Things I have learned as a city lawyer


Hi people,

Some of you who have followed MCLA from its inception will recall how I went to law school and got a job. It is not my first job but I must say that it is the first career defining work experience so far as it is right up my professional alley and at it, I have learned a whole lot.

I have learned that your fancy degree(s) might get you the job but only your character and attitude will ensure that you not only keep your job but thrive and excel at it. In fact, these days, many a masters degree holder gets turned back and gets confused: but I thought once I get a masters, the jobs will be lining up for me. These days, masters degrees are a dime a dozen. Everyone and their mama has it. It’s no longer the biggie it was 10 years ago and you need to show more to get the attention of employers and recruiters. I digress.

See, this post is not really about getting the job you want. Its aim is to show how one can enjoy and excel at the job you have. Here are some tips I have discovered whilst working in my law firm. I believe they are applicable anywhere. Enjoy!

1. Understand your role and discover ways to perform your job well

As a lawyer, I get tasks as mundane as writing minutes of a meeting (this is a general summary of what transpired at a meeting for future reference etc) to drafting an entire agreement from scratch i.e. without the use of a template. I have learned that both the seemingly mundane and seemingly important tasks deserve the same level of excellence. My role in the firm is not to draft important agreements. It is to be a useful lawyer and employee. This means if what will make life easier for my boss right now is to prepare an agenda, then an agenda I shall prepare. If tomorrow, I am needed to deal with the administrative aspects of a seminar, then that I shall do. If today, it is to meet with the head of a multinational, then meet I shall.

The point is you are not just there to do the sexy deals. You are there to move the organisation forward and make your presence and in fact, absence felt. Now don’t get it twisted, spending all your time doing admin work will not fetch you much. Wisdom is key.

Further, when you identify what your role is, it is not enough to just do your job. You must do it well and with pride too. Go the extra mile. Suggest an idea that has been playing in your head. Put in the extra oomph. I have watched great models get voted off America’s Next Top Model because they are not memorable. They take great photos and walk the runway well but they are not outstanding and a thousand others do just that. You need to distinguish yourself in your role and let it show that you are different.


2. Be a hard worker
Get to work on time. Make good use of the period you are at work. Minimise your gisting and chilling. Don’t go over your allocated breaks, don’t spend the day bb-ing, chatting on your phone, updating your status, using office internet to shop (trust me, you are being observed and even if you are not, it is a thing of integrity).


It is not enough to just be at work, work hard whilst there. Hone your skills, perfect your craft. If you are in my field, this means reading books, reading emails and ensuring that you are on top of it all, writing and generally endeavouring and working towards being better than you were last month. If you get appraised yearly, appraise your self half yearly. If you get appraised half yearly, appraise yourself every quarter. Your company does its bit by paying you every month. You have to do your own bit by ensuring you do not drop the ball.

3. Dress and act like a professional
Be a professional. Talk like a professional. Use the right lingo. Dress well. In my field, this means keeping your coat of many colours to a minimum or better still, for Church. It means dressing the way the partners in your firm dress not necessarily with the price tag but with professionalism.


Be friendly. Be engaging. Don’t just come to work, do the job and pack your bags. Have buddies. Be nice even as you focus on your job. This does not mean you have to become I go dye and the office clown but you get the point…

4. Have a can-do spirit
Don’t be the one who always notices the faults and ends with the words ‘it is not possible’, ‘I cannot do it’. Even if you have the gift of identifying the problems and drawbacks with a plan, always end with a possible solution. Clients don’t always care how you go about solving their problems. They do know they have problems or potential problems so they do not need you to highlight them all and end with ‘not possible!’. Yes, it might not be possible this way, but what about that way. Remember, there is always a way. Your company’s role is to find it. You can be the solution provider! Start thinking like the boss.

5. Know and respect hierarchies
Yes, this means knowing who’s boss and treating them accordingly. Your bosses range from the MD/CEO or Managing Partner, to the other partners to your HOD to the girl who finished law school a year ahead of you even though when you were in SS3 in QC, she was in JSS 3. That’s just the way it is, at least in my industry! Until you distinguish yourself and are consequently elevated, you might need to take orders or to put it mildly ‘instructions’ from someone who would is younger than your little ones who call you ‘Sister’. Yup! Leave the chip on your shoulder in your car. Remember it is a job. Be professional. This is not your family meeting or your home. This is work. Age is literally nothing but a number, an insignificant one. The only number that matters is your years of experience and how well you are doing your job, your client score card etc, not your age.

6. Take initiative
Like I alluded to earlier, merely doing your job will help you keep it but might not mean you will excel and be a high flyer. You will be just a normal worker, nothing special, just there. You need to push the boundaries, identify voids and ways things could be done better in the company as a whole and your unit specifically. Make suggestions. If your boss is not too much of a my way or the high way person, you could even dare to make a small change here and there and share with him/her after.

7. Not everything is about better pay and commendation
As nice as it is for all your handwork and excellent attitude to be noticed by all and rewarded by the big guys, it is actually for your own good and personal development. So don’t get all grumpy and discouraged if a red carpet welcome does not await you the day after your brilliant suggestion saved the day. And please don’t give up because your wonderful ideas etc in March does not reflect in a big bonus if any. It is not about immediate applause and commendation or pay or reward. It is about building yourself to a certain level that your ‘outstandingness’ cannot but go noticed AND rewarded…

8. Be prayerful
I saved the very best tip for the last. The power of prayer for favour and grace cannot be overemphasised. No matter how much you hustle, without the touch of God, your efforts might be frustrated. Without God, the builders build in vain and without God, the watchmen watch in vain (Psalm 127).


So there you have it guys, my tips for excelling in your careers. I’m sure there are much more you can add to the foregoing. Please do in the comment section below. Even the word of God says, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22:29. Also, Colossians 3:22 says, “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God”. Okay, you are not exactly in a servant/master relationship but you get the drift…Then again, who are we kidding!

Have a lovely weekend guys!!!


Seeking: Fashion Blogger and Fashion Designer!




Olivia-Palermos-Fashion-Week-Style-Spring-2013 London-Fashion-Week-Spring-2013-Street-Style-08-600x400

Do you have a passion for fashion and style? Can you write about fashion? Do you know the latest trends, African styles? Would you fit as a fourth member of the Fashion Police team? If you know you have what it takes to be a fashion blogger please apply to  


In addition, a fashion designer seeks other fashion designers to join her talent team. To apply send an application and pictures of your designs to

Have a fun weekend guys!


NYSC: Done and Dusted!


I just want to say Baba o Esheeeeeeeeeee!!!

Thank You Jesus!!!

I’m so happy. I’m so grateful to God! Today, I officially passed out of the NYSC Scheme! I really thank God for seeing me through from moving back home to registering for NYSC to starting the program. I use this moment to remember those who fell on the journey from bomb blasts to election brouhaha to personal issues. I pray God will comfort their families.

I thank God for my friends, my colleagues and every Batch A 2011 corps member. I don’t know about y’all but it wasn’t an easy journey. From the drama in Abuja during registration, to the never ending queues on camp, to CD day sun bathing to Final Clearance ordeal, hmm, it was indeed service to my nation. But through it all, I have had a Father, the King of kings, Ancient of Days, Almighty I Am that I Am who has stood by me. I worship Him indeed.

Thanks to all my amazing friends and colleagues who made working so much fun. Thanks to my bosses who built me up in more ways than I can mention. Thanks to my parents who have been my rock through it all. Thanks to my brothers who never turned their backs on me. Thanks to my dearest friend who helped me in too many ways for me to describe on here. Thanks to my guardians who have shown me what love means. Thanks to MCLA readers: you mean so much to me. Thanks to everyone! I really am overwhelmed right now as I type so I’ll just stop it.

Remember the post where I told you guys my brother was annoyingly asking me what next? Well, in a way, he gave me the necessary push I needed. Lemme offer a bit of background: You see, when I was moving back to Nigeria, I was thinking that employers will literally be lining up at Murtala waiting for me and fighting over me once I landed, lol. I thought getting a great job would be a breeze. So when during NYSC, after so many applications, I wasn’t getting the kind of responses I wanted, I was shocked. I mean, I had the qualifications so I had no idea why I was finding it tough to secure employment. I didn’t want to wait a day after NYSC to get a job so it really was getting to me as NYSC drew closer to an end. This is what inspired this post

Anyways, after writing that post, I took some time to ask God what EXACTLY He had in mind for me and there and then, I got my answer: LAW. So I wrote a strong cover letter, reviewed my CV and googled ‘5 best law firms in Nigeria’. I got my top five and sent an email to all of them. To the glory of God, I got responses from all. I narrowed my choices to the best two and was able to secure a pre-Law School appointment with them both and I have started already. God great God!

One lesson is this: when you are walking according to God’s plans, a certain ease is attached thereto. He knows how to sort everything out. It got to a  point where I would not just apply online but drive round and physically hand out my CVs to companies. But when God showed up or rather, when I discovered His will, doors opened of their own accord. So thank God for me. I actually had to take the day off to go for Passing Out Parade today. Thank You Lord.

I pray for everyone who passed out today that God will sort us all out by His grace! He will give you all reasons to testify! Amen.

Here is a picture of my and my certificate. My hair is a right mess so I had to blur it a bit sowwy:

God bless you all.

Temiville (former Ajuwaya)xoxo

Yet another Friday…


Hey guys,

How are you all doing? This muser has experienced something overwhelming in the last few weeks. The last blog post generated so many views and comments and has even inspired a few rejoinders on Blogsville. Thank guys!!! I read some really interesting comments such as:


Personally, I think we ladies miss the point. Just as Folu here has totally MISSED the point. Why does it have to be one or the other? Ehn tell me. Why does it have to be either he is ugly, short and rich or he is fine, tall and poor? Why does it have to be unattractive, boring and godly or hot, fun to be with and cheating? Some people, my dear Folu, have it all. Well, maybe not all but all the basic things they need which hun, include that mushiness, heart skipping beats and everyother thing you like about Tayo.

Babes, you ‘ve set your wedding date but I strongly urge you to postpone it. If not, I’m not cursing you oh, but you will end up CHEATING ON TAYO and running off to be with either Bode himself or his kind whenever the boredom and lack of excitement is getting to you.

A FUN DUDE…who’s pissed off:OMG!!! What the “latte” is this? She picked a boring dude? because the FUN dude wouldn’t return her calls? Maybe she’s ugly and scarred; maybe she’s BORING herself; maybe she FAT; maybe her thinking rivals a child with down’s syndrome…

Moby Sugar says: This one get as e be oh! I understand wanting a man after God, peace of mind and the rest. But what happens to compatibility, friendship, excitement and all that?

Bee A disagrees and says, ‘I actually don’t think she settled. I think she got the better deal…..he doesn’t have to make her heart skip a beat for him to be the one…the more you interact, the more the attraction will grow I think’. It is a very complex situation to be in. But what ‘uncomplicates’ matters is that sense of assurance that you heard God right.

The debate still goes on and the comments keep coming. Please drop a line on your thoughts if you haven’t done so already.


Personally, I need to feel LOVE. Like smack/bang/ in your face/goose bumps when you approach me kinda lovey dovey feeling. It just needs to be there but it is not the major consideration. Anything other than that, I will feel like I have settled and I don’t think God wants us to be settling in life. But I guess Folu understands her own priorities so I can’t over-establish my opinion here.  One thing is for sure, pity will wear off eventually and irritation will set in so never base a lifelong decision on pity. I have more to say on the issue and will do so shortly.

Yesterday was a very interesting day for me! This corper finally has no need to go to Eti Osa 1 again!!! Woohoo!!! It was Day 2 in my Final Clearance ordeal which started on Tuesday.  I have stopped working at my POP and had to rush there from where I am now to pick up my final discharge letter. I got the letter and glanced through hurriedly. They said nice things about me, thankfully.

The queues at Eti Osa 1 LG were an absolute nightmare. There were three queues: one for Aunty R to clear your CD card, another for Mrs. A to arrange your file and staple stuff together and then the last for the ZI to clear you properly.

The Aunty R queue went so peacefully. I paid up my gbese of N1800.00 and then went to join the Mrs A queue. As I walked there, I was like ‘wow, this is amazing!, no queue?’ It was then I was promptly cautioned that we put our names on a list, get a number and then you get called. Shoot! I was Number 194 or so and they were still on Number 90. So I went to the photocopying place opposite the LG to make copies of my now cleared CD card.

As I was about to get my document copied, a corper came and started begging that I should allow him make his copies first. I said ‘why?’. He said because he still had to go to Mrs A. I’m like dude we all have to go to Mrs A. Anyway, I gave him my spot and forgot all about it then proceeded to wait my turn in the Mrs A queue under the hot sun. By this time, they were on Number 101. Out of the blue, about 20 minutes after, the guy who took my photocopying slot told me to take his place in the queue and guess what? He was Number 113. I was elated! I said to him ‘are you sure?’ but I don’t think I waited for his response. Lol! I rushed there before he changed his mind. I then glanced around and couldn’t find him anymore. I think he had to rush off somewhere…

Moral of my tale: Give and it will come back to you. Be nice and people will be nice to you. Be generous and you will know no lack. Sometimes things happen for a reason. The speed with which I cleared was alarming to all around me. I left many people I met there behind. The guy I thought was depriving of 2 minutes ended up giving me 2 hours’ worth of time!

On another note, I have decided to focus on Law. I prayed about everything and decided to nurture the passion I have for the discipline. Thank God for direction. Doors have begun to open to me since I made this decision and I am so sure I’m operating in His will and His grace will see me through.

My lovely semi-touch screen/semi key pad BB got stolen over the weekend and that felt absolutely terrible! I am still hurting from the experience, lol. Life without BBM/ instant twitter/push email is lonely. Only very few people have noticed and asked after me by calling. Most people just don’t notice. I guess my regular updates and picture changes used to get me the messages I got. Anyway it’s all good. I’m so tempted not to replace my BB by my birthday just to see whether people will bother calling, hehehe.

Enough of this!

Have a lovely weekend all.


PS: is in the works and almost ready for launch.

Rubies and Emerald Launch!

1 Comment

Hey guys!!! What it do!

You are officially invited to the launch of Rubies N Emerald Concepts n Events Management. I am so excited about this event for so many reasons. The CEO is a dear friend and sister and if there’s something I know she can do seamlessly, it is to organise  events. Therefore it brings me particular great joy to see her dreams come to a reality in starting this business. She is someone I can 100% trust to organise my wedding (no jokes!).

The launch takes place on Sunday and yes, I shall be there looking all cute 🙂

Here are the details:

Date: Sunday 11th of December

Place: SS lounge 7, Sapara William Close, off Idowu Martins Street

Time: 1pm -6pm (no African time)

Loads of performances, fashion show, gifts to be won, food, drinks etc!

Please RSVP by text to 08136884717 or 08183460066 or email to confirm attendance and receive official invite.

Looking forward to seeing some MCLA readers there!

Love you guys!


Talent is never enough


Talent without discipline is useless, and knowledge without character is perilous…

Amberton University

I wanna get this book

So I have been thinking for a while now…is talent all we need? I didn’t have to look very far to find my answer: NO. There’s much more to success and greatness than what gifts and abilities you have. I have seen very gifted people who are ‘just there’ at work. They are not low staff, neither are they at the top of their league (where really their talents should have elevated them to). Conversely, I have seen some ‘3 class’ holders who are the top of their fields, doing big things for their companies and getting promoted ever so often. So what exactly is up here? What does the 1st class holder lack that his 3 class counterpart knows?

Never rely on the first class you have from that Ivy League or Red brick institution. Never rely on that Level 2 CFA you hold. Without doubt, these things open doors and get you to great places but they, of themselves, will not keep you there or lift you high whilst there. I’ll mention a few things I have learned that if combined with 10% of talent (or even less) will get you to that height you seek.

Are you friendly at work or you rush off to your desk and do your work efficiently without understanding the importance of relationship-building? How patient are you? How teachable are you? How willing are you to get you hands dirty? Are you the type of intern who would never help carry chairs for example? Do you mix well and treat the domestics with respect or do you not even notice they exist? Do you keep your ears to the ground and find out the latest stuff happening at work or do you believe-if it’s mine, it will come to me as a result of my hardwork? Do you mix with colleagues outside work or have they never seen you in jeans and tee-shirt? Are you helpful with tasks? Are you pro-active or always believe in minding your business? Do you respect hierarchy? Do you learn from how the bosses do stuff? Is it simply about getting to work at 7:15am and leaving at 8pm for you? Trust me, I know of some who get there at 9 and leave at the dot of 5 yet are excelling greatly and are doing their jobs well and are still getting recognised and promoted. So what exactly is the deal?

It is important to have a good character.

So many times, I’ve heard people speak and I can see that they have this feeling of entitlement. ‘I deserve to work here because of my degree’, ‘I should get a promotion because I work so hard’. Let me be honest, I used to be like that a year ago. I’d say, ‘as soon as I get to Naij, in fact from the airport, employers will be fighting for me’ lol. No I didn’t go that far. But on the real though, I felt it was all about doing well and gbam! that will be all. No siree, that is NOT all. There’s so much more because do you want me to roll out the number of amazing Nigerian graduates around? As they say, ‘you go fear’. From Unilag 1st class degree holders in Law (that’s a huge deal) to Ife to UNN to schools abroad to OSU to Babcock to Covenant… I could go on and on.

There are so many well deserving graduates out there so please, don’t be feeling special. If you think you went to almighty Sheffield, then I’ll show you 10 people from Imperial, Cambridge, Duke, Yale etc. If you think you went to Imperial, then I’ll show you others who not only went to Imperial but came out in the top 5% of their class and are currently in Princeton on a full scholarship. The point is this: no matter the height you think you have attained, there are people higher. So humility is key. Especially in a country like Naij were brains are everywhere, your laurels mean a lot but don’t rest on them.

We need to steer clear of the feeling that it is our birthright to have that job.  Everything should be thought of as a gift. Even if you feel you deserve it, keep this feeling to yourself. No one else needs to be schooled on how hard you work and how the next guy who got the job did not shine as bright as you did at the group exercise. Character is key.

Even aside of the career aspect, you will find that no matter how handsome or beautiful a person is, if they have a bad attitude, they will repel you-eventually. There has to be much more to you that the things you had no say in getting/acquiring such as beauty, brains, wealth. You need to put in the work and add to these things like humility, approachability, integrity, honesty, drive etc.

I have noticed that employers can smell this feeling of entitlement from a mile away and except you are so darn great and you have some capabilities that no one else has, they’d rather not employ you if only to ‘show’ you. This does not mean you should dismiss and not celebrate your worth, but you gotta do it with wisdom, tact. Don’t ever aim to intimidate.

What character also does is to protect your talent. It is impossible to ascend higher than the limitations of your character. So many times, we don’t get to where we want because without being well equipped for that place, it will destroy us.

I am on a character-building assignment. It’s not easy to build up an excellent character but at the end of the day, it is well worth it. Here are some things I have learned:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

That pretty much, is the sum total. When we dwell on good stuff, good stuff come out of us.

Like we have learned over and over again, there is nowhere else to learn that from the Word of God.

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Acts 20:32.

I think when we mix the gift God has given us with the no-how found in His Word, we become unstoppable!

Now, on a different note, I’ve been nursing some horrible cramps from 3 am this morning!  God is my Healer. I am at work (it’s all good).

Quick Update on my Weight loss Progress:

I have managed to steer clear of fizzy drinks for a week now. I’m very proud of myself. I have actually improved-not only have I reduced my portions, I have totally changed the kind of stuff on my plate. If you ever catch me eating rice, you can practically count the grains. Now it’s about the proteins, vegetables and chicken (I love the skin though it is actually terribly fattening). I drink loads of water now and I have ONE cup of either tea or coffee daily. I’m gradually beginning to skip breakfast. Not out of choice but because the kind of food they bring for breakfast are every dieter’s worst nightmare-bread, meat pies, sausage rolls, cakes, etc. So I have loads of fruits instead. I also read weight loss success stories online and they encourage me.

As for the actual result, hmm. The results are supposed to be the koko right.?Well, they are not exactly glaring yet. The changes are things I feel or even things that I alone know such as more frequent and much easier bowel movement (from 2-3ce a week on a good week to 2ce a day-everyday). I feel lighter too. My clothes however still feel the same. There’s another small change though: before no matter how much I tuck in my tummy, there’s still this light bulge. Now I can squeeze it in and it is concave although once I release, it’s back to normal.

One thing is true: I am no more trying to lose weight fast. I am now making a lifestyle change. The weight might not fall off as quickly as I would have hoped but I trust that with the little changes I am making, the effect will be sustainable and lasting.

I had a cupcake on Sunday though-I got it as a newcomer gift at House on the Rock and it was yummy and very sugary lol. Well, I guess a small cupcake won’t entirely ruin my efforts. I’ll be publishing a post about my experience at HOTR soon. It was quite an experience. Me and my friends absolutely loved it. Very enlightening.

They are having another combined service on Sunday at the Eko Hotel from 8  am so be there.

I have to go now but before I do, I leave you with this hoping it leaves you as speechless as it did me.

Take care people,

Temiville. xoxo

Saheela Ibraheem: An Inspiring youth


Found some interesting news of a 15 year old Nigerian girl who begins her
University education at Harvard this Fall and thought to share with you all.

Read and be inspired.

Many parents dream of their children going to Harvard one day. But one Nigerian girl has actualized the goal of getting into the prestigious university — at 15 years old!

Saheela Ibraheem, of Edison, was also accepted to MIT and 13 other schools, including Princeton and Columbia before settling on Harvard after falling in love with the campus.

Ibraheem skipped two grades and said the key to success is figuring out what you love to learn as early as possible — something she did at age 5.

“If you are passionate about what you do, and I am passionate about most of these things, especially with math and science, it will work out well,” Ibraheem told CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu.

Her mother, Shakirat Ibraheem, said Saheela has been way ahead of the academic game since kindergarten — never cutting corners and trying to do everything on her own.

“She’s like always independent,” the teen’s mother said. “I never get to help with her homework because she’d say ‘it’s my work mommy, not yours.’”

The Harvard-bound teen speaks Arabic, Spanish and Latin. She said she hopes to become a research scientist and study the brain.

Ibraheem’s teachers at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School said their student was an old soul.

“I believe that she’s 15 years old, because I’m told that. But other than that I have a hard time,” Jim O’Halloran said.

In addition to academics, Ibraheem plays the trombone, softball and soccer. Despite her activities, Ibraheem said her number one priority was her family. Her 7-year-old brother Saleem was her biggest cheerleader when it came to picking a college.

“I was really psyched because she got into a great school and I wanted to go to Harvard, too,” her brother said.

As far as Ibraheem’s advice for her fellow aspiring students?

“Kids should try to listen to their parents most of the time. They know what they’re doing,” she said.

Culled from CBS

I think this is absolutely fantastic news. Well impressive. All the best to her!


Nigeria my beloved country…


Now, who remembers that song by Funmi Adams? Well, I do. It has been almost 5 years since I left that country and the time is drawing nigh to make a return back to my beloved country after completing my mission here in the UK. But why do I have this nagging fear/discomfort/anxiety?

When I think I have made up my mind to go back home, all I need to hear of is another kidnapping, no electricity, bad transport system, bad roads and so on and immediately, my resolve weakens. What scares me the most is clicking on a link online and having to wait for the system to load up, having to iron clothes in advance because you’re not certain there will be ‘light’ when you need the clothes and there might not be diesel in the generator. The thought of a decent pair of shoes costing N20 000 is rather scary too. I see the way people dress to cinemas in Nigeria and I just long for the simplicity of slipping into skinny jeans, a simple top from H and M, flat shoes, throwing on my good ol’ ever faithful jacket and voila, myself and 4 other similarly dressed friends are good to go!

In Nigeria, everyone seems out to impress and prove to you that they have more than you. UK is a leveller (to an extent). We all get on the bus. We all use the trains. We all go to Primark (even if some claim it’s only to buy socks). However, in Nigeria, the dividing lines are all too clear. There are simply no middle grounds. You step into a room and instantly, you are assessed and the result of that assessment determines the manner of treatment you will receive: whether to be treated like a leper or like a king. And how exactly is this assessment made? First, your shoes are weighed on a scale. If they are pointing to the sky from being well-worn, then you are tilting towards the leper category. Next, your clothes are examined. The more designer-ish they seem, the better for you. If you are a lady, there are two things that willl compete for third place: your bag or your hair. Nowadays, I hear that your decent black bag from River Island just won’t cut it. The league of the kings start with at least a DKNY. Then to the hair, woe betide you if you have on Amigos or Darling Yaki. Your place is the leper category is firmly confirmed. Your hair has to have come from a human being’s head be they from Brazil, India although Peru will be preferable.

All these have made me sceptical about going back home. Why can I not be judged solely on my capabilities? Why should having a father in high places mean the other girl gets a job I am more suited to and qualified for? Why can’t I seat at home to watch a movie without the fear that ‘NEPA can take light’ any moment?

The truth is this: I could go on and on moaning and complaining but until I arise and at least attempt to make a change, I have absolutely NO RIGHT to complain. It is time for young Nigerians abroad to start seriously considering taking that bold step towards Murtala Mohammed International Airport. UK did not get this good from all its citizens running off to ‘greener pastures’. There are many more opportunities home than away…at least long lasting ones. There are jobs which promise you growth, opportunities for self-employment, you have the chance to live around people who care, the weather is not harsh, people don’t give you fake, one-second smiles, kids don’t get rude randomly to their parents and smoke in the streets, you don’t have to worry about work permit etc.

You could complain about security but really, where in the world is absolutely safe? We don’t hear of teenage killings in Nigeria as we do here. Moreover, crimes take place everywhere. I think it is high time we woke up and made a change as the youth of Nigeria. Let’s water our land for due time, we will reap the rewards…

Here is a brief slideshow of what I miss and I’m looking forward to seeing again in Nigeria…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My fave oldies. Had to do some digging guys!

The original post can be found here.

That’s all folks (for now)


Nene…the Gele and Make up guru


There’s nothing as good as knowing how to use your hands to do amazing things. I’ve always admired those that are gifted with their hands, be it to draw, paint, sew, make hair or even do the sign language. Our featured entrepreneur today is one of such. She uses her hands to make others look beautiful. She is both a make up artist and a gele doer/tier/fixer (I’m lost) well, head gear tier.

She has used her talent to make so many brides look resplendent on their special and we got the chance to ask her a few questions about her art and her business. She is is Nene Achumba! Enjoy!

The gorgeous Nene

Tell us about yourself, Nene
I am a graduate of Philosophy from University of Lagos. I work with STB McCann which is an Advertising Company in Lagos and I am the last kid of 5.

Please tell us a bit about your gele/make up business

I started my makeover business from home at 16 just after high school. Then, I only knew how to shapen brows and do basic everyday makeup. I later diversified into bridal hair, lash fixing and gele tying when I started receiving requests for the whole package. It was a hobby that eventually turned into business. Most of my clients are prospective brides. I do this mostly on the weekends because of the nature of my job. Presently,  I have two people training with me and who want to work with me.

Wow, Nene that is amazing! But what inspired you to go into it?

My love for colours made me go into make up. I have had no formal training on it but it just comes naturally to me. If I must confess, the only training I received was through Fine Art classes in Secondary School. I could spend the whole day in the studio where I learnt to use my brushes and draw fine lines. Now, the same obtains with make up where I use the face as my canvas to express my love for art , the different hues and how they blend. It’s a beautiful feeling!

It was never about making money because I did it for free initially because I just enjoyed it. Back in school, while walking to or back from class, I would get loads of girls stopping me to ask where I got my eyebrows done. Whenever I told them I did it myself, they would have this shocked look then eventually collect my number and ask to get theirs done too. Sometimes, I just did it at no charge.

What were your parents’/family’s reactions?

My mum did not have a problem with it. She only did when I spent too long in front of the mirror. My dad used to be so furious seeing me with makeup he felt I was wasting my time and his money. (lol) At some point when he used to see loads of ladies trooping into the house just to get their brows done or for wedding consultations, he had a re-think about it. To the extent that whenever he went on trips, he would ask me for my list and the stores to go to so he could help me buy my make up supplies. He practically invested in it. My sister would call me “Picassa” making fun of me whenever I spent so long in front of the mirror.


How did you handle discouragement?

I only felt discouraged at a point when I got robbed and my kit was stolen from me twice. I felt it was a sign to forget about it because everything was gone.

Who inspires you?

I would rather be asked what inspires me. It would be the expressions on my clients’ faces that inspire me. It is that look of joy, appreciation and a warm hug that inspires me.

Have you any advice to budding entrepreneurs?

It’s never too late to start. When you eventually do, you have to put in your all because no one would help you succeed as much you would.

How do people contact you?

Majority of my clients are based on referrals. They get my contact from people I have worked for.

Thanks babe for this.

You’re welcome love.

Here are a few of the pictures of her work…


Nene at work

another lovely bride

Like the theme of this week has been, be encouraged to discover your passion, work on it and see how it will in turn work for you.

That’s all folks (for now)


We celebrate talent in ‘The Black Rembrandt’


Like I promised you guys, MCLA will be celebrating our young talents this week. These are those who have carved a niche for themselves with their art and are excelling at it greatly.

Today, it is all about Mohammed Abbagana known to most people as MJA, The Black Rembrandt. This young man has blown many away with his drawings. They are absolutely breathtaking. MCLA had the opportunity to grab him for a chat and this is what he had to say. Enjoy!

A young Mohammed

Hi Mohammed, tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Mohammed Abbagana, a 25 years old Nigerian. I am a Sagittarius. I am Muslim and I have been living in England for 14 years. I attended different schools in different parts of England. I have a degree in Visual Communication from the American Intercontinental University, London. I like music especially hip hop and R ‘n’ B.

I like UFC and absolutely love watching movies. I like to laugh, hang with friends though I do not have much time on my hands these days because of my art. I’m particular about detail. The only art I am into is Realism. I want to do what I think people would like to look at but also what I love. My favourite artist is Rembrandt.

When did you realise you had this talent and how did you hone it?

I started drawing at the age of 7 because of a manga called Dragon Ball z, lol. I have been drawing ever since. However, I started taking my art seriously just last year. I am not as good as I would like to be. To hone my skills, I just keep drawing and naturally, I improve with practice.

I want to reach a level of understanding that you get with every piece you do, so you draw a certain way, to the image you see, because you understand it more, like a language. I have realised that the more you try to understand your work, the more you see life differently and  from a different angles too.

What/where did you study and did your parents fear for you when you decided that you wanted to do your own thing?
I went to Central Saint Martins and I did not like it so I went to the London College of Communication for my foundation. My dad did not feel it was a career to pursue but my mum supported me. I was initially going to study Architecture but because I hate Math, I didn’t.

When/how did you decide that you were going into it seriously?

Last year. I want to see how far I could take it. It can be so difficult to discover what you want to do in life and that thing being something  that you actually like and enjoy doing. I consider myself very blessed to have found my passion and calling.

How did you handle the discouragements?

I didn’t have to. I had my mother’s full support as well as those of my brother and 2 sisters. I kept seeking for improvement in my work and that kept me going.

How challenging has it been compared to the idea of being employed by a top company in Nigeria/UK which you could easily get?

Well, I am not a 9 to 5 kind of person and I don’t have to pay tax when I sell my art so it sounded good. The thought that I didn’t have to give my ideas or put all my effort into someone else’s income was also very appealing. The only thing I was worried about was if people back home (Nigeria) would accept my style but we will see how that goes.

Of all your projects, which have you absolutely loved the most and why?

It is the one I am doing for my exhibition in London called Claustaphobia because it’s fun, I like the idea behind it and it brings out strong images which a lot of people can relate to.

What are your present projects?

Claustaphobia and one I am working on for Nigeria. It does not have a name yet but it is 10 pieces on canvas.

Any regrets?

Well, I’m not happy that I did not enter into competitions earlier and that I’m only just taking my art seriously. But it is never too late to start so that thought encourages me.

Any advice to budding entrepreneurs?
Follow your dreams no matter how difficult it maybe and no matter the obstacles you may encounter in life. You have to work 4 times as hard because you’re mostly on your own. Prove people wrong. In this world, there too many copy cats. We live in a huge world so stand out, be remembered through time after your time has ended.

Here are some of his drawings…

A beautiful woman, pencil drawing

Michael and Bob Marley

pencil and charcoal

For more of his amazing work and details on how to own one of his pieces,contact him through:

His official Facebook page

Twitter: Follow him on @/mo_j_a

That’s all folks (for now)


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