The North African cuisine is the product of a chain of historical, cultural and topographical factors. These regions’ cuisine was influenced by ancient trade routes and links with Europe. Interestingly, the cuisine of North Africa: Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria is packed full of colourful spice mixtures.
Here are 4 of the best North African dishes to try.
Shakshouka is a Tunisian dish that has spread across North Africa. It can be served for breakfast, lunch or as part of an evening meal. It is made up of chopped onions, chili peppers, tomatoes and cumin, cooked in a skillet to form a rich sauce in which a couple of eggs are poached.
Harira is a soup served in Algeria and Morocco. It is always eaten during the Holy Month of Ramadan. It can also be eaten throughout the year as a snack or appetizer. There’s no set method or recipe for making harira. It can be made with pieces of lamb, chicken or beef. Extra spices like ginger, cinnamon and turmeric are often added to prep up the taste.
Couscous is the staple food of North Africa of steamed semolina that can be served as an accompaniment with plates of vegetables, or eaten by itself. There are lots of variations depending on which North African destination you find yourself.
Tajine takes its name from the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The tajine dish is a slow-cooked stew and can be made up of all sorts of ingredients chicken, lamb, beef, fish or vegetables, stewed with spices and dried fruit and served with couscous and bread.
Last year, the Senate passed the Not Too Young To Run Bill which seeks age reduction for elective officers in the country and allows youths an opportunity to contest for the office of the president at the age of 35 and governor or senator at the age of 30.
The youths converged in the Unity Fountain in Abuja on Wednesday morning thereafter marched to the entrance of the Presidential Villa bearing placards with various inscriptions.
The youths barricaded the entrance to the presidential villa and rejected a delegate initially sent from the Presidential Villa to address them. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on New Media was sent to address the youths but they refused to give an audience.
They insisted that a higher government official in the caliber of a Minister or the Secretary-General of the Federation be sent to address them.
“An investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” In view of this saying, it is important to try as much as possible to travel and expose yourself to a wider world. There are so many awesome places to visit in this world, which makes it quite difficult to decide on which to visit, since chances are you cannot visit them all.
To make it easier for you to decide, here are 4 awesome places in the world you should visit at least once.
New Zealand has magnificent backdrops with prehistoric forests, picturesque widespread beaches, snowclad mountains and beautiful springs. It also has a distinctive culture caused by the coexistence of the Maori and European people in the country, and is one of the easiest places to travel to because of its well-developed infrastructures and its high quality services, especially in terms of transportation.
Visit Japan to explore a unique blend of tradition and innovation. Japan offers superb religious and cultural heritages that coexist quite beautifully and impressively with state-of-the-art technological and architectural achievements in the present. Mount Fuji, Imperial Palace, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the Island Shrine of Itsukushima, Osaka National Park, Chubu-Sangaku National Park and the Japanese Alps are some exciting and notable places to visit when in Japan.
This is a premier safari location on the African continent, with large portions of land that consist of national parks and wildlife reserves. So, if you are generally intrigued with nature and wildlife, this is one of the best places to visit for an awesome experience in that line. Chobe and Okavango Delta region are great for viewing wildlife. There is also the Kalahari Desert, Tsodilo Hills and Nxai Pan National Park, which are some of the ‘must-not-miss’ places to visit when on trip to Botswana. Being one of the oldest cities in the world, Athens, the capital of Greece is where mythological legends and gods were born and one of the best places to visit in Greece.
This wonderfully historical country might have recently undergone an economic crisis, but it still remains a premium tourist hub. It boasts of historic cultural heritages and natural spectacles like beaches, mountains and islands. It really is endowed with stunning natural beauty in diverse forms. Visit Greece to explore the colossal Aegean to the cloud covered peak of Mt. Olympus., the ever bustling historical capital of Greece, Athens and the ‘not-to-be-missed’ Meteora, Santorin, Delphi and Thessaloniki. It is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.
Over 50 youth groups in the country have concluded plans to hold a National Day of Action, in solidarity with Nigerian youths to ensure that the #NotTooYoungToRun is passed into law.
The initiative is geared towards engaging President Muhammadu Buhari on the age reduction bill and fulfill his promises to millions of Nigerian youth. The event would hold today, Wednesday, March 14 and kick-off at the popular unity fountain in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“The movement calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the constitutional amendment bill especially the age reduction bill as soon as the bills are transmitted to him for assent.
“We therefore, also urge the National Assembly to without further delay transmit the constitutional amendment bills to the president for assent. “The National Day of Action is designed to demonstrate that the large youth population is in support of the age reduction bill being considered as part of the constitution amendment process,” organisers of the event said at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, March 9.
They clarified that the National Day of Action is not a protest, but a peaceful citizen engagement with the president. “We hope to use the National Day of Action to emphasise the need for the constitution review process to be concluded speedily,” they said.
Michael Balogun is one of the few tour operators in the country who has experienced tourism in two different worlds: Britain and Nigeria. Of course, you cannot compare the tourism space of both nations. Thankfully, Balogun aggregated all his tourism experiences in Britain and invested it in establishing Tour2Nigeria-which has been organising tours to different Nigerian destinations. In this interview, Michael Balogun speaks about Tour2Nigeria, challenges of Nigeria’s tourism industry, his top 5 destinations for Christmas and much more. Enjoy
Please tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Michael Balogun, CEO and Co-Founder of Xtrm Tours 2 Nigeria Ltd, a tour packaging company. I spent a couple of years in London and the experience of their tourism sector ignited my passion. Together with my friend Mr Kole Majekodunmi, co-founder of Xtrm Tours2Nigeria Ltd, we were able to give this ignited passion an expression. In Nigeria, we felt we could replicate the same experience in terms of selling the memorable experience to tourist and the rest they say is history.
Can you tell us more about Tour2Nigeria? What does your business have to offer intending travellers?
Xtrm Tours 2 Nigeria Ltd is a registered company here in Nigeria. Tour2Nigeria’s main objective is to make the brand a one-stop shop and hub for everything tourism in Nigeria. Also, the core of our business is to promote inbound tourism in Nigeria and in the process help to create employment opportunities as well as promote the image of the country to encourage foreign investors. We have been using our platform to showcase both the Tourism, Cultural & Art aspect of Nigeria. We believe in giving our clients a memorable experience with our tour and customer service.
How many Nigerian states have you visited? Can you share the most exciting and exciting experience? Any weird experience?
I have visited over 30 states in Nigeria. My most exciting and weird experience will be during a private tour of the Lekki conservation centre, and it was during the Canopy walk which is the longest canopy walk in Africa. I have a slight phobia for heights which I had warned my client about. Halfway through the canopy walk, I heard my client telling me, “Michael, do you know you have been saying a lot of prayers and cursing at the same time?” It was hilarious when we got back on the ground because I thought I was murmuring all that inside my mind. That’s another thing about touring and visiting new places that I find exciting, it lets you push yourself beyond your comfort zones at times. You do things, you didn’t think you could; despite my fear of heights I have taken that canopy walk many times.
As an experienced tour operator, how much should an average Nigerian budget for a tour?
With our research and survey, among other factors like the minimum wage in Nigeria, I can say that it can range from about N10,000 to around N100,000. However, a tailored tour can be programmed around whatever budget you have in mind.
We all agree that Nigeria is a beautiful country. Despite this, some Nigerians still prefer to visit Dubai, Paris, Seychelles and London among others for their vacations. What do you think can be done to encourage Nigerians to tour Nigeria?
Nigeria is a beautiful country blessed with so much history, historic sites, landmarks, festivals and culture, not forgetting the culinary aspect too. We have everything here to make it the biggest and best destination hub in sub-Saharan Africa. The major challenge we have had over the years has been the attitude of the government towards the tourism sector due to the focus on oil and gas. There is a need for DMOs (Destination Management Organisations) to be set up to take full charge of destination branding and creating awareness. These countries like Dubai spent billions of dollars to get to where they are today. Take a look back at Dubai in 1985 and see how far they have come to be one of the biggest destinations in the world.
In your opinion, what are the problems or challenges of Nigeria’s tourism industry? What do you think can be done to fix these problems?
The travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with a global economic contribution (over $7.6 trillion in 2016). Our biggest problem in Nigeria is not even the security or infrastructural challenges, but issues of politics, putting square pegs in round holes. We need to have the right people at the helms of affairs in this sector. A lot of efforts too is required from the owners and managers of these resorts and destinations. With the power of the social media, we don’t have any excuse not to do more. Hopefully, our leaders and people in the tourism sector would soon come to a realisation of the importance of the tourism statistics and how much the country is losing out on in terms of revenue and its effect on our GDP.
Based on your experience, do you have any advice for travellers, travel bloggers or any person that might be aspiring to tour Nigeria?
The best advice I can give anyone travelling to Nigeria is to have a clear and an open mindset and make the best of the moment while in Nigeria. This is the best way to enjoy your travel to our beautiful country, Nigeria and indeed to anywhere in the world. For those aspiring to be a travel blogger my advice for you is to give the best opinion of your visits and not just write to drive traffic to your blog.
Can you give us your top 5 Nigerian destinations to visit during Christmas?
Depending on your location within the country: Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure, Ikogosi, Lekki Leisure Lake, Agodi Gardens and Calabar Carnival.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to become a tour operator?
A genuine passion for Tourism is the first step. I mean, you should have the passion for bringing culture/history to life. You must be determined and be able to exercise a lot of patience. An excellent interpersonal skill is also a step in the right direction.
Traveling with persons living with disability has become easier these days thanks to modernisation and technology. However, people who are travelling with persons living with disability must still be equipped with the do’s and don’ts for persons with special needs.
Here are some of the tips that you must consider when you are travelling with a special needs person.
1.Carefully choose your destination
Some destinations may be good for ordinary persons but may not be fit for persons with special needs. An ordinary person might transfer to places, climb stairs and walk a lot, but a disabled person may find it hard to do such. Therefore, you must carefully plan your destination and the route that you will take on your trip.
2. Book ahead of time
If you are going on an air travel, you need to book your flight ahead and inform the staff of the airline that you are traveling with a person with special needs. With all those luggage checks, long lines and exhausting waiting time, you might probably want to proceed through the lines prioritizing persons with disabilities.
3. Do your research
Always remember that persons with disabilities are prioritized in almost everywhere. They are given a number of privileges in hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, and other facilities due to their disability. They are also provided with amenities and lanes solely for them to provide them with the convenience that they actually deserve. So do your research to discover some of these places and do not hesitate to take advantage of them.
4. Consult a doctor
Certain activities and environment can be prohibited for a particular disabled person. Therefore, you must first consult a doctor if your trip will likely cause any harm to your companion with special needs. Besides, not all medical remedies for persons with disabilities can be easily available at the place of your destination so it is always better to bring with you additional pieces of medicines that will be prescribed by the doctor.
Stay in accessible areas
If you are traveling with a disabled person, avoid staying and going into remote areas or to places that are far from the capital or center of your destination. Always assure that your location is close enough to establishments and hospitals so that, in case there will be an emergency, it will be easier for you to bring your companion and provide them with the medications that they might need.
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoin is now worth $4,317. Due to this, many are encouraging others to invest in the cryptocurrency. Nigerians are slowly embracing Bitcoin. In line with this, we share 5 things Nigerians must know before joining the Bitcoin train.
1.More people are using Bitcoin
Despite the fact that some Nigerians are struggling to accept Bitcoin, more people are embracing it after years of gradual growth. Hence, whether we like it or not, Bitcoin is the future and we have no choice than to use it.
2. Retailers and vendors are accepting Bitcoin
You can now pay for whatever you purchase online with Bitcoin as some retailers have made it possible to settle transactions with it. Some notable companies that accept Bitcoin include Expedia, Microsoft, Subway, Newegg, TigerDirect, Tesla and PayPal. So, do not be surprised when some Nigerian companies start to accept Bitcoin.
3. Bitcoin transfers are fast and flexible
While many financial institutions charge you or take days to process transactions, Bitcoin allows transfers from one account to another almost for free. Of course, you must already have your money in Bitcoin form. There is no need for any middlemen. As a result, the transfer is seamless.
4. Extremely volatile
Bitcoin is still growing like earlier mentioned and there are a number of market factors that influence it. It very dependent on the rules of demand and supply. The more people are willing to buy Bitcoins, the more the Bitcoin value will increase. Conversely, if more people sell, the prices will decline.
5. Treat it as speculating, not an investment
Cryptocurrencies have a bright future as a new way to conduct commerce and business. That is not the same thing as saying that their value right now is sustainable. It’s early days yet, and, while the number of businesses accepting cryptocurrencies are growing, it’s not big enough for most of the demand to be built on legitimate trade. This means that buying cryptocurrencies is speculation, not investment. Hence, you should be willing to lose the money you invest in buying Bitcoin!
On the first day of November every year, my mother calls to remind me that my birthday is just 9 days away. I don’t know why she does it, but it has since become the tradition. Just as it is a tradition that she reminds me every 10th of November, when it actually is my birthday, that I am destined to birth her granddaughter – seeing as she only has “grandsons everywhere”.
At first, it was cute and I actually would secretly pray that my siblings keep producing sons and leave the mother-given-destiny for me, but as I have gotten older and my mother has become more desperate and tired of waiting for me to fulfill this destiny she bestowed on me, it has become slightly annoying.
As expected, she called on the 1st of this month. Surprisingly, the call sort of took a different and interesting turn. As usual, she asked what the plans were for my birthday and I mentioned a possible Dubai trip with two of my best female friends Uloma (who is also celebrating this November) and Ijeoma.
Then, we somehow drifted into a long gist of the male attention I have had in the last 10 months. I mentioned to her that I recently met a guy who is 50 years old and we are gradually becoming friends. Surprisingly, she went deathly quiet. It was new for me as she almost always praised any male being I mentioned to her and encouraged me to “show him, love”. To liven the air, I went on to say to her that he did not look his age and he did not act too old either. She asked: “Is he married?” I said: “No” then out of the blues, she said: “Don’t marry him.” It was shocking. First of all, I had not mentioned anything suggesting that I was in a relationship with the man, so how did the idea of marrying him come to play? Again, isn’t this the same woman that wants a granddaughter as soon as possible? Oddly, I was in the mood for her drama and was interested in understanding her train of thought, so I asked: “Why?”
Her reasons included the following: at his age, was too old and marriage with a much younger woman will not work; he must be a terrible person to still be single at 50; and most hilarious, he could be my daddy. It was funny because, when I was dating a person I was very slighter older than, she had also complained that the relationship was not fair to me, as he would cheat on me with younger girls if we got married.
Our society, I guess, holds a negative stigma regarding age differences, which causes people to obsess over it. It stipulates that people of a certain age range can only be with people of a certain age range based on their sex as well. We now feel guilt, shame, and disappointment in our selves when we consider the possibility of dating or developing feelings for people outside the indicated age brackets. You are called a ‘Cougar’ if you are 40-year-old woman dating a 25-year-old male; a ‘Sugar daddy’ when you are a 70-year-old man dating a 22-year-old girl; a ‘Runs girl’ or ‘Golddigger’ if you are 17 and dating a 60-year-old man; and a ‘Sugar boy’ if you are 27 dating a 50-year-old woman. The backlash is so strong, it feels out of this world to suggest that such a pair could be bound by genuine love. Somehow we have given ‘age’ more meaning than we should, and we let the number control our existence.
Age, simply, is a number record we keep to remind us of the length of time we have existed. It does not define the reality of who we are or our destiny in life. It should not be this prison it has become, created by our society to deprive us the freedom to do whatever we want or be with whoever we want whenever we want to. If you see yourself happy with someone, do you really think age should be enough justification to re-evaluate what you have or even take a different path? People can wake up any morning and say they are a different age if they want to, and they won’t necessarily suffer any consequences. That is how powerless the number can be. Actually, people have been doing it and getting away with it for ages.
Perhaps she is with an older man because she finds him simple, patient, and easy going, or maybe he is with an older woman because he finds her super brilliant and very caring. Sure, age may affect how physically active we may be with time, but essentially mindset, faith, commitment, and perseverance are the things that actually determine the success of our relationships and life in general. Age is an illusion that does not have any impact until we give it power. We only start limiting ourselves and our happiness when we let age interfere with our mind.
CREDITS: This article is written by Nkem Ndem. Nkem is a dynamic freelance writer and editor who can be reached for content creation(web, T.V, radio), writing and editing (blog, magazine, text), screenwriting, ghost writing, copy proofreading and reviews.
You just got married or about to wed. Expectedly, you may be in search of honeymoon destinations in Nigeria where you can enjoy the best of getaways with your spouse. From the expensive to the most affordable, you have them across the country. Here are 5 affordable as well as exquisite honeymoon destinations in Nigeria.
1.The Whispering Palms Resort
Located in Badagry, the Whispering Palms Resort is truly an exciting beach with palms everywhere to give newlyweds a resplendent sense of an amazing hideaway. There is a mini zoo and an artworks centre at this resort. You will get a wonderful treat and you do not need to break the bank.
2. The Obudu Cattle Ranch
The Obudu Mountain Resort is a natural expanse of forests filled with rare animals extending from Nigeria into the Cameroons. The Obudu Cattle Ranch features natural springs, wild animals, traditional chalets. It is a perfect place for newlyweds to escape.
3. Epe Resort and Spa
The Epe Resort and Spa is located in Epe, Lagos State. You can enjoy a quiet time beside the pool with a wide array of Nigerian and foreign delicacies. It is a place that every intending honeymooner should consider to have their honeymoon.
4. La Champagne Tropicana Beach Resort
Located in Lagos, the La Champagne Tropicana Beach Resort is a romantic getaway situated between the tropical Lagos forest and extending to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, offering an unhindered view of the lagoon. At this beach resort, you can enjoy the day swimming, fishing, strolling on the beach and bird watching.
5. Le Meridien Ibom Golf Resort
The Le Meridien Ibom Golf Resort sits in Akwa Ibom State. It is the place to be for newlyweds that desire to stay away from city life. This is a pleasant hub where many new couples spend their honeymoons.
Waking up in the night is a pain. Whether it’s because you’re anxious, need the use the convenience or have simply had a nightmare, it disrupts your sleep hugely. And once you’ve woken up, it can be surprisingly difficult to get back to sleep. But why are you really waking up? It turns out that there are various things you can do to reduce your chances of waking from your slumber in the middle of the night.
1.You have eczema
Eczema sufferers often find their skin becomes very itchy at night, and this can often make it difficult to sleep. Consult a skin specialist who will be able to give you medication to treat the problem.
2.You urinate often
It’s normal during pregnancy for women to feel the need to urinate during the night, but if you’re not pregnant and this happens to you a lot, you may have Nocturia. For most people, urine production should be low at night. Avoid drinking too much in the evening, particularly, diuretics like tea and coffee.
3.You’re drinking too much alcohol
You may think a couple of glasses of wine will help you sleep, but it can often lead to disrupted sleep in the night. Try and stop drinking a while before bed to give your body time to metabolise the alcohol first.
4.Your bedroom is too hot or too cold
Sleeping in a room that has the wrong temperature can make it harder for you to sleep and stay asleep. The room temperature for proper sleep is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius.
5.You’re too stressed
If you’re stressed out and it’s disrupting your sleep, make sure to find time to unwind and de-stress before bed. Listen to relaxing music or try a colouring book or other mindful activity.
6.Your bed is too firm
While you might not feel comfortable on a particular bed sleeping on one that’s too firm can create pressure in your hips, shoulders and lower back. Make sure your bed works for you by getting one from a company that allows you a trial period.