503 Days Later, I’m Back!

Back to BloggingIt has been 503 days since I last blogged on this space – what a long vacation from the Blog-o-sphere! *covers face*

I didn’t see it coming. I thought I could still manage to write in my spare time whilst I settled into my new job at the time. Like millions before me, I soon realized the magnitude of the force with which the Corporate world sucks even the most strong-willed of men into its big belly. Too late! You just get so engrossed in the routine that you lose track of time, and poof! One year’s gone. No, 500+3 days are gone by.

I have taken the bold step to revive this blog. I will endeavour to post something new mostly once a week, except when necessary and/or I have the bandwidth to blog an extra day or two. I will also feature guest bloggers on this space to ensure you get two posts per week.

Writing is what I do and I am certain that many have been blessed and inspired to become more and accomplish more in life by reading posts on this platform in the past. I have decided to re-activate www.gbengaawomodu.com because of purpose and its fulfillment. It will require me to spend some of my spare time, especially during weekends, but I believe I am up to the task.

Tomorrow, I will tell you about a Tweet Conference I have been invited to speak at. It’s an 8-day event that started on Sunday, June 15th, 2014 and will end on Sunday, June 22nd, 2014. You can catch all the action on Twitter (#Audacity2Lead) or on www.audacity2lead.com.

Hope you come back often. Hope you stay with me as I write again, every week.

Do have a fabulous day!

Photo credit: aermaniaukireland.blogspot.com

It’s Been Ages! Now, I’m Back to the Blog!!!

Dear friends,

It’s been ages since I last blogged here. I cannot find the exact words to qualify the wide range of experiences that filled that period of silence. I have missed my regular interaction with you, my ever-faithful readers. Though, I managed to maintain my regular columns on Bella Naija, I have had to endure what I’d call bouts of (mental) fatigue. You know when you can only read, but keep struggling to even scribble a draft for a blog post. Some commissioned essays, sadly, eventually had to be cancelled. My schedule was so haphazard that I always ended up too drained to sit, focus and just write… Now, I’m sure you’ve had enough of my first paragraph of rambling.

I would like to intimate you of developments in my writing since October. Last month, I decided to work on more regular posts so I came up with strategies to ensure I write more consistently. I began the “On Becoming a Man” (OBM) series on Bellanaija.com where I hope to share my thoughts on crucial matters that I continue to examine as I approach the mid-twenties. It’s been great writing the first four bi-monthly episodes, yet challenging. I must admit that it could be really difficult being so real in one’s writing without becoming vulnerable. Many times you are forced to think twice before spilling some details, especially when they are about you, albeit minute they might be. However, the truth remains that readers readily connect with analogies and relevant (well-told) anecdotes. It is also easy to feel you don’t know enough to be writing about becoming a man. But, that series is meant to be about my observations as I journey through this season of life, and which should/could stimulate discussions amongst readers; it is not necessarily an attempt to tell adults what to do with their life. In summary, I intend to keep experimenting with the voice and hopefully I’ll get that ‘perfect’ voice soon. Perhaps, I might just continue with that journey of reflections and self-discovery beyond my next birthday, if Christ tarries. [See the previous posts here: http://www.bellanaija.com/tag/on-becoming-a-man/]

The other major project I have embarked upon, which I am sorry I have not mentioned yet on this blog, is the Bella Naija Photo Stories. It is a series of photo documentaries based on several fundamental developmental issues in Nigeria. I am collaborating with two photographer friends who are equally doing pretty well in their primary focus – photography. It’s been a beautiful work of synergy and I am very glad being a part of the project. Through a series of fortnightly posts on www.bellanaija.com, Africa’s foremost fashion, entertainment and lifestyle website where I am an Editorial Assistant, we explore the lives of regular, often voiceless Nigerians on the streets who are often overshadowed by the rich and powerful in the society. We have run the first four episodes so far touching on the traders in the informal sector of the economy, waste and environmental pollution and control in Lagos, women of the ‘underground’ economy and commercial motorcyclists in Lagos. You can catch up on all the previous episodes here: http://www.bellanaija.com/tag/bn-photo-stories. The BN Photo Stories series is scheduled to end in the first week of January 2012.

Finally, the end of 2011 is upon us and it’s time for evaluation of the outgoing year. I do not promise many blog posts next month, but I can assure you I’ll be back to my blogging ways. It’s been a whooping 19 months since I started and it is only necessary that I explore more possibilities about my approach to writing /blogging in the New Year. I took a bold step to move to a self-hosted domain in September 2011 and it’s been increasingly rewarding. I would like to spend the most of December reviewing all the blog posts I’ve made since inception and adding a few useful skills to enhance my blogging experience, whilst strategizing and exploring ways to improve in my art and be more effective and consistent next year. Till we see in the next post, be good!

Photo credit: jasonleslie.blogspot.com

The Inevitable Name Change: “Egbe’s Diary” becomes “Gbenga’s Notebook!”

You would agree with me that the name of a person, place or idea says a lot about such a subject. When I started this blog nine months ago, I chose the title “Egbe’s Diary”. Naturally, you’d wonder, “what does ‘Egbe’ mean?” Well, it depends on several things. That word exists both in the Yoruba and Igbo languages, two popular broad languages in Nigeria.

If you assume the Yoruba language, that word would mean several things depending on which marks are applied to the word and where exactly they are applied – maybe ‘mates’, ‘weakling’, ‘charm for disappearing’, ‘side’, etc. Similarly, I gathered that the Igbo version also depends on how it is pronounced. While one means ‘gun’, the other means ‘hawk’. I had been told by some Igbo folks that it meant ‘eagle’ three years ago, which was why I stuck to it for a long time. I first used that name as my workshop name when I organised a three-week music workshop for my fellowship choir back in the university. I love to be associated with the eagle’s strength and other beautiful connotations attached to it. Besides, ‘eagle’ is very ‘Nigerian’. I didn’t really suspect my wrong assumption until last December when I read Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s multiple award-winning book – “I Do Not Come to You by Chance”, where she used the word in an Igbo expression. It was translated as ‘hawk’ and from then, the word haunted me. So last week I did a proper Google check and confirmed my subtle fear. Even though one particular writer/author still translated it as ‘eagle’, other translators were right – ‘hawk’. Who wants to be associated with the hawk anyways – a bird that kidnaps innocent chicks at will and causes pain to mother hen, making her scream at the top of her voice? How about a gun? I wouldn’t be a party to any of those, no matter how you want to justify their use as a positive symbol.

So, I started thinking of possible replacements – Gbenga’s Diary/Diaries, Gbenga’s Chronicles, Gbenga’s Vine, etc. Just like I changed the WordPress theme in the new year out of pure instantaneous conviction, I settled for “Gbenga’s Notebook!”. Yes, this space is my colourful notebook that contains text, pictures and videos, a sort-of 21st century notebook, you know. I hope I do not have to change this blog title any time soon (perhaps in a very long time) and that you like this new title too. I know the frequency of posts has not been like it used to be, but I’ve been swarmed with so much work off this space that even though the muse is very much around, I don’t just get to sit and type of out stuff exclusively for this blog.

Nevertheless, you should still expect the personal posts from me on this blog. When I do exclusive stuff for other web portals, I will endeavour to give an intro as well as a link to the complete post, wherever it may be on the web (like I’ve always done). You can also be sure to get details and links to fantastic contests and other similar opportunities. Till then, stay in top-shape! :)

-GN!

Photo credit: www.linkcsik.net