Thursday, October 30, 2014

Television show review: How Hannibal and I are alike.

By Adejoh Idoko Momoh.

As someone who has had experience feasting on raw flesh, it is hard to imagine how watching the television series 'Hannibal' upset me so much; it is after all about a psychopath forensic psychiatrist ‘Hannibal Lecter’ who after gruesomely murdering his victims delights himself by feeding on their organs. My brush with flesh eating I will tell on much later in this review.

Hannibal is an amazing show, one that proves true the theory that not all beautiful things must be explored or seen. Many things are brilliant about the show: the conversations witty and the performances smart, convincing even. My favorite character by far is the Professor Will Graham who plays the part of an FBI profiler, partly because he reminds me of how fragile humanity is; how trusting man desires to be and how guilt most times pushes us to do things we ordinarily wouldn't do. From him, you clearly get the picture of a man haunted by personal demons and feel the urge to push yourself further even when that exposes you to significant risk. His analysis, observation..everything is flawless.

The most disturbing thing about this show is that as the it progresses, the mind games get even sicker and really twisted in a good way that it keeps you interested. Its murder scenes are very detailed and precise. You know that edge of your seat, stomach twisting, gut wrenching gore that in the end leaves you frightened and excited at the same time. And this is perhaps what sets Hannibal apart from other psychological thrillers; its ability to not hold anything back, to be bold in its presentation and imagery. Admittedly, the early episodes of the first season seemed a little misdirected and confusing but going forward from the third, every story line was compelling as it was interesting, I kept thirsting for more, wondering how it was possible for the show to progress, but it progressed in very unexpected ways.  

My take on it really is simple, if you want a brilliant show good enough for the whole family to watch, Hannibal doesn’t quite cut it; the emotional, psychological torture you endure while watching it surely is not worth its brilliance, but if you want bold, audacious, daring, a show that pushes you to imagine things you never thought imaginable, then by all means see Hannibal.

As regards me eating raw flesh, it’s a very funny story actually. After we tired from shopping my sister suggested that since we were both hungry and probably wouldn't be grabbing dinner, we buy a pack of chicken from M&S and settle to eat it. Being someone who has a very healthy appetite for food, I wondered what she expected chicken to do for my hunger, but we bought it nonetheless. As we settled I immediately reached for the pack and ripped it open, removed a thigh and bit into it, it was sheer bliss. Perfectly seasoned lightly boiled chicken; my taste buds were excited. It wasn’t until I took the second bite and swallowed it that my sister stopped me. ‘the chicken is raw, we have to heat it in an oven’ I looked at the thigh in my hand and noticed its pink flesh ‘I am so sorry. I am so sorry’ she laughed.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Airline Review: The New Spirit of Africa

‘Why Ethiopian?' 
and I immediately knew why she asked. I heard the gory stories too; from plane seats that had tear marks from wear to aircrafts that made a wiggling sound just as you take off and the food; horrible awful food. In the end of what was a long conversation, she said 'please leave Ethiopian airlines out of it'. It was at this point I made up my mind to fly Ethiopian, experience it for myself, see if there was any truth to all the rumors I had heard. 
The rumors began to prove true a good eight hours before my flight; I tried to check in online and save myself the hassles of airport queues, but no, the Ethiopian airlines web site kept popping up an error message whenever I entered my flight details. This was the only time during my experience with the airline that I wished I had taken my sisters advice. 
The airline was nothing like the stories I had heard: we flew in a very generous Boeing 787. There was very adequate leg room such that I could stretch and even cross my legs without inconveniencing the person who sat in front of me. The inflight entertainment was spectacular; the lineup had so many recent movies that I was spoilt for choice, I eventually settled for Hercules and Invictus only because I hadn't seen both of them. The music too; really nice. 
None of the warnings people gave me of Bole International Airport were correct, to my mind it is a very decent looking airport with its expanse of glass and very high ceilings, everything about it I liked, except of course the bathrooms which were usually packed full and had wet floors. This is easily explainable though, it is mostly caused by people performing ablution in non designated areas. I used the Sheba Miles lounge and I was impressed, I had coffee, wifi and was comfortable enough to catch up on sleep. My 5 hour layover was an experience in itself.
The food on board was delicious, better than most bigger, more expensive airlines. I was served an assortment of long grained rice and really tender chicken, a bread bun with butter and cheese to compliment it, a generous bowl of fruit salad with berries and papaya and mango, and a vegetable salad mainly of beans, carrots, peas. All was really nice. 
Most airline related complaints are of air hostesses, but that wasn't my experience; I did get upset a couple of times when I pressed the call button and no one answered, but after a few minutes a hostess came by with apologies, a complimentary gift bag from first class and promised to constantly refill my paper cup with fruit juice as compensation.

All in all, the Ethiopian experience was lovely, especially for the price it flew; as I see it, the airline is both very easily affordable and very comfortable. I will fly the airline time and again. I insisted on filling a comment card on my way out: I am not one to get good services and not commend the business afterwards. Perhaps we all should do this, encourage businesses that make an effort to deliver real value. 

Adejoh Momoh ( can be followed on twitter @adejoh

Thursday, September 18, 2014

#BringBackOurGirls and the limits of success

By Adejoh Idoko Momoh

'What if it was my younger sister’s things in the photo?' I asked as I saw photos of personal effects belonging to the nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped from government secondary school Chibok on the 15th of April. The touching photos were compiled by a young American artist, Glenna Gordon with an aim to show the nature of these girls: their very delicate, easily impressionable frame of mind and how they are at the mostly confusing phase just before the transition to adulthood.
The events that immediately followed the abductions should give everyone some insight as to the insincere rescue mission going on and is perhaps what informed the formation of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement.
First, there was the miserable attempt by the Nigerian military to sell its citizens a false story as regards the immediate rescue of a majority of the Chibok girls, it did not take long for the people to uncover this story as the lie it was and that all girls were still in captivity but for about 50 who escaped by their own efforts. The military in swift response through one of its major generals in a press conference said that it acted on the information available to it at the time and apologized for deliberately misleading a grieving public.
With the presidency, it was silence. As is the strategy with ineffective governments, the Presidency in all its wisdom allowed rumors suggesting that the abductions were politically motivated circulate. Cleverly ignoring the fact that if it sincerely carried out its core function of ensuring security and fighting insurgency, the Boko haram insurgency might not have escalated to its current level. It is as though with these people who occupy high levels of governance, there is no sense of right and wrong, it is all about selfish interests and what spoils one man can gain from war.
It is in midst of all these confusion that the BBOG movement was birthed by Hadiza Bala Usman and a crop of her influential friends with the single focus of sustaining pressure on the government till it rescues the Chibok girls. With this, they did not demand anything out of the ordinary: they simply asked that government fulfills the most basic of its responsibilities of providing security for its citizens, going on rescue missions and bringing back all who have been abducted. This as it turns out is both the blessing of this advocacy group and its curse: the grouse was first why a single focus campaign when numerous ills take place in Nigeria daily, many wondered why this platform could not spread its tentacles, tackle more issues, be more inclusive of other peoples grievances. What happens to this platform when these girls are brought back? Will it fold? Its leaders, were they being sincere in fighting for the return of these girls or championing some political agenda? When all that proved unsuccessful as a strategy for bringing down the group, an attack at the integrity of its leaders commenced. So far, that too has not stopped the group.
One thing certain of the BBOG and the good people who participate in the advocacy is that they are all courageous, patriotic Nigerians who tragically might not achieve their aim of pressurizing the government till it rescues the abducted girls. On the other hand, one thing they have succeeded at though is keeping the issue on the fore front of discourse and they might have to accept this as far as their success can go.
I have always found consolation in the truth of these words and they are apt with the Bring Back Our Girls movement: it is true that sometimes we ask and we do not get the appropriate response, but it is also true that if we do not ask, we certainly do not get any sort of response. This is why I am a BBOG member: this is why I will stay with the cause until the platform ceases to exist, because it really is about asking the right set of questions. It is about a group of people asking a relatively passive government to rise to its responsibilities of protecting a citizenry and ultimately #BringBackOurGirls. It is about a group of concerned citizens demanding #ResultsFromTheRescueOperation and one pledging not to stop #UntilOurGirlsAreBackAndAlive, a pledge that with time has proved much more of a commitment than we all bargained for.

this article has been published in Sahara Reporters and Nigeria Intel

Thursday, August 28, 2014

It’s About Colour Really.

Adejoh Idoko Momoh

The line disconnects a few times and I remember to check my phones balance. I make the decision to go buy top up as the call I had to make was vital to my comfort in Aberdeen. I take a short walk in the cold to a SPAR just off George Street, a middle aged white man in distance says something I do not hear but still I smile at him. He repeats it a second time, this time louder and I hear,

‘No wahala’ I do not understand what he means and again I flash a smile. He hurries and catches up with me, nudges at me lightly and then says

‘This is Aberdeen, not Nigeria’

At this point, I pick up my pace, walk a little faster into the store and notice he follows behind me. He looks at me and says again,

‘Go back to Nigeria’

I ignore him; make my purchase and hurry back home just in case he still follows. This is my first brush with racism.

In this situation my first reaction is a fear that I am alone, this is not familiar  territory and if I did start a brawl or some issue about this, I will most likely be on the unpopular side of the discussion, not because my case lacked some merit but because as far as I know people look out for their own.  
The fear quickly passes and I feel anger, my first thought is to call the police report the incidence, the man and the store but I reconsider this. First off, I am not with my international passport; seriously who carries his international passport when he is going to a store just a couple blocks from where he lives? And with the rain in Aberdeen, I’d much rather leave this all important travel document at home.

The thought of not calling the police is reinforced by the Micheal Brown shooting, the Trayvon Martin murder, the Abdul Kamal incidence and numerous other cases that go unreported and I remember how difficult it is for a black person to get justice against a white person in a predominantly white country.

Make no mistake; a white man asking you to return to your country is in fact violence, because even when nothing is done to you physically you feel like you’ve been robbed of something. Like someone has unfairly tried to deny you the pleasure of feeling welcome in a country you’ve expended so much in time and energy to visit- this is even worse if you’re from Nigeria and you’ve experienced the rigours associated with getting a visa.

The thing about racial violence and not speaking up about it or making sure there’s some form of closure for its victim is the fact that one experience builds upon another and soon you have a pool of unpleasant memories. As in my case, if I am repeatedly exposed to incidences with middle aged white men at some point seeing any middle aged white man will bring these memories to mind and I may begin to find the sight of said white man nauseating. This in itself is some form of racism.

Racism is a vicious circle, one that goes round and round and sadly is a reality most Africans living or visiting abroad must live with. One thing I have always thought about most Africans abroad is that they continue to pay a price too high for living, whether it’s in taxes or foreign fees and constant reminders that they are foreigners and probably will be for the rest of their lives.

Adejoh Momoh ( can be followed on twitter @adejoh

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why We Must Take Abductions Seriously

By Adejoh Idoko Momoh

In the days leading up to Monday, Fatima struggled with sleep; reconciling the need to wake at night to study and the deprivation of a past time she really enjoyed. Ten minutes after she finally found sleep, she was rudely awakened and forcibly loaded onto a truck.
It has been 94 days now and she is still held against her will in the camp of dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram. She has neither seen any family nor a thing that is familiar to her and probably cries herself to sleep every night. This can very easily can be the story of any one of the 300 girls that were abducted on the night of April 14th from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
There are plenty of reasons to be angry with a system that has for the most part been a disappointment and failed to deliver on its principal obligation of security for its citizens. However, you cannot afford to sit on the sidelines; put yourself in the situation of the girls or their parents. Imagine a daughter birthed and nurtured till the age of 18, and then she is carted away and you get no information on her wellbeing or livelihood for close to 3 months?
Or imagine yourself going to work or the farm, a lone land rover drives by and you are coerced into it, kidnapped for more than 93 days? The thought that this could just have been you or a close relative should motivate you enough to speak up. It may be a Fatima from Chibok today or an Elizabeth from Gwoza tomorrow. It may even be your own daughter; she can be kidnapped just as you drop her off in school.
Abductions should concern us and we should lend our voices to causes that demand that governments everywhere fund and motivate their armed forces adequately to go on rescue missions and bring back people who are abducted in a timely manner and deliver them safely to their parents.
If you are concerned about geographical locations and you naively think you are too much of an elite to be abducted or you live in towns far away from where these gruesome acts take place, let me share with you the story of a personal friend; herself a veteran Nollywood actress.
One evening as she returned from seeing her brother at Dreams Garden in Abuja’s Wuse 2 District, she was stopped by thugs from the Abuja Environmental Agency and the Society against Prostitution and Child Labor who accused her of prostitution after hauling her into a bus. She was held against her will: condoms thrown at her, her clothes torn and photos taken to lay credence to their false allegations that she was a sex worker. She has since been released and has sought justice. Sadly, the process is slow or deliberately not yielding any result as people who constitute Nigeria’s ‘high and mighty’ are the same people on whose authority this abduction and illegal arrest was carried out.
Abductions in Nigeria are thriving because of cases similar to the above. Consider also the recent case of the two sisters who were kidnapped in Abuja’s Karmo district just outside their home. It is rumored the family had to pay some N10m to secure their release two weeks after they were taken. Who could have imagined? Two girls on a walk in a town that is supposedly the most secure in Nigeria kidnapped just in front of their home?
As long as people know they can carry out these dastardly acts and not face the wrath of justice, they will keep performing them. As long as we do not speak out, abductions will continue.
54 years after the Federal Republic of Nigeria swore in its constitution to protect its citizens and guaranty them the freedom of movement amongst other fundamental human rights, people like you and I continue to be abducted, arrested and held against our will. In other words, in every one of the 54 years we have existed as a sovereign nation, this country has continued to betray its self imposed responsibilities to its citizens.
Be attentive. Make it a habit to avoid dark walk ways and deserted parking lots. Or in situations similar to the above, get an escort; except in cases of terrorism, it is more difficult to abduct two individuals as opposed to one. Ladies can walk around with small vials of pepper spray in their hand bags; do whatever makes you feel safe.
In addition to all these, you must support movements like the BringBackOurGirls or the Women Rights Advancement and Protection Agency, both engagements that seek to let government know that we have had enough. We all have the right to live in a country that is abduction free. We must demand of our government who is the authority we voted into office to secure our lives and properties. We must make bold and say that we cannot condone these injustices to us, women and children.

(This article was first published on Sahara Reporters and can be found at the following link)

Monday, May 12, 2014

On Managing Peer Pressure

By Adejoh Idoko Momoh.

I today reconnected with an old friend and I cannot recall ever being happier in recent past. Memories of him being so helpful would flood my mind and I would think to the very first time we went out to have drinks.
After taking everyone’s order of something alcoholic the bartender would get to me. He would lean in as though to listen to me whisper:
‘I’d have a coke please’
I’d say with all the confidence a very responsible 19 year old can muster. In a few seconds, my confidence would wane as I’d notice all the stares. First from the bartender, then from everyone else who sat at the table; the very distinct look of hope, the hope that I was somehow mistaken and I had not meant my order.
I’d look to my friend in the corner; his expression would be very different. Apologetic even, sort of like:
‘I’m sorry I put you in this position’
With my gaze still fixed on him, I’d say to the bartender who still stood by
‘a redbull please. I’d have a can of redbull’
7 years ago to this day, this would be my first brush with peer pressure.  Okay, technically it was not peer pressure as the youngest among them was at least 10 years older.
Peer pressure as in this case can be negative and self destructive; however, it can be flipped by conscious action and can become a truly positive force. When you begin to surround yourself with positive people, their influence rubs off on you with time. I have seen this first hand; I knew I wanted to write. I sought for and joined a couple online writing classes, and I have seen my writing improve tremendously ever since. The only difference between positive and negative pressure really is simply the people you choose to surround yourself with.
Let’s make bold. Declare that we would surround ourselves with only people whose lives are examples and are capable of enriching ours positively as opposed to people who leave us worse off. Let’s shun the need to fit in, which really is the foundation of negative pressure and perhaps find that it is fashionable of some sort to stand out of the crowd.

Please share in the comments stories of how you have dealt with peer pressure or reconnected with old friends and classmates. Alternatively you can send an email message to and I promise a response. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

On Managing Illness

BY Adejoh Idoko Momoh

‘I think I have cancer Aunty’

There would be the longest ten seconds of silence and then I would continue. ‘It was in the bathroom, I reached for my scrotum and I found a lump’

Like every other Christian I know, my aunt would break into prayer: tell me of how cancer was not my portion and I probably was just scared. She would advise I go see a doctor and ask me to update her after I saw one.

Seven years later I would summon the courage to tell my mother of this lump, we would go to a clinic and discover it was a hernia. They would say it was on the right and then as they surgically repaired the one tear, they would see that it presented on the left as well and recommend that I had a second surgery.
My mood swung like a pendulum in the days that followed the diagnosis; at first I felt nothing, then my mother would ask why I did not trust her with information on the lump when I first found it and I would feel guilt. In a few hours, I would wonder if the doctors really diagnosed me wrong and it was cancer, then I would feel some relief it was not. At night, as I lay to sleep I would sink my face deep in my pillow and cry really loud sobs. In the morning I would think to surgical procedures and how expensive they can be. My thoughts would progress to worry induced by illness and then a lack of finances, then guilt again and some more blame; just the thought that I may have brought this upon myself.

I would go through all these privately and largely alone. I would have the support system of family but then I would consider that everybody has his troubles and I would not bother them. My brother would be at my side all the time, offering to help and my mother, as though magically putting her life on hold would constantly cater to me. I have only a handful of friends and at the time, besides 2 dear friends, they all would be absent. I would wonder why no one else was there and then I would think this spoke more about me and the people I chose to surround myself with.

It is a terrible thing to feel alone: It is horrific to keep family at a distance or hide the fact that you truly hurt from those who are closest to you. For we all who have at some point experienced illness, it is important that we get educated, know that we do not bring these things upon ourselves and discuss them with family, friends, and doctors. Know that if we only will, there is no illness that is too big to conquer or no situation that is capable of breaking us beyond what we allow.

Today, I met someone who would become a lifelong friend. He broke his neck and spine last year in an accident. His lungs collapsed due to an untreated pneumonia infection and he lost all feeling because of his broken spine. The doctors told him he might not speak, or walk, or stand for the rest of his life. Now following a course of therapy, even if his speech is painfully blurred he talks. Even if his hands are slow and they constantly flail, he has regained function in them. Even if he does not walk steady, he stands, takes a few steps then sits again. Stories like these should give us hope; tell us that whatever life throws at us, if we are so willed we would conquer, succeed and that we are truly not limited by anything beyond ourselves.

Feel free to share in the comments experiences that keep you hopeful. If you prefer, leave me a mail  ( and I promise to respond to each one.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Red Lipstick-ed Teacher

BY Adejoh Idoko Momoh

We’ve all had that one teacher who was so tough on all her students that she was generally feared. That one in her middle ages who would wear layers and layers of very bright red lipstick and would come to school in stilettos. She mostly would teach a subject like English and would speak it impeccably, such that she would feel somewhat superior to fellow teachers who spoke the language averagely.

‘Take out a sheet of paper and have your writing materials ready’

she would say as she cat-walked into class one morning. She would administer an impromptu test that would form part of our continuous assessment even though she did not prepare us for it. All through primary school as I remember it, I had never felt as much pressure about passing a simple test as I did that day.
I had written about Kenya’s Maasai people and their distinctive, a-little-too-colorful customs. How they believed soil was therapeutic and they buried themselves in the ground for healing. And then I waited, held my breath as she sat at her table with cane by her side scoring our essays.
As she passed by me returning test scripts, I would see red circles correcting grammar on the first page of my essay and I would think of how she now considered me a failure. How the matron when I got back to the hostel would consider me same and my dad… His face as he looked at the test script not saying anything but probably contemplating if it was still a wise decision to have me in school.
I would flip three pages and what I would see would shock me;
97%. With a tiny gold star next to it.
The universally feared teacher who made it a point not to ever give good grades gave me an A. She didn’t just stop there; she stapled a tiny piece of paper just at the bottom of my script that made me feel special, very special.

‘Excellent storytelling. You have an ease with words. You do us all a disservice if you do not consider a career in writing’ 

The words so profound, no one had ever said anything like that to me. Except of course for my mom who in typical mom-like manner would say I was particularly skilled at whatever it is I told her I was interested in and that I was a genius who would redefine everything I set my hands on. This was when I knew I wanted to write. I knew I would purposefully look for something to genuinely compliment about people whenever I met them. For the sole reason that affirming words like these from friends, mentors, teachers, family, strangers even, make us into the people we ultimately become. They point us in the direction of a dream, make us consider or at least contemplate it.
Words carry immense power and it’s no good trying to deny this. My very favorite quote by Nigerian writer, Toni Kan is ‘sometimes the verbal wounds we inflict on others live with us for the rest of our lives’. As far as our words can go to tell someone we believe in them, they can also tear us or someone else down, make them question the very essence of their lives.
This is perhaps why we need to speak a little more kindly, a little more thoughtfully. Make conscious efforts to have our words motivate people rather than discourage them, inspire them as opposed to devastate them. We most often have no idea what impact a few words stringed together can make. 

Share stories of someone who has been an inspiration to you in the comments or send me a private mail at

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

26 long years.

My fondest memory from being 25 is arriving at Hartsfield Jackson. I would sigh a long held sigh and whisper

‘I am finally in the land of the free’,

then my thoughts would wander and I would ask myself if a man in Atlanta and a man in Nigeria would turn 26 at the same time? Or if a man in Nigeria would turn 26 an hour before the man in Ghana? I would conclude that such time zone differences were too complex for my fragile head to decipher.

Over the years, I have cultivated the habit of writing a short post or poem every 12th February and it is relatively easy to look at my previous year’s list of goals and tick most of them as accomplished. This year however, it is different.

Apart from two or three accomplishments, the list stares frustrated at me. I wanted to travel more, earn a lot more, work two or three more writing jobs but none of these has turned out the way I planned. What I would later come to conclude is that progress in your circumstance (wealth, title, salary) is one thing and progress in yourself is an entirely different thing.

In the last year, I travelled for a bit: experienced cultures I had only dreamt of. Survived surgery and believe me when I say nothing gives you a better appreciation of life than surviving surgery. I finally took some responsibility and know what I want to do with my life, what steps to take that would lead me where I want to be in the next few years. And I met a slightly muscled, hazel eyed beauty who I am determined to have the most meaningful intimate relationship with.

In retrospect, this list looks far more meaningful than making a lot more friends or trying to beat deadlines. Perhaps, the major lesson here for me is recognizing that personal progress even when I have not made career progress is progress and every growth, no matter where it happens counts.

That said, I am happy, grateful just to be where I am and I look forward to exploring all the ills and good that come with being 26. 

Please share tales on how you spent your last birthday in the comments or leave me a mail at 

Thursday, January 23, 2014


‘Like it is in the picture’. I would run to my mum bellowing like a wild puppy. Pointing to the Ebony magazine I had in my hands, I would repeat, ‘buy me a Mont Blanc pen like it is in the photo’.
My mum would nod a nod that said something like:
‘why does a 9 year old want such a pen’
and then proceed on her journey. She would not buy the pen like it was in the photo when she returned and I would not ask her about it. My brother would later say to me that she had a budget of four hundred pounds for all of four children and could not afford my six hundred pounds pen from the magazine.
Today’s post would not be about luxury pens and all, it would be about a biro or bic- whichever is more appropriate. One First City Monument Bank had freely given as a New Year ‘thanks for your patronage’ gift to customers. As I received mine, first thing I would think is:
‘Would customers not appreciate improved services even more?’
The biro would go on to mean more than just biro to me. It would prove to me that there still is some good to Nigeria. From it, I would come to sudden realization that even when we say Nigeria is doomed because it lacks good people, this is most often not true.
It was on Friday the 17th January, I had stopped a taxi just up the road from the American Embassy and asked the cab driver to take me to my office, he immediately would demand a four hundred naira fare and I would allow a smile spread generously across my face. Three hundred I’d say and he’d look me in the face and frown that weird frown that ultimately continues until it becomes a smile, he would nod slightly and I would get in. Apart from pleasantries, we would not speak until I got to my office. I paid him in complete change, thanked him and I hurried off. He would mutter something like N300 was inadequate and I’d simply ignore him. Thirty minutes would pass and I’d be busy with the day’s paper when the security guard would interrupt and hand me a biro. He would say the taxi man returned it.
This single act would leave me impressed. Remind me that even in a country where everyone is said to be corrupt or self centered and poor, a taxi man still would expend his time and fuel to return something as basic as a biro to its owner.
I would immediately picture God saying:
‘For as long as you are faithful with little, I would bless you with even more’ and I would wonder what this means.
I’d say a prayer for the taxi man and say ‘thank you’ to the security guard. Seating at her desk across from me, my colleague would look to me and ask:
‘are you sure that taxi man is Nigerian?’
I’d look back at her and smile, knowing exactly what she meant.

Share your stories of exceptional Nigerians here in the comments or send me a mail at 

Adejoh Momoh ( can be followed on twitter @adejoh

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In Gratitude

Adejoh Idoko Momoh

Usually, I think through as I write my blog posts. Checking for inaccuracies, making sure that every statement reads just as I intended it. Today, it will be different. I would write directly as the words come to me, no second thoughts, no corrections.
In the last 5 years, I’ve gotten through the Christmas and New Year holidays with excitement, calm and some sense of accomplishment. Why? Because these past couple years have been some of the best in my life. I have seen myself grow in love, forgiveness, skill and health.
One of my proudest achievements of 2013 must be my blog. For the gift of readers, I am truly grateful. I have seen my blog grow from a site where I mostly write thoughts that are read by a few friends to one that has more international readership than it has national. My readership has grown from a modest 50 persons the first year it started- Yes, I really had only 50 readers read my blog in a 12 month period- to about 2,000 in December 2013 alone and about 45,000 in the year.
I would get e-mails from people genuinely interested in my posts, I fondly remember an e-mail message I got from an anonymous reader on my post ‘Finding Fit’. I had returned from the United States and saw the obesity crisis first hand; it encouraged me to write a post in which I referred to certain people as fat. This is the first time I would hear from the anonymous reader:

Dear Adejoh,
I have read your blog for some time but didn’t feel the need to write in until now. I found your post ‘Finding Fit’ very interesting to read. I enjoy your play with words and the ease there is to your writing. Fascinating. 
However, as an overweight lady myself it is my opinion that you need sensitivity training. You haven’t considered genetics or any other factors which can lead to weight gain in your piece. You somehow manage to generalize and blame it on diet and a lack of healthy choices. The sad thing is the piece in itself was so enjoyable that despite hating its message, I stayed reading it to the end; I guess that’s good writing. 

In all honesty, as I read this mail I smiled. Thankful that a reader would take out time to read my blog and send me an e-mail in response. It is at this point I would conclude that the achievement really is in my readers, not the blog itself. After all, it really is simply personal experience and things as I relate to them. I would realize that one of the down sides to living in a busy society is that we tend to take things for granted. We overlook everyday blessings; the gift of readers, the blessing of people who freely share their opinion and the generosity of all those who offer encouragement however they can.

It is for this reason I have decided to with my first 2014 blog post just say ‘Thank You’. It is my hope that in this year, we all would be more generous with our thankfulness. I have come to realize that one of the reasons why we should be grateful for the seemingly small things is that it helps us appreciate the big things in life when they come. And the other and perhaps ultimate reason is that as we learn to appreciate the small things, we realize that no act of kindness really is small.

Share your stories on gratitude as comments here or send them privately to