Thursday, May 28, 2009

Interview Thursday: one is going to give you all the things you want, you’re just going to have to reach out and grab it- Woomie O

My guest for this week, is young, is an achiever, is a leader, is a writer and is a cheeky pretty lady. Woomie O a blogger and facebook{er} agreed to tell us more about her career and life. Welcome on board my lady.

Who is Woomie?
This is the all encompassing question that I’ve always feared. I’m still struggling to find out who I am, I only know that I am Cecilia’s granddaughter…I am clueless about the rest

For someone so young so passionate and so intelligent, how has life being for you in General?
Maybe no different than it has been for the average Nigerian child. Passion and intelligence have helped, but only a bit, what I think is the most important thing I’ve learned about life is that no one is going to give you all the things you want, you’re just going to have to reach out and grab it.

You often partake in Writer Anonymous, are you planning to be a writer?
Writers Anonymous is a wonderful platform for people seeking to express their thoughts and feelings. I won’t say I am ‘planning’ because I haven’t taken the necessary steps, but someday, before I die, I will put something in a book that everyone can read and enjoy. Amen.

Can you tell us about your work and how you are making impact?
Well, I work in consulting (the king of all slave-drivers. lol.) and so far, I’ve been having a ball. What we basically do is put ourselves in your shoes, feel where it pinches and help you fix your shoes, your feet or maybe help you buy new shoes.
Where will you want to be in the next 5 years?
The first and most important thing I want is to be alive. Not necessarily in Eldorado, but hopefully, I wish to at least be living my dreams. To have a main squeeze…maybe two out of my 6 girls…and a red Range Rover 2014 edition. Basically, to be in a place where there are really few unanswered questions, nothing good is lacking and all is bliss.

What would you want to have achieved in the next 5 years?
To be done with school and reading and exams!!!! Most important achievement! Then I hope that in 5 years, I would have built my career to a certain desired level. And maybe just maybe, I will have written that book we talked about.

Can you
list 5 people/bloggers that have impacted in you and how they have?
First, I will have to say Laspapi, he made me start blogging, funny how he just led me here and left me to sort myself out.

Second, Chronicles of a Soldier, she’s stopped blogging but she was really good…she had/has what a real blog is. She also encouraged me to open a blog, was tired of anonymous comments.

Third will be PoeticallyTinted, she helps, she encourages, she listens…at one time – when it mattered most – she gave a voice to the screams within me.

Fourth…Laide XSN, she inspires me to be crazy, to basically express myself to the fullest. I love her.

Fifth person that comes to mind will have to be Vera, she cracks me up for good.

Having said that, I admire everyone, every mind, every heart in blogville, the things they say almost always make sense because this is the one place we can be 100% honest with ourselves.

Do you s
ee the Nigerian youth making huge difference in our country?
Of course sis, we’re the only hope this country has got left. I can already see the visions of the youth manifesting – positively. All the changes there are to be made can ONLY be done by the youth, we feel the pain! We know the cure! Time will tell.

Do you have any particular youth that has made a difference that you will like to talk about?
Well, that would have to be my friend Lawunmi. So simple and so complex, maybe she hasn’t made a difference in Nigeria, but she has made a difference in my life, in her life and maybe our families, that to me is the most important. She is the epitome of reach-out-and-grab-it, never-give-up syndrome, she hasn’t taken NO for answer, not from life, not from God and least of all, not from people. I admire her excellent drive a great deal.

Any last word
Thank you Standtall for this interview, it’s a wonderful idea. I say it helps us know some of our favorite bloggers better…maybe someday we can turn the tables and have interviews with more intimate questions. lol. Here’s to a kiss for you *muah*
You are welcome my lady.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cats On Tuesdays: I bruise easily

CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
who share pictures and/or stories about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.

On like Molly that went to the roof and never came back, my 3 other cats namely Scofield, Garfield and Smallville would go out, have fun and come back with Garfield and Smallville visiting the roof at the back of our compound and coming back. Scofield is big and I think too lazy to go on the roof until recently when he was begging Smallville to please come down and come back home.

Just like Molly, Smaville her son bruises easily but not with me. Standtall hubby was a disciplinarian of Molly and I thought that was why she left the first time. We got her back but in love and care under my own very nose, she left home again...

Now Smallville breaking all rules, he would defecate in wrong places, he would always scratch the litter box and wake us up; hubby would ask him to stop and spanked him at times, so he has being taking these personally just like Molly his mother. He defecated on our window last week and hubby and I got angry and spanked him, with me spanking him the most but guess what? He took it out on Standtall hubby and would snare at him any chance he got. He then escaped to the roof and never wanted to come down hence Scofield rescue mission which has yielded good result twice because Smallville is home with us.

But I worry that one day soon, he will go and never come back like Molly. I hope he will not do that because it's tough out there and I don't want him to go and put himself in danger. Scofield good job! Smallville stay put. Garfield thanks for not taking anything personally like your sister did. Keep being a mother to the spoilt Smallville who bruises so easily.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Interview Thursday: " I think if we gave a little more consideration to the other person, life would b emuch simpler" - Uzoma Okere

-->I am privileged to have a short interview with Ms. Uzoma Okere who shared her belief in justice and abetter Nigeria. She works with Jubaili Bros Engineering, a generator company in VI. .

Ms. Uzoma Okere was assaulted by of Admiral Arogundade and his naval escorts on the 3rd of November 2008 for not moving out of the road for them to pass while they were all in traffic. The case has since being in court.  

Uzoma Okere was a graduate of French from ABU Zaria. The 1st of three children and she is a lady that generally likes 2 mind her business. 
Can you briefly discribe your ordeal in the hands of Admiral Arogundade's boys and what actually happened?
I am sorry I may not be unable to give you a recount of the incidence because since the case is currently in court I wouldn't want to say anything that might jeorpardize the case in court.

How do you feel about the support you got from Nigerians both online and offline?
I am overwhelmed I never believed before now that people could rally in support of me just like that.
The case is presently in court, do you believe justice will be served?
I believe that justice will be served.

Rumour has it that they attempted settling you out of court, is this true?
I am unaware of any attempts to settle out of court.
How do you think we can stop extra judicial killings and maltreatment of the citizens from the hands of the armed officers?
I believe some day it would stop. It may not be today or tomorrow but it would be soon. People are more aware of their rights and people are more resolved to the right things so some day we would get there.

Can you tell us more about your support network since the incident?
I can't really speak about a "support networK" But I know now and again, the issue comes up in the media and this or that advocay group speaks on it.

How has this incident changed your life and your perception of things?
I look at Nigerian in new light. I realize that Nigerians can stand and would stand up for others in distress. I have also resolved to look out for others because I got to where I did with this case because others looked out for me.

What will Uzoma likes to change in the world?
I am not a revolutionary. But I think if we gave a little more consideration to the other person, life would be much simpler.

Thanks for your time.
You are welcome.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another Face of Brutality

As if I did not have enough to worry or get upset about already.
work has being more difficult since the beginning of this Month. I get to work late everyday, get home late at night everyday because of the incessant and unfathomabble traffic and fuel scarcity.

My family (majorly half -older-brothers) that suddenly sprang up after years of neglect to take over part of my property without my consent or knowledge and had the gut to tell me that "the family had decided" ( well, I will see them in court) and some friends that are worried I should leave them be so they won't do juju ( supernatural stuff) to me. I just wonder what our value system is all about. If we have to be afraid to challenge injustice because we fear they will have us killed spiritually or otherwise.

Whatever, I will see them in court if they don't back down. Fuel scarcity, power failure, my inablility to go to Shoprite to get cats food for my feline kids... etc

Then, I was on my way to work on this very day and there in the Molue "masses bus" that I entered since I did not want to sleep at the bus stop was this guy that had a disagreement over the fare with the conductor. They dragged themselves down and started fighting. There was a police officer in the vehicle and he got down, I thought to settle the fight but no, he took side with the conductor and started dishing out hot slaps on the passenger. He beat him till he ran!

What? Why would he do this? He has no right to but he did. He was satisfied with himself. He was carried in the vehicle for free as is the case with uniform people in Lagos. They ride for free and do all sort of favours for the motorists at the moment. They throw the dignity of labour and service to the people away so many times for freebies. They perpetrate injustice on inoccent citizens with no one stopping them.

Not that I have a solution to this because I don't. It became my fight when I told the officer that it was enough. The driver took it up with me and called me a crazy woman for carrying dreadlocks and an idiot for not minding my business. Well, I am not so mad on that remarks because the drivers and the conductors too can be victims of brutality the next day.

I don't know how we are going to do it but we have got to restore justice, selfless service and respect for human lives into our value sytems.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Interview Thursday: "It is my belief that men must be involved in protecting women’s rights..." - NDQ

This is a rare opportunity of interviewing another powerful member of blogsville that I admire greatly. Nigeria Drama Queen is our invincilble guest this Thursday and I am delighted she shared with us.
NDQ is Nigerian-American woman, an extrovert, a drama-queen, a realist and an optimist. She is a hopeful human rights lawyer which we kind of share in common. A potential poet and a wanna-be writer. She is a woman of many parts that believes so much in women's human rights. It's a pleasure known this smart individual.
Her blog won the "Best Literary Blog" in Naija Bloggers Award 2009

What has being your experience so far on blogshere/blogsville?
Blogsville has been like a family to me. I have learned from the different perspectives and opinions on here. I have laughed out loud and pushed back tears reading some posts. There are some bloggers I feel I know, solely based on their words, and many that have been there for me when I needed it. Of course there has been the occasional drama, and then the great absence felt when loved bloggers leave. I tried to leave but I couldn’t!

I could recall how touched and disturbed you were over a story on Female Genital Mutilation you posted, how can we correct this menace in how society?
Female Circumcision is a cause dear to my heart-I wrote my thesis on it. Since that post, my opinions have changed a little. I know for one that laws alone cannot stop female circumcision as a lot of parents often perform this procedure believing that they are fulfilling cultural/religious obligations and/or acting in the best interest of the child. Here are some things I believe have proven to be helpful in the downward trend of this practice that is now being seen in some countries:
*Empowering women: when women are empowered economically, socially and financially, they will move away from harmful practices like female circumcision. An example of this is the Greenbelt Movement founded by Nobel Prize Winner Wangari Maathai where women in Kenya have been empowered by owning communal land. Female circumcision has dropped to a low of about 35% in Kenya. *Alternative rites of initiation: Female circumcision represents a rite of passage in many societies. Alternative rites like Kenya’s “Ntanira na Mugambo” (Circumcision through Words) where girls are taught about hygiene, sex, etc during their coming out ceremonies have been effective. *Male participation: It is my belief that men must be involved in protecting women’s rights, if there will ever be lasting change. In Senegal for instance, the organization TOSTAN has been successful in reducing female circumcision rates largely because they involve men in their dialogues and processes. *Education: I believe that as this new generation becomes increasingly educated (especially through technology) a lot of the traditionally harmful practices against women will cease. This has been the case in Egypt for instance where after school programs that educate young girls on circumcision have led several hundreds of families to renounce the practice. Female circumcision will stop from the grassroots: one woman, one family and one nation at a time.

Is it a wise choice for women to stay in an abusive relationship?
Personally, I would NEVER stay in a relationship where a man so much as lays a finger on me. I have seen abusive relationships ultimately end with the death of the woman. I sympathize with women in such relationships though, because it is an entirely different perspective being in that situation.

What do you think women in abusive relationship should do?
The answer to this question changes depending on the individual and the situation- especially where children are involved. I have an aunt who stayed in a once physically abusive relationship, and all is bliss now (according to her at least). I also have a friend who almost lost her baby because people told her it would be a disgrace to get divorced (even though her husband was beating her while she was pregnant). Personally, I would run faster than you could say Jack, but to each his/her own.

Given the moment and the opportunity, what will you rather blog about?
My blog is collage of randomness: from poetry to prose to politics. This gives me the opportunity to blog about whatever I choose at any time. Each post is a confession . . . a snippet of how I feel at a particular time. I haven’t felt the need to go with a particular theme right now, but maybe in the future I will.

Economic recession, global warming, do you think these issues are overrated?
To the extent that news reports on economic recession, global warming, etc cease to be informative and start to thrive on fear, yes I believe they are overrated. While the economic recession in the US is worse than it has been since the 80s, it is definitely not as bad as the great depression…contrary to some news reports. 
Is globalization the cause of economic recession and global warming?
I don’t believe globalization is the sole cause of global warming but it definitely fuels it. I remember reading somewhere that “Globalization is to global warming what warm water in the Gulf of Mexico waters was to Hurricane Katrina.” For instance, there are the definite carbon footprints that come with the travel that is necessary for global trade. New technologies are also definitely responsible for an increase in carbon emissions, etc.

Could there ever be an end to all the negative issues in the world? Could there be an end to all the negative issues in the world? Maybe. Will there be an end to all the negative issues in the world? Probably not.
What do you think need be done to have a peaceful world?
Good leaders. Period!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A girl Child and Her Dream....

She was asked by her teacher " what will you like to be in the future?". She asnwered in her 4 year old sonorous voice " I will like to be a doctor". And her teacher said "no you can't be, you are a girl and you will be a nurse, doctors are for boys'.

She got home and told her mother that her teacher had told her the truth, she is meant to be a nurse. Believe me, this is a true life story that happened a few weeks ago, in Lagos, in a private nursery and primary school and by a teacher that suppose to guide and nuture a child!

This is how so many dreams are destroyed, by mere word of mouth, wrongly spoken to inoccent hearts by uniformed adults that believe are doing the world a lot of good. This is how they make a girl-child feel inferior and lose her focus and her purpose. What are these people guiding? How do they get to be in a position of mentoring and nurturing when in truth they need to be mentored and nurtured?

If you have this unthinkable word said to your girl child, what will you do?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

W.TEC’s Girls Technology Camp

The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is now accepting nominations for its upcoming W.TEC Girls Technology Camp.

The 1-week residential camp will take place in Lagos in August 2009. This W.TEC initiative is aimed at helping girls develop an early interest in computers and other information and communication technology (ICT), as well as enabling them develop positive images of technology-related careers. The long-term goal is increased numbers of women working with and using information technology productively for professional and leadership activities.

The primary aims of this camp are to:
  1. Introduce Nigerian girls to computers and other ICTs, which they can use productively for school, work and leisure
  2. Encourage girls to consider a technology career, by giving a realistic and positive idea of technology-related careers through career talks and career-themed films
  3. Help girls plan their future careers with the assistance of mentors and women currently working in these fields
Criteria for Eligibility:
The programme is targeted at female students who are:
  • Female students currently in JSS 2 to SSS 2 and no younger than 11 years of age
  • Must have an excellent academic record
  • Interested in learning about computers and other information technology
  • Must have the consent of either parent or guardian to stay in the camp with other girls for 1 week in August 2009
To apply, nominate a girl who meets the above criteria to be invited for a pre-selection written test and oral interview. Include the following information for the nominee: First and Last Names; Class; Age; School; Contact Address; Phone Number; and Email Address.
Your nominations should be sent by the deadline of Friday, May 29th, 2009 by:
  1. E-mail:
  2. Mail: W.TEC, P.O. Box 50389, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos
  3. Online submission from our website:
  4. Hand delivery to our office: W.TEC, Suite 88, Block A-4, Sura Shopping Complex, Simpson Street, Lagos Island , Lagos
The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre is a Nigerian non-governmental organization working to encourage Nigerian girls and women to use ICTs to empower themselves socially and economically.
For More Information: Oluwatoyin Ajao-Dawodu Women's Technology Empowerment Centre- W.TEC
Suite 88, Block A-4,Sura Shopping Complex
Simpson Street, Lagos Island
Phone: + 234 1 850 9782, 0706.624.7947 Email:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Interview Thursday: The Mysterious Guest!

"Our flaws and weaknesses can be worked on and turned into strengths" so says the lady you are about to meet. You can perceive her determination and dedication, you have read of her exploits in bettering the life for females, and you may know of her love for cats. But there is much more to this great lady. Join me here on this enthralling journey of knowing Standtall - The Activist- RITA

Rita: Tell us about Standtall, who is behind” the Activist”?
Standtall: Just an ordinary female member of Nigeria that is passionate about positive changes especially in women’s rights and gender equality issues. She used to be blindly trusting well, with friends; she was highly carefree, and she is ambidextrous and extroverted. She has reached a face in life where she knows that “our flaws and weaknesses can be worked on and turned into strength”.
I am just an every day woman that faces traffic; queue to get into a bus, thinking of how to manage her finances and so on and so forth. I am just like every other average Nigerian but with a passion for change and development.
Rita: What drives you towards this passion for seeing the betterment in women and what’s in it for you?
Standtall: First, I was a girl child that went through a lot of challenges of fitting in the world, avoiding being raped by a step brother, a guy trusted by my mum, wondering why my gender is going through abuse and all.
Second, I was a girl child that didn’t find answers to all maltreatment of women and girls around her when she was growing up.
Third, I was the woman that was often challenged and told she couldn’t occupy leadership position because she was just a woman.
Fourth, I am now that citizen of Nigeria that believes in equality, that believes a lot in women and girls and their latent abilities to make a lasting change in their society.
Fifth, I am now that woman and citizen of Nigeria that believes in individuality and the fact that both women and men should be left without hindrance to reach their potentials and contribute to the world.
What is in it for me is just to see a world where every individual regardless of gender is treated equally because to me any woman’s problem anywhere is every woman’s problem. I have seen that as a child.
Rita: Please share with us some key projects you have been involved with and how they impacted in you as a person:
Standtall: There have being so many online and off-line collaborations. I used to be a students’ leader and with all my leadership involvement, I was able to prove that women, like men can achieve greatness. All we need is determination, commitment and to be armed with the right information.
I was involved in a radio and TV program with the Development Information Network. The program was about Information and Communication Technologies development in Nigeria. I co-hosted the Radio program in 2006 and it was fun and educating to be a part of that project. I like the fact that a lot of emphases were laid on women and ICT development.
I am a volunteer of Baobab for Women’s Human Rights and I like the fact that I am able to contribute to women and girls training as well as rights issues.
At my new place of work, we do a lot of ICT trainings for women and girls and the fact that I am involved in mentoring, information and knowledge’s sharing is a lot of achievement for me.
I have being involved in so many other activities that I cannot list here in other not to bore my readers, But one thing is certain with all my involvements with development and leadership work, I am learning daily that this is my career, this is the path for me and I should be ready to be a better person, get focused and keep contributing my quotas.
Rita: Has your belief in feminism been a cause of concern in your marriage?
Standtall: No, it has never been. I have Poeticallytinted that is a friend of my family to testify to this. Well, Standtall Husband is a regular reader of my blog and he believes in my vision for change. We both practice what we preach. He is more or less a feminist. He doesn’t believe he has to stay at home and let me struggle through traffic to come and cook if he is at home. He does the cooking, we both share domestic chores. At times he tells me to sit and he brings me food and pampers me with massage and all.
When he sees issues of concern about women and girls rights, he discusses it with me and together we share ideas. He doesn’t see it has a big deal for both of us to add our finances to the upkeep of our family. I saw in him a gender sensitive individual before I said I do. So, there has never being a time that feminism is seeing as a threat to our marriage. We both embrace feminism principles and values.
Rita: Please share with us 5 things you like about Nigeria and 5 things you would like to change:
Standtall: The likes: our different dynamic dishes, our survival spirits, our very own attires, our sense of analysis {lol}, our fantastic indigenous music and dances.
Would like to change: Lack of respect for young people, our leaders’ lack of sincerity of purpose, incessant power failure, religion intolerance/doctrinal issues, child abuse and violence against women.
Rita: The slave trade was an important event in history. What do you think about it and how do you think this impacted African and Nigeria?
Standtall: Slave trade was horrible! I often pretended it didn’t happen. Though at the end of all the sacrifice of our slave fighters or revolutionaries, the likes of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi , we were all free! America would have being a white country but Obama an African-American is now a president of the United States. South Africa is developed and getting stronger. But for Nigeria, it seems our leaders are now the slave traders, because they are worse than the colonial masters. At least if you feel someone has done something terrible to you, the only way to right the wrong is to do what is right! With Nigeria, we still have a long way to go to stop being slaves in our own countries, to see the benefit of our natural resources in our lives and the lives of the coming generations.
Rita: You started this Interview Thursday and it has evolved into something we al look forward to, what was your inspiration for this and how do you choose your guest?
Standtall: The idea came from not wanting to be a lone voice talking about change and development. I saw a lot of potentials on blogsphere/blogsville, when I read people blogs and the comments they drop on other peoples blogs, I do get an idea of the persons belief and personality, then I choose my guest. But I choose Thursday because I was born on a Thursday.
Rita: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Standtall: Finishing my Law degree and becoming the best female women rights lawyer ever seen in Nigeria.
Rita: What does religion mean to you?
Standtall: To me religion is about having a personal relationship with God, finding him and understanding why you are created by God. Religion to me is being liberal and open-minded.
Rita: Iist 5 bloggers you admire.
Standtall: Permit me to have this done in categories because this is a trap. I love so many bloggers but I will just list a few categories that came to mind.
  1. The Witty: Temite, Afrobabe, LG, Vera, Doug, Baroque and Geebee
  2. The Friends and cat lovers: Gattina, Poeticallytinted, Chari, Abbie, Graham Gracker and Ezra Olubi
  3. The God’s lovers: Rita, Writefreak, No Limit, Jaycee and Aloted
  4. The Thatchers: SolomonSydelle, Nigerian Drama Queen, Parakeet, Rev. Lisa and Tigeress
  5. The Lovely ones: FFF, O’ Dee, Buttercup, Archiwiz, Wordmerchant and Adaeze
Rita: Can you please drop a line about your love for cats?
Standtall Husband is thinking I might wake up one day and choose my cats over him. Don’t blame him or I, we both can’t help our different feelings. I have got an admission to study MA in Gender and Development at the University of Sussex and the fear now is how on earth can I leave my cats behind for one year? Just translate the feeling.
Rita: Any other comment you will like to make?
Standtall: It’s just to appreciate this community and to thank everyone that believe in my blog and its contents. Together we can make a lasting change in the world.
Thank dear Rita for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this. Love you all.
Rita: You're welcome Standtall. You won't blame me for having a smile on my face all through this interview. Learning this much about you has been an enthralling and interesting journey of discovery.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Perpetual Darkness

I just feel that whining about this issue at hand will make me feel better. Well writing about it will do the same. At least I will let out my frustration and try and clear my head!

I don't know what is going on with Nigeria right now. Light {electricity} is terrible, in fact light has become non-existing in my area. I really wonder what can be done without electricity. Is hot, it's damn hot!

To make matter worse and more complicated, there is fuel scarcity in the country, No petrol to power the generator. That means a lot- if not everything is at a standstill. Can't watch TV, can't be on the system for long, can't work, can't rest, can't iron my clothes... Can't nothing!

This has become a little messy and a lot frustrating. This is not a good image for my country. I don't want to give up on Nigeria but I need some reassurance that we are moving forward and still not whining about electricity issue. This is has being as old has our independence!
My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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