What the Hell is “Womyn”?

WomynWhat is that? The truth is, feminism is so broad- there are a thousand kind of feminists- that two feminists may not necessarily fully agree on one thing. 

When you come up with this kind of mess that bluntly says “dissociation from men”, you’re not really addressing the equality aspect of the cause. You’re not saying “I want to be equal to you and have the same opportunities that you have, dear men, because I’m a separate being too”.

Instead, you’re saying “I don’t want to have anything to do with you”. Women and men are separate entities but neither of the two sexes can survive or keep the earth alive without the other; that’s besides the point. The word “woman” isn’t equivalent to “half-man”; that is basically what the cause originally sought to emphasize.

Whether you call women “womyn” or “mynwo” or “wurjdhdggd” isn’t the point. We want to be separate entities that co-exist with men in a society that respects everyone equally, irrespective of their sex. 

“Women” is one word. A “woman” is a “womb-man”. A separate entity; the other kind of man, not a subordinate. When you come up with this kind of sentimental mess, “womyn”, you’re messing everything up. You’re drifting far away from the cause. You’re not saying what you want.

Are “womyn” a better kind of women now or something?

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No Presidential Elections in 2019?

ElectionThis is what will happen if you do so, Nigerians- if you don’t exercise your democratic voting rights and elect one of the candidates in 2019:

Someone else or a group of elites will seize the power anyway. Someone has to run things and the military will very quickly take over. They would not need to assassinate anyone or seize power from any democratic leader; it’d be the easiest military takeover yet. It would not even be a coup d’état since they won’t be seizing power from any functioning government, or it will, if the state governors’ positions get dissolved/overthrown.

If the military doesn’t, if they decide to grab their popcorn and sippy cup and watch the events go by, it’s going to be a bloody mess, emphasis on the “bloody”.

An Ibibio man is now the new unelected president?

Over my dead body! Who put him there?

Let a Yoruba man be the new president.

You lie! A Hausa man or an Igbo woman would be more efficient.

Yen yen yen blah blah blah.

“People” will graduate from throwing chairs to knives; it’d be a distasteful sight.

Nigeria is a beautiful, sexy woman. If she decides not to choose who to sleep with, and she lies at the middle of the road for all to see, different riffraff would exert force and rape her. Even the US would be there in no time to suck on her oily breasts for free or next to nothing. The US likes rich, “presidentless” countries with large, oily breasts. It’d be a terrible, painful fuck fest, or gang bang, and no, it would not be fun. It sure as hell would not be fun.

So, assess all manifestos properly, do your own research on who the candidates really are, and prepare to vote. 

Religion and Politics

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Pastors, imams, and other religious leaders, in Nigeria to be exact, must learn the importance of being non-partisan, to begin with. No pastor/imam should be telling you what their favourite political party is, and the side of the spectrum they tend to lean on, asking you to vote for them or anyone they recommend because God has chosen them, or telling you to use your democratic rights in a certain way.

It’d be interesting to see a thesis on politics in Nigeria and how much power and influence the religious leaders have on politics, although it’s very far from being a theocracy. Nigerians generally don’t take things that they are told in the name of religion with a grain of salt; we tend to not be skeptical when words that begin or end with “the Lord said” are said. 

No pastor should tell you what to invest in, what to do with your time, money and body, who to buy foodstuff from, what kind of perfume to use because it’s the kind that they use, whenever they are on or off the pulpit. People shouldn’t state a piece of the Bible or Quran to manipulate you. What they should advise you to do is pray, or pray on your behalf, asking God to lead you to the right answer, and advising you to tap into your own inner intuition and clairvoyance abilities. You are a person of God too, whether or not you were ordained to lead in the affairs of the church, and God can ‘speak’ to you directly. When they however report that God told them certain things, you must be willing to separate the wheat from the tares and engage in critical thinking.

The mediums of any spirit are not a hundred percent infallible. Don’t be fooled or coaxed or scared into doing anything who wouldn’t very willingly do, left to you, in the name of whatever deity you trust your life with.

Class Injury

Black Girl

“Girl in the Window” | Prudence Heward

It’s almost hypocritical for me to write about the struggles of the working class- I try as much as possible not to say “lower” because of the negative connotations that are often associated with the word. I’m a citizen of two countries; I’m in the university, and I’m okay, health-wise. I am a little girl’s dream come true- me, I’m the little girl. I did not state that I “was” the little girl for a reason; our little, inner selves never just disappear, even when our bodies change.

My parents were in the lower-middle class, status-wise, when I was growing; they were both lecturers. In reality, although we had an “okay” house and at least one functioning car, and my brothers and I went to good schools, we were still members of the working class. I used to daydream a lot more than I do now- there were a good number of excursions and items that I wished I could afford. Don’t get me started on the inferiority complex that I suffered from too. I wore my mum’s hand-me-down’s majorly.

I did phone-call business for my mum (20 naira per min.) and sold recharge cards under an MTN umbrella with two chairs. I sold pure-water and “minerals” (pop)- I hawked for a day around my house and never did it again; I preferred to sit. Then we got a small kiosk and I began to sell more stuff till my dad completed his building of proper shops. Men would pull my growing breasts back then, when I wasn’t looking. It made me angry and resentful- I was like 11 or 12- but I learnt the art of sucking things up very quickly.
I used olo– grinding stone- to grind peppers, fetched water, used wood or coal to cook whenever we ran out of kerosene, and all. My life wasn’t the hardest. People who lived close to me were not very wealthy either- “a face-me-I-face-you” apartment building, one ile-alamo– clay house… it wasn’t the fanciest neighbourhood. Thinking back to how people used to stare at me in envy like I was some princess, we (my family and I) really were local champions.

The Janitor

“The Janitor Who Paints” by Palmer Haden

We don’t celebrate the working class enough, hence, the urgency that people place on being wealthy. You’re nobody in the society except you are rich or can pretend to be. It has gotten worse with the advent of the social media- there is this desperate, adoration-seeking urge that people have to display a level of wealth/influence.

Class injury sits with you in different ways: One way is that you feel uneasy in upper-class settings when you become a member of the middle-upper or upper class. You miss the joys, the struggles and the pain that came with being in the working class, and you feel like something is missing in your life, or you don’t deserve to be where you are, or you feel guilty/bad because some people are not enjoying life as much as you are.

Another way that it manifests is that you try to get away from the people you used to be like as much as people, even members of your own family- you don’t want to be reminded that you used to be poor. You don’t want to remember the struggles, the hurt, and the societal “shame” that you used to experience. I see people like that a lot on social media. “I’m not poor, and I don’t sit with the poor” type thing.

I’m still a member of the working class; I came into the country that I currently live in some winter ago, with a few clothes and some books, and there has been no drastic, overnight, lottery-winning change in my life.

Class shapes every aspect of our lives, and those of our descendants, and I find it quite interesting; our society and inequality are pari passu, and we’ve been taught that it’s okay. Even if you are not part of the 1%, don’t be at the bottom among the 99%.

In conclusion, the point of this whole epistle is- while you struggle and hope for better days, you should be proud of yourself and your class. You are not a failure if you are not rich, and you’re not inferior either. It’s easier said than done, but be grateful for what you have, and find joy in the little things.

Stand tall and proud wherever you go; don’t put yourself down for anyone, and don’t let anyone put you down. Acquire new skills, develop yourself, and be innovative, not necessarily because you thirst to be one of the 1%, but because you want to build yourself and contribute your quota to your society. A line from Badlands goes like this- “poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, and a king is never satisfied…” 

Objectivity

Don’t inherit someone else’s enemy/enemies as a sign of loyalty. 

If you know your friend is wrong, speak up and tell them the truth, while standing by them. If you inherit someone else’s enemies, and I’m writing from experience, you will be surprised when the concerned parties reconcile and leave you out in the deep, looking daft…

Pro-Black Should Not Be Anti-White, and Vice-Versa

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More time should be spent uplifting ourselves and one another, as Africans in and outside Africa, than on tearing other people down.The latter should not even be done at all. If injustice is committed against people of your race, face the black person or the white person or whatever person(s) that is responsible and criticize them violently. Don’t attack the whole race.

We were called “monkeys” and “apes” in the past, and the weakest comeback would be creating an Instagram page to inform the world that white people’s skins stink when they don’t have their baths, and whites and blacks should never intermarry. The door! 

More hate between the races is created for followers and likes, and also to seem “woke”, when those “pro-Black” pages are published. Ankh symbols, numerous pictures of Nefertiti and Pharoah (who were Black, yes, but Moremi, Kurunmi and Jaja of Opobo- who were direct ancestors- are never mentioned).

There’s so much richness in the Yoruba and Igbo and Hausa and Ashanti and Tiv histories and cultures, to mention a very few, that have not been adequately explored and discussed. 

Also, those pages tend to be against the Christian religion. All religions have their elements of truth to them but they all have their strengths and weaknesses. That you “worship” Jesus and you eat children shouldn’t make me hate Jesus, or that you worship Allah or Ifa and you rape rams shouldn’t make me hate them. You are not the totality of the religion. 

If you don’t like Jesus, or Ifa, face and honour the ones you like, and uplift them and yourself. Osun olomo yoyo, Oya ayaba Sango, Yemoja-Olokun-Olosa, Esu laalu ogiri oko, Sango (kawo kabiyesi o), Ogun alagbede, Osanyin, Ifa asoro dayo, to mention a few, and all the ancestors (iba e, iba e, eni to nu) are there. Who cares if Jesus was white, black or grey. I embrace all religions; it’s not a competition. 

Afrofuturism should be embraced and more time should be spent fostering love and growth only, rather than ruining people’s healing, spreading hate among the races, and bringing some people down to make some others better. Pan-Africanism must be done correctly.

The World’s Only Problem

Today, I proposed the theory that having a wrong sense of entitlement is the main and only problem in the world, and that all the things we refer to as problems are mere consequences of that one problem. If there is a second problem, it would the world’s ignorance on what the main and only problem is.

Having a sense of entitlement is good, but the line between a wrong sense of entitlement and a right sense of entitlement is quite thin. If the wrong sense of entitlement was not present, the slavery of the Africans (and other instances of oppression and violence) would not have occurred. If there was no right sense of entitlement (thank you, the King of Love- Martin Luther King- and everyone who was by his side), oppression would not have been largely fought against in America.

I focused on Nigeria in my proposal, and gave day-to-day instances of situations where people have a wrong sense of entitlement, and how it all leads to a huge mess.

Afrofuturism
I proposed the reorientation solution, but I did not go into full details on methods for effective reorientation, and how it could be organized. I recognize that substantial positive results would take a while.
However, I mentioned the bottom-up approach.

Beginning from the children, we could cultivate the spirit of volunteerism and selflessness in people. Greed is a consequence of a wrong sense of entitlement; it like maggots from a decomposing body.

As an afrofuturist, I recognize that technology would go a long way to shape our future, and its up to us, Nigerians, Africans, humans, to hold the scepter and decide what the future would be. I don’t know how it would all work, but it will. We can make it happen.

READ IT HERE.

Nigeria’s Only Problem

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“Old Oshodi in Lagos” (600×600)  by Ayeola Ayodeji 

What is Nigeria’s Problem?

When you invite a Nigerian to describe what the country’s problem is, get ready to die of boredom, because they’ll go on for too long, in an attempt to describe things that aren’t close to being problems. “Bad roads, bad classrooms, corrupt governments and greedy officials, bad power supply, bad this and bad that, ba—” It’s okay, my brother. Let’s breathe.

Most of us Nigerians don’t even know what Nigeria’s problem is, and that itself is a problem.

Bad roads, bad classrooms, corrupt governments and officials, bad power supply, and whatnot, are not problems. There are bad roads in Northern Canada, and poorly-built houses and classrooms in Flint, Michigan, and bad power supply in Cameroon, and corrupt governments and officials in Russia, Israel and North Korea. Well, they are everywhere, even in the United States- the “most democratic” of them all. The secret handshake deals that take place between and among public and private interests would take more than a fortnight to analyze.

Procession-Tunde-Famous

“Procession” (20 x 16 x 2 inches) by Tunde Afolayan Famous

Bad facilities and all that are mere consequences of Nigeria’s only problem, or second problem, the first being the one aforementioned- Nigeria doesn’t know what its problem is, and that’s a problem.

Nigeria’s only problem is that we Nigerians have a wrong sense of entitlement, and we can be quite aggressive and close-minded, even to change and development. It is not that we sometimes do not set our priorities right, or something else that you probably anticipated, if you did.

By a “wrong sense of entitlement”, what do I mean?

From the mechanic that is willing to beat you up or yell “ashewooooo!” [prostitute!] at you if you refuse to give him your number, to the policemen and soldiers who expect you to treat them like demigods when your paths cross, and offer your sacrifices in naira notes when applicable, to the local and state government officials who find it okay to steal from the people (after all they’re in charge) instead of getting things done with the resources available, to the pastor who deems huge offerings his right, regardless of the means of survival of the donors, because he is God’s mouthpiece, to Alhaji, who doesn’t really care if his car is packed in your driveway or the sound from his speakers is giving you a migraine- you must be Beelzebub’s girlfriend for not liking noise pollution- to Mummy ‘Dekola who deems your business her business and will die of high blood pressure if you don’t kneel before her properly, to our street men and roadside NURTW tax collectors who do not mind breaking windows and removing doors if they do not get a chance to extort drivers, even when the union dues have already been paid, to the drivers who think it’s okay not to pay their union dues, to Yahoo boys and men who think its okay, and even necessary, to make someone else wallow in depression, for their own survival and well-being- the interesting thing is, the rich almost never fall into their traps; it’s people like their own mothers or other members of the working class who do, to everything and anything else you can think of.

Whew! Yes, it really is that stressful- all of it.

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“Fulani Ladies” by Ayeola Ayodeji 

Inadequate infrastructure and corruption and whatnot all lead to the devil itself- having a wrong sense of entitlement. The bloody Nigerian Assembly is a mess for the same reason. Climbing fences. Throwing chairs. A mess.

The interesting this is, a wrong sense of entitlement might develop in someone because someone else has it: “You think it’s your right to block my driveway with your car, and I will show you that I have a right to break your glass.” What does it all result in? A mess.

Unfortunately, a wrong sense of entitlement and the “me first” approach to things is not just a Nigerian problem. It’s the problem of the world. However, in places where it is less dominant in the culture of the society, there have been lots of infrastructural, economic and social success. They are the “better” societies.

Let everyone, that would include me, and you, stop thinking they own or deserve to own the things, or the extra things, that they haven’t worked for and/or simply don’t deserve, and watch the nation, and the world, heal and grow.

It’s okay if my wife doesn’t want to cook today. As the “head of the house”, if the title matters so much to my ego and self-esteem, I should be able to fix something for myself and my family. I am not automatically superior to anyone because I belong to a certain ethnic group. When I use words like “aboki” and “mola” [mallam] or “omo nna” in derogatory ways, I must know that I am wrong. It’s okay if I don’t win someone’s soul to Christ or to Allah; why am I so obsessed with winning it, like a trophy? It’s okay if I don’t get your number; you don’t need to be insulted or disgraced for it. The money in the public purse is not mine, and I don’t deserve more than what my allocated salaries and benefits are.

A reorientation is needed, and I am fully aware that a reorientation is easier said that done, but we can try, at least. We can start from the elementary schools. There should be subjects/courses like Ethics, for instance. I don’t know how algebra has contributed to my existence, in the way that I interact with the world. The schools barely prepare us for the real world; I’ll discuss this some other time.

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These are some of the things that should be considered:

The spirit of volunteerism has to be encouraged among Nigerians, and in the world, to begin with. Also, I don’t know what has happened us-  sympathy and mutual respect melt in online communities and spaces. The wrong sense of entitlement gets worse when you give people Internet privileges.

1. Throw your thrash away properly. It’s not your street, you only live there.

2. Driving is a privilege, not a right. A little patience could save your own life.

3. I don’t deserve every woman and everything because I have a penis. My masculinity is not an egg; it shouldn’t be so fragile.

I’ll leave 4 and 5 and 200 to you to come up with.

Let me know what you think. 

Floor-Her and Flaw-Her [Flora My Flawa]

I was listening to Davido’s Flora My Flawa, and I heard the line that messed me up for about five good minutes. At first, I was listening to Adekunle Gold’s Ire. My autoplay was on, and when Ire was done, several videos were automatically played till it got to Flora My Flawa. What in the world does “if nothing lasts forever o, me and you go be nothing forever o” mean?

Flora

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

The mind game in that sentence is intense. The first part of that sentence has been strategically placed to distract the listener.

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

It means:
i. You and I will be nothing, and we will be nothing forever, since “nothing lasts forever”.

However, a person who might be more trusting of sweet words- a person who can be easily cajoled- would think it means:
ii. You and I will last forever; we will be like “nothing”, since “nothing lasts forever”.

It’s crazy how that sentence could mean two or more things at once. I could expand on what a third meaning would be, but I’d rather not. Mercury is in retrograde, and since Mercury is dominant in my chart- it’s the ruler, trying hard to make myself over-analyze anything at this time could drive me crazy. At least, Uranus is not in retrograde. Phew!

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

It’s one of those “make whatever you wish of it” sentences. It’s quite interesting.

On a lighter note, look at the poster for the song below.

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That cupid looks like its up to no good; like he’s about to ruin someone’s life. He looks like mischief itself to me. See how red the tongue is too; Oluwa, saanu fun wa. It’s probably so red as a result of sucking life and happiness out of innocent ladies.

Also, is that a stud earring? Chai. May the forces keep us safe from the deceptions of the Yoruba demons that continue to break hearts, ruin souls and waste lives.

Ki oju ma ribi, gbogbo ara logun re; stay cautious and alert in your dealings with sweet-tongued men, especially Yoruba demons. Whenever you are being toasted [wooed], listen to each word attentively. Don’t let them make you giggle your wisdom, knowledge and understanding away. Don’t let them cunningly collect your Saturday from you and give you Sunday in exchange. Ire o.

Saying “you and I will be something forever” would have made me less uneasy about the song, by the way.  No, I’m I’m kidding. It’s a nice song, and my criticism is just banter. I’ll dance to it again for sure. Whenever it gets to the “if nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever” line, I’ll just pretend like it doesn’t bother me, even if I begin to shake visibly as a result of my skepticism.

Religion and Class

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We were talking about intersectionality in my class today, and we looked at social locations (like as race/ethnicity, indigeneity, gender, class, sexuality, geography, age, disability/ability, level of education, occupation, migration status and religion) and how they shape the way a person interacts with the world and the way the world interacts with that person.

The reason why many white people go “what the hell are you talking about?” when you tell them that they have white privilege is that they may be disadvantaged in many other ways at the same time. If an able-bodied, straight dark-skinned African woman with a PhD tells a white, differently-abled, lesbian who only has a high school diploma and is working in a factory that she has “privilege”, she might take offence, like “what privilege?” There’s a good chance that the white woman would not be followed around a store or racially profiled by the police, PhD or not. There’s also a good chance that the black woman would be able to attend certain meetings and functions at the University of Toronto that the white woman may never get invitation letters for. 

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The fact remains that a person could be privileged and oppressed at the same time- privileged in some areas and disadvantaged in some- based on the several different social locations that they fall into. I didn’t choose to be black and you didn’t choose to be white. It would be very wrong to guilt trip you based on your race, and if I say that H&M is terrible when it comes to hiring, I’d expect you to understand where I’m coming from.

What stood out to me, however, was religion. My mind drifted off and I had to try to bring myself back to the setting because I focused on it intensely- religion.

If you do not practise Christianity or Islam in Nigeria, you could very well be looked down upon in different social settings, and that is a fact. If it is not Christianity or Islam, it is demonic, and it must be cast and bound. One could wear a hijab or wear a necklace with a cross pendant in most parts of Nigeria without any problem, but as soon as they come out with an opele ifa or wear their ide to main settings, there would be a problem.

With the “you and your generation will go to hell” threats and all sorts of harassment and fuckery, you almost have to hide in a way. I see it now, that religion is very related, not just to culture, but to class, hierarchies and discrimination.