Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Changes for the Hair

After so many months of hair fatigue, I finally feel invigorated and excited again about my hair. For so long I've kept it tucked away in braids, which I wear for most of the year. In the few 1 to 2 week breaks I take in between extensions, I'd wear my hair out in an afro puff and call it a day. And I was tired of the look. But, of course I would be. This is the same me, who had a new signature look every month when I was in university. What happened to that? I suppose life gets busy and I needed a no-fuss style.

One thing I've long wanted to do is to visit a hairdresser who REALLY knows how to care for and style natural hair. Usually when they say they do - especially here in Nigeria - it means they do braids, and usually painfully I might add, tugging at the hair and hissing in impatience as they work.

I can't take bad attitude especially when I'm a paying client. And I'm bored of braids, tired of the dependence on reluctant stylists and fearful of the ever-breaking hairline (one of the results of frequent braids). So, I've decided to take a break from braids for a while.

I visited a hairdresser who does natural hair the last time I was in London and she opened my mind to new styling options. Not one to subscribe to pressing the hair, I decided to give it a go. She blow-dried my hair straight and created ringlets with a curling iron. I didn't realise that natural hair could look so straight - uncannily like relaxed hair. The ringlets looked great, but didn't last too long as rain and humidity (when I returned home) got the better of it. When I eventually combed it out, the softness of the hair encouraged me to try pinning it up in different ways. Now, that has been staple for the last 2 weeks.

I don't think I will make a habit of subjecting my hair to so much heat, as that is also very wearing on the hair. I also have experienced one of the downsides: random hair that stay straight and do not revert back to their kinky state even after being washed (picture wearing an afro with a few straggly hairs hanging limply). However, the best thing to come out of this hair experiment is that I feel inspired again and I enjoy thinking of different ways to style it.

Constancy is comforting and easy, but as with many situations in life, it can get unexciting and uninspiring. Changing things up is definitely good the mind, soul and hair as I'm re-discovering.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Theatre @ Terra: 'Gbanja Roulette'

Every Sunday in May, Theatre@Terra will present Gbanja Roulette, a stage play.

Where: TerraKulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island
Time: 3PM, 6PM

In June and July, as Wole Soyinka turns 75, T@T will present '75 years of genius'- sketches and plays from the nobel laureate.

You can visit the Facebook group for theatre photos.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Call for Applications: IDRC and APHRC: 2009 African Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship


The African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) are pleased to announce the second call of the ADDRF awards. The fellowship program awards dissertation fellowships to African doctoral students enrolled in sub-Saharan Africa universities who are conducting health-systems or sexuality related research.

Deadline for applications: April 30, 2009

The 2009 ADDRF seeks to facilitate more rigorous engagement of doctoral students in research, strengthen their research skills, and provide the fellows an opportunity for timely completion of their doctoral training.

The ADDRF will award about 15 fellowships in 2009. These fellowships will be awarded to doctoral students who are within two years of completing their thesis at an African university. Dissertation topics showing great promise of making significant contributions to efforts to strengthen health systems (governance, equity, health or population related issues) in the region will be given priority.


Applicants must:

* Be citizens or permanent residents of a sub-Saharan African country,
* Be undertaking doctoral training at a recognized African university,
* Have completed all pre-dissertation requirements,
* Provide a detailed time-frame for completing their dissertation which should be endorsed by the head of department and the chair of the dissertation committee,
* Have a research topic that has been approved by their doctoral dissertation committee, as well as the official body overseeing ethical review of the research protocol, and
* Be able to complete their dissertation within 24 months of the start of the fellowship.

Read more about the fellowship.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The DigiActive Guide to Twitter for Activists

At last, something that will hopefully make sense of Twitter to non-users - particularly how the tool can be used by activists. Check out this resource developed by DigiActive.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Faith Evans Sings to Patti Labelle

Patti Labelle is one of my favourite singers - ever. I was indifferent to Faith Evans until I heard her sing this song, You Are My Friend, in a tribute to Patti Labelle on BET's Walk of Fame in 2001. I was literally in tears at how good she was. Patti Labelle was also rolling about in her seat (I remember that this was one of the two performances that she seemed to get excited over). This takes me back.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Word to the Wise

Read this in March's issue of Marie Claire:
It's amazing how much easier it is to pursue your dream when you remove certain obstacles - like common sense.
(Michele Shapiro, Fact-checker turned race-car driver)

Jada Pinkett Smith

A friend yesterday told me that I am very "pro women". LOL!! That is very true. Jada Pinkett Smith is one of my favourite actresses and she strikes me as someone who is also passionate about women living empowered and rich lives. It has been enlightening seeing her growth as an actress over the years since I first saw her in Menace II Society.

In this interview on NPR, Jada talks about her acting and music career, her work writing and producing for TV, clothing line and the school she recently set-up with her husband, Will Smith.

Doctor's Diaries - Cheryl Dorsey

From the Echoing Green blog, I was led to this programme on the PBS website. Doctors' Diaries has followed seven Harvard Medical School students over the last 21 years (This is in the same tradition as the Seven Up series, which followed a set of children from the age of 7 years and re-visited them every 7 years after that.)

I have only watched one of the videos: the one following Cheryl Dorsey from her time as a fresh-faced med student. Cheryl Dorsey is now president of Echoing Green, which funds start-up social innovations. In fact, she was an Echoing Green fellow in 1992 for her idea, the Family Van, which was a community-based mobile health unit that provided basic health care and outreach services to at-risk residents of inner-city Boston neighborhoods.

It is fascinating for me to see her path veer from an initial plan to specialise in pediatrics to her current position managing one of the biggest social entrepreneurship funding organisations, because I am very interested in learning how people got to do what they are doing now - especially if their current position is polar opposite from their starting point.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Toni Kan - Book Presentation

Toni Kan and Cassava Republic request the pleasure of your company at the public presentation of his two critically acclaimed books:

Nights of the Creaking Bed and Songs of Absence and Despair

When: April 18th 2009
Time: 2PM prompt
Where: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Anatomy of a Woman

Theatre@Terra presents Anatomy of a Woman, a stage play on relationships between men and women and asks the question "What do women really want?"

One woman. Three suitors. An over-bearing aunt.

Starring Kemi 'lala' Akindoju, Nkiruka J. Ossamor, Olarotimi Michael Fakunle, Sola Robert Iwaotan and Gbenga Adekanmbi.

Written and directed by Wole Oguntokun

Where: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage St, Victoria Island, Lagos
When: Every Sunday in April
Time: 3PM & 6PM
How much: N2000.00

Monday, April 06, 2009

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Thing Around Your Neck

I really enjoy Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's writing and so I was very pleased to learn that she has a third book out; a collection of short stories this time called The Thing Around Your Neck. I look forward to reading it sometime soon.

I was also drawn to this Guardian article because of the fabulous twist out that Chimamanda rocks in the accompanying photo (above).

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Men are Strong, Women are Eye Candy

This last week, most of the world it seems has been focused on the G20 Summit in London and the NATO meeting in Strasbourg.

The Obamas are bonafide rock stars. They were the first couple everyone wanted to meet. Much was made of the meeting between Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni, France's first lady.

As a news item on the meeting of the two women started on the TV, I muttered "They better not talk about fashion". Ah, if wishes were horses, is all I can say, beggars would ride in grand fashion.

The main focus of the news piece was indeed what both women had on. This "fashion face-off" had been long anticipated by the public, the reporter said.

"Had it?, I wondered or is this just the lazy, sexist angle that the reporters wish to pursue.

I get so irritated when I see women reduced to no more than arm candy for their husbands and more attention paid to what they are wearing than what they have done, what they are doing,and what have to say.

This article in the Observer by Heather Stewart comments wonderfully on this sexist imbalance.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Tech Awards

The Tech Awards, a signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation, honors innovators from around the world who use technology to benefit humanity in the categories of Environment, Economic Development, Education, Health, and Equality. 15 Laureates will be honored at

The Tech Awards Gala on November 19th, 2009 and five Laureates will share a cash prize of $250,000. Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged. Individuals, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit companies are all eligible. View more details on the Tech Awards website.

The deadline is April 10 2009.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Radio Talk Show: Rule of Law

The Lagos-based NGO, Human Development Initiatives is organising a programme about the rule of law. The programme takes the form of a radio talk show aimed at discussing and learning more about the rule of law.

According to HDI: The rule of law is about observing due process, ensuring that there are checks and balance with the arms of government, and promoting and protecting citizens' right.

To give input on the programme, visit the HDI website: www.hdinigeria.org or the blog: www.hdinigeria.blogspot.com or call their office + 234 809 961 8748.
your input is necessary as we are trying to educate the youths on thier

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Girls Helping Girls

I like to highlight interesting, powerful work going on around the world. I came across Girls Helping Girls, an organisation based in Kolkata, India. Run by 17 year old Sejal Hathi, Girls Helping Girls is an international nonprofit organisation that empowers girls to transform their world by mobilizing them to eradicate poverty, increase access to education, improve health, and promote peace.

GHG' first initiative, Empower-a-Girl, is a grassroots sister-team program that partners girls in the US with those in developing countries to collaborate through cultural exchange, education, and social change projects to achieve major global goals. The second, the Sisters 4 Peace Network, is a social change platform and community that provides girls the one-on-one mentorship through a family of successful girl entrepreneurs, the resources, the toolkits, and the support network to launch and sustain their own initiatives or advocate and micro lend for existing ones.

Read an interview with Sejal on the Change.org website.