Friday, January 30, 2009

My Mornings with STV

I always watch Today on STV when getting ready for work in the mornings. It has become an essential part of my morning routines, the same way I used to get ready to The Today Show all those years ago (Wow! How time flies. Well, that's a topic for another day).

I was happy to see Today on STV increased by thirty minutes from one hour. I always thought that one hour was much too short. And I always felt that the show really needs to start from 6AM.

One thing that has always struck me is the quality of guests they have on. While some have an obvious reason to be there (knowledgeable about a subject and have relevant contributions to make to the ongoing discussion, promoting an album, film or event); some patently do not.

It's very painful to listen to a guest talk a whole lot without saying much. It's perhaps even worse to hear them start a sentence only to leave the rest hanging in the air - maybe in the vain hope that viewers will pick-up their message by extra sensory perception? The guests spouting fake Americana and Britico accents (the former tends to be more common) are possibly the worst of the lot. Hmmm, no, on second thoughts perhaps that honour would go to those guests who obviously don't know what they are talking about, which begs the question .... Well, why are you here?

I often wonder how the presenters manage to keep a straight face when faced with one of these types of guests. I guess that's where the professionalism of the interviewer comes in.

This morning, I watched a segment with a guest whose inability to articulate himself left me feeling quite irritated (and this was in both English and in Pidgin). That interview did not last very long and I wondered at the end of it what the point was.

The Jazzhole Faaji Sessions - #4

Apologies for posting this late.


Lekan Babalola, Afro-Jazz percussionist with Cassandra Wilson and Kate Luxmore, a classically trained clarinetist, collaborate with the legendary Faaji master, Fatai Rolling Dollar and master guitarist, Sina Ayinde Bakare, on new songs from their forthcoming album on the Jazzhole Classic recording label.

Lekan Babalola, is a master percussionist and has played with Jazz greats like Roy Ayers, Fela Kuti and Ernest Ranglin. presently, he is touring around the world with Blue Note recording vocalist Cassandra Wilson, but in between gigs has managed to slip into Lagos to work on a number of Jazzhole Classic Recordings.

Lekan, is currently producing the rootsy, high-life guitarist, Alaba Pedro, fusing his Afro-Cuban rhythms on another Jazzhole Recording due for release later this year. The last time these great musicians performed together was during one of the memorable concerts of The Starcomms/Jazzhole Collaboration held a few years back.

Venue: The Jazzhole, 168 Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi
Date: Saturday 31, January 2009
Time: 6 - 9p.m prompt (limited space)
Gate: N1500 per person

NB:Fatai Rolling dollar and Sina Ayinde Bakare, will also be performing together at Salamander Café, Abuja on Thursday 5th of February, 2009.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Theatre@Terra Presents Sizwe Banzi is Dead

Starting this Sunday ...

The classic stage play on the universal search for identity.
When: Every Sunday this February at 3pm and 6pm,
Cost: N2000 for adults
Where: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Natural Hair Inspiration

I receive occasional emails from my fellow natural haired sisters. Some want advice on where to go to get their natural hair styled, some are just happy to find someone else who wears her hair natural.

I've been bereft of any inspiration lately, so I've taken to browsing the web for ideas of styles and support. Within the last few days, I've found the following:
  • How I Freed Myself and Embraced My Locks: Funnily enough, I've visited this writer's hair album (don't worry if you didn't get that; I think only natural haired women chronicle their hair adventures in this way) and she has an amazing amount of hair.

  • Black, Kinky and Proud! I was so happy to discover this post and read it joyfully, noting along the way that the author went to my alma mater. ONLY for me to click on the comments and see that I have not only read this post, but my comment was the first. LOL!!!

  • Essence 'Natural' Hair Styles 1 and
    Essence 'Natural' Hair Styles 2
    : Note the sarcasm. I hate it when magazines try to pass off wigs, weaves and anything else that is OBVIOUSLY an artificial hair piece as natural hair. But, it's worth a look for the ideas, if nothing else.

  • Then, the best one, which I saved for last is the author Tayari Jones, who wrote the fabulous book The Untelling. She as a Flickr album, which I don't think (hope) she won't mind sharing since it's linked in multiple places from her blog. She has a lot of natural hair and always seems to have the coolest styles.
    Tayari, please share your hair tips. Better still, kindly send your stylist down to Nigeria to help me with my hair.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Here's a new resource: Wikigender.
Wikigender is your online platform to find and exchange information related to gender equality. Users are invited to comment on or improve existing articles, and to create or upload new documents.
Check for more information.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The International Museum of Women - IMOW


In the spirit of discovering new online resources, I’d like to share the website of the International Museum of Women (IMOW).The mission of IMOW is, very simply put, "to value the lives of women around the world". This they do, by documenting and showcasing the lives of women all over the world. IMOW is unique among museums, because its exhibitions are available only online.

The latest exhibition is Women, Power and Politics, which chronicles untold stories of women recognising and using their power. It ran from March to December 2008, but the exhibition is permanently archived on the IMOW website, so you can still check out the art and poems, download podcasts, watch videos, and read stories of women doing great things in their various communities.

International Museum of Women

There are quite a number of resources to view about Nigeria, including an overview of women’s political participation, a write-up about women’s protest against exploitation by oil companies, a look at artist Chinwe Uwatse, who uses traditional Igbo art to celebrate Igbo women’s political activism and a profile of the women’s human rights organisation, BAOBAB.

There is a wealth of information on this site, but it’s not overwhelming for the viewer because you can browse by topics, like Biology, Appearance, Environment, Religion, Voting and Organising.

This is not a collection that invites passive observation, but one that encourages you to do explore, claim and celebrate your power to create positive change. For instance, the exhibition features a toolkit, which compiles resources that can help women engage with power more effectively. I was very excited to see this collection, with categories such as Learn to Lead, Speak Your Mind and Run for Office; I was especially happy about Empower Young Women and Start a Non-Profit Organisation ( Heeeey! I wish I had found this last one a year ago. ).

This is not just an exhibition where you sit back and absorb the information presented. If that wasn’t quite inspiring enough, there is a list of 100 actions that can be taken by women to exercise their power.

There’s obviously been a lot of thought and time put into this exhibition, so it’s not a resource that you will sweep through in one go. Rather, it will be a space that you re-visit from time to time. I certainly will and I’m sure I’ll refer to it in future posts.

Competitions/Funding Opportunities

Apply and share:

Vodafone Challenge - Deadline Feb. 2
The Vodafone Americas Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its Wireless Innovation Challenge, a new competition that seeks to identify and fund the best innovations using wireless related technology to address critical social issues around the world. Three winners will be awarded prizes of $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 for unique, late-stage wireless innovations that offer the best potential for creating social change in the areas of education, health, economic development, the environment and access to communication. For more information and to submit, visit:

Intel's Inspire Empower Challenge - Deadline Feb. 17
Intel's INSPIRE•EMPOWER Challenge is looking for ideas from individuals, developers, organizations, and the public at large for using technology to address a global issue in the areas of education, health care, economic development, and the environment. Winners will get $100,000 USD to get their idea off the ground!
For more information, visit:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Out of the Box

This year is about trying new things. LOL! Isn't every year come to think of it?

One of the things I'm doing is discovering some new blogs. For so long, I've had my old faithfuls saved in my blog aggregator. This is actually great when you're busy, however the downside of the upside is that it's so easy to get stuck-in-a-blog-rut, which is where I am now.

I've recently started looking for blogs that chronicle experiences that are as different from mine as possible (while still being an entertaining read, but of course).

So far, I've found Confessions of a Pioneer Woman about Ree, who used to live in L.A. but who is now married to a real-life cowboy (well, cattle rancher, aren't they the same thing?) and lives somewhere "in the middle of nowhere."

Then, there's Being Brazen, which I'm having problems subscribing to at the mo.

Dooce, which is not really a new discovery, but which I've been meaning to add to my blog aggregator and which I just did. So that's kind of new, because now i'll be reading it regularly.

I'm looking forward to reading Tokyo Girl Down Under, the tales of a British woman who has itchy feet (much like myself), who married a German, lived in Tokyo (which I really want to visit) and now lives in Australia.

Project Rungray, because I'm getting into fashion these days.

Then there's Bangladesh From Our View, featuring posts from young female bloggers in Bangladesh.

Well, that's enough for now. I've got to wake-up early tomorrow (today) for my Pilates class.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The New Gym

I recently joined a new gym (Proflex), because my old one (Eko Sauna) had opened a new branch and closed it's former place down. The new spot was out of my way, so I decided to shop around for a new fitness home.

It was a sad day, I admit, when I saw the notice of their impending closure. It's funny, because when I first started going there, I was so unimpressed with the condition of the gym and the state of equipment (mostly out-of-commission). I was happy to pay per visit rather than join the gym, because it meant that I would not be bonded in anyway to *this* place.

However, over time, as these things annoyingly seem to happen, I actually grew to like the place. By the time, it closed, I would say that my feelings for the crummy gym had blossomed even more. Eeek! They hired a new fitness instructor, who decided to push me far beyond my zone of comfort. And, where I had plateaued, I started seeing some changes in my physique. It must have been some really dramatic changes, because all of a sudden, EVERYONE I met would exclaim upon seeing me:

You've lost SO MUCH WEIGHT!! What did you do?

In general though, there was a very laid-back attitude among the gym patrons. Not so, in the new place. Everyone here appears to take their workout so seriously. Everyone seems to be so focused and knows what they are doing. I don't see the 30 second workout -- 20 minute rest, jisting, phone break -- 10 second workout routine that was so common in the old place. The difference is like Lagos and Abeokuta.

Already, I've spotted quite a few defectors from Eko Sauna. So that's where they've been all this time... And I thought they were just being lazy. If only I knew.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Pursuit of Balance

I was talking today in my office about why many people seem to find more time to spend on social networking sites, like Facebook, as opposed to their blogs (if they have one).

Reasons we came up with was that social networking sites are a very easy way to connect and catch-up with friends; they tend to be less 'work' and more 'fun'. How else can you explain how much time you can spend checking out peoples' photos and commenting on them, when spending the same amount of time composing a blog post is unthinkable. Then, of course, blogging involves a lot of writing and most people I know do not like to write. Add on top, everyone's seemingly busy schedule, well, blogging goes right down to the bottom of the priority list.

This led us to discussing time management tactics. ST shared that she jots down ideas for blog posts on paper, in the bus on her way home, and on her phone. She also types out her posts in MS Word and copies and pastes them into Blogger when she gets online.

I used to do many of these things, but have definitely slacked over the years. Blogging more regularly for me usually meant late nights spent composing posts. Once I decided that I no longer wanted to sacrifice my sleep, that put paid to me almost daily blogging.

This makes me think about how we can achieve balance in life. My conclusion is that real balance is almost impossible to achieve. Something has always got to give. Something suffers slightly. From time to time, we swing between devoting too much time to one thing and less to some others. For me, right now, my blogging has taken a bit of a back seat, but the pendulum will swing back sometime.

Speaking of balance, I came across this article on S&F Online, titled Exploding the Myth of Balance, or Superwoman Bites the Dust, which explores the idea that women can have it all, i.e. a perfectly balanced life in which work and family lie easily alongside. It looks at two women - both feminists - but who made very different career and family decisions, and how they came to terms with their choices. It makes for an interesting read, because it examines that all too familiar situation when our ideals do not align with our realities, and we find that we need to make some difficult decisions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watching the Obamas

The world excitedly awaits the swearing-in of the United State of America's first African-American president. Some watch and wait to see what his presidency will bring. Some watch his wife Michelle's sartorial choices.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Prettyfying the F-Word

Making feminism more appealing? An article on Times Online explores this movement.

Women in Business

There are quite a number of funding and micro finance opportunities targeted at women only. Helping women is in. Apart from being part of measures to address gender imbalances, many companies are keen to tap into the potential economic force that they represent.

New York Times examined this trend last December, profiling Goldman Sach's 10,000 Women initiative. As part of this initiative, Goldman Sachs is sponsoring Nigerian women for a four-month Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management program at the
Pan-African University in Lagos.

Visit the 10,000 Women website to read more about the program. I just realised that the latest round of applications ended on Friday, Jan 9. However, you can visit the Pan-African University website to learn about possible future opportunities.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Vintage Ads

Kellog's PEP, originally uploaded by SA_Steve.

I found this album of vintage ads on Flickr. It's incredible the kinds of behaviour and thinking that used to be the norm. Some of these ads are so sexist, that all I could do was laugh out loud.

This particular ad shows how the person who tells the story or who conveys the message has the power to shape or reinforce our ideas of what is acceptable or normal. It's an encouragement to be the storytellers and not mere passive observers in the narratives of our lives.

Anyway, you've come a long way, baby .... or have you?

Paid Blogging Opportunity: Amplify Your Voice

I received an email from Joe Sonka, managing editor of Amplify Your Voice. He's interested in linking up with young women bloggers (age 15 to 24). Sorry to all the 'oldies' on the list, but feel free to pass it on to any women you know who fit the requirements. The position pays $100 a month.

See the details below:
  • Amplify Your Voice is a new blog/activist website focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people (

  • The blog is an interactive community whose content comes directly from young people, tackling society’s approach to sexual health

  • They are currently hiring a team of front page bloggers for the site, with a position for a talented young woman from the African continent who is interested in sexual and reproductive health

  • The position is for anyone 15-24 years of age, pays $100 a month, and the requirements are 6 blog posts a month.

  • The application info is here:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The NEXT Paper du Jour?

I've been hearing about this for a little while, and now NEXT, a new daily newspaper by Pulitzer-winning journalist Dele Olojede has arrived. The Beta version of the website is online. NEXT also includes an SMS platform and an online TV station.

Their mission is not child's play either: they aim to be one of the best newspapers (and news websites) in the world in the next 12 months.

Well, I'll be on the lookout for the newspaper. It will be great if NEXT can make me excited to read the papers again.