I had a conversation with a friend a while back about deal breakers in relationships. According to her, everyone needed to have their deal breakers written down clearly with a plan not to deviate from them. We had been at an event, and she scanned the room searching for someone that would catch her eye. However, before even speaking to the people present she determined that the room full of bachelors was empty as far as she was concerned. One was too short, the other was ugly, another had a bad accent, one was wearing an ugly sweater; the list went on, and she is still single, I wonder why?

Now I suppose deal breakers are necessary, but where do we draw the line? When do we ignore negative character traits and focus on the positive aspects of the person? Now when I say deal breakers I mean things about a person that cannot be changed or that’ll need a higher power to manoeuvre. You guys recall that attempting to change another human being is futile; hence the adapt or die pattern many of us assume. So these deal breakers are not unrealistic, they are important and ingrained into the very fabric of who a person is. Things like how much money he makes, his height, his state of origin are not on the cards. However, his dress sense, where he lives and the car he drives are not going to be discussed either, because let’s face it, those things are easily modified without changing the person. So what are we talking about? Stick around (more…)

I recently heard that Linda Ikeji, Nigerian mega-blogger reportedly stated emphatically that she could not be with a man who was not successful. Several women proceeded to chastise her of the words expressed explaining that all men will attempt to stifle their wives. As a result, she was advised that her financial success was not good for a relationship. I thought this was interesting advice, and I have proceeded to give you advice on five things to do if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of making more money than your man. (more…)

I recently came across a video by ‘Battabox Nigeria’ where women in Lagos were asked how many boyfriends they had. The consensus was that most single women especially those in university had a minimum of two boyfriends at any given time. It appeared that many of these young women had a man for multiple life needs and they did not find this arrangement to be problematic. I found this to be startling because I assumed that the word ‘boyfriend’ suggested an element of exclusivity but I was proven wrong after I asked, searched and enquired. (more…)

If you haven’t seen the foreverduncan hashtag, where have you been? African American women have been raving about this for the past week, so much so that African women worldwide have joined in the frenzy. #foreverduncan is the tag that has followed Alfred Duncan, who proposed to his girlfriend Sherrell at noon and surprised her with a wedding at 6pm on the same day. Videos of their union spread over the internet like wild fire, you can see Sherrell crying tears of joy as she is overwhelmed with emotion. Yes, I admit I was one of the women who watched the video in awe and admiration, that was before the memes started overflowing. When the memes arrived, I had to laugh because let’s face it, men of African and Caribbean descent have had a tough time proving their manhood. (more…)

The word ‘bitch’ has been used to refer to women worldwide as a result of their ability to succeed. Women instead of being called ‘boss’ are called ‘bossy’ and rather than being called successful, they are being called ‘bitchy’. Most successful women worldwide have been called a bitch at one point or another in their lifetime, and this cuts across most cultural barriers. After all someone said ‘well behaved girls rarely make history.’

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Hello, ladies, I realise that the topic of today’s feature is a little ‘out there’ however, speaking about this issue is necessary, and I’ll tell you why. I recently had a conversation with a friend who informed me that due to her light periods she often would use one super tampon a day not changing until the morning after. According to her because sanitary items were expensive, periods annoying, and her flow was light this seemed like a reasonable option. However, when I told her about the risk of death (yes I said death; as in going to meet Baba God and Saint Peter) (more…)

I know he loves you. I know that is what he said, I know he claimed he would give the world to you. I know that is what you felt. I know your mother took it too, abuse in another form. I know they said men are cruel, I know you listened when the elders whispered. I know your skin is not made of wood, I know your bones are not made of steel. I know your heart is a soft haven, it was never made of stone. I know you want to be strong, I know you want to make it work. But I also know that dying before your time is not and will never be a sign of strength. (more…)

I wrote an article a few weeks ago as part of a six part fiction series ‘A Collection of Scars’, one of the monologues revolved around Zainab, a young woman who was unhappy in life, marriage and motherhood. Zainab was suffering from low mood, lack of motivation and low self-esteem; she diagnosed herself as depressed. When I read through the comment section on TNC where it was initially published, one thing was clear based on my interpretation of the words left below, many people interpreted suffering in different ways. (more…)

Pastor Adeboye, the general overseer of the RCCG, recently spoke to the youths of his church. He made some statements regarding marriage and the internet has been filled with memes and videos mocking him for his statements, while middle-aged people sit silently and observe. Women are arguing that his sermon propagates the oppression of females in the home. According to a recent poll involving Nigerian men, they report these men desire only sex from a future wife, but I disagree with that; because sex is cheap in today’s world, marriage is not. His message has caused a stir, but I am not certain why. Do you know why? (more…)

I did not see this moment coming, or perhaps I was told it was coming, but I ignored the signs and the warnings. Daniel and I met when I was four years out of university; I was a late bloomer in the love department. I had been running away from marriage. I did not understand the construct and why it was so important. I was accused of withholding my mother’s joy, ‘Ijo Ayo’ she called it. Then Daniel happened, and all hell broke loose. (more…)

The first time I heard the words above, I was listening to the song of the same title from the Musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar‘. Mary Magdalene in the play was referring to her inability to understand why Jesus, a man, required a different kind of love than other men she had previously known. She explained that He said he loved her without her needing to give Him anything first and as a result, she was unsure of how to love Him in return. I find that many of us are in the same situation. (more…)

Recently, I had a conversation wth a friend on the difference between vulnerability and being needy. The point was raised that women who try not to be needy inadvertently create walls that prevent them from being vulnerable in relationships. The other party in this conversation stated that modern women and feminists were so independent, that vulnerability in relationships did not exist. I thought that statement was biassed, I listened silently and desperately wanted to search for the definition of vulnerability. When I had an opportunity to explore, this is what I found. (more…)

I have always championed women and our right to freedom, liberty and choice. However this past week, I began to consider an aspect of feminism that I had not reflected on before. Men and their rights. Hear me out, the entire concept of human rights stems from men and their choices. Their ability to choose and make a name for themselves is what created the world in which we live. Men were termed the ‘stronger’ sex because 4000 years ago we literarily needed them to go out to fight lions and bears to put a roof over our heads and food on our tables. 4000 years ago it was expected that a man harvests a forest and build a house with his bare hands. It was his responsibility to hunt then and kill a pig and bring that pig home so his wife could cook the bacon he will eat. In that age, the woman needed to stay at home, because the roles were clearly defined and to be fair it sounds like she got a fair deal. However, with the advent of modern science and industrial farming, I do not personally know a man who can farm a forest and build a house. (more…)

I saw a photo today that made me laugh
I laughed so hard my belly hurt
I instantly thought of you
I wanted to share it with you
I wanted to hear the sound of your voice
as your belly hurt from laughing hard too
But then I remembered I deleted you (more…)

I recently read a post by MissO, where she lamented on her search for ‘the one’. She also wrote about knowing what she wanted in a future spouse. I began to think perhaps ‘he’ was out there, that looking for ‘Almost perfect’ was not so silly after all. The man she described appears perfect superficially, however, on deeper thought, he is likely to be a work in progress. I am assuming that what sets him apart from his counterparts is his willingness to be better. His desire to be the man his woman wants him to be is what makes him ‘the one’. Then I asked myself, does that not make him ‘Mr Perfect’ does that not make him ‘Mr Right?’ And if it makes him Mr Right, is that not a fallacy? (more…)

Do not forget that your mother was a tomato seller at Alade market
When your father was wasting his seed on Allen Avenue
She was investing in your future
She saw your future as her hope
It was the essence of her life’s work
When you reach your destination and you have arrived
Do not forget that you were built by hands that were burnt selling tomatoes in the sun (more…)

The above topic is a controversial subject, especially in African Christian circles. As soon as such a statement is uttered people bind and cast the devil and his agents. Aunties say things like ‘watch your mouth’, ‘you must marry by force’, ‘God forbid evil’, the chastisement continues and the utterer is silenced. However, the reason behind their statement is never addressed; nobody ever asks ‘why?’ and when they do, they never listen when an answer is given. (more…)

Hello, friends! I am at it again, so sorry March found me without a #cooknigeriachallenge post. March was very busy, and then Rome came calling. I’ll tell you about that later! I planned on cooking Onunu as it was the original inspiration behind this challenge, but then Dooney’s blog happened. I was preparing to cook it with catfish pepper soup, then I read Dooney’s post on Onunu. She had declared war on the tradition by stating she would be eating Onunu with any soup of her choice in the foreseeable future. As a result, I decided to step out there and go a bit crazy. I have created a Yoruba-Deltan marriage. (more…)

Sitting at a table on the pavement in St. Peter’s square, I was enjoying my lemon tart as I heard a couple begin to squabble over the bill. Their young son who could not have been up to 6 years old promptly said ‘stop stop let’s not start a fight’. And you know what, he was right, “out of the mouths of babes” is what they say after all. The husband had told his wife that they should pay by cash but when the waitress asked if they were paying by card he said yes. The wife was quick to protest and inform her husband; “why did you tell me to prepare cash when you’ve told her you’ll pay by card” Her husband, Who was not expecting the confrontation promptly said to his wife; “she asked and I just didn’t want to say no”.

“But you only just said it” the wife continued.
It was at this point their young child intervened. It appeared that this was a natural pattern of behaviour and it struck a cord with me.

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I recently had a chance to watch “Far from the madding crowd” a 2015 adaptation of the book of the same title by Thomas Hardy. I was aware that it was a coming of age story of ‘Bathsheba’ who inherited a large farm from a loving uncle. Throughout the story, it is evident that Bathsheba is an intelligent, independent and strong-willed young woman. She made the error too many women make when choosing whom to love. Yes, I said it, love is a choice!
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Let us talk about love today. In recent times, I have heard people, females mostly claim to have lost the love of their lives, declaring they loved once and will never love again. These people all claim that ‘the one’ came and left and there will not be another ‘one’. However, when you listen to their stories, it is evident that often there is a reason ‘the one’ did not stay, or ‘the one’ was not a good one. There are approximately 7 billion people on the earth, do you really believe that only one of them is the one? If you do, then do you live your life based on serendipity alone? Because that’s the only way to believe in the myth of the one! (more…)

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…)

Dear Illusion,

Do not assume that because I seem strong I am so
When cut I bleed red too
I have seen it, and blood is not cute
If you hate me, tell me, I’ll learn to deal
If you want me, tell me, I’ll take that too
Do not use me as predators do
Do not come here and trample on my heart
This life is a garden I have been tending to
I have nurtured it and protected it
The flower that blooms is the only one I have
Do not come to take it away
Do not thrill me and take me for a ride
Do not use me only to dispose of me like rags
If you do not need me and do not want me
Do not come close do not approach
I was fine before I stumbled upon you
I was alone, but never lonely
My secrets kept me company
My dreams kept me alive
Do not come here to take my life
Do not come here selling false hope
I was me before I met you
Please leave quickly if you intend to
So I can still be me when you are gone

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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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