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Read The Remarkable Story Of This NGO Doing Everything The Government Can’t  image

Read The Remarkable Story Of This NGO Doing Everything The Government Can’t

Growing up, I watched my mother being nice and courteous to everyone; from the neighbour to the trader and to the beggars at the traffic stops. Many years down the line, I am volunteering after classes and spending part of the summer holidays in rural locations to work on development projects. I cannot say for certain that these were the beginnings of lofelofe.com; but till date, it’s still touching to see the impact that a simple expression of care can have. People showing that they care is a culmination of my experiences and this has purposefully led me here, to lofelofe.com

Lofelofe.com is simply a place that allows anyone, in their own way, to give back and still have a significant impact in the lives of other people. It is not always about money. You can give your time, share a skill, share a ride, and give away items that you no longer use. There are unlimited options and it is always easier when everyone plays different, tiny parts. At lofelofe.com, we say, “give and receive for free” because the hands that give also receive.

 

Lofelofe.com has executed a few community projects in Nigeria – The Food Kitchen Event and Paint the City project. These projects help to foster a community spirit, encouraging others to care; but also our community projects show that citizens can make the difference they will like to see. This is possible because our little resources and efforts combined make a bigger impact that any one individual, organization or government could. What is needed is the will power and an easy avenue for anyone to join the pool and be a part of making a positive difference.

This year on the 24th of September 2016, we are hosting the second edition of the Food Kitchen Event at the Archbishop Aggey Memorial in Mushin. Last year, the same event was hosted in the Agege area with more than 2,400 beneficiaries. This year, we are in Mushin where beneficiaries are registered, attended to by medical doctors for free, medicines are provided for free if needed. Beneficiaries also receive gift items; then a full meal for the day with counsellors available for them to discuss their burden. It is about serving the community for the day, showing concern for their wellbeing, sharing the love that we have inside of us and showing compassion.

If we are any better than the man living on the streets, than the mother struggling to feed her children, than the child who is grooming a life of crime for his livelihood; then we, who are in the right, who are relatively better off should restore them gently and carry each other’s burden. I encourage everyone not to be weary of doing good especially now.

By 2017, we will be following on some of the beneficiaries and empowering them even further, so that they can start making an economic contribution to their communities and multiplying the effect. So far, we have captured the Agege, Oshodi and now Mushin areas. In the future, we will be including other states in Nigeria and other locations on the continent.

 

Paint The City Project

 

Lagos has been described as a city of slums because it is seen as an unplanned city of chaos. The lack of environmental care plus continued lawlessness and a bad maintenance culture perpetuates this belief. The growing infrastructure gap between old Lagos and new Lagos has continued unabated. Former glory areas like Yaba now look abandoned and have become breeding grounds for slums whilst the state government’s attention remains on developing newer areas.  This is why the Oshodi market area is getting a facelift for free at the ‘paint the city’ project, organized by Lofelofe.com

Lofelofe.com is a social enterprise that facilitates the distribution of give-away items. Sourcing and redistribution is at the core of what lofelofe.com does as well as organizing community projects. Last year, lofelofe organized a food kitchen event where more than 2400 people received free meals and basic medical care. With paint the city, the organization is inspiring a future of colorful, liveable and vibrant communities in Lagos.

Learning from the Broken Windows Theory, an unkempt environment can be a catalyst for an atmosphere that breeds crime and disorderly conduct. Paint the City hopes to create a spiraling effect that will turn a shunned environment to a place where community members can begin to take pride and ownership of where they live and continue to improve their living conditions.  

“Oshodi is the first stop for many areas yet to be transformed” says Nike Alao, one of the organizers of the event. Oshodi is also significant as it is a gateway and entrance path into Lagos and even Nigeria. “Many of the international travelers coming into Nigeria through Lagos pass the Oshodi bridge to continue to their destinations. It is as such important, that this area is properly managed to present a positive light/image about the country”, she adds.

The paint the city project starts from the 5th of April to 21th April, painting the building facades from Bolade bustop, around the Oshodi market to Ireti Oluwa street; covering about 60 building structures. Other activities will include tree planting performed by volunteers. Already lofelofe.com has received over 100 buckets of paint for free from Triton International and will be receiving the other supplies needed for the project in a similar benevolent manner from citizens.

Lofelofe.com and its free community projects (Food Kitchen, Paint the City) show the potential of people-led projects and what citizens can do on their own to make the changes they will like to see.

 

Visit Lofelofe to find out how you can be a part of this campaign and make Nigeria a better place.

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First Love: An Art Piece image

First Love: An Art Piece

I fell in love from birth

To the one

Whose smile lights up

A thousand stars

To the one

Whose beauty

Still keeps my head held high amongst men

Whose warm embrace

I cherish the most

To the one

Whose presence will and always;

Drive the monsters from beneath my bed

To my mother

My Omalicha

 

 

CREDITS

CREATIVE CAPTURER – AYO BUSARI

POET – SLOW_ZEUS

MUA - BLOSSOM

MUSE – TOYIN

 

 

TWITTER - @HayorB @Toyin_xx @slow_zeus @justblossom_

 

INSTAGRAM - @theayobusari @toyinxx @blossom.o.o @slow_zeus

 

 

Copyright. www.theayobusari.wordpress.com .2016

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Dice Ailes’ “Miracle” Is That Feel Good Jam

Dice Ailes (pronounced Ales) of Nigerian/Ghanaian decent is a versatile Artist with a Rap/Afro Pop sound. Born and bred in Victoria Island, Lagos as Shasha Damilola Alesh.

 

Signed to Chocolate City where there’s a lot of expectation, this young man is doing his part to justify his position at the label with his new song “Miracle” featuring Lil Kesh.

We’re pretty sure this is going to be the best song you hear all week..... and wait for the Lil Kesh verse.

Download mp3

 

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11 Incredible Benefits of Green Tea image

11 Incredible Benefits of Green Tea

Dating back to 2737 BC and originating from China, Green tea is the healthiest and oldest beverage on the planet.

Green tea was used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to control bleeding, heals wounds, improve heart and mental health, aid digestion and many more. Made from un-oxidized leaves, it is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have positive effects on the body.

Here we take a look at the benefits of Green tea that have been confirmed in recent human research studies, maybe they can convince you to ‘’go green’’.

Fat Burner

If you look at the ingredients lists for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there. Green tea has thermogenic and catechins properties that increase fat oxidation and raises metabolic rates. However, some studies don’t show any increase in metabolism, so the effects may depend on the individual. Don’t be too sad about this regular green tea is 99.9% water and provides 1 calorie per 100 ml serving, just replace your sugary drinks for green tea anyway.

 

Cancer Fighter

According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have been shown to decrease tumour growths. Researchers believe that it is the high level of polyphenols in tea can help kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing. The direct mechanism of cancer prevention hasn’t yet been fully established but the good news is there is a relationship between cancer prevention and tea consumption.

Dr Katherine Crew, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University, also conducted a study in men with prostate cancer and found that green tea drinkers had markedly lower prostate-specific antigen, which is linked to prostate tumour growth.

 

Oral Health

Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria found in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor of cavities and tooth decay. The Catechins in green tea inhibit the growth of bacteria, which lowers the risks of infections and improves dental health. The antioxidants also work as anti-inflammatory on the gums and help reduce the chances of oral cancer while reducing bad breath.

 

Diabetes

Type II diabetes is a disease that has been affecting more people in the past decade with about 300 million people worldwide having blood sugar problems. Some controlled experiments have shown that green tea can cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels, which lowers the risk of developing type II diabetes in the long term. One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing sugar related problems.

 

Heart Health

A 2013 review of studies found that green tea helped prevent a range of heart related issues, from high blood pressure to congestive heart failure and even strokes. Green tea also dramatically increases the antioxidant capability of the blood, which protects the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway towards heart disease. Given the beneficial effects on risk factors, it is not surprising to see that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the Harvard Heart Letter doctors found that those that drank green tea had significantly wider arteries, meaning lower risk in heart diseases like atherosclerosis.

 

Nectar of Youth

Of course, we all have to die eventually. That is inevitable. However, given that green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer. As mentioned earlier, green tea is packed with antioxidants, and one major cause of aging is oxidation by free radicals. According to the San Francisco Gate, a study from the University of Campbell found that Japanese practitioners of a green tea ceremony showed longer life spans. If you think that’s the best part green tea can also make the skin more resistant to premature skin aging due to the catechins found present in it.

 

Anti- Anxiety and Relaxation

Have you ever heard Sheldon from big bang theory say the best thing to offer a stressed person is a cup of tea? Well he’s not too far from the truth, offer them green tea and marvel at the results.

A study published in the Journal of Trends in Food Science & Technology by Dr.Juneja and team states that theanine acts as a neurotransmitter that increases alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves are considered to be an indicator of relaxation. Human volunteers were given 50-200 mg of l-theanine and were shown to have increased alpha waves without drowsiness.

So it appears you can drink green tea to help mellow you out, without falling asleep.

 

Anti Bacterial

Green tea contains other antioxidants called catechins. According to a study published in the Food Science Technology Bulletin, these catechins specifically epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) and epicatechingallate (ECG), can hinder development of many bacterial species. These catechins can stick themselves into the films that cover the bacteria. By lodging into the outside layers of bacteria, EGCG and ECG may upset the bacteria from doing what it is supposed to, which is making you ill.

 

Brain Enhancement

Green tea does more than just keep you awake; it can also make you smarter. Green tea contains amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain

A research team said their findings suggest that green tea could be promising in the treatment of cognitive impairments associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as dementia.

 

Anti oxidants

Well, when we eat, our bodies have to turn food into energy. As a result, this generates some by products within our bodies called free radicals. These chemicals are pretty awful, and can severely damage our bodies through a process called oxidation. Free radicals are also, theoretically, the main driver in aging.

But have no fear, we can combat the negative effect of free radicals by consuming antioxidants, and one great way to do this is by drinking green tea. It is loaded with polyphenols like epigallocatechingallate (EGCG), flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants. These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage.

Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive levels of fluoride. That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still far outweigh any risk.

 

Memory

Green tea boosts the neural juice that fuels memory. Well according to a study from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Basel Switzerland, sipping on green tea enhances memory.  Until last year, the effects of green tea on cognitive function were speculative, but with the improvements in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Dr. Stefan Borgwardt could view the increased connectivity in the cortices of the brain after consumption of green tea. Specifically, green tea drinkers showed increased connectivity in key parts of the brain associated with memory. It’s important to underscore that the researchers used green tea extract, and you’d have to drink several cups of regular green tea to get the same amount of the active ingredient that’s most likely responsible for the effects which is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

 

If green tea were a celebrity, it would already sit near the tippy top of the A-list. Its active ingredients have been linked to an array of health benefits. Definitely worth going green.


Written for NG by Aisha V Hashim

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Photos From King Sunny Ade At 70 image

Photos From King Sunny Ade At 70

When you talk about music icons in Nigeria, you wouldn’t be wrong to put Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade in the same class. Last week Thursday, a Nigerian music icon clocked 70.

Sunday Adeniyi or KSA as you know him as was born on the 22nd of September 1946 and the self acclaimed King of fuji who is better known as the minister of enjoyment did his bit in ensuring the music scene can become what it is today.

King Sunny Ade has spent the better part of 5 decades doing what he loves best which is singing and dancing. As part of the celebrations, there was a party last Saturday just for the celebration of the Nigerian legend who the president saluted by saying “King Sunny Ade’s love for humanity, especially the less privileged, by setting up a foundation that caters for the needs of others.’’

Chief Tony Okoroji, the Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), described him as a trail-blazer in the Nigerian music industry and The COSON chairman told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that even at 70, Sunny Ade remains “an icon“, whose success should spur parents to support their children interested in making a career in music.

More praise followed on Saturday where Sunny Ade was celebrated and present that day was fellow music icon Ebenezer Obey. And at the scene of the crime, Mayowa for NG.

 

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Yoga, Its Benefits And Where To Find Yoga Classes In Nigeria image

Yoga, Its Benefits And Where To Find Yoga Classes In Nigeria

Yoga has been around for more than 5000 years, with more than 100 different yoga forms. Yoga has been described as "the union of mind, body, and spirit," which addresses physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual dimensions towards an overall harmonious state of being. The First Lady, Aisha Buhari described it as ‘’A gift from India to the world’’ encouraging Nigerians to practice in order to enhance their well being. With the hustle and bustle of Nigeria, the benefits of adopting yoga seem even more attractive, imagine that annoying Bus Driver shouting over your head and having the will power to block him out. Yes! Yoga does that and many more.

A few of the benefits of yoga are:

  • Improves your flexibility
  • Builds muscle strength
  • Perfects your posture
  • Betters your bone health
  • Increases blood flow
  • Drops your blood pressure
  • Makes you happier
  • Improves your balance
  • Helps you sleep deeper
  • Peace of mind
  • Form of meditation

Encourages self care and the list goes on

So this is where we come in. How can you practice Yoga at your own leisure, at your own pace?

Check out the Nigerian Yoga Foundation to see for yourself just how yoga is making its presence felt in Nigeria.

If you live in Lagos, have you heard of Chi’s Yoga Classes? Chi’s Yoga was born of the idea of procuring space for healing in Lagos, Nigeria. They offer single and small group morning sessions in the comfort of private homes, hotels and health centres for beginners as well as advanced yoga practitioners. Other places include Spa and Fitness at Four Points by Sheraton, Yoga with Stacy at Garden Pearls, 1 Vanni close off Universal road, Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja and Proflex Fitness Center at 20-24 Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

In Abuja you have The Yoga Room and can join them on Facebook to participate in classes, even better call them on 08168054715.  You also have the Cevenés Spa on Obafemi Awolowo Way (0809 971 3501), and for those closer to the Airport Oasis Stayfit Gym at Gwarimpa will do the trick (0803 600 0283).

 

If you find the centre’s too expensive and have mildly fast internet at home, learn online at Do Yoga With Me, all you have to do is register and follow for free yoga tutorials. Learn on YouTube with Yoga Vidya and yes, even Wikihow has Yoga training for beginners.

If your commitment is at an all time high, why not download the apps?

-Yoga Studio at just £2.99

-Daily Yoga- Lose Weight, Get Relief for free (but I warn with in-app purchases)

-5 Minute Yoga for those in a haste And

-Simply Yoga Free for the most passionate but broke of us.

Yoga has undergone much scientific study, with various psychological and physical theories suggested. In human research, yoga has been shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, increase breath holding time and lung capacity, improve muscle relaxation and body composition, cause weight loss, and increase overall physical endurance. Yoga may positively affect levels of brain or blood chemicals, such as monoamines, melatonin and stress hormones. Changes in several mental functions, including perception, attention, cognition, processing of sensory information, and visual perception, are described in human research.It is proposed that health may be affected by mind-body interactions that occur through techniques such as yoga, and that daily practice of yoga may help to maintain wellness.

So although you might not have a yoga centre near you, the benefits of trying on your own seem too attractive to pass by.

Written for NG by Aisha V Hashim

 

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Is Your Coffee Killing You? image

Is Your Coffee Killing You?

From the cultivation of the first grain of coffee bean in Ethiopia in the 11th century, its most common product; coffee - a brewed drink prepared from its roasted form- has grown to become the world’s seventh largest legal agricultural export by value (according to reports in 2005). With consumption rate standing at 141.6 million bags of beans this year, this value is expected to rise by 25% over the next five years because of the westernization of societies in India, China and Latin America according to International Coffee Organization (ICO) Director, Roberio Silva.

Besides being a beverage used to deduce if a society is westernized, it’s become a habit for countless people worldwide as they cannot help but start the day with a jolt of caffeine (Coffee’s most popular constituent). A habit that is still being debated if to be classified as good or bad due to the fact that caffeine albeit “Generally recognized as safe” by the food and drug administration has been discovered to have negative effects coupled with its constant medical and performance enhancing uses. It can be used medically to prevent Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, type 2 diabetes and in the treatment of ADHD, obesity and low blood pressure. A central nervous system stimulant, caffeine reduces physical fatigue, prevents drowsiness, increases focus and can delay sleep.

Negative side effects of coffee consumption include:

Caffeinism

Somewhat related to the addiction, this effect occurs in adults who consume more than six cups daily making them totally dependent on coffee consumption along with symptoms such as anxiety and agitation.

Digestion

Consumption of coffee on an empty stomach leads to the production of Hydrochloric acid which is an essential part of the digestion process. Its early production due to coffee consumption may reduce the amount produced when a meal is consumed thereby delaying food digestion.

Mineral Absorption

Coffee may affect the kidneys ability to retain calcium, zinc, magnesium and other important minerals therefore making it difficult for heavy coffee drinkers to get enough materials from their food and even supplement.

Acrylamide

A potential carcinogenic substance formed when coffee beans are roasted at high temperature, acrylamide has been shown to be a product of coffee. Its level is dependent on how dark the roast it

Tension and Stress

Although drinking coffee can make us productive, lots of it will increase the release of stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine in the body. Chemicals that increase the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, tension level and have long term health implications.

Most of the aforementioned side effects of coffee are results of excessive consumption. It is therefore advised that for long term productivity, coffee consumption should be at most four Cups daily.

 

 

 

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You’d Be Surprised How Much Nigerians Studying Abroad Are Making From Sugar daddies image

You’d Be Surprised How Much Nigerians Studying Abroad Are Making From Sugar daddies

We had agreed to meet at the wine bar around West Hampstead, a modern bar filled with intriguing bric-a-bracs, so posh that people said you could see Simon Cowell having a glass of wine on Thursdays. I walked in to find Amanda with a glass of wine in hand, already waiting for me. She was dressed casually in sweats and a ponytail and had a welcoming smile.

 

Amanda, a 21-year-old International student at Middlesex University London is a sugar baby. It is a controversial topic, but I was here to understand a day in the life of a sugar baby. Her perfume wafted up reminding me of Giorgio Armani. “You're right it is actually one of the gifts I got from one of my sugar daddies’’. On that note, my ears and eyes popped and our conversation began.

Originally from Nigeria, Amanda knows the struggles of being an international student with expensive pressures on her family back home. Like hundreds of students all over the UK, Amanda signed up to a sugar baby website because she “loved the glitzy life and needed extra cash.... some of the men on the website are really creepy but you have to know how to look for the nice ones”. Amanda explained, in cold terms, that this was just business, a business in which she made strategic decisions to her benefit. “I am not a gold-digger!’’ her hand gestured like traffic warden's “It’s a matter of mutually benefit, some of the men genuinely love spending money on women’’.

Amanda was introduced to the dating website over a year ago by a girl friend who was over the moon and excited by the idea of being in the company of rich men. She told Amanda, “I thought, maybe I would get to go to some nice places and get some nice gifts, but baby I got a whole lot more”. Soon after uploading her profile picture, her inbox exploded. All filled with the possibilities of expensive gifts and new vacation spots.

Hard up for cash, Amanda didn't need much convincing and soon sent out her own profile. With a calm face, she explained to me, “normally the first exchanged are inbox messages, and if it sounds like we can get on then I give them my number... Then I opened a new email address, and set up a second number for the second Amanda’’. Almost like a second life? I asked. She smiled a broad knowing smile. “I must admit, I am excited being this ordinary Naija student by day and this elegant woman by night, a kind of grown up Hannah Montana”.

Her first date picked her up right on time ‘’it was one of these cool sport cars. Ha! It was love at first sight with the lifestyle”. Karl, the 42-year-old Marketing and Sales Director was gentlemanly and charming. The date was at a posh west end restaurant in London and ‘’oh my God, the wine!’’ She said, making a praying gesture. Karl opened her door, paid her the right attention, asked the right questions and even bought her a bracelet on the first date. ‘’He kept it simple in case it wasn’t my style’’.

The lovely night was followed by subsequent dates (spa included), trips, gifts “but of course he was married… so it was going to end sooner or later’’. “I hate the fact some of them were married, but I block it out” she tells me. “It's sad, because married men really know how to treat a girl’’.

With those words she seemed lost and finished her glass of wine with two gulps. She seemed to be having conflicting feelings and while I wanted to problem I thought to save this for the end of the interview. “Let’s talk about the goodies’’ I said, trying to lighten the mood. Amanda laughed and told me in just over one year she has had 4 vacations she would have never been able to afford. ‘’There was the ski resort in Finland’’. ‘’And the trip to Ibiza when he let me bring 2 friends’’. She explained how it differs with each man, ‘’some like to give you a fixed allowance while others just offer you gifts and then there are the ones who just ask you what do you want”. She didn’t seem to like the fixed allowance type, saying it made it feel like ‘‘she was in the escort business; am not that type of girl’’.

‘’So what type of girl are you”, I asked. I couldn't resist that question. “I am a business girl but It’s business plus. These guys are buying my companionship and not just sex; some are just looking for someone to talk to. I do get intimate with these guys, but it's not prostitution. That’s why I prefer it when a sugar daddy offers gifts. It feels more like a relationship with a little business deal’’.

Amanda has had 7 consistent sugar daddies but has also had dates, many dates. ‘’You can tell if you’ll get along from the first date and I only keep around the ones I know I’ll have a mutually beneficial relationship with’’. But how rich does a man have to be? Amanda gave me this humorous smile ‘’It’s more about being generous than rich but when they are both that’s a bonus!’’ She then went into detail about a schoolteacher she had met on the website, ‘’he wasn’t oozing money but he got me really nice dress once in a while”.  But she quickly added “with men like that, it doesn’t last very long’’.

“But do you expect it to last long with any of them”? I asked as my wine glass reached the bottom. She paused for a moment and looked and me for a long second and looked into her empty glass. I continued studying her face and could see it changing, ‘’hmmmmmm’’ she said for a long drawn out moment. She quickly asked ‘‘my real name is not going to be in this report, right?’’ As I assured her that her name would not appear she called for a second glass of wine, white wine this time. “After my first date, all I felt was shame, I really try to block out some of the bad experiences I’ve had doing this. I don’t expect to find love on the website, I don’t even expect it to last long because deep down you know what type of arrangement it is. You try and cover it up, make it feel like a relationship. Oh well!’’ she sighed. “I really have had some great experiences through these men and some are lovely but you just have this gut feeling of being dodgy. I suppress mine. It’s a business, I have to make the best decisions to benefit me especially with how damaged it makes me feel sometimes, the least I deserve is a nice bag’’. It felt like I had known Amanda my whole life as we exchanged this look of understanding and warmth.

‘’Last question! Would you recommend to a friend that they should go into this business?’’ She gave a very quick ‘’Nope’’ and downed the rest of her wine. We sat down after the interview for some more wine and even more discussions. She was funny, witty and had a lot of opinions and I hoped leaving the interview Amanda found what she was looking for.

 

 Written for NG by Aisha V. Hashim

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Soda: The Sweet Poison That’s Going To Kill You image

Soda: The Sweet Poison That’s Going To Kill You

Did you know the recommended sugar intake in a day is 70g for men and 50g for women yet a normal bottle of coke yes I am talking about that plastic bottle one you buy for N150 contains 65g of sugar, that is 17 and a half cubes of sugar.

I understand why people love Sodas; they are everywhere, convenient, tasty, cheap, and that caffeine addiction hits you from nowhere all you coke addicts. Soda companies also pump billions into advertisement and promotions but trust me Shakira did not get that flat tummy from drinking one Pepsi a day. 

FOR EVERY REASON YOU LOVE TO DRINK SODA, I CAN GIVE YOU THREE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM THEM.

 

Firstly, Soda is useless

Containing no nutritional value whatsoever, it is made of filtered water and refined sugar. This is almost as good as drinking a bottle of water and popping sugar cubes into your mouth.

 

Weight Gain and Obesity

The link between soft drinks and weight gain has been scientifically proven.  One of the first guidelines my gym instructor gave me was never drink your calories, rather eat them. A can of sprite contains 140 calories in comparison with a roasted chicken leg that has 45 calories, or even a banana, which contains 89 calories and costs a lot less.

Drinking one can of cola a day for four weeks is equivalent to ingesting 3,920 extra calories, or a gain of 1.1 pounds if the calories are not burned. A 160-pound person must walk for 27 minutes at 3.5 miles per hour to burn off the calories in one can of cola, according to the calorie-expenditure analysis provided by the MayoClinic.com. Now do you really want to be that person?

 

Diabetes

Linked to number #2. Consumption of sugar on such a high level increases your risks of developing non-insulin dependent diabetes, or type 2 diabetes. Keep in mind artificially sweetened beverages are not healthy alternatives to sugar sweetened drinks for the prevention of diabetes. Best to just grab a bottle of water with your lunch.

 

Damage to teeth

Soda eats up the tooth enamel doubling the chances of tooth decay. Calcium is an essential mineral for strong bones and teeth. Consuming high amounts of phosphoric acid, a common ingredient in sodas, can deplete the calcium from your bones and decrease calcium absorption. Makes a mental note of how expensive a visit to the dentist is

 

Dehydration

You lose water when you sweat, urinate and even breathe. Sodas are often consumed in the place of water, which is where the problem starts. Sodas contain high level of caffeine, which acts as a diuretic, increasing urinating and leaving the body with less fluid. Diet Sodas are just as bad because of their high level of sodium, which draws water from the cells and promotes dehydration.

 

Soo many other healthy alternatives to drinking Sodas exist. Water is the best drink in the world, it clears your skin, it increases your metabolic rate and the list can go on. Second best comes in at Tea; herbal, green or black, it is filled with antioxidants that are good for the body. Lastly, 100% Juice not the type mixed with preservatives is great for a tasty drink with your lunch.

 

Written for NG by Aisha V. Hashim

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14 Questions with Red Dish’s Abiola Akanji image

14 Questions with Red Dish’s Abiola Akanji

Not often do you encounter the kind of man you’re going to read about here today. Abiola Akanji is not your typical Nigerian married man with a pot belly who is about as useful in the kitchen as a lamp... or a foot mat.

No, Abiola Akanji is not that man. This kitchen artist has helped put together the perfect culinary school for people who want to be bosses with the pot and pans.

Red Dish Culinary school as you will find out soon enough is taking cooking in Nigeria to a whole other level.

 

What inspired you to start up Red Dish and for how long has Red Dish been in existence?

My passion for food started at a tender age. As a young boy, I was always in the kitchen with mum where I picked up interest for food. I remember watching mum on several occasions and I was intrigued by how swift she was at cooking and how she combined recipes. I knew this fascination was not to be ignored, thus, I started experimenting with various recipes and perfecting the art of cooking which birthed the dream to own a Culinary School. I have been sharing this passion of mine with others since September 2013.

 

 

There are a handful of culinary schools out there, what makes Red Dish different?

At the Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School, we pride ourselves on who we are. PASSION is all we are about. Passion for food, passion for the art of cooking, passion for developing new recipes, passion for training others, and passion for absolute excellence in all we do.

 

Where did you get your training? School or self taught?

While I studied in London, I was privileged to work part-time in a few restaurants, as well as in a couple of big chain supermarkets bakery department, where I picked up some of my culinary skills. I went on to further improve my skills at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, where I received more professional training.

 

As a guy, people should assume you are married, ladies find it hard to resist a guy who cooks well.

Lol! That’s interesting. I am very much happily married to an amazing woman. However, I strongly advice ladies to assure their men of scoring extra brownie points if they learn how to cook well. We welcome singles and couples to take part in our “Cook & Mingle Class” and “Couple’s Class”, respectively. This is a way of bonding and re-kindling those love sparks.

 

How do you manage to keep fit if you can cook whatever you feel like eating whenever?

The key to staying fit is exercising, as well as a controlled portion of what you eat. I love that I can cook whatever it is I feel like eating, whenever, but I take care of my health by watching what I stuff down my throat. Being active always is also a plus for me, I consider myself a life robot.

 

You take online classes? What’s the procedure like?

We offer the option of taking the Continental Culinary Arts Course online, which is quite flexible and takes about 6-12 weeks depending on availability. This online certificate programme helps the trainee develop culinary skills using modern technology like emails, BBM and videos. At the completion of the programme, the trainee is able to prepare a variety of dishes from across the globe.

 

From previous trainees, what would you say Nigerians want to learn to make, local or intercontinental dishes? What do you think is the reason?

A greater number of Nigerians are now making effort towards improving their culinary skills.  Having observed from the several trainees we have had, I would say the majority lean towards learning Intercontinental recipes. My guess is that the majority at large can already prepare some Local Delicacies by default.

Nonetheless, at the Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School, we offer a variety of courses to suit every need. We offer a Continental Culinary Arts Course (also available Online),a Baking and Pastry Culinary Arts Course, an African Culinary Arts Course, a Professional Chefs Programme of Cuisine, and a Professional Chefs Programmeof Cuisine, Baking and Pastry.

 

Do your local dishes cut across every sphere of the country?

We are taking African food to the next level.It’s no longer good enough to cook the same food day in day out. Thus, we teach our trainees how to make different African food Gourmet Style, from various African countries.

 

Do you handpick your chefs (trainers) or do they apply to get selected (if I want to become a chef, what do I need to do?)

Our chefs are a team of highly passionate and professional individuals, who were selected and have undergone thorough training in techniques, procedures, and hygiene in line with international best practices.

 

Do people get to choose their trainers?

As previously stated, our chefs are highly professional and passionate   about food and training. Thus, a chef is pre-assigned by the Head Chef (me) to tutor specific Culinary Arts Courses. So no, trainees do not get to choose who trains them.

 

From previous events in various parts of the country, where were you accepted the best?

I have been privileged to visit different parts of the country; some of those times have been to run Culinary Crash Courses. Fortunately for me, I have been warmly received everywhere.

 

Any cooking hacks you want to share?

There is a plethora of cooking hacks I could share daily, however, the one I think will be most beneficial to the majority at large, will be how to avoid tears while slicing an onion. There is a link between the muscles in the jaw and the tear ducts that stops the tears flowing while you chew, thus, simply chewing gum whilst cutting an onion can help avoid tears.

Looking ahead, what is the next step for Red Dish?

Since the launch of Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School, we have grown from strength to strength. My dream is for Red Dish Chronicles to be the number one Culinary School in the country and in Africa. Thus, we are looking to branch out in different parts of the country every chance we get. We recently opened a branch in Abuja and I am glad to say it is one of the best decisions I made.

 

 

 

Do you have a secret recipe or self created “signature” dish?

As a matter of fact, I do have a self-created Secret Spice. Here’s the     story behind the Famous Chef Stone’s Secret Spice. This spice takes 21 days to brew, as I need to age it for 19 days. After which I beg the gods of spice to accept it. And in the case where they do not, I start the process all over again.

In regards to a signature dish, I frequently experiment and create new recipes daily. One of my favourite signaturedishes has to be my Sautéed Zesty Chilli Tiger Prawns.

 

 

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Wizkid’s Full Performance, Full Winner’s List And Everything From The MAMA image

Wizkid’s Full Performance, Full Winner’s List And Everything From The MAMA

STARBOY TO THE WORLD

Yup, that was Wizkid doing what Wizkid does.

Here is a list of the winners... and losers from the just concluded MAMA

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • Black Coffee (South Africa)
  • Diamond (Tanzania)
  • Sauti Sol (Kenya)
  • Wizkid (Nigeria)
  • Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

BEST FEMALE

  • Josey (Ivory Coast)
  • Mz Vee (Ghana)
  • Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)
  • Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania)
  • Yemi Alade (Nigeria)    WINNER

BEST BREAKTHROUGH

  • Babes Wodumo (South Africa)
  • Emtee (South Africa)
  • Falz (Nigeria)
  • Franko (Cameroon)
  • Nasty C (South Africa)
  • Nathi (South Africa)
  • Raymond (Tanzania)
  • Simi (Nigeria)
  • Tekno (Nigeria)

 BEST FRANCOPHONE

  • Franko (Cameroon)
  • J-Rio (Gabon)
  • Magasco (Cameroon)
  • Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast)
  • Toofan (Togo)

 LISTENER’S CHOICE

  • Adiouza (Senegal)
  • Bebe Cool (Uganda)
  • Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • Den G (Liberia)
  • EL (Ghana)
  • Jah Prayzah (Zimbabwe)
  • Jay Rox (Zambia)
  • Kansoul (Kenya)
  • Kiss Daniel (Nigeria)
  • Lij Michael (Ethiopia)
  • LXG (Sierra Leone)
  • Meddy (Rwanda)
  • Messias Marioca (Mozambique)
  • Prince Kaybee (South Africa)
  • Reda Taliani (Algeria)
  • Saad Lamjarred (Morocco)
  • Sabri Mosbah (Tunisia)
  • Sidiki Diabate (Mali)
  • Tamer Hosny (Egypt)
  • The Dogg (Namibia)
  • Yamoto Band (Tanzania)

 SONG OF THE YEAR IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOOGLE

  • “Shaktibobo” – Olamide (Nigeria)
  • “Reggae Blues” – Harrysongz feat Olamide, Kcee & Iyanya, Orezi (Nigeria)
  • “My Woman, My Everything” – Patoranking feat. Wande Coal (Nigeria)
  • “Godwin” – Korede Bello (Nigeria)
  • “Ngud” – Kwesta feat. Cassper (South Africa)
  • “Roll Up Re-Up” – Emtee feat. Wizkid and AKA (South Africa/Nigeria)
  • “Soweto Baby” – DJ Maphorisa feat. Wizkid (South Africa/Nigeria)
  • “Baddest” – AKA feat. Burna Boy, Khuli Chana, Yanga  (South Africa/Nigeria)
  • “Wololo” – Babes Wodumo feat. Mampintsha (South Africa)
  • “Coller la Petite“ – Franko (Cameroon)
  • “Unconditionally bae” – Sauti Sol feat. Alikiba (Kenya/Tanzania)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

  • “Jump” – Anatii & Cassper feat. Nasty C (South Africa); Director: Kyle Lewis
  • “Caviar Dreams” – AL Bairre & PhFAT (South Africa); Director: Daniel Levi
  • “If I Start to Talk” – Tiwa Savage feat. Dr Sid (South Africa); Director: Clarence Peters
  • “Kisasi Kumi” – Sheeba (Uganda) – Director: Sasha Vybz
  • “Niquer Ma Vie“ – Youssoupha (Congo) – Director: Antony Abdelli & Jose Eon

BEST HIP HOP

  • Olamide (Nigeria)
  • Kiff No Beat(Ivory Coast)
  • Ycee(Nigeria)
  • Emtee(South Africa)
  • Ricky Rick(South Africa)

BEST COLLABORATION

  • Patoranking ft. Sarkodie – No Kissing
  • Sauti Sol ft. Alikiba – Unconditionally Bae
  • AkA ft. Burna Boy,Khuli Chana & Yanga – Baddest
  • Dj Maphorsia ft. Wizkid & Dj Buckz – Soweto Baby
  • Nasty c ft. Davido  & Cassper Nyovest – Juice Back Remix

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

  • Drake   WINNER
  • Beyonce
  • Adele
  • Future
  • Rihanna

BEST LUSOPHONE

  • NGA
  • Nelson Freitas
  • C4 Pedro
  • Lizha James
  • Petro Show

BEST MALE

  • Wizkid(Nigeria)
  • AKA(South Africa)
  • Patoranking(Nigeria)
  • Black Coffee(South Africa)
  • Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

BEST LIVE ACT 

  • Flavour(Nigeria)
  • Stonebwoy(Ghana)
  • Cassper Nyovest(South Africa)    WINNER
  • Eddy Kenzo
  • Mafikizolo(South Africa)

PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

  • Linda Ikeji
  • Wizkid
  • Caster Semenya
  • Pearl Thusi
  • Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

BEST GROUP

  • R2Bees(Ghana)
  • Sauti Sol(Kenya)    WINNER
  • Toofan(Togo)
  • Navy Kenzo (Tanzania)
  • Mi Casa (South Africa)

BEST POP

  • Tresor 
  • TiMO ODV.
  • LCNVL
  • Desmond & The Tutus
  • kyle deutsch & shekhinah     WINNER

source: jagajagagist

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3 Natural Ways to Whiten Your Teeth image

3 Natural Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

Most of us strive to always showcase a pearly-white smile to the world, but sadly, the cost of achieving that in the dentist’s chair can easily blow your budget to kingdom come.

The good news is that there are a lot of cheaper and gentler approaches that you can use to achieve a whiter set of teeth. In this post we’ll be showing you how to easily whiten your teeth at home, using products that might already be lurking in your kitchen cupboards!

draxe

Number One - Brush With Baking Soda

Baking Soda (bicarbonate of soda) is a stock pantry item, but have you ever considered using it for more than just a meal prep ingredient? Baking soda can clean your teeth, sure, but it also has the ability to tackle stains that have built up on the teeth due to caffeine and smoking. The reason why baking soda can help clean up surface stains from the teeth is because it’s abrasive. Because baking soda’s crystals dissolve in water, it can penetrate deep into crevices that most other abrasives cannot reach.

Heads Up: Since baking soda is a powerful abrasive, it should only be used once or twice a month until you have the results you were aiming for. You can also mix it with Activated Charcoal for an even more effective teeth whitener.

 

How to Use: Simply mix a teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to form a smooth paste. Apply the paste to a toothbrush and then proceed to brush your teeth for about two minutes before rinsing and brushing a second time with regular toothpaste.

Number Two - Delight in Dairy Products

You might have thought of “drinking milk for strong teeth” as nothing more than an old wives tale. Sure, adults don’t actually absorb calcium from milk in order to promote the good health of their teeth, but dairy products may actually help whiten up your teeth. Dairy products are crammed full of lactic acid, and it has been found that this substance has the ability to restore teeth strength and might also be able to prevent tooth decay. Since the lactic acid strengthens the enamel on your teeth, it can actually help preserve the white glow of your teeth.

hairlossandcare

Number Three - Try Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is recorded as an ancient Ayurvedic tooth-whitening method because it has been used to promote oral health and general dental hygiene over the ages. This method of whitening hasn’t been confirmed by clinical studies, but given its long history, you really have nothing to lose.

All you need to do to try this method is to swish a teaspoon of oil (choose between coconut oil and sesame oil) around in your mouth for about a minute each morning. Coconut oil has been reported to be the most effective when it comes to whitening power (since it contains lauric acid), but oil pulling, in general, can help rid your teeth of plaque and other grime, which makes teeth appear yellow.

 

While you can use those three methods to help brighten up the appearance of your teeth, you need to keep in mind that these are not instant fixes, and that they’ll take some time to show a remarkable difference. While you’re working towards achieving the results you’d like to see, there are a few things that you can start doing to ensure that your teeth don’t yellow any further.

 

How to Prevent Teeth from Turning Yellow

 

Chew Some Gum

We’re talking about sugar-free chewing gum here, not the sweet bubblegum that kids adore. By chewing gum on a regular basis, you can help reduce the amount of bacteria and acid inside of your mouth, which promotes better oral hygiene. The other way that chewing gum helps is by producing more saliva (or rather stimulating the production thereof). Saliva contains special enzymes that can help protect your teeth, and may also help prevent a yellow appearance.

 

Up Your Fruit & Veggie Intake

Fruits and vegetables aren’t only essential to a balanced immune system; they can actually help promote the good health of your teeth! Natural abrasives include crunchy foods like apples, carrots, and celery. These foods help to gently clean your teeth, and since they’re high in cellulose, they may aid in removing surface stains on the teeth, and prevent tooth decay.

 

And Don’t Forget The Strawberries!

Strawberries fall into a “superfood” category, and with good reason. Not only are they crammed full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals, they may actually restore the natural whiteness of your teeth and help prevent further yellowing. Since they contain malic acid, strawberries might be able to remove surface stains on the teeth and also help protect the teeth from plaque buildup.

 

Written for NG by Megan Thompson.

Megan is a DIY health & beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free and her diet as unprocessed as possible. You can find her work at Gold Mountain Beauty where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram and Pinterest.

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We Attended The 3 Thrones Concert And Left With A Loooooot Of Photos image

We Attended The 3 Thrones Concert And Left With A Loooooot Of Photos

The 3 Thrones Concert took place on the 23rd of October. The Game Of Thrones Themed event was headlined by Davido, Tiwa Savage, Phyno, and of course we were there. We really want to give a brief description of how the event went down but we can't... We however have photos from the event, make of them whatever you may.

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Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep With These 10 Simple Tips image

Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep With These 10 Simple Tips

In a perfect world, we’d all get the sleep we know we need in order to help our bodies and minds function at optimum levels. The reality though, paints a picture of a whole different story. With life’s stresses, tight work deadlines, and the ever-present smartphone found in most bedrooms these days, it can seem impossible to get a good night’s sleep.

 

Instead of focusing on a wake-up call set an alarm to go to sleep

Most of us wish we could just get to bed a little earlier, and the truth is, most of us need a solid reminder to get us to hit the hay. Star making a habit out of setting an alarm to go to sleep, and then make sure that you follow the prompt, and ease into a gentle bedtime routine when the clock sounds.

 

Try bed socks. Seriously!

newhealthadvisor

We know that the pair of fluffy bed socks that your mom gave you last Christmas doesn’t look particularly sexy, but wearing them can really help improve the quality of your sleep. This post shows just how beneficial it can be to keep your feet and hands warm when going to bed; it’ll help you fall asleep faster.

 

Dim things down.

You’ve probably heard this before, but artificial light in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep cycle. Something as simple as an alarm clock can negatively impact your sleep quality, so make sure you ban artificial light from the bedroom. If it’s totally impossible to achieve, consider wearing a pair of eye-masks to bed.

 

Prioritize the exercise idea

According to a study done in 2013 by the National Sleep Foundation, people that work out on a regular basis tend to get the best shut eye at night. All you need is a few minutes of aerobic exercise to help boost the quality of your shut-eye sessions.

 

Downsize your dinner servings

Our bodies just don’t do as well as we think they might with digesting food when it’s time for bed. Eating a big, hearty dinner meal can have a bad effect on the quality of your sleep, so try to make dinner your smallest meal of the day.

 

Make sure your bedroom is sound-approved

While noises like ticking watches can keep you out of lalaland, keeping things too quiet in the bedroom can also keep you up at night. You can always try using a white noise machine in your room to ensure that the sound quality is perfectly adjusted for quality sleep.

 

Set out special time to process your day

We all know what it feels like to lay in bed, stressing over things that happened during the day, or planning what we’re supposed to get up to the next day. It’s critical that you set aside some special time to process what happened during your day BEFORE you head off to bed. This can include making a list of what needs to be done in the morning, and just decluttering your mind of all the thoughts that have been whirling around up there throughout the day.

 

Get your Ohm on

active

Whether you’re into yoga, prayer, or a quick meditation session before bed, these tactics can help you wind down and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep. Participating in these relaxing activities may be able to slow down your breathing and calm your heart rate, which assists the body in falling asleep faster.

 

Wind down in a warm bath

By warm, we’re not implying that you should soak in a bathtub that feels like you’re in boiling water. When you soak in a warm bath for a few minutes, the water temperature increases your body heat. After you get out of the tub, your body will be instantly cooled, which replicates the natural process that your body goes through as it prepares for snooze time. A warm bath before bed doesn’t seem like just an old wives tale anymore!

 

Invest in a good pillow

miuwallet

Dust mites, those nasty critters that accumulate on your sheets and pillows, have a tendency to cause allergic reactions in some people, which may seriously disrupt your sleep. You’ll end up having sounder sleep cycles, with brighter mornings if you stick to replacing your pillow every 12 to 18 months.

 

Have any tricks for improving the quality of your sleep? Share your comments below!

 


Written by Megan. Megan is a DIY health & beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free and her diet as unprocessed as possible. You can find her work at Gold Mountain Beauty

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10 Books You Should Read Before 2017 image

10 Books You Should Read Before 2017

Hi there! Today, I’ll be writing about the top ten books I know I need to read as November bids us goodbye. (TBR means To Be Read, just so you know.)

The last time I checked my Goodreads account, I had over a thousand books added to my TBR shelf, but these ten are the ones I really need to get to. In no particular order, they are:

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K Rowling

Everyone is talking about this book. It’s actually written in form of a script and follows the life of Harry Potter as a Dad to three children and husband to Ginny. And one of his sons is called Albus, (remember Dumbledore?)
I can’t wait to start reading my copy.

2. American Gods – Neil Gaiman

I’ve wanted to read this for a long time. It’s about a man named Shadow, who just gets out of jail. He loses his wife and best friend to an accident and agrees to work for a strange man called Mr Wednesday. This book promises a great deal of creepy goodness, American myths and lots of symbolism.

3. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

This is a story of two high school misfits who fall in love. I’ve read a bit of this, but I’m yet to finish it. A lot of my friends like it. I hope to read it this month.

4. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

I automatically read anything Dan Brown writes. This one is a rich mixture of religious symbolism and cryptography. Brown never disappoints. I actually left my copy in school but my Dad was kind enough to let me borrow his.

5. Salem Falls – Jodi Picoult

Everyone who knows me well enough knows I’m a sucker for this woman. I read everything she writes and this won’t be an exception. (I have six of her books now.)
This one is about a group of teenage girls who target the main guy with a very dreadful allegation. This book promises to be so good. Can’t wait!

6. November 9 – Colleen Hoover

I saw this book all over Bookstagram a while ago and a lot of people really loved it. I hope I do too. It’s the only romance book on my list and I’m hoping I don’t get disappointed.

7. Room – Emma Donoghue

This book made headlines a while back. Told from the perspective of a five-year-old child who has spent all his life in one room with his mother, Room is a book that discusses the power of resilience and the bond between parent and child.

8. Run – Kody Keplinger

This is the only YA book on my list. It’s about two girls, Bo and Agnes who come from radically different families. The book explores sexuality, family and living with disability. I hope I like this one.
 

9. The Martian – Andy Weir

I’m probably the only one who hasn’t read this book on bookstagram. It’s about a guy who gets stuck in Mars and how he survives. I’m not a big fan of sci-fi but this book comes highly recommend.

10. Under The Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta

This book should be the only Nigerian book on LGBT issue (I’m not so sure), but I’m excited to read it. I’ve had it for a while now but just haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s a story woven around two young girls who fall in love during the Nigerian Civil War.

Well, there. These are the books that are at the top of my list this month. Have you read any of them? What book(s) do you want to read so bad this month?

For NG, by ThatGirlDorian

 

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