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Creative Corner


Communication in its simplest form is the process of sharing ideas, information, and messages with others in a particular time and place. It includes writing and talking, as well as nonverbal communication (such as facial expressions, body language, or gestures), visual communication (the use of images or pictures, such as painting, photography, video, or film), and electronic communication (telephone calls, electronic mail, cable television, or satellite broadcasts). 

Communication is as vital to our lives as it is to business, education, and every human endeavour or interaction.

While other animals use a limited range of sounds or signals to communicate, humans have developed complex systems of language that are used to ensure survival, to express ideas and emotions, to tell stories and remember the past, and to negotiate with one another. Oral (spoken) language is a feature of every human society or culture.

But how many of us know how to communicate effectively especially in our mother tongue? I am sure some of you reading this piece would have at one time or another thought of or are victims of this and probably had blamed this on upbringing or the society. 

Yes, you may be right but, what efforts have you made to free yourself from this menace. 

Radio Nigeria knowing the importance of mother tongue in developing and sustaining our various cultures, have developed many programmes on her channels to inform, educate and entertain the public. Much more can even be done on this through off-air programmes.

Bond FM of FRCN Lagos Operations recently took the bull by the horn when it organized a programme tagged “ASUSU IGBO DI UTO”. The event was put in place to encourage parents to speak the language to their children at home and thereby universal phenomenon. The event featured various competitions and prizes were given to winners. Those who attended rated it as second to none.  

Celebrated comedians and Igbo musicians made the occasion interesting and memorable. There were lots to eat and drink. Gifts were generously given to the children to go home with. 

Guests at the occasion included opinion leaders in Igbo Community Union and other Igbo Associations in Lagos.

The management staff that graced the occasion were full of commendations for the organizers, Eric Ilechukwu and Ify Ifeakpolunde. Parents present at the event could not hide their joy and also undertook the responsibility of teaching these children how to speak Igbo henceforth, because charity, they say, begins at home.

To me, it is not an offence not to speak or understand your mother’s tongue, but it will be a big shame when you are challenged by your peers.  If you fall into this group, it is not late for you to start learning now as no one is too old to learn.  The day you stop learning is the day you start dying.  

This admonition is not limited to only the Igbos, it goes to other tribes too.  Take a cue from this and bet it, you will be grateful to God and to this writer.



8 Things You Didn't Know About Toothpaste

By Jordan Shakeshaft, Woman's Day

Faced with dozens of different products promising to make your teeth fresher, whiter and cavity-free, it’s no wonder you wander aimlessly down the toothpaste aisle. To help you pick wisely, we turned to the pros for the scoop on what ingredients to look for, whether gel or paste formulas are right for you and just how much you need to squeeze onto your brush. It’s never too late to get your pearly whites in tip-top shape, so read on to find out how!

1. It’s all about the fluoride.

With a host of ingredients in toothpaste, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s essential. But no matter what your individual needs are (i.e., tartar control, whitening, breath-freshening and so on), dental hygienists agree that fluoride is a must. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 percent. “Even in areas where there is water fluoridation, the added fluoride in toothpaste has been shown to be very beneficial,” says Caryn Loftis-Solie, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA).

2. Look for the seal of approval.

While it’s tempting to save some cash with a generic brand of toothpaste, you may actually be getting an ineffective—and potentially harmful—product. “You should always look for the ADA Seal when choosing a toothpaste,” says Clifford Whall, PhD, Director of the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance Program. “Only those products have the scientific data to back up their claims and have been proven to meet our criteria for safety and effectiveness.” With 50-plus approved toothpastes on shelves, it’s easy to find a tube that’s right for you and your budget.

3. Whitening toothpastes work—at least to a certain degree.

Countless products promise a whiter smile, but do they really deliver? “Whitening toothpastes—like all toothpastes—contain mild abrasives to help remove surface stains on your teeth,” says Dr. Whall. “The shape of the particles used in whitening products, though, is modified to clean those stains away better, so you’ll see a noticeable difference in how your teeth look.” However, according to Dr. Whall, these products don’t contain bleach, making it impossible for them to brighten your smile as dramatically as professional whitening treatments.

4. Less is more.

Despite what you see on commercials, a brush full of toothpaste won’t clean your pearly whites any better than half that amount, according to E. Jane Crocker, RHD, President of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association. “All you need is a pea-size amount of toothpaste—yes, I mean the little green vegetable!” Not only will that get the job done effectively (by cleaning and removing plaque, stains and food debris), you’ll also extend the life of your tube.

5. How you brush is more important than what you brush with.

You can buy the best toothpaste and toothbrush in the market, but if you aren’t brushing correctly you won’t see results. “To do it properly, you need to position the brush at a 45 degree angle so that you get some of the bristles in between the tooth and the gums,” says Dr. Whall. “Move the brush in small circles in those areas, and then continue on to the rest of the teeth. This process should take about one to two minutes to complete.” View the ADA’s step-by-step guide to brushing and flossing here.

6. Organic toothpastes can be just as effective as regular.

If you’re willing to spend a little more to go green, natural and organic toothpastes can be a good eco-friendly alternative to commercial brands—provided they contain fluoride. “Natural and organic toothpastes that include fluoride in their ingredients are as effective as regular toothpastes with fluoride,” says Crocker. You’ll also be avoiding artificial preservatives, sweeteners and dyes.

7. What’s inside your toothpaste might surprise you.

You may not recognize the names listed on the side of the tube, but ingredients like seaweed and detergent can be found in many fluoride toothpastes. According to the ADA, common thickening agents include seaweed colloids, mineral colloids and natural gums. And for that quintessential foaming action, most products rely on detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate—also found in many shampoos and body washes—that are deemed 100 percent safe and effective by the ADA.

8. Pastes or gels—they all do the trick.

You may have heard that one works better than the other but, according to the experts, they all clean teeth equally well. “Other than flavor, texture and how it makes a person feel, there aren’t any major differences among the various forms,” says Crocker. “I think it comes down to personal preference, which might come through trial and error. I encourage my patients to use whichever product encourages them to brush.”

Creative Corner




Has it ever occurred to you how every so often we neglect what is written

on the packages of some products we buy and just go ahead to use its content;

how sometimes we get carried away by the 'attractive' covers of some products

or the fact it the contents resembles one we may have used before?


There was a day I was sitting at a bus terminal waiting for the bus to load

so that my trip cross country could begin when the woman sitting opposite

noticed that she had forgotten one of her son's drugs at home, she had

to plead with her husband who had come to see her off, to dash across

the road to a drug store and get a replacement which he did but at the point

of administering the drug, she noticed that it read 'septran' instead of 'septrin',

the husband had also noticed same as he bought the drug but felt there was no problem.


I got interested and asked to see the information sheet and was shocked to read that the drug the man had bought was meant to cure a totally different ailment from what the boy was suffering from. Well we can only imagine what would have happened to that five month old baby if the mistake hadn't been paid attention to.

The packages of the products we buy contain all the basic information we need to know about that product (or at least it should). Manufacturer’s name and address, active ingredients, from where you can get to know if there is anything you are allergic to or alternatively if it contains anything your body really needs etc. It may also contain how the product should be used- preparation method, time, serving suggestions (as in the case of foods) or dosage/administration in the case of drugs. 


So what really inspired me to do this write up? I bought a promo herbal toothpaste, the kind that goes for two for the price of one because it is a new product just being introduced to the market. The first time I used the product was also the last time I ever would because it corroded my gums and tongue. I packed it up and flung it far into the bush but not before I had thoroughly read through the pack (which I had only previously skimmed). That done, I went out and bought my regular and for the first time it really hit me that the 'basil' advertised on the covers of my choice of toothpaste was the very same basil we use in flavouring our dishes.


Basil popularly known as 'efirin' or 'nchianwu' in the vernacular is mainly used in flavouring peppersoups and yam pottage, I even use it in my beans pottage (my mum being a nutritionist always encouraged us to eat healthy and to experiment with food. I even had my own little 'nchianwu' garden as a teenager.  




But the fact that it was being advertised as an active ingredient in a toothpaste so aroused my curiosity that I had to go Google about the basil plant and here are my findings:


Basil is a summer herb from the mint family (and by being a summer herb, it means it can be cultivated in Nigeria all year round, due to our tropical weather). It comes in different varieties, the opal basil which has a beautiful purple colour, the anise basil, the cinnamon basil, the holy basil, to mention but four. It is cultivated for its leaves, seed and stem all of which are edible. The fresh leaves are a good source of carbohydrate, dietary fiber, thiamine, fat, Vitamin A, panthotenic acid, beta carotene , riboflavin, niacin, protein, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. Of course, some of these nutrients get destroyed with drying, so it is best to make use of fresh Basil leaves.


Studies have shown that Basil contains antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial properties and potential for treating cancer. Traditionally, it is used in supplementary treatment of asthma and diabetes, colds, coughs, flu, rheumatism, sinusitis, muscle aches and gout. Some people even use it in treating pimples on the face. Other merits are that it helps treat migraines, digestive difficulties and insomnia (lack of sleep). The oils from Basil are also very effective in repelling insects.


These are by no means all that can be gained from the use of basil. I encourage you to do more research on it. It is indeed a wonder plant. Now that you know, while it may be good to brush your teeth with toothpaste that contains Basil, it is even better to every so often eat food enriched with Basil, maybe peppersoup, ‘banga’ stew popularly known in the east as ‘ofe akwu’, yam pottage, bean pottage or you could get creative as to how you can insert Basil into your diet.


Okay, but before you take that leap, there is more. Basil is not all wonder working and miraculous without any side effects, remember the saying that “too much of anything is bad”? Yes, excessive intake of the SEEDS of Basil can be dangerous to the brain as the methyl cavicol content in it may be carcinogenic when consumed in large quantities. This means it has the potential to cause cancer. It is not also advisable for pregnant women and people with liver problems to take Basil.


That said, how best do we take Basil? If you can, it is best taken raw like squeezing it into a drink. I like mine half cooked, so I add it to my pot of food when the food is done and I have taken it off the fire, I just mix it into the food and allow the heat from the food to cook the leaves for me-mmn! Delicious. I encourage you to join me, you can take a Basil enriched meal at least once every week, the good news is that it is about the cheapest vegetable you can buy in the market so, bon appétit!


Da Neiba


          (FOR RICHARD)


Watch, my friend, the royal-plumed eagle.
See how it soars to the light of heavens above
Disdaining the impurities of the earth.
Notice its taut wings a-spread;
Head sassying, surveying, graceful

Now listen as it sings in gratitude
For its uplifting flight
For the luminous clouds
For the majestic splendour of creation


Now look down, across the dark picket fence.
Notice that mis-evolved misnomer, the ostrich?

See those God-given wings puny from lack of use,
Deadened by over-indulgence

Now see those spindly legs; gangly and wobbly.

Neither beast of the air nor of the land
Unable to master either, see as it buries
Its head in surrender, letting go,
Indulging, groveling in the sand

Which would you rather be?

Culled from The River Died, By Ken Ike Okere



One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well.
The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.

Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the

donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.


As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!


Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.
The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone.
We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up!
Shake it off and take a step up.