Category Archives: Articles

5 tips to run a very successful blog

And you ran and came and clicked, expecting to see what? How to become Linda Ikeji? So that you also, can buy a multi-million naira mansion at Ikoyi, right? That is the problem with people; you want to learn how to run a successful blog from someone who is not presently running a successful blog! What can I possibly have to teach you?

I am sure you also clicked because you saw 5 tips and you thought to yourself “wow! Just 5 quick tips to Croesus world? ”. Is life really that easy? If they were 5 simple tips, everybody would do it. Anyway, I won’t blame you too much; blog posts that start off with 5 steps, 7 ways, or 10 tips are usually stats boosters. Now let that be your first lesson!

1. Tips and advice will always get clicks – If you don’t have access to regular gossip to put on your blog, the thing fit die sharp sharp, while you struggle to rise to SDK or LIB standards, publish tips and advice over and over again. If you focus on love, sex, marriage, relationship, and weddings, your stats will forever be on the rise. So post things like “5 ways to know when a man is a player”, “10 steps to make him crazy about you” or “7 tips to build a healthy relationship.” You might think money topics will sell but trust me, online, money does not sell. Headlines that scream “5 easy ways to make money” might get you blocked, you fit be scammer or thief. Don’t cry if you write about money and nobody is clicking

Tip number 2
2. Post a lot! – This advice is genuine! No jokes. Posts, attract people and people naturally move in the direction of the gist so don’t stop posting. Give tips as many times as you can, re-blog other people’s posts if you want to, out-rightly steal the story if you have to but don’t let your blog go dry and gistless. Every time a visitor clicks that link, let there be something new! Social media is a strong communication tool these days so biko repost on twitter, repost on Facebook, repost on instagram and googleplus. Post! Post! Post!

Where the people go, the marketers follow, where the marketers follow, money exchanges hands!

For all the classy, sensible would-be bloggers out there, get off your high horse!
3. Get off your high horse – words like professionalism, ethics, wrong and right don’t drive traffic. Unless you are Bellanaija who has managed to keep it very clean over the years and develop into a business with visible partnerships and a clean brand, you need to stop being snooty and fussy! If a celebrity sleeps with a girl and you have got pictures, please put it up. If people die in a car crash, take close-up pictures of their bodies dripping with blood and put it up. If there is no story at all at all and you see a politician entering a restaurant with a babe, take their pictures immediately, cook up something or write a speculative article and post it immediately. Something that reads like, “Could this be Fani Kayode’s wife number 10?”

You don’t have a troubling problem; it is the general public who crave these gists that have a worrisome problem. They would speculate over these things themselves so get on it and do it for your blog. Speculate biko, put some gossip as well.

Because I know you are impatient, I will add this tip.
4. Give it time – You need to establish yourself as a mean poster, the blog with the juiciest gists, before money starts to come. It might take a while, it won’t happen at once. So wait for it, while you wait, repeat all the steps listed above very faithfully. I know you are desperate for money, I am too but chill… it will come!

And if everything else fails,
5. Stir up controversy – this is easy to do, attack the big bloggers, attack the bloggers with traffic. When a celebrity says something, write a letter of response to the person – Cynthia Morgan vs. Caroline Ekanem, chook your mouth there! When Mr. Murray-Bruce requests something largely utopian from Buhari, take him to task immediately and cook up a story about his poor treatment of Silverbird staff. This is social/new media, on it, people hardly ever get charged to court and this is Nigeria especially, some bitter soul somewhere will believe wicked things about others simply because he is naturally bitter!

So there, you have it! Five tips to run a successful blog. All that is left, is the doing! Do not be deceived, no matter how much of a joke this article might seem to you, it has been tried and it has been tested! It works!

I am a failed blogger myself and I am taking this advice to heart and putting it to test. Which step am I on? I leave you to judge!

SO MANY NIGERIAN WAYS TO GO!

We will all die eventually, no doubt about that. But some of us intend to die when God says its time and for me, it will be time when I am 92years old, with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren surrounding my bedside. Death is inevitable, of course it is, but I refuse to die a Nigerian death. I refuse to die a statistical figure in the pages of a rarely read newspaper. I refuse to die a senseless death, fodder for back and forth name-calling between political opponents hoping to score insignificant points. I will not die a Nigerian death.

There are many ways to go as a Nigerian, none of which is the way I have envisaged my eventual passing. You could die in a bomb blast! If you live in the southern part of Nigeria, this may not be your end (I presently live in the southern part)! If you live in the northern part, then you should be worried. When the bomb goes off and takes your precious life, social media will light up, not in your specific remembrance but in remembrance of a collective figure like 30 and it might read something like this “30 people lost in another blast, God console their families”, then of course there will be all black pictures or a picture of a burning candle to show your collective faces (no individual will get special recognition). 2 to 3 days after, or a week at the very most, you will be totally forgotten and the rest of the country waiting to die either in a Nigerian way or in a normal way will move on.

You could die in a road accident, this is really a very common type of death, with our roads. Many die on our roads, those ones don’t even get any media mention. At the end of every year or at its beginning FRSC will mention your precious life as statistics, “1000 lives lost in road mishaps in 2014” and that’s that for you.

You could be kidnapped, if you live in the southern part of Nigeria you are at high risk of being kidnapped and you might be killed whether you pay the ransom or not. The media will light up for you, security agencies will struggle to get media mentions acting like they are doing something to get you back, if you are just a little bit popular you might get out, if you aren’t popular you will most likely die and we will not hear about it. Your family will not announce the cause of your death too publicly either (they have to guard against presenting themselves as a target for future attacks.) Now, if you are kidnapped in the north, you have just a little bit of hope, Oby and Josephine won’t rest, they will try their best to get you back but mark my words, you will still be a statistical figure “234 chibok girls still missing after 200 days”. Then the political giants will engage each other over you “Missing girls: APC accuses PDP of negligence”. “Chibok girls: They only want us out of government – PDP Chieftain”. Will you be found? I am not too confident but at least some noise will be made.

You could die looking for a job, I understand your frustration, you have to feed yourself, you have to clothe yourself, you have to exist and exist well! If you have a degree chances are that you will be searching for gainful employment as hard as I am. Then the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) would invite you for an exam or more likely the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would (2015 is around the corner, hands are needed). You and about 1 million other people will turn up at a 1000 capacity hall and (a.) fight to squeeze in. (b.) fight for question papers (c.) fight to submit. (d.) fight to squeeze out. In the midst of all the fight, you could be among the numbers who slump and die! You will definitely make the news, your friends would say they warned you not to go. The INEC chairman would blame you for animalistic behaviour and still hold his office very arrogantly, your people could receive compensation and of course let’s not forget the media headings “20 die in INEC examination stampede!”. A week or so later, you will be forgotten, another statistical Nigerian death.

It could be sickness and I am not talking Ebola, serious affairs like Ebola which can creep into all levels of society will be fought to a standstill! The government would do all in its power to stop it. The world would help too #worldhealthorganization, they have our interests at heart. Viruses like Ebola will be contained abeg, before it wipes the entire nation or worse still wipes big people in government. Business will continue as usual after we contain the virus and heroes of the virus war will be forgotten after the government mutters platitudes. Now back to the sickness that can really kill you, it could be malaria, just simple malaria that we get periodically. You would be down with a fever, you wouldn’t have a private hospital access card or funds to pay consultancy. The Doctors would be on strike protesting something and the government would fire the resident doctors so no public hospital for you. You would probably go to a pharmacy (not any big one o), a local one where a barely educated chemist will put a few multi-coloured drugs in white paper for you. The fever could get worse and you would die. There is a slim chance that you will make the news, it will read “Thousands still die of malaria in Africa, WE NEED NETS!” Heaven forbid you get diagnosed with a major illness, you know those kinds that require surgery or advanced treatment outside the country, then would be the time to put your house in order, you would surely die, not because our doctors don’t know what to do but because they don’t have the equipment or because there are long queues waiting in lines at one or two private and public hospitals to benefit from that particular machinery.

There are many ways to die a Nigerian death, I can’t list them all but I do not intend to go in any of those ways. I will die very old with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren scattered everywhere in the world. By then I would have been published, I would have practised my communication for development too, I would have commented on several issues bothering the country and hopefully, seen giant strides in the country’s progress. By then, I would have insisted that hunger in the nation be alleviated, that poverty be combated. By then I would have loved passionately and lived very fully. By then I would be very fulfilled. I will die a biblical death, the kind where you bless your children lying down and then close your eyes to rest. I will get media mentions, full paged obituaries by friends and family. Well written eulogies from colleagues and the government of that day. A long list of survivors on every media announcement and an even longer list of gratitude from my family after the funeral rites.

Too many Nigerian ways to die, we who won’t die in any of those ways salute you!

IF YOU WERE KIDNAPPED

If you were kidnapped, yes you, gi nwa onye m bu n’obi, gi nwa bu ezi oyi m, if you were kidnapped

I would be very pained

I would be bothered and be downright uncomfortable

Tears would spring to my eyes and spill down my cheeks at the thought of your torment

I would worry endlessly about you, I would wonder if you had been harmed,

If you were in pain or if you had been tortured

Situations would revolve in my mind and I would picture you in them all

 

If I heard you were kidnapped, I would ask, why, who and what for?!

If I was told boko haram took you, I would shake my head and wear a straight face

I would shout, mba! Nkea akali go!

I would scream for your return

I would petition the government and security agencies to demand action

I would call on all human rights groups to fight for your rescue

 

If you were kidnapped, I would understand the pain your parents would feel

I would feel their heartache, their sorrow and their loss

I would feel their confusion, their hurt and their despair at their sad lot

I would feel their pain as keenly as if they were my own parents searching for me

I would call up your parents, sit with them, cry with them, say words to make them feel better

 

 

If you, my friend, were kidnapped, I would never forget

I love you, you are a part of me, I wouldn’t take your loss kindly

I would do all in my power to get you back

To make sure that memories of you never fade

I would always listen for news of you

I would attempt anything and everything to get you back

Your memory will never be lost, not to my other interests, not to epidemics, not to other cares and worries

 

If you were kidnapped, I would want you back

I would want you back because you are precious, because you are priceless, because you are an important piece of me

 

I would do all these for you my good friend,

If some females in some obscure part of the country were kidnapped

I would not be bothered, of what use are they to me pray tell?

My passion to bring back missing people only extends to people whose loss affects me!

Any other person, I will forget!

 

 

Note: “Gi nwa onye m bu n’obi” – “You that is dear to my heart”. “Gi nwa bu ezi oyi m” – “You that is my good friend”. “Mba, nkea akali go” – “No, this is too much”

 

 

A MARBLE TO OUR GIRLS

by

moi

Weeks have turned to months and I do not think we are getting our girls back, do you? I mean, the frenzy to bring them home has died down like a raging fire fizzling out for lack of fuel and air. Of course embers from that fire glow and a few unnoticed bursts of fire spring to life and die a quick death in the face of many wet coals doused by our waning interest. We have started to forget them like we forget many other things. We are a people under siege, constantly faced with fresh battles, each worse than the last. We grow weary struggling to keep up with the challenges so we fight new battles without evaluating the last.

Our girls are gone from our minds, the battle for them was battles ago even before the Emab Plaza battle. They slowly evolve into history and become stories that we tell and retell when we gather round in the evenings to recount past events in a bid to forget new ones. Only a few of us remember them, people like Oby. When we discuss, we wonder if Oby has an agenda separate from our own, we wonder why she is always dressed up in red, consistently screaming about girls we have all obviously started to forget. She, like her fellow lone voices, sounds like an echo from the past, a nagging, pesky voice consistently reminding us of fading history, she irritates us!

The hue and cry to bring back our girls has died down, our media have forgotten. In fairness to them, their attention did last long considering the many events they have to bring to the fore. These events unfold like scenes from a drama in our daily lives and focus on the girls dim a little more with each new scene that unfolds. All that remains of our girls in the play is a tiny print at the top of every new script reminding us of the number of days they have been gone and inadvertently asking us to give up.

Our celebrities have forgotten too. It is no more “cool” to tweet hashtags and take beautiful pictures requesting politely and creatively for our girls. The virtual register set up for hashtags and cute pictures has been closed. In the thunderous days of #bringbackourgirls, celebrities world over campaigned with us, a known model even went completely naked to request for the girls.

The politicians, they never really remembered the girls, they only thought of them because the fire to bring them back raged and ignited them. They burned along with the rest of us because we burned, they even burned brighter; when we cooled, they cooled even faster and moved on to other things.

I don’t think the girls are coming home, we have lost the passion to bring them back. Indeed we cannot honestly relate with the horror of their situation, the modern slavery that has become their lives, we do not imagine the bone cutting scars that they will suffer beyond captivity if they come home, the despair they must feel at our fickleness, we do not think of them.

Our girls are lost to us, they are lost were it matters most – our hearts. It is now time to do for them what we do for history, what we do in remembrance of the long lost and the dead. It is time to do what we do when we cannot be bothered to genuinely remember everyday, it is time to raise a marble to our girls, a monument of our failure as a nation, a sign of the inhumanity of millions of people who do not fight for their own.

Am thinking a location close to the unity fountain will be just right. We could have sculptures of two hundred and something girls on a raised marble platform with the words “we will never forget”, the words on the sculpture will fall off scant years from its unveiling and will not be replaced, screaming testimonies to the fact that we have truly forgotten!

BEYOND THE JOKES

downloadby

ANONYMOUS LAWYER

I had a great laugh too watching the first lady’s video that went viral, especially the remix of the video featuring one former honourable member. Yes, it was funny and that was it! Then I read an article captioned ‘a forensic analysis of the first lady’s cry’, all aimed at castigating the first lady’s use of Pidgin English and the constitutionality of the office of the first lady. It is laughable that the writer still refers to her as the ‘first lady’ in his caption even while questioning her right to be addressed as that. The 1999 constitution does not recognize the office of the 1st lady and neither does the American constitution, however the term “first lady” is used by both countries and by many other countries we would want to model Nigeria after. This position is recognized as a de facto affiliation to the presidency and this simply means that it is founded upon common and general practice, created or developed and not contrary to any regulation. That is to say, that recognition of the office of the first lady would be a problem if it contradicted any law or legislation.

Michelle Obama who many name in contrast to Patience Jonathan is the forty-sixth official first lady of the United States which means that even the United States associate with this common practice. People like Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Clinton all wore the first lady tag during their husbands’ tenure in office. It might also be useful to mention that the office is funded from the presidency and this has been so in Nigeria with all past heads of state and Presidents from Azikiwe till date.

Dame Patience convening a meeting in that capacity then, should not be voided on the grounds that it is unconstitutional as the meeting is legitimate. In answer to the issue of legitimacy, two questions come to mind, who convened the meeting and who did the meeting reach out to? In response to both questions, I borrow the words of the critics to say that it was convened “for a set of ladies who call themselves first ladies”. Soyinka being knowledgeable can choose to call them an ‘association’. Having answered in that context, it is pertinent to emphasize that Nigeria by its enshrinement of the ‘Universal Declaration on Human Rights’ into the constitution upholds freedom of association. This is the right of people to join or leave groups as they choose, and for the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of its members. It is both an individual right and a collective right, guaranteed by all modern and democratic legal systems. Bearing this in mind, the first lady’s meeting obviously reached out to first ladies of states and these first ladies have neither complained about the association nor their meetings and have chosen of their own free will to be part of the group. In clear indication of a willingness to be part of this group, the first lady of Borno state who was unavoidably absent, sent a representative, showing an interest in the #bringbackourgirls campaign brought before them as an association.

A senior advocate who recently rejected the invitation to be part of the constitutional committee set up by the President was also quick to quote laws on the unconstitutionality of the panel set up by Dame Patience. With due respect to the learned silk, I find this a misconception, the situation at hand is one of national security were all citizens ought to give reasonable assistance to help address the menace of insecurity. Dame Patience did not approach the legislative arm of government to implement the recommendations of a fact finding committee nor did she order the deployment of military personnel to Borno, she only tried to contribute to the issue at hand.

On the issue of questions raised by the first lady, questions must be asked for problems to be solved. America in volunteering to help has mentioned the need for a forensic test where scientists will be deployed to capture biometric data, linking the biological parents to their children. Nobody has seen that as an indirect way of seeking information, right? But we quickly blame the first lady for asking questions.

We are in the digital age where twitter, facebook, mobile apps are available for us to make helpful opinions and suggestions in times like this. I did laugh at the video and will still laugh at its comic value but beyond that, we should see the deep desire and passion to bring back our girls. Even if the tears were fake as some people have said, we should still be moved. Majority of us have been emotionally affected merely watching paid actors and actresses in the past, why then can we not be moved by the first lady’s tears especially as we have no way of knowing certainly if they were real or not. We need to refocus on the core issue at hand which is to get our children back, the constitutionality of the first lady’s office and her expression or lack of is secondary to this.

We should continuously find out ways we can help, discover what roles to play or even simply pray for our nation. This isn’t a time to cast blames or even ridicule Dame Patience, these will not solve our problems. There really is God and he is the only exalter, who knows, YOU might be the next leader he exalts, (laughs) then Nigeria might become a better place and I won’t be writing this.

 

 

 

BRING BACK OUR GIRLS, BRING BACK NIGERIA

BY

THERESA 

About two weeks ago, hundreds of young Nigerian school girls had their lives altered. They were abducted; thrown into a realm of uncertainty which outsiders like you and I can only weakly attempt to define by the boundaries of our imagination. These girls HAVE dreams, aspirations, hopes and plans none of which foretold the tragic fate which has befallen them. These girls ARE daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins, grand-daughters, friends and much more to people who currently experience unimaginable pain. Regardless of gender, age, religion, ethnicity and social class, we all share something with these girls. We share a bond; our humanity is a common denominator.

The saying “life goes on” always holds true even after war and in this case, will unfortunately be same. But how should life go on especially in the wake of this and other recent occurrences? Do we fold our arms, remain “powerless” and allow politically motivated insurgents define life for us? Do we go on with our lives, offering the occasional “hmms, oohs and ahhs” when such things happen and continue in our own bubbles with the erroneous beliefs that our buildings, our streets, our states and regions make us impossible to reach and so, far from harm’s way? Do we carry on, attribute this to destiny and assume that our “destiny” would be different from theirs? Do we offer supplication to God as lone solution? Or do we merely wish our problems away?

These problems we face are collective. They are not just the government’s and not only the victims’ but ours as a people. Stop for a minute and reminisce about the life you have now then imagine a scenario where you are forcefully extricated from your current position and the world as you see it, as you know it, and as you live in it gets replaced with chaos that you not just passively observe but actively live through. Picture a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a grand-daughter, a niece, a cousin, or a friend of yours and imagine that one day they are taken from you. Consider the many possibilities- sexual, physical, psychological abuse and torture. Go a step further to consequences- unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, malnutrition and many more. How about death maybe not before but even after experiencing all that was previously mentioned? This is the very depressing but harsh reality for many right now.

There is only so much most of us can do but every little bit counts. Through prayers, petitions and protests we have to continuously speak for them and demand that this ugly occurrence be given the highest level of attention by the powers that be. It does not matter if just one or one million girls were kidnapped, the cause must be fought for. It does not matter who does what in what manner and the least concern should be intents or genuineness of the messengers as long as the message- to bring back the girls- gets spread. We have to make conscious efforts to see that this is not swept under a rug and ensure that no one forgets if not this will become just another feature in a long list of unending sad tales in our country.  We must demand action. We must demand peace. We must speak. If we do not then we have failed those girls and ourselves and in the nearer future, we could be calling for more people to be brought back- our sons, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, friends, you and I.

This is one in a series of causes that must be fought for in order to restore some semblance of normalcy in our society. Nigeria’s turmoil has gone past the point of generating passive response. Way too many lives have been lost in recent times, way too many tears have been shed, a lot of families have been forever disconnected and properties to the tune of billions lost. At the centre of these goings-on are power hungry individuals whose insatiable appetite to conquer and devour has reduced the populace to pawns in a political game of chess. Individuals who must be held accountable and peace demanded from. Nigeria as we once knew it (even with its former peculiarities) has been stolen from us. Terrorism is here and is very real and if not checked, soon no barricade- physical, mental or social- will suffice for the masses regardless of who we are, where we live, what we look like and what we do. Control must be regained lest we become controlled. We must do something- We must all lend our voices.

This is a #BringBackOurGirls fight and a #BringBackNigeria war.