Whole WoMan Network™ Blog (WWN)

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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

 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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“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
————–

“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)

 

 

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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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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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.

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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“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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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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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)

“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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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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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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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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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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Lets #ShatterTheSilence STOP THE VIOLENCE!

 

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

 

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

 

 

I simply love events like the ‪#‎AMVCA2016‬ (Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards).

I DONT THINK IT’S VAIN AT ALL TO LOOK GOOD, especially with the right intentions in mind. When people take the time to glam up and look great, it is a sort of evangelism, I think🙂 A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners. And I’d like to also say thank you to all the ladies (and gents) who brought on their ‘A’ game! Beauty is magical.

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Every woman has a story waiting to be told; a thought that needs to be shared and opinions required to challenge current situations. As women around the world #PledgeForParity in the International Women’s Month of March,The W Communityof Access Bankis inviting women all over the country to find their voice, tell their stories and voice their opinions on life and trending issues through #TheWInkChallenge Writing Competition.

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SEX in the Office

The Rotman Initiative for Women in Business invite you to attend the:

Rotman Women and Leadership Experts Speakers Series, 

Sponsored by 

Bank of Montreal

 

FEATURING

Kim Elsesser, PhD, Author

Sex and the Office: Women, Men, and the Sex Partition That’s Dividing the Workplace

  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
4:15- 4:59pm Check-in and Registration

5:00 -5:02 p.m. Welcome, Beatrix Dart, Executive Director, Rotman Initiative for Women in Business.
5:02-5:07 p.m. Remarks and Introduction, BMO Financial Group
5:07 – 5:45 p.m. Presentation, Kim Elsesser, based on her book Sex and the Office (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2015)

5:45- 6:00 p.m. Q&A, Thank you and Adjournment
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Cocktail Networking Reception

 

Desautels Hall

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
105 St George Street

Toronto, ON M5S 3E6

 

TO REGISTER:

Fee:  $49 plus HST per person; $39.00 plus HST per person for Rotman, UToronto alumni and BMO Employees (fee includes the session, networking reception & 1 copy of Sex and the Office, September 2015).

 

SIGN UP ONLINE HERE

 

“‪Harper Lee showed us the beautiful complexity of our common humanity and the importance of striving for justice in our own lives.” ~ Barack Obama, USA President.

“In high school, Lee developed an interest in English literature. She dropped out of law in University of Alabama. After graduating in 1944, she went to the all-female Huntingdon College in Montgomery. Lee stood apart from the other students—she couldn’t have cared less about fashion, makeup or dating. Instead, she focused on her studies and writing. Lee was a member of the Literary honor society and the GLEE club. She was Truman Capote’s Research Assistant and Neighbour and helped him in his classic In Cold Blood.” ~ Source: Biography.com

Harper Lee Older

#‎CelebratingHarperLee‬ ‪#‎TheGiftofAuthenticity‬ ‪#‎ClassACT‬ 

Strange thing. When some people pass on in death, it is as if their death allows us to see clearly that everyone has a purpose here. Personally, I just think some people are simply immortal. They are here to share ONE key powerful story, book, poem, song, act of service, or raise our vibration, by sharing their truth, in a way that makes them live on forever…..

Harper Lee was one of those special ones; the rare breeds, I think. They show us how being great in the ordinary things can lead to a rich, extra-ordinary life. Rest in Peace, continue to cook up a storm in Literary heaven, Ms Harper Lee.

Some beautiful quotes from and about this brilliant and astute mind:

1. “Before I can live with other folks, I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” ~ Harper

2. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” ~ Harper Lee

3. “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.” ~Harper Lee

4. “You know, there were two big revolutions in the ’60s in this country when To Kill a Mockingbird came out: One was civil rights and the other was women’s rights. And in a way, To Kill a Mockingbird speaks to both those things.” ~ Mary Murphy

5. “A hundred pounds of sermons on tolerance, or an equal measure of invective deploring the lack of it, will weigh far less in the scale of enlightenment than a mere eighteen ounces of new fiction bearing the title To Kill a Mockingbird.” ~Washington Post Review of her book in 1961

6. “The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.” ~ Harper Lee

7. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” ~Harper Lee

Harper Lee

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:

Dear Jeremy,

I don’t have a picture of myself, so please accept these few lines:
As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, “I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.”

Harper Lee

Harper Lee Note

Rotman Initiative for Women in Business

If you’re in the GTA, here’s an event to check out:

The Rotman Initiative for Women in Business invites you to attend an Alumnae Event with Maja Djikic, Associate Professor, Faculty-at-Large Director, Self-Development Lab, Rotman School of Management
Mind and its Discontents: Self-Management in the Age of Infinite Information

Source: THE 2015 ACT AWARD RESULTS

HAPPY FAMILY DAY Whole WoMan Network

Brief Background: Family Day was first held in Canada in the province of Alberta in 1990. It is supposed to reflect the twin values of ‘family’ and ‘home’ which were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta, and it also give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families.

Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008. One of the reasons for introducing Family Day was that there was a long period with no holidays, from New Year’s Day until Good Friday. (Source: www.timeanddate.com).

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Choose Love. Reflections by JulietKego

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A timely, insightful and reflective piece by Okeke Job Izuchukwu about our apathy towards corruption, especially at Nigerian airports and what we, as citizens can do to change the status quo…

beTheChange

Feb 3rd, 2016.

 

Murtala Mohammed International Airport, International Wing. The Nigerian guy (I am sure he is Igbo) and his young Korean wife who visited for Yuletide were with the customs. Their luggage had been checked, and found okay. There was only one snag. They have two babies, one still a suckler, and they had baby food for the babies. All the while, the custom officers whose ‘shop’ they had arrived at had been using the ‘you know what to do body language’ for the guy ‘to do something’.

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Educate a Girl #EAGNigeria #TogetherWeAreTransformingLives

Social Diary
24-30 January 2016
p. 20

Thank you to Pakistan ObserverSadia Zahid MalikMaliha Waqas for this lovely spread on this important cause. —(As shared on FB by T.U Dawood)

A more detailed report of the EAGNigeria Summit to follow shortly…
EAG Nigeria Social Diary

POETRY4Change - CHILDREN & RESPECT

#‎POETRY4Change‬ ‪#‎StandingTogether‬ ‪#‎Getting2TheRootCauses‬ 

#‎DomesticAbuse‬ ‪#‎DomesticViolence‬ ‪#‎SexualAssaultAndHarrassment‬

In a very small voice, she says: ‘Who will believe me?’ ‘I am nobody’. ‘I made mistakes too.’ ‘I’m ashamed’, ‘I sent my pictures’, ‘I sexted’, ‘I accepted money’, ‘I was afraid’, ‘I was a virgin, he forced me’, ‘I’ve never been kissed and he sullied my lips’, ‘People think I’m over reacting’, ‘I respect him’, ‘He’s my spouse/friend/mentor”, ‘He’s very influential’, ‘He threatened me not to speak about it’, ‘I’ve have a rough past, no one will believe me’, ‘He’s a famous pastor, politician, singer, writer, entrepreneur’, ‘I’ve don’t want to put myself out there’….

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Habits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you stuck in the procrastination rut? #‎TakeEmpoweredActionToday

Here are some highlights from ‪#‎WWNLeadershipMastermindCall on Sunday, January 10, 2016. (Topic: ‘How to  build new habits and do more with a 4-hour workday’):

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I saw this article (and video) on channel 4 about the Brain-Gain phenomenon happening in Nigeria and simply had to share! Africa’s Youth hold her future success in their hands. Looking forward to the next 10 to 20 years. Interesting times ahead.

[Culled from

 

BAGA on my mind: A year ago, more than 2000 people were killed by Terrorist group Boko Haram in Baga, North-Eastern Nigeria. This year we hear of the Dasuki arms (corruption) ‘yams-sharing’ deal. Hmmmnnn, I’d like to think that I do not wish people evil and yet when a great crime has been committed, (against innocent children, men, women, soldiers), should we not ask ask the heavens to strike all those who benefited from our common wealth?

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‪‎Reflections by @JulietKego‬: With the dawn of the new year, I am convinced more and more of what exactly I want my gifts, talents, skills, abilities, time and resources to be channeled towards. I am grateful for/to everyone who’s held my hands and lit up my path. There’s so much beauty and ugliness in the world. Each day, with each breath, we get a chance to choose which side of the human axis we want to play and live in. Every choice offers different limitations and possibilities.

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 Nathalie Maria King Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015). May her soul Rest in Peace, Amen.

#‎CelebratingNathalieColesLifeAndMusic‬ I remember watching the video of her classic heart-tugging, beautiful, yet bitter-sweet duet with her late father, the great Nat King Cole.

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‪‪#‎AfricanLiterature‬
#TheDangerofASingleStory
#‎AfricanStories‬ ‪#‎PostcardsFromAfrica‬

I’ve always believed and harped on the fact that as Africans, we have to begin to tell empowering and more complete stories about ourselves. And also, to use more creative platforms to tell these stories, in order to be more relatable, accessible and in effect, a reach a wider audience. Watching Chimamanda Adichie’s brilliant TED Talk: The Danger of a Single Story, cemented this belief for me.

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The beautiful ones are already with us. And they are telling empowering stories about themselves and paying it forward. The greed and wickedness of the likes of Dasuki-Gate will not hold them down.

Think for a moment if GEJ and Co Ltd (and in fact all our past corrupt leaders from IBB, Abacha, OBJ etc.) had channeled all these billions of funds shared for re-election to improving Education and Road Infrastructure! 10.5 million kids out of school in Nigeria!

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Human Dignity

#PostcardsFromAfrica An old post by Pius Adesanmi, I posted it a few years ago and based on recent events in Nigeria, I think it’s worth re-posting again. All the salient issues he raised then are still very relevant today. Enjoy!

By Prof. Pius Adesanmi [Culled from his Facebook Page on December 16, 2013, and re-posted here]

Fundamentals of Human Dignity. A multilevel compulsory subject to be taught from Primary One to Primary Six, from JSS One to SSS Three, from One Hundred Level to Four Hundred Level. APC Ogas if you are interested in building this into your vision, call me. You have my number. I wanted folks to know that I suggested this to you so we don’t turn it into behind-the-scenes backpatting talks (brilliant idea, Prof, we shall do it and it is not done); so that you don’t say that nobody drew your attention to the matter.

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ANA Literary Review Journal 2015 by Richard AliImage credits: Musa Tukurah [@musatukurah on #Instagram]

[Culled from the Facebook Page of Richard ALI; Accessed on November 13, 2015 @ 2.28 pm]

Editorial Note: A Summing Up By Richard ALI

Note: (ANA Review 2015 will be published on November 13)

Writing this Editorial is a historic undertaking for me, beyond the mere pleasure of it. It commemorates the anniversary of the Association of Nigerian Authors convention at Abuja, four years ago, when I was elected Publicity Secretary [North]. In the last four years, I have crossed this country—from Birnin Kebbi to Port Harcourt to Jos—in the service of Nigerian writing. I have also had my proudly Nigerian passport stamped at Nairobi, Entebbe, Kigali, Paris, Frankfurt and elsewhere in this same service, for which I dedicated my travels official and unofficial.

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Passion and Stress

#‎YearEndReflections‬ Long read, Enjoy!! 2 more trainings to go and it’ll be a wrap for 2015! ‪#‎SEED4Her‬ ‪#‎EducateAGirl‬ Next project loading: https://wholewomannetwork.org/…/postcards-from-africa-11-mi…/
We waste so much resources on frivolities and yet just a little can totally shift the trajectory of someone’s life. I’ve seen generational chains and patterns of poverty and under-development broken by simply equipping a youth with the right skill set to make a difference. I’ve seen young girls and boys find their voice and their place in the world and create amazing value. Sometimes, we tend to think the problem is a lack of money and yet that’s the least of it.

I’ve seen people in under-served areas take loans and actually pay back after they set up successful businesses or train themselves in marketable skills. I’ve had strangers give scholarships just after random conversations. Look around you and make a difference. I’ve sold some pieces of my jewelry and seen how it creates a golden future for girls who thought they were of no value to the world. And I realize, their success is all the adornments I need. ( I still love my gems o, so on my next birthday berra not give me kpangolo):-) Don’t just ‘dash’ money without a certain degree of consciousness or awareness. Be very conscious, well-intentioned and most of all provide mentorship when you give. What is money but a mere symbolic means of exchange? It is a form of energy, it is neutral what you infuse it with matters. You create the real value Exchange.

Give with dignity. Give with empathy. Be very firm and clear on your boundaries. Don’t make it about the photo ops. Make it meaningful and sustainable. I’ve seen a young girl ask for grants to start a business, and when we went through her value contract/hierarchy, we discovered she was spending more than $1000 monthly on hair, bags, clothes, skin care, jewelry…doing shady things she wasn’t proud off. And yet after some months of mentorship and coaching, and with as little as $3000, she’s running a thriving business, creating magic with her hands and intellect (and has even given back and volunteered her skills to support other girls).

Sometimes, in the absence of guidance and social conditioning, people lose their way. Just as we do too. We must be there for another, as light houses on our journeys. Our insatiable and blind lust for materialism, without any sense of responsibility is creating a society of our nightmare and not of our dreams. We live in a world now where people budget tens of millions for weddings, burials and 100 years death anniversaries of great-gran-parents and yet our children in public schools still sit on the floor, on mats, to (un)learn! The government and leaders are YOU and I.

Sadly, the only people who’ve ever defaulted on our loans are a few of the so-called ‘elitist’ women. Very well-educated, comfortable and yet living a fake lifestyle. Using funds given for training or business start-up to buy fake designer gear, aso-ebi and clothes for FB photo-op. And yet, we kept faith with them, we held them accountable. I have zero tolerance for that type of bulls*t! Self-responsibility and self-accountability are critical values.

Used legal means and brought them to book. Just because we know how big a difference the monies they refuse to pay can make in another woman’s life. And for most of them, we put them through a financial literacy boot camp to straighten out their priorities, teach them how to say NO to societal flow, co-create their own flow, live within their means, narrow their integrity gaps. As I wrap up 2015, all I can say is thank you. To all my clients, friends, volunteers, mentors, donors, angel investors, mentees…who kept faith and trusted us. For some of you it was a bumpy road, but the ride will end well, I promise. We are determined to finish up 2015 with every check mark done right. Better things ahead. It’s one person, one idea, one project at a time.

In the past few months, I’ve already connected with a couple of spectacular youths across the continent, through face to face meetings, conference calls, video-tele-seminars, whatsapp chat groups….and their FEARLESSNESS, brilliance and ideas simply blow my mind. They understand the power and magic of UBUNTU! Humble me. Give me hope. 2016 will be wonderful. I know this. Beyond the craziness of our so-called ‘leaders’, there’s a new vibrant crop of African youth leaders emerging. Walking their talk. Hungry and in dire need of true role models.

They’re few but they’re so bang on, so powerful, it’s an incredible miracle to watch. In the next few years, you will see their flowers bloom. They challenge me everyday. They teach me everyday. ‪#‎AGratefulHeart‬ Most importantly, I am thankful for YOU, for inviting me into your space and teaching me about the power of BEING, surrendering, no walls, no attachments, just letting myself be who I’ve dreamed of being – a Pilgrim of Love (with all my madness and my flaws…, knowing that I am enough, I am worthy, I am complete and so are you. And I wish you all healing, joy, abundance AND everything wonderful and beautiful and glorious.

‪#‎LetsRaiseANewgenerationofTECAfricanLeaders‬: Transformational. Ethical. Creative. We are not inheritors, we are custodians. Continue to dream wonderful dreams y’all and co-create your destiny with God!  <3 Cyber-hugs, Jules

Love, Light & Truth!

Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido

Co-Founder & Executive Director: Whole WoMan Network

(Visit http://www.julietkego.com for my poetry)

poetry4changev2

#POETRY4ChangeAfrica

VISION | VOICE |

VISIBILITY | VALUE-EXHANGE|

“First you must first your voice, then you must embrace your voice and then USE your voice in a way that aligns with your highest intention and purpose.”
~Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido

 

Father’s Funeral by Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun (Ogun Da Silva)

the body was laid to rest
along with his years
his memories
and nothing,


the women i saw
for the first time
yesterday sang
a song of mourning my
body laid claim to
in a way that was
painful,

 

the men sent his
body
away and passed his oriki
to me, a mere boy
who’s still a stranger
to the language
of my birth,
here, in my ancestral
home we buried two
men the day we buried
father; him and the
boy who’d hoped
to live in my throat,
all they left me
was a language
and a story
of my lineage
that will
hunt me like
my shadow.

 

(c) Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun. 2015 (All rights reserved).

———————————-

About the Poet

Segun Oriogun is a poet from Nigeria, his poems has appeared on some literary blogs and journals such as the Kalahari Reviews. He is in love with nature and his imaginary dog, Sky.

WWN POETRY4Change is a creative platform celebrating the works of talented and exciting new poetic voices and spoken word artists within the African continent and in the Diaspora. It is an initiative created by Nigerian Poet and Leadership Consultant, Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, of Whole WoMan Network, Canada. The goal is to empower youths by leveraging the power of social media to highlight talents and provide opportunities for mentorship and growth. #MakingPOETRYCoolAgain More details coming soon….

poetry4changev2

VISION | VOICE |

VISIBILITY | VALUE-EXHANGE|

Last Words Mama Couldn’t Say
by  Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun (Ogun Da Silva)

1. The end won’t hurt like the beginning.
2. Beautiful houses do not always make good homes.
3. The first time I held you God turned his face.
4. I could give you lessons about loneliness but I can’t tell you how it feels.
5. Learn to wait for love.
6. Your father bled me in places that killed me.

7. A woman is a body.
8. Learn about suffering.
9. Learn about nights and tears.
10. Never hit a woman.
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Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.
~Octavia Butler

An insightful piece about special Friendships by my high school friend,  Pabara. Thank you for this utterly beautiful piece. Poignant. Heart-felt. Open and Bared. Most of us have been there…A salute to special friendships that cease but never die!

 Quotes about Friendship Lost

The Art of Recovering From a Friendship Paused…
by Pabara Ebiere Imoagene

 

I waited for the call that never came.
Waited for the text… my phone beeped,
Once, twice, several times, your text missing… so I called… I sent a message

Dead silence. No response. A day, and then 2… 3 and more. Sigh. Still nothing.

A year gone, and now 3, the call never came , it never will again. So I’m left to remember the laughter , our “jist”… even the heated arguments and unnecessary endless quarrels .. The plenty advice that would fill my ears to no end. While i make a show of ‘vexing’ because you always are spot on.

I’m left to remember the sharp mind that fascinated me without end. Intelligent, smart, updated. Yes I remember you today, but not with sadness… I remember you with joy, laughter, and that your sharp tongue.. that only you could ‘yap’ me with.

Because this is a friendship that meant the world to me and I choose to remember you well. The way you should be remembered. .. I remember you with honour, dignity and love. Because that’s what you gave. Being honest and upright made you standout everywhere…

I’m thankful I met you and thankful for the gift of your life… good things never come to an end. .. and this is no exception, because you are remembered always … The way you ought to be.

 

(c) Pabara Ebiere Imoagene. 2015. (All rights reserved)

(The post below was culled from Olisa.tv | Olisa.tv is a lifestyle platform created to showcase the very best of Africa. Over the past decade, a social, economic and Cultural Revolution has taken place on the African continent. Visit their website and check them out).

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Great news. West Africa’s first international poetry festival will be making its debut in Lagos from the October 28th – November 1st 2015 with the Lagos International Poetry Festival.

flyer-design

Headlining this year’s festival are some of the biggest names in the global literary space, poetry and spoken word, including Warsan Shire, London’s first young poet laureate, winner of the first edition of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize and one of the most important voices in contemporary poetry.

Also slated for this year’s festival are Safia Elhillo, joint winner of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize for 2015, South Africa’s eminent poet and activist, Lebo Mashile, foremost poet, novelist and director of the famed Ake Book and Art Festival, Lola Shoneyin, Inua Ellams, TJ Dema, Wana Udobang, Bassey Ikpi, Titilope Sonuga, Dami Ajayi, Jumoke Verissimo, Sage Hasson, Chuma Nwokolo, Odia Ofeimun, Chijioke Amu Nnadi, Dike Chukwumerije, AJ Dagga Tolar, Iquo Eke, Akeem Lasisi, Audu Maikori, Donna, Elizabeth Ayoola, with a special keynote by Prof. J.P. Clark.

The five day festival will feature master classes, riveting performances, panel discussions, artistic exhibitions, and a planned closing concert and party unlike no other.

The theme for this year’s edition of the Lagos International Poetry Festival is Borderless Words, which according to festival director, Efe Paul Azino, is geared towards exploring poetry’s capacity to break racial, ethnic, gender, language and cultural divides, and help forge creative collaborations across the continent.

Venues for the event include Freedom Park, University of Lagos, Terra Kulture and others. The events are free and open to the public and details will be up subsequently on the festival website: www.lagospoetryfestival.com.

The Lagos International Poetry Festival is proudly supported by Star Larger Beer and Freedom Park.

“Had it not been for Paul Robeson, Dr Dubois, who gave us keen instruction, who put their lives on the line, who stood strong in the midst of tremendous opposition, we would not have been the beneficiary of what would be the guiding factors of our lives.

In that journey, I dare say that I found my centre as a human being, I found my centre and I found purpose for how I was to use my life. And the greatest example for me was the man who chose to mentor me; who found me very early in life and began to give me instruction that made me feel a part of the world in which he lived and by his intellect, strength and courage set my course and that was Paul Robeson.

I was a high school dropout (and that’s not an uncommon story in our communities) but I was instilled with a strong sense of loss at not getting a degree, I was not able to find a way to articulate my feelings and thoughts and ideas.”

~Harry Belafonte, Human Rights Activist & Artist

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Sometimes, you come across a post or video on social media and you feel you simply have to share it with everyone you know! A huge thank you to Ufulu Bomani and J Adam Merriwoodweatherson, for sharing this video on Facebook. I’d suggest you check out their pages, they share very insightful posts. I think at some level, this video somehow raises and expands our collective consciousness. Enjoy🙂

Click Here to Read More

When it comes down to it, no amount of make-up and exercise can mask an ugly character. Perhaps it’s time for us to revisit/redefine our notions of beauty.

Jennifer Livingston, a news anchor with CBS WKBT, stood up for herself and by extension, for all women who have been ridiculed, maligned, hurt, bullied because they did not fit into stereotypical images of beauty.

On behalf of all of us at WWN, I salute her courage and confidence. Enough of the unhealthy stereotypes about beauty, by the media, fashion industry and society in general. To Jennifer, we give a well-deserved salute: You go girl!!

Click Here to Read More

The application Deadline for this year’s TED Fellowship Program is September 20th, 2015. CLICK HERE to apply today!

 

 

WHAT is the TED Fellowship Program?

TED Fellows 2At TEDGlobal 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania, 100 Fellows from across Africa joined a first-of-its-kind gathering that brought together the “Cheetah” generation.

TED speaker George Ayittey coined this nickname to describe a generation of young people from across Africa who were entrepreneurial, fluent in technology and “ran like the wind.”

In Arusha, many new friendships, collaborations, companies, investments, websites and NGOs were born.

After the spectacular success of the first group of Fellows, we created a permanent platform — the TED Fellows program — to feed the passion of other amazing paradigm-shifters and foster the collaborative spirit.

Click Here to Read More

Poetry

Note: The following post, written by  (General Secretary, Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA), was culled from http://okoduwatanko.blogspot.ca; It was originally published on August 11, 2015.
As a poet, literary critic and writer, I have never stopped to wonder what might have bored William Wordsworth and his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to demand change and a new direction in poetry in 1798, when he Wordsworth published the first edition of Lyrical Ballad and other poems.

Click Here to Read More

Click Here to Read More

[This blog post was initially published in 2013, reposting it again for an upcoming online training I’m facilitating on ‘Presentation and Communication in a Value-based, Empathy-driven economy’].

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet like they would be dead by midnight! Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~Og Mandino~ communicate

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 seek 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.

Great communicators are great influencers. And it starts with respect. The understanding that everyone has different factors that shape their perspectives.

Note that the first person you have to be clear to first is yourself. Clarity and coherence are internal processes or states that are projected externally. It is also important to be clear on your boundaries, define and defend them and allow the other party to do the same. This reduces or eliminates a lot of friction and drama.

Poor communication has led to wars, feuds lasting generations,  the loss of business sales/opportunities and even the breakdown of once loving relationships between friends and family members. “Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.” ~Emma Thompson~

Here are 11 simple and effective strategies/principles for empowered and meaningful Interactions with others:

1. It all begins with Rapport! In order to be in rapport with others you have to be in rapport with yourself. Rapport means you genuinely step out of yourself and add value to others by making a seamless shift to them. You basically enter their model of the world and then allow them the space to percolate their thoughts and come to a new awareness. “You get to speak to people’s unconscious mind when you’re in deep rapport.” ~Kim Redman~

2. Set the right intentions and pay attention to your intentions so they don’t get hijacked by the ego self. Set the tone for the communication by offering yourself and the person(s) a sincere prayer in your heart, and meditate on the outcome you desire even before you engage with others. “Intention governs everything! Set the right intentions. It must be good and ecological for all. That is, WIN-WIN-WIN outcomes for you, the other party and the Universe.” ~Kim Redman~

3.  Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen to the other person with ALL your senses-your ears, eyes, gut, body-language and most of all with your heart…and hear what isn’t being said. Listen actively. Active Listening is using sensory acuity to notice shifts in the other person and subsequently using the right language to respond accordingly. Heart-centered listening means you are communicating at such a deep level that transcends mere words and gestures! “One learns about people through the heart, not through words, eyes or the intellect.” ~Mark Twain~

4. Shift and continually re-focus the energy by speaking from an authentic, caring and loving place. Think of how you can add value to the other person and how they can add value to you. The whole interaction should be an exchange of values for both parties. (Do not repress your feelings or pretend to be something you are not, because people can sense insincerity from a mile!) Feel all your emotions, even negative ones such as anger, fear, guilt, sadness, frustration and MASTER them. It is better to be caring and authentic than to be a ‘nice, people-pleasing’ person who blows hot and cold on all fronts. Being respected is a more valuable commodity than merely being popular or liked. Behavioural flexibility means being open to experiencing shifts in your perspectives and embracing other people’s views, n a very deeply authentic way.

This does not mean adamantly sticking to one, narrow point of view in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  I often say this to clients and audiences: “Feelings are like a see-saw, they come and go, up and then down. Your feelings should not be your driver, they do not express you, rather you must take control and direct how you express your feelings in a healthy way. In the end, YOU are responsible for feeling your feelings!” 

There are no coincidences in life. The people you encounter in life are there for a reason. You’ll get a chance to meet some people many times over, and some others you may only come across once. Always leave a lasting impression. You have the power to touch and inspire everyone you meet. “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet like they would be dead by midnight! Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~Og Mandino~

5Be less focused on being RIGHT and channel your energy on DOING right. Give up that unattractive and unproductive attachment to being right. It is simply your selfish, egoistic self crying out for attention and self-worship! Let it go and treat people with courtesy, always! In the words of Bestselling Author and Speaker, James McNeil; ‘Treat everyone you meet with respect because everyone has something of inestimable value to add to the world.” Understand that we all want the same things: a deep need to be valued, appreciated and loved.  “The basic building block of good communication is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value. ~Unknown~

6. Understand what dominant representational systems they are operating in, such as Visual, Kinesthetic, Auditory, Audio-Digital etc. Then, respectfully, enter their version of the world and then gently bring them out to a good meeting point (Examples;  Avoid interrupting auditory people, use/mirror body language with people who are more kinesthetic and use words to paint a vivid picture with visual people).

7. Be comfortable with silence…Yes, allow for pauses in conversations to breathe, connect without words and give room for both you and the other party to collect and articulate their thoughts. It is okay to be quiet if you have nothing to say. It is better to be a great listener than to pretend to ‘fake it’ and speak about things that you are clearly not versed in. “If you have nothing to say, say nothing. It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” ~Mark Twain~

8. Perception is projection. This framework of thinking popularized by Carl Jung simply posits that everybody standing before you is a projection of your unconscious mind. So in communicating, it is critical to be gentle with others and be gentle with yourself. Avoid being judgmental. It blocks the information and connection pathways between people. “When you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ~Mother Teresa~

9. Create healthy boundaries in all your interactions. Be clear on what your value system is and understand your guiding principles. Once you have clarity on who you are, it is easier to communicate with others and share your essence with them. “In the last analysis, what and who we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.” ~Stephen Covey~

10. Consciously enter a co-creative space and establish a value plane with each interaction you engage in. Your mission is to speak from an empowered place and add value. Communicate from a state of awareness and do it with passion, power and purpose. You have the ability to lead the dance and direct the movie. And you must be present to do it well. If you are communicating to sell products or services, be aware that there is a shift towards an empathy-driven and value-based economy. As John C. maxwell would say; people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Now more than ever, all other parameters being equal  (service quality, benefits and product performance etc.), people tend to buy from and/or do business with those they know, like and trust. “In today’s world, it is more difficult to fake integrity. All the skills in the world are for naught if you do not communicate and operate from an authentic core.” ~Bob Burg~

11. Post-conversations and interactions, release people with love in your heart. Every opportunity you get to network and interact with others is an opportunity to improve your communication skills. Simply reflect on all your interactions, take the learning, celebrate what you did great, identify what needs improving and resolve to do better next time!

**Remember to have clarity in your thoughts before you speak them, also ask questions to clarify and confirm understanding of what has been said. The communicator has the responsibility of ensuring that what (s)he’s commenting is actually what is being received and processed. Make no assumptions.

Join the conversation on our Facebook page and share your what’s working well for you so far! Let’s connect better by communicating better!

Love, Light & Truth!

Cyber-hugs,

Juliet Kego Ume-Onyido
(You may also find me here: Floetry by JulietKego)

Celebrating All EAG Nigeria Scholars | #NigerianGirlsRock

Social Media Event #MyEAGStorySeptember 30th, 2016
5 hours to go.

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  • Whole WoMan Network™: Hello Sarah, please direct your comment to the ACCESS platform. We simply posted info on the competition here. We have no ties with those who administ
  • Sarah: I remembered it was clearly stated that we should use 350 words to form any story of our choice. why is the winner not disqualified for using mor
  • Derick Tard: I have a light_brown skin but recently with the use of PERFECT WHITE CREAM which does not contain hydroquinone.I am noticing a great and rapid change

Floetry by JulietKego: Juliet 'Kego's World of Floetry; Explore! Experience! Enjoy!

#RandomMusingsbyJK: ‪‎Life Lessons at Tea Time‬

‪#‎LifeLessonsAtTeaTime‬ Not everybody will be your cup of tea, just as it’ll be silly to think you can be everybody’s cup of tea. Focus on the tea you love, quit forcing yourself to casually taste (and even drink) all the other teas. And do not serve or sell your brand of tea to everyone. Seek the […]

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