What are you thankful for this 2015?

Its just a day left to the end of the year, and something in me can’t believe that it was just yesterday we were welcoming the new year 2015. Sheesh! Time sure does fly.

So much has happened this year; and even as I know I’m not yet where I want to be, I’m hoping I’m on the right track to getting there. This year, there were definitely a lot of lows, but there were also some highs to balance it out. That is the equilibrium of life. I am thankful for many things, and you should be too, no matter how bad it may be. In no particular order, I’m thankful for

  1. My life: A dead person can’t eat, study, work, or blog!
  2. My family: the most annoying and loving people ever!
  3. My job: even though it drives me crazy at times it still pays the bills, eh?
  4. Good health
  5. Finishing NYSC without mishap(story for another post)
  6. My faith: I’m glad I haven’t fallen by the wayside. Grace Sufficient! 😀
  7. God’s protection: Believe me, there have been times I felt God’s hand upon me. Almost been run down by a bus, anyone?
  8. This blog: I can’t tell you how happy I feel at having what I call “an outlet for my more creative/artistic side”, and having feedback from you readers is just the icing on the cake.

So, that’s a public-friendly list of the many things I’m thankful for this year. What are you thankful for? I’d love to hear them all. Share!

 

We’ve moved!

First off, I have to apologize for causing a bit of an inconvenience to you by moving the blog from blogger to wordpress, but I’m hoping that in time, you will see why I felt the need to do this. This is a blog that thrives on an active reader engagement, and my former platform made it a bit difficult for readers(especially mobile readers) to give back insight, hence the move. As you can see, I’ve moved all my posts from the former blog, so I definitely mean business. Therefore its no longer going to be www.chibugo.blogspot.com, but www.sincerelychibugo.wordpress.com. I know, I know, too long to type, right? Bear with me, pretty please? Thanks.

I’m glad to be here, and I’m sure you will too! Spread the word!

What Is Christmas To You?

Christmas is here!!! I wish I were more excited though. Somebody please bring back my childhood!!! I can tell that Christmas means many different things to many different people just by walking down the street. Its funny that the real reason for the season is sometimes totally forgotten in the midst of it all. For some, It could mean

1. A time to travel home

2. A time to play with fireworks and play pranks with friends

3. A time to socialize, visit all the people you missed visiting all year

4. A time to soberly reflect on the almost concluded year

5. A time to go out, party and get “weisted”. You know warra mean

6. A time to buy stuff you know you can’t afford in order to make expensive shakara

7. A time to share time and resources with loved ones and the needy

8. A time to just sleep and catch up on rest

9. A time to be with family

10. A time to #turnup at Church

If you’re a combination of groups 1, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10, then you’re pretty much a laid back low-key kinda person; much like me. Lol

If you’re a combination of groups 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10, you’re too much of a social animal. *runs away*

If you’re a combination of groups 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7, errr, I think I need to help you manage your account.

If you belong to only one or two groups, OYO is your case oh!

Just thought to peep through this flimsy excuse of a post to wish you my friends and blog visitors a Very Merry Christmas!!! I detest having to say Happy Holidays, but since I know its not only Christians that visit this space, let me wish you all a joyful Christmas celebration and happy holidays. Keep in mind that Jesus is the reason for the season, and behave accordingly! Ahem!

Have fun, but remember to stay safe too! Kizzes!!!

Mid week Mendemende – Look What Linda Ikeji Caused

When I decided to start writing this blog, I had one thing in mind; to have an interactive space where people(my target audience being young people like myself) could drop by and share ideas, be entertained sometimes, and proffer solutions to current issues where applicable. I started this blog almost two years ago but only got around to writing in it some months back. It takes time and commitment to keep to a schedule, and not just that, but to come up with creative and original stuff to blog about. I really hate to steal people’s ideas as pose them as mine. Every single post is well thought out before it gets published.

Imagine my surprise when an old friend from uni called me to congratulate me. The conversation was something like this:
Friend: Hey Bugo, what’s up?
Me: I’m great, how u doing?
Friend: I’m managing oh, unlike you naaw. I heard you started writing a blog
Me: Haha. But that doesn’t change anything naaw. I’m still a struggling babe.
Friend: Hmmmm. You people sef. The next thing I know now you’ll buy your own house on Banana Island. Be there deceiving us.
Me: (Jaw dropping)Ewo, How that one wan take happen naaw?
Friend: Meaning you’re not making anything reasonable from your blog ehn?
Me: Oga, I’m not making shishi. What even makes you think everyone who owns a blog actually makes money from it? I even spend on my data and all that, and this one is speaking of money. Choi! Na wetin Linda Ikeji don cause be dis!
Friend: Then what inspires you to keep posting when there seems not to be any benefit from what you’re saying?
Me: The fact that people actually read my blog and give me great feedback, dazall.
Friend: I find that hard to believe o
Me: Ngwanu, believe whatever you may, but I don’t make anything from my blog. I’m even hosting it on a free platform at the moment.(already getting annoyed)
Friend:(taking the hint) Okay ooo, I just felt that knowing what you’re capable of, that blog would be making plenty money for you right now and I decided to congratulate you and famz small. I didn’t know it wasn’t so. Biko nor vex.
Me: Issorait.

I have a feeling he still doesn’t believe me and I laugh when I think of this call. I wince when I think that many other people must  be thinking the same way. So all bloggers are rich ehn? SMH. If it was so, every Nigerian who owns a laptop would be a blogger by now. Abi you no trust Nigerians? LOL. It takes time, commitment and creativity to build a blog from scratch and sustain it to the extent that it drives enough traffic to draw advertisers, which is where most of the money usually comes from. You have to be in it for something other than money: passion. I’m from a very sciencey educational background and I love my sciences but I also love to express my artistic side through writing about stuff around me, expressing my thoughts and opinions in my very own unique style. I’m still very new at blogging and it will take ages before I make one kobo here, if I eventually monetize. The feedback I get from the blog via emails, calls and messages from those who want to comment but can’t, is sufficient to keep me going. If I eventually start making anything from this space, trust that you guys would be the first to know. Some people actually decide not to make anything from their blogs even when they have the traffic. Who knows? I may follow that path. People be comparing every blogger to Linda Ikeji. Smh. I have lost count of the number of ads on her blog. Its really like comparing a fry to a whale. LOL.

So guys, what is the biggest myth you’ve ever had to bust in your niche? How absurd did it sound? Please share in the comments section!

MERRY CHRISTMAS FRIENDS!!!! BLESSINGS!

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style. – Maya Angelou

Monday Humor – The Facebeat

Hi guys! How was the weekend? Too short eh? But we still gotta do what we gotta do, right? So during the weekend, I realized I didn’t have any story in my head for today’s Monday humor post. How is that even possible? My life is one series of funny events!(Not always funny to me though) But alas, I was blank. Not for long though. I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of the harmattan winds howling fiercely and rattling the windows in the house. Brrrr! Terrible stuff! As I was about diving back into the blankets I had a flash back to another harmattan, exactly eleven months ago……

I was a youth corps member serving in a rural part of Benue state at the time. I’d been there for a couple of months and felt I had acclimatized. Until the harmattan came upon us. One would think I wouldn’t be too bothered; I after all went to uni in Nsukka, which is known for its phenomenal harmattan cold and accompanying “fog”. I learnt the hard way that compared to the harmattan in Benue, that of Nsukka was still “learning work”. Keep a slice of bread on the table and blink, and you would be left with a slab of concrete. It was so dry, your spit could dry up before it hit the ground. I kid, I kid. But it was indeed terrible. The dryness was unbelieveable! And the cold? God knows why he made me a Nigerian oh, because if winter is said to be worse than the harmattan which we complain of, then I can only wonder what winter is like. Everyone went about wearing sweaters and socks and I am sure every Sunday in church during that period, we must have had more than a few people with unwashed bodies; all for the fear of harmattan’s bite.

But then I digress. In my LGA of Benue state, we had no bank. Unbelievable right? I know, I know. Even I don’t know how I survived without a bank around for almost a year. So in my LGA( Ugba town in Logo LGA), the corps members and anyone else who needed to use a bank would have to “travel” to the next LGA(Ukum LGA) to use the ATM machine. We usually did this once or twice a month to reduce the stress of moving around unnecessarily. Sometimes you could have company, especially if it was market day (which coincided with our CDS day)but other times everyone would be forming broke and beg you to help them withdraw. One could leave for Zaki-Biam town in Ukum with as much as 6 atm cards!

So on this day, I really had to withdraw some cash as I had run out. No one wanted to go with me and so I had to do my thing solo. I didn’t want to go because the cold and dust was on another level that day. I took one look at the okada riders and my liver fail me. They looked like they had been rolled in sand over and over again. I chalked it up to the fact that they must have plied the Ugba-Zaki Biam route many times and I felt pity for them. Imagine having to breathe all this dust to make a living. This harmattan is not nice. But yours truly took just one look at her wallet and knew she was playing. I HAD to go. So I took a deep breath and walked to the taxi park. No taxis. Ewo. It had finally come to this. I had to take a motorcycle. So I said warraheck and got on one. As we went along, the wind played with my hair and I began to compose a poem in my mind. crazy much? Even though it was cold, I was well protected by my sweater and so got lost in wonder as I looked at the once green countryside that had now gone totally brown.

 In no time I had arrived my destination so I jumped down and dusted myself hastily. I got to the ATM machine and found people gathered round it speaking Tiv rapidly. Even though they all looked at me weirdly, I gathered that the machine had given up few minutes ago. I quietly slinked into the banking hall before it would occur to them to crowd the hall in order to try withdrawing over the counter. In the bank, I got talking with the customer service guy and I was surprised he was smiling so openly while speaking to me. That was unusual of him. He was always business-like every time I came there. I shrugged it away and proceeded to collect my cash. While in line though, I had noticed that the people around were looking at me strangely, but I decided to ignore them. It isn’t unusual to be stared at as a corps member in a rural area, especially when in uniform, which I was. So I shrugged it off, took my money and left. As I entered the security doors while exiting the bank, I thought I heard someone make a statement in Tiv and everyone laughed while looking in my direction, but I couldn’t be sure it was me they were laughing at, so I smiled too and left.

Another bike ride later, I was home. whew! Thank God that was over. I entered the house, and found my roommate asleep. While taking off my sweater, I saw a reflection of myself in the mirror. And I screamed!!! I looked like this:

source

As I yelled dramatically, my roommate woke up and asked what the matter was. I told her and she only laughed her head off while I continued in my hysteria. OMG! No wonder the customer service guy had been so friendly suddenly. And the people had probably been laughing at me!!!
Oh the shame! The shame! The shame! Such mean people! And no one had thought to tell me either! I smacked my head comically several times, only serving to fuel my roommate’s laughter. I really resembled the boy up there, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around that fact. I mean, I’d left the house looking like a diva, makeup and everything! The gel in my hair had only made the situation worse; it served as an adhesive, attracting all the dust that came my way and packing them on my head. Was it my lashes? I hadn’t any. They were completely brown and blended into my face. Chai. What a mean world.
I still laugh privately in embarrassment whenever I remember. Hehe. Have a great week, amigo!
Fin

I hope the story above made you laugh. A reader suggested I request other readers to contribute stories to the Monday Humor column, to enable some variety. I quite agree. So if you have funny personal stories you would like to share, do send it in an email to bugovidase@gmail.com.

The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can take –  Douglas Engelbart

Mid-Week Mendemende – Celebrity Status: Would You Want It Or Not?

As I sang the last few lines of my song, ending my performance for the night, thunderous applause greeted me. I waved and curtseyed a few times, grinning from ear to ear while blowing kisses at my fans even as they screamed my name in a rhythmic chant:Chibugo! Chibugo! Chibugo!  They threw roses at my feet and the camera lights went off from all directions, almost blinding me….. “Wake up jooor! Sleepy head! It’s time for morning prayers.” As usual, my big sister, (whom I will call Kembu for the purpose of writing on this blog) had put on the lights and shaken me roughly out of my sweet sleep. Here was stark reality. I was no superstar. As I grabbed my bible and groggily stumbled over into the living room, I wondered what it would really be like to be a star.

I am pretty sure this isn’t too far from the dream of many young people.  To be famous. These days it’s really easy to become famous, what with the help of social media and the Internet boom. All you have to do is consistently take sexy pictures of yourself and gain many followers, and bam! You’re an Instant Instagram Celebrity. Recently though, in my more serious moments of soul-searching, somehow my teenage dream of being a star slid into my consciousness and I marveled at how things had changed between then and now. I’m no longer so sure that fame would be such a great thing for someone like me. So., what’s your take? Do you crave celebrity status? What extent do you think you can go to get there?
Let me breakdown some of the pros and cons of being a celebrity. I’ll start with the good part. 
PROS
1. You will be rich:. This is the most obvious benefit of fame. Whether as a sports person or an entertainment personality, you’re generally going to make money much faster than the average Obi that works in a bank. This translates to luxury houses and cars, designer everything, first class trips to places only seen in magazines and the best of everything money can buy. Dang! It is a great life, I must admit.  Who nor like beta tin? 
2. You will get special treatment almost everywhere: You will be given the best treatments in restaurants, bars, at the cinema, in the banks and airports, and even in church. People of the opposite sex will come running when you call.   Enough said. 
3. You will have a lot of fans: If you are a guy, be prepared to see girls faint when you enter the mall. Whatever field you’re a star in, get ready to be constantly surrounded by your supporters. You will be asked the dream question: “Could you please sign my autograph?” Trust that you will be recognized everywhere you go. This can be a serious ego boost. 
4. You will have more opportunities: When you excel in your field, it is highly likely that you will be called upon to be a brand ambassador for a brand associated with what you do. This translates to more money! I heard the alleged amount that Kim Kardashian charges to promote a brand by only sending out a tweet and I was dumbstruck. Ees not a small something  oh. 
CONS
1. No privacy: This is the number one problem with fame, I think. With the advent of social media, it gets worse since whatever you put up is out there for the whole world to see..  Even if you don’t subscribe to social media there is every possibility that the paparazzi will stalk you wherever you go. This can make one get paranoid or live one’s life always trying to be and look perfect. We know it isn’t possible to always be perfect, so being caught in an unflattering position is going to happen often. Your life becomes fodder for the gossip blogs and they can be ruthless. RUTHLESS, I tell you. 
2. You will be constantly judged: You don’t have to be bad to be judged. Just one bad outfit to an event, or one grammatically incorrect statement and you’re it. You decide to give birth in Nigeria, you will be called broke. You decide to give birth in the US, you will be called unpatriotic and ostentatious in spending. You decide to drive an average car, you will be called aka-gum, you decide to do the flashy cars, people will prophesy about your imminent downfall due to overspending. You really can’t please everyone, heck, even an average Joe couldn’t please everyone if he tried. Your case will only be worse. 
3. You can’t do what the average guy can do or go where he can go: You could be mobbed by fans just because you stepped out to get a bottle of water from the shop down the street. You will need security. Not nice. Everyone will feel they have a right to you, like, brother, you just became public property. You have to always be in the mood to smile and say nice things to people you don’t know, even when you’re in the exact opposite mood. So somebody cannot just be free to vex as he/she wants? Na real wah. 
4. You will be surrounded by lots of fake friends: You will have lots of friends but may not be able to distinguish between  who is in it for you and who is in it for what you offer them.  After all your fame also rubs off on them. This translates to every relationship including romantic ones. Celebrities that are on the hunt for “true love”  may find it twice as hard as the average Kunle or Bala that does a normal job and lives a normal life. Everyone or almost everyone will want to exploit you because of what they think they can gain from you. Including family. 
5. You become a target for criminals. Even if you’re not financially buoyant at the time, you will still be seen as a star with loads of money. So the criminals may feel they need to relieve you of a couple million and decide to rob or kidnap you or a loved one. 
I think that to be a celebrity you need to have spine. It’s easier to just be rich and only have to worry about your security but to be a celebrity, you will need to be a certain kind of person to get famous, remain famous, and have some semblance of normalcy in your life, just like every other human being(which we often forget that celebrities are). 
Would I want to be a celebrity? My default answer is no, but then, who knows tomorrow? 😉  I can’t tell what could make me famous someday. I would like to be rich though, that brings some kind of fame, just not as glaring. That kinda fame, I can handle.  😀 What about you? Do you crave celebrity status? Do you think you could deal with everything that comes with it? 
Share! 
Kisses, hugs and steaming suya
Chibugo.

Make sure your desire to do what you’re aspiring to do is deeper than just fame and being a celebrity  – Meagan Good 

Monday Humor on a Tuesday – Antsy

Hello people.
Just pretend today is Monday and read my post. Life happened, and before I knew it, Monday was over and the Monday humor post was not up. Hope I’m forgiven, and I hope you get a good laugh too!

So, ;D. As some of you must have guessed by now, I’m a naturalista. Well, that’s what they call us who wear our African hair in its natural state without processing it to permanently look straighter or less nappy. So, yeah, I move around with a great Afro sometimes. Being natural has taught me to take better care of myself, not just my hair, but my whole body, inside and out. Its led me to become my own manufacturer of products. In fact, most of the products I make to use on my hair are edible, so edible that I sometimes get jealous of my own hair. Imagine a blend of bananas, avocados, with honey and yogurt! Yummy! Just when someone else thinks I’m about to drink a smoothie, I slap it on my hair in the name of deep conditioning! LOL.

It happened that this day was wash day for me. Any natural in the house will know what that means. You have to arrange your schedule so that nothing interferes with your regimen or makes you rush it. In fact, for some naturalistas, this day takes on some kind of ritual. This happened to be one of those days when I’d rather be doing any other thing but washing my hair. So  I delayed till evening and ended up rushing so I would get other things done. I was almost done but I couldn’t finish up without deep conditioning, so  decided to compromise by not doing anything too complicated; just olive oil and honey. I was supposed to leave it in for just 30 minutes, but in the spirit of true laziness, I fell asleep waiting for the time to elapse. At some point I must have woken up because I remember making myself more comfortable on the bed.

It wasn’t long before I felt a crawling sensation all over my body, especially around my head! I stayed put in typical lazy fashion, hoping it would go away, but the very next minute, I had to jump out of bed! I was being attacked! By ants! They were everywhere; on the bed, pillow, floor… you get the picture. By the way my head and upper torso were on fire. How they stung! In the middle of my frantic dance, in a moment of lucidity I remembered putting my honey and olive oil mix in my hair and I wanted to sob. That must have called the ants forth. As I attacked them back, killing as much as possible and getting the place into a semblance of tidiness, those on my body kept up their affair. What nerve! My last thought before I desperately dived into the shower was that this must be what we Igbos call Isi Mgbaka. LOL.

I believe I will never fall asleep with deep conditioner in my hair. Ever. Again.
Every time I see an ant, I gain some perverse pleasure from squashing them to death. I won’t be made a victim again.

An ant may well destroy a whole dam – Chinese quote

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.

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

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!