Sunday, 16 November 2014

#notetoself




Beware of destination addiction- a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, with the next partner or relationship etc. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are...


Recently, I have been finding myself in this place a lot. So easy to obsess over the next step in life and forget to enjoy where you are and celebrate how far you have come. I don't know who wrote this but I know I needed a reminder and probably a party planner because I never celebrate anything. :-D Hope it blesses you too.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Gray Matter



 "Truth and lies are black and white. So what is grey? Half-truths and lies."

I am not sure who thought of the colour grey, a bit of black and a bit of white. I have nothing against the colour, I mean it is related to my favourite, black, but I don't know who thought applying the same principle to real life was a great idea.Things should be simple, black or white, yes or no but now there is a grey area for almost everything, talk about evolving. Well, I know everything in life is not exactly straight forward, but you will see what I mean in a bit.

Religion. I thought it was either you were a Christian or you were not. Now we have practising Christians and those not practising. It is bad enough we already have a million denominations. Not just Christians, it is the same for other religions. Why all the classes? Are we just  creating these to suit our lives, because we are too lazy to do the actual thing, the right thing or we lack understanding? Why carry the name if you do not want to commit? 

Relationships, it is either you are in one or you are not. These days, its hard to tell the difference. 
One night stands,
Open relationships, 
We'll see where it leads, 
Hanging out?! I am still trying to get what that means and people's definitions tend to vary with the guy or girl they are referring to. People who use this term/s are obviously not ready to commit and face the challenges that come with a relationship. Why not just stay on your own? What happened to just having friends? But life is unpredictable, yes, life can be unpredictable so allow it to be unpredictable, don't try and create an unpredictable situation. So you fell in love with your secretary, divorce your wife before starting another family. Falling in love with your secretary is unpredictable, buying her a house, a car and getting her pregnant three times, isn’t. 


We just make life stressful for ourselves, then we complain that life is too complicated. Well, you made some choices, so live with it. We don't want to choose sides, we want a bit of both but we should know by now we cannot have everything so we need to differentiate what we need from what we want. Is two minutes pleasure more important that a life of stability and purpose? It is thrilling to live off emergency but can you afford the cost of life's A&E? 


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Salvation: Have We Missed It?



“Paying your tithe qualifies you for heaven.”
“Your offering is your ticket to heaven.”

Some people have actually stood on a pulpit and made these cringe-worthy statements. *head in hands* Who gave them the mic? I see why a lot of people have a problem with churches in Nigeria. Let’s get one thing straight;

Jesus is your ticket to heaven, I am not a Bible scholar but I think it is pretty clear on that fact.

“I am the way and the truth and life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6 ESV

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Romans 10:9 ESV

“This is how much God loved the world: he gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
John 3:16 MSG

Should I go on?

This is obviously a scheme to get people to put money in the offering bowl, but something is very wrong if you have to scare your congregation with this kind of statement. It only breeds pride, fear and self-righteousness. Many years ago, I heard a lady giving a testimony of how her life is great compared to her friend who goes to another church because she gives and pays her tithe and she sounded so smug. That’s not a testimony, that’s bragging. 

Paying tithe is a kingdom principle(that’s what I like to call it). A man in debt can still make heaven because it is not about his works but about his relationship with Christ. 

Our focus has shifted from Christ to a to-do list but He died to fulfil that list. If the list or tithe paying was the key then Christ didn’t have to die.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” Matt 5:17 ESV


I am not sure what some pastors or minsters are afraid of. Your job is not to manipulate, scare, force and control the life of everyone in your congregation. Your job according to 2 Timothy 3:14-17 is to teach, reproof, correct and train according to the scriptures. Plant the seeds and allow God to do the rest.

I know we are not perfect but if you are going to stand on a pulpit and teach, you should at least get the very foundation of your belief right. I am just saying!


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Christian Music Industry: Is God still the Focus?



The inspiration for this topic came when I watched a few interviews on Youtube and I heard what we would call "christian rappers" say they are hip hop artistes who are Christians. Well, I can’t argue, we don’t walk around saying I am a Christian plumber or doctor but the comments and some blogs showed that many people aren’t exactly pleased with this. I first heard this type of statement many years ago, can’t remember the artiste but it didn’t bother me, it still doesn’t (should I check my salvation?). They might not call themselves Christian artistes but they will always be classified as one, I mean I will, except the message of their music changes. I guess they just want to be able to express themselves in whatever way they want. Example; Mali Music has signed to a secular label and just released Mali Is, which sounds good (I like I Believe and Beautiful). But people see them as sold-out and/or possibly illuminati followers. Lol! It is always Illuminati.

I have also heard a few people say that Christian music these days is just positive music, there is no depth to it and the Gospel has been watered down to please the secular community. 

Personally, I think the passion some artistes have to engage culture is true, however, the way they go about it might have a few loopholes. That should be expected, they are humans beings, being Christian doesn’t automatically make them super-heroes. It is very easy for passion or life to overwhelm everything else. It happens all the time, I can testify. That being said, I also think they need to surround themselves with a support system that will keep them accountable and God-focused all the time.

There is a lot to say on this and I am lazy so I decided to ask my good friend to help me out. 
Jim Adonteng is the founder of One Voice. He is extra-saved and he loves hip hop so I thought it would be great to share his thoughts. Read below.

I would start off by saying that the industry has come a very long way from hymns to rock(which was seen as the devil’s music) to hip hop and other varieties. I am a fan of hip hop and R&B, so that area of music will be my main focus especially the hip hop side of things. A friend told me some people are trying to start a new category called hip hope, it made me laugh and I pray it never catches on. 

My first encounter with Christian Rap was Da Truth, I think the album was called “Moment of Truth” which had some good songs, but the standard was nowhere near today's which includes his albums after that one. After him was the Message Tribe in Manchester and then G.R.I.T.S.  Lecrae brought the game to a whole new level in terms of quality, flow and truth, he held back no punches. Lecrae’s first albums were really convicting, inspiring and edifying and that really helped me in my Christian walk. Since then I have heard a lot of really good songs.

The problem I have is not so much with the industry as a whole but the artistes. It seems that at the grass root level they speak raw truth with creativity and hold nothing back but as they go higher in fame, creativity takes over the truth. I was intrigued by Lecrae’s song choice when he had the chance to be on 106 and Park. I would have thought he’d perform a song which directed people to God, sending the message that God is not limited in creativity, so it is cool to give your life to Christ. I mean, before 106 and Park his music has been about God one way or the other. He instead chose to perform the song he did with B.O.B. “Round of Applause”

I have listen to interviews of some Christian artistes and it felt like they were holding back and trying to please the show rather than God. I am also seeing that the music videos are becoming more and more like the secular ones, don't get me wrong I love the quality of the videos but the songs have nothing to do with the flashy cars and blings. The message is powerful enough on its own without the blings and the cars. The quality of the videos doesn't need blings to make it creative or show the world it's ok to be rich and be a Christian (that is not what Christianity is about).

The other issue I am coming across is the hidden pride in lyrics, Christian artistes are now talking about how the lyrics will murder other MCs, then they go on to talk about God. Really guys? Really? If you are a good artiste, your work speaks for itself not you "fam". I don't see the need to justify your work when God is the one who does that. 

I have also heard artistes saying that people should look at their walk rather than their music. I think it is a good point but how the heck are the people who live on the other side of the world going to see your walk? What would be the point in Jesus walking the word and not teaching it? It would be in vain.

I have come to an understanding that the Christian Music Industry is slowing being corrupted by pride, cliques and fame. I gathered this from an interview MC Jin did. You can find it on Youtube - Why Jin didn't collaborate with Lecrae? Sadly, some upcoming artistes are using the industry for fame, other artistes are saying they are rappers that are Christian, what does that even mean? Is that an excuse to water down the message? Let's get this right you are who God says you are, rapping is what you do not who you are.

In conclusion,  I think the Christian Music Industry (Hip hop) is losing its priority slowly and I think its to do with the companies and artistes not building their identity in Christ and His word. They don't seem to be holding their acts accountable to what they do, say and things portrayed in their music videos. The acts need to understand the value of their music, understand who they are serving and also know who they are in Christ thus building their identity in God.

To any aspiring Christian artistes, remember it is always God first, your message is to direct people to God and not you. You will be able to reach people that the older generations can't, God inspires creativity more than man can, so always ask God.  Keep this principle; it will help you go far "UPH" (Unity, Prayer and Humility), know who you are and build your identity in Christ and His word so you are not swept away by fame and things of this world.

Side Note: Some artistes’ lyrics are based on where they are in their walk with God.


Please share your thoughts, I would love to hear them.




Monday, 16 June 2014

A Little Inspiration


A little something that really spoke to me at a very weird point in my life. Embracing myself has been a long painful journey, but I am happy I took the step. Hope it speaks to you too.


"In the end we are all trying to be different, but most of us are alike. And all it does is confuse our systems... "I want to be myself, but as long as it's who everyone will accept" is flawed thinking. We hate the stares that come with standing out. We whisper our declarations in unison with all the others. We just want to say it. We fear a solo will show our voices really crack. Everyone who became great dared to embrace themselves. I really think the secret is pursuing the voice of the person you'll accept, the person you heard before the scars made you settle for less. You'll be too distracted with the sway of grace to ever wonder if they're dancing along or standing in place."
                                                                                              ...........Sarah Jakes
                     

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Sticky Escape


Preya stared hard at her wrist. She was so thin now, she traced the vein sticking out then, closed her eyes. She felt faint from the painkiller she had taken. It was time. She quickly grabbed the new razor blade she left on the soap dish and cut deep across her left wrist. She leaned back and rested her head on the egde of the tub watching her pain leach out of her body into the warm soapy water. She took a deep breath. 

Mrs Perri was a few minutes away from the church, when she remembered she had forgotten her bottle of olive oil in the sitting room. She sighed. She didn't want to be late for the deliverance service. "Prophet Benson is a strong man of God. You have to come for the three night deliverance service. I am sure your life will never be the same." She had told her friends at the hospital a few weeks ago. She thought about going without it but she remembered the prophet, “Everyone should come with  a bottle of olive oil. Miracles are going to happen.” 
She pulled up in front of a small supermarket, reached for her wallet but it wasn't there either. "The Devil is a liar." she whispered to herself. "You will not stop me from getting my blessing today." Her offering and seed money was in there. She knew she had to go home. First, she dialled Preya, it rang a few times before it went to voicemail. She looked at her watch and calculated the time it will take in her head. She pulled out and started the journey home. She would miss the praise session, but she could live with that. She parked the car by the estate and ran in to the third house on the left side of the street. On unlocking the front door, she yelled for Preya. She saw the olive oil on the centre table and quickly grabbed it. 
"Preya!" she called again. She was supposed to be preparing dinner. She made her way upstairs, ran to her room, her handbag was just sitting on the bed.
"Preya!" she shouted. 
"Where has this crazy child gone?" she mumbled as she walked to Preya's door. She knocked twice before turning the door knob.
"Preya! Why haven't you started preparing dinner? She said noticing the bathroom door slightly open. She pushed it wide open. Her heart sank as her bag and bottle of olive oil dropped to the floor. Preya was sitting in her blood, head slung back. Mrs Perri wanted to scream but she couldn't.  She walked slowly to Preya and touched her face. "Preya!" she called, tears dropping to her cheeks. For the first time, she noticed her very thin frame. She pulled her hand from the water to find a pulse  when she saw the cut on her wrist. Her heart sank even further. The head-tie on her head became heavy, she threw it away as she ran to her bag to find her phone. It wasn't there. She saw that her bottle of oil had broken.
"My God, what is happening today?" she cried. She looked up and saw Preya's phone on her bed, she ran and grabbed it. She dialled a number.
"Hello! Paul! Paul!" she sniffed. "You have to come home, Preya has killed me o!"
"Helen! What is it now? What did she do this time?"
"You have to come back o, I think Preya tried to kill herself. She cut her wrist."
"What? Where is she?" her father yelled over the phone
"In her bathtub, Paul, it is filled with blood." Her free hand went to her head. She caressed braids aggressively as she rushed down the stairs. She went out of the house to the gate. 
"Okay! Helen, stop crying. I will come home on the next available flight but you have to take her to the hospital first. Does she still have a pulse?"
"Paul, I didn't check o! She cleaned her face with her boubou and motioned one of the security men to follow her.
"Just take her to the hospital. I am coming home."


The knock on the door interrupted Mrs Perri's thoughts. Mrs Dede walked in. "Helen, you have been absent-minded all day, what's wrong?" She said closing the door and finding a seat across the table. Helen stopped chewing her pen. She would really loved to gossip with Mrs Dede but Preya was on her mind. It'd been five days since she returned from the hospital. Paul and her have been walking on egg shells. They found themselves whispering instead of just having a normal conversation. She couldn't wrapped her mind around what happened. Anytime she closed her eyes, she remembered her thin body in the tub of blood.  But she knew she had to say something to Mrs Dede, she had been avoiding conversations at work since the incident. How could she tell people that her family now played with suicide? The devil had come into her home. She could feel the tears coming, but she had makeup on, she wasn't sleeping and nobody had to know that. "It is Preya!" she finally replied. 
"Is she still with you?" Mrs Dede asked.
"Yes, her husband is still refusing to sign the divorce papers, insisting he wants to fight for his marriage. But Preya has vowed never to return to his house."
"But it has only been five years, is she giving up that easily? Anyways we will keep praying for her and her husband." She said then laughed. "Children of today, so weak at heart."
Helen joined her hoping she won't push further, she didn't want to say anymore. She got up and started gathering the files on her table. "I need to make one last round and update the night nurse before I head home."


Preya caressed the bandage on her wrist. She couldn't believe she was alive, now she had to tell her parents why. She didn't want to talk to them especially her mother, Mrs Perfect. When they knocked on her door that night, she knew the time for explanations had come. She held her pillow tight and rocked slowly as she told them to come in. Her father took seat on the armchair next to her bed. Her mother paced a bit, staring at her bed with slight digust like it had been engulfed by the devil. She finally sat at the edge. Preya could swear she was sitting with only one butt-cheek. Paul cleared his throat and leaned forward. "Preya! Your mother and I are worried about you. We thank God you survived, but we want to know what is going on. Why did you want to end your life?" Preya held back the tears. Her father always had a way to melt her heart. "I am so sorry, I didn't want to cause trouble but I was just tired of everything. At that moment, I didn't think I could handle it any longer."
"What have I taught you all these years, Preya? In your moment of weakness you go to God." Her mother jumped in before Paul could say more. Preya rolled her eyes as Paul eyed his wife. She ignored them and continued. "What do you think people will say when they hear this? I told you to stop staying in this room and sulking, now you see what has happened? What if I didn't forget my olive oil that day? See how God loves you. If I tell you to come for deliverance with me now you say I like church too much." Paul sighed. 
"Mummy why can I just be a human being around you? I didn't handle the situation well, I accept that but will it kill you to show some sympathy? Preya replied.
"Preya, I raised you well. I didn't raise you to give up. That's how when you failed your final year exam you came home and told us you were not going to school again, because you had failed twice before. The houseboy raped you and you said you will never marry, didn't you still marry? You are too dramatic. You think this is a movie, this is life, it is hard." Paul was now shaking in his seat. 
"Helen, it is okay. Calm down. This is not why we are here. We are here to offer support, not yell. She knows what she did was wrong." Paul said sternly. Preya just sat and stared blankly. 
"Your daughter wants to destroy the name of this family and you want me to keep quiet. I knew we should never have sent her abroad.  Where else could she have learnt this nonsense?" Paul jumped up poised to speak but took a deep breath and left the room. 
"Where are you going? Come back, let's talk to your daughter." Mrs Perri said, now sitting properly on the bed without knowledge. When Paul didn't returned she turned to face her daughter. "So what about Daniel, your husband?" Preya cleaned her face. "I am not going back to that house. Mummy you have lost a grand child, because that idiot beat it out of me. Is he the only one who has lost a job in his life? Is he the only one that is frustrated? My business went under two months ago, I am frustrated as well."
"But he is fighting for you. Your father and I have had our own share of troubles but we stayed together and worked through it." her mother said getting up from the bed, probably realising her mistake. "I don't know why you want to disgrace us, you don't know people are looking at us. I have worked hard to keep this family together, I don't know why you behave like this. Your brother is not like this." With that she left the room to answer her husband who was calling from the sitting room. 

Preya grabbed her pillow and buried her face in it. She wanted to hurt her mother for being so insensitive. She never offered her any support, she only emphasised her pain. She remembered the rape like it was yesterday. Even after dad got Essien arrested, mother still blamed her, saying that she was sure she encouraged it. How can someone encourage rape? When people asked after Essien, she says he was a thief so he had to leave. She gave him a lesser crime, at the expense of what? She cleaned the tears from her face. The time had come for her mother to face the truth. She got up from the bed and made her way downstairs. She found her parents going at each other. They stopped when they noticed her.
"Mummy!" Preya walking towards her. "Junior is in rehab." Preya apologised to Junior in her head, but she cannot be the only black sheep in the family.
"What?!" shouted Mr and Mrs Perri. "I thought he was doing a placement this year?" Mrs Derry asked finding the couch for support.
"No! He took a year out to go to rehab. He overdosed and landed in the hospital few months, doctors suggested rehab." Preya answered. Mrs Perri searched her daughter's face, praying it was all a lie. 
She nodded at her mother and waited a while to let it sink in, then she went to her dad who was sitting on the couch and knelt before him. His head was in his hand. She didn't want to hurt him anymore but she wasn't done. Her mother had to face reality, she cannot cover everything with olive oil, holy water and white lies. "Daddy, forgive me." she whispered to him. He lifted his head looking worried. 
"Mummy,"she said softly, still staring at her father. Mrs Perri was rocking back and forth in her chair mumbling things to herself.
"You know the contract Daddy has in Owerri?" She stopped and looked at her daughter, who now turned to face her. Her father shifted in his seat. "It ended more than two years ago." She searched her mother's face, the worried look slightly excited her. 
"Daddy, you should tell her the rest." As Preya walked up the stairs to her room, she heard her mother scream.  She guessed he had told her he had a two year old son and another baby on the way. 

That night was difficult. First, her parents were arguing and even when she managed to doze off, she kept dreaming about the crying baby, the one she had not succeeded in calming in the last month. Preya couldn't take the nightmares any more. This time, the baby's cry was even louder. She could only pray for morning to come. Maybe she should see that therapist the doctor had suggested. Her mother wanted her to speak to a pastor, obvious choice. She switched on the bed light and went to look for the business card.


Preya was sitting on her bed, biting her nails and contemplating going to see her dad after seeing the therapist when her phone rang. She didn't recognise the number. She sighed and picked it up.
"Hello" she said.
"Preya, It is Daniel. Please don't hang up. I am outside your house." the voice quickly said.
"What?!" Preya jumped up. "Daniel, why are you here?" Preya shouted.
"I didn't come to fight, I just came to give you the divorce papers." Daniel replied. Preya got up quickly and check if the bags under her eyes were visible.
"Really?"
"Yes."
"Okay, I am coming."
Daniel handed her the papers as soon as the door opened. "I hope this makes you happy." He said.
"What does that mean?" Preya asked collecting the papers from him, noticing his how smartly he was dressed and how handsome he looked. Then, she hated herself for noticing.
"I hit you a few times, I was wrong. I apologised, I didn't realise I was even capable of such. If anybody told me I would ever hit you, I would never have believed it. I was willing to do anything to make this work."
"I lost a child, Daniel. How many children did you want me to lose first? I have to look out for myself, besides now you know what you are capable of."
"You act like the child wasn't mine as well. You think I wasn't looking forward to being a father. You think I don't live with the guilt everyday. You think I love living with the knowledge that I hurt you. Preya, I hustled for your forgiveness, I went for anger management sessions, I even moved out for a few months at your request, gosh! I even followed your mother for deliverance services, then you woke up one morning and wanted a divorce, not even a separation, not a let-me-go-and-live-with-my-parents-for-a-few-months-to-clear-my-head, you asked for a divorce."
Preya held the papers close to her chest. "I don't expect you to understand my decision."
"Preya, for the past six months, I have been trying to understand your decision but you won't even explain it, you won't see me or pick my calls. I can tell there is something you are not telling me.  I know there is something more to this." He caught his breath. "I love you so much but I am done asking and I am done trying." Daniel said. 
The statement killed Preya a little inside. This was what she wanted, she was supposed to feel a huge relief but no! it wasn't. Preya watched him walk away. She wanted to rip her heart out for failing her. 
"Daniel! Wait!" She called as she dropped the papers and went after him. She wasn't sure what she was doing. Daniel stopped and turned to face her.
"I noticed you are all dressed up, where are you coming from or going to?" Preya slowly asked when she got to him.
"Had my job induction today." Daniel answered totally confused. She wasn't interested when he called to tell her he finally got a job, infact she hung up on him. He had hoped that would change her mind about the divorce.
"The tie looks good on you." Preya continued.
"Preya, is this why you called me back?" said Daniel now raising his voice, then regretting why he did.
Preya took deep breath, "Danny, you are right, there is something else." she said tracing the ground with her slippers. Daniel walked close, "What is it?" he asked wanting to hold her when he noticed she had started to sniff.
"I am so sorry, Danny." She bursted out. "I am so so sorry." Daniel looked around hoping nobody was watching them. He patted her shoulder. "Do you want to do this inside?" he asked.
Preya cleaned her face and tried to comport herself. "I aborted our second child, Daniel. I am so sorry." Daniel took a step back, stunned, his mouth slightly ajar, Preya looked at him hoping he would say something but no words came out. "Danny, please say something." she begged. When he didn't she continued. "I knew I shouldn't have but after the I lost the first one, I got scared, we were both frustrated, we were fighting a lot, throwing things at each other, I didn't think that was a conducive environment for a child but then things started to change for the better and I couldn't live with the fact that I didn't give the baby a chance. That's when I asked you to move out." She looked at him again. 
"That night you came back from the hospital?" Daniel asked
"Yes." She replied remembering how Daniel had swept her off her feet and blushing. She had never felt that way in a long time, even the way he touched her was different but she loved it. But she never knew that night would produce a child
"So why are you telling me now? I already gave you what you wanted."
"I don't know, I guess I feel guilty."
"Well, it's over. There is nothing to do now."
"Is that all you are going to say? Aren't you mad?"
"I have to go. I have a busy day tomorrow. I have to prepare." Daniel turned and walked away, ignoring her severe calls. He knew he hurt her and that it was his responsibility to make her feel safe but he never thought she would kill his child. Her mother called her a dramatic weakling, he was beginning to see her point. But his heart sunk, when he thought of his first child. In many ways, he was a weakling himself, alcohol never solved any problems. He turned back to find her, she was still there watching him. He continued to the gate trying to ignore the war waging in his mind: to let it go because he wasn't a saint himself or to let her stew in the guilt he knew she couldn't shake?

She looked at her watch, her appointment was in an hour. She longed for a heart-to-heart with her dad, she wanted to tell him about her conversation with Daniel. She quickly remembered the explosion the night before. She caressed the bandage on her wrist gently remembering it all.  She wished Daniel was mad at her, she couldn't handle his silence. She cleaned her tears with the hem of her dress, stood up and walked to the mirror to straighten her hair. Her reflection saddened her, she wanted to breakdown and cry but she didn't have time, she wanted to make her appointment. She was locking the door when she noticed a small suitcase in the hallway. Her mother came out of her room and locked the door.
"Good afternoon ma." Preya said curtsying.
"I am going to my mother's for a few days. You will have to make food for your father. I already told him I was leaving. I left some money on the dining table incase you need to buy anything if it isn't enough ask your father." Helen said ignoring her greeting.
"What about work?" Preya asked worried.
"I took sometime off." Helen replied making her way to the stairs.
Preya reached to help her with the suitcase but Helen pushed her hand away.  She opened her mouth to apologize but there were no words. She had broken her mother. This was supposed to make her feel better but the pain was unbearable. Her mother was halfway down the stairs when she asked,
“Did you now know why he did it?” 
Her mother stopped. “Does it matter? It has already been done.”
“Mummy, I am so so sorry, I was angry at you.” She said joining her mother on the stairs. “You spend so much time trying to sell our family as perfect but we are ordinary like everybody else.”
Before Preya could continue, her mother slapped her. “Because we are ordinary, we shouldn’t try, right?” Helen said furiously. “Because we are ordinary like everybody else, we should not pray to God and hope for things to change?”
“Mummy, you know that is not what I mean.” Preya said now shouting. “Besides, do you have to lie to attain perfection?” Her mother eyed her. 
“Essien raped me, he didn’t steal, he should still be….” She tried to continue before Helen’s hand went across her face.
“Do you want people to think you are loose? I was trying to protect you and your dignity. You think you can roam the streets without being mocked if people knew you lost your virginity to a houseboy, a houseboy! Preya!. I know how people in this town talk. Everything I do is for to protect you all.” Helen said as tears started to roll down her cheek. “You didn’t have to come back here and ruin everything.”
Preya looked at her mother, rubbing her burning cheeks. Then, it dawned on her.
“Oh my God! You knew he was cheating on you. You knew.” She took a deep breath. “ How long have you known?”
Helen didn’t answered, she just picked up her suitcase and continued down the stairs. 
“Mummy, why didn’t you say anything?” Preya called out but Helen didn’t look back. 

Helen knew her husband was cheating, she knew the contract in Owerri had ended but hearing him say it out loud tore her to shreds. She knew Mrs Dede would have a filled day with her friends, if she heard, maybe she already knew. Before, she closed the door behind her she took one last look at the sitting room, she remembered decorating it with Paul, a smile emerged on her face, then disappeared as she pondered if she could ever come back, if she should ever come back. She reached for door and pulled it close.

Preya sat on the stairs, crying. For the first time, she felt deep sorrow for her mother. She could finally see her for the human she was. She wondered how she must have felt when she found out her father was cheating on her.  She looked at her watch, she could still make her appointment. 
The drive to the therapist's office was very slow. Her mind was busy, playing over the events that was about to break her family. She hoped she had died that fateful night. She stole a look at the bandage on her wrist, and took a deep breath. Her phone started to ring, but she ignored it. Her mind was busy, so busy she didn’t notice she had just ran a red light.


People started to gather round the tumbled car, Preya had hit her head badly, the drops of blood had formed a pool just underneath her hanging head. She couldn’t move her legs. She tried replayed the accident. She could hear the murmurs outside the car, she slowly opened her eyes, the images were blurred. Then, she thought she heard someone ask if she was okay. But she felt really faint. Her phone started to ring, but she was out before she could see it was Daniel. 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Paid Menstrual Leave?! Let's Talk!




So today I came across an article that asked if women should get paid menstrual leave. Excuse me while I go into "rant mode".  My answer; No!

And these are my reasons:

1.       Only a certain percentage of women get terrible menstrual periods. It is not a plaque that has been bestowed on all women.  Also, not all periods are the same. I have had the bad and the ugly while most of my friends had the good. Yes! I watched them sail through. 

2.      Female employees getting a few days off work every month is not exactly appealing to employers. More reasons not to employ a woman.

3.      There are ways to manage bad periods e.g. a healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet, exercise, proper rest, supplements like Vitamin B6 and calcium, the contraceptive pill and analgesics. It might not completely eradicate it, but it helps the process.

4.      Will the menstrual leave include severe PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)? This could start about two weeks before Mother Nature visits. If so, how long would the leave be? I don’t think anyone wants to employ anyone who won’t show up for most of the month. They already have pregnant women to deal with.

5.      It is expensive for the employer. I am a woman and I would like to be an employer someday. I sympathize, but if I had to choose, it will probably be my business.

       6.  Are sick days and holidays not enough? How have we survived without it? 


This is just from the top of my head.

If this becomes mandatory, there is potential for abuse. Now, I am not trying to throw the % of women who suffer severely from this under the bus. Therefore, I think for these group of people, it  can be discussed with employers as far as there are safeguards for how it would be carried out. Sick leave can be negotiated or extra days requested if the need arises, keeping in mind that a pay check might not be included in the package. I don't feel it needs to be mandatory, however employers should be encouraged to make provision for this, just in case. Honestly, the "paid" bit just makes women sound needy. I know countries like Russia, Korea and Japan have implemented it, but in reality do they really take the leave? In some countries, the practice is discretionary.

I do encourage women to seek medical help before racing to their boss' office to ask for a time out. The cause of dysmenorrhoea could also be a secondary problem e.g pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
Anyways, I decided to ask my sister "the lawyer in-the-making" and this is what she had to say;

No! The benefits for a right to menstrual leave except when paid adds nothing to the current state of employee welfare at least in most developed countries, because the taking of time off for sickness or other reasons in excess of paid sick leave is probably allowed just not with payment and in some cases you might have a good employer who might pay you anyways. The problem comes when people request for paid leave, and for the reasons mentioned above such as it being costly for the employer, and further making female employees a burden in the eyes of employers is not a policy worth pursuing. People have to understand that an employee costs more than take home pay, from sick leave to disability adjustments, not to mention those that are essential to business operations such as; travelling expenses. All these laws conferring benefits on women only serves to increase the cost of employing women and blind them from the fact that they are responsible for managing their own female problems. Someone else will be picking up the slack for their day off, so why does the employer need to pay them for not working when they already have sick leave? There is no law that require the employer to pay the person who picks up the slack extra money, except it counts as overtime, so it doesn't seem justifiable.

There has to be a limit to which employers are required to pay for the mishaps that befalls the employees. Women can always use their paid sick leave and of course, employers can always voluntarily pay for any extra days taken for that reason but, making it mandatory by law is not in anyone's interest. 

From what I have seen of the implementation of paid menstrual leave in other countries, it results in a situation where females employees can essentially afford to work for ten months a year  and get the same pay as if they had worked the extra month like their male counterparts. The Korean approach especially by the courts also seems to punish businesses unnecessarily as they still have to pay female employees even when the leave is not taken. 

Bottom-line, there are already employee welfare programs that females employees can take advantage of. If they are going to continually reduce their effective work days, they can't still expect the same pay. 


So what do you think? Should women get paid menstrual leave? Let's talk.


Friday, 23 May 2014

What Is Love?

"Love is an impersonal force that overcomes two people." LOL!! Sounds like something I should run away from.




Sunday, 18 May 2014


"What sort of stupid happiness are you talking of? Being married and having kids is a woman's happiness. Money is the happiness of a greedy woman if she doesn't care about being married. Even ashawo dey marry. So what the hell are you saying?"


I came across this comment while reading a comment section on a blog. Okay, I have a problem with people who think like this. I know, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so I am going to share mine. 

I don't believe being married and having kids is a woman's happiness, I think it only contributes. I don't think we were just created to come find some man to give us a ring so we can pop his kids. Being married can be a beautiful thing and a great support system but I believe a relationship with yourself is primary. It is so sad to hear a statement like; "I will be happy when I have my own kids." Who died and said you cannot be happy without a man or kids? Definitely not Jesus. He died so you can have abundant life. Besides, you can be married with kids and still be miserable. 

I believe falling in love with yourself including the personalities, quirks, and gifts God has blessed you with is the first step to happiness. An unhappy woman or man has no business being married. The only person you will ever spend the most time with is yourself, so start with you before moving to someone else or having someone else. I know people say when you get married or have kids you'll change, the truth is you might not and there is nothing wrong in getting the basics before jumping in.


"Money is the happiness of a greedy woman." Lol! I guess I am greedy because I want money and success more than a husband and children. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Which Kind Of Party Girl Are You?


Came across this while reading Move, Nourish, Believe by Lorna Jane. Thought I'd share.


I am definitely a "Chilled Out Chick". Does that make me boring? *gentlystrokeschin

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sex = Oxygen?



"The biggest lie in the world is I'll be satisfied if I just have a little more."

Okay, I am not here to condemn anyone, I am just want to air the questions in my head when it comes to this topic.

I have a question: Why do we act like we cannot do without sex? We need oxygen to breath, when did sex become equivalent, when did it become essential to our existence? Apart from pleasure, intimacy and procreation, what else does sex provide (and don't get all scientific-research-has-shown on me, most of the benefits of sex can also be provided by exercise)? We don't need it to survive so why are we losing brain cells over it? Is it really just a physical act? A physical act that can actually produce a life. #ishouldhavesaidihadquestions

I hear all the time that women who choose to wait will die alone because in this century no body waits anymore, this is going with the assumption that women are the ones that always choose to wait. Is that a good thing? Is lacking self control or devaluing yourself something to be proud of? Is being easy a good thing? Is compromising on beliefs or throwing away your personal beliefs to please your partner a good thing? Is it okay because it is between two mature people? 

And what's so wrong with waiting? Why do people treat the idea like a communicable disease? Does waiting guarantee a perfect relationship? No! Does not waiting guarantee a lasting relationship? No! And yes!, nothing in life is guaranteed, so does that mean we should throw everything out the window? It's always funny when people announce how long they have stayed without sex, I don't know what they expect us to say, congrats? Should this even matter?

Just a thought: Don't wait because some guy with a big Bible told you to or your parents say it is ideal. Take time to find out why it is ideal, or to even understand what sex is, that way you can make up your own mind and set your priorities. #getinformed #getunderstanding

People talk about sexual compatibility all the time, I think if you want to have sex with your boyfriend, just say you want to have sex with your boyfriend, scratch the compatibility excuse. The people who waited or had sex after marriage and are 'surprisingly' compatible don't have two heads or special devices attached to their bodies. Nobody was born with the perfect moves, they've all had to learn. So what's so wrong with discovering your partner in marriage? You have a whole life time to do that. Why does the sex have to be perfect immediately you get married? I read a story once, the man claims to have married his best friend. They waited till marriage to have sex and he was disappointed on the night, because his wife didn't enjoy kissing and being intimate at all so she denies him everytime but everything else is perfect. He said he would have loved to know that before he got married to her. From the tone of the note, he sounded like if he knew he wouldn't have married her. This might be something that can be fixed, and if he cared enough he would want to know why she feels that way and help her through it. Who knows it could have been caused by a traumatic event. 

Would you just throw away everything because the sex is bad? One of my friends got married said this to me a while ago, " Debbie, sex is not as easy as Sandra Bullock makes it seem in movies. We've had to learn." 

Why would you want to be with someone who is impatient with sex, anyways? If you're worried that he or she will look somewhere else if you decide to wait, shouldn't you be worried about who you're dating? Why would you want to date someone who doesn't respect or believe in your choices? Who said you have to manage a relationship, isn't that some sort of slavery?

I was reading the comments on a blog on the topic of Mariah waiting till marriage to Nick Cannon to sleep with him and some were saying that she had been married before so it doesn't count. I don't even know what that means. I mean, I applaud her because someone once told me "Once that door is opened, it could be very difficult to close." I know they didn't date for long but most people would have died, so kudos to her. One comment said, (paraphrasing) It is impossible to marry a virgin these days. I get his point, but maybe "impossible" should be replaced with "rare". Another one said (again paraphrasing), I don't understand why it is a big deal when you're not a virgin? I didn't know there was a law about that. I don't get it though, I mean, can't I decide whether to have sex or not regardless of my purity status?

FYI, I don't think it is wise to have sex with every Dick, Tom, Harry, Mary, Kate, and Sally you date just because you're not a virgin. Who died and said you cannot have a mind of your own? 

Final thought: We have deified sex and in the process belittled or eliminated the strength within us. 
"You say you're not a slave but here is something to chew, you ever wonder why pictures of naked girls have so much power over you?"




Monday, 31 March 2014

#quoteoftheday


"You are not exactly free if you have to engage in any activity to please the masses. #peacefulslavery Have the guts to think for yourself. #chooseyourownchains"

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