A FREDAY in AFRICA!

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I recently published an article on my organization’s blog about the political happenings in Nigeria. I have included it below for your reading pleasure. https://www.democracyspeaks.org/blog/defections-decamping-and-cross-carpeting-challenges-facing-nigerian-political-parties-ahead Posted by Sentell Barnes, Resident Program Director, Nigeria @sentellbarnes It has been an interesting few weeks in Nigeria. For those of us that have been watching Nigerian politics for the past four or five years, it feels very much like Déjà vu. When I arrived in Nigeria in 2014, the… Read More

Two Years and counting… You are probably reading this thinking, “how in the world has it been two years since the start of #Shentell?” I don’t know what to tell you but we are two years down and already planning our Diamond Anniversary (75th) celebration. Abott Kinney Blvd., near Los Angeles, California (December 2017) It has been an exciting two years of marriage for Sheila and I. I’m sure there were some… Read More

I haven’t lived in Alabama since April 2003. In March of that year, with no job or source of steady income, I packed up all my things and headed off to pursue my dreams of working on Capitol Hill. What played out in my head as a picture perfect fantasy turned out to be a roller coaster reality. I struggled to embrace the changing weather patterns, found it difficult to relate to… Read More

I have lived in Abuja for over three years and I can tell you that there is not much to do in terms of tourist attractions. If you google Abuja, you will run across the Nigerian National Mosque and the Nigerian National Christian Centre or maybe even see a photo of the famous rocks in Abuja, Aso Rock and Zuma Rock. The National Mosque was built in 1984 and the Christians in… Read More

June 4, 2017 was the date of our first wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe that it’s been a year. It feels like just yesterday we were arriving in Abuja settling into our new life as husband and wife. But 365 days later and ten countries visited during our first year of marriage, we are moving into year two of #Shentell. We wanted to share our wedding video to celebrate our… Read More

There is an episode of the Cosby show where Vanessa Huxtable blames her parents for being rich after being harassed at school for being a rich girl. It’s a funny episode because Clare and Cliff tell Vanessa that if anyone is rich, it’s them and not her. This episode recently flashed through my mind as I was in a government building in Nigeria looking for a toilet. “Oh to be an American living… Read More

I’m sure you know the rest. But I’m not sure how taking off all my clothes will make the situation better in Nigeria. It will probably provide some relief from the heat but make me more susceptible to Malaria and other mosquito borne diseases. These are difficult times in Nigeria!…The President of Nigeria was recently out of the country recuperating from illness in London (he returned to Nigeria over the weekend but… Read More

As usual, I have another story of traveling in Nigeria. It started with a delayed flight from Abuja (from 12:10pm to 1:40pm), a race between the domestic terminal and the international terminal in Lagos to catch our next flight and a small “tip” (that’s what I’m calling it) to ensure we caught our Emirates flight on time. All in all, it was probably one of the most stressful departures I have experienced… Read More

Well hello friends! It’s me! I’m once again stuck in a Nigerian airport. I actually thought that I would have a smooth flight to Lagos to attend a program in Ibadan, Nigeria. But if you have ever read any of my blog posts, then you know that flights in Nigeria are notorious for being late, delayed and often times canceled. The state of the largest carrier was (is) in such a bad… Read More

The other day, I was talking with an associate in London and he asked what I was doing for Christmas. I responded, “I’ll be spending Christmas with the in-laws in Kigali, Rwanda.” He chuckled and said, “boy, you really have become a global citizen!” It is true, my life has taken on a very international flare. While I always joke with my wife that I grew up in a small “village” in… Read More