Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hey Y'all,

Just stopped by to wish you a wonderful holiday season!!!

And here are some Christmas carols I like to listen to.

1. Christmas is Green - See my friend/cousin depending on what year you met us, Chidynma!

2. Drunk daze of Christmas has to be in my Top 3 list of Christmas Carols

3. Of course, everyone loves 'All I want for Christmas is youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu'

4. Christmas rock songs are AWESOME! Love Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve/Sarajevo! And the combination of dancing Christmas displays!

BTW - someone created a BB app for the website - just a simple application that pushes new posts for now. Check it out and thanks to Mr. Gbenga Olaoye who did it completely out of the blue!

While I'll keep this blog running, I think it's time to move on - so look out for Berry Dakara's (no more Choco Latte) blog. It'll feature Food, Faith, Fashion, Friends, and Fun!

Love you all and see ya next year.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

AJBU Headlines... NYSC in the news

Good afternoon,

This is the Mid-day news broadcast from your international station for all things NYSC. I am your host, Berry Choco Latte and now the headlines...

  • NYSC Members posted to schools result in Mass Failure! The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, has called for the NYSC program to stop posting corps members to schools. If you remember, starting with Batch A 2012, the new NYSC Director-General mandated that all youth corps members would no longer be allowed to serve in private organizations; Instead corpers would effectively serve the year in Schools, Rural Government, Hospitals, or Agriculture. According to the Teachers organization, the only Youth Corps members that should be allowed to teach students must be graduates with Education degrees. As it stands now, any corper posted to a school is expected to teach subjects based on their own discipline - or general subjects. The TRCN decries this practice as majority of youth corps members are not qualified or trained to teach! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I have a confession...

Hello pretty ladies and handsome gentlemen!

It's been quite a while, hasn't it? I hate these posts where I start off apologizing cos I genuinely feel blah - anyways, so sawry! Truthfully though, now that I'm done serving, I'm not quite sure how I can keep this blog alive - unless I get steady gist from currently serving corpers or there's interesting NYSC news. Like I saw a headline the other day about a Northern governor or senator recommending that Youth Corps members should intermarry to improve unity among Nigerians. Err, really? NYSC members should purposely go out and marry someone from a different tribe to better our nation? Hey, how about a for NYSC?!?!?! When corpers register, if they're single, they could sign up online for a mate! *rolls eyes*

Anyways, what's my confession? You know how there's this rule that corps members are not allowed to leave the state where they're serving without prior approval from the State Coordinator (and if you want to leave the country, you need the NYSC DG's approval). Well, how many corpers adhere(d) to this rule - say 'Aye.' Alas, I must say a big, fat

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Finally joined Twitter

Simple, short, sweet note today.

You can now follow me on le Twitter - @BerryChocoLatte


Friday, November 23, 2012

Tales from Camp!

Soooooo, I've got a friend who's currently serving in Akure. I know her from the US and the last time I saw her, she was waaaaaaaaaaay excited about moving back to Nigeria and coming to serve. She's the one whose room in camp I put up in an earlier post.

Well she's got more pics for me to share with you. Like I said, during the daytime, when there are activities, camp can be fun. Even at night with the different events - drama competitions, talent competitions, pageants and more. Or just going to Mami Market to cool off with a hot, freshly cooked meal and some drinks and music.

Byyyyyyyyy the right

Platoon Number X, forwarrrrrd march!

Slooooooooow march!

Oodles of Noodles with Plantain, Egg and Turkey. Sure beats the camp-provided meals, which I never ate.

Cultural Dance Competition

Man-O-War Activity

Miss NYSC Camp - Akure
I don't miss camp. But I had some interesting times. Thanks Miss Loooooooooooms for the pictures. You're almost outta there!

Biiiiiiiiiiig waaaaaarm HUG from me! I give really good hugs - well, guys say I do.


Buttery Update!

Hello friends!

How are ya? So... in addition to the high of winning the Popular Vote for Best Tutorial Blog on the Nigerian Blog Awards 2012, I got some extra good news this week!

I was offered a contract position at the company where I served - with REAL, ACTUAL, BRAIN-USING work to do! Funnest times, aye? So I started on Wednesday and things are pretty good so far. One drawback is my NONE-addiction to coffee may start up again, but it tastes oh-so-very-good!

What else? Ooh, my friend/cousin (depending on what year it is) Chidynma is featured on a new single with Ebisan, titled "Time Of Our Lives." Since I had nothing to do for 2+ weeks, we decided I'd be Chidynma's unofficial travel/road manager and I got to follow her and Ebisan to their interview with Olisa at The Beat 99.9FM!

Note to radio stations in Nigeria: I would really appreciate it if you provided cupcakes, muffins, donuts and juice/tea/coffee/water for your morning show guests. I'm just saying.

Go here to listen to their song on Bella Naija. Ebisan ft Chidynma - Time of our Lives

Alrighty, I'm outtie!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Yaaaaaaaaaay, I wonnnnnn!!!!!!!

Well, kind of.

Ok, so if you've been following my posts, you know that I begged and pleaded with the most berryful people on earth to nominate and vote for moi to win a Nigerian Blog Award. Well, the winners were announced via a Live Twitter event, starting at 10pm Nigerian time. In a show of being pathetic, I sleep-stalked the whole affair. I was already asleep by midnight and they hadn't gotten near the 'Best Tutorial Blog' category. So I'd sleep, wake up, refresh page... 'Best Health Blog'... Sleep, wake up, refresh page... 'Best Photography Blog'... Sleep, wake up, refresh page... 'Best Relationship Blog'... Sleep, wake up, refresh page... And the 'Best Nigerian Blog will be announced in a few minutes.' Wha, the wha what? *scrolls down and voila!*

There it is!!!!!!!!! Thanks to you, and you, and you and you and youuu (sang to the tune in Sound of Music) this blog won the popular vote for Best Tutorial Blog. *victory dance!!!!!!*

I've got a teeny-tiny question now though... Erm, dear NBA, sooooo since some of the categories (mine included) had different winners for the Judges Choice and Popular Vote, erm who gets the final winning slot? I ask this so I know whether to buy a dress and give a winning speech OR not buy a dress and give a concession speech - either way, I'm giving a speech :D

Anyways, I'm tres excited and now it'll be hard for me to go back to sleep but I had to say Thank Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu all!

*goes to dance JJC - African Skank and Psy - Gangnam Style at the exact same time*

Hugs, handshakes, high fives, pecks, kisses and SMOOCHES!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Babies in NYSC Orientation Camps...

Hi guys n gals!

So I've been keeping tabs on the latest set of corps members - they've just arrived to their Orientation camps and the stories and terror some of them are having are simply hilarious! My friend posted a picture of her room in despair, and I told her to remember that I was in a corridor-converted-into-a-room, so she should count herself lucky for having space.

Her next status was that there were 2 babies in the room... I'm sorry, WHA? QUE? She's joking, right? Apparently another lady in her camp came with a 12-day old baby! However, she was yelled at and sent back home by NYSC officials.

Well, 10 minutes later, another friend posted the following picture of a baby in an orientation camp somewhere...

I have to ask now why a woman would bring a child to the orientation camp. Concerning babies in camp though, NYSC states on their website:

  •  Will Pregnant Women and nursing Mothers be registered in the Orientation Camp?
  No. There will be strenuous exercises in the Camp which may jeopadise the health of the mother 
and the unborn child. In the same vein, babies are not allowed in the Camp, 
so nursing mothers will also not be registered

It always broke my heart to see women with infants and young children go through the stress of coming to our local government office or CD and have to fight their way through the lines to get their cards signed. At least in my local government, my LGI always made it a point to make sure that pregnant women or women with children got first priority. 

How can NYSC serve these women better, I ask? Like I said, during the registration process, I believe they should be given priority and preference to stay in their states of residence. That would be a good first step. This should be noted on their registration form, so that while call up letters are sent out, they are automatically waived from attending camp - but given the necessary instructions on getting paid allowance, signing the 'Book of Life' (this book that has every corps members' contact information), etc. 

My thoughts...

Look who was featured on Bella Naija!!!!!


Before I get to it, you know the new drill - PLEASE VOTE FOR MEEEEEEEEEEEE! Click on the Nigerian Blog Awards and select 'Aje-Butter's Guide to NYSC' for the Best Tutorial Blog! Thank you in advance :)

Back to regularly scheduled programming...

I was so pleased yesterday morning when my friend sent a BBM saying she'd seen my article featured on Bella Naija! Of course I had to spread the word on my BB and Facebook (no Twitter cos I feel like I might be doing too darn much - although my sister thinks I should get an account).

Anyways, if you've been reading my blog, there's nothing new in the article. It was really just a summary of the whole year that I wanted to share with others.

Here's a link to the article: An Aje-Butter's Guide to NYSC.

Yay me!

Have a berry lovely day berryboos!

Kiss kiss hug hug, big kiss, little kiss.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Eeeek! Re-votes and 2012 Batch C corpers go to camp!

Hello ladies and gentlemen!

I hope you're all well. So first things first... I might need you to revote for my blog as BEST TUTORIAL BLOG for the Nigerian Blog Awards. Apparently there was a snafu last week and some votes were not counted :(. So pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease re-vote. I feel bad cos I got sick of the US elections campaigning, and just when the end has come (Congratulations President Obama), I'm asking for votes. Please don't get sick of me *hugs and kisses*

Next Eeek reason! The 2012 Batch C corpers Orientation Camp started yesterday and I didn't put up a post to encourage and wish them well :(. Soooooooo sorry. Meanwhile, I had auditions for a play at church The Waterbrook on Saturday night. One of the new members got on stage to audition and mentioned that he was about to start NYSC and was going to camp this week. I called out to him "Hey, you should read my blog." And he goes "What blog is that?" I go "Aje-Butter's Guide to NYSC." And he says "YOU'RE AJE-BUTTER?!" And I squealed with delight "OMG! People read my blog. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay." And then I apologized for interrupting the auditions - oops!

Anyways, I saw him yesterday at our rehearsals. He got posted to Lagos and he'd been to camp to register yesterday. The first thing he said to me was "Berry, you didn't prepare me for how bad it was!" *slaps hand to forehead, hiding face and running away* What I think I mentioned in passing in a previous post was that I went to Orientation Camp on Day 2, at about 4/5pm. At that point, a lot of people had already registered. Well, my new friend got to Iyana-Ipaja at 4:45am as the first person in line. Unbeknownst to him, some people had already gotten there the night before and slept there overnight. Between being sent back and forth to get seats, register, get accommodation and whatnot, he didn't leave the camp until 6:30pm. That's over 12 hours. Whereas, when I registered, I was done in 6 hours. Sawry... future corps members take note! He did say though that about 700 corpers couldn't register yesterday because NYSC officials at the camp RAN OUT  of registration forms. SERIOUSLY? Do I need to write another 'Dear NYSC' letter? (See first one here).

Well, to all the new corps members, I wish you all the very best! If you're going to brave it in camp, do it with an open mind and a pleasant attitude. Being friendly with your platoon leaders and others will only help you if you need something. Don't forget to send your stories! Have fun and Godspeed.

Berryliciously on vacay.

Friday, November 2, 2012

NYSC 2012 Batch C Call-Up Letters

And from what I've heard from a few people, it isn't pretty. :(

But I'm pretty sure I mentioned more than once that foreign grads aren't allowed a preference concerning where they serve. Even from my batch, that was the new thing. I feel like I should put out a warning now - some people might approach him you to pay them to secure a desired posting. Please be extremely careful. A lot of people have lost money like that. It might be easier to redeploy after camp - mostly based on health grounds.

On a lighter note, I saw some corpers on the road today and my thought was, "Hahahahaha, poor kids!" :p

Don't forget to vote this blog for BEST TUTORIAL BLOG!!! do it at Nigerian Blog Awards

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Officially my last day at work!

Hey hey hey berryboos!

So today's my last day at my place of primary assignment! It's crazy how time flies so quickly! I remember my first full day here - I felt sick and my supervisor told me to go to the clinic, and it turned out to be a little parting gift from the mosquitoes at camp (darn malaria to hell!). So my first day turned to the week off trying to deal with that I-know-I'm-dying feeling.

I've had fun for the most part at work. I've made quite a number of friends. A lot of people I met were nice, helpful and kind to me. I would like to say I'm leaving on a high note, but I had a nasty experience here yesterday.

I went to the HR department with my friend (A). We were looking to pick up something from someone (C) who works there. I've helped C out over the past month with sending out information to other corpers in the office, so we have a pretty good working relationship. C wasn't at his desk when we got there, and I stood looking for the envelope I was supposed to pick up, while A saw a note on the opposite desk and started to read it. We'd been in there for less than 30 seconds when we heard:

BFHR: What are you doing in this office? Get out now!
Me and A: *stunned silence + confusion*
BFHR: What do you want?
Me: Oh, I came to look for C, wante.....
BFHR: Obviously he's not here! There are sensitive, confidential documents here and you can't stay so GET OUT!
Me and A: *start walking out*
BFHR: If you want to contact C, his number's on that note (the same one A was reading o). Take his number down and call him.
Me: *punches the number in my phone and starts to call*
BFHR: You cannot make phone calls in this office space! Leave this area immediately
Me: *already talking to C and walking away. I turn to look back and see her still yelling at A*

A and I get to the elevator and I had just finished my phone call with C, when who appears again?

BFHR: *pointing at me* You have a very bad attitude! How dare you walk away from me when I'm talking to you???!!!! (mind you, she HAD told me to get out and leave the area, so is she confused?)
Me: Erm, can I explain something to you?
BFHR: I don't want to hear anything! I'm sure you girls need something signed by HR. Well I'm the one in charge and you will see! I won't sign anything for you! You will not get any payment until next year!

And then she stalks off, with A and I looking at each other in bewilderment cos what the heck just happened and why? :-S

Now, I kept quiet for 2 reasons. I was in shock and I don't like to say anything when I'm angry because I would have cursed her out (Sorry Lord). By the time I had gotten home, I started planning my response. My first thought was to confront her this morning because nobody talks to me like that. I've met hundreds of people in this office and nobody can accuse me of a bad attitude. I got to work and proceeded to print out the HR Policy on Harassment. I had it in mind to take it to her office, drop it on her desk and ask her to explain to me how someone in HR is allowed to speak disrespectfully to other employees. And then it dawned on me... I'd been introduced to executive management (including VP HR) - so why not just go to him calmly and say "Uncle, good morning. *insert innocent smile* See what happened yesterday. I was treated with hostility, verbally intimidated and humiliated by BFHR (I had gotten her name). Please tell me what the best course of action is." YES, I CAN BE THAT VINDICTIVE!

Fortunately for her, my supervisor overheard me saying I wanted to report her for harassment and intervened. She said she would personally talk to the woman herself, because apparently she's a loose cannon and has exhibited such behavior in the past. I'm sure everyone else kept quiet and that's why she's still in that position. I won't take kindly to being disrespected for no reason, Nigeria or not. People need to get off this "well, it's Nigeria, it's bound to happen, just let it go." HELL TO THE NAW! I will not be bullied and sit back quietly.

Ok, this was a long post (sawry). Just felt the need to share. Gotta go finish up my last 1.5 hours here. Erm, I still dunno what I'm going to do - look for a job here, go back to my old job in Atlanta, or pursue Nollywood (I'm actually not kidding about this last point).

Have a BERRY PRETTY day! Don't forget to vote for this blog as the BEST TUTORIAL BLOG on the Nigerian Blog Awards.

Oh, and BFHR means *rhymes-with-WITCH* from HR :p

Monday, October 29, 2012

Your Local Government Office and Inspector


So I'm writing up this post because while I mentioned my LGI and going to the LG office on several occasions, I don't think I adequately described this aspect of NYSC. So for those new corps members who are going to camp next week, put this down in your mental jotter.

Local Government Office

When a corps member leaves the orientation camp, he/she is given a posting letter to a Place of Primary Assignment (PPA). If the corper's accepted by the organization, then the Local Government where the company is located, absorbs the corper. Basically, this is your first port of call for anything official. Some of the things you do here are:
  • Register after you've been accepted by your PPA
  • Sign up for Community Development Service (CDS)
  • Attend monthly General CDS - I don't believe this is done in every state. However in Lagos, all corps members are given one day in the last week of every month to come to their LG offices. The LGI addresses the corpers on necessary information and signs off on their CD cards to acknowledge that they attended General CD
  • Complete Monthly Clearance - Usually completed within the first week of each month, this is where corps members submit a letter from their employer stating that they came to work the previous month and completed their duties. This is required monthly in order to get the monthly NYSC allowance.
  • Complete Final Clearance - This is ideally the last time you'll go to the LG office (that is if you don't have any issues). This time your employer writes a letter stating that you have completed your service year with them, and have no outstanding responsibilities.
  • Bring complaints and write applications for various things - If you notice an allowance payment's missing, if you want to travel, if you want to go on leave (remember you're allowed 7 days through the year), if you want to do a special CDS project, if you're having issues with your PPA, etc

Local Government Inspector

Your LGI is the beginning and end of your NYSC service year. Keep him/her happy, make your life easy. Get them mad, welcome to 11 months of stress! Your LGI is your mother, father, brother, sister, aunty, uncle, cousin, best friend, and more during this time. Every official letter/application you write goes to your LGI first, before trickling up the ladder to your Zonal Inspector and then State Coordinator.

My LGI was pretty cool. While a lot of people thought he was mean, the truth of the matter was that he was simply stern. If you behaved properly, then he was nice to you. Flout the rules unnecessarily, and he would be a pain in your behind! It's a good thing that I had a good rapport with him, because when I truly needed something (hehe, I broke a rule), he was there to help out.

Ok, I think this is a pretty accurate description and covers what any corps member should know about their LG office and LGI. I dunno why we abbreviate LGI and not LGO :-S

Ah well, have a pretty week everybody and don't forget to VOTE for this blog as TUTORIAL BLOG OF THE YEAR on Nigerian Blog Awards.

Hugs to ya,

So I passed out from NYSC: Miss Tomi's Post-NYSC Interview

Hiya BooBerries!

I've got an exit interview from one of my friends who I met on my last day of camp. She turned out to be in the same Local Government as I was, so it was easy to get her to do an interview for me. In fact, she was WAY excited to do it, so here goes... Wait, before we go there, VOTE for me as TUTORIAL BLOG OF THE YEAR on Nigerian Blog Awards!

1. State your aje-butter credentials, according to Berry’s definition.

Hi guys! My name is Tomi, my aje-butter credentials which are not too aje butterish are: born and raised in Nigeria :D, regular summer jaunts, college in America, total time in obodo oyimbo was about 5 years and I hauled my ass back here to serve my wonderful country.

2. How would you summarize your NYSC experience from start to finish?

OMGGGG NYSC was crazy but amazing! There were times when I wanted to cry, times when I did cry and times when I had the best laughs. It was a struggle but I'm proud I did it.

3. What, if anything, did you learn during your NYSC year? Personally and/or career-wise?

Personally, I learnt that I am a really strong person, I don't know how to word that but there were some challenges I faced at work and in my personal life that I didn't think I would overcome. My grandpa died right before NYSC was supposed to start and I was soooo close to pulling out, but I didn't. Career wise, NYSC helped me realize that I do have a lot to offer; granted, school doesn't teach you how to deal with the real world but certain skills that I acquired at college put me ahead.

4. What are your personal views on the relevance of NYSC in Nigeria currently?

NYSC is relevant in the sense that it gives you a form of a gap year to develop yourself personally and professionally. During my NYSC, I took bead making classes which help me draw in some extra income, I became a distributor of Federico Mahora products and I started up my jewelry business. It's great to have that time to start a side hustle, lol. The only reason why I would say NYSC is irrelevant in Nigeria today is because of how poorly organized it is. People say they would rather spend that year trying to hustle but the hustle doesn't always work out and it's nice to have that N19,800 allowance from NYSC as fall back money.

5. Why did you decide to go through NYSC?

I decided to go through NYSC because in the long run, I want to be in Nigeria and I didn't want to have to start dealing with NYSC at a later age. I was very "Don't come back to Naij when you leave" but in junior/third year, I had the opportunity to come back and work and I realized that Nigeria had sooo much to offer so I quickly changed my plans.

6. What was your experience like in camp? Favorite/worst memories?

I was in Lagos camp and it was crazzzzzzzy!!!! LOOOL all the "big boys and girls", I was in camp for 13 days (had to leave for gramps burial) and I got sick once but it was cool beans. My FAAAAVE memory in camp was indomie and Heineken every night... I had a vendor guy there, and the moment he saw me approaching, a nice cold Heineken was gleaming at me!!! Haha, I also enjoyed the "Fayrouz club," which was a tent with a good DJ. I was in a room with some amazing ladies. Honestly, Lagos camp was on a different level with the drunken nights annnd the Mr. Macho competition?? Eye Candy Galore. My WORST memory was frog jumping from one end of the parade ground to the other end but it was fun when I saw some other people rolling on the floor. I really didn't mind waking up early and marching on the parade ground.

7. What would you change in the NYSC program?

The organization sucks major asssss! Instead of having to take a letter to do clearance every month, I would have a portal for supervisors at work to enter some form of attendance for corpers and certify that the corpers have been coming to work.

8. What CD group did you join, and was the experience worthwhile?

I was in the Education CD group and it was ok. I only taught like 4 times because a lot of times, my girls weren't at school due to different reasons so after a while I just let it go.

9. Do you have any advice for incoming aje-butter corpers?

Oh man, incoming aje-butters, dust up your agbero skills because they will come in handy. Try to do things on time and always keep in touch with your LGI or a fellow corper who always has all the latest news. Have a decent attitude about NYSC and try and make the most of it. Definitely try and acquire a skill during your service year and network like a crazy person. Pride won't take you too far as a corper but also don't kiss everyone's ass.

10. What are your plans post-NYSC?

I want to keep working for a year before I go back for grad school; definitely want to take a break for about a month and see my Chicago babies and I'm still making beads and selling them and being a distributor for FM. Watch out for LĂșlĂș accessories in December.

Bonus question: What are you going to do with your NYSC uniform/kit?

LOOOOOL, ok so once I got my certificate and walked outta camp, the moment I got to the car, I took off my jungle boots and left them on the side of the road. My khakis and jacket are stashed at the back of my closet, no plans for those yet.

Thanks for interviewing me!!! Kisses and love
Tomilola Olotu

*PS: So Tomi was a baaaaaaaaaaaaaad girl! No wonder I didn't meet her until camp was over. Me, miss goody-two-shoes and she as Miss Mami Market :p. Just kidding! Wish you all the best sweetie!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Vote for me for the Nigerian Blog Awards!


Just a short one here... I'm sooooo thankful for the nomination, and now let's see if I can score a win!

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your name and email address (if you nominated me, they already have your info)
  3. Select 'The Aje-butter's Guide to NYSC' in the Best Tutorial Blog category (and feel free to vote in other categories as well)
  4. Submit
  5. Check your email (Spam folder if it's not in your inbox) and click on the link in the email from Nigerian Blog Awards for your vote to be counted.

Piece o' cake, innit? (I want caaaaaaaaaaake but I'm on a diet right now)

Thank you!!!!!!!! One thousand million hugs from moi!

Berry :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

I got nominated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY, more victory dancing!!!

Thanks to everyone who sent in a nomination for the Nigerian Blog Awards! I've been stalking their site every day this week to see if I would get a nomination. My first time out, and YES I DID...and it's all THANKS TO YOU, MY BERRYLICIOUS BERRYFUL FRIENDS!!!!!

I love you, you, you, you AND YOU MOST ESPECIALLY!

I'm so excited I might replace booty-dancing with azonto as my new victory dance!

Ok, calming down now. I got nominated under the Best Tutorial Blog category and voting begins next Monday, October 22nd until November 11th.

I'll be putting up reminders to vote, so get readaaaaaaaaaaay.

P.S. - While I may not be closer to knowing what direction my life goes in, after the 31st of this month, I've got 2 ideas for a new blog to start January 1st. Still shopping the idea around with my friends to see which seems more interesting.

Thanks again for the nominations! BIGGEST HUGS N KISSES TO YOU!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I've had the time of my life...

Hi guys!

Sooooooooooo, I'd been looking forward to today - Passing Out day, and it finally came. I decided to ride with some of my friends and the journey from the island to Iyana-Ipaja camp took forever and a day! Okay, it took 2 hours, but this should have been a 1-hour journey. Anyways, after our looooooong journey there, I went to the appropriate line, as they had separated everyone into groups. It looks like there were about 8000 corps members in Lagos alone! Because we got there late, there wasn't actually a line at my section, and I walked straight up, turned in my Final Clearance letter, Copy of my Posting Letter, CD Card, and ID card and finally...

I picked up my NYSC certificate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am NO LONGER Nigeria's property!

I am NO LONGER Otondo anybody!

I am NO LONGER Ajuwaiya!

I SHALL NOT be wearing that uniform EVER AGAIN.... actually, I want to wear the jacket as a dress (I'll post a picture if I pull it off). Some people actually threw their boots and shirts away right there and then :p

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

*victory dance*

Love ya berryful Berryboos!!! Thanks for all your support and reading! I've got a few exit interviews lined up, including mine. But THANK GOD IT'S OVER! I think I'm staying home tomorrow to savor this feeling. I need a holiday, innit?

Hugs n kisses!

Monday, October 15, 2012

What didn't I cover?


Seeing as I'm almost done, I want to make sure that I covered pretty much every single aspect of the service year. What I know I didn't post about are the following:

  • Your NYSC Local Government Office/Local Government Inspector
  • General CD (Community Development)
If there's anything else I'm missing, please let me know so I can cover it.

I have a very special post that I'll do after passing out on Thursday, so stay tuned :)

Berry berry quite contrary :p

Most Hardworking Corps Member Award goes to...

Most definitely NOT me.

But you know how at the bottom of my page, there's a feed with headlines about NYSC? Well, an article caught my eye about this corps member in Ekiti state who built a bus stop in the area, as part of her Community Development Service. Here's a link to the article: Igbara-Odo, NYSC lauds corps member for Bus Stop project.

I wanted to see pictures, so I googled her name: Mepuzami Ogini, and guess what else I found out? She also organized an inter-school debate on "Examination Malpractice: Who Is to Blame, the Home or the School." The link to that article is at: Corps Member Challenges Communities on Exam Malpractice.

Ms. Ogini serves as a teacher in Alaretue Comprehensive High School, Igbara-Odo.

Like, this chick is on a roll! I'm voting for her to be the country's next president! Whoever knows her should congratulate her heartily for me - She's the future Nigeria needs!

Berry regards everyone!

PS - Passing out is this Thursday and guess what - parade rehearsals were canceled!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Back to Lagos Camp...

Hey Berryboos,

Sooooo, first of all, thank God I completed my Final Clearance last week Wednesday. A friend of mine started hers on Friday and finished on Saturday. But that's not as bad as another friend who started on Friday and finished on Monday - his file was missing :-o

Anyways, you know how the NYSC Passing Out Circular said we all had to be excused from work to go back to our camps for different activities - Job Awareness Seminar and Passing Out Parade rehearsals? Well, like I said earlier, NYSC says it's mandatory to attend these things, while some of my 2012 Batch B corper friends said they got their certificates without attending anything. Just to be on the safe side, my friends and I decided to go and at least sign the attendance sheet, if nothing else. We spent 1 hour going to Iyana-Ipaja (NYSC Lagos Camp), 1 hour there (luckily we got the attendance sheet before it started being passed around - yours truly was first to sign it :-D), and 2 hours going back to the island. I'm not going back for any silly rehearsals - I'm not marching, so what the heck do they need me for?

Being back in Iyana-Ipaja was SURREAL! I can't believe I spent 3 whole weeks in that environment - like what the heck was I thinking??? Honestly, if I had to do it again, I'm not entirely sure I'd stay in camp the whole time... Although my goody-two-shoes nature would have stopped me from scheming to leave. Ah well, I did it, it's in the past, the whole journey's almost over.

LOL, while I ironed my khakis yesterday, I was literally grumbling to myself that after October 18th, 2012, I will TEAR THIS PIECE OF CRAP TO SHREDS!!!!!!!!!! As much as I complained about the poor quality of the uniforms given to us, I must admit that the trousers held up quite well. I've worn the same pair once a week for almost one full year - and no tears, no holes, no nothing. Obviously, I bought my own white t-shirts, cos theirs was beyond horrible. Maybe I'll donate what I don't want to charity... But would anyone really want to wear the sneakers and boots randomly?

I'm beginning to feel the pangs of withdrawal now. For one year, my whole life has been NYSC-focused. Now it's almost over and I have no clear path as of this moment. I need something else to keep me busy, and so far, no likely job prospects. I definitely do not want to be retained, because I did NOTHING at all in my department at work and I'll go crazy if I stay. Maybe I'll see if I can come back through another department? Or maybe I WILL go back to Atlanta for a year or two, but still keep my eyes open for other opportunities in Nigeria.

I've given myself 2 months to play, in the meantime. So November/December will be for me to laze about, watch as much TV as I want, travel (GHANA, ENGLAND, and TANZANIA are on my current destination wishlist).

HEY! What happens to this blog after I'm done??? I need ideas and suggestions. Does a new 2012 Batch C corper want to share his/her stories on here? I know I've enjoyed blogging, and would want to continue, but I need a new sustainable angle. NO to Fashion, Hair, News blogging! Maybe Travel - Berry's Adventures? Or an advice column - Dear Berry? Or if somebody proposes and I accept, a wedding blog - Berry Getting Married?

Ah, I dunno. Gotta go get some work done.

Revlon Blackberry lipstick kisses to you! (lol, even my lipstick shade has Berry in it - Choiiiiiiiiii, I'm too good - ok, that was very razz of me :p)


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Final Clearance Drama!

Hey y'all,

So, two weeks from today, I will be officially done with NYSC! Mehn, does time fly by or what? Actually, it's felt like a really long year, although I remember my first foray into this NYSC service year. I thank God cos it's almost over - and also for helping me get through yesterday! What happened yesterday, you ask... I'll tell you - FINAL CLEARANCE!

Ok, so I've briefly mentioned Monthly Clearance before (Now That Camp Is Over) - where you submit a letter from your PPA (employer) to your LGI (Local Government Inspector) saying that you worked the previous month...

*side note* maybe before I'm done, I can write a mini NYSC dictionary post explaining what everything is, including acronyms? And another post on 'Introducing Your LGI Office.' *end side note*

Anyways, the month of passing out, you have to submit a Final Clearance letter from your employer, stating that you worked through your service year satisfactorily, don't owe them anything, and that you will now be discharged and handed over back to NYSC. In addition to the letter, you have to submit your cleared CDS card - this is signed by your CD leader or LGI, depending on what CD you joined, and they'll sign off that you completed your CD expectations. Now, since I was in a special CD group, I had to get mine cleared in the NYSC Secretariat in Surulere. This is where the drama happened.

I submitted my card to the head of JASA, under which a lot of special CD groups operate, and she said to get a note from another official saying that he'd looked over my card and it was good to go. This official does most of the signing when we come to CD every week. So I give him the card to look over and he says there's something wrong - that 2 of the signatures on the card are forged, so he can't clear me! WHA THE WHA WHA?!?!?! :-O I'm like "Dude, I haven't forged nothing. I've been coming consistently, every single week. Done all the work required. Submitted my card to you or my CD instructor for signing. I ain't never touched that card to write anything!" And so the back and forth ensued. He actually even wrote a note clearing all the other Batch C corpers, and refused to write my state code to clear me. See me see wahala! The signatures he was talking about were from January, during the strike over the fuel subsidy - at which point, no CDs were even being held! During that period, we were told to submit our cards to our CD instructors so that they could validate them. Which leads me to believe that my CD instructor forged this guy's signature.

Anyways, said CD instructor was with me at the time, trying to argue with the guy on my behalf. He joked with him, pleaded with him, even went so far as lying. Apparently, some 2011 Batch B corps members had forged his signature on their cards, and were reprimanded. So my CD instructor said that my card was among those that had been compromised at that time, and since those were already settled, then the guy should clear me. Now, most people would allow that lie to be told, but I protested. I said "Mr CD Instructor, I know you're lying, trying to get this guy to clear my card, but I can't stand here and let him question my character and integrity. I have done NOTHING wrong, so please don't lie on my behalf." The other Batch C corps members told me to keep quiet and just beg the guy, and I completely refused to! Why should I beg when I did nothing wrong? Begging is as good as admitting that I forged his signature and I did nothing of the sort, so I was willing to stay and argue with him until the office closed! And anyways, he'd asked my CD instructor for my phone number at some point, and was rebuffed, so I think this was his way of getting back at me. *rolling eyes*

Long story short, I stood my ground, and my card got cleared eventually. If I see that ninny anywhere else in my life, Imma give him a real talking to! Next step, going to my NYSC local government office to complete my final clearance. I got there at 1:30pm and expected to be there until 4, maybe 5pm - it's best to mentally prepare yourself for these things so that you don't get aggravated or frustrated. I'd like to say it was a seamless process, but it really wasn't. First of all, we've got a new LGI, and this was her first time of handling us. As soon as I got there, she left to have lunch for about 45 minutes. During that time, I got the necessary documents together, made photocopies, and paid for some bogus items (NYSC foundation, Eko Corper magazine, and somn else - I dunno what it was). We had to pay for those things, or else we wouldn't get the clearance done. From 2:30 to 4:00pm, we got in line, were told to sit down, lined up sitting down, lined up standing up, lined up sitting down again, lined up standing up, and finally lined up standing according to gender. Of course this whole time, people are fighting, shoving, skipping lines, and just being general nuisances. But thank the Lord, I got everything I needed DONE!


The next things to worry about are going back to camp for the Job Awareness seminar (rolls eyes), Passing Out Parade rehearsals (more rolling eyes), and finally the Passing Out Parade, where I pick up my certificate! I'm not sure about going to camp before the Passing Out Parade. On one hand, I heard they take attendance and they're beginning to be really strict... on the other hand, 2 Batch B corps members I know skipped everything and still got their certificates. We'll see. I'm a goody-two shoes, so I'll at least check out the seminar and one rehearsal. Jesus, just help the next 2 weeks go by quickly.

Whew! Longer post than I thought. Gotta get to work. Have a berry pretty day ladies and gentlemen :)


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The light at the end of the tunnel...


So, as at this moment, my service year will be over in approximately 3 weeks! THREEEEE WEEKS! NYSC Lagos Secretariat sent out a letter to corps members - well, it's not like they mailed it to us, but I saw a status message on someone's BBM and got it sent to me. October 18th, 2012 is the day it'll all be over for me and I CANNOT WAIT!

I'll post the letter here, so you have an idea what the last couple of weeks are like for corps members. We're supposed to get our last 2-3 weeks off from our primary assignment (employers), so that we can take part in the various activities lined up for the end of our service year.

  • Final clearance - This is supposed to be a VERY tedious process. Some 2011 Batch B corpers had to report to their LGs on a Saturday and Sunday because their LGIs didn't complete the final clearance in the time allotted. Meanwhile, I have to ask - how does it make any sense to appoint 1-3 officials to cover 600+ corpers in 2 days? Especially when more than half of those officials are lazy and refuse to work for more than 3 hours per day! NYSC, you need a complete overhaul - I'm still saying it.

    Anyways, in this process, we're supposed to collect our final clearance letters from our employers stating that we completed our duties satisfactorily. In addition, we have to present our CD cards showing that we attended all our CDs (I think we're allowed 1 to 3 absences).

    And finally, they check to see that all our monthly clearance letters are complete and stashed in our folders.
  • Job Creation and Awareness seminars - Erm, are they joking?
  • Passing Out Parade rehearsals - Yeah, they're most definitely joking!
  • Passing Out and collection of NYSC certificates - I imagine there's a parade, with marching, and a whole bunch of corpers milling around anxiously, waiting to pick up their certificates and saying GOODBYE FOREVER!

As far as the 2-3 weeks off from our employers, at my office some supervisors generously gave breaks to their corpers throughout the year, so those corps members will have to finish out the month. I'm taking that option cos I can't sit at my uncle/aunt's house doing nothing, especially if there's no electricity. And I guess at the end of October, it'll be time to pack my bags and move them back to PH while I plot my next move.

Actually, I'm leaning more towards going back to Atlanta at this point, but we'll see.

Gotta run!
Have a pretty day with lots of berry thoughts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ta-na-na-na-na! Inspector NYSC, not Gadget

Yo yo!

Soooooooooo, guess what?!?!? My local government inspector's office staff came by where I'm doing my primary assignment for INSPECTION! Since I started serving, the LGI (Local Government Inspector) has stated that there would be routine/unexpected visits to our offices, to ensure that each corper was actively serving. Now, I'm passing out in a few weeks and nobody ever showed up, so these "threats" have generally been construed as idle...

Imagine my shock when the corper in our HR department sent a BBM letting me know that the NYSC officials were in the office and we all had to come and sign that we were present :-O. Like, FOR REALLY REAL? I don't think they did this for earlier batches at work, so it's seeming like NYSC's beginning to take things more seriously. Seriously enough that my LGI called my dad's phone, because I missed an activity, and my dad's noted as my emergency contact person (as for what I missed and why, it's a loooooooooooooong story that I can't get into on this blog - sawry).

Hmm! I just need the next 3 weeks to go by quietly and quickly, so I can get my certificate and be outta this mug.

*cough* On a non-NYSC note, I have a terrible sore throat and cold - IT SUCKS!!! But I had some chicken pepper soup this evening to help with it, so YAY me!

Kisses from Berry!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Almost there!!!!!!!!!!! What next for Berry?

Hey berryful ladies and gentlemen,

OMG!!! I am almost at the end of my NYSC journey! Gawsh, I'm MUCHO excited, and passing out day can't come quickly enough. Now, the question follows: What will you be doing after NYSC Ms. Berry?

Erm, at this exact point in time, the honest answer is I HAVE ABSOTIVELY NO IDEA! *insert BB straight face*

While a few months ago, I was 100% sure I'd leave Nigeria (see post here: The reason why I'm leaving Nigeria after serving) now I'm not so sure. Truthfully, I still balk at the idea of forever and ever in this country, but it's not the worst place in the world. I think for most aje-butters, a comfortable position is a healthy balance between living in Nigeria and outside. This is my humble opinion - feel free to disagree.

So here are my options...

  1. Get a GREAT job and stay in Nigeria

    The fact of the matter is that I will not be comfortable living in Nigeria with a mediocre job or mediocre pay. My standard of living is not outrageous or anything, but I need a lovely and pretty serviced apartment (constant electricity with clean water and maintenance service in case somn happens), with a nice car and driver (YES I want a driver), and the ability to travel every couple of months, maybe. Fine, maybe my head's in the clouds, but a girl wants what a girl wants. And to get what I want, mediocre pay will not cut it! At the same time, I wouldn't want to get all this money in a job I hate. I already told you how frustrated I've been during service (The life of a corper at work) and this is not something I wish to continue in my life.

    Now if I decide to stay in Nigeria, do I stay in Lagos or go back to Port Harcourt? If I stay in Lagos, I can FINALLY live ALL BY MYSELF!!! If I go back to Port Harcourt, I have to move in with the 'rents and that is nowhere near desirable - someone's mother believes you can't live separately from your parents if you live in the same city *insert BB straight face*
  2. Go back to the States and continue with my old job

    Going back to Atlanta means going back to my old job, as my employer has generously agreed to give me my job back. In addition, the company has an office in Abuja, so this would give me the opportunity to go back and forth anyways. My only issue here is there isn't much room for growth at the company, or career-wise. And I know within a year or two, I'd be complaining and wanting to do something else again. I feel like I need stability at this point in my life, so whatever decision I make should make sense and keep me content for the next 3-5 years. I'm not getting any younger, even though I look younger everyday.
  3. Go back to school - another master's degree or Phd?

    Well, I've flirted with this idea on and off for a while. BUT what do I go back to school for? My first degree was scientifically-inclined, and I got an MBA a few years later. I worked in a marketing function for almost 4 years - I'm actually doing that part-time right now (in addition to serving - shhhh, yet another secret to keep from NYSC). Because my MBA was not focused on anything in particular, and my first degree was completely different, I think I might want to study Marketing. On the plus side, there are scholarship opportunities from my state, but would going back to school hold me back? And is it really necessary? 
What option has more promise? What do you think? Gawsh, making life decisions is sooooo frustrating. I wish I had God's "The Life of Berry" handbook so I can cheat and make all the right decisions. 

K, going to think now. At least my resume's been polished off :)

Love ya,

Friday, September 14, 2012

NYSC 2012 Batch C Timetable

Hi guys,

Seems like people are going to my post on Batch B 2012 timetable, so let me make life easier so nobody gets confused. The link to the schedule is at NYSC 2012 Batch C Mobilization Timetable.

Pre-mobilization Workshop Meeting 4th- 6th September, 2012
Registration of Foreign-trained Nigerian Graduates 1st August- 5th October, 2012
Submission of Masterlist. Screening/Vetting by Mobilization Officers 12th - 21st September, 2012
Action by the Computer Centre 12th - 21st September, 2012
Delivery of Preliminary Printouts 25th - 27th September, 2012
Return of Corrected Printouts by Institutions to NYSC NDHQ 3rd - 5th October , 2012
Action by Computer (Coding, Corrections etc) 3rd - 23rd October, 2012
Sorting and Packaging of Call-up letters 24th - 28th October, 2012
Delivery of Call-up letters to Institutions / NYSC Secretariats 29th - 31st October, 2012
Briefing of Prospective Corps Members 29th - 31st October, 2012
2012 Batch ‘C’ Orientation Course aka CAMP 6th - 27th November, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nigerian Blog Awards - Nominations/Votes Needed


I seem overly excited, don't I? Well, yes I am. And why is that, you ask? Well, I shall tell you right now. Someone who commented on one of my posts, and my "cousin" separately said they'd nominate me for a NIGERIAN BLOG AWARD!!!!!!!!!!!! Woooooooooooooo hoooooooooooo! *does victory dance*

So, now I gotta publicize it and ask y'all to join in please! It'd be so awesome to win somn for this blog. OMG, I'm going to write a speech just in case! And I wonder if there's an actual award ceremony. There's this dress I got made for my sister's wedding last year that I never wore and... Ok, Berry calm down! *whew, I kinda started getting carried away there* Sawry :)

Okay, so how do we get this thing done? Please note the deadline is September 23rd!!!
  1. Click on the following link: Nigerian Blog Awards Nominations
  2. Fill out the form - name/email
  3. Nominate me for the categories you think I fall under, by pasting "" in the appropriate boxes.
  4. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page
  5. Go to your email inbox (or spam/junk folder) and click on the link sent by Nigerian Blog Awards, so that your nomination counts
  6. Voila! You have done a BERRY good thing and will be infused with BERRY love forever, whatever that means.
I went through the list, and the ones I think pertain to this blog are:
  • Best Humour Blog -  Blog that is amusing or lighthearted in nature.
  • Best New Blog - not NEWS Blog o -  Blog established in August 2011 or more recently.
  • Best Topical Blog -  Blog with a clear niche that is not represented in any of the other categories. 
  • Best Tutorial Blog -  Blog that focuses on teaching its readers through the use of step-by-step instructions.
  • Nigerian Blog of the Year -  Best overall blog by a Nigerian or best blog with a strong focus on any aspect of Nigeria.

Truth is I'm not 100% sure which of the categories are appropriate. But the Nigerian Blog Awards staff will remove the nomination from the incorrect categories, so hey.

Preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty please nominate me!!! I'll make berry smoothies for you and send authentic berry kisses to you if you do :)

Berry Latte

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Word on the street is... Batch C 2012 registration has started

Hey y'all,

Soooooooo, I've been stalking and re-stalking the NYSC official website for the Batch C 2012 timetable. All to no avail! BUT someone who frequents THIS site said she heard they already started registration!!! Although she went to the Lagos Secretariat and was turned back, she knows someone who completed registration. If this is the case, and going by last year's schedule, foreign grads registration will be over mid-October.

For registration tips, go to my post on Registration for Aje-butters.

PLEASE if anyone has indeed registered, and can get the timetable directly from NYSC HQ, send the info to me! It is URGENTLY NEEDED!


It's out now! Click here for the link to NYSC 2012 Batch C Mobilization Table. Can I just say that it's kinda *rhymes with BILLY* to post the timetable over a month AFTER registration has started! Can someone please show my Letter to NYSC post to a bigwig at NYSC?

Thanks to my lovely reader who gave me the info in the first place - you totally RAWK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you're gonna kick butt for Batch C!

Tenks a bunsh - Oh lawd, I'm losing my Aje-butter cred!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Dear NYSC...

Dear NYSC,

Hello! How are you? My name's Berry Choco Latte. I've been a part of your program since November 2011. I just have a few things I want to express now that our time together is drawing to a close.

  1. I know you're VERY busy, but would it kill you to update your website regularly? I've been stalking your home page for weeks, trying to get the time table for 2012 Batch C Orientation and Registration. All I see is a blank space after "Information for Batch C Orientation is..." and when I click on the supposed link to the time table, I'm getting Batch B's information. It's not fair for you to raise my hopes up, and then send them crashing down. Please, enh, biko, e jo, ____ (insert Hausa please here), por favor, per favore...
  2. What's the probability of taking some parts, if not all, of the registration process online? Ok, so maybe the issue is ensuring that the system isn't taken advantage of - I know for sure, a percentage of people would use false identification to sign up (they're already doing it now, so it wouldn't make a difference). But ok, how about after people have enrolled for NYSC, you capture their information online, give them codes and have them pre-register for camp. During this pre-registration process, they should be able to enter their clothes/shoe sizes, so you can ensure you send the appropriate kits to each camp. In addition, since you already know what sites/structures are being used for the camps, you can allot rooms BEFORE the new corpers get to camp. ALSO, you can let them know what platoons they're in. This should cut down on the billion and one forms you make them sign before getting to camp. Of course, there will be challenges for those people who work their way around by switching to new orientation camps, but I'm sure we can figure out a way to deal with those issues.
  3. Who in Nigeria's name makes the dreaded NYSC kits??? Do you have any officials that check the quality of the materials and workmanship? You wonder why people go and sew their own versions of kits - it's because YOURS SUCKS!!! Since I don't know who the uniforms and shoes are sourced to, I won't make any recommendations. I sha hope such things are given to underemployed communities to undertake.
  4. What will it take to revamp the orientation camps? I feel like the government should have allotted a budget to NYSC - how about working toilets, mattresses/beds that make sense, safe and secure locations, painted buildings, etc? Maybe people wouldn't be so eager to skip camp if they were comfortable. In addition, revamping would not be enough - MAINTENANCE is key! You work closely with MDG, innit? Last I checked, they were all about SUSTAINABILITY.
  5. Apply point 4 above to the Local Government offices and State secretariats.
  6. Something needs to be done about your website! I know I touched on it in point 1, but seriously. Why should I hear about commendable community development projects on social websites, but none of them are posted on your website? Encourage incoming and prospective corps members with the good things that have come out of your program. In fact, maybe you should hire me as your PR person - please note, I only fly (no road trips unless necessary) and I only stay in nice hotels.
  7. Create a survey for outgoing and current corps members and use the information and comments given wisely. There are a lot of intelligent people in your program with great ideas! Use them! Yes, I said it. USE US!
Erm, that's it for now. I may write another letter at the end of service, so look out for my correspondence.

Sincerely yours,

No hugs and kisses for you.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm a corper, NOT your plaything: Part 2... GTFOHWTBS!

Heeeeeey berryful people!

Isn't it such a pretty day outside? It's not raining, the sun is out, the temperature's just right, the sky is blue, birds are chirping, a TDH (tall, dark, and handsome) knight on a white horse is... ok, enough with the daydreaming. The skies are grey, and there is no knight in sight - hey, I rhymed.

So it looks like someone in my office didn't get my last memo on the topic above (click HERE if you missed it). I was quite offended by a proposition last weekend and it may not necessarily have to do with my being a corper, but wa'ev, I'm a LADY and expect proper behavior from others.

Here's the background of the story.

There's this guy at work who started a couple of months after I did. He is Jean-Claude Van DAMN FOINE! He's tall, dark, handsome, walks with this air (I refuse to say 'swag' but that's what it is), dresses nice, etc. So, I've been scoping him secretly for months now. It's really bad. Like I'd see him across the road and I'd get butterflies in my tummy and my heart would race #DISASTER! After a while, we got to smiling at each other in passing. I mostly saw him during lunch time and he'd always be with his friends, one of whom I got to saying hello to - *Please note: NOTHING BEYOND HELLO! I eventually got around to speaking to TDH last month, and we just did minimal introductions (My name is... I work in this dept...I grew up here/there...Nice meeting you...See ya around).

So last Friday, I went to lunch - none of my friends were around, and I was all by myself :(. BUT guess who was having lunch too... Mr. TDH himself, and his friend. I got all brave and decided to sit with them and chat for a little bit. During our brief chat, his friend introduced himself and found out we live barely 5 minutes away from each other. They asked what I do for fun - and TDH said they were celebrating his friend's birthday later that evening at a club and invited me to join them. I said they should let me know when/where and his friend got my number so he could send the details later that evening.

I already had plans that evening, and while I was out with someone-who-shall-remain-nameless (if you see this post, don't start sulking!), TDH's friend sent a message saying I should meet them up at some club. My nameless-friend and I got there, but it was crowded and we left the vicinity so I could be home during godly hours (stop laughing, nameless person!).

*Now here's the point of the story*

At about X:30am (does anybody really need to know what time I got home?) right as soon as I was dropped off, my phone rings and it's TDH's friend.

Him: Hey Berry, what happened? Why didn't you show up?
Me: Well, the place was crowded, and I was tired anyways. Maybe next time.
Him: Well I was REALLY looking forward to partying with you.
Me: Erm...ok, sawry *insert BB straight face smiley here*
Him: Since you didn't come, how about I come pick you up and you can spend the night at my house.
Me: *cough cough* EXCUSE ME?!? What for?
Him: Come on now, we're both adults and you look like a "fun" girl.
Me: I don't think so.
Him: Ah ah now. Why not?
Me: I barely know you. We only just properly met today.
Him: How can you say that? I've been knowing you for a long time. (lol @ knowing)
Me: Not really. We didn't even know each other's names before this afternoon.
Him: No matter, like I said, you look like a "fun" girl, so let me come and pick you up.
Me: I'm pretty sure I already told you NO. I don't know you well enough to be in your house alone at all, so why in the heck would I come at this time?
Him: WOW! I'm really surprised at your answer o. I was thinking you're a "fun" girl and we can spend some time together. I'm disappointed that you're acting this way.
Me: ENH?! WHAT THE HELL KINDA GIRL DO YOU THINK I AM?!?! You know what? I'm going to bed. Good night. *click*

I'm sorry, but what exactly is a "FUN" girl? Did I miss an important memo? Since when does having/being fun include spending the night in a strange man's house? Well, I'm quite ticked off that I've lost any and all admiration of TDH - I've deemed him guilty by association :p

Dear gentlemen readers, please treat females honorably. It goes a long way in this day and age of morons.

Dear lady readers, if anybody treats you stupidly, tell them to GTFOHWTBS!!!

Signed and approved by,
Your Berryness.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Aje-Butter in the City... Take 1

Hola amigos!

Countdown to the end of my NYSC Year!!!!!!! At this point, I have 10 weeks left, give or take 2 weeks... We're supposed to be passing out mid-October, so I'm understandably giddy with excitement. Anyways, now that it's crunch time, I figured I should make use of the opportunity to explore and enjoy what Lagos has to offer - minus the crazy traffic and crazier drivers. And so here I am, sharing my experiences. My life can't be all business/NYSC and no fun, you know?

My go-to source for events is the weekly post every Thursday on Bella Naija. There are usually concerts,  shows, club events, shopping, etc. Since I'm more on the mellow side, I tend to stick to the quieter, tamer stuff. Some of the things I've indulged in recently are...


As an Aje-butter, I should totally be able to pronounce it flawlessly - however, I change the pronunciation every other time I say it. What is Le Petite Marche, you ask? This is a monthly shopping event where vendors converge to sell different items such as clothes, accessories, shoes, candy, beauty products and more. I kinda hate attending because I always leave with a lighter wallet (I promise I'm not a shopaholic). But they do have pretty things, and I love pretty things, so I just can't resist! (Ok, maybe I'm a baby shopaholic) Some of the things I've scored are rings, bracelets, blouses, a tank top and blazer on my different expeditions.

I totally love the design on this tank top - so Africhic! Btw, I always haggle at Le Petite Marche, telling all the vendors I'm just a poor corper and they should give me discounts :p

The yellow blouse is another top I've scored at Le Petite Marche... anyone recognize the shorts? YES, from my orientation camp days. See, you can find good use out of some NYSC gear. I bought them o, not that they were from NYSC... Speaking of which, I wonder where they source the uniforms from, and I'm thinking there must be a better way to ensure fit and quality across the board. I feel like I have these ideas, but no clue how to execute them, so I don't bother writing proposals to NYSC headquarters - shame :(


At the end of July, on the same day as Le Petite Marche, Chef Fregz had a special event at GET Arena. He is the resident BN Cuisine contributor over at Bella Naija - (BN Cuisine with Chef Fregz). He's a Nigerian celeb chef - trained for a bit in Paris and all too! I've had his food at a private dinner and it was TO DIE FOR (still dreaming about the souffle). So every few months, he holds a food event with a specially created menu. Since I love food, of course I had to swing by :)


Prada Eba Lamborghini Okro

Too Much Senrenre

Kukere I dey chop Chef Fregz

No, I didn't order all three dishes by myself. My friend, fellow corper/blogger (The Nigeria Experience) came with her family. I ordered the chicken dish, although in retrospect, I shoulda gone for the crepes - LOVE CREPES! I don't like garri or okro soup, but doesn't that dish look ah-MAH-zing?!


Terra Kulture's a cultural center in Victoria Island with the purpose of promoting Nigerian arts, language, food, and more. Every Sunday, there are stage shows/plays, which I'm really into. I've never been to the museum, shop or eaten their food, but it's definitely worth taking a peek at. A friend of mine is featured in their current Sunday show - Batonga, which is a play that talks about the issue of child slavery and human trafficking - pretty deep stuff. 

And there you have it! I'd like to do a little bit more - go jet-skiing, watch a concert, go to the beach (yes, I'm surrounded by water and I haven't yet visited any beach = disaster much?), and so on.

How much can I cram into a limited amount of time? Well, if I do anything fun, I'll be sure to take pictures and share them on here.

Berry :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Been BERRY busy!

Hello honey boos!

First things first... NDO! PELE! FORGIVE ME, POR FAVOR! I'm so sorry it's been a little while. Truthfully, I just kinda needed a break. A social/internet blackout - turned off my BBM, [almost] deactivated my Facebook account, stopped reading blogs, etc. Sometimes, a girl just needs time to herself, ya know? Anyways, I'm back now, so look forward to more regular posts from yours truly.

Erm, 2012 Batch B corpers shoulda come out of camp yesterday (Tuesday). I hope you managed to have some amount of FUN! Now it's time for more stress :) My advice to you is to take time to breathe and relax this weekend - as long as you have submitted your posting letters and are waiting to hear back from the prospective employer OR you have received an acceptance letter from the employer and you have registered at your local government. It's going to be a looooooooooooong year.

Oooh, I have maybe 3 months maximum left to go!!!! #NYSCPassingOutCountdown (I love how I just make up twitter tags and I haven't got a twitter account.

Anyways, I took some time out to get a little creative a la my CD. And I've got pictures!!! My model is, ermmm, related to me somehow. If you know me personally, DON'T COMMENT and give me away o!





My "model" said she liked the make-up because she still looked like herself after I was done. *smiles*


This is just one piece I made. I was too tired to finish the others, but will post them accordingly.


In my CD, we were taught using this material called 'Sinamay.' But I wanted to try something different and found some felt material that I liked. It's not the best, but hey, I did it all by my oneses, without any supervision. 

So that's it! Oh, guess what I discovered today... tun tun DUN... I've TOTALLY forgotten how to tie a gele! *the HORROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

Ah well, I'll practice another day.

Gotta leave youse... and I promise I won't be gone as long this time. 

God bless, hugs, kisses!