Sunday, 30 November 2014

President Barack Obama and his daughters seen purchasing books in celebration of Small Business Saturday

In celebration of independently owned businesses in the United State commonly tagged "Small Business Saturday", president Obama and his daughters were seen purchasing books at the Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.

This portrays the president as a role model and lover of books. He is also said to be one of American's most bookish president and has often expressed that literature has massively influenced his politics. 

Even the president of the United States of America has time to pop into a bookstore to pick up new books to read. This shows that no matter your position in life you should never stop learning and making time to improve yourself. 

Curious which books Obama purchased? Here is the list, according to the White House:
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
  • Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business by Barbara Park
  • A Barnyard Collection: Click, Clack, Moo and More by Doreen Cronin
  • I Spy Sticker Book and Picture Riddles by Jean Marzollo
  • Nuts to You by Lynn Rae Perkins
  • Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Redwall by Brian Jacques
  • Mossflower by Brian Jacques
  • Mattimeo by Brian Jacques
  • Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
  • The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Story of African soldier fighting another man’s war

Article by: Punch Newspaper

Barnaby Phillips
British journalist Barnaby Phillips speaks with CHUX OHAI on his new book, Another Man’s War

With his new book titled ‘Another Man’s War’, awarding winning British journalist, Barnaby Phillips, has managed to draw attention to Africa’s contribution to Britain’s successful campaign in the Second World War.

Phillips says the book is a biography that tells the collective history of over 100,000 Africans who went to Burma to fight against the Japanese during the war.

“The Nigerians were the single biggest contingent, numbering maybe 30,000. But at the heart of it is the individual story of Isaac Fadoyebo. I used his story to bring in some drama and it enabled me to tell a wider British journalist Barnaby Phillips speaks with CHUX OHAI on his new book, Another Man’s War

Phillips lived in Nigeria between 1998 and 2001. During this period, he grew curious about the story of the ‘Burma Boy’ – the familiar hero in many urban tales of the African warrior’s involvement in the Second World War.

After he had looked up lots of books in libraries in Britain and found many accounts by British Army officers, he finally stumbled upon Fadeyebo’s memoirs – a beautifully written 50 page account of his experience during the war. It was only then that he realised he had found an authentic African voice giving an account of the war that was different from that of the British officers.

Although Phillips did not initially believe that Fadeyebo was still alive, he hung on to a grain of hope and went on to put out some contacts in Lagos through his friends. Fortunately and to his great delight, he discovered in 2010 that the ‘Burma boy’ was alive.

The following year, he returned to Nigeria to meet Fadeyebo and to shoot a documentary based on the ex serviceman’s experiences in Burma. In the same year, he managed to get Al-Jazeera to buy the film.

“With the benefit of hindsight, it is fantastic that we made the film because he passed away, sadly, at the end of 2012,” he says.

Aware that Nigerian playwright and lately filmmaker, Biyi Bandele, took the first step to dramatise the role of African soldiers who fought for the British in Burma – now referred to as the most brutal theatre of the Second World War – Phillips acknowledges that the former’s novel, which is aptly titled ‘Burma Boy’, essentially differs in context from ‘Another Man’s War’.

“Biyi’s book is a novel and mine is a historical account. As I have said before, my book is non-fiction. Sometimes if you are writing non-fiction you are a bit more constrained. You have to stick to the information and the sources that you have in front of you. I couldn’t imagine characters and I had to really go on with historical documents. That is the difference, I suppose,” he says, admitting that the process of documenting ‘Another Man’s War’ was fraught with constraints.

But the author claims that he stumbled upon some discoveries in the process of researching Fadeyebo’s account of the war. The main discovery was going back to Burma and finding the family who had saved the soldier during the war.

Describing this as an experience he will not forget in a hurry, he continues, “The individual who saved Isaac had passed away by the time I managed to reached his family. But the man’s children and grandchildren are still living in the same village. Initially I was worried that it would not be possible to track him down. They were part of a Muslim minority and many of them lived in refugee camps. My fear was that they might no longer be living in the place where Isaac had left them. And, in fact, Isaac’s own geographical directions were rather vague. So there were some challenges, but finding them was my main discovery.”

However, Phillips’ motive for taking Fadeyebo’s story straight out of the archives of a library somewhere in England and documenting it for public consumption is purely to provide good and exciting stuff for people to read.

The writer considers it a great privilege to have been able to tell the man’s story in film and prose and also hopes that the book will be well received in Britain and of course, in Africa.

“I think it is an incredible story of one man’s survival against the odds. Logically Isaac should have died. But he didn’t. I find him attractive as an individual. I think he was a very modest and dignified man,” he says.

The author hopes the book will do justice to the memory of the Second World War and open up a fresh conversation globally on Britain’s role in the horrendous war.

Confident that many readers will be very surprised to learn that the British took about 100,000 Africans to fight in the Second World War, which is not a widely known fact in many countries in Africa, he says, “I have put my cards on the table and say in broad terms that Britain was on the right side in the war. But that does not mean that everything that Britain did was right. In different geographical spheres of the war, the British were fighting for different motives.

“In Burma, the war was not about freedom and democracy. It was a war about empire, which was fundamentally a racist construct. In the army, for example, the African soldiers were at the bottom of the ladder. It was impossible for them to become commissioned officers and when they did become non-commissioned officers, they were not paid as much as the white soldiers. Fundamentally I would say that was wrong.”

Monday, 24 November 2014

Rekiya’s Tale – Episode 4

It takes only a little nudge to trigger the creatively evil side in most of us and as I sat there, thinking a million evil thoughts, I knew the correct course of action. So first, I dialed my friend, Farida. We grew up together, but Farida and I were as different as light and dark. I was the plain girl, where she was the hot omalicha nwa. While I worked and made my money myself, Farida had a string of men she called her “bankers” who all worshipped at her feet and with their combined “banking services” made sure she lived an even more luxurious life than I did. If we entered a place and there were ten toasters available, she would get 9.5 (yes, even the one I got would still be eyeing her small small) of them most of the time. In fact, I used to test the seriousness of toasters at one point by simply introducing them to her and seeing if they would switch their attentions to her or not. Of course, they ended up as chasers of two rats – they caught none. In spite of these differences, we were closer than most people thought we were.

“Reks,” she said in her breathy voice “kilonshelz”. Another thing about her – she can take on any role the man she’s with wants. But with me, in spite of her being Fulani, she was her true self, a Yoruba blowing a Lagos girl.

“I’m fucked up babe, real real bad,” I responded.

“What’s the ish?” she asked.

“My thing with Ochuko was merely a bet between him and my boss. I just found that out now,” I responded. I went on to narrate the whole preggy for Ochuko and daddy’s abortion drama saga in lucid detail to her.

She listened quietly and waited for me to finish.

“Are you done?” she asked after I paused.

“Yes now. I called you right after I read my oga’s message.”

“Okay, good. You are going to ditch this your BB. Shebi Q10 kuku just came out, so get that our SLOT guy to bring one to your office today. And be dramatic about the whole matter.”

“And why exactly would I be throwing away a BB in perfect working order?” I asked.

“Because you did not read the message, simple” she responded

“Okay, Fafa, I know I’m slow, but I just called you to tell you I read the message. As in my two big eyes actually viewed the message and it has changed to R already. So explain this to me, in plain olodo nice and slow English.”

“You are just a cow,” she said laughing.

“Madam, compare the size of our chests. The one who is the cow between us should be fairly obvious,” I retorted and we both laughed. If anyone could get me laughing, it was Fafa.

“You are just an ode child, you this girl. Anyway, here’s the plan to give us time to think of how we will deal with those two. He would have realized his mistake now, and will be expecting you to confront him and throw a tantrum. And I know you, that’s just what you will go and do.”

“Of course. He needs to explain to me why he would do this to me. I trusted and respected him very much, you know? He was like my elder bro and stuck with him through thick and thin, good and bad in this company. It was I who believed when most others didn’t.”

“Well, let’s do it my way this time, Reks. We’ll make him walk on needles. Don’t say anything about the message. In fact, go about your job like nothing is wrong, like you could not be bothered about the ish with Ochuko. It will kill him. His mind will race up and down, racked with guilt, wondering what you’re planning.”

“Okay, I get the bit of not confronting him et al. But it still doesn’t explain me dishing out 110K to buy a new BB when this my Bold 5 is still working well.”

“Madam, first, I wan make you upgrade. An an, with all the money you have, you are still clinging to that your Bold 5 and falling my hand all over this Lagos. But seriously, here’s why. When he can’t take it no more, he will ask you about it. You’ll just smile a dainty doll-faced smile…”

Abegi, unlike you, some of us cannot pull off the doll faced thingy convincingly,” I interrupted.

“Gerrout and listen jo. You’ll smile your wowo smile and tell him ‘oh, I didn’t get it oh. My phone was stolen yesterday and I just got a new one today. I’ve been trying to restore my contacts but it seems there’s an issue with that. You can then add him there and then. He won’t believe his good fortune and feel safe after his jabo-ing. We’ll then plan whatever we want to do while he feels safe.”

“But you know you are witch abi?” I said, smiling and loving her plan.

“Na to protect you I join the coven,” she retorted.

“Okay, and Ochuko nko? What do we do with him?” I asked

“That one en, we need to see face to face to discuss that one’s matter. Shebi he is the tree climber abi? Only monkeys climb trees o, and we will give him appropriate monkey treatment.”

In spite of myself, I couldn’t help laughing like a fool at work. This Farida girl is just a bad influence. Okay, bad influence in a good way.

“Okay, when are we seeing to hear this your monkeylization plan o?”

“Been looking for an excuse to leave this my house sef, so I’ll come and sleep over at yours today. And since I know you won’t have anything to drink in that your house, I’ll be bringing my own drinks. Just make sure there’s food,” she responded.

“You will soon become a whale, and your smile will become ugly like my own.”

We both laughed again and I rounded off the conversation. We had said goodbye and I had almost cut the call off when she added as an afterthought “and madam, if you touch my goddaughter, I will murder you too. I have a name for her already. Zara baby.” Then she cut the call off.

The laughter and conversation with Farida was good for me, I really really needed it. People had already begun to arrive from work and my suspenders wearing assistant, Duke came in to greet me. Sometimes, I wondered how his little man was able to breathe inside his extra skinny jeans and pants. Add his shiny patent leather shoes, multi-colored socks, nerd glasses and neat afro and you can imagine how errrr interesting he always looked. Though he was about my age, he was like the younger brother I didn’t have. Somto, my other assistant, had once told me that his real name was Ndukwe, but that he had modified the name to suit his new Lagos bobo status after he came in from Enugu. This bit, he kept as a closely guarded secret and I pretended I didn’t know.

“Morning ma’am,” he said with a proper English bow.

“Duke, how are you?” I responded.

“Very well, thank you,” he said, fiddling with his suspenders.

Just then, I had a thought. Why wait for something I could go and get.

“Duke, I need you to do something for me urgently.”

As a response he came closer and fiddled with his glasses.

“Go to SLOT and buy me a Q10 sharply. I lost my phone yesterday at Radison Blu and it feels like I’ve lost an arm and a leg and the delivery guy is telling me long stories, so just come and go for me,” I said.

“I know that feeling right? If I had to go to an island and could pick only three things, my BB would sure be one of them,” he responded.

“I’ll transfer money to your account now; you can pay with your POS when you get there.”

I watched him walk out of the door, knowing that the Duke’s one other weakness would cause the whole office to hear a well embellished tale about my lost phone without me being the source of the story. As I became alone in my office again, the sadness began to come over me again. For all my scheming with Farida, there was a baby growing inside me, and it was Ochuko’s. I wanted to keep the child, but the one man whose support would have made Ochuko’s nonsense of no effect was staunchly against the idea.

Thankfully, Somto arrived just then and provided a distraction until her partner returned with my new phone. The moment he came back and she saw what he was carrying, she began to tease him.

“Somebody has gone to use all his salary to buy phone to be forming avant-garde. Sha don’t come and be looking for loan at midmonth o, we will not give you.”

Duke scowled at her and turned his nose up in the air before responding “you can jump for Africa. While I take an exception to your insinuation that I will be unable to afford this phone, let me correct your erroneous impression.” Then dramatically holding the phone up and waving it around, he continued “this is the result of Rekiya’s unfortunate loss yesterday. She’s replacing the phone she lost yesterday. I merely facilitated the process of procuring it.”

Rolling my eyes, I snatched my phone from him before his waving around spoilt it “Ochuko, shay it’s ordinary to say the phone is mine that you gave that Yes We Can speech?”

The two of them burst out into uncontrollable laughter. I was confused “I know what I said is funny, but it is not that funny now. Abi, am I missing something ni?”

Amidst fits of laughter, Somto responded “Madam, I go love oooo. See you looking at this skinny lizard,” she pointed at Duke “and calling him Ochuko. Love don turn everything wey you see to Ochuko abi?”

Their laughter stopped when they saw the tears that began trickling from my eyes. I was unconscious of them but seemed unable to stop them from flowing. Duke was over at my side in an instant “did we say something wrong? What’s the problem ma’am?”

“It’s nothing,” I said, quickly dabbing the tears from my face and smearing my makeup in the process.

Somto tried to say something but I looked at them and fiercely said “I said it is nothing!”

They both quickly beat a hasty retreat to their corners of the room while I went quietly redid my makeup at my desk. See, when your boss does some things you can’t understand sometimes, they’re just being human. Dem no dey craze.

You know the way you anticipate something and prepare for it and wait for it, and then that thing simply does not happen? That’s what happened to me that day. My boss did not show up at work. I had planned how I would be all sweet and all, while allowing the needles prick his conscience, and then he refused to show up.

I was not taking it though. By noon, I put a call through to him using my landline. The call rang out. Then I called him with my mobile, and he still didn’t pick the call. It was clear he was avoiding talking to me. I considered sending him a text saying I had lost my phone and all, but then on a second thought I decided to let him stew. The reason he hadn’t showed up was that he didn’t have the nerve to face me just yet. Let him be afraid when he saw my calls.

Around two in the afternoon, Fafa called.

“Babe, can you leave the office now now?” she said excitedly.

I had been considering closing early anyway, since my boss didn’t show up so I said “yes.”

“Well, get your ass here, I have very hot gist for you.”

“Babe, I don’t have witch like you, so I can’t know where you are by a phone call.” I responded.

“Monkey, I don reach your house,” she retorted.

“Okay, oya hint me on this gist.” I asked.

“You sure you want to hear it over the phone? The thirty minutes it will take you to get home won’t kill you o,” she responded.

“Madam, will you tell me now or you want me to practice my kung fu on you?”

“Well, if you insist, here it goes. Ochuko is not married to anyone.”

“I’ll be with you in twenty minutes,” I said and cut the call off.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

New prize for Kiswahili Literature seeks to reward East African writers

Kiswahili is a Bantu language and the mother tongue of the Swahili people. It is spoken by Eastern and other parts of Southeast communities in Africa. Writers and authors from Kiswahili speaking countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda,  Burundi, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo will now be able to showcase their literary skills as the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was announced at the just concluded Ake Art & Books Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature is sponsored by Kenya’s Mabati Rolling Mills and USA’s Cornell University. The prize will recognizes excellent writing in African languages and encourages translation from, between and into African languages.

The prize will be awarded to the best unpublished manuscript or book published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels. The prize money of 15,000 US dollars will be given to three writers and the winning entry will be published in Kiswahili by East African Educational Publishers (EAEP). The best poetry book will be translated and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Building Future Leaders: 2014 GAME Conference

The 2014 edition of the Goal Attainment Made Easy (GAME) Conference commenced yesterday. GAME is an  initiative of iamCHAMP Limited, a Nigerian based Human Capital Development firm in partnership with Department for International Development (DFID).
The 3-day conference/bootcamp aims to inspire young professionals by stressing the need to engage in continuous professional development, build and maintain career advancing networks to enhance and increase personal and professional goals.
Attendee were equipped with proven experiential strategies that will enable them to dream, set inspiring goals and transform their goals into reality.

This year’s edition of the conference which is centered on total well-being draws eminent speakers from different walks of life amongst whom are Mr. Foluso Phillips, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Dr. Mo Abudu, Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. Christopher Kolade and General Yakubu Gowon.
If you missed day one, make sure you attend the two remaining days of the conference which comes up on Friday, 21st and the finale on the Saturday, 22nd of December 2014 at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos.

By attending you will learn;

• How to set personal goals using Neuro Linguistic Programming
• The 7 steps to finally ending procrastination
• How to differentiate between wishes and resolutions and set inspiring goals
• The importance of having a plan - and the techniques to create one
• How to evaluate goals to make sure you're on track and on target
• The key ways to balance multiple and sometimes conflicting goals
• How to gain support - and increase accountability
• The principles of creating buy-in for goals and objectives in a team environment
• The basic methodologies of making everybody involved feel valued and part of the team

Some of the sponsors of the 2014 GAME conference include; Access bank, Diageo, Insight Communication, The Quadrant Company, Ebonylife TV, TVC, Dangote, Silverbird, Smooth FM, BusinessDay, Sweets sensation etc.
Economy and Management Expert, Professor Patrick Utomi; Founding Partner at iamaCHAMP Limited, Abiola Salami and Pro-Chancellor of Pan-Atlantic University and Chief Host of the Goal Attainment Made Easy (GAME) Conference, Dr. Christopher Kolade at the 2014 edition of the conference.

Public Relations Specialist, Marian Balogun and Founding Partner of iamaCHAMP Limited, Abiola Salami at the 2014 Goal Attainment Made Easy (GAME) Conference.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey movie to be released February 13th, 2015

The much anticipated romantic drama, Fifty Shades of Grey adapted from the novel by British novelist Erika Leonard, is set to be released Valentine's weekend of 2015. 

Here is the official trailer. Check it out!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

See the new Nigerian cover of Chimamanda’s Americanah by Farafina books

Popular Nigerian award winning visual artist, Victor Ehikhamenor, recently shared a copy of Chimamanda’s new cover of Americanah on his Facebook page with the caption below;

"Creating a cover for a book is akin to making a customized wedding gown. My new cover of Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah for @farafinabooks just landed on my desk. It’s always a pleasure working with the Farafina crew and the author".
Ehikhamenor who is internationally recognized for his spectacular works of art was commissioned to do the custom artwork for the cover.
It's great to know that such great literary effort and synergy was deployed in producing the Nigerian edition of this astonishing book. The book is set to hit stores in December, but for readers who want to grab a copy before December, can do so at the Ake art and book festival coming up next week from the 18th - 22nd November in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Promoting artistry: Faces at the Etisalat sponsored 2014 LagosPhoto fundraising gala

Nigeria's top innovative telecommunication company, Etisalat Nigeria amidst it's ongoing Etisalat sponsored 2014 LagosPhoto Festival hosted lovers of art, supporters, art patrons, and friends of the foundation at the prestigious annual fundraising gala dinner, held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The night according to the sponsor, Etisalat Nigeria was put together to celebrate photography and to raise funds for the LagosPhoto Foundation with an evening of art that included a candle light dinner, presentation of prizes to winners of the 2014 Etisalat photo competition and an auction of award winning photographs.


2014 International Writers’ Day Dedicated to late Chinua Achebe has been postponed

The 2014 International Writers Day organized by the Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA) has been postponed due to the outbreak of the Ebola disease in West Africa.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in collaboration with the international communities are making tremendous effort to tackle and curb the deadly disease. The 2014 Writers day is devoted to the life and work of the late Chinua Achebe, known as the grandfather of African literature.

According to Professor Atukwei Okai, General Secretary of PAWA, in a statement to the Ghanaian News Agency, Okai advised parents to help children develop interest in reading in order to form the habit. He also commended writers across the continent for their courageous role in the struggle for Africa’s development through their stories and poems.  

He further stressed that “The new law states that I read and therefore I am. This is because he who does not read would not know the time of the day. And this is because, he who is not aware is not awake,”

Okai urged the African governments to help revive the culture of reading in Africans by establishing libraries and stocking them with books, especially those written by African writers, which will help give Africa a fresh understanding and the bravely to confront and overturn the dehumanizing status quo of the centuries and contemporary decades.

Prof Okai concluded his statement by saying that the event would honor the memory of late African writers such as Jayne Cortez, Amiri Baraka, Sam Greenlee, Maya Angelou, Nadine Gordimer of South Africa, Kofi Awoonor of Ghana , Chinua Achebe of Nigeria and Prof Ali Mazrui of Kenya.

Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?

LONDON (AP) — A researcher who has attracted attention and criticism with his revisionist Biblical theories says he has found new evidence that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and that early Christians considered her a deity.

Canadian-Israeli documentary-maker Simcha Jacobovici says an ancient manuscript in the British Library offers a glimpse at an early version of Christianity radically different from the faith practiced today.

"This shows that Mary Magdalene really got ripped off" in mainstream Christian theology, Jacobovici said Wednesday at the launch of "The Lost Gospel," a book co-authored with York University religious studies Professor Barrie Wilson.

But many religious scholars are skeptical about the latest addition to the crowded field of Biblical conspiracy theories.

"The Lost Gospel" is built around a new interpretation of an ancient text, "The Story of Joseph and Aseneth." Jacobovici and Wilson studied a 1,500-year-old Syriac-language version of the story in the London library.

Most religious scholars think the text explains why the Hebrew patriarch Joseph came to marry a gentile, but Wilson and Jacobovici say it is a coded tale that actually relates the story of Jesus, his wife and their children.
Canadian-Israeli documentary film-maker and writer …
Canadian-Israeli documentary film-maker and writer Simcha Jacobovici

Jacobovici said that in the document, Mary Magdalene is "not just Mrs. Jesus. She's a co-deity, a co-Redeemer."

But Greg Carey, professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary, said the story was already well known to Bible scholars and "doesn't require any decoding."

"That's not to deny that some early Christians interpreted the story allegorically," he added.

But he said there was no evidence for "the idea that it's about Jesus and his wife and their two children."

Jacobovici has a record of headline-grabbing but contested claims.

He co-wrote "The Jesus Family Tomb," which was strongly criticized by scholars and archeologists for alleging that a tomb found in a Jerusalem cave contained the remains of Jesus and possible family members.

Other researchers also have claimed to have found references in ancient texts to a married Jesus. Dan Brown used such theories as the basis for blockbuster thriller "The Da Vinci Code."
Culled from Yahoo news

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Art Personified: Kim Kardashian Paper Magazine Photos

This week, Paper magazine released several racy photos of reality TV star, Kim Kardashian for its Winter 2014 issue. The shots were taken by legendary French photographer Jean-Paul Goude, titled "break the Internet" and has received a lot of criticism from celebrity for being unrealistic and overly airbrushed.

While some celebrities have come out stating that the photos are inappropriate as Kim is mother to 18 month old North West, others have defended her stating that the photos are a form of art. One of Kim's bestie, Jonathan Cheban, in a statement to said "Paper is one of the artsiest magazines and has a legendary reputation for being creative and edgy".

Frankly speaking, when an artist paints a portrait of a naked women, it is an expression of art, right? So, my question is, are these photographed images also considered art?

Share your opinion with us, we will love to hear what you think.

Click here to see the full photos

Photo credit: & 

Online List of 2014’s Best Books

A book is a faithful companion at any given time, be it coffee time, break time, waiting to get on a bus or even bed time. It can keep you engaged from start to the end of the day. What an enduring companion don’t you think?

For years, the largeheart boy blog has compiled the most engaging online books/articles they can find. The blog also gives readers and commenters the opportunity to suggest any book or article they think should be included. 
See the list of online best books of 2014; there is a book there for everyone even your children. Check it out!

Largehearted Boy’s Online Best Books of 2014 Lists

The Adonis Zone (best coffee table books)

The Advocate (best transgender nonfiction books)

Amazon  (best arts and photography books)

Amazon  (best audiobooks)

Amazon  (best biographies and memoirs)

Amazon  (best business and investing books)

Amazon  (best children's books)

Amazon  (best comics and graphic novels)

Amazon  (best cookbooks, food, and wine books)

Amazon  (best crafts, home & garden books)

Amazon (best debut books)

Amazon  (best fashion books)

Amazon  (best history books)

Amazon  (best humor and entertainment books)

Amazon  (best literature and fiction books)

Amazon  (best mystery, thriller, and suspense books)

Amazon  (best nonfiction books)

Amazon  (best romance books)

Amazon  (best science books)

Amazon  (best science fiction and fantasy books)

Amazon  (best short story collections)

Amazon  (best sports and outdoors books)

Amazon  (best teen and young adult books)  (bestselling books)

Amazon  (celebrities' favorite books)

Amazon  (top books)

Amazon  (top Kindle books)

Amazon  (top print books)

Bank Street College of Education (best children's books)

The Bookbag (top autobiographies)

The Bookbag (top biographies)

The Bookbag (top books for confident readers)

The Bookbag (top books for sharing)

The Bookbag (top crime novels)

The Bookbag (top historical fiction)

The Bookbag (top teen books)

BookLife (best books)

Business Insider (most popular novels)

Canadian Children's Literature Awards (Canadian children's books)

Carnegie Library (best books for babies)

The Children's Book Council of Australia (children's books)

EarlyWord (aggregated spreadsheets for adult fiction, adult nonfiction, children's and young adult books)

ESSE Book Awards (best books on language and linguistics)

Flavorwire (mind-altering philosophy books)

Good to Know (best cookbooks)

Goodreads (best books)

Heeb (best books)

Hudson Booksellers (best books)

Imagination Soup (best children's chapter books)

Inc. (best leadership books)

Indigo (best books)

Indigo (best children's books)

The Jaunty Quills (best books)

Jonathan Crowe (top map books)

Kenosha News (favorite books)

Laura Lippman (favorite books)

Library Journal (best books)

Library Journal (best ebooks)

Library Journal (best romance books)

Lower Macungie Library Teen Blog (best teen books)

Men Who Stare at Books (coolest sports books)

New York Times (best illustrated children's books)

Overdrive (best books)

Parents (best children's books)

Peloton (must-read cycling books)

Prima (best books)

Publishers Weekly (best books)

Publishers Weekly (best comics)

Publishers Weekly (best fiction)

Publishers Weekly (best lifestyle books)

Publishers Weekly (best middle grade books)

Publishers Weekly (best nonfiction)

Publishers Weekly (best picture books)

Publishers Weekly (best poetry)

Publishers Weekly (best religion books)

Publishers Weekly (best romance books)

Publishers Weekly (best science fiction, fantasy, and horror)

Publishers Weekly (best young adult books)

Read Her Like an Open Book (favorite books)

Real Simple (best books)

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Monday, 10 November 2014


It does not take as much as most people think it does for love for a person to be transformed into disgust and hatred just as strong. There is truth in the saying that there is a fine line between love and hate and when Ochuko spoke the next set of words, I crossed that line with him. Here’s what he said.

“…sorted out if you do not leave me now. I reacted like I did because of the suddenness of the news and how you told me. I mean, bam, you hit me from nowhere.”

Please how else was I supposed to tell the man I was supposed to marry, who had been skin diving me all these months that I was pregnant. I should have done a PowerPoint presentation and called a stakeholders meeting abi? Anyway, let me continue with what he said.

“But now, I’ve given it some thought and I have a solution. You see, Rekiya, this pregnancy is an unexpected and unplanned complication.”

Okay, I have to pause and comment here again. So it was my pregnancy and not his being a married man who had been leading me on that was the complication abi. See this blockhead. He continued

“This is what I’m suggesting, so that we can keep on being together, while I disentangle myself from the European situation I’ve found myself in. Please let’s take this baby out and keep this between ourselves. Then we can be together without the complication it would bring into the matter while I…”

He was suddenly sent reeling forward and he landed face first into the couch. Never had a girl felt so good about her daddy appearing like I did about mine at that time. I almost jumped up and said daddy oyoyo. Before that time, I cannot remember ever seeing daddy hit someone. Even as kids, he did not flog us, we had naughty corners waaaay before they became the in thing that they are today. But seeing the way he knocked my looney ex down, my heart swelled and soared.

“You must be out of your mind if you think I’m going to allow you turn my daughter into a baby aborting factory. I would kill you if I was not restrained by more sensible judgment. But don’t tempt me to stop listening to the more reasonable side of me mister.”

My joy at his appearance evaporated when he turned on me and with the same anger in his voice said “and when were you going to tell be that you had gotten yourself pregnant? You deliberately chose to deceive me by withholding that from me, even though I specifically asked that you tell me about the whole situation. If I did not have the presence of mind to come here myself, this clown would have succeeded in worming his way into your heart and everything would have been hidden from me. This is not how I trained you, Rekiya!”

I was angered, at both men. Angry with the former lover, who thought himself so sleek that I would agree to take out my baby just to be his Nigerian based sidechick, and even more with my father who was so certain that I did not have enough of a brain to take care of myself and make the right choice without his interference.

“Daddy, why would you say that? It is out of respect for you that I didn’t blurt out over the phone that I was pregnant for a man I had just discovered is married. Which respectful daughter does that?”

“Which respectable daughter goes and gets pregnant out of wedlock? Which respectful daughter will not listen to the wise words of her father when she brings some riffraff home and he tells her the man is not the man for her?”

“Daddy, did you come here all the way this night just to condemn me and tell me how much of a bad daughter I am? Is that all that your visit is about? Okay, so I’m pregnant for Ochuko, yes. I am no longer respectable? I see.”

“Will you shut your mouth, young woman! It’s not your fault. I should have listened to your mother when she told me not to allow you come and live on your own. I should have made sure you were in my house until marriage as is normal and customary. Then you would not have gone to get pregnant and still have the guts to talk to me like this.”

I did not need all this that daddy was saying. I was going through enough distress for the person who was meant to be my balm to now be adding to the stress.

“Daddy!” I shouted, tears streaming from my eyes. “I’m less of your daughter because I am pregnant, yes? And yet, you come barging into my house, beating up this man because he asked me to get rid of the baby? I hear what you are saying.” Angrily, I turned to Ochuko “you, you must think so much of your fly self to think I’m taking this decision to be with you. I’m rather taking it to be free of you, your baggage, your lies and your deceit.”

“What are you saying, Rekiya,” Ochuko found the voice to speak for the first time since my father came in.

“I am taking out this baby. And this is what you will do, Mr. Ochuko Briggs. You will leave my house this minute. You will not call, text, ping, DM or email me for whatever reason. You will not like any of my photos online. You will disappear from my life.”

“But Rekiya…” he began.

“Get the hell out of my house, this minute!” I shouted.

He looked from me to my dad, and quickly made up his mind. He did not need to be told the customary “you heard the young woman” before he shuffled out of the door noisily.

The tension in the air was so thick I could feel its weight on my shoulders.

Daddy began “I know this is difficult Rekiya, but you are making the right choice. I’ll be there to help you go through it. My friend, Dr. Bala runs a fine, discreet clinic…”

“I’m keeping the baby,” I cut in with deliberately measured tones.

“Rekiya, I thought you just said you weren’t? Are you saying this just to assert your independence? Don’t be stubborn, think about your life, and don’t use it to prove a point.”

“I’m keeping my baby, and it’s not to prove any point, daddy. I only told Ochuko I’m taking it out to get him to leave and not return. He does not deserve to be the father of my child and I intend to keep it from him that I’m having this child.”

“Rekiya, I am not going to be a part of whatever it is that is going on in your head to do. But I am your father, and for once, I am not going to let you have your way. I will begin arrangements with Dr. Bala. Today is Wednesday, so you will come over this weekend and we will get this done with. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?”

“Yes daddy,” I responded meekly. I really didn’t have the strength to keep arguing with him, and if I kept at it, I would end up being rude and saying something I would regret.

“Good. I’ll see you on Saturday then.” He turned and left the house. It was the first time in my memory my dad had left me without kissing me on the forehead. I wept silently as soon as I was alone. How could my beautiful life have become so shattered in such a short space of time? I cried myself to sleep that night.

The next morning, I woke up, groggy, with a splitting headache. But as we always do in Lagos, in another one hour, I was ready for work, hiding my grief under well applied layers of makeup. I got to work a little earlier than usual and quietly went into my office and began to sift through my emails.

The problem with getting to work earlier than everyone else on a day like this was that I didn’t have the usual distractions that work would put at your disposal present yet. Most of my work is centered around my oga, and until he comes, there’s not so much to do. Thinking about my oga now, I decided to ping him to ask when he was getting in today.

Moments after my bbm message changed from D to R, his response came in. but the response was confusing. I did not get it at all, even after I had read it over and over again. Here’s what it said

“Ochu my man! Na you be Lionel Messi, me I still be Neymar for your back. You talk say you go do am, and you do am. You don climb tree wey old men dey point from far ;) ”.

It took a couple of seconds and several readings before the realization hit me. I was the tree.

Friday, 7 November 2014

A well-read woman of science: Professor Francisca Nneka Okeke

This week, one of Nigeria’s notable Scientist and Professor of Physics, Francisca Okeke will feature on African Voices, CNN’s International weekly half-hour programme highlighting Africa's most engaging personalities.
Watch Francisca as she explains her journey to becoming University of Nigeria’s first female Dean of Faculty of Physical Sciences and how her father’s effort greatly influenced her choice career.

In the programme, Okeke recounts her childhood ordeals in the south eastern part of Nigeria, where education for the girl child was not that important, and how the aftermath of the Biafra war and violence almost to put an end to her education.

She tells ‘African Voices’: “When I was a child, I would wonder about the changing colour of the sky and the ability of airplanes to fly in the atmosphere without falling back to earth”.
Discovering that physics could answer these questions, Okeke was motivated to become a scientist and was one of only two women in her physics undergraduate class of 30 students in 1980. She went on to become the first female Head of Physics Department at the University of Nigeria, and later, the first female Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences.
Some of her accomplishments include being a fellow of the Japanese Society for Promotion of Science, the Nigerian institute of Physics, Nigeria Academy of Science, Africa Academy of Science. She is a recipient of the prestigious Laurel United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Award for Women in Science Laureates, for her discovery of certain particles in the atmosphere.
‘African Voices’ hears how Okeke has contributed greatly to the development of physics at both secondary and tertiary levels in Nigeria, and aims at increasing the number of women in physics in Nigeria and across Africa. “Physics means everything to me. There was a lecture I gave in my inaugural lecture, I concluded by telling the world that physics is life, and life is all about physics. And that is the summary of it all. If you look around us, that I am talking now, and you are hearing me, it's just physics, application of physics,” concludes Okeke.
To watch Francisca Okeke’s story, tune in to CNN International’s ‘African Voices’ on Friday, 7th November at 1030 with repeat broadcast on the following days:
Saturday: 1630
Sunday: 0430, 1230, 1930
Monday: 1130, 1830
Tuesday: 0530
Wednesday: 10:30


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Drinkable Book: Tackling the global water drinking crisis

A global nonprofit organization, Water is Life has introduced a new “drinkable manual” that teaches safe water tips and serves as a tool to revolutionize water purification as a means of tackling the global water crisis. Bizarre right!

Well, the drinkable book invented by chemist Dr. Theresa Dankovich, has a custom-designed filter box, that when water passes through the system will be safe for human consumption.
The organization in collaboration with scientists from the University of Virginia and Carnegie Melon University, say the book’s high-tech filtration paper, can provide up to four years of safe drinking water for any water-deprived community.
According to Kristine Bender, Water is Life president, "A book is the perfect medium for tackling the global water crisis. The paper can be created in many forms and potential designs, but the value and emotion that the gift of a book stirs – is priceless."

The ''Water is Life'' organization is said to begin distributing this books in early 2015 to India, Haiti, Kenya and Ghana.

To learn more about The Drinkable Book availability visit

Sources: Water is Life &