Why You Should Watch UBA’s Traders Documentary Series

Indeed there is dignity in labour. That’s all I can say after taking my time to watch the four part documentary series curated by UBA on YouTube. In total it lasts about 30 to 40 minutes, each spanning a maximum of 10 minutes and I tell you it will be worth every second that you watch.

First of all, the cinematography is stellar, simply amazing. I don’t know who the videographer is, but I want to know. The work speaks for itself and to say it is excellent is an understatement so be rest assured that it will be a viewing pleasure for your eyes.

I like this documentary because it tells raw stories of men and women from different tribes across Nigeria who have made something of themselves through business. I’m not sure why these stories appeal to me. Maybe because it proves that Nigeria is not completely hopeless, that given some time, hardwork and dedication, everybody can make it.

I’ll talk about them in the order in which I watched them.


The Balogun Feature



The first tells the story of a young woman who came to Lagos with the hopes of starting a big business in the 80s. She soon realized she would have to start small, very small. But now she has her own brand of Ankara. She designs, produces and sells. Her products are beautiful and so is her story.

Watch here.

The Abeokuta Feature


The second is set in the ravishing city of Abeokuta. I have been to Abeokuta in Ogun State just once. It was nice seeing familiar places on film again. We are drawn into the story of a woman who has been into the Adire business since she can remember and has also managed to indoctrinate her children into this business as well. She expresses deep love for our culture and talks about the versatility and beauty of our material. Hers is lovely story, with even more lovely adire to feed your eyes.

Watch here.


The Alaba Market Feature



The third is the story of an igbo business man who started with buying and selling but has now grown so large to manufacturing and selling his own appliances with branches across the country. It all tends to sound like a fairytale but we don’t also fail to see that these individuals have paid the price whatever they seem to be enjoying at the moment and it was not always easy for them. They had to make sacrifices. We should all be prepared to take risks and make sacrifices to see result. There’s this one thing the man said that I dont think I’ll forget anytime soon; something along the lines of… people want to enjoy on Monday what they should wait for till Sunday. That is we should be paitent and give things time to grow and accumulate. There’s a lot to learn from these videos if you listen closely.

Watch here.


The Aba Feature



The fourth was the most surprising for me. It told the story of shoe makers. People who actually make shoes from scratch. Their work shed does not look like much but you’d be surprised with the variety, quality and quantity of shoes these people make, on a daily basis. My mind was blown.

Watch here.


UBA did a fantastic job putting this documentary together and I’m grateful they did as I’m sure you will be too when you watch it. Let’s have more of these, more stories of successes in our community. Inspiration is all around you, just open your eyes and be inspired. I know that there is a lot about our nation to make one sad but there is also a lot to inspire you, choose to be inspired.


Love & love—O

Short Story: Conception


This is your story. Somebody at some point in your life, however young or old you might be, has told you once or twice that you are amazing. You are about to find out that that is correct. You are about to find out that you are the greatest force of nature that has ever come to be and that I am telling you the truth and even more shocking, is finding that there is nothing you can do to change these facts. It matters not at all whether or not you believe me.


At an instance blurred into many others and in a harsh, hurried rush, two million were flushed into a weird greasy tunnel. It felt odd and warm, all too different from the wonderful mild Iceland they were used too. Many died on impart. Friends lost, family too. No one told these two million that they would ever have to leave their homes and make do in another dimension. The air made their tails stronger and excited, they were not aware that they could swim at all, so much move fast but they soon adapted and realized this was a race and somewhere at the end of the tunnel shone a light.


There in their midst, tail wagging, was you. The whole length of you, minuscule beyond comprehension. Daily, more died, some got tired and stop to rest but got sucked into the walls, and you watched several grow weaker until they just didn’t move any more. You were quite exhausted as well, but the only place to go was forward, even if you wanted to return (and you thought about this often) you couldn’t possibly. The overwhelming wave of at least a thousand bodies racing past you, behind you, pressing into you and against you on every side made even looking back or in any direction at all, a chronic impossibility.


The weather kept changing, it was one of the things that weakened you the most, and the tide was unpredictable, tossing you from side to side sometimes, up and down other times. It was unlike anything in your range of imagination. As the tunnel got narrower you knew you were close. You could smell success, victory, whatever it was didn’t matter, you just knew something was waiting for you, calling your name, pulling you in. What confused you was how it seemed that everyone thought the same thing as you, ran with the same zeal and vigour and even more bit of contempt. It hit you in a slow haze, like a bullet burying itself in flesh, slow yet fast. You realized that this was a competition. That there was a prize to be won and there will be no place for second place.


You leaned forward with all your might and beat your tail sharply. They can’t stop you now, you were in your element. You could see it, it was round and glorious. This is it. This is the light. You could see another going past you, so you ran faster, who knew one limb could move like lightening. When you edged your way to kiss its smooth body, it all made some kind of perfect sense. You were home. You were complete.


There it is, how you beat 2 000 000 others before you had limbs to move and eyes to see. So tell me, aren’t you just exceptional?

50 Cheers to My Mommy at 50!


Hello mommy! This is my love letter to you o, just you. Every other person is a crowd. You are the one I am writing to and there is a way I want this to go.

First go and download Adekunle Gold’s Mama, here.


Cheers to your name, indeed a ri eni ke, oluwa se wa loore, ni tori na oluwa to yin. Iya bi wura! Abiyamo tooto! You are a rare gift (Prof) Morenike Olutoyin, omo Okunmadewa, Aya Adetunji.


Cheers to your relentless, uncompromising love, nobody does it quite like you, everyday we are showered anew.


Cheers to your vigilante skills, all your night patrols when everyone is asleep. We hail you o, we can be rest assured all the doors are secured when you are home.


Cheers to good cooking, because of you, good food has never been a problem.


Cheers to being the disciplinarian, but it seems you’re going easy these days. Back then you used to be the original iron lady.


Cheers to your story telling, we love those time when you sit us down and let us journey on the wings of your words. We will treasure those stories forever. Thanks for letting us in on our heritage.


Cheers to all the sacrifices you make, we don’t see it all, we can’t see it all but we know and we appreciate you always.


Cheers to all the children you’ve raised all over the world. What a mother you’ve been!


Cheers to being the parent we didn’t like growing up, but look how we’ve come to love you, turns out you were the softest after all.


Cheers to shouting everyone’s name before realising who you really wanted to call. Haha. We like you like that.


Cheers to your writing, I think I got it from you.


Cheers to your brilliance! The prof herself, just raising standards everywhere.


Cheers to all your late nights and hard work, I’m glad it all paid off.


Cheers to all the times you escaped death in your early life, we are grateful God preserved you life till now. You see, indeed, oluwa to yin lori yin.


Cheers to being who you are, unapologetically. You made it alien for me to not simply be me.


Cheers to your independent Spirit! Is it not my mommy? There’s nothing she cannot handle on her own and with utter grace too.


Cheers to all the unapologetic hugs and kisses even when we act like we don’t like it (here’s a secret), the truth is we do.


Cheer to your walk, your ever so present confidence. I love it. You walk like you own the place, you walk like a queen. You’ve taught me to do the same.


Cheers to being young at heart, you’re the only 50 year old I know that still twirls like a little girl and embraces every opportunity to kiss her husband like a new bride. I have proof o, but I won’t show it here.


Cheers to all the things you’ve taught me, all the lessons you’ve passed on one way or the other, all the words only a mother can say to her own daughter.


Cheers to your love for family and traditions, to how you make efforts for us to do things together as a team! You are the glue that keeps us as one.


Cheers to not mincing words, to saying as it is, to always being the voice of reason and truth.


Cheers to your health, to all the bitter leaf drinks and cucumber. You taught us what an healthy diet looks like, thank you.


Cheers to being the enjoyment minister! Thanks for showing us the way, we local people. Lol. My mom is legit the only sophisticated person in our house. Correct babe!


Cheers to your gaming! Should I talk about it here? Let me just say that if you love to play games, you and my mom would be best friends in no time.


Cheers to being protective and proactive, I didn’t understand before but I do now. I am forever grateful and indebted to you. My future children thank you too, because if not for you, if not for your eye that follows me everywhere I go, I won’t be who I am today.


Cheers to your street sense, to slicing very price tag in half effortlessly. The market is your playground.


Cheers to your style, to looking sharp always. Your style screams elegance and class, your style screams “I know exactly what I am doing” and you do, you always do.


Cheers to your resilience, that never giving up spirit, that let’s fix it spirit. What a gift!


Cheers to your attention to detail, your meticulous nature has save my life more than I can recount. Praise God for that!


Cheer to your foresight, you know things before we see them, you see things before they come to be. We are so blessed.


Cheers to your extraness, to going over and beyond every single time!


Cheers to that gorgeous smile you dashed me! Thank you mommy!


Cheers to your love for the Lord, cheers to your pursuit of Him, you lead by example, I’m happy I have you as my forerunner and mentor.


Cheers to being the definition of diligent. My mother never gets tired, I still don’t know how you do it.


Cheers to your heart of contentment! Whatever you have is more than enough for you. I love that about you. Nothing stirs you to jealousy, you’re fine just as you are. I love that!!!


Cheers to staying current, you know things even I don’t know about the world. You are up to date, kudos to you o! You are the real deal.


Cheers to your dancing! Ah, my mother can dance and dance and dance, sometimes for no reason at all. May you continue to dance all the days of your life.


Cheers to being a woman of integrity, to refusing to compromise when pushed to the wall, to being strong in hard spots, to setting the standard for us all.


Cheers to breaking frontiers, to showing me that a woman can be and do anything she wants to do, to inspiring me to do more! I didn’t know women could be HODs until you did it! You’ve been raising the bar for eons.


Cheers to being a good manager of our home, I don’t think we would stand or survive without you carefully planning things out and looking after us.


Cheers to your handwriting, I’m so lucky I didn’t get daddy’s own. Thanks for providing a better option, I’m sure my future patients will be grateful too.


Cheers to all your prayers. May they always be answered!


Cheers to putting us first and showing it, even if all the world deserts me, I can be certain of my mother’s love and support, and that is enough to keep going.


Cheers to your quiet strength and wisdom, your subtle way of making sure everything runs smoothly, you are truly one of a kind.


Cheers to our friendship, yes you’re my mom but you’re also my good friend. You’re also my playmate. You’re also my favourite. Thanks for taking an interest in me and making an effort to get to know me. I know I’m not the easiest person to befriend, thank you for being patient and consistent, I know many other moms would have given up so I don’t take it for granted to your were keen on building a strong relationship with me. Thank you.


Cheers to your giving spirit! I know people often assume daddy is the giving one, but I’ve seen you give too much of yourself, I’ve seen you give when it was obviously unfavourable to you, I’ve seen you give despite yourself. To say I am awed is an understatement.


Cheers to all the random acts of kindness you show that I don’t deserve, all the surprise gifts and all.


Cheers to your unavoidable beauty, in and out. You shine ever so bright.


Cheers to your 50th year! Look how far you’ve come and you’ve only just began! I bless God for the gift you to us, we are indeed favoured by Him.


I love you forever Maami. I could never say it all.


Happy fiftieth birthday!


How far with the song we are downloading. Done? Good. Now is the time to play it and dance for me.


Be rest assured that I am dancing for you too.
Your first,
Omooba.


PS: I had some help from Adeolu in putting this together. I’m sure Tosin sends her love too. We love you so much! Enjoy your day.

Short Story: Her Valentine

ME TOO, REPORT NO. 993,047


Even though the harmattan season had lingered into the New Year, I was butt naked in my bedroom at one am, February the fourteenth, trying on dresses for my date with Dele later in the day. I loved him, of that much I was certain. I wasn’t sure it was reciprocated and did not want to believe that it was not. He was my fourth boyfriend, seventh love and we had been together for over a year; that had to be a good sign.


He made it clear in the beginning that he did not like big girls and uh… I was big. I had always been big. I wasn’t obese but I had flappy arms, folds of flesh at my sides and my thighs were too thick for sexy. It wasn’t a big deal, I had long gotten over ever losing weight. I tried, in secret, with meal plans, exercises, tummy trainers and the sorts. I even joined a gym once. I never did get any substantial results, maybe because I was just about as consistent as Nigeria’s economy.


My mom was fat. My dad was fat. My sister was fat. My brother was fat. Everyone in my family except my parents lost weight at some point in their lives. I was the lazy, irresponsible one that loved food too much and was too heavy to exercise daily. I had made peace with this. At times, it stung that the person I loved did not fancy fat people but other times, most times, I brainwashed myself into feeling lucky that I was not loved for my body but instead for my character and what an admirable character that must be. I was wrong. I wasn’t lucky at all.


I met him at work. He was a regular at KFC with his five year old. I became friends with her first, then later on him. He ask me to spend some time with them both after one of my shifts and I agreed. We became a thing not much after. He was blunt and quick tempered but also smart and romantic. He promised marriage and even though a year and eight months had passed, I trusted his promise of a life together.


He said he was taking me out. He said, we would finally do it. I had not had sex with him yet because I didn’t want to. I was a twenty-nine-year-old virgin and I liked it. I, liked it. Fat girls are made to believe, from the movies and the books and the porn, that sex for us would be not quite right. We like to keep our clothes on. And baggy. But I agreed. I wanted to get married, I wanted someone to call my own, children to call my own. So I said yes, we will do it, like high school lovers, on Valentine’s Day.


The hotel was luxurious and I wondered if he had been saving up to afford this place since the day he met me. It was nine pm and he led me through glittering hallways to a suite. We had the best wine I have ever had till this day and spoke sparingly over the dinner he ordered. The dinner I couldn’t eat because I didn’t want my stomach to bulge in the one-piece lingerie I had under my dress. He asked if I wanted to take a hot bath and I said no because I couldn’t stand undressing with his eye traveling over my body like a speeding subway train. He took off his shirt and I could feel my heart pulsing hard against the fabric of my skin and I knew, I started to know, that I did not want to do this anymore. But I didn’t say a word. Clinging to my body was the black dress I had picked out last minute. It made my cleavage seem like an endless jungle of bliss, the entire length of it stopping at my knees, its lace running down my arms covering my stretch marks. I wanted to stay that way. Covered. I was sitting at the edge of the bed when he came towards me, with deadly hunger in his eyes. The kiss was hard and wet. I felt like I was being eaten raw.


I could feel his hands unzipping my dress when I said stop. I am certain he did not hear because he did not stop. I pushed him off me a few inches and said please, I don’t think I want to do this, I’m sorry. And he replied quickly, of course you don’t want to do this, but you are going to do this. He dragged my gown down and pushed me on the bed. I begged him for time, for a few minutes to get myself together but he declined.


I began to cry and he began to say, baby c’mon you want this as he continued to undress me. I didn’t want to be naked. I pushed him off me, harder this time and he got back up ready to fight. First came the hot slap, then the blows. He was talking all along but I couldn’t get past the sound of my heart beating straight into my now hot ears. I gathered all of my strength and pulled him off me, he landed on the floor. I launched forward and sat on his stomach before he could respond and began hitting him as hard as I could with my bare hands. I picked up my metallic clutch a feet away and hit him hard on the head as many times as I could until I saw had he had started to bleed and was almost unconscious. I grabbed the bed spread, wrapping it around my invaded body, clutch in hand, unlocked the door and ran.
I have not seen Dele since that night.

Today I am thirty-three, single and fat.


Written January 2018.

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Happy Valentine’s Day (in advance)! Hope you have a good one, remember that not everyone does so spread love everywhere you go, every single day.

Love & love—O