Monday, 15 January 2018

BOOK OF THE WEEK: THE BADASS GIRL'S GUIDE BY C.J SCARLET

Hello people.

In the past, it was not uncommon to hear statements like, “If you don’t want to be sexually assaulted, make sure you dress well. Don’t wear short skirts or dresses with plunging necklines and don’t flirt with men,” etcetera.  

Two things happened, however, to put paid to that line of reasoning. First, research based on available data revealed that sexual assault was not limited to women who dressed provocatively or engaged in flirtatious behaviour. Conservative women also reported cases of sexual assault.

Second,  women’s rights groups insisted on the right of women to dress as they pleased without fear of molestation, and the onus fell on men to keep their hands,[if not their eyes] to themselves.

This point has been a bone of contention in many sexual assault cases. Does a woman’s choice of outfit or social behaviour determine if she gets assaulted or not? Assuming it does, why are there cases of sexual assault even in places where women wear burqas?

 These are tough questions indeed, but whatever the case may be, this week's book by C.J Scarlet titled The Badass Girl’s Guide; Uncommon Strategies to Outwit Predatorscontains practical tips for outwitting sexual predators.



In this guidebook, C.J discusses myths and facts about sexual assault and describes the types of predators. She also highlights five possible responses to sexual assault; Freeze, Fawn, Comply, Flee or Fight and is careful to point out how each can be used to advantage.

Reading this book for me was like inhaling fresh air; in fact at a point I found myself exhaling. At last! Here’s someone who is real and not idealistic. No locker room advice is given here [‘carry pepper spray in your bag at all times’], rather, readers are treated to sound advice such as the role of intuition and situational awareness in preventing sexual assault, as well as tips for outsmarting a would-be predator.

I recommend this book to all women; it is worth having and worth keeping. 

Monday, 8 January 2018

BOOK OF THE WEEK: ROYALTY BY BOLATITO IDAKULA

Hello people.

At some point in my life I had two acquaintances with pronunciation issues. One had a habit of exchanging 'ch' sounds with 'sh', e.g pronouncing ‘China’ as ‘Shina.’ The other had the problem of lambdacism; thus it was common to hear words like lamp and lamb being pronounced as ramp and ramb.

 I must admit that sometimes I did find these pronunciations hilarious, and more than once I was tempted to utter some witty remark concerning their tongues. However, after reading this week’s book, Royalty, by Bolatito Idakula [daughter of politician Rashid Ladoja and wife of musician Bez Idakula],  I must say I'm glad I kept my mouth shut on those occasions.


Royalty is a memoir detailing Bolatito's life as a politician’s daughter in a polygamous home, her struggle with low self esteem and the loss of a child, as well as her journey to wholeness.

In the book, she describes the less-than-cordial relationship between her parents and its effect on her when she eventually moved in with her father and stepmothers. She also shares her struggle with low self esteem and describes the grief she felt on losing her child. 

One thing is for sure: a person cannot read this poignant book and remain unaffected by it. The book captures the effect of polygamous home on children and makes one aware of just how much insensitivity can hurt.  It also emphasizes the need for care when dealing with children and teenagers, as one careless word or action could mar them for life. 

Fortunately, the book is not all sorrow . There are points where readers catch a glimpse of sunlight; a ray of hope even in the midst of the storm. Bolatito does not neglect to mention the love story between herself and her husband; musician Bez Idakula, which I believe some readers may be dying to know. She also explains how she eventually found peace in her reconnection to God.

Many, especially women, will find Bolatito's testimony inspiring. It can be downloaded for free via the Okadabooks app.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Welcome to Lauretta Ani's Blog: THE STRAWBERRY STARTUP by MOSES LIM

Book of the week: The Strawberry Startup by Moses Lim. Click on the link below to read details:


Welcome to Lauretta Ani's Blog: THE STRAWBERRY STARTUP by MOSES LIM: Hello people. Sometime around 2007, there was a major shakeup in the Nigerian banking industry, which saw some founders like Ernest Aki...

Monday, 11 December 2017

BOOK OF THE WEEK: DE-ESCALATE: HOW TO CALM AN ANGRY PERSON IN NINETY SECONDS OR LESS BY DOUGLAS NOLL

Hello people.

Have you ever found yourself trying to calm an angry person only to get angry in the process; further escalating the tension? I certainly have.

This week’s book, De-escalate, deals with the subject of anger. Written by Douglas Noll, the book teaches techniques for dealing with angry people without losing control of oneself.




In the introductory chapter, Douglas Noll asserts that the ideas in the book, if practised, will help readers deal effectively with angry individuals. He also identifies some ‘deadly sins’ which affect our ability to successfully calm an angry individual; for example, the ‘sin’ of emotional invalidation.

Douglas then educates readers on anger-defusing skills such as Affect Labelling, Peace Circle Model, etc. He describes Affect Labelling as the process of listening to another person's emotional experience and reflecting back those emotions in short, simple "You" statements. 

One major point Doug makes, however, is that for de-escalation skills to work, individuals must learn to keep their emotions in check. Without this ability, it will be difficult to handle conflict successfully. Using various scenarios, he describes how the skills can be used with young children, teenagers, spouses, friends, co-workers and bosses. 

Here's an example from the book on anger defusion using Affect Labelling:


Husband: “Would you stop that…texting and pay attention to me for once?”

Wife:[Affect Labelling] “You’re frustrated.”

Husband: “Yeah. Everytime we go out to dinner, you pull out your phone and start texting your friends. It pisses me off.”

Wife: “You’re angry and frustrated and feel disrespected.”

Husband: “Damn right I do.”

Wife: “You don’t feel loved or appreciated. You feel invisible and unworthy.”

Husband: “Yeah.”


Hmmm. I felt a bit skeptical when I read this scenario, as well as some other scenarios described in the book. I don't know, but this just seems to be too good to be true. How many people out there can successfully manage to keep their emotions in check? A more probable scenario might be something like this:

Husband: “Would you stop that…texting and pay attention to me for once?”

Wife:  [still fiddling with phone] “Okay.”

Five minutes later…

Wife: “So what were you saying again?”

Husband remains silent for the rest of the day.


OR…


Husband: “Would you stop that…texting and pay attention to me for once?”

Wife: “What do you mean? Don’t I have the right to send messages to whoever I want to send messages to?”

Husband: “Everytime we go out to dinner, you pull out your phone and start texting your friends. It pisses me off.”

Wife: “Well, I’m sorry that you feel that way, but you’ll just have to learn to live with it.”


  I must admit that I found Affect Labelling, a bit too formulaic, bearing in mind the fact that humans are complex and very unpredictable. I certainly intend to try it out though; if some mortals have used the technique and found it helpful, then there's no harm in trying it out. Hopefully, all I need is practice???


Overall, despite the fact that a few ideas might seem a bit lofty, there are many useful ideas for anger de-escalation contained in the book. Teachers, counsellors and workers in prison systems will definitely find this book useful in the practice of their profession.  

Monday, 4 December 2017

Monday, 27 November 2017

BOOK OF THE WEEK: THE POUCHPLAN BUDGET BY MITCHELL WALKER



Hello people.

The Pouchplan is a budgeting tool created by Mitchell Walker to help individuals take control of their finances. In the introductory chapter of the book, The Pouchplan Budget, Mitchell seeks to establish credibility by explaining that he worked for fifteen years as the vice president of finance for a Berkshire Hathaway company and thus has experience analysing and reviewing thousands of budgets. 

He then describes how he was broke and in debt in the late 1980s, to the extent of looking for change under the couch cushions in his home just to get gas money for his car. The Pouchplan, he claims, was the shovel he used to dig his family out of financial distress and into financial security.

The author in chapter one explains how the Pouchplan works. All that is needed is for users of the plan to write down their regular income, their fixed expenses and finally their variable expenses, and then the Pouchplan budget system will provide specific instructions for users to follow when payday arrives. Someone is probably thinking now; “This is just too good to be true.” 

I must confess that I had mixed feelings after reading the book. First, I think I sort of expected more; perhaps the dos and don’ts of budgeting or that sort of thing. The book, however, is based entirely on the Pouchplan tool. I also wondered as to the seeming simplicity of the tool; bearing in mind the fact that a lot of budgeting tools are rather complex and complicated, to say the least.


Fortunately for doubting Thomases, the Pouchplan can be downloaded for free via the website, www.pouchplan.com. It’s a plus on the part of the author that he is interested in receiving feedback from users, whether positive or negative, and he even mentions the possibility of tailoring the Pouchplan to suit the individual’s needs where possible. Readers interested in a budgeting tool will find this book quite useful. 

Monday, 20 November 2017

BOOK OF THE WEEK: KIKELOMO; THE MEMOIR OF AN ABUSED GIRL

Hello people.

The more books I read, the more I am convinced that there is truth in the saying, “Do not judge a book by its cover or title.”

About a couple of weeks ago, I saw a book titled Kikelomo on the Okadabooks store. The cover was not particularly eye-catching and the bland title did not help matters either, so I simply moved on and looked at other books on the app.

Some days ago, however, I came across the book again and was surprised to see that it had been downloaded over a thousand times. Intrigued by this occurrence, I downloaded it[seeing as it was free], started reading and, filled with a sense of incredulity, looked up the author on Google hoping to get some sort of confirmation regarding her story.


The book, Kikelomo, is a memoir written by well-known Nigerian photographer, Kikelomo Woleosho, in which she describes in details the sexual abuse she suffered as a child; her struggle with masturbation as well as her journey to wholeness.

Raised by a mother who suffered from chronic depression, Kikelomo, whose father was based in the United Kingdom, found herself alone and having to tend to her younger siblings for a better part of her life.

Left in the care of a neighbour at age seven, Kike was sexually molested by him and thus, was introduced to the world of sex and masturbation.

The sexual abuse did not stop there. Entrusted to the care of a relative who also abused her, Kike was molested right up to her adolescence and only until she encountered the Spiritual did she begin to receive a sense of healing and wholeness as an individual.

I love Kikelomo’s frankness in the book. To be candid, at a point I had to check her profile via Google to be sure the author was for real and not writing  made-up stories. Amongst other things, Kikelomo Woleosho is a member of Barack Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative [YALI] and a recipient of the World Bank scholarship for women in business.


Parents, child care givers and all lovers of children will do well to read this evocative book as it offers insight into the world of children and how they can be preyed upon by sexual predators. Interested readers can download the book on the Okadabooks store via this link: https://www.okadabooks.com/book/about/kikelomo_the_memoir_of_an_abused_girl/15306#.WhLa-aSgnqE.link