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Category Archives: Career and Life

MOVIE REVIEW: HIDDEN FIGURES

Hidden Figures
2016 Movie

Historical, Scientific 
Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monaé, Octavia Spencer, Kristen Dunst…

Even before the movie came out, I had watched it, in my head. It didn’t help that it took donkey years to come to Nigerian cinemas. Finally, I watched it last week. 
Based on true life events, I’d like to think of Hidden Figures of a sort of coming of age story. Don’t get me wrong, no one was shedding puberty but America was shedding racism, segregation and the incredulous words that call, ‘Women should be seen – not heard‘. Now, these three were women, they were negros and they could actually do math and more. It was a real growing up of America to see that the colour of your skin doesn’t mean you are not as good as the other person or even better.

My reviews are super informal, as I always say. I literally am going to list out five reasons you should see Hidden Figures and my work here is done.
 
1. It’s not your regular black people movie. 
Yes, it is set in that age and time where the white people thought we, we being blacks, African American were beneath them but it wasn’t a cliché, I promise. There was so much substance to it that made it beautiful. It told the story, such that would reflect the real point of the story, those three strong women and pacesetters.

2. The acting was beautiful and the chemistry was everything.
As I was watching, I felt like I was part of it all. So many people see acting as a job, I mean, it is. But, I’m telling you, there’s a difference between seeing something as a mere job and it being your life, a lifestyle. The chemistry was incredible, mindblowing actually. I loved that Taraji P Henson’s character gave us an upgrade from Cookie Lyon to straight nerd! And oh yes, she executed it brilliantly. I always say that a good movie would invoke so much emotion or camaderie, at least in you. At a point, it seems like you’re one of them.

3. The fact that it was based on true events.
This is just the bomb! Actually, Caroline Johnson nee Goble and possibly others are still alive! Whaat. I want to meet her and the rest because they are living legends, honestly. Living legends! They were the first or are actually the first of their kinds. The movie was a true and fitting tribute. 

4. If anything, watch it for the beautiful dresses from the ’60s and the setting.
*Coughs!* If you aren’t, you should be following NASA on snapchat. I kind of like aeronautics and yes, I was following them before Hidden Figures began in the cinemas. Almost 12 months of followership!
But one thing, I noticed was that the setting, being NASA looks everything like the real NASA, though obviously, it’s now upgraded. I know right! I was watching snaps and I was like wait oo. The dresses and make-up was everything. Janelle Monae looked absolutely divine, most especially. Love, love, love the costumes!

5. It’s simply inspirational. 
As I watched, I turned to my friend and told her, ‘You can be anything you want to be‘. Why? Because it’s true. Right now, the words might not be much seeing that we now live in a slightly better world from that time but it’s simply incredible. Being the first of their kinds! The first black female engineer in a time where being black, I would have had to use separate bathrooms, buses, even freaking coffee jugs! Being recognised for hardwork where and when being a woman in a man’s world was crazy enough, to top it off, being black! 

It was a phenomenal watch.

Rating – A

Review By Titilope Adedokun

 
 

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CONFESSIONS OF A FAT PERSON

Why are you so fat”, “Orobo”, “Fattie go and lose weight“, and so on and so on were the catcalls from the collectively illiterate minds of the beings that populated The Baluba Kingdom as I passed by this afternoon.

Detached I wondered if they had a reason for being in school or if they could even spell the word education. I also wondered if being fat was the worst thing that could happen to a girl. Not being a ho, not having legs that spread like rumours especially at club Rumours, not being daft, not having a CGPA that could only assure one of a certificate of attendance upon completion of the tertiary institution, not being diagnosed with a deadly disease but being fat. With the way its spoken about now, it might as well be a deadly disease.

I won’t deny that what they said hurt, it did. In fact, I was on my way to buy Suya when the foolishness occurred and I did a double take towards the car park as if me not buying that Suya would shed 50lbs off my total body weight. I’m not proud of myself for denying what I wanted because of the words of the ignorant. I should have flipped my middle finger in the air, walked on like the boss that I am to the Suya spot and ordered all the Ishan and Shaki my heart desired. But its easier said than done.

Sometimes, I sit and wonder why people do what they do and the driving factor behind their callousness and myopic thinking. I wonder if they think, day after day, on things to say to a person to drag them down or make them feel bad.

It’s funny how, when you’re fat, and a person who hasn’t seen you in a long time happens upon you, the first comments out of their mouth go like this, ” Aahhhh….Waoh….this guy you’ve added weight…what have you been eating….you just went home to eat all the food sha…“. Then they proceed to give you advice on your weight and why being fat is the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Then you, the fat person, standing there has to smile and laugh about it and pretend it isn’t hurting you deep inside, almost tearing you apart. Or when you meet your parents friends or those elderly church matrons whose weights tip the scale, look at you and say, “Aaahh, Orobo mi, you are just growing fat sha!!! Eating all the food at home, you will not even leave for anybody. Why don’t you go and lose weight so you can be like your mummy and your sisters” and you have to resist the urge to slap the words back into their mouths because they’re old people and society does not condone rudeness to the elderly. Or you’re just randomly by yourself when some kind citizen of the nation who takes his duty as the national informant aka Tatafo, quite seriously and walks up to you in the market where you are just on your own pricing meat with the sweet Baba elerun and decides to tell you how to lose weight and how you’ll die in the prime of your youth because your heart will give out because of the stress your fat is putting on it and all you’re thinking is , ‘I just wanted to buy meat

People talk anyhow not knowing what you’re going through, not knowing how you feel during those moments of self recrimination when you blame yourself for thinking you’ve let it get bad.
They don’t know how it feels when you go to a boutique and the largest trouser size they have can’t go beyond your thighs, Or when those people in the hostel selling some beautiful dresses tell you, ” I don’t have big size” , Or when your friends are talking about their clothe sizes and you can’t talk because yours is theirs raised to the power of three Or when your thoughtless friend asks you in front of your other friends, “what size do you wear“, Or when another thoughtless slim friend makes a snarky “joke” about your weight in front of a group of fine boys you’ve been eyeing, Or when a male friend of yours tells you that you are like a brother to him(mind you, you’re a girl), albeit a fat one. Not to forget those instances when you want to buy something to eat and someone says, “should you be eating that with your size?” Or when you order food and the waitress looks at you with an expression of ‘no wonder you’re fat’ Or when you’re identified as , “the fat one” Or when you try to starve yourself and work out so you can live up to society’s standard of beauty and how you cry when after all your hard work, the digits on the scale don’t decrease, if anything, increase. They also don’t know how you fear the scale because you’re afraid of what it’ll read. They’ll never know how you make sure you don’t fall sick so the nurse at the hospital won’t take your weight and lecture you on how you are living an unhealthy life Or how you had to beg the man at Sea School not to call your weight out so the other students wouldn’t do the math and get three of their weights out of yours. How, they’ll never know the rest that you even refuse to think about for fear that it’ll bring on depression. Instead you bluster your way through life and friend zone every guy you meet by playing the part of the nonchalant, I- don’t- care about your opinion girl so they don’t friend zone you first. Or how you play the part of the jester so that they don’t see beyond that façade to the person hurt on the inside.
They’ll never see that.

Instead, they sit with their metabolisms burning the fat as soon as it enters,throwing comments and helpful advice on how to fit the status quo, while the less bothered ones just come right out with it and think of creative insults, I do say so myself, and tell you to “roll away” or “how you are the size of the wrecking ball used in Miley’s video” or how they can use you instead of the 707 cow to feed the starving children in Kenya and still have some left or how you can’t be a single lady because, well, you’re double the size of one, or if when they need two representatives you can just go out as per two in one. And what do you do? You laugh it out and give it back to them while your soul bleeds on the inside.

People don’t care that you are a great conversationalist, or that you love to write and have an extensive music playlist or how you love to design and have dreams of being a force to be reckoned with in your chosen field. They don’t care that you make a mean pot of Indomie and like matching underwear and think that good shoes are the best investment for your feet. They don’t care that you love being challenged or that you think The Sims is the best game ever invented. They don’t see beyond the fat, in all its glory accompanied by its best friends, stretch marks and cellulite. Sigh.

Dear fat person, I see it as a journey you know, however cliché it might sound, a journey of self discovery and a journey to realization of self worth and so should you. Its not going to be easy especially as we are in a society that has body shaming as its hobby. It’ll be really hard. I know that I’ll cry, sob, curse myself (and you will too) but you have to understand that the road isn’t smooth and easy. Heck no! Its a road filled with more pot holes than tarred surfaces with self righteous bigots as your traffic lights trying to stop you at every point, but you will overcome it. You’ll scale through flying high like Hercules on Pegasus and you’ll be proud of yourself. Trust me.

Written By Oyindasola Onwuchekwa

Published By Great Opara

 
 

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CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE COUNTRY SOUL – REVIEW

Chicken Soup For Country Soul
Disclaimer – This is not a cook book!

You know, just like every other teenage soul, I had no interest in books like Chicken Soup For The Soul. Trust me.
However, two years ago, I got about eight classics, at the same time; Zig Ziglar, Jack Canfield, Myles Monroe, Napoleon Hill and others. My journey started.
My relationship with Chicken Soup For The Soul, however, started in 2016, long after I read Jack Canfield’s ‘How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be’. Jack is blunt and that’s a good thing. I got a spin off of Chicken Soup For The Soul, it’s anniversary edition containing stories from literally all the Chicken Soup books and I couldn’t wait to read more.
This week, I read Chicken Soup For The Country Soul and its a must-read for everyone.
My reviews are a bit informal but enjoy!.
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Chicken Soup For The Country Soul.
Chicken Soup For The Soul Books.
Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Rom Camacho.
1998.
Inspirational/Motivational Book.

CSFTCS is a collection of short stories revolving around the American country music industry, Nashville; it’s stars; their fans and life, in general. Now, these stories may be centred about country music but it’s more than that. It’s life, in a closer look.
There are stories on Love and Kindness, On Family, The Power of Faith, Living The Dream, Overcoming Obstacles and Hardships and The Power of A Song.
Some stories made me reflect, some made me cry, others made me want to never stop dreaming and some made me belly-out with laughter.
The book is divided into six sections, with each having a number of stories. On Love And Kindness contained stories of giving, impacting kindness and love. On Family contained stories of a father’s love, the power of family, the love of a wife, loss and so on. The Power Of Faith was that section that taught me to keep on believing! Living The Dream contained stories of struggle, trying to make it in the music business and in life, dreaming big and never giving up. Overcoming Obstacles and Hardships was the reminder that tough times never last but tough people do! The Power Of A Song was the perfect never-ending end to stories that are more than stories. It was the reality that songs should be more than songs. Music should heal, should have a message and it can, it already has!
It’s amazing that some of these stories are true stories. Some, fiction but not any less mind-blowing.
As my friend, Rafiat once said, ‘So many words’. But, now, these are so many words of impact, imprinting impact.
You know, reading about all these stars in the papers, watching them on Tv, they look so high up there. In a way, reading this book, reading their stories, by them and by others deeply humanises them, at least for me. Dolly Parton wrote ‘I Will Always Love You’. I sincerely never knew until I read this. I’ve always known Whitney Houston for the song. In her story, she describes her encounter with a fan whose life was changed by the song. The Power Of A Song.
Stories like Teddy Bear, The Frog Finally Got Its Wings, God bless the U.S.A, A Special Gift will never leave me.
I can say for a fact that I have learnt so much. From reading a book, yes. It’s funny how some things just really get to you.
I think I started getting the whole inspiration vibe, from the Acknowledgment segment of the book.
(Yes, I actually read The Preface)
The words the authors wrote.
That’s all I have to say.

One of my favourite things about the book is the little quotes above each story. Here’s my favourite one!
Your talent is God’s gift to you. How you use it is your gift to God.
– Country Saying.

Chicken Soup For The Country Soul is an excellent read, with great content and great writing. Each story, distinct, yet has a connective bond with the next. It’s refreshing. It was written in 1998, almost twenty years ago. Yet, reading it in 2017, it still works! It’s a timeless piece.
I highly recommend the other Chicken Soup For The Soul books as well as ‘How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be’ by Jack Canfield.
You’ll love them!

Rating – A

Review by Titilope Adedokun

Published by Great Opara

 
 

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BOOK REVIEW – WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?  

Who Moved My Cheese?

(1998)

Spencer Johnson

Hi guys! Welcome to a new semester and a new series of book reviews. I know all of us have seen our first semester results, and while some are in the deep trenches of regret, others are working out ways to make this semester better. This brings us to our first book review of the semester; a book titled “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. An advice I’d give you is not to read it as a mere story, but to pick out the core values in it and use it to make all areas of your life better.
A group of old school friends is gathered for dinner and the topic of conversation gets on to change – in career, relationships and family life. One of those present contends that change no longer bothers him after having heard ‘a funny little story’ called Who Moved My Cheese?
The story involves four characters who live in a maze: the mice Scurry and Sniff, and two ‘littlepeople’, Hem and Haw. All is going well because they have found a huge source of their favourite food, cheese. Cheese here represents whatever it is you are seeking. The key point here is how the creatures react to this huge supply of cheese they had found. While Sniff and Scurry still wake up early to go to the supply and still check all other areas in the Maze for change that may have occurred, Hem and Haw had become so comfortable that they have even moved their houses to be near the CheeseStation and it has become the centre of their lives. But they do not notice that the cheese supply is getting smaller, and are devastated when they arrive at the site one morning and find the cheese is gone.
This is where the story splits in two. Scurry and Sniff quickly accept the loss of the cheese and go off into the maze in search of other sources. The littlepeople, because they have built their lives around the big cheese, feel they are the victim of some kind of fraud or theft. Yet this only makes things worse, as their clinging on ensures that they go hungry. Meanwhile, the mice move on and find new cheese. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Self-Help For Dummies: How To Survive In the Nigerian Home

Hello and welcome. To our nigerian friends in the abroad planning to return home for summer, we say a big welcome. To those of you who are not nigerian but are also coming here for one reason or another, welcome. And to those of you who have never left the country…haven’t even see the inside of plane before, we say welcome and how fa?
We understand your various situations, and because we care, we are going to be giving you tips on how to live or continue living(for the ones that have never left) here. The Nigerian home is a very complex something, and you must possess certain skills and information if you are to enjoy your stay there. We are glad to tell you all that you might need to know, for free of course…except if you wanna pay. Dollars, pounds or even naira. We will happily accept, we’re not proud please. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in SelfHelp for Dummies

 

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Book Review: Red By Samuel Abu

  Books, books ,books, a tool by writers and readers to delve into the endless possibilities of imaginary realms. I guess this was the same Story for Thomas Hunter, it’s just that his was more of both realities than one imaginary world.
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Book Review: Nadia Davids- An Imperfect Blessing

Book Review: Nadia Davids- An Imperfect Blessing

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  Nadia David’s “An Imperfect Blessing” is a beautiful novel that captures culture, religion, and discovery of identity, combining the three into an educational as well as enjoyable work of fiction.

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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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