This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ode to a Legend: 35 Fascinating Facts about Nigerian Literary Icon Chinua Achebe

I'm sure you've heard....Nigerian Literary Icon, author, poet and legend to many, Chinua Achebe passed away this morning in Boston, USA, following an illness. He was 82 years old.

In the wake of this news, I feel it becoming to reflect on what the "Man of the People" meant to me, and many others. He was well-known and internationally recognized mostly for his novel, "Things Fall Apart" which many have dubbed the most widely read African literature of all time. I mean, you couldn't have graduated high school without reading "Things Fall Apart", especially if you attended any kind of school in Nigeria.

As a writer, aspiring author and the daughter of an author and publisher, the name Chinua Achebe has special meaning to me. More so, growing up, my dad (who through his publishing house Fourth Dimension Publishing Company published some of Achebe's books and poems, most notably, The Trouble With Nigeria (1983) and The World of Ogbanje (1986)) would often read Achebe books to me. I specially have great memories of my dad reading Achebe's children's book The Flute to me. :-)) He recognized Achebe as an extraordinary writer and a man of great dignity and always urged me to take inspiration from his works.

In tribute, and in celebration of life of Achebe as the icon he was, I have put together 35 fascinating facts about him, alongside the lessons his life story has taught me.

1. He was born Albert Chínụ̀álụmọ̀gụ̀ Àchèbé on November 16, 1930 to Isaiah and Janet Achebe in Ogidi, an Igbo town in Anambra state Nigeria, where he was also raised.

2. At 6 years old, he attended St. Phillips Central School where he was upgraded a class because of his intelligence.

3. At 12 years old, Achebe moved to Imo State to attend another central school where his older brother was a teacher.

4. In 1944, Achebe took entrance examinations for and was accepted at both the prestigious Dennis Memorial Grammar School in Onitsha and the even more prestigious Government College in Umuahia.

5. He chose the Government College where he was double-promoted in his first year; this enabled him finish the two years' program in one and secondary school in 4 years instead of the 5.

6. He wasn't able to join the sports team but instead was among the six most studious students; they were so studious, the headmaster had to ban the reading of textbooks from five to six o'clock in the afternoon!

7. He was originally inspired to love story-telling and literature by his mother and her Zinobia who told him many stories as a child.

8. When he sought to enroll in Nigeria's first university the University of Ibadan, then called University College, an associate college of University of London, he scored so high in the entrance examination that he was admitted as a Major Scholar to study medicine.

9. After a year, he changed to English, history and theology and as a result, eh lost his scholarship and had to pay tuition.

10. His older brother Augustine had to give up transport money for him to continue his studies.

11. He was such a reader in his youth that he earned the nickname "Dictionary".

12. He wrote his first story "in a Village Church" while a University student but his debut as an author was through a piece he wrote in 1950 entitled "Polar Undergraduate" which he write for the University Herald, the campus magazine on which he served as the editor from 1951-1952.

13. While in the University, Achebe wrote many other essays, some of which were published in another campus magazine, The Bug.

14. After graduation in 1953, Achebe returned to Ogidi to find "himself" and meditate on his career path options.

15. His first job was as an English teacher at the Merchants Light School at Oba where he taught for 4 months, after which he worked at the Nigerian Broadcasting Service

16. He met his wife Christie Okoli when he joined the NBS; she first knew he was interested when she had an appendectomy and he came to the hospital with gifts and magazines.

17. The Achebes had four children; Chinelo, Ikechukwu, Chidi and Nwando and 6 grandchildren; Chochi, Chino, Chidera, Chinua Jr., Nnamdi and Zeal.

18. He credits the city of Lagos, Nigeria for having a significant impression on him; it was where he started work on his first novel "Things Fall Apart" which later became widely acclaimed.

19. He had to revise and edit "Things Fall Apart", which started out having three sections, severally until what remained was the story of Okonkwo, the yam farmer.

20. The transcript of "Things Fall Apart" was nearly lost and then turned down by several publishers before being accepted by Heinemann which first published 2,000 copies of it.

21. Though it met mixed reviews, and skepticism from West Africa, the book sold over 12 million copies and translated to 50 different languages, making Achebe the most translated writer of all time.

22. In 1969, he toured the United States with fellow writers Cyprian Ekwensi and Gabriel Okara, lecturing at Universities.

23. Achebe credited Shakespeare, Dickens, Robert Louis Stevens, Jonathan Swift and others for his writing inspiration.

24. He was a supporter of the Biafran independence and served as an ambassador to the people of
the new nation.

25. After the civil war in Nigeria, he joined politics briefly before leaving due to the corruption he saw there.

26. Also after the war, he part-founded two magazines: the literary journal Okike, a forum for African art, fiction, and poetry (from which he stepped down in 1986) and Nsukkascope, an internal publication of the University.

27. Achebe authored and published 17 books, including 5 novels, 10 essays, 5 poetry books, 4 children's books, 5 short story collections, and several anthologies. He has also received 7 honors and awards and about 25 honorary doctorates from Universities. Here's a full list of Achebe's works.

28. Nelson Mandela has been quoted to say; "Achebe brought Africa to the rest of the world". He called him "the writer in whose company the prison walls came down".

29. Until his death, Achebe served as a Professor at David & Marianna Fisher University and Professor of Africana studies at Brown University.

30. Achebe rejected two offers from the Nigerian government to give him national honor because of what he calls "failure of governance" in the country.

31. In 1986, he was elected president-general of his hometown Ogidi's where he served a three-year term.

32. He was in accident in 1990 which left him paralyzed from the waist down, yet this did not derail his career or his zeal for literature.
33. Achebe moved to the United States because of the ease of availability of therapy and other health care he needed.

34. Though many believed he deserved the Nobel prize, he received the Man Booker International Prize, a $120,000 honor for lifetime achievement in 2007.

35. In 2012, his niece Ngozi Achebe was shortlisted for her book "Onaedo: the Blacksmith's Daughter".

Its time for me to ask in my usual fashion' Inspired yet? I'm not sure about you but I learned a couple things from doing this post.

1. NEVER ever give up on your dreams.

2. People will say NO to you. Never take it as an answer. In fact, use it as an inspiration to 
pursue your dreams further.

3. No matter what life presents you with, STICK to your passion. Like they say, "choose a career you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life" I highly doubt Achebe would've been as happy as a doctor, or even as influential as he is today as a writer.

4. Life has its set-backs; accidents, sickness, or other forms of losses. NEVER let it derail you.

5. It pays to be studious ;-)

Today, an icon went home. In the words of African scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah "it would be impossible to say how "Things Fall Apart" influenced African writing. It would be like asking how Shakespeare influenced English writers or Pushkin influenced Russians. Achebe didn't only play the game, he invented it."

Adieu Chinua Achebe. Thank you for inspiring us. May the fire you lit never die. May your intellectual contribution to this world impact generations to come. May your legacy never fade. And may your dreams of a "corrupt-less and strongly-led Nigeria" one day come to pass.
Stay Inspired....

Sources: NewsDayBritannicaUSA Today, google images, & Chinua Achebe-on Wikipedia.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

From the Ugandan Slums to a Chess Game with Bill Gates: The Inspirational Story of Phiona Mutesi.

I came across this story today on the Huffington Post and was so inspired.

It's about 17-year old Ugandan chess player, Phiona Mutesi who has now been challenged to a game of chess by Bill Gates. Having lost her dad to AIDS and her sister to an unknown disease at an early age, Mutesi grew up in the Ugandan slum of Katwe, dropping out of school at nine years old because her family could no longer afford her school fees.

Mutesi discovered and learned the game of chess by attending the Sports Outreach Institute while she spent time at Ugandan missionary in 2005. Five years later, she played in the 39th Chess Olympiad and by 2011,she earned the position of three-time Women's Junior Champion of Uganda.

In just 8 years, Mutesi has gone from homeless to an internationally recognized chess player, having won title for Woman Candidate Master at the 40th Chess Olympiad at 16 years old, alongside Ivy Amoko. The title made both players the first female players in Ugandan chess history. Shortly after, Mutesi became the first female player to win the open category of the National Junior Chess Championship in Uganda. She is also the youngest person to win the African chess championship.

Recently, a book was published in her honor "The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster". Disney now has rights to the book and there's a movie in the works based on it.

Mutesi's story is so inspiring, she has caught the attention of Bill Gates who has challenged her to a game. There's no official set date for the match between Mutesi and Gates but word is that it'll be part of a continued promotional book tour. Her story has been featured on CNN, Huffington Post, a YouTube video, Yahoo news and several other news outlets. She even has her own Wikipedia page. Go Girl!

 Inspired yet? I know I am. Stories like this show you and I that we can achieve anything we want if we believe and continuously work hard at it. Like many Nigerians say, no condition is permanent. Whatever you want to be, you CAN be.

Stay Inspired!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus Papam! 25 Facts about Pope Francis

Habemus Papam!

Habemus Papam!

Habemus Papam Franciscum!

I saw that a million times today and if you're in anyway connected to the world today, you did too. Social media excitedly buzzed with the phrase meaning "We have a pope" as white smoke emitted from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica. The white smoke signified the election of the 266th pontiff  to lead the Roman Catholic Church consisting of about 1.2 billion people around the world.
After two days of deliberation/voting (and black smoke), the Cardinals of the Church elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, who chose Pope Francis as his regnal title.

So, in the spirit of celebrating this historic day for a significant amount of the world's population, yours truly put together twenty-five (25) facts (you may or may not know) about the new "father" to the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

1. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 17, 1936. 

2. His father was an Italian immigrant railroad worker.

3.  His mother was a housewife.

4. He has four brothers and sisters. 

5. He only has one lung. Following an infection as a teenager, his other lung was removed.

6. Prior to joining the seminary, he wanted to be a chemist.

7. He has a philosophy degree from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires and a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires.

8. In 1958, at the age of 21, he joined the Society of Jesus, and started studying to become a Jesuit priest.

9. During the "Dirty-War" in the 1970s, while serving as the superior of the Jesuits, he was accused of kidnapping two Jesuit priests because they disobeyed his order for them to step down. He denied this accusation and was never charged.

10. Before becoming Archbishop, he taught literature, psychology, philosophy and theology.

11. He served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires for 15 years.
12. He has openly voiced that priests who refuse to baptize children born out of wedlock are hypocrites.

13. He is an advocate of pursuing holiness by seeking to understand God first before charity.

14. He is the first Jesuit priest to become a pope in History. (The Jesuits was founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier and 5 other students in 1540 in the University of Paris in order to toot out Protestantism and to run schools).

15. He is the first pope to reign under the title Pope Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi to signify his heart and ministry for the poor, for the disenfranchised and for those living on the fringes and facing injustice.

16. He was the runner up to elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

17. Prior to the 2005 election, a smear campaign was run against him (allegedly by Jesuit members) accusing him of never smiling.
18. He believes all human beings should be respected equally. On inequality he has been quoted to say, "The unjust destruction of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many our brothers."

19. He has popularly spoken against and opposed the legalization of same-sex marriages. He reasons that this is discrimination against children and a "rare and dire anthropological throwback" and a "scheme to destroy God's plan".

20. He doesn't think same sex couples should be allowed to adopt children. He reasons that this would deprive children of the human growth that God wanted for them, given by a father and a mother.

21. In 2001, he washed the feet of twelve AIDS patients.

22. When he served as leader of the Catholic Bishops of Argentina, even though he had a palace and a chauffeured limousine, he opted instead to live in a small apartment, use public transportation to and fro work every day and to cook his own meals.

23. In line with traditional Catholic doctrine, he strongly opposes abortion and contraception.

24. He is the first non-European pope in 1200 years and the first South-American pope.
25. He speaks Spanish, Italian and German.

Congratulations to all the Catholics around the world! May Pope Francis be a blessing to each and everyone of your lives. Amen! :-)
There's a smile, right? :-)
Stay Inspired....

Sources: TimeHere and CBC.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy International Women's Day ~15 Reasons to Celebrate Being "Woman"

Today is International Women's Day. Beginning in the 1900s, March 8 is a day set aside every year to celebrate women. Today, while there are still issues of gender inequality around the world, we, as women, are in a much better place than our great-great-grandmothers were in their time. Today, we have a choice to go to school and to be successful while maintaing a home, should we choose to. In that light, today and everyday, every woman should celebrate for the privileges of being "woman".

There are uncountable reasons to celebrate yourself as a woman but I've put together 15 awesome characteristics worth celebrating today and everyday.

1. Celebrate that you are God's lifeline for the future generations.

2. Celebrate that you are strong.

3. Celebrate that you are caring.

4. Celebrate that you are emotional available.

5. Celebrate that you possess powerful instincts.

6. Celebrate that you are a strong communicator.

7. Celebrate that you are compassionate.

8. Celebrate that you are self-aware.

9. Celebrate that you are nurturing and empathetic.

10. Celebrate that you are emotionally intelligent.

11. Celebrate that you have a life purpose.

12. Celebrate that you are smart.

13. Celebrate that you are worth a good man who loves you for who you are.

14. Celebrate that you are beautiful in and out.

15. Celebrate that you are "imperfectly" woman.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY! to all the women out there!

Stay Inspired....

Monday, March 4, 2013

NwaVic's Watch Fest (1st Edition): Top Ten Must-Watch TV Shows

Happy New Week guys!

I woke up this morning just feeling lucky to be living. I hope you had a restful weekend. I did...well because I spent the entire weekend catching up TV shows :-). I love good tv shows.

"Ral watches every show", I can hear my sister Ogo say. "No no no I don't watch every show. I watch every good show", I hear myself hissing back.

Once I find a good show, I could stay in bed all weekend watching as much as I can in 48 hours. And when I say TV shows, I mean real TV shows; drama, comedy, fantasy; a strong storyline that intrigues me; plots that challenge my thought process; characters that provoke my conscience. This is why I don't watch reality shows. But that's a story for another day.

So! In the spirit of sharing with you all good things, this post will profile my current top ten TV shows to watch in descending order with short trailers. This post is strictly dedicated to shows that are still on the air and have been given the nod for at least another season. If you ever have a moment, try one you haven't already and let me know if you like as much as I do.

Here you go.....

10: Nashville

Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC

Set in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, this drama details the life of a country star Rayna James who is fast approaching the end of her stardom. Debuting in November 2012, the show not only follows Rayna's need-based forced collaboration with a younger best-selling (and may I say arrogant and troubled) younger country star Juliette Barnes, it also shows her troubled relationship with her father and her complicated marriage.
Not only is the music in Nashville superb, the characters are soo well-developed, it gives you great insight into the politics of both the music industry (even one as seemingly serene as country) and local politics. I also love Rayna's character- you genuinely watch a good woman struggle between trying to stay true to herself and keep her head afloat in the business.  It's an authentic show with a high performing cast.

9: Suits

Thursdays at 10pm on USA Network

Set in New York city and debuting in 2011, Suits follows Mike Ross, an overtly intelligent college drop-out who goes from earning money by taking and passing major tests for other people to working at Pearson/Hardman, one of the biggest law firms in NY. He had been running for his life when he ran into a job interview with Harvey Specter, one of the best closers in the legal industry and great asset to Pearson/Hardman. Specter hires Ross after he realizes Ross' raw talent would get the job done. The show basically follows Ross and Specter's very complicated friendship/partnership as they tackle cases while trying to keep the fact that Ross doesn't have a law degree from everyone including the firm's managing partner no-nonsense Jessica Pearson. 
I just love Harvey Specter! There's something about him (big cheese). Okay, besides Harvey's "swagger", arrogance and intellect, the drama requires edge-seating and the cinematography is top quality. You can even only watch for the scenery.  More so, Suits isn't just another legal show (which I like normally). What puts it on this list is the mind-boggling possibility of practicing law without going through the excruciating haze of law school and the bar exam. Is it possible in real time? Suits certainly makes it seem so. And ofcourse it has all the ingredients of good watching; good-looking people, power-hungry lawyers, thought-provoking cases, complicated love interests and intriguing play-on-play dialogue. The characters in Suits are sophisticated, witty, and too clever to ever be boring. Oh! and the name is well-placed considering if you take your eye off the storyline just for a moment, it might as well be a fashion show of suits. I want to know where they shop!

8: Modern Family

Wednesdays at 9pm on ABC

Debuting in 2010 to 12.6 million viewers, this comedy is the most unique of its caliber. Set in the form of a "mockumentary", it follows the lives of members of an unconventional family headed by Jay Pritchett, an older guy, his young and hot Columbian second wife (who has a young son from a previous marriage), his housewife daughter married with three kids and his gay son who has a life partner and adopted asian daughter. Of this list, it is the most unique because it basically shows what many American families look like these days; a divorced father with a new younger wife, a gay couple adopting a child from abroad, parents trying to raise three children the "modern" open way and the melting pot many Americans now call family.

Not only is this show creativity at its best, it is beyond hilarious! The writing is witty and the characters perform like they were born to do it. Its also deeper than comedy, it tackles themes such as culture, communication, support, family life and generally what it takes to be "different". Its 30 minutes of pure intelligent laughter. It's impossible to not love it! 

7: Revenge 

Sundays at 9pm on ABC

Premiering in 2011, this soap-opera-like drama centers on Amanda Clarke alias Emily Thorne (played by Brothers and Sisters veteran Emily Vandercamp), who returns to the Hamptons, where she grew up, to avenge her father's fall from glory. Her father framed for assisting a terrorist organization, a crime he did not commit and imprisoned for life where he later dies, left her a fortune in the form of an investment in a very profitable start-up company. She uses this to disguise herself using a different identity and operating as a member of the elite Hampton residents, majority of whom betrayed her father. The betrayal was master-minded by the powerful Grayson family. 
Emily Thorne is nothing short of ruthless! Every move she makes, even though threatened by emotions, is calculated. Bit by bit, she aims to destroy everyone who played a part in destroying her and her fathers' lives. The plot is brilliant and the characters are so well-casted in their roles. It seems like a pot of secrets, each one (big and small) released in every episode. The only reason why its not rated any higher is because while season 1 left you staring at your TV for at least another 5 minutes attempting to comprehend what just happened, season 2 has taken a little bit of a twist, stealing Emily away from her straight-lined calculated plot and more into the twists of accommodating the people around her. Despite that, I'd like to believe that this season is necessary not only for the longevity of the show, but to build for bigger "wow"s in the future. Stay tuned.

6: Homeland

Sundays at 9pm on Showtime
Premiering in 2011, this drama series focuses on CIA agent Carrie Mathison, who on an unauthorized operation in Iraq finds out that an American soldier kidnapped and held by al-Qaeda has been turned. After being put on probation for overstepping authority, she learns that Nicholas Brody a U.S. Marine who had been missing for 8 years had been rescued by US authorities. While Brody is celebrated by U.S. authorities and media as a war hero, Mathison, acting on the belief that Brody is the soldier who had been turned sets out to investigate this and "prevent another terrorist attack" on America, only to continually stumble on lies, sexual desire and her own bipolarity. This show has bagged 6 Emmy awards including outstanding drama series. 
This is another edge-of-your seat drama. It plays not only on the fragility Iraq veterans face when they come home, but the inside operations of the CIA agents who live and breathe the task of combating terrorism. We get to see their everyday struggles and pain and the challenges they face for "the job".  The instability Carrie's character adds to the intrigue of the show because the audience is constantly trying to decide whether to believe her or not. The show also exploits the angle that terrorism could be establishing channels at home. My brother-in-law turned me onto Homeland and I basically went through two seasons amidst a busy work week. Sometimes, I'd stay up watching till 3am because I couldn't wait to see the next episode and I just kept wondering why I didn't discover it sooner. It's that captivating. Seriously.

5. House of Cards

Anytime on Netflix
Premiering in February 2013, this political drama is set in present day Washington D.C. and opens with Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey), a Democratic congressman getting passed over for a Secretary of State promotion which he was promised for helping the President win the election. Burning with revenge, he alongside his wife Claire set out to win the Presidential seat. Using every secret he can get his hands on, he plays political figures against each other in such a conniving way, that they're all playing together for his plan. Other notable characters include Zoe Barnes, a scruffy journalist who Underwood uses to promote his agenda in the media and Peter Russo, a young and unstable congressman who Underwood uses to get into the White House. 
I have to first say I just watched the entire first season last week. My brother turned me on to it and I finished the season before he did. hehehe. I was first of all, intrigued by the brave way this series launched. It just literally dumped all 13 episodes of the first season on Netflix for everyone to watch. It was literally a call to binge. But it was worth every minute and it salutes modern day where people watch more shows on Netflix than on cable. Here's the crux of it; you get an inside picture as to how politics (maybe and probably) works, and if you live in the D.C. area, it makes you wonder how you could be so aloof to all this happening in your city (again, maybe, if in actuality). Kevin Spacey deserves an Emmy award for best actor because he is completely immersed in his character. I also love the complicated relationships in the show. For e.g. Underwood and his wife and Underwoord and Barnes. Once you start watching this show, you can't stop. The characters are manipulative, strong and convincing. The first season was extraordinary and I hope it continues that way.

4. The Good Wife

Sundays at 9pm on CBS
The drama premieres with a scene that has appeared more in real-life than in fiction; where Alicia Florrick, loyal wife of former state attorney Peter Florrick stands beside her man as he takes a press conference addressing his recent sex and corruption scandal. After Peter is imprisoned for his crimes, Alicia must return to her career as a lawyer, one she abandoned years ago to raise two children. The show basically intertwines two plots, one in which Alicia proves herself as a litigator at premier Chicago law firm Lockhart & Gardner and the other in which Peter tries to make both political and personal come-backs. Other intriguing characters include Kalinda Sharma a dare-devil investigator with a qustionable past. 
My sister told me about this show since its premiere in 2009 but I didn't get to it till early 2011. I watched one episode and had to get a Netflix account so I could watch the rest. Drawing inspiration from real political scandals like that of John Edward, Eliot Spitzer and Bill Clinton, the show provides insight into how the wives involved "probably" dealt with it. There's also a unique marrying of the power play between law and politics in a way that keeps you glued to the screen. I also love the characters. Juliette Marguiles who plays Alicia Florrick does an amazing job; every emotion is carefully portrayed and I just love her! I also love Chris Noth (Sex and the City's Mr. Big) but I may be biased because he really reminds me of my dad. :-) I must tell you this show grows on you. Give it at 2-3 episodes, then decide. But then, I'm sure by then you'll be hooked.

3. Walking Dead

Sundays at 9pm and 11pm on AMC

Based on a comic book series of the same name, this horror drama is set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Premiering in 2010, it follows a small group of survivors led by Rick Grimes a former Sheriff's deputy as they struggle to survive daily and avoid getting bitten. Basically, if you get bitten by a walker (aimless brainless walking zombies), you die, only to wake up in a couple of minutes as a walker. The group is not only threatened by walkers (some of which are their "turned" family and friends) but also, other survivor groups.  The show opens to Grimes as he awakes from a coma he has been in for several months to find that the world he knew had been overtaken by zombies who could smell blood from afar. Dazed and after narrowly escaping death several times, he heads to Atlanta to look for his wife and child. The show not only follows Grimes' search and discovery of his wife (who is now sleeping with his best friend) and son but it contends with Grimes' joining and later leading the group which continually changes in dynamic.
First and foremost, I must say the biggest mistake you can make is dismissing this show as a zombie or vampire show. The zombie part is only the background and foundation to a deeper plot and parallel story lines. I have honestly never seen a show more brilliantly reckless. Not only do you get well-developed characters, the writers take their time to portray how their diverse personalities deal with balancing their conscience in this new world with the need to constantly kill or be killed. Various members die and we constantly meet new characters. No one is safe! The writers do not play it "safe" like in many shows; any character could die any day. But its so tastefully done that it leaves the audience hungry for more. Because it explores how human character changes when the only purpose of living is survival, it also makes you, who's watching, question your own conscience as to what you'd do if you woke up one day to find the world as you know it gone. Needless to say, psyches are changed, emotions are constantly tested and hearts are hardened. More so, this show has one of the best set-ups I could imagine. You see the extraordinary work that must have been put in behind the scenes to create the scenery and ambience in the show. The make-up is superb! Plus after each episode, an interactive mini talk show Talking Dead comes on where the recent episode and how the walkers and scenes are discussed in detail. This is a MUST-WATCH! It will blow your mind away...if you don't believe me, ask the 8 friends of mine who I successfully turned into Walking Dead fans. 

2. Scandal

Thursdays at 10pm on ABC
Created by Greys Anatomy and Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes and debuting mid-season in 2012, this drama focuses on Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a professional "fixer" in Washington D.C. who not only played a major role in the election of Fitzgerald Grant as the President of the United States, but is in a sizzling affair with him. Pope's reputation is that of a respected brilliant problem solver who, with the help of her small team, can make any problem go away before it becomes public. Each episode not only follows Pope (who always trusts her gut) and her team of lawyers who call themselves "gladiators in suits" and "crisis managers" as they try to solve a diverse set of problems, the show gives insight into each character's flaw and weakness.
This is probably one of the most popular shows at the moment. Not only is the chemistry between Pope and Grant on fire, the plot is immensely entertaining and the suspense is blood-boiling. You are hooked from beginning to end, wondering what Pope will do next. Bodies are moved, affairs are had, things are planted, reverends die on top of their mistresses, elections are rigged and its all a normal business day. There couldn't be a better Olivia Pope than Kerry Washington. Her performance deserves an Emmy for best actress. While many guys dismiss this show as for the ladies (who not love it for the inspiration they can find in the strength and confidence of Pope's character but for the eye candy Columbus Short who plays , a member of Pope's team), I know many men who find the story line intriguing as well because the show is really about power play in politics and the length people will go to hide their secrets. This show has left many obsessed. If you doubt me, pay attention to your Facebook and twitter feed every Thursday night.

1. Game of Thrones

Sundays at 9pm on HBO
This fantasy drama is set in the fictional medieval continents of Westeros and Essos and features seven intertwined plot lines as seven kingdoms fight for control of Westeros. The first season opens when Robert Baratheon, King of Westeros, makes his old friend Lord Stark, Hand og the King, the his highest official. Meanwhile, the Lannisters (the Queen's family), the Targaryens (the last family to hold the throne), the Greyjoys, Tullys, Arryns and Tyrells also each scheme a way to takeover the throne. The friction and powerplay between all these houses/kingdoms is the basis osf this brilliant show.
This is hands-down the most creative show on televsion. The plot, even though complex and multi-layered, manages to connect all the dots in a brilliant war. It is a raw bed of teaching themes like Power, Social hierarchy, betrayal, family, justice, religion, civil war, sexuality, crime, punishment, gender, and love. This is another show I finished two seasons in one weekend. Nothing beats it! Not only is the scenery maginificiently detailed, the characters are surreal. The interplay between love, betrayal, power, incest, religion, impunity and war is too imaginative to even explain. All I have to say is there is nothing like this on television- you are sure to see things that will not only make your jaw drop but it will keep it open for a while. Watch! then thank me later :-) 

Phew! There you have it. That took some time. See how much I care about what you're watching *bats eyelashes* I hope you appreciate oh. Did you notice most of the best shows come on Sundays at 9pm? My Sunday night is almost always accounted for. Bit of a clash there sometimes but most times, they show in different seasons, and some networks skip sundays to broadcast major events. But when I have a Sunday when two or more are showing at the same time, like yesterday, I choose one to watch, then catch up during the week on the network's website. Most networks have recent episodes up for anyone to view the next day. 

I'm sure you're already watching at least one show on this list. Watch more and let me know what you think. Also, I'm always up to check out a new show so if I'm missing any, let me know in your comments and I'd check it out.

Have an entertaining week!

Again, thank me later ;-)

Stay Inspired......