10 Day YOU Challenge: 1 Photo

Day 10 – Hosanna in the higest! I have come to the end of this feat (phew!). This should be by far the easiest challenge of them all. Most of my readers may recognize me¬†as the distinguished gentleman with the bow tie but today I shall reveal a bit more. Behold, the Crazy Nigerian…

Fast forward to 2011 and I’ve not got the curly hair, the rosy cheeks or the double chin. But I’ve still got those sexy mean eyebrows though ūüėÄ

That’s all folks!¬†The usual blogging will resume shortly…

10 Day YOU Challenge: 2 Songs

Day 9 – As I type the penultimate post for this challenge I’m wondering what two songs I can’t live without, or what two songs I tend to destroy whilst singing in the shower. But I guess I’d like to pick two songs that have touched me or moved me in some way and are in fact, timeless. For that reason I’ve decided to pick the following classics:

1. We¬†Are The World¬†By Various Artists:¬†‘There comes a time…when you hear a certain call…and the world must come together as one. There are people dying…Oh, it’s time to lend a hand to life…the greatest gift of all!’ I get goosebumps whenever I hear this song. It takes me back to when I was about 6 years¬†old. The song remained relevant then and it remains even more relevant now. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie to raise Humanitarian Aid for Africa in 1985. We need more love in this world, no question about it. This song was sung from the bottom of the hearts of prominent artists including Cindy Lauper, Kenny Rogers, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson.¬† It’s definitely my all-time favourite. A newer version was done for Haiti after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

2.¬†Rock With You¬†By Michael Jackson: ¬†I’m Michael Jackson’s no.1 fan and I’m¬†a bit pissed off I never got¬†a chance to tell him. The lyrics of this song are just perfect for when you meet that special someone¬†and all you want to do is just dance to the rhythm of your heartbeats (excuse the mushy-ness). Not sure¬†what MJ was trying to pull off with that neon, one-piece, spandex¬†glitter-suit but Quincy Jones made sure that the focus was on the¬†music production (phew!). I could listen to this song…all night and¬†dance you into day, sunlight!¬†I¬†digress with no apologies (scampers off to find photo for final blog challenge).¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

10 Day YOU Challenge: 4 Books

Day 7¬†– This is going to be a tough one (like this challenge isn’t already tough enough). I hardly read books (I’m just getting the hang of reading other blogs so please cut me some slack). I only felt compelled to read books when it became a prerequisite for passing an important exam. Having said that, I did enjoy a few which I’ll go into now.

1. Animal Farm By George Orwell: Ok I’ll be honest – I watched the animated movie before I read the book but am I glad I did! This is the most fascinating book I’ve ever read. On so may levels I see Nigerian history being replicated if you think back to colonial times. There are so many underlying themes but the one that stands out the most is the desire for absolute power. I particularly like¬†all the funny rules the¬†pigs came up with, like ‘Four Legs good, Two Legs bad’ (and then subsequently when the rule¬†painted on the wall was mysteriously changed to read, ‘Four Legs good, Two legs better’ lol). This is a MUST-read. Make no mistake about it – ‘Power corrupts, Absolute power corrupts absolutely’ – Lord Acton.

2. Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe: This is the story of a man who did not want to be anything like his late father. However, he himself became worse. From¬†neglecting his own son to obeying¬†an oracle’s instruction to kill an innocent boy, this book could be summarized as calamity upon calamity.¬†This same lead character becomes a¬†leader, a warrior and a killer. You can’t help but feel sorry for the character as he gets himself into one mess or the other until the tragedy at the end. You’re left wondering, ‘Where exactly did it begin to go downhill for him and could he have avoided it all?’ Personally, I blame the oracle. I’ve also seen a movie adaptation of this brilliant book; and speaking of movies, it appears 50 Cent is soon to release his own version.

3. Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte: Very moving book about a girl who had been misunderstood during her early teens. I liked her character because she was a bit of a rebel in the face of disciplinarians. I felt her pain when she was constantly¬†being victimized. She was also friendly and compassionate. She was a friend indeed when the love of her life had an accident which left him blind in one eye and crippled. She took care of him. I wonder if this girl’s character¬†was a depiction of the author in some way….Anyway, I watched the TV series as a child and looked forward to reruns. In a way I prefer watching these literary pieces onscreen so that I can associate a particular face with various characters in the novel. Is that a good enough excuse?

4. Dinner With A Perfect Stranger By David Gregory:¬†I read this after a strong recommendation from my mum. It was a gift to her from my brother-in-law. This book is the most recent book I’ve read…from front to back…in only 4 days (that’s a record even for me!). It’s the story of a man who reluctantly goes on a blind date only to find that the stranger knows everything about him. The man has his doubts about the stranger’s revelation about being ‘Jesus’ but as the night progresses with each dinner course his suspicions are thrown into complete disarray. It’s a page turner to say the least and it’s a book¬†that everyone can enjoy. N.B – There is no movie adaptation of this book in case you’ve already made your wrong assumptions ūüėõ

10 Day YOU Challenge: 5 Foods

Day 6 – Now that I’ve decided to utilize pictures in this challenge it would be criminal not to use any in this particular post. I looooooooove food so much I wish I could breakfast, lunch and supper twice a day. Fortunately I don’t add the pounds but I hear that changes once you’re married to a ‘concerned’ wife. In no order, here are my top 5!

1. Egusi: This is a soup made from melon seed powder and cooked with bitter leaf or spinach and palm oil (seafood, chicken or beef is optional). It is usually served with a starch like Garri, Semolina or Pounded yam but it could also be served with rice. It’s usually spicy but mostly fresh pepper for that kick. It’s a rich savoury dish that is appreciated by most Nigerian husbands after a hard day at work (and most Nigerian builders in the morning right before they start work). I guess what you’re waiting to hear is how delicious it is. If you’re ever in Nigeria just send me an email and I’ll direct you to just the place where you could titilate your taste buds.

2. Yam Porridge: This works best when ‘Old yam’ is used (it tastes semi-sweet). I hate New Yam with a passion. It tastes like no matter how long you cook it there’s this feeling I get like it’s still semi-raw. It’s cooked with palm oil and also crayfish (green veg is optional). I can eat yam porridge 8 days a week. My future wife has a tall order if she thinks marrying me is going to be a walk in the park – She needs to know how to prepare all the items on this list or at least be willing to learn how. I have a craving right about now…(moan).

3. Special Fried Rice: I would like to use this medium to express my deepest gratitude to God for creating The Chinese takeaway! Back when I was in London I used to look forward to picking up a pack of special fried rice with extra chilli sauce. Each bite is different from the last – rice, green peppers, shrimp, red peppers, pork, yellow peppers, cabbage, shredded chicken, liver, chilli sauce, etc in no order and in no combination. It’s food that I want to make last (the saddest moment is when I start to see the bottom of the foil pack).

4. Beans and Plantain: Aside from the inevitable flatulence, this dish is scrumptuous! Pressurized beans never tasted so good. Back in primary school kids were encouraged to eat as much as possible in order to grow taller (and for all the short kids who didn’t listen they only have themselves to blame. This is by no way comparable to baked beans in a can. That is something I don’t indulge in anymore as it still brings back nightmares of being a broke hungry student when I had used some of my pocket-money to settle some unexpected bills. To date I have a baked beans can in my kitchen shelf – not for consumption, but to serve as a stark reminder!

5. Club sandwiches: After a hangover the next best cure to a full English breakfast is a club sandwich. I love sandwiches generally but the combo in a club sandwich remains unbeaten in my digestive system. Bacon and Cheese are the key ingredients for me and everything else is secondary. It looks as good as it tastes and it’s best served with chips. I’ve been lucky to get decent ones in Cactus (Victoria Island, Lagos). I also like to think it’s healthier than a Burger King Whopper (no offence BK). I think I better end this post right here and wipe off the drool on my keyboard…yuk!

10 Day YOU Challenge: 6 Places

Day 5 – Apologies to all those reading this long overdue post (Still looking for that ultra-fast internet connection that isn’t choppy every 2 minutes – I’m very impatient). Anyway, choosing only six places is quite difficult for an introvert-come-extrovert like me (yes, the only six places I liked visiting in my former life were my Living room, My Fridge, My Gym/Utility room, My toilet/Bathroom, My Bedroom, My¬†Parents’ Fridge, and my Personal Bank. Now, let’s take a¬†look at the new ME…

1. Dubai:¬†I’ve nothing bad to say about this place. I’ve already visited twice and I’m preparing to go again in November, God willing. It’s just breathtaking. There’s always a new attraction each time I go. From the luxurious airport to the Gold Souq¬†I’ve been wowed so much my dimples started to hurt. Hotels are affordable (except for the Burj¬†Al Arab pictured – the world’s first 7-start hotel which I would really like to lodge in before I die) and you can find bargains on almost everything – including the gold ware. And the best part is that everything you buy is tax-free. How’s that for value for money. That’s where I got my last two smartphones and my Samsung mp3 slide player. If you go to Dubai then make sure you Do-buy!

2. Malaysia:¬†I’ve never been and I know I’m missing out big time. If I’m not mistaken, I believe The Beach (starring Leonardo Di Caprio) was shot there. I particularly want to skip the city and go straight to Langkawi (pictured) situated on the Andaman Sea. For a place that has 99 islands I’ll be spoilt for choice and I’d probably piss off my tour guide…I can see it now, ‘Sorry, I think I prefer island no. 74…I dunno…can you remember if island no. 43 had more palm trees? Do you mind if we go back and check?’ Malaysia, see you in 2012!

3. New York:¬†The city so nice I already visited twice! Apart from occasionally bumping into the odd celebrity from time to time there’s also so much to do and see. The city never sleeps and people are generally friendly, I find. Everything is just Super Sized. I remember eating a mammoth of a meal; a steak burger the size of my head, a side of chunky fries and a jug of Iced Tea¬†– all¬†for $6.¬†I love buying¬†the latest or¬†limited edition albums of my favourite Hip Hop/RnB¬†artists from¬†NY. Shopping is just a treat. Maybe on my next visit I’ll finish the other half of MACY’S.

4. Seychelles:¬†By the time you notice the picture on the right you’d probably know that I’m nuts about beaches. The only thing I can hope for is a WiFi connection so I could blag¬†(blog + brag) about how much fun I’m having. This seems like a good location to do some snorkling. I want to swim with the wildlife (and pray they don’t get wild on my black ass). I’d gladly like to be lost on this island with my ideal partner (or more specifically, Secret #10). She has no idea how lucky she is going to be when I come clean.

5. Brazil: Arguably with the most beautiful girls (and the highest population¬†of them), Brazil is a place I would like to have my Stag-do at. Brazilians¬†seem like happy people and that’s the kind of crowd I want to be in. Their cuisine is served at the Lagoon Restaurant in Victoria Island¬†as a buffet package.¬†¬†I would like to make my way up to that gigantic statue of Jesus – it’s breathtaking even on small screen. I’ll need to pray for forgiveness by the time I’m making my exit.

6.¬†Heaven:¬†If there is such a place then I want to go there after I’ve seen all my great grand kids. Nobody can imagine what heaven looks like but we’re sure that there will be no sorrow, no death and no sin. I’ll probably see colours I’ve never seen, hear sounds¬†I’ve never heard, and¬†feel¬†emotions¬†I’ve never felt. It’s a far cry from life on earth at this point in time – hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, Ghadafis, Paris Hiltons and¬†Tax Collectors (sigh)

Sources: Google images, A & T Happy Tours

10 Day YOU Challenge: 8 Fears

Day 3 – Brace yourselves for what you’re about to read; this wasn’t easy to type, believe me. I usually try to forget scary stuff but all righteousness must be fulfilled.

1. Candyman: If you haven’t heard about this movie then you’re about to get a crash course in primal fear. Legend has it that if you turn off the lights, stand in front of a mirror and say ‘Candyman’ three times a guy with a hook on his right hand would appear behind you and gut you like a fish. I’ve not had the liberty (or the balls) to test this theory so I guess that’s one mystery that Scooby Doo and the gang would have to solve without me.

2. Terrorists: On the 26th of August 2011, a bomb was detonated in the UN Office at Abuja, Nigeria. Unfortunately for the police the prime suspect was the suicide bomber, though the Boko Haram extremist group seem to be taking responsibility for this atrocity. Many innocent civilians lost their lives; and all this just days away from the Eid celebrations on 30th and 31st of August. Nobody knows where or when they may strike next.

3. Black Magic: Some call it Voodoo, others call it Witch Craft. I call it black magic (though Nigerians may be more acquainted with the term ‘Jazz’). I’ve heard of true-life encounters involving love potions used to charm men into marriage or parting with money. I think the ‘stray’ bullet in my bathroom which I blogged about a while back would also fall into this category. God will protect me.

4. Snakes: Anyone in their right mind would not have a snake as a pet, especially a boa constrictor which could strangle and swallow you whole. Snakes are so inconspicuous sometimes that you wouldn’t know when one has found its way under your bed
Though more common in the villages, snakes scare this crazy city slicker because a bite from a poisonous snake could be fatal and I’m not sure if the nearest hospital would have the anti-venom I needed (hiss).

5. Cockroaches: Have you ever seen an airborne cockroach? That’s enough to make me scream like a girl. God must really love theses creatures because they are only likely species to survive in the event of a full-scale Armageddon. They don’t get any mercy from me – I see ’em I spray ’em.

6. Being broke: I’ve had days when I was so out-of-pocket that I was eating baked beans from a tin. Don’t you find that sometimes when you desperately need some cash that’s when all your friends are in a tight spot. Even the banks turn their noses up when you walk through their doors. I’ve learnt to save money – no matter how little; it quickly adds up. I can recall I was doing some spring cleaning when I suddenly found a handful of cash in one of shoes (I had kept some cash there when I didn’t want to carry my bulky wallet on a night out. I found that money a few months later when I really needed it. Save, Save and Save some more!

7. A.I.D.S: Strangely enough the no.1 killer in Africa is Malaria (though it has a cure), while Cancer may be treatable if caught early. But I feel A.I.D.S is deadlier because I don’t know of any prescribed cure that would wipe it out of one’s system – I only know of the cure that would delay inevitable, premature death. Two words – Safe Sex.

8. Working for someone else till I retire: As much as I like a guaranteed salary at the end of every month, I would like to be my own boss. It’s not easy running your own business and I know it requires a lot of discipline, drive and determination to succeed. If I get it right perhaps I could retire early and do a cruise around the world. I’m still young so a little voice is telling me ‘Fear not!’.

And now for something completely different…

Bonus feature: THE SUM OF ALL FEARS (Spoiler)

A young man is stuck in a dead-end job and barely has enough cash to catch a taxi home when suddenly a scorned ex-employee is running round the office and stabbing people with a syringe which he claims is infected with HIV. The broke young man manages to get past the deranged attacker and locks himself in the gents. Just before the lights go out he sees a cockroach scurrying up the wall. There’s a big mirror and he remembers the Candyman myths. He panics and gets out his Nokia mobile phone to pass the time playing Snakes. The screaming continues in the background and then someone distinctly yells, ‘HE’s GOT A BOMB!’…