Tuesday, 25 November 2014

*How does one mourn a friend?  Lara’s funeral is on Friday.  It’s been a long week for me and I am still confused.  My somehow scheduled and organize life has gone berserk, since the day I found the neigbourhood gathered in front of our house. Right in the midst of the confusion, our popular grapevine, the woman beside everybody’s house was able to share the story with much breaking news dexterity  “they said she just had her bath and she tripped and fell down their expensive staircase”.  That was our popular grapevine side to the story; she was always the first on the scene and no one has ever tried to beat her to it.
But I knew that wasn't the story, I can bet my life  that the story was different. So I rushed to their apartment to ascertain if my friend and only neighbour; the landlord’s wife was truly dead.

I met Tade, the deceased husband in tears.  Our eyes met, he looked down to look up again and confirm that my friend had truly died amidst tears and a bout of vigorous head shaking. Lara couldn't be dead; I looked around and my eyes went to where we sat two days ago analyzing the movie we watched about abuse. Lara couldn't be dead, even if she was dead; her death was too cheap. Lara whose face is a picture of every child’s innocence and whose friendship had come to mean a lot to me.

 I felt her death was too cheap. With this conclusion I decided to take control of everything amidst my anger, pain, confusion and annoyance at the deceased whose corpse had been taking to the mortuary after the unfortunate incidence.  I waited till the mourners left, and took Lara’s children to our flat.  I bathe them and as much as I would have loved to be the CIA, I waited till they finished their food. Kishi, the first child played around with his food. I believe that was expected considering the circumstances.
But Simi, just about 5 years old has always been the chatter –box, and she eat and talked at the same time without any idea of what was going on.

After her food and a little Ben Ten Series, I took them to the children’s room to rest. I knew Kishi was attached to his mum and would understand a bit of what had happened so I allowed him to sleep as he was not ready to talk to anybody. So I went to sit beside Simi’s bed and asked quietly “Simi did you see mummy fall”.
She nodded then went on to narrate the event of the day from the time they woke up, I couldn't stop saying “and then what happened” till she got to the news and right before it she yawned. I knew from experience what that meant and intuitively brought out my I-phone and opened to the content which never stopped to amaze her.
And quietly she said. ‘’Daddy slapped and push mummy at the top of the staircase and she hit her head on the wall, mummy tripped and fell down, then she slept.

I felt cold. It was a cheap death, because two month to this event, we both laughed over this possibility and she said Tade was a very good and noble man and would never do such.
His beatings had become a ritual, yet no one knew. Not even us the neighbour, until Lara told me. He was very discreet, very cheerful and conservative; the man who conserve all his energy and aptitude to beating his wife.

They were a wonderful couple, everywhere. He was a wonderful husband as we saw. A good father and a good landlord who at one time I had drawn comparison with, to the amazement of my husband who said he could see beyond his extra cool facade. Tade was an epitome of a good man in every area, yet he was a wife beater.

Is it possible to understand a dangerous situation and yet live with it, by it and for it? That was Lara. She lived with it and died by it.  No one can understand why some women don’t leave. Not because they don’t want to, but they believe they just couldn't.    
                                                                  
In Lara’s case I believe she had the idea that it was bad to leave her husband. Yet I couldn't understand why it wasn't bad that he was beating her. She was culturally wired to believe that, what she has worked for all these years will go down the drain if she walked out.

Psychotic? Isn't it?

But maybe not psychotic if you believe a lion would cut his claws and run back to your arms crying “please don’t wound me”.

I wonder why some women refuse to see the obvious, yet they could analyse it if it happened to another woman. I also wonder why abuse and violence is constructed to be the fault of the woman. How many times have we seen raw violence from a man to a woman or a woman to a man and we laugh it off as one of life’s occurrences. Or we say “There must be something wrong with her.  She must have a tongue as sharp as the devil too. 

Women die, lay bruised, and get abused everyday by their partner; because she never walked away nor report the incidence.  Not only in marriages but it also happens in relationships. I remember sharing with Lara about my sister who condoned a walk-in and out relationship because she believed she loved the man. Abuse is not necessarily when a man lays his hand on you; abuse is also when he abandons you in a relationship, walk out on you and believe he can walk in again. Even if he holds the magic wand, must he misuse it?  Abuse is when he impregnates you and walk out , then come back again to see if it’s has been taking care of so that he can pick up from where he stopped .

It is delirious that at this age of civilization things like this happen. Even your boss with a razor tongue has never seen the back of your hand so why should your wife.
Maybe she could, may she couldn't, maybe she feared to, but all in all there is a fear of the unknown which paralyses whatever action an abused person may want to take, because they are never sure if the abuse would simply end by their walking away.

Terrible!

Lara had a good degree, she knew and must have discussed during her days in the university that she will never condone violence or abuse on women. However, when it came to her, she could not leave. She put her degree aside, and thought more of her social disgrace and alienation until she landed herself in the grave.

 One of the things we believe, which is very detrimental to our safety, as women is that we make everything look easy, and our culture and society has dictated some uncouth ideologies about sufferance in marriage , abuse or domestic violence in marriage as a woman’s cross. We are wired to think we should  be the perfect woman, mother, and daughter, beautiful and make everything look easy. We try to balance everything, a little pain here a little pain there. Yet it is not simple. Bottling anger, oppression, abuse, and misuse should not be easy.

Yes, Lara had a good degree, but it became worthless the minute it had no voice, because her voice the voice of her knowledge must have told her the expected result. “What if I die?”, she should have asked.  He may marry again; even at marriage the children are still orphans because you can never be sure of the treatment meted to them .We are not only orphans by some circumstances but we are also orphans by the choices we make and the ones we refuse to make.

When we talk  about crimes committed against the defenseless, domestic violence against  women, the children, do we really talk about the impact it has on generation.  Every day, women are being mugged on the streets, sexually assaulted, harassed, date-raped, beaten and killed by their partners  and for some reasons we accept it. We accept slaps, the bruise, the knife cut, the knife wounds the blow we see on their faces, as the pains of matrimony. Lurking behind the perfect portrait of marital bliss can be a license holder of  marital torture and rape.

In my own case I believe telling her to get out was not enough. I should have done better .This is not a guilt trip, but I should have done better. I have never been hit by a man, just like some of us, not because we don’t have a razor sharp tongue or temperament to hurt the devil himself, but because we are just the lucky ones, and because they are the good ones. Even the docile without a razor tongue are still hit, so I deduce it is not a temperament issue. It is worse than that. I have heard stories of the "wonderful-man-beater-chocolate and flower bringer". What is the impact on the children that happened to see all these? Kishi refuse to talk about the death of his mother, Simisola kept asking when mummy will come. But give or take 2 years she may forget about her whereabouts and remember a mother that once cared.  Will Kishi take after his father? It is tucked down their memory, will they do it? Won’t they do it? Only God can tell the effect of that which they saw. 

Lara , am sorry  I didn't  go to the police with your story, even though you told me you  would deny it .
I am sorry that I didn't involve a higher authority. If I have confronted your husband, wouldn't it have been worse than this. I am sorry.

Despite cries, campaigns, injunctions, laws, violence still continues all around the world. Somewhere, somehow a voice is crying over a recently lost loved one who was murdered and silenced by an intimate partner.

This isn't just women’s issue. Women, children and men have the human right to be safe in their own homes. As Abraham Lincoln once said “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.”
Lara I am sorry he finally killed you, much more am sorry he killed the little angel you carried within you. Her sojourn was just 12 weeks and four days when she snuggled down the abyss of her father’s violence. Adieu Lara.
As we mark yet another day for the elimination of violence against women  all over the world, I hope we will be  concerned to give more than a little thought to the bruises we have seen, the silent cries we have heard for help around us and help to stop the indiscriminate violence against the defenseless and against women around us.

*This is a social consciousness story by Funmi Akerele. Founder of Pink Ambition .

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Email: pink.ambition@ymail.com

Sunday, 23 November 2014

...I am here
I am more than enough
I have so much to give
I posses the strength to make things happen
The strength to conceive...
The idea
And GET UP.
...Every idea is an ideal mountain top, only climbed by those little droplets of hungry sweats, brave enough   to encroach roundabout the calluses or smoothness of life.

I am here,
I am more than enough
I took the bet, more like a dare to climb
Knowing fully well I have so much to loose
The ladder we all climb seems glossy
Yet the slippery happenstance is usually for those who hold the ladder with wet hands,wet flip flops intending to climb.
Slippery is good. It exposes our dynamism
 They say the view at the top remains the best, yet with unwavering dexterity and a god-damn attitude -- only few idea -list climb.
Inevitable are the results they meet :
 concrete justice, or mountaintop justice.

I am here
I am more than enough
I have so much to give
The ladder is a disguise, the action is the mainstream
STARTUP.
Every step is a bespoke activity
The victory of one challenge announces more challenges
The steps are many...
There is a step of love filled with passion and thirst; the first born of the world’s  greatest couple
There is distress. 
There is hunger , anger and regret bundled about the memory of the diverse opportunities to be seen down the stairs.
There is a step of serenity which may propel you to think life is at its best abyss. The gentle breeze from this view is deceiving ,distracting and unforgivably beautiful. Only those who open their minds to the empty steps upward venture to complete it.
There’s a step of happiness in which the prosperity of others is also  your prosperity .
There is a step of “exhale”. How simple actions makes your full belly flutter like a blossom on her first love.
And There is a step of joy, not the last step , but equipped with the  knowledge of how to,
The wisdom of life’s successes is a principle sought by many who refused to climb the ladder. The simple action of the climb is a result of having resolved with the mind.
Knowledge is inevitable for the climb.

UPSTAIRS!
The best strategies may not happen with the best ideas
But an idea is fundamental. A great one is ingenious.
It may be easy to climb, easy to engage, easy to be active and upward.
It is usually dumb not to think before jumping or before descent
The inevitable may happen
Concrete justice or mountaintop justice
So every climb or descent and all process requires the “ups”

I am here
I am more than enough
I have so much to give
The ability to GETUP!
The creativity to STARTUP
!
The decision to start UPSTAIRS!

 And that is why I am here
Remember…Believe…Knowledge…Opportunities (Pink Ambition)

Funmi Akerele
www.facebook.com/pinkambitions
www.google.com/+FunmiAkerele
www.pinkambition1.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Pinkambitions1
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Email: pink.ambition@ymail.com

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

P.A.C

...acknowledging that our actions,beliefs,words and emotion are not the best choices is a state where we evaluate our selves and choose who we are and who we want to be.

For those things you do,for the ones you have done, and for those you are about to do, once you get to a state that you P.A.C (Pause. Acknowledge and Clear your mind) before you act, then you have began to choose who you are and what to become.

Emotional intelligent people are ordinary people who have mastered and aligned their emotions as well as others to yield positive results and actions to make impact in their workplace, relationship, career and lives.

To choose yourself there must be a continuous evaluation of your emotion and thoughts before it culminate into any activity.

What is the result of your choice action?

I have chosen to love my life by aligning my thoughts and emotions to understand, evaluate and often re-evaluate what I want to do, how I do things and why I want to do it. To choose yourself; intentional evaluation is the key choice before action.

I did a check this morning to start to do, to count, to get,to become,to allow, to disallow, to understand, to appreciate, to work harder, to say and much more importantly make choices that are devoid of negative entanglements; to use more hindsight and insights rather than give room to a botox injected emotion in dealing with myself and in leading and living with people.

I have learnt that I am who I am because of my choices and lack of it, and I can control my thoughts and actions once I understand the need to properly evaluate and get in the drivers seat towards a better life, self esteem and a proper emotional competence.

Your life is your choice. Choose actions, thoughts, emotions, behaviour that will positively influence you and others.

Its your choice!

Remember... Believe...Knowledge... Opportunities (Pink Ambition)

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Women for Women

Politics can be a pool of dirty tricks. 

This is a global phenomenon and female politicians face the brunt of strict political environment, political violence, physical as well as sexual assault , abuse, and under -representation due to no support as well as gender discrimination prevalent in politics.
Marginalization of women in politics in Nigeria can thoroughly be addressed by the support of women for women. The level of representation of women in politics in Nigeria is disheartening, yet the advantages for more female representation is huge. Women are the bedrock of the society and also a veritable tool of development in any society.
There are so many hindrances aside marginalization or gender disparity, women politicians face but one winning edge to all these challenges is when we have more women supporting women in politics. Our value system is not encouraging, as women politicians are viewed as thieves who support the looting of the treasury. The wags of tongues and the backlashes from other women are enough to send noble office holders or interested women leaders to a scurry of silence.

If we begin to support women who are interested in politics ,more women will be bold to come into politics and this will definitely change our society for better.
For the success of those who are running in different capacity in the 2015 election, it is important we have more women supporting them to share ideas, network and advocate for better manifestos as well as good mandate to make them have a victory.
It is simple, women need women.
We need to bring our bricks together one after the other to see what we can build with our own voices and unyielding support .
If a woman candidate has a wrong notion for running a political position, through our participation and encouragement with counsel , it is possible for her to see the light of the tunnel and not grope around in darkness.
To see the success of the 2015 election, Nigerian women have a strong part to play in supporting all the women who are running for office.

Women are leaders and Nigeria needs more women leaders!

Remember…Believe…Knowledge…Opportunities (Pink Ambition)

Funmi Akerele
www.facebook.com/pinkambitions
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www.pinkambition1.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Pinkambitions1
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Email: pink.ambition@ymail.com

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Emotional intelligence

Every day living is an emotional experience and moments for females of all ages. 

Everyday we live on the edge or in fullness of an emotion which may either be borne out of experience, situations or long tales shared by someone believed by so many.

Aggravated, grumpy, defensive, radiant, dejected, joyous, overwhelmed, jealous,zealous, ever cranky, moody, depressed, confident, elated, never satisfied, happy, envious, always visibly annoyed, resourcefully happy, comfortable, composed, good natured, dejected, emotionally imbalance,easily irritated, understanding, agitated, unease, argumentative, frustratingly simple, frustrated, determined,purposeful e.t.c.
Emotion guides everything we do. We are wired up with emotions that if not rightly checked can either make or break us.

To navigate life challenges and stand out as exceptionally as we want, our emotions must be
played intelligently, which means, you must understand your self and your emotions.

Emotional Intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage our behavior, manage other people, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.

Our formation could be wrong, due to habits and childhood traumas or experiences,but once we learn to read the language of our emotions, we no longer need to linger on negative emotional hangups for hours, for days, for months and for a lifetime.

Emotion impacts everything you say or do each day and predicts your performance in the workplace as well as being the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence. Having love, happiness and success depends on the ability to create and maintain good emotions.

It is not a skill that can be taught at school. It can not be used as an assessment for promotion in school, but it is definitely what is required to get to the next level in life. No one will be willing to put the money on a cranky employee and no one wants a nagging woman ,nor prefer an obnoxious employer, or a dejected and highly irritant team member. No one definitely want a woman or man who categorizes everyone due to past experiences.

We all get angry, have disappointments, feel frustrated, want to express love, be happy and we often express our emotions to let people know how we feel. Learning to manage emotions, is important - by learning how to use these emotions in ways that serve us rather than letting it run or ruin our lives. One can inevitably learn to stay calm under pressure, be more effective in our work and more influential with those around us.

Emotions are powerful but they do not have to overpower our lives.

Life does not fall flat on lack of good books skills, life fall flat on the lack of strong emotional skills which is the inability to read your own feelings, control your impulses, calm down and maintain resolve and hope in the face of setbacks.

Life is good; It can be good; It will be good , when you learn to deal with your emotions and the emotion of others without having negative attitudes.

Remember…Believe…Knowledge…Opportunities (Pink Ambition)

Funmi Akerele
www.facebook.com/pinkambitions
www.google.com/+FunmiAkerele
www.pinkambition1.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Pinkambitions1
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Email: pink.ambition@ymail.com

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Article

Hello
Kindly check out our article on Naija Juice Magazine:
https://issuu.com/naijajuicemag/docs/double_cover_issue

Thanks.