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Thursday 29 April 2010

101 creative ways to... (clean joke)

101 creative ways to use condoms (clean joke)

1) Odd shaped balloons.
2) Embarrassing people by planting several in their bag, so that when they open it in a crowded computer room, they fall out all over the floor.
3) Swimming hat/shower cap.
4) For washing up when you can't find your rubber gloves.
5) Lens caps.
6) Long lasting bubblegum.
7) Toy manufacture.
8) Radiator leak plugging.
9) Novelty ties.
10) Expandable X-mas stocking to hang on the fire place.
11) Oversocks for leaky shoes.
12) Candle moulds.
13) Spare biro tops.
14) To keep bananas dry in the rain.
15) Emergency bungee cord.
16) Lubricated shopping bags. (For easy extraction of sticky shopping.)
17) James Herriott accessories for cows bottoms.
18) Body bag for a very small person.
19) Avoiding fingerprinting the house you're burgling.
20) Doggy bags.
21) Novelty musical instruments.
22) Wine coolers.
23) Water filled offensive weapons.
24) Fill with your last pint of beer from the pub and take it home.
25) Emergency toilet, after drinking the above on the way home.
26) Sick bags (after drinking the above on the way home, cos you'd drunk too many of the above, above, to know the difference)
27) Shopping bags, when the handles of the old one have just broken.
28) Earrings.
29) Ear mufflers.
30) Ice lolly moulds.
31) Catapult elastic.
32) Knicker elastic.
33) Water termite impressions.
34) Hair bands.
35) Guitar strings.
36) Cheesy dips.
37) Dippy cheese cases.
38) Barrage balloons.
39) Colour filters for disco lights.
40) Turner prize winning modern art (Dead sperm in condoms)
41) Line them up in rows to help people count.
42) Trampolines for mice.
42) Re-usable tampons.
43) Computer keyboard protectors.
44) Waterproofing for personal stereos.
45) Christmas tree decorations.
46) Waterproof finger bandages.
47) An excuse when caught reading
48) Tear catchers hung from each cheek.
49) Nappy substitutes (especially for Tory MPs)
50) Car covers. (Matchbox cars of course.)
51) Snow protectors for Summer shoes.
52) Snow ball carriers.
53) Novelty jelly moulds.
54) Masks for bank robbers.
55) Rude snowman accessories.
56) Self contained underwater breathing apparatus.
57) Fart storage devices.
58) Freezer bags.
59) Gnats swatters.
60) Waterproof gloves for playing snowballs.
61) Waterproof socks for playing in the snow.
62) Waterproof willy gloves for making holes in the snow.
63) Finger puppets.
64) Money bags.
65) Milk carton resealers.
66) Spare sausage skins.
67) Goldfish bags.
68) Icing bags for cake decorating.
69) Elastic bands.
70) Car exhaust bangers.
71) Colostomy bags.
72) Helium balloons for Action Men.
73) Spirit measures.
74) Key rings (you put the keys inside).
75) Hats!
76) Snot catchers!
77) Inflatable boats.
78) Life jackets.
79) Antler protection.
80) Hiccup cures [Bang!]
81) 101 uses list incentive.
82) Cassette cases.
83) Nooses.
84) Flour bombs.
85) Stockings.
86) Leaving presents to the people you didn't like.
87) Leaving presents to the people you want to shag.
88) Shoe laces.
89) Alternative rubber bands.
90) Microwave exploding eggshell catchers.
91) Parachutes for mice.
92) Floppy disk dust covers.
93) Left over turkey storage packs.
94) Bowling ball covers.
95) A mouse house. (Stuck to the side of your monitor.)
96) Quasar gun sabotagers.
97) Collection bag for when someone leaves. (Please give generously)
98) A flask to hold weak lemon drink.
99) Bra for strange shaped women.
100) Udder caps for leaky cows.
101) Bull horn covers.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Today's featured author -A Rejoinder to “Buhari, Atiku, Go and Rest” by Naiwu Osahun posted on Sahara reporters' &another( by Muhammed Kabir Hassan:)

* I find myself increasingly interested in politics and how it plays out. How we are all social and political animals. How ones destiny as a leader or a dictator are determined by the actions they took/didnt take when the ovation was at the highest.. A good portion of my facebook page is dedicated to this 'interest' and it has also attracted like minds. I have tried to keep this blog as free from that as possible, but still cant help but recommend a great article when I see it!

So bear with me :)

The following articles, ' On Change and Nigeria's Situation 3: Still on the urgent need for change' and ' A Rejoinder to “Buhari, Atiku, Go and Rest” by Naiwu Osahun posted on Sahara reporters' were written by Muhammed Kabir Hassan:long read, but so clearly written that you wont notice the time go by. I do hope you enjoy it *

A Rejoinder to “Buhari, Atiku, Go and Rest” by Naiwu Osahun posted on Sahara reporters'

A Rejoinder to “Buhari, Atiku, Go and Rest” written by Naiwu Osahun
Dear Naiwu Osahun,
I read your article with the above caption and was compelled to write a rejoinder because of the inaccuracies it conveyed. The article only succeeded in exposing your ignorance of what has been happening in Nigeria, not surprising to me because you have stayed too long in the West and have no clue or is it due to some deliberate intellectual mischief? It may be better if you start writing on Memphis Tennessee, the civil right movements and how Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis since you know that place very well to have been given the city’s key before you get enlightened on local politics back home in Nigeria and start writing. I am really disappointed with that article and other ones you have previously wrote. It is obvious that your article wanted to attack the personality of Buhari but it ended up with bunch of contradictions and lack of scholarship. I cannot defend both Atiku and Jonathan because they all have case files before EFCC. While Atiku has one with respect to PTDF, Mr. Jonathan’s wife has a case file involving 12 million dollars when he was Governor of Bayelsa and she was arrested by EFCC then. Jonathan became Vice President and now Acting President and the case has since died silently. However, on Buhari I need to put the records straight point by point, I hope my rejoinder will be given the same publicity as your initial write up.

1. Mitary Training: Buhari does not fit in to the profile you wrote. In case you don't know Buhari graduated as a military officer (lieutenant) in Aldeshot UK. He went to the US National War College Carlisle in Pennsylvania from 1980 -1981. That is where the most respected officers of the US army such as Collin Powell attended to become generals. He was at the Defense College of India as well. By all military standards, his training is superb and the best any general can get in the world. Buhari was not some idle sitting General on baboon tree as you stated in your write up when he was in the army. In 1982-1983 when Chad took over our land with more than 19 villages like what the Cameroonians did with the support of France in the case of Bakassi, he then Brigadier Buhari led a successful operation as the GOC to push back Chad and reclaim our territory. If it was Buhari, there is no way as President, he will hand over Bakassi to Cameroon, that is true patriotism. I am not Buhari's relative and I have never met him in my life. But I have taken the pain to know a lot about him by reading facts because I believe among all the possible candidates vying for the Presidency now that may end up ruling Nigeria, he is the best qualified. Someone challenged me on the comments section of Sahara Reporters that I must compare General David Petreaus (The General Commanding Central Command in the Middle East of the US Forces) and Buhari; that is a tall order. They did not serve in the same army but still you have to give it to Buhari. Buhari as Lieutenant after graduating from the UK royal army fought in the Congo in 1964-65 as part of the first mission forces to stabilize the country during it first civil war and won the Congo Medal. He is comparable to Petreaus of US in terms of war command and strategy training. Petreaus Attended the US War College, Pennsylvania to become a General, Buhari went to the same college from 1980-1981 to be General even though Petreaus did, Buhari is his senior even by the US army rankings. Buhari fought a dangerous battle in Congo as a Lieutenant and won the Congo medal, Petreaus did not. Buhari fought in the Biafra civil war as a captain; Petreaus has not fought in a civil war. Buhari commanded an army division to defend his country against Chad, Petreaus commanded an army division to destroy a country Iraq. Now anyone who wants to can compare them.

2. Buhari's family background: Buhari came from a poor family in Daura. He is not the typical northern prince that you may think of. He lost his father Mallam Dauda, when he was young and his uncle took care of him and sent him to school and after secondary school, he joined the army and went to train in the UK royal army. You should have found out about all that before you write your article. It is because of his kind of background and the suffering he went through that he has no sympathy for corruption and the northern traditional ruling families fear him. Quite unlike Atiku, IBB, Yar'adua, Abdussalam etc, he has no traditional title, he refused to accept one from any emir even though they want to give him one even today. The masses in the north have decided to give him one. They call him Baba Buhari Shugaban talakawan Nigeria (Meaning our father, Buhari the leader of the masses)

3. Buhari, the so called Jihadist: Buhari was the first person to fight religious extremism in Nigeria. Anyone can go and find out about a group called Maitatsine in the north that took up arms in 1984 in the name of Jihad in States like Kano, Maiduguri, Bauchi and Adamawa and what he did to them. You also need to read about his refusal to allow every tom dick and harry to become a pastor or imam in Nigeria like what is happening today. That is why we have so many religious crisis in the country because illiterates are parading themselves as Mallams and Pastors and fomenting trouble in the land. In respect of Nuhu Ribadu, Nasiru El Rufai, two of the most recent distinguished northerners anyone likes to mention, I would like to let you know that they have learnt a lot from Buhari as well. Nuhu got the opportunity to fight his first battle of corruption when he was doing his NYSC in 1984 when Buhari was investigating the 1984 thieves, Nuhu served in the Ministry of Trade where the import license scams took place and it is there, he told us on one occasion while delivering a lecture, that he got the inspiration to fight corruption and decided to join the police after his NYSC. In the case of El-Rufai, he also worked as consultant for PTF when Buhari was its chairman. Not surprising that they are hard working and distinguished. However, just before the 2003 elections, mischief makers like Atiku went to the south to misinformed people that he is a jihadist and support Sharia. If that is the case distinguished southerners both Christians and Muslims alike will not have supported him and I am talking of people like late Gani Fawehimi, who invited him to his house and raised Buhari’s hand before the media for all of us to see. People like Olu Falae, Tam David West and the like who still say a lot of good things about him and are supporting him. The truth must be told this time.

4. IBB's Coup against Buhari: Buhari refused to accept IMF loans and refused to devalue the naira then and I am glad you acknowledge that in your article and because of that he had to go because the west didn't like him so they used IBB to bring SAP that scuttle our econo y and put us in 18 billion dollars debt even though we sell oil. Meanwhile, he has retired General Ali Gusau in 1984 because of disagreements regarding work and defense contracts as reported along with Babangida, the duo planned the coup and when they succeeded, Babangida recalled Ali Gusau back to the army and made him his chief of Defense Intelligence. By the way, I would like you to know that Buhari sent Gusau on training to UK and US in intelligence and security while he was head of state. He made IBB his chief of army state but IBB is nothing short of a traitor to Buhari just the same way Dimka and Bisalla were traitors to Murtala.

5. Buhari planned a coup because of missing oil billions. He planned a coup against people like Umaru Dikko the then transport minister who were giving themselves import licenses for rice and skimming Nigerians and the like of Dr Tahir, the communication minister, who were importing horses and their food from Argentina. I met late Dr. Tahir who became Buhari's supporter in 2003, when I visited him in 2002 he told us that what Buhari did then was right, because they have lost their direction as a government. Dr. Tahir was a man of high intellectual capacity with a Phd in sociology from Cambridge, he spoke the truth. What Buhari did as a petroleum minister was the successful supervision and construction of three of the nation refineries, over 4000km of pipelines and 28 depots that we have failed to maintain today and so we import oil. How much has been stolen in just the turnaround maintenance of the refineries between Obasanjo and Abdussalam and still the refineries are not working? Over 4 billion dollars from 1999 to date. Infact before Obasanjo left, he auctioned one of refineries to Dangote at about 250 million dollars, something worth more than 3 billion dollars, Yar’adua reversed that sale.

6.Buhari and PTF: It is obvious you have not been home for long and so you are writing on what you don't know. On PTF, Buhari rehabilitated universities in Nigeria, provided textbooks for libraries and I am a witnessed, I used them for my final year project with PTF written on them. He supplied buses to the universities that time universities have no means of transportation. He built lecture theaters that I have studied in. We were happy to drive in the PTF buses and go for excursions to Kainji and Ajaokuta. What happened in PTF was after Obj won election even before he was sworn in and seeing the PTF records, he said he is going to ban PTF because it has no constitutional backing in a democracy. Because constitutionally all revenues must go to federation account and allocated by RMFAC. So when he was sworn in, he appointed a sole administrator, Dr. Haruna Adamu to investigate PTF hoping he will find something against Buhari. But it ended with Haruna going to jail for stealing $100 million dollars and it is in the records and newspapers in case you don’t know.

7.Missing PTF Money: . Let me tell you if that money you are talking about was missing in PTF, in both 2003 and 2007 elections, PDP and OBJ will have used that against Buhari just like he did to Atiku and PTDF and how he intimidated IBB on Glo by arresting his son, but OBJ cannot because he knows the man is so clean and that is who we need today in Nigeria. You can accuse Buhari for high handedness when he initially came in to power in 1983 by sending the politicians to Kiri Kiri with long life sentences but not corruption. Looking back to the 1980's , I can say Buhari was even compassionate. During that time, in Ghana and Congo and several African countries where they were coups, people like Rawlings in Ghana executed the government officials by firing squad or hanging but Buhari just jailed them. Some Nigerians are now even clamoring for a revolution or the Rawlings style.

8.Buhari and Democracy: Since the time he joined partisan politics, Buhari has conducted himself in the most admirable manner to anyone who knows what African politics is. Whenever, he lost, he went to court to follow due process. He has been in court for more than 20 months in one occasion making his case. He refused to mobilize his follows to rise against the Government or become unruly. If you don’t know he has such a large following but even if you think he doesn’t look at what is happening in other African countries. Raila Odinga and Kenya, they almost went to civil war because of elections. Morgan Tseveingire and Zimbwebwe, the country is now in shambles.

9. Let me be categorically clear, I am not saying Buhari is Saint Buhari and has no faults. I have my own different opinions on him as well but given our circumstances and the practical reality we are facing the main options we have in 2011 are BUHARI, ATIKU, BABANGIDA, GOODLUCK, the rest of the candidates are not yet out and I have not seen someone with their political heavy weight, we may be left with only the option of electing Buhari if we want to move this country forward. In a real political fight, Jonathan may not survive the intrigues. I don’t have anything against him but I am waiting for him to prove himself on electricity. I am even helping him because I have given his government a plan on how to fix it in the next one year, I hope he can deliver on the electricity promise to prove to us that he can lead and solve our problems.

Finally, if you think my points are not correct or I am being dishonest, I think we have no other option than I challenge you to a debate on your write up perhaps with Sahara reporters and informed journalists and historians as panelists. You are in Tennessee, I am in Pennsylvania, so we can meet in the neutral middle state of Ohio in a city like Cincinnati for the debate. I can pay for your travel fare from Memphis if you want me to. After the debate on Buhari with facts and defending the trash you wrote, then we can put it in on Youtube and Sahara reporters that way Nigerian’s will be more enlightened. I am not intimidated by the bunch of acronyms and titles after your name. It is dangerous to be writing stupid stories and misleading people, it is not helping the situation in Nigeria. The truth must be told this time for Nigerians to make good decisions.

MK Hassan is with the Department of Electrical Engineering @ Penn State University.

On Change and Nigeria's Situation 3: Still on the urgent need for change
Thank you so much for either calling me to discuss, for reading or on commenting on previous writes up. Your feedback alone is a testimony to the saying of Edmund Burke that Evil thrives only when good people do nothing. You are all an encouragement to those that have lost hope to regain it, and to those that are despairing to see a brighter future ahead and work for it.

I chose to write again on the urgent need for change because of the seriousness of the matter at hand and the state of moral crisis our country has reached. I do not want to bore you and I do not want to take your time if not for the frightening warnings I read in the holy books both of the Muslims and Christians alike on tolerating corruption in a land. I wished I haven't read those part of the holy books because of the gravity of the situation and how scary it is. The story was about a nation that was engrossed in corruption and was in a state of moral crisis. The good people choose to do nothing and among them were up to 70,000 scholars but the people were in a state of complacency and despair while corruption was striving in their land. Of course just like our society, the people prayed and performed all other duties assigned to them by God. However, the almighty was not happy with their state of affairs, so he destroyed that nation but he gave the stories in the books as a lesson to us. For Nigeria, a nation full of people of faith both Christians and Muslims fighting unnecessarily among themselves,it is time for us to fight back our common enemy; corruption and poor leadership.This is the time to take a stand fellow country men and women. This is the time to work for change because tomorrow may be late. I completely agree with the great mind Dante Alighieri who said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who at the time of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. I am really afraid that God may ask us on the day of judgment what have we done about the situation around us. What about you?

There is nothing to illustrate our level of moral crisis and the compelling need for us to act urgently to bring about the change we desperately need than what is happening in our country now.Fellow Nigerian consider the recent revelations from the NNPC on oil revenues since the return of democracy ten years ago. Nigeria has received about USD200.34 (about N34 trillion dollars) in oil revenues says the former MD of NNPC. Other revenue generating agencies like the Nigerian Customs Service and the Federal Inland Revenue Services remitted about N1.8 trillion and N9.6 trillion respectively as the next major contributors to the federation account. This staggering amount of revenues may not make sense to you. However, even without the government revelations, a simple calculation will tell you that every Nigerian whether born today or is dying today is entitled to spending from government worth at least 59 thousand naira in provision of services such as health care, water, electricity, security etc EVERY year. I am not talking of only people in Abuja or big cites, I am talking of every single Nigerian whether it is a farmer residing at a border town in Gashua where desert has overtaken his farm, a poor fisherman living in the creeks of Niger Delta with polluted rivers that he cannot fish in, or a baby given birth to in a village that has never seen electricity, water, clinic nor even a government official visit and those kind of villages are many. This is the reality my friends.

But even if somehow you are rich and do not need social services what about the level of insecurity? We can no longer travel safely to visit relatives or do business. We cannot sleep with our eyes closed because of armed robberies. Even if one escapes them on the road, one still has to live with pot holes on the roads and police men behaving like scavengers on innocent travelers, all these translating in to avoidable accidents. I remember when armed robbers visited my uncle's house and my uncle's family placed a distressed call to our house for help because when they called the police station, the police told them simply they are not coming that they neither have enough arms nor even fuel to come. Of course, if the police cannot make it, you can imagine how can we make it? So on second thought, we placed a call to the fire services unit to report instead that it was a fire outbreak but they told us, they have no water in their trucks (another wahala). We told them it is not the water that we are interested in to put out the fire, we need the sirens of their trucks blaring in the middle of the night heading to our neighborhood that may wake neighbors for help or scare the robbers. So it happened, the fire services trucks headed with full speed but empty tanks and sirens blowing in the middle of the night, the robbers got scared and left thinking that it was huge deployment of mobile police units. On this note, I extend my condolences to the family of Alhaji Abubakar Rimi and the nation at large. May his soul rest in peace, ameen. It is clear that we are not safe in Nigeria whether the high or the low and even for the complacent ones among us, the relative comfort we think we are enjoying because we feel we are safe has gone away. This time it is Rimi but it can be anyone traveling on the roads in Nigeria and that is why you have to take a stand, to commit to change, and to work for change in your life time because it is just worth it.

In this coming election, for those who still insist that they want to sell their votes we need to tell them the true price because they are being short changed (It is worth #59,000 naira every year not 50 naira only on election day) at that true price no politician can afford to buy the votes. For those of us who are maintaining our neutrality, we need to remember the great mind Dante, and the stories in the holy books because tomorrow may be late. We also need to remember the burden of responsibility placed on us as a people because it is not just about Nigeria. A prosperous democratic Nigeria means poverty leaving the African continent, it will give hope to the poor all over the world and become the pride of the black race. On the next write up, we shall examine another phase in change process: how to start acting and building coalitions that can bring change. However, remember that there is the urgent need for change and think about how great we can be as people if we can make it happen.

*From me: Buhari is clearly an enigma, and Muhammed is a prolific writer! Nigeria, good people, Great Nation! :)*

Not only do you look like a hippo, you possess the grace of a hippo!

In my last note, < > I introduced my good friend, called Ant and how we met by accident and planned to meet up at a later day for him explain is sins away.

Well, Guess what??

He never made it! Ant who was begging for a chance to explain his bizarre action, just vanished. I called his phone and it just kept ringing, that was when I had it all sussed out. Ant has done another fast one!

Life goes on right? Luckily I had an urgent trip to make, so I threw myself into the preparation and didnt think of Ant till I was in the plane. As the air host dragged his duty free shopping trolley full of goodies along the alley, I evaluated my friendship with Ant.

Ant, a 6ft 3, dark skinned, good looking man, is a big part of my life and I have about a dozen drafts of our adventures and his 'words of wisdom' which I will be publishing as time goes on.

Suffice to say, everything about our friendship is uncoventional, this includes the day we met and I wouldnt change it for anything!

I met Ant 12 years ago, while escaping from a party. My family had just moved to a new area and I was finding it hard to adjust.

I confess that I have a prim and proper view of social interactions.

For instance, I believe people meeting for the first time, should introduce themselves before launching into a discussion.
I also believe that before engaging with people who are obviously busy at some activities, one should first and foremost, apologise for the intrusion and seek for their (busy people) attention BEFORE engaging them in your quest.
Again, I strongly believe that celebrants should send out invitation cards or use any means possible to invite people they would like to see at their parties. And give reasonable notice, not just expecting them to turn up!

Call me quirky but the above are some of the rules of social interaction that I stick to..I admit that most people dont think like me!

And so it was in my new location, that my sister told me of a party she was attending, she asked me to come along. A bit wary (i mean this is my 'carefree' sister) I asked her for more details. She just shrugged and said she had no idea but someone is coming to get her and I can come along if I want. I politely but firmly declined to 'come along'. She shrugged again and went to prepare for the party.

Hours after she left, she calls me up and amidst loud music, said something that sounded like, 'come and get me please'. Alarm bells going off, I ask for the address, rouse the driver and we rushed to get her, or to save her (as my pulse was racing)..only to get there and see the party in full swing. I searched for her figure, fearing the worst..and there she the middle of a circle, doing her trademark: the moonwalk and the robot.

Thinking of how worried I was, I try to make my way out of the venue, when this dude made to block my path by standing at the gate entrance.

"Please excuse me" I asked politely.
"No I wont, why are you leaving so early, the party is just starting" He said in mock defiance
"I wasnt invited, only came to get my sister" I replied
"Invited?, hahahahaha, what are you? 50?" He said with a smirk
"No, but I believe in courtesy, now step aside" I was looking at my wristwatch by now.

"Hey, am sorry about that joke. Look I am the celebrant and wll be honoured if you could stay, Ok? Come on, lets have one dance, and I bet you would change your mind"

That was when I looked at this guy properly. Short, 5 ft 10 ( yes, I know but about 2 inches taller than me, so short!) Light skinned, slim built, giving this 'lost boy' pout.

He begged: "Please stay for a few more minutes, lets have one dance and then you can go if you still want, I ask as a birthday wish, pretty please with icecream and sugar on it?"

I backed down: "Oh well, okay it IS your birthday. Give me a few minutes to speak to the driver and I will be back"

"Promise?" he pleaded.

So he left the gate entrance, and I stepped out, trying to locate the exact spot the car was parked.

Then I heard a voice saying: " You should be ashamed of your self, taking advantage of a minor!"

I look around in shock, but decided it wasnt meant for me. I dont know anyone here and there was no way anyone knew me in this area.

"I am talking to you, agbaya, why are you taking advantage of that poor boy" I hear from a distance.

Looking into the crowd of teenagers lounging about the carpark, I replied: " Excuse me? Are you talking to me?"
"Yes, you, who else has promised that Alligator a dance?" It was a deep voice.
" What? Have we met?" I snapped, the hair on my 'social courtesy' back were rising.
" No, so what? Plus why give the infant any hope. If you dance with him today, he might propose tomorrow, and you wont want that overbite near your mouth. I cant believe he is claiming biracial, look at the state of that mouth! Overbite is me being polite, the bomboy is the first person I have seen that has both an overbite AND an underbite. This is why I pronounce him: Alligator" He finished with a mock bow.

" Are you drunk, high or naturally irritating" I snapped again.

" Ohh, a live one, with teeth, and not afraid to use them. My name is Ant and this is my girlfriend Tiny.." At last he had the presence of mind to introduce himself.
I look at him, Guy looks 6ft 3, with an afro and a cheeky grin. I caught a whiff of Calvin Klein eau du parfum (am a perfume he must have bathed in it! He was nicely turned out for the kind of party it was, very sports casual. His shoes were off a good quality. At least he has style, I thought to myself grudgingly.

He offered his hands and I politely took it.

'My name is Me'mena' and I just moved to this area. Was tryng to locate the spot I left the car, but these streets look alike!' I rambled on.

Then I turned to look at the lady beside him. Tiny I recollect. She was about 5ft 1O, had brown skin and beautiful green eyes, obviously mixed race. She wore a crop *what-might-have-meant-to-be-a* top on a very heavy chest. She had on cut-off shorts on straight flawless legs. She was very good looking.

However her cold stare at me reminded me of the crocodiles I saw on discovery channel.

Out of courtesy, I make to shake her hands saying nice to see meet you and she gave me this limp handshake and declared:

"Not only do you look like a hippo, you possess the grace of a hippo!" her crocodile eyes were flashing...

Ant has the curse of falling for the most vile of the female creatures with little to zero personality: crocodile being the very first of my unfortunate experience of his 'wimming club'.

*Look out for more about what Ant did to 'betray' Mena on the note that starts with this title "I looked at his outstretched legs..waiting, no daring him to attempt to jump the queue so I can break it!"*

Have a great day!

Sunday 25 April 2010

BREASTS LIKE YOUNG ROES?!!!! *How to choose a wife :)*

So looking at the bible, you have got to admit that there is some powerful toasting/ wooing/ psyching(depending on how cynical you are)going on in the songs of solomon in the bible, but Chapt 7 verse 3 has me confused!
"Her boobs like young roes(gazelles?)"
how is that possible? even if it meant like that of young roes i dont still get it, do gazelles have breasts and are your wife's breats meant to look like them??
could someone please explain to me?

Even as you ponder on that, do enjoy the photographs of various diverse wedding ceremonies, all sourced from google images! :D

Meanwhile, I came across some wedding photos/ family potraits online and I just got all teary eyed. I love the idea of getting married, starting a family, overcoming challenges, laughing, praying, having children if God permits and just growing old together! The whole experience of loving someone and knowing for sure they loved you back. The idea of a united,solid family! Gosh sometimes I think it never happened to me because I soooooooo wanted it to happen ever since I turned 20!! You know the saying, once you want something bad enough, you just never get it??

Anywhoo I came across a cheeky joke and decided to share it here, [please enjoy this one. I definitely did]

Choosing a Wife
Ikenna wanted to get married. He was having trouble choosing among three likely candidates [Ifeoma, Nneka & Ngozi]. He gives each woman a present of N650,000 and watches to see what they do with the money.

Ifeoma does a total make over.
She goes to a fancy beauty salon gets her hair done, new make up and buys several new outfits and dresses up very nicely for the man. She tells him that she has done this to be more attractive for him because she loves him so much.

Ikenna was impressed.

Nneka goes shopping to buy the man gifts. She gets him a new set of golf clubs, some new gizmos for his computer, and some expensive clothes. As she presents these gifts, she tells him that she has spent all the money on him because she loves him so much.

Again, the man is impressed.

Ngozi invests the money in the stock market. She earns several times the N650,000. She gives him back his N650,000 and reinvests the remainder in a joint account. She tells him that she wants to save for their future because she loves him so much.

Obviously, Ikenna was impressed.

He thought for a long time about what each woman had done with the money he'd given her.


...he married the one with the biggest boobs.

Men are like that, i think, but breasts like gazelles? i no sabi oh

Have a great week.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Preference for heavy-bodies: Efik fattening rooms

I wrote an article titled 'A heavy Problem' about a month ago. Link available here

However it seems that being heavy might not be a problem, infact it might be downright desirable!

An ethnic group, located in within Calabar area of South Nigeria, have a deep appreciation for the woman with a fuller figure. An integral part of their tradition is training young women in seclusion, so they can achieve 'womanhood'

Part of this training process includes the process of keeping these women in a 'fattening room' where their handlers ensure they are fed, massaged and are well rested, for a predetermined period, (sometimes as much as 6months), so that these young women can add as much as weight as they can.

"In the Fattening Room the lady goes through domestic training of home economics (like cooking and housekeeping), childcare and how to respect and make her husband to be and his family happy. The older women give advice about their experience in marriage to ensure a successful one" states Maobong Oku article available at:

At the end of the seclusion period, people all over are invited to witness the graduation ceremony to honor her success in passing through this ordeal.

A graduate from the fattening room had this say about the proces: "In the morning you eat fine," says Happiness Edem, recalling her time in the fattening room in the Nigerian city of Calabar.

"After eating you can take a bath. From there you can sleep, you sleep fine, you wake up, you eat, you sleep."

According a bbc article,, Happiness attended the fattening centre for a total of six months, at the request of her husband, Morris Eyo Edem, leading up to their wedding.

By the time she had come out, her body shape had changed completely - to the delight of her husband, Mr Edem

Mr Edem on the other hand says his title as a prince, means he requires a particularly large wife, he explains:
"People will think I am not rich... If a woman is not fat and has not gone through that process she does not qualify for marriage."

His wife agrees with him: "When you are fat, it makes you look healthy," says Happiness.

"People respect you. People honour you. Wherever you go, they say, 'your husband feed you fine.

The efiks associate a woman with a fuller figure with great beauty as well as affluence.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

And here it is, unedited..real examples of dating scams!!

* It is no more a big deal to meet people who say they met through the internet. Several sites are available to match interested clients. However they do have a terrible side to it that potential clients are unaware of.
The increase of internet scams!!The following is an exchange I read online, do read it and be aware of some of the antics used by Fraudsters..*

This is the correspondence between an Internet dating service scammer (honestlylaura) and myself. I was pretty sure this was a scam from the start, so I played along for fun. I hoped to get as much identifying info about the scammer as possible so I could report it to the Internet Crimes division of the FBI. My notes are in [ brackets ].

In a message dated 3/21/2007 5:22:10 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
Hello This Is Laura From Americansingles..Let me know if u got this..

[ I don't see a profile for this person on AmericanSingles, so I ask. ]

I wrote:
Hello Laura From Americansingles. Yes, I got this. Do you have a profile on AS? If so, can you link me to it?

Thank you :)

In a message dated 3/23/2007 4:51:39 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
Dont know how to..So tell me more about yourself and family and what u r really looking for..i hope to hear from u soon.

[ Don't know how? Yeah, right ... better explain. I get her computer IP address from the email headers and do a search to find out where it's from. Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria - ]

I wrote:
Hello Laura,

All you have to do is tell me your AS username and I can look up your profile.
Are you in the United States?


In a message dated 3/23/2007 5:06:03 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
Lauren4real07 check me out

[ Lauren? For real? Why is it Lauren now instead of Laura? The profile says she's in Ohio. I Google the name honestlylaura2024 ... A scam as I suspected. Time to play. ]

I wrote:
Yes, I think you're exactly what I've been looking for.
I'm looking for someone to spend my life with just like you are.
I'm a 38 years old investment entrepreneur with large real estate holdings across the country. I have a house on the Gulf of Mexico with a spectacular view. I like to spend time on my yacht traveling between here and my condo in the Bahamas. It's a good life, but I'm lonely. Tell me about yourself. Is your name Laura or Lauren?


[ There's the bait. ]

In a message dated 3/23/2007 5:52:43 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
How re u doing ?My name is Laura Kenneth, i was born and raised in USA, But i move down here after the death of my parents some years ago , i currently live west africa Nigeria and willing to relocate, i'm 29 , single, kind, loyal, honest , careing and loving .Its nice to hear from you,I read your mail and i got excited you sounds such a man have been searching are such a nice and special man to me,it seems like we are looking for the same thing in common and we have alot in common,we couild be a perfect match,i just want u to know thgat age is just a number and honestly is most important,it would be so great to meet you in person and see where it lead us to.. I'm searching for my life long partner to share a Great Life of Love with; romance, long slow kisses, feeling very special, intimacy, spirituality, pleasurable communication, dancing, meeting of the minds, opening a door for you, flowers, traveling and other exciting interests and adventures, A GREAT LIFE of LOVE! I am one who strongly believes in respect and that without respect, you cant experience true love and generate a healthy relationship. I believe in a smaller "wow" when it is first a friendship and then a larger "Wow" later as it evolves into a Beautiful Loving
committed relationship. I believe its not just what you are like on the outside, but more about what you are like on the inside. Im seeking friendship first, (no game playing please) with someone who appreciates some of the same temperaments and interests I enjoy.I will try to send you some of my pictures later..
That special someone is a man with integrity, is spiritually compatible with me, having similar beliefs - New Age and is responsible, intelligent, has a sense of humour, positive, is clean and neat in habit and appearance, romantic, passionate about living and loving. I would prefer that someone to show interest and be supportive of my spiritual work. He should be financially secure, and has 'been there, done that'.I like an adventurous person who likes travel, nature and enjoys being home. He is a man who is at peace with himself. I am hoping to connect with people of like minds to form friendship first and then leave the rest to the Universe.i will like to see more photos of u and tell me more about ur self too. And also i will like to know what you doing for hobbies or sport, Do you love kids cos i love kids and i wish to have my what type of animal do you like most i love domestica and aquatic animal like,cat,dog,fishes and others like birds i will be very happy to read you mail and once again nice to meet you....I will be looking forward hearing from you sooner.

[ Wow, that was a long, rambling fib. Back to the name Laura. Continue. I throw in some stats from the Google results and change her name in the process. ]

I wrote:

Yes, I love kids. You sound like such a nice person. Just like the person I have been looking for. You must be my dream come true. For so long I have wished and hoped for just the right woman to come into my life to share my love and fortunes. How lucky I am this day to have found such a wonderful person to open my heart to. You are just the right age for me too. You look great for being 30 years old. And to be a Cancer like me is such a coincidence. What day in June is your birthday? You truly are amazing. I think I'm in love. Do you believe in love at first sight Lauren? I do. I am on a friend's computer right now, so I can't send you more pictures, but will you please send me some of you?


[ See if she notices that I somehow knew her birthday is in June and she is 30 instead of 29 and I changed her name to Lauren. ]

In a message dated 3/23/2007 8:10:08 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
Dear,its nice to hear from you..You sounds such a nice and special man to me..You sounds such a wonderful man..yes i do belive in love at first sight..You are my dream comes seems like we are looking for the same thiing in common and we have alot in common..we could be a perfect sounds such a man have been searching for..June 6..It would be so great to meet u in person and see where it lead us to..i will be thinking about u and dreaming about you..i hope to hear from u sooner.

[ Dear, ..? She forgot to paste my name in there. She sends me a picture of Lauren from ... lauren.htm . Time to lay it on. Keep calling her Lauren. ]

I wrote:
Lauren My Love, I can't stop thinking about you. I don't think I have ever felt so strongly about someone before. I really believe we are soul mates and that we are made for each other. You are so beautiful in your picture. I feel as though I have seen you someplace before. It must just be our mental connection. I can't wait to meet you.

[ Yeah, I've seen her someplace before alright. ]

In a message dated 3/24/2007 2:59:13 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
Hello My Love
Its nice to hear from you..I am very excited darling...I cant wait to meet u also..I have been thinking about u and dreaming about you..I wrote your name in the sky, but the wind blew it away.I wrote your name in the sand, but the waves washed it away.
I wrote your name in my heart, and forever it will stay....I really want to see u someday....You are my dream comes true..You are heaven sent heart is set on you..It has been so long have been searching for u..I thank GOD everynight since i found you..You came into my life when everything seems so dark and ligten up my life..Thank you for would be so great to meet u in person and see where it lead us to..Dear i do check for the flight ticket to u there and it cost me $1550 and dont have the money..Dear i would like to ask if u can try help me come up with the money so i can get the flight book and come to u soon i book it i will send u the flight schedule..You just need to give me the name of the nearest airport to u that u want me to land to so u can be able to pick me up at the would be so great to meet u in person and get to know u more better nd see where it lead us to..I cant wait to meet you..Darling let me know if u need my address so u can send me the i can get the flight book and as soon i book it i will send u the flight details right away..I will be thinking about u and dreaming about you..i hope to hear from you soon.
Lots of love

[ And for the low, low price of only $1550, you can get a cheesy poem and a bad aftertaste. Well, I can do cheesy too. ]

I wrote:
Lauren, the love of my life, the apple of my eye, and the fruit of my loins.
Oh, yes, I do want to meet you so much. Every breath you take is only for us so that we can sink into the caverns of unconditional love. Every move you make sends tiny little vibrations of ecstasy rushing through every minute pore of my very being. Every bond you break sends a wave of seduction straight to the gray matter in my very sensual head. Every step you take brings us closer together so we can become one in the light of eternal bliss. You are the most fascinating and intriguing woman I have ever met. We were made for each other. I would be so happy to give you money to come meet me. Money is no object. A girl like you is worth all of the money in the world. Please send me your credit card and bank account information so I can wire the money directly to your bank account or credit card. I will send it to you as soon as I can. I will even send you extra money so you can buy some meals on your long flight.

[ Trying to pry credit or bank information so she can be more easily traced. ]

In a message dated 3/24/2007 10:42:36 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
Hello My Dear
Its nice to hear from You..I am very happy to recieve your mail..I thank GOD ever since i met u..I know that you are the one for me..I know that we are meant to be together..You are heaven sent me..Dear You are to send me the money Western Union..Do u know any western union location near you?if not look for one near you and go and send the money there to this address..
Name Laura Kenneth
Address 2 venus drive
City Ikeja
State Lagos
Zipcode 23401
Country Nigeria
I hope u got it...I dreamt about us tonight we are making love and holding hands in public and i know that we become real someday sooner...Dear u need to email me the Western Union info u use to send the money as soon u send it..I will be thinking about u and dreaming about you..i hope to hear from you soon.
Lots Of Love

[ It's probably a fake address. You can pick up your money at any Western Union location, so address is no use. Continue to try to get bank or credit info. ]

I wrote:
My dearest Lauren, queen of my nighttime world,

I am unable to transfer funds through Western Union or the postal service. Please send me your bank account or credit
card information so I can send the money directly to your account. I just know we will be the best of all lovers and we will spend our days in an intoxicated love-trance. No distance is too great for our undying love to span. Just thinking about you sends a frenzy of shivers up and down my very sexy spine. As soon as you send me your bank information, we will be one step closer to being in a state of overwhelmingly pleasurable euphoria.

Your virtual muffin of lust,

In a message dated 3/24/2007 12:34:15 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
Hello My Love
I did not have a credit card neither bank account..I did not have any..Darling U just need to send it thru Western Union money transfer thats the only way i can get it..Pls go look for any western union location near u and send the money...and as soon u send it me the Western Union info u use to send it..i will be looking forward hearing

from you soon.

[ Uh huh, no credit card or bank account? At least she's bright enough to not give out that information. Continue. ]

I wrote:
Dearest Lauren, my sweet cherry pie,

Since the day I laid my very sexy eyes upon you, I knew you were the one for me. All you have to do is send me your bank account or credit card information. As I said, I can't send Western Union because there is no Western Union here, but I will transfer directly to your bank account. It is very easy to open a bank account. If you really love me you will do this one thing for me.

Your life mate forever,

In a message dated 3/24/2007 4:03:10 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
Hello Dear
Give me your home address so i can help u look for the nearest western union to u there...okay i am waiting..

[ She's even willing to find me the closest Western Union. How sweet. I wonder if she noticed that I changed my name to Jake? Time to throw a wrench at her. ]

I wrote:
Honey Bun,

I am flying to Lagos, Nigeria to meet you so you do not have to travel. I leave tonight. I am the man (the very sexy man), so I should be the one to come to you. I will be there tomorrow and I will have a guide direct me to your home at 2 Venus Drive. I can't wait to meet you. See you soon my sweet African love goddess.

Your lover for life,


I wrote:
Sweet Pea,

Where are you? I miss you so much. I think maybe you made a mistake in your address. I have to see you. You make my heart thirst for just one sip from your oozing fountain of passion. I have to make sure you are okay. I don't think I can live another day without you. I have filed a missing persons report with the authorities and I have also hired a private investigator to help me find you. I have provided the investigators with your computer's IP address to help us find you as soon as possible. I have to know that you're safe. I'm coming for you baby. We'll be together soon.

Your sensuous lump of desire,

[ End Correspondence ]

New Poster

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:56 pm


Postby markperzy on Tue May 08, 2007 1:54 pm
The following is a profile using her pic on under the nic of: truelisa1. Interestingly, it lists her location as Ocean View, Hawaii.


Last Login: Two weeks ago
Visits: 816
Current rating: 8.47 (17 votes)
Rate me:

looking for that man
Seeking: Male
Height: 5 ft 08 (1.73 m)
Distance: N/A
Body type:Slim/Slender
Heritage: Hispanic
Marital status: Single
Age: 27

Location: ocean view, Hawaii, United States.

‘I’ Description

Hi,My name is Lisa.I'm a gentle,loyal,family oriented,soft,passionate,t lady.i'm easygoing and outgoing.I'm a lady full of fun,i seem to be seriously wanting to meet the man of my life.I love music,movies,outdoors,sigh seeing and reading.I'm caring,understanding and honest.I am seeking a caring,understanding and honest man who must have a great sense of humor and must know how to treat a lady bcos somehow i loved to be pampered.I love kids,I love dancing(Its part of my life)I am all for cuddling and hugging and holding each other as much as possible. I love spontanious actions and suprises. I love to be hugged from behind when I'm cooking in the kitchen. I love to cook, love sports, take walks on the beach, I love to travel.I'm 5 8 ft tall,blue eyes 115 lbs, blond hair and of average body build


Postby wrcarson on Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:18 pm
This is the second time that I have attempted to post. I met "Nicolette Letsapa" on BIGCHURCH.COM. She claimed to be from London and worked at a MART. She told me that her "MUM" and Grandmother lived in "JOBURG" Johanesburg, SO Africia. We exchanged our daily devotions for about three weeks. After a week or so, she started saying things like "Miss you" or "Falling for you". On June 8th, she claimed that she had her entire salary (1500 pounds) stolen while returing from teaching childrens church. She never asked for money at that time. I suggested she contact her Minister. She said she did, however, he could only give her 150 pounds. I told her that I would see what I could do. She gave me the name of her Minister in London. I contacted the church she claimed to be attending directly in London. They never knew a Minister by the name of "Tony Rapu" teaching at KICC. There is a Minister by that name in Nigeria. To make a long story short, she or "IT" contacted me last Friday June 15th, 2007 and demanded that I send her 500 pounds. I told her that I contacted the church and they didn't have a Minister by the name of Tony Rapu. I suggested she contact KICC directly and get all of this mess worked out. I never sent her any money. She or "IT" was very clever. We would write 4 or 5 times a day and at times she would say "I can't write now because my boss is around". She would also tell these cute little stories like the little girl that came to her store and claimed she saw a green horse at the end of the street. Being new to online dating, I fell for her. I have since learned my lesson.


*What do you think?*

Saturday 17 April 2010

Welcome to the world cup 2010 ! Common Q&A *warning: copious amount of sarcasm :P*

World Cup 2010… Questions from tourists These questions about South Africa were posted on a South African Tourism Website and were answered by the website owner

Q: Does it ever get windy in South Africa ? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? ( UK )
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, it’s only two thousand kilometres, take lots of water…

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa ? ( Sweden )
A: So it’s true what they say about Swedes..

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa ? Can you send me a list of them in JHB, Cape Town , Knysna and Jeffrey’s Bay? ( UK )
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not…oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow (1 of the most danegrous places 2b in S.A). Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa ? ( UK )
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is…oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Hillbrow, straight after the Koala Bear races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa ? ( France )
A: No, WE don ‘t stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Anywhere where a significant number of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? ( Italy )
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa ? ( Germany )
A: Not yet, but for you, we’ll import them.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round?
A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you will probably still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.

...and how was your day? :))

Thursday 15 April 2010


Greetings revered audience, are you seating comfortably? :D

Sorry for my disappearance', but am back to blogging up a storm.
This piece introduces Mena's brother very good friend, Ant, a great influence on her life. Literally. ..
It comes with several parts but I want to test the waters with this part, see if all concerned are comfy with it, before I continue. Enjoy.

I went window shopping at Bond Street the other day. Stepped into Selfridges and was immediately arrested by the salesgirl...

Okay not arrest per say, harassed!

"Hi,I have just the right blusher for your skin tone. If you could just spare 5minutes and I .." I heard her say.

I look at my reflection on the mirror, you must be kidding me, surely this face does not need any make up??

" It wont be long I promise. Now, Madam, could you please suck in your cheeks, just like this.." she chirped on.

Madam?! Who is she calling madam?? I sucked in my cheeks. I looked on as she applied the brush. I tried guessing her age. Her face looked like that of a teenager, maybe 20 but the size of that chest, and the boobs on it, looked anything between the ages of...!!

She interrupted my thoughts.

"There you go. You look fantastic, take a look"

and I took one look................

........and I was rather impressed.

"WOW" I exclaimed!

"Isnt it lovely? You have great cheekbones!" she replied all excited.

"So what is this colour"

"Its a mixture actually. I blended two different colours: that is rosewood and raspberry to get this effect." She replied professionally of course

"Great, am getting this." I stated.

" Good. That will be £30" She says and hurries on to get a new pack.

Okay so Er.. i didnt say it out loud per se..I said it with raised eyebrows. 30 pounds on a blusher ke?!

She continued oblivious to my raised eyebrows.
"Its a best seller! I only have 1 left in stock. I think its a great investment."

I started to argue with my mind.

"Its too costly"
"You look great and its difficult getting your match talk less of size in almost anything"
"You didnt have to say that!! Besides I can get it cheaper elsewhere"
"Where exactly? You cant trust all those cheap article on your skin. How are you sure of the ingredients they used in making it so cheap? Besides they dont usually have the colour that fits your tone, do you want to look like an ashankafe or like a lady?"
"..but 30 pounds"
"You do realise that you are in Selfridges?! Make up your mind, she is getting your bill done.."

So I got it! I bought the Giorgio Armani Blending blush duo

The rather enterprising lady gave my face a mini make over and used the opportunity, to try and persuade me to purchase even products. I politely refused, showered her with praises and left.

Strolled along the high street, telling myself that this trek is good for my figure..or whats left of it. Spotted a Starbucks and promptly went in so I could use their wireless connection.

So there I was typing up on some research. (I sometimes do some freelance research on behalf of people) when I heard..


I froze, godpleasedontletitbeforeme, god please dont let it be for me.

But it seems that god had a different plan..

"Winch!" "Mena", "soooo niiicee to see you!!!"

I remained frozen on my laptop, hoping I didnt hear that properly..
No such luck

"Baaabe, am talking to you. How u dey na? Loooong tiiime!"

Nigerians, please why must you shout from one end of a shop to address a person in another? It was not an emergency, I am not exactly able to run away, levitate, or even vanish into thin air.. so whats all the shouting for?? 'specially when you know y'all would still come closer.

I finally got the courage to look in the direction of that rich, baritone voice, I took a quick glance, looked around, and couldnt believe my eyes, there he was, my dearest pseudo-brother Ant!

"Hi Ant, so glad to see you!!!!"

"Heey Mena, looking goood. I came in to get some shirts from TM Lewin (mena, puhlease, dont roll your eyes) when I saw a familiar figure, seating in starbucks. At first, I wasnt sure it was you, but when you turned around.."

I shot him a cold glance and said: "Dont dare say it"

"...i instantly recognised that yansh! Aint no hiding that one." he finished with a cheeky grin.

"So you have not changed at all?" I asked my uncouth friend

"Changed? Why? Its me Ant, 6ft 3, 95kg, 7inches of prime, black beef! Rumour has it that when God was creating me.."

"Please save it for your fan club abeg.."I quickly shot in, with a huge smile. I knew his 'lyrics' by heart.

"Big girl Mena, selfridges right?" He looked at the bag, being Ant he couldnt just had to take a peek

"Please dont further add to my feelings of disgust, I think I have just been conned into buying an overpriced blusher."

" Really" he looked more closely at my face and exclaimed: " damn! is that what you have on? You look radiant, wow, not bad at all."

I thanked him and tried to save my work..

He continued: "Had no idea you were here. You never mentioned it, not even on facebook and I literally stalk your account, I will know if you mentioned it.."

I interrupted him "Oh so you have a facebook account?"

"Yes Mena and we are friends" He sighed audibly and said: "Havent you learnt anything from me?. SO you just add people without knowing them?" He asked with..hold on, is that a look of disbelief?

"Look I try to be careful but I get so many invites, I just agree to all. Then if I notice that the account is dormant, has never spoken to me, or is a 'ghost' account, I quietly delete them". I explained

"Please dont delete me o, I am Bugs Bunny." He replied with a grin

"Bugs Bunny' sha? Then you are on my 'ought to delete' friend list."

Then I remembered he said the word, 'stalk', and so I queried him:

"Oh thats how we do it now? So it has come to this point that you stalk my account? Whatever happened to a phone call? an email? a visit..."

" Visit? How Mena? I didnt know where on God's green earth, you were. You never let on much about your personal stuff, not to mention your movements. But you are right, I kept a low profile.." Ant replied

"Of course you did,what with the fast one you pulled on me last time..." I gave him a direct stare.

He gave me a guilty hug and apologised profusely:

"Mena, please I am sorry about that, I was at my wits end and was desperate."

I saw an opening and quickly gave him a shot of: "Why wont you be desperate, when you keep dating crocodiles, hyenas and the occasional squirrel.."

"Ha ha Mena, glad to see your crazy side is still intact. Good one, I see you took notes. But there can only be one master, and that is Ant, 6ft 3, 95kg of..."

He had this way of laughing, very infectious.

Quick note for your benefit: Look, if you think I am bad, you should listen to Ant. He is the most outrageous person I know, and his oratory skills leaves me spinning! Please let us not mention the pet names his 7 sisters had graciously bequeathed to me. Or the various names his 'chiquittos' have used to address me. Lets just say he taught me very well!!

"Abeg make i hear word .." I was smiling as well as hissing* (*kissing my teeth)

""Ha ha ha, I deserve that. But seriously Mena, we should meet up. Please just give me a day you are free and I will explain why I took off. Also, babes, regardless of my explanations, i am very very sorry and I shall pay you back..erm.. with interest..please" He pleaded.

I cant stay angry at family and Ant is practically family so I said: "Okay sha, you met me in a benovelent mood"

So as we decided on a date, I couldnt help but ask "So how are your sisters, the 7 witches and their respective covens?"

He he, I was obviously on a roll

"Ha ha, they are fine, will fill you in when we meet. Drama Unlimited!" He promised

So I had to look forward to our 'date'

Will continue later with the story of Crocodile, one of Ant's chiquittos, and her famous words:

" Not only do you look like a hippo, Mena, you clearly possess the grace of a hippo!" said the crocodile

Monday 12 April 2010

To commiserate with the people of Poland

My dear friend was distraught today and therefore I am also distraught.
It was worse when I read the news..

Apparently, The president and 130 others Senior Representantives from Polish Government have been killed in plane crash that happened in Russia

In other words, a number of people including the president of her country lost their lives in a plane accident.

It is horrible and devastating for anybody to loose their life in a plane accident, the chances of survival are minimal at best!!

Now I dont know about Polish people per se, but I know about my friend..

She is very Intelligent,(academics and non academics)

She is very creative, very confident, broadminded, charismatic, supportive,

She has all the characteristics of a leader,

She is knowledgable on so many levels: about business, leadership, intelligence, kindness, politics, loyalty, and how to throw a darn great party!!

She is not even 30yet..and yes she is Polish!

I think we become ambassadors of our various countries, whether we like it or not. And if she is a typical example of how Polish people are, then how lucky is that country??

I am writing this in her support and extend my deepest condolences to her and all her compatriots. May the soul of the departed rest in peace.
Please join in leaving any words or prayers in support of these people.

Monday 5 April 2010

Today's featured author -Maga still de pay a.k.a A sucker is born every minute (A. Ogedengbe)

Today I am publishing a note written by my friend. I found it hilarious, tell me what you think..

Phoney Deal

Getting off my desk at about 7 pm after trying all day to to put together a report, which I had failed miserably in doing. The office light had all gone off. I stood up from my desk, scanned around the office for another miserable kindred who would still be laboring at work. No other soul hugged the cold desks in the open plan office, none except Jimi. The glow from his computer monitor reflected off his intense eyes sunk deep into his gaunt face. Jimi had the reputation of being the 'gateman' - he serially closes later than any other person. I could bet my next pay he was either watching porn or facebooking...I leave my desk to sneak past him and he barely notices me ...a ha!...he was chatting on his messenger to another crazy person I am sure! I took consolation in the fact that my life wasn’t as sorry his. There really wasn’t any point talking to him. He wasn't the most social person in the world.

I stepped out of the prison called an office to I flag down a commercial bike (it's an okada, deal with it!). The okada screeched to a stop in front of me. I told the Okada rider to drop me off at my favorite watering hole. No questions asked by the Okada rider, he knows the place. The 'joint' in question being an open space demarcated from the macadam and the rest of the world by bamboo shoots. Here I was assured good, cheap food and drinks - (need to psyche myself up on this) and good personalised service. At least she knew my name, my favorite meal and how much I would part with per meal.

Loud music blaring from the speakers assailed my ears as I stepped into the joint. The buxom Mama P was the owner/manager of the eponymous Mama P's Kitchen. She was also the chef cum waitress. She was diligently going about the business of preparing delicious cuisines for the neglected of the city. People with no mothers,brothers, sisters, girlfriends or friends that could cook and/or are too lazy/just don't know how/too busy to cook. In my own case, all applied. I could probably boil an egg to save my life, I think.

A combo of eba/okro and two small Guinness stouts later, I was powered up to face the darkness at home...not for me the noisy generator tonight if there was a power cut. I was just too tired.

I flagged down another okada, gave him the description to my house. The okada rider duly informed me about my fare which typically had increased to an outrageous amount, this I am sure had to do with my alcohol laden breathe rather than the bad roads which snaked to my house. We haggle a bit and agree at a fare revised downwards.

The motorbike and him bob and weave as one around the traffic skilfully while I was left bouncing around behind him supplicating to the Almighty Deity to see me home. My tie was flying across my neck as the dusty wind blew into my face. My hands grasping the motor bike carrier behind my seat with my next life. I always remember to pray on Okadas. From my numerous experiences, there was no point telling him to slow down. Okada riders have a life of their own.

Miracuously I got to my house which was ringed by a 9 foot fence. Our fence, topped by broken bottles and spiked rusty irons from ages past somehow hadn't stopped us getting robbed twice in 6 months.
The compound was all dark as usual, the usual power cuts. I dipped my hand into my pocket to extricate a bunch of keys, then looked for my phone in my other trouser pocket to use as an emergency light to locate the particular door key. No where to be found! I checked the back pocket, then my suit pockets.
I frantically turned out my pockets all over again. Dang! I remember putting the cell phone on the table while I was eating.I had forgotten it. Hissing and shaking my head in frustration, I went outside the fence to get another okada back to Mama P's. I didn't expect to find the phone anyway. I was not disappointed.

Mama P saw me rush into her 'bukateria'.

'Mama Patience abeg you help me see ma phone?' I asked breathlessly, hoping she had kept the missing phone for me.
No ooo, where you for keep am?' Mama Patience asked, concerned.
Na there madam' I said pointing at the table where a man and a lady were chewing away at what looked like rice. He looked old enough to be girl's dad. My guess was he wasn't. No Nigerian parent would allow his daughter dress THAT way, I surmised. I reluctantly pulled my eyes away from the delectable damsel.
Make I borrow your phone call my phone'. Mama Patience gave me her phone. I was that good a customer.

After three attempts, some one with a husky voice picked the call.

Good evening oga, I am the owner of the phone you have in your possession...'
Husky cuts in on me 'Ah nice one, where you de?' I couldn’t believe my luck. Some good Christians still left in this town! amen!
At Mama P's Buka on Stadium Road' I mentioned the town. Just to clear all ambiguities.
We don de try look for you'. Na for there we pick the phone That was mighty nice of Husky I thought. My initial feeling of hope dwindled as we talked.
How can I get my phone from you please?'
Make you tell us the Nokia unlock code, then we go come send am come give you'
Seemed I didn't hear right.
Sorry, you say wetin…?' I had to make him repeat that. I had slipped into pidgin before I realised. Tell him the phone unlock code...if he only knew half the contents of the text messages on that phone...
'E be like you don deaf before...I SAY, EHN, MAKE YOU TELL ME UNLOCK CODE, EHN...if you don tell us the unlock code we go come send the phone back'. Ok. Ok. I get you Husky.
He must have thought me deaf as he shouted into the mouthpiece on the other end and probably dumb too.
Mama P apparently had a lot of customers coming and going, she couldn't help me with any description of the thieves.

There was no point using up Mama Patience's MTN credit any more, I dropped the call and sighed in defeat. A fleeting thought to reveal the unlock code to Husky crossed my mind, real 'Maga' that I am...I didn't...
If you call my phone and its still ringing, that's the reason why!

Just being mischievous:

Things I have picked up

As a dude it’s easier for your pickup line to sell in Naija if you a ‘tush’ car…a blackberry seems to be a requirement these days.

Typical conversation after boy bumps into girl in a social gathering:
‘Hello, what’s the name? You look kinda familiar’. Don’t mind it’s a well worn line
Things progress a bit. You ask for a phone number.
‘Can I have your number?’ Silly dude still speaking
‘Yeah, do you have a BB pin?’
‘Er…what’s that?’
‘Blackberry personal ID number, d’uh…where are you from self’, she says as she quickly loses interest.

Knocked job. Move on to another one.

Pearls of wisdom

Everyone has some words of wisdom. It oozes out of the prints, pulpit, radio and tv. Different inspiring quotes by politicians, religious leaders, talk show presenters. It’s in fad.
A word is enough for the wise.

Twice as Nice

Just wondering why we have to go through the ‘long thing’ when marrying in Nigeria. The introduction, the engagement ceremony and the ‘white’ marriage itself. I guess it prolongs the marriage shelf life. Can’t it just all be lumped together
Well I am not going to be the first to change ‘culture’. I am my father’s son.

Question time?

Kankiki estate was built as a modern estate by the ‘able’, ‘amicable’, ‘action’ governor of my dear beloved state. Somehow, someone 'forgot' to connect the 100 house estate to the main waterboard grid.

Instead, a contract was awarded to drill a borehole to service the estate. This works fine for a while. Then some one at the water board embezzles the funds for fuelling the generating set which powers the borehole.

The onus now lies on the residents to impose a levy to fuel and maintain the generating set. This arrangement works well for a period of time. Naturally, people started defaulting on payments. The regular payers get angry and stop paying. The whole system is in chaos.
People start drilling their own boreholes, digging wells and getting personal water suppliers.
No one questioned the government on why it didn’t connect the estate to the main water lines; no one questioned why the funds for maintaining the generating sets for the main borehole were not released. People mumbled and grumbled about the other residents who were inconsiderate…
Allen Ogedengbe

How to beat your wife?

The picture represents a lady who has allegedly been beaten up. She uploaded them unto facebook hoping to create awareness on her 'now enstranged' relationship. The man she accused of assualting her stated that she hit her head on a door handle. Door handle or not, these pictures are a minor representation of what damages domestic violence can unleash.

My earliest recollection of domestic assualt was at the university. Several of my colleagues will speak about slapping their girlfriends, just to put some sense into her.

Those were mere words, having no immediate impact on my psyche, till I actually saw a victim of beating. She could barely get out of bed, parts of her body bore the bluish black bruise associated with trauma to the skin. She had two black eyes and cuts to her lips. She never quite got her confidence back.

Why was she beaten up? She was living with her boyfriend who had started coming back to their room at odd hours of the night. One day she decided to confront him and was beaten to a pulp. She was in 300level while he was in 200 level. There were no repercussion to her boyfriend, if anything, he declared that she older than him so the relationship had to end.Note that the lady was 2 years younger than him,albeit in a higher level at university!

In another instance a friend of my mum (Aunty X), spoke about the beatings she received from her husband.

Aunty X was a business woman and the sole earner in her family and therefore had to leave for home in the early hours to tend to her trade.

According to her, she came home one day, earlier than normal, to see her husband cavorting with their female neighbour. Aunty X immediately confronted the woman asking what she was doing with her husband. The neighbour laughed in her face, stating that she was her husband's girlfriend. Naturally aunty X, was infuriated and confronted her husband, who proceeded to beat her to the pulp.
'You wont believe that I own the house we live in, I pay the bills, I take care of every single need of the children, and i do all that discreetly so as to honour him. I even give him a monthly allowances for his personal upkeep, yet this is the way he repays me, spending it on that loudmouthed woman?' She asked rhetorically.

This got me thinking; Are there sitautions that encourage these domestic related abuses? Are there ways we can spot them?

As for me, I made up my mind at 16, on the actions I will take if I am ever beaten up by a significant other!

Thursday 1 April 2010

Hang in there.. help is on the way

I am a bit hesistant about featuring this piece, I really would hate to add to the stereotype of Africans and trees :// Then again, its a great story about courage, determination, destiny and love in the most difficult of circumstances. How Sofia gave birth to Rosita in the most dire circumstance. I am publishing it with the hope that someone, somewhere, who may be upset or depressed about a situation in his/her life, may be inspired to have faith.
I hope you like it as much as I did

It's Rosita's birthday today March 1st. Her classmates will recite poems specially prepared for her and sing songs. The local mayor will attend. Neighbours have been gathering at their home for days to prepare the special foods for the day. There will be lots of pictures taken, and people will celebrate her special day around the world. It's the day the world ended for her mother and the rest of the family.

"I know I'm special," says the beautiful nine-year-old with her head downcast, staring at at her sandaled feet.

Today, 10 years ago, Rosita Mabuiango was born in a tree in the tiny village of Chokwe in Mozambique. It's an image which is easily recalled by many people. It's a picture which alerted people around the world to the plight of the hundreds of thousands caught up in the floods in 2000.

Nearly 200 000 people were saved in a massive rescue effort, 700 died and countless lives were ruined by the devastating waters. But the image of Sofia Chubango giving birth in a tree is probably the only thing people will remember.

Altogether 14 931 people were saved by South African helicopters. SA Air Force helicopter pilot Chris Berlyn estimates that his crew alone rescued about 2 000 people.

The air force had already been deployed to assist with the massive rescue operation spearheaded by the Mozambican navy, which had already managed to evacuate more than 100 000 people from flood-affected areas. But the worst was yet to come.

People had been living and farming along the Limpopo River for many a generation and were well aware of the risk of flooding. Locals had long become accustomed to the rhythm of the river, and men and women with withered hands did not feel it was necessary to leave. For many, their livestock and mud and reed huts were everything - their savings from a lifetime of toil in the fertile valley.

On the day of the flood the women, draped in their traditional skirts, scarves and T-shirts, chatted as they crossed the short distance from the field to the coolness of the mafureira tree and the small mud huts.

Rosita's uncle Carlito Mabuiango remembered cracking a joke which had everybody laughing and smiling after a day in the field. The women immediately set about starting a fire and tearing up the gusha leaves that would be mixed with ash for dinner.

"We didn't see it coming," Sofia said.

Faced with ever-increasing water levels threatening to break dam walls, Zimbabwe and Malawi opened their flood gates, sending a torrent of water rushing down the Limpopo.

Berlyn and his crew had already been in Mozambique for two weeks.

A plane would identify pockets of stranded people, co-ordinating a fleet of helicopter pilots who would carve an area into grids, systematically rescuing people stranded on rooftops and trees.

The pilot would announce through a loudspeaker that people should make themselves visible. Help was on the way.

The BK-117 helicopter wasn't really made for rescue operations. With its small capacity - for six passengers - it would take innumerable trips to make a dent in the number of people needing help. Still, the crew pushed as far as they could - at least 10 people per trip. On one occasion even a dog.

"It was a job. Sometimes people refused to leave. They'd wave as we left, and we knew they wouldn't survive," Berlyn said.

On the day of the flood there was no time to grab anything. As family members raced to a tree, the waters swirled against their shins. By the time they had crossed the 5 metres to the tree trunk, the water was waist deep.

"It was amazing. Even the oldest person, who struggled to walk, suddenly had the strength to climb," Sofia said. Children, mothers, fathers and grandparents secured themselves in the crook of a branch.

Within 10 minutes, the water, now covering the vast expanse of valley below them, was 2m deep and rising.

A desperate mother

In the tree with Sofia was her second eldest child, two-year-old Benedicto. There would be no sleep that night as the family, clinging to branches in three mafureira trees, watched the roofs of their huts disappear under water. "We watched the water rising, always rising," Sofia said.

The new day dawned, bringing with it excruciating pain in Sofia's belly. She tried to stifle her cries, for the sake of Benedicto. The two-year-old was hungry, thirsty and scared. Sofia, herself struck by stabbing pains, couldn't comfort her little boy. "He was crying a lot from hunger, but there was nothing I could do."

Two weeks before, there were rumours that members of 7 Medical Battalion would be deployed to the flood-ravaged country. Corporal Tshifhiwa Nengovhela's girlfriend and mother had asked if somebody could go in his place. But this is the army. People aren't asked, they get deployed.

Nengovhela was nervous. From the media, his impression of Mozambique was of one of a violent country where there was no order. And the images on television the previous week gave the impression that any helper could perish. And he had his entire life ahead of him. Under-resourced and under-prepared, Nengovhela found himself dispensing medical treatment to throngs of flood survivors in Chibuto, 350km from Maputo.

Other days he would be loading and unloading food aid at camps for internally displaced people.

On March 1, 2000 Nengovhela was attending to a common medical problem - people with blistered skin from being immersed in water for too long.

"The flood was vast. You looked for colours or any indication of life. Sometimes you would go down into the tree and the people would already be dead. But we were not collecting bodies," Nengovhela said.

Sofia could no longer stifle her pain. Her stepmother, in another tree, immediately took charge. Sofia needed expert hands.

Carlito was dispatched to fetch the heavily pregnant woman. Sofia carefully clambered down the tree and climbed onto Carlito's back, the pair slowly swam to an adjacent tree where a women experienced in childbirth was, like everyone else, precariously perched on a branch. By the third day, the lack of food and water had exhausted the 24-year-old and occasionally she would wake with a jolt, having drifted off and then, somehow, realising her treacherous condition.

"It was very, very painful. I was crying, screaming. Sometimes I thought the baby was coming, but other times I thought it was because of hunger," Sofia said.

She was sitting on one of the lower branches, too weak to climb any higher. If she reached out she could touch the water below. It would not quench her burning thirst. She prayed.

"Let your will be done," she asked God.

At 7am of the fourth day, March 1, 2000, Sofia and the rest of the family in the tree spotted a small helicopter. They waved, throwing up blankets and scarves but it disappeared. No one spoke, even thinking about it was too much of an effort. Then a dot appeared on the horizon. Then many dots.

At 9am Berlyn and his crew had been in the air for two hours. From one tree, Berlyn could see somebody waving a red scarf.

Like so many times before in the past two weeks, Stuart Buck was lowered in a winch to help retrieve survivors.

"When we pulled him back up, he said there was a woman in a tree and she was about to give birth.

It wasn't what we wanted to deal with at the time," Berlyn said.

Nengovhela was staring at his medical bag. He could feel the gaze of every crew member on him. He tried to calm his mind. "I was was very, very nervous. Everybody was depending on me," he said.

He'd hardly had time to prepare himself when the radio call came in. There was a woman in a tree who was about to give birth. Moments later, the BK-117 had landed and Nengovhela got on board. Quickly, he stripped his medical bag to the bare minimum: clamps, scissors, space blanket.

The helicopter hovered above the tree, creating swirling winds and forcing the weak survivors to cling to the branches with the little strength they had left.

"We got scared, we feared we were going to be blown out of the tree," Sofia said.

The man in the green jumpsuit and white helmet went up and down rescuing people from the tree, leaving Sofia behind. "They said they would come back for me," she said.

Safely in the harness and with the helicopter rotor sweeping the branches this way and that, Nengovhela made his way down into the tree, carefully trying to find his footing among the dense foliage.

The tiny life inside Sofia would wait no longer. In rural Mozambique, women regularly give birth outside of hospitals. The midwife would assist as, perched between the branches, Sofia pushed a little girl into a world metres above the swirling floodwaters.

When Nongovhela finally clambered across to Sofia, she was clutching her baby to her chest.

"The baby was very, very blue. I was struggling to find a pulse and wondered if the baby was alive," Nongovhela said.

In his limited Shangaan, the medic was able to elicit a few nods from the drained mother. He cut the umbilical cord. Somebody handed him a towel, which he used to wrap the baby and continued with his examination. Finally, carefully running his fingers up the baby's arm, he felt it. "There were signs of life," he said.

Mother first, then the baby were winched into the helicopter and onto higher ground in Chibuto. From there they were taken to hospital in Maputo.

The entire drama had been captured by SABC cameraman Adolf Spannenberg. By the time mother and child had recovered, the world knew of the miraculous birth.

The famous mother and child were whisked away to Europe and the US, networks clamouring to speak to the two miraculous survivors of the floods in Mozambique.

An appeal by the Mozambican government for $250 million was met and nearly doubled by the generosity of international community. Air support for the rescue effort was dispatched from the UK, Spain, the US, Belgium, France and Botswana.

"The world, after witnessing the miracle, could not just let things return to the status quo," said Berlyn, who, 10 years later, has left the military and today ferries naval pilots to ships porting at Durban harbour. When he returned from Mozambique, it would take him weeks to recover from the physical exhaustion, and even longer from what he witnessed.

He still finds it ironic that the same people who would typically be called on to do the bombing runs on Maputo in the mid-80s were co-ordinating the humanitarian effort from the South African side. "It was a job. We did what we had to do and then we came home," Berlyn said.

Nongovhela is still in the army, and when he recalls those weeks in Mozambique, he remembers the countless times when it was too treacherous to enter a flooded hut. He remembers the faces of the people standing on the roofs of their homes, surrounded by their livestock and family.

"The father would send the mother and children, but he would not go without his animals.

"I think a lot of the rescuers' lives were changed, seeing people die and others who could not be saved. But we rescued a lot of people, and I'm proud of that."

Over the past 10 years, a number of government officials and foreign visitors have visited the family to see Rosita and her mother. Nine months after the floods, the family were able to move into their own brick-and-mortar home, compliments of the government. Recently the house was fitted with running water and electricity. Many others would leave gifts for her.

Rosita's father, Salvadore Mabuiango, says people think they have lots of money. The family's rise to fame has led to a number of detractors. Nothing directly. Always a hush or a whisper carried via the network of neighbours and friends. Some have even been known to go to local inyangas to put a curse on the family. The family were one of us and now they are rich, is what some say. Sofia understands, though. "A lot of people lost everything in the floods, but I gained something," she said.

The money and gifts have helped to feed and clothe the four Mabuiango children. Rosita's siblings are nonplussed by the attention their famous sister attracts.

Rosita is typical of children her age. Her favourite activity is school, "because I learn so many new things", and at home she is expected to assist with the household chores.

Rosita is afraid of the goats. ("They may bite.") She doesn't like the long grass. ("It makes my legs itch." She's scared of climbing trees. ("What if I fall?")

At the local administrator's office where Sofia has been working as a messenger for the past three years, she is fairly anonymous in her grey overall with a name tag that says "Carolina". But everybody here knows the woman with the miracle birth.

As she enters her compound, the grey overall shed and brightly coloured T-shirt revealed, her face lights up and her smile belies her age as neighbours ululate and her children rush to greet her.

Rosita doesn't move from her mother's side, and regularly whispers in her ear.

"We're more like friends. She tells me all her secrets. Mostly about things that happen at school," Sofia says.

Much of her time is spent playing with her youngest sister, four-month-old Cecilia.

"I'm a mother, and I regard all my children as special.

But there is something about Rosita..." Sofia says.

A special daughter

And every year, as March draws near, Rosita gets more excited.

"It makes me feel special. And a lot of people like me on that day," Rosita said.

Amid all the frivolity and preparations in the compound, Salvadore cuts a glum figure. He bemoans the fact that he only earns $50 a month and that food prices are skyrocketing. That the neighbours are gossiping about them and some don't even talk to him anymore. He hasn't been to the family's farm 15km away for months now, complaining that the rains have been poor.

"We are not like other families around here. We get a lot of attention. But the money we make is not nearly enough, because things are very expensive," Salvadore says.

Two years ago Salvadore was convicted for selling off gifts given to Rosita. Sofia explained to the local magistrate that whenever she tried to stop him, Salvadore would beat her. The court warned Salvadore and made Sofia the custodian of Rosita's assets.

Salvadore dismisses the incident as a conspiracy by jealous neighbours intent on tearing the family apart. Privately, Sofia confirms the beatings.

But things have improved since the court hearing, and Salvadore hasn't hit her again, she says.

"I think the warning did him good, and things are better now.

"Sometimes life is very good, but sometimes, when I have problems with my husband, it seems a poor life," Sofia adds.

Rosita is oblivious to the beatings or the fact that her parents faced off in court. When asked about the gifts she has received, she can only shyly point to the two cribs in her parents' room.

Nearly 10 years after Rosita's miraculous birth in a tree, Sofia decided to have another child - Cecilia.

"It won't be long before Rosita will go to Xai-Xai or even Maputo to study, and then there will be nobody here for me," Sofia says.

In the meantime, Salvadore's cellphone is ringing repeatedly.

Television crews are on their way from the UK and Portugal to celebrate the miracle baby's 10th birthday.

After a decade of dealing with the pushing and prodding of news crews, Sofia still appears shy, and is occasionally reluctant to pose for pictures.

"Sometimes I get a bit irritated with all the attention. But then sometimes I think I'm like a priest, and in telling our story, it gives people hope."

Thanks for reading through..have a good friday!