Category Archives: Lifestyle

Living in a coastline city

I have spent a few years in Lagos, the most populous city in Africa, Nigeria. A well-known city all around the world. Lagos is truly the city that never sleeps, by 4:00 AM I can already hear loud car honks outside my window, from people rushing off to work.
Some mornings I wake up asking myself why I am in this city and other mornings I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Aside from being such a famous town, Lagos is also the smallest state by landmass in the country at only 3,345 square kilometers. It also boasts of the longest bridge in Africa, which is the third mainland bridge. Lagos is located by Nigeria’s coastline, hence this vibrant city has lots of scenic beaches. Also, there are so many beach resorts to choose from and have a remarkable experience.

Resorts are far more than just a room to lodge in. It stands out from a regular hotel room as a resort has more space, entertainment, privacy, sports, recreational activities, and even shopping stores within its premises.

The city of Lagos has a number of charming beach resorts with breathtaking facilities to choose from, which is why I’m still trying to decide on which to visit this Christmas! I had to speak to a few friends to find out their experiences when they visited some popular beach resorts in Lagos.

INAGBE GRAND RESORT

This breathtaking beach resort is one of the most trendy resorts in Lagos. It is a tourist hotspot and is located on Inagbe Island, which is a 15 minutes boat ride from Victoria Island. I happen to know a guest who lodged here earlier this year and I learned that the staff are very welcoming, the food is okay and the environment is serene. However, she experienced insect bites, poor cellular network, and had to pay additional money for horse/boat rides on the resort.

WHISPERING PALMS RESORT

It’s one of the most talked about resorts in Lagos, situated at Iworo/Ajido Town, Badagry. The resort has a lovely ambiance for a refreshing staycation. As stated by a visitor, “it’s quite pricy and one has to go with deep pockets to enjoy your stay. You pay for everything you want to use despite lodging there.”

JARA BEACH RESORT

This resort remains one of the top attractions in Lagos. The Jara beach resort has a blend of Nigerian cultural outlooks and modern-day designs, which makes it stand out from other Resorts. I’m told the staff are attentive, rooms are spotlessly clean, delicious meals are served and it’s the type of vacation spot, you would love to take pictures all day long.

JAYBEE BEACH CAMP AND TARKWA CAFE

Jaybee Beach Camp is found along Tarkwa Bay Island and proves to be a stunning vacay spot. I’ll give it a thumbs up in relation to the experience my friends had there last year, lovely, affordable, neat, and calm. The room cabins have a great beach view and more amazingly, there are cooking utensils available, so you can definitely bring foodstuff. It was also suggested going in a group would make the trip more entertaining.

LA CAMPAGNE TROPICANA

The beautiful and famous La Campagne Tropicana is a well-visited resort in Lagos. It is a notable beach resort, as it proudly shows off African beauty in an extraordinary way, making it a unique getaway spot.
From visitor reports, this resort sure knows how to treat guests like royalty, welcoming you/waking/knocking with talking drums, Yoruba attires, and a special salute to top it off! Also visiting with a stash of cash or on a group tour would make it more enjoyable. There is something for everyone, lots of fun activities including bunk beds for the children.

Escaping to a beach resort for a quick holiday is one of the best decisions anyone could make. The cool ambiance, fresh atmosphere, and change of environment to the coastline can have a positive impact on your mind, body, and soul.

Have you visited any of these resorts before? What was it like for you?

And something happened

Tuesday 20th of October dawned like every other day and seems to be just yet another day. However for me I was a little disappointed for my little man who was looking forward to sharing a cake with his mates in school (schools were closed due to road blocks from protests)  as it is his birthday. I had to do a lot of creative explanation why he can not go to school then promised to invite next door neighbors to celebrate with him. In no time, his enthusiasm and excitement rubbed on me and I was in a mini party mood to make his day fun.

Towards evening, we still had our buddies around then someone called our attention to DJ-Switch’s live on Instagram. Suddenly, the atmosphere in the house changed, like terror, fear, hopelessness and despair was released Into the atmosphere, I was on the brink of something dark, sad and kind of laughing at the same time as it seems unreal, tummy revolting already. By this time there were 11 thousand plus people on the live video then the number kept increasing until there were about 155 thousand people. At this point we were all talking at the same time, everyone left for their house and the cake long forgotten.

Finally we were left all alone but the terror was so real, we eventually had a restless sleep in the living room safe for the children. I could not bear sleeping on a bed while our brothers and sisters were out there, fighting to live, fighting to safe a limb or arm, the sight of blood, it was unbearable. The restless nap I had on the chair was in tatters and riddled with nightmares, waking up to pray at intervals etc. up till 2 days after.

The protest was hijacked by hoodlums and sponsored thugs( the love of money is the root of all evil ) I believe and the obviously real lazy Nigerian youths. They were never a part of the protests, they are not on social media rather they are thieves and opportunists looking for chaotic situation to cash in on to go on a rampage and wanton destruction of communal properties, peoples toil and sweat. I believe in a just God who will not leave the guilty unpunished so everyone will get what they rightfully deserve in right proportions.

Source -Corruption reporter website

The Covid palliatives is even another issue that gave me serious headache and some states response feels so awkward like ”we are expecting the rice component” ! Places like Ilorin found 3 locations and God knows how many are still undiscovered in bigger urban cities . I do not support break ins, (even if it was meant for you but denied you in the first place )looting, violence and injustice of any kind but how did we even get here in the first place as honest and hardworking citizens.

On the Lekki shootings, personally there were too many fishy and unhealthy co-incidences which does not settle well in my spirit .Something is revolting and crying out on why the scanner or  CCTV or whatever they say it is  should be taken away for whatever. Lights off, a bill board never going off now chooses that day to go off because of curfew, Internet down on several networks, ambulances turned back ! I scarce can’t take it in on such spiral of co-incidences, probably the god of co-incidences was passing through town. Then press statement started flying around to Shalaye (explain) , ok I have heard but I don’t understand nor accept. The cup of injustice and oppressions is full in the land, o God of creation arise in your justice and mercy over our land until every wrong is made right and righteousness is exalted in our land.

I remember being on  radiolive interview on the 6th and was asked about security in the interview which I responded not seeing it as a major deterrent to Tourism in Nigeria. I said this based on my previous research where roads, infrastructure and adequate information was higher on the list . However, today I have only security of lives and properties on my list.

If a Nigerian does not feel secured in her fatherland, how do we attract the paying foreign visitors ? The ones that will bring foreign investments and a steady flow of visitors in the midst of so much chaos. The Hospitality. Leisure, Travel and Tourism (HLTT) industry , please brace up for the upcoming lash on our dear industry. The December influx for detty December will not be what it used to be , lets begin to prepare for innovative solutions. Rather there will probably be a long queue of white December enthusiasts, travel ticket requests etc. Also Tour operators , watch who you take on a trip so they do not abscond and taint your reputation.

On this note ,I sense deeply something has changed and moved in the spirit and physical realm for Nigeria and we will never remain the same again.

I pray for peace, comfort and consolation to everyone who has lost a child, a friend, a sibling and for honest hardworking Nigerians who have lost means of livelihood, properties and things you can not measure with any weight.

Independence day — National Owanbe day

On the 1st October 1960,my dear Fatherland gained independence and became a sovereign nation,Nigeria, I hail and doff my hat for you.

Today,this giant clocks 60 years old and I really want to say a happy birthday to this great nation.

Oh great Nigeria, I call you thus as so much greatness lies within even thought your steps falter and your tongue stutters,you still remain a giant.

In a bid to attract foreign visitors to our dear nation, I have a strong feeling we should re -christen this day our national owanbe day. This I believe will attract more visitors and the international media will put a spotlight on us which will keep the world smiling in the face of so much gloom as a result of the recent pandemic. The world sure needs a time of refreshing and something to smile about.

Model- Queen Mo the Diva on Instagram

World over and even for Nigerians in diaspora, we are known for our lavish partying and over the top celebrations. Nigerians have been known to spend fortunes on weddings  or burials, amounts that could easily buy a house or set one up for life. We are the go lucky happy kid, who always finds something to laugh about even in the worst of cases, turn up memes with national issues and even start selling customized merchandize for such events. So why can we not just turn this to a national treasure ? Instead of having propaganda agendas, unending meetings, anniversary committees and what nots, lets just have a giant party nation wide. Customized Nigeria at 60 Ankara and lace made available and delivered to our houses. Then maybe this will help us know the actual number of people who got the Covid-19 relief materials. Imagine, this can even shed light on how well the national cake is going round by the number of selfies we see popping up. The Yoruba people of Nigeria will say “ko wo ankara ko je semo ” (No uniform Ankara for the party, no food for you ).

Model – k_thepsalmist on Instagram

Lets us have one giant party in states and local governments, estates and streets with each region celebrating their local talents, local Mama put/eateries given government money to make delicacies for citizens to walk in and eat. Nigerians are hospitable and we have amazing delicacies worth trying.

Independence inspired meal

How else can we celebrate this day and touch the life of Nigerians, make the masses happy, break records and get the attention of the whole world ?

Source – loveweddingsng

Where did this crazy idea come from ?

Every year on the 1st of October, I see a lot of pictures popping up on social media with Nigerians dressed in GREEN and WHITE, with a lot of efforts and creativity in place. Even schools are not left out, requesting preschoolers up to secondary schools to dress in national colours . Thus why not turn this day to a national treasure/man made festival to greatly promote tourism with awards for most creative dressing etc and over the years, nations of the world will travel to join the party and eventually visit other attractions. Something irresistible must surely draw them here.

In the spirit of a true Nigerian and love for my Father land, I say have a restful holiday, happy Independence day, your path will  shine brightly and long live Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

The rain Corn

In the build up to Naija Corn Fest 2020, we had a series of educative posts about corn, why it is important as a staple food, Africa still importing corn from developed countries and also the economic value reffered to as “Yellow Gold” in developed countries. 

Barely a week after, a CBN circular spread like wild fire saying form M (form M is a mandatory statutory document to be completed by all importers for importation of goods into Nigeria )has been banned for all importation of Corn/Maize. This means no form M,no official (cheap ,regulated) rates for buying dollars for foreign exchange.

The CBN circular stopping form M

This invariably means no regulated funds for buying corn. i.e it is an outright ban on importation of Corn. It is also worthy to note that Corn has been on the export prohibited  list before now, meaning we do not have enough so we can not sell out. All importation and exportation of corn/maize and seeds are now prohibited.

How ordinary people will be affected

Imported corn will probably still be available at the mercy of merchants who dare to smuggle in the produce. This means Corn importation has now been declared a contraband/prohibited item just like the status of imported rice into the country. In the long run, everybody feels the heat as everything we use corn for gets to increase in price. However it still feels lopsided as other processed corn items/derivatives importation have not been banned e.g corn starch etc.

As a result of the ban, the Animal feed industry was the first to cry out, according to Dr. Folarin Afelumo, President of  Feed Industry Practitioners Association of Nigeria, FIPAN said “the scarcity of grains (maize), if not urgently tackled, spells doom for the industry which is worth over N500 billion”.

Animal feeds

Speaking with a chicken poultry farmer, a measure of feed usually goes for #96 now goes for #185 and it is still rising which will push up the eventual cost of chickens they raise. Egg sellers have added money and its only a matter of time for baked goods to go up.

The question is how then do we increase our production as a country to become self sustainable.

The real issue and what can be done

According to a report by IITA, Africa imports 28% of its required maize grain from countries outside the continent as most of the maize production in Africa is done under rain-fed conditions. Irregular rainfall can trigger shortages and famines during occasional droughts. Today, a certain percent of required maize by Nigeria is lost as a result of importation ban, another percent lost as a result of sketchy rainfall in cities within Nigeria where the maize/corn is grown, yet another loss as a result of poor farming methods and all the youths gone to the city for the white collar jobs. And to top it all, we are still missing some as an aftermath of Covid-19 .What percentage of required corn do we have left for the teeming population?

To bring our corn production to speed as a nation, we need to start massive mechanized farming, irrigation and definitely more than one corn planting season in a year by rotating all the vast expanse of land we have as a nation. There is no better time to plant and invest in corn production.

Naija Corn Festival 2020

We planned to host the First naija corn festival on the 4th July 2020 but Covid-19 happened.
In place of that we decided to host a CSR programme bringing corn to our community for free and we urged people to post their corn eating pictures with #naijacornfest on social media to join our e-corn party. Most people did not post the pictures directly, rather they sent them to us to post and till date ,we have some yet to make it to the gram.

Some of the pictures on Instagram tagged #naijacornfest

The 4th of July 2020 dawned as a rainy day yet my spirits refused to be down, I was optimistic and excited as getting to plan the day itself was a leap of faith .Thus the rain was no discouragement, we were ready to take it on plus God blessed us with amazing set of people who stepped out of their comfort zone to be a part of the event. Though we started later than planned we were able to touch locations within Surulere, and Kilo as our final bus- stop.

Amazing crew braving the rain to share Corn

Courtesy of the rain, we could not do as much video as we would have loved to, plus we totally forgot about the instgram live promise due to the downpour. see here with no sound  the short clip on Instagram live which would have been great content for the video but our video recorder battery had shut down by then. Below is the event re-cap.

 

 

We stopped by at some amazing peoples house like Ajala Nene and  Devee Apparels to give them corn and by this time I was soaked to my shoes , I had to beg for tea (black) to get a bit of warmth. Our final stop was Yakoyo eatery on Ogunlana for take – out hot Amala. By the time I got home, I was already sneezing and my nose was blocked. For the next 2 days, I upped my intake of Vit C to 2000gms and by the third day was as fit as a fiddle.

A big shout out to all our friends,family and people who came across the adverts and registered, to those who went out of their way to cook /buy corn that day ,we celebrate you specially. Up till the 14th of July, we were still receiving pictures with people joining from all over Nigeria, the UK and the US.

While preparing for the Corn  Festival, I met a young man who printed on the packaging used for the corn,he supported us by posting about the event and recently also celebrating this hardworking and diligent Corn seller who is his Mother.

We celebrate you hardworking Mother for all that you do.

The Corn conversation is just getting started.

Have a Corntastic day !

 

The Naija Corn Festival

We have a dream, to create new tourism attractions for Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Thus the introduction of our flagship event named “Naija Corn Festival” which we intend to develop and deliver at a global standard to attract visitors from all over the world.

Corn festivals are not new as there are countries all over the world who currently celebrate this with history of the festival spanning over 40 years e.g. South Africa, United states, Canada, Britain and Australia. The United States is the largest producer and exporter of corn, accounting for more than half of world corn exports with production in the 2018 -2019 at an estimate of 366.6 million metric tons. Investopedia 2019. “Corn is sometimes referred to as “yellow gold” because it is used to make so many products and byproducts that end up throughout the economy from, food store shelves to gas pumps to industrial chemical plants” Reuters 

Maize aka Corn is the most important staple cereal crop in sub- Saharan Africa. It contains approximately 72% starch, 10% protein and 4% fat, supplying an energy density of 365Kcal/100g and is grown throughout the world (Ranum et.al 2014). Corn is rich in fibre and plant compounds that aid digestive systems and eye health. It is high in carbs but when eaten in moderation and cooked with methods to enhance the nutritional value, it can be part of a healthy diet. According to IITA – “Maize, Zea mays L. (corn), is the most abundantly produced cereal in the world. All parts of the crop can be used for food and non-food products.

How much corn did Nigeria produce in 2019 ? How much of this corn was utilized or wasted because we could not preserve nor process them into finished products to reach consumers timely. Currently the scarcity of corn for local farmers in poultry business is making the news.

The largest African producer is Nigeria with over 33 million tons, followed by South Africa, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Africa imports 28% of its required maize grain from countries outside the continent as most of the maize production in Africa is done under rain-fed conditions. About 50 species exist and consist of different colors, textures, and grain shapes and sizes. White maize fetches premium prices in Southern Africa where it represents the main staple food, whereas yellow maize is preferred as animal feed in most parts of South America and the Caribbean. Yours sincerely prefers yellow corn especially when it comes to making Pap aka akamu/ogi.

The desire to host a Naija Corn Festival came while reminiscing about the traditional yam eating festival in my village. I really do not remember nor recollect the details of the ceremony but remember vividly my Mum hammering on us not to eat the new yam until the festival in the village is done. Over time the tradition has worn off as being a Christian today this could be tantamount to idolatry.However, I miss the thrill, revelry and jamboree of having so many yam delicacies to eat all in one day.

There may be a counter argument as an organization focused on tourism which is in sync with preserving our cultures and tradition. But the truth remains that if we do not engage our youth and populace who are mostly not interested in the yam festival happening in the village, other world festivals and carnivals will have them travelling abroad to attend.

What started as reminiscing is actually  deeper when scratched, as a company we position ourselves as a hub for “education and rejuvenation “and this is what the event will achieve.

The Naija Corn Festival will be an opportunity to showcase our indigenous foods made with corn. We will also  highlight and have sessions on how to develop the available growth areas in food processing, how to create value,new products and business opportunities. . Also based on the need and awareness for healthy eating today, it is essential to enrich maize based meals thus we will bring nutritional experts to educate on how to avoid mal -nutrition and vitamin deficiency diseases.

Why Corn ?

Because Corn is everywhere and keeping it out of your shopping basket is a challenge.
Next time check the label of canned goods you want to buy and see how corn has sneaked in everywhere.
Derivatives of corn get used as a food filler, texturizer, emulsifier, sweetener, preservative, adhesive and many other applications.

TGIF vs Company culture

Thank God its Friday is the regular trending hash tag for the last working day of the week. Friday is the day everyone gets to relax and unwind as the parte after parte is about to begin, someones laptop is shutting down as early as possible, rallying friends and colleagues for a hangout. The ladies sometimes band together while the guys also call for a night out with the guys.

The co-operate world is not left out as most companies make it a part of their culture to organize social events on Fridays, characterized with music, food, drinks, karaoke, dancing competitions etc. Everyone gets to unwind and to be honest, some don’t know where to draw the line . Take for example an employee who is widely known for drinking to stupor at such events to the point of misbehaving. Does management and colleagues still have the same level of respect for that individual ? Or does h/she become the subject of hushed whispers in the office ? The human mind can be prejudiced and judgmental thus HR can reach out to the person saying can you please tone it down at TGIF events.

In response, h/she could become quiet , withdrawn, touchy and become anti social at a supposed company social event. Thus making it counter productive which can eventually lead to employee not motivated and this may hasten exit from the work place.

On a Friday, companies can try to find more creative ways to getting everyone amused and get social, some companies even ask employees to contribute money for Tgif ***rolling eyes. For me, a spa Friday with all the works won’t be a bad idea plus good food after, I will go home walking on air , relaxed and bet you my thoughts will be crystal clear.

Hello management and HR, a social evening is a great time for team bonding , don’t dull on this, get your thinking caps on,

Have a great Friyay !

Okada and Keke Napep ban

This should have been the title – I do not miss Keke Napep (Tricycle) but ends up being my ramblings about keke napep cos I still like bikes.

The Lagos (Nigeria) state government recently announced a ban on motorcycles popularly known as okada and tricycles known as keke Napep. The announcement was initially thought to be a rumor as past governments attempted it in 2017 but was eventually lifted and they continued operations until 1st February 2020. There has been a massive outcry from both riders and the commuters not to talk of the untold hardship upon the masses. In my interactions with people , there is a bit of mixed feelings as regards the recent development but for me ,I feel the pain of only the e-hailing bike services as a huge investment has gone into this sector and should be recouped, they also remain my trusted allies despite their lapses.

There is a love-hate relationship between myself and keke napep as a result of my experiences. I have seen emergency cases rushed to the hospital and the lady was in a coma just from a keke accident . On one occasion I had an escape, the guy was speeding recklessly and with several warnings, he refused to slow down only for the keke tyre to remove in motion while we were on top speed. Our saving grace was that no vehicle was coming from behind or in front of us and how i was able to hold tight a 6 months old baby remains a great testimony.

In the coming week , I started taking e-hailing taxis then had to start driving again which is not my favorite past-time in Lasgidi (Lagos). If you don’t drive in Lagos, you presume and assume they are the coolest inventions but if you have been in a keke or bike accident before, you will be angry and while driving they seems to be worse than bikes. Mainly because they feel like they are mates with cars since they both have a roof over their head compared to okadas. At the same time they are still dragging equality with bikes by wanting to pass through that small space like them which totally makes them neither a car nor a bike, just annoying and sometimes a pest.

Keke is cool and fun in fact they can make you arrive in style if you don’t want to take a taxi, even bridal parties have used it on their wedding day  and I have countless selfies taken in the comfort of keke napep. My all time favorite favorite keke had nice graffiti and inspirational quotes written in colourful ink, fan, Tv screen and a jar of sweet to welcome you, though it was empty that morning. Then it became a norm when “Corporate Keke Guy” started operations , these guys wore suit and tie, shirts, plus dress down Fridays with branded T-shirt. The service delivery was also commendable and it was indeed comfortable riding one as I had no reason to complain. 

Early morning Keke selfie enroute the office
Keke graffiti, a lovely sight to behold.
Corporate Keke

Now, what happens to the Co-orporate keke guy and other keke guys ? Do they migrate to other states or what plans are in the pipeline for them. And for the motorcycles, I sincerely support regulating and bringing back the e-hailing bikes as they seems like a necessity for this city called Lagos.