Meet the Boss: Seun Tayo-Balogun, Brief Essentials

‘The “aha” moment that led to the birth of Brief Essentials came in the year 2009 when I was looking to purchase high quality underwear at prices that wouldn’t  cost the earth. At that point my husband and I realised that there were no major stores that focused on varieties of relatively affordable, good quality underwear that were conveniently available or accessible. Furthermore, e-commerce was just kicking off in Nigeria, and there was a desire for us to meet the need of Nigerians who had the same problems we had. The idea of Brief Essentials was birthed in 2011, making us the first full-fledged online focused store that revolutionised lingerie and underwear sale in Nigeria.’

Read my full interview with Seun Tayo-Balogun HERE.


Health, Published Articles

Do Your Painful Periods Mean Something More?

For a disease that affects 1 in 10 Nigerian women, too little is known about endometriosis in Nigeria. It causes crippling pain, affects marriages, jobs and practically a sufferer’s entire life, and yet we don’t talk about it, much less seek medical help.

Today, Saturday March 11th 2017, men and women in Lagos turned out in their hundreds for #March4Endo, a walk to create awareness about this disease that has aptly been called the silent disease. Just yesterday, I was privileged to listen to the founder of the Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi who is also the MD of Nordica Fertility Centre, speak on the disease. After his talk, I was determined to learn even more about this disease. After all, “1 in every 10” means I know a woman who is living with endometriosis!

Here’s a summary of what I’ve learnt so far.


#IAmEndoAware #EndoSucks

Health, Inspiration, Interview, Published Articles

5 Minutes with Crystal Chigbu, Executive Director, Irede Foundation

The Irede Foundation, which provides prosthetic limbs and other assistance to poor child amputees aged 0 to 18, also hosts Out on a Limb, a walk to raise awareness about limb loss in children. Executive Director Crystal Chigbu talked to me about Irede Foundation’s mission to give hope to child amputees in this interview.

Inspiration, Published Articles

20 Things Nigerians Remember About Life Before 1960

As Nigerians settle back into work after the public holiday celebrating 56 years of the country’s independence, reflections on life before 1960 throw light on the country then and now. Those born after Independence might enjoy the sweet and not-so-sweet memories of:

  • When there was no quota system of any kind and people lived without being conscious of tribe or ethnicity.
  • Having to stay away from the Government Reserved Area (GRA) whether in Benin or in Lagos; the days when Apapa was “European quarter”.

Read more…

Published Articles

Why It’s a Good Thing That Buhari Won

I usually write on relationships so I’m sure you’re wondering what that has got to do with His Excellency.

Kenneth has been toasting my friend Lillian for over three years now. They started out as friends, during which time he made it clear that she wasn’t his type (she’s a nerd), so you can imagine her surprise and mine when, after a period of consoling him through a painful breakup, he revealed he was in love with her. He asked her out, she said no, and he refused to take no for an answer. He said he would keep asking her until she said yes, because he believed they were destined to marry.

We didn’t take him seriously, but weeks rolled into months and soon a year had passed, and then two years. He was still asking and she was still saying no. Why? First off she felt no attraction beyond friendship. Secondly, she didn’t like the idea of dating or marrying a younger man. Thirdly, he didn’t have the qualities she considered most important in a husband. She knows nobody is perfect, and that we must all identify things we can give up and those we can’t compromise on. Unfortunately, with Kenneth, it’s an abundance of the things she can’t stand and just a couple of the qualities she desires in her life partner.

This is the fourth year, and neither of them has been in a relationship in this time, just several dates that have led nowhere. The thing tire everybody, no be small. Over the years we’ve wondered, what’s the worst that could happen if she says yes? She keeps telling him that a relationship between them won’t work, and he keeps saying they can’t know that unless they try. However, she’s unwilling to try because she’s convinced it will end badly and they’ll lose their friendship altogether. According to her, she would hate to be one of the girls that broke his heart. She’s even come around regarding the age difference, but she’s really not feeling this guy beyond friendship level. I mean, she can’t even stand the thought of him kissing her!

Recently, I thought maybe she should say yes, and date him. Not because she’s in her 30s and time isn’t on her side biologically, but because there’s a tendency to wonder, years later when something or the other happens, how life would have turned out if she had said yes. And as is usual in such wonderings, there’s a tendency to think that perhaps life would have been much better if she had focused on his good qualities and ignored the rest.

After all, Buhari’s persistence worked for him. He toasted Nigeria for so long that she thought you know what, it’s not like there are other viable options, so let me say yes. And once she made that decision, it was easy for Nigeria to see how wonderful he was, and how he was her Messiah, just what she needed, the solution to all her problems. Others expressed doubt; tribalism, dictatorial tendencies, age and health…none of that mattered. He had been persistently proposing for a long time and that’s a sign of a man who knows what he wants and has a solid plan to make his woman happy. He deserved a chance. Besides, he had zero tolerance for corruption and wasn’t that just wonderful? But what about the fact that he’s obviously out of touch with modern day realities? Nigeria put her fingers in her ears. “Abeg don’t worry, he will learn. Nobody is perfect. Besides, what other options do I have?” And so the wedding took place. And it’s good that it did.

Can you picture Nigeria if he hadn’t won? Any negative event would have elicited shouts of “When we said vote Buhari, you people said no. See it now?!” Bomb blasts and massacres? “SMH. If you people had listened and voted Buhari, all these things would have been a thing of the past. He would have crushed them.” We wouldn’t have heard word, honestly. Forever and ever the matter of if Buhari had become president would never have ended.

Our children’s children would have been told stories of how we missed the opportunity to have had the president that would have turned this great ship called Nigeria in the right direction and set us on the path to peace and prosperity forever.

Now, make we hear word . Eye don clear. Everybody body don come down. Now, we won’t have to wonder; we know. And in my book, that’s a good thing.

So, don’t you think Lillian too should know for sure?


This article was first published on sabinews.com


Published Articles

How To Say ‘I Love You’ In A Dozen Nigerian Languages

We know how to say “I love you” in many of the world’s languages; Ti amo, Je t’aime, Ich liebe dich, Te amo…and that’s all good, but what about languages spoken here in Nigeria?

Here’s how to say “I love you” in just 12 of the languages spoken across Nigeria, which has over 250 ethnic groups. Continue reading…

entrepreneurship, Inspiration, Published Articles

12 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Betty Irabor, CEO Genevieve Magazine

Whether you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, or you’ve been running your business for a while, there’s a lot you can learn from Genevieve Magazine’s CEO, Betty Irabor:

  1. Work experience is never a bad idea. Before Genevieve, Betty Irabor worked as a journalist, starting out at The National Concord. She also worked at Haisha Investment Company as a Public Relations/Administration Manager for 2 years before teaming up with her husband as CEO of Ruyi Communications.
  2. Always be working on your main thing. Even while running Ruyi Communications, Mrs Irabor continued to find expression for her writing flair, freelancing for newspapers including This Day, Vanguard and The Guardian.

Read more…

Pinpoint Creatives, Uncategorized

Do You Say ATM Machine and PIN Number?

“ATM machine” (Automated Teller Machine machine) and “PIN number” (Personal Identification Number number)… RAS Syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome).

“BVN number” (Bank Verification Number number) is also an example of RAS Syndrome.

Simply say “ATM”, “PIN”, “BVN”. There’s no need to tack on an extra “machine” or “number”. ‪#‎YouNeedAnEditor‬

Fitness, Spirituality

A Joyful Road to Fitness

Power-walking is my favourite exercise. However, when we moved house, I couldn’t do it anymore because of the way the roads where I now live are constructed. Many years ago, I didn’t even power-walk; I just walked to my office and back home every day (22 mins in the morning, 22 mins in the evening), and I never had to worry about my weight.

Just before my wedding, I took up skipping. I tried to resume when we moved, but then I saw somewhere online that skipping hurts the knees. Bye-bye skipping rope.

These days, though I can’t be called fat, I’m rounder than I used to be. Pregnancy and breastfeeding played a small part in my weight gain. The main culprits are my sedentary lifestyle (I work from home and spend hours sitting with my laptop), and my new-found love for food.

When I chased my toddler around the house one day, and started panting after a few minutes, I knew I had to find a way to not just lose a little weight, but be fit.

Here are a few things that have helped me:

1. A question: @SirZuma asked me on Twitter, “you can’t walk around your rooms and your house?” My answer was no at the time, but I later realised I could power-walk round the compound. Soft ground is preferable to concrete, but I have to make do with what I have for now. I’m loving it!

2. The Sportrate App: Thanks to @Ms_Isioma, I now have the Sportrate fitness app on my Blackberry. It tells me how long I’ve been walking, how many kilometres I’ve covered, and how many calories I’ve burned, among other things. I’ve gone from 2km, to 3.5km, to 4km every morning, and my goal is to power-walk 10km every day, considering how much time I spend sitting at my desk editing and writing every day.

3. Smaller portions: She may not have known it, but @chikaunigwe encouraged me to try reducing my portions. Prior to this, I was skipping meals (esp dinner). Smaller portions have helped me eat less, and I feel healthier than when I was skipping meals. My friend @UgochinyeluA selected a small bowl for me start using, and brethren, it was PAINFUL. Now that I’m used to it, I wonder how I was demolishing those mountains of food before.

In addition to these, I spend my power-walking time listening to Bible teaching. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be losing weight where I don’t need it, and gaining weight where it really matters. I’m a very happy woman.

30 Days 30 Blogs, Reviews

30 Days, 30 Blogs: Aguntasoolo

Chalkboard Free Image

Today, Feyi Fawehinmi reminded me of the reason I love his blog.

You know that student who organises tutorials for others? And how, when you attend, those things that seemed like rocket science while the lecturer taught them, become as simple as ABC? That’s FF.

It is a gift, that ability to break complex things down in a way that people will easily understand. He excels at this; see my review of his blog.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, he will be treating us to a double header on Aguntasoolo: the case FOR and AGAINST Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Emir of Kano. He got two friends in Kano to write the pieces, and hopes it will help us non-Kano people understand better. You don’t want to miss it.