Friday, January 21, 2011

A Birthday Surprise - Tessa's Birthday BlogFest

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Tessa Conte is the blogger at Tessa's blurb and today is her birthday. To make her happy, she wants her friends to "Write a 500-1000 word story/scene that mentions birthday(s), candles, cakes or presents."

Happy Birthday Tessa, enjoy!


“Where are we going?” Gladys asked Edward as she stepped out of the office bathroom. He’d just come back after three weeks in China and though they’d spent most of the past few days together, he never mentioned they’d go out tonight. He only called this morning to ask her to take a change of clothes for an evening on the town with some friends.
“You’ll know when we get there. It’s a surprise.” He turned to smile at her before tidying up his papers and ushering her out of the office. “And you look good in that top.”
“Thanks, glad you like it. But don’t dodge the question. Why won’t you tell me now?”
“Not yet, wait till we get there. Or you can try guessing.”
“Oh Edward, you know I don’t like surprises.”
They took the elevator to the underground car park and were soon on their way. Unlike most of their dates, this wasn’t set in advance. He usually picked her up after work, either alone or with friends, to take her home or out for drinks.
Sometimes, they went to her book club or similar literary events. Other times he introduced her to new places; some he’d discovered as a university student during his first years in the city.
They were caught in the perennial hold-up on Awolowo Road when she turned under the seatbelt. “OK, do you know what?”
“What is that?” Edward adjusted his side mirror as an okada bike sneaked in between the stationary cars.
“I got a query yesterday. My boss says I nod off at my desk.”
“So you are one of those people who sleep at work, eh? I have some of those in my office too.”
“I got you,” Gladys chuckled. “I actually enjoy my duties.
“You’re sure you do not sleep on the job?”
“No I don’t.” Did he think she was serious?
“Is that your final answer or do you want to phone a friend?” Edward deadpanned as the traffic began to inch forward.
Caught unawares, Gladys laughed easily. It was clear she would have fun tonight. “Really, I was only trying to pull your leg. I’ve never received a query.”
“Well my legs are quite busy now, so please don’t pull any of them.” Their laughter blended into each other.
He looked at her when she stopped. “What did you receive?”
“That’s the deal. I’ll tell if you say where we’re headed.”
He guffawed. She put a hand on his thigh, “Edward please...”
“So you thought to make a stand? I didn’t think so.”
She pouted and looked away. They soon arrived at Reed’s Restaurant, which served Thai food. They had been here before, but Gladys was surprised to see her friend Ola walking up to the car. She opened the door and stepped out.
“What a coincidence!” She said as Ola came closer to them.
“I don’t think it is.” Ola pointed to the group of people near the doors of the building.
Gladys looked up and gasped; she looked over to Edward who had just finished locking up.
“Happy birthday to you darling.” He smiled innocently at her and turned to Ola. “Allow me to use this opportunity to congratulate you on your confirmation too.”
“Don’t look at me, I didn’t tell him.” Gladys protested when Ola turned to her with an accusatory look.
Ola was a colleague whose cubicle was just down the hall from hers at the office. She had started out in the industry ten years ago as a lowly clerk but had risen to become a chartered accountant. They’d taken to each other, maybe because she was a fairly new employee herself when Gladys joined the firm. Ola was Gladys’s best friend even though she was older by some years. They shared more interests than she did with Jennifer or Ayo. Also, Ola was a Lagos girl and from her and Edward, Gladys had learnt all about living in and enjoying the hectic city.
“How did you find out then?” Ola turned back to Edward.
“Let’s just say I have an ear to the ground.” He replied striding around the car. Her eyes settled on him but she was speechless. Her birthday was last week but she wasn’t even a stickler for celebrations. Her family and a few friends had called with greetings and she was even happier when he’d made time from his busy schedule in China to do the same.
He took her arms and gave her a brief kiss on the lips.
“So this is your surprise?”
“Yes, a birthday party. Do you still not like surprises?”
“I love this one.” She gave him a big hug.


Excerpt from my first novel, A HEART TO MEND

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Loneliness (Poem)

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SO I am plotting my next next book and I can already see the heroine, which is a good thing. But I don't know whether I'm ready to write her. This is the poem she inspired in me, not as upbeat as my usual. Probably she's also older and has seen the world. Hmmm...maybe that would not be so bad, someone with a varied experience should make an interesting character. Anyway, enjoy...


I am so very lonely
The cold gets to my bones
I am solitary and alone
There are no real friends
I don’t need a crowd
Just someone to fulfill me
I feel so deep and empty
The hollowness is killing me

Thus I sit and wait
But time waits for no one
As the clock ticks the hours
And days and weeks go by
The crescent moon waxes and wanes
And the years roll away
Like palm fronds waving at the sky
My arms are wide open

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Debate Tuesday - Another wife for my husband?

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Or is polygamy totally bad? I don't think so. I believe that if the people involved are genuine and agree, it could actually work. And yeah, I'm not against another wife for Atala. Actually, there are so many reasons for polygamy, especially in the Nigerian society, including looking for a male child, or any child, having more hands to help (eg, when the first wife is a career woman, the second can be SAHM) and of course the fact that, a woman is not regarded as responsible unless she is married.

So how did this issue arise? I was on the radio with Mandy Ojugbana of Smooth 98.1 FM in Lagos Nigeria a couple of times. The first was talking about AHTM, Naija Stories and my upcoming book tour in Nigeria. The second was a recap of my trip and also a book review of Lola Shoneyin's book, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's wives. While we discussed the polygamous home of Baba Segi, I mentioned to Mandy that I actually supported polygamy which made her speechless but later she asked if I would welcome a new wife for my husband. I answered in the affirmative and when my FB friends heard it, they raised the roof!

BTW, Baba Segi's wives is a fantastic book. This is the book's description from Amazon...

When Baba Segi awoke with a bellyache for the sixth day in a row, he knew it was time to do something drastic about his fourth wife's childlessness.

Meet Baba Segi . . .

A plump, vain, and prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, Baba Segi is the patriarch of a large household that includes a quartet of wives and seven children. But his desire to possess more just might be his undoing.

And his wives . . .

Iya Segi—the bride of Baba Segi's youth, a powerful, vindictive woman who will stop at nothing to protect her favored position as ruler of her husband's home.

Iya Tope—Baba Segi's second wife, a shy, timid woman whose decency and lust for life are overshadowed by fear.

Iya Femi—the third wife, a scheming woman with crimson lips and expensive tastes who is determined to attain all that she desires, no matter what the cost.

Bolanle—Babi Segi's fourth and youngest wife, an educated woman wise to life's misfortunes who inspires jealousy in her fellow wives . . . and who harbors a secret that will expose shocking truths about them all.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Pictures - Celebrity Spotting

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Hello everyone, hope your days have been going well? may this new week usher in lots and favor, blessings and success for us all. I'm catching up small, small, but have so many reports to write and all. This is the easy one, as they say, a picture is like a thousand words. I had the opportunity in Nigeria to meet so many people I admire, especially the acclaimed authors I met at the Garden City Literary Festival (GCLF) and a chance encounter with Uche Jombo at the Silverbird Galleria. I was on a visit to check on my book at the Lifestyle store and was taking a drink at Barcelos when she walked in, couldn't miss it can I?

Yeah yeah yeah, some people have yabbed me for my love of celebrities, lol...


With the great man himself, Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate and author of several books - novels, plays, essays and autobiographies.

Helon Habila, I read his book Measuring Time last year and was impressed. Not my best book but a worthy commentary on the state of the nation. Others think so too...Samuel Kolawole, author of The Book of M, middle...

From L -R (Karen King-Aribisala is of the Dept. of English, University of Lagos, Nigeria. The author of Our Wife and Other Stories and Kicking Tongues, she won the Best First Book Award of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1991, Abdul, a contributor on and participant at the festival, MOI!, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, author of I Do Not Come to You by Chance, her first book, and winner of Commonwealth Writers Prize, Publisher of Wole Soyinka's books - BookKfraft, Kaine Agary is the author of Yellow Yellow, and winner of the NLNG Literature prize for best Fiction )

Author in white cap is Chukwuemeka Ike, with several books under his belt including, Sunset at Dawn, Potter's Wheel and Bottled Leopard. The last is one book I'll never forget.

With Lindsay Barret, Photojournalist/author and Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Publisher of Cassava Republic Press, one of the progressive houses in the Nigerian book industry.

Sefi Attah, After I got back to reading Nigerian authors in 2004, her book Everything Good Will Come, was one of the first I read and it was great having this chance to tell her how much I enjoyed it. Unknown to me she had been talking about me on her FB fan page and asked for a copy of AHTM

Right, Zainab Jallo, playwright, "Onions make us Cry" which was shortlisted for the NLNG Lit Prize for Drama

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stylish and Versatile bloggers - Count me in

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I received these awards, for being a versatile and stylish Blogger, from two people - Mena Ukodoisready and Dee! - realbonnywoman. There is nothing as cheering as coming back after being away for almost two months and finding that people still remember who you are. Thanks so much for such a warm welcome and this has given me the additional push to come visit you all ASAP.

Yes o, I'm back in the US of A, to the cold and wet of Seattle, lol. Thank God for the warm cocoon of my home and friends, both on blogville and off.

So back to the awards, the rules are as follows:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
2. Tell us 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 other bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know that they have won.

Once again, thank you Mena and Dee!

Seven things about me...

- I can be shy about talking or writing about myself, but when it comes to issues, topics, etc, I don't mind taking center stage.

- I love daydreaming, yeah and that's why I love writing or reading others creativity.

- Richard Branson has nothing on me when it comes to travelling or seeking adventure, I only wish I had as much money as he did, hehehe...

- I have a sweet tooth and if i gave in to it, I'll probably add 10pounds in a week.

- I'm a smallie and have gotten used to it but when I see people above 6"5, I often imagine that there's a way to get some of that.

- I've not really experienced Nigeria like I did at my last trip and I found out something too, I remain a real shon of the shoil, no shaking.

- Final confession, I don't think I deserve the award for stylish blogger o, my sense of fashion and style is abysmal. As some of you know, I was asking for a stylist the other time. Well, we go dey patch dey go...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sex Toys for Women?

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A new, supposedly the first, online shop for sexual toys just berthed for Nigerian women living in the country. What are your thoughts on the issue?

The First female online intimate shop catering for Nigerian women has arrived. We are so excited for this opportunity to serve our community.

Our aim is to offer the best selection of sexual health products and erotica sourced from around the world that enhance the sexual expression and sexuality of women in intimate relationships.

We treat all women's sexuality as equal: regardless of your sexual preference , whether in your 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's, a mother, disabled, a survivor of cancer, like to swing from chandeliers or prefer the missionary position you will always be welcome at

Service is our top priority. We want women to feel good about their sexuality and the Intimate Pleasure team are highly trained to be knowledgeable in, and to offer advice about all things relating to sex, pleasurable toys and erotica.

We believe that buying pleasurable toys, whether a vibrator, dildo or an anal toy, should be an uplifting feel-good experience and that's why we promise the advice and service we give will always be personal to you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekend Pictures - Out and About Asaba

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I have left Asaba and don't know when I will be back. But the memories continue...

The state secretariat annex

New CBN office on Marryam Babangida Way

State house of Assembly

Elders deliberating in front of the House of Assembly. Wish the members were as honorable as their names

Campaign headquaters for PDP and the Jonathan-Sambo ticket

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Debate Tuesday - Men are unemotional?

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Or more rightly, Nigerian men are both unemotional and unromantic. Who says?

I had a discussion with a friend recently on writing romance set in Nigeria and she believes it is highly unrealistic. I thought it was because of the western/African dichotomy in romance where a few people I met during my readings mentioned that most Nigerians find it hard to say I love you and would rarely give flowers and such. Now that I understand, even though I think even the gap is lessening as more and more imbibe the foreign gestures through movies, books, education abroad, dating other races, etc.

But where exactly does it come from this "Nigerian men are unemotional?" Is it from the culture and upbringing or what? Does being unemotional mean they feel nothing for the women they're with or they hide it and prefer not to voice it out? Also we should be bear in mind that emotions are not just about love and affection, anger is also an emotion. How come our men are comfortable showing that side of them to the extent of Domestic Violence but find it hard to be more sensitive when it comes to relationships? Some male reviewers of AHTM have found Edward too emotional and soft, hear one..
...I do wonder why a tough-minded Edward, who had the world at his feet, was sort of soft. It was easy for any tough-minded man like Edward to say, ‘I love you’ even if it was a lie, just to establish a one night affair with any lady. It was easy for a tough-minded man like Edward to relieve himself with prostitutes … But Whitman stigmatized her Edward with a weakness which was rare. Whitman’s tough-minded Edward couldn’t double-date neither could he raise a voice against Gladys. SOURCE

So is that our idea of Nigerian men; brutish, unfaithful and harsh to their women?

Please share your thoughts.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Picture Weekend - Historical sites in Asaba, Nigeria

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Happy New Year everyone! We are now in 2011 and I want to use this opportunity to wish everyone a glorious next 365 days. It hasn't really started off well with the bomb blasts in Abuja yesterday but we push on. It will definitely be a year of achievement and building upon what has already been made. May we all attain greater heights in the coming weeks and months. I appreciate you all!

I'm still in Nigeria and enjoying Asaba my hometown. Enjoy the pics of some of the tourist destinations...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Networking: Lola Akinmade and Ada Agbim

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Hello everyone, hope your holidays are going well. I don't know about the other places but today is also a holiday in Nigeria, hehehe....I want to wish everyone a successful and happy New Year in Advance. May we achiever all our dreams and our projects be met with success! On that note; one major advantage of blogging is the social networking aspects. I continue to credit the early success and  AHTM buzz to blogger's support and interest. And it is with pleasure that I share these two bloggers with you and their dreams and events.

1. Lola Akinmade is a Nigerian Blogger who shares travel stories and pictures from her base in Sweden. She wrote me to humbly solicit your votes if you haven't cast it yet to support one of her dreams. Quark Expeditions will be sending a writer to the North Pole to document and provide engaging reports about the trip in June 2011 and they have opened the spot to interested travelers via voting. Lola has registered and really would love to represent as a Nigerian travel writer and photographer! Please vote and promote Lola here -

Every single vote counts towards finally making Lola's childhood dream a reality and she's currently a front-runner (3rd) and the top 5 to qualify to the final judging round. Equally as important, please forward the link to friends/family/colleagues/other networks as well - ("Lola Goes North") - to anyone who you feel can help. Every bit helps. Thank you!

2. Ada Agbim also wrote me through this blog. She was recently certified to teach two awesome group fitness programs in the US and is looking to bring them to Nigeria. This Christmas, she is doing a little preliminary research to see how receptive Lagos would be to the programs and would love to get as many people to try the class out. Please choose a date that works for you and join Ada and her class, I'll try to attend the FREE events on January 6th and 7th, wink wink...

Monday December 27 - 8:30AM – Lifequest Gym – N1000
Tuesday December 28 - 7:00AM – Priscilla’s Pride Day Spa and Gym – FREE
Wednesday December 29 - 7:00PM – Lifequest Gym – N1000
Thursday January 6 - 7:00AM – Priscilla’s Pride Day Spa and Gym – FREE
Thursday Januayr 6 - 6:00PM – Lifequest Gym – N1000
Thursday December 30 - 11:00AM – Barazahi – FREE
Tuesday January 4 - 6:00PM – Bodyworks Fitness – N1500
Friday January 7 - 8:30AM – Barazahi – FREE
Saturday January 8 - 8:00AM – Bodyworks Fitness – N1500
Sunday January 2 - 8:15PM – Eko Gym and Spa - Free
Monday January 3 - 8:15PM – Eko Gym and Spa - Free
Wednesday January 5 - 8:15PM – Eko Gym and Spa - Free
Friday January 7 - 8:15PM – Eko Gym and Spa - Free

*For a strength training alternative, join us at

Monday December 27 - 8:30AM – Lifequest Gym – N1000
Wednesday December 29 – 6:00PM – Lifequest Gym – N1000
Thursday January 6 – 7:00PM – Lifequest Gym – N1000
Tuesday December 28 - 7:15PM – Eko Gym and Spa – Free

BARAZAHI: 16 Fola Osibo Street. Lekki Phase 1
PRISCILLAS PRIDE DAY SPA AND GYM: 272B Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi
LIFEQUEST GYM: 37 Glover Court, Off Glover road. Community Club Complex, Ikoyi
BODYWORKS FITNESS: 3 Obafemi Anibaba st, off Admiralry rd. Lekki Phase 1
EKO GYM AND SPA: 9 Akarigbere Close, VI


ps; Please feel free to let me know if you need any events or projects publicized here. It will be my pleasure to feature you.