5 Things to know to get that Cheap Apartment

Finding an apartment for rent in Lagos on a very low budget is a very difficult task. Ask me, I know. With the experience I’ve had, along with some I’ve heard about, I think I should be able to give you some nuggets if you find yourself doing serious budgeting before you get that apartment.

We all know the Nigerian economy can be very choking, so don’t be surprised to find out that you’re not alone in the bracket of those who sit down and calculate every penny before they go out in search of that apartment. Having a budget ceiling of around N300,000 to N400,000 can be very limiting. But there are a few things you need to know if you’re in this situation.

– What you want to rent determines where you will live (or vice versa). This is the Lagos reality! With N300k, you can hardly get a miniflat in many choice areas (and I’m talking per annum). But if you go to the outskirts (think Ikorodu, Abule Egba, Alagbado), you will get a two bedroom apartment conveniently. See what I mean?

– How long you hope to pay for initially determines how soon you would get that apartment. Fact is, with that kind of budget, you’re probably looking for a one-year rent or, at most, a year and half. Well, another reality in Lagos is that most landlords are not operating under the tenancy law, so do not get any illusions. You fare better looking for the proverbial golden goose than looking for a 1-year rent apartment in Lagos. Ok, it may not really be that difficult but you get the gist. The good thing, however, is that your budget will most likely push you to the outskirt locations where you have a better chance of finding one.

– Doing the search yourself, rather than in magazines or online, is definitely faster. Yes, you can use your favorite property magazine or website to get an idea of what you can find. But don’t really think you’ll get more than that, an idea! If you’re really searching for that cheap apartment, you have to get off your butt and hit the road! Referrals may be good, that is, someone referring you to an agent previously used but they’re not ‘sure-banker’. Open your eyes very well and don’t think you can trust them because you trust the person who referred them. They’re often after one thing only – their own commission! Don’t get any illusions. And that takes us to the next point.

– A financial backup guarantees you’ll get what YOU LIKE. The emphasis here is intentional. You’ll find a number of apartments within your budget range, whether for a year rent or two (depending on what and where) but the ones you’ll really like will most likely be outside your budget. Accountable for this is the extra fee you’ll have to pay for ‘agreement’, ‘commission’ and ‘damages’. You may think an apartment of N130,000 is affordable for a 2-year rent but when you factor in a 30-30-20 for these fees, the total package jumps to N340,000 instead of N260,000, and this is still probably ‘one of those apartments’. Now, your beloved apartment may cost about N180,000 per year but be sure that you’ll most likely have to pay for two years and the fees will be more like 50-50-30! Yea, it could be that crazy. Budget backup will be the best idea in these cases, trust me.

– Never let the agent convince you to rent. Realistically, your choices are seriously limited. Let’s face the truth, you’re not in the position to pick and choose. This doesn’t mean you just have to accept any place but just know that there’s a limit to how choosy you can be and except you’re not really pressed to move, you must be realistic with the options you get. One thing you shouldn’t do, however, is let the agent decide for you! They’re all about the deal going through as soon as possible, so they’ll say anything to make you rent a shack if they have to.

Well, these points should help you on your way to get that cheap apartment. And to cap it all up, you can never be too careful, especially when it comes to payment. Make all necessary checks and never rush to pay! It’s better to lose the apartment than lose the little cash you’ve gathered for it.

Good luck!

Turn Down for WHAT?!

Here’s something you guys might like from my blogworld mentor. So real, so true, so Sirkastiq!!!

The Sarcastic Center

I’m not even happy this morning.

Like I can’t even take this thing again. It’s just downright annoying and so I’ve decided to come talk about It here with the hope that the specie to whom this behaviour is commonplace with can fix up.

If you’ve ever loved a girl, then you’re probably familiar with heartbreak. The two are almost mutually inclusive as you cannot have one without the other. Note that I didn’t say “if you’re in a relationship” This is because these days, you don’t even have to be in a relationship to have your heart shattered into a million minute fragments. I’m just tired. Now don’t get it twisted, I’m not of the opinion that hearts shouldn’t be broken but my grouse is that if you’re going to do something so life defining, at least put some effort into it. Don’t just toss the nigga into a…

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Messi-me-Rising

One of the most memorable moments for me on facebook was the day I had an argument with one of my favorite friends there. It was our first real discussion, I think, and the topic was…you guessed it – Messi vs. Ronaldo! I’m an Arsenal fan (like you may already know) and my friend, being a Red Devil, naturally preferred Ronaldo. The year was 2009 and it was just a few months after CR7 won his first (and only…so far) World Footballer award.

I’ve liked Barca since I discovered they were a more effective version of Arsenal. Far better! I just loved the way they took ‘beautiful football’ to the zenith. As a result, Messi has always been my pick in the best-player-in-the-world debate. I dislike CR7. Yea, I said it! I’ve always done. From the EPL days. Main reason: I don’t like it when a player showboats unnecessarily just because he feels he’s the best. Then his nonsense pride kicks in more often than not. He couldn’t have been more different than Messi.

God, being merciful, made sure that we didn’t have to endure a full-length reign of CR7, which would have been the case in the absence of the Magical One. The boy’s very talented. Not even I can the deny the fact. He’s the closest thing we’ll get to Messi for now, probably until Neymar starts fulfilling his hype. But talent alone would only get you thus far, especially when pride kicks in.

Forgive my digression, this topic can be very emotional for me. Back to the facebook argument, needless to say, CR7 was the leading footballer at the time and my friend simply dismissed my argument with “…how many trophies and awards has he won compared to CR7?”, or a variation of that statement, to which my only response was “Let’s wait a few years and come back to discuss this…”, seeing as I had no basis for comparison at the time. CR7 was just crowned King of Football and ManU were the reigning Champions of Europe and on course for an unprecedented consecutive trophy. And those were few among his various accolades including myriads from the EPL.

Less than four years from that argument and there’s still no basis for comparison. Only this time, it’s the other way round. It’s only representative of ‘La Pulga’ over the years that he overturns perceived insurmountable odds with natural ease that one feels stupid to have initially thought they were impossible in the first place. As it stands, anyone will be forgiven to think that the boy will break the great Pele’s goal record well before his career ends. That’s the kind of belief he has brought to the game. At the moment, there’s no way to debate a CR7 vs. Messi topic again. There’s simply no comparing the two! Messi’s wayyyy ahead in everything!

Come to think of it, my argument that ‘facebook day’ was purely based on comparing their skills and I believed Messi was much better in application. He can dribble past one as easily as he can past six and you may not even notice until he’s done it. Before CR7 does one player, the whole world knows he’s about to clear the guy out of the way. And worse, he’s not as good at it as Ronaldinho (who, by the way, says he’s so happy to have played a part in Messi’s football life) and not as effective. One part of Ronaldo’s game that still earns him merit till today is his goal-scoring ability. But even on that, Messi trumps him carelessly!

At this point in time, I can proudly say that the Messi-CR7 debate is officially over as the boy breaks another long-standing record and awaits the fourth Ballon D’Or of his short career so far, and he thoroughly deserves it. In explaining the difference between both stars, a former ardent CR7 fan who has now ‘seen the light’ described both in a certain way. He said CR7 is like that brilliant student in school who studies hard, burns the midnight candles and scores lots of A’s with a few B’s in between, while Messi is like that genius who hardly comes to class, plays around a lot and still ends up scoring all A+, with an occassional A- when the teacher is ‘angry’ that he has already scored so much.

The last analogy got me thinking, so rephrased it in another way, especially with reference to goal scoring ability. Messi is like a student who knows ALL the possible questions and knows the answers to ALL the questions, so its a matter of getting to the hall. He’ll deliver. Every other player are like other students who, at their best (CR7), know MOST of the questions and also has answers to MOST of the questions known. So in the odd case when a question comes out and he doesn’t know it or doesn’t have any answer to it, then he drops marks. As a breakdown, I simply feel that the boy is blessed with a pre-recorded data of not only every possible scenario when facing a goalkeeper, but also what to do in those positions to put the ball in the net. He seems to score at will! Simply Magnificent!!!

As a wrap up, I doubt if my friend would want to pick up any CR7-Messi debate with me any time soon, because he simply can’t afford to tell me to wait a few more years as we both have an idea exactly what a few more years will hold. Except Messi drops dead tomorrow (God forbid!), CR7 will continue to live in the shadows until his career winds down with one of the biggest paychecks ever heard of in world football. As we celebrate another landmark achievement by the Mesmerizing One, I just want to ask us to forget the debates and keep enjoying the Little Flea in his adventurous world of conquest after conquest in the football world. Messi is gradually rising to the top of the greatest footballers of all time. Just a few more years…

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Fool’s Treasure

treasure-via-pixabay_large

It is always like a dream when you think you’ve found a treasure you’ve so much cherished without even seeing it before. You have an idea what it looks like but you just haven’t seen it physically. Then you find it! But what a sad drama when you discover, after years of keeping it safe and sound, cherishing and taking care of it, that it was a fake! Yeah, it had been a phony treasure all along!! You feel someone must’ve played a cruel joke on you, replacing the original somewhere along the line despite your 24/7 attention to this treasure. But, no, what’s fake is fake, & must’ve been all along ‘cos u never took your eyes off it. Not for a single moment. When you moved, it moved with you. When you eat, it sat there looking you right in the eye. When you’re in the crowd, you’re always feeling for it in that hunter’s pouch you carried it about in! Then, what must’ve happened?! Alas, you’ve been carrying a fake all along! Not replaced but fake…from Day 1!!!

Now, out of annoyance, you throw it out the window during your train ride to the city, never to see it again! You’re so mad with yourself for spending so much time and care on a phony treasure. It’s really crazy how you felt about something that’s so unreal. You must’ve been stupid to think you could find such a treasure you’ve only dreamt of in your sleep.

Just two hours into your five-hour train ride, you start missing your lovely treasure. Yea, it’s fake but you’ve spent so much time taking care of it, it could as well have been real! Suddenly, you just don’t care whether it was fake or real, you just want to have your treasure back and take care of it some more. You just want it to be there when you need a companion. You miss it so terribly and you start to feel sorry for throwing it out the window at first thought. You wish myou could turn back time but that is one thing that is quite impossible…or is it? In your saddened state, you cry a little till you fell asleep.

Honk, honk!! The sound of the train reaching its final destination, and the crowd pushing their way out of it, wakes you up. You slept off the remainder of the way and you feel your head throbbing. Reflexively, you reach your hand into your pouch and… There!!! You found a miracle! Your cherished treasure is right in there! How come? You try to think back but just couldn’t. How did it get back in there? You were so sure you threw it out the window but, maybe it was just a dream. Whatever happened you cared a lot less about. What matters most is that your lovely treasure is back in your arms and this time, it doesn’t matter what version of the treasure you had in your hands. The important thing is your treasure’s back, never to leave again. You would make sure of that. Even if it was phony, you’ve invested a lot of time on it and you can’t just let that go for nothing. No! It will remain with you for as long as you live! There! That’s that!!

But then, you just missed a great opportunity to find the true treasure… Too bad!

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Leaders and Bosses

The Boss/Leader Triangle

The Boss/Leader Triangle

I was supposed to make the third service, at least that was what I was aiming for. But a series of (fortunate) events pushed my timing towards the last service. Oh well, I’ll have to make do with that. I just thank God for the fact that the church had four services. In any case, I got in, found a nice place to sit which would give me a good view of Pastor Sam and waited for the service to begin.

The praise and worship was on point as usual and then the welcome note for first-timers. The senior pastor walked to the pulpit and started to deliver the sermon. It was a series on ‘Love’ and it was one of those days when he did different sermons in each service. The earlier services had listened to him talk about ‘Love & Justice’, ‘Love & Spirituality’ and ‘Love & the Physical’. Well, I hadn’t been in church for a while so I really didn’t have any idea of how far the series had gone. But that day, the service I attended was served a sermon on ‘Love & Leadership’ and somehow, I felt this would actually have been my preferred topic for the day. Listening to Pastor Sam speak, I kept nodding my head in appreciation of the truth he was telling.

What I learnt was what I already felt was right. We need leaders not bosses. Everyone has had a boss at one time or the other, or at least has an idea of what bosses do. But the unfortunate thing is that after most of us have finished complaining about, and sometimes cursing, our bosses, we turn out to be the same character to other people once we get to the same position. It sounds something like what our political situation is, right? Yea, its because we’re the same people. There’s no way a goat can give birth to a lion (except if the world is about to end now now!)

Now you might be wondering why I’m separating bosses and leaders, at least a boss is leading a group of workers to achieve a common goal. Well, that’s not quite correct. There’s a difference between leading a group and heading a group. Both can be combined, in which case the boss can be called a leader but in most cases, the boss remains the boss – the one at the helm of affairs. So what’s the difference? Well, the boss is more concerned about getting the job done while the leader prioritizes the people involved in getting the job done.

The Nigerian political landscape hardly sees any sort of leader. What we often get are bosses who end up not even bothering to get the job done. Then we resort to praising the bosses who seem to get the job done irrespective of how they got it done. It’s so sad that we do not even look for leaders anymore. As a consequence, none of us even aspires to be a true leader anymore. Yea, we hope to occupy leadership positions someday and change things but we don’t even know the true meaning of being a leader.

Pastor Sam said leaders are lovers and I agree totally. There’s no way a father who truly loves his family will make decisions that would harm them. They are the reason why he has been working so hard and will continue to work so hard. The family is the smallest unit in the society, so if the love that the father radiates in the family spreads to other facets of his life, you would be getting a true picture of a leader. At work, he might be heading the finance department of the company but if he treats the junior staff the way he treats his family at home then he won’t be just a boss but a leader.

The outside world could be very complicated because there’s a lot of things to deal with but the simple truth in leadership is the fact that there’s nothing more important than the people you lead. Not the goal, not the department, not the tools, not the setup but the people. In business, when you decide that a particular product is the best for your consumers and they clearly want something else, you’re supposed to adjust to their taste or you may soon be out of business. But if that product is genuinely better than what they want, then you would have to find a way to carefully prove it to them so they can see reason with you. That’s how you should treat the people you lead, with the respect and true care for the people who actually should determine the fate of your leadership.

I haven’t said most of what I intend to pass across so we’ll take this as an intro, and next time we’ll delve in much more.

Thank you for reading through. Contributions are welcome.

Signing Out!!!

The difference.

The difference.

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Hiatus Explained

Yea, that's where I've been

Yea, that’s where I’ve been

Ok, it’s been how long now? April, May,… August! Almost five months! Wow! :O :/

This is serious o! What really happened? I’m kinda feeling ‘excuseless’ right now but I feel I owe you guys an explanation so here’s a rather weak attempt at one.

*adjusting turban, looking around the room with all the paparazzi and cameras, winking at the pretty girl in the corner*

First thing is… I’m lazy!!! Yea! Said it! It’s out now! I am! Very lazy in fact. How did bI know? Really?! Are you actually asking me that??!! Of course everyone says it. My family says it, my close friends say it, hell, even my girlfriend has had cause to tell me to my face! If I don’t accept it as a fact by now then there would no worse denial than that and I won’t have learnt a thing.

Yea, I actually just read a book called ‘Denial’, thanks to my ex-boss, and if there’s one thing the book has taught me, it is that you shouldn’t deny any fact staring you in the face. So, yea, I’m lazy, and the scary thing is… I’m loving it!!! Really scary! Especially when you recall the popular slogan you will find on most ‘danfos’ back then, “No Food for Lazy Man”. Never mind that I may have been eating well so far but it still scares me all the same.

Well, other things have been in play all this while too with the new job taking so much out of me as I was trying to get my mojo back so I can really finally impress my boss. But the darn thing left me throughout my time there! S**t!! If I ever get it back it better give a better (loving the wordplay or is it just pun?) explanation than I’m giving here or else…

Also involved were lots of incidents that drained me financially and, worse still, emotionally till I finally lost all the passion I had for the job and left it. Or was it the job that left me? Hm! Whichever ways, we were both better off without each other so in one sense, I’m not apologetic about it in any way.

And that leads to the second thing… I’m job-less!!! Yea, you read that right! Outta job! Well, it’s not really like I’m not busy tryna make money right now (which I seriously am) but I don’t have a 9-5 no more (or is it 8-7? Can’t really put a range to it these days). I think this explains better why I’m back here and hope to be more consistent (if I don’t laze away soon). Now, I’ve always had issues with normal jobs but I actually thought I’d found one that could actually give me a push but, it wasn’t meant to be. So sad. *sobbing, crying, shedding (croc) tears* 😦

Anyway, I’m almost over that now and ready for a new challenge, of which, this time money must dey o, ehn-ehn. Just in case you think you have a ‘new challenge’ I’d be interested in. And I’m not talking ‘daily survival’ money, I mean ‘turn my life around’ money, just to clarify :D. I’m open to almost anything you can come up with that requires thinking, organizing, planning, linking, writing, and stuff like that…

Wait!!! How did an explanation about why I’ve been away for so long turn into me doing ‘fine bara’ for ‘runs’. Oh well, it’s still my blog and I’d do any darn thing I want with it so… Sue me! No, don’t. Just kidding. *broke ass*

Well, that’s it. That’s all I have to say for my hiatus from Issues & Tissues for so long. I hope to be back for good this time so expect some consistency from my lazy butt while I try to catch up with time. I think I have a lot to talk about, if I can get myself to think them up and put them down. Let’s see! It feels good to be back (haven’t I said that somewhere before?)

That’s all for now.

*bowing on stage to an empty audience*

SeryxMe. Signing Out (or In or Off, warreva)!!! *falling off the stage and passing out*

Now I'm back!

Now I’m back!

New Things

Brand New!

Brand New!

After disappearing from here for such a long time without offering any advance notice to you guys like Lade did, it feels like an AWOL. But seriously it’s all for a good cause. Remember I talked about something very important that’d be taking a lot of dedication from me this year in a previous post? Well, yea, let’s just say God didn’t let me wait too long and now it’s a case of ‘Omo wa’se o r’ise’ like my people say. Anyways, I’m back here and all I can bring is a couple of New Things.

Ok, you know whatever I’m gon’ talk about has to be new, right? Not necessarily, but then how can I talk about something new when “there’s nothing new under the sun”? Luckily, I’m typing this (oh, writing days are gone! Typing rules now, baybay!!!) just before 6am so the sun isn’t out yet, I could just get something new since I’m “under the moon” right now. But shouldn’t I be “over the moon” since I’ve got something new to talk about? Ok, I just looked out the window and there’s even no moon out there. :((. Oh well, I guess as long as I’m not under the sun I can write on (read that as ‘type on’) new things. :p

After all that rambling, again, I’m not sure what I’ve been talking about in the last two paragraphs and I’ve developed this annoying habit of not ‘reading’ my articles for ‘proof’ of idiocy (you know what that is), you’ll just have to bear with me. And I still don’t know how to draft these disclaimers! DEMM!!! (Or is it ‘damn!’? The former sounds like how people say it tho’.)

Anyway, to the crux of the post, new things can be good things or bad, depending on exactly what they are. Like there’s a difference between having a new baby or a new car and having a new tumor grow on the side of your head. They’re all new, right? You get the drift. But even then you have to go further to discover that some ‘potentially good’ new things can be bad new things in disguise. Like switching jobs (which is most often a good thing, higher pay and all) and your new boss makes the ones in ‘Horrible Bosses’ look like saints! Yea! You see, those things happen. But generally new things are often good things.

I’ve had a couple of new things this year tho’. A new job (the reason for my hiatus), new colleagues (obviously that comes with the job), new close friend (or is it biz partner I’ll call her now), new ways of looking at things (never mind my usual rambling at the beginning of this article, I mean, post), and a couple of other new stuff. One thing I’ve learnt is that you can’t always replace the old with the new but you can always find a space to fit the new in to help you up the ladder of life. Sometimes, it is not even in the way of wisdom to do an overhaul, you could just create an access path for the new to make the most impact on you without necessarily changing everything about you.

Truth is, not everything about you needs a renewal. Change is constant and we’ll always get new things, whether we want them or not, from little inevitable things like new growth of hair after a shave to major deliberate things like getting a new house or car. But we should always appreciate these things with a more thankful heart and be able to discern which ones are REPLACEMENTS and which ones are just SUPPORT AND BACK-UP. For me, a new job is not a replacement of my dreams, it is a rung on the ladder to achieving them. Look at the new things you’ve had this year and find out which ones are have been placed in the wrong category. It could determine how well that new thing will work in your life. Remember, new things can be good or bad but in the end, it’s all about perception. There’s a difference between having a baby when you’ve been married for about ten years without one and when you’re still in secondary school. The first sounds like a miracle while the second is most likely tagged ‘a disgrace’ but if looked at critically, bringing a child to the world is one of the most wonderful mysteries, no matter the circumstances! Appreciating a new challenge could make the difference between your stepping up and making the most of it or capitulating in the face of it.

In all, new things happen everyday to everybody everywhere but not everybody everywhere appreciate them everyday. A new look at things could help you get to the level you really want to be and also affect people around you positively.

In any case, I hope everybody at Arsenal FC gets to read this as we REALLY need a new trophy in that cabinet A.S.A.P. Ok, so that’s the long and short of the whole story! New things, Gunners, please!!!

Well, thanks for reading through, however rusty the write-up (sorry type-up) was. Bear with me. And, by the way, I wasn’t referring to my boss up there, in case you were getting any funny ideas. He’s the reason why I’m back here today so he’s not even nearly as bad as he wants to make us believe he is. It really feels good being back here. Oh, the sun’s almost up! Let me put this up before it’s officially ‘not new’!

Note: Read this anywhere that is not ‘under the sun’ to really get the idea. Oh sh*t! You’re done reading. Well, re-read!!!

Signing Out!!!

There's still so many more...

There’s still so many more…