Friday, June 25, 2010

Does James survive the shooting? You decide!

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You recall I said there'll be an eBook for Cupid's Risk? I have started compiling it and that is going well so far. The eBook should be ready by the first couple of weeks in July for your summer reading. To help wrap things up nicely, we'll need an epilogue. Our epilogue will be in the form that is seen in some movies. You know, the type where they list the character with two or three sentences detailing what happened to them in future? Yeah, that one.

I have listed our major characters below. Pick any number of characters you want and write a maximum of three sentences each of what you think they get up to. I will announce the winners whose submissions will go into the eBook. In case of ties, there will be votes to decide.

To make this more interesting. Be among the first ten to post your comment with an epilogue entry and receive any chapter of your choice in A Heart to Mend, FREE! To enter for this, put EPILOGUE at the beginning of your comment and state the chapter you want, 1 - 21.

So let's do this folks. As for me, I know that Dabaru will surely go to Kirikiri for life, lol. Have a great weekend all.


IPHEY: A 25 years old lady who recently moved to Lagos from Port Harcourt with a new job in Diamond Bank.

CHINEDU: Iphey's love interest. They were introduced and met through a blind date where he confessed his hell raising past.

AISHA: Iphey's best friend who linked her up with Chinedu. She is married and wants Iphey to be settled too.

NGOZI: Iphey's older sister. She is married but her husband has been missing for the past three years.

MAMA IPHEY: Iphey's mum. She is of the meddling and match-making type.

JAMES: Ngozi's missing husband. It has been shown that he actually abandoned his family due to financial woes.

OBI: Iphey's six years old nephew and Ngozi's son. He is asthmatic.

HABIB: Aisha's brother and also a close friend to Chinedu. He works as an officer in the EFCC.

BISI: Iphey's colleague at work. She pretends to be a friend but stabs Iphey in the back.

FUNMI: Iphey's immediate boss. She is jealous and uses Iphey's inexperience on the job to get back at her.

AYO: The branch manager at Iphey's office. He does not hide his hots for Iphey and this makes his previous lover, Funmi, even madder at Iphey.

OTUNBA: A Suitor who starts courting Ngozi, Iphey's sisters a couple of years after the disappearance of her husband. Their mother does not like him.

ALHAJI GALADIMA: Chinedu's benefactor. A police officer who works with informants willing to give details of criminal activities.

GBENRO: An informant and former colleague of Chinedu while he lived a dangerous life.

DABARU: An Ajegunle gang boss. Chinedu's former leader in criminal activities.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Nominations + More New York Pics + Farafina Book Review Series

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A Heart to Mend has been nominated by the Next Best Book Club on Goodreads for the July group read. Please click on THIS LINK to vote for me. This group which is the second largest on Goodreads has almost seven thousand members so you can imagine if my book is selected. Did I hear anyone say Oprah Book Club? Poll ends tomorrow June 25th, so get going. You may need to sign in to vote but Goodreads has made this easy so you can connect via Facebook, Twitter or Google IDs. Thank you very much!


To see the whole New York album, you can join my Facebook Fan page HERE. Don't forget to check out the giveaway going on there to. Meanwhile, enjoy these pics below.


Finally, it's all about Nigerian Writers and their Books. Naija Stories is working on an online book review contest and so we were happy to receive this news in the mail from Farafina. It is very interesting to me what is happening to the whole literary scene in Nigeria. Get on it now people or don't say I didn't tell you when it begins to overflow.

This saturday at Terra Kulture, the publishers, Farafina, will launch the Farafina Book Review at Terra Series. Fabulous on-air personality and all around celeb Tosyn Bucknor will be on-hand to moderate the session and also discuss the genre of fantasy fiction in Nigeria and across the continent as a whole.

So if you are in Lagos this weekend, do not miss out on this wonderful opportunity. You can win Free Books & Other Giveaway prizes at the event. Find out more at

Have a great day all.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shootout at Midnight Atala Wala Wala + Myne

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Chinedu's mind was in confusion. Alhaji was the last person he had expected to be involved with Dabaru and his gang. What was his benefactor doing here? He pressed back further into his corner while still keeping his ears alert for any information that might help him prevent a move on Iphey. He shifted in his seat till he was facing away from them.

"So Dabaru, when is your oga coming? I don't know why he needs me to be present; I've given you the information you need already," he heard Alhaji Galadima say.

"I don't know, but he said you should be here if you want to receive your pay. When he comes, you can ask him yourself." Dabaru sounded curt and abrupt. Chinedu was left to wonder if they had a mutual benefactor, but he was sure that Dabaru would have no love for any human being in a police uniform.

The door opened, and two portly, affluent looking men walked in accompanied by a couple of large young men in street wear. Chinedu watched from the corner of his eyes as they made their way to the section of the bar where Galadima and Dabaru were sitting.

Something struck him about one of the men standing to the left of Dabaru. The man turned away but the niggling familiarity remained as the gang all took turns to bow or prostrate to the newcomers.

"Good evening, gentlemen." One of the affluent men, he was dressed in a pale blue agbada, greeted them back, as he ordered for a round of drinks for them all.

“Chief! Chief!” They hailed him. Chinedu ignored the noise and rather tried to get a good look at the Chief and the other man who was dressed in a Safari suit and carried a suitcase.

"So Chief, what's the problem? Why have you asked me to come here, now?" Alhaji Galadima asked.

Chief laughed. "I will explain. We are waiting for a few more guests, all will soon be clear."

Just then, there was a minor commotion outside the bar. Chinedu looked up and his heart stopped for a second as he saw Iphey being hauled in by a thug. Before he could think about how she had been captured, another thug dragged in James who had a bruise to his head and a swollen lip; it looked like he had just received a good beating.



Iphey stifled the cry of pain that came to her lips when the man who was holding her pushed her along. He was still slightly behind her, the gun in his other hand as he increased pressure on her arm.

“Move!” He whispered harshly, directing her towards a group to the right. This bar was just as smoky if a lot seedier than Silverbird. She shuddered as thoughts flooded her mind. Her kidnapper had laughed at her as he prodded her to the car outside Galleria. He leered at her skimpy clothes and said he preferred them to what she had been wearing earlier. He told her not to be surprised because they had been following her for weeks, he and his partner, and knew her very well. She had almost fooled him with the sultry outfit but once she spoke, she had betrayed herself.

Iphey had wished then she had kept her mouth shut and walked away instead of giving in to her haughty outrage at his touch. He told her that they had accosted James when he had tried to leave while she was away. His partner forced James, at gun point, to remain at the table and he, Stalin, had come to watch the door to the ladies.

Iphey looked over at James now as he limped along beside her. He had tried to be heroic when they had disembarked outside. After signalling her to run, he’d jumped on the guy who held him. His captor and their driver had vented their spleen on him with more blows than necessary. Stalin hadn't even released her for a second. Her head sunk to her chest as her eyes shut in a deep sigh.

"Aha!" said a voice before her, and her eyes sprang open. A fat man was rubbing his large hands with satisfaction. He resembled the fat frog on the threading in front of his blue Agbada. "Now we begin."

He turned to James with a menacing look. "We have been very good to you. You have eluded us several times now, each time failing to produce the money that you owe us."

James spoke in a low voice. "I don't have the money, where do you want me to get 20 million..."

“Chief, it is now over 100million Naira, including T-shark’s dues and all the interest…” The man that spoke had an open suitcase before him.

“T-shark betrayed us all!” James shouted.

“Enough!” Chief banged the table, making everyone jump. "James, do you want what happened to T-shark to happen to you too? Maybe we should work on your girlfriend." he said, gesturing to Iphey.

"I am not his girlfriend!" Iphey blurted out and then kept talking. Wasn’t that what one was supposed to do in this kind of situation? “You have got the wrong person…”

Chief slashed the air and her captor placed a meaty palm over her mouth and nudged her with the gun. As she struggled for air, Iphey wondered if she would survive this. She glanced around, searching the bar for any means of help or escape. Apart from the large group before her, there were just two or so other patrons scattered around the other empty tables.

Chief continued, "Well, I know that both of you are co-operating to hide the money. Today we will find out where it is."

He turned to the man beside him. “Galadima, if one of my boys kills someone who owes me 100 million, will it be murder? The man shook his head.

Chief motioned to the tall and rangy man who sat close to where Iphey stood. "Oya Dabaru, do what you have to do."

The ugly scarred man needed little prompting. He grabbed Iphey’s arm and twisted a finger backwards, causing her to gasp in pain.

"Talk!" he spat out in a guttural tone. "Where is the money?"

James begin to stammer entreaties even as his eyes pleaded with hers. "Abeg... p-please, she knows nothing about this... it's just me..."

The bar was filled with Iphey's shrieks of agony as her torturer applied even more force to ratchet up the pain.



Hearing the sound of Iphey in pain was more than Chinedu could bear. He had earlier sent a text to Gbenro; in it, he had asked him to forward another message to the number Habib had provided, asking for back-up policemen. With Iphey already here, there was no need to wait. It was time for action. A well aimed throw of his glass tumbler shattered the lone light bulb in the bar, plunging the place into darkness.

There were shouts of surprise and outrage, with Chief yelling, "Stalin! Odo! Hold the girl! Hold James! Make sure they do not escape!"

Soon the bar was lit with a ghostly pale light as the Chief's men waved their mobile phones around, trying identify the intruder.

Chinedu had joined the shadows closer to the group. He could just make out the outline of the man holding Iphey in front of him. He raised his arm high, and hit.

"Yeeeeeh!" At the scream, everyone scattered.

As Chinedu nimbly crouched to the ground, he stabbed another man in the leg with the jagged edge of the bottle he’d broken over Stalin’s head. Then, he scrambled in the direction of the back door as a cacophony of shots rang out. Chinedu prayed that Iphey had not been hit. He wished that he had been able to call out a warning to her, to get to her, but that would give him away.

As his eyes adjusted to the gloom, he saw Iphey under a table, her arms wrapped around her side. His heart sped up as he imagined all sorts. Had she been shot? Was that why... he breathed again when she began to move. She crawled on the floor, heading to the front door, inching closer and closer... and then a powerful beam of light swung round the bar and alighted on her. Chinedu cursed and froze.

Dabaru smiled cruelly, at the other end of the torch. In his other hand was a gun. Chinedu watched him walk towards Iphey.

"Get up." When she hesitated, Dabaru dragged her up roughly and held her close as he shouted out, "Whoever is trying to cause wahala, we are holding the girl. If you know what is good for you, you will come forward now, or else I will enjoy killing her!"

Chinedu groaned in despair. There was nothing else for it... he would have to give himself up.

Before he could get to his feet, he heard a shout; someone had jumped on Dabaru. Chinedu scooted deeper into the shadows and watched as Dabaru and a man he could now identify as James struggled together, lit up by torchlight. Iphey was nowhere in sight. Chinedu moved closer to the back door as more shots were fired around the dark room.

“Stop shooting!” Dabaru screamed. Two final shots echoed, and there was James sprawled out on the floor in a pool of his blood.

The sound of police sirens outside brought fresh confusion. One man shot through a glass window and attempted to climb out.

“Hold it!” A familiar voice rung out. It was Habib. Gaunt and with a fully bearded face, it was him Chinedu had almost recognized earlier. It seemed that in the melee, he and his undercover colleagues had taken out some of the men. As the back-up police men barged into the room with torchlights, Chinedu noticed the lifeless bodies on the ground. The rest of the men had their hands in the air.

Dabaru began shooting wildly as he backed away from the front door. A click sounded when his gun emptied of bullets. He turned and ran towards the back door.

Chinedu stood up and faced him with a smile. "Ol' boy, which ones now?” He enjoyed the look of dismay and surprise on Dabaru’s face before his jaw connected with Chinedu’s fist.

“That was for my girlfriend," he said to the passed out thug.

Habib arrived at his side and they exchanged a tight handshake and shoulder bump.

“Galadima?” Chinedu whispered?

“High level, deep, double agent.” Habib panted. “He is for us.”

Chinedu breathed easier at the news. The police were already handcuffing Alhaji Galadima, the Chief and the others who had been in the bar. He walked outside ignoring the beckons of the police and Gbenro. There was only one person he was interested in answering to, and he was yet to see her.

"Chinedu?" she called from behind a car.

"Iphey!" he cried, running towards her.


That's it folks. There will be an epilogue, where you decide what happens to our main characters. I have received no opposition to the eBook idea so you have that to look forward t if you prefer to read all the episodes together.

Hope your week has started off well? Mwah!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Last Names - To Hyphenate Or Not To

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Verastically Livin and Sting of The smile of a Nigerian Scorpio where we thrashed this out with several people who called in.

Some the issues that cropped up;

1. Identity - The personality of the woman fades away

2. Tradition - It is the norm of the day

3. Feminism - Holding on to her individuality

4. Partnership - Marriage is about oneness and teamwork

5. Belonging / Ownership - Women as chattel (Bride Price)

6. Clarity - It makes sense and avoids confusion especially for children

7. Official - For immigration, citizenship, etc

8. Fashionable - With regards hyphenated - cute, cool, trendy

9. Professional - Work history, career ...

10. Myne's Bottomline - Do what works for you, have a discussion with your fiance.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The feel of Cold, Hard Myne

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The next chapter will be the finale! Tell me what you think and what you hope or expect to see. I am hoping to compile this into a FREE ebook. Those who have contributed and who do not support this idea should email me please. Also if you'll prefer to be recognised by a diiferent pen name or even your real name. Please let me know too.

There will be a promotion where loyal commenters will have their feedback showcased in the book. Stay tuned.



Iphey closed the phone and glanced around her. It was a bit dark and smoky in the bar as most of the guys in the room had a cigarette. It was either hanging from their lips or wedged between index and middle finger. A number of the ladies were smoking too. She sighed deeply and looked across at her brother-in-law.

"You were late." She blurted the first thing that came to mind.

"I have apologized for that, haven't I? I just had to make sure all was well." He glanced around again, eyes darting into the corners and jabbing at the door.

"Are you expecting anyone?" Iphey asked. She couldn't deny the suspiciousness that clouded his every move.

"Not really." He replied.

James had on dark clothes and it began to dawn on her that what Chinedu said might be true after all. Maybe she should not have come out here to meet James.

"Who was that on the phone?" he asked.

Iphey thought fast as the words began to leave her lips. "Oh, just a friend. She wants to talk and I promised to meet her after this. I said I'll be around in a few..."

"You mean you have to leave?" He interrupted, "but you barely got here."

"I know," Iphey sighed again. She was acting for her life here and didn't care how good or bad she was. "But you gave me such short notice, and then..."

"Anyway," he cut her off again, "maybe it's even better that we have just a short time together. I'll go ahead and explain why I called…"

“Yes I would like to hear that.” Iphey interjected.

“Well the thing is this. I told you the last time that I left Ngozi and Obi because of issues I was having?”

“Yes, you did…”

“Well, those issues are being untangled as we speak. See, I met this guy. He lives in a room at the place I’m staying at. We became friendly and began to talk. Along the line, when he mentioned the gang and their activities on the Island, I opened up to him.” James raised pleading eyes to her.

“Go on,” Iphey encouraged. She wished she could cut it short. Chinedu’s warnings sounded in her ears. “Look Babe, some people are watching you. Some very bad people…I thought I wouldn‘t have to tell you but…there." She shook her head as if in sympathy to what James was saying ads he continued.

“I had been keeping to myself so much and after my run in with you, I became even lonelier. So it was a relief to be able to unburden myself to this guy. But things have become more complicated now…”

“Don’t tell me the guy turned out to be a criminal too?” Iphey cringed in her mind. That would explain the urgency with which Chinedu had warned her to leave. Her heart began a slow pound as she her gaze involuntarily went round the small space.

“Nothing like that at all,” James said. He moved his chair closer. “He actually works for the EFCC and they happen to be on the trail of the guys that want me dead. The gang has been threatening my life till now but the police are on to them.”

Iphey mulled his words in her head. When he had told her this six months ago, she had not believed it but now, with the aura of danger all around, she had no other choice than to.

James was still speaking. “The guy I met was a mole, sent to penetrate a group they had in Ajegunle. I didn’t even know they were so close to me but I managed to keep out of their way. However it seems I was not careful enough. They have found me…”

“What!?” Under the table, Iphey squeezed her suddenly sweaty hands. This was beginning to sound like a movie. She didn’t think before now that such things happened in real life. Men on the run, undercover moles and criminal gangs…those were so not a part of what she was used to.

“James, I have to go,” she declared. Iphey clutched at the package Supo had given her from Chinedu and began to get to her feet.

“OK, OK…” James was trying to pacify her. “But you have to pass this message to Ngozi for me. It involves you too.”

Iphey paused, half on and half off her seat.

“The EFCC are ready to put all of you in a safe house pending when all this is sorted out…”

Iphey sat down abruptly. “Why do we have to do that?” she asked in a harsh whisper. Sweat was gathering under her arms, she shivered as a tickle made its way down her side. “Do these people know us? We have been living peacefully all this while.” Her voice rose in the hysteria that swirled around her but she was powerless to stop it. “What have you done?!”

“Iphey calm down, breathe…”

She realized she was panting in short bursts and tried to get her breath back. She exhaled through her mouth and dragged in air through her nose. You are a strong woman, she repeated to herself.

James continued. Let’s not throw blame around here. Not now.” He stared into her eyes. “However it happened, they found me, they found you and it’s clear they will make a move sooner or late…”

Iphey jerked to her feet. This was just too much for her to sit and listen. She didn’t care how Chinedu had found out about all this. She was just glad he had.

“I have to go to the ladies,” she muttered. She picked up the Shoprite bag and fled.



Iphey cracked open the door of the ladies and peered out. It appeared clear. James was still seated at the table, his back to her. She shook her head. She wasn’t going through the front door. She would take the side door out like Chinedu suggested. James would leave when he got tired of waiting.

She opened the door wider and stepped out. She felt stronger and just bolder. She had recovered her poise while she had changed and given herself a pep talk too. Or maybe it was just the full face of make up. She laughed under her breath. The high heels made her feel funny though and she couldn’t see too well behind the fringe of the wig. She blinked to clear her vision and closed the door behind her.

“Hello, babe.”

Iphey swiveled to meet the strange voice by her right. A man dressed in dark clothes was leaning against the wall. His avid gaze reminded her of what she wore, a miniskirt and shiny tube top. He brushed away her fringe and smiled into her eyes. All Iphey could see was a gap where a tooth must have fallen out, she hissed and moved away quickly.

"Dont you touch me!" She whispered and watched as all mirth left his eyes. The bones of his face hardened. 'Thug', she thought as she turned away with another hiss and began to walk in the other direction.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” The deep voice was right behind her, all business this time. His breath set the chandelier earring on her right ear to fluttering. The man was crowded against her back in a very uncomfortable way. As she made to turn and warn him off, she felt it. The touch of cold steel on the bare flesh between her top and the skirt, pressing into her spine.


And that’s it folks. Have a great weekend, Mwah!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More New York pictures + Inspiration for Change

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The pics from top to bottom.

1. Moi! It was so hot in NY, with me being used to the tame NorthWest weather
2. Statue of Liberty. In her majestic glory. Don't ask how much she weighs please. And never ask a lady her age too. As our tour guide said.
3. Times Square at Night. Yeah we went to see a play, but not FELA! unfortunately. It was overbooked.
4. The World Trade Center Building Site. Some people are not happy that so little progress has been made in almost 10 years.
5. At one of the readings. Not one of my best shots I agree. But you can listen to the reading here. I read the part from A Heart to Mend where Edward and Gladys are introduced, hehehe...
6. Moi with the lady in the water on our Hudson River cruise. It was nice, stretching the feet and letting the breeze waft by.
7. With the Financial District Bull around Wall Street (I think)
8. On the pier behind the World Financial Center. We had dinner there on one of the evenings. (Thanks Ego du Jour!)
9. The guy painted that in about 5mins give or take. I thought that was impressive. I got a video of it but it seems blogger does not allow uplaoads anymore :(:(
10. Tired after some major sightseeing but it was worth it. We found this little cool garden with a waterful. And there was wifi too, yipeee. Atala is the internet junkie not me, *insert evil laugh here*...


INSPIRATION FOR CHANGE is a series of life-transforming events inspired by the novel, 'Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman!'

Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman is a novel by Nigerian Author Ogoo Ogbata.


"Despite the diversity and dynamism of African literature, there has been a need for a literary novel that would commemorate the love, courage, creativity and entrepreneurial instincts of the African woman whilst celebrating the hope, culture and tenacity that people of all races have in common. Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman is that novel. Rather than merely showcasing chaos and leaving its readers wondering what to make of it, this ambitious debut novel, in a style and language that is universally accessible, tells the story of two remarkable personalities who vivaciously defy the odds."


"What is the event all about?"

In commemoration of Nigeria's 50th anniversary celebration, The Creativity and Sense Organisation (with the support of various professionals and non-governmental associations), is presenting a series of empowering and mind-shifting events inspired by the much praised novel 'Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman' written by Ogo Akubue-Ogbata.

* Are you an artist, educator or forward-thinking career or business professional?
* Are you Nigerian, of African origin or simply interested in a new and refreshing perspective?
* Would you like to network with like minded professional people?
* Would you like to be inspired and empowered to make positive changes in your life, career and community?

Then you've got to be at this unique event kicking off with style in the City of London on Thursday July 22nd, 2010!

Date: July 22nd 2010 * Time: 7pm to 10pm prompt * Price: £20 only! (Book before July 1st and pay just £15.00!)
Venue: The Auberge - City of London, 56 Mark Lane, Fenchurch, London EC3R 7NE

{Those who are interested should contact me personally at myne @ for direct connection to the organizers}

Come and enjoy:

* Inspirational world-class presentations by talented speakers who will challenge your thinking,
* Interesting debate on topical issues that affect you personally and professionally,
* Professional networking with people who are poised to make a positive difference in the world,
* Real life success stories to challenge and inspire revolutionary new thinking,
* Business exhibition and opportunities to showcase your unique value proposition,
* Book Launch Party following preview of 'Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman' (the debut literary novel that inspired the event)!
* Delicious refreshment served at a snug and sophisticated venue.

In a nutshell, this is an utterly unique, mind-transforming and unmissable evening! To find out more about this event, see the line up of super-talented speakers, discover event photos/videos and save your seat at a discounted price, please go to:

Spaces are limited, so book now to save money, maximise time and avoid being left out!

Please go to:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)

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It is the world cup people! I wanted South Africa to win but well it was a draw. Next up, Nigeria and Argentina tomorrow, go Super Eagles!

BTW, for those on twitter, have you got the Nigeria Flag Twibbon? Let's dance to Shakira and Waka Waka.

The other major song for the Mundial is that by Knaan. I like that one too but I never saw a video I liked much for here. But as a card carrying Banky W and MI (Have you voted him for the BET awards?) fan, I like this version and the naijarized video

Talking about video, the best for me will have to be Akon and Keri Hilson with Oh Africa!

Which of the three songs do you think is best for the World Cup? Tell me in the comments.

ps, major Update coming up. Remember free ebooks from me, they're going again. And maybe a few gift cards thrown in.

Enjoy the summer!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tolulope Akanni (A -Z Life Lessons)

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Tolu Akanni describes himself as "a visionary and dynamic youth with a rare and unique passion sent on a mission to bring out the best in people to the end of seeing men live up to their full capacity." He is a blogger I first encountered through his place at El Fiz Concept. I liked his writing style and his drive to succeed in his business seeing that he was also a student at the same time. Since then he has started another blog Lobby Experience, where he chronicles his daily experience 100 days to his graduation. He also plans to publish a book titled "A-Z of Life Lessons" from his life so far. The book will be launched in Lagos on July 9, 2010 at Terra Kulture in Victoria Island.


Like I have determined to, I got an interview with him in order to promote his work and let you guys meet another budding writer and motivational speaker. If you're in Lagos, please go out on July 9th to show him your support. Meet Tolu Akanni:

- When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing March 2009.

This was a time when people were writing "25 things about me" on Facebook. I chose to write mine from a different perspective, so I did "A-Z of school: 26 things that made school life fun in our days" a piece that focused on my primary and secondary school experience.

- When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I saw a writer in myself when I started having up to 40comments on my Facebook notes with people asking for more. In fact, the editor-in-chief of Mitre Magazine, Mr Olumide Aregbesola featured that "A-Z of school" in the premiere edition of the magazine that was published August 2009.

- What inspired you to write your book?

I started writing in my internship days, and when I got back to school I took hold of my transcripts and I realised I had missed out of the 'first class honours' train and having straight 'A's in my 2 concluding semesters won't get me there.
Having it at the back of my mind that I had fallen short of the promise I made to my father and myself, I sought out for a leverage, I knew there was success in me, but that conviction wasn't enough, I had to prove myself to my world, I needed to build a resume that would speak for itself.

As at that time I had my articles published in 2 magazines, I was a creative writer for Skye High, I was on the board of Mitre magazine, I was running a blog (, 'Tolu Fiz Akanee' had become a household name on Facebook for publishing captivating notes.

Taking my writing to the next level was one thing I could hold on to.

- Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes!! My writing style is a complete departure from the conventional. I like to write like I'm having a casual conversation with the reader. I enjoy being random and I like publishing my text in short hand. So my style is freestyle.

- How did you come up with the title?

After writing “A-Z of school” “A-Z of CU” “A-Z of 'tired's” “A-Z of Lagos”

The 'A-Z' thing was already my brand, so since the book focuses on my experiences within a period of time in my life, 'A-Z life lessons' came up.

- Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

My writing skills was birth out of hours of discomfort in the Lagos combi commuter bus a.k.a Danfo during my internship days, and this book is simply a compilation of articles that were written at such moments.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Momentary discomfort is allowed, it is what you make out of it that counts!

- What books have most influenced your life most?

Think big by Dr Ben Carson

How to think like a billionaire by Donald J. Trump

Life as I see it by Leke Alder

Parable of Dollars by Rev Sam Adeyemi

- If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Mr Leke Alder

- What book are you reading now?

Branding Unbound by Rick Mathiesin

- What are your current projects?

I'm running my consultancy outfit: El Fiz Concept.

El Fiz Concept is all about brands, events, business consultancy and concept development.

I'm on the executive board of Mitre magazine.

I'm working on a monthly poetry show 'An evening with the poet' under the hospice of El Fiz events in partnership with Restruct Consults.

- Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Skye high.

Skye high summer 2009 session was a major turning point in my writing career, that's where I met my coach in the school of writing, Mr 'Yinka Adeleke.

- Do you see writing as a career?

I won't stop writing till I draw my last breath. Writing is a form of relaxation to me, it's something I fall back to after my regular career day.

So writing is more of a part-time career for me.

- Can you share a little of your book with us?

The book makes you appreciate the undiluted thoughts of a 21st century 20year old. Appealing to all audience that appreciate 'youthfulness', It is a product of a selection from my 365day old archive, and it goes a long way in reflecting my multifaceted experience within that period of time.

I also have contributing chapters from friends who were with me those 365days.

It's a blend of poetry, short stories and motivational text; it enjoys a quality blend of photography with each chapter having its unique pictorial expression.

It speaks of comfort and discomfort, it speaks about the constant and the constantly changing, it talks about our everyday lives. It's a book you would want to read, keep and re-read.

- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Keeping up with delivery standards. There are things I write and people love and appreciate it so much that I find myself doubting if the next will keep up to standards or even beat the last.

- Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Leke Alder. He's the smartest and deepest author I've ever come across, his concepts are out of this world and his delivery is simply unique.

- Who designed the covers?

Photography was done by Mr 'Wale Adenuga of Unlimited works.

Graphics design by Mr Ade of Rebirth Media

- What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I did the writings over time, so the main task was developing a unique concept for a compilation, and finding a graphics designer to bring it to life.

I want to appreciate Mr Ade, he brought out the beauty of the book like he was sitted right there in my mind.

- Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

My life is defined by influence, I'm a product of influence, if I had not had the privilege of meeting the members of my creativity team, there would have been no book!

First it was 'Jaye Aderounmu of Restruct consult who impressed it on me that my compilations were publication worthy. Then Omoge black took the photography to the next level, Dupe Macaulay of Tecknicoleur designs was a major plus to the team.
Lesson learnt: you can't rise above the level of your association. Tap into networking.

- Do you have any advice for other writers?

Be dissatisfied with your current position, surprise yourself then your world will be equally surprised.

- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

This is just the beginning.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cupid's Risk - Countdown to Finale.

Posted in:
So over on Cupid's Risk Series, there are just two more chapters to go before the end of the series. Iphey is in danger and Chinedu is not going to stand for it. He will do whatever it takes even if it means putting himself in harms way. Go catch up now with the the latest episode...


“Hey babe…”

“Chinedu, Err...Supo just gave me a few things.”


“He gave me a bag of some kind of....paraphernalia...”

“Iphey, clothes, a hand bag and a...blonde wig hardly qualify as paraphernalia…” Chinedu said trying to make light the situation.

“Chinedu!” Iphey said in her “Cut the crap” voice.

“Look Iphey, some people are watching you. Some very bad people…I thought I wouldn‘t have to tell you but…there." He listened for a while.

"You said you have to meet James but they mustn't know it‘s you, that's what the different clothes are for...Is James there, yes? OK...make sure you stay in the restaurant. Don't go home and don't follow him anywhere. Discharge him soon...tell him clients or something. You must change before you leave. Go out through the side door…Iphey, trust me, ok?"

"Go to double Four….Stay there. Supo will come to pick you again. Do as he says..Go with him to wherever he takes you. You‘ll be safe there.”

The phone line went silent for a while. Chinedu could almost hear her thinking.

“Iphey…are you there?”

“Yes..” Iphey said in a voice that even he did not recognize. He could tell she was not happy with the whole cloak and dagger affair.

“Sweetheart…This too shall pass…We’ll get through this…Be strong for me. Please go and change. Call me when you’re safe with Supo.”

She remained silent. “Iphey. I love you…” He had a terrible feling that she would not see him in a long while.

“I love you too honey. Promise you'll tell me what this is about later." Her vice faded.

"I promise, and please act normal…not like anything's up. Call me if you have any hiccups…”



In other news, enjoy some pictures from New York. More to come. Click to enlarge.

Chrysler Building in the distance.

UN Building on the right.

The Subway. We used that quite a fair bit, very noisy.

The Nigerian Embassy, we had some business there.

Waldorf Astoria, reminded me of coming to America.

HOPE...KIND AeedeeAee

Posted in:
Oh God...This was turning into the worst nightmare ever...The situation was getting uglier by every spoken word...Every gesture...

Dear God, I said I was promised me you'd forgiven me...I turned a new leaf, I did everything ...I ...Why is this happening..? Chinedu had to think hard and fast.

Gbenro, assimilating the situation and fully understanding the gravity of what had just transpired, was clearly at a loss as to what to do or where to attack the matter from. He was reduced to babbling.

"Kai...You know say I no fit go meet Dabaru...I no fit...him no go wan know....Sinedu, if him hear kperem say you know the girl, the girl own do pari o! Ogbeni, you dey think of your mama so?"

Chinedu sat up, a plan forming in his head. Living in the dredges a long time ago made him an authority at thinking on his feet...he knew what he had to do. The time had come.

The thug in him…the thug that Alhaji hadn’t succeeded in taming had been set loose. The thought of losing Iphey to Dabaru. He shivered. He wouldn’t go without a fight.

He looked at his wristwatch...9pm. He was supposed to pick Iphey in half an hour. That wouldn't b possible anymore.

“Where Dabaru dey?” Chinedu said.
“Hein?? Wetin you dey talk?” Gbenro asked.
“Where im dey? I wan see am.”

“This madness has to end.” Chinedu said out loud. He couldn’t continue to run from his shadow. Or Dabaru as the case was. What better time to face the music than now.

A very discombobulated Gbenro was saying “No be me go carry you go where dem go kill you o!"

By now Gbenro was looking left and right as if Dabaru would materialize if just by calling his name. He had learnt quite early that the fear of Dabaru was the beginning of wisdom.

“Gbenro????” Chinedu called.

Gbenro guessed Chinedu’s badgering wasn’t going to stop. Ah, how he wished that Chinedu wouldn’t do this, however he knew his friend. It would stop only when Chinedu had gotten the information he needed.

“Ha, Sinedu…Ok, I no go follow you go meet am o! I go show you where im go dey…No call my name o! I dey beg you…”

“Gbenro, I be small pikin? You go go show me the place now but I gat to make some calls first...” Chinedu said while scrolling through his phone…He dialed.

The call was to his very handy cabby...Supo had run many an errand for him in the past.

“Supo, Hello…Can you hear me? Where you dey? The place is very noisy….Abeg, Abeg, Comot for there then flash me.“

One minute later, Supo flashed Chinedu’s phone and Chinedu called back.
“Oga mi! I been dey watch Nigeria friendly match o… those boys just dey…” Supo had a knack for giving unsolicited information.

“Supo, where you dey? “ said Chinedu said cutting him off.
“Oga mi. I dey one place like that near city mall…”
“Great! You get reach 10k?”
“Ermm…No sir…”
“Ok. Ermmm…Come for shoprite com meet me now now...I dey wait o!!”

He turned to Gbenro. “Ogbeni, pade mi ni No 2. (Meet me at No 2.) Make I reach shoprite. I wan sharply buy somethings.”

No 2 was a code for one of their meeting places. All because the gang must not get wind of their association. Chinedu sighed audibly but his resolve was strengthened.

The next call he made was to Iphey. Thank God for GSM…What would he have done?? He thought.

“Sweetheart, are you still at home? Has James called you? Not yet...OK. See I won't be able to come take you to Galleria. Just stay there…Yes, I'll send Supo. I love you.” he hung up after her muttered "love you too."


“Dude, Listen to me na…I need a favour…” He had just left Shoprite and was driving to his assignation with Gbenro at No 2.

“Do I need to leave where I am?” Habib asked quietly, "I'm embedded somewhere already..."

“Yes...No. Ok, you don’t need to move. I would have wanted you too involved but I can manage with back up…and protection.” Chinedu said.

“Chinedu, what are you getting into? These guys have proofing. I think they may have some insider backers. We aren't sure who you’re up against, I suggest you stay out of it my friend.”

“Habib, one thing I know is that Dabaru is part of this project and Iphey will be kidnapped. If it ever gets to the point where he finds out that Iphey is connected to me...HE WON’T THINK. She’ll die. Because of me. I wont let it happen.”

“Chinedu…if you let us do our jobs it may not get to that point.” Habib started, a hint of irritation in his voice...

“Look, I'm not prepared to take that chance." Chinedu cut him off. He tried to breathe. "Habib, I figured since you’re in on this whole mission, you’re the best person to ask for help. Will you help me or not?”

“Send me the co-ordinates when you get them from your source…and Chinedu? Keep me posted, OK?

“No wahala…” Chinedu said, what he actually meant was, “Not a chance.”

The caller waiting tone was beeping while he was on the call to Habib. So immediately he got off the phone, he checked his missed calls.


Supo had probably gotten her to Galleria by now and handed over their shopping. He called back.

“Hey babe…”
“Chinedu, Err...Supo just gave me a few things.”
“He gave me a bag of some kind of....paraphernalia...”
“Iphey, clothes, a hand bag and a...blonde wig hardly qualify as paraphernalia…” Chinedu said trying to make light the situation.
“Chinedu!” Iphey said in her “Cut the crap” voice.

“Look Babe, some people are watching you. Some very bad people…I thought I wouldn‘t have to tell you but…there." He listened for a while.

"You said you have to meet James but they mustn't know it‘s you, that's what the different clothes are for...Is James there, yes? OK...make sure you stay in the restaurant. Don't go home and don't follow him anywhere. Discharge him soon...tell him clients or something. You must change before you leave. Go out through the side door…Iphey, trust me, ok?"

"Go to double Four….Stay there. Supo will come to pick you again. Do as he says..Go with him to wherever he takes you. You‘ll be safe there.”

The phone line went silent for a while. Chinedu could almost hear her thinking.

“Iphey…are you there?”
“Yes..” Iphey said in a voice that even he did not recognize. He could tell she was not happy with the whole cloak and dagger affair.
“Sweetheart…This too shall pass…We’ll get through this…Be strong for me. Please go and change. Call me when you’re safe with Supo.”

She remained silent. “Iphey. I love you…” He had a terrible feling that she would not see him in a long while.

“I love you too honey. Promise you'll tell me what this is about later." Her vice faded.

"I promise, and please act normal…not like anything's up. Call me if you have any hiccups…”



The night seemed to be on never-ending mode. Chinedu sat at a darkened corner in the bar nursing a drink. Gbenro should be crouched outside somewhere, phone in hand and ready to squeal to the number Habib had provided if need be. He’d relayed all the necessary information to Chinedu earlier before they parted. Now Chinedu waited for Dabaru and his top shot to come in.

Opposite him, Dabaru’s boys sat drinking and making merry. He wondered which one of them told Dabaru that Iphey was James’s girlfriend so he could deal with him. He called his mind to order. He was here to see Dabaru. He was here to bury the hatchet. At whatever cost…He hadn’t seen any cars by the way…Dabaru was still not in sight…Oh there he was. He’d aged some since Chinedu last saw him. He even had a limp now. The years he's spent in Kirikiri wouldn't have helped and maybe he'd got shot in the line of “DUTY”.

Chinedu sighed. What was he doing here? Oh yeah. He knew. To die. Oh Lord, what have I gotten my self into. What was I thinking? What…

He heard a voice…a very familiar voice. He heard the voice long before he saw the face. The voice that was now greeting Dabaru in the most familiar tone. This voice that he’d grown to know so well. The face he’d grown to look up to.The voice that now faded as it followed Dabaru into what seemed to be the VIP Lounge of the bar.

It was Alhaji Galadima.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nigerian Blog of the Year

Posted in:

I am a writer but events like this make one short of words really, lol...

I spread the word out, I hoped, I kept my fingers crossed and I voted for myself and others. But today, it took me by surprise. I really didn't imagine that I would win ALL of the categories I was nominated for. Maybe one or two, but to also win the Nigerian Blog of the year when there were older and more established and versatile blogs out there? I certainly did not expect that.

So diafore, I want to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone that voted for me at the Nigerian Blog Awards. More than that, I really appreciate you and the support all along in this blogging and writing journey. It has been awesome having the Naija Blogs community on my side.

- Thanks to all those who contributed to, read and enjoyed the Cupid's Risk Series and Naija Stories. You are the U in the Group, and there would be no collabos without you.

- Thanks to all those who have read chapter one of my book on Freado,  who have seen the book trailer video on Youtube, who are fans on Facebook and who follow me on Twitter. You are my social media backbone.

- Thanks to all those who have visited my website, the A Heart to Mend Blog, and who follow and read the this blog, your comments, feedback and encouragement of my writing has made it all more than worthwhile.

These awards are just another feather in our collective cap. I couldn't have done it without you all. I hope we can all continue to be there for each other, I will continue to do my best.

Below is the acknowledgement on the US edition of the story that launched this blog and started it all...the story of Gladys and Edward; A Heart to Mend

The following people were very helpful in bringing this book to fruition;

Everyone in the Eastside Writers Meetup Group in Seattle Washington, who read excerpts and gave generous feedback.
All the readers of my blog;, for their comments and encouragement.
Webround, the first blogger who took an interest. For clear eyes and ever-judicious pointers and advice.
The amazing ttlola, Neefemi, Fabulo-la, Histreasure, Azazel, Nice Anon, Leggy, and Tisha, for copyediting and proofreading at no charge. You are all stars.
All my family and in-laws, far and near, for your patience with me, your unwavering love and your support.
Finally and chiefly, thank you to A... My cheerleader, first reader, collaborator, beloved mastermind and husband. I love you.

Permit me to repeat these acknowledgements. We have done it once again.

ps...yes there will be freebies, lol. Watch out!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Have you voted?

Posted in:
The Nigerian Blog Awards.

Now I am in New York seeing Lady Liberty and her friends so you know I didn't really put up this post right now. See why I was nominated for best use of media?

Some interesting messages on twitter

you know i'm wondering if this is a real account or a bot.. #justsaying... :)
9:39 AM May 22nd

this bot says hello ...., hope you're fine. I miss you and ur blog and I wonder if all is OK with you. Do take care of yourself. Bye...bye.
10:18 AM May 22nd

So yeah, there are many bots and I use them to do my business but this is my message to you all.

MW is here too if you need her. And I didn't see that last bit, take your time and all the best dearie
10:22 AM May 22nd

This is a scheduled post and will self regenerate in 24 hours.

Now go and vote. The Nigerian Blog Awards.

See you on twitter too. And thank you all so much if you've voted, (and voted for me) you are very much appreciated.

I love you, mwah!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Great Con

Posted in:
Nominated Best Writing Blog 2010 The Nigerian Blog Awards. Need a sample?

This is a bit out of character for me, mush romantic me. But yeah, shit happens too.

I got to know a stranger
When he beeped my pager
We later had a merger
And he took over the ledger
Didn’t know he was a forger
A talented artful dodger

Couldn’t believe what he’d done
Until after he had gone
I was the victim of a con
And it was time to mourn
He might now be on the run
But I swear he has not won

Then I got a tip-off call
He was seen with a new doll
I had taken a bad fall
And he was having a ball
I visited him with a carry-all
Shot him in the front hall.


Do you like what you just read?

Now go and vote. The Nigerian Blog Awards.