Dolly Writes

Journey of a growing woman

Category: Opinions/Commentary

I celebrated women’s day in the strangest place

So, today started off a little weird. I was slightly irritated by something that had gone on in my personal life but eventually, I just let it go. However, before I could let it go, I spent half of the day trying to analyse it and understand it because I am an analytical person when it comes to people and feelings. I like to understand why people do the things they do or say the things they say and I also analyse my thoughts and behaviour as a way of processing my feelings.

Anyway, I had gone for my CDS today and after chatting with Ayo for over an hour, we decided to leave that place and go home – well, he went to the gym and I started my journey home.

So, I had just gotten to 7UP bus stop and was looking for a keke Napep or keke Maruwa – which is basically a tricycle – that could take me to Magodo gate. As I looked up, I saw three of them waiting to carry passengers  and in one of them, a woman was calling out so she could pick passengers. As soon as I saw her, I already knew that I was going to enter her keke. She called out to me and came to hold my hand to enter her keke and then she said out some words of prayer and encouragement to me. Then, she told the other male keke drivers in Yoruba, ‘This is what makes women different from men..” and it only made everyone giggle.

I have never seen a woman drive a keke. I am sure that there are women that do but this was my first time seeing one and I was in such awe of her. She was just so sweet and in control and powerful. I was just smiling from the moment the ride started till the end. As I sat there, I felt like my women’s day had been made. I felt like, this is exactly what it is all about – women understanding their strength and their power and the fact that we can do anything we want to do.

As a champion for women as I am, I felt God was giving me a gift today. It was a wonderful one and it was just lovely to see a woman just taking control of her life and not allowing anything stand in her way. That was the celebration that I needed.

Happy International Women’s Day to my women all over the world. We are beautiful, strong and powerful. I had a conversation with a friend of mine, KC a few days ago. I told him that women are powerful creatures and he said: “Omo, I tell you, you are right. Women are powerful. Anybody wey tell me say women no powerful never jam.” Lol.

I just want to encourage women out there to always stay beautiful and remember that you have so much strength and power in you just waiting to be unleashed. Carry yourself like a Queen because that is who you are. You don’t need anyone to tell you how awesome you are, you just need to believe that you are.

Happy International Women’s Day. I love you. 🙂

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The Buhari Administration is so tone-deaf, it’s ridiculous.

A couple of weeks ago, I was going to visit a friend and I requested for a Taxify to take me to my destination. As we went along on this journey, the driver and I started to have a chat. We spoke about a great many things but mostly, we spoke about the state of our country, Nigeria.

He expressed a lot of pain and anger at the fact that as a graduate, he had to become a Taxify driver because of the state of unemployment in the country.

Of everything he said, one statement from our conversation has always stayed with me. At the time, Yusuf Buhari, the President’s son had been in a coma after being involved in a horrible accident. The accident was as a result of a power bike crash which is reported to have been purchased at a sum of 56 million naira ($157,000). He was transported to Germany to receive treatment and only returned to the country a few days ago.

Now, when I was talking to this driver, he wished for the death of Buhari’s son and he was not apologetic about it. There were a couple of reasons he listed for this statement. To begin with, the fact that the President’s son was able to purchase such an expensive power bike in a country that is dealing with economic issues angered him so much. He goes, “How old is Yusuf Buhari? Has he ever worked for anything in his life? Yet, he is able to buy a power bike for 56 million and Buhari will be saying that times are hard.”

The other reason he gave was also because he wanted Buhari to feel the pain that the entire country was feeling. You know, when he made this statement, it was so shocking to me that he could say that. However, after listening to him talk more and more, I began to understand why he said what he said. He was in so much pain and he was angry at a country that takes everything but never gives anything back. He told me how he had to relocate to Ogun State because times became so tough and money became tight and so he could not afford to live in Lagos anymore. So, everyday he drives down to Lagos to do the Uber and Taxify work.

I would never wish harm on anyone and I am glad that Yusuf Buhari has recovered from such a horrible crash. However, it seems to me that the Buhari administration is so tone-deaf, it’s ridiculous. I tell you, they act like Aso Rock is the entire country. It’s like they forget that there are millions of people that are living from hand to mouth everyday.

I have been fortunate enough to have never wanted for anything in my life. I have never had to struggle to get anything and I honestly thank God for that. However, even for me, there are things that I have seen in this country that just make me so sad. The economy is in shambles yet, you will see politicians living with enough means to own an entire city. Our healthcare system is a mess; Corruption and unemployment is the order of the day; Boko Haram is still operating and Fulani herdsmen are killing people. Honestly, this whole country is a mess. It is little wonder why people like the Taxify driver are angry when this administration seems to not be paying attention to the plight of the people.

We have to do better. This administration has to do better.

Photo: BusinessDay

IJGB: A Woke View of Sexual Assault in Nigeria

I wrote this last month, so please bear that in mind as you read this and as always, I hope to hear your thoughts on the issue.

There are a lot of things that I love about my country, Nigeria. I love the people, the food, the parties, the music and so much more. This is why, when I landed in Murtala Muhammed airport a couple of weeks ago after being away in the UK for six years, I had a huge smile on my face because with all the issues that we face in this country, there really is no place like home.

However, within the last month that I have been here, I have found myself either having to tolerate or to educate people on what I believe should be common sense: sexual assault, in any form, is wrong!

Over the last couple of months, the Western media has been filled with reports of men in power who have been accused of sexual assault. If you google the word, sexual assault, you will see new cases of men who are alleged to have abused their powers on women and in some cases other men too. Social media has been filled with conversations about sexual assault and sexual harassment more than ever before and while I am glad that these issues are being talked about, a lot of the stories I have heard have left me completely sick to my stomach.

For the purpose of this piece, I thought it important to define what sexual assault means. According to Wikipedia, “sexual assault is a sexual act in which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will. It is also defined as non-consensual touching of a person” Now, I have had a conversation with a lot of women in my life and I can tell you that based on this definition, majority of them have been sexually assaulted. If these are just the women in my circle, now imagine how many women out there are going throuigh the same thing every single day, especially in this country.

For a lot of men in this country, I think that our cultural and religious values have left them with a sense of entitlement. I think because our culture and religions teach us that we should respect the men, they automatically believe that women are property. This is not all men but I think that this is a problem that has largely been caused by the society by which we live in.

When I was growing up and even now as I am older, I hated going to the market. Whenever I went, there were always men catcalling and attempting and in a lot of cases, succeeding to touch me inappropriately. Now, was that being done to my brother? No. This just shows how far this culture has seeped into the DNA of our people.

In leaving this country six years ago, I knew that these things were wrong but it had happened so much over the course of my life that it was all I had ever known the society around me to be. Then, I lived in a different society where the rules were completely different. Then, I realised that this is not normal. Does that mean that it does not happen in the Western countries? No. In fact, the news cycle in the last couple of months has shown that this happens very often. The difference is that these men are now being shamed for their actions.

I have only been back for a little over a month and I have already been sexually assaulted by men from all sorts of backgrounds. I just finished my time at the NYSC orientation camp and while I was there, I had a lot of these conversations with some young men and women on camp. For some people, when I started talking about this, they called me feminist – which in their minds translated to men-hating. I am a feminist but I do not hate men. I just believe that women should feel comfortable being whoever and whatever they want to be without anyone giving them grief. I believe that a woman who works hard should be rewarded for her hardwork just as much as the man would be. I absolutely believe that women should not be touched or spoken to in an inappropriate manner that would leave them feeling sick and disgusted. This, to me is just common sense. Just as our common sense knows that stealing or lying is wrong, we should also know that we should respect people’s boundaries and not touch or speak to people without their consent.

How do we combat this issue in our society? I think we need to start educating ourselves on this issue and shaming those who commit these disgusting acts. I believe that we have to make victims comfortable in speaking out because our society has made it almost impossible for them to say anything. If they do, they are either blamed for the acts committed on them or they are told to shut up altogether. Our leaders need to take point on this because this is a real issue in our society and no one seems to be talking about. It all starts from the top.

I would love to live in a society where I am treated with respect as a human being and for what I can offer. Let us start the conversation. Let us say No to sexual assault.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hey beautiful people,

How are you all doing? I hope you have been doing okay. So, I am so sorry that I haven’t posted my 2 Samuel post…I have finished it but I have been so lazy ( please, pray for the strength of  God on my life) however, I am planning to post it either tomorrow or on Sunday.

Anyway, I wanted to use this platform to talk about something that affects the lives of women all over – Breast Cancer. While it affects men as well, it generally affects women more. According to cancer.org, “Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.”

Breast cancer is a horrible disease that happens to women and it is something that a lot of brave people have to fight through every single day. I do not know anyone personally that has gone through breast cancer but I know that it can happen to anyone. Therefore, it is very important that we know how to self examine ourselves to see if there is anything wrong because early detection can save lives.

I saw a photo on Twitter by Dr. Ben Rusani, that shows how we can check our breasts. Take a look below:

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Please, make sure you take a minute of your day to check your breasts and determine if everything is okay. It could save your life.

I also want to take this moment to salute all the brave people that are fighting this horrible disease each and everyday and those have survived it, you are amazing and wonderful and I thank God for you.

And to the beautiful ones that we have lost to it, continue to rest in the bosom of our Lord and I pray for peace and comfort for your family always.

Love,

Dolly.

 

Photo: Handmade By Heroes

We are Africans, not savages

When I was in secondary school, one of my teachers told us a story that I would never forget. She said that when she was younger, (this is pre-internet and pre-social media) she had a pen pal. Her pen pal was American – I believe – and they used to write letters to each other back and forth. They spoke about their lives and everything going on around them.

So, one day, her pen pal decided to come visit her in Nigeria. She was excited to see her and host her. So, her friend arrived in Nigeria and she was glad. When they got home and her friend opened her luggage, she saw lots of traps. When she asked her why she had so many traps, this lady said that it was because she thought we lived on trees and so she came prepared.

When I heard this story, I was shocked and taken aback at the pure ignorance. However, as offensive as it was, I did not get too upset because I wanted to believe that this lady is just ignorant because maybe she didn’t have access to enough information on Africa or anything like that.

So, it bothers me that in this day and age of serious science and technological advances, there are still people that believe that Africans are savages. A couple of months ago, I got seriously offended when rap group, the Migos came to Nigeria to perform and when they  shared their experience on their time there, they said this:

They were looking, they paid attention to everything that was going on. They knew word-for-word and their English wasn’t even that good

I like the Migos but I abhor their blatant ignorance for my country and its people. The way they spoke about us, you would think that we only started learning English two days ago. The way they spoke about us was so condescending to say the least.

According to an article written by BET in 2012, a survey showed that Nigerians are the most educated in the United States. According to another article written by Bloomberg in 2015, Census data also showed that the most educated immigrant group in the U.S. are Africans with 43% of African immigrants holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

So, you might want to check up on that Migos, since we don’t ‘speak English so good.’

The reason why I got so riled up today is because I just finished watching Basketball Wives and one of the cast members, Jackie Christie was going out with her friend Malaysia, to eat Ethiopian food. This woman had the nerve to say that, “Ethiopian, to me, sounds like an African Zumbable tribe, like the tribe where they’re in a forest and everybody is like naked and the women have like nipples and the men’s big dongs are hanging out…”

Girlll…you should have just said that you liked the food and kept it moving. This is a country that was has existed for several centuries and they do not live in forests or walk around naked. Again, it just irritates me sometimes that people can be so ignorant like that. I’m not going to act like there are things that I’m not ignorant about; there are but I try to ask questions or research on the internet when I do not know much about something.

So, it will be nice for people to just research more into who we are and our culture and what we are trying to build before making any assumptions. Yes, we have our flaws; So do many other places but the last thing that we are not, is savages.

What am I watching?

So, I love TV shows. If you know me well enough, you will know that that’s basically all I watch. I enjoy movies as well but I’m addicted to TV shows. I am always looking for the next one to watch and when I don’t have any that I’m binge-watching, I feel lost. Lol. Yes, it’s that serious.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the shows that I’ve been binge-watching with you guys. Obviously, there are shows that I watch week-to-week but when I watch the episodes for that week, I need something else that I can fall back on.

Currently, there are 4 shows in my line-up.

  1. Person of Interest

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I have watched and finished this show before. However, I wanted to watch it again because I have missed it and I am enjoying it so far. So, Person of Interest is about an Artificial Intelligence (AI) – A Machine – that can basically tell when a crime that would claim a life or more is about to be committed. So, the man who built the machine recruits a bunch of people to basically stop those crimes from happening. It is an amazing show.  The characters absolutely make the show. There is the amazing Jim Caviezel – who played Jesus in The Passion of Christ – , Michael Emerson – I believe he was in Lost –  and of course, the amazing Taraji P. Henson – who we know as ‘ Cookie’ from Empire . If you’re into crime shows or technology type shows, then this is the show for you.  The show has 5 seasons.

2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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I always feel like I need some type of comedy show to ease the tension of the other shows and this one is it. I just started re-watching again. I was watching for a while and stopped  in the middle of the third season. There wasn’t really any reason. I just drifted for a bit. However, I just picked it up again. It is a sitcom about 99th precinct police department in Brooklyn. The show is really really funny. I honestly have no idea why I stopped because it is so good. The show features Andy Samberg – He used to be on Saturday Night Live – who is extremely funny, Terry Crews – Everybody hates Chris – Andre Braugher. The show is an award-winning show and if you are into comedy, then you will love this. The show just completed it’s fourth season.

3. The Americans

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I have been binge-watching this show for a while. I am just about to finish the fourth season and honestly, this show is just epic in so many ways. I have always been intrigued by spies and I found out about it when I was reading about ‘sleeper’ agents. Basically, sleeper agents were used by the Soviet Union. They would train agents to basically be American and then they would send them to America to blend in and this show is basically about that. It’s really good. I haven’t seen it go below 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. I even think the second season had like 100%, which is super amazing. The show features Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Holly Taylor. If you’re intrigued by spies, then you would love this. It just completed it’s fifth season.

4. Orange is the New Black

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So, season 5 just came out today and I am ready to watch. I am so excited. I have been waiting for this for so long and I am so ready. If you’re not familiar with the show, it is about the lives of women in a prison. I really enjoy the show because it just helps you understand these women and their stories. It is very good. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry, it can make you angry and it can make you smile. It’s just really good. The show features Uzo Aduba, Taylor Schilling and Laverne Cox. Just watch it, that’s al I can say. 🙂 The show just dropped it’s fifth season on Netflix.

So, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know what you think and also, you can give me ideas of shows to watch. I am always looking for the next best one. I’ll do this again when my line-up changes just to keep you guys updated.

Have an amazing weekend :*

 

Disordered Loves

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN OUR LOVES ARE OUT OF ORDER?

So, I’ve been thinking all day about what I wanted to share today. It’s been pretty difficult but I finally decided to share something I learnt a couple of weeks ago. There was this devotional by Timothy Kellar that I read called Making Sense of God. I liked it a lot because it presented a new way of thinking that I really liked. Anyway, he spoke on something called Disordered loves which is basically saying that the disorder of our lives is a reflection of the disorder of our loves.  He said it better than I’ll be able to so I’ll just put down some of the stuff that he wrote verbatim:

Augustine taught that we are most fundamentally shaped not as much by what we believe, or think, or even do, but by what we love. “For when we ask whether somebody is a good person, we are not asking what he believes or hopes for, but what he loves.” For Augustine, what we call human virtues are nothing more than forms of love. Courage is loving your neighbour’s well-being more than your own safety.

 

You may say that you believe in social equality and justice and think that you do, but if you make business decisions that exploit others, it is because at the heart level, you love your own prosperity more than your neighbour’s. In short, what you love most at the moment is what controls your action at that moment. “A body by its weight tends to move toward its proper place…My weight is my love: wherever I am carried, my love is carrying me.” You are what you love.

 

Augustine did not see our problems as stemming only from a lack of love. He also observed that the heart’s loves have an order to them, and that we often love more important things less. Therefore, the unhappiness and disorder of our lives are caused by the disorder of our loves.

 

A just and good person “is also a person who has [rightly] ordered his love, so that he does not love what is wrong to love, or fail to love what should be loved, or love too much what should be loved less (or love too little what should be loved more). “How does this work? There is nothing wrong with loving your work, but if you love it more than your family, then your loves are out of order and you may ruin your family. Or if you love making money more than you love justice, then you will exploit your employees, again, because your loves are disordered.

 

I really enjoyed reading this and it has stayed with me since then. It really gave me something to think about and I really want you guys to think about it as well and I would love to know your thoughts.

Praying for Peace

My heart is broken over the attacks that took place in London last night. It just saddens me that there are people in this world who are just so miserable that they want to make others just as miserable as they are.

I can only pray for peace in this nation and in the world. I just want to urge everyone just to say a prayer of peace and just to speak peace into the universe. My heart goes out to the victims and their families and I just pray that God sends them peace and comforts them during this difficult time.

 

Google Doodles: The work of Zaha Hadid

I believe that you can never know too much. Knowledge is power and I appreciate and I love to read and watch out for any opportunity to learn about anything and everything. It is for this reason that I love Google Doodles. Google Doodles are the animations that Google displays on their homepage. Almost everyday, there is always a google doodle that celebrates something or someone and I especially loved today’s doodle.

Today, Google celebrates the work of Zaha Hadid, an architectural wizard who basically was a pioneer in modern architecture. I am not really much of an architectural follower( I can’t think of a better word right now). I can’t tell you anything about it and you will not see me buying a copy of Architectural digest. However, I appreciate the art of it. I love looking at buildings that are just art and I appreciate the process that goes into it all.

So, I was interested to see the work of this amazing woman and I have to tell you that her work is spectacular. Her buildings are some of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Her mind was so creative and so technical and so beautiful. I was just in awe of the stuff that I saw and I wished I had known about her sooner and I appreciate Google for giving me an opportunity to know about this architectural genius.

I will leave some photos of her buildings below so that you guys can feast your eyes on the magic that is Zaha Hadid.

 

Al Wakrah Stadium, Qatar

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Changsha Meixihu International Cultural Centre, China

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Sleuk Rith Institute, Cambodia (2018)

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520 West 28th Street, New York (2017)

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New Beijing Airport at Daxing (2018)

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Central Bank of Iraq, Baghdad (TBC)

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Eleftheria Square, Nicosia, Cyprus (TBC)

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Esfera City Centre, Monterry, Mexico (2018)

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Riverside Museum, Glasgow (2011)

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King Abdullah Petroleum Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2016)

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Grand Theatre de Rabat, Morocco (TBC)

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So amazing!

Photos: The Telegraph

What if we knew the future?

I think that one of the best things in life is that you don’t know what is going to happen. I also think that one of the scariest things in life is that you don’t know what is going to happen.

If we knew what will happen to us tomorrow or a year from now, we would walk towards it or steer away from it depending on what it is. However, what then is the point? If we knew the future, then it makes life boring.

Not knowing the future makes all the good things that come along the way all the more amazing. The little surprises that come along remain that and makes life more interesting.

I am currently writing this movie script and it is something that I never thought I will do. I mean, when I was younger and a little more confident in my writing, I always thought of writing a book. Then, I grew older, criticised myself more and became more afraid.

Now, my confidence is rising once more and all these ideas are beginning to pop in my head and even though, it is still a scary road to go down, I am just doing my best to enjoy it. I mean, who knows what will come out of it but at this very moment though, I feel like it is what I’m meant to be doing.

Many things have happened to me that I never thought will happen – some good, some bad – but at least, life stays interesting.

Just wanted to drop my thoughts this evening. Let me know what you think.