Monthly Archives: December 2015

Which New Year foods bring bad luck?

Dec 31, 2015 Whilst searching for refreshing content and information to pass on to readers, I came across some very interesting facts surrounding “New Year Traditions”. Whilst some are a bit extreme, (depending on how superstitious you are) I do find a lot of these facts stimulating and thought-provoking and hey, no knowledge is wasted so here goes…

It is tradition to ring in the New Year with friends, family and loved ones in general. Whilst it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to ring in the New Year with your enemies, the argument goes much deeper than that…it is said that the first people you see in the New Year will either bring you good or bad luck, so hang around your friends and family at the turn of the year for a year of good luck and good vibes.

The first New Year was celebrated 4,000 years ago by the Babylonians (that’s just a nice fact for you).

Statistics show that more cars are stolen on New Year’s Day than any other holiday.

In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year round (you’d think it’d be green as green is usually the colour that symbolises luck, right?)

In some places, it is believed to be good luck to eat foods like black eyed peas, ham and cabbage as they supposedly bring prosperity (so if you’re superstitious, get munching!) But on the other side of things, if you want to have a happy new year, you shouldn’t eat lobster or chicken and here’s the reasoning behind it…lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is believed that these foods can bring the reversal of fortune (take from it what you will…hehehe)

 

Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right

Dec 31, 2015 To say this year went by in a flash would be an understatement, I mean I remember what I was doing this time last year at this very moment. As we get ready to say goodbye to 2015 and welcome 2016, I’m sure as we do year in and year out, some of us plan to make New Year Resolutions. I’m not going to discourage you from taking on New Year resolutions but the truth is, we all have areas in our lives that need improvement so instead of giving yourself the added pressure of “I’m going to stop doing this thing this year” or “I’m going to start doing that thing this year” why not explore the idea of becoming a better and stronger person in general?

Let me break it down, making a New Year resolution means you pick one area of your life or one habit (most likely negative) that you want to kick out the pan. But making such promises or resolutions can put added pressure on oneself, furthermore if you were to break that resolution, let’s face it most people would say “I’ve broken the resolution, I might as well quit now” and that’s a very normal way to react. But if we turn it on its head, choosing to become a “better me” has no expiration date, it’s an ongoing process. Prodding further, it covers every area of your life. If you fall off the wagon, you can get back on it.

So, how do I become a “better me?” I hear you ask, well here are a few pointers from the top of my head.

The first one is obvious, eat healthier. When we fuel our bodies with good food filled with nutrients, it is the beginning of self- love. This is the body you’re going to be lugging around for the rest of your life, so you may as well love it and be good to it, right? Eating healthier not only makes you feel great, it reduces the chances of developing numerous diseases.

Simplify your life. Every so often you need to re-evaluate your situation. Don’t forget you’re constantly evolving and changing. There are some people who you may not need in your life anymore and are currently holding you back; someone who was there for a season and that season has gone. Cut them off. Let me illustrate further…just like a baby’s umbilical cord is cut at birth for him or her to be free from their mother, so you must metaphorically do the same. I once heard this striking phrase “Evaluate the people in your life, then promote, demote or terminate. You are the CEO of your life!”

Spend more time with loved ones. It’s easy to get tied up with the hustle and bustle of life that we tend to get side tracked and forget to spend time with our loved ones. Make it a practice to visit family and friends at least once a month (especially older relatives, remember nobody lives forever and you don’t want to regret anything).

Show gratitude. A report once revealed that those who show gratitude regularly have higher levels of positive emotions including life satisfaction, vitality and optimism. Here’s a scientific fact for you: Materialistic people have all the “tangible” things but they’re low in well-being…the reason? They lack gratitude.

There are many more but I’ll end with this one…leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself! No one ever became great without breaking down the invisible walls they formed around themselves. Try new things, fail a few times. Take up a new hobby or travel the world. Whatever it is, just do something.

So like I said, forget the New Year resolutions and begin creating a “better me”. Not only will you feel the difference; people around you will be impacted positively!

 

Calabar hosts Africa’s biggest street party, again

Dec 31, 2015 There was sunshine, loud music, splash of colors and high adrenaline as the ancient city of Calabar hosted the 2015 edition of Carnival Calabar, with the theme “Climate Change”.

The carnival, which has grown in leaps and bounds over its 11 years of existence, attracted millions of tourists and fun seekers from across the globe.

Like previous outing, this year’s edition featured a captivating display of style, exuberance, beautiful costumes and imaginative choreography by the various carnival bands.

There were the blue revelers of Bayside band, the orange dancers of Master Blaster. Seagull band stuck with their red costume while Freedom band and Passion4 band maintained their signature yellow and green attires respectively.

In line with tradition, the party was declared open by the state governor Prof Ben Ayade at the Millennium Park.

The various bands then made their way through Mary Slessor Avenue, Marian and IBB and terminated at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar.

The highpoint of the carnival came at the U.J Esuene Stadium, where all the bands, local and international, entertained the teeming crowd with music, dance, drama and visual creativity, till the wee hours of the morning.

With the razzmatazz, frills and the thrills that pervaded the celebration, the Passion 4 band emerged the winner band of this year’s carnival.

 

Exhibition showcases traditional Libyan crafts and costumes

Dec 31, 2015 Libya recently held a three-day international exhibition for locally made crafts and costumes, as the country strives to encourage their export abroad.

On display were dozens of hand-made Libyan dresses and traditional clothing, as well as jewelry, pottery and brass items.

One of the main attractions at the exhibition was the Libyan wedding dress section, which featured a variety of colors and designs, each made specifically for the different stages of the ceremony.

Highlighting the various wedding dresses, Zahra Ibrahim, one of the exhibitors said:

“This is the traditional Libyan dress women wear on their wedding day, and there’s not just one style there are several. One for example especially for the Henna day, one for the actual wedding day,”

Another major attraction was an exhibit on horse-riding accessories. The section showcased elaborate decorations of gold and burgundy tassels along with embroidered saddles.

Commenting on this section, Ahmed Iqzeira, one of the participants at the exhibitions said:

“This (horse-back riding) is becoming an increasingly popular hobby among the youth and proof of that is the high attendance, curiosity and opinions of the people at this exhibition. This all has to do with our past, and of course our past is tied to our present and our present with our future,”

Although the event was essentially designed to showcase Libyan handcrafts, one section was dedicated to Tunisian pottery, which displayed a wide variety of colorful jugs, plates and pots.

Kamal Baqaar, a Tunisian exhibitor highlighted this section saying:

“We have been really welcomed by the Libyan people, participation has been very good and interest has been very high. There is a lot of love between Tunisians and Libyans. We have been welcomed by the Libyans because we’re Tunisians and vice versa. The event and participation have been a success,”

 

Iraq PM vows to defeat IS in 2016 after army's first major victory

Dec 31, 2015 Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi recently declared that the coming year would see the end of the Islamic State. He made the declaration after his military achieved its first major victory over the Islamic sect in 18 months ago.

After recapturing Ramadi, the Iraqi forces flew the national flag above the main government complex in the provincial capital, west of Baghdad.

Speaking on a TV broadcast, al-Abadi said:

“2016 will be the year of the big and final victory, when Daesh’s presence in Iraq will be terminated… We confidently say to our people that we are coming to liberate Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh by the will of this great people”

The army’s recapture of Ramadi marked a major milestone for the U.S-trained forces, who had crumbled in June 2014, when Islamic State fighters charged into Iraq.

 

Ship with low-enriched Uranium leaves Iran for Russia -U.S

Dec 31, 2015 A ship carrying over 25,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium materials recently left Iran for Russia, as Iran takes baby steps toward honoring a nuclear deal it struck with major world powers.

Under the landmark nuclear accord, certain sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S, EU and U.N. will be removed in exchange for a long-term curb on its nuclear program.

Speaking at a press briefing, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said:

As the Secretary made clear in his statement, Iran is taking steps – the steps it committed to take – to prove to the world its nuclear program is and will remain exclusively peaceful. And while we’re not yet at implementation day, the steps already taken have made us and our allies safer in concrete and measurable ways. So one of the most important steps occurred earlier today when a ship departed Iran for Russia carrying over 25,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium materials

 

Manchester United draw 0-0 with Chelsea

Dec 31, 2015 Goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois and David de Gea were the stars of the show as Manchester United and Chelsea drew 0-0 in the Premier League on Boxing Day.

Sixth-placed United produced an improved display at Old Trafford, having limped to a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City on their previous fixture.

Speaking after the match, Louis Van Gaal, United’s manager said:

“We have dominated the game I think for seventy percent. We have created chances; we have shoots on the goal. The goalkeeper was beaten and then post, inside post, fantastic save of the goalkeeper with both running in the area and also of course David de Gea did a very good save.”

Commenting on the prospect of quit his job following a poor run of form, the 64 year old said:

“I know that there are circumstances that a board has to decide to sack the manager. And I am looking always from my point of view and that can be not the right view. And in this crazy world, football world, it can happen every day. Also with me as I have said. When it is happening to Jose Mourinho then it can happen also with me.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s interim manager Guus Hiddink said he was satisfied with his team’s performance.

“Yes as everyone knows we have some problems in our strikers positions due to suspension and injuries so we have to think how to solve that problem, and we thought to do it with Hazard. He’s done it before and he is capable to do so because he is a very versatile player and this is how we dealt with this situation. And I am pleased of course, we had some two open options in the second half with Matic but on the other hand Man U was pressing although not creating a lot of chances.”

 

FIFTY – THE MOVIE BREAKS BOX OFFICE RECORDS

LAGOS/NIGERIA/December 29, 2015.  Forget Star Wars, Alvin and the Chipmunks, No Escape or Point Break, the movie breaking all records at the Nigerian box office against all odds is Mo Abudu’s ‎FIFTY, the new age drama chronicling the lives of four fifty year old women living in Lagos.

Despite competition from about 8 films in the last 2 weeks, FIFTY has triumphed gallantly at the box office, consistently selling out shows in Ikeja, Abuja, Surulere, Lekki, Ibadan, Akure and other locations across the country. One of the strongest points for FIFTY is the film’s ability to attract a new type of audience, particularly middle-class women who have gone out in groups to catch the action.

FIFTY, which earlier on premiered before a global audience in London at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival, is set to go into the record books as the premiere of the century, one which attracted highly respected VIPS the likes of businessman and billionaire Aliko Dangote (GCON), Honorable Minister of Transport Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, visionary economist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, healthcare philanthropist and wife of the Senate President, Toyin Saraki, Honorable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Others include Managing Director of Access bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe; Chairman of Stanbic IBTC, Mr. Atedo Peterside and his beautiful wife; Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank, Mrs. Bola Adesola, among others.

Now available to watch in every cinema across Nigeria, FIFTY continues to enjoy the patronage of dignitaries, luminaries and notable personalities who have gone to watch the movie in cinemas. Such include Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, music mogul and R&B top enchilada Banky W, Pop, R&B and Hip hop soul diva Waje, the highly respected and amiable General Overseer of Guiding Light Assembly, Pastor Wale Adefarasin, among others.

Here is what people are saying about their experience after watching FIFTY:

“In the first instance, the premiere of the movie was unparalleled in Nigeria’s history. It attracted the creme de la creme of the society‎, all of whom were treated to a first-rate pre-show dinner that set the stage for the main act. The movie itself is a bold move that reflects life in its true sense.  The characters in the award winning movie were all flawed, but we love them all. We have no choice. We are all flawed. I’ll recommend the film any day and I am ready to watch it ten times!” – Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

“FIFTY has brought the pride back in me, the pride of being a Nigerian! And that’s saying it the way it is!” – Tunde Fagbenle, Punch Newspaper

“Nigerians can look forward to a big treat when FIFTY hits the cinemas nationwide from December 18, 2015. Kudos to my sister Mo Abudu and the entire cast and crew of FIFTY.” -Tunde Kelani, Film Maker

“I found the film entertaining and feel that it will be an unquestionable box office hit amongst its audience.” – Nadia Denton, Film Industry Specialist, Publicist and Author of The Nigerian Filmmaker’s Guide to Success

“It was an amazing film – the music, costumes, story, the elegance with which the plot was delivered. I loved it.” – Ojoma Ochai, Director, British Council

“The director, Biyi Bandele; the executive producer, Mo Abudu; and The Four Titans: Ireti Doyle, Omoni Oboli, Dakore Egbuson-Akande and Nse Ikpe Etim must be applauded for their valiant efforts in bringing a whole new level of cinematic excellence to Nollywood. It may not be Titanic or Lord of the Rings, but I didn’t see a single native doctor, and nobody ran mad. The BFI chose well.” – VIVA NAIJA (www.viva-naija.com)

“The buildup of the movie is beautiful … a great source of entertainment with its brilliant cast and plot twists … the costume choices fit the style of the movie and were carefully selected to portray the image of the actors … the writer was very inventive with the plot and kept us glued to the screen … It was everything but boring and the characters were credible with their words and acting … Having seen this movie already, would I still go back to watch it again? Hell, Yes! I would, you should too.” Crystal Clear Words (www.crystalclearwords.com)

I really enjoyed it and it was great to watch it with such an enthusiastic audience. It was funny, full of melodrama and disarmingly touching and courageous at the same time – a side of Lagos you don’t often get to see and a really original film. I loved the cast and characters and it was so refreshing to see a film that gave a voice to the ‘fifty-something’ women of Nigeria. I’m sure it will be a massive hit.” – Charlotte Moore, BBC 1’s Controller

For recording the highest-grossing opening weekend for any Nigerian film, FIFTY is now certified as the Number 1 Nigerian film of the year, with Box Office analysts predicting that it should end in over N100m by the end of January 2016, a conservative projection based on the traditionally slow January period.

One thing is however sure, the support FIFTY continues to garner among Nigerian audiences is amazing and highly commendable, going to show that Nigerians do support their own as FIFTY’s success has been borne out of an appreciation for the quality and relevance of the film.

Now in cinemas across Nigeria, cinema goers who have yet to see the movie cannot afford to miss out on the box office phenomenon of the year! Not with the mouth-watering bonanza on the offer with every ticket purchase!

With every FIFTY cinema ticket purchased, an audience has a chance to win big prizes in the “WIN BIG with FIFTY” campaign. The star prize is a BRAND NEW Mercedes Benz B Class courtesy Skymit Motors. Other prizes include trips to Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, London and Dubai courtesy WAKANOW! Plus 32” flat screen TV screens courtesy KONGA, Shopping Vouchers worth N50,000 courtesy Spar Park ‘n’ Shop, and many more.

That’s not all! The first 50 people to watch FIFTY for the next 50 days, since December 18, 2015, get to win a FREE MEAL at Sweet Sensation or Domino’s Pizza in the amazing offer tagged “50 prizes for 50 days”.

 

Calabar festival hold Green Ball

Dec 30, 2015 As part of it events line-up, the Calabar festival 2015 recently hosted a Green Ball event in a bid to promote climate change.

The event, which was held at the Transcorp Metropolitan hotel, along with other distinguished guest, had in attendance the governor of the state, Prof Ben Ayade and his deputy Prof Ivara Esu.

On arrival at the venue, the governor and his Wife both shared some of their views on the climate change situation.

 

Central African elections authority says aim is for polls to go ahead

Dec 30, 2015 The Central African Republic election authority recently announced that every effort was being made to ensure that the country’s presidential and legislative elections go ahead as planned.

With the increasing doubts over the authorities’ capacity to hold the polls, Julius Rufin Ngoude-Baba, the spokesperson for the country’s election authority said:

“The ballot papers have been reissued, and those ballots are supposed to arrive in Bangui today. Every effort is being made to deploy them to the relevant constituencies so the election can go ahead on December 30, 2015,”

The authority also moved to quell media reports on fake voter cards being sold saying such reports were baseless and false.

Martin Ziguele, the leading presidential candidate and former Prime Minister, said:

“It is a miracle in itself that we’ve come so far today and this miracle is due to the will, a thousand times expressed, of the Central African people who absolutely want to go to the polls. The latest postponement is due to, as far as I know, the distribution of sensible material such as ballot papers, but I dare to believe it will be the last setback and that we will head to the polls on Wednesday.”