One of the things I decide to do at the beginning of the year was to increase my skillset. You know how you set goals and actively work towards them? Mine was skills. 2016 was my year of acquiring digital skills and increasing my capacity. Since February, starting with Social Media Week, I’ve been attending all the necessary conferences, workshops, and trainings. Towards the middle of the year, it all finally came into place. Even though I still hadn’t figured out what exact path I wanted to take, all I knew was, it had to be related to writing/content. So, I took it from there. Interestingly, content takes various forms these days including audio, graphics, text, and videos. I figured if I learned all of that, it won’t be a shabby year.
Enter TFESS Graphic Design Workshop.
Of course, I had been looking out for a well-rounded training. Something worth an investment. Something that would sustain my interest for the entire duration given my attention span and non-existent background in Design. So, at the last minute – I didn’t give myself time to overthink it plus the deadline was close – I registered.
Three things stood out for me.
The location was super convenient.
It was such a great experience returning to my former hood. I hadn’t been to Surulere in months. It is completely out of my radar but it was great to return there. Of course, the venue was easy to find as I had been there two years ago. Although I wasn’t exactly pleased with the week long duration, the convenience made it less stressful.
The content of the workshop.
As I mentioned earlier, I had attended several trainings previously so I was very particular about the content/curriculum of the program. I didn’t just want theory – I mean I could have stayed home and read blogs – but the main crux of the matter. Fortunately for me, I got what I wanted and even more. You see, each day was divided into sections. The morning section was pure theory. Everything you needed to know about Graphics Design without boring you with too many details. It was just right. The afternoon session, on the other hand, was purely practical. You learned something new in the morning and got to practice it almost immediately. I thought that was the selling point of the entire workshop. It was such that everybody had to work and present it to the entire class no matter how terrible you thought you were. I thought it was brilliant!
It is a universally acknowledged fact that I bond faster and better with guys than girls. It is just what it is. Of course, I bond with girls but it just takes longer except well, there’s some sort of connection. But how could you establish that at the first meeting? Anyway, the guys at my session were incredibly helpful. We were just three clueless girls. Myself and two others with a zero to vague knowledge of the software. I didn’t even have anything but before I could say, Jack, I was passing my laptop to another complete stranger at the back of the class to work on just because one version didn’t work for the other. I was a bit dazed because everything seemed strange to me but then I was sitting between two guys. I had to catch up FAST! And I did. Before I knew it, I was winging it like like I knew what I was doing. Lol. I did actually to some extent. Bottom line, the guys in my class were my heroes.
We were taught by four guys who were super talented and believable. They knew their stuff and they were able to pass it down to us. You know it’s one thing for you to know something, it’s another thing entirely to teach people what you know. These guys made us appreciate the art and craft of design. Need I mention the all of the hacks, cheats and freebies? My content game has definitely stepped up!
As with every other training, we were made to open a Whatsapp group. The idea is to keep in touch and follow up. Asides from the constant notifications, it’s a great avenue to share your work which enables it to be properly critiqued.
Yes, I had a great time and I hope subsequent trainings will be just as awesome.
Once in a lifetime, a writer is expected to attend one masterclass that would change his entire game. Before now, I haven’t exactly been attending that many masterclasses. As a matter of fact, about a month ago, I attended my very first writing related class. I figured I had the talent which is pretty minuscule in the grand scheme of things. All I needed to do now was to hone my craft and present it to the world.
Chris Ihindero’s Story Story Masterclass Series II was a life changer. I did not think I was going to get in mostly because I do not write fiction. I thought it was one of those classes where you were going be judged by your writing samples rather than your enthusiasm. So, when my handle was announced as one of the participants, I squealed for joy. Finally, I was doing something right. This writing thing was not a joke anymore. Not that it was, I just needed some validation of sorts.
Chris was a protege of Amaka Igwe for about eight years before she passed on two years ago. So, he gathered a bunch of his friends and colleagues to impact a truckload of knowledge into 35 of us in three days. Did I mention that they were all from Tinsel? Apparently, it was the highest rated show at a time. I wouldn’t know. After a few episodes, I thought it was overrated. But believe me when I say I did not want the class to end. Of course, it wasn’t your regular class. Unbeknownst to me, he had this amazing sense of humor which threw the entire class into a fit of giggles one too many times. From his mannerisms to his lewd jokes, Nollywoodshade, I couldn’t stop laughing. An all-round fun guy! Oh and yeah, the shade was LEGENDARY!
Story Story Masterclass was about writing compelling stories that would break the status quo particularly in film making. I kept asking myself what I was doing there as I have no remote desire whatsoever in film making. Naturally, as I always did, I felt out of place. But that didn’t deter me from grabbing everything I could and taking notes. From building a premise to the seven key steps of story structure, character web, story design, plot and dialogue. After each class, we did film analysis for four movies – The Godfather, The Dark Knight, The Figurine and The Bridge of Madison County juxtaposed with some of our regular Nollywood movies. When we were done, we were all left gobsmacked. A paradigm shift definitely took place. We would not look at movies the same way again. Which in turn means we would be more critical about what was pushed out there and what we consume. Because, as storytellers we are expected to know more than the layman. All of this information brought a lot of things into perspective.
Victor Sanchez Aghahowa was easily my favorite facilitator. Well, after Chris. I loved how down-to-earth and relative he was. He squashed all the myths we possibly have known overtime and just gave us the facts. Point-blank! Ayeni Adekunle followed closely behind. He taught us everything I probably already know about the tech space and how things are changing every minute and we need to be in the know else we will be out of jobs. ( Translation: I need to get Snapchat whether I like it or not.) Furthermore, he went on to reiterate the importance of social media expertise and how we need to understand trends, virtual reality and push out audiovisual content. It was such an exciting session. Finally, someone was speaking my language and catering to me. The badassNkiru Njoku gave us an emotional account of her journey as a writer and a mother to her blind daughter which kind of gave us all the feels.
A post shared by Deoye Spencer Falade (@crosseyednerd) on
35 of us were selected for the masterclass. Actually, 28 guys and 7 ladies were picked, myself inclusive. Which meant the ratio was about one lady to four guys. Ideally, there should have been a lot of bonding given the number of days we spent together. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case until the last day as there was an unintentional segregation of sorts in the sitting arrangement. Of course, the guys had more chances of bonding because there were so many of them than the ladies who mostly kept to themselves. The only problem I had with the entire sessions was the lack of introduction. Till date, I do not the names of more than half of the attendees. There was no time for proper introductions which should have been done on the very first day. So, if I met someone tomorrow for instance, I probably would not recognize them. The only short time left to bond was over lunch which explains the photo above. It was such a last minute thing. I don’t think I’ve ever made friends that fast before but Thank God for social media.
A post shared by Deoye Spencer Falade (@crosseyednerd) on
My biggest takeaway from the Story Story Masterclass was creating content for the Nigerian audience. No offence guys, but when I write, I do not write for the Nigerian audience in mind. This, I realised was as a result of all of the content I have consumed overtime. Just recently, I started paying more attention to African Fiction. But before now, all of the books and movies and music I consume are foreign. This has somewhat shaped my mind set and reflected in my writing style. Some other time, I will talk about my identity crisis. In the meantime, Story Story has helped me identify my wrongs and errors which helps me work on them. To be honest, it cannot be easy. I’m gonna ( see?) need to do a thorough revamp and unlearn a lot of things. But first, I need to start writing from a perspective/point of view of a Nigerian and take it from there.
I learnt so much. My notepad is full and I had SO MUCH FUN.
Oh and yeah, I’ve become a critic. Just so you know.
Also, Story Story helped me cope with my Farafina rejection.
Last week was the annual Social Media Week Lagos which also doubled as a brief stint in the world of 9-5ers. I’ve been in paid employment before but it was nothing like this. As a freelancer, I might not need to leave my house for an entire month except, of course for church on Sundays. SMWLagos meant that I had to leave home as early as possible to beat the traffic as well as attend a few 9am sessions at the other end of town. So, I cleared my entire schedule for a week and got ready for an exhilarating experience. It was so worth it!
I thought the venue was perfect and the stages, brilliant. The only previous one I attended had various multiple venues and this was refreshing. The best thing was probably the coffee stands stationed at strategic points. If I hadn’t known better, I would have said that the organizers were out to turn me into a coffee drinker given the number of cups I averaged daily. But they didn’t succeed, tea over coffee all day everyday.
I went to SMWLagos with the idea of being as inconspicuous as possible. I wasn’t in the least bit interested in meeting anyone – both old as in ”Twitter followers” and new. But then, things happen especially when the universe conspires to bring you out of your shell or you’re simply just good with faces. It’s hard to resist. Before I knew it, one day I was wearing sneakers and the next, strutting in stilettos and block heels with an aura of confidence I never knew I had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly shy but in recent times, I’ve become somewhat socially awkward. Which meant that I was invariably compelled to approach people whose faces I recognized and those I didn’t hence making new acquaintances. What a splendid way to start the year! Unfortunately, that joy was cut short every time someone asked for my business card. Guys, this was rather novel to me. I mean, no one has ever asked for my business card. It never even came up. In my head, I’m just some writer who would rather be behind the screen scenes. I’m not that important. NOT! Turns out, I’ve been underrating myself all this time. I have a serious problem with that. Discussion for another day. So, in the absence of business cards, what do you do? You improvise. Turns out, people were still interested in my handwritten details as well as my social media handles. Ha! There’s hope after all.
There was about 100 sessions during SMWLagos. Which meant a number of them were clashing. I had previously pre-registered about a month ago so I knew the ones I was attending. Well, things didn’t exactly go as planned as I had to make last minute decisions which involved spending about 15 minutes in one session so as to meet up with the next as well as climbing a flight of stairs severally. So happy I didn’t trip in those shoes.
Of course, some things stood out for me.
I was exposed to most if not a fair number of careers available to us – online workers asides fashion blogging. *side-eye*. The information was overwhelming. In fact, I got to home to make double takes. Remember, I said something about the dilemma of career choices I’m facing at the moment? This just made it worse. I signed up for a few trainings and hope to come to a decision soonish.
That thing about being good with faces (that I never knew I had) actually turned out to be helpful. The very first person I approached was Jite who was incredibly sweet. We’ve been following each other for a while now and I used all of the bits of information I knew about her to strike a conversation. Overtime, I met even more people. From Oghenelucia, to Jesse Oguns to Simi Olusola, Odun Eweniyi, Amanda Rylee and host of others I can’t remember now. Also, I finally met Chioma Chuka after winning her giveaway a few years ago. I think she’s doing an incredible job with her TechHer intiative. If only, I was that ambitious. Also worth mentioning is Bolanle Olukanmi who I thought looked totally out of place. For someone who is used to being in the spotlight, she looked so regular that I had to approach her. Ideally the conversation should have gone like this,
Me: Hi, are you Bolanle Olukanmi? I’m such a huge fan of your style (or presenting skills or Instagram?)
What does she do again?
Me: Hi, are you Bolinto? I’ve been seeing you around for a few days now and you seemed totally out of place. It’s nice to meet you.
No jokes! I couldn’t take it back. It was too late. She just smiled, grabbed her coffee and walked away which I think I deserve.
3. Then, there was the fashion blogger that approached me with the aim of interviewing me for her blog because she thought I had style. ME?STYLE?RIGHT! I told her to take any photos she wanted of me at that moment because I didn’t have anyone to send to her. She thought I was kidding. If only she knew. Also, one of the press guys asked to take a photo of me for their official Instagram because he thought I was stylish. Apparently pairing prints appropriately comes off as being afrocentric and stylish when really I’m all about that comfortable and convenient life. Guys really? I’m not interested. Although, I should have. I currently do not have any decent looking photo of myself.
It was also nice to put faces to online personas from Tolu Ogunlesi who I thought was a fantastic orator. In the sea of accents, he spoke so audibly that I didn’t want him to stop to Ayodeji Rotinwa who I recently followed on Twitter because why not? He’s cute! There’s something about his personality that screams, I’m nice and friendly! to Lisa Folawiyo. I’m not into fashion but damn! She looked amazing! To Yagazie Emezi who I thought looked incredibly bored during her session. According to her, she was listening. Yep! She replied me on Twitter. To Adebola Williams who was this close to me. Apparently, he’s really good at what he does. To Noble Igwe who is hilarious as hell! To Bankole Oluwafemi who couldn’t stop pressing his phone during his session. I thought that was rude. Ebuka Obi- Uchendu, Iyin Aboyeji, Peace Hyde – so close yet so far.
I had just one problem with a few of the sessions. You see, usually there’s a moderator and a handful of panelists for each sessions. Other times it’s just a boring monologue. I found out later that I preferred the panel discussions with engaging panelists. More often that not, they did a rather decent job and even cracked us up a bit. The rest of the time, they just bore us to death which of course meant leaving the session at any point in time. Some people will agree with me when I say there were times when the moderators and panelists were out of sync. There was absolutely no connection. It felt like the moderators were informed just that morning which resulted into their ill-preparedness. Another problem was the panelists. Some of them were just ill-suited for the session. For instance, there was one called Freelance Focus. Personally, I was excited when I saw the schedule. I mean, finally someone was catering to us. Ideally, you would expect the panelists to be made up of actual freelancers who face numerous challenges especially writers, particularly in Nigeria. Instead, what did we get? Celebrities! Is this what we’re here for? Already made people with endorsement deals? Miss me with that! I was so mad that I walked out! Other than that, the sessions were generally enlightening and informative. I particularly loved the ones that were brazen and straight up! Did I mention the coffee? It was a life-saver! Most of the time, I couldn’t grab breakfast before leaving home so those cups were everything and made the sessions more bearable.
How about the branded merchandise? I literally got dragged to the front row of the Spice TV session and got rewarded with an all exclusive-to-the-front-row goody bag. How awesome is that? Although, I was so bummed that I didn’t attend the Rele session to see Ayodeji and get a gorgeous mug. Still not over it. So, I’m gonna go to the gallery to get myself one.
My only regret was missing the very first #SMWBooKCulture on Monday. The traffic wasn’t very pretty.
I think this a lot of recap already. For an entire week, I hope it justifies it even though I hoped to give a daily report but I was so damn exhausted when I got home that I couldn’t write a thing.
For more photos visit the SMW Facebook page. Hopefully, I find more photos I appear in and share them.
After missing 7 editions, I finally attended the 8th on Saturday 28th June at Omneka Gallery, Ikoyi. (I can’t believe I missed 7 whole editions! So much for being a natural. Smh). A couple of weeks before, Ibukun asked me to man the registration point with her which I gladly accepted. Since it was my first time, I didn’t think it was a bad idea at all except that my coverage would suffer. I wouldn’t be able to take sufficient photos because I would obviously be working. So I asked Dunni to tag along so she could take photos and play pranks together. We both cleared our schedules and planned for the day down to our outfits, hairstyles, directions to the venue and whatnot.
The day arrived and I made sure I was properly prepped with the essentials. Left my house an hour thirty minutes before (I absolutely hate been late to anything). Got to Dunni’s house. Turns out she wasn’t able to make it. I knew I had to manage one way or the other. Luckily for me, I found my way easily. It was quite straightforward with a slight hitch and so I arrived at 12pm thanks to a minor traffic on the way.
I got to Omneka Gallery, quickly introduced myself to the not-so-anonymous Natural Nigerian and her sister. Apparently I was a tad too early (The program started around 3). The few vendors around were busy setting up their goods and services(I don’t know how I didn’t take pictures then. These little things matter). I was directed to my work station and given the materials I would use. Few minutes later, Ms Isioma arrived with her sister Uche who doubled as backup so to speak; we actually ended up working together because Ibukun was running late.
Guests as well as more vendors began trooping in and before I could say Jack Robinson, all the tables were occupied. The program still didn’t start (which I later got to know that another event was going on in the gallery and so we had to wait). At that point, I had given up the idea of actually attending the event. The Registration point wasn’t something I could just leave hanging. I had to do my part even though we eventually took shifts to take pictures and buy stuff so we aren’t totally left out. In the meantime, whilst registering people, I met and recognized a few people, blog readers and colleagues. Shout out to the eccentric Berry Dakara who’s also a colleague at AN. She tried to keep me company initially and had me in stitches in the process. Crazy girl, that one. It’s amazing how we bonded almost instantly. Oh and I met her husband Cakes who’s tres cool.
And then Detuke Morgan. Immediately I saw her,she looked awfully familiar. Apparently she dropped a comment here prior to then and her unusual name stuck.Yes people, I know my blog readers and visit their blogs as well. Also Simi of Those Natural Curls. I didn’t even know how I recognized her. Lol. And then Atilola, my boss @ AN whose first comment was ”So you’re short like this?” says the person I’m slightly taller and bigger than.
The staff at Sizzelle were so enthusiastic and excited to see me especially the manager. You needed to see her reaction when I introduced myself as a blogger for Sizzelle online. Lool! Hilarity! I think she called Dr Fromsky, who was absent immediately. The other guys were quite hospitable and……I was impressed really. I felt part of a team. These were my virtual colleagues whom I’ve never met before but were excited to see me. I couldn’t ask for more really.
Also the soft-spoken Ifeyinwa Ojekwe of Ajali was great as well. I absolutely love her accent. I could listen to her speak all day. Yes I have a thing for eloquence and accents!
Yes and not forgetting Dabs of Savvy Hair and Hub. She immediately recognized me too. Kemi Lewis of KLS Beauty Salon. Her top gave her up easily. Omozo of ONaturals. The fascinating Dr Egypt and her son Ocean– can’t remember her daughters’ name now.
In the midst of all the bonding and buying, the rain came and tried to mess things up. It came down real bad that we had relocate from under the canopy to a shade. It was so heavy that the whole place was literally flooded and guests were still coming in even though the numbers had reduced and we still had to register them. It was crazy really.
I tried to escape a bit to take photos. It was either then or never but returned shortly to help Uche. Ibukun had sort of ditched us to make her hair. There was a free styling session from Apples and Oranges Unisex Salon.
As I said earlier, I couldn’t partake in the main event but I managed to capture a couple of moments towards the end.
After all was set and done, Ibukun and I were ready leave together since we were heading to the mainland but the rain refused to stop and so we’re literally stranded. We had to wait for Atilola to pack up and drop us on the way because of the other Locs Appreciation event she had to attend. Sigh. It was quite a day really but as always I’m glad I attended. I got to buy a few things but most importantly meet people and take photos. When I got home, I realized I took over a hundred photos which was just sufficient for this post.
Looking forward to attending the next one before the end of the year.
I heard about NIPHEC for the very first time last year. I can’t remember clearly how now.They had just concluded NIPHEC 2013 and were doing some sort of awareness and whatnot. That was also the period my interest in photography was gaining grounds. Coincidence? I think not. Immediately I made mental plans to attend NIPHEC 2014 but my school had other plans.
My exam timetable was released just about the same time NIPHEC released their’s.The clash was inevitable. I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to make it so I looked forward to NIPHEC 2015 after all, LagosPhotoFest is coming up in September, I didn’t particularly have much to lose. The coordinators probably had me in mind when they introduced the first edition of their Pre-Conference Seminar. I immediately made plans to attend hammering at anyone who cared to listen that I wasn’t gonna be avaliable that day. It was all shades of awesome. I learnt a bit and met new people. Yes y’all I’m meeting people.
Fast-forward to a few weeks later, the main event started this past Monday. My plans were so messed up, I couldn’t even attend the opening ceremony but fortunately for me, there were Nikon classes which was spanned for 3 days and so I registered and picked the most convenient, the public holiday. I attended with an open mind with so much expectations but some forces beyond me tried and prevailed. Yes, that’s the only explanation.
I forgot my SD card at home. Gosh! How could I? How was I gonna write this post without pictures? I almost turned back home. I took a couple though but were stuck on the internal memory. It took me a while before I could figure how to transfer them to the SD card. Meanwhile, I had to look out for social media managers so that I could appear in a few to compensate. So far, I only found this.
At the end of the day, information overload was an understatement. The facilitators didn’t even want to end their classes. I guess they enjoyed the response.Oh and btw, Nikon has fully won me over. The D5300 has my heart and my mum’s so fascinated that she can’t stop talking about it. TCrown later invited us for the closing ceremony on Saturday. I made immediate plans to attend. Thankfully I didn’t have any paper to write. I was gonna attend fully armed to make up for the pictures I couldn’t take on Thursday.
The closing ceremony was tagged ”The Outshooters”. It was a photo contest where two pairs of photographers were given subjects to take photos of from any angle and select their best to compete. The guys had a gorgeous bike while the ladies had two absolutely adorable puppies as subjects. There were given 20minutes each and after a period of about 80minutes, two winners emerged from both teams via popular votes.
In all, it was great really. For that period of about 3 hours, every single person in that hall shared one passion, photography. We learnt, laughed, threw jabs, bonded ,photo bombed others and pretended we were the paparazzi.(Technically, we are). I felt the invisible bond that binded less than a hundred of us and it felt amazing even though I barely knew anyone there.Hopefully, by next year, I would have made a few friends.
Alright people this is my little coverage of NIPHEC 2014. By His, it’ll be bigger and better next year.
So, after much deliberation, I finally succumbed to register for the just concluded #SMWLagos. Yes! Yes! I know what you’re thinking. This is not my typical social gathering especially when young people are involved. I become numb and shy at the same time. But for some reasons, I was particularly looking forward to the SMWNaturalhair, maybe because of the guilt trips of ditching previous meet-ups. Anyways, I literally carried myself( I do not know where the strength came from especially since I’ve been under the weather for the past few days now) to Terra Kulture with the sole purpose of taking hair photos for AN. I’ve recently run out of ideas on what to post.
Left my house early enough(in my mind). Trust Lagos traffic to delay and set you back. Got there, grabbed a seat at the back and took out my camera. Lightning was terrible, couldn’t get clear photos. I’m sure my sitting position also had a lot to do with it because my Samsung P&S takes pretty decent photos effortlessly. After tampering and struggling with the aperture and shutter settings to no avail, I finally left it on AUTO.
The panels comprised of three ladies who were ”veterans” in industry so to speak and they did well even though I was barely following. A few times, two of them had accents which sometimes took complete control at the expense of their audibility. Anyways in less than 45mins, the event was over. I gladly jumped around cajoling the ladies into taking photos of their hair. Many gladly obliged, a few weren’t even bothered. I didn’t care. Went behind their backs and took them anyways.
After some 30minutes of mingling and networking(which I didn’t even bother with),the stage was set for the next event,SMWbeautyunmasked.
I had previous planned to attend this earlier so it wasn’t so much of a surprise when I changed my sitting position to get a better view of the subsequent panels. Now, this ladies apparently had a few things in common;
1. They (except one) are all makeup enthusiasts. I wouldn’t call them professionals because I’m not particularly sure they are. I didn’t remember to do a background check on any of them.
2. They(except one maybe) are ”IJGBs”. In Twittersphere, they are referred to people that have spent certain number of years abroad and come home after a while. Their return is often if not all the time accompanied by
3. A new accent. The ladies and host on this panels all had accents. No, I’m not for or against it.. I’m actually indifferent. I’m just pointing out things that stood out for me at the event. As much as I love to listen to eloquent people, I just think that these people also need to work on their audibility. #MyTwoPence.
This one was more engaging for me than the previous one. I had a few laughs every now and then and unconsciously had my photos taken. I sat with this lady that came across as an intelligent person. Her response to a question fascinated me. I knew right there and then, I wanted her to be my friend but what did I do? I didn’t remember to ask for her name. At the end, most ladies were hustling to take and instagram photos with members of the panel. I got bored. After I was sure, I had enough photos, I left.
I’m actually glad I went. I don’t think I need any more guilt trips especially since I overhead NaturalNigerian’s sister mention NITC might not hold this quarter.
I know what y’all are thinking. No, i didn’t take any photos with anyone. I didn’t remember. Very typical of me. But I did goof around at home. Actually, Dunni brought it up.