Wednesday, May 16

On The Question of Time

"Is reality television making us stupid?"
That is the question I came across in the March 2012 edition of South Africa Marie Claire  (page 38) a few days ago.
I am sure your subconscious instantly responded  before you have even had time to actually digest it in order to come up with a proper response. Mine screeched 'NO.'

I could hardly believe what I read in the yes-response, (the 'article' comprised of a yes and no responses). I kept screaming in my head, 'seriously?' Surely you must be joking?! Her grouse is with the networks for subjecting us to shows which (do not) mentally tax anyone, networks that have demeaned and devalued what it means to be a 'star' (my words). According to her 'why should we be subject to shows that are created out of modern celebrity and force-fed people's daily diets and love of shopping?'. In short, she claims it is the fault of the networks for showing The Kardashians, Coco Loves Ice etc full stop. My silent scream to this person was, 'who took away your freedom of choice?!' 
So,  with trepidation, I went on to the 'No' response, and was glad she and I were on the same page. Long story cut interestingly short; she said that reality shows are 'one giant cheeseburgers, the packaging is attractive, the product is addictive, but can you really blame the manufacturer for making you fat? Who puts that non-nutritional snack in your mouth...?' Gbam. Who forced you not to click on the Discovery Channel, so you can watch something educational and valuable of your time?

Reading this piece only a few hours after I had heard a charge on using 'time' right was not a coincidence. It is not about watching Coco Loves Ice, or The Kardashians, or Kendra or even Big Brother, I am not a fan of those, but it is about what we use our time for. I have my guilty pleasures, as do everyone. I could stay with an Angel or Buffy  movie all night, I went crazy and had no life outside of Jack Bauer's 24, I do not even try to pass up any chance of watching a James Bond movie (yes, even after the first few hundred times!), but it is not really about TV, but about those things that take us away from the things that matter, the things that are  productive, valuable and life-giving. and this can be anything.

Can we really blame the networks, who though must make profits, but which I assume are also operating within some legal framework of what is acceptable, for whatever is airing on TV? Surely every single person has a freedom of choice; the power to do or not to do? We cannot blame the manufacturers for their products or the attractiveness of their packaging...mind you, I am not taking away the part where a society can and should decide what kind of shows a network should air. Those are battles that can be fought, I am not saying that the networks are not faulty in the things that they agree to air, but that only further confirms that we live in a faulty society if this is the kind of culture that we have chosen to propagate on air. Still, we should not all sit around and blame the next person for the things we are responsible for.

So, I say NO; reality TV, books, magazines, movies, sleep, phones, food etc are not making us (me) stupid. If I am stupid, its all on me. Let us put the blame of our quirks and weakness squarely where they belong.

What are you doing with your time? I (hilariously) remember a friend saying to me years ago, because I could never pass up any opportunity to sleep, 'Zainab, if you want to sleep you life away, it is ok, go on.' I woke up. Fast. :-)

Be Free oh...

Picture courtsey of Google images.

Monday, May 14

Whose Am I?

The duchess of my life.
I own me.
Or do I?
If not I, then who?

Princess of me
I own me
Or do I?
If not I, then who?

Be there a king or prince somewhere?
Whose name is like poured out perfume?
When does he show?
Do I wait?
If yes, for how much longer?

While I do,
What do I do?
Preen? Pamper? Prepare?
Live? Love? Be?

Be what?
What he expects me to be?
What He created me to be?
What me desire me to be?

Whom do I please?
At the end of the day?
While I wait for love?
Him, him or me?

I own me.
Or do I?

- Zouzou 2012

Be Free o.

Wednesday, May 9

The Next Bliss Group Light in the Window Project

Ok! Tthe ladies of The Bliss Group are at it again!
Our next garage sale for charity is billed for June 2nd, 2012 in Lekki Phase 1, Nigeria (more info as we go). The proceeds of this sale goes to the Bethesda Child Support Agency.
I am calling on as many as can donate towards this worthy cause (from whatever part of the world you are at) to get in touch either by leaving a comment below or emailing me at I would be grateful for anything that can be sold from clothes (male, female, adult, children/bags/shoes/books/jewelry/electronics/housewares/furniture/kitchenware/accessories/CARS(yes)/cash etc etc. Please note that items must be in good condition, such that you are able to buy them back yourself if necessary. We may be able to arrange  pick up if you would let us know in time.
If you have some other form of (free) service you would like to provide, or would like to know how else you can support this cause (or the Bliss Group in general), please let me know.

We also encourage you to plan to participate in the sale, as well as help spread the word. (I can assure you the sale itself is always very exciting!). Help make this (biggest ever) Bliss project a reality.

Please note that the key word here is CHARITY.

Thank you all in advance as you 'show up for life'.
You may read more on Bethesda, under the Freedom Foundation by clicking here.

Be free oh.
Bethesda picture courtesy of Freedom Foundation (Nigeria).

Wednesday, May 2

The Dawn Walks

One of the things that I hate the most, and I can’t say if it comes before or after drinking water, is walking. I detest it. I don't walk. Even if the distance is from just here to the aboki's stall next door, I'd rather not go, please, send someone else. How much weirder can one get?? The two things that could help me live a longer, healthier life, I hate, I mock and I snicker at. Oh well, I guess that's what makes me me!
But hang on! Before you shake your head in pity at moi...I happily announce that I have changed! I have started to walk every other day! #Excited.

So, I set out to walk in the morning; mornings as opposed to evenings for 2 reasons: I love the morning; I love the quiet, the peace, the cool and the almost total lack of activity (except that in Lagos activity never really stops),  especially when it is dewy...I love seeing the cloud of  dew and could stand by my bedroom window or the balcony of my living room staring at the sky,  willing the dawn not to break just so the dew doesn't disappear! Second reason, I figured the only way to maintain this exercise is to carry it out while I have control over my, full of energy and excitement, I walk into a newer and healthier life, every other day!

These walks have, however, brought with it a completely new and different kind of experience! I see a whole new stuff of what goes on the neighbourhood; as people begin to brushing their teeth outside, women pottering around, getting the fires crackling and burning fiercely, ready to receive those gigantic pots that house meals for workers who need early sustenance to begin their day, our Muslim brothers getting water into their kettles to perform ablutions in readiness for prayers while the speaker belts out the Al-Adhan, the call to prayer, loud, clear and relentlessly; okada riders and a few buses  plying the narrow streets, conductors screaming almost louder than the mosques’ speakers, in search of those who have to go to work early, and market women who must have their wares displayed before it is even 'light'...and in corners, little children, roused from sleep way too early,  walking dazedly in and out of the uncompleted buildings to relieve themselves, even as the ‘mallams’  also begin to set up their stalls, yet more abokis are gathered around their wheel-barrow of wares made up of sweets, matches, gums, candles, and beleive it or not, pirated movies etc, smoking and chatting in the ‘earl-iness’ of the morning...

And each time I walk to and fro this street I have a thought concerning that fire that burns so tall and fiercely, I fear it is too close to that wooden table and may catch on fire one day and burn down everything around it, I have a thought concerning these children who are too young to be wondering  around on their own so early,  who knows what human and animal danger lurks? The okada and bus drivers just may use the opportunity of the (and as far as some States are concerned; ungodly) early hour to perpetrate their own brand of evil; hey, kidnapping still abounds, and I especially have a thought for other 'co-exercisers' who take careless pleasure in walking and jogging through  back streets, away from the lights, or are walking with their back to oncoming traffic! Don't blame me for these thoughts, such paranoia defines the society in which we live today, we are constantly (yet not enough), on our guard, suspicious of everyone around, suspicious of every move people  make, convinced they plan to do us harm!

Notwithstanding all these morbid thoughts, however, I happily march home, all sweaty but jived and energized; ready to jump under the stream of ice-cold water,  terribly anxious for the next walk, just so I could (re) envelope myself in these morning experiences that have become a part of my (every other) day dawn walks...

B e   F r e e   o h!