Wednesday, March 11

IWD: Who Are You Celebrating?

A few days ago I wrote a whole page on the International Women’s Day but left the draft to breathe for a while. By the time I came back to it, I knew I shouldn't post it at all because it was all wrong!

Sure I had written about The Woman. How not many of us are appreciated enough if at all, about how, if we have never been celebrated for the things we do as women in our family, work place, community, group etc., perhaps it was time to be the one actually celebrating others without airs, without condescension, without sizing each other up because that is what we are prone to do albeit unconsciously. Lets face it, we women don't like each other.

But then I thought that we shouldn't concentrate on us us this time. I felt that the very people we should celebrate are those who have no idea what the ‘International Women’s Day’ is all about. I thought, how can we make their day? How can you and I let them know that their daily struggles, their challenges, their very life is appreciated? Our drivers’ wives, our security/gateman’s wife, the young ladies who clean and serve us in the office, our favourite customers in the market and shops, the stewards that clean our homes, our nannies – those women we never really seem to  notice, lest think about.

What have we got that we can give? The things we can do ought not to cost us much; it should cost us something because sometimes a free gift is just that, free. Gives you nothing else in return, no feeling of ‘accomplishment’, pleasure or satisfaction. But the very least we can do, for those who don’t believe in ‘free gifts’, is give (that word again) a smile to let someone know that though they may seem to be in the background, their impact is felt through all they do. In fact, you may just say their name for once. You will be surprised at the reaction!

These are women who may never know that we are celebrating a day dedicated to our gender because they don’t read this in the papers, they don’t receive our BB broadcast messages, they don't receives emails, they are not online to read about offices and organizations that are giving kudos to women to celebrate their womanhood and achievements, what’s more, they are not invited to the conferences and summits that celebrates them.

This is the group of women to whom I dedicate this year's Women's Day celebration.  
I hope I have pique your interest and steered your thoughts in the right (and new) direction.

I plan to do. I hope you do. I wish we would all do. Something.

Be free oh.

Card culled from 

Tuesday, December 16

The Haze Speaks

For as long as I can remember (I am sure I have made reference to this before on this blog), the sight of that haze that signaled the arrival of the ‘harmattan’ season in Nigeria meant something bad to me. I have been known to use the word ‘depressed’ to describe how it makes me feel. But for the past year or two things have changed a bit. I have learned to let go of the discomfort, and whatever it was that made me feel like something that was yet to begin was already over! But I ramble.

A few days ago I wandered to my window, and behold there was the haze! I thought this was a good thing because the weather this year has been weird to say the least. There was practically no demarcation between the seasons; it rained almost all year round in Lagos! 

Secondly, as I stood there staring out, it occurred to me that I didn't feel the usual discomfort or restlessness. And for once I searched within myself to dig out the reason why this period always made me feel the way it did; not that anything tragic happened in my past to trigger the feeling, I believe it is more a collection of the memories of a time when life was all innocence, when there were no pressures, when the simplest thing ever was to just be, to live, to be happy and contented, to go to school, come back home, repeat it all again the following day. But all that changed fast when life happened.

I believe I had an epiphany standing at that window though. I thought to myself, this haze is a welcome sight. I see change! I immediately wanted to do many different things; I bought a Christmas tree for the first time ever and spent time with my sister decorating it, I just stand there and grin each time I see the tree. I plan to cook up a storm (errrr, I shall avoid doing the actual cooking though) on Christmas morning, spend the day with my sisters, binge on everything eatable and drinkable. Laugh! Be happy. Why? Because the sight of The Haze is now a reminder (like the rainbow) of promise, that today is better than yesterday; a reason to consciously seize the moment, revel in it, and not care what comes next, and really, that the haze does not necessarily have to mean obscurity. 

Granted sometimes the cold and the heat may bring discomfort, or the rain may make our days drab, but we have a choice to bring in warmth and color, and for those who know me, I am all about colors!

Let the season speak to you, it has me. I am dancing!!

Be. Free. Oh.

Photo courtesy