Saturday, December 31, 2005


Rollercoaster Ride is Over....Thank God

This year 2005 has been one interesting one. Indeed I hit my quarter life crisis. I was starting to pile pictures to review but the task is highly cumbersome. Instead I've decided upon a rhyme in an attempt to explain what the year's been like. I'll slap a pix or two to illustrate. Here goes....

Adaure's Ode to 2005

A year in infamy
2005 shall be
Rolled in she did with more than a double whammy
First came JANUARY,
Oh what Misery
It started out with a quandary,
A major break up and the death of Ebony
How I miss my little Honda baby

Made up with my '04 phone buddy

We'd had a huge fight over IM... how silly
Acting like a school kid...all giddy
I'ld glow at the ring of my celly

Or a chance to edit my essay

While he felt I was wishy washy

My friends sensed something was fishy

My heart said 'you're still too needy'

The head felt 'u're being greedy'

And I thought I was too darn pretty

Oh what the heck, I admit I was in denial.

February came upon me

Like a thief in the night

With none to hold tight

I wished Cupid in all his might

Would bring me a Knight

Got a few calls on Valentine's

But not a cake or bottle of wine

And not one to call mine
March danced in...Yippie!!
It was my birthday
The big two-fivey
Dinner with Ndidi

A gift from Des-mini, Queen B

and ofcourse Toksy

A card from Ms. T and Mr. D,

This one from Seyi was all smily-smily

To Charlottesville I did go

For some interviews and to see WOE

A debut on Raleigh's UPN... so it was just a photo,

For ANTM auditions, I was top two

And so to Dallas I did go

Just before Johny kicked the Bucko

Oopsy that's from double O

April showers washed me up in Greens,

...boro that is

Easter once again with Aunty Amaks,

...Ndidi's mom that is

At a Nigerian party danced we,

Peace, Ndidi and Me

At church the next day

Here seen with Ugo

Gurl that outfit's so yesterday

And I heard someone thought my 'fro was wacky

Summer shined in
T'was all about ISL reuniting
May was uneventful
Except I got swindled
By Haithem the A-rab
Left without a ride
For a whole month
But then June looked hopeful
In NYC for Yomi's sister's nuptuals
Had a blast with Bayode
Wishing AYI was there

Went on a Family retreat to Disney World
Playing Cinderella and riding the Tower of Terror
July was about Goodbye
To my roomates Des and SIngto
Then came back to the ex-factor and my fling
More drama ensuing
Then came more fighting
And in August I knew it was over
Focused on NABJ
and Philly for Linda's wedding
I caught the bouquet
So I guess I'm next

September was indeed wreck-tember
Broken ties and so much temper
Did a few weeding
Don't need people to hamper
Did add a new friend by the name Mo-ho
October was all about the pageant
You've seen those flicks and know the whole story
Went to Florida
But no Hurricane for me
Speaking of that,
To Katrina With Katina I wanted to go
Felt very sad when I was told No
November couldn't wait for December
With Santa and his reindeer
The family got another doctor
and a gift of a new job did he render
So to So Cal I'm off in the New Year

In summary, in 05 I could't decide
On what look I wanted to be
Soho, Boho or a Stepford-like Bree
I searched as I shopped so desprately
I abandonded my Browns and Earthtones
Killed the Teals and Blues
and murdered the Pink and Greens
Many even asked 'Are u a Skee-wee'
Is there a patent or trade mark on that scheme
I mean can a sistuh wear her fave colors without the 'eyeses'
Ok so at heart I am indeed a Wannabe
Hey I hear it's every little black girls dream

Somewhere in there lover boys got axed and so did toxic friends
Decided to turn in my Championship belt.
Tired of doing Devil's work had to give it a rest
Cause even by he, I had been rejected
Gave the choke-hold to the blokes.
Did I mention I was always broke
Went to church more often
With everything in shambles, t'was all I had going
It's no wonder I'll miss it so much
However, I found a new hearthrob
And He's one that'll never fail
Although I'm not perfect and can be tought as nail
He loves me just as I am
Inspite of my meaness, snottiness, temper and all

So as 06 rolls in
There's no need for a resolution
I greet it wide eyed and with a great big smile
Looking up to he heavens for his grace to abide
Jump starting my career,
What more can I ask for.
There's no telling what else good the year holds within
A new life, new friends, starting all over again
Perhaps a new car or even a big ol' ring
Who knows, It's only just beginning
But I gotta start the claiming
Pessimism and negative chi are so last year's thing
Peace out 05, my dear
You sure were one tough cabin biscuit cracker
The kind mama locked away until December
But your times up and you just got blasted away Forever


Friday, December 30, 2005


Hot Spots Atop a Palm Tree
Wow!!! Finally technology has reached my village thanks to . Can I get a YHELLO!!!!. I can't believe it. My sister called me this morning and she was like 'Addy guess where I'm calling from?'. I was waiting for her to say something like ' I am at RDU Airport', you know to play a December Fool's joke on me. But the news was better, she was like, 'I am calling from Ekwe, your village....techno has landed o'. When she said this I was like 'are you serious... is a lie.' She said she was on top of one of of our uncle's house because that's the best place to get reception. There are too many tall trees that interfere with all that satellite connection stuff. Ah!! I was jumping and dancing. Considering the fact that we don't have paved roads or land-line telephone connection. Which means that I can talk to the old mamas in the villager and not wait till I visit. Nice!!

Meanwhile, yesterday was my last day at work...wooohooo!!!! 'The Mama Beve' got me a cake and a bunch of folks came around to send me off. There was an attempt to surprise me but they forgot about the camera in the newsroom and so I saw them setting up from the monitor in the control room. But I got some love and it's the thought that counts. So for the next one week I am hence for a miscreant and a vagrant to be henceforth kown as 'One girl and a Mazda'. (As opposed to Two Men and a Truck)

Anyways, I didn't realize how much junk I have acquired in the past years. Five giant rubber maid boxes and I am still packing. I am going to have to take my time to get rid of stuff and haul it to Goodwill. Ok I am off to continue, have to take it all to my Uncle's garage in Charlotte and I am not too hot about the 2 hour drive. But someone's gotta do it...and guess who that someone is. Me!!!!! Argghh.... the thought alone just sucks!!

Oh by the way.. You know how I tried to get the Oprah hair. Well it never came close to that. Instead I ended up with a Christiane Amanpour-just-came-from- the-war-front-messy-hair do. I think I can manage that till I get bored and go on another hair-experiment.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Stuck Between China and Africa
What in the holy high heavens ever possessed me into thinking that I could ever go from this...

TO THIS!!!!!



'Git Outta Town....."

So as part of my ' Adaure for the Masses in 06' project which consists of mostly demilitarizing my militant afrocentric personality to a more mass appealing non-threatening and assimilated appearance, I decided to ditch my wigs, give the 'fro a break and 'get a weave.'

Not a bad idea at all... particularly considering the fact that I am going bald, braids are not cool for TV news, I won't get a perm and there are practically no black people who do hair in Santa Maria. I mean what business or clientele can a 'sista' make with only 1 percent of 70,000 people. That's probably just the 'sista' and her sisters, their mother and daughters and sister in-laws. All 10 of them

In reality I have never had a sewn in weave outside of the two that I sewed in my self way back in my house girl days in Charlotte and the one I glued in myself for the pageant. Yes I am a do-it-ya-damn-self kinda girl but today I decided to go and dash money to the peeps at 'Africa World of Braids'. I figured I should just go and try it and get it right. I came armed with the hair style inspiration that I have always wanted since it hit the tv screen and magazine covers last fall. None other than the hairstyle of my dearest icon and biggest role model Oprah Winfrey.

Hello!!!Big mistake!!!! In fact HUGE mistake!!!!

Got the staright hair with the intention of getting it styled and curled. Spent to much on the freaking hair when there was a sale for the same kind of hair for $2.99. After thought, I don't own any heating hair irons so why did I worry about the hair melting when I use curling rods, water, pink oil and holding spray. Then I went to the stylist to get her opinion on what options were available to me especially when putting my really nappy virgin hair in perspective with the hair that I dream to have, Oprah's curls. The lady assured me that I could get the full sew in but need to leave a weft of hair in the front so that it could be flat ironed to match the weave.

Why did I listen to this babe...

Thinking about it, African-American hair when flat ironed gets very silky and straight. And this was what this lady was touting. Stupid me forgot about the 'African' part and believed that my hair could be straightened silky straight to look like the chinese weave without getting a perm. The ladies at 'African World of Braids' can be highly useless at times. Actually that's african hair briaders in general. They forget that they too are also hair consultants and not just braiders. Heck I can briad my hair my freaaing self and probably sew in the darned weave. And considering the fact that I told them that I have never gotten a weave and wasn't sure what it would turn out like. They were more concerned about me dolling out the 100 bucks.

Anyways I went to get the sew-in, but upon finishing and heavily pondering the choice that I had just made, I was like 'Houston We Have a problem'. The lady tried to use her blow dryer to see if she can straighten the littel weft of hair left out. For where. Then I asked her if it was too late to cover all my hair up and she was like yes it's too late. Then I come home to my flat iron and hot-comb, the kind you heat/burn up on the stove. I made another attempt to get my hair bone straight, but it still did not match the weave. In my head I am thinking 'impossicant', there is no way in hell that after spedning this money, that i'll be walking around looking like a new ethnicity...Blackinese, Chinafrican, Negrasian etcetera. Like I went on a journey back to my roots but ended up in China. May be all that Chinese food I eat can account for something.
First thing Wednesday morning, I am skipping the stylist altogether and going straight back to the braidshop to have them fill in the gaps. If I have to carry a poorly constructed weave, I'ld rather do that than have a miniture afro on my fore-head.


I have two days left at WTVD before I jet off to 'SoCal'. I am just now starting to get excited about my move, hence the hair-mishap described above. At work today I was just counting the seconds on the clock and being very restless. My head hurt from combing my afroin the morning, my eyes hurt from staring at this damn computer screen, my ears were ringing and had practically gone deaf from listening to those scanners and my tummy was rumbling all day because I was starving. Browsed craigslist for deals on cars. Not having any luck selling mine, perhaps I over estimated its worth. Still waiting on word from Santa. He went to the village and we don't have Money transfer yet.

I am also looking for new set of strategies for my 06 'me' project. Career wise and over all just to improve on me as a person. Tonight's attempt to jump start the plan went 'hair-wire' but that was to be expected because I have always had issues with my hair. It's a 'hairy' long story and I have an essay about that that I'll share in due time. Let's just hope I can fix this horrendous weave situation on my head without any trouble tomorrow... trust african businesses to lack customer service. All I know is that I am returning to my crib tomorrow with a full head of weave, even if it means I have to curl it up myself and pin the curls in place to hide the wack-tracks. Should have gotten Lola to do it for $50 bucks....shooo, she'ld have probably done a better job!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Too Hot and Boring

Call me a scrooge but I don't do Christmas. Not in America at least. The one compensation would have been snow, but it's the end of Christmas as we know it. It's like 65 degrees and feels more like Easter. Actually, white Christmas is a new concept to me outside the movies. I should say I always fantasized about that, but coming from Africa one is always excited about snow. And who's this imposter dude, Santa Claus, last time I checked, he was 'Father Christmas' and he was a skinny old black man not this jolly round perp I see around town. Ok so it was just Baba the janitor slash gardener at my nursery school who sometimes doubled as a mascot and Father Christmas at the end of the year. Oh boy...those end of the year parties where we'ld sing silly songs like 'Christmas I coming Baba buy shoe for me, O yaya O yaya Oyaya Oyayaya!!!!" Did get no shoe this year.
Speaking of getting stuff. The most annoying thing about Christmas for me is that everybody assumes that because you are an adult you don't need to get Christmas presents. Are you kidding me? Ok so yeah I am a bit jealous because I never get any presents when my little cousins are opening their gifts. I mean can I get even a Walmart gift card. But that's aight though, is houldn't complain because I don't buy presents either, i always get books and they always end up trashed and that gets on my nerves. Liike dude.. I got you classic literature and al you could do is rip the pages and scribble crayon on it. Hell naw!!!.

I have never gotten into the Christmas spirit. It's hard because Christmas is a pilgrimage for our family and I guess I miss the family time. My peeps are on their way to the village...actually they should have arrived by now. Gosh, i remeber how excited we'ld get when we make pit stops in Ore(usually to fix something that's messed up in the car), Benin(at De Chubby's store and one finger licking good road side restaurant that was really a bukateria), Agbor (to buy garri from Mary), cross River Niger and then suffer through Onitsha traffic, where we'ld fill up the car with 'Ejidike Bread'. Kai Onitsha bread is the best after Agege and Ghana Bread. As much as I do complain about village runs cramping my style because that means I have to accomodate it over some gen-gen party, it's the one time you get ultimate freedom walking or riding bicycles from house to house (as a kid, now I can't be eating any how). From one relatives to another. They always had the wooded stools, logs, cement blocks and mortars arranged in a circle waiting for our arrival. The august visitos from Lagos, 'Umu De Walter', 'Umu Ozuome' and 'Umu De Chubby' etc etc. (Uncle Walter's kids...). We were like a gang. The boys would usually leave church first and get to the 'food destination' first. It amazes me the different ways to make one delicacy. We never eat fufu or eba at other people's houses except for certain family members so rice and stew with chicken or goat meat was usually the meal. One time this old lady didn't have chicken to cook for us so instead she plucked 'shower chop' (Guanabana) and udara (agbalumo) and ube (african pear). I guess that was our desert to balance everything out. We usually won't come home till like 5pm. Since my house was in the interior, going towards the stream, we always made pit stops at my cousin's houses so they could change out of their clothes. Dinner was usually at my house, but we'ld play off all that food doing 'Oro' (tag) and still come back asking for food around 9pm. Village life is sweet o.

Anyways I managed to call a bunch of folks and got several text messages of good tidings. Fortunatley or unfortunatley, depending on who's looking, I didn't get to do much visitation as planned. You know to tell my peeps in Charlotte that I am off to Cali. Right now I am at one family friend's place, the dude is not related to me in any remote way, not even by a 12th degree, but my cousin's insist the old man is their granpa so I joined them too. It ain't like my real granpa would mind, we never really called him that anyways. It was 'De Achi' or 'Papa-Kuku'. I also just finished one huge mound of fufu with Oha and snail soup. Didn't know you could buy snails at the grocery store. I think if there's anything I'ld miss about Charlotte is going to people's houses and eating a copy of good old village soup. I say village because sometimes the lagos version is a bit watered down. It's good but sometimes you just want the soup that most of the ingredients came from the back yard bush and not some farm.

Oh well, I am expecting a phone calll from my Santa Claus later tonight. Santa may be hooking me up one this move to Cali. He just has to get all ya'll kids first so I hope no one wrote a long list. I had planned to document a list of things but I can't be too greedy. There are some kids that won't get nada this years so I'll be aight.

While I am on the subject however I might as well just say Merry Christmas. Even though Jesus is the reason for teh season I want to also extend a Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Diwali, Barka de Sallah, Season's Greetings. Happy Holidays, Yuletide shout outs to all and sundry. Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR TOO... Can't wait for this blasted 2005 to be out and done with. Shoot... now is the time when I really should be in the village with my knock-out, banger and carbide at the mission square for 'E chu Afor' (New Year's Eve, literally to chase the year away). You know what bump all that, the way this year has been (despite trying to redeem itself at the end) it deserves to be blasted out with a 12 gauge double barrel and some Ojukwu canons. The kind that when you blast it in Owerri you can hear the sound in Lagos.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Technologically Inempt

Hey Folks
Ma bad!!!!! I extend my apologetics, I am an olodo-village girl and still just learning this internet blogging thingy. I didn't see all the comments on the post because I didn't realize I enabled the comment moderation thingy. L-O-L. A friend just called me to tell me to check on that and when I did I was like 'Whoa!!! 3500 messages"...Ok ...just 35. All this while I was wondering why there were no comments. I was even crying that no body is showing me any love or even laughing at my funny jokes. It made me think I wasn't as funny as I thought. But thank you all for the props and wellwishing. My move to California is one-kind because I have to sell all my stuff and its been hard coordinating with peeps. Especially now that my roomate is out of town with his fiancee. I can't be having people coming to check the furniture out lest someone asks me to have their baby, considering the last time this happened, they asked me to be a prostitute. Anyways this girl called me at 7 in the morning to check this thing. So I am making my way back to bed. I will attempt to respond to the comments in between my packing, working, eating and selling furniture and electronics. After all those trips to Alaba and Aba Market with pops I should have learnt some trading skills. Holla

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Somewhere Brighter, Somewhere Greener...Somewhere Warmer Dude!!!!

When I downloaded JoDee Messina's song, and several other 'Carolina Blues', 'Carolina Dreaming' country honky-tonk songs a few days before my graduation I was certain I was leaving Carolina for good. I didn't have anywhere to go however, so I only got as far as Charlotte and a few months later I was back in the Hill. That was three and a half years ago.
Whenever I am doing my cleaning and not in the mood for my Bollywood theme song (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai), I always play that song, 'Heads Carolina, Tails California'. Little did I know that I'ld be packing up a U-haul Van and heading out that way. Ok! So it's just Delta Airlines.
Yes!! Ma peoples the God we serve is very faithful...I'll be starring in my very own Santa Barbara Soap Opera (how ironic that soap was my favorite in Nigeria). I got the job out in Santa Maria, offered on the spot. Which means that my Countdown clock is stuck. Will not be moving to Nigeria as I had sworn I would do if I didn't get a job offer by December 31st, neither will I be moving into my cousin's house seeing as I don't have January rent (praise God for Western Union). I'll be the dayside assignment editor and will get to report occasionally. That means a few more volunteer work and some Nigerian '19' skills.. the nna '0-9-0' version . Who said 419 only works as a scam... it also works as part of relationship building... learning about golf, fishing and softball with the 'For Dummies' series and knowing all the names, middle names and birthdays of my bosses, their spouses, their children, mother and father etc etc. 'Dey never jam'

Sometimes I can be very shallow. I actually did a coin toss to help me decide whetehr to accept the job. You guessed it...Tails. They'll be paying me in experience, sand and sunshine (new expression I just learned). Anythings better than the pay I was getting, which Singto equates with Janitor salary. I was gonna drive a U-haul and tow 'Grace', my car behind. But after much counsel and consideration I've decided to sell every thing I own which is next to nothing. I was going to ship 'Grace', but the cost of shipping is like $200 more that what I paid for her, so i'm looking for a new home for her.

Gosh!!! I am actually leaving North Carolina. I can't believe it. I was expecting that if I didn't end up as Peter Jennings' or Ted Koppel's AP in New York, to make my way to the coast out in New Bern or Wilmington, or somewhere in South Carolina, but I guess God has other plans so I'll just wait on him because i'm kinda liking this plan that He's jump starting. He better have CNN or something better inked in that plan otherwise He and I will have to have another serious talk.

One problem about California though is coming up with the money to actually get out there. I am believing in God for another miracle. He literally gave me this job so I believe he has plans to find the $3000 + revenue from property sales (and the one month's rent for breaking my lease) that I need to transport my life out that way. Meanwhile, I've unabashedly called some relatives in Charlotte to help out but they've given me the list of who and who died and who they are sending money to for Christmas. Typical!! Was not really putting my eggs in that basket. My aunt in Jersey and my dad might come through for me as always, but this time I plan to pay them back.

Some how I am so excited, but of course sad about my leaving. I am going to especially miss my church and the people. I've always said that I go to church to worship God, which is true, but outside of work, famlily and my circle of friends which is down to just one person, that's the only time I have real and meaningful contact with people. Speaking of work, boy is it bitter sweet leaving ABC 11. It's like graduating from college all over know you gotta go into the real world and make real money, but that means I can't get those free disney passes and free tickets to Broadway-South at the BTI center and i can't flash my ABC News badge at clubs to get in for free anymore....shoot!! I do hope I am that student that passed with flying colors. There are some people I'll miss dearly because they have been friends, mentors, motivators, teachers, counsellors, advisers, encouraged me in my pursuits, shared words of faith, offered help and expertise training, helped shoot my stand ups, took time to watch and criticize my tapes, answer some of my questions, were patient when my Nigerian accent poked it's head out once in a while... etc etc. I'm the luckiest glorified intern yet because three years of intensive coachng and studying will set me apart from the rest out there. There are some that I didn't get a chance to get to know and may be some that I'm indifferent about, who'll of course be that way about me, but overall I believe each individual I have met has had one impact or the other. As I once said certain people you meet become the vestiges of aquaintancy once they've played that role which destiny calls upon them. I would hope I have played a positive role in the lives of my co-workers with and that every thought of me brings, not scorn, but a big-wide ear-to-ear smile.

I'll miss so many things about Chapel Hill and NC, but most of all I'm going to miss my dear friend Ndidi, who's been like a sister to me. When Singto was leaving I cried and I was like 'why am I always saying goodbye to all my friends and never anyone saying goodbye to me'. I guess God's harkened to my cry and I'll get my wish. It's unfortunate the profits from Kleenex won't help Africa so I'll be blowing my nose in my t-shirt.

I know great things are in store for me and I can just feel it. Living in California will be fun especially with all that Sun. I don't know how my Nigerian brothers do it in Alaska and Canada. I function better with warmth and heat. In fact that will be added lubrication to my hardwork. I just need to work extra hard, pray hard, push myself even harder and continuing fighting, also known as hustling (ain't no shame in it). Dreams are powerful and it's not a sin to have big dreams and goals. I'll keep shunning the nay sayers and the 'Doubting Thomases'. Hebrews 10:37 (the only Bible verse I know other than John 3:16, Psalm 23 and 121) starts out For yet in a little while......soon all of this will be 'Once Upon A Time' or as they say in my mother's village "Ifo Chapiiii...wuuoooogh'.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play
Baba God no Sleep, im jus throway face

Kontri People, Una Do O!

How Market? E be like say na pidgin I go folo yarn una the kain tori wey don chase sleep comot for my eye. If na for Bini I dey, dem go talk say na winch I dey chop, after all wetin pesin wey no be spirit go dey do for 2 O' Clock. All the shade sef wey dey Oba Market go for don dey open by now. But how for do o, na America wey dey. I be wan say na the drink and melecin when i swallow today na im dey do my body joli-joli. But if I talk dat one my nose fit dey like Pinokyo own becos 'you han hi' sabi say no be de tin wey dey worry me.

I decide say na pidgin I folo knack dis one jus for the sake of say my oga dem fit jam us for this page as ween dey yarn. Our elder talk say pikin wey bite im mama breast, hunger never cash am. Una sabi say I lepa no be small. Hmh. Not to say I wan talk the one wey my ogas no go like, but I no wan de one wey dem go take say my face too woh-woh. Biko O! Make I take cover. Nicon cares no dey dis side and Man pikin no sabi where Osanobua go carrey me go. But all dat wan na tori for side, make begin knack the real tori o. Hmh. My people dis Oghene wen we dey sarve 'His a living Gorr-O'. Make una no mind the kind yeye tins wey dey happen sometimes, na devil dey try play some small funny wayo sometimes. The guy na useless fellow.

So I been tell una say e get job like dat for 'Obodo-Schwazzeneger' wen I write appliquay put. Say Oga-pata-pata sack Oga-Junior. Hmh. Me an Oga-Junior been dey yarn reach one month o. Na so I come hear the gist, my belle come turn. I say I no fit gree o. How dis kain tin go happen. Bobbies, na so carrey Samsung press Oga pata-pata number. I for flash de guy becos daytime credit don finish dey reach double negative but i bone like kpako pikn. As I diel reach one nice sounding oyibo giel come ansa phone. I begin folo am yarn say dem fock-hup with dat nonsense move o. Say dem for don wait make thum-preent dry for paper before dem for sack Oga-Junior. Na so the babe come say Ok make I send am my CV and all the pesins wey sabi me for de e-main again make im look am. Like say na joke oh another nice sounding oyibo giel come call me for where i dey work. I come hex-cuse my self go baff-room before secret go leak say I get that kain call. She come begin dey ask me question like where F-B-I dey hinterogate Osama. One shakara lady for work come enter baff-room, na so I come say eh, secret go expose, but I just bone preten say na hinternational call. Sha sha, before I fit say OgeneBeGodO, na so de woman don begin call everybory wen I gif am, come say dem wan make I come do hintaview for there. Sharp sharp she don buy ticket for hintanet send am e-main.

Kontri people dis wan pass my handikraft o. As in small thing I been wan begin dey vex for God say the Guy no wan look my side for 'Too-Towsonan-Five. To the point wey I don become mechanik wey dey hook battery head to start moto and unhook am wen I pak. Wetin, I for do, de fan no gree stop. Anyways I don even gif Am one ultimatum after anoda includin say if im no produce blessing I fit defect go Allahuakbar. The Guy sabi say dat one na jazz i dey talk.

Anyways to dinesect tori for belle, I dey comot town for Sunday afternoon. I go return for Tuesday. I belief say na me get dat work but still, make una helep me pray say dem go gif me plenty money and jara. Meanwhile, me and my oga dem get yarns the following dey wen I return. E be like say dem fit gif me promotion. Plus that AP test wen I take dey easy no be small tin. Sometimes I fit foolish small. E get on question like this wen dem ask ' who be BTK' na so I almost ansa say na dat black-boy-band wey sing 'Uh Huh'....B2K. Abeg folo me laff. But i sabi say I pass oh.

I talk say me I no get hand in dis one at all. I go dey continue my prayer to Chineke say make im make my face dey extra fine dat Monday wen waka enta office. Make dem no see de pimple wey dey my face. Make my cloth no rumple at all. Make coke-croach no comot for my bag. Make my english no be like de won wey Omata boys dey follow sell. Make E better pass queen own sef. Make I wake up early and remember all de tins wey i read. Make my handshake get grip. Make my enemies and my mama and papa enemies and my granpa and granma enemies too, no even sabi say I dey at all....cha cha. In fact I declare dem null and void. Make Jesus sef follow me waka, do de interview... na so im light go jus dey blind de people say dem no go even sabi when dem go sign the company over sef. Kontri People, dat wan na ogbonge prayer be dat o. Abeg make una say a big Amen O.

Anyways, I go gee una de tori wen I return. By de grace of God una go fit come ho'idays for where I go dey. I hear say de temprasho sef be like say na Ekpoma. Eye go jam for anoda day, make I go sleep jare. Four for morrin don already knack, fowl go soon dey shout. Hehe! Oyibo say na 'Cock-Crow' but una sabi say de tin dem dey talk na 'kuku-roo-koo'....

(clearly too much Nights of a Thousand Laffs)

Friday, December 09, 2005


And High on some Red Bull$#!+

I am at the newspaper trying to finish transcribing my bite from some interviews I did two weeks ago. It's that same story on the old people's home. I am sure if I applied myself I'll write some killer article but dude let's get real here. Two weeks and it's not done yet? That's so totally gone past brain-freeze, how about brain-baked.
This morning I didn't feel like getting outta bed. It was cold outside and plus I had a bad dream so I wanted to go back to sleep so I can correct the events of the I successfully dragged myself outta bed, took a shower, wore the same pink turtle neck sweater I wore last Friday and the Friday before that. Relax!! It was clean. Why the same sweater? Errr...It was clean!! Ok, truthfully, didn't feel like looking for another one plus I don't need to be wasting my good baffs for work. It ain't like there're any single guys to appreciate the systematic coordination of green argyle angora sweater, gray cashmere gauchos, black leather knee high boots and fur trimmed black wool coat with matching gloves and other bohemian accessories that make me look well traveled. Hello!! I so am. Like the time I 'traveled' to Forever 21,TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Sunny's and Cheng's Beauty Supplies, South Point, South Park, North Gate, East Gate, West Hills, Concord Mills, Franklin St., Broadway, 5th Ave, Downtown, Uptown and all those other outlets and prime discount destinations. The best part, not even a stamp in my passport book.
Pardon the digression, but all that dressing up in the morning in it self is way too much work not to even get a free Subway sandwich. Speaking of which, I only found out some time last month, thanks to Singto that cashmere is actually goat fur. Like oh my gosh no wonder she's at Yale. She' s like so smart and I'm like such a major retard because I always though cashmere was just more expensive or more refined wool. You know, like from a higher or better breed of sheep just as is with Merino wool. Yah!! Makes me to think back to when we would kill goats for Christmas. Imagine all the cashmere sweaters I could have had if we'd sheared the goats instead of burning their hair. Lol. I also found out that angora, rabbit fur in lay English, sheds. Now why the hell would someone strip a poor bunny rabbit only to make a sweater that disappears. Hello!?! Next we'll hear they've made a sweater out of chicken feathers that just flies away.

Enough about the lesson on traveling, fur, wool and domestic animals. I was talking about waking up this morning. Oh yeah, so I was a bit groggy so after a bowl of cereal, I downed a can of Red Bull and then stopped by McDonald's on Franklin St. to get the Sausage and Egg Biscuit. Had to put some real food in my tummy because Red Bull with out food can get you a bit too hyperactive. I guess I need something to get me up beat so that I can finish this article. Oops! My editor just asked me about it, guess that Red Bull will have to be put to test right now. I've got two more hours. Hopefully I can get a draft going before the end of the day. Otherwise, I'll be back here bitching about it on Monday and reading all the blog entries on Blogspot. What can I say, just another day in front at a desk in front of a computer when I should be back packing across the Sahara. Oh well!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

"I ain't sayin' he's a soup-pot digga but he ain't messing with no pot burner." - K'Adaure West

I am sure some of you may have caught wind of the discussion going on on Nneka's Blog about cooking and hooking a man through his stomach . It's quite interesting and ya'll should check out some of the comments. Since I wrote an extemporaneous entry late last month about how much I hate cooking, not just because I don't know how to cook, but because I am a hazard in the kitchen, I have decided to take another stab at it with the wisdom I have culled from all and sundry. Here goes my conversation with my conscience, aka Nda, who speaks and thinks with an Igbo accent.... [Men this article about this old people's home will never get written o]

Ada: Woe is me!! I am doomed to perpetual spinsterhood and condemned to a life of eternal damnation as an old maiden. Chai!! [crying and biting my finger]

Nda: Bia who is that? Why the noise? Pesin die?

Ada: No o. Not yet at least.

Nda: Ehen? So why are you crying like somebody has kill ya fowl.

Ada: Just lamenting on the fact that my brideprice is not worth a common pot of soup.

Nda: Daz it? That's why you have now become the chief town-crier. Why not call all the animals and the spirits from the forest to come and follow you to cry. Ehn?

Ada: But it's true now. Have you not tasted my food. Even common egg...akwa... I cannot boil.

Nda: Hmh? Ada you are right. Sand is better than your cooking. I remember that beans that you cooked one time that all the beans disappeared. And the so-called shrimp and grits you made and put one of those spirits you call teddy-bear and called it gourmet. You didn't even use shrimp sef.

Ada: It was gourmet. That's what I ate at the Vogue party with Andre Leon Talley and I googled the recipe and decided to make it. Plus I couldn't use shrimp because I'm allergic.

Nda: Ehen....You are allergic to shrimp but you can eat Crayfish? But bia k'am ju kene...Let me ask.... When all ya mates were cooking 'nri-aja' [sand/play food] with 'kom-kom' [tin cans] what were you doing.

Ada: I followed them to cook now but only when we travel to the village. I was always getting in trouble for wasting palm oil and kerosene i'ld steal from the kitchen. I used hibiscus leaves and red sand to make draw-draw soup[ogbono] and if I managed to catch a small lizard or pigeon, would roast it and use it for meat.

Nda: No wonder.. You probably still cook like that. What about in school.. You people didn't have catering practical.

Ada: We did but my group always ended up making meat pie, moi-moi, egg sandwich, chin-chin and jam. I don't know why. But the good thing is that I am an expert chin-chin and moi-moi maker. If I was still in Nigeria i'ld probably be making my jam from the scratch.

Nda: Chin-chin, Jam and sandwich? Even the queen of England can't survive on that. God thing you know how to make moi-moi. Takes a lot of skills for that...washing the beans..grinding the beans..stirring it to the right consistency.. seasoning...wrapping it in leaves, foil or water-proof...strategically laying it into the pot of boiling water without bursting it and then staying awake to let it steam. I hail you for that.

Ada: Thank you but I just don't have the patience for that. Even if I did, is it moi-moi everyday... Ah ah.. That can cause 'otoro-shut-up' [ diarrhea]

Nda: Otoro is better than kwashiorkor. What about your mother didn't she teach you how to cook?

Ada: She did oh, but I didn't learn. I was playing basket ball o, riding bicycle, playing ten-ten with my friends or building sand castle.

Nda: That's good for you. Nto ehn!! You are seeing it.. go and eat basket ball now. You were following boys..not so.

Ada: That's not true o. I didn't like boys when I was younger.

Nda: Oh Ho.. you didn't like boys.... you should be happy now that you have chased them off with your bad cooking.

Ada: How can I be happy? That means that I would become an old maiden for the rest of my life. Even if by mistake I hooked a man don't you think he will be suspicious if everyday I present him with Chinese or we are eating popcorn.

Nda: Not if he is chinese or likes to watch movie. That'll be normal for them. I think you should be worried that the will mistake your cooking for medicine/poison especially if the man is a Nigerian.

Ada: So what do I do. How do I solve this problem. I can manage by myself borrowing soup from my aunties and serving it to prospectus, but on the D-day of Igbankwu [wine-carrying] am I not supposed to serve my in-laws the soup I cooked. How can I escape that.

Nda: That's very simple, since they'll be going to your village for that, tell them there's was no cooking gas or kerosene in Orie-Mkpu market and since you are baby-America they cannot expect you to be blowing breeze on the firewood. Your hair can catch fire.

Ada: You are right.

Nda: Meanwhile, tell your father to prolong the ceremony, that should give you a chance to learn how to cook from the old women in your village. Since you already know how to kill lizard and fowl, that means killing a goat won't be a problem for you. The real challenge will be learning to cook with Ero [mushroom] and fooling the eater into thinking it is chicken.

Ada: that so?

Nda: Yes oh.... I am telling you. In fact considering that you barely have electricity in your village, that makes it even better. Cooking well in the dark or with lantern. It's because you are in America.. don't worry.. i give you two weeks in the village with one mama and you will cook better than the Maggi Kitchen Woman or even Martha Stewart.

Ada: You have a point. Does that then mean that I can use it to find a man.

Nda: You have to be careful who you tell you can cook. That will be an invitation for all kinds of men, including 'coke-roaches'. You can't allow everybody to taste your good cooking. It is like asking a goat to look after a tuber of yam and then asking questions when the yam disappears.

Ada: Ehen? Is that why before when I used to cook, all sorts of people used to ask to come over and eat and now I don't cook they have all disappeared.

Nda: That may be the case. But now that you have learnt the secrets go and use them and stop making all this noise you are making.

Ada: I will go and learn o.. I will even buy cook book.

Nda. E E mba.. not cookbook food, unless you want to marry onye-ocha [ white man]. Which Nigerian man will eat cook book food.

Ada: Sorry.. Ma bad. Thanks for the advice, I'll be on my way.

Nda: KAI!!! C'mon come back hia. Go and buy me McDonald's.. All this advice and common kola you cannot present. What kinda of wife are you going to be. E di [u are] useless, good for nothing but a flogging. Are you sure you are not supposed to be sister [nun]. By the way make sure you Super Size it.


I have been tagged by Nneka
Below is the note that comes with the tag. Copy, Edit, Paste and TAG someone so we can get to know other Nigerians in the blogasphere.

"There are tons of Nigerian folks on Blogspot and I think we should get to know each other, I saw this on Xanga and I think its cool so here is how it works.The Rules 1st player of this "game" starts with the topic "5 weird habits of yourself" and people who get tagged need to write a blogspot entry about their 5 weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next 5 people to be tagged and list their blogspot IDs. Can you dig it? This is me

1. I make this strange frog-croaking sound in the back of my throat when i'm busy, in deep concentration or being absent minded. Quiet...can you hear it?

2. I'm a recovering TRICHOTILLOMANIAC.... Yup! Was a minor hair puller, but now I just pick my face. [you asked for weird right]

3. I always seem to forget my lotion and toothbrush whenever I'm going on the road so I always have then in my duffle bag waiting for a place to go.

4. I have a very eccentric borderline confused personality; One day I am an ANGRY Igbo Girl with a Pestle dressed in 'Wrappa', the next a peace loving candle-incense burning African hippie throwing Naphtelene[Camphor/Moth] balls all over the house. Then I can be a loquacious liberal lashing out at all things institutional but most of the time wisdom prevails and i'm jovial choosing to restrain my tongue, be reserved, introverted and appear demure whenever neccesary. In trying to analyze my personality I read somewhere yesterday after someone sent me a link to a certain book that i could fall under the category of being an INDIGO CHILD...HMH!?!... skipping the big grammar and translating in Igbo....someone with ogbanje and agwu-ishi tendency... TUFIAKWA!!! GOD FORBID!!! Rejected in Jesus name

5. Finally in making what could be the most important choice in my life, it all came down to color...Yes my people I picked my University because Blue is my favorite color, especially the Carolina/ Baby blue shade even though everything blue that I own now is beginning to look more Turquoisy. [There you asked for weird... and i gave you retarded... enjoy and let the disclaiming begin.]

I have decided to tag the following blogs i've stumbled upon.. Check them Out

Molara Wood
Sisi Oge
Nnorom Azuonye
Jeremy in Abuja
Teju Cole

Monday, December 05, 2005


This week has just been quite interesting that I am just too tickled for words. Like that Nigerian christian chorus goes, 'Laugh the Devil...Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha'. First a break up with a friend and then Saturday night at my station's Christmas party, I find out the news director with whom I had been discusing a position in California over the past month was fired from the job on Wednesday or Thursday. Can you imagine that? As in when I heard this I didn't know whether to cry or laugh. Had sent in everything and he had called for recommendations, all that was left was to be called in for the interview or told they had gone with someone else. I just smirked like 'are you freaking kidding me'? Did I jinx this guy into losing his job or does my luck just know how to play some really funny jokes? Oh well, 'another down, several others to love lost.' But dag!!! I was really looking forward to a warm sunny place [oh by the way I didn't get that job in Florida, but other opportunities will come]. God Dey sha and as Sefi Atta wrote 'Everything Good Will Come,' and let me add, in the divinely appointed time, so no shakings. If it is mine, It'll be mine won't lose sleep over that. Worst case scenario, move in with my cousin or uncle and continue roughing it out from there. Like Biafran leader Ojukwu said in his post civil war speech, ' Fellow countrymen and women, on Aburi We Stand. There will be no compromise.' Therefore there shall be 'No Victor, No Vanquished'...until 'Addy' all-a-this is for the...WHAT!?!....Marines.... WORD TO YO MOMMA!!!.

That aside, I'm taking a current affairs test for a position with the Associated Press on Thursday. Gotta keep the momentum going. Where there's rejection there'll finally be acceptance, so I won't be deterred. I don't know what to expect of the test but I remember taking one similar to that for admission to Columbia Univeristy Journalism School. Boy did I fail woefully on that. Well it was mostly print writing type stuff and then I didn't have that experience, hence my internship. But this test is a broadcast writing test so I'll be aight, It's what I do every day.
Meanwhile, my countdown looms. It's drawing nearer by the day and hour. It's a huge dilemma that I am facing. What to do and when to do it. Hoping I am not making a rash decision but a right one. I have been talking about it seriously for the past 3 months trying to inculcate the idea into my head. Everyone around me thinks I am playing a big joke, but I am so dead serious. I guess I am at a crossroad and need to think fast. 25 days doesn't seem like enough time to make life changing decisions. Pushing it further would be fooling myself. I guess I'll be praying harder this week for wisdom, guidance and favour. I'm sure you are wondering, 'what on earth is she going on about?' Will spill in a few...gotta work on my Christmas wish list.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Taking It Out On The Irons

Yesterday had another quibble with someone who used to be a very good friend,who I really hate now. I was told by this person I had anger issues and needed to go for deliverance or anger management. Obviously if not indirectly insulting/dissing me (as has before) knowing I was already upset already. Instead of figuring out why I was always getting upset with 'it' and make amends, 'it' decided that perhaps I should cut 'it' off instead of always getting angry. 'It' had a point because I was always getting upset with 'it' all the time, but to get to such a conclusion, obviously 'it' did not value the friendship enough to want to end it so dexterously and unequivocally. Thus an irreparable harm has been done and so as of yesterday this friend has been axed due to the irreconcilable differences. Yeah, I can hear someone say, I have heard this before. This time it is for real, I have been playing 'Super-friend' for too long, always being the one initiating reconciliation because I'm told it's a sign of maturity. Bull- freaking- dung, it just give people more opportunity to walk all over you and take you for granted some more, but now I know better. Stretching out a hand of friendship is tough enough, why complicate life and the relationship building process by grabbing on when it's not genuinely welcomed. As my friend Singto put it, it's like the the cream you are using is giving you cancer, but you say if I stop buying it the company would feel bad for losing me as a customer. ROCKS!!! They don't give a flying frog about you that's why their product is killing you in the first place. So I'll end this part of this rant by saying Your loss.

Anyways, after that awful episode, I was pretty upset (I can be very emotional and gentle hearted person, even though I appear rough, tough and crude most of the time). I agree that when I do get angry, it's like I am on some high. Since I don't know how to fight, the only way I can exert that anger is through words and yes those words, when they do come out, can be very hurtful. I try to suppress them, but that only makes me more and more angry that all I can do is probably go and cry somewhere. But on yesterday I decided to take it out on the irons at the gym.

The last time I was at the gym was in March. Did that for like 2 weeks, mostly yoga. I am not much of a working out person any more. I was once upon a life time, back in secondary school. I think I would have kept it up but for those awful two years in Charlotte. That was when the damage was done, I lost every ounce of fitness. When I got to Chapel Hill, I walked on to the track team, but who was I fooling, I was finished in that department. I had to walk back out after about 3 weeks or a month or unsuccessfully posing as a track team member. I laugh really hard when I think about that. But I tried to continue going to the gym though. Once in a while I would show up and lift like 2 of those 30 pound dumbbells and on the rowing machine thingy I could lift like 80 pounds. But today...hmh.... Today.. Revealed a very sad sight. I could only comfortably lift but 15 pounds. SHAME Addy!!!

SO since I could not lift much to exert my anger, and I could not really work up any sweat with the 15 minutes I spent on the treadmill doing 5 mph, I decided to do it the old school way. Like I used to do when I was bored in the village during those very long August breaks, especially the one following the June 12 Riots (Oso Abiola). I asked them to find me 'Skipping Rope'.

Kai!!! I hadn't skipped-rope in a hot minute o. It was quite relaxing doing it and I worked up a bit of sweat too. If I do this for like 30 minutes everyday and take up yoga again, it should help relieve me of some of the stresses from work and my so-called anger issues. May be I'll get fit again and get some strength and energy to dash out bitch-slaps and kick butts when next I'm angered, instead of being such a whinny-pouty baby.

Meanwhile I am learning a lot about friends and friendship. People come into your life at certain times to serve a purpose in your destiny and vis-a-vis, one perhaps unknown to us. Once that purpose is served some stay and continue their purpose and others become the vestige of your life. I would hope that I have served a purpose in the lives of people for whom I have become the relics of acquaintance. Perhaps we should begin to ponder,if we haven't already, on what purpose our friends and the people we meet are meant to serve in our lives and us in theirs.

Below are a few quotes on friendship that I found a while back that explain what a friend and friendship is. May be something will inspire you to cherish your friends, especially the ones who stick with you through thick and thin, when you are both good and bad. (To my true friends who know themselves, much love)

"Friends are born, not made." * Henry Adams

"Forsake not an old friend, for a new one does not compare with him." * Apocrypha -- Ecclesiasticus 9:10

"My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake. "* Aristotle

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. * Aristotle

This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half. * Francis Bacon

Friendship is a strong and habitual inclination in two persons to promote the good and happiness of one another. * Eustace Budgell

Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves. * Albert Camus

How can sincerity be a condition of friendship? A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing. * Albert Camus

Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship--never. * Charles Caleb Colton

What a wretched lot of old shriveled creatures we shall be by-and-by. Never mind--the uglier we get in the eyes of others, the lovelier we shall be to each other; that has always been my firm faith about friendship. * George Eliot

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. * Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. * Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only way to have a friend is to be one. * Ralph Waldo Emerson

Real friendship is shown in times of trouble; prosperity is full of friends. * Euripides

It is in the thirties that we want friends. In the forties we know they won't save us any more than love did. * F. Scott Fitzgerald

No man can be happy without a friend, nor be sure of his friend till he is unhappy. * Thomas Fuller

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you. * Elbert Hubbard

My father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, you've had a great life. * Lee Iacocca

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire. * François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship. * François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

The most deadly fruit is borne by the hatred which one grafts on an extinguished friendship. * Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

It's no good trying to keep up old friendships. It's painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it. * W. Somerset Maugham

We know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits. * W. Somerset Maugham

If a man should importune me to give a reason why I loved him, I find it could no otherwise be expressed, than by making answer: because it was he, because it was I. * Michel de Montaigne

Love demands infinitely less than friendship. * George Jean Nathan

Women can form a friendship with a man very well; but to preserve it--to that end a slight physical antipathy must probably help. * Friedrich Nietzsche

Hold a true friend with both your hands. * Nigerian Proverb

To me, fair friend, you never can be old For as you were when first your eye I eyed, Such seems your beauty still. * William Shakespeare

Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love. * William Shakespeare

The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right. * Mark Twain
friendshipip is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce. * Voltaire

Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship. * Oscar Wilde

"There are no such things as strangers, only friends we haven't met yet." -- Anonymous"

Odd how much it hurts when a friend moves away - and leaves behind only silence." -- Pam Brown

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can by trying to get other people interested in you." -- Dale Carnegie

"You can hardly make a friend in a year, but you can easily offend one in an hour." -- Chinese Proverb

"It is the friends that you can call at 4 A.M. that matter." -- Marlene Dietrich

"In times of prosperity friends will be plenty; in time of adversity not one in twenty." -- English Proverb

"My best friend is the one that brings out the best in me." -- Henry Ford

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country." -- E. M. Forster

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." -- Anais Nin

"God save me from my friends - I can protect myself from my enemies." -- Proverb

"Lifwithoutgt a friend is death without a witness." -- Spanish Proverb

"We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend" -- Robert Lewis Stevenson

"The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend." -- Henry David Thoreau

"Friends are God's way of apologizing to us for our families." -- Unknown

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow."-- Alice Walker

"Nine-tenths of the people were created so you would want to be with the other tenth." -- Horace Walpole

"A friend is one who knows all about you and likes you anyway." -- Christi Mary Warner

"A friend can tell you things you don't want to tell yourself." -- Frances Ward Weller

To know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts expressed ~ That can make life a garden."-Goethe

"Silence is the true friend that never betrays.Confuciusus

"Love is blind, but friendship closes its eyes."-unknown

"But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine."-Thomas Jefferson

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow ~ Don't walk behind me, I may not lead ~ Just walk beside me and be my friend."-unknown

"An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship."-Spanish Proverb


Wrap It Up or Don't At All


***** Article 1: World Health Organization*****

HIV infection rates decreasing in SEVERAL COUNTRIES
but global number of people living with HIV

Increased HIV prevention and treatment efforts needed to slow and reverse AIDS epidemic, according to new UNAIDS/WHO report

GENEVA, 21 November 2005 – There is new evidence that adult HIV infection rates have decreased in certain countries and that changes in behaviour to prevent infection—such as increased use of condoms, delay of first sexual experience and fewer sexual partners—have played a key part in these declines. The new UN report also indicates, however, that overall trends in HIV transmission are still increasing, and that far greater HIV prevention efforts are needed to slow the epidemic.

Kenya, Zimbabwe and some countries in the Caribbean region all show declines in HIV prevalence over the past few years with overall adult infection rates decreasing in Kenya from a peak of 10% in the late 1990s to 7% in 2003 and evidence of drops in HIV rates among pregnant women in Zimbabwe from 26% in 2003 to 21% in 2004. In urban areas of Burkina Faso prevalence among young pregnant women declined from around 4% in 2001 to just under 2% in 2003.
These latest findings were published in AIDS Epidemic Update 2005, the annual report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The joint report, which this year focuses on HIV prevention, was released today in advance of World AIDS Day, marked worldwide on the first of December.

Several recent developments in the Caribbean region (in Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic and Haiti) give cause for guarded optimism—with some HIV prevalence declines evident among pregnant women, signs of increased condom use among sex workers and expansion of voluntary HIV testing and counselling.

Despite decreases in the rate of infection in certain countries, the overall number of people living with HIV has continued to increase in all regions of the world except the Caribbean. There were an additional five million new infections in 2005. The number of people living with HIV globally has reached its highest level with an estimated 40.3 million people, up from an estimated 37.5 million in 2003. More than three million people died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2005; of these, more than 500000 were children.

According to the report, the steepest increases in HIV infections have occurred in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (25% increase to 1.6 million) and East Asia. But sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the most affected globally– with 64% of new infections occurring here (over three million people).

“We are encouraged by the gains that have been made in some countries and by the fact that sustained HIV prevention programmes have played a key part in bringing down infections. But the reality is that the AIDS epidemic continues to outstrip global and national efforts to contain it,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot. “It is clear that a rapid increase in the scale and scope of HIV prevention programmes is urgently needed. We must move from small projects with short-term horizons to long-term, comprehensive strategies,” he added.

Impact of HIV Treatment

The report recognizes that access to HIV treatment has improved markedly over the past two years. More than one million people in low-and middle-income countries are now living longer and better lives because they are on antiretroviral treatment and an estimated 250 000 to 350 000 deaths were averted this year because of expanded access to HIV treatment.

Commenting on the potential enhanced impact of integrating prevention and treatment, the 2005 report emphasizes that a comprehensive response to HIV and AIDS requires the simultaneous acceleration of treatment and prevention efforts with the ultimate goal of universal access to prevention, treatment and care.

"We can now see the clear benefit of scaling up HIV treatment and prevention together and not as isolated interventions," said WHO Director-General Dr LEE Jong-wook. "Treatment availability provides a powerful incentive for governments to support, and individuals to seek out, HIV prevention information and voluntary counselling and testing. Effective prevention can also help reduce the number of individuals who will ultimately require care, making broad access to treatment more achievable and sustainable."

Future challenges for strengthening HIV prevention

New data show that in Latin America, Eastern Europe and particularly Asia, the combination of injecting drug use and sex work is fuelling epidemics, and prevention programmes are falling short of addressing this overlap. The report shows how sustained, intensive programmes in diverse settings have helped bring about decreases in HIV incidence—among young people in Uganda and Tanzania, among sex workers and their clients in Thailand and India, and among injecting drug users in Spain and Brazil.
The report notes that, without HIV prevention measures, about 35% of children born to HIV-positive women will contract the virus. While mother-to-child transmission has been virtually eliminated from industrialized countries and service coverage is improving in many other places, it still falls far short in most of sub-Saharan Africa. An accelerated scale-up of services is urgently needed to reduce this unacceptable toll.

Levels of knowledge of safe sex and HIV remain low in many countries – even in countries with high and growing prevalence. In 24 sub-Saharan countries (including Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda), two-thirds or more of young women (aged 15-24 years) lacked comprehensive knowledge of HIV transmission. According to a major survey carried out in the Philippines in 2003, more than 90% of respondents still believed that HIV could be transmitted by sharing a meal with an HIV-positive person.

Finally, weak HIV surveillance in several regions including in some countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North Africa is hampering prevention efforts and often means that people at highest risk – men who have sex with men, sex workers, and injecting dug users – are not adequately covered or reached through HIV prevention and treatment strategies.

The annual AIDS Epidemic Update reports on the latest developments in the global AIDS epidemic. With maps and regional estimates, the 2005 edition provides the most recent estimates on the epidemic’s scope and human toll, explores new trends in the epidemic’s evolution, and features a special section on HIV prevention

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