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EP3 – What Nigerian men really want Before I go into any sort of detail, let me begin by saying I feel a lot of Nigerian men think they know what they want…until they have it and then they realize … Continue reading
Are you thinking of travelling to a place where you can sunbathe in scorching temperatures close to 40 degrees centigrade this Christmas? Are you looking for a place where you can enjoy delicious African cuisine, ice-cold beer, and transportation for less than $1? Are you looking for a place with zero snow, zero earthquakes, zero hurricanes, zero volcanic eruptions and zero riots? Are you looking for a haven where everyone who serves calls you Chairman (or Madam, as the case may be) and treats you like royalty? Then look no further – Nigeria is your ideal travel destination!
Nigeria is a vibrant counrty which is located in West Africa close to the equator and boasts of a population of about 150 million people – but never fear, there’s plenty more room for tourists! One of the great things about my country is the warm reception you get when you arrive at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, literally. There is no air-conditioning. Whilst you wait for your luggage on the ‘sushi’ conveyor belt, the blistering heat helps you to burn a few calories and to prepare you adequately for the sunny outdoors.
When you exit the international airport don’t be alarmed by the eager unlicensed taxi-drivers who grab your luggage – they’re only trying to help ease your burden. They may want to test whether you’re familiar with the Nigerian way by charging you like they would an aristocrat. All you have to do is to start your negotiation at half his price and work from there. They may also want to engage you in some ‘small-talk’ because we’re generally very chatty people. Do take advantage and get to know the hotspots around town so you can plan the best way to enjoy your stay. There’s a whole range of hotels to choose from, depending on your taste and your budget.
After you’ve had a good night’s rest in your air-conditioned room and enjoyed a generous helping of yam and egg-stew at your affordable hotel, you will be ready to hit the road (or hit the bed again if you had too much yam). Make sure you carry along a bottle of cold water to hydrate yourself during the course of the hot day. Getting from A to B is easy. Go to the nearest bus stop and listen carefully to the destination being screamed out by the bus conductor – otherwise, your 3-minute journey into the next town could become a 3-hour journey into the next state. Alternatively you can save a lot of money by just waiving your hand at the oncoming commercial motorcylists and shouting ‘Okada’. You’ll soon be whizzing through traffic jams whilst enjoying the humid breeze.
The first sensible place for you to go to would be one of our many hospitals. Why? You would need to get anti-malaria treatment so that you’re rest assured of not having a restless holiday. If your’re squeamish about taking injections then there’s tablets that the doctor can prescribe. Pre-treatment is far more recommended than buying a couple of Baygon or Raid sprays and fighting an uneven battle with the non-relenting population of mosquitoes. Wear long trousers at night when you’re outdoors if you want to keep those legs spotless and to avoid being mistaken for a former military officer with an involuntary reflex – ‘Attention!’.
There’s so much to see and to do, especially if you’re in Lagos. If you’re in its capital, Ikeja, there are many malls and eateries that could entice you. If you decide to go to Victoria Island you could tour The Third Mainland Bridge – the longest bridge in Africa. You could also see the magnificent toll gate structures at Lekki Phase 1 and these should be operational by the time you make your way over to Lagos so get your petty cash ready. The are so many shopping complexes and food markets boasting of unique bargains so I’m very confident you’ll find something worthwhile to buy (Remember the 100:50 pricing rule!).
There is a sense of security in Nigeria as you will notice the unprecedented number of checkpoints virtually every 5 miles of your journey by road. We even have a saying, ‘Police is your friend’. They may stop your vehicle but all you have to do is smile, stay calm, lock your doors and ignore any requests other than producing your driving licence and vehicle particulars. That said, some habits you may want to abstain from (but are by no means limited to) include: Walking in dark alleys late at night whilst talking on your mobile phone; Arguing with a gang of drunk Man U fans when you’re clearly a fan of the opposition and; urinating on walls that have ‘DO NOT URINATE HERE’ boldly printed on them.
You would be surprised to learn that our internet connectivity has gone from ’good’ to ‘good grief!’ but recently the introduction of Wi-fi has elevated the browsing experience by a big notch. Just ask your hotel receptionist for the password and you’re wired in. And for those Blackberry users most of our telecom providers have made affordable BIS available to the pubilc. You don’t have to carry so much foreign currency since there are Mallams in the black market who could strike a good deal, although I would recommend dealing with banks as they do not exhibit normadic behaviour. Most of the retail outlets in the city have Point of Sale terminals which accept foreign credit cards…point of correction, foreign VISA and Mastercard credit cards. Sales assistants call the attention of supervisors and delay you when they see an American Express card.
Do try any of our renowned beaches which include the critically-acclaimed Bar Beach, the breathtaking Tarkwa Bay, the mysterious Alpha Beach and the mesmerizing Eleko beach. Nigerians know how to party too. You have a choice of painting the town red at any of the nightclubs on the island or mainland – yes, we uphold the ‘Happy hour’ tradition but not so much the ‘Dancing on the bar’ tradition. But if you’re more interested in souvenirs then you can find ethnic memorobilia in City Mall, Ikoyi if you want to leave Nigeria with a traditional caftan or blouse and wrapper. Our array of woven head gear is also a must if you are going for that regal look. By the time you’ve maxed out your credit cards, gained a tan and picked up a bit of the lingo, also known as ’pidgeon english’, you’ll be sad that you had to leave.
This is the unique experience that awaits you. This is the life that so many expats enjoy but may be keeping from you.
This is My Nigeria
Last Saturday I got a taste of what I wanted early retirement to feel like. I was whisked off by speed boat to a secluded beach house not far from Ikoyi motor boat club in Lagos Island. My party of friends were a crazy bunch whom all had busy, demanding jobs. This was our chance to let loose and party…hard.
We had a DJ onboard and there was enough alcohol to open up a mini bar. There was spicy barbecue turkey with a variety of sauces for dipping. We were about 20 people in total, both men and women, and most of us came prepared with swimming gear to test the nearby pool.
The beach house had two floors all made of solid dark chocolate coloured wood. Nobody stayed on the ground floor though. The action was upstairs where the DJ set up shop and blasted tunes from Hip hop greats to Local legends. The top floor had a mini bar (empty on arrival of course) and a balcony with five single foldable beds to savour the ocean view. There were also two open bedrooms with single beds. There was a centre table with colorful plastic chairs. The toilets and shower rooms were downstairs next to the beach house, along with the barbecue stand. It was indeed a sight to behold.
We commenced drinking at about 1.30pm and danced for the first hour before some of us decided to disengage for other activities. Some went to play volleyball in the swimming pool, some went for a walk along the beach shore, and some others went to check out swords being sold by a scary looking Northern Nigerian warrior (bizarre, I know).
There was dancing, drinking, laughing, swimming, jumping, singing, hugging and posing. We took so many pictures and recorded quite a few crazy videos which I would only upload if given general consent. I made some new friends and got a few more blackberry contacts. Something tells me this won’t be the last encounter. Enjoy the slide show!
Last year the build up to Christmas was the dullest I’d ever seen in Lagos. There were all the usual antics of course: Some shop owners hiring breakdancing clowns (complete with the colourful make-up and the ridiculous jumpsuits) and strategically placing them right outside their shops in order to lure in/annoy customers (I don’t know); Street hawkers in the scorching sun wearing red & white santa hats and selling the same to drivers stuck in traffic (as if seeing ‘red’ would help in that heat); A few live rams and goats seen stuffed into (but still hanging out of) half-opened car boots on their way to being slaughtered (Animal Cruelty laws don’t apply in Nigeria); Battle of the Banks as each compete to put up the most blinding Christmas light display on their respective bank branches (more glare for night drivers means possibly more accidents); Christmas hampers including such items as Non-alcoholic wine, Digestives, St.Louis Sugar and a bottle of groundnuts all packaged for N20,000/$133/80GBP (rip off!!!) etc. Like I said, just the usual antics you’d expect to see in Lagos around this time.
Well if you’re not in Lagos you’d probably be curious to know how things are faring so far this year. For starters, the public’s attention has been diverted to the upcoming National Elections in March 2011. Campaigns are being aired on TV 24/7, usually featuring some Nigerian artists or actors singing some cheesy jingle e.g. “No vote for Bad Luck, vote for GoodLuck!” (N.B- that’s the last name of our current president). As a matter of fact, I can’t recall hearing any Christmas song on the local TV stations till now.
And in the race to extinction I don’t know who will make it first – Koala bears or Christmas cards. I’m not talking about cards online (more commonly referred to as ‘E-cards’) but the old-fashioned, cardboard/paper-based ones. I remember when I still lived with my parents we’d get up to 200 Christmas cards, 3 gigantic hampers and a live turkey. A few years later the turkey dropped off. A few years after that the hampers stopped coming and then the Christmas cards being issued dropped gradually – as at last year my parents got about 20 cards between them. It seems the new trend is the use of impersonal text messages to send Christmas greetings/prayers. I say ‘impersonal’ because the message is usually a forwarded message from another contact (and your name is usually not included in the message so that proves my point). Last year I got more Christmas text messages than I got cards and phone calls combined. Besides that, most homes didn’t bother to put up Christmas decorations or trees. What is this city coming to???
Don’t even get me started on Christmas presents! I once heard a wise man say, ‘You have to give in order to receive’. My take however is that the wise man is probably not respected in Lagos because I didn’t see a lot of giving last year. Truth is, I saw a bit of rationing. One of my past employers, as a Christmas bonus, would give employees bags of rice. In my first year of employment I got a full bag of rice. In the second year I got half a bag. Last year nobody was given rice. What was to blame? The recession? That excuse is getting pretty lame.
Thank God I’m an optimist. It’s been a great year for me – more good news than there has been bad news (knocks wood). I think I’ve been a good boy too this year so Santa might just send me a few prezzies this season (crosses fingers). But unless I don’t see a drastic change in the Christmas spirit in Lagos which appears to be fast fading into oblivion, then I’m afraid I’d have to go to Ghana or something (at least there will be constant power supply, Woo-hoo!)
In the course of work and life in general I have come across some statements that are concise yet powerful. The implication of such verbal statements is usually what deters the recipients from challenging them in the first place. I have been at the receiving end of some of such statements and I have also gotten accounts from friends about short statements that can send shudders down the spine of the average Nigerian. I took it upon myself to dig deep into my past experiences plus those of others and decided to share some of my observations with a few illustrations:
1. The economy is still suffering the aftermath of the global meltdown and everyone is struggling to make ends meet. You arrive at the office one day and notice that all your colleagues looking deeply worried about something. You dare to ask and then one of them whispers to you and says ‘They’re sacking staff’. Now you’re not sure whether your precious job is going to be yours much longer. Everyday is like a game of Russian Roulette and you consider joining some of your colleagues in ‘Brown-nosing’ your boss.
2. Imagine you are driving back late at night from work and you are stuck in traffic. You decide to wind down your windows for some air (because on this particular day there happens to be a petrol strike, remember?) but you failed to notice a motorcycle coming from behind with two suspicious passengers on board. The next thing that happens is that the passenger at the back of the bike grabs your neck through the window opening and says ‘Bring your bag’ or ‘Bring your phone’ or ‘Bring your chain’ or ‘Bring your wallet’. In your presumed state of shock you have no choice but to comply. You look around for someone to come to your rescue but all the other drivers in the traffic jam are busy winding up their own windows (as they are actively learning from your ongoing experience). After your ordeal those are three words you’d never forget.
3. You are just arriving in London after a succession of disappointing runs with the British Embassy in Lagos whilst trying to obtain a visa. You are standing in line with the other passengers waiting to check out of the Immigration point. You are already thinking about all the gear you’re going to spend your traveller’s cheques on when suddenly a hefty Immigration officer sneaks up to you and says ‘Step aside, please’. It’s embarrassing. It immediately puts you on the defensive since you are 100% certain at that point that you are not guilty of anything. What’s worse is watching some of the ‘holier-than-thou’ passengers shake their heads as you are escorted off to a nearby interrogation room for some grilling.
4. You’ve had a long, hard day at the office and you’re looking forward to closing time. You decide to call a colleague whose had a head start on the road and you want to get a traffic update since he/she is on a similar route home. The response you get is ‘There is go-slow’ (Go-slow is a popular term in Nigeria which is a substitute for the word ‘Traffic’). You’re mood changes. You become restless because you can already feel the body aches and tense muscles from 3 hours of driving nowhere fast.
Please note that not all the experiences are mine but they are all true. Also, this is by no means an exhaustive list so if you have any dreaded ‘three-worded statements’ which you or others wouldn’t like to hear then you can share them here
Gone are the days when I used to enjoy the luxury of living only 15mins away from my office. I would wake up at 7.00am, take a shower before leaving my flat at 7.15, and then I’d be in my office by 7.30am (resumption time). With my new job I live about 1hr away…when there’s no traffic, but 3hrs when I’m on my way back home during rush hour. A couple of things have suffered with this recent change: My biceps and triceps got smaller; my alarm clock and I are no longer on speaking terms; my blog developed cobwebs; and more importantly, I have developed an eating disorder…well, let’s just say I don’t eat in any particular order anymore.
3-square meals are usually the norm when it comes to daily food consumption. However, the diet of the average banker in Lagos is rather different. Most bachelors eat at least twice a day – one outdoor meal from the local canteen and a home-cooked meal. Married men however may eat just one heavy meal at night since its in their best interest not to piss their wives off. The result? Pot belly. I currently fall into the bachelor category (phew!) but dare I say the content of my meals may raise a few eyebrows:
Morning – Rice, beans and plantain (as early as 8.30am!)
Afternoon – A sausage roll (The Superbite brand)
In between – Fried Yam with pepper sauce, plantain chips
Evening – Bowl of cereal and/or a packet of noodles (Indomie Chicken flavour, of course)
I am well aware of the fact that this diet (eaten 5days a week) is not a balanced diet. It is a banker’s diet. Once in a while I throw in the odd stewed vegetables and an apple with some almonds but generally there’s little time to eat. Eating outdoors all the time is very risky. Bankers in Lagos could probably tell you a few of their food-poisoning stories. There have been instances of stooling and even Typhoid inflicted on unsuspecting bankers who patronized canteens with suspicious water supplies. The cost of such food is part of the allure. At 100 Naira (less than 50 pence/75 cents) you could have a meal of rice or beans that could keep you going for the next 4hrs. And don’t get me started on the inevitable addiction to energy drinks loaded with abnormal amounts of caffeine. Coffee is so 80s now…
I’m trying to find the balance I once had so I’m faced with 3 choices – Get yet another job and location OR Get familiar with just one outdoor meal source and stick to it OR Get married! (at least the fear of getting a pot belly would probably encourage me to do more exercise, which would equally restore my biceps and triceps to their former glory :D)
‘Forgive me O blog, for I have sinned. Its been a month and 2days since my last posting. I can’t wait for this (World) cup to pass over me…aaahhh…Bafana bafana Vuvuzela bafana bafana…MessiOzilAsamoahVillaVillaKakakakakaSchneider! ‘
Ok, I’ve got WC fever and I still haven’t managed to pick up my dropped-jaw since watching the recent knock-out stages. Who would’ve thought that Brazil would be out in the quarter-finals??? Who would have thought they would have been beaten by the Netherlands??? Who could have predicted that Argentina wouldn’t make it to the semis??? I love a ’Winning’ mentality but did the Germans really have to annihilate the Argentines with a 4-0 score line? Did Suarez (Paraguay) suddenly forget what sport he was playing and decide to pull-off what appeared to be a Volleyball lay-up in obstructing Ghana’s goal??? Have the poor decisions of the referees and linesmen in this tournament been as a result of the distracting chats on their Blackberries??? Is England ever going to make it to the Finals???
There are so many questions left unanswered but its obvious that nothing in life is certain (except Death and Taxes of course). In Tennis, Roger Federer got the shock of his life when he was ousted by Tomas Berdych (a great underachiever) in the QF at Wimbledon, bearing in mind that Roger has previously made it to the Finals 8years in a row. But back to the WC, I would love to know what kind of Energy drink the German squad is drinking – It sure as hell makes my Red Bull seem like 100% decaffeinated coffee. At the very least I wonder if they would fail a drug test…or has that been overlooked in this tournament like England’s disallowed goal? I must say that the Germans have shown that Youth is very key in your game plan. Experience goes a long way too but that can be inserted in little bursts (in the guise of the older professionals) during play. All the critics who said the German Coach was insane to bring a bunch of ‘inexperienced’ players to the WC are still recovering from indigestion as a result of eating their own words. You can never write-off the Germans in any WC. They are clinical in their execution of set-pieces, passes, and free kicks. Scoring 4 goals, each in 3 matches, is no feat that Brazil, Argentina, Spain or Italy could achieve. Germany is the hot favourite to win the WC this time around I pray I’ll have some fingernails left after their match with Spain.
I’ve seen a lot of grown men cry over the last few weeks…both on and off the football pitch, and in severe cases some have died from heart attacks. It has been emotional indeed. On the other hand, what baffles me in Nigeria is that an estimated N900m (close to $6m) was spent in preparing our team for the WC. I didn’t see where that money went though (kinda like the Blair Witch Project (1999) which took in $140m at the box office but only costed $25,000 to make!). Like Nigeria (and the no.1 Fifa-rated Brazil) the English team needs a complete overhaul. Young blood and raw talent moulded by a focused and experienced Manager (of any nationality but whom is ready to learn English if necessary) could probably help England end their 4-decade WC drought.
Well, it won’t be long till the WC final and then the world’s nerves can be steadied (only for another 4years by the way). May the best team win!
It is the year 2010 and 3 things are definitely set to rise in Nigeria: The sale of generators, the tension over our missing president (over 4 months now and counting), and the population of mosquitoes. Yes, these good-for-nothing insects have swarmed the earth since the time of the dinosaurs and specifically the anopheles mosquitoes have been responsible for carrying the deadly malaria parasite which kills thousands of africans up to this day. Well, I decided a few days ago (after a couple of extremely itchy and sore mosquito bites on my arms and legs) to get lethal.
I stopped by my local supermarket on my way back from work and roamed the isles looking for the most effective insect repellent (especially the triple action variety to suit my usual uninvited guests – mosquitoes, ants and cockroaches). My choices were: Mobil (I thought these guys specialized in oil exploration!); Rambo (just because it sounds lethal and has a red bandana on the letter ‘O’ doesn’t mean its a one-man one-can killing machine!) Raid (Now here’s something thats a proven hit but the smell is absolutely horrendous…think Nail Varnish Meets Burning Incense!); Baygon (Oh yeah baby! Effective with a clinical but bearable smell…this is definitely the bees knees. Time to cop me some mosquito heads).
I arrived my flat with a sinister grin as I walked up my flight of stairs. I walked through the corridor into my living room and proceeded to the mosquito zone; my bedroom. If Stanley Kubrick was still alive he would probably agree that my barging into the room (brandishing a trusted can of insecticide) was a Shining moment indeed as I blurted out ‘Heeeere’s Baygon!’. I shook the can a few times as instructed and sprayed every last inch of that room till the can was almost empty. And there was silence. The air was misty. Strangely enough I heard a tiny but distinct cough coming from under my bed so I pulled out a nearby torchlight and went on all fours. To my surprise I it was a mosquito…a dying mosquito. But how was I able to hear it cough? Or did I just fly over the cuckoo’s nest???
Mosquito: ‘Is it not enough that you suffocate me with these poisonous fumes? (cough) (cough) and now you want to finish me off with a torchlight? What are you going to do? Blind me to death too? Look I don’t have much time left…but there is something you should know. There is a deadly toxin coursing through your veins. The antidote is in my belly but you have to extract it with a syringe before I die or else…game over!
Me: Er…isn’t that something you just made up after watching the SAW movie?
Mosquito: You got me! Good movie, isn’t it?
Me: Huh?… Tell me, what is your purpose on earth?
Mosquito: We were put on earth by God to control the population levels, I suppose. Do YOU know what your purpose on earth is?
Me: Hey, I’ll be asking the questions here. You spread diseases, leave itchy bites and hum in my ear while I’m asleep. Quite frankly, you suck!
Mosquito: You said it, Einstein. I suck…blood, that is. And fortunately for you mosquitoes can’t harbour the HIV virus. Your species would long have been wiped out. But there’s something else we’re planning…
Me: We? You mean the rest of you mosquitoes?
Mosquito: Aren’t you the smart one, eh!. We are many and we will soon descend on you all like a plague. There will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. There will be blood…
Me: That’s it. I’ve heard enough.
There I was being threatened by a sarcastic, little insect about a possible mosquitogeddon. I shook what was left in the can and drowned the mosquito in a pool of insecticide spray. It choked, and its abdomen stopped moving. I went to bed that night and a few hours later I could hear a humming in my ear again but this time it was audible and this is what I heard, to my horror
… ‘Weeee’re baaaack!’
Note to self: Should have bought Rambo
First of all I would like to congratulate you on your recent promotion transition from Vice President of Nigeria to Acting President. As much as I would like to see Yar’Adua recover from his illness I’m sure you would like to capitalize on make the most of this unique opportunity thrusted upon you.
Jonathan, things are progressively getting worse in the economy. In case you didn’t notice, the just-concluded fuel scarcity crises lasted for nearly a month! The queues have caused traffic and road rage. Worse yet, the black market sold the fuel (sometimes contaminated or watered down) at exhorbitant prices. What did Yar’Adua do? Nothing. What did YOU do? Nothing.
Electricity supply isn’t getting better either. Yar’Adua promised electricity generation of 6000 megawatts by December 2009. Today Nigeria is only generating 2900 megawatts. The consequence – some companies have moved their operations out of the country and the rest of us have resorted to using noisy generators and wasting more fuel in the process…even adding to air pollution and endangering our young ones with the fumes. What has Yar’Adua done? Nothing. What have YOU done? Nothing.
I don’t know if during the President’s unauthorized sick leave you have been trying to calm the the unrest in the Niger Delta region. What have you really been doing with all your time? I’m sure I’ve come across you on Facebook somewhere but now is the time to make your legacy felt. You’re the acting president but may I remind you that (assuming Yar’Adua kicks the bucket) you’ll only have until May 2011 to make any changes to the economy.
Like you, I am an Ijaw man and I expect that you will give a good impression of our tribe. This is your chance to make history in Nigeria. Have a vision. Take a cue from Obama if you have to. Give Nigerians a reason to want to see you stay in power. Look at Mandela’s case – Today marks 20years since he was freed from prison and the world honours and adores him. That could be you so get off your ass behind and do something meaningful and don’t depend on Yar’Adua’s return. All this didn’t happen by accident.
I hope you will consider all that I’ve said and start making plans to re-energize this economy. The country is behind you. More oil grease to your elbow and goodluck! (no pun intended).
The Crazy Nigerian
P.S – I will not accept your Facebook Friend request until I start seeing some results.
There’s something about the suffix ‘ist‘ that just really leaves a bad taste in my mouth – words like Racist, Facist, Schauvinist, etc. But just as my country is desperately trying to bleach out the stubborn stain of corruption from its reputation some Nigerian decides to give America a reason to tag us ‘terrorists’.
First of all, the American government’s decision gives me cause to tag them ‘extremists’. But that aside history has shown that Nigeria and its indigines have shown more interest in making money. Subdivide that and then you have those who choose to make money legally and those who want to make (quick) money illegally. This second group are commonly known as fraudsters or con artists. In recent times they have been taking advantage of the technological age and all those who’ve been less fortunate to grasp it in its ever increasing pace. In Nigeria we have just as many victims as there are perpetrators of online fraud alone. Setting one’s pants/trousers on fire to detinate an explosive substance doesn’t quite appeal to the average Nigerian – I mean, what exactly is the pay off?
If I’m to be really objective about how possible it is for Nigerians to be branded ‘terrorists’ then I’d say that in the northern region of Nigeria there have been some acts of terror so to speak. Extremist muslims, or to put it mildly, religious fanatics who’ve taken their belief too far and decided to impose it on the rest of us – refusal to which you could (but not necessarily) expect a Jihad a.k.a certain death to the unbelievers…the sinners…the obstacles that separate them from their eternal paradise. Be it as it may the fact remains that these religious wars take place within Nigeria and may well take place anywhere else in the world. Perhaps all it takes is just one terrorist act committed by a non-citizen of a country and then that citizen’s country gets to be labelled a Terrorist. I didn’t come across that in anywhere in the American constitution or in any constitiution for that matter!
Probably the mere presence of the word ‘Terrorist‘ in this article and the recurrence of the word over 10times (and remember, straight from a computer located in Nigeria) is sending the American Intelligence into a frenzy. All I need to do now is google for cheap flight tickets to Yemen and I bet the CIA will be on red alert. Don’t forget my blog title, Nigerian Interrupted, is not helping matters either!
In ‘other news’, I want to make reference to one of the biggest con artists in Nigeria to have been exposed by the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – a Nigerian Govt organization). She is the former MD of Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru, who embezzled bank funds and acquired…wait for it…N399bn worth of assets all around the world (www.thisdayonline.com). She has property, estates and shares mostly in fictitious company names and also in some of her relative’s names. Nigerian con artists have been in the game for as long as I can remember. I personally doubt that we’ll see another Nigerian terrorist plane bomber anytime in the next decade.
…And one final point: if anyone wants to point the dreaded finger of blame at the muslim community, the American Airline, or the radicals in Yemen, then think hard about what role the parents played (or avoided) in nuturing Mullatab (talk about a Nigerian interrupted indeed) and monitoring his behaviour. I blame the parents, period.
Well how can I forget September 2008 when my bank was having its financial year end (which in the Nigerian Banking industry means every bank starts to scramble around for large money deposits in order to claim the no.1 spot for having the largest liability base…the grand prize being that you get to keep your job!).
I remember how fellow colleagues would genuinely fall ill with stress, some with high blood pressure, and why? All because they got SMS/text messages at odd hours of the day (including weekends) from bosses who taunt them to AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE current accounts and fixed term deposits or to REALIZE GROWTH in their account portfolio. I remember when each week would be inundated with impromptu meetings – meetings with other bank branches’ marketing team and their respective managers. Such gruelling sessions were like the ‘Show and Tell’ in Elementary/Primary School…only, you were showing to the whole audience how you planned to leap from a balance sheet of N100m (One Hundred Million Naira) to N250m in under 3weeks. I remember the tall tales marketing staff used to tell…stories of fat cheques that were due the following week…and then the following week…and then the following week. I remember how they had to defend their jobs by justifying why they should still be paid their salary.
I remember how the boldest and most confident of marketers would suddenly be reduced to a bucket of nerves as they stuttered through their cock and bull Deposit Mobilization strategies. Of course their bosses were quick to ridicule and threaten them with a letter of displeasure – that’s a prelude to a sack, in simple English. I remember how some marketers avoided the subsequent meetings especially when the millions they promised the previous week never materialized. Oh, how I remember how some banks would accept to pay to willing Fixed Deposit customers outrageous rates well above that of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and in some cases staff would make up the interest difference from their own personal funds to pay to the oblivious, greedy customer. I remember the pressure got so much that you could cut the tension in bank branches with a knife. You were almost driven to the point of holding customers at gunpoint just so they took you more seriously and coughed out the millions that we so stupidly thought they were hiding at home under their matresses.
I remember how some marketing staff would encourage their known customers to move funds from competitor banks into ours. Even worse was when a branch within the bank moved funds from another bank branch, meaning the bank as a whole wasn’t actually growing but suffering a bout of indigestible cannibalization of accounts. I remember hearing stories of female marketers who would ‘stoop so low’ just to get a measly million into their account portfolio…and in some unfortuante cases were given dud cheques: a classic Lose-Lose situation.
I remember how the month would draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag and your demanour was truly tested. Some who couldn’t take the heat or the humiliation any longer dropped their resignation letters and stayed at home waiting for the grass to get greener somewhere else…anywhere else. I remember how some skilled marketers would turn on the waterworks when a customer came into the branch to make a portfolio-shattering withdrawal in this ‘ember’ month. I remember how I almost uttered to my superior ‘What are YOU doing to ensure that we grow our deposit base? Show me YOUR prospect list! How much money have YOU brought today? How many phone calls have YOU made? Why should the bank still be paying YOUR salary???’ I remember it all too well and now I have another 13days to go before I can even begin to forget September 2009. “Lord, give me strength…”
The hottest news that is sweeping the country (Nigeria) right now is the recent sacking of 5 Managing Directors by the governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Yes, the end was nigh for the fraudulent five on 14th August 2009 at a monthly meeting held in Abuja. I like to think of the whole ordeal as something straight out of The Apprentice…with Sanusi staring down at the MDs through his spectacles sternly and then shouting and pointing suddenly going, ‘ YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU AAAAAND ESPECIALLY YOU WITH THE PRIVATE JET..YOU’RE ALL FIRED! NOW GET THE F*** OUT OF MY OFFICE!!!’
Did those MDs see this coming? (Doubt it). Did those MDs deserve this? (Hell yeah!) Does anyone disagree with Sanusi’s actions? (Who the bloody hell cares? Its too late crying over spilt milk anyway). The banks in question were amongst 10 that were ‘stress’ tested to see whether, put simply, they would be able to pay up if per chance all their respective customers were to demand for their money all at once. Those banks are off the Nigerian stockmarket for obvious reasons.Meanwhile, there’s another 14 banks left to be tested so there’ll be a lot of fingernail clippings in the waste-bins of those MDs.
A Nigerian newspaper disclosed that there were hints of further shake-ups in the banking industry. Customers and bankers alike are all kind of anxious to know what other possible ‘executions’ lie in wait. I’m more interested in knowing whether Sanusi will eventually end this never-ending deposit mobilization drive aka corporate begging – which pretty much entails bankers who run around the streets literally begging customers to open accounts with them and/or fund the accounts. Such bankers (or ‘marketers’) have been taunted by their immediate bosses to get funds in at all costs. Marketers are losing sleep, falling ill, working late, paying money to cover shortfalls in promises of ridiculously high interest rates, snatching accounts from within their bank’s network, etc all in a bid to beat the pressure and stay in the job.
Sanusi may be our last hope. He appears not to be worried about taking difficult decsions and he seems to want to get Nigeria back into full gear – he just injected N400billion to jumpstart the economy. The audacious CBN governor is akin to a Nigerian Harry Potter who has succeeded in proving that he has a few tricks up his sleeve…and by the look of things, he’s just getting warmed up…
As the principal of International School Ibadan announced that the JSCE (Junior Secondary School Examination) results would be posted up in front of her office I felt nauseous. I wasn’t sure if it was bad luck to have already gotten trouser measurements done at my local tailor before the exam results were released. What if I didn’t make it through? My trousers would be bloody useless and I’d have to endure another year in I.S.I wearing a pair of A.H.Is (AssHole Irritants). Girls had no problem because their blue-white striped dress/uniform didn’t have to look any different from junior to senior year. Thankfully I breathed a sigh of relief as I attained 2A’s and 5C in my 8subjects (I’m not mentioning what I got in Yoruba language). I vaguely remember jumping up and down like a deranged rottweiler that had a piece of meat dangled over its head. I proceeded to run into the nearby open field with fellow classmates who also sailed through the exams. We ran like we were being chased by… Rottweilers. I almost failed to take notice of the few guys whom we left behind moping at their inadequate grades and therefore bore long faces (okay, not like Rottweilers…more like Dobermen!)
Of course this next chapter in my school life called for a celebration. I took it upon myself to have a small get-together for my ‘Class of 1993′. Unfortunately I didn’t have an much more than the Naira equivalent of £10 back then which could just barely cater for about 20-30 guests max (I must have been nuts!). I invited 25 schoolmates to my cousin’s crib where I resided, about 60 eventually showed up and filled up almost every part of the house! I soon quickly realised that 48 bottled drinks (2 crates) would not quite cut the ’3:1 guzzling ratio’ of my invitees. The 2 small coolers of cooked rice and chicken didn’t go round because I didnt plan for the following: Boarder boys and girls sneakings out of their hostels; Geeks/Nerds/Bookworms/Efikos gate crashing; and schoolmates from the set below mine (JSS3) also taking advantage of the fact that I did not have a bouncer to ‘man the door’. So I had geeks playing video games in the TV room, boarder girl escapees changing clothes in my cousin’s bedroom, boarder boys slow-dancing with girls in the living room whilst my Aunt was within the house. There was no DJ but just one raga tape being put on the loop courtesy of all the horny boys hoping to literally tap some ass from a slowdance. The 5kg cake and 2 tubs of ice-cream I had planned for dessert was not going to be able to feed THIS multitude. This wasn’t a get-together…this was a get-together-everybody-who-heard-about-this-party. I mean some of the guests there didnt even know my name or the fact that I was hosting this fiasco. To make matters worse, the girl I had a crush on was busy slowdancing with some guy I didnt even invite, Meanwhile I was busy trying to feed the hungry, entertain the bored, and save my shaky reputation all at the same time. I was glad when it was all over, to say the least. The house survived with 2 shattered drinking glasses and a broken window lever. I on the other hand remained intact!
In an amazing twist of fate, I was hailed by the majority of my set for making a noble effort at throwing a shindig (which I’d rather remember as a ‘shit-dig’). The geeks were even more grateful because they knew that they may never gain such easy access into a party again. I somehow became everybody’s pal…the one who didn’t discriminate…the one who didn’t stop the music and shout “ALL BOYS OUT!” and proceeded to reveal a list of boys who were not given the fake invitation cards…no, I wasn’t seen as cruel…I was Mr.Nice guy Subsequent parties got better and better (no thanks to me). I do remember one guy who threw a party but would have sooner thrown himself over a bridge after only 1 girl turned up amidst a house filled with over 15guys…a case of bad advertising? Well, the grub didn’t go to waste.
Ah yes, those grey trousers really were worth the 3 year-wait. I was ‘toasting’ girls a one class year or two below me and feeling pretty cool with my skinny self. I was later appointed by my principal as the school’s Health Prefect, though for the love of God I never found out what a health prefect was nor did I know what my responsibilities were supposed to be. I just made sure the sick bay was hygenic and wasn’t congested or saturated with students who were feigning illness. I was given a badge which I wore proudly like a sheriff. If only I went guns blazing a little less when it came to asking a girl, ‘Will you go out with me?…’
Why would you be crazy enough to come to Nigeria? I mean just look at that crazy colour scheme on all those unnecessary number of states (currently 36 when 12 would do!). I see popular searches like ‘relocate to nigeria’ being used to get to this site and I can only wonder ‘What’s chasing them?’ Well I can tell you that Lagos (the former capital of Nigeria where I reside) is like a metropolis – commercial and bursting with business. It is increasingly becoming cosmopolitan too, with Brits, Asians, Chinese, South Africans and Americans on the scene. I’d say Lagos is like New York but with a lot more black people and a hell of a lot more poor people. Sure we’ve got that minority who are stupendously rich. Then we’ve got the majority who are stupendously poor. Then you’ve got people in the middle of this spectrum…people like me…who persist in applying the principles of becoming rich but end up feeling stupendously…stupid. Anyway, there have been a number of job cuts since the recession first surfaced the newspapers but now there are recent cases of pay cuts. Banks are not so willing to lend to customers who may sometimes even have collateral which triples the requested loan amount. Electricity supply has gone from fluctuating to weak to virtually non-existent in the last few months. Owning or renting a generator is a must. You will need a car to get around town, a Nigerian guide who has lived here for at least 10years, a dose of anti-malaria drugs, light clothing (not too warm), and a valid form of identification on you at all times (e.g. driver’s licence, passport or national ID card). Get acquainted with some of the local lingo so that you don’t stand out like a sore thumb. If you can’t fake a typical Nigerian accent (which sounds like a fatigued loud-mouth whose been woken out of a deep sleep at 3am, pretty much) then try not to sound like a JJC (Johnny Just Come) or you will get duped sooner or later. Get a mobile phone and start with any of the pay-as-you-go packages – all the networks are just as good (and bad) as each other. When in doubt, don’t ask a crazy Nigerian a.k.a mad man for any assistance. He could flip you over a bridge or push you into high-speed traffic or something. There are so many crazy Nigerians out there – I’m the real McCoy
See my ‘Survival Kit’ for more info
What’s in a kiss? Saliva? Sure! That’s if it’s a wet kiss. But if your partner has gum problems or uses a very soft toothbrush then there’s probably some blood to go with that saliva (Urgh!). If you’ve just had dinner before that kiss then there’s probably a whole bunch of food particles swimming through a bloody saliva stream all the way down your oesophagus (okay, stay with me here). If your partner has protruding teeth then there are probably some braces to go with that slimy blood pool. Thinking about dry-kissing instead, eh? I don’t blame you.
I for one like to think that I’m a smooth kisser…you know, those sedative-type kisses that leave lips numbed to sleep. I believe a perfect kiss should be timed, literally. A kiss that lasts for 2 seconds is way too short and a kiss that lasts for 20secs can quickly become a drooling grueling task of endurance (c’mon, that’s a lot of bloody plaque saliva/exchange).
Anything between 10 and 15secs is ideal. With practice anyone can time a kiss…kinda like knowing your body-clock – you just instinctively know when to wake up sometimes. Tongue kissing should ALWAYS be avoided in the morning…yes, even if you’ve brushed the night before, downed a bottle of Listerine, chewed a pack of Wrigleys Extra and recently became the face of Macleans ads.
If your mouth is closed for over 5hrs after all that I’m willing to bet that your breath isn’t exactly a trip to the Alps (unless you sleep with your mouth open…but I’d be worried about what could crawl in). And the next time you save someone from drowning and you need to give him or her mouth-to-mouth please don’t stick your tongue in…that’s a tongue-in-cheek moment if I’ve ever heard of one
that there was a madman on Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos who kept shouting to himself everyday. He was shouting out the number ‘Thirteen!’ repeatedly. Motorists used to drive past him but one curious passenger asked a driver in the bus to stop so he could ask the madman what he was shouting ‘Thirteen’ all day for. The driver obliged and parked to one side of the bridge. The passenger got down and approached the madman with caution but he kept some distance. He asked the madman, ‘Why are you shouting Thirteen?’ The madman stopped shouting and politely answered to the passenger’s surprise, ‘It’s a secret but come and I will tell you.’ The passenger saw no harm in this and was anxious to finally unravel this mystery once and for all.
The bus driver and the other passengers looked on in horror as they suddenly saw the madman strugggle with the stray passenger before flinging him over the bridge into the ocean. As soon as he he did that he started shouting ‘Fourteen! Fourteen! Fourteen!’
Today was not just any ordinary day. Today I was decked up in a dashing dickie-bow tie, tux and bad-ass chelsea boots – The ideal gentleman if I do say so myself. But it wasn’t quite the picnic I expected it to be. Being the best man (at least back here in Nigeria) is a bit like being the errand boy/houseboy/servant…call it what you want. I was at their service – holding the sweaty hankies, fetching the relatives who were scattered across the hall, picking up ALL the money sprayed unto the couple whilst they were dancing…yes, all in my £150 tuxedo. My head was drenched in sweat but I was armed with 2 hankies. I didn’t get a chance to eat – all I had was bottled water for breakfast, sweets during the church service and a malt drink during the reception (my stomach and I kissed and made up when I got back home to chow down). But it was all worth it. In fact, I feel like wearing it once in a while just for the look of it. And then I look in the mirror, adjusting my cuffs which obviously dont need adjusting like they do in the movies, with a smirk on my face and then I go ‘The name is Nigerian…Crazy Nigerian
When I woke up this morning I had no idea that I’d be writing about this – that is, until I heard a female colleague of mine at the office heaving away in the ladies restroom. It sounded like a cow being strangled with barbwire and at the same time being raped by a pig. The excruciating sounds gave me concern because this was far beyond food poisoning or choking on a McTasty (those burgers are HUGE!!! not available in Nigeria tho).
Now rumour has it that the ‘heaver’ was trying for a baby recently so could it be a simple case of morning sickness? You can never tell. Perhaps what’d be more interesting (for me) would be knowing what the vomit looked like – was it brown, yellow or a mixture of both? was it runny, chunky or clear like dog drool? was it pungent, ammonia-esque, or akin to a block of sour cheese which 3 days ago used to be the semi-skimmed milk for her cereal.
Well curiousity never really killed the cat, did it? In fact it’s the curiousity thats killing me. The images of vomit in my head (ok, that didn’t sound right) are probably worse than the actual thing. I’m off to the loo to find out
I went to a wedding in another state in Nigeria – Oyo state. It was supposed to be a 3 hr drive from Lagos but ended up being 4hrs with all potholes we had to dodge. The wedding was quite grand and I was served the best dishes, wine and got exceptional service…or at least I thought so. I looked to the table beside me and they were getting everything I didnt – they got big succulent fish…I got small pieces of tough beef, they got alcohol wine from South Africa…I got grape juic in a wine bottle both made in Nigeria, they got chilled soft drinks, but though I was served mine first, they were warm - obviously their’s was stored close to ice.
I didn’t want this experience to spoil my road trip but I must admit it hurt a bit. As if to compensate me and those at my table, we all got gift items/souvenirs of the wedding to take home – a dish and a couple-name engraved tea mug all in a recyclable nylon bag(not bad eh?). On leaving the shindig, getting into my car, I noticed a gentleman no more well-dressed than myself but carrying a luxurious branded shopping bag of premium goodies. Life is not fair at all…
But on the upside, My blog will soon have more than 1000 views, yay!!!
I went through my blog stats and noticed someone had done a search for ‘big supermarkets in Nigeria’ – I don’t know if the visitor wants to do a tour of the country for the best bargains or if the visitor is collating info for some research project or thesis. I only know of 2 big supermarkets in Lagos (where I reside). They are Shoprite (along Lekki, at the first roundabout) and Park ‘N’ Shop (Victoria Island). I hope that helps…and I hope this information is not a case of ‘too little too late’
Thanks for stopping by, stranger
The electricity supply in the country has been abysmal. Some areas have had only 4 -12hrs of power supply per day while some have even less or none at all. Lagos has become a noisy commercial zone with all the domestic and industrial generators blaring away. There are reports of some companies even moving their operations to neighbouring countries in order to enjoy constant power supply and save on their diesel costs – It has come to that. I can’t afford to run a generator all night while I sleep so I toss and turn most nights and many times I’ve considered sleeping in my air-conditioned car. Boy, am I pissed with the spate of things…
It’s therefore no surprise that I put a sheepish grin across my face when I read today’s news headline in The Punch – ‘Yar’Adua (my president) sacks PHCN MD over poor power supply’. IT’S ABOUT F@?#ING TIME!!!!
I.S.I (International School, Ibadan) was where I first learnt how someone could be under constant pressure…just about every single day of his/her secondary school life. And I’m not talking about pressure to excel above the pass mark (which, then, was about 40% in all subjects)…no, I’m talking about the pressure to be cool, ‘bam’, ‘hard’…if you were linked to any of these accolades back in the day then your ‘rep’ was off to a good start…supposedly.
Now the problem I had was that I didn’t fit the bill particularly. I had a small tennis-ball afro which wasn’t cool enough, overly smart shoes which weren’t ‘bam’ enough, and a group of friends I rolled with who were not ‘hard’ enough. As a ‘day’ student (i.e. a student who doesn’t reside in the school’s hostels during the term) I was already screwed because the ‘boarders’ (those students who do reside in the school’s hostels…) were automatically catapulted into ‘hard’ status. I don’t think I’ll ever know why.
Maybe it was because you’d see one guy wear a different pair of ‘pumps’, moccasins and Tims for 2 straight weeks – I was baffled! How could one kid have close to 14 pairs of shoes? But I soon learnt that boarders had a sharing culture – they exchanged just about everything. So of course you could seem to have so many clothes, shoes, schoolbags…oh my God…I just remember I had a hideous schoolbag.
It was called a ‘U.S army bag’ – Trust me, it didn’t look as cool as it sounded. It was the size and shape of a 14-inch box TV – perfect for those tons of textbooks which I carried but would hardly have to read. Mine was black with all the different colorful badge prints and miniature flag images. It even had an ID number, yet I didn’t feel anything close to being a boy scout. Instead, as I walked around the school grounds with the crushing weight of my backpack I felt like Quasimodo – the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
My cousin (the eldest of the three, who was in JSS3 at the time) used to make fun of me – at home and at school. We didn’t quite get on initially but during my stay at his mum’s place I started trying to emulate his style as much as I could. He was like the big brother I never had. He would help guide me through this transition from Pee Wee Herman to ‘Cool’, from Inspector Clousseau to ‘Bam’, and from N-Sync to ‘Hard’. First stop – the barbershop.
My cuz and I went to the local barbershop and said hello to the natives. I was corrected abruptly. Hello = Not cool. Hi = cool. What’s up = cool. How far! = Razz but way better than Hello. Anyway, I got into my chair and looked up at the charts to see what was on the menu. Skinned (Oh, HELL no!), Bobby Brown slant (not brave enough), The Punk (hmm, now there’s an idea!) It was a kind of square-cut with a puffed top (View pic: Kadeem Hardison a.k.a \’Dwayne Wayne\’ in teen comedy, \’A Different World\’ ). It was one of those I-love-my-mama-but-she-don’t-tell-ME-what-to-do haircuts. It commanded respect. I loved it. I got my first pair of Reebok pumps too. I even started wearing cologne (with a cologne-drenched handkerchief in my top pocket just for good measure).
I was ready to re-enter I.S.I with new a found sense of courage. At break time it was ‘cool’ to be seen having lunch with a (pretty) girl. After managing to save up a decent amount of pocket money I asked a girl to lunch, she agreed, and we took a pleasant stroll to the kiosks to get our soft-drinks and snacks. As I sat on a ledge with her I was excited because I could feel eyes on me…not hers, my peers. They were filled with awe and probably a little jealousy. I savoured this moment. But mid-way through my conversation I felt like either I had coughed up a fur ball or Barry White’s ghost was trying to use me as a medium to convey a message. Perfect! Just as I was trying to break my way into the ‘In-crowd’ my voice decided to break its way into Puberty.
…It’s not when I’m all exhausted after work miles away from home whilst listening to endless reruns of my Kanye West album (Late Registration) in my car, which by the way is crawling along the road like a caterpillar with arthritis, and the side attractions are a few broke down trailers, ad-hoc police check points and impatient motorists trying to make 3 street lanes into 6 so that nobody moves properly. Is this the traffic I love? Nosireeeee! I love the kind that is electronic, virtually invisible, and keeps you smiling the more it accumulates…
Of course I’m talking about blog-traffic! I have been marvelling at how the number of hits on my website increased from zero on February 21st (when I conceived my blog) to 300 on 1st March! I smile each time I see the figures go up on my Blog stats and I like knowing what articles got the most views/clicks. Comments so far are still few (two, actually) but I’m optimistic about the future. I’ll set myself a goal now – 1000hits before March 31st. Possible? I wonder…
Here at DPS we believe that problems can be solved. Not all of them! Just the daily ones.
Life is too short to be lumbered with problems that constantly eat at you day in day out. If you went for a check up with your doctor they would almost certainly check your BP (Blood Pressure). Well at DPS we believe it’s just as important to check your DP (Daily Problem).
For the past 2 years we have conducted extensive research on common daily problems (DP) and have come up with solutions which have been tried and tested. We also give you alternative solutions which may vary in usage, depending on how daring (or insane) you are. Our advice comes with a No Money-Back Guarantee. Don’t be alarmed though. DPS doesn’t charge anything. The solutions we tirelessly slave to develop are handed to you on a platter for free!
We have been flooded with requests for solutions to their DPs from the highly technical to the downright bizzare but we don’t discriminate. Everyone and I mean Everyone will get a workable solution which we at DPS aren’t afraid to test on your behalf. Here are just a few DPs that we’ve highlighted…
I’m always late to work. No matter how hard I try to wake up I never seem to leave on time. I’m so sluggish when my alarm rings and I can even sleep through it. Please help me!…R.K (Leeds)
^^Don’t worry, you are not alone. Tip: Put your alarm clock at one end of your bedroom so that you’re forced to get up to put it off. This method will only be effective if your alarm tone is loud and annoying. You’ll soon be up and about in no time!
> Sleep early = Leave early
> Get a friend, who wakes up early, to call you Mon – Fri
> Watch a good horror movie the night before but have an Energy drink ready by day
> Have a shower the night before and dryclean in the morning (not to be done regularly!)
Everytime I buy chewing gum my colleagues at work exhaust my week’s supply in one day. They don’t usually return the favour but just wait like vultures for the moment a stray chewing gum packet is playing dead on my desk. How can I combat this daily problem?)…N.N (London)
^^ Hmm…you go out & buy, they come & say Hi. You chew the gum, they ask for some…yes, a popular DP. Tip: Without having to lie, observe this scenario – ‘Ooh, can I have some gum?’ You say, ‘Mmm, I want some too. Let me see who might have some’. But if the pest already knows you have gum and he/she is a persistent offender, you say ‘I think its high time you get some this time, don’t you think?’. The act of sharing is not to be discouraged but there are people in the world who are ready to take advantage of you on a daily basis so take action!
> As the ‘chewor’, ask the ‘chewee’ what gum flavor he/she hates, then buy that one
> Stop chewing everytime the chewee wanders by.
> If caught chewing and approached for gum, just say ‘I’ll buy some more later’
> Offer an alternative you know they’ll refuse e.g. chewable vitamin C, (yuk!)
I am getting sick and tired of having long power supply shortages. I can’t plan my inhouse activities the way I want e.g. setting recording times on my DSTV cable, Ironing my clothes, Freezing my leftovers, etc. Apart from noisy generators, what else can I do to get constant electricity?…O.U (Nigeria)
^^ I can imagine what you must be going through and I’m happy to inform you that there is an answer.Tip: Buy an inverter. It isn’t noisy and it is a good investment if you like constant electricity. When public power supply returns then it charges your inverter for you. You can buy as many as you need depending on your budget and how much you want to power up. Unlike gens, these can be kept neatly indoors. Go on, live a little!
> Move to Ghana…It isn’t quick but it’s your closest source for 99.9% power supply
Some of my friends keep flashing me. I’m always having to call them back and then they start to talk on my credit talktime. I don’t flash people because I think its irritating. If I don’t call back they flash again and again till my battery starts running down. How can I put a stop to this madness?…F.E (France)
^^For the benefit of first-timers, the term ‘Flashing’ describes when you get a phone call from someone who cuts the line/connection just as you answer it. A professional flasher can disconnect your call in under 2 seconds. The aim – to let YOU call them back and save them THEIR money. Telecom giants also face a dilemma whereby they don’t know how to make money from such break-neck speed calls. Tip: DPS recommends you sacrifice the cost of 1 text and send a simple message as follows: ‘CALL ME WHEN YOU HAVE CREDIT’. This is most effective because they’ll call back and speak to you for at least 1 quick minute. Try it for yourself!
> Switch your phone off for 5mins, put it on and Eureka! 1 new message
> Flash them back to acknowledge their flash (not highly recommended as it may go on for a while)
**In the next edition we shall tackle more DPs and also accept solutions from the public to help others. We respond every (other) week with a fresh edition of DP solutions for your benefit so feel free to subscribe for subsequent updates. Check your DP today and lets solve it 4 u!**
For more information or if you want to send in your DP, leave a comment below
call him on 0800-1-DPSOLVED
DPS…Daily problem? Solved.
Disclaimer: In the event of defamation, physical harm or financial loss, DPS will not be held liable for paying any damages or other form of compensation. All solutions to DPs are to be used (or not) at your own risk. If you are unhappy with any of the solutions provided after your first trial, then do not expect a refund – you did not pay for the advice in the first place!
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Yup, its possible to be appointed (unanimously) to do a job you never actually wanted in the first place. Earlier this morning, during our AGM (Annual General Meeting) for my residents’ association, I was voted as the new Secretary to the Chairman – this translates to taking minutes of meetings, reading out past memos, and other minial jobs…As if my 9-5 and this blog wasn’t enough work (moan)
I guess I should look at the bright side…wait a minute, there is no bright side!!! (double moan)
It is worthwhile holding varying denominations of Naira for ease of giving or receiving change e.g. N5, N10, N20, N50, N100, N200, N500, and N1000 notes. Refrain from carrying excess cash in hand. At the same time, do not flash/expose so much cash when you are out in public. You can attract the wrong kind of attention and become vulnerable to theft.
For the men, do not put your wallets in your back pockets – even if you wear tight jeans. For women, keep your handbags closed/zipped up at all times. Do not count large amounts of money in public view – that includes even when you are in the comfort of your car. Passers by (especially some street hawkers) are constantly watching and may serve as informants for thieves ahead.
If you are not planning to live in Nigeria, and therefore do not want to open a local bank account to deposit large cash sums, you can get a Naira Cashcard in order to save your pocket money. Cashcards are like electronic wallets that do not require account opening. The cards are available from most banks and the cost of one can range from N100 and N500. There are usually no monthly fees attached to them and they can be used for making ATM withdrawals, POS (Point of Sale i.e. like in Eateries, Cinemas and reputable Supermarkets), and internet transactions. Cash loading limits and loading fees may vary across banks.
When buying from street hawkers whilst you are in a moving car (this is common activity with motorists during traffic jams or ‘go-slow’), always make sure you receive the item you want to purchase before you release the cash. Also try to hold the exact amount of cash for your purchase as most times the hawker may not have change to return. In doing so, you can prepare the hawker e.g. you want to buy something of N150 but you have a N200 note. You ask the hawker if he has N50. He/she has N50-change ready and then you collect the item and the change before handing over your N200 note – You wouldn’t want to hold up cars behind you because you’re waiting to collect change, nor would you want to jump out of your car chasing a hawker who ran off with your change!
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Practicing what I preach!
One day, I'll look back and smile, knowing that i wrote my heart out.
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A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.
sharing my world with the world. Humourous and Relatable articles peppered with common sense
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