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Monday, November 30, 2015

IN LOVING MEMORY: PAUL WALKER REMEMBERED



Two years ago today, the world received a terrible shock at the news of Paul Walker's death from a ghastly car crash. The American actor who was 40 at the time of his death was notable for appearing alongside Vin Diesel and then later Tyrese Gibson as the character Brian Conner in The Fast & The Furious and  its sequels (except for The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift).
Walker also appeared  in the 1999 teen movie- She's All That- and several other movies including The Skulls, Flags of Our Fathers, The Lazarus Project and Vehicle 19. Furious 7 was his final movie.



Paul Walker is greatly missed; not only for his versatile acting skills on the big screen but  for his charity work; he was the founder of the charity organisation "Reach Out World Wide" (ROWW) which provides relief  efforts for areas struck by natural disasters. His family, past colleagues and fans of course will always remember him at his best.
May he continue to rest in peace.

ADELE DOES IT AGAIN!



Again English pop singer  Adele has proven she's a  force to be reckoned with as her new album  reaches Number 1. '25' was released on the 20th of this month, 2015; hence for it to make reach the very top within just a week of its release is an astounding achievement.
And why not, from the moment 25's first track 'Hello' flows from the speakers, the listeners are no doubt spellbound by her powerful, soulful  voice,the soft piano chords  and words of the song which has a deeply moving nostalgic tone.
I've always felt that Adele sings from the heart and her music definitely speaks to me. From the moment I first heard her version of Bob Dylan's Make You Feel My Love from her debut album '19'  and later, the James Bond movie soundtrack, Skyfall- I became an Adele fan.  'Set Fire To The Rain' from her previous album '21' (which won 6 Grammy Awards in 2012) is constantly played in my smartphone because she's simply a very talented singer, her songs besides aforementioned beautiful and filled with meaning.
Will there be another album after this one? If there's going to be, I've no doubt Adele will again shine even more than she's done with 19, 21 and now 25.
 So to Adele, a very hearty and well deserved congratulations!

Friday, November 27, 2015

NIGERIA PLUS SIZE BEAUTIES PROJECT: PLUS SIZE STILL IN!!!

Speaking with Adebowale Victor Ojo a.k.a Mr G’Clef d Impresario; Model, Wardrobe Adviser, Poise Coach and football analyst- he discussed his current venture, The Nigeria Plus Size Beauties Project.


“The project entails creating job opportunities for plus size women, organising a booth camp, creating a tourist club and a thousand march for plus size females. I want plus size females to get their groove, job, marriage, etc. back and appreciate who they are more ‘cause beauty doesn’t have a particular shape. African women are blessed with amazing curvy shape which is globally envied.”  He explained.

 With this venture, plus size ladies out there should emerge self-confident and assured that they are beautiful after all and say, ‘I’m curvy and I love myself!’ 
To see more details of G' Clef's project, "like" his page on Facebook. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

REVIEW: THE SECRET LIVES OF BABA SEGI'S WIVES





Lola Shoneyin’s (daughter in law of Nigerian Nobel Laurete, Professor Wole Soyinka) debut novel is an example of social realism and I was taken in by the story from page one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CHILDREN FOREVER: NIGERIAN PARENTS' INABILITY TO LET GO OF THEIR CHILDREN





This subject was addressed by a very good friend of mine on Facebook. In her post, she indignantly expressed her view on how African parents' keep such a tight rein on their children that even when they are past 18; they still feel they have the right to tell them what to do and constantly interfere with their lives.
So true, especially here in Nigeria. Culture dictates that children should respect, listen and obey their parents because being their parents; they are older and wiser. Children are brought up to take their parents' guidance and as the years go by, they find themselves continually doing as they are told and decisions made for them... after their own decisions are tossed aside and ignored.
"Mummy and Daddy" are always right and we are the ignorant children who must listen to them because Culture (which is held over our heads like a gun) dictates it. If in the situation where the grown child stands up to them, they are dubbed 'disrespectful', 'stubborn, and sometimes even 'ungrateful'.
 "After all," so goes the usual tirade meant to manipulate and guilt, "we are your parents, we raised you, clothed you, sent you to school and you think you know better?" In the eyes of Nigerian parents, children are still children and don’t seem to notice they’ve grown at all.
 In more developed countries, children go off to begin their lives away from their parents when they get to 18 or 21. Here, such a thing is pretty much impossible.
One reason is economy, with the staggering cost of rents and hard-to-find jobs; what 18 or 21 year olds will be able to get their own place?
The other is  parents; who adamantly refuse to let their children move out of the safety of the family house, either  in a misguided sense of over protectiveness or they simply want to keep their children under their control.
When my friend talked about how a young woman she knew was forced to quit her job and move to the village because her tyrannical father ‘said so’; I felt very sorry for her, especially since she had her life planned out only to be ignored and shoved aside because Daddy for some reason wanted her to move to the village. It’s more about control, than knowing what’s best for her.
That’s all we hear in Nigeria; ‘Mummy and Daddy knows what’s best for us’; in almost every aspect of our lives; from what we were to what course to study in the University. They do all they can to guide us, except on  how to be independent and they are seldom given the chance to stand on their own. In the end, the children’s lives are ruined because they cannot stand on their own, after such a long period of dominance and dependence.
I know a woman in her thirties who still lives with her mother.  Even if she had enough money to rent a place of her own, her mother has already warned her she will not allowed it. 
Her reason? “Letting you live on your own will be like putting a curse on you.” I’ve gone over that weird sentence and till now, I still don’t know what that means.
Nigerian parents would say that parents in the Western world spoil their children and don’t discipline their children enough and spoil them. But it’s not like Nigerian children are better off under their parents’ dominating control either. How do they expect their children to grow if they won’t let them grow?
There’s a major emphasis of having children in this country, if you don’t have children, you’re nothing. Yet children most times are treated like property, not human beings. Their needs are met yes, but what about their emotional needs?   
They say they know what’s best. I say they are  being damn selfish.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS GOLDEN EAGLETS!!!


I'm breaking my new rule of not posting on a Tuesday to congratulate our Golden Eaglets for winning the U-17 World Cup tournament in Chile; after defeating Mali 2-0. With this victory, the Golden Eaglets have made history by winning the U-17 World Cup for the 5th time. It was a great outing for Nigeria and no doubt, the Golden Eaglets are coming home to a well deserved heroes' welcome. No doubt the Eaglets were spurred on by determination and true team spirit, hence made Nigeria proud with this wonderful achievement.
So congratulations Golden Eaglets for bringing the Cup home and to the team captain, Kelechi Nwali for his Adidas Golden Ball and Bronze Boot award and to Victor Osimhen (the highest goal scorer) for winning the Adidas Golden Boot award. Well done guys!
Up Naija, UP NIGERIA! 

Monday, November 09, 2015

WILL SMITH PLAYS A NIGERIAN DOCTOR IN “CONCUSSION”



 
Image: notyetrated.net
I happened to come across the trailer of this upcoming biopic , ‘Concussion’ ; about a  forensic neuropathologist  - Bennet Omalu- who discovered a severe football related brain aliment known  as CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and his efforts to make it public. This will be Will Smith's  third biopic; his previous ones being Ali in 2001 where he played boxing legend Muhammad Ali and later on played entrepreneur Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness, the 2006 movie also starred his son, Jaden. The movie will be released this Christmas.
While I’m really interested in seeing the movie, I wanted to know more about the man Smith is portraying; especially since the last name of the same doctor sounds African. Imagine my delighted surprise to find out Bennet Omalu is not only an African but a Nigerian. Doing some research (partly from Wikipedia), I found out more about this Dr. Bennet Omalu. 
Image: Twitter.com


 Dr.  Bennet Omalu; M.D., MBA, MPH, CPE, DABP-AP, CP, MBA was born (not in America like I initially thought) in Enugu, Anambara state during a very rough period in the country’s history- The Biafran War- in 1968. He attended the Federal Government College, Enugu and at age sixteen studied medicine at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; earning a Bachelor Degree in Medicine and Surgery. He left Nigeria for the States in 1994; first going to Seattle  to complete an epidemiology fellowship at the University of Washington. In 1995, he moved to New York City, where he joined Columbia University’s Harlem Hospital Center for a residency training program in anatomic and clinical pathology.
 He has earned eight degrees and is currently Chief Medical Adviser at San Joaquin County, California and is a professor in the UC Davis Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Omalu discovered CTE in 2002 after doing an autopsy on a football player and thus began his crusade to make the dangerous brain disease public- the main plot of  CONCUSSION.
Dr. Omalu is one of the Nigerians who has made a positive mark in America and I applaud him for what he’s achieved and still achieving today. Keep up the good work sir, you've made Nigeria very proud! 
TRAILER: 

CARBO FANFICTION- FALLEN: CHAPTERS MAP




    PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, PART 5, PART 6, PART 7, PART 8
   
    PART 9PART 10, PART 11, PART 12, PART 13, PART 14, PART 15,

    PART 16, PART 17PART 18, PART 19, PART 20, PART 21, PART 22

    FINAL
          

CARBO FANFICTION- FALLEN PART 23





Taking her by the hand, Bo led Carly to the upper deck. After the ceremony, they had to pose for several photos, share their first dance as a married couple, cut the cake and listened to speeches from Roman, Shawn Douglas, Melanie and then Caroline. After more dancing, Bo wanted to be alone with his bride.
Drawing Carly into his arms, they moved in time to the music, eyes on each other. ‘Have I told you how much I love you?’ Bo asked softly.
Carly smiled at him. ‘Not nearly enough, no.’
‘My mistake. I love you, Mrs. Brady. Very much.’
Mrs. Brady, how wonderful that sounds.’ Her fingers linked behind his neck, looking up at him intently. ‘And you’re the most wonderful man in the world, you’ve always been.’
Bo’s arms tightened round her waist, touched by the heartfelt words and the love in her eyes. ‘And?’
‘And kind, caring, utterly selfless and you’re the love of my life.’
‘And?’
Carly saw the teasing glint in his eyes and laughed. ‘I’m not going to give you a swell head, Bo Brady!’
Chuckling Bo kissed her again, possessively and Carly returned it, clinging to him. ‘I love you,’ she whispered after it ended. ‘And I’m so happy. Finally marrying you, finally going to share my life with you in the truest sense. Definitely not what I imagined when I came back.’
‘Things turned out differently and in a good way.’ Bo replied. ‘The night I was at The Java feeling sorry for myself, there you were. Even then I thought about how you happened to be there, at that time.’
‘Just like the time you happened to be at the café in Alamainia, and saving me from Lawrence even though I was a complete stranger. And then seeing you again in Salem, in the middle of your grief.’
 ‘Yeah,’ Bo’s expression was rueful as he vividly remembered the encounter on his pier. ‘I went away angry but you were already on my mind. And I was scared of falling in love with you and almost threw away happiness. That day you flat lined and Dr. Horton pronounced you dead, I rode off to Green Oakes. I was so angry and heartbroken… and felt so cheated, thinking about the fight we had before you got called to the hospital.’
‘It was my fault,’ Carly said tearfully. ‘I had no right to accuse you of resenting Nicky.’
‘No… no… it wasn’t your fault; don’t say that.’ Bo placated her. ‘It wasn’t. You just wanted make up for the lost years, you couldn’t know Lawrence was egging Nicky on like that, using him against us. If there’s anyone to blame, it’s Lawrence. And he’s dead; he can’t hurt you or come between us ever again.’
‘I know.’ Carly nodded again.  
‘Fate’s a whole lot kinder to us this time. We’re together, for good. Don’t you ever believe otherwise.’
‘I won’t, ever again.’ Carly promised. ‘Bo, can you do something for me?’
‘Of course, princess. What is it?’
‘Say the Mayan prayer to me, please. The second part.’
Stroking Carly’s cheek, Bo recited softly: 

‘‘I know now that the voice of man can reach to the sky
I know now that the gods have heard as I prayed
I know now that the gifts I asked for have all been granted
I know now that the word of old we truly have heard
I know now that our future days will have no number
I know that only good will come, my love, to us.’’

The last word faded off as his lips met hers again.
As soon as The Blue Pearl docked, they exchanged heartfelt hugs with their family and friends, thanking them all for celebrating such a special day with them. Marcus was the last to hug Carly, once again congratulating her.
 Before they walked down the gangplank, Carly tossed the bouquet and they hurried down hand in hand to the waiting limousine in a hail of rice and rose petals, everyone waving at them frantically.
In the car, Carly brought something out of her white purse; Bo’s jade ring from their symbolic Mayan wedding. After staring at it, unable to speak, Bo gave it to Carly and held out his right hand. Carly slid it onto his third finger.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
The bedroom was dark except for the flickering flames of the candles. After their impassioned lovemaking, Bo and Carly lay against each other under the sheets; swimming in blissful afterglow.
‘Are you asleep, princess?’ Bo whispered after several minutes of silence.
‘No… just resting my eyes.’ Carly murmured, rubbing his chest.
Bo kissed the top of her head, his hand moving down her naked back. ‘It’s like we’re back at the hut.’
‘Our hut,’ Carly smiled in the dark, eyes still closed. ‘I always remember our hut and that night; the happy feeling it was just the two of us in our own special world. Corazon Del Cielo.’
‘“The heart of heaven.”” Bo translated, also smiling at the memory. ‘It sure felt like it, after everything we went through because of Victor. I could finally call you mine and make you mine.’
‘That’s where we are right now; in the heart of heaven.’ Carly replied, still rubbing his chest.
‘And it’s always going to stay like this, princess; for the rest of our lives.’
Nicholas had surprised Bo and Carly with first class tickets to Cancun and said he booked a bungalow at a marvelous hotel there- all-expense paid- insisting it was his wedding gift to them. Knowing how much his stepson wanted to atone for the past, Bo had joined Carly in thanking him sincerely. They were going to set off for Cancun in the morning. Carly especially, couldn’t wait to see their beloved Chichén Itza again after so many years.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Two years later
‘Caitlin Alice Melissa Horton, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.’
Bo and Carly watched as Father Matt made the sign of the cross over the forehead of their granddaughter before handing her over to her godmothers, Maggie and Chelsea; Caitlin’s godfathers were Max and Brady.
Carly held her granddaughter at the end of the ceremony, smiling down at the rosy cheeked, green eyed baby. ‘She’s so beautiful, just like her mummy.’ She said.
Melanie grinned. ‘I got that from you, Mum.’
 ‘Maybe the next one will look like me,’ Nathan suggested.
Melanie gave him a playful swat on the arm while Bo watched Carly as she held their first grandchild; smiling at the happy expression on her face. Two years of marriage and they were still as close as two people deeply in love could be and more than happy. Fate was definitely been kinder to them this time around, the shadows of the past firmly behind them.
‘Here, let me hold her,’ Caroline said and Carly placed the baby into her arms. ‘Oh… aren’t you a precious little thing!’ she murmured, everyone exclaiming over the child. Justin was present with Adrienne, having long made up with her and finally got Bo and Carly to forgive him. Victor was another story however. He was yet to warm towards Carly and Melanie, Melanie especially; still unable to forget his son had a romantic relationship with a girl who turned out later to be his granddaughter. Melanie and her parents could care less about him or his opinions hence didn’t bother inviting him to Caitlin’s baptism. Besides, there was another reason to celebrate that day and his presence would only ruin things for everybody.
At Bo and Carly’s house, the guests sang “Happy Birthday” to Carly; Melanie setting down a large cake with lit candles in front of her.
‘Make a wish, make a wish!’ Ciara urged, clapping her hands.
‘Yeah, go on Carly!’ Shawn Douglas added.
Smiling, Carly blew the candles amidst a round of applause. Later that night, when they were alone, Carly told Bo what she wished for. ‘Many more years with you and our family.’
‘I certainly second that, princess. Which reminds me,’ he took out a small box from the nightstand and gave it to Carly. ‘Happy birthday, with all my love.’
‘Oh Bo…’ Carly’s eyes filled with tears as she pulled out the white-gold chain. Dangling from it was a star shaped diamond pendant, as beautiful as the first one he gave her so long ago. ‘The North Star, which guides the weary traveller home.’ she sniffled, hugging Bo. ‘I love it and I love you.’
‘I love you too, princess.’ Bo’s kiss was that of heartfelt tenderness. Taking it from her, he clasped it round her neck, the pendant glittering in the light.
‘You aren’t still sad we never had another child, are you?’ he asked, as they lay on the bed; arms round each other. Nursing a faint hope she might be able to conceive again, Carly had consulted one of the doctors at the hospital. But after going through some tests, she was gently told it just wasn’t possible.
‘No. I feel a bit down sometimes when I think about it but then I remember what I already have; our Melanie and Shawn D, Ciara and even Chelsea. And now we have a granddaughter. So no… I’m not sad at all. I’m happy with what I have. Especially you, sailor.’
‘I’m really glad to hear that, I don’t ever want to see you unhappy.’
‘I’m more than happy,’ she whispered, staring at the hazel eyes looking back at her.
‘Remember what I told you on the first day of our honeymoon?’
‘I remember,’ she stroked his cheek.  ‘“Once Fallen, Now Blessed.”’’
So we are princess; now and forever.’ 
                            THE END