Category Archives: Guest writer

This one is for all of you, pour you thoughts here if you will.

Unbranded!

Reprisal to Nneoma’s branded

By

Chinedu Ifechelobi

I was yours! Right from the start. I saw you years before you saw me. In my dreams, all perfect in the cotton fields, everything sweet, me longing, arms wide open, you smiling, gliding towards me to hold and never let go…

I knew you years before you knew me, in the car with your parents, going to church, singing at the Sunday school, dancing and floating in the air, draped in laces, adorned with braces. I loved you

I loved you, even before you noticed me. I was young wild but wise from the start I knew you were all mine, smiled from a distance but you didn’t notice, waved as you passed but you didn’t look, called out but you ignored you were mine but you didn’t know. So I wandered, my sweet little heart in search for you but in the wrong places, I came back all broken and battered wishing you would see, notice and know, only to see you also in my state, weary from the same journey…

I came for you ready to make you see, ready to die for this cause. Seeing I had nowhere to go, seeing you were all I had, seeing my weakness, you opened your arms, not to mend my bleeding heart but for the desire to own, to brand. I smiled, you saw deception. I opened my arms, you saw a trap. I gave my heart, you saw a bargain, I smothered, you saw seduction. I spoke of dreams, fantasies and a future we could own you saw an explorer waiting like a predator to pounce on his prey. I gave you my heart, you offered your head. Many times I tried, I pleaded, screamed and insisted but you were consumed with your need to brand and to possess. Many times I gave in to you so you would see that love was not all about getting your way, but the more I gave in the more you pressed, the more we were headed for the loveless abyss. Many times I walked away hoping that the loneliness would remind you that love was all that was needed. You couldn’t be bothered, I was made for you and you for me, so I always came back. The world was cold, hard and wicked without you.

So many times I came back, for all my heart needed, was you. As many times as I came back you sent me back to the wolves. All I wanted was to love, to share to give, to lead and to build. We could have, but all you wanted was to play, to own, to dominate and to brand and I knew from my sojourn with the wolves it was all they wanted too. So when you sent me back this time, I found among the wolves a sheep! She is neither all I want nor all I need, but she’s my heart’s balm. She takes me for me, stares in my eyes like she sees stars on a lonely night, sees through to my heart when I speak, loves me to the last jagged straw. She’s not all I wanted but she has become my all, she’s not all I need but she meets all my needs. For this sheep among wolves has become my ride to die chick. This could have been us but you wanted a place to put your stamp but you failed to see  that the last piece of my remaining heart had no space for stamps; UNBRANDED

BEYOND THE JOKES

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ANONYMOUS LAWYER

I had a great laugh too watching the first lady’s video that went viral, especially the remix of the video featuring one former honourable member. Yes, it was funny and that was it! Then I read an article captioned ‘a forensic analysis of the first lady’s cry’, all aimed at castigating the first lady’s use of Pidgin English and the constitutionality of the office of the first lady. It is laughable that the writer still refers to her as the ‘first lady’ in his caption even while questioning her right to be addressed as that. The 1999 constitution does not recognize the office of the 1st lady and neither does the American constitution, however the term “first lady” is used by both countries and by many other countries we would want to model Nigeria after. This position is recognized as a de facto affiliation to the presidency and this simply means that it is founded upon common and general practice, created or developed and not contrary to any regulation. That is to say, that recognition of the office of the first lady would be a problem if it contradicted any law or legislation.

Michelle Obama who many name in contrast to Patience Jonathan is the forty-sixth official first lady of the United States which means that even the United States associate with this common practice. People like Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Clinton all wore the first lady tag during their husbands’ tenure in office. It might also be useful to mention that the office is funded from the presidency and this has been so in Nigeria with all past heads of state and Presidents from Azikiwe till date.

Dame Patience convening a meeting in that capacity then, should not be voided on the grounds that it is unconstitutional as the meeting is legitimate. In answer to the issue of legitimacy, two questions come to mind, who convened the meeting and who did the meeting reach out to? In response to both questions, I borrow the words of the critics to say that it was convened “for a set of ladies who call themselves first ladies”. Soyinka being knowledgeable can choose to call them an ‘association’. Having answered in that context, it is pertinent to emphasize that Nigeria by its enshrinement of the ‘Universal Declaration on Human Rights’ into the constitution upholds freedom of association. This is the right of people to join or leave groups as they choose, and for the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of its members. It is both an individual right and a collective right, guaranteed by all modern and democratic legal systems. Bearing this in mind, the first lady’s meeting obviously reached out to first ladies of states and these first ladies have neither complained about the association nor their meetings and have chosen of their own free will to be part of the group. In clear indication of a willingness to be part of this group, the first lady of Borno state who was unavoidably absent, sent a representative, showing an interest in the #bringbackourgirls campaign brought before them as an association.

A senior advocate who recently rejected the invitation to be part of the constitutional committee set up by the President was also quick to quote laws on the unconstitutionality of the panel set up by Dame Patience. With due respect to the learned silk, I find this a misconception, the situation at hand is one of national security were all citizens ought to give reasonable assistance to help address the menace of insecurity. Dame Patience did not approach the legislative arm of government to implement the recommendations of a fact finding committee nor did she order the deployment of military personnel to Borno, she only tried to contribute to the issue at hand.

On the issue of questions raised by the first lady, questions must be asked for problems to be solved. America in volunteering to help has mentioned the need for a forensic test where scientists will be deployed to capture biometric data, linking the biological parents to their children. Nobody has seen that as an indirect way of seeking information, right? But we quickly blame the first lady for asking questions.

We are in the digital age where twitter, facebook, mobile apps are available for us to make helpful opinions and suggestions in times like this. I did laugh at the video and will still laugh at its comic value but beyond that, we should see the deep desire and passion to bring back our girls. Even if the tears were fake as some people have said, we should still be moved. Majority of us have been emotionally affected merely watching paid actors and actresses in the past, why then can we not be moved by the first lady’s tears especially as we have no way of knowing certainly if they were real or not. We need to refocus on the core issue at hand which is to get our children back, the constitutionality of the first lady’s office and her expression or lack of is secondary to this.

We should continuously find out ways we can help, discover what roles to play or even simply pray for our nation. This isn’t a time to cast blames or even ridicule Dame Patience, these will not solve our problems. There really is God and he is the only exalter, who knows, YOU might be the next leader he exalts, (laughs) then Nigeria might become a better place and I won’t be writing this.

 

 

 

BRING BACK OUR GIRLS, BRING BACK NIGERIA

BY

THERESA 

About two weeks ago, hundreds of young Nigerian school girls had their lives altered. They were abducted; thrown into a realm of uncertainty which outsiders like you and I can only weakly attempt to define by the boundaries of our imagination. These girls HAVE dreams, aspirations, hopes and plans none of which foretold the tragic fate which has befallen them. These girls ARE daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins, grand-daughters, friends and much more to people who currently experience unimaginable pain. Regardless of gender, age, religion, ethnicity and social class, we all share something with these girls. We share a bond; our humanity is a common denominator.

The saying “life goes on” always holds true even after war and in this case, will unfortunately be same. But how should life go on especially in the wake of this and other recent occurrences? Do we fold our arms, remain “powerless” and allow politically motivated insurgents define life for us? Do we go on with our lives, offering the occasional “hmms, oohs and ahhs” when such things happen and continue in our own bubbles with the erroneous beliefs that our buildings, our streets, our states and regions make us impossible to reach and so, far from harm’s way? Do we carry on, attribute this to destiny and assume that our “destiny” would be different from theirs? Do we offer supplication to God as lone solution? Or do we merely wish our problems away?

These problems we face are collective. They are not just the government’s and not only the victims’ but ours as a people. Stop for a minute and reminisce about the life you have now then imagine a scenario where you are forcefully extricated from your current position and the world as you see it, as you know it, and as you live in it gets replaced with chaos that you not just passively observe but actively live through. Picture a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a grand-daughter, a niece, a cousin, or a friend of yours and imagine that one day they are taken from you. Consider the many possibilities- sexual, physical, psychological abuse and torture. Go a step further to consequences- unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, malnutrition and many more. How about death maybe not before but even after experiencing all that was previously mentioned? This is the very depressing but harsh reality for many right now.

There is only so much most of us can do but every little bit counts. Through prayers, petitions and protests we have to continuously speak for them and demand that this ugly occurrence be given the highest level of attention by the powers that be. It does not matter if just one or one million girls were kidnapped, the cause must be fought for. It does not matter who does what in what manner and the least concern should be intents or genuineness of the messengers as long as the message- to bring back the girls- gets spread. We have to make conscious efforts to see that this is not swept under a rug and ensure that no one forgets if not this will become just another feature in a long list of unending sad tales in our country.  We must demand action. We must demand peace. We must speak. If we do not then we have failed those girls and ourselves and in the nearer future, we could be calling for more people to be brought back- our sons, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, friends, you and I.

This is one in a series of causes that must be fought for in order to restore some semblance of normalcy in our society. Nigeria’s turmoil has gone past the point of generating passive response. Way too many lives have been lost in recent times, way too many tears have been shed, a lot of families have been forever disconnected and properties to the tune of billions lost. At the centre of these goings-on are power hungry individuals whose insatiable appetite to conquer and devour has reduced the populace to pawns in a political game of chess. Individuals who must be held accountable and peace demanded from. Nigeria as we once knew it (even with its former peculiarities) has been stolen from us. Terrorism is here and is very real and if not checked, soon no barricade- physical, mental or social- will suffice for the masses regardless of who we are, where we live, what we look like and what we do. Control must be regained lest we become controlled. We must do something- We must all lend our voices.

This is a #BringBackOurGirls fight and a #BringBackNigeria war.    

 

 

UNREACHABLE

By Ken Inemiimages

Stars light up the dark lonely skies

Shining brightly all through the night

Sometimes I wish I could reach out and touch the light

And see if it feels as warm as it shines

But there must be a reason for this distance

And who knows what delight could be put to flight If we always had what we want in life

So maybe I will sleep content for the light

That glows softly from this distant star

And wish it would always be out there shining for me

Until I can face a new dawn which would surely come…

SCARS OF ANOTHER HOTEL ROOM EVENT VOL.1

LILY O-A

Disgust was pungent in the air when Uche resumed for work on Monday morning, looks of disdain were shot her way and an air of hostility pervaded the workspace. She found it difficult to concentrate on reading the many emails she had received over the course of the week. Since her public confession of her sexual affair with Pastor Ireti on her blog had spread, curses and accusations hadn’t stopped pouring in. The worst emails came from his church members. Some told her to suck it up and enjoy the memories like any lucky prostitute. Others were from reporters asking for interviews and meetings. She closed her laptop abruptly. She had seen enough, people would finally get the proof they wanted this evening.

She walked briskly to the car park as soon as it was 5 o’clock. Once she was in the sanctuary of the car, she called Ifeanyi, her best friend, to confirm that she had handed the video to the website editor. Ifeanyi answered on the 1st ring sounding very confident, “when this video of him naked in your hotel room declaring his love for you goes viral, things will get worse, but they ‘ll get better after, so be strong, dear”. The editor said it’ll go live by 7pm this evening, I’ll come over soon, she hung up. Uche’s heart was raw.

She hurriedly switched off her phone to prevent any phone calls from coming in. For God to have watched Pastor Ireti sexually manipulate her and break her heart after one year of trysts, Uche prayed to God, asking that He also watch silently as she purged herself of the pain and self-loathing she had carried for so long. It didn’t help that no one would believe her. Even her family told her to forget it and act like it never happened. Her friends side-stepped her and made quick excuses to leave whenever she tried to talk with them, but Uche knew she wasn’t crazy, she had been in love, she had been hurt, Ireti was a liar! She wanted revenge and she would have it at any cost.

7pm came very slowly. Ifeanyi squeezed Uche’s hand as they waited for the BellaNaija page to load. Uche said a prayer under her breath to no one in particular. Her hands trembled. She could almost taste her freedom now. They refreshed the page again.

Uche clutched her ears and screamed. She kicked and screamed at the web page. The top story read: Tragedy in Abuja! Pastor Ireti of MOWA Church Dies in Auto Crash.

Vengeance belongs to God.

N.B – Creativity is creativity for creativity sake; see it as such.

Disclaimer: This story bears no resemblance to any…