Is somebody out there?
I hear voices, telling me to do this and do that.
I turn to look around, but no one is in sight.
Only then do I realize that it’s just me.
The voices, are all in my head.
And these thoughts, all on my mind.
Telling me to do this and do that.
Is somebody out there?
I can’t be alone with my thoughts.
Today I was featured as a guest on Unilag 103.1fm where I got to talk about Mushrooms, its beneficial effects as well as possible toxic effects. For the sake of those that didn’t or couldn’t get a chance to listen, I decided to give a summary of what was discussed on air. To do so, I came up ten interesting facts you should know about mushrooms.
1. Contrary to what most people think, mushrooms aren’t plants. They do not contain chlorophyll and do not need the sun’s energy for their growth.
2. Mushrooms are highly nutritious. Not only does water account for about 90% of their content, but they are also rich in essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals.
3. Fats, Carbohydrates and Salt content of mushroom is LOW.
4. Modern scientific studies suggests that mushrooms can be useful for antibacterial, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants
5. Health benefits of mushroom consumption includes, relief from high cholesterol levels, stronger immune system, weight loss, aids in treatment
against cancer and diabetes etc
6. In ancient times, mushrooms were used as sources of dyes.
7. The world’s largest producer of edible mushroom is China which produces about half of all cultivated mushrooms.
8. Poisonous mushrooms are very deadly and could lead to serious health problems such as comas, nausea and vomiting and in really worst cases DEATH. (Do not go mushroom hunting except you’ve been trained and are qualified to do so.)
9. Edible mushrooms, which have been grown in controlled and sterilized environments are available for sale in grocery stores. Do not trust unknown sellers. Always go for sealed products from reputable stores or companies.
10. October is mushroom month.
In all , be very careful with mushrooms because as much as they be beneficial, they can also be dangerous.
Unlike the old times, when families spent time together and most activities were domestic, so one didn’t necessarily have to be far off from home to accomplish a task, things have changed. These days, families spend time away from home and each other. Children are sent off to school, while the parents go to their workplaces. Going with the current style of living, we notice that a lot of time is spent away from home , especially for children. The average Nigerian child spends about nine months out of the year (for those in a boarding school) away from home. Day students on the other hand are in school for five days a week, from the early morning hours to late afternoon. During these times, who’s responsible for your child at school?Thinking about this, you see it’s a complicated matter. In general, most people would say the school is responsible for the child’s safety and this is quite true.
Schools have been considered to be some of the safest places in our nation. But of recent, we’ve been receiving reports of gunshots at schools as well as missing or abducted students. These incidences keep occurring and it’s getting to a point where one considers it normal,but this shouldn’t be the case. Contrary to what is expected of a school being safe and all, I’m afraid to say that our schools are no longer safe.
When you walk into a school for the first time, there are some visible indicators that lets you know whether or not it’s safe. You might notice that the building and its surrounding property is clean, well-lit and well maintained. These factors promote a sense of safety and security. School safety however goes beyond what can been seen on a tour of its facilities. For a school to be safe, so many factors such as the learning environment, the staff, students as well as parents involved with the school must have proper safety measures in place. This helps to handle any type of emergency that might occur. Notice I made mention of “the staff”, this is because teachers and others in positions of authority could also be bullies. You should have heard of stories where teachers punish students unjustly and these students in turn refuse to speak up at home for fear of such teachers. Where then should we find safety for our children if the schools are no longer safe?
A safe school should be one where pupils, students, parents and staff can go and not be concerned by external threats such as, intruders, kidnappers or bullies. Even when security measures have been put into place, it should be invisible to those protected by them, it should have a relaxed and serene feel, with one or two students and members of staff occasionally seen moving about and also the voices of children and teachers ringing out, as they engage in learning. It shouldn’t feel like a hide and seek zone. Also,it is extremely important for schools to control access to the premises and its students. Those involved with the school should know of its rules and regulations, because when everyone knows what is expected, it is less likely for a problem to occur.
As a parent, before enrolling your child in a school, you should ask certain questions concerning these regulations, if anything, a good school should have a handbook for parents or guardians addressing its rules. Ask questions pertaining to health management, how safe it is for a child to make reports especially if another student is involved, ask whether or not they have a background check on the staff, are there security cameras installed in order to monitor movements within and outside the school and so on. These questions are important because most of the tragic occurrences in schools are due to the negligence on the part of those in authority. Most of these schools set up flashy structures and have fancy uniforms that lure parents in, without putting proper safety measures in place. There have been cases of students sustaining injuries on the playground as a result of the swings or slides in poor conditions. Sometimes you hear of sick students not being attended to or not being given the right medication which could lead to serious health problems.Although, we can’t blame all incidences on the school, it is still very important that necessary measures are put in place to prevent such crises.
So my advice is that parents should encourage and make sure their children report and reach school safely. And they should also enrol their children in security-cautious schools instead of just looking at the good buildings and probably the academic excellence. And to the government, please help ensure that schools have an acceptable standard of security before approval is granted. Also bodies should be created to monitor schools by carrying inspection at designated times. This is in order to make sure schools go with and maintain a good level of security. Until we rightly address the issue concerning our schools and their safety, we’ll definitely continue to have more problems. We shouldn’t forget that the society needs children, for they are the future. So, let’s do what’s right for them by seeing to it that they are always safe both at home and school.
My soul dances to the tune of your heart
Its rhythm flows through my veins, walking its way to my soul.
Your heart pumped its beat louder, sending love notes out to my soul,making it dance harder and harder, while drawing itself closer to where your heart played its tune.
Happy new month guys. Today is the first of my new interview series, “Young Entrepreneurs Speak with Ellie”. This series covers in-depth interviews with fascinating guests, majorly young entrepreneurs. The aim of this series is to encourage ideas among people of the society especially youths. On this first interview session, we have a young, cute, sweet and intelligent girl. She’s a student of the University of Lagos,Nigeria. And she also has a part time career in photography. Below is Ola’s story in her own words.
FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR AGREEING TO THIS INTERVIEW PROPOSAL. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF .
I’m Ajayi Olaoluwa Olushola. Friends call me Ola for short. I’m currently studying Political Science at the University of Lagos. I’m an introverted novel freak,and the first child of a family of six. I love doing and planning things backstage. Not exactly a girly girl(laughs). What else, I love photography. And when I’m not doing that, you could find me playingscrabble. HMMM, I GUESS WE HAVE SOME THINGS IN COMMON, I ALSO ENJOY READING NOVELS. WHAT SORT OF NOVELS DO YOU READ,DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE AUTHOR OR A PARTICULAR GENRE YOU READ OFTEN?
I read romance and adventure novels. My favourite authors are Stephanie Laurens, Diana Palmer and Debbie Macomber. THESE ARE ALL FOREIGN AUTHORS,SEEMS LIKE YOU AREN’T INTO NIGERIAN LITERATURE?
Oh, of course not. I have some of my favourites from Nigeria as well. I love Chimamanda Adichie, Tunde Leye and Chinua Achebe(May his soul rest in peace, amen). YOU LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY, WHAT DRIVES YOUR PASSION FOR THAT?
My passion for photography stems from two things. They’re happiness and the drive to create beautiful things. As a child, I loved beautiful drawings and paintings. But as all I could do successfully was draw an orange and sometimes a shapeless looking basket,(laughs), I concluded that if I couldn’t make any beautiful drawing, I’ll just create my own happiness by taking beautiful pictures – with a camera. HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU HAD YOUR LIGHT BULB MOMENT?
I was 18 when I decided to learn photography and take it as a lifetime career. ARE YOU THE ONLY ONE MANAGING THE BUSINESS OR YOU HAVE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH?
I have people I work with. Besides, I’m still learning. YEAH SURE, EVEN THE PROFESSIONALS STILL LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY. ANY ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR, IF SO, PLEASE GIVE US DETAILS.
Achievements? Just one so far, two works of mine were displayed during an exhibition. WHEN AND WHERE DID THIS EXHIBITION TAKE PLACE?
The exhibition was during my graduation at the Photography Skill Academy.
DO YOUR PICTURES TELL A STORY, IS THERE A MESSAGE YOU TRY TO SEND THROUGH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS?
Of course, every picture tells a story. Photography is an art. And telling stories is an art. So yes, they do. For instance, I took this picture when I was facing some problems. I was perturbed and quite disturbed. I wanted silence, I wanted healing, I wanted to find light at the end of the so called tunnel. Eventually, I discovered that there’s always a reason for everything. In every problem, there’s a blessing, an opportunity.
WOW, THAT’S NICE, I LOVE THE INTERPRETATION, I MEAN LOOKING AT THE PICTURE, I CAN ALMOST FEEL THE SERENITY THAT COMES WITH IT.
(Smiles). Thanks. HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET JOBS AND WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR NON-WORK TIME?
Once in a while. As I said earlier, I’m still learning. In my free hours, I study(mostly school related subjects). HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO COMBINE BOTH SCHOOL AND WORK?
To be honest, it’s pretty stressful juggling both. But I try to create balance between school and photography. YOU ARE A POLITICAL SCIENCE STUDENT, ARE YOU POLITICALLY ACTIVE?
No I’m not. WHY NOT?
As stated earlier, I prefer doing things or making things work backstage. Besides, being really politically active in school is quite stressful for an introvert. Again, right now ,I have a lot of things going, so there’s hardly any time to engage in political activities. ALRIGHT THEN. EXCLUDING YOU, WHICH OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY?
I admire Kelechi Amadi Obi, Tobbinator, Leke Adenuga (QF), TY Bello, Bayo Omoboriowo as well as some foreign photographers. These people are good. They inspire me a lot with their work. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WORKING WITH ANY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS YOU MENTIONED, MAYBE SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE?
Yes o. In Jesus name, yes. (Laughs). DO YOU HAVE A BRAND, IF SO, WHAT’S YOUR BRAND’S NAME?
I use SJ meaning Sholajay. A name I coined from my real names. WHERE WILL YOU BE AFTER 25 YEARS?
In 25 years time, by the grace of God, I’ll be happily married to a man I love , as a photojournalist and an entrepreneur. And of course, I’ll have my kids by my side. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I can’t exactly call myself an entrepreneur right now. I feel I still have a lot of learning to do. So I don’t think I deserve the title just yet. ARE THERE ANY BOOKS THAT MOTIVATE YOU TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Yes, there are quite a few I’ve read. E.g books written by Pastor Sam Adeyemi. WHAT ARE THREE THINGS NEEDED TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT WHAT YOU DO?
Three things needed for me to be successful? Um, perseverance, discipline and although I can be lazy sometimes, hardwork. WHAT SORT OF CAMERA DO YOU USE FOR YOUR WORK?
Right now, I use a Canon 40D. I’m praying and working for a better one though. AMEN TO THAT. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN THEIR CHOSEN FIELD?
I’ll advise them to be diligent, disciplined and persistent in anything they choose to do. SOME YOUTHS HAVE PUT OUT THE EXCUSE OF NOT BEING ABLE TO START UP A BUSINESS OR TRADE DUE TO ONE REASON OR THE OTHER, SUCH AS FINANCIAL STATUS, FAMILY PROBLEMS ETC. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR SUCH YOUTHS?
We all know how tough it is for youths to make it out there. There’s a lot of competition. But the only way one stands a chance of making out there is by doing something that makes you stand out. So try to be different. They should also try networking, it helps a lot. ONE LAST QUESTION, DO YOU LIKE MY BLOG, WHY OR WHY NOT?
Yeah, I like your blog o Ellie. It’s just different(in a positive way) and interestingly informative. May God continue to enlarge your coast. (SMILES) AMEN. THANK YOU FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS. MY READERS AND I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.
You are welcome.
So that’s it guys, if you’d like to see more of Ola’s work, or want to connect with her, you can do so by following her on IG: @iamsholajay.
If you have any questions or anything at all you’d like to say to Ola, feel free to drop those in the comment box.