Monthly Archives: October 2017

#MCM Odunlade Adekola: “There’s No Secret To My Success, I Just Put in My Best”

“I used to act very well in church and people loved it whenever I came on stage. Even before I mounted the stage, people would already be screaming in excitement and the cleric would then have to caution them so that everybody could hear what I had to say.

It was the interest and love that people had for me that motivated me to take acting seriously. Meanwhile, there was a friend of mine who we used to act together and go about performing in churches. He was part of a group that used to meet for rehearsals somewhere close to where I lived. One day, he told the members of his group that he had a friend who could act. They told him to invite me and when I got there, they asked me if I could act and I told them I could do it very well.

The leader of the group then asked why I believed so much in myself and he told me to act like a mad man. I immediately moved close to him, grabbed his cloth and started unbuttoning it. As I was doing that, everybody there started clapping and that is how I joined the theatre industry in 1996.

I didn’t initially know that it was different from what I was used to in church because they had more techniques, but I learnt over time. There was a time that the leader of our group invited some actors who had been in the industry for a long time such as Mr. Paragon, Kayode Akindina, Segun Akinlade, and Segun Adeniji (SAMA), among others to come and inspect what we were doing. After watching us perform, they urged me to join the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, and I became a member in January 1998.

My father really liked it. It was as if he knew that I would succeed in it. But I had an uncle who used to beat me so much anytime I went for rehearsals. However, that same uncle now asks me to bring him my movie.

I was quite young when I started but as I grew older, I realised that all the things that I considered to be challenges are only normal things that happen as one progresses in life. There is always a price to pay for whatever you want to achieve in life.

I usually pray that the same mouth that the world uses in praising someone should not also be used to ridicule the person. Acting is what I do for a living and I don’t really know whether I do it well or not. It is the people who watch me that can tell. But I always put in my best.

There’s no magic or special thing that I do in secret. I just believe in doing my job well and taking it serious. I neither drink nor smoke and I believe that every good actor must study and understand the script before going on set so as to get into character. It is very important to concentrate and stay focused. I watch my films like an objective viewer. I don’t see it like I’m the one who acted in them. If I notice ways in which my character should have done better, I would note it down for future purposes.

My motto in life is: do anything you want to do to the best of your ability. That is the way I approach my work. You never know the extent to which your actions would go.

breast cancer

My Name is Rika Cargill. I Have Survived Breast Cancer Twice

Rika’s personal experience with Breast cancer began in August 2012 when she discovered something unusual about her breast after giving birth to her son, George. A breast cancer diagnosis soon followed. Read her narrative below.

“I did chemotherapy and the cancer completely disappeared. However, it reoccurred in the beginning of 2016. There was another lump that came in my right breast, so I decided, ‘Get it off!’. So I had a double mastectomy in April 2016. And by May I was up and off bouncing around the place” She told tribune woman.

The diagnosis did not come as a complete shock for Rika, as she carries the BRCA-1 gene and cancer runs in her family. Both her mother and grandmother died from the disease in 2006. Two of her aunts later lost their battle with cancer.

“I lost my mother and grandmother, both to breast cancer in 2006. They passed away months apart. And two of my aunts later on. I lost my dad to prostate cancer right after I had my breast removed. I also lost a best friend to breast cancer in October, so I have been going through the ropes. And I just wanted to encourage people,” she said.

“I was very open about my journey because I believe once you have that support you can conquer anything. Medicine can help, but it genuinely starts with you. Mind over matter. Every sickness and disease is a mind thing, and once you have the mindset to fight and survive, and you have people loving you, taking care of you, pushing you, (you can do it),” she said.

“This year, I want to accomplish my goal, which is to start my nonprofit organisation ‘I Am The Cure’. I am also starting my brand as well. And every year I am going to support someone going through a life crisis. It could be a homeless person, a mother struggling, or someone going through depression. I just want to encourage people and give them hope,” she said.

Today, Rika is cancer free, and with her three children – Terenique, Ticarri and George – rooting for her, she said she will keep on fighting. Read:“I am Caged by My Body But My Mind is Free, So is My Spirit and Soul” Wheel Chair Bound Muniba Mazari, The Iron Lady of Pakistan

Making The First Move: That Time I asked A Guy Out on A Date

Making The First Move : That Time I asked A Guy Out on A Date

Making The First Move: That Time I asked A Guy Out on A Date

I have never been one to play games, especially now that I’ve come into my own but, I’ve always believed men are hunters and would rather do the chasing. So, when I like a guy, I don’t pretend not to but making the first move has never been my MO

However, I did it that one time and I’m not sure I’ll do it again.

He came home from “the abroad” on holiday. He’s family friends with my friend so when he asked to hang out with her, she asked me to join them. We got to the club/restaurant first and were already drinking and dancing when he arrived with his crew. They went the opposite direction so I didn’t see their faces but from behind, I crossed my fingers, wishing the tall big guy wearing a white shirt with graphic at the back was part of the crew. I had not seen his face but I already felt a pull.

Then he turned around and smiled at one of us and the attraction I felt towards him was like magic. I turned around so he wouldn’t see my face so by the time we were introduced, I had composed myself and feigned disinterest in whatever he was saying to the others.

When we were seated, he asked the guy sitting beside me to get up so he could sit. There was a little bit of friendly banter but his friend eventually vacated the seat for him. In my mind, I was like “score!”. He didn’t waste time in striking a conversation with me but it was quite noisy so he typed on his phone, “Can we go outside and talk?”. I nodded and followed his lead

Throughout the night, we were stuck together. Not one person amongst the group could deny something was going on but when we were leaving, he simply walked me to my car, gave me a hug and said “goodnight”.

“goodnight?” Not a plan to see me another time or soon? I’m not really understanding. What was all that gum body about when you’d just send me home with a hug?

For two days, he called but never made any arrangements, we just talked on the phone. We even attended a party together but despite him being around me a lot, he didn’t attempt to ask me out. I decided making the first move for a date won’t kill me. So, I took the bull by the horn before this guy travels back home.

I texted him

“Pick a day between tomorrow and the next, we’re going on a date” Message delivered

10m later – Not read

My confidence was dropping.

“Don’t feel the need to say yes. It’s okay really” I sent a follow-up. Message delivered.

20m later – Not read.

“I have made a mistake, how can I abort mission?” I thought to myself. Making the first move didn’t feel so liberating anymore.

I decided I was going to take the ‘L’ with my chest. Guys take the L all the time and they’re still alive and breathing. But, my chest said “No, this is not my L to take”. Because my chest felt heavy, my heart was beating fast and I couldn’t bring myself to sleep. I checked my phone every 5 seconds and at one time, I switched it off because I was going crazy.

When I finally accepted that I had been rejected, my phone beeped. almost 1 hour later.

“Lol. Yes boss lady. I would like to go on a date with you”

“That took you long enough” I replied

He explained that he was at a party and didn’t hear the message notification.

The date went well. Very well in fact. But the relationship was a disaster. I don’t regret it but I’m not sure I’d do it again.

Is making the first move your thing? Have you ever asked a guy out? How did it go? If you haven’t, why? Read: My Embarrassing Fart Story. Oh, Hello China

Wana Sambo

“I am Who I am Because I Dare To Be” – Wana Sambo

My name is Wana Sambo. I’m a Nigerian, a Bayelsa state indigene born on the 17th of April in the late 1980’s. I was born into a family of 5 siblings; I’m the 4th child and 2nd girl.

I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, went to Christland School Ikeja, Federal Govt College Odogbolu and graduated from Igbinedion University, Okada, Benin City in late 2009.

I launched the first Wana Sambo collection in December 2010, but only truly began the Wana Sambo Brands business retail operations in 2015 when the Wana Sambo flagship store was launched in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.

I began designing from a very young age. I remember turning my Jeans into bags, fixing and creating garments from worn out pieces I was allowed to play with/ruin while still in secondary school. However, as soon as I became “independent” in the university, I started buying fabric and teaching myself how to sew by creating looks for my friends and family. As a strong willed individual, who does not believe in “impossible”, you’ll more often than not read me saying “I taught myself this and taught myself that” and it’s 100% true.

In 2008, I taught myself how to drive. I remember asking every tailor in the neighborhood where I could buy a sewing machine and got several references, so one day, I got into a shift stick car (I wasn’t allowed to and drove myself to Yaba market to buy a sewing machine (by “watching people’s leg movements while driving” as my driving experience!) and at the market, I literally almost crushed a man’s leg. If you’ve been to Yaba market, you’ll know how heavy the foot traffic is. I was trying to turn into the car park, honking frantically and everyone else made way but this man, out of nowhere, walked right into me turning. I believe he was deep in thought as he walked because he didn’t notice the trafficator or me turning right, So basically, I hit him. Thankful for God’s grace, I didn’t crush his legs or do any major damage. The police intervened, we settled amicably and despite this, I still went into the market to get that sewing machine I went for. 

On my way home, while struggling with the shift stick car, through tears, I realized; I am truly passionate about designing.

In 2009, I was nominated for the dynamics award “designer of the year category”. This, for me, was the beginning of my fashion design career.

DANG: When did you start drawing and designing? 

I really started illustrating when I had my first consultation. I used a pen (and still do), imagining what the garment would look like, then I put pen to paper and that was it. Of course I came up with a lot of weird looking shapes initially, but as time passed, I got better. I have not undergone any training, even via Google/YouTube, to learn how to be illustrator. (I think I’ll do that now)

As regards designing, I’m a self-taught designer. I’m extremely grateful for my gift. As I said earlier, I began designing and creating from a young age and as a designer, I’m influenced by fabric (I see a fabric I like and several style ideas emanate). I also get style ideas when I’m praying or in my dreams or when I’m out in places. People, Color, textures, plant’s, trees, everything inspires me to create. Whenever something captures my eye and/or when God puts these thoughts in my head. I design.

I speak about God a lot because I would never be here without His grace. God has been good to me, He is awesome! 

DANG: So, you didn’t go to Fashion school?

No, I didn’t. I’d applied and gotten into ESMOD, Paris and I remember my dad giving me N4million which was for tuition and living expenses for a month (or so) but due to a family emergency, when it was time to pay my fees I didn’t. I remember calling my dad, convincing him to let me use the money to set up a business instead of fashion school, and he agreed. This was about 4 years ago. At the time, I rented an apartment on Fola Osibo (same street as my current store) for N2.5million, I sold my old car and added the rest of the N1.5m to buy a more reliable car, and I had no money left. As a business savvy individual, I knew I needed an accessible location for customers and a reliable car that was durable enough to take me to & fro the market to source fabrics and go out to network and talk to people about my brand (without breaking down), So I invested in both as necessities not wants. That apartment doubled as my showroom and home. That was my real-life fashion school.

DANG: Business Ethics?

I have certain principles that govern my decisions and actions, one of them is; I work to ensure my business generates enough income to sustain itself. I believe that a business that doesn’t generate enough income to sustain itself is not a business.

DANG: Tell me about the Wana Sambo Brand

Wana Sambo is a ready-to-wear women’s wear brand handmade in Nigeria. We are minimalist-chic with focus on “clean lines, perfect fit and finish”. The Wana Sambo Woman is Strong, Sexy and Exotic.”

From its inception, the Wana Sambo brand has been a ‘see now, buy now’ brand. This basically means that once we put out a collection, all looks from this collection is available for purchase in store.
The Wana Sambo Woman is always ready to buy a garment(s) once the Look-book is released and we ensure that before each garment is put out on social media, we already have at least 10 pieces per style ready to be sold in store.

Wana Sambo garments are handmade; we do not mass-produce our garments. We produce very limited quantities per style, at most 30pieces per style. The only piece ever produced in more than 30pieces per is our signature piece; the ‘Wana Sambo Bubu Dress’, which comes in a cocktail of colors. As is with every handmade garment, its value is worth its price. 

The Wana Sambo brand prides itself in handmade garments made in Africa by African’s.

DANG: Where do you see Wana Sambo going?

In 5 years, by God’s grace, we hope to expand to the rest of Africa. The only challenge is the possibility of still ensuring we stick to the “handmade” aesthetic, as I never want to stop making handmade garments.

I believe handmade garments are created with love as so much effort is put into them daily.

We hope to set up an online store and we believe this will help determine what countries respond to/love our brand the most and that decides where our next brick and mortar store will be. I feel like Africa is the future and it’s time for African fashion to take centre stage the world over.

The Wana Sambo Woman is strong, sexy and exotic, she is every woman, she is every African woman!

DANG: When you say Wana Sambo Woman is a strong woman, who is a strong woman to you? What does a strong woman embody?

Strength is “the ability to withstand great force or pressure”. As women, we are created strong. We are created to be resilient and as the body of the home, mother, child bearer, cook, cleaner, advisor, all wrapped up in one, to me, EVERY WOMAN possesses STRENGTH. We must remind ourselves, through our carriage and the clothes we wear that we are strong even if we have been deemed as the “weaker” sex. Being ‘sexy’ is in our DNA so we must embrace it and the word ‘exotic’ means “unusual and exciting” and as a woman, we are all these and more.

This is why we know; “the Wana Sambo Woman is Strong, Sexy and Exotic. She is you, She is everything you dare to be.” Read:“In 29 Years Since I Opened The Nail Studio, Giving Up Never Crossed My Mind” – The Nail Studio CEO, Mrs Tokunbo Awogboro

Abortion stories: From a 'sense of relief' to a 'broken heart

Abortion stories: From a ‘sense of relief’ to a ‘broken heart

One in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime, yet it is rarely talked about.

For some, making the decision can be traumatic and have a long-lasting effect. For others, it is an empowering, life-changing choice. Three women speak honestly about their experience.

‘I felt relieved, buoyant and really happy’

Louise in London: “When I was 23 I found out I was pregnant. I have never regretted having an abortion. It helped cement my views on not wanting children.

“At first I put my lack of period down to stress. It felt like I had really bad PMT. Then one day at work I had to lie on the floor because I was so tired. I wondered what was wrong with me, and then the penny dropped.

“I took a pregnancy test in my lunch hour. As soon as I saw the positive result I remember violently shaking. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.

“A colleague who’d been trying to get pregnant was beaming when I told her. When I said it wasn’t a good thing for me, she was wonderful. She just gave me a hug.

“My partner left me to deal with everything on my own. We never had a proper conversation about the abortion. My closest friends were supportive.

“My GP was matter-of-fact about it. I had two phone interviews with nurses before I went ahead. At no point did they ask me if I thought I was doing the right thing. I was certain. The procedure was excruciatingly painful because I chose not to have an anaesthetic, but it was brief.

“When I left, the stress I’d been feeling in the run-up to the procedure was gone. I felt relieved, buoyant and really happy.”

‘It broke my heart’

Beth (not her real name) lives in England: “I was 17 when I got pregnant and I had an abortion in February.

“I’m pregnant again now and this time I’m going to keep it and I’m excited about it.

“It was one Christmas, everyone was drinking and I just kept being sick. I thought it was because we were drinking but someone joked that I was pregnant and then I found out I was.

“My boyfriend didn’t really say anything about it and let me make the decision about what to do. My mum was very relaxed and calm and said I should do what I wanted to do.

“But a lot of people kept telling me that I was too young and not ready to have a baby. I felt very pressured into having an abortion. It broke my heart.

“I had a breakdown soon afterwards because I was so upset. I felt I’d made the wrong decision but I couldn’t do anything about it.

“My doctor gave me medication and counselling. I have already had depression and anxiety but this just made it worse.

“Now that I’m pregnant again, my mum and my boyfriend think I should make up my own mind.

“My baby is due in April and I’m really looking forward to it.”

‘There needs to be education that abortion is OK’

Harriet in South West England: “It was a bad experience but you learn from these things.

“I was 20 when I had an abortion.

“When I see my friends’ kids or nephews I think that I could have had a three-month-old of my own now.

“When I first found out I was pregnant I was happy and very protective – I thought this is my baby and no one can take it away.

“My best friend’s mum offered to help me and said that I was part of their family but I wanted my own family to say something like that.

“I didn’t have much choice. My dad said it was up to me but he couldn’t support me financially. It was true, he was just being honest. I felt it was selfish for me to have a child. A child should have the best upbringing possible.

“The father didn’t want anything to do with it. I feel angry at him for putting me in the position he did. It was like I was forced into a corner and not able to have this baby because I couldn’t afford it.

“It was very upsetting waking up from the anaesthetic. I was over three months so had to have a surgical procedure. It was awful. I woke up wanting to know what had happened to my body, but also not wanting to know.

“I was crying all the time and now I feel this is what I’ve done to my first child.

“The NHS gave me lots of support and lots of time to reconsider. There needs to be education that abortion is OK and it’s a woman’s choice but there also has to be more support.

“There is so much stigma attached to it.” Read:I Am A Married African Woman; I Do Not Want Kids. This is My Choice

Narrative culled from

Muniba Mazari

“I am Caged by My Body But My Mind is Free, So is My Spirit and Soul” Wheel Chair Bound Muniba Mazari, The Iron Lady of Pakistan

“I am Caged by My Body But My Mind is Free, So is My Spirit and Soul” Wheel Chair Bound Muniba Mazari, The Iron Lady of Pakistan

I was 18 years old when I got married. I belonged to a very conservative family. A family where good daughters never say “no” to their parents. My father wanted me to get married and all I said was if that makes you happy, I’ll say yes. And of course, it was never a happy marriage. 

Just about after two years of getting married, about 9 years ago, I met a car accident. Somehow, my husband fell asleep and the car fell in the ditch. He managed to jump out, saved himself, I’m happy for him but I stayed inside the car. And I sustained a lot of injuries, list that is a bit long. The radius ulna of my right arm were fractured, the wrist was fractured. Shoulder bone, collarbone were fractured. My whole ribcage got fractured. 

But that injury that changed me and my life completely was the spine injury. Many people came to rescue, they gave me CPR. They dragged me out of the car and while they were dragging me out, I got the complete disconnection of my spinal cord. 

Those two and a half months in the hospital were dreadful. I was at the verge of despair. One day, doctor came to me and he said, “well, I heard that you wanted to be an artist but you ended up being a housewife. I have a bad news for you. You won’t be able to paint again.” Next day, doctor came to me and said “your spine injury is so bad, you won’t be able to walk again.” 

I took a deep breath and decided it’s alright. Next day, doctor came to me and said “because of your spine injury, and the fixation that you have in your back, you won’t be able to give birth to a child again.” That day, I was devastated. I started to question my existence that why am I even alive? Read:“The Sky Is Not My Limit, I Have No Boundaries” – #MCM Idris Elba

So what kept me going was, one day I asked my brothers “I know I have a deformed hand, but I’m tired of looking at these white walls in the hospital and wearing these white scrubs. Bring me some colours, bring me some small canvas, I want to paint.” So the very first painting I made was on my deathbed. Where I painted for the very first time. What an amazing therapy it was. Without uttering a single word, I could paint my heart out. I could share my story. People used to come and say “what lovely painting. So much colour.” Nobody could see the grief in it. Only I could. And that day I decided that I’m going to live life for myself.

I am not going to be that perfect person for someone. I am just going to take this moment and I will make it perfect for myself. That I’m going to fight my fears. So I wrote down, one by one, all those fears and I decided that I’m going to overcome these fears one at a time. You know what was my biggest fear? Divorce. But the day I decided that this is nothing but my fear, I liberated myself by setting him free. And I made myself emotionally so strong that the day I got the news that he’s getting married, I sent him a text that “I’m so happy for you and I wish you all the best.” And he knows that I pray for him today. 

Number two was I won’t be able to be a mother again and that was quite devastating for me. But then I realized, there are so many children in the world, all they want is acceptance. So there is no point of crying. Just go and adopt one and that’s what I did. I gave my name in different organizations, different orphanages and I waited patiently. Two years later, I got this call from a very small city in Pakistan. They said, “are you Muniba Mazari? There is a baby boy and would you like to adopt?” I could literally feel the labor pain. I said, “Yes. Yes, I am going to adopt him. I am coming to take him home.” And that day, he was two days old and today he is six.

You know when you end up being on the wheelchair, what’s the most painful thing? People think that they will not be accepted by other people because we, in the world of perfect people are imperfect. So I decided to appear more in public. I started to paint. I have  done a lot of modelling campaigns. I decided that I’m going to join the National T.V of Pakistan as an anchor person. I became the National goodwill ambassador for UN women Pakistan and now I speak for the rights of women and children. I was featured in BBC 100 women for 2015. I’m one of Forbes 30 under 30 for 2016. So when you accept yourself the way you are, the world recognizes you. It all starts from within

We have this amazing fantasy about life. “This is how things should work. This is my plan, it should go as per my plan.” If that doesn’t happen, we give up. I never wanted to be on the wheelchair, never thought of being on the wheelchair. This life is a test and a trial and tests are never supposed to be easy. So when you are expecting ease from life, and life gives you lemons. Then you make the lemonade and then do not blame life for that. 

It is okay to be scared. It is okay to cry. Everything is okay. But giving up should not be an option. When you fail, you get up. And then you fail and then you get up and that keeps you going. Embrace each and every breath that you are taking. Celebrate your life. Live it.  Don’t die before your death. Real happiness lies in gratitude. So be grateful, be alive and live every moment. 

Trancribed from Muniba Mazari ‘s narrative with Goal Cast

Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2017 Day 1: catwalk, Fire and My New Best Friends

Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2017 Day 1: Catwalk, Fire and My New Best Friends

Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2017 Day 1: catwalk, Fire and My New Best Friends

The Heineken Lagos Fashion and design week 2017 kicked off yesterday and I was there to soak everything up. I know I don’t say it as much or discuss it here, I really do like fashion and would buy couture all day every day if sense did not fall on me. So, I admire, window shop and buy the ones I can afford.

I have never been to a fashion show, except that time in Milan, when my friend and I accidentally walked into one and eventually did our own fashion shoot at the Duomo…it was exciting. So, knowing Lagos people as over-do, I asked my friend thestyleinfidel – whose style is never over the top but manages to be eclectic still – to help my life and choose something to wear. He said “DANG, just think Solange”. Ehen? A girl can do that now. So, I put something together and got his approval.

The Lagos fashion and design week 2017 was supposed to start at 5.30pm, I got there at 6pm. I felt I was already late but I seemed to have forgotten the Nigerian factor…”events begin 2-3 hours from originally stated time”. The venue of the show was Eko Atlantic.

There was a barrier set up halfway to the venue so no one would drive and drop off close to the marquee, this made people walk a short distance to where the show was happening. It would have been okay if you didn’t have heels on but I did so it was quite inconvenient. However, I was not having such a bad time like the lady who walked in front of me. First, she alighted from her car like a DIVA: Lovely dress, pretty high platform heels and short hair to die for. Then she walked like she was on the runway…fast, sexy, confident. WAWU. I wondered in my mind if I should try to imitate her but before I could begin to twist my waist, the devil put a foot in front of her and down she went…bam!

I adjusted my waist real quick, before the devil will say it’s my turn.

The lady got up in seconds and resumed her catwalk on her imaginary runway, not looking left or right, strutting off like nothing happened. Wow. I admire her.

Getting into the Marquee where the show was happening, it was 90% empty. Everyone was outside conducting interviews, taking pictures and trying to be seen. That’s okay, only that we were already an hour behind. I know people wonder why it still frustrates me that Nigerians cannot keep to time but it does. This is one thing I wish we could correct and not make a habit, because it is really a bad one.

I was showed where to sit and it was on a row where two fine men were already seated. You already know that was a little consolation for me. On my way in, I had seen many fine men, dressed immaculately and fashionably so no surprise seeing those type of people seated around me. As soon as I sat, one of them got up, then I also picked my friend’s call, complaining to her about the late start. When I got off the phone, fine immaculately dressed man pulled my sleeve playfully “don’t worry, the show will begin soon” He said.

Fine immaculately dressed man then proceeded to compliment my dress and my hair, then my skin and my Jewellery. He then said “my boyfriend immediately spotted you when you walked in, he really likes your dress”. Oh Lord! You mean to say you don’t play for my team?

“You’re gay? And not ashamed to say it?” I asked. My mind already calculating how to ask him to do a story for the blog. “You be police?” He said playfully. Read:The Residence Mauritius Hotel: Thank You for Giving Me Freely The Things I Would Have “Taken”

Awwww…he’s so cute and so playful but so gay.

“In that case, please shift so straight men can see me…” I said, elbowed him while making an effort to move away from him. He pulled me back and announced dramatically, “you’re stuck with meeee”.

I loved him immediately, we became friends on the spot. He and his partner made the show way more interesting for me.

The show eventually started and it took off! Everything happened so fast but well organised. Then, there was a little fire mishap which made Nigerians rush out of the hall like they had fire on their heels. The fire was a little spark on the roof of the marquee but you would’ve thought the whole hall was grazed. The situation was under control in minutes but organisers had to practically beg people to come back in because trust Nigerians to stay far far away until they were sure of safety.

I really liked some of the designers’ collections that were showcased in the Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2017 Day 1 show, while some other collections looked like Sura the Tailor upgraded a little bit. I won’t mention names. However, my best collection for Day 1 was Style Temple. So well tailored, so creative, so chic and super sexy.

The Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design week 2017 Day 1 took off on a shaky start for me but it ended well, I had fun and I’ll be there again today and hopefully, they start on time. Also Read: Candid Chat with Sam, A Lagos Based Nigerian Gay: “I have never had a girlfriend.I knew I was gay from secondary school”

#Metoo: I was Sexually Abused by My Mum’s Friend, Now I Can Only Be With Older Women

#Metoo: I was Sexually Abused by My Mum’s Friend, Now I Can Only Be With Older Women

I am 32 Years Old, I should be normal, date like every other kid out there but, even though I hate my childhood, I am mentally attached to it.

I am quite tall which means at 11 Years-old, I was taller than my mates. I was also very vocal and loved to dance at every opportunity that I had, this made people drawn to me and quite fond of me. So, my parents wouldn’t have noticed much when my godmother consistently rubbed my head, slapped my bum playfully or hugged me at every opportunity she got.

My godmother was my mother’s cousin but she was also my mum’s best friend. My dad had always been averse to us spending holidays in people’s homes, if we were not traveling out of the country, we would stay home. When my aunt consistently asked that I spend the holiday with her, my dad budged and asked me to go spend a week at her place. I remember I was excited because she was my favourite aunt. My sister was doing her A levels lessons then so she couldn’t go with me.

It happened on the first night, she asked me to sleep in her room even though her house had other rooms. I thought I would sleep in the guest room because it had a TV and I would be able to watch till late without interference unlike when I’m in my own house. But, she told me that I could watch TV for as long as I wanted in her room. While I watched TV, she asked me to touch her nipple and showed me how to do it. I honestly can’t tell you that I hated it. I didn’t love it either, I was just doing what I was told.

I remember she also asked if I liked it. I answered in the affirmative even though I didn’t, I just wanted to watch TV. Read:Sexual Abuse: As a child I was Molested by Three different Men, My Parents Didn’t Believe Me

The next morning, I woke up to her touching me. Then, I liked it because it felt really good. That day, she taught me how to touch her and where, she also gave me oral pleasure and made me do the same on her. Sometime during the week, we finally had sex. It was her who taught me how to wear a condom. Before she dropped me off at home, she asked me not to tell anyone as my parents would be angry and stop me from going to her house.

I didn’t tell anyone and for 3 years, we continued to have sex until she got married. She told me we couldn’t continue because her husband would get angry, so I had to go and look for my age mates to be with.

I became withdrawn, got upset easily, failed my exams and threw tantrums at home, she also stopped visiting us as much.

At this time, I had no attraction at all towards any other female my age, I realised I liked and got attracted to older women easily. When I got the beating of my life from my dad at age 15 because I wrote a love letter to my teacher, I reigned in my libido. At 17, I was off to the UK for A levels and university, this was when I went all out dating older women. Older women as old as 55-60. The youngest women I’ve ever dated is 49 Years-old.

In 2010, my sister told my parents that I may be gay. This is because I showed no interest at all in girls. The women I dated, I did in secret and never hung out publicly with them. I knew I was broken, I knew something was wrong with me but I couldn’t bring myself to stop it. I hated my aunt for what she did to me but that never stopped me from seeing way older women.

I had a breakthrough last year when my uncle, who I am really close to, came to the UK to speak with me. My parents sent him to ask me to bring a girl home. I was 31, for a Hausa Man, that’s quite late. They were really scared I had turned gay. I wasn’t surprised, even my male friends thought the same thing because no matter how pretty girls threw themselves at me, I never budged. Most of the time, they were friend zoned.

I finally confessed to my uncle what my problem was and I was shocked, for a Nigerian traditional man, he took it really well and sprung to action.

First, he took me to an Imam who prayed for me and recommended a therapist for me as well.

My first step towards healing was anger. I was angry that I was just a child and did not do anything to deserve what that aunt did to me. I called her and said so many things that I had bottled up for years, I asked her why she chose me, I told her how I may never get better. I asked her how she’d feel if someone did this to her 15-year-old child, she instantly responded in Hausa “God forbid”. That sent me into another fit of anger, how selfish!

She apologised, verbally and by text but what good did that do?

I’m still in the process of getting better. In 7 months, I haven’t had sex with anyone and I now have a female companion who is a year younger than me. More than anything, I am attracted to her mind. Even though she is physically beautiful, I still don’t get aroused by her physical appearance. However, her intelligence and memories of us doing fun things turn me on and warms my heart.

Nigerian men are trained to bottle things in but I know of people who were sexually abused by their house helps or neighbours. They take it in their strides and still grow up with a healthy mentality.

I wasn’t so lucky. So, yea, #metoo. Also Read:My Wife Physically Abused Me For Months, I Have A Scar on my Face To show For It

Written by Hassan for

NNewi, SouthEast Nigeria: The Small Town of The Super Rich

Nnewi SouthEast Nigeria : The Small Town of The Super Rich

The small town Nnewi, in the southeastern state of Anambra, either by good fortune or hard work, has bred more Naira billionaires than any other town in Nigeria, and possibly Africa. The Igbos, who sometimes refer to themselves as the ‘Jews of Africa’, have entrepreneurship in their blood. They have built themselves from the ground up, with little help from the government…

These are some of the most prominent Naira billionaires from Nnewi, in no particular order:

* Cletus Ibeto: The Ibeto Group has been described as the largest industrial enterprise in southeast Nigeria. Starting out as an apprentice to an already established auto spare parts dealer, Ibeto eventually branched out on his own and effectively ended importation of lead acid car batteries in Nigeria in the late 80s. The result is a conglomerate dealing in hospitality, motor products, real estate, petrochemicals, agriculture and cement.

* Cosmas Maduka: One of the country’s foremost car dealerships, Coscharis Group, is the brainchild of a man who lost his father at four and had to drop out of school to sell bean cakes, a popular food staple. His company, one of the largest car dealerships in Nigeria that deals with BMW, Jaguar, Range Rover and Rolls-Royce, has diversified into agriculture. Read:Diamond in The Rough: The Inspiring Story of A Paper Recycler
* Alexander Chika Okafor: Chicason Industries, and one of its products – A-Z Petroleum, are household names in Nigeria. The conglomerate has made significant inroads in the mining, manufacturing, and real estate in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Okafor is its founder and chairman.
* Augustine Ilodibe: An orphan and mass server in the Catholic church, young Ilodibe was gifted £35 by one of the priests and he initially invested in motor spare parts trading. By the sixties, he pioneered the interstate luxury bus transport service; for years, he was the sole importer of these buses. After helping organize vehicles for the Biafran side during the civil war, he established the hugely popular Ekene Dili Chukwu Transport, his main cash cow and later diversified into brewery and agriculture.

* Louis Onwugbenu: The head honcho of Louis Carter Industries dropped out of school in 1967 when the Nigerian civil war broke out. He got his nickname from weekly trips to Lagos to sell motor spare parts under the popular Carter Bridge in the city. His reinvested profits allowed him to diversify into manufacturing car batteries and pipe fittings, agriculture, food processing, real estate and, by the age of 30, he was already a naira multimillionaire. The headquarters of his conglomerate sits in the Carter Industrial Estate, spanning many acres in Nnewi.
* Obiajulu Uzodike: Nigeria is one of the foremost cable producers in the world due to many indigenous manufacturers across the southeast. One of the top cable companies is Cutix Nigeria, whose founder, Obiajulu Uzodike, cut his teeth in the business as a staff at a US-based aircraft and military wires and accessories company. By 1982, the Harvard Business School alumna and civil war veteran set up Cutix with N400,000 ($1,200), nurturing it to eventually become the first indigenous firm in the southeast to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

-Written by Eromo Egbejule

Read the complete article on Forbes Africa

Postnatal Depression :"It Took Me Three Years To Connect With My Child"- Bunmi Laditan

Postnatal Depression :”It Took Me Three Years To Connect With My Child”- Bunmi Laditan

Bunmi Laditan on PostNatal Depression

…No one can prepare you for how it feels to hold a baby and not feel like she’s yours.

When I came home with my little cub, while he was cute as a button, I knew something was missing.

He didn’t feel like mine. I felt like I was taking care of someone’s else’s child. My body felt distinctly postpartum and was leaking from too many places but as I’d change his diapers and gently push his sweet little arms through his yellow and white pajamas, I remember looking my bedroom door, half expecting his real mother to walk in and say, “Excellent work, fräulein, I’ll take it from here.”

In those early days, I’d sit up in the dark of night nursing him looking like the picture of maternal devotion, but there was something missing and one of my greatest fears was that someone would notice.

Once I finally was diagnosed and medicated, my mood began to stabilize, but that connection? God is my witness, it took three solid years.

Three years.

Read: Pregnancy and Childbirth: 10 Things They Forgot To Tell You

In that time, I loved my baby boy, took him to play centres, parks, we cuddled, I painted his hands and pushed them into soft clay for keepsakes, and snapped a million photos, but there was a valley between us that I prayed he didn’t feel.

Then one day, or perhaps over several days, or maybe through each day of showing up, his real mother finally walked through the door and it was me. 100% me.

Now I can confidently yell at him to stop standing on the back of the couch because no, I am not going to the emergency room tonight because you think you’re Spider-Man without feeling like I’m stealing someone else’s lines. I wipe up his messy hands after he’s gotten into the poster paint saying, “What am I going to do with you,” a little annoyed, mostly delighted by his mischievousness the way mothers are knowing this moment is mine, all mine.

I am his mother and he is my child with no doubts, no angst, nothing between us except the hoodies I’ll wear 3, 4 days in a row.

So, mother, if you’re going through this today, changing a baby’s diaper or giving a toddler a bath with the shaking fear in your heart that this little one will never feel like your own, please just wait. Keep showing up. Keep rocking them to sleep,searching their little faces for what you need. Keep wiping down that high chair and kissing their pillow-soft cheeks. Every time you do you, the angels throw a handful of sand into the canyon between you. One day it will be full and you’ll walk across it to find you were always there somehow…

Love, Bunmi Laditan

Being The Other Woman: Letter To My Lover's Wife

Being The Other Woman: Letter To My Lover’s Wife

Dear Ma,

I’ll address you that way because I still have the utmost respect for you and your home.

I never expected to be writing this letter, and I am pretty sure you never expected you would ever have to receive a letter from someone like me.

First of all, I would like to apologize, apologize for ruining the trust you have in your husband.

Apologise for almost ruining the relationship that looks so perfect.

Apologise for the way you found out about us.

No amount of apology can be enough, and all that’s left are questions, questions unanswered.

He was my superior at work, I never saw him in that light, it was just supposed to be an innocent chat to check up on him and find out how his exams went, as this was to determine a big promotion. Gosh, he was so witty and free, what was to be a check-up-chat developed into a serious chat.

How could our so stern looking boss be this free? I wondered. So out of curiosity I invited him to my place for drinks, what was to be just a bottle of red wine and few laughs turned to two bottles, plenty laughs and a long conversation. (Oh yes he spoke about you. How he respects you so much, can’t imagine what his life would have been or would be without you…)

I should have taken a cue and walked. He said I reminded him so much of how you used to be before the marriage

I should have turned down the request to party.

I should have been the stronger link.

I should have stopped the second I realized it was more than sex, the second he made me feel valued, the second he made me feel wanted and needed… the feeling was so good, almost intoxicating it took over every ounce of rational thought. Read:I Was The Mistress But I Never Wanted Him To Leave Her For Me

Even after I met you, I still couldn’t cut the ties.

I chose to be his mistress.
I chose to be ‘you’ before you got married.
I chose to fulfil his fantasies.
When you had a fight and threatened to leave him, I chose to support him emotionally. Still, I watched him fight for you.
I chose wrong.
I chose wrong because at the end of the day you are still the main wanton. You are the home he has built.

Everyone makes mistake, I am not a bad person, I am not heartless, really I am not. I helped him set up that nice Valentine’s date.

I helped in purchasing that dress, I also sometimes help him do some lingerie shopping for you when I travel abroad.

You hate me, who wouldn’t? Sometimes I wish we could talk, I wish we could sit in a lounge and have a really nice chat, so many things I would like to tell you about him. I think he’s broken, broken from bottled up feelings he can’t express to you for some reasons.

I can’t go back and undo what has happened but I promise to make this stop someday.

Yours sincerely,

The other woman.( Countess)

Written for by Countess C.

what do women really want

What do women really want? I Think I May Have A Theory

What do women really want?

I swear I’m not a complicated woman. No, seriously I’m not. I just want to marry a white man who speaks Yoruba and likes Wizkid and Davido’s music.

Is it possible for me to get a sugar daddy that’ll just give me money anytime I decide to take a break from hard work? One who likes to give me money but hates to have sex with me…I want that. Read:Dear Iyabo Ojo, If You Marry Solely For Money, You’ll Earn Every Penny

I want a guy to call me as much as he can but I’m busy a lot so I don’t pick up sometimes, but I’ll notice when he doesn’t call and take offence. This means I’d rather miss his calls than not hear from him. Does that even make any sense?

When I was 13, I wanted Monday to be my boyfriend. Monday was the finest guy on the street, he looked like Kanu Nwankwo and all the girls wanted him. Especially Titi, my arch-enemy who for whatever reason, developed boobies before I did. We were age mates for ‘guhsake!’. No way was I going to allow her steal my guy.

So, I started wearing my sisters’ bra and padding my chest with foam. Monday finally started seeing me for the matured woman who I was and decided we would be watching “wild rose” together at night through their window. Finally, one day, Monday pulled me under the stairs and gave me a peck on the lips. “Jayysuuuu….I’m going to get pregnant”, I thought to myself. I avoided him all through the holiday and I could sometimes see his confused expression. Well… Cé la vie. I don’t like you again. Ain’t nobody getting pregnant at 13!

I’m sure Monday thought to himself, what do women really want?

When I was in Houston, I met my friend’s cousin who has had three kids but has the body of a model. Hello! I need to know whats going on. She eats well and takes only skimmed milk, she told me. Errrr…but skimmed milk is not sweet ke. She mentioned Three crowns Milk as sweet and skimmed so I could eat my cake and then have it. Issokay! I tucked that information in my brain. I gotta try it.

Three Crowns Milk conducted a survey on twitter #whatdowomenreallywant and 90% of them said “financial stability”. I don’t mind financial stability, but I want good health first. Not only because I want to always look hot in my bikini but because health is wealth. Also Read:These are The Things I, As A strong Independent Woman Want From A Man
You see how I sounded serious in the above paragraph? #Yinmu. Will plantain chips, noodles, fried plantain and goat meat allow me to be great?

So Three Crowns Milk, based on the above submission, here’s my theory to what do women really want?: We want what we want when we want it subject to what we want at the particular time. You get?

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves
Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power
They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change
Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control
You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude. Read:My Gangster Experience: Houston Travel Diary

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks
They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past
Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over
Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success
Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure
Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time
Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything
Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits. Also Read:“I Am Living My Life To The Fullest”- Adenike Oyetunde, Disabled But Not Incapacitated

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results
Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

Written by Amy Morin

TGIF HangOut in Lagos: Chronicles of Mr. Oversabi and My Tampon

#ThrowbackThursday Hangout in Lagos: Chronicles of Mr. Oversabi and My Tampon


My old colleague has been asking for us to hangout in Lagos for a while as she constantly shuffles between Calabar and Lagos. Yesterday, I decided to get out of the house and mix with humans instead of befriending my computer all night.

As I arrived at my favorite hangout in Lagos, I spotted my friend waving me over. She was with another lady whom I soon found out was her sister.

We hugged each other excitedly and proceeded to do a quick catch up. I hadn’t seen her in 3 years. However, I was rudely interrupted by one of the 3 men seated next to our table. “Titi, won’t you introduce us to your friend?”

I noticed them when I got in but I didn’t think they were together with my friend. I quickly looked at her to confirm what was going on. “Meet my new friends. We met here actually…” She made introductions and I went back to what I was saying before I was rudely cut off.

Also Read: Airport Chronicles: Wizkid, Fine Girls and Disrespectful Immigration

I noticed Titi’s sister was uncomfortable so I asked her if she was okay. “I think I may be stained and I have no sanitary pad. I’m literally sitting on my laps right now.”

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I always have tampons or/and sanitary pads in my bag. This time, my hand reached the tampon first. As I fetched it, put it on the table and continued to search to see if I had extra, the busybody guy quickly snatched it off the table and put it in his front pocket. I looked up at him in shock that quickly fused into amusement and mischief.

“You can’t just be sharing candy and not give the boys now. I hope there is enough for that to go round? If not I’ve taken my own.” He said in an overly friendly tone. All of us girls got over our shock quickly and I thought to myself, “should I be wicked today?”

I decided to be wicked.

“You know you shouldn’t snatch people’s candies off them just like that. You should ask for permission.” I said, now flirting with him to make him comfortable

His eyes lit up. I was finally loosening up so he may actually be getting through to me.

“But there’s love in sharing now. Haba.” He said, his full attention on me now.

I noticed he wore a ring…sigh.

All these married men that come out to hangout in Lagos on Friday nights looking for preys… I wondered how his wife would feel at that very moment: her husband snatching a tampon from a girl he’s trying to win over, the bright yellow wrap shining through his crisp white native. Inwardly, I shook my head at him on behalf of the wife.

“So can I have my candy back now?” I asked nicely

“Only if you promise to share” He was flirting full force now. I like it!

“Okay. Open it and let’s share” I said. My friend and her sister were already laughing at this point. I was trying hard not to let go too. My mission was not complete…yet!

I watched him bring out the tampon, split open the yellow wrap and the tampon fell off. Plastic protector and everything. He quickly picked it up, took a closer look, the tiny rope dangling in his face but before he could register what it was, his friend had a mini panic attack and whispered as if in fear “ O boy, that’s a tampon now”

Mr. Oversabi took another look, made a disgusting growl and threw the tampon into the water behind him like it burned him.

“I really think that was cruel and very annoying. You shouldn’t make such jokes at the expense of someone you don’t know. You don’t know where we’ll meet again and you don’t want me to remember you for this. Nah, so not cool…” Ranted Mr. Oversabi

My friends and I were in fits of laughter at this point. It was too funny because he was visibly shaken over a tiny tampon.


I found another sanitary pad for my friend’s sister and we all had time to gist and catch without interruptions. You don’t need to ask, Mr. Oversabi left us in peace.

This post was first published on the 21st of October 2017.

#Metoo: I was Sexually Abused by My Mum’s Friend, Now I Can Only Be With Older Women

Sexual Abuse: As a child I was Molested by Three different Men, My Parents Didn’t Believe Me

Sexual Abuse: As a child I was molested by three different men, My Parents Didn’t Believe Me

It started with my cousin Precious. I was little then, I almost don’t remember in full detail but those pictures and words never leave my head. He was in his early twenties and I was just about six, he stayed with us and was like a big brother we never had. He would bathe us, feed us and get us ready for school. I remember he would place me on his laps and touch me, squeeze my flat chest, tell me to touch his as well and even kiss his nipples. He once even told me to hold his erect manhood from his pants.

This went no further as he soon got admitted into the university.

Then there’s Ibrahim our gateman. When I was seven years old, he carried us on his bike, rode around the compound and enticed us with his phone to watch cartoons and music videos. When no one was around he would play porn for me and explain how nice the feeling of what they did was. He also gave me condoms when nobody was looking, he would tell me to blow it like a balloon and then spank me with it. He never let me hold it for long though or let me show it to my brothers.

One day as he sat on a plastic chair and told me to go under it and take what he bought for me. Immediately I bent under the chair, I felt his hand go through my skirt and pant, his hand wasn’t gentle, he just grabbed my privates so roughly that it hurt.

I still don’t know what came over me, I got up, slapped him and ran away. Read: My Step Dad Introduced Me To Cocaine at 18, My Mother is Still with Him

A few weeks later one evening, he met me at the backyard and tried to pin me to a wall. Ibrahim was a big, fat man and due to previous incident, I was already scared of him. That night, I screamed at the top of my voice. Even though he whispered that no one would believe me, he ran off to his duty post. Since that day, I never gave him a chance to be in the same room with me,I always avoided him…

My lesson teacher Tseoluwa taught my little brother and I maths. Because I was so bad at maths, he would flog me more than he did my brother, I never liked him much because of this. However, overnight, he changed towards me. Even if I didn’t get all my marks as usual, he would buy me sweets and tell me nice words. He started touching me from under the table where my younger brother couldn’t see, sometimes he would send my brother away to go play, then he would try to touch my breast. It was always painful because my breasts had already started growing. I was about nine years old.

I would stab his hand with my pencil sometimes and he will pick up his cane to beat me, claiming I was stubborn and had refused to learn. I eventually stopped fighting him and stabbing him with pencil, instead I cried until our lessons were over.

One day, he tried to insert his finger inside me, I couldn’t bear it anymore. I was so furious I took my pencil and came at him, reaching for his other eye as he already had one bad eye (I had played this scenario over and over in my head). He dodged and I was only able to scratch his face, his cheek started to bleed. I ran out of the house to my grandmother’s because no one was home except my siblings

When I got back to the house, he was still there, waiting with my parents. He had told them I scratched him with a pencil but he never mentioned what he did to deserve the scratch. I tried to explain and tell them what happened but he said I was only cooking up stories because I didn’t like him and I didn’t want to learn.

To my greatest surprise, my parents believed him over me. They said they knew from the start I didn’t like him,I also got punished. Still, I refused him as a lesson teacher, so he resigned…

With all this that happened I began to think there was something wrong with me.

Why did all these men try to do this to me?

I became a troubled child, a lonely and scared teenager and I never liked to be touched by boys.

As years passed, I found out this didn’t happen to just me, there were others too. The most painful feeling though, was my parents not believing me. I was mad at them, maybe I still am, so I promised myself this wouldn’t happen to any of my children, boy or girl….

You can’t protect your kids every time, but be observant and please make sure they are close enough to tell u anything.

I can say these three men are the only people I hate in this world because I felt they stole my childhood and replaced it with fear….whenever any thought of them comes to me,I immediately get filled with hate and anger. I pray to God every time to help me forget them…but I know I never will.

Sexual Abuse: As a child I was Molested by Three different Men, My Parents Didn’t Believe Me was written by Tee for

Also read Teaching Kids How to Defend Themselves From Sexual Abuse

I Was Emotionally Available Until I Dated Way Too Many Guys Who Weren’t

I Was Emotionally Available Until I Dated Way Too Many Guys Who Weren’t

I Was Emotionally Available Until I Dated Way Too Many Guys Who Weren’t

When I first started dating, I was pretty much an open book. I found it easy to be vulnerable and to let a guy get close to me in dating because I was hopeful it would lead to love. Of course, it didn’t take long for relationships and heartbreak to ruin all that. It doesn’t feel good to be vulnerable with someone who doesn’t reciprocate and when you’ve been disappointed one too many times, it’s only natural that you start to put up walls. Here are the steps of the path that led to my dark spiral into emotional unavailability:

1. At first, I was super sweet and honest. I didn’t know any better. I wanted to give all of myself to the person I loved. I was lucky enough that my first boyfriend was gentle with me. He, too, was sweet and vulnerable. We were very much in love with each other. Unfortunately, we grew up and grew apart.

2. Then I got my heart broken. Trying to get over your very first heartbreak is the absolute worst. I felt like I would never recover. Even though I did, I was never the same afterward. I didn’t give myself over to guys as easily or as quickly. I made them work a little to get to know me because I didn’t want to get hurt again. Read: Here’s To The Woman Who Found Herself

3. Still, I always expressed myself openly. I’ve always been pretty good at verbal communication. When I’m dating someone, I want to talk through everything. How else can you work it out? I don’t understand trying to have a relationship without ever talking.

4. I got super frustrated when they didn’t. I’ve dated guy after guy who couldn’t express their feelings. Either they were too lazy, didn’t care enough, were emotionally stunted, or literally had communication blocks. It’s the worst. I don’t understand how I, as an over-communicator, keep doing this to myself.

5. I gave every single one of them my whole heart. Despite my initial caution, I always loved whoever I was with entirely. Even if I didn’t go there right away, I never made them feel bad or unwanted. I don’t consider it cool or intriguing when a guy treats me like I’m disposable so I’d never do that to him.

6. A lot of them held back. Whether it was out of insecurity, bitterness, or cynicism, they weren’t giving back the same amount of affection that I was giving them. I was confused and then felt hurt and rejected. Some of them simply weren’t capable of breaking down their own walls, but it still sucked.

7. Some of them were emotionally stunted. I can’t fix a man, but I sure do seem to try. I’m a victim of my own savior complex. I don’t know what my problem is, but I seem to attract men who can’t communicate whatsoever. Maybe it’s because I can do enough talking for both of us. That’s not what I want!

8. Some didn’t know how to deal. I now know better than to ever date a guy who says I intimidate him. Insert eye roll here. If I intimidate you, what the hell do you want with me? I want a man who can keep up with me and who is excited by my strength, not scared by it. I definitely don’t want someone who curls up into a little ball when we have problems.

9. Some just sucked at communicating. Sorry, but I have no patience for this anymore. I’m your girlfriend, not your therapist. If you have issues go work them out elsewhere. I refuse to play mommy to any man. I’m sorry that you can’t form sentences that make sense, but I can’t pull the words out of you or guess what you mean. It’s too exhausting.

10. I started holding back to protect myself. Why would I keep giving and giving when I wasn’t getting anything back? It was just stupid. I decided I would see what they were willing to give first and then act accordingly. No more of this imbalance in relationships. Unfortunately, I wasn’t finding any open, vulnerable men.

11. Why open myself up to hurt? I tried really hard to stay emotionally removed from guys, but all that really happened was I acted immaturely in relationships. I cared so much but pretended I didn’t. Stupid, childish crap, and yet there I was acting like a baby. It was like I regressed more every time I dated someone new.

12. I didn’t want to give anyone more than I got. Dating turned into a game of sorts, and I hate playing games, thus I came to hate dating. It was all about who could protect themselves the best and who could hold out the longest on admitting their feelings. I got to the point where it freaked me out if a guy actually was emotionally mature.

13. I shut down. After too many heartbreaks, I just gave up on finding love. I figured that I’m never going to meet the guy who gives me his whole heart as readily and happily as I’m willing to give mine. It sucks, but I honestly do feel that way now. I’m extraordinarily cynical when it comes to relationships.

14. Now I don’t even know how to be vulnerable anymore. It feels like a skill I’ll have to relearn. I don’t even know if I can deal with the right guy if he ever comes along. I’m so guarded now that I don’t know how to let down my walls. It’ll be a problem, even for the most patient of men. I’m a lost cause.

15. It’ll take a very special man to break down these walls. I’m out of practice in the art of vulnerability. Sure, I’m honest and open, but in a completely different way. I’ll tell just about anyone just about anything, but I deflect true vulnerability with sarcasm and humor. God forbid I show how I really feel. I hope that if my guy ever comes along, I don’t lose him the way all those previous men lost me.

Author: Amy Horton

Dating an over-thinker

When Everything Seems Out of Reach, This is How I Persevere

When Everything Seems Out of Reach, This is How I Persevere

In the past, when everything seems out of reach and nothing at all seems to be working, I’d take everything personally and beat myself up, and lose sleep trying hard to make it all about me. Everyone has times in their life when they feel demotivated, lost, and unhappy. But as Ive grown to understand these two major tips, I have begun to perform better.

Tip #1: Life is supposed to be fun.

Do things that are fun. Practice having fun by doing as many activities that you enjoy as possible. It is impossible to feel fearful and lost while having fun. The trick to life is having a sense of enjoyment during the serious activities that you do, school, work, etc.

Competition is not fun. When you feel competitive, you are comparing yourself to others. Any competition has a process and a result. For example, the process might be taking a class and the result the grade you receive. If your focus is on results, you are guaranteed to be unhappy at least some of the time. You won’t get top marks in every class. What is worse, that unhappiness can seep into the time before the class. Anticipating the yucky feeling of a bad result can make you just as unhappy as actually receiving the bad result.

But if you focus on the process instead you can be happy every time. If you take a class because you are fascinated by the material, then the grade is not relevant. Just being able to learn about and interact with that subject is a reward on its own.

Life is all about trying, getting rejected, and trying again. Most of the time the answer will be “no” of course. The successful people are the ones who keep trying to auditions until they’re a perfect fit to those who consume what they’re selling. Success is just a bonus. You can get it if you remember to:
Focus on the process not the result.

Focus on what you can control–your performance–not on what you can’t control–how the performance is perceived by someone else.

Any good performance is a success. If you consistently deliver good performances, good results will eventually follow.

There are no failures, only learning experiences. Every process is a learning experience, especially the ones where you didn’t get the result you wanted. If you don’t get results, the process can still be a success if you learn something that will help you in the next phase.

Tip #2: You are not your performance.

Your performance was something you created, but it is not you. Read: When My Breakthrough happened, my Qualifications or Lack of it Did’t Matter

If someone criticizes your performance, it is not a criticism of your person. It is a statement of one person’s perception of your performance. Sometimes that perception will be penetrating and brilliant, other times it will be the warped product of the critic’s fears and biases and have nothing to do with you.

When everything seems out of reach, you begin to question your abilities and your performance. But rememeber, As you put something out into the world, it will be perceived in different ways by different people. Some will like it, others won’t. I am always surprised by what people do and don’t like in my writing. Over time, I have gotten a better sense of what people will probably like, but still I am wrong all the time. I need critics especially the ones who tell me what they don’t like about my writing. The more criticism I hear, the better I am able to anticipate how to make my writing appeal to more people. However, If I took that criticism as a criticism of me, I would be devastated when people said nasty things.

When I can separate my writing from me as a person I can benefit from criticism. To benefit, I have to really take it in and understand what the criticism means and I can only do that when I keep the distinction between my performance and me very clear in my mind.

When I talk to critics I talk about my writing in the third person, “the piece says XYZ on page 112. What did u think of that?”

I recommend the same approach towards performances. Things don’t seem so far out of reach anymore when I realise that the process is part of my success and the rejection of my craft is not a rejection of me. For this reasons, I do better and get closer to my goals.

Remember – middles are hard for everyone, so keep going. You can do this!

Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment Saga: "Harvey Led Me Into His Bedroom and Offered To Give Me a Massage..."-Lupita Nyong'o

Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment Saga: “Harvey Led Me Into His Bedroom and Offered To Give Me a Massage…”-Lupita Nyong’o

Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment Saga: “Harvey Led Me Into His Bedroom and Offered To Give Me a Massage…”-Lupita Nyong’o

“I met Harvey Weinstein in 2011 at an awards ceremony in Berlin, while I was still a student at the Yale School of Drama. An intermediary introduced him to me as “the most powerful producer in Hollywood.” As an aspiring actress, I was of course eager to meet people in the industry but cautious about strangers, and the intentions of men in general. So I tried to vet this famous producer by asking my dinner-table companions what they knew of him.

A woman who was a producer herself cautiously advised me to “keep Harvey in your corner.” She said: “He is a good man to know in the business, but just be careful around him. He can be a bully.” And so I exchanged contacts with him in the hopes that I would be considered for one of his projects. I wanted to keep things professional, so I made a point of referring to him as “Mr. Weinstein.” But he insisted that I call him by his first name.

Not long after we met in Berlin, Harvey wrote to me inviting me to attend a screening of a film — a competitor’s film similar to one he had produced. He said we would be watching it with his family at his home in Westport, Conn., which was not far away from New Haven, where I was living at the time. He would send a car to pick me up. I accepted the invitation. Read:“I Was Sexually Abused Right Under My Mother’s Nose”- Ayodeji Megbope

The driver and I met Harvey in the little town of Westport, where he informed me that we would be having lunch at a restaurant before getting to his home…

We got to his home after lunch and I met his domestic staff and his young children. He took me on a brief tour of the house before he rounded us all up in the screening room to watch the film. He had just produced a similar film of his own, but everyone was raving about this rival version..

I settled in for the film, but about 15 minutes in, Harvey came for me, saying he wanted to show me something. I protested that I wanted to finish the film first, but he insisted I go with him, laying down the law as though I too was one of his children. I did not want another back-and-forth in front of his kids, so I complied and left the room with him. I explained that I really wanted to see the film. He said we’d go back shortly.

Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.

Part of our drama school curriculum at Yale included body work, using massage techniques on one another to understand the connection between body, mind and emotion, and so I felt I could rationalize giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism in spite of the bizarre circumstance. He agreed to this and lay on the bed. I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation.

Before long he said he wanted to take off his pants. I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable. He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school,” I said.

I opened the door and stood by the frame. He put his shirt on and again mentioned how stubborn I was. I agreed with an easy laugh, trying to get myself out of the situation safely. I was after all on his premises, and the members of his household, the potential witnesses, were all (strategically, it seems to me now) in a soundproof room.

Earlier Harvey had sent the driver to the store to buy a boxed collection of “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” an HBO show that he had produced. This was the project he thought I would be right for, he said. (I later found out that the show had not been on the air for some time.) As I prepared to leave his home, he presented it to me. He wanted me to check it out and let him know what I thought. He would be in touch about it. I left for New Haven with his driver…”

“Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment Saga: “Harvey Led Me Into His Bedroom and Offered To Give Me a Massage…”-Lupita Nyong’o: This is not the full narrative. This is just an excerpt from Lupita Nyong’o’s opinion article for NEW YORK TIMES. To read the full narrative, click HERE

On Relationship Drama: I Want Love That Gives me Peace of Mind, Even When There's Conflict

On Relationship Drama: I Want Love That Gives me Peace of Mind, Even When There’s Conflict

On Relationship Drama: I Want Love That Gives me Peace of Mind, Even When There’s Conflict

I saw an image on Instagram that read “I want a love filled with madness, sleepless nights, storm…”


sleepless nights

I’ll take the passion but miss me with the rest of all that

As you mature, relationship drama begins to drain you emotionally. You avoid dysfunctional, stormy, neurotic, and drama-driven pathological relationships and choose peace instead

When I was younger, chaos and controversy was fascinating, I accepted them whole heartedly in my relationships and sometimes would go look for drama when things were quiet. I could create mayhem out of nothing and get excited by it all by myself. God help me if I was with someone who indulged me….

I thought all the intense conflict of forces was passion because then, the make-up sex would be out of this world. I soon found out all that drama, storm and madness would disappear with the same intense force it appeared

I also found out, my relationships that devolved into repeated emotional turbulence were non-nurturing and plagued with insecurity. I know this because I sometimes created drama as a way of gaining reassurance. Read: Introducing My Spirikoko Nasty Neighbours: I Love Them Already

Now, I don’t even want to kiss in a hurry anymore, I don’t want madness, I don’t want love at boiling point…because I’ve had all that and I’ve had the love that brings peace and the difference is like night and day

The love I crave is like a volcano…no one can deny its existence and its power even though it is not erupting on the surface

Some people assume there’s no passion when a couple have this kind of love: where both of them are externally content, where the buzz is silent, where you don’t hear them raise their voice at each other…This doesn’t make their love less powerful, it only makes it more potent

A relationship on the path of purpose does not have space for drama, because maintaining a strong, happy relationship requires so much work and energy. So if you’re serious about each other, there’ll be less room for storm and more room for building a solid foundation

Storm, drama and sleepless nights are fun for a while but the love that lasts, is the one without a cloud over my head. It’s the one that brings peace to my heart…even when there’s conflict