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Saving the world, one discussion at a time. We are open to every narrative and believe every story is peculiar.

Behind Every Successful man, is THE MAN.

It’s a widely accepted belief that behind every successful man is a woman, a mother, a sister, or a wife with a vision. A woman is regarded as an assistant and helper to the man. This means she is expected to support his dream, career, or business. The true questions are, how correct is this notion? Does it apply to every man? Are there not single successful men out there? Does it mean that married men who are not successfully married, have visionless women around them? if women are powerful deciders of a man’s fate, why do we have successful men without a woman behind them? These questions would be analyzed in this article.

Married successful men are always used as a reference point in promoting the above ideology. A man’s success is not always because of the woman. We have failed to understand that a woman could advise a man and do everything it takes to put him on the right path and things will still not work out. During awards nights, some men would thank the women in their lives for helping them attain such height. This can be his mother or wife. Sometimes, they don’t even mention any woman, they just mention men. How then did we conclude that behind every successful man is a woman?

Behind every successful man is a successful woman

Does the above statement apply to every man?

It is a fact that success doesn’t apply to every man. A lazy man can marry a woman with vision and still die poor or without achievements. The truth is, not every man can maintain a certain height of success. It is not every man that has the discipline to perform beyond the ordinary. The plain truth is, not every successful man is married or ever will.

This brings us to the next question, Are there not single successful Men?

Yes, some men are successful yet single. Some are not single however, they have a member of the same gender standing by them and not the other way round. These successful single men range from artists, actors, businessmen, career-driven men, etc.

Did unsuccessful men marry visionless women?

I can say with certainty that there are many energetic, hard-working, creative women out there who are married to unsuccessful men and this is a reality in life. There are several angles to life. Several factors contribute to the success of an individual.

This popular phase to an extent portrays a woman as having the key to success or being at the centre of a successful man. It depicts that women know what is essential for success, like deciding when to make decisions, and how they should be followed, the importance of accountability, determination, discipline, and the list goes on.

Behind every successful man is the man himself with the ability to FIGHT for what he wants. –Princess Zachariah.

Behind every successful man is a boy child who had an extraordinary dream and never stopped dreaming. Behind every successful man is a teenager who made choices. A man who decided to be great regardless of the challenges life threw at him. A teenager who perhaps struggled with insecurities but found his passion and built the passion. A teenager who wished to be on the wall of fame.

Behind every successful man is a youth who made risky but right decisions, hustled for an opportunity, met the right people and got the right connections. A self-motivated and determined youth, following the trend but aiming to create a trend. Behind every successful man is a man who works hard, maintains the right relationships, and believes he can be better so he seeks advice. A man who has built himself to heal from failures and aim for greater height.

I am in no way trying to belittle the importance of a woman to a man’s life. A mother with vision helps her son’s dreams,  guides and motivates him. A wife with a vision, on the other hand, helps her husband, supports him, and even acts as an adviser. However, can we truly say that all women can give great advice? Yes! I know what you will say. The question I have for you is, can’t someone else other than his wife fill these shoes?

In conclusion, for any person to become successful, they have to be a goal-getter and a fighter. They also usually have an amazing team. It doesn’t matter the gender of the people in that team, as long as they are experienced and good at what they do, then there is a potential for outstanding greatness. We must understand that a man who hasn’t realized himself and lacks hunger for self-growth will always be doomed for failure. This would happen whether or not he has 100’s of women as his backbone.

 

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Commitment? Just choose one and keep it moving.

Just choose one and keep it moving.

I am obsessed with the idea of commitment and I think it is a key ingredient for any successful relationship. Of course, people have different interpretations of commitment depending on what stage they are in life, a teenager’s expectation of commitment will be different from someone in his/her late 20s. That is why relationships, when you are a teenager, can be hard work, you cannot and should not expect an 18 year to commit to being with you “forever”. It is not really realistic either because at that stage they are still trying to figure out who they are and what life is about, so expecting Lil Tosin to stay with you forever at 18 when Lil Tosin still has to hide her/his partner from mum and dad is a bit unfair, don’t you think? (It must be said that there are some exceptions, some people meet their soulmate at 16 and they spend forever together).

At a certain point when you are older though, I think that should change.  The point where things should change is relative, the whole world seems to have accepted the idea that roughly between 21-24 people should date to “find themselves” and different people find themselves at different times. Once you know who you are and what you want in a partner, I sincerely believe the rest should be easy. If you are matured enough to know the type of person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you are lucky enough to meet the person and even luckier that the person feels exactly the same way, then that should be it, game over. Because life is long and hard and it is filled with, pardon my French, endless stream of fuckery. Life is like going into a battle, if you are in a battle, the last thing you want to be worrying about is if your partner will leave you alone on the battlefield, helpless and defenceless. That is the same with relationships and life, imagine losing your job and you are worried about your bae leaving you for greener pastures on top of that, what kind of life is that?

Another thing that commitment does is that it allows both parties to be themselves and grow together secured in the knowledge that they will be there for each other. If you are in a relationship with someone you know is 110% committed to you, you are more likely to be yourself and not walk on eggshells around the person out of fear of abandonment. You guys can argue about difficult topics, support different political parties (lol, I know there are the same) and not worry about crossing a line. And because you guys have accepted you are stuck together forever, you will automatically have each other’s best interest in mind, if she/he wins, you both win, you won’t have to be insecure that she/he is outgrowing you and would dump your ass (although that doesn’t stop you from stepping up your own game)

If you are committing to someone, you that you are making that commitment will and should have peace of mind. Think of it this way, if I buy a car, I know that I am going to use the car for the next 3-4 years so when I am driving, I am not going to be looking at other cars thinking I want to trade, there would be no point. Extrapolating this to a life partner is a bit trickier, I know, but the principle is still the same. What makes it even more challenging is that you are 120% guaranteed to meet someone better than your partner at some point and here is the kicker; if you trade your partner for an upgrade, partner 2.0 if you will, chances are when you meet partner 3.0 you will trade up again…and again…and again. So maybe it’s just best to pick one and keep it moving.

 

Author: Azeez Alabede (Azeezwrites), you can find me on Instagram (@azeezwrites) and Twitter (@azeezwrites) or subscribe for weekly posts @ azeezwrites.com

 

Do you have a Flight or Fight response to situations?

Do you have a Flight or Fight response to situations?

Of a truth, I have only ever had a “flight” response to failing relationships. Sometimes, I ask myself Why I have gotten so used to “running” in the face of challenges. I elope all the time, so much so, I have become too comfortable with settling with the “flight” response.

I do not know how I became this way. Although, I suspect it’s as a result of a traumatic experience from the past. I’m not one to Opt for patience, neither am I ready to openly outdo a rival over a romantic interest. The truth is, It’s usually the opposite for me. Once I discover a sniff of someone else or an appearance of foul play, I walk away.

A while ago, I was trying to make research on mood swings and it’s varying intensity. I needed to know the cause of my sudden and dramatic change of mood. I was forced to ask if there is a particular brain chemical in charge of happiness and sadness. Is there a secretion of brain chemicals and waves that surmounts how people feel? You know that feeling people get when they are suffering badly from nicotine addiction and how irritable they can be in its absence? Is there an explanation for all these?

 

happiness

 

I was able to learn about these chemicals that control the type of happiness you experience.

They are: D.O.S.E
1. Dopamine
2. Oxytocin
3. Serotonin
4. Endorphins
Now, I am going to try and explain these chemicals and the type of happiness they produce in a layman’s term.

Dopamine is responsible for the little happiness you feel when little things get you excited. You know that excitement you get when someone winks at you, likes your pictures, or drops a nice comment to compliment you. Yes! Dopamine oversees that feeling.

Oxytocin, on the other hand, is felt from physical contact. You know that jolt of happiness you get when rubbing fingers with someone you like, or the feeling you get when you hug someone you hold dearly to your heart. You know that feeling you get when you are scared and a trusting arm of care is placed on you. It is the type of happiness you get from someone that you trust and care deeply for. The oxytocin chemical is usually the one active when building relationships.

Serotonin is a brain chemical that builds on pride and status. It is the chemical in the brain that secretes whenever we accomplish something, whether a goal or a bet. Remember how you felt the day you finished school or after excelling at something? It is Serotonin that gets activated when you feel excited about these things. It is what motivates people to excel, it propels and controls what to feel and how to feel. You get awards, get appreciated or complimented, you feel a rush of happiness.

Perhaps we can say this chemical drives prominent persons such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Burna boy and other talented individuals who have been accused of being proud. The truth is, serotonin can be regarded as the most positive of all brain chemicals. It gives a kind of self-confidence that is needed to do something extraordinary.

Endorphin
This chemical is released in response to pain. It is a kind of chemical that induces happiness to cover up the pain. When it is activated, you probably might not feel a single pain, even if you are being burnt (pardon the exaggeration). I’m only trying to make you understand the effect of this chemical on humans.

Have you ever been so in love that you don’t feel hungry? Instead of being hungry, you are filled up. Endorphins are responsible for this feeling. The irony of it all is that is probably hungry, however, you are way too happy to even feel hunger. Runners and other athletes can testify to this phenomenon. You know when you have gone 2 or 3 laps that you are in serious pain, and then you manage to run around jubilating after winning the race even when you are exhausted. Realistically, you did feel like you were going to collapse some minutes ago. However, as soon as you discovered that you got to the finish line before anybody else, you suddenly regained that strength from nowhere to run around celebrating your victory.

The flight/fight response can be influenced by the chemicals in charge of happiness. Have you ever been so happy that there was nothing no one could do at that moment to aggravate you? I’m sure you have!

It is therefore right to deduce that, the presence of some chemicals in the brain doesn’t just determine one’s mood or happiness but is responsible for mood swings and sadness. These chemicals control the way we react, respond and make decisions.  You should note that the flight or flight response can both be psychological or physiological.

I tried to trace the root of my flight response and I have gotten to know that its foundation is rooted in a traumatic experience that occurred years ago.

Ways to correctly handle the flight/fight response.

1. Put yourself in a stress-free situation.
Learn to stay away from situations that will stress or aggravate you. Although, there is a limit to what you can do to stop other people from fagging you out. However, ensure that you control the way you respond to things and people. Only put yourself in a healthy and safe environment.

2. Medications help too.
Some medications help keep you relaxed. However, these types of drugs should only be used when they have been prescribed by the doctor. The consequences of misusing or abusing drugs could be catastrophic and should be avoided.

3. Try getting involved in physical and mental exercise.
Physical and mental exercise does a lot in ensuring the smooth functioning of our body. It is only when the mind is healthy that the body can be healthy.

4. Understand the root of your problem.
Understanding the root cause of your problem is the only answer to finding lasting solutions to problems. Knowing why you react the way you do or what precipitates your decision-making process is very important. Knowing the root of your problem is the only way to effect real change. A man can only tackle issues if he truly comprehends the problem, breaks it down and analyses it.

Finally, I must mention that my initial intention for this article was to make it a personal account of my flight response to issues, especially relationships. However, it somehow ended up taking another turn. Oh well! I would probably be addressing that in some other article.

I Should Have Seen the Red flags.

I Should have seen the red flags

I’m here staring at the ceiling, thinking to myself as I replay Andra Day’s red flags.

“I should have known I’d lose everything… I should have known red flags were warning me, now my soul drags behind my feet but I’ll be fine I guess. You meant no harm you say…”.

“Dear Lord, Is this really happening to me?”. I said to myself. It felt like Andra was there with me at that very moment. Like she had a preview of what I had been through in the last couple of months. Otherwise, why would she describe exactly how I was feeling? The lyrics of the song was overbearingly apt. (🤦‍♀️the song was written released in 2015).

love

If someone had told me that you and I would not be together, I would have argued with that person passionately. You were my everything. Every love song completely reminds me of you. At times, I feel like I’m going crazy because I perceive your fragrance everywhere I go. A few days ago, I nearly embarrassed myself because I called out for you, thinking you were the one I had seen.

I hate love right now. I hate love songs with everything in me. I hate them because I think of nobody other than you when I hear them. How long will I face this torture?

Who knows? Just maybe after pouring my heart out, I will be fine and move on with my life. At this moment, I know I’m stuck! I’m stuck in a dream I created for myself thinking, we would be together, happy forever. I have not been able to play our song on my phone, and whenever I hear it play somewhere else, I usually can’t wait to tell someone it was our song.

It’s funny how I am the one that uses words to express myself, and when we were together, you did it better than I could. I would wake up some mornings to a beautifully written email from you, telling me how much you adored me. I hadn’t gotten that before and it indeed made me feel special.

I’m not going to deny that I adored you too. I’m not also going to deny the fact that you were a beast to me when you wanted to be. You had your ways of manipulating everyone around me and having them on your side. There is a certain charm to you, and time after time, you have found ways of using it to your advantage.

Now when I think about it, I understand why you always said to me, “I can make whoever I want, like me”. I’m not saying I am blameless here, but a part of you knows I meant no harm. I’m far from blameless. Yes! I found it hard to forgive or let go of things. Yes! I got tired of the ‘I am sorrys’ and needed to understand the reasons why you did the things you did.

andra day

You seemed not to understand why the numerous ‘I am sorrys’ never quite won me over. In fact, all it ever did was compound the situation. I am not the type of girl that needs to be spoon-fed with soothing words. I needed answers. Answers you were not willing to give. Why do you think I write? I write to answer things that are hard to explain, so apologies for not being the kind of person you wanted.

I’m not sure you are going to read this, and quite honestly, I would be relieved if you didn’t. In case you see this, you need to know you did a number on me. Today, I went through the relationship contract you made me sign and I smiled! I smiled because love can be so sweet and sour at the same time. You did not only breach the contract,  you made me second guess myself every minute and every day.

The other day we spoke on the phone and it felt so awkward. Like we were strangers. How do people get here? Remember how you picked other people over me? Yet, I kept picking you. You complained that I always misjudged you yet, you knew I wasn’t wrong every time I called you out.

Never in my life have I seen someone complain about being given full disclosure. I’m not ashamed to say I’m a full-disclosure kind of person. I let you understand what you are getting yourself into so, at the end of the day, you wouldn’t say I didn’t tell you. When we first met, you were the one clamouring for openness and sincerity. I wasn’t all about that lifestyle yet, I obliged.

I can’t believe how blinded I was to love that I couldn’t see the reason behind your actions. You wanted openness, only when it favoured you and, you didn’t want me to question why the truth wasn’t timely, from your end. Can you remember our last conversation on WhatsApp? I think that was the sincerest you have ever been with me.

I wouldn’t want to say so much, but writing about this has been so liberating for me. I’m forced to remember yet another song by Andra. In the song, she talks about not being perfect and how they say the higher you climb, the further you fall when you take the dive but, she agrees it’s comatose, and she can’t live that close. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I can’t live my life worried about what could go wrong, and so here I am, still believing in love. Indeed, living one’s life in fear of love is comatose. Thus, I have learnt my lesson but I’ll give it another try. This is me saying cheers to love and the beautiful things that come along with it.

 

 

 

This article was inspired by my love for Andra Day, and of course, my once-upon-a-time love story.

I alluded to 3 masterpieces from Andra Day’s Cheers to the Fall Album.

  1. Redflags.
  2. Cheers to the fall.
  3. Rearview.

Is Love Ever Enough?

We live in an age where relationships barely stand the test of time. Things that used to work before are gradually changing. Everyone is becoming ‘‘woke’’. Thus, altering the status quo. _ Oladayo Dawodu

Love, that strong emotion you have towards someone so much that you can do anything and everything for the individual involved. Looking at this statement, is that what love truly entails? I bet you all have different definitions of what love is because truly love isn’t one dimensional. What Bryan perceives as love isn’t going to be what Shonda feels love is. In fact, if you google the definition of love, you’d see 68,900,000 results. So then, what really is love? And how do we know if it will ever be enough? Sit back and let’s take a stroll in the park…

For context, the love we’re analysing is within the arm-bits of a romantic relationship. Y’all will recall being taught about love in either primary or secondary school. Yunno, the agape, platonic and blah blah blah types of love. For here, na romantic love we dey yarn.. The ‘‘To All The Boys’’ kinda love thingy. The classic boy meets girl, boy catches feelings, boy shoots shot, girl catches the shot and falls, after doing a helluva “shakara“. Then few weeks or months later, they begin the journey of love and it either ends in tears or ends in the Disney ‘‘They lived happily ever after’’.

We live in an age where relationships barely stand the test of time. Things that used to work before are gradually changing. Everyone is becoming ‘‘woke’’. Thus, altering the status quo. The best example of this newly formed “wokeness” is Twitter. That place is a mad street entirely. So many people doling out opinion they do not practice in actual reality.

love can be enough

The previous generations, though massively flawed, have still maintained their relationship, E be like say dem use gorilla glue hold the foundation down. However, we in this generation can barely hold a relationship for more than 3 months. Why? because everyone is “woke”, no-one wants to put in the effort, any little misunderstanding, boom! Break up. If another person has it more than your partner in terms of finances, beauty, intelligence or what have you. It’s enough reason for people to have their release clause triggered. It begs the question, is love truly enough? If you ask me, if it was enough, we wouldn’t have a lot of broken relationships and, marriages in this generation.

I remember during my NYSC days, as the Vice President of my CDS group, one of the things I did was to anchor a group discussion where we talked about different issues. On that particular Thursday, the question I threw to the house was: IS LOVE EVER ENOUGH IN RELATIONSHIPS? Of course, everyone was interested as they had one or two things to say. We had a wholesome discussion and fortunately we also had married Corps-members around who also added their 50 cents… Go Shawty!

I can imagine your thoughts as well. Some of you will tilt in the direction of love being enough, while some will pitch their tents in the camp of love not being enough. It’s really a double-edged sword if we really want to be realistic. So, yeah people that believe love should be enough think so because of the nature of love. Love is pure, selflessness, deep affection, sacrifice. It goes on and on. Like I said earlier, love is being ready to do anything and everything for your partner irrespective of what life throws at you. With all these, love according to them should be enough. Personally, I feel like this must be the reason why a large percentage of our parent’s marriages have lasted over 25 years. If you look at it, many of them were married off, many didn’t love their partners initially, while some actually loved their partners. Also, many of these marriages were not financially strong, but then they stuck to one another, loved one another, made it work and we the offspring of that union are reaping the benefits. Long story short, that’s enough reason to show that love can truly be enough because no reasonable person will choose to stay in such a union with someone they don’t love. I know there are lapses in this statement, but that’s a story for another day.

To the people that feel love isn’t enough, many of them speak from the materialistic point of view. Of course, they had valid reasons for such an angle. I often say, love is sweet but it is sweeter when there is money involved and even sweetest when both parties have money. As a man, it is not enough for you to just say you love a lady, you have to show it. What better way can you show you love a woman without money being involved. Money is needed, it is essential. It drives the relationship; it makes it sweeter. Hell! No lady wants to suffer, no! scratch that! nobody wants to suffer, we all want to live our best lives, we all want to “relass and be taken kairof”. So, if you don’t have money, biko, try your best possible to focus on yourself and get the beg before shooting shots at women, because “I LOVE YOU” won’t pay the bills. Ladies are special creatures and they should be treated as such. Truly, I don’t blame girls that dump their struggling boyfriends for rich dudes, I mean not everybody can be Mitchell Obama, but then everyone wants to be comfortable. So yeah, in this parlance, love really isn’t enough.

Story ti fe ma long, so I am just gonna wrap it up here. To my guys, hustle o! make your bag, you deserve a lady that will complement you in every ramification. Hell, shoot your shots at women that are independent, women that know what they want. And if you’re fortunate to get their love, treat them right and don’t be an asshole. To my ladies, y’all are special, beautiful and unique in your different ways. Strive to be an asset, a person guys will have to go the extra mile before they can get your attention. I’m talking about that independent, boss-chick that no-one can toss around like a piece of cheese. And if you’re fortunate to get a responsible brotherman who will always put you first, biko be his peace. Remember, love is sweet but it is sweeter when there is money involved and even sweetest when both parties have money. If this is the case, I believe LOVE can truly be ENOUGH!!!

 

 

ABOUT  WRITER
Oladayo Dawodu, popularly known as Dre, is a graduate of History and Strategic Studies with a background in Mass Communications and keen interests in Digital Communication, Public Relations & broadcasting. Proven Content Specialist with substantial experience in the media sphere. He is articulate, confident, relish challenges and enjoys getting tasks done on time. His greatest strengths are his research, communication, writing and analytic skills. He strives to achieve the highest standards in any given task. Fun fact, he has bilingual knowledge of French and Spanish. You can connect with him on Twitter: @dideedre IG: @dideedre Facebook: Dawodu Oladayo Oluwadamilare.

Positive Self-deception.

Positive self-deception is the act of convincing oneself of truth or lack of truth for the sole purpose of self-fulfilment and positivity. The Oxford Academic Journals defines deception as the deliberate distortion of information in order to deceive others. However, positive self-deception is different from other forms of deception because it aims to produce positive results for the greater good. Truly, the act of deception is totally frowned at as it encourages lack of truth, deceit and falsehood in the society. However, it is important to understand that positive self-deception is not aimed at hurting others. what it does is, it controls the narrative.

The “narrative” here may be the one being fed to you by your own mind, or even by very mean people. It could be the narrative that comes to you when the not-so-beautiful thoughts creep in. Positive self-deception feeds you with the confidence that you so desperately need to get things done even when a voice in your head is saying you can’t. Positive self-deception is good because it helps bring you out of the shell you have unknowingly created for yourself.

It does not only increase your self-esteem astronomically, but it continues to do so momentarily. I know what you are thinking. You are probably saying to yourself “How can deception be positive?”.

Deception can be positive when it brings about peace, stability and productivity. It is indeed no surprise that every leading state in the international political system adopts diplomacy, manipulation and even deception as a tactic for it to remain a driving force globally. To simply put this, deception is a skill that should be embraced by all whenever the need arises. The keyword here is “awareness”. You have to be “aware” of the process you are about to embark on and the result you desire to get. As helpful as positive self-deception can be, it can also be the most treacherous of all deceptions.

Positive self-deception must be an “intentional” act. If it isn’t, then there is nothing that separates you from a person who is suffering from a borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and any other psychological disorder. The truth is that we all engage in self-deception, be it positive or negative. We are sometimes deceitful and other times, we are not truthful to ourselves.

Many would argue that the overestimation of one’s abilities can only lead to doom. Some also will argue that self-deception would only make one take cognisance of the good qualities they have and blind them from the negative qualities which they bear. My solution to the above argument remains mental “awareness”. You can not say a person mustn’t fill himself with positive self-deception when he is continually faced with vices that make him believe he is not good enough. These negativities are everywhere, they are on every social platform, they are in our workplaces, they exist even amidst friends and family members we take dear to our hearts.

Why do I have to feel guilty about telling myself how extraordinary I am or how smart I am when there is someone or something always trying to make me feel like I am not good enough? where is the logic in that? I should in fact tell myself wonderful things, whether or not they are exaggerated. In the process, I could as well set aside time to work on myself, making sure I do not do things to deceive myself. This is why when mental health is concerned, it is very important to do things that would make you feel good and at the same feel adequate.

Finally, I must state that mental health should not be aimed at improving the public perception of us but the perception of ourself. Ultimately, if it means adopting positive self’-deception in achieving this, then permit me to yell “WAY TO GO !!!”

 

 

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Why children? What is so Important About Children?

By Victoria Agbamoro

What do you understand by helping children learn?

Why Children? What is so special about children?

The years of a child is regarded as the formative period, this is where most of the work is needed. Between the ages of 5 – 13, these years form the character and mindset of a child. According to Unicef data on Africa’s statistics on child survival and population report, it is stated that Africa’s child population will reach 1 billion by 2055, making it the largest child population among all continents.

What do these statistics illustrate, that Africa will experience steady growth in birth, which means there will be a need for more health workers, schools and teachers. Who do you think will suffer this the most? Children in low-income communities. The harsh and unstable environment can create biological changes in the growing brains of infants and children. Children are structured to learn by what they see, through my NGO works in reaching out to communities, I have come to understand that children learn by doing.

formative period of a child

What does this mean? Imagine a child who grows up in a violent home, where both parents are consistently violent. You do notice that when that child is in the midst of other kids, he/she begins to act in a way that is quite unusual. The child begins to act violent or withdrawn from activities. The act is beginning to form the mental cognitive of that child and if not well taken care of will mature for a lifetime. Some of the common thread that affects a child’s mental growth is NeglectAbuseTrauma and environment.

Working with children who are growing up in poverty or other severe circumstances, sometimes, they develop characters which can be difficult to control, or a child who has experienced any sort of trauma will develop behavioural problems. When kids have been damaged emotionally, they begin to incorporate several behavourial expressions into their personal identity. Some kids begin to withdraw, while some might become overly tough. This will lead to them not be able to contribute in class, confidently not raising their hands to answer questions, caring less about their learning process.

children neglect

Growing up for me, one of the things I experienced was neglect, not really having anyone to talk to in school, I was regarded as the timid and shy girl! The worst part was I was doing poorly in my academics. Sometimes when its the end of a school session and report card was shared and I see my results, going home felt like pain, because I was going to hear a bunch of negative words again on how bad I was doing. I did not know how to talk about these things I was going through. My parents could not understand, what a child of 8 years could probably be going through in school.

For a long time, I walked bending my back and looking down at the floor while walking because I was not confident about who I was. I began to seek validation from other kids to fit in. I remember buying ice cream for other kids in my class to like me. But I wanted to do better as a child. I wanted to do excellent in class, I wanted to be the first but I did not know-how. Which is why one of the most serious threats to a child healthy development is Neglect. The mere absence of responsiveness from a parent or caregiver. Neglect can do more long term harm to a child than physical abuse.

The first and most essential environment where children develop their emotional, psychological and cognitive capacities is the home. The stress and trauma of an unstable home can affect a child’s developmental growth. However, without the right intervention, you do realize, the child may never recover from early setbacks. Growing up in a hand-core stressful home has a direct negative effect on the development of a child’s growth and function.

However, we can change the narrative of how we can help children learn, here are four tips that can help to build a safer place for children to thrive and grow.

• Listening

Sometimes we get carried away with talking without listening to the emotions of a child when expressing themselves. A child behavioural conduct can be redirected by the kind of adults in their lives. Imagine a child who has gone through several trauma in the home or at school, the worst part is you not knowing that they have gone through such a challenge.

I tried the act of listening during a Sunday School Service with my children in the class, I wanted them to express how their week went, what happened, challenges they faced. I was amazed as to how these children spoke to me about what was going through their minds. Each with a different story to tell. This shows that listening to what these kids have to say, will help you know when they are facing challenges. Mine was my siblings, they were there to listen to me during those periods I felt alone. Children are often drawn to Adults who encourage them to do better.

• Words

Words are often powerful, especially when it comes from someone dear to you. How can we learn to use better words around children, which will help them succeed? Using the right words around children can help to uplift that child to become all that they want to be. If you fill the right sets of words into a child, the child becomes a solid ground of confidence.

• Deeper Learning Strategies

The environment in which a child lives is very important, you find out that when a child grows in an environment marked by stable responsive parenting, by schools that make them feel a sense of belonging and purpose; and by classroom teachers who challenge and support them, you realize that such kids, then to thrive. And are open to more opportunities for a successful life.

• Changing Our Practices

Changing our practices means teaching children the grit mindset. You often find Adults easily give up on their dreams. Gritty people have a growth mindset despite when things are not going the way they should.

Grit involves passion and perseverance towards long term goals. It’s important for children to learn the act of perseverance, grit and resilience. In other, for us to improve a child’s grit or self-control what we need to change first is their mind. Children in their infancy stage rely on responses from their parent to make sense of the world.

A child can learn to thrive, from there they can change the world.

 

 

 

Victoria Agbamoro is a self-taught UX Product Researcher and Designer. She is a creative thinker and innovator with a vast knowledge of design and market research. She has created seamless interfaces to make sure users enjoy every journey using technology. In her spare time, she loves to write value-based stories for kids. Studying History and strategic studies have been instrumental in her understanding of the concept of research and writing which is evident in her research and developments projects. She believes in changing the world through design and writing value-based stories for kids.

 

 

My Dalliance With Pressure.

 

My Dalliance With Pressure.

I haven’t been able to write anything lately or should I say I haven’t been able to write from the heart for weeks now. I want to be able to write and express how I truly feel without feeling some kind of way or thinking about how valuable the content I’m putting out here is. I have this habit of overthinking things. I am also constantly aware of the fact that I must bring my A-game to whatever I do.

This shouldn’t be confused with writer’s block. This is just me falling into one hole that I have been avoiding; having blocked off my emotions and the things I feel psychologically. This is me not having a plan as to how I want this piece to be perceived. This is me doing something about my sudden mood swings by just writing. It is me deciding to write without having a particular topic in mind or thinking if someone would find this piece interesting or not. This me as a writer putting my needs first, my needs to just get someone out there to read some of my not-so-fine thoughts.

My dalliance with pressure

I just want to be free to put out whatever I choose without having to worry whether it’s going to bring a lot of traffic or not. I never really knew how difficult it was to express myself from the heart especially knowing that my thoughts would be out in the public for people to scrutinise or play God amidst other things. Most writings I put out here are sort of void of any true innate feeling. It’s funny because I’m usually a very expressive person.

I feel somewhat like a hypocrite. This is me, a preacher of the essence of vulnerability. I constantly talk the goodness in being vulnerable when the truth is, I am scared as anyone else when vulnerability is concerned.

Lately, I have been having some mood swings and I have had to battle with some inner demon that I really can’t explain or pen down. I have had friends here and there complain about me not putting as much effort into our friendship as they do. I have had people complain of how distant I could be. The thing is, in my heart I always feel like I’m really doing my best to cope with the issues at hand. I honestly do feel like I’m a good person who is constantly misunderstood. In friendships, I give my best unconditionally, but once the other person messes up it’s like I just create a wall between us. This has been my way of protecting myself from feeling hurt or pain. Is it the right way? Of course not! But it has been my coping mechanism to finding peace.

Let me explain how it works; So once this wall has been erected, the other person either thinks I am being unforgiving or I have moved on from them. This naturally leads them to question if our friendship was real from the get-go.

I guess the above phenomenon I’m trying to explain makes me understand and appreciate Eminem’s song titled “The way I am”. In the song, he talks about depression and his childhood experiences. When talking about Proof’s death, he claimed he had days when he couldn’t talk, let alone write a rhyme. It’s somewhat like the feeling when one is drowning in the deep part of an ocean and one finds it so hard to breathe. You think to yourself “ I know I can swim and I’m probably the best swimmer but this wave is too strong for the strength I have right now”.

I haven't been able to write anything lately

Dealing with grief has been a huge part of my life. If anything in the universe worked as it ought to, maybe, just maybe I would still have those that I have lost. I don’t think I am a strong person at all as most people say I am.  I feel too much, I’m extra sensitive about things, I’m extra reactive about even the things I could and should let go of. I love too deeply; I give too much. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to change things and bring back those that I have lost.

I’m constantly asking if I could do things any better and so some days life is just bland. I walk past things that would ordinarily excite me and they don’t make me feel anything. I Keep my eyes still, hoping maybe it would raise something in me that would remind my soul of how I used to feel sometime in the past. A man once said, “I have known my friends for over 20years and I know everything there is to know about them but they do not innately know a single thing about me”. When I heard him say this, I UNDERSTOOD HIM!!!

How well do we really know those around us? Everyone is constantly using that term “friend” when they don’t truly understand it. Most times we are discouraged from really showing our true self. Even when we are not discouraged, we just know that we wouldn’t really be accepted when some certain things are known about us. We try every day to make sense of it, that “difference” that mustn’t be shown to the world. They say “be yourself” yet they distance themselves when you express who you are. The irony!

We are often told not to gear towards our animalistic impulses for the good of the society. The ones that feel LOVE feel the desperate need to prove it’s genuity. The ones that don’t want to put label to things are made to feel like they are missing out on something. Last year (2020) was so hard and tough and it changed my view on certain things.

Some months ago, I began to remember some things (hence my article on repressed memories), of the not-so-worthy event that had happened to me in the past. I felt this rage take over me. I wasn’t sleeping well enough; I had stopped thinking clearly. For a while, I pondered on whether or not I should write about what had happened. To just put it out there and expose those involved. It would have been my way of healing, my hope at revenge, and probably a way to encourage others in similar situations. However, I was advised not to this. And YES! They were right! It really wouldn’t have made any difference because of the kind of society we find ourselves. For a short while, it would be gist-worthy and puff! It would become stale. We always want people to let out their true self yet, when they do that we easily tune into this judgemental side of us.

Having penned this down, it feels so incomplete. You know that feeling a writer gets when they know the plot is incomplete and the story isn’t quite finished. Oh well! It could just be my writer’s instinct coming to play. However, I must pause here and leave you with this; choose the way you want to live. A kind of life where you don’t have to feel guilty of doing some certain thing. Where you don’t have to feel some kind of way because of some standards that has been created by mere mortals… Not everyone will get you and it will hurt really bad. However, it is important not to walk away from things that truly make you happy. If you did read this article to the end, I’m flattered and I hope you got to understand the message embedded in every sentence of this writeup.

 

 

 

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Is Freedom Really the Ultimate Good?

Is freedom the ultimate good?

It is believed by some that the ultimate good for man is freedom. To these people, freedom is in the ability to act without constraint as this is the weapon humanity has to fight against all forces that oppose them. These oppositions may include natural disasters, unfavourable laws and policies, the threat to life and peace. The question here is, are humans truly free? Should they enjoy the freedom to its brim?

According to Jean-Paul Sartre, man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. This means that every man is born with a free-will to do or make things happen for him. If we claim freedom is the ultimate good, by what standards are we able to come to such a claim? What is the standard of measurement of this goodness and how can we say our freedom has led to the ultimate goodness?

Let’s Look At What Goodness Is.

What is goodness? Goodness is a general term used to describe a character or quality of conduct. It is a basic term used in quantifying the standard moral conduct in a society. Most people refer to the ultimate good as whatever action in which the result or by-product brings about goodness in the long run. This intrinsically means that the actions of a person (whatever it may be), whether good or bad and whatever method adopted does not matter as long as the by-product of that action leads to goodness at the end of it all. It consequently means that the result is what should be regarded as the ultimate good.

On the other hand, another group of people have argued that the ultimate good cannot be quantified by just the action or the result because the intention is the capital needed to achieving ultimate good. This is to say, that once the intentions are right, the forward journey to achieving the ultimate good isn’t far behind.

what is freedom?

source: by Steven Erixon on Unsplash

For me, freedom is subjective. It is something we are supposedly born with, yet we only truly enjoy it in its restrictive state. If we as humans all had access to undiluted freedom then we would live in a state of anarchy. Even as a child, no one child is born with freedom, a child totally depends on the thoughtfulness of his parents. Parents can also decide to put up their child for sacrifice based on the belief system that they would be rewarded by a supreme being. In this day and age, if the above happens, the parent’s actions would be seriously condemned and they would probably face punishment for such an action.

From the time a child is born, the child is inculcated with society-based moral standards on how to dress, how to pronounce things, he is taught languages or how to speak a certain way, how to act, who to love and who not to. My point here is that if there is any freedom that man has, it is not the type that is given to him by birth it is the type he chooses for himself.

If freedom was the ultimate goal, how then do we put people’s freedom in check and how then do we ensure that people’s freedom does not interact with the natural sequence of things. A group of individuals could just rise someday and claim that the solution to the world’s problem is decimating half of the entire world’s population.  They may claim an increase in depletion of resources in the world drove their actions. There are also those with the ideology that, for the world to be truly habitable and for humans to attain the greatest feat, those who are not intellectually outstanding must be discarded. The above is the reason for my earlier question; should men be allowed the freedom that they desperately crave?

The flaw in the above three arguments is in the fact that not all freedom leads to goodness. Sometimes, even when you put the pieces of the puzzle together (that is, the right action, the right intention, and preferred result,) it still might not produce the ultimate good.

What then is the ultimate good?

According to Aristotle, the ultimate good is happiness. It is the balancing of two extremities. That is to say, whatever brings about the hedonistic effect is the ultimate good. To him, the ultimate good is not just those things we need to live but all things we need to live well.

The Christians believe that ultimate good is whatever action or character that is Christ-like. They go further by saying one must love one’s neighbour as oneself. This means that whatever action that is being portrayed, should be one that can be tolerated personally. It should also be worthy of praise based on the instructions that have been provided in the holy book. Simply put, their moral standard is based on bible teachings.

In my opinion, the ultimate good is a subjective term. Therefore, it cannot just be one thing. Instead, it is the fusion of many other things. The ultimate goodness is in the balance of life, it is in the possession and exhibition of power, the ultimate good is in loyalty and, most especially in existentialism itself. Balance of life should come with peace of mind and, should be available in every other physical and emotional form.

In conclusion, the ultimate good for every individual varies. For some, it means wealth, contentment, liberty, freedom, absolute power for some others it is the acquisition of educational degrees and technical skills, for some others, it could be the making of a family. However, one thing that is certain and we can all agree on is that terms such as sadness, sorrow, confusion, pain are not phenomenons we want in our lives.  Ultimately, it is important to note that long term happiness and fulfilment depends on the ability to fulfil the soul’s unique purpose and to fill the place in the world that only you can fill, making the contribution that only you can make.

 

NOTE!

You need not subscribe to my school of thought. However, before you draw any conclusion, I ask that you truly understand this article.

Female Serial Killers.

There is a certain stereotypical order to how serial killers are regarded. The widespread assumption is that men serial killers are more ruthless than their female counterparts. There isn’t as much information and data on female serial killers as it is with male serial killers. This is perhaps because the statistics of male serial killers supersedes that of the females. We have always had female serial killers right from time Immemorial but they are not often acknowledged as they ought to, probably because of the notoriety that comes with male serial killings.

There is indeed no doubt women are forces to be reckoned with in almost every field, specialty, and expertise. Women seem to always leave their imprint on whatever they are a part of. Gone are the days when women were regarded as weak, practically underestimated, and pushed aside. Now, they can not be put in a box. They possess the determination, strength, resilience that the other gender possesses. It is, therefore, no surprise that they also bring this uniqueness to even their killings.

Female Serial killers do not necessarily act alone all the time. They sometimes usually have partners. In some very rare cases, their partners might be unsuspecting puns in the final scheme of things. According to Peter Vronsky’s book titled, Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters. He cites that nearly one in six (16 percent) of serial killers apprehended in the United States since 1820 was a female, either acting alone or as a partner of a male or female offender.

female serial killers

source: Unsplash.com

Spree-killings should not be mixed up with serial killings. Although they are both murders, serial killers usually have a certain methodology to their killing, it usually comes with a certain pattern within a specified period. A woman could be a murderer and not a serial killer. A serial killer is an individual who repeatedly commits murder, typically with a distinct pattern in the selection of victims, location, and method.

There are usually several motives behind the serial killing. These include sexual motives, thrill, and excitement, irrationality, mental disorder. According to psychologytoday.com, female serial killers are not often motivated by sexual gratification but a twisted sense of sympathy, love, or altruism. Evidence has shown that women often avoid murder with which they have to severe bodily parts of their victim. They usually opt for poisoning in most cases. As regards the varieties of victims, female serial killers could kill a lover, a non-lover, a friend or a foe, a relative or non-relative.

There is a myth surrounding serial killers. Some writers describe serial killers as loners, low life’s, dysfunctional individuals. This is not typically the case as there are serial killers who have no reason to kill. They live perfectly normal and functional lives yet; they still feel the need to hunt for victims. They might not be terrifying as people popularly believe. They could be individuals that have smiles endearing enough to pierce your heart. Hedonistic serial killers are the most dangerous as they enjoy the thrill and pleasure killing gives them.

In the popular thriller television series, Killing Eve the main character who was a psychopathic female serial killer later became obsessed with the MI6 agent who was chasing her. Villanelle, as she was called had an innocent exterior that hid the deadly side of her. She was exceptionally gifted, ruthless, yet likable, and relatable. In simpler words, she was a psycho that sometimes had intermittent empathetic episode towards her antagonist. Despite these rare episodes of empathy, she was still a cold-blooded unsympathetic killer.

serial killers from africa

source: Unsplah.com/Benjamin Balazs

Some serial killers get into action during specific seasons or yearly events. Who knows? They could have been easily triggered by something that period represents or memories it brings forth. It is important to note that most documented information about serial killers in this century is from the United States. Here lies the question that comes to my mind, Are there no serial killers in Africa? What about female serial killers in Africa? Why are there very few details about female serial killers in Africa?

Popular female African serial killers include KD Kempamma, also known as Cyanide Mallika who ran her own finance business, she was married to a tailor who left her around 1998. She began on her path of crime in 1999. Her M.O was to lure women who seemed too distressed and offer a helping hand by giving them cyanide-laced drinks. She was the first female serial killer to be convicted in India. Another popular African serial killer is Credonia Mwerinde of Uganda, popularly known as “The programmer”. She was the leader of the Ugandan Marianist cult, She was reported to have killed hundreds of her followers on the 17th of March 2020.

In Nigeria, to the best of my knowledge, a female serial killer is yet to be convicted. What could be the reason for this? Are female serial killers non-existent in a population of over 200 million people? Should we blame the absence of standard forensic practice as the reason behind zero convictions of female serial killers in the country? It was not until recently that the popular serial killer, Gracious David-West who was known to target women was apprehended and convicted. He confessed to 15 killings and was sentenced to death by hanging by the court. Perhaps, there have been more convictions of female serial killings but has been kept under wraps by the police force. In the custom African culture, there are people with the belief that there are yet some other types of female serial killers that are popularly made up of women. They assemble in covens, inside trees, or any secret place. They are regarded to be masters at manipulation.

Why Female Killers Should never be Underestimated.

When security agencies are set to capture or investigate a serial killer, they do what they call “profiling”. The profilings give them an understanding as to what fuels the serial killers to kill, why they do it, how often they kill, and their attachment to their victims. This goes a long way to help them understand the behavioral patterns and traits of these killers.

The problem with this is that “Women do not typically fit the profile”. The complication here is that women are more deceptive as serial killers and this automatically makes them less likely to be perceived as a threat to an unsuspecting individual. They are therefore able to perpetuate their manipulations and evil with fewer complexities involved. This explains the “almost silent” existence of female serial killers in the world, especially in Africa. The truth is that they exist in every culture, demography, group, and society of the world.

 

References.

 

  1. “Cyanide Malika”: India’s first convicted female serial killer by Gulfnews.com accessed online on the 18th of December 2020.
  2. ABC News “Why do women Kill?” by Scott Michels, Sarah Netter, Laura Marquez, and Sabina Ghebremedhin accessed online on the 18th of December 2020.
  3. Vronsky, Peter. Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters. Princeton, N.J, 2008.

 

South Africa’s Ban on Tobacco Due to COVID-19 is Needless.

South Africa has entered a far too familiar terrain with its ban on tobacco. Unfortunately, this journey the government has embarked on is doomed. Placing a statewide prohibition on goods that are mutually exchanged often leaves sour marks on the economic, social, and health status of the people. With a product like tobacco, which still sells despite advertising its potential harm on every pack of cigarettes and tobacco, bans will only short the supply and make the commerce of the widely enjoyed substances go underground. The effects can only be told in the likeness of the Prohibition in America which ran unsuccessfully for 13 years.

South Africa’s tobacco ban

The motive for banning products has commonly been ethical. When done for economic reasons, often there are alternatives that may stem (sometimes unsuccessfully) the interest of people to deal in dark corners. The nature of the pandemic that caused the Cyril Ramaphosa administration to stop the distribution of tobacco is acknowledgedly respiratory. The World Health Organization (WHO) further affirms that, since COVID-19 tends to attack the lungs, smoking which weakens the lungs, is ill-advised. While the rationale behind the South African government’s rule is understandable, its sanction against tobacco wrestles itself against socioeconomic commonsense. 

South African armed forces are now also having to combine maintaining social distancing with hunting down illegal cigarette trade.

Along with the pandemic came a direct attack on the economies of many countries due to commercial activities being brought to a halt. South Africa’s economic strength had already been staggering for stability when the pandemic forced it to its knees. According to South African tax expert, Collen Lediga, the country has so far lost R1.5 billion (€79 million, $89 million) in tax revenues and employment losses. 

Getting law enforcement agencies to start cracking down on tobacco distribution will further strain the country’s purses, which could otherwise be employed in injecting more financial support for the nation’s economy or health needs. More critically, the government will pose itself between an item that is widely consumed and the general public. The result of this would simply be the smuggling of such items, underground sales networks, loss of jobs, and tons of money that could otherwise return to the government’s purse lining the pockets of organized crime members instead. 

South Africa

People who smoke cigarettes and find it an essential part of their daily consumption will find new ways to acquire these tobacco products and that might mean them jeopardizing their health especially in areas where interactions may not easily be documented. Before the pandemic, illicit trading of tobacco had gained 23 per cent of the tobacco market, costing South Africa more than R21 billion since 2010. An extended ban would easily move this market to 100 percent while growing the value of its market share. 

A CNN documentary revealed a now booming illegal trade of cigarettes. A smuggler interviewed by the global news network revealed that profits are now up as people would rather buy cigarettes illegally than stop smoking. The documentary also revealed that smokers were now paying four folds for cigarettes while the government gained nothing from this trade. South African armed forces are now also having to combine maintaining social distancing with hunting down illegal cigarette trade.

A study carried out by the University of Cape Town researchers Corne van Walbeek, Samantha Filby, and Kirsten van der Zee studied the cigarette sales ban. The study, titled ‘Lighting up the illicit market: Smokers’ responses to the cigarette sales ban in South Africa,’ is based on a survey among 16,000 respondents. The survey found that 90 percent of respondents had bought cigarettes during the lockdown. It also revealed a drop from 56 percent of 3 percent of respondents who purchase their tobacco products from formal retailers. While the survey tried to convince that cigarette revenue to the government was only 1 percent of the government’s revenue, it clearly showed that the major reason for the ban was failing to hold together since trade continued despite the ban. 

Instead of complete bans, the South African government may offer recommendations for engaging in the tobacco trade and use.

South Africa may take a cue from Nigeria’s handling of the pandemic. While Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases are still rising, the country has concentrated its resources on fighting the pandemic while also gradually staging the country for full commercial activities. Understanding that hunger, amidst other detrimental effects of poor economic status, can drive people to further violate guidelines to control the pandemic, the government of Nigeria took a mild approach to sanctions and even lockdowns.

After several weeks of completely shutting down activities, ease was introduced to get people to start going back to work and by June, most of the country’s commercial activities had resumed while some restrictions were placed on inter-city movement. All these were done without shutting down industries especially amidst a looming economic crisis. This approach was effective in reducing the panic about the pandemic while providing the sensitization needed to curb the spread of the virus.

The government had to come to terms with the situation and heavy sanctions, especially during a period where people battled with the psychological and physical damage that restrictions on activities caused, would only worsen the socioeconomic standings. 

Instead of complete bans, the South African government may offer recommendations for engaging in the tobacco trade and use. The Ramaphosa administration may also consider supporting activities that help people who are keen to wean off tobacco use, especially when presented with more health reasons to quit. 

 

Olumayowa Okediran is Managing Director at African Liberty and Member of the Council of the South African Institute of Race Relations. His recent book is Navigate: A Prospection of Nigeria’s Future to 2030.

How to Improve the Reading Culture in Nigeria.

Is there a reading problem in Nigeria?

Yes! There is a reading problem in Nigeria. This problem is not just restricted to a particular age group or culture but glaringly existent in every age group and every social class in the country. Indeed, the rich, poor, the middle class, educated, and the not so educated find it very hard to read. The act of reading is almost always seen as a burdensome task. When an average Nigerian is asked to read, their reaction seems like they have just been given the death penalty. It is not a surprise that the quote “The best way to hide something from a black man is to put it in a book” has become increasingly popular. Albeit, I do not agree with the school of thought.

how to improve the reading culture in Nigeria

Ways of Improving the Reading Culture in Nigeria.

One very tactful way of improving the reading culture in Nigeria is by writing articles that are in sync with the happenings in the country. Writing about topics that are trending not only interest the people in society, but also help enlighten members of society. Writing on topics that spark conversations on the social front is a very good way to get people to enjoy reading. People want to be informed; they want to be able to hold conversations as well as be able to contribute meaningfully to these conversations. It interestingly also provides a platform for people to air out their opinion about a certain event and happening in the county.

An article should be so well written that it reminds people about the essence of reading and the kind of information they stand to lose when they do not read. This can ultimately be done by sort of making teasers on posters, and flyers or making a short advertising video on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This could be in form of a summary of the article or a short story. I believe that short powerful videos are very effective in attracting traffic. Most people would rather spend 10minutes to 1hour to watch a video than to take 5minutes off their time to read a book.

Furthermore, the reading culture can be improved by organizing a reading competition in which people are allowed a book or a text to read and are allowed to answer questions on that book. This should be done with the provision of consolation prizes. What this does is that it provides an avenue for people to read while being conscious of the fact that they will be compensated for doing something beneficial to them.

there is a reading problem in Nigeria

Yet another brilliant way to improve the reading culture in Nigeria is by asking people to review a particular book or article with the emphasis on how it resonates with them. This way, many have more understanding of what it is they are about to read or are reading. Book reviews are not just important for readers, as it allows even the writers to promote not just sales but helps to carry on a dialogue between the author and the readers.

Finally, I must emphasize that publicity is the very soul that drives public opinion. Public opinion in turn controls the course of things. There are certain people in society that others look up to. Whatever these sets of people endorse, they are sure to have thousands of people that would join their bandwagon. An example of these people are celebrities, politicians, and even social elites. The popular thought process would be that these role models or mentors cannot take them on the wrong path to success. Consequently, this will result in the influencing of people to adopt a healthier reading culture.

 

My Progress in Improving the Reading Culture in Nigeria.

Amongst the very numerous reasons for which I created my blog was to improve the reading culture of Nigerians which is clearly stated on the mission part of the blog. This is why with whatever article I publish, I try as much as possible to make it relatable. Relatable in the sense that, with each personal experience I write about, or political issues I address, my readers can understand what it is I am discussing. If this is not one of the most important aspects of writing, then what is?

I have also tried to make the focus of the blog very encompassing hence the reason for having categories that focus on politics, food, life issues, mental health, random gist, arts, entertainment, reviews, society, and culture. With these, I can be sure that the contents of my blog provide for different people from different walks of life. I as well ensure that I engage with people on social media platforms by providing short stories, prescribing books as well as journals for them to read.

More importantly, I publish original articles frequently on the blog. I also feature as a guest writer on other blogging platforms. As a writer, the importance of consistency cannot be overemphasized. Readers want to see what you have in store for them and this should be met. Appearing as a guest writer, as well as providing my writing services has not only helped to improve the reading culture of Nigerians but has also helped in contributing to the availability of more reading materials.

Ultimately, despite the poor reading culture of Nigerians, Nigeria still has a very active pool of readers. The government, charitable individuals, and non-governmental organizations all have active roles to play in the improvement of Nigeria’s reading culture. It is, for this reason, I say with almost all certainty that if the above steps are implemented the reading culture of Nigerians would drastically receive the change which it so desperately needs.

why people do not read anymore

What the Future of Reading will Look Like.

The future of reading will be clouded with obscurity and darkness in one way. Dark in the sense that the reading culture of people would be poor. This darkness would be facilitated by the influence and growth of several social media platforms. Social media has undoubtedly changed the world and with it, several trends have arisen. One of which remains the decline of readers and standard reading practice. This has been evident in the global decline of people that read directly from books, newspapers, or news sites.

How is that a bad thing? You might ask. The effect of this trend is that we will now get to see a higher percentage of people spending more time online than they ought to. Is spending more time online really a bad thing? Are there not eBooks and articles, magazines online? My answer to these questions is, Of course! There are eBooks and other reading materials available for reading. The problem, however, is in the fact that social media is designed in the way that short stories and articles are most readily available to people. By extension, because these short stories, videos, and motivational quotes are available people are getting accustomed to short stories and content which makes it overbearingly difficult for them to have as little as a 5minutes read.

The consequence of this cycle is that detailed hardcopy books would either not be as popular anymore because most people wouldn’t have the time or patience to read or, it would become non-existent. They would either opt for short stories and reviews instead of going through several pages of books. The use of infographics such as statistical graphics, information visualization, information architecture will astronomically be on the increase.

The future of the reading culture will also feature the rise of several publishing apps, various reading and blogging apps, sophisticated instant blog builders, apps that not only help in scheduling reading sessions for the day but also reads aloud and explains the work of the author to the reader.

how bad is our reading culture

How to Prepare for the future.

As a promoter of the reading culture, my solution to the problems stated above will be to first of all make sure that whatever articles or work I publish are valuable to the society. When you as a writer can produce valuable work, finding a reader would be a walk in the park. Ultimately, it is the value that writers give that influences the attitudes and behaviours of readers.

Another solution will be to put a stop to rigidity. The truth of the matter is, most writers lack the skill to make their work catchier and so they produce rigid and colourless work. As a writer, you can make an academic paper less rigid and more simplified and it will still be a very worthy piece. Making reading more enjoyable will be very beneficial to the future of reading. For instance, software developers should work with publishing firms and writers to develop gaming software that would provide an environment where readers can read and play games. It could be done in such a way that once a reader is done with a certain stage of reading on the app, they are then introduced to a crossword puzzle or games where their knowledge of words and grammar is tested.

Furthermore, in as much as social media has contributed to the decline of the reading culture in our world today, social media should be used by the promoters of the reading culture to their very advantage as it would result in a positive outcome. The human mind works in a way that when people are reminded of a particular thing almost every time, curiosity gets the better of them. This is why I prescribe advertising and publicity for the community of readers and writers as well.

In conclusion, writers should continue to raise the bar by producing standard and valuable work with which every individual in society can find what appeals to them. Various promoters of the reading culture must as well continue to strive to make sure that they are not left behind in the progression of things as relating to what will be beneficial to readers in the long run.

 

END SARS, Our New NATIONAL ANTHEM.

 

The Oppressed must not, cannot be neutral in the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor. -Kwame Nkrumah

The last couple of days has been characterized by an uproar in the Nigerian society. Many Nigerians including celebrities have now taken their demands from just the social media platforms available to them to the streets demanding that SARS be abolished. For those that do not know what SARS means, SARS is a branch of the Nigerian Police force. They are the special anti-robbery squad that specializes in the cubbing of robbery and theft. However, rather than help the citizens, they hassle innocent people by extorting money from them, they carry out illegal arrests, they almost rarely never properly identify themselves when dealing with members of the public and they have from one time to another wounded or killed members of the society.

end sars

I personally haven’t had a one on one experience with them or even had anyone close to me get harassed by the SARS squad but I have heard several stories. Those that should be our protectors are our torturers, those we should run to have become who we have to run from so that we don’t lose our lives. Several lives have been lost to the carefree attitude of these extremely dangerous agents without them being held accountable. I must say, that I’m impressed with the way people have begun to lend their voices to a cause that would make the society a better place. The most unique thing about this protest is the people’s emphasis on not wanting a reform because this has been promised over the years but the call for the absolute abolition of SARS .

The last time I think Nigerians ever came together to lend their voices for a cause was during President Goodluck Jonathan’s government in 2012. The major focus of the protest was to ask for the removal of the fuel subsidy. However, I believe that despite the good intention behind the protest, It was a protest that was indirectly orchestrated by the opposite political party to promote unrest and impunity in the Nigerian society at that time.

In our active participation in the #ENDSARS PROTEST WE SHOULD REMEMBER: 

  1. That we can use our voices to get the change that we so desperately crave from the government.
  2. That the government agencies are consciously aware, monitoring, and listening to us.
  3. That we claim democracy as our system of government but we only practice this democracy in Nigeria by mere words of mouth. This to say, we should all be careful so as not to give the government the ammunition to deal with us because freedom of expression is your right but your safety might not be guaranteed.
  4. That being careful is not fear but the adoption of the use of one’s initiative.
  5. That the #Endsars protest should not be used as an excuse to bring forth violence or promote violence.
  6. That at some point, most people would get tired, this may include important people in the society to which we look up to. Nevertheless, we as individuals shouldn’t use that as an excuse to stop clamoring for reforms.
  7. That we should not let ourselves be used as lab rats or pawns by any opposition party in the country as our utmost goal or outcry should be geared towards achieving a better Nigeria NOW NOT LATER.

It is important that I mention the fact that there are people who are concerned about the emergence of the #endsars movement. Their concern is embedded in the fact they believe the purpose of the creation of the SARS force is for the benefit of the people and if or when this agency is abolished, what then would be our substitute. These people with this school of thought emphasize that there should be a total reform in our police force and not just SARS. Why clamor to scrap off one particular sect when the same kind of people are indeed the ones that make up the entire police force? Why ask that the anti-robbery squad be scraped off when the government would eventually still need to create a similar agency tasked with more or less the same job description? The government might only end up changing the name and putting the same dangerous men of the forces in the line of duty.

There is indeed no better way to say this, we need reforms! we need reforms in every arm and parastatal of the Nigerian government. Government employees, our political leaders as well as every member of the civil service must be made to realize that any behavior or attitude that is not in line with laid down rules, guidelines, and policies would come with enormous repercussions. We need to normalize officials getting dismissed from service whenever their actions do not tally with the laid down code of conducts. We should not be too quick to forget that there are still the not-so-morally upright citizens amongst us who would take advantage of the abolition of the anti-robbery squad to perpetuate their evil agenda in the nation.

On the whole, my aim is not to sound like a pessimist or something along that line, but rather to help us understand the scope of the situation. when you carefully analyze the history of protests in the African continent, you discover that they do not necessarily bring about revolutionary changes with exceptions to the ones that helped in achieving colonial independence for several African states. However, this protest would not only help in decreasing oppression, expose the happenings in Nigeria to the global world, keep the Nigerian leaders accountable,  but will help in promoting and deepening the right type of democracy in the country.

 

You can let me know if you have had a close experience with the SARS squad or near experience. You can also drop your thoughts on the situation and share what you feel would be the perfect solution in handing this present situation.

 

 

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