Dolly Writes

Journey of a growing woman

Tag: Nigeria

I am through with the dating game.

What is it about me that says ‘ready to be played?’ 

I spent the last week being completely depressed. I slept a lot. I cried a lot and I thought a lot. One could say it was due to PMS or one could say it was due to the fact that I got approached by yet another dude who likes me enough to want to have sex with me but not enough to actually date me. Or it could be both, who knows? Crazier things have happened eh?

As you may know, I am a romantic. I am corny. I am sappy. I believe that love is one of the most meaningful things in this world but lately, I’ve started to doubt that. I mean, I still think it is but maybe just not for me. I am at my wit’s end when it comes to this dating game and at this point, I just want to simply step out of it.

I feel exhausted and worn out. Maybe it’s the PMS but I spent the last week trying to figure out what was wrong with me. What is it about me that says ‘ready to be played?’

In the last few years, I have grown to be more confident in the woman that I am but this last week showed me that I still have a long way to go. But as for this dating game, I feel done. I feel through.

And it sucks more because I have loved but haven’t ever felt that love back. So, I don’t even know what it means to be in a relationship with a person who thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread. And I worry sometimes that I wouldn’t get that.

This is not post asking for sympathy. This is just a post that mirrors what I am going through in my life right now. And I want to know if I have sisters or brothers out there who feel the way I do. But, as of right now, I’m done.

I can’t keep doing this. It’s not even fun anymore.

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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

AYO: I find it hard to believe that you were ever depressed

It is so funny to me how fast things can change and you never even realise. That sweater you thought you loved so much two years ago becomes an item that you never even wear anymore. That heartbreak that you thought would last forever becomes a distant memory. There are a lot of things that have changed in my life in the last couple of years and I find myself in a completely different space.

As some of you may know, I am currently doing my national service (NYSC) and yesterday was our CDS which is where we talk about things that we want to do to help the community. Anyway, after our meeting yesterday, I stayed back to hang out with a friend of mine who also happens to work at Punch with me. Ayo and I have a lot in common and even though we have only known each other for a short time, we are always able to talk about anything and everything.

I had mentioned to Ayo that once upon a time in my life, I was very depressed. It is so crazy to me now that I can speak about it in the past tense because I never ever thought that I would ever get out of that hole. The thought of it seemed so impossible to me. As I mentioned this to Ayo, he told me that he finds it very hard to believe that I was ever so depressed.

When he said that, it dawned on me how far I had come. Anyone that knew me during that time knew that I was not always very happy. In fact, anyone that has been reading my blog from as far back as 2013, will know that I went through a very depressive state for a really long time. I was unhappy all the time. I cried all the time and even when I was happy, I was never really happy. It brings tears to my eyes now thinking back to those times because I found it hard to talk about what I was going through. I contemplated suicide so many times. I wanted to die.

When 2016 started, I began to notice a shift. It was a very slight one but it was a shift nonetheless. I could just feel it in my spirit that I was going to be alright. I had an amazing support system in my friends and in my siblings. I was beginning to open up more and share more and even though it was still a difficult year for me, I found it easier to handle. Towards the end of that year, I started to pray more and read my Bible more. Jesus saved my life.

By the end of 2017, I just knew that I was done feeling sorry for myself. I also decided to take each day as it comes. That is and has been my motto. I was going to take baby steps because I know that I have suffered through a mental health issue and if I let it, I would fall back into that filthy, lonely hole again. I have decided to be accepting of what each day brings and try my best not to worry about things that I cannot change. When people tell me that I have adjusted to living back in Nigeria so well, it is honestly just due to the grace of God and in just investing in my personal happiness. I try to laugh as much and as loud as I can because laughter is good for the soul and I try to do things that I enjoy. I do my best to dedicate some time to my Lord each and every day. Some days, I forget but the days I forget cannot be compared to the days I remember.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I get upset and I want to cry because things do not go the way that I planned. I allow myself to feel those emotions because I am human after all. However, I try my best to not allow those emotions overwhelm me.

The reason why Ayo can say what he said is because he is experiencing me at the best place that I have ever been. There are days I wake up in the morning and I am not even in the mood and I do not even want anyone to fuck with me that day. Then, I get into work and all I want to do is to tease and laugh with everyone. I can’t even help it anymore. I decided to choose happiness and now, happiness is choosing me.

For those that are going through a difficult time right now, I want you to know that this too shall pass. God got you and I love you and I am always available to listen.

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.