Tuesday, December 25, 2007



Monday, December 10, 2007


As you all know by now Miss China was crowned Miss World 2007.

The event was full of glamour, pomp and as expected pageantry. Miss Angola came in Second, Miss Mexico came in Third, Trinidad and Tobago and Sweden rounded up the top five. Here are THE PICTURES most of which are from the Coronation Ball.
You can find all the details and the break down of winners for each category HERE
There are also more pictures from the event on VIEW IMAGES website

I found the comment below about the pageant on THIS BLOG. What do you say to this? I say "Is someone hating on the '3rd world' or does he or she have a point?"

"pakikaki, on December 4th, 2007 at 1:34 am Said:
The event is held in China and Miss China is chosen as Miss World… coincidence ?, I think NOT. This is just as unfair to the really pretty and talented girls, as when they started handing out those “pity-titles” to African and Indian contestants. This is Political Correctness and Affirmative Action –at it’s worst. I commiserate with all those girls who rightly feel wronged upon seeing Miss China advancing ahead of them, without being able to say their peace. Miss China didn’t even belong in the semi, let alone get into the top 5. To be crowned, was a crime. A shameless, brazen miscarriage of justice. I feel sorry for Miss Angola and Trinidad & Tobago. To come so close and then be superseeded. I wouldn’t be surprised, if in the years to come, the girls from the west refuse to participate in these sham ’selections’ and tell the rest of the world to put the tiara up it’s third-world-a55.
Laura1318: In life, there are losers and winners. In another place , another time , different rules. That is life."


After leaving Sanya we went to Beijing to do the tourist leg of the trip. The highlight for me was climbing the Great Wall. Unfortunately it was way too cold. We also visited the Ming Tombs, Forbidden City and the notorious Tien An Men Square. I tried shopping at the Silk Street market, a famous tourist shopping spot. Please avoid that place if you don’t want to get a heart attack. Aside from the fact that the only plus side is that you can entertain yourself to good quality ‘imitation’, the fear of being duped into paying too much and the pushy sales women will drive you nuts. As in if I can say that I’m more comfortable shopping at Tejuosho with its griminess and annoying igbo traders proposing marriage to you, then you know something is wrong. Bottom line, I came back with an empty second suitcase. Anyways these are MY GREATWALL PICTURES. Enjoy.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Tips on Moving Back To Nigeria from a Dude Called Godson Offoaro (not Kwesi Freeman)

I can't believe it, It will be a year on December 4th since I got on that flight back to Nigeria. Bold and risky, but one that I needed to make and get over with quickly and while I still had some youth left in me (SHIIIEEEETTT...I'll be 28 in 3 months and that's dead in 'spring chick' years...literally). Anyways I got this email (I'm sure many of you have read it already) and it fits right smack ino what my December 4th post was going to be about. I dunno who this dude, the writer is or what and how he qualifies to give this advice as he doesn't mention it in his write up (not that he needs to) but he is right on the money on many things in this essay (Reader Ada sent in info on the writer, check it out at this link http://nigeriaworld.com/columnist/offoaro/bio.html. The original post is at this link http://nigeriaworld.com/columnist/offoaro/112707.html)
December is usually the influx month when many folks move back, take the festive month to relax and have fun and then in January, we know the ones who stayed when you see them at a hang out (eg. Six Degrees, News Cafe) the weekend after New Year's Weekend is over. You no longer greet them with 'Awww when did you get back?' but rather 'Awwww so how long are you staying?'. Those of us who are still in denial will say 'One year, two years, I'm just in transit' and those that don't ever want to see the borders of another country (more like University because 'bukuru' showed them 'shege') will be very colorful. Kwesi Freeman's post is below. It makes for a great read. I will be back next week with 'ADDY'S PERSPECTIVE'. How am I doing? Is it really as great as it appears? The pros and the cons as I see it and what would I have done differently etc and a few other things that might have you better armed and better informed if you are planning to move to Nigeria. I know I am hardly an expert with only one year under my belt, but it's always good to hear the part of the green because their account is stil fresh andnot watered down by survival tactics. It help's you avoid the mistakes they've made. Again enjoy the article and PLEASE let's discuss it. If you have any 'MOVE BACK' tips and experiences please do share with everyone. I'll be back with more from Ms World later on today (kai!!! free high speed internet sweet o...ahh ahh...the thing is just going fast...pishaun pishaun..anyhow...just too bad.. they are trying in China sha...lol)


101 Things You Need To Know To Relocate To Nigeria
By Godson Offoaro

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First, the down side of Nigeria. Its economy has predominant characteristics of a third world's. It is No. 35th on Transparency International's rating on the list of the world's most corrupt nations. It used to be No. 1. Thanks to the EFCC and ICPC. NITEL has now completely collapsed. Where NITEL failed, mediocre local independent telephone operators dominated by Indians are carting billions to the banks and their banks in India. NEPA is tottering.

The road networks are in a very, very dilapidated condition. The transportation system in Nigeria is in a big mess. Travel by road in Nigeria has seized to be a thing of joy. By air is expensive and froth with danger of air crash due to the preponderance of molue aircraft in the air. Still, it is expensive. A forty-five-minute flight to Abuja from Lagos costs between twelve and fifteen thousand Naira, ($90-$130) depending on the airline.
Crime is climbing because of joblessness, particularly among young school leavers. Politically motivated pen robbery is still with us. Economically induced robberies are on the rise too. Banks are now robbed in broad day light. You cannot open your favorite daily any morning without reading about a robbery incident here and there. Because it is not an election season, assassinations are on the wane - it looks like.

In spite of all, this is the best time to start thinking of relocating to Nigeria. Nigeria is changing. This is very fast. You begin to notice this at the airports - your first points of entry. The air cooling systems now work most of the time. The conveyor belts work too, most of the times that I have seen. Power systems at the airports fail intermittently but not as they used to do.

The people you meet either at departure lounges or on arrival halls are beginning to imbibe the culture of courtesy. Trolleys, though for hire are now available for the jaded traveler to cart away his luggage. Even the toilets are manned by professionals who say hi to you before use and after. (Some times they hide the tissue papers and make you pay for service.) Inside the airports, touting has been kept at bay. There are banks with ATM machines competing for the business of the Nigerian traveler, at most Nigerian airports now. Modern communications gadgets are on display at every nook and cranny displaying wares, arrival and departure times.

Before you relocate, make sure you have the wherewithal to get back to where you are relocating from - just in case. The reasons are too many. But the first you would notice is how far high on the economic ladder your mates have climbed. And as you know, economic progress has a twin brother climbing the same ladder - social mobility. Your contemporaries have moved and they did so slowly but sure-footedly while you were gone. Your mates dine at the most expensive restaurants and drive the latest model cars - not on credit.

Your mates have bought up properties in the choicest areas of the land. Your mates are to be found in, Wuse II, Asokoro and Maitama areas of Abuja. Your mates have occupied the choicest areas of Lagos, particularly the picturesque sites of Lekki, Victoria Garden City - fancifully called the VGC. Of course, your mates now use their Ikoyi and VI previous homes as offices. It is no more fanciful to say I live in Ikoyi or VI. There are new places of abode in the land - from Kaduna to Port Harcourt and from Enugu to Maiduguri, and your mates have taken them up while you were gone.

If you left over ten to twenty years ago and you are planning to be back, know that you have become unemployable. You have to be self-employed for a long while. Be sure you have enough resources to keep you going through the period it would take you to re-acquaint yourself with your "former" home. Things have really changed - changed for good for those who did not jet out and somehow changed for bad for those of us who took the next plane and left the country.

In Nigeria, your mates in the public and private sectors of the economy, particularly the banking and oil industry, have become highly placed. Most earn the equivalent of between 200,000 and 300,000 dollars a year plus other incentives to wit. There was an advert recently placed in one of the papers for a job opening which warned those not earning twenty million Naira and above, per annum, in their present job not to apply. Most have built their own houses in Nigeria. Most have more than two cars in their drive way. Most live in homes that smack of opulence, with every modern gadget ranging from large sized Plasma TVs to Microwaves.

Most have genuinely saved enough to send their children to some of the best educational institutions over seas, including to the Ivy Leagues. Most are share holders in most of the emerging markets that have been liberalized during the eight boom years (and counting) which we that left, have missed. Most of them have savings in liquid cash that run into tens of millions. Most have invested in the now, very lucrative Nigeria stock market. You would marvel when you have a snippet of what amount of shares your mates now hold. You would shiver in self pity.

If your mates joined politics, they have occupied the choicest of political positions in the land and made new friends that will be hard to dislodge. If you happen to have showed off to them in your hey days of "returning" from America, be rest assured they have not forgotten. They call us mercenaries in politics. It is now their turn to show you, that you can't have it both ways. They have built a barricade and insulated themselves from out side interests - you the returnee being an outside interest that must be dreaded. If you have real or passing interest in politics, you must show it with extreme caution. They would like to invite you to political meetings and discussion only to put you to size.

While not accepting everything they say, when making your presentations, or contributions avoid using phonetics. Avoid such phrases as "if it were in America or Europe." They do not like to hear that. One of them surely will remind you "this is Nigeria" to the embarrassing applause of others, there present. They see Nigeria now as a trophy. They labored for Nigeria while you were gone. They suffered the June 12 crises together while you were gone. They suffered the Abacha era while you were gone. While you were gone, you probably had returned on one or two occasions only to scurry out soon after complaining of incessant heat, erratic power supply and mosquito bites. At the airport, you must have been caught criticizing everything in sight. They have not forgotten your new borrowed accent and the phonetics that do not rhyme.

That you need a shelter to live in Nigeria if you planned relocating to Nigeria is an understatement. There are many ways to do this. It's either that you have managed to build something for yourself in the city you would want to relocate or you could find an affordable apartment. With the kind of money we make overseas from genuine everyday livelihood, it is almost next to impossibility that you could build yourself an abode commensurate to what you are used to. If you find yourself in this position, don't worry, if you endured the pains and worked hard and kept a low profile in order not antagonize your former friends, within five years your will build your self, your dream home.

You need to feed well. This too is an understatement. Avoid going to the supermarkets to get your food - raw, processed or cooked. Buy from the local sellers at the nearest mammy market. Go to the supermarkets and shops to buy the essentials. At the malls, you will find that while you spend a miserable amount to buy your essential needs, Nigerians who are not been tos, buy up anything in site both the ones they need and those they do not need.

This people have so much money. How they make it, you will find out if you endured. Closely related to this is your phone habit. It is very expensive to use the telephones in Nigeria. As you know, telephone calls in the western world are taken for granted. Here, while it's beginning to happen as if it is for granted, it is very, very expensive. To Nigerians who are not used to such freedom of expression, they are spending millions everyday to make phone calls - to satisfy their newly found phone freedom. If you are not mindful, telephone bills may cut into your feeding pattern. If this happens, before long, you will become an object of gossip. You will lose your complexion and weight and they will notice.

You need clothing to cover the body you have labored to nurture while you lived abroad. This also, is an understatement. Nigerians pay too much attention to dressing. Your dress mode can shut the door at you or open the door for you. Avoid casual dressing, particularly when you are going to meet with the Nigerian big man. He knows the stuff you're wearing and could place you based on that. Be simple but neat if need be occasionally be flamboyant. Express yourself. Speak good English, where there is a need, do not use slang such as I wana or I gonna….

Do not lend money. Give out only that which you could afford to lose. Beware of relatives and the extended family system. If you manage to set up a small business, never employ those closely related to you. They will ruin you.

You would need to dry clean. Dry cleaning here is too expensive. You pay as much 300 naira (about $2) to dry clean an inner vest. Think then of what it would cost to do a bunch of laundry. Think seriously of having a washer and a drier installed - wherever you may decide to live.

You must have at least two good cars. That car of yours, which you price so much, is not fashionable in Nigeria. Here some people drive the next year's model before they become common in Europe or the Americas. How they make such money to pay upfront is still the mystery I am struggling to unravel. The roads are so bad and the drivers so ill-trained that if you drove yourself, and not being used to their adversarial/ confrontational pattern of driving, your car and you would, in a very short while be a sorry sight. They hit you and beg you. They hit you because you are conscious of driving rules and apply it. They, who do not apply simple driving rules, rule the highway in Nigeria. In a society not used to insurance, and where vehicular laws are not implemented, begging has replaced insurance coverage. Even passer bys would chip in to ask the offending reckless driver to beg you and get on with his life. If they beg you, you must accept. That's your only recourse.

To this end, you must have a good mechanic as a friend. He will introduce to you, a good panel beater (your (n) used car will always need to be panel beaten back to form after constantly being bashed by ill-trained Nigerian road users. Most Nigeria drivers, I hear, buy their drivers license) who will in turn introduce you to a vulcanizer and an auto electrician, here, fancifully called a rewire. You need a vulcanizer because the roads are bad. Flat tires occur very often here than usual. Of all the auto-related experts you will work with, the rewire should be the one you must dread. He is not well trained in the operation of modern day computer induced auto cars. His method of rewiring has set many late model computerized cars ablaze.

Eve of Miss World

Ni Hao (xie xie @anon, that means thanks) from Sanya China. I have to say that this place is beautiful. I am still suffering from jet lag that's why I am online at 2am China time. That flight was no joke at all. A whole 36 hours. At least I can say that I have been to Frankfurt Germany as well considering we had to be there for 16 hours and took a bus ride into town. Now that's conquering two countries with one bird..get it? Bird...plane..ha ha..DRY! Ok without further ado, here are some pictures from the Crown Plaza Hotel where the Miss World contestants are lodged. The buzz is that Ms Dominican Republic and Ms China are top on the betting list of who'ld be the winner. Both have been favorites at the preliminary part of the event. I saw many of the contestants from Africa. The cinderella story is Ms Sierra Leone who is making a first ever appearance at the pageant after years of war. Truth be told, she is still a hot mess (for obvious reasons) but her story is a feel good story that we need to hear at these events. I just wish the organizers had taken her up as a charity case. That or her fairy god mother needs to be sacked. Our girl Munachi was excited to see us. Unfortunately because of the strict visa rules imposed on Nigerian passport holders, her mother could not get a visa to attend. She was clearly tired, home sick and stressed but a little pep talk, hugs and kisses from Guy, Garth and myself raised her spirits up a notch. But for real these pageants are BANANAS and majorly gangsta. It's like the UNITED NATIONS but only this time, instead of brutish men in charge of WMD, you have beautiful young ladies high on hair spray, armed with a hair dryers, curling irons and ready to knock each other off their stilletos. Ok so it's not exactly like that, but you get my point. Plenty international politics at play. I mean when the Chinese government can buy out an entire prelim show to support their home girl, especially on the shows 4th and final year in the country (for now) it means you must deliver and concede at least a top 5 spot to China. ANd it goes on.

Anyways no too much talk dey the tin, we sabi say e go hard before Nigeria and co Africans go get the crown again so make una pam small and enjoy all the foto wey i don snap. True true I suppose go become 'onye-foto'HERE ARE THE PICTURES (uncaptioned cos I have to go sleep). Enjoy and ignore my multiple photos.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


This is the first place that oil was struck in Nigeria. It’s a small village nestled in the creeks, islands and mangrove swamps of the Niger Delta, Bayelsa state to be precise. It took use 2 and half hours to drive down there from Port Harcourt in a hired vehicle that cost us N6000. Oloibiri’s story is a great testament to how both the governments of Nigeria, it’s leaders and the Oil companies have done a disservice to humanity. The story is complex but once upon a time a valuable deposit of crude oil sat undisturbed and untapped in the undergrounds of Oloibiri, but today not only has Oloibiri be sucked dry of its valuable resources, the people have literally had life sucked out of them as they have been left to wallow in abject poverty and underdevelopment. The same can be said for many regions. The story goes like this, Dutch company Shell D’arcy, after being granted an exploration license in 1938, found its way into the small village. That was in 1953. Why did it take them so long to go into the creeks you might wonder. As I learned from a well spoken 73 year old man Pa Foster Inengite, the explorers thought the oil deposit was higher up the Niger and had been searching in the lowlands near Owerri, Oguta and Onitsha and were making their way further south. They came to Oloibiri in 1953, built a well (which is one of the only other source of water aside from the river just behind the house at which the well was built). There are several taps and a water tank that were built in 1973 by the government of Rivers State at the time but according to the villagers not a single drop of water has come out of those taps. At first the locals thought they had come to buy Palm oil, which was their major resource (still is). In 1956 Shell finally discovered the first commercial oil field in Oloibiri. That location is called Oloibiri 1 and it is located along the only operating highway in Bayelsa State, that goes straight from Yenegoa into Ogbia local Government. In1958 Nigeria officially became a world exporter of crude oil and the village of Oloibiri made history as the first place oil was struck not just in Nigeria, but also in West Africa.
At the exact spot where explorer first discovered oil, there’s a rusty funny looking cross-like pipe rising from a field of very tall elephant grass. I believe this contraption (word of the day) is called a Christmas tree. Eerie this was because of the fact that this thing looked like a cross. A cross that was supposed to answer prayers or the poor and bring them hope. Rather this place was over run with shrubbery and raggedy signpost and an aesthetically unappealing stack of marble slabs dedicated by former President Obasanjo, that’s supposed to be a monument identifying Oloibiri Well 1 as an historic site.
Just to give you a mental picture of what Oloibiri looked like…CRAP!! Mud huts, termite ridden thatch roofs, thick jungle, and uncompleted or falling buildings. They finally had electricity because of the new hydro generated power plant, but that’s all the community can say they’ve gotten. It’s hard to believe that a place like that is where oil, black gold that’s building places like Lagos, Abuja and even nearby Port Harcourt. It was supposed to be a gift from Mother Earth that was supposed to bring hope and a future to the town but instead it has become the death of the place.
Pa Foster narrated the story of how he felt the day they found the oil deposit. He said he had worked closely with the explorers, learning from them and running errands as part of his job. He was only 22 at the time and wanted to work with the dockyard, on the ships that transported the oil. He said he was on the rig the day oil was struck and when it gushed out everyone cheered and was drenched by the oil. After the celebration they went into the Oloibiri River and had a bath and then went on with the celebration. He had very high hopes that his community would change and look like the ones he’d seen in the pictures and books that the white men brought with them. Big white houses, schools, clinics and better jobs. Although disappointed in his shack of a mud house, he still feels it is never too late to change the lot of the region because there are still young children in Oloibiri and Oloibiri self exiled youths who need to see a new light shone on their home land. The frail and fragile old man was a great interview, not only could he speak very good English and pronounce correctly (unlike many young people) he was like a library with so much stories about so many things including oral tradition of how Oloibiri was established. (An offshoot of some soldiers that had been on the run from Benin Kingdom). It was so sad because there were hardly any children in the village to listen to his story (I can see days of sitting at his feet listening to tales by moonlight…by the way has anyone seen the new Tales By Moonlight on NTA. Talk about tales under the fluorescent, they are now in some poorly decorated and air conditioned living room. No moon light, no mosquitoes to chirping cricket sound)
Anyways our continued tour of the village revealed too many abandoned projects including a huge general hospital that was finished in 1973 but never commissioned, staffed or even furnished. Then a mortuary that’s never been used. One woman we met lamented that they have to drive the dead many kilometers to a place called Koloibiri, but the roads are so bad that cars get into accidents and the dead bodies end up dying again (her words). It was really sad and I tried so hard to fight back tears. I could also see and understand why so many people in the region could be angry and make unrealistic demands like resource control (we all know that’ll probably never happen) and take matters into their own hands. I guess I just had to see things for myself and know what all the fuss is all about. I eventually went back to PH tired and worn out. The next day I made my way to Asari Dokubo’s fortress like home for a sit down interview with his wife. Unfortunately, I sat on that interview because it was rejected for the particular show that I had pegged it for and couldn’t find a platform for it. But once I can figure out how loading videos work, I’ll load that interview and this documentary online. This post doesn’t give a clear picture but hang tight and I’ll load up the pictures I took while in the Niger Delta very soon. My sister took the Laptop with all the pictures to Asaba for her NYSC (to watch pirated 16-in-1 movies) and won’t be back till the 6th of December. The pictures are also in my email account but don’t load up very fast. May be Internet in China will facilitate that. Anyways, I’ll keep you posted on that Great Wall Climb/ Trek.



For me this was the highlight of this whole trip. Going to Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Ogoni land. We set out from Port Harcourt around 9am in a bus sent to us by Marvin Yobana. My team was made up of a cameraman, Chuks and the local reporter, Edmund. Chuks was highly excited that we were actually going to do a totally different kind of assignment, but Edmund on the other hand was not too thrilled because, according to him, he didn’t want to be kidnapped. We went from Trans Amadi Road to Trans Woji Road and on to Eleme. That’s where the NNPC refinery is located and there it was, the all too infamous and familiar torch that’s been etched into the minds of many Nigerians, thanks to those old file videos that used to run on NTA but have now made their way to all the TV stations in the country. We went past the Unity Road, which was still under construction as part of the governments Niger Delta Development Commissions’ project to link Ogoni, Andoni and Opobo. We drove into Bori, the main pulse of Ogoni and their business center. We finally made our way into Kpean, which was littered with several mud houses with thatch roofs. I couldn’t help but notice that there were absolutely too many idle young men, clustered up under sheds, some playing Ludo, some Whot and others just chatting in between rides on their motor bikes. Many of them had those, not just for getting around, but as a means of survival, providing transportation for the community. We were supposed to call Mr. Yobana and the MOSOP assigned security officer, once we got to Ogoni, but the network was really bad The only network within range was MTN so all our phones were useless because we were on a different network. We had to keep coming back to the teenage girl who was manning one of a few call centers in Kpaen. Our lead guide Jackson Jaja eventually gets a hold of the security officer and gets a go ahead to proceed to the points of interest. Jackson is a graduate of creative arts from University of Port Harcourt. He had been in and out of jail for petty crimes stemming from youth uprising and agitation. After he got out of jail he decided to channel his anger through a positive means and under the guidance of Yobana he’s become responsible for organizing some of the other jobless local boys to serve as a surveillance team for the villages. According to him, Yobana and some other citizens who contribute to keep the initiative going are paying them. Also in our company was the driver, Emmanuel and another guy, Prince Sunday, who wanted to join in on the tour. As we made our way to one of about 100 oil wells in Ogoni and 25 in Kwawa alone, we drove over the Geawa River. We literarily had our hearts in our mouths because the bridge was beyond being on the verge of collapsing. We turn off a dirt road heading towards the Teeraua (terra-way) Oil well (my note say this is the 1st oil well, but I don’t remember if that means first stop or the first well from which oil was drilled) which used to be owned by Shell (FYI: Shell has not however operated in Ogoniland for 14 years. They were kicked out for obvious reasons and are practically persona non grata so even if they had good intentions of cleaning up, it’s fair to say they’ll face some challenges). At this particular wellhead, there was some major filth in the form of fresh crude oil. Apparently during the Ogoni crisis of the mid-nineties, this wellhead wasn’t shut off completely and so oil spills out when the sun’s heat is intense. The science being that crude congeals in cool temperature and melts in high temperature. So basically this wellhead has oil spilling out into the farmlands everyday, according to Jackson. The next oil well was one in Buan (now I don’t recall if this was the one with the natural gas pipe that flares up at high noon as well and burns for days). At this one there’s a security post, which only had its corrugated iron sheets changed two months prior to that day, but had been corroded beyond recognition. We trucked on and met with a farmer who narrated the ordeal they had to go through on their quest for daily drinking water as well as some women on their way to the next village to find water. The women and children had to trek about 3 kilometers from Teeraua to Kwawa, to a well to fetch water. Many rivers, like the Teeraua River were polluted with films of oil floating on top. The villagers can’t even drink rainwater and only use it for cleaning. We got to a fishing hamlet where Jackson and his friends negotiated permission to film. The fishermen agreed at first but later expressed anger and assumed that our guides had been paid to bring us there. They insisted that we pay them before we do any filming. Now, I didn’t have any money to dash away but I had my camera rolling and so I stole the video instead and we left and headed to another village.
Our next stop was a place called Yorla Well-Location 10. There was a vast opening that seemed like the size of two of UNC’S football field. There were charred palm trees, turned over soil caked together by crude oil. There had been an explosion (in 2006) at the site that resulted in a huge fire, which subsequently devastated adjoining farmlands. That to a villager spells hunger, yearlong hard work toiling to plant yams and cassava and the anticipation of a bountiful harvest, all up in smoke. We took a soil sample from that and other locations to test how potent the soil quality was (result pending).
I had hoped to make it to one of the rivers that had the film of oil, but I didn’t bring a pair of rain boots to navigate the swampy riverbank. It was getting late in the afternoon and we had to head back to Port Harcourt before rush hour traffic in order to meet up with Marvin Yobana. I couldn’t make it to Bane but I’m sure I’ll make it back to Ogoni perhaps when Singto goes to her village for Christmas. On our way out, we stopped at Bori and then Eleme to get beauty shots for the story, and then continued on to PH to the Landmark Hotel.

Marvin Yobana as I said is the leader of the youth wing of MOSOP. He’s a petite man but don’t let his diminutive stature fool you. He looked very important with his native attire and two police escorts. I didn’t trust him at first because I had read some disturbing things about him in a Time magazine article that alleged Mr. Yobana was responsible for inciting many of the youth agitation and was shopping for lucrative clean up deals for the region, which many other leaders are opposed to because many of terms that those deals present would concede certain things to the oil companies. It is fact that some deals have been presented but I am still studying that angle so I cannot speak too much about that. Anyways I re-introduced myself and explained my aim of embarking on this trip. We get to chatting and I tell him about how I wanted to go into the creeks, talk to the villagers who have to deal with militant activity, talk to the militants etc (basically I needed a scoop like Jeff Koinange’s report or even half of it. I needed something) He went into action making calls. First he talked to someone from Shell and then someone from Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. No luck. After a few calls he finally got someone whom he described as ‘one of the militant leaders’. He starts to explain who were and from the response he was giving I could gather that the man on the other side of the phone wanted us to pay some money because he felt that we would go and sell the footage to foreign media (but of course that’s what freelance is about) Yobana pleaded with him and explained the we were Nigerian journalists from a station in Lagos. The man on the other end of the phone asked which station after it seemed like he had assumed we were NTA, the government station. Yobana told him we were not from NTA but rather we were from Silverbird TV. The named rung a bell and it seemed like the man on the other ended relaxed. “Ehen, na dem Ben Bruce people” (Yes, that’s Ben Bruce’s people) For my readers who don’t know, the owners of Silverbird TV etc , Ben Bruce and his family, are from the Niger Delta, Akassa in Bayelsa State and the name is very prominent in the region as it is around the country. The conversation continued, “Make dem come?” (Should they come?) “Ok na you go give them where dem go go” (you’ll tell them where to go) By now my fingers were stiff from crossing them. “Ok make I give dem your number? Ok…you want de girl number?” He signal to me to tell him my phone number, which I proceed to do. “She dey go Lagos on Sunday…Ok bros I go call you later. Thank you.” The intense negotiation-like conversation ended and that was the last we both heard from the ‘militant leader’ for that week. By the time I was done with my interview, my opinion of Mr. Yobana was more different than it was when I walked in. May be not entirely but at least he seemed concerned and dedicated to the interest of his people.

We went to Oyigbo at the invitation of Precious Oforji after we had spent the previous evening trying to catch him in his office at the new State House of Assembly. To say this man is very vocal is an understatement. I only ended up using two or three sound bites from him because he not only indicted the players like the oil companies and military leaders, but he abused and cursed the generations of the then president, Segun Obasanjo, the then governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, the PDP, local politicians and certain community leaders. My goodness. It made for an interesting listen but I could not use any of it because of lack of evidence over some of the things he said, lack of being able to get Shell’s side and the government too, so I ditched that route. But anyways, there had been a recent oil spill in Oyigbo. It was two weeks old at the time. The oil pipeline that broke was the first one that was laid in 1958 in Oyigbo, which was the second place oil was struck in Nigeria. Apparently the oil kept gushing out of the pipeline for 4 days non-stop and was only put off after several calls to Shell. Imagine that, four days of a River of Oil flowing uncontrollably. Understandable that it was a weekend and that some of these areas are remote, but Oyigbo is just on the outskirt of PH not to far from the Shell Staff Estate. Oforji said that they’d been complaining about the corroded pipes and had been clamoring for them to be excavated and new ones laid, to no avail. In his words, “Shall there be any earthquake or any incidents of thereabouts, the people of Oyigbo ‘suffers’ it….what they want to do is take our blood, mix it with the crude oil, ship it out and make their hell of money.”


I have finally finished my documentary on the Niger Delta trip. Unfortunately I have still not figured out how to get the video from the mini-dv/dvd/ final cut format to whatever format is needed to load it up to You Tube or Google Video. My tech savvy-ness is very haphazard, as you are aware, so some of these things are rocket science. If there's any one who can assist please send a shout my way. The documentary ran at 10.20am, Monday on HOTLENS, the other show I anchor and produce. I could not pre-announce it because I was only able to finish editing late Friday. It was supposed to run on the 11th to coincide with the 12th year remembrance of the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa but unfortunately my editor lost his father the week before and had to take a few days off from work for the funeral. But we were finally able to finish it and it's run twice. I have not been able to log on to blogger all week for some reason so I could not make an announcement here. Will absolutely try to upload the video when I get to the hotel in China. May be some tech savvy people there will know how. (Yeah Folks, I’m going to Sanya for Ms World and then branching to Beijing to climb the Great Wall…can I get a Ni Hah…..that mean Hello in Mandarin, not Chinese). I have to admit that the delay was not only due to trying to get material together to boost the content, dealing with the hazards of having an under-trained and under equipped team but also trying to get an opposing side. When I couldn’t do that I figured I decided to focus the piece on personal stories from the perspective of the Niger Deltans featured.


I was supposed to fly into Owerri Airport on the 24th but I missed my flight and had to travel out of Lagos the next day. This would be my first ever time traveling within Nigeria by myself and to make matters worse, my American accent was still heavy and would be a dead give away if I got into a ‘fix’. My parents were nervous and just to make them feel better they insisted that my aunt arrange transportation for me to Port Harcourt and that I stay with a family friend in PH. My aunt arranged with a member of their church to meet me at the airport and drive me, two hours down to Port Harcourt. I wish I had not agreed to that. With my blue backpack strapped tightly to my body and handbag getting acquitted with my armpit, I rolled my little suitcase to the rather curious vehicle. It was a some sort of mechanical contraption that seemed to have been a Volkswagen Passat once upon a time and was still masking as one. I certainly was not expecting any AC but the fact that there were no side mirror or a rear-view mirror got my antennas high for everything that was wrong with this so called vehicle. The green screw driver that was holding the back passenger side window midway, the annoying blinking red light that’s supposed to be the emergency light. I guess the button had malfunctioned and obviously the blinkers in the back probably weren’t working either. Not to overlook the broken temperature gauge, the broken windshield that looked like someone had batted a baseball right into it. Perhaps that was a stone or random object on the road that ricocheted from another vehicle. In all this the owner, Sunday, managed to display his aesthetic side by engraving in the raggedy dashboard a yellow waxen ‘I love Jesus’. But my mouth was salivating in disgust at the green and purple avocado that were sitting next to the now naked stick shift (gear) which Sunday’s wife, Tina had offered me. I declined. I hate avocado. It’s only good for one thing, a facemask. We jalopy-ed our way onto the Aba-Owerri Road. I was perched in the back seat already suffering from deep vein thrombosis because my knees were kissing my chest, while Favor, the couples five-year old daughter with her church hat perched next to her mother in the front seat. They were just coming back from Church in Uratta. I just had to manage and endure because these folks were doing me a favor and trying to get me safely to my destination.
The roads, as you know were shoddy in state but shoddier was the state of our car. How do I know this? Well we went past several checkpoints without being stopped even once. Usually Nigerian police will stop you for not having a taillight. But here we were without safety mirrors, backlights or even INNER LIGHTS and yet we were not stopped. We passed the regular police checkpoint, the mobile police checkpoint and even the Federal Road Safety Commission checkpoint. Then there was the fourth checkpoint where the police demanded and was handed money from the bus driver while the fifth had blue barrels, a broken exhaust pipe and a crooked log of wood. One every ten minutes, practically and I am not exaggerating because I checked.
The road split into a t-junction and we turned right toward Aba and Port Harcourt. Going left would take you to Umuahia, Enugu and onwards to the northern part of the country. The potholes were once again unbearable but the mountain of trash in Aba was higher than Mt. Everest. I couldn’t help but notice a stark naked mad man defecating on the side of the road, butt out facing the road. I shook my head. That’s definitely a madman. As we headed towards PH going through Obuaku, we passed one of many signs leading to a mortuary, ‘Gracial Stop Over’. What an oxymoron. Is this supposed to be dark humor or metaphoric. We then crossed the ‘Imo River’ again, this time at Oyigbo (Obiigbo) where it borders Abia State and Rivers. The first time was when we crossed into Abia from Imo. I eventually get to PH, parted with N5000, thanking the family for their trouble. I had just saved myself half the actual fare that it would have cost me, had I taken an air-conditioned airport taxi. I was finally in the crazy city of Port Harcourt where all sorts of crazy things were happening. I had just one week not just to get a bird’s eye view but also to have a greater appreciation for the issues facing the Niger Delta by experiencing and hearing the stories first hand. The next day Monday I went into the Rhythm FM/ STV bureau on Forces Road and spent the whole day making phone calls and setting things up. I talked to Marvin Yobana, the leader of the Youth Wing of the Movement of the Survival of the Ogoni People and he agreed to set us up with a tour of Ogoniland for Tuesday. We also spoke to the then representative of Oyigbo in the State House of Assembly, Precious Oforji, who is very outspoken agreed to talk with us on Wednesday and show us some sites where there had been recent oil spillage. I spoke with Hajia Mujahadedat Dokubo-Asari (Mrs. Asari-Dokubo), whose husband was still in jail at the time and she agreed to an interview for Friday. I talked to Onegiya Erekosima, who acted as Asari-Dokubo’s spokesperson. He was going to be the major player in putting me in touch with the individuals who would facilitate a trip to the creek to meet some militants. Unfortunately for me, that was just when the whole Jeff Koinange story that agitated everybody came out and I was advised not ‘to pursue my mission until things settle down.’ I also talked with several other players who stirred me in several directions to achieve my mission.

Thursday, November 15, 2007



Every year, in November and May, TV stations across the United States unleash an arsenal of great reports in order to win the ratings war. These months are called SWEEPS and most of the time the stories that air tunr out to be award winners in regional and national events. These include investigation stories about tax evasion, fraud, sting operations on sex offenders, gang bangers, prostituton rings etc. Considering the fact that I am still learning this job everyday, I need tools to help me get better. That's where you guys, my ever faithful readers come in. See I don't get to watch much television these days. In fact I can count how many times I have sat down to watch CNN, which is supposed to be my 'J-School-In-A-Tube'. I obviously cannot get American TV news on DSTV and while SABC does an awesome job, I still need the 'umph' effect of local american news. Here's how you can help me out before I miss out. Would ya'll KINDLY record your local news, especially the 6pm and 10/11pm depending on how it works in your market. VHS tape is great but DVD would be greater. I was able to record a few newscasts but I couldn't get into November. I am sure you'll find this is a fun activity to get into. Trust me. If you get carried away and sucked into the world of local tv news (like my friend Ndidi did) feel free to go loco and send me more than just November Sweeps. Here's the address to the station

Silverbird Television
attn: Adaure Achumba
#1 Rhythm Avenue
Lekki Lagos Nigeria

Please do send me an email to let me know to expect the tape. I know this is kinda CHEAP/GHETTO of me taking advantage of my readers but you will be doing me a huge favour and service for which I'll be immensely grateful. Thanks so much in advance, God will bless you with extra xmas gifts and postae stamps. Also thanks for ALL (I mean AAAALLLLLLLL) the comments in the previous post and every post ofcourse. I 'll take note and help the ones I can help and effect changes in areas that are in MY POWER to change. As for the ones that I can't help or change... well if it is as 'bad' as you claim you can always go to the second floor of the Silverbird Galleria and lodge your complaint to Ben Bruce or better yet come to the Station and apply for a position. WE ARE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING APPLICATIONS ...seriously and jokes/sarcasm aside. That being said IT'S ALL ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT AT STV, SO KEEP WATCHING!!!! (www.jumptvonline.com 7, 8 AND 10 in the morning) By the way I've picked up a new hobby this month, LEARNING MANDARIN!!!! Lord I know I'll need help with that one.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


As the night clouds move in and the stars climb into the sky, I cozy up to my toilet sit. No, I am not doing number two as I type. It’s just that of all the ‘sitting objects’ available this one’s the most comfortable. While on my plastic covered porcelain ‘loveseat’, Mahalia Jackson is blaring away in my CD player, ‘Nobody knows the troubles I see.’ The old negro gospel tune allows for some reflection and I try to soak in the day that’s just been added to my life. Some choose to say it’s been taken away but I always try to look on the brighter side of things. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many days I wish would never come to an end, but today was certainly not one of those days. Neither was yesterday or the day before. Saturday seemed to be on the plus side of things, but even that was not a satisfactory Saturday because I have had better Saturdays. Saturdays with blueberry buttermilk pancakes dripping with warm maple syrup from Aunt Jemima. Saturdays filled with the harsh fragrance of a mixture of Pinesol and 409. Those good old Saturdays, when one would have thought I was Mrs. Clean. My 99-cent-scrubbing-brush from Dollar General caressing the bathroom tiles and bath-tub. Let’s not forget the lazy Saturdays when I just sat by the poolside and tanned, now all I have to do is sit in traffic and I am browner than a brownie. Then there were those Saturdays that were forgotten because someone had a toxic combination of certain beverages on Friday night. Now those Saturdays I can do without but blame it on how Friday went. But that’s all in the past, Saturday is so three days ago because right now it’s the middle of the week and I am plotting for the next day. I am thinking about how to squeeze the lemons God will toss to me. Not just to get lemonade but to grow a lemon tree so that God will have more lemons to toss to others. I am thinking about how I’ll make my journey down a crooked path less bumpy and paving it as I go so those following might have a better go. I am thinking of how to turn some of the Vultures along my path into doves and feed the others their own carcass. I am thinking about those seemingly altruistic acts that are not supposed to be in my favor, and how I’ll turn the tables around. Today is so yesterday and tomorrow will be a new day to tackle, with its challenges and misfortunes, victories and spoils. Tomorrow will definitely be a better day than today. Tomorrows ‘good-mornings’ will be sweeter and brighter than today’s. Tomorrows ‘good bye’ will usher in anticipation for ‘see you laters’. Like Bella said, “Be Inspired!” (Peace in the House of Reps as opposed to the Middle East or Niger Delta…lol)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Majella’s Wedding etc

As you all know already one of my best and oldest friends, Majella Caven got married in Detroit on October 6th. There was no way I was going to miss the wedding, work or not. I planned my vacation and personal errands in America around it. Unfortunately but also fortunately I became the stand by person for a work related event in LA (Hennessy Artistry) that some how by providence fell right into my planned vacation. Unfortunate for obvious and unforeseen reasons but also because the folks at the American Embassy in Lagos were there usual inconsiderate selves (telling folks to come and pick up visa on the day the reason they are traveling is happening. Whatever happened to express) and I’d rather be fabulous than slug a camera around in stilettos. Anyways everything worked out. We had fun in Detroit. It was great seeing my friends again and of course sharing a special moment with Majella. I was feeling like a star struck tourist in LA. Hennessy lodged our group (7 in all) at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. How about I rode in the same elevator with Andy Griffith. When he walked in (he is very old and was using a walker so it took forever for him to get in so we held the elevator for him) I exclaimed like a 5 year old, “Oh my Andy Griffith!!” And in his very recognizable and highly animated Mayberry Sheriff voice he was like “Oh Well hello there.” And of course we proceeded to tell him that we were from Nigeria and blah blah blah. I didn’t have any battery in my camera otherwise; I would have gotten off the elevator and taken a picture with him. That would have been totally awesome. Then as if we’d not had enough celebrity doses, we go to the lobby to get my key and look who’s standing in front of us in her gym clothes, skin looking all fresh like a baby. Mel B from the Spice Girls. I swear I thought this babe was tall but she is small and very tiny. Then we step out to hop into our van and there’s Larry Flint of Hustler magazine being wheeled into his Rolls Royce abi na Bentley. Ha, dey no gree for us at all. See if I had know, all the while that I was going to LA from Santa Barbara, I should have been coming over to the Four Seasons to eat a plate of salad or a bowl of fruits and OJ so that I can run into celebrities and take pictures. Lol. That sounds so jobless. Then I got dragged with the crowd to Disneyland and Universal Studios. It was actually fun but at the time I was so jet lagged and needed to be acquainting myself with a bed. Anyways, the whole thing got tired after a while and I got down graded to Ramada Inn after the event was over. Now had I not been at the Four Seasons, I would not have really cared, but I swear the Ramada looked creepy and dingy, like a murder could happen there any minute. I was freaking out the entire time that I actually had a nightmare that someone crept into my room with a knife. Yes I do get paranoid when I’m in hotel rooms by myself, even at the Four Seasons I had a paranoia fit, but this one was too vivid. Anyways I then left for North Carolina where there’s some semblance of sanity compared to Lagos. I know I complained and yapped NC all the time but country or not, ‘Nothing could be brighter than to be in Carolina in the morning.’ And I’m saying that without ‘Aladdin’s Lamp’.
I have been back in Lagos now for two weeks and I am only just getting the chance to upload pictures and blog. I could have done some of this while I was in America but when I say I had absolutely no time, I am not BSing. From Flying cross country, waking up early to do the events, running errands in between, driving back and forth from Charlotte to Durham, then from one Mall to another (Hmh, I had to get some ammo for those of you coming to do December considering the fact that I am now in the local champions league...is ok..odinma...anyi g'afu...we go see...lol). Oh did I mention sitting at the computer for nearly 12 hours attending online traffic school. How about I failed so many questions because I thought I was sharp. The people that set up the test were smarter. Insided the study literature section, they put in random things like the author's shoes size, pant size, father's name, mother's name, number of shirts e.t.c. And they fit it in random places so even if you know every thin in the driver's ed hand book you could not scale the test without reading everyline because of those stupid author trivias. And I am talking like 26 to 30 pages for each of the 4 sections of the test. This for the speeding ticket I got on the day I was leaving Santa Maria. I sent in the check when I got to LA because I knew I would not make court but I am sure I put the wrong address and they never got it so I had to pay $500 to get my license back etc etc drama drama drama. Anyways I am no longer WANTED (I hope it never went to that lol). But the break was WELL DESERVED. Oh before I forget, AVOID AIR FRANCE. The food is HORRIBLE. Trust me to eat everything because I am very 'food curious' (not greedy) especially when it comes to 'different' food. So obviously I agreed to eat everything that looked interesing on the menu. Keep in mind that it is in French. I agree plane food is not the best but at least it's a taste of the country that is hosting the flight. They brought Cavier, Roast bleeding duck, raw salmon, and some other mede-mede oyibo food. Their juices were just too sweet and the apple juice was WHITE. HA!?! Ok o...me I sha tasted this white apple juice sha. Then I started feeling funny. May be I should have brought along a cooler of Eba/ Amala and Egusi soup. I started downing bottles of water, going to the bathroom to pee it out, then my stomach started to bubble and I got hot. I started fanning myself and hugging the pillow. Meanwhile I am trying to maintain my composure before I disgrace myself and show that I should have been in coach class and avoided all their rubbish food. The plane started descending and my insides started moving too with the gravity. Men..see hot tears rolling down my eyes. I reached for the nearest puke-bag 'just in case'. At this point it wasn't like I could unbuckle my belt and go to the bathroom. Immediately we landed in Detroit I raised my hand showing the air hostess the puke-bag. She got the message and asked me to follow her. I was holding my breath because if I inhaled the cabin air everything would have just come out. I ran into the stall and people were just looking, I couldn't even close the door behind me before I hauled a nice one into the loo. One. Two. Three. Four. Five times. The duck o, the rabbit o, the fish babies, the apple tree, the loaf of bread o. Every darn thing I put in my mouth on the flight all came out. My goodness. I have never pued like that before. Anyways I learnt my lesson andon my return flight I ate well. The night before I had Eba and Ogbono, then I had some Bojangles Biscuit and Chicken for breakfast. At the Detroit Airport Ihad to wait for 6 hours. I had a nice chicken salad and had them wrap a turkey and tuna sandwich for me to take on to the plane. When they started serving food, I jejely brought out my sandwich and water. I rejected everything they gave me. Then on the flight from Paris to Lagos I ate nothing at all. Not even a glass of OJ. They started fretting over me to the point of irritation but I said no to everything. I think at some point they were now whispering to each other and they might have been suspecting I was a DRUG MULE. Apparently that's how they know those who smuggle drugs in their stomachs. They don't eat. I guess they did see me drining water so they did not get 'DRAMATIC' by pulling me aside and doing a cavity search. Anyways when we were landing, they had the landing on some monitor as if it was a movie......wwooooo we are landing in Nigeria. Hiss. You should have seen the look on my face when that tire touched down. Imagine having that feeling when you are coming back to your own country. Disappointing. The air host sitting in front of me laughed when he saw the look on my face and was like 'I can tell you want another vacation'.TU PENSE. Lol. Thta's supposed to be "You Think!?!" Anyways I can't wait to be off to another country.

Ok I won’t bore ya’ll with any long entry. Here are all the pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Majella’s Wedding

Juveniling in LA/ Disneyland

Would upload the Henny pix but they are loading at 8 in 24 hours and I have 167. So let's keep our fingers crossed.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Just for a few Weeks

I am sue ya'll will be wondering if I ever work because I ma always some where or the other. Well my long legs have carried me back to the shores of obodo oyibi, Detroit to be precise. I am in town for Majella's wedding. Actually the wedidng is over and Majella Caven does not exist anymore. It's Mrs Majella Nwagwu from now on. My friends Matilda and Bayode are here too. Matilda and I are about to do a toast to Majella at the end of the reception which we are waiting for right now. I am trying to dig up some dirt on Majella's but I can't think of anything now. I am sure it'll come flooding back soon. Anyways I'll be making some pit stops here and there, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Raleigh and several malls. Finally REAL MALLS!!! Anyways Matilda is harrasing me right now to gerrof this computer and get to the hall. I'll be back soon with all the lovely pictures form Majella's wedding. Over and Out

Friday, September 21, 2007


Addy and Nunu’s Excellent Road Trip Across West Africa To Ghana

Accra, Kwame Nkrumah’s City

We rolled into Accra around 8pm. We had spent practically 10 hours on the road. We first went to the hotel just in front of the presidential villa called The Africa Regent. Now look at that sentence again (in front of the presidential villa). That just screamed expensive but I was like let me just walk in and scope the place out and find out how much May be as the sliding doors open, I will be the dream girl that one Chaley has been waiting for. I walked up to the counter, there were two fine boys standing as though they were in line. Now I knew they were not in line, but read my sentence again (fine boys) . I decided to ask if they were in line, just so that they can hear how sweet my voice is and we can make eye contact. They said no and I went ahead to ask the lady at the counter how much a room was. She said $250. In my mind I was let me quickly respect myself and turn around before these boys feel the vibration of my shudder upon hearing the price. I made a u-turn quick quick. Back to the van. I was like ‘Messter George plis another hotel. It is not like I will see the president from the window.’ We made our way to the next hotel, La Palm Beach Hotel. Now here’s the part that stumped me and changed the whole sequence of our adventure. Just as the hotel door man open the door and I looked up, I could not believe who was walking out of the hotel lobby about to hop into the van behind ours. A Party animal co-worker friend and his FRIENDS who were in town for the weekend. We were all tripped and were like ‘WHAT DA HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE...AIN'T UR ASS S'POSSED TO BE AT WORK?’ After exchanging our Ghana digits I went to ‘FIND OUT’ how much this hotel was now that there was actually a compelling reason to stay there. Meeeennn…here’s where the story changed. So the lady said it was $200 per night, we had only $700 and we were going to spend 4 nights, travel around town, do some tours and buy Ankara, akosombo and Woodin. You do the maths. We needed a miracle to solve this problem. So Enuka and I put our heads together and began thinking. Considering the fact that my friend and his friends are true blooded Nigerian boys who get a major plus for generosity (just by virtue of what many often call 'traditional social roles in Nigeria') if we spend our money on securing accommodation, chances are that we would not only have fun hanging out and tripping with them, but we can also guarantee safety and that when they order their food they will include us, so feeding too would be covered. Not to make it sound like a parasitic relationship Lol. We can go to Tejuoso Market and buy Ankara. But then again how can one come all the way to Ghana and not go home with anything. The other option was to go to Hotel Wangara for $80 a night but that would mean we would have to transport ourselves, roll around town alone (unsafe). We decided to cut our days short and do three nights. That left us with only $100, which we would manage VERY VERY well. We would make sure we get to the FREE breakfast at the hotel on time and eat plenty of food, find the Ghana version of Bojangles or Mr Biggs and microwave our food in the hotel. At worst we'll chop Ghana bread and coke and go to sleep. By the way a meal there cost like $200 and the food was not that great. So Enuka and I said a prayer that nothing wil go wrong and it will all factor in and work out. Then I begrudgingly counted the money and gave it to the lady. At that point everything could go wrong but I swore that I would have a great time in Ghana and not THINK too hard. And as God would have it everything worked out perfectly. We had a great time with the boys at the empty club that night just cracking up and yabbing every thing and talking smack about some busted chicks we saw. There was one in particular that my friend insisted on calling ‘Ekaite’ because she looked like a housegirl. We all didn’t get back till like 5am and you can imagine how sluggish everyone was the next morning. But not us…we were up by 10am reading to have our breakfast just incase. After breakfast, we PSYCHED the boys, who ordinarily would not leave their hotel room at that time of the day (considering the fact that they'd done some serious SHAYOING) to follow us to El Mina Castle in Cape Coast. Why did we discover that the journey was 4-5 hours not 45 minutes. The Ghanaian accent must have confused me when I was getting that information. Upon further verification it turned out it was only really 2 and a half hours. We decided to go to the Independence square and the Kwame Nkrumah museum instead. We all got some education and in the short traffic made friends with the hawkers selling artwork. Those guys really saw dollar signs written all over our van because they kept bringing ugly masks to get our attention. It seem the uglier the better. The boys kept on buying and I did all the haggling. I took the opportunity to practice my bad ghanaian-slash-sierra-leonean-accent (the later courtesy of Desmina and her extended Salo family in the Triangle) By now it was already 3pm and we had walked around town a bit and everyone was pooped. We then went out to find Local cuisine and found Vic's Chop. The food was good and I swear it's the cleanest buka I've seen. I mean we could have gone elsewhere to a fancy middle-purse type restaurant but the shuttle driver didn't know anywhere esle. So we were like 'Oh well what the heck... we are experiencing the culture.'

We went back to the hotel and Enuka and I slept till the next day. Watching Nollywood films in between. The next day Saturday, the boys had to leave and we had some change left to each buy a 6 yarder of fabric for ourselves so we decided to go to the market. Now I came up with the brilliant idea to shop for the boys so they would take something back to their wifeys and girlfriends. Now ya’ll don’t get mad, there’s no way you expect a bloke to go and buy Ankara in the market. They have no clue what to do and are totally helpless in that department. I mean it was either that or a Ghana flag necklace from the airport. So i say ya'llowe me... 3 yards 'eash plis'. LOL. We ended up buying stuff for some who had given us money, but one or two didn’t. When they saw how pretty the fabrics were and their friends by now were rubbing it in and saying 'oh Sarahtu would love this...and Janatu and Elizabetu can share this', they got jealous and felt left out. Determined not to be outdone or 'out-ankarad' they ended up buying mine and Enuka’s for...get this... DOUBLE THE PRICE. Trust Igbo girls to find every opportunity to do business. We each ended up going home with 12 yards of 4 different fabrics (we split them into 3’s) instead of 6. Sounds like a hustle to me. Naaaah!!! I am sure they were just INDULGING us for the sake of it after all these are Nigerian dudes we are talking about. LOL. But that was so totally dope because they really didn’t have to and it meant a lot to us cos we were stumped that we'd come all the way to Ghana and were leaving with onext to nothing(THANK A LOT PALS.. YOU RAWK MAJORLY!!). Don’t worry when my tailor is done, I will show you the sturvs men…VERY lovely shiny Ankara fabric. When I got home my mom and my sisters were already bribing me with FOOD to trade my Ankara. Lol. Can you imagine? My mom was like ‘Addy, I will make goat meat pepper soup for you.’ My sister and her friends have decided to go to Ghana in two weeks to buy their own fabric, so I will definitely be buying more. The drive back was depressing so I will not share that part of the story. Well here's the best part we all love. Here the PICTURES FROM OUR ROAD TRIP and stay in Ghana. Where next do you think Addy should go. I am thinking I should do all of the ECOWAS countries. Or may be you’ld like to guess where my next destination will be. Ok why don’t we do that… the prize for the correct guess will be between a souvenir from that country or 5 yards of superior local fabric (eg Ankara, adire, woodin, printex). Make sure you leave your email in the comment section of this post.


Addy and Nunu’s Excellent Road Trip Across West Africa To Ghana

Oh My Word We Are Definitely In Another Country

Crossing Seme Border was almost surreal but not quite. I mean this is the famous Seme Border that many people get yabbed and dissed over. Technically you can’t really ‘cross Murital Mohamed Airport’ to go to another country. You’ll end up in Ikeja or Mafouluku. But when you cross Seme border you have actually physically crossed over a map to another country. In fact what only separates you from being in another country is a long Bamboo stick on a metal barrel. We were fortunate enough to actually meet some nice customs officers who let Nunu and I take pictures and pose at the border. I can tell you that was the only border crossing picture we got. When we drove across the border into Benin Republic, I felt a little discomfort that made the ride just a little bit abnormal. When I realized what it was, the next thing that came out of my mouth in the most southern American accent is “Oh My Word We are DEFINITELY in another country.!!” The road was so smooth that the bus was not bumping around. It was too strange for my body, which is now quite used to dancing Ajasco and is very sensitive to ‘unbumpy’ roads. Unfortunately for me we were not in a personal car so we could not stop over in Cotonou to do some Vintage/ Thrift shopping. Cotonou is very famous for high-end second hand clothes or what we fashionistas call 'Vintage'(saying it with a french accent) for those of you who don’t know. Many have been known to find some fabulous designer items there for really cheap. It’s like Africa’s very own Flea Market. Anyways we drove past Cotonou’s less busy but clean streets. It was interesting seeing women on Motor-bikes/Okada/ scooters. They even had bike-lanes, something Nigerian roads lack. Enuka meanwhile had started sleeping but I was bugging her to stay awake. I on the other hand did not close my eyes at all because I wanted to SOAK up the sights of West Africa. We stopped along the road to buy GIANT LIVE CRABS (the driver did…crabs stink). One almost clamped my finger with its PINCERS (not claws). There was so much beautiful coastal landscape to behold. It is a shame that we have totally destroyed much of ours in the Lagos Met with trash, sand filing and reclaiming land to build homes and stuff or blocked it off with high rise buildings (BOY do I have beef with the Hotels, Banks and other springing development on the waterfront side of the Lekki Express…why deny me the pleasure of enjoying God’s gift of nature…shameful. Not to even mention those folks on stilt homes inching closer to 3rd Mainland Bridge. I am so feeling Fashola on his recent campaign to clean up the beaches. It’s a start) We hadn’t eaten and considering the fact that this was a highly unplanned trip, we did not buy any snacks to munch on in the car. We were so hungry that we bought FAN-YOGO (frozen yoghurt in a sachet) at every opportunity. We eventually got to Benin (pronounced Beh-neh), which is the border town before you get to the Togolese border. Here you could buy items with Naira, CFAs and Cedis. There were all sorts of things there on sale but mostly deep fried in palm oil (which I don’t like). Normally I would do some shakara and go hungry at that type of place BUT since i decided that we were going to experience the culture of West Africa, I was down to eat at the Border Buka. We ordered the normal regime, Rice and stew with meat. I was hoping the meat will speak French to me but it tasted like Nigerian meat. Lol. Not much difference. For the oddest reason one of the hawkers kept following us around with ‘bon-bon’ chocolate, as if it was by force for us to purchase it. I guess we looked like chocolate eating type.

Bonjour Mon Ami… Oui Oui … Huh Huh

When we got to the border between Benin Republic and Togo, Hilla Condi, it actually looked like a border. Trust us Africans to have a colorful gate. It was sort of funny and interesting at the same time. The border patrol guy came up to our van and tried to show us up with his French. I mean dude clearly saw the license plate read ‘Lagos-Nigeria’ and ‘MUS for Mushin’. So where the hell will we learn French from. He came up to the door and said something in French (which he translated as… you guessed it… What is your mission). We were like ‘Huh? Je ne parle pas...I no speakidi french’. He laughed and spoke in English for the rest of the conversation. Togo is truly a beautiful country. At least the areas along the coastal highway with the azure blue ocean. Much of the landscape is pristine and looks untouched. I am sure the damage lies beneath the trees and the sand.
Lome is also very ‘antique’ and ‘colonial’. In my head I was already picturing an independent movie being shot there. I am sure there are so many places like that in the country. I am sure Nigeria has some places like that but they might be mostly in the north (point of destination for another trip).

Oh Chaley…Is nat Werking Fer Me
We continued on, taking pictures along the way stopping at the Lome border to buy batteries (which didn’t work) and more FAN-YOGO. Lome, the Togolease capital actually is very close to the border. On the other side of the border gate is Aflao, Ghana. The immigration process on the Ghanaian side was the most organized and they actually search instead of just collecting your money and letting you pass. I was hoping the border would be cleaner that the Nigerian side ‘I wes on di-defence, bet it wes ok’ (Lol…that’s how Nana on WA Idols talks). Our bus driver took the scenic route up the coast of Ghana. The main Ecowas road that is a straight shot from Aflao to Accra is under construction like many routes in West Africa. The 2008 Africa Nations Cup is coming to Ghana and as such every one is fixing and face-lifting. Many Nigerian bus companies are even extending their route to Liberia, Senegal and Niger. The driver took a road called Keta Road. The interesting thing about Ghana that noticed is how clean, calm and serene it was. Ones environment is truly a reflection of the soul. They even had mile markers/ kilometer markers. All the signs were in place along the roads and there weren’t any ‘Vote for Me’ posters obstructing the street sign. Hardly any unsightly billboards or heaps of garbage. Even by listening to the radio you could tell that these people were of a peaceful nature. Imagine flipping through the radios stations in Lagos. On Cool Fm 96.9 you will hear Olu Maintain blaring ‘Oh Oh Yahoozeee eeee Yahoo…’. Then on Rhythm you will hear Tony Tetuila crying that he’s in love with two women and he doesn’t know what to do. You might even stumble upon ‘Wildchild’s Party’ every Friday night and JAJ's jim-jim rap music on Top Seven at Seven. Then you change to Brilla FM and all you hear is ‘Iz a GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! The Golden Eaglets have served the Spaniards a bowl of Spanish Rice….Unbelievable’. I mean WTF!!!Lol!! Anyways let me fast forward. We had not booked any room in a hotel or anything. We were being like ‘white folks’ and doing ‘crazy shit’ like going to another country with no living arrangement. We decided to go from one hotel to another hoping for a good deal that will fall within our $80 /night budget. Now the following incident must have been God intervening to ensure that we had a swell time in Ghana.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Addy and Nunu’s Excellent Road Trip Across West Africa To Ghana


The Impetus
So the last week of August was odd and fabulous at the same time. I happened upon a few days off at work due to reasons beyond my control. I was quite upset and tried to sort things out but to no avail. Vex catch me and I was like omo, where I'm coming from (Yankee)is a very far place and therefore I shall not allow any ‘negative chi’ or 'Nigerian Factor' fog my head up. I called several airlines to find the cheapest ticket to London so that I can go sight seeing, as I have never been. When they told me how much it was, I thought to myself, “ How can I justify spending this much for only 5 days, when I am not Binta Yar’adua?” (Ok I just totally made that name up, I don’t think the president has a daughter by that name). I knew that no matter what, I had to leave this country called Nigeria otherwise I was going to go ballistics on some people. So like joke like joke I was like 'Bone, I am fading to Ghana". I called Ghana Airways and a round trip fare would cost N40,000. Now I tried to psyche one of my sisters to go with me but Nene had exams and Onyenachi…well she had more important things to do than indulge my spontaneity. So the only other person who was available was my friend Enuka, who just got done with her NYSC and by virtue of that was rendered penniless. So we had to come up with an alternative. So a wonderful thought came to my head. "Yo! Why don’t we take a bus."

What is Ya Mission?

We made a few calls and found out that the bus ride to Ghana would cost us only N12,000 roundtrip for each person. I thought about the fact that it was a 10 hour ride but then I thought about all the trips to my village and I was like, my butt is already flat and can take yet another 10 hours. We ended up going to Cross Country and boy were we lucky. We missed the 2nd bus and ended up being the only passengers on the 3rd bus. It was like being in our own personal car and the bus driver was very nice and became our tour guide along the Ecowas Road as it is called. We set out on the journey towards the Nigerian-Benin border around 10am. When we got to the very famous Seme Border, the customs and immigrations people asked us to get down from the bus and go to their office. Now it amazes me how different people ask different questions and address different people. When I was going to America for the first time, I had to go through customs at Amsterdam and Detroit. The officers that I met there had the same intentions as all border controllers but I noticed the difference. In Amsterdam, the guy smiled at me and was like, “Hello young lady, may I have your passport” I said sure, smiled back and handed it to him. “Oh wow… you are only 17 and traveling by yourself? What a brave little girl you are, so what brings you to America?” I’m going to school. “North Carolina has very good schools… it’s a long way from home so be careful.” He gave me back my passport and I trucked along. The same thing happened on the Detroit side, this time it was a woman. “Hi, hon…how was your trip…did anyone give you anything to carry…wow, you are just 17…my my my…when I was 17 I couldn’t take the bus to New York and here you are flying all the way from Africa. Welcome to America Darling” In between of course searching my bag, checking my passport and frisking me. Then upon arrival in South Africa I was greeted with a “Hello Sisi, Well-kom to Sad Effreeka…iz dis ya fest tam he-ya? Dis iz ah beauriful kentry… en-jaiy ya stey”. But do you want to know what happened to me on the Nigerian side the night before. Hmh… Just because I used RED pen to fill out the departure card, one baba-kasali decided to call me all sorts of names. I was like ‘This is a pink pen sir, and it doesn’t say any where on the card to use only blue or black…Ok can I please have another card and may I borrow one of your pens?” I was very nice and polite oh but this guy felt that since I speaking through my nose he would try to antagonize me. “ Is this where you collected the card? You din know before you were writing with red pen…did you buy biro for me?” Ha… see me see wahala. I looked back and the line was rather long. I boned and went to get another card and rewrote the stuff. But before I walked off I unconsciously hissed rather loudly in irritation only to incur the wrath of Baba-kasali. “Eh see dis small giel… iz it me that you are doing ‘chew’ for… you will come and tell me how you will pass here today… if you will get on this flight… you are hissing for me….I will show you..foolish girl?” Ha… at this point I was like Adaure, just calm down, this guy obviosuly does not 'LOVE MY STV' (LOL...it's a promo we're running). When I came back the guy made sure he ran to attend to me and instead of stamping my passport he went to report to some other guy and they asked me to walk into some space. Just as he started narrating and ‘telling lies on my head’, I was like, ‘Look Mister man, I don’t have your time, my passport and papers are complete, stamp it and let me go because you don’t want to mess with me in the way that you are intending this night because you'ld have picked the worng person to test.’ Another superior came and asked him what was up, by the time the guy said the reason he pulled me out was because I used a red pen and hissed at him, his superior was like, ‘stamp her passport jare and let her go my friend.’ Where exactly am I going with this story? Well, I was expecting the same reception at the Seme border.
“Hello… Good Afternoon.” Nunu and I walked up to this shoddy looking pair under a green canopy.
“Bring your passport (scrutinizing through dark aviators) Where are you coming from and where are you going?”
“We are coming from Lagos and are on our way to Ghana”
“Eh ehn ehn (still flipping through the passport) You are on your way to Ghana (I just said that…or did I stutter) 'Eye' see...What is ya mission?
“What do you mean what is our mission?” (this is me trying to extend the conversation)
“You mean to say you don’t have a mission?”
“We don’t have a mission…we just entered the bus to Ghana without any agenda… when we get to Ghana we will find a mission”
“ Ehn eh ..ok..What do you do?”
“I just finished my NYSC and am jobless with plenty time on my hands,” said Enuka
“I’m a journalist,” I said in the most uninterested manner knowing that that might prompt them to keep me longer or release us sooner, withut trying to extort money from us.
“Who do you work for and let me see your ID,” I produce my ID and she accesses it and passes it to the man sitting next to her and says to him, “They look like they are tourists just going on tour and sight seeing…ok you can go ehn…safe journey.”

Friday, September 14, 2007


It's been brought to my attention that the above post has unfortunately been UTTERLY MISCONSTRUED and MISINTERPRETED and thus out of respect to the bride and groom I've decided to take it down. The intent of the post was to honor the wedding on my blog as I have done with others in the past and not to cause grief or disrespect to anyone. Especially not to the bride or groom, for whom this was a very special day. I understand that many readers are still getting used to my style of writing and my form of expession and may not have appreciated my description and humor. My apologies if any was directly offended. Having said that, I would like to reiterate the fact that this is a blog; an online diary, a public journal of personal views, opinions and interpretation. It's the world as Adaure sees it. I do enough self censorship as it is and the essence of blogging will be lost if I have to 'Mind My Language' all the time and worry about intent and purpose being mangled in misinterpretation. I will make an exception in this case ONLY as a sign of respect to Walter and Udo and because the intent, the essence and the humor has been miscontrued. This does not open the flood gates of retraction requests. Once again Adaure (that would be me...over here...yeah...Hi )and all her blog readers (that wuld be the rest of you) are wishing the couple a wonderful and happy married life....7X7X7 in years and KIDS too. Cheers guys (ok... easy up now... ya'll can put the gloves down... how 'bout some beer eh!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Try Lagosians

Driving in Lagos is challenging. That's an obvious fact. The roads, the various coffins of wheels and let's not even talk about the Okada rider's. On several occasions, I've wnated to park my car, grab my big green umbrella and thwack the hell out of drivers and put the umbrella into the wheel spoke of those buzzing motorbikes. I mean where did we lose it in Nigeria. Why is it that when you put on your signal light to move into the next lane, it takes 5 cars to go past before the 6th feels sorry for you and lets you in. Why do people cut you off and then when you squeeze your face because they nearly hit you, they ask 'na your papa get road?" Why do the Okada riders insist on weaving in and out of your path and then when you hit them, they surround you and bring out daggers and arrows. Why do people keep honking when they see that the reason you are stopped is because there's a tanker trailer right smack in the middle of the road. Why do people insist on driving over the dividing line. WHY LAGOS WHY!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007



This is an emergency. I feel naked and helpless. Can you imagine someone had the audacity and the autocracy to pilfer Addy's phone. The phone that I managed to get as a birthday present from my dad, 5 months after. It happened at the wedding reception on Saturday. I just set the phone down along with my purse and camera to hug and shake someone and when I turned back around, the phone which I had put in the camera case was gone. The camera and the purse fortunately were still there. I was like that's odd, I know I just set the phone down just moments ago. Can what I am thinking really have happened. My friends who were there and another guest helped me look around for it and then I spotted some shady looking dude who didn't look like a guest and had started walking away suspiciously. My friends wen and shook him up a little bit and they gathered that there were two other men who were well dressed that had actually been stalking around for my phone and were talking about stealing it, but they had already left. While I don't buy that from the guy, I can see how that could have happened. See I was busy gossping and texting my friend back and forth. I also think the phone's spirit was also preparing me for the seperation because the whole of last week, I found myself forgetting my phone in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the radio studio, in someone's office etc. Plus everybody's eyes have been on that phone, admiring it and wishing they had that, and now it's gone. I swear I feel like I have lost a pet of something, because I am always on that bad guy, surfing the net, making notes, 'scheduling'. You know pretending like I am working when really I am sending text messages to Matilda, Ayisola, Ndidi and Singto. Oh and ofcourse I must not forget the messages to the cute blokes too and all the 'H-G-A' and 'C-B-A's' (hot guy alert and cute bloke alert) on your 12 o'clock. AAAAARRRRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!

So this alert is going out to the whole of Lagos. If you are in possession of a cell phone that looks like the above picture -- please look in the text message section. If you see messages that are similar to the above, perhaps you are with my phone. If the names in the contact list are not your friends or have name entries that begin with 'De' please that might just be my phone. Or if you know you did not walk to the shop or market with money you worked for to buy the phone then it aint yours. And this is me just venting because the person who stole the phone probably has never been on the internet. I just need to vent. Anyways if anybody gets any strange call from anybody claiming t be my PA or assistant or some bullshit like that, please hang up o. I wil try to get my number back and if not I will let all who need to know what my new number is. May be you guys can go ahead an email me your numbers or send a message via face book. Please put in the subject line 'MY NUMBER' so that I can search for it within my emails. Meanwhile it appears there are no more 9300i's in Lagos or is theer any where else to get one apart from the Nokia shops, I-cell, Computer Village and Alaba Market. I'll try Mega Plaza this afternoon. (Kai!!! This is where an Aristo/ sugar daddy would have been useful in my life. Why the hell am I buying a phone in this Lagos when there are people getting them for free. See my life) Anyways I am making my way to one babalawo to invoke some 'MAGUN' jazz on the phone. That oughta teach the person not to fap people's things next time.

(Cough) Ehem... if there's anyone feeling generous and would like to replace my phone, I won't mind oh. May be you have a few too many or the one you gave your housegirl or boy is not being fully maximized to its utmost potential, 'plis consider me'. Right now I am eyeing the Nokia E90 below (yes I know o my eyes are big sha) LOL

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


We All Love Pictures!!!!!

Addy doing the Jesus/ Leonardo Di'Caprio Titanic Pose

Ok so I finally found internet fast enough to load up all my South Africa pictures. I know... it took a whole month. Anyways lets just pray it doesn't take that long to get the Ghana Pictures up. Wondering what to expect in this album? Well I visited a few Townships, the Cape lighthouse and yes the penguins. Here are the PICTURES and check back for a video clip of the penguins... they were just too CUTE!!!


Keeping it Tarheel

This is yet another one whihc I was hoarding and may have goofed on as well. I guess you can call me Goofy.

Congrats to my friends (I seem to have a lot o) Seyi and Siji Gbade Alabi. They also tied the knot recently. I was only able to attend the traditional ceremony. Siji and Seyi are my friends from UNC. We were in OASIS, the African students organization and you can see those and the wedding pictures on their lovely website http://www.seyiandsiji.com/. They had their wedidng in Nigeria and also had a reception in Durham so my Dur'mite and Raleigh friends will be generous and provide us with those flicks or do I need to go and fap them from facebook.Lol.

Anyways Siji and Seyi, congratulations. Happy married Life. May you live long, have plenty children and grand children, build a big house with a big back yard, may you have leeches that will be coming to your house every sunday to chop eba...etc etc .. you know... all the works and sturvz. Demi and Oyinkan we are waiting for you o... or is there someone else that we should be expecting invitation from...hmh.. with all the pictures I am seeing... you people should give me ample notice o. YOu know buying ticket from Lagos to Obodo Oyibo is not like going to GreyHound o. Lol. I tried to think of a story on Siji but thre are just too many that I can't pick a good one...well except for the fact that we cannot see his chest again doing OASIS Jungle dances. That's now exclusively for the Mrs. Lol. May be Singto and Ndi can help out here. Once again cheers kiddos.


I so totally goofed on this one. I have been meaning to write a post about this wedding but I kept getting distracted. In fact I was actually hoarding it during my 'hiatus'.
Congratulations to my friend Uyi Imoisili and my primary & high school mate Hana (who by default is now my friend). They tied the knot/ got hitched/ jumped the broom on Saturday September 2nd 2007. Uyi and Hana went to ISL and they were a set above me. Funny how life turns out. They never spoke to each other back then and it turns out they were destined for each other. Hmh so could this then mean that your 'sweetheart' could just be right under your nose all this while and you are just too busy doing 'big-G' to notice. SHINE YOUR EYE!!!! LOL!! By the pictures I can tell the wedding was fabulous. Love love Hana's dress. Unfortunately I could not attend but I am popping my Yago and Egovin and drinking on your behalf. Here's to wishing you a happy married life, many children and a whole lot of love and money to train them.

Check out there wedding website : Uyi and Hana

and the pictures on 'Facebook' courtesy of Temi Kujore and Aluyah Imoisili

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Addy and D'banj... Romancing on the Stage

Just stole some of these pictures from somebody's facebook without permission (sorry boo)

D'banj checking out the Kokolette

Addy doing the Yahoozee Dance

Where the hell he was drahing me too only God knows... I didn't want to be kokoletized

By the look on my face you can tell I was mortified but trying not to show it

Here he must have been asking me to MARRY HIM...lol. I had to tell him no because I'm saving myself for John Legend