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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