What’s in a Name?

Imagine being a front-desk personnel in an organization and someone walks in and introduces himself as Anslem Obama. Your mind of course rushes to the first black president of the United States; and because of his persona you may want to pour on and ask more questions but you can’t because he has demanded to see your boss and has a legit appointment. Now you’re puzzled but in glee because you may have just met Barrack Obama’s relative.

Now no one is saying go around introducing yourself, claiming Obama as a last name. This only brings to the fore how important a name is. Although every name in existence is bore by more than one person, even a few persons bear the name Jesus; it is still a major factor in differentiating our individualities.

In the 2009 blockbuster Bollywood movie, 3 idiots, an engineering professor threw out a question to his class –

“Who was the first man on the moon?”

Chorus answer: Neil Armstrong

“Who was the second man on the moon?”

(Pin drop silence)

This goes to show the names of those who go down in history whether for good or bad are always remembered. There have been dictators – Idi Amin, inventors – Thomas Edison, tyrants – Yakubu Gowon, reformers – Martin Luther King Jr and so on. With a name, there is no argument whatsoever as to whom the perpetrator of a deed is.

Nigerian R’n’B singer, Praiz once shared a story on Ebony Life TV about how he was traveling out of the country and on getting to immigration desk at the airport, he submitted his passport for inspection but the officer on seeing his name was Praise asked “Praise, as in praise the Lord?” and on answering in the affirmative, he let him go on a jolly note without any further hassles. Meanwhile his manager was delayed a little and when he joined him, he jokingly told him to better go change his name.

Biblically, one can easily recall a few name changes. Abram meaning exalted father was later changed to Abraham, meaning father of many nations. Sarai meaning my lady or my princess was changed to Sarah meaning mother of many nations. Jacob meaning supplanter was changed to Israel meaning may God prevail. All these changes were effected by God Himself.

Coming home, it does not escape the mind that some Nigerians like to name their children depending on the circumstance surrounding their birth. For example, my traditional name is Onyekachukwu, meaning “who is greater than God?” This is a rhetorical question and bible believing folks know the answer to this is nobody. This was given to me because my mom had a really tough time birthing me but in the end was successful. Also, my Yoruba name is Yewande meaning “mother has returned” because I was born the day my maternal grandma died.

People have even mastered the act of namedropping just to show they know people in high places. Even connections that have paved way for individuals originated from mentioning certain names. We’ve seen cases where celebrities do not drop the last name their fans have always identified them with. This is especially common among the females who get married. For example, Kim Kardashian West, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha etc.

Even in business, entrepreneurs are advised to make their business names easy and pronounceable especially for retention, reference and should in case they want to make the business global, foreigners can easily relate to it.

A name in whatever rife is really important and not to be undermined because you never know where one is going to pave ways for you or launch you to that next big thing in life. Also, it is important to pay attention to meanings of names as well so the prophesying factor of people calling you by such names can work in your life as well. Who has being anonymous helped anyway?

MOVIE REVIEW: WIVES ON STRIKE

GENRE: Comedy
DURATION: 93 Minutes
RATING: 4 out of 5
CAST: Omoni Oboli, Uche Jombo, Ufuoma McDermott, Kehinde Bankole, Chioma Akpotha, Kenneth Okonkwo, Julius Agwu, Udoka Onyeka, Kalu Ikeagwu.

image

The sole aim of comedy is to make people laugh and when it comes to comedy there is no wrong or right approach. The idea of Wives On Strike is birthed from the very controversial event in Nigeria in 2013, where a bill was passed into law, allowing underage marriage in the country.
Ufuoma McDermott plays the role of Mama Amina, the flustered mother of a 13-year-old whose husband, Baba Amina played by Udoka Onyeka is bent on giving her away to a rich Alhaji in order to bring some financial relief to the family. Other wives in the neighborhood hear of this treachery and will not have him give away “their” daughter. Depriving their husbands of sex is the weapon wielded by the women in order to win their fight against child marriage.

image

Wives On Strike carries a very strong adult theme of sex as “jangolova” is often discussed among both the striking women and their deprived husbands. Even when a lady decides to imbibe the spirit of entrepreneurship with the intention of filling a gap in the neighborhood, she presents “pomade” (Vaseline) to the men to buy for masturbation purpose of course, since the women are unwilling to consent to sex.
There is a high use of synecdoche as just 4 women and 4 men were used to represent the large population of Nigeria and what we should be doing as a nation to curb child marriage. More so, the power of the media, no matter how “small” should not be undermined because the publicity the market women received started when a small local news reporter coincided with them when they stormed viciously to Amina’s house the day she was to be married off to chase her suitor away. From being reported as bizarre news, it garnered so much attention and went from Pan African to global.
Wives On Strike managed to stay entertaining while addressing a very controversial issue and should have no trouble finding an audience because the dominant language was Pidgin English. When Cali’s wife (played by Julius Agwu and Uche Jombo) will not come through for him, he resorts to seeking comfort in a sex worker who dupes him by demanding a pre-service charge and then declaring she’s on strike as well. Mid-way through the hullabaloo, we’re introduced to Vera, (Chioma Akpotha) the wife of Senator Aniette (Kalu Ikeagwu) who is moved by the bizarre news reportage and declares “I am tired of being the wife that smiles and waves. I want my voice to be heard.” This is the start of a ripple effect as she lands the group of striking women an episode on a TV show and that is the genesis of global recognition of their cause. Desperate to put an end to their plight, the men begin to reason with their wives and join in the protest. This is portrayed by okada men demonstrating in the streets. Thus, the movie cuts across people from all walks of life.
Wives On Strike not only draws attention to the imminent evil of child marriage – Veisco-vaginal Fistula (VVF) it also highlights the importance of family planning and entrepreneurship – the other women eventually donate a sewing machine to Mama Amina so she’s gainfully engaged and can contribute to her family.
No free ads/promo aye? I could not help but notice in all the beer parlor scenes, the label of the beers being served had been peeled off and covert advertising was consciously avoided. Way to go guys. Also, Uche Jombo (Jemimah, aka Madam 12:30) was way too excited for the role she played as a striking wife compared to her counterparts. She looked too happy discussing a rather sensitive issue. In addition, the scroll bars in the news scenes were not necessary as they carried headlines that will not stand the test of time.
Given the title of the movie, all strikes must come to an end no matter how long. Eventually, the women won as the law enacted to now prevent child marriage was enforced in all states and the men can now “jangolova” with their wives.
“I will not go through this life knowing I could have made a difference but did nothing” which Vera told her husband point blank when he asked her to back down from her support for the striking women is definitely a spur on for people to contribute the little or much they can to national development irrespective of impediments. Wives On Strike passes a clear message of standing up for what is right and doing everything we can to curb evil in our society.

image

DESTINATION X EVENT REVIEW: SPICE ROUTE X INDUSTRY NITE

image

Finding myself alone in a sea of strange Lagosians was definitely not how I envisaged one of my Wednesday nights will go. But as the popular saying goes, I guess life threw a couple of lemons at me and this review is the lemonade I made out of it! Since the inception of Industry Nite in 2008, different Lagos scenes have witnessed habitual nocturnals stream out for the mid-week groove which takes place every Wednesday. On this particular one, I happened to be in attendance at the popular restaurant by day, clubhouse by night Spice Route located on 36 Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Reception: at the gate I met a hive of bouncers and unfortunately, I was rather early so these Dwayne Johnson looking fellows thoroughly had my time. After what I assumed was their protocol and having to part with copies of the magazine I came to distribute, they let me in. A waitress was courteous enough to show me to a seat which I am still grateful for because it enabled me savor the show in its entirety.
Ambiance: fully air-conditioned, good lighting, live-band and DJ Consequence on deck. The most fascinating thing about Spice Route (you can easily guess this if you’ve been there) is the giant Buddha statue at right angle to the stage.

image

This massive masterpiece is literally a show on its own and mother of all the other Indian artefacts there indicating how deeply rooted Spice Route is in Indian culture.
The Host: this guy had ENERGY. At a point I remember asking myself “are this guy and I in the same room?” because he was sweating from all the vibes he was giving off and I was hella chilled. Note that the event proper hadn’t even started at this point. I have to give it to SPANKY for bringing so much adrenaline to the show.
THE EVENT/PERFORMERS: this particular edition of Industry Nite was tagged Ladies Nite. Korra Obidi, Mz Kiss, Saeon, Immaculate, Emma Nyra, Niniola, Monica Ogah and a host of other performers took to the stage in turns to thrill the audience with rap, punch lines, nightingale-like singing, dance moves etc. I totally commend the artists’ use of stage or should I say economy of stage because live-band equipment had taken up a good chunk of the space provided. So kudos on still being able to drop and stomp in heels, exuding energy on a hundred.
ATTENDEES: over a year ago, I observed Lagos night lifers don’t really come for the fun anymore. Instead they sip their drink and bore into you with stares. Now added to that, they make snaps only when their favorite songs come on like they had been so hype all night. Industry Nite had a dose of this in good measure; so yeah, same old story; although a few people DID really dance and turn up. It will be a foul to omit the celebrities I saw in attendance – Naeto C, Uti Nwachukwu, Uche Sensei, Peter of P-Square, Vanessa Mdee from Tanzania and Ehiz the MTV Base Veejay.
DAMAGE DONE: sound was not top notch as some artists had to switch mics in-between performance and when the DJ was not blasting their song over the speakers, I could barely hear them in their attempt to sing directly into the mic. Do I blame this on their accustom to lip-sync? I also observed when the camera guys notice someone really getting their groove on, they tend to focus on them. The downside to this is that anyone who watches a clip from this event will assume everyone was turned up that much and that was not so. But I guess that’s part of the showbiz trick.
RATING: on a scale of 1-10, I’d jointly rate Industry Nite and Spice Route 7.5

MOVIE REVIEW: MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN

image

GENRE: Drama
DURATION: 109 Minutes
RATING: 5 Out Of 5
CAST: Jennifer Garner, Kylie Rogers, Martin Henderson, John Carroll Lynch, Queen Latifah

Set in middle-class Texas, Miracles From Heaven may at first come off as one of those medical diagnosis movies such as My Sister’s Keeper or The Fault In Our Stars where emotional twists and turns lead to the eventual death of the main character. It is ALMOST predictable. The movie sure has its dose of plot twists but the eventual turn out of events is most unanticipated.
The faith of a Christian family is put to test when the second of their 3 beautiful girls comes down with a rare ailment which defies all medical diagnosis. Jennifer Garner plays the part of a distraught mother (Christy Beam) to Anna Beam, the sick 10-year old (Kylie Rogers). She is torn and questions why a little girl should be plagued by unexplainable episodes. Even when she fights to keep her faith, the church becomes hostile and she finds herself at the mercy of Children Specialist, Dr. Nurko, played by Eugenio Derbez who is impossible to see without an appointment booked at least a year in advance! With the help of “angels in human form”, Christy is finally able to get Dr. Nurko to see her daughter but his hands are tied – Anna will NOT survive. As if all of that pain is not enough, Anna is involved in an accident which judging by human standard, is not supposed to survive but her Miracle From Heaven occurs, leaving everyone in a state of confusion, disbelief and joy.
The theme of love and family, hope and despair, faith and fear is well portrayed in this piece. In the face of on-going circumstances, Anna’s family stick together and make sacrifices for her so she does not feel alone in her situation. It would have been totally unrealistic if the family was portrayed as all perfect, with no flaws; they had major fights and fall outs, showing how Anna’s sickness was taking its tow on the family. But above all, love prevails, God intervenes and His intervention reaffirms He is Supreme, alive and working.
The actors in this movie could not have done it any better. It appeared everyone understood their role and brought the plot to life. Production of the movie was good as no element seemed to be lacking or out of place. Permit me to be a bit bias, but owing my Christian faith, I rated this movie 5 out of 5 because it is based on a true life story, was well translated to a movie and reaffirms that miracles are real and happen around us every day!

WRITER’S BLOCK

image

A friend of mine owns a blog I read a lot way back. In fact he is one of the early influences that motivated me to start writing/blogging. Over a period, I noticed he did not post anymore so I hit him up to ask what was going on. Without any enthusiasm, he simply replied “writer’s block”.

To be honest, that was my first time of hearing this term and I was puzzled. Instead of looking it up, I brushed it aside thinking he was just being verbose. A long while after, he still hadn’t posted; that was when I got bothered and decided to look up this almighty writer’s block.

image

In very simple terms, writer’s block is an inability to write. If you are thinking such small words with a small meaning, you are not alone; that was my initial thought too.

Like every other area of the creative industry, writing is serious business. If you follow the big names in writing, (both within and outside Nigeria) it is not difficult to see that as they are working hard to keep readers entertained or informed, extra zeros are being written on their pay checks.

image

Before I started uploading posts on my blog, I legit prayed against writer’s block and every now and then, I still do. Factors ranging from running out of inspiration, distraction, physical illness, depression, unsuitable style and deadline and so on have been identified as part contributors to writer’s block.

image

I was at a media training where a life coach made mention of “creative amnesia”. Amnesia is a partial or total loss of memory. The key word here is the loss. In this case, creative amnesia entails that not only writers can be affected but people who need to come up with creative ideas on a regular basis. They include but are not limited to comedians, advertising practitioners, chefs, poets, scriptwriters, bakers, jewelers, art illustrators, on-air personalities etc. They too can experience “the block”; and since creative amnesia is a loss, that means it can be regained.

image

Jonathan Franzen, a novelist and essayist said writer’s block might mean you’re trying to write something you’re not ready to write. As a writer, during such a period, you can diversify to other related or non-related practices till ideas come rushing.

image

Furthermore, there are situations where people use others as standards for themselves. This can be a hindrance to coming up with individual creative ideas as there is the need to be a replica of your standard. That is not to say it is not okay to have a mentor but a clear distinction helps separate your work from whoever you’re looking up to so there is no conflict of ideas.

image

So long as the passion to be an artist lives, a comeback is on the way. Finally, do not fall out of love with your craft; the joy is for you to have before you can give it to the world. Godspeed.

image

SELF-LOVE

image

Over my last 4 posts, I’ve been covering issues that border on love and relationships just because its February, the month highly acknowledged as the month of love. It’s the finale of the series and having explored forgiveness, Valentine celebration and sustaining love between partners, what better way to draw the curtain than with self-love?

Many-a-time, people are so focused on how much they can bring to the table in any relationship; be it with family or peers. They always seek to be in people’s good books by being overly nice. This comes with making a lot of personal sacrifices which at times may not be favorable but they just go ahead anyway. But when it comes to the welfare of such people, you find out that no one takes care of them and they themselves may in fact not be demanding.

You get into a relationship and when things are going south you’re the one making all the effort to keep it going. You’re separated by distance from your friends and if you don’t holler, there’s no keeping in touch. It is indeed a good thing to be nice and see to the welfare of those around you; but baby boy or baby girl, I need to ask – for how long?

The concept of self-love does not entail being selfish or narcissistic; rather it connotes caring about yourself and well being in a way your average friend wouldn’t. There are no limits to how you can practice self-love. Go to the spa for a full-body scrub and massage, get a soothing pedicure, enjoy a sun bath while sipping an expensive bottle of wine, try new food, visit new places, attend comedy shows after a long day; there is really no limit.

Steve Maraboli a behavioral scientist, said the most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. Your relationship with yourself affects your relationship with others. If you’re happy within you, you almost literally drop rose petals everywhere you go. But if you’re bitter 24/7, you exude bitterness as well.

Personally, when I feel the need to do something for myself, I go to the movies alone to see either a romantic comedy or action comedy movie. It always helps. I also love Amala and Ewedu with lots of beef so I treat myself to that as well. If I’m feeling extra, KFC Zinger burger and ColdStone Creamery got my back. These are the little things I love and I never wait around for someone to come take me to have them. I just pick up my debit card and I’m out.

Diane Von Furstenberg, fashion mogul and founder of the iconic Wrap dress said when a woman becomes her own best friend, life is easier. You don’t want to be that person who is easily irritated or worked up because you’re not patient enough to have a relationship with people and understand them or that person whose colleagues at work dread or school mates dread being paired with for a project. There’s the need to constantly see to your happiness and maintain a positive state of mind.

When you fall out with your boyfriend/girlfriend and find yourself single again, you’re allowed to cry, drown in ice-cream and deprive yourself of food, shave and a bath like they do in the movies but that is certainly not the period to be self-destruct, Mr. or Ms. Available or over-advertise your breakup. This period is best suited for building yourself and noting what went wrong so you don’t find yourself making the same mistakes in future.

Caroline Kirk, a writer and teacher said self-love requires you to be honest about your thought patterns and undertake new practices that reflect self-worth. Self-love entails you legit do your own thing – that which makes you happy, care less about the world without in fact hurting anyone or yourself in the process.

Rather than sit around with a damp spirit waiting for XO to come love you, practice self-love and develop a vibrant spirit. Love yourself first in order to determine your ability to love others. Smile more and worry less.

image

Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy Ways to Keep Love Alive

Truth be told, there’s always a hint of personal experience and objectivity in whatever I write and I feel really brave taking it upon myself to write about love and relationships because a few layers of my private thoughts are embedded in this.

Skipping all other shenanigans and preambles, I shed light on how partners can sustain the spark/flame/fire/glow/vibe (whatever you choose to call it) of their relationship in a few easy ways. I’ve heard people whine and complain a lot about how the beginning of their relationship was rosy and they could literally see stars in their partner’s eyes when they stared into them; but months or years on, all that glistering seems to fade away or get replaced with struggles.

Good news! You no longer have to deal with struggles; brace up because the flame is about to be reignited following these 5 easy guidelines.

SURPRISES

image

Nothing says “thinking about you” like springing a good surprise on your partner. It can literally light up a thousand bulbs in their world. The fact that you actually thought it through to send them flowers, gifts, lunch at break time etc when they least expect it goes to show you have them in mind. Surprises show that no matter how crazy your schedule is, you still find time to arrange a thoughtful gesture; and how heart-warming is that?

DATE NIGHTS

image

Some may argue this is borrowed culture from the West but it doesn’t make it less of a way to keep the flame in your relationship alight. Date night may or may not be weekly depending on your budget/schedule but incorporating it in your relationship will surely do it a whole lot of good. Find time to seclude yourselves from the craziness of work or the chatter of kids and go out to eat a nice meal, watch a nice movie, or even go clubbing. No matter the location, time spent together as a couple is very valuable and endears partners to each other a lot more.
 
PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (P.D.A)

image

Nigerians will stare at you in an awkward manner, iya-alata will judge you with her eyes, children in their naivety will jeer and close their eyes but it is in your power to not let the reaction from the world deter you from expressing love to your partner publicly. Hand in hand strolls, forehead kisses and stolen kisses, brushing hair off your babe’s face, whispering sweet nonsenses in each other’s ears, compliments, private jokes etc done in public make up some of the ways to display affection publicly. Granted, you may be dating an extremely shy person; it is up to you as the bolder partner to make them comfortable with PDA. No need to go about it forcibly; with more subtle gestures and time, PDA can actually grow on your once shy partner.

REMEMBER IMPORTANT DATES

image

This particularly entails anniversaries and birthdays. It doesn’t just end at remembering, also make effort to do or buy something new and special for them. Days like that come only once in an entire year and remembering shows you care. Unless under very reasonable circumstances, do not forget important dates. They are one of the life wires that keep a relationship going.

PRAY

image

Ever seen or heard where something had the Almighty’s backing and it failed? I haven’t and I’m guessing you haven’t as well. The importance of praying together and for your partner can never be over emphasized. Your partner’s challenges are invariably your challenges and combating them spiritually saves you both a whole lot of stress. Pray, so you don’t fall prey to the antics of the enemy; pray so your love is one that stands the test of time and above all, pray so blessings and joy does not elude you two.

On that note, I’d like to say every waking day is indeed one to reassure your boo you got love deeper than the ocean for them. It does not have to only be on special occasions. Make every moment count, make everyday special and thank you for allowing me influence your love approach.

Image Source: Google

VALENTINE’S DAY

image

Valentine’s Day is pretty much around the corner and even if you try to be oblivious of it, the color red (the color of love) is popping from almost every gift store, supermarket and boutique just to interrupt your ignoring process. At this time, I bet the 5-Star restaurants are already booked to capacity and lovers are tightening up loose ends as to make the best arrangements in order to surprise their loved ones or reassure them of their genuine, heartfelt, undying feelings for them.

As much as doing things big are fancy and will make your guy or girl the envy of their friends, I’ve always been a believer in the small things because they really count. Nope, I’m not going to dictate how you decide to spend Val’s Day but allow me take you back in time to the history of Valentine’s Day. Basically, the goal here is to remind us how Val’s Day came about and compare it to what it has become today.

image

“The story of Valentine’s Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian Martyr. The emperor was Claudius II, the Christian was Valentinus.
Claudius had ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods, and had made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians. But Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ; not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs. He was arrested and imprisoned.
During the last week of Valentinus’ life, a remarkable thing happened. Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked whether his daughter, Julia, might be brought to Valentinus for lessons. She had been blind since birth. Julia was a pretty young girl with a quirk mind. Valentinus read stories of Rome’s history to her. He described the world of nature to her. He taught her arithmetic and told her about God. She saw the world through his eyes, trusted his wisdom and found comfort in his quiet strength.
“Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?” Julia asked one day.
“Yes, my child, He hears each one.”
“Do you know what I pray for every morning and night? I pray that I might see. I want so much to see everything you’ve told me about!”
“God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him,” Valentinus said.
“Oh Valentinus, I do believe! I do!” She knelt and grasped his hand.
They sat quietly together, each praying. Suddenly there was a brilliant light in the prison cell. Radiant, Julia screamed, “Valentinus, I can see! I can see!”
“Praise be to God!” Valentinus exclaimed, and knelt down in prayer.
On the eve of his death, Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God. He signed it, “From your Valentine.” His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory. He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome. It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.
Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship. On each February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day, messages of affection, love, and devotion are exchanged around the world.”
Culled from https://www.olrl.org/lives/valentine.shtml

The first time I came across that story, I was taken aback by the difference between the event that led to the commemoration of Valentine’s Day and what it has become today. I’d like to think time is the main factor that has influenced this change. Exchanging gift cards, flowers and candy at work, spa treatments, exotic dinners and getaways, mind blowing sex, lavish boat cruise, picnics etc are some of the modern ways love is expressed on Val’s Day.

Well, I’d advise no one gets carried away by the Valentine’s Day movies/the media shows us. I bet not everyone can afford that and truth be told, love can be expressed on any day of the year. If your budget or account balance does not align with your plans for a glam celebration at this time, lots of chocolate, pizza and ice-cream or wine while seeing a movie at home can suffice. This makes up part of what I mentioned earlier as little things.

image

Valentine’s Day can also be when you surprise your loved one with that one thing they have always fancied having or return tickets to a getaway destination.  There are really no bounds to what you can do to show love. Bottom line is stick to your budget. Make visible effort, let your lover recognize and appreciate but don’t go over board and over stretch your limits. It is also a good time to pop the question to your woman or ask someone you really like to be your girl. Whatever you decide to do with your February 14 is totally up to you but do it well.

As for single folk, this may be one of those times the reminder actually stings especially if you have been hoping to meet a special someone. No worries, Cupid’s strike of love will certainly hit you in good time.

image

Valentine’s Day for singles is not totally out of the books as you and your single friends can come together and have a great get-together.

Lastly, I don’t know how much emphasis is laid on protected sex among your groups but if you’re unmarried and the heat of love/passion skyrockets to where you can’t control it and you have to go all the way, WRAP 👏 IT 👏 UP 👏. You do not want to face the challenges of being a parent when you’re not in the least ready for it.

Have a lovely, lovely celebration.

image

#LetThatHurtGo2016

If you take a pee break off Twitter, you are certainly set to miss something or come back to meet everyone going off about something. Luckily, the hash tags make it easy to catch up and follow updates about a trend.

As much as people make noise about leaving a certain pattern of behavior in an old year while heralding the arrival of a new one, some of these patterns creep their way into the new year.

2016 was not left out as its inception witnessed the #WasteHisTime2016 trend. Interestingly, it appeared to be a global movement as fellow Twitter users abroad joined in trending the hash tag.

The bottom line of this trend was an outcry by heartbroken females, suggesting tactical ways of leading the male folk on and dashing their hopes of a serious relationship just when he’s at the nip of thinking or believing he’s in one.

Now one would imagine guys will be more mature and laugh it off but trust social media to dish the exact opposite. There was an instant backlash on females resulting to #WasteHerTime2016.

On close analysis of both trends, the real situation is #WasteYourTime2016. I want to believe all the tweets I read in relation to these trends were banter and no one actually applied them to their real life.

At any point in time, your resources, especially time, money and even emotions are invested in carrying out your “revenge mission”. You may be thrilled your plot to get back at someone is working out but in the real sense, you’re wasting your time as well. The time spent playing Femi for being a Yoruba demon could have been used in meeting Dele who is better off and building a relationship or network that will turn out very beneficial.

There’s really no gain going after a new person in hopes of meting out ill treatment just to have revenge for what was done to you previously. If it works out and the new victim goes on the same spree as well, the result is a trail of broken hearts which isn’t good for the world.

Mother Teresa said it is a kingly act to assist the fallen; if we really want to love, we must learn to forgive; and it is in loving we are loved as well.

As we herald the month of February, the month of love/Valentine, I strongly advocate for #LetThatHurtGo2016. You’ll be shocked at how different the air of freedom feels compared to the thick mist of not forgiving.

image

CITIZEN JOURNALISM

image

Until the Nigerian political system moved from military to civilian rule, the media was highly proscribed. There was a limit to what they could say or print especially about the government in power; and at any time, media houses could be shut down and out of business.

Fast forward to present day where the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill has been passed into law, giving power to media practitioners to say what they feel about both the government and society. The passage of the FOI bill can be viewed as a step forward in development, in that the media can now fully perform their watch-dog function, acting as a check on government excesses. Also, they are independent of external influence and can perform as freely and effectively as their Western counterparts.

The media has the internet as its newest form and the internet has given rise to a term known today as Citizen Journalism. Citizen journalism is the collection, dissemination and analysis of news information by the general public, especially by means of the internet (Oxford Dictionary). From phones, tablets, laptops and other devices, regular individuals can post information on any issue; be it lack of electricity supply, views on politics, religious tension, insurgency etc.

image

There are individuals who have created well-organized sites and make it their jobs to source for news on current affairs, politics, business, sports, entertainment, fashion etc and package them for broadcast via web links. These individuals are known as bloggers. In the wake of blogging, it seemed “cool” and was thriving until a lot of people rushed into it. The aim was probably to create competition but an entire mess has been made of the venture. There are so many bloggers, many of them tweeting the same feed and picking one to obtain news from has become quite difficult and almost impossible. Also, there is mindless lifting of news headlines and even more annoying are the headlines that are exaggerated just to generate traffic.

image

Although many may not want to be termed (mini) bloggers, actions such as tweeting and status update on Facebook fall under blogging; only on a micro scale. Users of social network platforms are more or less the real citizen journalists.

image

Citizen journalism in its rife gives a voice to the voiceless and promotes grass-root development. Individuals who notice a gap in an area can bring the attention of constituted authority to it just by mentioning them (so long as they have accounts on the chosen medium) or even cause a trend using hash tags.

image

Also, citizen journalism helps spread news faster. By tweeting, retweeting and reposting, people get in the know about what is currently happening. Though the traditional means of communication are far more reliable, they do not have to be strictly the only news source.

image

Since citizen journalists are ordinary individuals like you and I, the ethics and principles of journalism are not completely upheld. This is because people are not grounded in the rudiments of journalism. There is the issue of trusting news sources and question of ingenuity. For example, a girl I follow on Twitter once tweeted about an orgy involving a married woman. Bloggers didn’t bother to get the story right; they repackaged it and published it as her having an orgy, and even went as far as including her profile picture in it. The incident generated a lot of buzz and the public embarrassment forced her off Twitter for months. Incidents like this challenge if journalism should be left to just professionals.

image

There is also the issue of unreferenced news sources and people using their accounts to spread hate and spiteful comments against other individuals and groups.
In as much as citizen journalism has proven to be quite helpful, individuals should know where to draw the line. People should come to the realization of how citizen journalism can be maximized to benefit society. Lets turn on our brain filters so Freedom of Information isn’t reverted, taking us back in time to proscription. Spreading hate, insulting instead of helping/ encouraging the government in power, and other of such demeaning acts should be avoided as much as possible. Abuse they say is inevitable when purpose is not known.

image