Monday, 6 July 2020

NEHEMIAH’S WALL

Plastic littering a beach
Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash


For some reason, Nehemiah’s Wall – a biblical story where cup bearer to King Artaxerxes embarked on the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls – has been hovering in the recesses of my mind. The story may not readily come to mind, so for those who do not read the Bible, it would be great to read the book of Nehemiah.  

Monday, 22 June 2020

Wife-to-be Auditions

Black women cooking


 

It is 2020 and many families across Africa are still auditioning women for the 'opportunity' to become a slave wife in their family.

 

What does this mean?

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

A Rookie's Mistake


From the moment I finished my film directing course at the Royal Arts Academy in Lagos, Nigeria, I have been introducing myself as a filmmaker…along with the other titles I like to describe myself as. Yet, four years since I earned that certificate, I do not have any film — short or feature — to my name.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Flip The Switch

Image Credit: Men's Health
Edikan felt Ama turn in her sleep as she gained consciousness. He had listened to her troubled sleep – marked by her slight snoring – for the past hour; even though his back remained turned to her. Their fight last night had been the worst in the six months they had been dating. And for the first time since he moved into her apartment, they had slept on each end of the bed.

Monday, 27 April 2020

‘SILENT TREATMENT’ MAY NOT BE ABOUT YOU

Picture of man and woman not speaking to each other.
Image Credit: The Independent
When discussing communication with people, there is almost a general consensus by discussants that the best way to solve a problem is by talking about it. It is believed to be the mark of emotional maturity to verbally resolve issues as amicably as possible. When someone is unable to talk about issues of discontent in the approved manner – calmly, without anger or rancor, or immediately – they are classified as either emotionally immature, abusive, controlling or a combination of all.

Monday, 20 April 2020

CANCEL CULTURE

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
If you have been using social media for any length of time, it is quite possible that you have heard (or used) the term, Cancel Culture’. Like ‘misogyny’, ‘patriarchy’, ‘feminism’, ‘human rights’, this phrase is one of the buzz words of this generation that gets thrown around when heated socio-cultural issues are being debated – or fought over – on social media. It has become so predominant that many dictionaries now carry a definition for the phrase.

So, what is cancel culture? Dictionary.com has one of the more encompassing definitions.

Monday, 30 March 2020

MY INSPIRATION WALL

Photo by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels

I remember walking into a radio station in Abuja for an interview. When I got to the green – or waiting – room, I was pleasantly surprised by the surrounding wall that had pictures of many icons on it; Martin Luther King, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Fela and a host of others. As I basked in memories of the work each person had contributed to humanity, I began to notice something that gradually dropped the smile from my face; there was hardly any woman on that wall.

Monday, 11 November 2019

CHERRY BLOSSOM - A COLLAGE BY OTHY



Arunsi Othniel Fortune, better known as Othy, has put out a collage of poems called Cherry Blossom.

Monday, 28 October 2019

PAY THAT MONEY

Image: The Guardian Nigeria

I am constantly seeing people rant on social media about the debtors in their lives. It is so common place that I don’t think one week goes by without one person or the other getting called out for owing money.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

OVERCOMING LOW SELF-ESTEEM by Gima Okhiulu

Gima Okhiulu delivering her speech at the Half the Sky Speech Contest in Akure, Ondo State.

We attended Half the Sky, a speech contest commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child in Akure, Ondo State, and it was at this event that we met Gima Okhiulu, a student from the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Group of Schools in the State. Gima was amazing with her storytelling, linking each of her points to the next in a way that just made you stay glued to what she was saying. And because of how well she delivered her speech, we gave her a cash price and promised her a spot on the blog for any article of her choice. Here is Gima’s piece on her struggles with low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem is like a silent destiny killer in the lives of growing kids, especially girls. A lot of unfulfilled destinies can be attributed to this ‘plague’.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

GIRLS HOLD UP HALF THE SKY


Participants at the Speech Contest
I have been volunteering with Sow Purpose Initiative since 2017. At that time, it was called SOW Foundation and the general mandate was to empower young (and vulnerable) women and girls by reaffirming their worth, addressing societal bias that keep these women and girls struggling to catch up with men and boys in this century, and promoting a culture of excellence for them.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

I HAVE AN IDEA ABOUT PRISON(ER) REFORMS


Image: New Stage
We have all heard the stories of prisons in Nigeria; dinghy, overcrowded, desperately inhumane and busting at the seams with more people awaiting trial than convicted felons.

Monday, 9 September 2019

(MIS)DIAGNOSING DEPRESSION

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

I was at a literary event recently when the conversation swung to depression. It started when a man presented a poem about this state of mental health and suggested that ‘a smile, a hug, and some love’ could get people out of their depressed state. For the most part, the poem resonated with people because it was relatively well written and delivered, and being a sensitive topic, people could relate; or so I assumed.

Monday, 12 August 2019

The 2019 Writivism Festival



The 2019 Writivism Festival is here and we are pumped!

Here is all you need to know about the festival…and why you should definitely attend.

Monday, 24 June 2019

THE MALE IDENTITY CRISIS


Man staring intently.
Image: Pexels
Most of us have probably heard that a woman's identity is tied to a couple of things; her beauty, skin tone, demeanor, chastity or purity, and ultimately, her ability to use these qualities to square herself a husband and bear 'his' children. This can be further expanded into the duties she is supposed to play in these roles of wife and mother; roles defined as the epitome of her womanhood. And we all know that those duties are many, unreasonable and often times, downright wicked. But these roles are so firmly woven into the fabric of society that choosing a different path almost always results in backlash, shaming and in some cases, physical and sexual abuse. Very few people expect a woman’s identity to be tied to her intellect, career, goals and aspirations, or achievements. It why women are constantly asked about their husbands or children; regardless of what other achievements they have outside of that.

Monday, 3 June 2019

POLICING CHILDBIRTH AND RISKING WOMEN'S LIVES


Woman breastfeeding her newborn
Image: Feature Shoot
My first experience with childbirth was when my youngest sister – Sadiya – was born. I was seven years old then. I remember my mum trying to put on a brave face as she was aided to the car. In all honesty, I didn't understand what was going on, but my aunts and uncles seemed to be in a panic. I can't remember what my father's demeanor was, but I know we didn't see our mother until the next day when we were introduced to our newborn sister. There was happiness, excitement and an air of love all around. If my mother was frazzled after the birth, she didn’t show it or…I didn't notice.

Monday, 20 May 2019

A CULTURE OF ANIMAL CRUELTY



Sad Dog
Image: Petfinder
Have you seen where dog meat is prepared? It is the epitome of cruelty and wickedness.

Monday, 13 May 2019

A CULTURE OF FILTH

Image: Baastrop
If you follow me on Twitter, you will (probably) notice that every week – and sometimes, almost every day – I talk about people who litter the environment with either their urine, feces or other waste products generated from their daily activities. From my tone, you can always tell that I am constantly angry at the unsightly result of our improper waste disposal and management.

Monday, 6 May 2019

WHAT HAPPENED TO KAINENE?


Old woman looking out; expectantly.
I was sitting in the bus when a thought came into my head.

‘What happened to Kainene?’

Monday, 15 April 2019

POOR PEOPLE WORK HARDER...FOR A WHOLE LOT LESS


Men watching from a gate.
Image: The Daily Maverick
I live in one of the poorer communities in Nigeria's capital city, Abuja. Like most of the communities surrounding it, Jikwoyi is a densely populated area. Because most things – accommodation, food, clothing and transportation – is much cheaper than other areas in the Federal Capital Territory, it is not unexpected that there are more people who live around these areas and places like this.

Monday, 25 March 2019

LONG DISTANCE: WHEN THE FAIRY TALE ENDS

Image: Raw Pixel
It starts with a long distance relationship that wasn’t working. Adon and Jason try to make things work and just when they think they are in a good place, Jason has an accident that makes him fall in love with Amara. When he returns to his senses, it is to find Adon is with child. For his best friend? The answer shocks him. He tries again and somehow, they end up together again. And then reality strikes.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

ACCOMPLICES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

(Very) Angry Woman
Image: iStock Photos

On the morning of March 19, 2019, I shared one of my older posts asking why men so easily harass women. Between 5:03pm and 5:30pm of the very same day, I would get sexually harassed by a stink-breathed, uncultured excuse of a human being.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

P I E C E S by Arunsi Othniel Fortune

Image: Mwangi Gatheca for Unsplash

I know what it's like being in your head.
Dark, cold, happy.
I know what it's like being in your soul.
Lit, warm, dead.
I know, what it's like to see right through your eyes.
Because we're both blind to a reality
where I had to sail across seas to find you, sinbad.
Heh, see I know that you're scared.
You're frightened by the waves and how much they've
Caught you, drowned you and made you lost, captain.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

HOW CAN WE HELP POOR(ER) WOMEN?

A Page from Tom Paulson
I was heading home on November 6, 2018, when my sister called me to get her some juice. It was about 8:50pm and I was really tired. I told her I wouldn’t do it but when I got to my junction, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to get her the juice.