Save the daughters

With a heavy heart, I write this every time. The other day, it was the issue of domestic violence that caught my attention on social media, today it is the issue of child rape. A daughter is the most precious, most delicate gift God ever gave the world. I don’t understand why evil minded perverted men will want to defy God’s precious gifts. Yesterday, it was the issue of a man in Adamawa state in Nigeria raping a 4 year old girl to death. The day before it was the issue of a so-called pastor defiling a 7 year old girl on the altar of a church in Oyo state? The day before that it was a man in Kano state raping and even, unbelievably, impregnating a 5 year old girl. However possible it is for a 5 year old to even get pregnant, I need a doctor to explain this to me because this has gone way beyond scary. What?! Seriously, what is wrong with the society now or should I just ask what the world is coming to.

I’m sure there are females your age who are willing to give you satisfaction in exchange for whatever. Why not approach those instead? Anything at all but not raping a small innocent child. Please, for God’s sake STOP IT! Forget the stigma even, the trauma, the health implications for that child, the psychological effect and a host of others is more than enough to truncate the progressive development of that child. They might never even survive it. Then the parents have to face the stigma.

Mothers, I know it is unending the teachings of having to take extra care of your girl child but please, help them to be watchful, to be mindful at all times. I know it’s not easy, especially for the child who just wants to play and let loose, but unknowingly there’s a perverted man around the corner looking at her in an ungodly way. So how do you tell them to play like this or sit like that or be conscious like this? Too much to take in but that’s what the world has come to now. We need to teach them these things and help them be reminded of them always. Early sex education has automatically now become a necessity. Of course, there are levels to exposure and awareness per age group but you can seek a counselor’s help in knowing the right amount of sex education for your child’s age.

I am raising an awareness, calling on mothers, fathers, teachers, civil adults, responsible adults and the government to help us preserve our daughters. Save the daughters so we can benefit of a better tomorrow. … More Save the daughters

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A kiss on the forehead

In my vulnerable state

When in need of love, in need of comfort and assurance

He could have held me and told me all will be well

But he looked at me, deep into my eyes

I saw that man that is him

And he saw me in me in the nakedness of my weakness

Thrown, tired and helpless

He began to move close, his eyes never leaving mine

Until it reached the point where I could see it no more

I felt his breadth upon my face and the softness of his lips upon my forehead

I was caught unawares

For he had, perhaps unknowingly, showed me respect in exchange for my weakness

He had just kissed me with the deepest implications of love and trust

Because his intentions were devoid of any obligations

It says to me ‘I may like you as a friend,

I may like you as a partner,

I may want to throw you up against a wall

But right now,

I don’t need anything more from you other than to assure you of my adoration for you’.

This, for me, is the intimacy

Because you have seen me just the way I am

And you have loved me just the way you perceived me … More A kiss on the forehead

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Dealing with Domestic Violence

Have you seen the movie, “Confessions of a marriage counselor” or more recently “War room”? It’s good to watch the movies with your partner, they say. Why though? I haven’t come to the conclusion yet.

Have you noticed that there’s not one day, on social media, when you don’t find a horror story about domestic violence these days? So the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘has this always been the case or is it social media bringing these issues to limelight?’ Either way, the level of carelessness and giving to domestic violence is amazing, scary and horrifying. I thought marriage is about finding the bone of your bone and the flesh of your flesh – an agreement and consent between two adults to love and care for each other for the rest of their lives. My people say, ti iku ile o ba p’ani, t’ode o le p’ani. Meaning if the death within won’t kill you, none outside can. It’s in Yoruba language. I recall reading from the book of Psalms about eating and dinning with the enemy. The closest ones to us are the ones who hold the power to harm us the most, if we choose to ignore the signs. However, it has become disheartening when it is that special person who vowed to love and care for you, to protect and provide for you who turns out to become your worst nightmare. Worst still, the cause of your death. My bible tells me that there is one life, after which comes judgment. It’s just one life. Flee from all appearances of domestic violence. Can I shout this out loud? FLEE FROM ALL APPEARANCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! How do we build a great nation when the foundations are now being shaken?

So what is domestic violence anyway? It is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. It is important to note that domestic violence does not always manifest as physical abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence. Lack of physical violence does not mean the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped by the abuse.

I also advocate that you need to understand the peculiarity of your marriage. Watching War Room might not fix the problem. You need to accept that. The plot of your life and that story is different, ok? And you need to understand that the essence of watching the Confessions of a Marriage Counselor is not to boost a lazy man’s ego. It will not take away what is wrong with your marriage either. And just because it didn’t happen to your mother and her mother, doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t happen for you or vice versa (however applicable that is for your situation). And that’s the most important thing, knowing and appreciating the peculiarity of your marriage and situation.

So the churches tell you to keep praying and be patient when you ask for help. The society says it’s the norm. Your parents tell you it’s what they’ve also had to face. Your children need both their parents anyway. Your partner needs you to keep feeding his ego too and you? What do you need? You will constantly be pulled in all different directions until you summon courage to do what you need to do for you. Only the living can worry about what other people think, remember? Life will always go on, it doesn’t start neither will it end with you. You need to take care of you.

And of course, there are the additional barriers to escaping a violent relationship.
•The fear that the abuser’s actions will become more violent, and may become lethal if the victim attempts to leave
•Unsupportive friends and family
•Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances
•The victim feeling that the relationship is a mix of good times, love, and hope along with the manipulation, intimidation and fear
•The victim’s lack of knowledge of or access to safety and support
•Fear of losing custody of any children if they leave or divorce their abuser or fear that the abuser will hurt, or even kill, their children
•Lack of the means to support themselves and/or their children financially or lack of access to cash, bank accounts, or assets
•Lack of having somewhere to go (i.e., no friends or family to help, no money for hotel, shelter programs are full or limited by length of stay)
•Religious or cultural beliefs and practices may not support divorce or may dictate outdated gender roles and keep the victim trapped in the relationship
•Belief that two parent households are better for children, despite abuse

All I can say is, after all that is said and done, your peace of mind and sanity with hard work is always the key to a fulfilled life. It’s not tenacity in concealing what’s not working. At the end of the day, you can’t even fulfill destiny in any unfavorable circumstances.

So, do you want to be useful for yourself and the society really or be wretched or even worse dead because you tried to keep up appearances and save face?

It’s not even a joke anymore. If we need to make a difference in the world, we need to be alive to do it.
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Matters of the heart

One of my favorite songs of all time is by Brandy – Have you ever. Yea, I know, I’m a hopeless romantic. Don’t blame me; blame it on my heart. Have you ever fallen in love? Once? More than once? Is it possible to love, really love, more than once though? In the lyrics of Alicia Keys, ‘how many really know what love is anyway? And it’s sad that millions never will.

As a child, I wondered if Nigerian men, African men, really knew how to love because I had never seen the kind of love I thought I would love, except in the movies. But I was fortunate, fortunate to experience love in my young adulthood. I wondered if even full adults ever felt like I did. But now I am older (smiling) and I still have love as strongly like a love-sick puppy. How fortunate God has blessed me! Though sometimes it’s pleasurable, sometimes it hurts, sometimes it gets me losing my mind but above all I am glad I am among the few who know love. It gets me doing things out of my limits, far above my boundaries and inspiring me daily and I want to make the most of my life for this sweet investment in my life.

One of my favorite educations on love is by Myrtle from Madea’s Family Reunion. She says, “I have had an opportunity that few people ever get on this earth. God has blessed me to share time and space with a man that he designed himself just for me. I have not only been blessed, I have been divinely favored.”

Then May buttress her point by responding, “I weep for these young women today. Some of them will never know that. In fact never know even a portion…of what you’re talking about. Darlings, love is many things. It’s varied. One thing it is not and can never be is unsure.”

I am sure of this matter in my heart and the memories I know I will cherish for the rest of my life. Love is many things, love is everything. Love lifts us up where we belong. All we need is love. J Forgive me, I’m getting carried away by the love Christian shared with Satine in the movie Moulin Rouge. That kind of love where if anyone ever tells it’s going to fall apart, you want to shut them up because there’s a magical reason to hold on … to love.
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Female Circumcision & Body Awareness

Body awareness is always something I love to advocate to both male and female. I always wondered if I would know how to raise a male child, especially caring and knowing how to care for his – you know – genitals or those things that make a male child. This is so because I grew up with 5 sisters and one big brother. I don’t know much about the male body care so I nervous to have a male child. But I have one as my first child, and if I do say so myself, I am doing a great job especially because I have little or no impute from the Grandmas. So naturally for my daughter, I am more understanding and connected.

So here’s the thing, God commanded Abraham to circumcise his son on the 8th day so Christians emulate that. However painful it is for the baby and mother to bear that, I understand it has to happen. What I don’t get, though, is what exactly do people clip away when they circumcise female children?

A friend once asked me (awkward) if the urine passage way is different from the vagina. So like I said, I love to be an advocate for body awareness but it was interesting that a 36 year mother didn’t know the difference. You see, she was circumcised as a child and I wonder, really, the extent of that effect on her feminism or womanhood.

So what makes a person want to circumcise their female child? And what really are the advantages, if any, and disadvantages of female circumcision? I watched a TV documentary/movie some time ago about how ladies later on in life either find intercourse excruciating because of circumcision or they don’t even enjoy it at all or how it imparts on their body consciousness and awareness alertness or how it just altogether makes them feel less of a complete woman. However, according to UNFPA, female circumcision has serious implications for the sexual and reproductive health. Little wonder! I imagine the exposure of the female genitalia to diseases and infections.

What then is the necessity of female genital mutilation if it exposes and takes away the natural coverings of a woman’s privacy, removing the clitoral hood and clitoral glans, removal of the inner and outer labia and closure of the vulva? In this last procedure, known as infibulation, a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid. Perhaps, this is why my friend didn’t know the difference?

In 2016, UNICEF estimated 200million women had undergone the procedure in 27 countries in Africa, Indonesia, Iraq Kurdistan and Yemen. It feels unbelievable that we don’t discourage this barbaric inhuman act. And to think that it’s done so crudely using razor blade.

In any case, I strongly advocate that this has to stop. There is no aesthetic or modesty in risking so much of one’s womanhood. Body consciousness and awareness is nothing to be shameful about. It has more advantage, even, than harm. So embrace your sexuality, talk about it if you need to and get the necessary education for your good and your daughter’s. Heck, for the good of womanhood generally.

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Celebrating 8 years of Love

Never knew I could feel like this
Like I’ve never seen the sky before
Want to vanish inside your kiss
Every day I’m loving you more and more
Listen to my heart, can you hear it sing?
Telling me to give you everything
Seasons may change, winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time

Come what may
Come what may
Come what may
Come what may
I will love you until my dying day
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Untitled: A short story for your weekend holiday

It was almost twilight and I found myself dragging to my quarters. I hoped my brother would be there at least to make me feel better since all my girlfriends were headed out to a bachelor’s eve. I could have sworn I heard strange noises coming from upstairs. I couldn’t tell where exactly. Ours was a high-rise building, the stairs goes on and on. But as I climbed higher, the noise grew louder. It sounded like bashing. I was scared. The noise was coming from my room. I didn’t have the option of running away or hiding away till it was over. My brother could be in trouble. I rushed to open the door. I was horrified by the very sight that welcomed me. Segun and Yinka were battering my brother.

“What? No, stop it”, I yelled as I rushed to pull him away from them. But before I could do that, a heavy backhand slap threw me to the floor rendering me weak with series of echoes in my ear. I must have been blinded temporarily too. I struggled to remain alert. My eyes grew teary after I shook off the daze from my face. It was only then that I noticed the blood come out through my nostrils. There was no time for a pity party, my brother was in more trouble. Omololu was already collapsed in a pool of his own blood with cuts and bruises all over his body, especially his face. I gasped for air when I saw my brother like that. Is he dead? I hoped not as I pushed myself across the rugged floor toward him but within a twinkling of an eye, one of the boys pulled me up by my hair. Argh! That hurt so bad. Then he tied my hands and feet to each corner of my bed. I fought and screamed but I couldn’t get away from him. Then I began to beg, mercilessly.

“I’ve been asking to be your boyfriend” he said then he laughed out loud, an evil laugh. “Instead of accepting to date me, all you do is flaunt your sexy body around me. You shouldn’t have done that. Now here you are, at my mercy but not to worry, I will be gentle”, Segun said as he smiled so devilishly. My eyes grew wider in fear of the devilish thought on his mind. He stroked my cheek as he spoke. I struggled to get the twines loose but they were tied hard. I was only hurting myself more by wriggling my wrist in them. I loathe his touch yet all I could do is plead. I must have said a prayer that night. If there was ever a time I needed a miracle, it was that night, a miracle of obstruction.

I shot my eyes so tight and hoped by the time I opened them, it would go back to be a peaceful night. But when I opened my eyes, my brother was still in a pool of his own blood and the boys were gearing to rape me, both of them. As they took their turns to devour me, my brother awoke from my screams and cries. He tried to pull his body towards the bed but it was difficult for him to move at all. His face was badly cut. He only managed to see barely with one eye.

After they were done and gone, I wanted to be dead. I would have been better dead. I couldn’t cry anymore. I had lost my voice from so much screaming. I had lost strength from struggling and my body wasn’t mine anymore. The pain that overpowered me was deadening. I couldn’t believe that it happened to me, to us. The agonising pain and hurt and fury I felt at that moment were insurmountable. I should have gone to the party. Yet I feared for my twin brother and me. We were barely two months in the University, how could this have happened, I thought. The sight of him frightened me as I imagined the worst lying with my swollen eyes glued to the white ceiling. The tears rolled down without a sound or whimper. Until someone notices us there, we are good as dead. So I wait for death. … More Untitled: A short story for your weekend holiday

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