16 November 2014

THE WALL BETWEEN US | Guest Post for International Day for Tolerance

"As the United Nations observes International Day for Tolerance, Viola Okolie lends her voice and calls attention to something we may be so quick to discard because it has become the norm - social media intolerance. Social media is a tool for change; if you are fighting on or through it, you'd better ask yourself, "Am I really fighting for change or simply fighting?"- Editor's Note

Image Credit: Blogofmanly 
As Nigerians prepare for the general elections billed to hold on the 14th of February 2015 where they are expected to elect a new group of politicians to steer the country in the right developmental direction, there is palpable tension in the air. If Valentine's day seems like an odd day to head to the polls, perhaps in choosing that day, the elections' umpire - The Independent National Electoral Commission - hopes to piggyback on the average Nigerian's sentimental nature and the worldwide recognition of that date as “Lovers' Day”, to conduct a hitch free election. Hopefully, the euphoria of all the Valentine's Day dinners and roses, cakes and dates would spill over into the next day and the day after and the day after...

4 November 2014

A STROLL WITH NNAMDI NWOHA (For International Animation Day)

(Credit: Nnamdi Nwoha)
AREA! is a “little” animation experiment, and the idea behind it is to provide Indigenous Animation drawing from everyday life in Nigeria. The result of this experiment is just Whao! Even the word “Viral”, is not good enough to describe how far it has spread across the blogosphere since it was launched about 3 years ago.

For this year’s Animation day, I’ll be strolling with the guy behind this sensation. Nnamdi is a graduate of University of Lagos, Nigeria, and he’s part of the rising generation of young Africans who are pushing the boundaries of Professionalism to create careers for themselves in their areas of passion.

We discussed the vision behind AREA!; how we can foster locally-made animation; Naruto; and much more. Here’s our conversation;

29 October 2014

A STROLL WITH Under-Secretary-General GYAN ACHARYA (For United Nations Day)

I was a panelist at a book discussion during the just concluded 2014 Port Harcourt Book Festival, and the book we discussed was “Interventions: A Life at War and Peace”, by Kofi Annan and Nader Mousavizadeh. In course of the interaction  we discovered that, over the years, popular opinion of the United Nations has been of an organization made for the elite first-world nations to discuss their selfish interest, rather than an organization for “We the peoples…” as the UN Charter says. However, all that is slowly changing.

October 24th is United Nations Day and my guest, Mr Gyan, is saddled with the job of bringing the impact of the UN down to the worlds most vulnerable countries. USG Gyan Acharya is the High Representative for the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states.

In course of this stroll, we discussed the 69th General Assembly; the work going on at the UN-OHRLLS; the MDGs; and much more. Here’s my conversation with USG Acharya;

25 October 2014

A STROLL WITH RICHARD SAUL WURMAN (For World Development Information Day)

Richard Saul Wurman embodies creativity, curiosity, understanding, and innovation—all in one. An architect, designer, and author of 83 books; Wurman is best known for founding TED in 1984 which, 3 decades later, has grown into the biggest conference for discussing ideas and innovation around the world.

The following are some comments that Richard sent to me after a conversation where I asked him about his TED journey.

19 October 2014


   "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." ~ Virginia Woolf

(Image Source: Luke Thomas) 
I get the rare privilege of reporting from a world class kitchen or restaurant once every year, thanks to World Food Day. This year, I'm at Luke's Dining Room at Sanctum on the Green to catch up with my guest, the youngest head chef in the United Kingdom, Luke Thomas.

Luke, who recently turned 21, on 2nd October, began his culinary career at 12 and has worked for many prestigious establishments including; the Chester Governor Hotel, Liverpool One, the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, Alinea in Chicago, to name a few. In 2009, Luke won the Future Chef competition organized by Springboard and ever since he's been bouncing his way to the top through his diligent work and mature leadership.

Luke and I discussed a whole lot; from cooking, to global hunger, to even the English Premier League. Do well to grab a snack for this mouthwatering stroll. Here's our conversation;

10 October 2014

A STROLL WITH CIARA JUDGE, EMER HICKEY, and SOPHIE HEALY-THOW (For International Day of the Girl Child)

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of.” ~ Bethany Hamilton 

(Image Credit: GSF)
Apart from searching for keywords on the web, every year Google embarks on a search for smart teens around the world globe with creative solutions to problems in our world today.

Supported by LEGO, National Geographic, Scientific American, and Virgin Atlantic, this year’s Science Fair drew hundreds of entries from around the world, and out of those entries 15 finalists emerged. The finalists won different awards in their different age categories, but there was a grand prize. Yes, the big one, and this year’s grand prize went to a team of 3 Irish girls; Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow, and Emer Hickey.

I was lucky to catch up with these three smart and beautiful girls for a stroll. It was the first time I ever attempted strolling with three guests simultaneously (Thanks to Sharon, from Google, for giving the push), and the girls and I had so much in course of this stroll. Happy International Day of the Girl Child to every young lady out there, this stroll is dedicated to you.

7 October 2014

A STROLL WITH GIRL UP (For International Day Of the Girl Child)

“Girls should not give up. As long as they believe in their dreams, they would one day see where it takes them. I dream too, and I’m already living some of my dreams…” ~ Zuriel Oduwole

October 11 is a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate girls all around the world, and to mark this year’s observance, I’ll be taking an exclusive stroll with Melissa Hillebrenner, the Director of Girl Up.

Girl Up is a campaign of the United Nations Foundation that supports millions of adolescent girls growing up in developing countries. Girl Up’s vision is that, all girls, no matter their geographical location, have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted, and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.

Melissa and I talked about this unique day, Girl Up’s vision and the journey so far, as well as the contribution we all can make, in our own little way, to support the cause of the girl child. Here’s our conversation;

5 October 2014


“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~William Arthur Ward

Despite being called the ultimate profession, that is, the profession that makes other professions. Over the years, teaching has been relegated to the bottom of the pyramid in many countries around the world. For many University graduates today, it’s only a last resort when they can’t find white collar jobs, and I guess the question you’re asking is why is this so?

October 5th is World Teachers day and today’s guest, Gossy, and I take a walk to discuss possible answers to this question, as well as the future of education and the evolution of the traditional classroom.

Gossy is the founder of Beni American University and BAU Online (Nigeria's first Online University), and his dream is to leverage on technology to transform how education is provided in this 21st-Century-Africa. Previously featured on CNN African Startups and Forbes, in 2010 Gossy also founded Students Circle Network; an international, educational social network for college and high school students, providing free course resources, peer to peer learning, study groups and support services.

Join us. Here’s my stroll with Gossy;

27 September 2014

A STROLL WITH SAM BIRD (For World Car-free Day)

                             "Racing is life and life is a risk" ~Michael Schumacher

The world is getting greener and our racing cars are getting faster, but how do we marry the two? Formula E is the answer.

On 13th September 2014, racing fans around the world were given a sneak peek into the future as history was made in Beijing where the first ever Formula E(electric car) race took place. With about 75,000 live spectators, 10 teams with 2 drivers each raced each other in a bid to write their names in the history books of motor sports. Well, tires screeched, batteries ran down, and a collision happened, but after everything, my guest on today's stroll got a spot on the podium.

Finishing 3rd, only behind Franck Montagny(2nd) and Lucas di Grassi(1st), Sam Bird--driver for the Virgin Racing Team--put up a great performance to the delight of cheering fans. In course of our stroll we talked about Formula E, Formula 1, the future of motor sports, and much more. Here we go;

16 September 2014

ENGAGING YOUTHS IN DEMOCRACY | Guest Post for International Day of Democracy

"You are familiar with the challenges; you know the solutions. If you had no idea, with this, you now do. Now is the time to act. Do not read this and do nothing."- Editor's note.
Image Credit:damajority
Nigeria returned to the democratic path in 1999. But, 15 years after ushering the military out of the political space – a period that is on record as the longest unbroken spell of civil rule in the history of the nation – we can hardly boast of having entrenched basic norms and tenets of democracy in our system, leaving us a democracy only in nomenclature. Our ability to hold credible elections is still in doubt as both declared election winners and losers trade accusations of rigging, manipulation and impropriety after virtually every election. And with election results enmeshed in so much controversy, it raises serious questions as regards how truly representative government at all levels and across tiers really is. Also, the concept of the rule of law which presupposes that no one is above the law is anything but true in this clime. A significant cause of this seeming ‘movement without motion’ is because the same crop of people under whose watch the system deteriorated and the country began its descent into the abyss are either still in the thick of the action of governance, or are on the sidelines quietly pulling strings and calling the shots.

A STROLL WITH BILIKISS ADEBIYI-ABIOLA (For International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer)

"So I'm going to go on and work on preserving the ozone layer, encouraging everyone to recycle" ~ Dean Stockwell

When you think of garbage collectors, what comes to mind? Unfortunate poor illiterate men and women who are not certified enough for more 'honourable' jobs right? Yeah. This stroll is for you.

After 13 years in the US; with university degrees, an MBA from MIT, and work experience from Fortune 500 companies, Bilikiss decided to do the unexpected. She returned home to Nigeria to co-found a waste recycling company, Wecyclers, and her vision is enormous. To transform the lives of people with garbage, create jobs, and help build the economy of her beloved motherland, Nigeria, whom she sacrificed a comfortable life abroad for.

What gave her the faith and hope to make such a decision? And how does she plan to make this vision a reality? These are few things we talked about in course of our conversation. Sit back and enjoy. Here's my stroll with Bilikiss;

15 September 2014

A STROLL WITH QUEEN CAROLYN I OF LADONIA (For International Day of Democracy)

"Let us not forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country" ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

What can 'big' nations learn from micronations?

My guest today is Her Majesty, Queen Carolyn of Ladonia; a micronation with over 15 thousand citizens from more than 50 countries, and she shares with me how she has been able to discharge her duties as an elected monarch, and why she thinks the UN should recognize more micronations.

Here's my stroll with her majesty;

12 September 2014

THE NIGERIAN DREAM | Guest Post for United Nations Day for South South Cooperation

"Is there a Nigerian dream? Is it perhaps fashioned after the American dream? If there is a Nigerian dream, what exactly is it? This, Julius believes, is what the Nigerian dream is--the dream of optimism"- Editor's note

A few years back, when my nationalism was at its peak, I was often involved in intellectual skirmishes with my childhood friend, Kumo Ikoko. I call it intellectual skirmishes because Kumo's points were so valid that sometimes, secretly, I yielded and sometimes the argument will be so heated that someone's emotionally charged remark would burst the balloons keeping the other person's ego afloat. I believed then that Nigeria wasn't just a cluster of very different people and even more diverse dreams flying around and sharply contradicting or threatening the next man's dream. Kumo believed so too. Kumo believed that for every nation to exist there must be something strong as its foundation, something sweepingly fundamental like a general religion, or something as essential and as healthy as an obsessive ideology or a singular national language other than that which was brought centuries ago. But these things, according to Kumo, where absent in Nigeria.

10 September 2014

LET'S TALK ABOUT SUICIDE | Guest Post for World Suicide Prevention Day

"Take a seat, this conversation is about to begin...straight, simple, yet deeply reaching."-Editor's note

Suicide—the ‘S’ word no one wants to talk about; simply defined as the act of killing yourself because you do not want to continue living. But there is nothing simple about it. Many people around the word go quiet when the ‘S’ word comes up in conversation. What don’t they want to talk about or listen to? What is the truth about the ‘contagion effect’ that talking about suicide is supposed to bring on?

Suicide has hit closer to home for me than I could ever imagine. Within a couple of years, a close friend, friends of my daughter, my daughter and then friends, family and relatives of people I knew. I did get a chance to ask someone close to me how it was in the darkest moments. I wanted to know how the darkness engulfed the emotions. If a person thought about what life would be like without them in it. What it would be like for the ones that cared about them. What I found out was that even though the person knew how much he/she would be hurting others with the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘I should have ….’, it was the overwhelming need to end the internal hurting that takes over. The impulsive moment that can’t be turned back. 

8 September 2014

BOKO HARAM, THE NORTHEAST AND NIGERIAN LITERACY | Guest Post for International Literacy Day

"Thought provoking. The words reach for you, unlock your mind and nail home their points."--Editor's note

“Praise be to God who created writing as a means of communication between distant men, an interpreter between neighbours, a vehicle of greeting between friends, a source of delight amongst the ulama (scholars) and of sorrow amongst the unlettered. Verily, had it not been for it, communication would have ceased and transactions would have been impossible.”

These words are instructive because they were written in Nigeria’s northeast, now held in the thraldom of the sect known as Boko Haram. The name Boko haram easily translates as “Western learning is forbidden” and, amongst the pedestrian elements who form the bulk of its members and the common folk to whom it is of the greatest danger, it forbids all learning beyond the Islamic as prescribed, naturally, by the sect. Schools have in consequence been burned and bombed, students killed and raped and all elements of education and literacy have become the targets of Boko Haram. Over 200 girls have remained in captivity for several months now, having been kidnapped from their school in Chibok by Boko Haram. The Nigerian State has failed to #BringBackOurGirls

A STROLL WITH ZURIEL ODUWOLE (For International Literacy Day)

"The man who does not read, has no advantage over the man who cannot read" ~ Mark Twain

(Image Credit: @ZurielOduwole)
I first heard about Zuriel in November 2013, and I was so impressed and inspired by her work and talent that I promised myself that I was going to spend the rest of my life tracking her down for a stroll. After 10 months of online-stalking and praying, by the grace of God, I have finally secured a stroll with this incredible young lady. (round of applause please ☺)

Why am I crazy about this girl? Well, that's because, at 12, this documentary film maker has interviewed 14 Presidents and prime ministers, and many other social figures like the Williams sisters and the richest black man on earth, Aliko Dangote. She's also the founder of ''Speak up. Dream up. Stand up'', a campaign she started to advocate for the education of the girl child.

True to her name which means, God is my rock/foundation in Hebrew, Zuriel solidly combines her childhood with flying around the world, making documentaries and high profile interviews, as well as, inspiring kids on the African continent to keep dreaming and reaching for the stars. In course of our stroll, we talked about her experience at the Brazil 2014 world cup, her dreams, International Literacy Day, and so much more. Here my stroll with Zuriel Oduwole;

19 August 2014

GETTING COUNTED FOR HUMANITY | Guest Post For World Humanitarian Day

"Short, engaging, directed at us all but with focal point on our youths, this write-up for World Humanitarian Day reminds us all of our responsibility to the society and to give whatever we can, no matter how little. And of course, to do that while we still have the time"- Editor's note 

Image Credit: ifrc.org
It is no longer news that the world is faced with myriad of challenges. Every country in the world today is faced with one problem or the other. In the Middle East, terrorism holds sway as thousands of lives are being cut short by the Islamic State (ISIS) group. Russia and Ukraine have been involved in a terrible duel for months now and this has also claimed a lot of lives. Thousands of civilians and military personnel have been sent to the great beyond over irreconcilable differences between two nations.

13 August 2014


                                                    "Lefties have rights!" ~Anonymous

Alongside his drumming partner, Harvey Thompson, Ralph and the BYOS Movement is redefining 'marching drumming' to the world. With seemingly impossible stick flips and curves, watching them perform will leave you totally stunned.

A graduate of Broadcast Journalism from Hampton University, Ralph Nader started his drumming career at seven, and so far, the 26 year old Brooklyn native has thrilled audiences around America and Europe.

Today is International Left handers Day and since drumming has to do with the use of the arms, I decided to have a stroll with Ralph to talk about drumming, his career so far, lefties, and much more. Here's my stroll with Ralph;

12 August 2014

THE FEAR OF BEING ALONE | Guest Post for International Youth Day 2014

"More often than not, we get uncomfortable about things and people that are not in tune with that which we have made comfortable in our personal realities and this influences our actions which in turn have (heavy) consequences. We need to step outside our comfort zone to reach for those who need our help."- Editor's note
Image Credit: tapestrysb

While growing up, I had a girl in my class who was smart, intelligent but had a shockingly low self-esteem and was afraid of being alone. She was always begging for two things: love and acceptance. She would write people’s notes for them while they went on break, trying so hard to get accepted in cliques she’d tell fake stories that put her in a sympathetic light. She had emotional issues and anxiety disorder that manifested in her actions no matter how hard she tried to cover. Soon, despite her efforts to fit in, she gave up from the rejection she got and withdrew. Last thing we heard was she’d transferred to another school.

8 July 2014


    "The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself" ~Albert Camus

I did not choose my guest today by chance. Adaobi's maiden novel, 'I Do not Come to You by Chance', the first novel in the literary world to capture the phenomenon of 419 scams, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' prize for Best First Book (Africa); a Betty Trask First Book Award; and was named by the Washington Post as one of the best books of 2009.
She's a graduate of Psychology from the University of Ibadan, and her essays have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the Guardian, CNN, Sunday Express, Premium Times... Just to name a few.

We discussed African writing, publishing, the inspiration behind her first novel, and when the long awaited second novel is coming out. Here's my stroll with Adaobi;

23 June 2014


"Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us" ~Martin Luther

Music means many things to different people. For the young boy trying to impress the guests at the Karaoke bar, music is a dream. For the baby in her cot trying to catch her nap, music is a sleeping pill. For the artiste moving from city to city and singing from stage to stage, music is money and food. For my guest, Nath, music is a calling and the very essence of his life.

A graduate of Politics and International Relations from the University of London, Nathaniel forfeited an established career in mainstream Jazz music to find meaning and purpose for his life and music, and this led to his career in gospel music which has being a source of blessing to many lives around the world.

In this quick stroll, Nath shares his conviction to sing for God and explains the difference between the music industry and music ministry. For World Music Day 2014, here's my stroll with Nathaniel Bassey;

21 June 2014


"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." ~Maya Angelou

Who is a singer without a voice? Zilch, right? And how does one grow from losing her voice for two full years to singing 3 octaves? Join me as I catch up with Nigerian singer & Songwriter, Waje, to answer these questions because she actually experienced the two scenarios I earlier cited, and she bounced back from those setbacks to become one of the hottest voices on the African Continent; with continental and International awards and nominations to her name.

Waje studied Social works in the university of Nigeria Nsukka, and she combines that passion with her music to see how she can use the sound of her voice to right the wrongs of the society she finds herself.

Here's my stroll with Waje iruobe;

15 June 2014

For The Child That Wins Bread | Guest Post for World Day Against Child Labour

"This article took me back to my own childhood experience and there's a smile on my face at the memory. However, reality tugs at that smile and images of children, child-workers fills the screen of my mind. As you read, remember your childhood experiences, whether good or bad, and strive to contribute to freedom for the child-workers in our environment. Say an empahtic "no" to Child labour."- Editor's note.

Image Credit: UNICEF
I was in primary four I think. After school I would get back home, take that annoying compulsory siesta and then watch the rest of the day go by. Some of my schoolmates on the other hand, were luckier--they had this really fun after-school job where they stacked trays with all sorts, placed it on their heads and waltzed into the horizon.

9 June 2014

Sear the Rod, Soil The Child | Guest Post for International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

"Sear the Rod; Soil the Child will get you thinking along with the writer, and will stop you short with a reflective stare when you are done reading. Why, despite the numerous bodies 'fighting' for the rights of children do we seem to have little or no improvement? Find out the grassroots of the aggression children suffer. As you read, set your mind free, and decide to do the same for a child."- Editor's note.

A most deviant, yet cursorily time-honoured motif of our age, perhaps an ethnical canon – The child is no caution for old storms – pays homage, as with every semblance of distorted religious insinuations, to infringement – No struggle, no childhood. To be a child is to grow from a battle-broken soil of innocence. In turn, these are premises accountable for the very anticlimax that defines public delusion. However, the belittled but certain truth remains: any such phenomenon that fashions terror to the child as a convention of growth is aggression. Any form that inspires aggression from within a child also is aggression to that child. It is rather all too maddening to measure the toxin, to try to weigh it against pardonable shades. Subtle or stark, it interprets as barbaric nursing, the kind that sets the land to be haven for unspeakable visions of violence and injustices. A nation ignores it at its own peril.

Our Children; Our Treasures | Guest Post for International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

"Our Children; Our Treasures is a call to each soul to reflect once more on the role we all play in safeguarding the rights of the children of the world, and a challenge to rise and do all that is needed to keep these treasures for they hold our future in their hands and in their hearts."-- Editor's note.

The children of the world are one of our most valuable assets and at the same time, one of our most vulnerable. Having the same basic human rights as every other human being is the God-given right of the children in our societies. What are human rights? Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status (age is a status). We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. Our very humanity and inherent knowledge of "right" and "wrong" implores us to come together with great urgency and take action to protect, nurture and care for the children of the world. They are our treasures; they hold our future in their hands and in their hearts.

8 June 2014

A STROLL WITH LEE SWAN (For World Oceans Day)

"We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean will still be missing something." ~ Mother Teresa

Popularly called the 'World's toughest race', the polar race to the Magnetic pole covers over 700km across the frozen Arctic ocean, from the inuit town of Resolute in Northern Canada to the magnetic North pole. Plus, did I also tell you racers will have to cover all of that distance by foot and ski only? Yes. No snowmobiles, No kites; every ounce of energy needed to complete the race will be provided by the racers body. Not forgetting the fact that the racer will have to risk being attacked by hungry wild bears, snow storms, and even being frozen to death because, the temperature could get as low as -79 degree Celsius. I mean SEVENTY NINE! Can you even imagine that?

It is after putting all these factors into consideration that my guest, Lee, decided to retire from her regular life of wearing high heels, eating chocolate, and drinking red wine to rewrite history by leaving her footprints on the surface of the Arctic ocean. After training for 18 months, Lee partnered with 3 other racers to make up Team International who embarked on the polar race and NO! They didn't get eaten by hungry wild bears, and they also managed to survive every storm nature brought their way.

On April 27th, 2011, Lee Swan became the first African woman to make it to the North Pole to the delight of her country South Africa and the rest of the African continent. She shared her experience with me, as well as her views on Ocean management and sustainability. Here's my conversation with Lee;

5 June 2014

A STROLL WITH ROBERT SWAN (For World Environment Day)

"Today we're dumping 70 million tons of global warming pollution into the environment, tomorrow we will dump more, and there's no effective worldwide response" ~ Al Gore

In 1992, Robert Swan was invited by the United Nations to be the keynote speaker to the first Earth Summit for sustainable development which held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Since then Robert has been working with Governments, Entrepreneurs, and youths to clean up the environment as well as promote the message of sustainability.

Robert Swan, OBE, is also the first person in history to walk to both the North and South pole; a remarkable feat he completed in May 1989. Apart from his Environmental activism, Robert was also appointed UNESCO Good Will Ambassador with special responsibility for youth in 1992, and he has been involved in AIDS awareness campaigns and youth empowerment programs around the world.

In course of our conversation, we talked about the environment, Antarctica, 2041, and so much more. Here's my stroll with Robert;

23 May 2014


"The turtles which outrun the hares are learning machines. If you stop learning in this world, the world rushes right by you." ~ Lucas Remmerswaal

The slow, funny, cunning shell-guy. That's the picture most of us carry in our minds about the tortoise--no thanks to the stories we were told as kids☺. I can hear someone ask, in this high-speed; high-tech world, why do we even need a slow tortoise around us? Why do we even go as far as dedicating a day to it on the international observance? Yes, I've got someone who has answers to all these and more questions you might have about the turtle and tortoise.

The American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) was founded over 2 decades ago by a couple, Susan and Marshall, their love for each other added to their passion for wildlife conservation has motivated them to save and re-home over 3000 turtles, as well as campaign for the protection of turtle habitats around the world. In their bid to take their project to the world, ATR has been sponsoring World Turtle Day since year 2000 and the global response both offline and online has been massive.

In course of our stroll, Susan shared her passion; the work ATR is into; and also some practical steps each and everyone of us can take to protect the tortoise and turtle for posterity. Here's my stroll with the American Tortoise Rescue; I hope you get 'edutained'.

18 May 2014

A STROLL WITH GIDEON AMICHAY (For International Museum Day)

                                           "Give me a museum and I'll fill it" ~Pablo Picasso

How much rejection can you put up with? once? thrice? how about one thousand? (hahaha) The thing is, our success-thirsty society puts so much pressure on us that we all look for the fastest way possible to get 'there'--you know, 'up there'--with the least number of rejections and failure

That's not how my guest, Mr Gideon, views success and the creative process. As a young cartoonist, his dream was to get his sketch into the prestigious New Yorker magazine, and he had to swallow a lot of 'NOs' and rejections, about 1000 rejected sketches for over a period of one year--and I'm not exaggerating--before his dream came true. I mean, is that even human? What is the source of such extra-ordinary perseverance
Also a committee member of the Israeli Cartoon Museum, Gideon told me about his motivation, his philosophy, and his dreams. we also talked about museums, digitization of museums, and so much more. Here's our discussion;

30 April 2014

A STROLL WITH GRACE KELLY (For International Jazz Day)

            "If you have to ask what Jazz is, you'll never know" ~Louis Armstrong 

Beyound off-chords, complex scales and all that jazz, Jazz music to me, is a conversation in a language reserved for 'matured minds'. It's a conversation I've being in love with for almost a decade. No thanks to my best bud, Hosea, who initiated me into this wonderful genre of music with the sound of his guitar.

However, I know someone who enjoys this 'conversation' much more than I do, and has done so for a much longer time. Well, that's because she's part of this conversation. Grace grew up with music all around her and started taking classical piano lessons at 6. She later changed to Jazz it was obvious she preferred making up her own melodies rather than playing notes that have already been written on paper.

With a degree in Professional music, numerous prestigious awards, and constant praise from jazz greats, Grace is surely a legend in the making. Grace told me about her music, her life, her dreams,
and all that jazz ☺ . Here's my stroll with Grace Kelly.

29 April 2014

A STROLL WITH ELIOT HIGGINS (For Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare)

"The use of Chemical weapons is an offence against universal values and a grave violation of international law" ~ Ban Ki-moon

Eliot Higgins working on his laptop
The use of chemical weapons in the Syrian war met strong opposition from the international community. Who exactly is using these chemical weapons? The regime and rebels are pointing fingers at each other while the masses are at the receiving end of the attacks. For the layman--like me--who is following this war on TV, radio and via the internet, the above question might seem unanswerable, but not to my guest on the stroll today.

Mr Eliot Higgins lost his job two years ago, and has been staying home to take care of his daughter while his wife is away. In between playing peak-a-boo and hide-and-seek with his lovely daughter, Mr Eliot found a hobby, a very strange one, which has turned him into an international super star who is redefining citizen journalism, and re-inventing military intelligence to the world.

By watching hundreds of Youtube videos weekly, Mr Eliot Higgins--aka Brown Moses--has developed a skill for monitoring the influx of weapons into syria and the middle east; a skill really needed by the international community in trying to resolve the Syrian Crisis. Also, when you consider the fact that he's doing all this from the comfort of his living room, in-between baby sitting his daughter, and with no military training whatsoever, you'll know why Mr Eliot's story is special.

We talked about his blog Brown Moses, his life after losing his job, and a bit about the solution to the Syrian crisis. Here's my stroll with Mr Higgins;


"Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music" ~ George Carlin

So you think you can dance? Well, if you can dance with a 7-month-old baby bump, then you can dance. This is the bar my guest today has set for the global dance community. Kaffy, as she is popularly called by her fans, also holds a World record for the longest dance party ever. She--alongside her group, 'The Imagnetos'--danced for over 2 days. Precisely, 55 hours and 40 minutes and that record has been with her in Nigeria since 2006.

For Kaffy, dance is beyound body movements and stunts. It's the rhythm of her life. It's the kick in her drive. It's the next step she takes; and I was really lucky to get her for this stroll because she's currently in between running her dance company and nursing her second baby. However, in course of our stroll we talked about dance, her life, fitness, and why on earth she decided to risk having a miscarriage on National TV by dancing with her baby bump during a performance on stage. You might need to put on your dancing shoes for this one (hehe). Here's we go;

26 April 2014

A STROLL WITH JONATHAN STRICKLAND (For World Intellectual Property Day)

   "Knowledge is very vital in life's transformation and transition" ~ Jaachynna N.E Agu

It is called the age of artificial intelligence; the internet of things. The age where everything around us becomes so smart that we, who invented the smart technology, might begin to see ourselves as dumb. Considering so much being said about robots taking over earth, and humans being turned to slaves in the technological revolution, shouldn't this 'smart age' be something we should all fear and run away from?

Well, we can't even run too far because this 'age' is already here with us. The growth of knowledge in the past two centuries have ushered us into this era, and it has also brought a challenge. The need for stronger Intellectual property structures to contain this rapidly expanding knowledge base.

My guest, Mr Jonathan, is a 'techie' who fully understand this age because, he's video host of Fw:thinking and TechStuff, and senior writer for How Stuff Works. He has many videos online that explains new scientific advances and technological breakthroughs , and contrary to popular opinion, he doesn't think robots can take over earth anytime soon.

We talked about intellectual property structures, technology, his early life, movies, and lots more. Here's our conversation:

23 April 2014

A STROLL WITH KOKO KALANGO (For World Book and Copyright Day)

                    "A room without books is like a body without a soul" ~ Cicero

Today, history will be made in the literary world, as the first sub-Saharan African city will be crowned 'World Book Capital City'. A title bestowed by UNESCO on cities around the world who have good programmes that support reading, books, and literacy. In her congratulatory message to Port Harcourt, the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova said, "I extend my congratulations to the city of Port Harcourt for the quality of its proposed programme, which provides for extensive public participation and aims to develop reading for all..."

My guest today is the brain behind this feat. Mrs Koko Kalango is one of Africa's leading book activist who started her book activism in 2005 with a goal to see kids in rural communities in the Niger Delta reading again. Well, a couple of years after, here she is organizing the 'world cup of books'--if I can call it that. Such a great story she has, and it's that story she'll be sharing with us in course of this stroll.

Who is Koko Kalango? What's her secret? How did she quickly grow to international recognition in the twinkle of an eye?--or should I say in the flip of a page. This and many more on my stroll with Koko Kalango. Sit back and enjoy.

22 April 2014


"Many will look at the trees, the sky, the ocean, and so forth and comment, 'isn't mother nature wonderful?' Well, it is not 'Mother Nature', but 'Father God' who provided all of the beauty we enjoy" ~Bill Wiese

The green revolution and the fight for the protection of nature has been on for a while now. Mother Earth Day has been observed for over 4 decades, and I'm sure the question in your mind is, how much of the environment have we salvaged from green house gases and our bad anti-sustainability habits? Well, the answer is obvious, not much. Most of the advances made in this revolution have been made in developed--or should I say G20--countries.

That's why people like Ayomide are important to the Green revolution. Ayo is Nigeria's Eco-Generation ambassador; an initiative powered by Samsung and the United Nations Environment Programme. His job as an Ambassador is quite simple, but hard, considering the absence of the 'green psychology' in the area he's working.

How can he get the regular commuter in a commercial bus to stop throwing trash from the window of a moving vehicle? How can Nigeria--and Africa--migrate to a green economy? These are some issues we discussed in course of this stroll. Ayo is also a lawyer and is one of Africa's youngest corporate events host who has being the host for numerous prestigious events. Here's my 'green' walk with Ayo;

24 March 2014


"TB is curable, but current efforts to find, treat, and cure everyone who gets ill with the disease are not sufficient." ~World Health Organization (WHO)

About 3million people infected with TB are currently being missed by health systems around the world. This in turn have dented global efforts made by the WHO and the Stop TB partnership, to #StopTB in our lifetime.

"Why is this so?" You ask, considering how 'smart' the world around us has become; smart phones, smart cars, smart houses; perhaps we need a 'smarter' medical system? This is where my guest, Joshua, comes into the picture.

Alongside co-founder Johnson Okorie, the duo came up with an ingenious idea to 'smarten' up the health system around them, and the idea? Health Mobile; a mobile phone application available on the Andriod and BB10 OS platform, which contains a huge database of relevant health information in a very easy to access format. In other words, they've brought health care information to our finger tips, leveraging on the recent advances in mobile phone technology.

We talked about his experience from being a panelist at social media week, Lagos; the inspiration behind Health mobile, and his partnership with Johnson; and he shared some ideas on how we can end TB in our lifetime. Here's my stroll with Josh;

22 March 2014


"Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry" ~Cassandra Clare

(Image Credit: Sage Hasson)
The art of spoken word poetry has been around for many centuries. In fact, history tells us that, the ancient Greeks included spoken word poetry in their Olympic games and people usually gathered in theaters to watch poets recite their lines on stage.

Modern spoken word poetry was made popular by the Black American community in the 1960s and platforms like, the Def Poetry Jam have helped to keep the culture alive till today.

The task of a spoken word poet is quite enormous; converting deep, though-provoking lines on the page to a colourful performance on stage is no mean feat, and one poet who has become a master of this art is my guest, Sammy Sage Hasson.

Sammy, popularly called Sage on stage, is the king of spoken word poetry in Nigeria--and one of the leading spoken word poets in Africa. With so many national and continental stage performances; and spoken word albums to his name, Sage is indeed a master of his craft. In course of our stroll we talked about poetry, his career so far, and he shared some advice for young poets around the world. Here is our discussion;

POET'S RAGE and DEAD TEMPLES (#4 of Co-authored Poems for World Poetry Day)


Image Credit: ashlylorenzana
If my pen could sputter bullets
How I would riddle your frame
With a thousand heated words!

If I could ink, now, scalding acid,
Would I not drown your greedy throat
That your tongue may lie no more?

If only I could rhyme you death
And enjamb your stolen laughter
With spells of lingering tears!

WHAT CAN BE MORE STICKY and WHAT CAN WORDS DO? (#3 of Co-authored Poems for World Poetry Day)


Image Credit: julianrees.com
What is the magnet that can bind
white and black fingers in heart-shake?
What is the string that can tie us scattered broomsticks
and make us one sturdy broom
sweeping oppression and poverty away?

What can be more sticky
than this phenomenal ‘aragum’
bonding our diversities, gluing tongues and tribes
to settle pending rancour
in this flaming fiery furnace?

In these words the heart is poured – gentle, petting, stark
sheathing daggers drawn from the world of abandon
calling back the conscience...
Words marred by ambiguity yet uniting thoughts
upturning the ban, the exile of peace?

In the exile of peace, we become refugees
in our own land – nursed by fear
With the renaissance of words we regain hope
The words are the deep lines of every free verse
The words are the rich melodies in every rhythm and rhyme

I'm awed, mouth agape. How words rebuild
The broken emotions of fallen nations!
O' potent words that thaw our fears!
Please brighten our visions!
Cleanse our memories and water our love!

This poem was co-authored by Iyeomoan Emmanuel Ehizogie, Dumejes Momalife and Amatanweze Tochukwu Offorbuike) 

21 March 2014

NIGERIA and Border Lines of Change (#2 of Co-authored poems for World Poetry Day)


Sited at the confluence of Lokoja

With her legs spread across Niger and Benue rivers

Adorned with lush greens and blessed with natural endowments

You swam through colonial rivers

Until the staff of freedom you possessed


Guest Writer: Oyin Oludipe


Bust sleepy vault-coughs, blackened drapes
Presage the end of time…or night, prayers,
Surge-bending invaders of the shady phase
Roost, witness to the dancing blades –
Confluence of coal-skin pyres as vision
Shrunk to visionary, truth was stain
Upon visor-faiths and earth was bearer
Of heavy waters of the shivering pore,
Intestate tunes of poem and plea – labourers
To that new sedition for reason

It ran the course of dirge to waive
The smoke cruel, to purge sterile plumes
From intimate corners of thought,
Glaze passions in the cup of woe to sham
Redemption, rituals of birth till it rack
Lips for the entombed world of bones

And all that world spun bold against the fall
Of utterance, filled spaces of the night
With lighted beings to blur the litany in the wind 

POETRY (#1 Co-authored poems for World Poetry Day)

on a page
slithers with ease
on a smooth surface
Paper and pen in sync
executing perfect twists
Making this turn, and then that one
bearing message for all and sundry
wielding words on an errand, poetry!

Toddling voice sweep through the hurricane
In society of shut-eyes drowned in gradual spate
Witness of swift, shivering waves toss to and fro
Feet slack in mud of doubtful faith row
Tempests, shadows, frailties, all lost in hopeless souls
Life wounds quickly heal
The dumb now sings
Street now palace
Abandoned have fame harassed
Oppression in pockets of the weak
When ink flows in a non-stop streak

Like a tree with many branches
You touch men with your verses
To some, it's pure lashes
Others receive and change their courses
...You are poetry
the voice crying from the wilderness

Like the river with more than one wing
You flow into the heart of every being
To some, you're fresh like the morning spring
Others hear but refuse to go with what you bring
...You are poetry,
the voice crying from the wilderness

'Tis virgin wine. Wash your throat with little sips
Let it lull your mind to a lucid sleep
Lie down on this slate. My words paint lurid dreams
Let our minds hug in this word-filled realm
Where creative words take form is where you lie
At the soul of craft and every riddle
On this plain is where love lives and dies
In here, fantasy grows real and fickle
To the lonely soul, 'tis a friend so longed
Its poetry, the soul of the sweetest song
the first stanza of ten lines  

CO-AUTHORS from WRR College of Poetry
This poem was co-authored by Sam de Poet, Emmanuel Emperortee Theophilus, Oku-Ola Paul Abiola and Modestus Nkem Okennwa)