Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The V- Monologue 2009 Performances

Is this fair?
A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a 75-year-old Syrian woman to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation from the kingdom for having two unrelated men in her house, according to local media reports. Read full report here
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2009 Vagina Monologue Play:

I went for V-Monologue play this year just like I did last year. Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) has being responsible for this play since 2006. The Vagina Monologues is a play to raise awareness on violence against women and funds for organisations with intiatives working to end violence against women.

The original play was written and produced by Eve Ensler's and was adapted by different countries all over the world since violence against women is common place and not perculiar to a particular region or country. KIND started the play in 2006 using Eve's book until 2008 when they think it's important to tell the story using Nigeria issues on violence against women after the research that involved the interview of 150 Nigerian women that narrated one form of violence or the other perpetrated on them.

It's a good thing to show case these issues via a stage performance for awareness raising, moblization, funding raising, the victory of those that dare to challenge the unfair treatments, the warriors as well as the victims. I believe that true continous and ceaseless efforts by different groups, organisations and individuals, violence against women will be a thing of the past. Soon, I believe soon...

All images from the V-Monologue seeing on this post are credited to Isaac EmokpeaTHE SCENE ABOVE WAS FROM "SLICE $ DICE" FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION.
THE SCENE ABOVE WAS FROM " HE HITS ME" WITH ALL THE ACTORS MENTIONING DIFFERENT ORDEAL THEY HAVE SUFFERED FROM MEN/HUSBAND.

THIS SCENE WAS TELLING A STORY OF HOW THE YOUNG LADY WAS BEING TOUCHED BY MEN ANYTIME SHE WAS SENT ON ERRAND UNTIL SHE LEARNT TO DEFEND HERSELF

THE FOOTBALLERS ACTING HOW SOMEN MEN DEAL BLOWS TO WOMEN AS IF THEY ARE FOOTBALLS WHILE PRAISING THOSE MEN THAT RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN
THE PERFORMERS ABOUT TO TAKE A BOW AND LEAVE THE STAGE

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What would you like to Change?

This might sound crazy but I often feel like I should have some sort of supernatural power to deal with the corrupt police, bad politicians, hooligans, rapists, serial killers just name it. You know, if you can remember that particular thing that made you go over the edge and you wished you could deal with it to your satisfaction but you were helpless to do something (just a case scenerio).

Anytime I witness oppressions, bad treatment of others, I just wonder; why is it that we get to see the power of Cat Woman, Superman, Batman, Harry Potter only in the movie? Can't there be a life experience? Can't I possess such power and use it for the good of the nation? Had I had these powers, all corrupt police officers and army in Nigeria would have being safe! All the bad leaders that have embezzled our money better take cover.

But I don't have such powers but still I have got other powers. Power to cry out whenthere is injustice , power to continually try to change a situation by just doing something no matter how big or small about it, power of positivity- that some day all these little efforts will become so big and it will change history...

My question is is there any burning issue that you want to solve? If you have just one change to make a change, what will it be?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Amazon Shero: Oreoluwa Somolu

I made an AdaLovelaceDay pledge a few Months ago to do a post on an Amazon in Technology.
" Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women's contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Whatever she does, whether she is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, developing software or hardware, a tech journalist or a tech consultant, we want to celebrate her achievements"

This is not far-fetch for me anymore as it would have being a few years back. I am proud of a woman that is making tremendous impact in equipping women and girls in Information and Communication Technology. I was so happy to leave my name in joining over 1,000 people world over that will be blogging or that are already making a post on their "Technology Sheros or the Technology unsung Sheroes".

If not for her intiative to empower women in ICT, my blog that is making an impact and is about to take me to Chicago for a conference won't have existed. If not for her over 50 empowered women and girls that now know more about what they can use ICTs to achieve won't have got that information as at the time they did.

If not for her a lot of women taking charge of their destiny might not be privy to the information that is changing the wheel of their lives! There is so much that one determined person can do, there is so much one genuine leader can accomplish with a passionate heart.

I am acknowledging the deserving Technology Shero, the Amazon Oreoluwa Somolu for all she has done and much more to come!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

HONEST SCRAP MEME

The award above was given to me by my Poeticallytinted.And she considered my blog and its content brilliant hence. This Award will not be complete if I don't do the meme that comes with it, which in my opinion I am doing again. Well, I am sure I can find 10 new things to share about me.

Thanks Poeticallytinted!

MUST DO FOR ACCEPTING THE AWARD:
  1. You must brag about it
  2. You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger
  3. You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends (lol).
  4. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
  5. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!

Here the torture begins:
  1. I have always wanted to pierce my nose. Got it done in India at last.
  2. I have been trying to grow dreadlocks since 2004 and was always putting it off for one excuse or the other. Now I have started. Poeticallytinted be ready to gimme tips.
  3. I used to think I will make a great politican but now I think the only thing I can do best is ACTIVISM. Gonna stick to that. I don't want politics dragging my name in the mud
  4. I am not an early riser. My body wakes up fully at 7am but I had to be up 5:30am. It's a battle till date.
  5. I am a misfit accountant. I wonder how I was misguided to do the course in the first place. Now I want to go back for law. Wish me luck everyone. Thank you, thank you
  6. I don't believe the crap about people don't change especially when it has to do with belief system and orientation. I am a living proof and change is the only constant thing in life!
  7. I don't wear a wedding ring. Should I?
  8. Mrs. is boring to me. I don't like being addressed as such. Ms. is better and cool
  9. I am a rebel and you don't want to see me angry!
  10. I am a "practice what you preach damsel". I don't encourage people to do X and Y without me doing it myself. If I preach feminism, that's sure my way of life. If I preach equality, that's sure my way of life!

Passing this award on to:
  1. Sokari
  2. Writefreak
  3. Geebee
  4. Adaeze
  5. Tigress
  6. Blazing
  7. Sugabelly
Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Interview Thursday: " Every human is made to fulfill a divine purpose" - Writefreak

I will like to apologise for skipping a few weeks of "Interview Thursday", the situation surronding skipping it was beyond my control. We are back and better with our first awesome woman, Writefreak!

Who is Writefreak?
My name is Writefreak....lol...i'm in the last years of my 20s, actually make that the last year. I am a believer and seek God's will for every area of my life, I've been married to the most wonderful man on earth for over two years. I consider myself to be a gift to the world around me and I am always seeking for an opportunity to be a blessing. I have been 'self employed' for almost a year now. I like to call myself a writer. I am a mother to be, a home maker and the definition continues to grow as God continues to reveal who i am to me. The definition continues as the pages of my life keep turning

How is life as a Nigerian?
I am a Nigerian and I am very proud to be one. Life as a Nigerian to me is life as a human being, let's say first because I've never been a citizen of another country. lol. For me life as a Nigerian is waking up in the morning to the sun shining almost everyday of the year. Life as a Nigerian has its challenges but it's what defines the essence of who I am. It's being able to eat amala or iyan when I want. It's sometimes seeing how tough life is for a lot of folks and wishing I could do something about it. Life as a Nigerian is full of laughter.

For me it's having your family close by when you need them; it's being able to start a business without going through a million and one regulations. It's seeing policemen carrying their guns in dangerous ways on our roads. It's seeing a lot of potential going to waste but on the other hand it's seeing some rise from nothing to something. It’s having PHCN seize power many times a day or even for the whole day and asking my Gatemen if we still have fuel for the gen and thanking God we’re able to generate power for ourselves remembering some people cannot. It’s saying a prayer that there will be power when I need it.

Being a Nigerian defines the essence of my being and I love being one. I enjoy being a Nigerian hundred percent! For me life is not hard at all as a Nigerian by God’s grace although I am very aware of the challenges a lot of people go through. I suppose this applies in a lot of other countries.

Mention 5 must keep things and 5 must change things about Nigeria
Must keeps:
-Our rich culture is a must keep. Where else on earth would you go and find so many cultures in one country?

-Level of discipline: A lot of parents are not afraid to discipline their children. These days though some parents are deviating from that.

-The need for God: Whether Christian or muslim or traditional worshipper, Nigerians have a sense of awe for the most high. That is an admirable trait

-The language: Most people think it is backward to speak native languages to their kids these days, there's nothing backward about it. We shouldn't let our local languages go extinct like latin.

-Laughter: Nigerians always laugh even in the face of problems. That is a must keep, laughter is a good medicine

Ok lemme add another one;
Hospitality: Nigerians are very accommodating people and we tend to take care of foreigners. Ask a Nigerian for direction (except in Lagos) and he will almost take you to where you're going

Must change things:
-Corruption: I don't need to preach about this. From the gateman who won't let you into an office until you put your hands in your pocket to give him a tip, to the head of a government parastatal who demands a cut for a contract, it's all corruption. I have faith that someday we will have a Nigeria full of people with integrity!

-Underpriviledged children and child abuse: This gets to me anyday! Everywhere you go, there are abandoned kids, kids begging on the roads while their parents sit for the day's wages under the bridges, children who are not old enough to decide for themselves are sent off as househelps and a lot of them are maltreated. I long for the day that every Nigerian child will be valued!

-Poverty: The major percentage of Nigerians are poor, you can tell this everywhere. It saddens me to know that some people cannot even afford to eat daily!

-Lack of value for human life: You see mad men everywhere, infact sometimes dead bodies lie around on the road. God help us! A policeman shoots and kills someone for no reason and it's called accidental discharge!

-African time: Most Nigerians don't respect time. I remember my wedding service was supposed to be 12noon to 1pm, thank God for Daystar a church that keeps to time, my wedding was in a hall and I think most people thought it might not be a formal affair, well should i just say a lot of people missed the service because it only lasted an hour.

Your blog name suggests you like to write, are you a writer and what do you like to write?
Yes I love to write, I have always written and i always will. When i was a kid, my sister and I would write stories and swap them, i always kept a diary...always writing silly stuff in them. Then as the years went by, I kept a journal, detailing my life events. The first ever story I wrote was a true life thing that happened between myself and a couple of friends in Uni. Then I graduated and writing sort of took a back seat after I got a job. My last job had me pining for more and wanting to do more. With a lot of push and encouragement from my hubby, I started writing my first book which by God's grace i completed and am now looking to publish. So what do I write? I write articles, short stories, fiction, and recently screen plays. I am a writer at heart and will always be one! Chei, this was supposed to be a simple question, wasn't it?

You co-started a blog called "From the Hearts of Soul Sistas" with Aloted, what gave birth to this awesome project and how long will it last?
The Soul sistas blog started as a thought that wouldn't leave me or more like what i would call a God inspired thought. I had read a number of posts all over blogville and it occured to me that it won't be a bad idea to be able to share with other sisters some of the truths I know about relationships and being a woman. I think the thought became more grounded in my mind when I to leave my thoughts on chastity before marriage on someone's blog. I believe in staying pure till you get married...that is the bible way and that's how I live my life...(i digress) Who better to start it with, my great friend aloted, we share common goals and values and agree on most things. I spoke to her about it, she had been thinking the same thing and voila, the blog came to live! It is born out of a desire to be role models to ladies like us; single or married.
For now, we don't have a definite time frame for the blog to run. I believe we will do it as long as God wants us to and when the time is right, if He wants us to move on from there, we will know.

What is the major aim of the soul sistas blog?
The aim of the soul sistas blog as we stated on the blog is to to share our heart on issues ranging from soft to difficult issues that ladies might have. We seek to be role models to other sistas and hope our thoughts can be of help to a sista out there.

Are you meeting the need of the soul sistas blog?
I like to believe that we're meeting the need. We're not updating the blog as often as we'd like to. This is because we have a lot of other responsibilities and hope to be more committed to it. From the few posts we have been able to do though, the responses have been inspiring and we hope to be able to do more. We also leave room for people to send us emails on issues that they might like us to discuss. We have gotten a few and dealt with the issues

What is your thought about male child preference belief by some Nigerians?
I think preferring a gender to another is a backward thing. The bible says when God made man, male and female he created them. Every human is made to fulfill a divine purpose, male or female and therefore saying that one gender is less important than the other is a sin against God and humans. We coexist to bring Him glory. Can a man bring forth a child without a woman? No can a woman bring forth without a man? It is a symbiotic relationship and although we have different roles, both are equally significant and important.

The reason some people want male children is to carry on the family name but then, i wonder what the sense is behind this. Take it or leave it, once a human being is dead, he's dead and what if the male child chooses to even change his name as is not uncommon these days?
Children are a blessing from God, be it male or female and whichever one a family is given, they should count themselves blessed.

A lot of parents see children as their property and I suppose if theystart to see themselves merely as stewards who only have a role to play in their lives and not owners, it will start to matter less whether the child is male or female.
Lastly, i would reiterate that preferring a male child to a female one is a sin against God and humanity. Every child is a blessing from God, male or female.

The Male preference belief has destroy some homes while it has put some homes in fiancial jeopardy, why do you have to say about this belief?
As Africans, we tend to believe that the purpose of marrying a man or woman is mainly procreation, although it is one of the purposes, I do not believe it is the main one. This is why a family would prefer to bring forth a child into suffering than to wait till such a time as they can afford to bring one in or the reason a family who has children they cannot cater for will bring another one into it because they need a heir. Please tell me, what is the child inheriting? Poverty? You don't need a heir when you can't even take care of one.

If family means what it is to most people, then they will not allow their unit to be broken simply because they don't have a male child. Whoever is clamouring for a male child either husband or wife is not being sensible as this is not something one can control. You can pray to God for a desired sex, but you cannot ultimately decide. I'm not saying it's totally wrong to desire a male or female child because even common sense tells us variety is the spice of life but the well being of a family should not be jeopardised because a malechild is being clamoured for. If a man is unable to cater for the two, three or four girls he has and give them the best already, why bring into the world more children to suffer? how does he hope to cater for the male child when he comes? I see this as an injustice to the poor children. These are the people I jokingly call 'pikin miss road' sometimes

Do you think there will ever be an end to this belief?
I do hope there will be an end to this belief but if I will be realistic, I will say I don't think there will be a total end. It might reduce drastically with a lot of orientation but it will always be there. Even Jesus said 'the poor you will always have among you'. I take that to mean you will always have the spiritually, financially or mentally poor. A man or woman who thinks a male child is better than a female one is mentally poor!

Blogville is blessed with so many wonderful people, can you mention 5 bloggers that have touched your heart in different ways and brief describe them?
Oh wow...this is a tough one. There are so many bloggers I admire, so many who keep blessing my life everytime i turn their page. I might break your rule and mention more than five, let's see:

Aloted: We're friends. She's the coolest friend i have. She's the one who introduced me to blogging over three years ago and she's like my sister. I can share my heart with her on any issue and i know she's always there for me...and when i need a tip or two on professional things, i can always refer to her.

SSD: Her commitment to blogging amazes me. She has a husband and three children, has to keep a home, yet she still makes time out to update regularly. She must be a master at multitasking and i admire her for this. Oh and i love her kids' antics!

Jaycee: I love her and her writing. When I need a word in season from heaven, all i need do is go read her latest post. She's truly a blessing!

Vera: She's just hilarious and cracks me up anyday!

Standtall: Your commitment to the cause you believe in amazes me and I want to be like you when I grow up...lol

NoLimit: She just has a way of making you see God even in the most infinitesimal things…and she has a really cool personality!

GNG: She just has a sweet spirit. I haven't met her in person but every time I chat with her, I feel like I can tell her anything. Sometimes though I feel like wacking some sense into her when she's talking down at herself...lol

Oh you said 5...but there are a lot of others. Temite: She has a way with words.
There's also Nefertiti. You can tell she's a strong woman with a strong personality but she has learnt to balance it in submission to her Mr. I also like Bumight…she sure is funny, what with her recent e-wedding to Doug. Oh God I could go on and on. Please lemme just mention a few more, LG, she cracks me up with her pidgin posts, Original Mgbeke, I love Funms for her new found commitment to God.
FBA: That one cracks me up. Ok I need to stop although there are a lot more others! Infact, I think I love the all bloggers! You touch my heart everytime I read your blogs and I learn one thing or the other everywhere I turn. Blogville, y’all rock!

Oh God, this is a set up, I feel like I could go on and on!

Thanks for your time and these wonderful insights Ms. Writefreak
Thank you for interviewing me Standtall, I feel like a celebrity


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cats On Tuesday: My Companions and other Funny Images

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

When I say cats rule don't doubt me. As soon as I get back from Bangalore-India, my cats showed how much they have missed me by the way they occupied my resting bed as soon as I lie down and were there till I woke up. Standtall Husband captured us all (lol)

Now what were they going in circles for? Lol. I am sure they thought I was going to the kitchen so they can follow me for food.

What manner of sleeping posture is this? Well, Smallville seemed to be enjoying his sleep near my bag.

My proud Scofield with all the terrible cuts I met on his face when I got back. They (the other cats) are always giving him marks!

Copy Cat. WHo copied who? Smallville and Daddy Scofield!
Visit Gattina's blog for more on Cats On Tuesday (COT)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Decay in Our Sports...

Standtall Husband attended the just concluded National Sport Festival in Kaduna for the last time. He was offered a Coach position and he turned it down because he believed he is not ready to be forced to favour a team over the other whether they did well or not or to syphon players money with his colleagues to be.

He and other players have witnessed in the recent as well as in the past of how the Sport Managment Team or Board would decide to share the money meant for the player in ratio 6:4 while the 4 will be for the players that the entire money was earmarked for in the first place. This is corruption in the highest order to me. How can this be allowed to continue?

Standtall Husband also said that when Gov. Fashola got to the camp in Kaduna, their own representative lamented about the peanut being paid to the sport people for their upkeep. Right there in front of everyone, Fashola was agitated as he conversed with the Lagos State Minister of Sports (though they couldn't hear him). They ended the program in a hurry. I do believe this is done just to save their faces and for Fashola not to get angry beyond normal infront of all. Corruption! I am sure Fashola could not believe what he heard.

But the height of this all is the manner in which some sport persons died. They have now introduced Kick Boxing into the festival. There was a player from Edo State that had his fighting opponent die, he gave his opponent a slightly kick on his arm and the guy fell and died. The Edo guy got to the final stage and he too was kicked lightly by a Kaduna Kick-Boxer and died. What?! A lot of people according to Standtall Husband believed this to be "fetish power". It's like the players were promised a lot of dough and winning to them, is the only acceptable grammar. What is this world turning into?

Hmmm, to end this story, Kaduna happened not to be a good place for so many sport people as they had to confront thugery attitude from a lot of Kaduna players who came with knifes, swords and daggers to claim a winning position. They tore up the drums and ready to fight with anyone if they should lose a game especially the Basket Ball Game. Are we breeding thugs in our sports? How can this people make it to the International Sports with this attitude? Will they go and fight to win?

And to think that no one checkmated these people or try to stop this act was beyond me. Where are we going Nigeria? When are going to end corruptions, hooliganism, Bribery, Fetish Belief, Cheating, Killings and lack of love for our neighbours?

When?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Male-Child Preference Syndrome

Some of the families I am going to refer to in this post are known personally by me so I will be discreet and mention no names. I happened to know a family that with the financial situation of their family, they cannot afford to have more than 2 children. These 2 children of course would be able to have all they need as children. They would have being very comfortable but their parents saw to it that they weren’t. They were all 8 in numbers because their parents kept looking for a male-child that will:
1. Continue with the family name
2. Inherent their property
3. help them conform to the cultural beliefs
So, they ended with 8 girls that are sent to low-standard schools and eat the crumbles their family can offer… Yet, they still lamented that they didn’t have a boy-child.
One of my numerous cousins though educated and influential ended up with 2 wives because he wanted a boy. The first wife made a boy on her 5th delivery but cousin was already hooked up with another woman. This excuse of taking a second wife is still not clear to me till today. Because as a science student that he was, he needed not be told that it takes his X and Y chromosomes to make either a girl or a boy to start with. Yet, he took a second wife.

This lady that I admire so much married into an Igbo family. On her first pregnancy, she was worried sick that she should have a boy because this will make her feet to be firmly rooted in her husband’s place. She said whatever it takes…She gave in to the demands of her husbands family. She prayed, she was desperate for a boy-child. How will she be able to love the child if she turns out to be a girl. The girl-child will be seing as the one "who ruined her life". I want to assume.
I will try to spare us some bad stories of how girl-child has suffered cruel fate just because they were girls. I was thrilled to discover a family of seven boys looking for a girl-child. The man took a second wife because he wanted a female child. The reason? Someone to help in the kitchen!
This is the fate of some innocent female children born and unborn. A female child is desired by some for wrong reason while some just want to stick to the traditional role of male-child is more important and it’s a must to have…

This wrong mentality has destroyed many homes, has made so many home poverty ridden, led to complicated health history of women from too many labours and made so many women unhappy. I know that the custodian of this cultural preservations are both women and men. Mother –in-laws and father-in-laws. And those that should have no say in the marriage. In this 21st century, it baffles me that we still talk about male preference even when traditional roles are being reversed, even when it’s glaring that no child regardless his/her gender or sex should be treated as inferior, some still find it pleasurable to choose the path of “male-child preference”.

I believe it’s time to wake up. I believe it’s time to count our blessings. It’s time to appreciate the children that come our ways and see them as blessings. It’s time not to make the mistake that Muhmmed Ali made when they asked him the number of children he had and he said “1 boy and 8 mistakes”. The only child that makes us remember Muhammed Ali today happens to be one of his “mistakes” has he referred to his daughters.
This is post is dedicated to all girl-child out there that are born into this kind of situation. I know and believe that no matter what you face today, you will be a blessing to this generation. Just believe you are not a mistake and that you are not less important than a male-child.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

Monday, March 2, 2009

I am Back

I can't believe I have been back from India for 5 days now without doing any post nor my blog round. I have missed out on many blogs I read regularly. I have really missed you all.

Thanks so much for those that left wonderful comments on the post of my mother rememberance. It meant so much to me to know that I have people who geniunely care. I am so so grateful.

To those that requested to know which is my image in the pictures I uploaded during the info-Activism Camp in Bangalore, India, sorry folks I ain't telling (lol).

I am back and will soon get back to the scheme of things. I have just being busy doing perosonal stuff which of course I am rounding up today to resume work tomorrow. I have got so much work waiting for me at the office... I will survive...
My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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