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   OPINION

Class affects everything.

How we are treated and how everything treats us.  This quote is familiar to almost every Nigerian ‘All na packaging’. How you present yourself is how you’ll be received and consequently treated. Back in secondary school, it was rampant for some students to lie about their parent’s background and claim to come from rich homes. I remember all those ‘classy’ girls that walked with their shoulders high like they were better than everyone else with their hot miniskirts and usually had interactions with only ‘cool’ guys.  I found it quite baffling and amusing especially the day when the truth finally comes out and there’s a lot of booing and shaming. But on a closer look, being ‘classy’ (which translates to being rich and having ‘connections’) actually makes life a little bit easier. In this part of the world, ‘who your father is’ is such a huge influence in your life. You mention names and doors are automatically opened, whether you are qualified or not. The people, who are robbed of this silver spoon, have found a way to make up for it, by ‘packaging’.

Slay queens and kings are rampant on social media, models with Instagram and twitter as their agency. Everybody is trying, to paint the picture of a perfect life and trying to ‘belong’.  This then begs the question; ‘How does class shape an individual’s identity?’

People of richer social class tend to socialise together and are identified by their wealth and assets. Lower or middle classes are identified by their skills or white collar jobs. This identification creates a divide and these identities are linked to class and therefore one’s perceived place in the society. How you would regard a celebrity is quite different to the way you’ll regard a waiter at a social function.  Social class is involved in a lot of life’s processes; from whom you date, to the jobs you’re most likely to get and to a certain extent, the way you perceive yourself. Social class differences makes you have different experiences and influences, which reflects in the way you are. Social class affects you to the extent that it shapes who you are and who you think you are.

Margaret J. King Director of The Centre for Cultural Studies and Analysis in Philadelphia opined;

 “Contrary to popular opinion, class has little to do with wealth; class is a mindset that rests on the platform of education, decision-making, upward mobility, faith in the future and in the power of self-determination. The main difference between poverty and middle class and between middle class and the wealthy is the belief in oneself. It’s not about the money, money is the outcome. It’s the mindset that sees people as centres of the wealth and stability in themselves, with careers or professions rather than jobs, opportunities for advancement at work and in the social market place”.  

 You no longer necessarily need to have a billionaire father to have class. It’s about what you can achieve as an individual. Women like Linda Ikeji and Toke Makinwa didn’t have billionaire fathers to pave ways and make their success stories easier, instead they worked hard and now they have ‘correct packaging’.  Honest question to yourself, what social class do you think you belong to in life??

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I really mean that.

Coming from an angle of admiration and a source of inspiration, Linda Ifeoma Ikeji is on the spot light today as she marks her 37th birthday. All I wanted to do was write an encomium to celebrate an exceptional woman. But opening my Ms Word to type, my mind was as blank as the white page staring back at me. I always try to be non-subjective as a writer. Due to the fact that I tend to enjoy and appreciate articles undistorted by emotions or personal biasI believe in stating things the way they are and letting the reader (or audience) decide for themselves. I am a huge and unashamed fan of Linda Ikeji, and in my personal opinion I believe she is a gift to Nigerian and African women.  I’d like to apologize ahead of time; this article is all about praising Linda and acknowledging her back breaking efforts to be where she is today.  

What words can you use to describe a tough female hustler of eleven (11) straight years? Undaunted by gender, social class or financial stiffness,  she has risen above all these and successfully shattered the glass ceiling. You can’t honestly not admire the tenacity, brave spirit and patience of a woman who started eight businesses and they all crumbled. She blogged for four (4) years without profit. Fast forward to 2019, she is an accomplished blogger, highest paid blogger in Nigeria, media entrepreneur and CEO of Linda Ikeji Media. In her ‘No thanks I’d rather be self made’ campaign, she gave away N10million to young girls because she understands the struggle and frustration of having dreams with little or no finance to pursue them.  All I want to do is celebrate an exceptional woman who did the unthinkable, call it “famzing or Aproco”, I think Linda Ikeji and I should be friends. 

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This sentence can termed ambiguous according to the tone of pronunciation. It could be a question asked with the intent to arouse sober reflection or it can be expressed in an insulting manner meant to belittle someone. For now, we’ll talk about the former.

Gone are the days when the average dream of young adults was to go to school, graduate and get a good job. That dream now, sounds like the wish of mediocre people. Entrepreneurship is the new cool. Everyone wants to be a boss. The new dream is to finish school, turn an amazing idea into a money generating business within the space of a few years, kick back, find a ‘bae’ as cool as you, get married before 28, (30 tops) have cute little kids, with tons of online followers and friends and not work hard ever again and live happily ever after. But entrepreneurship is over glamorised. There is this very dangerous myth in circulation; ‘Good ideas are the key to business success’ good ideas are good and will always be good but it is definitely not the key to business success. What about the resources and skills required to execute the ‘good’ idea? The strategies, productivity rate, are people willing to pay for your idea? Is there enough passion to pursue it and follow it through?

Social media hasn’t helped at all. Feeds and timelines are constantly filled with success stories of entrepreneurs and people who are their own bosses but we tend to forget that social media doesn’t show the private struggles, pain and sacrifices one had to go through to achieve their goals. Being young and successful is about finding your niche in the world and dominating. I once had the opportunity to listen to the CEO of peace group of companies, Maduka Onyishi and he said something that refused to leave my subconscious. “If you have a business idea and it would take a hundred thousand to execute it and you only have just one hundred, find a business that fits your pocket and start from there. The business world is like a staircase, one step at a time. If you try to skip a lot of stairs, you tend to stretch too much and either you fall miserably or you sustain an injury. There is a lesson for each level of success and each level propels you to the next.”  His multi-million transport company that we all see and admire today started with just one bus. Most young people are impatient and refuse to follow the part of growth. No one wants a business idea that will take 15years to flourish. The learning process is essential. Even if you suddenly have that wonderful idea right now, it requires strength, wisdom and strategy to execute it. Most times all these things can only be found via years of experience from someone who is either higher or has done something similar. The learning process is ESSENTIAL.

 Everyone wants to be rich in a snap. But the goal should be to fill a niche in the world. Who are you in the world? Are you filling a niche, are you solving problems with your idea, no matter how small? 

          

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This sentence can termed ambiguous according to the tone of pronunciation. It could be a question asked with the intent to arouse sober reflection or it can be expressed in an insulting manner meant to belittle someone. For now, we’ll talk about the former.

Gone are the days when the average dream of young adults was to go to school, graduate and get a good job. That dream now, sounds like the wish of mediocre people. Entrepreneurship is the new cool. Everyone wants to a boss. The new dream is to be finish school, turn an amazing idea into a money generating business within the space of a few years, kick back, find a ‘bae’ as cool as you, get married before 28, (30 tops) have cute little kids, with tons of online followers and friends and not work hard ever again and live happily ever after. But entrepreneurship is over glamorised. There is this very dangerous myth in circulation; ‘Good ideas are the key to business success’ good ideas are good and will always be good but it is definitely not the key to business success. What about the resources and skills required to execute the ‘good’ idea? The strategies, productivity rate, are people willing to pay for your idea? Is there enough passion to pursue it and follow it through?

Social media hasn’t helped at all. Feeds and timelines are constantly filled with success stories of entrepreneurs and people who are their own bosses but we tend to forget that social media doesn’t show the private struggles, pain and sacrifices one had to go through to achieve their goals. Being young and successful is about finding your niche in the world and dominating. I once had the opportunity to listen to the CEO of peace group of companies, Maduka Onyishi and he said something that refused to leave my subconscious. “If you have a business idea and it would take a hundred thousand to execute it and you only have just one hundred, find a business that fits your pocket and start from there. The business world is like a staircase, one step at a time. If you try to skip a lot of stairs, you tend to stretch too much and either you fall miserably or you sustain an injury. There is a lesson for each level of success and each level propels you to the next.”  His multi-million transport company that we all see and admire today started with just one bus. Most young people are impatient and refuse to follow the part of growth. No one wants a business idea that will take 15years to flourish. The learning process is essential. Even if you suddenly have that wonderful idea right now, it requires strength, wisdom and strategy to execute it. Most times all these things can only be found via years of experience from someone who is either higher or has done something similar. The learning process is ESSENTIAL.

 Everyone wants to be rich in a snap. But the goal should be to fill a niche in the world. Who are you in the world? Are you filling a niche, are you solving problems with your idea, or just like the title 'Entrepreneur'.   

 

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She wrote him first, on a Thursday evening in December 2013. “You were listed as a 100% Match! I am not sure what a 100% match means … First, would you be interested in me? Check my profile.”

Later, when Amy* puzzled over their relationship, she’d remember this. She had contacted him, not the other way around. That had been a fateful move; it had made everything easier for him. But she didn’t know that yet.

It had been over two years since Amy had experienced the death of her husband of 20 years, four since she had lost her mother—two sharp blows in her 50s. Her marriage had been troubled—her husband was abusive—but cancer took him before she could process what was happening. Now she was alone in a house in Virginia. Amy had grown up in the community, and her brothers and their families lived nearby. When it came to meeting men, however, her choices were limited.


In the fall of 2013, she signed up for a six-month subscription a popular online dating site. She considered herself pretty tech savvy. She had a website for her business, was on Facebook, and carried a smartphone. In her profile, she was honest about her age (57) and finances (“self- sufficient”), and her pitch was straightforward: “looking for a life partner … successful, spiritually minded, intelligent, good sense of humor, enjoys dancing and traveling. No games!”

She exchanged messages and had a few phone calls with men; she even met some for coffee or lunch. But either they weren’t her type or they weren’t who they’d said they were in their profiles. She resolved to contact only men who were close matches according to the site’s algorithm.


Then she saw this guy with a mysterious profile name: darkandsugarclue. The photo showed a trim, silver-haired man with a salt-and-pepper beard. He was 61, liked bluegrass music, and lived an hour away. And he was a “100% match,” so she wrote to him.


More than a week later, she got this message: “Thank you so much for the e-mail and I am really sorry for the delay in reply, I don’t come on here often … I really like your profile and I like what I have gotten to know about you so far. I would love to get to know you as you sound like a very interesting person plus you are beautiful. Tell me more about you. In fact it would be my pleasure if you wrote me at my e-mail as I hardly come on here often.”


He gave her a Yahoo e-mail address and a name, Duane. When she went back to the dating site to look at his profile, it had disappeared.


She wrote: “Your profile is no longer there—did you pull it? As I am recalling the information you shared intrigued me. I would like to know more about you. Please e-mail me with information about yourself and pictures so I can get to know you better.”


Duane sent a long message that sketched a peripatetic life. He was a “computer systems analyst” from California who had grown up in Manchester, England, and had lived in Virginia for five months. Much of his note consisted of flirty jokes (“If I could be bottled I would be called ‘eau de enigma’”) and an imaginary description of their first meeting: “It’s 11 a.m. when we arrive at the restaurant for brunch. The restaurant is a white painted weatherboard, simple but well-kept, set on the edge of a lake …”


Duane was nothing like the men Amy had met so far. “You certainly have a great sense of humor and a way with words,” she wrote. She mentioned the deception she’d encountered on dates: “It is amazing what people will do without conscience. I think it is always best to be whom we are and not mislead others.”


Within two weeks, they’d exchanged eight more e-mails. Duane suggested they fill out questionnaires listing their favorite foods, hobbies, quirks, and financial status. He also sent a link to a song, Marc Anthony’s “I Need You.”

“It holds a message in it,” he told her, “a message that delivers the exact way I feel for you.”

Amy clicked on the link to the ballad, which ends with the singer begging his lover to marry him. Then she listened to it again.

 When Amy talks about how she fell in love, she always mentions Duane’s voice. It was musical, clipped, flecked with endearing Britishisms. Soon after they connected online, they began talking for hours every day in addition to e-mailing and texting. His years in England explained the accent, but there was also a wisp of something else in his voice. Still, this did nothing to deter her interest. In their conversations, Amy opened up to Duane about her marriage, her job, and her conviction that things happened for a reason. She had never met a man who was so curious about her.

She was just as fascinated by Duane. Or was it Dwayne? The spelling switched from his earlier e-mails. There were other curiosities. She’d be fixing breakfast, and he’d be talking about going out for the evening. He traveled for work, he explained. He was calling from Malaysia, where he was finishing a computer job.

Since Amy loved to travel, the fact that Dwayne was living overseas added to his “eau de enigma.” He sent her a link to an old John Denver song, “Shanghai Breezes,” about two lovers separated by distance.

She wrote: “Wow … It feels like the universe is manifesting my perfect partner right before my very eyes. Prayers answered and yes it does seem like we have known each other a long time.”

Amy sent that note a week after her first message from Dwayne. In e-mails and calls, they shared the day-to-day minutiae about their lives—her upcoming trip to Sarasota, Florida, with a friend; his visit to a textiles museum in Kuala Lumpur. Mixed in were his ardent declarations of affection: “Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight.”

Those florid words cast a powerful spell on Amy. “You are filling my days and nights with wonder,” she confessed to Dwayne on Christmas. “Are you real? Will you appear someday … Hold me in your arms, kiss my lips and caress me gently. Or are you just a beautiful, exotic dream … if you are … I don’t want to wake up!”

When she returned from her trip to Florida, Amy found a bouquet of flowers, with a note: “My life will never be the same since I met you. Happy New Year. Love, Dwayne.”

Slightly less than a month since his first contact with Amy, Dwayne brought up his money troubles. He’d planned to fly back to Virginia in January after he finished a big project, but some components were stuck in customs. Dwayne had a U.K. trust fund and would retire after this job, he said. But he couldn’t use the fund to cover the customs fees. And he couldn’t come back to the States until he completed the job. If Amy could help him, he’d pay her back when he returned.

Amy had money, and Dwayne knew it. She owned her home and two other properties, and she had inheritances from her mother and husband. He also knew she was in love with him. Amy wired $8,000 to the fiancé of a friend of Dwayne’s in Alabama, who’d get the funds to Dwayne.

Then he asked her for $10,000 to bribe officials because of an expired visa. Finally, he set a day for his flight home—January 25—and e-mailed her his itinerary. Amy bought tickets for their first date, a Latin dance concert that night, and she told her brothers and friends they’d finally meet her mysterious boyfriend.

Then a problem came up: Dwayne had to pay his workers. While he’d received $2.5 million for the project—he even e-mailed her an image of the check—he couldn’t open a bank account in Malaysia to access it. She sent more money. January 25 came and went without Dwayne. He apologized profusely and sent more flowers.

Soon he needed more help. She wired another $15,000. This is a familiar pattern in love cons: The scammer promises a payoff—a face-to-face meeting—that forever recedes as crises and barriers intervene. As February wore on, Amy told friends that Dwayne was coming soon. But she never mentioned the loans. She knew the situation would be hard to understand, especially now that she had given more than $100,000.

Dwayne would pay her back, of course. When doubt crept in, Amy would look at his pictures or read his messages. Still, little things were odd. At times, he’d send a series of rapid messages that felt almost as if she were getting them from someone else. Another time, she asked what he’d had for dinner. He said stir-fried chicken.

But I thought you hated chicken, she replied.

He laughed. “Oh, Amy. You know me better than that.”

One night she commanded Dwayne, “Send me a selfie, right now.” She got a photo moments later. There he was, sitting on a bench in the sun.

“How do I know you’re not a Nigerian scammer?” she asked one day, playfully.

He laughed. “Oh, Amy. You know me better than that.

Psychologists call this confirmation bias—if you love someone, you look for reasons he or she is telling the truth, and Amy was looking, desperately, for reasons to trust Dwayne. Besides, he’d be there on February 28. He sent a text from the Kuala Lumpur airport: “I’ll be home soon my love.”

Then he went silent, and Amy tried to tamp down the panic. He texted her three days later—something about being held up by immigration in Malaysia and needing money to bribe the officials. This was the third time he’d failed to show. Still, she wired him the funds, putting the total amount she’d sent him over $300,000.

Amy’s sister-in-law figured it out. “You need to see this,” she told Amy, sending her a link to an episode of Dr. Phil that featured two women who had been unknowingly engaged to imaginary men they’d met online. Amy watched in horror.

A few days later, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared. This was the same route that Dwayne had planned to be on. Amy couldn’t help worrying that he’d been on board. Finally, he phoned. They spoke for only a few moments before the call broke up. She was relieved but also disturbed. Something was different.

That week, the daily siege of calls, e-mails, and texts from Dwayne ended, and Amy wondered: How much did she know him? She fed the photos he’d sent into Google’s image search. Eventually, up popped the LinkedIn page of a man with an unfamiliar name. She Googled the phrase romance scam and started reading. Yet even as she learned the truth, part of her hoped that her case was somehow different, that she was the lucky one. 

When Amy went to her regional FBI office, she says, an agent took her report—and told her that a woman in the next town had lost $800,000. The psychological trauma suffered by victims is twofold. First, they must cope with the end of a serious relationship. “It’s like finding out someone you loved has died, and you’ll never see them again,” Sluppick says. To compound the damage, victims blame themselves—and their loved ones often do too. “People think, Why did I let this happen to me?” she says. “But you’re a victim of a crime.

Some victims try the risky practice of scam baiting, attempting to turn the tables on fraudsters. Months after she discovered the con, Amy continued talking to Dwayne, promising him $50,000 if he sent various documents. She wanted to lure him into giving up something incriminating.

Eventually, Amy had to accept that Dwayne would never show his true face or give her the confession she yearned to hear. On New Year’s Eve 2014, a year after he’d sent that first bouquet of flowers, she e-mailed him telling him not to contact her again.

A few minutes later, he texted. He promised not to call. “I know you’re innocent,” he wrote. “And so am I.”


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HOW WE MET thursday:

HIS LOVE COST ME NOTHING BUT COST HIM ALL

Chimo! Chimo!! I heard my mum scream from my father’s room. I was terrified, my younger sister rushed and hugged me, she too was terrified, it was a usual thing. My father was a brut as well as a loot. He would brutalize my mother, loot all her savings from the salon, where she worked as a cleaner. Thereafter he would go out squandering and lavishing it on women and drinks. At night he would come home drunk and start hitting mother. Today was not an exception.My father was nothing to write, not to talk of writing home about.

I was the first child, I had a younger sister, Tochi. We lived in a rickety old-water dripping, celling-leaking two storey-building which my father had forcefully inherited from  his father who had also inherited it from his great grand father. Our house was a disaster as well as our home.

On this day, papa was having his usual routine of hitting mother, when my younger sister and I heard a loud sound, I think somebody had fallen. Tochi ran to Papa’s room and peeped, I followed behind, we saw mother on the floor,she was bleeding profusely. Papa was looking confused and jumbled .With the help of our neighbours, he rushed mother to the hospital, on getting to the hospital mother was dead. The doctors said she was 3months pregnant, she had a miscarriage and died.

My dad told his in-laws that mother fell while going to urinate. It was a horrible experience, I felt like putting papa in a chafery.

After mother’s death, father got back to his drinking and late home coming. My sister and I knew we had to fend for ourselves. “papa didn’t show us love when mama was alive, what makes you think he would now she is dead?

I said to my sister, as we left the house for “Ithaca”.I was 15years and she was 11.

Few years of suffering, begging from one street to the other, sleeping in squalid places, sometimes pick-pocketing. I met a girl, her name was Jennifer.

Jennifer was a year or two older than I am, she was beautiful from a far but far from beautiful nevertheless she was well to do. I was surprised on how a girl of my age would live so comfortable. I thus begged her for assistance, I was ready to do anything to save my sister and I. Jennifer said she had a job where ‘you use what you have to get what you want’. She once quoted while tutoring me. she said;

Your body is an ATM where they slot in and money comes out”.

The job sounded very easy until I tried it the first time. I cried my eyes out and cursed the day my mother died. Nevertheless it didn’t stop me from quitting my new job. It paid faster. I learnt quickly. I had to fend for my sister and I. I still didn’t hear from my dad.

The last I heard from him, I heard he was sick. I wished him a gruesome death. This life is heartless and I hence learnt very well from it. I never believed in love. My business boomed. My younger sister was finally able to start school. I felt satisfied but never happy. My life was empty regardless of the fact that I was making it. I felt incomplete.

On the 13th of October, my friend from work called,

“Hey B, whats-up, aren’t you coming for the show, I heard it’s gonna be the bomb, she said,”

I will, am getting dressed, my cab guy is already on his way, I replied while applying my mascara. I heard Cindy screaming from the other end of the phone,

Please get that your white Zara high heels!”. I smiled, acted like I did not hear her and dropped the call. I had a job in a nearby town; and a lot of foreign delegates were attending. It was an Arab money something. Quickly, I dressed, got into the cab, bid my little sis bye and left. On our way, our cab collided with a truck, I completely blacked out. I woke up and saw myself on a hospital bed, with my face covered. It’s nothing serious, just a scratch on her face.I heard the doctor tell my sister, she would be out of here in two/three days time”

The following morning, I woke up with my face still covered, I felt someone beside me, and it was a masculine presence. He’s aura made my skin tingle. The next day I was discharged. I asked my sister if anybody had come visiting asides the doctor, and she said “No”. I knew somebody came though. I wasn’t hallucinating. I resumed my business as I had some unfinished ones to attend to. But deep down in my heart I wished I saw him again or would bump into him or something. Everyday I thought about him. It seemed weird. My sister thought the accident had affected me mentally.

One evening as I was strolling, after my sister had told me her teacher was making advances at her, I thought of what I was going to do to him. I was furious. I hated men. I knew, if care wasn’t taken I was going to do something drastic the next day. My head was full. I remembered my father. I needed to cool-off, hence the stroll.

Walking down the road, I saw a beautiful gigantic house, built with ancient artifacts. I entered. It was very beautiful. I found a very quiet corner and sat down. I loved the peace and serenity of the place. My head was indeed full. I wanted to cry but I feigned strong not until tears rolled out of my eyes. I cried. I wept. I didn’t have a particular reason for crying I just wanted to pour out all the pains I have been carrying since mother died. Someone tapped my shoulder. I lifted my head and it was him! I felt the same aura I felt while at the hospital. I probably looked foolish, hiding and crying in someone’s garden.

I know you from the hospital I said, trying to wipe the tears off my eyes”. He smiled – Aww he was so cute, now I know why I didn’t see him that first day, I would have rushed and clung myself to him.

“Yes, I don’t believe we met officially, but I was the doctor on duty when you were rushed in on the day of your accident. I handed over your case to Dr sam (the doctor you met). I came to check your recovery progress that day”

“Oh okay, that makes sense’ I said. “Thank you for helping to save my life anyways”.

He nodded and kept staring at me. To ease the growing awkwardness I asked;

Uhm, whachu doing here, I asked? Were you stalking me??”

This is my father’s house”, he replied.

“Ooh, how nice”, I said, looking surprised. Looked so nothing like my own father’s house.

 “And what are you doing here, looking forlorn and doleful”? he asked.

 “Oh nothing really, I just wanted to get things off my head

You could share it with me, if you don’t mind.

Hmm, I breathed heavily, I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want him to see me cry.

He asked if he could be my friend. *Are you kidding me, if only you know how I longed to see you* I said in my head. Yea, of course.

I went home feeling refreshed, and better than I felt when I left the house. I was smiling sheepishly as I strolled home. My sister saw me smiling and wondered what was wrong with me. I chuckled and told her how I finally met the guy in the hospital. Now she was certain I was insane.

She thus asked what we were going to do about the lecturer, I told her to avoid him. Lol. She was surprised-

Your head is like electric bulb, shey you know, some body is controlling it from somewhere this moment you are shouting the next you were happy”. If only she knew.

Subsequently, my new doctor friend and I got talking. Sometimes in the morning, most times in the evening before I go to bed. I grew fond of him. We got attached, always together it was thus affecting my business. He asked me to quit that he would take good care of Tochi and I if I just stay faithfully to only him. Well, it wasn’t much of an easy task but I tried my best. Gradually I stopped. I introduced him to Tochi, only then did she believe I wasn’t insane.

Most times even when I didn’t love myself he loved me. Times when I felt like giving up he held me up.

Sometimes I pushed him away, thinking he would leave just like my father. But he was different, he will stayed lurking around. I guess he knew at this point I couldn’t do without him. To love me was hell of a big deal, it cost him a lot because I had suffered from childhood, I knew what it felt to be broken. I didn’t want to experience it ever again in my life, thus the stress I gave him. But in all this he proved adamant. He didn’t go away, he wasn’t papa. Our relationship was not all the “breakfast in bed kind of relationship, but we still had breakfast in bed tho. After a few months I started to feel guilty. I hated men, but he was softening my heart. No one is perfect, that’s what they said abi? Besides what’s the future of this relationship sef. Being the son of a wealthy man, his father would never let him marry me, considering my kind of work and reputation.

As I lay one night talking to him, I asked him,

 “If I say I’ve finally quit my job, can you borrow me 5million naira to start a new business?

Damn! I’ll never forget the smile on his face! He was so happy. He didn’t respond. He gently moved away from the bed and started pressing his phone. Mehn, maybe I asked for too much, I thought to myself. Immediately I got an SMS alert on my phone. He had transferred the money! I wanted to laugh but I burst into tears instead. He held me close and comforted me, all the while telling me he loved me.

One week after that, I returned to the spot in his family garden where we had first met, and dropped my neatly folded letter. I kept telling myself I was doing the right thing. I don’t deserve his love. We can’t get married, hell I don’t even know if I can have children with all the pills and abortions I’ve done. This was the best way. I met my sister outside, I held her hand tight and together we walked away from the only genuine love we’ve ever felt. (Together with his 5million naira)

 

ABOUT THE WRITER 

My name is Eberechukwu Ngwu and I exhume happiness. My dreams are a lot bigger than I am. I love to write and express myself through written words. 

Don't be afraid to stalk me on social media.

Facebook ID : Bebe Ngwu

Instagram ID: Bebehills
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You meet a girl, she’s pretty, she friendly and laughs at your jokes. Surely you think you have to act, but watch out that you have to take into consideration what could happen.

A group of experts in dating and relationships gave a list of types of women you should not be with if you want to avoid having problems.

Check it out … it could save you from bad times.

 

The One

Sometimes meeting that person who is just right for you, can be done at the wrong time. If you are jobless, have went through a really tough breakup, etc. it can end up ruining any of the chance you have with her in the future. This is true the other way around. If you ask her out after she just got a really tough breakup, she can say no, and than end up friend-zoning you. Waiting 2 or 3 extra months can actually end up with a yes, especially if you truly are a perfect match for each other.

Pretty Heart, Ugly Soul

This can be the type of girl who acts all pretty and nice, but wants attention from more than one guy. These type of girls usually end up hurting multiple guys feelings, or making inappropriate or immature life decisions. They are the type who like to be in a relationship while at the same time want to be sitting in a room of single guys flattering her. They seek attention when they have too much of it, and are usually very stuck up in terms of behavior. Eventually they can also get fairly annoying.

The One with Angry Family

This girl may likely be interested in you, and you could be a total gentleman. Yet, one problem is why you should avoid her. She may have a father who just plain doesn't like you and doesn't want you talking to her. You may be close friends with her brother and he doesn't want to entertain the idea. Things like that are why it is better off to avoid a relationship that can both end up badly and ruin your reputation. Plus if the family hates you, it can mean any time you talk to her, you can get in trouble. This is one of the worst relationships to have because most likely it won't end up in a good engagement

The woman who just left a relationship: “According to studies, these types of women are incredibly attractive because they are full of passion and, in general, they are even wild”, but the problem is that they deliver themselves very easily, since their eagerness to heal their broken heart, makes them need someone by their side. “With whoever’s is out there, they’ll feel better, another problem that could happen is that they project in you some of the problems they had in their last relationship, which can lead to meaningless comparisons and conflicts”.

The woman who hates her job: “There are a lot of women who do not take their career seriously since they do not really want to work and just look for someone to be supported, one way to deal with such women is to notice how much she hates her work and if she dislikes her position and would like to change it for another, it is a good sign, however, if she goes from work to work and says that she does not like anything, then you are facing a woman you should not be with”

The woman who drinks alone in a bar: “For many men, these types of women are really attractive, since it makes them imagine pleasant situations, nevertheless one must be careful, if she finds herself alone and drinking, it is because she is surely venting some sorrow; in other words, if you thought that carrying her would mean a night of fun, the truth is that instead, you will have to endure more of a scene of crying, because of the bad moment that she’s going through”.

The Woman Who Blames Anything: “If she says that all her relationships were terminated by problems she had no fault at all, you should be alert, these women are “unable to take responsibility”; surely she will have problems that she thinks are not her fault, which will result in a couple that will never improve her mistakes”.

The woman who is glued to her phone: “If you are on a date and you see that she is on her cell phone, be careful, you can be in front of an insecure woman that requires attention and if she’s not texting her friends, she can probably be in her inbox with themes related to her work, which can be bad as well’.

 

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There are tons of health benefits associated with swimming, not just as a sport for relaxing but as a form of exercise especially for ladies. Did you know? Swimming gives a more vigorous cardio work out than running. Read below, some amazing health benefits of swimming

It transforms you into a cardio goddess

Cardiovascular exercise refers to the kind of workout that gets your blood pumping, raises your heart rate, boosts your lung capacity and burns calories. Swimming achieves all four of these with the added benefit of weightlessness that reduces impact on your joints. 

It turns back the aging clock

Scientists say that, even up until your 70th birthday, swimming affects blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system health, cognitive functioning, muscle mass, and blood chemistry to be much more similar to that of your younger self. Which woman doesn’t need this?

Swimming makes you smarter by 14%

Studies have shown that blood flow is increased to the brain by up to 14% when we are submerged underwater and these studies are showing that water based exercises help improve blood circulation better than their land based workouts.

Swimming puts your body through a whole body workout

Swimming boosts your mental health and mood. It maintains proper glucose levels. It improves your bone health. Reduces the risk of heart disease. It burns around 500 Calories per hour. It builds lung power. 

Improves coordination, flexibility, balance and posture

 Researchers in Australia recently studied the effects of swimming on balance. The results: swimmers are 33% less likely to fall compared to those who participate in other fitness activities. Swimming improves coordination and flexibility in both the upper and lower regions of the body. On average, swimming increases strength:

 

What are you waiting for? splish, splash and swim!

 

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 “Can you help me with your biro?” he asked. I absently gave it to him and headed to the counter. I was next, after queuing in the bank for over an hour.

As I took my receipt and left, a guy tapped me and said, ‘Hey dear, thanks for the biro’.

 Turning around I noticed an average height, just there causal but richly dressed king of guy. It was his perfume that got me enchanted. It was “black orchid” by Tom ford.

Well, being a perfume freak I could tell.  Looking at his face I guessed he was in his late 30s, if not early forties. I coyly ran my eyes through his finger, and yea, I didn’t see any ring. Coming back to my senses, I collected my biro. As I proceeded to leave, he brought out his hand and said, “I am Kenechukwu and you are”?

Amaka” I replied, reciprocating the gesture.

 His hand was soft; it seemed as though he had never worked a day in his life.

Can I have your number”? He requested.

Well isn’t he a bold one I thought sarcastically. “Uhm may be some other time, have a nice day”. I said and stylishly existed the banking hall.

I was heading back to my hostel few months later, after a long depressing lecture by 6pm. I was hoping the school taxi would be around but to my disappointment they weren’t any, so I stood there stranded with my hair scattered and makeup all washed down by sweat, to worsen it, it was about raining.

As I was still thinking of how to get home, a Black 2015 Benz drove past me and slowly stopped, I didn’t really notice at first, I had a bigger problem. I was still wishing a taxi into fruition when a little boy who was selling pure water tapped me and said

 “Aunty, that Oga there is calling you”.

I looked up and saw a dark skinned macho guy with a Phyno kind of eyes and Joro kind of beards smiling at me (in my mind I wondered what was funny). He said his name was Chris, (yea whatever), I saved his name as ‘Good Samaritan’.

Chris and I got talking, we became close friends, he was a nice guy but his wedding was in two months. On his wedding day, I dressed in the “Rhonkefella” kind of style to his wedding. I came to slay.

Cat-walking in, somebody stepped on my long floral dress. OMG!!!, I screamed, hearing the “zzzz” sound as my dress split. Turning around to strangle the person, it was my “bank- pen” friend.

Am so sorry, so so sorry”, he said probably 1000times a stretch.

 I was so furious, carrying my dress in my hand I felt like crying. This wedding had actually slayed me (Talk about reverse psychology).

 We went to fix the dress together. Throughout the short drive to the tailor he kept apologizing and even volunteered to exchange dresses with me, only then did I smile. “Thank God somebody’s face could tilt a bit”, he said.

We fixed the dress successfully and afterwards diverted to a restaurant to cool-off, he reminded me of the bank episode and confessed that he didn’t need the pen, he just wanted to get my attention and I shunned him. We laughed about that and kept talking about so many things. We were so lost in the conversation that by the time we got back to the wedding, they were already sharing gifts. Kenechukwu was Chris’s cousin! (Tiny smallie world) I gave Chris my gift, bide him fare-well and left.

Kenechukwu and I got talking, every day, talking every hour. He was a mills and boom kind of man, Rich Hassani’s type of gentleman. I got attached to him.

Prior to the meeting, banking, wedding, blah blah, I already had a boy friend that lived abroad. It was hell of a long distance relationship. Obinna was a pilot; he was hardly around because of the nature of his job. Obinna and I decided to stay celibate till marriage, I was the normal type of good girl. Anyways I was already found of Kenechukwu so I was using him for the meantime, till my real boyfriend comes back.

On a very good day as I was playing candy crush, my phone started ringing and yes, it was “ Kene”.

Hey Amaka Nkem, he said, I was wondering if we could go on a date this evening?

 Me that boredom was dealing with, I said yes! And that sealed the deal. He came to pick me up by 5.30pm with a 2013 G-Wagon. As he opened the door for me to enter, in my head I felt like a queen. I noticed some of the hostel girls chipping like parrots but didn’t care, I was the Queen. We went to the best Chinese Restaurant in town, Golden Ball, I think.  My first time though, I ate and ate, tried all their dishes, yea. I was a foody not glutton, foody!  After the dinner, we headed to “The Gates” to relax, my date was going very well, and I was having fun. He ordered for drinks, it was alcoholic, I drank a lot. I was drunk in love and thus slept with him without a protection, I didn’t care at the moment. I was lost in romance. He was enough protection. Few weeks after the Date, Chris and I were talking, because his honey moon had kept him away for a while. We were gisting when he so innocently told me his cousin was leaving for Germany next week to meet his family.

Which cousin I asked”?

 ‘Kene na’, he replied. Kene has a wife and two kids and they stay in Germany.

This sounded like one of those bombs Boko Haram usually throw. Chris didn’t know why I was shocked, I quickly ended the call and confronted Kene, the bastard confirmed it! I hated him. I hated myself. He used me, how dare he? I broke up with him “LOL”. He was a liar; even devil will be surprised at such skills.

A month after ‘the oh so romantic night’ my period skipped, I was always feeling dizzy. My mind went to just one thing, went to the hospital and it was positive! I was PREGNANT!!!. How do I explain this? How do I tell my boyfriend that his celibate girlfriend is pregnant, not just pregnant, pregnant for a married man.

At this point I didn’t know if my dress was still splitting or my life, because I was hearing that “zzzz” sound but this time it was happening inside my body….

Please who has “Otapia pia”, I think am thirsty.                    

 

 

ABOUT THE WRITER 

My name is Eberechukwu Ngwu and I exhume happiness. My dreams are a lot bigger than I am. I love to write and express myself through written words. 

Don't be afraid to stalk me on social media.

Facebook ID : Bebe Ngwu

Instagram ID: Bebehills
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Managing a family and business travel can be difficult for anyone but it is more challenging for women. This is because these days quite a number of women are working either for themselves or to support their family. It is even more demanding if your job requires you to travel.

Create a schedule

If you do not want your child’s routine to be disrupted while you’re away, ensure you create a schedule that whoever is looking after your children can easily and strictly follow. You can create the schedule using Google doc.

Leave contact information

Make sure that anyone who is looking after your children has a list of phone numbers and email addresses for anyone they might need to contact in case of an emergency or if and when you are unreachable. It may be the contact information of your friends, neighbours, husband or family members.

Have important contact numbers
Check your phone if you have important contact numbers on your phone. If you do not have the contacts, ensure you get them before you leave. This will enable you to stay in touch. If you can, have a phone book for all your numbers.

Stay in touch

With the diverse technology available today, there are so many ways you can stay in touch. This is because many messaging apps now have video features. You have Skype, BBM and WhatsApp at your disposal. With these messaging apps, you can easily connect with your loved ones wherever you are in any part of Nigeria as far as there is the internet.

Travel with your family

Depending on where your business takes you, consider taking your family along. You should do this if you do not want to leave your kids with caregivers. It may be your sister or partner who has enough time on their hands to stay with the kids while you’re working.

 

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