How I Save Using EBATES

why buy anything if you are not getting it on a deal anyway?

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Hi friend,

You have not clicked on this post by chance and I am here to tell you why that is. You are always happy when you score a deal, you feel better knowing that you have saved some money after purchasing an item at a reduced price, your change is precious to you, you are always on the look out for sales on every holiday and at the end of every season, you are blessed with great taste and you are discerning enough to know that you do not have to break bank to get the things you want.

EBATES is here to make your online and in-store (US only) shopping experience better than ever before, you can sign up with my link and get $10 USD in Ebates payment instantly to start enjoying the ultimate rebate experience of your life.

HOW IT WORKS

1. Sign Up to EBATES by copying this link to your browser:

ebates.com/r/IJEY10?eeid=34782

2. Search the EBATES directory for the store you want to shop on: AMAZON, Target, ULTA, SEPHORA, etc.

3. Click on the banner, EBATES creates a Shopping Trip with a unique code and redirects you to the store.

4. Cash Back is activated, add items to your Shopping Cart, EBATES applies coupons to your order, Check Out and Pay as you’d normally do.

5. EBATES refunds you a % of the total amount spent on each Shopping Trip to your account, you can choose how you want to get paid. Every quarter, a BIG FAT CHEQUE is paid out to you via your preferred method, it is the total Cash Back you have earned throughout the three-month period.

TIP: Some stores offer as high as 20-30% Cash Back if you use EBATES!

My Experience

I started using Ebates because I was looking for ways to save money, as a student it is part of the life I live, asking for student discount at supermarkets, etc. I have never been happier with my online purchases, I have paid for flights, books, skin care products, sports equipment, hotel stays, clothing, etc. through Ebates and gotten Cash Back on every purchase made so far. Ebates is unique because they offer Daily Double Cash Back, I added the Ebates extension to my Chrome Web Browser and it alerts me of deals, coupons and Cash Back when I visit any website that is affiliated with Ebates. It is very convenient and quarterly, receiving a BIG FAT CHEQUE is something that takes me by surprise. It makes me happy to know that I save on everything I find on the internet. It is amazing!

 

TIP: EBATES sends the best emails so be on the look out for those updates on daily double deals, why buy anything if you are not getting it on a deal anyway?

Happy Birthday Bro

It was Nnanna’s birthday yesterday, you see, he is my favourite person in this world. We grew up together in the same houses. Nnanna and I are siblings: Brother and Sister. Over the years I have learnt so much from my brother, one day he tweeted “I am not your role model” and it got me thinking about the way we live our lives as model children, poster children for good upbringing, home training and manners especially in our social media world. That tweet made me recoil, at first it was “what is this boy saying?! Doesn’t he know that he is expected to be a good kid? That being a good kid must mean that he is a role model?” Later it was, “This role model banter is really stifling, ‘Big Brother’ is watching kind of stifling. One cannot simply drink water and drop cup because one KNOWS that the world is watching. Which kind of Orwellian wahala?” So I came to see where my brother was coming from when he made the tweet and my heart opened up to the option of a new alternative.

Let me talk a little bit about privilege: Due to the way my parents and role models brought me up, I think anybody who has any kind of privilege e.g. Good education, etc. has a responsibility to use their privilege-given access to help out in some way, even if it means simply showing a good example by living an honest life, you know, just to demonstrate to others that having privilege means that you must live an honest life. You follow? So this my perspective on how a privileged life must be led, albeit naive, is what I tried to practice and even standardized for others like Nnanna to live by, hence my initial reaction.

A bit of background: My family is Nigerian, Christian, and Educated. The Holy Book has codified the way we as Christians should live our lives and an important aspect of this is excellence. Bible says we are heirs of the father, we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, we are wonderfully and fearfully made, we have been called by the father etc. For my Nigerian Christian family, this means that in the lives we live we must portray the word of God as a way of evangelism which can also be seen as being role models to others that are not yet saved. In practice, we must do well in school, always show respect to everyone, don’t fight, don’t fornicate, clubbing? What is a club? Smoking? If you must smoke do it secretly because it is not a good look as a child from a Christian background and the list goes on and on. It is what I will call Church Culture: this is a consciousness that is cultivated in the minds of Christian children from a very young age, to live by example. I don’t think these rules are bad, instead I think they help to breed adults that end up living in a bubble at best and at worst, being extremely judgmental of everybody else that strays from Church Culture.

My brother has taught me that being who you are by just living your life is the way to go. It is better to be your modest, humble, brilliant self than to be all these things just for the approval. It is best to live your life and know that you are attracting the people who really like you for who you are, than to live in the gaze of those watching out for when you make a mistake. Nnanna showed me that it shouldn’t be that difficult to occupy my space in this world, people will eventually be fine. More importantly, I am accepting that it is ill advised to change with the weather ever so often, for the sake of pleasing people. We are young, intelligent, beautiful and handsome individuals, we are also prone to making mistakes and we mustn’t always judge ourselves harshly. I hope this post makes you think about image and lifestyle and all that good stuff!

John 14:15  “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.



 

Confession

I am sharing this with you because I want to hear back from you. I hope that after reading this, you will be able to offer your thoughts and some advice if need be, in the comments section below. I am one of those women that want women to have equal opportunities with men, I detest oppression in every shape, manner or form and especially from the opposite sex. I am also generally amused whenever a woman proclaims that she is not a Feminist. Amused because I do not have the patience nor range with which to examine why any woman would want to remain disenfranchised in this life, compared to men folk. I take it that a lot of men in Nigeria are yet to accept that Feminism or Gender Equality is something of a phenomenon that does not care for their thoughts and feelings rather, it is centered around all women, their rights and freedoms, their education and health, their bodies, and all the spaces they should occupy in the world.

In Nigeria, heterosexual relationships are the norm, our culture as a country, is popular for upholding the celebration of marriage between man and woman in very high esteem. Marriage is the fulcrum of Nigerian Society, it is the singular most unifying force that cuts across religion, tribe or tongue. Our National football team used to be number one but then Weddings came along. The coming together of a man and woman to start a family is considered as a defining milestone and every self-respecting young Nigerian is in fact expected to aspire towards marriage. Considering the influence of the various religious practices inherent in the country, Nigerian ethnic groups have diverse views on the celebration of marriage or what a wedding ceremony should look like. Common elements of wedding ceremonies that exist across the country are payment of dowry, music and dance, a large gathering of family and well wishers, lots of food and drinks, the compulsory parental blessings and the beautiful attires worn by bride and groom on their special day.

There’s a blossoming Nigerian Weddings market in the country, from catering, MC, DJ, Comedian, events planning, decorating, make-up to photography an industry has emerged organically from our collective obsession with marriage and wedding ceremonies. Within a decade we have seen the exponential growth of these businesses that service the Nigerian Weddings industry, young entrepreneurs abound and our economy is benefiting from it, we are eating the fruits of our marriage obsession. The feedback is indeed very encouraging, every weekend there’s a big wedding ceremony taking place somewhere in towns and villages all over the country. Our wedding vendors are very creative, the Comedians never run out of jokes, Nigerian parents who have unmarried adult children are asking their heirs, “when will you introduce him/her to us?” Not minding whether or not there’s a him or her at all. Aunties and Uncles are not left out, they’re all in the business of matchmaking nowadays, on a very low key even neighbours, friends of the family and well-meaning mommies in church have taken up Ẹlẹgbẹ as their side-hustle. Nigerians love a good party and wedding ceremonies are our final form of partying. There’s no party like a Nigerian wedding party. A movie on Nigerian wedding parties is the highest grossing movie in the history of Nollywood at 500 million Naira.

I have no problems whatsoever with the institution of marriage. I expect that it is clear to any keen observer of Nigerian society that our marriage culture is heavily gendered, it is essentially a ‘woman issue’. Some argue that there’s a biological clock ticking off and therefore young women should be seen to be actively working hard to beat their innate clocks. A lot of people attribute marriage to be the zenith of every woman’s social growth and development, it is evident in the way we compliment our young girls, we are quick to drop “wife material” or “wifey of life”, and in the way we bless them when they do seemingly mundane tasks around the house, “you will marry a good husband”, all these are unsolicited approval of marriageability and if anything, a subtle assertion that a woman’s purpose in life is to end up with a man who will eventually complete her because she is incomplete. The resultant effect of this kind of incessant obsessive hinting and reasoning is we are feeding the idea into their subconsciousness, that the ultimate prize is marriage and it must be achieved by all means. Sometimes we even attach an age cap to our statement of expectations, “Your mates are getting married”, as though there is a specified time appointed for marriage, some uncouth individuals go further to insult women using the appropriate-age-for-marriage social construct, “You are forming shakara, see you in Shiloh when you’re 30” when these women don’t give in to their unwanted advances.

The crossroads that is the social commentary surrounding marriage culture in Nigeria leaves me feeling like the purpose of a Nigerian marriage is to tie a woman up and I will explain. Please ignore the stereotyped nature of what I’m about to tell you and take away the message instead. We hear a lot of stories, about our mothers’ generation and their conquests in cooking for their husbands, cherubic docility and expert child-rearing skills. We also hear a lot of stories about the current rise in the rate of divorce, and we have read those harsh comments on popular blogs, about Feminists like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that want to sink the ship of culture and tradition by preaching to young women about their rights as human beings to be able to lead the kind of lives they want to, especially away from the smoke of the kerosene stove. These Feminists are seen as bad eggs, no kidding. Since the beginning of the Feminism movement in Nigeria, the proponents of marriage culture have waged a line of attack against young female feminists, claiming that it is their right to marry young maidens and bestow respect upon them by giving these maidens their last names, determine how these maidens work to earn a living or IF they even work at all, and most importantly ensure that these maidens cook for them. I have never seen where men are so adamant on being fed and nourished by women before. Nigerian men have very strong opinions about their nutrition coming from the labour of their wives’ hands.

This generation of young women are already on their way to heading big corporations, many of them have started their own businesses, those of them that are still in school are studying hard to become professionals and so many more are learning skills by the weekend to supplement their income. The Young Nigerian Woman ecosystem is fast changing and superstars emerge everyday from within. Nigerian girls are not smiling in Engineering, Arts, Business, Academia, Finance, Aviation, Theology, Media, Law, Health, Tourism, Environmental Sciences, Economics, etc. They are on a mission to take over. The gospel of feminism is not only talking the talk but walking the walk in our neck of the woods. All their lives, these young women have been taught and socialized to WANT to end up married (not that there’s anything wrong with wanting to get married). They are on Bellanaija in the middle of the night ooh-ing and aah-ing at pictures, choosing colours and dreaming of their Cinderella dresses. This same group of women are getting more informed in the daytime, they are the ones heavily involved in the feminist conversations going on in social media forums, arguing for women’s rights on Twitter, reading Woolf, writing about their lived experiences on Facebook, and basking in affirming poetry by Shire and Umebinyuo alike, the literary heroines of their time. They are inspired and as a result, making bolder choices, taking every opportunity available to them, the complete opposite of their mothers’ generation.

Now, my confession is that I am disillusioned by the marriage culture in my country and each time I see THE post on social media, you know the standard announcement post, a picture of her left hand with beautifully manicured fingers and a shiny rock sitting on that precious middle finger, and how can I forget the attendant “OMG! I’m so happy for you dear! Congratulations!!!” or the “You deserve it! Congratulations!!!” comments from her friends and well wishers (oozing of a mixture of surprise, jealousy/envy, sadness, forced cheeriness and hope), any previous interest I might have had dips a little more.

It is the blatant desperation in those comments that gets to me the most. I wish everyone would calm down and know that they are doing okay sweetie!

The End

Ẹlẹgbẹ – (n) Yoruba : Matchmaker.

Nollywood – Nigeria’s movie industry

Shakara – (v) Pidgin Yoruba : Pretending

Shiloh – (n) A prayer meeting held in South Western Nigeria organized by a Big Church.

Featured Image: A beautiful wedding ceremony curated by Bellanaija

Wetin Dem Talk?

Christiana dream one kind dream last night. Since her mama born am, she don use her eye see different different things for this life wey she never ever talk about, but that was not until yesterday when she use her two legs waka go meet Aunty Counsellor, come open her mouth like pipe wey don burst out water full everywhere.

Inside the dream, person call Ranti, Christiana best friend for this world wey we dey so, tell Ranti say she see where them carry Christiana gist on top WhatsApp group chat, unto say as breeze blow fowl yansh don open and na Christiana be the fowl. Christiana no remember who call Ranti but she know say na Ranti tell am say her story don enter town brekete. Fear catch am.

Christiana jump up from sleep! She wipe her eyes make she dey see clearly. Her mind come dey follow her talk say, inside this Lagos? If people ever know the kind things wey Ranti say dem dey discuss about her for inside the dream? Her own don finish be that na. She dey suspect Aunty Counsellor even though she no tell am the things Ranti talk say those people for the WhatsApp don know about. Even Ranti sef no know those details about her life, upon how dem be like five and six.

Her secrets plenty no be small. She dey fear say na Bobo, her pikin wey never reach six years old, go suffer pass if people ever know about the kind life wey she don live. Christiana no dey fear before because she know say if na in those days when na only she dey, wahala no for dey because, she for don brush anybody wey wan use her eye see dutty but now wey she don born Bobo she no fit do some kind things again. How e go take affect Bobo life for outside? Na the question she come dey always ask herself before she do anything.

Wetin sef? E no get anybody for this life wey holy pass! Na the quarrel wey enter Christiana chest be that. Make anybody come meet me if him know say e no get secret for this world, if all of them talk say they never do anything bad before, make them come face me, water dey comot from Christiana eye as she dey for bed. She dey think am, say if people gather somewhere dey judge am, even if say na for inside dream e take happen, say e must to mean something. Christiana dey confused as to whether or not she go carry this dream go meet Aunty Counsellor, she fit help her understand wetin dey happen to her.

Ah, Bobo don wake.

Bobo enter Christiana bedroom, sidon for corner of the mattress dey look him mama like person wey miss road, sleep full him eye. Bobo how now? You no fit greet your mama? Christiana ask her pikin. Bobo turn him head face the mirror she hang for the other side of the room, he dey still like wooden image, Bobo no be you I dey talk to? Christiana ask am again. Bobo turn around look him mama for eye, he open mouth and the thing wey follow send electric shock straight to Christiana spinal cord. Bobo ask him mama, wetin dem talk?

The introduction of Akbar Comics: Captain Calabar

The stories are based in Nigeria and the artists are authentically Nigerian…here’s to supporting Nigerian creatives.

Please Donate to Akbar Comics by visiting this Kickstarter link.

Hi friends,
Today I bring you great news, there’s a new comic in town! The stories are based in Nigeria and the artists are authentically Nigerian. They go by the name ‘Akbar Comics’ and they need your money to realize their dream of disrupting the scope of African Pop culture as we know it with their collective artistic genius, they have created a Kickstarter campaign and they have till June the first to meet their goal of crowd-sourcing $$$.
Please keep on reading this post to learn more about the guys behind Akbar Comics and to peruse characters from their debut release titled CAPTAIN CALABAR. Here’s to supporting Nigerian creatives.
– Jayjeystic

The year is two thousand and thirteen, the location is Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State Nigeria. A group of teenage boys, some fresh out of secondary school, have just been sorted to the same room in one of the male hostels in campus. The algorithm that put them together is a small but important stroke in the grand scheme of things. They are not just roommates, they each become their brother’s keeper and evolve into the lifelong friends destiny predisposed them to be. Time will unveil them as a gifted trio from the Department of Architecture. With a holy combination of mad skills, hard work, and a shared love for cartoons, they birth the new anti-hero: Captain Calabar. They have great dreams of changing the landscape of African pop culture through the utilization of their natural talents in telling the stories of modern day Nigeria.

Meet Timehin Akinde 

Timehin Akinde Akbar comics
Timehin Akinde, Akbar comics

Timehin is a simple guy, you will find him anywhere near chill vibes and Palm trees. He is one of the two initial founders of and the creative writer at Akbar Comics, he also coined the name ‘Captain Calabar’ as a testament to the popular Nigerian stereotype of assuming that anybody from the Efik/Ibibio speaking South-South sub-region of Nigeria is from CALABAR.

 Calabar (also referred to as “Canaan City”) is a city in Cross River State, in south southern Nigeria.

Many moons ago, in the small dorm room occupied by a tight circle of friends, Timehin nicknamed his friend Joshua Akpan Captain Calabar”.

Meet Joshua Akpan

Joshua Akpan, Akbar Comics
Joshua Akpan, Akbar Comics

Even though he is from Akwa Ibom State, his squad quickly took to calling him Captain Calabar. Joshua is a talented Artist who loves Bob Marley and Kendrick Lamar. He is a trained Architect, works as an illustrator, and is one of the three initial founders of Akbar Arts

The original name for Calabar was Akwa Akpa, from the Efik language.

He joined his friend Abasido Akpan in Akbar Comics. 

Meet Abasido Akpan

Abasido Akpan, Akbar Comics
Abasido Akpan, Akbar Comics

Abasido is also from Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria, he is the visionary behind Akbar Arts, an illustrator, and a business man with a great sense of humour. Abasido has been described as “a really really good artist” by some of his friends, probably because he is known to give beards to the beardless in his cartoons. Abasido A.K.A Akbar pushed his art under Akbar Arts before he came up with the idea for Akbar Comics as a subsidiary of Akbar Arts in July of two thousand and sixteen.

Calabar is a port city, near the Cameroon border. It sits on a hill near the Calabar River and the Cross River delta.

Timehin in telling the story of Akbar Comics had this to say about Abasido’s pivotal role:

“Then one day Abasido hit me up and was like let’s make something with this, initially it was supposed to be an animation but making a comic is easier. So long story short, we’ve been friends since and broke-ness forced us to come up with the idea! (laughter)”

-timehin akinde, akbar comics


Meet Some Of The Characters:

Image-1
Akbar Comics, Captain Calabar #1 AUG 2017
Akbar Comics: Captain Calabar: Adewale Ogunjobi
Name: Adewale Ogunjobi aka Dr. Ken Abilities: Complete mastery of the spiritual arts (Babalawo settings). Direct descendant of Ogun. Immortal.
Captain Calabar - Akbar Comics
Name: Anwang John-Bassey aka Captain Calabar Abilities: Superhuman strength, flight and invulnerability given to him by the Ekpe spirit.
Akbar Comics: Captain Calabar: Lanre Williams
Name: Lanre Williams Abilities: Computer genius, ex-yahoo boy with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Nigerian underground scene.
Akbar Comics; Captain Calabar
Captain Calabar derives his powers from his tattoos written in the Nsibidi script, a language similar to hieroglyphics invented by the Ekpe tribe.
Akbar Comics: Captain Calabar: Shalewa
Name: Shalewa. Abilities: Proficient in the art of underwater warfare (mami water levels). Lieutenant of Karishika’s army. Underground Runz Girl


Please don’t forget that Captain Calabar needs our help, you can donate by clicking me or by sharing this post.

Diary – IJEOMA W.

Ijeoma shares a story of her family, values, and how she has incorporated higher education as self development in her life’s journey with online learning tools.

4TH MAY 2017, 12:31 AM

Learning is infinite in my family. We go to school, rest small, and then go back to school.

My mommy once said to me “You know in this family we are not traders or “business people”, what we do is book, so please read.” Both my parents have at different points in their lives studied for six degrees (combined), including professional certificate examinations. I have known about online education for a hot while now, at a point when I was in secondary school the dinning table in my house was practically a satellite university campus because my daddy was taking a Master’s degree program from a foreign university via the internet. Last year my Uncle Roman Oseghale graduated from the prestigious Telfer School of Management and Centre for Executive Leadership, University of Ottawa, Canada and last week he was the 8th speaker at The Platform. Essentially, “Book” is central to who I am becoming because my role models figuratively said so.

I took my first online course before I turned 18. The thing about having access and privilege is that if you don’t use it, it would have been a waste. On a rather uneventful day in my dorm room (shouts out to Manuwa Hall, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus), I had the opportunity of stumbling upon this website called COURSERA DOT ORG and I became very interested in learning what I was being taught in the classroom by myself, at least the courses I could find, so I started taking online courses that mirrored what my lecturers were teaching me in the classroom.

Part of it I will attribute to sheer curiosity. Coursera offered courses from Universities I could only dream about at the time, the first one I chose (and completed) was by Duke University, my friend Sanmi Oyenuga was studying Engineering there, I wanted to know what being a student at Duke felt like so I stayed up all night, having physically attended lectures during the day, learning and watching all these free lecture videos on my HP laptop with reliable internet courtesy of the “Lionet @ Manuwa” router that was conveniently mounted very close to the Mango tree whose leaves I could pluck if I put my hand through the pigeonhole in front of my room. The WiFi was strongest at night (back when Lionet was still Lionet, oh the sweet memories).

The internet has been good to me. So far, I have expanded my knowledge base and I am open to learning more about the world around me. I have started this free Bioethics course by Harvard University on edX.org today. It started in April, slated to end in October. I hope I finish it within the stipulated 7 weeks at a personal pace of 2 to 3 hours of study per week. Where I’m from, they measure accomplishments based on how much “Book” you know and how many lives you use your knowledge of “Book” to change for the better. I figured, I have unlimited internet data and I want to be successful in my village so why not take a course? On the 25th of April I watched a movie: “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, based on a book of same name credited to the incredible medical investigative journalist, Rebecca Skloot, two days ago my Americanah friend Ayi Daniels reminded me of the uproar that is Roe vs Wade and today I signed up for Professor Cohen and the team at HarvardX to school me on Medical Ethics, a course my lecturers have previously taught me in class, just because life is all about patterns, haha.

Thanks for reading to the end, buy yourself a bottle of Fanta!


Originally Posted On Facebook.

Diary – PAUL Amayo

 Introducing Diary; Paul Amayo talks about his lived experience and stumbling upon inspiration from God through the Bible and Priming a faulty pumping  machine.

19 APRIL 2017, 12:55 AM

I learnt something new today, it is called Priming.
So, I moved into this new place last December, I have a family of three living right above me and a single man just beside me. I like to keep to myself, a lot. I never really interact with them but I do take notice of behavioural patterns, the kids play from dusk till dawn and they seem never to tire. The other single man living behind me strikes me as a retired military personnel because of his physique and he’s always up to something: fixing his gen, his door, anything really. Living in Nigeria where there’s no constant power supply, we always have to be alert when it comes to pumping water so we have enough to use daily and he makes it a point of duty to always be the first to reach the pumping machine when power comes on. Every now and then, I try to make sure I get to the pumping machine before he does, just to show that I also care about everyone. For me, it isn’t a difficult job, it is basically  turning on a switch and walking away and remembering that when the tank gets full it starts to overflow, I walk back, turn it off, and that’s it, my job is done and I’m a good neighbour! I never thought there was anything more to pumping water than that. I mean think of it, what else could there be? The pumping machine does it’s job when prompted, right? So today my neighbor at the back (military personnel) called me to inform me that he was traveling and seeing as everyone else had traveled for the Easter holidays, it had just been us both in the compound for the past 2 days. He told me that I shouldn’t forget to pump water and then he added that the pumping machine wasn’t working properly because the water down under had dried up a little and the machine needed a little help. I’d have to prime it as he had been doing for the past few weeks, without my knowledge. I’d have to take a bowl of water and pour in down a pipe somewhere in the machine and that aids the pressure problem, the water goes down the hidden pipe and helps the machine to pump normally.  This new found knowledge really got me thinking, how many of us are desperately​ in need of some priming? Maybe not us, but how about those around us? How often do we say:
“She’s a strong girl!”
OR

“He’s surely doing okay and he probably doesn’t even need my help.”

Priming.
Galatians chapter 6 verse 2 says “Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ.” We are to prime others! Be a shoulder to lean on, even for the seemingly strong. Be there for those who never seem like they need anyone. Care for the caregivers amongst us. You never know who needs you to keep on functioning.
Gotta go now, the tank is full and overflowing. Stay primed up!!!


Sexy Jesus Freak

What makes us higher animals? Our ability to think of solutions, our ability to reason the way we do and our ability to work in teams+communicate our ideas with each other in sophisticated ways e.g various art forms. In other words, our ability to have conversations that lead to development, our inquisitive nature, and our powerful brains separate us from other vertebrates/mammals.

Yesterday me and my darling friend whose future children will call me nothing but “Mommy Ijey” each sat on both ends of our phones for three hours, talking about this and that. The topic of sexual purity and what it means (or what it should mean) for us young ‘Jesus Freaks’ came up. We concluded that:

Number one: It is a privilege to maintain your sexual purity (as follow come) from the get go, because so many people never had a chance to make that choice due to the inhumane hostility of the environment(s) they found themselves in, so we generally need to quiet down about being sexually pure and basically cut off the noses we tend to turn up at our “sexually impure” brothers and sisters- also what’s it with those shaming exercises carried out in places of worship anyway? I mean those “you had sex and we found out so come out and stand before the congregation, let everybody stare at you with judgement in their eyes” shaming exercises. They need to go.

Number two: That we Jesus Freaks need to stop treating this issue of sexual purity as if it is solely by our power and might that we stay pure and we need to start handing it over to the appropriate authority (Holy Spirit). We are taught to pray about every other area of daily life except the part that has to do with ‘go forth and multiply’. A lot of us have felt the pressure and strain associated with keeping it locked down until marriage and this shouldn’t be so, we agreed that it is not supposed to be so. If you are praying “God help me pass my exams”, don’t hesitate to add “God help me maintain sexual purity”, the Holy Spirit will not say “eww”, I promise. You shouldn’t have to do it on your own when you have Holy Spirit to help you.

Number three: That within our pristine Jesus Freak circles, we have managed to make Sex the biggest elephant that can ever fit into a room. Enough conversations are simply not being had about sex! Jesus Freaks are dying of curiosity meanwhile we are all living, breathing, walking proof of sex happening at some point in history, oh the irony. So we should start talking and asking questions and making this discussion the rule as opposed to the exception, in godly settings of course.

Number four: That sex is neither a bad thing nor an abnormal thing. It is a good thing and it is normal. Simple. Very important: you are not keeping yourself for your future husband or wife but for God. Jesus Freaks of the masculine gender need to desist from making it a topic of amusement and or self/ego aggrandizement, don’t be tempted to conflate sexual purity in this spiritual context, with the machinations with which patriarchy uses to hold women down. Tah! don’t do it!

Number five: That it is possible, Jesus Freaks of the feminine gender, to maintain sexual purity and not gloat/feel superior about it. On the last day nobody will be handing out trophies for “keeping yourself holy”. If you decide to honour God with your sexuality, do just that and keep it moving, you are honouring God and not man/religious leaders. The kingdom of God has other mandates and sex should not be made into an idol, besides babies are very expensive and STDs/STIs are disastrous.

The End.


Jesus Freaks = young people burning for Jesus/following Christ.

All-Inclusive

Thank You for being in my life and for making me feel welcomed into yours.

‘Tis the season to be jolly! And to deal with your family members, once again! It is also snowing on my blog! I don’t recall setting snow but let us enjoy this little gift of snowballs dropping while we read this blog post now shall we?

Emonena turned the big eight-o two years ago, it feels like such a long time ago but I remember the details of that event so vividly because it was the last time most of my family members came together to party in December and…wait for it…IN THE VILLAGE, If you are Nigerian I’m sure you already know what this means. It was Christmas at Grandma’s! People do not easily forget Christmases spent at their Grandma’s or do they? I don’t know.

Emonena is my Grandmother, she’s also the one I get my Ajebutter-ness from, yes, totally. When she turned 80, her babies and other people who absolutely love and respect her decided to throw her a big birthday bash, it was phenomenal. They shut down the village, literally.

Emonena ran an all-inclusive household and she raised her babies to be all-inclusive in their ways. What do I mean by this? Here’s a little back story that will help you understand where this blog post is going:

Two nights to the big party, my mother and her sister teamed up, they decided to organize all the Grand babies a.k.a Third Generation to which I belong, to learn a song and a dance, and we were going to perform this song and dance in honour of Emonena at the party (and we did). In the course of organizing the third generation to harness their collective creative talent, different important questions arose. The one question that inspired this post was from littlest cousin, Tamara, she asked “Why is *Rapulu dancing with us when OUR Grandma is not her Grandma?” Rapulu and Tamara are around the same age, Primary school age, Rapulu’s parent is either my Grandma’s friend or beneficiary and by the reason of Emonena’s 80th birthday bash, there were at least 10 different Rapulus in the house with us, they were all expected to participate in the song and dance. Emonena meant something important to all their parents, in diverse ways, but the fact remained that Emonena was not their Grandmother and Tamara in all her innocence did not understand why they (The Rapulus) were invited to perform in Emonena’s song and dance. Looking back, it was a monumental success, considering all that went down in the two days and nights of rehearsals before the main event, whew, dealing with family (especially teenagers and young children) can be very, very stressful not to mention getting them to learn a song in Isoko and teaching them how to do the electric slide, thankfully they had the shoki part of it all covered. Shouts out to my mommy and my aunty and everyone who contributed, especially Emonena who sat outside in the cold with us during rehearsals, best believe she did.

In an all-inclusive household, All Lives Matter. There is no outsider, everybody is an insider. Big Mama’s House vibes, you follow? Emonena is the reason why being all-inclusive is now one of my personal values, and I don’t mean this in a I-am-Mother-Theresa-of-Calcutta way, or any way in fact. It is just something I have come to learn about myself; that I make people feel at home quite fast, which in itself is not a very wise thing to do, considering the fact that people are inherently wicked and jealous and unkind and filled with bad intentions. That being said, there are good people out there, people like Rapulu’s parents who are appreciative, who come back to say “Thank You for being in my life and for making me feel welcomed into yours.

Merry Christmas!


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Ajebutter – noun – if you behave like your father has money, people will say you are an Ajebutter, i.e you eat Butter at home.

Rapulu – an Igbo phrase which literally translates to “Leaving work”, also someone’s name.

Isoko – Ethnic group in Nigeria with it’s own language and food and everything unique to an ethnic group

Shoki – Contemporary Nigerian Dance Step, the jury is still out on who the originator is. Google if you may.

By HASSAN TAIWO

We are kissing and kissing and kissing and my stomach is tingling.

It starts where it all starts, the beginning. We are walking down the road where rain has made a puddle and we are having to be jumping, jumping and jumping like Olympian high jumpers. He is telling me things, telling me about how his weekend went, tracing the scar on his head as he is telling me these things. I am listening, listening as far as the arc of his full lips permit, listening as far as the rough tangle of his hair permit, listening as far as his perfect face allows. He is noticing. He is noticing that I am looking him. He is asking me “What?”, “Nothing” I reply as I be catching myself. He is telling me now about how his childhood went, one story after the other, telling me about how girls be liking him and he doesn’t like them back, telling me about how girls be too dramatic. Telling me all these with those perfectly arched lips. I am only hearing as far as his hotness of himself permits my senses. I am tingling, tingling with trepidation. He notices me notice these things and asks “What?” again. This time, it is different, I summon courage and tell him “I want to kiss you”.  He weighs it in his head and finally he be saying, “I have a boyfriend’, I thought you should know”. I laugh and also be saying I have a girlfriend, I also thought you should know”. We both be smiling the smile with the promise of more.

  We are kissing and kissing and kissing and my stomach is tingling. Butterflies in my stomach tingling, Mama’s sweet jollof rice tingling, Kumbaya for my souls’ reprieve tingling and sweet sweet honey tingling. This is going on and on like a good movie just that in our case the director is not yelling that we be cutting. I am beginning to be thinking that this boy has been hiding the whole of heaven In his lips this whole time. Mid-reverie, the boy whose mother they be saying is a witch and father a demon shines light on us and next thing he be shouting “Fag! Fag! Gay! Gay!”. I is breaking the embrace, I is scared, I is thinking there is no way out of this one. Next thing, people are coming out to gather us, to snap us, to beat us. Next thing, I is hearing him tell them that he is the fag, he blackmailed me, I is hearing him tell them to leave me alone. Next thing, the crowd is telling me *Ndo, **Pele, Sorry. Next thing, I is seeing them take him away with slaps and kicks. I is screaming “I am sorry!” but my voice is not responding. My voice is not talking. My voice is not a voice.

   I be go to my room but I can’t be sleeping. I be hearing his screams as they beat him, put sticks in his anus, slap him around. I can’t be sleeping. I be screaming, I be praying, I be being miserable. Too much! too much! too much! my mind be saying. My mind is telling me that I can’t let him be dying like that, I can’t let heaven be treated like that. I be opening a word document, I be typing, be telling the world the truth, be typing, be crying, be typing, be crying. When I be finished, as I wanting  to be saving the document, I be remembering the words fag! gay! fag! gay! also be remembering Ndo, Pele, Sorry. I be liking the other one better, I be liking the sympathy and care, I no be liking the screaming. Now, my hand is betraying me, I be pressing delete when I want to be saving, as I am deleting, I am shouting to heaven Ndo, Pele, Sorry. Ndo, Pele, Sorry. I be crying too as I am shouting it to my heaven, Ndo, Pele, Sorry. I be remembering that hot March those many years ago, when Mama be telling me “Humans always find a way to make themselves victims in another’s tragedy”. Softly, softly, I be whispering it as I fall asleep, Ndo…Pele…Sorr….


*Ndo – Igbo – Sorry
**Pele – Yoruba – Sorry

niankh
The above picture of two men kissing is of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum. They were ancient Egyptian royal servants; they are believed to be the first recorded same-sex couples in history. It is the only tomb in the necropolis where men are displayed embracing and holding hands. In addition, their chosen names form a linguistic reference to their closeness: Niankhkhnum means ‘Joined to life’ and Khnumhotep means ‘Joined to the blessed state of the dead’, and together the names can be translated as ‘Joined in life and joined in death’.