Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ending 2013 with Praise, To Be Continued 2014!

Hello Blogfam, How did the Yuletide Season go for you? Hope it was a time of reconciliation, reunion and joyful times in church and with family and friends for you.

I've been keeping secrets from you Blogfamily.

Remember my first post of last year 'Grateful'? Remember this bit:

"My 2013 pact with God is that I am going to have a baby. All I ask is that He sends the perfect accessories. Amen!"

Well, when God wants to answer prayers, He really does it, and perfectly too.

Something borrowed (Edo bride beads), Something bumpy :)

The Igbankwu requirements. Them yams were almost as tall as me!

I had a big smile throughout the day. lol

Mom and Dad bless Us

I'm going to remove the pictures later today. Hope you understand. Please do not repost any pix without my expressed agreement.

Will write about how it all went down in next post. I am also happy to answer questions from blog readers if any :).

But more than anything Come praise God with me!!!!!.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blogging Anonymously or Publicly

This blogging daily business is haaard!! MsTizzle inspires and shames me in equal measure lol. Keep it up dear gal!

I found Nutty Jay’s last post about pros and cons of going public as a blogger quite interesting.

I think that’s one question most of us battle with at some stage in our blogging journey. To do or not to do?
Two things you might like to consider before you pull the mask:

Can you defend the words/views/opinions you have written?
I blog semi-anonymously and I’m perfectly satisfied with that. If my friends IRL/family get to discover my blog, I would have no qualms because there’s no word/opinion written by me on my blog that I cannot stand by. Disclaimer of course is that as a human being, my opinions can and WILL change due to ‘new knowledge being brought to light’/’a lived experience’ etc. Life is all about change innit?
One becomes a fraud when you live a life different from what you preach.

Have you written things that could affect other lives/future jobs?
Some of us have broken the confidentiality of family/friends/employers/customers in our blogs. You need to be aware of legal/economic consequences of being found out. 

Is it really necessary?
Or are you giving in to pressure from readers and friends. Readers are curious and won't mind putting a face to this person that writes so wonderfully..yet that doesn't make it necessary for you to satisfy them. If you want to start off a sort of business or turn your blog into a money making one linked to some sort of business/cause, then you may need to increase your fans' confidence by revealing yourself.  
Personally I’m not prepared to do that jare. Let the two communities remain apart. Like T-Note said in a comment on said post "The world is much too much of a noisy place to indulge free access to every side of you".

“Let the two communities remain apart”. 
As I write that, I pause and wonder what's the difference between these communities? Virtual difference? 
Not really. 
Lines have blurred over time. One can't keep sharing intimate details about yourself with strangers without a concomitant bond between similar souls. Its cosmic. Some of us have become fast friends offline. 
And even if an offline relationship exists not, it doesn't reduce the sense of sister/brotherhood blogging gives. A feeling I don't share with 80% of Facebook friends (mostly ex-school friends).

Blogging gives me the best of both worlds, an opportunity to write unbridled and enjoy a unique clique of friends.

The personal journeys we share, these are the stories we don’t see on social media. The heartaches/successes stories behind the ‘My life is so wonderful” updates on Facebook/Instagram.
That is why I find it easier to rejoice with friends on blogsville. And I didn't need to see your face to make it more legit. 
If I’ve followed your personal journey (as much of it as you have seen fit to share) and tomorrow you blog about vacations, promotions etc, rejoicing with you comes much more naturally because I know where you're coming from (Of course I don’t mean there must be  'suffering' to validate to success stories. But we do agree that real life, is not roses, is it? for most of us anyway).

I have been enriched by blogging. I don’t know how people can say they wanna stop. I keep thinking what will make me stop? 
Never say never anyway. 
Maybe one day I will run out of words. Maybe one day my life will become so perfect/busy that blogging becomes a bore. But I can’t imagine disappearing and not keeping up with what is happening with you’ll.  Dollchic is a great example of a ‘retired blogger’ lol.

I call you friends cause you are my friends.

Thanks for the comments in last post. I feel greatly loved :) Mwah! Mwah!

p.s. I have told my family and close friends about my blog but It didn't 'wow them' like I thought (hides face). It was sort of like 'Oh you do?' Cool!. They check it out once or twice every quarter, and that's it lol. Overrated!

p.p.s. I have grown into the name Ginger and don't even feel a need to change it to my real name. Maybe I should just legitimise it? :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy November and What Ginger Did Last Month

Hey Blog family

God bless you all. I’m back J

Happy November to y’all. The year is briskly marching to the end isn’t it? How do you feel about the last quarter? Got any plans you are working through to ensure that 2013 ends with a hurray? God’s blessings on your effort, Amen!!

I thought of challenging myself to 30 days of blogging last month but instead ended up without a post all month. Sigh…Prism and Okeoghene I am following your lead oo!
November is the National Blog Posting Month – NaBloPoMo, so watch out!

Nigeria was 53 years a month ago. Did you celebrate it? My sister said I should try and join the activities in Nigeria house  *confused face*. For what na? To eat jollof-rice or what? Another time biko. But I did offer a prayer for my country. E must better!!

My eldest sis was in the UK this past month. Half of it with spent with me in Milton Keynes. It was a wonderful wonderful time for catching up on family and personal gist. I must admit that I was quite surprised at the renewed bonding. I have been a disappointment to her for so long (she isn’t happy with my career progress etc) that I dreaded her visit.
But rather than it being a period of recrimination, we actually got to understand each other better. We shared some of our challenges which improved understanding and cleared some long term friction that had built up (mostly on my part. I don’t think she noticed, just playing her big sister role lol).
We had fun mostly - except for the times I had to spend calming her paranoia. She has been so groomed by all the news and stories she reads about psychopathic neighbours, murderers in the wood, etc, that I spent an inordinate amount of time calming her fears about my neighbours lol. I also loved cooking for them and in turn loved coming back from work to meet a ready meal or some treat.

Big Sis used to get irritated at my ‘thankful politeness’ to sales persons, cab drivers, bus drivers, seeing it as a sign of ‘colonial subservience’ I think. I tried to make her see that it was just UK culture. Yes, I know I paid for the service but I am thankful that it was a mutually satisfying experience/exchange. She, on the other hand is a product of Nigerian culture where thanks and gratitude are usually one directional - from the bottom to the top.

My Sis loves shopping, especially the flexible refund policy. 60% of clothes bought get to be returned the next day. After showing her the way to the shopping malls in Milton Keynes central and Bletchley, I happily excused myself. Shopping is exhausting abeg!

I loved showing them around Milton Keynes or Ginger’s little village as they called it. It was an opportunity for me to get to know my way around MK too. We went to the Cinema on take two Thursday and saw Les Miserables (first time for her, second time for me). And yes, I cried again. My tears greatly amused her ‘like maka why lol.

The Sisters and DBF got to meet. And because DBF’s mom was around, they got to meet too. Mini introductions?? Lips sealed.

In other news, it was alarming if not depressing to hear about Boko Haram’s fatal attacks on school students again. The last one is the 3rd one in 4months if I am not mistaken. GEJ’s response to this issue leaves a lot to be desired. A LOT!!
I would also wish that Media houses and Journalists put more about putting faces to these tragedies. Don’t these children have faces photographs? This number business just dehumanizes them. Let the Nation and President Goodluck be looking at the faces of the lives lost to his inaction. Maybe it will make him think of his own sons.

The recent Air tragedies and the way they are being handled leave a lot to be desired from the Aviation Ministress and all stakeholders.  
May the Souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.

Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of COZA Ministries has it seems, proven that Silence is Golden. He is still winning with his congregation while Ese Walters will be remembered as the woman who dared to call a Man of God to order. Only in Nigeria.

What’s with Naija celebrities and ‘vacation picutres’? Thanking God the spate of vacation picturing is over!! The thing tired me o. When you want to copy, copy well na. I look at Beyonce’s vacation pictures (beach/swimmimg/fun) and I look at Ini Edo (pix inside plane, on the stairs of some non-descript hotel). Seven Up!
No it’s not about the luxury of a yacht. It is the fact that you see a couple actually having a holiday. Letting their hair down. Doing fun things. The glorious sea background only added to it.

Still on celebrity gossip, Ive not been able to get Omotola Jalade’s interview with Sunday Telegraph’s Stella Magazine off my mind. Talk about damning with faint praise. I’m torn between chuckling at the interviewer’s use of words and feeling bad for her. Then again, any publicity is better than none in the celebrity world so my sympathy might not be needed.
The saddest bit was her not realizing she was being had...there was this gauche innocence/pseudo confidence in her responses…..or maybe it didn’t seem like that during the interview
“The biggest film star you never heard of scores a zero on the Hollywood richter scale”.
“Big body, big hair, big personality, big laugh..she comes across like Oprah’s sister”
About Nollywood movies – “histrionic acting combines with often ludicrous plot lines”
Plots “akin to half cooking food to feed impatient mouths and the results feel like first drafts”
And her simpering – “I actually got scared and nearly called the police” at her near mobbing in a nearby Tesco (In Peckham maybe?). I have no beef with her being recognized but that mention of Tesco was soo not de riguer. Lol. Why not at Harrods? Okay I am a wannabe snob. Sue me.
I noticed the interviewer mentioned that Omotola kept em waiting ‘the big superstar delay’. Bingo. Me thinks that is why he served her up on a hot dish. Most Western journalists are not nice to celebrities who don’t respect their time. Anyway, its still a feather in her cap so Congratulations. It isn’t easy.

A big shout out to BlogMom Linda Medrano (hope you get well soon), Style Enthusiast, JustJoxy, Angel’s beauty, Atilola, Congratulations to new Mom Lucidlilith and her cute baby boy Turtilla (named by me), Belated Birthday wishes Myne (thumbs up on your dedication to raising Awareness about domestic violence in October!), Nwunye, Toinlicious (please no pounded yam stories this month lol), latest New Yorker MsTizzle, Meg of Nanny Goat in Panties (her recent post reminds me of how a blogging enriches lives), Jayne, Harry Itie, Cherry Chatter, Sisi Yemmie (pls lets help her and Yomi win My big Nigerian Wedding with our votes), Good Naija Girl (Congrats on another year of Naija Blog awards), Oroque, Le Proffeseur (where is he?), Da-Grumbler, Air Mecca, my followers both the old and the latest members, THANK YOU!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Marry Me Review

Hey Blogfam,
How has your weekend been? A poster on Romance Meets Life asking readers to help her choose between two wonderful men (sic) who want to marry her reminded me of Lucy Liu in the TV miniseries Marry Me. 

Till date Marry Me ranks as one of my absolute favourite romantic comedies. It was romance with a capital R infused with Comedy with a capital C topped with smart dialogue and a happily ever after ending that leaves a smile on your face for days after.
Too much praise Ginger? Sue me lol. I have willingly mostly deliberately re-watched it about 5times now and believe me that’s a feat for me. I rarely watch movies twice cause I am scared they will lose their magic on second watch (case in point, the movies Avatar and Titanic) but this one hasn’t.
Think of it like your favourite ice cream flavour. You don’t mind experimenting with other flavors but it is your default when you just want the familiar. 

Cast: Lucy Liu, Steven Pasquale, Bobby Cannavale, Enrique Murciano, Vanessa Marano and Annie Potts. 
Plot - Rae Carter (Lucy Liu) is a social worker who just ended a 3 year old relationship when her frog-loving boyfriend chose to pursue a Frog project than put a ring on it. But within weeks/months she had gone from being 'The Dumped' to 'The Pursued' by not one but 3 ardent suitors.
Luke – An architect and the quintessential boy next door. Introduced to Rae by the family pastor, he knew what he wanted from the start, but could he make Rae see it?
Harry –  Luke’s best friend, the quintessential fairy tale prince, handsome, charming, rich as Croesus. He makes Rae rediscover her potentials.
Adam –  The frog loving boyfriend who realized her true worth when she walked out of his life and is now determined (with a capital D) to win her love.
The real deal is obvious to the viewers from the beginning but I guess if you were in the thick of it, you might be as indecisive as Rae cos my o my! The other two were serious temptations!! The first time I watched it, I was loudly casting and binding MFM style, even as I was sighing at the romance of it all lol.

The Good bits
Lucy Liu ably held her own in this movie - as a career woman who dreams of being swept off her feet, yet she is able to present her aspirations in a way which doesn’t make them seem incongruent. You also couldn’t help but love her warmth and her sense of style (she was figure/picture perfect from start to finish) and her chemistry with the rest of the cast lit up each scene.
The supporting characters were also exceptional from the best friend (where is the heroine without a best friend), her work colleagues, her crazy southern family, and the precocious teenager Imogen (Vanessa Imogen) her runaway court ward which was the icing on the cake. Their problems were real and intriguing enough but never detracted the viewer from Rae’s pursuit of romance.
You just couldn’t help but root for happily ever after for everyone.

Lastly the movie is in two parts, running into a total of 3hrs. Make sure you leave enough time to watch both at same time unless you’ll be grizzly till part 2.

Bad bit - 
This movie is escapism at its best. And there is nothing wrong with that, Thank you :).

p.s. Some kind person uploaded the movie on Youtube. The picture quality isn't the best but if I've got you curious, then you might just check it out :))

Have you seen Marry Me? Tell me what you think of it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Why is My Marital Status Your Business?

Recent conversation with a male friend.

Friend: How is your bf or fiance?

ME: He is fine, thank you

Friend: Okayyyyy oooooo

ME: We will join your group soon, Amen.

Friend: We still dey hope

ME: lol. Maybe you should encourage me. tell me 5 reasons why it is to my advantage to marry.
JAMB question. 

Friend: There are three stages in life - green horn, matured, Spent

ME: ha

Friend: You don’t need any reason to marry. What stage are u?

ME: Haba. see Nigerian answering question with question

Friend: You can be 50 and u still prefer to be called a green horn

ME: Exactly!

Friend: It depends on you.....and u can be 26 and you wanna be referred to as a veteran

ME: Okay. how does that answer my question?

Friend: Marriage makes you responsible for the life of another or other people directly, it is a true test of your womanhood.
its either u embrace it or chicken out!

ME: SO. Cant believe that's your reason hopefully that applies to men too??

Friend: Just advising u, its not necessarily my reason

ME: and secondly, many unmarried ones give their lives to raising siblings and other people's children. so they are not women cause they are not married?

Friend: Its the next phase of your life you need to embark upon whether u like it or not......or else u can make up any excuse not to
Its part of human development
as far as u never remained an infant for 30 somthing years
its part of growing up
bikonu...enuf English for this fb sef
it applies to everybody, but the good News is that.....not everyone is destined to get married some prefer to be gay, lesbian.....etc so that means there is tendency to be inequality in the marital cycle.

ME: I hear you.

Chat Conversation End

This friend of mine just got married recently. I had asked the question about advantages of getting married expecting to hear him wax lyrical about the joys of getting married as experienced by him, not to hear him tell me I haven't passed the womanhood test. 
How many single eager-to-be married ladies are out there? Where are the men who should be passing their manhood test by making a commitment?
As you can see, he left the convo in a huff. For what na? My unrepentant unmarried self was annoying him?
Or Is there another interpretation to this I am missing?

At work, i am surrounded by 24-26year old females who are ambitiously saving up to make a mortgage paydown and own their first home - with or without a husband.
Here i am, unable to carry out a mature conversation with a male peer without it being about my marital status. smh

Friday, September 6, 2013

Benefits of Sex. Go Get Some Now ;)

Hey BlogFam,

I’m still recovering from Ms Sting’s post on Sunday about famed black Hero and Anti-racism Crusader Martin Luther King’s womanizing ways.
To say it struck at my belief in man’s goodness is an understatement. But I have myself to blame I guess, for daring to think that mere matter how famous or heroic or evangelical is infallible.
Only God is infallible Ginger. Look up to him. Amen!!

But I won’t lie all the talk about Sen. Weiner’s sexting, COZA Pastor Bimbo, Bill Clinton, Sanusi Lamido sort of just faded into insignificance. Ok not insignificance but I had this fatalistic attitude of….. Why bother?! Its genetic/evolution/preordained. Lets just learn to separate the Hero from the Penile control challenged man (apt acronym from Naijalines).

Discussing it with my girlfriend. she said times have changed now. That in today’s world he wouldn’t have gotten away with it. Maybe. But we still have the Al Gore’s. John Major’s. Jesse Jackson’s. Media and people seem to turn a blind eye to ‘seemingly lack of penile control’ only when it suits us, making those that get caught and actually pay for their sins - Weiner for example -  ‘unlucky’ not more guilty.

Anyway an interesting point was raised by Da Grumbler in answer to my rhetoric question “What is it about male leaders and sex? I guess all that testosterone needs release” on Sting’s page.

He answered ”@Ginger, I think you need to read "Think and Grow Rich" By Napoleon Hill. There is a chapter in it which he talks about the power of sex especially when that power is transmuted. It sure explains a lot why "LEADERS" have always been caught in sex scandals.....LMAO”.

I haven’t read Think and Grow Rich but I have read Napoleon Hill thoughts on the Power of Sex in a book I came across recently Outwitting the Devil. I had planned to blog about it sometime lol. Thought it was an interesting read. Anywho, let me share the salient bits.

Napoleon Hill emphasized throughout his writings that the person who is not master of himself can never be master of others.
And control of self starts by mastering 3 appetites responsible for most Indiscipline:
1. Desire for food
2. Desire for expression of sex
3. Desire to express loosely organized opinions (Wonder what he would say about new age social media lol)
When man becomes master of theses 3 appetites, he has developed enough self-discipline to conquer easily those of lesser importance.

What he says about Mastering sex
Sex is one of the greatest of all forces which motivate humans. Because of that it is also one of the most dangerous forces. If humans could control their sex desires and transmute them into driving force with which to carry on their occupation – that is if they spent on their work one half of the time they dissipate in pursuit of sex, they would never know poverty. (or impeachment or blackmail)
All great leaders in every walk of life are highly sexed but they follow the habit of controlling their sex desires by switching them into a driving force behind their occupation. By the time we remove present great leaders with sex scandals behind them, tell me who is left?

Benefits of Sex
#1. Controlled sex supplies the magnetic force that attracts people to one another. It is the most important factors of a pleasing personality.
#2. It serves to give motive power to one’s desires
#3. It sharpens the imagination and enables one to create useful ideas
#4. It is a great antidote for all fear
#5. It gives one immunity against procrastination
#6. It gives one physical and mental endurance while undergoing any form of opposition or defeat.
#7. It gives one the fighting qualities necessary under all circumstances for self defense
In brief, it makes winners not quitters.

And I might add that medical research indirectly supports the above:
Regular sex has the same benefits as regular exercise. It increases the flow of certain chemicals that naturally boost and strengthen the immune system, improves cholesterol levels, stimulates circulation, invigorates the heart, diminishes the intensity of pain -- especially in migraines and chronic arthritis -- may reduce PMS symptoms, and releases endorphins, which simply make you feel good :).

Advantages are plenty it seems and when I remember movies like The Gladiator, The Odyssey, 300, Troy #4, #6 and #7 are believable.
So Da Grumbler I see where you’re coming from lol. It does seem plausible BUT,

I prefer to believe Napoleon Hill meant ….. in the right place, time and with the right person not indiscriminate, dishonorable sexing please.

Disclaimer – Whatever you get up to this weekend, don’t put the blame on me. I did not send you message!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Do Not Come To You By Chance Review

I finally read my copy of ‘I do not come to you by chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. Wonder why it took me so long!!

I was so caught up in the plot that I didn’t want to get to the end, yet I was very curious to know the fate of the protagonists.
Adaobi sure told a damn good yarn.
I laughed, I cringed, I sighed. The background was an environment I knew intimately having grown up in Aba. The Mbamalu family were my neighbours, my cousins. Cash Daddy? We knew a few.

I loved the intimate views Ms Nwaubani gave us of the inner workings and flamboyant lives of 419 kingpins in the 90s. I don’t think they live like that anymore thanks to EFCC and international crime collaborations.
Who thinks like me that 419 kingpins have been replaced by politicians? And I doubt that for some, if not most, their intimate lives differ much.

Gotta say that the image of Cash Daddy sat atop the loo doing the doo, while his assistants and lackeys stand outside the open toilet door, taking notes, inhaling that air, listening to those boborygmic noises without cracking a grimace is one that will stick with me for a very looong time. Smh!!

It may have seemed like Adaobi Nwaubani painted an overly sympathetic view of a fraudster. I mean the way it happened with Kingsley, the poverty and urgency of events made it all plausible. However isn’t that how things happen sometimes? Especially with health when you are thinking life or death. School fees, Child birth, a Death, Hunger. (think prostitution. Think theft)

‘There go I but for his grace” John Bradford.

Kingsley could have easily been my brother if circumstances were different. In the 90s, his best friends (2 cousins) lived with an Uncle in Aba who was involved in 419. My brother used to come back with tales of Ghana-must-go bags filled with forex idling on passageways.
I was so worried for my brother that my prayers intensified over him. Confession – to think my 16yr old self used to fancy one of the cousins (the taller darker one lol) yet I knew I didn’t want my brother involved with them.
I used to scrutinize my brother’s behavior/wardrobe/activities – was he spending more money than usual, buying more clothes, has he stopped borrowing money from me lol – to gauge his involvement with them. Nay, he remained the same brokeass brother I had always known.
My parents weren’t as worried (they didn’t know). We knew their scathing opinion of people who were involved in such fraudulent activities, waxing lyrical about ‘how a good name was better than gold’.
But I remember when the son of a close family friend gburu ozu (hit it, struck gold, don’t ask me joo) and within 3 months bought new cars for his parents, renovated their home in the village, bought a townhouse for the family and generally turned the family’s fortunes around. My parents are human. I am human. I looked at my dad’s red 504 Peugeot car which he had bought 3 years before I was born and wondered if it would have been so bad if my brother had ‘worked’ with his friends for at least 6 months then smartly retired with his loot.

“There go I but for His Grace”.

There are four other personal commentaries I’d like to make on Tricia Nwaubani’s book:

1. The imagery Tricia painted of the Nigerian society albeit a microcosm (Umuahia/Aba), was it much different from Tim Newman’s? Or was it cause it was a novel so we decided to treat it as fiction or maybe cause it was written by a daughter of the soil we had less objection.
It also made me think of the strong role poverty has to play in the morality of a society.
How can you expect the family, community who have genuinely obtained help in their time of need from these ‘familial fraudsters’ ever have the heart to turn against them? Despite Kingsley’s mother’s rejection of 419, do you think she could ever condemn Cash Daddy publicly after he came to her late husband’s aid? I doubt it. So to Tim Newman, sometimes there lies your answer when you ask why the fraudulent Officer/politician/peer isn’t roundly condemned. You can’t point one finger without the rest 4 pointing back at you.

2. I remember the furore over Ms Nwaubani’s article about helps in Nigeria. Having read her book which was published at least 2 years before that article, I wonder now why there was surprise. Did we not observe that the helps in “I do not come to you by chance” were regarded as subs? There was even a reference to “one’s feral smell” which had irked most readers in her article – yet they were there in her book. Take a look at Cash Daddy who by right was actually a stepbrother to Augustina. Yet he was treated as badly. He was there at their benevolence. An opportunity he was expected to be grateful.  
I have seen similar attitude often in real life.

3. This book has made me further ambivalent about 419 victims with the EXCEPTION of victims of confidence tricksters - those who believed in a ‘reasonably genuine offer’ and were defrauded with the tiny print (oyibo type 419) and Single/lonely/old/young men and women whose hearts were preyed on.
But for the rest, those who fall for ‘barely legal deals’ cause they can see the chance of making 300% profit for doing nothing at all, I wonder if I should feel sympathy for them? “A fool and his money are soon parted innit?”. Shrug.
***This does not mean that I don’t believe 419ers deserve punishment. They definitely do. For their predatory behavior, the chicanery and forgery they promote and just for their sheer nuisance value. If I got a pound for every scam mail that comes to my mailbox I will be Croesus.

4. I am ashamed to confess that I marvelled at Merit’s rejection of Kingsley when she found out he was a fraudster. I found myself batting for his side and thinking she was too tough. I hoped she will forgive and reconsider cause he really had a ‘good heart’ - inspite of his cruel 419 activities.
I lay the blame at Tricia’s door for that temporary lapse in judgment. She manipulated my brain joo.

The twist at the end was definitely unexpected! Left me chuckling and thinking that indeed ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same’.
Aluta Continua!
I applaud Tricia Nwaubani’s talent as a writer especially her ability to create characters who were truly multidimensional. They were very human (kind/wicked/selfish/loving) in their struggles. I admired, loved and hated Kingsley, Cash Daddy, Augustina, Ola, Merit in equal parts at frequent intervals.
Contrast this with Nollywood’s one dimensional characters and you’ll understand what I mean. 

I look forward to reading more from you Ms Nwaubani. Pls, don’t be a one hit wonder!!

While reading some reviews about the book, I noticed many Oyibos critic its grammar or should I say patois. Abegi, Nigerian English has come to stay. Get over yourselves.

Next on my reading list – Sue Townsend’s Queen and I or Chimmy’s Americanah?

minnie minnie mannie more…


Monday, August 26, 2013

The Abuser and The Abused

Hey people,
Kedu nu? I’ve been fine. Hope you have too. A lot has been on my plate in recent times and I wish I could share. But all in good time. Just say a lil prayer for me ok? Mwah. I will for you too.

So I’ve been following all the hot gist on the media waves. Lola Makinde Wedding story (Intriguing!). DesertSun’s Nigerian experience (Depressingly true), Ms. Kola who doesn’t want to come back to Nigeria (errr 160,000,000 – 1? Sai gobe) and Ese Walter’s tale of pastoral sexual abuse. Sigh

I’ll just take some time to throw some light on this notion of abused/victim and Abuser which it seems many objected to in her narrative.

Sexual exploitation is any form of sexual contact or invitation to sexual contact, with an adult by a professional person, cleric or anyone in a position of authority, trust or power over that adult whether or not there is consent from the individual . . . Meaningful consent for sexual activity is not possible in a fiduciary relationship.

Can clergy sexual activity ever be consensual on the part of the victim?  No!  The power differential in the relationship automatically puts the priest/reverend/deacon in the position of power. Therefore, there can never exist a true mutually consensual agreement.

Clergy misconduct of a sexual nature (clergy sexual misconduct) is about power - power which is abused through sexualized behavior. It is always the PASTOR'S responsibility to ensure that appropriate boundaries are experienced in the pastor-congregant relationship.

Clergy misconduct is a grave injustice toward another person and an entire religious community. It is a power issue. A sacred trust is violated.

*Fiduciary duty refers to the responsibility of licensed caregivers (doctors, therapists, lawyers, social workers, etc.) to "do no harm."  Society's expectation of these caregivers is that they will attend to the needs of those in their care.
Ministers, pastors, priests and rabbis are often the first choice for those seeking emotional as well as spiritual assistance.  Their role as counselors gives them fundamentally the same responsibility to those in their care as therapists have to their current or former clients.

And this is why Clergy business has become Court business.

Not all countries have laws to deal with Sexual misconduct among the clergy but it is important to note that in places where such a law exists, example Arkansas in the United States, consensuality is not a defense.
           5-14-126. Sexual assault in the third degree.
(a) A person commits sexual assault in the third degree if the person [is]:
(B) A professional under Ark. Code Ann. 12-12-507(b) or a member of the clergy and is in a position of trust or authority over the victim and uses the position of trust or authority to engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity…
(2) (b) It is no defense to a prosecution under this section that the victim consented to the conduct.

Ms. Walter detailed the events that led up to the sexual encounter in London. Becoming a new Church member. Joining the hierarchy of workers. Receiving special attention from the Pastor. Moving to London. Mail exchanges. How many of us would not have done with she did for the Bishop?
Booking him a cab.
Making a hotel booking.
Wouldn’t you feel honored that he has entrusted you to such…knowing you can’t be the only church member in London?
How many would have thought it untoward to meet up with this respected Pastor.
When you meet him and he holds on to that handshake for seconds longer than necessary, or maybe embraces you or touches your arms, many of you would automatically think…hmmm something fishy here.
Yet, think the way you would have reacted if this were your co-worker, your classmate – your equal. You would have immediately recognized the breach of boundaries.
But with an older person, a boss, an old family friend, a clergy you keep pushing back those reactions because..haba he is a pastor. He is respected. He is a Man of God. You might even ask God to forgive you for daring to think your holy pastor was capable of this.
Now the pastor on his part, remember did not send for you by chance. He has it all planned out. He has been grooming you in his mind. He has an idea of how strong/streetwise etc you are. After all you had passed the initial tests by doing all the above service for him. So he knows you have a healthy respect/fear for him/his office.
He thus continues to test how far he can go. “Come sit on my laps” he asks. You sit (still wondering why).
He lightly strokes the breast. You squirm and hope that was a mistake. He does it again. You squirm again. He puts his hand on your laps.

Na so handshake dey pass elbow. Before you know it, you and your pastor are playing the “No bishop”, “Yes my dear” game.

Now we wonder “Why didn’t Ese storm out of the room?”.
Well, same way you have women who stay in battered relationships for years. And you have those that jump ship at the first raising of hands.
Blame it on women's socialization to be polite, nonconfrontational and accepting of men's behavior, Blame it on culture, Blame it on self esteem lack, blame it on lack of awareness.
That is why some manage to escape like Franca and some become victims like Ese. And they shouldn’t be judged any less for it. That is why laws are made, to protect those who can’t/couldn’t protect themselves.
I applaud Ese’s bravery in telling her story knowing the stigma and ridicule that will come with it. She might not get her day in court because I doubt that Nigeria has evolved to enact such laws (who will bell the cat?!).
But I don’t think that’s even what she is asking for.

All she asks is that he steps down from his earthly church throne albeit temporarily, make restitution to those he has hurt and GET HEALED HIMSELF before he continues his pastoral work.


Lastly, I saw this comment online and I quote “The time has come for each of us who sincerely follow the teachings of Christ to speak out concerning the proper loving actions we should have toward our brothers and sisters and against what can only be described as bad religion”.

What do you think?
p.s. Check out these interesting articles on Pastoral Sexual Abuse - Soul Stealing
Also 11 Reasons why Pastors should never date their parishioners



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