Category: Just Musings

JUST MUSING: DON’T STOP TRYING, NEVER GIVE UP

 

Many things in life are like learning horse riding. In the beginning you find out that you are scared of the horse and you keep falling off. And you might even break some bones while you’re at it…

But as you fall of, you must get back on that horse again.

Soon, you get used to the horse…and you master the art of riding without falling off.

But only if you don’t give up.

BJ

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HELP! THE KIDS ARE FLYING THE NEST. WHAT IS TO BECOME OF ME?

For a few weeks I had been feeling a bit depressed…but I’ve only just realised why!
The kids are all grown up and flying the nest.
My three babies  (25, 21 &18) have been my reason for living for over 25 years but they don’t seem to need me so much anymore and I’m not taking the detachment well at all😢😢😢

As a single parent, I more or less brought all three of them up single-handed. Don’t get me wrong, I was married – but my now ex-husband and I had very different understanding of marriage and family life, so for most of our 13 year marriage till I decided to make my  “single” status official again and call time on the “make believe” marriage, I lived mostly by myself with three young kids under the age of 10. And for the past 11 years since my divorce, it has been just me and them.

Many would ask why I did not remarry in all that time…

Good question.

But first and foremost, the City of London where I live, is not blessed with available 40 or 50-something year old men. Many of them are either happily married (though mostly straying) or shacked up with someone or are good Christians who fear God and take their marriage seriously.

And those who may be available are either content playing the field of London, reliving their teenage years and simply sleeping their way through the entire female population – of both single,  married and lesbian or transgender women alike. And if there are any of them that mustn’t be lumped into this block, they were simply not willing to take on a divorced 40-something year old woman with 3 kids!

Responsible divorced, widowed or never-married men in their 40s/50s are simply not there, so the pulling pool for someone like me has just been – well, dry and empty!

And then, there were my own doubts.

If at any time in those 11 years, anyone had remotely, by some stroke of miracle, come close to embarking upon a serious relationship with me, I would have found a way to sabotage that relationship. The reason is simple – although it did not dawn on me till recently. I just didn’t want another man bringing up kids that belonged to someone else. And I didn’t want to confuse my kids either. I needed them to know their own father and be trained by him. Which admittedly, he did, albeit from a great distance.

I also could not take the risk of someone half-heartedly taking on my kids as part of the baggage that comes with me, but not being fully able to bond with them and love them as his own. I couldn’t bear to have another man move in with us and disrupt the tightly knit unit that my kids and I had formed and become over the years. I also strongly harboured the fear that any man I got married to will be treated like an outsider and in little time, will start to feel resentful of the situation and which will cause problems that could destroy the marriage.

There was also the subconscious  fear of  peadophiles harboured by many single parents lurking somewhere in the corner of my mind. I couldn’t risk someone I thought I knew, come into our lives and mess around with my girls.

You just couldn’t tell with folks nowadays – and more horrific stuff do happen everyday that we read and hear about.

So I subconsciously held back from forming meaningful relationships and stayed single. And in all those years, I was content with the blanket of company my kids gave me. I cannot remember a time that I didn’t have at least 2 of them in the house with me. When my eldest was away in Uni, I had my son and my youngest daughter at home. And for the past two years that my son had been in Uni, I have had my eldest back from Uni and the youngest at home who’s just completed her AS but is headed for Uni next September.

But that was until my eldest called me and told me she was thinking of moving out….

When she told me a few weeks ago that she was tired of living with her mum and sharing a room with her baby sister and was planning to find a place of her own, I thought I was going to die. I quite unreasonably saw it as a rejection and her simply wanting to get as far away from me as possible. Needless to say I didn’t take it well at all!

My first impression was yeah-right!

My second was Oh NO, YOU CANNOT!!!!

I refused to speak to her for 2 days and after that, I tried every trick in the book to scare her out of leaving. But no matter how much I tried, her mind was firmly made up and she wouldn’t bulge.

Of course, I, like every other (African) mother know that sooner or later, the kids will have to move out and start a life of their own, but I also assumed this would be when they get married, but my daughter is not showing any interest in that aspect yet.

Yes she has her boyfriend, a charming French guy called Victor but she is not remotely thinking about marriage. She has just got a really well paid job that she really loves. Next September, she is planning to embark on her Masters Degree and then continue to develop her career, buy her own property (eventually) and then at some point, hopefully before she is 30 – marriage and then kids. But right now, she is just a highly independent resourceful young woman who knows her own mind and no amount of mummy-blackmail can move her. So I proceeded into a long sulk and almost drove myself into depression by obsessing over the fact that Lola was leaving home. In fact, I think I even wept at some point. And in spite of my prayers for God to change her mind, she moved into her new self contained apartment last weekend.

I have rather churlishly, refused to speak to her.

My son, who ironically, was the most clingiest of my three, is currently away on holiday with his friends. As soon as he is back, he is off again to Uni. He has been making it clear he will be relocating abroad as soon as his studies in Uni are over….. yeeee, mo gbe!

And so that leaves me with my youngest. The one I call Baronette.

I have been begging, urging and blackmailing her for the past two years in advance, to strongly consider attending the Uni “down the road” so she wouldn’t have to travel too far away.  Actually, what I really mean is so she won’t have to leave home at all. But she once told me “That is an insult, mum”!! How can you expect me to attend a community University? And out of respect to many of my friends whom I know attended that University, I shall not mention the name. The truth is that I totally see her point. But the moment she travels out of London, that will leave just me alone in a big house – all by myself!!!

The thought of that is enough to age any 50-something year old very fast. And I have found myself employing unfair but desperate emotional old-woman blackmail tactics such as “what will happen if I fall down the stairs and there is no one to help me” or “what if I slip in the bath and hit my head” or “what if I get burgled…and raped? on her. Of course, all I get back is “just call the police, mum” or “call the ambulance, mum” or “Stop it, mum. It won’t work”!

The simple fact is that there are many women my age out there who will be experiencing similar emotions. And even the married couples are not immune from these confusing fears. For many married women, there is a stronger closeness with their kids than with their husbands or partners especially in cases where the parents have fallen out of love and grown apart but continue to live together as a married couple.

Some try to rediscover the bond with their husbands and fall in love again after the kids have left home,  but in other cases, unfortunately, the marriage simply irrevocably breaks apart because the absence of the kids from the home, magnifies the cracks that have developed in the marriage for years but have been held precariously together by the presence of the kids.

This, unfortunately is also why you see many women abandon their husband to play baby-sitter or “third-wheel” in their married children’s home. I know of a particular woman in her 60s who leaves her husband behind in Nigeria and tours her kids’ homes from the UK to Canada to different states all over the US – simply because she cannot bear to be under the same roof with her husband! Although of course, the official story is that she is visiting her grand-children. And he could be spending all his time flitting from one hotel room to the other shamelessly shagging every available 30-something year old runs chicks!

So, here I am, only 51, and looking at impending alone-ness right in the eyes! And no grand-kids yet to visit…

When the kids are at home, it is not like we all hurdle together in my bed and share stories – like I did with them when they were little – although, we still did just that a few times in recent years.  We all go out to school or work and return home at different times in the evening. And during the weekends, we also mostly go out separately. Me to my church function or weddings; or awards dinners or birthday parties and they, off with their friends. And when they are home, we each stay within our own quarters and I never venture near their rooms unless I am invited in – and they very seldom visit me in mine except of course when they need something. But at least there is the comforting knowledge that there are others with you in the house.

Sometimes, we all meet up around the chest freezer in the hallway and have a chinwag and a catch up. Or in the girls’ room or kitchen and have passionate excitable discussions on topics ranging from religion to sexual orientation to political correctness to Donald Trump to immigration to Brexit! Many times, these discussions degenerate into heated arguments with them always ganging up against me and disagreeing with my Christian/Conservative/Traditional/Old School opinions. But I do enjoy these “talks” and even though, sometimes they seriously aggravate and infuriate me with their new-age views, I still feel great pride in having kids who are so eloquent and out-spoken and not afraid to express themselves.

Ocassionally, we order pizza and all flop out in front of Netflix; or arrange dates and we all go out for  a movie and dinner and when we return, everyone retires into their own rooms never to be seen again till the following morning.

But at least, everyone knows there is someone else in the house.

But all that is ending now.

Now more freezer meetings.

No more movie and dinner nights.

No more loud discussions and arguments.

No more meet ups in the girls’ room or kitchen.

No more huddling together in mummy’s bed.

I have a lot of friends but very few that I am actually close with…..and I never really developed the habit of going to someone’s house and sitting around endlessly chatting over nothing – and everything.

And even if I attended every church service, or birthday party and wedding in town, at some point I would still have to return home – an empty home!

And I don’t see any of my church people inviting me back home with them…Each will wave “Bye bye, Sister Jummy!” at the end of each service, and return home with their husbands and wives.

And I, to an empty house and another lonely evening in front of Netflix…..?

Lord have mercy!!!!

I just cannot see myself living like that. I will age prematurely!!!

I have to start changing certain things about my life. I have to prepare for the coming years before I die of loneliness in an empty house.

Last week, I did a story about a man who had lain dead and undiscovered in his London room for two weeks before his wife in Ghana alerted UK police to his missing status. It wasn’t until they visited his address that they discovered his body!!!

God forbid bad ting. That, is not my portion in Jesus name!!!!

I will not die of loneliness or boredom. In fact, I reject it – vehemently!!!

I have to win some huge cash prize and take endless cruises round the world…

Or find myself a husband – as soon as possible!!!!!

Please, somebody!! direct me to the nearest Single Elders fellowship….!

 

BJ

 

 

 

 

DEAR PRESIDENT BUHARI, BUILD US HOSPITALS AND SCHOOLS. WE HAVE ENOUGH HOTELS AND CHURCHES

Now that President Buhari has had first hand experience of the great headaches and troubles that can come from leaving the country to receive treatment abroad, he must now make the implementation of quality medical facilities throughout the country his administration’s No 2 priority – after combating serious corruption which is the legacy of Jonathan’s administration.

It is a great shame and a matter of great embarrassment not to talk of massive disgrace that the Head of any nation will stay up to three months (not being sick) receiving medical treatment outside of his own country!!! Can you imagine the Queen of England or even PM Theresa May or indeed any of the UK MPs leaving the country for any amount of time for medical treatment??

President-Mohd-Buhari
President Buhari ?pictured) recently returned to the country after being away in the UK for 3 months receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed condition

Any Nigerian “RICH MAN” boasting that he is travelling abroad for medical check up from now on, should feel highly ashamed to say that out loud and for daring to admit that his country does not have qualified enough doctors or adequate medical centres to treat him.  And such folks must be publicly named and shamed.

This is the 21st century. 2017 for God’s sake!!! but it is most disgraceful that we are yet unable to boast of anything more than jungle class health and medical care! And the few quality ones that do exist are owned by Asians who make money from us and take back to invest in their own country!!

Just when are we going time start using our brains for good instead of on flimsy unnecessary things?

NIGERIA HAS MORE WORLD CLASS EVENT CENTRES, HOTELS AND CHURCHES THAN GOOD SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS!!!

And when I think of the likes of Ogun State governor Amosun sinking billions into building overhead bridges for none other than cosmetic rather than any terribly practical reasons, I just want to scream!

Just how much wrongly can we place our priorities?

Many ordinary Nigerians would rather self diagnose and self medicate than present themselves to any hospital for many reasons. First being the highly exorbitant and unjustifiable fees charged by these establishments. Secondly, you can never really be sure of the kind of treatment you’re getting or if you’re going to get the right diagnosis. My late dad was for years, misdiagnosed and mistreated for piles by the combined highly unbelievable ignorance of doctors at OSUTH, UCH and LUTH when he was actually in stage 2 rectal cancer. By the time he was eventually correctly diagnosed, he was given 3 years of remaining life span…but he was gone in 3 months!!!

He was only 59.

If there were adequate and reliable diagnosis technicians, my dad might have had a chance. I wanted to bring him over to the UK but my dad had a seriously misplaced trust in the Nigerian medical system and that unfortunately cost him his life.

Many hospitals and so called private establishments you visit are themselves, breeding ground for germs and diseases.  The poor hygiene and sanitation in some healtcare centres will make you choose to stay at home and treat yourself.  And many of the healthcare personnel are just so rude, ignorant, uncaring and downright unfit for the job. You could practically be dying in front of a so called doctor but unless you “cough” up tens of thousands of Naira for a registration card, you are on your own and nobody will administer as little as basic first aid that can save your life on you.

Many Nigerians simply ignore various warning signs to their health rather than face the stress and aggro at the hospital…and by the time they decide to drag themselves down, it is often too late.

And more saddening, many, rather than visit a medical practitioner for adequate and necessary medical attention, will choose to visit their pastor and faith healer for prayers. As a Christian, I have absolute faith in the power of prayers – but I strongly admit that you first and foremost need to visit your doctor who can tell exactly what is wrong with you and what course of action is necessary.  This, is where faith comes to play whereby you pray  that whatever course of medical intervention is prescribed is effective and does what it is expected to do.

Many people have unfortunately lost their lives because they have been wrongly told by a faith healer to stop taking their prescribed medication

 

Mortuary-Attendant-Remanded-For-Beheading-Corpse-At-UCH-Ibadan
University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan

Nigeria boasts of some of the best Medical Colleges in the world that train highly gifted medical practitioners. But the country lacks the kind of quality establishments these doctors can practice in, which is why hoardes of them leave the country annually to practice where their skills could be best utilised. The UK has an unbelievable number of Nigerian trained doctors, surgeons and consultants working in different  his all overAnd that is a great shame.

According to UNICEF, every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under–five and maternal mortality rate in the world.

Underneath the statistics lies the pain of human tragedy, for thousands of families who have lost their children. Even more devastating is the knowledge that, according to recent research, essential interventions reaching women and babies on time would have averted most of these deaths.

In other words these unfortunate deaths are directly attributable to lack of adequate medical intervention caused either by misdiagnosis or delay in seeking medical help due to high fees.

In the early 80s free healthcare was introduced in many states of the country particularly what used to be the Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Ondo states and these also saw the establishment of State Hospitals where you could attend and receive quality attention for any medical need including maternity care. But these establishments have been pointedly abandoned by subsequent administrations and leaderships and the level of care you can expect to receive at these centres is close to zero. The buildings are old and dilapidated and whatever the quality of staff working there, only have equipment from last century to work with. Not forgetting the lack of electricity and running water.

And if you are unlucky to require treatment with injections, drips or wound dressings, you will need to get them by yourself.  You will hardly find as much as a plaster in any of these “State Hospitals”

And if your condition requires admission to a ward at these hospitals, I’m informed that you will need to bring along your own mattress and pillow – or you end up on the floor  (this is either due to overcrowding or simple lack of beds) and until a member of your family goes out to source for the medication for your treatment including syringes, drips and steriles, you are simply ignored or just left to die!

The embarrassing condition of state hospitals in Nigeria is what gave rise to Private Hospitals run by quacks, but many of these are simply not much better than the state hospitals in that they may prescribe your medication and treat you but these often do not go beyond the humble saline drip, panadol, folic acid, vitamin c and the most common of anti-biotics which are all routinely prescribed for every ailment from malaria to typhoid fever to diabetes at highly exorbitant fees!

The big name, posh building private hospitals in Lagos or other parts of the country are simply posh versions of the small private hospital where the treatment is not much better except you get cleaner waiting and consulting rooms and the nurses speak a bit more politely in better English. many of these have highly sohisticated second hand machines brought in from Europe that have never been installed, have broken down or have no-one who actually knows how to operate them.

We now know that Nigeria is far from being a poor nation. Recent revelations have taught us that. Otherwise, the likes of Patience, Diezani, Dasuki, Yakubu etc would not have been able to lay their hands on such obscene amounts of raw cash! And Saraki and his band of “unarmed robbers” as former President Obasanjo referred to them, would not be able to award themselves such eye-watering salaries and allowances for their part-time or zero-hours job in the Senate!

Such funds like those recently recovered from the political thieves can be entrusted to a Federal Task Force with the responsibility of establishing General Hospitals across the states of the federation, or taking over the old ones and restoring or refurbishing them and stocking them with state of the art amenities and drugs. Private citizens, the civil service and private sector employers could be taxed for the upkeep and use of the services, through obligatory monthly contributions  – a bit like the NHS – and details of beneficiaries uploaded into a central database whereby patients can be easily identified whenever they turn up for medical attention. Anyone turning up for treatment but has not paid into the pot, will pay a higher premium at point of delivery and top up payments required for more serious conditions or surgeries. Of course these will be subsidized by the government so that it is still affordable by ordinary citizens.

I understand that a similar program was launched by the Jonathan administration in 2005 to much fanfare with a 10 year schedule of the achievement of universal coverage. very little surprise, that project has gone down the proverbial pan. The NHIS as it was called, was never properly governed and is staffed by officials who have very little interest in the organisation. The organisation itself has never been accountable to the Nigerian community.

The cost of treating the President in the UK will have run into hundreds of thousands of pounds because the NHS would not have treated him for free. And even if he had gone private, that would not have been cheap at all.

If this huge amount was converted into local currency, just imagine how many malaria treatments or how many hospital beds and properly trained nurses it could have paid for.

And let’s also imagine what a great legacy it will be for President Mohammadu Buhari  – the great revolution of the Nigerian Health System.

Does anyone agree with me?

 

BJ

TERRORISTS WITH CAMERAS – STOP RUINING THE SHOW FOR THE REST OF US

I post this piece WITH EVERY DUE RESPECT to ALL my industry colleagues that work in the Video/photography fields..

But it has become necessary to express the pain that many of us have had inflicted upon us at some point or the other when we attend events and functions.

Many photographers (or people carrying camera) seem to leave all common sense and respect for others at home when the get to events venue. They forget that guests that have been invited or who have paid good amounts of money have left their homes and have come to witness their hosts birthday or their friends wedding or their favorite artist or comedian performing – and not the backside of some photographer.

These people become senseless #terroristswithcameras and simply plunk themselves unthinkingly in the very front of seated guests with absolutely no thought whatsoever for the people behind them.
And to make matters worse, some guests will also get up from their seats with their phones and stand bang in front of other guests who are trying to get some nice shots without as much as an “excuse me” and proceed to carry out up to 15 minutes recording without once moving out of the way. More shocking is the very rude and obnoxious response you get when you point out to some of these folks that they are blocking your view.
One would be thinking “why dont you also get up and go and take your photos? But then you will be guilty of the same offense one is complaining about and be exactly like those thoughtless folks.

These folks assume that being armed with a camera suddenly makes them more important and more privileged than invited or paying guests…and guess what, even church services are not immune from these TWCs. A thanksgiving or wedding/naming service will be going on and you will see the couple’s contracted cameraman and his equipment plunked in front of the church; or moving about distracting everybody. One one occasion, the cameraman placed himself bang in front of the Pastor!!!

I was at an event some time ago and a Pastor quite rightly pissed off at the TWCs behaviour commented that modern cameras have all kinds of buttons and functions such as wide lens and zoom buttons and they can get just as good shots from any reasonable distance. Why can’t photographers use them especially when they are at events and functions instead of disturbing guests and ruining the entire experience for them.

I have been seated at VIP seats or areas at events and those have turned out to be absolute wastes as the entire time have been spent looking at the fat backsides of an entire army of Terrorists With Cameras!!

At a wedding I attended this weekend, even though I was seated with other community leaders or “celebs” at the very front, I could not get a single decent shot of the couple because of the huge number of photographer and other guests who left their seats and stayed in the front of us taking pictures the entire time!

Event coordinators and MCs need to start to learn to control photographers at the events they host. Afterall, the shows are not being organised for the sole pleasure of photographers.

And Events organisers also need to start to control the number of photographers they grant access to their events. As an event organiser myself, I know that many of these folks do not pay to attend events – they come with free pass in the name of “Press” or “Media” and then ruin the entire evening for those who have paid good money.

You owe more to your invited guests and paying audiences.

 

BJ

 

Picture credit: Alamy Stock

PS: The featured picture “borrowed” and used for this article is simply to portray the actions of photographers as referred to in the article. It is not about the people in the picture. Thank you


 

JUST MUSING: ASEGBE KAN KOSI – NO EVIL ACT GOES UNPUNISHED

Many who served the Nigerian government for over 30 years and retired as top civil servants are only being paid a measly N27,000…less than £100 a month.
While a few who only served for 4 years in the Senate or as governors are being paid a monthly pension rate in excess of N1,000,000million. And governors from these states will put on the audacity to travel to the UK and preach to diasporans to invest in their economy?
The greedy lot in the hilltop senate houses are unfailingly and religiously paying themselves huge and eye-watering salaries while ordinary Nigerians they are meant to serve are groaning in poverty under the severe punishment of unpaid salaries and pension arrears (my mum who retired as a Level 14 officer in 2005 didn’t get paid a penny of her state pension till 2010 and she is still waiting for the 5 year arrears, while the Federal Government pension and gratuity has not materialised AT ALL).
I had a chat on this issue with my mum earlier this morning and she enlightened me on this painful and sorry state concerning pensioners in Nigeria. Luckily, my mum was able to build a property while still in service and a part of it is rented out to workers. However, many of her tenants are civil servants whose salaries and wages are anything but regular. Still, when they do pay, it does go some way towards her personal expenses topped up by what my siblings and I are able to contribute.
But my mum also told me about some of her former colleagues who were not in the position to build themselves houses while in service. Or even those that did build but have up to 4 job seeking graduates in the house. They, having retired from active service are having to fend for themselves as well as their jobless kids. Many pensioners like these in Nigeria have aged or even died prematurely due to stress related health issues like stroke and high blood pressure or hypertension.
Last month, Governor Amosun of Ogun State held a mega billion naira wedding for his daughter while many like my mum who served or are still serving under his government cannot feed themselves or afford to pay their rent even though they are employed. I looked at the wedding pictures and miserably shook my head for the poor young woman and her husband. Alas, she might be an innocent partaker of her father’s wealth but a partaker she is nonetheless. And the voices of the suffering Ogun State indigenes, including my mother, crying out to God and sending endless curses to Government House at Oke Imosan, will not go unheard or unanswered.
Our governors, senators and others responsible for but seriously and deliberately failing in ensuring the welfare of their people are laying themselves open to seriously shocking wrath in the future.
Those grossly enriching themselves while those they swore to serve are getting poorer and poorer by the day, will have to answer and give account at some point sooner or later. Unfortunately, God’s law says “the sins of the father will be visited upon the children and on the children’s children up to the fourth generation” This means these leaders’ children, grand children, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren will also partake in the visitation of God’s judgement when it does surely come.
I was recently told the true but really sad story of a lady who had a boyfriend who was crazy over her while they were both in University in Nigeria. But this lady, was also in a sordid adulterous relationship with a lecturer who had 2 young kids with his young wife. The cries of everyone including this lady’s mother to leave the married man alone fell on deaf ears. Eventually, the lecturer abandoned his wife and their two kids and married his younger lover in a lavish, no expense spared ceremony, rubbing the abandoned wife’s face in their act of wickedness to her everlasting heartbreak and misery and leaving her to cope with two young kids by herself.
They couple had three kids and the family moved to the UK and she became a top Gynecologist in a NHS Hospital trust stationed in Midlands. He was a top surgeon and at his last assignment, he worked in a European hospital outside of the UK and enjoyed the luxury befitting a man in his position. During a short break, the wife as she usually did, took her kids and travelled to spend time with her husband. Unfortunately, a few days into her holiday, a fire broke out in the apartment they were all staying and all of them including the couple’s innocent children perished in the fire.
When I first heard of the unfortunate incident, I like everyone else, was filled with shock and pity and experienced a deep sense of sympathy for the family until weeks later, I learnt about the couple’s history and their joint action from over 20 years ago.
An old Yoruba adage says “Asegbe kan kosi” (not evil act goes unpunished)
There are many people we come across who find themselves in some deeply pitiable situation/condition or the other and we cannot but feel sorry for them. But more times than often, we are also unaware of such person’s past and past deeds. The possibility that our current troubles being a punishment or repercussion of a past evil deed we have committed and assumed we had gotten away with, or our parents/grandparents’ past actions being visited upon us, is very high indeed and delving deeply into our past history can be a great eye opener.
I look at the kids of our politicians today and I feel very sorry for them. Many of them are enjoying the high life from the proceeds of their fathers’ evil accumulation of wealth but definitely, if the Holy Bible is to be believed, there is great sorrow being stored up for them tomorrow.
As for the high convoluting senators, governors and all the other top Nigerian officials outrageously enriching themselves and their families to the deep disadvantage of the rest of the population including old age pensioners, young babies, children and nursing mothers, I repeat the words of one of your colleagues to you “Ajekun iya nbo” (Much sorrow is coming).
Continue in your ways but do remember this – NO EVIL ACT GOES UNPUNISHED.
Olajumoke Ariyo
(Baroness J)

DON’T JUDGE A MAN BY HIS HABITS ALONE. BAD HABITS DON’T A BAD MAN MAKE

Good morning my dear lovely friends🖑🖑🖑🖑🖑
Please ponder on this, I ask of you:
Can you judge who is the best person out of these 3 below?

Mr A👦
He fratenized with bad politicians
Consulted astrologers,
Married two wives,
Was a chain smoker
Was a very heavy drinker

Mr B👴
Was kicked out of office twice, Slept till noon,
Was seriously overweight
Used opium in college
Drank whiskey every evening.

Mr C👮
He was a decorated war hero,
He was a vegetarian,
Never smoked,
Never touched alcohol
Never cheated on his wife
Was a painter

You would say Mr.C – right?

But..
Mr. A was Franklin Roosevelt! (32nd President of the USA)

Mr. B was Winston Churchill!! (Former British Prime Minister)

Mr C Was ADOLF HITLER!!!
We all know about the Ho locaust & the 2nd World War that resulted in the death of over 60 million people – 3% of the entire world population! (Based on 1940s census)

Surprising but true..
It’s risky to judge anyone by their habits alone!
Character is a complex phenomenon.

So every one has their own importance. Don’t always judge by your own standards but accept people the way they are.

..The same Boiling Water that hardens the egg, Will Soften the Potato!
Individual’s react differently to stressful circumstances!

Enjoy the journey called Life…

Baronessj.com

WE NEED MORE REAL FEMALE MENTORS AND ROLE MODELS

For too long, we as a community and as a race have left the task of leading our nations to our menfolk. Men have for centuries and through different generations been at the head of governments, companies, groups, associations and even family – which however is a God given role.

God made the man the head of his own home and tasked him to be the breadwinner and protector of his family.  He was given the responsibility of ensuring his kids are well trained, clothed and educated and that his wife has a good roof over her head.

Over many centuries and through many generations, many men have successfully carried out this task and proudly fulfilled their roles as family head. And we have also seen many extend their responsibilities to community or national head. Men have headed companies and multinationals with great successes. However, we cannot fail to notice that many of the world’s conflicts and a good number of national or even domestic conflicts, have men at the very centre.

But this is not an article about men. Neither is it a man-bashing piece.

This article is to explore and focus on the role of women – not as opposites – but as alternatives in nation builders and as leaders. Afterall, women were also given the role as help mates (helpers) to men. To be co-workers and co-equals with different yet equally important roles in family, community and nation building. Many have said if the man is the head of the family, then women are the neck and backbone without which the head cannot stand. The head rests on the neck and the back gives support and stability.

For years, women have been denied the ability to perform and carry out these roles effectively. The misapplication of the commandment that “a woman must submit to her own husband” has ensured that women have been reduced to the position of near useless second class citizens fit only for childbearing and house cleaning. Some cultures forbid the education of women and others have a solid ban on women driving or venturing out of their homes unaccompanied. And even where women have been able to achieve educational qualifications and sound training, their skills and abilities have been rendered almost obsolete and useless as they are seldom called upon or encouraged to lead or hold senior positions.

Statistics show that there are more women in education than men at any given time and that women on average often perform better than their male counterparts and generally obtain better qualifications.

“Girls do better than boys at school even in countries where women’s liberties are severely restricted, a study has revealed. New research shows that girls outperform boys in mathematics, reading and science literacy in 70% of countries regardless of levels of national gender equality”

Telegraph 22 Jan 2015

But these achievements are rarely transferred to management or leadership functions and situations.

It is disgraceful in this day and age, to see nations like the United Kingdom and the United States talking about the “first ever female president” (which they couldn’t even make happen) or “second ever female prime minister” and still claim to be the most developed countries in the world. As for the not so developed countries, having female Presidents or Heads of States is almost taboo as men still cannot imagine the thought of having women rule over them. And is spite of the wealthy pool of highly intelligent and highly educated women out there, it is only in rare situations that you would come across women heading huge companies or government departments. There has been an age long subconscious attitude that discourages women from progressing beyond a certain level in the workplace.

But in recent years, we are beginning to see a change in men having or holding the sole rights to leadership. Thanks to the modern day feminist movements, women are beginning to step out of the shadow of their male counterparts and step into high level roles and responsibilities. In Europe today, at least 5 countries including the United Kingdom and Germany have women leaders and 1 in Africa. The US came very close to having their first ever female President in the White House. The International Monetary Fund is being headed by a woman Christine Lagarde and there are currently 7 women bosses at the FTSE 700 even though this is a rather small percentage out of the total 100 bosses.

And when speaking of the world’s richest people, we cannot leave out at least two women Folorunsho Alakija – a Nigerian oil baroness and fashionista, and of course American Television personality Oprah Winfrey.

All over the world and through various industries from the arts and entertainment to finance and politics, we are seeing several women who have hustled, struggled and juggled their careers with their responsibilities as wife and mother and managed to get to the top of their game – even if it means working twice as hard as their male counterparts. Many even have had to put up with bullying, harassment and even unwanted sexual advances from their male colleagues.

But what these women all have in common is that THEY WENT OUT THERE, THEY TRIED THEIR DAMNEST, GAVE THEIR ALL AND THEY DID IT.

We won’t have the Beyonces or the Rihannas (Top female artistes) or the Serena Williams (Top Tennis star)or Angela Merkels (German President) or JK Rowlins (multibillionaire writer of Harry Potter books) or Theresa Mays (UK Prime Minister) or Viola Davies (Female Oscar Winner) that the entire world knows today if they did not get up, go out, work hard and just do it. Even Michelle Obama would not have been heard of if she didn’t work extremely hard to be the kind of woman fit for a future American president.

The Bible is also filled with old time female heroines and role models. We have Miriam, Queen Esther, Ruth, Rahab, Hannah, Judge Deborah, Mary the Mother of our Lord, Mary Magdalene, Lydia etc. What all these women have in common is that they were all women of action and determination. They went out and did what was necessary and impacted their families, their communities and the generations after them.

These are examples of female leaders and mentors or role models. The type of women our daughters must fashion their lives after. A lot of our girls are simply being educated but they lack proper role models to emulate. Many of them have the likes of Kim Kardashian or the girls from TOWIE as their role models. Girls who are known best for their make up antics, sexual escapades and wardrobes.

I am all for looking good and smelling nice. But these are simply extras. I want our girls to be successful achievers in their own rights. I would love to see our girls take after the likes of Orprah Winfrey owning their own Television and Media organisations and becoming employers of labour made up of both men and women. I would like to see our girls emulate JK Rowlins and write bestseller novels that people all over the planet will queue up overnight to purchase as soon as they are released – then major film studios falling over themselves for filming rights. I would like to see women who will study hard, work hard and get to the position that men and women will practically beg them to lead their political parties and possibly country. I would like to see girls who will develop the entrepreneurial spirit from young ages and own their own companies and brands by the time they are 30.

But how can these girls be motivated or inspired to do these things?

This is where mentors and role models come in. Women who have “done it” must start to come out more and show themselves to our young ones. They need to stop being recluses and visit our schools, Sunday schools, playgrounds and talk earnestly to our girls. Talk to them and inspire them and let the know that it is possible to become a somebody. To convince them that “nothing is impossible if you put your mind and elbow grease into it” We need to show them that if we can do it, then they too can do it – even better!

But, it is not always about face to face meetings and personal encounters. Women who have attained” must learn and realise that they are being watched by people out there…and many of those watchers are younger aspiring ladies. On several occasions, I have been approached by ladies who have told me I am their mentor or role model. These have been ladies that I have never met or interacted with but somehow, I have been inspiring and influencing them from afar and thankfully, positively. Thank God that I try my uttermost to behave myself and comport myself with decency in public. We really have no idea who is watching us and we can either be a mentor albeit distant – or detractor for someone.

It is of absolutely no use if we are successful well dressed, well spoken, women but hold negative reputations. Nobody wants their daughters to emulate a trouble maker or a loose woman.

In these days of social media, Facebook is awash with shameless, unhibited women who are not afraid to wash all their dirty linen in public. All their family and friends’ secrets are freely publicised for the world to see and all their fights are held on the internet. Now these women are someone’s mother, someone’s wife and someone’s aunties. But would you want your daughter to be influenced by such women? No! I’m sure. Neither would I. I have two daughters and I am always pushing them towards the pages and stories of highly respectable and high achieving women to emulate – including myself (laugh)

But seriously speaking, what our children are exposed to goes a long way in determining what they want to become.

Yes we want our women to be good women who can cook, take care of their homes and look after their husbands and children. But we want them to be highly successful and wealthy women who can also cook, clean and take care of their husbands.

The days of thinking women are only good for the kitchen, the living room and the other room are long over. Nowadays, women are just as well suited for the boardroom, cabinet offices and conference tables too.

But how would they know they can get there – if we do not show them.

This is why we need more female mentors and role models.

(C)Baronessj.com