Cool Gift Ideas For This Christmas….. All Under N2000!!!

Gosh! Christmas is so close! I just realized that the year would come to an end really soon and a “gifter” like me never lets any year go by without giving few gifts. I noticed something not so good though. All through this year the same thing has been on everyone’s lips: No money. Its not the usual no money that we heard the years before. This year, it got really worse. Does that mean we won’t be giving gifts this Christmas? Mbanu. I went online in a bid to get ideas on what to buy for loved ones and I saw great stuff, until I checked their prices. Say whaaaat! *runs away* Ema binu, biko, please, mbok, I will not goan empty my entire account to buy gift. Call it frugality, Chibugo says its sensibility, especially when you’re from a large family like me. So I compiled this list for those of us who are going to be going shopping for Christmas gifts while working on a tight budget. I hope you get pocket-friendly inspiration! Next year will be a time of great abundance!

In no particular order of importance, here goes:

FASHION ITEMS

I don’t know why but the few times I get gifts, they’re almost always fashion items. I am such an mgbeke but I always appreciate them 😀
1. A Hat. 
          Hats are really fashionable and add taste to any outfit, especially casual ones. There are different kinds for everyone, whether male or female.
a gatsby

a fedora

a bowler hat

a sunhat

These all cost between N1200 and N2000. I did not send you to enter boutique on the Island oh. Find your way to a store in a real “market area”. Like Balogun, Trade fair or Yaba. *straight face*

2. Sunglasses: Sunglasses have a way of adding the “cool” factor to any outfit. I love ’em, and you dont have to break a bank to get nice ones.
I wouldn’t mind one of these myself. They’re so cute. I can also confidently tell you that with N1000-N1500, you can get someone a pair of these.
3. A sweater: ’nuff said. Its harmattan. who wouldn’t appreciate one? I got a sleeveless one for my brother earlier in the year for N1300.

4. Thick socks: A friend got me one of these some years back and I remember her fondly every harmattan because of how useful they are. I’m wearing them now ;D
5. A tie: They come in different colours and trust me, N2000 is more than enough to get someone a decent tie.
6. Trendy flat shoes: you can actually get a decent pair of ballerina shoes for as low as N1500 at Trade fair or any other market in Lagos. Some could cost more, it all depends on your budget.

There are a lot more ideas swirling around in my head and i doubt that i’ll be able to provide images for them all: You could get
a belt,
colorful beaded wristbands,
lipstick,
eyeshadow (House of Tara and Sleek stock affordable makeup products),
a set of false lashes,
eyeshadow shields,
 a scarf, whether silk or pashmina,
a set of nail polish,
hair products for the naturalistas,
cologne,
costume jewelry; the list is just endless, it all depends of the different personalities and what they would appreciate.

Okay, I’ll just write them down in whatever order they come to mind. Where images are required, I’ll provide ’em
1. A Bible cover
2. A backpack/ duffel bag
3. Data bundle
4. Game set,e.g., monopoly, chess, scrabble, ayo/ncho

5. Leather ware: Our northern brothers sell their handmade wares all over Lagos and it only takes one look for you to get hooked. It helps that they’re pocket friendly too.
6. A mobile shoe rack/hanging shoe holder: 
7. A set of of underwear
8. Earphones
9. A decorative picture frame
10. A doll/teddy for the kids.
11. A few yards of fabric
12. A book. I love books a lot. A well chosen book is the ultimate gift anyone could give me. I could actually recommend a few I’ve read(which you should too);
FICTION
The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives by Lola Shoneyin
Everyday is for the thief by Teju Cole
Everything good will come by Sefi Atta
The concubine by Elechi Amadi
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Jagua Nana/Jagua Nana’s daughter by Cyprian Ekwensi
Second class citizen by Buchi Emecheta
Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe
Half of a yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Efuru by Flora Nwapa
CHILDREN’S FICTION
Zahrah the windseeker by Nnedi Okoroafor
Behind the clouds by Ifeoma Okoye
Chike and the river by Chinua Achebe
Mother’s choice by Agbo Areo
A second chance by Nyengi Koin
MOTIVATIONAL
A purpose driven life by Rick Warren(highly recommended)
Think big by Ben Carson
Why you act the way you do by Tim LaHaye
The five love languages by Gary Chapman(highly recommended)
There are countless kinds of books to make your selection from. You just need to go out and see for yourself.
 So, what will you be getting your loved ones this Christmas? Put smiles on their faces but remember not to break the bank. Remember too, the very poor, whose biggest fear is not seeing the next meal to put on the table. Three paint buckets of garri and a gallon of palm oil is probably around N2000. I’m just saying though….
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap…..-  Jesus.

90s chick; nerd, humanitarian; lover of life, family, fashion, food, art and literature; Christian by birth and choice. In short, I’m like jollof rice: you’re gonna love me. 😉

Monday Humor – Hey, Miss Wiggins!

Welcome to the very first Monday in the month of December. I can smell my Christmas rice already! *dancing* Hope you’re not too sad the weekend is over. Here’s a little something that I hope will sweeten this dusty and dreary Monday a bit. Here goes:

So that morning I stood at the bus stop as usual, waiting for my bus. It was about to rain and the wind was howling fiercely. I wasn’t up to rushing for buses that morning so I just stood there waiting for the crowd to dwindle enough for me to make my choice of buses without hassle. It would probably rain on me, but frankly, I didn’t care. I just didn’t wake up on the right side of the bed that morning. Even if it rained, what did i have to lose? My hair was out in its normal afro state and I was wearing a pair of rubber sandals(you would never know, hehe). Worst case scenario, I would get drenched, right? So  I stood there, oblivious, with Lucky Dube blasting away on my earphones.

As me and my fellow waitees stood waiting for the next bus, the wind suddenly picked up and blew with such force that I actually got a little worried. There was a woman beside me with a little child. I had some pity for them. Now the wind blew so hard that I thought I was going to fall. “Chei! I wouldn’t feel so light if only I’d had some breakfast”, I thought. The wind blew up dust accompanied by littered sachets of pure water and tiny empty sachets of dry gin aka ogogoro, and all whatnot: the debris of everyday street life in Lagos. I looked to my left and saw a pretty lady, well dressed, and wearing such a long, curly, expensive looking weave that I unconsciously began guessing how many Indian or Peruvian or Cambodian(I hope I got that right) women surrendered their hair to make that weave possible. I thought it weird that she was so still and composed, for someone standing in a strong wind. “Whatever…maybe she’s a model”, I thought, about looking away.

I didn’t even get the chance to register another thought when suddenly, the lady before me became hairless!!!

 It was like magic! One minute she had long flowing curly hair, the next minute she looked, well, strange! I couldn’t have been more surprised if her clothes had suddenly been blown off her body and she was absolutely naked. Apparently her wig had come off because of the wind. Gosh! I was too surprised for words. My ever present reflexes kicked in, and as Usain Bolt’s twin wey I be, I took off in typical fashion, running after the offending weave and catching it just before a keke napep got to it. Walking back truimphantly with my trophy in hand, I saw the faces of all the people at the bus stop, and it was a riot of laughter. Some did their best to cover it, while others laughed with unabashed amusement. The lady in question looked like she was about to cry. She wore high heels and so there was no hiding for her.

As I came closer I noticed why she looked entirely too weird. Her whole front hairline was gone. Except for some hair that resembled grass struggling to grow in the harmattan, her edges were what Lagosians would call  Iya Iyabo  edges. She had quite abundant hair towards the middle and the back, but just above her forehead area was a desert. It had a devastating effect on her appearance and I felt so bad for wanting to laugh too. Handing her the weave I studied her, not knowing what to say. When she saw the confused expression on my face, for a moment she simply held on to the weave and looked at me. Then we both burst out laughing. I have no idea why we were both laughing, I just know it felt good at the moment. Haha. We laughed, even as she struggled to wear the wig properly, and all the way into the bus that finally decided to come. On the bus she noticed my great halo of hair and confided in me that it was the quest for very neat hairstyles(braids) and the use of weave-on glue(i.e bond) that cost her most of the hair on her front hairline. Its amazing how most hair mishaps suddenly earn you unexpected friends. I won’t go into details as to all the advice I gave her on hair care, but I bet she won’t be forgetting that incident anytime soon.

I still laugh every time I think of it. The wind was surely on a mission that day.

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair… Kahlil Gibran

PS.: Never wear a wig out on a windy day. If you must wear one, make bobby pins your best friend. If the wind gets too much, don’t be ashamed to hold your head, lest your wig fall off. I repeat, HOLD YOUR HEAD. There’s no shame in it. Don’t say Chibugo did not tell you. Hehe.

**Best advice: take good care of your real hair underneath, I mean, don’t trade the health of your hair for the beauty of a 1 month hairstyle. Care for it the way you care for your skin, desist from overly tight hairstyles that pull out your hair, and don’t neglect its health, so that you won’t die of shame IF the wig decides to dance with the wind! Have a flavorful week mi amigos!:D

90s chick; nerd, humanitarian; lover of life, family, fashion, food, art and literature; Christian by birth and choice. In short, I’m like jollof rice: you’re gonna love me. 😉

An Ode To The Ones…. Who Left Too Early

Like a seed, we were all planted;
In due time, we all sprouted;
We grew too, as was expected;
….Tobe, Suleyol and Tyofa;
Our harvest time should have been farther;
But I have to bid you Adieu; for you now rest yonder.

– Sincerely,
A very sorrowful Chibugo

I was away for a while; I apologize. 
I was in Abuja on the 21st of November for a bosom friend’s wedding when I received the shocking news of the death of one of my brightest female pupils in Ugba, Benue state where i had my NYSC. Her name was Suleyol. Thank God the wedding was already over when I got the news because it rendered me near useless for the rest of my stay there. While i was serving, i had already buried one of my class kids, Tyofa. Now, while 16 year old Tyofa wasn’t the brightest kid on the block, the efforts he made to understand my teaching were very commendable, and I loved him so much for it. He had only complained of a headache the day before he died. His death brought so much sorrow and fear into my class (they are a very superstitious people, the Tivs). Rest on, Master Orbam Tyofa.
14 year old Suleyol, for her part, was the epitome of intelligence and responsibility. She was beautiful, with ebony black skin and sparkling white teeth. The way she handled her two little brothers who were in nursery school back then, I had no doubts she would make a great mum. In class, she was usually third or second place out of almost 50 pupils, especially in mathematics. The story was that she also complained of a severe headache before she died. Thinking of it, I remember now that she was always having these headaches. Mysterious, but the deed’s been done. Rest on Miss Shimave Suleyol.
I never would have composed the poem above, or written this post, if not for the death of Tobe. Now, Tobe and I weren’t very close. We met in 1st year in uni, the students who were not accepted to read medicine but were given a close alternative. We all complained about our course, but no one did anything, except for a few brave guys like Tobe who braved it and re-wrote JAMB to seek the path of their dreams. Early last week, the day after i returned from my Abuja trip feeling worn out, I got the news of Tobe’s death. He was to have been inducted as a doctor in two days. *deep sigh* We weren’t close; in fact we hardly communicated except for Facebook chats, but Tobe’s death got to me in a way I didn’t believe. I sobbed for days. I wondered what his family would be going through if I was wailing that way. I fluctuated between phases of depression and anger. Depression at the transient state of this life, and anger at God for letting such good guys die while so many bad guys lay all over the place doing evil. He was just 24! He slumped while watching a football match. Just like that, he left. Tobe was a great guy, calm and nice to everyone. I’m sure he would have made a great doctor. Rest on, Doctor Tobenna.
Death is such a mystery. I do not even want to try understanding it. I have learnt a few lessons from these though: 
  • I will chase my dreams no matter what, lest I end up regretting what I didn’t do in the next 40 years. 
  • I’ll do my best to leave a positive impact on everyone I meet so that when I’m gone, I would have touched many people in a good way and would be remembered for my deeds.
  • There is a better life ahead of this one… [Earth is only the nursery].. I hope not to miss it.
Writing this was very therapeutic for me, and to everyone who reads it: Thank you. I hope you take something good away from it. 
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their own dreams – Tina Turner
And oh, lest I forget, happy harmattan! It swooped down so unexpectedly and right now, my part of Lagos is covered in a dusty haze. I do not envy anyone in Nsukka or anyplace farther north. All I’m waiting for is when my beloved Udala/Agbalumo will be in season.;-) Have a great weekend ahead folks!

90s chick; nerd, humanitarian; lover of life, family, fashion, food, art and literature; Christian by birth and choice. In short, I’m like jollof rice: you’re gonna love me. 😉