Saturday, May 29, 2010

Why do we have to get married?

This post was inspired by someone I follow on Twitter.

Recently, my friend 'diagnosed' me of being anti-relationships, anti-marriage , she said it was partly because i was afraid (her words not mine). I guess to an extent I am guilty of taking one side of the marriage story and saying 'mehn, i'm not down for all this ooo'.

I have openly told my friends that a lot of us women get married because they keep saying ' you've finished school.. what is next' You know the way people always asked ' so what Uni are you off to' when they see you at home after Secondary School. So marriage always appears to be the NEXT major thing.If they don't ask you, they ask your parents, your parents subtly ask you ' that guy that keeps coming here nko, is he not saying anything?'A lot of us get married because we just need to move out of our houses, I mean, you are tired of your room, you are tired of your parents shouting 'Aderonkeeeeeee'from downstairs when you just wanna lie in! So what do we do, we clamour for a marriage proposal. We believe that surely we can do better! I asked a lady who came to live in our BQ why she married her husband? and she said ' I had finished school now, what else was left'I was shocked at her reason! You MARRIED a person.. tied yourself to a man because it was the 'NEXT' thing to do? **GASP*** This chic and her boo were living in our BQ, (FOC) dude did not have a place.. and no they were not pregnant..they just felt it was right! I complained to my mum and she said.. there is nothing wrong with it.. "Do u know where ur daddy and I started from?"

I have been making an effort to stop thinking like that, I have started trying to see things positively, I want to believe that marriage is not just a place I want to get in so that I can have uninhibited sex without the fear of the hand of God striking me! and then guess what happens.. I read this on twitter.. I shall copy and paste it here :

"ok here goes... As far as a marriage is concerned, what's really in it for men? i mean, what do women really do in the 21st century marriage? cook? no... there's a cook 4 dat. clean? no... there's a maid 4 dat. provide money? again no! there's me for that. and God forbid that they take care of their own children cuz what then would the nanny do? most of the households i see 2day r like this. it's a damned shame really. dont get me wrong, guys are pricks too. and i guess women have just evolved to match our err... prickiness. lol. basically, with marriage, the rules of engagement have changed. if i was born 50 years ago, then i'd be all for marriage. but now? no tainks cuz now, i'd be marrying an independent woman who depends on me... Go figure. (O_o) that's all folks. like i said earlier, it might not make the most sense but bear with me. :))"

And that is the view of marriage from the lens of one person! I believe a lot of men share that perspective!
So why do people still come around and ask, ' so how far now... mr Right nko?' who is Mr Right and who is this Miss Right they all keep going on about? I said 'who' and not 'where' because I honestly don't believe that person is anywhere on the surface of this earth! The society has evolved, a lot of women work now, and they earn an income, a lot of women are more independent financially but society needs them to be in this box called marriage. I know a lot of women who say why should they go to work and come back and start sweating in the kitchen, or is it after such a stressful day at work that they want to come and start taking care of a whiny baby? or cleaning the house? The money they make can do all that for them NO?

Society is not structured the way it used to be, things and people have why can this issue of marriage not evolve?

I however believe that there is a lady somewhere out there ( albeit remotely out there) who is willing to cook, clean, nurse the babies, and not be clingy! I also believe there is a man out there who will not beat me, not take my money and thereafter jack me for sex (my worse fear BTW), know how to drive, be able to raise my kids with me, and will love God (like i said.. he's somewhere out there lol)but in the mean time.... can someone please free the single people from the pressure of marriage?

Please! Let's be allowed to make the best of our lives without being made to feel like we are missing out on one super duper thing and our lives are incomplete without it.

(p.s I'm the product of a 40 year old marriage so NO I'm not from a dysfunctional home)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Celebrating Our Parents

Today is children's day in Nigeria. I do not know if it is a worldwide celebration but is and has always been in Nigeria. May 27. Children's day.
It's a day where kids stay at home, or get taken out. A day to celebrate children in general.

Today as my colleague and I drove to work we spoke of parents, and how much they actually give up for their kids. We never actually reallly think about it.

I earn an income now and right now, I can't begin to imagine having to share that income with anyone else, not to talk of some kids who will keep coming to ask for more. I do not remember anytime growing up when I asked my parents for books, clothes,that i never got it. and I always asked for more! I remember inflating the prices of books because I knew my dad would always question other non-academic things and I would justify my thievery ( yes was i not a little thief?lol) by saying well if u dont give me money for joker jellies i would remove it from the money of books!but my point is, everytime I asked, I always got. He never asked me to wait till month end. Flash forward to the present.. me.. Aderonke.. omo if you want anything from me you need to allow me plan for it oh! what do you think I am a bank? even my time.. you need to let me plan ahead for it.

I remember when I finished secondary school, and the time came for me to go to Uni... I wanted to take the A-Levels.. scratch that... I took every exam under the sun to ensure I got into a higher institution anywhere in the world. So here i was planning to study for cambridge A-Levels. That was a big deal for me because most of my classmates were doing IJMB ( the #abaversion of Cambridge A-levels lol)so I really needed to pass right? I needed to do very well so I could go to school in England. I had no idea where my parents were gonna get the funds, but hey.. I was going to do my part. I went to a 'cheap' A-Levels tutorial class which cost over a 150k, then excluding books and the cost of registering for the exams.I promised my parents that they would not regret shelling out the funds, but guess what i did? I flunked. Infact i flunked soo bad...but hey.. i got an 'E' in English.. I flunked so bad i cried as if i was going to die. How was I going to face my parents with this olodo result? how was i going to justify the spending of such an amount on a child who would not even pass. I remember going to tell my mum. I walked into her office, eyes red, face swollen.. i had cried like there was no tomorrow.. I told her i had "E, E, O" and guess what she said...'So Ronke, what do u want to do now, do u wanna write it again? or would u rather wait for JAMB?" In that moment, i could not love my mother more! I thought I was going to be killed. and then she said.." we have to go and check out Oxbridge if you want to do it again" Now Oxbridge was the best Alevels tutorial College in Lagos at that time ( D-Ivy people wey dey read make una no vex.. but Oxbridge was the best! hehehe) it was also the most expensive. You can imagine my shock, I had just failed and these peopel were willing to sink in 3 times the money they had paid earlier on.. I really could not have loved them more. I had to strive soo much harder to do them proud.. and yes I passed ( B, C,E I shoulda gotten a 'B' in English Literature instead of the 'C' but the A/c in Otunba Jobi Fele hall was soo cool i slept for more than 20 mins in the exam hall .. gist for another day).
My point is, parents are acually a gift and parenting is hard hard hard work. It's very easy to get carried away with your own life, your waka, your work and your ways and not give a rats a$$ about one child who just wants to faff about.

A lot of folks on twitter have been putting up their childhood memories and alot of them involve how their parents smacked the living day lights out of them, or taught them something , or gave them something.. Parents rock!

Have u seen a mother who is unable to provide her child with something? she would fight tooth and nail to get that thing for her child, an education, money, a better life style.. anything and what do we do?
sometimes we kick back at them, sometimes we tell them we hate them, sometimes we ask why we were ever born to them or why we were adopted, sometimes we hurt them so bad and we never even look back.
When my parents lost their son, I watched them in a state of shock, I was grieving but I could not even begin to imagine where they were, what they felt in that instant.. to lose a son? mind blowing!

Parenting is hard work and I think parents should be celebrated. Everyone can be a child, but not everyone can be a parent, an awesome parent.

So today, the 27th of May 2010, I chose to celebrate parents.. their sacrifice, their love, their patience, their money, their attention, devotion, loyalty and perseverance.

I celebrate my parents and I pray to God I'm half as good as they were, I pray that my children would be able to celebrate me, my principles and what I stand for.

Happy Parent's Day

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The power of the hash tag (#)

I recently joined Twitter, which in my opinion has become my number one source of news and amebo! I heard of Yaradua's demise on Twitter, I heard that Chelsea FC scored 8 goals to clinch the English Premiership title. Twitter is a very informative avenue, my new addiction.
The hash tag (#) is used on twitter to depict a topic or a trend. The hash tag is usually employed when twitting in drawing the attention of your 'follower' to the subject. It has proven to be a very useful tool in twitter with respect to catching one's attention.

However, the hash tag can only go so far. Last week I read something on Twitter, 'Singing about the problem does not solve the problem' ( not verbatim). The hash tag can only go so far. #lightupnigeria, #enoughisenough are laudable moves by young people who have had enough and believe that something needs to be done about this crazy place we live in.(effective word being 'done').
We have gotten so used to living with the situation that we have been lulled into a false sense of inertia (is that the right word). It is as a result of this that these young people have decided to stand up to what is right and what is good. The #enoughisenough movement was very laudable and though I did not participate, I appreciate the fact that people left the comfort of their homes, offices and marched both in Lagos and Abuja. However, I believe the hash tag can only go so far, infact, the hash tag is almost powerless.

Last week, I finally got around to watching the first episode of BBC's documentary Welcome to Lagos. It show cased the lifestyle of people living on a dump site in Lagos. They live and work on the dumpsite. A friend of mine came to my house and saw it and went off on a rant about how this 'oyibo' people will not go and do a documentary on Brixton and Peckham and leave us alone. I felt sad in that instant because I realise that a lot of Nigerians would believe that and say that, because unfortunately I disagree. I do not believe that anything in that documentary was exaggerated. It is simply the reality of Nigeria, and trust me, there are more of those people, more of people that have to go through that every single day than those of us on Twitter and using the hash tag. The presumption is that you're on twitter because you are 1. Basically educated enough to make your way around a social app; 2. you have a computer, internet and power supply; and or 3, you own a Smartphone of some sort which enables you have access to the internet.

There's poverty of immmense proportion in this country and it's just so sad. It's very sad and the hash tag cannot solve the problem. Singing about it and tweeting about it wont take it away.

So what WILL take it away? doing your bit. A little at time, help the person you know who can barely get by. A lot of people hardly have enough to feed, no where to sleep not to talk to expanding on their dreams. We have a lot of options available to us and there are a lot of folks out there who have nothing.Funmi Iyanda and TY Bello have Link-a-child Project and they are making a difference. The gap between the haves and the have nots needs to be bridged and its PEOPLE who care and who are willing to make a difference, not by talking, not by singing and definitely not by tweeting. By taking a positive step in the right direction. There are a whole LOT of people who are living below the poverty line. We need to help them out of the little we have. We can make a difference through wealth distribution.Please don't say you are not the one who spoilt Nigeria, don't say you are cleaner or better than those people who live on Kuramo Beach or who work the dumpsites. Just make a difference, no matter where you find yourself.
Believe me, that 500naira you are about to use to buy a gossip magazine, a softsell, is enough to buy milk for a little baby somewhere in Makoko.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Today I take my first step
into the future and into life
I'm growing, excitedly

Today I met my bride
I know she is
'Cos I feel it deep within

Today I held my son
Bright eyes and a wide smile
Glimmer of what the future holds

Today my son moves out
For he is old enough to,
Making a life for himself

Today I buried my son
My heart is heavy
He was vibrant and youthful

Today I changed my will
For all I hoped and planned is not
But I have tommorow or so I think

Today is all I have
Today, not tommorow
Just today