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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Curry contest : On a lighter note

Natal Curry Contest

If you can read this whole story without laughing then there's no hope for you. I was crying by the end ... .. . .

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. For those of you who have lived in Natal, you know how typical this is. They actually have a Curry Cook-off about June/July. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Royal Show in PMB.

Judge 3 was an inexperienced food critic named Frank, who was visiting from America

Frank: 'Recently, I was honoured to be selected as a judge at a Curry Cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking for directions to the Beer Garden when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Natal Indians) that the curry wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted'. Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


Judge 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

Judge 2 -- Nice smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.

Judge 3 (Frank) -- Holy sh*t, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These people are crazy.


Judge 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of chicken. Slight chilli tang.

Judge 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavour, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

Judge 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich Manoeuvre! They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.


Judge 1 -- Excellent firehouse curry. Great kick.

Judge 2 -- A bit salty, good use of chilli peppers.

Judge 3 -- Call 911. I've located a uranium pill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drain Cleaner. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting p*ssed from all the beer.


Judge 1 -- Black bean curry with almost no spice. Disappointing.

Judge 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a curry.

Judge 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Shareen, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 200kg woman is starting to look HOT...just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chilli an aphrodisiac?


Judge 1 -- Meaty, strong curry. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

Judge 2 -- Average beef curry, could use more tomato. Must admit the chilli peppers make a strong statement.

Judge 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chilli had given me brain damage. Shareen saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really p*sses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Scr*w them.


Judge 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety curry. Good balance of spices and peppers.

Judge 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

Judge 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. I am definitely going to sh*t myself if I fart and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Shareen. Can't feel my lips anymore I need to wipe my ar*e with a snow cone ice-cream.


Judge 1 -- A mediocre curry with too much reliance on canned peppers.

Judge 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chilli peppers at the last moment. (I should take note at this stage that I am worried about Judge 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably).

Judge 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with curry which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least, during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing - it's too painful. Scr*w it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.


Judge 1 -- The perfect ending. This is a nice blend curry. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Judge 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced curry. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge 3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the curry pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor man, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot curry?

Judge 3 - No Report

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy

Monday, 29 March 2010

Sub saharan African hair

(Please visit following link for an updated version on this note: )

I find Africa fascinating. People across this magnicificent continent are remarkably diverse by just about any measure! "The name Africa came into Western use through the Romans, who used the name Africa terra — "land of the Afri" (plural, or "Afer" singular) — for the northern part of the continent, as the province of Africa with its capital Carthage, corresponding to modern-day Tunisia.
The origin of Afer may either come from:

-the Phoenician `afar, dust;
-the Afri, a tribe—possibly Berber—who dwelt in North Africa in the Carthage area;
-the Greek word aphrike, meaning without cold;
-or the Latin word aprica, meaning sunny.

The historian Leo Africanus (1495-1554) attributed the origin to the Greek word phrike (meaning "cold and horror"), combined with the negating prefix a-, so meaning a land free of cold and horror. But the change of sound from ph to f in Greek is datable to about the first century, so this cannot really be the origin of the name. Egypt was considered part of Asia by the ancients, and first assigned to Africa by the geographer Ptolemy (85 - 165 AD), who accepted Alexandria as Prime Meridian and made the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa. As Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of Africa expanded with their knowledge."

But enough with that academic stuff, am here to talk about our hair types! The maintenance of afro textured hair to be precise. Each strand of Afro hair type grows in a tiny spring-like, corkscrew shape. The overall effect is such that, despite relatively fewer actual hair shafts compared to straight hair, this texture appears (and feels) denser than its straight counterparts. Due to this, it is often referred to as 'thick', 'bushy', or 'woolly'. For several reasons, possibly including its relatively flat cross section among other factors, this hair type also conveys a dry or matte appearance. It is also very coarse, and its unique shape also renders it very prone to breakage when combed or brushed. Adjectives such as "firm", "kinky", "nappy" or "spiralled" are often used to describe natural afro-textured hair in Western societies.
Source: Wiki (look this is true, am a real life example :P)

I am thinking of resorting to my natural, spiral, thick hair, but I am worried about maintenance.The picture in this posts is my younger brother having his hair done.

Anyways, here are a few tips from a fan page

// Someone asked me about twisting your own hair. i do small twists with my hair dry and then i wash it (the twists - and i use both shampoo and conditioner). It comes out really nice after washing, it shrinks giving it more shape and the ends get curly etc but... if you have kinky hair it can get your hair tangled and so cut a bit, so when you are loosening it you have to be very very careful and patient.

I have extremely kinky hair which was painful and impossible to comb especially after the baby so i had no choice but to soften it. I used a texturizing softner. It gave me my still natural hair but softer, easier to comb, not painful and with a softer curly look. It may feel like you are using a relaxer but i assure you it wont perm/straighten your hair (except maybe your hair is really soft and maybe if you process it for a long time, i can't say) but you'll see if you look at my profile pic, i still have an afro. Its called Soft and beautiful just for me texturizing softner (its for kids)
i recommended it to someone who has long and soft natural hair and she is so happy with the results. i like it too. you can try it and it doesn't make you loose your natural look... i still have my afro.

Then to style my hair, i use a leave-in conditioner that defines the curls even more. After i shampoo and condition my hair, i comb it in the shower, towel dry and then i apply the leave-in conditioner and rake thru with my fingers to keep the curls. Its called mixed chicks
its been really good for me and i recently bought a litre bottle of it!

Another alternative is Botanicals hair moisturizer for natural and textured hair. Pretty good as well, its what i had used in the pic with my baby. But i feel you need to moisturize your hair with some kind of oil with this one, cause my hair feels a little rubbery when it gets dry.
Same process, comb hair in shower after washing and conditioning, then apply to wet hair, rake thru with fingers and let dry naturally

I moisturize my hair with shea butter. Pink oil i think is horrible for natural hair. I hear that you can steam your hair with shea butter, never tried it, but shea butter is good for hair so it shouldnt be a bad idea.

So that in a nutshell is my entire hair regime. Hope it helps, let me know if you try it and how it comes out. Sorry for the long mail, i tend to be detailed. all the best o! I know how it is, natural hair is not easy :-)

Ciao girls!
Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner
Source: //

What do you think?


WHY is Africa so poor


Did I ever tell you about my Afrocentric side? Yep proudly African :). I have read a lot of articles about my beautiful and misunderstood continent, the cradle of mankind that I can probably write a book on it..Okay a really really small book :P

Anyways here is an article that reveals how Africa is forever linked to the west!!

Black man’s burden: How Africa subsidises the West

By Patrick Gathara
Posted Monday, August 17 2009 at 00:00

Speaking in advance of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s arrival for the 8th Agoa Forum in Nairobi, Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga was cheered when he declared that we in Africa do not need any lectures from the West.

Of course, lectures are exactly what the African leadership got.

Perhaps the greatest favour that Clinton’s visit would do us is if it led our potentates and their hapless subjects to ask one question: Why is Africa poor?

Our continent’s penury has been proclaimed far and wide. Governments, NGOs, the media and celebrities alike have taken to the rooftops to proclaim their sorry tale of Africa’s woe. We’ve all heard the statistics. To quote just a few: More than 300 million people south of the Sahara have to survive on less than a dollar a day.

Two thirds of the poorest countries in the world are in Africa, as are 34 of the 35 states with the lowest life expectancy.

However this is at best a misrepresentation of the true story and at worst a deliberate attempt to mask the real and fundamental cause of the continent’s underdevelopment.

AFRICA IS POSSIBLY THE LARGest producer of raw materials in the world. Our mineral and agricultural resources are what keep the rest of the world churning. Many of the world’s largest corporations make their money on the backs of African peasants who receive little in return for their labour.

For example, according to the Global Policy Forum, we (together with our brothers-in-alms in Asia and Latin America) grow the coffee that drives a $70 billion global business and accept only $6 billion for our troubles.

African countries harvest about two-thirds of the world’s cocoa (the main ingredient for the $75 billion chocolate industry), mine 21 per cent of its gold, control nearly 17 per cent of its oil reserves.

Kenya alone is home to fully 10 per cent of the world’s unexploited titanium reserves, which some have valued at $11 billion. Yet only 1 per cent of the world’s wealth is created in the region between the Sahara and the Cape of Good Hope.

HOW DO WE EXPLAIN THIS SEEMing paradox? First, let us disabuse ourselves of this notion that Africa is poor. Africa is not poor. We lack the things of this world because what we have is freely given away to the developed countries.

For example, in what was then described as “an unprecedented act of generosity,” the government of Kenya in 2006 gifted the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Company exclusive rights over a total of six out of 11 available oil exploration blocks, after which the Chinese held an auction in London and sold off the concessions.

In the case of the titanium find, Kenya’s colonial-era Mining Act stipulates that mining companies pay only 5 per cent of the value of the minerals to the government. According to Haroun Ndubi of Kituo cha Sheria, “A developed country… would be talking about a third of the value of the mineral deposits.”

We could also add that it is doubtful that any developed country would allow $11 billion to sit in the ground for 15 years while its citizens starved.

In these and other ways, Africa effectively subsidises the industrialised world’s economies to a scale that dwarfs any of the agricultural subsidies paid to their farmers or any amount of aid that they decide to favour us with.

And it doesn’t stop there. We spend our money training countless doctors, nurses and other professionals only to freely send them to work in the West. We receive “aid,” promptly pay it back to the “donor” nation’s companies, and then are paradoxically still left with a debt whose interest payments are mind-boggling…

Between 1970 and 2002, the countries south of the Sahara received a total of $294 billion in loans. In the same period of time they paid back $268 billion, and accumulated, after interest, a mountain of debt amounting to $210 billion.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS state of affairs? Not the perennial scapegoats, the West. The truth is that the blame lies squarely with us Africans because we tolerate the situation and accept the rationalisations that support it.

We agree to sell our raw materials on the cheap and cough up to buy back the processed stuff. We accept that the major international commodity exchanges be in the Western capitals that don’t produce any commodity.

We faithfully obey the dictates of a patently skewed market; we take the aid that is no aid at all but a form of internationally sanctioned loan-sharking; we buy the weapons that slaughter millions in pointless wars while at the same time we are busy sending peacekeepers to police the war zones of Europe.

We rip off our brethren then stash their hard-earned money away in foreign banks, boosting foreign economies. This is the real Black Man’s Burden — our largesse.

THE WEST, THOUGH, HAS NO INterest in solving our root problem because, as we have seen, it benefits handsomely from it. So they foist on us all sorts of agendas and after a lot of soul-searching and wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, they also provide us with the solutions.

More aid (specifically 0.7 per cent of their GDPs — that’s 70 cents out of every $100).

Some debt cancellation. More talk on market access and subsidies. Anything to avoid dealing with the central inconsistency of an entire continent sitting on a mountain of wealth and living off a pittance.

In spite of the obvious contradiction, our governments and NGOs fall over themselves to implement the latest proposals, gratefully accepting crumbs as their benefactors in the West continue to feast on bread made from our wheat.

In defining the agenda, the West succeeds in owning the problem. It never ceases to amaze me that any show on Africa by the TV networks always ends up interviewing some white guy from the West.

According to the Washington Post, “When the foreign media descend on the latest crisis, the person they look to interview is invariably the foreign saviour, an aid worker from the United States or Europe. African saviours are everywhere, delivering aid on the ground. But they don’t seem to be in [the West’s] cultural belief system.”

Anti-poverty shows meanwhile feature plenty of rich whites bemoaning the open sore that is Africa and a token black (probably an “enlightened” Aids victim or a survivor of some horrible famine) as a representative of the redemption a donation of a few dollars can buy.

BOB GELDOF’S LIVE EIGHT provides this telling scene as related by Margo Kingston: “Geldof introduced a young Ethiopian woman whose photo we saw from 20 years earlier when she was ten minutes away from death. But the moment was quickly lost; not even here could the audience be trusted with time for memory and reflection. ‘Live’ overruled Life. The young woman was led onstage to stand by as a prop to Madonna’s Like a Prayer. There was no Miriam Makeba on hand to embrace this African sister. A life ‘saved’ but now ready to aspire to the West’s idealised image.”

Like the poor Ethiopian, we have become props to the West’s struggle with its conscience. Africa is the stage where they seek absolution for their past misadventures, as Parselelo Kantai amply demonstrates in his insightful article, “Death of a Kenyan Dream.” They do so, not to relieve our suffering, but theirs.

In this drama, the African has been assigned his stock role of the “noble savage” needing to be rescued from himself while the West is cast as the heroic, self-sacrificing (the whole 70 cents) harbinger of civilisation.

Having accepted our role and donned the costume of moral and material bankruptcy, we have come to rely on them for answers to everything. When a parastatal is insolvent, bring in some Westerner and hey presto! Problem solved. Endemic corruption? Why, let’s get some Western “experts” to advise us.

Famines and disease? Here come the white messiahs riding on their standard issue luxury 4X4s (and receiving hefty allowances to compensate them for the hardship of exchanging a council house in London for a palatial residence in Muthaiga with several servants thrown in).

Faltering economies? Blame the whole thing on slavery and colonialism. Claim reparations. Sue their imperialist arses. Wait for the handout. Thus Western guilt and greed conspire with African naiveté, incompetence and thievery.

AFRICA NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND wrest back the problem. It is our problem, not the West’s. The solutions will come from us, not them. “Fair trade,” debt relief, removal of subsidies and “aid” cannot be anything other than a band-aid on a gaping wound.

We need to extract ourselves from a global trade system that is bleeding us dry. Africa needs to be run for the benefit of Africans, not modern-day imperialists.

The Virginia Centre for the Teaching of International Studies, whose central purpose is to enhance the teaching of international studies in Virginia’s middle and high schools, thinks that Grade 8 kids in the US should be able to “identify minerals in sub-Saharan Africa, explain how man uses these minerals and how developed nations need these minerals, identify minerals that are strategically important and examine factors that limit sub-Saharan Africa from becoming more industrialised and using these mineral resources themselves,” (italics mine).

I would recommend the same course to Raila and his fellow heads of government.

Patrick Gathara is general secretary of Katuni, the Association of East African.

Website: Blog:


Hope you learnt something about why Africa is where it is? I did! :D

Sexy Ricky Martin comes out.

As culled from

Ricky Martin came out on his website Tuesday.

The singer, whose sexuality was the source of much speculation in his "Vida Loca" heyday, posted a long statement that ended with, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

Martin welcomed twin sons via a surrogate in 2008 and has largely stepped away from the limelight to be a dad.

The statement in its entirety, which he posted in Spanish and English, is below.


A few months ago I decided to write my memoirs, a project I knew was going to bring me closer to an amazing turning point in my life. From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside. Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And thisis something worth celebrating.

For many years, there has been only one place where I am in touch with my emotions fearlessly and that's the stage. Being on stage fills my soul in many ways, almost completely. It's my vice. The music, the lights and the roar of the audience are elements that make me feel capable of anything. This rush of adrenaline is incredibly addictive. I don't ever want to stop feeling these emotions. But it is serenity that brings me to where I'm at right now. An amazing emotional place of comprehension, reflection and enlightenment. At this moment I'm feeling the same freedom I usually feel only on stage, without a doubt, I need to share.

Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature". Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.

If someone asked me today, "Ricky, what are you afraid of?" I would answer "the blood that runs through the streets of countries at war...child slavery, terrorism...the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith." But fear of my truth? Not at all! On the contrary, It fills me with strength and courage. This is just what I need especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment.

These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed.

What will happen from now on? It doesn't matter. I can only focus on what's happening to me in this moment. The word "happiness" takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.

I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.


I am wary about these celebs, is it a coincidence that he has a book of his memoirs coming out? Is it real or just a publicity stunt or ?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Facing the Giants

The first time I saw this clip, ( )I was impressed. It was a short clip on youtube that spoke of motivation, hope and endurance. I immediately related it to some of the battles in my life. A lot of us are just one step away from our potential, now that step may look like a 100,000 miles due to our present realities. However the right kind of encouragement; a listening ear, an encouraging gesture, simple things like a hug or a thumbs up are the facilitators that bring us to self actualisation.

I think the movie is worth it and so does Dan Blankenson. He gave the following reviews.

#1. This is a movie about overcoming great obstacles, something every family faces.

#2. This is a movie that does not rely on sex, violence, or profanity to carry a weak or boring plot.

#3. This is a movie that examines the relationships between family members, and offers sound Biblical advice on how to make those relationships more successful.

#4. This is a movie void of famous actors with large egos to build upon, which means cast was able to focus on the overall production and not worry about the performance of one actor or actress.

#5. This is a film that stirs all kinds of emotions and can definitely clean out clogged up tearducts.

#6. This is a movie with some great football action scenes that rival any larger, Hollywood, big-budget film.

#7. This is a movie written and produced by Christians dedicated to their work of reaching out to a lost world with the message of hope and love.

#8. This is a movie that celebrates the power of the human spirit to rise above what we think is possible.

#9. This is a movie that just seems to have the Lord's blessing on it throughout the post-production, production, and distribution.

#10. The DVD has many extras that give the viewers a taste of the amazing character and the pure hearts of the people who helped make this film a success!

Here is the movie plot courtesy of of their website,

In his six years of coaching, Grant Taylor has never had a winning season. Even the hope of a new season is squelched when the best player on his Shiloh Eagles decides to transfer schools. After losing their first three games of the season, the coach discovers a group of fathers are plotting to have him fired. Combined with pressures at home, Coach Taylor has lost hope in his battle against fear and failure.

However, an unexpected challenge helps him find a purpose bigger than just victories. Daring to trust God to do the impossible, Coach Taylor and the Eagles discover how faith plays out on the field and off.

With God, all things are possible. Yes they are possible!


Saturday, 27 March 2010

..on the art of gratefulness

What are you thoughts on forward mail? Are you like me who deletes by default? I have a friend who only forwards mail to me, and then considers that to be communication! Well the fact that I never reply should indicate that consider that to be b*ll sh*t!!

Then again, you do get the odd one that is so nicely done that it gives that warm feeling in your heart.
The following poem is about showing appreciation for everything. I find it timely as I spend so much of my time worrying about the future, that I hardly appreciate the present. Infact I should stop right here, this minutes and say thank you: "Father in Heaven I thank You for bringing me thus far, Great is Thy faithfulness upon me as well as the person reading this page. You deserve all the praise and adoration, in Jesus name, Amen!"


















FOR THE crazy people I work with...
BECAUSE they make work interesting and fun!




Live well, Laugh often, & Love with all of your heart

Wish you love, laughter and peace


I want her back every hurts

Madam Elizabeth Ojakovo: D.O.D April 16th
by Mena Ukodisready on Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 12:06pm

She bathed us, loved us with all she had, looked after us. She always wanted the most simple of things and was very good at keeping gifts in prestine shape.She gave us a good deal of....a n y t h i n g.Nothing was too much for her to do. She brought us up and served a s a good source of our family history. yes she helped her only daughter,from the beginning till the end, i dont know how she(daughter) can survive this..

She was a calming influence, an assurance that every thing would be alright. She never complained,always having a laugh,joke,or story from the past. Even when she got upset,her voice was so gentle, it soothed you rather than grates you.

I remember when a sibling came home on holidays, she wanted to see if his nether see this sibling,as an infant, had accidentally slipped into a pot of hot water,his skin was badly burned, so she wanted to check if that area turned out alright...Yes, a very authentic source of family

I can remember when her husband died, i took a hanky and was cleaning her sweat,i dont KNOW why i remember that moment.. i could feel truly free with her. My heart bleeds

Towards the end,she became the child and i was the adult,taking care of her, gently assuring her about Gods Promises. After her first stroke, i remember always telling her in a gentle way that certain foods should be avoided..she never agreed with me.does it matter now?

Oh Gosh do i miss her..i miss her so much,it hurts me. I cant believe..i am gutted. For the first time, i look at the word "gutted" my guts do feel pulled out..

I cant believe that i will never see my grandma many things i feel i should have done better, so many things i would still like to do with her. Couldnt she have waited a bit...?am i being selfish, unreasonable?questioning God? I dont know yet cause i am still in shock..Looking at the aged women i come across on the street, brings back memories.

I love you grandma, till we meet again..i REFUSE to say g o o d b y e,not yet,not now...

Rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the Lord. (did i just write that?)

Mamuje: Nice peice of work and Grandma would be proud* of ya.
April 20, 2008 at 1:00pm · Like

Mena aww: Thanks dear, you are so
April 20, 2008 at 1:05pm · Like

Ms K: I am moved totally by some sections of your tribute to your grandma- you as a child wiping her sweat when she was bereaved, the turn of the tide (with you becoming the adult and gran becoming the child) and the raw feelings you must have at not accepting she is gone.

I have nothing to comfort you with, dear Mena.

But God will, sweet one.... Please be strong.
April 20, 2008 at 1:56pm · Like

Ms O: My deepest sympathies at this time m, it warms my heart that you had such an amazing relationship with her and such those wonderful memories too.

My sympathies to you and the family.

Take care
April 20, 2008 at 7:50pm · Like

Ms K and Ms O, thank you very much.. one can not question God, or else, questions on to memories is a bittersweet thing. Thank you for your understanding,babes
God Bless you both.
April 20, 2008 at 8:39pm · Like

Ms BAO: My darling .....what can i say?
You have moved me by this wonderful tribute to your grandma, she would be very proud of the warm, sensitive and well rounded woman you have become.

God will give you the strength to cope with this

Please accept my deepest sympathies
April 20, 2008 at 11:26pm · Like
i GO YARN: In fond memories, we are able to preserve the best moments with loved ones who have passed on. Mena, I pray God will give you and your family the grace to pull through this time. Be strong dear.
April 21, 2008 at 12:01am · Like
Pitchfork O: Deepest condolences, dearie. She's gone to a much deserved rest.
April 21, 2008 at 2:09am · Like

Iggy Button: Deepest commiserations on your beloved Gran.
Believe in the fact that she has joined the Saints Triumphant.
Now she can really watch over you from above. Amen
April 21, 2008 at 9:05am · Like

Mena: Ms BAO, I go yarn, Pitchfork and Iggy darl, what else can a lady ask for but loving friends?thank you, i appreciate this
God Bless every one of you
April 21, 2008 at 1:19pm · Like

Ms N: Awhps! do I know wat to say? I just feel ur pain cos I've been there (my close pal, my dad). Only God can take away ur pain, turn it over to him.
A lovely and touching tribute though, grandma must be very proud of you!
April 21, 2008 at 3:00pm · Like

Dr O: Accept our condolences from Olu and I (jennifer), she has surely gone on to a better place but it doesn't ease the pain. My grandad died at 94 you would have thought a child had died we cried lots
April 21, 2008 at 4:43pm · Like

Ms JC: It's so lovely to see the beautifiul realtionship you had. Please focus on the good times and the fact that she lived a long and fruitful life.

God Bless

April 21, 2008 at 5:42pm · Like

Mena: Thanks everyone so very sweet of you..and it really helps
@Miss N and Dr o&j I am sorry to hear this.May their souls continue to Rest in perfect peace..Amen!
Dr o&j: OBITO?Ok you can call this denial sha. But i nefa think am reach that side. Mama?Obito?how e take happen na?
God Bless all of you
April 21, 2008 at 7:53pm · Like

Papabomboi: Dorothy dear, she has gone to rest from this wicked world and is safe in God's arms. The memories are fondest but someday, you and Grandma will re-unite and have joy, peace and love everlasting.

May her sweet soul rest in peace perfect peace... Amen!

Take heart and be strong.
April 21, 2008 at 9:02pm · Like

Aww Papa Bomboi, thanks, i appreciate this. May God continue to protect you and yours
April 22, 2008 at 4:27pm ·

What is this life if full of care, we have not time to stand and stare :/

As you may have noticed, I have taken a bit of time of my regular life to escape through blogging. I think its a much needed, healthier form of therapy and the icing on the cake is how relatively anonymous I am when compared with my facebook account. Typing out my thoughts helps me think more clearly.

I wonder if we realise we have been through a lot..well i have; from the time i was packed up, sobbing and scared, into boarding school, my uni days,postgrad,work at kerrylogistics,union bank,younis,sevenup..then my constant worry abt the future,its been a long ride.

The following prose best describes a typical period in my life:

Its a rat race, this life, so full of care! No time to pause. Have to analyse group processes and behaviour. Hmm have i got that annual report? should my assignments be on blood diamonds?or niger delta. I muussstt ggoo tooo bed zzzz

*alarm rings* Must wake up now and head to work! ARGH! Forgot about Strategy assignments. Oops my manager can see me write a reminder to myself....she is frowing.should try to relax. Managed to get through work.

*rrriing* oh my phone? "hello" " hi, its me Jacky, just called to tell you that i am getting married" Great..ok, must send money to support her since i cant be there...have to study and remember the nature of leadership..does that mad man(leadership tutor) really expect me to read 4 textbooks? I went to the library, did some facebooking and started studying..

"YOU have 30minutes till we close the library" says the library security guy. Hmm, didnt realise the time was so far gone. Get books in bag and rush to head home.
*Stupid immigrants, we cant even find a place to seat" cursed a white obviously drunk guy. The bus was full, so he had to stand, methinks he should deal with it!

Got home, hmm, my stew is off, no food. So had to eat some bread. While eating, my mind warns me: "This is not healthy eating, your waistline has massively increased since you became busy".
" I know", I mind. "How ironic, the busier the less healthy I eat"! I make a subconsious plan to eat healthy or buy diet pills!!
Try to go to bed. argh !whats that noise now. cant believe she is creating a disturbance at this time of the night.well there goes my sleep.

I woke up in panic! My alwarm didnt go off!Gosh, i will be late for work. She caught me!"Mena, can you come into my office, i would like to have a word with you."*oh brother!*

"Mena!" she continues, "we are going to be short staffed so you may need to multitask, I am counting on you to deliver on sales" Ok, no pressure.

*RING* "hello,long time. Mena, you dont keep in touch anymore. well Jacky junior is now 5 months." "Thank God" i say. how time flies...MUST RELAX.

*riiing* a familiar ringtone,my heart goes a flutter."Hello Dude! what a nice surprise! I really miss you " "Mena, look we need to talk". The dreaded words.I blank out,but come round to hear;"its not you,its me".Huh?i think to myself, "what a complete waste of time and energy,and expensive foundation, yet all he can come up with,is, its not you its me? "Ok no stress, (as usual i keep the pain inside)good bye then....."

Must focus on only positives. *RING* hello?"Mena! Mena!!.its mum,your dad said i should tell you that he is counting on you" ARGH so much pressure from all angles. i must try to relax. note to self. Do not be anxious for anything....

Assessments are almost here. I hear a whisper in my ear."Mena, pls could you help me with.." I reply as usual,"sure i can, just send it to me and i will do it for you.." 9hours later,*ARGH* forgot to cook a healthy meals again, had to eat junk food! "Mena you are among the 20 percent that passed with no retakes..Please can you advice the new intakes on how you managed that achievement?"...I am? Must be a fluke! Must concentrate,must focus, from where comes my strength....

*ring* Its my good friend, Onyinye: "Mena,where have you been? You dont pick up calls anymore, Sade thinks you are jealous she is getting married because you didnt bother to buy her asoebi...". I am totally gobsmacked, "quite franky I think sade must have an overbloated opinion about herself" I my head of course. Dont want to feed into Sade's unfounded paranoia. Jealous sha? kmft! Needless to say, I didnt respond to that, but kept the discussion on Onyinye.

*ring* Mena, its me mum, I have a tumour and I am going to have it removed so they can check if its cancerous or not"

My world came crashing down and YET I still had a busy life!!!

This poem sort of sums it all up!

Here i am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed from a maverick college life to strict professional life…...

How tiny pocket money changed to huge monthly paychecks
but then why it gives lesss happiness….

How a few local denim jeans changed to new branded wardrobe
but then why 's there less time to use them

How a single plate of samosa changed to a full Pizza or burger
But then why there is less hunger…..

Here i am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed…..

How a bike always in reserve changed to car always Full on
but then why there are less places to go on……

How a small coffee shop changed to cafe coffee day
but then why its feels like shop is far away…..

How a limited prepaid card changed to postpaid package
but then why there are less calls & more messages……

Here i am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed…...

How a general class journey changed to Flight journey
But then why there are less vacations for enjoyment….

How a old assembled desktop changed to new branded laptop
but then why there is less time to put it on……….

How a small bunch of friends changed to office mate
But then why we always feel lonely n miss those college frnz.….

Here i am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed….. How it changed…….

Thursday, 25 March 2010

A heavy problem!

So I was watching the Supersize vs Superskinny - Series 3 - Episode 1, when a short film titled "Postcards from America" grabbed my attention. In this film a 37 stone Alaina Morgan from Santa Rosa, California, advices the supersize contestant to loose weight. Alaina, who is bed ridden, needing 6 nurses on a 24hour shift, said she will do anything to be the same size as the 24 stone contestant. She said she would have turned off the 'damn' TV, do more physically intense but fun things like take walks instead of driving, play with her kids, and so on.

As I watched in morbid fascination, I had to consider my weight. I have gained a few pound due to comfort eating.I was comfort eating due to a number of things that happened in quick session, that deeply affected me. If I dont get a grip, I could one day be this lady that needs a huge brush and three people to wash between her 'yansh' (NO JOKE NO HYPERBOLE). I am danger of eating myself into a size that I cannot wipe my own bottom!

Another story is from a much younger person. When I was 14 and weighed 297 pounds, I had a recurring dream. I dreamed that a fairy godmother gave me three wishes. One of my wishes was to weigh 180 pounds. Day and night, my excess weight troubled me.

I'm now 17, and I've weighed 145 pounds for the past two years. Getting and staying fit has been tough, but it's easier than a lifetime of obesity.

My life did a 180 when I lost 150 pounds. Now every day is filled with amazing opportunities. Not long ago, I carried the torch for the 2010 Winter Olympics. I was selected in a national contest as one of 10 teens who exemplify positive living. I can't say it was a dream-come-true because, when I was obese, I never dreamed that big. All I could think of was getting rid of the excess weight.

Carrying 150 excess pounds was difficult. But I also carried some oversized emotional and physical worries--things my family never imagined. They were too close to notice, and I was too embarrassed to share my feelings or ask for help.

My family is loving and supportive, and they would have done anything to help me. But incredibly, they didn't think of me as obese. I was just Taylor--upbeat, opinionated, optimistic. If they'd known what I was experiencing as a grossly overweight teen, they would have helped me get fit.

Why didn't my family realize I was obese? Because a chunky kid can turn into an obese teen so gradually that the people closest to them don't notice.

You may not see your own child as obese. But check the charts. If the calculations say "overweight" or "obese," your child probably feels a lot like I felt. And looking back, I wish I'd told my family:

• "I'm scared." I was terrified of weight-related diseases. I knew overweight kids could have heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

• "The teasing hurts." I laughed along with the kids who teased me, but years later, I still remember every hurtful word.

• "I don't fit in." My weight placed a huge barrier between me and my thin peers. The more isolated I felt, the more I turned to food for comfort. And the more I turned to food, the bigger and more isolated I became.

• "I want to be thin." I acted as if my weight didn't bother me, but I promise you, it did.

• "I blame myself." I didn't blame my family for my extra pounds. I felt wholly and miserably responsible.

• "It's hopeless." When I thought about how much weight I needed to lose, it seemed useless even to try.

• "Please, please talk, but I may not listen." I was terrified and knew I needed help. I was also self-conscious and embarrassed. But I would have listened--eventually--if my family had approached me about my weight.

I was terrified and discouraged, and I dreamed of being healthy. Ultimately, I realized that I didn't need a fairy godmother to make my dream come true. It was up to me.

For a long time, I blamed the fat gene. I blamed our family's fast-food lifestyle. I blamed my techie hobbies. My turning point was when I stopped blaming circumstances and took responsibility for my own fitness. I believe that taking responsibility is the key to getting fit.

The video and the article challenged my mind and jump started my new diet and fitness regime. I walked from hendon to burnt-oak and back heavy laden with things. It took a bit more than an hour 30minutes, a far cry from a gruelling 3hours daily work out, but little drops eh?

I think we all should adopt a healthier mindset, and this will transfer to our bodies. Exercise releases hormones that make you look and feel good! It's a win win situation regardless of if you are obese or skinny unless of course you were born with the elusive 'perfect gene' or like Donna Simpson, you have a higher calling!

Donna Simpson, 42m from New Jersey who already weighs 600 pounds is on a mission to double her girth in a bid to become the world’s fattest woman.

Simpson, currently the 43rd-heaviest living woman on record, saya she has her sights on reaching the 1,000-pound mark over the next two years.

To achieve that goal, she eats “mounds of junk food” and moves around as little as possible (huh?), relying on a motorized scooter to get from place to place. “My favorite food is sushi, but unlike others I can sit and eat 70 big pieces of sushi in one go,” she told the Daily Mail.

“I do love cakes and sweet things, doughnuts are my favorite.”

All I can say to that is: at the end of the day, all die na die right?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

How to write about Africa! (Warning: copious amounts of sarcasm!)

Some tips: sunsets and starvation are good.

Always use the word 'Africa' or 'Darkness' or 'Safari' in your title. Subtitles may include the words 'Zanzibar', 'Masai', 'Zulu', 'Zambezi', Victroria Falls` 'Congo', 'Nile', 'Big', 'Sky', 'Shadow', 'Drum', 'Sun' or 'Bygone' Zimbabwe. Also useful are words such as 'Guerrillas', 'Timeless', 'Primordial' and 'Tribal'. Note that 'People' means Africans who are not black, while 'The People' means black Africans.

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don't get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book. The continent is full of deserts, jungles, highlands, savannahs and many other things, but your reader doesn't care about all that, so keep your descriptions romantic and evocative and unparticular.
Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls, and eat things no other humans eat. Do not mention rice and beef and wheat; monkey-brain is an African's cuisine of choice, along with goat, snake, worms and grubs and all manner of game meat. Make sure you show that you are able to eat such food without flinching, and describe how you learn to enjoy it—because you care.
Taboo subjects: ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans (unless a death is involved), references to African writers or intellectuals, mention of school-going children who are not suffering from yaws or Ebola fever or female genital mutilation.
Throughout the book, adopt a sotto voice, in conspiracy with the reader, and a sad I-expected-so-much tone. Establish early on that your liberalism is impeccable, and mention near the beginning how much you love Africa, how you fell in love with the place and can't live without her. Africa is the only continent you can love—take advantage of this. If you are a man, thrust yourself into her warm virgin forests. If you are a woman, treat Africa as a man who wears a bush jacket and disappears off into the sunset. Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed.
Your African characters may include naked warriors, loyal servants, diviners and seers, ancient wise men living in hermitic splendour. Or corrupt politicians, inept polygamous travel-guides, and prostitutes you have slept with. The Loyal Servant always behaves like a seven-year-old and needs a firm hand; he is scared of snakes, good with children, and always involving you in his complex domestic dramas. The Ancient Wise Man always comes from a noble tribe (not the money-grubbing tribes like the Gikuyu, the Igbo, Zulu, Ndebele or the Shona). He has rheumy eyes and is close to the Earth. The Modern African is a fat man who steals and works in the visa office, refusing to give work permits to qualified Westerners who really care about Africa. He is an enemy of development, always using his government job to make it difficult for pragmatic and good-hearted expats to set up NGOs or Legal Conservation Areas. Or he is an Oxford-educated intellectual turned serial-killing politician in a Savile Row suit. He is a cannibal who likes Cristal champagne, and his mother is a rich witch-doctor who really runs the country.
Among your characters you must always include The Starving African, who wanders the refugee camp nearly naked, and waits for the benevolence of the West. Her children have flies on their eyelids and pot bellies, and her breasts are flat and empty. She must look utterly helpless. She can have no past, no history; such diversions ruin the dramatic moment. Moans are good. She must never say anything about herself in the dialogue except to speak of her (unspeakable) suffering. Also be sure to include a warm and motherly woman who has a rolling laugh and who is concerned for your well-being. Just call her Mama. Her children are all delinquent. These characters should buzz around your main hero, making him look good. Your hero can teach them, bathe them, feed them; he carries lots of babies and has seen Death. Your hero is you (if reportage), or a beautiful, tragic international celebrity/aristocrat who now cares for animals (if fiction).
Bad Western characters may include children of Tory cabinet ministers, Afrikaners, employees of the World Bank, those thugs from USA. When talking about exploitation by foreigners mention the Chinese and Indian traders. Blame the West for Africa's situation. But do not be too specific.

Broad brushstrokes throughout are good. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances. Have them illuminate something about Europe or America in Africa. African characters should be colourful, exotic, larger than life—but empty inside, with no dialogue, no conflicts or resolutions in their stories, no depth or quirks to confuse the cause.
Describe, in detail, naked breasts (young, old, conservative, recently raped, big, small) or mutilated genitals, or enhanced genitals. Or any kind of genitals. And dead bodies. Or, better, naked dead bodies. And especially rotting naked dead bodies. Remember, any work you submit in which people look filthy and miserable will be referred to as the 'real Africa', and you want that on your dust jacket. Do not feel queasy about this: you are trying to help them to get aid from the West.

The biggest taboo in writing about Africa is to describe or show dead or suffering white people.

Animals, on the other hand, must be treated as well rounded, complex characters. They speak (or grunt while tossing their manes proudly) and have names, ambitions and desires. They also have family values: see how lions teach their children? Elephants are caring, and are good feminists or dignified patriarchs. So are gorillas. Never, ever say anything negative about an elephant or a gorilla. Elephants may attack people's property, destroy their crops, and even kill them. Always take the side of the elephant. Big cats have public-school accents. Hyenas are fair game and have vaguely Middle Eastern accents. Any short Africans who live in the jungle or desert may be portrayed with good humour (unless they are in conflict with an elephant or chimpanzee or gorilla, in which case they are pure evil).

After celebrity activists and aid workers, conservationists are Africa's most important people. Do not offend them. You need them to invite you to their 30,000-acre game ranch or 'conservation area', and this is the only way you will get to interview the celebrity activist. Often a book cover with a heroic-looking conservationist on it works magic for sales. Anybody white, tanned and wearing khaki who once had a pet antelope or a farm is a conservationist, one who is preserving Africa's rich heritage. When interviewing him or her, do not ask how much funding they have; do not ask how much money they make off their game. Never ask how much they pay their employees.

Readers will be put off if you don't mention the light in Africa. And sunsets, the African sunset is a must. It is always big and red. There is always a big sky. Wide empty spaces and game are critical—Africa is the Land of Wide Empty Spaces. When writing about the plight of flora and fauna, make sure you mention that Africa is overpopulated. When your main character is in a desert or jungle living with indigenous peoples (anybody short) it is okay to mention that Africa has been severely depopulated by Aids and War (use caps).
You'll also need a nightclub called Tropicana, where mercenaries, evil nouveau riche Africans and prostitutes and guerrillas and expats hang out.
Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.
Dont forget Mugabe.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Binyavanga Wainaina lives in Nairobi, Kenya. He is the founding editor of the literary magazine Kwani? and won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, and National Geographic.

A simple explanation of life...;)

On the first day, God created the dog and
said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and
bark at anyone who comes in or walks past.
For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."

The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking.
How about only ten years and I'll give you back the
other ten?"*

So God agreed.....

On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain
people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you
a twenty-year life span."

The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty
long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"

And God agreed......

On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into
the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun,
have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this,
I will give you a life span of sixty years."

The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for
sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"

And God agreed again......

On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep,
play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."

But the human said, "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me
my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave
back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God. "You asked for it."

So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and
enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to
support our family. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks
to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit
on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.:)

Sunday, 21 March 2010

You sure say that stew never done so..

So, after the shock earlier this month, which i must add, ruined my birthday,I have decided to pick myself up! I am thinking of exercising now, need to get all the wonderful benefits of working out. Ooops I digress..

A lot of things influenced my decision, most important of which were the love I received from my close family members. Finally agreed to go out and celebrate with my lil account and baby bro and it was a lovely experience. Including lil Accountants attempt at buying me flowers to cheer me up(awww).I firmly rejected it. Then two of my very very close friends came visting..have not laughed that hard in a looong time.

So i have decided to cheer up, put on my'face' and turn my phones back on.

Some interesting things happened last week but I shall focus on just one. This 'one' is related to cooking. I had cooked a pot of food yesterday, then literally went to bed.By the time I woke up,the pots were half empty,my siblings 'landed'. I was also greeted with exclamations on how the food tasted. That spurred me on to try that method of cooking again..with close to disasterous results!!

I love the aroma that is achieved when palm oil is bleached so thats what I was when the sauce pan containing the palmoil suddenly burst into flames. In panic i picked (the sauce pan) up and put it in the sink directly under the tap. Dumb move!! The fire spread!!

Note that I have attended a lot of fire drills and other health and safety exercises in my lifetime, yet I did the wrong thing when faced with a 'situation'.
Go figure!

So where was I,..yes..the fire spread and my mind raced to the body sleeping in one one of the bedrooms.
"Code, code, wake up!" I screamed,while trying to swing the pot round to quench the fire. No results..naturally, that was a retarded move!

In full panic mode,i threw the pot outside and kept screaming at code to get up (my plan was for us to make a run for it). Then dramatically the 'winch' fire just disappeared!! Code came down and I apologised, asking him to go back to bed

I took about an hour to calm down and another hour to gather enough courage to continue cooking..when Code woke up from his siesta, walked downstairs, threw a glance at me and then looked at a saucepan, then finally looked at his watch and observed.." That stew never done? You done dey cook am since 3 hours ago na!'


Code: 'Abeg I wan cook o'
Me: 'really? do you know how to cook? what do you want to cook' *I managed to say (still in amazement)*
Code:'I wan boil macaroni'
Me: 'Is that what you term as cooking?' *I asked in full sarcasm mode*
Code' yes na, oooo, the soup never still done?'

dumbfounded!I almost roasted his ass and he worries about the food?

LOL, Have a great week!!

Dear writer, follow these guidelines before I get a gun

*Just found this article on a facebook note. Loved it so much decided to share here. (references included as usual :)* Enjoy

begin with confessions: when I am not drooling at my desk, I am actively looking for the dustbin (to trash another useless manuscript) or busy shooting rubber bands to wake up other sleeping editors (I confess I need deeper drawers to burry these remaining and piling manuscripts). When editors don’t get enough sleep at home, they just come to the office in dark glasses. To ensure instant snoring, the trick is to grab the nearest manuscript which acts as the best lullaby of all time – until I start shooting rubber bands on editors’ faces, which I must add is the only thing (apart from an electric slap which is sadly not allowed in our office) that can wake up even the deepest office slumber. On this note, our great collision government should pass a law requiring all writers to have their manuscripts typed in CAPITAL letters to keep us from falling asleep. I once read a joke of a certain town that had more Baptists than people and I swear we have more writers in Kenya than people! Everyone is writing about everything – and doing it very badly. The government should intervene for the sake of its sane citizens.
I personally advocate the use of tactical nuclear weapons against writers who can’t write well. In fact, I’d rather chew a whole roll of foil paper than read some obscure badly written manuscript. There is nothing as taxing as reading such a manuscript and, honestly, editors feel like concrete on the wrong end of a jackhammer.
This is not to say that we editors do not work hard. However, I tend to agree with the person who said, “Hard work never hurt anyone – but why take any chances?” We are not taking any chances. And we have a good excuse to nap in the office because as I mentioned writers bring us boring manuscripts. I do not want to continue defending ourselves or else I’ll ruin this perfectly good excuse with an apology.
Our work would be great were it not for writers. They compose prose– and we do our best to wreck it. I do not like all writers – be they novelists, poets, columnists (which means I hate myself) and all others in their various shades and degrees of pretense. And I do not think this is strange. As someone wrote, “it is a proven fact that the more you work with people, the more you hate them. Look at clerks…they work with people all day long, and their basic approach to human interaction is to make you wait in the queue as long as possible and then tell you you’re in the wrong queue, in hopes that you’ll have a very painful and ultimately fatal seizure, and they’ll get to watch”. We spend all our waking hours with writers – hurt writers, rejected writers, soon-to-be rejected writers, old writers who have been ‘upcoming’ writers for decades, aging scribes, pitiful writers, proud writers, writers in school in primary school and even writers with PhDs – so there is no question whether editors like writers. They don’t.
Writers have one annoying habit: one writes a manuscript and they have this dreamy feeling that what they’ve written is the best thing to ever happen to the human race since the invention of sliced bread. For every writer, theirs is the most interesting manuscript. Yes, I agree, it is the most interesting manuscript to YOU. To the rest of us, it’s not that interesting or else we won’t be drooling over it as we labour to complete reading a page.
Writers accuse editors of being sadists – that our work is to dampen their spirits and dash their hopes of owning the sky. No. Our work is to bring the writers to the real world and iron out weaknesses from their work. Take an editor’s job to be like of “a statesman who shakes the fruit trees of his neighbours — to dislodge the worms”. This is what writers never get. The English have a saying that “Denial is not just a river in Egypt”. I vouch in the writer’s world, denial is no longer a river but an ocean. And all writers have been drowning in it since the days of the first scroll.
Having been in publishing for long enough to be able to prove it with my fading eyesight in my early thirties, I offer my advice below. Follow it at your own risk or get your own self-help guide.
Write your manuscript in capital letters – I have already said the reason is to prevent us from falling asleep or drooling over your boring manuscript.
Remember, your manuscript is NOT great. Who told you it’s great? That’s your opinion (or is it an illusion?) Okay, they say in democratic countries that opinions are like noses everyone has their own – some long and others short. Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion – only in this case yours is wrong and, to be honest, it doesn’t matter.
Write well using obsolete words. Obsolete words are refreshing – and they will keep the editor awake as they try to remember what they mean. If you are still wondering what obsolete means – according to the devil’s dictionary, it means “No longer used by the timid. Said chiefly of words. A word which some lexicographer has marked obsolete is ever thereafter an object of dread and loathing to the fool writer, but if it is a good word and has no exact modern equivalent equally good, it is good enough for the good writer. Indeed, a writer's attitude toward ‘obsolete’ words is as true a measure of his literary ability as anything except the character of his work. A dictionary of obsolete and obsolescent words would not only be singularly rich in strong and sweet parts of speech; it would add large possessions to the vocabulary of every competent writer who might not happen to be a competent reader”.
Never hand in anything that is handwritten. Some handwriting is so horrible that cave men scribbling on walls were more legible. Bad handwriting leaves the editor depressed, bewildered and prone to emotional excess – which will result (but not limited) to giving an instant rejection slip – with the words “Never, ever!” Or if the writer is lucky, they could get a slap on the face to accompany the rejection slip.
Do not threaten an editor with a pen knife or any blunt object – when he gives you a rejection slip. Swallow your pride, cry in your bedroom, read it objectively and make the suggested corrections or burry the manuscript as the case may be.
If you do not want rejection slips, climb the gallows. In case you are wondering what gallows are in this context, they are, as defined by a deranged man elsewhere “a stage for the performance of miracle plays, in which the leading actor is translated to heaven. In this country the gallows is chiefly remarkable for the number of persons who escape it”.
Dear writer, follow these guidelines before I get a gun.

John Mwazemba

( )

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Why are our pastors so flambouyant?

*One of my older topics, but I recently came across an article that refreshed my memory*

Ok, in a country where there is so much hunger,no proper public health care, serious lack of security and so on, is it SO NECESSARY for some pentecostal pastors be so flambouyant? What with the designer suits, state of the art cars, several private jets..need I go on?

I once went to a (Naija) church where i was promised 24 hours emergency blessings if i drop 24000 bucks.It was actually a deeply spiritual church(name given on request)Blessing are for sale as well?

At service one day i was taken aback, after the visiting pastor scared us to death about the consequences of not giving(he said one of his members lost all his kids immediately after a service because he didnt sow that seed) he then asked those of us who could drop the 5million naira seed to get up and come for prayers(and with their cheque books)The he gave some more scary sermons and asked for those led to sow the milion naira seed, then he went lower and to 1,000.Finally he looked at those of all still seated(yours truly was amongst them!)and asked what we came to do in church!(name given on request)

And what about the schools they own, the average worshipper(say an usher) cannot afford the school fees of such schools. I had a good laugh at the irony of a pastor berating those of his members who resided in mainland Lagos, challenging them to move up to the island..banana island to be specific! The cheek of it was, 96%of his congregation, resided in the mainland!!

I absolutely love God and attending services but things are REALLY getting out of hand nowadays.
Its no wonder some people have stopped going to church!
what do y"all think? This topic will definitely draw blood.....
September 13, 2007 at 6:35am

*Like I said earlier, I wrote that 3 years ago, and it looks like things have gotten much worse!! Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture? Are we so terrified of our religious leaders that we cannot speak against social anomalies?? *

@ All:Please share your honest thoughts on the following examples. (Please send a personal message, if you would prefer privacy) Now, Its painful to bring in real life crimes but I would love to get your perspectives on them. Do bear with me.

1st Scenario: As mentioned above, I went to for a service and during the announcements we were told that in order to get blessings, we should give 24,000 naira but if we were broke then we should give 2, 400. . I didnt give!! Using that example: If you find out that a person of God has deceived you (asked for your money in exchange for a healing-say-the ability to gain sight) what will you do?

2nd scenario: I read a news article about giving stolen goods to the church. A young man had obtained a large amount of money from victims. (419). He was soon arrested by an anti fraud agency. His statement indicated that he had 'given' the money to a popular church. My question is, what would you do, if you knew for sure that a religious organsation is benefitting from this theft?

3rd scenario or more like question: Do you agree or disagree with the popular opinion that the vatican estab were wrong to have covered up the paedophilia cases? Should the victims have 'changed churches', walked away' blame no one but themselves, 'left it all to God?

Phew what a long write up! Huge hugs and thanks to everyone for reading and responding, I really really appreciate this.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Eight ways short people disguise their height!!

When diminutive French president Nicolas Sarkozy gave a speech at a factory he was flanked by workers no taller than him - leading to accusations of a set-up. How do short people disguise their height?

Tall partners can help by crouching
At 5ft 5in (165cm) Nicolas Sarkozy is only an 2.5ins shorter than the average French male, yet his height is frequently commented on. Now aides to the French president are accused of seeking out only short people to make their boss look taller.

On a recent visit to a motor technology plant in Normandy, 20 of the shortest workers were selected to share a stage with Mr Sarkozy. One of them told Belgian TV she had been chosen because her small stature wouldn't make the president look short.

But the Elysee Palace dismissed the allegation as "absurd and grotesque".

Yet Mr Sarkozy would not be the first person to try to appear taller. So how do others manage it?

1. Wear heels, like cowboy boots. And you don't have to be short to seek a greater height in this way. Sir Cliff Richard admitted donning heels to boost his 5ft 10in (178cm) frame on stage, to match his tall dancers. And Sir Mick Jagger, who stands shoulder to shoulder with Sir Cliff on height, if not sexual politics, has worn elevated Nike trainers on the red carpet to get nearer to his 6ft 2in (188cm) girlfriend.

2. Or elevated shoes, for a more discreet rise. It's not the sort of footwear that can be bought in a High Street shoe shop, but there are plenty of options available online, promising a height boost of anywhere between two and five inches. Media commentator Vince Graff, who is "5ft 2-and-a-bit inches", tried them for a night out, achieving a four-inch increase. Instead of showing a big, chunky heel, the footwear conceals the lift it provides inside the shoe - making for a "discreet" way to grow instantly taller. But the deception comes at a cost to the wearer - Graff likens the experience to wearing a pair of stilettos.

3. Dress tall. Fashion is governed by rules and dressing to give the illusion of a few extra inches is no different. The golden rules include wearing one colour head-to-toe and avoiding turn-ups as they have the effect of shortening the length of the leg, according to the Style Directions website. Also, go for well-fitted clothes as poor fitting ones can emphasise width which in turn decreases the perception of height.

A stool can provide a boost
4. Know your limits when picking a partner. "When you're a teenager, you learn quite quickly that if you're 5ft 2ins you can't date a girl more than 5ft 6," says Mr Graff. "Even if you don't think it looks ridiculous, passers-by do."

5. Find someone who is prepared to compromise. Love is a two-way street, which presumably explains why Rod Stewart's partner Penny Lancaster, 6ft 1in, reportedly steps off the kerb for publicity and paparazzi photos shots, so she doesn't tower over her husband, who is 5ft 8ins.

6.Use a footstool. Mr Sarkozy's people may be rebuffing claims that he surrounds himself with shorter people, but there was no denying the president's use of a footstool at the D-Day anniversary this year. Speaking from the same lectern as President Barack Obama (6ft 1in) and Prime Minister Gordon Brown (5ft 11ins), he stood on a box to deliver his address.

7. Clever editing. Pedestals are commonly deployed in Hollywood, especially for those actors who have the looks even if they lack sufficient stature. In Top Gun, for example, viewers remain unaware that Tom Cruise is a few inches shorter than co-star Kelly McGillis, thanks to favourable camera work.

8. Quit the denials and take advantage of it. Short women may find their height less troubling than men but even for a woman 4ft 11ins (150cm) is considered extremely petite. Yet that's how tall British freediver Sara Campbell is. Nicknamed Mighty Mouse, Campbell held the world record for free immersion, diving to 81m without oxygen assistance. Her lungs are 50% larger than average and her extraordinary physiology has been studied by doctors.

In a world where a carefully manipulated image (and sometimes stack heels) are essential, definitive vital statistics can be hard to come by. The heights shown here are those most commonly recorded for each world leader
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, for example, is variously reported as being between 5'2" and 5'4" tall
Napoleon's height was once commonly given as 5'2", but many historians have now credited him with another 4 inches owing to a miscalculation between French and English units of measurement


A selection of your comments appears below.

I am 5', and my husband is 6'5". Although I would love to be taller simply to find it easier to buy clothes, I don't have any issue with my height and neither does my husband. I have found in the past that short men feel I've betrayed them for some reason, and tall women dislike me for "stealing" a tall man. Ultimately, what difference does a persons height make to their ability to do a job? Let's face it, until relatively recently, I would have been considered around average height.
Jennifer Brand, Dundee

Being 6ft 1ins myself, I once dated a bloke who was 5ft 2ins. I did exactly the same as Penny, stepping off the pavement when photos were taken so it wouldn't show the difference in height so much. Now I have learned my lesson, and am now with a lovely partner who is 5ft 11ins. This makes so much difference as we don't get the funny looks from people.
Rhian Keene, Cardiff

My parents are one of these odd height couples, my Dad is 6ft3" & my Mum is just over 5ft. She says she never noticed the difference, until she catches a glance of them together in a shop window where she has to admit, they look 'ridiculous'
Kitty, Nottingham

Always being the first to enter (and last to leave) a situation where 'impromptu' photographs are to be taken means that a short person can position him/herself closer to the camera, making use of perspective to seem taller by comparison to others present. (This can, however, make an average-sized head seem very much larger!)
Gerry Campion, Glasgow, UK

When reading this barmy item I am reminded of what Britain's 5'2" dynamic prime minister Lloyd George told a journalist who commented on his small stature during the First World War, "Where I come from they value the worth of a man from the neck up". But it's rather like being female - to get anywhere you have to be better and more bloddy minded than the rest. Small is beautiful - 5'2" 'Snowy"
'Snowy' White, Guildford, England

I don't understand why people moan at being 6 foot or less. I'm 6ft 4 and struggle to fit in cars, planes and trains. If you're under 6ft consider yourself lucky that the world is scaled for you.
Some tall guy, Toobigville, Giantland

The only piece of advice worth listening to in that list is number 8. Being short is great. I'm 5'1" and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Emily, Edinburgh

Talk about the "Napoleon Complex". From the press noise I wasn't surprised about Sarkozy, but I had no idea Medvedev and Berlusconi were vertically challenged.
Peter Young, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

When I was younger, I always wanted to be tall, as I thought being tall gave one an advantage (and in some cases, it might). Nowadays, I am quite happy to be small (app. 5'2", so compared to my husband who is 6'0", I look really short!). I won't go into a list of advantages but as a confident, mature adult, I definitely don't feel the need to try to hide my short stature in any way. The only gripe I sometimes have is that it is difficult to find clothes which fit (even so-called "Petite" sizes are sometimes too big/long!).
Sophie Watson, London

I am 4'9" but carry myself with confidence and authority. Some people tell me they are suprised at how tiny I am when they stand next to me because I always give an impression of "height."
Jen, Ontario

I'm 5'0" & perfectly happy with that. I'm normal, everyone else is tall. I do get a bit annoyed when people say "oh, so-and-so's tiny" when they're taller than me! I *really* want to know the height of John Holmes (The Now Show & others) because I'm not convinced he's my height or smaller.

But, my height means I get to ride ponies as well as horses & ponies are much more fun!
Puddingandpi, Brighton

I'm 4ft 10 and a half inches tall, and it's the first thing people notice. I get fed up of people mentioning that I'm so tiny. It's as if they think I've never noticed not being able to reach high things! Having a tall partner isn't a bad thing. At least they can reach things that you can't. Alternatively, wear high heels.
Lyndsey, Cambridge

One world leader who appears to be incredibly touchy about his height is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The New Yorker estimates he's about five feet tall.
Davros, York

Perhaps people would have less of a problem with height if we started quoting our own height in metric units, removing the arbitrary six-foot target.
Martyn, Manchester

If I was the president of one of the most powerful countries in the world, and had an ex-supermodel as a partner, I think I'd manage not to worry too much about my height. And all this high heels and stools is just silly. It's like people with thinning hair - having a comb-over looks SO much worse than just getting it all shaved off and forgetting about it.
John Bratby, Southampton

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Oh Father that video, why? Its so unfair. Women and children, very young children. Some still have their thumbs in their mouth. Its so obvious that they were in no position to run away. Nigerians did this to Nigerians outside a situation of war or even a natural disaster!!

More facts are emerging: A member of the Nigerian military has confessed that they were warned about these attacks, yet they did nothing!! Some people have come out to say that the muslimhausa fulanis living in that area were sent text messages to move out, days before the event! A carefully planned massmurder!

Then I wonder why Nigerians (in Nigeria) are quiet about this abomination? Many have called for the images and videos to be deleted. WHY?? Everyone keeps hampering on revolutions so why the silence? Is it too much for all the traditional and religious leaders to come out and condemn these acts? The various 'captain of industries'? The so called celebrities (football, thespians, etc), the 'first ladies', the private or public educational establishments? No one is saying go out and kill, just lend your voice to these victims whose blood have soaked our land.

Biko, the Nigerian media made more noise about the sacking of some of the bank's CEO and those 'This day' concerts than this massacre na! What is it about our country that dulls people's conscience, humanity and sense of injustice? In the UK, heads are still rolling as a consequence of the Baby P case amongst other child abuse/murder cases. But it seems as if many Nigerians, influential or not, have recovered from this and moved on to football. It looks like that daily struggle to survive has turned us to zombies-merely existing, not living.

Then what about Africa? Are we not one ubuntu? How come African leaders are not publicy condemning these acts? Most African countries publicly offered support to the plight of Haiti, which is commendable, but why are they 'quiet' about something happening in their backyard so to speak? Are we Africans when standing up to neocolonisation/ expolitation/ racism but individual nations when atrocities are committed within our various nations?

You dont have to be overly religious to acknowledge that the killing of innocent children is an abomination and is evil in the sight of God. If you are atheist or agnostic, well, it is also evil in the sight of man. Which way Nigeria, Africa?

Monday, 8 March 2010

if animals have rights, foxes should be put on trial for murder for killing sheep and hens; frogs for killing insects; cuckoo for child abandonment??

The Swiss love a referendum – there's always some poster in the streets advising you whether to vote for or against some occasionally bizarre proposition. A few months ago it was whether to allow minarets to be built. Yesterday, it was on the question of whether to allow animals to have their own legal representation in court.

Switzerland already has some very rigorous animal protection laws. If you want to own a dog in Geneva, where we live part of the time, you must pass a course ensuring that your dog is socialised, does not jump up at strangers or create a nuisance in other ways. Conditions for animals in the farming industry are some of the most generous in the world, and very strictly applied. The legal step under consideration has been brewing for some time. A case was brought by the canton of Zurich against an angler who spent more than 10 minutes landing a gigantic pike, which died, presumably, in some pain. Should animals have their own advocates?

My immediate thought was that if an animal can be represented in court by a lawyer, there seems no good reason why they should not be subject to prosecution, too. It would seem anomalous that a dog who is mistreated in the canton of Geneva should have his own lawyer and representation in court, but that if that dog bites a child – there are 15 breeds of dogs that you have to obtain special permission to keep in Geneva – it is the owner who gets prosecuted.Direct prosecution of animals would not be a new thing. Pre-modern justice did not limit its attentions to human beings. In 1266, at Fontenay-aux-Roses, near Paris, a pig was tried for eating a child, and executed. In ecclesiastical courts throughout the period, animals were given their own legal representation, just as the Swiss now propose; for civil courts, in common with human criminals, this might not have been the case. Prosecutions were launched against pigs and large domestic animals in quite large numbers – the effort of hanging a guilty horse must have been considerable. But occasionally it was thought worthwhile to prosecute rats, snails, weevils and locusts. The 16th-century jurist Bartholomew Chassenee is said to have argued in one case that more time was needed to notify the rats of France of the trial date, and that they could not be expected to face in court their mortal enemy, the cat.

Some very interesting books have been published on this extraordinary phenomenon. They make it plain that the Middle Ages and subsequent eras took these prosecutions entirely seriously, and went through the immense palaver of mounting a full-scale trial of a plague of mice. Often, prosecutions of people taken in the act of bestiality were paralleled with cases against the animal partner. In 1766, a man taken in a sexual act with an ass was sentenced to death; the ass was, unusually, pardoned because of a certificate from the commune of Vanvres, stating that in four years the ass had shown herself to be of virtuous habits.Why on earth did they do this? Why should the Swiss now propose to bring a layer of legal representation into a matter which, after all, they've managed to run perfectly well until now?I don't want to be cynical, but the thought does arise that a legal system which is happy to arrest, prosecute and sentence a dumb animal for a "crime", and a legal system which is keen to act as the advocate of a dumb animal whose welfare needs some protection have one thing in common: they were, or will be, paid for it. Just a thought.