NIGERIAN MENTALITY 2: ALTERNATIVE BIRTHING METHODS!!

My people, my people, how una dey? How body? Hope say una dey kampe! I been think say I no get part 2 on top this matter but as e be like this, part 2 don land brekete! Lol!! Okay let’s get serious! This pidgin thing is not for me at all. Lol. 

I was watching something on YouTube the other day and I was surprised to know that people still think this way. I was and I still am wowed.

Caesarean section (CS) is not a taboo. I feel the need to say it again, CS is not a taboo! IVF is not a taboo! Surrogacy no be taboo!

How do you open your mouth and ask someone ‘na natural birth or na artificial birth?’ Like what?! Or ‘I know you are a lazy girl, so that is why you did CS.’ ‘The job no complete, she no push am.’ Sadly, a lot of people speak in the nonsense regularly. And we condone a lot of the nonsense as well. We need to keep this filterless people in check regularly.

Caesarean section, C-section, or Caesarean birth is the surgical delivery of a baby through a cut (incision) made in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. IVF is a medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm in a test tube or elsewhere outside the body. Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman agrees to bear a child for another person or persons, who will become the child’s parent after birth.

I think we should be thankful to God that there are multiple ways a woman can have a child rather than tearing people down. Do you know what people are going through? Some women don’t have a uterus and hence can’t carry a baby. Some women have an illness that will not permit them to have a normal vaginal delivery. And some don’t just want a vaginal birth, they have elective c-sections, and guess what? It is their choice to make!

It is completely okay to want to have a natural birth, to want to give birth like a Hebrew woman, that’s fantastic! It is in no one’s place however, to embarrass people or make other women feel less because of their birthing options. 

A child is brought into this world and that is valid. Surrogate baby or CS baby is not written on the child’s forehead. There is too much stigma attached to what there should be exposure to. People need to get informed! Congratulate new parents; it is not your business to know what kind of birth they had. That the child is here and healthy is what you should care about. Do not even get me started on the ones that want to know the sex of the child before they tell you congratulations or the ones that stress you in your period of wait.  

Honestly, the journey to parenthood can be different for everybody. Spend more time spreading love rather dabbling into things you have zero knowledge about.

Stay blessed people!

AFOMA & Queen N.

28!!

audio version

My phone beeped as it notified me of a text from an unsaved number. I was hesitant to open the text as my stomach reminded me that there were more important things to be worried about. In less than five seconds, I reached for my phone and opened the text. Despite my ravenous state, a smile forced its way to my lips. Like a dam that had been opened, my head was flooded with memories.

It was the second term of my second year in Senior Secondary School. Usually around this time of the term, elections were conducted for various prefect posts. The third year students who occupied the posts were busy with preparations for terminal exams so they had little or no time to dispense their respective duties.

One by one, a number of my friends and colleagues picked up forms to indicate their interests in running for different posts. A few posts had just one candidate in the running, some had two and others three. Judging by popularity, it was easy to tell the students who were going to win by a landslide from those who were going to have it tough. Subtle and loud campaign strategies were made here and there. My friends who were normally hostile to the junior students suddenly became friends with them.

In all of these, I put up an apathetic mien. However, deep down, I was toying with the idea of running for a post. What’s more? It was not just any post; it was that of the position of the Head boy. One person had filled his form and had started campaigning. Although it was unspoken, a number of boys were expected to run. I strongly doubted I was in that list not because I was not fit to run but because I lacked the social traction for it. I was not as popular as those boys were as I kept to myself most of the time. Then again, I was a proven leader. I met all of the particularly high requirements for the position. In fact, I had been the class captain for over a year and if I say so myself, I was doing a decent job at it, so why not? I discussed with a few of my friends who encouraged me to go for it. They decided that with the right campaign strategies, I could whip up the needed support needed to win. My parents were not left out in all of these. My dad particularly gave me moral support and told me I was going to make a fine Head boy.

And so, on the day of deadline for submission of forms, I hurried to the staffroom to obtain mine, ran back to my class, hastily filled the form and went back to submit. On getting to the staff room, I met one of the very popular boys who was expected to run for the post I was running for. He too had come to submit. I managed to steal a quick glimpse at his form and what I saw only confirmed my suspicion. He wanted to be the Head boy. In that moment, I wanted to do a 360 degree turn, head back to my class and rip my form to shreds but somehow, my feet denied my wish. Instead, I proceeded to hand it over.

I knew what I was up against. With my relatively low social presence among students, I knew that if I was to stand any chance against either of my opponents, I had more work cut out for myself. We were all required to pass a screening test which we did. From then, my campaign swung into full gear. With the help of my friends, I went from class to class during the lunch break period to campaign. I felt welcomed in some classes as they paid rapt attention to me. I was met with hostility in most. It did not help matters that most of the junior students did not know the first thing about me. One even swore he had never seen me. While speaking in a class one day, I was interrupted by cheers from the other class. Upon investigation, it was my opponent that caused the hullabaloo. I had never been given such reception. The most I got was a round of applause after my speech. At the cafeteria, the thought of mounting a table and making a dramatic speech on why I should be elected the head boy crossed my mind so many times. It remained a thought that never became reality.

I prepared a well thought out speech for the day we were required to present our manifestoes. I rehearsed my speech severally in front of my mirror, friends and parents. Places I needed adjustments were pointed out to me and I did well to make those adjustments. On the manifesto day, I was called upon first. I shivered as a cold chill ran down my spine. As I took those steps to mount the stage, my feet felt wobbly. I started to feel dizzy. My hands were shaky and dripping with sweat. I paused, took a deep breath. No, that never worked for me. I was still nervous. It did not help matters that there was a pin drop silence all over. I took hold of the microphone and started my speech in spite of my state. Somehow, in the middle of it, my confidence was restored. My hands were not shaky anymore and my voice carried a little bit of authority as I wanted it to. I rounded off my speech to the applause of everyone. I even got more reception than I thought I would. Things may not turn out so bad after all.

Again, my hopes were dashed when the third contestant was called upon. His name had barely left the moderator’s lips when a loud ovation followed. It was five times what I got. He had the backing of everyone. His speech was adorned by cheers from every side of the large hall. I thought the roof was going to come off. It was difficult to restore decorum when he was done. I was trying so hard to stay positive. I slouched in my seat once the reality hit me: there was no stopping him. I was certain he was going to win. All I could do was hope that he would not win by a large margin.

The day of election came. I think I was just emotionless that morning. I had accepted my fate already. Academic activities were suspended at noon to allow students cast their votes. Once I was handed the sheet on which I was to tick the names of my preferred candidates, I heaved a heavy sigh. It was so heavy that a number of my colleagues turned to look at me. Embarrassed, I proceeded to tick the names of the students I wanted in the various prefect posts, mine inclusive.

The result of the election was not one I looked forward to. Nonetheless, the days flew by very quickly and the day for the announcement of the results came. It was to be announced during assembly. On that day, I wished desperately for a downpour so that there would not be an assembly to announce the result. Well, you know the saying about beggars and horses. So, no, there was no downpour.

After the prayers were said and the national and school anthems were sung, the principal mounted the podium and began to speak. I think I turned deaf because I could not make out most of what she was saying. I just stood there nervously biting my nails.

I only began to hear her when she slowly started to reveal the results of the election. The post that was contested for, the names of students who ran and the number of votes each had. In that order, on and on she went until she got to the post of the head boy. By then, my palms were dripping with sweat. She called our names. Next it was the number of votes each of us had. I thought I saw a small smile creep up her face. Of course, the boy with the loudest applause on manifesto day had 198 votes. The third person running had 98 votes. I swallowed hard knowing that the number of my votes would be called next.

28

A hush swept over the hall. The rains had denied me one request. I was hoping the floor would not disappoint because more than anything, I wanted it to open up and swallow me whole.

I felt a soft tap on my shoulder. My friend had returned with the food I asked him to buy. Relieved that I was going to put an end to my stomach’s growling, I grabbed a spoon and dove into the food. After downing half the content of the plate, I picked up my phone and stared at the text that had made me smile earlier. It read;

“Long time 28. How you dey?”

TOMI

LEVEL UP!!

I have noticed that we tend to limit our abilities based on what we are facing at a particular time. Stick with me, I will expatiate. 

In any sphere of life, we are faced with tougher tasks and responsibilities when we level up. As a medical student in the Caribbean, you have 5 semesters to go through to complete Basic Medical Sciences and each semester, you think ‘yes, this one will definitely finish me off.’

In MD1, you are introduced to a course called Patient- Doctor Relationship, basically to sharpen your communication skills and to make you efficient at really knowing what your patient needs. In MD1, as per introduction to the course, we were doing things like checking blood pressure, vital signs, just getting the basic complaint of the patient and honestly, it was difficult then. Trying to remember everything to do in a time limit, the pressure, it was difficult. I must have felt that was the most stressful thing ever.

Fast-forward to MD5, head to toe exam! Like, with a specific time limit, you have to get information from your patient, perform a routine physical examination, and come up with a possible diagnosis, lol! Wow. Blood pressure checking and taking vitals is like ABC beside this and at some point, it was the worst thing ever.

My point? At the beginning of MD5, I said the head to toe exam was too stressful, that it wouldn’t be possible to remember everything and do it well. Guess what? I did my head to toe exam and I did it excellently well. At the moment, head to toe exam is not what it used to be at the beginning of MD5. It is like ABC now.

I mean I survived in another country for close to one year. I didn’t think I could do it but with God’s help, I survived. In 2016, when I resumed for A levels (first time I would be staying away from home), I was crying like a baby, I didn’t think I would survive without my mummy but I did!  

You have to start every level knowing that you can do whatever is placed before you. DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF. It is a new stage, it is meant to be tougher, but you would look back one day and consider that stage as ABC.

Life is about levelling up, so level up! (In Ciara’s voice)

AFOMA.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!

The audio version

Hello Lovelies,

I am not going to try and pretend as if it has not been a tough week for us all. It has been a week of pain. A week of dealing with a pathetic reality. A week of questions. Particularly WHY??? WHY??? WHY ARE PEOPLE SO INHUMANE? WHY IS POWER CONSTANTLY ABUSED?!

It started with George Floyd being killed in such a degrading and dehumanising manner. My heart could not bear it. I avoided the news. I tried to focus on my assignment and put everything I mentally had into it. I could not wrap my head around the fact that a person’s skin colour sentenced him to death. I imagined how he must have felt in his last minutes. So much pain for his skin colour. Why?

Then there was Tina. A sixteen-year-old girl with a bright future ahead of her. An innocent girl at the wrong place. An innocent girl paying a price for things she is not responsible for. She was killed by a stray bullet fired by an officer of the Nigerian Police Force. We have to bury and mourn a soul because our system has failed us. She is not the first to go this way, but this has to end!

Both George and Tina were killed by Police Officers. Both set of officers abusing their powers. The same entity supposed to create an air of security now threaten our very safety. What life is this? The Officers have been left to wild out without accountability. Our lives have become a joke in the hands of the ones we trust to protect us.

Processing that was tough, then there was Uwa. A 22-year-old lady who was raped in a church premises and left to die. My question is what type of animals roam the streets in human form? How was it alright to rape a woman? What is the excuse the time? What she was wearing? Because you know that is the rubbish we condone. A woman is raped, and the question is what was she wearing? What was she doing? Well newsflash she was in the house of God and still got raped. I would like to hear another pathetic apologist explain this to me. And try real hard because you will fail. You already failed from the moment you tried to explain rape. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR RAPE!! Only a screwed-up person would think it is okay to rape a person and only a mentally deficient entity would attempt to justify it.

Enough is enough really!!! I am tired! We have been fighting a cause that seems to be going nowhere. I had my sister call me and she was perplexed. She could not concentrate on anything the day the video of George Floyd was aired. She kept asking why? How do I explain why to her? How do I fix that pain in her chest? I have a baby sister in Nigeria that I have to worry about. I see the way my younger brother watches over her everywhere because of his consciousness of the society. He is not ready to have anything happen to her under his watch. These rapists do not even respect sacred places no more. She is definitely going to live an extra sheltered life.

Is it not time that the Nigerian Police Force looks into their officers? You see a couple of them, and you wonder how they ever qualified to join the force. While working in Nigeria, I visited the Lagos Police Command at Ikeja GRA and I was amazed to see that there are actually responsible looking Police Officers. I started wondering why they let the underqualified persons man the roads. That negligence is the very reason we have lost Tina today and many other lives in the past. It is time to be accountable!! It is time to do better!! Tina could have been anyone of us. If the bullet did not hit her, it would have hit another innocent individual. Why was a bullet fired recklessly in the first place?? WHY?

RACISM! The single word that has caused a lot of problems around the world. Doesn’t it sound ridiculous that your skin colour gets you an early appointment with your maker? Whoever created this concept? Who was so misdirected to have conceived that a race beneath others? This is my theory yeah. If you had the opportunity to make people in your image, would you make everyone the same thing? Would you not play around with certain things? Create a spectrum. From the Whitest version of yourself to the Blackest version of yourself? Isn’t there a saying that variety is the spice of life? God created us to complement each other not kill each other! I am just short of words. My tiny mind cannot comprehend it.

For me, my undergrad years were in a University located in a primarily white city. I remember attending seminars and being the only one sitting at my table because I was black. The others would cluster on the other two tables. That only started to change when they started realising that I actually had brains from group presentations. I wondered if my skin colour also determined my IQ. It just does not make any sense. The assumptions and tags are sickening.

I attended my regular Transformation Church Service today (Online of course) and my heart broke further. I saw Michael Todd sit there with a hoodie that read “Your Pastor is black”. He was so drained, and his pain really resonated within me. The pain is real because he knows it could have been him. It could have been any black person!

Enough is Enough!!! This narrative has to change. We need to get better! The world has to get better. Those in power need to become more accountable. The process starts with us. It starts for what we tolerate and speak out against. It starts from our hearts. It starts from our homes. Are we teaching our children to love in spite of skin colours? Are we advocating against rape? Who is holding the irresponsible police officers responsible?

From my Christian background, I know that although we may be different skin colours, GOD gave every one of us core elements. These core elements do not change because of our race. He gave us Himself – grace, favour, blessings, provision and many more. He gave us His son. His son did not die for just black people or just white people. He died for EVERYBODY. And lastly, He gave us His Spirit. God is love! We are not representing that well if we let hate and division strive.

Hence, we need to get ourselves in order. We need to get our homes in order. We need to speak out and advocate for the right things from a place of love and not further hate. This is a trying period, but I pray the Lord gives us all the strength to push through this remembering that we are stronger together!

#JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #JusticeforTina #JusticeforUwa

Remain Blessed.

Queen N.

THE NIGERIAN MENTALITY!!!

If you are more of a listening person, please find the audio version of the article attached above!

When a Nigerian does something typical, we say ‘that is the Nigerian mentality’. I think this statement in itself has given room for so many excesses to be very honest. We have found a way to accept so much nonsense in the name of ‘Nigerian mentality’ and some of these, if not most, are so backward and I am like how can that be the mentality?  How can that be the accepted standard of things? How are we letting these things get embedded in our culture? How are we teaching our children that these things are okay?

On a good day, one would probably see most of these things being displayed in the society.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

  • A lady at 30 that is not married has failed – The most popular one and by far the most hilarious and annoying at the same time. How can a set of people get to judge if a human being is successful or not based on the marital status? Since when did we become God, the giver of husbands? A woman that would be doing great, breaking boundaries and rising higher day by day is seen by the majority as a failed woman. No matter the level of success she attains, if she doesn’t have a big rock sitting on the marriage finger, ah she is a big failure Guess what? You see that woman that gave birth to her is a bigger failure because she is now God that gives husbands as well. She has them stored somewhere and she will release them as she pleases. Smh! To the society, an unmarried woman is probably a witch chasing everyone away and is in urgent need of deliverance because she is 30 and doing well. We need to reduce the pressure on young women trying to do well for themselves while waiting for their God sent partners. Please don’t push anybody into anything you won’t survive with them. Pray for them from a genuine heart and let God do His thing. Or show us where the husband market is yeah.

  • A Christian who doesn’t go to church can’t make heaven – NEWS FLASH!! If you don’t attend church in Nigeria (for whatever reason), you are a big sinner according to the self-proclaimed gods. Your sin is gigantic, and you are probably going to hell! Like how do we think of these things? How do we arrive at such conclusions? This Coronavirus has probably opened the eyes of so many. So, all of us that can’t go to church like this, we have sinned abi? We need to calm down small ehn.

  • African time – Ahhh this one probably vexes me the most and people have carried it out of the country. I was the President of the Nigerian Students Society in my university in Chester, UK and African time followed people to another man’s country. See ehn, in some people’s head, to make a statement at an event, if you want to be considered somebody, you can’t be punctual for any event. People must wait for you, if not, it can’t work. Like, for real? It is already okay for people to be late for anything because of African time?. Really? Event planners have become accustomed to it, so much so that they give such allowance and end up starting their events late. I mean we can do better. This is the time for the event, event planners start on time, guests, be punctual so we can all go home and sleep please!

  • A childless woman has failed/You NEED a male child – You see, after getting married, your pressure upgrades. It is now time to give birth. It is pressure to pressure because of the Nigerian Mentality.  If you don’t give your husband a child, that is a big failure because you know women have a bag in their abdomen where they store babies and push out at will. We need to calm down. The most annoying thing is that they never think there might be a problem with the husband. Let’s say you successfully give birth to like 2 children, it is not enough until you give birth to the one with a penis because that penis is the definition of a successful mother. Biologically, the man’s sperm decides the sex of the child no?! So why does the woman bear the blame for having female children? Why don’t you leave the child giving to God whose timing is always perfect? The pressure on a woman to do this and to do that is too much and it needs to be reduced. Feel free to pray for someone believing for the fruit of the womb. Don’t add to people’s problems Nobody is God. Pray for people, don’t ask unnecessary questions, and most importantly know your place!

Using ‘Nigerian Mentality’ to be inhumane needs to stop.

Stay safe and stay blessed!

To Be Continued…

Afoma and Queen Natalia