Friday 22 June 2012


I thought that I was done with articles about children and what we expose them to all in the name of trying to be cool parents, parents that know what’s up, that want to show that they have the money to provide everything for their children and also want their kids to go show off in school amongst their friends that their parents can afford to buy just about everything for them, especially latest technology. But I have children and I owe it to people to understand that there are something’s that we are doing wrong. When we say that the younger generations are coming up with all sorts of things and we are worried about what life holds for us because they are the future generation, but if we do not start to model their minds, their thought processes, the way they think to the right direction then we have not been able to achieve anything, we haven’t put them in the right state of mind, we haven’t shown that they have to go through the right path.

I’m a bit worried because everything that is evil, everything that is sinful, everything that is pornographic, everything that is inappropriate is free right now as opposed to before where you had to sign up and become a member of something on the internet for you to have access to things or you have to pay to have access to things or where you have to put your birth date to prove that you are of age. Gone are the days were they used to do that to ensure that children are not exposed to things, gone are the days when parents are very strict in their houses where once it’s 9 o’clock you have to be in bed and get ready for school the next day, on school nights you can only watch TV for one hour just so that your brain is fresh and there’s a bit of entertainment in it that would boost creativity, you can only watch TV during the weekends. Gone are those days  were we monitor everything our children watch, were we take out time to buy the DVD’s that are appropriate for them, watch it first and make sure that the content is good enough, we are too busy to do that. Gone are the days were we would sit with them and know what their teachers are teaching them and know exactly what it is that they know. Sometimes we come home and our children say things or sing things and we are wondering where did you learn this from, where did you hear this from. I know that we can’t be with them 24/7 but the truth is there is an extent to which we can try to make some sacrifices to pay attention to your children who are more important than any other thing. Gone are the days were you sit with them and know what they watch so that you know the names of these people, the things that they do because now we find that their role models who are on different children’s channels that we get from cable stations have started kissing, dressing very skimpy and doing all sorts of things and our young children just feel that that’s the way to go because they love these people. They are not aware that their role models are growing up and most of the episodes of the shows that they love and they are watching now are things that were shot 4 or 5 years ago so now when they see these their role models doing all sorts of things they think it’s still ok, after all my role model is a young child like I am but that not true.
We have to be able to take care of our children and monitor what they do especially now that most schools give our children the types of homework that even you as a parent cannot understand or you don’t even know. As a parent I find myself asking my sisters, asking my friends, going to the internet before I am able to answer questions  because sometimes you wonder if they haven’t taught the children these things how else do they expect them to do it if not that they expect their parents to participate and spend time doing their school work with them so that they can help them do the research but most parents that are busy who have to go to work so that they can afford the schools that they send their children to might not have the time in the world to sit down and start to do research so most of the time we don’t make it easier for ourselves because most of the parents I know don’t employ nannies that are educated and most of the time you cannot even find educated people who want to be nannies so you find out that most of the people that you have are not educated and that’s why they are doing the kind of work that they do. So most parents take the easy way out by giving their children access to the internet so they can find the answers to their assignment, so that even when you come back from work you are not saddled with all those questions you might not be able to answer. Sometime you’re tired, its either you want to cook, make phone calls or try to rest and that is the wrongest time to pull out your laptop to try and go on the internet to find out things for your child. Only a few people who have strength and are extremely determined to actually sacrifice that time and monitor what their children are doing ,especially on the net.

I am insisting on writing another article about this internet thing because I have done different experiments and different researches and something shocked me.
A friend of mine was talking to me about something that she saw on her daughter’s laptop and I asked to see. Now, I’m sure most of you know that you can check the history of all the sites that have been visited on a laptop, when I opened the history on the child’s laptop I actually saw like 3 or 4 different pornography sites, from soft porn to hard core porn. I was so shocked and embarrassed on her behalf, I asked how she got access to these sites, did she just type sex videos or pornography, what could have come up in her head for her to go into those sites and she said ‘Look, Stella, you are the one that knows how to handle young girls why don’t you call her and talk to her. I don’t have to be there, if I’m there she probably wouldn’t want to talk, she will probably relate with you better. Can you help me find out what happened?’ So I sat with her daughter, tried to make her very comfortable and I had a conversation with her. I said to her ‘you are not a bad person; the fact that you’ve seen these things doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. Truth is I want to help you so I want to know how these things came in. If you like to see sites like this it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person it just means that you have an issue that we need to deal with and I am willing to help you deal with it but if you didn’t go to those sites intentionally  I need to know how they came up on your laptop’ and she said to me ‘Aunty, I was just innocently playing a dress up game, most of the time the models come up only in their underwear and you have to dress them up and I realized that when you dress them up and you move on to a model on another page, other sites start to pop up so from dressing games, you see kissing games and dating games, when you click it there are cartoon people that you have to make kiss when no one is looking’ from what she explained I gathered that other things are linked to these games that you didn’t plan to do, so all you really have to do is just click.
It is very difficult to tell a child that when you are doing this no matter what pops up don’t look into it, even as adults when you are going through a website you are in search of something, other things would pop up that are related to the thing you are searching for and when you look at the related materials you may just want to know more since you are on the internet already, it’s just one click of the button and it can take you to places you never expected to be and the unfortunate thing is that other tings pop up that look more interesting and out of curiosity you just click and at that point you are gone, it is something that pulls your mind inwards, it is something that’s so attractive that you are just in another world especially when you are alone, no supervision, nobody to monitor what you are doing. The internet just has a way of pulling you into different worlds that would shock you. Even when you do not like such things, even when you don’t want to be a part of such things or you don’t want to practice such things the fact still remains that you are exposed to those things.


Thursday 14 June 2012

State Of Mind

I was too stunned, confused and shocked to write anything last week. On the first of June I was at home trying to make a decision whether to go to Lagos from Abuja on Saturday the 2nd or Sunday the 3rd. I had two events on Saturday that I really did not think I had the energy for, seeing that I just finished filming my short film "When Is It Enough". I just wanted to rest on Saturday and then head to Lagos on Sunday because I was to co-host the Miss Global beauty pageant.

Truth is I finally made up my mind to go on Sunday so that I could rest on Saturday. So Saturday morning came and I packed my suitcase with clothes for just the Sunday event and for my trip to America. I also tried to call my agent to book my flight to Lagos the next day Sunday with Dana because it became my favorite airline. I even made friends with the staff and their pilot. The network was so bad that I could not reach my agent. Then I got a call from my friend and brother Lamboghinny who told me to try and come to Lagos so I could at least honor a friend of ours at their wedding that Saturday. I also got a call from my partner Daniel who urged me to also attend an award so I could help him pick up his award should he win. These are two people I respect so much so I hurriedly carried my suitcase without taking any extra dress for the events of that day, and went straight to the airport. I realized that the Dana flight for that day was too late and since I wanted to go for the two events I decided to go with IRS which was very rare.

Anyway I got to Lagos and immediately called two of my friends "Olan and Exquisite Boutique who had stores to send some clothes to my hotel so I could pick something to wear for that evening. Luckily I found something and went for my events. Saturday ended so well and I was looking forward to the next day so I could perform my duties. Everything went on well that Sunday till it was an hour before the show, I finally saw my co host "Uncle Israel" who was apologizing for not showing up earlier. He looked so distraught and very confused as he kept shaking his head. I was a bit worried because we had to host the show together so I asked him what the problem was and that was how I heard about the fatal crash of the airline that I was supposed to take on the day I wanted to travel, with the same friendly crew I wanted to see again. I was in so much shock that I didn't know what to say or think and I blanked the information out for a few minutes. That did not last for long because my phone started buzzing every second with family and friends who knew Dana was my preferred airline and who also knew I was supposed to be in town from Abuja. I still did not get the full picture till my mother called me crying and saying that even though she had heard from my sisters that I was okay she just wanted to hear my voice after she saw the report and clip on CNN. Then when people started sending different names and pictures of people on the flight to my BB, I froze.

In all of this I had to go on stage and pilot an event so I had to pull myself together. My co host and I did our best to be strong because most of the people in the audience did not even know what was going on at that time so we just asked them to observe the one minute silence. As the event progressed I saw some people running outside with their phones on their ears, so yes, I knew that the information had started spreading. 
After the show I went to my hotel with a couple of friends and I broke down into a state of depression.
First thing that came into my mind was the State of Mind of the people on that flight the moment they realized they were going to crash.
I asked myself "what could they have been thinking?"  "would they have all been shouting Jesus, Jesus?"   “The people that had their children with them, would they be crying for themselves or for the lives of their children whom they could not save?"  “What does it feel like to face death in that manner and be helpless?
All sorts of questions came to my mind. Then I thought "what about those people who did not buy tickets, who did not board any flight, who did not even leave their homes, who just wanted to rest on Sunday and prepare for work or school, who did not go out looking for anything?” After that I started thinking of what some Pastors said during the time of Pastor Bimbo Odukoya and that got me so angry. One of them actually said “Well, Let God's will be done, it was their time and as God gives so shall he take". That was the most insensitive thing I have ever heard. So I wondered what they would say now knowing that these people did not have to die if not for the greed, negligence, incompetence, lack of value for lives, property and inhumanity in the whole system.

As we have heard and discovered, there was already a complaint about that aircraft but the Pilot was still asked to fly the plane.
Let me ask you "will shutting down Dana and giving the families money, bring back these people who died unnecessarily?” if you had to fly within Nigeria now, wouldn't you think twice and say extra prayers before you board? , If there is any small turbulence would you not get paranoid and start to mumble blood of Jesus under your breath?
I got a broadcast from an aviation magazine and I think I should share this with you so you know exactly what we are dealing with here.

"Contrary to the Federal Government's promise to release information from the black box about the crashed Dana aircraft and the flight records of previous crashes to the public, investigation shows that the promise might not be kept. The June 3rd Dana air crash, which killed 153 passengers on board in Iju, Ishaga, Lagos, had provoked public demand for the release of the black boxes of aircrafts that crashed in the past. But the Commissioner and Chief Executive officer of Accident Investigation Bureau, Captain Muhtar Usman, in an interview said that such demands would not be met going by the conventions of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which Nigeria had ratified.
 However, he said the practice had been for the AIB to use part of the information to write its report, but would not wholly release the details as contained in the flights records.
He said "there is an international convention of the ICAO preventing us from publishing the information from the black box the way it is. We can use the information to write our report, but not to publish it the way it appears. We have adopted ICAO rules"
The implication of this is that Nigerians might not fully know the cause of the Dana flight tragedy"

After reading this broadcast message I shook my head and cried just a bit because once again Nigerians will blow hot air and react, rally, demand for answers, talk and shout but in a matter of weeks it all dies and goes away. This happens because we were not directly affected by this but I refuse to accept that. I am directly affected because I am Nigerian and I feel the pain of those related to the 153 people. I am affected because it could have been me or my family. I am affected because shutting down the airline and giving money does not guarantee that this will not happen again. I don't even want to go over that list that shows you how old our aircrafts are because it will make me even more paranoid. Where is that done? When countries reject their aircrafts because of old age and engine malfunctions, NIGERIA buys them off to transport its citizens. So regardless of what the black box reports are, or how much these families are paid, we are still not safe at all.

Truth is that when things like this happen, after a few days of crying and lamenting we all move on with our lives. After all I have been informed that a whole family coming to attend a wedding was wiped out in the crash but the wedding still went ahead with everybody celebrating and smiling like nothing happened. At the end of the day even the affected family moved on quickly with their celebrations.
A few days after that we got the report that a flight that was supposed to land in Abuja had to turn to Lagos because the lights went out on the runway.

How much of this will happen before we realize that we are all walking time bombs just ticking.
When I say Nigeria is blessed you might not understand. I say this because it does not take rocket science to know that it is only God that has been protecting us. With the issues we face in our country it is amazing how we survive each day. From air travel, to bad roads that cause accidents, to the kidnapping, to the bombing, to the rape, to domestic violence, to killing boarding students, to the looting of our hard earned money, to fraud, to armed robbery and so on.
How many of these are being resolved the way they should be? How many of the offenders are brought to book for us to see? How many of the victims get justice? How many of these things can we confidently say were handled by the government and the law that made us feel safe.
All this in my head and I still wonder why I love my country so much, I still wonder why I believe that Nigeria will survive, I still wonder why I am confident that we are the best in the world, I still wonder why I believe that God's hand is upon Nigeria.

My State of mind right now is unimaginable but in all of this I know that God has a plan and I really can't wait for it to start manifesting and come to pass in my lifetime.

Quote: Remember the REDEMPTION SONG by Bob Marley. Start listening from "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery".
God save Nigeria.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Delta Pikin

Internationally acclaimed movie producer and director Daniel Ademinokan has added another feather to his cap. This multi-talented filmmaker recently revealed his plans to launch a fashion line he has named "Delta Pikin".

Daniel who can be described as a lover of smart casuals says that's exactly what "Delta Pikin" is about. He said, "We are making t-shirts, jeans, face caps, sunglasses & sneakers. That's the first stage."

At the moment he is in the US with designers and manufacturers to put final touches to the product. He intends to launch it officially in Nigeria soon with major outlets in Abuja, Lagos & Delta State.

 As a proud Asaba girl, i cant wait to get some "Delta Pikin" clothes, sunglasses and face caps. Rep'n Delta all the way !!!

Monday 11 June 2012

My Favourite Things

There are some things I would love to share with you from time to time. I call them my favorite things. These are things that I like and have affected me positively.

I was reading my bible the other day which had some pearl pages for women by Bishop T D Jakes. One of the pages really struck me. I realised that a lot of women deal with all sorts of things within themselves, things that they can’t share with anyone. They feel so alone and start to run away from people, then eventually God, because they are probably ashamed of their past or their weaknesses.
I learnt that at that point all they need is prayers but trust me it becomes a bit difficult to know what to say or how to say it. One thing I know for sure is that everyone has their weaknesses and have made mistakes at one point in their lives or another.
Here are some beautiful prayer guidelines that Bishop T.D. Jakes wrote that have helped me in so many ways

O God, where are you? I need you now. Can you hear me? Do you care? I am down to my last friend.
I have done some awful things
Sick of feeling used instead of loved
Sick of painting a smile on my face when inside I am screaming
Sick of dressing up a body that has lost its soul
Lord I don't want to feel  filthy
I just want to be clean
Touch my tears with your mercy and whisper hope for the future to me
I want to climb up in your lap and be a little girl again innocent and new
They say you are the God of second chances
The God of new beginnings
You are the only one I can count on
From now on, I’m your woman
I belong to you alone
Be my hero, my shelter
Be my man and save me from shame.
In Jesus name. Amen

I came across another prayer guide from TD Jakes again and totally loved it.

Lord, through the ages you have fought battles for your people.
Now I need someone to fight for me.
 Someone who cares that I am daily ambushed and beaten up in the war zones of work, worry and weariness.
I have no safe place; no shelter no refuge where I can hide.
There is such strife and unrest in the deepest parts of me. And I cry out for you.
There is a battle going on in me between what you say and what I think. I cannot hear your still, small voice over the noise that rages inside of me.
Be my guide, my guard, my light, my hero. Even when I am outnumbered, one word from you can conquer every conflict, eliminate the enemy, and defeat the destroyer.
 Come to my rescue, prince of peace.

He also went on to encourage women:

Your real value cannot be bought, applied, added on, hung from your ears, or laid on your neck.
The real thing that causes a man to need you so desperately he can’t leave you is not what is on you but what is in you.

Start appreciating yourself
Say this to yourself:
 "I’m valuable to God
I am somebody
Yes I’ve been through some bad times
But the lord touched me and loosed me and now I’m glorifying God and I am not going back to where I came from.

You need to recognise what God has put in you.
God, when he made the woman, didn’t just decorate the outside
He decorated the inside of the woman
He put beauty in her spirit

These words made me add more value to myself. I am sure most people have heard and read things about me that are both true and untrue. Through it all, God has been there for me. When I read words of encouragement like this, it reminds me that there is more in me that no other person can see but God sees. He values me, he heals me, he knows the real me, he accepts me, he never hurts me. That is all that matters to me because if God before me, who can be against me.

Another favorite thing for this edition is a wonderful poem written by my very own personal assistant, friend and little sister Rumeh Ejoor.
She walked up to me with the poem, she was asked to write it for a concert that was held in honor of the crisis that was going on in Haiti and Jos. I read it and I thought it was amazing, she told me that all she wanted to do was express all the hurt she felt especially for the children that were missing, injured, rendered homeless and worst of made orphans.

A hundred thousand people, feared dead.
Thousands more, trapped in reckless buildings.
Countless thousands, injured.
Long queues of broken people
Barely able to stand
Crowded around badly damaged hospitals.
Are there any doctors on duty?
Do they have any medical supplies?
What about water and electricity?
Is there foods anywhere?

A child covered in blood and dust
Wanders around crying.
Mummy, where are you?
Another chills sits beside the body of his deeds father
Daddy, daddy, wake up, I'm so hungry, he moans.
Life has lost its meaning
Everyday is a bitter struggle.
A struggle to stay alive
And search for loved ones

Thousands of miles away
In another continent far across the seas
Things are no different
A battle of religion
Takes on the proportions of an earthquake
In the beautiful tourist region of Jos, Nigeria

A fight between Muslims and Christians
In the name of Almighty God
That destroys man
Created in the inane of that same God
Hundreds of lives are lost
Hundreds more injured
Homes, businesses, burnt to ashes
Broken lives litter the streets
Without a bed to lay their heads

It will take a hundred days to clear
They say in Haiti
The government will enforce Law and order
They say in Jos
Till then how will the people fare?
Who will feed the children?
Who will treat the wounded?
Who will shelter the homeless?
Yes, we can
You and I, Nigerians
With a rich culture of warmth and hospitality
Hand in hand, standing, shoulder to shoulder
We can heal this
Broken Humanity

Monday 4 June 2012

Nigeria Go Survive

There is so much to talk about that I don’t even know where to begin. Let me skip some experiences and land on the conversation I had with my aunty in my hotel room in the UK. She asked me how Nigeria was and I said well we thank God. Of course I knew she hated answers like that so I quickly apologised. In as much as I try to be as positive as I can about every situation, it was slightly difficult to talk about Nigeria in that manner. So I talked about the state of electricity, roads, hospitals and doctor’s strike, bombings and the pain of the Christians in these times, the cashless Nigeria which I think should be a topic for another articles, then I got tired after I realised that I was sounding like a nagging wife. Anyway as I rounded up she looked at me and laughed, then she said " you know what" in her funny accent, "we are all facing so much in the UK to the point that people here wanna come back home you know". That shocked me a bit and before she opened her mouth something came on TV, she took the remote and increased the volume, then she said please watch this. It was on BBC and the presenter was at a site with pillars that had missing metals, also different monuments that had broken and were vandalised. Apparently the crime rate in the UK had tripled. People are stealing from different places, warehouses, banks, etc to afford their drugs and food, all because of David Cameron who came in and changed everything. Revoked benefits, slashed salaries, rendered people jobless and homeless, and generally made life unbearable for a lot of people.

I did not realise how bad it was at that time till we changed the channel and saw an old couple who were caught stealing from the pharmacy in a hospital because their monetary benefits from the government had been cut. Now that was really scary, and that was when I heard the full Gist of what was going on. In the UK now, even if you have cancer and you were getting monthly allowances from the government because you can’t work, the new policy which has changed is insisting that you must work unless you can prove that you have a major relapse. On that same TV show I saw people signing so many documents just to prove to the government that they are still entitled to the benefits. These documents were the size of two huge concordance bibles joined together and I am not exaggerating. All to collect as low as 250 pounds a month.

Wow! Now that threw me off balance a bit.

There was a time when we all started laughing as the presenter said UK residents have all become actors just to retain their benefits. He said even people whose diseases are not that bad on paper, now go to the collection office with walking sticks and neck braces just so people think their conditions are deserving of the benefits.

Even though that was funny it got me thinking.
We all shout and rant and complain about our country Nigeria, but the truth is that when the developed world and countries were going through the economic meltdown, I don’t remember it really hitting Nigeria or Nigerians. We were still going about our lives and businesses. When they were laying off thousands of people from work we did not experience that. When big
shops and stores were shutting down all over the world it did not affect us. When Dubai
suffered economic loss because they invested in another country, it did not affect us. When the hurricanes and floods rocked the world, it did not come near us. Truth is we have had our own fare share of fuel subsidy wahala, boko haram and the rest of them but we are not the only ones. We seem to think that Nigeria is a lost cause but I beg to differ because Nigeria is the hope of the world and the future. It may seem farfetched now but it will happen. A few greedy, selfish and evil men are not enough to destroy this wonderful country which God has blessed with so much.

Anyway after the TV show I realised that the same United Kingdom that so many people will give up everything to live in, is having so many issues now. Two families I know have come back home, businesses are coming back and foreigners who have identified Nigeria as the next best thing are flooding in. From the movie makers who have come to appreciate nollywood, to the pastors and gospel singers who have come to love Nigerian churches, to the doctors from India and Germany who have set up hospitals here, to the telecoms and cable tv providers who are being made billionaires overnight because we have the power of numbers, to the engineers who have been getting huge contracts just because of the colour of their skin, to the professors who are in Abuja everyday getting approval to set up American curriculum schools and so many others who find it easy to get what they want because they know that once you are a foreigner and you have a great accent you can have anything you want from the Nigerian government. I am not really sure I am thrilled with this trend because I know how Nigerians labour and spend to get approvals or contract from their own government.

Looking at it positively, this also proves that there must be something outsiders are seeing and that is why they are all running down here.
Nigerians wake up and smell the coffee o; this Nigeria that we are all condemning is the same place the whole world is rushing to. If we can all just stop and think hard to find out what they are seeing and how we can all benefit from it.
It’s important to stand up for ourselves before it’s too late. The time we spend in lamenting, let us spend it looking for solutions. The good thing is that unlike other countries that have natural disasters beyond their control, Nigeria only suffers from man made problems that can be solved by God through man.

Yes we have major issues and some are so painful. From armed robbery, to rape, to domestic violence, to fraud, to child trafficking, to the government who have failed us, to poor medical facilities and so much more.
With all of this I refuse to give up on my country.

Let us all ask God for help now and make ourselves available to be used as agents of change. The time is now.

Stella’s Quote of the day: This is from a song "Andrew no check out o, stay and build your country, Nigeria go survive.