A FREDAY in AFRICA!

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What is worst then having an early morning flight? Arriving at the airport before it opens! In our last day in Croatia, we were punished with a 6:20am flight. We decided to get an early start and get to the airport two and a half hours before our flight. When we arrived at the airport at 4:00am there was a crowd of people sitting outside the airport. I told Sheila that I… Read More

On Thursday, Sheila and I took a road trip that led us to the most unlikely of places for us to visit – Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). We were following the travel books and tour guides that suggested taking a day trip to the city of Mostar. Mostar is famous for its old bridge, the Stari Most (photo above). Stari Most is a 16th-century Ottoman bridge that was unfortunately destroyed during the… Read More

According to Tony Toni Tone, it’s our anniversary! A great song from my teenage days… Yes, today is our third wedding anniversary. And if you are married to a son or daughter of the African soul, then you have multiple anniversary dates around your wedding. On May 29, we marked three years since our Gusaba. Gusaba is a Kinyarwanda word meaning ‘to ask’ and is the ceremony where the family of the… Read More

I always like to tell people that when I arrived in Abuja, I was only supposed to be here for nine months. I was sent to Nigeria to fill a crucial vacancy in our Nigeria office as the country prepared for the 2015 General Elections. 1,825 days later, I am still in Nigeria and I have grown a lot (including the few pounds added to my waist line). When I woke up… Read More

Living in Nigeria, I have seen some crazy things, especially they way people drive on Nigerian roads. It is quite common to see drivers going against traffic on the freeway because they don’t want to be inconvenienced and drive to the next off ramp. I have also been stuck in several traffic jams caused by herders who are moving their cattle from one location to the next through the streets of Abuja…A… Read More

It has been too long since I spent time sharing my experiences on the African continent. I am just emerging from the 2019 Nigerian General Elections! In addition, what an ordeal it was. I’m sure I have mention this before but almost everything (ok, pretty much everything) in Nigeria is managed from the National level. All 36 states receive funding from the federal government. For some states, they receive as much as… Read More

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