Genevieve Nnaji Cut From Half of a Yellow Sun Movie?


Reports coming out of Nollywood indicate that the adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie's award winning book, Half of a Yellow Sun, will be screened at the 2013 FESPACO film festival, opening in Ouagadougou, February 23. That means it may be reaching the cinemas as soon as summer, if not before.

The feature film has a cast that includes Thandie Newton [who remembers the furor?], John Boyega, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dominic Cooper, Anika Noni Rose, and Joseph Mawle. Nigerians involved in the project are Biyi Bandele, directing, Cobhams Asuquo and Keziah Jones, both composing original music for the film, and Genevieve Nnaji with small acting part. Most of that small role may have ended on the editing/cutting room floor.

Like I've learned since I started doing movie reviews, all adapted films have three stages - there's the book, then the script, and finally the director's vision. So anything can happen to change around a story during those stages. If you've read the book, you'll know there's a heartbreaking love story involved, but I'm not sure which part Genevieve is playing.


E247Mag writes that we'll still see Genevieve in a scene or two, I hope it is more than that.

But whatever happens, I'm sure she, as well as the other Nigerian crew that took part in the Calabar production must have learnt a lot by being part of the making of the Half of a Yellow Sun movie. Some scenes from the shooting in Nigeria - of Olanna and Odenigbo's wedding - are below.

Thandie Newton just looks like a Nigerian here :)

Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Olanna and Odenigbo (Half of a Yellow Sun)

This is the official synopsis released by the film's producers:

... weaving together the lives of four people swept up in the turbulence of war. Olanna (Newton) and Kainene (Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the “revolutionary professor” Odenigbo (Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (Boyega) in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises herself when she falls in love with Richard (Mawle) an English writer. Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire country and the world.

I can't wait!

Boiled Potatoes With Celery and Tomato Stew


I love vegetable sauces, I like that between 15 - 25 minutes I have a ready meal when I need it. I can either stir-fry, fry, steam or just saute a mix of my choice of vegetables and voila! Food is ready. Celery is one of those vegetables I got introduced to after I left Nigeria, and I fell in love with it's refreshing taste and flavor. I had to be sure how it is cooked, and unlike most vegetables, this actually requires 15 - 20 minutes to be well cooked.

To make this stew, you need the following;
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
A small bunch of celery stalks with some hearts if possible. Washed and sliced
Four medium sized tomatoes, chopped
Half a medium sized onion, sliced
Ground pepper,
Salt and spices to taste.

Directions


1. Heat your vegetable oil till lightly smoking.

2. Pour in the celery and allow to cook for five minutes

3. Add the chopped onion and saute the pieces with the celery. If you like, add some of the spices now.

4. After another 5 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes.

5. Stir in salt and ground pepper to taste.

6. Continue stirring for the next 10 minutes on medium heat. Simmer until the vegetables are tender - a total of about 20 to 25 minutes.





There are two ways to prepare boiled potatoes, either in the back, or peeled.

To boil in the back,

1. Wash thoroughly to avoid sand or any debris.

2. Cut one medium or large-sized potato into 3 - 5 pieces

3. Put in a pot with enough water to cover it, add a pinch of salt and boil for 10 - 15mins. Remove from heat.

4. The potato rind is edible but if you prefer, peel it off and serve.




To peel before cooking.

1. Remove the rind with a peeler.

2. Dice the plantain into as many pieces as you want.

3. Put in a pot with enough water to cover it, add a pinch of salt and boil for 20mins. Remove from heat.

4. Serve with your choice of sauce.



On this occasion, I garnished the meal with roasted chicken and drizzled it all over with grated cheese. It was yum-yum.

Enjoy!

When Kenechi Uzochukwu Says Men Must Rape


I try not to take most things too seriously, but there are issues that get my blood boiling. One of those topics is rape. Women and children continue to be the vast majority when victims of rape are numbered, and I find it galling that our culture would rather blame them or sweep the stories under the carpet, than face the men who perpetrate this hate crime, and deal them full and swift justice.

Now, Kenechi Uzochukwu, who I know and have met, and who reads this blog, has written an article for YNaija that seems to be in response to my earlier post, Lets talk to the men who rape, shall we?

In his article, Kenechi agrees with my point that a lot of Nigerian men struggle with thoughts of rape, or may have raped before. [This I think is due to the heavily partriarchal culture in Nigeria, where women are expected to be subservient to men, and women's bodies are seen as owned by their men or the society].


But then he goes ahead to blame women, and the victims of rape, stating they provoke rape due to the way they dress to kill. In his opinion, even if you're not raped for dressing indecently, you may cause other decent women and children to be raped. While a lot of people have, deservedly, jumped on Kenechi Uzochukwu's head, let's not forget that a Kano lawyer made similar statements in the past, and that several Nigerian men, and even women, think the same way. One article on Naijastories goes on to blame mothers who breastfeed in public for arousing men, and causing rape!

Am I saying we should not rebut Kenechi Uzochukwu, or others of his ilk? NO! I am saying that even as we castigate him, we should look beyond him, because he's just a symptom. We should try to look inwards and focus on the cause - our culture. We might not be able to change Kenechi, but we can change ourselves and those under our influence, our brothers, cousins, friends and sons. We have a long way to go to change the mentality of men who are brought up to see themselves as Lords and Masters over women.

Rape is not about sex, but about power and exerting dominance, and that is why more women and children are raped than the other way around. Some men even rape fellow men. It doesn't help that in Nigeria, rape and its perpetrators are rarely reported. When they do, victims are maltreated, and at the end, these rapists get off lightly.

So, Kenechi - and all men that think like him whether they say it or not - it goes beyond a man being able to exercise self control or about women guarding their sexuality and how they dress. It is about men like you developing respect and empathy for women. I won't ask you to think about if it was your mother, daughters, or sisters being raped. I will say think about if women were human beings like you. Think about rape victims and think about yourself being raped. By a man. A man who is twice your size.

Think about that, and please stop raping.

________

PS. I want to thank some men who have given the issue of rape in our society more in-depth thought and have spoken out, about how rape affects them, and about how their fellow men should think about rape.

Mazi Nwonwu writes in Rape and the Nigerian Society, about the time his cousin was almost raped in his presence and how, "it took him months to recover from the trauma and took my cousin longer to start seeing me as a ‘man’ again. It was a close shave, a very close shave, one that still makes me shiver..."

Sagaysagay writes in Rape and the Unjustifiable defense of provocation, that any "argument about “provoked rape” is like an armed robber saying he attacks rich people because they “flaunt” their wealth. It is like a corrupt Minister saying the billions of naira he handles in the Ministry tempts him into stealing. Even Ibori wasn’t bold enough to come up with such justification before the UK court that convicted him."

Thank you Mazi and Sagay for raising the quality of the conversation.

A Romantic Short Film to Make You Fall in Love


This video is just too cute, and the ending put a goofy smile on my face. But I wonder though, are there poeple who are absent-minded and forgetful as that lady in the ad? I can't help but think that one day she'll even forget herself join, hehehe...

How To Date Someone You Work With


Once deemed extremely taboo in the workplace, dating between coworkers is no longer swept under the rug as it used to be. This can be attributed to the fact that many companies have enacted policies to specifically address the proper means of handling such romances, and, if handled in a professional and appropriate manner, these interoffice relationships may not cause friction and lack of productivity amongst coworkers. Let us not forget, Barack and Michelle met on the job, so it may not be as bad of a look as some may believe it to be.

A 2012 CareerBuilder survey found nearly 38% percent of workers have had at least one interoffice romance at one point of their career, although, according to Forbes Magazine, competing company Vault.com found nearly 59% percent of workers surveyed admitted to having a workplace relationship. Of those who dated at work, CareerBuilder found that, like the Obamas, 31 % said their office romances wound up leading to marriage. With numbers like this, companies could no longer turn a blind eye to secretive dalliances of employees.


The most common corporate policy addressing interoffice relationships deals specifically with romances between executives/managers and employees. Due to possible sexual harassment claims against a company and/or and executive or manager, many company policies require employees and managers to disclose their consensual relationship to Human Resources, and some companies have even gone as far as requiring said employees and supervisors to sign “Love Contracts” waiving liability of sexual harassment of the company.

As a Love Contract may be deemed a bit excessive, most human resource departments only take up the task of keeping employees and executives apprised of guidelines of how to deal with interoffice relationships if they become a distraction and hinder the peace and productivity of an office environment.

I have friends who have met their significant others at work, and a few who have gotten married, started families and continue to work with their coworker spouse. As with any new relationship, it is important to be cognizant of personality compatibility and weigh the pros and cons of dating someone, however, when dating may affect your work environment, it is most important to adhere to company policy and plain old common sense to keep business and personal separate.

Source

Watch all Episodes of Lekki Wives Online



So I blogged about the Lekki Wives series earlier, wondering if they were the morality police or something. This was based on their overly politically-and-religiously-correct PR. But the production and previews were enough to get me interested, and so when it became available, I tried out the first four episodes.

It may be too early to call, but let's just say the show is quite engaging. Maybe by the end, everyone would start getting their comeuppances in order to drive the message, but for now, girls just wanna have fun. The Lekki wives are either not smiling, or they're having the time of their lives.

There are five storylines and by the end of the fourth season, a little or a lot as the case may be, has been revealed about all the lekki wives. As you can easily guess, some plots are better and more realistic than others. I have my favorites already; the trophy wife with the ample butt, followed closely by the one torn between two worlds. Which side do you think she chooses?


Don't worry, I won't spoil it for now. I'm all for supporting each other, so I suggest that you watch it for yourself. The producers have to get paid after all. And it's not that expensive, 99cents per episode or $10 and change for all 13 episodes of the first season. You can start watching by clicking the GREEN rent movie triangle button on the video above. Enjoy...

2013 Superbowl Promo and Commercials


Beyonce is leading the charge for this years superbowl commercials and that's her promo picture. Last year's Super Bowl halftime show drew an estimated 4 million viewers in addition to the almost 110 million people that watched the game itself! That’s right: nearly four million more people tuned in to watch Madonna perform. This year, mega-superstar singer BeyoncĂ© Knowles will be headlining the halftime show.


Like I confessed in my superbowl commercial post last year, I do not follow American football, nor do I watch the superbowl, but since moving to the US, I've gone from complete ignorance, to at least knowing what it's all about. And the major thing I like about the whole media blitz that comes along with the finals is the ad segment. Below are some of my favorite ads out so far for the 2013 Superbowl.

Where do babies come from? Space, or so says Daddy.


What will happen if Megan Fox tweets a naked picture of herself?


Will you have to sign a contract with the devil for your soul to get your hands on this new Mercedes?


Who do you call when you need a house, even at your wedding?


Think you have an original idea that you're yet to register online? Someone is already living the high life on that.


Which ones do you like?

Grilled Beef Ribs with Vegetable and Mushroom


Most of us, myself included, believe it's not a proper meal if there's no carbohydrate involved. So most of our meals feature a starchy element either as the main meal or a side. If you're a typical Nigerian like me, it had to be the main dish jare, at least by size.

So the eba/poundo/amala has to be bigger than the efo, the rice has to fill the plate, then you'll add a jot of stew or sauce to the top, if you're eating moi-moi or beans, there has to be akamu/ogi/custard or you drink garri with plenty sugar. If you've seen the moi-moi post you'll know I really have a ways to go myself on this issue.

But last year while on the Bouari program, I made a realization. The program promotes healthy eating and calorie counting and wherever possible, all their menu and recipe samples asked for me to quit the carbs. While on the program I did, afterwards, I regressed. But I had learnt some things and they stuck.


For one, I can do without starch if I want to. Two, there are recipes that will fill you up even without carbs. So, with time, I began to put these into practice, and for at least two main meals each week (which is usually dinner) I do without the _________ {insert your favorite starchy food}.

One of the recipes is a finger-licking one. Grilled beef ribs and a side of mixed vegetables.


A. THE BEEF RIBS

All you need for this one is your pack of beef ribs from the store, and the spices you have for preparing meat. {@Eya - I promise, I'll post them soon}

1. Defrost the ribs in the fridge
2.  Cut into single pieces and rub all over with the spices
3. Put cooking spray on your oven-proof tray and place the ribs side by side
4. Grill in the oven on low heat for 15 minutes on each side.
5. Your meat is ready.



SIMPLE VEGETABLE SAUCE

Ingredients - vegetable oil, mushrooms, spinach, onions, tomatoes, pepper - all chopped, 1 maggi cube and salt to taste.

1. Put 2 teaspoons of oil in a sauce pan, and heat till lightly smoking.
2. Add a small pack of chopped mushrooms, the maggi cube and salt. Stir-fry for 10mins
3. Add the chopped onions, tomatoes and pepper and keep stirring for another 5 mins.
4. Check that the seasoning is enough, and add more if necessary.
5. Add your spinach and stir.
6. Remove from heat once it starts to simmer.

Serve with the grilled beef ribs. You can also use ketchup or any other beef sauce on the ribs. Eat the sauce with fork and knife, and then polish off the ribs with your fingers for an awesome finish.

Enjoy!

A Woman Tries to Kill Husband Through Oral Sex


Or Death by the Poisoned Vagina Chronicles. SMH. An allegedly murderous wife tried to kill her husband by putting poison in her vagina and asking him to give her oral sex. The Mirror UK reports;

"A woman is being sued by her husband for allegedly trying to kill him by putting poison in her genitals and then asking him to perform oral sex. The Brazilian wife is accused of planting a toxic substance on her genitals before luring her husband to bed. Reports in the South American country suggest he was ready and willing, and only escaped death because he noticed a strange smell. The curious husband then took his wife to hospital in Sao Jose do Rito Preto to find out the cause of the unusual odour. The alleged attempt on his life was exposed when tests on his wife discovered traces of a poisonous substance down below."

When I hear news like this, or some episodes of Dateline and 48hr Mysteries, I wonder. What drives a partner to murder, or plot to murder their spouses? In this woman's case, wasn't she scared that the toxic stuff she put in her vagina could poison her too? This life, na wa!

5 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Housewife


I'll use my personal experience here. I wrote about changing careers after marriage and how I had to move from the UK to the US to join Atala. Making that step was not a simple, light-hearted decision, or one that we took for granted. And that was why I said at the beginning of this article that contrary to most other women, I planned to be a housewife.

We had several conversations about the issue, and contemplated several scenarios, which apart from the option of living in the US together, included Atala moving back to the UK, both of us moving back to Nigeria, only me moving back, or remaining in the UK. None made as much sense as the one we finally went with, moving here and being a stay at home wife.

And though we didn't think it would take this long, a stay at home wife is what I've been for the past few years, and that is the easy part. For the stay home mom, the workload increases exponentially with each child. Add child care to the housework, and you may be working round the clock, especially if you decide to home-school the children. So what should you consider before you jump in?


1. WHY ARE YOU STAYING HOME?: The most important thing IMHO is to know why you're making the particular decision to be a stay at home wife. First and foremost, it must be because you want to, not because of what people expect of you. You should decide this only after discussing with your husband. Being a stay at home wife is a role that comes with responsibilities.

Society does not call it a job because there's no paycheck, but be sure you'll almost always have a full plate. With just the two of us, I plan the meals, do most of the cooking, cleaning and dusting, running miscellaneous errands, and doing some of the yard work. Some women also do the grocery shopping alone, as well as the dishes, and more.

2. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE OUTLOOK?: The second is, can you be a housewife without going out of your mind? Not every personality may be able to do it, and do it in a way that retains the advantages, (which I'll list soon). If you are outgoing, and always need other people around you to feel energized, being a housewife will bore you numb.

Also, if you're someone whose baggage - and we all have them - means you need your own income to feel fulfilled or esteemed, being a housewife may kill your self-esteem. Also, how much can you bear housework? Some people take joy in various house chores, for others, it sucks out their soul in little installments.

3. WHAT ARE YOUR FINANCES?: Can you afford to be a stay at home wife or mother? Not all families can afford to have only one person earn the income to take care of the other, and children if they are in the picture. The economy is tight, and the cost of living keeps going up every day. Before any couple decide for one to stay home, they should make a financial analysis.

For instance, how much does the person who will keep working make, and how much is the savings after their monthly expenses? How much does the stay at home wife think she'll need for personal expenses in the same period? Is she willing to do without a Fendi bag or two, and is the husband willing to do without a new car every other year?

4. FIND YOUR BALANCE: Staying at home may not be a job, but it is work. It takes a lot of time, effort, mindset and will cost you the money you may be able to earn outside the home. However, it provides an invaluable service to the family, making sure it is in tip-top shape and being able to host guests without too much trouble. In addition, without corporate politics to sap my will, I am able to do my work on this blog and be creative about other ventures.

Also, I am always there when Atala returns and except for the few times I have my own stress to offload, can offer an undistracted listening ear. I probably cannot quantify how much that helps our relationship. I have time to focus on home completely, and as we're about to become foster/adopt parents, that will be the case as well with the children.

5. BE PREPARED: I have been talking of the internal considerations, within you and between you and your husband. The other angles you have to know of are more complicated. There is a lot of bias against being a housewife and some will not think twice before they lay into you, as being lazy, a leech, and what have you.

A financial aspect to this is if the couple had been sending money to their respective families, and then they reduce this significantly, there may be a blowback against the wife. Some people will also take advantage of the fact that you are always at home to call and visit all the time, forgetting that you actually have stuff to do, or that you're trying to save and may not have enough for guests.

Finally, some argue that housewives should be paid by their husbands to reflect this work, after all, childminders and cleaners are paid to do the same work. Atala and I agreed even before the marriage to run a joint savings account where all earnings go into, his salary being the lion share of course, and at the end of each month, we each get a personal allowance from it. In essence, I believe this is something that should be worked out between the couple.

Are there any other housewives reading, or your mum or someone you know? What have I left out?

Would you Get a Husband From Your Village?


In a recent interview, a Nigerian musician - Eva Alordiah - expressed her dream to marry a Nigerian man stating, "I am single but not searching. My mother is working on that. She is going to get me a husband from the village. I don’t know how the search is going for her though. I think Nigerian men are fine, we have the best crop of men in Nigeria."

One would immediately assume she must have been joking about the "husband from the village" part, but it's not so far fetched. We have discussed getting husbands and wives from Nigeria on this blog, but taking it a step further by having parents find a "virgin" from the village is exactly what some men and women in Lagos and other cities or outside the country do. The question is, as a woman, would you?

How to Make Moi-Moi and Corned Beef - Eat with Pap


Moi-Moi is one of those meals I forget to cook because I think of it in my head as too difficult to prepare. This is because when growing up, and for a long time after that, we used fresh beans and had to clean it by hand before making moi-moi. When I tried that here the first time, it broke my blender, and since then, my wariness of moi-moi increased. I do cook it once in while a with bean flour, but either the taste doesn't come out the way I want it, or the texture is off.

My mom reminded me of the meal during her last visit, and at our visit to the African store, I bought a pack of the ground bean flour. This one had a recipe and method of preparation on the label and turned out to be the best moi-moi I had prepared in years. I've since bought several packs more of the same kind and moi-moi has more regularly been on the menu.


Ingredients

1/2 a pack of ground bean flour
2 large tomatoes
1 large onion
2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 knorr cubes
1 tin of corned beef
2 ladle fulls of vegetable oil
Cooking spray
Salt and spices to taste
Foil paper




Directions

1. Mix the beans flour with warm water and stir into a thick paste. Allow to stand for 30mins.

2. Blend the tomatoes, pepper, knorr cubes, and the onions. I prefer mine not too smooth for some added texture.

3. Pour the mixture into the beans paste and stir in more water till you have a flowing consistency.

4. Add salt and spices to taste. Just a little is usually better.

5. Cut your foil paper into how many pieces you need and fold the three edges tight, at least two times over.

6. Romove your Corned beef from the tin and cut into small pieces.

7. Start a pot of water to boil. Line the bottom with foil or use a steel colander that can fit in the pot.

8. Spray the inside of each foil packet, pour in 2 ladles of the beans mixture, add some pieces of corned beef, and fold closed.

9. Layer in the pot till the mixture is finished.

10. Cover pot and steam for 30 - 45 minutes, checking to make sure there's still water in the pot, and topping up where necessary.



At the end of this, your moi-moi is done. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Unwrap from the foil paper and serve. I used pap with milk and sugar to spice up mine.

Enjoy!

Kim Kardashian, Nashville and the Divorce Dilemma


When Kim Kardashian split from ex-husband Kris Humphries 72days after their wedding, people started tallying up the shortest celebrity marriages. In a quintessential art-imitates-life episode, Nashville, a show on ABC, had one of the series music stars, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) set a new record for the shortest celebrity marriage ever.

Within that one episode, the upcoming star elopes for a quickie registry wedding with her footballer boyfriend, Sean Butler (a Christian who happened to be waiting till marriage to have sex). After she has her way with him in the wedding limo, he wants them to meet his parents, and there, things fell apart. His mother wants a Church Wedding to put God's blessing on the marriage, and within a week, Sean is waiting for Juliette at the altar.

At that point, she couldn't follow through, and still in wedding gown, flies off in her private jet to start a concert tour. And so ends a marriage. Before I go on, let me state that I love Sean, and hope Juliette gets her act together so they resume their cute TV coupledom. Ain't they cute?





Apart from the length of their marriages, the Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries and Juliette Barnes/Sean Butler splits share another similarity that I find intriguing. Both ladies file for divorce which the men refuse to grant them, saying that they prefer annulments. The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that divorce indicates the marriage happened and then broke down, annulment says it never happened legally, was entered for the wrong reasons, or was never and can not be consummated.

In the Nashville TV show, Sean Butler feels betrayed when Juliette jilts him at the altar, and felt she only went through with the court wedding in order to get him to have sex with her. She offers him money, apologizes on a televised interview, but he stuck to his guns.

In recent news, it is said the delay in the Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries divorce, though Kim's already expecting a child with Kanye West, is because instead of divorce, Kris wants an annulment to their marriage on the grounds of fraud.

Kris allegedly rejected an offer of $10M from Kim "because it has never been about money for him. He wants to be able to marry in a church again, with a clear conscience, when he finds someone special. Kris is deeply religious and he believes that the only way he can do that is if his marriage to Kim is annulled."

Kris is allegedly going to prove in a court of law that their short-lived marriage was a sham, contracted for the sole purpose of boosting their reality show TV ratings. Ah...the Deja Vu is killing me, lol...

Well, on TV, after dragging it out for a short while, Juliette ultimately agreed to the annulment. In front of the judge that would grant the annulment, she said, "I admit to the fraud. I made false representation to him about the nature of our marriage."

I wonder if Kim Kardashian can afford to say that out loud publicly, it may just spell the death of her reality TV career.

A Birth Story, Preeclampsia and Eclampsia


Hmmm..sometimes, pregnancy is just so scary, and when a woman goes through and has a healthy baby, it is really a thing of joy and thanks to God. Downton Abbey is, like any soap worth the name, without its twists. Last night we had one of those shocking episodes that reminded me of Grey's Anatomy, not only in the way it made me cry but also that I went hunting webMD and Wiki. For those who haven't watched it, there may be spoilers ahead.

On Sunday , after the two weddings of the first few episodes, there was a death. Sybil Crawley went into labor, but the joy of having a baby was stifled when the family doctor, Dr. Clarkson, noted that she was suffering from symptoms of preeclampsia - she had swollen ankles, her mind was muddled and there was excess protein in her urine. However, there was a know it all medical man, Sir Philip, who insisted the symptoms were just normal signs of labor.

As they were debating rushing her to the hospital for a cesarean, (her father and Sir Philip preferred a home birth befitting nobility), Sybil goes into labor. She gives birth successfully and there we were thinking it was all over, and was well that ended well. That was not to be.


Sybil's seizures woke everyone up, and before we could catch her breath, she was gone! I almost couldn't believe it, and the way the two doctors stood around wringing their hands made me want to wring their necks! The only way I could forgive them was if it was in tune withe their times that Eclampsia had no remedy then.

So off I went on a search and found that Sybil's condition called preeclampsia, or toxemia, is not just for the 1920s and even today, pregnant women still die from it or the full-on seizures that later killed her - known as eclampsia. Eclampsia is a series of convulsions that occur in pregnant women that are not related to any preexisting epilepsy or other brain disorders. And to think this still claims accounts for a good percentage of maternal deaths, hmmm. Symptoms to watch out for include;

Preeclampsia
Happens in 1 out of 2,000 to 3,000 pregnancies.
Occurs in the third trimester, sometimes at the end of the second.
The placenta stops working properly.
Warning signs for moms: High blood pressure, swollen legs, feet, and hands. Also severe headaches, sudden dramatic weight gain, nausea, blurred vision, decrease in urine.
Warning signs for baby: Slowed development and low weight because the placenta isn't sending enough blood.
There can be long-term complications following the baby's birth.
Tests reveal high levels of protein in urine for moms.
Preeclampsia can't be cured, but it can be managed: Doctors can prescribe medications to manage symptoms. Bed rest is also usually recommended to help the placenta remain attached.

Eclampsia
This is when things get really scary.
Symptoms for mom include seizures, stroke, and heart failure.
Doctors often have to delivery the baby immediately, by c-section.
Untreated, mothers could go into a coma or, worse, die.
In Downton Abbey, the doctors could have given Sybil magnesium sulfate when she went into seizures after the delivery. It was inexpensive and readily available then, as it is now.
Baby can die as well.
Eclampsia can strike after delivery. This is why doctors should keep monitoring you after you deliver.  - Source

For those who are pregnant, please pay attention to your doctor or midwife and don't complain if they want to see you and take your blood pressure all the time. And do make sure to attend those antenatal and prenatal classes. Your child's and your life may depend on it.

Sign Fireman Speaks on his Hot Girls in Lagos Poster


I was surprised when the slightly light-hearted post I made last year about Sign Fireman and the Hot Girls in Lagos poster went viral and was published and syndicated by various media outlets. It remains one of the top posts on this blog with the #1 keyword for search, showing that it's an issue on the public mind. Today, this comment below was made on that post by Whitney Chad, who I can only assume is Sign Fireman's PR person. For those in Nigeria, read and see if Mr. Fireman has a point.

"The point is that God sent me to bring Twenty-First Century innovations that will change Christianity and make it have more results! Let me give you an example.

Recently, believers do soulwinning among believers! Churches “wins souls” from another church! That is not soul winning! That is souls transfer! They are fishing in the frying pan! Real soulwinning is reaching out to SINNERS and getting them saved! To do that, one has to go to where sinners are!


That is how Jesus did it! “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples” (Matthew 9:10).

And it brings criticism! “And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” (Mark 2:16).

Jesus reaching out to sinners was misunderstood, but He didn’t care. Here was Jesus’ response to the criticism: “…wisdom is justified of her children” (Matthew 11:19). He called strategy for reaching out to sinners “wisdom,” and said that, contrary to the claims of critics, the strategy is not justified by how it looks but by its results!

Our HOT GIRLS flyer was a Twenty-First Century evangelistic innovation! We wanted to reach out to harlots. We wanted to take call girls off the streets around the location of the church. One of the times Jesus appeared to me He taught me that, to catch a fish, you have to use bait! Hence, we designed the flyer with a caption that would attract them! Contrary to the criticisms of critics, the strategy worked! Hundreds of girls were saved, including so many call girls! We gave those call girls money to move from the hotels and brothels to their own houses, jobs, capital for business, machines for starting a business, and we sent some of them back to school! Today, many of them are still saved, working, schooling, and some are even married! As Jesus said, the results have resoundingly justified the strategy!

I believe in hardcore, revolutionary evangelism; not the frying pan fishing that many churches are doing today!

Like Jesus did it, real evangelism involves our risking being misunderstood, and reaching out to unbelievers wherever they may be found! Let’s stop playing nice and launch out and do real soulwinning!"

Labaran Maku Versus Transparency and Accountability


Former Nigerian Minister, Oby Ezekwesili, who was also at one time "Madame Due Process is stepping up the national conversation. Last weekend, in her remarks during the convocation lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, she accused the Nigerian government of squandering about $45 Billion in foreign reserve account and another $22Billion in the Excess Crude Account left after the last administration. Following the reports of her speech in the press, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, accused Mrs. Ezekwesili of misinforming the Nigerian public, insisting she has doesn't have sufficient understanding of government finances.

According to SaharaReporters, "although Maku made these sweeping statements, he did not provide any substance to his attempted rebuttal of Mrs. Ezekwesili, who was briefly the Minister of Education before her departure for the World Bank. But Minister Maku did say of Mrs. Ezekwesili that she “collected” N352.3 billion as Minister of Education, suggesting that Ministerial budgets are normally “collected” by Ministers."

"Shying away from the central issue, Mr. Maku merely urged Nigerians to acknowledge the achievements of the government. He did not say what those achievements are. Nor did he say whether the government will accept the challenge to publicly debate the facts concerning government expenditure of Nigeria’s oil revenues."

Apparently, I was not in office with the former Minister, Oby Ezekwesili, but I find it gratifying that she's not backing down. She said earlier today, “I have already asked the Federal Government to a PUBLIC DEBATE of the FACTS raised in my speech. Such an open debate of facts and figures of oil revenue since 2007 would help situate public accountability as the centerpoint of our democracy."

I agree with her sentiments that by publicly debating those who challenge them, the current government will be building a "democratic culture of responding to citizens' demands for accountability especially at a time when the general public is eager for improvements in the good governance records of the Administration.”

Labaran Maku, the ball is now in your court. If you're too shy, we'll take anyone to speak for the Federal Government at this great debate.

Dear Myne - My Boyfriend Does not Have a Degree


I met this guy of recent early this January. We've just been friends and from all indication he wants to be more than a friend with me. Anytime he is around me he keeps talking about marriage and all. The issue here is that I feel this guy did not attend a higher institution though his English is OK. He is a very nice guy with a good character.

To some extent, one can tell the kind of person a guy is with his relationship with his present family. I have seen him with his family and the way he cares for them. He is the first child with four younger ones. The way he relates with his family shows they are so close. The guy is God fearing.

I have not really had the liver to ask him about school issue, I don't want him to feel bad. There was a time we were talking and I was like for me, I want to go for my PGD this year and then my masters. He didn't say anything towards that so i sensed it and decided not to talk about school with him. I am the sensitive type so I acted sensitively that day by keeping quiet and not talk about school again till when am sure about his own school status.


I have met guys who have gone to school and have all the degrees but I couldn't stay with them cos of their character.Now the problem is, should the school issue be a priority to marry one. This guy sells cars for a living. He has two offices in town here in Abuja. He is on his own and has people working for him. But I have my reservation about the school tin. Could it be because I have never dated someone who didn't school?

Please, i need your readers take on this. Thank you

Mom Holds down her crying Toddler to get a Tattoo



A shocking video was posted online yesterday which showed a woman, presumably the mother, holding down a crying toddler while he is being given a tattoo. No one is sure of the source but, you can hear the mother saying “mire, mire” – Spanish for “look” – as the distraught boy continues to scream and cry.

Some commentators have compared this to circumcision for boys, or piercing ear-lobes for girls as a way to excuse the act, but I'm not buying it. And while there are conflicting reports, it is believed this took place in Cuba where it's part of the culture, something to do with helping the boy to be a man or something.

Unless, that is the case, that mother and all those adults are simply abusing that child. After all, an American woman was arrested last year for giving her 11years old daughter a tattoo. What do you think?

Valentine Dinner Special For Toronto, GTA Residents


Do you want to celebrate Valentine's day a different way? Stay indoors with the one you love away from the noise, traffic and weather conditions for a private dinner catered by Chef Lohi. The No hassle dinner includes a three course meal for two, a bottle of wine, mood music and table decor. With diverse menus for every palette, Lohi's Creations would ensure you always remember Valentines day 2013. To book/inquire call 4168416440 or email Lohiscreations@gmail.com  Spaces are limited, so reserve your space NOW! for more information visit www.lohiscreations.com.


How to Make Jollof Rice With Chicken and Plantain


Jollof Rice is one of the staple meals eaten in most Nigerian households. Put simply, it is rice stewed in tomato sauce. The method of preparation differs, and even I personally have about two ways I prepare Jollof Rice. In one method, I mix the tomato stew with stock and then cook the rice in the mixture. In the second, I cook the rice in plain stock with some chopped tomatoes, and mix when done with pre-fried tomato sauce. Using Chicken for my meat and stock, I'll outline the first method which I think is simpler.

Ingredients
3 cups of long-grain rice
1 pack of cut Chicken drumsticks
3 ladles vegetable oil1 can tomato puree - small size
4 small fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 medium size onion, chopped
2 Teaspoon of dry pepper
2 Knorr Chicken cubes
2 fingers of very ripe plantains
Salt and Spices to Taste


Directions

A - CHICKEN, STOCK AND PLANTAIN

1. Wash the chicken, and put on the stove with just one cup of water.
2. Add salt, two cubes of knorr and spices to taste.
3. Set the heat to medium and cook for 20 mins. The Chicken is not fully done but that is OK.
4. Remove the meat from stock and set the liquid aside, that is your stock.
5. Put the chicken on a baking tray. Always remember to apply cooking spray to your oven-proof dishes.
6. Slice the plantain and line on another baking tray.
7. Pop both in the oven and set to grill/roast at low for 10mins.
8. Turn over once and remove from the oven when they are done.

B - PARBOILING RICE

1. Set 5 cups of water to boil, or enough to cover your rice twice.
2. When it boils, pour the rice in and allow to boil again.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins.
4. Remove from heat and pour the rice into a colander with small sized holes.
5. Turn the rice into a container filled with cold water, and sieve again.
6. Repeat this, rubbing the rice lightly between your fingers until it feels starch-free.

C. TOMATO SAUCE AND MAKING THE JOLLOF

1. Heat your vegetable oil in the pot you'll use for cooking the Jollof Rice. Add the chopped onions, tomatoes, pepper and puree, and stir all together.
2. Add the 2 knorr chicken cubes, salt and spices to taste. Stir for five minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock from A and bring to a quick boil.
4. Add your parboiled rice and reduce heat to a simmer.
5. Check the rice every 5 - 10 mins to be sure the water is enough to that the rice is not too hard. If you need to, add water only in very small quantities.
6. When the rice is cooked - some know by sticking in a knife or listening to the bottom of the pot. If the knife is dry, or you can hear some pops from the pot, the rice is done - turn off the heat.

Your Jollof Rice is ready. Serve with the grilled chicken and plantain and a small side of vegetables. I used cucumber in the pictures above. Enjoy!

3rd Mainland Bridge Crash and the US Toyota Recalls


Over the weekend, the news outlets were agog with headlines of an overspeeding Toyota Sienna which crashed through the railings of the Third Mainland Bridge and fell into the Lagos Lagoon. Luckily, there was just one occupant in the car at the time of the accident, and he was rescued by Fishermen and others working on the lagoon. The man has now recovered a bit and spoke to the press saying he had not been overspeeding like had been earlier reported.

Reading this reminded me of the Toyota recalls of the past few years in the United States, of various Toyota brand cars with faulty accelerators. A crash with a recorded 911 call by an occupant who later died along with three others brought the sudden unintended acceleration fault to the public and national consciousness in 2009. Several other crashes involving Toyotas kept surfacing the issue up till 2011 when massive recalls by Toyota were launched, and the CEO appearing at a hearing before the American Congress.

In the Nigerian crash, the driver, Olusola Oladimeji, in addition to insisting that he had not been speeding, also commented that his airbags did not deploy after the crash. I had always kept half an ear on the Toyota faults and recall news since we also have a Toyota, and so this news report today made me try to check around for any connections.


The Toyota Sienna was mentioned in a couple of recent recalls of which the most pertinent seems to be the November 9, 2011 Toyota recall of 550,000 vehicles including MY 2004-2005 Sienna among others. The recall concerned a steering problem caused by the misalignment of the inner and outer rings of the crankshaft pulley, which could cause a noise or the Check Engine light to illuminate; if this problem is not corrected, the power steering belt can fall off the pulley, which can cause a sudden loss of power assist.

There may be no connection at all, but I think this is something that should be looked into rather swept away amidst cries of MFM and Miracles. A lot of Nigerians buy their cars either brand new or fairly used from the States or Asia, so it's not a stretch to think that faults in those cars - which may have been recalled elsewhere - could be leading to accidents involving those vehicles. The picture above shows the car was obtained, I hope this means that the officials carry out necessary investigations and see if a recall or alert needs to be sent out to Nigerian motorists with Toyotas.

This wiki entry is very comprehensive on the 2009 - 2011 Toyota Recalls
On their website, Toyota also lists some of the brands and recalls
On Dec 26, 2012, ABC reported that Toyota reached a $1.1 Billion settlement in lawsuits over acceleration problems. "According to plaintiffs' attorney Steve Berman, the settlement is worth more than $1 billion. That would make it the largest settlement in U.S. history involving automobile defects."


Couple Love at Pastor Adefarasin's Birthday Dinner


When I look at red carpet pictures [see pics] of Nigerian events and awards, the shortage or complete absense of couples often strikes me. This time, it was an over-abundance, and that makes my heart glad. Most likely, the event being organized by a Pastor has something to do with it, or the older set of guests. Pastor Paul Adefarasin, the founder of House on the Rock, one of the more popular pentecostal churches in Nigeria, turned 50 recently and celebrated with family and friends. Some of the couples at the event are below.


Adanna Nzeribe and Chima Anyaso

Ayo and Damilola Akinsanya

Caroline and Musa Danjuma

Pastor Goodheart and Bimbo Ekwueme

Caroline Olaseinde and Chris Baywood

Jide and Sola Coker

The Adekoyas

Funmi Goka and Tomi Davies

The Ajumogobias

Dr. and Mrs. Moghalu

The Mumunys

Alaba Shonibare and wife

Mr. and Mrs. Ebi Ernest

The Braithwaites

Gboyega Asabi and Wife

The Odunmakindes

Mr. and Mrs. Leke Alder

The Gbemudus

Olu Okeawo and Wife

Mr. and Mrs Tonye Cole

The Somufuns

Ozioma and Sam Okposo

The Vaughans

Seyi and Bimbo Wright

Ronke and Kunle Ogunbufunmi

PS- I hope I didn't mix up the names, but they were all too cute that I couldn't resist :)

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