Category Archives: Just Thinking

Beliefs of our childhood

I remember my childhood was filled with lots of superstitious beliefs. Some were told by parents and guardians while some were heard from school. A few of them have been highlighted below. They are mostly the “Do not” superstitions. How many of us remember them?

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Don’t put your hand under the roof when it is raining.

Don’t drink garri and mango together.

Don’t eat directly from the pot.

Don’t eat while standing.

Don’t eat while walking on the road.

Don’t eat food that has fallen on the floor.

Don’t allow a lizard see your tooth which just pulled off.

Don’t whistle at night.

Don’t sweep at night.

Don’t take out the mucus on a dog’s eyes and put it on yours.

Don’t sleep with your feet on your pillow.

Don’t sleep facing up.

Don’t spit on the floor and allow someone else to step on it.

Don’t allow someone cross over you or your legs while you are lying down on the floor.

Don’t stand in front or look at a mirror at night.

Don’t go out between noon and 2pm if you are pregnant.

Don’t go out without putting a nappy pin on your dress at the tummy level if you are pregnant.

Don’t eat snails if you are pregnant.

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For some reasons, we all believed these superstitions and held on to them firmly.

Do you remember any others, please feel free to add them in the comments section and let’s do a little reminiscing 😃
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http://www.slideshare.net

Cleaner Lagos?

                      

I was passing by and I could not help it. I just had to take these pictures.

As I did, only one thought came to mind. Before the bins were stationed at these points, the locations in the pictures never had trash. In fact, those spots were places newspaper vendors sold their papers.

So what exactly is our problem? It is difficult to understand why the provision of dustbins will create such a eyesore.

Anyway, what do I know?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

This is the last post of the year 2017 and I would like to appreciate every one who has taken out time to follow, read or comment on this blog. You have all made my stay here worthwhile.

I’m so far from perfect but I am definitely not here by mistake. I am a product of GRACE. (If you love Kirk Franklin like me, you would recognize this line 😉 )

Today is Christmas and I would like to say, please remember the reason for the season – JESUS.

I leave with this track which I love so much as the lyrics are powerful. Enjoy and be blessed!

Merry Christmas!!! 🎄🎄

Video Credit: http://www.youtube.com/

DisAbility

“Please can you assist me in getting a bus to Okoko.” A male voice spoke from the back.

The two friends were seated in a danfo bus and had been discussing with each other. They looked back to acknowledge the person with the voice. He was quite young; probably in his late 20s and he was wearing sunshades which were not so dark. The friends shared a look. He was visually impaired.

“Okay.” They responded as the bus inched slowly towards the final bus-stop. Every other passenger had disembarked and the three of them were left in the bus; besides the driver and the conductor.

“Conductor, you have not given me my change.” The guy said to the conductor. The conductor handed him a fifty naira note and the two friends watched him as he felt the naira note.

“How much did you give me?” He asked the conductor.

“Fifty naira.” The conductor responded.

He put the money in his pocket as he said a thank you to the conductor.

The bus arrived the final destination and the three of them disembarked. The friends held his hands; one on the right and the other on the left as they led him to where he was going to get a bus to Okoko.

“So how do you know the amount you are giving to the conductor?” One of the friends asked him.

“I arrange my money accordingly before leaving home.” The guy replied.

“But what if the conductor does not give you the correct change?” She asked again.

“Well.” He replied as he shrugged. “I only hope they will.”

“And how would you find your way home?” She asked him; still confused.

“I know my way around.” The visually impaired guy concluded.

The friends ensured that he was seated in a bus going towards his destination before they proceeded on their own mission.

They however wondered about how he coped daily with no guide to take him around.

 

 

A few weeks later, one of the friends was standing at a bus-stop when she saw a woman get off a tricycle. She seemed to be partial visually impaired. She had neither a guide nor a white cane. She looked disoriented for a few seconds after getting off the tricycle as she blinked many times; maybe in an effort to get her eyes accustomed to the environment.

Only one question was in the mind of the lady as she watched the visually impaired woman. How do the visually impaired survive in a country like Nigeria? A country where adequate provisions are not made for people living with disabilities.

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Photo Credit: http://www.disabilitypride.org

THE AGE DRAMA

As the driver moved the bus forward, the conductor shouted his destination. Passengers at the bus stop flagged down the bus as they walked briskly towards it. The conductor tapped the bus asking the driver to pull to a stop to pick them up. Among the passengers about to embark was an elderly lady. As she was about to get into the bus, the conductor shouted; “Dúró, arúgbó ni o.” (Wait, she is an old woman).

The woman got into the bus, faced the conductor and asked; “Arúgbó báwò o? Mi ò kí n se arúgbó o. Mi ò tí ì pé 70.” (Old? I am not old. I am not yet 70).

I looked back to catch a glimpse of the old/young woman and she was an elderly woman even if she wanted to refuse the “old” tag.

This however, got me thinking.

When a child is born till the age of about three, the child’s age is calculated in months. You hear parents especially mothers say “Oh, she is 13 months or 18 months or 28 months. You hardly hear he is a year old or 2 years old. The child’s age is graded in months.

The child becomes a toddler and till the age of about 12, conversations on a child’s age graduates to; “He is 9 plus or 6 plus.” Plus becomes an additional appendage to the age at this time of the child’s life.

From about age 13 when the child becomes a teenager, the plus is dropped and the age becomes fast forwarded. So a 15 year old will probably tell you, he is sixteen even if he hasn’t had his 16th birthday. This happens till about the age of 40/45 when we want to feel older.

Fast forward to the age of 50 upwards, we don’t want to be seen as growing old. We want to be seen as still young and if possible compete with the younger generation. Our age becomes our actual age. No additions, no pluses.

I have always wondered why there is a bit of drama with our ages and the scenario in that danfo bus highlighted my thoughts again.

You think you have an idea or an explanation, drop them in the comments section and let us hear from you.

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Mothering 101

Scenario 1

I was driving at 20km on the untarred and bumpy street. Rows of shops lined the street all the way down to my children’s school. I maneuvered the car carefully taking note of the fact that it was a street plied mostly by children walking to school. Rows of shops lined the right and the left of the street; most of them selling biscuits and sweets making them readily available for children on their way to school.

Suddenly, a little boy, probably aged three, ran out of one of the shops on my right. I slammed on the brakes and came to an abrupt stop. The little boy unaware that he had run right into the front of my car and narrowly escaped an accident, continued to play and run around as if nothing was amiss. A guy walking past, looked towards the row of shops and shouted. “Who get this pikin?”

His mother who was probably too busy to notice what had happened heard the question and ran out of her shop. She carried the boy and spanked his bum. The boy burst into tears immediately as she pushed him into her shop.

The guy who had witnessed the whole scenario said as he walked past my car; “Na so Yoruba people dey do. Dem no go take care of their pikin.”

I looked at him immediately and corrected the notion. “I am Yoruba and I take care of my children.” I faced the woman and said to her. “Kíni ë wá n na ömö yën fún (Why are you spanking the child?). Tó bá jé pé ë mó jú to ni, ë ò ní jé kí n wón ma sòrò sí wa (If only you had watched over your child, we would not have been insulted).

Did she care about what I said? I have no idea and did not wait to get a response from her as I drove off immediately.

 

Scenario 2

I was walking on a relatively busy street early in the morning. Even though, cars were not speeding by, the road was curved and most cars had to honk to notify other cars coming in the opposite direction. There were cars parked on the left and on the right of the street and this further hampered the line of vision of both the driver and the pedestrian.  A car was coming down my way on the right while some men sat under a shed on my left.

“Ë dúró sí bè. Ë má ì tíì lö.” (Wait there. Don’t go yet). I heard them call out to my right.

I looked to my right and saw two little children walking very close to the gutter. The girl could not have been more than four or five and she held her little brother’s hand who looked too young to be in school. They both wore uniforms, had knapsacks on their backs and held lunch boxes.

The car drove past and the men called out to them. “Óya, ë lè ma lö. Ibè yën ni ke ti rìn o. Ë má rìn ní títì.” (You can go now. Walk on that path. Don’t walk on the street).

As I walked past the men, I overheard them discussing about how a mother would leave such little children to walk to school alone. I shook my head as I walked away.

Was the guy in scenario 1 right to have said it was a Yoruba thing? Or are women now so confident to believe children at that age can take care of themselves? Or is education playing a factor in parental care?

My fellow Yoruba mothers, have your say. To the Igbo and Hausa mothers; have you also experienced this? I would like to hear from all.

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Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

A letter to my friend

My dearest friend,

How are you doing? I really want to know; so this is not a rhetoric question. It has been a while we spoke or saw each other. I sent you several messages on whatsapp but got no responses even though they show that they were delivered and read. I wonder why.

I noticed we began to drift apart a while back and I wondered if the distance between us was imagined by me. I called you several times. Each time I did, you always told me that you were busy and would call back. I believed you and waited for those calls. They never came.

I made numerous attempts to reach out to you. The more I tried, the more you distanced yourself. I even sent you a text once to ask for forgiveness, just in case I had mistakenly offended you. I really wanted us to retain our closeness and friendship. I don’t know if it worked because that text went unanswered.

I miss the friendship we had; the gists, the laughter, the gossips. We couldn’t get enough of ourselves. One person always had to call the other each day. We hung out and visited each other times without number. But everything changed all of a sudden. You withdrew and became distant.

Anytime I remember the gists we had in the past, I smile. We laughed over our mistakes and learnt from them. We rejoiced in our successes and gave a pat on each other’s back during our failures. Our letdowns and promotions were shared. We shared our pains and our gains. Even our families knew how close we were and asked after the well-being of the other.

What happened to our friendship? What happened to the pleasure we shared as friends? What made us drift apart? I still wonder. It was not work because even though we were both busy, we kept the fire of our friendship burning.

If you get to read this, I hope you would sit back and remember all we shared. There is a saying that twenty children cannot play for twenty years. There is another saying that friends are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I thought ours would be for a lifetime. How wrong I was?

I am grateful for the seasons we had together. I miss those seasons. I miss you.

Your friend and sister

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Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

Fashion Rounds

There was a time when you were considered unfashionable if you had your natural hair. The trend was to have your hair straightened. Even as a teenager in the early 90s, I looked forward to having my hair permed immediately I graduated from the secondary school. That was the in-thing.

Fast forward to twenty years later, everyone is going back to being “local”. No one sees natural hair as unfashionable anymore. It is now considered to be a pride to flaunt the natural look. Even the social media is agog with different ways to keep your natural hair looking beautiful. Google also has different images of natural hair styles and sincerely they are very pretty.

                                        

There was a time when having a total transformation with your make-up was considered trashy. Prior to that, our parents made up their faces heavily for parties and events. It was the fad then. I smile now when I remember attending parties with our parents and seeing the faces of some women with the rounded red or pink highlights on their cheekbones. It looked really funny but well, it was being fashion forward during that era.

Fast forward to twenty years later, having your make-up done by a professional make-up artist is the real deal. I have seen some faces made up and I actually fail to recognize the person behind the face. I once attended a wedding where I was looking out for the bride but did not realize she had just passed by me. Her make-up was a total transformation with a capital T and she had changed into an evening gown; so identifying her among the many beautiful ladies in various gowns got me confused.

                           

There was a time when wearing our local African fabrics was termed as old-fashioned. Only our grandmothers proudly rocked the Adire and the Ankara materials. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe our rejection of our local fabrics was one of the problems the textile industry encountered which eventually helped in running them aground. Yeah, we all know about the country not having power but it has been that way since eons ago (probably since my toddler years).

Fast forward to twenty years later, the Ankara material became the darling of wedding planners and brides. It became the choice of aso ebi. The fashion industry is also awash with Ankara sewn in beautiful styles while the Adire is gradually stamping its feet.

                    

There was a time when people looked at you with “one kain eye” if you wore a platform shoe. Prior to that, our parents rocked the platform shoes in parties and events. If you need proof, ask your parents or any woman in her late 50s or 60s to show you pictures of herself in her teenage years. Even the men were not left out. They were awesome as they rocked the bell trousers. I remember watching soul train and seeing only bell trousers in every episode.

Fast forward to twenty years later, the bell trousers are back with a bang but this time, the women are owning it. The platforms have been back for a while and it has even been incorporated and designed as normal work shoes. I personally prefer wearing shoes with a little platform as it helps reduce the strain on the arch of the feet.

                             

 

               

There was a time when it was fashionable to amass body weight. Pot-bellied men were regarded as the “Baba Olowos”. Even the women were not left out. If you were married and put on a bit of weight, it was said that you were showing evidence of being taken care of by your husband.

Fast forward to the millennium, everyone is talking about eating healthy. The pot-bellied men of yester years want to have six packs by force and run the six-pack body youngsters out of the market. Gyms are springing up at every corner to assist them in achieving this purpose. The women (both single and married) don’t want to put on weight any longer. And those who have been blessed “in a big way” are getting into diets to remain healthy.

Above all, it is nice to know that I am a part of this fashion eras making the rounds. So in another twenty years, I would be able to tell the youngsters that “we rocked that in those days”.

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Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com
http://www.weddingdigestnaija.com
http://www.makeup.lovetoknow.com
http://www.prettydesigns.com
http://www.gettyimages.com
http://www.bellanaija.com

Throwback TV! – Remembering Gorden Kaye

Two days ago, an actor from one of my favourite sitcoms of the 80s took his last breath.

I loved watching the programme “Allo Allo” and loved to hear the catch phrase “I shall say this only once.”

His death brought back memories of TV programmes I looked forward to watching years ago and I decided to do a compilation of some of them.

A different world

Allo Allo

Different strokes

Doctor Who

Family Matters

Fawlty Towers
(Fawlty Towers)

Full House

Give us a clue

Good times

Moonlighting

Rentaghost

Robin Hood
(Robin Hood)

Roseanne

Some mothers do have them

The Cosby show

The Love Boat

Most of the theme songs of these programmes still come readily to mind. It was definitely fun watching them.

RIP Gorden Kaye!

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Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com

The death of Nigerian languages

I figure a number of us would relate to this post.

Some of us can converse in our mother tongue fluently while some even though understand our mother tongue, cannot converse fluently. I will share my own story.

I remember vividly that it was boldly written around all the stair wells and class rooms in my primary school “Vernacular speaking is highly prohibited.” We were not taught any Nigerian languages and we were not encouraged to converse in it.

However, I entered secondary school and it became compulsory to take a Nigerian language as a subject. I knew nothing even though the language was spoken to me at home. Simple things like numbers and alphabets became a nightmare. I had to learn from scratch. A very dear friend, who I am forever grateful to, had to put me through. She taught me starting from the number 1 to 1000; letter A to Y and some proverbs. I also picked up all the literature books for the school year and started reading them in order to learn my language.

Fast forward to 2016/2017, I was shocked when I was told that some “highbrow” schools (both primary and secondary) do not teach Nigerian languages as a subject but would rather teach Chinese, Mandarin, Spanish or German.

Hian! Na so our Nigerian languages no important reach again?

death-of-nigerian-languages

The average Chinese or Indian kid understands his mother tongue perfectly. So what is wrong with our kids understanding our own mother tongue? Why do they have to learn Chinese or Spanish or German instead of their mother tongue? I have no problem teaching them these languages as additional subjects. Yes, it would make them versatile and “maybe” get them those jobs we their parents wish to have. But not at the expense of our own languages. Or do we believe that what we speak to them at home is enough? Some of us don’t even speak to our kids in our mother tongue – I digress; as that is a topic for another day.

To parents whose children attend such schools, I pose a simple question to you. If you or your child/children were in danger and needed to converse with each other, what language would you use?

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