A train crashes and derails following a storm in the Norwegian mountains.
The passengers find refuge in a hotel close by. As the hours turn into days, a couple of them turn up dead.
A wheelchair-bound former detective has to contribute her skills and intuition to get to the root of the matter.
First Scandinavian read. Brought back memories of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.
The translation was obvious from the first few pages. The sentences were strung together differently. It still retained enough dark humour , sarcasm and emotion to make the mystery and suspense easier to bear.
In small sections, the author veers off for fleeting insights about family, politics, disability, religion and sexuality.
Like the storm , the book seemed to be going on forever but eventually picks up pace an d culminates in a haha! moment.
However, the ending after the ending left no clues, no answer , no closure! So confusing.
Fun fact- the author is a former Minister of Norway.
Kindly share your experiences with this book.
The last edition held a lot of promise and did not disappoint. The ambience of the venue created a relaxing yet focused mood for participants.
First up was an interactive session by Sis Fatimah Aiyegbajeje about the conduct of business according to the Shariah (Islamic Law). Several interesting topics were addressed. The good grasp and delivery of the speaker made it difficult to wrap up. She left everyone better poised to make their business comply more with halal principles.
And then it was time for tea! The rich taste of the hibiscus blend and the soft cake with sweet toppings kept palates busy for several minutes.
Next up was the highly charged talk on e-commerce by the guru Gbemmy Oyekan-Fasasi. In her characteristic vibrant way, she demonstrated how to navigate the online marketing maze many entrepreneurs struggle with. Her session left everyone present with renewed drive towards giving IT a bigger role in running an enterprise.
Lunch was the steaming hot Nigerian delicacy of Amala and ewedu. It was delicious and made without artificial seasoning. Culinary expert and convener of the tea, shared more valuable tips.
The last session was chaired by Mr Happy of CitiNG who patiently emphasised the importance of having a website. For many Nigerian start-ups, owning one is often difficult due to the problems of high cost, lack of flexibility, design hitches among others. Thus a company providing solutions in this area is welcome.
Alongside the sessions was new addition to the programme. @haniesyogurt, @teefahsensemble @smd all had their beautiful products on display at the Souq.
It was a great delight to meet the phenomenal @kifayahmompreneur , and a blessing to reconnect with friends who are lovely sisters contributing their quota to society. It is hoped that more Muslimah-owned businesses are strengthened with this initiative in future.
Mixed salad. One of the five courses.
If you attended previous editions or at least read reviews, then you have an idea what to expect with the just concluded one. It was the first one to be held at the SMD Place; a thoughtfully and aesthetically designed space.
The opportunity to learn the principles guiding business in Islam, network with active Muslimah-preneurs, being taught valuable lessons ladies seasoned in business is indeed unique. Did I mention the five -course delicious meal which was prepared sans artificial seasoning? It was indeed great value for money.
The introduction part was fun! Sisters got to know each other through their professions and businesses. It is amazing how many different ways the attendees are impacting society. Old acquaintances reconnected and new ones were made.
Next up was a lesson by Sister Rofia Olaniyan explaining the Shar’i rulings on contemporary forms of business. Many grey areas were clarified because keeping it halal is so crucial.
Then came Hajia Nurat Atoba, the MD of BT Ventures Ltd. In a very captivating manner, she shared practicable ways to succeed as a woman both in the home and at work. There were countless gems to select from her wealth of experience and success in running a successful business alongside demanding roles as wife and mother.
SMD still had more in store. Mrs Gbemmy Oyekan-Fasasi the e-commerce guru charged the cozy atmosphere with awe-inspiring tips on running a lucrative online business. The level of motivation was off the charts. It is safe to say, no one expected to be so serenaded.
Mrs Sharifah Yunus-Olokodana (culinary artist and the brain behind SMD) shared illuminating lessons from her business journey. As always, they were priceless.
In all, it was a great way for this unique group of women to spend Independence Day- working towards being more economically viable and by extension, productive citizens.
P.S. If you haven’t already signed up for the next edition, kindly send a DM for more details.
It is World Food Day 2017.
The reality of human nutrition today is a picture of stark contrast. On the one hand is food waste with food insecurity on the other. These and the few in between exist in all countries only with different levels. The smouldering embers of conflict old and new has worsened this problem. Many farmers reside in the rural areas where land is often abundant but security is less sophisticated than in the urban centres. Generally, in the absence of peace, services break down and everyone flees to safety. Stores become depleted, farmlands are ransacked, livestock are abandoned or killed and the once bountiful acres turn to a desolate landscape. This is played out numerous times as evident by the current refugee crisis described as the worst since World War II.
Goal #2 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is Zero Hunger. Of course this can only be achieved in sync with the other sixteen goals. It is hoped that by 2030, we would all achieve our aim of making this planet a better place. If you want to make a difference in this regard, join me at @mystreetkitchen (Siddiqah NGO) and @thenigerianchildinitiative (TNCI) two of several Nigerian NGOs doing great work in this area.
I do appreciate every other individual and organization working tirelessly to make sure people do not hungry in a world that wastes so much of the food it produces.The following steps are a good places to start.
- Eschewing violence,push for peaceful resolution of conflicts.
- Eating whole and natural foods will boost physical and mental health. Malnutrition has greatly stunted the growth and development of millions of children. This predisposes them to preventable diseases thus increasing under -five mortality.
- Sharing extra food with people around us instead of throwing it in the bin. Wasting good food is absurd but most of us are guilty of it in one way or the other.
- Encouraging agriculture via investment, provision of infrastructure,growing our own food and supporting farmers. There is so much benefit and potential in it. Beyond providing our food, it can be a huge source of sustainable revenue that will ensure wider societal development.
Together, we can achieve food security for all.
Too often we value those things we do not have. We focus more on the amazing things going on in other people’s lives but not in ours. Yet in no matter situation we may find ourselves, chances are we have got treasures we have either chosen to ignore or haven’t yet discovered.
This is so important for our mental, spiritual and by extension, physical well being. Replace that sulk with a smile. Look inwards and be amazed at what you find.
To make it even resonate better, get out your stationery and make a list of all the good things you have. For this earth and all the beautiful creation, being alive in itself, freedom,health, good hair, good skin, spouse, children, a bed to sleep on, clothes, food…..some of these are gifts millions do not have and yet we find them leading happy lives.
In all, no one has everything. We are meant to partner in goodness and make each other better. We should not flaunt our possessions to sadden others. Neither should we gawk at the blessings of others forgetting ours.
Do not place too much happiness on material things. With the sheer volume of edited images on the net we are bombarded with today, this may seem impossible. But you see, we should take charge of more things in our lives and thus make conscious efforts to do self-reflection. That rich person on earth may have none of the Akhirah and the outwardly poor one already has a great abode. Let us be more concerned with our standing before Allah ( SWT).
We should strive to enjoy the most of every moment and opportunity. Yes we may not have what we want yet but we keep on working towards our goals and not being knocked down by challenges. Who are we if not the #PeopleofAlhamdulillah?
For more, check previous posts on this blog in the #TheRamadhanBaby series
Have a most amazing Jumu’ah. There are many checklists circulating. Make sure to make the most out of it.
Friday 04 August 2017
Jumu’ah 11 Dhul Qadah 1438AH
What did I do today?
We all should have more days that give that deep sense of satisfaction. The good feeling that comes with investing in yourself and getting good value for your money. I was blessed to have such a day today.
It was at the SMD Tijaarah Tea for Muslim women entrepreneurs(Muslimahpreneurs) organized by @sherrys_Mamas_Delight
First we had to introduce ourselves and businesses, then renew intentions to dedicate it all to Allah (the Enricher). I liked that the setting was relaxed and so it was easy to get comfortable. Factors like age, success and profession posed no barriers. This facilitated learning from one another.
There was so much to learn! The lady behind SMD – Shariifah Yunus, a culinary artist and instructor, gave a passionate talk about her experience as a Muslim woman starting and running a business, confidence, positioning, advertising and lots more.
Next up was the session by Ameenah Imran, a seasoned and dedicated student of the deen, who took us through transactions that are forbidden in Islam. Making sure our business is based on halal (lawful) is very important. We also learnt about permissible transactions, putting Allah first and of course I was motivated to take learning about rulings and other fields of knowledge in Islam more seriously.
The last talk was about product photography by the creative Roqeebah Olaoniye- editor, photographer and legal consultant ( @roqeebah). She patiently coached with practical demonstartions us on how to get the best of apps and photos to sell our products and services. It was such a trove of treasures!
In between , we had breaks for Salah( prayers). Question and answer, with interactive sessions shed more light on issues. Ideas were flying about ready to be caught by the open-minded. Tea and lunch were welcome treats, all made with SMD natural tea and spices. The tea, burger and Ofada tasted so good. You should try cooking with them too.
I am glad to have made the acquaintance of business owners and budding entrepreneurs whose interests ranged from crafts, health, travel services to food businesses.
Supporting each other in growth and development was a priceless lesson. As women, we should build each other. And as Muslim women, we must treat each other with honour accorded to sisters.
In all, I met new people, reconnected with old friends and took away a zeal to run a successful business enterprise.
The àmì on the author’s name made me translate the title into Yoruba subconsciously and there! I got a loose idea of what the book was centred on – Àbíkú.
However , nothing prepares you for the twists and turns, the suspense and carefully woven tapestry of this work, the ending that is as unexpected as it is beautiful. All of this makes Stay With Me such a fantastic piece.
The plot mirrors common but rarely discussed experiences. In it, you are made to feel the pressure, frustration and all other emotions of a childless couple in 80’s South West Nigeria.
You feel the pain of betrayal, the rawness of deception, the calculation and misguided love in the ties connecting Akin and Yejide to Funmi, Dotun, Moomi and other characters. Witnessing the darkest side of each’s persona still does not make you judge them. Such is the candour of Ayòbámi’s presentation.
Perhaps what made this book so striking is the familiarity of the setting.
It is amazing how the author manages to incorporate so many themes in a concise and enjoyable read. Among them are life in Nigeria’s military era; escaping poverty to middle class through education; retaining core aspects of cultural heritage nonetheless; dedication and sacrifice of mothers; sickle cell disease and mental health.
It provides insight into the overwhelming importance placed on having biological children, how this leads to desperation, unforseen circumstances and uncontrollable consequences that defy best laid plans. Societal expectations are seen to be more stringent on women. Even self-proclaimed feminists are not spared.
P.S I would love to know more about Akin. For me, he was the most layered and interesting character.