Diary of an Angry Nigerian Woman: I can’t believe I’m not special!!


A few years ago, out of boredom, I searched my name on Facebook. My first and last name together yielded an embarrassing number of namesakes and I wasn’t even on the first page 😱. I realized then that I wasn’t as special as I thought with so many people with the same name 😒. I should have learned my lesson but apparently I didn’t, hence (…there’s that darn word again) this post. I turned 31 this year and to my surprise my mom called one day and informed me that an aunt told her that she had asked “some people” to pray for me and they had informed her that another aunt in the village is the reason I am not married please excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

I was shocked. These are stories you see in Nigerian movies or you hear about from “razz” people. Surely I am too “posh” and my extended family, although “less posh”, but surely posh enough not to come up with this line of thinking. Well obviously, I am not posh at all and a few months ago, an uncle on my fathers side called promising to send me prayer points that I must pray without ceasing..until perhaps the day the proverbial “He” proposes. In fact he called me last month to find out if I had been praying “his prayer points” and if I had received any “revelations” in the form of a dream. I swear I’m not making this up😂😂. 

I am grateful, for lack of a better word, for all their prayers and concerns but I would much rather channel the prayer energy to my hammering🤑..I owe my mother a hummer abeg! Marriage is one of those things that I am confident would happen at the right time. For me, the end result isn’t a wedding but what comes after. I want to be happy, really happy, and until I am convinced that someone would add to my happiness and not take away from it, I’d much rather be single and flirtatious as I am currently being with a tall glass of water I met recently😉. Marriage is meant to be till death us part so I am happy to wait for a man, like me, who is honest, open and willing to go the distance. Relationships are hard enough, I need me someone that will be committed to the programme.

So, to all the people waiting for me to get married or to see who I will marry, don’t worry your expectations will not be cut short 🙏🏾

xoxo

Diary of an Angry Nigerian Woman: Suffering and smiling


I took a one week break from work to sleep, unpack in my new apartment and laze about the house..in no particular order. Power was restored about 4am this morning. I woke up at about 11:30am..don’t judge me.. and by 1:30pm, the power was out. From the moment I woke up, I had it at the back of my mind that a power outage was imminent. I turned on the water heater to ensure that I would have hot bathing water. I ironed to ensure that I had something to wear to a movie in the evening with a friend. I watched tv guilt free instead of doing house chores knowing fully well that very soon there would be no power. I set reminders on shows I wanted to watch having it at the back of my mind that I might not get to watch these shows. The power eventually went out and although annoyed, I thought to myself, at least they kept it for long today.

It’s absolutely sad that a basic necessity like power is something one has to pray and hope for in a country like Nigeria, the giant of Africa. One of the reasons I moved house recently was that on the ride home everyday, I found myself praying, not only that there would be power when I got home, but that the voltage would be high enough for my fridge to work. I have a few questions for the Ministry of Power; What is the problem? What is the long term solution? What can we do now? Alas, I expect to be told that it is a complicated situation and I wouldn’t understand and that seems to be an answer that the average Nigerian is willing to accept. Heck! I have gone a few days without power and my closing argument has always been, hopefully they’ll restore power tomorrow. As I write, power has been restored and I am thrilled but I know that it will be gone soon, as easily as it came, but I will tell me mom later today when we speak, Nepa tried today o! We had light for a long time.

Am I angry that there is no power? Of course. Am I angry enough to do something about it? Yes. What am I going to do about it? Buy a generator and an inverter. Sigh! The problem with Nigerians is that we are indignant but never indignant enough to demand a change. It’s always a case of “who will bell the cat?” and no one is about to be the one. But perhaps that’s the beauty of being Nigerian, we are a hopeful people and no matter how bad a situation is we always smile through our suffering and say, it is well!

My sincere prayer is that someone will one day rise to the occasion and bell the proverbial cat so it becomes indeed well for our beautiful country.

xoxo

Diary of a Mad Black Woman: What is plagiarism?

What is plagiarism? No, it’s not the answer to a jeopardy question but a question on a topic I know very little about I’m afraid and hence (NB: This is my least favourite word and I wonder who came up with it), my question. I’ve been doing a ranting series for my blog and I received “inspiration” for this title but it got me wondering whether or not I would be plagiarizing by using the name of a popular movie for the series. From my understanding of the word, we plagiarize every day by saying stuff other people said without asking their permission to use their words. As a writer and blogger, albeit not a well-known one, I decided to find out exactly what plagiarism means so I can avoid the bastard altogether.

Here’s what I found:

To “Plagiarize” means

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  • to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud.

All of the following are considered plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else’s work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism.
Using an image, video or piece of music in a work you have produced without receiving proper permission or providing appropriate citation is also plagiarism. The following activities are very common in today’s society. Despite their popularity, they still count as plagiarism.

  • Copying media (especially images) from other websites to paste them into your own papers or websites.
  • Making a video using footage from others’ videos or using copyrighted music as part of the soundtrack.
  • Performing another person’s copyrighted music (i.e., playing a cover).
  • Composing a piece of music that borrows heavily from another composition.

Certainly, these media pose situations in which it can be challenging to determine whether or not the copyrights of a work are being violated. For example:

  • A photograph or scan of a copyrighted image (for example: using a photograph of a book cover to represent that book on one’s website)
  • Recording audio or video in which copyrighted music or video is playing in the background.
  • Re-creating a visual work in the same medium. (for example: shooting a photograph that uses the same composition and subject matter as someone else’s photograph)
  • Re-creating a visual work in a different medium (for example: making a painting that closely resembles another person’s photograph).
  • Re-mixing or altering copyrighted images, video or audio, even if done so in an original way.

Source: http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism/

At the end of my search, I realize that it is extremely difficult to avoid plagiarism. One’s best bet is to check for reprint and usage rights of documents, images etc, request permissions, cite sources and be as original and honest concerning “borrowed ideas” as humanly possible. In this vein, I hereby title my ranting series Dairy of an Angry Nigerian Woman, an idea borrowed from Tyler Perry and his movie Dairy of a Mad Black Woman.

Let the rantings continue!!

xoxo

Going Dutch…

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Early in 2015, I decided to learn Dutch..don’t ask me why but I swear I have a good reason😄. I attended a six week course in Utrecht and the first thing I learned is that Dutch is hard, really really hard, but not impossible to learn. I am proud to say that I returned to Nigeria with an intermediate knowledge of Dutch but not without a few bumps in the road.

  1. The Dutch can make a word past tense by putting a ‘ge’ in front and a ‘d’ at the end. Example: Mail would be gemaild (mailed) and sms would be gesmsd (smsed).
  2. Sportive words are verbs in Dutch. Example: I play football is “Ik voetbal” and I play tennis is “Ik tennisen”
  3. There is no faking it till you make it with Dutch. You either know it or you don’t. Example: There are 2 Dutch words for “because”. They are “want” (yes, you read right!!) and “omdat”. One you can use at the beginning of a sentence and the other you cannot.
  4. There are several words with the same meaning or use. Example: “in” can be “bij” or “aan”
  5. There are several words with different meanings depending on how you use them. Example: “Zij” is “she” but also “they”.
  6. Just when I thought I was beginning to understand the rules of speaking Dutch, I realized that there are a hundred and one other rules I didn’t know. One of the most complex is Separable verbs. I will do my best to explain this. Example: “Bel me op!” means “Call me (up)”. “Ik moet hem opbellen” means “I must call him (up)”. “Ik heb hem opgebeld” means “I called him (up)”. All words in bold are the separable verbs of “Call or Call up” (to make a phone call) in their different forms.
  7. There is no Dutch word for “like”. Instead of saying you like something, you say “I find it nice”. Example: “Ik vind het leuk om Netherlands te leren” means “I find it nice to learn Dutch” or simply “I like learning Dutch”.
  8. The Dutch use diminutive words a lot. Example: Sister is “zus” and a younger sister is a “zusje”. A beer is “bier” and a small beer is a “bierje”.
  9. Telling time is like rocket science. Example: 11:30 is half twaalf (half 12), 11:35 is vijf over half twaalf (5 over/past half twelve)
  10. Counting isn’t any easier. Example: 24 is vier en twintig (4 and 20) and 156 is honderd zes en vijftig (100, 6 and 50)

Coupled with the cold (in summer!!!), my head was reeling after day 3 and I did what I would usually do to destress…have a good meal and watch tv. I fell in love with NCIS during my stay. I also enjoyed watching the crazy things people did on bicycles: eating an ice cream cone, opening a carton of juice, riding with 3 kids on their individual seats on the one bike, taking a dog to the vet or at least I think that was were she was going and to cap it all, folding up a bicycle like one would fold up those new RayBan sunglasses and taking it on the train😂.

If you ever decide to learn Dutch, don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!😜

xoxo (knuffels and kussen…hugs and kisses..just thought to toss that in there)😁

Rantings: Job Application Etiquette 

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I have never worked formally as an HR person but I have had the opportunity to be on several recruitment committees to know a thing or two about job applications and the interview process. You would think that in these times when one can get any information with the click of a button, everyone would be a pro at writing job applications but the fact that I have to rant about this subject goes to show how many people refuse to use their heads or in this case, their fingers.

Below are errors that automatically disqualify you for a position in my books:

  1. Writing ‘Am’ instead of I’m: It’s amazing how many people cannot differentiate between these two. That aside, “I’m” should not even appear in a job application. It should be “I am”.

  2. Using different font types and sizes: I don’t understand why people do this. It’s never ok to use different font types in a cv. It might be ok to use different font sizes but only when there is some kind of order to the use. Let me explain further with an illustration:
    Illustration A is permissible but B is an absolute no-no! In my honest opinion, it’s better to have the contents of a cv in the same font size and put the words you want to standout in BOLD. It’s a lot cleaner that way.

  3. Forwarding an application: It’s the height of insanity to forward an application that was sent to another company to a new company with an open position. It’s not that hard to compose a new email and copy paste the information from the old email.

  4. Tomfoolery: There’s no better way to describe the behavior of someone who is looking to be employed but lacks the sense to compose a new mail to each company the person is interested in working with. How can someone send one email to 10 different companies, asking to be employed? It’s absolutely ridiculous.

  5. Sending a cv without an application letter or cover letter: It’s alarming that an educated person would send in a cv for an open position without an application letter. No employer has time to figure out what position, especially if there is more than one, you are applying for by going through your cv.

  6. Applying for “any available position”: It just doesn’t make sense that one would go through the effort of updating ones cv and writing an application letter, only to apply for “any available position”. If your expertise lies in various fields, state the positions you can work in clearly in your application letter. You cannot work in a position if you do not have the necessary knowledge or expertise so why set yourself up for rejection with an application that will end in the trash.

  7. Using words that you cannot spell or have no idea what they mean: I have no idea why people like to make simple situations complex. If you have no idea what a word means, leave it out of your vocabulary or go the extra mile and learn what it means. A friend once shared with me a comment he saw on facebook where the commenter wrote “olaballoon” instead of “hullabaloo”. It’s ludicrous.

  8. Not following instructions: There is no excuse under the sun for not following the instructions stated in an advertised open position. It’s like making a cup of tea and forgetting to put a teabag in the cup, all you’ll have is hot water.

  9. Unprofessionalism: “attached is my cv, I pray you look at it and call me for an interview” – this is an excerpt from an email I received just last week. I didn’t even bother to look at the cv. I have nothing against the beliefs of any individual but that is exactly what it is, an individual thing so keep it out of formal correspondence.

  10. Not giving direct contact details: I once had to call three different numbers to reach a young man for a telephone interview. His cv had the mobile number of his dad and his application letter had the number of someone else. When I was finally able to reach him with a number in the body of the email to which he attached his application letter and cv, he had the gall to inform me that he doesn’t take calls from unfamiliar numbers. I did not go further with the interview. He obviously was not ready to get a job.

I hope this helps someone. You can thank me later.

xxx

I must confess, I quite enjoy ranting and I seem to be getting my mojo back😄. Let the ranting continue 😜

Dating naked…

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I watched an episode of dating naked a couple of weekends ago and while I would be too scared to go on such an adventure, the show brought to light some important aspects of dating. The show started with a single man and a single woman who were looking to be in a committed relationship. They had to go on 3 naked dates (literally, without clothes) with 3 different people to find love. At the end of the show, they got to pick who they would like to continue seeing. It was interesting to watch the goings on and it reminded me of some of the most important do’s in dating:

  1. It’s important to be yourself: You might strike out with a person but that might mean that they are not meant for you. It’s common practice to put your best foot forward on a first date and subsequent dates until your are tired of living a lie but it’s definitely better and a lot easier to be yourself and let the he other person decide whether or not they want to be with someone like you.
  2. Don’t be afraid to try again: So you have put yourself out and have struck out, don’t give up, try again. Don’t let past experiences prevent you from trying to love again. Love is worth the effort and when you find that one person that loves you for you, you’ll realize why it just didn’t work with anyone else.
  3. Go with your gut: Your gut is like an internal notification light that comes on when something is up. I advise that you never rely on your gut 100% but you must always pay attention to it. A gut feeling might be about something good or bad but you decide how to proceed with the notification being given to you.
  4. Know your boundaries: It’s ok to make certain compromises in a relationship but as an individual, know what your boundaries are concerning your core values. Do not change yourself completely to suit some one else’s idea of a partner. Do not lose yourself trying to be someone you are not.
  5. Be open to new experiences: There is no surefire way to meet the right person. Be open to stepping out of your comfort zone and trying out new things. Not exactly with the purpose of finding a mate but just because it wouldn’t hurt to try something new. You’d be surprised at the fulfillment you get from regaling others with the stories of your adventures.

To all single people, it’s a jungle out there and we all could use some “naked dating”.

xoxo

Rantings: Formal Writing Etiquette 


I’m no expert in formal writing. In fact, I hate to write formal text because I usually spend up to 30 minutes on a letter or an email, just to make sure there are no errors. I really hate to make writing mistakes. Everyone is prone to mistakes, we are only human, and I have come to terms with that but there are certain mistakes that are unforgivable and are avoidable with just a little extra attention to detail.

There is no excuse in making any of the following mistakes:

1. Incorrectly spelled name:

I’ve been addressed as Adenika, Adenke and many a variation of my beautiful name “ADENIKE”. My name is clearly written in my email signature, heck my email address has my first name and last name but a lot of people can’t be bothered to ensure that a name is spelled right. I recently read an email sent to a Mr. Dogo, the salutation said “Dear Dog”. I cringe again just thinking about it. I cannot over emphasized this – there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for misspelling a name in a formal letter or email.

2. Spelling errors: 

“A book of condolence will be opened in honour of the diseased” …. not to make light of the situation but I would not like to sign a condolence book for the diseased. The misspelled word completely takes away from the somber situation.

3. No word abbreviations:

“Ask for pictures & u will get it”.. this statement is wrong on so many levels. Not only is it rude, it’s sounds like it was written by an uneducated individual. Add that to the use of ‘&’ and ‘u’ and you don’t need a soothsayer to tell that this letter ended up in the bin.

4. Avoid weirdness:

Sounds vague but let me explain. You address a letter to a Victoria and write the salutation as “Dear Sir”…if this isn’t avoidable weirdness, I don’t know what is. The name Victoria is obviously female so what’s your excuse? If in doubt “Dear Victoria” is the safest way to go. Avoid “Dear Sir/Madam” like it’s the plague.

Remember that auto-correct or spell check does not always “catch” all the errors in a document. Take time out to re-read any formal text before it’s sent out.

xxx

I’ve been experiencing bloggers block – I don’t know if that’s a real thing but that’s what I have been going through. I get an inspiration for what I think would be worthy of writing down then just as I put pen to paper (or finger to electronic device😄), I decide my thoughts would not make a good post. Go figure! Anyway, I’ve decided to make an effort and this is the first installment in a series of posts titled “Rantings”. Hopefully I’ll be back in good form after letting out some steam.

Wish me luck!!!

xoxo