Monthly Archives: January 2016

Change 9, day 1.

So today was the first day of my C9 challenge and I thought I’d blog about it since it’s a Forever Living thing and as I’m sure most of you know by now, I work with it.It’s also the first time ever I do any kind of dietary challenge, so I want to share my experiences on it since it’s becoming a very popular program.

C9 is called Clean9 around the world, but in Norway it’s called Change9. But though the name is different it’s exactly the same program as everywhere else, except the government is kind of strict on supplements, so we don’t have a certain supplement that’s supposed to help you burn more fat, but I don’t mind because it means I can drink more tea and coffee, though the idea is that you really should limit the consumption of caffeine for the duration of the nine days. .
Anyway, I love the name Change9 a lot more than Clean9 because it at least to me implies slightly different things. Whilst Clean9 sounds like a pure cleanse, Change9 sounds like the beginning of changing yourself. And that is what the program ultimately is. Sure, you may lose some weight and inches on it, but the idea is to get you thinking about food differently. It is the first step in a 69 day program, and it’s followed by Fit1 and Fit2 which focuses more on healthy eating and exercising habits.
Truth be told, I’m glad the first day is nearly over. The first two days on this program are quite tough. You are allowed only one protein shake at lunch time and mainly water, Aloe Vera gel, fiber which is a little filling and supplements for the rest of the day. However, there is a free list of fruit and vegetables you can eat from and I’ve been using it throughout the day including in my shake to make a smoothie. The day has actually gone very well and I was even able to go to the gym. The key for me was lots of flavours. Tangerines, blueberries, my favourite white tea, cherry tomatos etc, made it more bareable. I’m getting to the point now though where I’m dreaming of all kinds of food and large plates of it!

On the remaining seven days of the program I’ll be able to have two shakes and a 600 calorie meal, so I’ll be holding on for Tuesday and do and update on my progress then.

The importance of working, aside from making money

As someone who is blind, I am perfectly capable of holding down a full time job. And not only that, but I can be a very positive asset to my work environment and work colleagues. However, getting to prove that I can hasn’t been and isn’t that easy.

It actually started with my parents, may they both rest in perfect peace. They did their upmost for me to be as normal as possible. But when it came to work, they had this really strange attitude that there wasn’t anything I could do. My brother was a newspaper boy and when he was old enough, he started working in the local supermarket. He earned his own money and I was jealous. Not only did my brother work, but most of my friends did too by the time we reached our teens. I only had sighted friends where I live, so the weekend became a little boring then since I didn’t work.

To some, my position may have been enviable. Because I was told there weren’t any jobs I could realistically do, since both shop work and newspaper work required eye sight, I was given tasks to do around the house and thus received pocket money from my parents. I technically worked for the money, but it wasn’t at all satisfying. I tried suggesting other types of work I could do so that I too could make money, but my parents just laughed it off and pointed out that I got money anyway, so what was the problem? They really didn’t get it.

When we had to work a one day job in school to raise money for children in faraway countries, or for local causes, I usually played the piano and sang at old people homes. The old people enjoyed it, so it was nice. But I still had the feeling that I was doing that because my blindness stopped me from doing a “proper” job. In hindsight, I see that not many of my friends could have done that to raise money and so what I did for the old people was great. But as a teenager who just wanted to do whatever I could to blend in, it wasn’t cool at all.

My constant talking of wanting a normal job outside the house, must have really got to my dad in the end, because for two summers in a row, he arranged for me to work a week at the oil firm he was working for. I worked in HR and I had a really great time there. I was busy typing up Cvs that the head of HR had read onto cassette tapes (Yes, it was just before they got extinct) and sending out everybody’s pay slips and holiday money. The workplace was adapted yes. But I was doing exactly the same work as the other employees children who were working there with me. In fact, we helped each other to get the job done. I came home every day that week feeling as if I had contributed to society, or at least the HR department of that firm.

I later went on to have other jobs and now I work for myself. And although working for myself initially was something I did because getting employers to see that I can work with them is a struggle, it is now something I find much more rewarding. Because I don’t profit anyone except myself and those I choose to share it with.

I’m not opposed to regular employment and at times I wish it was a little easier to get part time work, or work in general, just to supply my music career. But as it is, I am trying to make it work without regular employment. Forever Living was my answer to a supplementary income to help my artist and writing career.

My purpose though with this post, is to stress the importance of work. Not necessarily just for the sole purpose of making money, but for someone to feel like a valuable asset to society. There are obstacles that make employment more difficult when you’re blind or indeed have other disabilities, but with open discussions and good will, most things are possible.
If you happen to have a disabled son, daughter, friend, spouse or romantic partner who lacks confidence to work, or badly want to, please be that person who pushes them to explore different routes to achieve what they want to do. Perhaps this is especially important in these days when unemployment rates are rising around the world. Disabled people are harder hit by this, but there is no reason really why they should be. You can, you dare and you want, or replace the you with me, are a good place to start the motivation. Basic, but effective.

Happy 2016!

I know I’ve been a bit of a stranger recently. I always have these incentives to blog regularly, but something always comes up.

Anyways, let me start by wishing you all a happy 2016. May this New Year be the year where your goals are reached and your dreams come to pass.

2015 was a great year for me. Though mostly the exciting stuff happened in the first 9 months of the year. After the NEA in September where I didn’t won my category, but still had a great time and learned a lot, and till new-years-eve, I was just in Norway working on the business side of my music career and my Forever Living business.

But at the start of this year, I went back to Nigeria again and being back was lovely. I’ve done what I think is my best project yet. A song featuring Chidinma, a very sought after female singer in the Nigerian music industry for those who’re not too familiar with afrobeat and produced by DJ Coublon, producer of the year. The video was shot by my team member and friend Hg2films. The song will soon be released and I just can’t wait to share it with you!

What I think made this project so good, was both the fact that I now have a lot more experience and better self-esteem and, in the case of the video, I had my own personal stylist, who is practically like my sister. She didn’t dress me up in anything until I understood what kind of look and style it was and she kept a very sharp eye on the make-up artists, so I got the look I wanted. And so I felt I looked better and had more control.

Having the right team around you is extremely important for everyone. But for me as a blind artist, it’s especially important because I need to have that extra level of trust. My opinions on how something looks only goes as far as what I can feel myself and that isn’t always enough in an industry where appearance is so important.

I am back in Norway now, dealing with the cold harsh winter. But though I’m known for hating snow and the cold, I’m feeling really positive right now. Spring isn’t that far away and with spring comes my birthday. And I’ll soon be travelling again for shows and promos.

I also need to work on my other business this year. And I need to focus on recruiting which I’m terrified of. But I believe in having many things going at the same time and if I want to succeed, I need to step out of my comfort zone. Easier said than done though. But I’m ready for the challenge. Hey, it’s nearly spring! The Lioness is rising!