FITNESS 101 – PANDA

After the short break, THE 101 is back with tips on being fit in Lagos with Panda on the purple chair.

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FIVE MINUTE MEALS 101 – HEELS IN THE KITCHEN

This time the purple chair stepped out of the studio and went to see Chef Imoteda of Heels in the Kitchen as we discuss 5 minute meals.

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RELATIONSHIP BAGGAGE CLAIM

The article by Tunde on SIG last week on dating an abusive woman was quite enlightening and brave, but also put it in perspective that men like women can be abused in relationships, even though it is rarely talked about.  Well done Tunde, hopefully you encourage more men to talk about their issues and perspective on issues on the “hard journey” to marriage. I say “hard” because relationship issues are both ways and everyone has his or her own baggage to deal with.

Speaking of relationship baggage, once I passed the 27 age bracket with a failed engagement and seeing my friends getting married every other month, I made up my mind never to waste any moment of my life worrying and strategizing on how to manage a man with lots of baggage.  You know that phase in your life where you are desperately trying to impress a man but also trying so hard not to offend him by accepting his nonsense.

Remember my friend, Spice? the friend who I told you goes to her boyfriend’s house with her own pillow and bedsheet because she knows about his other women and isn’t worried because it not a particular woman, remember her? Yea her

Well Spice believes that a man will cheat even when he loves a woman as long as it is not a particular chick, it’s ok. Don’t ask me, me sef no understand that kain love but, yes babes really accept these behaviours from men in Lagos. As for Spice, this babe will make any excuse for the sorry ass she calls a man, the new one was one night he woke her up from sleep to talk, to say,

I think you should move one because I don’t think I can make you happy in a marriage. You see the men in my family are all impotent and being that you are now 34, you’d want a baby soon and I won’t be able to give you one.

No lie… super story material

First of all, if a man ever got to this point of having this sort of conversation then you know he has tried every trick possible and the babe has refused to get the hint. I mean, Spice has done mid-night prayers for the witches to leave him alone so they can marry, prayed against spiritual wives and strange women; I swear when she was telling me, I felt like I was watching a Yoruba movie.

The gist now is that last year Spice got pregnant.

Yes, she got pregnant to prove to her man that God can do anything but fail and that his fears of committing to her was nothing but just fear. At the back of her mind, it was meant to make everything better and they would be one happy family…jajajaja (I laugh in Spanish)

Since Spice got pregnant, her ‘boo’ started acting even worse. He rarely sees her these days, deleted her from his social media, put a girl’s picture as his DP and when she asked, he responded “how is that your business do I ask you the guys you put on your DP?” (meanwhile she has never put any guy, who born her?).

That’s how I went over to see her so I could help her, now that she is preggers and this babe had the audacity at night to say we should pray for the guy because someone told her the devil was trying to kill the guy by making them break up because she was his spiritual power. My people, no be movie plot, na real life story I dey narrate so!  I didn’t know when I started cussing as in actually swearing, pray for him? na God go punish the guy!

The way I see it, it’s her fault because she was hoping to be his messiah. This guy has never hidden his own baggage, and she has just refused to believe his reality and was forcing him to commit to her. My uncle used to say his wife was never his choice that she packed her load, moved into his house, started having kids, forcing him to be a husband and a father; a choice he neither made nor was prepared for.   A few decades later and it has now become a norm, babes like Spice forcing men into commitments and wondering why they won’t be faithful.

These days, listening to the baggage claim is a necessity.  It can consist of anything, from a string of random women he claims won’t leave him alone, random Beckys and Edible Caterings, or just being a dead weight that is a burden to the other person. Girls and guys you have to do your homework and not overlook anything especially if you choose to spend the rest of your life with the ‘said person’. I am not saying that single people should be too picky and expect too much from the people we want to date, but, we have to be sure that whoever we like and are trying to date is willing to empty their baggage and create space for us in their lives.

It’s common sense to listen and pay great attention to where people are in their lives and know for sure that no matter how much a person likes you, you cannot override their reality, you can only make suggestions and leave the decision to them. Girls forcing men into commitment will make your life a perfect script for an award-winning Yoruba movie like my friend Spice.

 

HASHTAGGING AND INSTAGRAM

Hi guys!

So…have you noticed a trend with some of these alphabets? Yes? You have? Clever boys and girls!

Hashtagging!

People have conquered twitter continents with hashtags.

People have broken the internet.

Hashtags, my dear wannabe coolios. Hashtags.

Trending topics on IG and twitter now reign. Even in real life! You see hashtags on billboards. Hashtags in work emails. Hashtags for retreat ideas.

Hashtagging is now a part of life.

In order to be a cool kid in this field, please know that dry jokes won’t help you – except you’ve perfected Tony Starks or Hugh Grant’s deadpan delivery of witty droll humour.

*I’m 95% certain none of you can achieve this so please don’t try*

That being said, you can dominate someone else’s hashtag! Yes!

There’s a trending topic on twitter? Gird your funny bone with your best deliveries and hop on that TT. You just might get retweets in the tens of thousands and be on the twitter wall of fame. This is a coveted spot, beli’ dat!

That wedding you’re attending that has a hashtag #TeeJay2016? Hop on that with your bestest photos and get people following you for your sense of style. You just might be the next Daks!

You just thought of something really witty and sarky? Don’t waste it on your friends in your group chat! How on earth will the world know that you’re the next bloody Ricky Gervais!?

Get to hashtagging and tweeting.

Coolness awaits you.

Now…INSTAGRAM!

In fact, I need not write an epistle on this. You KNOW your Instagram has to be topnotch in order for you to be deemed cool. But…because I really want you guys to achieve my status, I’ll help you. I’ll impart wise words of wisdoms in your lives and hope you heed my advice.

Ladies.

Please please and pretty please, take at least 70 photos then c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y whittle them down to the best one before you put up on Instagram. This is very very imperative. I have a few friends that even send me photos to ask for my always blunt, yet honest opinion before posting on the wonderful IG app. I beg you in the mighty name of the Most High – do not just put up photos willy nilly. Not if you want to be cool anyway.

When filtering, please filter your photos with sense. I beg you, aunty. Some of you Valencia then screen munch. Then Rise then screenmunch. Then Sierra then screenmunch. By the time you’re done with your final edit, you’re looking like one anime character. This is not Manga cartoon please. You are not so smooth that you’re blending with the cream wall behind you. Guys have cottoned on to the fact that we are not what we seem in photos. Let the disparity be at its bare minimum, e jo.

Please photoshop with sense. If Beyonce can be caught out with a bendy tile floor untop thigh gap, how much more you? A mere mortal. Please scrutinize your photoshopped photos carefully before uploading. You might think that deleting that photo 5 minutes after will save you, but not in this wicked screenmunching and reposting world we live in. What goes on the interwebs is on there for good. Sod deleting!

If you want to be a cool kid with lots of followers then unlock that account now now! You’re not a celeb and you want 20,000 followers but you’re locking account. Ain’t nobody gat time to be sending follower request! When you have gained your 50,000 followers then you can lock your account and see people begging for the coveted spot of being a follower. But only after you’ve gained all those followers…

And that brings me to my next point. The only way to get followers is to get crazy likes. Please please and please put up beyoootiful photos for likes. Maybe you’re fat and pimply 5 days a week but your skin is glorious for 2 days. Take all the damn photos taken those 2 days and distribute them daily on your IG. And better wear a burka in public during those 5 days because bad beles are rife on these streets. Let them catch you looking off point…it’s not me you will cry to oh. I have warned you.

Look at your surroundings before taking photos please. Do not put up one ‘on fleek’ photo, forgetting that there’s a used tampon behind you. You will achieve popularity. Just not the kind you wanted.

DO NOT PUT UP ONLY SELFIES! Mix it up, pleaaaase. If it means roping in your nearest and dearest friend to bear with you and take 100 photos for you to choose from then do so. Selfie upon selfie upon selfie doesn’t work for the masses. Except you’re Kim K. And you aren’t.

Please, I beg you, do not quote fake deep trash when putting up photos of yourself. Why oh why do people put up photos with half their breasticles on show then write ‘the river does not flow from the mountain, it flows from the sea #God’schild #Christian #Pretty #Playersgonplay’ …

Hunh!?

Be very careful in all you do with IG, ladies. Know that we have dementors lurking to take you down. The instablog9ja and others that love to screenmunch so as to take the piss. They exist. Be systematic in your planning and posting. Act like this is a job interview because it is. It is an interview for cool status. And once you get there, you can never go back. You need not defend yourself once you have your army.

Sit back, relax and watch your ‘beehive’ Voltron for your arse.

Totally worth the hour long process it takes to put up a photo in 10 seconds JJ

LIKE RIDING A BICYCLE

After the phone conversation with Cynthia I called Maxine. I listened to her callback tune till the call dropped and then I sent her a message.

Guess who’s single again? Clue: you guys are best buds 😀

One hour later she calls me back.

“Hello Bobo, sorry I was in a meeting and my phone was on silent. How are you?”

“I’m good dear. At least I think I am, which is weird.”

“How so?” she asked.

“Well, for someone who just got dumped… chai! I got dumped sha.”

We laughed about that.

“But really, for someone whose relationship just ended, I am calm and it’s kinda scary.”

“There’s no question of whether you loved Cynthia, even the blind could see.” she said. “I guess in some way you already figured out things were over since December, and the month that passed before she told you probably prepared you mentally for the eventuality.”

“I guess…” I wasn’t sure that was it.

“See, I am in a very good place and can’t let you be in a funk yourself or drag me down with you. What are you doing this weekend?”

“What’s this week…” my insides lurched.

At the turn of the year I didn’t see myself spending Valentine’s alone, but that reality just hit home.

“I guess I’ll just stay home, away from all the lovers having a blast.”

“Don’t be like that. How about we go see Deadpool on Saturday?”

That cheered me up instantly.

“Why not?”

On Saturday I got to the cinema one hour before the showing time. I had planned for us to get a bite before the movie, but characteristically, Maxine was running late.

A girl’s gotta be fashionably late… even for her buddy.

She had sent when I sent her an *rme*.

I went over to the game station to kill the time with a few games of FIFA. I was standing there beside the escalators trying to get the attendant’s attention when someone tumbled off the steps and bumped into me.

“Sorry,” a voice said as hands held my shoulder and side for balance.

I turned around to see who it was.

She stood at about 5ft5 or 6, dressed in a v-neck t-shirt over blue jeans that hugged her around the hips. She had on a pair of red Converse sneakers. A long weave framed her oval face, her arched brows outlined in the way that has become popular.

“Usually I don’t meet girls like this, but for you I’ll bite.” I said, sticking out my hand.

There was a pause and I thought she didn’t get it, but then she put her hand in mine. Warm soft skin brushed briefly against my palm and then was gone.

“I’m Bobo,” I said steering her away.

“Pearl.”

What kind of name is Pearl?

“What movie are you here to see?” I asked as she walked with me towards the ticket stand.

“Ride Along 2, and you?”

“I’m here to see Deadpool.”

“Maybe I should see that…”

“Maybe you should. I’m waiting for a friend though.”

Why did I say that?

“Oh.” Her bright red lips formed a perfect O.

“What are you doing seeing a movie by yourself?” I asked her.

“It’s something I do to treat myself every weekend. Work is hectic Monday to Friday, so Saturday I get my hair and nails done, then catch a movie or do something fun.”

“Maybe I’ll see you next Saturday then, and be your plus one.” I looked away as I said that.

“I don’t normally come here, but I was in the neighbourhood and decided on this one.”

“Well then, if you give me your number I can call to find out where we’ll be seeing the movie next week.”

There was a moment when I thought she was going to say something nasty, but instead she held out her hand, palm up.

I didn’t need a second invitation. I slipped my phone out of my pocket and into her hand.

She punched in her digits and pressed call.

“I’ll run off to see my movie now. Have fun watching Deadpool, and maybe we’ll see next week.”

I watched her walk away, a smile on my lips.

“Who was that?” Max’s voice behind me startled me. I hadn’t heard her walk up to me.

“How much did you hear?” I asked.

“All I needed to hear.” We hugged each other and she brushed her lips against my cheek.

“Keep doing that,” I said, “and I won’t be responsible for whatever happens.”

“What will happen?”

“Let’s just say konji is worrying me and you’re not helping with your ashewo moves.”

“You’re such a razzite.”

We bought our tickets, popcorn and sodas and went to see our movie.

After the movie I dropped her off at her place and she invited me in.

She microwaved dinner and served it with a bottle of wine.

“Do you really have to go home?” Max asked after dinner.

“Yes, actually.” I said, “but I fear I might be too drunk to drive.” I giggled. I am a happy drunk.

We had polished off the first bottle of wine and were at the bottom of the second bottle. I emptied the bottle into my glass and took a swallow.

When that bottle was finished Max opened a third. We sat on the living room carpet talking about all sorts of stuff, watching TV and drinking wine.

I had a vague recollection of Max saying she was sleepy and I said I was too. She stretched out in front of the TV and I looked down at her sleeping form and wondered why we never took things to the next level. I tried to picture what it would feel like, but the shutters of my brain were coming down without my permission. I stretched out beside Max.

SIGNS THAT YOU ARE DESPERATE

There comes a time in life when you want to ‘settle down’. I mean in a society like ours, that’s your singular purpose in life from the moment you could introduce yourself without the help of an older person *insert sarcasm*.

This ‘want’ and ‘need’ to be married soon becomes an ailment, a disease that follows you, a condition that makes your friends avoid you, a sickness that makes every relationship short-lived and potential friends become strangers.  The problem is that in all of this, the only person who is not aware of the severe Desperado Syndrome is you and when you are told that you’ve become that desperate single person, you often go into defense mode and then have this long speech to back up your points.

Here are a few ways to know if you have become that desperate single person:

  1. You talk about marriage a lot – you would not be a desperado if you didn’t do this. You eat, drink, sleep and breathe marriage; from the first conversation with complete strangers you are already dropping hints as to why you want to get married and the kind of man/woman you are searching for.
  2. You want a title too soon – It’s been barely 2 weeks that you’ve been talking to someone and you are already asking the question ‘so what are we?’ ‘am I your girlfriend?’ ‘where are we headed?’
  3. You make a lot excuses – You are constantly making excuses for yourself or the person you are trying to be with. For example, you make statements like – ‘he’s not that fine but he pays attention’, ‘he’s not that paid but he’s a nice guy’, ‘I’m not sure how I feel about him but I mean I am no longer 21’.….at the end of the day, we have one question for you… ‘Who ask you?’
  4. You try to make him become ‘the one’ – Even though you know the person you are with does not have the qualities you are searching for, you still go ahead with the relationship and then get frustrated with they do not become the person you want them to be.
  5. You are time conscious – and by this I do not mean hours and minutes, I am talking keeping tabs on how long you plan to talk to this person before he asks you out or he proposes. After all you don’t have the patience for anyone to waste your time
  6. You sabotage a lot of friendships – every single person is a potential boyfriend or husband. For clear reasons, you cannot define exactly what you are looking for in your partner and in most cases, you end up destroying possible life long relationships.
  7. You throw the cookie – there’s nothing like waiting to get to know the them better before you get to ‘know’ them intimately with you. I mean how else would they know you have marriage qualities on lock down.
  8. You live in an illusion-induced cinematic world – let’s be honest you don’t know if you will end up being together with this person or not, so try to not envision long-term. Think next date not when you will be walking down the aisle and changing your last name. This is not a Hollywood romcom so snap out of it and take it one day at a time.

I know sometimes, it seems like trying hard will give you a more likely chance of find love but everyone needs to know where to draw the line and not be desperate. You can probably think of a time when you met someone who reeked of desperation, at first it was cute but then you freaked out and ran as fast as you could.

I can hear you saying, “I don’t act desperate, okay.  I just want to settle down” and that is probably true.  I’m sure you are not the female version of who I just described but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t putting off that same kind of vibe.

BUDGET FRIENDLY LAGOS VALENTINE

We all know what February 14 is, there are so many offers available online; trips abroad, expensive dinners, hampers of various sizes and so one. However with the current economic situation of the country, there is something that is not as available as the options for an extravagant valentine which happens to be, the funds for it all.

If you’re worried that your bank account can’t stretch far enough to give your bae (we need to retire this word) a Valentine’s Day to remember, realize that the best experience on Valentine’s Day is having him/her know that they’re loved, cared about, and wanted.

Here are some of our SIG’s budget friendly valentine’s day ideas

Dinner at Freedom Park 

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If you really want to have dinner but on a budget then you should go to a few of the parks or beaches in Lagos. Personally, I recommend Freedom Park, which is in the heart of Lagos Island. Freedom park gives you great ambiance and good food, you should definitely try the grilled fish by Jagzee Chow.

And here’s a trick, if you want to make it even more romantic, grab your table and chairs to a secluded spot in the park, spread out your table-cloth and light up some candles. You may want to stay away from the fountain though, you know what they say about stagnant water

Brunch at Lekki Conservation Centre

lekki-1Lekki Conservation Centre has to be one of the most photographed places in Lagos, after the lekki-ikoyi bridge of course, which makes it a good location for a valentine’s brunch if you are on a budget. Simply pack up your picnic basket, grab a meal and then take a walk around the centre. If you have a board game then take it with you and make that moment your own.

Day Trip to Badagry Coconut Beach

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About 20 miles towards the border of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, Coconut Beach is accessible through the ever busy Lagos-Badagry expressway. This beach is known for its beauty and breathtaking scenery views which makes it an ideal place to spend valentine’s day in Lagos to relax and unwind.

Dinner and Movie (Your way)

SIG MENU

Dinner and movie at home is always a win but instead of doing the traditional Nigerian meals e.g pepper-soup for starter, jollof rice and vanilla ice-cream, take it a step further and go for the unconventional because it shows that you put in the effort and didn’t just order from your local buka.

With DSTV Rental, Netflix and IrokoTV, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what movie. For the full cinema experience, get your microwavable popcorn, sprinkle some granulated sugar over it and you are good to go.

As our valentine’s gift to you, Chef Imoteda was nice enough to give us a 3 course valentine meal suggestion (menu pictured above) so if you have no clue on how to be unconventional then simply click here or the thumbnails below.

 

We hope this helps and remember you don’t have to break the bank to show you care, it’s the little things that count for those that truly love you.

GOODBYE

“Hey Bobo, everything okay?” Osime, my colleague asked.

“I’m good o, just a little tired.” I stretched and feigned a yawn.

“You’ve been acting strangely the last few weeks,” she said, “and these last few days you’ve worn a long face.”

“What are you now, the behaviour police?”

“Control yourself, my friend.”

“Don’t call me your friend, my friend.” I threw back, quoting someone from The Village Headmaster plays.

We laughed.

“So I’ve been thinking,” I said after a while.

“Bobo thinking? That can’t be good.” she teased.

“Olodo. Anyway, I was wondering what it meant if a girl suddenly stopped talking to her boyfriend.”

“Wait. What?” She swung her swivel chair to face me. “Cynthia stopped talking to you?”

“Why are you like this?” I asked. “It’s a hypothetical question jare.”

“Okay o,” the look on her face said she wasn’t buying it. “Suddenly stopped talking to him how? Did they fight? Did she catch him cheating?”

“Let us say he didn’t cheat,” I saw Osime raise a brow.

Idiot.

“He didn’t cheat, or do anything wrong as far as one can say while dealing with a woman…”

“What do you mean by ‘as far as one can say while dealing with a woman’?”

“You know how you women are, tackling a guy for not doing something, then tackling him for doing the same thing.” I said. “Aaanyway, she wouldn’t take his calls, then became unreachable, then blocked him on social media, then lost his number – or her phone, depending on who you ask.”

“There must have been a sign he either missed or refused to see.” Osime said. “People don’t do that kind of about-face. Especially not women. Did he try to talk with her?”

Not really.

“He tried, but it didn’t go far.”

“Well, I would advise the person – hypothetically of course – to call her and have it out with her. Sit with her and look her in the face while they try to hash things out.”

“Okay.” I said. “So what are your plans for Sunday?” I changed the subject.

“Sunday? Church nau.”

“And after church?”

“I dunno… get some rest and then prepare for work I guess.”

“No valentine plans?”

“Don’t I need a bobo for that?”

“Aha. You have a Bobo right here.” I leaned back in my chair.

“So someone will come and bathe me with acid, abi?”

***

“Hello, how are you?” I asked. I was trying to keep my voice cool, but my heart was racing. I cleared my throat and rubbed sweaty palm on my pants.

“I’m good Bobo, thank you. You?”

“I’ve been better. Before I dialled your number I had these things I wanted to say, and how I was going to say them. But I heard your voice and everything’s gone.” I chuckled, but it sounded too loud, and wrong. ”

Get a grip.

“Really?”

“You can’t say you haven’t noticed something is off between us. We used to be impatient to talk with each other, and then we’d talk for hours. Now we just manage to say a few words and that’s it.”

“I know what you mean, and to be honest it’s you not me.”

You won’t get any argument from me.

“When we started six months ago, in my head it was a friends with benefit type situation. You seemed to be on board with it. But lately I see the way you look at me, how your eyes linger as if you’re making memories to take with you until we see again. I hear the things you don’t say about a future together and it scares me. I’m not scared for me, I am scared and worried for you.

“I get a sense that you’re dipping all of you into me, but there’s no depth to me and you’ll wind up disappointed and maybe resentful. I don’t want that to happen to us.”

“So you’re saying…”

“Shhh… let me say this.” She cut me off. “I am not in the market for love, at least not just yet, and it would be selfish of me to let you give your love to me with nothing to give you in return. I tried to caution you a few times, but each time I opened my mouth to speak I saw how happy you were and I stopped my mouth. Kept my truth to myself. December – and the loss of my phone – presented me with a coward’s choice and I took it. Why wouldn’t you just go? Stay gone?”

The words she said flayed me and flayed me anew.

A part of me registered it must hurt her to bare herself to me this way, but another part reminded me of the time I lied about my genotype to get out of a relationship.

I held the girl’s face then, looked at her with such earnestness and lied about being AS. She was AS too, and although she wanted to take that chance with me, I let the twin pools that were my eyes convince her this was the best decision. She probably didn’t see past the murky brown depths of my pupils. She let me hold her, kiss her forehead and release her.

Whether I believed what she was saying or not, I stopped listening, waiting for her to finish.

I clenched my jaw and raked my fingers through my hair, the phone warm against my ear.

When she was done I told her I understood, thanked her for her honesty and assured her I valued our friendship that much too. We said goodbye, and I swear I could hear the finality in this one, and then I hung up.