28 Jan 2015

PUT IT IN A POEM: THE TITI SONUGA POETRY WORKSHOP


2015 promises a lot of great things, one of them new avenues to learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. This is why we at 9jeducation are determined to share every new opportunity we learn about. For those of us who love literature and especially poetry, there is a new opportunity to improve one's poetry skills.

Titi Sonuga, Nigerian/Canadian actress and spoken word poet is organizing a six week poetry workshop for new and intermediate poets. The poetry workshop will happen entirely online for a six week period starting from the 9th of February and will through to march and will teach poets how to find and improve on their unique poetic voices. Here's Titi Sonuga, talking about her journey into Poetry at the TEDxEdmonton event. 

26 Jan 2015

We've Got To Plan.


As a young adult growing into a world of responsibilities, the realization that there is a lot of pressure on me to succeed weighs heavily on me. As a child, I was free of expectations, I could choose to be a lawyer one day and a week after become fascinated with the idea of becoming a doctor. One of the advantages of being a child is that feeling of innocence and not having to worry about a thing in the world as everything is being taken care of by the adults.
Sometime last week, I happened to be on a radio programme called Teen’s Time on Inspiration FM. I alongside a couple of friends from a writing club I belong to in school, Weavers Club were to speak on planning. For the first time as we discussed in that studio, I realised I don’t plan much. Wishing for things or saying I am going to do this or that wasn’t really what one can call planning. As I examined my life, I realised though I have ideas about the things I want to be or do in my head, I didn’t necessarily have a clear cut map of how I am going to achieve them. Along the line, some of these things gets forgotten and only by a random stroke of fate do they resurface only for me to realise I had failed to do it.
While living a day to day life without thoughts as to tomorrow may seem like a relatively simple life, there is no saying that it can be quite detrimental to an individual. Without crispy clear plans as to one’s ambition and ways of achieving those goals and dreams then shouldn’t be expecting much success out of life. Like the popular saying by Alan Lakein, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” It is next to impossible to achieve something you didn’t plan on achieving and let not the thoughts of blind luck or a stroke of good fortune deceive you either.
While nobody said it’s going to be an easy thing sticking to plans and actually executing them, it doesn’t hurt to have a small reminder or notebook of your plans. It’s easy to make short term plans and work on them as it makes it easier for you to be able to work on planning for long term goals in the long run. If things aren’t going out as planned then don’t be afraid to be flexible and consider other options that can work out. After all if plan A doesn’t work out, the alphabet has twenty-five other letters.

Keep at it, before long, your plans will become actions and actions, achievements. 

Akinwale Akinyoade
Department of English, University of Lagos
Department of Mass Communication, Yaba College of Technology.

23 Jan 2015

The Etisalat Prize For Flash Fiction 2015 Short List Is Finally Out.

The Etisalat Prize for Flash fiction is finally out.

The Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize, a companion competition to the Etisalat Prize for literature is geared towards encouraging amateur writers and providing exposure for them through competition. While I don't really see the point of a popularity vote used to pick out the top 20 finalists before judges and moderators step in, I do think the prize is a welcome thing.

The winner of the Prize apart from exposure, gets £1000, a Samsung Galaxy Note or an iPad, and publishing rights for an e-book which is great. The first and second runner ups will receive Galaxy Note Pads as well.

The top three finalists are:

- Justin Ikhide for These Words I Do Not Speak.

- Chinua Ezenwa Ohaeto for How I Saved My Marriage

- Neema Komba for Setting Babu on Fire.

Personally, I hope Justin Ikhide wins. He has done some stellar work on his online platforms and we need more writers out there.

To read the top short stories go here.

Good luck guys.

Okolo Edwin
Alum

21 Jan 2015

H.O.O.R: Art Classes At The Osh Gallery



We've talked about the Osh Gallery before, the new gallery located at no 331 Herbert Macauley Way Yaba, dedicated to discovering new artists and giving young and first time artists a platform with which to launch their careers with their close relations to the major art schools in Nigeria and their Artist Development Program that works closely with young artists.

Well the Osh Gallery has decided to take things a step further and started Art classes open to the general public. Starting with amateur classes for people who have never picked up a pencil all the way to intermediate classes for people who have some skill but want to brush up, the Art classes at the Osh Gallery are a brilliant way to introduce art to a new group of people.

19 Jan 2015

Business Ideas For Fresh Graduates


With fresh graduates currently waiting for their call up letters and school resuming for the rest of the undergraduate world, I thought now would be a good time to write this article. We all have our dream jobs in our head and various ideas on how to hit it big but of course we have the harsh reality of life. In a situation where that dream job is not forthcoming, rather than sitting at home waiting for that white collar job, take a look at some businesses that you can start up on your own with little capital to sustain yourself.
Engage in a Skillful Trade: While you were a student on campus, I am sure there were seminars and workshops organized to teach students basic vocational skills to empower them later in life. If you were one of the students that took advantage of such opportunities then your skills can come in handy at this period. Not to worry, if you were not so fortunate, it is not too late to learn a skill that can fetch you money, from bead making, decorating, carpentry, photography, painting, tailoring, barbing, baking and the likes, you can make some quick cash without having to break the bank.  
Freelance Jobs Online: Take advantage of the internet and get jobs online. There is money to be made over the internet so don’t limit your use of the internet to just chatting. You can take on jobs as a freelance writer, a blogger, or even a social media consultant. You can turn your knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, Email and other social media knowledge into money by applying to be a social media consultant for specific people and organizations.
Become a General Contractor: As a job seeker you should be ready to capitalize on every opportunity that comes your way. If you get a job for instance that is not in your field, accept it then get a professional in that field to do it, you pay them for their services and still have something for yourself. For instance if you studied Electrical engineering in school, you could take up the wiring of newly built houses on contract and get the services of an experienced electrician to help do the job while you supervise.
Farming: Many young Nigerians do not want to get their hands dirty as they have the ‘get rich quick’ syndrome. If you are not opposed to the idea of hard work, then you can consider starting up a farming business. There are various forms of farming you can dab into, there is poultry farming which involves rearing of birds. Rearing of broilers is very lucrative and it takes about only three months for them to develop. Or you could get a piece of land and plant crops such as maize, okro, melon, yam, etc, depending on the season.
Buying and Selling: You can take advantage of sites like Olx, Kaymu and the likes for your buying and selling business. For this you don’t even need a shop as you can arrange where to meet potential customers. Rather than sit at home doing nothing, you can get goods for a cheap price and then sell at a higher rate to other people. Working class people for instance do not usually have the time to get things for themselves so you can provide the service of helping them buy and selling to them. You can charge them for the mobile service and ensure you sell to those who pay promptly to allow your business flourish.
Private Tutoring: As fresh graduate, you should open your options to private teaching as a means of survival. Teaching kids at home can earn you money from parents who do not want to pay too high for lesson fees. Just be sure not to overcharge and word of mouth can also get you more students to teach. You can also coach students preparing for exams like JAMB and WAEC and before you realize it you would have built yourself a strong brand.
 

16 Jan 2015

The 9JEducation Official List Of Unforgettable Events In 2014.


2015 is here with so much excitement and hope for many people. With many dreaming of a better year than the one that just went by, let’s take a walk down memory lane to revisit some major events that shaped 2014.  

Abduction of the Chibok Girls
The BringBackOurGirls campaign is one that will continue to remain constantly in our minds following the abduction of 276 girls in Chibok, Borno state by the Boko Haram terrorist group. The abduction of the girls threw the entire globe into an uproar as millions of people lent their voices to the struggle to see to the release of the school girls. Although a few girls managed to escape, it is sad to know that most of these girls remain missing as of the time of this article goes up and one can only continue to hope that one day the plight of the Chibok girls will be given precedence and they'll be rescued.

Ebola Outbreak
Can Nigerians and indeed the world be quick to forget the Ebola outbreak? That question needs no genius to provide an answer. When Liberian Patrick Sawyer brought Ebola into Nigeria in July 2014, the entire nation was thrown into a state of panic. Hundreds of people were quarantined as the disease spread, thanks to a cocktail of fear and misinformation. Seven deaths were recorded from the deadly virus including two medical staff of First Consultants hospital, the ground zero of the disease's spread; Stella Adadevoh and Justina Ejelonu. Due to the quick intervention of the government and the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who risked their lives, the spread of the disease was curtailed and Lagos was declared an Ebola free state in September while the World Health Organization declared Nigeria an Ebola free country in October.



P Square Separation
When the rumour mills buzzed with news of a possible separation between music sensation twin brothers, Peter and Paul Okoye popularly known as P Square, the entire populace got talking. Considered Africa’s biggest music duo, the brothers have entertained Africans and indeed the world at large for a number of years now. Popular for their energetic dance moves and chart topping songs, their rumoured separation almost stopped the hearts of many. Thankfully, they settled their differences and fans can continue to enjoy the music of the Okoye brothers. 

12 Jan 2015

Travel Diary: Ado-Ekiti


Judge not a book by its cover, but by its content, goes the saying. I recently defaulted on this saying. However, in my case, it was not a book, but a trip.

On Monday 11th August, 2014, I was notified about a planned tour to Ekiti state, Southwest Nigeria. It was a planned field trip for both great Historians and Geographers in the faculty of Education of the university of first choice, and nation’s pride, University of Lagos, Akoka, in the department of Arts/social sciences, to serve as a means of exploring the historical corners of the wealth and geographical terrain of Ekiti state. A few weeks to the day of departure, I was filled with a sense of anticipation, due to how the trip will enhance my performance in one of my courses, which is CULTURE AND TOURISM IN INDEPENDENT AFRICA.

On Thursday 4th September, 2014, it was the departure day, filled with much anticipation. It was not only the day everyone had been waiting for, it was also the day I was expecting Ekiti to give me dividends for my money and prove right my hunch.

We started our journey to Ekiti nearly two hours later than the agreed time by 8:30am, as a result of some logistic difficulties. Exactly 30minutes later, we got to the Ogun state border, the Gateway state. At 9:15am, we got to the Redemption Camp, the national camp grounds of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God, significant for its place as one of the largest congregations of Christians in the country.

All seemed to be going smoothly, until about 9:30am, when we experienced our first traffic jam, exactly an hour into the journey. 30km ahead, we encountered another stretch of traffic at Sagamu. At 10:15am, we had a stop-over at Isara-Remo, Ogun state for a short break. 45minutes later, we reached Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. Ibadan is renowned in world history as the Seat of the Alaafin of Oyo the religious and cultural head of the Yoruba and the city itself, the capital of the Old Oyo Empire. After about fifty minutes through the old city we reached Osun state, the citadel of Yoruba civilization.

Relief was our dominant feeling when we entered Ekiti state at 2:15pm, and at 3:20pm, we arrived Ado-Ekiti, the capital city of Ekiti state and our destination. Touted as the land of honor and often times, the fountain of knowledge, having produced the highest number of professors and academics in Nigeria. Ekiti state offered a serene view of nature’s goodness, highly blessed with the existence of rocks, hills, mountains, streams and historical leftovers, Ekiti is indeed beautifully enchanting, due to the richness of the land, and the people’s spirit of accommodation. The city of Ado-Ekiti was littered with hills, and from our vantage point we could see the iconic red roof of homes, shops, schools sitting in Ado-Ekiti’s valleys.

Our first point of visit was the renowned Fajuyi memorial park in Ado-Ekiti, inspired by the heroic contributions of the late Lt. Col. Francis Adekunle Fajuyi. The Ekiti state government, under the administration of Governor Segun Oni gave the park a facelift. It was a serious picture section when we got to the park, as students turned the park into a photo studio in appreciation of the martyrdom of Fajuyi, who was the first military Governor of the defunct Western Nigeria. He died on the 29th July, 1966 when Nigeria experienced the 2nd military coup d’etat alongside J.T.U Aguiyi Ironsi, the former military Head of state. We also visited a mini-conservatory in the park some of Fajuyi personal effects, such as his ceremonial uniform, a pair of boots, his hat and a ceremonial sword. After sometime there, we departed for our hotel accommodation at about 5:00pm. We were lodged in a hotel not too far from Fajuyi memorial park, named Park view hotel, also in Ado-Ekiti. Treated to a one star suite, the hotel offered convenient room service, an inter-continental restaurant, a bar, ambience and qualitative customer services delivery. We were lodged in quartets (4 persons in a room) and the night was splendid.

9 Jan 2015

The Idiot's Guide To: Blog Domains


Blogs.

It's become one of the buzzwords for the last decade. The odds are, if you check five pages on the internet, two will be blogs. A huge chunk of the content currently sourced on the internet is crowd sourced from blogs and blogging. What then is a blog?

A blog is a shortened version of two words 'web log'. A web log is an easy to operate web page, hosted under a public or private hosting service that allows you upload content be it text, pictures, music or gifs.

Blogs used to be very basic when they were first introduced in the early 2000's, now they have become quite sophisticated and a way to reach thousand, if not millions of people. Blogs have also become a source of income (for example Linda Ikeji) allowing people monetize their passions. In this day and age, everyone needs to have a blog, a tiny bit of the internet that is all their own, curated to their tastes. A presence that is personal as opposed to influenced by outsiders.

7 Jan 2015

H.O.O.R: The Read Club


A lot of great social media driven projects came to life last year, most memorably the Twitter Premier League, a one day football tournament, proceeds of which went to charity. Following the resonant success of the TPL and other projects that grew out of social media, we at 9jeducation have decided to keep an eye out for the most interesting ones and keep you updated. Recently we came across The Read Club Nigeria.

5 Jan 2015

Book Review: MoxyLand



Of all the genres of literature, urban afro science fiction is one of the rarest, a genre that combines contemporary Africa with a futuristic take on science fiction. This is why when I heard of MoxyLand by Lauren Beukes, I knew I just had to find this book and read it.
Lauren Beukes is a special figure in the modern African literary scene. A third generation indigenous White South African, Beukes has always attracted interest because of her status as the first internationally successful White, female South African Science Fiction/Fantasy writer. A lot of comparism has been made between her and South African Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer because of the themes of corruption, race and apartheid that are tackled in her work. Before Beukes took on fiction full time, she had worked more than a decade as a journalist and photographer, giving her unmitigated access to South Africa’s fringe societies and subcultures, exposure that would come to give her fiction work authenticity in the future. This is why MoxyLand, her first novel and only truly sci-fi book is so special.