Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Why won't I cheat?

Scene 1
A man is overheard asking his son if he has crammed the 'expo' to the further maths exam?
Scene 2
An invigilator is passing by an examination room and is calling out 'Physics-1,000, Chemistry-1,000. Buy your answers now and pass.
Scene 3
A mobile police officer in uniform leaving an examination room in progress, to pick a call. He picks the call and asks pointedly about answers to the Physics Examinations. At a point, he pauses to ask the person at the end of the phone, if he is sure that they are the correct answers
Scene 4
A mum enters the examination class with her daughter and sits right behind her whispering answers from the 'expo' leaflet she has.
My friend who took his brother to write the examination witnessed all this and put up a sad emoticon on his display timeline throughout the day.
Now stop!
Don't shake your head, don't castigate them. Listen to what they said
Response 1
I have written Jamb five times, I always behave like a good girl. Now, I need to get into school, I am not getting any younger.
Response 2
My mother bought the answers for me before the exam date. Should I waste her money?
Response 3
Everyone does it. It is the way of the jungle
Response 4
I am old, I wish to go to school but there is no time to study in between the security job that I do. I have no one to help me, no support system. I need to buy these answers to pass.
I know lots of young people that Jamb has dealt a wicked hand. A colleague of mine that I consider very very intelligent had to leave his home in Port-Harcourt to write Jamb in the North "Maiduguri"  because the three times he wrote it, Jamb in all its power cancelled the results of the center.
Most of us that did Jamb probably did it at least twice.
Wasted years.
Waiting for the stupid authorities to receive a vision to release results.
I believe that Jamb is a clog in the wheel of education in Nigeria. For starters, the Nigerian Government is not well equipped to deal with the number of Nigerians who want to be educated. Is it not bad enough that the children of government officials school abroad, but should they now poke the eye of the masses all because they do not have 'Honourable' before their names?
Channel already reported that one million students may be refused admission into the university this year. (the one million students will go on to sell pepper and fund Boko Haram. Mscheeeeeeeeew)
When you google Jamb, there is a link that directs interested parties to pay a fee for upgrading the jamb result. Can you beat that? And just like that individuals, families are breeding corruption from the womb.
I think we should just shout down all the schools and homeschool our kids. Because by association, your kids will mix with the kids of the dad who wants his son to cheat. Then what?
The cycle continues.
I am not justifying why students cheat, I am merely suggesting that there is a much bigger problem transcending our generation.
It is just through my eyes. You may disagree.

Be sure to check out our style blog www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com

Monday, 29 April 2013

Hey there! You've got a little venom on your chin...

When every reply you give to a question is sarcastic or bitter, perhaps you should go see a snake charmer or his kindred to remove the venom under your your tongue, above your tongue and most importantly the one close to your lips but definately on your chin.
Believe it or not, when you are that bitter, it is a reflection of the fact that you perceive that your life is crap or things in your life are actually crap. Either way, you need help. A therapist? Psychoanalyst? or just enter yaba left (Nigeria) and help the society.
The point of this post?
Don't be giving sarcastic replies when you don't understand the question. The correct thing would be to ask 'what do you mean?' That simple four lettered phrase/sentence may actually help people register in their brain that you are not as dumb as you appear. Because the Bible in its wisdom tells us that 'a fool who keeps quiet is considered wise' 
Understand culture, understand background, understand each other. What you are laughing at or giving sharp retorts may one day backfire on your behind.

As I point at you, I guess four fingers are pointed right back at me, as I have been unceremoniously crowned the queen of sharp retort.

Whatever the case maybe, when you feel the need to strike, take a well tailored handkerchief and wipe the venom off your chin.

Be sure to check out the latest post on www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com


Saturday, 27 April 2013

The gift of the name? Duh!!!

I am so sorry that it appears that I take time off now and then but you won't believe that it has to do with the internet connection (mtn, etisalat, starcomms) they all spend millions in advertisement rather than improve their product. Mscheeeeeeeewwww. That rant is for another day.
So I have been thinking lately about the name a woman acquires when she marries.
I have come accross men lately who are so pompous about their names and the consequent pride they pump in the air about the name they bestowed on the woman.
I have equally met women who do not feel whole because they are yet to change their last names. Dear Lady, a man's name does not make you whole. Wholeness is your job.
I personally have no trouble with a woman taking up a man's name. What I have trouble with, is a man's arrogance over a woman bearing his name.
I have heard men say to their wives 'you better be happy that you are bearing my name'. Whenever I hear that, I do a double take and stop myself from schooling the 'arraogant SOB' on the true meaning of his name.
Most women who are successful reached their successes as single women, or at the very least started on the path to the peak. i.e Beyonce Knowles & Cece Winans. This explains why women many times create a compound name so that their father's name is not lost in the euphoria of marriage and its aftermath. i.e Mrs Ngozi Okonji-Iweala
So men, when a woman takes up your name, it is not intended to generate a pompous reaction from you. She is in fact trying to honour you in reverse. So if I were you, I would sit down and realise the weight that comes with another bearing your name.
Similarly, I would consider it a honour, I would rejoice that God found you worthy enough for another to bear your name

And then suck it in and face what the co-bearer of your name brings to the table. lol.

Like I say, it is just through my eyes. You don't have to agree.

Be sure to visit our www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com

Have a fabulous saturday!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Chris said...

I met an old friend of mine today in court this morning. And while we were waiting for the judge to come out from her chambers where I imagine she was preening (I beg your pardon, writing a well considered Ruling). He & I set out to catch up.

One conversation led to another and we began discussing vehicles and the ish.

He then narrated to me about an auto accident he was involved in.

He said something went wrong with his vehicle and before he knew it, he had crashed into a wooden stall. He said there was a huge commotion after the accident hat he just got down and went to stand a good distance from where the accident happened.
He said it was a matter of minutes and our agberos ran to the vehicle and helped themselves to what they could find. His laptop, his phones, his Ipad and even his $2000 leather court bag.
Wow, I thought. Are you kidding me? Instead of helping at the scene of an accident, they just rushed to help themselves to the 'God-given bounty' just begging to be taken. (Please note my sarcastic tone)
I just sat there shocked at what our society has caused men to become. Men who were once boys. Men who were once innocent.
I just replayed and replayed the story in my mind till I did a double take and asked "Chris why did you leave your vehicle after the accident in the first place? "
He just told me simply "I thought I killed someone"
"Are you kidding me? You thought you killed someone and your first reaction was to hide?" I asked bewildered.
He just replied it is wrong but I know the society where I live, if I had killed someone I may have been lynched before I got the chance to explain myself.
It is all shades of wrong. It reeks of a rot in moral values & integrity.
Whatever the adjective or adverb, it is the true reflection of our society.
The rich do wrong, the poor do wrong. Is there any hope?
I know.
Let us clone good people and wipe out the rest.
Just through my eyes, you don't have to agree.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Fuji Musixc (Yes, I can see how it is spelt)

I just took this mad ass injection that is making me all wobbly. Please bear with me, but I am determined to write today...

I have always been a lover of Fuji music, yes. you better believe. First because it is ruggedly different and it was music generally associated with isale-eko peeps plus the fact that most of the Fuji musicians do the 'nasal' singing, which I find really weird & interesting.

But then I am particularly impressed by Tosin Martin's Fuji Rendition of 'Made in Nigeria.

So here I am listening to the song that makes tons of sense and writing this post I am sure will resonate home with my patriotic Nigerians around the world.

This post is a reminder that despite the many problems that rake this country. There is so much that we are as a people. We are Resilient. We are strong. Our minds cannot be broken. So for those of you who have not heard this song, please go listen to it.
Tush or not. Fly or not. Got swag or not. You will be proud.

Because of our tomorrow, let us work together to make this nation habitable for we we and our children.
So here I am smiling @ awon temi ni razzo ni mi, @ emi o ni fi owo osi juwe le baba mi. (take that my yoruba teacher)
So me. Yes me. I am made in Nigeria (through and through)
Wole omo Soyinka, made in Nigeria.
Emegwali professor mi, made in Nigeria.
Abimbola omo Ojenike, made in Nigeria
Atibi omo Dan Jumbo, made in Nigeria
Babatunde omo Irukera, made in Nigeria
So drop a line (a continuation, if you will) that you are Nigerian and proud!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

SAKA and his PORT of gold

~Lucas Togan(ltspark)

“Is this not that Etisalat guy”, I asked my colleague as I picked up the daily on her desk. It had a spread of SAKA (the Etisalat funny man) wearing yellow and above it was an MTN caption. I immediately thought to myself, “Chei, these people and their love for money sha”.
I gave the matter no further thoughts till this evening when my wife broached the topic again (This was after NEPA had graciously delivered a very high voltage to my flat that blew my decorder - preventing me from watching the football game - and inadvertently made me available for a chat with my wife). This began a series of analysis and counter analysis of his reasons for moving. As neither of us had any facts, we just conjured theory upon theory of why, how and when he must have made his move. In the end it was agreed that his contract must have allowed the move in some form.
Just before I succumbed to sleep, I ran into an article online “WHO REALLY PORTED SAKA?” This is where I finally got the juice of the matter. As it turned out, SAKA had been contracted as a regular ad model for Etisalat and was treated as such. Even when his popularity grew, Etisalat failed to capitalize on the developing brand and kept his terms and conditions unchanged. This is where the brilliance of the MTN group hit me. They had recognized the best way to communicate their message of the new number portability service being rolled out by the NCC. By porting SAKA from Etisalat, they have not only humanised the number porting idea but they have also acquired for themselves a popular brand ambassador. Needless to say that MTN has tied the knot, well well, with this one and no other operator can use the same idea again.
If there’s anyone reading this in Nigeria who’s wondering what porting means just ask them to see how seamlessly SAKA changed from Etisalat to MTN without changing his name, it is with such ease that you can now change your network operator without changing your mobile telephone number.
Me sef go soon port. ini mini manimo...
SPARK! Let's change it!

Hope you enjoyed this piece from my dear friend, Lucas Togan.

Be sure to check out www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com

Have a fab day

Let us give a standing ovation to...the player of the year. Episode 2

He is...


Funmi Said

Kevwe and I met in secondary school, he was one of the finest and nicest seniors around. He was brother to my school daughter and after doing puppy love for a year, it did not take anything for anyone to recognise that we wanted to date each other. Literally.

We began dating when I got into SS2, he was at home writing his WAEC again so we saw each other frequently. You see Kevwe came from a humble home. His dad was dead as at when we met and his mum took care of the home from the sales she made from the clothes trade. She was determined that both her kids would get the best of life.

By the time I left secondary school, Kevwe was still battling with WAEC, this was not because he was dumb or unintelligent, it was because the WAEC governing body always seized the results of the centre where he wrote his exams.

I got into one of the private universities and started a degree in accounting. I had encouraged Kevwe to take the SAT's and TOEFL and he passed them with distinctions. But the problem was there was no money. He had applied for scholarship and had gotten about $30,000.00 in student aid but there was no other funds for his travel expenses and tuition support.
After all the entreaties for help to his extended family members failed, I met my dad and asked him to please pay for the $10,000.00 needed for Kevwe to school in America.

My dad battled with this decision for a while but eventually agreed to after my mum insisted that our family help him since it was beginning to appear like we were both heading towards the altar.

My dad also had me transfer from my university to Cornell University in America.We were so excited, he was going to be schooling in Chicago. We were going to be in the same country even though we would be some distance apart. It was better than nothing.

We travelled regularly to see each other. We were young but we were in love.

Then I became pregnant!

Kevwe was so overjoyed that he asked that we get married straight away but I knew my parents would skin him and me, if we did so without their blessings. My parents were upset at the change in trajectory but resigned themselves. So I gave birth, took a year off school and nursed our beautiful daughter Zoe. We were a family even if we were not legally married. We then agreed to wait two years and get married.

By this time Kevwe had graduated magna cum laude and was offered positions with top notch banks and companies. He grudgingly accepted to work at Wells Fargo but left after a year . He told me he was bored stiff. All he wanted to do was business. He wanted to be a businessman.

His chance came when he did some consulting work for the Nigerian government and used the proceeds from the business to start a vehicle selling business in Nigeria.

Soon he moved Zoe and I into a duplex in the suburbs which he paid for in cash, I was so happy, All the foresight & investment was finally paying off.

He began going to Nigeria so often because we had agreed to build a home in Ajah so when I was done with school, we could re-locate and give Zoe a grounded foundation.
We were a close-knit family. I handled 50% paperwork of the businesses and handled three of his business accounts.
Then one Saturday in September, on my way to Yoga class, I got an email but refused to open it because I was running late.
After my class, I decided to open the mail and saw this

'Sweetheart, today I am getting married to a woman I cannot live without'. I am truly sorry. It does not change what we have and it will never change the love I feel for the life we created together 'Zoe"

I sat down.

I stood up.

I sat down again.

Next thing I woke up in the Emergency Room in the hospital.

(to be continued)

Just 2 more episodes in this series.

Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Mills & Boon ripple effect.

I started reading Mills & Boons at age eight (for you younglings, they are novels about romance) and read it well past my secondary school days.
When you were in boarding school and loved reading, an M & B as we called it was/is a timeless piece for a girl who loves the idea of love.
Most of the books started with a desription of how tall, dark and well built the men were and how beautiful, fierce and stubborn the girl was.
The men were always depicted as playboys who did not realise early that they loved the female character till late in the day when she was about to leave town or date someone else. The men are painted as getting on airplanes or horses (as the period required) to woo the women back with firm and swooning words.
It is what many women are waiting for these days. Men from the fantasy world. (Girl: Reality Check!If he doesn't realise he loves you now, chances are he will never realise it. If you threaten to leave him for another man, he probably will let you go and pick up the phone to call the next broad once you shut the door, if you are expecting him to spend all his money chasing you down round the world, he may just be buying a ticket for his vacation)
What you need to do Hun is manage your expectation.
Let me explain real quick!
While you were reading M & B, that boy(who is now the cute man) was busy playing Nintendo or Forty thieves or shooting his other boy friend and possibly you with water guns.
So how do you expect your two different parallel paths to converge? How do you suppose they will become the man in your M & B book when all they did was act stupid about games and guns?
So while we etched the words of fantasy writers into our hearts, the boys that would grow up to woo us were being boys.
Stop searching for that character with the perfect blend of manliness, handsomeness, sensitivity, wealth, ruggedness, perfect manners, rescuers of damsels in distress, sending flower dude. A guy that can switch from gisting about girly stuff to a manly man. My dear, it is ALL a fantasy
This books were/are the start of many failed relationships and possibly marriages.
I am a bit pissed at those books because it created an escape from the reality that most living breathing men are not like the ones described in the Mills & Boons books. So while the publishers have made millions from us, we ladies have sustained broken hearts because the men we thought we would marry don't meet our expectations.
So word of advice, men, when you meet a lady and you truly like her, I believe your first question should be hey, how many Mills & Boons have you read?

Don't laugh, it may just help you manage her expectations.
Like I say, it is just through my eyes.
Be sure to check out our style blogsite- www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com

Monday, 22 April 2013

Trashy put some clothes on...

Don't be coming up to my man with your low cut, cleavage revealing blouse and be bending down to give him a hug (I know what you are trying to do, Hun!)

Do not be stepping out in some sheer material in front of him when we are trying to get some dinner out. I will hurt you missy!

I know you are classless, you be giving women everywhere a bad name because you believe your 'private parts' belong to the public and the world government.

And if all you wanna do is entice men, there is a profession as old as the earth that will utilise your varied goods to the fullest. Do you want me to say it? I can. Prostitution.

Do not be asking  if them men will like to see your irritating tatoos stuck in an indecent region all because you want to have sex? Oldest trick darling! Even men who are naturally dumb know what you mean.
Do not get in front of my baby boys i.e my brothers and son and be leading them astray all because you understand few functions on your phone like camera and click. Keep your pictures private.
I know you had daddy issues but my man ain't your daddy. He has no expert advice for you. There are counsellors for that. If you contact me nicely, I may even give you their numbers.
I realise you have not met a honest man and you will do anything for anyone who treats you decently. That man is just plain nice, nothing more Hun!

And just like that I have finished writing most of what I think a trashy girl shouldn't be doing. And I guarantee that should you try anything? I will end you as quickly as I ended this post.

I still love you  with the love of Christ*cough cough* just minus my man


Be sure to check out www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com

One more reason!

I have purposely kept quiet about the Boston bombings. While I am so sorry for all the lives that were lost, the situation re-iterated to me that I still live in a 'hole' called Nigeria.

I love Nigeria, I believe change can happen. So when I write about things, it is so that we can inform each other and see if we can cause or like my friend (Lucas) says 'Spark Change"

We have seen what Boko Haram has done to our country and most of us are aware that they sect is primarly made up of assasins from Niger. But have you wondered as to how they enter Nigeria? It is the inefficiency of an agency called the Nigerian immigration services.
People stroll in and out of Nigeria without any issue. At the Seme Border, you can cross the border as you like provided you are on foot but car owners get troubled, troubled enough for the time-saving people to bribe officials.

To make matters worse, there is no gate per se, just Mikano donated police stands with Immigration written on the 'Lintel' in several positions. And we stand like idiots claiming that we are the giant of Africa. They probably mean blind, deaf and dumb giant!

And Nigeria just continues...

Their brothers in arms the custom officials are criminally worse.

I am yet to meet a custom official who is not wealthy. And why won't they be wealthy? Bribery is the currency of the agency ( and I dare anyone to refute this)

Facts & Figures
1. Three subsidiaries of Vetco International – Vetco Gray Controls Inc, Vetco Gray Controls Ltd and Vetco Gray UK Ltd – pleaded guilty to violating anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when they admitted to making US$2.1 million worth of corrupt payments over a two-year period to officers in the NCS through Panalpina, a Swiss-based freight forwarding firm in Nigeria.
2. At the same time as the subsidiaries were charged, another Vetco subsidiary – Aibel International Ltd – entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice for its involvement in the same scandal. This deferred prosecution agreement entailed co-operation with the Department of Justice, stricter controls and the retention of FCPA monitors. Subsequently, however, the company admitted to failing to comply with its obligations and paid a monetary fine.
3. Oil services firm Transocean Ltd made corrupt payments to the value of US$90,000 to Nigerian customs officials between 2002 and 2007 to extend its importation status and receive false paperwork.
4. Tidewater Inc., an oil service firm, paid US$1.6 million through Panalpina to Nigerian customs officials to clear vessels into Nigerian waters.

5. Noble Energy authorised payments by its local subsidiary to obtain eight temporary permits. In November 2011, Noble, Transocean and Tidewater were three of the companies that settled allegations of involvement in a US$100 million bribery scheme in Nigeria, as part of the Panalpina settlements.
6. Royal Dutch Shell entered into a U.S. plea deal in November 2010 over its contractor's involvement in bribing Nigerian customs officials. US authorities accused Shell’s subsidiary Shell Nigerian Exploration and Production Co Ltd. of bribing Nigerian customs officials US$3.5 million to quickly process needed equipment for its offshore Bonga field. A heavy fine was levied on Shell after Panalpina, which was also employed by Shell, agreed to plead guilty to taking bribes on behalf of its clients

So tell me once again who is keeping you and I safe? Should al-queada decide to level Nigeria, it will be done in minutes. Just have the right amount of money and everything will fall on your laps.

Corruption is woven together like a tapestry in the DNA of many Nigerians and the above just proves it.

It is just one more reason for me to keep hoping that Nigeria will get better.

Please check out more on the Nigerian situation http://ilsa-aida.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-police-state-security-or-guns-for.html


our style blog: www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com

Remember, it is just through my eyes. You may see differently! (Comment if you do!)

Friday, 19 April 2013

The lost art of parenting! Or...

I had parents growing up. I still have parents.
Now they do treat me more like a grown up but they parent me.
But it seems the word 'parents' is lost these days in a collage of nonsense.
I grew up with parents who loved me without a shadow of a doubt but they never let me forget I was a child. My first role in life, was to be their child. If I could handle confiding in my parents at the same time as been a child. (It was a dream come true for them) They believe in God and Jesus Christ and the sacred duty to bring up a child in the way of the Lord!
This included the fact that I got a whooping every now and then and sometimes laced with scripture(that folly is in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it out) lol
More importantly, my parents picked up signs over my attitude or lack of it.
I mean I was transferred from a particular school to another because they realised I had started behaving like a snob. Yes. They took their job seriously.
My dad gave me newspapers to read and asked my opinion while listening patiently to my analysis (sometimes weird) of an issue. There was no laughing, just intense listening, trying to make sense of the words I thought together.

My mum instilled in me the art of multitasking! And she watched over jealously from her rooftop view. lol

And now, even though I am married, my parents are always there for me in every way. (And I am not saying they were perfect) In fact I disliked them at some point.

But now, I want to be closer to them, I want to ask questions about how they raise 7 of us. I am especially in awe of my mum. Everything she taught, I use to run my own home.
But today, I see mothers who want to be best friends with their children (and there is nothing wrong with that) it is just that they want to exchange roles. Besto above parenthood.
On the flip side, some parents shouted and beat their children so much. There was no room for conversation or disagreements. Their word was law. (Resultant effect; The children cower and hide when they hear the sound of their parents footsteps.) Thanks a lot for raising passive children.

Babies and kids are now a show of how wealthy you are. I find some of those pictures cute. But please let them grow up normally without having a camera shoved in their faces all the time. That was not done to you. See how you turned out!
And the worst of it, parents who do not have time for their children. Thank God for the electronic age. I believe it is a blessing. I do. But your kids spend more time with electronics than they do with those that gave them life. You justify your absence from their lives with more and more electronics. So they grow up with no idea of how to show warmth or tumble around with family. Why bother with that? An email will do.
I don't have children yet! And I am by no means an authority, I only write what I observe.

You may disagree.


Like I say, it is just through my eyes!
Please go ahead and check out our picture of the day at www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The endangered species.

Oh dear!
You didn't think I was going to speak about good women (did you?) lol.
The endangered species are (roll the drums...) -Good teachers
On my way to work today, many thoughts competed for my attention but the one that came to stay was about Mr. Olarenwaju and Mr. Fasina.
Mr. Olarenwaju was my maths teacher in Olashore International School. I was terrible at maths back then (but now I think I am much better  at it now because now I have to count my money and I count it well in figures and in cash)
I remember he called me after class one day and told me he would be giving me extra lessons in maths. I mean it was that bad, I was clueless. Mr Olarenwaju taught me maths a few times patiently. explaining what X was relating to subjects I loved like Literature etc. He was determined that maths was not gonna hinder me in life.
Now, Mr. Olarenwaju never got any kind of incentive from my parents because he never met them. I am not sure I ever told my parents what this kind elderly man did for me.

But he died when I was in JSS 3 but I remember then that I made a mental note to track his family down in the future and repay them one way or another for what this kind teacher did for me (that I have not done, yet! Lord Help!)
Enter Mr Fasina...
He was Vice-Principal Admin at the same school. He heard me sing once in JSS 1 and immediately cornered me. He recognized my talent. He began singing lessons with me every siesta time between mondays-fridays. (So while the whole school slept, I sang!). He would pick a musical piece from Handel, Bach, Mozart and I would spend the whole term rehearsing and then singing it in front of an audience at the end of the term. He did this for Yetunde Fabiyi,Funmi Aloba and one or two people.
And like Mr. Olarenwaju, he never got an incentive from my parents. He just trained a singing voice he recognised early. He imbibed good music and trained my ears to hear music, sounds and reject the (often misunderstood Nigerian noise called Music, yep, that I figured that out on my own)
I write today with some measure of pain because I know those types of teachers are few and far between. Everyone is looking for a quick Fix. No one wants to impart a life without making a buck on the side. (My parents run a school, so I have an idea of what I am saying)
So please post comments about teachers that helped you beyond the scope of their duties. Let us celebrate these endangered species. Perhaps the young teachers may learn from their predecessors. Perhaps we all may borrow a leaf and help those around us amplify their gifts or teach something they don't know.
Like I always say, it is just through my eyes.
Stay tuned for episode 2 of player of the year coming up next week wednesday.

Please go ahead and visit my other blogsite: www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com
          And look out for the new adverts coming up on the blog. Yay.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Let us give a standing ovation to...the player of the year. Episode 1

He is...


Abigail said
Kevwe met me at the famous hidden Cactus restaurant off Ozumba Mbadiwe. I had just stopped by to pick up the cake I made for my mum for her birthday. As I stood there waiting, Kevwe approached me and commented on the statement neckpiece I wore under the collar of my shirt. ( I know I looked hot in the morning but in the evening?..) We started a conversation that lasted 30 minutes. I was intrigued. Kevwe was interesting. This was an addition to his tall and chiseled features.
We exchanged phone numbers. He stayed with me on the phone all the way home. It was magic. He was the real gentleman. At home, we exchanged bb pins and chatted till about 1am in the morning
He called again the next day at work and asked me out to lunch. I asked him if he hadn't heard of the three day rule. He just laughed and said 'why wait for three days for a woman with good sentence structuring (Good sentence structuring, I exclaimed!)
We didn't have lunch but we had dinner.
We started dating a few weeks later.

He was the perfect boyfriend, he was amazing
We took vacations together, I knew his friends, I had met his mum, he had met mine.
And two years later...we were finally going to get married. Woohoo. Kevwe was attentive, loving, knew the right thing to say at the right time, was not violent. He was a dream.

I started preparing for marriage.

In September, 2012, he told me had to travel outside the country urgently for a business trip. Before he left, he asked me to help him collect some traditional wear from his tailor. I did. I was his side kick. And trust me I didn't mind. I enjoyed it
When he got back, he bought me the latest designer bags, the Louboutins I had craved for, clothes and everthing he needed.
I was so excited. I was going to be the root of every girl's envy.
He asked me to come over and help him pack for some chieftancy party going down in his village, I went. I was ready to do anything for a man that took me pretty seriously. He asked me if I would like to come but  I was booked for the weekend at work but I made him promise to send pictures every hour.
I saw him off to the airport on friday with some sadness in my heart about missing him. But I shrugged it off and went to sleep, resting in the bliss that I was one woman God and Kevwe loved so much.
Next day, I barely made it to work because I was so engrossed in my fairy tale dreams that it took my mother's bellowing to get me off the bed.
I drove into the office missing my 'beau' and set about work. At about 2pm, I realised I had not heard from Kevwe. I checked around the office but did not find my phone and realised I had dropped it on the passenger seat in my car.
I picked up the phone and saw about 40 missed calls and thought aloud 'Kevwe, I know you are missing me, me too darling! As I checked the missed calls I realised they were not from Kevwe but from my besto Nneka.
I called Kevwe first but he didn't pick so I called Nneka back
'Abi' she said, 'where are you?'
I am at work I answered, 'what is wrong?'
Kevwe is getting married, Nneka screamed. He is in Delta state getting married right now!
'Nneka, my Kevwe, haba is this a joke? I asked
She screamed and told me she was on her way to meet me
I did not believe till she came and showed me a picture on a friends dp of Kevwe and his wife.
...I slumped
(to be continued) 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Grow Up!

You live with your mum, you spend your money taking ladies to the fancy restaurants and go on boat trips. What you need to do Dude is grow up!

Your wife pays the bills at home and you spend the money you make taking other women out drinking, weeding and smoking! You need to grow up!

As a lady you live with your sugar daddy and service his needs and say no one really loves you. Darling, Grow up!

You spend all of your salary in the first seven days of the month and you blame your employer. What you need to do is grow up!

You buy expensive designer bags and shoes every month when all you earn is 50,000.00. You need to grow up Ma'am!

Your girlfriend dumps you because she thinks you act like a baby. You  spend all your money on purchasing the latest cars and mortgage your income for the next five years. And she says

You eat Red velvet Cake for breakfast, eat Chicken & Chips for lunch, drink 10 bottles of Coke a day and you complain you are overweight. Eeeeeeeerrrmm (Grow up!)
You have been paying rent for the last 10 years and you have absolutely no plans to own a home either out rightly or by mortgage. Grow up!
You say there is no God and that you are atheist. Ha ha ha. We all know it is because you do not want to be accountable to anything or anyone. The very thought gives you nightmares. Grow up darling!
You work in an establishment and all you do is snitch about your colleagues to the boss while you do eye service. You really should grow up!
You invest alot but have no details about your investment. You just sign cheques and never ask questions. Ha, grow up oh.
You are such a bitch to men and you wonder why they have not asked your hand in marriage. My darling, grow up!

You are 40 years old now, and you behave the same way you did when you were 20 years old and 30 years old. Na to grow up oh

Lastly, you see me and you don't think I am beautiful. It is beef. Grow up joor
Or yet still, don't grow up, just learn modify your behaviour in public.

Who is a stranger?

~ Lucas Togan(@ltspark)

The dictionary on the other hand - "a person or thing that is unknown or with whom one is unacquainted"
I have juxtaposed these two definitions to highlight the flaw in the latter. I used to think that strangers were just people with whom I was unacquainted but I realized that, though I was unacquainted with public figures, they were not strangers. The reason is that I could vouch for their association integrity. For instance, Michael Jackson, he is not a stranger because I associate him with his music that I listen to. 'Wole Soyinka, though I have never met him, he is not a stranger because I can associate him with his literary works which I read.
The common belief, which is erroneous, is that we all think vouching for someone's personal integrity(friend, sibling, colleague etc) is enough. NO! We need to realize that there are strangers everywhere and be cautious in dealing with them. Your sibling becomes a stranger the moment you start doubting his association integrity and colleagues remain strangers till you can vouch for their personal integrity.
People are sincerely dead. People are sincerely jailed everyday. Some are sincerely duped; all by people they thought they knew. Someone advised me recently that if you run into a friend with whom Ɣ☺ΰ have broken ties for a while(though social media has robbed us all of the sense to miss anyone these days), be very cautious in dealing with such people until such a time Ɣ☺ΰ can be convinced of where they've been and what they've been up to. In other words, until Ɣ☺ΰ can "destranger" them, deal cautiously with them(family members inclusive). This reminds me of that scene in Tyler Perry's "For coloured girls" where the lady invited her rapist into her own home inadvertently. Fine boy. Pure stranger. BIG TROUBLE!
So my motto henceforth is if Ɣ☺ΰ are not a celebrity of any sort(like ilsa-aida.com - associative integrity) and I don't know your "behind" from Adam(personal integrity), my friend(in the voice of Nigeria police when they got one on Ɣ☺ΰ), Ɣ☺ΰ are a STRANGER.
Now you know.
SPARK! Let's change it.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Get rid of the Bodyguard boyfriend!

Dude, stop wasting my girls time! Yes you. You know who you are.
Ladies he is...that guy that lays claim to your affection but is not ready to take you to the altar. And as if that is not bad enough, he stops and frowns at other men who want to pay you attention. He is the perfect boyfriend. He remembers the Anniversary of the day you met, he buys you gifts in fact he pays for your ticket when you feel the urge to travel. You have been dating over 5 years but he has no interest in meeting your parents 'Formally" (We all know he has met them informally).

Whenever, you broach the subject of a permanent commitment, he gives you a range of excuses like he needs to do his Masters/PHD// he needs to build a house in the city and in his village//he needs to make a whole lot of money//he needs to become famous//he needs to build a swimming pool/he needs to buy a laptop (yea ridiculous, sebi?)

So he strings you along for years and you let yourself get stringed along. Well it is because you love him. Love him so much.

Love Fire.

Girl, wake up! It is either he wants to marry you or he does not. He is gonna lead you past a marriageable age and then you will be too old for him and he will look for the pretty young thang who will fit perfectly on his arm (so what will you do then? ehen?)

I am no relationship Guru but I can tell you that a guy who does that is just around you because you are safe. When he is pushed out of his comfort zone by another woman, he will take the plunge he is refusing to take with you.  Case in point is Khloe Khardasian's husband, Lamar. He was with  a lady, Liza Morales for years and had three children with her. But then he met Khloe and in a matter of weeks, married her. Liza Morales had this to say when she heard the man she had spent 10 years was marrying someone else
'I don't think I'll forget the tight knot I felt in the pit of my stomach the morning I received the text message with three simple words on the screen. It read 'I'm getting married' and it was from the man I'd spent more than 10 years of my life with," she wrote on Daily Beast. "Years that included us getting engaged in 2000 and becoming parents to one daughter and two sons. Yet not long after our separation Lamar Odom was getting married to Khloe Kardashian, a woman he'd met four weeks before.

So Sweetheart, think about this when you let the 'ugly' 'no money' 'razz' toaster go because they don't fit the image of your current bodyguard boyfriend.
Recognize what he is. Be painfully honest with yourself. It will benefit you on the long run.
You are a woman and by default are able to withstand the greatest pain and heartache. Leave the bodyguard boyfriend. You will never get anything out of him.
Love yourself and be wise!
Be safe darlings!
It is just through my eyes, you may disagree!
Don't forget the silent competition going on here. The winner will be revealed on the 1st of May, 2013.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Under my bed, My Bank!

I eagerly accepted the cheque from my dad. The dude was loaning me money to ...(cannot say, thank you very much)

I ran out of the door into my car and straight to the nearest Union Bank branch I could find. It turned out to be the chevron branch.

It was lunch time and the whole bank was filled up. It was the end of the month and people were trying to get on the queue.

I joined the queue eager to withdraw my money and head about the business for which it was borrowed.

When it got to my turn, the cashier in a quipped irritated voice told me ' Stand over there'

Duh  'Stand over there?'

I just stared in disbelief quickening the reasoning part of my brain to string words that would effectively describe my thoughts towards this rude woman.

She was elderly. That immediately meant normal abuse was out of it but did she honestly think that I was her kid? I mean this was a bank, what happened to customer service?

Someone behind me noticing my incredulous stare and stance just said, well that is how they behave. Behave?

I contained myself and I asked 'why would you like me to step aside?' She replied that the server was down and there was nothing that she could do. I kept mute, afraid that what may come out of  my mouth may border on insults.

Thirty minutes passed and there still was no word on the situation.
I left after an hour but it left a tasteless feeling in my mouth.
Needless to say, I was unable to conclude the transaction for which I got the money. And it cost me a lot in Naira.
So these days, I have engaged the services of the carpenter near my home. He will build me a wooden chest that I can put under my bed. I will be my teller, customer rep, branch manager and if I pray hard, I believe the money will multiply under my bed.
And when I begin to earn in the trillions like Nigeria, then I will open a bank(my bank) and store my money. You better believe.
And if you decide to tail me home, you need to remember that I have watched a gazillion spy movies and it will be difficult for me not to see you. Experiences (Chuck, Alias, Justified
Y'all better follow me and do the same.
Just through my eyes darlings!
Have a good evening!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Internet of Everything-Big Brother is tracking!

You don't believe me?

Trust me. Read with me and I may yet make you a believer.

I recently concluded one of these numerous, never-ending IT certification exams and something struck me as I was studying – Internet Protocol version 6. This is a concept I’ve known for a long time from previous exams and in my line of duty, it is impossible not to have heard of IPv6.
What is IP? IP is an acronym for Internet Protocol. It is the language of the internet. Look at this way - if the Internet was a planet and you landed there on, you will need an identity (IP address) to be able to communicate in the local language (IP). All devices and systems – phones, SIM cards, GPS, computers etc – that can access and be accessed on the internet have to ‘speak’ IP as well as have an IP address (a uniquely identifiable address on the internet).
IP was first introduced in the early 70s just after the birth of the Internet (or ARPANET as it was known at the time) and the initial design was to provide 4billion+ addresses. At the time it was widely believed that the addresses will never finish – and truly who thought the internet would explode like it has? The designers just wanted to connect a few hosts together and share information in real-time.
However, by the early 90s when the first web page was published, it was evident that the future was too big for IPv4 (today there are 7billion of us on earth which means there isn’t enough IPv4 addresses for us humans let alone devices - which far outnumber us) so the IT community started working on a successor for the existing IP technology. This project at completion is what is now known as IPv6 and the predecessor called IPv4. IPv6 on the other hand has 340 trillion trillion trillion (340 undecillion) unique addresses. As a matter of fact, if the entire address space of IPv4 fills a single coke bottle in Lagos State, Nigeria, IPv6 will fill every coke bottle placed in every square inch of Nigeria and still spill over. YES! That’s how many individual unique addresses there are!
What does this mean to you and I? Well, first of all, you can infer from above that your mobile phone, tablet and PC have IP addresseses (most likely IPv6). The tracking system installed in your car for easy recovery functions on the same principle ditto the GPS you use to find destinations. Your home automation system as well as a myriad of devices you can remotely access. You know TVs are coming with IP addresses when you hear the launch of the internet-TV plus your pay-per-view (DSTV) box as well. Infact, a lot of devices in recent years are being shipped with IPv6 addresses hard-coded into them. This is regardless of the eventual format an administrator will choose to adopt.
You must be wondering by now where I’m heading with all these. Isn’t it obvious from all these that a tracking system is evolving right under our noses and whether we like it or not we are inadvertently feeding the monster? As you read this, I am sure you have a mobile phone. In that phone is a SIM card that you registered using your finger print, real names, facial picture, maiden name, address etc. It is safe to say that that tiny piece of plastic chip contains more data about you than 99% of your friends know about you. So if your phone has an IPv6 address that can be reached, how about your SIM?

There is a theory in the InfoTech community called the “Internet of things”. The term “Internet of Things” was first used by Kevin Ashton in 1999 where he proposed that “if all objects and people in daily life were equipped with radio tags, they could be identified and inventoried by computers. However, unique identification of things may be achieved through other means such as barcodes or 2D-codes as well. Equipping all objects in the world with minuscule identifying devices could be transformative of daily life. For instance, business may no longer run out of stock or generate waste products, as involved parties would know which products are required and consumed. One's ability to interact with objects could be altered remotely based on immediate or present needs, in accordance with existing end-user agreements.” Basically, we all need to be tagged for some greater good of the earth and by extension - humanity. Yeah right!
At CISCO, the world leader in network technology, they have a tweaked version of the concept called the “Internet of Everything” and this is heavily hinged on IPv6. It is an idea that will harmonize human, data and processes to increase the productivity of mankind. We don hear!
I foresee a very near future where owners will have microchips implanted in their pets to facilitate tracking like we already do with cars. And how far behind will the idea of using such a technology on kids to curb kidnapping be? That’s assuming it has not started already. Those chips will all carry IPv6 address because they are numerous and can go round.
The question that bothers me is that as we continue to embrace this amazing technology of everything by keying into this tracking system, what is going on in the background? The internet is, like everything else in life, a hierarchy. So who is the “Oga-at-the-top?” DON’T LAUGH – NOT FUNNY!
This piece is to get you researching the subject matter and maybe scare you a bit. I am scared; at the very least you should be concerned.
SPARK! Let’s change it.

 ~by Lucas Togan (@ltspark)

Please find below some links to start your research into the matter.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher. She was here. (My journey with her)


Debate, Singing and Public Speaking was my forte. It was something I knew how to do very well (not so sure about that now). Enemies & Foes respected my stand on a podium.
I was the Queen. 
I had used JSS 1 to practice and by JSS 2, I was already the 'Debate Kungfu Master'. At this time, we were asked to debate on the phrase  'Female leaders are better than Male leaders'. I remember researching on Benazir Bhutto and Margaret Thatcher. The Research created a yearning to be a strong and independent woman and in my own small way make a difference in this world.  Of course, the yearning caused me to lead the female team against the male team. We won with over a 100 points.  
So last week,  when I googled Meryl Streep in some other information research I was doing, I discovered that she had depicted Margaret Thatcher in a movie called 'Iron Lady'. I felt some sort of nostalgia when I remembered the woman whose politics and fame had helped me win my debate in JSS 2. I immediately clicked on the link to the page of the famous lady and started reading. I gleaned from the Wikipedia page that she had ruled at a time when England was in some situation with Racism, Tyranny and a failing Economy and had stabilized the Economy to some great extent.
She was so strict with her uncompromising politics and leadership style that a Russian nicknamed her 'The Iron lady'. This is the phrase that has stuck over the years. She is also credited to have revitalised Britain's economy, curbed trade unions and re-established the nation as a world power.
As I read, I was intrigued by this woman. She was a woman and she did it. She succeeded in a world that few men did. She was indeed the Iron Lady.
Believe it or not, I began to analyse my life and see what she did that I could do to live like she did.
I researched on her family.
She had twins. Carol & Mark Thatcher. Carol is not married and Mark is married to his second wife. I researched a little further into his first wife ( I mean she would have been privy to the family secrets) and now that she was divorced, there was a huge chance that she would spill her guts about the Thatcher family. Comon, gossip girl. Give us some.
Diane Burgdof, first wife of Mark Thatcher did spill her guts. She talked about the 'Iron Lady'. She spoke about how tight lipped she was (normal British Aristocracy). She spoke about the love Sir Dennis and Margaret had. Even though Margaret Thatcher was Sir Dennis second wife, he loved her to bits. She was a Chemist when they married but he financed his second wife's training as a barrister and basically stood by her. She attributed her sanity during her prime ministership to her husband (Soooooo cute)
More importantly was the fact that I noticed from all the articles I read was that the husband  was known as an irreverent, good-natured man with a talent for friendship.
He made good of a situation that most African men would fail at. He supported his woman from the back. I daresay he was the rock she stood on even if the world did not know it.
  So imagine my surprise today when I passed by the reception at work and saw CNN reporting that she was dead. I felt sad. I felt like I lost someone really close to me.
Today she has died. Today the world honours her. Not just for stubbornness but also for creatively putting the England back on the map of relevant nations in the world. And like she said when she became Prime Minister, a woman who runs the home has a very good idea of how to run a country.
I salute her. She left her mark in the sands of time. She was here on earth. She made a difference.
Would we have made a difference? Would the world testify that we were here? Would we have left this world a little better just because we were here?
Let us hope your life and mine will have meant and done something when we die.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Have Messi on Ronaldo!

By the time this gets published, if it does, I'm pretty sure you'd have been inundated with countless tweets, posts, BBM updates and articles about the results of the FIFA Ballon D'or 2013.
Back in March 2012 I posted on my facebook wall - "how was it that in March 2012 Messi had won the Ballon D'or? An award that's not scheduled to hold till January 2013." I didn't get a lot of responses but right now the very few who paid any heed to that post would vindicate me. He had scored 5 goals against Bayern Levekusen that evening in their Champions League tie, thereby becoming the first player to do so in the competition's history. Not just the 5 goals but the manner in which he achieved the fit left you wondering if he was of this world.
Messi-less, Messi-ah, Messi-merising, Mess-ed them up, the many pseudonyms I'd coined through the year on my wall to describe the 91-goals-in-one-calendar-year record holder. How could anyone not think of him in such superlatives? Sometimes, I simply write "have Messi". While I take nothing, absolutely nothing, from Cristiano Ronaldo's (CR7) talent and achievements, especially in 2012 - having won the La Liga title and taken his national side(portugal) to the Semi-final of EURO 2012, I maintain that he is blossoming at the worst possible time ever. First, and unfortunately, he's older than Messi. At 27, he can not expect to outshine the 25 year old little argentine on the highest stage. Secondly, whereas CR7 is the best "human" footballer on earth, Messi is a demi-god if not a god. FIFA should take this observation into consideration and create an award for all the macho effort CR7 puts into his game. I am certain he will fair better with his fellow man. While Messi returns all glory to some kind of deity that he believes in when he scores his numerous awe striking goals, like the time he chipped a goalie in the 6-yard box, Ronaldo reminds us each time he scores that it's the power he has built into his thighs that produces the magic. It's no wonder the voters don't vote him. People are naturally drawn to humility.
I can imagine what goes through CR7's mind atimes: I'm more handsome than he is, taller, a better header of the ball. I am faster, I have more skills and above all that, look at my physique - to die for. My CR7 brand is also bigger. What has he that I have not? My simple answer? He is Messi. And that's enough for the footballing world.
As I go to bed reminiscing on the petit fellow and the gargantuan talent he is blessed with I wonder what CR7 must do to beat Messi at his finest hour and the words of Michael Johnson, the world and Olympic 400m champion, come to mind concerning the chances of Usain Bolt's competition at London 2012 olympics, "for any of them (the competition) to stand a chance at winning 100m dash gold medal, Bolt has to have a bad day". For Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi will have to have a bad year.
In 2013, will Messi have mercy on Ronaldo? It remains to be seen.
SPARK! Let's change it.
(Eeeeeermm just in case you are wondering, I didn't author this piece. I don't know squat about these things. My dear friend did)
Lucas K.Togan. He authored this article.
Look out for him in the coming days.