Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Growing up, my siblings and I were never allowed to have a sleep over at any friends. My mum would rather they (our friends) came over so she could keep her very watchful eye on us. (and this was only after we had become teenagers; for me and my brother, full adults)
Note that very few of our friends ever stayed over. (lol)

The farthest we went was to her sisters. Even at that, she would stay till late before leaving and would be back the next day before you know it.( ahh, the love of a mother)

These days, I see alot of kids having sleep overs even at the age of two (2) and I can't begin to imagine what my sweet mother would think. (lol)

A few days ago, a friend shared a story with me about a man who gave his testimony at church. This is a true story.

Apparently,  the daughter to the wife's friend had a sleep over to spend time with their daughter.
Sometime after the girl had returned home, they heard someone banging on their front door. Alas, it was the police. 

The man was arrested and on getting to the station was told he was being arrested for child abuse.

The case went on for a year..
This said man kept coming to church and was still dedicated standing at the entrance, welcoming members and trusting God to vindicate him. Everyone (including my friend) couldn't believe the family had been going through such craziness and carried on like all was well.

He was not allowed to have any contact with his kids; when he did, it was with social services watching.
He had moved out of his own home and had to rent a place. He couldn't be with his kids and wife for a whole year.

Finally,  a year after the case begun, the girl confessed it was her mother who had asked her to accuse the man of abuse.... Shocked??

I was flabbergasted.  I couldn't understand why a person would plot something so evil towards another.
Why are we as humans wicked and evil to one another? Why can't we simply just love each other?

I don't have kids yet, but I get so paranoid when I see my friends kids being played with by adults or even their friends in any way I don't feel comfortable. ( I'm sure alot of my people will testify to this lol). So when I hear stories of things that happen during sleep overs, I begin to ponder; I just might end up being more strict than my mum.

Yes, I know and believe there are still loads of good people in the world,  yes you still have those you can trust your kids to go spend time with and be able to sleep peacefully. 

I am not saying kids shouldn't go have sleep overs or parents become too strict.
But, what do you know about that family? Do you think about the safety of your child before agreeing they go over to a classmates home or a friends home? 

And for the kids coming to stay over at yours? How well do you know their parents or even the kids?

The stories I have heard in the past year regarding kids sleeping over, made me understand why my mother was how she was all those years. She did it for her peace of mind and for our safety even though we thought she was just been mean.

What are you views and ideas in regards to kids sleeping over?
What length would you go to in ensuring the safety of your children?

Please share with us in the comments section below.

Kindly share this post and don't forget to keep Sparkling.

Monday, 14 August 2017


Last week I tried to describe my views on what true friendship is.

Friendship requires one major thing-

Sacrifice can be in several forms. I'll be looking at sacrifice of  Time, Humility and Intimacy

There is a saying I heard growing up -"what are friends for if not for inconveniences".

I used to think it was silly then, but now I realise this is so true.

As a friend,  you should be able to drop whatever you are doing to go help a friend when needed.

You should be able to say, I can't go into work today, my friend needs me.
Yes, it may not be convenient, ( you might even grumble or go grudgingly ) but you must be able to make that decision as a true friend.

Time can be given in different ways. From creating time to sharing emotions,  financial issues and so on.
 "A friend in time of need is a friend indeed".

Picture credit: Karen Salmonsohn.

As friends, we learn to understand each other,  we know what could easily upset one another.  When we know these things, we avoid situations that would bring out such traits in the other person.

For instance, I am known to argue alot (haha), especially when I feel I'm right. I got the nick name from an uncle "The Law"  for this. (I can be a parrot too, I know lol).

But my close friends understand me well. They know when to go quiet and I get the message. I know at that point it's time to shut up. 

We must never feel too proud or more relevant than the other person for it definitely takes a friend to make a friend.

A friend would have the time and patience to listen to you,  having good listening skills allows good communication. 

 A friend shouldn't be there in just good times but also during bad times.
Be supportive no matter what.  A friend you can lean on come rain or sunshine.

A friend who gets envious or jealous when you are celebrating OR a tiny bit happy when things go sour, is not a friend.( trust me,  some friends do get that bit of happiness when things go sour. Be it in relationships, work or even education).

We allow ourselves become vulnerable as we become close to one another, even though sometimes it could bring discomfort. We can share our thoughts, dreams, desires, experiences and views without feeling judged.

We could go on and on about friendship and who a real friend is but in conclusion, before you accuse a friend of not being true to you or not being there; ask yourself this.

Am I a true friend to my friend(s)?

As a friend, you need to search yourself from time to time; see if your behaviour is what you would expect from your friends ( do unto others what you'd want them to do to you).
Are you happy with the outcome you got?
Remember,  friendship is NOT a competition.

Picture credit: picturequotes.com

Share your views of what you think or feel friendship is about and what you think a true friend should be like.

Please don't hesitate to share and leave a comment at the end of this post..

Stay true and keep Sparkling  x

Tuesday, 8 August 2017


I was having a chat with a close friend and she said something that caught my attention. 

She said someone had asked her how she was able to keep same friends for so many decades and she replied that it came with a price. (we will be looking at the price we pay to be a true friend next Tuesday)

This I thought was so true. In friendship, we have to really go the extra mile to understand each other.  Tolerate ( yes, I know it can be sometimes irritating what our friends do), be patient, be true and honest.
A true friend would tell you as it is,even if it would hurt. With a true friend, white is white and black is black. They tell you how they feel about any situation or issue to your face and not go around saying the opposite.

Finding true and loyal friends can be tough. But once you do find them make sure you treat them same way you would want to be treated. Such friends become family. 

There's a song we used to sing (and I still sing) when I was in the Junior choir at church.  A part of it goes like this -

"Your love is patient, your love is kind, it shows no envy ; brings peace of mind.
Your love is humble and always true".

Indeed Gods love is all of the above and if we can show each other same love and treat each person with love,  we would have no worries (or as they are called now, "frenimies")

Love covers all things. Supercedes all things. If we do all as the song says there wouldn't be greed and corruption. Killings of innocent people. Most importantly, No wars!!!

But alas, that would only happen in our dreams. The world is cruel and full of evil.

As individuals,  let's try our best to do what is right; to show love and be true to those we call friends.

I have friends who have been there for me for decades. Some since primary school, secondary school and university. Some I have had as friends since I relocated to the UK.

For those who know me. When I call you my friend, you know it's for life.
I am very loyal like that. When I love you,  I love you.

There is a huge difference between loyal friends and just being an acquaintance. Alot of people we call friends are really just acquaintances.

If someone close to you was asked right now to describe you, what do you think they would say about you?
Would you be worried or feel confident?

If you were about to win £10,000 and it all depended on what your friends said about you without knowing you'd win some money ; would you be confident enough to say they are loyal and you as a friend have been loyal?

Look around you, do you have more friends you are sure will say good things about  you or more of acquaintances?

Please kindly leave comments on what you think or feel friendship should be about at the comment section of this post. 

Looking forward to your comments.
Keep sparkling in love.
                                          Sisi  Alero.

Friday, 4 August 2017


Meet a talented and hardworking entrepreneur. Hard work comes with great rewards.

Born into a family of five children in Otukpo, Benue State in Nigeria ; James at the age of seven moved to Lagos to live with his aunt who was married to an Airforce officer.

This is his story:

Growing up was tough and rough. I struggled until I was admitted into the University of Agriculture,  Markudi, Nigeria to study Electrical Electronics Engineering.

I had always wanted to study Information Technology growing up, so after  school I had a formal training on computer repairs,  networking and other Information technology related courses and training.

I got employed in an IT (Information Technology) firm and worked with the firm for two years before starting my own private IT firm.

During my study at the University Of Agriculture, I saw so many short comings in our Nigerian system in regards to agriculture. From the constant increase in the price of food to the increase in population growth in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, I was certain that in the near future,  we might not be able to produce enough food to meet the demand of the population.

My childhood idea of owning a farm came alive and with what I had learnt in the agricultural sector I decided to start my own farm called LIFEWAY FARMS.

Our major goal is to provide quality and affordable food to every home in Nigeria and Africa at large and to reduce poverty level in our Nation using modern agricultural practices.

Lifeway Farms started in early 2014 by buying cassava farms that have been cultivated already,  wait for it to get mature,  harvest and convert them to garri (cassava flakes).

The outcome was very encouraging so, the next farming season, we got about ten hectares of land on a long lease and decided to cultivate cassava,  maize and soya beans.  We wanted high yield so we had to settle for the improved variety of these crops.

We encountered challenges that year and we lost almost everything we invested into the farm; but we had agreed earlier when we started that we would not stop, no matter the challenges we faced.

I also wanted to start a starch processing plant but after meeting so many obstacles in terms of finances to start up, I decided to start up with what I believed we could handle.

We set up a modern garri processing plant that can produce two tonnes in eight hours. It is also automated (automatic fryer),

With that on ground,  we needed farms and a cluster of farmers that could produce and sell cassava worth over eighty million naira (N80,000,000)(£170,213)  every year to enable us run the plant.

We have therefore created a ready market for the local farmers, and those into animal husbandry now have a stable place of getting supply of feed for their animals.

Our major challenge at the moment is getting our products to the market, especially during raining seasons. The roads get so bad and so many trucks either refuse to move or charge double the regular amount.

We also started a plantain plantation with two hundred thousand naira (N200,000)(£425.5) which today, is worth over two million naira (N2,000,000)(£4,255)

Though it's been really challenging, it has also been rewarding.  The beauty of farming is that you can start with as little as ten thousand naira (N10,000)(£21.28). All you need is alot of patience and loads of dedication.

Farming gives you enough time to do other things and still have a life.

In my case, I still run a firm that sells and installs solar panels and inverters. I still have time for my family (my beautiful wife and two kids).

Our next phase is to go into full processing and packaging of farm produce .

Benue State is so blessed that the land produces virtually all farm crops. I love my State and I am proudly Nigerian.

My name is James Oyale Okoh, and I am sparkling through my dreams turned reality.

PLEASE NOTE: EXCHANGE RATE AS AT 03/08/17 -- N470 - £1

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


Are you without a job? A means of earning a living? Have you given up totally? 

Are you researching on business ideas and feeling frustrated? 

Don't feel down and never ever give up. Life in itself has never been easy, but with determination and self believe you can achieve your dreams.

It does not matter how small scaled the business is,Start something.
 No matter how small the profit is that comes in, do not give up. 

Never say to yourself it's over. It is never over until you give up on yourself.
Do not rely on people or what people have to survive. Plan for yourself with what you have and you can never tell, help would come as you are pushing. 

We will hear from people who have struggled to become who they are today. 
We will also hear how they started small businesses and how it is growing gradually .  

You could learn a thing or two and put it to practice if it aligns with what you would like to go into.

Follow me via email on the right hand of the page. 
If you have a story to share or feedback on my posts,do send an email to: admin@isparklenow.com

Looking forward to sharing your amazing stories and also reading your comments at the bottom of each post.
Enjoy and keep Sparkling.
                                  Sisi Alero.


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