Ten Times To Totally Write For Free (& A Million Not To)

Everyone knows I am a #NoFreeWriting Ambassador. I believe you should get paid for your work, your intellectual property, your blood and tears. It took a while for me to navigate the literary landscape and arrive at my current position. I don’t regret the days I wrote for free or was swindled of work but I like where I am now and I am not going back.

So why in the world am I still considering writing for free? It is wrong. It is exploitative. It is thoroughly discouraging the emergence of talent and the development of the craft. Yes it is, but sometimes writing for free can be a good thing. Here are ten occasions you should write for free and feel absolutely no guilt.

1. Your Private Diary/ Journal/Blog

Everything seems to be documented in the public domain these days with social media being the preferred means of sharing experiences, thoughts and feelings. Some things are however too controversial, painful, raw or private for the whole world to see. Writing in a journal or diary can help you:

gather your thoughts without any performance pressure

experiment with style and form

leave a record for yourself and posterity

dabble and brainstorm.

Whatever your reasons, this is one time where you should not feel guilty about time spent versus money-made. Who knows? Your journal could even be optioned and published someday.

2. Your Public Blog/Website/Project

It can be hard to churn out content data after day without any compensation or remuneration. All the hard work that goes into creating work just ignored like a kitten fart. But don’t despair. Writing for your personal blog might not pay immediately but it can be immensely rewarding. It can grow your readership and fans; help you understand your work better; serve as clips for future jobs; be a 24-hour advert to head hunters, agents, editors and publishers; and if you are lucky, advertisers who like what you do can support you. Then Boom! You are the next Linda Ikeji

3. For The Blogs Of Friends/Family

Good writing is hard. It is valuable: made from blood, sweat and tears. It can be frustrating to create without any tangible value received in return but writing for family and friends is different. Just the way you would share your food, home or money with them you can also gladly and proudly lend your words to boost their site or blog without any guilt. Think of it as having each other’s back. Hopefully, it will be a mutually beneficial experience where you get more readers, they get more traffic and everyone gains. Even if it doesn’t work that way, it will be another deposit in your love bank and writers need all the love they get.

4. For a Cause You Care About

Some of the most needy causes are some of the most overlooked. Editors will often commission features that have been flogged to death while important topics languish from neglect. That is where you come in. You can ride in on your white horse (or pink or green or black) and save the day. With your words you can help create awareness for important neglected topics like: mental health, autism, poverty, child’s rights, the environment, wild life and more. With your pen/pad/laptop you can save the world one piece/poem at a time. No one might pay you but that is what heroes love for. And writers are heroes. Yup, that is what you are.

5.For Church/Mosque/Shrine/Temple

If you have been saved, then the least you can do is to save someone else. If you belong to any place that provides nourishment and salvation, eternal life and peace then you shouldn’t let worldly things like money stop you from being a blessing. Many religious publications struggle to find good content. That content can be difference between who is reached and who is unreached. So the next time you come across a tweet asking for help that you give in this domain please give it a thought.

6. For a Fun Free Project You Believe in

Many people charge writers to submit; sell their work and don’t give them a penny back; rogues and robbers. That isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about projects that collate writing by people you believe in, charities you support, topics that fascinate you or all three for that matter. Like the anthology call for writers of your demographic by that passionate broke editor that will edit you till you shine or that mad call for stories with sex in the air. Anything, quirky, genuine and fun that matters to you? Write for yourself, no one can afford you anyway.

7. For a Byline

A byline is a place that has published your work in the past. Now, you don’t need to have written for over a day to know that non-paying places outnumber the paying about 1000 to 1, and it gets worse if you write fiction, or poetry, or write from sub-Saharan Africa or are a new, unknown writer.The problem is, when a writing job — that scarce precious resource– does come, the first thing they will look at is your byline. Where have you been published before? Who else has liked your work? And believe it or not, something is (mostly) better than nothing. So when you have an offer to write for a place that will improve your writing credentials, consider it.

Side note: do this with an eye on the clock. Besides, you only need to do it once for it to count.

8. For Growth & Opportunity 

Every 1000 years (just kidding) there comes a chance to work with a talented editor, a gifted translator, a revered mentor, a dream team that will make you more than you could be on your own; but they have no money. They however value your work and want to make it the best it can be. Take it. Think of it as trade by batter or training or ‘getting your work out in the world’. Such opportunities are few in today’s world, recognize that and act accordingly.

9. When You Want To

You are a writer, a creator, a god. And it is the right of every god to do as they please (within limits).  So, if the fancy strikes you, to share your divinity with mortality, then by all means do so. Grace this world with your light and love and language. Bequeath it your goodness. Gift it your unique, inimitable voice. After all, time is running out and you only get one chance on this orb.

10. For eXpOSuRe

I don’t know where this word came from but I know exposure can make you fall ill and catch a cold (Saint face).

Anyway, this means writing for a publication/site/company/blog/individual that solicited your magic for a paying concern but somehow managed to ‘have no budget for writers’. Really? (Yes, dem pleeeeenty) I have said a lot about how I feel about this. In summary: giving your blood and sweat over to a merchant to hawk, profit and not pay you is a no; the promise that you will get eXpOSuRe is a scam. A gamble, that your name on their site will magically pay your rent or school fees or grocery bill. We all know that (almost) never happens. But if the spirit has spoken to you, the burning bush has called your name, you have seen the fleece and you think it is the right thing to do,or you believe the hype will be worth it, your gut says go, your head doesn’t say no; then flourish.


So there it is folks. All the reasons to sit over a blank page bleeding without a dime in sight. The one million reasons not to? Ah. You have to like this and share it and follow the blog so you don’t miss it when it is out. That is the currency here, beloved, you can call it SaintCoin.

Thank you for reading this. Do you ever write for free? Did I miss anything? You are welcome to comment.

This blog is kept alive by your generous donations and tireless support.

Please do not hesitate to share this, reblog, part-post, excerpt and pass it along on Telegram/WhatsApp etc.

We value your input and presence. All this is wasted without you.



The Agbada That Shook The World

Some people say the Agbada only shook Lekki but I disagree.

Last weekend in a star-studded. celebrity-flooded wedding two Nollwood stars Banky W and Adesuwa tied the knot in a beautiful traditional marriage ceremony. Fans and friends were delighted and social media was filled with warm wishes for the two. One of the guests to the wedding was Ebuka Obi-Uchendo a writer, TV host, lawyer and compère; and he was the guest who wore The Agbada. Since then the Agbada has been called many names including AgbadaX, Ebuka’s Agbada and Agbada-Kimono. But more importantly it has brought a maelstrom of activity to both social and traditional media.

At first glance, it is hard to see what the rave is about, the garment was quite simple, not a glimmer of bling in sight, no flamboyant wings, no multicolour layers, no sequins or beads; but a combination of factors made this garment the talk of the world.

First of all, the AgbadaX was made from an exquisite fabric rumoured to have cost at least fifty thousand naira. It was a luxurious purple colour, reminiscent of royalty. To create a garment like that, the same fabric or something very close is necessary. Many wannabee owners of the AgbadaX are already trying to recreate the look without this vital component, the outcome? Disasters.

Secondly the AgbadaX was made by none other than the renowned fashion designer and trendsetter Ugo Monye. Sources say the AgbadaX was made for 280 thousand naira. Only. They also say Ugo has been making clothes for the very rich for close to two decades. It is clear that he brought his wealth of talent and experience into crafting this signature piece, anyone expecting similar results from a roadside tailor has booked a date with disappointment.


Thirdly, the garment was worn by Ebuka, a tall, dark, fit, handsome man with celebrity status and over 200 thousand Twitter followers. In a word, carriage, Ebuka brought carriage to the AgbadaX and transformed the garment from being just another asoebi to a true work of art.

And of course there were other factors, the excellent photograph by the yet unknown photographer who got just the right shit at just the right angle and  whose work has since gone viral, the dry cleaner( some one said the ironing was done in Malaysia 😂), and the Twitter influencers, On-Air-Personalities, Vloggers and Bloggers who have kept the hype raging for days. So many different factors coming together to create an effect that will not be duplicated soon.

In the wake of this iconic garment, there have sprung a flurry of responses, actions and reactions:

Ugo Monye’s Instagram followers hip has gone from four thousand to twenty-two thousand overnight.

A certain Yinka, a tailor has promised his client he can reproduce the garment. And bets are already being cast about the outcome.


A colleague of Ugo Monye’s, Seyi Vodi has advised against any form of copying or reproduction of the iconic piece calling it a “mind blowing piece of art.”


A feminist blogger has accused Ebuka of employing male privilege, trying to outshine the groom and some other patriarchy related offences.


A failed attempt at recreating the garment has already been posted and was thoroughly lambasted on Twitter.


The Agbada already has a Twitter handle and can be reached @EbukasAgbada


One can’t help but wonder what will happen next on the AgbadaX Diary but one thing is for sure, this is one Agbada that won’t be forgotten in a while.

Five Things I Bet You Didn’t Know You Could Do In Lagos

The Lagos is a cliche, a concrete jungle, overpopulated with people busy as bees, working their socks off, queuing for BRTs and sleeping in traffic. But that’s not all true. I may understand if you have that view, but I am here to correct the impression. Lagos is home to some of the most fun loving people on the planet, from small gatherings of friends in bars and restaurants, to large gatherings in wedding receptions, clubs and street themed parties, just because we can, you can see the beaming smiles and hear roaring laughter of a people who know how to actively seek and create fun. While you may be familiar with some of the fun things into do around the city, it could get boring eventually when it gets quite repetitive. How about these fun things you could do if you are tired of cinema going, paintballing, owambe parties, clubbing, and arcade gaming with the friends, park walking or mall hopping.
Here are some of the amazing fun things to do in Lagos that are different from the regular. If you have grown bored of your hangout spots in Lagos and you want to dive into a new set of adventure, you should absolutely try these out.

Kayak across the Lagoon
This activity which involves propelling oneself in a small narrow boat is increasingly becoming popular in Lagos where people book in groups or individually to experience the thrill of becoming one with the water craft and paddling across the Lagoon from one end to the other. Participants are advised to have medium to advanced swimming skills but there are life guards on hand to keep the fun seekers safe.
Surf Like a Pro
Yes, you too can be part of the hippie, pop culture inspiring set of cool kids who are part time dare devils of the sea. The GP Surfing School in Tarkwa Bay offers surfing lessons for people looking to learn to surf the waves. With each session cost N7000, we aren’t quite sure how many sessions it would require before you start riding the waves, but hopefully if you are a fast learner you could become a god of the seas pretty soon.
See an Outdoor Movie
I don’t know about you, but going to the mall for movies is one of the most cliché of fun things to do in Lagos. But when you switch the presentation, it doesn’t sound as boring as it sounds. This is pretty much where groups like MovieNic and Secret Cinema come in. A picnic is thrown into the mix as well which makes it an ideal setting for a cozy, romantic outing. If the movie doesn’t do much for you, you can look at the stars and toe wrestle with your partner. If you are particularly keen on finding new fun places on Lagos Mainland, this is one you should try out.
Explore Nature
Don’t Laugh. Lagos isn’t all about being the home to financial institutions and big corporate buildings and sprawling bridges. The Lekki Conservation center is a 78 hectare reserved area of forest along with animals who have made it its natural home. With it, Eco-tourists and lovers of nature have certainly found a place to call their own in Lagos where they can watch birds, enjoy the lush green vegetation of the conservation center
Join a Cycling Club
If you are looking for a recreational place in Lagos, this is going to be great for you especially as it combines the outdoors, sporting activity and social bonding. Cyclotron is a cycling club based in Lagos that aims to promote cycling as a recreational activity and they are open to receiving new members at all times. They have designated routes where they cycle and they help members with tips on how to keep their bikes in the best conditions possible, as well as how to engage with other motorists and pedestrians using the cycling routes as well.
Don’t let this be another moment where you wonder – what are the things to do in Lagos this weekend? Explore these exciting new places to visit in Lagos, Nigeria. Free safety tip, whatever fun thing you are doing, if you are out late and you are struggling to get a ride home, it is always better to check yourself into a nearby hotel room and stay in till morning. Cheap hotel accommodations in Lagos are easy to come by and there would be certainly one near or around you at every point in time. All you have to do is search, find, choose, book and stay.

Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize For Literature

A French writer, Patrick Modiano has been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature.

He was honoured for the ‘art of memory’ as the Nobel Prize Twitter @NobelPrize handle stated.

Mr Modiano lives in Paris and is known to be media averse. In the past, he rarely granted interviews.

This news will be unpleasant for all that had hoped for Ngugi waThiongo to win it this year and had been bouyed by reports that he had the highest odds.

This being the 111th Nobel, it’s award to a European male is likely to provoke censure by critics and publishers who have been calling for diversity in literary art.

We congratulate Mr Modiano and look forward to discovering his work.

What do you think of the Modiano win? Have your say in the comments! 🙂

LindaGate: OMG LindaIkeji’s ‘Blog Not Found’

The past four days have witnessed an escalation of hostilities between Ms Linda Ikeji and a man known as MrAydee over copyright violations.

Mr Aydee accused Ms Ikeji of taking pictures from his blog and using them on hers without attribution. He asked for the posts to be taken down but says Ms Ikeji ignored him, then blocked him on Twitter.

Thereafter, he reported her to Google who took down the posts and according to Ms Ikeji changed her Adsense settings.

Mr Aydee and some other Twitter users alerted other global blogs to Ms Ikeji’s use of their material without permission, blogs like Getty Images and Daily Mail.

Yesterday, Ms Ikeji replied with a robust response stating that she had used material without permission but that so did every other person. She accused Mr Aydee and Jeremy Weate of wanting to bring her down.

At the end of her response she stated that God was with her and no one was big enough to bring her down.

Ayo Sorungo wrote a rejoinder. addressed to Ms Ikeji titled Re: The Guys That Want To Take LIB Down. In his letter he said,

“To people like me, the moral right to be acknowledged as the writer is sufficient, and we do not care much about the economic rights—which is why I will never get to buy a Range Rover.”

And went on to advise Ikeji on business model changes that would prevent such trouble in future.

Naija Twitter (as the Nigerian arm of Twitter is called) was aflame with opinions, jokes, jibes, twitfights and even death threats.

Some writers used the opportunity to re-open Intellectual Property (IP) debate in earnest. Elnathan John, Jeremy Weate, Sugabelly, and many others wrote to express their displeasure with the current state of affairs–Bloggers lifting material with intrepidity.

Linda Ikeji Blog Readers–LIBers as they are called– jumped to Ms Ikeji’s defence.

Also in her defence was MrFixNigeria, and Chude writer of ‘Are We The Turning Point Generation’ (Cough,cough) and owner of YNaija.

This afternoon however, Ms Ikeji’s blog was declared ‘not found’.

Does this mean the demise of the ‘most popular blog’ in Nigeria?

Only Time will tell.

Gender Equations

Are men and women equal?
If no,
Who is the lesser?

The woman?
Because she has fewer muscles?

The man?
Because he does not bear a womb?

Are all humans equal?
Is the poor man equal to the rich?
Is the lame man equal to the athlete?
Is the illiterate equal to the prof?

Is human life a mere function of what one has, or does or owns?

Or is it more?

Is it the soul?

The unseen man
Not man made or man destroyed,
Keeper of conscience
Tender, seared or scoured?

Tell me, teacher
I need to know.