For my sisters:

For my sisters:

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110 of my sisters were taken today.
No yesterday… no,
It’s been a week now.
I’m losing my mind?
Just like the government who claimed:
No, they weren’t taken.
No, they’ve been rescued.
Ohh we’re sorry.. yes they’ve been taken.

110 families,
Under the watch of their leaders,
Awakened to the news their daughters,
Have been taken from their schools.
And the leaders stay sheltered,
In their villas and mansions.
110 of my sisters are gone,
And their leaders are radio silent.

The mothers at weeping,
The fathers are grieving,
My sisters have been taken by men,
Known to show no mercy.

110 of my sisters were taken from school,
To the leaders, I say this: 
It could have been your daughters too. 


MINI RANT: 110 girls were kidnapped the past week from their school. All that these girls and their families wanted, was an education, and now they’ve been taken. At first, the authorities denied that the girls had been taken before eventually admitting it.

A few years back, over 200 girls were kidnapped from their schools and we are yet to rescue over a 100 of them. This doesnt give us much solace regarding the girls taken now. There’s a saying: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. It is a shame that we, as a country allowed this to happen again. All these girls (Dapchi Girls) wanted was an education, I pray we get them back safe and sound….. Its been 9days!!!! 

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Imprisoned without shackles-

Imprisoned without shackles-

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They say,
If you’ve been a bride’s maid,
For five times or more,
It’s time to quit weddings,
Till your Prince Charming comes.

They say,
If you’ve been a wife,
For ten years with no son,
Bundle your things for,
A new woman to come.

They say,
If your husband’s riches,
lesson after you arrive;
Then oh wife you have black feet,
And must leave his house.

They say,
If your child is smart,
Well, his dad is to be praised,
If the child turns out faulty,
‘Course, you are to blame.

They say,
A housewife you must be,
With no wealth of your own,
And if your husband passes,
They take away your home.

They make living hard,
Making rules without regard;
Leaving women imprisoned,
Without shackles to leave marks.

The image is courtesy of Black women art.com

My top 9 Talents you won’t want!

My top 9 Talents you won’t want!

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After reading JoyRoses Monday post on top 9 talents you won’t want, I got motivated to write down mine. I mean, it’s about time we embrace wholeheartedly our quirks. So here goes:

1) I have a predisposition to breaking things including cups, plates, buckets and my latest, our glass dining table which after paying 100 dollars for repair, my brain sent a message to my body to settle down a bit.

2) I can forget like it is nobody’s business. I went to the supermarket a few days ago and when I got to the counter (with all of my goodies) and It was time to pay, I opened my purse and realized I left my money at home. It was not a funny scene.

3) My brain (yes I’m blaming it again) doesn’t interpret sarcasm. You could say a sarcastic comment to me and in all seriousness, I’ld ask you to kindly elaborate.

4) The only animal that doesn’t petrify me is probably a goldfish and that too because I don’t have to touch it. I dislocated my hip-joint while running away from a cockroach which in my defense (okay, I have no defense here!).

5) I am an embarrassingly morbid procrastinator. I would pay anyone to take this talent (if I may call it that). P.s If you have any tips on getting rid of it, I’m all ears. Tried the to-do list method, didn’t work.

6) periods! Yup, it’s been a while since it’s made an appearance on my posts. One of my biggest talent is getting my period at the most inappropriate time. Like while wearing a white skirt outside, or In the middle of lectures… The list goes on.

7) I am worrible at reading in-between the lines. Dear future husband, in case you are reading this. Don’t tell me things like- you make my heart have irregular ventricular contractions. Seriously.

8) I have a talent of catching the flu. As long as I make contact with someone who has the flu, chances are I am going to get sick too. It doesn’t help there are over 100 serotypes. Which means if I get infected and resistant to one strain, there are 99 others waiting.

9) I once drew what I thought was a beautiful replica of the Nigerian map for my geography class and I was told it looked like a yam. That’s how good my drawing is.

…..and that’s it. My top nine talents you won’t want (which may or may not indicate that there are more). Now it is your turn, what are your top nine talents that we won’t want. I would love to nominate everyone reading this to share their top 9, come on guys, let’s embrace our quirks.

A gem amidst rubles-

A gem amidst rubles-

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My respect for you
Has doubled and tripled;
When all doors are closing,
Your feet are unhindered;
Though unappreciated,
By those at the table;
You still keep on pushing,
Striving and fighting-
For peace to prevail,
In a now broken palace;
For girls to be brought back,
Though hope is now faltered;

I respect you Dear Ma,
For efforts unwavered;
For keeping your words,
When the leaders are faltering;
For staying afloat,
With the waves all about you ;
Words aren’t enough for
Effort you’ve been putting-
To finding the girls
Neglected by the elders;
But words all I have,
And I give them to you Ma-
In respect and love,
And wishes that you prosper
Keep staying afloat-
A rare gem amidst rubles.


This poem is dedicated to Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, one of the few Nigerians who till date are still struggling an airing their voices, striving and urging for the return of over 200 school girls kidnapped  more than 8 months ago. Words are all I have, and this only way I know how.

image  Here’s a link. 

From the eyes of a child 2

From the eyes of a child 2

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When I awoke, the sun had begun to set and Ahmed wasn’t back yet. An uneasy feeling in the way only a seven year old could explain come to my mind, and I had racing thoughts of Ma and Baba. The events of the afternoon felt unreal and the thought of home clouded my judgement. In that moment, I forgot everything Ahmed told me and instead raced as fast as my legs could carry me towards the direction of home without glancing down.

As I got towards the main town gate, I stumbled; fell down and rolled over on things that felt like a mixture of cushion and wood. It was uncomfortable, not to add the skunky smell that filled the atmosphere. I managed to find my footing, stood up and took a look at the mattressy-wooden thing that I had rolled over on. Staring at the sight in front of me, I shrieked and screamed. My legs were numb, my hands shivering, tears flooding- I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Lying beneath my feet, in front of me where hundreds of bodies, draped in white with patches of red all over. This couldn’t happen in reality, no, I was only dreaming. For the first time since I had left school, I looked up and around me. To my right and left, men and boys with blood stained clothes were dragging bodies and dumping them at the edge of the already huge pile. Women were gathered together a little away from me, in clusters, weeping, sobbing loudly. Some were on the floor and rolling in tears, others were sitting with hands constantly flared up. Some of the women were seated, with babies clutched to their breasts, a blank expression on their faces- a lot of the women, I recognized. It seemed nobody noticed the little girl in brown skirts and a white shirt, ruffled thick black hair, standing behind a pile of dead bodies, shivering in fear with tear stained face. Too many lives had been lost that day for the living to be noticed. Humanity was lost in Baga, and that wasn’t the only thing lost sadly.

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From the eyes of a child

From the eyes of a child

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When he was nearly thirteen and some armpit hair had begun to sprout from my brother Ahmed’s underarm, tragedy struck. We lived in the remote village of Baga which is located at the Eastern border of Nigeria; Life wasn’t easy I heard my mother complain to fellow female gossipers but as kids, to us, life was perfect. Well, that was until the rebels came.

We had been hearing of terror attacks in smaller villages (yeah, hard to believe, there were actually villages smaller than ours), but as Baga was known for our fiery hunters and fighters, we felt safe- our mistake.

One windy morning as I and Ahmed were trotting down the sandy narrow pathways back from school, talking heartily about how much we loved the harmattan weather, we heard it. At first it sounded far off amidst our chatter, but as we got closer to the main village, we could hear it loud and clear. First there was screaming, and then crying and in-between, some loud male voices speaking in our local dialect but clearly their accent was poor.

I clutched Ahmed’s arm, and for reasons unbeknownst to me, tears started streaming down my cheeks. We just stood there, at the same spot, hearing the cries mainly comprised of women and children’s. I was shivering, my knees were clicking together like dancing plates. Ahmed who was way taller than me, over four feet, held me close to him and kissed my ruffled head. I remember him whispering to me, “maybe it’s just a drama”, something we both knew was absurd. But I guess we both needed the re-assurances, because I replied amidst the tears, ‘maybe’.

We dragged on a few more feet, and this time, we could make out what was being said. Immediately, Ahmed grabbed me by the arm and we ran into a nearby high bush, it was more like he pulled me. I was never more glad to be short, the high bushes shielded us perfectly.

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I Flogged you Because…

I Flogged you Because…

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“Ameena Garba, come here”, the teacher called me. I left my two friends M and K at the back of the class where I was seating and went to meet the teacher. She was an older woman who wore round glasses and whose son was also in the same class with me. The teacher was sitting at her desk with my notebook in front of Her and a chubby long cane lying on her desk. She knew it was my birthday, oh she knew it was my birthday but it didn’t stop her. The next thing I knew, my palms were outstretched in front of me and three strokes of cane were slapped onto it.

As a kid, I was notorious for noise making which in my defense is basically making conversation with words that when spoken sound too loud for a classroom. I was a talkative, I was restless and I was a whole lot of other things which for the sake of my now adult dignity I wouldn’t repeat. And so, If the teacher would have flogged me for any of that, it would have been a bit justified. Heck, if she would have flogged me for failing my maths class work, and that was a low probability because I was good at it, it would have still been justified.

But no, after flogging me, I was handed back my book and told it was because my handwriting was bad. I received three strokes of cane, on my eight birthday, in front of the whole class because I had bad handwriting. I went back to my seat with tears in my eyes and sought the comfort of my two Bffs. I received comfort and sorry looks from the other classmates as well, even though I think it’s because they wanted me to share my birthday goodies with them.

A few minutes passed, and I was called up once again by the same teacher who flogged me to take a share of the birthday goodies to the headmistress of the school. I clearly remember the teacher telling me that if the head mistress asks me why I was crying, I should tell her it was because I had bad handwriting hence I was flogged. Which now, If I was a headmistress would find it absurd. But that was the way it was back then.

That day I learnt a few things:
1) It doesn’t matter if bad handwriting is genetically inherited, some teachers would still blame you for it (that wasn’t the last time) and you might even get flogged for it;
2) Even If a Nigerian teacher flogs you black and white, they will still eat your birthday goodies without any shame.
3) Birthdays are meant to be awesome, but they are not in my case and that was only the beginning.

And that’s the story of my Life. Also, no hard feelings towards the teacher, I actually find it funny now when I think about it. 🙂 🙂

Humor Friday!

Humor Friday!

Today, I was contemplating about writing a post on anxiety or my relationship with OCD and then I heard the news of ‘another’ bomb blast in my home country Nigeria. I realized what I would love to read at a time like this is not another somber inspirational story or a heart gripping tear- tale, what I need Is laughter, humor, joy, happiness. They say sleep and laughter are the best medication for anything. Considering sleep doesn’t come so easily, I’d go with laughter.

I did a thorough search through my images and found a picture I hope would put a smile on your faces too. Bad things happen, bad things are happening and the sad part is bad things ‘will’ happen. Hopefully this picture (s) would put a smile on your faces too. And if the first picture doesn’t, there are two more which I hope would do the trick. 😉

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🙂

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Is it working? Smiling yet? 🙂

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Btw, I apologize for the length. And I hope you are all smiling now :). Wishing you all a laughter filled weekend.

Bring Back Our Girls: 5 months; An enraged citizen

Bring Back Our Girls: 5 months; An enraged citizen

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I belong to a country whose president cares more about campaigning for re-election (despite the massive failure of his two terms) than finding and bringing back over 200 abducted teenage girls. Yes, not one or even two, but over two hundred teenage girls were abducted from their school in the north-eastern part of Nigeria; today marks 150 days since their abduction and still, Nothing. I can’t begin to phantom what the families of these girls are going through. Protests upon protests, mass media coverage, international celebrity involvement, UNICEF- have all spoken out and are enraged in the abduction of the Girls and yet, all we got from the presidential villa was a speech by the First Lady filled with previously unimaginable grammatical blunders and fake tears.
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For a country known to be the Giant of Africa, this is a huge embarrassment and a disgrace. Just because these girls come from lower class or rural areas doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the highest amount of effort into finding them. Five months! Lord only knows the physical, mental and psychological trauma those girls are going through right now.

Everyday, I log onto twitter and I see the hashtag ‘ForwardNigeria’ stating the improvement in our agricultural sector, revenue generated from oil export, new infrastructures. But in my eyes, there is no forward without those girls. Over 200 girls can’t just vanish and then be swept under the rug. No! If ever there is a justification for being enraged, then this is it. The lack of effort by the presidency in finding those girls is pathetic. They “say” they are trying, but come on, it’s been 5 MONTHS.

It is my duty and your duty as individuals, especially citizens of Nigeria to speak out, voice your airs on the lack of sufficient action in finding the girls. Use the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls and spread the word. We owe it to those girls to make sure they are not forgotten.
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