Monday, September 21, 2009

TOPAZ AND AQUA, a toast to creative ingenuity.

Topaz and Aqua- information, muse and glamour. That is a simple way of describing it! I ran into an interesting website recently that I thought you’d like to read about it. Okay, no, it is not some bingo link to how you can win an online lottery. It is more exciting than that! is an interesting online magazine moderated by young Oyinade Olajiga. Divided into six creative pages that mesmerize visitors, each of these pages carries some weight of inspiration that will leave you yearning for more. Okay, I admit, a page or two is still under construction but the others will simply blow your mind away.

Is this a website review or what? No, it is simply presenting you with an exciting example of how young Nigerians are maximizing the internet as a platform of expression and communication. I mean, yahoo-yahoo is not all there is to cyberspace!

“’Topaz’ is my birthstone (November) which makes it a little more personal and ‘Aqua’ simply means water which is one of the simplest and most abundant things in life. I'm a very deep and sensitive woman, so I write down my thoughts, whatever I see around, built scenarios and all. I remember that I would write and keep most of my articles to myself for a long time. I would then bring them out, read them, get excited and funny enough, keep them back in a file, well hidden. One good day, I was bold enough to start a blog and I decided to publish a note. The feedback was awesome and people got back to me how inspired they have been and also encouraged me to put up more of my materials up there for people to appreciate and be inspired.” Wrote Oyinade, describing her venture into creating Topaz and Aqua.

She agrees that managing an Online Magazine is time consuming; it is no child’s play when it comes to conceptualizing, editing and publishing using digital technology. “Our target audience is knowledgeable people and as such, expects a certain level of crispiness in your writing to keep them engaged and entertained enough. Although it's easier to manage than prints but it is sure time consuming but the positive side is instantaneous feedback which helps you to know what people expect from you next … it has been an amazing experience.” She said.

Topaz and Aqua is barely 3 months old but it looks like it has been around much longer. If you want to add some colors to your day, then your next click online should be to see and feel what I’ll call an online magazine redefined on



It always makes me cry

When I hear of young children

being hurt without a cause

with no hand of justice to help.

It always makes me cry

when I see suffering and poverty

in this part of the world

where there is sufficiency.

It always hurt that bad

when I hear of war, war, war

with no room left for peace.

But Mother says it will be better soon

and this makes me wonder

why it can’t just be better now.

Let Peace rain into this land,

Peace, Peace! I want Peace!

© 2004 Jennifer Ehidiamen

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE! Disarm for a better world!!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I have become philosophical but idealist in my trail of thoughts these days as I ponder how much past experiences is defining the pattern of the present to determine the pace of the future. “Money makes the world go ’round”, says an old cliché, but is it really still applicable in today’s society? An average youth of this generation seems to be driven by a silent desperation to be rich or not to be so rich. While one group is blinded by the quest for material wealth, another is plunge into the rhythm of philanthropy. And there is the in-between group (there has to be), who only seek to stand in the middle of the two parallel line.

Does money still make the world go round? Or has it started failing men, as they unlearn in the middle of a Global Economic Meltdown to move on without it? If not money, then what moves the world? Politics? With an increasing rate of how we have become very diplomatic in addressing critical issues, maybe we are at the boiling point of when indeed Politics play a more active role than money. But Politics and money work hand in hand!

I once read an opinion-article of how a man asked God when the problem of the world began and God replied that it was when man created politics a.k.a government. Thus, Politics that is supposed to be facilitating sustainable principles is contradicting its values. Politics is applied in every facet of our society- both on the high and low level.

So Money or Politics, what makes the world go round? Keeping in mind that if you are poor, nobody will want to associate with you and if your politics is bad, no hope to frolic with the power that be! That is it! Power, the quest for power is the force that perhaps drives these two factors that are key players in our society. And both can be dirty, depending on how you make and keep them.

People actually go out of their way to maim, kill, lie, and manipulate to accumulate more wealth and political status that can increase their power and influence in the society. And with such power, you can make the world move at the snap of your finger?

Maybe not, because money, politics and power all have its limitations. For example, the N50 currency in my wallet right now is totally useless here in Washington, I can’t even go to a Cafeteria to buy a drink with it like I would have done in Nigeria. The modus operandi of our democratic system in Nigeria might cripple another society because the orientation is different. Power is only recognized where it is vested. Thus, all of it is vanity?

Monday, September 07, 2009


"How is Ramsey Noah?" asked Abdul, a colleague from Tanzania. "Ramsey Noah?" I was not really sure the direction his question was leading. "Yes, Ramsey Noah" he reaffirmed. "I love Nigerian movies" he said. Wow! I have always known Africans all over the world are always excited by Nigerian movies but to hear someone ask me how one of our actors was faring was a real honour. He spoke so well about other actors and actresses, ones we normally under-estimate.

Another evening, I met a young lady from Uganda and when he heard that I am am from Nigeria, she delved into a long conversation about Nigerian actors and actresses. She knew them more than I did, and I'm so sure she has watched more Nigerian movies than I have.

Back in Nigeria, we never really appreciate what we have, however, it is very refreshing to meet people, especially Africans who share some admirable passion for our products. The Nigerian music, movies and other arts seems to be selling more than our politics (thanks to the hard-work of our artistes and the corruption of our government leaders). It is a good thing we still have something to celebrate though, but are we really appreciating them enough? I admit I'm guilty as charged!

As a way of keeping in touch with home, I often visit Facebook, and one of my friend's status the other day read "Are you a creative person, an innovator or a writer? Do you appreciate intellectual works? Then support Nigerian Musician as they start their Hunger strike campaign today and do watch out for no music day comes September. . ."

"wetin dey happen o? wat re they going hungry for?" I asked, alarmed because the post was not really detailed. "cos of piracy wahala, dey want gov to intervane and would want all lover of creativity, all tv station and radio house not to play music no matter how small it would be some time in sep for 12 hours" He replied. Hmm, what more can our artiste ask for?

Love is a universal language, football is a universal language, entertainment is growing fast, even faster than football, into a universal language- crossing borders and breaking down barriers. We don't know what we have in Nigeria, until we meet strangers in foreign land enthusiastically celebrating it without inhibition! They have taught me how to celebrate our very own (not mediocrity, by the way) and we should embrace such attitude!