IN 2014, ENCOURAGE YOURSELF

Good morning everyone and happy new year.  I wish you what you wish yourself this year. I indulge you to live your life without thinking of previous years and to go ahead knowing all is working for your good. As a parent, I encourage you to speak positive words into your children’s lives, I encourage you to see only thee good in them and to know what you wish for them, is what you will enjoy. As a man, I encourage you to pick up your life and make decisions that would make you better than you were, not better than your mate. I encourage you to understand that if you keep waiting for something before you do something else, you may never do anything at all. I urge you to become prayerful as it may as well help you for the hustles you do. As a woman, I encourage you- live as the bible would have you do- no gossips, no sentiments, learn to forgive and let go. Reduce your friends if you have to. Read a book instead of having too much friends, have a saving- it could be in the bank or with you, but have some. Pay no attention to sluggishness. Don’t be arrogant, don’t be a snub. Be nice enough to be wanted but calm enough not to be taken for granted. Embrace your natural beauty. It may never sound in your ear, what it […]

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IYATEDA SOYINKA DIES

Daughter of Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, Iyetade Soyinka has passed on at the age of 48, Sahara Reporters report. Ms. Soyinka, who was born June 6, 1965, died at the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital where she was being treated for an undisclosed ailment. The death was disclosed in a statement signed by Jahman Anikulapo, an aide to Mr. Soyinka, one of the world’s foremost dramatists and winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in literature. The statement noted that the late Iyetade Soyinka was a student at the Staff School and Queens School, Ibadan before she studied Medicine at the University of Ibadan. Mr. Anikulapo’s statement described the deceased as “affable, intelligent and sometimes capricious,” adding that she “struggled with her health in recent years.” Despite her health woes, the late Iyetade Soyinka “greeted every day with a smile and doted on her two children.” The statement, which was issued on behalf of the deceased’s family, revealed that Ms. Soyinka “took ill quite suddenly and passed away while being treated at UCH, Ibadan. “Iyetade leaves behind two children, both parents, numerous siblings, nieces and nephews.” May her soul RIP.

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NIGERIA SET TO CELEBRATE ACHEBE’S “ARROW OF GOD at 50

Nigeria is set to join other literary families across the world to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Chinua Achebe’s literature classic, Arrow of God. The novel was first published in 1964. It is Achebe’s third novel after Things Fall Apart, adjudged as the most widely read book in modern African literature and No Longer at Ease. Owing to the similarities in settings and themes, the three novels are fondly referred to as The African Trilogy. As one of the most widely read African Literature in the past five decades, the book has earned its place in world literary spotlight and would be celebrated globally in 2014 through a series of activities lined up. Last Wednesday in Lagos, the Organising Committee for the Nigerian end of the International Celebration of Arrow of God@50 disclosed that an International Colloquium with the theme, ‘Arrow of God@50: Literature, Leadership and National Unity’ would be held in five cities in Nigeria from April 23 to May 3, 2014. These cities include Lagos, Ibadan, Awka, Sokoto and Otuoke. The sub-themes of the proposed paper presentations hinge on the thematic preoccupation of the novel. Simply put, Arrow of God is a post-colonial literary piece that explores the themes of leadership, African world view, culture conflict amongst others. The novel has been described by readers and critics as ‘the most intricate and most accomplished of Achebe’s novels. The central character of the work, Ezeulu is the Chief Priest […]

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BEING THANKFUL…

Things often never go our way and most times when it doesn’t, we take the easiest way out; we sort ourselves out looking into what will work for us as soon as possible, which of cause serves us good either for a while or a life time. No one stays thankful during a hard time. No one looks at the end of the tunnel when they begin. We least remember the idea that gold goes through fire before it becomes a stone to cherish. The creator never promised a smooth road; he never said you would be loved by everyone you accustom. He never said poverty or famine or war will never exist. He actually said ‘I will be with you’ Deuteronomy 31: 8. When you are thankful, a lot of things happen. The bible never said be thankful for all things but be thankful in all things; poor, rich, broke, sad, happy, waiting for something. 1 Thessalonian 5:18 Being thankful opens the door for things because what you appreciates, appreciates. Imagine you saying thank you to someone and the person never responds, imagine you saying thank you and no one smiles back. Imagine you offering someone a gift and the person never saying thanks. Its easy to thank God and people when they bless you, it is easy to tell people you love them when they tell you they love you, its even easy to thank God when it […]

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THEY WENT HOME BY MAYA ANGELOU

They went home and told their wives, that never once in all their lives, had they known a girl like me, But… They went home. They said my house was licking clean, no word I spoke was ever mean, I had an air of mystery, But… They went home. My praises were on all men’s lips, they liked my smile, my wit, my hips, they’d spend one night, or two or three.But…    If you ask me, this poem is deep.

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A BRIEF STORY OF MAYA ANGELOU

I became a fan of Own Tv on youtube, learning daily/weekly lessons from a woman(Oprah) who though not a biological mother, has touched the lives of mothers and women like myself. I had totally lost a sense of myself and what I wanted to do- having writers block, I decided to read short stories and return to watching biographical movies which I love.  I had watched a video on youtube where Oprah had spoken of a word she had gotten from Maya Angelou who had become her friend and sister/mother. She said Maya had told me “When you know better, do better”.  A word which I myself had needed. Well just like that- I decided to research more on who Maya was and why she had become so significant to Oprah- a woman who many see as great inspiration- wonder why I didn’t find out about Maya before now- guess timing really is everything. Well am in love with her and I want to share the greatness she teaches me from here. I now read her poetry, essays and books. Here’s a brief history about her and her meeting with Oprah; The woman Oprah calls mentor-mother-sister-friend offers wise words about the roots of confidence, the trouble with modesty and how to do the impossible. Since the moment I opened I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , I’ve felt deeply connected to Maya Angelou. With each page, her life seemed […]

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Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s sizeBut when I start to tell them,They think I’m telling lies.I say,It’s in the reach of my armsThe span of my hips,The stride of my step,The curl of my lips.I’m a womanPhenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That’s me. I walk into a roomJust as cool as you please,And to a man,The fellows stand orFall down on their knees.Then they swarm around me,A hive of honey bees.I say,It’s the fire in my eyes,And the flash of my teeth,The swing in my waist,And the joy in my feet.I’m a womanPhenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That’s me. Men themselves have wonderedWhat they see in me.They try so muchBut they can’t touchMy inner mystery.When I try to show themThey say they still can’t see.I say,It’s in the arch of my back,The sun of my smile,The ride of my breasts,The grace of my style.I’m a woman Phenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That’s me. Now you understandJust why my head’s not bowed.I don’t shout or jump aboutOr have to talk real loud.When you see me passingIt ought to make you proud.I say,It’s in the click of my heels,The bend of my hair,the palm of my hand,The need of my care,‘Cause I’m a womanPhenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That’s me.  

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AM I WITH THE RIGHT PARTNER? by Adewale Taiwo aka CreamyCandy

During a seminar, a woman asked,” How do I know if I am with the right person?” The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, “It depends. Is that your partner?” In all seriousness, she answered “How do you know?” Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind replied the author. Here’s the answer. Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. Youdidn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love. People in love sometimes say, “I was swept of my feet.”Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.   Falling in love is a passive and spontaneousexperience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage. At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect […]

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WHY NELSON MANDELA DIVORCED WINNIE

Nelson Mandela passed away Thursday night. John Carlin in his new book ‘Knowing Mandela,’ reveals why he never forgave the former wife who has visited his bedside. TWO weeks before Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in February 1990 I went to see his wife, Winnie, at her home in Diepkloof Extension, the posh neighbourhood of Soweto where the handful of black people who had contrived to make a little money resided. It was known as Baverly Hills to Soweto’s other presidents. Winnie’s home, funded by foreign benefactors, was a two-floor, three-bedroom house with a garden and a small swimming pool. The height of extravagance by black standards, it would have more or less met the aspirations of the average white, middle-class South African. Zindzi, Winnie’s slim and attractive second daughter, was 29 but looked younger in a yellow T-shirt and denim dungarees. It was 9.30 a.m. and she was in the kitchen frying eggs. She invited me in and started chatting as if we were old friends. The truth was that I had not scheduled an interview with Winnie. I had just dropped in to try my luck. But Zindzi saw nothing wrong in me giving it a shot. Mum, she said, was still upstairs and would probably be a while. As I hovered about waiting (and, as it turned out, waiting, and waiting friends of Zindzi wandered in for coffee and a chat. Completing the South African middle-class picture, […]

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BEYONCE FEATURES CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE

Beyonce has surprised her fans by releasing a new album on iTunes last night, on December 12th. The self titled album is Beyonce’s 5th solo album- it  features 31 tracks, 14 of which are new songs.   In the album, Beyonce is said to have collaborated with Jay Z, Drake, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Rowland….and Nigeria’s very own Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on a track titled “Flawless”.   Beyonce had taken a portion of the award winning author’s speech about feminism and roles women play in the society in the song, which undeniably will interest her female fans.   Should praise be given to Beyonce or Chimamanda…you decide.

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LET THEM SIT AND BOIL…

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each of them on a high heat. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed a bunch of carrots, in the second she placed a handful of eggs, and in the last she placed a large scoopful of ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘Tell me, what do you see?’ ‘Carrots, eggs and coffee,’ she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter […]

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A FLIGHT DIVERSION by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie via NY Times

LAGOS, Nigeria — I was woken by the pilot’s voice. In the drowsy hum of the airplane, his words crackled, and I thought I heard something about preparing to land. Could I have slept so long? I looked at the time. It was only three hours into the Lagos-to-Atlanta flight. The flight attendants were hurrying back and forth. The pilot was still speaking. “We have an emergency onboard, and we have had to divert the flight to Dakar.” I could feel the plane descending. It seemed too fast. A sweeping hollowness. My fog of sleep cleared instantly. Something was wrong, the pilot was too cryptic, the flight attendants too blank-faced, snatching up cups, urging seats straight. I thought: If I die, I hope it’s quick and I don’t know. The woman beside me crossed herself. Then the pilot’s voice came back on. It was a medical emergency, he said; a pregnant passenger went into early labor and had just had a baby. I sensed, around me, a collective hush of relief and wonder. A baby delivered on the plane! We landed in Dakar. It was 2 a.m. Medical personnel in orange vests hurried in, a man carrying a black box, a lanky woman dragging an IV stand, their eyes heavy with sleep. I wondered what the baby would need, and if they had what the baby would need. Soon, the lanky woman left, cradling a bundle wrapped in cloth. The […]

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CASTING MY WORRIES

I had aided a burden for a long time I had worried in all my life I roamed the streets of my mind and trampled upon the ones I loved I had played the game of sufficiency and lack I had asked of the future consulting my past My bag had been full Full to the point, I could bare no more The worry I placed on myself was weighing me down I was as beautiful as a bear on a snow As lovely as a swine on a river bank Still blinded with my worries, I failed to see Now with pain, I drop the worry, the future and the past I leave them behind, ahead and under my toes I live ahead and go the distance Aiming only for a day at a time.  

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TWO SIDES OF A COIN By James Yeku

One gleamed with tales of proverbs That mended history The other called history To a dialogue with conscience Metaphors burdened with messagesMantras brimmed with morals;  Two sides of a coin.Each, an inscription of dreams Fulfilled in the pages of freedom;  Each, seeking a Sahara of hopeAnd calling a people to a festival beyond self; Elders transformed! Now with a commune of watching ancestorsGrateful that these too lit candles in the hearts of mortals.   James Yeku is a writer and academic based in Canada.

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