18 December 2013

A STROLL WITH ASSED BAIG (For International Migrants Day)

“There are 232 million people living outside their country of birth, including myself” ~Ban Ki-moon.

News of the drowning of over 300 migrants—including women and children— in the Lampedusa boat tragedy sent ripples around the world. It brought to our attention the deadly risks many of us take to survive. Sometimes these migrations are voluntarily and other times compulsory—no thanks to wars, famine, poverty, etc. But despite these obvious factors, what exactly is making people move? 

This is the question Anadolu Agency wanted answers to, that’s why they commissioned an investigation into how Libyan smugglers transport undocumented migrants from North Africa into Europe via Italy. The investigative journalist on this case; my guest, Assed Baig; went on this risky voyage—disguised as a migrant—in search for answers, and his findings were really shocking. 

For International Migration Day Mr. Assed strolled with me and told me about what he discovered during this investigation; what is causing the migration problem; and how we can provide a solution. Here’s my exclusive interview with Assed:

16 December 2013

MANHOOD: BEYOND PENIS ENVY (Featured in Court Weekly)

(Image credit: stock-illustration)
Isn't youth and boyhood a memory to keep like a genteel does his manners, and manhood an endless train whose every carriage one must appear in, even if one may never get to come off? Yet with the remorsefulness of one who is in the habit of boiling water to dryness, the transition to manhood hasn't been given the big gun, and most times, a male child--outside the few and sometimes imposing influence of a man-figure while he was growing--is left to do his growing personally. To put it more acutely; it's lonely growing into a man. And the journey goes way back; from around those times in your 'primaries' when you, pined over the pretty little girl whose sit is far right of the classroom; avoiding and picking little fights with her was the only way you know how to express your puerile crave. Then that exact morning in your teen when you woke up just to find--for the first time--your boxers wet with semen, clinging annoyingly to your crotch. Yet, no one comprehends how you went through it all, or perhaps, they did comprehend but none of it mattered--how alone, you nursed the frustrations of your early infatuations and swabbed your first ejaculation dry. But sadly, now that you are a man, these things don't qualify as a fond memory for you.

13 December 2013

A STROLL WITH BARRY FINLAY (For International Mountain Day)

          “Every mountain top is within reach if you keep on climbing” ~Barry Finlay

You really don’t know what it feels like to be 'on top of the world' until you get to the summit of a mountain. Okay I’ve not gotten to the summit of any mountain—though I’ve climbed a few hills—but I know someone who has; meet my guest, Mr. Barry Finlay.

After getting to the top of his career as an accountant working with the Canadian government, Mr. Barry retired in 2004; and one day in 2009 he got up from his couch and decided to get to the top of the African continent; conquering the great Kilimanjaro with his son Chris. Apart from being an accountant Mr. Barry is also a wood sculptor, philanthropist, author, motivational speaker, and recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

In course of our stroll, we discussed about his Kilimanjaro expedition; his future plans on conquering other summits; and even a bit about the global economic crisis and the way out. This is a very special stroll because, it’s the first time I’m strolling on a guest’s birthday, so I’d like to wish Mr. Barry a big happy birthday, and many more years of fruitfulness. Climb along with us, here’s my stroll with Barry:

6 December 2013


(Image Credit: businessinsider)
When the news of Mandela’s death reached me, my first thought about it was, ‘why do good people die?’ It is possible there are similar reactions all over the world. Mandela may be old, at 95, but just like good people who have sacrificed their lives for the good of Mankind, no matter the age which they have attained, no matter how long they have lived, we want them to live evermore. Why is this so? The answer is not far-fetched. They are icons we can look up to, a symbol of encouragement to learn to do good, give without reserve, sacrifice through sweat and blood and that selflessly for the good of humanity. Simply having them with us helps know we can do better than they did, and we can give our lives and yield far more soul-reaching results than they got. And so, I am thinking about humanity- myself and everyone who makes it up. I am thinking about sacrifice and love, selfless goals, compassion, the willingness to be an agent of change. I am thinking much more than this. I am thinking life and death, the entrance and the exit of a man as he comes in to the stage of life, does what he will and exit it. I am thinking Mandela.

FATHER, IS IT TIME? (Court Weekly)

(Image Credit: thefamouspeople)
Lend me a seat
Woven with time and its processes
As I weave these words
Spoken with deep reverence

2 December 2013

SLAVERY IN 5D (For International Day for the Abolition of Slavery)

Guest Writer: Mary Ajayi
(Image Credit: globalmarch

'Slavery' is one word that has transcended time, in words and actions; it is as common today as it was years ago, howbeit in different ways. In time past, we had human trafficking as the most common form of slavery, followed by domestic slavery but in this age and time, we've got different variants, too numerous to mention. societal, mental, emotional, financial etc.are the variants of slavery we now have. However, the focus of this observance breaks it all down and selects issues which are deeply woven into the fabric of humanity- not that the aforementioned are not. It just helps us see things better from five dimensions. I hope with this cases (find below), you'd see slavery with new eyes, and help to eradicate it.


Guest Writer: Senator Ihenyen

(Image Credit: baspta.com)

What if this scourge

This pandemic, this plague

Wiping out our race

Without a face

Was just a thing?


By: Stephen Iyaji

(Image Credit: Benue Youth and Cultural Carnival)
The walk started from the Benue State Government house with the "Salvation band" in front leading the walk, and the beautiful "Miss Benue" and "Miss Carnival 2012" holding the "WORLD AIDS DAY 2013" banner with the rest the youths behind. 

30 November 2013


(Image Credit: mrdowling)
As of now, and in the course of writing this Weekly, I am on my knees- literally. It seems to me, having tried pacing, and the immersion of head in water to cool my brain and my being that on my knees is where I better can deliver this article which burns in my consciousness, despite the many itches surrounding it. 
Back in the days when men fought wars and lived on honour, sweat and blood, a mighty man of valour walked, leaving giant footprints that the sandstorms of time have failed to erase. Alexander the great, King of Macedonia. I assume you, as well as many others are familiar with the story of Alexander who fought many wars and never lost any, who lived by the sword –though he didn’t die by it; who drafted battle plans, went on many conquests starting from the age of twenty and conquered lands till his death, at the age of 32. It is needful to give this brief history of the man who rode the wings of time and lives on, on the many bloodied pages of history.


“Because of the lack of education on AIDS, discrimination, fear, panic, and lies surrounded me” ~Ryan White

If you think medicine is the only way to heal HIV/AIDS then Dr. Lizzy will make you think again. Through her book “Blood on the Page”; The Literary Responses to HIV and AIDS from South Africa and Zimbabwe from 1990-2005; her collection of interviews with the first writers to write about HIV and AIDS from South Africa and Zimbabwe published in 2010; she effectively used Literature as a tool to raise awareness about this disease and generated ideas on ways to fight it.

A mom, sports fan, and avid reader; Lizzy holds a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and she’s currently the Administrator of Africa’s leading Literary Prize—the Caine Prize.

We talked about HIV/AIDS, her book, her future plans; and she also shared tips on what the judges will be looking out for in awarding the 2014 Caine Prize. For World AIDS Day, here’s my stroll with Lizzy;

29 November 2013

SYMPATHY AND THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION (For International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People)

Guest Writer: Emmanuel Dairo
(Image Credit: UN)
Suffering is a common theme in world history. The European had his share of suffering during the heydays of Greco-Macedonian and then Roman westward campaigns. Mongoloid history is a long tapestry of wars of conquest or subjugation that relieved one group of people of their misery while plunging others into unmentionable anguish. Later Negro history tells of the harrowing fate of helpless African mass-slaughtered and enslaved under repeated waves of European assault. All these were triggered by the desire of one group to achieve dominion over another group and that group’s territory, culminating in the two deadly twentieth century wars where Asian, African and Anglo-American flesh in their millions were heaped up and sacrificed in battle theatres, burnt offerings to man’s heedless ambition to lord it over his fellow men.

Today, we remember a nation of people who have in recent times borne more suffering than any other. No group of people is in direr straits than the beleaguered Palestinians who have suffered long and hard, dispossessed of their homeland by a combination of British complacency and Zionist racism and herded into the confined cubicles they currently call home – Gaza and the West Bank. Current victims of a macabre historical play that has been acted out in the Land of Canaan for the best part of three millennia, the people of Palestine find themselves without much shelter, little water and even less food – and these deplorable living conditions are becoming increasingly worse by the minute as Israel maintains tighter and tighter blockade of the region, fearful of being targeted by vengeful Palestinian insurgency.

25 November 2013

TILL RAPE DO US PART (For International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women)

Guest Writer: Elnathan John
In the past three days I have had cause to be scared for Nigerian women. I had long online debates with at least 30 young Nigerian (married and unmarried) men from different professions: lawyers, engineers, civil servants, teachers on the issue of marital rape. It has taken me a while to get over the shock of some of what I heard to write this article debunking the popular myths surrounding marital rape.

One does not need to have experienced rape to understand the seriousness of rape as a crime. Its highly intrusive, sometimes violent nature makes it capable of deep, lasting damage- more so than many other violent crimes. Often, the perpetrator of rape, (some put the frequency at as high as 90% of the time) is known to the victim- a neighbor, friend, uncle, cousin, husband, teacher, pastor, ex-partner. Rape takes on a new dimension when the victim is raped by someone close- then it even becomes harder to report. [Please note that while rape and sexual violence also happens to men, the focus of this article is marital rape as perpetrated by men]

DUSTING THE PATHWAYS OF TIME (For International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women)

Guest Writer: Mary Ajayi
(Image Credit: dreamstime)

He sat before me in the living room, sketching on a piece of paper and humming the nursery rhyme he learnt in school. Starring at him, I can’t help but wonder what my life would have been without him, this child –my anchor and hope. I sit watching his chubby hands sketch the image of a football, face concentrated in a serious attempt at doing it just right so he could show it to me like he had several others he had drawn weeks back.

‘Mummy, have you been keeping my football drawings?’ he asked, still concentrating on the task at hand.

‘Yes dear. I have them all tucked away in our secret place.’

‘Okay. I want to show these sketches when I become a footballer like…er…erm…’ face scrunched in remembrance, he searched long and hard for the name of his role-model.

A STROLL WITH CHRISTINA LAMB (For International Day For the Elimination Of Violence Against Women)

“Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act” ~Ban Ki-moon

The world watched with horror as the ambulance carrying the 23-year-old female medical student—who was gang raped in a private bus in Delhi—drove to the hospital in Singapore where she later died, thirteen days after she was raped—and beaten with a metal rod—by 6 men and thrown off the moving bus with her male friend; who was also beaten during the assault. This incidence sparked a lot of protests in India and drew condemnation from the international community. But  what has changed?

Well, not much. Women are still being raped daily—and it’s not just in India, all over the world—8-year-old girls are still trafficked and made to work in red light districts; old women are still being targeted during community clashes and wars; the violence goes on. That is why today is declared an ‘orange day’ by the secretary-general’s UNiTE to end violence against women campaign. The aim of this is to draw attention to violence done against women, and to unite the world in fighting against it.

Christina, my guest, is a multi award-winning journalist, author, mom, and Officer of the order of the British Empire. She’s currently foreign correspondent for the Sunday times and is an expert in regions like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Israel. Among the many books she has authored, she recently co-authored ‘I AM MALALA’ with Malala Yousafzai, in which they both inspired other girls and women around the world to stand up for what they believe in at all cost, even if they have to risk being shot in the head.

We talked about women, violence, Malala, and how we can end violence against women globally. Here’s my stroll with Christina:

21 November 2013

A STROLL WITH TOPE FOLARIN (For World Philosophy Day)

“I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear” ~Aristotle

In a world dominated by dos and don’ts, philosophy gives us a reason to reason. To open up our God-given minds and stretch our thoughts to the extremes of logic in the aim to find out what we are doing, and why we are doing what we are doing.

Someone once said “all great writers are philosophers”, that is why my guest on the stroll today is a writer; and not just a writer but an award-winning writer. Mr.Tope Folarin is the winner of the 2013 Caine Prize for his short story ‘Miracle’, set in an evangelical Nigerian church in Texas. And considering the fact that philosophy and religion have always been clashing, I don’t think I’d have found a better guest with enough contradiction to make a great stroll for world philosophy day.

In course of our stroll, we discussed extensively on philosophy and its use in the society today; he did a rewind on his past before the Caine prize; gave me a sneak peep into his future plans; and I also asked him about the rumours making the rounds that he’s holding a grudge against Chimamanda Adichie.

Here’s my stroll with Tope;


Guest Writer: Davis Donatus
(Image Credit: cutecaster)
Bowing of the knee in religious circles is a display of piety, submission to God and the god-figure; it is also categorized as a human show of humble descent to aid the divine ascent of prayer for the expected answers that may follow. But, this act is also generally used in certain African societies as punishment for wrongdoing. Men who proved themselves worthy in the English societies knelt to be knighted, whilst others did kneel in the paying of homage and in displaying allegiance to lords, nobles and kings. In essence, kneeling is plainly a human thing.

The physical bowing of the knees has a of psychological effect on the mental positioning of the individual kneeling and the figure to whom his knees are bowed. But, there is nothing spiritual about kneeling. Nothing at all. If one kneels to pray, that prayer would be a short one. How long can the bones that make up the joints in your knee bear the entire weight of your body -from head to thighs- before it begins to ache and is blistered? The timing sure varies per individual, but one would definitely tarry longer in prayer on his feet or some other position desired. Not the knees. To me, kneeling not only ruins prayer, it'd have you feasting on the proverbial half-baked cake; being weary amid your act of piety will be a great instigation to discontinuance.

TRENDING TECHNOLOGY (For World Television Day)

Guest Writer: Oluwafemi Ogunjobi
(Image Credit: healthcareasia)
Growing up, as a first child born into a semi-literate, and an average-income family, I filled my years with activities that rarely make meaning to some. After school hours, at around 3p.m, when I'm done with the house chores and school assignments, I'd vacate the house to watch television at the ''Area's rich man's'' house. Not that we were poor, or we did not have electronic gadgets, I only queue at the Old Man's place to watch some interesting programmes that our own 'local antenna' won't pick. I was fascinated by the coloured-screened digital set, nothing like our 'black and white' gadget, and also enjoy such programmes when there is power outage, programmes I will definitely miss if I don't go to the rich man's residence to see them. My father returns at night to power our gadgets with his car battery while the Area's rich man powers his house with generator when there is power outage. This endeared me to visit his place the more. Luck however shone on my family one day when my father got 'all new' electronic gadgets, including a generator. We all were very happy at the new phase of life. I remember how my mother brought the good news to me at the rich man's house, where I was busy in front of the TV. And that was when I stopped being pests at other people's electronic gadgets. What have I been saying? To me, I agree with Helen Fisher who said: 'Television is like a global campfire, we shield around it and it shapes our mind'.

20 November 2013

THE CONVERSATION (For Universal Children's Day)

Guest Writer: Olisakwe Ukamaka Evelyn
(Image Credit:5forum.biz)
Chidinma sat before me, eyes fixed on mine, brows creased in expectation, waiting for when I would begin The Conversation. It is important, this conversation, because:
She is growing faster than I can breathe.
I never had this conversation with my own mother. It would have been easier if I had it with my mother. There are many ways she could get taught wrongly, if I avoid this conversation. She really wants us to talk about this.

CHILD (For Universal Children's day)

Guest Writer: Lekh Raj
(Image Credit: worldfotographyart)
When first approached to contribute something to mark ‘Universal children’s day’, I found myself in a quandary and made use of internet connectivity which has numerous information, virtually at your fingertips. It is there to remind us of the disparity of conditions between children growing up all over the world. Of how no child deserves to be without the necessities of food, shelter, medical care and schooling. You can find out more about this observance by clicking here. (http://www.un.org/en/events/childrenday/)

19 November 2013

TO BE A MAN (For International Men's Day)

Guest Writer: Ikhide R. Ikheloa

(Image Credit: justhappyquotes)

For the Men in Our Lives...
We are living in fascinating times – on many levels. Relationships are being assessed in the light of civil and human rights and life as we know it in the 21st century. Labels abound; misogyny, misandry, feminism, patriarchy, matriarchy, etc. Depending on which side you are. Most of these labels are pejoratives used to describe crushing dysfunctions. Anyhow you look at it, man, as in the male, seems to be under pressure, if not under attack, to change his ways. The family structure with the man at the top or at the center is now seen as something designed by Early Man, something that should go the way of the dodo. There is good reason for these feelings. Patriarchy in its worst forms is a form of oppression and even in societies with robust laws, structures and processes, women and children often bear the brunt of patriarchy and its attendant misogyny. Change is coming, but it is not coming fast enough.

REMEMBER US (Action Plan For International Journalists' Remembrance Day)

Image Credit: tweepi
Journalists are the fourth estate of the society. This fourth estate defends the cause of truth, freedom and justice and the men and women who make it up, are fearless people who challenge the polity and dimensions of governance with their Pen. Needless to say, some of these ones have lost their lives in the cause of defending truth, freedom and justice and striving to create necessary changes in necessary places. On a day like this, we're hopeful that their spirits are still with us in  Press rooms all over the world and on the field, even as we carry on the cause for which they died for, building on their legacies and seeking the permanent establishment of truth, freedom and justice. We call on you to act in the commemoration of this day and those great ones we hold dear in fighting this cause.  

A STROLL WITH JENNIFER EHIDIAMEN (For International Journalists' Remembrance Day)

“I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is an immediate short-term weapon.” ~Tom Stoppard

From the village town crier reporting at the market square to the foreign correspondent on cable TV, we are grateful to all the men and women who invest their time, resources, and even put their lives on the line to keep us all informed on a day-to-day basis. Journalism has evolved over the years, and the evolution of technology has facilitated this process a great deal. Right now we have a wide range of information sources to choose from and we can even share our own views with people from around the world in real time.

My guest, Jennifer, is a tech savvy Nigerian Journalist keen about using the new media as a tool to disseminate information. She’s presently serving as a senior reporter and media trainer at Global Press Institute, and she’s a 2013 new media fellow at the International Reporting project at John Hopkins University SAIS.

We talked about her flare for journalism; the evolution of Global journalism down the years; other youth leadership and entrepreneurial ventures she’s involved in; and so much more. For International Journalist’s Remembrance Day 2013, here is my stroll with Jennifer Ehidiamen;

16 November 2013

FLORENTINA (For International Day for Tolerance)

Guest Writer: Dike-Ogu Chukwumerije
Image Credit: wesfaulk
I grew up in the darkness because there was always something wrong with the transformer in our estate, on the boundary between Lagos and Ogun. This was 1992 when Sango-Ota was still a quiet backwater. And the roads in Ojuore were all sand, and crooked. But my brother had a guitar. And at night he would sit, with a lantern at his feet, stroking strings at the edge of the kerosene-scented halo.

15 November 2013

Can Science Solve all the Problems in the World? (For World Science Day for Peace and development)

Guest Writer: Richard Oduor
Image Credit: www.kazembassy.hr
In the 21st century, the word ‘science’ means ‘solutions’. The international Observance, World Science Day for Peace and Development, offers us a platform and a chance share our ideas for a better world and reiterate, once more, that science is the solution for all the world’s material problems. Over the centuries, science has transmuted from being a sacred discipline accessible only to a select few to become a way of life. Every single day, individuals, consciously or unconsciously, rely on established scientific principles to make individual, family, community, national, and global decisions. The world would never have achieved the current state of technological advancement without scientific thought. Science is the furnace where ideas are smelt, purified, and modelled into useful tools.

14 November 2013


Image credit: www.theguardian.com
I have always been one to defy tradition and laws I do not believe in; sacrificing for freedom of self and expression, even as I angle to help fight the cause of human right, justice and equality. In this weekly, there is a deep call from within to consider this, take advice (whatever you glean) and speak your mind. Enjoy, even as you think.

A STROLL WITH TADE IPADEOLA (For Day Of the Imprisoned Writer)

“The writer’s curse is that even in solitude, no matter its duration, he never grows lonely or bored.” ~Criss Jami

Some writers don’t just write stories to tickle fancies. They use their pens as megaphones to speak against powers that try to deny people the basic human right of freedom of expression, and often these writers are persecuted, imprisoned, and even killed. That is why since 1981 PEN International has dedicated November 15th to draw attention to persecuted writers around the world.

My guest on the stroll today is a poet, lawyer, and the president of PEN Nigeria. He’s also the winner of the prestigious NLNG Prize for Literature (2013)—one of the biggest literature prizes in Africa—for his book the Sahara Testaments; which has attracted a lot of positive reviews from around the world.

He told me about some imprisoned writers around the world and how we can help them; the secret writing process behind the Sahara Testaments; the various projects PEN Nigeria is involved in; and so much more.

Here’s what we discussed;

9 November 2013


Stella Oduah, Nigeria's Minister for Aviation (Image Credit: Jaguda)

Structures of whatever structure are put in place, for things to fall in place; leadership structures are no exception. When people gather to choose and implement their choices to represent their interests, be it in national or international affairs, these choices are expected to function well and with the interest of those who have chosen them in mind. Those who did the choosing can and should always hold these choices accountable.The choices are responsible to those who have chosen them; by choices, I mean ‘leaders’ of any kind and on any platform.

TOWARDS A BETTER SCIENCE-DRIVEN SOCIETY (For World Science Day for Peace and Development)

            Guest Writer : John Oyewale

I am thinking of science (and inexorably of technology) and at once I am thinking of Archimedes, Avicenna, Dalton, Newton, Boyle, Lord Kelvin, Tesla, Edison, Mendeleev, Pasteur, Koch, Fleming, Harvey, Salk, Roentgen, Einstein, Sanger, the Curies, Sir Gurdon…we could go on and on. I am also thinking of the Industrial Revolution, the rise of the United States of America, the World Wars and their attendant atrocities, the post-WWII arms race, the first manned flights in the skies as well as into space, the discovery of everything from, say, antimalarial drugs to the metabolic pathways of the human body and to the Higgs-Boson particle, the lingering struggle with multi-drug resistance, the incredibly vast network of the information superhighway on which Bill Gates and the perspicacious ghost of Steve Jobs may be driving on, side by side with a Lagos highway beggar and an Ile-Ife market woman…

A STROLL WITH CHINEDU MBAMALU (For World Science Day for Peace and Development)

                                    “Science shouldn't be a luxury” ~Jack Andraka 

Since the discovery of the wheel by our ancient ancestors, science and technology has really increased the will of man on earth. We can do almost anything right now; fly into space to visit neighboring planets, take pictures of a fetus developing in the womb, grow a new hairline for bald men, and even cook our food in split seconds. Science is indeed the foundation of our civilization. And whenever we talk about science and innovative ideas, our minds go to the highly sophisticated labs in developed countries because of the quality of ideas and products that have been made in there. But, today’s stroll will shock you!

Meet Chinedu, the man who believes he can revolutionize the Jet propulsion system and No, he’s not a student of MIT, Oxford, or Stanford. He’s a self-taught Nigerian Scientist who taught himself rocket science—I mean that literally—and thinks beyond the limitations of his environment.

We talked about his dreams and how he has managed to stay focused so far; his current projects; and how science and technology can be used for good in the world. Sit back and get inspired, here’s our conversation:

6 November 2013

THE UNPUBLICISED VICTIM OF WAR (For International Day for the Prevention of the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict)

Guest Writer: Ojekunle Aderemi

'Though mankind has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, destroyed cities and livelihoods, the environment remains the unpublicized victim of war.'

I salute every courageous environmental activist, social workers, and others in this celebration of enlightenment which the UN has set aside for the education of the impacts of war and armed conflict on our environment.

29 October 2013

A STROLL WITH ADAM WINSOR (For International Animation Day)

"Animation offers a medium of story telling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world" ~Walt Disney

Animated Adam
As I sat back on the sofa to watch Grace, my kid sister giggle at the same Tom and Jerry episode I laughed at when I was 7, I began to understand how much animation connects history and generations together.

For most of us, animation is only something we get to flirt with as kids and once we grow into adulthood, the ‘seriousness of life’ makes us blind to the beauty of animation. But it’s not all of us though... there are still few who never get blind to this beauty.

Adam Winsor is one of the ‘few’. He is an animator, illustrator, and visual storyteller. We had a stroll for international animation day and we talked everything animation; from cartoons to games to movies. Here’s my stroll with Adam, I hope the ‘blind’ will receive their ‘sight’ fall in love with animation all over again (heheh).

MY JOURNEY INTO ANIMATION (For International Animation Day)

GUEST WRITER: Yvonne Ifeoma

My name is Yvonne Ifeoma, and I'm an animator. Too vague? Ok. I shall attempt to break it down into finer, easily understood definitions. Animations basically involve the creation of moving pictures in a three-dimensional environment; Well, two-dimensional or three-dimensional environment really. This is done by sequencing consecutive images (also called frames). There, still too technical? (lol), okay I'm basically into motion graphics; the optical illusion of moving pictures, still too much? Okay, I bring life to still images. There we go.

I'm relatively new to the animation world, and I have my colleague and friend Donald Okudu to thank for this. Contrary to a popular belief that animators are mostly geeks or nerds with little or no understanding of life and socializing, the reverse proves to be the case (at least with me). Combining artistic ability, creativity, and technological ability, Animations are really quite fascinating. Personally, being able to feature in the creation process of various projects is an entirely new high for me.

24 October 2013


Without doubt, the world organization, United Nations, has been working for the betterment of humanity as a whole and as with most organizations, there are flaws, weaknesses, there are also strengths. On Justitia today, below are individual views about the UN and its 'workings'. We ‘judge’ the successes and failures of the UN and encourage its members to work more, for there is always room for improvement.



Part of the things my siblings and I enjoyed when we were growing up was the stories our father used to tell us. We would sit in a circle, moonlight style (but indoors with a florescent bulb acting as the moon,) while he told us folktales. One thing he also did that time was to write down the stories he told us and ask us to read them and learn to tell the stories as well as form our own. But these stories were not Cinderella or Snow white or Sleeping Beauty (though he made sure we read those as well). They were folktales, tales of the greedy tortoise and his regular cast of cohorts, the dog, sometimes the snail, or the pig usually a medicine man and a king as well. We were able to follow the tortoise on his numerous adventures trying to cheat the other animals but whose capers and adventures always end in disaster. I had the fortune of having a teacher father who made those tales so appealing, that it was like I was watching the tortoise as he puts his father-in-law’s porridge into his cap or as he hatches his plot to kill the king’s favourite hunchback and blame it on the Snail.

A STROLL WITH FEMI OKE (For World Development Information Day)

“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders” ~ Ronald Reagan

The Jet age has been characterized by speed. Fast money, fast cars, fast food, and even faster world record times in sports. But amongst all these, one thing that has really increased in speed is information. Right now, I can sit in my room in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and listen to President Obama’s speech in Washington about the debt ceiling; follow Malala’s visit to Buckingham palace; and still track the rising and falling figures from the Nigerian Stock Exchange—all at the same time. That is how fast information can be harvested these days.

My guest, Femi, is a British-Nigerian Journalist who started tracking and disseminating information from the age of 14—as a junior reporter for the London Broadcasting Company. Her talent and the experience she has acquired from working for several international media houses—like CNN, Al Jazeera, and BBC—has equipped her with the ability to convert information into a source for dialogue and development.

Can information really bring development? Do public leaders need to listen more to public opinion? How much has the UN achieved since its inception? These are some of the questions we tried to answer in course of our stroll. She also told me what it felt like moderating several events for world leaders at last month’s UN general assembly, and the dignitaries she met.

Here’s my stroll with Femi, get informed;

18 October 2013


        “There is no sincerer love than the love for food” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Whether it’s food for thought or food for stomach, there is no doubt that food is something we all hunger for. Most times in our quest to feed our hunger, we sneak into an overloaded boat at night trying to cross boarders illegally searching for greener pastures; take two extra jobs and work round the clock; or even form queues under the sun waiting for our turn to get a taste of this thing that keeps us all alive on planet earth, Food.

Talking about forming queues, Chef Dominique Ansel will be familiar with this one because, he literally made people to stand—and sometimes sleep—on the streets in New York waiting to get a taste of an awesome pastry he invented; The Cronut™—a hybrid of the croissant and doughnut.

In course of our stroll, we talked about food and sustainable food systems in the world; possible solutions to the global hunger problem; and the Eureka moment when he got the idea for the Cronut™. I hope this wets your appetite. 

Here is my stroll with Chef Ansel, enjoy;

12 October 2013


Guest Writer: Shittu Fowora

Fred Alika, 34 and Catherine were close buddies seeing each other; in a matter of months, they should be formalizing their relationship by signing the dotted lines according to the demands of tradition. Naturally this called for openness and an ample amount of trust between them both but there was something amiss.

11 October 2013


Guest Writer: Okwy Obu

(in commemoration of the International Day Of the Girl-Child)

a difficult path 

is hewn out for you
even before
you make your appearance


Guest Writer: Emmanuel Uweru Okoh

Hymen Whispers
(in protection of the Nigerian girl child)

Inverted legislation abound.
The roles you play draw tears
From our tender parts.


Guest Writer: Mary Ajayi
(Thirteen 'determination points' of a teenage youmg lady for International Day of the Girl Child,  2013) 

*I will never stop dreaming.

*I will never fail to make plans.

*I will never live without principles.


Guest Writer: Oyin Oludipe

(Dedicated to dear cousin Iposu Sallamah, and all girl children around the world)


You shall often peel the fabled halo

On your lash, trail the heart among darker

Ripples your bowing runnels bring:

Deft tides they yield, of suppleness to time,

Toss charm to the air as shearwaters

The friendless surfs.

You shall often peel the fabled halo

10 October 2013



Five years ago my father tore me open, and every night since then, he continues to open me up. I am thirteen, an only child. My mother is dead; I have no friends and no relatives that I am allowed to see. This is the life I have been given and I’ve grown into it. I will not avenge myself. I do not know how to, nobody cares anyway, even me. I stopped caring sometime along the way. It’s a fucked up life, but I live it. Hope is something strange, joy…I have no memories of it. I do not make wishes, I do not pray. I simply float. When will I stop living anyway? Tonight when he comes again?

A TWEET INTO THE FUTURE: The dreams of a girl who dreams for other girls.

Guest Writer: Ebenezar Wikina

Monday, 23rd September 2013: it started like an ordinary Monday; grumpy, slow, and work promising. After my usual morning prayers I decided to surf the web to see what's new in the world, and I saw a captivating tweet by @malalafund that reads; ''Malala will be making her twitter debut today, send your questions with the hashtag (#Malalafund).'' ''Oh my God!'' I screamed in my head, as I sat up to digest this golden information--in fact, it felt like I had just eaten breakfast--my Monday had just turned around. I celebrated at the thought of actually seeing a 140 character tweet from Malala herself, and the very slim chance of a getting a reply tweet from her, that is, if I'm able to squeeze my questions across to her through the millions of tweets that will be sent to her that evening. I didn't want to get disappointed, so I didn't think about that much. I just wanted to see Malala tweet, and know what she's been up to lately.

7 October 2013


Guest Writer: Adetunji Steve


''A day without a smile is a day that is lost.'' Anonymous

Smiling is a simple act that means so much to the person given but so little to the person giving it out. It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime. We should all smile more often. What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure but scattered along life's pathway; the good they do is inconceivable. Many see no reason why they should smile when they consider what is obtainable around them. The environment cum prevailing circumstances do not warrant the free expressions of a smile, they reason.

5 October 2013


Guest Writer: Chizu Ogbonna

TODDLER STEPS ARE BOLD STEPS. (A teacher's account of the first few weeks of a learner at preschool)

Some days,you came thrashing and wailing,
Other days you'd come smiling and waving,

Those shades were fickle,
They reminded me to cackle,
When you waved 'goodbye' with a chuckle.

To ease your 'loss', I doled out smiles,
To pacify your 'tears', I wrapped you in hugs,
Your moods were fickle,
They reminded me to cackle,
When you held a friend and shared a 'chuckle'.

You only sang, moulded, played and sorted
Your folks saw toddler steps, their care 

I saw definite bold steps and care started.

I saw a genius,
A bright light, 
To shine for us,
Especially at night.

Chizu Ogbonna (c) 2013