Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sleep well Yewande Odukoya.

It's exactly one year today that you left this world Yewande Odukoya. I've tried recollecting how we actually met each other but honestly, I still can't. Yewande, you deserve more than a blogpost from me. Or maybe I should have penned this a long time ago but I wasn't brave enough to write about our short time together. Besides, in the past one year, I just couldn't accept your death. But one year after and you're still not back (from the journey i thought in my head), I've had to accept the sad realization that you've indeed left us.

Yewande, you were my cousin, sister and best friend while growing up. Your house was like my living room cos I was always there right after my lessons in the afternoon. Your dad, God bless his soul was one of the nicest men that ever walked this earth. Do you remember how daddy would drive all of us in his Cream colored Peugeot Station Wagon to Archbishop Vining Memorial Church every Sunday? Do you remember how you were 'allergic to the smell of fuel' and daddy (Uncle Lanre) had a bottle of lime (osan wewe) in his brown bag for you every time? Oh dear! That brown bag!! Filled with newspapers (The Guardian to start with), lime etc. Everything was in that brown bag. Lol

Yewande, you were very pretty, very blunt (to a fault maybe), very generous and could cry for days!!! Jeeeez! The myth then was that you were christened 'Aina' cos of your unending cries. Your dad always complained about you talking too much and wanted you to 'be like Nike' (whatever he meant by that πŸ˜‚πŸ˜„) but I loved you for that hyper you. It was either your way or no way Yewande - that was the you I knew while growing up. You fought for me Yewande and I'm still thankful for that (I'm sure you understand what I really mean by this).

Your mum's eba and stew for dinner was the ish back then. Guess what? I actually boil my meat/chicken with garlic now cos I picked that from your mum's cooking πŸ˜ƒ. I'm still grateful.

I do remember how we'd sit on the toilet seat together (at the same time)and pee/poop cos we just wanted to be together at all cost (gross, I know πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒ). You unknowingly boosted my little self esteem (I had none to be candid but you helped in your own little way).

I do remember the last time I saw you (at your dad's funeral). You had changed but I wasn't sore or bitter, I just accepted you for that. Things didn't go well with us for sure but I was hoping I'd come to London and show up at your doorstep and probably say "Madam, don't you think it's high time we sorted things out?

When I heard you were in a coma, I kept praying for you because I knew how strong you were and not for once did I ever think of death. I always thought you'd pull through, I desperately wanted you to make it, I rooted for you all the way. But God had other plans.

Yewande, you alone knew the pains you endured during your health challenges, I, can only imagine. I do hope you're in a better place now. What you heard or what I heard don't matter right now - I'd trade all the bullcrap to have you back right now.

Your lil' boy Elijah clocked 2 last week and we attended his little bash. I'd planned to be strong but I ended up breaking down. I couldn't hold back the tears despite the fact that I'd cried before leaving the house. Your presence was deeply missed Yewande. Your mum misses you a whole lot but she's trying to stay strong. I promised her I'd check on her as frequently as possible. Elijah would never know how amazing his mum was. He looks so much like you (the lips and the eyes) I felt you almost spat him out. He's such a cute lad.

Rest well lil cousin. I love you a whole lot. Do give Uncle Lanre my love. Tell him thanks and that I still miss him.

PS: Yewande, I had to use lots of smileys to mask the tears.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wedding Dogmas

“The funny thing is that although we place so much energy and importance on our wedding
day, it isn’t the most important day of our life. The biggest day of your life is
every day thereafter. Because it is not the pledge to love someone that matters,
but the act of fulfilling that pledge that is most important. In other words, it’s
only just begun.”
- Laura Wolf, Diary of a Mad Bride.

It’s slow internet day at work which means it’s not a productive day. My vendors
are getting on my nerves; they all decided to show me their inefficient side on the
same day and almost at the same time. I honestly can’t wait to get home.
You see,I’m planning my wedding for the later part of 2013 and I told myself I wouldn’t be getting a
planner strictly because I don't intend splurging on one. Personally I think getting an wedding planner is a luxury. This post isn’t about planning a wedding
by the way.

When it comes to weddings, a lot of people (friends and family) expect you to do
things the ‘normal’ way. Normal in the sense that, you must do everything the way
it’s done; wear an ivory dress (ball or mermaid), have a train, have a page boy,
aso ebi etc. I always ask myself, where did these dogmas come from? What/Who defines
‘normal???” Normal to Miss A can’t be normal to Miss C because they’re just different
people. The saddest part (to me) is, having to explain to people why you want to
do things your own way.

I’ve always told people around me that I don’t intend having
a bridal train.My mum doesn’t like the idea of me not having one (the title itself irritates me).
I remember telling her in March that I won’t be having a bridal train. She gave me
a look that made me think a nipple just sprouted on my forehead. She and my fiancΓ©
couldn’t understand why. Hubby says he wants a train (groomsmen) and I said go ahead
but he says he can’t have if I don’t but I disagree. There’s no time they’ll have
to walk in together. The groomsmen walk in to the church with the groom while the
bride (if she has) walks in with hers. At the end of the church service, we all file
out with the choir and ministers so it won’t be that odd. At the reception nko? Don’t
worry, my friends in their beautiful and well sewn aso ebi will rise up and dance
with us as we walk into the reception! Shikena! He sulks over it once in a while
but trust me, I can’t be bothered. I'm not against him having a train.

I also feel it’s a waste of resources on the part of the train. Not like they get
to wear the outfit to several events. And sometimes, the prices are simply obscene.
Someone told me about a bride whom her train paid 100k for their dress/shoes/hair.
Same bride will complain about aso ebi. Dearie, you’re worse! I’ve been on a bridal
train three times. One was nice and the other two were just nightmares. I eventually
gave out the outfits shortly after. About 60k went to unexpected charity just like that!

I don’t want a little bride also. What exactly is the role of that little child?
Plain decoration! Cancelled! What next? Ring bearer. No, I’ll pass. Not like they
carry the expensive ring though. So why do we even have them? Another decoration like
bridal train and little bride. Cancelled!

Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s silly to have a bridal train – I just
don’t want one. Everyone is entitled to what he/she wants.

My mum said I’m not exposed (o ti e laju rara) and I agree. I know what I want and
I won’t allow some people come live their fantasies through my wedding.

How about you share the dogmas associated with wedding ceremonies that you won’t
have at your wedding?

On the other hand, if you got married without all the ‘feferiti’ (drama) associated
with weddings, kindly share your story with me.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Law Enforcement and Us"

Hi folks! How have you been and trust you've had a great week so far. Thanks for reading this post (in advance):) .

Yesterday morning, as early as 9am, my fiance's best friend rang me up to tell me he had been arrested by the police. What for? He replied that he was arrested alongside some other drivers for driving vehicles with tinted windscreens/glasses. You'd remember that the IGP Mohammed Abubakar some weeks back threatened to clamp down on motorists driving cars with tinted glasses. a lot of people kicked against it mostly because a good number of these cars come in tinted.

That's not the issue at stake. My fiance's friend called me (maybe to help since I worked in a radio station) - I didn't even allow him finish, I asked him to hang up and that I'd try pull some strings. Immediately I hung up with him, I put a call across to the DPO of the police station he had been taken to, the officer didn't pick up, I immediately rang the PPPRO of the state who also chose a great time to turn off her phone. I rang him back only for him to tell me that they were about to be taken to court! I was stupefied!! I'm yet to understand why I was though.

Now here's the deal. Why did he call me in the first place? Prolly because he wanted me to help him out of the situation. Why was I making those calls? Because I wanted to pull strings to help him out of the situation. This is a regular occurrence in our country. This is one of the many reasons Nigeria is stagnant. Right or wrong, we always try to wriggle our way out of every situation we find ourselves most especially when it involves law enforcement agencies.

When LASTMA impounds or try to impound your car in Lagos, we scroll down on our phone to see who'd help us out of it. You get arrested by the police and the first thing we do is to call that uncle of ours who's a General to come help us out - and trust me, they always come to our aid. Either we plead our way out of it, or offer a bribe (the law enforcement guys are always ready to request for and accept by the way) or we pull strings - we must find a way out of it by not paying the fine. A friend of mine broke down in tears all because he wanted to avoid paying his fine. And he's a man!! I asked if he truly cried and he said he just had to act up - the poor officials had to let him go on seeing a grown man in tears. That's just who we are as a country.

I was at the Iwo Rd police station some years ago because we needed security for a station event. A Major walked in (he had disdain written all over his face) to the DPO's office, identified himself fully and went on to complain about how 3 of his men were detained at that police station and that he was there to make sure they went back to the barracks with him that night. We left him there but I'm sure he eventually had his way.

Why do we stand in the way of law enforcement agents? You're right, our law enforcement agents aren't the best in the league of enforcement agencies but I'm sure you and I contributed to that. Nigerians obey laws FULLY when they travel out of the country but come back home and start acting all lawless.

I'm writing this to let us know that each time we say "this country is useless, this country is going to blazes" - do remember that Nigeria isn't just an ordinary geographical location - the citizens (you and I) make up the entity we now call Nigeria.

Have you ever been in that type of situation before - where you had to wriggle your way out via bribe, pleas or by calling the 'oga at the top'? :) Kindly share your experience.

Do enjoy the rest of your day and sure, I do hope to write really soon (I always say that :) )


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

#Divorce/Separation - My Thoughts (#NHB)

I'm a bit ashamed of myself. The last time I blogged was January 1st 2013 - very embarrassing.

How are you doing dear reader? I'm sure it's been a good year so far.

I was on #NHB (No Holds Barred) on Twitter last Wednesday and i talked about Divorce. I got a lot of positive responses and a few DMS (Direct Messages) asking me to blog the whole thing. I didn't buy the idea of blogging about it cos 1) I didn't just like the idea and 2) I was too lazy to blog.

So last night, I was on LIB reading an engagement post and the guy who proposed caught my attention, I'd seen on Bella Naija before - as a groom. So I copied his name into the Google Search on Bella Naija and yup his wedding came up. I was quite interested in the guy because I still saved some pictures from his wedding a few days back - as regards some decoration details I wanted for my wedding. So you can imagine my shock reading about the divorce of that same wedding that took place in 2011!! He'd dated his present fiancee for 6 months, which means he separated/divorced from his ex-wife (the wedding post I went through) maybe mid last year (2012).

I was appalled! I had so many questions I wanted to ask - what went wrong? How irreconcilable was it? Was it that bad? I then went to the comments on his wedding post (the wedding garnered over 140 comments) - everyone went "ooh! ahh! I want this, where's my man? they look sooo in love, this is beautiful" ........

There and then, I told myself I'd blog this morning.

So in case you missed the #NHB session on Twitter, you can read it below (unedited).

Glad to be back on #NHB for the second time. I had fun the last time *winks* Tonight, I’ll be looking at Divorce/Separation. I’ll be looking at it from my little inexperienced eyes – so feel free to disagree with me (but politely please).

My dictionary defines divorce as the legal dissolution of a marriage or the decree that dissolves it. Separation is defined as to cease to live together as a couple/to be come disunited. #NHB

Let me start with myself. I grew up knowing my mum as the father and mother of the house. I met my dad for the first time in 2008 and I haven’t seen him since then (he’s alive though). He left my mum when I was 6months in her tummy, with my 2 older siblings and moved in with another woman (who later gave him a set of female twins). #NHB

I can conveniently tell anyone that divorce/separation affects the kids more than the parents. My mum would tell us then that ‘oju merin lo n to omo ko ki n se meji’ (4 eyes should train a child not two). #NHB

Why do people find it easier to separate or file for divorce nowadays compared to the 90s or maybe 80s? It can be argued that perhaps, the most important factor in the increase of divorce is the greater social acceptance of divorce/separation. #NHB

I told someone sometime ago that I pray it won’t get to a stage where folks will tell you that “oh you’re not divorced/separated? Wow! You’re missing a whole lot”. Just joking, but I was that worried. You hear stories of how couples separate or divorce after 1yr, 2yrs or 3yrs and you’re like “what exactly went wrong?” #NHB

I know people don’t go into marriages because they hope to divorce – people go into it with great intentions...... then things shift. #NHB

Don’t get it wrong, the duration of your courtship has little or no effect on divorce/separation. #NHB

Divorce is pretty unfortunate but it’s no longer seen as a ‘sin’ even in religious circles. In the last decade, divorce has become a more practical option to young families bearing in mind that we no longer have large number of kids. #NHB

What I’m driving at tonight is very simple – some of us want happy homes, some of us want our kids to grow up with both parents under the same roof. Challenges will come, but let’s be more tolerant of each other.

If you grew up with both parents under one roof (with love),you have no idea what you had. #NHB

Plan properly before going into marriage, ignore the pressure to get married – please get married on your own terms, when you know you’re truly ready and when your partner seems to be ready also. #NHB

Get married when you know you’re truly ready and when your partner seems to be ready also. #NHB

When I say plan properly – plan financially, plan emotionally, plan psychologically and finally, plan sexually. #NHB

It may sound really odd, but let divorce/separation not be an option. It affects the kids a whole lot (I’m a huge testimony).#NHB

What if domestic violence is involved? Well…….. I once interviewed a female preacher (Pastor Funke Adetuberu) and when asked why divorce shouldn’t be an option – she replied “Nike, when you have a headache + malaria symptoms, you go to the hospital abi? You have a toothache and you dash to go see a dentist right? That’s how you treat a marriage. #NHB

There are doctors for ‘sick’ marriages. God is the overall physician/consultant. Talk to a counselor, talk to your pastor, talk to your Alfa/Imam (these are the ‘doctors’). Talk to them when the signs (symptoms) start showing so you all treat it together before it snowballs into something huge say ‘cancer’. #NHB

Prayer works – talk to God whichever way you know how to.#NHB

PS: Personally, if domestic violence is involved – I always advice “young woman, hope you can find your way to the door?” #NHB

It's very easy to say 'leave him,walk out' etc. It's not so easy if you're in it. May God give us good homes/partners (Amen). #NHB

Let me post a couple of twitter responses to the topic that night.

RT @amasonic: I think another reason why divorce is on the rise is that many think enduring in a marriage is an archaic concept. #NHB

RT @Cherox: But i think one of the reasons divorce is high is the BellaNaija syndrome. You see nice pictures, you get misty & say Daddy do my own #NHB

RT @lammyng: Single parenting is not the best, and it usually have negative effect on the kids, young couples should take note #NHB

RT @Singlesng: Personally I don't support and will not encourage divorce. SHIKENA! #NHB

RT @MannieManolo: Wife her ---> RT @Omotomilola: Some of us want our kids to grow up with both parents under the same roof #NHB"

RT @amasonic: I think there are extreme cases under which I will support divorce: constant battery of spouse, chronic infidelity. #NHB

RT @OmowonuolaMaja: Marriage is not by force and its not for everybody. #NHB

RT @Emveepee_1: As bad as it seems, I think is the only option in some just have to let go. #NHB

Kindly let me know what your stance on divorce - should it be the way out? Are we no longer patient? When can you advise 'divorce'?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello great people and Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so excited you can read this post (which means you made it into 2013!!!!). That's a huge feat you know? Thank you so much for being part of my 2012, even though i wasn't all that regular as regards blogging but thanks for stopping by anyway. Thanks to those who kept on bugging me to write (Jeffrey and Cherybola, I'm looking at you two),thanks a lot for believing in me, I love you guys.

I'm wishing everyone of us the very best of 2013, we will have great testimonies to share in Jesus name. Challenges will come no doubt, but we will surmount ALL of those challenges, besides, God will not give us challenges that are insurmountable. This is our year of unlimited favours, every door we knock upon shall be opened unto us. You will be respected, accepted and appreciated.

Finally, let me share this prayer point with you. I've held on to this prayer point since 2001 (May God bless that my RCCG Good Shepherd Pasture Teen' Church teacher -Aunty Kemi I think) - May God place a PERMANENT gap between you and tragedy in Jesus name (AMEN).

Do have a productive 2013!
Love you loads.
Adenike Adewuyi