Eloquence no be by ‘phone’

Eloquence no be by ‘phone’

I was inspired to write about this issue after I watched an episode of Moments Girls Talk, a popular Nigerian panel talk show on YouTube. On that episode, there was a handsome male guest with an American accent (phone) but unfortunately, the guy couldn’t properly articulate his thoughts; I felt like I was trying to understand the words of a 2-year-old child. It was quite disconcerting to watch. In the end, most of his sentences had to completed by Bolanle and Toke.

I’m not writing this post to make fun of that guest (I don’t even know who he is tbh) but to highlight a problem that I have noticed in Nigerian Media. It seems like the only requirement to get a broadcasting job in Nigeria right now is an American or a British accent and a pretty/handsome face of course. The broadcast industry is dominated by IJGBs (I just got backs) and there are very few people with Nigerian accents that make it in that industry. I’m not trying to be divisive but it does make me a bit sad when I notice how over saturated Nigerian media is by IJGBs. I know we are all Nigerians and all that but please can we have more Nigerians with Nigerian accents; Representation matters. I don’t know why Nigerians are offended by Nigerianness (I don’t know if that is a word). I believe Nigerians love for all things foreign and rejection of all things indigenous is one of the lasting effects of colonialism and white supremacy.

I make fun of people who fake accents but when a young aspiring broadcaster with a Nigerian accent notices the current state of the industry, they will most likely feel compelled to meet the requirements of the industry. People who don’t naturally have those accents are forced/pressured to fake an accent to make it. Toke Makinwa has been accused of faking her British accent for years. I’ve seen some of her old work and I think her accent is a tad bit exaggerated but I guess she realised for her to make it in the OAP game she had to package herself well and nobody can deny the effectiveness of her rebranding.

In summary, having a foreign accent doesn’t mean a person can communicate effectively.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Hello, everyone, I’ve haven’t posted anything in a while and I apologise for that. The semester was coming to an end and I had a tonne of four projects to hand in; it was so bad that I spent my entire Christmas day finishing a project & preparing a presentation. The semester is over now so I have more free time. I’m so glad the semester is over, I felt it would never end.

I also have some bad news; so, Netflix in their infinite wisdom decided to cancel Marco Polo but keep making Adam Sandler movies and more comedy specials (2016 is without a doubt, the year of the upside down). I was so devastated when I heard the news that I almost cried. I’m just praying that the show gets picked up by Amazon Prime or heck, even HBO. The only news that brought out of my depression sink was the Attack on Titan Season 2 Trailer. I have been waiting almost 2 years for the 2nd season of AoT to be released and it is finally coming out in April 2017.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope everyone had a wonderful 2016 and is having a blast today. I’ve never been big on New Year’s celebrations because guys think that every girl is fair game and people are usually extremely inebriated and I’ve learnt that being around drunk people is only fun when you are drunk too and I don’t drink so that’s that.

I’m also not a New Year’s Resolutions person because I believe that people shouldn’t wait until a New Year to make positive changes in their lives but I understand that symbolism of starting a new on a New Year. I don’t have a New Year’s Resolution per say but this year, I aim to continue my minimalism journey. I decided to own less stuff when I was returning from Germany. Guys, my suitcases were so heavy that I thought my arms were going to come out of their sockets. When I finally settled down and unpacked my luggage, I realised that I didn’t even wear half the clothes in my suitcases. Apparently, this issue is not peculiar to me; research has shown that most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe.

After realising that I was stuck on the capitalism & materialism train, I decided to control my spending & shopping habits; Guys, I have an excel spreadsheet where I create my monthly budget and track my spending. (It’s that serious).  I started in September 2016 and I would say I’ve been successful so far. The urge to buy beautiful clothes has not disappeared; occasionally, I do happen upon an item of clothing that I really want to buy but I ask myself if I’m really going to wear it and the answer is usually “No”. I don’t go out much and when I do, it’s usually a T-shirt & Jeans kinda affair.

Even though I’m controlling my shopping habits, I have my eyes on a pair of Puma velvet creepers by Rihanna. Those shoes are beautiful and very comfortable from what I hear but they aren’t cheap though (A pair costs $150). I’m planning on buying one as a birthday gift to myself, hopefully by then I’ve would have saved enough money to buy a pair or two ( Oh, in case anyone wants to buy me a pair as a Christmas/New Year’s gift, I wear size 41 EU and my preferred colour is olive-green: Thank you in advance).

Happy New Year once again and I hope everyone has an awesome & fulfilling 2017.

Cynophobe Alert

Cynophobe Alert

I was attacked by a neighbour’s dog when I was a child and ever since that incident, I have been afraid of dogs. In Nigeria, it was very easy to avoid dogs because Nigerians aren’t big pet owners; most dogs are owned for security purposes alone (which makes them even scarier) so avoiding dogs was no problem. When I moved to Istanbul, I encountered dogs in my university campus. There are so many dogs in the campus: seriously, I believe my campus is a dog shelter. I was scared at first but my fears were assuaged when I realised that the dogs only barked and ran after moving vehicles so I was in the clear. After I moved into a dormitory on the university campus, I did become slightly irritated by the dogs because they bark at night and very early in the morning thus disturbing my precious sleep (sleep is my first love) but I wasn’t afraid of them.

On the 16th of September 2016, I was moving from one dormitory to another. Sidebar: Being a foreign student who stays in a dorm in Turkey is not easy because some dorms close for summer break so you may have to move into another dorm during that period. As a foreign student, all your luggage is with you, it’s not like the Turkish students who go home during breaks/weekends to drop their winter clothes and pick up their summer clothes and vice versa. Foreign students can’t afford to do that (maybe some can but I’m not one of those) so we must move into another dorm with all our heavy luggage (sigh!!!! and insert sad and tired face emojis). I believe that is why all my suitcases have expired before their prime: a suitcase I just bought last year is already dead; the wheels are the first to go ofc (I wonder if I get them fixed somewhere………..)

On this day, I was pulling my very heavy suitcase and the suitcase was making a very irritating noise because the wheels are pretty much non-existent. I guess the sound was irritating the dogs as well because they started barking viciously at me. Their barking was so loud that a security guard had to come out and try to calm them down. The guard told me the dogs wouldn’t do anything to me, they were just barking at the sounds from my suitcase. I was scared but I continued pulling my suitcase. As I continued on my way, the dogs started running towards me while barking. Now, I was very scared: I thought they were going to attack/kill me (I’m obviously very dramatic). The guard tried to calm them down while I continued walking but these dogs did not settle down. I just stopped moving and a car driver who had witnessed the entire episode decided to give me a ride to my dorm. I usually don’t take rides from strangers but I wasn’t ready to be attacked by dogs. I jumped into the car and I was dropped off in front of my dorm. Sidebar 2: People animal lovers always say dogs are more afraid of you than you are of them. If that was true, then why did these dogs bark and run towards me. You don’t run towards something/someone that you are afraid of, you run away from it (well, unless you’re a white girl in a horror movie). My experience has definitely laid that fallacy to rest.

I was very grateful to the car driver and I was very impressed when he didn’t ask for my number. I was impressed because usually when a man does a woman/girl a favour, they usually ask for a phone number in return. That is why I’m very unwilling to receive help from guys because I know 9 out 10 times, they will ask for my number. The driver was very good-looking though and I have more respect for him knowing he did me a solid without expecting anything in return (thumbs up to you sir): I guess good Samaritans do still exist.

Later in the day, I had to go to the grocery store and I went out of my dorm. When I saw two dogs close by, I ran back to my dorm: I was obviously still traumatised by the earlier episode. I had to calm myself down and find the courage to go to the store because I had nothing to eat and I was very hungry (food is my second love). When I finally had the courage to go to the store, the dogs had moved (THANK GOD) so I didn’t encounter any dogs on my way to and from the store.

My fear of dogs is cemented now. It is so bad that I don’t think I can be friends or date a person who owns a dog.

 

So you are not going to cook for your husband?

So you are not going to cook for your husband?

That is the first thing I hear when I tell people I’m a feminist. The cooking issue non-issue is usually brought up my non-feminist, as a derailment tactic. Let me just do a mini-PSA: Feminists are NOT against women cooking for their households. I am not against women cooking for their households, however, I am against the social norm that dictates that women belong in the kitchen (*coughs*Mr President*coughs*) and that they MUST cook for their husbands to be good wives. [I can’t believe our President actually said that his wife belongs to the kitchen in Germany of all places, the country that has been under the strong leadership of a woman for 11 years].

Remember how much heat Tiwa Savage received for hiring a cook because of her busy schedule. She didn’t have time to cook because she was very busy earning money for her family BUT she hired someone to make sure her family had something to eat. What is so wrong with that?. I saw a lot of people commenting that she wasn’t a good wife because she didn’t cook herself and all that (insert smh emoji).

Anybody who’s ever opened an anthropology or even a history textbook knows that the norm of cooking being the woman’s duty came from an era when men went out to gather the resources for the home either through hunting or farming while women took care of the home and children: It was a division of labour. In present day Nigeria and the world, only a handful of households can survive on a single income. I mean, it is possible to survive (if you want to be literal with the word) but if the goal is to maintain a reasonable standard of living, two incomes are required.

Earning an income is the modern day gathering of resources and since both men and women are now gathering resources for the household, shouldn’t the household duties be divided? Women are now assisting men in their ‘traditional’ duties, shouldn’t men also assist women in our own ‘traditional’ duties? We are not asking for the world; we just ask that household duties be divided fairly. It doesn’t even have to be cooking, the man can assist in cleaning the house or with the laundry or whatever. I know there are feminists who take pride in their ability to do both and see themselves as real feminists because they aren’t “trying to be men” (I don’t know what that means) but I don’t subscribe to the ‘superwoman’ brand of feminism (the “a woman can be a boss at work and still be a good traditional wife and mother” brand of feminism). Women are not robots OK, we need help. We can’t work all day in the office and come home to do all the household chores: It’s unfair. Most middle-high class families in Nigeria can afford to hire help but if a family can’t afford to hire help, I believe it is wrong for the working woman to be solely responsible for the household chores.

I am also not down for the demonization of women who aren’t ‘traditional’ wives. I recently watched a “New Nollywood” movie titled ‘Mr & Mrs’. It stars Nse Ikpe Etim and Benjamin Joseph. In the movie, there was a female character who was the primary breadwinner of her household. The husband worked too but his job wasn’t her demanding as hers. Due to the demanding nature of the wife’s job (she was a banker), she hired help and surprise surprise (not), the husband had an affair with the maid. According to the writers, the man cheated with the maid because his wife was not performing her wifely duties. The husband said that if the maid leaves the house, who will take care of him and his children. The man wasn’t as busy as his wife, why couldn’t he help around the house and look after the children? We live in a society where men are not even expected to do the basics. Honestly, there were so many problematic overt and subvert messages in that movie and I don’t have the energy, time or will to tackle them.

In my future household, I would prefer not to cook because as I stated earlier that I don’t particularly enjoy cooking (Ok fine, I said I hate it) but that’s not because I’m a feminist: I disliked cooking way before I identified as a feminist. I think it’s because when there is no ‘light’ or petrol for the generator, pounding/chopping peppers and onions was the way to go and any Nigerian girl can tell you how much that hurts the eyes. I can and do cook because I think it is a life skill that everyone should have (unless you have the money to hire a chef in which case, I’m very jealous of you). I do however enjoy cleaning with good equipment so I would prefer to oversee cleaning the house. Good equipment is necessary for me to enjoy cleaning because bending over to sweep with a local broom, makes my waist hurt so I would pick a vacuum over a local broom.

So, to answer the question in the title; it depends on how the household chores are divided.

 

 

Is male infidelity natural????????

Is male infidelity natural????????

I know there is that one MRA (Men’s Right Activist) that is probably going “WOMEN CHEAT TOO”. I know women also cheat but men cheat more than women [Source: Steven Nock, PhD, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia]. Even if you refuse to accept the above information because the study was conducted in the USA, in Nigeria, male infidelity is accepted and even expected while female infidelity is not accepted and is punished. We’ve all heard stories of unfaithful wives been thrown out of their homes and in some cases, their children are taken away from them. So there is no denying the double standard. I personally feel the men cheat more than women data also applies in Nigeria but I want to be as objective as possible.

Earlier this year, I was in Nigeria for my holiday. During the holiday, I decided to volunteer for NACA (National Agency for the Control of Aids). I volunteered for an outreach program that provided free HIV/AIDS and STD tests to female sex workers in Abuja. The outreach program was challenging at first because the brothels we visited were in the slums of Abuja and I’m an ‘ajebutter’ (If I do say so myself). Seriously though, I was scared at first because of stories I’ve heard about the violence in brothels but, I eventually got the hang of it and it became easier.

During the outreach, around 5pm, the girls would start to get customers. So our day ended at 5pm because after 5pm, the sex workers would start receiving customers so they wouldn’t come to our test area. I noticed that some most of the men were married or least wore rings on their ring fingers (for the people that would ask “how do you know they were married?”). It made me sad and angry (but mostly angry): I was angry because the men didn’t even respect their wives enough to take off their wedding rings before soliciting prostitutes. I told a friend that witnessing those men unapologetically cheat on their wives had made me reluctant to get married. She told that we have to get married and that men would cheat no matter what. I wasn’t shocked by what she said because I’ve heard similar statements throughout my life. Women are expected to look away and pray for the man to change as their husbands do “their thing”.

One argument usually used to defend men’s infidelity is that it’s “natural” (rolling my eyes) and there is nothing women can do to prevent it so women should just take pride in being the “main chick/wifey”. Well, I do agree that there is nothing a woman can do to prevent a man from cheating on her but I don’t know what a “main chick” is because as far as I’m concerned, if a man decides to cheat (it is a decision) on a woman then you are not his “main” anything because he couldn’t even respect you enough to “hold himself”.

The general consensus is that the main chick is the woman that the man goes to bed with at night. In other words, the main chick is the one that cooks, cleans and takes care of the man and the children (if they are any) after he has spent the day with other women. I believe the main chick concept was created to make women feel better about themselves because being cheated on can do serious damage to the self-esteem and calling yourself “the main chick” is one way of making yourself feel better.

Scientific research has been carried out to determine if infidelity is natural to men. There is a camp who believes it is biological and another that believes it is behavioural. I believe it is both: temptation is natural and unavoidable but I still hold that cheating is a conscious decision. I mean, women get tempted too but cheat less than men because of the consequences are worse for us. This leads me to conclude that men are not natural cheaters; they are just allowed to cheat.

In several Nigerian movies, when the man cheats, he is forgiven by his wife at the end of the movie and his mistress is punished (something bad usually happens to her to indicate karma). However, when the wife cheats, she is thrown out of her house and usually never sees her children again: there is no forgiveness. Some people might think it is just entertainment but those movies are sending a very clear message that is internalised by many people.

This can even be seen in real life: when Brad and Angelina got together, everybody called Angelina a “home wrecker” and other demeaning names. Brad caught heat too but Angelina was mostly blamed. Look at Chelsea Handler. This woman has so much hate for Angelina because she “stole” Jennifer’s man (I don’t know how someone can steal a grown man, did she kidnap him???????). Chelsea never insults Brad as much as she does Angelina. She acts as if Brad was blameless in the affair: the witch (Angelina) cast a spell on the prince (Brad) and there was nothing he could do about it (rolling my eyes so much I have a mild headache).

CONFESSION: I know cheating is wrong and all that but when I find out that a woman cheated in a relationship, I get a little excited and I want to give her a high five (I know, I’m a terrible person). I get excited because she is giving one for the team.

Are NGOs enabling the incompetent Nigerian Government??????????

I recently watched an episode of “Seriously Speaking” which is hosted by Adesuwa Onyenokwe. On that particular episode, all three guests were involved with several NGOs in Nigeria. The discussion on the episode was very interesting and enlightening and it further motivated me to create my own NGO in the future (yeah, I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I want to create an NGO for female empowerment through education. This is a discussion for another). I agreed with most of the points the guests put forward but the one thing they kept saying that bothered me was “stop complaining about the problem and find a solution”. I feel that statement used in the context of creating and maintaining NGOs, absolves the Nigerian Government of most of its responsibilities. I know the government cannot solve all the problems Nigeria is facing but it is supposed to address 90% of the problems while the NGOs addresses 10%. However, in Nigeria, NGOs (which are mostly funded by foreign nations) seem to tackle most of the issues while the government cannot even provide bare minimum (electricity, good education, good and affordable healthcare).

One of the major reasons why I think that statement was somewhat enabling the government’s incompetency is because of a news story I watched a while back. On an episode of “Keeping Real with Adeola” on SaharaTV (I love that show BTW), there was also a story of a teacher in a primary school that had become an uncompleted building (that is how beat down the school was) She was so frustrated with the state of the school that she decided to use her own funds to renovate some parts of the school (I’m sure she did the best she could). The story gained national traction and she was commended by everyone for her contributions to the educational system. The governor of the state where she was residing also praised her selflessness but he ruined everything (in my opinion of course) by requesting that more teachers in the state be like the woman (FYI, no offer was made by the state to refund the teacher for the renovation cost, so yeah…….).

First of all, teachers shouldn’t have to do the job of the government and besides, they don’t get paid enough already so how does the state expect more teachers to do something like that??? Secondly, don’t all states receive money from the federal government? what happened to the money that the state received? I bet the money is probably in Panama or Switzerland right now (sigh). The Nigerian Government officials don’t have consciences; I mean, how can an overpaid state governor who asks underpaid/sometimes unpaid teachers to do his job go to sleep at night?

Sometimes Most times, when I see/hear/read stories like this, it makes me think that there is no hope for Nigeria. The most frustrating part of it is that many government officials make insensitive and dismissive comments: One common response heard when the youth cry about the unemployment rate in Nigeria is, “They should go and farm”. Ok fine, let us say the youth actually do go and farm, does the government provide/ support schemes that provide capital/loans to farmers? To their credit, the government does support a few (emphasis on the word few) but few is not enough and the interest rates for borrowing are really high so potential borrowers are discouraged. I think when they are making those remarks, they think that is like the olden days (said in a very strong Igbo accent) when everyone every man (and people wonder why a feminist movement was required) could inherit land from his father and farm. These days, the fathers have sold the land to pay for their children’s university education so there is nothing to inherit. Even if by some miracle, they have a land and capital to start an agricultural business, how do they transport their products to the market??? On another episode of Seriously Speaking, I learnt that about 60% of Nigeria’s agricultural products is lost because they go bad before they can reach the market. Very soon, the government will soon start asking us to build our own roads when we complain about the poor state of the roads. It is not so far-fetched: I mean, people are already producing their own electricity and sourcing their own water so…………start buying tar to build a road (BTW, don’t some estates already tar the roads leading to their entrances, you see, not far-fetched).

Through writing this article, I have come to realise that nobody can enable the incompetent government: those people don’t need an excuse to be criminally inactive/negligent. I guess I should rename this post “How good deeds can be twisted and used for negative propaganda”. I think the NGOs also know that the government isn’t going to change (at least not anytime soon), so they are just trying to help people where the government fails (trust me, they are failing everywhere) and I salute them for their efforts.

Why I have been MIA aka Netflix is the spawn of Satan

Why I have been MIA aka Netflix is the spawn of Satan

Guys, let me explain why I haven’t posted anything in a while. I was busy last month with presentations, papers and exams so I didn’t have time or energy to write, edit and post anything and (time to be honest) the most significant reason why I didn’t post anything last month was that (drum roll) I subscribed to Netflix. The second season of Marco Polo came out last month so I subscribed to Netflix to watch it and guys and I loved it so much. I forgot how good looking everyone on that show was. Netflix just took up most of my time. Marco Polo was not the only show I watched; I watched both seasons of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Stranger Things, Narcos and so much more. Thankfully, I had enough self-control to study for my exams.

My Erasmus Study year is officially over now but I will not be returning to Turkey until September. The year was fun and I got to learn so much about myself. I learnt how capable I am; I mean I travelled to several cities alone. I never thought I would be able to do that. When I was in America last summer, I cancelled my plans to travel to some cities because I didn’t have a travel buddy and I was scared. I realise now that the only reason I need a travel buddy is to take pictures of me (self-absorbed much) but I don’t even like other people taking pictures of me soooooo. Also, I made my way around cities where majority of the inhabitants do not speak English so why was I scared of travelling in the US alone????????? I guess you never know what you are capable of until you try.

I another thing I found out about myself during the study year was that I am an unapologetic homebody. I don’t like to go out unless I have something to do; I never rarely (rarely is the more accurate word) go out just cause, I need a specific reason or goal. I used to try to change that about myself but I have accepted it and I want my family and acquaintances to accept it as well. I do love travelling and visiting new places, though.

Upon my return to my home institution (look at my fancy Shakespeare writing), I will be a final year student so I have started preparing to apply for a Masters Program. Most institutions (if not all) require students from Nigeria and other African countries to write TOEFL or other English Language tests. I chose to write TOEFL: it cost 250 US Dollars to register and the result is only valid for just 2 years. So, even though I have been speaking English my whole life and even speak it better than my mother tongue, I still need to prove that I can learn in English (talk about third world problems). Writing is my weakest area in English and my secondary school English teacher told me I was a bad writer and made no effort to try to help me improve my writing skills (yeah, not a very motivational teacher) but I did very well in that area (I scored 111/120 in case anyone was wondering).

This blog post is just a mini life update. I will strive to post more frequently this month.