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Showing posts with label Photo stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photo stories. Show all posts

Trapped between cultures: Nigerian parents in the US, UK, devise ways to save kids

Source: Punch Newspapers Nigeria. Saturday, November 17, 2018

Born and raised in lands thousands of kilometres away from their ancestral homes, many Nigerian parents in the Diaspora are finding new ways of reinforcing indigenous cultures in their children, writes ERIC DUMO

Jesus na you be Oga, Jesus na you be Oga, all other gods na so so yeye, every other god na yeye dem be," gushed out of 12-year-old Amaka's mouth in disjointed Pidgin English as she made for the door. It was a dry afternoon with wind blowing at top speed across most parts of California, yet the excitement on the little girl's face was as moist as a sweaty palm.

Born and nurtured in the United States, young Amaka only got to visit her parents' country - Nigeria - for the first time last December. She had heard so much about the place - many of those tales were gory presentations of what Africa's most populous country looked like. The little girl was only Nigerian in nomenclature but American in spirit and soul. When she jetted out of the LAX International Airport in California together with her father - Mr. Isaiah Uchendu - and mother, Ijeoma - on December 13 last year, she was unsure of what to expect upon arrival in Orlu, Imo State - the home town of her parents. Tales of blood-sucking demons running riot and huge man-eating apes jumping from trees to rooftops had created a dreadful picture of Nigeria in the days preceding the long voyage. It was the beginning of the end as far as she was concerned. But 11 months after that historic trip, Amaka has a different idea of her fatherland and the amazing culture of its many peoples.

Experiencing Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Owerri and her native Orlu in the five weeks she
stayed in the country, the little girl not only realised how wrong her earlier ideas were but also what she had been missing all along. She wished she could turn back the hands of time.

"I thought we were heading to a jungle in Africa but I was surprised when the airplane landed in a place called Lagos, a big city with cars and houses," the 12-year-old recalled as our correspondent played guest to the family at their modest three-bedroomed apartment in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, California, during a recent visit to the United States.

There are about 23,302 Nigerians in the state of California alone, according to a 2016 American Community Survey. While many have lived there for decades, acquiring citizenship status in the process, the pursuit of a new life amidst crushing poverty and widening economic inequality in Nigeria has driven dozens more there.

The Uchendus moved to this bustling city a little over 12 years ago - shortly before Amaka's delivery - their first and only child. The couple, despite now fully entrenched in the American way of life, has not forgotten their roots. Each year, one of them makes the long trip home at least once to see and meet with family members, relatives and friends. The tradition has not only helped them to keep in touch with happenings in their home community but also helped them put to good use their hard-earned savings in the United States. Isaiah works as a driver at a delivery company, while Ijeoma is a senior sales executive at a popular chain store. But while they have plenty of 'Nigeria' in them even in America, Amaka only knows little about home - a situation the couple are desperate to change.
"My daughter used to have weird thoughts about Nigeria and Africa in general and that bothered me and my wife a lot," the 42-year-old said, clutching tightly to the little girl on the three-seater sofa they sat. "Initially, we didn't pay much attention to this but as she began to grow older, we became more concerned. We wanted her to know more about home - about our hometown, Orlu, and our culture in general.

"We saw how other Nigerian parents were beginning to seriously introduce and instil their indigenous culture in their children, so we became more interested in doing the same.
"We began to take her to more Nigerian events in California and started making her take active part in the activities just like the other children.

"As time wore on, she started to show more interest and in fact wanted to know more about Nigeria and her many cultures. My wife and I, at that point, thought that it would be nice to finally take her home to witness things for herself.

Lagos, Na-waa! - UNTOLD STORY OF IJORA RAIL-LINE: Melting pot of oddities

  • UNTOLD STORY OF IJORA RAIL-LINE: Melting pot of oddities
  • Inside Lagos 'under bridge' world
  • In Lagos traffic, you can buy anything, including television
  • Goodbye molue • Gradually, kings of Lagos roads disappear
  • Lagos! Na-wa! ...Now and Then
  • 5 crazy things you shouldn't do in Lagos buses

UNTOLD STORY OF IJORA RAIL-LINE: Melting pot of oddities
~The SUN Nigeria. Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

Indeed, the community of Ijora Badia, on the railway line, in Apapa/Ajeromi Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, is a constellation of absurdity. It is a melange of miscreants, roughnecks, gangsters, fraudsters and prostitutes. It also harbours good people, who engage in provision of services, such as hair dressing, pedicure and manicure as well as petty trading, among others.

This Lagos suburb is an enclave that stretches about 400 metres or thereabout along the railway line, which runs from Ijora to Iddo. The environment is filthy with euglena infested brackish lagoon, which, ostensibly, has the capacity to harbour dangerous reptiles. The stagnant, brackish water laced with all kinds of refuse breeds mosquitoes in their millions.

From Ijora bus-stop, a macadamised Fadaini Street, which links the bus-stop with the Ijora Badia railway line community, gives a wrong impression of where it leads. On both sides of the street are shops that display different wares, ranging from electronic equipment to clothes, shoes and bags, among other articles of trade. But, the point at which the link road crossed the railway brings one to another reality. It exposes one to a community on the railway, which bubbles with plethora of indecent and unspeakable activities. That is to the right hand side of the railway from Ijora bus-stop, through Fadaini Street.

However, for somebody who entered the railway from the under bridge situated opposite the Nigeria Breweries in the Orile-Iganmu area of the state, the first sight tells the entire story of what lies ahead. Just as one leaves the under bridge and heads towards Ijora through the railway line, an array of ladies of easy virtue immediately comes to the fore. They appear in their seductive mood, sitting and standing psychedelically in front of the make-shift wooden house of about seven rooms erected just about 30 metres away from the railway line.

The swampy side of the railway is replete with clusters of large wooden cabin suspended up to six feet on top of the brackish swamp. There are several of such accommodations housing half naked, haggard, dishevelled, fierce-looking women of all sizes, shapes and ages. In fact, one could rightly say that the cabins are brothels on the lagoon.

By 10am when Daily Sun visited the enclave, some of the women, especially the older ones, appeared worn-out with bulging, sleepy red eyes, which was an indication that they must have had a busy night the previous day. It could also be an indication that business is booming, even with the economic recession currently plaguing the country. Even as they intermittently shut their eyes and nod their heads involuntarily as they fight against sleep trying to envelope them, reliable sources revealed that they are still ready for action if a customer calls.

The old whore

Looking at the age bracket of some of the women, who are seemingly in their 50s, one wonders how they are able to withstand numerous men, who patronise them. This concern becomes heightened, considering the fact that most of their clients live on sex enhancing drugs (aphrodisiac). Not only that they look old, they also smoke and drink, as they wait patiently for their clients. They use different non-verbal cues to attract men's attention.

One of them made a snake-like sound to attract the attention of the Daily Sun reporter. The woman was disappointed when the reporter refused to go inside but chose to take her to a corner for a chat. Her mien changed to anger but on assurance that her time would be adequately compensated in financial terms, she relaxed and the earlier smiles on her face returned. On how women as old as she are able to withstand the pressures of men, especially the younger ones and those who live on sex enhancer, she said: "Yes, it is true that the older a woman becomes, the weaker she becomes when it comes to the matter of sex. But, in this business, experience matters a lot. It is not all about energy and youthfulness. It is about tactics and skills – knowing how to press the right buttons at the right time and the deed is done. It is not something I can explain how it works for you standing here but if you think you are man enough to challenge me, we can just go in and you will see the stuff women of my generation are made off."

Younger whores

For the younger ladies, most of whom appear tattered and unkempt, they sit in clusters with their navels on display as well as their breasts shooting out like balloons. Although, the sight of those riotous breasts would appear repulsive to any reasonable man, as stretch marks run horizontally and vertically across, the male folks in the community, who appear morally depraved and who seem no less better, find such commodity very luscious, salacious and sexually scintillating. And they savour them whenever they want. The girls wear skimpy tight skirts and shorts that expose their thighs up to their pubic region, but like the breast, such exposures are also very repugnant. This is because instead of robust and sexy thighs, which would spark a hot blood through the sexual veins of any healthy man, what is exposed are coarse, rough, stretch-marked and mosquito bite-infested thighs.

The ladies in this breast terror, navel and thigh exposure business are lined up along the railway line. Both young and old women find breasts pumping as the rave of the moment – a fashion in vogue.

From investigation, it appears that any lady who fails to expose her breasts in such a very tempting manner could be seen as a deviant. It is right to conclude that at Ijora Badia, breasts are on parade because there is a breast fair any time any day for willing viewers. While some display their wares in front of the makeshift wooden houses, others step forward at the base of the rail to display theirs and pretend to be recharge card sellers or phone call vendors.

Checks revealed that the women had ready and booming market in the male folk of the community, who are mostly gamblers, drug addicts and fraudsters.

Baby and deformed whores

A closer observation also revealed that the enclave equally parades under-age as well as physically challenged prostitutes. Most of the under-age or baby prostitutes are deviants, who run away from their homes within the Ijora Badia neighbourhood. They found solace in the life on the railway. They engage in stiff competion with the older girls. Some of them ply their trade carrying their babies.

Bearded woman makes it into Guinness Book of World Records

~Nigerian Tribune. Friday, September 9, 2016.
A beautiful bearded woman, Harnaam Kaur, stunned a global audience when when she was announced as world most bearded woman, thereby making in into the book of Guinness World Records for 2017.

Kaur, who is a body-image activist and runway model reacting to her award said: “I am super proud to hold this record, the inner child in me is so pleased. I grew up reading this book, I even tried breaking some of my own records wanting to be in this book,” Kaur, 24, wrote on Instagram Thursday. Rather than remove her facial hair — the result of a hormonal condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome, for which September happens to be awareness month — the British challenger of beauty norms has chosen to nurture her whiskers.

“It is amazing to be valued and celebrated being a Bearded Lady. I am proud to hold this amazing record,” she continued. “I hope those who read or see my record can take away positivity, inspiration and realise that no matter who you are or what you look like, you are officially amazing!”

Yahoo News had reported that Kaur joins other beauty-themed record breakers this year, including Tyler Wright, who has what’s been deemed to be the largest afro (10 inches high and 9 inches wide); a group of 261 people in Milan who were recognized for the category Most People Wearing Their Hair in a Beehive; and Charlotte Guttenberg, 67, and her partner, Charles “Chuck” Helmke, both of Florida, for Most Tattooed Senior Citizens. Their bodies are covered with tats 91.5 percent and 93.75 percent, respectively.

Guinness has named Kaur the youngest female with a full beard. She began growing facial hair at age 11, and spent much of her adolescence dealing with shame, bullies, and efforts at hair removal. But at age 16, she made the decision to accept all of herself and embrace her beard.

Kaur’s confidence paid off, as last year she became the first woman to walk a major runway with a full beard, working the catwalk for jewelry designer Marianna Harutunian as part of Royal Fashion Day. Previously, she signed on to be a rep for model Tess Holliday’s social media campaign #EffYourBeautyStandards, spreading the love-yourself message to all.

The activist’s induction to Guinness has delighted Kaur’s many supporters. “I love that there was a record to break!” wrote one of her more than 61,000 Instagram followers. “Not because others have gone through the pain you have, but because it’s amazing to see ‘different’ celebrated and honoured. Congratulations!”

Strange things Nigerians do in the name of marriage

Written by Eric Dumo
The SUN. Sunday, July 10, 2016.

Sixty-two-year-old Adejoke Olawepo, a petty trader, almost died of shock as screams and claps went all around her. Commuting all the way from Oyingbo to Sango, Ogun State to see her daughter last Tuesday, she couldn't understand why the train she was travelling in suddenly refused to move again after dropping off some passengers at Agege, a densely populated suburb within the Lagos metropolis. The subtle screams and claps from people inside the train who could see outside, aroused her curiosity. Leaning over a seat to peep through the window beside her, the sexagenarian could not believe the sight before her.

The military-styled lovers

"I was afraid; I thought the train had crushed somebody," the elderly woman said during a conversation with our correspondent. "But when I peeped through the window, I saw that it was a young man kneeling and making gestures to a lady in front of him as if he was proposing to her. They were right on the rail track, just a few yards away from where the train stopped. I have never seen anything like that in my life," she said.

Lewis Omike and Ebi Boleigha, the pair Olawepo came across, chose the Agege end of the rail line as part of a series of photo sessions to usher in their wedding later this month. Apart from the shot that has since gone viral, the soon-to-be-married lovers also took amazing photographs on the Lekki Bridge and other remarkable sites across Lagos.

Omike and Boleigha share a special moment on the rail track
In a chat with our correspondent earlier in the week, Omike, the groom, said they decided to embark on such unusual act to spice up their love affair and also be in tune with modern trends.

They came, they drank, they got engaged: The story of Ekene and Ngozi

~ Vanguard, Nigeria. 

When Ekene asked Ngozi to accompany him to last Sunday’s Pearl Look 2015 beauty pageant, she did not suspect that anything was amiss. After dating the broad chested Foschini outfit manager for more than five years, it was nothing unusual for him to invite her to spend a Sunday afternoon together at an event.

This was to be the Sunday afternoon of a lifetime though, as Ekene had an almighty surprise in store for her. As they sat sipping Star Radler, comedian EmmaOhMaGod performing at the event decided unexpectedly to take Ngozi onstage during a stand-up routine about proposing marriage.

To her shock, Ekene suddenly appeared onstage and knelt down with a ring. She could not hold back the tears as she said yes, and the crowd at Havilah Centre erupted into wild cheers.

Who says Nigerian men are not romantic?

Wife of world's richest man fetches water in Malawi

Written by Bayo Akinloye - Nigeria.  

Wife of the richest man in the world, Melinda Gates, was pictured on Saturday carrying on her head a bucket of water fetched from a village in Malawi.
Net worth of the United States' billionaire Bill Gates, according toForbes magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires, stands at $76 billion.

The billionaire's spouse, who described herself as "philanthropist, businesswoman, mother, passionate advocate for women and girls," posted a photo of herself with a 20-litre bucket of water on her head alongside two other Malawian women, walking on a dirt road.
In another picture posted on her Instagram page, she was seen doing the dishes in a Malawian village.

Describing her experience, Gates said on her Facebook page, "During my stay in Malawi, I joined the women collecting drinking water. I carried 20 litres and it was tough. Meanwhile, Chrissy (middle) is carrying about 40 litres. Many women do this every day."
She has been described as one of the world's famous social activist "who is trying to serve the people in ignorance."

In June, wife of the US billionaire met with Malawian President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe. The agenda was to discuss the promotion of safe motherhood and maternal health in the country.

Ghana's Elmina Castle

Elmina existed as a town before this, and was a tribal capital. The name comes from the Arabic el mina meaning the harbour.
Elmina or St Georges Castle, is the oldest European building in Ghana.

It was the first European slave-trading post in all of sub-saharan Africa. Located on the western coast of present-day Ghana, it was originally built to protect the gold trade. It was a much smaller rectangular fortress than the castle we see today, which today covers around 10 times the area of the first one.
The Portuguese first arrived in 1471 to buy gold. Elmina castle was built in 1482 by Portuguese traders as the castle of St George. Within five years, a number of traders were based there and Elmina was given city status by the king of Portugal. It was the centre of Portuguese operations for over 150 years.
In August 1837, the nearby St Jago hill was taken by the Dutch, who then pounded the castle with canons. The resulting Portuguese surrender ended Portuguese influence in West Africa.
Shortly after its capture, by the Dutch, it was expanded and in 1665, a second fort on St Jago hill was built, so no one could repeat the attack they had made upon the castle.

Making ends meet, Lagosians way.

By David Ibemere (Guardian)
Times are hard, no jobs, many complain, but some smart Lagosians are making a good living nonetheless 

"Survival of the fittest is the name of the game" - Lagos, Nigeria

WHEN others saw bean-cake-frying (akara) business as demeaning, Mrs. Rose Nnadozia, was only counting the possible number of people who would be passing the point she had chosen to erect her stand and how much she could sell.
With determination she started, preparing akara for her teeming customers who swarm around her to buy every morning and evening.
In a tiny makeshift kiosk she starts the day's job as early as 6.00 a.m., when she arrives at her popular shed in Orile.
She mixes and fries enough quantity before her patrons start lining up to be served. While a couple of them eat at the kiosks, a great number of them prefer to take the beak cake home.
According to her, she resigned as a receptionist in a private company in Ikeja in 2009 to start the job, which has now endeared her to her numerous customers.
"I started with the last salary I collected from my office. Initially, it was not easy since I was not yet known and could not make enough money to take care of my family. But I persisted because nobody forced me to do it. I started with only akara but when I later added 'dough nut,' fried yam and potato, I could not cope with the number of customers. My daughters were coming to help me before leaving for school in the morning," she said.
Mrs. Nnadozie observed that every business needs perseverance before it could succeed. "Had it been I relaxed when I started newly, I would not have been here today.
With this job, I have been able to train three of my children through university. Many people do not believe that it is only with this that I am able to achieve all those things," she said.
According to her, the only problem is the constant harassment from the miscreants popularly called area boys who come in different groups to collect money. She added that members of the Lagos State Task Force have demolished the place several times, forcing her to use a canopy now, saying: "I dismantle the kiosk each time I finish for the day."

'Gen set' repair, made popular by perenial power cuts
 Also, Dayo Ayoni, a 17-year-old school leaver, has become popular to many residents in Ajegunle, because of his mastery in repairs of generating set.

According to him, his parents are poor, instead of engaging in criminal activities, he decided to eke a living for himself by learning how to repair generating set.
"I have been repairing generating set for two years now. With the money I made, I was been able to support my parents in paying my school fees, and also buy textbooks. I am also saving for my university education."
"I don't have a shop, I only place a sign to show that I can repair generating set outside my house. I usually charge my customers N700 as my workmanship," he remarked

Commercial bus drivers and bus conductors, too....
 Also, Mrs. Yetunde Adelaja used to sell all varieties of fruits in Ladipo Market. She did not bother to erect a shed to protect her from the scorch of the sun. A table, stool and a raffia hat are the only property needed for her business. From morning till evening, if she is not peeling oranges, she is slicing pineapples or watermelon for her numerous patrons. Sometimes, when the fruits seem to be scarce, she adds roasted corn, yam. This is all she does for a living and she changes the fruits according to its season.

According to her, she has used it to train her daughter in the university and get a bungalow where they are living now.
A resident who wants to remain anonymous said: "All these menial jobs bring lot of money. People cannot do without them. Most of them have done that job to build houses.  Everything is perseverance. After all, there is no job that is easy."
Aminu Audu, is also one of those who smile to his bank daily because he serves his numerous patrons with bread and tea in a kiosk. He employs young boys who dash from one end of the kiosk to another to attend to the customers. His secret of success is prompt service. Despite what people say about his mean job, he is able to pay his boys "good" salary.   He is automatically an employer of labour as he pays them as at when due.
Also 18-year- old Lola Lawal is a proud of owner of a phone centre. She sells recharge cards and renders phone service.
According to her, she makes as much as N1,500 daily from her business from which she was able to pay for her examinations.
Ade Dosumu combs the city looking for where construction work is going on.
He offers himself to help with the construction and that is how he makes ends meet.
"The most favourable arrangement is when we are invited to serve the mason. Most often, we are paid N50 per block. Therefore, the pay is according to the number of blocks laid. A block is N200 and some bricklayers can lay more than 300 blocks before the day's work is over. So the least I make in a day is N2000 but I spend N300 on food daily since we have to eat very well because the work saps a lot of energy."

...not missing out the 'Okada Riders'(Motor-bike transport)
 A visit to the Agege Lairage and Abattoir also revealed different categories of labourers who have been able to eke a living from odd jobs in the vast complex.

"There are people among who collect bones and sell to bone-mills or other production outfits, which process them.
"What they get depends on their bargaining power and availability of buyers," one of the workers who spoke said.

He continued: "If you are serious and persistent, there is nothing to regret about it. Some people who work in corporate offices do not earn as much as we do. I do not think that at my level, I will want to work for any person again.
"Funny enough, when we meet a banker who earns N60,000 a month in a beer palour, because he is well dressed  and wears a tie, he buys us drinks, unaware   that I may be making as much,  if not  more  than he earns monthly."
He advised young graduates who roam the street looking for white collar jobs, to look around and harness whatever opportunities the huge population in Lagos offers and through which they can earn a decent living while waiting for their applications to be honoured.


Sent by Hiyab H. Tsegay - Eritrea


Pencil Art:

We all need to be constantly sharpened. This parable may encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities.  Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed and, like the pencil, always remember that the most important part of who you are, is what's inside of you.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria

The Nigerian flag
The Nigerian Flag:
The green stripes represent Nigeria's agriculture industry and its lush vegetation. The white stripe represents the desire for peace and unity within the country.
Nigerian Flag History:
The Nigerian flag was adopted the same day Nigeria gained independence from Britain on October 1, 1960. A competition was held to choose a new national flag to represent an independent Nigeria. A design by a Nigerian student named Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi was chosen in 1959 from almost 3,000 entries.
Interesting Nigerian Flag Facts:
When the Nigerian flag is flying, no other flag, emblem or insignia should be placed above the flag. Old or worn out Nigerian flags should never be displayed. When a Nigerian flag becomes soiled, old, torn or mutilated it should be destroyed by burning or any other method of respect.
The flamboyant 9ja colors at the 2012 London Olympics - Team Nigeria
Nigerian law deems it an offense for the Nigerian Flag to be improperly used or displayed. Law states that: "Any person who flies or exhibits the National Flag in a defaced or bad condition shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance."

Map of Nigeria, showing the states and Abuja
Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. In terms of religion Nigeria is roughly split half and half between Muslims and Christians with a very small minority who practice traditional religion. Until 1991, the capital was the largest city, Lagos, on the southwestern coast; at that time, the new city of Abuja, in the country’s interior, became capital. Nigeria has a federal form of government and is divided into 36 states and a federal capital territory. 
The country’s official name is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Coat of Arms
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history. Archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BCE. The area around the Benue and Cross River is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BCE and the 2nd millennium.
The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined by Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, in the late 19th century.

What today's nursery rhymes (A - Z) will be?

Sent by Hiyab Tsegay - Eritrea

A for Apple

B for Bluetooth

C for Chat

    D for Dowload

E for Email

F for Facebook

G for Google

H for Hewlett Packard
I for iphone

J for java
K for Kingston

L for laptop

M for Messenger

N for Nero

O for Orkut
P for Picassa

Q for Quick Heal

R for RAM

S for Server

T for Twitter

U for USB

V for Vista

W for WiFi

X for Xp

Y for Youtube

Z for Zorpia

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