Blog

Life’s Lessons Learned As I Turn 25…

 

So, I am sitting here few hours to my 25th birthday and I am thinking BRUH!!! where does the time go? Me? 25? Chai I don grow old finish o! But on the other hand, the gift of living to see THIS day is unimaginable, Why? Because some people did not live to see even their 1st birthday! So who am I to complain? I am alive and kicking, hale and hearty! Thanks be to the Most High!

 

Someone once said that, every new day means you are getting closer to your grave or better put the end of your life on this earth….that honestly sounds scary on the surface. But on the deeper level, it means you are here and the gift of a new day means you can still right some of your wrongs, do that one thing that you are passionate about etc..etc… Looking back in my life, I have really come a LONG way (it is and sounds cliché but then I can relate to my own story). The journey life has taken me on involves a whole LOT and though I wish I could have sometimes written a better chapter, I DECIDE to learn the lesson right there and MOVE ON. So, today as I turn 25, I am going to share some lessons or better put things I have discovered along the way….which you probably can learn from. That saying, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

 

 

birthday-picture.jpg

 

 

ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST: Yea yea I know this literally means be SELFISH….But if you don’t take care of you, who will? Remember, those you think you are slaving for will quickly forget about you when you are no longer around (with few exceptions of course) but like one post I saw the other day ‘Do not burn yourself to keep others warm‘. Let that sink in.

 

CELEBRATE YOURSELF OFTEN: You do not have to wait for your birthday or       Wednesdays alone to crush on yourself. If you have to do it everyday, every hour,      minute or whatever go for it. You are not promised the next minute or hour so why        wait for a particular date to do so? YOLO (You only live once).

 

IT IS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY: Life is hard and sh*t happens. We all have had plans and  which did not happen the way we wanted it to be. In those moments, what most people do next is to blame themselves and be depressed about it. Yes, being angry at that moment is a human feeling…this too shall pass. Just don’t stay for too long.

 

PEOPLE WILL COME AND GO…DEAL WITH IT: This is a very underrated lesson. Even the Bible says everything on this earth is temporary except the word of God. If we really understood this, we will then not find it strange when certain friendships or relationships end. It may be painful at the time but you just learn to deal with it. Just to reiterate this point ‘When you are a good person, you don’t lose people, people lose you‘.

 

THE TIGHTER YOUR CIRCLE, THE BETTER: Drawing from the point above, as I grow older, I have realised that the quality of your friends or better put the people you associate with should be your concern other than quantity. When I was much younger I remember being clingy and always begging people for their friendships but NOW….GIRL BYE! It is either you are IN or OUT. No GREY AREA. I am thankful for the TRUE friends who have stuck with me all these years….and I don’t take them for granted at all!

 

YOU ARE NOT ABNORMAL IF YOU HAVE NOT ACHIEVED ALL YOUR GOALS AT A CERTAIN AGE: Everyone we meet is on their own journey…some seem to have figured everything out by a certain age whilst others are just getting started by that same age. None is better than the other (I REPEAT, None is better than the other).They are all running their race on separate lanes and the MOST important thing is they get to their destination. Comparison in this case or even in any case is pointless. Focus on  your own journey and work hard towards your goals. You will MAKE IT eventually…maybe not when you think you should…but you will.

 

AVOID NAYSAYERS/NEGATIVE VIBES: Of course if you are talking about shattering the ceiling and someone is telling you that is impossible or unthinkable…just use that block button…Block them from anything that has to do with your dreams, aspirations, goals etc. You don’t hate them..you just LOVE yourself soo much to allow someone to kill your hustle/winners mode with their negative virus. They could be family sometimes but hey you’ve got to do what you have to do anyways!

 

SOCIAL MEDIA IS AN ILLUSION, MAJORITY OF THE THINGS YOU SEE THERE ARE NON EXISTENT/EXAGGERATED: Personally, I take everything I SEE on social media with a pinch of salt. Because I know that despite all my struggles and others, I almost always don’t like to talk about them but rather the good ones. So posting a picture in another country does not mean I have everything figured out or everything is fine with me! Thus the illusion is people looking at a snapshot of someone’s whole life thinking they are failures or have not made IT yet. STOP IT! JUST STOP IT. Be happy for people who share their success stories etc. etc…but do not kill yourself over them because YOU DO NOT ALWAYS KNOW THE FULL STORY!

 

TRAVEL AND EXPLORE WHILST YOU ARE YOUNG AND CAN: Yes! You really should! (my friends know me for this!)If I had access to more money than I have now I would have toured over 50 countries already but I know it will happen soon. I believe that is not advisable to wait for a ‘perfect moment’ (when you are married, get a good job etc etc) before travelling…Whilst you can, do it NOW. You do not know who you will meet or what you will learn along the way. I have travelled to a number of countries and have learned a lot! Until you experience you will not really understand…So please GO FOR IT whilst you are young and CAN AFFORD.

 

TAKE RISKS…WHATEVER YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: If you want to start a business, write a book, whatever you want to do…stop being too afraid of what could go wrong or whatever. The thing is IF YOU DON’T TRY, you can NEVER KNOW. Nobody can categorically tell you that idea will fetch you millions of pounds even after doing all the necessary planning and preparation unless you hit the ground running with it! So I challenge you to take a step of faith today. Your concern should not be of what will happen etc…Irrespective of the outcome, you will LEARN something anyways….

 

YOUR SALVATION IS YOUR OWN CUP OF TEA, DO NOT BE FOOLED: As I grow older, I have realised that you need to define your OWN relationship with GOD. Do YOU. In the end, you know the kind of relationship you have with your Maker and you will face judgement alone on that day, NOT you and your pastor, parent or friends. Whatever you do with regard to your walk with GOD, so far as you are NOT convicted then GO FOR IT. KNOW GOD for yourself not because your parents, pastor or friend told you to.

 

THOSE WHO MATTER DON’T MIND AND THOSE WHO MIND DON’T MATTER: Opinions are like NOSES. Everyone has one. Personally, I have always been NON CHALANT when it comes to what people think of me because most times, I don’t have any relationship whatsoever with such people and those who truly know me ALWAYS understand! To succeed in life, it is important to develop a thick skin and turn a deaf ear to a lot of things because trust me, YOU WILL NEED THEM!

 

*Bonus*

LOVE WILL COME WHEN IT IS SUPPOSED TO: Stop awakening love before its time….that is why there are lots of broken souls and hearts walking around…because it is either they did not love properly or they did not receive true love like everyone should! And that is the problem with the generation of today. Some people find love very early in life and it works for them..some do and years later everything fizzles out. Some find theirs later in life and it works or does not after some time…SOME MAY NEVER FIND LOVE TOO (and that is OKAY). My point is do not rush to have a boyfriend or get married because that is the ORDER OF THE DAY…(there is a saying which goes…’If you follow the crowd you get lost in it‘). Let love happen when it is ready. Let it find you and NOT the other way round.

Marriage is not the ULTIMATE achievement in a WOMAN’S LIFE. (Let that sink in!)…and doing it at ANY age is OKAY..There is nothing wrong if you are 30 and above AND SINGLE…That is how many people have rushed and made regrettable mistakes.. Personally, NOBODY can rush me…when I am ready and with the right person, I will go for it. It is NOT my Number ONE priority in LIFE. (side eye to the African folks who think at age 25 a woman especially should be married with kids etc..etc…). I do NOT follow societal guidelines/patterns…I GO WITH MY OWN FLOW!

 

I hope you learned a thing or two from this. In OTHER NEWS…..I just launched MY WEBSITE! I am soo happy to have done this! Please check it out here. Also thankful to have gone away for some fresh air for my birthday….Thankful for all the blessings in the past, present and what is to COME!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GERTRUDE ADWOA TEMAH ASUMADU!

 

Stay tuned for amazing posts and other exciting announcements coming up! Have a blessed weekend ahead!

Movie Reviews (Upcoming) and AMVCA Highlights….

 

Hi everyone. I was actually supposed to blog yesterday but for some reasons I could not. Anyway, my birthday is in about a month’s time…I am actually more excited because it is the BIG 25! Phewww! Where does the time go? So looking forward to it…

 

 

Related image

 

 

Anyway so anyone who knows me very well knows I love movies, specifically African movies (Nigerian movies to be specific)…I hardly do Hollywood movies (don’t ask me why). Due to this in my spare time and when I am bored, I go to Iroko TV, Ibaka TV and other movie platforms to watch movies. Mostly, when ‘popular or hyped movies finally come out on these platforms (after weeks of being in the cinemas), I like to discuss it with friends who are also movie lovers…I like to dissect the movie, what was good, what was bad and how it could have been better.

 

I am Ghanaian by birth and you would ask why do I watch Nigerian movies mostly. Well, the Ghanaian movie industry at the moment is almost dead if I am to be completely honest. There is no need trying to defend this or whatever. It is even a good thing that some of the actors have admitted it meaning we can start solving the problem as we have now identified the problem. So my dear Ghanaian actors…the ball is in your court….Let us start producing better and quality movies because the ones I see these days….(lips sealed).

 

So, from next month onward, I will be officially adding Movie Reviews section to my blog to dissect various movies I have watched and my thoughts about it. So stick around because it is going to be exciting.

 

The Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) was just last weekend at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, Nigeria and as usual there was a buzz concerning the outfits etc. Though that is undoubtedly one of the aspects of this ‘Oscar type red carpet event’, my concern was that the only two Ghanaian actors (Adjetey Anang and Lydia Forson) who had been nominated in Best Actor in a Drama and Best Supporting Actress in a Drama will win their categories. And yes they both won! I was soo happy! Adjetey was not there to receive his award but Lydia was. So proud of both of them!

 

 

2018 AMVCA Awards: Hard Work Pays - Lydia Forson
Lydia Forson

 

Image result for lydia forson amvca 2018
Lydia and Adjetey on the set of an upcoming film ‘Borga’

 

And they happened to be my two of my four favourite Ghanaian actors! You should watch them in Keteke and A Sting In A Tale.

 

Okay so…watch out for my movie reviews soon…and happy new month in arrears! STAY TUNED FOR MORE! 

 

 

62c7e8445f8dddebbe47ac8c852705e3b5d02608e6849c3fe1

 

 

The Act Of Giving: Should It Be Publicised Or Not?

 

To begin with, I think that when it comes to things like Giving, people should be allowed to do whatever they deem fit. This is because one size does not fit all!

 

With the emergence of social media, it is very popular to see Celebrities, Private and Public Organisations and even individuals making donations….(of course with the donors putting it on their social media handles or having bloggers put it on their pages)…On one of these occasions, I happen to find such on my explore page on Instagram especially and when I go through the comments section, I find many people expressing their disgust and disappointment as to why they have to show their kind deeds to the world. Some point out ‘Didn’t the Bible say our left hand should not know when our right hand does something good or kind?‘ But then I pause to think, ‘Did these people say they were Christians in the first place and as such believe in what the Bible say and did not say?’…..Furthermore, ‘How many commandments or rules in the Bible do we follow ourselves and yet think we can castigate others for disobeying one?

 

On some occasions, I see some people jump to the defence of these celebrities to say mostly they do so to encourage their colleagues to follow suit or sometimes to tell the public that they are not all about the ‘slaying on social media sturvs’ but they also do their bit in order to have a positive impact on society. That is a valid point but then again…do they owe anybody any explanation or need validation from anybody as to how they should spend their OWN money or live their lives? NO! Because guess what, if you bring your good deeds to public people will talk, if you don’t, they will still talk anyway…So do YOU! Choose one! 🙂

 

Personally, I am a very private person and as such if I were to donate to an orphanage home or an individual home among others, I would not want even my friends to know because it is not necessary. It is between me and the person or people involved and that is it. Another person would also choose to show to the whole world what he/she did…..To him/her, it makes them feel accomplished or proud that they achieved something…SO BE IT. We need to stop dictating to people how to do things ‘the right way‘…..*what is the right way anyway?*

 

I would also like to add that, whichever way you choose to give, it is the motive behind that is the most important…but then again whether for personal reasons, selfish reasons or whatever, that is entirely up to the individual. In a nutshell, let us all learn to do good to each other in any little way we can…whether in private or public the most important thing is we put a smile on someone’s face, hence blessed someone in one way or the other…

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your thoughts on this issue? Let the discussion begin! Have an amazing week ahead. 🙂

 

 

Slave Trade in Libya (My Thoughts)

 

In late 2017, it was in the news that there was an ongoing ‘slave trade’ in Libya and as usual, I expressed my views on it via a Human Rights Blog I used to write for. I decided to throw it back and feature it on here too. These are issues we should not just talk about when they arise, it should be something that should be in our conversations every now and then with the aim of abolishing it.

 

Slavery is in the strictest sense of the term, any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. According to history, slave trade in Africa existed for about 200 years in Africa and in Ghana it began in 1533 when the British arrived on the shores of the then (Gold Coast) which led other colonies such as Portuguese, Swedish, Danes and other nationals to also involve in the then booming trade. This act had devastating effects such as displacing people and separating people from their families and countries forever.

 

At least this was decades ago and at this time we are convinced that such things are a thing of the past though some people I have had conversations in the past assume that there is a modern-day form of slavery in terms of mental slavery whereby people of colour still prefer products produced abroad to those produced in their country and prefer to school outside their countries other than in their own country. This is a very interesting angle which will be tackled in another post, but I would comment briefly that this would not be up for discussion if what they had made them better off.

 

Well, in this scenario, human beings, better still Africans are being sold for an average of $400 by Africans who end up going through treacherous routes to European countries for a better standard of living. These slaves are from African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana who have left their countries because they are not enjoying the necessities of life which include access to good shelter, food or accommodation because of the inability to secure jobs. The conversation now becomes what got us here in the first place? Why will people leave their countries for an unknown destination where they have no idea what is waiting for them if they were comfortable in their countries?

 

As an African, I can say that our leaders have not helped and are mostly responsible for situations like this. Whenever I hear foreign media depict Africa as a poor continent, I find it amusing because they only report what they want to. If the resources Ghana alone was utilised very well and every single citizen enjoyed the proceeds from the abundant gold, cocoa, diamond and oil nobody would even think of leaving for another country unless of course it is for vacation purposes. What is happening in Libya depicts the selfishness and greed on the part of our leaders which has forced citizens of one country to be slaves in another for the sake of greener pastures.

 

Many of these slaves do not get to their destinations. Those who do are subjected to harsh conditions of living which contradicts the purpose for which they left their countries in the first place. Libya is being used to tell us all that indeed there is more work to be done. African leaders international organisations, human rights activists, you and me. If it means posting on your social media handle, do it. If it means signing a petition, do it. Even if it is something little, do it. Because it will go a long way.

 

However, for this canker to be eroded from the surface of the earth, it should not be all about talking. It is time for the welfare of citizens to be the topmost priority for African leaders especially and corrupt activities should be done away with so that these will be a thing of the past.

 

This was rather brief…but I hope the message has been delivered duly. Slavery in this day and age should NOT be encouraged. We need to do better for our current society and future generations. Stay tuned for another blog post real soon! Have an amazing week ahead!

RACISM vs TRIBALISM, WE ARE ALL GUILTY!

 

Get ready for a LONG read. I wrote this article as a contributing writer for a Human Rights blog. I decided to put it here to engage my readers into having discussions like these.

 

Racism is defined as discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on a belief that one’s race is superior whilst tribalism is the behaviour and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.

 

Few days ago, I was having a conversation with my parents about a family friend who refused his daughter from getting married to three different men on different occasions because they are from a specific tribe in Ghana known as Ewes. The Ewes are in the Volta Region of Ghana and are believed to have originated from Togo which shares borders with Ghana in the East. The tribe is mostly known for being engaged in voodoo, in which violence is a common aspect. I have heard some stories about them which involved using voodoo against people who tend to offend them, and it works very well in the end.

 

My grandmother for instance never liked this tribe for the same reason mentioned above. She also recounts of how she lived with an Ewe family back in our hometown, in the Ashanti Region whereby they lived in the house for a long time even after their roof went off just because they wanted to ‘eliminate’ the landlord and take over the house. I found this story quite hard to believe as to why that will be the reason other than probably not affording another place of their own. Personally, I never encountered such and I felt they were lovely people and the fact that their tribe had been boxed into this type of notion does not mean I should assume the same about them.

 

I am from Ashanti Region in Ghana and according to history before the slave trade era the Asantes (the people from Ashanti Region) were very dominant and as such Ghana then was referred to as Asante Kingdom. Though we are in a different era now, the Asantes feel very superior especially when it comes to comparison of tribes in Ghana. A story my grandmother once told me which is quite hilarious was that; Once, the Asantes waged war against the Fantes. A security guard who was watching over a group of Fantes left his gun and spoke to the gun saying, ‘If anybody dares make a move, shoot him or her’. Frightened by this none of these people escaped after the guard left thinking the gun will automatically shoot once they made any attempt. One of the Fantes fearfully approach the gun and said, ‘My Lord, please do not shoot me, I am going to use the restroom and will be back immediately’. The Asantes of course laughed about this and felt that they have succeeded in making the Fantes feel worse off because of the power and respect they commanded and still commanding.

 

Back to what I was saying, my father criticised the family friend of the trauma he was putting his child through. My mother on the other hand had expressed her opinion by saying ‘Well, I don’t want anybody from such tribe in my family’. I was baffled at the kind of hypocrisy that was being displayed.

 

My parents lived in Italy for two decades before transitioning to the UK. Then and even now, they still recount instances where they were victims of racism. For instance, my father once had a disagreement with a colleague who insulted him for being a man of colour, along with other words that are unprintable. My parents had also told me a story regarding a school, close to the family home in Italy whereby a bus driver (who happened to be Senegalese) lost his job on the first day he resumed because the children were fearful of a man of colour. My mother has also experienced similar situation during her time in Italy especially during her travels to and from work. She found a continuous pattern of people not feeling comfortable sitting next to her on train due to her skin colour.

 

An eye opening moment was when I watched Oprah Winfrey inform her audience of her personal encounter; Oprah walked into a store, which belonged to a lady that happened to be Italian who had refused to sell a bag to her simply for being black or maybe she just can’t imagine the thought of a black person owning such an expensive bag…I was like what? This is just the height and I cannot believe in this 21st century, people still think and behave this way…we all have a very long way to go.

 

I only visited Italy twice whilst in Ghana and since I came to the UK, I have visited twice as well. I did not experience any sort of racism probably because I just did not pay much attention to it. Maybe if I had lived there like my parents did, I would have. And if I did, I would not know how I will respond to it.

 

My concern really lies with why people from the same country may discriminate among themselves based on the tribe one belongs to. If our fight for racism will end, then we need to build a united front. It must always start from within. Then we can start talking of racism being a canker and how we can make sure it is a thing of the past. Though the Asantes may feel superior to other tribes according to history does not  mean we cannot peacefully coexist, marry from another tribe and so on.

 

Being an Asante myself does not make me better than anybody from another tribe either Ewe or Fante for whatever reason. None of the stories I have heard justifies any form of tribalism of any sort. It all starts in the mind, practised and it is passed on from generation to generation. The same way being Italian, Spanish or whatever nationality does not make you better off than a Ghanaian, Congolese or Senegalese. I don’t know why people are racists because I have never been one, but I choose to believe it forms part of a society they grew up in. Hence, this society that is you and I should make a conscious effort to bring up our children in a way where they can see and relate to people on who they really are and not the colour of their skin. It must be dealt with from the root and that starts with the family because ‘Charity they say begins at home‘.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this! Stay tuned for more. Have a blissful week ahead.

The Silent Killer of Relationships

 

As humans, we always yearn to have some sort of friendship or relationship either with same sex or the opposite sex…It is a natural thing that we cannot do without….

 

It is great to have friends who you can share great memories with et al. Like every human relationship, there are bound to be misunderstandings which are inevitable…The best thing to do mostly is to talk to each other about it…try your best to solve it and move on. Depending on the gravity of the issue it is best sometimes to go your separate ways (friendship, marriage, relationships alike).

 

With reference to personal and other experiences I CAN confidently say, many people end meaningful friendships most times because they FAIL TO EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE with each other. I am not saying just pointing out who was wrong and who was right..That is just brushing the face of the issue and it actually solves nothing. It INVOLVES sitting down, lay out the issue, where it came from, how it happened, identify each other’s mistakes or how they contributed to the problem, apologise and then EVERYONE IS HAPPY!

 

I really think mostly people do not understand or value the true meaning of friendships or relationships and thus allow petty things to destroy it. Some people sometimes might have a ‘problem’ with a friend and instead of voicing it out so they can talk about it (whatever it is…), they decide to keep malice and of course being a human being and personally I honestly can’t stand such attitude, then the friendship or relationship dies a natural death…..JUST LIKE THAT!

 

I once saw a quote which read ‘Be careful who you lose, some people are IRREPLACEABLE‘ and I agree 100%. Yes, we are all human beings and will mess up mostly…but there are some people who are gems in a person’s life and everyone probably has that kind of friend or partner…If you lose them over a trivial issue, your best bet is you may or will NEVER encounter such a person in your life again! After you finally come to your senses, you would realise a great deal of mistake you have done and it will be too late. Your only consolation will be reminiscing the moments you had together….HOW SAD!

 

Like I mentioned before, I know not all friendships are bound to be till the end…Personally there are some people I called ‘friends’ 5 years ago and even beyond who are not my friends anymore….some mostly due to the issue of effective communication and others I guess was for a season and it just had to end. However, ensure that in whichever way you are NOT the reason behind that friendship collapsing or end it on a bad note because this world is a very SMALL place. You do not know who eventually you will need some time in the future and how being denied that particular thing by this same ‘ex friend’ of yours might cost you.

 

So if you are reading this, it is time to grow up and quit keeping grudges with people. It does not help anyone…in fact you keep hurting the more. Pick up a phone, call that person, text them, go to their house…whatever you can do in your power to bury the hatchet. If it works out fine..if it does not fine! At least you tried and God knows you did. It is THEIR loss not yours.. .

 

I hope this blessed someone. Thanks for reading and I hope you forgive or reach out to that friend today…Effective communication is KEY!

 

 

Have a blissful week ahead!

 

 

 

The Role Model Controversy

 

In our world today, one of the easiest ways to be referred to as a role model is to be popular on social media or a celebrity. So most times, when you ask young people who their role models are, you will hear names of actors, musicians, TV/Radio personalities, footballers among others.

 

Personally, I DO NOT have a role model…not that I do not have people I admire and would like to meet some day….of course a few come to mind which include Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai among others. But they are not my role models.

 

Now, let us look at the definition of a role model…’a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.’ A role model is normally a person who is believed to have built a good career for themselves to a point whereby they seem to influence a lot of people especially young people. The word ‘imitated‘ is what makes me a bit uneasy.

 

I believe that you always do not know the full story so you cannot authoritatively say you want to be like someone or you want to imitate their ways..because trust me, most times, you cannot walk half a mile in their shoes…meaning you love them and look up to them for their result or present and not necessarily the process. But who is to blame? Then I say, define who a role model is for yourself!

 

One other thing too is that many young people tend to idolise these human beings referred to as ‘role models’ and that is dangerous. The fact still remains these people no matter their achievements or awesomeness are still human beings and because of that are fallible! So, imagine your idolised role model does something really scandalous….because you put this person on a very high pedestal….you feel disappointed and whether you believe it or not it will have an effect on your person. Because it is like the most important person in your life is not who you thought they were…THEY HAVE FAILED YOU!

 

But remember the fact that they are your role model does not stop them from being human beings…They are NOT accountable to you for no reason whatsoever! Recently, a Ghanaian actress was heavily accused of having a child outside wedlock and among some of the comments I saw, some people expressed their disappointment that what kind of example is she teaching the younger generation for doing such bla bla bla…I was pissed to be honest…like how do you tell a full grown adult how to live their lives because they are supposed to be role models to the youth….They never called themselves role models in the first place….They just happened to have found themselves in a profession which puts them out there all the time…that does not mean they should stop LIVING!

 

Funny enough, put these same people fond of criticism in the spotlight and they will do all sorts of things yet castigate someone for not being ‘a proper role model‘ to the youth.

 

I am not saying do not have role models….but be careful how you place them in your lives before you end up being disappointed because they failed to live up to the expectations you have placed upon them. A role model should inspire you to be better or achieve your dreams and that ALONE should be their essence to you…How they choose to live their personal lives should not be your CUP OF TEA.

 

*ROLE MODELS NOT DEMI GODS*

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s blogpost. Let me know your thoughts! Happy new months in advance! Cheers to a fruitful August. 

 

 

Is Women Empowerment For Real?

 

I have had this conversation with my friend, Brenda, for a while now and yesterday I happen to have seen a post on Instagram addressing the same issue…The video was basically talking about the fact that most women empowerment programmes were a sham and added little or no value to women….

 

From a personal experience, I believe that most of these programs reinforce the saying ‘Talk is Cheap’. When it comes to ‘motivating’ or ‘encouraging’ people, many of the so-called ‘self-made’ females and those at the top can go and on and on for hours but at the end of the day….the impact is zero! What is the point of paying to attend a Women Empowerment Program when I will just be hearing the same old quotes of ‘Never Give Up‘, ‘Your Dreams are Valid‘. ‘When you eventually get to the top, send the elevator down‘ bla bla bla when you would not give these attendees tangible resources, referrals or connections to push them closer to their goals….

 

This is far from being entitled..because I know that could also creep in sometimes. However, I believe that you cannot call yourself a women empowerment advocate or anchor these programmes and then all you do is talk. Yes, sometimes people need motivational speeches and talks, but if that was just it, they could sit in their houses and watch tons of youtube videos or read books and then be fine. But for them to pay to attend an event means they want more…Even if it is for free, the time invested in attending that event should be considered. What opportunities can you create for them using your platform so they can pursue their dreams too? How can you connect them with people within your network who can advise them on different subject areas of interest? Until you have done these and even more, then you are not empowering anyone!

 

It is even very heart wrenching when I see some of these programs charge a lot of money especially considering the fact that it targets fresh graduates or university students…Must empowerment come with such a high price tag? Then at the end of the day, who are we really empowering? Only those who can afford? I have also seen some of these programs which are ‘strictly by invitation‘ and then I wonder….What is the point then if empowerment is not accessible to ALL? Why put restrictions and boundaries if we want to ensure that every young woman pursues their dreams and end up being an invaluable asset to society?

 

Moreover, I mostly see women in the same industry promoting the works of their female colleagues which is commendable. My only concern is from there what next? Do you actually pay to see their work? Do you actually talk about in secret the same way you do in public? Or you just want to fall under the category #womensupportingwomen and that is it. Anytime I hear that phrase that ‘Women are their own enemies‘ I kinda believe it. Why? Because it is a fellow woman who will knowingly date a married man, hence, causing another woman pain in her matrimonial home, a woman will troll her fellow woman because of a pic she put up on her social media platform and feel good about it. A woman will judge her fellow woman harshly in a case which involves a man without even thinking twice….Need I say more?

 

I believe we all need to do better…Women Empowerment should not just be a tag or a badge we wear so highly but an action we all should be ready to partake in…that is if we are so passionate about it!

 

Have an awesome week ahead. God Bless You All!

 

 

 

Acrimony, The Movie: My Thoughts

 

Just to put this here initially, this is not a ‘professional’ critique or a movie review but what I thought of the film and how it is applicable to real life. *I will try not to give too many spoilers for those who have not seen it yet*

 

So about a few months ago, I heard of a new movie titled Acrimony by Tyler Perry which of course stars the amazing Taraji P Henson (Cookie!!!). I am not really a fan of Hollywood movies (yes! I do African movies mostly Nollywood), but in the past year, I have enjoyed amazing Hollywood movies like Wonder Woman, Fences, Get Out, Hidden Figures, Spot light and Beauty and the Beast and series such as Empire, and Black Ish. 

 

 

Related image
Official Poster of Acrimony

 

 

Acrimony is a movie about a young girl who falls in love with a young man in college. At the beginning of their relationship, the young girl (Taraji’s character, Melinda) lost her mum and of course was vulnerable and in a very naive girl’ s way of healing or better put feeling loved, found solace in her boyfriend (Lyriq Bent’s character, Robert). This led her to make huge sacrifices for her new found love which included paying for the rest of his college fees (from her late mother’s will to her), putting her late mother’s house on sale to help them through the hard times, being the sole breadwinner for years whilst Robert was struggling to fund his Gayle Power force idea (essentially jobless)….. The last thing that broke the camel’s back was when Robert rejected an offer which could have helped their financial status at the moment….Melinda had been drained financially, physically, emotionally and all sorts and could not take it anymore…DIVORCE she wanted! Now, as unpredictable as life is, Robert finally got a huge deal for his Gayle Power Force innovation and hey, another woman was to enjoy all that he promised Roberta after all those years of suffering. Though heavily compensated, will Melinda have another woman ‘REAP’ where she did not sow?? Your guess is as good as mine!

 

Now, I know everyone will have their own interpretation of this but from my own point of view, I have always said it and will always stand by it that ‘Be careful how you interpret love to your beloved in terms of the sacrifices you make – You may never reap the way you expect to‘. What do I mean? First of all, Melinda started a relationship in college/university…at an age where she was probably still trying to find herself. Eventually, she found someone who probably came in just about the right time…she was grieving…needed someone to help her forget about what she was going through at the time (an escape from reality). Due to this, she was ever ready to do anything in her power to make that relationship work… Robert saw this and tapped into the riches her late mum had left her (call it helping but I see it as a smart man who did not want to waste chances, well not an entirely bad thing). Hear me out!

 

Personally, I would not disclose every personal bit about me especially at the early stages of a relationship…It is called WISDOM. I don’t know but they say Love makes people do foolish things but I think it is a personal choice to be foolish and not as a result of love…Loving someone does not mean be foolish.

 

In my honest opinion, Melinda was foolish and that was something that could have been easily dealt with from the very beginning..In fact, she would not even listen to her sisters (especially a broke ass nigga you are helping who cheated on you…and you go ahead to marry him? Ah well!)

 

Now, Robert, on the other hand, was not an entirely bad person…I mean nobody is entirely a BAD person, it depends on which angle or perspective you decide to look at them from. He initially had a dream of building a battery, Gayle Power force which will rake billions when he finally hits. I mean despite the horrible financial situation they found themselves in after their very early marriage, being at home all day whilst Melinda alone works two jobs, he still worked hard at this battery and at a time where their dream could materialise, he decided to reject an 800,000 dollar cheque believing that the idea was worth more than that! I mean how!!! Everyone around him was telling him to take it but headstrong he didn’t! I believe Robert is a victim of circumstance and although he could have saved his marriage there and then by taking that money (which meant losing his IP over the innovation) and then making other investments which could bring in more money, he weighed the pros and cons and still decided to hope for the best.

 

We have all been there…That time in your life when there is a very good deal on offer but you trust that you deserve better and as such decide to hope for the best instead of just taking what is hot at the moment. We cant categorically, say Robert made a mistake by suffering a divorce as a result of hoping for the best which he thinks is entitled to…And we cannot also say Melinda was wrong for not standing with him till his innovation raked in those billions hence translating to the life he always promised her. I believe at such critical stages everyone is entitled to their own decision and should be respected for that…of course, no matter how the consequences turn out, one should be willing to face it but this was not the same for Melinda,

 

The main reason, I do not encourage investing in a man especially in the early stages of a relationship is ‘there is always an expectation that, his plans are supposed to work out especially within a specified frame of time and when that does not happen, it only leads to anger, bitterness, regret and all sorts just like in the case of Melinda’. What if this man decides to move on after he blows or you probably decide to move on too…what if, just what if…The expectations….always bring the problems…

 

In the case of Melinda, she got compensated for all she spent on Robert (a cheque) but of course, she lost him to another woman coupled with all the other things she dreamt of enjoying with him…She then realized another woman will be reaping off her investments…Not possible! She had to fight back and oh she diiidd!! But to what end? You need to watch to find out for yourself!

 

I can go on and on but things like these happen most times in societies and I have heard similar stories. My thing is just do not invest in any man or even woman with the expectation that you are entitled to his or her money or having the person to yourself for the rest of their lives. This is life! People grow up, realize they want better, decide to move on…whatever….Just do not put all your eggs in one basket to avoid stories that TOUCH! #invesatyourownrisk, ‘investwithouttoomuchexpectations, #irrespectiveof everythingnobodyowesyouanything.

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post. Have you seen the movie? What do you think of it? Who was right, who was wrong? If you were Melinda would you feel cheated? If you were Robert how would deal with the whole situation? Did you like how the movie ended? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

 

I have actually thought of doing movie reviews too..because I watch a lot of movies actually, well Nollywood movies…so maybe I would. Watch this space!

 

 

 

 

What Feminism is Really About (My Thoughts)

 

When Feminism is mentioned, I am sure one person, in particular, comes to mind….the Great Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. From a distance I have admired her and happened to listen to some of her TED Talks…the popular ones namely The Danger of a Single Story’ and ‘We Should All Be Feminists‘.

 

 

Image result for feminism

 

 

Now, I know in as much as this woman is genuinely loved by many, of course there a lot of others who hate her including women who mostly think her views on feminism are too extreme…and that she is just a sadist or looking for cheap attention…Fair enough.

 

Over the past few weeks I read three of her books including ‘We Should All Be Feminists‘, ‘The Thing Around Your Neck‘ and ‘Dear Ijeawale or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions‘. I am yet to read her other popular books which include Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus, and Americanah but regarding those I have read so far, my favorite has to be ‘Dear Ijeawale or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions‘. This is because, in my opinion, it summarises everything that has got to do with feminism.

 

The sad thing is many people including women think to be a feminist means you hate men, hate marriage or just being a rebel to all the laid down rules in our patriarchal society.

 

In the said book, Chimamanda outlines different scenarios whereby a woman is either subdued or told to do or not to do certain things just because it might scare men away (the notion that marriage is a woman’s ultimate achievement in life baffles me). For instance, she mentions a lady she knows who would not drive her nice car and would not live in her posh house just because it will make her seem unattractive or threaten a man. In her own words, ‘a man that is threatened by my achievements is the kind of man I do not want‘. Apt!

 

Another instance is…in my local parlance there is a word young girls are normally referred to known as ‘Aketesia‘ which literally means ‘Cover and hide your body for your future husband‘. This is a good thing because it encourages chastity..however, it is not the same for a young man. In fact, it is mostly applauded when a young man has numerous girlfriends but when a girl at a certain age is even seen talking to boys who are probably friends, she is tagged as a whore…In the case where a girl gets pregnant out of wedlock, she is shamed heavily forgetting that she did not have sex with herself, you then wonder, what about the guy she committed fornication with?… Our society is filled with double standards and it is just sickening….and the danger is we are so used to it that when someone (like Chimamanda) decides to rise up against these stereotypes she’s tagged all sorts of names.

 

Recently, she came under heavy backlash for saying that opening a door for a woman should not be done on the basis of seeing the woman as the weaker sex. The truth is, most people are so used to their ways of thinking and do not even want to assimilate information before giving their own opinions…hell no, some people will not even watch the full video but immediately they see a twisted caption from those bloggers who want traffic on their blogs they join others who are either frustrated or just feel the urge to insult and then do the needful.

 

The truth is we all live in a misogynistic society and we can only try to spark these conversations but then if the same women being fought for are castigating the same person airing those thoughts that they might probably have but do not have the courage to voice out…then we have a LONG WAY TO GO.

 

The truth is feminism has always been there…way back…In fact, Chimamanda mentioned that her great-grandmother was a feminist. I think many people have just started becoming vocal about it these days and it is a good start.

 

When I say I am a feminist (which as far as I am concerned has different types but I will stick to the one that I can easily identify with). I am saying I want to be treated like my male counterparts and not be shamed for the same things they are praised for…I am not saying I want to be like a man because no matter how I try I will always be a woman and a man will always be a man. However, I am saying I should not be shamed for not wanting marriage or being disrespected in a marriage and enduring all forms of abuse in it just because it is assumed I am some type of nonliving thing that has no feelings or I want to please society. If I so desire to have a child with a man and not get married, I should not be dragged to hell and back because I decided to drift from the societal norm of getting married and having babies. I want to be in control of who I have sexual intercourse with and how many. I should not be shamed for satisfying my own sexual desires when the men in question are praised for being MEN because after all, they are MEN. I should be allowed to compete with men in competitions and not be doubted for just being a different gender. In a boardroom filled with men, I should be judged based on my intellectual capacity and what I BRING TO THE TABLE and not based on my gender or whether I am capable of being there or having doubts as to whether I got there through my intellectual ability or ‘sleeping my way through’. When a position is available and I qualify and my male counterpart does not, I should not be cheated out of it with the excuse that it is a man’s world or a woman cannot lead a group of men or whatever but rather be given that opportunity because I earned it and deserve it.

 

The next time as a man or woman you feel the urge to trash feminism, think of a world whereby yourself, your daughters or the women in your generation will continually be oppressed just because they are labeled as an unfortunate or a weaker sex…as if being a woman is an abomination. Let me chip this in here, I know some people misconstrue what feminism is and misinterpret it to disrespect men or not having any regard for them which is NOT what it is about

 

Feminism says YES to Inclusivity and NO to discrimination against women.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have a blessed week and Stay tuned for more