Thursday, February 26, 2015


*drum-roll as i am about to get into trouble for this article*

Ladies, ask your mothers today, "Do you think the best i can do in this life is marriage? Do you think i can be anything more than a wife?". Sit on the answer, i do not want to know.

I told my sister i was going to write an article about this once again and she goes "more like rant". That's true, i am here to rant and talk true stuff.
Anyway, as i have completed my under graduate and post graduate studies, i am surrounded by the supposed next step "so when are you getting married Shaheedah." This question still baffles me, like...calm the hell down tiger, i just finished my thesis, i can barely wrap my head around finishing University, i can barely decide what to do with my fresh new paper smelling certificates, what is all this marriage talk.

I feel so chocked up in this mess, i can't breathe. It's like every one seems to assume, once you finish University the next step automatically becomes marriage. Is there a chance that i might want my next step to be to go to let's say India and build wells for underprivileged communities? We spend our whole lives being told what to do, how to do it, we spend our baby years forced into an educational system that has no regard for our psychological and emotional health, then we are forced into secondary education, where we are forced to choose a career path (as a woman, you can choose anything, it is at the back of everyones mind that there is a 50% chance of you ending up with that degree at the bottom of a drawer) before we could get over getting our first period and then we are rushed off to University, where we discover that every single thing we have learned in the previous ages of our lives were absolute crap. Here we begin the journey of re-learning, re-discovering, re-birth. Within these four years you learn to unlearn things you have learned for the past 16 years of your life and picking up new stuff, new ideas, new discoveries and just as it begins to get exciting, this new found freedom to be who you are and what you want, it is nipped  at the bud by your mothers phone call telling you there is a boy she wants you to talk to. (Can you here the sound of the plane going down?? *whvweeeeeeeeeeeee*)

If you are a Nigerian like me, chances are you went to a boarding secondary school. Went to junior secondary school at a tender age of 10/11, made your way up and graduated at 16/17, spent most of your teenage years away from a family setting in a large building with hundreds of other students. This does not only make you a tad-bit more independent but it also makes the whole living within four walls with a "family" a bit strange and suffocating. Then at 18 you are shipped off to (well again if you are Nigerian chances are you went overseas for your University education) a University, a new setting, new people, much much more diversity, living in probably a dormitory again or an apartment with other people, whilst the whole idea of living in a home with a family is still strange and suffocating. By the time you are 22/23 you have graduated from University, immediately you are asked to find a suitor. For those of you who do not know, a suitor is someone whom you are subtly forced to choose much like your future ambition in high school, you are expected to not necessarily love this person, as long as you are woman enough to cook for him and take care of his house for the rest of your life, it's all fine. At 23 you are another mans wife, first your fathers daughter then your husbands wife, all this while you have never known what it is like to be your own person.

All i am saying is this, marriage is honestly a beautiful thing, to be able to share your life intimately with another person for the rest of your life, have kids (shivers), raise a family, those are all beautiful aspirations. The only qualm here is the fact that most of us are made to believe that  the best we can do is marriage. Every single aspect of our lives are subconsciously being controlled by someone, either by parents, teachers or even society. And we are thought Freedom like anyone even knows one thing about it. So now you are married, is everyone happy? Is your mother who kept on nagging about you getting married happy? Is that annoying aunt happy? Has she ever come over to help you cook for the husband she so happily set you up with? Has anyone ever asked you if you wanted to do anything else with your life? Like God forbid be an entrepreneur? Travel? Become a business tycoon? No? Well welcome to reality baby girl.
Just give me some air, let me breathe, let me find my bearing pls before we storm into the whole marriage thing.

Look, i am probably being overly pessimistic here so i will use a line from a fantastic documentary i watched (btw pls watch it, it is called HOME and it affects each and every one of us, just click here) "IT IS TOO LATE TO BE A PESSIMIST SHAHEEDAH", as my sister said "keep an open mind at least" some people have followed this exact path that i am condemning and found it appealing and awesome, great for them, i envy them in fact, i have seen it all, the good, the wonderful, the terrible, the comme ci-comme ca, i know people whom are completely happy and i know those whom are missing due to unhappiness. There are those of us who just want more out of life, who want to do more, to leave a mark, to be the reason someone says "because of her, i am here today" "because of her, i did not give up" "because of her, i have decided to follow my dreams", it is 100% okay not to be satisfied with the life that was handed to you on a broken plate, it is 100% okay to want more, to do more, to push yourself till you are panting out of breath from being awesome, as my Operating Systems professor said the first day of class "Mediocrity is not enough".
If anyone of you can assure the 20 year old undergraduate that she will still be able to achieve her dreams and see the world while being tied at the hip to another person, i will delete this article, write a 10 page apology to the matrimonial society and send you to your mothers again to apologise for asking that idiotic question at the beginning of this post, if not, i rest my case.

P.s: here is another link to the documentary Home, i strongly recommend it, this earth is our only home and we all owe it. As you can see i have a short attention span, i ended up derailing from the topic to bring you another topic which i will rant about very soon too.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Freedom Of Love

You would think love is such an obvious thing, to share your soul and body with a partner, to have real conversations, talk about fears and hopes. Love is not as complicated as we make it, it should come freely, like a flowing river, love does not require practice or skill, love boils from the depths of your soul and radiates through every pore on your skin, love does not suffocate. Love does not exhaust, love lets you breath, makes the air around you lighter, calmer, warmer. Love does not lie or cheat. Love is effortless. Love is cold morning breeze and gentle 3am silence, love is not compromises and flowers, love does not require chocolates and gifts to thrive, love blooms in empty deserts, in every heart. Love takes you places where rockets and submarines cannot go. Love frees you, love frees you, love FREEs you.
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