Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I found this site, the Harvard Global Voices, which people all around the world can contribute to with important news from their local communities. I need to somehow create a siderbar links section (if that's possible in Blogger) with all my favourite websites.

Anyhoo, here's the blurb and link to the Harvard Global Voices site:

Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?

I've been asked at work to organize an awareness workshop for secondary school girls on engineering careers. The main aim is to educate the students about the different types of engineering careers out there and give them the opportunity to talk to women engineers. The hope is that the girls will gain a greater sense of what engineering is and how diverse it is and be more encouraged to consider pursing an engineering career. I'm really looking forward to this. I'm going to start researching and working on a program (though I have a lot of ideas already).

The Nation Mourns

The nation's mourning goes on. It does seem like business as usual, but some of the radio stations replaced their regular programming on Monday with sad or melancholy music. The funeral of the first lady will be on Friday and already, Ogun state has declared that day work-free.

Meanwhile there has been a lot of criticism regarding the response to the plane crash. Apparently, 16 hours after contact was lost with the Bellview Airlines plane, aviation authorities still had no idea where the plane was. So, of-course, if there had been any survivors (which does look unlikely considering the impact of the crash) their chances of making it reduced with every passing hour. It does raise a lot of questions not only about strengthening the emergency response system, but also of airplane safety.
There is an interesting article on the BBC site about how difficuit it can be to get accurate information in Nigeria.

Yesterday was the orientation of my batch (Batch B) for the NYSC program. I still have little idea what my community development (CD) group- Anti-Corruption- is meant to be doing, but I'm sure I'll get more of an idea as time passes. Two group leaders will be selected and I hope things will start to come together after that, because spending several hours jisting at the local government secretariar really isn't what I thought community development would be. We will see.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bellview Airlines Plane Crash

Yesterday was a very sad day for Nigeria. First, there was news of a missing airplane (which was later confirmed to have crashed) and then we heard about the death of the first lady, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo.

The missing plane was a Bellview Airline going from Lagos to Abuja and lost contact with the control tower. There were speculations that up to 50 people had survived, but this was later found to be false. All 116 people on board died. This was my first time being at home during a time of such tragedy in a really long time. The TV stations covered it all day long with more news trickling in over the course of the day.

The first lady died from complications arising during surgery in a Spanish hospital. There are no official reports as yet as to the nature of the surgery, though I heard through the grapevine that she might have been having a facelift in time for her 60th birthday celebration next month.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


It looks like the Nigerian government is taking serious steps to combating Internet scam, also popularly known as "419." According to this BBC News story, the Nigerian government is joining forces with Microsoft in this fight. Microsoft will help out with the technology needed for this fight.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Nigerian Blogging

I got Internet access at work. Hurray! I now know for sure that I am a child of this new era. My computer at work was only recently kitted out with a wireless adapter, which allowed me to get onto the 'Net. Until then, I could only use the computer to type documents and, try as I might, it is very hard for me to see a computer but not be able to access the Internet with it. Something seemed so wrong. Anyway, I now happily "logged in", so to speak.

I found a great site for people interested in technology for development or "ICT4D" (Information and Communication Technology for Development), as it's also popularly referred to:

Gbenga Sesan's Blog
Gbenga is a former youth information technology ambassador for Nigeria. From his site, you can link to a few others.

There also appears to be quite a significant number of Nigerians with weblogs:

I especially like Molara Wood. A fellow blogspotter, she has her blog laid out really nice with a few photos- what I would do if I had more time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Started Work

I started work last week. I'm working at an oil and gas consultancy. The firm organizes training workshops for engineering firms, recruits on behalf of many oil and gas firms and also provides consultancy services. I wasn't too sure about the exact nature of my work (yes, I was really prepared). I thought I would be participating in the surveys and writing of reports, but found out that I will be managing the training part of the firm. This is a rather intimidating prospect, especially as I will be dealing with engineers, trying to get them interested in our workshops and I am not an engineer. I'm picking up a lot though.

As with many fairly small organizations, you get to wear many hats and so I will be assisting with some consultancy work. I have also been entrusted with getting the training lab workstations networked to each other and to the Internet. I will, of course, be researching, selecting and working with a service provider to do this and not doing it myself- much as I would like to put into practice some of what I learnt in my networking course. No seriously, I have forgotten a lot of what I learnt and feel guilty about such good knowledge going so badly to waste. From the first day when I had very little to do, things have certainly picked up fairly quickly. Nothing has yet to beat my last job, where I was charged with getting a content-rich suicide prevention website up within a month though.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Woman, Renew Yourself

I went for an event for women on Saturday entitled "Be Renewed", which was sponsored by True Love magazine, Montaigne Place (a spa) and some other companies which I forget. It was a forum for women to get together and enjoy an evening in each other's company and let their hair down. And we all know that for women, and particularly for African women, that can be a hard thing to do. I asked my best friend to come along, but because she had to work (on a Saturday!!!!!), which left little time for her to do all the other things she needed to get done, she was unable to come. Case in point!!!!!
I was just excited to have somewhere to dress up for.

My sister and I got there about an hour and a half late, but found out that with "African time" in full effect, we were right on time. The opening prayers had just been said as we walked in, after which women were asked to network with each other. However, since we had just arrived, we chose to get to know some of our table mates a bit better.

The theme for the evening was 70s, 80s and 90s, with guests asked to dress by one of the decades. I couldn't tell what decade many women had drawn their inspiration from, but there was obviously lots of mixing of decades, with many women donning afro wigs in addition to whatever else they chose to wear.

There were apparently some celebrities in the crowd, but me being a newcomer, I couldn't tell you who many of them were. The food was great, as was the comedian and the music. I met some pretty interesting people to boot! So, all in all, I would say that I had a fantastic time there.

Last night, I went to a restaurant called La Marimba, which is part of the Hacienda hotel. The food was great, but I was surprised that there was no one in the lounge. I know that Sunday night is traditionally not a party night, but I thought that since today is a public holiday (Independence Day), there would be a lot of people out. Apparently, I thought wrong. Afterwards, we crossed the road to Saipan, a Chinese restaurant and lounge and one of the newest night spots in Lagos. The decor is absolutely beautiful, but again it was almost empty. My best friend, Y, said that people in Lagos just do not go out on Sunday nights. Well, now I know.