Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog: 06/29/2008 - 07/06/2008





Monday, 7 July 2008

Life Under The Bridge

When I decided to start a magazine, I felt it was important to stick to the industry I was familiar with; the fashion, modeling and beauty industry, thus the name FM&B.

But as time went by, I realised there was more to life than fashion and Style. Much more! So I decided to include human interest stories to give the mag more depth.

Looking for more depth, I came up with something that has always held a fascination for me...STREETLIFE. And for our maiden Streetlife page, I decided to deal with the issue of area boys in Lagos.

See, I've had a few unpleasant encounters with area boys. I've been harrassed a few times by these guys while driving in the Lagos Metropolitan. If your window is down and you're in traffic, you're bound to get 'nicely' and 'politely' robbed.

I used to be so scared of them but after a few encounters, my fear turned to curiosity. Why are these guys this way? What happpened to them? Can they be rehabilitated?

I told my editors that I wanted to interview area boys. Initially they thought I was crazy but after much consideration, they agreed it was a good idea. So about two weeks ago we went to one of the most notorious places in Lagos...

The picture above is the Obalende bridge. If you live in Lagos, then I don't need to tell you anymore about the place. If you don't live in Nigeria, well, this is one of the most notorious places in Lagos. When you're walking around here, you're advised to hold tightly to your belongings. If your car stops there at night, you're advised to leave the car and find your way out of there. It's that notorious 'cos it's the home of several 'hooligans'.

They live under the bridge pictured above.

When we went there the first time to survey and make enquiries, I was advised not to go. Somebody told me that the guys were always 'high', and very unpredictable, so couldn't guarantee my safety. But I insisted on going with my guys, so instead of going there looking all pretty, I took my hair weave out, no make up, wore an oversized shirt and went into the lion's den with my General Editor, Odega Shawa, my Special Events Editor, Oteri Agboro and a photographer.

Now we actually went there to interview the area boys. We wanted to hear their story. We wanted to know about their family, what they want from the govt, what they can do for their country, are they as dangerous as people say/feel they are? Why are they living under the bridge, are they interested in decent jobs...? etc.

Thankfully for us, they were very accomodating. They answered all our questions but refused to have their pictures taken. Some of them were a little suspicious of our motives and they also were 'smoking' you know what...and didn't want to be exposed that way.

Anyway, as we were interviewing these area boys I noticed little children playing football in the open field under the bridge...(the boys you see in this picture). In my head I wondered what these kids were doing in such a place, surrounded by such craziness. After asking around I found that they all lived under the bridge. Some of them are runaways, some are abandoned, some live there with a parent. Different stories. Sad situation!

The kids are pictured here with their football coach and asst coach.

Every child you see in this picture lives under the Obalende bridge. But the comforting part is that the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Obalende branch, are playing their part by trying to discover talent amongst these children (through football). They brought these children together and started a football academy, under the bridge. Hoping it will keep them busy and focused on the positive, so they don't end up like the older ones they are surrounded by, considering they have no education whatsoever.

That's me talking to some area boys and a woman who lives and sells under the bridge with her infant child. On your right is where they cook, eat...

Here I am with two of my editors and the Obalende children...

These children are so young and innocent and exposed to a life so unfair. I was under the bridge for about three hours and I left there feeling dizzy and 'high' from all the 'smoke' inhalation. And these children have to live with this for a long time until something can be done for them.

Talking to them I found that some of them were actually ambitious and didn't want to end up armed robbers, jailed, or even killed. One particular child told me he wanted to be a lawyer.

You will get the full story when the magazine hit the stands.

I left the place feeling a little dejected. These children deserve a better life. Then I asked myself, is it enough to just report these stories? What can I do as a citizen of this country for these children? What can you do? Or maybe a better question is; what can be done for these children?

Sunday, 6 July 2008

2008 Wimbledon Champions: Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal finally won Wimbledon beating 5 times champion, Roger Federer, in what can be described as one of the best final competitions ever played.
I was so happy when he won 'cos he's been trying to win this competition for the past 4 years...but Federer just wouldn't give him a chance. But he finally did it tonight, July 6th 2008.

And I'm sure y'all know that Venus beat her younger sister, Serena Williams yesterday in the women's final.

Congrats to VENUS and NADAL!!!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Naija Entertianment News

Two of Femi Kuti's Five Children are not his by Seun Apara
Afrobeat King, Femi Kuti clocked 46years old some weeks back, but inspite of how blessed he has been, he still regrets that he's not the father of two of his five children. He revealed this few days to his birthday in an interview.

Out of his alleged five children, two of them, a boy and a girl, have been discovered not to be his biological children, according to a recent DNA test. He confessed being disappointed and pained that a woman can actually give someone what does not belong to him.

Femi "I did a DNA test and was told two of the children are not mine. It is very serious. I never knew somebody could give you what is not yours. I have three boys now. I can't father children I was tricked to believe I am their father."
Because of the betrayal, he returned the two children to their mothers.
The maverick Afrobeat king has finished work on his next album which will be released soon.

Stephanie Okereke Files For Divorce by Ann Okwologu
Delectable star actress, Stephanie Okereke and her estranged footballer husband, Chikelue Iloenyosi, are now in court for the formal dissolution of their marriage. The union contracted on Aug 31, 2004 in Lagos, and went kaput on Jan 14th 2007, due to what she summed up as infidelity, trechery and bigamy on the part of Iloenyosi.

Accusing her ex-husband of being married to one Ijeoma Mba at the time they were supposed to be a couple. Okereke in her divorce petition now before a Lagos High Court is asking the court to award her N100million as recompense for the trauma she was subjected to the former Super Eagles player while they were married. She also wants him to return her Mercedes Benz car CLR 500 valued at N3.5mil, a Volkswagen Passet 2.0 valued at N3.5m, a N150, 000 laptop as well as household items estimated at N600, 000, and another N4.3mil allegedly collected from her fraudulently. Iloenyosi, in his response, denied all these.

Deola Sagoe's Marriage Crumbles...as written by Folusa Samuel (Encomium Mag)
This is authoritative. The marriage of popular fashion designer Deola Sagoe to her Ghanaian husband, Koffi Sagoe, has crumbled. Insiders who should know attributed the cause of the failed marriage to irreconcilable differences among other things. Sources again confirmed to Encomium Weekly that a silent war over the custody of the children of the once-upon-a-time happy marriage is now on between the estranged couple.

We called the abundantly gifted designer on Sat. June 28th 2008, and she confirmed that indeed her marriage has packed up. "Yes, it is true, she told us and hung up".

Globacom Endorses Comedian BasketMouth For N80million...by Stella Dimoko-Korkus
Star Comedian, Bright Okpocha, has just been endorsed by Globacom to the tune of N80million. The people who are in the know regarding this deal swear that it has been signed sealed and delivered. He will do TV adverts and his face will be on the print adverts.
Congrats to BasketMouth.

Charly Boy turns 55'
On Thursday June 19th, maverick entertainer Charles Oputa a.k.a Charly Boy, was 55 years old. And he marked it in a special way with the release of his second album, his second book entitled The Different Colours of Charly Boy and the unveiling of his youth centre.

Question: What has actually kept Charly Boy consistent over the years, despite the challenges? Charly Boy "It is not an easy thing but after a while it just became a routine. But I picked a lot from my father who I see as always content with his person in life. I've always asked myself 'what's the essence of life?' It's not about amassing wealth and properties. I've foundout that what really brings fulfillment in life is not money. It's the little tangible things that count. When I do good or affect my environment positively, or speak for the under-priviledged, I am happy. People might see it as posturing, but it gives me a sense of usefulness in my society and I'm happy. I remember the days when I couldn't even put food on my table, but I'll be crazy to say I wished I remained like that. It's that contentment and self-fulfilment, that's the only thing that keeps me going". Pic:Charly Boy and daughter

This Day Stages Third Musical Festival

This Day Music Festival, an annual musical jamboree, is around the corner. The event has acts like Usher, Fat Joe, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Mary J Blige, Youssou N'dour and it will be taking place in four cities, Lagos, Abuja, Wahington DC and London. Naomi Campbell, Oswald Boateng are equally part of this year's event. Others are 9ice, Oluchi, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede...

The event will kick off in Abuja on July 11th and move to Lagos on July 13th, Washington DC is billed for Aug 1 and London Oct 14th.

The concept behind this year's event is to highlight and focus sustainable solutions on the problems of Africa through massive investment in infrastructure and micro-finance in order to rebuild Africa from the ground up.

Something New From Sleek Magazine

It's the newest addition to the SLEEK Media family and a sibbling to SLEEK magazine, the flagship international fashion, luxury and lifestyle magazine produced in Nigeria for the rest of Africa. SLEEK IN-design is an interior design magazine that showcases the best of art, architecture, interior design and lifestyle in today's progressive Nigerian society.

Out Of Africa with Sammie Okposo and friends.

Featuring RMD, Stella Damasus, Segun Arinze, Ali Baba, Tee A, Mike Aremu, Kefee, Infinity, Dekunle Fuji, Gordons, Jedi, Samsung, Modele, G-Force.
Live in London @ The Troxy
For enquiries call 07025356582, 08038930042, +447944933666

Azuh Amatus
Well, this guy needs no introduction, if you're very familiar with the entertainment industry in Nigeria. He's one of the most respected entertainment journalist in Nigeria.
Azuh Amatus, 30, is a multiple awards-winning journalist with over a decade experience. At 25, he emerged as one of Nigeria’s youngest editors when he edited Hearts Magazine between 2004 and 2005. An authority on Nollywood and entertainment matters, he has also worked with various media houses spanning both the print and electronics. Currently with The Sun Newspapers where he handles Showbiz Bits alongside other interesting columns, he is also an entertainment consultant

And the best part of it all is that he's also started his own blog...check it out here...http://azuhamatus.blogspot.com/
Blogsville is getting more interesting eh?
Also check this out...http://3dtune.tv

Pictures from ModeMen BlackNight 2

See y'all later.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Killer Beans

Here's something Nigerians who live in Nigeria might want to know....

Please be informed that NAFDAC has just discovered killer beans in the Nigerian markets. Some farmers, in their bid to preserve beans accidentally added more pesticide than normal and this killer beans has found its way into the markets.


FOLLOWING reports of death arising from the consumption of beans, the National Agency for Drug and Food, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has embarked on workshops to enlighten farmers, grain merchants and the general public regarding the development.

Over 120 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Doma in Gombe State were hospitalized after eating a meal of beans .

In Calabar, Cross River State, reports also has it that112 people were also hospitalized and two children confirmed dead in Bekwarra Council, of the state after eating beans.

In Calabar, Cross River State, reports also has it that 112 people were also hospitalized and two children confirmed dead in Bekwarra Council, of the state after eating beans.

Only on Sunday, about 10 persons died and 20 hospitalized after eating gbegiri soup (beans delicacy) at a burial ceremony in Ede, Osogbo, Osun State.

The Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Dorothy Akunyili, said the offensive beans found in Cross River State came from Taraba State and not Benue State as initially claimed.

"The moi-moi and beans from the homes of victims and open market in Benue and Taraba States were collected for laboratory analysis.

It revealed outrageously high levels of organophosphates, carbamates, fenithrothin and chloropyrifes which are highly toxic pesticides. They must have used them in either higher doses than recommended or applied wrongly."

According to the DG, the samples of uncooked beans, palm oil, onions, maggi, and other condiments used in cooking the beans, as in the case of victims, were tested, and their results proved the presence of lindane, popularly known as gammallin which affects the nervous system.

"Lindane, called gammallin is an organochlorinated pesticide banned under the 1989 Rotterdam convention," she said. Akunyili noted that results of the samples included endosulphan, which is also a highly restricted pesticide under the convention.

The agency has embarked on routine workshops to enlightenand re-train farmers, grain merchants and the public on the use of agrochemicals (pesticides). The workshops have kicked off in Gombe and Cross River States.

The agency said that food poisoning arising from the consumption of beans had become a serious health hazard which must be addressed so that it did not seem like the case of fake drugs which has killed and maimed so many Nigerians. She also urged the farmers and grain dealers to desist from using banned toxic agrochemical such as gammallin or over-dose or wrong application of approved pesticides for preserving beans and other grains.

Sources from the agency revealed that there are also cases of killer beans in Plateau State, Minna and some other northern states. The source who preferred anonymity said some of the dealers were in a hurry to make quick sales.

"Some chemicals are to stay for six months. But some of them won't wait for the six months before they start selling them out to people, she said.

She disclosed that some of the effects include vomiting, nausea, weakness of the joints, discomfort in the stomach, which might eventually lead to death. She pointed out that there was no significant sign to identify an affected grain.

Be safe...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Choose a Cover

Hi people, welcome to a beautiful new month. May all your dreams come true.

Ok, I'm back again...needing your opinions.

We've been working so hard on our mag's 4th edition...so hard. And I think we've finally got it right...in terms of content that is. This edition is bumper packed. From Olu Maintain's crib/cars/wardrobe, to interviews with great people, Guy Murray-Bruce, Matthew Mensah, and over 12 Naija celebs on our celeb chat page, to area boys in Lagos, with exclusive pictures. You guys need to hear what these guys have to say. Then stuff on Career, Interviews, Issues, TV, Radio, Music, Movies, Parenting, Marriage, Fashion police, Sex, health, Beauty, Modeling, True Stories and a lot of fashion pages...

You guys will love this particular edition.

But the problem is; we can't decide on a cover. I kinda prefer cover 1, but a few others think we should go with cover 2...

Here are our two options for the mag's cover...(It's not the final thing)

Cover 1

Cover 2

Her name is Chinwe Ezeribe, one of Nigeria's hottest models. So in demand right now...

So what do you guys think? Which cover should we go for?

Pls pls pls, pick a cover and tell us why we should go for it...And if you have any other suggestion on how we can make the cover better, pls do share.
Thank U!

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