DEAR MR PRESIDENT…………

images SIGN

Dear Mr. President,

I will at this point skip the formalities of asking how you and the family are doing, not out of disrespect, but simply because I see you on TV all the time, and from there I know you are doing fine.

Continue reading

PARADISE ISLAND PT2

 

wpid-sad_black_woman.jpgToday I turn sixteen years old.  

As I lay there deliberating my friend Omoefa’s coarse and loud voice rang out as she shouted my name from outside startled me out of short lived reverie. I got up from the bed still in my pant and bra holding my head which had subsided a bit, just by sheer will and effort managed to put on a pair of Jeans and tee shirt. I slipped on a pair of slippers and stepped into the slightly darkened corridor crisscrossed with other rooms adjoined leading out to the compound.  

I beheld one of the older girls who also worked in our compound Cindy and friends dancing near the window but ignored them only extending a brief greeting to Deborah one of the girls as I moved on, I heard from Omoefa’s roommate Cindy was from a good home, had even been sent to school a real secondary school but had run off with an older boyfriend her father’s pension safely tucked in her bag. The boyfriend swindled her and traveled out to Spain, leaving her with just a letter I suppose as memento or reminder I don’t know. Some have feet and shoes to wear on them, some have shoes but no feet, others possess neither shoes nor feet I wish, i wonder….  

I met Omoefa sitting in a corner with the girls smoking ‘Igbo’ weed as they all shuffled to the music emanating from the stereo. I went towards them and as soon as they sighted me, they all shouted as if on cue hailing AREA HOW FAR NAH? Happy Birthday!!!

Tinuke Omoefa’s room mate passed me a cup of “Tombo liquor “as I joined them on the bench Omoefa passed me the smouldering wrap of ‘Igbo’ she was smoking. I held it between my thumb and forefinger the embers cackling, sparks emitting from the tiny embers of the seed as i tapped the excess ash off. I put the cup to my lips and swallowed a mouthful of the local gin, my eyes watered slightly as the ethanol hit me full in the chest, oblivious to my pain charting a burning path down my throat traversing relentlessly down, a fiery passageway to the pit of my stomach. I took a long drag of the ‘Igbo’ weed inhaling holding in the smoke as long as I could thankfully, it was not the highly intoxicating kanaku hybrid.

The smoke circulated slowly coursing through internal orifice, oh so soothing…swirling as in creating an artificial smokes screen, cloud-induced interface alongside sudden No stark reality of the life i existed in.   It was all I could do not to lean back in relief my headache slowly receding as though dancing backwards, evaporating into nothingness…air, just like the smoke emanating from my slightly parted lips and nostrils drifting up into oblivion. I watched it all swirling upwards towards a stack heap of forgone memories where earlier introspection, niggling conscience end up never to harm or hold my thought process in a choke hold leaving me free to indulge in my vices, my excesses with no recourse to conscientious thoughts. 

The first time omoefa and I met she had accosted me hiding behind the sand dune crying profusely on a Friday night. I was tucked away in a darkened corner hence did not notice my presence until she nearly stepped on me. Omoefa shouted out in fright jumping back “Blood of Jesus” seeing me clearly her initial fright swiftly morphed into anger. She rounded up in anger asking who I was and my purpose for lurking in the darkness, all the while getting ready to smash her upturned fist in my face. Tears still running down my face intermittently casting furtive glances towards the main gate i had escaped from, she must have realized the extent of my disconcert especially at the sight of my torn clothes as I held tightly to cover my half exposed breasts. Her anger turned to concern, as she asked me what had occurred abandoning all her initial resolve and hostility.  

When I arrived Paradise Island I was still naïve hence was oblivious to what the girls actually did until much later. I only started to enjoy myself after I met Obiri, a girl who lived in a shack next to our compound. She was my age although looked and acted older, that girl was a real tomboy a fire cracker. I often wondered how she came to be living on their own in the ghetto later after becoming firm friends, she confided in me that she ran away from home hiding under a lorry ferrying plantains to Lagos.

She was labelled a witch by a man they called ‘Prophet Zephaniah’ in her village, Prophet’s minions tortured then forced her to drink a concoction made out of water droplets drained from a dead body, declaring the spirit of the dead will compel her into a confession of her deeds even against her will. It seemed one of the strongest demons dwelt in her dark heart as she failed to confess, repeatedly maintaining her innocence. This provoked Prophet’s holy anger as he instructed assistants to hold her down, mouth forced open using his holy staff and concoction poured down her throat. Ensuing stomach cramps triumphant validation for prophet Zephaniah.

She had been accused initially by her father of deploying the powers of witchcraft that strong demonic spirit to drain his destiny causing an inability to feed her 8 siblings, he was a subsistent farmer. Her ropes had been untied in the dead of the night by her mother, who urged her to run away or be killed. Rescuing her mother and siblings from her father’s clutches and giving them a better life has been her motivation for hustling. I will make it in Paradise Island one day you watch and see if I don’t she often said with strong conviction and seriousness.      

Aunty had sent me to buy some Panadol at baba Oyibo’s chemist not very far from our compound. On my way back, one of the boys who hang around our street accosted me snatching Auntie’s change off my hand. I cried out begging him to give me back the money but he laughed taunting me until Obiri walked towards us and faced him. Looking on steadily no expression on her face bellying her true intentions she asked him to return my money, but he didn’t pay her any heed neither did I to be fair. Request repeated again this time firmly resolute as calm as you please, or he would get a beating. He finally paid attention to the irritant quickly surveying her small frame incredulously, unbelieving of the sheer impudence from this tiny runt as he laughed gleefully. Truly Obiri like me was shorter than the boy, by this time his friends had sauntered closer cheering urging him on.

All of a sudden she lunged forward grabbing his neck like a man and raining punches, open mouthed map of disbelief displayed all over my face at the sight “See this small ‘Pelenge’ girl fighting a boy. The fight seemed reminiscent of David and Goliath bored children had begun watching and clapping as the impromptu fight progressed. She landed a quick succession of punches then another slap Ha it’s a miracle!! I stopped counting after nine punches with interjecting slaps, a cut on his thick black lips blood spurted trailing down his jaw line. He was riled seriously angry now, yellow rimmed eyeballs bulging in naked resentment as he wiped excess blood with the hem of his oversize 2pac long sleeve tee shirt, he began pulling up his sleeves. It has gotten much personal no more a random past time but saving face that male ego has to be redeemed forthwith. He deliberately rushed towards Obiri swinging wildly right hand busy, as he made to grab her with his left hand we all gasped in fright but she darted back evading his latest swing, then moved in crouching like Malaika the great wrestler in our village. She grabbed his legs in a seemingly coordinated motion and shoved him backwards. He landed hard on his buttocks the audible grunt of pain sounding like a pig’s grunt. The tides had swiftly turned at this stage everyone turning the boos earlier directed towards the small girl into cheers the now vanquished fighter lying on the ground, smarting from defeat. I watched her beat him back to the ground, even after he unsuccessfully tried to get back up until an old woman drove the crowd away with a long broom.  Caught up in the excitement I had forgotten about my dilemma until I felt my cloth tugged from the back i turned around to see her still looking disheveled from the fight and sporting a small bump on her right cheekbone, without a word she shoved the crumpled change in my palm abruptly walking away.

To Be Continued……………………………

Written By Bunmi olaniyan 

Read Part 1 HERE

Staircases And Cupcakes

 

image ofI was eleven when it happened, I can remember how it happened, because I was there when it happened.

It took me twenty four years to get here, and a lot of guts, but I think it’s time I got it off my chest.

I won’t pretend I grew up in a perfect home, and suddenly things went bad, for as long as I can remember, it was always the same, I grew up thinking all Fathers yelled, and all mothers cried.

Father was never happy, he always yelled, everything was always done wrong, and even when he did it wrong, he always found a way of blaming mother.

I saw him punch her, shove her, swear at her, but I never saw him hold her, hug her, kiss her, or even say anything nice to her.

It’s not a long story, just a brief sad story, of an eleven year old boy, a story that changed his life forever.

I just got back from school, I was in the kitchen eating, and as usual, mother would set my meal with the usual cupcake on the side, chocolate flavored, so I could eat immediately I got back from school, she never missed it, I still remember the smell of cake batter, she baked so much, the aroma was almost permanent, and even up until now as an adult, I always remember her, when I smell cake batter, among other things.

It was quite, unusually quiet, I didn’t think much of it, because I knew it was just a matter of time before father would get back, and he would find something to yell about.

He got back earlier than usual, I was just about biting into my cupcake, when he walked in, I remember losing my appetite, he walked passed me like I was not there, not that I cared, I was accustomed to it, he yelled out for mum, but he didn’t get any response, I knew she was asleep, she was pregnant, and it was hard for her to keep up with her daily routine, I didn’t bother checking up on her, because I knew she was a light sleeper, and I didn’t want to wake her up.

He yelled out again, and still yet no reply, I remained in the kitchen, and waited for it, I heard him walk up the stairs, I could tell he was mad, what else was new, suddenly I heard him yelling at her, I couldn’t quite make out the words, but I knew there were angry words, I left the kitchen, and made my way to the foot of the stairs, I stretched my neck, trying to hear what was being said, dad was yelling, and mum was trying to pacify him, suddenly he appeared at the top of the stairs, and stared right down at me, I felt a chill, this was not normal, “what are you looking at you stupid boy”, he said, don’t you have anything better to do than stuff your face with cakes? Your mother has made a girl out of you, am pretty sure you are the first boy who will have his period; those were things father said to me.

I let his words wash over me, but I didn’t move, I was accustomed to it, I think deep down he just needed to rave and rant all the time to give himself a sense of self-worth, mother emerged from the bedroom, and simply told him to leave me alone, and that was when it happened, he turned around and punched her in the face, he didn’t care if she was pregnant or not, she spun around, and used her elbows to shield her tummy from hitting the wall, he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back, haven’t you done enough to ruin him, father said, why doesn’t he act like normal boys, and you dare tell me to leave him alone, he spoke about me like I wasn’t even there.

Mother tried to pacify him, he started shoving her, I saw her walking back, towards the head of the stairs, I tried to warn her she was too close to the edge, but his constant yelling drowned my words, she missed her step, I saw her fall, it was like an eternity, but while she fell, she tried to shield her stomach, I saw her fall, I heard bones crack, I saw her falling, and I was rooted to the spot, until she hit me, and we both landed on the floor, I hit my head, and when I opened my eyes, I saw her, lying down, she was staring at me, but was looking through me, suddenly I felt something sticky on my cheek, it was red, it was warm, it was her blood, and then I realized, she was dead, he pushed her, I passed out.

I didn’t see him anymore after that, I went to live with my uncle, years later he told me, my father left, started afresh, was arrested, but never convicted, ruled as a domestic accident, people fall down stairs all the time.

I still don’t understand why he was such a bitter person, mother didn’t deserve what he did to her, I haven’t spoken to him or seen he since that day, personally I see no point

I have moved on, am happy, have a family now, they give me joy, decided to share this, I don’t know how it will help, but am pretty sure it will.

Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)

If Symptoms Persist……….

image

The first time I noticed my son’s odd habit was when I carried him on my legs in church, I realized he would become quite uncomfortable when my hand was not resting on his crotch, not his thigh, but his crotch, at first I thought maybe he was in pain, and I initially got worried, bit I later noticed his hands where going between my legs, this was not an unconscious action, he knew exactly what he was doing, because I brushed his hand away and gave him a stern look, but moments later I noticed he was doing it again, so I had to drop him off my legs and made him sit on a chair by himself, and did I mention my son was just 4 years old?

When we got home, I brought it to the attention of my husband, and in his usual manner he tried to make light of it, and even chastised me for even thinking our own son would be trying to get fresh with me, maybe he just misses you, he obviously doesn’t know what he is doing or where his hands where, my husband said, and after-all you are gone before he wakes up, and in bed before you return, so don’t blame the boy for trying to get as much attention from you as he possibly can, he added, but I was not convinced, what if my son had been exposed to pornography or had started hanging out with bad kids, I mean it’s never too early to start, especially in this day and age, it made me worry.

The next day I called his teacher on the phone and asked her to keep an eye on him, I told her I had noticed some changes in him and I didn’t want the damage to be irreversible, my son’s teacher assured me she would do her best to make sure he wasn’t exposed to the wrong set of people, satisfied with her response I laid all my worries to rest.

A few weeks later I noticed some strange with my son, I had taken my annual vacation and decided to spend it with my husband and son, on this day I was giving him a bath, and he kept on saying it’s mummy’s turn to suck on the straw, at first I thought it was a nursery rhyme, not until I saw him grab hold of his penis, and repeated the words he said earlier “it’s mummy’s turn to suck the straw”, and while he held his penis, I noticed it was getting erect, now don’t get me wrong, I have noticed his erection before, in these cases it usually meant he needed to wee-wee, or he was just waking up from a nap or something, in other words very involuntary actions, but this time I felt he was getting aroused, I was so embarrassed I stood up, brought him out of the bath and quickly wrapped him up in a towel, I did all this without looking at him.
I immediately told my husband, and this time I didn’t take it lightly, he saw the seriousness in me and together we grilled our little boy, until he opened up and told us where he learnt the song.

Sometimes you see a lot of things reported on TV and in the papers, and you say to yourself, do these things really happen, or are they stories fabricated by the media to get the attention of the masses, or for print media and soft sell magazines to make a quick buck, and if at all they happen, who would be so blind as to allow it escalate to such an alarming point. Well I was about to understand that these things actually happened, and it was happening to my little boy, the words I would never forget, after long minutes of question and some threats from my husband, he finally opened up, “aunty Tola said she likes to suck my straw and I should not let anyone suck it, and that I should always put my hands inside her pants because it makes her happy”.

I collapsed on the floor, when I heard my son say those words, at first I didn’t believe him, but I realized how on earth a four year old child, would come up with such a story, I stared at my husband, he stared back at me, we were both speechless, and our son stood between us, weeping, I instinctively pulled him close and hugged him tight, and silently blamed myself for not noticing earlier.

We stormed his school, and went straight to the principal’s office, where we explained everything to him and even got our son to tell him exactly what he had told us, the principal was quite upset and summoned aunty Tola to his office immediately, she denied everything, blaming everything my son had said on him having a very active imagination, at this point my husband was hot with rage, and he began threatening to involve the police, and not until my husband actually brought out his phone and began dialing a number, aunty tola fell on her knees begging and crying, and proceeded to blame the devil, we all stared at her in bewilderment, what on earth would possess a full grown woman to sexually abuse a four year old boy, a child put in your care, to protect and nurture, you turn around and hurt, we called the police and she was arrested, I quit my job, and became a full time mum, what would be my gain, if I had all the wealth and ended up with a disturbed and abused child.

By Arome Ameh (The Priest)

Reality Check

Over the past few weeks, I have observed with keen interest the number of advocates suddenly springing up on the popular social media site, we all love to call Twitter.

Now as much as this is commendable, I cannot help but feel this is just like every other trend that occurs on twitter, the popular band wagon effect if you will.

Twitter being the virtual world it is, allows for everyone to develop an alter ego and appear to be genuinely concerned with various topics plaguing our society as we know it, and in this case am referring to domestic violence and rape.

For the whole of 2013, a day never went by and you would not see either a news report or newspaper headline informing us of yet another case of rape, domestic abuse, and child molestation.

These reports were read, and treated as news, the papers, blogs and various information websites had a field day, they got more hits than they could count, and they realized one thing, “this stuff sells” and thus they went all out to get more stories, not because they genuinely cared, but because if offered them the opportunity of constant viewer ship, I mean who doesn’t love a good story.

The blogs and online news papers weren’t the only ones who realized this, some individuals on twitter also realized this and thus decided to cash in on it, since it had become a hot topic, handles began springing up, and individuals who had not before now ever given a thought to this menace, suddenly became experts on the subject, tweeting day and night, about how “we all must rise up”, while sitting in their homes and eating doughnuts while watching their follower numbers swell by the minute.

Now a simple question needs to be asked, how many of these handles and their handlers have an idea of what domestic violence, rape and child abuse means?

How many have ever been in the same room with any of these victims?

The answer to that is simple, very very few, you could easily liken them to back seat drivers or those who play soccer on their couches, and wouldn’t know what a football was even if it hit them in the face.

They talk with so much authority on subjects they know nothing about, and at the end of the day pat themselves on the back for some false sense of achievement.

There are those who work in the physical, who put themselves on the line to ensure people get justice, to ensure lives are saved, to ensure children grow up in wonderful homes devoid of sexual and emotional abuse by making themselves available 24 hours a day to educate, and enlighten these children, the parents and the society at large.

We have people who constantly work daily with abused women in different shelters to help give them some semblance of a normal life.

We have people who get down and dirty to find rapists who destroy lives of individuals, and also endeavour to work with the victims, they sit, eat and talk with them, they help to counsel them, they ensure they receive the medical aid they require.

And at the end of it all, they do not congratulate themselves, no, they go home and ask themselves the simple question, why did this happen.

Advocacy is not a popularity contest, neither is it a means to gain notoriety, because while you brag about your so called accomplishments, what do the victims do?

Do we now use them and the cause as a means to an end?

You don’t have to like this piece, that not withstanding, there must be a reality check.

In closing I’ll leave you with these two foods for thought.

A mouse climbed on the back of an elephant to cross a narrow bridge, it was a shaky cross, but when they got across the mouse quickly said to the elephant, “WE” rocked that bridge.

In war not all soldiers fight, some lay in the trenches preserving their lives, but when war stories are told, they say “WE” gave them hell, and unfortunately no one takes a census of who shot how many bullets.

It’s time for a reality check.

Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)

Posted by Arome Ameh (The Priest) From WordPress for Android

For Our Kids- Parents Pls Note

image

WARNING TO PARENTS AND
GUARDIANS!!!

•Warn your daughter never to
sit on anyone’s laps no matter the
relationship,even uncles.

Avoid dressing your young girls in skimpy and body revealing outfits, remember you are not the only ones watching them.

•Avoid getting dressed in front of your child once he/she is 2years old. Learn to excuse yourself.

•If you have to hire a house-help, kindly take them for HIV screening to determine their status, properly interview them and make up your mind to treat them well.

•Never allow any adult refer to your newborn as ‘my wife’ or ‘my
husband’.

•Avoid unnecessary familiarity
with the opposite sex and make sure you take care of your husband yourself so as not to lead him
into temptation.

•Whenever your child goes out to play with friends, make sure you look for a way to find out the kind of play they played together, as
young people sexually abuse
themselves now.

•Never force your child to visit any adult he/she is not comfortable with and also be observant if your child becomes fond of a particular adult.

•Once a very lively child suddenly becomes withdrawn, you might need to patiently ask a lot of questions.

•If you don’t teach your children about sex,the society will teach them the wrong values and most likely, in very hard ways.

•It’s always advisable you go
through any new material like cartoons you buy for them before they start seeing it themselves.

•Teach your 3year olds how to wash their private parts properly and warn them never to allow anyone, including you, touch those
areas. Remember, charity begins at home and with YOU.

•Blacklist all materials you think could threaten the sanity of your
child, that is,music, movies and musicians,and let them understand the value of standing out of the crowd.

•Once your child complains about a particular person, don’t keep
quiet about it. Take up the case and show you can always defend him/her!

 Pls,let’s be watchful on our kids.

By Tope Aigba
@topsyken

Originally Written By Praise Fowowe

Posted by Arome Ameh (The Priest) From WordPress for Android

A Child In The Wilderness- My Story Of Abuse,Rejection And Triumph

I was a bubbly little girl, i was loved by my
parents. The apple of Daddy’s eyes and the one
nobody messes up with in our home – I loved that.

Then, Uncle Sola happened! He stole my innocence
at age 6 and for years, I lived in the shadow of that
disturbing moment.

We lived in a “face me, I face you” in Ikorodu in the
80s. My Parents were working class people. Who
had to leave me with a family that lived in the same
house with us. One of their children was “Uncle Sola”.
Uncle Sola was very loving; always looking for
avenues to play with me. I was an only child then
and the way he was protective of me wasn’t a
secret, I loved it. Little did I know that he had other
plans. His motive of loving and protecting me was
different from the innocence a 6year old would have
deciphered. No one suspected. No one knew. No
one questioned him. No one could come to my aid.
The earliest memory I had about being defiled was
when I felt his fingers in my private part. This
became a constant in my life as days went by. I
couldn’t tell anyone because of the fear instilled in
me. This continued until we moved from Ikorodu to
Lagos mainland. That was when I got a reprieve
from uncle Sola.
On moving to Lagos, my Daddy decided to venture
into polygamy. This brought a lot of unrest into an
once peaceful family. My trust for the menfolk
withered. My Dad was the one person that could
never be wrong until he decided to hurt My Mom
and I.
Based on this further betrayal, I decided to make
the menfolk pay for what my Dad & Uncle Sola did
to me. But underneath this, there was the vacuum;
the cry for love and genuine care.
During my years in the secondary school, I was
well behaved with minor misdemeanors  here and
there. . It was when I got admitted into the
polytechnic that I decided to act out all the hurt and
pain I was feeling. I needed love and acceptance
badly but none was forthcoming. All the guys
wanted was just a good time and I wasn’t going to
give that to them was my resolve. They were going
to pay, and some did. I was smart but I think now, it
was God that was just shielding me.
I was one of the first customer at Excellence Hotel
Ogba, Lagos state when it was first opened. One
Aristo took me there. While in the polytechnic, I met
a guy I fell in love with. We had unprotected sex
which led to me getting pregnant. I was naïve and
didn’t really know wat to do; on noticing that I was
pregnant, he severed the relationship and stopped
talking to me completely. My parents only got to
know whenthe pregnancy was 6months. I was
18years then. They took me to an hospital and I had
an induced labour. After that painful experience, I
rested a while from runs.
I moved from the polytechnic to the university by
direct entry in 1997 and met a guy that I dated till I
graduated in 2001. Between us, we aborted all the
Nine pregnancies we had. The most memorable one
was the last one I had which nearly took my life but
for the mercies of God.
Towards the end of my stay in the university, I had
a dramatic encounter with the Lord. I surrendered to
His Lordship and broke up with my boyfriend of
4years.
I Graduated and went for youth service, where I
met my husband. Three and half years after
meeting him, we got married, the bed undefiled.
Soon after marriage, I got pregnant. We were so
elated since we both knew my past and all the
details – I had told him every single thing without
keeping a line. On the due date, I brought forth. We
were so happy and grateful to God. Then, as the
years roll by, it has been hard to conceive again.
Then the condemnation starts. I began to blame
myself for the kind of life I led earlier. What if I had
not been wayward? What if I had not had so many
abortions? What if….?
Everyman has a role to play in the fulfillment of his
destiny but there are some that contributes to it. I
took that way because of the many childhood
defilement and hurt. I didn’t speak to anyone, I didn’t
seek help because I thought I could hold it all in. No
one can! There are end results of abuses that we
can never deal with all by ourselves.
What if I had not been defiled earlier? What if my
childish innocence had not been tampered with?
That experience never leaves the victim of such
crimes and abuses. The feeling of low self esteem
and always expecting the worst in every situation
was evident in my every thought and action.
I bear my cross now without complaint to anyone.
My joy is that my Husband has been a point of
succor and strength to me all through everything.
He holds me and emotionally helps me to be better.
As parents, we owe our children the best! Not just
financially but emotionally also. Be your child’s best
friend. Know his/her moods, know what they are
not saying even when they are talking with you. Be
careful of the people that watch your children in
your absence, especially the close family members
and friends.
Lets keep our children safe so that they wont get
defiled or damaged early. It’s the story of my life
and I share it happily for others to learn. As it is,
there might be regrets or pains, but there are those
who are not so lucky. Some have committed suicide
because they never get to heal. Some have become
mentally imbalanced after everything. Some are still
crying subtly for help and no one is listening. We
need to be careful. We need to be vigilant and very
understanding to our kids. Let them know they can
talk to you.
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Prevent it.
If you can’t due to one situation or the other, watch
out for signs in your kids and help them as fast as
you can.

Written By TT

Originally published on WWW.debospeaks.blog. com

Posted by Arome Ameh (The Priest) From WordPress for Android