Posts Tagged ‘#children’

First off, how una dey? How are you wrapping up your year? Nicely I hope… I saw something recently that said even if it doesn’t look like it now, keep working at it. So, keep working, that breakthrough is closer than you think!

So what are we on about today? Marriage. You know, the concept of getting joined traditionally, in the court of law and before God and then spending the rest of a lifetime with a spouse? The one with the wedding day and two dress changes, and the traditional wedding with two or three outfit changes? That one.

According to our ‘societal norms’, there’s an age period where it becomes acceptable to bring a guy home/take a lady to meet your folks. Never mind that leading up to that age (for the ladies especially) you’re not supposed to even recognize that males exist! Lol.

There is also the age when your family members (nuclear or extended) start to drop hints and prayers all over the place, about the ‘person God has designed for you’, about ‘everyone not being perfect’, about ‘not being too picky because all men/women are the same’, about ‘slowing down with work because the clock is ticking’. Hian! The age where every wedding you attend you hear things like, ‘the next one is your own’, ‘go outside and meet people’, and my personal favorite, ‘why are you standing with your cousin na, people will think he’s your boyfriend’… Lol! Thank God for families!

So, I’m female, and will write from that point of view. Ok? In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard the most horrible stories about some married folk I know, and I will give lean details about three. All of them have children, either boys and girls or single sexes. One of them hasn’t seen her husband in a little over two years, and he’s left her a mountain of debt so she has to fend off creditors apart from take care of the home. He’s alive, and well, not just home. Another one buried her husband who committed suicide in front of her children while she was at work. He was a chronic gambler. The third one took great pleasure in expressing whatever frustrations he felt from his job through his hands, on his wife. The first (and only time) one of the children clung to him to stop the beating, he landed that child in hospital from the transferred aggression.

Now. I know all men are not like that, matter of fact for each of these horrible stories, I have at least 5 of homes that are great, growing in love and grace. Are there days when one spouse might want to wring the neck of the other from vexation? Of course. But that’s where it ends. Are there days when they might not even speak because one person is that upset? Of course. But they always come back together, either at bedtime or the day after, and they keep on loving and learning each other.

There was a story on social media recently about a man who slapped his 28 year old wife and she fell down the stairs, sustained fatal injuries. The end. Apparently he had been hitting her for a while but she was advised to ‘endure, stay and make the marriage work, not bring shame to the family’. Well, except there’s a chance for that in heaven, that’s that isn’t it? And it isn’t just the men being violent, I’ve heard of females (know a couple) who would draw blood from their spouses. Na wa.

Sometimes I’m not sure to be honest, is it that our generation has been tainted by the content we’re exposed to or families back in the day were better at hiding domestic abuse from their children? Is it that our parents came from a school that didn’t see divorce as an option or our generation is more interested in putting away than working at things? I don’t know.

Once upon a time I belonged to the school of thought that said that a spouse who would end up being violent would have shown signs during the courtship/dating period etc. But I’ve heard of a saint who turned devil the night the ‘I Do’s’ were said! They’d been dating like 5.5 years!

I don’t know where I’m going with this to be honest but if there’s anything I’m even more convinced about now than I was before, there’s no rush. It will happen. I’m also doubly convinced that enlisting the help/wisdom of God, the creator of all men (and women) in saying yes to that man or woman is the way to avoid becoming a negative statistic.

Light, love, and God’s great blessings!

Who has noticed I’ve got my groove back? Whoop!!

Very recently I wrote about being almost subsumed by work, stress, and so many emotions that made it difficult to write. Guess what? I’m back! Whoop! Slowly catching up with most of my writing commitments, and oh what a joy!

Thank you Jesus!

So let’s talk about something that happened recently which I’m very concerned by, especially since it has happened before. Before I start though, quick question: what’s the most important thing for you when you apply for a position/job/project/whatever?

For me, it’s knowing all I can about the people hiring. It’s like dating ( by the way, I refer to relationships so much these days I think an Agony Aunt column is in my future) and if you don’t get to know your partner, how can you please them (or at least try)?

Agreed? Not saying that’s all you need to look out for but believe me when I say it’s important. Very important.

Second thing for me is that I need to care enough/want it bad enough, otherwise there is no point. I won’t get it. To be clear, I haven’t been accepted everywhere I applied for a job, matter of fact there was a research project I put in for a couple weeks ago with a team, and we didn’t get chosen. We did get great feedback though, on what we did right and wrong, so much as I really wanted us to win the tender, I’m not beating myself up at all.

Anyway, back to talking about other people. Lol.

For about two years I’ve recruited ad hoc or full-time staff for myself and for clients, and so I’ve gone through a number of CV’s. And that’s what this post is about. The entire gamut around securing a job, from sending a CV to the interview, to negotiating your pay, to whatever comes after. I know we all talk about the scarcity of jobs, and the difficulties around women finding and being in work but have we thought about employability?

A month ago I needed two researchers and so I asked on Twitter – and most times I will tweet about positions I need to fill – that people send CV’s and a link to anything they had written to an email address.

I got the weirdest responses. From the guy who addressed me as “Hi Chi” (forget the inappropriateness of the salutation, anyone who knows me knows any adaptations of ‘Chioma’ never work with me), to the person who sent me her social network names for me to ‘check her out’, then the guy who sent me a CV which had more errors than correct sentences, phew! Then there was the lady who sent me a nice CV, but then an article that was full of ‘lols’, ‘smhes’, and ‘rmes’. How do you send that as a writing sample for a research position? Who does that? Hian!

About 72 hours ago I joined a panel to interview some people for an internship position. Three guys, two ladies, and somehow the guys went first. First guy was alright, second guy maybe just a bit more qualified, and the third guy sounded like the perfect ‘bullshitter‘ (forgive that word please, I’ll explain). We asked him how he would solve a problem in our organization (which he claimed he was well aware of, and then he said he wouldn’t be able to give us an answer till he had “researched into the foundation of the issue because everything takes root at the foundation then starts to grow”. What??? You know how people just go round and round the mulberry bush because they don’t have an answer? This guy.

Anyway, it was the ladies who worried me. Greatly. The first one knew next to nothing about the organization, kept on smiling in a ‘I-don’t-know-as-much-as-I-should-but-I’m-hoping-my smile-makes-up-for-it’ kind of way, and said she didn’t use social media but had a Facebook and Twitter account. Haba!!! When social media management for the organization was there as one of the tasks? Did I mention she wore jeans and hot pink lipstick? And generally gave off a very unserious vibe?

The second lady did just a bit better but all the interviewers knew the race for the position was between the guys. The ladies were (to my mind) just there to make up the numbers.

And so it is to the sisters I write today. Do we not care enough? Is the problem that we are not aware of what we should do when we’re job-hunting or we don’t want these jobs bad enough? I don’t know. It was distressing though, super distressing. And then we’ll go to our places of worship to pray for favor when we put in ZERO effort. I don’t know…

Thoughts, anyone?

PS: Written on the 21st of March, 2015.

On a train from Leicester Square to Heathrow about a week ago now I sat beside a man and a young boy who couldn’t be more than nine years old. Typical pesky child, he wanted to know everything – why the vents were open, why they had to stop at so many places before Acton Town (where they got off), if the two people snogging opposite them were married (and if they had children), I found myself chuckling and asking myself if I was that inquisitive at his age! I was probably worse, sigh.

Let’s digress a bit. I don’t think it’s ‘okay’ to kiss and cuddle and do all those other ‘grownup things’ in the presence of children. I don’t know have any research to back this up, nor do I know how to fully explain myself but I just think that if we all delayed their exposure to these things a little, it just might delay their debut into all things intimate and sexual.

Did I say not to show affection in public? Nope, go for it! I’m all for it, actually think it’s cute, all I’m saying is, keep it PG! So, not the saliva exchange programme or fondling, or any of that stuff, get a room (literally)! Otherwise what’s the point of classifying/rating movies if they’ll just see the action live anyways!

Back to the man and the boy now. It was funny trying to concentrate on my book, listen to Michael Franks, and keep up with the boy’s chatter. Then all of sudden, I heard what I’m going to try to reproduce as accurately as I can below.

Man – no, you cannot go out unsupervised with a bunch of friends I don’t know

Boy – not fair! I said I’d bring them home. You’ll know them

Man – doesn’t mean you can go out unsupervised…

Boy – (cuts in) oh shut up

Man – what did you say?

Boy – nothing (mumbles under his breath)

Man – you know you cannot talk to me like that

Boy – (cuts in) you shouldn’t stop me from going out with my friends

The man tried to say something else and in the next few minutes, the number of ‘shut ups’ this urchin told the man (parent or guardian) almost surpasses the number of times I’ve greeted my parents in my lifetime!!

What!! And guess what? The man did/said nothing, apart from “still not going to let you go out unsupervised with kids I do not know”. I thought to myself, “that’s it?” I increased the volume on my music, and for three reasons:

1. Coming from  my background, telling someone older than you (not to talk of your parents) to shut up  was (still is) unimaginable. Never even said it in my mind before!

2. The disgust I felt at the parent for feeding that type of errant behaviour. Was obviously not his first time of lashing out like that, and I wondered how he would talk to his teachers at school.

3. Really needed to get back to my book!

Credit: Rational Hub

Credit: Rational Hub

Gisted my boyfriend and we agreed that on the way to learning/imbibing the fear of the Lord, the fear (read as respect for/obedience to) parents is an important milestone! Will we correct our children? Oh definitely! We will speak to them, pray for/with them, admonish/caution them, and then if we have to, ladies and gentlemen we will spank!

Why? Well, because the idea of children is neither to make up a quota of babies in our community or breed/fatten animals for sale or slaughter; the idea is to bring forth Godly seed that will be great, useful to themselves, us, and to their immediate and extended communities. Hardly starts from telling us to shut up, no?

My kids won’t even think it.

Children are blessings – anyway you look at it, children are blessings. The good, the bad, the extremely naughty, the ones whose primary specialty are hair-raising tantrums, the ones who are content only to sit, mope, and suck their fingers, the ones who, in wanting to ‘help mommy or daddy’ end up destroying half the things you own, all of them are blessings.

I have a little nephew I love and adore absolutely, and everyday I thank God for him and look forward to when I’ll have my own munchkins. I think parenting is a really special gift/privilege from God, the responsibility to nurture and care for these precious ones is just out of this world.

That’s why I find it totally unconscionable when I hear of adults molesting/sexually abusing children in their care, or children anywhere. I mean there are other forms of abuse, but sexual abuse (especially on helpless, hapless children) qualifies as unforgivable in my books. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – while I don’t wish the experience on my children, whosoever touches my children inappropriately I will set on fire. Literally. Then we’ll go to court (me and your family, cos the plan is that you don’t survive).

Sorry, I digressed. Back to these beautiful, precious ones. It’s becoming increasingly evident that children are the product of their families – another glaring example of the ‘garbage in, garbage out’ theory. I mean there’s the place of the environment, peer pressure, societal influences etc. but I strongly believe in children building their core beings from their first, continuous interactions – their families.

It’s important that these first interactions are deliberate, directed, but still as natural as possible (sounds easy doesn’t it, lol) so the children don’t feel like they were born into the military.

Days after he was born....

Days after he was born….

You might think I’m one to talk, seeing as I don’t have any children but I’ve been around a lot (trust me on that), and hey, I was a child once too. Therefore, I can talk confidently from this side of the fence.

More thoughts than a lecture though, more about us older people being a little more careful how we behave around these ones because they get their first outlook on life, first introduction to crime, first expressions of love, first notions of right and wrong, pretty much all the firsts are from us.

If we could see the future and trace the effect our utterances would have on children around us (our kids or not) would we still say/do the things we’re doing now?

Food for thought.


It’s my sister’s birthday today!! Whoop!! My darling big sister is a year older today (in case the ‘it’s my sister’s birthday’ didn’t get you jumping with glee, lol) and I’m so excited she’s alive and well, and happy, and a mother to the cutest baby in the world, my darling nephew Boo Boo!!

My darling sister and my boy!!!

My darling sister and my boy!!!

Happy birthday big sister, welcome to a new year full of God’s blessings and favor and love and grace and peace and happiness and plenty money and good health and joy and promotions and fulfilment and more children (remember Momma wants five from you)!

We love you loads. We do. Now rock out!!! Whoop!!



Hiya!!! New week right? It’s the final week in September, and I’m happy! Happy because it’s now three months to Christmas, because there are a lot of beautiful things in the offing for me, and most importantly, I am alive and well!

I’m starting the week with an update to a post I did on the 14th of September; more like a rant about the disgusting treatment my seven-year old nephew and I received at Super Cuts Salon at Lakeside Shopping Mall the day before. My nephew is back in Nigeria (I’m sure he’s even forgotten about it; he’s seven) but I was upset, I complained about it to the appropriate quarters, and I let you here know what was going on. It’s only courteous that I update you on what’s happened since then.

I’ve reproduced most (if not all) the correspondence so it reduces the text from me; I’ll just be narrating, and supplying dates. And I have one question at the end, don’t read any further if you’re not going to help! Lol… but seriously, you need to help. Ok?

Ok, so I sent out the complaint on the morning of the 14th, this reply came in about two hours after. Kama is Customer Care

Ann-Marie called, and apologized profusely on behalf of the company. She explained that the stylists were trained to cater to all types of hair, especially if it was just to cut. Not all of them were trained to style Afro-Caribbean hair though so if it was me looking to get something done, then they could have told me nicely that they weren’t trained to handle my hair. Not a simple cut, and especially not to tell me they weren’t insured to cater to the boy. She said she would start an investigation, and let me know how it went.

She was nice, and sounded really sincere.

Jackie is Snr Vice President; she sent this email about 4.30pm the same day (Friday). It was close of business by the time I saw it though, so we ended up speaking the following Monday..

Jackie rang, and had me recount the entire incident for her. She apologized as well, and said to get in touch if I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome of the investigation.

She sounded nice too.

I got this on the 20th; investigation’s done….

Ok, so Jackie had told me the investigation was done the day before, on the 19th…

Ok, so this is a link to the report…… RC264489 SC Lakeside 2 Agwuegbo 19.09.12 Long story short? I was really angered by it.

Yeah, this was me expressing my disappointment, anger, call it whatever. I’m getting drained from all the back and forth. Whatever happened to a simple apology?

Now, the Customer Care people didn’t respond; it was Jackie who did. Now that I think of it, never heard from Ann-Marie after that day as well. Hmmmm

Don’t know how I feel about this email… Looks to me like we’re all avoiding the truth here.

Ok, so on the 14th I had sent off letters of this incident to a few other people. One of the responses came back on Friday…..

Yeah, I just had to know if I was in the right. Apparently I am, because I can prove what they’re asking.

Ok, so this is where we are; I think I know what I want to do next, but I want to sample opinions. Thoughts anyone? Good morning.

One minute silence in honour of the lives lost in Nigeria on Sunday, Monday, and every other day. The people we know the ones we don’t, the sheer number of them.

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace, Amen.

I lost a friend in the crash, people lost husbands, wives, children, brothers and sisters. We’re all crushed, heartbroken by the whole families wiped out, and the losses we’ve all suffered. Like I said on Twitter yesterday,

What I didn’t say was, the worst kind of death is the one that could have been avoided. Whether we like it or not, Sunday could have been avoided.

I was speaking with a very dear friend early this morning. His 10-year-old son had gone on an excursion with his class the day before and their teacher didn’t return the children to the school premises till 10pm. That’s when parents and guardians were called to pick the kids up. My friend’s wife went there in a rage (naturally), and other parents were telling her to calm down, that that’s the way the school is, and they are just grateful nothing happened to the children.

What?!?!?!? I’m shocked to say the least, and on two levels too. First is, what on earth are children doing outside their beds at 10pm? I don’t care where and how they went, the logistics team should have made plans to cater to the children if they wouldn’t make it back to school on time. And only under extenuating circumstances too! What the hell!! It’s unheard of! And this is a private school o!

Then tomorrow teachers will turn around and say parents are not involved in their children’s education right? How are they supposed to do that if the children get home at 10pm? What on earth is going on? Any self-respecting school should have had those kids home by 4pm so they can shower, get done with their homework, eat supper, and still have ample time to tell their parents about their day!

Second level? Concession. We concede till we’re dead, and then those of us left behind start apportioning blame from here to the heavens. What parent in their right mind would not have raised a storm (literally) over this incident? Noooooo. “Let’s thank God they got back safe”, right? And then when they go on another excursion and on their midnight trip back have an accident (because our roads are death traps) or they get waylaid by robbers or ritualists we’ll blame GEJ abi? The making of another plane crash.

Or worse still, we’ll say, ‘it’s the will of God’. Which God? The one who gave us brains so we’d let him rest? I wish I had the time to discuss the way we’re turning religion into an ineffective, dead-on arrival cult but my friend’s tweet sums it up…

We concede. Too damn much. When we ‘tip’ that policeman (or appreciate him, whatever helps us sleep) to get out of trouble, we’re setting ourselves up for another plane crash. When we run traffic lights, overtake dangerously, jump queues, sleep with that boss to get ahead, we are building another plane that’s doomed for destruction.

The Bible says, ‘little foxes spoil the vine’; sometimes I think we’ve been overcome by foxes around here, and full grown ones at that! We quietly accept things that are unheard of everywhere else! And then when you complain, your friends chide you for being finicky; they’ll be crying the loudest at your funeral, and pointing the longest fingers everywhere but at themselves.

Don’t give, don’t take; if it’s wrong, it is wrong. Let’s reduce the number of disasters we have, on land, at sea, and in the air; at our schools, work places, and in our homes too.

I trust my friend will go to the school and give a few people an earful. He will do that, or I will be disappointed in him.


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As children, my parents always gave us stuff to look forward to, sometimes with conditions; for example “if you place first in your class I will buy you a bicycle”, and other times, just for the fun of it, dad or mom would promise to buy us a gift, or take us somewhere on a certain day. That always marked a turning point in our behaviour/carriage for that period; we would become extra obedient, extra helpful, extra helpful, extra clean, pick up our toys, stellar wouldn’t even scratch the description of what we would be become! Watching my five-year old nephew re-enact that ‘overzealousness’ when I promise to take him swimming or to Wonderland amuses me greatly, and I think, ‘jeez, were we really that obvious back then’?

There’s nothing like hope, trusting that someone will deliver on what they’ve said they will do. And even when sometimes from the word go you know those people won’t deliver, human nature dictates that we ‘hope against hope’. Then we get disappointed, feel hurt et al but give us the same scenario and we’ll do the same thing all over again. Why? Hope.

The perfect illustration for that would be me trying to train Izzie, my late Italian Shepherd (14th June 2006 – 19th December 2009) to sit. Every time I tried, saying, ‘sit’ in English, French, Italian, Yoruba, Ibo, even Hausa, that’s when my darling doggy would swear she would die if she didn’t jump, climb my back, or just stand and stare at me. Funny thing was, even after getting frustrated and leaving with all the treats I got her, next day, yours truly would be back at her kernel again! Why? Hope!

Look at Nigeria too, since the elections that produced Chief MKO Abiola of blessed memory were annulled, we’ve been striving (without success) to hold credible elections; you know, elections without Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela and Jamie Foxx being Nigerian!

From 1999 we’ve moved from apathy to hope, to disappointment, and back to apathy. And now, just when everyone is ‘gingered’ to participate in the April polls, the fear that we might be disenfranchised is staring us in the face! It’s been reported severally that some registration centres up till now have still not been manned, some of the officials cannot use the equipment, others don’t have ink to print the data recorded, etc. yet every day we continue to troop to the sites, trusting that maybe today, stuff will go right. Why? Hope. By the way, if you still haven’t registered, where is your swag? If you don’t know the closest site to you, check,,, or; you should find maps, and directions. The registration ends on the 29th of January, so you don’t have a lot of time left!

Most of the time we hope/put our trust in things or people we know from the get go will not come through for us; have you ever stopped to wonder why that God never fails us? He does things we don’t even expect Him to do, yet funnily he seems to be the hardest person for us to hold on to?

How many of us sleep at night hoping to wake up the next day? None of us, because we just know that we will, and that our lives will continue. Do we hope that when we breathe in, our lungs will expand to receive the oxygen and then retract to let the carbon dioxide out? No, for us it just comes naturally. By the way, my doctor sister would be proud of that sentence!

If the foundation of our existence is taken care of on a daily basis by God (and without fail), what is that thing you can’t seem to be able to trust Him for? Sometimes I imagine if it were humans in charge of ‘switching each other on’ every day. Trust me we wouldn’t be having any issues with over population anywhere in the world! I imagine that some people would ‘forget’, and God help you if you fight with the person in charge of your switch!

My pastor talked about not giving up this Sunday, for me it was timely, and just what I needed (isn’t that how the Word of God always is)? He said that sometimes God tells us yes, and rushes off to give us what we’ve asked for, says yes but wants us to wait just a bit maybe because He’s seen that we’re not ready for it yet, and He should know! Other times He might say no because He knows what we want at that time will destroy us. Ditto for my nephew asking to drive the car, not with me o, but alone! I even saw an avatar that says that sometimes we ask God for stuff and He’ll probably be thinking, “you’ve got to be kidding”!

A good example would be Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast praying to God that all the local and international attention/pressure for him to cede power to Alassane Outtara (who’s the rightful winner of the elections) will go away. Are you for real Sir?

Good people, keep your hope alive. The Bible says “cast not away your confidence…..” especially in the One who doesn’t tell you He’s unable to sort you out because He’s too busy, is having a bad day or is on a vacation to the Caribbean’s. Keep your hope in Him alive, that’s what’s up!

P:S – Day 2 of one chronicle a day this week!