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If you are reading this, by no doubt you are awesome. This is not an attempt to flatter you, to be honest, the word “awesome” has been overused so much that it has lost its effect. So I’ll let you know why you are awesome.

It is very ironical that I have this blog. But on another hand it is not… I guess that is another thing I’ll have to let you know.

It is ironical because I rarely read blog post’s except when they are recommended. I think it is stress, I think it is quite a commitment to keep up with a particular blogger’s blog posts. So here I am, with my blog, and fully aware that if people think like I do, no one would read my posts. But hey, this is me saying that many bad turns deserve a good turn *inserts laughing emoji*. And this is why you are awesome, because you are here, reading this. And just to be fair, this is me making a commitment to be a cheerleader once again. This is not me promising to follow every single blog post a blogger I like shares, this is me saying I will read, comment and support.

Why it is not an irony is that for a long time, I lost that girl in me who was so passionate, who was never afraid to dream big, I guess she thought she lost interest in what she was passionate about, but what really happened was that she got scared, so she climbed back into her shell. But I am finding her once again. I will love if you can be a part of this journey with me, as she unravels. She is passionate and she will share with you issues straight from her heart, because that is where she speaks from. She will write about the most random of things, She will write about faith, she will write about issues in the world we live in…so sit back, she wishes to speak now.

 

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

“R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means to me.” I have never appreciated the words of this song, until recently.

Respect means different things to different people. Respect has different characteristics, or features, depending on the tribe. I mean different tribes (in Nigeria) have ways they show respect e.g. prostrating, kneeling or squatting when greeting elders. So ordinarily, I am not expected to know what respect means to everyone! I mean asides the general ways of showing respect such as greeting people, stepping aside for an older person to pass, getting off your seat in a bus when an older person is standing and what not, there are other forms of respect that are peculiar to each individual person.

Another issue is that for instance, I’m from the northern part of Nigeria, they have their ways of showing respect. Which actually isn’t very clear cut. But my parents didn’t raise me in that typical northern manner. I grew up in the city, amongst neighbours from different parts of Nigeria. Nevertheless, I was brought up to understand the value of respect. The fact that my parents didn’t raise me to kneel whenever I greet them doesn’t mean I was raised improperly. My parents understood the fact that it was perfectly okay for me to greet them without kneeling down, and that not kneeling down didn’t mean that I disrespected them. So if I meet an elder outside and I do not squat or kneel while greeting them, does that mean I was brought up improperly simply because I did not abide by their subjective view of respect??

In fact, here’s a question I’ve been brooding over. Does greeting you mean that I respect you? Should it be a test of respect? I believe that greeting is just a formality, a way of acknowledging a person. It shouldn’t be a test of respect. The fact that I greet you does not mean that I respect you. Unfortunately, I know people who have been judged as improperly brought up simply because they did not greet a particular person. In my first year in the University, a particular room hated me because I went to visit my friend and I didn’t greet her other roommates. Imagine. I’m yet to find anyone who had anything added to them from a mere greeting.

Who sets all these dynamics of respect? Where has all these multiple standard of respect gotten us to? If you do this, it means you respect me. Maybe that’s why we’re called the dark continent, because we keep focusing on the wrong things. We major on the minor, and minor on the major. Maybe one day, just one day, respect will physically manifest itself and give us good roads, quality education, security, and 24hrs electricity.

Someone has to care.

I am…what’s the synonym for mad?

Enraged, furious, apoplectic, ballistic, infuriated, livid… because much like all other sectors in Nigeria, the health sector has been failing and is still failing us. People die everyday, not from sicknesses or accidents or diseases, but from the negligent hands of healthcare personnel.

My cousin lost her husband on tuesday. The marriage was not even up to a year, but i doubt the death itself was more painful than the cause of the death. Malaria, they said, was the cause. Malaria? I’d heard of people die from malaria, but this did not sit well with me. I asked further questions only to find out that upon getting to the hospital, they placed him on drip. No, wait for it, they placed him on the wrong drip. Apparently, he was a diabetic patient and he was placed on drip for non-diabetic patients.

He did not need to die. All that had to be done was a routine test to aid the doctors make the right diagnosis. Why will a Doctor assume that a patient is non-diabetic?? assumptions should never be made!! Especially in the northern part of nigeria where there is high consumption of sugar! Instead of an assumption, there should be a presumption that every person is diabetic except a test proves otherwise. I cannot count the amount of times i’ve been diagnosed of malaria without actually being tested for it. Because the hospital did not take out that test on the man or otherwise inquire as to whether that was the right drip for him, he is gone. And it’s not malaria that killed him.

This is just one out of a gazillion cases of medical negligence. The first time i ever personally encountered a case of medical negligence in nigeria, was during one of my internship programs, and believe me, nigerian authorities or precedents were scarce to come across. This is because hospitals or healthcare staff keep neglecting the duty of care owed to their patients, and no one does anything. I doubt my cousin will take an action against this hospital. And it’s sad, because this is going to keep happening, over and over again.

I vented my grieviances to my friend that evening, and she told me that we would do better. I don’t know if to believe her or not…because when i look at the current leaders, and i look at the youth, the supposed leaders of tomorrow…i honestly just see a mirror and i’ll be honest, that scares me. That being said, it’s people like my friend, that give me hope.

So a note to every potential or current hospital patient: Always Ask questions. Ask about the drugs or treatment being prescribed to you. Ask about their effect. Ask about the side effects. Tell the doctors about any health condition you have (they also have a duty to clarify). Be inquisitive. Frustrate them with your questions. If they don’t care, someone has to care.

What they don’t understand about birthdays.

lighted candles on cupcakes
Written by- Tolu Oladejo

Hey, I’m 20. And this is me just pondering…Is age really just a number? Or there’s actually supposed to be behavioural tendencies corresponding to that number? When people say act your age (even I say it) it confuses me. How can I act my age? An age I have never been before. I counted 365, And boom the number increased! how is it supposed to be different? they don’t tell you “how”, they tell you “be”.

Every age comes with its set of responsibilities, some you are aware of, some you aren’t. However, they don’t tell you when you are 20 you are also 19, 18, 17,16,15 all the way down to 1. And when you wake up on your 20th birthday you expect to feel 20, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything is just like yesterday…only it’s today, and you don’t feel 20 at all, of course you feel like you are still 19.

Funny right? the confusion doesn’t stop there. There are days I say something stupid that’s part of me being 10. There are days I might want to sit on mama’s lap because I’m scared, and that’s the part of me that’s 5. There are days I see a balloon and I strangely want to run after it, that’s the part of me that feels 8. Maybe one day when you are all grown up you will need to cry like you are 3. And those moments I blurt out rude and offensive words to my siblings, that’s part of me being 15. And that’s okay…because the way we grow old is like to me -an onion – each year inside the next one.

That’s how being 20 years old is. You don’t feel 20 right away. It takes a few days, weeks, sometimes even months before you say 20 when they ask you. But you still have all those years wrapped up in one, that make up “you”. So loves, Feel free to be 8 when you need be.

What is wrong with your left hand?

I was born with two hands. Growing up, I was told that I was beautifully and wonderfully made, that I should be grateful for who I am, and every part of me. Wait a second, not every part, every part apart from my left hand.

It took a lot of slaps on my left hand for me to get the message that I was not supposed to use my left hand to give, or receive anything from anyone. Sometimes I consciously hold something out to someone with my left hand, and then I realise that my hand is still hanging out there. I quickly get the queue and I immediately switch. Till today I have a pang of guilt whenever receive something with my left hand. I never dared to ask my dad what exactly was wrong with my left hand? I mean, wasn’t it a part of my body? Which was beautifully and wonderfully made? As a matter of fact, the ideology is engraved in my brain now, such that I apologise when I give people things using my left hand. I always go… “sorry for the left hand”.

It’s almost the same problem I had to go through with skulls. I used to like skulls a lot, but of course I had to get rid of everything with a skull. Losing my blue school bag with purple skulls was quite a painful experience. Well, in the ideologies defence, skulls have been put to some dark use so low-key, I get it. But honestly, I’ve always wanted to tell my parents ‘you know you have a skull in your head right?’.

My younger sister and my younger brother were born lefties, meaning they used their left hands to write, they were better and more comfortable with using their left hands, as opposed to the right. Sadly, they had to unlearn that and learn how to write with their right hand. Lucky for my younger sister, my dad gave up and told my mom to just “leave her like that”. In school, teachers would yell at my sister saying “You use your left hand to write?? Didn’t your parents teach you well? And you are even a woman!”. In my younger brother’s case, my parents were determined. His writing is hideous, and they think it’s a mystery.

I think generally there is a superstition or paranoia over anything “left”, I mean, why don’t we say, “my left-hand man?”. And I don’t know if superstitions are justifiable, but what exactly is the reason behind “left-hand shaming”? I believe it’s just a baseless superstition. Right hand, left hand. Potatoe, potato.

So, the next time I’m trying to hand over something to someone, and my left hand is free, accept it, there’s nothing wrong with my left hand.

If you’re a leftie, please share your thoughts on this issue.

The future is yours to see.(Pt 2)

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What happened to dreaming big dreams that scare you the hell out? What happened to setting goals? What happened to wanting to leave the world a better place than you found it? What happened to picturing how you want your life to be and working daily towards it.

To be honest I myself used to sing the song ‘que sera sera’. It was only later I realised that whenever I used the phrase, I was expressing defeat at something I felt was out of my control. But this cannot be the attitude we have towards life, or our career, families, relationships. You have to see what you want and do the needful to achieve your aim.

There are sacrifices to be made, sleep to be given over to work, there is work to be done. What if Tesla, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Mark Zukerberg and the likes said “screw it, the future is’nt mine to see, what will be will be”. What if Barack Obama never thought or saw that he could? What if Martin Luther King Jnr never had a dream?

The world is your oyster, there are no limits. The future is yours to see. So today, picture how you want your future to look like, how you want your year to look like, how you want your community, city or country to look like. Is there anything that gets you angry in your sphere of influence? What do you want things to look like? Picture it, and do the needful. What will be will not be, the future is yours to see.

Cheers to slaying your brows, goals and dragons!

New year, grateful me.

 

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Today is the 31st day of December, the last day of the year 2018, the air even feels different, everything seems new already. And in a few hours, it’s going to be a new year, new me. Psych!

Well, everyone is talking about what they’re grateful for, and boy am I grateful for a lot. The year 2018 has held some pretty defining moments in my life- bagging my LL.B. with a good result, beginning my learning experience at the Nigerian Law School, starting this blog! However, I think I’m especially grateful for the people that made my 2018 the amazing year it was. Like a canvas, these people painted my 2018 into a beautiful artwork.

I’m also grateful for growth. In the year 2018, I got to actually sit and re-think about the things I believe in. I had to criticize my beliefs, I had to ask questions, because finally, I decided that I had to be sure about what I was choosing to live my life for. It’s probably one of the biggest changes that I have ever made.

I’m grateful for friends, friends whom I honestly do not deserve. I’m grateful for family. I’m grateful for books, I’m grateful for food.

But the little moments, the little moments are what I’ll cherish; the laughs, hugs that felt like home, sharing inside jokes with friends and family, petty moments, silly moments, awkward moments, and of course, the butterflies.

Finally, I’m grateful for you, my lovely readers. we did have some amazing conversations. Cheers to a fulfilling year, cheers to doing more!

The little kid.

I grew up believing the African proverb that says “what an elder can see sitting, a child won’t see even if he should jump”.

Well, I don’t know if I totally believe that now, the statement seems biased to me. You are probably asking why? Before I answer that I would like to tell a story.

I know a little kid who believed every word spoken by his parents were the absolute truth (don’t blame his juvenile mind) but then again, as a kid all he ever wanted was to please his parents so yes! Those words were absolute wisdom to him, they were the compass he thought he needed to navigate the sea of life.

But life is an experience, tides and waves were bound to rock the ship he was on, now he realised that some things were wrong with the compass, he was almost certain that he wasn’t on the right route, he almost threw the compass overboard but he didn’t, instead he kept it and tried to fix it. In the process he figured out that he could explore and learn about the sea without being restricted by the faulty compass.

I sincerely don’t think wisdom is overly dependent on your age, no offence to the elderly. Wisdom is the application of a gained knowledge from study and/or experience, I could talk about king Solomon in the bible who was thought to be the wisest man in his time, yet, as much as his wisdom was of God he had to study, he was open to learning about life (Ecc 1:12-13). Knowledge is progressive, which makes wisdom timeless, it is not restricted to a time or place, but some conversations with my parents about life in general has led me to think that their judgement about certain things like faith, marriage and life in general is restricted to what was the norm in their time and any attempt on my path to correct some of their misconceptions is often met with indifference.

Even for the elderly, being close-minded doesn’t display wisdom. Like the little kid I have chosen not to throw the compass overboard, because not everything I have learnt from them is wrong, it’s just those little dogmas that need correction. So i will fix the compass and use it to explore life but remain open minded to knowledge.

Written by- The little kid