I’ve gained 5 kg in the last 6 months. Yup! It’s a miracle; let me explain why. I’ve been basically the same weight for the last 13 years. There have been minor fluctuations – 2 kg gained, 2 kg lost…but I always go back to my equilibrium weight; may I add that this has usually happened without any effort of my own. (Allow me to take a minute to bask in the wonder of my miracle metabolism)

This is why this weight gain is a shocker. How do I now gain 5kg in 6 months? What on earth is going on? So yes I’m taking multivitamins now, and yes I tend to eat more regularly…but still, 5kg???

I should be elated, I’ve been attempting (rather half heartedly I must confess) to gain weight for years; however, when I finally weighed myself and saw the weight gain, my first thought was that I had an unknown metabolic situation that would now proceed to turn me into a butterball in the nearest future. I saw myself becoming one of those cheerfully round women who always used to look at me and say “I used to be skinny like you you know, then…I got married/had my first child/discovered pounded yam…etc”

I dashed off to the Auntie in the kitchen to share my concerns about the weight gain. Auntie chuckled with joy, waved my protestations aside and then told me to “let the will of God be done in this matter”…there was no non-blasphemous way to respond to that so I left quietly.

However, I’m still contemplating this gain…it looks good on me I’ve got to admit, but if I continue at this rate, by the end of next year, I’ll look like a basketball…that will not be good for business.

Well, for now, let me enjoy this, but I’m only allowing myself one more kilo before I will have to hold a strategic meeting with my metabolism.



So Tonto Dikeh was the cause of most of the furore on the internet last week. Now, this is not a critique of her songs (I haven’t heard them), neither is it an opinion piece on the trend of actors becoming musicians (their lives, their business). What did get to me about the whole matter was the ease with which random people suddenly decided it was perfectly acceptable to rain so many insults on one human being. There were some funny jokes, but there were some very cruel comments, and it was a bit scary. Cyberspace grants us the relative anonymity to express ourselves without the usual societal constraints. However, it also makes it possible for people to register completely unwarranted cruelty on other people. It turns people into bullies, plain and simple.

From all I’ve heard, Tonto is someone people love to hate. She’s laughed at for her tweets, no one knows what POKO means and not everyone believes she should be acting. Nevertheless, she is still a human being, exhibiting the same world as we are, making a decision to live every one of her dreams. I don’t know Tonto personally; on twitter she comes across like she couldn’t care less about the comments people make about her, but even the most thick-skinned person in the world would surely have had one moment of hurt for all the comments she received.

Even if her singles were a massive flop, at least that’s one thing off her list of “Things I’d really love to do before I die”. Was her only failure in not being afraid to share her journey with the rest of Nigeria and the world? The rest of us have been blessed to make our mistakes in privacy, or within a network of family and friends…that is for those of us who are making an effort to live our dreams. There are still too many of us with cool stories of “if I just show you how good I am at …” who will never take the step to see whether we actually have a shot at the things we dream of doing. We will never take that step, but feel content to hide behind a computer screen and mock someone else for not being afraid to fail.

I hope I don’t sound combative, but I feel really deeply about this. At first I laughed at the jokes, found myself looking for the next comment; but then I found myself thinking…what are all the things I’ve always wanted to do but have always been too afraid to try? What am I doing to live the life I dream of?  How am I stirring up my gifts? It hit me pretty bad because for the last few weeks, I’ve been dealing with so many internal, external and supernatural pushes on using my gifts. I’ve had to admit that I don’t give my writing as much space and attention as I should; I still treat it like a hobby, writing when I’m in the mood; but expecting it to become a force of its own and earn me the recognition that I think it one day can. I’ve had to confess my laziness and carelessness to God and myself, and ask for help to discover, harness and release everything I have within me.

Tonto’s songs may never make a top ten list; but for one afternoon, Tonto Dikeh was probably the most talked about person in Nigerian cyberspace because she decided to take a chance. When are you going to take yours?

PS: By the way, Steve Harris teaches some very important life lessons using Tonto Dikeh’s foray into music. Check him out @iamsteveharris or search using the hash tag #LessonsfromTontoDikeh. You’ll gain a lot; I promise.

God bless.