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I cannot be caught dead without my dreadlocks – Emen

By Mc Philips Nwachukwu
I am not a man given to clothing labels but I really cannot be caught dead without my hairstyle and dreadlocks and at this point,  it’s not optional as I can’t take it off and back on, but that is perhaps more unique and noticeable.

My favourite item is my BMW 745i which I bought  about six years ago but it’s still topmost on my mind. It has full options, black in color, and I use it occasionally because the roads aren’t good enough for me to ride it as I would love.

Emen

The other thing would be my JVC HDD Hybrid (LY35862) hard-drive camera. I bought it in 2009 from Dubai and just had to have one. It has a 40-gigabyte hard drive and can record straight into the hard-drive. You can burn DVDs off it and it allows me to do a lot of things and enjoy real photography.

It’s almost like the professional camera but more compact, I would say it’s an amateur’s professional camera if you know how to use it properly. It came with a CD writer so I can actually create CDs of what I had just recorded right away. So I really love that.

I would want to buy the latest BMW 760Li.

I read a lot and currently, there are actually three books at my bedside table. I have one by Julian Berkinshaw called Game Changing Strategies, then another by my dining table, Marketing as Strategy, then I have the one I carry with me to work. It’s called Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? I love to read and since all three serve different purposes (ie one is on Marketing, another on Strategy and the last on Leadership), it’s easy to do.

However, of the three I would say the book on strategy is my favorite, I squeezed the other two in because I am hoping to pick up knowledge for today but the book on strategy is the knowledge for tomorrow.

I like the book because it takes the knowledge of classical scholars on strategy and shakes them up. The writer takes on a theory and breaks it down. Then you realize that though those theories were not useless, they have served their purposes and some are still serving but are in the dying days of their purposes. New business strategies and models are coming up and you need to adapt or die. So the book is really an eye-opener to me right now and quite an interesting read.

I love to travel and I have been to quite a number of places: Benin Republic, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Cameroun, Ghana, South Africa, the shores of the Mozambican Islands, US, UK, Germany, Holland, Mauritius, Dubai come to mind readily.

When I travel, I like to visit monumental places that define the history of those locations. However, I would say that it is more of an unforgettable trip than a place. Four days on a Cruise Liner called the MSC Sinfonia from Durban in South Africa to the Mozambican Islands and back.Recently we had the MultiChoice Africa Marketing and Communications conference in Johannesburg, when we were done with the hard work it was time to relax and we were transported to Durban (there were about 80-100 of us across the company).

There we went on a Cruise Ship. We got onboard this cruise liner, called MSC Sinfonia, it was very huge and provided a wonderful experience. Twelve floors on the cruise line conveying about 2000-3000 people in total. It set sail from Durban and took four days to sail to the Mozambican Islands which is just outside of Mozambique and back.

It was a huge moving carnival. Food was free and at every point in time there were over 30 to 40 food options from virtually every nationality in the world even Nigerian. There were also drinks of various assortment and lots of lovely and interesting people to meet on board. It’s obvious that the objective of the cruise liner is to ensure that the people on board had fun and they start from day one to ensure that happens.

On the 11th deck there were DJs from different radio stations just slamming it so it’s an all day party. There was a swimming pool, a gym, a small golf course, shopping mall area with several shops, you could conduct banking transactions, and do practically anything. It was a moving city on water. And then by 8.30-9.00 the DJs shut down but resume on the 12th floor by 11pm till 5am in the morning. And this pleasure and leisure was this way throughout the time we were there.

So you have four days of absolute pleasure. And the scenery? Beautiful; you are on the high seas i.e the Indian Ocean and that’s all you can see. It was the groove of a lifetime. I had never experienced anything like it. It’s definitely something I must do with my wife and kids.

I really treasure some of the items I brought home from travel.. One is a Chief’s Walking Stick from Mauritius. It’s a handmade crude walking stick with very defined features. The top has a funnel mouth and a hose that runs within the wood all through to the bottom. A small bottle of whiskey is strapped to the handle, a bicycle bell strapped to the other end, a snuff box and condom in an attached little box, and finally a flashlight.

The only aesthetic feature would be some beat adorning the wood. Now this walking stick is not ordinary, it’s very functional. You see a Chief would go out to visit people and attend council meetings. When he’s returning, it is expected that he would stop over to see a concubine hence a condom. The path may be dusty and dry, so he sips some whiskey to keep his spirit alive.

As an old man of high public standing, he wouldn’t want playing kids bumping into him so he rings his bell and they make way. For the torchlight, when it gets dark, it lights his path. But the most interesting thing is perhaps the funnel and the hose. The Chief uses the funnel to pee when pressed. I have had it for four years and hung it in my living room and was a subject of discussion with guests for a while before my wife got bored with the tale and took it down.

The second is a statuette from Namibia about the Herrera women. They are a tribe in Namibia who suffered the full brunt of Apartheid in the country. The women especially suffered a great deal of physical and sexual abuse and when the country settled, the women rebelled against the injustice meted out to them and sought compensation.

They have a style of dressing and made statuettes as a symbol of their struggle against the abuse of women. They have been largely successful and since I am strongly against the abuse of women, I purchased the statuette as a symbol of my support for the cause.

My recent find  would have to be my Samsung Galaxy Tab. It’s convenient, portable and I believe it can do more than all the other tablets put together. It’s as portable as a book and something I think will largely simplify the work processes of the average business executive who likes convenience and needs to do business on the go. The Galaxy Tab is the answer.

My preference for music aligns with the older generation. So that would have to be a collection of John Lennon, two CDs in one. Favorite track there would be ‘Imagine’.

What you can find in my fridge is Johnny Walker Black Label.

I like giving and that adds a flair to my person. I met a well dressed gentleman last year at a fast food joint, he was a total stranger, who was just laid off and asked for assistance in transporting himself from GRA, Ikeja where we met to Surulere.

I also gathered that he was so broke at the time, he was experiencing difficulty feeding his family. To look at him, well polished and groomed, there was no reason to imagine that he would be pleading with a total stranger for help. I was deeply touched that this gentleman had a wife who was not working because she was raising the kids and there was nothing at home to eat. I initially shared words of encouragement with him and then shared what cash I had on me into two. Then it hit me, I at least had food at home.

So I called him back and gave him all I had left on me, took him to my car and gave him the rest of it and he almost knelt down to thank me. This happened around November but I remember it because of the joy the man felt after wards and how happy I left him.

I didn’t give him my card or take his, unfortunately. I wonder how he is doing now, but really, that made me really happy that day. The funny thing is I really didn’t have money at home but I knew I had food and this may be the only chance I would get to help him.

I am a news freak and my favourite site is CNN. I I carry the news with me every time, it is my landing page on my phone and it is my default page on my computer system.


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