Merry Christmas

In this season of joy and love, I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year in advance. I pray that you have many reasons to celebrate and give thanks as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Please be kind and loving to those around you and share God’s love in any way that you can. This is the essence of this season: celebrating Jesus’ birth and the love and joy He brought to the world.

Enjoy your celebrations!

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Maximizing Downtime

Being in between jobs got me thinking about the best ways to utilise the time I have. For me, sitting at home all day for a while goes from excitement about the freedom to boredom really quickly. It’s funny because when work starts, I will do anything for a break. Thankfully I have some books to read, goals to set, courses to attempt and a wedding to attend this weekend which I’m super excited about.

Speaking of weddings, I’ve been feeling like planning one, or at least being involved in the process. I want to experience the planning of such a grand occasion. If anyone is based in Lagos and needs some help, please let me know.

I recently heard something Toju Oluwatoyinbo said, “Downtime is the best time for uptime”. This is so accurate and true. The free time you have in your downtime should be spent working on things and developing yourself to enable your productivity in your uptime, when things are more stable and settled.

Downtime is the best time for uptime. – Toju Oluwatoyinbo

With trying to make the best use of my time, I thought of how I am also to make the best of my life on earth, with my skills, giftings, time and resources. I remembered Luke 19:13 where Jesus told a parable of a master telling his servants to stay busy/ invest/ occupy till he returned. That, to me, was Jesus telling us to stay busy till His return. And just like being in between jobs, it is easy to get distracted, bored or just tired of waiting. I think this applies to me as well in staying occupied till Jesus comes. His itinerary is not readily available so we don’t know the exact day which is a bit frustrating because you have no time frame to work with. I guess God is not a typical Master.

It means that we are to get in the habit of occupying so much so that we get used to it and it becomes a lifestyle. Just like I should stay focused on reading, writing and all my other plans till I get a job. It takes discipline which is slightly difficult when you are your own boss and don’t particularly have responsibilities.

One of the things I am trying to do to make the best of my “free time” is waking up early. My alarm is set for 5 a.m. and I try to actually get up and not hit the snooze button. I also try to take a shower early and prepare as if I were to leave the house. I make a to-do list and tick off tasks as I complete them, no matter how little.

Sometimes I say there is no time for stuff but I forget that in moments like these, there is a lot of time that I may not have put to proper use. I saw a tweet recently which really challenged me about a man who was picking up some skills at age 42. Learning truly never stops. You can be and do so many things if you try. Are you making the best use of your time?

Compliemts of the Season,

MBW

 

A November to Remember

Hello,

Welcome to the end of November. Just like that, 2018 is almost over. It has been a somewhat quick year.

Maybe I think so because I was running a program and it has now come to an end. I think it’s easier to mark time when you’re doing something. So I can easily match 2017- 2018 with my time at the Nigerian Law School.

November has been a full month for me. There was NYSC camp in Zamfara, my birthday on the 6th, screening at the Law School in Abuja on the 8th, redeployment moves in Lagos, a family wedding in Kaduna on the 10th and the Call to Bar ceremony where I officially became a lawyer, on the 27th. These and other things took me to five cities within the month so I travelled quite a bit.

Camp was fun while it lasted. I met some lovely people so I’m glad I went all the way because I wouldn’t have met them otherwise. My birthday was very lovely. My friends planned a surprise and gave me the best presents. The Call to Bar ceremony was a long journey coming full circle. I’m so grateful to God for seeing me through. I could not have done it without His help.

A few days ago, I was reminded of how small this world is and how that affects everything. There is always someone that knows someone that knows you, and it’s a bit annoying but it just means, at least for me, that I have to be consistent in my actions so that I’m constantly putting my best foot forward. I found out that my Dad and I had a mutual friend. Thankfully, I had acted sensibly with this person so there was nothing to worry about. But it just got me thinking of how small the world is and how important it is to treat people with a level of decency regardless of who they are.

Today is the 30th of November. The last day of the month and also my friend Ayotola’s birthday. Ayotola is a photographer based in Lagos and no, this is not a paid ad. She is responsible for the lovely photos for my birthday. If you need anything captured; moments, nature, products, a wedding, she’s the plug. You heard it here first. Check out her instagram @ayotola_ Ayotola

One more month till the end of the year. A lot can still happen. Push yourself. Treat yourself. Rest yourself. In whatever order works best for you.

Love and hugs till my next post.

Some pictures from my birthday shoot...Shot by Ayotola

DIY: Studying The Bible

DIY means ‘Do it Yourself’. It is a concept of doing things yourself either to minimise cost or to get a particular outcome which only your mind can see. Some times the image in the mind of a person cannot be fully portrayed or explained to another, so they end up doing it themselves. People also DIY just for the fun of it or because they are very good at making and creating beautiful things.diy 4

So dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to discuss the importance of DIY within the context of the Bible. If you are trying to live like Christ, it’s a good idea to read the Bible for yourself. If you need info on a particular topic and you search Scriptures or ask Google, you’ll find what you’re looking for. When you face a challenge that needs spiritual attention, the Bible should be the number one place to consult. Not your pastor, friends or a Babalawo, for obvious reasons. Joyce Meyer once said run to the throne, not your phone.

When you look into God’s Word for yourself, you will know what God has said and anything contrary will be easy to identify. Anyone who has worked with real money in a bank or money house long enough can easily spot counterfeit. It’s the same thing with God’s Word, if you abide in the Word long enough, certain doctrines that are counterfeit will be easily discernible. diy 2If someone tries to talk you into doing something that has no basis in God’s Word, you will only know if you have spent time in the Word. The Berean Christians (Acts 17:11) were very proactive and had a DIY approach to their Christian walk. The Bible says they would always check what they were taught. They didn’t take anything hook, line and sinker. I believe this is the way to go about our Christian walk. And where you meet a crossroad or do not understand, the Holy Spirit in you is always available to help, as well as other Christians around you.

diy 3

This is to encourage and challenge myself (and you, if the shoe fits) to read God’s Word with the intention to understand and retain, a little bit everyday. It grows and establishes you in God, and the depth of wisdom in the Bible cannot be measured. 

Have a lovely day!

*Images: Google

Opportunities Knocking

Hiiiii,

I found a few interesting things recently that you might find useful. If you’re a writer or interested in self-development, you would want to see this. Here goes:

  1. The 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize: I can tell you this much- the application is free, the winner gets £5,000 and submissions will close on November 1, 2018. Find all other details here .
  2. Union Bank Campus Writing Challenge: Win N500,000 with 5000 words. Deadline for entries is October 7, 2018. Visit this link or follow @okadabooks for more info.
  3. Mandela Washington Fellowship 2019: If you’re African, between ages 21-35 and think you’re a leader, this might interest you. If you get selected, you get to travel to the US next year to learn so you can impact your community. I’m not explaining this well enough, get all the juicy deets here. Applications close on October 10, 2018.
  4. Yali Online Courses: Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) offers free online courses that aid leadership skills, promote personal development and can help boost your CV. It’s free, its fast and you get the certificate in your email as soon as you complete the course. Find out more here.
  5. Linkedin: This is not a new discovery but I decided to add it in case someone needs a reminder to update their account. I updated mine recently and got an email matching my skills with available jobs two days later. Linkedin is a good platform to display your resume and sell yourself, but you must ensure you speak the truth only. Who knows, your next employer might just be on Linkedin.

Please share with your community of friends, someone else might be interested. If you know any opportunities that I have not mentioned, please let me know in the comments below. Sharing is caring.

Have a lovely weekend!

MBW

Image result for opportunity quotes
Image Source: Google

Quick Update

Hi lovelies, I hope you’re doing well?

Yay! My exams are over. To be honest, they have been over for almost five weeks now. Forgive me people, I’ve been “busy”. Exams ended and then there were things to do, places to go and people to see, aka I had to go home and see my parents. And blogger’s block made an appearance too! Maybe the creative part of my mind was on hibernate thanks to exam preps. But I’m back and hopefully will churn out some good stuff before the end of the year.

Now that I say it, we have only three full months till the end of the year. For anyone who may have given up or the year so far has not been gold and roses like you expected, please don’t give up. A lot can happen in three months. God does not dwell in time, He’s the Creator of time and nothing is impossible with Him. Trust Him an His timing for you and remember that He’s working everything out for your good. If you could figure God out completely, He won’t be God anymore. Everything will be fine. Just believe that.

MBW

Thriving in Bar 1

Hi everyone, I hope you’re good?

This post is mainly for the newest people in Law School at the moment, the Bar 1 folk. Welcome! I hope you’re settling in alright. I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of what’s what in the Bwari area and a few things to do during your spare time. Bar 1 is the easier bit of Law School so ideally it’s the better time to explore. (I did the Bar 1 program last year, fyi 😊).

Academics: I would definitely advise that you attend all your classes, listen and make notes. That helped me. If you’re not very good with writing quickly, or get easily distracted, then get a compilation of the notes from Mammy market. There’s a famous past questions book which is red in colour. It is very helpful for the exams.

Dress code: Please stick to the dress code. It is white shirts and black skirts or black dresses for ladies, and white shirts and black trousers for guys. You can also wear navy blue. Your skirt should be a decent length (at least by your knee). Guys must wear black ties or the Law School tie. Don’t buy this o, you’ll be given free of charge in Bar 2 before your dinners.

Food: For Mammy market, the key is to find a place that suits your stomach and stick to it. There are a couple of joints at Mammy to choose from. A guy called Godspower makes toast bread and sharwama. He’s in front of Oto Obong’s store. You can call to order on 08180254012‬. He delivers to school hostels. You can also get smoothies made for you at the fruit store beside the suya joint. Between Mama Ngozi and Streetwise, there’s a shop without a name (I call it Nameless) which has spaghetti I really enjoy. You might want to try that. Mama Aisha is food bae for me. I wrote a whole post about that a while ago.

Across from Blocks A and B, there’s a joint where you can get noodles or make it yourself, if you want. They also have fried plantain, sweet potatoes, chips and sausages. In front of Blocks C and D, there’s Uncle Seun who sells snacks like meatpies, doughnuts and fishrolls and also makes sharwama. In the evenings, he makes chicken and chips as well. Contact him on ‭08076733635‬.

Off campus, there’s Lovitoz, which I have been to and highly recommend their Chicken pasta, Stirfry noodles and Sweet potato fries. At Zen Apartments, there’s a Chef available. Call him on 09053383274 to find out what’s available. I’ve had their breakfast and pancakes which were good. Also available is Liberty Suites, near the Bwari Market. It is a hotel and has accommodation for students if you want to stay off campus, preferably if you have a car or means of transportation. My best dishes from their restaurant are jollof rice and coleslaw and assorted pepper soup. Bwari Kitchen (08032879756) is a new joint and Sade’s Kitchen (‭07066088962‬) is also good.

Vendors to try: If you have some fabric and would like an outfit, Mr Enoch is the plug. He shares a shop with one of the salons in Mammy. You can reach him on 08162548518‬. He’s been my go-to and has made outfits for my friends too! He sews for guys and ladies. Only last week, I met Rachel who made me a pair of slippers (in less than a week) for N2500. If you want a pair of handmade slippers or sandals, contact Rachel on ‭09085878717‬. This is a bit random but for anyone who is a fan of pure honey, contact Uncle Sam (08036089268) for some.

On some weekends, you will tire of playing football, sleeping, chilling at Lovitoz or watching a movie on your laptop and desire to do something else. You might just want to go to town. Here are a few ideas for you. Closest to us in Bwari is Usman Dam. I still haven’t been but I’ve been told it has a nice view and is a lovely place to hang with friends.

Some other places to check out in town are:
-Arts and Crafts Market, Wuse
-AJs Pizza, Shariff Plaza, Wuse
-Blu Cabana, Mabushi
-Bukka Restaurant at Transcorp Hilton
-Charcoal, Wuse
-Chicken Capitol (Sharwama, have it with cheese, if you’re not allergic)
-Coldstone +Dominos
-Ivory Room, Wuse (Alfredo Pizza recommended)
-Keje Grill at City Park, Wuse (Interesting drink menu)
-Metro Cafe & Grill, Wuse
-Nkataa Bukka, Mabushi
-Nkoyo
-Reset Restaurant & Lounge, Wuse (Pizza recommended)
-Salamander Cafe, Wuse (Books available for sale)
-The Trukadero Place, Wuse (Bowling)
-Traffic Bar, Maitama
-Wafflestop, Maitama
-355 Steakhouse & Lounge, Maitama
You could also follow @pam_E_chic on Twitter. She often goes to places in Abuja and gives pictorial reviews. Abuja also tends to have a couple of food expos in the Summer so please keep your eyes and ears open for those kind of events if you’re interested. Follow @eventsbykwadie on Instagram for more info.

You could see a movie at Ceddi Plaza, Jabi Lake Mall or Silverbird . If you’d like to do some shopping, get some toiletries or household items, you can find stuff at Next, Shoprite or H.Medix. For those that are into thrift shopping, Wuse Market is the plug, but I’d advise you go with someone if you’ve never been before. If your family and friends are big on kilishi and expecting some when you return, you should visit the Area 1 Kilishi Market. It’s pretty popular, so you won’t miss it.

Just in case there’s a birthday soon or you just want cake, you can get lovely cakes from:
-Gogzees Cake: 08033153677
-Kyez Cakes: ‭09035038370‬, IG: @kyez_kakes
-Purple Silk Treats: ‭08061562584‬
I’ve had all their cake and they’re pretty good. Delivery costs might be incurred as they’re based in town.

Transportation: For transportation within or out of Bwari, please contact Mr Cletus: ‭08035971197‬; Mr James: ‭08064986619‬; Mr Dickson: 08068638947; or Mr Ifeanyi: 07081349444.
If you’d like a more affordable ride to town, take a bike from school gate to JAMB and get in a green cab from there. You’ll hear them saying “Berger, Area 1”. Find out where to go from any of these places before you leave school. Disclaimer: Traveller discretion is advised. If you haven’t done this before, don’t start now!

Places of worship: For church on campus, a couple of churches use the Chapel for their services. I know CLASFON (Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria) meets at 3-5pm. There’s a Redeemed church just outside the school gate to the left, a Mountain of Fire church further down the road. There’s also a Winners Chapel in Bwari with bus pick up in front of the Assembly hall. There are free buses to some churches in town such as COZA and The Transformation Church. Ask around if you’re looking for a particular church. There’s also a mosque on campus opposite the main Administrative Building.

Lastly, and very, very importantly, please respect staff and authorities at the Law School. I cannot emphasise this enough. There’s no point trying to prove a point to anyone or insisting on your way. Just breathe, apologise and let things go. Avoid getting into any arguments with authorities, you don’t want to jeopardise your time in Law School. It’s better to be ‘too respectful’ than to risk being sanctioned or picked on for not being ‘fit and proper’.

That’s it for now. If I think of anything else, I’ll update this post so please keep your eyes peeled. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll try and answer ASAP.
I wish you all the best in Bar 1 and thereafter. Don’t stress too much. Live your best life (safely)!

Love and hugs,

Ife.