Friday, November 27, 2015

The Cruelty Of The Streets of Twitter

Twitter is a very mean and unkind place. I am continually amazed at the severity of this. This is not the first of its kind and unfortunately, not the last.
A twitter user and blogger shared her story of gang rape, immediately, hell broke lose on twitter. You would think this is the time when human beings unite and show their humanity, instead, aggressiveness was all that was displayed.
I understood from all i have read today that the victim is an outspoken blogger in Nigeria, she has being known to be involved in multiple arguments on twitter but the way the public reacted, i was ashamed to be a part of this planet. Regardless of who this girl is and what other previous things she has said, whether you have ever agreed with her or not, the way some WOMEN reacted was pure vile.
Look, rape is rape. Let us be civil for once and not sugar coat it. Even if this lady's story turns out to be untrue (I doubt that though), this is the reality of so many girls in Nigeria. Too many women in Nigeria have lived this lady's story. Best believe this is not the first time something like this has been raised. The moment anyone involved in any sexual activity says No, whatever sexual activity that occurs afterwards is RAPE. Be it a friend, a boyfriend, a husband, without consent, any sexual activity that occurs is rape. We have being conditioned by a culture that we created to always question the victim in situations like this. Stop it!
This story has shown me that people are more comfortable with the story of a young girl hungry for marriage than the story of a rape victim. Too many people are saying "if she did not want it, why did she keep going back?". I understand that not everyone has talked to the people i have talked to and heard stories from victims of rape and domestic violence, from all the victims whom have had the courage to speak it, one thing is common. FEAR! It is the fear that keeps them going back, it is the fear that makes them stay. It is not something as easy as, "well, i do not like this shirt, i will not wear it again". Most of the victims tend to be people whom have being taken advantage of by people whom claimed to love them. Usually, it is the love and  the fear that keeps the victims. Our society is one of constant shaming hence, the silence.
I am very disappointed and sad today. Instead of showing compassion or restraint from commenting, one woman went on to say "she is too ugly to be raped", i swear i dropped my phone. I was shocked. There were comments along the line of:
"if she is wishing rape on herself, may it happen to her",
"she must have liked it if she stayed with him",
"she must have been into the drugs they were doing",
"why was she hanging out with men older than her",
"this is just attention seeking"

The list goes on. I do not like to get into discussions on twitter because i noticed how petty and silly twitter can turn even the brightest people but i could not keep in my disappointment. If this lady's story is true (which i know it is else the man involved would not have had to respond with threats of releasing her nude pictures), imagine all the trauma she had had to endure, imagine living in her shoes knowing there is not justice for you. Let's say the story is not true, imagine actual victims of said unfortunate circumstance reading people's reactions. Someone argues girls like to claim every sexual activity between her and an ex is rape and i say, if she did not consent to it then Yes, it is rape. You should search your conscience.  Imagine them having to read people saying "she is just a whore looking for attention"
"she must have being wearing revealing clothes"

Suddenly, the victim becomes the one to blame and the aggressor becomes a victim of "seduction" and "lies". Please let us be human, imagine your sister whom has never had the courage to tell anyone about her rape, reading your cold and unkind reaction. Imagine how isolated she will feel again. Imagine how much you have invalidated her suffering, telling her it is her fault.
Sexual assault is the worst thing that could happen to anyone. It is dehumanising and violating experience. The victim will forever be scared. Having to live with all that weight, all that anger, all that pain and loneliness is terrible. The least you as someone whom did not do anything to stop can do is to be kind about it. God, twitter is horrible i swear. Very horrible. People are mean, i cannot say this enough. If you do not have anything good to say, do not say anything at all. Muhammad SAW said, before you speak, as yourself if your silence is worth more than your words.
There is already too many things we cannot do anything about like Boko Haram, ISIS, Refugee Crisis etc the one thing we can do something about is what comes out of our mouths.

I have seen growing support though, i have seen kind words, a tweet stuck with me

"And some of you are there nodding head in agreement because "desperate to marry" makes more sense to you than serial rape. Na wa for you."
Well, let that sink in. ANIMALS!
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A List Of Really Great Books I Read In 2015

It is amazing...just yesterday i was texting people a Happy New Year text and today, it is November, almost 2016. A lot has happened...too much in fact. Amidst all the craziness of this world and the circumstances that are our lives, i have stumbled upon some great books this year. I do not remember a time when i read as much as i read this year. It is not like i had more free time this year, i was so busy with my masters thesis, writing for ezibota, updating this blog, working on some writing projects, work on and off and so many other little things yet, i still created time to read. This goes without saying that it is a major illusion when we tell ourselves that we do not have time for certain things. Yes you do, yes time does not stop for anyone but it is up to us to utilize the time we have and create times for things we want to do. Before this goes to another direction, i just wanted to share some of the most spectacular books i have read this year with anyone reading this. Some of the books that i will list were recommended to me, some i found on my own, some destiny threw my way. If a book is on this list, best believe it has had a profound impact on my life. You will find philosophy, poetry, biographies, novels etc. I hope you get  to read at least some of them within the coming year or even within the last few weeks of this year.

  1. Ecce Homo- Friederick Nietszche
  2. Words From A Wanderer- Alexandra Elle
  3. Love In My Language- Alexandra Elle
  4. The Remains Of The Day- Kazuo Ishiguro
  5. A Pale View Of Hills- Kazuo Ishiguro
  6. There Was A Country- Chinua Achebe
  7. Norwegian Wood- Haruki Murakami
  8. After The Quake-Haruki Murakami
  9. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running- Haruki Murakami
  10. The Prophet- Kahlil Gibran
  11. Eleven Minutes- Paulo Coelho
  12. Brida- Paulo Coelho
  13. The Winner Stands Alone- Paulo Coelho
  14. The Bastard Of Istanbul- Elif Shafak
  15. My Feudal Lord- Tehmina Durrani
  16. Callings: Finding And Following An Authentic Life- Gregg Levoy
  17. The Everything Store- Brad Stone
  18. Americanah- Chimamanda Adichie Ngozie
  19. If You Have To Cry, Go Outside and Other Things Your Mother Never Told You- Kelly Cutrone
  20. The Satanic Verses- Salman Rushdie
  21. David And Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and The Art Of Battling Giants- Malcolm Gladwell
  22. The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam

I really hope if not all, then a few of these books impact your life as much as they have impacted mine.
Bonne Annee/Mutlu Yillar/Happy New Year!!!!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Immigrant Diaries (3): Go Home

They say;
"go back to where you came from"
as we became bent
from carrying home
on our backs.
you think we want to be here?
you think we want to break the ocean
to hear you say our names?
noor sounds like darkness
from your mouth.
you ask if
i burn in the sun
you tell me slavery
was not such a "big deal"
do you still think
we want
to be
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

La Haine (The Hate)

I made this gif from my favorite movie titled La Haine meaning The Hate. It is french movie made in 1995. It is amazing, this movie was made in the 20th century and today, almost 2016 in the 21st Century, same people are still fighting the same wars.
Is the world not exhausted? From all this fighting? Has cowardice overpowered our courageous and natural will to end conflict and embrace peace? The over-exertion of power by the powerful has proven to be counter-intuitive in the face of defiance then why is it still so rampant?

World powers are exercising their power on weaker counterparts. Today, Israel, a giant in the middle-east do nothing but bully Palestine where the people only have rocks. Why not step out of the tankers and come out from behind their sniper rifles. If there must be a fight over something, why not fight the fight on equal grounds.,take it to the streets. Fight a fight with stones if that is the case, lets see who can pelt stones at better trajectories and win. Cowardice and arrogance has crippled the entire world and we have accepted that.
ISIS claim to be fighting "infidels" yet they attack and terrorise civilian people in Iraq and Syria. Why not take up the war with the Russians, fight according to your means, why not take the fight up with the American fighter jets, why not walk up to Assads mansion with all his security detail and fight the fight? Most of these whys cannot be answered because it is not truly a fight. A fight would be if all parties involved were capable of fighting and they were all fighting towards or over a common goal. What chance does a rock pelter stand against an armoured tank. It is truly not about land, or religion, or tribe, or race...All of these insurgences, mindless killing and fighting is truly about ARROGANCE, GREED AND POWER! Boko haram have killed more muslims than any tribal/religious clashes in Nigeria. These are people that are supposed to be fighting for Islam and muslims. If they are killing the same people they are fighting for, then what is their fight really about?
It is absolutely a power play between world powers whom have nothing to lose, the weaker parties, the poor people, they are the ones whom will always pay the price for the arrogance and greed of the powerful. They are all murderers, simply killing for the sake of killing, because there is a sort of gratification in their minds afterwards. It is very twisted. We live in a world where a group of people terrorises an entire region, forcing them to leave their homes, yet they arrive at our doors and we don't answer their knocks, we peep through the windows and we tell them to go back to their homes, knowing very well that sending them back is the same as signing their death certificates.
I do not think anyone is born with hate, hate is a product of our immediate circumstance, hate is the product of anger, hate does not dwell where love thrives. If we are all truly fighting for God, isn't God synonymous with love, isn't God synonymous with peace? If we distrupt the balance of the world by infesting it with hate, war and mindless killing, haven't when then strayed far away from God? Do we think we are still at Gods feet?
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Nigerian Civil Servant And The Public

The Nigerian civil servant is the most under-appreciated person in the working world.

I think this is the problem, because the civil-servant also feels under-appreciated, he/she also regards his/her job with little care. Have you ever being to an organisation run by the government(e.g public library, government hospital etc) and had someone who works there treat you so bad that you regret ever stepping out of the safety of your own home.
Why are these people so rude? My God. While working on publishing my book (Solitude which is available on Amazon, link above page), i went to the Kaduna public library to get my ISBN. On getting there i met the most distasteful woman ever, she was unnecessarily rude and unkind and for the life of me, i could not tell what i had done to offend this woman. I decided to be terribly kind to her, i greeted her, tried to crack jokes which she did not find remotely funny and offered to buy her something when i went to print my request letter which she declined with the roll of her eyes. But this is not the only case, have you ever gone to the Transport Authorities for your drivers licence in Nigeria and you happen to not know anyone there? You would hate the day you learned how to drive. No one wants to even listen to you talk-less of attend to you. I do not know why this case is so common with government bodies. I was at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital in Kaduna for a medical report and i opened a file, paid and everything. I came back the next day and what do they tell me? My file was missing and i had to pay for another file? I understand it is a little sum of 200 naira but what if i was someone whom could not afford to spend 200 naira every time? I am sure there are people whom are not financially well off that come to the hospital, how does the hospital expect them to get any treatment?
The Nigerian public sector is in dire need of reform. There should be some form of civil servant training program that teaches potential civil servants about customer relations. This is not okay, have you ever been to a public hospital abroad? people want to help you even, why is Nigeria falling behind on something as simple as customer relations, besides, the moment you choose to work with/for the government, you have chosen a life of National service. You are obliged to treat the public with respect seeing as you are serving them and all. There are so many cases like this, i detest anything that requires i go to any public organisation for anything.
I do not understand if it is because these people hate their jobs, or they just don't care about the people that they serve, or they feel "the government does not pay me enough to care about all of this" but you are a civil servant, you work for the people, you must learn to be nice to the people you directly serve.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Immigrant diaries (2): Things we left in the water

As water sipped in
Through the sides of the boat
Your conductor asks you
To dump everything you don't really need
What do you mean?
You ask, he says
"throw it all over board"
Your father throws away
The guilt of cheating
Your mother dumps out
The dissatisfaction of marriage
The woman opposite you
Spits out the pain of miscarriage
Your aunty flings away
The shame of sexual curiosity
You take of your shoes
You throw your shoes in the water
You begin to cry
To rid yourself of tears
There is too much in you
Too much sadness
You say, it will drown us
You cannot stop crying
You cry for the war
You cry for the children
You cry for homelessness
You cry for the word refugee
You stick your face away from the boat
If the water doesn't drown us
Honey, your tears would
Your mother says
You give it all to the water
The conductor paddles you all ashore
Through salt water and tears
There are is too much pain in the water
Once ashore
You don't look back
You pray to God to drown it all.
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