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In a previous article, I shared about business lessons to learn from one of the most influential women in the world, Oprah Winfrey; I said I would be talking about the difference between being successful and being independent.

I hope I won't have to talk too much about it or write a really long paragraph on the slim distinction between the two terms.

Yes, there is a distinction between paying your own bills and independently leading your own lifestyle.

The distinction, however, slim is very recognizable.

Read the short excerpt below;

Bernard used to be my crush back then in the university and he knew this. In fact, he made it his sole responsibility to tease me with it. I didn't care so much; we were cool friends and I was in a relationship.

One Saturday morning he called to tell me he has fallen in love with a Rivers girl. I laughed so hard that my lungs began to hurt. It was rather impossible for someone who has been a flirt all his life to finally settle down into a relationship; that was exactly what I told him. So he came to my house that evening to prove to me that he was indeed serious. 

I was laughing and crying and screaming. I hugged both of them so tight and even offered to buy them dinner.

Their relationship was awesome, I got jealous once or twice but I never let it engulf me. We were still awesome friends and I even started dating again.

Three months into their relationship, the girlfriend is calling to tell me that Bernard is getting married. I was beginning to get all ecstatic and excited but then she started crying and hung up.

I wasn't sure what was going on so I called back. 

I learnt that Bernard's crazy ex had come back to the country with a 7 months baby she claimed she had secretly had for Bernard. The whole story was confusing. Both parents have already started marriage preparations between Bernard and the crazy ex. He said there's nothing much he can do about it and I want to just scream and yank off his head.

Lesson: Bernard is very successful and financially comfortable but cannot independently make decisions that affect his life. 

There are a lot of other relatable examples that could be used to perfectly explain this term but I just prefer to use this one.

You may have a fleet of cars and many acres of land but if you still can't lead your life without the influence of someone or something then I am really sorry, you are NOT INDEPENDENT.

Being independent therefore means that you will be more likely to try out new things that you want, rather than what or how you are expected to. This also means that you will have more experience than a less independent individual.

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Positive thinking is somewhat a treasure to some of us. Some of us have blended so well with pessimism that positivity  becomes alien and a virus.

We should understand that when you think positively, things will begin to change for the better. You will notice that your goals for the day will switch from things like "I am so bored and depressed today" to better things like "what can I do to make my day better?"

I never said it will be easy or simple but it will be a much better option. No one can make you happy and fulfilled than yourself.

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Hey hey, did you know that you can't talk and breathe in at the same time? My kid sister said excitedly. I stared at her like she had just said the dumbest thing ever. How can't you breathe while talking? I started saying; so when someone is talking for a very long time they don't breathe? The further I argued, the more I realized the importance and truth of that very unimportant fact.

Try talking and breathing in, it won't sync at all. 

Tried it yet? Not working right? I thought so.

There are a lot of useless facts unknown to us but their importance should not be underrated.

Check out some of these ones I gathered below:

1. Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. This has to be a shocker, like who refrigerates rubber bands? Who even thinks of things like that.

2. Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite. So we can stop the excessive production of dynamites and also reduce terrorism by protesting against peanuts?

3. The national anthem of Greece has 158 verses. No one in Greece has memorized all 158 verses. I really don't blame them.

4. There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

5. A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes. Oh, I didn't know fishes never blink with both eyes. Did you know?

6. There are more chickens than people in the world (at least before that chicken-flu thing). This explains why we all try to kill them.

7. The longest one-syllable word in the English language is “screeched.” Did you know this?

8. All of the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction are stuck on 4:20. Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, who conceived it with Roger Avary. Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames, and Uma Thurman, it tells several stories of crimes in Los Angeles.

9. No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple. Check this one out.

10. “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”. All of the other words that end with mt are variations of dreamt only(undreamt,redreamt).

11. Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance. Though the stories vary, they still have one thing in common- Winston was born prematurely in a closet or ladies room at Blenheim Palace 1874.

12.  Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. For all the Barbie lovers and fans in the house.

13. Every time you lick a stamp, you consume 1/10 of a calorie. Lick a lot of stamps and you may gain that weight you've been hoping for.

14. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes. Can someone confirm this though? Get your stop watch running before you go to bed tonight and lets find out.

15. Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occurring, relax and correct itself.

16. Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every 2 weeks otherwise it will digest itself.

17. The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; '7' was selected after the original 7-ounce containers and 'UP' for the direction of the bubbles.

18. 101 Dalmatians, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Mulan are the only Disney cartoons where both parents are present and don't die throughout the movie.  .

19. A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes. I didn't know this.

20. A person cannot taste food unless it is mixed with saliva. For example, if a strong-tasting substance like salt is placed on a dry tongue, the taste buds will not be able to taste it. As soon as a drop of saliva is added and the salt is dissolved, however, a definite taste sensation results. This is true for all foods.

21. 'Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

22. To escape the grip of a crocodile's jaws, push your thumbs into its eyeballs - it will let you go instantly.

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You can be broke but rich… rich with dreams and visions nobody sees but yourself. Prince Ngomane

Its okay to have dreams and visions you believe in.... dreams and plans that keep you going. But at some point in your life, let others see it.... not to approve it or tick it off but to admire and wonder about it.

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I can't be the only one that's been wondering how plate numbers, particularly in Nigeria, is assigned. For the past few weeks, I have been studying plate numbers and cracking my head trying to understand what the alphabets on the plate numbers could mean?

Are they just random letters of the alphabets?

Are they the owners initial?

Or are they simply just a combination of the user's date of birth, initials, and state of origin?

If you've been wondering about this too then take a look at the explanations from Naijauto below:

 A plate number is one of the government’s established means of identification of vehicles. Obviously, a bulk of vehicles come in the same model, color and features, so distinguishing between them will be impossible.

There are different formations of number plates, depending on country preference. In Nigeria, the unique format is something like this; ABC- 246AC

The first three letters represent the Local Government Area where the vehicle was registered, then three digits and two other letters follow.

The two last letter codes are mainly for numbering. For example, the number series will go from 001AA to 999AA before moving onto 001AB to 999AB and so on. However, the former letter is used to distinguish types of vehicles in some cases. For instance, A means private vehicles, X means taxi, and commercial transports, Q refers to bikes and tricycles and H is for Hilux vans.

Generally, the license plates are white, while the plate number is imprinted in blue. You may have noticed other kinds of number plates, some in red and some in green.

For commercial vehicles, the plate number is imprinted in red, government plates are in green, then diplomatic plates are imprinted in purple and green, with white lettering. For diplomatic plates, the first two or three digits indicate the country the car’s owner represents, then two letters and numbers follow. On this exclusive plate, you’ll find CORPS DIPLOMATIQUE, instead of the name of the state.

As mentioned earlier, the first three letters represent the local government the car was registered, this could be in any state in Nigeria. Although we couldn’t find all the abbreviations, we found a good number of them. 

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Tuesday is a day of the week where the routine is in full swing; it can be a day where we focus on doing the things that need to be done. 

It can be the day we focus on taking the leap that seemed too high yesterday or the height that seemed too high to reach.

It can also be the one day we get to make up for lost times.

But most importantly, it can be yet another day we continue on our journey to finding value in our lives. 

A day we can focus on finding meaning and importance by adding value to other people's lives.

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Remember that Mondays should be welcomed with great enthusiasm, enormous hope and a tank full of energy.

Always believe something wonderful is about to happen. Always be ready to accept and welcome whatever that will happen with a lot of energy and vibe.

When you wake up on a Monday morning, you should feel happy, inspired, and motivated to make the best start to the week. Monday is the perfect day for a fresh start, so make something great happen for yourself today.

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Even with a closet full of clothes and a drawer full of jewelry and a box full of makeup, it's easy to feel as if you have nothing to wear.
You are worried that your makeup is out of date and may not give you the look you desire. You fret over what accessory that would best go with your peplum top but you forget that you can absolutely rock in simple styles.

Fashion isn't necessarily what you see on E or on American's top model.
Fashion is wearing your bun loosely, putting on a black leather skirt and complimenting it with a sleeveless top. 
The best fashion advice you would ever get is 'simplicity'.

Check out the simple style tips you could completely rock;
1. Fit: wear clothes that suit your body type. If you’re a little heavier, don’t wear things that accentuate your lumps. If you’re skinny, don’t wear clothes that billow and bag out.

It’s all pretty straightforward. Pick things that are comfortable and that you’re confident in. Confidence is the best thing you can wear and something people will surely notice.

2. Colour Palate. 
Stick to a relatively muted color palate. A man’s wardrobe should primarily be made up of grays, navies, and blacks (in my mind you can throw olive into that mix as well; a great basic).

Mix in a few colors here and there to accent the basics, but keep things muted. Dressing in well-fitted, understated clothing will get you noticed in a positive manner, whereas wearing brightly-colored pieces will make you stand out, but probably not in the way you want to.

3. Trends. Don't be in a hurry to follow trends. 
Like fad diets, clothing trends come and go. While there are fast-fashion giants out there providing the latest trends for a relative pittance, I think it behooves most men to spend their hard-earned dollars on pieces that will stand the test of time.

It’s a simple mindset that pays dividends long-term. Avoiding trends and spending your money on classic, quality pieces is a great way to shop.

4. Don’t Stretch
Don’t go too far out of your comfort zone. I’m not saying to never take risks, that would be foolish. But if you’re on the fence play it safe. There’s nothing worse than taking something home and realizing you’re never going to wear it. If you’re unsure if you like a piece of clothing in the change room, you’re probably going to like it even less wearing it in front of strangers.

Don’t stretch too far out of your comfort zone and don’t stretch your budget on things you don’t need. Most items in your closet should strike a balance between form and function.

5. Keep it simple: it never fails to work
I think fashion and style at their core are about feeling good about yourself and giving you the confidence to be who you really want to be. Your clothing should accentuate the things that people enjoy about your personality whether it is your warmth, sense of humor, or intelligence (hell, how about all three?).

I don’t need my style to be art, or free marketing, or a costume in which I’m trying to hide from the public. I think simplicity in the dress makes you, as a person, confident and more accessible.

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I literally get dripping when fashion talk comes up- you would think I am fashion conscious. You feel confident, powerful, capable and above all happy when you wear your favorite clothes. Fashion makes you feel empowered. When you wear what makes you happy, (there is a theory)that dopamine is released in your brain and gives you the same rush that a drug might give you.

Like Diana Vreeland said; “Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything about clothes.” 

Check out the top 5 fashion styles below:

1. Streetwear Fashion:
This is an all-encompassing fashion style, that evolved from the streets. It originated from the Californian surf and skate culture. But today major designers, brands, and influencers all have embraced this style and it is not confined to the streets anymore. It is the epitome of modern urban fashion.

2. Ethnic Fashion style:
This refers to clothing adopted completely or partially from traditional costumes of different nations. This includes but is not limited to the African Ankara wears, Mexican peasant blouses, Afghan coats, Japanese Kimonos, Tunics and Kaftans from the east, colorful bandanas from the gypsies that people all of the over the world have adopted as their own. True global fashion!

3. Formal Office Wear:
Even for the casual dresser, who hardly thinks about clothes, “What to wear to the office, especially meetings and functions?” is a major dilemma. Formal office wear is a style that addresses this segment. This includes tuxedo or a formal dark suit and matching tie for men and appropriate dresses, skirts, shirts, trousers for women. You may not be able to escape this section of fashion style if you want to shine in your office.

4. Business wear:
This is just short of being saddled with the stiff upper lip the formal wear has but still good enough for meetings and office functions. A blazer and a matching pant or khakis with a formal collared shirt and optional tie are the most commonly seen business casual for men. Sports jackets are also used in a more casual setting. For women, slacks or skirts with proper blouses/tunics with a suitable jacket constitute business casual.

5. Girly style:
This is the ultimate feminine style – if you like this style you will be wearing mostly pink clothes and accessories and will use a lot of make-up. You will be dressing in skirts, dresses, and blouses with cute details like bows or ruffles, flounces and lace.

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'Ghana ranks 4 as the most peaceful country in Africa' according to the Global Peace Index(GPI).

Global Peace Index (GPI) measures the relative position of nations' and regions' peacefulness.

The GPI ranks 163 independent states and territories (99.7 percent of the world’s population) according to their levels of peacefulness. In the past decade, the GPI has presented trends of increased global violence and less peacefulness.

The GPI is a report produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks with data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Index was first launched in May 2007, with subsequent reports being released annually. In 2017 it ranked 163 countries, up from 121 in 2007.

The 2019 GPI indicates Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark to be the most peaceful countries and Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq to be the least peaceful.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Mauritius holds the top spot for the most peaceful country and placed 24th in the overall rankings worldwide.

Ghana was ranked fourth after Mauritius, Malawi, and Botswana respectively in the most peaceful country in Africa and placed 44th in the world. 

South Africa was ranked 32nd out of 44 African countries, and 127th in the global rankings while Nigeria was ranked 148.

Here are the countries in the 2019 Global Peace Index(world)

1. Iceland

2. New Zealand

3. Portugal

4. Austria

5. Denmark

6. Canada

7. Singapore

8. Slovenia

9. Japan

10. Czech Republic

11. Switzerland

12. Ireland

13. Australia

14. Finland

15. Bhutan

16. Malaysia

17. Netherlands

18. Belgium

18. Sweden

20. Norway

21. Hungary

22. Germany

23. Slovakia

24. Mauritius

25. Romania

26. Bulgaria

27. Chile

28. Croatia

29. Poland

30. Botswana

31. Qatar

32. Spain

33. Costa Rica

34. Uruguay

35. Latvia

36. Taiwan

37. Estonia

38. Lithuania

39. Italy

40. Malawi

41. Indonesia

42. Mongolia

43. Kuwait

44. Ghana

45. United Kingdom

45. Laos

47. Panama

48. Timor-Leste

48. Zambia

50. Serbia

51. Albania

52. Sierra Leone

53. United Arab Emirates

54. Tanzania

55. South Korea

55. Madagascar

57. Vietnam

58. Senegal

59. Liberia

60. France

60. Namibia

62. The Gambia

63. Cyprus

64. Kazakhstan

65. Greece

65. North Macedonia

67. Montenegro

68. Moldova

69. Oman

70. Equatorial Guinea

71. Ecuador

72. Benin

72. Sri Lanka

72. Eswatini

75. Argentina

76. Nepal

77. Angola

77. Jordan

79. Rwanda

80. Peru

81. Bosnia and Herzegovina

82. Tunisia

83. Jamaica

84. Dominican Republic

85. Bolivia

86. Kosovo

87. Haiti

88. Paraguay

89. Cambodia

90. Morocco

91. Cuba

92. Guyana

93. Trinidad and Tobago

94. Mozambique

95. Kyrgyz Republic

96. Gabon

97. Belarus

98. Papua New Guinea

99. Georgia

100. Guinea

101. Bangladesh

102. Uzbekistan

103. Lesotho

104. Burkina Faso

105. Tajikistan

105. Uganda

107. Cote d’ Ivoire

108. Togo

109. Djibouti

110. China

111. Algeria

112. Guinea-Bissau

113. El Salvador

114. Guatemala

115. Turkmenistan

116. Brazil

117. Thailand

118. Armenia

119. Kenya

120. Nicaragua

121. Republic of the Congo

122. Mauritania

123. Honduras

124. Bahrain

125. Myanmar

126. Niger

127. South Africa

128. United States of America

129. Saudi Arabia

130. Azerbaijan

131. Ethiopia

132. Zimbabwe

133. Eritrea

134. Philippines

135. Burundi

136. Egypt

137. Chad

138. Cameroon

139. Iran

140. Mexico

141. India

142. Palestine

143. Colombia

144. Venezuela

145. Mali

146. Israel

147. Lebanon

148. Nigeria

149. North Korea

150. Ukraine

151. Sudan

152. Turkey

153. Pakistan

154. Russia

155. The Democratic Republic of the Congo

156. Libya

157.  Central African Republic

158. Somalia

159. Iraq

160. Yemen

161. South Sudan

162. Syria

163. Afghanistan

Check out the Longer List

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