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Mariam Mohammed Publishing in Nigeria needs to be more vibrant and diversified

ater plays a very important role in the body, but in this edition, we are focusing on the beauty benefits of taking water immediately you wake up. We’ll also be talking about a reoccurring issue that most people take lightly-headaches. We’ll be telling you why headaches are not to be taken for granted, and much more. On the cover for this week, we have Mariam Mohammed, the publisher of the prestigious Maktoub Magazine. In her interview she talks about the state of publishing in Nigeria and what the future holds, how she excels in her career and her journey thus far. Flip through the pages for more. – Amina Alhassan


Have a taste of Rivers with Odufulo soup by HAFSAH ABUBAKAR MATAZU


ivers is blessed as a coastal state with all types of fish and seafood which is why their native soup, OduFulo, is full of flavour from prawns, oysters, snails, you name it. Follow the step by step recipe to make this mouth-watering soup for everyone to enjoy. Ingredients 2 medium sized fresh tilapia 2 cups of shelled periwinkle 4 medium sized crabs 2 cups of ngolo (clams) 1½ cups of oyster 4 large sized snails 12 large fresh prawns 6 fresh peppers 2 tablespoon of crayfish (ground) 3 medium sized cocoyam Seasoning cubes I cooking spoon of palm oil 2 litres of water Salt to taste Directions Clean the fish and cut into large pieces and season, then set aside. Wash the snails, then season and steam for about 10 minutes.

Clean and prepare the crabs, clams, prawns and periwinkle and steam all together with the fish. Wash and peel the cocoyam and boil until soft, then pound until smooth before returning it to the pot of starchy water. Add all the steamed seafood, apart from the fish; then stir gently with the palm oil before adding the stock. Add the snails and pepper, followed lastly by the fish. Add salt to taste before removing from fire. Serve with pounded yam or any starchy swallow of choice.

Wedding Lifestyle Magazine launched in Abuja by CHIDIMMA C. OKEKE


ce wedding photographer, George Okoro, has launched a wedding and lifestyle magazine dedicated to bringing couples and wedding specialists together. The ‘George Okoro Wedding Lifestyle’ magazine is the first-ever definitive resource for couples and wedding planners looking for inspiration and guidance to execute world-class weddings and honeymoons in Nigeria. The magazine is a 82-page, full-colour glossy guide to venues, cake and floral specialists. It also offers dozens of recommendations for bridal party gift ideas, social media strategies and a handy timeline to make sure wedding planning stays on track. Speaking at the official launch in Abuja, the publisher, Mr. George Okoro, said the magazine not only celebrates marriage and foster healthy relationships, it also celebrates the wedding industry in Nigeria. “The magazine is like a platform for all the talented vendors that we have in the industry to showcase their work and at the same time, it is an avenue for me to put my work in print and tell beautiful stories alongside the pictures in a way that has never been done before in Nigeria.


Jidenna shows support for victims of Benue flood The Nigerian-American artist Jidenna is amongst the celebrities who have shown support to the victims of flooding in Benue state similar to the happenings in Houston, USA and Sierre Leone. The Classic Man singer has urged people to acknowledge the happenings in the sta6te and contribute to assisting the victims. He went on his Instagram to say, “While both Freetown and Houston have been enduring, more than 100,000 people have been displaced by flooding in Benue State, Nigeria. Benue is next to the state where I grew up so this really hits home.We need more prayer and more action. #PrayforBenue.” He has joined hands with many other celebrities using his voice to provide relief and aid materials to those hit by the disaster.

Yul Edochie wins primaries in Anambra Nollywood movie star Yul Edocie popularly known for his roles in movies such as Palace Maid, Royal Maid and Sarafina has won the gubernatorial primaries in Anambra state. The actor will be contesting under the Democratic People’s Congress (DPC). He shared his plans for changing and further improving the lives of people under his leadership saying that, ‘we need a new brand of leaders who will put the masses first. The older ones have failed us for too long,” as seen on his social media pages.




‘Publishing in Nigeria needs to be more vibrant and diversified’



ariam Mohammed is the publisher of Maktoub Magazine,a lifestyle and business magazine based in Abuja. She is one busy lady who gets so immersed in and passionate with her work that you can hardly get hold of her until the project is a hundred per cent done. She has earned her stripes as one of Nigeria’s youngest and most dynamic publishers and public relations (PR) executives. She has interviewed many high profile personalities in Nigeria. She worked with some big public and private organisations. This Kano-born tireless entrepreneur says vision is a continuous journey and there’s always a higher level to climb, no matter how high one gets. Getting to interview this enigmatic lady was near impossible. So, when one of my bosses sent me her contact and for some other project, my inner person punched the air and shouted “Eureka”! I started by asking Mariam about her publishing experience and what the newest advances in this digital media era meant for offline publishing.

You are one of the most easily recognisable female faces in the publishing industry. How would you describe your journey into publishing and had you any challenge? It’s been an eventful journey, and like every pursuit of a great vision, it has had its ups and downs. I began Maktoub because I wanted to give people news and information on business and lifestyle from a fresher and more interesting perspective; not through the conventional humdrum style that was the norm. It was essentially about finding a good balance between business and lifestyle, and if you like, between ‘serious’ and ‘casual’, because I believe there’s always an intersection. There’s a business side to lifestyle and there’s a lifestyle tint to business. That’s a more interesting angle in my perspective and that was the kind of change I thought was missing and wanted to bring into magazine publishing in Nigeria when I came on board. And that’s what I’m still doing. But on another level, I also wanted to be able to change the conversation, particularly with regards to certain unhealthy stereotypes and misconceptions about the northern part of the country. The media back then, and to some extent even now; were mostly based in Lagos, and they largely focused on news and personalities in the southern part of the country. I felt the imbalance was so evident and affected perceptions about the average person from the North. The media often set national discourse and play a big role in shaping people’s views and attitude. Daily Trust has been doing a wonderful job in changing that discourse, but I thought there was also need for a magazine to compliment such efforts at shedding more light on the beautiful place, great personalities, culture and voices from the North. Would you say you have achieved your goal? To an extent, yes, but like every purposeful goal, it’s a continuous process. So, there’s always a higher mission after the completion of a previous one; all ultimately geared towards the same goal at a broader level. What’s your view about the industry? I think we have a variety of magazines with little differences in their focus or styles. There’s need for more specialised magazines to give people options and make the industry more buoyant and productive. I expect to see magazines on technology, fashion, motoring, food, and on specific sports like golf, tennis; and not just on football. There’s need to generally improve the quality of writing and style. The standards are good, but they can be improved. There’s a view that the print media is less relevant today and would naturally phase out soon with the advancement in digital media technology. What’s your view on this? I cannot deny the fact that unprecedented advancement in digital technology has significantly affected the media landscape. But to say it has rendered the print media outdated would be distorting the true picture. The largest and oldest print publications in the world like Forbes, Times, Vogue and Maktoub are still in the business and doing well. What I think is that every print publication should also have an active digital edition to compliment offline edition. That is, have a vibrant hard copy edition, as well as a digital edition.


MARIAM MOHAMMED // From a business and branding perspective, it opens up more readership and advertising opportunities for the publication. Tell us more about the project you recently launched called TMM which is currently being promoted with a hashtag. TMM is a public service project which my team and I are currently working on which will be out in about a month. The hashtag was meant to create the needed buzz before its unveiling. But I’ll like to keep the details to my chest. So for the moment, I’ll just say stay tuned. What do you do besides publishing? I run a PR and management project outfit and I have my hands in real estate and interior décor too. Tell us about your growing up, family and education. Growing up was full of fun and wonderful with

lasting memories. My dad is from Kano, but my mum is Yoruba from Abeokuta. Growing up with them was filled with love, emotion and care that you could say I was close to getting spoilt. I was especially close to my maternal grandfather. He was for me the definition of everything good. He loved me so much and I loved him too, a lot; and I have to admit, for as long as he lived, he was my greatest weakness (laughs). I studied Media and Communication Studies at Middlesex University. I also have qualifications in Social Media Strategy for Communication, Practical Event Management and Press Release Writing from the International School of Communication (ISOC), London, which is one of the foremost communication training institutions in the world. In addition, I have a Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) certification from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). How do you unwind? My work and leisure routines are basically simple and organised. For relaxation, I just take a walk home, lounge on my sofa and watch cartoons: oh yes, I love cartoons. I also love to have a drink, read an interesting book or dance. What’s your idea of a dream vacation? An escape to an exotic island of crystal beaches with white sands and lots of water sports to enjoy. Of course, that should be complete with luxury hotels, bars and restaurants. When it comes to vacation, you can call me ‘enjoyment minister.’ How would you describe your style and what can you not do without on a special occasion and also on a casual outing? I always love to keep it simple and elegant. My definition of style is ‘less is more.’ But that’s not to say heads would not turn when I step into the room or an occasion (smiles). Who is your biggest inspiration and why? I love a lot of great people that I draw



FOR RELAXATION, I JUST TAKE A WALK HOME, LOUNGE ON MY COUCH AND WATCH CARTOONS: OH YES, I LOVE CARTOONS inspiration from. I can’t name them all and I don’t consider it fair to mention only a few. What’s the biggest life lesson you’ve learnt and are always willing to share with others? If there’s one life lesson that’s so much imprinted on my heart and I’m always willing to share with anyone, it is to never stop appreciating and showing love to your special ones because you never know how long they’ll be around. Personally, the past 18 months have been very difficult as I’m struggling to learn to live without two people that were very dear to me: especially my grandfather whom I lost in February. I was completely broken, but you just have to learn to pick yourself and move on. It was like the hardest part of life. What does the future hold for you? What would you say id your biggest yet-to-be-fulfilled dream? No one knows the future; you can only work towards your dream and hope that with hard work and providence, everything else will fall into place. I like to see myself as a welfarist and one of my biggest dreams is to be able to build various magnificent old people’s home complete with all the facilities and personnel to make the residents have all the love and care they need. So, rather than sit idle all day and feeling abandoned by their grown up children who now have and are focused on their own kids, these senior citizens will have some healthy activities and feel alive and happy once again. I know you recently undertook payment for a child that was suffering from hydrocephalus (brain fluid). What was your motivation? I think it’s simply love for humanity. I always cherish an opportunity to save a life and make someone and their family smile again anytime I can. There’s a kind of joy I derive when I see people happy, and especially when I know I played a part in that happiness.






Dr. Nathaniel Adewole, MOBILE: 0803 8039182 EMAIL:

Beauty benefits of taking water first thing in the morning By UCHE EZE


ost of us spend a lot of money on beauty products to solve some bodily needs when the answers are right in front of us. Drinking water on an empty stomach in the morning can be immensely beneficial for the body and the skin. It purifies the colon and improves the stomach’s chances to absorb nutrients properly, amongst others. Here, we’ll be concentrating on the beauty benefits of taking water first thing in the morning. Aids weight loss: The first benefit is weight loss. Drinking water improves the creation of new blood cells, as well as muscle cells, and

also speeds up metabolism, which in turn helps you in losing weight. Youthful skin: It is also one of the secrets behind a glowing skin, as water filters toxins from the blood, causing rejuvenation of skin cells. Dr. Arike Odundipe, a dermatologist, adds that water purifies the skin layers causing the glands to produce fresher skin. Relief from cellulite: Cellulite is mostly formed during night hours when the body is inactive and the skin is at rest. Drinking water first thing in the morning counters cellulite by flushing the toxins that cause it. The way to get the best of this therapy is to make sure not to eat anything for a while after you drink water in the morning. Take about four glasses of water (one litre) every morning. If it feels too much in the beginning, you can start off slowly and then gradually increase the intake.

With additional information from the internet



Why we shouldn’t take headache lightly By UCHE EZE


eadaches are uncomfortable and quite painful, depending on the cause. Usually, once we experience a headache, we simply selfmedicate, popping pills without the supervision of a medical personnel. This is really dangerous because headaches occur for various reasons. According to Dr. Orji Kalu of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, headaches are a sign of an underlying problem, including stress, poor eating habit, or getting little sleep. Sometimes they can signal more serious concerns such as depression, high blood pressure, acute sinus infection; sleep disorder or in rare cases, brain infection, tumour or stroke. If you are not a frequent victim of migraine and you suddenly begin to experience it frequently, it could be a symptom of a health condition. It would only make it worse when


Post herniorrhaphy scrotal swelling I was operated last Friday of scrotal hernia and my scrotum is swollen. Please what do I do? Musa, Kaduna State It is not unusual to have a swollen scrotum after hernia operation. What you need to do is to tie a bandage to elevate the scrotum and with time the swelling will subside. Ensure you take antibiotics under supervision.

Can I continue my oral hypoglycaemics? I am a diabetic. I have been on Daonil and Glucophage for two years. I am currently two months pregnant. What do I do? Madam Toyin, Lokoja What is your current sugar level? When did you do fasting blood sugar last? I think you need to see your obstetrician and endocrinologist. Pregnancy is diabetogenic itself. Therefore, controlling blood sugar poses more challenge during pregnancy. Most likely you may need to be converted to insulin injection. Although there is evidence now to support oral hypoglycemics in pregnancy, but one has to tread with caution.

Am I still pregnant? I am 23 years old. I had an abortion; then I saw my flow the following month. In the third month the flow delayed and I started experiencing some strange feeling. Am I still pregnant? Jamima I will advise you to do a pregnancy test first. If it is positive, then scan. In case of a positive result, then do a serum beta to rule out gestational trophoblastic disease.

Whitish discharge I am 18 years old and have been having a painless whitish discharge from my vagina. What could be the cause and what do I do. Blessing It is likely a fungal infection and the treatment is with antifungal cream. Sometimes oral antifungal may be required but we try to avoid the use of the latter in pregnancy.

Does anxiety cause shortness of breath? you self-medicate or take it lightly. Consult a doctor as soon as possible. Although, there are some ways to prevent migraine, but it’s not recommended to endure the challenge alone; instead, see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

With additional information from the internet

Does anxiety cause shortness of breath? What’s the cure for it? Salamatu, Abuja Normal anxiety does not, but anxiety neurosis can lead to shortness of breath. Anxiety neurosis is a psychological disorder which occurs when there is associated palpitation. Undue worry is something one has to avoid at all cost because if it is not controlled it could become pathological. Treatment includes anxiolytic drugs and counselling.