TWO SIDES OF A TROUBLED COIN 1

Two sides of a troubled coin is the journey of two people who met online and are both in search of the missing parts of their lives. Confiding in each other helps them find these parts but not without digging out secrets that would have been better off hidden.

ONE

TOBI
I wasn’t always like this…My life was much more fun before now and I lived it to the fullest. I have no idea what went wrong. I went from being THAT to being This…”This” meaning without talents, dreams and oh yeah without money. Let’s just say I’m broke, “dreamless” and “talentless”(are those even real words? My English’s gotten terrible) . I might as well be dead.
I should repeat I wasn’t initially wired this way and I’m not just saying that over and over to try to convince myself. I am determined to find out what screwed up my wiring system this much…To find myself again I must find out the “why’s”.
My name is Tobi…once upon a time big dreamer…once upon a time super talented designer…once upon a time lover of life.

**********

FOLA
I keep getting these feelings these days. You know that feeling you get when you know something is wrong but you can’t tell exactly what it is? I sound like someone that is crazy yeah?
I have a feeling I wasn’t always like this… I say. “I have a feeling cos I’m not sure I know when and how it started. Oh boy! I feel like my life isn’t mine and it seems I’m watching the whole thing…like a movie. Put it this way…I feel my life’s a movie and I’m jes a part of the audience.
You do understand right? You don’t think I’m crazy or anything? Looll..look at me go on and on. I’m sorry ehn. I guess I just feel this is it! This would help me find me..find out what’s wrong and fix me! That you’re a stranger don’t matter..now you’re my friend
I’m Fola…once upon a time perfectly sane chic (I guess); once upon a time happy person(I guess again) ; once upon a time die-hard romantic…can you help me find me?

P.S Don’t forget our no-research policy.I like to think we can help each other without necessarily knowing ourselves. I’m dying to know what you look like and all but I guess its better ds way. Don’t think me a criminal or anything o..

**********

She sat back in her chair and read the mail one last time. Perfect! She thought and clicked SEND

AMEN

He said to me “Oo ma ni ri apada si aburu. Olohun o ni je ki o fi ese rin losi ibi ti o ti wa moto lo.” (May you never go back to misery. May you never walk to the places you drove into, by God’s Grace). I knew what he meant by those prayers.

I had seen the scenarios he spoke about in just those few words first hand. Okay maybe second-hand. Alright, I had watched from a distance.

I watched …

…As a young and vibrant man who just moved into my neighbourhood walk by with his beautiful pregnant wife. ‘Word and opposite’, I said to my younger sister as I combed out her hair and tried my hardest to hold in a fart.

He was huge with “holdable” fat all around him and a towering height while she was small; very petite with so little flesh on her body. I wondered how he held her and if he feared he would break her if he held her too tightly. He was the teddy bear and she the lollipop. Maybe lollipop does not completely do her justice. Lollipops are made of a huge fat mass of sugar on a very thin stick. She was nothing like that. She was just petite- very well proportioned but for the height.

Kuburat, the iya ile ookan walked into the shop at that moment. I called her that for two reasons which described her perfectly. Like the Yoruba meaning of the phrase, she actually lived opposite my house. You could see her house from the window of the sitting room…you could see her house even better when you sit in the shop built against the fence of the house. The second reason I called her that was that she also qualified as the street gossip, again like the figurative meaning of the Yoruba phrase “iya ile ookan.”

“Na them just pack come that house wey dey the end of the street,” she said to me.

“I know.” I replied.  “The woman fine sha.”

“Abi o. She get luck sha. Her husband na banker and him like her ehn! You no see say money dey smell for their body ni? And they talk say that car wey him dey drive cost gidi gan ni o.”

“Ahn Ahn!” My sister said from between my thighs that her head was burrowed and raised her head. “How do you know? These people just moved.” My sister couldn’t be bothered to speak pidgin like us. There was also the fact that she really did suck at pidgin and Yoruba. Our parents had not given her free rein with language like they did me.

“Shebi the katika of the house is my customer. He dey come buy food for my hand well well. Na him tell me.”

I sighed when I realised what she meant to say; that the caretaker of the house is her customer.

“Hmn.” My sister responded.

I turned her head sharply back into its initial position and let out the fart I was holding before she decided to say what it was I thought she was going to say. I didn’t want her disrespecting our neighbour by calling her ‘amebo’ even though we all knew that was exactly what she was. It is the Yoruba thing to do, you see. Don’t talk about anyone’s bad habits to their face, act like it doesn’t exist and you’re good for life.

As I knew my sister would, she forgot what she wanted to say and complained only about the pungent, stomach-turning stench of my fart.

The couple walked by again, this time in the direction of their house. I assumed they went on a stroll and that now that it was over, they were going back home. I prayed for her kind of luck. I prayed for her kind of husband. A rich man who still loved his wife so much he would stroll with her.

I watched…

…As time went by and they waxed stronger in their love to the envy of both the single and the married women on our street. People’s relationship goals changed. Prayer points changed. Single women prayed to find a man like him who didn’t see it as a big deal to buy all the foodstuff they needed, help out with chores, take regular strolls with the wife. Married woman prayed their husbands did a quick and long-lasting abracadabra and become just like him. We knew about the ‘goodness’ in him. Things like that always spread like wildfire in these parts.

Of course, there were the other people who saw it as wrong. They thought she had gone to a babalawo (herbalist) or some dibia to tie his brains up in a calabash. It is wrong for an African man, a true son of the soil, to degrade himself and toil through the market or even wash plates. That is the job of the women. She had definitely given him ‘efo to eat’. There is nothing real about this, they said to themselves and whoever cared to hear, but quickly zipped up their mouths when the young couple were walking by.

And then I watched…

…As things turned and the tide changed for him- for them. First, he walked by a lot more than he did before. He could be seen strolling by around 10 a.m, sometimes later. The whispering went a notch higher when his almost always suited-up body gave way to a body only seen clad in a polo, jeans and a pair of palm slippers. Was he on leave or could it be that the worst had happened? People always thought the worst of everything and this was no different.

And then it happened…

The car went into oblivion, like the designer shirts and the expensive phones. He strolled and trekked to places he drove through before. The once always suited-up guy who wore the Armani’s of this world now walked around in clothes that seemed to have seen better days.  He started to sit under the tree that before him used to be the hang out spot of only the gbeboruns (gossips). If only he knew that those people he spent the better part of his days with needed only the fraction of a minute of his absence to table his matter before their gathering.

“Dem sack am ni! This life.” that was the voice of Kuburat telling me for the millionth time why this once vibrant young man who was the envy of all became the one who dragged dusty feet around with unkempt hair. “You no see say he don turn by-force-dada ni?”

Dreadlocks is what we call dada. I wondered why she was quick to decide his lack of a proper haircut meant he was adopting dreadlocks. I said nothing. The story was that he had lost his job after a mass lay-off at his former workplace, his dreams cut short right in front of him without warning. And so did the comfort and luxury that came with it.

So here we were, me in the shop, him here with me but at the other side of the gate. We had been discussing dreams and their death when conditions weren’t favourable.

And so when he said to me “Oo ma ni ri apada si aburu. Olohun o ni je ki o fi ese rin losi ibi ti o ti wa moto lo.” (May you never go back to misery. May you never walk to the places you drove into, by God’s Grace) I knew what he meant by those prayers.

I said “Amen” faster than my brain could even process anything else.

Day 8: Aminat

I’m tired. I don’t know why or what exactly I’m tired of but I just am. 2016 hasn’t been terrible but then again it hasn’t been anything. 2016 is supposed to be the year I rewrite my story. I said …

Source: Day 8: Aminat

Dusk 8: Aminat

I did this #30DaysofHope “therapy” last year and it was amazing knowing I had covered most of the things I listed for 2015. I say therapy because, I mean, it’s a feel good thing. You get to write down all your hopes for the year and follow them through. It’s healing, I tell you. Here’s my 2016 entry. Feel free to read other people’s as well.

 

Source: Dusk 8: Aminat

RESTRICTED ZONE

This was my entry for a 200-word short story gig sometime back. Enjoy.

********************

I’m literarily sitting across my future…I hope I don’t blow it.

Everything I planned has led up to this moment. There are only two results: take this to the next level or ruin all I have been blessed with for the past three years…the laughter….the best friend I could ever wish for.

 I am sitting across the person that has become my best friend in three years. I want to ask her to take things further with me.  Even though I promised her we would never become those friends who ruined things with a relationship.

“Omoshalewa, I need you in my life.” I say.

“I’m already in your life, silly.” She says to me.

“Not how I want you to be. I want something more serious. “

My Salewa’s eyes grow wide and then I see what I have been dreading.

                                       ***********

I can’t believe Dotun just asked me to be his girlfriend. I was beginning to get really comfortable in this friend zone. I just said no. Things are better this way.

Sadly I really do like him but I am too scarred to venture into a relationship. I can’t accept this beautiful bitter-sweet proposition. He knows why my heart has become a restricted zone. I can’t afford to let anyone in.

BREAK POINT

I have gotten to the point where it doesn’t hurt anymore

The lies,

The betrayal,

The uncertainty of tomorrow.

 

I have gotten to the point the tears don’t fall anymore,

Tears of sadness,

Of heartbreak.

Of the unreliability of man.

 

I have gotten to the point nothing means anything,

Anymore.

Not the pain,

Or even the joy of the morrow.

 

I have gotten to the point I feel nothing,

See nothing,

Believe nothing,

Because humanity has taken from me all that I can believe in.

 

 

 

 

 

Because you are supposed to be strong

You feel the tears well at the back of your eyes,

You feel the knots in your throat,

Knots that mean one thing only,

The tears are coming and they are coming enmasse.

But you can’t afford to let the dam burst open,

Because you are supposed to be strong.

 

You want to yell and scream at the world,

You want to lash out and find that closure,

You want to be able to curl up and just let go,

You want to be able to cry without holding back,

But you can’t afford to fall apart,

Because you are supposed to be strong.

 

So you keep it locked up inside you.

The hurt, the pain, the sadness,

It gets worse but it doesn’t matter,

You hold it all inside you because,

There are a million people watching, and

Because you are supposed to be strong.

 

You hold it all in cos that is what is expected.

You can’t admit you are on the path to depression,

You can’t tell anyone about it,

Because depression is an oyinbo disease,

Because Africans, Nigerians don’t get depressed,

Because they are supposed to be strong.

 

Until that faithful day when those barriers

Cannot hold back the dam and the dam bursts open,

And you take your last breath

Because you decide to end it all,

End this hurt and pain and sadness,

Because you can only be so strong for so long.

The concept of active citizenship

Jci_LogoJunior Chamber International (JCI) is a non-profit international non-governmental organization of young people between 18 and 40 years old. Activities in the organization are based, more or less, on active citizenship.  I wrote this article  sometime back and I thought to share.

…So they went on. The two young people who liked to think themselves active citizens. The two Jaycees*. As they walked on they talked about the world and all they wanted to change about it. They talked about their Local Organization’s just concluded Waste Bin Project. One of them decided to stop and get a sachet water. It had after all been a very hot day and the walk back to the hostel seemed to be getting longer. He got a sachet for his friend too. Between gulps of the water and walking back home, they continued their conversation about the change they would bring. They both finished drinking at the same time and discarded the wraps by the roadside. What lofty dreams these young active citizen had! What beautiful goals they spoke about! Only they forgot that Active Citizenship is not limited to huge projects and that it starts from the smallest of things as disposing waste properly.

One phrase is synonymous to Junior Chamber International- Active Citizenship. Right from the second you pick up the form to join the organization to the days (or years that follow) the concept of active citizenship keeps coming up. From the vision to the creed down to our actions, we are faced everyday as a Jaycee with the endless possibilities of the things we can do by taking a stand and not just sitting around waiting for the change to happen.

The concept of active citizenship is not far-fetched. There is no standard definition or model for an active citizen. The term is used to refer to people or rather citizens who become actively involved in tackling problems facing the community or bringing about change.  Active citizens take action in order to improve their community to make a difference. It is a philosophy that advocates that citizens have certain roles and responsibilities to society and environment although they do not have specific governing roles.

Many a time we complain about things going wrong in our society. From the smallest thing as the untidy state of our environment to bigger things like leadership of the community. Over time, we have developed the ‘Siddon-look’ attitude (waiting for things to change all by itself). It is believed that the government should do any and everything and that they have little responsibilities to the community. This, however, is a wrong notion. The growth or downfall of your community rests on your shoulders as a member of that community. While it is true the government has a huge part to play, your responsibilities to that community is limitless.

From disposing waste properly (no matter how silly it sounds, yes you owe your environment that much and yes, it is a part of being active), to organising small empowerment training sessions for those ‘Area Aburos’ to deciding to vote during elections because you feel your vote counts for something (not because some persons decide to distribute odourless fufu or branded rice/bread or “poundless iyan”), these things go a long way in building the community.

I like to use this analogy I picked up somewhere a lot. So here goes…Picture a dark neighbourhood with ditches at almost every turn. For every one that passes through that route without light, there is a possibility of falling into one of the ditches. Now picture one “good Samaritan” who decides to put on a light bulb just in front of his house. That one bulb lights up a little part of this area and He probably would succeed in saving one person from that one ditch in the illuminated area. Now imagine every single person puts on the light bulb in front of his house. The actions of these individuals have transformed that dark neighbourhood into a lit one. Those good Samaritans are active citizens who have made an impact small as it seems.

This illustration can be related to our every community. Your actions as a Jaycee should be to favour your community. Think of ways your community can benefit from your existence. Incorporate the values of the organization into every area of your life. The world cannot be better if we decide to wait for the other person to do something. The fate of your community rests on your shoulders. Be that Active Citizen and do something about that problem you see.

SEE THE NEED…TAKE THE LEAD….BE THE CHANGE.

 

*Members of Junior Chamber International are called Jaycees.

Just in case you want to learn more about JCI, here is a link. You could also do well to search for Junior Chamber on google.

Dear mum.

Dear Mum,

I ought to have written this fifteen days ago. Scratch that… I ought to have done this forty-four days ago (I had to consult the calendar…you see I’m not so good with maths and dates anymore). I ought to have done this that long ago. I just couldn’t bring myself to. I still am struggling to do this.

You see, it’s really difficult. Has been difficult. And will continue to be difficult. I am not being a pessimist or anything. I just know and I’m just saying. What’s the point of false hopes and what not?

I’m sorry this is not starting on the good note most letters start with. There’s so much to say but not the time or the person to say it to. We should be having a proper conversation and not the method of writing a note I know you most definitely can’t read or reply. But then again, here I am still stuck in front of my laptop writing you. So here goes…brace yourself cos its going to be a really long one.

Where do I start from? I really don’t know to be very honest.

I guess the first thing is that I miss you. More now than ever. It’s like it gets worse with the passing of each day. Shouldn’t it get easier as each day passes? Shouldn’t it get easier to move through the motions because I have succeeded in numbing the pain? Shouldn’t it be easier because I’ve gotten so good at pushing hurt far back into my mind that I am beginning to forget even things that happened just seconds ago? Shouldn’t I have gotten over it by now?

Maybe I never would be able to. Maybe it’d remain there, an open wound. You and I know why it maybe would be that way….or maybe it is only I that knows. To be very honest, I’m tired of being so strong.

You know how it gets so hard to be so strong because you have been so strong for so long? You probably don’t know that feeling. You’re the strongest person I know. I mean, who else could go through all you went through and still come out smiling? Come out like you? I’ve not come close yet I have fallen apart already.

This is beginning to get depressing. But that’s the point no? This is supposed to be some sort of therapy.

These three years and forty-four days haven’t all been sad. Some good came out of it.

Abdul Fattah got into school for law. Ganiyat is such a big girl now too. Talking of which, she just did wonderfully in her GCE. Just one subject wan mess up but God dey.

Remember those days when I used to tear paper around and buy note books to write? Well they are paying off now. I get paid to write now. It all happened all of a sudden but with the passing of each day, I get better. I hope to write my book someday soon too. I got my sewing machine too.

I still don’t have a boyfriend. Lol. That’s funny cos I’ve been hearing a lot of “if your mum was alive, you would have brought a man” talk. Honest truth is, I probably might not have. But then again I do have to admit it wouldn’t have gotten this bad.

The thing is, I don’t know if I can bring myself to commit. I don’t know if I can bring myself to open up to somebody like that. I don’t know if I can bear the hurt if shit hits the fan. I don’t know if I can stand knowing that just like that, just like you, that person would leave when we hit it off eventually.

See, I have a problem moving on. Everybody else might not. Everybody else might find it easier to move on, to live life like nothing happened, everybody else might be able to say ‘I love you’ again to another person even as they say they are hurting by the departure of the first person, everybody else might be able to take up another as a replacement for the lost one; but I cant. I don’t know how to. I hold on to little things like this. It might seem like I’m being overly sentimental but that’s how it is.  You probably think I am messed up. I guess I am.

I am fixated on little things some people think is not important and tag as “over sentimentality” (if there is such a word). Little things count to me. Little big things.

Remember that one time at Abdul Fattah’s Valedictory service when you prayed you never got replaced when you kids started doing great things? I do.  I had my convocation earlier this month and I cried every day before and after. I cried for a lot of reasons. But the main thing that caused the tears was the fact that you were not there. To be honest, a lot of the reasons I cried would not have even existed if you were still around. But what can I do? I have resigned myself to the fact that I would always cry those tears when I do great things. It’s inevitable. That’s how loss works.

Argh! I really wanted to talk about a lot more good things that happened. I guess its better this way. Letting out the bad because hiding it in hurts so much. I should stop now.

This is the part where I read through and I just delete everything because it is too much of a revelation of the mess I call my mind. But no. I chose to turn the tables this time. This time I choose to totally liberate myself and post. It’s long overdue. Even the strongest of us all deserve a break from being so strong.

I love you.

I miss you.

I wish there was another way.

 

THE SAD THING ABOUT RAPE

MUMBAI: Over a fortnight ago a 15-year-old girl was gang-raped by her friend and three of his friends.

NIGERIA: Policeman 32, rapes JSS 1 virgin girl.

“Was I raped? He was my boyfriend at the time.”

“I was drunk. Does that mean I wasn’t raped?”

“They say it’s my fault. They said I asked for it. I asked for him to rape me.”

“She was just a baby. Did she ask for rape too?”

“She called them a ‘rape’ brigade yet she went back.”

I could go on and on. But what’s the point?

 Rape

Forget about the title of this post. Rape, in itself, is a sad thing. I mean, it’s saddening that even through pleas of “NO! Please don’t!” or through the slurred words of someone who is intoxicated or the worst of all, the silence of a child, some people still choose to stick it into the victim.

I wrote this post months ago but something just didn’t feel good with it. It felt incomplete. It just didn’t sit write. It lacked the emotions passing through me as my hands hovered over my keyboard. So I left it. And then today, Sugabelly’s rape story came up again…the whole story… and I was back to feeling that typa way I felt when I started this post again. So here goes.

I apologise in advance that I might sound angry in this post. I’m not saying I would but I could. This is a heart breaking issue and yes, I do know that I could edit and take out the parts where I come across as angry but then I wouldn’t really be speaking my mind. That’s the point of this post, isn’t it? I digress.

I find it really heart breaking that every single day you see or hear one story about someone who raped someone or attempted to rape someone. It gets even more annoying when you find out the victim is a child. Don’t get me wrong. Raping an adult is in no way acceptable. It’s despicable.  But the thought of penetrating into a child? Or inserting objects into that child? That is downright disgusting.

I was saying rape in itself is a sad thing. The physical and emotional trauma the victim has to go through during the act… the psychological trauma that comes with it and with making the decision of whether or not to tell people…the even greater trauma that comes with people either not believing you or at worst blaming you for being raped. What part is not saddening?

One sad thing about rape is there is almost always an excuse for the rapist.

He was drunk.

 Why did she dress in such a provocative manner?

Why would she walk through that place alone…abeg she was asking for it jare!

 There has to be an explanation …have you asked the person that they said raped her what happened?

 She came on to him.

Ahnahn! How can they rape a man? It is not possible.

Why did she keep going back. Once is rape, twice is not.

Or another favourite of people in our part of the world, He was possessed by an evil spirit.

I mean, really, the extent we’d go to make excuses for a wrong. Evil spirit? Really?

What is wrong is wrong. Rape is rape. There are no two ways to describe it. And the more excuses you make for these monsters, the more you continue to rape these victims. Yes, by making excuses for the rapist, you are yourself doing the exact same thing he/she did to the victim. Imagine the hurt this person is going through and imagine how that person feels when you treat the hurt like a pinch of salt.

And like that is not bad enough, some of the victims get faulted for not coming out to say earlier. Sometime back, someone was saying something along the lines of “How come those women are just coming out to say Bill Cosby raped them? I smell a rat. It’s all a lie jo.” I’m not saying Bill Cosby raped them or didn’t. All I’m saying is do not conclude the story is false because it took years to talk about it.

VC

Why do we end up blaming the victims? How do we even get to that point? Someone just told you his/her life has been ripped apart because one person decided to satisfy his urges forcefully and the first thing that comes to mind is to blame the person?

A six year old girl went visiting her friend. Her friend’s older cousin who was at the house said he wanted to talk to the “big girls” around in the room. The innocent six year old was the first up. It surprised her that this cousin of her friend’s needed her to lie on the bed and pull off her cloth to talk to her. It was weird that he needed to draw the curtains to talk to her or even shut the door. And then he said again, “Lie on the bed.” Her mother had before now told her about this kinds of things not minding her age. Her mother always made her sit and watch ‘Nkan Nbe’.So she knew what this was. She could tell. She wondered in the slit of a send if her friend had gone through this ordeal too.

She was lucky that day. The door to the room was not stuck as usual. So she ran. As fast as her small, chubby legs could carry her. As fast as she could to avoid this terror. He came chasing after her. But she was lucky. She was one of the few who managed to get away.

She was quiet about it. Didn’t say a word. Until she couldn’t take it anymore. So she told her friend’s teacher who in turn told the friend’s mother. Lo and behold! She was flogged with a belt for reasons her six year old brain couldn’t really understand. Had she been wrong to tell?

 She thought she had escaped for good. If only she knew that another was yet to come from someone else and it would only tke the grace of God to be free this time. This memory haunted her for years but unlike the first time, she decided to take it with her to her grave for fear of another beating. It after all just almost happened. It didn’t really happen.

If only she knew that almost counted this time and that it would scar her for life.

That is just one out of the million that go through what is called ‘victim blaming’. Here’s the thing guys, it is one thing to live through the ordeals of rape (the act of it), it’s another ball game entirely to decide to tell someone, anyone about it. People differ and the ways we deal with our issues differ as well. The fact that I decide to tell people that I was raped does not mean my twin would do same. So before you judge a person of not coming out with the details earlier, think again and think of how hard it was to eventually decide to tell.

It takes a lot to deal with the fact that you have been abused or raped. It takes a lot more to live with it. People are scared for life just because of a 5 minute forceful shag. People commit suicide because of rape. Some people can never, ever, see themselves as sexual beings because of one monster (or a couple of monsters). They withdraw from everybody and everything and end up loners. They need love and support. Not blames.

It was Sugabelly some years back…it could be your sister or mother or best friend tomorrow. It could be your brother, your best friend, or your husband tomorrow. This has to end and it has to end soon. It takes a really strong person to voice out in spite of all the hurt. The last thing that person needs to hear is that he/she is being blamed for falling victim.

I should not be scared to dress as I please because someone out there is waiting to prey on me. I should not be scared that my father’s friend or a close relative or my teacher would forcefully sleep with me and get away with it too. I should not be scared that when I do decide to tell what happened, no one would believe me and I could get blamed.

No one should suffer through this pain and not be assured that whoever committed this atrocity would not pay.

Help these victims. Be the listening ear they need. Be the shoulder they need to cry on. Be the one who’d help them bring the monster to book. And by all means, help prevent that monster from committing the crime again with someone else.

Enough of the excuses. Enough of the victim blaming. Until we stand together to put an end to rape, until our voices can rise above all other noise and speak against this evil, until we decide to fight this together, many more shall fall victim and many more shall go scot free.

What society would you rather be a part of?

My name is Ameenah and I stand to end rape.

 

 

 

 

 

photo credits:

https://monalawprecedent.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/article-of-the-week-reform-the-rape-provision-in-the-jamaica-sexual-offences-act/

http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/11/rape-culture-created/

bcgavel.com/2014/04/08/social-media-fights-campus-rape-culture/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON BEING IRRESPONSIBLE: WHY IN THE WORLD DON’T YOU HAVE A CAR AT 26?!

It’s appalling. Totally irresponsible. Downright disgusting. I really don’t have words that can properly describe the way I see this.

“As a guy, not owning a car at 26 is totally irresponsible,” so said (in not exactly the same words) a tweep. To cheers that rang across the sky…to the waiting hands of Nigerian Tweeps who were waiting for the next ‘scandal’ after SugaBelly and the rape story, she was the perfect prey.  The whole of Twitter Nigeria was turned upside down and downside up. Nay, she wasn’t a prey. She put herself out there.

Of course I have a take….and that’s the reason behind this post. (Hi. I tend to do this sometimes. Explain even things I shouldn’t. Endure please.)

So what so I think?

I think that it is totally irresponsible to think that it is irresponsible to not own a car at 26 as a guy. If you are confused, I apologize. Simply put, I see it as very wrong to say that not owning a car by a certain age makes the person irresponsible.

For those who don’t know (and for those who know, a reminder won’t hurt) this is the life of an average Nigerian boy/man:

He leaves secondary school at 18(if he’s lucky 16)…he struggles through JAMB (JAMB is a matriculation exam you have to write to gain admission into the University in Nigeria) for like a year or two to gain admission into a University. (If he’s lucky he doesn’t miss any year and gains admission straight up). He gets into school and starts counting four to five years to finish and that is not even putting into consideration the fact that ASUU can mess up at any time. By now he’s 21(if you’re lucky) or maybe 25 because shit happens.

Not everyone is lucky with a job these days and he isn’t one of those lucky few who start their own venture. He goes through series and series of job tests but gets no jobs. How can he when even Ph.D Holders now apply for a driving position with Dangote? He accepts his fate and goes for Masters.

By now, he is 23 or 26. But even the Masters guarantees nothing. He’d be lucky to get a job straight up.

So how in the world can this poor gentleman own a car at 26? Yahoo maybe? He might not be one of those lucky few who are offered 100k and accommodation on the side to do a job that has a little bit of blowing in its job description.

Not everyone has it lucky. So to call young men who don’t have a car at 26 irresponsible is totally uncalled for.  Let’s look at it this way; different people have different priorities.

Some care nothing for the luxurious life of a car owner but instead care about how luxurious their future would be. To this end, they find it better to invest in landed properties or other investments than acquiring a car.

While we are at it, why is it not irresponsible of a woman at 26 not to own her own car? Why is it not irresponsible for a woman at 26 to have a job of her own? Why is it not irresponsible of a woman at 26 to be a liability?

Look down not on a man in a jalopy car. He might be the owner of houses or even business totalling millions.

Judge a man not by his ability (or inability) to own a car. There are a million and one other yardsticks to judge a man’s “responsibility” by.