Posts Tagged ‘People’

Another one bites the dust…

Posted: February 9, 2014 in DAY 2 DAY
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cory Monteith. Michael Jackson. Whitney Houston. What two things do these names have in common? Fame/wealth. Undisputed access to tons and tons of money, acclaim, all that good stuff.

The second thing is illicit drugs/death. Whatever it is they snorted, smoked, injected or inhaled, it led to their death, and very early too. Cory Monteith was 31, Michael Jackson was 50. Talk about lives being cut short.

Exactly one week ago, when I heard Philip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead on the 2nd of February with a needle still stuck in his arm and heroin (a special type called ‘Ace of Spades’) in packets around him, I was sad, then angry, then sad, and angry all over again.

Sad – he died young, he was just 46. He was very popular too, an Oscar award winner, and recently starred in Hunger Games (which by the way I have never watched and don’t think I will ever see because I don’t like fight fight).

Angry – are there not enough examples to prove that drugs are a sure way to die early?

Sad – heartbroken for his family, his wife/partner and their three young children. His parents, and the stigma of being related to the person ‘who died with a needle in his arm’.

Angry – what on earth made him go back to drugs after 23 years of being drug free? Whatever could have entered him all over again? They say his drugs could have been laced with something else. Ok, but why take them in the first place? Why?

I’m sure I could go the sad and angry route a few more times, but I won’t.

Psychologists say anything you do for 30 days becomes a habit – this man had been drug free for at least 8280 days! Then according to a report I read, he started abusing prescription pills, graduated to heroin, and then on to this substance that took his life.

I chatted with someone recently, and he told me the amount of thanks and gratitude he got because he gave him a $5 tip. 5 dollars. Reports say just weeks ago the now late Seymour withdrew $1200 from an ATM to pay for these drugs. $1200 on drugs when the next man is almost throwing a party because he was gifted 5 bucks.

Here’s another reason why I am angry – a child is attracted by the flickering light of a candle, and they want to touch it. Most times we let them because we know once it hurts them that first time, they most likely will not go back to it again. ‘Most likely’ because children have the attention span of a goldfish! Bless them.

23 years after, did he forget? Did he become so wealthy that he felt that the drugs would ‘fear/respect his money’ and not harm him? What was he thinking? The Bible says that the things that are written are unto us for examples.

Just like I wrote the ‘learn from it, don’t be it‘ post when Cory Monteith died, I’m writing again  – say NO to drugs. Say No, and mean it so much that whoever asked you before will be convinced you are not interested. You shouldn’t even be friends with such people in the first place!

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I was having dinner, and catching up with gossip on Linda Ikeji’s blog. And then I saw a story about two women who, accused of stealing pepper, had been stripped naked, beaten, and had the pepper poured into one of them. Not into her mouth, into her vagina. I watched it, simply because I didn’t believe the story was true. I didn’t believe that that level of sadism was possible.

It was true. Every word of it. Understated more like.

What the narrative didn’t say was that the lady who was worse off was pushed from her kneeling position to lie flat on her back, and one of the men placed his foot on her head to hold her down while the pepper was poured into her.

The narrative didn’t say she was begging for mercy, that she was whipped and prodded with a stick like an animal, and that the men rubbed this pepper on her and the other lady.

The narrative also didn’t say there were other men who apparently were so fascinated by this incident that they whipped out their phones and started taking pictures/filming.

Finally, the narrative didn’t mention that once you hear the woman scream (as the pepper goes into her), that is all you’ll hear for the rest of the evening.

The video is 8.25minutes of torture, left me in tears by the time I got to the end of it. I willed myself to watch it to the end because I wanted to build the anger to be able to do this.

Even if the ladies were guilty, there is no excuse under heaven to treat women like that. No one (regardless of their crime) deserves to be stripped, beaten, and then tortured like that.

I don’t want to forget the video, and I don’t want to forget the women.

And so I make this appeal: let’s find them. It is possible to find them and the animals who did this to them.

The narrative mentions ‘Iyana Ejigbo’; my Yoruba is poor and so beyond ‘sanu mi’ (have mercy on me) and ‘ata’ (pepper), I didn’t understand the rest of the video. But I’ve enlisted someone who will help translate in the morning. I have also found where Iyana Ejigbo is. @bisiogunwale said “Iyana literally means ‘road to’; Ejigbo is the actual suburb, located between Isolo and Ikotun”. I have also found someone who has asked her friend (who lives in the area) to have a look around, talk to people, see if someone knows/saw/heard something.

This is how you can help:

I hear Ejigbo is a small  but densely populated area, and so one person might not be able to cover a lot of ground. Who else can volunteer to visit the area, ask around? Preferably in a group with people/someone who speaks yoruba proficiently. Get in touch.

Are there any charities/groups/societies in Lagos who cater to abused women? Who will be willing to work with me/us to counsel and rehabilitate these women, get them to reveal the identities of their assailants and then take this up with the Police and the courts? If you’ve got contact details to share, please get in touch.

That’s all.

Every site I’ve seen carrying this story says “Lagos Police please find these men”; I say let’s find the women and let them ‘lead’ us to the men. It is not enough to tweet/post to Facebook condemning the act, let’s match those with action.

Remember Aluu 4? The men who, in a mob could take the lives of those four men started out like this. Violence begets violence. Let us find them and stop them.

Thank you.


A couple of weeks ago I wrote on Speaking Out and I said that if we were intended to exist without each other it would have been one person per continent or country. But, we need each other to survive, and it is foolishness to suffer in silence when help is just a phone call or conversation away.

I had cause to ‘walk that talk’ recently. I had to seek help with some work and it was such a learning experience I thought I’d share so you would have a practical example. Also so that you wouldn’t just relate that post to mental or emotional issues, it applies to just about every aspect of our lives.

I’m particularly happy about this because simple as it is (now that I know better obviously) I could have decided to go it alone, and probably made mistakes in a more public place.

Ok, so I had to hand in an article as part of my Future Challenges commitment, and the more I wrote, the more it occurred to me that it was becoming a satirical piece. I finished writing it, loved it (how do you not love the work of your hands), and I was going to hand it in when I told myself it would be nice to get it vetted first.

I decided to send it to a friend who would know, and who I’d seen critique other forms of writing (fingers in the air if you’re an Abuja person and you ever attended GAP meetings). I rang @Elnathan (of the famous ‘How To’ Series), and he graciously agreed to have a look.

In 24 hours he’d sent it back (whoop), and it was my very first lesson in writing satire! I was so chuffed by the experience I saved some of the notes he made on the work and just feel like sharing them with you!

  • …..The whole idea of satire is that you assume that the ridiculous situation is. Using quotation marks weakens the satire – it is a bit like seeing the camera man’s hands while watching a movie.
  • Use only three dots for ellipsis (I’m always guilty).
  • Remove the quotation marks in ‘illustrious’. Remember, in satire, you mean the ridiculous things you say. The exaggerations, and sarcasm employed for effect are taken seriously and done without apology.

That article ‘My new chosen career’ has since gone live for FC and I’m very happy!

Moral of the story? There’s nothing wrong with first acknowledging that you don’t know something, finding someone who’s more knowledgeable than you are, and then swallowing your pride enough to ask for their help! No shame in that at all; matter of fact, you’ll be better for it.


Recently I walked into a lounge with my cousin and his fiancée with a couple of friends and their partners too. Shout out to those who have already made the mental note about me being unattached, errr, that’s not what this is about!

A friend had just graduated and we wanted to make it a special evening for him. We were all dressed to the nines: new outfits and hair styles, I was on point! You know that moment when you look in the mirror and tell yourself: ‘choi! I’m fine sha!’ That’s how I felt, that I had trumped every potential hot babe in that lounge (because we ladies dress up for ourselves, not the guys).

We got to the lounge late, with the confidence of chubby penguins. The tables we had reserved had been taken over by some ladies who at the moment were giving us the dressing down of our lives with their eyes. My God! One of them looked at me with so much venom; if looks could kill her eyes would have wiped out my family using me as a point of contact!

Wish I could tell you about the champagne popping ‘competition/incident’ that followed; it was as hilarious as it was silly. Did I mention the ‘pepper eye’ was only for us chics? By the end of the night these ladies were grinding on the men but still rolling their eyes at us. I came away from that evening thinking, ‘ki lo de? Why do women hate/dislike/beef other women’? Why do we feel the next woman has to be the enemy even before we get to know them?

Before you absolve yourself of guilt, have you ever been among your peers (guys or girls) and the first (and probably only) comment you can offer after sizing up another female, has to be nasty? Every other lady has to be an example of what not to wear, sometimes even how not to be created? Are you in the ‘I get along more with guys’ club? Or the ‘if-she’s-rich-she-has-to-be-doing-something-wrong’ school of thought? Of course if it’s a guy he’s hard working, but a lady? Noooooooo.

Does every female look like a potential hawk waiting to snatch your innocent ‘she-made-me-do-it’ (in)significant other? Do you think the only reason the other lady is in your office is to take your job and so before the ink on her employment letter dries you make it your life’s goal to frustrate her out of the place?

It’s funny, but very sad too; when did we stop looking out for each other? I stumbled on some research in The Economist where researchers tried to find amongst other things, which would hurt a prospective female employee more, a CV with a photo or not. Conclusion? “Old fashioned jealousy led women to discriminate against pretty (female) candidates”. Seriously?

Straight talk ladies, quit it! And I have a few ways to help.

  1. If there’s something you find you’re beefing another lady for, 80% of the time it’s because you don’t have it. So get it and move on, or realize you can’t get it, and move on!
  2. Know this: you appear petty, unappealing, and insecure when you go on this hate route around guys. They might laugh at your nastiness but trust me, you’re less a lady in their sight.
  3. Deal with yourself: sometimes all the hate is a manifestation of deeper issues; get help before it gets out of hand.

Have I said all women are perfect, that I haven’t been hurt (severally) by my lady friends? No. But hating on a total stranger? Beneath me. The golden rule doesn’t isolate gender. We shouldn’t.


Did you watch ‘Speak Out’ as a child? That question is directed to people 22 years and older who spent their childhood in Nigeria.

I did, and even though all I remember about it is the montage with the very loud ‘speeeeaaaak out’ at the end – I remember that I always looked forward to that bit so I could ‘scream along’, much to my mother’s chagrin.

I read a post on Bella Naija recently;  someone wrote about 7 things she wished she knew before she turned 25. Beautiful post, poignant points, real life lessons. One of them stood out for me, and I’ve copied and pasted it below.

People are willing to help: People are more willing to help than you think; all you need to do is ask. This is very true, but fear of being turned down or lack of confidence in yourself would stop you from asking most times 

Certain events in the past week have impressed one thought in my heart, no man is an island – if we weren’t supposed to have support systems it would have been one person to one country or one person to one continent. God in His infinite wisdom knew that we’d need one another at different times, for different things and that’s why we’re born into families, we live in communities, we take classes with other human beings, we fall in love, remain or fall out of it, and one way or the other birth offspring to start this process all over again.

Therefore ladies and gentlemen, I hope I have been able to convince and not confuse you (lol) that we need each other, and should speak to each other when we have issues we cannot tackle on our own.

I know that deep down in your mind you might counter my ‘ a problem shared is a problem solved’ with ‘ people who can’t solve your problems compound or share them’ but the  fact that someone fell down a bicycle doesn’t mean you won’t ever ride. I don’t ride bicycles anymore but that’s a totally different story. We have all had bad experiences from things we tried out but it doesn’t mean we stop trying, just shows one more way not to do whatever it is we did. Right?

Suffering whatever challenge you might be facing alone is not the smartest thing to do, believe me. Take a second, think about it – it’s probably a challenge because you haven’t been able to answer a question, correct a deficiency, or get yourself out of an unpleasant situation. You haven’t been able to do it yourself, you refuse to seek help, and yet you expect the situation to change. Seriously? Ever heard the “insanity is doing the same thing over and again and expecting different results” quote?

My Darlings, speak out, help for whatever you’re going through is closer than you think. Don’t shortchange yourself. Life is too short to live one that isn’t a 100% fulfilling; it’s too damn short.

If you’re extra concerned about your privacy (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that), seek counsel or help from a different state, city, country even, and you don’t have to travel; just do whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Let’s do life together, there’s no reason to go it alone.




P:S – Happy Mothers Day to mothers everywhere!!!! You rock!