Squared shoulders

“Twenty pounds says Sarah won’t worry about us heading towards those railings, another twenty says your Amy will.”

Chuckling “what makes you so sure it won’t be the other way? Amy is far from the over-caring girlfriend.”

“It’s got nothing to do with being over-caring, you up for it or not?”

“Sure, but if you’re right you have to explain yourself.”

A few steps from the railing, Daniel felt his phone vibrate once, the agreed signal from Amy, an indication that she needed his help at a party. Spotting her not too far from the patio door, she didn’t seem to be in any distress, judging from her muted gestures, however, she definitely wanted him inside.

Charlie laughed, Daniel smiled as they headed back in.

“Ok spill”

“It’s simple really, Sarah knows I am scared of heights.”

“So she just assumes you won’t do anything stupid?”

“Not assumes, but trusts in my love for her, in my responsibility to that love. Took a lot of forbearance to get there though.”

In response to the writing challenge flash fiction for aspiring writers hosted by Priceless Joy click on the link to visit the blog. The photograph is from momtheobscure (interesting photo can’t wait to see all the stories it inspires) and the challenge is to write a 100 – 150 words (+/- 25 words) story inspired by it. Do click on the link for other stories.

Life is … 18th edition

Life is… a path.

There was a path upon which I walked

it turned neither left nor right

it varied not and neither did I.

Upon a stone

my foot did stumble crumbling to bits,

my mind the aching pain overrode.

In reality a minuscule stub, incapable of much

yet a piercing thorn through my confidence

empowered by fear.PhotoFunia-1455068581

A simpleton reborn by one act,

the forestalling intrinsic human need

for comrades who linger past the point of reason

but never leave a thought behind,

only pity and disdain for

truth bearers sojourned before dawn.

When clarity’s call re-echoes and the beacon of purpose looms 

the treacherous veins and a thorn so deep

root my languid limbs to the soil

forbidding me the path to seek again.PhotoFunia-1455072205

Through amber flames within my bosom, the lens of my soul maps the path.

Untangling gnarled fingers and feet snarled by

the darkened teeth of disillusioned dreams

strangling the shadows of my soul.

Hope like a legendary warrior dis-entwines me

and memories of glory gone strengthens my core.

This path is mine, 

though I sway or waver, I will stay true to it.PhotoFunia-1455072146

In life we each have a path, sometimes we feel it changes, but I think the path remains the same; our minds and souls change attracting different people, different circumstances. With each new addition, the path takes on a new form: it becomes rocky, smoother, broader, narrower. We get delayed, we get propelled. We get re-tagged and reconfigured – eternally changed, essentially the same. But the path – the path stays the same. 

Hi there, thank you for stopping by today. This is the eighteenth edition of my ‘life is’ series where I try to relate life to different things in society. Would love to hear your thoughts on life is … a path. 


A case for or against the land of the rising sun. 2

Welcome to another edition of Topical Thursday: today we will be taking another look at the case for Biafra gaining it’s independence from Nigeria. I searched for the heralding voice behind this new move for Biafra and my search brought me to Nnamdi Kanu, today’s article stems from his actions. Read the first edition on Biafra here.

Mr. Nnamdi Kanu

Nigerian – from Afaraukwu in Umuahia, Abia State.

Uk based political activist.

Director of Radio Biafra, London.

Leading member Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)

Mr. Nnamdi was arrested in Lagos on Sunday the 18th of October, 2015 by the Nigerian State Security Services (SSS) for criminal conspiracy, intimidation and belonging to an unlawful society. Some of the statements allegedly made by Nnamdi Kanu and published by the press include:

“If they fail to give us Biafra, Somalia will look like a paradise compared to what will happen to that zoo. It is a promise, it is a pledge and it is also a threat to them.”

“If they do not give us Biafra, there will be nothing living in that very zoo they call Nigeria; nothing will survive there, I can assure you.” 

I am uncertain about the sentiments behind these statements, but I know without a doubt that they are inflammatory. Forecasting the heartbreaking and critical state of Somalia on the future of any country is in poor taste.  A disregard for the human life and the irreparable damage that war produces.

These statements make me question if Nnamdi Kanu had/has any really plans for Biafra. The situation makes me think he started out with an unclear agenda, one that suddenly grew beyond his imagination. This thought alone makes me tread cautiously around him and his precepts; following him would be like the blind leading the blind, even worse the blind  leading the misguided (blind and deaf).

According to statistics available to him, over 98% of Igbos support a Biafran secession, because every “Igbo has freedom embedded in their DNA”.

I agree with him, if there ever was a people who really hated being under any form of subjugation it’s the Igbo people. That said I have learnt and I am still learning that freedom prematurely secured is a death sentence etched in stone especially in the wrong hands. 

Do I think Nnamdi Kanu has a personal agenda … Yes. Thus to his followers I ask that you ensure that the freedom of Biafra is what you are pursuing and not the freedom of a man’s political dreams. BiafraMy point is further buttressed by his fathers statement “I’m appealing to the Federal Government and (President Muhammadu) Buhari) in particular to release my son because he is not fighting with arms; he is just talking with his mouth.” I find this plea a little too much in hindsight, he should have told his son to never start a fight his ill prepared to survive.

Having said the above, I find the statement allegedly made the Nigerian government to be very condescending and disrespectful to it’s citizens cry. “The Nigerian government said that it does not consider the separatist movement a threat to the current leadership. It went on to define pro-Biafrans as an “insignificant number of frustrated people who are not a threat to the existence of Nigeria.”

An army spokesman was also quoted to have said “That the army and police might use the Rules of Engagement on security operations to the fullest depending on the circumstances.” Where has this rule of engagement being with regards to Boko Haram?

Both parties should deal respectfully with each other. Mr President Sir, this is your prime opportunity to show the change agenda is all encompassing for all tribes and all religions.

I am a feminist… do you really know what that means?

Welcome to Flavoured Friday Fodder, today I like to ruminate/reflect on the powerful word Feminism. Do feel free to share your thoughts on the topic: happy reading.

Feminism according to Wikipedia is a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. It seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist ideally works to establish the rights and equality of women.

In 1963 the book ‘The feminine mystique’ was published by Betty Friedan, it raised the question “Is this all there is?” “Is this really all a woman is capable of doing?” I believe these questions form the foundation for a balanced approach to the feminist movement. Can a woman achieve more out of life? Should anyone other than herself have the right to limit her? In my opinion the various waves of feminist movements over the decades tackled these questions. Slide1

  • The first-wave of feminism occurred between the 19th and early 20th century. It fought for women’s suffrage: to secure women’s right to vote, to be elected and challenged certain legalities around women’s equality.
  • Second-wave feminism tackled issues around family law and the equality of women in relationships, protecting them from rape and discrimination. Started early in 1960, it continues till date.Slide2
  • Third-wave feminism in my opinion lacks the focus of it’s predecessors. However, it has shown a divide amongst the ranks with some feminist believing that there are differences between the sexes, and others asserting that there are no inherent differences between the sexes.

The fight for equality in my opinion should no longer be approached from a take over point of view, but rather a case by case approach should be used. It’s important to remember that it’s equality that formed the movement and not establishing women as leaders over men. Thus when I read the article in the guardian by Jessica Valenti find an excerpt below. Click here to read the article.

“I’ve often counted my blessings that I married a man who is as feminist as I am. The truth is that like a lot of people with busy work lives, I could not be effective at my job – or as a parent – if it weren’t for the fact that I have a supportive partner …. Men who stay at home to take care of children may be admired in ways that women never are, but they’re also derided for not being traditional breadwinners.”

What if her husband gets a job with better financial options for the family and she had to stay at home or cut back her hours, would she still see him as feminist and supportive? If the answer to the above is NO, then am sorry I don’t see that as a balanced feminist approach: if anything it negates the concept of equality. Slide3

Let’s consider another example as detailed by one of my fairy blog mothers Millie Thom: “The bad side of feminism that too often raises its ugly head, is women behaving in a derogatory way towards men and being totally obnoxious to any man who offers simple courtesy towards them -by keeping a door open for them, for example (I’ve seen that happen.) To me it’s common courtesy to keep a door open for anyone following behind me, man or woman.  But this particular woman gave the poor man who’d held the door for her a real mouthful of abuse and the usual accusation of being a chauvinist pig!”

Need I say more, feminism should not be an excuse for a breech of social etiquette and an ignorance of how to dress or behave under different circumstances. It shouldn’t turn us to man-haters.

The author, feminist and social activist Gloria Jean Watkins (aka Bell hooks) encourages women to acknowledge their differences whilst accepting each other: to embrace sisterhood a very important practice as no two women are the same. She believes there is a need to restructure the cultural fabric of power into one that doesn’t depend on the oppression of others. She calls for the involvement of men in the feminist movement to avoid the separationist ideology, shifting the original focus of feminism away from victimization, and towards mutual understanding, appreciation, and tolerance for all genders and sexes so that all are in control of their own destinies, uncontrolled by patriarchal, capitalist tyrants.

I strongly agree with Bell Hooks, as women we must not castigate each other for our choices.The essence of feminism is to give everyone the right to own their choices, to chart their own life paths. Problem is most of us don’t own or understand our equality, as Sigmund Freud said: “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”

Equality means responsibility for your choices and decisions, owning up to your mistakes, learning to make compromises in relationships, sacrificing, giving yourself the right ‘to be‘ and according the same right to another.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5: 21.

Comes before the remaining verses: in submitting we accept the best option at every given time under God, in loving we balance each other out: equal partners when done right.

Can you pass the blame please?

Happy new month people, and what a way to start February, with some harsh truths.

Ok so over the last few days I had to come to terms with a very pertinent fact about myself, I am not used to accepting blame and its not fun. Growing up in a large family has a few perks, a handy one is being able to pass the bulk/blame for  your actions onto someone else. It doesn’t seem life damaging or threating at a young age but as you get older it might become an impediment to personal growth.

Its not that I don’t take ownership of my actions rather passing the blame makes it easy to put 70%, sometimes 50% effort into things. If it doesn’t end up right at least there’s someone else involved to blame it on. Having my family and child away from home has made this flaw all the more obvious. Every choice has to be researched and evaluated as a wrong decision might have a colossal effect on us and there is no one else to hold responsible. Ranging from simple decisions of where baby will nap to what family friendly career I can pursue. Each must be perused properly and not taken with levity.

Chances of identifying this flaw back home would have been slimmer because I would have different relatives ready to help with baby. Making career enquiries would be easy as there would be a lot of personal referrals to choose from.With all this assistance it would be easy to blame someone else when things go wrong. Taking responsibility for my choices/decisions is a daunting and overwhelming task. However am learning that the key would be to never allow apportioning blame stop me from learning from an incident. It should also not stop me from correcting the mishap. Things might not go to plan but spending time shifting blame would be wasteful.

In conclusion my new target is to live through the remaining 332days of the year without  passing blame unduly. Here’s to becoming  a better me.