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I’m Ekene Atueyi and This is How I Run Things

I’m Ekene Atueyi and This is How I Run Things

Photography, cinematography, videos, print. These are some of the things Ekene Atueyi is involved in. A budding entrepreneur and media

Random Rantings: The Disorder called ‘blankophobia’

Random Rantings: The Disorder called ‘blankophobia’

I know you are wondering “What does that even mean?” That just shows you haven’t been reading your English dictionary.

The Bird Has Flown: Maya Angelou

The Bird Has Flown: Maya Angelou

Maya-angelou I had mixed feelings when I heard that Maya Angelou had passed away. I was happy that she could

Drama Soju: My Korean Drama Craze

Drama Soju: My Korean Drama Craze

Secret-garden-sikeurit-gadeun-korean-drama It  was introduced to the world of K-drama in 2012, in the 1st semester of my final year. Then,

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I’m Ekene Atueyi and This is How I Run Things

I’m Ekene Atueyi and This is How I Run Things

Photography, cinematography, videos, print. These are some of the things Ekene Atueyi is involved in. A budding entrepreneur and media consultant, with a BSc. in Economics from the University of Lagos, which is a lot different from his current pursuits, he credits finding passion and fulfillment in photography as the reason for the deviation. He is also a published author and briefly did a stint as an editor. Ekene is the cofounder of Trance Pictures, which he started with a friend of his that shared the same love as he does for movies and cameras. He has as his mentors Bayo Omobiriowo and Jide Odukoya, from whom he learnt the tricks of the trade. He covers all kinds of events and has been involved in the making of documentaries, fashion spreads such as this one for Bellanaija. But according to him, the one that stands out and that he currently specializes in is wedding photography, though it will evolve into studio as he gets older. He shares with us how he runs things.

What apps/software /tools can’t you live without?

Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Premier Pro & Aftereffects.

What’s your workspace setup like?

You’ll find my system, camera equipment, flash drives, memory cards, hard disks, a desk and chair. It’s here that I do my editing. Most of the work is done after a photography gig. While taking pictures, you can have fun, but the real work starts in the studio. It’s not as though editing isn’t fun. But you can spend long hours, even days editing a particular job.IMG-20140426-WA0001

What do you listen to while you work?

I listen to Hillsongs, Jesus culture, Yanni, Enya, Hans Zimmer.

Besides your phone and computer, what other gadgets can’t you live without?

My camera. I can’t be without my camera because it’s an extension of myself. It’s my medium to pass across my message, just as a writer uses his/her pen. Then there’s food! I love to edit with food, there should be something to eat.

Are you more of an introvert/extrovert?

I’m both, depending on where I am. Though most people say I’m an introvert. But in the hub where I am, those that know me will say that I’m an extrovert, because I make a lot of noise.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading 3.16 by Max Lucado. I also read journals online – photography journals. Digital Photography School sends tutorials to my email every week, Photocritic as well.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

I do not collect more responsibilities than I can handle, so I’ll be able to balance it up with play and sleep. After working for a long time, I like to relax and maybe watch a movie.1398674880

What’s your daily and sleep routine like?

I’m not a stereotype kind of guy. Lie down, stand up, edit. That’s how my days are during the week, as I do most of my editing then. I make sure I get a lot of rest because it’s needed for the weekend. During the weekends, I can leave my place 5.30 am and get back 9 or 10 pm. There are sometimes I don’t get home until 1am and I still had to be in church later that morning. When there’s something to do, I don’t sleep at all – I’ll be wide awake when I know I have something to deliver. But when I know I have little or nothing to do, I can sleep from 6pm today til day break the next day. I’ll just wake up at intervals to check what is happening.

What everyday thing are you better at than everybody else? What’s your secret?

I’m a very happy person. I don’t think there’s anybody as happy as I am, I can make myself happy. And I do not need any external influence to be in a good mood. There’s no secret to it, it’s just who I am. Why are people moody? Sometimes I wonder why people are sad, you know? Be happy

What’s your mantra/favourite quote?

Hope. I just hope, I like to hope, I keep on hoping, I can’t stop hoping. Hoping for the best in everything, because the life of an entrepreneur is not easy – at all. It will take you many years to actually break even. Most of your friends you went to college together with would have already had a job, with a steady source of income, cars and all. But you might still be struggling to get yourself out there. It takes 5 – 10 years, if you are lucky 5 years, if you are not 10 years. But then, at the end of the 10 years, you’ll be wealthier than they are, it’s a sure banker. There’s a difference between being wealthy and being rich.1398674811What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best I’ve received has to do with time – the process of time. Starting small and growing big. Many people just want to be out there immediately, without doing any background work. By the time they are out there, there’s not depth to hold them. So I’m trying to work on my depth. It seems very slow now, but I know that with time, it will show.

What advice do you have for someone who has the same interest as you?

Be sure that this is what you want to do, be very very sure. If you want to do it for leisure, then that’s fine. But if you want to do it for business, be sure that you love it, because your first years will be frustrating. You won’t get paid, your pictures will probably not be standard. Photography is expensive, except your parents sponsor you, it will be quite hard, because good photography is good equipment. So many people say that photography does not depend on your equipment, but that’s a lie. Ask Jide Alakija about the equipment he uses, it’s one of the best. So really, be sure you love it.

3 Nigerian Must-Watch TV Shows & Web Series

Web Series

We all are so obsessed with Hollywood that we tend to overlook the masterpiece artistries that are being created in other parts of the world. Many regional contents are often limited to the territory where it is being produced and subsides into oblivion. But all of us need to understand the fact that there are hundreds of shows other than what we see on the current famous OTT platforms and TV channels. Now that everyone is looking for more shows to start binge-watching after all their favorite series are over, people often end up watching international shows with subtitles running beneath it. So, it is no more a strange thing to watch foreign-language movies or shows since they have plenty of fans all around the globe.

 

If you are in search of the best international shows to kill boredom, Nigerian content is worth your time. They don’t produce shows that are banal to be excruciating right from the pilot. You can experience some fresh concepts on their production, which is why we have compiled a list of the best and must-watch Nigerian TV shows and web series.

 

1. My Siblings & I

My Siblings & I

In 2019, ‘My Siblings & I’ was the most popular TV series in Nigeria. It is about a family and their experiences which is being shared by each member to give us a wider picture of what the problems and fun within the family are. This 30-minutes series, produced for Africa Magic and written by Funke Akindele-Bello, has taken the number 1 spot on the list of best series in the family genre. The happiness of the family can be seen through the glinting eyes of every member, which is surely going to offer you a lot of fun. The series features Vivian Metchie, Tomiwa Tegbe, Soma Anyama, Patrick Doyle, and Funke Akindele-Bello as the main characters.

 

2. Jenifa’s Diary

Funke Akindele-Bello has penned this series as an educative one, and it has been considered to be the best in that genre for the year 2019. It entertains people and at the same time, manifest the social and family issues subtly. The nuanced performances of the whole cast, powerful editing, and the interesting screenplay make it worth your time. This 30-minutes sitcom is about the struggles of Jenifa to lead a normal life who is a school dropout. Produced by SceneOne Production for Africa Magic Family and AIT, Jenifa’s Diary is now the best show that has maintained its quality for all its seventeen seasons.

 

3. The Johnsons

The Johnsons

Helmed by Charles Inojie and produced by Rogers Ofime, ‘The Johnsons’ is a family show filled with hilarious moments, making it the ideal evening show for families. It is one of the most popular series in Nigeria since both adults and kids watch it. The series is about a family settled in Lagos and the relatable challenges they face in life. Many social issues have been discussed in this show through humor. The Johnsons have never failed to meet the previous standards with every new season, making it one of the most-loved series. This impressive consistency also owes to the actors featuring in the show such as Ada Ameh, Kunle Bamtefa, Samuel Ajibola, Chinedu Ikedieze, Charles Inojie, and Seun Adebajo Osigbesan.

Random Rantings: The Disorder called ‘blankophobia’

Random Rantings: The Disorder called ‘blankophobia’

I know you are wondering “What does that even mean?” That just shows you haven’t been reading your English dictionary. You and practically everybody else. Just kidding! 😀 Blankophobia simply means ‘fear of the blank page’. It isn’t a real word – well wasn’t until you read it here, because I invented it. Most people know blankophobia as ‘writer’s block’. I should probably trademark the word so I get paid anytime someone wants to commercially use it, just like Michael Buffer :D.

Lets Get Ready

Back to why I’m even writing about blankophobia. Picture this. You haven’t written in a while because you seem to be out of ideas. You open a new word document in an attempt to write something, but stare blankly at the blank page instead. Or you do have something you want to write about, but you just don’t know where to start.

I guess only writers will be able to imagine this – writers and those under who write under duress. Almost all writers have those times (I know of only one person who’s never had it), I personally used to have those times – a lot. And it was very frustrating at times every time.

When that happened, I always abandoned it and went on to do something else, waiting for inspiration to hit me. That didn’t help. At all! I agree with Anne Tyler when she said that if she waited till she felt like writing, she’d never write at all.

Writing-bad

So what’s girl to do? I’ll tell you. I wised up, right of the bat. To be good at what I do requires constant practice and dedication. I needed to follow the 10 000 hour rule – Malcolm Gladwell says so. I took some necessary steps.

Instead of waiting for inspiration to hit me, I go a-hunting. I source for it – from conversations with friends and family, what I see in the news and read on the internet, from things that happen to me and around me. I’ve never lacked for things to write about since I had my epiphany.

I keep a journal of my daily life and activities. That helps a lot as well, because by putting my experiences to paper, I make sure that I write something every day. Some of the entries make interesting stories for some of my works.

I also read some of my previous works to get ideas on old things to build up on or new things to do.

When I have something to write about, but didn’t know where to start, I write down anything and everything I know about the subject without making corrections, and then edit them later.

Or I use the method I was thought in secondary school for essay and letter writing– brainstorming and outlining my ideas with introduction, body and ending. I use one line sentences to describe paragraphs and bullet points to describe what each paragraph will contain. It never fails.

When I get ideas out of the blue, I make sure to put them down or else, they flutter away. I prefer to write ideas down rather than type them on my laptop. Other times, Evernote comes in handy.

But now that I’m never short of ideas and how to go about writing them, my challenge now is finding time to actually do the writing. I know someone who will be very happy that I finally got around to putting up a new post.

4 Things to Know Before Marrying an Igbo Girl

Marrying an Igbo Girl

Not everyone will need advice on their marriage and how all situations starting from the wedding day should be handled. Your age will bring you the maturity to deal with everything that marriage entails. But the case is quite different when you are marrying an Igbo girl. She is no different from the other girls; just as loving and caring as anyone, but has an ethnic culture that bounds her to a certain disposition. They are intelligent and beautiful to leave you mesmerized even before you realize that you have fallen head over heels for them.

 

This sect of Nigerian girls is indigenous to the south-eastern parts of the country. Although they are lovable and fun, they surely have a few unique quirks that make their marriages equally strange. There would be an exception to this case as well, but most commonly, all Igbo girls tend to exhibit such characteristics. If you have fallen in love with an Igbo girl, and is planning to get married, look at the most important things that you need to know before marrying her.

 

1.  Presence of Their Family Matters to Them

Igbo girls value their family so much so that they want to have all the members around them almost all the time. You cannot make her cut off the links with her close relatives or even the extended family because she will have a deep regard for all of them. Every member of her family will have a special place in her heart, and not any of them can be discarded for your interest. So, you should be aware of the fact that your home will be loaded with members of her family laughing, gossiping, and frolicking all around. The decision to stay away from her family would do you no good since she will be more or less concerned about that comfort space of hers. She will find ways to get back there; home-sickness and other random things will lead her to get back in constant communication with her family.

 

2.  Children Will Easily Learn Her Language

Although most Igbo girls are well-groomed in English, they would love to switch to their dialect since they are more comfortable with that. None of them will be ready to neglect their tribal traditions and dialect for the marriage. So, the children are also likely to adapt to the cultures of their mother rather than yours. They will start speaking in the mother-tongue and exhibit Igbo traits.

Religious

3.  Religious Girls  

Almost all Igbos are Christians, and they are very religious as well. They fear God and follow His instructions to lead a good life since they are brought up in strict Christian homes. These girls will never snub their beliefs for their husband. You will need to accompany her to the church every Sunday and commemorate all religious events.

 

4.  They are So Loving

It is undeniable that they are intelligent and beautiful, but it is their love that makes them stand out. They are also industrious to serve you with delicious foods. She will take care of everything at home from managing the budget, buying essentials, and cooking food to taking care of the children. She will always be a good wife.

The Bird Has Flown: Maya Angelou

The Bird Has Flown: Maya Angelou

Maya-angelou

I had mixed feelings when I heard that Maya Angelou had passed away. I was happy that she could finally rest after living a long and fulfilling life, but I was sad as well – sad that she’s another awesome writer and poet that I’ll never get the chance to meet. She’s has influenced the world tremendously and is definitely one who will never be forgotten for centuries to come.

For a writer, I discovered her works quite late – just 2 years ago. I was searching for books written by Black American women that focused on sexism and racism. I had downloaded her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings last year, but it has been sitting on my e-book shelf – just one more book out f the hundreds of books that I’m yet to read. Man will I read it – after I’m done with I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Patricia Nwaubani.

I want to share with you a poem of hers that I like.

Caged Bird
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Drama Soju: My Korean Drama Craze

Drama Soju: My Korean Drama Craze

Secret-garden-sikeurit-gadeun-korean-drama

It  was introduced to the world of K-drama in 2012, in the 1st semester of my final year. Then, my love for Bollywood movie was waning (they don’t make them as they used to anymore). I had final year matters to take care of at the time and was always busy. To unwind, I’d watch any good movie that was available – which wasn’t a lot. Vampire Diaries was done for the season, Grey’s Anatomy had become redundant and I didn’t want Glee no more. Combine all these and you’ve got a recipe for wanting something new.

So there I was, subconsciously on the lookout for a replacement. Then my sister, who’s my film and TV series supplier, was home on school break. “I have Korean TV series”, she said. What came to my mind was something along the lines of Bleach or Death Note (retarded I know) which I didn’t like, but my younger brother loved watching (I’m currently following Naruto – but that’s a story for another day). She insisted that I would like it, so I collected it anyway, deciding that I would watch it only after I was done with the rest of my movies and series supply and had absolutely no chance of getting more soon. Well, that happened. That was how I watched my first drama Lie To Me.

 

Poster-lie-to-me-korean drama

Now within the short time span of 2 years, I’ve watched more than 15 series in its entirety and found out a lot about Korea and Korean culture that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. K-dramas have enlightened me about this small and beautiful country that is typically overlooked because of its neighbors.

By watching Korean dramas, I have been able to confront the ignorant stereotypes regarding Eastern Asians countries. For example, it’s a common believe that they are not tall. So not true. Another is that they are all Buddhists (I used to think that).It never occurred to me that Koreans had church weddings, until I watched Boys Over Flowers, when Gu Jun-pyo almost married Ha Jae-kyung. There seems to be a lot of really good-looking guys as well from the series I have watched.

 

Wedding

To say that I’m a little influenced by Hallyu is a bit of an understatement. I used to like noodles. But now I LOVE it. K-dramas instilled in me an insatiable diet for noodles, I like to watch K series with a bowl of hot noodles the same way people watch a movie with popcorn. I’ve watched raw drama episodes before it was subbed. I had no idea what was going on half the time, but at least the wait was over. I say the word aigoo unnecessarily. I have a playlist titled K-music, but can’t read most of the song titles. I know random facts as well. I know that there are three popular Korean stations that show dramas: KBS2, MBC & SBS. I like SBS best because, so far, all my favorite dramas have been shown on it. I know words such as kimchisojuna eotteoke, omona, moo deung and deung mok.

But I can gladly say that there hasn’t been any down side with my love for K-dramas – well, except for staying up way past midnight, just to catch up on some episodes.

K-drama appeals to diverse people. They’re sexually conservative and refreshingly different from “Grey’s Anatomy” with its unnecessary hook-up scenes. Almost all K-dramas are online and can be downloaded for free. If you have interest in a foreign culture, then why not try a k-drama?

Guest Post: Chronicles of a Corper Shun (My camp experience)

Guest Post: Chronicles of a Corper Shun (My camp experience)

It’s no secret that most people who can’t wait to get into youth service, can’t also wait to get out of it. These were the same words I used whenever I was asked about my NYSC camp experience. Upon constituting these words, let me take you down through memory lane, on the impact NYSC camp had on me. To describe this experience in a single sentence, without hesitation I’d tell you “it was a huge crush”. It will be untrue to say that it was fantastic, although it wasn’t as terrible as my perception sensed it, as it is with mixed feelings and reactions.

On a faithful Thursday evening, I got a random text message. It read “NYSC mobilization list is out”. It also stated that only 18 people from my department were mobilized. Out of curiosity I called the number to confirm if I was part of those that would be qualified to respond to the chant of “Corper Wee”. At time I didn’t much concern myself with who sent the text or whose voice I was listening to, my mind was on the answer that I wanted to hear. Still I grinned with happiness at the news and couldn’t wait to see the list for myself. I got to school and headed directly to the student affair unit where the list had been posted, only to discover that I was the 15th person in that error list. Ah! Gosh!! What have I done wrong this time? Why am I on the list? These are the words that troubled my already excited mind at the time. Later that day I together with other problem candidate went to see the Dean of student affair for a possible solution. He gave us some words of encouragement and also a form to fill; which we did and submitted other necessary documents to foster the solution.

The problem lingered on a little longer than I had expected. I lost that excitement that came with the news of our mobilization and the thought of putting on the NYSC regalia in service to the Nation. From that day up until the moment the deployment list came out, you wouldn’t be too quick to doubt if I told you I had done a forty days and forty nights fasting for a single request, because I looked so haggard and had shrunk immensely from over thinking the issue.

Then another list was out and I wondered what message this would one carry. But decided I was ready to face the challenge, good or bad. Altogether the news was good and it rekindled my joy. I was the first to collect my call up letter from the faculty officer, who congratulated me as though I had won a merit award. That prompted me to buy him an MTN voucher worth N400, as though he was the one that had influenced my posting to Cross Rivers State. After celebrating with my friends in the hostel, I took out time to organize myself.