December 13, 2011


So in keeping with the festive and reflective practices of this season, I am making this post about celebrating blessings and reflecting on lessons. Although I am still far from my writing goals, I am taking a moment to smell the roses because in the last few months i made quite a bit of progress! This month alone I had two of my articles published on Y!naija ( and and another was published in Imbue Magazine. YAY!

Part of making progress has meant having editors give me feedback about my work, which is great because you learn or re-learn a ton like what happened when I sent off my article to an editor. In secondary school, I once wrote an essay littered with “I” in lower case and my English teacher circled every offending letter in red ink before proceeding to give me an uncomplimentary score for not writing them in capital letters. Like my teacher, my editor showed her disapproval when I made the same mistake.

I have also learnt a lot from sending out requests for columnist opportunities to top papers and magazines, like:

1. Follow request through no matter how long it takes. Persist until you get a logical YES or NO. Most of the time people are willing to say YES than they want to say NO and if you don’t get a YES, listen for the NOT NOW and keep pushing until the time is right.
2. There are a ton of ideas in your head about what to do to move yourself closer to your heart desires- try all of them out. They are your mind telling you how to get what you want.
3. Start as soon as RIGHT now, because there will be challenges anyway. You might have to retry several times before you get it right, so the earlier you put yourself to the test the better.

You can hardly make progress without seeing areas to improve. That’s the evidence that you are not standing still. There is always a way to do things better and sometimes we only find it when we tell ourselves the truth. For instance, I have writer’s diseases that plague more frequently than I should let them. One of them is, I wait for inspiration to write and for some articles it flows like a never ending stream while for others, inspiration only teases to get your interest then denies you when it has your full attention. When this happens, work sputters to a stop and remains unfinished. But a little discipline goes a long way to help inspiration too so maybe that should be a point for my New Year resolution.

Speaking of the New Year, this year is in its twelfth month of pregnancy and the year 2012 will soon be born. This is perfect timing to retreat and review how we have spent this year, what goals we have achieved, what progress we have made, what kind of people we have become, what shortcomings we can improve on and what we can still do before this year ends. The great thing about reflecting is that it shows you where to plant your next steps. Here’s something else I will be doing and you should try it too: Write down a list of things that you can do to move yourself into the place where you want to be and think about how you will execute them in the New Year. It should be fun!

November 28, 2011


I spent a plane ride to and from Lagos, in the company of David Ropo Lawale's book - 21st century Joseph and it not only cured my aerophobia (see previous post) but it blessed me and i was thoroughly entertained. David has a lot of content and there is a blessing in the way he uses it, I hope you see that too in this interview, Enjoy!

OMONAIKEE: You write about the biblical character, Joseph and flesh out the story with vivid descriptions of his life as it would be if it was set in the 21st century. I found your Joseph to be a quick wit, a stylish dresser and a man shocked out of his sheltered life by the hateful betrayal of his brothers. Joseph was a happy-go-lucky kid who had to grow up fast because of the hard events presented in his life, do you relate with the life of Joseph?

DAVID: Yes I do relate with the life of Joseph. He was a young man that seemed to have “impossible” dreams that made him a legend. Im a pictorial person. I love to think out of the box. I love to try out the rare things. Growing up, I’d always had dreams about myself and where I was going. While I was in the banking industry, I kept nursing the dreams. The Banking Industry is a place that keeps you comfortable enough to live a dependent life on the salary and forget your dreams. I had to fight it. Since I pictorial in everything I do, I often picture everything around me having a voice. Life itself has a voice. It often tells us we cant be who we planned to be. I needed to shut it up first by making myself happy. I found out no one will really make you happy. No one will actually celebrate your dreams. No one will believe in you when you build castles in the sky and don’t take visible steps to show your doggedness. The way you’ll see Joseph described in the book has a little bit of me in it. I just love being happy and excited irrespective of how any other wants to make me feel. Life is fun, live it but don’t live too seriously. Enjoy the moments. I also’ kinda’ had an old head on a young shoulder (I grew up fast). Also, did almost everything under the sun before I woke up to life’s reality

OMONAIKEE: In your book, we hear your voice weaving messages of your own into the story. You where also in the book along with your characters, I found that style of writing to be unusual. Why was it important to you that your voice should lend something to the story?

DAVID: I didn’t just want people to read a book and dump it somewhere. I needed a book that would speak to the readers, cause them to go back to it when life’s pressure tries to raise it’s head. I also wanted to connect with the reader. Many ‘mentor’ books from well respected and notable authors entertain but don’t get to relate with you. I wanted to be in the readers living room, swimming pool section, kitchen, library, school, office with him/her. I wanted to dialogue with the various reader’s thoughts without necessarily being physically present. From the numerous feedback we get, it seems it worked. It’s exciting!

OMONAIKEE: You are also a brand consultant and your approach to pushing your book is fresh, how have you used social media and what potential does it offer today's writers and authors such as yourself?

DAVID: True, my approach was a fresh one. Like I said earlier, I like thinking out of the box. It’s a joy to see the method being used now by public figures who saw what I was doing and got in touch. Others, said they were going to use it for their work. Another thing im passionate about is branding and marketing. Social Media is a blessing to the 21st century. Years ago, many paid huge amounts for TV adverts, newspaper ads, etc. Today, things have changed. Many are bloggers, people are networking beyond their country. Social Media will get your work to nations you never taught of in seconds. You can network the world from your living room. I get calls/messages from Dubai, Malaysia, UK, Zimbabwe, South Africa e.t.c over what I do simply because of social media sites. The 21st Century Writer must understand the speed at which people can get to see his/her work via social sites. Facebook for example has over 500m users. That’s like the population of 3 major countries put together. Any wise author will ride on that platform. Yet, there are still ways of getting the necessary effects, response and productivity.

OMONAIKEE: Connect the dots for me, you have had life experience in other industries unrelated to what you currently do, what led you here David? What's your story?

DAVID: I wouldn’t really say that. I was into marketing. I was once an external marketing rep. for an organisation based in Lagos. However, my passion for empowerment was also in the picture at the time as I got some slight invitations many years ago. I got into the Banking Industry, Prudent Bank to be precise and was there as a credit and marketing officer. I understudied my bosses because I knew I wasn’t going to stay a banker all my life. The Banking Industry is a place where you can acquire a lot of knowledge if you do take it seriously. You get to write credits for schools, hotels, hospitals, contractors, politicians, etc. Hence, in those days of Prudent Bank before consolidation by Soludo, the Bank was particular about your display of knowledge in the field you are writing a credit(loan application) on. So, that takes a lot of research, questions e.t.c. There were times you’ll need to think like a doctor simply because you were writing a credit for a hospital or think like an engineer a bit because you need to defend a contractors request. After Bank consolidation, other banks I moved to didn’t really engage in that, but I was able to learn more on ROA, profitability and the likes. Bottomline, when I consult or train organizations now, I stand confidently because of the foundation received in the banking sector, research and the general school of hard knocks termed the School of Life. Today, im a Business Strategist. Also a performance trainer. My job is to help organizations grow their customer base, rebrand their mindsets for growth, make needed impact on their bottomline and re-create in them a brand customers are not tired of. Many organizations feel their age and experience qualifies them to keep being the forerunners. History, has proved them wrong, both locally and Internationally

Finally, you asked what led me hear… Well, i am very uncomfortable with mediocrity. Very shocked at acts of foolishness often displayed based on the fact that we have celebrated ignorance for too long. I feel there’s more to life than the mansions in Asokoro, Victoria Island or Beverly Hills; there’s more to life than the cars, Rolexes and private jets many want to acquire; There’s more to life than Money. There’s calmness and so much joy when you are doing what you are designed for. Many are frustrated because they are living someone else’s dreams. I'm David Ropo Lawale and I just want to live life happy, fulfilled and able to encourage people to birth their dreams even when it seems slow or financially stupid. In my own comical words, the so called stupid people helped us. Thomas Edison was stupid enough to keep trying, Gani Fawehinmi was stupid enough to go against the military when no one dared, Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikwe and Awolowo were stupid enough to push for our independence. I am stupid enough to believe in LIVING LEGENDS. I don’t believe you need to die first before the world celebrates you. Michael Angelo, Martin Luther, Shakespeare e.t.c. are legends but they were not living legends. Their legendary status seemed to spread after death. I love to celebrate Mohammed Ali, Steve Jobs e.t.c

OMONAIKEE: Tell me a bit about your christian faith, your testimony of it was very present in your book, what role does having a faith play in your life?

I discovered intimacy and not religion. We all made a religion out of this and termed it Christianity. Truth is the world needs a revolution. We need positive rebels of thought and character and not violence. We need knowledgeable corrections based on truths from the word and not just what has been practiced. Many might find it difficult to believe but God/Jesus never called us Christians. The people that didn’t understand the disciples were the ones that gave them the name. We should live free and happy in the word. Religions will keep battling themselves for supremacy. Religions are systems of the world and no religion out of all religions in the world will want to accept inferiority to the others. That’s why things go physical and violent. We weren’t given religion, we were given Relationship. In the relationship, we have religious(consistent or modus operandi) engagements like Prayer, Faith walk etc. God didn’t call us Christians, He called us Gods (Ps 82:5-6; John 10:34). He didn’t say we are Christ-Like (Christians or a replica). All religions have refused to comprehend this. Oh no!! I aint

With regards the testimony of my faith present in 21ST CENTURY JOSEPH…..Yes, it was. All the stories in my teachings were real life scenarios. Some were me, some others.
"What does Having a faith play in my life?"........Stories like Joseph gets me positively angry. Stories like Daniel e.t.c. They had mental pictures of themselves and went to work at it. Having read those stories, I felt, if they could make it, so can I. Having faith in the Almighty himself helped take some steps I wouldn’t want to take. I resigned from the banking industry with less than $100 to my name local and abroad. I was in debt and my rent was due. I live by one major statement…If Opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door and knock it yourself. I’d rather die trying than not trying at all. Life doesn’t reward you for your similarity, it rewards you for your difference; the majority have never made impact, those that do separated themselves from the majority.

OMONAIKEE: What should we expect from David Ropo Lawale in the near future?

DAVID: I've written 9 books. 21ST CENTURY JOSEPH was the first in the series of 21ST CENTURY BOOKS. Also expect the movie, cartoon and comic versions of each book. Expect David’s voice encouraging you to stand up for the “stupidity” of your dream and desire. Expect strategies that would build and expand what you do. I playfully used to say when I was much younger, you may not like my face when you see me on TV, but you’ll still hear the voice on radio. You may switch off the radio but, my brand of toothpaste will probably be in your house, if you refuse to use that too, my brand of soap, kitchen seasoning, book, etc will be existing in your house. Hey, im not greedy, i'm only exercising my senses. Watch me!!!

Great stuff right? Read the book! When David asked me to write a review, i sent him my two cents bellow:

"I give and i take- I enjoy taking words and giving them back by unraveling meaning, enjoying prose and weaving thought into words again. David's book gave me a lot to unravel and for my labor I was rewarded with a sense of God working out all things for my good. I read and I write- At first I read this book like a writer would, paying attention to David's expressions and the flow of the plot then somewhere in the chapters I became a reader and got drawn into the story by David's ability to paint vivid pictures and his gift to lift the curtain to reveal the humanity of these biblical characters whose stories are set in times far from the ones we live and are tried in. With humor and an animated imagination, David reset the clock and let's us see Joseph in a life we can really relate to. I am blessed and I bless- I heard some things I needed to hear in David's book and I recommend it for anyone who wants to keep company with a mind that has mined insight from the word of God' - Omonike Odi, CEO, Omonaikee

November 24, 2011


The first time I saw a wrap of “gala”, the sausage snack, was in Lagos and that was two decades ago. Since then Lagos has never ceased to provide firsts for me and I didn’t think my last trip would be any different. On a Monday night, I found myself seating in the crowded Murtala Mohammed airport for two hours, waiting to board a flight enroute Lagos from the serene Federal Capital Territory.

My flight had been shifted once already hence the two hour wait. I dreaded the possibility of having it rescheduled to the next morning more than it worried me to seat in the airport waiting and I minded that even less than the idea of flying at night and arriving in Lagos late.

It wasn’t just my fear of running into the gentlemen of the night that irked me; it was flying in the dark and not being able to see anything. Somewhere in my head I reasoned that if the worst happened daylight would provide a better chance of salvation and so the black night held no comfort for me. Consolation was only to be found in the reassuring laugh of Haruna, my long time friend. He teased me out of my anxiety and told me to consider the experience an opportunity to do something new. This was going to be another first.

My flight was announced by a rickety voice coated with an accent I couldn’t decide on.

”Is she a Nigerian speaking like a Lebanese or a Lebanese trying to sound Nigerian?” I wondered, but not for long.

On board, I concentrated on shutting out the piercing sound of the airplane slicing through the air during take-off. Reading on trips was an old habit of mine, it helped to kill time and in this instance it would distract me from my aerophobia so I turned on my reading light and settled into a book.

Overtime i have learned to expect certain things from Lagos; like bumping into a Nollywood star, seeing the ocean, being rudely addressed by a bus conductor and being stuck in 3rd mainland bridge traffic. What I didn’t foresee however, was to be ousted out of my role as observer and given a part in the movie- Lagos.

The pilot announced we were approaching our destination and I peered out of the square glass beside me to see for myself. What I saw immediately made me part ways with my reservations about flying at night. Beneath me was a cosmos of bright lights set in the blackness. The lights sparkled like stars right under my feet and I looked down at them in child -like awe. Then sooner than I was ready, the lights began to disappear one after the other until we plunged into the blackness and landed on earth. As the plane taxied to a stop I spied the moon and felt a tinge of jealously. The fun part of flying was seeing the view from up there and after seeing heaven on earth i didn’t think I would be afraid of flying after that. We’ll wait and see.

If my experience in the air was surreal, the one on the road the next morning was anything but. I set out of my Isolo home, armed with the address of the venue for the event I would be attending. It was Four Points by Sheraton on the island. I had been told to walk to a nearby junction and find a cab and once I found one, I was to negotiate N1500 for the cab fee. That’s what I was told.

I dressed carefully that morning in a smart skirt suit supported on black, suede, Runway Next shoes with heels from here to there. Inspite of the 6inches, I managed to trek out of the pot holed roads of Ire Akari estate to the supposed “nearby” junction. I scanned the area to the left and the right but there was no cab in sight.

I heard my Auntie call them “Marwa’s” but they were called “keke NAPEP” in Abuja and now I could see tons of them going up and down the narrow road. One stopped to let a uniformed child unto the street and I quickly approached to ask the driver where I could find a cab. The driver began a rapid explanation complete with gesticulations and I nodded to encourage sense out of him. The man seating behind him listened for a minute then suggested i join them since they were headed toward the street the driver had mentioned. I lifted the weight from my heels thankful to support my legs on the metal floor of the tricycle.

As I held a rod by the window for support, I wondered if I should be thankful for the intervention or wary of help from these total strangers. I instinctively pressed my handbag close to my body and resolved to be vigilant. Soon enough we arrived at a place on another street where I could see two cars with the sign “hire” set on their tops. I found my feet on the tarred road before asking the Marwa driver what I owed him. He smiled an old man smile and said “No worry”. I was surprised but pleased and took it as a sign of good luck. After thanking the old man, i proceeded to the parked cars.

“VI” I instructed in my strongest no nonsense voice.

“3,500 ” A voice returned. A man in a native tunic and trouser inched towards me and i could see he was looking me over. I hesitated. That was too much for a cab and it wouldn’t do to go back home with a sad tale of how I parted ways with N3500 for a cab ride. My cousins would laugh hard and put it down to my being a JJC . Only a Johnny Just Come, JJC for short, wouldn’t know better.

I shrugged off my cool and barked back, “N1500”

The man adamantly refused and I walked on feigning annoyance like I would have done in Abuja. It always worked without fail. The driver would pretend to refuse only to call back the passenger who showed nonchalance. I took a few steps away but didn’t hear a thing so i turned around in time to see that the man had retaken his seat and was now chewing hard on his chewing stick. He wasn’t budging. So much for luck, I thought.

Nothing else moved in my direction for a while.

Someone had been observing me from the side of the road. He was a security guard and presently he walked over and asked me if I was going to VI. I once again pressed my bag to my sides and hardened my face.

“Yes”, I answered in a voice I hoped sounded confident.

“Why don’t you take a bike to Cele bus stop for N100 then from there enter bus to CMS then when you get there you go get taxi easily to VI”.

I looked at the man for a second, then at the time on my wrist watch. The watch decided for me. While the idea of a bus did not appeal, I reasoned that if I could get to the next stop, I would be further ahead than where I was and would find a more agreeable cab driver. The security man hailed a bike that had just stopped a few feet away. He addressed the man as “Molla”, and I felt a little more comfortable that the “okada” driver was Hausa. I spoke to him briefly in his language and he assured me I would find a cab at Cele bus stop so I pulled my skirt above my knee and attempted to raise a leg. That’s when I heard a tearing sound. The bike man understood and made for lower ground while I recovered from the thought that my suit had just be ruined. It was the lining that had given way thankfully so I repeated the move and hoisted myself successfully onto the bike.

When I raised my head to see there was a dirty helmet in my view,


The Hausa man was pushing the helmet into my hand. I shook my head in disbelief and put the thing over my head with a deep sense of regret. I calculated the price of the hair extension on my head before peacefully coming to the realisation that at least, it was protecting my head from the dirty helmet.

Cele bus stop was many streets later and as soon as I got down from the okada i started asking around for cabs. Twice I was directed to cross over to someplace to ask and i would go across a street, find someone who would tell me where else to go only to return to the first point.

By now a lot of time had passed since I left home. I was an unwilling member of a crowd. People moved around while others waited for buses but when one pulled up only one or two made an attempt to get on it. Thugs moved through the crowd of regular looking people who wore trousers or skirts paired with shirts or native styled clothes. None of them looked like me and I could see I was out of place in a black suit, briefcase, handbag and high- heeled shoes. My hair was getting into my eyes and my false nails where too blunt to pick them all out. I was a contrast to the dirty streets and aggressive people around me. I became worried for my safety and constantly put my hand in my bag at intervals, feeling for my smart phone.

“All the load wey you dey carry go fall you o!”

The warning was directed at me, and I turned around to see the owner of the cracked voice. A short man with dirty dread locks and dirtier clothes was coming toward me. I quickly remembered my survival instincts and barked back at him in pidgin English,

“Na you e go fall, Ode”

I grimaced at the sound of my own voice. Where I got that from, I wondered. A second thought followed the first, as I pictured what would happen if the man heard the insult and turned back on me.

Thirty minutes slowly passed me by in Cele bus stop. At this point, the thought of going back home crossed my mind but again I didn’t know how I would explain myself when I met up with my colleagues who were waiting for me at the event. The last person I queried for suggestions was a LASMA guy, they handle traffic in Lagos. He had pointed me in one direction where I was yet unsuccessful.

“Why don’t you take a bus to CMS if you are going to VI?”

How did they know where I was going? I assessed this new entrant who was offering me bus stop consultation services to see if I was looking at a potential heckler. Had he observed my aimless walking and decided I was a good target?

It occurred to me that I had not heard any conductor call for CMS so I questioned him about that.

“They are calling Orinle. Go to Orinle and from there to CMS”.

The bus was dirty, old and rickety and I was given the seat next to the conductor. I came to respect the man after observing his fearlessness when the bus veered very close to other buses. He never flinched!

I had decided that as long as I was moving closer to VI, I was better off than if I kept waiting at Cele. When I boarded the bus, I noticed that the man who had advised me to go to Orinle, followed me into it, by now my hand hurt from clutching my bag.

We travelled for thirty minutes without incident. I had accepted my fate and now I stepped outside the situation to observe the other players. When we went past one road we happened upon a group of policemen beating up a driver through the window of his bus. The poor driver had one hand in a fist to jab at the faces of the police while the other hand held unto the steering wheel. An old woman behind me wailed in pity as she cursed the police men for heckling the driver for his daily bread. They should beg him for the money not beat it out of him she said in Yoruba. Others hissed their disgust. I continued to stare outside, observing the roads that where being constructed and adjusting my eyes for landmarks I hoped I would recognise.

My mind slowly drifted to the horrid stories I had heard of Lagos. One friend had been robbed in a bus while another related the story of a robbery that occurred in broad day light. The armed thieves robbed from car to car in the congested traffic. From my ponderings, I heard the engine sputter and then stop. This woke me out of my thoughts.

The driver said “Ekpo ni” meaning it is fuel, and a lady from the far back of the bus shouted at him to let us out so we could get another bus to travel in. I was lost for words now and didn’t know who or what to blame for my predicament. Suddenly, i wished I was far away from this situation, as far away as Abuja. I started to pity my legs at the thought of another possible trek. But just as dramatically as the engine died, it regained consciousness and the car came alive. Our journey progressed slowly through traffic and fifteen minutes later the bus turned off the road. On cue, i asked someone where we were.

“This is CMS”, he answered.

I hurried to my feet and with more directions found a garage where a jolly old man agreed to take me to “Four pointi” for a thousand naira. Relieved to be in his cab, i took each tired feet out of my now dusty shoes. As we drove past, I enjoyed the view of the ships docked on the ocean then a thought occurred to me and I snatched out my make -up case to assess the damage to hair and makeup. We made more progress through light traffic while I tended to my appearance. Finally, the cab pulled into the prestigious hotel. I looked at my watch and shook my head in disbelief. It was 10:30am! It had taken three hours to get here.

I joined my colleagues who had been worried and for the first time all morning I felt safe. They were surprised at my story and got a good laugh from it. I had ridden an okada, hung around bus stops, hopped on buses and seen the life of a Lagosian who lives on the mainland and has to catch several buses to work on the island. I told myself I would not do it again but for what it was worth, I had just had another first in Lagos!

November 03, 2011

Crase de sleep, mumu go wake am!


Hmmm, I came here to dust the cobwebs and in response to all the chastisement I have been getting. Thank you loved ones for the koboko words not unlike the ones I have used to flagellate myself. So, I am putting the unfortunate reason why I have left y’all hangin to full use as my topic for this post. I remember the words of fellow writer and professional bb broadcaster whom I genuinely admire for his deep content which he so generously shares every morning. He said “I wont take any excuses, I make time everyday to write no matter how silly it is” so you see, whatever crase you witness in the course of this rambling has been justified under the sacrosanct sanctity of his righteous indignation!And i reserve the right to remain mute, not just silent at the obvious combabulating misuse of words littering this rendition! And if you wondered the difference, being silent is keeping your lips sealed but being mute is looking like a mumu while at it! And a word for “Haruna”-“my new found love for tweeter, is not a crutch!”. Yep I am on twitter every morning, see what I have been up to for yourself - @omonaikee.

Excuse no 1: I don’t have inspiration.

Hmmmm, objectively speaking, inspiration is everywhere na. It’s on the head of the groundnut seller, it’s enshrouded in the thoughts of every conversation, it’s on the mismatched attire of the man who chooses to wake up and wear a lab coat or a pair of pyjamas to the market, it’s on the Abuja babes outfit reeking of all the colors in the rainbow in the name of color blocking and the urban professional’s shiny suit complete with an aloof expression and arrogant swag. Sooo please find something else to use Nike.

Excuse number 2: Baa ni da locaci.

That means, “I dont have time in Hausa”. Mcheew… who does? We all have 24 hours and that has been the ration since you stepped out of the uterus!

Excuse number 3: No internet service!

Chai! Biko, which century are you na? And who told you everything is often perfect for the millions of professional writers, professional bloggers and professional me-sef-wan-write-my-owns out there? Mcheeeeeeeewu !

Excuse number 4: I’ll do it later?

When exactly? When the opportunity makes itself available or when you create time and call it opportunity? Ermmmmmmmmmm, it’s called procrastination and no one ever did anything worth doing by being friends with that darn thing! So set a fixed time every day or week to get down to it, ko?

Excuse number 5: I dont feel like it just yet.

SWAT! Ma begi fu en! I will slap yah face right now o! Who told you, you have to feel like anything? Are you your feelings? Abi, whish kain pepperless oyibo talk be dis? You don’t need Dr Phil to tell you that its not about how you feel! If we all followed our feelings Hitler would be having lunch with Ghadafi and plotting how to use mobile phones to wipe out the world with Steve jobs! Now what was the point again? STOP FEELING!

Ok, this schizophrenic rattling is all I can handle right now or else…… that thing that happened in 1976 will happen!

Dalu o!
This was fun!

October 24, 2011


It's usually me doing the interviews, but i got a taste of my own medicine when cognito studios ( to feature me in their "creative people" series. I was surprised by my own reaction as the days leading up to the photoshoot for the interview approached. I was a tad shy, a little giddy with excitement and very, very nervous! But when the lights came on and it was time for action, viola! Yours truly came through shinning. Morale of the story? Just do it!I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as i enjoyed giving it.

COGNITO: So i want you to give a little insight into Omonaikee, who is she? What does she do?

OMONAIKEE: My name is Omonike Odi, i am behind the brand “Omonaikee”. Omonaikee is a multimedia platform that provides media content on print, audio, video, radio, live, online and social media. All messages are prepared to motivate, inform and empower a target demographic.

COGNITO: Along the road to where you are today, what were some of the significant events that helped shape you?

OMONAIKEE: I grew up hearing about talents in church and about how God gives each person an ability and He will hold us accountable for how we have used these gifts. That stayed with me. What it did for me at an early age is that it helped me realise what unique abilities i had and as i grew older i became concious about how to develop and deploy them in every phase of my life. There was also a conciousness to use them positively and use them to share the benefits of my relationship with God with other people. That was significant in shaping the way i use my abilities today.

COGNITO: Who is Nike in the next 5 or 10 years?

OMONAIKEE: In the next 5 years, Omonaikee is a global brandname and in the next 10, it is a global company headquartered in Nigeria and Nike is it’s CEO. It’s my BHAG; my Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

COGNITO: What message would you give a young lady who feels useless, bored but has dreams and aspirations, and doesn’t know how to go about making them a reality? She feels helpless to make her life meaningful?

OMONAIKEE: This is the best question you have asked me so far because i am passionate about young people and women and i am all for people going after a life that accomplishes their potential. There are usually 3 reasons why people dont make their dreams a reality.

The first is the issue of time. For people who are tied down by the demands of a job, a marriage or kids; they should celebrate what they have achieved so far be it a mortgage, work experience, precious kids or life experience. Next, they should ask themselves if they are waiting for time to make itself available to them to pursue their other dreams and realise that it will not come. Very often we have to negotiate with the demands on our time in order to create time for what’s important to us, so start negotiating with a full night’s sleep, a full time job, or a full time nanny.

The second reason is the lack of money. I find that if we will only do all that is within our power both financially and otherwise, we will get farther ahead than where we are right now. One question i have had to ask myself is : “Nike, have you done everything you can?”. Not having money shows you what you do have. It also shows you what your spending priorities are and where to put money when it comes.

The third reason people very often don’t achieve the life they want is they haven’t discovered themsleves. Self discovery is at the beginning of every accomplishment. Each person needs to look closely at themselves and find what is special or different about them. They need to look at their environment and background and find what opportunities it presents to them. They need to identify their interests and see what they can do to explore it. Then they need to think hard about what they want to be based on these resources God has put in and around them. Next, they need to take advantage of the external opportunities to develop or utilise their innate abilities, then use the results of that to build the life they want and become what they want.

COGNITO: Who inspires you today and why? One or two people

OMONAIKEE: I am inspired by a lot of people for different things. For instance, i am inspired by my friend Cobahms Asuquo because he has a pure heart and that quality magnifies everything he does with his heart, into an impact. I am inspired by my mentor, Fela Durotoye because he has a lot of compassion and wants to help people. I am inspired by several others because they are sincere like Pastor Sarah Omakwu or are strong characters like Funmi Iyanda or are selfless like my mum.

But generally, all the people who inspire me have one thing in common and that is personal achievement. I am inspired by personal achievement especially when it is achieved against daunting odds or disadvantage. For example, i am inspired by the resilience shown by Steve Jobs in the last 7 years of his life when he lived with pancreatic cancer. In those years he still pursued his dreams even till the end. It taught me that whether life is long or short, a lifetime is enough to be you. It is enough to become who God wants you to be.

COGNITO: What is your favorite quote? Explain how it inspires you?

OMONAIKEE: I like several quotes because i love the written word and i both consume and create it, some of it is on my blog at But the ones that go beyond inspiring me to shaping me are the words of the bible. My favorite verse is Psalm 32:8 and i quote the New International Version “The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life, i will advise you and watch over you””. It inspires me because it shows me that every season of my life good or bad is a path but God is divinely leading me through the best combination of paths to get to where he has lovingly assigned for me. Those words are beautiful.

Another one is in Ephesians 2 :10, paraphrased, it says that we are all the work of God’s hands and that we are recreated into a life lived with Jesus as it’s owner so that we can do those good works which God planned beforehand for us and take those paths which God prepared ahead of time that we should walk in and live the good life which God prearranged and made ready for us to live. These words have a lot of creative power.

“Whether life is long or short, a lifetime is enough to be you. It is enough to become who God wants you to be.”- Omonike Odi (CEO, Omonaikee)

Original interview published on:


September 28, 2011


Hey everyone, i need to introduce you to someone who i think is absolutely inspiring, he has a good heart and a right spirit. His atitude toward working under someone and his personal story of overcoming life’s challenges show that having a functional relationship with God can bring you into the life you want. He will be a good influence on you,that i promise. He has gone from being a college drop out and to a corporate sell out... meet SteveHARRIS!

Omonaikee: I read somewhere where you said you didn’t have a clue about what you wanted to do till you were 27, and now some years later you’re an accomplished speaker, consultant, author, husband, father, radio host, Naija Diamond,UN/YFP Young Ambassador For Peace, CEO e.t.c. So from that point what was the defining moment that set you on the path of being a corporate sell-out?

SteveHARRIS: Thanks Nikita, I never had a clue that I’d be privileged to do what I do today or have the sort of impact on the lives of people that I’m blessed to have. I guess once I got kicked out of school, I determined to prove to myself that I wasn’t the dropout my Alma Mater made me out to be. I guess you could say the Dropout part of me motivates the “sellout” part of me. I’m also driven by my personal mantra “it’s not what you don’t have that limits you, but what you have and don’t know how to use”!

Omonaikee: You wouldn’t describe yourself as the typical college dropout we think of - the one who dropped out because they couldn’t afford tuition or whose parents weren’t supportive, or was that you?

SteveHARRIS: Nah, that wasn’t me. I’m humbled that my parents did their best to provide for us. I guess I wasn’t cut out for my course of study (Industrial Mathematics). But don’t forget that I dropped out of school twice (from UniBen and Madonna University!) Go get the book for details! But I would say that I had something in common with most people who may experiencing a “dropout experience” (in school, career, finances etc), and that’s low self-esteem.

Omonaikee: What type of a college dropout were you? What was happening in your life at that time that led you to that place?

SteveHARRIS: Well, I’ve always considered myself as a pretty smart guy, but I guess it was just a case of putting a square peg in a round hole, and then add to that, victimization from lecturers, then you have a recipe for disaster! Lol!

Harris identifies Fela Durotoye as a key contributor in his process. He says every experience he had with Fela was such that he would treasure forever, he talks about his mentor and former employer here...

Omonaikee: In John Maxwell’s book, every one communicates but few connect, his writer Charlie Wetzel writes a chapter about his experiences with John, in your book you devote an entire chapter to your experiences with Fela Durotoye, help us understand why it was important for you to write that chapter.

SteveHARRIS: For me, it was imperative that I write about FD, as God used him as a signpost, if you will; to point me in the direction of my purpose. He took a chance on me, built up my confidence and inspired me to believe in myself. I consider him to be a mentor, teacher and father figure.

Omonaikee: You’ve had a very close relationship with Fela, one which you would refer to your work as “service” and working for him as “serving”, why did you see what we would call a work relationship that way or in those terms?

SteveHARRIS: Well, as you know, FD and I have a multi-faceted relationship. Too many young people today take liberties with their mentors by being “familiar” where they lose access to the mentor’s grace. Even Elisha was described in Scripture as the one who “poured water on the hands of Elijah” and Joshua was described as the “servant of Moses”. Now, I’m not saying that you should act as a servant, all I’m saying is true and faithful service is first, a matter of the heart.

Omonaikee: Fela Durotoye worked with Folusho Philips at Philips consulting them moved on to set up Visible Impact consulting with his blessing, you’ve also worked with Fela Durotoye and have gone on to set up EdgeEcution, what is your perspective on working for other people, learning the business and leaving well?

SteveHARRIS: I think it’s very important. Though I need to clarify that I had absolutely no intention of starting my own business while working with Visible Impact. As far as I knew, my assignment was to build the organisation and serve FD, and in doing that faithfully, my dreams would naturally come true. I was super happy being there and it could have only taken a divine summons from God to pry me away from FD and the Visible Impact family. But having said that, I believe that motive is important. Most people want to come and “learn” from you, but in reality, they want to take from you and not to give to you. There’s only so much you can get that way. Sure you can get the “how to”, but you’ll never get the spirit behind it and that’s actually what creates everything else. I believe that too many young people are in a hurry to “hammer” if I may use the term. I see so many of them say to me, “I’m the CEO of This, That and The Other” and unfortunately, they seem to be going nowhere fast. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being entrepreneurial, the challenge is “have you built a track record?”, “to whom have you submitted yourself to?”, “where are your mentors”. It’s sad to know that most young people don’t want to pay the price of sacrifice. You can’t be celebrated without sacrifice.

Harris also has a lot to say about the role God has played in his life...

Omonaikee: You started and completed this book in three months, was this biography painful to write, what emotions played out as you wrote from chapter to chapter?

SteveHARRIS: I must admit, it was a bit of a tear jerker for me, since I had to unearth previously repressed memories and feelings. But you know what? Writing proved pretty therapeutic for me (had to be my own Dr. Phil). But writing made me appreciate all what God has done for me when I look back over the last 6 years, I can see the hand of the Lord, leading and guiding me when I thought all hope was lost.

Omonaikee: Your book reveals your journey of self discovery that was kick started by academic failure, now you’ve come full circle from college drop out to corporate sell out, from dropping out of University to giving talks at the same school, from your peers getting ahead to turning to you for business cutting edge, what has that process from there to here changed about your view of God?

SteveHARRIS: All I can say is “God has a sense of humour”. He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” or more verbosely put, “He incorporates the mundane to discombobulate the cerebral”. I’m deeply thankful that He’s turned my “mess” into my “message”. Don’t ask God for a testimony if you’re not ready to face the “test”! God is faithful. I lost hope several times, backslid plenty, took up vices, but He never let me go. I owe Him everything!

Omonaikee: Most college graduates aren’t corporate sellouts, so obviously it’s not the degree, can you share what you think IT is?

SteveHARRIS: For me, it’s just pure grace from God. But coupled with that, I guess I’ve discovered my assignment and I intend to be the best at it as I can.

Harris has had two lives, in one of them he went through a dark time where he didn’t see the possibility of the today he has now, if i ask him what he would say to someone who feels that way about their future today and how they can turn things around, i can almost hear him say:

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU DONT HAVE THAT LIMITS YOU, ITS WHAT YOU HAVE BUT DONT KNOW HOW TO USE . We should be more introspective and stop complaining about what we don’t have, and start focusing on what we do have, no matter how small we perceive it to be”- SteveHARRIS

September 03, 2011

My best life

For a while now, i have not had the time nor the readiness to indulge inspiration so when i was finally able to seat down and let it take over, i ended up writing a 1,147 worded article and i was elated! I’ve read it more than twenty times and it’s almost perfect. There’s always something to edit at every read. Someone said the editing is the most important part of writing. It shows professionalism when you can convey a lot of meaning in simple ways and get a point across in fewer words. When i write i aim to make a connection; that alone inspires my intellect to find expressions that leave the reader and writer herself in admiration.

Well, i think i've got my mojo back and no writer’s block fashioned against me shall prosper. Lol! After i was done editing, i called my editor friend and mailed it to him with excitement. Only days ago, i had payed him a visit at his office to talk about me. He is kind of a mentor so i decided to name him Master Shifu. He had a midget for me and we talked over a few of my prospective stories. “Dejavu” he said, “Nike we’ve talked about this before, Just do it!” . Yes like my footware namesake i was just to do it. So do it i did. I made two phone calls for interviews and blogged. Then i surfed new blogs and bingo- i found it! Something someone wrote made me think gravely hard and two hours latter i had a two paged article. I called it “the writers curse”, it’s my current source of pride and joy.

“Have you read it” i asked repeatedly after my yahoo said mail delivered. One thing i’ve learnt to live with is the reality that not all my friends are happy to be my beta readers. They don’t want to hurt my feelings but they just find proof reading a long script of text daunting. But Shifu would be glad to. “Have you read it?” i asked again. I think he got exasperated at some point.

When i write something i think is genius, i can't wait to share it with someone and hopefully talk about it too. Shifu was my prey of choice and i was on his neck till he gave me a tired “but i said i will read it na" and a placatory "i have skimmed through"

“Sowee” i said with a rose cheeked smiley for animated effect.

“Your eagerness is endearing. Don’t sweat it”. Now i was beaming. I hope it gets published soon.

So why hadn’t i done this before? Work. Living. Too tired or too much going on to chase fleeting inspiration. But when i do get to do stuff like this, i feel like i’m doing the job i was made for; the one i am working other jobs to have full time someday. It’s times like this i feel like i’m living my best life.

August 27, 2011

Ooowe Emmmmm Geee!

Soooooo long time no write..... and seriously i miss writing and blogging and doing me sooo much that i had to make the decision to ignore certain commitments this weekend just to get some me-things done! But let’s not make a big deal of it, right? I left and now I’m back so here’s to hoping you love me like i never left!

Been blog surfing during my hiatus though and certainly enjoyed checking out some blogs. One fashionista, friend and blogger gave me a sunshine award- YAY! Have always wanted some kind of blog award and would have grovelled, begged and bribed someone to give me one if she hadn’t, lol!), so thank you to Uduak of finally me for passing along the sunshine award! YAY!

I learnt a lot about blogging while i was away. I learnt from bloggers like The Third World Profasional, For Style Sake and Finally Me that blogging can be a fun way to chronicle the sunlit glow of the life of a young, fashionable, adventurous unmarried girl! I do admire these girls.

I totally love For Style sake blog for the sentimental plot which like salt removes the putrid tasteless show- offiness of personal fashion blogs. For Salewa and Segi, two sisters who started their blog to preserve their sisterly bond in a common love for fashion, blogging obviously isn’t just for style sake. I also love Finally me for the free- spirit and sweet heart behind all her posts. Third world profashional is something else. I will read her journal of adventures served with a mix of slangs that switch between expressions from Ibo land, Lasgidi (Lagos), QC (Queens College), Aberdeen (Abz like she calls it) or Londres (French for London)! I read somewhere about blogging being a helpful tool to expose the world to the culture of a people and her blog does good evangelism for the Nigerian penchant to expressively draw you into the world of their experiences with a use of language that explores sounds, tones, inflections and even other languages just to convey more than words to you. Nigerians are very entertaining in that sense.

I learnt from Myne whiteman writes and My Feisty Pen that it’s ok to approach your blog from a professional angle and display your work for connoisseurs, collectors and art- lovers to admire. That it’s ok to use it to validate your talent and build your portfolio, your audience and popularity. Of course i love my feisty pen for her sheer writing talent (i will read your novel, personal interview or blog girl, just keep it up) but Myne Whitman takes it further by being an online mentor to other blogger/published – writer hopefuls and if there was a professional blogger, she gets close; she responds to every comment, checks out the commenter’s blog and even remembers ancestor blogs i never met or heard about!

From Sisi Yemie i learnt that reading pidgin can be as much fun as hearing a Nigerian comedian crack jokes in pidgin. That wafi “crase” can come across in written words without you having to see a dramatic expression or hear a voice pitch back and forth in the same sentence like a hijacked baseball.

I love When I Move Back To Naija mostly because she is a dear friend. From her blog i learnt its ok to pop in and out of blogville because the real living is worth so much more than a few gratifying comments.

I also love Corner Shop with Adiya because she plays by the book leaving comments and all and since one good turn deserves another i started leaving comments on hers as well. Though she’s moved, the concept of her blog is sooo original. Publishing small business is something you’d see on TV formats but she is totally original doing it blogging too.

Finally my best blogs of all time are from two girls who have taken blogging to the nth level. I used to follow Bella naija’s blog from 2007 and i easily converted to a daily visitor when she turned her blog into an online fashion/entertainment website. I also used to follow Favoured girl’s blog from way back, in fact my favourite place to go used to be A Girl’s Journey Down The Aisle. I loved it because it was selling the brand of influence called good.

So, many thanks to all this bloggers for entertaining, edifying, sharing, inspiring, adding sunshine to a boring and demanding work week, cracking me up, making me smile, adding to my lexicon of street lingo and conundrum of social culture e.t.c... you get the gist! More than passing you a sunshine award, i thought I’d let you know how you make the sun shine. Abi?

So it was my birthday while i was away, i turned 27 and i seriously don’t feel as old. Inside i feel ten years younger but it only takes me a minute with a 17 year old to feel my age! More seriously turning 27 increased my restlessness about the race between time and the fulfilment of my dreams where the passage of time seems to be winning. I have made up my mind that the next three years racing to the big three-0 will be nothing like my last three. I feel more settled, i have matured as much as i probably need to and i am as prepared as I’ll ever be so the appointed time is now!

I intend to do something with my potential and turn my reality from “i want to do” to “i do” and this blog will be a platform for you to follow up on what i am doing in each of my target areas and also keep me accountable about getting omonaikee more out there than it currently is (by the way, omonaikee isn’t just the name of this blog; it’s the name of my media company and the essence of my brand). So get ready to see content in interviews, music, radio, television, and project and published!

From me? Expect more. So much more.

May 30, 2011


It is far from reality to believe that the wedding gown of a bride’s dreams does not exist until she is ready to walk down the aisle. The Cinderella truth is that way before that magical moment when she is propositioned and a white diamond set in silver is pressed to a place of rest on her dainty finger, a staff of doves, mice and fairies have been working on her entire bridal trousseau!

And if you are a fantast like me, then your wedding fantasies began long, long ago in a faraway kingdom animated by Disney. First there was Cinderella and then Jasmine and Ariel, and all the other Disney princesses that came after,but the inception of the idea of a wedding dress was implanted in my mind by the character “Lisa Dowell” in the movie “Coming to America”. Back then, i thought Lisa’s wedding dress was very ideal but now when i think about it, i can almost hear Joan Rivers of Fashion Police, in her raspy voice and a snicker describe it as a monstrous, lace contraption made from pink bedspreads in the era 20BG (Before Gaga).

Next to Lisa's dress,was Giselle's- hers too fairy tale to be true. It was in the movie “Enchanted” and i was enchanted by both the cartoon and live versions of the wedding dress except it worried me that the dress was not only aspiring to show- stopper status but was intended to be a bulky nuisance as well.

And now, several fairy tales later, i am stuck with a vision of walking down the aisle in 20 pounds of tulle, rhinestones, beading and ruffles and one innocent man is going to part with a pretty penny to buy a wedding dress which has progressively evolved in my mind since being six years old!

So the next time you ask a girl what she wants to look like on her wedding day, you’ll understand when she replies; "just like a princess”, you’ll understand why she is taking forever to find a dress and why she is willing to break the bank to do so.

Searching for that wedding dress with the magical essence to imbue it’s wearer with royalty and turn her into a princess is another matter entirely. The quest for this “perfect dress” very often turns the calmest, even –tempered girl into Bridezilla. Most brides go through a plethora of white garments before finding “the one”! The rigor is almost as difficult as hitching the man itself.

Maybe it’s the thought that all eyes will be on the bride or maybe it’s about that moment when the groom sees her approaching from the opposite side of the aisle in all her bridal beauty or maybe it’s about looking her most beautiful on that one day. I don’t know for sure, but for brides, the pressure is on to wear something wowing.

Undoubtedly, when it comes to feeling like a bride, it’s all about the dress. And whether a girl decides to be the Princess bride, the Cinderella bride, the Diva bride, the Goddess bride or the Innocently sexy bride, today’s bride will have all the experience and guidance of the Princesses before her handed down one Disney movie at a time.

May 16, 2011


Girls have a special ability to form strong bonds with each other. From childhood when they have Best Friends Forever (BFFs) to their teens when they want to dress alike, girls are just wired to bond. These emotional ties are created by the free giving of self to self and sometimes the resulting sisterhoods can endure beyond the instances of the initial attraction, transcending childhood and womanhood into progeny. Then friendship has become a legacy.

But sometimes Best Friends Forever can become Worst Friends Ever. If by a cruel twist of fate they have a crush on the same boy in their teens or by the evil scheming of a horrid Grinch they turn against each other in adulthood, BFFs do break their girly oaths to be friends forever.

The reasons vary and often are unspoken but if we strain our ears we would hear little girls in grown up bodies, wordlessly saying to each other , “ I am breaking up with you, my best friend because...

...I am now a married woman”.

This is the most common reason one BFF about to tie the knot, will break up with the other. Somewhere in between the “Here comes the bride” and the placing of the sacred bands of gold on the honorary ring finger, your BFF will be hit, no knocked over by the realisation that her unmarried friends would be a bad influence on her married life. They would only make her lust for her late- night partying ways, her infrequent cooking and junk –eating habits and give her all this bad advice. At the very moment she contracts this paranoia, you may well be tip toeing around her wedding white being the perfect maid of honour but she has your evil plans all figured out.... so out you go!

And then there’s the “i earn a fatter pay check now” break up line.

Your childhood friend has landed a job with a fat salary and she’s making every effort to flaunt it in your face. She has upgraded herself into the “IT” girl with all the latest gadgets, designer bags, designer clothes, designer jewellery, designer vacations, designer hair, designer accent, and etcetera. Like the typical victim of new money, she’s too busy getting caught up in the material world to be human enough to relate if you’re broke or can’t pay the air fare for another friend’s wedding or can’t catch up with her commentaries on the latest gadget!

There’s also the irritating “I am more into my man and less into you” line.

This one is so cliché. Your BFF has found herself a new accessory. He has a baritone, a wall for a chest and makes her feel more woman than little girl! How can you compete with that? And it gets worse! Lover boy doesn’t get you or like you. Now BFF is beginning to sound like him and though she used to think you were hilariously funny, lately she stopped laughing at your jokes and even said once that you talk too much. Also, she has told him about the way you both used to make fun of him in the “toasting” days, murdering any chance of him getting to like you anyway!

And there’s the “I’ll never forgive you for doing it first” break up line.

This one happens to some sister who used to see her BFF as the baby, the junior or the late bloomer and suddenly has to face the horror of watching her friend take the first steps into womanhood ahead of her. The one who considers herself better, takes a blow to her ego and feels her superiority is put in question when her younger or less experienced friend takes the rite of passage into engagement, marriage, or employment before her.

Oooh and there’s the “i have moved on” line.

Erhm, this one happens when one girl feels all that frolicking and Best –Friends- For- Life stuff was childish. She’s a grown woman now and to settle any doubts you might have of her maturity, she rids herself of you- the childish, girlish friend of her childhood. She feels she’s outgrown you and like an unmatching colour with her outfit, the concept of BFFs don’t fit into her world.

Now this one really gets my blood boiling but it’s called the “when it’s your turn you’ll understand “line .

Happens when one friend gets to experience something you both have been curious about like getting married, sex or child birth. You’ll know it’s happening when your BFF, who is every bit your pair in an obnoxiously condescending way says something like “what has happened for me will happen for you one day” or “i can’t tell you, when it’s your turn, you will know”.

And i mustn’t forget the “you know too much” break up line where your BFF keeps you at arm’s -length because you witnessed the episodes of dissipation of her youth and now she wants to put her past and everyone from it behind her.

We can go on and on citing the things that drive the wedge between best friends. Actually, all the reasons why “we aren’t that close anymore” will fit in.But some BFFs will make it to the finish line and weave that rich tapestry of friendship into their emerging family lines. It is these rare few who will truly know the rewarding joy of friendship.

To all my BFFs, met and unmet...I HAVE A DREAM... that one day our children will be BFFs too! And yes our lives will take different turns and we will do different things but hopefully our friendships would make it through. Like Cece Winans said, i hope we ’d always be sisters and we’d always be friends. The kind who forgiving each other and letting love cover, stay real close till the very end.

April 20, 2011


A Word of Encouragement.

In today’s post i want to leave a word of encouragement for somebody. God is the greatest advocate (defender, name – clearer, restorer, supporter, backer and campaigner) and he will settle your case. He is the keeper of your dreams. The lifter of your head. He owns the future and in it you make it. Nobody can seek audience with him just to change his mind about you. Your destiny is sure, secure and nobody can do anything about it. Nobody can steal it, douse it or even delay it... it is finished. The events have been set in motion. It will Be. Believe. Live.

Now to the part that is writing for the sake of writing...

Yesterday was declared “the Omonike public holiday”! Let me explain. My weekends are usually spent divided between meetings, hair appointments, church and choir practice and weekdays are fully packed with work, more choir practice, business meetings and a social life as lean as Joseph’s seven metaphorical cows from bible history. But yesterday was the day i had been telling myself would come. With absolutely no demands on my time and no to do list to check i was ecstatic! I went through the day with this narrative abstractly coming together in my head because it was something to write about- my one perfect lazy day!

I hoped no one would visit and although i had told a friend to spend part of the day with me because i thought i would be bored, now i prayed she’d forgotten. Completely satisfied in my own company i lay on my pink shag rug with clothes i had flung on it for full effect- it was slob day my way so house chores and hygiene were going to have to wait!

Now every expert slob knows that no slob day is complete without food and endless sessions in front of the tube. I stocked on food and movies the day before. I had a plate covered in breakfast in front of me and a pot of “ewure” slowly boiling in the kitchen. The distinct smell of garlic, thyme and goat wafted into the silence that now contained me and the world i stepped into when i opened the pages of “Beside every man” by Serita Jakes.

I groped for a bottle of Coca Cola without taking my eyes off the page, then i remembered that only the day before, an older lady while purring over my fair skin and how i looked “so lovely today” added to her praise, a misplaced comment that i had a tendency to outgrow my “lepa” body in later life. She then proceeded to avert the dreaded day of doom by telling me what to eat or stay away from; “Don’t take Coke” she had said. I nodded feverishly that day but today i took a swig and let the cold, fizzy drink burn the back of my throat.

When i had fed myself till i was weak, i knew i was done on the floor. I inched back to my bed which i had shamelessly slept in way past the wee hours. I lifted my weight with a last effort before crumpling on its brown sheets. And just as i closed my eyes in sweet surrender, an accusing thought crossed my mind, “You have some work from the office”. I dismissed it; after all it was my one day to compensate for meals missed, books unattended, movies ignored and sleep denied!

Today sleep would find me willing and although i was gorged and gravid with food it would be strong enough to carry me.

* Advocate means: 1) Somebody giving support: somebody who supports or speaks in favour of something. 2) A helper: somebody who acts or intercedes on behalf of another. 3) A legal representative: somebody such as a lawyer, who pleads another's case in a legal forum. –Encarta Dictionaries.
*”Ewure” means “goat” in Yoruba.
*”Lepa” is Yoruba slang for “thin”.

April 11, 2011


Hey people, this post i wrote a story, it’s almost fiction and it’s about a character i call Kautar, i hope you enjoy it!


I watched the other two saunter in. Earlier when i walked into the room the last thing on my mind was my surroundings. Now perched on a black plastic chair, i observed them.

In total there were five girls attired in bright colours and bright make- up. One wore a Mohawk invention that gathered the hair around her ears in braids before toppling them in short tufts on her head. The other wore an “Ankara” dress, embellished with sequins and hesitantly stopping short of her knees. The brightest of them had just spilled into the room with an assistant in tow holding on to a bundle of clothes. From my observatory, i noted the one in a black and gold dress topped with a black turban.

I knew who they were.

Had they seen me? I wondered, considering my choice of dress in a quick thought.

Other than my heavily beaded black and silver necklace and my silver bling ring, i was just the girl in a black suit. My hair had been pulled back from my face in a chignon to give me a corporate look.

I looked back at the lady in black and gold, the one who looked important. I knew her without the familiarity of having met her in person.

Had i seen her on the cover of a magazine?

Then it hit me. She was Madame Ferera of House of Raah!

Wild thoughts came alive in my head without my permission and mind took over matter. This was my chance to do something i had wanted to do since coming home from the States!

Presently, she still stood there. Should i strike or walk away?

I looked beyond her to the rest of the girls. How i admired them. They where the famous Raah Models! Day or night they could do their jobs in springs fashion collection while i had to wear suits to work!

But didn’t i like the suit? i wondered at myself.

Did my liking the glamorous life of these models make me like my corporate job less?

Since i was little, i dreamed i would be a model. My parents never approved. They didn’t understand a career that made me show skin.

You will go to University in America then join the family business Kautar, forget this modelling thing.” My father won. But being saddled off to New York to study at NYU turned out to be a good thing. I was a student by day but at night i did what i loved- i took up modelling jobs on the side.

That was then. Now my life had changed. I worked long, arduous hours on my small portable computer producing spread sheets, tackling PowerPoint, developing sales pitches, giving presentations and seating in at strategy sessions, only finding time to feed in between writing reports. But today these girls made me wish for my double life again.

I made up my mind and pushed myself forward.

How much for the photos”? I asked almost too loudly.

My question was directed at the girl standing behind the reception desk.

I had been out of the game for a few years now.

I peeped at them again while the receptionist busied herself with the computer in front of her.

I remembered the catwalk, the beautiful designer clothes, the locations, the freebies, the partying and a feeling of lust for their world assailed me yet again. Transported in thought, i transfigured into my alter ego.

There was no stopping now.

Madame Ferara looked up in surprise as i approached.

“Hi, my name is Kautar” I heard my voice say weakly.

“I am a business analyst by day and a freelance model by night”, i offered, handing her a PSG Consulting business card.

If i proved that i had a strong walk and beneath my suit was a good frame to show off her creations she would hire me” i thought.

“I would love to audition for you sometime”.

She had a look that said “Walk away little girl

I tried again. “That’s my card, can i have yours?”

Say something”, i screamed at her in silence!

She would probably decline.I was coming back to my senses. All my alter ego’s bold powers had left me, only i remained.

She reached into her Miu miu bag,

She was either looking for a gun, a court restriction or a fly- swatter!

“Give me a call sometime...” I must have fainted with my body standing still!

I have no memory of my walk back to the reception to pay for my passport photographs but moments later, i stepped into the sun clutching a black and gold coloured complimentary card in one hand.

Breaths of wind russled up my skirt and i paused to adjust it. I smiled.

I was the business analyst again.

March 15, 2011


I was visiting with a friend recently and our conversation steered into our position on “the God thing”. I wanted to know. I listened while he patiently answered my questions about his journey toward God. When he came to talking about his church going, he pointed it out to me as something he’d discovered kept him away from vices he’d broken up with for good. At that i asked him if he was aware of other things he was doing that were also keeping him on the straight and narrow. And now i ask you. Certain things i keep in my life on purpose have been sign posts in my life pointing me to God and away from vices, i share them here.


Church was God’s idea. Like a Father he wants his children to gather in one place and be fed like children in a family gathering at the dining table at meal times. Everything set on the table is meant to be enjoyed from the opening prayer, the offering of praise and worship through singing, the sharing from the bible, the offering of money as a representation of our surrender of the material things God has allowed us to have e.t.c.

Regardless of what i find in a service, whether it be poor sound quality or a boring message (yep, that happens!), i try to enjoy being in my Father’s house savouring the varied flavours of his presence.
God also wants us to grow in fellowship not in isolation. Think of it like a pack of animals in the forest. They graze together, drink together and travel together. Why do you think they do that? They are safe from predators when they are together! Like the predator, the devil is always hanging around the pack looking for the one that leaves the group or lags behind. The predator can chase the solitary and the prodigal but he can’t chase the entire pack. So remain planted in church. Go when you feel like it and when you don’t feel like it. God will know you are making an effort and bless you for it.

3 reasons not to quit going to church

1. Don’t quit because you are still slipping into sin
The best place for a child of God to be is in the presence of God, that’s the only place where when he falls down trying to stand he will be picked up. That’s the only place where we are promised we will receive grace and find mercy when we need it. God will sometimes use another sensitive person in church to show you His mercy or he will let you feel His mercy. Hang in there and keep hearing the word of God and those stubborn sins will die and drop like bad fruit falling off a healthy tree.

2. The politics
There is politics in church. Live with it. Church folks can hurt you like no unbelieving folks can but remember when you come to meet with God, God comes to meet with you and he can go around those people to get around to you.

3. Hypocritical and critical people
There’s probably someone in the choir, someone in the pastorate and someone in church who has buried a black wolfish fur under white wool. They make you feel like everyone in church is a hypocrite (this may be true in some cases but find out if the pastor is sincere, if s/he walks the talk and if the majority is sincere, but don’t let the black sheep get in your way). Believe me, sometimes this people are planted by the Devil in church to detract from the testimony of that church (the bible relates in the book of Job a situation where when the children of God appeared before Him the devil came as well).

Finally, if the church has issues and you are not growing, find another pastor and find another church. When i was moving to a new city a few years ago i prayed about where to go to church and i believe several years later that God ordered my steps to the right environment for me to grow.


I have always been involved in a department in church and what i have learnt is that it holds you accountable. When you know that you are representing Christ and people see you doing stuff in church, it’s hard to step out during the week and just do what your flesh tells you to. It’s also an environment where you are constantly reminded to be holy, to take the high road and live above sin so it preserves your very soul. Besides you’re too busy doing ministry to find time to get into trouble.

Like a real member of the household, try to get out of the crowd and come into the core; don’t just be a stranger in your father’s house watching askance not participating in what your father is doing. Some churches are not as open as others in this area, but if yours is and you can, then get involved. CAVEAT- if you are struggling with an area in your life that is a dishonour to a ministry you want to serve in within the church, it helps to get it sorted first by getting counselling and help in that area and when you have victory over that sin you can be an even better witness as a church worker or leader.


The word of God puts the fear of God in you and the fear of God provides the restraint to keep you pure. What happens is, whenever a thought to do wrong rises up in your mind, the word of God will counter that thought with a thought that prompts you to honour God. When you don’t know what the bible says, either from reading it yourself or from hearing it said in church or among your friends, then there is no defence in you to protect you from doing what you don’t want to do. There is no power to overcome temptation. There is no fear of God to restrain you. There is no inner power to exercise the muscle of self control.

Two Sundays ago the pastor reiterated a phrase which the choir had put to song, “More prayer, more power, less prayer, less power”. It reminded me to pray more. Prayer is talking to God. Anyone can talk to Him; there are no qualifications or requirement. God says in Jeremiah 33: 3- “Call to me and i will answer...” A simple way to see prayer is having a conversation with God where you can talk about everything. You can talk about how you feel and what you need; you can ask God for help and for more of his presence in your life. I pray when i am missing a set of keys, i confide in God when i intend to do something wrong, i pray in the bathroom, in the car on the way to work and in my head. You can pray about anything when you really believe God when he says in his word that he is concerned about every detail of your life. He is!

Fasting has been missing in my life for a few years now. I intend to jump start that by getting this book on fasting. But i can tell you that God can deliver you out of the grip of sin, the hassles of life and the power of oppression when you fast.

Oh whats that over used maxim about friends? “Birds of the same feather flock together”? The bible puts it this way- “bad companions ruin good morals”. Good morals are not to be found in friends who lack them in the first place.


What we see and what we hear are windows into our hearts. They are the ways we feed things in our minds that live there. If we want certain things in our lives to die we need to starve ‘em by not seeing or hearing ‘em but if we want other things to grow, we need to feed ‘em by seeing and hearing more of ‘em.


Jesus taught that if a part of your body like your hand is causing you to sin, chop it off. I don’t think he means for us to harm ourselves, what he was saying figuratively was to cut off from things we shouldn’t put our hands into or places we shouldn’t go to. Better to do without them than to go to hell with them.

The problem with sin is it can be a one stubborn, life- long stain on our conscience- its high maintenance. I don’t want to continually pay with my innocence and my conscience just to keep up with a sinful habit. God’s power is at work in us through the Holy Spirit and in combination with one or more of the eight signposts i shared above to give us a wise and blessed life. Live it today!

February 26, 2011

What is she thinking?

I stole a glance at the round face of my wrist watch before resuming feigned attention at the owner of the baritone voice i had been listening to. His eyes caught me off guard just then and i held my breath. I still hadn’t gotten used to his piercing gaze and doubted i ever would. “He fine”, i said to myself in the American accent for emphasis. Lowering my gaze for fear that he could read my thoughts, i pretended to listen again while i resolved the fate of our friendship in my mind.

There was a certain hardness about him. Hardness he’d need a desperate emotion like loneliness or loss to thaw. I could tell by practised intuition that he had ice blocks where more tender emotions used to be. He wasn’t ready. Presently, his question woke me out of my thoughts.

Yes let’s go” i answered managing a small smile.

I had my answer.

The expectation in his eyes pinched me and i quickly remembered to add that we should do this again sometime.

Saidu was handsome and wise beyond his year and peers but i couldn’t shake off my woman instincts. They had never failed me before. Someone once said a woman can take one look at a man and tell many things about him, i wondered if i had the gift. I could be very intuitive and whenever i met someone my emotions worked like a scanner, reading the upbeats and tempo of the other heart, trying to sense or pick any signals of who they were and could be. I had seldom been wrong and now considered myself a good judge of character. And then there’s always the tell tale sign to rely on...

The tell tale sign says that people very often tell you the truth about themselves when you meet them the first time. Like someone may say “i get annoyed easily” and you gloss over that thinking they mean they are human and can get upset but then they manifest a really touchy personality, expect perfection or are drastic in their response when angered and you suddenly begin to wonder where that came from, but hey they told you that before! Or someone says “ i am impatient” and something about the angle that the light catches their eyes leaves you thinking “oh, he is so sincere!” meanwhile the guy is really telling you where his horns are and little wonder when two months down the road, you come late for a date and he’s gone.

Another person tells you he is principled, you think he means that he is disciplined and focused but he is really saying “i am not flexible”, “i want things done my way” or “it’s either my way or nothing”! Another says giving a woman gifts spoils her, you seat there dreamy eyed thinking this guy wants to do the right things at the right time, but three months later you are still negotiating with him to consider dropping you at the airport, buying you that extension you oh so wanted but couldn’t afford, or taking you out for ice cream! Saidu had said something about being better on his own. Hmmmmm.... that worried me!

When i looked at Saidu i couldn’t explain what i saw but it was there. It was there when he ordered that elderly gateman in a rude voice to open the gate for him! Alarm bells chimed lightly in my head as i remembered something someone had said to me before “ if he cannot be nice to the waiter but is nice to you, he is not nice”. It showed when he walked into my office and wouldn’t speak to anyone in more than a few words until i was there. It showed up in a smirk on his face whenever i was socialising with people of lesser rank.

But could i tell Saidu the truth? When people say “I am not ready for this right now”, don’t they really mean “ i hope you take the hint and leave me alone?” And while the option to lie that i already had a relationship was tempting, i preferred the safe but patronising and over- used “let’s just be friends”. I simply couldn’t tell him i was scared he would break my heart because he came across as emotionally aloof- that type of human who can detach from you in a heartbeat and without a second thought. No, that would require a painful process of explanations. Besides i would be bruising his ego and risking his resentment of me or i might even be instigating him to try harder. Both options i wanted to avoid.

Should i call Saidu, not to tell him i think he can be a cold fish sometimes but to tell him i really don’t think anything can happen between us and just want us to stay friends?

My ringtone breaks through my thoughts, it takes only a minute to see who the caller is...


It’s Saidu...


The events and characters purported to appear in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real or imagined persons met and unmet is purely ingenious on my part! Wink wink! Lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 17, 2011

The Phantom of Valentine

This past valentines day was spent sorrounded by all of my favorite things. The day actually started at dusk and there i was in a little dress and sparkling silver shoes complete with a tomboy haircut, thoroughly enjoying every minute! This year, i dedicate my valentine’s piece not to the market segment that febraury 14th has become branded and commercialized for, but to the lovers it ignores. Those who this season reminds of a love lost or wasted. Those who remember a love they never had or ever owned but one that tasted, tested, and had them.

This valentines my heart goes out to lovers who got stuck on the way and unable to figure it out, gave up and parted ways. My heart goes out to the hearts stuck in reverse praying a lost love back home. To the newcomer, finding himself, indeed herself, in a virgin place of vulnerablility; to the fearful afraid to take the plunge; to the unprepared shocked that so hard a thing could be demanded of them; and to the one who has been there and done that, and has now taken form in a cold heart banging the door firmly and finally on love.

My heart does not ignore the lover who is folded in a nurturing embrace where she has found her heart’s resting place, for i completely understand her. I know her joy, i muse at her abandon, i understand her smile and i recognise her rich laughter, no i don’t ignore her, not at all! She is standing in a rich place and standing tall, she is holding in her heart the very stuff that this world is made of. Loved by her prince whose heart and kingdom is laid to her claim, she can’t be ignored. Yes, i see her and the world sees her.

But what about the girl , the woman, the woman- girl who hides what lies beneath, what must not be known , what must not be seen? The one who scolds her desire like it’s a bastard child, turning her face adamantly away from it as though she was raped by love and now she hates it’s child- this bundle of weakening emotions that remind her of hungry thrusts that took and took and took.

I am writing for the disappointed who thought that love will be the missing link that makes life complete. I am writing for the true lover who came to love on a level ground and gave it 100% but found something else. Although it was called love, it manifested itself as selfish and one- sided. I am writing for the soul like a bruised reed bent in the wind, praying her broken heart wont break.

To the one who found herself ravaged like a house without gates. The one attacked by enemy forces banging against her walls of defense. With one last heave they reach her deepest, and all she hears is the eerie harmony of voices; his pitch with stolen pleasure, hers only cry, tears a last defense.

But God doesn’t sleep...

This season, i write for women on both sides of the valentine dream. For the woman experiencing the phantom and the woman experiencing the phantasy of valentine. For the woman ensconced and the woman scorned. For the woman fallen in love and the woman fallen out of love.

At the end of the day, it is not about how we have been loved but about how we have loved – wrongly or rightly; poorly or richly; sparingly or generously.

Happy Valentine.

February 08, 2011

The enemy of intimacy.

A distinguishing mark of christians is a deep, intimate and personal relationship with God that a child of God continually and daily tends. It is the distinguishing trademark of mature and obedient christians. The fruits and results of that fellowship manifest in other loving relationships, in courtesy and respect toward others, in behaivour that is admirable, in decisions that are wise, in actions that are not self- centered but of benefit to all, in habits/ideas/choices that attract and multiply success e.t.c.

In personal relationship with God, we become transformed by assocciation and come into possession of many desirable virtues characteristic of God himself. We begin to exude the brand presence of God’s people. The good news is this is the way God transforms us into his likeness. The bad news is this is the area the enemy will attack the most. One of the ways he attacks our identity as christians is by getting us to replace our time of intimacy with God with other “stuff”. He will tempt us with getting so busy with other things that cultivating closeness with God through prayer and bible study will suffer. Being too busy is an enemy of intimacy.

Over the last couple of months and maybe even most of last year, my schedule was crammed with a lot of things and in between catching up with this and balancing the other, i had an underlying discouragement about the little time i had to do God and me. Even when i settled down to it, there were other voices in my mind screaming for attention, reminding me i had to do something or i was behind with something else. Anyway, one day on an uneventfull road trip, i stared out of the window of a beat – up commercial vehicle transporting my even more beat- up body and finally had the desire to pray. I prayed quietly but deeply as the car meandered from city to city and i felt my heart soften in release. As if God had been waiting for an opening to get through to me, the thought of the parable of the sower dropped in my thoughts and i quickly opened the bible i had stuffed into my hand luggage to find the story. As i searched, i came to the verse about the seeds that fell on the soil where weeds came and chooked them up;

“... Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled among the weeds and nothing came of it...”

I continued to the explanation and realised that that was the exact state of my heart. See:

“ The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard and nothing comes of it.” (Mark 4: 3-20)

“How apt” i thought.

I certainly dont think God doesnt want us to strive to our highest potential, but i definately know he wants us to make room for him and for his words in our lives and in our hearts and he wants to produce in our lives results beyond our wildest dreams through his workings in us and through us. Every time i come across a verse i had discovered and highlighted in my bible years before, now forgotten, i wish for the good old days when i consumed the bible hungrily, and with nostalgia i pray desire finds fire in me to burn again.

Even as i write this there is still a lot of movement and motion in my heart but i am getting back into the steadfast word of God and making room for it in my time and in my heart. In Jesus’s time, do you know the thing that plagued the people who didnt embrace him? The word of God didn’t find entrance in their hearts even when they heard it. We shouldn’t let that happen to us. I came across a scripture in Ezra that captures and fortifies my hope in this area this year:

Ezra had committed himself to studying the Revelation of God , to living it, and to teaching Isreal to live it’s truth and ways.” Ezra 7: 10, MSG

Hookayyyyy! Time to get ready for work, i hope you were blessed reading. Later!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...