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Simple Ways To Make a Difference and Change The World

It's a warm evening and at a traffic light somewhere in Lagos, a young boy, hawking bananas is crying his heart out. What would you do? Would you stop to find out the problem or be too busy to notice? 

Just last week, my hairdresser told me a story, of how she arrived work on a rainy Monday in September, to meet a surprise. Someone had left a 3 month old baby in a box, outside her salon. Mind you, the baby was left outside in the heavy rain. 

I remember that Monday, because it had rained all night and into the morning. She took the baby to the Police station, only for the mother to come spying after a few hours. The mother escaped lynching, saying she was hungry and could not cope with breastfeeding. It was a terrible thing for her to do and it is so easy to judge her ( I know I did). Who knows, she may be suffering from post-natal depression. 

Thankfully, the baby survived it all and was all smiles, even in the rain. I said, her guardian angel was with the baby in that rain, without food. Or how else would you explain it?

Have you ever wondered how to make the world around you a better place? It is pretty easy to have the intentions but get confused on how to actualise this intention.

Here are some simple ways to make a difference and change the world:

Finding Positive Ways to Deal with Emotions

Hello Nelo's Halo readers.

I started the month wishing for a September to Remember. Guess what? Life happened. I got busy dealing with a number of things- work, family, starting a new venture, difficulties, etc.

In the midst of getting my hustle, I had to contend with a number of unforeseen things: learning, dealing with difficult situations & people, battling my emotions,etc. There were some days I did not want to get out of bed. There were other days  my mind would process so many thoughts and worries, I could not get a wink of sleep.

Perhaps, these seem familiar to you- worrying about bills, the new business not taking off, debtors, how to pay the kids tuition in the new school year, rising costs in the recession, a bad relationship, depression, etc.

How do you deal with all these hold-ups and the emotions?


I love to travel to new places as often as I can. I also spend a great deal of time dreaming of exotic places to visit. I even enjoy the process of applying for visas, standing on a long check-in queue, getting my travel vaccinations. I don’t even mind that I have to take of my shoes, belt, and jewelry and remove all my gadgets before I go through the metal detector. To me, these are just minute distractions as my eyes are set on the new experiences at that amazing destination.

Unfortunately, I don’t get to travel as often as I would like due to cash restraints. Recently, I got the itch to travel. This was a real travel craving and all I wanted at the time, was to pack up and go somewhere new. I got so desperate I was willing to do almost anything just to satisfy that craving. My bank balance brought me back to reality but I had to find a way to manage the situation.

Here are 5 alternatives for a travel enthusiast on a budget:


This blog post is inspired by my personal experience and that of many mothers. It's also in the spirit of World Breastfeeding week, celebrated annually from 1st to 7th August, around the world.

I became a first time mom in 2015 and I am a mother to a lovely 16 month girl. While I was pregnant, I did not question whether I would breastfeed or not. It was not an option. In fact, I looked forward to breastfeeding my baby. In addition to attending regular antenatal classes, I was also consistently reading up materials on the internet. As far as I was concerned, I had followed all the pre-natal instructions and was ready.

After successfully birthing my daughter, I was eager to start breastfeeding her. But guess what? I was not producing breast milk. Everyone from the nurses, to the doctor and my mom kept telling me to “put her to breast”. God knows I was trying, but nothing. By the second day I burst out crying, as I felt under so much pressure to deliver. Thankfully, I started producing milk after a few days and had to struggle with pain in my breasts, engorgement, low milk production, etc.

I share below, 3 things Nigerian mothers struggling with breastfeeding have to deal with:


When life gives you plenty garden eggs, make garden egg sauce. lol. Garden eggs seem to be in season at the moment and asides having them as a snack with groundnut, this is another way to put them to good use. It tastes yummy and is healthy too. I only learnt this recipe last year from a colleague and i'm glad i did. I love meals that are easy and fast like my sharp-sharp chicken veggie sauce and this does not take long to get ready. It is also a great alternative to tomato stew. Let's start.

The journey to becoming self-assured

Do you ever wish you could go back in time, to know some of the things you know now, but in time past? I don't really know how that would work but I let my imagination go wild many times.

 I find in recent times, I have thought and uttered these words "how I wish I knew then, the things I know now". But I concluded that every challenge, every mistake and every single thing that I knew or did not know are all part of my story. 

With each passing year, I find that I am becoming more self-assured. I have and am becoming more confident in my abilities, in myself. But it has not always been that way for me and looking back there are possibly reasons for that.

I decided to write down some of those things that can help one in becoming self-assured. I don't know it all, but I hope this is a message that someone can find meaning in them.

Bye Bye June! Welcome July!


The month of June is my month and I am always excited once we get to that time of the year. This is mostly because of my birthday (Gemini baby) and that we approaching the end of half-year. I'm particularly thankful for June 2016 as i feel closer to my dreams and purpose.

Here are some of the things i got up to :

7 must-watch videos to prepare for Baby's Arrival


Congratulations!!! You are going to be a mummy. It is such an exciting time when you realise you are expecting.

There is a whole lot of preparation to be done. You have a long shopping list, baby's room to get ready, finding domestic help, the pregnancy photo shoot, bridal shower packing your hospital bag, etc. At some point it may seem overwhelming and at other times you are in a Nesting mood and happy to organise. There are so many things to learn about being pregnant. My mum was glad to swap her own pregnancy stories and symptoms with me. Although, there were some aspects she conveniently forgot to tell me about pregnancy, delivery and baby's arrival. I guess she did not want to scare me so much.

So where do you begin your preparations from?

Whether you are going to be a First time mummy or already have kids, there is always something new to learn.

Here are my 7 must-watch videos that helped me prepare for Baby's Arrival :

My Fruit Obsession - Soursop

I just had to let the whole world know i am currently obsessed with Soursop. 

Nelos Halo Blog

I love all Fruits and can call myself a fruit lover but in the past one month, this has become an obsession. You can literally see me searching the streets of Lagos with my eyes looking for it. In fact the other day, my husband was driving the family back from a wedding and we drove past a lady selling Soursop on the street, i shouted "Soursop, please go back." Hahaha. He reversed because I have converted him and my baby girl, Zara too. There was a day I was close to tears and saying "why can't you two let me eat this fruit in peace?" Lol.

Life as a Consumer When Market Prices have Gone up by Toby Nwazor

Toby Nwazor-Life as a consumer when prices have gone up
It is very painful that even the price of ‘matches’ (matchsticks) has been affected by the current economic downturn. Recently in Abuja, I got to a market and wanted to buy a pack of matches at the initial price of 50 naira. The guy, who was hawking on foot looked at me and said "100 naira". I walked away hoping to buy it in front. I thought he didn't know what he was saying until I saw it at the same price elsewhere.
Well, matches are still a small thing. What about rice, the common staple food of most Nigerians? A bag of rice now costs between 13k to 15k.  While the smallest measure sells for 500naira. Instead of eating rice, some people have turned to Amala and gbegiri (Soup made from bean paste) to survive the hard times. Since beans still fairly have the same price, some bean haters have now turned to lovers of beans. Lol. Talk about the positive effect of an economic downturn.

Baby’s First teeth and Traditions

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Zara's First Teeth

There are many things a first time mum has to learn on the motherhood journey. One of such things for me was teething in babies. As a first time mum, I had no idea about all the other symptoms attached to teething in babies. I had prayed and believed she would hit all her milestones by God’s grace.Thankfully, my daughter, Zara, brought forth her first tooth at about six months. Two of her lower front teeth were the first to arrive and we were glad. But before the tooth came out, they made quite the entrance, bothering my little madam. 


  • The first signs I noticed was drooling. She was literally producing ounces of saliva (I’m exaggerating). She needed to have a bib on at most times.

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Mummy's Hula Hoop is great for scratching too

Why Tomato Scarcity should be a Blessing in Nigeria

Tomato scarcity

It has been some months since tomato became gold in Nigeria. It has become gold purely because the price has gone up by 200 percent or more in some cases.

Tomato is an important staple in most Nigerian homes, and is mostly used to prepare Stews (Beef stew, Chicken Stew, etc.) which accompanies other cooked food. For working mums like myself, cooking a batch of stew on weekends and freezing (where electricity is constant) makes meal times on week days, less stressful. Stew goes well with foods like rice, beans, yam, spaghetti, you name it. What is fried eggs without some sliced tomatoes? Aaaaaah! don't forget jollof rice o! Then our Yoruba neighbours from western Nigeria, use tomato as the base for most soups like: efo riro, efo ele-guisi, obe ata, etc. So you get my point about the importance of tomato in a Nigerian home.

What i'm listening to - Phyno ft. Olamide Fada Fada

I love Phyno's music and for so many reasons. He sings in Igbo and he makes our language so sexy.Plus he throws in all these lingo, you know, umu okwu di iche iche.

I'm currently jamming to Ghetto Gospel. It's my new praise and worship song. My pick me up song.

"Chineke buru ekene, riwe otito, fada fada eeeh" (Oh Lord, accept my praise, take all the glory,father)

Check out the video:

Setting Bedtime Routines for Baby

Help! Why won't my One year old go to bed by 9PM?
I'm at my wits end these days, not on all days, but mostly at night. I'm trying to understand why my one year old daughter, Zara, is wide awake by 11 pm? Just on Monday, she slept off at 12:39 am. I kid you not. So what is she doing by this time? You are wrong if you think she's sitting quietly or watching telly, in my dreams. She's running the marathon in the living room. Hmmm.

The researcher in me, i start doing a root cause analysis (covers face)


Happy Children's Day 2016

Children's Day 2016

Today is 27th May and it is celebrated as Children's day in Nigeria. Do you have such a celebration in your country? It is a big deal for primary and secondary school children as it is a school-free day for them.

When I was a little girl, I was glad to spend that day away from school. On a few occasions, my mum would take us out for lunch. Today, I saw many parents celebrating their kids on social media, taking their kids out (there's a restaurant on the ground floor of my office building). But I have one funny memory from way back. My parents had a domestic staff, Stella, called Ste for short. She grew up in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, the same state as me, Anambra. Every 27th May, she would reminisce about 'Marching'. She practically spent the whole day talking and dreaming about this marching.


Nelo goes back to School- My #DigifyBytesNG Experience

Hello Guys, I'm back to blogging some more, after a life-imposed break. There's a lot to tell you guys. I've been working on getting my blog to look great.  What do you think? You like? It's still a work in progress, but i won't give up, mbanu!

So I went back to school, well, sort of. I've been doing plenty online reading (like, when am i not ever looking up something online? Lol) I really needed to brush up on my digital marketing knowledge, if i am to do excellently well at this. I had read in the newspaper and seen online, that Google was sponsoring courses to Digify, Africa. This is in partnership with Livity Africa, a group of young trainers. The course is called 'Digify Bytes' and is available in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.


How to make my 'Sharp-Sharp Chicken Veggie Sauce'

I am a lover of quick but healthy meals and always looking for such recipes. I will be sharing the recipe for my 'Sharp-Sharp Chicken Veggie Sauce'. I adapted it from the Asian styled Stir-fry recipe and it is 'Sharp-Sharp' because you can prepare and cook it in under an hour. Is that amazing or what?

Managing your baby's fragile head & Soft Spot

You are still basking in the excitement of being a new mummy, holding your precious baby in your arms and you notice the top of baby’s head, just at the crown, is beating. Yes, it seems like baby’s heart is also beating through his or her head and you can see it.
             Source: www.babycareforyou.com
Any new mother who has seen this happen to their child will agree it is one of the scariest things. I experienced this when my daughter was born. It is normal to be anxious, but do not be afraid. What you see as baby’s head beating, is called ‘The Soft Spot’. It is also called the ‘Fontanel’.
According to Columbia University Medical Center-Columbia Neurosurgeons “The fontanel, is one of several gaps between the bones of the skull that, in addition to allowing the skull to expand, are constantly producing new bone to keep up with this growth”. This gap or gaps makes provision for baby’s brain which is growing.


1. There are two soft spots on baby’s head. The Anterior fontanel (in front) and the Posterior fontanel (at the back of the head). The posterior fontanel closes first, usually by the time baby is 4 months, it should stop pulsating. The anterior fontanel will close up by the time baby is 2 years old, at the latest. Note that each baby is different and these timelines are a guide.

Look what PMS made me do!

You are suddenly feeling depressed and in tears, yet you are not sure why. You are so vexed to the point where you are banishing the thoughts of shooting the guy who broke your side mirror, on your way to work. Your breasts are suddenly larger than they were last night (double boobs alert!) Add the fact that you are bloated to the equation, and it makes for an interesting time.

Do any of the descriptions above, take you to a familiar place? You know, its so familiar because I swear, you find yourself there every month? Or your boyfriend, husband, or close friend can't help but mutter these 3 letters-PMS (after rolling their eyes, of course). There you go, welcome to the life of most women of pre-menopausal age.

Premenstrual Syndrome, commonly referred to as PMS refers to the "physical, psychological and behavioral symptoms" that most women experience two weeks before their monthly period begins.
Some of these symptoms include: 

Nigerian Food - Ukwa (African Breadfruit)

I recently had a conversation with a colleague on one of my favorite topics, food. He was of the opinion that there are not many food options in Nigeria. This led him to conclude that he had no option than to eat rice most days. 

I disagree. Nigeria is rich with so many types of food. Although, i do agree, rice is easy to cook and it tastes great too.

On a recent trip to Balogun market, i bought Ukwa, also called African breadfruit. I had been craving it for a while. Ukwa is not readily available in every market in Lagos. It is one of those delicacies favoured by the Ibos of South East Nigeria. It is rich in protein. It can be eaten, boiled and as a fried snack.

Source: www.therenaissanceng.com

RECIPE FOR UKWA (African Breadfruit Porridge)

  • 1 derica cup of Ukwa
  • one large chunk of Pottash (Akaun)
  • Cameroon Pepper
  • Crayfish
  • Salt
  • Seasoning cubes
  • 1 cooking spoon of palm oil
  • Onions
  • Dry Fish
  • Sweet corn (optional)

Happy International Women's Day

Today, 8th March, we celebrate women and girls all around the world.
The theme for IWD 2016 is 'Pledging for Parity'. This is a state of economic, political, social, cultural equality for all.

We all have a part to play in achieving a world of equal opportunities. This can only be achieved by making a conscious effort to encourage and help our sisters, wives, friends achieve their life goals. 
We can achieve this by being more sensitive to the reality of the girl child, by sharing domestic responsibilities that weigh down our wives and sisters in our homes.

It will take us all to achieve this. Let us take a stand.

Click the link below to take a pledge for parity and learn more:


Innovate or die! A Case of AJEAST Big Cola Vs the big players-Coca Cola & Pepsi in Nigeria

This is a story of a David and not-so Goliaths in the carbonated soft drinks market in Nigeria.

It all started in 2015 when AJEAST Nigeria Limited officially launched its brand of CSD into the market- Big Cola, Big Orange, Big Lemon. These come in a 65cl PET bottle and were initially planned to retail at N90 naira. It now sells at N100 naira. Their tagline is "You Think Big, You dream big". This brand successfully launched its products in Latin America.

In November 2015 an article titled Some Big Lessons for Big Cola was highly circulated asking if Big Cola would be able to compete where Coca Cola and Pepsi have a large chunk of the market share in this category? Seeing as many new products come into the Nigerian market, why the fuss?

Purposeful Living

This is one of my favorite poems. 
To think i put this to memory as little Nelo of Primary 4 Topaz, in my Chrisland School days. Pardon me, as i am unsure if the author is 'Anonymous or Persian' but it came out of our poetry book back then.

In its simplicity, it is a call to reflect on one's purpose. And when you discover it, get to work on achieving it. 


It is not too late, whatever your age. 
To quote Uncle Oliver de Coque - "Uwa ga bata onye obuna, mbiri ka mbiri" (The  world is big enough to fit us all in, live and let live).

Do not over think it, do not purposefully create stumbling blocks by holding on to fear.
A popular catch phrase by Omilola Oshikoya is to "Do it Afraid". 
I am learning this, as i have started my journey to fulfilling my purpose in life.
It took a lot of searching, praying and self-assuring. 
The irony of it, that purpose has not changed after so many years of trying out so many things.
I owe it to myself, I owe it to the world, I owe it to God.

What is your purpose in this life? 

What Events do you have planned for 2016?

My angel Zara's first birthday is fast approaching. OMG ! where did the time go? I'm just so thankful for my beautiful gift from heaven, my precious diva.

God willing i want to make it a memorable one for her. So the earlier i start planning, the better. I'm going to be working with an event manager, TLG Decor for this event, little as it is going to be.

I've seen a few of their past jobs and i'm very impressed. I'm working on a budget as always. I know pretty things don't always have to break the bank.

Do you see all those lovely pictures from weddings, birthday parties, child naming/dedication ceremony, corporate events, even kids birthday parties on instagram? Do you wish you can achieve those results even on a tight budget? 

Are you an event decorator and need to hire decor pieces for your event? 
They have a variety of table linens, centre pieces, bridal chairs, etc. for hire.
Why not give them a call today: Uche - 08023067705 or Stephen - 08126530640.

Don't forget to mention you heard about them from Nelo's Halo and i'm sure they'll be able to throw in a little something extra for you.

Wishing you a day as beautiful as you.

Watch out for Cross-infection at Hospitals

This year 2016 has been an interesting one so far, at least for me.

One of the unfortunate things though, is the news of the spread of Lassa Fever in the country.
We have to bear in mind, that it is the not the first outbreak of the disease in Nigeria, but we still need to take precaution all the same.

Today, i want to share an experience I had at the hospital on Monday 25th January with you.
The sunday before had been an uneventful one, except i had the worst abdominal pains and tummy upset all night. I did not get any sleep. Yet tired and dehydrated i made my way to the office.
But it was a struggle staying focused as i felt so terribly ill through the day and had to leave for the hospital after break time.

I made my way to my registered health care provider at Surulere (i don't want to name names). After seeing the GP, she advised i run some tests at the lab. I made my way to the ground floor were the lab is. As i made my way in, a man in a lab coat was on his way out and asked me to have a seat. I noticed he was wearing disposable gloves, the type used in hospitals (the white kind). 

                                  Image result for medical examination gloves
                                  Source: hospitcare.com

Shortly afterwards he re-appeared wearing the same gloves. He was to take a blood sample and the following conversation ensued:

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

May all our dreams come true in 2016.

This year is the year of no fear, not-feeling-sorry-for-ourselves BUT the year where we identify our goals and 
work out meaningful ways to achieve them.

I also hope to write and share more on my blog in 2016, so help me God.

May God's love and mercy, light our paths in 2016.

Recipe for Today- Nigerian Green Smoothie

Happy Weekend People! 

What have you got planned for the weekend?

In addition to all the activities planned including the 'owambes' the weekend brings its own kind of temptations with it. 

One of such temptations are beverages (whether carbonated or alcoholic). 

Since life is too short, i don't intend to drink only water or green tea this weekend (i can't come and die biko). 

So my substitute is Smoothies.

A smoothie is a thick drink that can be made with a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy products (yoghurt, milk) etc. 

It is made by blending the ingredients. There are also Smoothie makers available in the market for this purpose. I choose to make mine using a blender.

You can be adventurous and play with ingredients. I like to include at least one sweet fruit to mine, so its tasty.

Here's my recipe for my Nigerian Green Smoothie.

  • 8 leaves of Ugu vegetable
  • 1 banana
  • 1 orange
  • 100ml of Almond milk
  •  Half a glass of water

  • Cut your Ugu leaves in large chunks.
  • Squeeze the orange and remove the seeds. 
  • Cut the banana in chunks.
  • Add all ingredients into the blender including the water.
  • Blend till smooth.

Serve chilled and Enjoy!

Welcome to Nelo's Halo

       "Hello Hello,from me to a worthy fellow,  
        I welcome you to my Halo, 
My ring of light, my nimbus, my aura. 
Musings, thoughts, my echoes, 
I hope you find some mellow,or blue, yellow,
                             If not, do bellow.
My hope is not to bore you from the get go, 
Please come in, as I welcome you to Nelo's Halo."
                By Chinelo Okoli

Welcome to Nelo's Halo Blog. I thought of a special way to welcome you and poetry (one of my gifts) came to mind.

My expectation for my blog is to make a difference in my own way. I hope you get something new, if not, something to insight and excite you and make you stop. 

So cheers to this and many more days of writing and sharing.

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