Saturday, July 30, 2011

Two very contrasting reactions..

Why Women Are So Special.

Mum and Dad were watching TV when Mum said, "I'm tired, and it's getting late. I think I'll go to bed."
She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches.
Rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper the following evening, checked the cereal box
levels, filled the sugar container, put spoons and bowls on the table and started the coffee pot for brewing the next morning.
She then put some wet clothes in the dryer, put a load of clothes into the washer, ironed a shirt and secured a loose button.
She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom. She pulled a text book out from hiding under the chair. 
She wrote a quick note for the grocery store. She put it near her bag.
Mum then washed her face with 3 in 1 cleanser, put on her Night Solution & age fighting moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth.
Dad called out, "I thought you were going to bed."
"I'm on my way," she said.
She put some water into the dog's dish and put the cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked and the outside light was on.
She looked in on each of the kids and turned out their bedside lamps and radios, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into the hamper, and had a brief conversation with the one up still doing homework.
In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the next day, straightened up the shoe rack.
She added three things to her 6 most important things to do list.
She said her prayers, and visualized the accomplishment of her goals.

About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one in particular. "I'm going to bed." And he did...Without another thought.
Anything extraordinary here? Wonder why women live longer...?'CAUSE THEY ARE MADE FOR THE LONG HAUL....(and they can't die sooner, they still have things to do!!!!)

Call me feminist but a girlfriend got this on her bb yesterday and she went "Awww, this is soo cute, Ginger let me forward it to you"
I read it and I went "Aaarghh!! This is wickedness"

Two very contrasting reactions. I think I am becoming a rabid

But hey, to you my Mommy and Wifey friends out there who are working, tending babies and running homes so smoothly, You are truly, truly special!!

And don’t forget to remind your husband what a lucky man he is!!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not so random stuff

Hallooo! Any Beyonce fan out there? Can you tell that young woman to get some clothes on cause I am really tired of seeing her body. Terrific though it is. 
I am all for self expression in your dressing but I notice this trend amongst female musical artistes where they start off “all sugar and spice and all that’s nice” then as they become more popular and paradoxically more insecure (or is it desperate?) they start shedding yards off their ensemble.
Maria Carey, Beyonce, Rihanna, my darling Kelly Rowlands (still praying for you girl!!) and a countless others (well, except Alicia Keys). To me there’s a thin line between self expression and ..SLAVERY.  
Dressing isn’t Self expression/Freedom anymore when it is done to appease the hordes of men and teenager boys who buy your album. Nope it is slavery cause you have that sword of Damocles hanging over your head that if you don’t bare as much as you dare in ever more bizarre or titillating fashions, then they won’t buy your work. 
Girlfriend, that’s not the freedom feminists fought for. *smh*
 I love heels like the next girl. But I am also careful not to incur future chiropractic bills in the name of fashion. These shoes look painful!! Just saying..
 Best road sign Ever

Yep they are real!! Chelsea Charms/Annie Hawkins-Turner has a 12 years undisputed Guinness record for having the largest natural boobs. They are a size 102ZZZ and weigh a massive 8 stone (pix from The Sun)

I have seen the insert pic before and all the while thought it was an internet hoax/photoshop. Seems it isn’t.  
Annie’s husband encouraged her to ‘flaunt what she’s got on adult sites and racy magazines and this Annie said, made her embrace her size. She explains: "I fell in love with myself. Every time I get a new doctor they offer me surgery but I don't need surgery. I've got a strong back and have never had back ache. I've had therapy on how to hold myself so I won't hurt myself. Annie also told how she used her assets to work topless on adult websites - but insists she's just fulfilling people's fantasies and would never have sex on camera. She said: "I've shown people big is beautiful and you can be sexy in your own way. It's not mucky, I'm an entertainer.
What can I say? God bless her!! I am quite amazed she said she doesn’t have back issues. Me, I would have claimed disability since and chopped those mamms off to a D cup!! 

I remember in university there was the chick who had real humongous boobs. Actually in retrospect and compared to Annie they are nothing….but I used to feel so bad for her. You know how communal bathrooms were in the university (for the uninitiated, our shower stalls were open and usually inadequate so you get to bathe under the full glare of other girls. Sounds so barbaric now but hey that’s what obtains in most universities, boarding schools and NYSC Camps) At a point the poor girl must have gotten tired of stares and started having her bath later and later when the morning rush would have been over. Looking back, I’m sure she must have missed some morning classes trying to avoid our tormenting stares….
All of a sudden, I am quite grateful for my breastings (blessings). It is just right. If you love your breasts say yay!

How has your week been so far?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ada Owerri - Sugabelly's language Challenge

Ada Owerri by Ginger's blog

The people of Blogville….greetings
My name is Ginger 
Sugabelly, A true daughter of the Ibos, keeper of Nigerian traditions said we should speak in our native tongue. Well, I noticed most of the Ibo bloggers are speaking with Anambra dialects (Ijekebe-that’s what other clans call people from Anambra) so I decided to give you guys some OWERRI flavor. Not that I am Owerri, my Dad is Anambra and my Mom is Owerri, but you all know Owerri women rule the home.

And I think Owerri has sweet tonal sounds (should say lyrical?)
(Listen to music playing in the background – Sunny Bobo)

I'm not sure of what I want to talk about so, I’ve decided to teach you all how we praise in Ibo/Owerri. Here we go:

Mama Bekee – Naija Mum In London. How are you..just wanna greet you o. Did you guys see how she advertised my sickle cell study form on her blog and made you all fill my form. She’s someone you can call sister anytime.

I also want to give a shoutout to my Blog Mom – Linda!! Are you listening? You are a good Mom. You take good care of me.

Sugabelly – Dey sweet dey go
Honeydame – Sweet as honey
Madame Sting – Scorpion 1 of blogville
Adiya – Tomato Jos (Tomatoes from Jos are rounded, unblemished, sweet and juicy)
Lucidlilith – She’s someone you can take anywhere (Represents) how are you? Is Turtle looking after you?
Myne Whitman – Atala’s Mine. She’s a strong one. Dey write dey go
AnonOma  – Beautiful chic, I know you are cracking up where you are. I am laughing at myself too.
First daughter of Owerri – Nigerian Mom Abroad – This is dedicated to you.
Nitty-Gritty – Blogville’s no 1 Storyteller – Your stories dey sweet us
Le Professeur – Fount of Knowledge. So much to learn from his blog
Rethots – You too. What should I call you. Bag of Wisdom. He writes in short sentences but full of depth.
Verastic – Doesn’t need bathing (to show her beauty)
Lahrah (I once told you I had a special way of calling Lara) Fine girl
Kitkat – Mommy’s pet. How are you? Please when are you coming back from Nigeria? I’ve missed you.
MenaUkodo – Makes the guys break their necks (from starring at her) My friend Chiz told me about this, had never heard it before. You know you are a fine girl
Wealthy Blogger – Wealthy from birth (phrase made popular by DbanJ)
Strategic Chic – A refined Woman.

I have finished o.

If I didn’t call you, not because I forgot, I’ve run out of names!! I tried didn’t I?
This is Ginger again, byee byee, Look after yourselves alright. I love you all!

Special thank you to my Script Collaborators  - The Chizzy and Prof Ifeanyi
and my Feedback Team - You know your self :)
Thank you!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bursting out; A Private Storm

So I spent this weekend past watching movies with my friend who is a girl (you see, since my post where I mused about lesbian marriage, my RL friends who read this blog now wag their eyebrows whenever I mention girlfriends. You see how stigmatization starts? Please allow me to come out by myself na. Don’t force my hand pls.

Anywayz Chiz is a Nollywood fan, and is trying her best to indoctrinate me. Mba! Mba! Not happening anytime soon. The only good thing is knowing my dislike for bad scripts, she makes sure she shows me the really passable ones. So I watched these two:

BURSTING OUT – starring Genevieve Nnaji, Nse Ikpe Etim, Majid Michel, Omoni Oboli
This was a chick flick about this career lady, Zara (Genevieve) who her married best girlfriends were trying to hitch up. On a Valentine day blind-date she mistook the wrong guy for the right guy and fell in love…..only to find out that Mr Wrong guy-right guy was a courier guy a.k.a professional okada driver. Can their romance survive the class difference?

I loved the whole idea of a chickflick from Nollywood (bear in mind that I think “Keeping Faith" is the best chick flick from Nolly’s stable) and "Bursting Out" had a lot going for it:
A beautiful and polished cast, simple story line, good character definition (at least for the main acts).
Zara’s snooty girlfriends were a perfect foil for the boring scenes from office. Their verbal cat fights got me loling. Yep, that reminded me of how long term friends can be around each other.
The tension and fights between the lovers were well executed. Script was well written, mostly: I remember the question Tyron asked Zara after she found out about his ‘lower class’ occupation, “Zara, what is the problem? What do you have an issue with? The truth or the lie? Loved it!! Quotable quotes from Nollywood? Times are changing.

Urghh: Of course there will be urghh. You can only go so far with chick flicks even in Hollywood.
#Zara was supposedly an avowed career woman. A consultant. If consultant stands for shuffling a lot of papers and going to parties then she was a helluva a good one. Lols. 
#Tyron’s role was complexly simple- ex-footballer, alleged rapist, courier guy…..smh.
##And just when I thought the movie was a true Nollywood makeover, there came the ex-girlfriend from hell called Ibiere whom I shall call “the addendum that spoilt the broth”. She had no place in that movie…well, maybe if they had muzzled her in some parts. She was such a horrible blip on the scenery. Like rubbing paper on metal. Icky!
#There were some disjointed scenes and verbal exchanges that made no sense literally - even though the syntax was I had to pause the movie, repeat the sentence to myself and think…’but that sentence makes absolutely no sense??!’ LOL
#Is it me or why do African men in African movies look pained during romantic situations? Like when they are pleading undying love to their ladies, why do they always look like they are sucking lemons?.. just wondering.
Ginger scores it 6.2/10

A PRIVATE STORM-starring Ramsey Nouah, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, John Dumelo and please what is the name of Zara's friend?

It is little wonder Omotola and Genevieve remain on top of their game as Nollywood’s best actresses. They really do sound scripts!
In the wake of all the talk about domestic violence, this movie touched me. From the second act, I knew what the movie was going to be about and I was already bleeding for Geena.

Vivian Ejike (story writer cum screenplay-writer cum casting director cum producer), I must confess did her homework well. Kudos!!
She got the profile of an abuser to a T. Serenade her with loving words, abuse her when the doors close, more gifts, more forgiveness, beat her some more. The I swears, I promise, I love yous, forgive me, the admission of anger, the blaming, the without you I will die.

This movie reminded me again, that it is easy to see the lies and deceit when you are outside in the light (like how we bloggers are berating those stuck in their violent marriages). For the partner inside the storm, it can be an emotional roller coaster ride. When he is good, he is very very good. but when he is bad, he is horrid. We are human and our first instinct is to want to forgive. It is not so much about the expensive gifts but the loving heart that you think is behind it.
Ramsey Noah was purrfectly cast. It was almost like watching a Mr. Jekyll and Hyde. Whenever he is on the screen, I tense up not knowing what to expect for Zara’s sake. Honey or stings. Love or war. Gifts or fists.
Omotola was alright too. Her role didn't have as much range. A lot of sullen silences. but she played it well. I loved! loved! her pretty dark friend, Uju. What's her real name please? I love her big eyes, lips and lilting voice. 
The twist in the end was very interesting. How the viewer was made to empathise with the abuser......thumbs up Vivian! 
Ginger scores it 8/10

There were 2misses I noted!
A personal one from me – a wish that the setting wasn’t soo high class. Many people would think the gifts are sufficient to cushion the abuse...
Secondly on a humor level, why doesn’t Nollywood ever want to spend money on content? With all the violent energy in Ramsey, it would have been realistic to see him trash things in the house but the most violent thing he did was smash a wine bottle/glass, LOL. Like when Geena locked herself inside the bathroom, I thought he would kick down the door (the alternative of locking her in was brilliant actually).
Guess the owner of the house gave them a stern 
Like my brothers will say..grab your own copy now!!!

p.s. Have you completed the "SICKLE CELL STUDY HAVE YOUR SAY" questionnaire? What are you waiting for? Please do so now.  At least when I rejoice over getting my degree you will know say your hand dey there, lol. 
"Oya, pless your cursor on the link" Msugh, Daalu, Imeela, Oshe, Eshe, Nagode!!!!

p.p.s who knows Menaukodoisready's email address?? I think my Blogger-friend needs some love right now, whether she thinks so or not.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oroque made me do it: DV and self agency

The case of the murdering Mr. Arowolo, the stabbing Hausa woman, the Hon. Ambassador Wigwe has brought domestic violence to the forefront in the Nigerian media and on blogsville recently. I don’t have much to say about them - I have had my say on Mena - God bless her heart has been following the story like a bull dog with a bone, Till my dying dayMyne and Sisi Yemmie’s blogs - except to pray that justice prevails.
This post is a response to Simply Oroque’s blog about Domestic violence. He said, 
“While everyone i know seems to remember a family friend or acquaintance or friend or cousin who used to be beaten by a spouse or lover, nobody has told me when the victim of the abuse ever walked out of the marriage or divorced the spouse. it always ends with, "she stuck it through for the sake of the kids", "she told her parents and they called him to order", "she prayed and fasted for him until he stopped much later". not once did i hear, 'and she moved out and filed for divorce”.
I wanted to respond on his blog but story too long. 
Well Oroque, I do know one who moved out and filed for divorce in Lagos. A lovely Aunty friend whom we shall call Cherry.
She got married after a whirlwind romance and we all thought she had hit it big (she being in her late 30s and all). He lived in the States so his visits were irregularly regular; like 2 months on 2 months off. Something like that. The guy was all over her. Tall handsome hunk of a man. He had the body of a mid-weight boxer; actually he confirmed that boxing was a pastime of his in the States. He was all soft spoken; courteous and nice to all the neighbors. He was always with her. When he is in town, he comes loaded with suitcases of clothes for her, drives her to work and back and generally doesn’t let her out of his sight.
We thought it was love. In the house, Cheery was never far from the kitchen preparing delish meals. Pounded yam and fresh fish nsala etc. All that glitters was gold or so we thought.

2 years on, we had nicknamed them the golden couple, till one night about 1.20am, Aunty’s Jnr sister ran out of their flat and came banging on my sister’s door, Aunty help! help! He wants to kill my sister’ help’. Her cry woke us up and got us running out, the man in the flat upstairs too. Mr. wife beater got into his car and drove off. My sister took Cheery into our flat and as she comforted her, the stories came out; of how he used her as a punching bag. Taking her to work and back was just for surveillance purposes. ‘Why were you talking to this guy?’ slap. slap. beat. ‘Why did you smile at that man?’ beat. beat. ‘You dressed too provocatively today’ kick. kick. Most of the clothes he bought, he had also destroyed at some point in his rage.
You need to put this in perspective – my Aunty was 5’2. Maybe weighs about 135lbs -58 kg. He is 6’2. Maybe weighs about 190lbs. No, it was an unequal match. 
That she took it all this time was amazing. and I don’t know how much longer she would have endured all that sh#t, but I thank God for her sister that came out running that night – honor be damned- and let the secret out. I think this gave her the freedom she needed to take a long hard look at her situation. Within the next 12 months she filed papers and they got divorced. 

I heard he has since remarried, within months of the divorce actually (there are always girls). This time he and his new bride live in a detached bungalow.
I can’t help but think "All the better for beating you my dear, without neighbours poking in". Good luck to his new bride.
The next two stories are not about victims that moved out…but they sorta found their way around the abuser.

This is another neighbor. Her husband is a violent man. He doesn’t hide it. He shouts at everybody in his household and typically beats the boys who help him run his shops.
He also beat his wife. Stopped her from working cause while she was working, he was either beating her for ‘talking to other men’ or for what ‘she wore to work’ or for not ‘picking their son on time from school’ etc’. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the time he hit her when she was pregnant for the second kid. He beat her and kicked her in the stomach and poor girl got hospitalized. She didn’t lose the her life nor pregnancy, but the story finally got to her family. A meeting was called during which her father preached peace and she remained in her marital home..usual.
Now the story gets sweet; her hotheaded brothers could not take the story lying down. They organised their friends from school and one day waylaid our guy on his way home. They pummeled him thoroughly and warned him that the next time he touches their sister it’s the grave for him.
The legacy of that beating is the misshapen index finger on his right hand which did not heal properly. Why I am not ecstatic about her situation is that her victory was only in one aspect: The beatings. He hasnt beaten her again after that but he is now doubly abusive to her verbally. When he is having a tirade he refers to it ‘’you see what your brothers did to my finger?” “Evil woman”, “I don’t know why I married you” etc etc’.
Moreso, their home is still a tense one cause he lets out his steam on everybody else including his two kids whom he beats as a proxy knowing that hurts her very much. But, she is free of beatings.
My third story – In this instance, the husband used to beat her at the early part of the marriage 
(she bears the scar of a wound from a pestle on her head). She finally got the gumption to fight back so he stopped. But there were other insidious forms of abuse – Verbal abuse. Social isolation. Loneliness.
Example 1 - After a typical quarrel, he gives her the silent treatment: One week, three weeks. She learnt to give back as good as she gets. In fact when he calls a truce she ignores him and gives him a day or two or week jara (extra).
Example 2 - He would lock up the gadgets in the house – TV, Cooker, stereo, Video. Fridge. She countered as much as she could. Bought other TV sets, other cookers. At a stage in their house there were two sets of everything.
Example 3 - Sometimes he deliberately refuses to contribute his quota to grocery buying. So she cooks only what’s in the house deliberately. If it’s only the bag of beans remaining, she cooks beans morning, afternoon and night till he is sick of it and sick of eating outside.
Example 4- And like the guy above, he also used the kids as a beating proxy. She countered by ignoring him and ‘his kids’ when the beating starts. Her notion was not to show she cared in other to ameliorate the beating they received. But this only caused him to be more cruel to the kids in other to get her attention.

Fifteen years on, he is finally tired and they have a better marriage. I mention this situation cause it is also different. The wife became an agent in her own deliverance from abuse. She didn’t leave but she didn’t take it lying down….without her counter agency things could have been worse.
But one wonders at the psychological toil it took on these kids. Was staying in the marriage really worth it? Can an abused partner ever truly forget those bad times? And for the kids, 15 years of their formative life was spent watching you and your husband/wife get your act together…do we really think that they will find it easy to re-adjust their concept of what marriage is about and the role of respective partners in an abusive marriage?

Sigh…all of a sudden I don’t even know how to conclude. What do you think?
P.S. Have you noticed the link below my picture on the sidebar which says – SICKLE CELL STUDY; HAVE YOUR SAY? Biko, Ejoo, I beg, Please, I really want to know your perception of sickle cell disorder. The survey is strictly for bloggers of Nigerian origin. It is anonymous - I don’t know who is saying what, so please feel free. Be candid with your commentary. 
I am also officially taking permission to place the link on your blogs when I comment. If you too can help me spread the link/word, mucho appreciated. I need at least 400 participants. I am still on the 30 mark. Please help…

I know that some of you my blogfriends might be more sensitive to this topic than others and I'll understand if you won’t want to participate. On the other hand, your voice is very key in this study. Do give me/us a chance. At least look through the questions before you change your mind.

Thank you

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This is Oyiboland - Public transportation 101

So the following morsels about using UK public transport were mostly culled off the net but modified here and there by me from my experience. Do you agree with me?

  • Front seats are for senior citizens or disabled. If you are a young able bodied person you had better sit in the back of the bus or on the second level of a double decker. Otherwise, you risk the wrath of senior citizens who will not hesitate to call you selfish and inconsiderate.
  • Don’t be deceived by the number of people standing in a bus. If you scan the back seat you will find there is a free seat. I've always wondered about that phenomenon. Why do Brits prefer to stand in public transport?
  • Avoid sitting upstairs if there’s no-one else up there when taking the night bus.
In Nigeria  - front seats are for uniformed men. It's supposed to be so they have no hindrance in responding to emergency. Me thinks It’s cause it’s the best seat. Then free seats while people choose to stand? Ha, is that a joke?

  • The British queue for everything. Yes transport too.
In Nigeria – Well, if you’ve ever taken a bus from CMS heading to various Victoria Island stops, you’ll learn to hop on and hang in, cause that bus isn’t going to stop. Queue? What’s that?

Transport fare:  
  • Where you can, buy weekly savers! Saves you a lot of money in the long run.
  • Plan ahead. Buy your tickets at least a week ahead to get maximum discount on fares. You want to buy on the day especially train tickets or Coaches? Get ready to pay through your nose.
  • If you are in London buy an Oyster card to save money. It’s especially wonderful when the card reader is broken. You won’t be charged a pence but those using cash will still have to pay! On the down side, an Oyster card must be swiped at every stop unless you run the risk of being penalized and paying FULL fares. Not funny.
  • Have your exact fare especially for those of you in the bigger cities – London and Birmingham. Durham buses usually give you change.
In Nigeria – Come with your exact change or risk a long drawn out wait-time to get it or as Okeoghene has reminded me - unholy wedlock.
 Annoying fellow passengers:
  • If you enter the bus/train and you see a gaggle of females sitting together, please move to the next coach unless they are going to be laughing like Banshees all through the journey and induce some real stress. Personal experience.
  • Beware of the smarmy red faced red haired older man who volunteers to help you with your luggage. He is probably drunk and pretending to be a gentleman is his license to talk to you. Run!! Personal experience.
  • Mothers with strollers? Urghhhh!! They park it in the middle of the way and expect the rest of us to climb over them or stand. Mscheew.
  •  Check the change you receive from taxi drivers. I got a quarter dollar coin change instead of a 50p coin last week. Error or deliberate? I wonder ….
  • Always bring reading/listening material if your journey time is over 30 mins.
In Nigeria – The evangelists and professional beggars selling their ware – be it salvation or sad stories will make even this simple pleasure (reading or listening to music) impossible.

Bus drivers
  • Flag down the bus even when you are at stops that are not marked “request stop.” I can’t count the number of times buses have whizzed by me at a mandatory stop on the route.
  • Do not count on the bus driver to tell you where to get off. Even if you’ve asked them for help, they may forget or simply not care. Rather pick a map and use it as your guide to see when you’ve passed the streets in the vicinity of your destination.
  • If you get the opportunity, especially on regularly travelled bus routes, smile and say thank you to the bus driver as you get off the bus. They deal with the crappiest people abusing them day in day out. Be one of the nice ones.
P.s. I usually say thank you. Even back in Lagos. But if you are nasty, nope you don’t get my thanks.

Travel times
I know we say a lot of good things about Western efficiency but Britain doesn’t rank high among the efficient countries. Think of how they bungled clearing Heathrow’s runway after the 4 inches of snow that fell last Christmas. Finland cleared their 20 inches in 8 hrs, Britain cleared their 4 inches after 4 days.
So do allow yourself at least an extra 15-30 minutes when journeying on public transportation subject to traffic conditions and other situations that crop up. In Durham a 15.30 bus can easily become a 15.55 bus. Hence it is sensible to plan your journey with +/- 20mins leeway.
In Nigeria – No bus schedule. Choose a strategic boarding position and listen hard.

Avoiding injuries on bus
  • If a fight breaks out on the top deck, assume the crash position they show you on planes, this way when the people fighting fall on top of you, you suffer minimal damage.
  • When descending from the upper deck, hold the hand rail and watch your step ALL THE WAY DOWN. If you’ve fallen before say  ‘Yea!!’
  • Mind the gap!! 
In Nigeria - if you've never lost an outfit to wicked hooks or nails poking from innumerable parts of a Danfo bus, gotten scratched by those same hooks, or hit your head on some part of the door, then you must be the 'chauffeured child of some filthy politician. 

To be honest, If there is anything I’ve truly enjoyed here, it is British transportation. After the jungle of Danfos and death-trap taxis (Ibadan taxis especially), I know why their average life expectancy is 80 and ours 47.

So I saw this video on the Newyorkerproject's blog. I keep imagining what would have happened to that guy in Nigeria. Don’t you just love just love Western stoicness! Everybody just minding their!
Got transport experiences to share?


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