Get a Man as you would a Car. Top 5 Checks +1

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“Money may not buy happiness, but I’d rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.” ― Françoise Sagan
There is something almost erotic thrilling about buying a car that gets you restless, overly eager to get behind the wheel… to determine how much speed will take you to where you need to be, when to leave the house, where to go, which route to take, what music to listen to and gosh how your car smells! The complete control of deciding these variables leaves one euphoric, breathless, even orgasmic. Ok, that’s going over the top. My point is, buying a car is one thing that signifies a level of accomplishment. If it is your first car….it is certain that sleep eludes you days before actual purchase.
In a typical Nigerian scene, the mother is running out in wrapper and rushing to molest rub, shout and anoint the new automobile while calling neighbors to witness how good papa God is andloudly shaming the devil on his failure to stop her child from buying a car. The father is majestically walking with a stick, looking to the skies, muttering ancestral sentences before breaking into a shout “my son, you shall be great; you have made me, your father, Mazi Ekene, proud”. Again, I digress.
So why do I say get your man as you would a car? Well here it is – it is because more often than not, you are going to be heavily invested in the new ‘liability’ and when the need arises for repairs, routine maintenance or selling – and trust me, it always comes up – no one is going to borrow you cash to fix your car or take it off you in a heartbeat. Unless your car is kabu-kabu a taxi that generates revenue for contingencies like these, you are going to shell out serious kudi; and if your man is kabu-kabu a taxi that generates revenue – emm, male ashewo in your employment, then by all means simply ensure his engine is solid and can pick up at any given time, T and you are good to go.
Now, whether you want to buy used or tear-rubber car, it is inevitable that you ask for information about cost, availability, car seller, car features among others. In no particular order, here are six things you need to check for before making that purchase.
I. BRAND NAME
Let me put it out there before we go further ‘Never allow another person buy a car for you without physically inspecting – especially if you are paying for it’. Everyone has an opinion of the best car for you – from the engine type, fuel consumption rate to suitability for your gender. If you are a woman looking to get a car, you will be lectured about cars *meant for women – when you see the cars, you will understand my irritation. Apparently, gender inequality has infiltrated into cars. But again, I digress.
Is the man in question a Toyota? Lexus? Jaguar? Lamborghini? Ford? Honda? Mazda? Audi? Kia? or our Innoson?
You have got to know what brand suits your personality. A colleague would rather be amputated than drive a Picanto. Know what type of man you want. Kind? Sensitive? Rugged? Smart? Funny? Creative? Hustler? Efficient? Dependable? Economical? Strong? Fast? Sophisticated? Of course there’s the combination of character/traits found in these cars as there is in men. Find the right mix for you. Don’t depend on third party recommendation or validation of the merits of a particular brand over another. Find the best combination and make an informed choice on the brand that suits your person.

2. MILEAGE AND ENGINE CAPACITY
So we have decided what brand you are most comfortable with but equally important is your budget. This largely determines if you are getting a new or used car. Getting a new car is like getting a new man with no encumbrances. You kick and it starts – usually, this is a new born male. Unless you are a pervert, a new born baby shouldn’t sexually excite you. In the case of getting a man, darling, he is a used good. Accept it. He is above 18? Then yes, he is used. Let’s talk used car.
You need to check how many kilometers it has covered. How far has he gone in his life? How old is he? Does the man have excess baggage? Married, Divorced with kids? Has a baby mama or a host of babies mamas? Does he have a career? Is he broke? Comfortable? Where is he financially? Is he emotionally matured and spiritually ready to kneel in prayers and not allow you carry that part of men’s cross that they conveniently hang on the woman’s neck?(for our religious audience). Is he a V4, V6 or a V8? What is the capacity of the engine and how sound is it? Is he fast? Economizes fuel? Does he have HIV/AIDS, Sickle Cell Anemia, Low Sperm Count, Diabetes?
And still on engine – you have to check his ‘garage’ to make sure he is parked well. You may have to use bed methodology if it is right for you. If it is not, you may have to take a verbal confirmation of soundness from the man and hope the ‘engine’ is in perfect working condition for the use you have in mind for it. Some ladies demand a test-run and others wait for matrimonial verification exercise – by all means you have to CHECK if he is working! Use your hand to measure by the planned touching or accidental brushing method. Is he long? Strong enough? Staying power of a horse? Rise and fall ability? This is the time to sample with eyes, hands or *clears throat.
You have to be sure he is sound and ready to serve you for a really LONG time. We don’t have the luxury of getting another car especially when we drive out of the car mart aka wedding venue. Oh well you can, but hopefully you don’t.

3. EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR
Some ladies may not mind a modest or ugly car interior or exterior but some of us do. A car is a car they say. I used to think so too. Not anymore. A car is not a car. You have to ascertain your man inside out. Is the man well put together? Ok plain English – does he look good? Smell good? Brush his teeth? Wash his socks? Air his shoes? Cuts his nails? Groom his beards? DOES HE BATH AND WASH down there???!! There is a level of being rugged that is sex appeal and then there another that is pure dirt…..unattractive and repulsive. He is clean on the inside? His thoughts always negative? A pessimist? A chauvinist? A beautiful mind? Brilliant? Ordinarily, the exterior can be fixed (usually expensive and with the cooperation of the man) but the interior is almost impossible. You may want to avoid unnecessary problems and sidestep men with interiors that need Jesus.

4. PAPERS AND REGISTRATION
If you don’t like those maroon and brown uniformed people and their demonic colleagues in white and black stopping you and collecting cash (legal or illegal), I suggest you get your papers in order. Does the car have custom clearing? A vehicle license, proof of ownership, road worthiness and permits, insurance certificate? Seller agreements? Are the car papers in your name?
You have to make sure you don’t go out and some chick walks up with gum in her pouted mouth, claiming your man. Avoid situations where you can’t go out with him or tell your family about him because he is married, not up to your ‘class’ or simply unavailable. Living on the edge may be thrilling and especially for cheaters enjoyable but nothing beats going out with that man confidently that he belongs to you.

5. FUEL CONSUMPTION, AIR CONDITIONING, AIR BAG, SOUND AND NAVIGATION SYSTEM
Usually, I don’t care if the car leaks fuel but there is no way I am using a car with no air conditioning. Minus the noise it cuts out when one is driving, there is a feeling of ease, rightness and contentment that air conditioning brings. You need to choose a man that brings peace, ease and comfort. A man that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. A man that is affordable – what do I mean? He needs to be within the range of what you can afford financially and emotionally. Some men are emotionally expensive. They stretch your patience and ability to swallow shit and drink piss. Relationships are not supposed to be hard and one-sided. It is a give and take. If he is not emotionally available and financially low, you will be the fulcrum. Bills on you. Days of uncertainty all on you. Are you ready to be with him even if it is draining your pocket?
Air bag….hmmm, saves lives. I tell you the whole truth. Does the man give you a sense of security? Can he save you when you hit a rock? How secured are you with him? And ah yes! Sound….do you want a man that can keep a conversation or you would rather he is quiet and allows you do all the talking. Either ways, make sure he is right for your person. Navigation – He really needs to know where he is going sweetie. Yes, navigation systems in our cars here have issues taking you to the exact destination but sadly we know what’s responsible for that. It is one of two things, know where you are going to and take him there or make sure he knows where he is going and he takes you there. Our church people call it vision. Does he have a vision or he is just looking to follow the crowd? Ask him questions, observe his ways, study his decisions and determine if he is the right man for you.

6. SPARE PARTS AVAILABILITY AND RESELLING OPTION
So we agree that it is impossible to change a human being. But what if his spare parts are readily available? What if he is easy to change his mindset or decisions about issues that are negative and unproductive? What if he is one who listens and tries to reason with your suggestions? Hey! I am not saying push it down his throat madam I-too-know. Polite suggestions work best….yes, I happen to have that experience.
And in cases where you simply need a transition car, then you need to consider his reselling option. Can you dispose of him quickly or he is going to be hanging on your neck for years? Sometimes, when it is not working, it is best the cords are cut civilly. Don’t have an ex that just won’t leave the picture but keeps haunting you for the rest of your life! Make sure you are not tied down with a man that only takes up space in your garage. Like they say, nothing lasts forever.
Buy Get Smart, Drive for Miles.

P.S: I would love to have your comments….share your experiences on getting a new car and relate to what you want in your mate. Should be fun.

Have a great week!

Written by Uneñ Ameji. She is @UnenAmeji on twitter

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The short-story of a Simpleton and Big English

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ignoramus
ˌɪɡnəˈreɪməs/
noun
noun: ignoramus; plural noun: ignoramuses
an ignorant or stupid person.
synonym; a clodpoll.

Why must Big English be used? A fool is simply a foolish person; not an ignoramus. An ignoramus does not even know what ignoramus means. How then does an ignoramus know he is an ignoramus?
We must learn to be simple.
Writing as an art may have evolved from articulating thoughts and languages to be read, understood and appreciated but it certainly does not mean writers must intentionally twist their thoughts and opinions; leaving a growing community of manically bewildered Simpletons behind. What is the use of writing an impossible read filled with Big English? A Simpleton asks.
Man no suppose dey chop biscuit-bone peppersoup wen beta peppered boneless chicken dey table naw.
Writing, an interesting phenomenon, is the safest and cheapest time traveling machine there is and contrary to what our wishes may be, writing is the only legal and sane way of reading minds. Suspended in time, A Simpleton sees the future, past and present. A Simpleton that can read minds! A Simpleton that is no longer an ignoramus.
But why, when given the opportunity to redirect a people, a chance to change perceptions and privilege to entertain, must writers complicate it with this brawny Big English? A Simpleton asks.
Perhaps Big English is entertaining and gives deeper meaning to words and sentences, weighty and thought-provoking too. A couple of Non-Simpletons have indicated their preference for meat and not milk. Perhaps this Big English is only for those with Big Teeth.
If truly writing is art, A Simpleton asks that writers must not make it abstract. An abstract art is not worthless but what pleasure is there in hanging on your wall a meaningless piece of masterpiece? Aesthetically pleasing, yes; it goes perfectly with curtains, absolutely. But art wasn’t meant to complement the curtain, it was meant to be understood. A Simpleton insists that writing must be fluid, succinct, remarkably engaging and revelatory.
A Simpleton knows these things.

P.S: Words have more meaning when understood. Writing should be understood not guessed.

Kind Regards,

@UnenAmeji

Men of the Cloth, their Raincoat and their kind of God

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It often bothers me how Men of the Cloth, yes, the ones speaking in hot tongues and casting out devils while asking for bribes tithes and sacrificial offerings, refuse to allow the Church – people question their modus operandi and contradictory sermons they spew on their holy altars. One moment they are on the mountain seeking for powers to perform miracles, the next they can’t even heal the sick. Did someone say raise the dead?
It is disappointing especially when they preach half-truths as whole and when confronted, they say they prophecy in parts while opening their heavy bibles to where they have marked for such occasions as this. We don’t know it all – they say. Why didn’t you say that on the pulpit when you were vibrating and calling down fire? Perhaps there is need for these Men of the Cloth to have caveat emptor on their signboards and bills.
Come and See the Power of God
P.S if He wills for I know in parts and prophecy in parts”

Fake Prophet

Chapter One
Tithing Vs. Abundance

The charismatic, vibrant, power-gushing young man of God is saying heathens are prosperous, the children of the world are succeeding while the children of God are paupers, the next he is saying only tithing can give you the amount of riches the heathens have.
???
Question: Did the heathens pay tithe for their riches?
Question: Have God visited them with plagues and collected their riches because they did not tithe?
Question: Could it be that they simply work hard or smart – whatever or they were born with diamond spoons and teeth?
Certainly not all the rich heathens are *shedding the blood of the innocent ones and even if they are shedding or pounding new born babies in mortars, there is God and He is yet to cut them down. Infact He just may be planning on how to save them.
You see, when the issue of tithing is brought up, many cringe – some cringe because they pity you for not paying it and others cringe because they know the 419 collector is at it again.
People pay tithes and bad things still happen. BAD things.
Question: Why was the devourer not kept away from their pockets?
Men of the Cloth: Because they sinned one way or the other
Question: But you said if they paid my tithes, He will keep away the devourer and they’d experience abundance. Why is their resources dwindling and their suffering knowing no end?
Men of the Cloth: You see, the word of God is not entirely exclusive. You have to be 100% perfect. Moreover, there are times for tribulation. Doesn’t matter if they pay tithe or not, tribulation is going to come.
Question: Why didn’t you say this on the pulpit?
Men of the Cloth: I prophecy in parts….the grace of God is abundant. Amen.

FakeProphet

Chapter Two
Pain Vs. Backsliding

When your loved one dies – doesn’t matter that the doctor literally murdered them or a brainwashed suicide bomber decided to do some blowing – Men of the Cloth says nothing outside the will of God happens. He allowed it because He knows best. He creates, He takes. Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust….glory to His name.
I am not even going to ask if His will includes the rest of us still living…..like the rest of us whose lives and existence has been shattered by His will. Men of the cloth says who am I to ask questions……to ask questions is seen as an act of disobedience – so shut up and take the pain like the humbled believing servant you are supposed to be. It doesn’t matter that Jesus’s disciples asked questions every step of the way and with all the answers Judas betrayed Him and Peter denied Him when it mattered the most.
When you lose a loved one, you are supposed to be stoic, praise Him continuously for taking them away and serve Him with all your heart and all your might if not, you are as good as an unbeliever ….in most cases worst because you have known the truth. and he who holds the plow and turns back will be burnt forever
A woman is raped by a man at 15 years of age. God is watching but does not do anything. People rape people everyday. No biggie. If Eve didn’t eat the forbidden fruit, we won’t even be talking about rape. Say what?
Question: Wasn’t it all part of the master plan – His will – like the one where your loved ones gets to die and there is nothing you can do to stop it?
Men of the Cloth: You dare open your mouth with His breath inside you and ask questions…..are you mad? You want His wrath?
The woman gives birth to a daughter.
The rapists starts raping daughter at 11 years of age. He has developed taste for younger fish lips girls
God is watching. The man is prospering – he has married another woman and has two beautiful children. He is a respected man in the society. He is a church goer and a tither.
The girl is rescued at 16 years. After 5 years of abuse and several suicide attempts.
The law does not prosecute.
The society is quiet.
The family eats kolanut.
The man goes back to his life.
The girl with pain, destroyed life and smelling vagina is asked to forgive her father because God says people who don’t forgive are not His children, infact He demands that we forgive….she has no choice, she must forgive.
Question: Why is God more interested in her forgiving her father-rapist than in punishing the beast?
Question: Is God a man?
Question: Where are the angels He gave charge to watch over her so she doesn’t hit her foot against a stone? I mean so she doesn’t get brutally fucked raped repeatedly?
Question: Why is God still blessing the works of the rapist’s hand? Getting promoted at work, building new houses, paying tithes, serving as an elder?
Men of the Cloth: You see, God is never late. Leave it to God and see what He will do.
Question: What if God forgives him?

Men of the Cloth: God works in mysterious ways. It is not His will that any of His children perish
Question: What happens to the persons whose lives have been wasted, destroyed?

Men of the Cloth: God is multifaceted. We can’t simply question Him. His will be done
Apparently, if you are dealt with a bad hand in life, you move on and die when your time comes. It doesn’t really matter if you get justice or not. Justice is for those who can take it without being caught….like killing the doctor who murdered or the thief who shot your husband. If you can revenge and not get caught, by all means go ahead and come ask for forgiveness.
He forgives all because when these evildoers find God, you will be the only one left with the soiled plate. The rest is blot out by the blood.

Chapter three
Level of Grace

This is a favorite of many Men of the Cloth. This is the part where you cannot speak against them because they are servants of the almighty. Who dare speak against the appointed? You going down-down-down….
Thunder Strikes!!!
It is so refreshing to have a cover of grace – do anything and grace covers you. The kind of grace that passes your understanding as a person who has not been called….the kind that only covers the Men of the Cloth when they sin, keep malice with their fellow Men of the Cloth, when they dupe people of their earnings or have sexual intercourse with church members because the body is weak but the spirit is willing.
fake-pastor-cartoon-logo
Question: Isn’t this level of grace available to the girl who was brutally raped and refuses to forgive her father? The one who wouldn’t raise her hands in worship of a God that refused to save her from harm all those years? The one who has been told it is His will that she be abused because in future the purpose of the abuse will be revealed to the glory of His name?
Question: Where is this level of grace for the grieving woman who doesn’t go to church or pray to a God who failed to save her loved one because His will is supreme?
Men of the Cloth do not console. They condemn and tell you to shout halleluyah seven times through tears and blood. I don’t understand why or when serving God became punishment? Why is this level of grace that covers their shit not able to cover your anger, doubts and hurts?
Alas! only Men of the Cloth can access this level of grace….when they goof, the grace raincoat covers them and there is absolutely nothing you can say or do about it. How convenient.
Everyone should have this grace raincoat….. this magical raincoat will all serve our selfish, hypocritical nature.
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Chapter four
Conclusion?

We must come to a conclusion – that perhaps God cannot save us all. Perhaps it is really His will that some of His children suffer and others enjoy for His glory. It doesn’t matter if you are the one suffering or enjoying or having a taste of both.
We must realize that as much as there are those with testimonies, much more are dying with pain and no, they are not heathen – they are His children….#confessed
We must accept the fact that we are strictly responsible for the justice we get….if you want justice, you have to take it by force….just like everything else. If you want a better card than has been dealt? Pick another.
You see, it is simple….there is no need for half-truths. God doesn’t need Men of the Cloth sugarcoating His personality.
He says He kills and makes alive
He loves, He hates
He killed all of Jobs’ children just to prove a point to one of His creation that He has conquered….but He did compensate Job.
He says He has given you choices – life and death, He also says choose life that you may live….emm, that’s technically not a choice…just direction.
There is nothing like free will – it is a myth.
God is not good, God is not evil. He is both and He is what you make of Him.
If you must follow Him, you should know that He is not afraid to hurt you for His glory, He is not answerable to you or remotely concerned if you never make it back to trusting Him again. You talk too much and He will raise stones to take your place. However He is the only one who can give you a semblance of security – after death-wise….and if you don’t believe in the afterlife – then be ready for whatever comes after – if there is.
Perhaps He might decide to change His mind from the everlasting blazing pit – but then again, who knows what His will concerning you is –
There are no guarantees, just choices, hope and time.

****
Uneñ Ameji
Author of Love on the 25th on Okadabooks http://goo.gl/hmsKnv
Follow @UnenAmeji on Twitter

Countdown of Ex-Boyfriend’s Gifts

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Hey guys!
Had a nice weekend? Stressful morning? Thought to post funny article for your lunch break….
Do not hesitate to comment or add your list…

Countdown of Ex-Boyfriend’s Gifts by @UnenAmeji

So it is a Sunday and I am going through my wardrobe. Music playing in background, clothes all around and I am tripping on shoes, brushes, books and toiletries. Definitely chaos in my room and this dude down here – Leo is responsible for most of it. He makes sure I have more work to do than necessary.

Leonardo in his element

Leonardo in his element


Sidebar: If you are in a relationship and have issues giving gifts, you should not be in one. Needless to say you won’t be remembered when it ends (trust me it ends with me sooner than later) or rather you’d be remembered for the measly rat that you are. #AkaGum
Without much ado, here are gifts received in no particular order;
1. House Still pending
2. Car Still pending
3. Diamonds Still pending
4. Exotic Trip Still pending
5. Spa session Still pending
6. Brazilian Hair Still pending (I will sell it and buy more shoes since I don dey eye dreadlocks)
7. Cash – millions Hundreds of thousands
8. Books e.g Monster by Frank Peretti _ never going to read it. (I am willing to trade it for book on Nigerian Slavery though- contact me at @UnenAmeji on twitter)
9. Sony Camera (Had an artistic phase and he suffered the consequences – sorry)
10. Mobile phones (Nokia, Blackberries – change phones a lot)
11. Part of Laptop (We saved for it – cute no?)
12. Bottles of Perfumes (Seems like I’m cursed with this one)
13. Hand bags (Had some ugly matured ones though..kai)
14. Shoes (Kitten heels – Maka Why! And ah, the cute twin slippers family members decided it was for public use – beefing)
15. Biggest pant (knickers) I have – Mr. I.I
16. Smallest pant (knickers) I have – Mr. I.I
17. Smallest bra I have – Mr. I.I ….(Don’t know what he was thinking)
18. Wristwatches (constant K)
19. Blouses, T-Shirts and Tank Tops (some hideous blouses – it’s a challenge to wear)
20. Jean trousers (Faded – don’t know how new)
21. Night wear (There is one I have worn to shreds…damn too comfy and makes me feel really sexy…hehehe)
22. Running shoes – (I would rather have a personal trainer)
23. Jewelry – (Leo found the box and had a little session with some, sis-moi swept the most recent one into the bin – she denies this allegation with straight face)
24. 1 no. fresh Rose flower (I hated the thought, I loved the gesture – it was romantic *kissed and I tried to preserve it _ No such luck )
25. Ah! Boxers (I steal borrow and don’t return – wearing one as I type)
26. Traditional outfits and Ankara fabrics (traditional outfit looked too serious – like a married woman with 8 children – nah)
27. Eye glasses (Looked like I was trying too hard to be hip and young – gave it out)
28. Weed – admirer (to treat glaucoma for a close relative – I SWEAR I didn’t take it)
29. Chess board – admirer (can’t find it but can play it _ thanks Mr. U)
30. Vintage piece of furniture – bribe from informal recruiter (long story)
31. Sweater (more appropriate name should be furnace)
32. Towel (lovely until you want to wash it – wet blanket is lighter)
P.S – The above list excludes lunches, dinners, cinema dates, air time and driving lessons from my two and a half boyfriends. Items in plural indicate gifts were given on numerous occasions. I may have left out some gifts…perhaps an updated list? If I am jobless again.
Unsolicited advice: Give good gifts _ I do……..it keeps the memory alive. I see some of these things now and remember these men and wonder what life would have been like with them and then again I remember why it was never going to work. Lessons learnt, growing days and forging ahead. I don’t remember measly men as a rule. And while we are still at giving gifts, be wary of men who don’t give gifts because they feel and tell you “you are a rich and independent woman”. Most often than not, they are just there to feel vacuum, waste your time and get what they can from you. Even a rich “independent” woman deserves a real man who will impress and give her meaningful gifts.

While I would like to continue making the list, ‘travel down memory lane’ and give unsolicited advice, I have got to clean and get back to writing the Gentlemen’s Club series. So….drop your comments, your lists and unsolicited advice.

Gentlemen's Club ....Anonymous.Front page

Get the first of the series Here if you haven’t.…consider it as a gift or helping a determined writer raise funds to publish her big book….

I am off to continue cleaning….

Nice week!

Read Gentlemen’s Club Excerpts Here 18+ #Erotica #Suspense #Fiction

What is wrong with being different?

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Hey guys!

It’s been forever! Happy New year! Many more refining years ahead. We will get back to postings and hope to make your days. Starting off, we have Collins Arikor’s article. Enjoy 😀

It seems the world opposes, or even fears, anything perceived to be different from subscribed norms. When people are different or they try to do things differently, they must be ready for opposition. Stories abound, even in Biblical times, of men and women who had contributed so much to the progress of society in almost every conceivable field and yet they had to endure tremendous criticism, judgment and persecution. The reason for such imbalance obviously can be traced to the nature of humans. Anyone who tries to keep all the people happy all the time will never fulfill his/her destiny. Likewise the one who ignores all the people all the time. Everyone born into this world has the same starting point. We all have equal opportunities to either succeed or fail in life. Some others would definitely succeed, while others would end up in defeat and frustration.

No doubt success is a universal desire. It is innately present in every human; everyone yearns for success in one form or the other. Unfortunately, many go about trying to succeed by chasing shadows; chasing the winds. Unquestionably, someone’s success in life should not be dependent on man’s fabricated opportunities, but should be monitored and guided by personal inputs. I don’t spend time listening to growth experts who are not exhibiting any outward sign of growing themselves. They are just propounding theories. Theories and ideas that are probably not workable. Rather, I engage in trying it out, even though I might be laughed at. Let me say this with all humility: we are a people of equal destiny, what distinguishes us is insight.

The future of any endeavor is absolutely bleaks without that extra-ordinary self-confidence in one’s one capabilities and abilities. This is because the quality of confidence, is what ultimately determines the degree of triumph. The criticisms would come in their numbers. Scoffs and jibes would be plenty, but, because being successful is not a seven-day wonder, only self-confidence could drive those ones who would eventually turn out winners. There is always a period of challenges and adversity in life. Endurance, in the form of self-confidence, is the key needed to travail. At various stages of life’s race, challenges may arise but do not give in. It is your duty to resist discouragements when they come. It may not appear to be working today, but by keeping at it, it will surely work tomorrow. Most champions have marks of failure in their past records. But because they refused to remain where they fell, they ended up turning their stories for better.

This discourse certainly cannot be complete without humble reference to one of the greatest minds to tread planet earth: Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin’s story, today, is well-known throughout the nooks and crannies of America and beyond. Even though he had no formal education, Benjamin Franklin was one of the most admired men in the Western world, during the last half of the 18th century. Till this day, Americans still commemorate the Benjamin Franklin Day; a day off in honor of a great brain, which came entirely by personal development. Even when Benjamin Franklin sought to write for his elder brother’s newspaper where he was an apprentice, he was outrightly rejected. He wrote stories anyway, under a pen name, Silence Dogood, a fictional widow who was highly opinionated, particularly on the issue of the treatment of women. “Silence Dogood” later became popular, but that was just the platform Benjamin needed to become successful, for his jealous brother beat him which resulted in his running away. He subsequently started his own printing shop and took over a newspaper, the ‘Pennslyvania Gazzete’ which became a success story in America.

After inventing the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell struggled to come up with the money to make his invention a household name. Particularly, no one really took the invention seriously at first and even his family and friends encouraged him to focus on his improvements on the telegraph instead of that “speaking telephone nonsense.” Today, the world is regarded as a “small village”, largely due to improvements on Graham’s invention.

The point being made here is that being different is the basis for success in life. How a person responds to your actions, and, for that matter, how others respond is really up to you. Life is a race. Anybody can be a winner in life. It takes those who are willing to be different. Champions are not born; they are made. Your desire of becoming a champion starts with the task of identifying the race set before you, and, it inevitably ends with you succumbing to life’s adversities that may present themselves. Dare to be different.

Take charge of your destiny. See you at the top.

This article was submitted by Collins Arikor. He is @CollinsOgo on twitter.

Writer’s Block and what it truly is…WARNING: Reader Discretion is Advised.

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“A Writer’s Block is a fancy phrase to justify absence from writing or simply a case of complete cluelessness” ~ Uneň Ameji

There, I said it! Boom-ba! (Blame Patoranking…..)

So it has been a while since my hasty fingers made contact with these black responsive keys. The clicking sounds, the euphoric feeling of emptying your thoughts, seeing your thoughts come alive and walk on pages’ streets, the magic or absolute chaos created….oh! the rush…..but then, I have been suffering from this condition for only writers – “Writer’s Block”.

It has been a while since I called myself a writer with a straight face or truly meant it – of course I still call myself one when I am in the mood to create an exotic personality that’s increasingly becoming common and embarrassingly cheap – a fact I believe has something to do with free blog sites and freedom to spew rubbish and call it art.

This reminds me of a time free notebooks and pens were given and the cute English Aunt told us to write and draw whatever we wanted to….the outcome as you rightly anticipated……utter rubbish. But the beautiful toothless smiles on faces of the happiest culprits… the greatest writers and artists the world would come to know – the exercise was a memorable one. Fast forward decades later and I am in need of round glasses, bulgy eyes, brown dusty libraries and a secluded writing pad to go with this bold but demanding title….writing is hard work if you did not know…..especially if you regard it serious enough to be good at it.

Now, imagine you are lying down, prepped for surgery on the operating table about to go ‘under’ and the Surgeon walks in, with a solemn look on his pious face, he takes his scalpels and he announces he has just experienced a serious pre-surgical condition called a “Surgeon’s Block” or a Bank Teller can’t get your Cheque cashed because suddenly, he can’t seem to figure out how to confirm the Cheque because he is having a “Teller’s Block”. I am pretty sure the manager will be the next place you’d be stopping and if he has “Manager’s Block?” I pity you.

You see, if we must be taken seriously as writers and not freelance loafers aka twitter fighters with amusing hashtags such as #PayWritersNow #NoMoneyNoWriting #PayBeforeIWrite #SupportWritersOrDie #NeverSayDieTillYouWrite, #MoneyForBankWritersForGround, the phrase “Writer’s Block” must be removed from the words that exist in our writosphere…..yes, I made that up. I am a WRITER. Professionals in all fields do what they have to do because their job or dream is on the line. How about they do what they must to survive and pay bills?! You should know that whether you are comfortable or impressed with what you have written, you should keep writing. After all, No be all the time puff-puff dey dey golden brown.

So again, why do I use the term “Writer’s Block” you ask?

Here are some of my deepest reasons…be nice.

1. To sound interesting and mightily mystical

To be a writer_ unpublished, unknown, unfaced or relatively published_ you have to appear to be soooooo interesting that the next person will feel like if he/she does not appreciate the permutation and combination of the words swimming in your head, the evidence of kryptonic books, articles and poems you have written under intense bible-like inspiration and the rapturous boom ba explosion when you open your mouth to read the book that you painstakingly and haphazardly wrote or give a half-baked speech at TEDx, then life as they know it will cease to exist – literally. Now imagine if this force of nature, this interesting life’s source suddenly experiences an unexplainable condition known as “Writer’s Block”? Oh my!

2. To have opinions that are taken as the absolute truth or nearest in meaning…especially after an episode of “Writer’s Block”
Remember the fanatical twitter fight on who pays tithe, why it should be paid in the first place, to whom it finally reaches and how it mysteriously disappears after you drop it in the divine collection bowls or the bottomless altars? Ok…..just adjust that a little and you will understand why it is absolutely necessary to once in a while experience a condition that is somehow likened to a celestial mandate that must not be understood but swallowed without any form of doubt or stupid questions. No such thing as common sense as to the validity of this tithing “Writer’s Block” celestial mandate.
P.S (Google Tithing and Nigerian Pastors if you have no idea what that is)
3. To impress really fabulous men. Not just any man….a fabulous man who can read!
Okay….so I don’t know if this really works but it had to make the list…..Yes, I like men who can read! It is a turn on huge deal if there is any need for the handshake to go beyond the elbow as Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart would say. Being good at making lies stories up as I breathe, having light bulb moments in traffic or when taking fat ass-splitting dumps in the mornings but finding it difficult and time-consuming to write down these lovely inspirations (forget the writing pad and pen approach – it doesn’t work when I am in serious meeting with Mama Ngozi….na who wan stand up); it therefore becomes fashionably cute to talk about these bright ideas and stories straight from your celestial brain and have no evidence whatsoever in written words. If he asks why it has never made any of your writings (of course he has read some good writings from you), simply roll your eyes and name the most fathomless condition of all time for exotic species – “Writer’s Block”. That should keep him engrossed for a while.
4. To refuse writing gigs for over-bearing, no-paying, rude original article hustlers.
I am hoping the person I coined this reason for doesn’t get to read this…..not because I’m afraid of hurting feelings but because he would get to know the real reason behind my all time favorite excuse – I am having a “Writer’s Block” and will continue to bug my life. Really though, how can I write when I am in this deep black condition? A condition where I’m deaf to my surroundings like in August Rush but somehow orchestrate a masterpiece, a terrible condition where my eyes see nothing – not even the fashionably dressed dude who heavily drops weighty ke-le-be suffering from yellow fever on my right foot. This condition makes my nose lose its ability to smell scents and odor even when overloaded soak-aways are opened right before me and my tongue? It since expired the day I ate fermented rice and cow-piss stew from a food seller who cooks behind a “motel” after an awful episode of hunger bolt struck me – like Samson. Don’t get me started on my fingers…..they experience some strange form of selective rigor motif when it comes near any form of keyboard or pen when it knows I am about to write an article or a book. I am sorry dear but I can’t help that I have this condition – “Writer’s Block”.
P.S (Real Meaning – I don’t ever want to write another article for you ever-ever-ever again. You gete-it?)
5. To enjoy my free time without feeling remorse about lying in bed curled up with a raunchy romantic novel and a large bowl of Ice Cream
And yes, I dey read “ashewo” novel. To you that turn your fat flat nose down on romantic erotic novels….who cares if they had, have, will have sex or made love? Na why I wan read am bifor. I’m going to forget their soppy love scene soon enough _ they get tiring after a while plus I have got bills to pay but then, who says we can’t go hot under our skirts once in a while eh? Hehehe…so where was I? Ahhh! Writer’s Block.
So I flame up this myth, introduce it to my subconscious one time too many and it automatically shuts down all forms of writing process. It also neutralizes guilt at wasting precious time on some other person’s writing rather than creating perhaps an award-winning article or story….God knows I need to win something soon but then again…..maybe this “Writer’s Block” is responsible. We all need a reason not to do what we ought to do.

Seriously though, there are times when a writer truly does not know enough on topics, doesn’t know where to start or how to end or continue an interesting story. Research most times helps or simply read some more! Get looking, keep asking opinions, keep looking…you never know when your next Einstein moment is going to be. Keep writing, second-guess yourself once in a while, praise yourself often too. Writing should not be hard work but it is. It should be rewarding enough to buy a house but sadly it is such a slow process one is often tempted to rip off Chimamanda’s cover pages and just put yours. The truth is you are no writer if you don’t write. Or perhaps a new title is urgently needed?
Pause.
Seasonal Writer
A seasonal writer (n)… person who writes seasonally.

But from me to you, next time you feel like you have hit that imaginary brick wall, write on something else – not your usual genre. You’d be surprise what you’d come up with. It may not be perfect or nearly even good or totally the opposite of what you want to write. You could decide to write your thoughts as you think, write a hypothetical letter to that hypocritical cow person you want dead – don’t just save it in case you have to go to the police station to make a real statement…Ha!…don’t do that but I guess you know what I’m talking about…just write – anything.

Find something that really floats your boat or rides your keke; travel to Osun State and go see a real deity and not just those ones they terrify us with in Yoruba movies or you could check out Mubi in Adamawa State! I heard that’s a fertile ground for award-winning journalism….although I am quite confused as to how the orator for #WhatDoesBHWant has his location as UAE ……..just an observation. Perhaps he is _ was in Mubi but forgot to inform us or he Skype’s with a ‘local’ staff…..either ways, what ‘they’ want is not what we want. If they could just stop abducting, forcefully marrying and raping our girls and women, perhaps we could understand what they want. It is disrespectful to keep abusing the hole place you came out from. For now, nothing matters except the safety of our women and the innocent lives lost in this senseless power tussle.
Phew!
How was that for a breakout from “Writer’s Block” eh?
And most importantly what do you think this piece is? Satire? Or just another proof that I am actually experiencing an exotic writer’s condition known as “Writer’s Block” and just won’t accept it exists? I particularly like the latter option….it confirms the peculiarity of this irreversible condition. I should experience it more often. *Winks*

About Uneň Ameji
A writer and humor-lover, Uneñ has written articles and books focusing on contemporary issues and old school romance. You can download her latest book – Love on the 25th on the Okadabooks App available in PlayStore Global-wide :-D. She tweets as @UnenAmeji on twitter. Check her out on African Stories.

6 most important things to do as a Nigerian Lady before you turn 30 by Arikor Collins

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Hey guys….thought you might like this….first of its kind here but then again, it just might be what we need! This article by Arikor Collins is a reply to a certain Nigerian Girl and it certainly makes an interesting read….have a good time reading it ….and don’t forget to hit the comment button…and the share too 😀

Dear not-yet-30 Nigerian girl,

I duly received your earlier letter asking me what you must do before you turn 30. It was a very expressive letter, though only flawed with a couple of grammatical errors here and there. You are forgiven though, English has never been your father’s language.
Nevertheless, and in response to that, I shall be very brief with what I have to tell you, but if I happen to be long, please bear with me for it is how deeply this issue has touched me for the past three weeks that I’ve been having this argument with a very good friend as to the ‘unprecedented’ achievement of getting married before you turn 30.
I clearly detected the belated and relished tone of your letter. It might seem crazy what I have to say, but I would say it nonetheless. Let me go straight to the point. Forgive my brusqueness and mindlessness in replying you like this, for I’ve never had the ‘golden’ opportunity of experiencing what am telling you myself. So, see below the six most important things you need to do before you turn 30:
1. Marry: Because that is the only way you become complete as human. That is the only route to be acceptable to society. Things would get better if you get married, notwithstanding that your father might be richer than Bill Gates. The institution known as marriage remains the only fundamental basis of your worth as a member of our larger society. Don’t be like those incomplete women who tag themselves ‘feminists’ and ‘independent women’. Those ones parading themselves as independent women or feminists are nothing but some bunch of failed women! They are not truly speaking of the psychological torment they undergo on many sleepless nights when they don’t have any man to warm their beds. So, don’t emulate them. Marry! It doesn’t even matter that you have to throw away your father’s sweet-sounding and much-meaning surname to bear a husband’s own meaningless surname. Haven’t you noticed? the media is majorly overshadowed with subtle, yet powerful messages that being married is the fons et origo of feminine existence. You would constantly be reminded of your flower-like longevity as a woman. That he might be bad-tempered, randy and a serial wife batterer is of no significance. You would even be expected to throw away your own body’s autonomy. And if you are able to miraculously scale the hurdle of being accepted by his family members – most especially his mother and sisters, go to a nearby church and give the highest amount of thanksgiving ever given in that church. Haven’t you noticed that even church messages are heavily furnished with this marriage-mania? “My husband must not pass me by this year,” calls out that church’s crusade banner. “You must receive your heavenly husband by this month!” the preacher would triumphantly declare on radio. “I must get married this year!” the T.V would echo, while reminding you of the 3-day single sisters crusade being organised by the local church. But, that certainly is not the end of the matter, for a mother in-law’s arms were specifically created to rock babies. You know what to do. And where the babies have refused to leave wherever was their initial abode to grace your marriage, quickly go for a spiritual cleansing or to a very potent babalawo who would inquire into unfathomable depths to know what is preventing them from coming. It doesn’t matter the despicable things you have to do in order to have babies. When the babies finally decide to let go off where they initially reside to grace your marriage, and your husband is going about showing off his bloated ego of how he has made you a complete woman, suffer in silence sister. He is right. Lest I forget, remember to give him sons especially, or else mother in-law literally show you hell. Wherever it is you know sons are made, go to any length and give him because that is the only way his ancestry would continue. If you don’t give him sons, he might be publicly scorned, and where that happens, you would bear the brunt of it alone.

2. I said marry: Even though you might never have the slightest iota of ‘love’ for him, don’t worry, just go ahead and pretend as if you love him. Its just a matter of time. With time, you would learn to love him. His roof over your head, his wealth at your beck and his surname that you are now sharing are enough consideration for you to love him. Where’s the place of love in marriages today? After all, you are far better than those old sourpusses spinsters parading themselves as independent women. Those lesbians! Psychological wrecks! Do you know what it means to have your own man – whether he is the type that has hotter-than-fire loins? He might not even get to fulfill your emotional needs, but don’t worry, dear, you are married. That’s all that matters. The sex timetable is according to the frequency of his sexual urge. It is just one ‘fun-less’ boring routine like that. In the middle of the night, his hands would ‘mistakenly’ stray across your breasts. You instantly become awake. You immediately spread your legs as his plaything because you understand. The sex itself is a slapdash, lacklustre affair. When he’s sexually satiated, he rolls over to sleep without bothering to see the furrows of unfulfilled desires stealing over your soul. Don’t ever open your mouth to speak of how unfulfilled you are, sister, or else you would be sent back home to your parents – and consequently bring shame upon your family. Telling of how unfulfilled your emotions and needs are is only done by loose women – women of easy virtues. Or do you want to be labelled a nagging wife? And if he ever forces you to have sex against your will, that is not rape sister. The law backs him for that. He can demand the services of your body anytime he wants. Your body is his to be sated with pleasure. Its his right. It doesn’t affect him in the least that you might be famished after a tedious day nor that some ‘unhappy’ and ‘envious’ ones in the guise of feminism are advocating for your own rights, too.
3. You should marry: Even though you might be the one single-handedly feeding and housing the able-bodied man and your children from the meager salary you receive or the little business profits you’ve managed to pool, don’t bother sister. Just bear and pretend everything is perfect. Its just for the now. Even if tomorrow he gets a job and decides not to do his own duties of providing for the family as the head of the house again by making Madam Vero’s beer parlor as his place of permanent abode, don’t worry, just go ahead and continue doing the husband’s work, that’s marriage. Its for better or worse – however for better or worse as it suits the husband. He might even come back at 1am and is heavily smelling of a woman’s cologne – you knew this because he bought you the same type on your last birthday. She (side chick) might have even suggested he buy it as your birthday present – but don’t worry sister, he’s a man and would always be one. Bottom line is you are married. In any case, just remember to make ready your body for the night, in case the stud hasn’t gotten enough feel of his extra-marital concubines. Should you complain to a senior, more experienced wife, she would duly tell you of how men are lords in our society. “Don’t you address him as my lord?” she would coldly ask. That settles it. And when you meet the pastor in your perturbed state, he would joyfully tell your sorrow-laden soul that Mark 10:9 has finalized your case. i.e, “What God has joined together, let no man, trouble, pain, predicament, suffering (the list goes on) put asunder. He would quickly point out the bible portion in Ephesians 5:21-24, which requires you to submit to your husband, while stressing how important it is for you to be humble, gentle, and tolerant of your husband’s unsavory behavior. And where your confused mind is still seeking for more explanation, he would gladly guide you to 1st Timothy 2:11-12 which says, “Women should learn in all silence and humility; I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men, they must keep quiet.” (Good News Bible).
4. Marry: Or if you don’t, there would be a very big problem. A very big problem. When at Tessy’s baby shower or Amina’s birthday party, and you listen to all the old girls effortlessly and endlessly mouthing out the ‘heavenly’ bliss their marriage has thus far fruited, you would become heartbroken I assure you. Even the mannish Amaka, whose hair was always cut short, and had little or no feminine charms would join in the gossip to point out your odd-one-out status as the only non-married member remaining from secondary school because she happened to have joined the league of married women. A bevy of them all, praising to high heavens their perfect marriage. However, Susan would never tell that the week-old bruises she’s manfully wearing were administered by her abusive husband, nor would Stella ever tell of how her ten-year old son, Junior, is gradually turning into a full-time thief by ‘taking’ money from her purse and throwing a class-break snacks bash for his friends, nor would Vicky tell of her pubertal daughter’s well-known shameful conduct of being a runs girl, nor would even Jumoke tell of her well-known he-goat of a husband’s widely circulated rumor of impregnating 5 different women. They would only be telling of how wonderful and heavenly their respective families have been. You would become a mental wreck after listening to them and you don’t have your own husband. You see, there’s no problem with you having your own impish ‘Junior’ or a reprehensible character as a daughter. It’s just a mere price to pay for being married. You are far off better than any unmarried, and of course, unhappy spinster. It doesn’t matter the near-death experience of childbirth nor the fact that you’ve turned into a constant HBP in-patient of the nearby hospital for time without end because you happen to be a mother of stubborn children. Just marry. That’s all that counts.
5. Yes, marry: You are getting to 28 and you happen to be of the Igbo ethnic affiliation and no male homo sapiens is showing the slightest interest in you, do you want all your father’s ‘investment’ on your head to become a waste, if you don’t get married? Your mother would not longer hide her disdain for you remaining in her own house to share her husband with her. Just go out and marry anything. More so if you are of Bini customary origin and you are getting close to 25, 26 or 27 and no suitor is knocking on your father’s door, then my sister, that wicked old witch in your village really needs to be appeased. For beyond 30, your bride-price starts depreciating. You are of the Muslim stock and your father unceremoniously announces that you would be married off to Alhaji Danladi, you grandfather’s age-mate, immediately you turn 18. Alhaji Danladi already has 3 wives, but because you have been betrothed to him when you were born and Islam allows a man to have as many wives he wants (can control), you must marry him whether you like it or not. Don’t complain sister, just go ahead and play a subservient handmaid role in Alhaji’s house, because that’s what you would end up being. Alhaji being the omnipotent master. It doesn’t even matter that you might be in your 2nd year in the University then. And if by chance you ‘mistakenly’ like one very good non-Muslim boy in your class, don’t ever increase the mistake by falling in love with him, or else you would spell doom for yourself and your remaining sisters. Because your father would construe such ‘irresponsible’ conduct to be the ugly fruits of sending a girl to school, and thus would stop sending your other sisters to school. “Haven’t I said it that nothing good comes out of that their western education when given to girls? The girls would only turn out to become disobedient and rebellious to their parents!” He would angrily thunder in a family meeting. And all his 3 wives -your stepmothers – would speechlessly nod their approval in unison. It is inimical of a properly brought-up Muslim girl, they would all echo in their hearts. And you that your parents happen to be far down the rungs of societal ladder, or they are even classless, you are excused for getting married (or being auctioned off, to put it appropriately) to 60-year old Oga Monday at 14.
6. Last of all, you need to be married before you get to 30 sister. By all means marry! The reason is simply because marriage is the be-all and end-all of your existence as a woman in our society. Marriage is the subsistence of your societal standing. Society has made it so. It doesn’t matter that you’ve gone to school and learnt, learnt, learnt and acquired all the certificates in the world and you are now emitting book, book, book all about you. It would all end up in the house of something that parades himself as a man. It doesn’t sound okay to us that you labured to get a very good PhD. added to your name, without bearing ‘Mrs’. You see, when you write your name as Dr. Prof. Miss Tope Williams, the ‘Miss’ doesn’t fit at all. That you might have been a first-class student is of no consequence to us if you don’t end up married. If you happen to be reading this private letter and you are a Nigerian lady getting close to 30 and not yet married, sister, the witches and wizards in your village are seriously at work. Its time to visit that prayer house, native doctor or white-garment church. Let your prayer point all through be, “God, give me my own husband this year.” And if the lascivious prophet suggests that you personally come for a personal deliverance by 11pm in his bedroom or a spiritual bath at the nearby stream by 12 midnight, don’t worry sister. Its all for the good of getting married. It doesn’t matter that he gets a first-hand taste of what you are preserving for your future husband. After all, the thing has no meter. So just marry. Marry anything at all that happens to label himself a man even though he might not have the slightest inkling of what manhood is about.

The greatest barometer, as far as our society is concerned, is whether at the end of all your endeavors as a woman, you have a husband to ‘gloriously’ crown your efforts. Therefore, if on the voyage called life and on the path to greatness, you perchance forgot to marry along the line before you clock 30, you should be gravely sad and depressed for life should not be worth living in your case. Well, I think that’s about it for now. Until then, thank you for your understanding.

Yours Solemnly,
Arikor Collins Ogonnaya,
@CollinsOgo.

Do you agree with Collins? Let’s know what you think.

Arikor Collins Ogonnaya is Nigerian Writer and blogger. He tweets as @CollinsOgo. Feel free to “attack” him there…:D