Monday, 30 September 2013

Interview skills from the interviewer’s point of view

Muna Onuzo Iyanam
Participating in an interview can sometimes be a daunting experience. This is especially evident if the candidate has not prepared ahead of time for the interview. Symptoms such as bouts of anxiety, profuse sweating, freezing up during the interview session and over excitement are all signs that show how anxious and nervous the candidate is. Surprisingly, the interviewers whose role it is to select a candidate that best suits the advertised position also exhibit these signs. I make this assertion because most individuals have found themselves always on the other side of the table as interviewees never considering that one day, they will in turn become the interviewer, with the responsibility of recruiting.
Does this sound familiar? Most managers today are given the responsibility to recruit bright talents into the organisation’s existing workforce. This responsibility presupposes that these managers already have the required skills to spot talent and recruit the best candidate for the position. This lack of skills has made most unskilled recruiters contributors to the high turn over of human capital within their organisations. It is an un-flattering trend that 90 per cent of organisations excluding companies such as Price Water House Cooper, among others, have not instituted the structure of engaging skilled trainers to facilitate interviewing skill training for their key members of staff, whose role it is to recruit on behalf of their departments. The ability to spot a candidate who is not only skilled but who also possesses a positive personality, which is a very important trait in achieving productivity within teams, is a critical aspect of talent sourcing. Hence, this singular interview skill for spotting the right candidate for the job during an interview session can save the company money and in turn increase ROI, which is the ultimate goal of every organisation.
So, what are these interview skills needed from the point of view of the interviewer in order to avoid making errors of judgment as a result of lack of experience, preparation and nervousness?  In my personal experience, I have been able to narrow down to three  some of the important skills every manager needs to refine if the interview process has any hope of yielding positive result. The first skill to consider when you find yourself behind the table with the power to decide if the candidate being interviewed for the position is right for the role is to assess your ability to be a good judge of character and personality. At the end of the day, this is what will either ensure you have successfully put together a great team that can work together or you have only succeeded in putting together a team of misfits that will end up being a drain on team spirit and team productivity.
Another skill to hone is the ability to determine the relevance of skill over qualification for a particular position. One of the mistakes most managers make during an interview session is to promote qualification above skill. Now, I am not saying that having two masters degrees and a doctorate is not a laudable achievement. However, if a candidate has spent a better part of their adult live immersed in acquiring certificates without consistent work experience, the candidates will end up becoming professional scholars and they might as well focus on becoming academicians instead of trying to re-integrate themselves into the corporate environment. I have interviewed candidates with international masters degree who could not pass an IQ test or possess the required practical knowledge for the position. Confidence in answering interview questions comes from an innate knowledge that the candidate has of his or her ability to successfully handle all the expectations required for the job. For example, my best social media consultant is an excellent online marketing strategist, highly cerebral, analytical and has never seen the four walls of a university. I am a champion of education, but, what is important to note here is that unless you are a doctor, lawyer or a dentist where the level of specialisation determines worth and expertise, it will be necessary to equate skill with education when interviewing candidates for a role that requires practical hands on experience such as a sales position, IT and technical and installation executive positions, especially with the shredded integrity of today’s educational system.
Finally, the most important skill an interviewer needs is the ability to discern truth from falsehood during the interview process. This is the most difficult skill as different personality types with divergent values and integrity are scheduled for the same job interview. Candidates lie on their CV’s. They want the job so badly that they go to the extreme of faking certificates and graduation dates. They are also very convincing during the interview. These nefarious candidates take their time to master the questions and acceptable answers to appear skilled and professional. This particular ruse is what deceives the unskilled interviewer who is then lulled into a sense of confidence in the candidate’s ability to perform the job.  However, when the chips are down and they get the job, these fraudulent candidates will be a huge disappointment to the organisation.  It is then a necessary need for all managers and division heads who participate in interview sessions as interviewers to go through a formal training session on developing their interviewing skills to avoid the recruitment gaffe mentioned above.

N53,000 can be yours as Nigeria turns 53 in the NaijaGreatestXI

In a few hours, Nigeria will be 53, and in celebration of Nigeria's 53rd Independence Anniversary, is giving out a N53,000 shopping Voucher to One lucky winner in the #NaijaGreatestXI competition holding which runs from now to Thursday October 3rd, 2013.

How To Win
They have provided a 22 Man list of what they believe are the greatest Nigerian players to ever put on the green-white-green jersey, from this list simply select your #NaijaGreatestXI and if it tallies with their own #NaijaGreatestXI, and you have the highest number of votes, you win the N53,000 shopping voucher. Continue...

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Fantastic property deals under N50M this week(Mortgage facilities available)

Well finished  3bdrm  all ensuite   bungalow on a half plot of land @ lakore  Ajah

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Newly built shops (9-13sqm) for 4-5million. 50%  initial  deposits allowed with spacious  car space at  i-plaza  shopping arcade .
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How To Survive A Bullet Wound Until Ambulance Arrives

This idea popped into my head few days ago after i learnt about the terrorist attack at a certain mall in Kenya(Rip to the dead)

The world is evolving into a state of: "if they are not me, kill them all and let them die" That is why we have to face reality, anything can happen at anytime the world is becoming more and more devastating everyday that anybody can be in the situation at anytime. A world of brutality and wickedness.

Okay, imagine you have been shot(God forbid), congratulations you survived

and there is no help around, or not even sure if any is coming soonest. Chances of surviving a bullet wound depends on various factors.

The dept at of the wound created by the bullet.

If the bullet has came in contact with major blood vessels, Organs, and bones.

The distance from the hospital

The type of bullet

The survival hints below is bent on keeping you alive until help comes and encompasses all of this factors.


The first thing to do is to avoid another taking another shot by pulling yourself up unto a safe place.




Wounds opens up a groove or vent for the confined blood inside your blood vessels to make their way out and a bullet wound is not an exception. Maybe the blood are always happy to be free from running around your body that's why you see them rushing out happily through your wounds. Everything likes freedom anyway.

Stopping a bleeding bullet wound could be very hectic depending on the dept of the bullet inside the body. And also if the bullet has sojourned through any main artery, organ or even the bones. An internal bleeding is more dangerous than a external bleeding. But in every bullet wound your goal will be to contrict the affected blood vessels around the wound, and this you can do through applying either pressure or a method called cautirizing(heating up a metal heavilly and placing it on the wound) oh my God this can be so painful you know? But in critical situations like this, pain is not a factor to be added up amoung the problems at hand. To apply pressure, use a pad over the wound and apply pressure directly to the wound. If you have nothing available, even your hand or fingers can be used to control bleeding. You can still employ other methods of stopping bleeding which you feel can help in the situation.


You have to be calm and also stable physically, mentally spiritually and any other ally available. Moving the affected part will push the surrounding arteries to deploy more blood to the wounded part, causing more bleeding. And also, panic will increase your heartbeat, more blood will be pumped and with the open wound serving as a channel for the pumped blood to be deposited. Then spiritually in the sense that, your soul need to fight the fear of living the body, and this you can achieve by praying to your creator.


Water will help replenish your intravascular fluid lost during bleeding.


When the bullet was plunging into your body, it cannot in there alone, it goes in with some particles of your hair, skin and also your clothe. All this particles, especially the skin will start decomposition immediatly because it is dead. And thereby setting up a breeding ground for bacterias which will end up causing an infection if not attended to. To prevent infection you have to keep the wound clean by cleaning it with water and a clean cloth. Continue doing that until the ambulance arrives to take you to the hospital for proper treatment and a removal of the bullet.


This article will need your opinions, suggestions and what you think about gun shot wounds and its survival in the absense of help.

Use the comment box below to talk to us. Have you encountered any experience related to this this? how did you survive? how was it like? how did it happen.

I will also like to learn, because I always like learning. I have not even touched a gun through out my life time, neither have I received a bullet shot before.

Thank you and remain blessed

Fashola Unveils Intercontinental Lagos, West Africa’s Tallest Hotel

overnor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos today unveiled the tallest hotel in West Africa, Intercontinental Lagos, built at a cost of N30 billion.
The hotel located at Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria is a 23-storey building containing 358 rooms and 37 suites and a Presidential suite.
The Intercontinental Lagos, a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Hotel Group, IHG, is owned by the Milan Group.
Unveiling the 5-star hotel, Fashola said the edifice would surely boost the hospitality and tourism industry in the state, while urging other entrepreneurs to look inward and invest their money in hotels and public utilities such as roads.

Fashola at the official opening of Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos
According to him, the unveiling of the hotel represented the increasing brands of hotels making Nigeria their choice destinations, saying that the tourism industry would be boosted by the new edifice.
“The tourism business is the major sector that creates jobs but sadly, this sector faces lots of challenges across the continent. The Lagos State Government is committed to providing the enabling environment,” he said.
Fashola harped on collection of consumption tax and urged hotels and other in the hospitality business to help the government to collect the tax for developmental purpose.
“Consumption taxes are not levied on hotels but on consumers. The role of hotel is to collect the tax and give it to us. It is by collecting this taxes that you empower us to provide schools, public utilities and others,” he stated.
Chairman, Milan Group, Ramesh Valechha said the hotel would change the landscape of Lagos and boost the hospitality industry in the state.
He disclosed that Memorandum of Understanding for the project was signed on 31 March, 2004 while it took two years to complete the design work before the conceptualisation of the project began.
He stated that the Lagos State Government, Skye Bank and Wema Bank were supportive of the project.
Valechha disclosed the building of the hotel cost over N30 billion while 650 jobs were created for Nigerians.
Regional General Manager, IHG, Africa, Karl Hala said the hotel is the leading hotel in Nigeria, saying the group had 170 Intercontinental Hotels in 60 countries of the world.
He described the unveiling of the hotel in Lagos as a significant milestone in the hospitality industry, adding that the group also had 20 Intercontinental Hotels in Africa and that the hotel was the only 5-star hotel in Nigeria.
Chief Executive Officer, Design Group, Bayo Odunlami said it took lots of challenging moment in the design and conceptualization of the project, saying he was happy that the group overcame the hurdles.
(Quote) (Report) (Like)
Re: Fashola Unveils Intercontinental Lagos, West Africa’s Tallest Hotel by Rossikk(m): 8:35am
It is not the only five star hotel in Nigeria.
(Quote) (Report) 4 Likes (Like)
Re: Fashola Unveils Intercontinental Lagos, West Africa’s Tallest Hotel by TribalEAST: 8:45am
SW again? angry
(Quote) (Report) (Like)
Re: Fashola Unveils Intercontinental Lagos, West Africa’s Tallest Hotel by $£yi: 8:46am
Rossikk: It is not the only five star hotel in Nigeria.

Not sure if many of Nigeria's so called "five star hotels" would pass for it outside Nigeria.

@ post, looks good.
(Quote) (Report) 1 Like (Like)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

I have a list of what I must do daily — 94-year-old ex-NITEL MD


Mr. Victor Haffner
A former Managing Director of NITEL, Mr. Victor Haffner, who turned 94 on September 1, in this interview with YETUNDE BROWN speaks on his childhood experience, career and other issues
How old are you?
I was 94 on September 1, 2013.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I was born in Lagos, I went to elementary school at Christ Church School, Faji, Lagos Island. I was told that I was a truant even though I can’t remember that. However, I can recollect that when I was in standard one, I was doing very well,  I later went to a grammar school when I got to standard three. At that time, there was a preparatory class in grammar school. They were very strict at Christ School, Faji. There was a teacher in standard two then called Mr. Sholanke. He was very rough; he used to whip the boys. Perhaps,  I would have been a truant again in standard two but I did so well in standard one and got a double promotion to standard three. So, I missed standard two. Ms. Jibowu of blessed memory, the sister to late Chief Justice Jibowu was a teacher in our school, Mr. Oshibo was the headmaster. From standard three, I went straight to the preparatory class in grammar school. We left a record in the school which has not been broken till today, about 12 of us. I, Akintola Williams and late Rotimi Williams. After class six, I started working. I worked with people that were more or less like my father. One had to work overtime before one could earn £3 a month.  I later resigned and went to the United Kingdom.
Why did you choose to become an engineer?
When I got to the United Kingdom, I was not sure what I wanted to do, I had learnt music, I could play the piano, knew the theoretical aspect and was also a choirboy at the cathedral. I had an option of becoming a professional musician or pursue another profession which was very dear to my heart. The professions dear to my heart then were in this order: medicine or engineering. If I had had enough funds and was supported by my late uncle, I would have been a doctor today. I decided to study engineering because it was much cheaper than medicine. After qualifying, I started working with at least two or three companies in London.
When did you return to Nigeria?
A friend of mine told me to apply for a post in Nigeria. I hesitated but he begged me to come back home so I agreed and applied. It was done by the colonial office and it was dominated by West Indians who favoured those from the West Indies.  By the time I went for the interview, I had already passed class six with exemption from London Matriculation. I had credits and distinctions in all the subjects so I had no problem with that. I was already working as an engineer in London before applying in Nigeria. However, I was not employed. Since I was working in London, I was not bothered when my application was not considered in Nigeria. After about six months, I got a letter of employment from Nigeria.  I was put on a salary scale of £500. The day I got the employment letter was the day I was expected to send my letter of acceptance if I was interested in the job. So, I replied and said I had accepted the offer. I waited for another four months. While waiting, I had to do post graduate training with the British post office and other companies like Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company. I did all these because it was part of the conditions given before I could be employed in Nigeria. I came back to Nigeria in 1956 and was posted to Kano. As a young boy, I had never travelled beyond Ibadan in the South-West. I was a bachelor so I said I was ready to go to any part of the country. I went by rail and it took about three days before I got to Kano. I was there for about 18 months and got transferred to Lagos. After eight months in Lagos, I was moved to the directorate headquarters.
What interesting experiences can you remember about your career?
I was at one conference in London when I was instructed to leave and rush back to Lagos. I didn’t know what happened and had to, leave London for Lagos. I went to the headquarters and I was asked to take over Cable and Wireless. Cable and Wireless was the company that was running external services in Nigeria. And on January 1, 1963, a new company was incorporated which was Nigerian Telecommunications Limited in which government had 51 per cent equity while Cable and Wireless had 49 per cent. I was transferred to the office in Marina.
I became the Managing Director in 1964 and was responsible for the development programmes. We were doing very well until 1975 when the military invaded and ruined the system. It was in Buhari’s regime that the harm was done and the company was joined with P and T and was named NITEL.
In 1975, I was kicked out of the company. That was the day the federal public service was dismantled and many civil servants were dismissed. I became a consultant of a big corporation called Marobeni which was a big company in Japan.  That was where I made my money from. My pension allowance at NITEL was N128 per month and at the end, I was denied it completely. I spent 12 years working as a managing director and yet I was denied my allowance. In 2003, I decided that I had done enough and retired from service. By the time I was kicked out from the federal public service, I was just 55. As at the time I left P and T, I was Assistant Engineer-in-Chief. Thereafter, I became the Chief Executive Managing Director of External Telecommunication (NITEL).
When did you start raising your family?
I started very late. I got married at the age of 37 and I had a reason. It was one of two things then in London: It was either you lived as a bachelor or you married an English girl. If you didn’t want to marry a white girl, then you would have to wait until you found a suitable girl from your race. Some people married while they were studying while some were studying while their wives were working and paying for everything. I chose to do everything on my own. I did not get married until I got back to Nigeria and that was in 1957.
How did you meet your wife?
I met her when I was coming back to Nigeria. Coincidentally, we were on the same ship coming to Nigeria
Was she your first girlfriend?
No, she was not my first girlfriend. I used to have so many white girlfriends but I did not want to marry a white lady.
How long did you court before getting married?
We courted for about 15 to 18 months before we finally got married.
How many children do you have?
I have five children, four boys and a girl. They are all independent and are living abroad.
Since you had a passion for medicine, did you encourage any of your children to study it?
No, I did not. But I have other family members who are now doctors.
Is your wife still alive?
No. My wife and I were married for about 50 years before she died of dementia in 2007.
Why do you think marriages do not last nowadays?
There are so many reasons why marriages crash today. One of the reasons is that if you are a man and you do not have a girlfriend before, either white or black, you are not likely to understand the tricks and behaviour of women. If you marry the first girl you meet, you may be in trouble because you may not know her well enough to go into marriage. Another reason is if there is no give and take. You must be very flexible. The two of you cannot always have it your own way. If you cannot accommodate the behaviour of another person, there would be problem.
Did you have any challenge while you were in NITEL?
Yes, there were so many challenges while I was in NITEL. One of problems I had was from the workers. There was a time they wanted me to leave NITEL and they staged a coup, singing ‘Haffner must go.’ One must be very strict. One also needs to be straightforward in whatever one does. That way, nobody can allege that you have committed fraud because investigations will vindicate you. There are times they can send people to watch what you do. You will not know. In NITEL, they did that to me.
What was the attitude of workers to government job while you were in there?
They were very cooperative. But it was important to treat them well. Everybody has a limit, if you underrate the capability of a person, at the end of the day, there is a tendency to write such a person off. But when there is limit to which a worker is expected to perform, such cannot happen. That was what I used to tell my subordinates especially my chief engineer. He was very brilliant and couldn’t be faulted. He wanted everybody to be like him but it is not possible.
What are you hobbies?
My hobbies are reading and music. I like listening to music, every type of music. I have so many music CDs in my house. Be it our local musicians like Sunny Ade or Ebenezer Obe. I also like classical music. My mood determines the kind of music I listen to. I also take part in the musical aspect of my church. For instance, when we were to buy a new organ at the cathedral, I was made the chairman of the fund raising committee. We have just bought a new organ and it is about the best organ in West Africa. It costs us nearly £1m.
Do you have any favourite food?
I have travelled far and wide. I have been to so many countries and I have tasted the food of all the countries I visited. The countries I have not visited are mostly those in Western Europe and this is because it was difficult to get to that part of the world then. As somebody who was in the communication field, we used to have conferences in various countries of the world. So, because I have eaten food from different continents of the world, I cannot say that I have a particular food as my favourite.
Do you like sports?
I love watching golf but I don’t play because I have been involved in a lot of accidents. I watch athletics and other games like football and crickets. I used to play tennis.
What is your daily routine like now?
I don’t push myself. I regiment myself, before the end of a day, I decide what I am going to do the next day. I write down things I want to do and appointments I have in a day. I may not do it all but I just don’t do things impromptu.
How many siblings do you have?
My parents had four children; I am the third child and the only one still alive.
How was it like growing up in those days?
It was easier growing up then. There wasn’t much traffic; there weren’t so many vehicles, so you could walk by the roadside without having any fear that a motorist might knock you down. Even though, there was public transport, we preferred to trek from Lagos Island to Ebute Meta. The level of discipline was very high then. But now, there are more distractions. This is why the youth are easily distracted. You have television and all sort of games now. But in those days, we had just gramophone not even stereo.
Where are you from?
I am a Lagosian.
Do you have regrets in life?
No, I don’t have any regrets.
Which day will you describe as your happiest moment?
It depends on the stage in life because when you feel a particular day is your happiest, another thing may come up later in life that will make you happier. I think the happiest moment in one’s life should be when one is able to do what one set out to do.
What do you do to keep fit?
I used to swim because I have a pool in my house but I can’t swim anymore. I now do more of walking. I walk around the house and I have to keep my feet down because of arthritis.
Can you say you have lived a fulfilled life?
Of course, I am not sick, for instance, I have never had  malaria. Everybody’s metabolism is not the same and you need to know your metabolism so that you will know what works for you.  Doctors are very important and we should consult them whenever the need arises. You should know when something is wrong with you. There are some sicknesses that can kill if you don’t attend to them immediately, like prostrate cancer.
Do you still travel abroad?
I have travelled long enough. I do not travel anymore.
How many grandchildren do you have?
I have five grandchildren.
Do you have any painful moment?
Yes, I have, I would say it was when I had an ailment and was hospitalised for a long period.

What's next after saying "I do"?

  • Written by  Ruth Olurounbi
The evening was perfect. The planner had done everything to my specifications. I had always wanted a wedding by the beach with a few close friends and family in attendance. Country music played softly at the background. The food and wine was exquisite. And my dress?! Oh my, it was the most beautiful wedding dress exclusively ever made.
Beneath the caressing sunset, I said “I do” to my husband, my fiancĂ© of two years and boyfriend of four years. My husband, my prince charming. And with a deep kiss, we were set on our journey to a forever happily after. Oh, how wrong I was!
It started a few days after our honeymoon in Rio. Rio was the most breathtaking place to ever consummate an intimate love. We ate, we drank, we merried but most importantly, we made love, most passionately, soul-pouring love ever, at every chance we got. Oh boy! It was worth the wait. Earlier in our relationship, I had told my boyfriend that there would be no sex until our marriage and he had patiently waited, respecting my wishes.
Oh, mind you, I wasn’t a virgin; I just felt that I had had enough with premarital sex and its heartaches. Then I found God along the way, which helped strengthen my resolve to wait till my wedding night.
Now, to the issue at hand. My husband is a neat/organisation freak. My husband could organise and plan our friends’ lives and that of the universe without missing a beat. He is anal that way. I, on the other hand, could never keep up. I take each day as it comes, never worrying about tomorrow. I am neat, not just compulsive-obsessively neat though. No, I don’t keep everything in my laundry basket separated by the colours, fabrics and textures. No, too much organisation makes me feel like I am in a straight jacket and that is the most uncomfortable place to be in the entire world. And I hated it.
So, that was the lingering issue in the first few months of our new marriage. And it went unresolved. Each of us was seething underneath, never allowing the anger to blow over the top.
Occasionally when my husband complained about my lack of organisation skills, I took it very personal. It was a personal assault on my person, I felt like I wasn’t good enough for him and I would go days having this funny thoughts in my head, which directly influenced the way I reacted to him.
Eventually, small issues become big one and we began to have problems.
Two years into our marriage, we began to have major problems. In rebellion, I began to be DISRESPECTFUL and vehemently STUBBORN. Did I mention I had an advanced degree in stubbornness? My new found habit infuriated my husband to bits and he would lash out verbally. Or sometimes, go mute for days. That noise, the silence was always so resounding that my ear drums would almost explode.
I became stressed and severely unhappy. To make matters worse, I couldn’t CONCEIVE. Not that anything was wrong with my reproductive system/organs or that of my husband’s, I just couldn’t conceive. Five years into my marriage, I contemplated a divorce. Deep down, we both knew we loved each other, we weren’t just happy anymore and I wanted out before I lost my mind.
My inability to conceive sent me on a spiral downward slope and I couldn’t pull the brakes. Yet, I couldn’t reach the bottom. It was as if I was freefalling a dark bottomless pit and all hell were let loose. That experience was ugly. Heck, I was ugly. Everybody who saw me was convinced that some monster had possessed me and eaten the once beautiful, lively and free-spirited girl they used to know up.
We were both miserable. We no longer had a connection anymore, except to device ways to torture each other more than the previous day. The sex, which had gradually become mechanical had finally stopped. We were both shell of our old selves.
Finally, we caught a break. One day at my gynecologist’s place, he mentioned that I needed to see a psychologist. He said he couldn’t find anything wrong with me, except that my mental state had become so fragile; it was on the brink of getting warped. I almost broke down in tears but held myself together till I got home.
During the hour-long drive back home, I felt a wave of new sadness wash over me. It suddenly hit me that I am losing my marriage and I wasn’t doing anything to save it, that although I loved my husband, we have suddenly become strangers. I reminiscenced about the first time we met, the first kiss, the first everything and how we had made our relationship work for six years. I had known my husband for 11 years of my life and I was about to lose him to a creeping insanity.
I barely made it to the front door when I broke down sobbing. I wept like a bereaved mother who had lost her only child. I wept for the love long gone. I wept for the years I had wasted and could never get back. I wept for everything. My husband, who had arrived home earlier than usual saw the anguish in me and came over. He cradled me gently to himself and asked what was wrong. I told him what my gynecologist said and he told me he would work through my issues with me.
I apologised for the hell I put him through. He did same and confessed that he was tired of our fights. He apologised for his sensitivity and he made a very remarkable point. We both left GOD out of our marriage. We both apologised to God for our behaviours, and made a commitment to hand our lives and issues back to God, who has the beautiful blueprint of our live.
The following morning, my husband made an appointment to see a psychologist together. But that night was when the HEALING began to take place. After a year of THERAPY, my husband and I retook our VOWS before God and a few family and friends. And we began our journey to live happily ever after.
*Now, this story serves a premise on what’s to come in the following months. We’ll be dealing with marriage issues on this column every week. We will provide insights to a lot of problems in marriage and how to deal with them. We look forward to reading from our readers, as they share their experiences, or send in their questions. We look forward to a beautiful life together on this column.
Cheers and keep ‘em coming!