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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

thechronicled
$1.4 billion jackpot! $1.4 billion is the all time record high amount to be won in Powerball lottery on Wednesday night.

Someone may be lucky enough to win the jackpot and even if they don’t actually take home $1.4 billion, they will become incredibly rich in a matter of moments.

Billionaire Mark Cuban has some tips for potential lottery winners, and he shared the advice below;

  1. The first thing you should do is] hire a tax attorney.
  2. Don’t take the lump sum. You don’t want to blow it all in one spot.
  3. If you weren’t happy yesterday, you won’t be happy tomorrow. It’s money. It’s not happiness.
  4. If you were happy yesterday, you are going to be a lot happier tomorrow. It’s money. Life gets easier when you don’t have to worry about the bills.
  5. Tell all your friends and relatives no. They will ask. Tell them no. If you are close to them, you already know who needs help and what they need. Feel free to help SOME, but talk to your accountant before you do anything and remember this, no one needs $1 million for anything. No one needs $100,000 for anything. Anyone who asks is not your friend.
  6. You don’t become a smart investor when you win the lottery. Don’t make investments. You can put it in the bank and live comfortably. Forever. You will sleep a lot better knowing you won’t lose money. 
Mark Cuban also shared one last bonus tip with The Chronicled: "Be nice. No one likes a mean billionaire. :)”


The 3rd and 4th tip stood out for me. Most people always think with more money comes more happiness, but they are wrong. Money is Money. Happiness is happiness.


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If You Were Happy Yesterday, You Are Going To Be A Lot Happier Tomorrow

Nwabu King  |  at   12:59 pm  |  No comments

thechronicled
$1.4 billion jackpot! $1.4 billion is the all time record high amount to be won in Powerball lottery on Wednesday night.

Someone may be lucky enough to win the jackpot and even if they don’t actually take home $1.4 billion, they will become incredibly rich in a matter of moments.

Billionaire Mark Cuban has some tips for potential lottery winners, and he shared the advice below;

  1. The first thing you should do is] hire a tax attorney.
  2. Don’t take the lump sum. You don’t want to blow it all in one spot.
  3. If you weren’t happy yesterday, you won’t be happy tomorrow. It’s money. It’s not happiness.
  4. If you were happy yesterday, you are going to be a lot happier tomorrow. It’s money. Life gets easier when you don’t have to worry about the bills.
  5. Tell all your friends and relatives no. They will ask. Tell them no. If you are close to them, you already know who needs help and what they need. Feel free to help SOME, but talk to your accountant before you do anything and remember this, no one needs $1 million for anything. No one needs $100,000 for anything. Anyone who asks is not your friend.
  6. You don’t become a smart investor when you win the lottery. Don’t make investments. You can put it in the bank and live comfortably. Forever. You will sleep a lot better knowing you won’t lose money. 
Mark Cuban also shared one last bonus tip with The Chronicled: "Be nice. No one likes a mean billionaire. :)”


The 3rd and 4th tip stood out for me. Most people always think with more money comes more happiness, but they are wrong. Money is Money. Happiness is happiness.


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Monday, 11 January 2016


I believe the universe owes me a couple billion dollars in my lifetime, but I have to work to get it. Let's just say I started that work earnestly this year. So I'm looking forward to making a couple millions this year. I've been enjoying some of the billions in terms great health, divine protection, healthy family relationship, etc. But I'm thinking of the billions in wealth this time around. The universe has NO OPTION but to yield to my demands. Besides the Bible assured me this in the book of Genesis 1:28

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (KJV)
I sneezed non-stop for about a minute this morning. Who is calling my name non-stop? Where I’m from; a blessed nation in the blessed continent Africa, it is mythically believed that when you sneeze, it means your name is mentioned somewhere by someone or some people. Whether it be for good or bad, it doesn’t say. I’m expecting a couple millions from the universe this year. So as you mention my name, don’t forget to make out the check of highly profitable maximally assured deals, opportunities, ideas, resources, etc in my name. I want to cash them immediately. 2016 is the year of being efficient and effective, no time wasting, time is money. I’m not taking prisoners this year unless the prisoners are millions of dollars jailed in my bank accounts and investments.

Oh that reminds me, I had a dream last night. I found myself and Ibe at this event where we won lots of household appliances like gas cookers, washing machines, fans, etc. I have no clue where or how the dream started. I have no idea what event it was. Anyway, Ibe helped me sell my gas cooker for 300,000. I don’t know what currency it was either, probably naira I guess. It could be dollar or bitcoins. I wouldn’t mind 300,000 units of bitcoins myself. I woke up without collecting the proceeds from the sale but I must collect. He was the only person that came to mind during my sneezing episode. I gave him a call but he didn’t pick. Is he avoiding me because of my 300,000 naira/dollar/bitcoins? LOL! Lord I hope not. He better pay up. The money is mine right. I’m gonna sing his name all day setting hi up for a sneezing bout. IBE! IBE!! IBE!!! Dear readers please help me shout his name.

I did 8.51km this morning. It was hard! Getting back into running after the holiday’s roller-coaster of enjoyment is physically challenging to say the least. I was supposed to do 14km with my running crew but I overslept. I did the 8.51km alone. The infectiously motivating group energy would’ve powered me up for the 14km. I remember lazily turning off my alarm around 4:00am but I was too lazy to turn off my sleep. The run was slated to start by 5:15am, I managed to escape from bed and sleep around 6:15am. Although I’m not an endorphin junky, I’m glad I went out anyways. 

Now It’s Your Turn. Please Don't FORGET To SHARE This POST, Your Friends Might Need It! Feel Free To Leave Your COMMENTS. Your FEEDBACK And COMMENTS Are Always Appreciated. :-)

The Universe Owes Me A Couple Billion Dollars

Nwabu King  |  at   2:50 pm  |  No comments


I believe the universe owes me a couple billion dollars in my lifetime, but I have to work to get it. Let's just say I started that work earnestly this year. So I'm looking forward to making a couple millions this year. I've been enjoying some of the billions in terms great health, divine protection, healthy family relationship, etc. But I'm thinking of the billions in wealth this time around. The universe has NO OPTION but to yield to my demands. Besides the Bible assured me this in the book of Genesis 1:28

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (KJV)
I sneezed non-stop for about a minute this morning. Who is calling my name non-stop? Where I’m from; a blessed nation in the blessed continent Africa, it is mythically believed that when you sneeze, it means your name is mentioned somewhere by someone or some people. Whether it be for good or bad, it doesn’t say. I’m expecting a couple millions from the universe this year. So as you mention my name, don’t forget to make out the check of highly profitable maximally assured deals, opportunities, ideas, resources, etc in my name. I want to cash them immediately. 2016 is the year of being efficient and effective, no time wasting, time is money. I’m not taking prisoners this year unless the prisoners are millions of dollars jailed in my bank accounts and investments.

Oh that reminds me, I had a dream last night. I found myself and Ibe at this event where we won lots of household appliances like gas cookers, washing machines, fans, etc. I have no clue where or how the dream started. I have no idea what event it was. Anyway, Ibe helped me sell my gas cooker for 300,000. I don’t know what currency it was either, probably naira I guess. It could be dollar or bitcoins. I wouldn’t mind 300,000 units of bitcoins myself. I woke up without collecting the proceeds from the sale but I must collect. He was the only person that came to mind during my sneezing episode. I gave him a call but he didn’t pick. Is he avoiding me because of my 300,000 naira/dollar/bitcoins? LOL! Lord I hope not. He better pay up. The money is mine right. I’m gonna sing his name all day setting hi up for a sneezing bout. IBE! IBE!! IBE!!! Dear readers please help me shout his name.

I did 8.51km this morning. It was hard! Getting back into running after the holiday’s roller-coaster of enjoyment is physically challenging to say the least. I was supposed to do 14km with my running crew but I overslept. I did the 8.51km alone. The infectiously motivating group energy would’ve powered me up for the 14km. I remember lazily turning off my alarm around 4:00am but I was too lazy to turn off my sleep. The run was slated to start by 5:15am, I managed to escape from bed and sleep around 6:15am. Although I’m not an endorphin junky, I’m glad I went out anyways. 

Now It’s Your Turn. Please Don't FORGET To SHARE This POST, Your Friends Might Need It! Feel Free To Leave Your COMMENTS. Your FEEDBACK And COMMENTS Are Always Appreciated. :-)
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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

With the world population ballooning, without  matching food production, the world is head for a serious food crisis. Many concerned individuals, groups and companies are taking measures to avert the situation. Out of Nigeria comes one of such measure.

In one of West Africa's most turbulent countries, HBS alumni entrepreneurs are harnessing the extraordinary power of subsistence farmers. Can they kick-start a green revolution?

Re: Mr. Bukola L. Masha (MBA 2006); Mrs. Ndidi O. Nwuneli (MBA 1999); Mr. Udemezuo O. Nwuneli (MBA 2003)


 
Photography by Jason Andrew
Ibrahim Mustapha grows maize in Katsina Fulani, a village of mud-brick houses topped by rusted corrugated roofs in northern Nigeria.
Like millions of farmers in his country, Mustapha is a "smallholder"; he and his family grow their crop on a 1.1-hectare farm, a plot roughly the size of a rugby field. The 50-year-old has been farming this small-scale way all his life, and he's been taken advantage of just about as long.
The Nigerian government, long considered one of the most corrupt on the African continent, had controlled the nation's seed and fertilizer industries for decades. And even though Mustapha and his sons had earned a reputation as hard workers, there was only so much they could produce within a system that left farmers either chronically undersupplied or dealing with bags of fertilizer cut with sand to meet labeled weights. In a given year, Mustapha would be lucky to harvest 1.4 metric tons of maize—one-fifth the yield farmers in Brazil and China can expect. To match their production, he'd need to invest about $500 per hectare. But Mustapha earned only around $600 a year—and that was if the weather cooperated.
In 2012, the weather did not cooperate. That year was among the rainiest on record, flooding more than 2 million hectares in northern Nigeria. Yet that December, Mustapha harvested 4.6 metric tons of maize, about triple his annual average. After saving some for his family and selling the rest, he netted an unimaginable $1,350. "I have plenty of money in my pocket and healthy maize for my family to eat," Mustapha said then. "My children are already looking healthier—I can barely lift my eight-year-old. He's the fattest in the village."
On a continent more likely to evoke save-the-children appeals than thoughts of agricultural innovation, Ibrahim Mustapha is at the vanguard of what could be a green revolution. He belongs to a new farming program called Babban Gona, the brainchild of Kola Masha (MBA 2006) that is aggressively transforming Nigerian subsistence farmers into commercial growers. By harnessing the largely untapped power of smallholders—increasing their yields, rebuilding supply chains, and opening access to economies of scale—Masha believes he is on the way to helping more than a million Nigerian farmers climb out of poverty.
Ibrahim Mustapha's farm tripled its annual harvest last year with help from Kola Masha's innovative franchise model.
It's a revolution that can't come soon enough for Nigeria. The country was once the breadbasket of West Africa until Royal Dutch Shell discovered vast oil reserves in 1958, and the agriculture sector began to wither from neglect. Now, nearly half of Nigerian children under five are undernourished, even as broken supply chains mean that up to a third of produce is wasted. The World Bank esimates that some 22 percent of the nation's 175 million people are unemployed; half of 15- to 24-year-olds in urban areas can't find work. Some are turning to terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, which at least promise something to eat.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian population is exploding. "Over the next 20 years, we have to generate 80 million jobs," Masha says. "That's the population of Germany, the world's fourth-largest economy." But endemic corruption has scared off many foreign companies. "Nigeria is a nightmare country. Things just don't seem to work well there," says Nancy Barry (MBA 1975), founder and president of Enterprise Solutions to Poverty, which mobilizes and supports leading companies and entrepreneurs in building profitable and inclusive businesses that incorporate millions of low-income people. "The biggest problem is not just infrastructure, it's government and corruption and trying to get rules that people abide by," adds Ray Goldberg, the George M. Moffett Professor of Agriculture and Business, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School, who conducts research in West Africa. "Because Nigeria itself has been such a frequent violator of so many of these things, people look on it as the most difficult country to change."
And yet, a shift appears under way. A new reformist government has started treating agriculture as a problem to be solved by industry rather than by aid. Private companies are springing up throughout the food chain, from factories that produce fertilizer, to investors like Masha working directly with farmers, to retail-focused suppliers rebuilding local appetite for food grown in their country.


Universal among these agribusiness entrepreneurs is a core belief: The answer to feeding Nigeria—and once that's accomplished, perhaps helping to feed the world—lies in finding ways to transform subsistence farmers into entrepreneurs. The global population is hurtling toward 9 billion by 2050, according to the World Bank, and feeding all those people will require a 70 percent increase in agricultural productivity. The existing system of multinational megafarms won't be enough—the hope for the future lies not in mass production, but in production by the masses.
And that's where Nigeria comes in. With only 40 percent of its arable land currently used by farmers, a more-than-ample water supply, and an exploding youth population that promises a vast supply of labor, there is potential unrivaled almost anywhere else in the world. "The whole country seems to be waking up to the fact that they have more natural resources than many other countries and more opportunities than ever in their history," Goldberg says. "They are ripe for enormous revolution."


To witness the limits of government intervention, Nigerians once needed to look no further than the state-owned National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON). According to federal estimates, only 11 percent of its subsidized fertilizer reached poor farmers; middlemen skimmed off much of the rest, often to sell to big farmers with deep pockets. The NAFCON factory closed in 1999 and fell into disrepair. It stayed that way until 2005, when Onajite Okoloko (OPM 37, 2008) and a team of investors bought the shuttered plant and got it up and running again. Adopting a local word for "genesis," Okoloko would call his new company Notore Chemical Industries Ltd.
Looking for professional managers two years later, Okoloko contacted Kola Masha, whom he'd met through a mutual friend. Masha had just graduated from HBS and was working at a medical-device company in Massachusetts. Okoloko's call came at the right time. Professionally, Masha was eager to join a start-up; personally, he'd resolved to move closer to his aging parents in Nigeria. At the end of the two-hour phone call, Masha knew he would be returning home.
In 2007, the two businessmen worked with a group of Nigerian banks to complete the consolidation of a $222 million loan—the largest in Nigeria's history—to rehabilitate the Notore plant. In 2009, a decade after NAFCON went dark, Okoloko brought it back online. "The African Green Revolution has indeed begun," he said at the launch.
From the beginning, Notore focused on Nigeria's smallholder farmers, who use about a tenth of the fertilizer of their peers elsewhere. Because farmers making a dollar or two a day couldn't afford the standard 50-kilogram bags, Notore started packaging the fertilizer in 1- and 10-kilogram sizes, and reinforced the stitching to prevent middlemen from breaking into them. To reach farmers outside the trading areas, Notore trained more than a thousand "Village Promoters," who sold fertilizer and used demonstration plots to establish its efficacy. Most important of all, they showed farmers that Notore and its products could be trusted.


Earning confidence among trading partners is a slow but essential enterprise in professionalizing agriculture, especially in a country like Nigeria where small farmers have historically had so little to depend on. "How do you go from a state of corruption to an orderly market?" says David E. Bell, successor to Ray Goldberg as the Moffett Professor of Agriculture and Business. "I think it has to start with you and me trusting each other. Then we find someone else we can trust, and they find others. Eventually there's an alternative economy of people who trust each other." The Village Promoter program, spearheaded by Masha, grew this way, eventually reaching about 58,000 small farmers. Overall, Notore's products and activities have impacted the lives of more than 14 million farming families and counting.
The six months Masha spent traveling the countryside to set up the Village Promoter program helped him see the scale of the challenges facing Nigerian farmers. The biggest problem wasn't the labor force—he'd never seen anyone work harder—it was a fragmented support system that no one could seem to fix. "The problems facing Nigeria and West Africa are too great for the public sector or traditional NGOs to solve," says Masha. "The private sector can make a much more concerted, long-term effort to address these issues while simultaneously doing what it does every day, which is make money."

After leaving Notore in 2010 to set up his own investment group, Doreo Partners, Masha spent a short stint as chief of staff for Nigeria's agriculture minister, Akinwumi Adesina, helping develop a deregulation and investment program, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, that seeks to create 3.5 million agriculture jobs and add 20 million metric tons of produce to the domestic food supply by 2015. (Adesina says they're already more than halfway to those goals.) In an innovative initiative developed at Notore, and now being studied by Brazil and India, the government has begun delivering subsidy vouchers electronically to more than 10 million farmers, a measure that has increased the amount of fertilizer that makes it to smallholders from 11 percent to 94 percent.
Masha returned to Doreo in late 2011, now able to launch the end-to-end investment he had imagined. He calls Babban Gona—which means "great farm" in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria—an agricultural franchise model, and it works much like a fast-food franchise: Babban Gona trains farmers-franchisees and offers them loans, then delivers seed and fertilizer directly to the farms on credit; district managers track production and dispense advice throughout the season. At harvest, Babban Gona provides transportation and support, including access to tractors that can do in one hour what would take a farmer 10 days to do by hand, and even the sacks, the needle, and the thread to package the maize. Masha's company warehouses the grain at the end of the process, commoditizes it, and sells it to food conglomerates like Nestlé, which uses it to make baby food and breakfast cereal sold in Nigeria and abroad. Babban Gona then pays the farmers via a quarterly dividend payment. The system won the first annualHBS Association of Nigeria New Venture Competition for the West Africa region last year.

But improving farming conditions also required some upfront capital, and because many smallholders don't have clear title to their land—and therefore no collateral—banks are loath to lend them the funds they need. To unlock financing for his initiative, Masha turned to his friend Ladi Balogun (MBA 2000), CEO and group managing director of Nigeria's First City Monument Bank, which loans against measures like warehouse receipts. At the height of the growing season, First City has 9 percent of its $2.7 billion loan book invested in agriculture, compared to a national bank average of 3 percent. "There are millions of farmers that [still] need credit at affordable rates," Balogun says, adding that his bank expects lending to increase 21 percent a year for the next three years.


Here's what all of that looks like in practice: With a $500 input loan, 22-year-old Jamila Josua was able to afford much higher-quality materials for her 1.6-acre farm in the village of Nakala. And just as McDonald's trucks raw food to its franchisees from a distribution center, Babban Gona delivered those inputs directly to Josua's door, including 3 bags of improved seed, 14 bags of fertilizer (much of it from Notore), and 10 liters of herbicide. Because she is one of hundreds of Babban Gona farmers, and the system leverages economies of scale, all of these things come much cheaper.
To help protect Babban Gona's investment, a district manager visits Josua's farm and others in her immediate network, or Trust Group, twice a month (once announced, once not). That person, trained in agronomy and business, dispenses advice on everything from best practices to business ethics, while keeping track of growth rates and other performance measures with a smartphone app. This process also de-risks the loans in the eyes of banks. When the Nigerian government ran a loan program in the 1990s, the partial default rate reached as high as 73 percent. By comparison, 99.5 percent of the loans to Babban Gona farmers were
repaid last season.


"Through this whole system, we've been able to demonstrate that we can get farmers a loan 50 percent cheaper than they can get themselves, and inputs that are 19 percent cheaper," says Masha. "We get them the knowledge to increase their yields up to three times the national average, and sell their produce for about 37 percent higher than what they can get themselves."
When Masha takes a moment to think back on what he's accomplished so far, his mind turns to his family's own history. His American mother was raised on a farm in South Dakota. Her father was poor, like most farmers in his community, but by the 1950s his fortunes had been reversed by working with a farming collective. "He had a larger farm, a tractor," Masha says. "He made enough money to send my mom to college."
Babban Gona farmers are beginning to experience similar benefits. Some have been able to buy cars and put new roofs on their homes; one is preparing to buy a tractor for his fellow members to share, another is sending his children to private school. The program is helping a farmer with 2 hectares secure financing to expand to 14—enough to earn him $10,000 a year. "It's been wonderful to see," Masha says.


As Nigeria struggles to crack the problem of feeding itself, boosting production is only half of the solution—the other half is convincing skeptical Nigerian consumers to eat what its farmers grow.
A couple of summers ago, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli (MBA 1999) saw this dilemma firsthand when she stopped by a small restaurant outside Lagos in southwest Nigeria, not far from the home she shares with her husband, Mezuo Nwuneli (MBA 2003). It was a neighborhood place, and she wanted to know where the chef got ingredients such as produce and chicken. It turned out that they were bought at a nearby market, but actually originated from abroad.
Decades of corruption and haphazard regulations have conditioned consumers to see local food as overpriced and inferior, which it often is. (It's also sometimes dangerous: An estimated 20,000 people died in 2008 from eating produce treated with poisonous chemicals.) As a result, 90 percent of processed food in Nigerian restaurants and supermarkets comes from ingredients grown somewhere else.

"Changing mindsets among the local populace that 'Made in Nigeria' products, especially food, are high quality and suitable for consumption has proved difficult," says Ndidi. To change people's minds, she and Mezuo have decided to change the marketplace.
In 2009, the couple launched a start-up agribusiness called AACE Food Processing & Distribution Ltd., which buys bulk spices and other ingredients, then processes and packages them to sell to local customers. "Our vision," they say, "is to be the preferred provider of food for West Africans."
Ndidi and Mezuo, both children of university professors, approach the ambitious challenge with a combination of academic rigor and devotion to social justice. At HBS, Ndidi did a field study project with the Center for Women & Enterprise, founded by Andrea Silbert (MBA 1991/MPA 1992)—an experience Ndidi says directly inspired her pre-AACE work launching several Nigerian nonprofits devoted to social entrepreneurship. During his time at HBS, Mezuo served as co-president of the Africa Business Club and worked with the admissions office to develop and implement new strategies for attracting more students from the continent. Both always knew they would ultimately return to their home country to try to address hunger and build Nigerian enterprises.


The couple is using their investment firm, Sahel Capital, to attack the problem in two different ways. The first is through AACE. The second is by managing the new $100 million Fund for Agricultural Financing in Nigeria, a partnership between Adesina's Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Germany's KfW development bank. Starting this year, the fund will make investments in small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises that hold great promise. "We have always been driven to transform the landscapes in which we have worked," says Mezuo. In Nigeria today, "there are tremendous opportunities to transform the landscape by supporting smallholder farmers and providing growth capital to agribusiness-focused entrepreneurs."
When the Nwunelis started AACE, they experimented by sourcing their spices from local markets, similar to the one used by the restaurant Ndidi visited. But they soon ran into the same problems faced by other food companies: inconsistent supplies, opaque pricing structures, and mixed quality. But instead of turning to outside suppliers, they turned inward, building relationships directly with smallholder farmers and farmer collectives.


Like Masha and Okoloko of Notore, the Nwunelis believe in the benefit of working to build shared value over the long term. AACE provides groups like the Jaba Ginger Farmers Cooperative Society—which is made up of 3,000 smallholders, more than half of them women—with a trustworthy customer. In return, by sourcing ginger and chili pepper locally, AACE has been able to reduce purchasing costs of the spices by as much as 30 percent, savings it passes on to consumers.

The Seeds of Agribusiness

In the 1950s, agricultural economics professor Ray Goldberg went to his dean at Harvard Business School to pitch a new kind of conference. For the first time, it would bring together players from all parts of the supply chain—subsistence farmers to multinational conglomerates, seed sellers to supermarket buyers—to share insights and piece together a perspective on the global food system. The resulting executive Agribusiness Seminar, which held its 54th installment in January, now brings to HBS each year more than 200 leaders from places like the Department of Agriculture, the World Bank, Monsanto, ConAgra, and Walmart. They come, Goldberg says, because "this is the only place where these groups can talk to each other."
Another reason people travel from around the world, though Goldberg is too modest to say so, is to learn from a giant of their industry. Goldberg, together with his late HBS colleague John H. Davis, codeveloped the field of agribusiness, teaching the first course on the subject in 1955. At the time, agricultural businesses tended to focus narrowly on their particular jobs, but the professors argued that agricultural was a social, economic and political enterprise, and studying the entire system would lead to better decisions. This magazine named the publication of their 1957 textbook, A Concept of Agribusiness, one of the 20 most-influential milestones in HBS history, and today there are more than 100 agribusiness programs offered at colleges and universities around the world.
Considered HBS's most prolific professor, Goldberg is the author, coauthor, or editor of 23 books, more than 100 articles, and more than 1,000 cases. He has taught nearly 20,000 students MBA students and Executive Education participants. One of his doctoral students, Michael Halse (MBA 1957, DBA 1979), helped lead the White Revolution in India in the 1970s and '80s, replacing an inept state-run dairy system with a farmer's cooperative now called Amul, one of the world's largest producers of milk.
These days, Goldberg has witnessed a resurgence of interest in agricultural entrepreneurship at HBS and elsewhere. "The students have rediscovered food, agriculture, and economic development as something exciting," he says. They've seen that agribusiness doesn't have to be entirely adversarial, but that buyers and sellers along the food chain can benefit from cooperation based on trust. "The world has finally, finally got it," the 87-year-old Goldberg says. "I'm just glad I was here to see it."

The Nwunelis' system is tapping into a change to the Nigerian consumer base: The middle class of Africa's most populous nation has been growing quickly, now accounting for 23 percent of the population, according to the African Development Bank. "There has to be a big middle class" to support this kind of retail effort, says HBS professor David Bell. "If you have a society where there are only rich people and poor people, the rich people can afford to simply eat imported food, while the lower class lives off the farm."
Tracking the rise of the middle class, AACE started small but has grown quickly. In 2010, its first year up and running, the company sold 6 tons of product, and then more than quadrupled sales the following year. In 2012, a year the company invested in a dedicated processing facility, it sold more than 70 tons, and were on track to source 100 tons from smallholders in 2013. In the future, the systems the Nwunelis are putting into place can be adapted to all sorts of nutritious foods—AACE has added soybeans, maize, and sorghum to its product line—but spices have proven to be an effective proof of concept. It now sells products to customers in 6 of Nigeria's 36 states, including noodle companies, fast-food chains, and more than 30 supermarkets. AACE expects to directly employ 65 people within the next five years, and buy food from 1,000 farmers within the next three.
By systematizing new agricultural pathways that lead all the way to consumers, the Nwunelis hope that AACE will show that outside companies can succeed in Nigeria. Private industry seems to be redoubling efforts to invest in the country, after writing it off as impossible for some time. Cargill, for example, is working with smallholder farmers and investing in a plant to produce sweeteners from cassava, another important crop in the country. In 2012, SABMiller opened a $100 million brewery, its fourth facility in the country. Africa's richest man, Nigerian-born Aliko Dangote, is putting some $80 million into processing factories for fruit and tomatoes, two crops Nigeria produces in abundance yet spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year importing.


If Nigeria hopes to regain its ability to one day become a major exporter, its success will depend on testing its supply chains on the local market. That's how agricultural economies work out the kinks that accompany building up large-scale capacity. "If you look at the economies that have really become agricultural powerhouses, they built that global capacity off of a large internal market," says Masha. "That's how Brazil did it, that's how Thailand did it, that's how the US did it. They were all able to leverage their large internal markets to become major exporters."
It's about 7:30 in the evening in Nigeria, and Kola Masha sounds exhausted. Harvest is shifting into high gear, and he was working until 3:30 that morning, helping Babban Gona farmers stack 100-kilogram sacks of maize in a warehouse. Doreo Partners is still very much a hands-on company, even for its managing director. It's the second week of November, and a tractor-trailer full of maize is arriving every day from about 50 farms within a 20-mile radius. The same thing is happening at Doreo's six other warehouses, and it will continue that way deep into December. Being tired is a good problem to have.


Today, Masha has some particularly good news. As he tallies sacks of maize, he's seeing yields of up to 6.8 metric tons per hectare, which is about five times the national average and eight times the average in this part of the country. It's not yet time to harvest the farm of Ibrahim Mustapha—that smallholder with the chubby eight-year-old—but a yield assessment conducted earlier in the season showed he'll easily exceed 6 tons, which will break last season's record by 30 percent.
In the old way of doing things, Masha and his farmers would be in a simple trading relationship. He would look to get the lowest price from them, while they looked to get the highest price from him—someone wins and someone loses. But farming can't operate that way these days in Africa, says Nancy Barry, former president of Women's World Banking, an organization that has extended microfinancing to more than 20 million low-income entrepreneurs. "In agribusiness," she says, "you have to create win-wins, or it's not going to work." With Babban Gona, Masha believes he has created just that, working with the farmers as partners to bring up yields and increase his supply to customers.

This is something that Masha's biggest customer, Nestlé, has long understood. "In order to get milk locally for its products, Nestlé realized it had to be the one to train the farmers in production, in making sure the milk was safe, in how to manage the business," says Bell. "Nestlé benefited and the farmer benefited." Like Cargill, SABMiller, and other multinational firms, Nestlé—which now works with nearly a million smallholder farmers across West Africa—realizes that the future of meeting the globe's skyrocketing food needs lies in cooperation and a new model of agriculture. "As more and more companies figure out that this is the new capitalism," says Barry, "they'll make the private sector exceedingly well-positioned to make a difference."

But until those forward-thinking multinational giants are the rule rather than the exception, agriculture will need designs like Kola Masha's—ideas that help Ibrahim Mustapha feed his family of six and along the way, potentially pioneer a way to help feed millions.


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Post Author: Francis Storrs

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Agriculture & Food Crisis: The Solution To The Global Food Crisis Just Might Come From Nigeria

Nwabu King  |  at   1:26 pm  |  No comments

With the world population ballooning, without  matching food production, the world is head for a serious food crisis. Many concerned individuals, groups and companies are taking measures to avert the situation. Out of Nigeria comes one of such measure.

In one of West Africa's most turbulent countries, HBS alumni entrepreneurs are harnessing the extraordinary power of subsistence farmers. Can they kick-start a green revolution?

Re: Mr. Bukola L. Masha (MBA 2006); Mrs. Ndidi O. Nwuneli (MBA 1999); Mr. Udemezuo O. Nwuneli (MBA 2003)


 
Photography by Jason Andrew
Ibrahim Mustapha grows maize in Katsina Fulani, a village of mud-brick houses topped by rusted corrugated roofs in northern Nigeria.
Like millions of farmers in his country, Mustapha is a "smallholder"; he and his family grow their crop on a 1.1-hectare farm, a plot roughly the size of a rugby field. The 50-year-old has been farming this small-scale way all his life, and he's been taken advantage of just about as long.
The Nigerian government, long considered one of the most corrupt on the African continent, had controlled the nation's seed and fertilizer industries for decades. And even though Mustapha and his sons had earned a reputation as hard workers, there was only so much they could produce within a system that left farmers either chronically undersupplied or dealing with bags of fertilizer cut with sand to meet labeled weights. In a given year, Mustapha would be lucky to harvest 1.4 metric tons of maize—one-fifth the yield farmers in Brazil and China can expect. To match their production, he'd need to invest about $500 per hectare. But Mustapha earned only around $600 a year—and that was if the weather cooperated.
In 2012, the weather did not cooperate. That year was among the rainiest on record, flooding more than 2 million hectares in northern Nigeria. Yet that December, Mustapha harvested 4.6 metric tons of maize, about triple his annual average. After saving some for his family and selling the rest, he netted an unimaginable $1,350. "I have plenty of money in my pocket and healthy maize for my family to eat," Mustapha said then. "My children are already looking healthier—I can barely lift my eight-year-old. He's the fattest in the village."
On a continent more likely to evoke save-the-children appeals than thoughts of agricultural innovation, Ibrahim Mustapha is at the vanguard of what could be a green revolution. He belongs to a new farming program called Babban Gona, the brainchild of Kola Masha (MBA 2006) that is aggressively transforming Nigerian subsistence farmers into commercial growers. By harnessing the largely untapped power of smallholders—increasing their yields, rebuilding supply chains, and opening access to economies of scale—Masha believes he is on the way to helping more than a million Nigerian farmers climb out of poverty.
Ibrahim Mustapha's farm tripled its annual harvest last year with help from Kola Masha's innovative franchise model.
It's a revolution that can't come soon enough for Nigeria. The country was once the breadbasket of West Africa until Royal Dutch Shell discovered vast oil reserves in 1958, and the agriculture sector began to wither from neglect. Now, nearly half of Nigerian children under five are undernourished, even as broken supply chains mean that up to a third of produce is wasted. The World Bank esimates that some 22 percent of the nation's 175 million people are unemployed; half of 15- to 24-year-olds in urban areas can't find work. Some are turning to terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, which at least promise something to eat.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian population is exploding. "Over the next 20 years, we have to generate 80 million jobs," Masha says. "That's the population of Germany, the world's fourth-largest economy." But endemic corruption has scared off many foreign companies. "Nigeria is a nightmare country. Things just don't seem to work well there," says Nancy Barry (MBA 1975), founder and president of Enterprise Solutions to Poverty, which mobilizes and supports leading companies and entrepreneurs in building profitable and inclusive businesses that incorporate millions of low-income people. "The biggest problem is not just infrastructure, it's government and corruption and trying to get rules that people abide by," adds Ray Goldberg, the George M. Moffett Professor of Agriculture and Business, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School, who conducts research in West Africa. "Because Nigeria itself has been such a frequent violator of so many of these things, people look on it as the most difficult country to change."
And yet, a shift appears under way. A new reformist government has started treating agriculture as a problem to be solved by industry rather than by aid. Private companies are springing up throughout the food chain, from factories that produce fertilizer, to investors like Masha working directly with farmers, to retail-focused suppliers rebuilding local appetite for food grown in their country.


Universal among these agribusiness entrepreneurs is a core belief: The answer to feeding Nigeria—and once that's accomplished, perhaps helping to feed the world—lies in finding ways to transform subsistence farmers into entrepreneurs. The global population is hurtling toward 9 billion by 2050, according to the World Bank, and feeding all those people will require a 70 percent increase in agricultural productivity. The existing system of multinational megafarms won't be enough—the hope for the future lies not in mass production, but in production by the masses.
And that's where Nigeria comes in. With only 40 percent of its arable land currently used by farmers, a more-than-ample water supply, and an exploding youth population that promises a vast supply of labor, there is potential unrivaled almost anywhere else in the world. "The whole country seems to be waking up to the fact that they have more natural resources than many other countries and more opportunities than ever in their history," Goldberg says. "They are ripe for enormous revolution."


To witness the limits of government intervention, Nigerians once needed to look no further than the state-owned National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON). According to federal estimates, only 11 percent of its subsidized fertilizer reached poor farmers; middlemen skimmed off much of the rest, often to sell to big farmers with deep pockets. The NAFCON factory closed in 1999 and fell into disrepair. It stayed that way until 2005, when Onajite Okoloko (OPM 37, 2008) and a team of investors bought the shuttered plant and got it up and running again. Adopting a local word for "genesis," Okoloko would call his new company Notore Chemical Industries Ltd.
Looking for professional managers two years later, Okoloko contacted Kola Masha, whom he'd met through a mutual friend. Masha had just graduated from HBS and was working at a medical-device company in Massachusetts. Okoloko's call came at the right time. Professionally, Masha was eager to join a start-up; personally, he'd resolved to move closer to his aging parents in Nigeria. At the end of the two-hour phone call, Masha knew he would be returning home.
In 2007, the two businessmen worked with a group of Nigerian banks to complete the consolidation of a $222 million loan—the largest in Nigeria's history—to rehabilitate the Notore plant. In 2009, a decade after NAFCON went dark, Okoloko brought it back online. "The African Green Revolution has indeed begun," he said at the launch.
From the beginning, Notore focused on Nigeria's smallholder farmers, who use about a tenth of the fertilizer of their peers elsewhere. Because farmers making a dollar or two a day couldn't afford the standard 50-kilogram bags, Notore started packaging the fertilizer in 1- and 10-kilogram sizes, and reinforced the stitching to prevent middlemen from breaking into them. To reach farmers outside the trading areas, Notore trained more than a thousand "Village Promoters," who sold fertilizer and used demonstration plots to establish its efficacy. Most important of all, they showed farmers that Notore and its products could be trusted.


Earning confidence among trading partners is a slow but essential enterprise in professionalizing agriculture, especially in a country like Nigeria where small farmers have historically had so little to depend on. "How do you go from a state of corruption to an orderly market?" says David E. Bell, successor to Ray Goldberg as the Moffett Professor of Agriculture and Business. "I think it has to start with you and me trusting each other. Then we find someone else we can trust, and they find others. Eventually there's an alternative economy of people who trust each other." The Village Promoter program, spearheaded by Masha, grew this way, eventually reaching about 58,000 small farmers. Overall, Notore's products and activities have impacted the lives of more than 14 million farming families and counting.
The six months Masha spent traveling the countryside to set up the Village Promoter program helped him see the scale of the challenges facing Nigerian farmers. The biggest problem wasn't the labor force—he'd never seen anyone work harder—it was a fragmented support system that no one could seem to fix. "The problems facing Nigeria and West Africa are too great for the public sector or traditional NGOs to solve," says Masha. "The private sector can make a much more concerted, long-term effort to address these issues while simultaneously doing what it does every day, which is make money."

After leaving Notore in 2010 to set up his own investment group, Doreo Partners, Masha spent a short stint as chief of staff for Nigeria's agriculture minister, Akinwumi Adesina, helping develop a deregulation and investment program, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, that seeks to create 3.5 million agriculture jobs and add 20 million metric tons of produce to the domestic food supply by 2015. (Adesina says they're already more than halfway to those goals.) In an innovative initiative developed at Notore, and now being studied by Brazil and India, the government has begun delivering subsidy vouchers electronically to more than 10 million farmers, a measure that has increased the amount of fertilizer that makes it to smallholders from 11 percent to 94 percent.
Masha returned to Doreo in late 2011, now able to launch the end-to-end investment he had imagined. He calls Babban Gona—which means "great farm" in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria—an agricultural franchise model, and it works much like a fast-food franchise: Babban Gona trains farmers-franchisees and offers them loans, then delivers seed and fertilizer directly to the farms on credit; district managers track production and dispense advice throughout the season. At harvest, Babban Gona provides transportation and support, including access to tractors that can do in one hour what would take a farmer 10 days to do by hand, and even the sacks, the needle, and the thread to package the maize. Masha's company warehouses the grain at the end of the process, commoditizes it, and sells it to food conglomerates like Nestlé, which uses it to make baby food and breakfast cereal sold in Nigeria and abroad. Babban Gona then pays the farmers via a quarterly dividend payment. The system won the first annualHBS Association of Nigeria New Venture Competition for the West Africa region last year.

But improving farming conditions also required some upfront capital, and because many smallholders don't have clear title to their land—and therefore no collateral—banks are loath to lend them the funds they need. To unlock financing for his initiative, Masha turned to his friend Ladi Balogun (MBA 2000), CEO and group managing director of Nigeria's First City Monument Bank, which loans against measures like warehouse receipts. At the height of the growing season, First City has 9 percent of its $2.7 billion loan book invested in agriculture, compared to a national bank average of 3 percent. "There are millions of farmers that [still] need credit at affordable rates," Balogun says, adding that his bank expects lending to increase 21 percent a year for the next three years.


Here's what all of that looks like in practice: With a $500 input loan, 22-year-old Jamila Josua was able to afford much higher-quality materials for her 1.6-acre farm in the village of Nakala. And just as McDonald's trucks raw food to its franchisees from a distribution center, Babban Gona delivered those inputs directly to Josua's door, including 3 bags of improved seed, 14 bags of fertilizer (much of it from Notore), and 10 liters of herbicide. Because she is one of hundreds of Babban Gona farmers, and the system leverages economies of scale, all of these things come much cheaper.
To help protect Babban Gona's investment, a district manager visits Josua's farm and others in her immediate network, or Trust Group, twice a month (once announced, once not). That person, trained in agronomy and business, dispenses advice on everything from best practices to business ethics, while keeping track of growth rates and other performance measures with a smartphone app. This process also de-risks the loans in the eyes of banks. When the Nigerian government ran a loan program in the 1990s, the partial default rate reached as high as 73 percent. By comparison, 99.5 percent of the loans to Babban Gona farmers were
repaid last season.


"Through this whole system, we've been able to demonstrate that we can get farmers a loan 50 percent cheaper than they can get themselves, and inputs that are 19 percent cheaper," says Masha. "We get them the knowledge to increase their yields up to three times the national average, and sell their produce for about 37 percent higher than what they can get themselves."
When Masha takes a moment to think back on what he's accomplished so far, his mind turns to his family's own history. His American mother was raised on a farm in South Dakota. Her father was poor, like most farmers in his community, but by the 1950s his fortunes had been reversed by working with a farming collective. "He had a larger farm, a tractor," Masha says. "He made enough money to send my mom to college."
Babban Gona farmers are beginning to experience similar benefits. Some have been able to buy cars and put new roofs on their homes; one is preparing to buy a tractor for his fellow members to share, another is sending his children to private school. The program is helping a farmer with 2 hectares secure financing to expand to 14—enough to earn him $10,000 a year. "It's been wonderful to see," Masha says.


As Nigeria struggles to crack the problem of feeding itself, boosting production is only half of the solution—the other half is convincing skeptical Nigerian consumers to eat what its farmers grow.
A couple of summers ago, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli (MBA 1999) saw this dilemma firsthand when she stopped by a small restaurant outside Lagos in southwest Nigeria, not far from the home she shares with her husband, Mezuo Nwuneli (MBA 2003). It was a neighborhood place, and she wanted to know where the chef got ingredients such as produce and chicken. It turned out that they were bought at a nearby market, but actually originated from abroad.
Decades of corruption and haphazard regulations have conditioned consumers to see local food as overpriced and inferior, which it often is. (It's also sometimes dangerous: An estimated 20,000 people died in 2008 from eating produce treated with poisonous chemicals.) As a result, 90 percent of processed food in Nigerian restaurants and supermarkets comes from ingredients grown somewhere else.

"Changing mindsets among the local populace that 'Made in Nigeria' products, especially food, are high quality and suitable for consumption has proved difficult," says Ndidi. To change people's minds, she and Mezuo have decided to change the marketplace.
In 2009, the couple launched a start-up agribusiness called AACE Food Processing & Distribution Ltd., which buys bulk spices and other ingredients, then processes and packages them to sell to local customers. "Our vision," they say, "is to be the preferred provider of food for West Africans."
Ndidi and Mezuo, both children of university professors, approach the ambitious challenge with a combination of academic rigor and devotion to social justice. At HBS, Ndidi did a field study project with the Center for Women & Enterprise, founded by Andrea Silbert (MBA 1991/MPA 1992)—an experience Ndidi says directly inspired her pre-AACE work launching several Nigerian nonprofits devoted to social entrepreneurship. During his time at HBS, Mezuo served as co-president of the Africa Business Club and worked with the admissions office to develop and implement new strategies for attracting more students from the continent. Both always knew they would ultimately return to their home country to try to address hunger and build Nigerian enterprises.


The couple is using their investment firm, Sahel Capital, to attack the problem in two different ways. The first is through AACE. The second is by managing the new $100 million Fund for Agricultural Financing in Nigeria, a partnership between Adesina's Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Germany's KfW development bank. Starting this year, the fund will make investments in small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises that hold great promise. "We have always been driven to transform the landscapes in which we have worked," says Mezuo. In Nigeria today, "there are tremendous opportunities to transform the landscape by supporting smallholder farmers and providing growth capital to agribusiness-focused entrepreneurs."
When the Nwunelis started AACE, they experimented by sourcing their spices from local markets, similar to the one used by the restaurant Ndidi visited. But they soon ran into the same problems faced by other food companies: inconsistent supplies, opaque pricing structures, and mixed quality. But instead of turning to outside suppliers, they turned inward, building relationships directly with smallholder farmers and farmer collectives.


Like Masha and Okoloko of Notore, the Nwunelis believe in the benefit of working to build shared value over the long term. AACE provides groups like the Jaba Ginger Farmers Cooperative Society—which is made up of 3,000 smallholders, more than half of them women—with a trustworthy customer. In return, by sourcing ginger and chili pepper locally, AACE has been able to reduce purchasing costs of the spices by as much as 30 percent, savings it passes on to consumers.

The Seeds of Agribusiness

In the 1950s, agricultural economics professor Ray Goldberg went to his dean at Harvard Business School to pitch a new kind of conference. For the first time, it would bring together players from all parts of the supply chain—subsistence farmers to multinational conglomerates, seed sellers to supermarket buyers—to share insights and piece together a perspective on the global food system. The resulting executive Agribusiness Seminar, which held its 54th installment in January, now brings to HBS each year more than 200 leaders from places like the Department of Agriculture, the World Bank, Monsanto, ConAgra, and Walmart. They come, Goldberg says, because "this is the only place where these groups can talk to each other."
Another reason people travel from around the world, though Goldberg is too modest to say so, is to learn from a giant of their industry. Goldberg, together with his late HBS colleague John H. Davis, codeveloped the field of agribusiness, teaching the first course on the subject in 1955. At the time, agricultural businesses tended to focus narrowly on their particular jobs, but the professors argued that agricultural was a social, economic and political enterprise, and studying the entire system would lead to better decisions. This magazine named the publication of their 1957 textbook, A Concept of Agribusiness, one of the 20 most-influential milestones in HBS history, and today there are more than 100 agribusiness programs offered at colleges and universities around the world.
Considered HBS's most prolific professor, Goldberg is the author, coauthor, or editor of 23 books, more than 100 articles, and more than 1,000 cases. He has taught nearly 20,000 students MBA students and Executive Education participants. One of his doctoral students, Michael Halse (MBA 1957, DBA 1979), helped lead the White Revolution in India in the 1970s and '80s, replacing an inept state-run dairy system with a farmer's cooperative now called Amul, one of the world's largest producers of milk.
These days, Goldberg has witnessed a resurgence of interest in agricultural entrepreneurship at HBS and elsewhere. "The students have rediscovered food, agriculture, and economic development as something exciting," he says. They've seen that agribusiness doesn't have to be entirely adversarial, but that buyers and sellers along the food chain can benefit from cooperation based on trust. "The world has finally, finally got it," the 87-year-old Goldberg says. "I'm just glad I was here to see it."

The Nwunelis' system is tapping into a change to the Nigerian consumer base: The middle class of Africa's most populous nation has been growing quickly, now accounting for 23 percent of the population, according to the African Development Bank. "There has to be a big middle class" to support this kind of retail effort, says HBS professor David Bell. "If you have a society where there are only rich people and poor people, the rich people can afford to simply eat imported food, while the lower class lives off the farm."
Tracking the rise of the middle class, AACE started small but has grown quickly. In 2010, its first year up and running, the company sold 6 tons of product, and then more than quadrupled sales the following year. In 2012, a year the company invested in a dedicated processing facility, it sold more than 70 tons, and were on track to source 100 tons from smallholders in 2013. In the future, the systems the Nwunelis are putting into place can be adapted to all sorts of nutritious foods—AACE has added soybeans, maize, and sorghum to its product line—but spices have proven to be an effective proof of concept. It now sells products to customers in 6 of Nigeria's 36 states, including noodle companies, fast-food chains, and more than 30 supermarkets. AACE expects to directly employ 65 people within the next five years, and buy food from 1,000 farmers within the next three.
By systematizing new agricultural pathways that lead all the way to consumers, the Nwunelis hope that AACE will show that outside companies can succeed in Nigeria. Private industry seems to be redoubling efforts to invest in the country, after writing it off as impossible for some time. Cargill, for example, is working with smallholder farmers and investing in a plant to produce sweeteners from cassava, another important crop in the country. In 2012, SABMiller opened a $100 million brewery, its fourth facility in the country. Africa's richest man, Nigerian-born Aliko Dangote, is putting some $80 million into processing factories for fruit and tomatoes, two crops Nigeria produces in abundance yet spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year importing.


If Nigeria hopes to regain its ability to one day become a major exporter, its success will depend on testing its supply chains on the local market. That's how agricultural economies work out the kinks that accompany building up large-scale capacity. "If you look at the economies that have really become agricultural powerhouses, they built that global capacity off of a large internal market," says Masha. "That's how Brazil did it, that's how Thailand did it, that's how the US did it. They were all able to leverage their large internal markets to become major exporters."
It's about 7:30 in the evening in Nigeria, and Kola Masha sounds exhausted. Harvest is shifting into high gear, and he was working until 3:30 that morning, helping Babban Gona farmers stack 100-kilogram sacks of maize in a warehouse. Doreo Partners is still very much a hands-on company, even for its managing director. It's the second week of November, and a tractor-trailer full of maize is arriving every day from about 50 farms within a 20-mile radius. The same thing is happening at Doreo's six other warehouses, and it will continue that way deep into December. Being tired is a good problem to have.


Today, Masha has some particularly good news. As he tallies sacks of maize, he's seeing yields of up to 6.8 metric tons per hectare, which is about five times the national average and eight times the average in this part of the country. It's not yet time to harvest the farm of Ibrahim Mustapha—that smallholder with the chubby eight-year-old—but a yield assessment conducted earlier in the season showed he'll easily exceed 6 tons, which will break last season's record by 30 percent.
In the old way of doing things, Masha and his farmers would be in a simple trading relationship. He would look to get the lowest price from them, while they looked to get the highest price from him—someone wins and someone loses. But farming can't operate that way these days in Africa, says Nancy Barry, former president of Women's World Banking, an organization that has extended microfinancing to more than 20 million low-income entrepreneurs. "In agribusiness," she says, "you have to create win-wins, or it's not going to work." With Babban Gona, Masha believes he has created just that, working with the farmers as partners to bring up yields and increase his supply to customers.

This is something that Masha's biggest customer, Nestlé, has long understood. "In order to get milk locally for its products, Nestlé realized it had to be the one to train the farmers in production, in making sure the milk was safe, in how to manage the business," says Bell. "Nestlé benefited and the farmer benefited." Like Cargill, SABMiller, and other multinational firms, Nestlé—which now works with nearly a million smallholder farmers across West Africa—realizes that the future of meeting the globe's skyrocketing food needs lies in cooperation and a new model of agriculture. "As more and more companies figure out that this is the new capitalism," says Barry, "they'll make the private sector exceedingly well-positioned to make a difference."

But until those forward-thinking multinational giants are the rule rather than the exception, agriculture will need designs like Kola Masha's—ideas that help Ibrahim Mustapha feed his family of six and along the way, potentially pioneer a way to help feed millions.


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Post Author: Francis Storrs

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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Marriage Advice, Romance, Relationship Tips, Relationship Advice,
Marriage Advice: Top 10 Types Of Women And Men You Should Never Marry
You gotta admit in terms of marriage advice this is very sound. I'm sure there are some other types worse than these but this will do for now. Now this list is where anyone man or woman who wants to get married should be on. Are you on this list?

10 Women A Man Shouldn’t Marry

1. The Late Night Texter
You know, the girl who only texts you after midnight. She’s the girl who only contacts you when she wants something, or someone to talk to. You can go weeks without hearing from this person, only to rarely get a text full of smiley faces and a message that reads, “Hey! How are you?” They aren’t consistent. Don’t fall into the trap.

2. The Gold-digger
She’s the woman who loves your wallet, bank account, and credit cards. Be sure to stay away from a woman who is only interested in material things, and how much of these things your salary can buy her.

3. The Flirt
This woman loves to flirt with strangers, waiters, and even your friends. The woman you should seek is one who flirts with you and only you, no matter the circumstance. That last thing you want is to be married to someone who will deliberately flirt with people in front or you, let alone behind your back.

4. The Liar
Don’t trust a woman who is constantly lying to you. If you continue to ignore her inconsistencies, she could eventually do something detrimental to your relationship.

5. The Flake
This is the woman who calls off dates, constantly changes plans and never shows up when she promised she would. If you think this will change once you’re married, you’re wrong. A flakey woman will never put her man first.

6. The Partier
Stay away from her. Although she may seem as a fun and outgoing, I guarantee you will be better off with someone who stays away from gatherings full of bad mistakes and regretful decisions. The lifestyle of a partier never fits well with the maturity that is needed in marriage.

7. The Quick To Judge
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I would encourage you to stay away from the woman who constantly throws judgments at others. This is a bad habit that is not only frowned upon, but it will also hinder you from finding any type of outside friendships. Let Judge Judy stay a TV show. Don’t marry her.

8. The Immodest Dresser
The last thing you want to do is marry someone who put’s their body on display for the rest of the world to see. Without going into too much detail, I would encourage you to marry someone who respects their body enough to keep it covered and modest.

9. The Negative Nancy
She’s the woman who can find something negative in just about anything. And although there is nothing wrong with being a little skeptical, living life with someone who is constantly negative will definitely put a damper on your relationship. It’s not worth it.

10. The Cheater
I’m all for grace and second chances, but the last thing you want is to find yourself in a marriage with someone you can’t even trust. I’m a huge believe that everyone can change, but please don’t get caught up in the lie that cheating is just normal part of life. You deserve better.

10 Men A Woman Shouldn’t Marry

1. The Late Night Texter
You know, the guy who only texts you after midnight. He’s the guy who only contacts you when he wants something, or someone to talk to. You can go weeks without hearing from this person, only to rarely get a text full of smiley faces and a message that reads, “Hey! How are you?” They aren’t consistent. Don’t fall into the trap.

2. The Slacker
He’s the guy who has no dreams, vision, or passion to get up and do anything. Don’t let his smooth words trick you into a relationship that will be full of dull moments and half-hearted plans.

3. The Liar
Don’t trust a man who is constantly lying to you. If you continue to ignore his inconsistencies, he could eventually do something detrimental to your relationship.

4. The Flake
This is the guy who calls of dates, constantly changes plans, and never shows up when he promises. If you think this will change once you’re married, you’re wrong. A flakey man will never put his woman first.

5. The Cheater
I’m all for grace and second chances, but the last thing you want is to find yourself in a marriage with someone you can’t even trust. I’m a huge believe that everyone can change, but please don’t get caught up in the lie that cheating is just normal part of life. You deserve better.

6. The Partier
Stay away from him. Although he may seem as a fun and outgoing, I guarantee you will be better off with someone who stays away from gatherings full of bad mistakes and regretful decisions. The lifestyle of a partier never fits well with the maturity needed in marriage.

7. The Fake
He’s the guy who claims to be one thing, but in person never steps up to the plate. Not only is this unfair to your relationship, but you need to understand this isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Look for a man who is who he claims to be. Fakes can only pretend for so long.

8. The Hypocrite
He goes back and forth between his beliefs, standards, and regulations of life. Most of the time this man will change things to better suit his personal life. Don’t expect yourself to have a thriving relationship with someone who is constantly hypocritical in their words and actions.

9. The Flirt
This man loves to flirtatiously chat with strangers, waiters, and even your friends. The man you should seek is one who flirts with you and only you, no matter the circumstance. That last thing you want is to be married to someone who will deliberately flirt with people in front or you, let alone behind your back.

10. The JerkSimple. Don’t marry a jerk. You deserve more than that this guy can offer you. Look for someone who is kind, generous, selfless, and chivalrous. That last thing you want is to be embarrassed about bringing your man in public, all due to his attitude. Not to mention, verbal abuse is a widely spread problem that I don’t believe any woman should have to encounter.


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Post Author: Jarrid Wilson

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Marriage Advice: Top 10 Types Of Women And Men You Should Never Marry

Nwabu King  |  at   4:32 pm  |  No comments

Marriage Advice, Romance, Relationship Tips, Relationship Advice,
Marriage Advice: Top 10 Types Of Women And Men You Should Never Marry
You gotta admit in terms of marriage advice this is very sound. I'm sure there are some other types worse than these but this will do for now. Now this list is where anyone man or woman who wants to get married should be on. Are you on this list?

10 Women A Man Shouldn’t Marry

1. The Late Night Texter
You know, the girl who only texts you after midnight. She’s the girl who only contacts you when she wants something, or someone to talk to. You can go weeks without hearing from this person, only to rarely get a text full of smiley faces and a message that reads, “Hey! How are you?” They aren’t consistent. Don’t fall into the trap.

2. The Gold-digger
She’s the woman who loves your wallet, bank account, and credit cards. Be sure to stay away from a woman who is only interested in material things, and how much of these things your salary can buy her.

3. The Flirt
This woman loves to flirt with strangers, waiters, and even your friends. The woman you should seek is one who flirts with you and only you, no matter the circumstance. That last thing you want is to be married to someone who will deliberately flirt with people in front or you, let alone behind your back.

4. The Liar
Don’t trust a woman who is constantly lying to you. If you continue to ignore her inconsistencies, she could eventually do something detrimental to your relationship.

5. The Flake
This is the woman who calls off dates, constantly changes plans and never shows up when she promised she would. If you think this will change once you’re married, you’re wrong. A flakey woman will never put her man first.

6. The Partier
Stay away from her. Although she may seem as a fun and outgoing, I guarantee you will be better off with someone who stays away from gatherings full of bad mistakes and regretful decisions. The lifestyle of a partier never fits well with the maturity that is needed in marriage.

7. The Quick To Judge
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I would encourage you to stay away from the woman who constantly throws judgments at others. This is a bad habit that is not only frowned upon, but it will also hinder you from finding any type of outside friendships. Let Judge Judy stay a TV show. Don’t marry her.

8. The Immodest Dresser
The last thing you want to do is marry someone who put’s their body on display for the rest of the world to see. Without going into too much detail, I would encourage you to marry someone who respects their body enough to keep it covered and modest.

9. The Negative Nancy
She’s the woman who can find something negative in just about anything. And although there is nothing wrong with being a little skeptical, living life with someone who is constantly negative will definitely put a damper on your relationship. It’s not worth it.

10. The Cheater
I’m all for grace and second chances, but the last thing you want is to find yourself in a marriage with someone you can’t even trust. I’m a huge believe that everyone can change, but please don’t get caught up in the lie that cheating is just normal part of life. You deserve better.

10 Men A Woman Shouldn’t Marry

1. The Late Night Texter
You know, the guy who only texts you after midnight. He’s the guy who only contacts you when he wants something, or someone to talk to. You can go weeks without hearing from this person, only to rarely get a text full of smiley faces and a message that reads, “Hey! How are you?” They aren’t consistent. Don’t fall into the trap.

2. The Slacker
He’s the guy who has no dreams, vision, or passion to get up and do anything. Don’t let his smooth words trick you into a relationship that will be full of dull moments and half-hearted plans.

3. The Liar
Don’t trust a man who is constantly lying to you. If you continue to ignore his inconsistencies, he could eventually do something detrimental to your relationship.

4. The Flake
This is the guy who calls of dates, constantly changes plans, and never shows up when he promises. If you think this will change once you’re married, you’re wrong. A flakey man will never put his woman first.

5. The Cheater
I’m all for grace and second chances, but the last thing you want is to find yourself in a marriage with someone you can’t even trust. I’m a huge believe that everyone can change, but please don’t get caught up in the lie that cheating is just normal part of life. You deserve better.

6. The Partier
Stay away from him. Although he may seem as a fun and outgoing, I guarantee you will be better off with someone who stays away from gatherings full of bad mistakes and regretful decisions. The lifestyle of a partier never fits well with the maturity needed in marriage.

7. The Fake
He’s the guy who claims to be one thing, but in person never steps up to the plate. Not only is this unfair to your relationship, but you need to understand this isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Look for a man who is who he claims to be. Fakes can only pretend for so long.

8. The Hypocrite
He goes back and forth between his beliefs, standards, and regulations of life. Most of the time this man will change things to better suit his personal life. Don’t expect yourself to have a thriving relationship with someone who is constantly hypocritical in their words and actions.

9. The Flirt
This man loves to flirtatiously chat with strangers, waiters, and even your friends. The man you should seek is one who flirts with you and only you, no matter the circumstance. That last thing you want is to be married to someone who will deliberately flirt with people in front or you, let alone behind your back.

10. The JerkSimple. Don’t marry a jerk. You deserve more than that this guy can offer you. Look for someone who is kind, generous, selfless, and chivalrous. That last thing you want is to be embarrassed about bringing your man in public, all due to his attitude. Not to mention, verbal abuse is a widely spread problem that I don’t believe any woman should have to encounter.


Post Credits
Post Author: Jarrid Wilson

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Monday, 17 February 2014

Valentine Fever, Valentine Celebration, February 14, Relationship, Love and Romance, Valentine Experiences, Valentine Love, Valentine Spending,
Now That Valentine Is Come And Gone, Was The VALscapade Experience Worth It?
The Media Globally Calls February The Month Of Love. By Implication Are They Indirectly Calling The Rest Of The Months The Month Of Hate? I Think It’s Misleading, Misguided And Retarded.

Now That Val Is Come And Gone, Are We Back To Hating For The Rest Of The Year? Do I Wanna Hear Tales Of Your VALscapades? I'll Pass On That Fleeting Past. Although The Events Of That Past May Haunt Some Folks Till They Breathe Their Last. But Go Ahead Tell All About It When The Red Wine Intoxication Clears, The Red Fresh Roses Withers And Plastic Flowers Get Tossed Away, The Red Rumpled Outfits Are Worn Back, The Red Spell Of Romantic Unconditional Love Unfortunately Wears Off And You Are Back In That Loveless Limbo Of Your Life Which Shouldn't Be.

When The Red Sun Happily Welcomes You To A New Day As It Blossoms And Flourishes The Love You Found On Val's Day, The Red Gift Packs Are Discarded After The Gifts Or Lack Of Gifts Is Appreciated Or Otherwise, The Red blood And Rampaging Hormones Circulates Normally Cuz Your Sexual Hunger Has Been Voraciously Satisfied, The Red Bleeding Streams From A Torn Hymen Stops For The Inexperienced First Timers, The Red Blood The Syringe Vampires Sucked From Your Veins For Lab Tests Returns With Result Of STDs Or A Clean Bill Of Health.

When The Red Cent Is Spent And Your Conscience Torturously Questions If It Was Worth It, The Red Rage From Disappointment And Dampened Expectation Dissipates, The Red Face From Emotional Terrorism And Heartache Realizing You Were Just A Play Thing And Not The ONE Gets  Treated, The Red Alert Mode Of Heightened Anxiety Attack To Monitor Your "Period" Lest It Goes "Missing", The Red Light That Brought The Relationship To A Screaming Screeching Hurting Halt On Val's Day Turns Green For You To Move On With Your Life, Etc.

When The Red Blood Spilled A Day After Val (RIP John Ndubuka) Has Been Drank By Mother Earth And The Oceanic Tears Cried Has Dried Reminding Us Timelessly Of Life’s Frailty And That All Is Vanity, But Virtue Alone Stands Tall.

In The End, Good, Some Had It. Bad, Some Had It. And Ugly, Some Had It. Whatever However You Had It, With Relish Or Regret, You Alone Prepared The Dish And Life Simply Served It. Life Goes On. Keep On Keep Keeping On.

The Idea Is Unacceptably Misused And Abused. A Veritable Device Employed By Lycanthropes To Lure Gullible Preys With A Show Of Pseudo Love. So These Monsters Transform To A Love Beast On February 14, Feed On Their Prey’s Body, Heart And Pocket. They Transform Back To Their Normal Hate Beast The Next Day.

Instead Of Cosmetically Renting Out Your Heart For Love Once A Year Why Not Make Love A Permanent Resident In Our Heart All Year Round? God's Love Is Every Day. Every Day Is Valentine So Show Love From The Heart And Not Superficially From the Obesity Of One's Pocket.

I Will Love To Hear It If You Were Sacrificially Loving Enough To Demolish Your Often Times Irrational Selfish Barriers And Spread Love To The Less Privileged Living A Loveless Life.


Do For Love And Heaven Will Reward You. Do For Show Off And You Will Be Rewarded Accordingly.

Now It’s Your Turn. Please Don't FORGET To SHARE This POST, Your Friends Might Need It! Feel Free To Leave Your COMMENTS. Your FEEDBACK And COMMENTS Are Always Appreciated. :-)

Now That Valentine Is Come And Gone, Was The VALscapade Experience Worth It?

Nwabu King  |  at   11:44 am  |  No comments

Valentine Fever, Valentine Celebration, February 14, Relationship, Love and Romance, Valentine Experiences, Valentine Love, Valentine Spending,
Now That Valentine Is Come And Gone, Was The VALscapade Experience Worth It?
The Media Globally Calls February The Month Of Love. By Implication Are They Indirectly Calling The Rest Of The Months The Month Of Hate? I Think It’s Misleading, Misguided And Retarded.

Now That Val Is Come And Gone, Are We Back To Hating For The Rest Of The Year? Do I Wanna Hear Tales Of Your VALscapades? I'll Pass On That Fleeting Past. Although The Events Of That Past May Haunt Some Folks Till They Breathe Their Last. But Go Ahead Tell All About It When The Red Wine Intoxication Clears, The Red Fresh Roses Withers And Plastic Flowers Get Tossed Away, The Red Rumpled Outfits Are Worn Back, The Red Spell Of Romantic Unconditional Love Unfortunately Wears Off And You Are Back In That Loveless Limbo Of Your Life Which Shouldn't Be.

When The Red Sun Happily Welcomes You To A New Day As It Blossoms And Flourishes The Love You Found On Val's Day, The Red Gift Packs Are Discarded After The Gifts Or Lack Of Gifts Is Appreciated Or Otherwise, The Red blood And Rampaging Hormones Circulates Normally Cuz Your Sexual Hunger Has Been Voraciously Satisfied, The Red Bleeding Streams From A Torn Hymen Stops For The Inexperienced First Timers, The Red Blood The Syringe Vampires Sucked From Your Veins For Lab Tests Returns With Result Of STDs Or A Clean Bill Of Health.

When The Red Cent Is Spent And Your Conscience Torturously Questions If It Was Worth It, The Red Rage From Disappointment And Dampened Expectation Dissipates, The Red Face From Emotional Terrorism And Heartache Realizing You Were Just A Play Thing And Not The ONE Gets  Treated, The Red Alert Mode Of Heightened Anxiety Attack To Monitor Your "Period" Lest It Goes "Missing", The Red Light That Brought The Relationship To A Screaming Screeching Hurting Halt On Val's Day Turns Green For You To Move On With Your Life, Etc.

When The Red Blood Spilled A Day After Val (RIP John Ndubuka) Has Been Drank By Mother Earth And The Oceanic Tears Cried Has Dried Reminding Us Timelessly Of Life’s Frailty And That All Is Vanity, But Virtue Alone Stands Tall.

In The End, Good, Some Had It. Bad, Some Had It. And Ugly, Some Had It. Whatever However You Had It, With Relish Or Regret, You Alone Prepared The Dish And Life Simply Served It. Life Goes On. Keep On Keep Keeping On.

The Idea Is Unacceptably Misused And Abused. A Veritable Device Employed By Lycanthropes To Lure Gullible Preys With A Show Of Pseudo Love. So These Monsters Transform To A Love Beast On February 14, Feed On Their Prey’s Body, Heart And Pocket. They Transform Back To Their Normal Hate Beast The Next Day.

Instead Of Cosmetically Renting Out Your Heart For Love Once A Year Why Not Make Love A Permanent Resident In Our Heart All Year Round? God's Love Is Every Day. Every Day Is Valentine So Show Love From The Heart And Not Superficially From the Obesity Of One's Pocket.

I Will Love To Hear It If You Were Sacrificially Loving Enough To Demolish Your Often Times Irrational Selfish Barriers And Spread Love To The Less Privileged Living A Loveless Life.


Do For Love And Heaven Will Reward You. Do For Show Off And You Will Be Rewarded Accordingly.

Now It’s Your Turn. Please Don't FORGET To SHARE This POST, Your Friends Might Need It! Feel Free To Leave Your COMMENTS. Your FEEDBACK And COMMENTS Are Always Appreciated. :-)
Continue Reading→

Friday, 29 November 2013

Grantland, Michelle Obama, America's First Lady, Kanye West, Michelle Diss Kanye
Hilarious Letter: Michelle Obama Responds to Kanye West's Recent Comments (Grantland)
This letter is well crafted. It made my day. It will make yours trust me. Kanye West is a publicity stunt freak that runs his mouth uncontrollably. Im thinking that should be a medical condition yet to be classified by medical experts. He said some about Michelle Obama Vogue cover and here is a supposed response from Michelle Obama. The sickest dopest diss line from the response for me this quote below;

"Imagine if someone compared you to Papoose, Kanye. Well, you're Barack's Papoose. And yes, Kim is my Remy Ma"

That is so mean. I can't stop laughing. Read the article below.


Kanye West recently spoke to Ryan Seacrest about a number of things. Here's one of the things he said.

There’s no way Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be on the cover of Vogue. She’s like the most intriguing woman right now. She’s got Barbara Walters calling her like everyday … and collectively we’re the most influential with clothing. No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a [bikini] pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day … so it’s to say when we are there and [editor-in-chief of French Vogue] Carine Roitfeld supports my girl, that’s a breakthrough … there’s a wall of classism that we are breaking through.”

Kanye your are bragging about a bikini pix your girl instagrammed? Seriously? Is that an achievement? Who gives a rats ass. LOL. I wonder if she'll still instagram her bikini pix when she is no longer young and beautiful. Now that will cause convulsion in kids.

I can only imagine this is what Michelle Obama had to say in response.

Dear Kanye,

Hi, it's Michelle. Michelle Obama, Barack's wife. Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America.

That makes me the First Lady of the United States of America. Me = Michelle Obama.

I hope all is well.

You know, Kanye, I woke up this morning. In the White House. And one of my aides told me she had something to show me. Something that would make me laugh. A "cute" thing, if you will.

It was a series of quotes, Kanye. About my husband and me. About my Vogue magazine cover. And fashion. And classism.

They were your quotes. You were the cute thing, Kanye. And my aide was right. It did make me laugh. Oh, what a hearty White House laugh it was.

Keep my name out your mouth, ya heard.

Tell me, Kanye, what's your goal with this? Why us? Are you still mad about my husband calling you a jackass a few times? Is that why you're focusing on me instead of on all the other women who have been on the cover of Vogue?

That's what this is all about, isn't it? You're out here all mad simply because we're stylin' on you? I know Barack never did apologize for the name-calling, because you know how you men are with your stubbornness.

But it's more than that. It's bigger than fashion. To you, this has become a couple vs. couple thing.

I once overheard some of our summer interns talking about you — about how mad you get when you're compared to other rappers, because your peers are Jesus and Jobs and Walt Disney. I heard it and actually respected that. It shows you have some drive to be a great man. You should fight to get your respect. I see my husband, the President of the Free World, get disrespected every day. And it tears me apart.

So you have to understand where I'm coming from when I say it's laughable for my 21-year marriage to be mentioned on the same website as your thing with Kim.

Imagine if someone compared you to Papoose, Kanye. Well, you're Barack's Papoose. And yes, Kim is my Remy Ma.

My husband's not moving our family out the country so you can't see where we stay. Because he runs the country, you see.

And, again, we live in the White House. Very visible.

Look, Kanye, I'm a fan. You had me the second you brought along Uncle Charlie Wilson, and there's no turning back. I don't think you're crazy at all, and in fact fully think you're saying things that other people are scared to articulate. And, of course, Chicago will always bring us together.

Knowing that, never think that I'm not from Chicago for one second. Barack may be from Hawaii, but I will always be from that 312.

As a woman who loves fashion but never sought to be an iconic figure of some sort, I understand where you're coming from. And your frustrations. You're both deeply embedded in fashion, you and Kim, and daring to match, with the man skirts and silly string bikinis. I hear you even have a little pop-up store next to hers that sells nice Confederate flags.

And there's me, a semi-conservative dresser with my fashion not at the center of my life, and somehow I still ended up on the Vogue cover. And, to make matters worse, I didn't even ask.

They came to me. And get this, I actually had to think about it.

But next time, Kanye, if we can agree to squash this, I will decline and tell them to ask Kim. Will that make you happy? Will that end classism? Will the inclusion of your born-rich future wife break down the walls that my trailblazing old-ladyness seeks to build up? Just let me know.

Because, at the end of the day, who really needs to be on the cover of Vogue for a third time?

In the meantime, there's always Terry Richardson.

Jackass.

Send my love to Kim and baby Nori.


—Michelle


Post Credits
Post Author: Rember Browne

Follow on Twitter: Rembert Browne


Now It’s Your Turn. Please Don't FORGET To SHARE This POST, Your Friends Might Need It! Feel Free To Leave Your COMMENTS. Your FEEDBACK And COMMENTS Are Always Appreciated. :-)

Hilarious Letter: Michelle Obama Responds to Kanye West's Recent Comments (Grantland)

Nwabu King  |  at   1:31 pm  |  No comments

Grantland, Michelle Obama, America's First Lady, Kanye West, Michelle Diss Kanye
Hilarious Letter: Michelle Obama Responds to Kanye West's Recent Comments (Grantland)
This letter is well crafted. It made my day. It will make yours trust me. Kanye West is a publicity stunt freak that runs his mouth uncontrollably. Im thinking that should be a medical condition yet to be classified by medical experts. He said some about Michelle Obama Vogue cover and here is a supposed response from Michelle Obama. The sickest dopest diss line from the response for me this quote below;

"Imagine if someone compared you to Papoose, Kanye. Well, you're Barack's Papoose. And yes, Kim is my Remy Ma"

That is so mean. I can't stop laughing. Read the article below.


Kanye West recently spoke to Ryan Seacrest about a number of things. Here's one of the things he said.

There’s no way Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be on the cover of Vogue. She’s like the most intriguing woman right now. She’s got Barbara Walters calling her like everyday … and collectively we’re the most influential with clothing. No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a [bikini] pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day … so it’s to say when we are there and [editor-in-chief of French Vogue] Carine Roitfeld supports my girl, that’s a breakthrough … there’s a wall of classism that we are breaking through.”

Kanye your are bragging about a bikini pix your girl instagrammed? Seriously? Is that an achievement? Who gives a rats ass. LOL. I wonder if she'll still instagram her bikini pix when she is no longer young and beautiful. Now that will cause convulsion in kids.

I can only imagine this is what Michelle Obama had to say in response.

Dear Kanye,

Hi, it's Michelle. Michelle Obama, Barack's wife. Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America.

That makes me the First Lady of the United States of America. Me = Michelle Obama.

I hope all is well.

You know, Kanye, I woke up this morning. In the White House. And one of my aides told me she had something to show me. Something that would make me laugh. A "cute" thing, if you will.

It was a series of quotes, Kanye. About my husband and me. About my Vogue magazine cover. And fashion. And classism.

They were your quotes. You were the cute thing, Kanye. And my aide was right. It did make me laugh. Oh, what a hearty White House laugh it was.

Keep my name out your mouth, ya heard.

Tell me, Kanye, what's your goal with this? Why us? Are you still mad about my husband calling you a jackass a few times? Is that why you're focusing on me instead of on all the other women who have been on the cover of Vogue?

That's what this is all about, isn't it? You're out here all mad simply because we're stylin' on you? I know Barack never did apologize for the name-calling, because you know how you men are with your stubbornness.

But it's more than that. It's bigger than fashion. To you, this has become a couple vs. couple thing.

I once overheard some of our summer interns talking about you — about how mad you get when you're compared to other rappers, because your peers are Jesus and Jobs and Walt Disney. I heard it and actually respected that. It shows you have some drive to be a great man. You should fight to get your respect. I see my husband, the President of the Free World, get disrespected every day. And it tears me apart.

So you have to understand where I'm coming from when I say it's laughable for my 21-year marriage to be mentioned on the same website as your thing with Kim.

Imagine if someone compared you to Papoose, Kanye. Well, you're Barack's Papoose. And yes, Kim is my Remy Ma.

My husband's not moving our family out the country so you can't see where we stay. Because he runs the country, you see.

And, again, we live in the White House. Very visible.

Look, Kanye, I'm a fan. You had me the second you brought along Uncle Charlie Wilson, and there's no turning back. I don't think you're crazy at all, and in fact fully think you're saying things that other people are scared to articulate. And, of course, Chicago will always bring us together.

Knowing that, never think that I'm not from Chicago for one second. Barack may be from Hawaii, but I will always be from that 312.

As a woman who loves fashion but never sought to be an iconic figure of some sort, I understand where you're coming from. And your frustrations. You're both deeply embedded in fashion, you and Kim, and daring to match, with the man skirts and silly string bikinis. I hear you even have a little pop-up store next to hers that sells nice Confederate flags.

And there's me, a semi-conservative dresser with my fashion not at the center of my life, and somehow I still ended up on the Vogue cover. And, to make matters worse, I didn't even ask.

They came to me. And get this, I actually had to think about it.

But next time, Kanye, if we can agree to squash this, I will decline and tell them to ask Kim. Will that make you happy? Will that end classism? Will the inclusion of your born-rich future wife break down the walls that my trailblazing old-ladyness seeks to build up? Just let me know.

Because, at the end of the day, who really needs to be on the cover of Vogue for a third time?

In the meantime, there's always Terry Richardson.

Jackass.

Send my love to Kim and baby Nori.


—Michelle


Post Credits
Post Author: Rember Browne

Follow on Twitter: Rembert Browne


Now It’s Your Turn. Please Don't FORGET To SHARE This POST, Your Friends Might Need It! Feel Free To Leave Your COMMENTS. Your FEEDBACK And COMMENTS Are Always Appreciated. :-)
Continue Reading→

Monday, 18 November 2013

Things That Kids Say, Parenting, Kids
Parenting: Amazing Things That Kids Say
Kids are amazing gift from God. You just gotta love kids in their element, they some amazing things and gestures and also say some amazing things. I don’t have any yet but I love the ones around me and play with them a lot. I also caution them properly when the occasion demands it. The things that kids say never cease to amaze me. They exhibit wisdom way beyond their age sometimes.

My elder cousin’s 4 year old son revealed something to the father recently. The dad had picked him up from school and was heading home when he said it. This little boy is a passionate and very interesting kid. Kids just say these amazing things innocently just the way their little pure minds can grasp them. This is where the work load of parents are tested in making the kid reinforce the thought process or activity that lead to these startling things kids say or reject it and any future occurrence.

The little boy said;

4 yr old : Daddy do you know what my girlfriend told me?
Daddy  : No I don’t know. What did she tell you buddy?
4 yr old : She said I can tell her anything I want

The daddy’s eyes popped wide open, he laughed hard and then tells the 4 year old son with girlfriend issues…

Daddy : Don’t tell her anything that’s how they deceive us

He was still laughing hard. The son would’ve been a bit disappointed. He is fond of saying funny amazing things like this. I wondered what kinda conversation between male and female 4 year olds that they were having. But you know the best part of parents-kids bonding and intimacy is when you have kids that can tell their parents anything, kids that can confide in their parents. It makes it so easy to keep track of what your kids do and reduce the burden of parenting. It gives a clear glimpse into the mind of that child. It makes you fully aware of what happened in your absence so you make commendations or corrections.

Also Read: Why My Kids Are Not My World

So if there is anything bothering the kid like any bullying, sexual harassment or any kind of red flags will be nipped in the bud. It is every parents duty to strive and create sustain an ideal communication culture with their kids better understanding and raising better children.


Now It’s Your Turn. Please Don't FORGET To SHARE This POST, Your Friends Might Need It! Feel Free To Leave Your COMMENTS. Your FEEDBACK And COMMENTS Are Always Appreciated. :-)

Parenting: Amazing Things That Kids Say

Nwabu King  |  at   11:29 am  |  No comments

Things That Kids Say, Parenting, Kids
Parenting: Amazing Things That Kids Say
Kids are amazing gift from God. You just gotta love kids in their element, they some amazing things and gestures and also say some amazing things. I don’t have any yet but I love the ones around me and play with them a lot. I also caution them properly when the occasion demands it. The things that kids say never cease to amaze me. They exhibit wisdom way beyond their age sometimes.

My elder cousin’s 4 year old son revealed something to the father recently. The dad had picked him up from school and was heading home when he said it. This little boy is a passionate and very interesting kid. Kids just say these amazing things innocently just the way their little pure minds can grasp them. This is where the work load of parents are tested in making the kid reinforce the thought process or activity that lead to these startling things kids say or reject it and any future occurrence.

The little boy said;

4 yr old : Daddy do you know what my girlfriend told me?
Daddy  : No I don’t know. What did she tell you buddy?
4 yr old : She said I can tell her anything I want

The daddy’s eyes popped wide open, he laughed hard and then tells the 4 year old son with girlfriend issues…

Daddy : Don’t tell her anything that’s how they deceive us

He was still laughing hard. The son would’ve been a bit disappointed. He is fond of saying funny amazing things like this. I wondered what kinda conversation between male and female 4 year olds that they were having. But you know the best part of parents-kids bonding and intimacy is when you have kids that can tell their parents anything, kids that can confide in their parents. It makes it so easy to keep track of what your kids do and reduce the burden of parenting. It gives a clear glimpse into the mind of that child. It makes you fully aware of what happened in your absence so you make commendations or corrections.

Also Read: Why My Kids Are Not My World

So if there is anything bothering the kid like any bullying, sexual harassment or any kind of red flags will be nipped in the bud. It is every parents duty to strive and create sustain an ideal communication culture with their kids better understanding and raising better children.


Now It’s Your Turn. Please Don't FORGET To SHARE This POST, Your Friends Might Need It! Feel Free To Leave Your COMMENTS. Your FEEDBACK And COMMENTS Are Always Appreciated. :-)
Continue Reading→

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