Book Review: Twisted in a Positive Way


Review by Rebecca Markus

Twisted in a Positive Way is a charming novel by UK author Chikamso Efobi. I love a good coming-of-age story and this one doesn’t disappoint. The story follows Adaugo, a young Nigerian girl on the brink of big life changes. She comes from a large and happy family who encourage her to strive for success.

When Adaugo is ten she leaves home for boarding school. That’s when she discovers a voice inside her that helps guide her through these difficult new experiences.

As an adult Adaugo is expected to conform to cultural standards. She has a job, lives in her father’s house, and is supposed to be finding a husband. But she knows that she wants something more for herself. She realizes that she has to stop caring about the opinions of others and take a chance on her future.

Twisted in a Positive Way is elegantly written. I felt the nervous excitement of Adaugo as she left home as a little girl and the heartbreak when she struggled through the trials of growing up away from her family. The contrasts of Adaugo’s world to my own are what kept me glued to the story.

Chikamso Efobi has painted a stunning picture of Nigerian culture. I loved that this book took me into a world that’s completely unfamiliar to me. By her use of dialogue, the reader is immersed in the language and culture of Nigeria. I could hear the voices and inflections of the characters in my head. Efobi explained her style to me:

“I wrote the story to reflect the local Nigerian expressions. Translations of most of the expressions are written immediately after, so as not to lose people who are not very familiar with how Nigerians speak in an informal setting. Nigeria has over 52 languages and it is not uncommon to find the average Nigerian inserting words from various languages into one sentence. There is also a lot of animation when we speak, that’s why you may see the odd ‘o’ here and there.”

If you’re looking for something beyond the same old story, Twisted in a Positive Way is definitely a novel of substance. This book will inspire you to strive for the things you’re told you can’t have. If not, well your life must already be pretty awesome.

Twisted in a Positive Way is on a 3-day sale for ÂŁ0.99 (75% off) on Amazon UK for a limited time between 31 March and 02 April 2016. Click here to grab your kindle copy

Check out the original review at Nevermind the Furthermore

A Lesson from my orchid


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I hope you are having a restful weekend.
Today’s post was inspired by my little orchid. (Read another lesson from the orchid here)

6 weeks ago, I was wondering what was happening to my orchid plant. A bit of background info: i have very little experience with orchids and growing plants in general. So to me, this little plant looked dry and dead (picture on the left). Looking at it, I contemplated throwing it in the bin because to my untrained eye, the plant was simply done.

However, I followed my gut to keep feeding and watering, just to see what would happen. Two weeks ago, to my surprise and relief, the first sign of a flower appeared. Now it looks beautiful (picture on the right).

I believe that this same principle could apply to life as we know it. You may be reading this and wondering when your efforts towards a particular venture or job would start paying off. You may have sunk in a lot of money, made so many calls…with nothing to show for it.

If you are convinced that you are on the right path, follow your convictions and continue to push and who knows, with time, just like my little orchid, your efforts could pay off.

Now, in hindsight, I can now see that in the picture on the left, there were little bubs which to someone who had more experience with plants, would have meant that the orchid really was not dead (or dying). But, isn’t this the whole point? Sometimes what you see does not necessarily reflect reality.

If you enjoyed reading this, and you know someone who may benefit from reading this message, please feel free to share this with them.

Peace and love to you and yours 🙂

The Guest House – a poem by Rumi


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The guest house

Happy “hump day” to every one. I hope everyone has had a good week so far.

For people who know me or have been following my personal posts on this blog, you would know that in addition to being a book addict, I am also a bit of a music junkie.

On Sunday night, I came across a Facebook video which was posted by a pilot friend of mine, who has a habit of posting videos of himself driving to work. So I played this particular video and there was this song playing in the background which I instantly liked. I started to type a comment to find out what the title of the song was, when I remembered that I could “Shazam it”.

I instantly opened the app, and found out that the song was, “A Head Full Of Dreams” from Coldplay’s new album. Within five minutes, I had downloaded the entire album on Spotify and I haven’t stopped playing the album since then. Now, I listen to it every chance I get.

One of my favorite songs from the album is a short song titled, “Kaleidoscope” which begins with the voice of a man reciting some words, and is then followed by the voice of another man singing “Amazing Grace”. Naturally, I became curious and wanted to find out what the man was saying, so I consulted Google. To my utmost surprise, the man singing was none other, than President Barack Obama.

I also found out that the words were an excerpt from a beautiful poem by Rumi (above). I hope you find it as insightful as I did.

Enjoy the rest of your week.



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What do you see in the mirror?


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On Monday morning, a dear friend of mine sent me a message that resonated with me. I excitedly asked him if he wrote the message and he revealed to me that even though he would like to be able to take credit for the writing, it was written by one of his colleagues, Tunji Shittu.

I hope this message touches you as it did me.
See below:

Think about looking in a mirror. How many of us get depressed when we notice a new gray hair or a new wrinkle in our forehead? Now, take a moment to think about what you can’t see in a mirror…are you allowing wrinkles to appear in your soul?

There are many ways that this can happen from worrying too much, to not pursuing a life of purpose.

One of the most common ways to wrinkle the soul is to give up enthusiasm. We should always try to show and feel enthusiasm for whatever we do. Sometimes this is difficult…we might not like our job or we might be having difficulties in our personal lives.

When there is a bump in the road, one of the easiest ways to get back on track is to show and feel enthusiasm and gratitude for what we do have, knowing that whatever show gratitude for, multiplies with time.

Have a fulfilling new week and keep keeping on.


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Going Slow, Sitting Still


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In an age of acceleration, 

nothing can be exhilarating than going slow.

In an age of distraction, 

nothing is so luxurious as paying attention.

And in an age of constant movement,

nothing is more urgent than sitting still. – Pico Iyer


Stay on your grind


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stay dedicated

In my first post of 2016, I wrote about the 10 rituals of the most badass women

While carrying on with the research I wrote about in my last post, I watched more interviews and read more articles about successful people and I found one common denominator between all of them – they had been working on their crafts for years, even decades before most people began to hear of them.

Sure, few people may have heard of them during their silent years, when they were still trying to make it, but most of them were only truly known after they had put in many years of hard work. In some cases, some of these people we hear of now, had to beg people to collaborate with them, sometimes even giving their products out for free.

Just some days ago, I came across a Facebook post from Esther Ijewere-Kalejaiye, renowned rape activist and Founder and Executive Director at Rubies Ink Initiative. In that post, she recounted how back in 2010, she had to go from one news outfit to the other to “beg” for interviews and features just to make her vision believable. Now her initiative and charity is regarded in Nigeria as the go-to place for rape survivors to receive support and care.

True to the way the Principle of Recognition works, I also recently stumbled on a CNN Money article from 2006 on Twitter. The title of the article was, “10 People who don’t matter”.  The aim of the list was to highlight people who the readers could safely snub at conferences. Amongst the 10 executives on the list were CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings and Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook.

What struck me most while reading through the article, was not that the fact that the two names are now very relevant, but that this article was written about 10 years ago and even before then, these two people have been working and fine-tuning products Netflix and Facebook, both of which are now very relevant.

I personally, did not know about Netflix until a little more than two years ago, when I discovered that it was possible to stream movies and TV shows through the platform. For Facebook, you have to live under a very secluded rock not to have heard of the social-networking site which as at 2015, had 1.55 billion active users worldwide.

But look how long ago, these people had been on their grind.

If you cast our minds to any successful person you know, be her/him an actor, musician or entrepreneur and listen or read their stories, you will find that my observation applies. Sometimes their success may appear as instant, but if you dig deeper, you will discover that they, like others had been on the grind for much longer than it appears to a casual observer.

Finding this out was very eye-opening to me particularly, as we seem to live in a time when a lot of people want and crave instant gratification, often packing up their bags and tools when they don’t see the success they seek within a short period of time.

You may be reading this post, while in the process of starting something that perhaps, is taking longer than expected or is really difficult to execute. Just stay on your grind, resting safe in the knowledge that with time, the success you seek will materialise. Also stay open to receiving inspiration and adapting your ideas when better ways of executing them emerge.

Till you read from me again, keep keeping on

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