Introducing: Essay Competitons

Image Source: Flickr 
When I was in secondary school (senior secondary, at least), I participated in a couple of essay competitions.  Of course, I did not win all the time, but I did win a few. Regardless of the outcome of each competition, participating really helped improve my writing skills and made me more inquisitive.  It was a defining point in my life because I realized that I could write and be taken seriously.  But, I would not have participated if I did not KNOW about them.  So knowledge of the competition was key.

In light of this, I have decided to feature any essay competitions I come across on this blog.  I am not sure secondary school students read my blog, but I would like to believe that those who read the blog know secondary school students or university students who might be interested. I mentioned those two levels because for the most part, the competitions require you to be "in school" (secondary, university, etc).  Anyway, enough of my rambling.

UGreen Foundation, an organization based in Ebonyi State, Nigeria has organized a "Change your World" essay contest in honor of the United Nations International Year of Youths, which runs from August 2010 - August 2011.  You can find more details at The Bookaholic Blog.

Please note the following RULES:

The Peacock and the Egg [Featured Artiste: Midnight Crew]

Male Peacock / Image Credit: Flickr
Do you remember that age-old question, “Which comes first: the chicken or the egg”? Well, I thought about it recently and frankly I don’t care which comes first as long as they all end up well-cooked and seasoned on my plate (*dodges tomatoes, lettuce and even okra from animal lovers*). But I decided to name this blog post “The Peacock and the Egg” for two reasons:

1.  I wanted an excuse to put up a picture of a peacock on my blog (How shallow…I know *covers face with hands*); and

2.  I was thinking of music videos and how they remind me of peacocks.  Oya, let me explain.

The Nigerian music industry as a whole has undergone a serious makeover in the last couple of years in terms of audio quality, but the music videos have made this even more obvious.  If you examine the quality (not necessarily the content….leave that one for now) of music videos today, they tend to be much better than they were about 10 years ago.  Agreed? The music video is not just the next logical step after releasing the audio version of a song on radio; it is a very potent marketing tool.  At least, I think so (*smiles*).  Music videos today tend to be quite colorful and well…interesting.  The gospel music videos are of course not left out. You don’t just see some sisthren and brethren wearing gloves and waving (or worse still dancing “choreography”) anymore.  Well, “anymore” is too general.  Let’s just say it is on the decline! The videos are actually now more…emmm… “watchable” and presentable.  

Dear Diary [Featured Artiste: J Bones]

Image Source: Flickr

The format is a bit different, but I decided to have some fun with today’s blog post.  Enjoy!

Dear Diary:

I am humbled.  I can’t believe I won that poetry competition! Yes, that one I almost didn’t participate in.  ‘Almost’ is such a strange word now because it no longer applies to that *ahem*…. I won’t repeat it.  And to think I stood in the kitchen and wrote those four lines.  I am not even a poet, but I wonder at all the opportunities that I have allowed to pass me by, just because I did not even try.  Well, that was yesterday.  Tomorrow is pregnant with so many possibilities and that is something I can look forward to.  But this poetry has put me in a reflective mode again.  You know, that mode where I ask many questions and the answers suggest themselves too hastily. Or sometimes the answers hide away for days, weeks, months, years enticing me to seek them out. 

Of Beads and White Shinning Teeth [Featured Artiste: Chudy]

I can hardly believe we are already in August.  This 2011 is going by very quickly (for me sha!)

Before I begin, I would like to first say “Thank You” to all those who follow and / or comment on this blog. I truly appreciate your support!

And, I would also like to say CONGRATULATIONS to a fellow blogger, Michael Onobote (@moifrequency) as he celebrates the FIRST year anniversary of his blog today. Please check out his blog when you can as he has interesting stuff to share.

And now for today’s post (*pushes glasses further back against her face and blinks at the computer screen*). When I hear the word “Passion,” the first image that usually comes to my mind is that of a dancer swinging her hips (and everything else that can be “swung”) to the exciting beats of a drum. While I won’t claim to be a good dancer (notice I said “good” not even “great”…. *laughs*), I really admire those who are. In fact, if you saw me dancing, you would probably beg me to keep my day job! LOL! One particular type of dance that fascinates me is the Atilogwu dance. 

Atilogwu Dancers
Once I get past the mandatory body odor (for real…I don’t know why, but generally, cultural dancers tend to have serious B.O. Please don’t ask me how close I was to catch a whiff of their “deodorant-less” armpits), I have to wonder how the dancers are able to maintain their balance, keep the audience entertained and wowed, while their faces reflect what their bodies are expressing. They are always smiling, and it is not just a shy, reluctant one, but a big, wide one, with their 303 teeth exposed (Okay, I exaggerated! If I met a human being with that number of teeth, I wouldn’t care about their talents or lack thereof. I would “tu danu!” (run for my life) because that is not normal!)