15 Lessons from 2015



I think I can say that the year 2015 has been the best year of my life so far. It’s been a year of paradoxes – I’ve been very happy and very sad, I’ve had a lot of money and practically no money! I’ve been stretched and I’ve grown…

I decided to write some of the lessons I’ve learnt this year…15 of them 🙂

I wanted to write stories for each of the points but that would have made it such a long read. So, let’s do it this way: After you read through the points, go to the comments section and let me know which point(s) you want more details on 🙂

That way, I can expatiate on the points in subsequent posts.

Here goes!

  1. Good people will make mistakes and do bad things. See the good in them anyway.
  2. Love is sweetest when we love the purest.
  3. In the words of D’Banj, ‘Don’t get it twisted – love is a beautiful thing!’
  4. When you take that leap and it looks like you’re about to kiss the ground, God’s hands are always there to catch you.
  5. Frustration can be good thing.
  6. In the fire, it looks like you’d never get out alive, but when you do, you’ll appreciate how well-cooked you’ve become.
  7. A life with love and laughter is a truly rich life.
  8. Family is important. Be more intentional about developing depth in these relationships & not just assuming they’d always be there.
  9. Have that one song that can make you snap out of a bad mood! Mine is Kaydeen Numbere’s “Oghene Doh”!
  10. Dance. A lot. In your underwear. At home. Just dance! LOL!
  11. The best  intentions are dead without strategy and execution.
  12. Heartbreak can be one of the best things to happen to you if you let it stretch you the right way.
  13. There are two “realities” – What God’s word says and what’s currently happening physically. Choose your reality…What you choose is what you’ll live out.
  14. Scripture is the most stabilizing force on earth – Regardless of what’s going on, God’s word is a rock that never fails.
  15. Knowing how much God loves you is enough…His love is enough!

Let me know what lessons resonate with you. Thanks for reading!

Merry Christmas & do have a fabulous New Year!



The Journey to a Better Me

Today, I said to myself “Sharon, even if your post is just 50 words long, you need to break this dry spell.” So, here I am. I’m glad I listened to myself! It’s so important to ‘Just Do It’ as Nike would say. Dear readers, forgive me for this long absence!


Now, this year has been the best year of my life in so many dimensions. No, I didn’t hit a 250 million naira jackpot (not yet anyway!) and I didn’t travel to 50 countries of the world this year. But so many little things happened to create a mosaic of beauty in my life. One of the ‘little things’ was joining Toastmasters this year. While growing up, I remember always being in awe when people could stand in front of an audience and rouse them into action. As a matter of fact, one of my many career choices was to study Law, a choice I made after I attended a Career Seminar in secondary school. The female lawyer who spoke stood out for me because of the way she spoke, not to mention the fact that she looked very elegant!


I was quite shy while growing up so there was a disconnect between the picture of the public speaker in my head and the actual reality of shaking knees I faced whenever I had to stand to do something in public. As I grew older, I got better but I knew I could keep improving. A lecturer friend of mine told me about Toastmasters sometime in 2009 but I didn’t get round to joining till this year. I’m so glad I did! I’ve always believed that the power to become a better version of you is in your hands. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Toastmasters, it’s a public speaking and leadership skills organisation.  I love the fact that my Toastmasters club gives me the opportunity to continually improve on my skills. 

In addition to Toastmasters, my job at The Elocution, Etiquette and Ethics Academy has me speaking in front of people all the time. So, I’ve found that speaking has become something I love to do and I just want to keep getting better and better at it. The best part is that I can actually look back at the speaker I was at the beginning of the year and say for sure that I’ve gotten better.

What I’ve seen is that if you consciously devote yourself to something, you can become better. But you need to take that first step. Buy a book, hire a coach or consultant, listen to a podcast; just take a step towards that seemingly impossible goal. Then another. And another. One day, you’ll look up and discover that you’re at your goal post. It’ll be done and dusted. You’ll have made it!

Take one step this week towards that goal, people. Most importantly, stick to it!


To your dreams,


The Etiquette Coach™


P.S. Are you working on any goals now? Have you applied the ‘One Step’ principle to anything and succeeded? I’d like to hear about it! Please leave a comment 🙂

The Church Girl and The Christian Girl … Part Two

The Church Girl and The Christian Girl… Part One

This was written by a dear friend of mine. I read it and it got me re-examining a lot of things in my life. It blessed me immensely and I hope it does the same for you. Enjoy…


It was with almost a broken heart that the whole concept of distinguishing between these two sets of ladies in church crystallized in my consciousness. I see my sisters do the very same things that will chase the guys of their dreams farther away from them all in a bid to attract him. Please this is by no means chauvinistic or an attempt to demonize women, I am just writing from my experience and being a single man, I have noticed it more in sisters. Of course men have their evils and vices which could be even deadlier. I should also add that I am not writing this to have anyone come under condemnation or sentence anyone to hell and a life of failure. I am rather all about, first, emphasizing how crucial the intents of and the conversations in our hearts are in our walk with God and in the manifestations of Him we will see in our lives and endeavors. Remember our God judges the intents of the heart and honestly, I think the amount of great things you will do for and with God is proportional to how much the intents of your heart are in line with HIS WILL. That is, the amount of the manifestations of God you will see in your life, in all its ramifications is directly proportional to the purity of the intents of your heart (Mat5vs8). Secondly, I am writing to show forth the depth of the LOVE of Jesus. Regardless of how far away from Him our hearts would have strayed from Him, even if we still are going through the motions of church activities or how hardened our hearts would have become out of our errors, wrong motives and sometimes cruel intentions, He still yearns for a deep love relationship with us. And He is more than willing not to only forgive us our sins but also break the power behind them in us and correct those errors within us by His Spirit (Heb9vs7,14 and Rom8vs11). This is the LOVE that was demonstrated on the Cross of Calvary and the power thereof is still very Alive and Available today.

The terms “church girl” and “christian girl” have been used in this article to distinguish between these two sets of ladies in church and is by no means descriptive of any particular person, group of persons or organizations. It is also not an attempt to enshrine the derogatory use of any of the terms.


At first glance, the church girl and the christian girl look very much the same, as they both could talk the same way – all the christianese and kingdom cliches, be top level church leaders et al but the main difference between them is the conversations in their hearts and the very INTENTs thereof. Interestingly, being spirit beings, humans are able to somehow perceive authenticity of actions and words based on the aura being exuded by the person and this could give us a peep into the real conversations in the heart of the individual. As such, the church girl would not sound and look as true and convinced as the christian girl if they were to talk on a particular subject matter. Just to illustrate this, I once read a story in Every Day With Jesus (July 3, 2012), of a great actor and an old minister who both recited Psalm 23. When they were done, the actor after putting all his narrative skill – perfect diction and tone and the old minister faltering on some of the words, it was said of the actor, that he knew the psalm and of the old minister, that he knew the Shepherd.

The church girl almost always has her eyes set on people, either trying to impress them, deceive them or ensnare them and she depends on her natural instincts and prowess – especially her femininity, to achieve this. Traditionally, she could be defined as a girl who is “playing church” or a religious girl in church. Again, because her eyes are set on people  and ephemeral things, she could also be termed traditionally as a “carnal sister” even if she may not look or sound it. She could attend church programs, prayer meetings, night vigils and even evangelize for all the wrong reasons – she most likely would be doing it either as a duty or to impress someone/some people. What is central is that the church girl more often than not, has wrong intentions behind her actions even when the actions appear good and godly. In extreme cases, the church girl is highly manipulative and can

be described as someone whom the Word of God has hardened – almost with a seared conscience, rather than permeated and made pure at heart.

The christian girl however, has her eyes always set on her MASTER JESUS and on HIM alone in all she thinks and does. She, of course, being female, has her femininity lurking around, but has learnt over time, to master it, knowing that the arm of flesh will always fail. She genuinely loves people since the love of Jesus has been spread abroad in her heart and thus deals with them from the basis of this pure love. I guess she she can be called the true sister in church and described as one who truly loves Jesus not based on just her actions, but on the “sweet aura” she exudes. She would do things because she is passionate about them and they would be generally be geared towards helping and blessing people for no rewards of any sort. She is would often come across as simple, gullible and even naive, but her genuine sweetness always stands out. All of these does not make her not do or act wrongly but even at such times, it will be judged as a genuine mistake or error.


Please, with an open heart and mind, journey with me as we explore a few manifestations of this concept….

To Be Continued…

By Uche Adaigbe

Hi People, Saw this on a blog and thought it’d be nice to share it… Enjoy!

Free Fall -The Prodigal’s Song

Love looks different to the Prodigal….He’ll probably know it better than the over-fed ones who have always been home… Not that you’ll ever hear him say it. Love is etched in the calluses on his hands, the weathered skin on his brow…You hear it in the way he speaks…There isn’t so much youthful exuberance in there, rather, it’s in the pauses between words…in the wise responses to questions asked. Love, to him,  has a homely aura…No airs here… #randommusings




Sudden push by selfish pride

Caution gone with the wind

Spiralling Swiftly

Now out of control

The mode is set : Free fall

I do not hear the Spirit’s call.

Beclouded with thoughts of gloom,

No stop button on this ride of doom.

Events have been set in motion,

All that remains is quick collision.

Hastening  to kiss the  ground,

My heart begins to pound.

Where is my Saviour, my one-time Friend?

He said He’d stay till the very end…

Pushed to the end of my rope,

I’m lifting my eyes to the Sun of Hope.

Snatched from that infernal state;

Under me are solid arms of eternal weight!

My  fall is broken,

My life offered as a token.

Out of my lips will come a praise

I’ve been captured by your grace!

Free Verse – Season One

Hi Guys!

I’ve decided to try something different with the posts coming up on this blog. I simply call it ‘free-verse’. Those with some literary background would already have deciphered that I’m talking poetry. A kind of poetry which is not concerned with rhyme, or meter, or any sort of arrangement. Although generally, poetry ‘shows’ more than it ‘tells’; but in this post. I’ll be doing a bit more ‘telling’ than ‘showing’…I guess I’m free to, since it’s free verse. 🙂 Hopefully, as we go along, there’ll be more ‘showing’ than ‘telling’.

So, let’s not get too serious. The great thing about poetry is that it’s open to diverse interpretations. The two poems in this season are related.  Feel free to comment. Enjoy!!




I saw you from across the room
I would recognize that half-smile anywhere…The first child of your cocky grin
The familiar eyes that sparkled with life, or was it mischief?
My heart leaped…
More than anything, I wanted to take quick steps across the room
Shorten the distance between us
And then you saw me
Recognition flickered across your brow
And you dared me…
I saw it in those eyes and in the tilt of your head
You dared me to come over to where you were
But I’m not a child anymore
My heart buzzed with pain and I shut the door
I won’t beg for your attention anymore.


I Seek Refuge…

I seek refuge in everything else
Apart from you
I wanted  to run into you and knock the breath out of you
Stumble, and have you break my fall
With your arms going round me
Feel your minty breath on my skin as you press your lips to my ear and whisper ‘It’s ok’…

But you’re standing aloof
And I’m so alone
I seek refuge in everything else
Apart from you


Broken Dreams…






Were all dreams a lie? She dragged her already damp shirt sleeve across her face one more time, but more tears sprung up to replace those she had cleaned. Alaya had never felt this guilty for living, for being alive and for taking breath after breath. Everything she ever wanted or ever dreamt about remained as elusive as a handful of the wind.

Not regarded as a great beauty, or as a girl of quick wit or intelligent words, Alaya had felt like a crack in the walls for most of her life, going mostly unnoticed. Still, there was one thing she had that no-one could take away from her…her dreams. Alaya would sit alone watching her elder brothers play or fight, and her mind would travel as far as it could dare. Sometimes, to a place where she would be regarded as wise, and where her words would be heard. And always to a place where she was important.

Alaya dreamt of love, of having a man who would love her with the whole of his heart. A man who would see her as a part of his core and would treat her as such. One who would see her as important and would be her everything. The dreams were not a soft cushion for the broken hearts Alaya had nursed in tears over the years, nor were they a comfort for the cold indifference Alaya got from her current boyfriend. Rather they were the source of many more tears.

Alaya dreamt of warmth and of family. Growing up orphaned with two elder brothers offered more protection than tenderness. But her brother’s wife, Sansa had changed all that. The first time she met Alaya, she pulled the younger girl into a warm embrace that almost took her breath away. The sweet spirit Sansa possessed pulled down Alaya’s walls and Alaya saw in her, a new found sister.

Sansa’s sweet spirit was the cause of Alaya’s tears. Her spirit was free, although her body had been crushed in an accident that should never have happened, together with her brother in a car that careened off a bridge into the lagoon. Sansa, with the soft heart was everything and more that Alaya could hope to be. But she was gone, and Alaya was still living. Why? Alaya was learning fast. Dreams sometimes hurt more than reality, especially when they are broken with jagged edges.

She would give anything to stop the madness in her head; the illusions she wished were her life. Was it so bad to desire to live? This dance between dreams and reality had to end. A jagged edge to the soft skin beneath her throat did it, and it was no broken dream this time. Just a fragile piece of glass that reminded Alaya of herself as she cut deep.

…different worlds…


I had a very unusual experience last week Tuesday, and I had been looking forward to  writing about it.  It’s amazing how sometimes we get caught up in our own lives and experiences, that we tend to feel that everybody sees life the same way we do. It can be quite interesting to be jolted out of that way of thinking.

I and a colleague, Cynthia, paid a visit to a customer’s office. I’ll call the customer  Hassan.  Hassan is one of the more interesting characters I’ve gotten to meet in the course of the year. A Lebanese by nationality, Hassan grew up in Kano and speaks Hausa fluently. Putting it differently, Hassan acts with all the hues and shades of the Nigerian character.

That day, Hassan was in a rather irritable mood. His belly hung out beneath his Polo T-shirt as he barked out orders in Hausa and Pidgin English to his workers who scurried around like mice. Eating Pringles and puffing away at his cigarette, he let us know in his characteristic gruff manner that he did not have time to attend to us. Cynthia and I chuckled and went into his office to sit and wait.

Sitting in his office was his svelte Lebanese wife, Aisha, sitting daintily at a table in the office. We exchanged greetings and Cynthia made the introductions because I had not met her before. I noticed that her brown and cream Channel bag was the same shade as her open-toe sandals. I also noticed that her fingernails and toenails were perfectly painted in this shade of wine that really suited her colouring. I couldn’t keep myself from noticing her golden-brown hair that looked almost like the Brazilian weave that Nigerian ladies spend tens of thousands to acquire. I knew it was real from the way she would run her hand through it when trying to explain a point, or flip it to one side unconsciously.

Still, the most interesting things about her I got to learn as we began conversing to pass time. She began by telling us how  bored she was with  just sitting at home all day watching television. That was why she decided to begin to work with her husband Hassan. Looking at the work station she had set up for herself, I nodded approvingly. She had an Apple notebook on the table, and her I-pad was set up on a stand beside it. She was in charge of administrative duties, and she seemed to have a good idea of what to do.

Aisha began to speak of visitors, and she declared that she could not abide people calling on her at home without informing her first. She made a good point, saying that she might have her hair in rollers, or she might not just feel like receiving visitors; and so if you call on her without informing her before hand, you would be turned away politely. She ended by saying that it was the practice in Lebanon, so people there tend not to visit others impromptu. Cynthia and I laughed,and spoke about the Nigerian culture of ‘branching’, which describes a situation when one is heading for a destination, but decides (sometimes spontaneously) visit one or two people who stay around the primary destination.

Interestingly, she began to speak on her personal preferences in dining. Aisha said that she could not stand someone bringing a piece of cutlery to pick from her plate. She declared that she would stop eating immediately. Such a person reeks of bad manners and must be corrected, even her children. Strictly speaking, she was right. But then, I remembered of  life in the university hostel where such a thing was practically normal, not to speak of the countless times I’ve done that to my mum, or had my sister do that to me!

One other point she raised left me quite speechless. She said that it was not possible for her sister to come visit her and go into her room, open her wardrobe and pick some of her clothes. Outrightly impossible. According to her, even her room is out-of-bounds to everyone, so her sister is not likely to think of such even if visiting. At this point, Cynthia who is an Igbo lady was struggling to hold back her laughter. She couldn’t fathom relating with her relatives in such a manner. To Cynthia, a family feud would ensue if she attempted such a thing.

At this point, I just couldn’t help marvelling at the way people have different notions on life because of their background and culture. From mundane issues to the very important, people react differently based on where they are coming from.

Can you really declare one culture’s peculiarities right and the other wrong, especially in issues that are not morally wrong in themselves? What traits do you admire and which irks you the most  in any tribe? Let me hear your views!!

I’m coming home !!!

I’m definitely sure that P.Diddy didn’t have me in mind when he and Skylar Grey sang/rapped the song ‘Coming Home’, but I’m still in love with it right now. And that’s because it just conveys so accurately (at least the chorus) what’s happening right now. I’ve not been on this blog in ages no thanks to my lackadaisical attitude.  She (my blog-yes, she’s a girl) probably would have ended up as the latest in a series of broken dreams and aspirations if not for divine intervention. (can i get a ‘hallelujah’ from somebody!!)

And yes, the divine intervention came in different forms, ranging from my attempts to ginger myself  especially after a very inspiring sermon in church,  to humans including one simply called Stranger. He read my first and only post and was like , ‘Girl, do something!!!’  And well, it doesn’t take much to do something. All you have to do is SOMETHING.

And so here I am, and I’m back for good. *inserts amen*

Well, the news this past week has been crazy. From Twittville to the real world. News of the infamous and still elusive ABSU 5 in the rape case caused a stir this past week as well as  news of acid baths, oil baths and the likes. Its becoming a scary, loveless world that we live in  So, strangely enough, inspiration came to me this week in the office during a spell of boredom.  I mused over the sad state of affairs in our nation, especially with regards to our relations with  one another and voila,  our ‘coming home’ post for the week!!

It’s a tad dramatic but then, oh well!!!  Enjoy!

Sing a song for us, mama

A joyous chant to the clapping of hands

As we sit gathered round you

Listening to the crickets sing their song in the dark

The flame flickers as the wind passes by her

Dancing in anticipation of your tune

Your children are here

Sing a song for us, mama

A song of work and wealth

Earned through sweat and tears

The way it was in your days

An ode, for the way it once was

For the way it ought to be

Sing a song for us, mama

About the evil in the land

A song that mourns the wife killed by her own husband

The friend scarred by her own friend

The girl whom five men rose against

A dirge rising to the highest heavens

Rousing even the dead that lie in the deep

Telling them that those on the earth

Will not walk in love

But have chosen to dwell in strife and violence

We must learn from you, mama

We must water the seeds you have given

From the fruits we have eaten

For without this

The end would come for us

And so, mama

Sing to us

We listen in quiet

If only the world would hear

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