Swaggarist, Swaggaluscious, and Swaggaficient!
Since its first use in William Shakespeare’s From body language, to wit, to personal

Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1590, it style, to eloquence and even response to
has evolved into a word with 42 unique external pressure, these men had/have an
definitions in the urban dictionary, yet it is aura that would turn heads, their confidence
Shola Okubote unusually difficult to consistently define it, as in themselves and in what they have done,
the meaning seems to get more complicated make people more willing to follow them.
with every new definition. In their own unique ways, they have led
Swagger is probably the only hundreds of people, and have provoked the
word that hip hop lyrics, corporate Ibi, a blogger and self acclaimed ‘King of change they desire (d).
slogans, magazine covers, billboard Swag’ says, ‘’swagger is similar to the word What makes them stand out isn’t about
adverts, fashion shows, movie titles, ‘love’, the more you try to unravel it, the their good or evil causes, it is the never
event themes, TV commercials, more entangled it becomes and you can before seen panache, and their swag spice
sport commentaries and even never know the true meaning until you have which changes their acts from good to great.
Pentecostal preachers have had in experienced it. It is more than one word; it
common in recent times. can refer to a variety of different attitudes Amy, an image consultant and etiquette
and behaviours.’’ instructor, says, “It absolutely makes sense
From celebrities to the regular guy to say swagger is doing what you do with
on the street, everyone seems to Also, a question recently posed by Femme a great attitude deeply rooted in self
be high on the intoxicating effect Lounge, an online magazine shows that confidence and appreciation.” She also
and the razzmatazz associated the meaning of swagger is as varied as the concludes that having swagger is all about
with the word. It pushes the vanity personalities of the people that responded. being uniquely focused, vibrant, driven,
button in the young and rouses a While some outrightly concluded that it is stylish, passionate, talented, original and
cocktail of attitudes ranging from synonymous with pride and arrogance, others successful.
pride, to confidence and poise in said it has to do with confidence and style,
adults. and few were completely clueless about what Swagger is not a loud noise from empty
it really means, as evidenced by a lady who barrels; it is not a show of arrogance to
A confident walk, a firm handshake, said it meant being skilful at dancing! cover up for lack of talent. It doesn’t matter
an infiltrating gaze, a great sense if your neck is barely visible from layers of
of style, an innovative spirit, a sexy One sure thing however is the fact that necklaces with oversized pendants or your
smile, warm humour, calculated swagger answers the question of how. In jeans sag to your knees, and you walk with
eloquence and even a crazy little other words, it’s not what you do, it’s how you a staggering bounce. If you don’t know your
walk that resembles someone do it that determines if you’ve got it or not. stuff, then you’ve got no swagger! Clothes
whose shoe is hurting his feet can get old, teeth fall out and walks are affected
all be part of a million telltale signs Consider people like Nelson Mandela, Barack by arthritis; but a man with swagger is
of the swagger phenomenon. Obama, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Martin Luther simply unforgettable.

20 naijaTimes 21
Fashion & Lifestyle

Between my According to scripture: he that finds a good

wife finds a good thing and obtains favour
from the Lord. People lack understanding,
damaged. I spent quite a fortune repairing it.
However, no matter how much I spend on my
car, I can spend much more on my wife. She is

wife and my car

hence they place much value on their cars. always there for me.
Let me share a testimony with you. When
I got married, I was strolling on the street Let me take you down memory lane. The first
of Lagos when I came across my brother’s brand of car I rode was a Forklift and that
Yemi Blaq friend. He beckoned to me and gave me a was in 1993. I did a stint with a company as a
cheque for N1.2million. That is favour and I casual worker. They had Forklifts and I fell in
Some people say that their car is their not impossible. I can afford to leave my car cannot trade the source of my favour for an love with them and later rode them, but my
second wife, yes this may be true but grounded but not my wife. If you have a good automobile. first car, I mean personal ride, was a Jetta.
anybody that values or places much priority wife like mine, you won’t compare her to

I can afford to leave my car

on his car far above his wife is insane. It is your automobile.

grounded but not my wife.

That does not mean I can’t spend fortunes on Recently, I won a brand new 2010 Toyota
my car. I can and in fact, I do spend a lot on Prado jeep, valued at N10million at the
my car because it’s a life-wire. On a daily basis just concluded 2010 Celebrity Takes 2
I spend N1,500 on fuel and service it monthly. Show. Although I love exotic cars I am not
I can spend any amount on my car because it a car freak. However, my favourite type
keeps me on the road. Life seems snuffed out of car is Honda. I love any kind of Honda
when I can’t go out in my car. I also guard it automobile because it is economical and very
jealously. rugged, though it does not look like it. Its
maintenance and materials are low compared
There was a time I had a nasty experience to other brands.
with armed robbers. I was just returning
home from the airport when I came across A friend once asked me that if I had N50,000
three guys with rifles. I accelerated from on me and both my car and wife demanded
120km to 160km on Ajao Estate’s bridge. my attention (that required the same amount),
I ran into the guy with a submachine gun whom would I attend to first? My prompt
among them. I escaped but the car got reply was that I would give it to my wife.

22 naijaTimes 23
Fashion & Lifestyle

I really do love Then again, I got flattered because some

guys were more tactical with their approach,
If she has a man, leave her alone

my 9ja boyz but

which then led to an interesting conversation If a lady tells you she has a man, just go. Don’t
and me eventually, giving out my number- say ‘its ok I don’t mind’ or ‘I just wanna be
but that however, only happened on rare friends’ no one is that desperate to just stop
‘ssss’ is not the occasions. people in the street to ask them to be friends,
that’s what facebook is for. Just respect her

way to call a There are certain principles you have to

follow when approaching a young lady like me.
wishes and say ‘ok’. I’m sure if she was your
girlfriend and another man tried to tell her

woman you
I think it is necessary to come up with a list that you wouldn’t be happy at all!
of suggestions and helpful hints to ensure that
the same mistakes aren’t made over and over Be well groomed
fancy… again!
I was once approached by a guy who was
Your initial approach drenched in aftershave, not only did it hurt
‘Britiko Babe’
my nose, it nearly choked me! Then there was
Come correct! If you see the woman is in one who seemed not to know what personal
hurry don’t try and stop her, this will not help hygiene meant! His body odour was terrible; I
the situation and she will not be impressed. In just couldn’t take him seriously. My dear men,
essence, analyse her movements and if your nothing gets me more than a well-groomed
instinct tells you don’t go, don’t go! man whose swagger is amazing, but don’t spoil
it by overdoing or even not doing it with the
Compliments only work if you know scent. It’s distracting. Just a little spritz is all
how to use them you need fellas!
I’m a britiko (Nigerian raised in Britain) and ‘ezzzzz’ or ‘psssst’. Well I got all of that while in
though I hate to admit it, I am a Yoruba girl Naija, Can you imagine?! When approaching a lady, you don’t need Don’t say ‘give me your number!’
that can’t speak Yoruba as much as I should be to say ‘your body is banging’ why not
able to, and erm,… I can hardly understand This kind of thing doesn’t just happen in compliment her face, once you compliment When you stop a girl on the street and make
it either. But I do love Nigeria! I’ve been Nigeria though, it also happens in the UK the body we think that you are only thinking a statement such as that, you can’t blame her
there long enough to soak in the blissful sun, which is why I have come to the conclusion of one thing and though you may not be (in if she walks away. If you’re going to ask for her
enjoy the delicious food, watch the fantastic that some guys simply do not know how to fact who are we kidding?)- Just don’t. I am not number at least be polite about it.
entertainment and generally like my people. approach women, but don’t worry I am here an expert but I have learnt a lot over the past
Well, some of them anyway! to help! few months about guys and their charms and And finally fellas, just be you!
I would like to think that I’m smart enough to
I visited Nigeria last year and one of the Ladies, have you ever been stopped on the know when a guy is being genuine or fake but As simple as it may seem some men find
things that made my vacation so amusing was street by a guy who is overtly looking you up I must admit sometimes its hard to decipher this concept difficult to understand. One guy
how guys chose to approach me, it was an and down, stopping you from where you are between reality and fantasy. tried to ‘toast’ me in Nigeria and he had an
experience to say the least. What fascinated going, just to ask you for your number? Do American accent. He then told me he had
me the most though, was the way men called you get annoyed or feel flattered? We ladies want a man that will treat us right, never been to America before when I asked
you on the street if they wanted to talk to correct? But the reality is the man standing what part of the USA he was from. If you
you. Some would actually pull you towards Well, I can tell you when this sort of thing in front of us may just be such a sweet talker were born in Nigeria and have lived here all
themselves physically, some would make happened to me; I got a mixture of both of because he’s said the same lines to about 50 your life then why have you got an American
a sort of kissing noise with their mouth those emotions. I was annoyed because some other women! So men, Show us that you are accent? Why? It’s a huge no no! I like a man
(you know, the kind of noise English people guys wasted five minutes of my life going on different from the rest, show us that you have who is confident in himself, his heritage and
make when trying to call their cats for and on about how he believed we were meant something special because there will come a his personality. Be confident, but not over-
dinner). Some would use that sharp call- the to be together. Wrong, wrong, wrong, did I time when your ‘sweet lines’ might just fail you. confident! That’s the key!
alternative to the English ‘Oi’ -If I could try hear you say?!
and put it into words it would be ‘sssssss’ or

24 naijaTimes 25
Campus Life

Internet: An emerging
their phones. We hear that some students time in the university library sourcing study
use their phones to download already saved materials.
pages in Google. I think students should not

tool for exam malpractice? be allowed to come into the examination hall
with their phones. Sometimes, some of us
Though he is bent with age, he is nonetheless
a very diligent student, who excels in his
want to use it to check the time, but because studies. Besides being hardworking, Pa Amodu
of malpractice, it should be banned.” is articulate and eloquent. Old age has done
little to diminish this. Surprisingly, some of
Another student, Margaret Bunmi of the his course mates often depend on him for
Faculty of Law, UNAD, views the matter from relevant study materials. Even his lecturers are
another angle. “I am aware that Google is full of praises and admiration for him.
now used to cheat during examinations, but it
is not that rampant. For a student to do that However, one question on the minds of
he must really know what he is looking for. Amodu’s admirers is: what could prompt a
He must be good and smart”, she explains. man who is over 70 to earnestly pursue a
bachelor’s degree?
Sola Ogunleye, head of department, “Education is knowledge. I love to learn new
Mechanical Engineering, UNAD observes that things everyday. It gives me reasons to live,”
Students are now not just getting more on the internet basically for research purposes, such an act is outright fraud and dubious, he says. For Amodu, being educated brings a
daring in the art of examination malpractice; has become a veritable tool for examination which should be stopped. “Students that do sense of fulfilment. All his life, he had wanted
they are also becoming more creative, even malpractice. Some students bare their mind that, of course, do not have the fear of God. to be educated, to attend a university, but
if in the negative sense. They have found a on this emerging trend. “This last examination, If such students are caught they should be while he was young, his father would rather
dubious use for the popular search engine, I got to discover that students use Google brought to book. Examination malpractice have him work on the farm.
‘Google.’ The rate at which examination to cheat in examination. Once they can hide destroys education in this country. Students
malpractice is gaining ground has not just their phones from the invigilators, they start are looking for short cuts to success. They do Unlike many younger adults, who think they
become sophisticated; it is somewhat copying from the phones. But how easy that is not want to pay the price,” he explains. are too old to be students, Amodu has a bag
institutionalized. From the harmless I cannot really say”, said Oluwaseun Adelotan, The don adds that while some lecturers of surprises. He says he intends to pursue
“giraffing” over a neighbour’s work, using a year 4 Accounting student of the University deliberately turn the other way because a Master’s degree after bagging his B.Sc. in
key points, notes or textbooks; copying on of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD).”I think this is a big abuse students might have offered them money or Sociology this year. “I will go for my Masters
sheets of paper referred to as “microchips” of Google because its basic purpose is for other incentives, many are firmly against it. and then proceed for the Ph.D. I want to be a
or copying on desks known as “desktop research so that people can share knowledge.” lecturer, so I’ll keep learning and learning,” he
publishing” or writing answers on the laps He advised that students should be stopped “I don’t think all invigilators are responsible explains.
usually done by girls since they have the from taking phones into examination halls, for this act, although some invigilators aid
opportunity of wearing short skirts popularly citing the instance of a department in UNAD and abet examination malpractice. Generally, However, he does not shy from sharing his
called “laptop smuggling”, examination where a particular lecturer sometimes students should not bring phones into pride at the success of his children and grand
malpractice has become an advanced smashes students’ phones. “That alone scares examination halls”, he adds. children “All my children are graduates. There
enterprise. Even “towing” and “ECOMOG” students from bringing their phones into the is a doctor, a lawyer, a businessman and a
which involve candidates arranging with examination hall,” he adds. LASU oldest student graduates lecturer among them. My eldest grandson is
others (called mercenaries) beforehand Pa Alimi Olanrewaju Amodu, a graduating studying Law at the University of Lagos,” he
to assist them in writing examination have David Oyebanji, a year 4 student of Linguistics student of the department of Sociology explains.
become somewhat ‘old school.’ affirms that recently students go to at the Lagos State University (LASU), Amodu separated from his wife about 10
examination hall downloading answers from FESTAC Campus, is indeed a rarity. Every years ago and ever since he worked hard to
With the advent of GPRS-enhanced mobile their phones through Google. “Immediately the day, he gets out of bed as early as 3am and send his children to school. Today, they are the
phones, some students in higher institutions examination starts and they get the question studies until 5am. “The youngest student”, ones who pay his school fees. “My children
have developed a way of using their phones paper, they type questions into Google and as he is fondly referred to by his colleagues, are my sponsors. Ade, my first son and
to browse the net during examinations. write out what it brings. I think that is why has demonstrated great commitment to businessman, pays my schools fees. They are
Google, which is a tool for finding resources some lecturers tell students to switch off intellectual activities. He spends quality

26 naijaTimes 27
all responsible for my education and upkeep. to seek improved welfare of members as well
I have told them about my ambition to go as to deliberate on the development of the
further in my studies and they are willing to association.
support me.”
“It’s a thing of joy because we have been
In spite of the generational gap between planning something like this for long. I think
Amodu and his course mates, the latter are we need to go back to the old days to copy
very fond of him and he mixes freely with what our fathers did then in terms of good
everyone. The septuagenarian also enjoys character,” said Adedayo Oduayo a student.
the goodwill of his lecturers. They say he is a
source of inspiration. “We had no problems Busayo Adedayo is the former Assistant
with Papa while he was with us. He was General Secretary and the senate president of
articulate and had a clear writing style. In fact, the group. His words: “Today marks another
he did better than many younger students,” development in our community as you can
says Oladapo Balogun, a lecturer in the see that Akure citizens at home and abroad
Department of Philosophy. witnessed the occasion. We need to stand
up and make an impact on our community
Ade Adebayo, a lecturer in the department as youths. It is not everything that we
of Geography had this to say of Amodu: should expect from the government, we can
“Education and frequent exercising of the also contribute to the development of the
thinking faculty is key to long-life. Besides, community. What you do today is what others
Baba always comported himself well in are going to say about you tomorrow.”
class and he always had an idea of almost
everything. Many times, we consult him on “Our students have always been supportive.
certain issues to tap from his wealth of They like good things, especially the ones that
experience.” lead to the development of the community.
I thank them a lot. We also embarked on a
Amodu, who lives with one house-help, capital project by donating some items to the
enjoys listening to music. Apart from studying, Motherless Babies Home,” explained Opeyemi
he spends his leisure time listening to music Ayodele, the President of the association.
and dancing. “I enjoy dancing, especially with
ladies,” he quipped.

Akure students celebrate

‘Asa Night’

Rainbow Hotel, Akure, Ondo State, was agog

with dignitaries and students during this
year’s celebration of the National Association
of Akure Students (NAAS) tagged “Asa

According to the President of the association,

Opeyemi Ayodele, a final year student of
Agricultural Economics and Extension at the
Federal University of Technology Akure, the
event was to make Akure students both at 
home and abroad come together and relate,

28 29
Careers and Development

Model Reader: the world including the infamous Dr Dominic

Kwiatkowski who is the scientist behind the

Ify Aniebo
human genome project (cloning) and who leads
the malaria programme at the Sanger institute.
He was impressed by her profile and was so
interested in her research that he gave her
an opportunity to continue her work at the
prestigious Sanger institute in Cambridge, England.
She has also collaborated with a research unit in
26 -year-old Ify Aniebo is a research institute in Cambridge, UK. She has also Rwanda after working on Plasmodium Falciparum
scientist with a BSc in Genetics and an MSc designed enzyme assays to study the invasion strains from Rwanda, worked with a motherless
in Applied biomolecular technology. She has of parasites to the red blood cells. This children’s home in Bangkok to distribute parasite
worked in various top institutes in the UK helps to understand how cells take up drugs impregnated bed nets to children in the age range
and is currently studying for a PhD in clinical and how parasites in the blood respond to of 2 -8 (it was televised in Thailand), and next year
Medicine at Oxford University with a focus them. She is also currently designing another intends to carry out research and field work in
on Malaria research. Her project involves biological assay for phenotypic characterization Ilorin, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya and Rwanda.
studying anti-malarial resistance by looking of parasites using a dye called SYBR green.
at different anti-malarial drugs with the focus Notably, she was awarded a fully funded
being artemisinins and different plasmodium Her greatest accomplishment to date has scholarship from the Wellcome trust, the tropical
falciparum strains (parasite strains) from been the discovery of the copy number network fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates
Africa and South East Asia. This is done in the polymorphisms (mutations) in candidate Foundation. Over 3000 students applied for this
hope of finding a vaccine for the treatment genes responsible for antimalarial resistance award and after four stages of difficult interviews
of complicated infections (including cerebral in plasmodium falciparum. It was such a huge and tests, she won the prestigious scholarship.
malaria) caused by plasmodium falciparum success that she presented her work in The fact that she is not a British citizen (she
and hopefully eradicating the disease Thailand to fellow malaria research scientists was born and raised in Lagos) and won this
completely. from Oxford, Mahidol University department scholarship in place of the thousands of British
of tropical medicine in Thailand and scientists students in England that applied is remarkable.
In the past year, she has tested plasmodium from the World Health Organization. This Her award covers her international student fees,
falciparum strains from Rwanda, Thailand, opened more doors as she now collaborates accommodation, college fee allowance and stipend,
Lagos, Cambodia and Bangladesh. She with other scientist from the World Health which make a total of £56,000 a year. It also covers
carried out molecular biology techniques Organisation, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Kenya, her flights in and out of England to Bangkok and
such as quantitative PCR (polymerase Mozambique, Laos, Vietnam and Italy. the surrounding southeastern regions. Her work
chain reaction) and gel electropherisis to is also remarkable because, as a PhD student,
check for mutations in certain candidate She also spent a year in Thailand carrying the normal tendency is for students to be solely
genes that are important for resistance to out research and field work in a country in based in the University carrying out research and
antimalarial drugs. She has also cloned those which she knows no one, to mostly extract maybe once or twice be given the opportunity
candidate genes and sequenced them for blood (phlebotomy) from patients infected to attend conferences overseas and present their
analysis, finding different types of mutations with malaria in the Thai- Laos border and work. She is also the youngest member, the only
in certain locations. Due to her success then analysed the samples in the Wellcome black member and the only Nigerian member of
in finding candidate genes responsible for trust-Oxford-WHO Laboratory in Bangkok. the Wellcome Oxford WHO unit in Thailand and
resistance, she was given more tasks. Now In Thailand, she attended the 21st Malaria the Malaria Department at the Sanger institute in
she is involved in parasite culture using the conference in Mae Sot, Thailand where she Cambridge. She recently won the “Young Person of
high throughput equipments at the Sanger liaised with top scientists from all over the Year” at the Future Awards 2010.

30 naijaTimes 31
Careers and Development

An early appraisal of career goals

Soromfe Uzoma

T wo months in the year have already gone questions; Have I put in as much effort as I career goals for the year you have to be able you have been able to achieve (and more
by. Whatever the decisions or resolutions for should have? Were my targets set too high? to find out the “why”? For the goals that were importantly for those you might not have
this year may have been, your scorecard at this Have I put too much into a small time frame? achieved, why were you able to achieve them? been able to), one way or the other spurs you
point (if you have one - and you should) should Was my “implementation plan” practical? For those that were not, what were the reasons? on to achieving more.
give a clear idea of how likely it is that you will
achieve your previously set career goals. You should be working with some broader Are the bulk of these reasons external (i.e. as Since this is like an “early-term appraisal”
career strategy plan where you have laid a result of factors that you have no control its purpose is not for self-bashing or for
While it may seem a bit early, the tendencies out how you intend to achieve your career over) or internal? If you feel that the bulk peacock strides on the other hand (well,
that have led to either the poor or successful goals. However within the context of a single of your reasons are external then you may except you’ve already achieved all your career
implementation of your resolutions are likely year, your plan may include taking some just be saying that the achievement of your goals for the year). The purpose is to create
to continue to have an effect in the long certification examinations, getting involved in goals for the rest of the year is dependent on a personal feedback process where you can
term. Most of them won’t change without certain key projects, enrolling in an executive factors over which you have no control - an evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in
deliberate conscious effort. Specifically with course etc. You may have laid out certain excuse to cross your hands and “go with the implementing your career goals and make
regards to your career it is sometimes easy targets expecting to achieve them at certain flow”. However, practically speaking even if appropriate adjustments – reducing/increasing
to see obvious reasons for its slow, perhaps points in the year. The question is, how many 80% of your reasons are external, the 20% timeframes, clearly defining previously
totally absent progress, subtle character or of them should you have achieved at this that matter most are dependent on your ambiguous goals, deciding to ensure the
behavioural proclivities. point? How many have you actually been able decisions and eventual actions. necessary self-discipline essential for success.
to achieve?
This may be a good time to re-evaluate Getting yourself to a point where you are This process is iterative and should be carried
some of your aspirations and ask important If you’re going to be able to meet your set able to take responsibility for the goals out frequently, helping you evaluate exactly
where you are on your timeline.

32 naijaTimes 33
Cover Story

Lagos Project.This has brought out another side currently runs a personal brand company,
of this unique beauty queen. “It is a different which has now been put on hold because
aspect of the environment, it is mostly about she has been busy with other activities. “I’m
tree planting i.e. going green for Lagos, our a certified project manager and a certified
environment, our pride we are trying to help business analyst.There are a lot of other
with the fight against climate change.The things I do which people are not aware of.
government has been promoting the fight I like to keep my private life private and my
against it and that is something that is going social life social.”
on around the world so Lagos state is trying
to do its own bit to make people aware of In addition, winning the Miss Tourism
the situation.We have been doing a lot of tree International afforded Omowunmi the
planting in different parts of Lagos state. 14th of opportunity to visit some cities in the world.
July is tree planting day in Lagos state and so we And she says when it comes to tourism, Petra
plant trees in different communities.” is one of the best cities she has ever been.
“The tourism question is a hard question
In 2009, Omowunmi was involved in planting because there are so many beautiful places
150 trees in Lagos in order to create awareness. but it depends on what you are looking for in
“It is not sponsorship, it is the job of the State a place. If you are in Paris you feel peace, but
Government but if companies and organisations when you are in places like Petra in Jordan
want to get involved why not? It is what which is a beautiful kingdom carved out of

“In spite of her tight schedule after she won the crown,”
the ministry of environment is doing and it stone, it is just perfect. I am a tourist and I
is open to corporate sponsorship.We have love tourism.”
had organisations that have done it as their
corporate social responsibility and have been With her international experience she says
involved in tree planting.” the hardworking nature of the inhabitants of

Omowunmi Akinnifesi
Lagos differentiate the city from any other in
In spite of her tight schedule after she won the the world. “Every city has their strong points
crown, Omowunmi was still able to graduate and weaknesses but I think that the people

the Eco Warrior with a second class upper in Geography and

Regional Planning from the University of Lagos
in Lagos are hard working so when people
come here they feel the strength and they
FUNKE ADETUTU (UNILAG). “It was not easy because I deferred say Nigerians are very energetic. Compared
my examinations during my reign and after my to leading cities, we are still a developing
The circumstance surrounding our meeting that afternoon was not in anyway unnerving.After a series tenure, I returned to the university. I wanted country that is why Lagos state is trying to
of telephone calls we agreed to meet at the Protea Hotel on Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja for an interview to continue my schooling abroad but I had a create more parks and open spaces. Image
scheduled for 1pm. She arrived with her personal assistant in tow and the grace with which she walked rethink since I had almost completed my course is everything and those are the things that
past tells of the kind of woman she is. Clad in a flowery top and a pair of jeans, Omowunmi Akinnifesi in UNILAG. I was like a gold fish in a little pond. people see first when they come and also
greeted me with a warm embrace while apologizing for keeping me waiting for so long. Her free and warm Everybody knew me and pointed at me but the things you see when you go to other
nature must have endeared her to many people such that two years after her reign as “Most Beautiful Girl I had to stay focused. I went back to school countries so we will get there. Lagos is an
in Nigeria, unlike some ex-beauty queens, she is still visible on the social scene.“There is no secret,” she and read my books even though at night I’d urban centre and unfortunately, urbanization
says smiling.“I’m just doing what I love to do. It is grace and maybe because of the kind of person I am and sometimes be on the red carpet or doing one has taken over all our space so in terms of
the kind of personality I have. I cannot explain it to you but it is just the way I am.” thing or the other.” She has just completed her infrastructure, other cities were well planned.
National Youth Service Corps and Omowunmi Urban planning was better planned than
Recently, she was appointed the Environmental Ambassador for the Lagos State Government’s Green

34 naijaTimes 35
Cover Story

maintained. If you look at the master plan of world title and I knew that was not for me.The
Lagos state, it is totally different from what day I handed over my title, I was very happy
presently exists, so that is what Lagos state is to give somebody else the chance to live that
hoping to achieve.They are trying to upgrade experience. It was a great experience altogether.”
the master plan of Ikeja. Maintaining the master Omowunmi’s love for humanity led her to start
plan is something that we have been had a a campaign for sickle cell anaemia during her
problem with.” reign. Her sister’s experience and eventual death
still remains fresh in her memory. “I have a sister
It is not surprising that Omowunmi keeps her that has sickle cell anaemia.Two months after I
private life from the public. She will not even won I went for the miss tourism pageant and I
talk about the person she is currently dating. had to start promoting tourism, which I did in
“Are you in a relationship now?” I ask. “Why do Jordan, Ghana and the Ukraine. After returning,
you ask me? Are you a tabloid? I never thought I had to attend the miss world, which is about
Naija Times would be interested in that,” she beauty with a purpose so I visited orphanage
stated defensively. After a little hesitation, she homes and I got involved in some charity work.
finally answered my question. “No I am not.” “In I was involved in many things during my reign. I
life, it happens to every single human being not lost my sister two years ago. People who suffer
just because you are a beauty queen or a rock from sickle cell anaemia should hang on and try
star. As a human being I do what I can do best and enjoy their lives as much as possible because
and be myself. I don’t pretend and I try to be as some of them are withdrawn and ashamed of
nice as I can be.You have to know how to deal what they have. It is quite unfortunate because
with human relations. Human beings do it every they are very nice and genuine. In the future,
day so why can’t I?” I will still get involved in promoting sickle cell
awareness and research into the disease.”
“I will still get involved in promoting sickle
cell awareness and research into the disease.”
Omowunmi grew up in Sierra Leone when She is still towing the path of her dreams with
her father then was a diplomat. She is the fifth the various projects she has engaged in, hence
out of six children and her mum is a Lagos she hopes to become a Minister of Culture and
State director. As a child she literarily dreamt of Tourism some day. “Being a beauty queen is
becoming a beauty queen. “Yes I used to see it not easy. People always expect less from you in
literarily,” she recalls. “How I would behave and situations.We became beauty queens because of
talk when I won. And this was when I was about our intellectual capabilities. Confidence is key in
8 or 9 years old and it went on till I won. I gave life.When you have confidence in yourself people
myself queen as a nickname in school because will believe in what you believe in no matter how
I’ve always wanted to be called queen and I was cliché it is. It is confidence that drives you. One
called Miss Nigeria at home even before I won.” of my principles in life is that our deepest fear
Hence her winning was a confirmation of a in life is not that we are inadequate, but that we
dream she had nursed as a child. “Before my are powerful beyond measure. Knowing that
name was announced the first thing that came I inspire someone else, knowing that I can do
into my mind was that if it is for me, fine but if something great even when people don’t believe
not I don’t want it. It was a dream come true in me, inspires me.”
and it was unbelievable. I did not win the miss

36 naijaTimes 37

Is Nigeria’s
by the oil sector in the nation’s economy cent. Growth of credit to the private sector
is insignificant. The high cadre jobs are also slowed down to 26.10 per cent against a
exported and dominated by expatriates. The target of 45 per cent.

economy really
truth is that oil lays the golden egg but the
golden egg is eaten by the fat dogs that are Interestingly despite the drop in money
in Abuja or have access to Abuja, not the supply, inflation remained at double digits and

growing? common man.

This leaves manufacturing and services

closed higher towards the end of the year.
The year on year inflation rate or increase in
prices in 2009 increased to 12.4 per cent by
for the poor man on the streets. Poor November 2009 compared to the December
infrastructure has made manufacturing 2008 figure of 15.1 per cent, it represents a
unviable making it contribute less than 5 per consecutive three month increase in inflation
cent of the nation’s GDP. Telecommunications rates from the 10.4 per cent in October.
and financial services has been our saving
grace, growing at an average rate of more Lending rates have also remained high

T he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) end up decayed in farms because of poor

than 30 per cent in the last five years and
sustaining real sector GDP growth rate.
despite excess liquidity in the vaults of banks.
Interbank rates and deposit rates are at an all
Governor recently announced that the road networks, poor processing knowledge
These two sectors are delicately intertwined time low yet lending rates have remained in
Nigerian economy grew a healthy 6.9 per and facilities including poor storage facilities.
as finance from the financial sector keeps the the high double digits.
cent in 2009. A period when most global Agricultural growth has not had any impact on
telecom industry booming due to the highly
economies experienced negative growth rate, the formal sector of the economy which still
capital intensive nature of its business. Rising inflation rates amidst a contraction in
this may sound like a good news until one largely depends on imported foods to maintain
money supply can only indicate an actual drop
digs a little bit deeper. its standards and remains disconnected from
Unfortunately, recent actions like the global in the productive capacity of the economy
the formal economy. This is why agricultural
economic meltdown and the recent steps which has led to a demand push inflation This
What hits one first is the fact that the products are insignificant on our export
taken by the CBN governor have taken the should give the CBN reason to be worried
growth came mainly from the non oil sector, earnings list.
sail out of the growth in the telecom sector; because it means the condition of the real
like agriculture because manufacturing is in
as the CBN’s policy interventions has left sector of the economy has worsened and
a coma. Agriculture which sadly, is mainly The second area of growth is from the oil
the financial sector prostrate. Sources at the the incidence of poverty is on the rise in the
subsistent and informal contributes 40 per sector. According to the National Bureau of
Nigerian Communications Commission note Nigerian economy. Sadly, the CBN governor
cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product Statistics which the CBN governor quoted,
that this year will record the lowest growth appears to have missed this vital piece of
(GDP). One good question worth asking is: the contribution of crude oil to GDP rose
in the telecoms industry in Nigeria. This is information as he appears to be rejoicing
how accurate is the measurement of growth to 16.52 per cent compared with 15.54 per
not surprising because CBN figures also at the non value led growth in the nation’s
in agriculture given its informal nature and cent a year earlier Production of crude oil
show that 2009 will record one of the lowest economy.
the poor state of the national bureau of and condensates averaged 2.15 million barrels
growths in lending to the private sector.
statistics? How reliable are the figures dished a day compared with 2.14 million in the
All indicators, rising inflation rate and lending
out each year on the growth in agriculture, same quarter of 2008. Oil GDP accounts for
CBN figures show that expansion in the rates amidst the drop in money supply and
which has been growing at more than five another 30 per cent of the nation’s GDP.
money supply slowed down significantly to credit to the private sector are signs that
per cent since 2005, and yet has remained
12.8 per cent on an annualized basis in 2009 the Nigerian economy may be plunging into
largely subsistent and informal? The amnesty program in the Niger Delta no
against a target of 20.8 per cent, an indication a depressed state. The headline GDP growth
The truth is if there is a growth rate in doubt had a beneficial effect on the growth in
that the money supply fell short of the rate of 6.9 per cent being bandied by the
agriculture, it only sustains the poverty the oil production helping to increase GDP
minimum required to attain targeted GDP CBN, courtesy figures from the National
level as there is little or no value added growth. But beyond the export earnings from
growth this year. Not surprisingly, aggregate Bureau of Statistics (NBS), may just be
in this sector of the economy. What we crude oil which supports a bloated public
credit to the nation’s economy grew 56.10 deceptive.
count as GDP growth rate in this sector is sector, oil growth impact on the real sector
per cent as against a target of 86.97 per
usually growth in harvests most of which is negligible. The number of jobs created

38 naijaTimes 39

The Young
Debola Lewis, owner of Yvent Kouture
My interest in event decoration began the details of events decoration although I
with the thirst to follow my heart by doing had basic knowledge of decoration. Later, I
something creative and different. Right after asked to be mentored by Funmbi Adebayo of
completing my National Youth Service Corps Rostal flowers and Theo Mbakwe of Simply
(NYSC), I knew I never wanted a regular Renee. They were both very encouraging
9am-5pm job. I am a spontaneous person and supportive, coupled with the open
who likes the thrill of moving around and mindedness of my former boss and mentor,
trying my hands on different things. Hence I Funke Bucknor-Obruthe. I had about
attached myself to Funke Bucknor-Obruthe N30,000 in my account, when I resigned my
of Zapphaire Events. Through her, I learnt appointment with Zapphaire Events to start
the ropes of planning events with an initial my own business called Yvent Kouture. We
aim of becoming an event planner. In the service mainly (but not exclusively restricted
process, I realised that I tended more towards to) high profile clients. We also service

40 naijaTimes 41
multinational corporations and high-end particular system. But you must learn to
institutions. Yvent Kouture has grown from anticipate future alterations in the interaction
my hobby into a brand that has 10 full time pattern and be well adapted to fit in. Simply
staff, with proper business structure. It has put, do more than what is expected of you.
grown in only two years into a multiple award I have been sustained solely by the God of
winning brand that has successfully hosted grace, who covers me with grace even in
initiatives aimed at societal development etc, times of haze. My sustenance is a mystery
the list is endless. understood only by God. Truthfully, even I
can’t explain it. I am just the boy next door,
I never saw event management as threading a who fears God extremely. I am quite sensitive
path synonymous with women. There exists and emotional, but could be mean and
this myth about men being better at female ruthless without batting an eyelid if I have to. I
chores. Theo Mbakwe and Akin Ariyo (a am spontaneous, though could be shy at times.
decoration expert) were people I looked up I don’t worry over circumstances I have no
to already in the business, so I had no gender control over and I like to play. I see myself in
issues whatsoever. the next five years married to a super fine

Later, I asked to be mentored by

Funmbi Adebayo of Rostal flowers You are what you wear.
and Theo Mbakwe of Simply Renee.
The challenges that exist in the business,
I view like education in life. You are faced
lady of virtue and being celebrated more for
the lives I have affected positively than the
naija Man
with new lessons to learn everyday. One of
my major challenges is living a healthy social
super success of Yvent Kouture.
life. Because I am solely responsible for my
business success in totality, I find myself Age: 30 years
being more uptight than I would love to be.
Another challenge is how I can build and Next big move: My next big move is
maintain the brand with sustainable structure under wraps for now. You will definitely hear
without any background knowledge. I have of it when it unfolds- watch this space.
to teach myself and also seek knowledge. In
my opinion, the challenges are what makes Education: I had my primary education at
being in business exciting, as I deal with Chrisland School and my secondary education
one challenge, I am preparing myself to face at the Lagos State Model College Kankon.
the next one, knowing fully well that no I studied geography at the University of
matter how imposing the mountain is, I must Ibadan. My mum laid a strong educational
either climbed it, manoeuvre my way around foundation. Growing up, my mum was the
it or carve out a shelter from it. type of mother that would beat you well
if you bought a fancy shirt for N1,500, but
Breaking even as a business hasn’t been would gladly give you N8,000 to buy a
easy, a great man once said that ecosystems textbook and tell you to ask your teacher
in existence have rules by which energy for other books you need to buy!
is transferred and sustained between it’s
components. To survive in any society, you
simply live by the rules governing that

42 43

“One of the things I

Live from Lagos; wondered about when
Random Musings I was moving back was
Mr Fine Boy
what going out on
Christmas was crazy men. Spent it in Nige Boy- Comot there! Yeye man.
dates would be like.”
of course, but it was different ‘cos I knew I
was back for good. This Nigeria is crazy men! I swear I started to remove my seat belt so I
Real concrete jungle, as in, I’ve witnessed all could get out the car, but I come re-think am. That reminds me; hehe, as usual let me On top of the drawing was written in bold
sorts of madness since last December. I’ve Na so some agberos fit just come carry my car digress small… I met ms. Beautiful pink, “VIAGRA.” Ah ah, which kin’ Viagra be
been around for a month now, and this is the go because i wan dey chase one ill-mannered through a friend in December. Lovely chick, this one?
longest that I’ve been in Nige in eleven years! urchin. The boy sef disappeared. I don suffer just moved back as well from the states.
Of course it’s weird, but I’m loving it. for Lagos o. I’m glad I’ve become accustomed We met up on a Friday afternoon, and were Me- (laughing)- Aboki thank you I no want.
to Lagos life though. Even my mum says I’m headed to cactus to get some shawarmas and
The other day I was in traffic in V.I and this now a real Lagos man. Everyday, new things drink chapman by the water. Kai. Effizy dey Aboki- Ah, You dey laugh oga mi. This one if
little boy came and started spraying liquid happen that just amaze me though. If I begin Naija o. you drink am, you go poke, poke, poke, you no
soap on my windscreen. I was trying to tell una story, we go dey here all day. go tire.
wave him away, but he wouldn’t go o. He Anyhow, we stopped at the Total gas station
just ignored me until he had squeegeed One of the things I wondered about when by the VGC gate, and I told the attendant to Ha.
off the dirty soap water. He now came to I was moving back was what going out on fill it up. Ms. Beautiful went into the little shop
my window and stretched out his hand dates would be like. Like in the states, I had thingy to get PK gum. So there I was, getting “Aboki, thank you, I say I no want.”
for dough. Of course, as usual my coin a long mental list of the best restaurants for my money ready for the attendant when I
compartment was full of twenty and ten a first date. Another one for special dates; hear this thick Hausa accent in my window. Aboki- E good o. That ya egba (cane) go dey
naira notes, so I gave the guy ten naira. My like birthdays and valentine’s day. I knew stand well well. E no go die lai lai.
people, if you see the abuse wey this small where the best movie houses were. Basically, “Oga, you like this one? This one go good po
boy fire on top my head ehn? I don suffer. dating came easy. you well well.” Me- Ah ah. Aboki, I be young man, I no need
am now.
Boy- Oga na how much be this? But in Nige, I was wondering; where would you I look up and see this tall mallam dude
take a girl on a date? The thing also is, I drive in holding a colourful box. At first I didn’t even Aboki- I know say you be young man, but you
Me-Huh? lagos, but my navigation is limited. I know how see what was on the box properly, then: no say your thing no dey reach the last bus
to get around VI and Ikoyi. I know VI to Lekki stop. If you drink am, e go touch him bus stop
He started to walk away. and VGC. I know VI or Ikoyi to Ikeja. FINISH. If YEEPA!!! well well. Madam go dey cry yeeeeeeeeee,
you start adding new locations, na wahala. So yeeeeee, yeeee no killiiii me ooo.
Boy- E no go better for you! Ten naira inside there was my question; what if babygirl lives My people, I don die. On the cover of the
this big car. Oloshi Olori buruku…… in some random place like Akowonjo? How box was a drawing of a naked dude with the Were. Who told him “I no dey reach the last
would you find it? Sat-Nav no dey Naija o. biggest GBOLA you’ve ever seen in your life. bus stop?”
Me- Ehn? Am I your mate? Wahala.

44 naijaTimes 45

Men, I just wanted the guy to fade quickly The guy stuck out his forearm and clenched Officer- My friend, drive! Una small small The dude started begging o. I was dying of
before Ms. Beautiful came out of the store. his fist, then grabbed his right elbow. boys think say because u dey drive big car, u laughter inside, but I just blanked him.
fit dey do anyhow. DRIVE!
Aboki- Oga I swear no be lie, this one na Aboki- This one if you drink am, your gbango Officer- My chairman, please I’m sorry ehn.
gidigba gidigba.. Drink am, e go be like fire for go long, e go come stand well well. Berry The warden waved my lane through, and I You’re going too far away for me. Please bros,
madam yansh. strong, I no go lie to you oga mi. Madam you just pushed the central lock button. I make a mistake. I don’t know that it’s you. I
see am? would have not make the mistake. Please I’m
See me see trouble o. Abi is this guy mad? Ms. Me- You wicked abi? We go see who go arrest taking God to beg you, my chairman.
Beautiful starting walking towards the car. I wanted to die. Ms. Beautiful was just looking who today.
straight ahead. Finally the attendant filled up Me- Hiss.
Me- Oya oya, aboki carry am go quick quick. and I paid and zoomed off. For the rest of Officer- You say wetin?
My wife don come. the ride I was so embarrassed I swear. Good The dude was now sweating. I come begin
thing is she has a sense of humour and we just Me- Hiss. wonder why the guy dey sweat. What was
Aboki- Oga mi, walahi talahi, when I drink laughed it off. Bastard aboki. he afraid of? He probably thought my popsi
am for this one, I just dey flog my iyawo with Now, me and Roroski just started talking, and was some military guy that was gonna flog his
my egba. I just dey flog am, flog am, flog am Some things only happen in Lagos I swear. then I increased the volume of my Sasha P yansh when we got home. Luckily there was
so tay, the thing no die. She just dey cry “ CD. no traffic all the way to VGC, but as I slowed
Aaaaaays! Danladi don killi me ooooo! E don Just the other day I got stopped by the traffic down at the gate to go over a speed hump,
finish my life oooo!” warden at Ozumba Mbadiwe in VI, so he could Officer- Slow down, slow down. the dude just jumped out like a monkey. It was
let traffic through from the opposite side. Just hilarious men.
Na God go punish this aboki o! I was winking as I stopped, this LASMA guy (the road safety Roroski- Are you mad? Na you get car?
at the guy to disappear men. dudes) comes in front of the car and says; Me- Ah ah, officer wait! Why did you run
“Oga you don commit. You’re using ya mobile.” I just dey fire the car through Lekki Epe now?
She got in the car. This madman didn’t expressway men. Na so officer begin beg o.
leave o!!!! He now bent in the window and Me- Officer, it was an emergency call now. I The guy bolted away and stood at a distance.
displayed it fully! had to answer it. Oya sorry, sorry. Officer- Chairman, please slow down o. Slow Of course all the people in the area were just
down. We’ve passed the station. Ah. cracking up. I told him “Officer you’re lucky
Aboki- Oga, okay you say the money too Officer- Sorry? Hiss. o. The next time you try me, I will deal with
much. Just give me N200. Your thing go dey Me- No o. You be big man now abi? Radio you squarely!” (LOL, I learnt that statement
fire go like pistol machine, walahi. Dude freaking jumps into the backseat of the your station. Tell them I’ve arrested you. in Naija.)
car!!! (My boy Roroski was in the passenger You’re in trouble today.
Ha! I don die, now this girl is gonna think I seat.) The guy now starts bowing.
was actually negotiating with this mallam o. Officer- Egba mi o. Ha. Oloun o ma ni je’ ari
Me- Ah ah. Esu o! Aiye mi! “Sorry sir, I’m sorry.”
Me- My guy, I say I no want. (God please dont let me come across evil o!
Officer- Oya, we’re going to the station. My life!) As I began to drive into VGC, the guy shouted,
I looked at the attendant, “This thing isn’t full Nonsense. We must impound this vehicle, or I
yet?” arrest you, or both. Officer- Bros! (tapping Roroski on the “My chairman, please no vex. Please can you
shoulder) Please help me beg am now. I just assist me with N150 for okada back to the
Aboki- Oya oga, what of this one? You talk Arrest ko, arrest ni. dey do my work. Please ehn? station?”
say your thing dey touch madam last bus
stop. Abi madam? Roroski- Officer, shebi we’ve begged you. He Roroski- Beg ke? E don vex o. Better beg him Only in Nigeria.
got off the phone now. yourself.
Yeeepa! Oloshi.

46 naijaTimes 47

In April 2004, Jude Idada and Lucky Ejim To challenge our audience, we felt the need to
embarked on a journey to Nigeria, for pre- juxtapose that pain with the one associated

Lucky Ejim
production of their film titled: Faces of a with being denied the need to cater for one’s
Coin. Industry practitioners and potential family, hence the creation of Obinna (the
investors perceived them to be hapless lead role which I played) in The Tenant and
dreamers when they mentioned the budget Timothy the landlord; a cancer victim who has
of $400,000. With their tails between their to fight through his pain to see his daughter
legs they returned to Canada to nurse their after eight years of separation. The complexity
wounds. that culminated from the juxtaposition was
how much would either of them would

in a race
Months would pass as they sought various care about the other’s pain. With this soul
means to acquire the funds without success. searching present for both characters to
One day, as Lucky spoke with Jude, he only pursue, we concluded that we had arrived at
realised midway that Jude wasn’t listening something unique.”

against time
because his mind had wandered off to their
early days when they arrived the shores of Jude went to work and in two weeks, came
Canada. Then, they were both laden with the out with a script that Lucky says he read in
promises they made to their loved ones - to less than an hour. “When I finished reading,
FUNKE ADETUTU work and send enough money back home to I called him and told him how sick and
take care of them all. “As he shared this with demented he had become because of the
me,” recalls Lucky, those promises, flooded direction he decided to take us through. Jude
our thoughts so we spoke about it; how it had gone past the structure we had created
appeared as though the dream was slipping the weeks before and delved deep into
away and the promises disappearing. I tried the human consciousness leaving loads of
convincing him to focus on the film project questions for me and the rest of the audience
at hand but Jude saw other people’s stories to answer.”
running parallel to ours and couldn’t let go.”
“Some of those questions were: Why are
So persistent was Jude at the time that they we immigrants in this world that we live in?
both brainstormed one day in the month Why are we refugees to the very economy
of December 2005 from 5pm to 4am in we created? Why has forgiveness become
the morning creating the structure for The a river too deep for us as humans to swim
Tenant and searching for concrete reasons to through? Why is love for those we care about
write their story beyond the disappointment not enough reason for life to grant us all
that life had dealt them as immigrants in we need to take care of them? Why has the
Canada. Some of the ideas that emanated government that was supposed to protect
from that search was the pain associated with and cater to our well being failed us?”
the need to survive, to love and to forgive,
but these words alone weren’t enough to These questions would haunt Lucky as
make an interesting film hence they decided much as they energised him in the days to
to quantify their pain. “One question that come. When he couldn’t answer them all, he
popped up was the pain associated with decided it was worth putting them before
cancer,” explains Lucky, the death timetable an audience across the globe, believing that
that a malignant tumour places on its victim. they audience can find the answers to these

48 naijaTimes 49
questions that have plagued his mind. in his pending deportation if Obinna finds his
With that decision made, Lucky and his estranged daughter Nicole and convinces her
friend and partner on this journey decided to see him one last time before he dies.
that The Tenant was the story to make into
a film, and Faces of a Coin would take the With the clock ticking, Obinna fights to get noticed
back seat. Hence, the new challenge loomed save his dreams, in the course of which he
right before them - funds with which to stumbles on a discovery that will shake the
make the film. very foundations of his beliefs. “The Tenant is
a story that resonates more with me because
“Even though Jude had written it with a low of my experience as an immigrant in Canada;
budget in mind, it was difficult to make the a world of countless possibilities that is as
film with no money but we were tired of complex as it is beautiful” says Lucky Ejim
waiting so I resorted to moving into low
cost housing, selling my car and work tools, About Lucky Ejim
while Jude quit his job as a human resources
manager, sold his car, brought his severance He graduated from the Toronto Film School,
package and credit cards and with all these where he majored in Directing for Film. He
funds we delved right into casting.” is also a Theatre Arts graduate from the
University of Benin.
With the will power and faith to make it by Lucky has over 40 professional acting credits
any means necessary, coupled with all the to his name; most of which showcased him as
vivid questions that the story posed, it took a lead in plays, both in Nigeria and Canada. In
little effort to convince the wonderful actors his acting skills he ventured into various films
and crew members they had put together to and television projects in Canada, including
come on board and treat the job as a labour the award winning feature film ‘A winter’s Tale;
of love. the Groundbreaking Canadian television crime
series- The Border and the two part political
After two years of financial struggles, The television drama, The Summit,’ among others.
There is no better way to get through to your hard to reach customers.
Tenant is complete with all the questions
waiting for all to answer. “We believe we While at the Toronto Film School, he
have done our part in making the film and produced and directed some short films
would like to see our audience do their part including: ‘Caught on Tape, Die Another Day, Call: (UK) + 44 20 8144 3403
by helping in answering all the questions and Sounds of the Past -a film about the or (Nig) +234 18104856,
that the film poses. Are we the tenants or Rwanda genocide which was screened at +234 8066638029 for a Media Pack.
landlords of our lives?” the Sithengi Film Festival in South Africa,
Written and produced by Jude Idada and the Zimbabwe Film Festival, the Moon
directed by Lucky Ejim, The Tenant tells Rock Film Festival, where it won the
the story of Obinna, an African refugee award for best screenplay and the Toronto

in Canada, who faces deportation in 30 Film School Film Festival where the film
days. When all hope seeming lost, a chance was nominated in the categories of best
confrontation with Timothy, his terminally director, best screenplay, best sound effect
ill landlord, provides him an opportunity to and best film, and won for the best actor
remain in the country. and best sound effect respectively. He is
Timothy who is a former immigration also a best actor nominee at the Toronto
officer makes him a deal; he will intervene Film School Film Festival for Milton.

50 naijaTimes 51

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52 naijaTimes 53

Under attack; the

story of Sickle
Cell Anemia
Toyin Adesola

Like a wave of stabbing intensity the pain

struck again and again rendering me immobile
and in despair. I was having another crisis
and that probably meant endless stay in the
hospital with the inability to function in my
day-to-day activities. These crises had nothing
to do with asthma attacks or a particular
problematic situation but it’s the most
common symptom associated with living with
sickle cell anaemia. Welcome to my world of
Sickle Cell Anaemia Disorder (SCD).

I was born over 40 years ago with SCD a

blood disorder that was inherited from both
parents. Initially, my childhood was like any
other except for the frequent, terrible pains
in the bone i.e. crises attacks, and blood
transfusions I had. My situation however,
took a turn for the worse, when in 1973
after a prolonged stay in the hospital due to of depression, loneliness, frustration, and
an infection of the bone called septicaemia, bitterness, to the point of almost being
left me with a dislocated hip. I then had to suicidal. I began writing a journal to vent
use crutches, after spending six months my frustration, as I had no one to confide in.
bedridden. It was months of immobility, which In a way these journals were a plea to God.
affected me emotionally especially as I had to One day I took a decision to make something
quit my schooling just as I was beginning form of my life. I then had a crash course for my
two in school. WEAC and JAMB exams (all within two years)
and entered the Lagos State University, where
Later on, I became afflicted with osteomylitis I gave my life to Christ. As my faith grew, my
– an infection that affects the bone, the life began to change; I strenuously completed
longest lasting three years. These ulcers, my my University education and bagged a degree
inability to move around, the continuous in Economics. Some years later, at a church
crises attacks, my disrupted education and crusade I dropped my crutches and never
a static house bound life, turned into days looked back.

54 naijaTimes 55

For someone who feared what the future This year marks a 100 of discovery of SCD,
held and who people thought won’t be a disorder discovered in 1910. Despite
alive to see today, I am now an ordained its years of existence, an inexpensive, safe
deaconess, have written a book chronicling and manageable cure is yet to be found.
my experience called Still Standing, Medication is way beyond the reach of the
-which had me on Radio, TV and Newspapers average sufferer as managing the disorder
interviews, and now run an NGO, Sickle portends a monthly average of N3000
Cell Advocacy & Management Initiative per sufferer, let alone the cost of frequent
(SAMI). With a motto Life is possible. Our hospitalisation etc. The focus has always been
mission is to eliminate the effects of Sickle on the somewhat obvious health issues like:
Cell Anaemia Disorder through education, HIV, Cancer, Malaria and Polio etc. However
awareness and empowerment. Despite the effects of SCD are just as outstanding.
my over 200 hospital admissions, over 15 In Nigeria alone, of the estimated 150,000
blood transfusions and 5 operations, I have children born annually with SCD, only 37,500
overcome and I can say I’m Still Standing. may make it to their 5th birthdays and 90%
of these will face one form of family neglect,
Sickle Cell Anaemia is a hereditary blood educational neglect, stigmatisation, depression,
disorder. A disorder passed on from both loneliness, abandonment and many other
parents, usually when both parents are social and psychological issues - showing
of the genotype AS. However though there is a need for better advocacy. A
it’s predominantly associated among combined effort of related NGO’s, corporate
blacks, there has been found to be organisations and especially from people living
various derivatives among the people of with SCD is needed to bring the reality of
Mediterranean, Arab and some Asian descent. the problem to the fore. The United Nations
It is important to note that your genotype finally passed a resolution recognising SCD
is different from your blood group, as blood as a health problem and making June 19th of
groups have nothing to do with the genetics every year, World Sickle Cell Day. The high
of having a child with Sickle Cell. level of ignorance especially among the lower
cadre of the society and surprisingly enough
A sickle cell crisis occurs when sickled red among the somewhat educated middle class, in
blood cells form clumps in the bloodstream, knowing their genotype and what it portends,
due to the banana like shape of the blood further emphasises the need for a greater
cell. Normal cells are usually round and awareness programme.
squishy. These clumps of cells block blood
flow through the small blood vessels in the It is important to note that SCD in the 2015
limbs and organs. This can cause pain and Millennium Development Goals has in no way
organ damage. The pain can be acute or been stated. This reflects the need for the
chronic and could last from a few days to world to really realise the effect of SCD to
months. Other issues associated with sickle nation building. It is therefore time for us to
cell range from strokes, vision loss, kidney speak out. In the following editions, we shall
disorder, reduction in immunity, vaso- be reviewing in detail the symptoms of SCD
occlusive crisis, osteomilytis (infection of and its social and psychological effects. Till
bone or bone marrow) and more. then, show you care and change a life today.

56 naijaTimes 57

It is spread via air and is transmitted from the organism is slow growing and might

Check that cough,

an infected to a non-infected person take between 4-12 weeks to isolate, when
through their cough, sneeze or saliva. A large treatment should have long commenced.

it just might be
percentage of the infections usually result As such, a complete medical examination
in asymptomatic, latent infection (with no to include a thorough history taking from
obvious symptoms). Statistics show that one the patient about the condition, physical

in ten latent infections progress to active examination, chest x-ray and microbiological
infections (with signs and symptoms). And tests must be carried out to immediately
if left unattended, kills more than half of its make the diagnosis.
victims. A third of the world’s population
Gbonjubola Babalola is said to be infected with Mycobacterium As popularly stated, prevention is better than
tuberculosis and new infections occur at the cure, people who are high risk and infected
rate of one per second. people should be identified and treated.

Children (especially infants) should also be vaccinated at an

Call it a cough and you wouldn’t be far from the truth, but it just might be Pulmonary early age with the BCG (Bacillus Calmette- Guerin) vaccine,
Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis otherwise known as TB (short for Tubercle Bacilli) is a common and
often deadly infectious disease which is caused by an organism called Mycobacteria usually The symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis Children (especially infants) should also be
Mycobacterium tuberculosis in humans. include; a productive and prolonged cough vaccinated at an early age with the BCG
(lasting for more than 3 weeks), chest pain, (Bacillus Calmette- Guerin) vaccine, which
TB is a disease that affects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body such as the brain, haemoptysis (coughing up blood), weight provides protection against severe forms of
abdomen, spine, urinary and genital systems. These other forms are collectively referred to as loss, drenching night sweats, fatigue, fever and childhood TB but is unreliable against adult
Extra pulmonary Tuberculosis. chills. The sudden resurgence of tuberculosis pulmonary TB. More vaccines are being
is alarming since it is a disease which we developed and are currently undergoing
thought long ago was well under control, clinical trials.
yet the incidence has again increased. It is
especially important as people regardless of The treatment of TB is via the use of
their age, sex or social status present daily antibiotics and may be a single (in the latent
at hospitals with complaints relating to the phase) or a combination (in the active phase).
condition, contributing to the increasing The period of use may last from between
morbidity and mortality. People with certain 6-24months to reduce the occurrence of
conditions such as; HIV, Diabetes Mellitus, an antibiotic resistance and thus prevent
malnourishment, chronic renal failure, re-infection later in life. Although awareness
prolonged steroid therapy, Intravenous drug about the condition has dwindled and
abusers and also medical workers are more programs targeted at controlling it are
predisposed to having the condition. almost non-existent, matters relating to our
health should be taken with utmost care and
A definitive diagnosis is made by identifying concern and especially for a condition, which
the causative organism (Mycobacterium is largely preventable and treatable, it would
tuberculosis) in a sample, which may be be sad to hear of mortalities relating to TB in
sputum or pus. In conditions where it is not this day and age. So go right ahead, check that
possible to get the samples, a chest x-ray cough, it just might be Pulmonary TB.
is advised. A major constraint faced is that

58 naijaTimes 59
The Shop

that by increasing octane in certain types an efficient combustion and emission process

Nulon PSO: Worrying of engines, people can increase power, and

sometimes vehicle efficiency. In a sense,
within ones vehicle which consequently
reduces the release of excessive pollutants

about the octane level

Ogunnusi has decided to bridge the gap into the environment and possibly into the
between, high octane fuel and low octane fuel. cabin of ones vehicle and this principle also

in your fuel?
According to him, Nulon PSO is the best and applies to their diesel fuel treatments. The
most powerful octane booster on the market, Nulon PSO is available in a 500ml bottle and
capable of converting petrol in Nigeria to a an averaged sized fuel tank should benefit
Tosin Olaiya premium grade of at least 95 RON, “the RON from using 250ml of Nulon PSO per new full
means the research octane number which is tank of petrol. Larger fuel tanks, such as the
a measure of petrol’s resistance to knock and large SUV’s would utilise the whole bottle

D o you worry about the octane level in your fuel? Probably not, Jimi Ogunnusi thinks
no other consumer-based octane booster has
the ability to achieve this performance”. The
per new full tanks of petrol. Ogunnusi
also mentioned that consumers can top up
you should. He is the founder and managing director of Moto Supreme Global Limited, a rationale being that the higher the octane fuel tanks intermittently with additional fuel
fuel treatment specialist and automotive consultancy company which happens to be the rating of petrol, the less the potential for without the need to add additional Nulon
exclusive distributor of the Nulon Pro strength octane (Nulon PSO), a product which is engines to knock. PSO, though the consequence will be that
designed to raise the octane rating of fuel. The general idea behind octane boosters is
Nulon PSO is environmentally friendly and
its use results in an efficient combustion and
emission process
We tested the product in-house and this is the more often users top up, the more the
a product that definitely appeals more to potency of the PSO will reduce. In terms of
the motor enthusiast. Sam in our office felt a value, individual consumers and corporate
real difference after only a week. According bodies alike will definitely ‘feel and see’
to him, it made his petrol last longer in his significant improvements in the performance
nissan x-trail 4x4 and Mr Sunday who works and protection of their vehicles says Ogunnusi
with the distribution team, and spends and, “though Nulon PSO is not the cheapest
most of his day driving also felt a difference. neither is it the most expensive octane
Though he didn’t notice any obvious fuel booster in Nigeria. That said, it is definitely
saving, he mentioned improved performance the best and most powerful octane booster in
and response in the jeep that he drives. The the country”.
Australian made Nulon PSO is designed to
boost the octane in petrol by 70 points (7 The Australian made Nulon PSO has
Numbers), thereby transforming Nigerian undergone vigorous independent testing,
petrol from its single unleaded petrol grade including tests by Intertek International, to
“Nulon is offering 2 readers the of 90 RON to 95 RON. Since low octane verify its outstanding performance and it is
chance to win one years supply of is synonymous with poor performing petrol approved by the Standards Organisation of
Nulon PSO, for a chance to win this, that is predominant in Nigeria; such problems Nigeria (SON) and SONCAP and recently
as engine and fuel component damage, high passed the quality standards of a major
check out the quiz on the inside fuel consumption, excessive maintenance Nigerian Petroleum Group after rigorous
cover of the magazine” and servicing costs, overheating and laboratory and road tests. Some Nulon
piston damage, poor vehicle response and approved retailers are Anstel Limited, Brass
acceleration which ultimately lead to stressful Motors, Fleet & Cosy, Fix Factors Ltd.,
and unsatisfactory driving experiences Germaine Autos, Lanre Shittu Motors, Skymit
will be eliminated by using Nulon PSO. An Motors and NMI. Customer comments
interesting point to note is that Nulon PSO is are welcome on their website at
environmentally friendly and its use results in -

60 naijaTimes 61

Ocloo) and the unnamed local bus driver teams move the ball with intent from the
who were slain in the attacks. goalkeeper to the point man with a clear
understanding of their game plan. Some
The dust has since settled and it is time to relied on talent, others on youth while others
take a look back at the tournament under simply “used what they had to get what
various heads. they wanted” (apologies to General Ibrahim
Babangida (Rtd)).
The decision of the Confederation of African
Football (CAF) to host the African Cup of I am an advocate of developmental football
Nations Bi-annually is beginning to yield and I always support the right approach to
massive dividends. Hitherto, the gap between the growth of the game. One country that
the big and small African soccer playing got it right at Angola 2010 was Ghana. In the
nations was visible in the results of such build up to the tournament, a lot of Ghana’s
encounters. Established football nations easily established footballers became unavailable
“The all round development of the African thrashed the upcoming ones without much for the nations cup either through injuries
game has attracted improved levels of ado and the defeats humbled the smaller or suspension on grounds of indiscipline. At
branding, marketing and sponsorship.” countries. At the 27th African Cup of Nations
however, the gap had closed considerably.
the point of arrival for the tournament, not
less than 8 of Ghana’s established regulars
The big boys got the message and very were missing at the party. So the time was
clearly indeed. Malawi defeated Algeria 3-0, right for the development of the younger
T he Orange African Cup of Nations tagged Angola Gabon humiliated Cameroon 1-0, Nigeria players. Ghana, one of the super powers of
2010 has come and gone. Once again, the Pharaohs could only brush Benin aside with a lone goal African football has a relatively stable youth
of Egypt clinched the title for the seventh time and all via a penalty kick, Cameroon dug deep into system. Top football Clubs like Hearts of Oak,

ANGOLA round, it was a wonderful display of African football.

From kick-off to final whistle, all the matches were
Yaoundé before they could get past Zambia
3-2, Ghana’s under-20 graduates eliminated
Asante Kotoko FC, AshantiGold SC Obuasi
and Liberty Professionals all have football

filled with thrills and excitement. Like every other Nigeria’s Professors in the Semi-final and so academies which have consistently fed the
tournament, young talents were discovered, the next on. It was an excellent tournament. National Teams with their products. So it is
generation of African players revealed and ultimately not surprising that just a few months back,
tremendous improvements made in the overall quality Along with the maturity of teams in the in Egypt, the Black Satellites (Ghana Male

of the football played by the African teams. One African football fiesta came the abundance Under-20 Football Team) emerged World
should also note the consistent rise in sponsorship of goals. A total of 71 goals were scored in Champions in their age group. They beat
and economic strides attained by the Confederation Angola with an average of 2.45 goals per Brazil in a penalty shoot-out and were already
of African Football. The all round development of match. It started right from the opening dreaming of when their opportunity to step
the African game has attracted improved levels of game with an eight-goal thriller between into the Black Stars dressing room would
AFTERMATH branding, marketing and sponsorship. The only blur Mali and Angola through till the end of the come. Not many of them would have thought
on the event was the separatist movement attacks games. It tells the story of African Football it would come so soon. Ghana’s Serb Trainer,
Olayemi Shofolu
on the bus ferrying the Togolese national team as it is today. Though not yet at the Zenith, Milovan Rajevac, faced with a depleted senior
in Cabinda a few days to kick-off. Our heart felt we can testify we have come of age. We now squad, gave the youths their opportunity
sympathies go to the Families of the team’s Assistant understand how to play attractive football on the big stage and they grabbed it with
Coach (Abalo Amelete), Press Officer (Stanislas at all levels and score beautiful goals as well. both hands. Within months, they were in the
Throughout the tournament, I watched many finals of both the FIFA Under-20 tournament

62 naijaTimes 63

and the Orange African Cup of Nations. The continuous progression of these clubs MEDAL for their efforts. But looking back against Algeria. Throughout the tournament,
That singular move by Rajevac will in my by extension imply the continuous success of at the preparations and pre-tournament the Eagles lacked class and character. The
calculation ensure a smooth transition from the Pharaohs as they do not need to look far happenings in and around the Eagles Camp, technical crew were always short of ideas in
youth to senior level and secure the future of to summon the talents required to prosecute the writings were already on the wall. From their approach to the game and in making
Ghanaian football for the next ten years or their national assignments. There would also a larger pool, Coach Shuaibu Amodu chose their substitutions. Even when they made
so. Players like Isaac Vorsah (TSG Hoffenheim, be no need to attempt a change in the playing mostly unfit players and bench warmers to their substitutions, they eventually worsened
Germany) Opoku Agyemang (Al Sadd, philosophy of the personnel as they are mostly compete in the tournament. Half the players the case on the pitch.
Qatar) Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy) products of the same playing culture. This in the squad had been in and out of their
Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea, Ghana), Samuel home grown approach to all round football teams either through injury or relegation Thankfully, after the Angola disaster, the NFF
Inkoom (Basel, Switzerland) Harrison Afful development has formed basis of the Pharaohs’ to the reserve bench for non-performance. has started cleaning the mess they created
(Esperance, Tunisia) Moussa Narry (Auxerre, success till date. It is instructive to note that in Not that there were no other available themselves. Shuaibu has been seconded to
France) Andre Ayew (Arles-Avagnon, recent times Coaches who led the Pharaohs players, those sacrificed for those who the home based Eagles (where I think he will
France) are beneficiaries of the Rajevac’s to title winning triumphs (Hassan Shehata made the list were regulars in their various even be worse off) and the NFF is searching
trust in youth. They gave a good account of and Mahmood El-Gohary) were former clubs. Femi Ajilore, Dele Adeleye, Michael for a foreign technical adviser. What I really
themselves in Angola. players of the national team and products of Eneramo, Adebayo Olufemi and Joseph think about all these events is that the NFF
the same system. Akpala amongst others have played almost has continued to show they lack the ability
EGYPT- WORTHY CHAMPIONS all the league matches for their various to manage our football successfully. They
The Pharaohs arrived Angola with nearly clubs this season. wasted our precious time and resources in
Egypt went into the tournament as defending the full team they paraded in the last two appointing Amodu Shuaibu who has added
champions and back-to-back winners of tournaments. But more importantly, they At the tournament proper, Amodu Shuaibu nothing to our football and are now thinking
the tournament. Not only that, they were came with their most potent weapons to wit: moved further towards self-destruction. of appointing a foreign Manager four months
the most successful football nation on the discipline and organisation on and off the His team failed to convince many they were to the World Cup. At the back of my mind, I
continent after winning the African title a field. With these two weapons, they brushed Championship material. Though they were have a feeling we are about to begin another
record six times. Their strength lies in their aside all opponents to lift the trophy for the thoroughly subdued 3-1 by Egypt in the cycle of failure. To counter this, I have a
ability to efficiently organise their domestic seventh time. Despite their age which was first group game, they raised their game suggestion. Appoint Coach Samson Siasia to
professional league and produce some of the nearing 34 on the average, all the teams who against the other two group opponents take us to the World Cup and let whoever
best football on the continent. Little wonder came up against them fell like a pack of cards, who were generally considered as weaker the NFF appoints as our foreign manager
the most successful Football club recognized Nigeria, Mozambique, Benin, Cameroon, teams. They defeated Benin 1-0 and take charge after the World Cup. I say so
by FIFA and CAF in Africa is Al Ahly Football Algeria and lastly Ghana in that order. They humbled Mozambique 3-0 to qualify for the because the most relevant and productive
Club of Egypt. Al Ahly FC is not the only have again re-asserted their authority as the Quarterfinals where they played Zambia. In players available to us at the moment are
evidence of the superiority of Egyptian football. best African football playing nation. the game against the Zambians, the team members of the squad which played in the
There are equally successful clubs such as was abysmal. They left a young Zambian World Youth Championship in 2005. As
Zamalek Sporting Club, Ismaily Sporting Club ALL HAIL – THE MIGHTY PHARAOHS. team to do the playing while they watched they did in 2005, they also won silver at the
and Ghazl El Mahalla just to name a few. The and prayed for luck. Their prayers were Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 still under
level of professionalism these institutions have The SUPER EAGLES DID NOT FLY eventually answered. The Zambians lost via the tutelage of their able Coach Samson
attained mean their most successful players do penalty kicks and the Eagles still marched Siasia. They should guarantee us a decent
not have to rush to Europe to sign professional In the January issue of this magazine on. However, against a youthful Ghanaian performance which I think is the least the
contacts with football clubs. Only a few wherein I asked the pertinent question, squad buoyed by youthful energy, the Eagles Nigerian fans deserve. Though some of them
exceptional talents have succeeded abroad and WILL THE SUPER EAGLES FLY?, I sincerely dropped off at what has become their usual are currently members of the ailing Eagles
they are also quick in making a u-turn at the hoped they would. But alas, my fears were bus stop, the Semi-Finals. They lost 0-1 to team, they have a way of resurrecting their
slightest discomfort because they really do not confirmed on the 31st of January, 2010 a team dominated by mainly youth football game when receiving instructions from
see much difference between playing at home when the tournament ended. The Eagles graduates in that game before clinching Coach Samson Siasia. I wonder if anyone at
or abroad. had again picked up ANOTHER BRONZE the bronze medal in the third place match the NFF is reasoning in the same way.

64 naijaTimes 65
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