Monday, December 22, 2014

My book, Ms. Unlikely, now available!

The wait is over, my new book, Ms. Unlikely, is now available! 

Thanks friends for your love and support. 

You can buy it on Amazon, Createspace and Nook

Please leave a review and let me know your thoughts and comments. 


Remi Roy

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My new book, Ms. Unlikely + I'm retiring this blog.

Hi Friends, 

I have exciting news!

The past few months have been a mix of emotions. I have not been posting on this blog because I have been really busy working on my Masters Degree and publishing my first book!

Now I'm ready to take giant strides and start a new chapter of my life.
You know that feeling you get when you’re on the brink of something new? Like uncharted territory? That’s exactly how I feel right now. And for good reason!

My new book, Ms.Unlikely, will be released in a few weeks! 

Am I excited or what?!

I can’t wait for you all to read it. 

It is a story and theme that is close to my heart. I almost always get to talk about purpose when I write because I believe life makes no sense without it. And without God the creator and ultimate designer how do we know why we are here? I'm excited about sharing Reki, the main character's experiences with you. It just may mirror your own.

Please head up to my pre-release page at for more information on the book, updates on the release date, coming giveaways and more.

Here’s the cover image. What do you all think?

PS. I'm retiring this blog but will keep the link working. I have content on here that is very close to my heart and life message.

My new site will be up soon. Stay tuned for that.


Remi Roy

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You Have No Idea Where I've Been! #WongFuProductions

How awesome would it be to have your job involve making videos, short films and fun stuff on youtube? I mean for a living? Great, right?

A few weeks ago I found out about WongFu Productions and I just fell in love with their work. This is what these guys do. Great videos, high quality stuff.

But then I started thinking how do these guys make money? They just appear to be having so much fun.
I found out they also do merchandising; they design and sell their products online.

This week they celebrated 10 years of being together as WongFu Productions and the stuff they talked about really really amazed me. I never knew they went way back and have put so much hard work into their brand.

It's easy to look at people doing great today and think they're just lucky or simply rose out of the woodwork to start running things. It hardly ever works that way. Most of the time you need to talk to them to get  a picture of how they started, stuff they've been through and endured to be where they are.

There's always a lot of work behind the scenes. A LOT.

Sometimes I think the "10 year plan" "5 year strategy" is overrated. It may even lead to a lot of paralysis by analysis. We talk so much about what we want to do and achieve but end up only sitting on our behind fixing and editing our speech to make it sound good to others.

Note to self: The steps you make today will constitute your story tomorrow. No deliberate steps, no special achievement.

Here's their 10 year anniversary video.

And here's my absolute favorite. A series called "Away we happened" sponsored by AT&T. This is just episode 1. Episode 2-6 are also on their youtube channel.


Congrats WongFu productions.

 Congrats Ted, Wes and Phil!

You guys rock!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

What’s In It For You? #Dreams

 At every point in our lives we need to have some dream or the other, something special and dear to our hearts we want to achieve. We really cannot lead meaningful lives without such things tugging at our hearts. It’s what makes getting up every morning even worth it.

I’m saying this because something happened that just brought tears to my eyes and made me value dreams and visions so much more.

Many years ago while I was still an undergraduate I met this guy. We were in class together actually and he always struck me as kinda weird. He was very studious and committed to his academics but also kinda … wild. I didn’t know how to place him. For me you were either this or that but this guy seemed to live in both worlds.

We used to tease each other about who studied more (it was him really, I just copied him  J) anyways we got close and I learnt he’d always had the desire to be a doctor and he was bent on making it to medical school, no matter what it took.

Now I also grew up with that fantasy about being Doctor Roy. But sha the system, a few disappointments and a scary bloody (literally) surgical procedure I saw on TV cured me for life! Doctor Roy? Thanks but... er… no thanks. Now I didn't know what I wanted to be but I sure knew doctor wasn't even close. But this is not about me. This is about my friend Alban. He is a great man. J

We graduated and lost touch. And for the next seven years I wouldn't hear from him. And then… one sunny afternoon few weeks ago he buzzes me up on Facebook and I couldn't believe my eyes. His profile name? Dr. Alban… and no he wasn't hoping to be a doctor someday, he had done it! Tears welled up in my eyes.

Now people become doctors every day, no big deal. But what made goose bumps break out on my skin was his determination. After four years of undergraduate school turned five, he went back to study medicine? Like seriously?  It’s what makes you want to ask, with your nose in the air like in the movies. ”What’s in it for you?”

If you grew up in Nigeria, without parents who have everything and can offer you the world, you had to work, I mean literally take your life in your hands and run with it. Either that or you … well take whatever life hands you.

Seven years, folks, this guy went back to medical school because he had a dream. It must have been hard. Most guys just want to make money when they leave school, nothing wrong with that. But the pressure, oh, the pressure! Everyone expects you to do this or that. Move out of the house, get a car, take care of your younger siblings, get married, get an apartment, be responsible. But he chased down his dream. He did. It must have been hard but he did.

I think of my friend Jirade who runs a catering company, the way she works tirelessly, day and night to work her dream. It IS hard. But she’s not giving up. Oh no she’s not!

These folks inspire me. What’s the point of living if we don’t follow our passions? What would life be like if we just lie down and let it walk all over us? And for folks like us who won’t get it unless we work, roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty, the fulfillment of getting there is … ah…worth too much to pass up.

That's why I aim to rise. My dream is alive!

Is yours?


P.S. If you’re in Lagos and need a caterer buzz Jirade at Sweet Pea Edibles, 08036954523, 08099786854, BBpin: 22FB845A.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Sockful of Hope

If you're out there reading this, well then I posted it for you. I've been MIA but I thought to post this story I wrote for a writing competition. Didn't win so...

It's kinda long though. :)

I looked up at the darkened ceiling and whispered the words like a prayer. "This Christmas I will run away."

I rose gingerly from the creaky bed, mentally willing it not to squeal. It was 2am and the last time I counted the money was three o’clock in the afternoon after Yeye sent me back home to get more palm oil for her customer, Iya Benji. I shifted the old coca cola crates aside and reached for the pillowcase wedged in between two crates. I listened for any sign that someone was awake. Satisfied I had roused no one, I reached for the money, peeled the tattered pillowcase aside and felt for the rolled up newspaper. Inside the newspaper was the sock where I hid the money.

I had been saving for the two years I had been with Yeye; hundred naira thrice a week. Aunty Agnes was my angel and I always prayed that her fiancé Uncle James would come to our neighbourhood. He always did. Like the predictable crow of Yeye’s weird black cock every morning, he always showed up Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings except on very few occasions. He was a banker, or so Aunty Agnes said.

The first time I met him, Aunty Agnes had sent me on an errand. She gave me 1,000 naira to buy yoghurt, Digestive biscuit and a pack of juice.
“Don’t buy the fake one o,” she said of the digestive biscuit, like I could have known which was fake or not. I nodded and dashed off. I came back panting and sweating, having ran all the way to the store and back. I found her sitting on a man’s lap when I walked into her room. Her arms were around him and she looked so happy. She looked up and wagged a manicured finger at me.
“Always knock, okay.” It didn’t sound like she was scolding me, so I smiled and nodded. “James, this is Atilola, the little girl who works for my landlady.” Uncle James smiled at me and I saw his dimples flash. The way she said ‘little’ made me feel like a nine year old. I dropped the items on the table and handed her the change. She pressed a hundred naira note into my hand. I curtsied and left hurriedly before she had a chance to change her mind. I heard her giggling as I scampered off. I tried not to imagine what they would do in my absence. Such thoughts made me shy. Instinctively, I covered my eyes and giggled; almost tripping over the little steps in front of the room in the process.

The money was intact.  I folded it and stuck it in the white cotton sock with pink frills on the edges. The sock had turned brown. I fingered the frills and fought hot tears as I remembered the last time I had worn it.

Five years ago at Christmas. We had prepared to do a Christmas play during the end of year party at my school; Ilesanmi Private International School. It was the only private school at Iberekodo where I lived with my mother and brother. We were not rich, not by any means, but we were not poor either. My mother worked hard. She had vowed that none of her children would attend the local Iberekodo primary school. She was never prideful though; she never looked down her nose on the other women who sent off their little ones to the public school with no lunch packs or socks on their feet. She didn’t know what was really international about Ilesanmi either, but there we went and joyfully so.

That Christmas, she bought new second-hand clothes for my brother and I. Well they were new as far as I was concerned. I tagged along with her to the market and watched in fascination as she haggled with the clothes sellers. She bent down several times picking up blouses, shirts, skirts and other stuff and tossing them back again when the sellers gave her ridiculous prices. We bought many clothes that day and I couldn’t wait to try them on. Most of all I couldn’t wait to show off my 'Virgin Mary' costume for the Christmas play. My mother had bought a white dress complete with a straw hat and white socks with pink frills. It didn’t look to me like what the Lord’s mother would have worn but who was I to complain.                         
I shook my head to ward off the memories, nice as they seemed what followed was something I never wanted to remember. I stowed away my savings and lay back on the creaky bed. Looking up, I traced the patterns dust and age had made on the concrete ceiling with my eyes. Tomorrow was Friday, a good day, and it was closer to Sunday, another good day.

After what seemed like only a few minutes, I woke up to Yeye’s slaps and screams.
“Wake up! Foolish girl. Owuro lojo, alakori, dide nle!”
I scrambled up and rolled to the other side of the bed, cursing the night under my breath. What a fleeting one it was. It seemed I had only nodded off a few munities ago. I knew it would take Yeye another two minutes to raise herself up from the bent position she had taken in order to wake me up. She would support her back with one hand, while the other rested on her knee. She would then wince as she hoisted herself up before walking away, her arms almost at ninety degrees to her sides. The woman was fat, with thick dark skin that never glowed; rough, dry skin as black as soot.

I wondered how she got the name Yeye. I had overheard some of the neighbours call her Iya Aje. That mama Benji and Iya Kausara were her cult mates. Isiaka, the mechanic swore to it, that they were all witches. If not why were they all widows, fat and balding? Yes, yeye had no hair. Well a ring of hair around her head, but that was it. I wondered how it got chopped off. Everyone also wondered why they all had funny looking cocks that crowed every morning. Not that having a cock was rare in these parts but these cocks were, well, odd. Yeye’s cock was a thin wiry thing. It had lost all its feathers except for a tuft on its back, and it challenged humans. You only had to move close to it to experience that. I hear Mama Benji’s cock is so fat it wouldn’t run, not even in the face of a butcher’s knife.

But whatever Yeye was, I didn’t care. One thing was clear to me, this Christmas I had to disappear.
I hurriedly did my chores and headed to Yeye’s shop across the street where she sold oil, garri, beans and rice. I liked to avoid Yeye in the mornings. She always woke up with a sour mood. I would hurry to the shop and wait to be joined by Funmike, an older girl who only worked for Yeye at the shop.

This morning Funmike arrived with a long face, her nose running. I knew she had been crying.
Kilode?” I asked. Funmike only spoke Pidgin English.
“Ah, I am trouble o. Babatunde ti pa mi!” she placed both arms on her head and stamped her feet, biting her lower lip till I saw blood. I pulled her inside the shop and made her sit down; no point drawing the attention of the whole neighbourhood. Word will get to Yeye. It always did. I knew Yeye would come late to the shop; she had had visitors early that morning.
“What happened? Why are you crying?” Even though Funmike was a few years older than I was, she loved to confide in me. She said I possessed Ogbon Iya agba, an old woman’s wisdom.
“Ah, Lola. I am trouble o. Babatunde have kill me.” She slapped her tights and winced. Then she rubbed them down, both in grief and in an effort to relive the pain she had inflicted on herself. She moved closer to me, her chair scraping the ground noisily and whispered, “Mo ti loyun!”
I shrank back in shock, my mouth slightly open. She placed her index finger across her lips and moved her chair closer to mine, finally closing up the space between us.
“What will I do now? He say he no get money for abortion. Me I no fit carry this pikin o! Ha, mo gbe!”
I was at a loss for words. Abortion? I didn’t even want to think of that word. I had always lived a sheltered life, so this kind of issue was new to me. But I wasn’t altogether naïve.
“Funmike, don’t do abortion o. what if you die? It is dangerous now.” I had begun to ache for her. I couldn’t imagine myself pregnant with a baby I didn’t want.
She looked at me like I had suddenly grown wings. “Kini? Make I carry pikin for my age? Where I go get money buy pampers, baby food, ha, mi o se o. I go remove am.” She sounded so sure like she had counted the cost and decided that was the only way. My mother used to say that the dog that will certainly get lost will not hear its masters call. I knew I couldn’t persuade her.

That evening, after I bought digestive biscuit, a pack of juice and sanitary pads for Aunty Agnes and she had pressed another note into my hands, I stole back to my room to count my money again. My hands shook slightly as I took out the old pillowcase. How had Funmike known I was saving money? Why did she ask me to loan her money for the abortion? Did yeye know? Did she tell Funmike? And how many people knew about my money? I hurriedly counted the notes and exhaled slowly when I saw that it was complete. But before I could finish placing it back, Yeye called for me.

“Lola!!! Lola were! Eti e o di o. Come here!” I scrambled up and fled from the room in search of yeye. She was sitting in the balcony as usual, counting her proceeds for the day. Her eyes were red as I stood before her, my heart in my throat. Her call had startled me and now I looked like I was guilty of something.
“I put Forty thousand naira in my Igbadi. Ten thousand is missing.” She bit out, holding out the wad of Five hundred naira notes, her eyes never leaving my face. I began to hyperventilate. The first time Yeye had accused me of stealing, I had suffered grave consequences. Unconsciously, I glanced at the spot behind my hand where she had cut me and rubbed pepper into the wound. 

Three days later, part of the stolen money was found in Mufu’s possession; the boy who had worked in Yeye’s shop before Funmike was employed. Yeye never apologized to me.
“I didn’t see any money ma. I swear, I didn’t take it.” I touched my tongue with my finger and raised it to the sky, praying that Yeye would believe me. I couldn’t take another cutting. I just couldn’t.
“So who took it? Ehn, who took it? Hmmm, I’m giving you the last chance to confess. Ole! Oti ji mi lowo!”
The tears started to fall unbidden. I prayed to God that she wouldn’t search my room; she’d never believe I didn’t steal the money. I had saved thirteen thousand five hundred so far. I couldn’t lose my savings. I went on my knees before Yeye. “Mummy, mi o mu owo yin. I swear I didn’t take it. I left the shop before you today.”
“Ehn ehn, are you saying Funmike stole the money? Ehn, is it Funmike?” She had leaned forward on her low chair and I could see the veins in her neck bulging.
“Ah, I didn’t say that. I didn’t …”
Furious, Yeye sprang out of her chair and grabbed my scarf which I was wearing loosely on my head. Wads of naira notes fell to the floor around our feet. A large chunk of my long silky hair was in her grasp and she pulled on it with such intensity I felt my brains rattle. After a few more slaps, I still had no confession for her. Her eyes were red and I swear I could almost feel heat coming from her mouth.
“Get out of here!” she shouted and I scampered away.
As I lay in my room that night I couldn’t shake the feeling of foreboding that washed over me. Goose pimples broke out on my skin and tears stung my eyes. I suddenly missed my mother fiercely. I thought of Mummy Ikeja. She had brought me to Yeye more than two years ago when my mother died suddenly.  I had packed my bags joyfully when Mummy Ikeja said she was taking me to live with my mother’s friend. She would take care of me, she promised, better than my own mother could because she was rich and she lived in Kuto, also in Abeokuta. My excitement had died a natural death, however, when I overheard the amount of money Yeye paid her to have me. I knew then that Yeye was no friend to my mother. I was a domestic help.
Funmike never returned to Yeye’s shop and I knew what she had done. Yeye never brought up the issue again and I was glad. I walked on eggshells around her from then on, counting the days till Christmas.
Few weeks later after I came back from an errand, Aunty Agnes told me she was getting married. I looked at her blankly at first, unable to smile or cry. No more hundred naira tips. I looked at the calendar on the wall behind her. 19th December. I had a few more days. “Congratulations Aunty. Will you still be living here?” I asked her still dazed.
At fifteen I was small for my age. I had no curves and my chest was as flat as an ironing board. Looking at Aunty Agnes made me want to grow up fast. She was tall, slim and shapely. And now she was getting married.
“No dear. I’m moving to the East. James just got a job in Awka. You be a good girl, hmm.” She patted my shoulder and looked into my eyes. “You will be just fine,” she said then resumed moving around the house. I considered myself dismissed.
I knew I won’t grow up to be like Aunty Agnes if I remained with Yeye so that night I hatched a quick plan.

On the night before Christmas I will stuff my belongings in a polythene bag. I will scribble a note to Yeye, divide the money into two, fold a portion of it with the note and hold it fast with an elastic band.
At the crack of dawn, I will tiptoe, barefooted to Yeye’s door and wedge the note and the money in between the door and cemented floor. It would be payment for the remaining days of my servitude. Yeye had paid the agent, Mama Ikeja, for my services, it would only be right that I paid her back since my time was done here.
Praying to my mother’s spirit to bless my plans and make me like Aunty Agnes someday, I lay down gingerly on the creaky bed and smiled. I’m sure of it. It will work out. This Christmas I will run away.

The next morning, even before the black cock belted out its deathly crow, I got up and made straight for the crates. I had had a dream. The money in the sock had grown and my room was filled with money. There was money under my bed, money in my bucket and money in my mouth, choking me. I grabbed my trusted pillow case and felt for my lifeline. The bulge of the naira notes in it sent my pulse kicking. This is it. The idea of running away had never been so close, so intoxicating. Yeye will certainly see red. But the money will pacify her somewhat. The money hadn’t grown. It was still just enough.

I unwrapped the pillowcase, reached for the sock in the folded newspaper and my breath caught in my throat. Hot tears formed at the corners of my eyes and strange shapes danced across my vision. I covered my mouth to keep from screaming. There, in my hands, was a sockful of dried leaves.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Girl Rising!

Courtesy UNICEF @ UTD I just watched Girl Rising, a film dedicated to spreading the word about the education of girls all over the world. And it was touching. Touching to see how many girls around the world do not get a chance to get an education and get ahead in life.

Of course what keeps them from school is even a greater injustice. Poverty, cultural sentiments, child labor, early marriages.... Yes it's not new. We hear it all the time. We know these things happen. And just like all other ills in the society, if it doesn't knock on our doors we can pretty much go on with our lives. Right?

But seeing those girls, real girls with real stories of how the very world that should uphold and protect them strips them of innocence and dignity- it really made me see how much we take for granted. If  you're reading this and you went to school, have a family who loves you and want to see you succeed, didn't get married off to some stranger just because your family needed the dowry money... you're blessed, so privileged..and in a position to help a girl.

See the film if you can, it will surely make you see the world in a different light and thank God for the little things. It tells the story of nine girls, their obstacles, their struggles and how they found the strength to keep  going, to keep fighting, despite the odds against them. Here's the trailer.

Earlier today I also watched Aamir Khan's TV show about Female Infanticide in India and I...I can't explain how I felt. To think that these things still happen, people killing baby girls because they want boys, deem them more profitable or whatever? Sad. I hear of these things even in Nigeria and I wonder what kind of people think like this, let alone commit such atrocities. Na wa o!

Here's the TV show on Female infanticide.

I feel like I can make a difference. Like we all can. In our own little way.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Outrageous Courageous and FireGoofs!

So I really love all the movies by the Kendrick Brothers. Fireproof was great, courageous was even better! I've watched these movies like 10 + X times already. I like the fact that they are wholesome with great messages for the family. God bless Sherwood pictures. Ya'll are doing a phenomenal job!

So I found these silly video of the making of courageous. It's filed with bloopers and jokes and funny dancing and stuff. It's great to see how these films are made...and to think they work with mostly volunteers and a low budget. Nice!

For those of you who appreciate these movies, more films are coming from Affirm Films (owned by Sony Pictures). Great christian movies with awesome messages. You should look out for them.

Here's the funny courageous video... Enjoy!

Here's another silly video of  the making of Fireproof. Does any one recognise a mock scene from Facing the Giants? That is just hilarious! 

And Kirk Cameron just inspires me. Watch...

 I just love these guys and what they're doing. :)