Thursday, 1 October 2020

The amateur photographer

I have called myself an amateur photographer for a long time. If my memory serves me right, I have been calling myself that for 6 years. I am thinking of changing it to DSLR owner – it sounds funky right – I know 😊.

Somedays ago, I stumbled on my first camera. I got it towards the end of Senior Secondary School.  I think a day student helped me to buy it, I do remember my childhood friend Rafiat playing a big role in getting it. It was an analog camera; I took couple of secondary school graduation pictures with it. I still wonder why I did not include the camera in the list of things I own.  I guess it is time to update my asset register. Well the first thing I must do is to download it from my brain and keep a soft or hard copy that is accessible to relevant people.

My second camera was not mine really, it belonged to my Dad, but I used it most of the time till it spoilt.  Well, it did not get spoilt on my watch. My Dad did not want to fix it in Nairobi (the Capital of Kenya oh!, not the character from the Netflix series) because he got it on one of his business travels, so he thought it was best to take it back there on his next trip to the country of purchase. Guess what? They could not fix it, so he got another one. Thinking about it now, the unfixed camera must have been the reason I did not buy the brand when I got my official second camera.

I love pictures, I love to take and be taken, I used to have over a thousand pictures (uploaded by me) on Facebook. When I started earning, it was only natural to include a camera in my must have list. I think it was the first or second item I purchased when I visited my cousin in the US. I was super excited to own a professional camera. Back then, I was blogging consistently so I thought I should start another blog (for photography) – I must have named it “through my lens or something related” but when I started taking pictures with it, I could not bring myself to post most of them. I realized I enjoyed going through them on my camera. I ended up closing the blog.  I had photography plans, I really did  – I planned signing up for Shola Animashaun’s class  while a colleague who was giving me professional photography tips advised that I should get a different lens – I was going to buy myself the lens after passing a level in the professional exam I was doing – Well, guess Consequence Management: does not bring out the best in me. 

As some of you may know, I am #TeamWindowseat and when it is safe to do so, I love to take “up in the air” photographs. I have this strong feeling that one day, I might put them up or have a photography showcase within the limits of Islam. Yes, there are some rulings on photography in Islam.

Till next time, think about the story behind that tucked away item you stumbled on recently. To keep or to trash? You decide.

Edited by Opeyemi Eniola Dada & Dolapo Ajayi


PS: One of my editors asked what DSLR is – I told her Google it 😊.

DSLR - Digital Single Lens Reflex. DSLR camera is a type of digital camera. According to, a DSLR is a digital camera that uses a mirror mechanism to either reflect light from a camera lens to an optical viewfinder (which is an eyepiece on the back of the camera that one looks through to see what they are taking a picture of) or let light fully pass onto the image sensor (which captures the image) by moving the mirror out of the way

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Ise abi alafia 2.0

As I waited for my turn at the paying till, I couldn’t help but hear everything the man behind me was saying on the phone. “Yes, I understand he is ill and on admission, but this update cannot wait. Do you know if he has his laptop with him at hospital?  He’s one of your best subordinates, those figures should be top of mind, I do not mind an estimate at this time”. He kept talking while I wheeled my shopping cart out of the supermarket.

As I was about to judge him, I wondered if I have ever done same. If there were times, I should have been more compassionate.

Hey, I am not feeling too well. I spoke with the doctor and she recommended some medications. Once the pain subsides, I will log in and attend to important tasks. As I laid in tears, praying for the pain to go away I could not help but think about the meetings I have missed and all the updates I promised to share before COB.

As I was about to judge myself, I wondered what I could have done better to prevent the pain.

A colleague once said, if you work within a team and based on your organization’s information policy, other team members are permitted to have an information, please share it with them as this can make the work better on days you are unavoidable absent.

I haven’t figured out how to stop feeling guilty on my sick days so let me throw it out there, how do you mentally handle being away from work when you are indisposed?

Till next time, remember to also be compassionate to self.

·       Ise means work

·       abi means or

·       alafia can be loosely translated as wellbeing or good health

·       COB - Close of business


This post was edited by Dolapo Ajayi


You can read the first ise or alafia here


Monday, 4 November 2019


People told stories of how their Mothers cooked a whole chicken when they attainted womanhood! aka saw their monthly period aka the visitor aka that time of the month. Whatever it is called, you get the gist, right? I was in boarding school, so no one cooked a whole chicken for me, but my friend did celebrate like I won a lottery. It was a tradition back then to celebrate your friend when their period came. People who started their period while on holiday came back to either announce it in the hostel or “display” an unused pad in a manner that sends the message.

I can’t remember when I started my period, but I can remember taking sanitary pad to boarding school and “lending” it out with the hope of collecting it back when my period finally started. I never had the opportunity to collect it for some terms, in fact I never collected it back but las las my period came. It came after our teachers and parents had started talking about reproductive system and sexual education. I thought I knew what to expect; use sanitary pad, starts every 25-28 days, stay off groundnut, no salat days, 3-4 days max, stay off “sugary” things, the list was long, so I assumed nothing was omitted. People around me had been on their period. I have two elder sisters so it cannot be that different.  Boy, I wish I knew better!
I wish I knew my school uniform was not immune to period stain.
I wish I knew changing my pad every 3 hours does not guarantee a stain-free day.
I wish I knew boys would tease me when I got stained.
I wish I knew my period can come about 2 days earlier.
I wish I knew my period could get delayed for 5-8days.
I wish I knew how to tell people that I was not sleeping because of Ramadan but I was sleeping because I took pain medication and sleeping is one of the side effects.
I wish I knew how to tell people that I am not fasting because it is that time of the month and I could not get an enclosed place to eat.
I wish I knew I would walk out of several examination halls because I could not handle the period pain.
My friend who was not allowed to go out of her house without parental approval wished she knew how to tell her older brother she needed sanitary pad.

Below are some other things that might have been omitted
  • Your period can be longer than 5 days, yes, I know people who bleed for 7 days.
  •  Your period can be shorter than 5 days, I know people who bleed for less than 5 days.
  • Your period pain is not universal, some people do not experience any pain. So, don’t blame them when they do not understand your struggle.
  • Your threshold for handling pain is not universal. It is ok to use a prescribed pain medication. Please see a gynecologist or doctor to prescribe the best pain medication.
  •  Your prescribed pain medication might have side effects. Please ensure this is discussed with your doctor.
  • Your period flow is not universal, some people do finish a pack of sanitary pad on their first day.
  • Your preferred absorbent material is your preference. People should be encouraged and not forced to try other hygienic options – Pads, tampons and menstrual cups.
  • Your period blood does have a smell, remember to change your pad as often as possible and clean down there regularly.· 
  •  Discuss with your gynecologist, if your period smell change is accompanied with unusual symptoms· 
  •  Your decision to stay off sugar is not universal. People have different tolerance level for various things during their monthly period. For example, I crave sugary things, I take sugary things, and nothing happens to me but there’s something that I observed that if I do take, I can end up in the clinic or hospital. The goal is to understand your body and know what to stay off during this period.
  • Your religion might have a “period ritual”, it is important to understand and learn it if possible.
  • If you have a vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, it is important you see the gynecologist at least once a year or once in 2 years (depending on your Gynecologist guidance after your first appointment). 
  • If you have inconsistent monthly cycle, tracking your period might help your Gynecologist understands you better.
Till next time, in the comment section, please include some important points that I might have omitted.
This post was edited by Dolapo Ajayi.

Friday, 13 September 2019


Have you ever chatted with someone one day and then the next, the person was dead? At least, I knew my friend was ill because we spoke on the phone a couple of times. It took me a while to forgive myself for not visiting her in the hospital, but I find solace in the fact that we spoke a couple of times.

“Asake, it is not possible, I chatted with her yesterday and she said she was fine when I asked her how she was doing. We chat every week and she never mentioned she wasn’t feeling well, she never mentioned she had been on admission for a month. How was I supposed to know she went through a surgery? I thought we were close, I thought we were best of friends…” Yeni kept lamenting with tears in her eyes. Yeni hadn’t spoken with her friend for months but they chatted every week. Tola, her friend went to the hospital for minor surgery (that was what her doctors called appendicitis) but never left the hospital alive.

Life of the party, you are out this Saturday again, I commented on Omotoke’s WhatsApp update. “Which party? Don’t be deceived, I am just bored, I am waiting for the Doctor to discharge me” Omotoke said.
Doctor? I asked.
“Yes Asake, I was admitted on Tuesday, in fact I was rushed here from my office” Omotoke said, while she was explaining her prognosis, I couldn’t help but  feel sorry for myself because on Thursday I wished  I was with Omotoke when she uploaded the image of legs while on the beach with “chilling” as the caption. I kept on saying to myself, you work too hard, instead of you to take some leave days to chill by the beach like Omotoke. If only I knew.

A while ago, I was having what I thought was a very good chat with my friend but since we hadn’t spoken in a while, I decided to continue the conversation as a voice call. The moment I asked how she was doing; she broke down and in tears explained what she is going through which was different from the happy vibe I got from our initial chat.

Some weeks ago, my eldest brother called me and could sense something in my voice, he asked how I was doing, and I said fine. He called back the next day just to gist with me but deep down, I knew he was checking up on me to ensure my mood had either changed or I was willing to talk.

As life gets busier, we often send short or quick messages in form of texts or chats to our loved ones. We tend to assume their happy social media update reflect their reality, we call less and visit lesser. You might not be able to visit all your loved ones in a year but try to call them at least once in 6 months – what you have missed might amaze you.

Till next time, do one voice call

Abewo means “checking up on someone”

This post was edited by Dolapo Ajayi

Sunday, 16 June 2019


When I started driving, I had three guiding principles –
1.      Top up my fuel at half tank
2.      Always buy full tank when I drive into a fueling station
3.      When broke, buy fuel - at least I can still move around.

Topping up my car at half tank made it easy to mentally calculate the true value of the fuel I bought😁 (Yeah, I sometimes use excel but I have to know at the pump)

One day on my way out, I decided to top up my fuel which was a little above half tank but something weird happened. The cost was over my usual spend and my tank was far from full. I told the station attendant to stop when it was a 1,000 above my average spend then challenged him. “Madam your gauge might be bad o, “he said. While driving out, I told him he just lost a customer.

I wasn’t paying any attention to the fuel meter because I was trying to get out the keg I use to fuel my generator. “Your money is 5,000 she said, this one is 1,500 and the one I sold into the car is 3500” The station attendant said. But why did you clear off the previous one before showing me?” I questioned. As we were going back and forth, my colleague emerged from the car and said, "no, I saw everything, you sold 2,650 into the car". Then the station attendant began to stammer. While giving her 5,000 I told her she just lost a customer. Trust my colleague to collect my change on my behalf.

I started defaulting on my first guiding principle because I had to buy fuel from a tested and trusted fueling station

Over the years, I have marked a couple of fueling stations never to return to because of dubious transactions. I also have my regular petrol stations.

One day, I went to one of my regular fueling stations but the bill for a full tank did not make any sense. At a similar fuel level with my previous purchases, it was about three thousand Naira above my usual spend. I kept going back to the station and switched attendants then realized it was a particular one. Without concrete evidence, I couldn’t report him, but I challenged him and told him I wasn’t going to buy from him again. It was at that point I said to myself “Maybe it is not the fueling station, maybe it is the attendant”

Last year, I decided to return to the 5,000 fueling station, it is one of my best budget decisions

Do you have an ‘Ile-Epo” story to share? We would love to hear from you.

Ile - means "house" in Yoruba

Epo - means "petrol" or "palm oil" in Yoruba

Ile-Epo is also the name of a market in Lagos state, Nigeria 

This post was edited by Dolapo Ajayi

Wednesday, 22 May 2019


Maybe he doesn’t know, but you never asked.
Maybe she doesn’t have, but you never asked. 

You assumed you know her, but her appearance is far from her struggles.
I couldn’t help but notice she wasn’t properly dressed for salaat. I tried to focus on the lecture, but I kept thinking about her. When I finally had the opportunity to speak with her, she said “I don’t like coming to the mosque because people stir at me like I have done something wrong”. I asked her why she was dressed the way she was, but her answer shocked me. “This is the only scarf I have,” she said. A year or a two before that, I had 50 scarfs, it had never crossed my mind that there are people who do not have scarfs for salat.

“Asake, she’s fasting but never joins us in congregational prayers. Today, I challenged her, but her response shocked me”, Musa said.
“I don’t have a Khimar and our uniform is a short sleeve with jeans, so I pray when I get home” She replied. The lady works in Musa’s office as an office assistant.

Asake, I greeted the ladies before proceeding to the pharmacy section of the supermarket. I asked the pharmacist for pregnancy strips then the ladies switched to their local dialect. “Imagine this small girl already sleeping around, how old is she that she allowed a man to knock her up,” one of the Ladies said. “Poor girl, I pray the test is negative, so she can plan better in future,” the second lady said. 

On my way out, I greeted them again and they smiled. I turned to them and spoke in their local language “I finished University more than 7 years ago and I have been working since then, I have been married for a while and we have been trying to conceive so I pray the test is positive.” Jade narrated.  Known for making excuse on behalf of people, Jade concluded with “I guess it is because I don’t wear a wedding band”.

Till next time, before you jump into conclusions, give the benefit of MAYBE 

This post was edited by Dolapo Ajayi

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Self encouragement

It’s been a long while. 

I have written several posts in my head but it’s a constant battle between what I think I should share on my blog and what I shouldn’t. Not much has changed between my last post and now, but a lot has changed.

I am hoping with the post, I encourage myself to write on this blog again.

Till next time, don’t give up on yourself

Monday, 2 July 2018

I failed

I couldn’t remember the last time I woke up with so much confidence.
I knew only one person who had passed it the first time.
Those who had passed recently had done it more than once.
I was determined to take and pass it the first time. I think I was fixated on passing it the first time.
I followed most of my usual routine and I was very sure it would work. The only time it had not worked was when I was emotionally stressed but this time I was emotionally neutral.

As I drove to the testing center, I mentally composed my success SMS.
Usually, I don’t review my answers once I am done with an examination, but I wanted to ensure I got way higher than 300 and that I had reviewed each and every question more than once.
As I raised up my hand to notify the test administrator of my completion, I hurriedly completed the survey so that the congratulatory message can appear. I was thinking of the appropriate time to update my LinkedIn profile when my score appeared - 297

To this day, I am super grateful that I failed that examination. It was an eye-opening experience that taught me humility and the importance of surrounding yourself with the right support system.

I toyed with the idea of rewriting the examination. I thought about picking up another goal to achieve but this was the final examination before I would become certified. It was no longer about passing the exam. It was about achieving a set goal but then the thought of failing again scared me. It paralyzed me. I initially gave myself different excuses for not paying for the examination then one day, I decided to give it all my all. I paid for the examination. I still remember whose card I used and where I was at that moment. I bought the highly recommended reference books on Amazon and my friends brought them to Nigeria. I studied the dictionary, bought an online quiz and I reached out to colleagues who had passed to guide me. One of them even gave me one of his notes. I took some time off work and stayed at my parents’ home.

Then the scored appeared – 299! I was petrified. I cried!!! It was painful. In case you did not know, the pass mark is 300.  I planned to write the following month, but I wasn’t psychologically ready. I had moved into a new role in a different department and the certification was no longer as important as it was in my previous department. However, the final paper was applicable in every department and the certification was part of my goal.

I gradually started reading again, posted my dilemma on the examination online networking site. Someone reached out to me, shared some resources and relevant tips. I also evaluated my use of technology, I sometimes get distracted by work-related task (the beauty of agile working) or social media during studying period, I guess the iPad I got as a gift came in handy as I moved all my study materials there.  Just like the previous module, I decided to take my examination a few hours before going on vacation but this time around, I sincerely asked Allaah for help. When I opened my eyes, I saw the highest mark in my CPIM journey.

Till next time, remember “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

This post was edited by Lerato Ndlovu of

Saturday, 11 February 2017


I cannot remember which match it was but I remember he sped like an Okada.

He was one of the reasons I started watching football.

I listened to Brilla FM and read Complete sport just to know how he was doing. I spoke about him as if we were related.

I remember hurrying out of my GCE Mathematics examination just to watch the World Cup qualifier. Even though he scored twice we did not qualify.

When he moved to England and my team played against his team, I could not decide whether to support Chelsea or Newcastle.

When I had the opportunity to travel, I would look around for him at the airport – waiting to get a photograph with him that I can finally put it up with a caption – Guess who was star struck today?




This post was inspired by the @africanwriters February challenge - day 10 title is Star struck.

Edited by Lerato

Friday, 10 February 2017

New beginnings

There was no sunshine or moon light. I am certain there were no stars. I could hear sounds, but it seems far away. It was always dark, and I wanted to leave everyday but at the end of the day I find myself exactly where I started.

Today I decided to run. I kept running till I reached a dead end, previously I would have turned back but today, I decided to hit the surface that always prevented me from going further. I thought it was a hard wall and I would get injured but surprisingly it was a wooden door and I broke it down.

For the first in a very long time, I watched the sunset, the moon glow and the stars glittering. Today is my new beginning, the day I decided to break the top of every tunnel so that whether it is sunny, the moon is out, or the stars are shining I can always find my new beginning.



This post was inspired by the @africanwriters February challenge - day 9 title is New beginnings.

Thanks Lerato (blvbookclub) for editing this post 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

BLVbookclub's post: BE A SMART MONEY WOMAN

I am one of those people who never finish reading a self-help book or a biography but buys them whenever I am going through one of those low moments. I cannot remember when I started following Arese on Instagram, but I think I clicked on her profile from a post Nimi Akinkugbe put up. Arese’s “The Smart Money Woman” book launch/tour flooded my IG timeline frequently, but I thought it was another self-help book and that thought brought back memories of how I struggled to complete “Rich Dad Poor Dad” while in University. I am one of those people who pride myself in saving before spending so when my friend Bukola handed over Arese’s book to me as a late birthday gift, I was wondering what more I can learn. Click to continue

Edited by Lerato Nkanyezi  Ndlovu 

Friday, 9 September 2016


Yaay!! My first personal post of 2016 – Yes, I usually don’t write about myself.  

Two weeks ago, I realized I graduated 6 years ago. 6years of absolute change and transformation. When I was leaving University and relocating back home - I had only two goals – two goals I am yet to achieve.  Looking back at the goals, I feel if I had achieved them, I wouldn’t be the better version of myself today; hence, I am very thankful

My life has taught me not to judge people by their “yesterday” and to give them the benefit of a doubt even if they hurt* you because if anyone had judged me by my very subtle past, the person is probably reading the 5th edition of a book that now has a 15th edition.

I remember reading a pre-wedding story on Bellanaija where the husband stated is fiancée used to be a party hopper and he was not that kind of guy, so they went separate ways. Years later when he met her, she was a transformed lady and they are getting married. What if he never gave her a second chance?

I also remember the story about a guy who used to have sugar mummies in University and did not know whether to mention his past to his bride to be. Four years after marriage with a second baby on the way, his wife still thanks to my friend for introducing them. The peace of mind and love in her home cannot be compared with any of the relationships she has experienced including her parents own – who are your regular upright prayer point couple.

To be honest, I can go on and on about stories on how people have changed and how second chance should be given.

I saw this quote on my friend’s profile –“When someone treats you like an option, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation” I remember replying “When you have the opportunity, treat them way better but try as much as possible not to be available to them again” – (maybe I should let go of the “again” if they come back willingly – give them a second chance, if they mess up again – then let go)

Till next time, remember age does not equal maturity, when life happens, we are forced to grow up faster than others. You might have met someone in their immature stage, they probably have grown up now – give them a second chance.          
*Hurt: excludes hurt in an abusive manner. Please, if someone is abusing you – physically, sexually, emotionally – get yourself to a safe haven then get counseling.

Lẹẹkansi is a Yoruba word that means “again", "try again", "one more time" and maybe "Second chance”

This post was edited by AOB 

Thursday, 4 August 2016

BLVbookclub's post: The Path

Do you think you have never walked the path?
That path you are ashamed to speak about, that path you were the victim at the same time the person to be blamed or that path you initiated someone into thinking it is the right path. Your home became silent with the mention of the path. We all know the path exists, sometimes we know people who have been through the path, we want to speak about it but silent seems like the best form of dialogue

This post was edited by Fadekemi 

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Bella Naija's post: Hakuna Nyumbani! Let’s Join Hands to Help Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria

I must have missed the Social Studies class, or I was carried away with my teacher’s eloquence and “poshness” that I didn’t recall whether she taught migration happens willingly or unwillingly. For a very long time, I thought people always migrated willingly. 

This post was edited by AOB

Monday, 12 October 2015

Bella Naija's post: Borrowership 101

In Principle of Finance class, I was taught that the sources of funding include; family and friends (F&F), grants, financial institutions etc. Apart from F&F, other sources might require the borrower to meet certain criteria. (Read up the 5 Cs of credit if you are getting funds from a financial institution.)

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to clean-up my internet banking by deleting beneficiaries I did not foresee future transactions with. As I cleaned it up, I realized about 3 or 4 people who promised to payback funds borrowed by month end did not fulfil their promise – 2 out of these people never mentioned anything about the money till date.

 Edited by AOB

The amateur photographer

I have called myself an amateur photographer for a long time. If my memory serves me right, I have been calling myself that for 6 years. I a...