Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Chronicles of Naija Mum ( part two)

THE NIGERIAN MUM: A CHEST OF SECRETS
I’m sure the C.I.A will be proud of them,with the secrets they keep. Squeezing info from them is like milking a barren cow. Most things you find out in your house is by:
1) Eavesdropping
2) Carrying out your own private investigation when no soul is at home. You can’t ask her her salary or your
father’s salary without her asking you back “Why do you want to know?”They surely answer all questions with questions
Q: Mum, how much did you buy that?
A: Do you want to pay me back?
Q: Is daddy coming back this night?
A: Why are you asking?
Q: Where is all the money the visitors have been giving me that I’ve been giving you to keep?
A: Don’t disturb me! All the food you have been eating, where is it coming from? You can never win them!

THE NIGERIAN MUM: THE GREAT AUDITOR
When you ask your mother for money, she mostly tells you to ‘go and ask your dad’. Sometimes, you think she’s cooperating with you when she whispers to you, “Now that he is with money, you better go and meet him” Please, never you make the mistake of taking this for cooperation because she is never far behind. She may pretend to be dressing the curtain in the bedroom or to be arranging your dad’s clothes but my dear, she is listening intently. The moment your dad is about to bring out the money or is showing interest in what you’re saying, she leaps in like a wolf “Ada, what do you say you’re doing with all that money sef” Or “Junior, I thought we bought you a bicycle before” Or simply “honey/papa Jasper, don’t spoil this boy! Allow him to learn how to save”.

Systematically creating element of doubt in your dad’s mind! And woe betide you, if you’re given that money, don’t bring ‘change’………

THE EFFICIENT DOCTOR
If your mum was a nurse as a kid, I’m officially sorry for you.This part is not for you because, I’m sure
you’ve been through a lot.Yes, Nigerian nurses are known to shout at sick patients, hold stubborn children well for injections and ensure all drugs are
taken.
All Nigerian mums are nurses, quote me anywhere!
Often times you overhear their conversation with the doctor in the
hospital
DOCTOR: Madam, ensure that she takes the full prescription in the right dosage.
SUPER MUM: Doctor, I can handle her, leave that to me!

LIST OF THINGS MUMS HATE
1)That Round Leather Object called
‘football‘- She probably bought you your first ball but that was years ago when you knew nothing. Once you grow up and are big enough to play it with friends or you are going out to the fields to play, it
becomes her enemy. She is ready to locate you in that field while you’re at the post as the keeper and drag you by the ear with
your socks and boots back home to knee down, raise up your arms and close your eyes.(plus ruin your budding street career)

2)Video Games and All Games Infact-
Even when you are on a long vacation, shecan’t leave you in peace to enjoy your football video games, racing games and (those days) Street Fighters and Mortal Kombat. Don’t be decieved! She’s the greatest villain you have to defeat while playing these games!
To her, these games are a waste of time. She will often ask “Jide, is this the only thing you do when you wake up in the morning? ”. It’s better to keep quiet at the
moment and act sober when she asks you. Any reply to defend yourself will lead to, “Oya, pack up that game with the game pad and keep in my room now!”. Begging may even lead to whipping. And please, it is not just video games, this extends to Whot, Jackpot, Ludo, Draft. Many-a-whots have been burnt or decapitated by mums. They favour scrabble though…

3)All Music Videos and ‘Corrupt’ Movies-
We didn’t have Lady Gaga then or Rihanna going topless (God knows what children now are facing) but we had Shaba Ranks and his women, Patra, Snoop Dogg and his ‘evil’ dancers, and later Jennifer Lopez,
Mariah Carey. Sexy women of the era, beloved by all, except mums! The moment they catch a glimpse of these ‘half naked’ women, it’s like seeing Satan with all his hosts approaching. You’d be asked to ‘switch off that telly’ or even worse ‘Change it to the network news’
You better be on the alert when watching movies, ready to fast forward because if that man and woman in that film try to ‘near’ each other as if to kiss and you’re not fast enough to fast forward it………..

4)The neighbour’s kids – She smiles with them all the time and calls them pet names but once you start going to their house too much to play, they become the
enemy, “Where are you going, John” she blocks you at the door.
“To Emeka’s house”
“To do what?”, before you answer she says
in a low voice(so they don’t hear)
“Come on! Will you sit down! Is your own
house scratching you?”

NIGERIAN MUMS AND SEX EDUCATION
The word, ‘sex’ and ‘education’ standing next to each other is suspect to the ears of Nigerian mothers. Sadly, for many, what they learnt about sex is mostly from
magazines, television or friends at school. Ask mums anything about sex, they become alarmed and ask,
“Where did you learn that from?”
When the time is ripe for you to know
(that is, when you must have done so many bad things already), they sit you down and tell you something so basic.
GIRLS- “…when you start seeing that blood and you. meet a man, you will get pregnant and when you
get pregnant, that is the end of your life oh”
FOR BOYS-”DON’T DARE IMPREGNATE ANY GIRL AND BRING HER HERE FOR ME AND YOUR DAD TO TRAIN!”
The End.
CONCLUSION:
For the overly serious folks that will read this and conclude that I am ‘portraying the Nigerian mothers’ as bullies. Far from that! We all love them, don’t we?
However, let’s not call it bullying, let’s call it ‘home training’.

Tags; uncle steve, naija mums, FMB,bully,lady gaga, Mariah Carey, Shaba Ranks, Rihanna, Patra, Whoop Dogg, sex

Twitter handle; @dahliadona

Monday, March 10, 2014

Business tips

Are you are out of your depth ?
A lot of times, especially early on in our businesses, we look for clients in the wrong places.
Make sure you are talking to your ideal client, and not just anybody who may need what you offer, but may not be able to afford it. Other tips to grow your small business are:

1. Prepare a detailed profile of your ideal client , it would give you a clearer picture of even your own business and then search for people who fit the bill.

2. Make your services easy to use and also easily accessible.

3. Have a healthy social media presence, start with the basics, facebook, twitter, instagram ,pinterest and LinkedIn amongst others.

4. Strive to improve people’s lives through better service, innovation and value.

5. Know your mission and let your business live by it.

6. Get the basic structure right from the very beginning.

7. Build strong relationships with such suppliers,vendors, financiers and business associates generally.

8. Truly listen to your customers , find out what
they want and give it to them!i

Tags; FMB,Business, peggyzplace.

Twitter handle :@dahliadona

Friday, March 7, 2014

A day in the life of this Nurse

My name is Chidimma, and I am a nurse.
Also known as the ‘smily one’, I graduatedfrom the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and I love my profession, because it enables
me do what I love doing, which is caring for others! People depend on me for support, advice, encouragement and help; and
above all, my selfless sacrifice of my skills,knowledge, time, talents and professionalism saves, as well as restores wholeness and worth to lives-what more could I ask for?
I also love writing! My inspiration comes mainly from my numerous experiences as a nurse, especially as these experiences breathe and live- to me, of course!; and are a part of my life. I am going to allow you a peek into one of these experiences, and to allow you share my world, simply doing what I love doing- nursing! I have titled this experience of mine:

PUT TO REST THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

It had been a busy day. The health centre had that buzzing sound peculiar to the honey bee in the process of honey production. The lingering aroma of sweat,antiseptic and medicine still hung slightly in
the air, and the overhead fan was responsible for the spread somewhat. A little child, who was still been given a ‘late- dose’ measles vaccine, sent up a piercing
cry as the needle pricked her skin indifferently, whilst performing its function. The child was hushed consistently by her mother and the attendant nurse.
Seated in the nurses’ station, I had finally come to the conclusion that I was spent.Dog-tired.

I had tried forcing my mind to think of some other function to carry out, but in alliance with my body, my mind hadalso decided it was tired. Talk about your
mind having a will of its own! Then I saw her. Or rather, them. Two young women. I suspected that both were in their twenties. The woman who I had first seen, was big. No. The word was huge. She walked with  careless abandon and a tilt to her shoulders more like in a masculine stride. She seemed to be in
charge, as her right hand was placed slightly behind her on her counterpart’s arm, in a drag, urging her to follow along.

The other woman was small-no,not Chinhuahua-small, but she could be what one could term ‘average’ in height. She was a fair-skinned beauty, and had more
grace and feminity to her steps. Walking behind her huge counterpart, she was literarily been dragged inside the health centre. Her eyes kept scanning the corners of the health centre, more or less sending the message ‘What am I doing here?’ They both walked up to me. The huge one released her hand off her counterpart’s arm.
“Nurse, good evening”. The huge one said.
“Good evening and welcome. What can I do for you?’
The huge one leaned closer. Her large frame swallowed more than half the width of the table, and her scent enveloped me.”I need to talk to you in private”. She said, almost in a whisper. I smiled. I had had only a few of these ‘talking-in-private’ encounters, and most times, it was literarily nothing-merely fear
speaking.”Ok, let’s go somewhere private’I said, as I forcefully willed my dog-tired body to stand. I really was tired, but what else could I do? I took them to the
treatment room, which was ‘private’, as it was.

As we entered the treatment room, the fair-skinned one hesitated, and then in a hurried, shaky voice said “Ehm..nurse..I think will  wait outside,i'd  just wait outside till you’re done with Ify”. Ify, who was the
huge one, turned and gave a disapproving look.”Biko, Chinwe, what are you afraid of? Come let’s go in nah”
I smiled at both of them.”Don’t worry Ify, when I’m done with you, Chinwe’ll come in too. And so, leaving an undecided and frightened Chinwe outside, I and Ify entered the room.

Ify sat down from across me. After making a quick survey of the treatment room, to be extremely certain it was ‘private’ and ‘safe’, she blurted out “Nurse, I want to.know my HIV status”. Just that? Finally! I had initially wondered what had caused all the drama.
‘Ok,’ I responded in relief, ‘but is that the only thing?’
“Ehm..no ooo..Nurse, if I am HIV-negative, could I get a receipt?’
A receipt? Or maybe she meant a
laboratory result.“What for? HIV tests are free”.
“Nurse, the thing is, I and Chinwe are getting married in a month’s time, and we need to give these receipts-sorry, results to our husbands-to-be, as proof that we
are ‘safe’ sexually.” “Safe”, sexually? Little wonder the fright on Chinwe’s face!. “Would your husbands- to-be take this test?”
Ify gave a sarcastic laugh “For where? As far as they are concerned, they don’t need the tests, once they are ‘good-to-go’.
Please nurse, let’s do these tests now. I and Chinwe need to go somewhere else. But promise me you won’t tell anyone what the results are, not even Chinwe.”
I smiled. I cleaned the tip of her thumb with a cotton wool swab soaked in methylated spirit, and then, I pricked her thumb with the blood lancet.
“Ewo o! she shrieked in pain.
“Sorry. And I won’t tell anyone about your results”, I replied. “But we don’t give receipts or results, for HIV testing. So, I will. just tell you what your results are, and that would be all. While we waited for the results, I began counseling her on HIV, AIDs, mode of transmission, management of the disease, and all relating to the disease. I also insisted that her husband-to-be come for the tests, and that she needed to come
back after three months, for a re-test if her results were negative. And then I looked at the test strip, for the results.
“Nurse, what is it? Tell me ooo..am I going to die?”.I looked at her.“Ify, the results of
your test is out, and…”
“And what?” she shouted, as she rubbed her palms vigorously together, and grippedmy uniform.“Nurse, tell me if I’m going to die nah...tell me…”
“You are HIV-negative”.
The whole world seemed to stand still. And then, finally, Ify began to dance. She pulled me into an embrace, lifted me off the ground, and said ‘thank you, God bless you’, a number of times, before dropping me. Then she straightened herself, and with a renewed confidence and beaming smile, walked up to the door and literarily shouted “Chinwe fear fear, nurse dey call you oo”. I laughed.
“Don’t forget to come back after three months”, I called after her. I hoped she had heard me.

Chinwe timidly entered the treatment room, and after reassuring and counseling her, I carried out the same routine as I had done for Ify. When the results came out, she was also HIV negative. But she was more dramatic. She burst into tears, and started raining blessings on me. She danced and danced, and danced; and told me that she had been so scared because she had been promiscuous. Then she offered me some money in appreciation, which I politely declined. I counselled her on the ABC’s of sex; and reminded her to come back in three months time for a retest. Then I documented.

Finally, I saw my two patients/friends off, up to the gates of the health centre. They collected my mobile number, and promiseduto invite me specially to their weddings. And as I watched them walk away in confidence, I wondered what would have happened if any of them had turned up HIV-positive…
Your guess is as good as mine...disaster!
Thanks for been a part of my world, and watch out for THE NURSE’S DIARY NOTES!-
Chukukere Chidimma

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cheerleaders Wanted

"Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy." - Norman Vincent Peale

Motivation is a very powerful force, in fact some times more powerful than physical strength or ability, a man with a cheerful spirit, or that is been cheered on, has more energy reserve than one that is physically stronger but depressed. In my opinion weare all in need of cheerleaders at every stage of life, sometimes it could be our spouses, our children, a friend, a mentor, a colleague or even just the guy next door.
There was a fire in the big city, and the firemen flung their ladders together, and went up in their brave fashion to the very topmost story to rescue the people that were trapped. One after another was rescued by the brave firemen. Had all been rescued? it seemed. But no!

As the firemen looked up they saw a white face at the highest window of the burning building. They wrapped something about one of their firemen, and, daring the fierce flames, he went again to that window, and put a robe around the little woman and started down. Then they saw him tremble as the fire raged around him, and it seemed as though he would fall with this precious burden, but the fire chief who knew that nothing technically could be done to help him, cried to his men: “Cheer him, boys! Cheer him, boys!” And they
cheered him with words of encouragement as he came down with the precious life saved.

It was Mark Twain that said “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up”. A broken spirit can achieve very little, the simple truth may be that all you require to come out of your present situation is a little cheerleading, better still why not become someone else’s cheerleader today and you will never become overwhelmed with depression. Consider the words of the master Jesus
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world

Twitter handle ; @dahliadona

Chronicles of Naija Mums (Part 1)

Motherhood is a powerful ministry, no doubt. That being said, let us examine this ‘specimen’ very carefully. WHO ARE NIGERIAN MUMS?
Answer: Special!
The thing is, Nigerian mums are a very rare specie of humans. Wonderful people.
Special case study.
They are not all the same but I tell you, they have common traits, sometimes you think they plan it because how else is it that when you were growing up, you go to your friend’s house and hear his mum shouting about the same exact things your mum shouts about, in the same exact way, and when you adjust your eye to watch the tv as if you never heard anything, his mum turns to you,“Don’t you advise your friend? Paul is a very lazy boy” She turns to your friend and says, “John! Look at your friend, how quiet he is. See your life!”.Next week, your friend is in your house and your mum is screaming,“Emeka! Look at John! Does he have two heads?…..”PLEASE, did they plan it?
THE NAIJA MUM’S MOST VALUED TOOL?
Answer: Something long and painful.
Before I continue this exposé, I’d like to point out that there is a tool employed by these women that makes their job easier. A companion, often seen under beds and under the chairs in sitting rooms of unsuspecting kids.         
The Whip! Yikes! Those days, there was no house without this ‘commodity’. In the past, it could be in the form of a small stick or the stalk of a tree in your compound plucked during emergency times. Later, as we grew up, they started making them in commercial
quantity! You go to the shop of any Mallam or even ‘provision’ stores and you see it piled in one corner, bound together by one rubber band (Infact this made me seriously hate one Mallam Aminu those days- a true friend to many mothers back then)
The thing is, this whip can land on your
back for any to no reason at all;
“Have you done your assignment? I say, have you done your assignment?” *whip whip*
“So two times eight is eighteen ehhh……”
*whip whip*
“Joy, so you are now following bad gangs”
*whip whip*
“Abu, who told you to go and pluck those
mangoes?
*hand whip*
This *whip whip* is almost always the
aftermath of any conversation that starts
like this,
(Act 1; Scene 1)
MUM: You are here watching tv, have you
finished your food?
CHILD: Mummy, I don’t like eba, I want to
drink tea and bread/cake
MUM: This night? (getting really angry and
rising up)
CHILD: Mummy, I don’t like this food!
(Act 1; Scene 2)
You don’t need to be Shakespeare to know
what happens next!!
Or when your mum sees you and your
elder brother fighting and says “Wait for
me!” while she hurriedly makes her way
into her room……..hmmmmmm.
NAIJA MUMS AND PUBLIC PLACES
We all know that Nigerian mums cannot differentiate between public places and indoors when it comes to disciplining the kids. They seldom care if the neighbours hear the loud strokes of cane metted out on the poor child. This explains why when you’re in church and refuse to open your mouth to sing with the choir or if you attend these 'fire’ churches; you don’t stamp your foot, close your eyes and speak out your prayer points loudly or you find yourself nodding off
while kneeling down in a night vigil.
What do you hear next on your back? A loud rasp that
startles you back to the real world! Some call it ‘abara’, some call it ‘reality check’ while others call it ‘hard
reset’….What ever name you choose to call it, this tumultuous blow to your back can spoil your career on the streets or in school because, eww! Your street girls were also in church that day! Or Tola, that girl from your class attends your church too and everyone will hear about it before you enter class tomorrow… Oh Lord!
This above stated reason is why children hate to sit near mum in church; Or to suddenly see her crossing the street on her way out while you’re busy playing with friends. She may suddenly know at that moment that the afternoon plates are not washed and ruin your ‘street credibility’ immediately! Oh lord!

NAIJA MUMS AND MONDAY MORNING
Psychological analysis have shown that some of our  phobias and things we extremely hate are unknowingly borne out of ‘horrible’ childhood memories. We all hate Monday morning!! This fear indeed was awakened in us by no other person than……..? Your guess is as good as mine! After the precious weekend that shouldn’t have ended at all, who wakes us up in the ‘ungodly hours’ of the morning? Who flogs us back to reality when we pretend to be praying that early morning meanwhile we are dozing off? Who asks us in a loud voice whether we are sure we have done our weekend assignment while our eyes are still tingling with sleep?
Who canes our behinds when she realises that we have not ironed our clothes throughout the weekend and now there’s no light? I say, who do all these? I’ve told you, your guess is as good as mine!
NAIJA MUMS AND SATURDAY MORNING
Oh! She’s at your door again!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you know that it is a crime, punishable by ‘shouting’ or flogging or both, to wake up even five minutes after your mum on a Saturday
morning? Ponder on this! (But while you’re pondering), if this is a Saturday morning, kindly take the nearest sponge and go and wash the plates before another thing will land on you! And we all know that weekend plates are the hardest to wash. Your daddy can never be nice enough to eat rice with only one plate! There is plate for the stew, one for the rice and one for mixing! And visitors too! Those horrid vipers! You do all the work for them yet you get chased from the TV you’re watching because they want to engage in ‘adult talk’. Well, Saturday morning is the ultimate misery for any child growing up. You work and work! After washing and scrubbing, the Nigerian mum is never content with this work, you find yourself starting all over again at some point. The most painful part was the days of Cadbury Breakfast Television and Spiderman cartoons, my dear! Try to put on the TV on Saturday morning. Just try it

CHRONICLES OF NAIJA MUMS ( PART TWO)
 Catch ya!!! Xoxoxo
Twitter handle @dahliadona.
P.s blogging might be irregular for a while. Pleas bear with me. School ain't giving me a breathing space. Love you muchos.