Have you made the most important decision of your life? Where will you spend Eternity? To make heaven is as simple as ABC- Accept you are a sinner, Believe that Jesus died for your sin and Confess HE is Lord.
24 Dec 2008
Hi good people,
Sorry I have been away. I got the dreadful flu and I am just recovering. Anyway just stopped by to wish y'all a happy Christmas and a prosperous 2009.
In the midst of all the eating, merrymaking and jubilation, let us remember that Jesus Christ is the reason for the season.
He brought JOY to the WORLD. May your JOY no know bound because of him.
He came to set us free from the law of sin and death.
He came that we might have eternal life.
He came because he loves you and I.
Do you believe in HIM?
He is coming back AGAIN, not as a baby but as the King of Kings.
Are you ready?
I pray that the true meaning of Christmas will be revealed to each and everyone of us as we celebrate.
If I don't update again before the year runs out, see you in 2009 by God's grace.
15 Dec 2008
Ok I was tagged by Buttercup in the 2 truths and 1 lie meme. Y’all have to guess which of these 3 statements are truths and a lie:
1) I once jumped out of a moving vehicle
2) I was a virgin till I got married
3) I love baking cakes
I hereby tag-
Good Naija Girl
Simeon OMO Baba.
Buttercup didn’t leave the rules as she didn’t know them, so I’ll just follow what she did on her blog. For those that were tagged, you have to list the truths and lie, tag those you want to and let them know they've been tagged.
Not sure how soon I am suppose to reveal which ones are the truth and which is the lie. Buttercup hasn’t given us her results yet, so let’s see ….
So what are you waiting for? Get cracking! ;o)
9 Dec 2008
1. I am thankful to bloggers who checked up on me. Number 2 will explain what happened to me :)
2. Was in Naija, the past 10 days. Had fun, enjoyed the sunshine. So sorry I didn’t say…it was kind of impromptu and a very short visit so couldn’t catch up with any one, bloggers inclusive. I will plan better next time.
3. Was really good to see family: My parents, Parents inlaws, siblings inlaw, my older sibling and her beautiful daughter that looks like me, my grandma. Short trip but memorable
4. Had a safe uneventful trip going and coming. Sat beside some lady with a nasty attitude on my way to Naija, but thankfully the journey back was better. Sat beside some cute affable “half-caste” dude who is a DJ. As a married woman seriousily in love with her hubby, all I could commit was lookery lol (Naijalines na you I dey follow o). We chit-chatted most of the journey, apart from when I was watching an inflight movie or sleeping.
5. I lost my phone in Naija at the Jade restaurant Lagos. The waiter kept insisting I didn’t leave it there (I was about to throw a tantrum) but thankfully it was found in the kitchen wrapped in the table cloth the waiter had cleared. Phew!
6. Today is Writefreak’s 2nd wedding anniversary. I am thankful for her and her hubby.
7. This is the last month of the year. WOW, I am thankful to be alive, not by my power but by God’s grace.
8. I am thankful for blogville and the wonderful friends I have made here.
9. I am thankful for my hubby. He is the best.
10. Even though I couldn’t join the blog rally due to limited internet access in Naija- “I believe there is a GOD”, I am thankful that there is a GOD and that I believe in HIM. HIS loving kindness is better than Life itself. Without HIM I am nothing. He took all that I was and made me all that I am today.
So what are you thankful for?
24 Nov 2008
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity) was discovered by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. The law states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Pareto, observed that 80 percent of the land in
Pareto's theory of predictable imbalance has since been applied to almost every aspect of today life.
The 80/20 rule can help you focus on what is really important in various aspects of your life. I have listed below a few application of the 80/20 rule:
Friendships- 20% of your friends probably give you 80% of the support, care and satisfaction you need. 20% of your relationships give 80% of the value. Learn to recognise people that fall into the 20% and improve those relationships. Those are your true friends.
Relationship/Marriage- In the
Work- Approximately 20% of your efforts produce 80% of the results. Find your productive time/condition and make the best use of it. Personally, I find that I am more productive in the mornings. By afternoon, my brain begins to work on slow mode. Since I have recognised this, I try to do my 20% in the mornings to achieve maximum results for the day.
Possessions- 20% of what you own is used 80% of the time. We wear 20% of our favorite clothes about 80% of the time. Only a small part of what you own is used often. This might help you to de-clutter the junk in your home. I certainly need this tip!
We all have limited resources, be it our time, money, or attention. So to get the most out of them, it’s important to invest your resources in only the most profitable places.
Note 1: the 80/20 rules are approximates
Note 2: More details on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle
Note 3: I promised Rita I will do a post on the 80/20 rule based on a post she did, so this one is for you girl :)
10 Nov 2008
Since I started living abroad, my bank or other marketers have tried to sell insurance to me and each time I refuse to buy. Just today I received a call from my bank trying to sell me an accident insurance policy. The lady went on and on about how if I was involved in an accident, they will cover my hospital bill blah blah. She listed so many benefits. All I had to do was sign up and pay £9.95 monthly. As she was talking of different kinds of accidents and disabilities that might happen as a result of the accidents, I began to bind and cast. In my head I kept saying "I rebuke it in Jesus name". Now to be sincere, am not quiet sure if it was an act of fear or faith. Can I say it was a combination of both. Is that possible?? But you know how we Nigerians/Africans are quick to bind and cast.
In the UK, it is compulsory to insure your car. I doubt that a lot of Nigerians at home have insurance for their cars. Makes me wonder how the insurance companies in Nigeria survive. We were not brought up to pay ahead against any ill fates that might occur. Isn't that what insurance is about. Pay upfront such that if anything bad happens you are covered ? Instead we see prayer has our insurance. Even if accidents or theft happen, we see it as part of life and move on.
After today's call with the lady marketer (we spent 12 minutes on the call going back and forth on top this insurance, she try sha), I asked myself why I refused to be accident insured. The only answer I could come up with was to quote the scripture that the Lord is watching over me and that no harm will befall me. Besides parting with £9.95 monthly?? Kilode, but why?
So share with us, what do you think about getting insurance. Is there a type of insurance you can take but some you won't e.g home insurance such that you are covered in the case of theft, but not accident insurance? What about Life Insurance? Do you see insurance as an investment? Do you think it is foolish not to be insured or should we continue quoting scriptures and pleading the blood of Jesus to protect us from all evil?
I leave the floor open to you...
*picture taken from static.seekingalpha.com/.../
4 Nov 2008
Hi people. I hope you are having a good week so far. Here's my thankful list. God indeed is awesome and is forever faithful! You can check my last list here
- For good health and protection
- A good friend of mine visited from Nigeria. It was nice to host and catch up with her
- Took hubby to the airport and missed my way back home! The silly navigator refused to work. It was pitch-dark and I was so scared. Started panicking and hyperventilating (why I dunno o). Had to park the car to get myself together after nearly having an accident. At that point, God gave me wisdom to ditch the navigator and instead look at the signs for direction. That led me home. When I got to the turning to my road, I heard the navigator say “take the next left and you will reach your destination”….Nonsense! But in all I thank God I got home safely.
- My MIL’s birthday was last week. I am thankful she is hale and hearty and that she had so much fun on her day.
- My little cousin’s turned 11 yesterday. He is such a big boy now and it was nice speaking with him over the phone. I saw him last when he was 5/6.
- Even though my business is moving slowly, I am thankful for the things I am learning and I believe it will grow better than I am expecting
- Despite the credit crunch, I am thankful for provision every single day
- I am glad Rachael was kept safe and is still in the X-Factor competition. Those who watch the X-Factor (Naijalines & co) will know what I am talking about. I hope she goes far even though I am not voting (might probably start when things become critical).
- Today is Election Day in America. Even though I am hopeful that Obama will win, I am thankful because I know God is in control whatever happens.
- I am thankful that Jonathan Eledu has been released and I believe the Nigerian govt will give him back his travel documents ASAP.
So what are you thankful for?
Please, if you can, take a few minutes to welcome Nwachi to blogville. I am feeling her blog already :)
Meanwhile I have been meaning to ask y'all a question. When you post a comment or question on blogs, which do you prefer- receiving a reply on that person’s blog, your blog or via email. Just want to be sure if someone asks me a question or whatever; I respond to the appropriate place. Personally, if I ask someone a question on their blog, I don’t mind where they reply as I typically track comments but I must say sometimes emails have a personal touch to it.
So please let me know. Ta!
31 Oct 2008
FREE Jonathon Elendu NOW
28 Oct 2008
Please read and let me know what you think? Cheers!
*Guys/men please feel free to comment as well* Rethots no vex o ;)
Have you ever noticed girls who set their handbags on
public toilet floors, then go directly to their dining
tables and set it on the table? Happens a lot!
It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes
Stomach distress. Sometimes 'what you don't know will hurt you'!
Mom got so upset when guests came in the door and
plopped their handbags down on the counter where she
was cooking or setting up food. She always said that
handbags are really dirty, because of where they have
It's something just about every woman carries with them.
While we may know what's inside our handbags,
do you have any idea what's on the outside? Women carry
handbags everywhere; from the office to public toilets
to the floor of the car. Most women won't be caught
without their handbags, but did you ever stop to think
about where your handbag goes during the day.
I drive a school bus, so my handbag has been on the
floor of the bus a lot,' says one woman. 'On the
floor of my car, and in toilets.'
'I put my handbag in grocery shopping carts and on the
floor of the toilet,' says another woman 'and of
course in my home which should be clean.'
We decided to find out if handbags harbor a lot of
bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson
Laboratories in Salt Lake , and then we set out to
test the average woman's handbag.
Most women told us they didn't stop to think about
what was on the bottom of their handbag. Most said at
home they usually set their handbags on top of kitchen
tables and counters where food is prepared.
Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn't
be surprised if their handbags were at least a little bit dirty.
It turns out handbags are so surprisingly dirty, even
the microbiologist who tested them was shocked.
Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Labs says nearly
all of the handbags tested were not only high in
bacteria, but high in harmful kinds of bacteria.
Pseudomonas can cause eye infections, staphylococcus
aurous can cause serious skin infections, and
salmonella and e-coli found on the handbags could make
people very sick.
In one sampling, four of five handbags tested positive
for salmonella, and that's not the worst of it.
'There is fecal contamination on the handbags' says Amy.
Leather or vinyl handbags tended to be cleaner than
cloth handbags, and lifestyle seemed to play a role.
People with kids tended to have dirtier handbags than
those without, with one exception.
The handbag of one single woman who frequented
nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all.
'Some type of feces, or possibly vomit' says Amy.
So the moral of this story is that your handbag won't
kill you, but it does have the potential to make you
very sick if you keep it on places where you eat.
Use hooks to hang your handbag at home and in toilets,
and don't put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or
on your kitchen countertop.
Experts say you should think of your handbag the same way you would a pair of
shoes. 'If you think about putting a pair of shoes on
your countertops, that's the same thing you're doing
when you put your handbag on the countertops.'
Your handbag has gone where individuals before you
have walked, sat, sneezed, coughed, spat, urinated,
emptied bowels, etc!
Do you really want to bring that home with you?
The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a
handbag will help. Wash cloth handbags and use leather
cleaner to clean the bottom of leather handbags.
25 Oct 2008
This is not an update but information for student bloggers in the States.
You can find more information here on the blogging scholarship.
Please pass on to other bloggers that might be interested.
A Naija student blogger should win this time o! LOL
19 Oct 2008
Last week, I was awarded the "I Love your blog" award by YankeeNaijaBabe and Lady A. I was really tripped and actually blessed to know that such wonderful ladies love my blog.
YNB- I must confess that I love the work you are doing with your new blog...it's full of all sorts that can benefit anyone who cares to read. I have picked up a few fashion tips from your blog. Thanks
Lady A- Reading about your story and how you are joyful even in the midst of heartaches, everyday life and caring for your kids amazes me. Your love for God is evident in all your blogs. I am so happy that you and your hubby are back together and making things work. You remind me that Love conquers all.
So before I pass on the award, here are the rules:
1.The nominated is allowed to put the picture on their blogs.
2.Link to the person who awarded you.
3.Nominate seven other people and link to them.
4.Leave a message on those people's blog to make them aware that they're nominated.
I know the rules says pass it on to 7 bloggers but as I am incorporating this with my Ten things Tuesday am sure y'all won't mind me passing it to 10 remarkable bloggers. So here's me passing on the award and giving thanks for 10 blogs I love. Smart move, right??
Oh, yah, at this point I must mention that to everyone I gave out the Honest Award and to everyone that I read your blogs, please know that I 100% love your blogs. Blogville is just the place to be and I am humbled to be part of this wonderful family. However, I will like to recgonise the following as their blogs have impacted my life for the better (if you didn't know, now u are about to know...lol).
In no particular order, I hereby pass on the award to:
- Xbox Wife- The orginator of Ten things Tuesday. Am sure glad to have stumbled on your blog cuz doing ten things tuesday has taught me to be more thankful. For this reason I love your blog :)
- Walking- This lady has all sorts of tips for everyday life on her blog. I have picked up a few tips on money management, food timetable etc. You just have to check her out.
- Seye- There's just something remarkable about you and your posts. For a guy, I think you are in touch with your emotions even though you try to appear hardcore to us ;-)
- Simeone Omobaba- Man of God! LOL...Your blog inspires me. That's all I am going to say.
- ShubbyDoo- Just the title of your blog alone trips me. I remember once you mentioned on someone's blog that it actually keeps u in check. This reminds me of me sometimes when i feel like ranting but my blog title keeps me in line. Inspiring blog
- Abbie- I love reading about you, your son, your minor "escapades". LOL. Thanks for always taking time out to respond to my comments via email. I appreciate it
- 30+ - I simply love your blog because you ALWAYS acknowledge God at the beginning of each post. I find that totally awe-inspiring.
- Tyger- You this girl, you have not been updating frequently but when you do you have something to say that puts a smile on my face.
- Rethots- I love your unique way of writing. I have this image of you in my head. Do you look like a geek? lol. Sometimes, am not sure what you are going on about in your posts (slow me abi) but I love the fact that you take time out to send me an email to explain what's going on.
- Abuja Maiden - I only recently stumbled on this blog and I fell in love with it right away. It's rare to find people who not only travel the "narrow path" but they are not ashamed to talk about it. Not sure how old you are but you remind me of me when I was younger, single and dealing with temptations of a single life. The Lord will surely reward your decision ;)
Sorry I have to acknowledge one more special person o, no vex. My ore timo timo (my close friend).
Writefreak: Ore, sometimes I think you blog is all about you and your hubby. Hubby this, hubby that. LOL. That is what I love about your blog :) Too much love...never too much jare! Thanks for being my friend in real life and in blogville. ;)
So who or what are you thankful for??
13 Oct 2008
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but you think you can't,
It is almost certain you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.
7 Oct 2008
- God's protection
- For the power of love over fear in my life
- Seye has decided to be part of the ten thing tuesday series ;-)
- Went to see the Lion King at the theatre with Tyger. It was remarkable! Really lovely! If you are in the UK (not sure where else they show this), I recommend you go and see it.
- Tyger and I had lunch at Pizza Express before the show. That was also fun. I found out after the show, at the tube station, that I forgot my debit card at Lunch! We had to walk all the way back; Tyger in her high heels, I was smart enough to bring a change of shoes. (Tyger no vex o...lol). Am glad I got my card back.
- I drove to work and back home all by myself yesterday...lol. Hubby went with me on Friday but I decided to tackle this on my own. I blasted my Hillsong CD to keep me company on the way and I thank God I didn't miss my way!
- Hubby had a bad cold during the week and on top of that hit his leg which swelled up. The cold is gone and his leg is fine now.
- The gas at home stopped working which affected the heater and hot water but hubby fixed it. Good to have a handyman at home men, because if it was just me I would have called the Landlord to come and fix his gas!
- Had a blasting headache yesterday afternoon, and then a tummy upset. Headache is gone but tummy still aches.
- Deciding to call in sick today. Honestly I can not do any brain work with a tummy upset. At least I can stay home to rest today. I need it!
30 Sep 2008
You see, I went to a boarding school and then did my first degree outside
I didn’t worry too much as I got a job in
I got to the
Ok fast forward to two years later- beginning of 2008. As part of my goals for the year, driving and getting my license was at the top of the list. I had had enough and felt I had dragged this whole driving thing for too long. Kilode??? (Why??). Bus drivers that might have not gone to school can drive, so why can’t I. Correct babe like me. I was like aloted, this is the year o. You have to get your license and get driving!
So in April I enrolled in a driving school (kai, yet another one) and had to start from scratch. Learning how to drive and then pass the driving test is another ball game in the
Nawa o, this story is getting long o. Hen, hen, where was I? Ok I started driving classes and was beginning to feel confident again about my driving. I even mentioned it in one or two of my ten things Tuesday. I took my practical test in June and I failed it! I was quite devastated. I knew at this point I could drive but the driving test was so nerve wrecking I fumbled. On a consoling note, only about 35% of people pass their first time. But still I was really gutted! All that money! Kai! That was mainly what I could think about. Husby was really cool about the whole thing. He believes till this day that the examiner purposely failed me (cuz am a black girl init? LOL)
Ok, don’t worry, I am nearly done with my story. So I took a month break and decided to ditch my instructor. I didn’t have any issues with him actually but I felt I needed a second "view". At this point I also considered going the easy route- doing my test with an auto car, but I felt that was accepting defeat. Why should I not be able to pass my test with a manual, meanwhile if you pass the auto test you are restricted to driving only auto cars. For all you auto drivers, you cannot really drive o..just accept it now now..LOL, who cares abi? Anyway I got another instructor who taught manual and I was glad I did. DI (driving instructor) seemed very passionate about teaching how to drive and kept on going on and on about how many of his students passed first time and how he loved his job. This actually boosted my confidence. I took fewer lessons with him, ta le fe je ni gbese (I had no more extra money to dash (give) anyone).
I was feeling really on top of things, and felt more prepared for my next test. Days before my test, I had been praying seriously for favour with the examiner because I really didn’t want to go through all of the driving test after this time.
I felt nervous again, I tire for me and nervousness o, such that at the beginning of the test I could hardly feel my legs and I was like “oh no, not now, legs you have to perform o”. I made a blunder on one of the manoeuvres and in my head I was like ye I don fail (I have failed) but I kept at it and my legs felt better. I made sure I kept doing my mirror checks (people fail primarily for this reason- not checking their mirrors and blind spot). I wore dangle earrings so the man will know when I make any head movement. LOL.
Anyhoo we got back to the test centre and the guy was like “Is this your first attempt” and I replied “No, my second”. He goes “Ok I will give you a pass, but you know you nearly messed up there”. Omo I felt like kneeling down and prostrating for him at the same time. I PASSED!!!!! Tears of joy came streaming down, I felt like saying one conc Yoruba prayer for the guy but I just kept my cool. He gave me a blue paper to use as a temp licence and wished me all the best. I was so excited I hugged the DI…hehehe. He was pretty happy for me as well.
Hubsy was so excited for me, he took me out later that evening to celebrate. Meanwhile, guess who the first person I smsed to share the good news- My dad!
My sms: How are you sir? Just wanted to let you know I took my practical driving test today and I passed! Thank God. So I am now an official road user.
His reply: My dear daughter, I am proud of you. Congratulations. When next I come to Britain
Dreading this already..LOL!!!
16 Sep 2008
Hi peeps hope you are all doing well?
Tuesdays are here again!!! Another day to give thanks. Here's the link to my last Ten things tuesday.
- The sunshine we had this weekend was awesome. T'was nice to see the sun shining
- Husby has finally barbed his hair, after so much begging & pleading! He looks all cute & boyish with his skin cut!
- Two of my friends gave birth this past week
- God delivered me from the hands of fraudsters (long story but it relates to my business)
- I feel so much love around me and on blogville
- The award I received on blogville from brownsugar is still tripping me. Thanks babes!
- Grateful for my pastor and the work God is using him to do
- The gift of love and life
- Power of healing in my life
- The Lord is good and his love endures forever!
What are you thankful for?
Last time I asked what you'll do if you feel you are always making contact with your friends and they don't. I appreciate all your answers and I think on a good day I'll take the actions the same way I listed them depending on how important I think the frienship is to me. The answer that particular struck me was from Abbie:
"About your question, it's strange that U never keep track of who contacts who, I just know when me and my friends get together we have the best times regardless of who called who"
So that is where the problem is- me keeping track of who makes contact first! Hmm. It dawned on me that only an idle person (I use that word idle loosely) will sit down and be counting who called who first and when. Just because some friends do not call/email me does not mean they do not care. They probable have issues they are trying to sort out in their lifes. If I have the urge to call them I should go ahead and do so. Who knows I might be a source of blessing to them at that point. On the last day, God will not ask me how many friends I had but how many people I was a friend to.
I feel like I am rambling so I'll just stop here. However, I hope I make some sense to at least somebody ;-)
Enjoy the rest of your week dearies. :-)
13 Sep 2008
I must say that I am "flabberwhelmed" and "overgasted". Hehehe.. Speech, speech, speech!!!! Ok ok if you insist ;)
"I want to say thank you to y'all on blogville...you are too much! Special thanks to brownsugar for passing on the award. And a big shout out to all my fans on blogville. You are far to kind..."
Ok Here are the rules to follow:
1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back
2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with an award
4. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).
5. And then pass it on!
I hereby pass on the award to the following in no particular order:
- RitaI'll let you decide which one of your blogs to put it on ;)
- Good Nigeria Girl
- Favoured Girl
I so love your blogs (and you) and I think you deserve to win this award. Enjoy! :D
9 Sep 2008
Meanwhile a big shout out to ShawnDaVinci
Watching television pictures last week of jubilant teenagers celebrating their A-level results, I was filled with an amazing sense of accomplishment.
In my home that joyous feeling has been felt fourfold. For my 18-year-old children – quadruplets Tolu, Tayo, Tobi and Tosin, who were conceived naturally – all achieved A and B grades at the St Francis Xavier sixth-form college in Clapham, South-West London.
They have secured places at Manchester University, Goldsmiths, Queen Mary University of London and Cambridge.
I am, understandably, bursting with pride. Because, although I’ve not had to cope with too many social disadvantages over the years, the fact remains that I am a 52-year-old single mother. And I have brought up seven children – four of them boys – on my own in Lewisham, one of London’s most deprived boroughs.
Proud: Single mother Julie Oke believes it's how you live, not where you live
I have bucked the statistics that say my children, who grew up without a father present in their daily lives, should be academic failures.
All of them have done exceptionally well. The eldest boy is 29 and a doctor in Nigeria, my 27-year-old daughter is a nurse and I have a son, 25, who is a lawyer.
However, it is the success of the quads that has got everyone asking how I’ve pulled off this apparent miracle. Well, it is not rocket science. Simply put, it has always been my philosophy that it’s not where you live, but how you live – and that children learn by example.
I’ve always known education and hard work were the ways to improve my life, and I have instilled the same principles in my children.
My goal has always been that they would break down barriers and excel academically. But I also wanted them to do so in schools with a strong moral code, to complement my work at home. So I have always sent them to religious establishments.
I chose St Francis, despite it being a long way from our home, because it has a great reputation for academic achievement. Its exam results are consistently well above average and the majority of its students progress to higher education, including Oxford and Cambridge.
When I visited, the facilities stood out above the rest. I was especially struck by the principal’s mission statement, which says ‘to be successful in today’s world you must develop skills and abilities at a higher level than was ever necessary in the past’. That is what I’ve always told my children: to stretch themselves beyond what is expected.
I am constantly being told children in black communities are failing because 59 per cent of them are raised by lone parents. But, although I accept children are largely better off when they grow up with both parents, just having a man in the house does not mean they will go on to become pillars of society.
Four times the success: 18-year-old quadruplets Tobi, Tayo, Tolu and Tosin celebrate their A-level results
It really does depend on how you bring up your child. How they see you live your life and the values you instil in them from an early age. Too many single parents, of all colours and creeds, are content to collect state benefits and let their children run wild.
I have been a single mum since the quads were born. I was 34 and on my own but I was determined I would open up as many opportunities for them as possible.
They have seen how hard I work. I have never relied on Government handouts. They have learned by example that commitment and dedication will get you a long way.
Yet my background is not a wealthy or privileged one. My father was an illiterate Nigerian farmer and my mother was one of his seven wives. She ran a shop in a small town in the state of Osun. There were 24 children in all – five my mum’s.
I can remember my parents telling us that becoming educated would mean we did not have to work as physically hard as they did. However, they could not afford to send us all to higher education.
I went to an Anglican grammar school and ended up doing teacher training in Nigeria, before getting my first degree in social work education from the University of Paris in 1984.
After moving to London, I lived in a single room and did various odd jobs before I could get my footing. I was a social worker in Lambeth when, to the shock of everyone including myself, the quads were born.
I took a year’s maternity leave, put them into nursery and went straight back to work.
I continued studying child care because I wanted to open a nursery. I now manage a business that cares for 20 youngsters up to the age of five and have a staff of four.
I’m not saying it hasn’t been hard. At times, money has been incredibly tight. The children wore each other’s clothes and never got the designer gear or fashionable items their peers had. Yet they never complained. They saw how hard I worked and they knew it was all for them.
I’ve taught them to be respectful of other people, especially their elders. Once, one of the girls got into an argument with a teacher over her grades. I explained shouting was not the best way to get her point across and it was disrespectful. Another time I discovered that my sons wanted to settle a row with a local boy by fighting. I explained that violence could escalate and that it rarely solved a problem.
Obviously, there has been peer pressure put on them over the years. They see other kids running wild, doing what they want. But they know that is not how we live in this family.
I’ve never had to worry about them getting involved in gangs or drugs or any other bad behaviour for that matter. It is just out of the question because they have been brought up as good Christians.
People think being a single parent means your children have to fail. I live by my own code and my own notions. I tell my children they are individuals, that they do not have to be like everyone else.
What has held a lot of black families back is that they have accepted the stereotype. They do not realise they can achieve anything they want, that the sky is the limit, that class or colour should not classify who they are.
People have said I shouldn’t blow my own trumpet. But I know I’ve done everything possible to give my children a good start in life. It has taken commitment, time and care but it has been so rewarding for me to see them growing and achieving. And I confess, I’m privately amazed by how well they have done.
My message to other single parents is that they should not let the system determine their lives.
I say, always push yourself. Pray, work hard, respect yourself and your children.
I don’t think I’m unique or alone and only wish the good work of other lone parents with children doing well could be heard as loudly as those crying about the effects of guns and violence.
(1)Story taken from here.
Meanwhile a big shout out to ShawnDaVinci a new blogger. Please visit his blog and welcome him warmly. Thanks peeps :D
2 Sep 2008
We went to Athens, the capital city of Greece and it was really awesome! The weather was fanstatic, mediterranean climate as they call it. It was hot like naija weather so no complaining there. Besides London is getting cold now. We arrived Thursday evening and went to our hotel. On our way to the hotel I couldn’t help but notice the many storey buildings and a lot of sign posts and placards. It reminded me of Lagos in a way.
I had done most of the planning i.e the hotel, places to visit with the help of a Greek colleague (lets call her GC) at work. GC had detailed all the major tourist attractions to visit. If not for that girl, we for miss road in Athens o. Anyway, I booked a sea view room , as our hotel is by the sea and I was really impressed with the view (not as much as the room though). So serene and lovely.
After unpacking and stuff we went down for dinner in the hotel. We paid for half board (breakfast and dinner). Big mistake. I will explain later. When we got to the dinner area, the first thing we noticed was all the stares from people already having their dinner. As in if stares could kill, I won’t be here to give you an account of our trip. I would have thought in this day and age white people will be used to seeing black folks like me and husby but apparently that was not the case. Abit this people no dey see black person before?? Anyway we had supper..which I thought was comestible. Hubsy thought it was "just there". I asked for butter for my bread and this was what I got.
Anyway on Friday, we took the tram to the Athens town which is about 45 mins from our hotel. We went to the Acropolis, the ancient Greek temples. The Acropolis is on a hill so we had to do some climbing to get up to the temples. I kept waiting at different points to rest. Climbing no easy! We also visited another place called Ancient Agora. It was all really cultural and stuff. Here are some pictures (will try to upload some more later).
Can you see my head? LOL
Later we had lunch at a restaurant in Plaka area. GC had warned me that people would try to drag you into their restaurants, so in a way I was prepared for dragging. Funny enough because we were farmished and tired, we just entered the first restaurant we found after the guy hollered at us. It was situated outside, I guess because of how hot the weather is, with fans blowing all round. We had chicken souvlaki (Kebab basically) as recommended by GC with rice and potatoes. It was quite tasty!
Afterwards, we walk round the shops on Ermou, Athen’s high street. In some of the shops we entered, we still got stared at and some people even asked “where are you from?” Answer: “London”. Funny enough I am sure if it was just me I would have said Nigeria..lol..but I just followed husby’s lead: “We are londoners, ese (thank you)”. When we got tired of walking about we decided to go back to the hotel and we headed to the sea side. As per bush girl like me that cannot swim I decided to stay by the tip of the sea for fear of being carried away by the water. At least my hubsy managed to enter small. The weather by the sea was really breezy and refreshing I didn’t even realise when I dozed off on my beach towel, kai aloted & sleep!
Dinner time, katakata nearly burst! Husby was not thrilled with the food at the hotel and you know how men can be when it comes to food. I was busy enjoying the food…or at least managing to enjoy it and I guess that infuriated him the more. He settled for the biscuits and juice I packed from home. I thought the whole episode was funny and I told him if it was possible to cook from home and put in a cooler I would have but with all them airport rules et al that wasn’t feasible. Point for next time- book only bed & breakfast or make sure we go on holiday where there are family and friends, so we can stop by to eat eba and ewedu or something Nigerian. Or any ideas for next time???
The plan for Saturday was to go to Poros Island for the day (according to GC's bible). As at Friday night, the plan was still on but by Saturday morning, husby said he didn’t feel like going anyway so we chilled in the hotel room and later on went to the pool in the hotel (I watched while husby attempted to swim). For lunch we jeje-ly went to Pizza hut (familiar grounds) and bought KFC takeaway for dinner. Food sorted there, Phew!
I am not much of a narrator so apologies if I have not been able to describe Athens very well or how much fun we had in Greece but we sure did. The highlights for me was:
1) How Athens reminding me so much of Lagos.
2) The stares we kept getting from people, we ran into maybe just two other black people except for those hawking so in a way I understand.
3) The beautiful weather
4) Hubsy not enjoying the food! I have sure learnt a lot from this experience. :) No dulling next time!
Meanwhile today is Ten things Tuesday. I am thankful for: finally going on my honeymoon albeit eight months after wedding day, journey mercies, the gift of life, gift of love & friendship, the different kinds of people/races in this world, my hubsy, my parents, my parents-in-law, my business and GC for being our virtual guide.
Lastly, Happy new month to y'all. This is your month of signs and wonders. The "Ember" months will be for signs & wonders in Jesus Name.
19 Aug 2008
Another Ten Things Tuesday is here. Here is a link to my last list.
I am thankful for:
my salvation through Christ Jesus,
my finances and
the things I am believing God for that I have not seen in the physical.
So what are you thankful for?
I have a question for you guys. What do you do when you think/feel/can prove u are the one always making the first move to initiate contact with some friends. Do u:
a) Cut them some slack and keep on making the first move.
b) Stop making contact and see if your friends will remember you exist one day
c) Tell them how you feel and live happily ever after (hopefully)
d) Move them to your acquaintance category, life is too short to be bothered with such friends
e) None of the above (Any other suggestions??)
15 Aug 2008
When I was preparing to get married, I started getting all sorts of advice especially at bridal showers and things like that from family and friends. But one of the most interesting "lessons" came from a woman I met for the first time, just a few weeks before the big day. She said, "Honey, whatever you do, don't ever let yourself become a "make-do" woman. I had no idea what she meant, but, of course, she was about to explain. She continued, "Men" don't deny themselves anything. Whatever they want to buy, they buy.
Whatever they want to do, they do. Meanwhile, there is the wife, making do with her hair not being done, her clothes from yesteryear, her nails in need, never had a pedicure, scraping the bottom of her tube of lipstick! Oh, I could go on and on with how "we" make do. And why? Because the car needs fixing, this bill is behind, we have to use our time to take care of this, or take care of that; we're saving for this, working, cooking, cleaning, raising, etc." She warned me to never become a make-do woman, because she says if you start, it is hard to stop and one could easily find themselves making-do for the rest of their lives. I vowed it would never happen to me. I didn't think much more of the conversation until one day, I began to take notice, she was right.
Men are a lot better at being good to themselves. Some call it being selfish, there has to be another word for it. Tell me if you know. Whatever you call it. It does have its place. When they want to play ball, or golf, or fish, they go! When they want to buy clothes, or equipment, or video games, or whatever their "thing" is, they buy! Have you ever tried to stop one? Has anyone ever been able to stop one? Let me know! When I look around, I see a whole heap of Make-do women, married or not, with or without children, they
are all over the place! I have decided that I am going to make my best effort to become a "MAKE-TIME" woman! I will make the time to do what I need to do to be good to myself, whether that's a trip to the salon, or the gym or the mall. This time I'm going to take a lesson from the guys! All right ladies, single and married... Let's NOT be "MAKE-DO" Women! Let's LOVE OURSELVES and ENCOURAGE each other!
Have a nice weekend!!!
9 Aug 2008
By the way, someone asked me after my introductory post what the difference is between being aggressive and being assertive. I must acknowledge that there is a thin line between aggressiveness and assertiveness. However two key differences when communicating or pushing back is in your tone of voice and body language. Assertive speaking often involves the use of "I" statements. For example "I feel upset when you take my book and don’t put it back where you found it," rather than, "You make me feel upset when you take my book and don’t put it back where you found it". When being assertive, there is no room for sarcasm or attack.
There are so many assertiveness tips out there but I have selected a few. All, some or none might be applicable to you.
Recognise that people are responsible for their own behaviour: have u ever been upset when a friend or loved one comes to you for advice and they go right ahead to do the exact opposite of what you advised them to do?! It can be very frustrating right? We can’t force our loved ones to do what we tell them and the earlier we realise this, the better for us. Sometimes we take the blame when people take the wrong step after we’ve warned/cajoled/begged them not too and the consequence is very grave. As much as we empathise with them, which is the best we can do, every man is responsible for his own behaviour.
Also speaking about behaviour, a common example that comes to mind is when people break up. The person who initiates the break up feels guilty and wants to rescue their ex from their pain. Unfortunately breaking up comes with pain and in as much as you were the one that initiative the break up, the way the ex deals with the pain is their responsibility and not yours. I know this sounds harsh but it is the truth. If we take it upon ourselves to be responsible for how they deal with their pain we would feel obliged to do anything for them even at the expense of our happiness and maybe another relationship. You keep wondering what the ex is thinking, u feel bad when you hear what they have said about you somewhere…and you can’t move on. That is definitely not a place where you want to be. The best you can do is pray that God will help them deal with their pain and move on with your life. We can’t play God.
Recognise that people are different and are entitled to their own point of view: We’ve just had a recent example of this on some blogs where people have had different opinions about an issue. This is bound to happen as people form opinions based on their background, religion, experiences, values etc. We should learn to listen to other people’s POV even if we do not agree as more often than not there is more than one different position for any given situation. By listening to what others have to say we might just learn something new and add to our knowledge base. Also we should be respectful when expressing our point of view.
Let other people know exactly what you want without making unclear requests: wouldn’t life be easier if people could know what we are thinking and we didn’t have to tell them. I for one will find it a relief. Sometimes we think if we drop hints the other person will get the message but this would most likely lead to uncertainty and expectations not being met. By communicating exactly what we want/need we leave no room for guessing games and this gives the other person a chance to respond suitably. For example, your friend wants you to pick up a book from the library on your way back from work because it is close to your place of work but you have a prior engagement you need to attend to and you know getting the book will delay your meeting. Instead of saying “Ok I will try to get the book” simply say something like “I would have loved to help but unfortunately that will mean I might run late for my meeting. Please could you make alternative arrangements to get the book”. That way your friend is not expecting you to get the book and depending on how urgent she needs it, will make other arrangements to get it. Remember you rejected the request and not the person.
Another example that comes to mind is when people get invited to an outing; they say they will try to make the outing knowing they have no plans to attend. People say that is being diplomatic but that is simply just a lie. I believe it is better to politely decline with your reasons so that way you are setting the person’s expectation at that point.
Don’t keep quiet when you have strong feelings about an issue: There are some issues not worth arguing over and sometimes the more mature thing to do is keeping quiet. Silence they say is golden. However when it comes to your health, your safety, your core values, or you know the price of keeping silence will result into anger or resentment it is better to speak up than suffer in silence. For example, your partner typical stays out late and this is a behaviour you cannot stand. This is not the time to keep quiet and hope he/she gets the message someday. This is the time to speak up, communicate how you feel about his/her staying out late and probably both of you can come to an understanding.
Take time out if you need to contain your anger: Have you noticed sometimes you find yourself getting angry during a conversation? At this point it is better to take a break from the discussion than continue. We can hardly communicate effectively when our judgement is clouded with emotions. When we feel much better we can come back and present our position more effectively. This is different from cutting off another person emotionally, which is a destructive tactic that some of us tend to do.
Think through your arguments before presenting them: Because we sometime think our opinion makes more sense than the other person we might tend to get lost in the trivial details that we forget the main points of our arguments. If we want to effectively get our point across we should think through the issues and get down to the core points. The other person might be much more willing to listen if your ideas are presented in an organised and consistent way.
So that's it for tips. I hope they made sense. Please feel free to share other assertiveness tips. Meanwhile I might be going on an assertiveness course at work, if it gets approved. Will let you know what I learn on the course. :)