Decision for One; Consequences for all: Who should they really have married?

broken-family-glass

Most parents will agree that the hardest time to manage a human being is in their teen years or what we would call adolescent age bracket. They want freedom and the parents always tend to think they need less of it. Battle lines are always drawn and the battle is always fierce. The environment, friends and other social vices are armies to the young dude or damsel and the parents, always on the other side have physical, mental and spiritual weapons like family, adult influences and prayers on their side. Studies have shown that parents fast and pray more for their children’s well being around this age bracket so as to keep in check their bodily, soul and spiritual growth. This is because, a little too much freedom, they turn deviant (which is always more than the parents bargained for) but then, if the fence of protection is raised too high, a timid and naive child results. If those characteristics are transferred into adulthood, then the disaster can neither be quantified in words nor conceivable through the mind .
However, my main concern today is not about the decisions of children due to freedom or lack of freedom accorded them but rather the decisions taken by adults in the selection of marriage partners and how it doesn’t just affect them but also affect others, especially family and friends.

My name is Uya, as to be known as “the Reviewer”. Being a commentator on economic and social issues, I believe much weight is laid in my heart to discuss this issue and maybe listen to the various opinions of others.
Sincerely, I think freedom is the 3rd biggest struggle of humans after their well-being and security. Humans just want freedom. Freedom to everything, whether good or bad. It is so important that it is the bedrock to which every constitution is laid on. All fights for freedom is to make man a free choice- making agent and to be able to influence decisions around his or her environment without being coerced to do so. Out of freedom, comes choice and the consequence thereof. Choice in this context will simply be considered as ability to decide what a person wants and how it will be wanted. The only sad part is freedom and choice-making are desired by all but very few actually want the consequences of their choices. Therefore, they prefer avoiding consequences or sharing them at most.For simplicity again, the Reviewer will limit this to family decisions and how they affect other members of the family, either immediate or extended.

To illustrate this, let me analyze what happened or sparked this write-up in a story.  A family member was once faced with a decision of who she was to marry between two suitors. The 1st was a respectable retired Army general and the other, well, a young man with yet to be ‘many dreams’. One professed likeness and the other I presume, love. One had life-changing structure built after years of public servitude and the other had speculated plans, coupled maybe with a sugar-coated tongue. She was faced with the dilemma of what is and what will be. Maybe you can say, what’s on the ground and what’s on paper or in the mind. From all indications, she was in trouble of the realities of today and the promises of tomorrow.
To cut the story short, whether in confusion or persuasion, she settled for the fine young man. Years later, plans were yet to be materialized. The situation was made worst with the birthing of two kids which aggravated their sufferings. We are Africans, so we naturally always fall back to our families in worst case scenarios. It is not to be mocked, but the last time I checked, things have gotten so bad that it’s so hard to even feed. Somehow the love is fading and the clouds are opening up to all kinds of things including regrets and bitterness. Respect have vanished, nagging and shouting are the new ring-tones in the house. The young lady who seemed like one saying “to hell with whatever you people think, I can make my own decisions” seem more in tears than a widow and sometimes cry louder than her kids. Everybody is troubled and every heart is hurting but the question of who should be blamed more begs.
Should the parents and family have given the full decision-making opportunity to the naïve but liberal children? and if considered in an extended view, should our parents and families allow the full decision of something as lengthy as marriage to be made independently by the children? Because this will soon be a new shift in next generations’ paradigm considering what we are witnessing now.   To ask in other words, are our parents way past their prime in determining love and relationship in the new generation? Okay,  Assuming we are going to play the generation card and explain how things have changed from their times, how about the other young fellows (like siblings, cousins and friends), do they not understand love in our own way or do we just assume they are jealous?
Whatever the scenario, decisions are made by a few and the consequences faced by all. So there comes that part we need to address whether we are Africans or not, should we continue to allow people make decisions in the guise of free-will while we collectively suffer the outcome with them but not permitted to influence those decisions?
It is the belief of The Reviewer that, It is as the saying goes, who pays the piper should give direction to the tunes. If we know we are likely going to suffer with anyone in the consequences of their decisions, maybe they should also allow us weigh their decisions, because protection of their interests is the protection of ours’.

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Who Says There Are No Good Girls Out There? 

There are two discussions dominating the talks of boys who are big enough to be married but are still single – money and ‘no good girls’. 

First, Money is an issue to everyone that isn’t amongst the selected elites of the world, but this ‘no good girls’ gist needs to be discussed once and for all. 

Who says there are no good girls?

That must be one of the biggest exaggerations I know. Sincerely speaking, it’s true that the world is moving at a pace where the good ones are becoming hard to find but hastily  generalising this totally to all humans is a terrible mistake and it’s more or less a cover up lie or big masking to the real issue. 

There are good girls around, just as there are issues around them as other types of humans. At least, those who find good and functional marriages are not married to ghosts. There are good girls, but that also depends on what you look for in a lady. The girls are somewhere trapped  in between the unserious boys of their class and the serious boys below their class that are lacking confidence to stand in the struggle for success. 
The Reviewer will try to explain this from a different perspective that I gathered from an “egbon” (a big colleague). 
Leaving the case of the unserious boys of the classes of these girls (because they are out to continually explore the happiness of using women for self enjoyment until later in their lives),  I will focus this write up on the serious ‘low class’ boys who are not wanted by the girls. 
There are good girls; they are just grown beyond the reach of the ‘good’ boys stretching out but just can’t touch.  Unfortunately, even those who manage to touch for many reasons can’t stick for long. 

In other words, the girls we perceive as good are most times not in our levels. 

What seems like shortage in good girls as I have found is an issue with grading. First, I must point out that world is not a leveller of classes and social strata, so people are compelled by nature or societal situations to marry just within the upper and lower boundaries of their own income strata. So we are systematically programmed to live and fall in love around those we live with, go to school with,  play with and share our lives with. We may desire otherwise but very few actually break through this level. With handwork, it OK to move from one level to another but moving between stratas is the big deal. It takes more than just desire or wishes to change from one strata to another. Get it right, there are two types of movements involved- Level (horizontal) and strata(vertical). The former shows progress in life and the latter defines a total shift.

Often, the latter involves  a generational slow change where educational achievements and wealth gathering are the actual way of moving from one strata to another. In other words, the horizontal movement is easy and cyclical-Get more education, gather more wealth, move further om the social ladder and improve your level. The shift or vertical strata is more complex and longer if the usual route employed in the horizontal movement is used.  If the normal horizontal route is used, it entails that, as one increases in these levels, they make more gains on whatever leveller they were forced to belong to previously and then catapult their generation to another strata. As said before, Most times, these movements take generations to fill but that’s how the world is programmed. It shows movement is a bit easier but Progress is not cheap and keeping up (whether with the Johns or Joneses) takes more. Sincerely, Strata pressure is real. I will be writing a book on the strata topic in the future to elaborate more.so I think I better leave it there till the future date. 

However, how does this relate to the issue of finding a girl you may ask? Please note that the ‘finding a girl’ here is chosen because a man is most times at freewill to choose who he settles with – whether below or above his social class. More often also,  the girls are very sensitive to this decision because personal,  family and societal pressures most times won’t allow them choose people below them for marriage. Again, ask me how the above affects the number of good girls and this simple story will go a long way to bring it to close:

 I once knew a younger colleague, Emeka, who was down the ladder in rank but was madly in love with a girl who was even my superior. Whether it was crush or something, I could not tell but he was convinced that lady was all he needed. Again, whether we like to hear it or not, money enhances a man as beauty enhances a woman. She was beautiful but he was without money or too little a money for the terrain he wanted to navigate.  Without money,  how was he going to gather  the confidence to ask this gorgeous lady out when he can barely afford her lunch beyond two days with his salary. He eventually approached her but it wasn’t going anywhere. The Emeka fine boy story is a typical example because he could not get her but she was also trapped in a world of the boys of her class who didn’t value her love nor person.

Do you know how many guy are having crush on ladies they can’t express themselves to? In some cases, these ladies are  so close to them but yet so far because they can’t afford them, whether in monetary, educational qualifications, social standing and job grading terms? 

By the way, Emeka later travelled abroad, shaped up and made more money and got more experience. We attended the wedding last year. Between him and that girl he couldn’t get then because a few years down the line, he was able to level up in achievement to break the barrier that once held him. When asked what had changed, he simply said, “Emeka became a man”. 

My conclusion therefore  became that they are good girls everywhere, only men(not boys) are finding them because with time, all the levellers, barriers and obstructions fall off as the guys begin to gain ground, wealth and statute. So the guys claiming no good girls are maybe not ready to man up yet. 

I WELL DONE EMPEROR FAYOSE by The Reviewer

What does it profit a man to allow another grown up man kneel in his presence?

This question has not ceased from my mind from the first time I saw those pictures on Twitter. The whole scenes playing in my head take the quest for power and domination to a new height. I would have thought to allow it lay low like I do the other shenanigans from our politicians but the responses of people have actually motivated this write up.

How can people be focused on condemning the kneeling man than the people who are the true culprits?
The emperor, who sits on his throne and want more worships to elevate him to a super human or maybe a demigod; the top Zenith bank executives who are seated comfortably watching such humiliation on a fellow staff; and the photographers who mock someone else’s sadness. I don’t care if those pictures do not show the real Zenith bank staff kneeling or maybe it’s an aide to the governor, I’m just disturbed that a grown up man is kneeling in the presence of another grown up man (who is not his father) as a way of punishment or as an apology letter to an emperor.

First to the Emperor, how does it make you feel having a full grown man kneel before you?
Do you just love people kneeling? This seems to not be the first time you are having someone kneel before you.  I remember the late comers drama of a few months ago and how grown ups were knelt before you. To be sincere, I thought you’d use the cane to teach them real discipline but you somehow allow those ones go after social media made a mess of them. Not like they were right but I guess I just have a problem with the ‘worship me’ syndrome.

What are you always trying to achieve by this your emperor system of discipline when you are always screaming to the top of your voice about impunity from above towards you. But from what we see, you’ve always dished out more humiliation to those under you than what you advocate for.
Does it matter that these are adults with economic, geographic, emotional and social lives?

Take for instance, the man kneeling you is a family man, married to a beautiful lady and maybe with children. Besides uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces etc. They go to places like market, schools, mall, worship centres, etc. If he’s been a community person, he probably holds a post in his town’s meeting.
Do you consider how they are affected mentally and otherwise ?
Mr. Emperor, it’s true that social media banter will vanish after a while but the mockeries to the family members follow them for a lifetime. You should be a father figure now or at least,  be a human to humans.

Secondly, the bank executives, I can’t find words enough to rain down on you people but I hope you understand the event shows how valuable you place positions and gains above those who work their butts out to sustain the fat allowances you enjoy. Sorry I forgot, the banks basically depend on government money to stand well, not them working their butts off. But to sit and watch the drama with no pain for the man kneeling is such a heartless thing. I wish he could make you people pay for such a degrading humiliation, but then, I’m not bothered that much about his reaction because he won’t react. However, I have reasons to believe that the next kneeling before another emperor will likely be one of you,  if not all of you. In my own judgement, I would have thought the MD of bank’s official apology would have been OK than embarrassing your brand the way you did. Anyway, good luck protecting such brand from this mess and I pray the gentleman sues.

Thirdly, to the photographer. You are so wonderful in your doings. I’m sure your photographs will soon be nominated for ‘mockers award’. I hope it brings you more peace than the fame, because others who have pictures which brought them fame than peace, have gone the wrong way in life. You have some of the most touching pictures of our time but also have some of the ones in which a man was least treated in peace time. A man was being made less than a slave while you flash your camera over and over again. You made fun of his sorrows. There’s no compensation for that.

Finally, to the social media boys and girls, I salute. To everyone who saw this mistreatment as a way of scoring political point, well done.
To others who don’t even care,  I hail oo.
It’s OK, since the problems do not concern your family, but then, the wind doesn’t have a bus stop and the rain doesn’t wet just a roof.
It’s OK to mock the victim instead of questioning the authority of emperors. It will however be wrong to tell the man it’s his choice to kneel before another man when you don’t know his situation or the battle he’s fighting. The man’s choices were more limited for all we know, than you are willing to admit. If he was very egoistic like some of us, then he may have expanded the option of his choices but then what’s the use of ego to a drowning man?
Ego won’t feed his immediate family nor almost 500 people from extended families and his village members depending on him for survival. Ego won’t help him maintain the lifestyle he’s come to enjoy. His wife will neither understand why she can no longer attend events the way she’s used to nor will she understand why they have to cut spending too drastically because her husband wouldn’t kneel before an emperor. If you think that’s hard, then you haven’t considered how he will explain to the children why they have to change school and walk to school from tomorrow because he couldn’t kneel before an emperor.

He may not have had the courage to place his manliness above his needs at that tight point in time but we are not boxed that way so we can resist such treatment of another man, at least for the conservation of the leadership hierarchy. The children may not care if he kneels now but they will grow to know how the society made weak their father and the possibility of them either hating everyone or being weak children is very close. It’s our choice to act or wait till the emperor(s) cause us all to bow someday, just for their own amusements.

The Reviewer is on Twitter as @uyasj

GENDER BATTLE: Will The Women Truly Set Free The Men?

Do you really know what it means to be conferred with the responsibility to lead?

Well, It means you take a greater part in being responsible for the successes, failures of not just yourself but also of those whose forefront you occupy. These may include family, friends, acquaintances, a community of people, Union, state etc. Everything without structured leadership tend to fail in even simple things.
For the sake of simplicity, lets take it that the men were tied by nature into family leadership role; and they have been trying in them. However, they have been many issues about ‘who should be under who’  and the various terms to such agreement. This led me to want to discuss more on the continuous problem of leadership in the fast moving modern families these days
Well, I have been fascinated for a while now about hearing the various problems of home keeping, like who leads the home and the power sharing formula. But never before have I seen this amount of energy from the social media ‘powered’  people and their silent rants of advocacy concerning the issue. Males and females alike. Even powerful gender based organisations have made windows to make either money or publicity from from these home leadership chaoses. 
Who hold the true leadership mantle of the home, the man or the woman? Gender division sets in, experts analysed and  sexists took their grounds. As if the devil threw in more distractions amongst males and females about the topic, the people became confused. 
As the Women discovered more strength, the men became more feminised. The strength of most men started to fail them. It was a weakness no one knew how to fix.  Most males lost the ability to lead, fell out of grace and started to attempt to rule. Their judgement on principle of equity became lost in the process.

The ‘devil’ seeing the progress of the work of his hands, planted more distortions and we finally ended up with the last overthrowing of the man. Nobody wants to say anything because of the fear of being eaten alive.
The advocacy for gender equality is one wonderful thing until the sincere pushers forgot to explain to the social media female overlords what it really means and some have gone to town inflicting casualty on innocent male folks. The concept considers equity in every sense about the treatment of our women folks, which is the right and best thing to expect, but then, some men fell out of the grace of leading so much so that they think ruling with a fist makes them strong and brutality shows their might. This is simply stupidity of failed leadership of men,  and the mindset in itself, the biggest weakness anyone can think of. The real men have always treated women better than they treat themselves and will always do so.
Those female folks that understand gender equality in as an antagonistic means of measuring their masculine hidden features are very wrong but then, they have their rights to self discovery and actualisation. The problem is the hypocrisy of wanting to be tough and soft at the same time . I mean that in this context of this writing, as it covers the delegation of authority.  It just doesn’t add up. Being independent and equal should be a mindset, not an all out war. Let them be reminded that the female touches has caused more wars on the world, and even more so has settled many battles that men’s strength could not have solved. It’s the only formula that can plead and displace any man’s ego. In fact, women remain the only reason why greed and brutality of men has not consume the world. The question becomes how and why would they want to give away that to be measured in equal yoke with men?  Is it because of the few lost men that are rulers instead of leaders? 
Shouldn’t we be strengthening laws against them. Or it is about the various norms and traditions? I haven’t seen any standing one that’s not crumbling daily. No one can hold a human for too long, talk less of a woman. We just need to teach our ladies about being free. 
However, for those who have chosen these measurements of masculinity with the males, I’m also happy for you all. It simply relief the men of their partial and tilted sentiment for the female being. You must understand that with great office comes great responsibilities and you must be ready to fit in quickly.
Take for a example, the Reviewer has gone into town to sample opinions about the issue and various responses were learned, most of them in the line of being against the idea but one of the responses struck my curiosity to write this article and has got me having deep thoughts about the quest for us humans focusing on winning a battle and losing wars.

In the deepest thought from the her mind, the lady laughed and said “it must mean the females are setting the men free, I guess?”. The Reviewer was out of immediate answers because it was one of those questions I had never anticipated. She went further saying : “I don’t want my man loosed, I prefer him being king while I’m the Queen of the kingdom. I’ve always made him make decisions that favour not just me but our generations unborn because he’s most times too shortsighted to see”. I was dazed further but with some many random thoughts in my head. I made more enquiries and behold she wasn’t religious nor was she not a major champion partner of equity for men and women. The others were conversation too lengthy on how they can mix family wisely with their advocacy as she is doing.

She ended by saying “we(women) are the biggest multitasking creatures ever made, we make or break anything we set our mind on,  and men, well, their strength has made things easier. It may be because I married the right male and we are doing our best getting through Life together and I’m not ready to let that go because some selfish group who want to lead battle for succession do not understand submission. If every of them can at least settle down to raise the next generation of men who will honour and place women highest in the pyramid of their minds, the whole idea of struggles with men will just disappear “.
I went away that day calling some things into question about who truly leads the home. I’m from a home where women and children were/are given preferences before the males in most areas. We are taught to give comfort away so they can have good lives while we stood guard for their wellbeing. As children, we grumbled but it has molded the men in us today. However, respect was accorded a man in every way. 
“will that mean they will be treated equally in good and not so good ways the boys treat themselves, because that’s the only way this equality thing can work. They can’t want to be measured up and not measure up”. As funny and lopsided as the answer from a group of boys over a drinking table was, it dawned on me that they meant that,   if truly equality is allowed the way a few majority of social media advocates are doing, then nobody will get up in the bus for a woman to sit without having interested in payment (in money or kind) . These males would not lift heavy loads from women since they will be treated like men too. These simple things will create so much imbalance that even wnature would cry for mother earth and even though that will be total equality, the equity part of our struggles would have been lost.
It is my new submission that the battle for equity (or equality) is one that should be best fought at home by raising the next generation of reasonable males, girlfriend leading their relationships in the manner of the struggle because social media won’t solve anything especially when most of these advocates can’t even lead a better lives themselves. At the end of the day, it’s our generation lady’s choice to choose if they truly want to release the men of their duties.

This is one of the one of the write in my series of gender disagreements. It is a write up not intended to insult anyone but to open a line of discussion for the betterment of human decision making ability considering various angles involved in these controversial issues around. Comments are welcome. Discussions on Twitter, Facebook and other are welcome too.

We are a Nation of ‘Tribalists’

Nigeria! The ‘rich-poor’ nation, a country with many blessings but even more sufferings, a country of the bittered and confused etc. Nigeria the this, Nigeria the that. So many names allocated to a country at a time but no one is ready to put up a full discourse about the tribal Nigeria.

To me, Nigeria is a country of ‘tribalists’ overpowered by political pretence of nationalism. I refused to make this topic complicated. It is a straight forward issue to me. Nigeria is a country of tribalists. 

Don’t eat me now, I must beg. I’m a Patriot too (rarely have I seen better patriotic citizen than I am ). As a matter of fact, I believe it is the duty of a Patriot to speak the truth without fear or favour, so I’m more or less doing my duty. Yes, I accept it happens in one form or the other everywhere in the world but we’ve come a long way to have eased the segregation or the infighting a bit. Plus, ours is a unique case with so many things shared in common amongst us as a people. Our proximity in nature is too close for us to segregate one another.

Over the decades, for those who have cared to notice, our ‘out of touch’ sentiments have grown into wider segregations leading to a higher level of clustered infighting. I mean, We have turned into a people who are mostly of the view that the next person is out to frustrate us.
Don’t judge me yet please, I should beg again until you get the angle I’m coming from. However,you can help by answering the following questions:
Who are you to claim that you do not harbour sentiment in Nigeria? What mixture of blood can you show to lay claim that you are not tribal in this country? 
I pray your answers will help you relax so I can show you what I meant.

We live in a nation that everyone accuses anyone of everything bad as long as their cultures, heritages and other systems of living differ (even a bit) from ours. Who will dare claim to be non-trivial in this regard?
It is as if we have inner viral hatred running through our veins from our decades of sentimental neglects and we have not thought about antidote to prevent  infesting our little ones. 

We have neglected the things that unite us but we have easily channelled our energy to ones that separate us, which are embedded in tribalism and a few other times, religious affiliations.
In reality, we are quick in quoting “we consist of over 500 dialects, 774 local governments and 36 different states” . 

In our country, every favour is based on  language and appointment on Regions. As I said, I have rarely seen people who actually live beyond this on a daily basis.
We are a country bedevilled with tribalism. 
If you really think you are not tribal, then it should be fun to find out what your language calls a typical Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Efik, Ijaw, Urhobo etc person and why do we need such names? 
How many of the names are not hateful or ridiculous? 

Secondly, how many people can attest that they do not harbour in a little way, the believe that their tribe is superior to those of others? Some even never find faults in their traditions but are super ready to condemn the cultures of others. A simple case of being bad judges for other’s culture but very good lawyers for their cultural lapses. We are Nigerians, our problem is superiority of ours and inferiority of others.

The Reviewer is not pointing fingers because we know all the truth. At least, we’ve all grown to know the extent of the common historical bad traits in our own clans and tribes but have been good students of hiding our faults-to be deemed righteous-while exposing others on the altar of shame. Nobody should pretend if we are to face this menace head on.

Cross marriages between tribes would almost have been impossible except for the stubbornness of our generation. One still have to face so many hurdles which can be distasteful to consider marriage in the first place.  Almost every acceptance from parents for their wards to be married to another tribe comes later after so much grumbling. This happens especially when the parents have a bitter feeling about the spouse’s tribe or better still, sees them as being inferior. They do this so much that, they most times forget to check out the vitally needed things for the children’s marriages to flourish that is outside tribal sentiments.
I will save everyone the various examples but they range from the most hilarious to the most heartless, maybe simply put ‘most ridiculous’ .

Can you fathom the fact that a friend had to spend more on his marriage because he’s not from a certain tribe and the lady’s parent felt they were inferior. It should be mentioned that the guy was well stressed because he was perceived to be historical inferiority (or complex – as the case may be) and it had nothing to do with economic class of the guy in question. The financial muscle was there (to an average point) but he was just not qualify based on his tribe.
The funny idea about marriages being hung on the assumption of cultural and blood superiority is what baffles me. It is a concept too strange for me to explain. So having a good head and plan for the lady just wasn’t enough. It was as if the standard had to be raised to know if he will meet up both financially and otherwise. It makes me wonder if the extra he was asked to pay was an insurance ‘just in case….., A future incidence’ from the guy from bad tribe happens. 
By the way, the young man painfully went through the troubles and swore never to have them close to his gate nor have any business with the family besides his wife again. It may seem extreme but that’s what maltreatment does to someone like that.
The situation is worst with complicated marriages and funeral matters. It’s as if traditional traps are set to snare on strangers and visitors.

We are a nation of tribalists,  the grammar itself may offend most but I care less about that at the moment. I just have to make my point clear. At least, everyone knows the truth but most people are not ready to face it in the way it is . We always shout with suspicion about appointments government make but I always wonder if we all know that it’s this same “my brother is the one there’ syndrome that has brought us this low and made a few super rich. Okay, I almost forgot it’s fine for our brothers and sisters to do wrong, and we will suffer in pain while honest mistakes from someone outside our clans are considered abominations. That’s how tribal we can be in my country.

I have travelled and have been raised by different people at different stages in my life, I am yet to see poverty that respect tribe especially when their oppressors live amongst the oppressed. 

The Reviewer may not be perfect but I have sincerely come to see everyone as a countryman (or woman, as the case may be), then, in extension, I consider my countrymen as a people not  tribes. 
This is because, in my whole travel time,  I have learnt that poverty knows no tribe and oppression knows no religion. People just divide people because of their selfish reasons.
So I can’t understand why we are bent on dividing ourselves into tribes and religions whereas our collective punishers are joint in harmony of money sharing. It’s insane that looting and money Sharing does not understand tribe and religion,tongue or culture but we are the ones protecting or fighting for them.

Except you have never moved out of your house, then you won’t know how people of different tongues have been Angels to travellers . As for me, the best form of helps have come from strangers. some, who neither could understand the common English ( pidgin English) or the other languages that I travelled with as means of communication nor knew even the name of the place I’m from. They only understood I was a stranger in distress and they stood out as a blessing to me. That’s the Nigerian spirit and I’m super grateful to God for them.

We will be damned if anyone claim to have not received these kindness and blessing from strangers across the length and breath of this country, at least for once. Haven’t these shown that we are a people of love and compassion? If these could come from those of us we would ordinarily regard as uneducated, why are we the educated ones so derailed from our culture of love? I won’t want to believe we suffer from the ‘more you learn, the more wicked you become’ syndrome. That will be total lost of our identify. We are a nation of tribalists, it’s only unfair how we have not given others chances they need to forge relationships that will lead to the general liberalisation of our nation. 
The Reviewer may not know so much but I have never seen or read about a nation built by internal divisiveness and deliberate injustice

Of sincerity, I have been surprised by doings of people outside my tribe in blessing me and relatively shocked by the actions of my tribesmen in ignoring my plight at my most thunderous times. So I can’t shield the truth in the name of tongue. I only pray my openness can awaken our consciousness to what we can achieve by loving people beyond tribes, tongues, religion and culture, especially in our quest to build a new Nigeria.
God bless Nigeria.

Why are Africans now fairer than the Whites

After the 2015 MBGN show , I’m glad people are coming to understand why I have always complained about our gradual change in colour as a people. I don’t know if it covers the whole continent but I believe Nigeria is a good case study . I have always wondered what it is with us and toning creams that we seem to import them in equal measures as food and clothing materials. Everybody seems to want to be fair and everyone seems to believe that being fair is beautiful and glorifying. Funny as it may sound, We’ve come to consider being fair as a mark of ‘having arrived’ and a status of a good living. In fact, people describe you as suffering when you arrive at a place darker than the last time they saw you. On the other hand, they congratulate you over becoming fairer, like it’s a kind of an achievement or a kind of bodily colour cleansing. I don’t quite get it though, why we are more interested in promoting bleached skin colours as compared to the ebony ones we’ve been gifted? I’m more pondered about the great length people willing to go to have a well toned skins and the things they’ve been mixing to attend such skin. A little more patch here, another patch there, they come out looking fairer than the whites and some even look more like unfortunate nollywood witches.
The trend shows how the society has changed. At first, everyone who was not involved despised it and made people who were into it to feel ashamed. These days, the only way we mock it is when comedians make fun of it. Nothing is wrong about it, they say it’s common colour enhancement. Beauty truly have a prize.

Don’t get me wrong, I love natural light-skinned people. In fact, I’m most times attracted to them like others but does it have to result to everyone not fair wanting to bleach their skin? I know most people that prefer dark skin partners. so bleaching the skin as a means of pleasing the opposite sex shouldn’t be an excuse. 

I think I’m being kind in my words. Perhaps I should make it clear that I’m worried that most fair people are really not naturally fair these days (at least, not as fair as they look at the moment as compared to when they were not using toning creams) and it saddens me. I know how many people will feel disgusted by this piece, but then, the Reviewer had to set the record straight about our gradual deviation from our identity and he doesn’t mind being the enemy from pointing out these observations. 
I admit that these people are independent beings and are capable of making their independent decisions including how they want their skins to be, but if that be the case, there should be no need for anger when people also make comments about them being bleaching fair. 
Bleaching cream or top gel used to be a thing common amongst the ogogoro sellers, kparaga joint owners, commercial nail painters and people with low self esteem who needed to tuck into their environment or be seen by all means. In other words, it was the lowest rate to which a person’s character could degrade to. It’s worrisome that the fairer than white syndrome has engulfed the high and sophisticated of the society too, especially the females. It’s even more distasteful to find the number of guys that are into Bleaching now.

I don’t understand the logic of we blindly having to choose to be fairer than the whites by all means of bleaching while the very white folks are tanning their skins to be a shade darker. An irony it must be. 
Are we to trying ‘out-fair’ them or Are we hoping to trade places in skin colour all the same?
The Reviewer is truly concerned and writes from a deep rooted feeling following a series of unlikely observations. 

First, I took the whole thing like one of those misplacing societal happenings but then, I took time to observe how the hunt to be fairer than the whites has eaten deep into us, if not consumed most of us. I have with patience observed from our shows to our adverts and saw the same trend and I will say, I’m marveled at the promotion of such act.
For example, Being opportune to again watch our very own, most beautiful girl in Nigeria (MBGN) 2015 – after losing interest for years now- for reasons known to me, I am still amazed at the bright toned girls we have had to showcase. Not much has changed. Someone must have deceived them into the fantasy that being toned is a prerequisite for being beautiful and winning contests. but at least this time, the winner was an ebony beauty. I was glad because of that single achievement. It was as if bleaching cream preachers have not gotten that Anambra contestant. Sincerely, I felt proud. It was as if for once, we’ve realised that we must represent our true colour if we will have the chance of progressing in the global stage as we did with Agbani Darego.

It extends further. I stopped at an old customer’s place to pick up a lotion a while ago, the moment he saw what I picked, he immediately warned that it would make me darker. I chuckled and spent time educating him. At that time, I knew it was bigger than just the users. The manufacturers have actually shifted grounds too. I grew up using coconut oil or coco butter because it was designed to freshen and polish our dark colour but I guess not anymore since I was also warned that most coco butter tone skins now. Really?

The problem is no one also accepts that he or she is bleaching but we can be quick in pointing out how racist a non African is. But how will they cherish our things if you will continue in treating our gifted treasure like it’s not worth preserving.
This write up isn’t made as a dissing subject or a let down to anyone because we all have family members who see this as a way of life. But I feel we need to promote ours now. Imagine what we have been able to do with our music and movies. How much height we have given to them because we believe in them. What if we put a little of such in promoting what we have.
Whether we like it or not, Blacks will always be blacks and whites always whites. I’m only looking for the situation when the words “black is beautiful” would come into realization because it is more than just a phrase but a way of life.

I believe it starts with us.

The Good Ones Are Gone: A Bachelor’s Search for Companion

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When we were growing up, my grandpa while looking at his wife would smile and then would ask us to pray for a good life partner. We were too young to understand but we loved the smiles they shared. Nearly two decades later, we are living to understand his reasons better. I really wish I didn’t just pray but had even fasted for his suggestion then. Especially now that we seem to be in trouble even understanding what long term happiness is in a relationship. People are used, things are loved and egos are treasured.

Living life as a partial or full Lagos bachelor with little enhancements (like a small crib and a car) has a way of showing people life from different angles. For one, your clique is improved and your lifestyle is merely overrated. For sure, the girls are fresher and the boys are doper. As long as you are living it up and you do not fall into the category of ‘I used to have but I don’t anymore’. It’s the city, no one cares about how happy you are after all.
With all these about the city, the lives on this deceitful lane has actually opened my eyes to the confirmation of two facts that old man told us.

Firstly, we all hope for the best but we are constrained to choose only from the available especially in relationships. No one can choose what’s not available. According to what the old man explained, there are three type of humans in matings (the good ones, the normal ones and the abnormal ones). Let me explain that a bit.

The good ones are those type my grandpa took time to smile about. They treat their relationship like a treasure as if it’s a prerequisite for them making it to heaven. They nurtured it. Like our grannies, the way they managed their relationships and marriages make us believe storybooks happy ending tales.  They solved their problems selflessly , overcame their struggles internally and maintain happy faces to the rest of the world.

Normal is like the middle point of everything. Warri no win, warri no lose, kpatakpata na draw kind of relationship people.

The abnormal is, well, just not normal. You must permit me to leave it this way for simplicity because I lack the exact English word in exchange of what he said.

Second and most importantly, the city lane has opened my eyes to the fact that the good ones (both boys and girls) are gone and even normals are a big deal now. Okay, that’s harsh, maybe I should say the good ones are almost gone and normals are greatly desired.

Since I’m now grown and have a deeper understanding of his sayings, I want to relate his prediction or fear to our present state and even future problems.

Most sincere seekers (I don’t mean those looking for excuses to not be committed) will tell you that the good ones you seek have been too rare for a while now that these days people fast and pray for the ‘normal’.

If we are truthful to our generation, then we know the good ones were gone from when the gentlemen could no longer win ladies with acts of gentleness because they prefer being with ruffians and being treated wrongly. Good ones were gone the moment good girls could no longer keep their men because the males’ minds are more occupied with skimpy skirts adventures than what they were being offered at home. Good ones were gone from the time parents shamelessly started to depend on daughters for monthly survival. In fact, the good were gone from the  period when feelings and relationships became monetized.

If you don’t understand what it is like to seek just normal in a relationship, then let me explain better. For the singles, Normal is like pleading with nature to be at least fair with you after having the 7th ‘kolomental’ relationship you didn’t bargain for in less than 2 years. It’s that feeling of hoping not to be involved but deep inside you, craving to be, but will silently pray you don’t fall for one worst than the last. It’s hoping to settle for a person more human and not just another beast that can tear more pieces of you apart. This is normal. Normal to the married is seeking to, at least to be liked when you give love. Normal like this doesn’t want too many luxuries but just day to day human treatment and security.

Good are rare, so we are having everybody wishing to settle for normal. In the absence of good, we only pray for normal these days and those normals too are fast becoming an endangered specie. Our liberties that were supposed to open doors to self enlightenment and discoveries are becoming windows to our own doom. We openly enjoy the uglies and secretly wish the good girls and boys we heard in stories can be restored after forgetting we’ve been destroying the structure to which they are supposed to be raised and maintained.

Talking about how we crave for even normal these days, The other day, I mistakenly left the TV on one of these Nigerian music channels for an aunt and left to  attend to some things. When I got back, she involuntary asked why these foreign parents can’t at least tell their children to be normal and or at least wear normal clothes. When I told her that the people on TV were Nigerians, she didn’t even wait for me to tell her the bum shorts (or pants according to her)  and the trousers that won’t hang on the waist (plus tattoos that were too dark and dirty) were the new normal now before she talked herself to anger. She concluded by pointing that perhaps clothes should be given to animals since they will wear it better than humans.

Good is rare and normal is scarce. When a friend told me she thought a certain celebrity’s marriage did well to had almost clocked two years contrary to her believe it will only survive for a year or less . Her point to me, made marriage seem like a JAMB score which is only useful in one year and thus invalid in the next admission year. Is this the norm now and should it be?

Abnormal is just terrible. We once had a neighbour with so many funny acts. They claimed their relationship was complex. In their good times , they display all kinds of sexual profanity on the street and in their bad times, they were busy violently getting blood out of each other. Again, they will always say their love life is bad ass complex. Perhaps the bad ass complexity can be explain in how a married woman will come home super drunk in week days, not minding the fact that the children should be prepared for school early the next morning. Maybe bad ass complexity explains why the husband never had class in the type of skirts he pursued. Whatever the case, this couple like most these days, were finding more bad times than good times and when they do, the area was turned into a war zone with words and weapons. Abnormal is not just bad, it’s ridiculous and this is the stage most of us are, ranging from relationships to marriages.

We must accept the fact that if truly the good ones are almost gone and the normal ones will soon be threatened, we collectively caused it. We replaced human disciplines with other things, the ‘pillar heads’ of family culture abandoned their duties and now we are paying for it. The Reviewer is not giving marriage counselling but thinks we give too little and want too much. You would say I don’t understand everything about how our old folks made it work then but I sure do know that it was based on family structure that were laid as foundation for day to day operation.

“The Reviewer’s say is simple”. If you still possess a good one in any form, you must be one of those with blessings than our generation can explain. I hope we treat the rare remaining ones well so they can produce  and nurture other good ones.

If you with a normal, don’t worry, I have seen what perseverance can do especially for two people who believe.

But if the world lies between you and the abnormal, well, God help you find peace.

As for  me, I really wished I had prayed those prayer from my grandpa well because I reflect on the issue almost daily.

However, seeing the world with my bachelor eyes, my prayers have taken a funny turn. I pray that God should order my steps in such a way that on the day I am supposed to meet an abnormal one, may my clothes be stained by football from the street kids (as funny or dumb as it may sound, it’s a prayer point) . Let the car act up a little and let me change my mind outrightly about such outgoing. I don’t mind, as long as we don’t meet. Because I’m not ready to live my life like a man under bondage daily nor do i want to spend most part of my life fasting, praying and casting for another person’s misdeeds.

If you so care, join me in this prayer or keep waiting for the unknown.

the good ones are gone is a write up without any hateful or gender attributes but a pure expression of views of people as reviewed by the reviewer.
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Na Woman be Woman problem: the Feminist’s battle

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This is not one of those write-ups about ‘who rules the world and who rules those who rule the affairs of the world’ talks. I have seen and read in places about accusations and counter accusations about the functioning of women and even how men have hindered women from realizing their full potentials. It has almost become a norm for women to blame men for their misfortunes but would not tell men how helpful some have been in their dream pursuits. I feel troubled most sincerely that we are having a new breed of young ladies who have quickly deviated from the main aim of the feminism struggles either for self enrichment or mutual reasons. Rather than face the truth, We are having an emerging set of females who are branded to always quickly point to males for their various troubles while themselves and other females are being exonerated . At this juncture, I must state in clear terms that men are not women’s biggest problem nor obstruction and it’s ridiculous to spread this type of ideology . In fact, more often, men have always formed a solid block of support to the women.

I have been a good campaigner for feminism but this, to me is not feminism, this is purely manipulative; which, is steering needless antagonism. It is more about giving room to excuses instead of making of strong women ready to compete for their places in history. This is a topic I am to give full Review one of these days but I will quickly dive into a section of it here by trying to remind our females that the war between them is doing no one good. I must however state it clearly again that men enjoy undue advantages in some areas that seem dominating. Take for instance, abortion and free sex expression would have been permitted if men get pregnant too. In fact, I have reasons to believe that holidays would have been granted once in a month to everyone if men were also menstruating. In spite of these, women with purpose have maintained full drive in quest for a better life not just for themselves but for those around them. This is commendable at every standard.

You see in the yesteryears, it was almost easier to believe that many things ladies do were to impress or shame a man but if you still hold this belief, I must say you haven’t taken your survey of their sincere opinions carefully of recent. It’s my sincere observation that even though the girls still feel the pressure or need to please the boys at one stage or the other, most things ladies do are to please or intimidate other ladies. These things go a long way to determine class, taste and social preferences. The above in turn go on to determine the categorization of ladies amongst themselves.
Contrary to the various believes, men actually support women even at their detriment except in few cases. It’s almost very hard for a female’s appeal to not be taken by a man and in the game of getting what they want, they know their way around. Don’t get me wrong, most times it may not be sexual but ordinary tuning of their face structures and changing of mood can work the magic. This is not the case between females. In fact, there are always room for a female to be suspicious of one another and will always act in a manner to show supremacy amongst themselves.
Na women be women problem. However, it is the men who are always willing to help females fly. Most often than they would for other males. It’s becoming increasingly painful of males being painted otherwise as the villains in constraining the female folks from succeeding. Even though it’s not funny, I tend to laugh most times when I hear talks like “they have a way of frustrating women and we had to work extra hard to get to where we are now”. Work extra, how? If for anything, women are get soft landings. It’s becoming frustrating that the real picture is not painted. Things have changed people. Men are no problem to the women except for those who have refused to move into the 21st century. My dear, believe it or not, no man can hinder a determined female’s success and it’s only the weak ones that feel threatened when the females succeed. Why should men even be threatened? I grew up having 2 beautiful girls top me in class in my primary school but that didn’t Make me insecure or inferior but rather made me form a bond with them so I could tap into their intelligent minds.  Please don’t tell me I was too young to understand a man’s ego then, because I had more intelligent girls in my university days and we flowed well even beyond the class room. There were battles no doubt but they were those of educational researches and supremacy amongst us in the class nothing to do with males or females. In fact, we(the boys) were more involved in the chase of who gets the most intelligent of girls than getting the most beautiful of them. I doubt if any male considered rivalry with the ladies beyond educational issues. It was however not so for the girls. Every quarrel and ‘beef’ then always had a ‘woman struggling against another woman’ face attached to them. At this stage, the Reviewer couldn’t fathom fully what and where the causes of the rivalries were from, so he stayed clear.

Men are less of women’s problems. Come to think of it, one of my late educational mentors, & lecturer; Dr. Bassey will award an A to a female for the same writeup he would award a B to a male and will clearly tell us we need to be extremely good to match their brains. The truth remains that it’s not just him that does this, it cuts across board in one form or another and if given the chance, I’m now sure that almost sure 98% of those males in my class and elsewhere would do same. Maybe, their reasons or objectives may differ. Anyway, that was the case and we, the guys didn’t care (at least from our conversations) but it gave us reason to strive harder. The wonderful irony about my female experiences in the University period is that the female lecturers were the ones who were always battle ready for others of the same sex and when they come for these battles, they were over prepared with weapons of frustration that can inflict injuries that can last a lifetime.
If the female folks are straight and sincere, they can testify to this in their own experiences. With the way the females folks treat other female folks, I can boldly say the males are the least of their problems. This is not just a situation peculiar to the school environments only but it’s been extended to other parts of life especially work places. If you still doubt this, please take a sampling of testimonies from females working with female bosses or report to superiors that are females. Rarely before you don’t have them in constant battle with one another, whether silent or open ones.
All these supremacy battles between the female most times cannot be comprehensively explained even by them but they continue to eat deep into their chances of leadership in a standardized world system while a few are constantly trying to convince others that the males are the reason why many of their dreams are not actualized. It’s high time we’d realized that women are more women’s problem than men.

Your opinions are welcome and so are your criticisms but if you are still wondering if women are women’s biggest problem then please, among other things, find out why most girls prefer boys as friends or even best friends while their lady acquaintances are left as gist mates or gossip folks (Those are the girls who are even in the mood to even have females around them) . In all, we must teach our daughters again that there’s nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man (woman), but that true nobility comes from the great things we can jointly achieve. So We can be truthful to ourselves or allow this to grow to a point of no return. But if we must act, then the time is now.

N.B: This is not meant as an demeaning article but an avenue of discussion, so contributions, disagreements and views are welcome below.

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