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Self Love

I love myself, a lot, but it took me a long time to get to this point. Where I look in the mirror and appreciate myself. I’m not perfect, or the most beautiful or even trying to be. But somewhere along the line, I discovered that God makes no mistakes. I love my tightly coiled hair that raises up like a halo, I love the hairs on my skin which protect me from cold, I love the rich caramel colour of my skin, and my nose, and eyes, and everything that makes me. If everyone was created the same, there would be no difference for us to appreciate.

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Happy Women’s Day!

There are many great women we have all encountered. This year, two stands out. In fact, they stand out every day of my life. They are my mother and paternal grandmother. Two beautiful women who have made me strong and compassionate. They have gone the extra mile for me and love me unconditionally. The truth is, very few people have the capacity to love unconditionally. They built my character by discipline, correction and love.

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Once upon a time, Baga was a peaceful town with lots of fishermen and farmers. Baga once housed homes, families, love, hope. Baga is in the Kukuwa local government area of Borno state, Nigeria. Starting from April 2013, Baga was no longer safe, 200 Baga people were killed. Now Baga is host to terrorists, the bodies of her people littered all over. Baga survivors are refugees in a foreign land.

People wonder why there is such a fuss about #BlackLifesMatter. It may have started with the loss of African-American lives but it is inclusive of all black people. More than 2000 Nigerians are dead and 1.5 million displaced in the recent Baga massacre. Bodies were even too much to be counted. Of course, the world (and sadly including Africa) chose to ignore the attacks because somehow, the lives of twelve French citizens are more important than that of more than 2000 Nigerians. Even back home, Baga massacre was not considered newsworthy as Charlie Hebdo. The president who promised to protect us in 2011 is only passionate about his being re-elected and has overlooked the security of the nation. Instead, he is extending his “sympathies” to the Charlie Hebdo terror attack victims ignoring the Baga massacre. Apparently mourning for and protecting Nigerian lives is not a presidential duty.

Thirty-one days to the general elections and most Nigerians are scared of the outcome. Some are running back to their home-towns because of possible election violence. Honestly, I’m afraid too, I wonder how much will change. I don’t want to be a sacrificial lamb because someone preferred candidate did not win. The two major presidential candidates have stooped to hurl insults at each other. What happens if any of them don’t win?

Despite all, I believe in Nigeria, I love Nigeria. Nigeria to me is like that sweet chocolate cake you love but is bad for your health. I know Nigeria can never be a perfect country but I want it to be a safe not terrorized country. I want to be able to fulfil my childhood dream of travelling around Nigeria, standing on magnificent hills in Plateau and exploring the ancient city of Kano. I want fishermen and farmers in Baga again.

Image via Tvc news
Image via The Street Journal
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A Typical Nigerian Wedding

An Igbo bride. Image via
An Igbo couple. Image via
A Yoruba bride. Image via
A Yoruba couple. Image via

I will start off by saying I’m not married yet but in Nigeria, you don’t even to be, to be caught up in the euphoria, laughter, joy, and wild moments of a wedding. A typical Nigerian wedding is not a small affair. Unlike the Westerners who have invitation cards, in Nigeria, you will find a guest saying her cousin’s best friend is the bride’s former roommate. We Nigerians like to party in a big way and the marriage ceremony can last for days, weeks even. Nowadays, Nigerians have added Court, Church or Islamic wedding (with a big reception of course). The marriage ceremony is very important in all Nigerian cultures and regarded as a union between both the families of the bride and groom. I’m focusing on Nigerian traditional weddings.

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