This Christmas is the perfect time for you to buy your kids a robot toy for them to enjoy and maybe learn a few things from. Here’s a look at some of the best robot toys out there for kids of all ages.
There are plenty of different robot toys out there so we’ve narrowed things down to key areas like the age of your kids, and what you want them to gain from the robot. Of course, they’re all great fun to play with but a few of these toys will also teach your kids useful skills such as programming concepts—if you’re looking for even more options to encourage an interesting in coding and science check out our favorite coding kits for kids and coding toys. As for robots, here’s our pick of the bunch.
Best For Toddlers: Dimple Wireless Remote Control Robot Puppy ($45)
There’s barely an age that’s too young for robot toys these days. That’s thanks to cute robotic toys like Dimple the Wireless Remote Control Robot Puppy. The pooch offers multiple different play modes, with the ability to sing, dance, crawl, stand, and speak. He can teach your kids the alphabet, as well as play familiar songs to teach them key concepts. As you’d expect, he’s super cute looking too.
Dimple charges via USB and his remote works from up to 6.5 feet away, so he’s simple to use yet technologically sound. Consider him a fine introduction to intelligent toys.BUY ON AMAZON
Best For Simple Programming: Makeblock Codey Rocky ($99)
The Makeblock Codey Rocky is a cute little robot that rides around on wheels. You can teach him basic actions like following a circuit, relaying a message on his LED screen, and even get him to say hello.
Where things get smarter is through his 10 programmable electronic sensors, including a gyroscope, so that programming potential is fairly varied. You can even attach building blocks like LEGO pieces to him, to expand his look and style. There’s the option of hooking him up to IoT devices too.
This gets a little complicated though, so Codey Rocky’s greatest strength as a Christmas gift lies in the simple tasks you can teach him, and his durability. Your toddler can drop him without much issue, while your older child can teach him basic commands. Effectively, he can grow with your child’s knowledge. We looked at him in-depth earlier this year.BUY ON AMAZON
Best For Voice Activation: Wonder Workshop Dash ($120)
Wonder Workshop’s Dash is a lot like Codey Rocky but with a few neat extra features. Notably, Dash will listen to your child’s voice and respond accordingly. As well as that, kids can program it, giving them the opportunity to learn about loops, events, and conditions. Dash Challenge Cards are included which teach you and your child more about what everything means. Several games are built into Dash but you can code many more too.
The robot is used in various schools around the world, so you know it’s educational. For older kids, consider buying Cue, a similar but more advanced take on Dash with a slew of features that appeal to tweens and teens.BUY ON AMAZON
Best For Star Wars Fans: BB-8 Sphero ($100)
Who doesn’t love BB-8? The beloved Star Wars robot is cute and full of personality. The BB-8 Sphero captures some of that magic, and gives your kids a cute robot companion of their own.
The device has autonomous behavior so BB-8 will happily head out on patrol on his own, checking out what’s going on around your home. He’ll also happily watch Star Wars films with you, and react accordingly.
He’s smart too. You can use character specific commands to program him, learning a little about STEM subjects along the way. There’s the option of controlling him via your smartphone or a rather neat Force Band too, giving your kids plenty of control. He’s cute and plucky — just like the film version.BUY ON AMAZON
Best For The Cute Factor: UBTECH JIMU Unicornbot ($120)
Robots are often cute but, well, they look like robots. The UBTECH JIMU Unicornbot looks like a unicorn that was transformed Robocop style into a cyborg. Luckily, he looks far happier than Robocop. Kids need to build the robot themselves with 440 snap together pieces keeping them occupied for much of Christmas morning.
Once constructed, it’s possible to use the unicorn’s many sensors to program him to do many things. You can get his magical horn to change color on command, or you can teach him to wander around the room. It’s all done via Blockly coding so it’s pretty intuitive. Even if your kids don’t remember much from their programming lessons, who could resist the allure of a cute unicorn roaming around?BUY ON AMAZON
Best For Alexa Support: Anki Vector ($250)
You name it, there’s Alexa support. Admittedly, the Anki Vector doesn’t have Alexa support just yet, but it’s coming soon. Regardless, it’s a pretty powerful robot that’s keen to help out at every turn.
He’s voice-activated and answers questions as varied as what the weather is to converting measurement units for you. He’ll take photos, time dinner, and solve mathematical equations along the way. As well as that, Anki Vector can independently navigate, head back to base when he needs to charge up, as well as recognize people and dodge obstacles. You can’t program him like with the other robots, but he is a tiny glimpse into a future that could be awesome or could all go a bit Terminator-ish.BUY ON AMAZON
Best For Advanced Robotics: Sphero ($150)
If your child is a little older, they’ll be less fussed about how cute the robot is and more interested in what it can do. Sphero is a good solution here. It’s a robotic ball that can be programmed quite extensively. With an 8×8 LED matrix, you can animate it and display real-time data as you progress. There are also programmable sensors including infrared, compass, light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, and motor encoders. Impressively, it’s waterproof and durable too.
Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo has insisted that the country’s current president Muhammadu Buhari must be voted out when the West African nation goes to poll in 2019.
Obasanjo, who supported Buhari in 2015 against Goodluck Jonathan, said in a statement on Sunday that his former ally had done almost nothing to reposition the country.
Buhari rode into power in 2015 on the wings of populist promises of remodelling the economy, fighting biting insecurity, especially in northeast Nigeria and rein in the reign of corruption that has blighted the country for decades.
But critics like the former president said Buhari’s government has performed way below expectations.
In January, the former president accused Buhari of being nepotistic and said the president was lacking in the requisite capacity to make Nigeria better.
Obasanjo acknowledged his complicity in making a man who he said “is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy” the president. He said he thought that Buhari could make “use of good Nigerians in that area.”
“The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today,” Obasanjo said in a 13-page statement titled ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement’ at the beginning of the year.
He doubled down on those claims in the Sunday statement issued by his media aide Kehinde Akinyemi.
Akinyemi said his principal believes that “only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious.”
That Sunday statement came after a News Agency of Nigeria’s report said Obasanjo had chosen to be a neutral participant as Africa’s most populous nation prepares for general elections.
The report noted that Obasanjo had shifted “gear to neutral, from outright partisanship and endorsement of the opposition candidate.”
“It is disingenuous, if not malicious, for anyone to suggest that Chief Obasanjo was being neutral when he chose not to use the Owu Convention as a platform for political campaign but instead adopt a communal and familial approach in talking to members of his Owu family,” Akinyemi said.
“For the records, and as accurately reported by some media organisations, what the former president said at the convention in Iwo was that while he would not impress any candidates on them, Nigerians should vote for credible candidates who will drive growth and development and make their lives better than it is now.”
“You mean Jakande is living here in Ilupeju? I can’t believe it. I thought he lives in Lekki or Ikoyi,” said a commercial motorcyclist who took this reporter from Anthony Bus Stop to the Ilupeju residence of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, the first civilian governor of Lagos State.
Jakande, now 88, was born on July 29, 1929 and served as the first governor of Lagos between October 1979 and December 1983 when he religiously implemented the four cardinal programmes of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN.
Alhaji Lateef Jakande, popularly known as LKJ, is one of the last men standing among the group of eminent Nigerians who served their respective states as first civilian governors. He was Lagos governor for four years and three months, having been re-elected for a second term in 1983, only for the tenure to be truncated by a military coup.
Thirty-four years after, his legacies pervade the entire length and breadth of Lagos State. Many market men and women, artisans, traders, Danfo drivers, Okada riders and many business men in Lagos might not have met him before but his name resonates often among them.
But has the state accorded Jakande the honour and respect he deserves today? This is the poser analysts and commentators have ceaselessly pondered on.
Jakande’s record has not been surpassed by any governor, be it military or civilian, that served afterwards.
Despite bestriding the state’s political sphere like a colossus, Baba Kekere, as he is fondly called (a reference to Awolowo Junior), is living a decent and modest life, enjoying the later part of his life in his one-storey building at Ilupeju.
Unlike many politicians who amassed stupendous wealth and resources after serving in any capacity and acquiring mansions and flashy cars, LKJ continues to live a modest life in retirement as a politician and one of the most successful media managers the country has ever produced, having started as a journalist, rising through the ranks to become the Editor- in- Chief of Tribune newspapers, and then a newspaper publisher.
His Number 2 Bishop Street, Ilupeju residence is devoid of the paraphernalia expected in a former governor’s residence, especially one of such status.
Except a few people who visit him to solicit for assistance in securing jobs, the former governor’s residence cannot be described as a beehive of activities to where people, especially politicians, throng. Politicians do not flock there because he no longer influences political decisions in the state.
Deji, one of his sons who was in the House of Representatives, was defeated in the APC primaries in December 2014. During a visit by this reporter, efforts to have a conversation with the octogenarian could not yield much result, as he could hardly speak for a long time.
He, however, said he was delighted that Lagos had developed tremendously and that he had no regret serving as governor of the state.
According to him, he is fulfilled that he was able to provide mass houses for Lagosians and implemented free education.
While former governors who served from 1999 to 2011 had access to substantial resources from the pension and retirement benefits allocated themselves, those who served prior to 1999 when Nigeria returned to civil rule were exempted from pension.
This is where many analysts faulted the present crop of politicians for not adequately taking care of those who laid the foundation for them.
Rights activist, Mr Yinka Odumakin, argues that Jakande would not even accept the kind of pension and retirement benefits which the governors allocated to themselves.
“What they are allocating to themselves is immoral, criminal and I don’t think people like Jakande can take that. What they are doing is criminal. They (former governors) should be given their due, they should be supported in their old age in decent ways but not with these criminal retirement benefits and packages that governors have allocated to themselves,” he said.
Many people believe that Lagos State has not done well to appreciate a man who gave his all in the service of the state, who professed a philosophy of service above self and accomplished projects and programmes that directly touch the lives of the people till today.
Governor Akinwumi Ambode acknowledged this during Jakande’s 87th birthday celebration where he was represented by his deputy, Dr (Mrs) Idiat Adebule.
“Alhaji Jakande is truly a progressive politician and administrator par excellence. We cannot forget his memorable years of selfless service to the people of Lagos State. He is a selfless leader who has set the precedent for us to follow and we shall not relent until we have surpassed his achievements in providing good governance in the state,” Ambode said in 2015.
Odumakin further said, “He (Jakande) remains a reference point of governance in Lagos State. He recorded unparalleled achievements. Nobody has met his standard. He faithfully implemented the four cardinal programmes of the UPN in his four years in terms of education, health, housing and the rest of them,” he said.
Barr. Monday Ubani, the second Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said, “The man did almost everything, almost every aspect of infrastructural development was touched. He touched the housing sector, you know the Jakande Estates all over the place. He touched roads. There is no aspect of governance that that man did not touch. In fact, he is one of the best. The only person that is trying now is Ambode and if Ambode continues the way he is going now, he may likely meet the record but he may not surpass it,” he said.
“The man has a name. He and Samuel Mbakwe of the old Imo State and Abubakar Rimi of Kano State, these were the old governors of the 80s and I think we should be able to recognize them and give them a prominent place in our national life but that has not been done,” he added.
One area where Jakande endeared himself to the hearts of every Lagosian was in the implementation of mass housing projects across the state, the same way he built schools and put in place many iconic projects that have become permanent features of Lagos today.
His low-cost houses are in Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Amuwo-Odofin, Anikantamo, Surulere, Iba, Ikorodu, Badagry, Isheri/Olowu, Orisigun.
The houses were allocated to workers in a way that was quite easy and convenient for them to pay.
Lateef Jakande’s government built the current Lagos State Secretariat which houses all the state ministries as well as the popular Round House which was occupied by subsequent governors. Other monuments he embarked upon were the House of Assembly complex, State Television, Lagos Radio and Lagos State University.
He also established the General Hospital in all zones in the state, a Teacher Training College and a College of Education, the Water Management Board and Waste Disposal Board.
Also notable among his achievements were construction of numerous water works which ensures availability of potable water.
Jakande was said to have modernized and expanded the Iju Water Works which was first commissioned in 1915. This increased its daily capacity from 159 million to 204 million litres of water per day.
His government constructed, rehabilitated and resurfaced the Epe/Ijebu-Ode Road, Oba Akran Avenue, Toyin Street, Town Planning Way, Alimosho-Idimu-Egbe Road, Idimu-Iba-LASU Road and the new secretariat road, among others.
In the area of education, Jakande’s government raised primary schools in Lagos State to 812 with 533,001 pupils (against 605 primary schools with 434,545 pupils he met in 1979) and secondary schools to 223 with 167,629 students (against 105 schools with 107,835 students in 1979). His government constructed 11, 729 classrooms with a maximum of 40 children per class between March and August 1980, by 1983, he had constructed over 22,000 classrooms.
In July 1983, two commercial passenger boats named “Baba Kekere” and “Itafaji” to run the Mile 2 – Marina (CMS) route via the lagoon were inaugurated by his government to mark the official launch of the Lagos State Ferry Services. He established the Small Scale Industries Credit Scheme which preceded the EKO Bank as well as LASACO Assurance Company.
IT IS ONE of the most strikingly political lines from “Black Panther,” and it’s not even uttered during the film itself.
In the movie’s first mid-credits scene, we see the Black Panther/King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) speaking at a lectern as he announces a massive policy shift by his long-hidden African nation. Wakanda, the most technologically advanced place on the planet, will share some of its ideas and resources with the rest of the world.
In doing so, T’Challa quotes a version of an actual African proverb that says that “the wise build bridges” while “the foolish” build walls. (Some variations on that proverb say “dams” instead of “barriers” or “walls.”)
Gasps and laughter can often be heard in the theater when the Black Panther says that line, because it rings as a direct rebuke of President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
It resonates, in other words, as one of the most overtly political lines, in terms of real-world relevance, ever said in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Wise men build bridges, foolish men build barriers.” — T’Challa #blackpanther
In interviews, writer-director Ryan Coogler has said that the line was included without Trump’s wall in mind and that he was moved to include it after his wife brought the proverb to his attention. The filmmaker also notes that the Black Panther, as a ruler himself, has long been a political figure.
One real leader who appreciated the inclusion of that proverb is Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the civil-rights hero who documented some of his story in the acclaimed graphic-novel memoir “March” — and who will continue to chronicle his civil rights fight in the recently announced comic book “Run.”
Lewis tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs that he loved that line.
“It is better to build bridges than to build walls,” Lewis says. “Who are you trying to keep in and who are you trying to keep out?”
“We should be building bridges to the rest of the world.”
Lewis grew up on comics himself and was moved to follow a life of nonviolent protest after reading a ’50s comic book about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and “the Montgomery Story.”
Lewis marched on Selma in 1965, the year before the Black Panther made his debut in Marvel Comics. (The Southern protest leader had marched for years before the launch of the Black Panther Party, as well.)
In the new film, Lewis sees much to admire and inspire.
“Black Panther” fans reacted to that line on social media favourably but how did you ?
The Nigerian Army has said that it has discovered that Boko Haram terrorists have started using drones and foreign fighters. The Army in a statement by Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman on Wednesday said ‘we have noticed daring moves by the terrorists, increased use of drones against our defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks.
These potent threats require us to continually review our operations. Isreali Aerolight The Army also expressed gratitude to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for visiting the troops including some of the wounded officers and soldiers in the hospitals saying ‘we thank His Excellency the Executive Governor and good people of Borno State who have taken the brunt of the nefarious activities of the Boko Haram terrorists. Our gratitude also goes to the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs, who have all shown concern and visited the troops. The Nigerian Army also thanks all patriotic and concerned Nigerians who have sent in messages of goodwill and support for the Nigerian Army.
’ Read full statement below In continuation with our resolve to keep Nigerians well informed of the activities of the Nigerian Army, I will be briefing you on the recent happenings in the North East of Nigeria. In the recent weeks, Nigerian troops deployed in the North East of Nigeria under Operation LAFIYA DOLE have come under series of attacks by large numbers of Boko Haram Terrorists. Photos: Buhari in Maiduguri Specifically, the Nigerian Army troops deployed at KUKAWA, NGOSHE, KARETO and GAJIRAM came under attack at different times within a 2 week period from 2 – 17th November 2018. Each of these incidents were successfully repelled and several members of the terrorists were killed. However, a total of 16 personnel were killed in the course of these attacks while 12 soldiers were wounded in action and are receiving treatment at our military medical facilities.
As you are all aware, Nigeria is contributing troops to the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which has its headquarters in N’djamena, in the Republic of Chad. One of the Nigerian battalions (157 TF Bn), deployed under the auspices of the MNJTF was attacked at their Base on the outskirts of a town called METELE on 18th November 2018. During the attack, the troops were forced to withdraw and several casualties were recorded. As at date 23 personnel were killed in action and 31 personnel were wounded in action and have been evacuated to several medical hospitals within Borno State. The Nigerian Army commiserates with the MNJTF at this difficult time and wishes to state that all necessary support will be rendered to the MNJTF to reverse this resurgence of the Boko Haram Terrorists. The Nigerian Army wishes to further commiserate with the families of the gallant officers and soldiers that paid the supreme price in the course of defending their fatherland. The sacrifices of these fallen heroes will not be in vain.
We also wish all those wounded in action speedy recovery and assure them of our continued support and care. The incident of 18th November 2018, happened at a time when the Nigerian Army was planning to hold the Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference for 2018 in Benin City, Edo State. On account of this incident, the Conference had to be moved from Benin City to Maiduguri to enable the Nigerian Army leadership get closer to the troops on the ground and to better appraise our activities, assess our performance and identify our shortcomings as an Army. We are also sensitive to the fact that the nation is approaching an election year and thus we must be prepared to assist in providing security for the peaceful conduct of elections.
Accordingly, the theme for this year’s annual conference is aptly titled, “Optimizing the Operational Efficiency of the Nigerian Army Towards Safeguarding Democracy and National Security in Nigeria”. Let me at this juncture assure all Nigerians and indeed the international community that the NA will work optimally, in conjunction with other security agencies to provide a secure environment for peace and unity in Nigeria. Since 2015, the Nigerian Army in conjunction with sister services and other security agencies have systematically degraded the capabilities and capacity of Boko Haram terrorists and many successes were achieved. However, in the last 2 – 3 months, we have noticed daring moves by the terrorists, increased use of drones against our defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks. These potent threats require us to continually review our operations. At this point permit me to implore all of us to spare a thought for the brave men and women of the Nigerian Army who paid the supreme price for the security of Nigeria. The Nigerian Army will continue to support the families of these brave officers and soldiers and pray that their souls rest in perfect peace. Let us also not forget the men, women and children who have been killed or affected by the atrocities of the terrorists.
It is for their sake that this war against terror must be won. The Nigerian Army wishes to express its gratitude to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) who has visited the troops including some of the wounded officers and soldiers in the hospitals. We also thank His Excellency the Executive Governor and good people of Borno State who have taken the brunt of the nefarious activities of the Boko Haram terrorists. Our gratitude also goes to the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs, who have all shown concern and visited the troops. The Nigerian Army also thanks all patriotic and concerned Nigerians who have sent in messages of goodwill and support for the Nigerian Army.
Finally, the Nigerian Army, wishes to reiterate and pledge its total commitment to the defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We wish to reassure all Nigerians of the commitment of the Nigerian Army to defend our country at all costs. We shall also continue to remain apolitical, professional and responsive in the discharge of our constitutional roles.
Amazon has pulled a sheep sex doll from its website after a mum accidentally bought it for her son’s nativity play. Helen Cox, 46, was mortified when she realised the real purpose of the animal prop after her son Alfie, five, returned home with the toy when teachers declined to use it. The mum-of-two had purchased the doll alongside a £16.99 fancy dress pack that came with a shepherd’s outfit for Alfie.
Alfie has become very attached to the sheep sex doll (Picture: SWNS) A snap from behind (Picture: SWNS) It was described as a ‘Labreeze kids boys brown shepherd costume inflatable sheep nativity fancy dress outfit’. The animal doll turned out to be a ‘stag night bonkin’ sheep’, according to Mrs Cox, from Alloa, Scotland. Amazon confirmed it had stop selling the product, adding in a statement: ‘All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action including potential removal of their account. ‘The product in question is no longer available.’ MORE: Teenager jailed for hoax bomb campaign that forced 400 schools to evacuate Little Alfie is very curious (Picture: SWNS) The sheep doll has a wide hole in its rear (Picture: SWNS) But that is unlikely to solve Mrs Cox’s current dilemma as Alfie has since grown attached to the sex doll.
Psychology student Ms Cox added: ‘He’s probably in his room right now stuffing Lego in the hole. ‘I just can’t believe it. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! How am I going to explain this to his teachers? ‘I have no idea if they’ve seen it was a sex toy and that’s why they sent it home – I’m mortified!’ MORE: Mum and ex jailed for 10 years after three-week-old son died from head injury Helen Cox with her son Alfie and the inflatable sheep (Picture: SWNS) The sex doll sheep is no longer on the Amazon website (Picture: Amazon)
The sheep also has red lipstick and eyelashes (Picture: SWNS) Mrs Cox has devised a plan to get the sheep that involves telling Alfie the ‘Elf of the Shelf’ took it. She has already had to lie to him the hole in the sheep’s behind is for ‘toilet paper’.
Eighty-nine-old-year Angelica Oyediran, granddaughter of Candido Da Rocha, talks about her career and life experience with BAYO AKINLOYE
Tell us about your parents and siblings.
I was born on December 1, 1927 to a simple parentage. My father was an architect at the Lagos City Council. His name was Christopher Akinsola Thomas. He was barely seven years old when he lost his father and few months later, he lost his mother. It was his father’s close friend, Papa Vaughn, who took him up. He had just married and had no children at all. He made my father his ‘first child.’ Later on, he had his own children – three boys and one girl. My father died 50 years ago on October 27, at the age of 71. Candido Da Rocha objected to my parents’ relationship. He wanted all his daughters to be taken to Brazil and marry Brazilians and none of them accepted that offer. My parents’ first child died as a baby. The second one Cyril Akin Thomas was educated at CMS Grammar School. He grew up to become an architect like my father. Unfortunately, he died suddenly at the age of 41. Before his death, he married and had children. My third brother, Ademola Thomas, was a building engineer. He studied in England and during Shehu Shagari’s administration in the second republic, he was made a minister. He died about four years ago, at the age of 86. I was given birth to after him.
Was there anything that stood you out among your siblings?
I was the only child born by my mother unaided. My mother was alone in the house. My father had gone out to play lawn tennis at the Yoruba Tennis Club. My brothers were with my grandfather at Water House to spend some time with him. My mother was cooking when she discovered that she was feeling funny in the kitchen. She felt that the baby in her womb was about to arrive. She hurried up and arranged the food on the dining table. She went into her room to lie on the bed. The baby (myself) arrived shortly after that. Nobody helped her. It was a divine delivery. I was born strong and healthy. She told me that among her children, I was the only one who did not have convulsion and malaria.
Tell us about your education and occupation.
I attended Methodist Girls High School, kindergarten and primary; later I went to CMS Grammar School. I also attended Baptist Academy. I was part of the first HSC class at Queen’s College, Lagos. Unfortunately, I failed school certificate examination. In those days, if you failed English, you had failed everything. I did not answer the essay well and for that reason, I failed. But Dr. Whittaker was so fond of me that he asked me to repeat the examination. I repeated it and failed again. The second year I was to sit for the examination again at QC, there was Prof. Oladele Ajose, he was a son of one of the former Oba of Lagos – Ologun Kutere Ajose – and they came from Epe, Ibeshe. He married a British wife. He and his wife started the Nigeria branch of British Red Cross. She came to QC to recruit members for the organisation. Some of us showed interest. After some discussion and registration, the lady called me and said she was impressed by my contributions during the meeting. She was surprised to learn that I failed English judging by my English. Despite the failure, she recruited me to join the Red Cross. They sent me to England in 1951 to study some administrative roles. Upon my return to Nigeria, I was sent to the mid-west, eastern and northern Nigeria. I was employed and worked for the Red Cross for about 15 years before I got married.
How did you meet your husband?
I was married to an elderly person. We got married five years after he lost his wife. He was made the first liaison officer in Washington DC, US. We got married there. He was later redeployed to Sierra Leone to become the first Nigerian High Commissioner to that country. While we were in Sierra Leone, I became the head of diplomats’ wives and with my experience in social activities, I supported my husband to succeed in his duty.
Last year in April, when the Queen of England (Queen Elizabeth II) clocked 90, I wrote to her reminding her that while we were in Sierra Leone, she came on an official visit. I was introduced to her with my husband at a lunch, a dinner and also at the ballroom. My husband danced with the Queen and Prince Philip danced with me. She replied my letter and sent me a thank-you card.
What did you do after you left the Red Cross?
Following my husband’s death, the Nigerian government under (Gen. Yakubu) Gowon invited me to work for them. Before then, I had worked for the Christian Council – as a liaison officer (between Nigeria and foreign governments) during the civil war. I was the chairman of the advisory committee to the government on relief and rehabilitation who got aids from the British government. I was the one going to the war zones to bring people from the Biafra line liberated by the Federal Government’s troops to offer them assistance including relief materials.
The end of the war met me in Asaba, Delta State and I took aids from organisations like the United Nations Refugee, USAID, German Caritas and the Roman Caritas. The aids were under my control. I was responsible for over 5,000 children taken from the Biafra side to Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon. I went to the two countries to negotiate the repatriation of the kids to Nigeria. All of them were reunited with either their parents or guardians. Sometimes, I was in some villages in the East but God protected me during the period.
What was your most frightening moment during the war?
There were occasions that I would be outside with my Land Rover in a village while rapid exchanges of gunfire were going on. There was a crucial moment when Alao – the head of the Air Force – and I travelled on the same plane, DC6. There was no fastening of seat-belt. We were sitting over boxes of ammunition and the Biafra soldiers knew that Alao was on that plane. They tried to shoot it down but he flew the plane as high as he could. We arrived at our destination – Port Harcourt – safely on that day. At the next trip, I was not on the plane with him. His plane was shot at and he was killed. God saved my life on many of such trips.
There was an occasion when Archdeacon Kale and the late Steve Rhodes’ sister, Gloria Rose, were on an expedition with me. They said they wanted to assist me take care of the war-stricken people and we were in Calabar sector that was liberated. On morning at 6am, we were to go to the airfield to board a helicopter. I am a psychic person; I get spiritual messages. That morning, as we were having a cup of coffee, something told me: ‘You’re not going on this trip. If you go, it will be disastrous.’ I told the others that we were not going on the trip. They felt disappointed that they had come all the way from Lagos to be part of the trip. They also thought I was being funny when I told them about the warning I received. The helicopter flew past and it never returned – it crash-landed. Its pilot suffered life-threatening damages that he had to be flown to Canada. If I had gone with him (I might have died) but God wanted me to be 90 and even more.
What other touching experience would you like to share?
During the civil war, there was large-scale starvation – not only on the Biafra side but also on the Federal Government’s side. There was a child I adopted from the civil war brought to Lagos by the late Benjamin Adekunle (Black Scorpion). I was in a hospital to operate my left eye. While the Federal Government’s troops were attacking the Biafra side, his mother and father were killed and the boy was blinded in the attack. Nobody knew any other relative of the child. I adopted the child and enrolled him in a school for the blind, from there to King’s College boarding house and later, to the University of Jos. He became a lawyer, got married and has children who are progressing in life.
How are you related to the man said to be the first Nigerian millionaire, Candido Da Rocha?
My mother was the third daughter of my grandfather, Papa Candido Da Rocha. I am the second granddaughter of Da Rocha of Casa d’Agua – Water House. My grandfather’s father was Esan from Idifi, Ilesa (in Osun State). During Queen Victoria’s era when the British colonised Nigeria, years after they had founded it, Queen Victoria sent a representative to govern Nigeria. During that era, the British announced their programme of education for Nigerian children and appealed to parents in the country to bring their children to Lagos to study. My great-grandfather was one of the children brought from Ilesa to school in Lagos and history has it that during that period, children were brought to Lagos and sent to classes to be educated. Some of them were kidnapped either on their way to class or while returning home from school by Ijebu traders and sold as slaves to Portuguese sailors – who were capturing people on the West Coast of Africa in those days.
Esan was one of those abducted. Quite a few of the children abducted died on the way – from Lagos to Badagry. But God preserved my great-grandfather’s life. He arrived in Badagry some months later with others captured. Fortunately for him again, on arriving Brazil, Bahia, Salvador, he was employed by a merchant who dealt in textiles. There, he was given the name, Da Rocha. But he was quite uncomfortable to be living in captivity in a strange country. He was not alone; there were many people like him, abducted in Nigeria and sold into slavery in Brazil. But as they grew up in that country, they formed a group and hired a place which they made their secretariat. Following that, they made a strong approach to the then governor of Brazil demanding their freedom.
Were they granted the freedom they requested?
Eventually, they succeeded and finally returned to Nigeria, arriving in Lagos. It took them 13 months to get back home from Brazil. On arrival, Esan Da Rocha was one of the few returnees that approached the then Queen Victoria’s representative in Lagos requesting a place for their resettlement in their country and they were apportioned the area between the Central Bank of Nigeria on Broad Street up to Kam Salem, at Obalende.
The Water House was built by Esan Da Rocha on the land apportioned to him. He had two portions of land because he came back with his wife of Nigerian origin and four children – two males and two females. He was also given a portion of land at Tinubu Street.
When Esan built the house, he built it as a replica of the house he lived in Brazil. That is why there are Brazilian architectural designs in the building.
Where I stay now was not built by Esan and Candido did not live on this portion of the land. Candido died in 1959. His properties were shared by his surviving children – Alexander, Louisa Ebun Turton, Angelica Folashade Thomas (my mother), and Candida Adenike Afodu. But my mother inherited this portion and extended the building on it. When Esan first built the house, about 152 years ago, there wasn’t proper way of dispensing water for drinking and other use in Lagos. He had a big well and named the house, Water House – Casa d’Agua in Brazilian language. He sold some of the water and gave out some free.
After his demise, he willed this house to Candido and Josephina, the youngest daughter. The Number 4 Tinubu house Esan willed to Candido’s immediate younger brother, Dr. Moses Da Rocha – he was trained in Scotland in medicine. He was a journalist too. He and Aunty Joana lived there until they died – they died intestate and their property rolled on to Candido and Josephina. But, at one stage, Josephina and Candido decided to have the property re-assigned. So, Josephina had another property bought for her and Candido retained this house as his own property inherited from Esan.
Have you been to Brazil to see where your great-grandfather lived as a slave?
Yes. I was in Brazil in 1983 and I visited the house my great-grandfather lived at Tororo, in Salvador. I also visited Bahia and saw the secretariat used by my great-grandfather and other Nigerians. In that secretariat, there was a voluminous diary they recorded when they were abducted in Nigeria, their arrival in Brazil, the masters they served and so on. My great-grandfather also had some children with his Red Indian wife, who stayed back in Brazil. Esan died at the age of 88 and was buried at Ikoyi Cemetery. He was popular in Nigeria and was one of the foremost financiers. He traded by barter in textile, kola nut, alligator pepper, bitter kola, and so on. He had a small shop on the ground floor where he sold bags, gold dust, and textiles of different types.
How rich was your grandfather, Da Rocha?
Candido Da Rocha was quite close to the British and the western world then. He was highly respected and highly disciplined. He didn’t like dishonesty and lying. I stayed with him in this house for about three years when my mother moved in here to look after him. I was very close to him. He loved me and I was very fond of him. I learnt a lot from him. During the Second World War, Da Rocha offered one of his properties, Bonanza Hotel, to the British government to protect some Nigerian students at King’s College, who were initially in a boarding house at Race Course.
The school was run there until the war was over. Among his close friends was Herbert Macaulay. Da Rocha refused to be a politician. When he was nominated to contest an election and people approached him requesting money to support his electioneering, he said, ‘If you want Da Rocha you vote for him, and if you want Da Rocha’s money don’t vote for me.’ Twice, when Macaulay was arrested by the British colonial government for speaking out against them, Da Rocha paid (a fine) on his behalf to prevent Macaulay from going to jail and warned that he would not come to his rescue the third time. Da Rocha was a staunch catholic. He respected God. He was very rich – he was a millionaire in those days and very generous. The elite in those days sent their dirty clothes to Britain for laundry. The Da Rochas, Johnsons, Dohertys and the Olowus, were foremost wealthy people. They didn’t wash their clothes in Nigeria. They sent them abroad for laundry. Some of them had about five dozens shirts, five dozens vests, five dozens pants, and everything they could afford.
According to our records this month, your registration for our GuaranteedTrust Customer Digest monthly bulletin has been processed and this comes with a monthly charge of N11,450:00.
As your opinion is important to us, we would like you to confirm your registration
If you wish to reject the registration request, follow the cancel reference below
NOTE: If you do not respond within 12 hours of this notice, you would receive a successful debit alert on your account confirming your registration.
You would have to confirm you are an active account holder with us by following the procedures from your GTBank Internet banking account.
Thank you for choosing Guaranty Trust Bank plc
“Your Internet Banking user ID and password, ATM card number and PIN are confidential and should never be disclosed to anyone”.
Kindly log on to our website www.gtbank.com OR
Call GTConnect on 0700 GTConnect (0700 482666328), 01 448 0000, 0803 900 3900 or 0802 900 2900 for more information.
Our notification service sent this mail to you using a default setting and the information you supplied to us when your account was opened.
If you wish to Iimit the type of mails you receive or the email address(es) in use, please send an email to us by clicking on the link below:
Send a Mail to Guaranty Trust Bank eLectronic Notification Service (GeNS)
Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer | Multilingual Disclaimer | Code of Commitment | Group Code of Business Conduct and Ethics |
Much has been made about Prince’s wild and passionate love affairs. It’s long been rumored that the song “Scandalous Love Suite” included sounds of the artist and actress Kim Basinger getting to know each other in the studio. But not all of Prince’s relationships were smooth sailing, at least according to a lawsuit filed by his former girlfriend of two years, Charlene Friend. In court documents obtained by the Daily Mail, Friend alleged that Prince “would have bizarre sex parties where he had different theme rooms. He kept people in rooms at his homes and would have different acts in each room. He had cages, chains, whips in these rooms. Sometimes he would watch and sometimes he would participate.”
Friend also alleged in the lawsuit that Prince “ran hot and cold, treating me nicely, then being cruel. He would kick me out of bed, ordering me to sleep elsewhere. I would want to leave but he would prevent me. He said I belonged to him. He also demanded that I be on call for him…Prince threatened to have me killed after we broke up, saying no one else could have me.”
Prince denied Friend’s allegations, which originally came to light during a property dispute following the couple’s breakup, reported the New York Post
JAY Z THE MKAN WHO CALLS HIMSELF JAYHOVA !
He may have stabbed someone over a C-list rapper
In 1999, Jay Z reportedly stabbed music producer Lance “Un” Rivera at a record release party. For the longest time, it was rumored the altercation was over Un alleged leaking Jay Z’s album Vol. 3: The Life and Times of S. Carter. However, many feel the violence truly stemmed from Jay Z’s feelings for rapper Charli Baltimore, the Notorious B.I.G.’s ex-girlfriend.
Fellow rapper Cam’ron recently supported the latter theory in an interview with DJ Whoo Kid. “This was all over Charli Baltimore,” Cam’ron said. “I’m not going to get into the details of what happened and why..Jay liked Charli at one time…Un and Jay s**t: they can say a song leaked or whatever but it was over Charli Baltimore.”