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4 amazing things about Igbo traditional marriages

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The Igbos are one of the three dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria. They hold their culture in high esteem and inhabit 5 states –Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Anambra-in the South East.

Their conjugal ceremonies are akin to grand festivals as families jive in pomp and pageantry, magnanimously parading extravagance and riches as a communal status symbol. While many find this unusual, it is a delight to watch.

If you are considering marrying a lady from this part of the country, Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal shares four interesting things to note about Igbo traditional marriages.

It is expensive

Igbo traditional marriages are some of the most expensive in the country. Compared to weddings in other ethnic groups, this ceremony often serves as an opportunity to showcase wealth and social status.

According to native custom, the groom uses this ceremony to compensate the parents for raising a decent and responsible daughter and prove his worth as a man.

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Bride price is over-the-roof!

The bride price attached to marrying an Igbo woman gives many men a scary feeling as the list of items demanded by the bride’s family can be overbearing.

Due to this, there is a public perception that they want to sell their ‘girls’, however, this is not the case.

The bride price is negotiable, but it is the role of the groom’s family to persuade the betrothed his father to trim the items on the list. Bargain items like kegs of palm oil and tubers of yam, if you truly love your woman and want a healthy purse after the wedding!

Wine carrying (Igba Nkwu)

Wine carrying is an integral part of the wedding. It is a feature that invited guests should look out for as it lends credence to the unique nature of Igbo culture.

It is a gallant display where the bride is required to present freshly-tapped palm wine to her soon-to-be husband. She looks for him in the crowd as an enthusiastic group of men comically compete for her attention. Once she picks him out, her knees touch the ground before him as she presents the cup of palm wine for him to drink from. Here is the tricky part, it is important for the husband to accept this wine and guzzle every drop. If he rejects it…he rejects the woman!

Compulsory trips to the bride’s village

If the groom is from another ethnic group, he may not look forward to this but, it is an inescapable ritual. The groom may be lucky if the bride’s parents are in Lagos and have lax tied with their hometown.

However, if the reverse is the case, the parents of the bride may insist that the wedding be held in the village after he travels to see the elders of the family dwelling there.

Although people from other tribes are often amazed at these demands, it adds to the thrills and frills of Igbo conjugal bliss!

Nigeria contemplates setting up a national airline

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Nigeria is setting up a committee to consult with local and international partners on establishing a national airline, the ministry of aviation said on Monday.

The committee will be chaired by a former pilot and will review reports on Nigeria’s failed national carrier, Nigerian Airways, and other private airlines. It has four weeks to submit its findings.

The committee will also consult with Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to determine the debt profile of domestic airlines. Three years ago, AMCON, a state-backed “bad bank” established in 2009, took on more than 132 billion naira ($663 million) of debts from 12 Nigerian airlines, including the biggest carrier, Arik, and Aero.

In a report, the country’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, proposed last month merging those dozen debt-laden airlines into a single carrier. The report said the airline should operate in partnership with a global airline.

British billionaire Richard Branson set up a domestic and international carrier called Virgin Nigeria in 2000, but he pulled out in 2010 in frustration at what he said was interference by politicians and regulators.

The airline he created, which was later rebranded Air Nigeria, closed in 2012 after collapsing under about 35 billion naira of debt, leaving it unable to pay staff, a former finance director of the company at the time.

CREDITS: REUTERS AFRICA

6 Exciting Tips on How to Avoid Travel Scams

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Travelling experiences can be very bitter especially when you fall victim to a scam. It is even worse when you lose money to a smooth-talking gentleman who you initially thought was honest. Unfortunately, the scammers are all around and are unwilling to change. They will always look for easy victims they can scam. Then, it behoves on travellers to ensure that they shield themselves from the scams. Jovago.com, Africa’s N1 Hotel Booking Portal identifies some of these scams, how travellers can evade them and fully enjoy their trip.

Distractions and diversions

You can encounter distractions or diversions wherever you go. For example, at the airport, Bus Park or at a crowded function in a Lagos suburb, they are always waiting for an opportunity to strike.

The pick-pockets are spontaneous. They may approach you to ask irrelevant questions in order to distract while his accomplice is busy with your luggage, pocket or wallet. So, be conscious of distractions. If you are driving, don’t leave your windows open.

Cheap or discounted tickets

Cheap and discounted tickets are very enticing. However, many of these cheap or discounted tickets are avenues to swindle customers especially when they are sold by unauthorized outlets. This may result in you losing money, spending several days at the airport or even missing your flight and because you did not purchase from the airline, you will not be refunded. Ensure you patronize only authorized ticket outlets.

Money changers

As a traveller in a new country, you often expect to convert your currency into the acceptable legal tender without a fuss. While this is great, there is need to apply some measure of discretion. Visit a Bureau De Change at the airport for authentic notes as it can be challenging to differentiate between fake and hard currencies. Also do not patronise street side money changers, your money may be swapped for a false paper.

 

Friendly local photographer

Having a photographer take your picture isn’t a problem. However, you need to be aware of the position of your items and properties because the photographer’s aim may to take your attention away from them and before you know what, your bag goes missing. Watch out for these lot.

Free taxi rides

It is not safe to accept a lift from a stranger or a taxi on any highway. Rather, it is advisable you go to the cab park to take one. Besides, if anything happens, such as a situation with a misplaced luggage arises, you can simply return to the park to report the issue and retrieve it.

Street games

Avoid street games completely. Try to ignore them when you see a crowd flocking in the direction of the public fight, betting competition or floor games such as the ones played in the dark alleys of Abia.

Did you know other ways to stay safe from travel scams? Share in the comment box below.

6 Interesting Tips for a Ladies day’s out!

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Are you a single lady? Do you want a wonderful weekend or summer treat? Well, you can reach out to your ‘girlfriends’ and go on a vacation with the tips we have got for you.

Many psychologists say that the best moments in life are the one spent in the company of friends and family. As usual, Jovago.com shares some ideas that can help you plan a wonderful bachelorette getaway in Lagos or any other destination of your choice!

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Similar interests.

For a fun day with your girls, invite friends that you have similar likes and tastes with; especially the ones who are true to you and will have no qualms packing a bag and hopping on the next vehicle out of town just to make you happy.

Tagging along people you have a frosty or malicious relationship with can spoil the mood and nobody wants to live with that memory. If you have got childhood friends who you would like to reconnect with, now is also a good time to meet and bond with them.

Divide duties and responsibilities

After, you have secured their interest in your idea, it is important that you share the responsibilities among yourselves.

Figure out whose duty it is to handle things like transport, food, drinks, and the spot you’ll be spending your time together. Sharing responsibilities will lift the burden of the trip off a single woman and everyone will feel happy to contribute to the success of each day or picnic.

Set rules and guidelines

If your friends have got a wide variety of interests, it is important for you to set up simple ground rules which you know every person will be comfortable complying with.

For example, fix a time for lights out, to eat and party and decide whether men are allowed into the ladies camp or not. Of course if men are around, it no longer makes it a single ladies affair.

Decide on where you want to go

Sample the opinions of everyone who is interested in the trip before deciding where to have the vacation. Importantly, don’t go to a place where there is no telephone communication network or somewhere with a history of violence in the hunt for ‘adventure’.

Don’t over schedule

Planning to do many things on a weekend vacation can be stressful and nerve wrecking. You don’t have to partake in all the activities on the list. Pace yourself and be comfortable to cheer others on from the side-lines. You don’t want to return from the vacation worn out and tired.

Inform your family

This is important. Other people need to know where you are going; especially on a trip out of town. This gives you a sense of accountability and security.

Even if you choose not to tell them specifically where you are going, it is advisable to give them an idea of the destination in general.

Steps to follow to clean a USB mouse

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The mouse may be the most overlooked and perhaps underrated computer device since you can easily do without it. But, computer experts say that the mouse whether optical or mechanical makes clicking very convenient.

However, if the mouse stays too long without being cleaned, it becomes unresponsive and stiff. Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal rolls out steps to take on how to clean your mouse.

Unplug the Mouse

Before you do anything, ensure that you shut down the system and disconnect or unplug the mouse from the computer. If you leave the computer plugged in, you may accidentally click a wrong icon.

Remove Mouse Cover

Turn the mouse upside down and carefully remove the cover especially for the mechanical mouse. Then, remove the ball inside…

Clean the Mouse Ball

After removing the ball, you can use a toilet roll or a piece of cloth dipped in methylated spirit to clean it. You can do this two or three times depending on the nature of the dirt you find.

Clean the Internal Rollers

The rollers control the movement of the mouse. It helps to move the cursor depending on your hand navigation. In a mechanical mouse, there are always three rollers. Be careful so that none of these rollers are broken.

Reconnect the Mouse

Reconnect the mouse to the Personal Computer and turn-on your system back on. You will notice a difference in the performance of your mouse. It will be less rigid and easily clickable. If your mouse develops any kind of fault, it advisable to purchase another in one of those many stalls around Lagos.

Nigeria’s 250,000km roads on digital map –Google

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Country Manager of Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, has said that 250,000 roads in the country as well as 200,000 places of public interest have been mapped by the company.

She also said that the Internet was growing very fast in Nigeria, creating new opportunities for businesses and individuals to create more wealth.

She spoke on Tuesday at the unveiling of Android One in Lagos. The mobile device, which runs on the latest version of Android Operating System (Android 5.1.1 Lollipop), was unveiled by Infinix in partnership with Google, MTN Nigeria and Jumia Nigeria.

Ehimuan said that the digital mapping had made it possible for Nigerians to visit those places with the help of Google Map rather than bothering others for direction.

On the impact mobile telephone has had on the Internet, Ehimuan said 65 per cent of searches done in the country were conducted via mobile devices – a demonstration of the growth of telecommunications.

She, however, said a lot of mobile telephone users had yet to connect to the Internet.

“More and more Nigerians and other Africans will be empowered by the Internet. But for the Internet to be relevant to many Nigerians, local content has to be created,” she noted.

Also speaking on the Internet content creation, the Vice President (Product Management), Google, Caesar Sengupta, said apps of Nigerian origin, such as Afrinoly, had started “creating excitement in different parts of the world.”

Sengupta, who was in Nigeria for the first time, described the growth of the Internet in the country as impressive. With 10.2 million Nigerians connected to the Internet in 2014 alone, he said Nigerian businesses could still benefit a lot from online platforms.

“Imagine that small and medium enterprises in Nigeria go online? That will mean a global exposure for their services or products. The Internet is driving entrepreneurship all over the world, and Nigerian businesses can gain a lot from this,” he said.

The Vice President said he had visited the Ikeja Computer Village, Lagos, and was amazed by the growth of the country’s telephone market. He, however, said many Nigerians were still buying devices with older versions of operating systems. This, he said, would limit their smartphone experience.

Sengupta observed that high cost of data was a challenge in Africa and other emerging countries. To reduce the burden of expensive data on Internet users, he said, Google would unveil offline YouTube and Google Map in Nigeria, Kenya and a few other African countries in coming months.

If Google’s plan is implemented, people would be able to navigate Google Map and watch YouTube videos offline.

The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Michael Ikpoki, who took part in the panel discussion, said that Internet usage in the country was still very low despite the increase in penetration.

“To address this, we need to create local content that is relevant to Nigerians users. It means we need to enlighten the public,” he said.

Ikpoki, who put the country’s active mobile lines at 120 million, said more businesses would be created as more Nigerians go online.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer of Jumia Nigeria, Jeremy Doutte, said the Internet had revolutionised Nigeria’s retail industry.

“When we started, a few people believed that online retailing would be successful in Nigeria. But we have exceeded our expectations. Our vision is to double our volume in the next 12 months,” Doutte said.

He said 50 per cent of the company’s revenue “come from smartphone sale,” adding that the Internet had a huge potential for retailers.

The Managing Director of Infinix, Mr. Benjamin Jiang, added, “The nature of Lagos has made online a suitable means of marketing. It takes about two hours to connect Victoria Island from Ikeja; hence many people would rather do online transactions.”

Before coming to the Nigerian market, Android One was unveiled in 10 countries. Five more African markets would receive the product in the next two weeks, said Google.

5 things that can help promote Nigerian tourism

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Attracting visitors from all parts of the world are Africa’s biggest street carnival and Obudu Cattle Ranch, both situated in Calabar. Osun-Osogbo sacred grove, a UNESCO world heritage site is the focus of envy for global contenders while in Taraba state, the Chappal Waddi sits over 2,419 metres tall, making it the tallest hill in Nigeria.

Government across the 36 states is working diligently to develop each region’s tourism potentials especially due to the dearth of cash flow from the federal purse coupled with the dire need to diversify the economy.

However, more has to be done to market Nigeria’s massive and profitable industry. This is because the country is yet to tap its full potentials.

Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking proffers some ideas on things the government and stakeholders can do to promote Nigeria’s tourism sites.

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Implementation of National Tourism Policy.

A committee to draw up a tourism policy for Nigeria was set up on the 7th February 2005 by President Obasanjo led administration. The final report was submitted on 12th December of that same year.

In spite of the brilliant recommendations made by the committee, none of the solutions made has been adopted.

With the thrust of the national policy being to make Nigeria the tourism destination in Africa, a boost tourism in the country if the recommendations are conscientiously implemented.

Revamp, operate and transfer.

With a solid national tourism policy, the modus operandi to revamp or build, operate and transfer the sites will be simplified. A system where the private sector develops and operates a site for a few  years until they accrue returns on their investments before  transferring the facility to the government will yield benefit

Adopt a Tourist site

As part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), blue chip companies should be encouraged to adopt a tourist destination within their locale, causing them to function as pseudo-owners of the site.

Supporting Infrastructure

Security, electricity, transportation, communication and other supporting infrastructure are key factors that attract tourists to a country. If they are in a comatose, visitors will search for alternative destinations. It is pertinent to provide these supporting infrastructures for leisure and business travel to Nigeria to grow.

Presentation and packaging of Festivals

For Nigeria’s tourism sector to attract the world, the presentation and packaging of  festivals and tourism related events should be top-notch. Shabbily organized events will  turn away tourists. So, great efforts should be made to put together fantastic events.

In addition, aggressive media campaigns should be carried out. For example, buying spaces in international media platforms to sell these sites. The aim is to highlight reasons why tourists should make Nigeria their preferred destination in Africa.

Carl Ikeme: I thought Nigeria call was a joke

Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme thought someone was joking with him when he was told of his first international call-up for Nigeria.

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The 29-year-old will join up with the Super Eagles for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania on September 3.

Ikeme declared his allegiance to Nigeria some years ago and will now challenge Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama for a place in the side.

The Wolves man – surprisingly dropped for the home game against Hull City on Sunday in favour of Emiliano Martinez – only recently reaffirmed his international ambitions. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t unsure of the validity of the phone call that informed him of his first ever Nigeria call-up.

“When the message and the phone call came I thought someone was winding me up to start with,” he said.

“I spoke to the coach and it started to make more sense and I realised it was none of my cousins winding me up or anything like that.”

Ikeme said it was a ‘no-brainer’ to accept the call-up as he has close ties to the country.

Meet 15-Year Old Kimberly Anyadike – The Youngest Black Female Pilot To Fly Cross Country

Kimberly Anyadike
Kimberly Anyadike, 15, stands in front of her single-engine Cessna plane during her historic cross-country flight.

Many of us find ourselves pushed to have low standards for our children.  The saddest part of it all is that our kids have abilities that we may never have even thought possible.  This young lady shows us what our kids can do when we set the bar high.

She departed with a dream and returned home a record-breaker.

Inspired by the Tuskeegee Airmen, 15-year-old Kimberly Anyadike flew a single-engine Cessna cross-country from her hometown of Compton, Calif., to Newport News, Va. Her parents are both from Nigeria, Anyadike means (Eye of a Warrior).

Anyadike is thought to be the youngest African American female pilot to complete the journey, which took 13 days. She arrived home in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 11.

Anyadike learned to fly at age 12 through the Compton-based Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum, which offers aviation lessons in an after-school program for disadvantaged youths, the Los Angeles Times reported. It was their plane that she flew on her cross-country trip.

The brave teenager came up with the idea for the trip on her own, the museum’s founder, Robert Petgrave, told the Times.

“I told her it was going to be a daunting task, but she just said, ‘Put it on. I got big shoulders,’” Petgrave said.

Along for the historic ride were an adult safety pilot and 87-year-old Levi Thornhill, one of the Tuskeegee Airmen during World War II.

“They left such a great legacy,” Anyadike said of the U.S. Army Air Corps’ all-black combat unit. “I had big shoes to fill. … All they wanted to do was to be patriots for this country. They were told no, that they were stupid, that they didn’t have cognitive development to fly planes. They didn’t listen. They just did what they wanted to do.”

About 50 Tuskeegee Airmen autographed the young pilot’s plane during her journey, the Times reported.

“I wanted to inspire other kids to really believe in themselves,” Anyadike said.

Tips for a Memorable Romantic Vacation

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Love is a beautiful thing. Everyone says that. But, how do you show that person you truly love how much you care? By buying gifts? Going shopping? Watching a movie?

While this is great, they are non-special, regular routines which you can just do on a free weekend. Want to do something different to arouse the passion and boost your love life again? Then a romantic getaway is not a bad idea.

Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 Hotel booking portal shares 7 tips on how you can have a memorable and unforgettable romantic vacation.

Agree on a date

Both of you may be busy at work and you wouldn’t want to choose a date that is inconvenient. If it means taking a week’s leave from work, the two of you should be and willingly to happily do that.

Go with someone you love

No two people can be together without mutual consent. Going on a vacation with someone you do not love is just uninteresting and boring. So, before you go on that vacation ask yourself do I love this person? The reason for a romantic vacation is to groom and grow love.

Choose a romantic destination

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There a handful of romantic destination within and outside Nigeria. For example, Calabar and Jos are amazing places for romantic getaways. Outside Nigeria, Island nations like Cape Verde, Mauritius, Comoros Island, Barbados, and many others. Importantly, you and your partner must agree on the destination.

Stay somewhere you can be alone

After agreeing on the destination, you want to spend your romantic vacation, book a hotel that you know you can be alone with your partner without interference or distraction. This is why it is essential to research a destination before choosing it.

Switch off your Phones

If you don’t really want any distractions, switch off your phone. Even if you are addicted to your smartphone, suspend it till after the romantic vacation. Alternatively, you can put your phone on voicemail in the case of emergency calls.

Have Dinner with candle lights

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This should be a surprise for your partner and its best be secret. Buy a new attire and have dinner with candles lighting the room. Many psychologists say this is an excellent way of nurturing love.

Budget

Everything you will do entirely relies on your budget. Therefore, before you have a reliable and workable cash plan. If your budget can’t cover a trip outside Nigeria, it is advisable to go on a vacation to Ikogosi warm spring Resort in Ekiti and other romantic places in the country.

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