It was a cold afternoon during winter in Ajegunle sometime last year. Femi Olabode, a blonde lanky dude strolled into the Pawnshop along Wall Street road looking pale. The shop attendant, a fat chubby-cheeked man smiled at him, his teeth looking like the contents of a call girl’s handbag – rough and scattered.

“What can I do you for,Sire?” the attendant said.

Femi sighed,pulled out a cuban cigar from his breast pocket,lit same and took a heavy puff. After a while, he pulled out a picture from his pant pocket. “Know her? he said.

The shop attendant took a long look.
“Ummm, looks like Halima Usman, the daughter of the village goldsmith. What about her?”

“How much is her love?”

There was a short silence.

“But Sire,” said the attendant. “I thought you were engaged to Miss Funmi-Rice?”

Femi took a long and hard stare at the man, his eyes bloodshot red.

“Her love was fake. It expired yesterday. And I had just bought it!” He slammed at the counter.
The attendant shivered and fumbled with a bottle with red content. “Err err, am sorry sire. Here is Halimat’s love,” he said handing over the bottle to Femi.

Femi snatched the bottle from him and looked at it, scrutinising it. “How am I sure this is the original?”

“Its the last of her love left. We bought it from the last person she had given her love to – Mr Roland Azikiwe. Here is the receipt of purchase.”

Femi scrutinised the receipt. “Looks original,” he said.

“It is,” the attendant concurred. “Miss Halimat has sold all her love over the years and they have all been lost or crushed by her past lovers. We were lucky to get this one – the last of her love.”

“How much?”

“Umm, Sire you see, since its a very special love, being that it’s the last of its kind…..”

Femi interrupted with a roar. “I said how much is her love?!!”

“Oh oh, it will only cost you L5 (Five Love)…”

“Five Love? Whose and whose love?”

“We don’t want you to pay with the love of people you already know. These five loves are loves you will have in the future. Since you are yet to have them, we will just acquire the future loving rights from you.”

Femi took another puff at his cigarette.
“That’s too expensive. I can only offer L2 (Two Love)..”




The attendant produced a document from underneath his desk.

“Here is the Deed of Love,transferring all your reversionary three loves in the future to us…. You can sign here…..”

In no time, the contract was signed and Femi made his way out of the shop. He felt accomplished having just bought Halimat’s love. He didn’t care whose future love he had just traded for Halimat’s love. He wants to love Halimat so much. He had been wooing her in the last six months,begging for her to disclose how much her love would cost and where he could get it. She had remained non-compliant and difficult. Last week, he was ‘jonzing’ on the web when he came across the advert on that her love was on sale at City People’s Love PawnShop in Ajegunle. He made his way from Ohafia in Abia State to Lagos, just for her love. He couldn’t wait to have her to himself. He couldn’t wait to her love before it expired.

There is a popular saying that everyone has a price. Does that include their love? Personally, I think any love that comes with a material price is as fake as the settings,plot and character in this piece.

But then,let’s just imagine love had a price, how much would your love cost?


“No one/Nothing has the right to make you unhappy without your consent.” – HaroldWrites

It was about 1:15pm yesterday when I got a call that ‘it’ was going down on friday the 17th of August 2012. Prior to the call, I was happily sipping at a pack of ‘Chi Happy Hour’ as I sat glued to my PC,watching Despicable Me(Why the surprise on your face? It is a cartoon,yeah ? Any Ps? I love cartoons more than puff puff FYI). As I was saying, a call came through and it had a message – I must travel out of Lagos in the next 24 hours,else I would miss ‘it’. The first thing I did was confirm the balance in my bank account. I had a meagre N20,000. Next,I logged online to book my flight to Uyo but I got the mother of all shocks. The fare to Uyo was N24,000!!!!! My brains started going gaga like Chuddy K. I had to raise an extra N4,000. Apart from that, I would also need money to board a cab to the airport as well as pay for ‘extra luggage.’ I made a few calls and in a few hours time, I had an extra N20,000 (making it N40,000 in all) in my account.
Feeling so fly,I strolled to one GT Bank’s ATM to withdraw N35,000. Guess what? I was told I had insufficient funds! I almost went berserk! I immediately contacted my bank to report the problem. By the time everything was fixed, I was too tired to book my flight. I had to wait till this morning.
As at 8:00am today, I was at the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport. The queue at the ticketing counter was a bit discouraging. I had already given up when the bloke who helped with my luggage offered to help me book for my flight via a “backyard runs.” Out of desperation, I agreed (if only I had known…..). He demanded for my ID card. I obliged.
45 minutes later, no ticket, no ID card and the bloke wasn’t in sight. And guess what? The queue had long disappeared. I stood alone, angry at myself and the world. When the bloke finally arrived, he came with a frown.
“Sorry Oga,” he said handing back my ID Card. ” Nobody wan help me for inside.”
I looked at the dude,then at my ID Card but I couldn’t get angry. You know that feeling when you are so depressed that anger isn’t an option anymore? I just collected my ID card and joined a new queue which came into existence barely five minutes earlier. I bided my time and when it was my turn, guess what the attendant told me with a smile on her face?

“Am afraid Sir,but Uyo is fully booked.”
How worse could it get?! Thank God she had the right emotion that tallied with the situation – she was afraid on my behalf! I felt life was screwing me up. I asked for an alternate flight – to Calabar. She responded with the same answer. It was there and then I decided this was bull crap! I was going home and would travel the next day! I was feeling so low but decided I would surprise life. I refused to be screwed! A mental picture of a documentary I had watched (The Secret) came to mind. I decided I was going to have a nice time, despite what fate had to offer. And so I stormed out of the airport, got a cab and headed for an eatery close-by. I ensured the cab driver joined me and we both hung out like old friends. After the treat, I returned home, turned on my PC and watched “Battleship” (Go Riri!!! Go Riri!!!!!). After the movie, I picked up the book “Fellow Countrymen” by Richard Akinnola and read. It is a book on Coup d’etats in Nigeria. And after that, I made for my bed and slept off! It was the best sleep ever!
I woke up feeling so fresh and relaxed,then picked up my blackberry to make this post. I had just “defeated” Mr. Fate whose idea was to frustrate me and keep me low. Have you ever had a depressing moment like mine? How did you overcome it? Kindly drop a comment;I will like to know.


By Shannon

We don’t have to go to school, eat all our
vegetables or do what anybody says just
because they say so. We can buy all the
sugary cereals we want (so says the giant box
of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in my pantry),
stay up way past our bedtime and watch R-
rated movies.
But being an adult also has its downfalls.
All the things we dreamed of as children —
careers, houses, cars, etc. — come with hefty
price tags.
As a kid I had this board game called “Payday” that I absolutely loved. Players moved their pieces through a calendar month, trying to make money with risky investments while also paying for bills, groceries, and other incidentals depending on what spaces you landed on during the course of the game.
The goal was to get to the end of the month
without going broke so you could get your
“Payday” and start the month all over again.
I couldn’t figure out why my parents hated
playing that game with me until a few years
ago when my pal Toni hunted down a copy for
my birthday so we could relive our glory
Five minutes in, I realized some sick
individual had made a game out of every
adult’s struggles to earn money while
covering our financial responsibilities.
That’s not a game, that’s just called being a
responsible grown-up and it blows.
What weirdo would make that into a fun
activity for kids?
How do you pay your bills, bills, bills?
Are you working nine to five (what a way to
make a living), at a full-time job outside of
writing? A lot of us author folks have no
choice but to work at a real job so we can
find a way to pay for the roofs over our
heads, clothes on our backs and food on our
But what if things were different?
What if we could all achieve that golden
dream of actually doing what we love for a
The good news is it’s possible. The bad
news is, it ain’t easy.
To help you figure out if a financially
successful author career is for you, we’ve
put together six laws you must abide by if
you want a shot at having your cake and
eating it, too.

Start by figuring out how much money you
need to make each month to sustain
yourself. Don’t just add in the bills,
groceries, and gas – you have to have some
spending money as well (everybody needs a
movie ticket, new CD or new purse every once
in a while!).
Understand that while it may be
unreasonable to hope for Twilight-level
revenues, you can aim for and achieve a
decent monthly income with moderate sales,
but only if you learn to…

Making the jump from writing as a hobby
to writing as a career requires a change
in mindset. Leave behind the notion that
writing is a passion you squeeze into your
spare time and acknowledge that you are
running a business.
You will have to get hands-on with all facets
of your career, not just the writing part.
From proofreading and editing to public
relations and marketing, you are the CEO
who makes the decision. Educate yourself
as much as possible so you can run your
business with the confidence of a visionary
What’s your first decision as CEO? Long
term success requires a line of products, not
just one.

One book isn’t going to cut it. The best
business model for a career author
involves multiple books spaced out so that
each one builds off the momentum of the
last one like falling dominoes. Hook your
readers in with one book and keep them
coming back for more to sustain long term
sales and growth.
Your books don’t have to be part of a series,
but your genre and writing styles should be
similar so that your author brand becomes
familiar to your readers.
Not sure how you will have the time to do all
that? That’s why it’s a full-time job.

When you announce to your family that
you’re going to become a full-time author,
they will assume you plan to spend your days
sleeping in and shopping at Target. But right
in line with Law #2, a successful author has
to treat his/her career as a business and put
in the time accordingly.
You might not work from nine to five, but
you’ll definitely find at minimum that
forty hours a week split between
marketing and writing is necessary. You
may even need to put in a little more time,
especially in the beginning, to get your blog/
website/social media tools in order so that
you can begin building the foundation of your
writing career.
Don’t like marketing? Tough cookies, my

For career authors, marketing and writing
go hand-in-hand. You can’t get around it, so
just accept right now that you will have to
take the lead in promoting your books on and
off the internet. It will soak up part of your
writing time and drain some of your
resources, but it’s necessary.
Because it’s a required component, it’s best
to adopt a positive attitude about it from
the get-go and learn how to love your
marketing. It helps if you work on forming
relationships with your fans, instead of
feeling like you constantly have to sell to
them. Engage first, sell later!
And what happens on the days when you
just don’t feel like it’s working?

Take the word “impossible” and toss it out
of your lexicon right now. If you plan to be
a career author you have to work hard for
that dream every day, rain or shine. It won’t
be easy, but it’s your dream and if you’re
willing to work for it, it can be achieved.
Push yourself and on the days when you run
out of energy, make sure you have a good
support team around you who will step in to
keep pushing.
If you can dream it, you can do it!
Being a full-time, financially successful
author is definitely within your realm of
possibility if you follow these six laws (and
probably a few more we haven’t thought of).
Are you currently trying to make it as a
full-time author or do you know someone
who is? What lessons have you learned along
the way? What would you do differently if
you had the chance?
If you’re dreaming of leaving your day job to
become a full-timer, what’s
holding you back? What goals can you set
for yourself to move closer to your

Culled from

WIN $300 AT THE NAIJA STORIES CONTEST!!! is pleased to announce another online writing contest titled “Poems of Everyday Nigeria” in collaboration with Tola Odejayi. From time to time, the lives of we Nigerians are punctuated with dramatic and significant events. We fall in love, out of love, marry, divorce, celebrate a childbirth and grieve over a death. We may even be called upon to do greater things, like save a life, lead a revolution or govern a country.

But more often, our lives are filled with the smaller, everyday things we do. Waking up. Taking our baths. Commuting to work. Visiting friends. Worshipping at church. Insulting someone over the internet. Running for shelter as it starts to pour with rain. Because these events are so everyday, we experience them in one moment and dismiss them the next as matters of no consequence.

Up till now.

Naija Stories is inviting you to celebrate, in your most creatively, imaginatively expressed poems, these everyday events that occur throughout our waking lives. There is a total prize of $300 on offer – $150 as the first prize, $100 as the runner-up prize and $50 for the third prize. So look around you, fire up your imagination, pick up your writing device of choice and get busy!


The rules are simple – they are as follows:

–         The poems must original, and not previously published in any online or print channel

–          They must be no less than a hundred words, and no more than five hundred.

–          Only one poem per person should be submitted to this contest.

–         They must be about an event that occurs very frequently in the lives of a typical Nigerian.

–         They must be written in good, clear grammatical English.

–         Special consideration will be given to poems that use language imaginatively to express ideas.

–         The deadline for submission is Sunday, 2nd of September 2012.

–         To submit, register on and allow 24hrs to be approved.

–         Go to and enter your poem directly.

–         Put the entry in the category of “Everyday Poems” and press the button, “Submit for Review”.


Dates for Contest:

The contest opens August 6 and submissions end on September 2, 2012.

Longlist of Poems that meet the criteria will be released September 6, 2012

Final Judging (by Tola Odejayi) – September 8th to 16th, 2012

The winner will be announced by September 17th 2012.


Prizes :

There will be three (3) overall winners in this contest.

First Prize – 150,000 points ($150)

Second Prize – 100,000 points ($100)

Third Prize – 50,000 points ($50)


On sunday during praise and worship, I couldn’t help but notice a ‘beautifully’ painted sister from a distance. Forgive the erratic rovings of my eyes. There is a very thin line between looking polished and looking like a masquerade. Now to the bruvs, if she decides to colour block both her skin and outfit and she comes out looking like an expensive antique in a museum, please I beg of you, feel free to dump the item. Oops! Sounds harsh? That’s right! Compare the item above with the chics below.


3G─→3G┈↠ 3g┉▹ EDGE─┈▸ edge—↠GPRS—↠gprs—↠ GSM ─┉▹gsm─┉▹ SOS.. MTN!!!!!!

My MTN works perfectly…..only when I want to check my account balance. Frustration is an understatement. I was at MTN customer service outlet at the E-centre,Yaba and laid a complaint. The only thing they could do was apologise for the poor service and asked me to go as they were already aware of the challenges customers were facing and were working on it. ONE of my complaints was that I couldn’t get a 3G connection. Guess what? The attendant showed me his bb and said same thing too. He too was on EDGE. He sha spoke english,asked me to fill a form and apologised on behalf of MTN. The next day,I got a call from MTN. After making me speak english all over again for about 30 minutes, the voice over the phone assured me MY PROBLEMS would be resolved. The next day, I got a text from MTN informing me the problems had been fixed. I was happy, did a hard reset of my bb, changed my network settings to 3G but bah-bah-boooooooo NOTHING! Infact, immediately I changed to 3G, my network connection turned to SOS – a very red one! I had to switch back to 2G. I tried updating my wordpress blog ( ) but was shocked as through out the day, I did nothing else but look at the consistent recurring messages ‘saying’ network failure. I was depressed,deflated and hated life generally. Till now, I can’t publish a blog post with pics as my effort would return unsuccessful. During my visit to the customer service centre, I threatened to change networks but was boldly told by the attendant that all networks are/were the same. Can anyone confirm this? One other thing he said was that not every MTN line was experiencing these same problems as some SIMS were receiving better services. Can an MTN user with better service also confirm this? As for me, I am contemplating bringing a representative action against them. Who wan follow chop MTN money?


On wednesday in Ukraine, Portugal had the biggest assignment any footballing nation could ever have. They were to square up against the ‘sexy football’ boys of Spain. A lot had been said about La Roja prior to the tournament. One pertinent question everyone kept asking was “can they retain their title?” Spain is known for its ‘tiki-taka’ football, but in this tournament, the tiki-taka brand has not been as effective as it used to. It’s public knowledge that La Roja has lost its killer instinct in the final third. All passing and no penetration. As a result of this, everyone expected Portugal,led by their talismanic speed daemon,Cristiano Ronaldo to give the sexy football boys a run for their money, if not actually, ‘stealing’ the money all together. Well, the Portuguese came, they saw, and they believed tiki-taka! For 90 minutes, Ronaldo and his gang threatened to be a match for the men in red, but in extra time, they were forced to disappear into oblivion. I watched the game with keen interest, and at the end, I was able to deduce the following morals which I believe to hold true in other facets of life.

1. THE PATIENT DOG DOESN’T ALWAYS EAT THE FATTEST BONE: Portuguese speed daemon, Cristiano Ronaldo had been impressive in the first 90 minutes of play but went missing in the 30 minutes of extra time. Big deal! No superstar in a team playing against a Barca-Madrid filled Spanish side always stays in limelight for the entire duration of a match. You must go MIA at some point – no thanks to the tiki taka routine of the Spanish side. During the penalty shoot-out, CR7 opted to take the fifth penalty for his side. But he never had the chance as two team mates of his lost their earlier spot kicks and the shoot-out was put to an end abruptly by Cesc Fabregas when he coolly slotted his shot home to send Spain through. Ronaldo was patient,but he never had the chance. In whatever you do, know that as much as patience is a virtue, you must learn when to strike. Learn to take what rightfully belongs to you ‘violently’ if you have to. Sometimes,you just have to be a Nani(who stopped Bruno Alves half-way when he(Alves) wanted to take his penalty kick the first time, and took it instead), not a Ronaldo.

2.NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU ARE, YOU CAN BE REPLACED AT ANYTIME: Everybody knows Xavi and what he brings to the game. But on the night, the Spanish midfield maestro had to be replaced in the second half. Xavi wasn’t playing badly, but the coach had a better idea. In whatever you do or in all your achievements, never relax on your laurels. Step up your game or risk being replaced by somebody who has a better idea. Ask MySpace about Facebook!

3. NOTHING CAN STOP A DETERMINED MAN: Sergio Ramos made the headlines sometime in May when he played his penalty to Mars instead of into the net in front of him in the Champions League game between his side, Real Madrid and Bayernmunich. His coach, Jose Mourinho must have regretted giving him this advise prior to the game: “If you want to make it in life,aim for the skies.” Ramos took the advise to the extreme. On wednesday, Ramos atoned for that sin when he confidently replicated a Pirlo panenka-style penalty. Only a lad who is determined to forget the past and face the task in front of him could have done that. In life, your past matters as much as you let it.


I was at the E-centre,Yaba on saturday to see the noise-making movie, *********. Can you guess the movie in question? Avengers? Nah, I already saw that in my dream the night after it became public knowledge that there was a new movie like that. Thanks to my high level of imagination. Once I learnt the movie was about a number of Marvel’s super heroes coming together, I instantly imagined their mission would be to save the world. And how right I was! The noise-making movie I went to see was MIB 3, and good Lord was I disappointed?! Never seen a movie so so monotonous in storyline as MIB3. Of course,there were great moments,but if I had known it was 90% comedy and 10% action(???) I would have chosen to watch a Charlie Chapman’s (hope I got his surname right. Charlie is so so 70s. Forgotten.) movie at home instead.
After the movie, I strolled into a bookshop at the E-centre and guess the first book that caught my attention? Okechukwu Ofili’s “How Laziness saved my Life.” I ‘know’ Mr Ofili and have read about the book, but seeing the book right before me was like beholding a new born. The joy, the smiles and then the urge to touch and feel same. Finally, I had the much talked about “lazy” book in my hands. Without hesitating, I paid for it and left. I didn’t just buy the book because of the rave reviews I had read about it,neither did I just buy it because of it’s quality print. I bought it for two other reasons: because I wanted to live longer and also because I wanted to earn extra cash.
To mark the publication of his second book. Mr Ofili is organising what I tag the “Lazy Contest.” To partake in the contest, all you have to do is buy the book “How laziness saved my life.” Send in a “lazy” picture of your self reading the book at work and the receipt of purchase to You automatically qualify to win a Bold 9930 or its equivalent ($300). For more on this contest,visit

The pictures you see above are entries to the contest and they have come from all around the world. Yours faithfully is still thinking of the “laziest” pose ever to take! Ehe, to how I hope to live longer by partaking in this contest, what do doctors say about living a cheerful,happy,smile-filled and funfilled life? It enlongates your lifespan. Looking at the pictures above, tell me you didn’t laugh your brains off? Yeah, you may have just added a few inches to your lifespan unknowingly! And peradventure I win the contest, I will be $300 richer! Whew!
I rest my case!


I took some time out during lunchtime to visit the Art Gallery, Art Place at Magodo. I was impressed with what I saw and wished they were my creations instead. My visit there reminded of one thing, my aborted dream – to be a fine artist ****sobbing**** Don’t get me wrong; I love my current life and potential career,but I wish I can still live the life of a fine artist. By the way,who says I can’t study fine art again(of course,not in a tertiary institution) ? I could still learn it part-time! Hmm, that’s true oo.