Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Tell Your Black Girl Daily

PC

A serenade for girls of African descent. You are beautiful, You are enough.

Tell your black girl daily
that.
that her eyes are
enchanting.
colors of the brown citrine. smoky quartz
hot expresso. charming beauty. that.

that her lips.
Her lips. perfectly curated
intricate.
with delicate defined edges. heart-shaped
dash shaped. all shape.
is stunning.

Tell your black girl. daily
that.
that her hair is
beautiful. magnificently kinked.
an institution. a college of
learning. a collage of the.
the tightest and loveliest curls. that.

that her skin.
Her skin. the la peregrina. rich. her skin.
a mix of the rarest
pink star. the cullinan.
koh-i-noor. opal. jadeite.
exotic. detailed. all shades of her.
is gorgeous.

Tell your black girl. daily
that.
that your serenades are true. that.
anything else is false. that.
she is second to none. that.
she’s got a good head on her shoulders. that.

that her voice.
Her voice. must not be cowed. not.
trimmed to suit. not.
lowered to fit. not.
raised to prove. just.
just flawlessly her, as she is. she.
she is enough.
and hey.
hey. tell your black boy too.


Jumoke Eniola Odepe
Paris.

                                         READ MORE HERE 























Original Publication: Feb 13, 2020





Monday, 24 May 2021

Summary Of My Thoughts about Nigeria and Africa In Quotes



"But my ultimate pain is not in the millions of middle-class Nigerians seeking refuge in foreign lands but in the poor lower class individuals left in Nigeria who have no such choice. Our most
vulnerable citizens are dying and I feel helpless"     
           - Jumoke Eniola Odepe

****

"There is one answer to negativity, racism, and stereotyping of Blacks. It is a strong, powerful, and unstoppable Africa. That's just the plain unadulterated truth"
-Jumoke Eniola Odepe

****



"So they asked me 'who are Africans?' and I answered in the words of Kwame Nkrumah 'they are all the people of African descent, every one with one drop of Africa, no matter how far, is African' "
- Jumoke Eniola Odepe

*****

"Next time you have the urge to condemn Nigeria's Nollywood, pause, ask yourself, "what can I do to make Nollywood pass better messages that would suit the standard I desire? Unpause. Then criticize"
 - Jumoke Eniola Odepe

****


****

"People of African descent ('blacks') stand out, we don't blend in with other colors. Our hair stands out, our hue stands out. And that's a good thing. That's the exact reason I always say when push comes to shove, Africa is home and we have to fix Africa"
- Jumoke Eniola Odepe

****


"As an African elite, look within and ask, what can I do to change the present African narratives? What niche can I carve and do my uncompromising best to lift this continent? 
For my sake and for the sake of my children."
 - Jumoke Eniola Odepe


Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Remember I Told You, Black is beautiful

                   

Photo by Trevory Kelly on Pixabay


Remember I told you 
That

Black is beautiful
Never cracks
One of a kind

You owe nobody
Walk tall
Own every moment

You deserve to be in
Every great room 
You find yourself

Jumoke Eniola Odepe
ON, Canada




Original Publication: May 22, 2020

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health While Relocating As A Highly Skilled Professional

 

Picture credit: Tom Leishman from Pexels

Relocation, used interchangeably with migration is not a new trend. 

From pre-modern migration to post Great Atlantic Migration of the late 1840s, human migration has existed for centuries.

In recent years, the migration of highly skilled professionals to western countries has been on the rise. 

Highly skilled professionals are motivated to migrate for reasons ranging from seeking a higher quality of life to economic factors. 

These reasons are often meticulously deliberated before making the move. What is less considered however is how the move might impact mental health.

Research shows that most middle-class skilled immigrants from West African countries such as Nigeria, migrate in search of a better quality of life. Often, they seek better healthcare, education, security and a system that works and less often for economic factors. 

Such a decision is never an easy one for a middle-class skilled professional. They usually uproot themselves from the comfort of the life they are used to and the beauty of living with supportive relatives and move to an unfamiliar destination country.

Let's Use The Story Of Jane To Paint This Picture Properly


Jane Doe is a middle-class, 30-year-old high-flying commercial lawyer in Nigeria. She is married to the love of her life, Tunde, a sought-after cardiothoracic surgeon with over 18 years practice experience, they have two children. She has a soaring career and a fantastic job as an in-house counsel in one of the top multinationals in Lagos, Nigeria. Tunde's job is his pride and joy. The Doe family has three live-in domestic help, a nanny, a cook and a cleaner. They also have two non-live-in drivers (chauffeur). 

Jane and Tunde's parents, siblings and extended family live in the same city and in close proximity. They gather every other weekend for family time. The parents come in to help the Does occasionally when needed.

Jane has a picture-perfect life. She is surrounded by all the help she needs to chase her soaring career.

The first threat to Jane's life came when she and her young family were robbed by 4 gunmen who broke into their house in the middle of a beautiful Saturday. The armed men spent hours raiding every corner of the house. Tunde made an emergency call to the police response unit during the ordeal. They did not pick his call.

With Jane and Tunde tied to a bed, their two children fast asleep and no emergency police unit or '911' to the rescue, the armed men had a field day at the Doe's home, wiping it clean of all valuables. 

After 4 straight traumatic hours of raiding and a 2-course meal in Jane's kitchen, the gunmen left. No one in the Doe family was hurt.

Traumatized and losing faith in the system, Jane's family changed homes and moved to a "safer neighborhood." 

Two years went by. Jane and Tunde welcomed their third child. 

Two weeks after the new birth, another set of armed men invaded their home. This time, after an initial threat by the gunmen to cart away Jane's three young children, they fled with Jane's new company car, injuring her two security guards in the process.

Jane has had enough. 

It did not help that Jane's best friend was recently released from a 3-day kidnapping ordeal after paying an undisclosed ransom. 

Jane concluded that living in Nigeria is a huge threat to her life and that of her family. She saw no end in sight to the security breaches in a country that winks at her plight. 

She then went through the grueling procedure that most skilled immigrants go through before relocating. Which for Jane was to weigh the sanctity of her life and the security of her family against her soaring career and supportive extended family life. She chose to fight for the more important one.

After months of weighing the pros and cons, Jane and Tunde decided to leave Nigeria for a more secure country. This translates to leaving their comfort, perfect careers, well-paying jobs, helpful parents and extended family. 

Highly Skilled Professionals Migrate For A Range Of Reasons


Like Jane, thousands of middle-class skilled immigrants, choose to leave their home countries for safety, better healthcare, economic reasons and other factors.

The reality and the effects of migration however only dawns when the destination country is reached.

If you are migrating as a highly skilled professional, there is the possibility of a blend of shocking events that may shake your hopes and goals when you land in your destination country, affecting your mental well-being.

It is therefore important to weigh your options properly prior to leaving your home country and be prepared emotionally and mentally for eventualities in your destination country. 

It is also important to research where you can get help when you get to your destination country. Most countries have online and in-person mental health support. Find an example of mental health support here.

What Can Trigger Mental Health Problems?


A mental health trigger is anything that affects your emotional state. They are situations or occurrences that may cause uncomfortable emotional or psychiatric symptoms, such as hopelessness, panic, dejection, negative self-talk, defeatism, discouragement or anxiety. 

A trigger is not a one size fit all, it varies widely among individuals and situations. If you do not deal with your triggers, they can lead you through a spiral hole of depression, loneliness and lack of self-worth.

For example, a director of a multinational in his home country might get an entry-level position at a local corporate office in his destination country. A doctor in her home country might get a pharmacy cashier position as a survival job in her destination country. A high school teacher in his home country might get a survival job at his destination country as a roadside cleaner or on a lighter note, a chicken catcher like the hilarious story on twitter that rocked the internet a few years ago. Look, let's be factual, there is dignity in labor, however we know, these dichotomies often affect skilled immigrant's emotional well-being, with many foreign trained professionals unknowingly loosing their sense of self, self-worth, self esteem and slipping into depression.

Furthermore, an intact family unit might be broken when a parent leaves for a destination country. Children who are used to living close to their grandparents, friends or extended families in their home countries are suddenly moved to a destination country. They might feel the sudden separation from family and friends than we often envisage. We all say children adapt fast, right? Maybe wrong. It is important to check in on their feelings as well.

As a highly skilled professional in a new country, you should be aware of stressful situations that might serve as a trigger.

You should be aware of the following:

You Might Have To Do Survival Jobs In Your Destination Country


Survival jobs are jobs that you take in your destination country to keep food on your table while you work your way up to your desired job. This can be very dicey for skilled professionals who are used to being highly placed in corporate environments. For some, survival jobs might not be as easy as it sounds. 

Jane and Tunde needed to do their professional exams before they could practice in their destination country. 

Suddenly, Tunde found himself no longer a qualified cardiothoracic surgeon. Not being able to practice his profession made him feel that his 18 years of practice, pride and joy had been taken away from him. He was also running low on fund reserves brought from Nigeria and needed to put food on the table. He was grateful when he eventually found himself a job as a pharmacist's assistant in a local drug store after job hunting for months. 

Tunde's new boss, a fresh pharmacy graduate who could care less about Tunde's 18 years practice experience, expertise or history treated him with contempt, often being verbally abusive.

Tunde became a caricature of himself. Ego-lost, self-esteem low, he second-guessed his decision to relocate with his family. He barely had enough funds to write any of his many professional exams or to support Jane. 

Jane was not doing any better on her end. 

After a year and eight months of grueling unsettlement, Tunde slipped into depression. He decided to go back to Nigeria, leaving Jane and the kids.

This is not always the case. However, it is vital to be emotionally prepared for this if it comes up.

You Might Have To Start All Over Or Start At A Lower Job Level


Skilled professionals often struggle with being offered entry-level jobs when they have over 12 years of experience or more.

Be aware that most skilled professionals will have to go through professional exams before they can practice their profession in their destination country. Some of the exams take up to a year while others run into 4 years or more. 

It is important that you prepare emotionally and mentally for this. 

 How are you going to fund the exams? Are you ready emotionally to do survival jobs till you can practice your profession? Do you have transferable skills to explore working in a similar field without going through exams? Can you handle the emotional toll of starting afresh at entry-level and working sometimes under a fresh graduate who would have been your subordinate back in your home country? 

All these reality checks will help maintain a healthy mental balance when you are faced with these realities in your destination country.

You Might Need Extra Help For Your Young Children


If you are relocating with young children, you might need help. 

The likelihood of having family members around to help you like you had in your home country is low. Domestic help such as nannies, cooks and drivers might not be readily available like you are used to in your home country. 

Not having help might weigh heavily on you, causing you physical and emotional distress. This can affect your mental well-being.

Will you be able to afford child care in your destination country? Is there a dependable family or friend already based in your destination country who can help you out? Is there a possibility of having either of your parents come along with you to help?

It is good practice to think through this aspect before relocating.

You Might Get Lonely 


Coming from a family-oriented country like Nigeria with strong family ties and her extended family members a stone throw from one another, Jane was badly hit when Tunde went back to Nigeria. 

Living in a country where she barely sees her neighbors and saddled with three under-6-year-olds, professional exams and a demanding legal support job where she felt over qualified and under-appreciated,  Jane felt a bite on her her self-esteem, she felt  lonely and isolated and nearly went insane with the burden of her new life.

Jane started experiencing episodes of panic attacks,  constant anxiety and an onslaught of depression. 

The connection between Jane's new life and her mental distress is not strange. Isolation and loneliness has been linked to issues such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression and the risk of dementia

If you are feeling lonely, there are resources that can help you in your destination country. It is important that you find those resources and get help. 

A good place to get help is the immigrant services in your destination city. 

Also finding networking opportunities, volunteering opportunities and getting involved in your new community might help.



Friday, 12 February 2021

We've been fleeing home for a long time - Ode To My Fellow Nigerians.

We've been fleeing home for a long time.

Our government does not listen. Our politicians have cleptomaniac gluttony.

They spray bricks of dollars at the innumerable birthday parties they conjure.

Dollars from our oil funds and treasury, meant to build us roads and hospitals.

Our roads are craters, roller coasters, turbulent high seas.

Hospitals are sharks swallowing patients without chewing.

Schools? Oh!Brink Back Our Girls!

We started fleeing home a person at a time.

We’ve been fleeing home for a long time.


Our government does not listen. Our politicians have cleptomaniac gluttony.

Our people are spread over oceans. Stuck between devils and deep blue seas.

1987, aunt Kree ran from home to Europe, searching for greener pastures.

1995, five of my doctor cousins left for Kuwait, anything but home.

2010, ten of my friends left for the States, swearing never to come back.

We started fleeing home a person at a time.

We’ve been fleeing home for a long time.


Our government does not listen. Our politicians have cleptomaniac gluttony.

They loot our treasury. Eat up our reserves. Infringe our rights. Insult our intelligence.

Open fire on our freedom fighters. Brain drain our country. Embarrass the hell out of us.

Oh-mine-they-embarrass-the-hell-out-of-us.

Home is a carcass. A shadow of a story that was. A glory of past ages.

Home is a rut. Home is a trap. We too must run. The gates are closing.

We started fleeing home a person at a time.

We’ve been fleeing home for a long time.


Jumoke Eniola Odepe

ON 2021

PC


Monday, 30 November 2020

The profound tragedy of our stolen identity | Olasupo Shasore | TEDxLagos






Tuesday, 24 November 2020

I love South African and Nigerian accents

Activepens.com images
Photo created by author using Canva

You hardly hear this right? Yes me too.

That's the world we created. A world where everyone says they love the same things to be politically correct but to the disadvantage of some others.

We forget the beauty of diversity.

I admired how Winston Duke successfully imitated the Nigerian accent in the Black Panther movie. He brilliantly acted M'Baku bringing back fond memories of how Nigerians end each sentence with "ooo." 

Oh, I love it!

How about how Chadwick imitated the South African accent bringing back fond memories of Madiba, the South-African Nelson Mandela. How I loved the way he said "I thank you" after each of his speeches. 

But I stand in wonderment each time at the political correctness of gushing over the British accent even from the lips of my 5-year-old niece who is yet to meet a soul with the British accent. She must have heard us older humans say it.

The rhetoric has been well established that the British accent is the nice, queenly, sophisticated accent that we all must marvel at while in reality, our preferences over accents are as diverse as we humans are.

Who told you that some accents are less than others? How did you first learn these beliefs? 

From the deepest accents in these African countries to the mild ones and then to the ones you can only hear the accents in minuscules. I love them.

Perspective.

Jumoke Eniola Odepe

Canada


Saturday, 17 October 2020

#Endsars #End all forms of oppression in Nigeria

 




This is the dawn of a new era in Nigeria 🇳🇬. I’m proud of the Gen Z soro soke generation. 

#End Sars

#End all forms of oppression of the people of Nigeria 

#End bad governance 

#Promote technology 

#Promote security and sanctity of the human life

#Welcome new era


Ola, 

Toronto, ON

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Natural Hair - Poetic image

By Jm
Natural hair poetry -activepens.com

Babe, I see you

By Jm

Babe, I saw you this morn' when
Lots of deep conditioning did not
Alter the tenacity of your hair and you
Carelessly, in desperate surrender
Knot it, into a Cantu weave

I see you, I love you, I am you.

Jumoke Eniola Odepe
ON

Monday, 8 June 2020

A day bridal shopping in Lagos - Lu

By Jumoke Odepe
Image by Carolina-Marinelli-Unsplash

My name is Lukeman, it's a boy's name so just call me Lu. My parent had wanted a boy so badly and had a name so when I came out as a girl, I got the predestined boy's name anyway. 

It was day 7 out of my 2 weeks bridal shopping vacation in Nigeria. Tan, my childhood friend, and chief bridesmaid had spoilt me silly. I had just shopped jewelry gift certificates for all my bridesmaids from the Lagos bridal jewelry shops of  Deinte and headed straight for my favorite food joint. In my over 10 years in Canada, the only thing I missed more than family is the food. On my over 15 hour flight from Canada to Lagos, I was encouraged by the thoughts of visiting my food joints. 

Refueled, we drove down to Cornucopia to shop for my engagement beads, Tan and I chatting like Parakeets. We were about to turn into Isaac John street when Tan gave me the look, I have always known the look which questions everything I stand for. That look, the look that says, "Hey there is something you are hiding from me!", that look! it bothers me. Before I could ignore and escape, Tan blurted

"Don't you think it's time you came back home?" 

I was totally unprepared. I melted in my seat. I traveled over 6,000 miles to recuperate from the effects of my dismissal from work where I was walked out of the premises by my haggard and brutal nin-com-poop British boss! 

My answer might make Tan feel I did not get on in Canada, that I was a loser. But who asks blow-below-the-belt-questions like that? 

I wanted to tell Tan that such discussions wear me out and render my African vacation useless. 

I wanted to say "hmmm... I have no regrets! It's been honey and sugar. My career skyrocketed and I was promoted immediately after I joined the company I work for. The kids still know my culture, in fact, they speak my language so well with little effort on my part and I don't miss home one bit. I look back and all my colleagues in Nigeria are at the same spot as I left them, so I don't feel any sense of competition. Morgage and bill payments are just like Nigeria, getting a driver, getting cleaners, getting nannies is exactly like Nigeria so it's been heaven on earth!" 

Instead, I found myself spilling the truth like a child bribed with candy.

But I knew Tan just resigned as director of her multinational, has bag-packed, and is all set to leave the country for Canada so there's no going back for her now.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Jumoke Eniola Odepe
NY.


The End To the African Time Menace

By Jumoke Odepe

Around May last year, I learned
Four out of us Africans met, Me, I, Myself, and Moi

Reasoning together we
Intentionally, purposefully and strategically

Changed the syndrome of the
African time, so please, please, please the

Next time you attend an event, oh ye African, be sure
To arrive right on time 'cos with

Immediate effect, after that
Meeting that we had in May, we put an
End to the time-wasting, life zapping, poverty manufacturing, backward driving menace called the  "African Time."



Jumoke Eniola Odepe
Basel.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

The Things You Know About People Of African descent


Photo by Jackson David from Pixbay

What you think about blacks people of African descent is from negative media shared for centuries

"Slaves". "Son of a slave". "Generation of slaves." How convenient

What you weren't told though

Is that "slaves" are stolen humans from Africa

Kidnapped, trafficked, traded, stolen - synonyms

By who? Do you mean who stole them? Google "the book of Negroes," read or watch the movie


Know:

    that "slaves" had fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, and dogs... just like you

    that with each stolen "slave," African families were broken, mothers went berserk, lost their minds,        they died insane, searching for their missing families

    that "slaves" came from established African cultures and kingdoms

    that some blacks you see still hurt from the intrusion
    most just want to find their roots, you took that from them

    that after "slaves" were stolen from Africa
    things fell apart, the center has refused to hold 

So, next time you say the word "slaves," do think deeply

Next time you see a person of  African descent, think deeply

Now that you are more informed

Go do the right thing.

Jumoke Eniola Odepe
ON

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Project Africa


Friday, 1 November 2019

3 things African leaders must do to have an Africa that works - Part 4 (Final part)

                      Welcome to the final part of these 4 part series






I can not round up these 4 part series without mentioning what part African leaders have to play in building an Africa that works. The leaders are everything. I simplified my thoughts in 3 letters - VSR.

1. V - Vision - African leaders must have a vision for Africa: 

What is the plan? To mention a few, what is the plan for the African youth? What is the plan to stop child-soldier-ing? What is the plan to end poverty and bridge the wide gap between the rich and the poor? What exactly is the plan?

2. S - Share - African leaders must share the vision:

Africans are eager to know where the continent is going. Since where the head goes, the body follows, it is important that Africans know the African vision. African leaders must find an avenue to share the African vision with Africans. There has to be a family meeting.

3. R - Run- Africans must run with the vision:

The leaders serving as forerunners, Africans must together run with the African vision. 

I can but I won't engage in explaining the above dichotomies. It is complex yet as simple as VSR☝. 

Let's get to work.

- Jumideps
































Thursday, 24 October 2019

Part 3. Engage - To Have An Africa That works, All Africans Must Engage



 



In Part 1 & 2, I discussed how I found the African dream and mentioned 10 highlights of "an Africa that works."

Here in Part 3, I am sharing my thoughts on one thing that we need to do as Africans to achieve an Africa that works.

I could only come up with one word - Engage

Every African must engage in nation building to achieve an Africa that works.

WHY ENGAGE:

  1. Because we owe it to ourselves and to our children. You can tell the kids in the future, "I did my part" or "join me in doing my part"
  2. Because some Africans are perishing in Africa, they have no wherewithal to leave Africa for "greener pastures"
  3. Because in the words of my friend Baba Alalade, a king might come someday, in the "greener pastures", that will not know Joseph again, where will the Israelites then go? (Exodus 1:8) Selah
  4. Because we are rich in melanin, we don't blend in, we stand out. For us, home is partly where you live, but mostly, where you come from (Africa.)

HOW TO ENGAGE

"Engage" simply means to get involved in your own capacity. The whole idea is to achieve a group of Africans, using one voice to speak the solutions to our African problems. Rather than complain about it consistently, start doing something positive about it consistently.

WAYS TO ENGAGE

  • Don't give excuses
  • Join or volunteer in an organization that is already engaged in your African passion
  • Use your social media (Facebook, Instagram, Blog, Vlog etc.) to convey the solution (not the problem)
  • If passionate about poverty eradication in Africa - sponsor an African child, an African family or an African village. See the World vision model at https://www.worldvision.org. You can also join an organization such as this.
  • Movies go a long way in nation building. Especially for a continent that loves movies like Africa. If you are passionate about poor Nollywood productions - join/volunteer in Nollywood, write your own scripts, direct and produce your own movies. that reflects the Africa you dream of (you can start your movie productions on you tube) 
  • Use the technology you know or the means you have to get your African solution message out there.

Putting these thoughts together was quite a task. Now let's get to work.

Jumoke Eniola Odepe





Wednesday, 16 October 2019

10 highlights of an Africa that works - Part 2, the African dream series

                                                 Welcome to Part 2 in these 4 part series


Good to have you here. 
In Part 1, I mentioned my quest to know and my finding of the African dream. I discussed how I found out that the African dream is to have an Africa that works. 

My findings led to the question, what do we mean by "an Africa that works?". Below are my 10 highlights.


An Africa that works means an Africa:
1. with excellent, visionary leadership who write the vision plainly and lead Africans to run with it
2. with accountable leaders that genuinely and actively care for Africans
3. that actively defend the interests of Africans all over the world
4. that has SMART goals towards sustainable development and poverty eradication 
Smart Goal
Courtesy:corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/other/smart-goal/

5. that is safe to live in, safe to invest in and safe for tourism
6. where human dignity is a holy grail in the constitution, in-amendable and actively practiced daily
7. where the culture of excellent customer service is an unwritten part of the constitution.Taught to and practiced by Africans from birth
8. that takes 100% responsibility for Africa's growth. Where every African knows that no nation is coming to save us. We are enough and we must each take responsibility to save Africa
9. where education is a must from 0 to 18 years, with public schools beefed up to accommodate this mandate
10. that is safe for all the brains drained from Africa, to come back home to live and contribute. Safe for African Americans to trace home and come to live if they desire.

Jumoke Odepe
Guelph, 2019










Monday, 7 October 2019

The African Dream .........Part 1 (Finally found the African dream)

Welcome to Part 1 in these 4 part series.



Two years ago, I started a journey, entirely on a frolic of my own, to find the African dream. My desire to know the African dream stemmed from the fact that "....where there is no vision, the people perish" .... little wonder. I also started this journey because I noted that thousands of brilliant Africans were and are still fleeing the continent as there is no clear blueprint for the future. More like a car going nowhere situation, more like an accident about to happen situation.

Within the past two years, I conversed with diverse Africans, from airport workers while I'm on a trip, to the crannies of my kitchen while hosting friends. Our conversation, often mild to medium passionate, almost always bother on Africa, her problems and solutions. We always conclude, sometimes after heated arguments, that, for Africa to work, we need new visionary leadership. After each conversation, when the information is not voluntarily offered, I ask "As an African, if Africa is fixed, will you go back home to Africa?", I always get the same answer "in a blink".

Three weeks ago, while deep thinking about Africa and my conversations, it dawned on me that I found what I was looking for! The African dream is to have an Africa that works.

Penned by Jumi Odepe

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Snowman or Sand Castles in Harmattan?


I reflected on the lovely card my son(all grown now!)
made 5 years ago in Nigeria, Africa and thought to myself:

- wait a minute, we don't have snow in this land, this my boy has never seen snow nor made a snow man, how come he has made a perfect picture with a well crafted snowman donning a hat and carrot nose as the cover of his beautiful Christmas card? - 

This is the power of celebrated images/vision

My question is this - what's our identity as Nigerians/Africans that could have been celebrated so much to have been reflected by my son on that card rather than a snowman? could it have been a sand castle? a pant-less boy rolling a bicycle tyre with a rusted mangled shirt hanger? a dusty/whitish weather with cloudy horizons depicting harmattan(not winter)? what is our identity that can be grafted into our children's head?or did we accept Christmas/Christianity and lost our identities along with it?





Image result for images of kids sand castles
Sand Castles image courtesy youtube.com 
Image result for images of snowman
snowman image courtesy




Let us say this slavery story properly




Effects of slavery on Africans and every one with a drop of black and how to erase the hurts
activepens.com

  
No treaties were signed, they came with guns. They came with chains. Who comes with guns and chains to ask for gentle permission to capture a people? As a member of the African Nation, don't believe we sold one another out, that's the story left with us and it was well proclaimed. But as an elite, you must begin to question these stories, does it add up to sell my brother to slavery without duress, fear of chains, trade-offs, gunpoint, misrepresentation? Research stories such as King Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, the king of the Kingdom of Benin from 1888 - 1897, to understand how kingdoms were forcefully overcame. 

I have been to Elmina Castle, also known as Mina or Feitoria da Mina in Ghana, Africa, formerly the Gold Coast (where is all the Gold by the way?), the first slave trading post where slaves were inhumanely kept en-route the Atlantic, have you been there? Visit the Elmina Castle to learn more about our African slave history. Learn what you can do to ease the pain and struggles of those still affected by the repercussions of  years of slavery.

This piece is a call to question our beliefs per slavery as Africans, African Americans, every drop of African blood, to recognize the effect of the slavery monster on Africa and engage in conversations on recovery and rebuilding the African nation (the African Nation consists of everyone with a drop of Africa in them).

Forever Writing,
Jumoke Odepe