Monday, December 24, 2007
When i was young, I actually thought all children around the world were rotated to be housemaids and i would sit quietly to watch the house maids whilst they work mentally preparing myself for when i would be taken away :).
As you would know by now..i get lost in space very often.
My mum feared i would never get married.
I am not particular about food, clothes, shoes, colours, furniture, jewelry. I'm a basic person with only basic needs. I don't go like i want a red-laced, tee-toed, wedge heels shoes..
When it concern roads, i think in one direction, so if i drive somewhere, more often than not i will get missing going back.
I never ever ever experiment with hairstyles so no matter how much convincing hairdressers or other salon customers try to be, i never yield.
I will never be caught dead taking Ogi (pap) or custard!!!!
As was done to me, I do unto others. I hereby tag Ayo Oladejo, Titi Akinsanmi, Toyin Lamikanra, Fiyin,
Folu, Afromusing, and Wordsbody
Here are the rules:
1) Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog
2) Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs
4) Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I was a university student and had a total sum of N300 to my name. I had to travel back home for the Xmas break and I also wanted to buy greeting cards to give to relatives and family friends.
I had budgeted my transport fare to be N200 and had decided within me that I had only N100 left for greeting cards. On the day before I was supposed to travel, I went to one of the stores around campus to purchase my cards. I looked around at the cards and realized the average price was N70 per card. I scanned more for affordable cards until my eyes ran across a pack of cards that had N150 written on it. I asked if the price was for each card in the pack and to my surprise, I was told that was the price for a whole pack. The pack contained 10 cards with different designs.
As I write this, I vividly remember standing infront of the shop owner, weighing all my possible options.
- I asked the woman if I could buy half of the pack for N75, but she said she couldn’t, I had to buy the whole pack or pick other cards.
- If I buy one pack of cards for N150, then I will not have enough money to travel home (In those day, asking for favours was not in my dictionary, didn’t even know they existed. I always took care of myself by myself).
- I thought of purchasing just one Xmas card for N70 and then struggle in my mind to decide who deserved the card
After much thought, I bought the N150 pack of cards, went to my hostel and knocked on doors from one room to the other selling the greeting cards @ N30 each. It took me barely one hour to finish selling the cards and I made 100% profit. I stayed back in school that day, went back to the shop to buy another pack to sell the next day. Again, I sold all the cards using the methodology of the previous day, going from room to room knocking on doors.
So, around 12noon, I went back to the shop bought one last pack for my relatives and friends, went back to my room to carry my luggage and headed for the park with my transport fare and extra change of N100. (That meant a lot to a student like me in those days when a plate of fried rice and chicken sold for N120 at the New Buka of Great Ife campus).
I had just resigned from my J-O-B on November 30 due to a nudging in my spirit and several other reasons. I did not have a job offer from any quarters and I had two options. I could sit in my house and wait for the next job or I could bring the next job to myself.
I chose the second option. Using skills I had developed from my days of working at V.I.P Consulting under the tutelage of a renowned great man, Fela Durotoye, I designed and produced a marketing communication material on organizing end of the year parties for organisations.
On Monday, December 4, 2007, I got in the car, went to the salon to get my hair fixed and from there went from office to office to offer End of the Year Party services. As I went from one office to the other, the number of ‘no, we’re not interested’ increased. At about 3p.m I was somewhat dejected and was on my way home when I received a call from one of the places where I was told ‘we have concluded plans for our party, we’re sorry…..’.
I was asked when I could come to their office to discuss our services and I replied right now. So I turned back and went to their office. After several, meetings and discussions on different days and telephone conversations, we received letters commissioning us to provide catering, decoration and other event related services.
On December 14, 2007, the event management company which I presently manage, Blossom Creations provided services for our first official client, one of the top 3 HIV/AIDS NGOs in the country.
The event was successful and looking back, I remembered the story of December 2000. And I reminded myself if you could do the little things, trust yourself to be able to do the similar bigger ones. Just like David when he faced Goliath, he reminded himself of his victory with the bear and he won victoriously over Goliath too.
I just wanted to share this to encourage anyone that has been feeling or acting short of who you can be……remember you past victories and trust yourself….
YOU CAN DO IT!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Till date, I can’t remember what went on while I was in nursery and primary 1-2. This is because I lived in another world different from the classroom. I can’t remember any of my classmate or even the teachers and this made me remain close to the bottom of the class at the end of every term.
The only event I get close to remembering is my fourth birthday. There must have been a party thrown for me because I was born on February 29 and so my parents make it a point of duty to throw big parties for me once in four years and just do simple marking in the in-between years. So that meant I didn’t celebrate a 10th birthday but a 12th and I didn’t get the usual transforming 21st birthday notable for every babe but a 20th.
Back to my story….I remember that on my fourth birthday, I had a white top that had a black bib thrown behind and infront of the top was inscribed:
Titilayo is 4
I could be in dreamland for days on end..webbing scenarios in my head and living there. The popular scenario was a garden that had swings, chairs and tables and all manners of trees having fruits on them and I would play and take all my meals in the garden.
I remember this one most because I wished so much for it to come to past and when Dad announced we were moving to our own house I daydreamed about it more and more. However, when we got to the new house, all the floor was fully cemented, not even one plant grew within the compound talk less of a tree.
You know, I always say God saved my parents that I was not autistic…….
Till date I still find myself lost in my day dreaming world where everything is as I love it. I still love to go back to that sanctuary where I am all by self, to remain there for days on end and be a recluse. However, there are issues that startle me back to reality, issues that scream for my attention and make me alert to every little development in my environment.
I see these different issues and they make me remain wide awake asking what happened, where did we g wrong, how did we miss it and most importantly how do we get out of here?
This may sound very funny, but whenever I am around Tejuosho market, I marvel at what has become of my childhood London. Shopping for Christmas at Tejuosho was a ritual my mum strictly adhered to when we were kids. The mall was a beautiful sight with lovely wares neatly displayed in the shops and its clear and clean pathways. When I was later taken there as an older girl, a 100level student just out of the secondary school boarding house to be integrated back into the Lagos society I had left behind, I had to ask my elder sister, is Yaba market the same as the Tejuosho market we used to go to as kids?
I consider the situation Nigerians have to go through to apply for a UK visa and the daylight robbery being perpetrated by the UK commission in Nigeria, robbing genuine Nigerian citizens of their hard earned Naira bills and all I can do is scream in my head, THIS MUST STOP!!!!!!!
This list is endless…….and all I will like to do is ask, what must we do?
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Having thought about this for quite a bit, I finally get to do "sthg". Anyway, I just got off a webpage with the headline Privacy Lost: These Phones can find you (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/23/technology/23mobile.html?em&ex=1193371200&en=cd5c706dac95e6b9&ei=5087%0A).
The gist is GPS isn't enough anymore now since people want to connect hence are signing up to mobile phone services offering such in the US. One can assume as more telecoms operators in Nigeria and other developing countries expand their pool of services, this would be added sooner rather than later.
Speaking of new services by telecoms operators, I saw an ad last night on TV where all you need to follow your favorite Premiership team (note: for football fans only), is to send an sms with a certain layout eg Arsenal text to a short code provided and just like that, you'd get live feeds and updates on all match days for your club. Hmm.
Back to privacy, the truth is Web 2.0 has brought a glut of tools, networks and opportunities to people globally with little or no restriction. However, like I first titled this, do you want to be found 24/7? Do you want a "Big Brother" looking over your shoulder and monitoring your every step anytime of the day.
If I signed up for this service, how much more of "my space" would I be giving up? Its cool to note though that parents, guardians and the likes should find such services when (not if) they are available in Nigeria of great help in tracking and hopefully ensuring safety of their wards. Though this could be assumed to hold only where wards do take their phones with them at all times anywhere they are.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Brief Profile: Having taken forever to start his own blog, 'Tope Soremi is the proud husband of Titilayo Soremi, writer of My Thots Blog. Tope is a guest blogger and would happily share his thoughts on a wide range of issues with anyone interested. He's reachable via babatope [at] gmail. com.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
She walks with her head tilted upwards with a well deserved pride
Her gait is evidence of her aristocratic status
When she opens her mouth, she speaks with much authority
And polishes her authority with the oil of humility
She is a source of joy to everyone around her
When she is dressed in her sparkling white nurse uniform
With matching white cap, white shoes and with a pen tucked in her breast pocket
She transforms to a God-sent angel and assumes different forms
Some families see her as a savior
Stepping in to ensure their loved ones remain on earth with them
To many doctors, nurses and para-medicals, she is mother
Rocking, nurturing, chastising and instructing
She never lays any complaint about her work conditions
According to her, every moment she is at her job
That is her breathing. That is her life
This makes every second counts
And every act, a conscientious and deliberate one
She leaves each duty be it morning or night in high spirits
Illuminating her face with beaming smiles
She returns home to gather her children round her
Relaying the day’s achievement with great thrill
She goes to bed fulfilled to awaken the next day
Burning with passion for her calling.
Hmm... all of the above is a description of who and what my mum, Esther Olaiya Obisesan would have been if her father had allowed her to go to school. She begged, cried and strove so that her father would send her to school but he maintained, 'school is for only for boys, the girls will remain on the farm'.
She wanted so badly to be a nurse. However, when she had the opportunity to start the journey to her dream after working as a housegirl, she gave it up for her younger sister. She sponsored her younger sister through school until she became the NURSE she always wanted to be.
Very sad part of the story: We lost the Nurse my mum never was, she died on March 26, 1999 leaving two kids and a husband behind.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
My mum was raised a good girl by her mum
When she was raising me, she received instructions
From another good woman
So, she raised me a double good girl
And now, here is how I live
I labour so hard for everybody except one……..myself
I think so deeply about everybody except one…myself
I look out for everybody except one……………myself
I willingly sacrifice for everybody except one…myself
I adjust constantly for everybody except one…..myself
I can’t talk back when abused
Can’t shout back when shouted at
Can’t sulk when I feel bad
I have to smile when smiled at
Laugh when laughed at
And remain mute when no one else speaks
Am I proud of this product?
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
And her ailment is like HIV/AIDS
Where the disease can only be managed never cured
All that can be done is to administer anti-retroviral drugs
They can’t cure; they only reduce the viral load
Eat well and do not engage in strenuous activities, the patient is told
And when the patient bothers about child bearing, she is encouraged
Oh there is PMTCT, you can always give birth
Africa’s ailment is worse than HIV/AIDS
In her case, she did give birth to children and welcomed them into her ailing condition
Today, many of them do not want to identify with her body’s stink and rot
They run far crossing mountains, valleys and waters to get away from home
How did Africa ever get infected with this deadly disease?
The disease of poverty, corruption, poor governance and champion of worst practices
How can she be healed from it?
Maybe we should employ extortionists to drive out the disease demons.
Yes, one from a mosque bearing a rosary, another from a church bearing holy water, and maybe the fire-bearing Sango
They may succeed in appeasing the creator for Africa’s sake
For how long will this over 50 year old ailing baby continue to be nursed?
Some say Africa is so comfortable in her ailing state
She refuses to will herself back to health with her own willpower
She’d rather continue to lay on her sick bed enjoying the attention from her nurses
What happens when the familiar nurses retire and others take their place that do not know the fathers that oiled the relationship with the nurses
Just like the later days of the Israelites in Egypt
As there arose another Pharaoh that knew neither Samuel nor Jacob
Must the present nurses continue to cling on to this ailing baby on her sick bed
Never allowing her walk much less running
Must we continue to smile and laugh with this ailing child
Whilst she acts insolently with no respect for rule of law
Must we not smack this baby on the back and declare
YOU MUST STAND UP
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
My ears were stretched when she told me because I remembered Super story very well. As kids, my mum ensured my younger sister and I got a monthly dose of super story when it was still a photo-story publication and even when we moved to the boarding house, she always brought past editions for us to read on visiting days.
I told my younger sister about it and she joined me in my Nollywood sojourn. I was auditioned by Antar Laniyan and had to read lines from a Nigerian poetry kinda book. I read the lines, was asked a few questions, answered them to the best of knowledge and I was out of the auditioning room in 5minutes.
My sister and I went back the next week for casting. She went in first and she got a role as an extra in Papa Ajasco & Company and was told to come back on a specific date for shooting. When it was my turn, they said they had exhausted all the extra roles for Papa Ajasco, so they put my name and picture on a waiting list for Super Story.
My sister finally featured in Papa Ajasco, Super Story, went on to audition for a role on Tajudeen Adepetu’s everyday people and today she is the Brand Manager of SoundCity.
My other friend, she got a lead role in a stage play, Child International. She acted alongside Boy Alinco and Gloria Young[big eyeballs], went on to work for mobile phone content provider, relocated to another African country and now travels around the world doing all the United Nations thingie.
To be continued….
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friends i need a little help. I have got a job in one of the oil companies of the City of Harcourt. I am very confused about a lot of things, Mainly about the Safety and Security.
I am an Indian and i just need a little help in finding out if its a good option to come here or not.
Please help me out
Thursday, September 13, 2007
According to the IV, the audition was to be conducted by the acting veteran, Sadiq Daba. When we arrived at the audition which held on a Sunday afternoon, the IV proved useless as there were throngs of young and old people in different shapes and sizes present and when it was my turn to audition, I found out I was sitting in front of a man that was no close to Sadiq Daba. He tossed a script to me from across the table and just started reading from a scene. Then he peered at me from the rim of his glasses and I explained to him that I didn’t know where he was reading from. He directed me to the page and said ‘I read father, you read daughter’.
In two minutes my audition was over and we were all asked to come again the next Sunday for the audition result. When we got there the next week, they had a list of the successful actors and actresses pasted. My friend and I saw our names on the list and we were told the next process was casting for specific roles.
They passed around the list of characters in the soap and asked us to fill a form indicating the role we would like to play. I don’t know what Nollywood is like these days but back then roles could be categorized into major (appearing in most scenes), minor (appearing in few scenes) and waka pass (appear only once with little or no lines to say). I picked a major role, my friend picked a major-minor role and we submitted the forms. On submission, we were all asked to leave and come again the next Sunday. That got me angry but the dream of playing the major role got me going.
We returned again for the third time and they said they wanted to conduct another round of auditions for some people meaning we had to wait till they conclude auditioning for the new set of people. At about 5p.m, they called out a cast list for minor roles.
My name and my friend’s were on that list and I was cast as a friend of the lead character. We were told to expect letters informing us of our specific shooting dates and meeting points. We also signed some contract stating the amount to be paid as N1,500 per scene and that we wouldn’t get paid until the production starts airing on TV.
In those days, there was no GSM and after I had waited long enough in my house looking forward to receiving my letter inviting me to location for shooting, I went to my friend’s office and she had received her own letter inviting her to location on Saturday. We both decided that I should come along on the Saturday.
At the end of the day I played a waka pass and till date I never saw the play on TV and never got paid.
Stay tuned for more on my Nollywood Experience……….
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Last week Friday, I walked in the bank to transact minor business, courtesy of the ATM machine being down. I walked up to the transfer section and as usual, threw my head up to make a quiet observation of all that was going on around. While busying my self with that and as the bank staff took his dear time in processing my transaction (Now I say God bless him). I saw a bespectacled light complexioned lady standing in front of one of the paying cashiers. I said to myself, this lady has a nice stature standing at above 5ft 7in and with an even toned skin, nicely dressed in an adire print top. The top was shredded at the bottom and this made the top rest on her jeans enveloped hips in a most fashionable way.
Her adornment with jewelry was at its optimum state. She had a cord around her neck fitted with a pendant that accentuated the hidden beauty that exists around a woman’s neck area. On her left hand, she was wearing a wristwatch and on the left a wrist chain. And as knowledgeable person in jewelry quality, I could tell all that all she had on were screaming G-O-L-D.
My eyes then roved to her face, she had a the kind of face that had everything in its rightful place, eyes well seated in their sockets, the nose looking like a perfect bridge, full and well rounded lips and satisfactorily protruding cheek bones which gave her fat-less cheeks and a perfected facial structure.
As I looked more intently at her face, something struck me, she looked familiar to me. At this time, I stopped stirring and started stealing glances at her just to know if she took any attention of me. Looking through her glass I could see I was not on her mind as she was looking away from the area where I was standing.
I seized this opportunity to stir once more and this time, with the purpose of trying to remember who she is and where I might have known her. A name suddenly rang in my mind. She reminded me of Sarah Wela (not her real name at all and not an inch close to the real one).
Sarah and I had attended same high school. We ended up in the same class arm in senior secondary courtesy of the usual science/art reshuffling. Sarah Wela was an only child and her parents fed her well. As a result, she was the fattest girl next to a senior and when the seniors graduated, she was the fattest girl and student in the whole of the school.
Overtime Sarah and I grew very close. We would walk to class together from the hostel and to the dining hall and even gossiped about other issues together and even during the holidays, we would visit one another at our homes. Our friendship had even continued after we left school.
Sarah had some experience going through school. Being fat in a mixed (i.e. boys and girls) boarding house secondary school can prove to be a harrowing experience. Both boys and girls would jeer at her and even make side comments. Whenever, we were taught a new topic and there was a new term learnt that associated with fat or shapeless, my friend would be acquiring a new nickname attached to her.
I also think another factor that made my friend unpopular was because she was a Deeper Lifer (she attended the Deeper Life fellowship) and that meant she couldn’t wear earrings and her housewears were sown in long non-body touching styles.
About ten years after we had left school, a rumour made its way around that Sarah denies anybody that walks up to her to say he/she had gone to same secondary school as her. When I heard the gist, I reasoned that maybe she doing that to those people that made fun of her back in secondary school and so does not want to associate with them.
Coming back to reverie state, the lady I was staring at in the bank made a gesture. She raised up her hand to run her fingers through her hair. I was seeing same arms and same finger structure. I became convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that this is no other person than Sarah Wela.
In an excited state, I walked up to her, stood infront of her and called her name. For a slight second she pondered in her mind who I was and when she finally comprehended it she exclaimed quietly with a facial expression that belonged to the Sarah Wela I knew back in the days ….“Titi!!! Look at you.”
Titi: “You’ve lost a lot of weight, how did you do it?”
Sara: “I was slimmer than this a week ago, I just added a few kg”
Knowing that she had mistakenly lost her composure and maybe her determination not to be the same girl from Secondary School, she changed the tone of her voice and started giving me the girly “I’m no longer at that level” attitude. She even added a britico kinda accent.
I got the message and so, quickly wrapped up what was becoming fake pleasantries. We exchanged phone numbers and I went back to conclude my bank transactions.
None of us has called the other person since that day and I wonder if she really intends to wipe out that part of her life, even me?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Join us come with us
We are on our way
Education for all
By the year 2000
Mamser is the answer
Mamser is the answer
Andrew no go go o
Nigeria go survive
Nigeria go survive
Africa go survive
My people go survive o
Nigeria go survive
Nigeria has really come a long way. What year are we again.....some years to 2000 or have we passed it.
Please wake me up in the year.......
Friday, August 17, 2007
- The naira would be redenominated to knock off two zeros to the left
- The exchange rate would be N1.25 Kobo to $1
- N20 would be the highest denomination
- State allocations would be shared in dollars.
Read below what the the economical effect of this policy will be according to the Economists:
- Easier manageability of the currency
- Internationally benchmarking of value for easy cross boarder understanding of transaction value
- Possibly the speeding up of the move to a less cash intensive economy because of the shear inconvenience of having to transact tangible purchases in coins.
- Reduction of CBN's influence in the market and letting the Naira find its level by a way of demand and supply
All that one na big big grammar, this is the girl next door's economical point of view about the redenomination of the Naira:
1) Now that means my salary wil become how many kobos.....you just dont want to hear it.
2) How much will I be giving to my mum..(hmmm...) now that sounds scary
3) Will the iya onigari (cassava flakes sellers), pepper sellers and suya mallams agree to sell for kobo kobo, wont they turn everything to one naira?
4) How much will all those Italian shoes and Gucci bags sell for in Abuja shops.........dem wan kill me finish
6)Finally, the kobos will find their way back to churches' offering baskets
At this point, I am considering relocating to Japan and marrying a Samurai or the Shogun, at least the Japanese Yen still changes 117 to the dollar.
See you in Tokyo :).
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Early last year, I attempted a career change from Management Consulting to Social Development. Some days after I resumed at my new NGO job, I got a form from the accountant at the close of the day.
From the form, I was expected to write down a list of all the activities I had done for the day. On sighting the form, ol’ witty me could not help but blog about it.
By the time I finished filling the form, I had two versions of it….one for my boss and one for my blog. I was the proper staff on the form for my blog and I was xxx on the form for my blog.
The activities I listed on the form for my blog included:
o Updated my blogroll to include Bella Naija and Adaure’s blogs
o Downloaded Dare Art Alade’s Fuji courtesy of Bella Naija
I titled the blogpost: My Boss Must Not See This.
The post generated the highest number of comments on my blog. Some were on my side notably among whom was Nigeria, what’s new and others were against the post. I particularly remember Seun Osewa of Nairaland stating that if I don’t want my boss to see it, then I should not have put it on the internet because one day, he would see it and I would be in trouble. I promised Seun that I would finally delete the post but in the mean time, he should allow me enjoy it while it lasted.
There was also a comment from one Olusare Adegbagi: his comment was quite sarcastic. He wrote something like “den den …now your boss will catch you”. I replied him by saying my boss was a charming, admirable and other nice words kinda person. I was just enjoying myself believing all this was completely oblivious to my boss.
However, one day when I had one of those emotionally down moody thingie, I heeded Seun’s advice and deleted the post.
Last week, we sent off my very good friend and colleague to join her husband in the UK and the boss decided to take us all out to a bar. While we were seated, he asked me when last I updated my blog, I answered yesterday. He now started jeering at me in his sometimes jocular nature saying that I just write away and that my blog was boring. I was cooking up my reply to that when he asked me if I knew any Olusare Adegbagi. The name sounded familiar. Of course Olusare…. that is the name of the person that drops sarcastic comments on my blog.
He asked me if I knew what the name meant. If you went to high school in the South-Wet part of Nigeria, I don’t know if you are familiar with the name everyone says he will mention when accosted by masters after sensing trouble. Most Yoruba folks say Olu-sare: Olu is a common name prefix in Yoruba and Sare means to run.
Ade-Gbagi: Ade is also a common name prefix and Gbagi means to flee.
Olusare Adegbagi is a popular fake name that almost everyone that attended high school in the South-West part of Nigeria (not the American schools o) is familiar with. And a whole me that pride myself as SSS* gawked for that completely. To say the gospel truth, I had even related the name to some royal prince of Ondo town.
Now to drop the bombshell, Olusare Adegbagi was my boss. My boss was Olusare Adegbagi. He had been disguising as Olusare Adegbagi on my blog since March, 2006 and kept it to himself, not sharing it with anyone in the office till Friday, July 27, 2007.
I have been busted, someone better than me has beaten me at my own game. I thought I was SSS, my boss must have received training from the fierce KGB and Mossad.
*: (SSS stands for State Security Service, the Nigerian Intelligence Agency)
Thursday, July 26, 2007
During my days in Management Consulting, the client list of the last consulting firm I worked with included the big names in the oil industry with many of them having their head offices in the oil city, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Based on this, consultants in the office had frequent opportunities to travel to the oil city.
When I joined the company, I knew I would one day have my chance to visit the oil city. However, I had to hope against hope for a long time before I was even considered to be included on the list of consultants to provide consulting services in the oil city. You know like they say, a man’s gift will make room for him. One day there was a service need in one of the oil companies and I had been the one working on the surveys for which our company needed to present the results to senior management of the oil company.
I was very much elated that my hope had finally come to fruition. I had such high hopes about the oil city. Interestingly I didn’t even ask anyone what the city looked like…..I just reeled away in my dreamland about my expectations of the oil city.
If you have had an opportunity to get treated by the oil companies, you will understand me when I say that my dreams soared higher and higher about what I was expecting to see in Port Harcourt. Right from the airport in Lagos, I was booked on a chartered flight with only fifteen of us on the airplane.
Landing at the Port Harcourt airport, there was already a guide with a placard of the oil company waiting for us at the arrival section of the airport. I followed the guide who led me to a waiting bus. I was ushered into the bus while my luggage was collected from me, I believe that was meant to eliminate any form of discomfort the bag could cause me during the bus ride. I willingly handed my bag over to them which they loaded onto another bus that I will designate the luggage bus.
I sat quietly in my seat as I watched my co-privileged come on the bus. After all the passengers were seated, the driver started the engine of the bus and I also heard the sound of sirens blazing from ahead and behind the bus. We journeyed from the airport to the city central of the oil city in a convoy. First was a police escort pick up van, then the passenger bus, followed by the luggage bus and finally another police pick up van was at the tail of the convoy.
All these special treatments did no less than playing with my mind aa I started dreaming of different descriptive words about the oil city. Words such as wealth, luxury, opulence, sumptuousness.., oil…permeated my mind.
As we moved farther away from the airport, we passed through some local settlements which to me were typical of most airport location to main city routes. I didn’t allow the view of the settlements deter my dream picture of the oil city. I looked forward to traffic lights, mansions, clean long roads with wide junctions breaking out into eight link roads. I held on to my expectations of high rise buildings of oil firms, shopping malls with brightly splashed nomenclatures, digital adverts streaming on the streets, gosh I had big dreams for Port Harcourt. Even the name P-o-r-t h-a-r-co-u-r-t reeked of a glorious city like the ones I had seen in foreign films showing pictures of the beautiful streets in London, U.S and Tokyo.
As we moved along in our journey, I saw scattered stalls along the roads and people speaking to themselves from across the streets as commonly seen in the markets in Lagos. I said to myself, the remaining part of the journey must still be long. All of a sudden, the bus took one more turn, hooted and the gate ahead of us was opened. I asked the person sitting next to me if the oil company's office was located on the outskirts of the oil city and she said… no we are right in the centre of the town. This is the Port Harcourt City.
At that point, all my dreams were shattered; my disappointment knew no bounds… Is this my dream town, P-o-r-t H-a-r-co-u-r-t, the Oil City.
I felt very ashamed and disgraced at the state of Port Harcourt. As if my grief disappointment was not enough, two days later I had the unfortunate privilege to travel by road from Port Harcourt to Warri and then to Lagos. This journey proved to be nothing less than a most nightmarish experience. Saying the roads are very BAD is an understatement.
From the very little my eyes have seen of Port Harcourt and Warri parts of the oil-rich region of the country not to talk of what Bonny, Oloibiri and other parts would look like, the only way I can describe the state of the Niger Delta region is what I have termed the RAPE of the NIGER DELTA.
I have been out of the blogosphere for a while now although I have been following other fellow bloggers. I also read about Bellanaija in True Love magazine. I want to say to those that got featured in that edition of True Love including Adaure "Go on girls, the sky is your starting point!!!"
Monday, June 18, 2007
If you are one of the ardent reader of his column, you would need to search for his verdict elsewhere............
This is what he has to say for himself:
It was a moment of crucial decision, one that could alter the course of my life, one way or another. But when President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua spoke to me on phone on May 31, asking me to come and work for him, there was only one option left. Notwithstanding the interesting stories that have been published about my appointment, and I have read some really ridiculous ones, between April 27 when I was first offered a job as presidential spokesman and May 31, when I finally accepted to serve, a lot of water, as they say, passed under the bridge. All that would, however, form the prologue of what must be an interesting chapter should I ever write a memoir.
There have been several reactions to my appointment and I appreciate all the people who have either called or sent mails/text messages to wish me well. I have also received encouragement from highly respected people (home and abroad), and I feel sufficiently satisfied that I have taken the correct decision. Just before I boarded my flight from Lagos a fortnight ago, I received what I considered the most important call, at least as far as this page is concerned, and I was relieved by the words of encouragement. If there is anyone who can take credit for The Verdict According to Olusegun Adeniyi, it is Mr. Tunji Bello, until recently the Lagos State Commissioner of Environment.
Ten years ago, Tunji Bello it was who directed me to start a column to replace the one by his deputy, Mr. Sam Omatseye, who was relocating to the United States. That was after he had elevated me to the office of Sunday Concord Deputy Editor vacated by Omatseye who is now back in the country as Chairman, Editorial Board, The Nation newspapers. Bello handed me cuttings of works of respected columnists in several foreign newspapers to read and also gave direction of what he wanted. Number one was humour. Number two was gist (in which case it must be reportorial). And number three was that I come out very strong in my opinion. I did not even have an idea of what name to give the column until Louis Odion, my friend and then assistant coined the name, The Verdict According to Olusegun Adeniyi. And for the first three months, Louis and I were practically co-writing the column even while it carried my name and photograph. Not too long after, I also mastered the craft as I began to attract readership. As it would happen, however, I left Concord in January 1999 for THISDAY.
Coincidentally, a few weeks after I arrived THISDAY in February 1999, it was decided that we should personalise the backpage column and I was assigned Thursday so the column that I thought had died with Concord resurrected at THISDAY and the rest of the story, as they say, is now history. I know many people would be disappointed that I have joined government, and some would be very well justified because I said I would never do such thing. To those people I plead forgiveness. I, am, however, also aware some people would be happy that this column is off.
I have told the story of how the column started to explain why I use my day to day of experience or that of others (be it an okada rider or some casual acquaintances) to drive home my point. This of course never created any problem if the person whose name was mentioned on this page happened to be ‘unknown’. But if he/she were a ‘big man’ that would be ‘name dropping’. To those whose sensibilities I might have offended as a result of what was published on this page, I tender my unreserved apology too.
I go into government as one of a few people who can claim to know the vision of President Yar’Adua having spent three days with him in Katsina in reportorial capacity at a time I had foreclosed the idea of joining government. But I have no hesitation at all that he is one person I love to work with. I do not doubt his honesty and commitment and he espouses values that I believe we need for a time like this. Of course he comes to office with a heavy baggage given how the election was messed up. And our nation has never been so besieged in terms of problems even in the midst of endless opportunities. But I am even more encouraged to work for him given the fact that he is not a man in denial, he has the capacity to admit errors and can take the hard decisions. A day before his inauguration, I was told, Yar’Adua had sat with his speech writers and instructed them on the issues he wanted to address and the order in which the speech should take, beginning with the election. This, I gathered, was not well received with the consensus being that it was better Nigerians were allowed to forget the election matter. But he reportedly insisted by saying: ‘We all know we have a problem and the solution is for us to confront, rather than attempt to run away from it.’
In trying to make the speech writers see the enormity of the problem, the President was said to have given an analogy: ‘What happened is like having a group of students sit for an examination with the best candidate scoring 49 while the second person scored 25. As a teacher I consider that a bad result but the fact also remains that the student who scored 49 took the first position. The point I want you to make is that we have to improve on such dismal performance because that is what I intend to do.
The electoral reform is indeed one of a few key issues Yar’Adua has promised to pursue with all vigour and he means business. In the last two weeks, I have sat with him in high-level meetings both at home and abroad during the G-8 meeting in Germany, and I see him as a man who wants results. I was also around the night preceding the National Assembly inauguration and election of principal officers. I knew how much pressure was put on him to name his candidates for Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker. The important thing for me is that I have always seen public service as a trust and one that everyone so invited should weigh very carefully before making up his/her mind. In my case, I have already given 17 years of my life to journalism and it might help to seek another experience before I return. As some people have argued, after spending years writing about what I consider the failings of those in government, now that I am offered an opportunity at a very high level, it might not be a bad idea to see whether I could help make a little difference. Having examined all the factors, I have decided to join the Yar’Adua train.
I thank the readers of this page who have supported and encouraged me over the years. And I am glad that the angry young man who is succeeding me as Editor of THISDAY, Simon Kolawole, is now the darling of most readers; so in a way it may actually be good for the newspaper that I am moving on. But as I sign off today, I want to assure my readers and all Nigerians that I remain, and will always remain, the Olusegun Adeniyi that I am. I will not compromise the ideals and values I have espoused on this page. That pledge I have also made to my Chairman, Mr Nduka Obaigbena, as he grants me leave of absence from THISDAY, certain I will one day be back to the newspaper.
I see this as an opportunity of a lifetime, one for which I am grateful to President Yar’Adua. I will not betray his confidence. Whatever the problem with the process that brought President Yar’Adua to power, he is one person who understands the enormity of the problems confronting our nation today and has made a resolve to tackle them; after consultations with relevant stakeholders in the bid to adopt a sustainable approach to addressing the myriad of contending issues. That process might appear slow in a society where, perhaps due to the recurring failure from the past, people prefer the quick-fix. It is, however, one that I am much persuaded will ultimately work for us as a nation.
I am also aware some people are apprehensive about the choice I have made and to be honest, so am I. But life itself is about risk. A United States-based citizen journalist friend of mine in analysing my decision wrote: ‘You should understand that you are in a tight spot, but just understand that you put yourself in it so you would have to deal with all the consequences that come with the turf. Certainly you are going into power-raw naked power - as bad as it can get. I guess you have started already and any advice really at this point is belated. You have written about power and what may be wrong with it a lot and as such you need not borrow any lesson from the ‘The Prince’ by Niccolo Machiavelli. All you need do is go back and read your writings as far as way back when you were still very angry with the system; there lies what needs to be done to make a difference. I must, however, say that you have a difficult task. As a cabinet level Communication person, it is your duty to arrange all the lies that need to be told as long as you hold that position. Those include what you would like to be told and what you wish you never will. You are right, you can always leave if things don’t work out but the public (our nation) would like information as cleanly as possible on your honour.’On my honour, I promise to be honest in my job.
Last Sunday evening, Al-Jazeera aired a broadcast of an interview with former President Olusegun Obasanjo apparently recorded a few days before he handed over power. I switched onto the station at the close end of the interview but the last question and answer was instructive: ‘Now President Obasanjo, how do you want Nigerians to remember you?’In the nature of Obasanjo, I expected a long winding response but that was not what happened. He said: ‘That I was given the opportunity to serve my country and I did my best.’That is what I want to say when I leave this job. When that time comes, however, I would also hope that my best, in trying to help President Yar’Adua alongside other credible people I have seen around him, was good enough to have impacted positively on the lives of majority of Nigerians. That would be enough for me.
Will this court please rise?
When I first heard that Segun Adeniyi was on the cabinet of President Yar'adua, I must confess I felt disappointed and was asking myself if this was another Femi Fani-Kayode. After reading this piece, I couldn't help but drop this comment on his page (http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=80869):
Your Highness Sir,
I am lost for words because I didn't expect you of all peeps...However my husband and I have agreed we will pray for you to succeed in your new position.
I will only give a word of advice though....You will come to crossroads where you would have to choose between integrity and $$$$$$. When those times come, that is when you can prove the worth of all you've been writing till this day.
All the best.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
- Petrol is now officially 75NGN per litre
- Vat is now 10%
I know I have always remained an advocate of the Sovereign State of Nigeria, however, it is in times like this that I tend to swagger on my faith in my country. I'm scared because I'm not sure if the events of these past months have not left me more disillusoned than some sworn pessimists of Nigeria.
The first thing is the case of enthroning or installation of a President not elected by the general public. As if that is not enough, to add salt to our injury, Obasanjo is bidding us farewell with 10NGN increase in petrol and a 10% VAT which MTN did not waste the slightest time in implementing.
More in Nigerians are in despair these days as prices of goods and services have taken similar tolls to Baba's decision on price of petroleum with no corresponding increase in salaries by employers (how will they even be able to increase it when their cost of production has increased anyway).
ASUU has been on strike months on end now and students that their parents can't afford to send them to school abroad are made to sit at home to watch and pray .......
God Save Nigeria is all I can say at this time and I pray that we will not only survive these harsh times but SUCCEED!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The email from Tobilola was not enough, she had to summon more powers from additional sources and so she called in Temitope into the discussion.......
I'd like to introduce myself- My name is TEMITOPE FANI-KAYODE, I am Tobiloba's older sister and Femi Fani-Kayode's second daughter, I am 17 years old and I love politics (challenging games intrigue and even more so motivate me) i would have sent you a personal email, but i do not wish to disclose my email address to the mass, but like I said i love a challenge or two and this to me is my challenge of the day. I am here on behalf of the rest of my sisters and ofcourse my HONOURABLE father to challenge you, to be honest I dont care about your opinion, because you can never dream, let alone ever know the good man God has BLESSED Nigeria with, only because your cold heart and blind optimism from the everlasting stigma of 'rich polticians' or 'public servants' as you put it, having the worst interest in our nation refuses you to.
You say Nigeria is what you would refer to as the greatest country in the world and further sycophantically go on to how patriotic you are, yet you have the time to leave 'blogs' (yes, the word being as trivial as the meaning) about how you 'detest' femi, you agree to fellow 'bloggers' about how he is a rapist, wife beater and more other derogatory terms and then use the same mouth to say it is nothing personal. You are a sheer liar. I think we need to look deeper into this and you need to say what exactly is 'scratching your yansh' is it that you're circumstance is not very fortunate? GO TO CHURCH/ A MOSQUE/ A BABALAWO, what ever suits you best and ask for a miracle, or is it really that you feel the generic nature of 'some public servants' my father being one ofcourse, have not done the nation proud by dancing or singing solo to the tune of our 'embarassing nation' , well there is a contradiction. You claim you are so patriotic, well why then do you see 'the greatest nation in the world' as 'embarassing' and if you are so patriotic why do u leave blogs complaining? why don't you go out and feed the billions of starving children and try to clean up the mess of the country or better yet try and get a job as a public servant and be the 'immaculate' one and the 'saviour' and then SING,SING, DANCE AND DANCE against your fellow government followed by your magic powers to make that difference. Your presenation of your argument I am afraid is very insubstantial, there is no way you as such a 'patriotic' figure, can criticise a man trying to give as much support as he can to his own president, when people like you who aren't even genuinly interested in the people(lets be honest) and just their greedy wants, are ALWAYS complaining. If our people like you can not support the leader who will? You pointed out quite rightly that it is a democracy, you were given the power then to vote i pressume? or was that stripped off you to? YOU ALL voted these leaders into their position, yet you complain..hmm?a tad bit ridiculous dont you think?
My father does his job, both as a minister and as a father. He is a good man undoubtedly in the eyes of God so who really gives a shit about what he is in the eyes of man. He works his socks off, towards the betterment of our nation. Nigeria has come a long way from the years of dreams and silver lined clouds and as his daughters who can see him both publicly and privately can tell you that he has recognised this and he is doing his very best to make things better, it is a slow progress but better slow than non existant ey? I watch him in meetings and on our dining table talking about his high hopes for the nation, persuading and (almost enforcing) that all his girls come back to our MOTHERLAND after school here abroad to continue to make a difference in this GROWING nation, that alone if you asked me is enough to proove the love he has for our country because trust me, I know a lot of leaders of our nation who's children go to school both in England and the states and have no intentions of coming back home because like you, they feel our nation is somewhat 'EMBARASSING' , shameful if you asked me. You say u feel Nigeria is the greatest nation in the world, well I think not, I think it has sunk so low from previous depressions and terribly corrupted years such as that of Abacha's regime, but is gradually getting back on its feet, what it has however, is the BIGGEST POTENTIAL to be the greatest nation and people like my father I am proud to say are working towards that because they have the POWER to..so chidinma or tochucool however u like to be called, you can eat your heart out! he does his very best and I more than u that has been fortunate enough to see him at both work and rest can tell you that he is the most patriotic man I know, he loves his president because he knows how his president tries and even more obviously his president is the most symbolic representation of the country, he loves his nation because he can see its potential, he loves you because you make him stronger.
I do not need to even utter a word to dear Temitope because she has nailed the right spots. Daddy's girl does not live in Nigeria and is certainly not studying in Nigeria, litle wonder she sounds like she speaks the Queen's English and has not being taught that politically, it is not best for you to take an unpopular position on issues you have not witnessed firsthand and certainly not among people that hold their views based on personal experiences and not the television.
Kindly tell your remaining sisters I will like to meet with ...sorry.. read from (since I live, work and wake up everyday in Nigeria) them......
Monday, May 21, 2007
hi dear titi,this is really gonna knock u off ur seat, but i'm sure the child who sent this also sent u an even worse mail considering u r author of the blog site.i really laffed over this and i'm sure her father wud get to read ur blog too, u don become famous oooo.but i understand her position,but we no dey lie now!!! even osama's kids wud love him,cheers keep the good job on.i permit and request that u pls paste this on ur blog site.
He had received the mail from Tobilola guess the daughter of ..guess who…….. Obasanjo, Ikwela, Iwu…., well it was none of these aforementioned that I have done a piece on in this blog. She is none other than Tobilola Fani-Kayode. Her email goes thus:
Hello tochuCOOL! (by the way i love how your yahoo email address ironically contradicts itself). However, moving on to my problem, being the reason i've sent this email. I typed in my father's name on google, (as i do......because....i'm cool), and I came across this!:
hi titilayo,this is really funny,cos i actually "staggered" into ur page while searching for somethingelse.it's actually my first time on this site so forgive watever shortcomings i might seem to have.in one blunt statement, i cant agree with u more on ur views with regards who i wud love to cal "baba's praise singer".though i dint read ur whole article, just scanned through. u seemed to have done ur home work on Mr Fani kayode.having picked interest in this very brilliant man after watching an interview he did on tv.simply put, i do not like nor trust our "honourable minister select!" and agree a 100% with ur views.u go girl! wud realy love to meet or have future correspondence with u.thanks firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, tochucool, i just have to say that when i read this, i laughed....very....very hysterically. I notice the dry humour and sarcasm in your reply to titilayo who's probably even more bored than you are. I can't believe i'm wasting prep time typing this....oh dear i've got to finish my homework! i'll summarize...get a life. it's my advice.. you don't have to take it, but it would do you a great deal if you did. My dad is a good man. you'll see when the time comes. good luck xxx
My reply to the dear daughter of the voluble, subtly power seeking however amiable and very handsome Femi Fani Kayode.
From your email, I can sense you are still in junior secondary, sorry senior primary or the senior secondary level of the post basic education and that is if you are studying in our great country, Nigeria.
Well, this makes it very obvious that you are yet to witness what it is like to seat in a lecture hall that seats 100 but filled with over 700 students waiting to receive lectures fom a frustrated lowly paid professor. I also doubt if you have had to carry a bag containing your certificates, results and C.V walking the streets of Lagos in search of job which most Nigerian graduates have done averagely for two years.
My dear, you are an omobolanle i.e. you were born into wealth worked for by your grand or great grandfather and you would have grown up in the Ikoyi, V/I axis of Lagos, Nigeria or Houston, Texas, or London, United Kingdom and then, you can’t understand the picture of living conditions that exist in Agege, Ajegunle, Amukoko, Badia, Bariga, Ijeshatedo/Itire, Ilaje, Iwaya or Makoko, all in Lagos State. Do you know that today a low percentage of children of school age are not in school but on the streets where they are prone to all sorts of maltreatments and assault because many of them are not protected by the system that should do that, the police. They'd rather be orderlies for wealthy people like your dad. And do you why they are not in school, it is due to the lack of money.
You may wonder why I go ahead reiterating all these bad news about Nigeria, the simple reason is because your dad, Chief, Honourable Minister, Ex Presidential Adviser denies all these facts. Dear, I don’t doubt the fact that your dad is a good man at least to you, the children of General Sani Abacha are saying the same of their dad. Since you say your dad is a good man, I believe you are very close to him and you play on his laps, kindly help us drop this words with daddy… NIGERIANS ARE SUFFERING AND IT IS REAL!!!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Despite the fact that all his 20mins rambling received little or no attention from my fiancé and certainly ZERO attention from me, he just went on and on about his gist claiming he has inside Abuja sources.
For me, I remain unshaken in my Pro-positive Nigeria stand.
Our elections will hold and will peaceful!
And come May 29, 2007, we will have the first civilian to civilian presidential handing over occasion in Nigeria!!!
I shall be there at the Eagle Square, Abuja either in person if allowed and if not attend by proxy through the television :)
And so, from today, we begin our countdown to the election days…
4 DAYS TO APRIL 14, 2007 - Governorship/State House of Assembly Election
11 DAYS TO APRIL 21, 2007 – Presidential/National Assembly Elections
Friday, April 06, 2007
One day, a guy I had been working with for about two weeks was trying to be friendly with me and wanted to gist me about the problems he was having with his girlfriend and unconsciously, I had shut my mind to the story and kept on trying to change the topic, the guy kinda got the drift and said.. you don’t want to hear abi… and I just nodded my head slightly.
I have always acted formally in offices where I have gone to work and not delving into chit-chats with bosses or colleagues or subordinates. I went to work to work and didn’t socialize and whenever I needed to socialize, I went to my friends. (Now this sounds like a principle I carefully prepared and lived by).
This is because when I get to like people I like with all of my hear, I trust them completely and so I take my careful time before I allow myself to be drift into getting know people and befriending them. It is hard to earn my trust but believe me, when you earn it; you have earned an ardent trust.
I remember a case that happened while I was in secondary school. In my penultimate year in the school, we had a head girl I liked so much. My sister always kept trying to tell me some sinister thing about her but I never listened. I ignored my own sister to pitch my trust with the head girl that didn’t even know me personally because I was too drunk in my likeness and loyalty. At the end of the day everyone in the school except me knew that the head girl had been sleeping with the principal and to completely shatter my any other form of goodwill I could have had for the head girl, she got pregnant for the principal and gave birth to twins.
I have had my heart broken by friends; I have been gossiped about, maligned, deceived and most recently gracefully ignored.
Over these past one week, I have concluded against all former inclinations I have had about myself that I am a very emotional person. On the surface I look like kinda hard hearted and you know the non-tears shedding strong girl. I now realize that I have created this shield around myself and my heart just to conceal the very emotional me.
And now again I have had myself bruised with emotions again and this time it is by someone I respect and look up to as an older friend. I have cried……and now ask myself the question, should I ever trust a friend again?
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
And upon the heat.., I saw some women who clean the streets with council uniforms begging for alms........
Must be really very hot for the women..
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Today is the 6th of March, 2007
Looking at our last date it was..January 22
And that means, for over five weeks
I havn’t expressed myself on you
I wonder, if I wasn’t going to be doing what you expect of me
Why did I birth you
Why did I open up for you to come forth
If I was just going to ignore you
And sometimes go for days on end
And return only to copy and paste the expressions of another
I am sorry I went away without mentioning
Gone for days and not looking back
Not knowing what u feel about being left alone
Left, unattended and unspoken for
You opened yourself up and allowed me pour my heart out
On the days I was down and at the times when I had my highs
I remember the episode of my virgin passport
Being deflowered by a visa refusal stamp at the Netherlands embassy
I remember you opening yourself to me as I poured my heart out on Nigeria
And memories of me running to you to when I got back from Nairobi keep rushing in
I ask myself then, why didn’t I talk to you about Amsterdam
Why didn’t I refrain from mentioning the new visa episode
That The Royal Netherlands embassy granted me visa within three days
Why did I keep mum about passing through the Schipol airport
Lodging at the Golden Tulip, taking pictures at the Dam square
And walking through some of the location spots of Ocean’s Twelve
Can this be because I wanted to leave out the gist about....
My visit to the Red Light District (Lord, Have Great Mercy!!!)
And taking a cup of coffee in a coffee shop
However, no matter the reason
No excuse I state will be enough
To explain away my neglect
Dear blog, I sincerely apologise in the presence of all the witnesses
That have been consistent in visiting us and reading the posts
And promise.....it shouldn’t happen again ……….:)
Monday, January 22, 2007
An FBI affidavit--a copy of which you'll find below--details the alleged extortion plot, which began early last year when Dr. Iweala, who works at Washington's Providence Hospital, received a call from Nwoye. According to FBI Agent William Ronacher, Iweala, pictured at right, acknowledged having a year-long affair with Nwoye in 2002-3, adding that they remained "social friends" after their "intimate relationship" ended. In a February 2006 phone conversation, Nwoye asked Iweala to speak with her cousin, whom she identified as "Ernest Ufondu." In a series of subsequent phone calls spanning two months, "Ufondu" repeatedly demanded money from Iweala in return for his and Nwoye's silence. In fact, "Ufondu" was actually Nwoye's boyfriend Adriane Osuagwu. Iweala initially agreed to make two $20,000 payments. A week after delivering the second installment (which he turned over to Nwoye in cash in the Providence Hospital parking lot), Iweala received a call form his ex-lover. She "told him that she had not had sex in a while and that she wanted to see him," according to the FBI affidavit.
Amazingly, Dr. Iweala agreed to a rendezvous with his extorter later that evening. The pair, in Nwoye's car, drove to a secluded area of the hospital parking lot and disrobed. As they "were engaged in sex, or about to engage in sex," an unknown man approached the auto and began taking photos of the naked duo. Not surprisingly, the brain surgeon immediately began receiving new demands from Osuagwu, who told him, "What happened tonight? That was a terrible mistake. Now I have the photos. You have to pay money to stop all these things." Iweala paid an additional $145,000 before contacting authorities about the scheme. In subsequent phone conversations monitored by the FBI, Nwoye told Iweala the explicit photos "would not go anywhere without her support" and claimed that all the money she received was forwarded to "Ufondu." Nwoye, charged with a felony count of conspiracy to commit extortion, is free on a personal recognizance bond and scheduled for a February 15 federal court appearance.