A few weeks back, I was having a conversation with my friend. Our conversation was initially centred on movie producers and she said: “hey, do you know they even choose an actor based on the number of social media presence they have?”. I was taken aback as I felt choosing a cast should be base on talent and not the number of followers.  We went on talking about why movie producers do this and the benefits it holds for them. Whilst having this conversation, my attention was immediately  drawn to those who haven’t got as much online recognition as they would love and the pang in their hearts when they compare their small growing number of followers to someone’s else’s  thousands or millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook including the number of views, likes or comments these people receive on a daily basis when they post a new picture. This is particularly prevalent among teenagers but there is also an alarming struggle among youths.
Now consider this; if an adult could worry about such things,  what do you think the average teen who is only starting to find his feet around and understand how the world works feel?
Don’t get me wrong, I use to worry about Instagram (did I say use to? I mean I still worry sometimes) and for such a long time it left me feeling sad when I see people’s pretty picture and the effort put in before a picture is posted. But I have a few things that keep me going and I hope it helps you.
  1. Knowing the purpose for joining Instagram? Knowing this would help you figure out where you stand i.e I didn’t sign up to NnekasChronicles Instagram to compare myself to others. On the contrary, I signed up so I can make an impact in my little way. I also have a personal account that helps me save my pics and connect with old friends. So even if I am not getting so much from there, it doesn’t bother me and this is because I understand the purpose for which it was created. So understanding this could help. You might have signed up to reconnect with old friends and relatives.  So knowing and understanding your purpose is important.
  2. What value are you adding? This is a powerful question.  What value are you adding to the 50 followers or 20 followers or 1million followers you’ve got? If you aren’t adding value to your few loyal fans, why should you then be bothered about having millions of followers if you aren’t impacting something meaningful? Ponder on this one.
  3. Who are you following and how do they make you feel? I am aware people do something called follow for follow (F4F or FFF) which is simply following back a person who follows you on instagram. So when you follow these people or stare at a picture or profile for so long, what impact does it leave with you; does it leave you feeling sad, happy or inspired? Sometimes after going through a picture, I find myself taking note because I have just learnt something new that I can’t wait to implement. So if your followers don’t inspire you or add value to your life or make you happy, it will do you more good to unfollow them. Trust me I have done it before (I still do)
  4. My last point which I believe is the most important (it doesn’t mean scrap the other 3 though😁, they are equally important). Is: everything is for show. No one can boldly say they have the perfect life however everyone claims so on Instagram or on social media. Remember the perfect picture had to undergo ‘surgery’ using different apps so don’t worry much if your pictures are not up to standard just work on your operating skills and like magic you will be there :). Mind you some of the people who claim to be the happiest on Instagram or any other social platform also have moments of sadness but hardly do you ever see anyone post their sad lives. Haven’t you heard of those who post up the nicest pictures and take their lives the next minute? My point is, we all struggle so don’t let anyone’s Instagram curated life make you feel like a failure or that you’ve got nothing to offer because you do.
  5. If nothing sticks out to you, remember what you see on the gram is not often a true reflection of the person’s reality. (remember the surgery I mentioned earlier?)  As I sometimes say, it’s all packaging.
I hope you leave here feeling positive and see Instagram in a different light.

Growing up I was taught to save and I did this by putting money (either the ones gifted to me on my birthday or by my parents) in a wood box built by the local carpenter. It was an exciting time for me as I get to put every naira or kobo in the box. What’s more exciting was, I could also include notes in the ‘safe’ or ‘Kolo’ as it was locally called in Nigeria.

My favourite moment is when I have to go withdraw cash from my ‘safe’ either to give my mum to get something for me or go to the shop to buy sweets for myself. I did this with a lot of excitement, sometimes desperation and anger on my face if my broomstick refuses to pick out the notes I want or picks nothing at all. Those days, when I look through the safe hole, I get excited at the green and red notes (N10/N20- 10/20Naira)staring back at me as back then, these notes were a lot of money and I could get new stuff for school or simply treat myself.

When I got a little older, I was gifted with a beautiful piggy bank with a lock. Oh how I cherished it. I kept it safe and wouldn’t let anyone touch it. By now I have mastered the art of saving and understood the need to invest.  Understanding this was priceless.

I remember travelling out of the country less than a year after I got gifted with my fancy piggy bank and had to part ways with it. That was one sad day for me- I had to give out this gift. According to my aunt, I wouldn’t need it in the country I am travelling to and since she needed something to remember me by, the bank came in handy. As painful as it was, I unlocked the bank, removed my money ( of course I had to )and gave her my little piggy bank.

Here is a very close sample of my fancy piggy bank. Mine was a square shape

Now as an adult, even though I have a bank account, I still find myself going shopping for a piggy bank to drop my 1p,50p, £1 and every change I can gather because I am sure, a time would come when I need to cash out. I remember having a chat with my friend last week and I said, rather than getting rid of my 10 and 5p’s, I will keep them in my piggy bank (I no longer call it safe)  and that will sort out the shopping bags and 17p water as you know in the UK, you no longer get shopping bags for free, you now pay for your bags when you go shopping in most supermarkets and if you haven’t got a 5 pence to complete your purchase, you won’t go out with it. Now see why every penny counts.

Here is my little piggy bank.

Another thing I do when it comes to saving is to randomly put cash in any of my bags. According to my mum, having spare cash at home helps for rainy days. Let me share this story.

One time during my undergrad, I travelled to a different city on holiday on my return, the taxi driver didn’t have change and it was a Sunday so shops were closed and I didn’t want to walk to the cash machine. Luckily, I remembered I had some cash and I paid him off. What my mum said was exactly true as having cash to lay aside saved the situation.

Another example was when I went to a restaurant in January this year. I opened my bag and saw the extra money I had randomly left. When it was time to pay, I realised the money i brought initially wasn’t enough. Rather than paying with my card, my random note paid off. Indeed laying money aside helps save for rainy days.

What are you into, do you still save with a piggy bank or do you randomly put cash away?

Let me know from the list mentioned what method you prefer to use when it comes to saving those notes and pennies or would you rather put all in the bank?

Now get your favourite drink with you as you are about to read one interesting story you hardly hear me talk about.

For some who aren’t aware, I was born in Nigeria. Back in the days, we had this child star make waves in the entertainment industry in Nigeria with her hit song ‘Osemudiamen” pronounced Ose-Mu-Di-A-Me and this is where the story of me being deceived comes into play.

When the hit ‘Osemudiamen’ by the young ‘Benita came on, the kids in the street, including myself and my neighbours were in love with the song. We will sing to it every time and our favourite moment was when it comes up on our television screen as we loved to watch Benita perform. As I come from a different tribe from Benita, I obviously didn’t know the lyrics to the song but I ‘chew’ my mouth in tune anyway.

My big sister knew how much I loved Benita and longed to see her so she capitalised on this and then one day, together with our neighbours who were twin sisters, conspired [yes! I say conspire because she knew I love to go to bed early and wouldn’t stay up late at night with them so it was indeed].  to lie to me so I could stay up longer rather than go to bed the usual time I did.

Back to my story.

So my sister conspired with the twins to lie that Benita came visiting with her parents and when I wake up in the morning, this is how the conversation goes:

My Sis: Ah!! Nne, you missed o

By the way; ‘O or Ah’ are a few among many Nigerian clichés we incorporate in our everyday conversation. I mean you hear people speak to their bosses at work or lecturers in universities like “Ah, excuse me sir  I can’t handle this course o” lol.

Come to think of it, if you haven’t included ah, o, abi, shebi in your conversation (Especially with your fellow Nigerian), are you truly Nigerian? **Food for Thought**

Again back to my story, apologies, getting distracted.

When she says that to me in the morning, me with the sleepy eye and hungry tummy, trying to find food to eat ignorantly replied ”

ME:  What happened?’

MY SIS: Benita came here yesterday

ME: It’s a LIE!!

MY SIS:  Ok, then, ask the twins

On hearing ‘ask the twins’ my eyes  will lit up and I screamed like:

ME: ‘Oh my God!! why didn’t you wake me? *Already on the verge of tears *

MY SIS: I was trying to wake you but you refused. You said I should leave you alone so we (Herself, the twins and Benita) ate puff puff and she sang her song to us”

*Puff Puff is a Nigeria snack.

I would be so upset and I’d run to the twins. Their story was always the same. So I pleaded with them saying

ME: Please, when next she comes, wake me up

TWINS: Don’t worry, she (Benita) said she will come today, we will try waking you up

On the night of Benita supposed arrival,  I stayed up, fighting sleep until nature eventually called and I gave in. This continued until I figured they were playing tricks on me but we laughed it off. I stopped being gullible.

Now reflecting on this, I decided I will make my nephew and niece pay for their mum’s shenanigans by making them stay up late. Or would I? Since I really want to be their favourite auntie. I guess they won’t have to pay for their mama’s sin.

Moral of the story???

Why not tell me what you deduced from this story yourself?

Till I write to you again, enjoy reading and enjoy the video below.

I was having my shower and a word of wisdom dropped. By now one will think I tend to get inspiration in bathrooms (see my previous bathroom inspired post here). The story of Jonah came to mind and how God told him to go to Nineveh to preach the gospel but out of fear, he went the opposite direction. While he was running away, God sent a heavy storm that shook the boat he was in and the people in the boat threw away their belongings to make the boat a little lighter. Whilst everyone was busy panicking and praying, they noticed Jonah was asleep. Long story short, Jonah told them he was running away from God and if they do not throw him off the boat, they might all die. The travellers threw Jonah overboard in the midst of the terrible storm and the sea became calm again.

While going through my routine, the thought of ‘Minding who you walk with in 2019 came to mind and I couldn’t wait to share’. I realise that a lot of opportunities have been missed as a result of the kind of relationship a person keeps. Back to the bible narrative, the travellers would have lost their lives have they not gotten rid of Jonah.

Do you remember when your parents would warn you against associating yourselves with a certain person because they were concerned you would be judged by others in accordance with the friends you keep or particularly the influence they might have on you? It’s been said countless times that “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. In essence, if you have a negative friend, invariably, you automatically become a negative person even if you are not and this happens because the company you hang with is believed to depict an actual representation of who you are and what you stand for regardless if it is true or not.

As you go through your journey, you will begin to understand like the men travelling with Jonah how important relationships are. In the early years of my life especially as a teenager and one going into adulthood, I thought having so many friends was important and I will become unhappy when I find that the people who I called my inner circle were no longer the same people I once walked with. Now I do no such thing as I have come to realise that not all relationships are supposed to walk you through your life’s journey. I now understand that some relationships will last a while and probably till you complete your journey on earth while others will last for a season. It’s up to you to unplug when a particular season comes to an end. Be tough enough to let go.  Obviously, letting go isn’t always easy but the earlier we condition our minds to work that way, the better for us.

It’s important to check for traces in people we think might drag us down and to eliminate such people from our lives without feeling sorry. Cutting yourself off people doesn’t make them your enemies, you just aren’t designed to walk a path with them anymore and even though it might have been good at some point, always know when to draw curtains especially when you sense the relationship isn’t making you a better person.

This brings me to the conclusion; as you walk through 2019, remember the story of Jonah. Be conscious of who you call a ‘close pal’ because your character is often reflected by the company and friends you chose to surround yourself with.

 

I have just returned from a trip to Dubai which by the way was an amazing experience and I enjoyed every bit of it.  So I thought “why not share my experience with you and perhaps suggest places you could visit when next you are in Dubai or if you decide to visit for the very first time. Mind you, I never thought of sharing my experience until I got back so I wasn’t really prepared for this post until later.

Before leaving for my journey, I made a list of places I wanted to visit, things I wanted to see and activities I wanted to do. But upon reaching Dubai, I got so relaxed and didn’t feel like doing a lot. I think this was probably as a result of being so busy at work, I needed to unwind and not spend most of my time outdoors.

Although this is my second visit to Dubai whenever I visit this city, there is a new development going on and as most people already know, Dubai is known for its high buildings. So I tend to relax and savour each moment when I visit.

So here are the places you could visit in the city.

Dubai Mal

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai MallDubai is famous for its extraordinary shopping malls. You could spend a day of endless shopping in Dubai. Dubai mall is one of the largest shopping malls in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) offering a diverse retail mix. And if you don’t like shopping, the mall offers leisure attractions and entertainment.

Although one thing I’d say is, if you don’t like malls then this place will seem tiring for you but if you do then you will love this place.

Desert Safari:

Safari was my first experience when I got to Dubai but that was after I ’ve had my nail done:). The safari is an experience of the Arabian desert in a single tour.

This activity was booked over the phone as we ( my friends and I) thought it was a lot cheaper than booking online and we were lucky to be accommodated considering it was a short notice booking.  On the day, we got a pickup not too far from our 4-star hotel (Pardon me to brag a bit 🙂 ) which made the whole safari experience seamless.

The safari included activities such as dune bashing, camel riding, and dinner desserts at a campsite where we sat around a campfire and watched folk-dance show, a belly dance performance and thereafter, enjoyed the traditional Arabian dishes of which we had varieties to choose from.

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

Although I tried to focus during the ride but it was scary I ended up screaming and holding onto my friends and the car door for safety.

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Beach, Boat Cruise

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, TravelAt the end of the night, we got into our 4×4 and rugged out of the desert.

 

Burj Khalifa:

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

This activity was also booked from our hotel. We booked a day before and we got the morning slot to get access to the 124th floor. We went through the Dubai mall which was nice to see by the way but we did struggle to get to Burj Khalifa as we sometimes missed our turns. Before reaching the floor, we were introduced to the history of Dubai through a multimedia presentation.

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

Next, we got into an elevator which travels 10 meters per second.

 

On reaching the top of the building surrounded by glass walls, we saw tourist just like us who had come to view the city. It is believed that the overall amount of concrete used in the construction of the building equals the weight of 100,000 elephants and is the tallest building in the world.

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

 

Gold Souk:

 Permit me to narrate my experience leading up to this journey. So on my return from my first trip, my landlord (at the time) asked about my journey and I narrated my experience. And then he asked, “did you get to visit the gold souk I told you about?” I was like “oh no I didn’t, it was so hot and I didn’t feel like going out” (I guess at this point you might wonder why I go on trips if I end up staying indoor right?). Oh gosh, my landlord was not having it. He nearly bite off my ear as he never stopped going on about what I missed “how couldn’t you visit the Gold souk” he would say.

So on my recent visit, I literally dragged myself to the gold souk in Deira in other to fulfil all righteousness and tick that off my bucket list.

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel, Gold Souk

The Gold Souk is considered one of the main attraction in Dubai. You might find this place interesting even if you’re not a Gold or jewellery fan.

Well, those who know me so well would know I’m not a ‘gold fan’ but I visited the place to see what it looks like. Not bad considering some of the shops offer diamonds, platinum and sometimes silver jewellery which are all genuine. Another thing I like about the gold market is that you can beat the price with the dealer until you come to an agreement.

Boat Cruise:

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel, Burj Khalifa, Boat Cruise

I have always wanted to go on one of these and missed the opportunity the first time I visited. But on my second visit, going on a boat cruise was definitely a top priority for me as well as visiting Burj Khalifa.

With the cruise, you can choose from a range of boat cruises and find something that suits you as well as your budget.

I wasn’t satisfied with the boat booked over the phone so I took a tour around the boat station (not sure what the area is called) and spoke to different people to see what they offered and the sitting position because I needed a private and quiet area. I eventually got what I wanted.

I enjoyed a beautiful evening under the sky and took in the glittering skyline whilst enjoying the view and city sights.

Aside from the beautiful view, the cruise had onboard activities such as Tanoura dance, Magic show and Doll dance to keep guest entertained.

Also, the buffet was nice. I was a bit sceptical about dinning but once I gave it a try, I was pleased.

Dubai Mall, NnekasChronicles, Dubai Experience, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel, Burj Khalifa, Boat Cruise

Beach

Finally the beach. The beach was a good one for me. The only downside, however, were the prices of things. As soon as we got to the seaside, prices of things doubled. Which wasn’t really nice- I guess that’s how they make their money so be mindful of this when going to the beach. That was the only turn off for me. Aside from that, it was good to walk around the beach, savour nature, take great pictures and create good memories.

So my advice to you before going on a Dubai trip or any trip for that matter is to plan ahead and check out the prices of things so you are well informed. I know we love to pamper ourselves when we go on holidays but make sure you spend within your budget so you don’t incur debt.

So there you have it. Places you could visit in Dubai.

Let me know what your experience was like going on holiday and if you’ve ever visited Dubai, let me know the activities you enjoyed and didn’t in the comment below.

 

 

 

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