The Bridesmaid Series by Eketi Edima Ette [Part II]

PART 2

Did I stop picking money? Nope. Another friend asked me to pick up her sprayed cash.

“Tell everyone that I’m the one packing money o,” I said, pulling my ear for emphasis. “Tell your husband and his people.”

I told her about what happened at Wedding 3.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ve informed everyone. It’s just you and Esther who’ll pack my money.”

Okay. Everyone had been told. What could go wrong?

At the reception, the dancing began. Esther and I went to work. Then…. ghen ghen….

From nowhere, this young lady stepped onto the dance floor.

“Give me the money,” she ordered.

“No way,” Esther retorted. “Who are you?

I wondered the same.

“Are you mad?” the girl snapped. “Come on, give me that bag!”

The bride and groom were still dancing, oblivious. Next thing, I heard…

Kpaaaa!

The girl had slapped Esther!

Jesu!

Before I could process that, I heard another…

Kpaaaa!

Esther had returned the slap. She lunged for Esther, and a full drag out fight began right there on the dance floor. A few of the groomsmen rushed to the floor and separated the two women. The moment they were torn apart, the other girl, who by then had been identified as groom’s sister, made a beeline for me.

“Give me that money,” she barked, heaving.

Taking Esther as my role model, I said, “I’m not giving you jack!” I said. “Who the heck do you think you are to come barging in…”

Kpaaaa!

I immediately received my own slap. I tell you, in that moment, I suddenly understood why Nollywood actors ask that seemingly ridiculous question. I honestly wanted to say, “You slapped me?”

By this time, the couple had stopped dancing and were asking what was going on. The guests gaped. In my shock, my grip on the money bag had slackened. Ms. Sister-of-the-Groom ripped it from my hand.

You’re probably thinking, why didn’t I slap her back? My people, two persons no fit craze at the same time. Besides, I was mortified on behalf of the couple. I walked off into the sunset.

Actually, I went to the buffet, got a plate of Jollof rice, and consoled myself.

 


Eketi Edima Ette is a writer, editor, digital media manager and founder of Kedima Consults.

A creator of two successful online courses on creative writing and business communications, she speaks and does trainings on creative writing, digital content creation and women entrepreneurship.

In her spare time, she loves to read, volunteer, cook up funny comedy skits, travel and learn new languages.

The Bridesmaid Series by Eketi Edima Ette [Part I]

PART 1

I used to be a professional bridesmaid, until the series of events I’m about to tell you, led to my retirement.

I first began to think of retiring after Wedding 1. I arrived the town in which the wedding was taking place, and discovered that the bride had arranged for just one room for eight bridesmaids in a rundown hotel. The room she’d gotten was filthy; the floor was thickly coated with dust. Two used condoms lay on the floor and on the bed, were old, stained beddings.

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#EducateAGirl #EAGNigeria #MyEAGExperience by EAG Scholar, Dorothy

One day I was browsing through twitter and I saw an advertisement targeted at girls between the ages of 18-24 years, who were interested in a 4-day Journalism & Leadership training to be held in LAGOS.

According to the organizers, there would be free transportation (from anywhere in Nigeria, to and fro) free accommodation and feeding. And I thought, Ah ah, just like that? In Lagos? 

I was skeptical about applying, but I still went ahead and did so. I was selected a week after. Excited, I packed my bags and left for Lagos like I knew where I was headed. The training was scheduled to hold at Virgin Rose Resort, Victoria Island. That was about all I knew.

#WWNetwork™ #Inspiration A Ruby Dee Family Poem that inspires Lynn Whitfield

 

[Culled From Oprah’s Masterclass}

“Today is ours, let’s live it.
And love is strong, let’s give it.
A song can help, let’s sing it.
And peace is dear, let’s bring it.
The past is gone, don’t rue it.
Our work is here, let’s do it.
The world is wrong, let’s right it.
The battle is hard, let’s fight it.
The road is rough, let’s clear it.
The future vast, don’t fear it.
Is faith asleep? Let’s wake it.
Because today is ours, let’s take it.”

(c) Ozzie Davis and Ruby Dee Family

#LeadershipMatters #PostcardsFromAfrica Richard Ezekiel, a Deaf Nigerian Citizen, Writes a Thought-Provoking Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Introduction.

I got to know about the creativity, resilience and positive attitude of this remarkable young man, Mr. Richard Ezekiel, when he approached my Management Team, Olive Media Network, for permission to perform a choreographed dance piece titled; ‘DEFIANCE’, (an adaptation based on one of my poems), at #BAIDDF – the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in California. His production company -Magic Finger Entertainment was the only Nigerian/African group invited to perform at the event.

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#LeadershipMatters #PostcardsFromAfrica “Restructuring Nigeria; Not When, But How.” By Mr. Oseloka Obaze

Restructuring Nigeria; Not When, But How By Mr Oseloka Obaze

“Because Nigeria is so politically polarized, rallying the nation to a consensus on restructuring is fraught with difficulties. Yet two points must be made emphatically. Nigerians must accept that the phobia against restructuring is misplaced, more so when linked with a breakup. Secondly, restructuring need not be a one-off or a this-day event.”
~OSELOKA OBAZE

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“A New Dream of Politics” by Award-winning writer, Ben Okri -OBE FRSL

The following poem by Ben Okri is shared Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd. See original post here: www.theguardian.com

Moon

A NEW DREAM OF POLITICS

They say there is only one way for politics.
That it looks with hard eyes at the hard world
And shapes it with a ruler’s edge,
Measuring what is possible against
Acclaim, support, and votes.

They say there is only one way to dream
For the people, to give them not what they need
But food for their fears.
We measure the deeds of politicians
By their time in power.

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#LeadershipMatters #PostcardsFromAfrica The Bridge Builder: Structuralist Vs Essentialist by Osita Chidoka

[This article below, written by Mr. Osita Chidoka, was initially published on “Scan News Nigeria” on February 23, 2016. It was accessed and reposted on WWN platform on May 24th, 2017, with permission from the author].

“The post-civil war generation should not inherit the prejudices of a failed past but build new coalitions that can re – negotiate the structure and, more importantly, the essence of the Nigerian state.” ~OSITA CHIDOKA

My debut column elicited a lot of comments on social media. I appreciate the comments, feedback and concerns. Going through the comments, I can discern two strong schools of thought. The first, for purposes of identification I refer to as the Structuralists and the second, the Essentialists. I got the terms from my interaction with Sam Amadi, one of my favourite intellectuals.

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A Joyous & Glorious Mother’s Day…

 

Biafran Mothers

Women and Children at a Biafran Refugee Camp [Source: © Bettmann/CORBIS]

A blessed Mother’s Day to all mothers who feel voiceless, dreamless, faceless, nameless…

As we joyfully celebrate mothers around the world on this wonderful day, let us also honour the often ignored mothers who came before us, victims of past wars.

And those who are also presently with us; victims of terrorism and insurgency, mothers in refugee/Internally Displaced Persons’ camps, mothers who hunger for bread, shelter, security and peace, and many mothers in these harrowing conditions, who were forced into motherhood through acts of rape and sexual violations.

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Nelle Harper Lee (Harper Lee): A Happy Post-Humous Birthday to a Literary Icon.

Nelle Harper Lee (Harper Lee), widely known for her classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, was born on this day in 1926, in America’s southern state of Alabama. Dear Ms Harper Lee, continue to rest on in peace and cook up a storm in Literary heaven! A happy post-humous 91st birthday to a literary icon.

I think nothing quite captures the spirit of Harper Lee than this story below.

In 2006, A young fan asked Harper Lee for her autographed picture, she wrote a letter replying this young fan who had asked for a picture by offering up some advice. The note reads:

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare -Dr Mina Ogbanga: Social Scientist & Trailblazer, Creating an Innovative Biofuel Gel for Domestic Cooking Initiative…

Dr. Mina Ogbanga

Ananke Platform shared a series of insightful dialogues on mainstreaming gender, sustainability and STEM. It was a 2-part series of titled –“STEM: PATHWAY TO SUSTAINABILITY” – featuring various dynamic women, who are trailblazers in STEM.
[To read the articles Click Here for Part ONE and Click Here for Part TWO].

#CelebratingWomenWhoDare One of those featured is our own Dr. Mina Ogbanga.
Dr Mina Ogbanga
Hailing
from Nigeria, Dr. Mina Ogbanga’s was enrolled in the College of Medical Sciences when she used to dream of transforming her home country for good. In addition to being a social scientist with a PhD degree in Sustainable Development Studies and another ongoing PhD in Public Policy; Dr. Mina has research and technical interest in Renewable Energy. She has an incredibly immense track record in STEM, with specialization in clean energy.

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Rotman Women and Leadership Experts Speakers Series Featuring Lorna Borenstein, CEO Grokker, formerly of eBay Inc., Yahoo and Move Inc.

Rotman Initiative for Women in BusinessThe Rotman Initiative for Women in Business invites you to attend:
Rotman Women and Leadership Experts Speakers Series, Sponsored by BMO Financial Group

 Lorna Borenstein, CEO Grokker, formerly of eBay Inc., Yahoo and Move Inc.

From Your Big Break to a Big Mistake: How to Have Resilience and Remain Authentic

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#PostcardsFromAfrica – Enita Akpojevwe: Why I Am a Feminist in Nigeria.

The following post was culled from Bella Naija website [accessed on Tuesday, April 26, 2017; 8.45 pm EST], with the permission of the writer -Enita Akpojevwe

Recently, award-winning author and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in an interview with the UK Guardian came out to say that she would be more successful in Nigeria if she is not a feminist.

“Feminism is not that hot. I can tell you I would sell more books in Nigeria if I stopped and said I’m no longer a feminist. I would have a stronger following, I would make more money” she said.

She is spot on in this case. Feminism in Nigeria is an endangered movement or belief; it is associated with so much bile, prejudice and stigmatization.

You are either ascribed to one or more of the following stereotypes; man-haters, angry nasty women, pro-abortionists, homosexual or pseudo homosexual, unmarried or a career woman, anti-motherhood, an atheist, unbeliever, a bad wife or an amoral woman. . .

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Obie Agusiegbe, CEO EnvironFocus Incorporated.

mj4sxduo“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” ~Maya Angelou

WWN™ #CelebratingWomenWhoDare series is excited to profile Obie Agusiegbe, –a dynamic member of Whole WoMan Network. A woman who has blazed a trail in environmental sustainability, waste management and community service.

Obie Agusiegbe is the Chief Executive Officer of EnvironFocus Incorporated.
EnvironFocus Show and Tell” events in the Toronto area are must attend showcases, linking industry practitioners and members of their communities. They are interesting hubs with an eclectic mix of spoken-word/poetry performances, innovative products & services, engaging speakers with unique perspectives on diverse issues and in the past, some events have had finger-licking, healthy Nigerian foods (courtesy of Suya Paradise Catering & Events)!

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EnvironBuzz MarketPlace – Shop Green!

 

EnvironBuzz Marketplace is an EnvironFocus Initiative run by Obie Agusiegbe, a member of the WWN Community. She created the online store to promote green vendors and their products. Featured product include LifeStraw Go With 2 – Stage Filtration and the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter shown below. To see more green products visit here.

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LifeStraw Go With 2 – Stage Filtration

LifeStraw Go With 2 – Stage Filtration: The award winning LifeStraw water filter has now been incorporated into a sports bottle to give users access to safe drinking water even when there is no water source nearby. See product here.

B31I9571

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The LifeStraw personal water filter:  “Best Invention of the Year” (Time magazine) winner, enables users to drink water safely from most contaminated water sources. See more about product here

To read more about EnvironFocus and what they do go to http://www.environfocus.com. Also visit their blog at http://www.environfocus.com/environbuzz/. Do you live in the Greater Toronto Area? Attend the much talked about “EnvironFocus Show and Tell” event taking place at the Living Art Centre from 12-6pm on April 29, 2017. Venue: 4141 Living Arts Dr, Mississauga, ON L5B 4B8, Canada. For more information on the event click here .

 

#PostcardsFromAfrica: HRH Emir Sanusi of Nigeria Speaks Out Against Child Marriage

The piece below was culled from the instagram page of HRH Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi [Muhammadu Sanusi II; Husband, father, grandfather, formerly Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Serving as 14th Fulani Emir and Ruler of Kano]

“(Marriage of women (girls) below 18 years) – Women (girls) are suffering from reproductive health challenges because of such marriages. Time has come (for) the Muslim community (to) live by the reality of economic recession and consequences of early marriage.

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Beyond the commercialization of Mother’s Day in North America, let’s dig into the history & intentions of the remarkable founder(s)

History of Mother's Day in North AmericaI find history very fascinating and the history of women who shaped history in their own way, even more so. And I think history has a way of giving a nuanced context to seemingly isolated (contemporary) issues.

This post was inspired by a fascinating and insightful conversation, a long while ago, on the Facebook wall of Marianne Williamson (www.facebook.com/williamsonmarianne), based on a post she made on her wall titled: “The original Mother’s Day idea was for women to gather from all over the world to take a stand against war.”

[Other sources for the post below are http://www.plough.com and wikipedia].

The History of Mother’s Day Celebration in America

In summary, social activist, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis founded the American celebration of its version of Mother’s Day in 1858. It initially started as a call for health sanitation.

A few years later in 1870,  Poet and Activist, Julia Ward Howe, who was herself inspired by Ann Jarvis, wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation as a call to Peace.

After the death of Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, her daughter Anna Marie Jarvis embarked on a mission to make Mother’s Day an officially recognized holiday in the United States.

The Fascinating Back-story of 3 Phenomenal Women

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#PostcardsFromAfrica: The Lady Painter – Udoka Uju|#CelebratingWomenWhoDare

“Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” ~Victor Pinchuk

At Whole WoMan Network, our #PostcardsFromAfrica series is always looking out for African youths, especially young ladies who do ordinary things in a unique, extra-ordinary way!

Women who dare beyond the boundaries of their environment and explore their unique gifts, abilities, talents and skills. Today, we’re celebrating a creative entrepreneur, an artist, social enterprise catalyst and youth leader -The Lady Painter: Udoka Uju

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“Poetry, Violence and Women” by EAG Nigeria Scholar, Akanbi Halimah Abimbola.

Halimah Akanbi

Poetry, violence and women.

I often define “a poet” as one whose personal emotions, perceptions of happenings around them and conjectures of ideas and myriad emotions, are artistically woven into words, which are then graciously offered to the world. The world is at liberty to interpret it, how it deems fit.

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WWN™ Reflections: 11 Principles for Effective, Empowered and Meaningful Communication.

[This blog post was initially published a few years ago, I am reposting it for an upcoming online training that I’ll be facilitating on ‘Presentation and Communication in a Value-based, Empathy-driven economy’]. 

Effective communication is at the heart of Transformational Leadership. Whether you are out networking with your peers, interacting with your family members and loved ones, communicating with the aim to sell a service or product or you are simply selling your ‘personal brand’ or seeking to influence people to join your cause or movement , the ability to connect deeply with your audience is key to a meaningful interaction, successful and positive outcome.

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WWN™ Reflections – Is it Charitable-giving or Dignity-stripping?

WWN Reflections -Week 3

Re-thinking Our beliefs about Charity, Sharing, Respect and Honour, for all.

An adage says, it better to give a hand up than a hand out…and to that I add, “the poor” simply have less wealth than you, but they are NOT LESS THAN you! Stop treating people with disdain, as if they’re beneath you..

There’s no easier way of saying this: This is a full on, blown out rant about charities and their disempowering acts of giving to the vulnerable and poor, in a manner that actively or subtly strips the receiver of all shreds of dignity!

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WWN™ Reflections – Personal Boundaries and Values.

“If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it. If you don’t know what you deserve, you’ll always settle for less. You will wander aimlessly, uncomfortably numb in your comfort zone, wondering how life has ended up here.” ― Rob Liano

Our values are our innermost, most unconscious guiding principles for being and doing. They are the barometers and standards of our behaviour (both in public and private); a self-judgment of what is important in day-to-day living.

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WWN™ Reflections: A New Year, New Horizons…

wwn-reflections-self-leadership-quoteA Blessed New Year! Take that one step to redefine your life. You have a God-given right to a life of joy and achieving great things, on your own terms. Follow your heart and soul (this means embracing both your passions and your pains), they will lead you to your purpose.

This 2017, dare to take a leap of faith. Your dreams will form a mesh to catch you if you fall, your outcomes will teach you how to self-correct; your dreams and actions form the fuel for you to fly and help you soar!

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A very Merry Christmas from Whole WoMan Network…

merry-christmas-whole-woman-network

It seems so incredible that we’re celebrating Christmas again. The year really did seem to fly pretty fast and what a year it’s been! Challenges, triumphs, and most of all, new opportunities to create value, service and sow seeds of love.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, may we experience a re-birth is all facets of our lives; may a new spring of love, joy, peace and compassion flow into our lives.

May we be rooted in the unconditional love of family and friends, may we serve others – colleagues, clients, business associates and remember those in under-served communities, especially children and people living with disabilities.

From all of us at Whole WoMan Network, we wish you the very best of the season; a very Merry & blessed Christmas!

 

 

 

#PostcardsFromAfrica: Platforms and Possibilities: Birthing a Generation of Confident Young Women Leading Global Development by Mary Temiloluwa Ajayi

mary-ajayi-un-moremi-initiative

A speech delivered by Mary Temiloluwa Ajayi, a 2015 fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa, delivered at the sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 14 – 24, 2016. 

Today, I speak from a place of gratitude, gratitude to God who made it possible for me to be here through the resources, people, and platforms He sent my way – family and friends, Moremi Initiative, Whole Woman Network, mentors, Nigerians; the UN Women.

Platforms are what I’m here to speak about. Platforms and possibilities, and the positive output of these two which is a generation of confident young women who are fit to contribute to growth and development in any area, and can be at the forefront of global development.

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Meet Mary Ajayi: A 2015 Fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa [Part 2/2].

Gratitude #2 -United Nations, New York (II) by Mary Ajayi, 2015

First day at the UN and it began to hit me. This is the life we’ve prayed and hoped for, and we didn’t even know it’d come this soon.

In 2013 when Ebenezar Wikina introduced me to UN Volunteers and I began to create awareness about the International Days, one of our wishes was that we’d someday work at the UN. We were in awe of the UN and considered it the greatest platform yet for development work.

2016. And I was talking in a conference hall at the UN. The United Nations.

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Meet Mary Ajayi: A 2015 Fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa [Part 1/2].

Gratitude #1 -United Nations, New York (1) by Mary Ajayi, 2015

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou

mary-ajayi

March 2016, I was in New York at the UN 60th Session on the Commision on the Status of Women to talk alongside my @moremiinitiative sisters on the work we’re doing and lessons we’re learning along the way.

I faced challenges I didn’t think I could overcome. I had managed to get my visa in time but needed funds for travel, accommodation, and feeding. Icalled everyone I could. I emailed people and organizations. Nothing worked. I prayed. Nothing seemed to be shifting. My sister @adeola_ope took to Facebook to solicit for help. Olisa.tv blogged about it. @dejifan took to Twitter. Friends like Mayowa Okediran and Niyi Onabanjo pitched in personal funds. I began to have hope.

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#Poetry4ChangeAfrica | Acclaimed Nigerian Poet Niyi Osundare’s Poem Shines a Spotlight on Corruption

“My Lord, Tell Me Where To Keep Your Bribe?” By Niyi Osundare

[Originally published on Sahara Reporters on Oct 26, 2016 and culled from saharareporters.com]

A poem by the renowned Nigerian poet Niyi Osundare.

niyi-osundare-poet

My Lord

   Please tell me where to keep your bribe?

Do I drop it in your venerable chambers

Or carry the heavy booty to your immaculate mansion

Shall I bury it in the capacious water tank

In your well laundered backyard

Or will it breathe better in the septic tank

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#PostcardsFromAfrica -RE: NFF Press Statement on President Buhari’s Public Misogynistic, Derogatory and Demeaning Comments about His Wife; Aisha Buhari.

maya-angelou-women-standing-up-for-herself

RE: NFF Press Statement on President Buhari’s Public Misogynistic, Derogatory and Demeaning Comments about His Wife; Aisha Buhari.

Lagos, 16th October 2016.

The NFF and its partners, totally reject and condemn in strong terms the comments made by Nigeria’s President Mohammad Buhari on Friday the 14th of October 2016 in response to his wife’s interview on Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

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#MyEAGStory by Adenike Aina Oyindamola Adeniyi [EAG Scholar #49].

Thomas Paine said and I quote, ‘the mind once enlightened, cannot again become dark’.

img_20160702_231245_678-2I arrived, a tabula rasa, also with a very low self esteem, on the first day of the EAG training organized by the Dawood Global Foundation, in partnership with the Whole Woman Network.

I was too timid to participate in the numerous life changing activities; from the mind-blowing lectures on Journalism, to the deeply inspired biography of Malala Yousafzai, due to a malnourished sense of confidence my home provided me. It was soon very clear to me, that I would have no limit, but myself.

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#MyEAGStory – Nina Mbah, shares her experience at the recent LLL4 Conference

A few months ago, LEGENDARY LEADERSHIP LESSONS (4) CONFERENCE, organized by Dr. Dipo Awojide & BTDT Ltd was held at the Lagos Oriental Hotel. 

WWN sponsored 10 participants to attend the conference and each shared the highlights of the event..

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nina-mbahBeen there? by Nina Mbah

“Kai madam! If you weren’t standing in front of the Imam eh! Hmmmm…..”

Then what will happen? She retorted deep within her.

The above is part of a reminiscence of an encounter shared by Ms. Lola Shoneyin, as the only woman standing in a bus filled with men, during her work as a campaign aide with the Nigerian president, somewhere in Northern Nigeria.

The point here is not just how intolerant men from different parts can be when a woman defies their notion of acceptable behaviour and ‘cultural values.’ Rather, how huge this barrier can be in a society seeking fundamental reforms.

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EAG Scholar – Sukurat Adenike Laguda, shares her experience at the LLL4 Conference organized by Dr. Dipo Awojide & BTDT

A few months ago, LEGENDARY LEADERSHIP LESSONS (4) CONFERENCE, organized by Dr. Dipo Awojide & BTDT Ltd was held at the Lagos Oriental Hotel. 

WWN sponsored 10 participants to attend the conference and each shared the highlights of the event..

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adenike-sukurat-laguda-adelodunBy Sukurat Adenike Laguda

The legendary Leadership conference has come and gone but the memories will linger forever.

It was an awesome experience for me, as the topics treated by the panelists serves as a recap and reminder of what I learnt while at the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) program held in Ghana.

The forum highlighted the fact that young people now have a voice, they want to take charge and run things, using Social media as a tool since it removes boundaries between the people, the government and the Media.

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#POETRY4Change – That Stirring Sonnet By Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Tony Awards…

Lin Manuel Alexanda.gif

Lin-Manuel Miranda reading his acceptance speech (sonnet) at the 2016 Tony Awards.

(This was by far my favourite moment of the night! James Corden did an amazing job. Beautiful performances and monologues. Yes, hate will NEVER win. Love triumphs and trumps hate in the end.

My wife’s the reason anything gets done
She nudges me towards promise by degrees
She is a perfect symphony of one
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.

We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day.

This show is proof that history remembers
We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
We rise and fall and light from dying embers,
remembrances that hope and love last longer.

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music, love and pride.

Read more about the poem here: George Meredith: The English Poet Who Inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Sonnet

 #PostcardsFromAfrica |The joint winners of the 2016 Brunel University African Poetry Prize are…..

 Brunel African Poetry Prize

“PRESS RELEASE – WINNERS 2016


Source: http://www.africanpoetryprize.org/press-release-shortlist-2016

 

The joint winners of the 2016 Brunel University African Poetry Prize are Gbenga Adesina (Nigeria) and Chekwube O. Danladi (Nigeria).

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David Cameron: Nigeria and Afghanistan are fantastically corrupt

“We had a very successful cabinet meeting this morning. We talked about our anti-corruption summit. We’ve got leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain. Nigeria and Afghanistan are possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world.” ~David Cameron
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“It’s a shame to know the imperial master is still a snitch. If you hate corruption so much why do you not repatriate all stolen monies stashed by the looters of our economy in your banks and all over Europe. We are impoverished and set back because there are safe havens provided by countries like yours for sticky fingers in our governments to strive.” ~NaijaPikin (Internet commentator)

Click on this link to watch the video: David Cameron on Corruption, Nigeria-Afghanistan (Source: Daily Independent, UK and viral-videos.today)

 

#PostcardsFromAfrica |Lagos State First Lady, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, Speaks out Against Domestic Violence

 

Mrs Bolanle Ambode
Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (Image source: Google)
The wife of Lagos State governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has commiserated with all victims of domestic violence and their families, urging any woman going through domestic violence to approach the state’s Office of the Public Defender, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Youth & Social Development or the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for legal assistance at no cost.

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#HappyMothersDay|WWN™ Reflections: Celebrating Unsung Mothers…

Mothers Day

A Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, especially those who feel voiceless, dreamless, faceless, nameless…

As we joyfully celebrate mothers in North America, let us also honour the weeping mothers who came before us, victims of wars, terrorism, genocide, domestic violence; mothers we lost in the Jewish Holocaust, Armenian, Rwandan, Biafran genocides, in formerly Apartheid South Africa, mothers caught up in horrific conflicts of Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Congo and Syria….

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of widely acclaimed novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, has recently been named as one the distinguished achievers to be awarded honorary degrees, this year, by the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, United States. The honorary degrees will be conferred at the university’s commencement ceremony on the 18th of May, 2016.

Adichie will be awarded alongside seven other recognized individuals, visionaries who have made a mark in various fields. They include groundbreaking filmmaker Spike Lee, the founding director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, Laurie Zabin, Nobel Prize winner, Richard Axel, amongst others.

A huge congratulations to Ms. Adichie for inspiring a whole new generation of youths all across the globe, especially in Africa. Thank you for daring to challenge the status quo and expanding the conversations surrounding our humanity.

Enjoy her very popular TED Talk: We should all be feminists.

#PostcardsFromAfrica | Address to the National Conference on Culture and Tourism by Prof. Wole Soyinka

April 27, 2016. THE KILLING CULTURE OF THE NEO-NOMADIC by Prof. Wole Soyinka

Prof Soyinka

Culture is closely intertwined with tourism – the former, in fact, often drives the latter. The destination uppermost in the minds of most tourists we know is – Culture. This means that both share friends and – enemies. Of the principal enemies, seeing that we find ourselves within the precincts of governance, I intend to engage your attention in this brief address to just one: Insecurity. That inability of any vacationist to let go completely, relax, submit oneself completely to the offerings of a new environment – the sounds, sights, smells, textures and taste.

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Eve Ensler’s VAGINA MONOLOGUES is coming to Toronto!

“When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet…..The heart is capable of sacrifice. So is the vagina. The heart is able to forgive and repair. It can change it’s shape to let us in. It can expand to let us out. So can the vagina. It can ache for us and stretch for us, die for us and bleed and bleed us into this difficult, wondrous world. So can the vagina….”
~Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues
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WWN™ Reflections|Life is Synchronistic Poetry, in Motion or Stillness….

Day 115. Be Exemplary By JulietKego

“Whichever way we look at it, life is synchronistic poetry in motion or stillness. Everybody’s breath is a line, a verse and we all come together to co-create one beautiful poem, albeit messed up. Our lines expands in the thoughts we think, overflows into the words we speak, in the emotions we feel, in the choices we make, the paths we do not take, the ones we retrace, in the tears we cry, in the laughter of our hearts, in the dreams we dare to dream, in the sacred silence of our soul’s being….with every encounter and experience.

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A final salute to a PRINCE: Rest in Peace, Where Doves Fly….

And today, the clouds reign in purple glory, as he rests where doves fly… ~@JulietKego

[The news below was confirmed by CNN].

The artist know as Prince (Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, has been confirmed dead in his Minneapolis home (He was 57 years old). He was a music icon, a Grammy award-winning artist, who was known for such hits as Purple Rain, Kiss, Little Red Corvette, The Beautiful Ones, Raspberry Beret, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Diamonds and Pearls and The Most Beautiful Girl in the world.

The originality of his artistry was succinctly captured on twitter thus: “PRINCE: Followed by many, follower of no one. Pretty much sums it up.” ~Angela Fritz

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: Musician Prince performs onstage at the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 27: Musician Prince performs onstage at the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Week #17. WWN Reflections by @JulietKego |Communicating with civility and respect (abuse is the weapon of the vulgar)!

“It’s okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by other people. That doesn’t give you the right to deny any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs just because you don’t like what they are saying. Learn to recognize good writing when you read it, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what is comfortable.”  ~Ashly Lorenzana

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#PostcardsFromAfrica – Expanding the narrative beyond Corruption; the ICPC tackles Sex-for-Grade in Nigerian Universities.

ICPCOver the past several years, some key areas of advocacy which WWN continues to undertake and champion are: Financial Literary & Economic Empowerment for women, Education of the Girl Child, Domestic Violence Against Women & Children, Sexual Abuse, Assault and Harassment of Women and Youths.

In collaboration with other advocacy groups and different groups of experts across multidisciplinary teams, we’ve investigated, commissioned and completed several reports for different sectors and stakeholders in our society.

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WWN™ Reflections – Power of FOCUS: What Are You Focusing Your Attention on?

Have clarity about your intentions AND channel all your attention towards your intentions. Manifestation occurs when who you BE and what you DO are in congruence. Nature abhors vacuums and ambiguity. Become more aware of who, what and where you’re directing all your conscious and unconscious resources to.

No matter how challenging your environment may be, here’s a strategy that will empower your life: For every negative thing that you see, talk about, comment on, also ensure you consciously FOCUS THREE TIMES more energy and attention on positive, inspiring and empowering stories of people who are succeeding, making a positive impact and creating new opportunities.

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#POETRY4Change – Hadraawi: Celebrating the great Somali Poet by By KHAINGA O’OKWEMBA

Maya Angelou Poetry for Change

[This article was written by By KHAINGA O’OKWEMBA and is culled from http://www.the-star.co.ke]

Legend has it that in early 1970s, renowned Somali female singer Magool gave a concert in Khartoum, Sudan. Magool returned home leaving behind an enchanted man: a Sudanese man had fallen in love with the Somali nightingale! But she was gone.

The man decided to write her a love letter which he then posted. Unable to read this letter because it was written in Arabic, Magool sought the help of Hadraawi, the celebrated Somali poet, who spoke the language. The letter was presumably written in red ink, but as Hadraawi read it he discovered that the love-stricken man had used blood drawn from his veins which he had put into a fountain pen and poured his heart out! Hadraawi, the great poet that he is, had his imagination soaring. To come to terms with what he’d just encountered, Hadraawi wrote the famous poem, Has Love Ever Been Written in Blood.

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WWN™ Reflections: The thin line between being a Feminist and being an Abuser…..

We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Adichie

 The thin line between being a Feminist and being an Abuser….. 🙂

 

[Initially posted on Facebook on March 18, 2016].

 

Random Musings by JulietKego: Here’s the bit of feminism that both men and women seem to ignore. It’s about CHOICE and creating an atmosphere for both men and women to have freedom to make INFORMED choices. It means respecting people’s right to making their own choices. Basically treating everyone with dignity even if their choices do not mirror your own. A conversation about feminism needs pre-definitions; an the awareness that it means different things to different people at different phases of their life cycles.

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“DRY” by Stephanie Linus, AMVCA best movie of the year, now available on Amazon

See the trailer here:

Kudos to Stephanie Okereke-Linus. Her movie: DRY won the best movie award at the recently concluded AMVCA (African Magic Viewers Choice Awards). Nollywood should make more of these types of movies. One of the most touching and socially relevant Nigerian movie I’ve watched in a while now.

The movie is based on a true story of a 13-year old girl in Northern Nigeria. It captures themes such as VVF, Child Marriage and Abuse. Very evocative and thought-provoking!

[I wish they’d screened this at the UN alongside Pakistan’s “Girl in the River.” Both are such very powerful movies! I’ve been promoting this movie since it premiered 🙂 I’m hoping to get the rights to screen it in Toronto].

I’m so happy to announce that it is now available for download on amazon. It streams for those resident in the USA here: http://amzn.com/B017QHELTU

 

Let’s Celebrate; It’s World POETRY Day!

National POETRY month

What better way to celebrate world poetry day than listening to some poetry recitals, both live and on youtube? The voice of Tom hiddleston (Yes, Loki) is poetic gold. Other people I love listening to as they recite and bring poetry alive are the legendary Indian actor, poet and activist, Amitabh Bachchan and American actor, Morgan Freeman.  What are you doing for world poetry day?

 

Here are some of my favourite quotes about poetry:

  1. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper, it takes the human voice to infuse it with greater shades of meaning.” ~Maya Angelou
  2. “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.” ~Plato
  3. “Poetry is the life blood of rebellion, revolution and the raising of consciousness.” ~Alice Walker;
  4. “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” ~Robert Frost
  5. “Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn.” ~Thomas Gray
  6. “If there were no poetry on any day of the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be intolerable hunger.” ~Muriel Rukeyser
  7. “In motion or in stillness, joy or sorrow, passion or pain..; all of life is synchronistic poetry.”~ Juliet ‘Kego
  8. “You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.” ~Joseph Joubert
  9.  “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powr
  10. “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origins in emotions recollected in tranquility.” ~Wordsworth
  11. Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
  12. “Poetry is an echo asking the shadow to dance.” ~Carl Sandburg
  13. “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
  14. “The poetry of a people comes from the deep recesses of the unconscious, the irrational and collective body of our ancestral memories.” ~Margaret Walker
  15. “Poetry is language in its most distilled and powerful.” ~Myles Goode
  16. “Poetry is the chiseled marble of language; it’s a paint-spattered canvas – but the poet uses words instead of paint, and the canvas is you.”~ Mark Flanagan