The Chairlady For Jolliness And Nuptial Endowment Series

A short introduction to the series
The series has its foundation from the news story of a State Governor in Nigeria who created an office for his sister. She was named the Commissioner for Happiness and Couples Fulfilment, and public outcry followed. The Chairlady for Jolliness And Nuptial Endowment is a satirical piece that goes on to explore politics and policy decisions around the African continent, and their consequence for the ordinary man.  For the story which broke towards the end of 2017, click here.

 

Prologue

Two months ago, I became the Chairlady for Jolliness and Nuptial Endowment. I think it is important at this early point to mention that I deserved it too, because although I am not a politician, I am happy and my marriage is fulfilled.

Before my appointment, I was a woman of God, still am, running a successful park and shop business, mother of six children, and married successfully for 20 years. Somebody was asking on the radio how you know a successful marriage. Well I say I have been married successfully because my husband Joseph and I still live under one roof even after all our years of marriage, all my six children are his’, we all go to church in one car and I still cook him pepper soup on Sundays.

I proudly stated some of this in my inauguration speech and all the newspapers won’t stop printing it, that means it is popular and worthy of emulation. In all my happiness at this blessing, I felt confused at the name of my portfolio, because people were laughing about it, calling it local. But I have accepted it all in good faith; after all, I am a successful businesswoman in my own right who is now a politician. When you have a good salary and benefits, an official car, a nice office, and a secretary, everything else will sort itself out. But yes, that title wasn’t exactly what I would have written myself. Ah, and that secretary who is always wearing very short skirt suits. I do not like her overly long and bright nails, and bleached knuckles. But we must all key in into His Excellency’s vision.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised when I received the phone call and confirmation. Do you know who is the happiest for this news? My husband is. You see, all my comportment has worked, when I used to tell him that worshipping at Holy Faith Chapel has its advantages, he argued. Who is laughing last now? Men! To drive 30 minutes to a connected church where everyone is a big man, and His Excellency himself worships there, what’s the big deal with a bit of driving in traffic for a good cause? I cut out running generator in my shop for electricity before 1pm and converted the money into nice clothes for church for the children and for us. Everything we wore was asoebi; it is not enough to say you are husband and wife; your clothes must match to illustrate your bond and your class too. All these are investments, but when you tell men, they do not listen.

Anyway, the night of the announcement was extra special, he called me asa! I haven’t heard that nickname since we had our first, and as you know by now, I have gone on to have 5 more. I think our wonderful children contributed too, because when I kit them up, and my husband too, and we sit together, full of smiles and happiness, I was clearly the ideal candidate for this role. The women’s group helped also because I often offer to help with everything, especially for church announcements and event planning. Ah, it has paid off.

The First Lady is also my friend, because of Holy Faith Chapel. She must have given His Excellency the green light to appoint me. I call her mummy. I remember one Sunday morning; my father was visiting us for a week and he wouldn’t stop complaining about his pension. I told him not to come to church with us; to rest and watch some football. He would have said something unhelpful to the First Lady, I was sure. That day I made sure to tell her a kind word. I said “mummy, you look joyful, blue is your colour and the Lord is working mightily through you and daddy His Excellency”. And I went away. The key is to greet and complement often, but never harass and never ever ask for money or contracts. Never ask for a job for your children or relatives, most importantly, never ask for pension for your father. Life is about looking at the goal and packaging. Now that I am Chairlady, is my father not getting the entire pension he is owed? Even my husband is getting a pension too from the province and he hasn’t even retired.

My husband has never been more attentive and helpful; you should see him telling the driver, my driver, what errands to run. You would think he was the Chairman for Jolliness and Nuptial Endowment. I told him he was the Assistant Chairman for Jolliness and Nuptial Endowment. He just threw his head back and laughed his big deep laugh, the one I hear only when he’s speaking to “My Oga”. I have since realised that “My Oga” cannot be his boss or a supplier, but must be one of his girlfriends. Ah don’t look so surprised, I know that laugh. He laughs that way too when I lend him money to pay some of the rent, a sound of sheer pleasure at getting his way.

Anyway, I am not complaining o, I have my six children, so I am jolly and endowed. He’s told me to call him Chief, the Honourable Chair, and he laughed that big laugh again. My husband was pleased for me. For all his indiscretions, he’s still the lifter upper of my head. Well after Jesus. But you know who wasn’t so pleased? The people of the internet.

I do not know how they got my photo, and many photos of me were being circulated with ugly rumours and lies. People do not understand that our society is being ruined by unhappiness and divorce, there is need for my position and I will do my best to show them. Now that orientation month is over, I plan to start immediately. My office has two responsibilities, like two branches; Jolliness and Nuptial Endowment. I plan to spread Jolliness first, and I will do that by putting Christmas trees in every market, every school and every hospital in the province. I will put Christmas lights on the poles of street lights and traffic lights. Not only will it spread happiness which is the main objective, but it will use solar power, so even when NEPA takes the light and the streets are dark, our Christmas lights and trees will light up the entire Odon Province.

To be continued next week.

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How To Lose Weight In No Time

So this is the third month in the year. I woke up this morning and finally decided to check my weight on the scale in the bathroom which has taunted me since all that Christmas chocolate and pudding. I am sure that I am not alone in this. Over the holdiays, I ate a shocking amount of chocolate, none of which I bought myself. You see, people think that the best way to share their joy and holiday spirit is by gifting the office or the house share with chocolates. To be fair to them, nobody asked me to indulge, but there’s something about a pack of ferrero Rocher.

There is no such thing as self control when I see a packet of celebrations containing pure goodness, otherwise known as snickers. Anyway, I ate a whole lot of those, as well as many many Nutella pancakes and crepes at the Christmas bazaars in London and Bristol. Life was good! Then my birthday and valentine’s day arrived in January and February respectively; and I indulged some more. All thanks to the wonderful friends, house mates and classmates who insist on spreading the chocolatey love. Fast forward two weeks later, I climbed on the scale and I was sorry!

Nutella stuffed pancakes. Source: www.mirror.co.uk
Nutella stuffed pancakes. Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk

To be honest, I was not too surprised because my butt had taken on a slightly fuller appearance in the mirror and in my jeans. In addition, my midriff was also showing signs of the old muffin-ness. Thus I embarked upon my quest to lose 1kg or 2.2 pounds and to tone up as well. This morning, I got on that scale and I had lost 2kg (4.4 pounds) in one month. I am so excited, and I really did not do too much, except be regimented and disciplined, but I wasn’t starving myself. Below is what I did for anyone’s who is interested in trying:

Chocolate! Source: www.all-free-download.com
Chocolate! Source: http://www.all-free-download.com

1. I banished all the bad stuff from my kitchen. stocked up on small sized apples, small banana fingers, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, bell peppers, okro, spinach, onions, frozen peas, frozen mushrooms, fish, chicken breasts, eggs, beans, beans flour, unripe plantain, sweet potatoes, oats, unsweetened almond milk, ginger and lemon tea, peppermint tea (all caffeine free).

2. I made a weekly menu which I shall share below.

3. I found my favourite series and had them ready to play daily for my exercise sessions, 30 minutes per episode.

4. I began to jog on the spot in front of the TV every single morning or evening (depending on what was going on in my day) for 30 minutes while watching my beloved series. No exercise, no series, it was my reward for looking after my body and myself.

5. I made my meals a few days in advance and put them in the fridge inside portion control plastic containers. In addition, everyday before going out, I sliced about 3 or 4 carrots and put in a zip log bag, this constituted my snacking. I also took my  teabags with me as I cut out all that milky tea drinking and just stuck with my yummy flavoured tea.

6. I did not go out to parties or with friends as much during this time.

7. I tried to eat dinner before 7pm daily and went to bed early if I was feeling peckish.

8. I made a diary of what I ate so that I could review in the event that I ate too much on a particular day.

9. I had music in the background if I did not feel like watching the series while I exercised.

10. I stayed away from the scale for a month. I drank lots of water and caffeine free flavoured tea. I at mostly lean protein, legumes, egg whites. I cut out eba, pounded yam, potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, sweets, cookies,etc

My menu:

Fruits and Veggies. Source: www.jegygyuru.com
Fruits and Veggies. Source: http://www.jegygyuru.com
Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Oats with some almond milk, a small banana Chicken salad drizzled with olive oil and black pepper Roasted, boiled or grilled chicken breast on a bed of tomatoes and lettuce
Tuesday 1 boiled egg with cooked mushrooms and cherry tomatoes Homemade stir fry (with only half a teaspoon of oil oil) of mostly diced chicken breast, onions, mushrooms and peas and 1 serving spoon of beans A fish fillet grilled with garlic served on a bed of rockets or any veggies you have
Wed Oats, unsweetened almond milk and banana ½  sweet potato used to make a salad. No dressing, just olive oil, vinegar and black pepper A small bowl of Okro soup made with skinless chicken and half a teaspoon of palm oil
Thursday 1 grilled sausage with tomatoes and mushrooms A small tin of moi-moi made with olive oil Pea soup
Friday ½ a grapefruit Stir fry made with a serving spoon of chickpeas and a lot of peas, tomatoes, mushrooms Tuna salad with lettuce and healthy dressing
Saturday Oats, banana and unsweetened almond Mushrooms and ham soup Grilled Chicken breast marinated in garlic with veggies
Sunday 1 grapefruit Mashed sweet potatoes and grilled fish with a side of peas and carrots ½ unripe Plantain roasted in the oven and eaten with spinach tomatoes stew or spinach curry
slim_belly_and_measure_tape_187102
Belly and tape measure. Source: http://www.all-free-download.com

I varied my menu every now and then for the four weeks. I also controlled my portions to 3/4 of my fist. I snacked twice in the day; mid morning, and mid-evening. My snacks were usually 1 apple, or 1 pear, or 1 carrot, or 10 raw almonds. I had a few treat days where I saw a movie with a small pack of popcorn, or had pancakes for breakfast. But for the most part, I stuck to what you see above. I am so psyched and plan to continue. I never felt tired or hungry because the meals are quite balanced; proteins, veggies, fruits, carbs (from potatoes, plaintain, veggies and fruits). I will carry on for another month and see how it goes. Fingers crossed I can persevere for another month, and then change a few things and make it a lifestyle. Have you had the same dilemma as me over the holidays?