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Archive for June, 2016

Movie Review: The Nice Guys Finish First!

 

 

When I hear the name Shane Black, first thing that comes to mind is Iron Man 3. Only reason(s) I liked that movie were 1) Another chance to see Downey Jr. do his thing, and 2) Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin.

 

Utter fan boy moment.

 

But then, the boy Shane has quite the resume – if you’ve been watching movies long before Hugh Jackman became an X Man, that is. Appearing in his first acting role in 1986 film Night Creeps (like there’s such a thing as Morning Freaks) and writing Lethal Weapon I & II, Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero & The Long Kiss Goodnight (I would have said the boy has a thing for Ls if not for his several other works including directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) among others.

 

But if I’m mad at Shane for IM3, I’m too willing to forgive him after this great movie.

 

 

the-nice-guys-russell-crowe-ryan-gosling-wb

 

 

I love Ryan Gosling. He’s an amazing actor with great range, he’s incredibly good looking and he dresses sharp. He’s like the modern day Paul Newman; never with a hair out of place. Watching him and Clooney in The Ides of March I was hard put to choose who was better eye candy.

 

Russell Crowe is another of my special guys – range; but I prefer the growling and scowling Crowe (leave Gladiator watch LA Confidential to get my point). Personal choice. I love dude.

 

Now, imagine these two guys in a movie. And not just any movie; a movie with enough twists and turns and naked women to rival a Chase novel.

 

Movie opens with a kid (Ty Simpkins; great kid) sneaking in his sleeping parents’ room and pulling a girlie mag from underneath the bed. Pay real close attention here and for the rest of the movie.

 

He opens the mag and stares at a naked girl with great breasts; she’s a porn star called Misty Mountains. Suddenly, through the window behind the kid we see a car careen off the highway and through the living room and down into the valley.

 

We follow Ty as he goes to investigate the crash – and a close up affords us the ID of the driver; Misty M, same girl kid was just looking at. The dying star, naked as she was for the most part of her life is lying on her back on a rock. She notices him, smiles through a bloodied mouth and asks; ‘how do you like my car?’ and then she coughs and dies. The boy is staring – but then, sirens start blaring and he takes off his pajama top and covers the naked woman.

 

For some reason, I teared up at that point.

 

Set in 1977 (fucking attention to detail; try not to miss a billboard advertising Jaws 2, a movie released in 1978 I don old!), the movie follows two hapless private eyes Crowe (Jackson Healy) and Gosling (Holland March) as they try to find a girl named Amelia who interestingly initially hired Crowe to dissuade anyone following her including Gosling. And that’s how the two as-unalike-as-two-snowflakes detectives meet.

 

The movie offers an interesting plot (very similar to Chase’s novel A Whiff of Money), something as simple as a disappeared girl leading to corruption in really high places, at least as far as 1977 Detroit is concerned.

 

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Angourie Rice is a show-stealer here as Gosling’s March’s young daughter Holly. From the first time you meet her; she’s on her way into the house and bumps into Crowe who just beat up her father, you can’t help but love her. She looks Crowe in the eye and asks, “What do you do?” I really can’t remember his response but her next line is; “How much would you charge to beat up my friend Janet?” She stole my heart.

 

She’s reason enough to watch the movie over and over.

 

March is a drunk but she loves him – as evidenced when she sees Healy again and glares at him. “You beat up my dad!” she says accusingly and the self-conscious Healy mumbles a response. A family tragedy set March on a drinking and smoking bend; he’s all but given up on life. Kim Basinger, looking unusually clean here (I suspect she’s gone under the needle recently) comes in a I-love-Detroit to death US Department of Justice official who wants to hire the guys to do what they were going to do anyway; find her daughter. There’s a scene in which she has her checkbook out and she’s scribbling Ten Thousand Dollars to hire the guys. March blabs and says “This kind of job costs a lot…something like five thousand dollars.” The sharp woman quickly tears up the check and writes another one, this time with five thousand dollars.

 

Too mush talking at times is wahala.

 

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onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

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It’s the chemistry between the unlikely lead characters that load up the movie and make it so much fun. March is the mouth; charming as only Gosling can be, wearing the sharpest of 1977 suits and shirts, flirting with ladies and interrogating mermaids in in-house pools. Healy is the muscle; roughening up a reluctant hotel lobby attendant and saying; “We can do this the easy way – (grabs attendant’s tie and slams his head into the desk)…well, that was the easy way…”

 

Of course, you know the guy just has to blab after that.

 

The Nice Guys is a great movie; right balance of humor, action and emotion to just make your girl hold you a bit tighter afterwards.

 

And if you saw the movie with your guy…well.

 

Be Nice.


My First List of Ten

 

 

 

I am a simple man with simple tastes.

Quite simple. I know stuff – but my tastes remain simple.

For example; I know the difference between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon red wines; I can identify which is which by taste. Really.

I’m just saying.

However, I don’t want for much.

I don’t like lists; but I just thought I’d do one for the fun of it and maybe remind some people (sub/shade) that I too; am human.

So; in no particular order, here goes a list of ten of my favorite things:

 

tenten

 

Batman comics – especially those published between 1990 – 2001

A fresh Nas verse/album

Finding an original James Hadley Chase Novel

New books!

A movie featuring little-known actors that turns out to be surprisingly good

A tweet/message from Ogechi Nwobia/Nneka Oladimeji

Really cold crème liqueur

Discovering something new about an everyday thing, event, person

Cartoons; featuring superheroes – especially Batman

Conversations with people who matter about things that matter

Making a girl laugh – especially when we just met

 

 

Okay. I cheated. I wrote eleven.

When then? After then? Is it your list?!

 

Hehehehehehehe.

I would so like to read what your favorite things are!


Spotlight: Cupid Helps To Say No To Domestic Violence

 

It is with pleasure I share with you today an APP designed to save lives.

 

Really. My friends over at GEM MEDIA have put together the Cupid App, a revolutionary relationship APP which has something embedded in it, something designed to intervene in the sudden upsurge of domestic violence cases in our world today. Allow me share the press release though:

 

CUPID BANNER

 

 

CUPID APP – A REVOLUTIONARY RELATIONSHIP APP AND POTENTIAL LIFESAVER

 

In February 2016, Oyelowo Ayediran was reportedly stabbed to death by his wife, Yewande Ayediran, a lawyer, in Ibadan when she heard her husband had a son outside wedlock.

In May 2016, Ronke Bewaji Shonde, a woman in her mid-30s was allegedly beaten to death by her husband, Lekan. Ronke lived with her husband and 2 kids in Egbeda, Lagos state and that was where the violent episode reportedly occurred.

On May 26th, 2016, 46 year old Roselyn, a mother of five was found dead with her throat slit open in her Oshodi apartment. Information had it that her husband, Jafar had serially assaulted his wife and on countless occasions, accusing her of infidelity despite the fact that Roselyn had been the bread winner of the family for over ten years.

Although there’s insufficient data on the rate of domestic violence in Nigeria, recent figures from the Domestic and Health Survey showed that domestic violence cuts across all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. 28% of all women, almost a third of all women in Nigeria have experienced physical violence. In a country of 160 million with a female population of about 70 million, this puts at least 23 million women at risk! It should be noted that these are only reported cases.

A lot more go unreported.

The men too go through their share, and theirs hardly ever go reported because of ego issues and so on.

On children, the effects include poor concentration in school, aggression, disobedience, pessimism about the future, dropping out from school, depression, early marriages to escape the family home and much more. There is an increased risk of children becoming victims of abuse themselves and a strong likelihood that this will become a continuing cycle of violence for the next generation.

Also, marriage appears to be an endangered institution today. While there are insufficient figures here in Nigeria, 40% of marriages end within 15 years.The younger a person marries, the more likely it is that they will get divorced. Adults without full formal education and who have a low household income are more likely to be divorced as well. Christian couples are not exceptions either as they are just as likely to get divorced as their secular counterparts.

It is with these concerns in mind that gem MEDIA, through our non-profit arm – the gem INITIATIVE – recently launched the Cupid app to help couples stay connected and foster lasting relationships. The Cupid app is a one-of-its-kind mobile application that gives couples access to creative, poetic ready-to-send text messages that would help them express their innermost feelings easier.

It’s a proudly Nigerian app and the first of its kind as well because enables couples send creative pre-loaded messages not just in English, but in Pidgin English and various Nigerian languages.

One of the most valuable features of the Cupid app is a functionality called Abby’s Line. While the Cupid app looks like just any other relationship app, it’s also a potentially lifesaving domestic violence alert system in disguise because the Abby’s Line has a ‘Help’ button that gives users the ability to send free, pre-loaded text messages that alert the user’s chosen trusted contacts and local authorities about a violent or potentially violent situation with their abuser.

This was done to give some measure of privacy and protection to women who are by and large, the ones on the receiving end of domestic violence due to the stigma attached to the issue. However, anyone can use the Cupid App as a silent help at hand to quickly get out of trouble.

We are collaborating with the Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, and the Domestic Violence Response Team in respect of issues relating to domestic violence. In future, we hope to expand in order to handle cases of child abuse as well. We also need Non-Governmental Organizations in matters of domestic violence, churches, financial institutions and other relevant bodies to partner with us in ensuring that women are adequately protected from the ills of domestic abuse. More than ever before, there is an urgent need to participate in putting an end to cases of women subjected to violence in their homes and relationships without recourse.

Strong marriages and healthy relationships are associated with economic growth, reduced poverty, lower crime rates and an overall progressive society. With the Cupid App and Abby’s Line, we can ensure that relationships become stronger, see to it that fatalities are reduced and hopefully eradicated as we shine the light on domestic abuse and refuse to be silent bystanders; in line with one of our mission to contribute positively to a healthier society.

Thank you.

Bola Olawale

CEO

Gem MEDIA

 

Personally, I think this is a huge step in the right direction for Gem Media. I mean, intervention in this issue is so needed and I am confident that a tool like this will very well save more than one life.

 

So share with your friends, download the APP (Abby’s Line is free to use) and subscribe for the other functions too! Please, help this get as far as possible – who knows whose life you’ll save?

 


Of Tomatoes, Pretty Girls and Phil Collins

 

I have this almost-obsessive fascination with emotional pain.

I have spent a considerable part of my life studying and trying to understand this kind of pain. It fascinates me the way a moth is fascinated by bright lights. I seek to understand; get above – and if possible, use this pain.

Part of what I have gained in my study is love for Phil Collins.

The man simply has a deep understanding of the kind of pain I’m talking about up there. Take these lyrics from All of My Life, a song from his fourth album;

 

All of my life, there have been regrets
That I didn’t do all I could
Playing records upstairs, while he watched TV
I didn’t spend the time I should
And that’s a memory I will live with
All of my life

 

In forty-one words used in three to four sparse sentences, Phil paints a easy-to-relate-with picture of mistake, abandonment, regret and pain – and then a saxophone gives it the perfect bow-out.

 

Pain.

 

Just after the rain today, it dawned on me I was yet to eat. It’s been a while since I cooked anything and I wanted to see for myself what all the tomato fuss was about so I decided to walk to my neighborhood market. My car was in the shop anyways – so I had to walk even if I didn’t want to.

 

I left the house with nothing but my Nokia-something dual sim phone, earphones stuck in my ear and some money. I really didn’t feel much like company or conversation; in fact, I was leaving the house because I wanted to cook. I couldn’t wait to get back indoors.

 

I was listening to Phil Collins. Of course.

 

Within moments I was at my first stop; Iya Rukka’s stall which is at the corner of my street before you get into the road. If you’ve read Love Drops, you will remember Iya Rukka.

 

She was attending someone when I arrived; I just noticed she was talking with someone. I didn’t pay them any attention, caught up as I was in staring at piles of tomatoes that looked more like lumps of sugar than tomatoes. Iya Rukka noticed me and laughed. “Don’t be afraid uncle Seun,” she said. “Just tell me what you want.”

 

I jumped back; almost bumping into a tray of pepper as a speeding Okada nearly drenched me in muddy water from one of the many puddles that lined the street. I was going to yell at him. Soft laughter from my right forced me to swallow my ire.

 

I gave my order and looked away; trying not to lose touch with what I was listening to. For a moment I had disconnected from the music in my ear – but now I was back in tune. I started to sing along and dance a little jig in a bid to distract myself from the country’s bleakness personified by the price of tomatoes.

 

I was brought back to land by a soft enquiry; “Isn’t that Phil Collins?” right at my elbow.

 

It was a woman.

 

I really wasn’t in the mood for conversation. I wasn’t in the mood for anything but food – but I found myself torn between ignoring her and being polite; not much of a contest really.

 

Sigh.

 

I lowered my earphones and mumbled a low, “Yes” before turning to see who had spoke.

 

As I thought, it was a woman.

 

She was one of those girls who make you think of glass cups and Oriental ladies; those ladies that look like they are about to break. Finely made she was; rosy cheeks, fair upturned nose, clear eyes, soft eyebrows and lashes. I like female mouths and I spent quite a bit fixating on that before I realized the rest of her body was calling for my attention – and I reluctantly gave in.

 

There was too much of her to look at once in the short black dress so I just returned to what I was staring at before the interruption. Only then did I realize she had been speaking.

 

“I’m sorry. What?”

 

I’m not always keen to describe a woman as beautiful; fine girls are everywhere – but there’s no other way to describe this one. She is beautiful.

 

Knuckle-bitingly beautiful.

 

“I love Phil Collins – but only fresh after a breakup.” She started to say, inhaling softly. “He’s good for making those tears come – he helps me get over it quick.”

 

“I guess you breakup with someone every other day then, if you know enough of this song’s lyrics to know it’s a Phil song.”

 

Something happened to her eyes; something that made me think she thought I was trying to insult her. She looked at her wrist – at the leather-bound watch strapped there – and nodded to herself.

 

“I didn’t just breakup with anyone,” I said quickly, not wanting her to leave yet not knowing why. “I just like Phil. I identify with his lyrics a lot.”

 

“The sad ones, I bet. You look like someone obsessed with sadness.”

 

Which kain…

 

“What does someone obsessed with sadness look like?”

 

Without hesitation she replied, “You.”

 

I don enter one chance.

 

I became subdued, remembering my earlier non-desire for communication and wondering why I was spilling my guts like a ‘nice guy’ getting drunk for the first time. She looked at her wristwatch again and mumbled; “I really should be going” but made no move to leave.

 

And then, Iya Rukka, smiling that knowing smile married people have when they see a boy and girl doing boy-girl stuff handed me my parcel. “Nine hundred and twenty,” she said.

 

I handed her a distinctly-clean one thousand naira note and watched the girl as I waited for change. She was smiling and tapping her left thigh with her free left hand. In the right she was carrying a huge handbag, a black nylon bag and a phone. I kicked myself.

 

“My name is Ezinne, I just moved in that house,” she said and pointed to a bright green house; about the fourth from where we were standing. “Just ask for Ezi,” she said.

 

I shook her outstretched hand and turned away, acting like I didn’t see Iya Rukka’s wink. Wetin consaign am sef?

 


1004 or Trapped In The Toilet.

 

 

I’m in a toilet; in one of the one thousand and four flats in 1004 as I type this.

 

No; this is not some R. Kelly Trapped-In-The-Closet type shit. I am not hiding from some disgruntled husband or boyfriend.

 

I locked myself in here to avoid stories that touch.

 

What happened is this; my day started late because of a number of false starts (to whom it may concern, abeg catch your sub) but eventually I was able to put in approximately two hours of work. I was happy. Driving home on the Third Mainland and whistling along to Coldplay I was o, jejely when my phone started to ring.

 

It was 10:12pm. I know because I was just past the first LED screen billboard and I had checked the time.

 

Who could be calling? It was a number I didn’t know.

 

I sha picked the call and it was a woman sounding frantic. “Seun…Seun I’m in trouble. I need your help.”

 

Wahala.

 

Who could this be? I started to comb through my memories – but she helped. “It’s me Maureen – Shile’s girlfriend. He’s…Shile’s hurt. Please come quick.”

 

“Shile hurt ke? How?”

 

Apparently they had been having a domestic squabble and it had turned violent somehow. She hit him over the head with his dinner – a plate filled with freshly microwaved beans.

 

“Seun…he’s not moving. Oh God. What will I tell his mum…?”

 

My throat closed around my suddenly-relocated heart. I swallowed a yell; I realized it wasn’t going to help my friend.

 

The girl’s near-hysterics helped calm me.

 

“Calm down, woman!” I snapped. “Check. Is he bleeding?”

 

There was a moment of silence – and then; “A little…”

 

“Is he still breathing?”

 

“I don’t…I don’t…”

 

“Place your finger underneath his nose and check jo!”

 

Another moment of silence. And then –

 

“He’s alive! Seun…he’s – ”

 

“Make sure he’s comfortable. I’m on my way.”

 

I accelerated and headed to the Adekunle exit, did a one-way stunt and sped back towards the Island. In less than ten minutes I was banging on her door in 1004.

 

She opened the door and I pushed past her and into the living room. No Shile.

 

“Where is he?” I asked impatiently.

 

She pointed towards a short corridor that led into the bedroom and restroom area. I dashed down the corridor and stood between the doors. Quickly, she reached past me and opened the door on my right – it opened into a dark room.

 

“In there,” she said.

 

I took a step forward – and my nose started to itch.

 

Uh oh.

 

“Shile?” I called into the dark and still room. Nothing stirred in there, only the hum of the AC gave it a semblance of life. I hesitated.

 

“Turn the lights on, please,” I said over my shoulder, realizing she was standing behind me. I started to feel like a character in a Stephen King novel – aware at the same time of the sudden tension in that small space. But it dawned on me as I looked at her that I didn’t need to be scared.

 

I have been with too many women not to recognize the look in her eyes.

 

And then, her hand closed on my wrist and, sounding like Potiphar’s wife must have sounded when she tried to ‘coug’ Joseph; Maureen, my guy Shile’s girl said; “Come and lie with me.”

 

Pulling my wrist from her grip earned me scratches from her nails but I got free. I charged towards the living room, realizing she wasn’t running after me and when I got to the main door I knew why.

 

It was locked.

 

Come and see me playing ‘you cannot catch me’, ducking around tables and chairs. I knocked a flower vase off its perch and it hurt me to see it shatter into several pieces on the black-and-white-tiled floor. She nearly caught me then – but I staggered away and into the toilet.

 

Sharply, I locked myself in.

 

And so here I am o, stuck in a toilet far away from home. My one consolation is the toilet is clean and smells of crushed berries – or something just as fancy. I won’t choke to death if I stay in here.

 

She stopped banging on the door a while ago but I hear her pacing back and forth. I have been calling Shile since – network has chosen to show itself so I’m not getting through.
I’m sorely hungry – I forgot to eat all day. I want to ask if she actually cooked beans – but I refrain. I don’t even want to talk to her.

 

Fortunately I have a sachet of Pectol in my hip pocket. I pop one in my mouth and finish this tale with my other, freer hand. I intend to post it and then settle into a corner on the rubber mat before the bathtub, and make myself comfortable.

 

It’s going to be a long night.

 

 

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Spotlight: REZ – This REzolution Will Be Televised

 

“You’re nothing without Focus…”

That was the opening line of the second track of the self-titled debut of the lyrical titans Slaughterhouse. Said by Crooked I, that ‘focus’ line was a double entendre, on one hand giving props to Focus who produced the track – and saying literally; that we’re all nothing with focus.

 

Damn straight.

Meet REZ tha poet; that poet who’s set to set you on your backs as he stomps back!

 

Just playing.

 

Seriously though – if you’ve read This Ain’t Poetry and you recall Drums of War – he was the poet that guested on that piece. Pretty dope, huh?

Well, he’s here to share something that has been brewing for quite a bit behind the scenes – and finally the secret is out. The baby is born!

 

On I AM, lead single off the fresh album, REZ says:

 

I AM - REZthaPoet Cover art_Final

 

Release Note: I AM (Spokenword Poetry) – REZthaPoet

 

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On the back of recent performances in Paris and Cape Town, the renowned Nigerian Spokenword artiste/Poetographer REZthaPoet has just released a new Spokenword piece which is themed on identity and the celebration of heritage.

REZ’s poetry is distinctly Nigerian in topical exploration and in expression; yet, infused with elements of the traditional Yoruba ewi (poetry) that is very popular in West Africa, the South Americas (Brazil, Argentina etc.), the Caribbean Islands as well as everywhere else across the globe with roughly 65 million Yoruba speakers spread across. The Yoruba infusion to the English delivery is further spiced with doses of Pidgin in its delivery.

This distinct blend of Spokenword/Poetry is what REZ has consistently shared with diverse audiences across Nigeria and internationally, on platforms where he has been privileged to share his art alongside the best around the world in Spokenword, Poetry and Literature in general.

Having been on the road traveling a lot in the last 3 years, “I AM” is a spokenword expression that seeks to reinforce and encourage pride in one’s heritage and culture inspired by REZ’s experiences on the road. It also seeks to Introduce (or re-introduce) REZ in a different light to known audiences as well as to entirely new audiences.

 

“I AM” is off the EXPOSIT (Deluxe Edition) Album which is due for release in the coming weeks. Having released the EXPOSIT EP in November 2015 (you can listen here via Soundcloud or download here www.rezthapoet.com), the EXPOSIT LP (Deluxe Edition) is a full body of artistic expression which lovers of the arts, poetry and even music will enjoy.

 

As we prepare for the release of the full album in the next couple of weeks, enjoy this beautifully rendered Poetry and Spokenword piece along with the accompanying visuals (Lyric Video)

 

Salam/Selah/Ire o!

 

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Links

 

Watch Lyric Video: http://bit.ly/REZ_I_AM_Lyric_Video

 

Listen and Download Audio: http://bit.ly/audio_I_AM_byREZ or http://bit.ly/download_I_AM_byREZ

 

To check previous releases: www.rezthapoet.com

Meet REZ:

 

REZthaPoet - Performance @Spokenword Paris

 

 

REZthaPoet Afolabi (also known as Adebola Afolabi) is a Business Consultant, Process Implementation Consultant, Digital Technology enthusiast, Poet, Photographer and Spokenword Artiste, whose most preferred form of creative expressions are SpokenWord and Poetography (Poetry and Photography). He is well travelled, in course of which he has engaged a diverse client base across continents as well as shared his poetry with a diverse audience and across platforms.

He is well known in Nigeria, having read some of his poetry and performed spokenword at events for many notable weekly or monthly popular poetry events mainly around Lagos metropolis and in Abuja. The stages he has graced over the last 8 years include Freedomhall, Taruwa, Defunct GAP (in Abuja), ANA (in Abuja), Wordup, The Konscious Poetry lounge, Bespoke Poetry event, The Poetry Potter, The Anthill 2.0, Wordslam (Goethe Institute), W.A.P.I (British Council), Chill and Relax, Soul Nyt 2.0 and private Events and Occasions (Valentine events, weddings, birthdays, educational events for youths etc.).

 

More recently, he has consistently participated and performed at the Grounding Sessions (holding at different venues around Observatory area of Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa); he is also a participating Poet/Writer at the on-going Central Library Poetry Project, in Cape Town, South Africa. He also gave a guest Performance in Paris, at the Spokenword Paris event, in France to the delight of a diverse audience.

He was also a guest Poet on This Ain’t Poetry an anthology published by Seun Odukoya.

 

Some of his other poems have been published online on websites like http://www.outwardlink.net, others in Next-generation Magazine, as well as in the defunct Charlyboy bi-monthly magazine; he has also contributed content to several blogs and websites.

 

He is a graduate of Computer Science from the University of Ilorin. He is married with Children.

It is noteworthy to mention that he is presently recording his spoken-word poetry album together with a book for publishing, tentatively planned for release in the fourth quarter of 2016.

 

Contact

 

Website: http://www.rezthapoet.com

 

Email: Rezthapoet@gmail.com

 

Twitter: @Rezthapoet

 

Snapchat: @Rezthapoet

 

Facebook: Rezthapoet Afolabi

 

Instagram: Rezthapoet

 

Pinterest: Rezthapoet

 

Contact: +2348030448619;

 

+2349022656800