Five Ways to Get Your Glow Back After Having a Baby

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Being a new mother requires you to always be on your toes and this might leave you sleep-deprived. It can be difficult to even have a few minutes all by yourself.

As a result, all of it takes a toll not only on your body but also on the glowing skin you once had. This can be attributed to many reasons like a change of lifestyle and physical body changes, especially the hormonal changes.

We share five ways you can get your glow back after having a baby.

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1.Cleanse your face

Wash away excess oil to prevent acne on your face by cleansing your face twice a day with a mild cleanser, which washes away dirt, oil and other harmful chemicals that could lead to breakouts on your skin.

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2.Get plenty of sleep

It highly possible for you to deprive yourself of sleep because of your baby. The impact of sleep-denial is monumental. Make sure you do hit the bed whenever your little one is sleeping. Proper sleep will give you healthier skin. If you have dry skin, use a water-based moisturiser after washing your face.

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3. Always stay hydrated

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. This will help you support the liver and also in monitoring and stabilising your hormones.

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4. Make slight changes to your diet

Making a few changes in your diet is a good step. Just because you are not pregnant anymore doesn’t mean you will increase your intake of junk food. Eat dark green, leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and carrots. These types of veggies are rich in vitamins and full of anti-oxidants, which will keep your skin healthy.

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5. Avoid eating sugary foods

Stop gorging on all that sugary food because they are unhealthy. You’ve had enough of pregnancy craving and it’s time to keep a tab on your diet.

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Street Food: 4 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick

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Street food can be very cheap and delicious, however, some persons avoid it like a plague because they fear that it will make them sick. Do you know that you can still savour and enjoy without falling sick? Here’s how:

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1. Eat as the locals do

If you’re on the hunt for some tasty street eats then first have a look around to see where the locals are eating. If there’s a huge crowd around a particular spot, you will know for sure that the food will be great. The locals know which stalls are safe and where you can find the most delicious food. Always avoid the stalls with no queue and no customers.

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2. Only eat what is made in front of you

There are generally two types of food stalls; the ones where the food is already prepared and waiting for you, or the ones where it is cooked right in front of you. Always choose what is cooked right in front of you. That way you know it’s fresh and therefore less likely to be contaminated and full of bacteria, especially in hot and humid destinations.

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3. Follow the crowds

When it comes to street food, you have to follow the bandwagon. If you see a big line up for a certain street vendor- join it. Especially if the lineup is mostly locals. It’s pretty much a guarantee that whatever is being served is fresh, safe, and tasty.

4. Bring your own utensils and sanitizer

It’s also a good idea to bring your own set of utensils so that you do not have to use the ones every other person have used. Just endeavour to thoroughly wash and clean them. If this isn’t possible, then carry some antibacterial wipes to clean down the stall or restaurant utensils before using them.5. *If it doesn’t taste right, don’t continue

When it comes to food, it does not taste right, you should desist from eating it. Don’t just eat because it smells good, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not going to be harmful. Food could appear on the surface to be perfectly fine and still be riddled with illness-causing bacteria.

Best Destinations for Your First International Trip

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Do you want to travel overseas but can’t decide where you should go? Many people who haven’t travelled overseas much get overwhelmed trying to decide where to travel. The world is a huge place with so many choices, no wonder it’s hard to decide. If you’re a new traveller or a solo traveller, certain places will be more enjoyable, easier to navigate, and overall less scary, while still offering lots of culture and things to do.

Here are a few countries we think you should try on your first international trip:

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England

England is a great country for new travellers for many reasons. One of the biggest is that they speak English so you won’t have to worry about getting past a language barrier. While London isn’t a cheap city, you can save money by using public transportation and eating at local pubs instead of fancy restaurants. And since London is a big city, there are lots of things to do. Visit museums, see Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

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Dubai

Dubai is a city that is not afraid of ambition. City authorities have pumped billions into positioning itself as a tourist and business hubs. There so many things to do in Dubai including the tallest man-made structure on earth,  shopping and sightseeing. It is a perfect place to experience the old and the new!

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South Africa

South Africa is full of adventure, history, wildlife and great food. So, if you are a thrill seeker or looking to spice your life up a bit, then South Africa is the place for you. Whether you are interested in going Shark Cage Diving, Paragliding off of a mountain over a capital city or blokarting down by the beach then South Africa is definitely the place you should visit.

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Australia

This is another great English-speaking country, so as a new traveller you can see something different without having to worry about the language. Australia is a really big country, almost the size of the continental US, so there’s something for everyone. But don’t try to squeeze too much into your trip.

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France

Whether you are a first-time traveller or not, France is a place to visit. It has a pace that rivals New York and London, but there’s a certain casual elegance to it all that’s matched by famous museums like the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. To enjoy the city more, endeavour to understand a bit of French.

Law Weekly: Art of the Deal – All You Need to Know About Contract Negotiation

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Douglas Park Law

Contract negotiation is the process of give and take that parties go through to reach a business agreement. It is a common saying that “in business you don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate” and it is fairly common for business owners to spend a lot of time negotiating with customers, suppliers, investors, prospective employees etc. Contract negotiations do not have to be unpleasant or one sided as each party is expected to compromise on some issues in order to get what it really wants.

Typically, contract negotiations consist of two stages: negotiation of the basic business terms followed by negotiation of the legal terms. For example in a typical sales and purchase contract the business terms usually revolve around issues of price, quantity, specification, delivery period etc. whilst the legal terms would include dispute resolution, governing law, termination, penalty for breach etc.

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This week we take a look at the basics of contract negotiation and offers tips on how you can improve your success rates in negotiation.

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A. Evaluate your bargaining position-

The first step in business negotiation is to identify your bargaining position. What are your expectations? What are you prepared to give? How badly do you need what the contract will give you? Sometimes the bargaining power is lopsided in favor of one side or another. If you’re on the lower end, it is possible you do not get much from negotiations.

B. Get professional help-

You may know your expectations from the contract but could be unable to document it in a way that protects your interests. It is advisable to get your lawyer involved in contract negotiations and documentation.

C. Negotiate with facts, not emotions-

To get what you want from a deal usually requires a dispassionate approach devoid of sentiment or emotion. It is advisable to avoid letting an unpleasant personality or style drag down the negotiations.

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D. Keep a Poker Face-

Be careful in showing your hands in the course of negotiation. If as a buyer you see an item you want and exclaim loudly that it’s perfect and that you have been searching for it all of your life, the seller would most likely give little room for negotiation. The strength of your negotiating position relies on your actual alternatives to a deal.

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E. Always read before you sign-

A lot of business owners are quick to sign their rights away by failing to properly read the draft provided by the other party after negotiations. It is essential to look through the draft with the help of your lawyer and ensure the agreed terms are incorporated into the contract.

On a final note, it is not always in your best interest to dictate all the terms because as the saying goes “You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.”

CREDITS: This opinion is brought to you by the Iyiola Oyedepo & Company

info@ioclaw.com

“I Find New Inspiration every time I visit Badagry” – Funmi Oyatogun

Funmi Oyatogun of TVP Adventures is keen on improving travel in Africa. She speaks passionately about Tourism in Nigeria, her experience and the joys and beauty that her various journeys and trips bring to her and her tour group. She also talks safety when travelling and the intricacies of planning a trip.

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Hello Funmi, tell us about yourself and what you do?

My name is ‘Funmi Oyatogun. I am a geographer and environmentalist. I am also an adventure designer; creating near and far travel experiences for individuals, couples, groups, organizations and families.

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When did you realize you loved travelling so much and wanted it to be an active part of your lifestyle?

I travelled quite a lot as a child, so for as long as I remember, I have enjoyed travelling. My parents made even the simplest trips into an event. My siblings and I wrote essays on every place we visited and created songs to remember events that happened during the trip. Every time I dreamt of my future, in-depth and extensive travel was a big part of the dream. My parents taught me how to travel with open eyes and an open heart and I am very thankful for that.

What is your most favorite part in planning a trip?

My favorite part of planning a trip is drawing up content for the trip. I believe destinations are alive by themselves but people bring a certain dimension of life and experience to a place. So, it is a fruitful process putting together the itinerary of a trip and watching travelers engage in those activities that will eventually become precious memories.

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Going on tours to interesting places with people definitely increases your social network, is that another reason why you do this?

There are beautiful souls all around God’s world and I meet a good number of them on each trip. Meeting people is a vital part of experiencing places because new things can be learned, laughter can be created and memories can be shared.

What places in Nigeria can you never get tired of visiting?

These places change from time to time. Right now, I am inspired by Badagry. I find new inspiration every time I visit Badagry and the stories of slavery, freedom, history and culture never get old. Badagry is also one of Lagos’ best kept secrets for its beaches and miles of shoreline.

Do people come to you for travel advice and tips, what do you find yourself telling people when they do?

People bring a lot of travel questions to me and I am happy to answer what I can. I also write travel stories, tips and guides which provide reference for people while they travel. These stories can cover very different topics. However, I often find myself telling people to open their hearts and look deeper in the corners of the world. You will find the tastiest meals, cheapest tours, most fascinating people and best adventures when you go off the tourist script and just live. Also, I often tell people that travel is not cheap, but it does not have to be as expensive as people think. Travel and exploration is not always vacation.

Travel teaches you much more than a session in a history class can, how do you find learning about the various fun places to visit in Nigeria as well as the people and their culture?

Travel is a holistic form of education. I am thankful to have been brought up in a very multicultural setting and so I appreciate the diversity that every new street or culture or location has to offer. There is an experiential learning that travel offers which cannot be found in books or films.

What is the bigger picture that you have for travel in Nigeria?

I would hope that we could work on preserving our artifacts, restoring dilapidated structures and developing tourist attractions with potential. Nigeria needs to be a viable competitor in tourism among its peers. Countries with much less have done so much with that they have and it is embarrassing how normal the ‘Nigerian factor’ has become. In my lifetime, I would like to be a part of developing a Nigeria that Nigerians want to show and the world wants to see.

Funmi TVP at LCC

What safety measures do you put in place when you travel?

We do our best to tighten loose nuts before and during each trip to ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible. We only operate with comprehensively insured vehicles, trained drivers, secure hotels and certified vendors. In all our local trips where we convey people, we travel with security, even though they are not necessary at all. We also have trip insurance. These value added services allow people enjoy themselves without worrying about the uncertainties that come with travel in Nigeria.

What’s the highest number of people you have had on a tour with you?

I have taken up to 30 people on a tour. We like to maintain small and intimate tour groups.

Which places would you recommend for foreigners to visit in Nigeria?

The recommendations are limitless. For those who live in Lagos or Western Nigeria, Badagry and Olumo Rock are must-visit sites. I also recommend a canoe ride to Tarkwa Bay, Obudu Cattle Ranch, Yankari Game Reserve and the Jos hills. There is a lot to see and these recommendations could change depending on what people are looking for.

Your travel pictures on Instagram have some very interesting captions, would you say travel brings out the poet or the philosopher in you?

I’ll find poetry in anything; thank God, because how on Earth would I be able to convey the web of stories in my head? Travel opens up my world and whether imagined or experienced, the stories I write are my own little way of sharing the things that happen to me.

What places in Nigeria are on your wish list to visit?

I want to see every inch and mile of the world and every nook and cranny of Nigeria. I would especially love to visit Kajuru Castle in Kaduna and Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State.

What things would you love to change about travel in Nigeria?

Where do I start? The underlying cause of many Nigerian problems is the lack of the spirit of excellence. There is rarely a drive to go over and beyond what is ‘manageable’. So, if we could imbibe excellence, the roads will be built properly the first time, the hotel will fix the broken tap immediately, the driver will not drink alcohol or speed recklessly while driving and the caterer will deliver lunch at the agreed time. Running a travel service (like any other business) in Nigeria is unpredictable and the variables can be overwhelming at times so it will help to know that I can leave location A at one time and have a good idea of the time I will arrive at location B.

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When you are booking hotel rooms ahead of a trip, what facilities and amenities do you usually look out for?

In Nigeria, the small but difficult things become the most important when choosing hotels. Constant supply of electricity, beyond average customer service, very clean surroundings and bathrooms, working furniture and plumbing, white bed sheets and pillowcases. Colored bedding in a hotel comes across as if the hotel has something to hide.

Which has been the most memorable trip for you so far?

It is tough to choose one trip above the others because each experience is memorable for its own special reasons. However, I could share some of the memories from last year. I was able to hike the Aberdare ranges in Kenya in the rain, snorkel in Zanzibar, explore Badagry with very funny travelers and volunteer on a farm in Iowa.

What three things can you not travel around Nigeria without?

The three things I cannot travel around Nigeria without are: my phone and phone charger, complete documents of whatever vehicle I am travelling in and a spirit willing to accept changes along the way. It is almost always certain that something will change drastically during the course of the trip and it is this spirit of adventure that will accept sometimes frustrating experiences as adventure.

From what I know you travel in a group mostly, taking people on tours to exciting places, do you ever travel solo, and is the experience any different?
I travel solo quite often as well. I appreciate the opportunity to spend time with myself and God and I am not afraid of my own quiet company. Solo trips are often quieter and allow me more time to reflect but the experiences that come out of them are not any less memorable.

You can read Funmi’s adventures as she explores Nigeria on TVP Adventures

Image Source:  Images are provided by Funmi of TVP Adventures and published with her permission.

Startup Anambra to Launch School In September 2018

Startup Anambra

In line with the vision of building a community of Creative young people passionate about disrupting the global Innovation/Business ecosystem, Startup Anambra is set to launch Startup School by September 1, 2018.

WHAT IS ANAMBRA STARTUP SCHOOL?

Anambra Startup School is an initiative  to support and encourage the Anambra Startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is a 6 week offline/online entrepreneurial learning programme which contains interactive learning activities that will guide an entrepreneur from the ideation phase of their business through to startup maturity.

If an entrepreneur already has and runs an existing business, the programme will give the entrepreneur the tools to enhance their business  and strengthen their entrepreneurial skills. Upon successful completion of the programme, entrepreneurs stand a chance to win funding and Investment towards their business(es).

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FOR STARTUPS/ENTREPRENEURS

Startup School offers you, the entrepreneur, the opportunity to expand on your business insight through a challenging and interactive 6 weeks learning journey. The course’s unique support structure of start-up coaching alongside comprehensive coursework means that you will develop and build on your entrepreneurial mind-set. Register and wait for the NEXT CO-HORT.

FOR MENTORS

The Startup School is committed to ensuring that business mentorship is used in a positive and impactful way. Part of the Startup School programme has and relies on a strong mentorship pillar to support and grow the entrepreneurs. Using key information from both the entrepreneur and the volunteer mentor the Startup School will ensure the best possible pairing and facilitate a successful mentor and mentee relationship.

THE LEARNING JOURNEY

Startup School is an initiative that along with partners, have started to support and encourage the Anambra entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is a 6 weeks intensive Online/Offline entrepreneurial learning programme which contains interactive learning activities that will guide an entrepreneur from the ideation phase of their business through to the startup Maturity.

Our main focus is to achieve these three things:

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ENCOURAGE: Encourage and inspire people to consider starting a company as a way to positively impact the world.

TEACH: Teach people about how to start a startup, and equip them with the resources and tools to help prepare them now and in the future.

BUILD: Build a community of entrepreneurs who can encourage and teach each other.

TARGET AUDIENCE

If you have an entrepreneurial mind-set or running a small to medium business you can apply to be part of the programme. Applicants are expected to complete the “boot-camp” modules to ensure that you have an appreciation of the content, commitment and level of learning to successfully complete the 6 week programme. The boot-camp is the first two weeks of the course where you are critically evaluated before you can continue with the rest of the programme modules.

As the course progresses, the modules and content is designed to challenge and equip entrepreneurs with the necessary skill set to manage their business, which encompasses a wide range of business topics. Assignments and course work will require a strong level of commitment and study to ensure successful completion of the programme.

MMGIVIT-CYVC: YOUTH VOLUNTEER GROUP HOLDS PRACTICAL SKILLS TRAINING FOR STUDENTS

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In a bid to impart practical knowledge of self-empowerment and stimulate innovations in the mind of young people, members of Mustapha Muhammed Give It Charity Youth Volunteers Club (MMGIVIT CYVC) on Tuesday, July 10 2018,  stormed the beautiful community of Ile-Apa Secondary School Ilorin, to execute her project themed: ‘‘Mentorship And Skill Acquisition program’’.

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According to the president of MMGIVIT CYVC Unilorin, Mr Adebiyi Habib Taiwo, “The decision to execute this project was borne out of the desire to impart the knowledge of self-empowerment which is needed for a person to thrive in the young minds of the students of Ile-Apa Secondary School.”

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Adebiyi Habib Taiwo

He further stated that, Ile Apa Community is one which little or no attention is paid to by the government which has in turn contributed negatively to the progressiveness of youths within this community, hence, the intervention, which could go a long way in making a reasonable future for the students and  unleashing the potentials in them.Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting and wedding

Adebiyi believes this project will make more of the youth prosperous and ensure self-sufficiency. “It will offer a positive path for those who are willing to make something of themselves and can empower those that have previously been locked out of existing social order. This will also give them a chance to contribute and lead which can eventually create a culture where innovation and creativity are valued.”

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Miss Azeez Aminat

Delivering a brief exposition on the topic ‘‘Impact Of Entrepreneurship On Community Development,’’ the vice president of MMGIVIT, Miss Azeez Aminat, addressed amongst other things, the issues touching on what entrepreneurship connotes, characteristics of a good entrepreneur and its economic impact on the community.

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She mentioned that the organisation’s objective focuses on the redistribution of wealth for the upliftment of the less privileged and the promotion of charity and integrity through creative awareness.

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The training later broke into several sessions for the interaction and mentorship that bordered on career talk, sexual orientation, drug abuse, importance of education and the need for diversification especially in this time of global financial constraints. Image may contain: 6 people, people sitting

Meanwhile, whilst the mentorship session lasted, the skills acquisition session followed with students divided into different classes based on their personal interest and choice in Soap Making, Barbing, Baking, while the ICT class was made compulsory for all the students and taken in turns.

In the soap making session, the students were taken through the steps for the soap making process with the students making necessary jottings of the materials and ingredients needed for the soap making.

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For the Barbing session, two male persons volunteered for the usage of their heads as the barbing session primarily required the employment of practical teaching method. The students watched, learnt and asked questions.

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During the ICT session, the students were mainly taken through the practical steps of operating a computer system and its functions. To further their knowledge, a guide to computer processing was distributed to the students.

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The baking session was undeniably the most participated group, as the number of students that attended were overwhelming including some of their teachers who showed interest. Nonetheless, with the co-operation of the volunteers, the session went well with the students taught how to make snacks such as Doughnut, chin-chin and egg roll.

7 Must Have Leadership Skills At The Workplace

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1. Collaboration

The ability to collaborate ranks high on vital leadership skills for the 21st-century workplace. It can help develop very critical relationships and build trust in helping teams and organisations at large accomplish its goals.

In a collaborative relationship, either at the individual or team level, there’s more experience created and new work cultures. Interaction means teams are better energized to attaining present and future tasks.

2. Listeningleadership-skills

Listening as a leader can turn average team members into rockstars. Trivial as this sounds, a lot goes missing by not paying attention; either to spoken words or attitude. A lot of our mental state as human beings is embedded into communication skills, it’s important to pick these things as a leader to understand efficiently how to engage the team members. The goal should always be to get the work done in the best and most professional way.

– Oreoluwa Boboye; Business Intelligence Lead-Jobs Ringier One Africa Media.

3. Mentorshipleadership skills

A famous African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

Mentorship is a very vital leadership skill at the workplace as only a man or woman who understands the vision of where an organisation is going can and will be willing to commit to such a vision. Whether this is in regards to short-term tasks or long-term goals, mentorship will be a very key skill to navigate the ever-changing workplace.

4. Influenceleadership skills

“I have the ability to influence you to change your mind,” says Rolayo Omitogun; Talent Consultant The African Talent Company(TATC).

Influence as a key leadership skill involves persuasive abilities to spark and/or inspire teams and individuals to take an action. Persuasiveness and influence as skills will enable you to have all hands on deck and fully committed to attaining better results at tasks.

5. Responsibilityleadership skills

Ownership of your tasks is vital in the 21st-century workplace, you do not want to be perceived as incompetent or lacking a basic leadership skill such as taking responsibility.

Taking responsibility and ownership of your tasks ensures you get more done with less monitoring as you don’t want to be micromanaged, earn better and stay employable and your job satisfaction will be higher. – Seyi Abiodun, Talent Scout-Stutern.

6. Multitaskingleadership skills

There are new schools of thought that believe multitasking can hurt one’s focus on attaining their tasks. While they make very arguable claims,  in this age of technology working with tools and having the ability to go back and forth between these tools, technology has facilitated the ability to multitask when it comes to delivery of tasks hence. Ability to multitask is important to stay employable says Abiola Adebiyi; Assistant Accountant Cheki Nigeria.

7. Analyticalleadership skills

Being analytical means you are astute and insightful, your decisions in the workplace are backed up by data and not guesses. Such leadership skill helps you plan and deliver team tasks and projects with greater precision, better predictability of end results. I believe it tops most leadership skills and positions an individual for better career progression says Runsewe Oreoluwa; Writer Ventures Africa.

In conclusion, it’s important to note, you’re a leader not just until you’re leading a team or organisation. If you’re assigned a task in the workplace take responsibility and leadership. This will prepare you for greater opportunities ahead both within and outside the organisation. What other leadership skills do you think are must-haves in the 21st-century workplace? We’ll like you to share with us in the comment section below.

Twitter Thread: Top 22 Facts About Chevening Awards and Fully funded Graduate School by @Funmioyatogun

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In 2014 when I was 22 years, I got a fully – funded scholarship to study for a Master’s Degree in the UK. I became one of the youngest ever Chevening Awards scholars (@Chevningfco) out of Nigeria. This is everything you need to know about Chevening and how to go to graduate school for free!

1. Chevening is now open
This year, there will be thousands of applications from Nigeria and hundreds of thousands from around the world. Before you throw in time and effort, you need to know more about what you can get and what they are looking for.

2. If you become a Chevening scholar, you’ll get:
– Tuition
– Monthly Stipend
– RT Airfare
– Dissertation Allowance
– Settling In / Departure Allowance
– Allowance to attend Chevening Events
You’ll be able to go to school with absolutely no worries to you or your parents.

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3. Truth is, the bigger aspiration comes from the network you build as a member of the Chevening Alumni Network around the world.
We jokingly call ourselves the United Nations of Chevening. In Nigeria, our alumni association – Chevening Alumni Nigeria (@CaanNG) –  is doing great things in the country.

4. Chevening is sponsored by the UK Foreign Office and in Nigeria, it is handled by the British High Commission in Nigeria (@UKinNigeria).
It has been a delight being part of this network. I have also been privileged to interview applicants in recent years and there are some key things I would like you to note. Ready?

5. The scholarship is for FUTURE LEADERS with a STRONG ACADEMIC BACKGROUND.
Chevening is not looking for those who embody only academics or only leadership. You need both. The best of the best apply for it and there’s no ‘connection’ way to get it. None. So it is competitive.

6. You will need to show that you have worked for a minimum of two years.
You will also need to show that you have graduated from university with a 2:1 (or equivalent) and show test of English. You will also answer serious essay questions that are difficult to fake answers to.

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Cayman Island’s Chevening Scholars

7. You can choose ANY school in the UK offering a 1-year Master’s Program in any course.
That’s right…you can attend any Master’s program in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on a Chevening Scholarship.

8. I recommend that if you have not applied to a school yet, do it now!
You can submit a Chevening scholarship application before applying to schools but you have to list your intended schools on your scholarship form. Why not just start applying?

9. Chevening makes you rank your intended schools on the form:
1st Choice
2nd Choice
3rd Choice

If you get accepted to your 1st choice, you must go there. If you don’t, you can go to the 2nd choice, etc. Make sure you put your top choice as No.1 even if you are yet to gain admission there.

10. If you already have admission into your dream school, put it as No. 1 and fill in the other 2 slots as you like.
Try to get the admission out of the way. If your school is asking for a deposit, tell them you are applying for a Chevening Scholarship and ask for an extension.

11. Fun fact a: if you went to undergrad in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc., you will not have to take IELTS. These countries are considered ‘English Speaking’ and I was lucky to not have to prove my English speaking skills since I graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder (@CUBoulder). Go buffs!!!

12. All the information and documents required from Chevening:
– Valid passport/national ID card
– University transcripts and degree certificates (undergraduate, postgraduate if available) – Three different UK master’s course choices
– Names of two referees

13. Now that you’ve gotten the vitals out of the way, how do you answer the Chevening essay questions in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Only a few hundred people will be shortlisted and only a few dozen will be selected for a full scholarship. Here are tips:

14. Make sure you are already a leader or you are working towards becoming one. The UK is excited about environment, security, policy, education, innovation, health and so much more. You need to be doing something in your small sphere. Either in business or society or at work.

15. Know how to write clearly and concisely.
Please articulate your thoughts in a manner that is engaging & clear. If someone has to weed through thousands of applications, make yours shine through. Do not be afraid to ‘show yourself’. Here’s a snippet from one of my essays.

16. Be original.
If you make things up, your story will be inconsistent and unconvincing. And it will show at the time of your interview. Someone once copied my sample essay which I sent as a guide. If you can’t come up with original responses, you may not be a fit.

17. Start your application early!
Fam, you can’t rush your application in one day and compete with people who have been applying for months. You have till November. Start now. Read through, change answers, edit essays, cross-check, etc. Let your preparation show.

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Funmi Oyatogun

18. Be fearless.
I had policy makers, lawyers, doctors, creatives, specialists and people who were twice my age in my Chevening year. Everyone was the best of the best. Put your best foot forward when answering essays. It may be tedious but you get a lot in return. Be bold!

19. If you get shortlisted, there is an even greater chance of being accepted (about 30%).
Please come prepared. I have sat on interview panels where it became clear that their essays were written for them. Be calm and articulate. The interview environment is always relaxed.

20. Talk about the UK and your program at the interview.
There has to be a reason why you chose that program and why you want Chevening. There are many scholarships out there and many schools. And don’t come saying your parents told you to apply that’s why you did.

21. If you’re looking for an opportunity to run away from your home country, Chevening is not for you.
You will be required to return home for a minimum of two years after your program so it is for people who want to seriously make contribution to their home country.

22. Important Info:
The guidelines insist on a 2:1 but I believe that you have nothing to lose by applying if you have a 2:2 and every other qualification. It will cost you nothing to apply if you consider yourself a strong candidate. Bear in mind that competition is stiff.

23. I wish you the very best in your Chevening applications and I hope you’re among those for next year’s batch.

CREDITS: This thread was done by Funmi Oyatogun of @TVPadventures. She is an adventure designer, geographer, environmentalist and of course, a Chevening Scholar

THE DAYS OF SMALL BEGINNINGS by Dike Chukwumerije

 

In January 2016, on my way to Nnewi, I stopped to see the Radio Nigeria South East Zonal Director in Enugu. Ken Ike Okere had an idea, to replicate the sort of literary society he had helped nurture in Abuja, and wanted to know if I was game. And so began a love affair with the Coal City, flying in to attend the monthly Enugu Literary Society meetings, till the whirlwind of MADE IN NIGERIA struck. And, still, Enugu was my 2nd stop. I tell you. Not till Maiduguri, a year later, did I find an audience as embracing as the one I found in 042.

So, in 2017, when I bumped into Patrick Okigbo III in Abuja, and he told me about this thing he was doing in Enugu – this Centre for Memories, conjuring images of ghostly figures striding out of the harmattan mist on a cold December morning – I told him, if there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.

And he did – after he’d run a rousing campaign for Osita Chidoka in Anambra, and Nnanna Ude had called to ask me to speak for 10 minutes at the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, and he and Nnanna Ude had started a Guest Speaker Series, ‘Nkata Umu Ibe’, in Enugu –  after all this, Patrick Okigbo III called to know if I would be their 4th ‘distinguished speaker’.

Me? True. This is not an easy path to follow, you know? After Professor Okey Ndibe, and Professor Chidi Odinkalu, and Dr. Okey Ikechukwu, and knowing Chief John Nnia Nwodo would be 5th, me?? So, I went first – as every child in troubled times is guided by our culture – to my mother’s hut. And she put a few words in my mouth and said, Speak from the heart. And then I went to Enugu. To Enugu Sports Club, to be exact, where the history etched into the timber columns and the high ceilings had me staring. You see? Ben Etiaba, Chairman of the Club, gave me the tour himself. Stopping on the way to introduce Stan Okoronkwo, ex-Enugu Rangers from the legendary ‘70s squad, and Professor and Professor Okonkwo, the pleasant parents of Ndidi Nwuneli. And I thought again – me??

Because there to listen, in a hall quickly filling up, was Dr Joe Nworgu, former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. To his far right was an old friend of my mother’s, and former FRCN boss, Chief Kelvin Ejiofor. And to his immediate left was an old friend of my father’s, and former DG of the National Orientation Agency, Professor Elo Amucheazi. You see? I am as I am. The jeans I feel most comfortable in, and the shirt with sleeves rolled up to the elbows. I am often awkward in Nigerian social circles because I am not great at protocol and so can offend without meaning to. You understand? But Professor Amucheazi sat me close, even before the lecture, and said, ‘I am very proud of you’. And this is the confidence Love gives – to validate first.

So, I went to the lectern, where the speaker stands alone. From there I saw the amazing Igbo poet, Amarachi Atama, who had come from the screening of her latest documentary, ‘Biafuru’ to be present. Further back, Osinayah Prince Agu, who I knew had come all the way from Aba. From there, I remembered the warnings of Nnanna Udeh and Patrick Okigbo III, to expect an expectant crowd, for the hall had erupted in spontaneous applause when they were told I was coming, how Nnanna then laughed at the look on my face and added, ‘No pressure!’ And so, I gripped the lectern with two hands, took a deep breath – thought of my mother and the grey that charges like smouldering fire through her hair – and began to speak.

“We must, even in the face of excessive provocation, maintain our demand for a more meritocratic society where people are judged not by their tribe or religion but by their competence and ability. Because it is only this that can release the potential of this nation and all of its constituent parts. That is why Meritocracy is an Ideal worth fighting for. That is why it is an Ideal worth dying for. That is why we cannot give up on it simply because of the odds stacked against it, or because other people are acting differently and succeeding thereby. No. It is in times like these, in the face of frustration and overwhelming resistance, that we must remember proverbs like ‘mberede ka e ji a ma dike’. Because if apartheid could end in South Africa, if segregation could end in America, then meritocracy is possible in Nigeria. But in the pursuit of that Ideal there will be many days when we will be tempted to give up on our innermost convictions and give in to what is most convenient. It is on those days that we must remember the weight and import of that hallowed command, ‘Jide Ofo!’ For if we do, if we hold on to our Ideals and refuse to let go no matter what this world does to us, then there is, and will always be, hope for the better parts of our collective humanity.”

 

This is what I said. And Professor Elo Amucheazi rose to his feet. And Ben Etiaba brought out a fresh bottle of Hennessy, tipped a little to the concrete floor, and said, ‘You have done me great honour’. It is true, I tell you, that there is never a time the truth should not be spoken. But, know this too, every truth has its time to be heard. So, if your heart stirs consistently in a certain direction, rugged and rough, persevere in what it asks you to say. For, my brother, you can never tell by looking at the turbulence around you in which Times you live. True. This is what we mean when we say, ‘Jide Ofo’. It is how to walk through the darkness…

042 I thank you for the love.

………………………………………..

(1) Nkata Ume Ibe – the distinguished Guest Speaker Series of the Centre for Memories – holds on the First Fridays of every month at Enugu Sports Club, Enugu.

 

(2) Enugu Literary Society holds its meeting on the 2nd Saturday of every month at Radio House, Enugu.

 

For did you not know? There is no tsunami that does not begin with a wave.