If you….

Last week I had the opportunity of listening to a certain Pastor Olumide Emmanuel on the ‘School of Money’. He said something that struck me as poignant…”If you prepare for bad times, you’ll always have good times”.

That’s it folks…save, save, save and invest. It’s the mantra for the rainy day.

Have a fun-filled Independence Day Celebration ahead!!!Image

 

Investing in Treasury Bills

The stock market is a bum right now and rather than keep money in the bank, I have gone ahead to learn about the benefits of investing in treasury bills. First what do I mean by treasury bills?

A treasury bill is a short-term obligation backed by the Nigerian government with a maturity of 30, 60, 90, 182 and 365 days respectively. Minimum investment required starts from N100,000 and can be purchased through most financial institutions within the country. However, I will also recommend GT Asset Management as well. I’ve been using them for all my treasury bill investment till date. Treasury bills are issued through a competitive bidding process at a discount from par, which means that rather than paying fixed interest payments like conventional bonds, the appreciation of the bond provides the return to the holder.

So how do you calculate the returns on your investment? Kindly see the table below for different scenarios based on individual budget;

Principal Sum to invest No. of days Interest Rate Expected payout
                         200,000 30 0.13%                                2,131
                         500,000 60 13%                              10,656
                      1,000,000 90 13%                              31,967
                      2,000,000 182 13%                            129,290

As depicted in the table above, the longer your investment period, the higher the expected payout on your investment. How did I calculate this? Simple…supposing you have N1.5million naira lying idle in your savings account earning a measly 4% interest per annum and are interested in treasury bills, this is how to calculate your expected payout. The first thing to note about 2012 is its’ a leap year i.e. 366 days and not 365 days. Secondly if you’re not in dire need of this fund, I usually advise you go the long haul by investing for 182 days or 366 days instead. Thirdly divide your preferred investment period by the total number of days in the year x the interest rate (as advertised by the Central Bank of Nigeria) i.e. 182/366 x 0.13 or 366/366 x 0.13. Fourthly, multiply the value you get by the principal amount you want to invest i.e. 182/366 x 0.13 x 1,500,000 to obtain your payout. It’s as simple as that.

I also recommend you keep re-investing initial principal and interest to generate higher returns over a longer period of time if you don’t need the money right away. That’s my wise investment tip for the smart woman or man out there for the week.

You can also reach GT Asset Management via;

GTB Asset Management,
37, Karimu Kotun Street,
Victoria Island,
Lagos
+234 1 448 8888

Enjoy your weekend!!!

Art Lovers

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ART LOVER is proud to present to you a night targeted at those who love and appreciate Art. Art Lovers is a night of spoken word and acoustic sounds. This event is an organic platform which gives upcoming poets and artists the opportunity to perform in front of an audience with a live band. Also on the night there will be a stall open for trading by Kitschai who specialises in Vintage clothes, bags, jewellery and handmade accessories.

Art Lovers, created by London based Creative Director and owner of Fashion brand ‘Kitschai’, Andrea Ushedo, seeks to create its own exclusive niche market in Lagos. The night launches on Monday September 24th 2012 at 7pm and will continue every last Monday of the month at the prestigious BogoBiri House in Ikoyi. 

Tickets are priced at N1,000 and are available for purchase upon arrival at the venue.For further information and for the opportunity to perform at next months edition, do not hesitate to contact the organizer at art_lovers@hotmail.co.uk and follow us on Twitter: @_ArtLovers

BNatural Spa Review

A friend invited me out over the weekend for a girlie treat at a Spa located in Maryland. Somehow, I never got there cos I had a gift card for BNatural Spa and I decided to give my younger sister and moi a treat.

So I called up this casual acquaintance and asked if she could meet us up at Oduduwa Way, Ikeja GRA. I’ve always had the perception that their services would be expensive but how wrong I was.

I chose the something pedicure (can’t remember the name now. Something fancy). Oh it was an exquisite experience. They had this wonderful massage chair that could wring out the knacks from the body & bum. It was completely divine and simply scrumptious.

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That’s the picture of the Filipino lady who treated me like royalty. I mean the whole place is completely swarming with Filipinos. How they got them into the country, I don’t know but they do a good heck of a pedicure, manicure and leg waxing.

6 Days to World Malaria Day!!!

View the Youtube link for the Mortein WMD  theme  song  music  video  here. It has gone viral.     http://youtu.be/sBTmdBN7u14

 Do you know!

In 2009, about 3.3 billion people – half of the world’s population – were at risk of malaria? Every year, this leads to about 250 million malaria cases and nearly 800 thousand deaths. People living in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable.

World Malaria Day – which was instituted by the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May 2007 – is a day to recognize the global effort to provide effective control of malaria. This is an opportunity:

  • ·        For Nigeria and Africa to join in the fight against Malaria.  
  • ·        For Nigeria and other African countries  to showcase her efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has worked in the fight against Malaria.

Theme song was composed by Cobhams and perfomed by Omawumi.

Southeast Asia 2012 Travel Writing Scholarship

 

Entries close April 23rd, 2012 at 2pm AEST (UTC +10).

Do you want to be a published travel writer?

This year we decided to shake things up a bit and instead of choosing just one country for our scholarship…we’ve decided to send you off to three different countries in Southeast Asia! Once on the ground, you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourself life beyond the banana pancake trail, and get to know Southeast Asia from the local perspectives, through the eyes of three amazing writers.

Here’s the triple-dip deal:

First you’ll head off to Singapore to go on assignment for five days under the mentorship of Rough Guides writer Richard Lim to review and update ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’.

Then you’ll fly to Bali and meet up with Stuart McDonald, founder of Travelfish, the online travel guide to Southeast Asia, before heading off on six days of cultural insight and adventure in Indonesia.

For the last leg of the scholarship, you will be whisked off to Malaysia for a food odyssey through Kuala Lumpur and Penang with former local and cookbook author of award winning hsa*ba Burmese cookbook, Tin Cho Chaw, to explore how cuisine shapes the lives of Malaysians.

Important Dates

 

**You need to be available between June 18th – July 6th, 2012 to participate on the assignment.**

 

 

April 23    Submission deadline  

April 24-May 11    Judging preliminary shortlist

May 11-16    Finalists shortlist

May 17    Winner confirmed and announced 

May 17-June 17    Trip preparation

June 18     Arrive in Singapore

June 19-20    Meet Richard Lim – Singapore, shadow for two days 

June 21-22    Solo assignment for two days

June 23    Meet up with Richard, feedback on assignment etc. 

June 24-30    Indonesia: Culture & Adventure

July 1-July 5    Malaysia: Food Odyssey

July 6    Depart

August 20    Copy deadline

Singapore:  On assignment with Rough Guides

 

Photo courtesy of Rough Guides

Your Rough Guides brief

* We’ll fly you to Singapore from your country of residence. 

* After spending two days learning the ropes with mentor Richard Lim, you will have a chance to explore this bustling, progressive city for two days on your own. In this time, you will research, review and update essential travel information for ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’, including accommodation, bars & restaurants, cultural sights and activities, tours, and transport, as well as searching out those local secrets that travellers want to read about. On your final day, you will meet back up with Richard to go over your work together.

* Your mentor will be at hand to offer guidance, but essentially this is your assignment; you will travel on your own for this part of the journey so you must be comfortable travelling solo. Richard will assign you a specific area based on your travel experience.

* Your work will feature in the new edition of The Rough Guide to Singapore’, placing your foot firmly in the door of the elusive travel writing industry!

 

Photo courtesy of Rough Guides

 

Mentor, Richard Lim

Find out more about what you can expect from your Rough Guides mentorship.

Read an interview with Richard Lim about life as a travel writer.

Indonesia: Culture & Adventure

 

 

Photo courtesy of Emanuele Siracusa

Explore a whole different side of Bali. Venture off the grid to the remote village of Sidemen – live like the locals live, experience firsthand their coconut and salt industries and delve into the Balinese belief in “black magic” (need a hex on your ex? you’re in the right place).

To get your blood pumping, you’ll then hike up to the top of Gunung Agung, an active volcano, and the highest point on the island, followed up with a refreshing dip in the surf, with lessons at a surf camp in West Bali (yes…you must be comfortable in the water!).

You’ll also have some free time to explore on your own and to sit down with Stuart of Travelfish to pick his brain about online publishing in the travel space.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Travelfish

 

Malaysia: Food Odyssey

 

 

Photo courtesy of hsa*ba

Malaysian cuisine is comprised of three distinct cultures: Indian, Malay and Chinese – and the fusion recipes that make it so uniquely Malaysian. On this portion of your scholarship journey, you will be sampling it all, and learning about the process, stories and people behind the famous dishes (picky eaters, you’ve been warned!).

You will meet up with Cho of hsa*ba (with a blog that translates into “please eat”, bring an empty stomach) in Kuala Lumpur and eat your way around the night markets before checking out the KL fine dining scene. You will also join a local food blogger and her Makan Club for a typical night out in Kuala Lumpur to experience what’s happening in KL’s food scene.

Finally, head up to Penang, the renowned food mecca of Malaysia. You’ll get a hands-on cooking lesson and learn how to plate up some of your favorite dishes, wander through the endless wet market stalls, and visit a durian plantation (to sample the delicacies, of course!).

 

Photo courtesy of hsa*ba

What you’ll need to produce

Along with your work on the ‘Rough Guide to Singapore’, you will be required to keep a daily travel journal on WorldNomads.com (no less than 200 words per daily entry) to share your adventures through Southeast Asia. Your journal should be completed no later than two weeks from returning from your trip.

Who can apply

* This opportunity is open to students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change.

* The scholarship is open to all nationalities, however, you must have a high degree of proficiency in written English.

* The opportunity is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a travel writer on the road, so you must be comfortable doing some travel on your own.

* Minimum age 18 by the date the scholarship application close (April 23, 2012)

* A current passport with at least six months before expiry

* You must be available as per the dates set out. Please note these dates are not changeable in anyway, you must be available for the entire assignment.

* You should be an exceptional writer with a lust for adventure travel, a desire to experience new cultures (and eat them!)and above all, a burning desire to become a professional travel writer!

Watch our video for more eligibility information and application tips!

What constitutes a professional travel writer?

Essentially this is a ‘learning opportunity’ for someone who is looking for an introduction into the travel writing industry and importantly keen to be mentored.

As a guide, for the purposes of the opportunity, we would consider you to be professional travel writer if you have been published regularly in newspapers, travel magazines or travel journals. We would also consider you to be a professional travel writer if you derive more than 25% of your income from travel writing.

If you have had a few stories published, or keep a regular travel blog then we would not consider this professional.

We would also like to further clarify that a professional writer of any sort (travel writer or otherwise) is not eligible to apply if they derive more than 25% of their income from writing.

Please consider the spirit of the program which is intended to help those with a burning desire to be a professional travel writer and need some help getting started.

Apply now

If you want it, you’ve got to show it. To apply you need to:

1. Write. Craft a 2000 character or less (about 500 words) travel focused essay based on a personal experience around one of the following themes;

a. ‘Understanding a Culture through Food’

b. ‘A Local Encounter that Changed my Life’

c. ‘Seeing the World through Others Eyes’

d. ‘Giving Back on the Road’

It’s up to you to convince our judging panel through your writing that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for travel writing to be chosen for this scholarship. We will be looking for:

– great descriptive ability
– strong eye for detail
– ability to uncover and tell a compelling story
– excellent spelling and grammar and a knack for avoiding clichés

Check out our video blog with Rough Guide editor Clare Currie for some writing tips.

2. Complete an entry form which includes contact details and a maximum 800 character (about 200 words) essay on why you should be chosen and what the opportunity will mean for you. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.

3. One entry per person.

4. The entry must be submitted in English.

 

 

Applications close April 23, 2012 at 2pm (AEST)

 

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY – Please read before applying!

Click to read the terms and conditions of this scholarship

 

The recipient of the Scholarship, along with the shortlist of best entries will be published on the WorldNomads.com website on May 17th, 2012.

Finding a Job in 2011

Global recession is over and the job market is on a rebound while employers are starting to hire again. However the rules of engagement has changed.  Do note that there’s still a lot of competition out there and you’ll need to use every available resource and skill to get a foot in the door.

In the post-recession job market, submitting your resume and cover letter is not going to get you a job alone. I have had the privilege of perusing my colleagues resume over time and one thing I’ve observed is the inability to give a voice to resumes and cover letters. Your resume and cover letter should project your kind of professional person and what you’re bringing to the table. Often times, we leave out our achievements and accomplishment at our workplace because we think it’s inappropriate to do so. I totally disagree because trumping your achievements in your recent and past jobs is a sure way of being noticed and considered for the post in view.

Secondly if  you have saved the company extra bucks through an initiative of yours or done things differently,  prospective employers should learn about it through your resume.  So what works? Experts say making connections, adapting to each potential employer and promising results are the only ways to get hired. For instance if you’re applying for a position you think does not reflect your current job role, I always suggest you adopt a functional resume that chronicles the various skills you’ve acquired within your present job role.

Making connections is also vital in securing a new job because everything is built on personal connections. With large unemployment figure as we have in Nigeria and job openings still relatively scarce, employee referral is one way to increase your chances of getting a job. Potential employees should connect with people within a company and ask them for a referral. “It may be as mush as 10 times more effective” than simply applying (Gerry Crispin, co-owner of Careerxroads).

To that end, social networking has carved out a crucial spot in today’s job market. Job seekers must be on boar with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as smaller industry-specific sites in order to connect with more people, and employers, in their industry.  Social media tools should be used to make real connections not just virtual ones. Lots of people use social media all day long and they are communicating with tons of people but they’re not connecting with anybody. Build the relationship from there so it becomes a real world relationship.

Stretch to fit: Once job seekers connect with a company, then the real work of getting hired begins. Gone are the days of impressing a hiring manager with experience and education. These days it’s identifying what results you can deliver that will ultimately get you an offer.  In the current world today, the employer cares about one thing: what can you do for me today, how are you going to solve my most pressing problems, how are you going to take away my pain?

I usually suggest a potential employee finds out more about the company and what the company’s needs are via the websites and annual reports. Once you are well versed in the company’s particular constraints within the current economic climate, identify what you can bring to the table. Focus on the results you produced in your career so far: “here’s how, here’s when, here are the percentages,”. If you can’t add value, they’re not going to hire you. Experts also recommend being open to the pay, position, location and schedule of any position that is offered. Think more broadly, look at all the possibilities otherwise, you’ll be looking for a long, long time.

On The March Again

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The picture above represents the neighbourhood this morning. Today we troop out to elect Nigeria’s president. On my way to the accreditation centre this morning, I met a couple of early morning jogging individuals. You can spot them out in the background of the picture posted above.

It struck me how important this year’s elections will be and how similar it is to being summoned for jury duties.

I roused my sister up this morning to exercise her civic duties as well. On my way, I met a man discussing with someone on the phone about how important it was to vote for change by coming out to fulfil this civic duty.

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On reaching the accreditation centre, I saw people trickling in to vote. While the turnout for a vicinity like Magodo might not be large due to voters apathy, I was glad that others took this opportunity seriously. Accreditation was conducted within five minutes.

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Think about it. For the past 12years, we have complained about the poor state of infrastructure within the country. We’ve also criticised the government of the day for not providing an enabling environment where entrepreneurial activities can thrive. Now the opportunity has arrived and some people choose to adopt a “Siddon” look.

No way am I going to adopt such a pessimistic view. I have a duty to perform and I’m going to do that today. What about you?

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Work in Progress

Early this year, I remember giving an overview of how far we had come as a blog. I had also shared my goals for 2011 regarding this blog. For the early part of the year, I had spent time drafting and writing my proposals to various organisations.

However our efforts seem to have paid off. Last week Friday, we received an urgent call from a company seeking our expertise in the use of social media ( sorry, I can’t be more specific). We’re also assisting a small medium enterprise achieve it’s goals within the social media world.

What goals have you set out to achieve this year? The month of March offers you the opportunity to review your goals and objectives. Get to work and bring those dreams alive.