Wednesday 17 September 2014


First it was the ALS ice bucket challenge. Now it's the gratitude challenge she said!

Her statement got me thinking. The ALS ice bucket challenge became so popular on social media. People from all parts of the world had fun with it. But what is this ALS all about?

The ALS Association is the only non-profit organisation whose mission includes providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and a cure for the disease.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralysed.

Monday 8 September 2014

Is human trafficking happening or not?

Mama Itohan was in the kitchen singing as she always did while carrying out her chores. She heard her name being called from outside so loudly that it made her jump. "Na who dey shout my name this afternoon" she answered.

She ran to hug her friend whom she had not seen in at least three years. "Ivie na so you just waka comot from village, I no come see you since?!" Ivie looked good and somewhere in Mama Itohan's heart she wondered why the gods had not yet smiled on her. She had been in the same village with Ivie until her disappearance three years ago with no forwarding address.
The two women spent time catching up and laughing heartily like old times. They grew up together and had been closest of friends for as long as they both could remember.

When Mama Itohan asked Ivie where she had been, Ivie only told her that she had moved to the city and quickly changed the topic. A secret she intended to keep.
Mama Itohan's children returned from school and were equally excited to see their mother's friend. Unfortunately, they knew their mother would neglect them for the rest of the day. She had not even cooked for them. Itohan swung into action and made sure a meal was prepared for herself and her siblings.

Ivie had been studying Itohan, her mother noticed and asked what the problem might be. Ivie then told her how Itohan was growing into a beautiful young woman and she would like to take Itohan to the city. Itohan would be her children’s nanny and in return, she would ensure that Itohan completed her secondary school. It would be up to Itohan to choose if she wanted to continue schooling after then. Mama Itohan leaped for joy, her child would become the star in the village, she thought to herself. She accepted the proposal without even checking with Itohan.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Something Gave, Something Remained

Remember my post Something's gotta give? I got a message from a follower asking me to look at the sequel he wrote to my post called Something Gave, Something Remained. It's so nice to get this sort of feedback :-)

Here it is:

His Version (Part One)
He gently sat by the cement block, eyes squinting as he flinched from his aching bones. The pain subsided to the smell of seawater as he stared at the sunset, the sea waves clashing in the distance a soothing to his ears. Closing his eyes, he folded his hands and leaned back. A ritual he had always performed was about to start.
The plane's shadow quickly cast over him, its engine roar a familiar sound as it climbed higher in the air. He could hear behind him some kids running drunk with excitement and vigor. By the time he counted up to ten, he opened his eyes, and the plane, no bigger than a water drop, entered the clouds, vanishing from sight.
It was always at this juncture, once every 4 or 5 years, that he would stand up and jog home, prepare the remaining children for the week ahead. But this time was different: He had just seen his last born drift into the clouds, as all pilots did. But more importantly, like his five children; one by one, he had seen them grow up from babies to adults. Each child in their own way, living to further their lives. He caught himself sighing, wondering if it was from satisfaction of a father or the realization that he was could not have done it alone.  Rising up with his walking stick, people passing by would see him and smile first, for he did not need to walk like a king with a kingdom. Somewhere in his wrinkled face and sunken eyes, was the thing you need not describe in words. He knew this, because they smiled first, and that was why he smiled back.
47 years have passed since they asked themselves what was on their minds that night. He could still remember her face when he spilled his guts on impulse, fearing embarrassment. Even more surprising, her reciprocation with her own fears/worries made him realize what few came to know: that to love is to be vulnerable.
She gave up so much, He thought to himself in the present. He had an idea growing from his strong-willed family, friends and enemies included. They all said something had to give, and when he remembered his mum singing it in his ears he would shrug it off. But after so long, the statement was three quarters true for him, and four quarters true for her.
He remembered her face when she started using his surname, when the first child came to life and life's hardest challenges arrived. He remembered her face in all of life's milestones. Time and time again she gave, as all who truly loved did. A little of her time every day, to be with him where she could be crunching at work. A little of her time she gave after tucking the kids in bed. The minutes added up, and by the time the children had come and gone he knew he did not need to count the time anymore: he lived for her and her alone.
He remembered when the women came after him, when the fear of being unfaithful looked like it was more than the love for her. He smiled at naive he was, for as time took its toll, behind every new wrinkle on her face was a story he shared. Behind every slight stumble she had was a tale where he had to stand twice as strong for her to lean on. Laughs shared, fights fought, tears shed, and moments together moulded a picture with more depth and meaning than any fashion model could exude. If beauty was in the eyes of the beholder, she had made him see more than he could have on his own.
As he thought about these things he arrived at the house that had bore witness to their story. The children were gone now, and by the time he had reached for the door handle he remembered the smell of her cooking.
They were right. Something had to give.
Fear gave way, and Love remained.
Part two (Her Version) coming soon…..