President Buhari, of Nigeria, recently said his wife belonged to the kitchen, the living room and the ‘other room’ after she criticised his political decisions openly. When this occured, some women were livid, while others supported his claims. Several men came out to say he was correct, while others claimed he was wrong. I was tempted to ask the men in my life, where they felt their wives belonged; the other room, the kitchen, or the boardroom. Apparently, most people have accepted that the ‘other room‘ was a reference to the bedroom stating wise women have mastered the skills of manipulation in there. (more…)

Polygamy! An integral part of Nigerian history and culture. Polygamy, not limited to the illiterate, not refused by the educated. Polygamy, is it really the right of an African man? Lola Shoneyin tells the tale of Bolanle an educated young woman, brought up in a ‘Christian home’, who agrees to become the fourth wife of Baba Segi. A Yoruba man. A Nigerian man. A man who allows lust to become his undoing. (more…)

credit: http://fidesnigeria.org

credit: http://fidesnigeria.org

I have often joked to my family and friends that if I were to marry a Nigerian man he may likely be from the South/South Eastern parts of Nigeria. Why? I haven’t the faintest idea. However, I recently came across an article by Vera Ezimora where she satirically discussed the issues that may arise when Yoruba’s and Igbo’s become one in marriage. In Vera’s case, she is an Igbo woman married to a Yoruba man, I nodded and laughed at some of the items on her list, you can read the article here. Lo and behold, after watching the video below, I realised that there are subtle cultural differences which are able to wreck unnecessary havoc in homes, satire aside.
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Forgive my colour
I was not born this way.

black

Forgive my speech
my tongue was twisted that way in the south
forgive me
that my audacity is simplicity
my boldness is humility
my drive is born from fear
forgive me but I am not me here

I am tempered, I am reduced,
I cower and my head is bowed in shame
forgive my colour I did not know it before I came here
before your words would freeze my bones
and stares the ice would burn my eyes
forgive me, but I did not know that black,
was the colour that best described me
black, like the coal that miners find
black, like night the with empty skies

forgive my lips full and thick as they are,
I did not realise that my features would offend you so.
I carry on my back the scars of the tribe that raised me
the women who bore me and paved a way for me
forgive my smile, it is here for your protection
so you aren’t offended by the harsh features of my face
Please forgive my colour, I’m learning to forgive it too

-Damiloves

she called me beautiful,
it sounded like a question;
how dare I be mistaken as a beauty?
it was an accusation,
I had no right to be so audacious.

she called me beautiful
my origin was in question,
my skin had not been scorched
perhaps my blood was diluted?
Africa must not have birthed me.

this beauty she praises, were does it belong
this beauty she sees, I fear it’s painted on
this beauty she laments it’s never been glorified
this beauty she admires, admirer’s never sought to buy

she called me beautiful
I called her a liar
how dare she see things that weren’t there?
she called me beautiful, I don’t know why,
I said to her, beauty was never here.

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Credit: Henry lee battle- this too shall pass

Credit: Henry lee battle- this too shall pass

Sefi Atta! What can I say? A beautifully written and absolutely engaging novel that captivates the mind of the reader. Everything good will come is packed with so much action that the rapid reader may easily omit a few pivotal moments. These moments reveal Mike and his philandering ways, Enitan’s stint in prison, and the beauty that is conveyed in the restoration of a mother-daughter relationship.

Rape, I hate that word. Enitan was exposed to the violence and pain that results when men take what they want without hesitation. Enitan witnessed the rape of her childhood friend Sheri. Like many girls her age Sheri wanted to feel older than she was, but like many girls before her, when pain came, she cowered her head in shame. Nigerian society is not routinely designed to favour and defend the woman, and when it does, pity is all it offers. Sheri as a Nigerian girl knew this, she did what many girls had done before her, she inserted a clothing hanger into her womb. She wanted to expel an unwanted child. I grew up hearing tales of clothes hangers that found their way into the wombs of girls, yet reading Sheri’s story was fresh and palpable in some way. She became barren as a result, a barren woman is not a woman by Nigerian standards. (more…)

Image credit: http://holaafrica.org

Image credit: http://holaafrica.org

I cried and cried again, as I turned my gaze away from the pages of this captivating book. My eyes were heavy, my vision was blurred but my heart could see as bright as day. Tales of suffering told so eloquently. Words that flow so easily from page to heart. Kilanko delivers a tale so common to many, experiences endured, yet our lips stay hushed. We have been told “we are female we shouldn’t speak.” Somehow, women are expected to endure suffering. Mothers pass on this legacy of burdensome living to their daughters. Morayo’s mother was hurting but she couldn’t vocalise or communicate her sadness in a way her daughter would understand. Her silence hurt Morayo. Her words cut her as well. We must all learn that our words should not be for our speaking, but their listening.

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The first time I saw an image of Peter Bello on Instagram, I thought to myself;’fine boy’. Last night when his picture was on several timelines on various social media platforms and #peterbello became synonymous with #RIP, my thoughts were of a different nature entirely. In an attempt to understand how he died, I followed the hashtag, this led me to eulogies and stories from friends and strangers alike. I found myself crying over the loss of someone I did not know, a person I never met.

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Image Credit; pulse.ng

Image Credit; pulse.ng


Dear Mr President,

I like how our people have coined you PMB, there is joy and laughter on the faces of many. People say that your posture brings hope and that you are a messenger from God. To be honest with you, prior to your inauguration, I was indifferent to you. I felt that although you had been successful in being president in the past, you seemed a bit too strict. Yet I know that the ‘War Against Indiscipline’ you initiated is needed even more ardently in todays Nigeria. (more…)

Domestic abuse is a world wide phenomenon. Both men and women suffer, though more light is shed upon the abuse of women because they are the most susceptible victims. It is interesting that the average human being does not believe abuse is right, yet when faced with the situation many of us respond in an unexpected way. I was 12 and he was 12, we were in boarding school and I promise you, I did not see the slap coming. I wasn’t dazed, I just wanted to fight back, but I didn’t have that opportunity. Over the years, many people have said that it is forgivable for a 2 year old as he doesn’t know better, but a 12 year old should have. But what about a 30 year old.

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