HOW I MET GEN. ABDUSALAMI ABUBAKAR

I remember when a former schoolmate posted on Facebook about how he had gotten a chance to photograph an ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo.

As my eyes fed on his post, I thought to myself, ‘This is mind-blowing’. If only I had known that I would soon get my very own meeting with one of our ‘heroes past’.

Just today, at a book launch with my colleagues and editor from Kachifo Limited, I saw him walk in.

White beard. Northern Cap. Soft eyes. This man had seen and ruled the Nigeria of yesterday. He had seen the coups and wars. He had seen the military regime we sometime wish we could return to.

As my phone camera flashed with each snapshot I took of him, later to be uploaded to our company’s social media platforms, I smiled.

Who would have thought this would have been experienced by a ‘mere’ writer like me?

A mere writer who had chosen a less noisy publishing house above the hustle and bustle of the digital agency industry.

CHEERS TO EVERY ‘MERE WRITER’!

USE YOUR WRITING SKILLS TO BOOST A BRAND – AND GET PAID!

Hello Mr Writer,

Have you realized yet that you are sitting on the money you claim to NOT have? Let me explain why.

Firstly, you should know that every company needs you. Words are needed in every organisation; to communicate with employees, to persuade customers in adverts, to build a particular personality for a brand, etc. Brands can only get into the hearts of their potential and present customers through the persuasive power of words (Including spoken words in videos).

Here is an example of  such a product or brand review article that you can be paid for. Brands need this! :

FANTASTIC CAKES. AND WHERE TO FIND THEM.

It started during the mandatory National Service Year.

I started to see some cake activity on my Timeline. The activity was very obvious because it was coming at a time where 19,800 naira was the monthly salary, so I was accustomed to window shopping products online – I would simply salivate or gawk and move on.

cake

Back to the cake activity. I soon realized that these gorgeous cakes were being made by two friends of mine. They were youth corps members, like me, back then. Knowing that these cakes were closer to home, I salivated even more.

After we rounded off that year, I continued to behold this activity, but alas! The cakes are only available in other cities – Akure and Ibadan while I am in Lagos state.

However, if you are in that city… Whoooo! You are lucky!
It means you have the chance to enjoy divine cakes and pastries by Creamy Tops, owned by my two buddies – Oluwatoyin Fadipe and Oluwatooni Ige.

You can buzz them on 08076952991 or inbox them at Creamy Tops to order! Don’t sit on this o!

 

Here is a screenshot of the Facebook post:

Screenshot (33)

HOW CAN I BALANCE MY 9-5 JOB WITH MY BLOGGING/WRITING?

This was a topic one of the writers in the ‘Build Your Writing Confidence’ Whatsapp Group asked me to write on.

This is a tough one. Mostly because, *in Pete Edocie’s voice* ‘it izznt easy’. Being an active blogger (one that posts at least every two days) while having a 9-5 job is like juggling 10 balls. It is wise to learn how to juggle then.

Before I began working at a book publishing house, I had a 9-5 job in a digital ad agency (growth-hacking agency if you know what that is o). It was extremely demanding. So much that the blank page that I was usually excited to write on became a luxury I couldn’t afford. I envied other writers who had plenty time on their hands…

Until an angel in Igbo form and social media guru, Emeka Nobis let me in on a secret – He shared how he had also been in the same dilemma some years ago and how he made use of every single spare time outside the office to write stories and articles. I got down to it. En route work, en route home, lunch breaks, weekends, ‘White House’ time… I would write. That’s YOUR answer.

Write your blog/ vlog articles for the week, as well as set aside the accompanying images on the weekend so that all you have to do when your blog post is due is press the ‘Post’ button.

Be consistent with this and watch your productivity as a blogger or writer shoot through the roof! For more ‘writer-muscle’ tips, check out the other recent posts.

If you’d be interested in the ‘Build Your Writing Confidence’ Whatsapp Group (it is simply to build your writing confidence. Shikena), join here 

COFFEE FACE SCRUB KE?

coffee    shock

Yesterday, I went on an impromptu outing with my uncle. It was to an exhibition for Made In Nigeria products where one of their friends would be selling her products. Being the creative that I am (tending to disregard schedules most times and embrace spontaneity), I happily agreed. Five minutes later, we arrived at the venue.

After spotting about two Ankara fabric stands, I immediately knew it had been a good decision to come, mostly because I and Ankara craft have entered into a blood covenant (it’s that serious).

As we glided through the different stands, I was again confronted with the usual ‘expensive handmade products’ brouhaha. Being a handmade crafter, myself, I began to wonder- what is it we can we do to reduce the costs so our artsy products can enter the hands of our eager customers?

I know what it means to spend painstaking time gluing, bending, wiring and creating these products and then being questioned by customers why the monetary value of the handmade product is so high. I also know how it feels to fall in love with a handmade product, only to be told that it is 9,000 naira. Simpu Ankara jacket.

Jisos.

As I returned back to my uncle’s friend whose exhibitions stand touted organic cosmetics. When I saw ‘Coffee Scrub’ amongst the products, I got confused o. Will this one go in a mug or on the face??

I was struck with her unique marketing strategy; which was quite simple and effective – Caring About Customers. The way she drew the customers in was like honey drawing bees. A free sample here, a discount there, some free cosmetic advice…

Sell, she was trying to do. But not at the expense of her customers’ needs, wills and feelings. In this ‘money-crazy’ times, that’s something to think about.

We Writers = Social Observers?

We are not just pen wielders. Our pens wield opinions. Opinions that can make or break society.

We are the voice of the unheard, the extension of the suppressed.

A true writer should be able to observe society’s misnorms and translate it into written content. Hence, this piece:

I AM BARIGA

Squalor
Squalor
Squalid.

This is not we asked for
Asked for
But you damn it.

Them mosquitoes
They leech us
Leech us
We’ve had it.

But the opposition
Will feed us
Feed us
We believe it?

Squalor
Squalor
This writer has had it!

*Based on the deplorable living conditions of Bariga in Lagos, Nigeria. Feel free to share with any Lagos State government official you know (Maybe even the governor himself)

Animations and Writers’ Life Lessons

moana

It is possible that my latest life lessons might be drawn from animations now…

I watched ‘Moana’ over the weekend. Its an animation film that centers around a young island girl who can’t seem to get over her love for the sea. Unfortunately, her dad, the village chief places a limit on that love – none of them on the island are allowed to go beyond a certain point of the sea.

In that movie, I learnt something about reluctant writers. Read More

DEAR WRITER, DO YOU KNOW THAT ALMOST EVERY COMPANY NEEDS YOU?

Every single company.
Big, Small, Corporate, Creative. They all need writers.

Did you know that? Maybe you didn’t. Its not so obvious. But they do!

Imagine if companies had no journalists, PR officers, social media managers, editors, communication department, content developers, copy editors… JUST IMAGINE.

In this recession, as a writer, you can’t be jobless. People NEED you!

Do you want to learn how to identify these writing job opportunities when you see them?
Are you still insecure about your writing abilities?
I overcame that too.
I scaled through that phase myself and now I’m a social media manager, (ro)bot programmer (language-wise) and a content developer – me. A mere writer.

And now, I want to help others.
That’s why for 2 hours daily for 2 days, I’ll be siphoning every writing knowledge I have and sharing it in a Whatsapp group

See this image for details:boost

‘Me? I’m Not A Writer o!’

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One of your friends had just stumbled on your ‘journal’ – your book of writings.
Unlike others, you don’t just write in it daily events. Poems, fiction and even eulogies abound in your journal.

She had come visiting because you guys hadn’t seen in a long while. Since you both graduated and gone on the National Youth Service exercise, it had only been phone calls.

Unfortunately, while you were you were cooking your lineage-famous Jollof rice, she had ventured into your ‘no-access territory’ where you kept your writings. Shet.

‘Kemi, Kemo. So you be writer?’ she had asked. In that split second, your brain became muddled. As usual. You had asked yourself this question a billion times too.

‘Me ke? I’m not a writer o!’

THE END

P.S There is a Whatsapp group I’ll be making public soon – ‘Boost Your Writing Confidence’ Masterclass. If this description of the writer in this story fits you, you should join. If you want to shine your God-given ‘writing light’ and hone it till others can’t ignore and are impacted, YOU SHOULD JOIN.’

Enough said. Who’s with me?
Type ‘Yes’ in the comment box so I know you and alert you when the group is opened up.