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Makeup or No Makeup? It’s Your Choice

Women have always loved being pretty, even in Egyptian times. Makeup or no makeup, it’s her choice. Beauty is the essence of womanhood. Celebrate it.

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Photograph: Adobe Stock Photography

You just gave the last stroke to finish highlighting your cheekbone. One look in the mirror, and all we see is a goddess with an almost perfectly sculpted face―flawless, pulchritude at its best. With different brushes and a mix of several powders in your hand, you are a certified face artist. However, what is the point of makeup? Why have women become so enamored with it? Enchanted to the end that many will not leave their homes without at least a touch-up? Is this over-reliance on makeup healthy? Alternatively, is it a sign of a deep-lying sense of insecurity? 

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” ― Coco Chanel.

While this is debatable and subject to individual opinions and interpretations, there is no doubt makeup brings out the unique essence of a woman. In a way, can we say that it is a colorful celebration of God’s works, Who remains the Greatest Sculptor of all? For those with facial defects resulting from health issues, accidents, or surgeries, making up the face is one option for managing these issues. For others, it’s just seeking to accentuate the essence of their beauty and womanhood.

Makeup accentuates the beauty and essence of womanhood in full bloom.

According to howstuffworks.com, cosmetics’ origins are traced back to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians are mainly known to have used the Kohl (i.e., a mixture of metal, lead, copper, ash, and burnt almonds). They are known to have painted this around their eyes―for the express purpose of warding off the evil eye and dangerous evil spirits. It also served the functional purpose of deflecting the harsh rays of the desert sun. The ancient Greeks and Romans are also known to have painted their faces with powders.

Furthermore, as stipulated in howstuffworks.com, portrait photography started at the tail end of the 1800s. People saved up funds to take the one picture they may ever have of themselves. Before doing so, the makeup application became the norm for this once in a lifetime event to appear their best. In 1914, Max Factor, a wig supplier to the Hollywood studios, made makeup a pop culture phenomenon after developing a greasepaint foundation. He created lip-gloss and eyebrow pencil and popularized the word “makeup.” He is the first significant success in the cosmetic industry. 

Makeup has a way of powering up the beauty of womanhood.

Women use these beauty products to look good. But it is arguably sometimes agreed that making up is a deceptive method to paint a different person’s picture. Many stories are supporting this perspective of makeup. One known instance is the story of a man, as reported by Gulf News, who left his newlywed wife after seeing her for the first time without makeup after the wedding. In another instance, a man filed a case against his new bride after she turned up with a ‘new’ face. It is odd to think that they had never seen the real faces of their fiancés before getting married. Funny, but quite strange, nonetheless.   

Three or more years ago, with the upswing in the makeup industry, being a makeup artist has become a lucrative job. The artist is responsible for giving ‘that beat face’ that sets women apart on essential occasions. Also, makeup artists, especially if they are a Celebrity Makeup Artist, a Theatrical/Performance Makeup Artist, or Special FX Makeup Artist. In the cosmetic world, a Beauty Writer/Editor or a Makeup Product Developer has a high chance of making it big in the cosmetic industry.  

Women are perfecting their craft as self-makeup artists!

Presently, most young women are becoming adept at applying their makeup themselves, to the point where almost every woman can be said to be a makeup artist. Via the art of repetition, women are perfecting their craft in making themselves up. There are DIY videos and picture illustrations littered on the Internet to guide every makeup enthusiast, increasing demand for makeup products. Many suppliers of these products have become pretty well-off via the avenue of supplying the growing demand for beauty products, as we will see later in this article. 

“If she likes makeup, let her wear it. If she likes fashion, let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either, let her be.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Is it a false reality? Is there ideally such a thing as too much makeup? Well, let’s put it this way; if you go a day without it, and an acquaintance walks past you without noticing, then there may be a problem. If you dread the very idea of stepping out of your house without dolling up, there might also be a problem. The unfortunate thing is that this situation is not entirely uncommon. The reality is most persons can’t go without having to work so hard on their faces with these chemicals. They do not feel complete or confident without it. Whenever we become dependent on any external factor to feel comfortable in our skin, it’s never a good sign. It is worthy of note that a continued obsession with one’s outward appearance is unhealthy and will lead to other issues. 

The beauty industry is heavily patronized by women. The industry is a money-making machine.

Many people have spent enormous sums of money to achieve the right look. So much money is being spent that an industry has been created in beauty. For instance, Statista.com asserts that just in the United States alone, from 2002 to 2019, the cosmetic industry’s revenue is estimated to be about 49.2 billion dollars in 2019. The figure postulated above is just the cosmetic industry, which is only a part of the whole beauty industry that keeps ballooning yearly. 

Edited, the retail analytics firm stipulates that the entire beauty industry is valued at 532 billion dollars. Forbes highlights some names of self-made women who have amassed a fortune via this industry, such as―Jamie Kern Lima, Toni Ko, Jamie O’Banion, to mention but a few. It is the same industry that nudged Kylie Jenner to billionaire status. We can’t forget to mention Rihanna and Emily Weiss too. They are contributing immensely to the world of cosmetics and receiving generous patronage for their products.  

People are going through invasive and non-invasive procedures via cosmetics surgery.

Many turn to plastic surgery, risking their lives to go under the knife, to ‘fix’ something that is not broken. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Americans spent more than 16.5 billion dollars on cosmetic plastic surgery and minimally invasive procedures in 2018. Some of these procedures are breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, facelift, breast reduction, nose reshaping, wrinkle treatment injections, chemical peel, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, to mention but a few. The art of “fixing that which is not broken” is alarming, and caution must be taken, say the very least.

The concept of beauty is subjective―makeup or no makeup, it rests on the individual. The ideal regarding this subject rests on moderation. Beauty and external adornments of the womenfolk have their place but must be taken in proper perspective. There should be a sense of balance the springs from the psyche of all women. Makeup or no makeup, the bottom line is that the woman should take care of themselves. They should never be so negligent that they become shoddy. Those who push too far to the right to not advocate for no makeup should never impose their ideologies on all as a standard. Those that lean to the left of using makeup should not set their position as the “fact.” The positioning of this discourse is centrist at best and hinges heavily on moderation.  

“Beauty is power, and makeup is something that really enhances that; it’s a woman’s secret.” ― Charlotte Tilbury.

As human beings, the first step in achieving healthy self-esteem is to love ourselves in our purest form. No amount of makeup or surgery can fix the aching feeling of discontent when someone does not value themselves. While applying makeup may be excellent in its own right, an attractive personality will make you more appreciated by family or friends. Beauty must first radiate from within the individual. Its characteristics must be governed by the right personality, attitudes, thoughts, and motivations that find expression via words and deeds. Those who have a problem with you for not reaching their beauty standard are not worth having as friends. So, use makeup if you must, but do not overuse it, and do not allow your self-worth to be tied to how much of it you use. 

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Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze is an entrepreneur and the Founder, CEO, Editor-In-Chief of Oaekpost, LLC, a U.S.-based online media company and the parent organization of www.oaekpost.com. He is a multi-niche writer with a wide range of interests in various genres. Agom-Eze is based in the Greater Seattle Area, Washington, and can be reached at ogb@oaekpost.com.

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Gen-Z Niche

15 Gen Zers You Need to Know

Gen Zers are firmly becoming the most outspoken, outgoing, and innovative set of people existing on the face of the earth. Here are 15 Gen Zers that you need to know. Please read about it here.

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Photography

Gen Z, famously known as the “Digital Natives.” A way to say that these were the babies born into a world of Tech. This group includes people who were born between 1995 and 2010. The fact establishes that the oldest Gen Zer’s will be twenty-six years while the youngest will be eleven years. Being born Digital Natives, Gen Zers tend to depend on Tech for their day-to-day living. 

“In an era of fake news, and the filter bubble, [Gen Z is] also more likely to be able to push through the noise. . . Not only are they able to consume more information than any group before, but they have also become accustomed to cutting through it. They are perhaps the most brand-critical, bulls***-repellent, questioning group around and will call out any behavior they dislike on social media. (Little wonder brands are quaking in their boots).” — Lucie Greene.

Also known as the “Soro Soke” (i.e., the Yoruba phrase meaning, Speak Out) generation, Gen Zers are known to have a solid inclination to change, whether it’s socially, politically, or economically. They are not afraid to make their desires known and fight for them in any way that they can. 

15 Gen Zers You Need to Know

The qualities of the “Speak Out” or Gen Z Generation!

Some major words that best describe Gen Zs are—practical, independent, entrepreneurial, realistic, visual, grounded, sophisticated, stout, industrious, pop culture leaders, reasonable, organized, driven by security, and to mention but a few. You can see more of their qualities in the image above. There are people in this generation making waves. Here’s a list of 15 Gen Zers you need to be on the lookout for as we monitor the growth and progress of this generation. Who are they? Let’s find out more. Let’s go:

#1. Elsa Majimbo

Photo Credit: Mohamed Abdulrahman; Retrieved from Elsa Majimbo Facebook Page

When the pandemic struck, and we were forced to stay indoors, Elsa Majimbo came through for us with her funny videos, crunching chips, and giving us wise words. The World was watching. After the pandemic, Elsa moved from a social media sensation to working with Fenty, MAC, and Valentino brands. In the words of Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze, “Your fun and comfort zone can easily become your fame and income zone.”

#2. Madeline Stuart

In 2015 Madeline became the first person with Downs Syndrome to be a professional model. The twenty-four years old model didn’t allow her condition to keep her from strutting towards her dreams. Also, an advocate for people living with disabilities, Madeline is a beacon of hope. Always learn to carry yourself with confidence, and it can become your redefinition point.

#3. June Syowia

Photo Credit: June Syowia Facebook

The twenty-six-year-old entrepreneur is the CEO of Belies Group, a digital and marketing agency that has worked with well-known brands in Kenya. She believes in creating a lasting impact through business. We cannot wait to see the awesome things she’ll do. Your belief can change your destiny.

#4. Matthew Asir

On his way to becoming an Astrophysics major, Matthew came into the limelight to create the Tech startup, The Legal Bullet, which offers immigration services efficiently and affordably. Matthew has also been featured in Forbes 30 under 30 for this brilliant idea-turned company. 

#5. Greta Thunberg

The name Greta Thunberg is not new to anyone big on climate matters. The eighteen years environmental activist has become a global sensation. In 2019, she was named Times Magazine person of the year, for her passion for climate change has started a global movement that demands us to do better in regard to our environment. Your passion can pave the paths to your greater growth and achievement. What are you passionate about in your life quest? Hone that passion like Greta Thunberg.

#6. Malala Yousafzai

Photo Credit: Getty Images, New York Post

When the Taliban stopped girls from schooling, Malala decided to speak out. Her actions made her a target, and in October 2012, Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former Pakistan Taliban spokesman, shot Malala in the head. She survived, and this made her resolve to support education for girls stronger. At seventeen, she was the youngest to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Today, Malala still fights for Girls’ education via her foundation, The Malala Fund. According to Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze, “Your resolve can be your rise.”

#7. Dare Adekoya

If you’re Nigerian, then it’s likely that you’ve heard the buzz about “The Abeg app”—an app where you can give and receive money with the use of phone numbers. What’s most impressive is the uniqueness of the app’s user interface. Dare Adekoya, a product designer who has worked with many well-known brands, founded the app. There are no limits to what you can achieve. If you believe you can, then you definitely can achieve it.

#8. Simone Biles

Photo Credit: Simone Biles Facebook

You can’t help but be enthralled as you watch this gymnast flip, twirl, and summersault. Her grace is just one of the many reasons why she’s loved. The twenty-four years old is currently the most awarded gymnast ever. Simone also holds the record for the greatest gymnast of all time. She is an inspiration to us all to reach for our highest goals and aspirations. She has recently become a mental health advocate. All things are possible to those who believe and reach for their highest goals.

#9. Jake Paul

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

YouTube remains the primary source of entertainment for Gen Zers. With over 20 million subscribers, Jake Paul is a leading voice on YouTube. His videos have garnered over 6 billion views. Apart from being a YouTuber, Jake Paul is also a professional boxer. You can take your passion from the bottom to the top. Be you!

#10. Marley Dias

Photo Credit: Marley Dias Facebook

I first discovered Marley in 2015 when she started her book drive. She was tired of reading books about white boys and their dogs and decided to do something about it by collecting books with black female characters for other girls to read. You can read more on her campaigns via her platform, Marley Dias. She grew to have a show on Netflix, becoming an editor for an online magazine and writing a book, Marley Dias Get’s It Done. You can accomplish whatever you set your mind on to achieve. 

#11. Lydia Ko

Photo Credit: LPGA

At age five, Lydia started playing golf. By seventeen, she became the first golfer to be the Number 1 in Pro Golf at a young age. She has had twenty-one professional wins. Lydia is said to be representing New Zealand at this year’s Olympics. You are never too young or too old to start accomplishing great things. Unleash yourself like Ms. Ko.

#12. Hanu Fejiro Agbodje

Photo Credit: Patricia

Being entrepreneurial comes to Hanu naturally. At eight years, he sold popcorn and mobile phone recharge cards. He’d go through school carrying out different business ventures. He put his Mathematics and Statistics degree to use by creating Patricia, a Fintech company that allows you to trade gift cards and more. In 2019, his company had transactions of over ₦10 billion (i.e., $27.4 million, at the Dollar to Naira exchange rate for 2019). You can ascend to the throne of more extraordinary achievements from humble beginnings. Never despise the days of little beginnings. 

#13. Kylian Mbappe

Commonly known by football watchers, Kylian made his professional debut at sixteen. In 2018, he won the award for FIFA World Cup Best Young Player. The twenty-two years old is among the World’s highest-paid athletes. Celebrity Net Worth establishes his net worth at $95 million. Your skills can give you wings to take flight and go places. 

#14. Lana Condor

Photo Credit: Lana Condor Website

She is famous for her role as Lara Jean Covey in the popular movie, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Lara has become a favorite among movie watchers (myself included). She’s not only an actress but a producer as well. We cannot wait to see all the fantastic art she’ll create in the future. Your creativity can make all the difference in the World. 

#15. Korty Eo

Photo Credit: Korty Eo Facebook

Korty is a Nigerian-based filmmaker. She quit her modeling career to create in the motion picture world. As a fast-growing YouTuber, she currently has over 67K subscribers and counting. Her videos have a relaxing and easy feel to them. She is a Gen Zer worth looking out for in the future. It always pays to take risks. It looks like her risk is paying off. 

“But a new generation is on the rise, and the first step to communicating with them is understanding they aren’t just another Millennial.” — Pamela La Gioia.

From this list, we can note that Gen Zers are entrepreneurial. Some say it’s due to the Economy they were born in, to say the very list. They are also big on contributing towards social responsibility. Like Pamela has said, they are not “another Millennial.” They are themselves, and we should pay attention to that. The list in this listicle is in no way exhaustive. Are there some Gen Zers/Millennials that you would have loved to see in this list? Do let us know in the comment section below. 

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Fiction

Near and Dear – Episode XII

Near and Dear is a fictional story of Ikenna Obi Okonkwo, a college graduate who neglected the opportunities of picking up usable skills alongside academics while in college in Nigeria—where a college degree alone no longer makes the bold promise of placing food on the table. His graduation was an awakening to the ugly realities of societal difficulties. Could he ever get a chance at life, save a miracle of some sort happened? Clenching tenaciously to reverence, honor, morals, values, and persistence, he caught a break via newfound relationships, love, and lessons as he began to breathe a new air of success and relief. You want to know more, follow along.

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Photography

I was utterly at a loss as to what to make of or say to her. But from that second, it became expressly clear to me that I did not even know the very least thing about Iyabo’s personality. To be honest, I have judged her relatively too fast and, I have done it wrongly. I was moved by her gesture so much that I wasn’t aware that tears had welled up in my eyes and trickled sluggishly down my cheeks.

“The twin feelings of brokenness and shyness were so abundant that I had to tilt my face down momentarily, to screen the emotional weakness and vulnerability of the moment.”

The twin feelings of brokenness and shyness were so abundant that I had to tilt my face down momentarily, to screen the emotional weakness and vulnerability of the moment. I quickly pulled a hankie and blew my nose into it noisily. She perfectly understood how I felt and took a walk to allow me time to pull myself together—another pack of goodness she just unveiled as I looked in her direction.

Ikenna looking at Iyabo’s direction.

I followed her at a comfortable distance to the carports. Iyabo wore a black Yunclos Women’s Elegant two-piece office lady suit set work blazer pant set. She looked elegant in it. She then mounted her-fragile-self on a six inched heels Sam Edelman Women’s Yaro Classic Dress Sandal, although she appeared comfortable. That was not all. She also looked exquisite, elegant. Her signature sweet fragrance, Angel By Thierry Mugler For Women, filled my nose as I walked behind her.

She chose the car we rode in yesterday, repeated her usual I-want-to-drive-out-rituals without any identifiable alteration—dabbed the center of the steering wheel twice politely, signifying her desire to have the gate opened. The gateman was swift in opening the gate ajar as we left. She drove us to Akoi.

“She parked the car several feet away from the company’s parking lot, took my right hand, bowed her head, and prayed.” Prayer changes everything. 

By 7:30 am, we had gotten to Widenberg. She parked the car several feet away from the company’s parking lot, took my right hand, bowed her head, and prayed. “Dear God, we love you and appreciate the life you have given, please Lord, grant that today marks a new beginning in our lives, in Jesus’ name…Amen,” she prayed. “Best of luck, Iykay,” she said with a smile on her face.

Immediately, feeling swung from that of contumacy to great respect for her. I was still too embarrassed to look her in the face. However, I managed to mutter an amen after hers and alighted from the car. I leaned on the car door with my backside to press the door shut, folding my arm across my chest.

“It was a rush hour. Workers were steaming out of the park entrance to the office complex on the other side of the road.”

It was a rush hour. Workers were steaming out of the park entrance to the office complex on the other side of the road. A traffic warden motioned the cars to stand still, then beckoned on workers who trooped across for a few minutes before the warden let loose the line that had pegged back many vehicles. While the next bunch gathered and waited to be freed by the officer, Iyabo swung into action.

She opened the cardboard paper displaying the inscription she had made on it the previous day. She unashamedly held it to the crowd’s faces—the workers—employees, business owners, company executives, etc. Dinking them, ‘good morning sir, good morning ma’am, good morning…,’ passing infectious smiles on her face to them, with them reciprocating in kind at her debonair disposition and zeal.

Iyabo’s smile…always infectious!

“Oh my God, is this it? How could I not have thought of something this extraordinarily crazy? I questioned myself. My respect for her hiked yet again. I became very embarrassed that I couldn’t conceive anything outside the usual writing of application letters and going for interviews. “Little wonder she accused me of doing too little to get a job,” reminiscing on her previous comments on this note.

I was engrossed in this thought when she bellowed, “Iyk come with me.” That brought me back to alertness. She was already locked up in a conversation with a stout-looking Asian man who bounced like a tennis ball as he walked. I crossed over, ran a few steps to catch up, for they had gone ahead. I drew close and listened intently.

Mr. Jin picks interest in Iyabo and Ikenna. He wants to learn more concerning Ikenna’s qualifications.

“Mr. Jin, this is Ikenna, my partner,” she said rather tersely. The man held both palms together over his face, lowered his head a bit which I reciprocated duly. He snapped almost immediately, engaged two other black men in our company I suspected were business partners. He spoke battered, incoherent English with confusing gesticulations. Iyabo quickly seized the minute to update me on what I missed seconds before I joined them. “Mr. Jin believes we are partners, okay. My part, which is basically to grab the attention, has been played. The next phase is over to you, and I trust you can deliver,” she gently picked and caressed my left palm to bolster my confidence.

“Yeah, sure I will…Thank you…” I reaffirmed confidently. She shushed the other words I was about to say back into my mouth as Mr. Jin turned to be sure we were with him. We joined him and other men in the elevator to the twentieth floor. He asked that we sit in the reception hall while he bounced away. A couple of minutes on, he appeared and motioned us to come.

“He asked that we sit in the reception hall while he bounced away.”

“You… architect?” He mouthed, compressing his brow and nodding his head in a way he hoped had signified a good, which I presumed he was supposed to use to fill in the gap between his “you and architect.” It was my moment, so I took up the job from there as tipped by Iyabo earlier. However, she was still very much needed, though in the capacity of something in the semblance of an emergency interpreter of the English into English still, to say the least. 

Mr. Jin posed me a few instant questions, looking fixedly into my eyes, and I approved I made the grade on the paper. He nodded pleasingly, excused himself, and walked out of the room again. In minutes, Mr. Jin was back and led us away from the floor to the base of the building. He had come to Widenberg for some business engagements. He explained. Therefore, we were to go to his office. Iyabo interpreted, although I did not need an interpretation to this one. Mr. Jin said that in a way that sounded off accurately the bit of the English we knew while working on his laptop and answering calls as they came in while we commuted to his office.

Mr. Jin working on his laptop as we commuted to his office.

His driver revved the engine; we drove off, with Iyabo trailing in the Range Rover. Mr. Jin tried to familiarize himself with me, but it was difficult now that our lingo co-adjutor and mediator, Iyabo, was gone. I didn’t see him wanting to converse; I would have had Iyabo come with us in his car. However, I was to attach more meanings to all he said than the first time; after all, it was still English that he was speaking. 

His driver drove with tact as he wove through the city traffic. It never ceases to amaze me how busy the city could get during the rush hours. It did not take us too long to arrive at the office, luckily the traffic wasn’t as bad. We alighted from his car at the front of the building while we briefly waited for Iyabo to catch up with us after parking the car in the visitor’s parking spot. We entered the building, found the elevator, and went up to his company floor.

“We entered the building, found the elevator, and went up to his company floor.”

In his office, he offered both tea and coffee, but we politely declined both. He fiddled through my documents—resume and architectural portfolio. He asked me more questions to gauge my understanding of construction documents or working drawings, estimations, spatial designs, etc. He also proceeded to assess my knowledge of CAD (i.e., Computer-Aided-Drafting), which I gladly scaled. Thanks to the fact of constantly brushing myself up on ArchiCAD, Revit, AutoDesk 3D, etc., while I was waiting to land myself a job. My answers and knowledge levels were on point, definitely giving a thumbs up to the qualification he saw on paper on my resume. He nodded approvingly.

He offered me a five-year contract to join his architectural team currently in the process of designing a sleuth of structures in Nigeria and abroad. They were developing and in line to build four hotels in the six major cities in Nigeria. Four of such are in Ghana and thirteen in South Africa. He also offered a contract renewal at its expiration or make the contract permanent if I desired and be part of the stakeholders, ceteris paribus, provided there was a mutual concord concerning the terms of the agreement. He espoused that the level of skill that he saw in my portfolio and listening to the answers to the questions would only be a plus to his commercial architectural team. 

“He offered me a five-year contract to join his architectural team currently in the process of designing a sleuth of structures in Nigeria and abroad.”

“My partner and I would be most pleased if you could allow us some time to go through the terms and then get back to you within a short interval,” Iyabo quickly interjected before I could give an answer. “Sure, sure…reasonable; I look forward to hear back from you soon,” he asserted in his choppy English. “Time kee you dia!” I whispered the moment Iyabo ended her statement. She took and rubbed my palm gently under the table where we sat facing Mr. Jin. I held my nerves as much as I could muster the courage.

…to be continued.

Watch out for “Near and Dear – Episode XIII” on Oaekpost.

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Poetry

In the Moment! — A Poem to Ruminate On

Our lives are a culmination of moments. It could be good moments or bad ones. We must cherish the moments that make up our lives. We must learn from negative ones and relish the positive ones. Open your heart to the words of this poem to learn from the nuggets hidden within its lines. Read, feel, believe, and receive!

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Photography

Do you ever stop to ask yourself, why? Do you ever wonder how? Of course, we all do ask ourselves these questions, don’t we? Unfortunately, we all do have our moments in life—moments of joy, pain, trials, and happiness. We experience moments where we feel like we’ve had enough. We also experience moments where we feel like, “I can’t take this anymore.” Sometimes, we also experience moments of jubilation and achievement. Our lives are indeed a kaleidoscope of many hues of moments.

“…the choices we make in the many “moments” we experience are paramount and can define the rest of our lives.” — Uju Chukwuma.

Because moments can indeed be daunting, it presents itself with no clear roadmap or perhaps no roadmap at all in most circumstances. However, the choices we make in the many “moments” we experience are paramount and can define the rest of our lives. Hence, we must pay due diligence in making the best out of each moment we experience. Moments are like seasons. They are there to remind us that our lives are not in our hands and that we have little or no control over what can or what happens in our lives. This poem is coming to you to encourage you to see the light even in the darkest tunnel. I hope you enjoy reading this piece. 

In the Moment

Live in the moment. It is today that you have; tomorrow is not certain.
In the moment of grief, be encouraged and know that it happened for a reason and brief—
In the moment of pain, smile and reflect on its lessons time and time again—
In the moment of trials of fate, be patient because indeed it has an expiration date—
In the moment of sadness, count your blessings and be thankful with gladness.

In the moment of glee, don’t hesitate to embrace it indeed— 
In the moment of peace and more, don’t be the one to cause an uproar—
In the moment of love, enjoy it and learn to love back with truelove—
In the moment of happiness, remember to share it around sans any scrappiness.

Take out time to relax, rewind, and unwind.
In the moment of stress, take out time to relax, rewind and remind yourself that life is one step at a time at best—
In the moment of dismay, ride the waves of life and await its result come what may—
In the moment of challenges and tests, roll up your sleeves and remind yourself, you are more than capable at best—
In the moment of change, embrace it and join the dance beats engaged.

In the moment of hard work, don’t entertain distractions and lazy talks; keep your focus up—
In the moment of work, remember that toil does not kill; it only makes you wiser and strong like a rock— 
In the moment of success, laugh like a child and laugh hard; after all, you worked hard for it, so don’t digress—
In the moment of receiving, remember that it is likewise good to give perceiving.
“In the moment of success, laugh like a child and laugh hard; after all, you worked hard for it, so don’t digress—”
In the moment of errors and mistakes, remember that no one was born perfect; we all make mistakes—
In the moment of anger, hold back and don’t think retaliation; please bury the rancor—
In the moment of fear, put on the armor of faith, knowing that you can overcome and then some—
In the moment of offense, learn to forgive; after all, you’ve also hurt someone in the past tense.

In the moment of loneliness-mood, reach out to someone; remember, someone somewhere needs your company and kindness too. 
In the moment of war, let unity, love, strength, and peace be the things you care for—
In the moment of ill-health, don’t be drowned by fear; everything’s going to be alright, that’s wealth—
In the moment of lack, be sure to welcome the help, and you will comeback.
“In the moment of ill-health, don’t be drowned by fear; everything’s going to be alright, that’s wealth—”
In the moment of misconceptions, proving them wrong should be your interception—
In the moment of failure, don’t quit; you never know; you may just succeed in the subsequent trial of lore—
In the moment of recovery, know that it will be slow, pretty steady, but not business as usual; it’s more of a discovery— 
In the moment of learning, pat yourself on the back for every milestone achieved discerning.

In the moment you feel like crying out loud, don’t hold back the tears; let it roll down; you may just feel better afterward—
In the moment you feel like shouting, a scream might just do the job without doubting—
In the moment you feel like punching something or someone out, take a chill pill, go for a run and shake it off, for that is clout—
In the moment you feel trapped, float and soar high with your wings spread and steadily flapped.
“In the moment you feel trapped, float and soar high with your wings spread and steadily flapped.”
In the moment of insecurity, remember you are perfect just the way you are, so shun insecurity— 
In the moment of depression, remember you’re not alone; stand tall in ascension—
In the moment of regret, don’t dwell on the bad; think of the good, and the bad forget—
In the moment of confusion, as blurry as it may, think it over, better still, talk it over; it will indeed become clearer in conclusion. 

In the moment of laughter, relish the tonic of its wholistic effect; you might want to take it often hereafter.
In the moment of fulfillment, be proud of it but don’t take it to a boastful stage of entitlement—
In the moment of relaxation, put your feet up with a cuppa, for that is a jolly good station—
In the moment of enjoyment, indulge in the fun as your tasteful self-employment.
“In the moment of relaxation, put your feet up with a cuppa, for that is a jolly good station.”
In the moment of waiting, don’t be out onto the runway; patience is the key here; you never know; it may just come through another runway. Wait for it! I am stating—
In the moment of brokenness, don’t give up; it will all come together one day; please don’t mind my outspokenness—
In the moment of disappointment, re-strategize and try again, and success will be your appointment— 
In the moment of embarrassment, make a joke out of it and find someone to laugh it over with; it’s all excitement. 

In the moment when you feel stranded, let your imagination run wild, for you will indeed find a solution granted—
In the moment when you feel moody, you can make someone’s day with a smile, so don’t be broody—
In the moment when you feel surprised, be grateful for the people you are surrounded by, your happiness harmonized—
In the moment when you feel idle, don’t limit yourself; get your hands busy, and never be suicidal.
“Take every moment by the horn. Subdue it. Dominate it and live your best life ever.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.
In the moment of victory, celebrate your wins and take the vibrant lap of victory—
In the moment of newness, don’t despise new beginnings as you show your trueness—
In the moment of quietness, be still; enjoy the moment and listen to your inner spirit in stillness—
In the moment of realization, know that it is the story of your new dawn narration.

Appreciate each moment as it happens; life itself is too short—live in the moment. 

“Take every moment by the horn. Subdue it. Dominate it and live your best life ever.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.

Your life is a culmination of many moments. What you make of each moment will define what your life will eventually become. It is time to be happy. It is time for you to relish every moment you still have the opportunity to experience. Internalize the rudimentary gist of this poetry—live in the moment. Make sure that you enjoy the little things that life brings your way. Cherish every moment that Your Maker blesses you with. Make the best of every moment.

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Poetry

Espionage Games – A Poem

Sleuthing, snooping, spooking, or spotting—whatever name it bears; stems from the quest for global supremacy and insatiable thirst for power in the community of nations. They are watching themselves at the highest clandestine levels, employing espionage’s many dimensions to gather highly classified intelligence information. Yet not known by many, it is a top-notch intelligence network—available to all but seen and understood only by a few with a higher level of understanding and perception. In the world of espionage, you never know who is watching. Find out more via this mind-intriguing poem.

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Eyeballing the nations, the global hawk-eyes of the grandmaster sleuths are in the skies peeping and prying; they are observing, watching, and listening. The winged techno-aves from a high macrocosmic vantage point are soaring and orbiting, mapping, and imaging, and a mega cartload of information aggregating. From the Air, Land, and Sea, the cosmopolitan panopticon yet strong remaining; from sundry standpoints e’er snowballing. The imperial hunt for an all-encompassing supremacy is now continuing, and the rat race for cosmic dominance is now triggering. Unearthing the rudimentary treasuries of espionage; unmasking the many faces of reconnoiter games. They stand accordingly and dart increasingly, the quest for Intelligence, of sheer magnificence.

So unassuming, they blend into everyday lives. But they are still observing.

Sleuthing, snooping, and spotting, they are Sherlock Holming, James Bonding, Jackie Chan-ing, and Bourne Identifying. Brandishing and employing their multifarious technologies yet, the Mysterious Skein of Lowdown now weaving and exhibiting, their intelligence muscles now flexing. They are Capturing Intelligence Always; they are Milking Intelligence 6 times. Their diverse Kens Greatly Building; they are Managing Observations, Scouting, Scrutinizing And Discovering leads; it’s Semper occtulus, that’s the game, and it is what it is—always secret. Unearthing the rudimentary treasuries of espionage; unmasking the many faces of reconnoiter games. They stand accordingly and dart increasingly, the quest for Intelligence, of sheer magnificence.

“Breaking codes and ciphers, a ton of Intelligence now unveiling…”

Breaking codes and ciphers, a ton of Intelligence now unveiling; employing sundry argot champions, various views, and Lingoes now understanding. Counting their geniuses all, a conglomerating plumage of sages is now populating, all for one and one for all—from Doctors, Engineers, and Linguists alike, to Chemists, Physicists, Mathematicians plus much more and e’er yet abounding. Yet Local, Internal, Double, Dead, and Live—they are a sleuthing-sagacious-strapping-soldiery; their engagements are sometimes apparent and at other strikingly sub-rosa. Unearthing the rudimentary treasuries of espionage; unmasking the many faces of reconnoiter games. They stand accordingly and dart increasingly, the quest for Intelligence, of sheer magnificence. 

“Eyeballing the nations, the global hawk-eyes of grandmaster sleuths are in the skies peeping and prying…”

Eyeballing the nations, the global hawk-eyes of grandmaster sleuths are in the skies peeping and prying; they are observing, watching, and listening. Sleuthing, snooping, and spotting, they are Sherlock Holming, James Bonding, Jackie Chan-ing, and Bourne Identifying. They are breaking codes and ciphers, tons of information e’er at all times unveiling. It’s a microcosmic Espionage Game, venturing and adventuresome in many ways, and sometimes Machiavellian and somewhat perilous in other ways. It’s all about spy craft and secrets; it’s all about the tradecraft—covert all the way. Unearthing the rudimentary treasuries of espionage; unmasking the many faces of reconnoiter games. They stand accordingly and dart increasingly, the quest for Intelligence, of sheer magnificence.

(NB. Espionage Games – A Poem was initially published in the book Acorns of the Soul, a compendium of poetry, by Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze).

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Fiction

Near and Dear – Episode XI

Near and Dear is a fictional story of Ikenna Obi Okonkwo, a college graduate who neglected the opportunities of picking up usable skills alongside academics while in college in Nigeria—where a college degree alone no longer makes the bold promise of placing food on the table. His graduation was an awakening to the ugly realities of societal difficulties. Could he ever get a chance at life, save a miracle of some sort happened? Clenching tenaciously to reverence, honor, morals, values, and persistence, he caught a break via newfound relationships, love, and lessons as he began to breathe a new air of success and relief. You want to know more, follow along.

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Once I got downstairs, in a bid to forestall her from commanding me around, as usual, I proceeded and leaned on the Wrangler. She got out from the main building, looking resplendently beautiful in a pink pattern mini dress, fitting perfectly; it projected her figure. She complimented the outfit with a Sarah Flint Perfect Sandal 100. Her beautiful legs were like elegant towers. She had only lip gloss on her lips. Indeed her elegance was the highlight and the best view to the inception of the day.

“As she angled towards me, my breath ceased. She beamed and winked in mischief; my jaw dropped. “Come this way!” she commanded.”

She flared her hair to its entire length, a Louis Vuitton Sailor & Lula pilot sunglasses fancifully placed atop her head. The hyper-slim frame surrounding the pink Monogram-printed photochromic lenses glistened as the sun hit it—an exquisite sight, to say the least. She accentuated her elegant look with a white Taurillon leather Louis Vuitton adorable Game On Capucines BB with a bright print of concentric hearts on its front, and she was done. As she angled towards me, my breath ceased. She beamed and winked in mischief; my jaw dropped. “Come this way!” she commanded.

“She got out from the main building, looking resplendently beautiful in a pink pattern mini dress.”

“Hmm… am I ever going to understand this girl? She is always as capricious as the weather. Today’s occasion isn’t for Wrangler?” I thought but was too charmed to voice the same. I would have staked an arm that we were going in her car. Hadn’t she thoroughly washed it earlier? She pressed the keys on her hand using her right thumb; as we headed to carports and a Range Rover sports SUV let out two short blares, and the headlamps came alive in sympathy to the electronic command of the key fob.

“A man who has been stung by bees is always frightened at the sight of the big greenfly.”

I trailed her in awe. We climbed on in and in an unusual manner; she blared two short sounds alerting Mr. Zach. This time I sat at the front but made sure I fixed my gaze on the road defying the temptation to mope further at her. Immediately she rolled out of the compound; I frantically grabbed and buckled the belt. A man who has been stung by bees is always frightened at the sight of the big greenfly. She noticed and chuckled out loud.

She didn’t disappoint my expectations; she took off frenetically, making the machine groan in a particular manner that entertained me in no small measure. I wasn’t aware I was smiling and nodding in admiration until she gave me a stinging slap on my left thigh, then asked if I liked the car.

“…she took off frenetically, making the machine groan in a particular manner that entertained me in no small measure.”

“Yeeeees, I replied slowly, but what I admire right now is the way you handle it.

“Do you want to handle her?”

“Her?”

“Yes, her. Mum names her cars. This one is ‘Queen Bee, she said light-heartedly.

“Oh yeah… this is mum’s?”

“Yeah, one of her three. So, you sure ‘wanna’ drive her. She asked the second time, and my heart missed a beat. I felt hot inside. It has always been my dream to push this toy at some point, and finally, the chance has arrived.

“Errrrm…no, I don’t”. I answered unassuredly.

“Why not, com’on….”

She relented, then took her leg off the accelerator completely. She then indicated left, matched the car to stop, uncladded her belt, and descended the other way. I was still fixed in my seat when she turned around and came standing by my door. Reluctantly, I got off, held out the door so that she slipped in, closed it, and turned around.

“I rubbed my sweaty palms gently, moved the lever from P to D, and took off slowly.”

I rubbed my sweaty palms gently, moved the lever from P to D, and took off slowly. I sure was a better driver than I started, but it called for strict observation of the rules I made. They were to guide my path all my days here. No one of them should break, not now, and not anytime all my days here.

We paused by a pharmacy, got some drugs, and headed to a bookstore following her direction. She picked quite a few books for herself and bought me two others—The Vulture is a Patient Bird by James Hardly Chase and The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. She asked for a reasonably large size cardstock paper and demanded I decide the color she would pick. You should already know I would opt for white and, I did.

“This time, she drove to a Bolè shop; she bought the choicest of what they had and some smoked fish.”

This time, she drove to a Bolè shop; she bought the choicest of what they had and some smoked fish. We went home and feasted on them, gisting and laughing the rest of the day like two naughty teenagers, in my apartment. “Iykay…what did you say you studied?” She queried as I approached the dining table with the cardstock paper in her hand

The look on my face demanded an explanation as to why she asked. “Tell me, nahplease, she said softly. I almost let out a shout out of shock. “Did you just say please!” I echoed in disbelief. Iyabo giggled mischievously, throwing her head backward. I told her—Architecture. Then she made me promise not to peep at whatever she was going to write. She took a pen marker and started writing on the cardboard-paper, while I stared away into space through the window, cracking under suspense.

“Iyabo giggled mischievously, throwing her head backward.”

“You hope to practice, right?”

“Practice what I read; you mean? Yes, of course, I’m dying to.”

“Where would you like to work, have you any company in mind?”

“Yeah…I fancy Wilsberg West Africa Limited, Coastline Construction Limited, Rock Base Multisource Limited, and a few more others on the island here, but these two especially,” I answered.

“I never doubted you about knowing what you want; I only want you to be a little more pragmatic about getting it,” she kindly espoused. 

“Tomorrow, you will go there and get yourself a job wielding this placard,” she said sternly. Then she picked up the cardstock, unveiled a write-up: “a graduate of architecture, with CGPA 4.97, please give me a job!” At the bottom, she added my phone number and then email. 

She excused herself to grab some sleep. I was so shocked, too shocked to utter a word.

“I, Ikenna, aren’t doing enough to secure employment?” “How more pragmatic could one have gotten?” 

“I have never known myself to be lazy, unresolved, or complacent.” 

“How could she…?”

“By the way, did I ever mention job and job-related worries to her?”

“But then, I think she has a point; I should have heeded her brother’s advice and ditched this idea of working for anyone and fixing something for myself.” Pondering to myself.

That night was the longest I ever saw. I neither closed my eyes, nor did I even need to. I analyzed my ways in their minutest fibers. In the end, I didn’t just agree with Iyabo that I hadn’t been practical in my bid to secure employment; I also accepted I was going to get my desired job the next day, her way.

I was set and ready to do this her way.

At about 7:15 am, a brand of Iyabo’s knock was at the front door downstairs. I hurried down, knotting my tie along as I galloped down the staircase. I was set and ready to do this her way. I opened the door, and there she was, dressed up too. 

“We must get going now if we hope not to be in the gridlock all day.

“We?” I asked in disbelief.

…to be continued.

Watch out for Near and Dear – Episode XII on Oaekpost.

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Poetry

The Beauty of God – A Poem

The Beauty of God radiates in many ways. We crave the beautiful. We are attracted to the amazing. Things that are noteworthy and stellar catch our attention. Read, feel, believe, and receive!

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Yearning for the celestial—a New Heaven! A New Earth—the Beauty of God! Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Photography

Have you imagined what life would be like without all the fantastic things you can achieve, create, or how the things you create make you feel? Better still, how are you able to create such amazing things? The beautiful things we are surrounded by—family, friends, nature, pets. How are you able to become a conduit for so much greatness and possibility? How are you able to become a partaker of the happenstances of life that surround you? A witness of how circumstances fold and unfold themselves, both good and bad.

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

We all crave the beautiful. We are attracted to amazing things. Things that are noteworthy and stellar catch our attention. We yearn for things that are true, things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable. We often seek out all things that are excellent or praiseworthy. I am pretty sure you have a lot of stories to share about all these instances and more. I call it the Beauty of God. Your passion and creativity are birthed through the beauty of God—The Master of Creativity Himself, the Great Artist. Read on and let this poem resonate with you.

The Beauty of God – A Poem

Autumn, light falls in the park—the wooden path towards the sun shines bright.
 The beauty of God is astonishing, wonderful, and spectacular,
 Is radiant, versatile, and yet modest,
 Is beautiful, glamorous, and stunning,
 Is breath-taking, exuberant, and yet compassionate,
 Is enchanting, phenomenal, and magnificent,
 Is like a shining light, touching every soul—
 Oh! How I love the beauty of my God!
  
 The beauty of God lies in us, knowing we are blessed,
 When He healed the hurting pain—
 When He delivered us from deadly mistakes—
 When He renewed our strength like the eagle bold— 
 When He stopped the hand of the enemy— 
 When He moved us away from calamity—
 Oh! How I love the beauty of my God!

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” — Ashley Smith.

“When He renewed our strength like the eagle bold—”
 The beauty of God lies in our communication with Him now,
 It can be seen in our prayers still—
 It can be felt in our daily activities—if we can but pay attention all—
 It can be heard through the stranger’s call—
 It can be seen when we laud Him in endless praise—Tehilah!  
 It can be heard through our dreams our night song speaks—
 Oh! How I love the beauty of my God!
  
 The beauty of God in our obedience to His will rests’
 We are by His glorious grace—
 We overcome by His mercy, Oh! Meek and mild—
 We are redeemed by His love everlasting and free—
 We are victorious by His wondrous works of glee—
 We are surrounded by His perfect peace so pure—
 Oh! How I love the beauty of my God!

“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.” — Psalm 50:2, ESV.

“The beauty of God in our obedience to His will rests…”
 The beauty of God lies in us admiring His creative hands,
 When the birds chirp, tweet, and sweetly sing—
 When the rolling-rippling-waters peacefully flow—
 not knowing where it’s going to end whether high or low,
 When spiders bounce in their fractal furry web and sling,
 When the rainbow exhibits its vibrant colors bright—
 When butterflies stand on flowers white and blue—
 Oh! How I love the beauty of my God!
  
 The beauty of God lies in when we realize—
 We realize we cannot know it all—
 We realize we can never be everything—
 We realize we cannot fight every battle—
 We realize He knows how much we can handle—
 We realize we are not always picture-perfect, 
 but yet He loves us just the way we are all the same,
 Oh! How I love the beauty of my God!

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” — John Keats.

“The beauty of God can be seen all around us—”
 The beauty of God can be seen all around us—
 We just need to listen more,
 Be attentive more,
 Be patient more,
 Be intentional more,
 To behold more of His wonder,
 Oh! How I love the beauty of my God. 
  
 The beauty of God, how lovely it is to behold it ;
 How lovely it is to embrace it—
 How lovely it is to have it surround us—
 How lovely it is to have it embody us—
 How lovely it is to have it work in our lives—
 Oh! How I love the beauty of my God,
 I just can’t do without it.

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Fiction

Near and Dear – Episode X

Near and Dear is a fictional story of Ikenna Obi Okonkwo, a college graduate who neglected the opportunities of picking up usable skills alongside academics while in college in Nigeria—where a college degree alone no longer makes the bold promise of placing food on the table. His graduation was an awakening to the ugly realities of societal difficulties. Could he ever get a chance at life, save a miracle of some sort happened? Clenching tenaciously to reverence, honor, morals, values, and persistence, he caught a break via newfound relationships, love, and lessons as he began to breathe a new air of success and relief. You want to know more, follow along.

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I didn’t feel any better at Nathan’s—the things I had hoped might help me get the depressing thoughts off my mind didn’t happen at all. The supposed “big leap didn’t appear the best leap to me,” therefore, I had to leave much later the same day. The journey to Branamah Island did not yield all that I had anticipated from the onset. Upon getting home, I went upstairs and reclined to rest.

“She opened the door and sighted me in those pants; she heaped herself in a mound at a corner and reinforced the laughter.”

Did I tell you that there have been flashes and more flashes of thought of Iyabo, and they have become even more frequent? Moreover, the feelings they evoked had been endearing the few seconds I entertained them. Yes, that’s correct! Maybe I am falling for Iyabo; who knows? 

“Did I tell you that there have been flashes and more flashes of thought of Iyabo, and they have become even more frequent?” Iyabo on my mind.

I was enjoying the reverie when suddenly, a bang hit the front door in three successive knocks. I paid no ear to it; I didn’t want anything that would threaten my chill mood—it held peace and quietness; so, did it offer solace from all the pains and troubles of the real world. So, naturally, I hated whoever it was, knocking, the same way I hated facing reality again. I just wanted to be left alone.

Grudgingly, I pulled off a layer of fluffy blankets that I used in covering my body as the knock persisted, with the bangs getting attention beyond my apartment. I walked to the wardrobe to get something decent to cover my bare upper body. I threw the double wooden doors ajar and cast a glance through the cloths. I gazed steadily on, in apparent confusion about what to pick. At this point, whoever was at the door had been spirited and resumed knocking with a fresh determination. 

Knocking on the door. 

Luckily, my eye caught an overflowing Agbada dress isolated at an extreme corner of the wardrobe; without a second thought, I got into it. I adjusted it this way and that way to make sure I was fully covered. I then hurried downstairs just in time, before the persistent knocker would hack down Mr. Ajayi’s door, which was undoubtedly a given in a matter of few minutes.

I turned the locks leftwards until it made a double click sound before I grabbed the handle to pull the door towards myself, then attempted peering. Kpiiim! My head collided with Iyabo’s forehead and each one of us fell backward. However, I managed to contain mine to just a stagger, but hers was different. She fell backward—butt first across the two short rungs, rolled on her back on the bare earth.

“As a gentleman, I panned away my face instantly so as not to see her accidental indecent exposure, as her long legs were now made bare…” 

As a gentleman, I panned away my face instantly so as not to see her accidental indecent exposure, as her long legs were now made bare, due to the fall, as she was still in her flowing silk nightwear. She had attempted being her usual naughty self, but this time, it boomeranged with a painful bang. She let out a scream, clenched her forehead, and grunted as she writhed in agony. I felt dizzy, but it died down at the sight of her writhing in pains I had inflicted. Instantly, beads of sweat sprouted all over my face. 

Suddenly, a strange feeling of genuine concern and care sprouted me to action. I defied my own pain and the short headache I was feeling. Her wellbeing after this accident superseded mine. I fled the short steps she had fallen across to the ground, sat very close beside her, and exerted some pressure on the point of contact on her forehead.

“I defied my own pain and the short headache I was feeling.”

I had said I’m sorry ten thousand times in the first two minutes. Strangely, the throat didn’t or couldn’t prevent me from doing so. Sitting so close to Iyabo and helping her nurse, her pain had galvanized a reaction that defied the taming the Agbada offered. She sensed it first, paused grunting suddenly, and funnily rolled her eyeballs amidst squeezed brow. She then gave out a peal of weird high-pitched laughter. It didn’t occur that I had been too close for comfort and held her so close all along. I snapped my hand away as if she suddenly became a hot metal, scooting away from her unceremoniously, and fled upstairs crestfallen at the workings of chemistry, physiology, and biology. 

She got up and came after me, cackling throatily like an excited hen, to my room. Hurriedly, I got into tighter jeans trousers and tried to sit calmly and play with my phone. She opened the door and sighted me in those pants; she heaped herself in a mound at a corner and reinforced the laughter. I hadn’t learned to relate with her in a more relaxed atmosphere and less embarrassing situations, how much more now. I didn’t know how else to handle this; I wished I could vanish into the air—Poof!

“…I wished I could vanish into the air—Poof!”

A drop of hot sweat made inroad from my head through my cheek towards my neck; I tamed it with the back of my hand just as quickly as it cascaded. I summoned all the composure I could and remained as calm as I could until she recovered.

…to be continued.

Watch out for Near and Dear – Episode XI on Oaekpost.

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Movies

Top 8 Movies that Will Inspire You to Sell More

Movies are entertaining to watch. However, it is even more fulfilling when we watch movies and learn something in the process. The essence of good business is when we sell more to our customers. In this piece, we look at films that will inspire you to hone the art of closing more sales. So please, read all about it.

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Movies are fun to watch. Sometimes, all we need is entertainment, and other times, we need to be inspired, and movies are a quick go-to for such satiation. However, despite providing an avenue for us to enjoy ourselves and relax, movies can be harbingers of great lessons that can transform our way of thinking and our lives as a whole. Hence, we should take the time to pay attention to the overt and covert messages that the movies we see carry.

“I love watching movies. It breaks up the monotony of the road and momentarily takes you somewhere else.” — Santigold.

As a business or salesperson who is seeking ideas or some inspiration to grow a business, you can find that boost you need in a movie that entertains and inspires you at the same time. There are many movies out there that can inspire us in the business circles; however, in this piece, we will look at some inspirational sales movies. Here are the top eight sales movies that will inspire you to enhance your persuasive skills and make good profits in your business. 

#1. Thank You for Smoking

Photo Credit: IMDb.

“If you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.” — Nick Naylor.

As much as we do not advocate smoking, Thank You for Smoking is a 2005 movie about a salesman, Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), who sells a controversial product in his community. He is torn between telling his son not to smoke because it isn’t morally right and being a salesman for a tobacco company. Regardless of the moral dilemma, Nick came up with unique techniques and strategies to sell tobacco products. This movie is for sales representatives who are confused about selling products that society calls immoral or harmful. Nick Naylor shows you how to create winning pitches for a controversial development, and as such, it’s a must-watch.

#2. Pursuit of Happyness

Photo Credit: IMDb.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream; you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” — Chris Gardner.

The movie Pursuit of Happyness made its debut in 2006. It spawns from a true-life story that everyone can relate to, especially when facing life’s challenges and overcoming them. The Pursuit of Happyness tells of a struggling salesman, Chris Gardner (Will Smith). He lost his wife, his property and became homeless with his five-year-old son, Christopher (Jaden Smith). Yet, irrespective of his condition, he pushed harder to win high-paying clients through professional sale pitches with many positive vibes coming from him. 

“Don’t throw in your towel just yet—determination today will lead to success tomorrow.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.

The Pursuit of Happyness is a story of resilience and pushing forward to achieve one’s goals against all odds. In Chris Gardner’s circumstances, many people would have given up on achieving any good thing and probably approach sales based on their current predicament that emits negative vibes alone. This movie is a must-watch for every salesperson, business owner, or anyone going through a rough patch in life in general. This movie tells you not to throw in the towel. Instead, stay positive and keep pushing.

#3. Tommy Boy

Photo Credit: IMDb.

“Embrace sales training.” — Tommy Boy.

Tommy Boy is a 1995 movie about winning in challenging sales. The story is about Tommy Callahan Jr. (Chris Farley), who needs to save his father’s auto part factory, who had died earlier. Tommy must raise enough money from selling brake pads else the factory will be closed down by a corporation that plans to buy it. So, Tommy must save the factory so the employers can still retain their jobs. In the beginning, it was tough to sell until he learned from a sales coach who gave him some nuggets to selling. This movie reaches many sales lessons, especially if you find closing sales deals very difficult. It will teach you some tips to close excellently.

#4. Steve Jobs

Photo Credit: IMDb.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that it tells them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” — Steve Jobs.

The 2015 biographical movie is about the digital icon Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender), and it tells the story of the digital evolution that Steve Jobs’ products brought to the world. In addition, it shows his passion for technology and the need to solve problems through technology. Every businessperson needs to watch this movie to see how Steve handled marketing, team building, problem-solving, and lessons from a work-life balance that Steve wasn’t good at, to say the least.

#5. The Wolf of Wall Street

Photo Credit: IMDb.

“I will win, maybe not today or tomorrow, but one day I will win.” — Jordan Belfort.

The 2013 movie The Wolf of Wall Street keeps making a lot of waves in the business world, and as such, it needs no introduction. This movie tells the story of selling worthless penny stocks by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), who used his wins to build an empire and lavish his wealth on big parties. While Belfort was involved in unethical sales practices, there are lessons on how to close sales. According to Belfort, you must sell the need and the dream no matter how the product is. Every consumer has requirements that he or she needs to meet. Once there is a satisfaction of that need, it becomes a dream come true. When you solve the customer’s problems, you are sure to be on your way to closing more sales.

#6. Money Ball

Photo Credit: IMDb.

“Trust in data, and it never lies.” — Billy Beane.

The 2011 movie, Money Ball, is a story about Billy Beane’s (Brad Pitt) decision to win the world’s series in baseball despite his lack of financial resources. To win, Billy must find a competitive edge using statistical data to build the right team with the most value. Money ball teaches entrepreneurs sales strategies and intelligent decision-making using data that can make any business win today.

#7. The Founder

Photo Credit: IMDb.

“If you believe in it, and you believe in it hard, it is impossible to fail.” — Ray Kroc.

The 2016 movie, The Founder, tells a story of a salesman, Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), who helped two brothers’ fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s, become the biggest restaurant in the world today. The movie teaches a lesson on persistence, ambition, and ruthlessness. But, most of all, the biggest lesson here is to set agreements right when making any business negotiations.

#8. Self-Made

Photo Credit: IMDb.

“Don’t sit down and wait for opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” — Madam C.J Walker.

This 2020 biography movie tells the story of Madam C.J Walker (Octavia Spencer), who was the first black American woman to be a millionaire selling hair products. Madam C.J. Walker saw a need for black women’s hair to look good and healthy to boost their confidence. Her pitch to women in gatherings and door-to-door sales marketing wasn’t easy. Still, triggering this opportunity kickstarted a famous hair brand that turned her customers into loyal evangelists, and today, she remains a legend. 

Tiffany Haddish, J. Alphonse Nicholson, and Derick Agyemang in Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (2020); Photo Credit: IMDb.

This movie teaches value and consistency in business and marketing. If you sell value, you’ll win over many loyal customers. You need to make sure that you maintain your standards and keep delivering value. At some point, Madam C.J Walker recruited and trained other women in the business, which helped them become entrepreneurs too. The people you recruit can further help in expanding your business only when you add value to their lives.

Be inspired to sell more through these movies. Must Buy? Click Me!

Movies are always fun to watch. However, it would pay us to open our minds more to learn some lessons as we have seen in the eight movies above that would inspire people to sell more. These movies will teach you something or two in honing your persuasive skills in the art of the deal that will make you more profitable in business. Are there some other movies that you think should have been on this list? Let us know in the comments. 

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Fiction

Near and Dear – Episode IX

Near and Dear is a fictional story of Ikenna Obi Okonkwo, a college graduate who neglected the opportunities of picking up usable skills alongside academics while in college in Nigeria—where a college degree alone no longer makes the bold promise of placing food on the table. His graduation was an awakening to the ugly realities of societal difficulties. Could he ever get a chance at life, save a miracle of some sort happened? Clenching tenaciously to reverence, honor, morals, values, and persistence, he caught a break via newfound relationships, love, and lessons as he began to breathe a new air of success and relief. You want to know more, follow along.

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Despite that I practically lacked nothing materially, I still felt hollow, depleted, empty—so unfulfilled. All things have headed south for me, and that was not a good place to be, to say the very least. I had hoped that at twenty-seven, like Ayotomiwa, I would have gotten a second degree so that I could proceed with doing something meaningful with my life, then get married and raise a family.

“It never occurred to me that I was on a consistent path of slipping into depression subliminally. It’s not a place where anyone wants to be—in between the Devil and the deep blue sea.”

“Why can’t I, like him, be fortunate to have things go my way? I compared. He has everything going on for him; he has even found love. “Here I am, neither particularly loving anyone nor do I have any loving me,” I pondered. The closest friendship I have is with him, of course. It never occurred to me that I was on a consistent path of slipping into depression subliminally. It’s not a place where anyone wants to be—between the Devil and the deep blue sea. It was almost like being surrounded by walls of non-progress—very stifling at best. 

Stuck in an awful situation—between the Devil and the deep blue sea. 

I thought of Nathan, my friend. I weighed his option one more time—desperation can really push a man to his wit’s end. His words resonated in my head. “Of what value is a long life when it’s lived in abject poverty? Are you not better off if you would dare to take a few bold steps…? “It was time to go see Nathan and ask one more question about these “bold steps” of his, I assured myself.

Gratefully, I finally escaped the worries and fell into a deep slumber at about 3:49 AM GMT, but only to be woken more frazzled, lacking in desire for anything. So I lay back in the bed till 10:00 AM GMT—two hours after Cookie’s bark woke me. Then it was a few minutes before the hour of eight o’clock when I presume it saw Iyabo. Such times alone, or rare occasions when a stranger walked in, were the only times the dog usually barked. I yawned lazily, cupping my mouth with both palms, and hated—the morning breathe, something.

“However, despite the feeling of disgust, I was too defeated to clean up and begin my day. So I lay still, coiled in the blankets.” 

The milk—more than the drugs I took a few hours ago before going to bed—had left a bad taste and breath in my mouth and a bad morning breath, to say the least. Every yawn was an, “Oh! Boy! What’s that reek? However, despite the feeling of disgust, I was too defeated to clean up and begin my day. So, I lay still, coiled in the blankets. The lights remained turned off. The window blinds unfolded. Even my cell phone did not get treated with a usual fondness—things I ordinarily never failed to do even if I were sick, especially phubbing on my phone. I practically wound up. “Ikenna Obi Okonkwo, o kabukwa ukwu a ka Efi-Nama Ji agaru Aba?” (Does this look like you would eventually get a chance at living?). 

On the other end, my mother has not been her usual very understanding self lately—all she drums into my ears has been—get a wife, get married, and make babies! Granted that she showed a great deal of understanding all these years to the fact that I had no job and even made excuses for me in a bid to take pressure off me. But all that has changed; ever since, I deemed it worthy to set aside a token for her from whatever came my way—which were always, and mainly from my hosts’ generosity. I had feared she might misunderstand the gesture. At such, I prayed and hoped she didn’t misinterpret the widow’s mite meant to augment the paltry sum the government paid her monthly for “my son has begun to make money. “But that was what she did.

 “…my son has begun to make money.”

It was noon soon, and I was still in bed. I appeared to have recovered considerably from the grips of unwritten rules that have steer-guarded my continual stay at the Ajayi’s home. But, on the other hand, maybe the sacredness has started waning in its efficacy. I was reluctant about watering the flowers, wheeling out the trash to the gate, washing the cars, or bathing Cookie. These I have done for as long as I have lived here, and in all honesty, they were just the least I could have done for the Ajayi’s.

It was 1:00 PM GMT— “my gosh, how time flies when you feel like you are in a bottleneck,” still pondering to myself. I didn’t feel any different except for some compelling nudges to visit Nathan. So, I dragged myself up, brushed my teeth, took a quick shower, and got into some clothes. Today, I was a man on a mission to see if I could get some answers and get myself out of the psychological rot I was in, all things being equal. So, I set out to Branamah Island, to Nathan’s place. 

“I set out to Branamah Island, to Nathan’s place.”

“See, my man, we have come far too long a road for me to lie to you; when you taste money, you will know that every split second of this life is super sweet. And you would have been a fool not to do something out of the ordinary, especially when it promises an untampered flow of opulence. So even if it’s for only three years—enjoy it!” He repeated the same lines, just as a thousand other times. 

“What’s the use of a thousand wretched years when you can make it shorter but live it out meaningful?” Nathan questioned. “You are my childhood friend Iyk, and that certainly comes with the privileged closeness that not even my wife of ten years enjoys of me,” he said. His last words, to say the least, were true, at such, impactful. I may not have agreed with all he said, but that certainly was not a lie.

“Nathan and I have been friends dating back to the years at Junior high school.” 

Nathan and I have been friends dating back to the years at Junior high school. He wasn’t particularly interested in education beyond its barest basics. However, he managed through to college and stalled. To him, it wasn’t anything else other than a phase in which one has to pause perfunctorily and impatiently ready oneself for an all-out-money-grabbing journey.

He strictly followed up his belief with requisite actions after senior high school. Then luckily for him, death struck as was instructed. He hit it big and has ever since been a template for most youths around where we hailed. Maybe, not in the way it was believed he got his wealth; but certainly, in the way, he took care of himself lavishly and flaunts wealth with a small circle of super-rich friends.

“…he took care of himself lavishly and flaunts wealth with a small circle of super-rich friends.”

He had been so fortunate in whatever bred him money at such a short time and young age. As a result, he has gotten almost all the things he had mapped out and has now been married with four kids—precisely the things I moisten my lips, hoping to have someday.

“If you sought my opinion, I would have told you that you were too poor to have considered going to school instead. I’m still in shock that you opted for university education; instead of upholding your father’s legacy in business, and I’m not alone in establishing this fact.” He paused to gauge the effect of the mockeries, then ran a hand over his saggy belly, extended it to the scanty and unkempt beards on the jaw, then continued.

School vs. Apprentice Work.

He ran through the list of five other of his friends I met a couple of times I visited him, who held the same belief. The credence that the dividends of trade and business supersede the ROI of going to college. He kept on singling his friends out and representing each of them with a finger of his bare left palm, nodding along with the mentioning of their names.

I wasn’t surprised, only mildly disappointed in the names the opinion was attributed. But, of course, they were of the same type anyway. And I mean not just in their level of exposure alone; they were “big boys”—flashy cars, chains of beautiful mistresses, married with kids—living the life, at least in their definition.

Living the rich life.

“Having you around for all-eternity isn’t a challenge to me, you know it, but I want you to have a taste of life,” he continued to prod. That also was yet another truth. He has always welcomed me, regardless of the gapping gulf in terms of material wealth; showed me salacious hospitality and assured comfort for however long I chose to be around.

He chipped in one incisive mockery aimed at motivating me, after another in between a gulp of a glass full of exotic drink. He then guzzled down another plate of “nkwobi” munched in a most despicable manner, supporting it with another platter of suya, then belched loudly, grotesque at best and a show of no manners and indecency. 

“…in between a gulp of a glass full of exotic drink. He then guzzled down another plate of “nkwobi” munched in a most despicable manner…”

He tugged one of the mistresses clinging to his either side indecently and blared out a burst of feigned dry laughter. He then looked around the faces of everyone on the table seeking support and got their mimed approvals. Only I wasn’t sympathetic enough to lend mine, so I maintained an expressionless face, ruminating at the back of my mind, “Why am I even here?”

“Life is good, meeehn!” He howled.

…to be continued.

Watch out for Near and Dear – Episode X on Oaekpost.

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Poetry

The Best in Life – A Poem

Everyone wants the best things in life. It does not just come to you; you’ve got to make it happen. You must envision it. You must create your vision. You must work at it to make it a reality. It starts on the potter’s wheel of your mind. Allow this poem to be the clay that helps you mold your best life now. Allow this poem to speak to your soul. Please, read all about it.

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A good reputation is better than a blimp bank account, e’er straightway striving, a good name to maintain. Your death date more than your birth date telling, the clear-cut chronicle of your lifetime revealing. Fructiferous or not, the end thus definitely discerning. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

“Sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving, thinking much about the afterlife; e’er investing their fast and furiously fleeting lives to do the right.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.

You learn more at a funeral than at a feast for death is the best teacher; e’er taking stock of your fleeting days; after all, that’s where we’ll end up in time. From a funeral something discovering; from feasting latitudes, not much learning—upon these things thus ruminating. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Think about your life.

Crying is better than laughing, the face forthwith blotching, and the heart’s sourcing. Suitably, the lungs now opening, the countenance first off squeaky clean via a hearty austere ablution. Readily exercising the eyes, and the temper soothingly calming down. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving, thinking much about the afterlife; e’er investing their fast and furiously fleeting lives to do the right. Fools e’er wasting their lives in fun and games, the many moments decimating and drifting without aim. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

“You don’t have all the time in the world. So, don’t waste time. Instead, invest your fast and furiously fleeting lives to do the right.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.

You’ll get more from the rebuke of a sage than from the song and dance of fools. Better be not a bragger, chillax and have some common sense, clever corrections cert courteously consenting. Upon these many facts reasoning—really, a truly good friend will openly correct you. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

The giggles of fools are like the crackling of twigs under the cooking pot; they’re thinning out into nothingness like the e’er disappearing smoke rising. The wise e’er remaining glad to learn and be instructed, but the babbling fools so flat on their faces free falling. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Be teachable—Listen! Learn! Grow!

Brutally straight off stupefying even the wise, and bribery double time the mind heavily debasing. All oppressive tendencies right now denouncing and uprooting; all slush fund tendency lines straightway steadily and suitably crushing and fast flushing. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Endings are really better than beginnings; tell it; at this juncture, the story of success or failure fast telling. Thoughtfully reflecting, sticking to it is better than standing out, the spirit of patience now embracing; from the refrains of a haughty spirit steadily withdrawing. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Sticking to it is better than standing out. Be a never-giver-upper. Stay the course even when no one believes in you. 

Don’t be quick to fly off the handle, or the little living light of your sanity candle is quickly quenched. A steaming skittish anger straightaway boomeranging and banging, you can spot a puerile prating fool, the narcissist, by the lucid lumps on his head bulging and hanging. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Don’t always be asking, “Where are the good old days?” Wise folks, questions like that ne’er at all asking. From the past pronto perceiving, our present presently, perfectly, and permanently pruning; our future first and foremost favorably firm forming. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Look forward—our future first and foremost favorably firm-forming.

Wisdom is better when paired with money blooming. I’m inheriting an inheritance quite ochroid and glistening. While you’re yet living, these duo benedictions better still surfacing and receiving; much winning-wisdom-wealth e’er embracing and e’er elevating. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Wisdom is a defense defending, as money is a defense safeguarding. A double protecting presidio the two bastions subsisting; however, wisdom-supreme its possessor perfectly and potently energizing. Really, wisdom’s many advantages suitably stabilizing. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Be Wise—See where others don’t see. 

I’m now perceiving the way God’s things are falling in line in pleasant places, now taking a good look at God’s works and its sui generis design. Who could simplify and reduce Creation’s curves and angles to a direct straight line, these very facts of nature not at all fighting I resign. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

On a good day, yourself engaging and enjoying; on a bad day, your conscience ergo examining. For both kinds of days, God readily at once fitly arranging; not at all taking anything thus for granted. The best in life right now embracing, the best in life cert celebrating. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Follow My Paths that fall in pleasant places. I am forever close by. Hear my voice.

A good reputation is better than a blimp bank account, and really you learn more at a funeral than at a feast once again reminiscing. Crying is better than laughing, and sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving. The best in life right now embracing, the best in life cert celebrating. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

You’ll get more from the rebuke of sage than from the song and dance of fools, and their giggling is like the crackling of twigs under the cooking pot—upon these very facts forthwith ruminating. The best in life right now embracing, the best in life cert celebrating. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

Think about your life…

Brutality straight off stupefying the wise; endings are really better than beginnings. Don’t be quick to fly off the handle, and don’t be asking, “Where are the good old days?” The best in life right now embracing, the best in life cert celebrating. I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

“I’m now perceiving the way God’s things are falling in line in pleasant places, now taking a good look at God’s works and its sui generis design.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.

Wisdom is better when paired with money blooming; wisdom is a defense defending—money is a defense safeguarding. Now perceiving the way God’s things are falling in line, on a good day enjoying—your conscience on a lousy day examining. The best in life now embracing, the best in life cert celebrating. 

I’m certainly considering these facts fecund, the best in life now fitly grasping.

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