Inter-cultural marriages and relationships

>> Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy new month everyone. I am craving for some personal updating on this blog but I think I will save it for next time.
I want to say express my opinion on inter-cultural marriages and relationships. FYI; I use the term to include any relationship between different ethnic groups, belief systems and 'race' although I prefer not to use that word..According to scientists there are no such thing as race, only different versions of HUMANS which have developed as a result of evolution. I want to hear your opinions.

First of all, I am in an inter-cultural marriage myself. Long story short; the other day at school, I ended up working in a group with what I call a super-christian girl. I got the same old [ignorant] question from her:

"Can I just ask you something? How do you handle the cultural differences?"

Don't get me wrong. I know she doesn't have any bad intentions with her question. She's very sweet - but in my humble opinion - not very grounded. Neither am I saying that it has something to do with her being christian, but from this part of the world, many of the, what I call "happy-christians" are very lovey-dovey, naive, sweet, but without a clue. She has no idea what the world is like, but wants to be a missionary. Sorry, I don't like the concept of missioning..I have never liked it. Doesn't matter what religion you have, I think it is crucial to respect each other and not force something, wheter subtle or directly, on someone else. I don't think that is the key to development. Whether people have practices that need to be abandoned or not, changing religion is not necessarily the solution, at least not for all. Anyway, I get that question from any one who secretly have a few preconceptions[-judices]. Fair enough. I give them the same answer every time:

Since we both have tolerance for each others cultures, since we are both open-minded and want to get the best from both worlds, the only problems we encounter are the regular problems husband and wives may encounter. Problems that may lie in the differences between the genders, rather than culture.

Sure, if I was a stuck-up patriotic nationalistic girl (which is impossible since I come from such a mixed background, lol) we would probably be experiencing some culture clashes.

But doesn't everyone have to compromise in marriage and relationships anyway?

Secondly, I've grown up with friends from all over the world. Muslims, hindus, christians, buddhists. Some of them have had huge problems in their life down to the fact that their parents won't accept them being with someone outside of their religion/nationality/ethnicity etc. I know at least 3 girls who have fallen deeply in love with the right man, but he just happened to be white, or just happened to be pakistani while she was Indian, or just happened to be Muslim. They end up torn between their feelings of loyalty towards their family and significant other, and ultimately have to make a choice.
`Many of the girls I know, simply can't imagine being with someone from their own nationality. They are just not attracted to them. This includes my bestfriend. Thank God her parents would accept it, although with difficulties. But how about the stories of all these other families who are willing to KILL their daughters for finding a man outside their ethnic group?

Personally I think we all need to get over these old ideas. We live in a globalized world, and humans have emigrated and immigrated since the crack of dawn, actually since we all emigrated from Africa ;-) I do understand the other side of things..Sometimes they are due to years of war and conflicts, sometimes for the intent of preserving their nationality and culture etc. but also sometimes out of pure prejudice. Nevertheless - the most important thing to parents should be their son's or daughter's happiness, not the appearance of their partner.

Have a nice week everyone!



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Mr Okreke the village alcoholic

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

Mr Okreke has two wives. He stands firmly on the ground in a withered suit. It is as if his eyes are far behind his eyeballs. He's far in there, not really present. But they look kind. A sweet smile pushes away the wrinkles on his cheeks. He is short and has grown a little pot-belly over the years, but according to the rumours he used to be really handsome in his prime-age. He's calmed down a bit now, but has been a heavy drunk for as long as many people can remember. His wives always remained faithfully by his side. When my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law says, that Okreke was the only man to play with her two remaining sons. When everyone else talked crap, Okreke was playing with them. When he wasn't entirely drunk. He'd stagger from side to side and stumble his way forward, maybe fall into the ditch. He'd say: "I'm going to GET you I swear to God! I'll beat the hell out of you" , and point his cain at the boys. They'd laugh because he could never muster the strength to fight back and was just talking empty words. It was as if he knew he could make them laugh in one of the darkest days of their life. Wonder what made him drink in the first place...

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This is a real story I thought I'd bring up. Last night one of my closest friends confessed to me how her mother drinks a bottle of conjac every day. It started when her little sister got a serious form of cancer. She was hospitalized for a year, but miraculously survived. Now that everyone is fine and well, the mother who's kept them together for all those years is the one to take the blow. It hit me - alcoholism is way more common than anyone can imagine. Or any other similar family problem. But we never talk about it and just pretend everything's fine. Everyone thinks their neighbour is better off while in fact every family has their cross to bear.

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Time to be Thankful!

>> Friday, October 23, 2009

Hello my dears
I am really not supposed to even be here right now, in fact I am in the reading hall at university supposedly writing my paper on corruption in Rivers state. But I cannot abandon my blog completely right? I haven't written a thankful post for a long, long time, but it's time that I do.

I am thankful and feeling blessed because....
1) All You bloggers who faithfully comment on my blog in spite of my absence on your blogs, and all of you who I haven't seen comment in a while I want you all to know that I am thinking of you! Goodnaijagirl, Nana Yaw Asiedu, Posekyere, Maya, Juiceegal, Rose, Standtall, Solomonsydelle, Pink Satin, Undercover07, Blogoratti, Tigeress, Writefreak, Nolimit, Sting, Aloted, Jhazmyn, Olafunke, BNSC, Funms, Tairebabs, YNC, Novisi and of course Enkay and all the rest of you. You are all great people in your own way, inspirational, educational, fascinating...you know!

2) I am alive. My family is alive. Yesterday was my husband and I's 4 year marriage anniversary. I know not to take it for granted due to the recent incident 3 months ago. The 1 yr anniversary of my dad's heart attack was two days ago as well, and he is alive and kicking. My friends are all well, and all of you are all well. We are blessed for that!

3) I have a job and I get to go to university nearly for free because of the lovely country I live in. I have the opportunity to get the education I want. I have the opportunity to fight for what I want in life.

4) For the past 3 months I have had more and more personal revelations, getting to know myself better and better and figuring out more and more what I would really like to do in the future. I am becoming creative again and I am getting back my fighting spirit. I love having goals because they make my life meaningful and drive me forward. I am considering fighting to get a special scholarship for Berkeley. Just having the opportunity to think about that is testimony to how blessed I am. I must use my opportunities to help others.

5) I have some great friendships both in Nigeria and here. I love my women. Without the sisterhood we have, what would life be like? Dull, that's what it would be. And too macho that's for sure.

6) I might get the chance to go to NYC, London and Tunisia this christmas while hubby goes to Nigeria. That would be cool!

7) My girlfriend just did my nails for free and they are looking fly. Black with pink flowers. lol.

8) Being back in school makes me feel ALIVE. And KICKING. Life has endless opportunities. And I might get to see Obama in the Peace Prize concert. Awesomeish. That's still a maybe though.

9) Safe delivery of my niece and one of my closest friends' sisters' safe delivery.

10) Life's lessons. Without hardship there would be nothing like happiness.

I really can't think of more as for right now. But I love blogville and without sounding stupid I hope you don't give up on me even though I don't do much commenting anymore. I am not putting it off my to-do list!

Have a great weekend everyone.


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Mama Christina

>> Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When staying in the village, the standard morning scenario is always the following:
5:30 Cock #1 screams
5:31 Cock #2 sings
5:32 Cock #3 wails
5:33 Cock #4 cries

5:35 Mama Christina: Iii-yo! Iii-yo! Iih-yo – LOUDLY

5:45 Cock #1 screams
5:46 Cock#2 sings
etc etc
Mama Christina: Iii-yo! Iii-yoh!

and on and on....You get the drill..

Mama Christina, a permanent inhabitant of the village, is a very special character I’ve had the pleasure to know- According to the villagers, rumour has it she’s “always” been old. She sure is old, only God would know how old because she herself has no idea. First time I went to see her, she was sitting at the back of her house in a fallen-apart sofa from the 40s, close to her fireplace where she usually roasts yam. She was sitting there with an old, washed out head-tie and and wrapper with the longest, sagging flaps of skin that were once used to breastfeed her children. Mama Christina: Chaiiii! She shouts, opening her mouth, biting down on her few remaining, dark brown front teeth over and over again, sticking her tongue out, hitting her chest.Mama Christina: Welo-come! Welo-come! Come well-o! Come well-o! Chai! Chai!She starts dancing, clapping her hands, ee-yo, ee-yo

Mama Christina is the first wife of Augustin. Several of her children have managed to die before her. She’s so skinny, it’s a wonder she’s even walking, but the woman can even dance WELL at her age. She barely eats, barely sleeps, but seems to have no problems what so ever bending down roasting her yam or dancing old traditional dances from her days. According to the elders, she used to be the most beautiful woman in the village. But she’s mad. Absolutely mad. And you wouldn’t want to meet her on one of her bad days. She curses the children, grinds her teeth and pees wherever,whenever she wants. But she never dies, and no one seem to think she will ever die. She wasn’t always crazy, it happened when she was around 40 people say, when her husband decided to marry another wife. Since then she’s been down right cray-zee. They say these days are even her better days, that she used to do and say things that are too explicit to write down on this blog. But she absolutely amazes me. She’s so old, never washes, never eats, walks around with short white hair with bits of soap in it, but never gets sick. Her sons used to be wealthy and take care of her, but now, no one in her family cares, so the rest of the villagers drop by her place giving her naira bills and rice or vegetables.
______
Just thought i'd share this special character with you guys.
Thank you everyone, so much, for all your replies on my last post. Unfortunately I am not going to be able to reply individually right now – but I’ll come back soon with an update. So frustrating to not have the time I want. I wish all days had 30 hours instead of 24.


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My police brutality experience

>> Wednesday, September 16, 2009

hello darling blogville.
Ahhhhhh my life is so busy I don't even know how to think peacefully anymore.
Apologies for coming "back" but actually just disappearing again.
I miss reading all the blogs, I miss blogging, I miss getting the responses. The thing is, since I got back from Nigeria my life has changed. I've started university AND I'm still working. Plus a number of private issues. In short, I am extremely busy. It's taken some time for me to just get my head above the water (at least I think I'm there now) so i am hoping that now I can stop by at least once a week to begin with but I hope 2-3 times a week as soon as I get the hang of this.
Today I won't have the chance to read up but everyone thank you sooo much for your welcome back wishes. I have to write this in the last 20 mins I have left at work.

Okay, over to Naija...
We arrived mid-July in Lagos. I had the chance to meet up with my dear Enkay who is absolutely gorgeous of course :-) and super sweet. She helped us out with a bunch of things.
From Lagos we quickly went to the village. Our goal (If I haven't menitoned it before) was to finish up the house we've been building. Anyone who's been involved with that knows what a HASSLE it is. We just wanted to get it off our back so my MIL can finally have a nice and safe place to stay..she's been staying in Onitsha which is just hell on earth and we want her to retire and live the sweet life..she done suffer enough.
We arrived at the house, it looked beautiful, but was full of half naked men (workers). We had no doors on any of the toilets and we didn't get any before after 2 weeks. My MIL and I were the only women in the house and 10 men walking around all the time working. I got my fair share of testosterone, lol. But it was ok. We worked hard all those days, cleaned the yard from all the bricks and waste from the building, painted the walls, helped with the tiling etc. We were disappointed upon arrival because the guy in charge had told us that it was a lot more finalized than that! We'd been pushing him and pushing him and turns out he was cheating us anyway. But that's another story I'll get back to another day. The worst part of it all was that we had to travel to Onitsha to get construction materials, doors, etc.


One of the days we got caught up in go-slow (surprise surprise) and just got stuck on the highway. I was on the phone with my mother. Suddenly I heard gun shots. I hung up the phone to see what was going on. A man ran towards our car, passed us on the left and disappeared. A second later a car drove up towards us and stopped right in front of us. Out fell a man. Blood everywhere. The police came shouting and screaming and the man was crying and everyone else was screaming. they'd managed to shoot him (the driver of the car) with this pump action gun and blown nearly all the bottom part of his leg. It looked awful. We got away as soon as we could, but turned out the guy wascompletely innocent. The stupid police had just shot him because he didn't hear it when they told him to stop! From that day, I started getting a bit more shaky whenever the police stopped us. And let me tell you, they did EVERY day, EVERY chance they got. Jeez, their road blocks were sometimes located every 100 yards! Mad men.

Fast forward

We're on our way from the village to Abuja to pick up my parents from the airport. We leave 6:30 am in the morning to make sure we travel while it's safe. We had planned to get a driver (and we really wanted to bring our car to Abj, but didn't want to leave the car with a driver we didn't know) but because of a number of mishappenings, we were stuck alone. I told my hubby I'm sure we could do it. We were supposed to cross Onitsha and meet up with someone we knew in Asaba. We had my MIL with us together with one of the workers, but they dropped at the beginning of Onitsha. We only had to get through Onitsha on our own. My hubby knew the way and it wasn't supposed to be a problem that early on a Saturday as long as we don't stop.

We reached a police road block and with their grumpy faces they first asked for the documents, driving licence, to look inside the trunk. My hubby got out and showed them the boot.
"Ok, let me see the engine compartment" the policeman said. I shook my head inside the car. These policemen! Always looking to fuck you up!
My hubby said ok, fine I'll show you but you'll find nothing there, and opened up the lid.
"Where's the engine number" the police man said angrily.
Hubby said, well this is a new car there is no such thing as an engine number its only the chassisnumber of the car which you can find here.
The man was looking for something to catch us for and was clearly unhappy he hadn't found anything to arrest us for. They wanted blood that day.
They continued studying the documents (which I am SURE they couldn't even READ)..idiots of no comparison..
"Well, in short, your glasses are tinted. Where is your tinted-permit?!"
Hubby: Tinted permit? every police man we meet is talking about this but as you can SEE *showing him the windows* our windows are not tinted, you can see everything and everyone inside the car.
the policeman laughed in an evil way and talked loudly to his policefriends "This guy ey, he think he go just cheat us like this? Hahaha. Who are you this kind big man you travel without documents"
hubby was getting frustrated but kept his cool
"Come on Mr police officer you see I am just carrying my wife we are going to the Abuja airport and you know the roads are not safe. Can you please allow us to go?"
"HEY. You are a nigerian. YOU know how things work here. YOU are coming to the police station and we are seizing the car"
Hubby: Come on police officer please I don't have time to waste you know we can't go there. I am so scared and stressed right now because we really need to get going and you know everything is ok with our documents

Blah, blah, blah. In short, another junior policeman entered the back seat of our car with his AK-47. He was sweaty and had this angry expression on his face, the one all police and military men put on to intimidate you and let you know they're superior.

Policeman: GO
Hubby: Come on man, please, can't we just settle here, what do you want? We can't go to the police station
Policeman: No I have orders, You are going to the police station
Hubby and I: Come on man police are always giving us so much trouble. Why? We are only on holiday and it's like you guys don't even want us to come. You know we haven't done anything wrong why can't we just settle you here and now what do you want from us
Policeman with a louder, more assertive voice: WE ARE GOING TO THE STATION NOW.
Hubby: OK! fine, fine. Where do you want me to drive?
Policeman: Go straight
We drove down the road. I was feeling nervous because this man was so agitated.
I turned around completely to the police officer and started talking to him in a respectful manner, explaining to him that my hubby was just stressed, that if he could please let us go we could give him something to settle him, that my hubby is worried about driving on that road etc. He smiled at me in a condescending way and started lecturing me on how we should behave towards him, that he has a gun.
My hubby whispered to me that maybe we should call the embassy for help. He grew up in Onitsha and have seen awful things there before. I said that he should wait. He grabbed his phone and the policeman grabbed it out of his hands.
Hubby was sweating and I could almost see his heart beating outside his T-shirt.He was freneticly thinking what to do.
Hubby: Come on man you have to let us go lets settle
Policeman immediately got very agitated and screamed loudly YOU GO STRAIGHT DOWN RIGHT NOW OR I WILL KILL YOU MYSELF!
hubby was getting upset. "what do you mean man, what have we done wrong?"
Policeman: YOU WANT TO KIDNAP ME? I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL SHOOT YOU MYSELF RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE!
Hubby: You want to kill me in front of my wife? in my home country? while we're on holiday? is that what you want?
My hubby had kept his cool for so long ,watching them talk down to me, listening to them humiliating us and commanding us for so long he was getting agitated.
Policeman: I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL RIGHT NOW. He grabbed his AK and started loading it. Put his finger on the trigger. He pointed it to the back of his head while we were still driving on the crazy roads of Onitsha.

I didn't think at all, I just acted. It was a reflex. I grabbed the edge of the barrel or whatever you call it. I don't know. I dragged it away from my husbands head and pointed it towards the ceiling. Oh I didn't mention I had been crying and begging earlier to make the man stop being so angry. The man just went apeshit on us. He started fighting me over the gun, inside the car while we were driving. I cried stop, stop, stop please please stop! He was fighting to point it back on him and his finger was still on the trigger. This probably happened in the course of 10-30 seconds but it felt like forever. We batteled back and forth and the car was swinging from side to side. He finally won but got thrown backwards so he couldn't put the gun close to his head again, only aim from the corner of the backseat. Again I acted in reflex and got out of my seat and stood up against/leaned on the drivers seat to make sure I covered my husbands head and body. I knew he wouldn't shoot me. He didn't have the guts. The man reached over my stomach and grabbed the steering wheel while we were driving. He started turning it. This was in the main street of Onitsha so the traffic was crazy as it is. We finally got under the head bridge, crashed with the car in front of us and there was about 10 policemen standing there. My husband winded down the window immediately screaming for help.
I was shaking and crying. I didn't not get away from his seat until the police man was outside the car again. Now followed more than an hour of negotiations.

Thank GOD for the people there who noticed it all. A massive crowd gathered and was shocked by the sight seeing that we were obviously 'foreigners' most especially me, and I was bleeding everywhere crying. The battle with the man had lead to multiple bruises and cutwounds on my body. Thankfully due to several contacts in combination with all the people in the area, they allowed us to go. But I just CANNOT believe them. In the crowd of 10 policemen they were divided in half, half of them supported us and said they should allow us to go, then the other bastards were looking for some kind of blood revenge. I don't freaking understand till this day...
I got out of the car but was commanded to stay inside. I overheard one of the policemen saying "Come on, lets just kill him and throw him in the gutter.. they can't do anything and she'll just go back home"

I mean, excuse you! What the hell is going on?
We reached Abuja in one piece in the afternoon, allthough a bit later in the day. Needless to say we were stopped by the police at least 20 more times but whenever they saw my bruises they just let us go.
I've never experienced such a thing in Nigeria before. I don't know what was up. We'll never use our car travelling in the east again, most especially Onitsha. If I ever cross that city again it will be through air or ABC-transport. It took us about 3 days to get our heartrate back to normal. I am telling you, it was so close. So close. I shiver just thinking about it and we are still in shock allthough this happened soon 2 months ago.

It leads to me wondering what in the world leads to such greed and brutality. Next time going I will really reconsider. So much for the rebranding of Nigeria.... The police that is actually supposed to protect are the ones we have to fear the most?


Okay people this was the short version of the story I hinted about in my other entry..at least I think I did. I will be back soon to check on your blogs. Have to run and catch the bus!

Lots of love! Miss ya'll :-)


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Back to a busy, changed life!

>> Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hello my darlings!
I've missed you all!
First of all, thanks for every comment ya'll sent while I was gone.

I just got back not more than a week ago to a fundamentally different life.
I started university the morning after the night I got home. Since then it's been a lot of new things to get into, while at the same time still working. Ive missed blogville and feel like I'm completely off now since I haven't read anyones blog while I was away. Anyone want to update me? Any big changes or new blog babies since I was away?
Nigeria was everything you can imagine, good and bad. I had some terrible experiences this time that is making me thank God I still have my life. But I had wonderful times as well. Will get back to everything in my next post. Hope everyone is fine! Give me some time and I'll slowly get into everything again, even though I doubt I'll have as much time as before. Lots of love.

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Bye ( for now )

>> Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm leaving on an aeroplane! Yes I am. I have fear of flying, so pray for me please? I don't want that thing you-know-what *Crossing fingers knock on wood*

I will miss blogville so much while I am away. As everyone knows, Internet connection is hard to come by and frankly I do not have the patience to sit in a cafe for 1 hour only to get up one page..that's what happened last time.

I apologize for not being able to follow up enough on blogs..The last two weeks have been very, very busy. But you are all on my mind, I have not forgotten!

So, give me about a month, and I'll be BACK, hopefully to my regular self able to stay up to date.

don't forget me o!

special shout out to Nana Yaw Asiedu, Enkay (wink wink ;-) ), GoodNaijagirl, Posekyere, Writefreak, Aloted, Funms rebirth , Lady X, Jhazmyn, Nef, Blogoratti, akaBagucci, Rose, Scribbles, SASSY trends, Standtall, Jide Salu, Tunrayo, Nice Anon, Original Mgbeke, Lolia, Undercover 07, Tigeress, Pink Satin and alll the rest of you. Mwah mwah.

I needed to edit this post and add that I am so very thankful for all of you. How could I forget to say that. Being part of Blogville has given me so much. It has changed me to a better person, I am not as afraid to voice my opinion anymore. I have grown my writing skills. I have made great friends. I have gotten so much love. And all the support and encouragement you have all given me with my story I posted 2 weeks ago was PRICELESS. The love going on here is a testimony to how many good people there are out there and that is so encouraging! Bless you ALL!

If I've forgotten anyone I apologize, I haven't really forgotten I'm just writing this my last 5 mins at work and have to run


LOTS OF LOVE,

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Please care: Child Witches

>> Thursday, July 9, 2009



I started hearing about the stigmatisation of ”Child-witches” a good while ago, but only a few days ago did I watch the documentary “Saving Africa’s Witch Children” by Channel4. It was heartwrenching to say the LEAST. I couldn’t help but start crying!
This tiny little absolutely beautiful girl, who could only have been 5 years old had been accused of poisoning her little sister. All the villagers were shouting at her and telling her how they were planning to kill her with a machete. Her parents would not defend her, no one would! The people of Stepping Stones Nigeria and CRARN tried to reason with the people, but there was no reasoning with them. The man said to them that he would most definitely kill her that night. She was standing there, skinny, all alone, crying whilst biting her nails, confused looking from person to person not understanding a thing they were talking about.They were screaming and pointing on her talking about how she was evil and a witch. The men from Stepping Stones and CRARN had to save her and she had to escape from her own family with only a plastic bag on the top of her head.




The belief in witchcraft is widespread in the Niger-Delta, most especially Akwa Ibom State and Cross River state. The children are especially vulnerable for being suspected as witches. The orphaned children are even more at risk. There are hundreds of thousands of HIV/AIDS Orphans in Nigeria, in fact the UN estimates it at nearly one MILLION. These kids have suffered enough as it is, losing their parents and being left to live on the street. On top of it all they are subjected to abuse, rape and trafficking. Children are being trafficked to Europe and other African countries, for hard labour or prostitution. This IS MODERN-DAY SLAVERY.
Let me quote some of the information being given on the Stepping Stones website:
The deeply held belief by the people of Akwa Ibom State and the Efik speaking communities in Cross River State cuts across all tiers of society. Widely read and travelled academics and local villagers fear such children. This fear stems from the belief that a spiritual spell can be given to a person through food and drink. The soul of the person who eats this spell will then leave the body to be initiated in a gathering of witches and wizards. The initiated person will then have the power to wreak havoc, such as causing diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, typhoid, cancer. All accidents, drunkenness mental health problems, smoking of marijuana, divorce, infertility, and misfortunes are seen to be the handiwork of witches and wizards. In recent times it is believed that children have become the target for initiation by the elderly witches as they are more susceptible to their spells and are quicker in action.

What are the suspected child-witches subjected to?

Some of them are buried alive, some of them get slaughtered. Others get poisoned and bathed in acid. The “less” awful ways of punishment is being chained and tortured in church in order to extract confessions from them and being isolated and ostracized from their communities.

This is nothing ABSOLUTELY DREADFUL.

Stepping Stones Nigeria is an NGO that fights for these children. They’re fighting to provide welfare and education to the children, to save them from these dangerous situations and to restore their happiness and health, and help heal physical and psychological damage done to these innocent children.
The belief in witchcraft, most especially child-witchcraft is a nonsensical belief funded on ignorance. The disintegration of families and poverty contributes to the problem as people are looking for someone to blame for their misfortune. At the same time, there are greedy religious leaders who profits from this. There are numerous “pastors” who are gaining economic wealth from branding children as child-witches.

Recently, there’s been a campaign of terror against the partner NGO of Stepping Stones, the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network Centre. “Police officers” from Lagos came to the CRARN Centre claiming to be donors, but shortly after arrested two staff members and beat up the children! Stepping Stones believes this to be a direct response to the documentary. The documentary highlighted HELEN UKPABIO, a self-proclaimed pastor and founder of the Liberty Gospel Foundation Church. The documentary also brought up how her film production company, Liberty Films, have contributed in spreading the belief in child-witchcraft. She is behind the Nollywood film “The End of the Wicked” which is a movie about child-witches that graphically shows the acts of such “witches”.She has since filed legal complaints against CRARN.

Please, do NOT just read this post and not do anything. There are many things we can do. We can simply not just stand by and watch. I know one can feel powerless, like there is nothing that can be done. But there are plenty of things that can be done that would only take 5 minutes of your time and cost no money.

Most people have been upset by Michael Jackson’s death and the media has highlighted his life and works for the last couple of days. In the spirit of Michael Jackson; who did all he could to help the world and first and foremost cared about the welfare of children, DO what he would have done. It is only when thousands of people speak up that this monumental challenge can be overcome.

This is what you can do:

* Donate your old mobile phone
* Donate your old Laptop
* Spread the word – Join the facebook group and sign the online petition, get others to do the same
* Request a talk at your church, youth group or school


Click this link to get simple instructions how to do the above

And LETTER / E-MAIL WRITING

This is a technique that has been used for many years by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and it HELPS. It is especially important that we act now with the recent attacks on the NGO-workers. There are 3 things you can do:

- Write a letter/e-mail to your closest Nigerian Ambassador
- Write a letter/e-mail to the inspector General of the police in Nigeria
- And even more simple : SEND A MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK TO THE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE.

I know this sounds like a big deal but it really isn’t and it WORKS.

We need to join our voices together to help these innocent children.

Stepping Stones have already written finished letters that you can simply edit and put your name on it. That’s it, 1-2-3!

So Click the above link to do your share.


Come on, this will only take you 5 minutes. If you can spare the time to turn on your computer, read someones blog entry, sign into facebook and watch your friend's updates, you can do this too.

Anyone reading this is blessed enough to be safe, secure and financially well off enough to have the access to a computer. These children who are not even grown up enough to understand the world around them are fearing for your their life. Put yourself in their shoes! Share the blessing God has given you and do what you are capable of. These children are not capable of defending themselves.


Thank you and God bless




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Family formalities?

>> Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello Beautiful people of Blogville!

*Phew* I need to take a breather, seriously. Who got me running around the way that I am these days..¨



First of all you guys asked for an update. I have reported the madman to the police. Did so the day after I posted. They seemed to take it seriously enough, but apparently there will be nothing they can do unless I get some more contact information on the guy. I don’t know his full name, phone number or location. So I am doing my small small research here and there.. will keep you guys updated. I have to admit I am a bit frightened. They said if they catch him, am I willing to go to court with it to get him convicted. I said yes, but honestly it scares me. I have no idea what this madman might do. I mean, if you are just as obsessed with me after not seeing me for 6 years something is seriously wrong with you.. If you don’t mind screaming loudly in public you’re going to kill me, something is NOT right with your little head. Yeye man..

Now, on to what I wanted to talk about today.
Any of you who regularly reads my blog knows I don’t really have a great relation to my family.. My one brother is in jail, my other brother doesn’t care and my half sister doesn’t really care either. It’s caused me a lot of pain. At the same time I think it’s given me a unique outside-looking-in-perspective on family matters.





Family is blood. Pure and simple. Family is supposed to be the most important thing in the world. It still is to me. But I have learnt in my life that true family isn’t always your blood. Sometimes the fact that someone is your family can turn you blind.

Have you heard the saying “Friends is the family we choose ourselves”? I

have come to see that my real family isn’t the family who stuck up for me. My real brothers never cared for me, but my brother in-law is my bestfriend and would kill for me. My extended family never helped me when I needed them, but my friends did.


I have come to notice lately that people allow family to get in the way, way too often. I know people might want to attack me for saying this but it really is true sometimes.



I have two very close friends who both are very close to their immediate cousin.
Both of them have been bestfriends with their cousin all their life, they’re like sisters.

They look alike, they’ve grown up together, shared everything.

For a long time, I wished I could have had something like that. Grass is always greener on the other side.

However now, both of my close girlfriends are going through hell because of their cousins.



Friend 1 has kept lending her cousin money over and over, and over. The girl never pays her back. She does it because “she’s family”. Now friend 1 is in major DEBT because of this girl. Secondly the girl broke their whole friendship by ditching her for a guy. Lending her money is only a technicality, my friend has done so much for this girl. True sacrifice. And the girl, no matter how sorry I feel for her, is just sucking her dry.



Friend 2 has risked her whole education and reputation for her cousin, just to bail her out of trouble. She introduced her to the man who would become her fiancĂ©. Now the cousin didn’t even invite her for the wedding. My friend had to hear about it from someone else. Can you imagine? And nothing wrong happened between them before that FYI.


Because someone is “family” you end up accepting a lot more crap from them than you ever would from anyone else. Sure, you are supposed to accept more from them, that is what makes them family, but that doesn’t mean there are no borders.

I am not suggesting that my friends should cut relations with their cousins, but if someone is taking advantage of you, you shouldn’t allow them to continue taking advantage of you just because they’re related to you. Family IS family, YES, but don’t be silly about it. If someone is seriously jealous of you and is trying to put hindrances in your way, back off and stop giving this person your trust just because it’s “family”. If the person you're related to is blinded, you owe it to him/her, as family, to show them some boundaries so they won't mess up even more.


I have seen examples where family can be the people who do worse things to you than a stranger ever could. Take the story I’m writing in my other blog for example. It’s a true story. Should those kind of things be forgiven or forgotten, just because it’s family? For those who haven’t read – a boy loses his father, his uncle is involved in the murder, the father's family take all their properties and put them out on the street and never looked back. In this kind of serious case, I do not think that this uncle even deserves to be regarded as family what so ever. There are limits.

In my book, for you to be considered as true family by me, you’re going to have to earn it. I’ll give you a chance, I’ll fight for you, but if you keep on using me, my generosity will decrease. My brothers and sister is still my family. I will never give up on them. But I will not kill myself just for you to look at me and notice my existence. I am not a doormat.


Those who know me know I am one of the most generous and giving people around. I am extremely patient and I can do a lot for you. Because I care. But growing up has taught me to not be stupid. Too many people have taken advantage of my kindness. Therefore I needed to adopt a meaner attitude.





Please, do go and check out my other blog http://nosugarcoatin.blogspot.com/

It feels very cold and lonely over there, only one comment, lol.
Thank you Posekyere. I know Nana you are coming so this is not for you, lol.

Who else is watching Michael Jackson’s memorial tonight/today? I am still so sad about it. Whenever I remember, I get shocked. Michael Jackson is actually dead. There will not be another one like him. Rest in peace.





All the best to all of you!




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Stalker

>> Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hello people, how una dey?

My last week or two have been MAD. One disaster upon another.
British Embassy done STEAL our tickets and don't want to give them back.
Have been trying hopelessly to get in touch with them, but all you get is someone saying they do not receive phonecalls. They tell you to call something called Worldbridge, but I swear, I think Worldbridge consists of a bunch of Indians sitting in Mumbay trying to answer phone calls. How could tey possibly know where my tickets are?!

Then the Norwegian embassy in Abj. have closed their visa section temporarily until further notice. Have you heard such nonsense? My hubby's visa/green cart isn't valid anymore. THe gov is processing a new one, but it takes 6 months, so we needed to get a temporary one in order to reenter the country. But now they've closed. I am worried.

These are just my practical problems, on top of that add family car accident and family divorce.

The worst is yet to come. Yesterday, my stalker found me again. It's not funny at all.
There's a man that's been obsessed with me for the past 6 years. I used to know him, but not well. I had to change my phone number six years ago due to all his harassing. He somehow put this idea in his head that I am his property and that I have spat on his pride or something because I got married to someone else. I thought he'd given up. That it was over. BUt yesterday he nearly assaulted me on the bus station. He came up from behind and started talking . I firmly said that I DID NOT want to talk to him, get away etc. and walked away. He started screaming 'You F'ing Dirty Whore, Cu**' etc, etc. Really, really nasty words. The people in the store I was in realised there was trouble and told him to go. He started arguing with them. Then they said they'd call the police and he continued cursing me. He then said 'You just wait, I'm going to kill you. I'm going to kill you both. We will meet!'

I'm upset and angry. Pissed. I'm going to the police now to report the sick bastard. Now I have to be scared to take the bus? Nonsense. I refuse to allow him to control my life. I pray this week can finally lighten up and get better.

I want to say I am grateful for having wonderful friends, a wonderful mother and a father who now helps me out anytime he can I am truly blessed.
I especially want to highlight my best friend. I finally talked out to her about my rape yesterday and she was more supportive than anyone has ever been. It felt so good and I am so thankful.

Oh yeah, check out my interview on Standtall's blog and my updated story.
I am still sorry for not having replied comments and really done a proper bloground..it will be done but as you can tell, drama came for me this week.

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Chapter 4 dimples and wrinkles

>> Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hey everybody

Massive thanks for all your support and big apology for not keeping up with your blogs! Lotsa drama lately. Meanwhile I have finally updated my other blog, so please go and check out chapter 4! I will reply to all your comments soon!

http://nosugarcoatin.blogspot.com



Love,

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Rape

>> Monday, June 29, 2009

Dear everyone

First of all. I sincerely thank each and every single one of you for taking time to read my last post and making time to comment. They ALL help. So thank you.
Secondly, I apologize for not being able to get back here sooner and not staying updated on your blogs..I've been so very busy.

I never knew posting about what happened to me would actually make a difference to me, but it really does. You guys weren't kidding o. It really was a big step. I feel like some of the burden has been lifted off my shoulders and I am a bit more convinced that it wasn't my fault. But can you believe that? A bit more convinced. That's how strong the feeling of guilt is ingrained in me.

I want to talk about what rape did to me to shed some more light on the issue.
The guilt is undescribable. You go on living your life like before and from day to day, you don't feel anything. But as I look back I realise how much it all effected me. I am not trying to dramatize, in fact I was trying everything but. But the guilt is just so strong.
You feel so stained. So dirty. So broken.
I asked myself - Who is going to want me now?


I don't know what it would have been like to be raped if I wasn't a virgin. It's just as bad anyway, but somehow I feel like the fact that I was raped when I was a virgin made the whole experience worse. The feeling of loss has been overwhelming. Not even the first years, but later on I realised what I had really lost.
Losing virginity physically isn't the big deal here. It is the mental aspect of it all. My virginity should have belonged to me. It is my right to decide when I want to give it up. I never got to experience that, and it severely fucked up my sexuality. My initial introduction to sex was through violence and force. As a result, sex was very much reduced to a necessary routine to me. Just something that needed to be done. Not something for me.
I'm going to be very candid here, because it is the only way I can make people understand, so forgive me for being explicit.
The first year after I got raped completely secluded myself. I stayed inside mostly - depressed. I focused on other things. I wrote a lot of poetry. I listened to a lot of music. Sometimes, I'd be caught by flashbacks. Very strong, frightening flashbacks. I've supressed a lot of these memories so they don't stand out as very clear, but I remember waking up at night from nightmares and being set back to what happened. The guys face, the guys moves and the whole experience would reinact itself in my head so strong it all seemed real. I would smell his disgusting cologne. I'd sit shaking in the corner of my room.

It did get better.

After a year these flashbacks didn't come as often. I opened up a bit more but still remained closed. I think people sensed this about me and kept away as a result.
I felt unworthy. My confidence was low to say the least. I was very self-conscious. I'd dress in ways to try to make people not notice me as much.
I met my now husband and I think that did change things, but we sure have had a lot of problems because of it. I was broken when I met him. I was afraid and had not healed. Of course this affected our relationship. For me to trust him was not an easy thing and sexually I would struggle. I still do sometimes. By that I mean you would see no physical signs of struggle, but in my mind my head was somewhere else. My head would go back to that day. And after the whole act, I'd start crying. He'd try to comfort me, puzzled at my reaction. He didn't know then, but I've told him now. I put myself in his shoes and realise it is very hard to understand.
It all culminated into one day where I completely broke down and I was hospitalized for 3 weeks. But after that, I think I got it more out of my system

I'm more relentless now. I get annoyed with women who act cheap, dress cheap and behave like hoes. Because they're playing with fire and won't know what hit them the day something wrong might happen to them. The ones who get carelessly drunk and walk home alone. I am a feminist and I think we should be able to dress however we want without having to fear getting raped. But at the same time we need to get real and get responsible.
I struggle to express myself because this issue is so close at home. I fear being misunderstood.

The women I'm talking about are women who have no problems sleeping with men they don't know. Who can throw themselves on men and shows just a bit too much to everyone. I'm sorry, but they DO give some fucked up guys the impression that just having sex anywhere anytime with anyone is just FINE. And it is not.
Assault-rapes are not so common. But rapes between people who actually know each other happens every day.

I guess my point is: YES, ideally we should be able to be free and even act crazy if we want to (even though that is not my thing). It wouldn't affect "normal" guys, but we can't forget there are plenty of predators out there who doesn't care or understand. It's those we need to worry about. No we shouldn't have to shape our lives because of those stupid guys but lets get real.. No matter what we do in the world rape is never going to stop completely. There will always be those crazy guys who are capable of doing it.
Clarification: I am not blaming any girl or any woman for any rape happening out there. We deserve to remain untouched no matter how we behave or dress. BUT there is nothing wrong with taking precautions and use our common sense. We can be in situations where another guy, whether it be our friend, brother or father, won't be there to protect us.


I am not talking about guilt and blame here, simply about being smart and as precautionary as we can.

Talking of guilt, we really need to change the attitude in the population. Even though most people I meet always seem to think rape isn't the victim's fault, there is unfortunately an attitude in people that rape actually is the victim's fault. Many people don't say it out loud and clear, but it's easy to sense. This causes stigmatization. This makes us afraid to stand out and tell our stories. Because we are afraid of what people will think. And this in turn keeps a lid on the whole subject, which makes debate difficult.

I also think we need to make it easier for women to come forth and go to the police if they become a victim of rape. Practices are different in all countries, but here, the examinations you would have to go through are very traumatizing. I don't know it all, but I wish there could be an easier way of getting this done. Of course I understand it's needed for proof, but all this hassle combined with fear just keep girls away from going to the police. I never did. Because I just wanted to pretend it didn't happen, and I was really scared. The guy had threatened he would kill me. It's hard to be strong enough to resist that fear. I wasn't.

Lastly I think it is time us women bring our brothers, husbands and friends into this fight. It is time they fight this too. This battle is not only for us. We are their daughers, sisters and wives. Rape is very common. Men who are capable of it doesn't "look" like rapists. They look normal, have friends and jobs. They may look completely innocent to their friends. I don't know, but I think we just need to make rape even more unacceptable than it already is. Men need to fight this battle together with us. Speak out when you see or hear something wrong. This goes for domestic abuse aswell. I don't think it will solve the problem, but I do think it would help if more men spoke out about how wrong rape is. How unacceptable it is. Defend us. Speak up when they're hanging with the guys.

I no longer have flashbacks. Only a few nightmares in a year. I dress how I want to and I enjoy turning down guys who try to hit me up. I am careful, but myself. I am confident that I can be the woman I've always wanted to be. The rape no longer shapes everything in me, but it is part of who i am today. It's made me who I am today.I have bad days where I feel weak, but it is no longer dominant. And I am going to use it to empower me rather than weaken me. Empower me in the battle against it. I am going to use it against every rapist out there. The one who laughs last laughs best and karma will get your ass one day, mr. Rapist.

Thank you everyone for giving me the strength to realise this and push me another step higher on the road of redemption.


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I was only 14 when.... - Confession's week.

>> Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I was 14 when....


IT



happened.


IT.


That is the easiest word to call it. IT.

I was only 14 when someone stole what I had precious to me.
What is that you say?

What I had precious to me. What belonged to me and me only. My innocence.
My virginity.


He raped me when I was 14.

Raped.

It has taken me more than 8 years to be able to write that word together with anything concerning me. To say it, I sometimes know how, but sometimes don't. Most of the time I can't say it. I can say it when talking about something I read in the news, when hearing of someone else getting raped, but not when I am talking about myself. It's an ugly word. I have realised I need to be open about it for many reasons. To heal myself. To help others. To shed light on the issue. But in real life only 3 of my closest ones knows about what happened. Now I am taking another step by sharing it with you.

I looked matured at 13. I was always mistaken for being 18 then. I spent little time at home because my brother had run away, my dad was going crazy and my mom was deeply depressed and over-worked. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I was very angry with my parents. Very angry. My dad was so violent and my mom never protected me.

I remember one morning my dad drove me to school. I had asked them to help me wake up early to study for a test. I was a hard worker always looking for top grades. They hadn't woken me up and I was stressed because I had my test first thing in the morning. I was annoyed.
As we entered the driveway into the school, my dad flipped. I had opened the passenger's door and had one leg out. I just wanted to get to school.
He started shouting and screaming like crazy. He reversed the car right into the highway 80 km/h. And forth again. And back again. While I was hanging out of the car. He nearly ran over 3 of my classmates. Can you imagine my shame?
I asked him to please calm down. My heart was racing. He finally stopped the car and I got out.
I went to class for my test. I sat down at my desk, hid my face. I felt a heavy lump in my throat. Tears started to stroll. I dried them and did the test.

Anyways.. I grew more stubborn and angry the more bad things happened. I hated staying at home because it always brought problems with it. I had friends who didn't understand me. I was more mature than them mentally as well. I didn't fit in. For the first time, guys started hitting me up anywhere and everywhere. Saying I was beautiful, that I was special. That they had never seen anything like me before. I had never heard beautiful words like before and to be honest it kinda felt good. Even though it was all fake. I never accepted anyone. Never indulged in the hitting up process. I just ignored them. I wasn't interested in boys. The only thing I cared about was school and my girlfriends. But it felt good to hear.
One day I was with one of my girls and a guy started talking to us. We talked and got to know each other. He was just 3 years older. We became friends. At least that's what I thought. I didn't want to meet him alone, so we were always several people together, my friends and his. I thought that would make it safe.

One day, we were supposed to meet up, and as I got to the location, my girlfriend cancelled. For the first time he brought 4 older guys with him. When I realised, I said I had to go home. That I shouldn't be out. He said no come on you think anyone is going to hurt you? We're just friends. Besides, they're going soon we just have to go somewhere to pick something up. I was reluctant. I said no. He said Come on! What are you so scared of. They were all kinda laughing at me. I felt scared. He said the place they needed to go pick "something" up was just 5 minutes away. Ok I said, to get him off my back. We got there. I said I'd wait downstairs. He said come on inside there's nothing to worry about. I went up with him, and we got into what appeared to be some kind of student house with different people living. In other words, a lot of people everywhere. So I felt more secure. I thought nothing bad can happen if there's a lot of people around.

They went into a room, he told me to sit down and wait. I asked if we weren't going to go soon? He said yes we're going in a minute just wait. The guys came in and turned on the tv and had a bottle of whisky with them. Instantly, the alarms in my head went off. I said I want to go. He said don't worry we're going to go I'm just waiting for another guy to get here and give me something. Give you what?, I said. I tried to wake up and walk out, he pulled me back down and laughed at me. He just kept saying don't worry, don't worry, you're with me I don't know what you're so scared of noone is ever going to do anything to you! I waited uncomfortably. Someone locked the door. The guys said that I should try the whisky. I said no thanks, I don't drink. They laughed. They said TRY! and put the glass to my mouth. I turned away and said no I don't like it I don't drink no THANKS. One turned my head and they poured the glass over in my mouth. I started panicking. It tasted like shit and my shirt was all wet.

Suddenly, my "friend" changed. His eyes changed and suddenly he was in with them. He pushed me down on the bed I was sitting. I tried to wake up but he wouldn't let me. He put his knee on top of my leg. I said what the hell are you doing? He pulled down my shirt and exposed my boobs to everyone. They were all laughing. I pulled up my shirt and tried to wake up again. At this point I was utterly confused, empty for words. My memory is blurry as well. He reached for my pants and I remember hitting his hand to keep away. They laughed again. He said he wasn't going to do anything that this is a piece of cake. I was terrified. He tried to reach for my pants again. I shouted NO, STOP IT RIGHT NOW! He tore my shirt up. I kicked at him and shouted again STOP IT STOP IT! They were really amused.

I prayed that someone would come in. God answered my prayers. Someone knocked on the door and they were all distracted. They opened up the door and out I ran with only my pants and bra on, my tore up shirt in my hands. I never spoke to him again.
As I came out, I could not believe that it was me. When did all this happen? I was very ignorant then about sex and the opposite sex. Well, not ignorant, but I mean, I had never considered it. It was so far away from my thoughts. I was more innocent than most of my classmates at the time and I intended to stay that way. As I came out, everyone that passed by started at me with curious looks. I put on my tore up, wet shirt. Pretended like nothing, because I hated their stares. As I came home, my parents were both pissed that I was late. They never asked me a question, just were really angry. Shouting.

For a full year I pretended this basically didn't happen. I promised myself I'd never step into a guys house alone again. I continued on with my life. My life was quite unhappy then. I felt so out of place and had so many issues at home. I turned 14 and my life was pretty much the same as the year before, except I didn't hang out with guys. Only a few from school were in my circle of friends. The circle was expanded by someone's older friend from another school. We started talking. As I reminisce, I have no idea why I talked to him? He seemed just ok though, I didn't see any warning signs and I knew I'd never let myself be alone with a guy after the first incident.


The only times we talked were when we all met in broad daylight. One day it was his birthday and we were all supposed to meet for a get-together at his house. I didn't know the place very well, so I got to the station and he met me there. Everything was cool and chilled out like we were buddies. No tension. We talked about random stuff as we walked over to his mother's place. I think he was approaching 18, but still living at home. I don't know why it felt natural for me to be friends with people older than me. It had always been, because I was mature and felt more comfortable with them. I had girlfriends aged 18 then too. To me it wasn't a big deal, but I now realise that it is.
I asked for my other girlfriends if they were at his house, he said yes they've already been there for a while. I am so happy you guys can celebrate my birthday with me. This was in the day on a Saturday, like 2pm. He said they'd ordered pizza and was going to watch a movie.
As we got in, I removed my shoes. He locked the door. I went into the other room and guess what? The flat was empty. I immediately asked him about it, he laughed and said he was only joking that they're coming any minute. The pizza was there. I thought about it for a second and turned around. I wanted to leave. He asked me what was wrong with me, that come on it was his birthday! I said no I can't stay here I'm sorry. I was putting on my shoes, he came from behind, grabbed me and threw me down on the floor. I could not, excuse my french, FUCKING believe it. This is what went through my head at the time 'Is this really happening again? Maybe this is how it is o? Maybe this is how it's meant to be? Every man wants to have sex with me? Maybe this is how it is for everybody, just that I don't know?'
I was filled with fear and disappointment, and ... weakness. Fatigue. Fed up over life itself. I did not comprehend what the hell was going on, why, how, what??
I woke up and pushed him to the side to go to the door, open the lock. He pulled me back again, this time with more force. I hit him and shouted "LET ME GO WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!" he was silent. He didn't say a word. He looked like he was high on something, but he wasn't. He was just gone. His eyes were dead. He pushed me so hard I fell forward onto the bed. He came from back and lied down on top of me holding my hands down. I shouted NO PLEASE DON'T!! PLease Please let me go I can't do this! I tried to move my hands but I couldn't. I tried kicking him somehow, but my legs couldn't reach him. He then moved forward, put his knees on my arms to keep me down. I continued kicking and screaming. I think that's when he opened up his pants. He then moved down again and kept my hands down with his hands. I tried to bite his hands. Didn't work. Nothing did, he was too strong. I kept on trying to kick backwards with my legs, but they couldn't freaking reach him. Only slightly did they hit his back. My heart was racing and my head was desperatly trying to think fast on solutions. SOLUTIONS SOLUTIONS SOLUTIONS. What can I do where can I run what can I find. I can't remember what happened between then and my next memory.
A second later it was too late. He'd done it. At least it appeared to be a second and at the same time an hour.
All I can remember is the wall in front of me. And the pain. The piercing pain, resembling a sharpened knife. Time stood still. I swear to you. I could not hear anything. Everywhere was silence. I was crying, but everywhere was silence. I swear everything went in slow motion to me.
But I think it went fast.

I still feel like both of these incidents were my fault. It's been incredibly difficult for me to write it down. I am caught by insecurities, thinking you will all judge me and say what I don't want to hear, that it's my fault. But deep inside I know it wasn't. I don't want to post this, but I will. This is for me. I need to stop being so ashamed for what was not my fault. This post is already very long so I will end it here. But I will do a follow up as soon as this one has been read. This one explains what happened, my follow-up will contain my thoughts and conclusions of this issue in general and the after-effects. Please follow me. I want to make a difference. I love you all for all your support and love.



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My brother the charming iron man - Confession's week

>> Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I wasn't planning on putting up any post today but I got quite a bit emotional and just felt like I had to write this stuff down...
I read all of your comments on my last post and I really appreciate them all. After reading them I was more convinced to not go, but I had actually told them I was going to come so I wanted to go anyway. However waking up today, I really don't want to go.
I would love to meet his girlfriend and other sister, but with him, it's all going to be really awkward and uncomfortable.
I was so touched by Scribble's post about his sister and being a big brother and all. I am not a fan of wishing for what we cannot have and always thinking the grass is greener and all, but Do I wish I had a brother like that!
Suddenly as I sat here at work, two memories, two positive memories came back to me, about my brother. I get filled with sadness thinking about them because it feels like...loss. It feels like I almost had that brother but he's gone now..

The first memory is from when I was around 6-7 years old. My family and I were on a little camping holiday. My mother was outside to go to the toilet late in the night and there was this terrible storm and thunder. Suddenly, the lightning struck down very close to us and all the lights went off and a tree fell down. I was so scared for my mother that I started crying. My dad went to look for her, and my brother HELD me and comforted me. Aww. It felt so safe and secure. A feeling I've never had again in my life, because my father was never like that with me and neither has my brother since that day.

The second memory was from when I was around 13 and visited him in Poland - he was doing his med studies there. For the first time we were alone together, and he took me out to a cafè. We started talking serious for the first time and he asked me how things were at home. Because he knew how it could be. I told him the truth about how my dad would sometimes get and that I felt terrible staying there sometimes, that he had hit me. He said that soon he was going to come home, that I needn't worry, that I could just come to his place if things were getting really bad, just to blow off steam and relax. Needless to say he never did come back and he never got in touch with me again till I was 17-18. That was the time he told me to get on medicines.

I wonder what got into him those two times, those two times he was actually proud be my brother, not just patronizing me at every chance he got, not just ridiculing me in front of every one.

If I was to go today, he would outshine everyone else. He is that kind of person. Therefore I would get no chance to talk to the other women around. So I just texted him that I am not going to come, But I wished him a wonderful birthday and told him to have lots of fun with everyone, that I wish I could have got him something but didn't know what...

I can totally see what other people see in him. He's super charming and have had plenty of girls falling head over heels in love with him. He's very smart and witty. He's cool. I don't know if he hates me because I am my father's daughter. I don't know. He doesn't hate me but it's clear that he is very bitter. He is never that charming sweet guy around me. He always just talks down to me and ignores my presence quite passive aggressivly. He always talks over my head. He always interrupts and he's never ever interested in anything concerning me and my life. When I lost a huge chunk of my finger, him being a doctor, he came over to my place. I was in terrible pain, drugged on pain killers that still didn't work. He made the whole thing sound so trivial and said he'd also cut his fingers before that he knew its mad painful. I DIDN'T CUT MY FINGER I LOST HALF OF IT.. I was twisting and turning in pain that day ( it was just the day after I think ) and he actually had a smirk on his face asking me "It's not that painful is it?" like I was exaggerating.

Ohhhhhhhhhh how do I get over this?
Is it natural that I care this much? I don't know why I care so much . Why am I worrying myself over this while he doesn't even donate one thought for me in a month...

Well brother this is for you... I wish you a happy birthday. I hope you live happily with your girlfriend. I wish the birth of your child in July will change your life forever and give you happiness. I wish you the best of luck. I wish you will care about me one day. We share the same loving mother. She's crying over the fact that you don't care. Why don't you even care about that? If not me, then at least give her your care. Call her sometimes, meet her sometimes. She's growing older and she's missing you. She's sorry for whatever it is my father put you through. So am I, but I am not him. You are my only brother and nothing can change that. Don't forget what I have gone through too. I am your little sister, why do I feel like you try to ignore that fact? Why didn't you protect me when my father didn't? You just ran away and I ended up in lots of trouble. Trouble that made me shed tears, face nightmares and grow more experienced than even you. You knew I would be in trouble, but you didn't come for me? No matter what it is, I forgive you. I hope you can overcome whatever it is that is making you keep away from me. Happy birthday brother. I love you no matter what.


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Brother's 30 th B-day

>> Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm almost sweating from all the turbo-blog-reading I've been doing for the past 4 hours. What would my boss think? Whoa...
I was going to put up a serious post today but I've decided to keep that for Wednesday and keep this more random as I am very anxious and need some pep-talk.

Remember my brother? The one I have issues with? After the last incident I just decided to finally let go. Because of what it has been costing me emotionally to keep up with it all. I am tired of being disappointed every time. Of always working really hard on myself to start from scratch and not have any expectations, negative or positive, to not judge, always looking to the positive, and everytime being treated like some ridicilous space of air...It's been a relief to let go. What I mean by letting go is not that I have given up. I am still going to receive him the day he decides I am worth his thoughts. But I can't waste any more time and emotional energy worrying myself over our relationship and attempting to stay in touch. This weekend, his innocent girlfriend whom I think does not really know all that much about him contacted me on Facebook. At least she does not know of our issues. It's his 30th Birthday tomorrow and she said that them, I and his other half sister should get together, possibly with boyfriend/husband too. I know mine doesn't want to see him, so I am not going to force him to go to yet another excruciating family event involving my brother..My brother always just makes him feel small and talks to him in a patronizing way...
My brother's other half sister (they share the same father) I have not met since I was 9 years old. She's a bit younger than me.
I remember the last time I saw her - was for his birthday years and years ago, and all I remember is I got really jealous. I grew up with my brother in the same house but she's never lived with him. My mother had full custody of him and he rarely saw his father. Anyways she was there for his birthday then and even brought a friend along. When he saw them coming he ran up to them, rubbed their heads and said "MY SWEET SUNSHINES!"..Me he couldn't care less for back then.. I was so jealous! I was only 9 let me remind you that, lol.
A year ago, I found an old colouring book ( is that what it's called? Crayon book?)from my childhood and had a good laugh when I read at the back. I remember I brought it along when I was like 7 years old to some family holiday with my brother. The writings inthe back really is this story in a nutshell

Me, in crooked, curled childish letters, some flipped reverse 'P, I LoVE, LOvE LOVe yOU SoOo MUTCH!'
My brother wrote the following : 'You little piece of SHIT!'

What can I do but laugh? Lol
Anyways, I do not have any issues with this girl at all. I think we have a lot more in common than I do my brother and she seems really nice. But I do not know her. And his step sister is coming too. His girlfriend suggested we go disco bowling on Hard Rock Cafe...

I just feel so obliged to go, just to show myself and show that I care, but I am feeling anxious about it. I will be stuck with a bunch of people I do not know, and someone I know who likes to laugh at me and crack bad jokes on my expense. I think I should give it a shot though, maybe I will make friends with his other sister? I have to try. I have to try. I am saying that not fully believing myself but I really need to try, right?

I know I come out sounding really bitter and all but really that isn't so much the case. If I read this post I'd probably think the person writing it is at fault for being bitter and having low expectations, but I swear I've always started with a fresh white sheet pretending the past is the past, still every time he badmouths me...Anyways..

Other updates....
Everything for going to Naija is getting ready, less than a month now. The only thing that isn't ready is the cash! I will thank God the day we finish that house, for real... They want to kill us over there.. All the time asking for more money to do the littlest thing, thinking we have gold down our pockets not understanding we're spending every penny we got on this stuff, walking nearly pocketless for half a month at a time. All the time come hear new story. "Yes, we had the cement and the tiles, but we had no water so we could not continue the job" therefore a 2 week delay. Of course they can't be bothered calling to let us know this, they just leave the site and wait to hear from us. Needless to say, the budget keeps increasing because of "changes".
I can't wait to go though..get the warm weather, dress up in nice dresses every day and paint my nails in fresh summery colours....yummy. And plantain! Double yummy. And wearing sandals every day!

I have been so busy, but I am about to start updating my story on the other blog.
Also expect my serious post on Wednesday.

Lastly I want to thank everyone for being so sweet to me. I appreciate blogville so much. Every single one of you for taking the time to read and comment, whether my posts are pointlessly random or seriously determined. Appreciate it.

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It's hammertime!

>> Friday, June 12, 2009

What's up people?

This is not really my day so I'm going to share with you a funny vid instead.

Did you dig MC Hammer back in the day? Then this video is for you. I thought it was hilarious, lol






Remember this guy?



Well sometimes when I want to blog, he wants attention. if I don't give it to him, he's going to find a way to get it....





Have a nice weekend everyone! Cheer me up with some comments yeah? Thanks :-D



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Quick fix ? Or maybe not?

>> Wednesday, June 10, 2009

*DISCLAIMER* So , I know this is a little long, but encourage and challenge you to read anyway.


So, we have reached the middle of yet another week.
Time goes by fast - we are soon in the middle of June and already the middle of the year.
How are you spending your time? Are you taking advantage of every moment? Are you on the right path in life? Where do you see yourself the next 5 years?

I think these are important questions to keep in mind as we live. Every day I see people who make the wrong choices complain about how their life is turning out, while at the same time they're not really that disciplined with themselves.

I want to talk about what I personally call The Long Road Vs. The Short Road. Call it whatever you wanna call it. You can also call it The Long Tunnel Vs. The Short Tunnel. Or Shortcuts Vs. Endurance.
What is the wisest thing to do when you have two choices. You weigh the pro and cons on both sides. Hence the 'versus'.

A lot of people seem to continue living a life filled with shortcuts. My arguement is that this rarely ever works any good. I want to encourage everyone to be strong and disciplined instead. There are plenty of examples that choosing the short road leads to failure.

Examples:
- You feel like crap. You're depressed. You decide to go get drunk, or start smoking weed, or start taking drugs, or pretend to yourself you don't have any problems. All of these "solutions" will never make the problems any better, it's just a big time waster. In the end, however long it takes for you to live in that denial, you will surely realise that it wasn't the right way to go. The next day you wake up with a massive headache, feeling even worse about yourself, or you drain your brain away, gradually. You end up worse than where you started.

- You are dissatisfied with your financial situation. You want to save money for something big like getting your own house, getting a car, putting yourself out of debt or renewing your flat. Because you feel like crap, you go and buy a bunch of new clothes and spend your entire months pay ( I know someone who just did this ). As a result, money you could have saved is gone. Again this is a time waster.

- Deep inside you are lonely and wish you could find a bestfriend and lover to share your life with. Because you're too scared to deal with your own issues and get real, you end up sleeping with lots of men/women. Maybe it gives you a thrill and loads of confidence. Maybe you're too scared to invest in a real relationship, so you bail everytime things get too serious. Maybe you're too afraid of commitment and responsibility. Maybe you just want to "have a good time". In the end that good time - what of substantial value did it give to you?

There's plenty of more examples.
The common denominator is that they all involve A QUICK FIX but always PROLONGS whatever problem it is you are dealing with. You are in denial, stealing precious time from YOUR LIFE. Time you could have spent more enlightened in truth.
You can always put it off and say you will deal with it tomorrow or next time. Stop and think.
It always becomes "next time". Do it TODAY. Do it NOW.
Sooner or later, you will realise you were just wasting your time because you were too afraid to do what was right. This is a fact. And by sooner or later, "later" can mean 1 month or 50 years.

I'm inspired by watching all the people in denial around me. All the guys who are around 30 and still not doing anything with their lives. They go back to Nigeria claiming they're God's gift to women. Or all the people who gets involved in drug business to make quick money but end up dead. One guy was recently arrested in Germany and died in prison 4 days later - they're bringing his dead body home. All the examples I've given, you might think does not apply to you, because you're not a womanizer, not a maneater and you're not doing anything illegal. But this applies for any small petty issue as well.
We all have our issues, we are all imperfect, we all have stuff we need to WORK on.
You know deep inside that you're procrastinating so much it's effecting your life negatively.
You know carry too much jealousy within.
You know your insecurity is just a bit too much, and drives your boyfriend/husband away.
You know you're being greedy.
You know it's not right to cheat on your wife and it will only lead to more problems either within you or in the rleationship.
You know you're being so controlling you do not allow yourself to try new things.
Etc. etc.
Yet we keep denying it and pretend it's not a problem, that it's others that need to fix their problems, instead of working on ourselves.

Not working on these issues is what keep us making mistakes in our relationships with other people, is what leads to failure on different levels in our lives.

What I am talking about is all kinds of temptations - the temptations to take the easy way out, the quick fix. And my point about it is, if I have not already said it clear enough, that it always extends your misery. You think you're shortening it, while in fact you are prolonging it.

When I was 14 years old, my classmates started smoking, having sex and going to parties getting drunk. I didn't care whether I fit into their standards or not, I kept working hard at school. They thought I was stupid. Why didn't I want to "enjoy" ? Today I am doing well while most of them has gone nowhere. Some got their first kid at 15, some failed in school and continue spending their parents money on partying. But when their parents die, what are they going to do? How are they going to master life when they have not been taught the slightest of responsibility? Another one is a big super model in NY. I see pictures of her on FB - she's anorexic thin, always with a drink or a cigarette in her hand. Some might view that as successful, but I think she struggles, and after her prime time is over she'll fall into a deep pot hole.


My mother said to me "The one who laughs last, laughs best" - There is a similar Igbo proverb that goes "The patient dog eats the fattest bone" . I swear to this rule.
It is sometimes hard as hell - I've been lonely, I've cried, I've struggled. But I know I am better off like this. I am not a follower. Don't be afraid of a little mental struggle. It seasons you and makes you stronger and full of character. You always come out on the other side. Don't be afraid to do YOUR THING. Do not wait until it is too late.



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'I AM A MARRIED WOMAN O!'

>> Monday, June 8, 2009

Abuja, one sunny afternoon, we are rushing to see a family friend. He has decided to donate to us his schedule's only loophole. Busy businessman. We are driving with another friend in the backseat.
It's 2006, the authorities have yet to install traffic lights all over the city. It is still quite a new thing, unfamiliar to many and only in place at a few crossroads.

We reach the crossroad, and the light goes red. We stop, and all the cars and okadas behind and around us keep their fast speed racing forward.
Curiously we look at each other, wondering why no one else is stopping, and look back on the light. Yes, it is red.

*Bang*

Surprised, we look to the backseat and there sits two huge yellow-fever women (traffic police with orange uniform), shirts bulging due to huge boobies with tight leather belts holding in their belle, sweaty foreheads under the authoritative police-caps and mean big eyes, staring strongly as if they could soon fall out of their skulls.

We were still wondering where the hell they came from.

Yellowfever 1, with a fierce voice: SIR You have violated the law o! You beat the traffic light!

Hubby: What have we done? We didn't do anything? Why are you inside our car?

Yellowfever 1 & 2 screaming: You BEAT THE TRAFFIC LIGHT! AND WE WILL SIT ANYWHERE WE PLEASE!

Hubby: No, look ? It is red. We stopped at the red light, what have we done wrong? I think hubby quickly realised that this was not the tone to use with these "women" .

Yellowfever 2 with a loud voice: You wan cause trouble now? I SAID YOU BEAT THE TRAFFIC LIGHT!

Hubby: But.....................

Yellow fever 1 & 2 shouting simultaneously: THIS IS A SERIOUS TRAFFIC OFFENCE O! WE ARE TAKING YOU TO THE POLICE STATION. NOW DRIVE!

Hubby: Please, someone is waiting for us and we are rushing to go somewhere. Can you please let us go? How much do you want?

The next 5 seconds goes in slow motion. Yellowfever 1 backs up in the seat, tilts her head backwards and eyes outwards, condemningly in a 'No, you did'ent!'- kinda way:
I AM A MARRIED WOMAN O! WHO ARE YOU TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT? MSCHEEEEW! YOU THINK YOU CAN BUY ME?! YOU CAN'T BUY ME WITH MONEY O!

She halfway sits up, sits down again, shakes and shivers as if she is one second away from giving him a serious blow, signalising that she's so furious she can't sit still. At this point I feel highly tempted to interfere. The car is rocking due to her high weight and rapid movements.

Me: Look, PLEASE, what do you want from us? can you please just leave us alone? Anything you want us to give you we can give you just please get out of the car leave us alone? You know we didn't do anything wrong.

Yellowfever 2: YOU? YOU! SHUT UP WOMAN! The car rocks again.

Hubby, trying hard to restrain himself: Ok... he sighs. What do you want then? Please we don't want to go to the police station. I am sure we can resolve this here, please calm down.

Yellowfever 1, still shaking and pushing on our poor friend in the backseat:
YOU WANT ME TO CALM DOWN? CALM DOWN? I AM A MARRIED WOMAN O! YOU NO GO MESS WITH ME O!

We all turn silent in frustration.

Yellowfever 2: COME ON! GO! DRIVE TO THE POLICE STATION, WE WILL DEAL WITH YOU THERE, she points.

Hubby is now resigned. Mike (our friend) is in the backseat is furious. He leans forward and whispers: 'Let me deal with them!' Hubby quickly tells him no, lets all calm down now..
He starts driving down the other street as if to go to the police station as instructed. He realises how unjust this really is and pulls over instead.

Hubby: Look, can we please find some kind of solution here? We really need to get going.

Yellowfever 2 looks down on us with attitude as if we are nothing and gives out a big mscheeeew and rolls her eyes.
Yellowfever 1: Ok, give me 3000 naira, she says, stretching out her open hand, looking the opposite way out the window while rolling her eyes, as if it is the most natural thing after telling us she could not be bought. We put the money in her hand. They take a deep breath to gather enough strength for the chore of waking up from the seats, gets out and smash the doors hard.


Phew..

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British Consulate Paranoia

>> Thursday, June 4, 2009

So, since we are travelling to Nigeria in July through London Heathrow, hubby needed to apply for a British Transit visa. As the caring wife that I am, of course I did the whole application for him. They have this international website called WorldBridge. There you can find out whether you need a visa or not and send in your electronic application.

Each time I do this, I am flabbergasted at their paranoiac application form.
Yes I know there's terrorism, but is this really necessary? Can they rub it in any more?

I have really tried to understand the background for their insane questions but I can't seem to find any answers.
Questions include:
How much do you make each month?
How much do you pay in taxes?
How much of your income do you give to others?
How much of your income do you use for living expenses?
Are you bringing money with you, how much?
Is anyone else giving you money to spend?


What is up with all these personal, nosy questions? They've gone crazy now. I just don't get what this has to do with a visa. They also need your employers phone number and e-mail address.

It gets worse:

-Do you have any criminal convictions in any country (including traffic offences)?
Have you ever been charged in any country with a criminal offence for which you have not yet been tried in the court (including traffic offences)?

-In times of either peace or war have you‚ ever been involved in‚ or suspected of involvement in‚ war crimes‚ crimes against humanity or genocide?

Yeah sure I am going to tell you that I have been orchestrating genocide. Why wouldn't I?

-Have you ever been involved in‚ supported‚ or encouraged terrorist activities in any country?

-Have you‚ ever been a member of‚ or given support to an organisation that has been concerned in terrorism?

Yes I love terrorism. That's why I wanna come to your country!

Have you ever‚ by any means or medium‚ expressed views that justify or glorify terrorist violence or that may encourage others to terrorist acts or other serious criminal acts?


I glorify terrorism every day! I want to come to your country to share the love.


Now this is the most ridicilous one:

Have you engaged in any other activities that might indicate that you may not be considered a person of good character?



For really?


You're asking me if I am a person that may be considered to not have a good character.

LOL

That could go for almost anyone. A lot of people have people in their past who don't like them for some reason and may say a part of their character is bad. So for that you can't get a visa.
See, everyone that lives in the UK have a good character...they don't want to get contaminated.

Sure, I do understand the terrorism thing, but how stupid are you if you think terrorists are going to come applying for a visa and tell you their plans. If that is how they are combatting terrorism... well I am speechless.

Who do they think they are, that's what I am wondering...


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P.S I am doing blogrounds asap! Been too busy.

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