Monday, February 23, 2015

The Stupidity and Foolishness of Social Media

I’m finding it really hard to understand the nonsense going on around social media now, especially Instagram, as many people complain. The nudity, endless pouting, pushing out of hips, look-at-the-ground pose, like you are looking for a lost coin, endless pictures of oneself on the internet is just appalling. I don’t have an Instagram account, so thankfully I have been spared from all these, but I hear endless complaints about this every day.

Some people might ask me why I am beefing. Is it them that sent me message not to like dressing up and taking pictures, not to know how to take a selfie. I am sorry o, I am not beefing. I am only saying I don’t understand, so if you are one of these people or you know them, please seat me down, and explain to me.

Why are people getting so narcissistic? Are they using it to oppress people? Are they using it to validate themselves? Or are they using it to seek validation from people? Why can’t we validate ourselves in the middle of our rooms? Why do we need social media to validate ourselves?

Gone are the days when the in-thing was to post graduation pictures from Stanford, imperial college, Harvard, and the likes to earn admiration of people.

Now the trend is wear fine cloth, suck stomach in, push non-existent hips out, turn face sideways/look to the ground, pout, snap 100 pics, choose the finest one (or the only fine one), edit it a bit, and post. Why, why, why?

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I once had one guy who claimed to like me, disturbing me with talks of how he must marry me. I went to his facebook page to find a little more about him, cos we were not really close in unilag days. I followed his IG app on his facebook page, and saw the kinds of pictures he was liking. They were all Nigerian girls, but my jaw dropped. I was DISGUSTED. Girls with heavily endowed booty and boobs will wear the tightest things, and then turn the backside to the camera. “Why do you want the whole world to see your backside?” Please, someone should explain. And then this guy will enter comments like “nice arse” and the girls will reply “thanks.” "Someone wake me up, I have fainted." I felt like puking. I thanked God then that I didn’t have an IG account.

Anyway, since this guy threatened me that he will marry me, I just jejely reported myself to my pastor saying “If I should ever bring a guy called xxx to you as a fiancĂ©e, never ever let me go through with the wedding.” Yes, I did that. I don’t joke with accountability. When guys like that threaten that they must get a girl, there’s no extent they won’t go to, including forming MFM stunts that they’ve repented.

I know a chronic womaniser on facebook who has children from multiple women. Till now, he does not take care of his kids or bear their financial burden. Anyway, he finally gets married to a woman who was not any of his baby mamas. His wife puts up a picture of her and hubby, and someone (most likely from the woman’s family, since I know everyone in the man’s family) puts up a comment saying “I just love this family.” I told my sister about it, and we were like “ehn ehn, so this is how people see pictures on the internet, and will be envying, not knowing what they are envying.” This is how people deceive people on the internet.

Now as for the celebrities flaunting wealth on the internet, as in raw cash and latest cars, I think that is the height of immaturity. I don’t know if because many of them just made such amount of money for the first time, or because they want to oppress their rivals. I honestly don’t know the reason, but it is completely crap. I read that some of them said they do it because they want to inspire others to work hard and be wealthy like them. Imagine! Someone that has not organised a seminar to help the creative industry in Nigeria or the world, or given a single music scholarship out is talking about inspiring. Issorait.

If you are one of the people oppressed by any of the categories mentioned or not mentioned in this post, well, let me tell you that respite has come. There is no need to feel bad or be oppressed, because 99% of the time, everything is a LIE!

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Anyway, whether it is the nudity on Instagram, the endless selfies and pouting and posing on Instagram, the lies about how our lives are perfect on facebook, flaunting of cash, cars, and champagne, we must all agree that there’s a menace, and we can no longer shut our eyes, pretending that it is not happening.

I am not sure there’s anything we can do about it than to keep talking about it till the guilty parties know that it is not okay to flaunt boobs, cash, latest clothes, and all sorts on social media. That way, maybe the menace will reduce, and it won’t be cool anymore. Or maybe I am just indulging in wishful thinking because I am not sure I see it getting better.

I just pity the next generation, to whom all these things might seem normal. Sometimes, I am just glad I will be dying in the next 60 to 70 years, because I am not sure how much more of this nonsense I can take without saying “Can somebody just kill me now?”

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Experience at the White House

So I went to the white house…

When my cousins first told me I could just walk up to the white house, I found it hard to believe. I mean, I have never heard of people just walking up to Aso Rock in Abuja. I might be wrong o, but I have never heard of it.

My uncle continually used the trip to white house to tease me, so when my cousin asked me if I wanted to go to the white house since we were going to drop a family friend at Howard University, I instantly said yes.
It was quite inconvenient because we had to leave our car somewhere, and take a train in the winter, and I had just recovered from a 2-day illness which I never told anyone about, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity.

So off we went to the white house, we took some pictures and left. I don’t think we spent more than 10 minutes there.

There were just two policemen in front of the house, gisting away, where we were taking pictures. That is all. There were a few other tourists taking pictures, and I was wondering aloud how the place will always be crowded during summer. How many security men, guns, and bomb detectors would we encounter just because we want to get to the front of Aso rock, even before the era of boko haram? But we know the country that is more secure. It’s really not about the gra gra or the showmanship.

In my mind, I was like so this is the white house, the one I always see on TV, in movies, the one and only famous white house. It looked so ordinary, just like a regular house in the neighbourhood, though peeping into the compound, you could see that it runs deeper inside. But from the front view, it was one of the smallest around, and not imposing at all.

As I walked away, I told myself that the next time I visit white house, I will be going inside, and it won't be as a tourist.

Anyway, so that’s all I have to say for now. I went to the white house, and even though it was a surreal experience, it wasn’t that much of a big deal. Very ordinary, no intimidation, no security men, just a regular house from the outside.


Dwight Eisenhower Building, just beside the white house

The White House

I tried to sneakily snap the police men, but I remembered what Nigerian policemen do to our phones when the see us do this, so I quickly kept my phone, after one crappy shot.


Trying to stay sane in the cold, while taking a selfie



Flag flying high







I was forming smile, while my brain was freezing up, lol




Monday, February 9, 2015

When I used to be Brilliant

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All through primary school, I was the most brilliant in my class. As in seriously, I was really really brilliant, such that I didn’t know how brilliant I was, lol. And here are the two reasons.

Even though I was extremely brilliant, I never came first in class. The reason is I went to one of those primary schools that never gave class positions. I don’t know their reason, but they never did.

Secondly, as we might all know, there’s an unwritten rule that the most brilliant student always became class captain, and wrote down the names of noise makers. As for me, all through my years in primary school, I was never made class captain. Never! I was the chief noise maker, and as I progressed from class to class, all teachers nicknamed me parrot. My name was always (I mean ALWAYS) on the list of noise makers.

Sometimes, I even determined that “today, my name will not be on the list of noise makers.” And I will try my best to keep quiet, but one way or the other, I always ended up there, and got punished.

Every time it was period to vote or choose class captain, either by student election or teacher appointment, I eagerly waited to be named, after all, there’s an unwritten rule that the brilliant ones should lead, but time after time, my hopes were dashed.

I remember one time in primary 4, when they called all the brilliant ones out, and a miracle happened, I finally became the assistant class captain, having the second highest vote. I was so elated, but my position did not last more than a day or two because I made too much noise, but at least, I had the privilege to write down the names of noise makers for 2 days, and beat my fellow classmates with ruler if I saw their eye open during the period they are supposed to rest their heads on the desk, and sleep. Lol.

Another reason I wasn’t class captain, I suspect, was that I wasn’t one of the neatest. It was the days of rubber sandals, and my socks always found a way to get lost before the end of the term, and my rubber sandals would cut. Also, I had 2 uniforms, which I wore all through the week, and washed weekends. In my family, once you misplace your socks, and cut your sandals, you are on your own till the end of the term. My mum was mega strict, lol.

So picture this short girl on gorimapa (my mum used to skin my head with blade and comb), with dirty uniform, no socks, and tattered rubber sandals. To cap it all up, she is a talkative whose loud voice disturbs the whole class. Is that who you really want to be the class captain? The guy who was class captain most times was one guy, Feyisayo, from a rich home, handsome, and just a bit brilliant. Imagine, corruption have started from primary school, because people always said the reason he became class captain is because he’s from a rich home.

Anyway, back to the subject of brilliancy. I used to get between 98 and 100 over 100 in most subjects. I was so brilliant that my mum thought I was one genius from out of space. I mean, the gap I gave the person next to me couldn’t have been measured. I wasn’t even aware of how brilliant I was until sometime in senior secondary school, when I looked at my primary school report sheets. By the age of 8, I was already in secondary school, and out by the age of 14.

Anyway, by now, you should figure out that there is no point to this article. I am just writing it to let you all know that in primary school, I was a genius, but I was never named first position, or made class captain. How sad?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Motivational Speakers or Motivational Fraudsters?

I am very angry with some set of fraudulent people out there. This post is strictly my opinion, so you don't have to agree with me. My paragraphs are not well structured, so please pardon me. I will be using the word Motivational Speaker and Life Coach interchangeably. In the context of this post, they mean the same thing.

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I get put off when I see BCs or invitations to a seminar by one roadside ‘life coach’ or ‘motivational speaker’. They have risen, in pathetic numbers, from left, right, and centre. It is as if they said to themselves “Oh, wow. Look at Fela Durotoye. He’s a motivational speaker and a life coach. He gets paid billions to talk. He is so rich. I can talk too. I was the noise maker of my class, my name was always on the list of noise makers, but I have the added advantage of being brilliant. I will be the next Fela Durotoye.” And then, they print Business Cards – Atilola Moronfolu, Life Coach (Or motivational speaker – whichever sounds nicer with their names).

I don’t know what reaction to give when I see my friend, who I know is broke, cannot pay rent, doesn’t have a car, in short, hasn’t gone through any process, or really achieved anything for himself telling me to come for a conference because he is a Life coach. What in the world are you going to coach me about? How to run my business? Or how to get maximum output from my staff? If you were that knowledgeable, why hasn’t it worked for you? The same book you are reading all these theories from, I have access to them too. Are you really trying to coach me, or you are just desperate for that N2,500 gate fee?

Many people are guilty of this – fresh graduates, people looking for jobs, people looking for side gigs. They just feel life coach/motivational speaker is easy money because they can talk.

You don’t need to look too far to find them. They are everywhere. Their full time job is ‘life coach’ and ‘motivational speaker’. They do nothing else, they have no other job or business. They send endless broadcasts about one seminar or the other. They tell you about how they have one more solution or package for you. They sign you up for their newsletters, and bug your email with it weekly. They always have one special gift just for you, but you have to watch one video or the other to access it. They have fancy names. They organize twitter conversation all the time.

From what I understand, a coach is a counsellor. They look at where you are now, and where you desire to be at a certain period, and help you get there. They walk with you very closely. In developed countries, you even become certified to be a life coach. The word ‘life coach’ is not what we should be throwing around carelessly like “My name is Atilola, I am a life coach. This is my husband, he is a life coach. Did I tell you I am three months pregnant? And yeah, my baby will grow up to be a life coach too. Even the nanny that will raise him is a life coach.” just because we are looking for an easy source of income.

Now Fela Durotoye… let’s talk about that man a bit. The first time I heard him speak was years ago in University of Lagos. Even as at then, this man was a bundle of experiences. In summary, this guy worked, went through some things, learnt some lessons, made some sacrifices, saw some rewards, became a motivational speaker, and that’s putting it as simply as possible.

These motivational fraudsters have found a way to flip the coin. In the past people used to gather real life experiences first (mostly from working with several clients, as consultants) and then become teachers, speakers and coaches. But nowadays, people want to become speakers, teachers, and coaches first, and then maybe or maybe not gather life experience. Plainly putting it, they are doing it just for the money, and not because they have anything fantastic to teach or speak about. Maybe I should not blame them too much. It is the situation of the country right? We all want to fend for ourselves.

You want to teach me about purpose? Have you fulfilled purpose yourself? Life is not all about theories, so before you organise your seminars, make sure you have your practical real life experiences to back up the theoretical crap you are spewing. If the ‘seven laws of financial freedom’ or ‘five steps to living a happy life’ you want to sell to me are so magical, how come it has not performed any magic in your life? Why aren’t you so free yourself, why are you waiting for that gate fee you want to charge me?

If someone like Jumoke Adenowo invites me to a seminar, I wouldn’t think twice about going. She is a mother, a wife, a prophetess, a leading architect in Nigeria (designed federal ministry of Finance at the age of 23), featured on CNN, organizes the annual women’s prayer summit, the head of the ministry, Awesome Treasures Foundation, broke a long-term record when she graduated from OAU, and so much more this post wouldn’t be able to contain. When she stands on stage to talk, you keep quiet because you know for a fact that someone is talking. Now, this is someone who can be called a life coach, someone that will show you the valleys and mountains, not one fresh graduate or jobless youth looking for the easiest source of income.

Let’s stop the menace. First, everyone jumped on the bandwagon of cake-baking, then party-catering, events-planning, makeup artistry. Now it is the turn of ‘Life Coach’ and ‘Motivational Speaker’ to take the bandwagon hit.

If you aspire to be a life coach, motivational speaker, purpose teacher, or whatever fancy words are being thrown out there, kudos to you. There is a proper way to go about it. Please and please get some real life experiences up your sleeve, so you can have something to actually speak to me about, before telling me you want to come to your seminar with a gate fee of N2000, N10,000, or N20,000, depending on how sophisticated your level of begging is.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Seven Days in Brazil - Day 7

Day 7 consisted of part of my 28 hour journey back to Nigeria.

I woke up, had breakfast, and jetted out to the airport. If not for a fellow festival-attendee who rode with me to the airport, I for don loss. This is because I didn't depart from the same airport I came through. Who books flight that way?

Since I don't take pictures of airports, we are going to leave out my experience at the three airports back, and just say goodbye the way I said goodbye to Brazil.

Rio de Janerio is a really beautiful city, and it is even more beautiful when seen in an aerial view. As I said in the previous post, it is a city inside the river, so check these pictures below out, as I sign out of this series.










If you missed any post series, click here, and have your eyes opened. I promise you will thank me, even if you have been to Brazil before.

A big thank you to everyone who followed my Brazilian experience, by reading this blog series. You are all darlings. *Muah*

As a  bonus, I have embedded the video of my first performance at the slam. I presented six times. The one below was the first one in the first round.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Seven Days in Brazil - Day 6

Day 6 was my final day of activity in Brazil. I was indoors throughout the morning. I decided that day would be my only opportunity to venture out on my own, and see parts of Rio de Janerio. With Flavia's description, I took the bull by the horns, and stepped out.

I walked to the main road, and took the subway to General Osorio. As I was descending down the subway, two men were walking ahead of me. Immediately they got underground, they quickly kissed each other. They then turned back, and saw me. I didn't know what to think of the whole thing, but it reeked of serious guilt.. It was the first time I had ever seen two men kiss in real life. I was really taken aback.

I bought my ticket, and waited for the train

Waiting for the train to arrive

Train finally gets here

The two gay men are somewhere in this picture, on
the train, but I won't point them out, lol.
Click below to follow me to the market square and the beach. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Seven Days in Brazil - Day 5 (Part 2)

I quickly rushed to the hotel, and did a little rehearsal for the semifinal. And so, we proceeded to the festival site.

Remember, I was currently holding the highest score among all contestants, of 89.9/90. Unfortunately, all scores were dropped, and I wasn't even aware of it.











Unfortunately, after this round of three performances, two people made it to the final, and I wasn't one of them. I was so shocked to find out that our previous scores were dropped, but I guess it was just part of life. My fun time in Brazil was just starting.

Don't go. Click below to have more fun with me.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Seven Days in Brazil - Day 5 (Part 1)

Happy new year guys. How's 2015 so far? Hope we are cementing concrete decisions in the ground so this year can turn out better than last?

Day 5 was my longest and most tasking day in Rio de Janerio. In fact, it was so long, that I have to split the post into two. Because I didn't go to the festival at all on Day 4, and chose to watch the Live stream, I did not realise our visit to the Favelas (Brazilian slums) had been slated for that morning. I just stepped down to the restaurant to have breakfast when I saw the bus, and people getting ready to go. I was really confused as to what to do. Breakfast was one of the best things for me in Brazil, and I didn't want to give it up, yet I knew visiting the Favelas was an experience I might never have the opportunity to have in my life.

One of the producers just aided me in packing a few croissants in saviette, and a pack of yoghurt, and moved me out of the restaurant. I basically dressed up in the bus, lol. By the time we were done, let's just say I would never have forgiven myself if I missed that experience. Then again, I would have been too ignorant to know what I had missed.

Before I go on, let me just give a summary of this. Brazil, Rio de Janerio, Sao Paulo, and many other towns is a class based society, and almost no middle class. There is a clear distinction between these classes, different culture, living conditions, etc. The poor live up the mountains, while the rich live in the valleys. These mountain communities are the Favelas. You can't just walk into the Favelas anyhow. To visit, you must go in groups, and consult with the community chiefs, and go with one of the locals. They have a very strong community, and if you venture there alone, you might be killed, kidnapped, etc. To keep them separate, and the two classes as distinct as can be, policemen are placed in the Favelas. You have like three policemen in about every street or so, and they are there 24-7-365. The house are always clustered, with no space in between.

Arriving at the teleferico stations


Roberta, my slam master, with one of the festival directors

The cable cars we entered. The mode of transport is
on cables suspended in the air, like electric cables



Waiting to enter the cable cars
 Don't go, click below to read more, and follow me to the Favelas

Monday, December 29, 2014

Seven Days in Brazil - Day 4

So Day 4 was like the most chilled-out day for me, cos I chose to stay in doors all day, and work on the concert I was planning. I figured I could just watch the next two rounds of the slam live, although this decision didn't get me into the good books of many people, lol.

Chibundu Onuzo, the only other Nigerian amongst the hundreds and hundreds of people who came for the festival, and the author of Spider King's Daughter, decided that we should go and see Christos statue. Even though I had decided to stay in all day, I obliged, cos I felt it would only take one or two hours.

When we got to the place, we were advised not to take the tourists train up the mountain cos we won't see Mr Christos due to the bad weather that had caused the clouds to cover him.

Downcast, we took the bus back to the hotel, and went for lunch.

The streets of Brazil. This is the rich people's area. No fences

How I wish we could have parks like this in Nigeria,
where we can just chill, and area boys won't take over

This guy photo-bombed Chibundu's shot

Pretending to exercise
We then went for lunch, and met Flavia, the FLUPP producer stationed at the hotel. She was the one whose dunlop slippers I wore around Rio for a whole day, when my bag was lost. We had interesting discussion about her marriage, how she doesn't want to have kids, religion, etc. One really needs to travel often, and see the way people from other cultures view life. It's not always about Christianity and Islam in many of these countries, or marriage, or even the lack of it,

Chibundu and Flavia


Once I got to the hotel, I continued with my work. If only I could imagine what the next day had in stock for me. If you are reading this post today when it was posted, I am probably on my way to the fifth and final country I will be visiting this year. Happy new year in advance.
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