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Apr 21 2014

Resurrection: The Sunnyside Up!

The scripture says when the last trumpet blows, Jesus would come back and his beloveths would rise up. Eek, I keep seeing images (2)zombies, not funny. This event would officially be the Zombie apocalypse. The dead would resurrect and those that are not dead would float away into heaven, they call it ascending, I call it levitation magic at its best! The scripture also says that the beloveths would no longer be flesh but spirits. One little detail, if they are no longer flesh but spirits, how are they gonna recognize themselves? I imagine that conversation amongst my resurrected Naija brethrens would go thus:

Oh bro, you too make am to heaven?”

Yes o sis, na so I see am o! By fire by thunder, I held tight to angel Michael’s robe and got a free ride to heaven. Naija no dey carry last, no dulling!”

Just saying it surely won’t be fun if the resurrected can’t recognise themselves in the afterlife!

Another thing is, if the beloveth are resurrected or float to heaven as flesh and blood, we need to consider if their body system downloadwould still work as normal. If you have blood flowing through your veins, you might still need to eat in order to nourish the body. However, I am concerned about some other urges apart from food. For example, what about sexual urges? Would the penis still throb at the sight of a beautiful, naked lady or a rubenesque angel? After all, in the early days, some angels were so tempted that they abandoned their heavenly duties to mate with the daughters of Eve, thus paving the way for the birth of giants, or so the myth goes.

I don’t know if there would be clothes in heaven but when Michelangelo first painted angels wearing sandals, it caused a big uproar in the church as many questioned whether or not angels wear shoes. Animals might particularly be interested in the answer to that because some angels might have a preference for crocodile skin shoes!

But coming back to sex in heaven, how many men are actually happy to have a limp, no longer active penis? I think many would 482565_10151239863701261_2120932950_nconsider this to be a fate worse than death. But come to think of it, Deuteronomy 23:1 says “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” Well, it seems there will be sexual action in heaven but if your balls aren’t intact, you ain’t getting resurrected! This is one reason to feel bad for faithfuls who have had their balls removed for medical reasons. It does not matter if they were good Christians who obeyed all the Ten Commandments, they still won’t be resurrected because of their missing ball(s). Not fair!

However, we sinners might just be having sex for eternity in hell. This could make it bearable. What do I mean “could”; of course this would be a winning point! We would scream from orgasmic pain and pleasure for eternity, BDSM at its best!

Now, coming to a very pertinent woman-related concern; would women still menstruate or would monthly circle be a thing of the past? Would sanitary pads makers like Proctor and Gamble set up a special branch in hell or would heaven be their new manufacturing headquarters? Oh, are all those poor trees still gonna be felled down to make tissue papers for menstruating women? Are there even trees in heaven? Won’t this still lead to climate change in heaven or even hell? Now, let’s not be too analytical, we all know God works in mysterious ways, and that settles it!

I for one won’t miss the bloody monthly circle and would happily give Skydaddy a kiss if he gets rid of it. However, if it persists, would resurrected women still need to buy sanitary towels for eternity or will there be a welfare supply of sanitary pads in heaven? Since there is no getting old in heaven, which also means no menopause, I shudder to think of the horror of being stuck with a monthly bleeding vagina for eternity. I am concerned for resurrected women because from all indications in the bible, God isn’t cool about menstruation. In fact, Skydaddy said many times in the bible that menstruating women should not be allowed in his holy house. He also forbids men from interacting with women who are in their menstrual periods.

If resurrected women still menstruate, does this mean that they would be banned from heaven at least 5 days of every month for eternity? Would they be tossed into hell or would there be a special barn in heaven where women would be banished to during their monthly period? At least in hell, there won’t be any discrimination, we would have the best minds including scientists that would provide the latest technology to take care of our needs and make hell super comfortable for its inhabitants. No doubt there will be great inventors who would come up with a pill to take care of the menstruation, super fire extinguishers to control the burning hell and invent super air-conditioning to keep us in perfect temperature.

BTW, what would the resurrected do for entertainment? Many Christian books show the beloveths singing Hallelujah and revelation_worship1Hosanna to the most high in heaven, while floating amongst flowers. Beats watching fox news all day, I suppose. And talking of flowers, since there are flowers in heaven, I supposed there will be bees. Would those bees sting? Would people still feel pain from a bee sting?

I cannot carry a tune even if my life depended on it, but if by some miracle I found myself amongst angels and the resurrected in heaven, would I have my old aluta voice or would I by some miracle have a sonorous, angelic voice?

I guess God might want me to play the flute or harp to massage his ego 24 hours /7 days a week for eternity, but as a black African, can I introduce Skydaddy and his white angels to the joys of the African drums or would they find my African beats too jarring on their angelic nerves? Wait, can I twerk for skydaddy 24/7?  Hmm, not a very enticing prospect, I never liked dictators, bigots or egoists and I am definitely not shaking my booty for one!

This is definitely another reason to make sure I am not amongst the resurrected. I mean, can you imagine what the entertainment would be like in hell?  An eternity of super star line ups from great musicians to great comedians and the eternal pleasure of rubbing minds with great thinkers. What can I say but WOW, sign me on!

Now, let’s talk about food. I love my food and one thing that makes me sad about dying is the thought of never eating chocolates, cake or a plate of pounded yam and goat meat vegetable soup again! I don’t really know if the resurrected would need to eat in heaven, but I do know eternal life would not be worth it if I can no longer experience the pleasure only a bowl of chocolate topped vanilla ice-cream could give. Anyway, if foods are allowed in heaven, will there be Rice, Amala, Akpu, Pounded yam and Equsi soup or will it just be salad and all dem leaves? I foresee conflicts that could lead to protests and riots.

I mean Vegans, Vegetarians and us carnivores might end up fighting! Vegans would shout “No more hurting the animals, this is 418356_210835959013797_100002621825953_353645_1182836252_nparadise for animals too, no more pain for animals” and die-hard meat eaters like me would scream “We want goat meat!” Blame it on papa God and His lousy, not so intelligent design and definitely cruel food chain! The lousy food chain would lead to pain and riots. With the presence of pain, I guess it won’t be paradise anymore, just Planet earth 0.2 with little or no system upgrade. However I am curious to know if the resurrected would still need to count calories. I mean, would it be an eternity of “Eat all you can buffet, no calories gained? Wow, that would be a real paradise, the kind of system upgrade worth dying for!

Also, I think Jesus said something about quenching the thirst of its followers forever, I guess there won’t be a need to drink water. I do wonder why many Christians on my social network are quick to inform me that when I languish in hell begging for a drop of water, they would majestically stare down at me from their heavenly seat and not give me a drop to drink. I get this a lot from self-righteous Christians and I wonder, what would darling Jesus think of such callousness? Not very Christlike now, is it?

But wait a minute; is heaven and hell that close? I mean, many Christians obviously expect to be looking from their heavenly throne at such close proximity at Atheists burning in hell fire and many actually salivate at the thought of watching atheists suffer in this mythical hell. What sort of person takes pleasure in anticipating the pain of another? Hmm, I guess such a person has created God in their own sadistic, malicious and vindictive image and they often picture themselves sitting on his arms, or is it lap? Problem is, these God’s creators are yet to come up with a good product, plus they make lousy salespersons!

BTW, I do think Jesus makes Zombies look sexy, especially hanging on that cross wearing nothing but a loin cloth and thorn crown. And he crowned the performance by breaking down his tomb and made sure to first show himself to women; it really could qualify as porn!

 

Apr 15 2014

Boko Haram kills in the name of God, AGAIN; Nigerians pray to God for solution, AGAIN.

The notorious Islamist terrorist group, ‘Boko Haram’, strikes again in the name of Allah, this time killing more than a hundred bomb-m-1people and leaving hundreds more injured with some lying critically ill in the hospital.  In the early hours of Monday 14th April, 2014, members of the religious terrorist group, Boko Haram, sets off a bomb in a crowded bus park in Nyanya,  a highly populated area in the outskirts of the federal capital territory, Abuja.

This is not the first time the barbaric group has committed such atrocities in Abuja. In recent past, their bombs have also gone off in  Yobe, Nasarawa,Borno, Kaduna etc. killing thousands of innocent people including school children. In the face of the seemingly helplessness of security agencies to curb the atrocities of this menacing, religious fanatic group that originated from the Northern part of the country, Nigerians are left fearing for their lives.

Sadly, waking up to the news that another Boko Haram bomb has gone off and killed many innocent people is no longer news. Seeing maimed arms, legs and rolling heads amidst burnt debris seems like a routine show now. Many Nigerians on social media scamper to post the goriest pictures of the victims of the latest bomb blast on facebook and twitter, leaving one to wonder if they derive a sort of macabre pleasure in these gory pictures. These pictures are posted without even a trigger warning alert. This act does nothing but diminish our humanity.

One other constant in this story of Boko Haram is how it always ends with the average Nigerian making comments like “May God take control”, “God will punish the evil doers”, “God will save us“ etc. When the President of the country also claim that God is in control and his political advisers issue statements saying God will punish the evildoers, what hope do Nigerians have? Well, better to get in touch with this God and make a personal deal, right?  A deal that goes like “Keep me and my family safe and I will worship you, pray to you, pay my tithes and obey you”. It seems this God is the closest we have to Superman.  Better to obey this ‘all knowing’, ‘all powerful’  Skydaddy than put hope on a government that obviously also depends on this Skydaddy to find solutions to the menace caused by people killing for Skydaddy.  The WTF of it all is as ironic as it is sad.

Nigerians pray to God to curb the menace that is Boko Haram. Many scuttle to their pastors to recite over an over again the prayer point of the week. No doubt some of the victims of the terrorists’ bomb blast must have recited their prayer of the week, but of course that did not stop them from being made mincemeat of by the deadly, barbaric, religious terrorist group.boko_haram561_2

The Islamist terrorists believe they are serving the will of Allah by declaring religious wars on infidels. The so called ‘infidels’ on the other hand know that their government has failed in providing credible security, therefore they end up seeking solace in the words of pastors. These pastors peddle anointing oils and give them prayer points in exchange for a full bowl of offering that keep the pastor in luxury, some offerings are even bountiful enough to provide some elites pastors with their own private jets.

The vicious circle of God delusion goes on. One end believes it is its duty to kill for God, so it goes on a killing rampage leaving many dead and majority fearing for their lives. The government can’t be trusted to provide security against this bandit of terrorists; therefore the people turn to God for protection. They go in droves to churches, mosques and shrines to seek divine protection. Their patronage makes the ‘Men of God’ more in demand thereby conferring power and respectability on the so called men of God. A power they in turn use to milk the vulnerable of their hard earned money, influence public policies and call for the persecution of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals.

The unprotected masses that are already victims of the corruption and inane policies of the government fear that they might be the next victim of Boko Haram. ‘Men of God’ feed on this fear. This fear of the unknown pays their bills and keeps them in business. In a vicious, circular way, this leads back to God or rather the God delusion.

Boko Haram kills for God, the pastors sell protection in the name of God, maybe God is indeed the solution, after all God is at the heart of the problem.

Definitely demystifying the God myth would put an end to people hiding under its name to kill or sell Imaginary cures. It is said 422578_10150654291961873_639253793_nthat those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. If we stopped believing in the absurdity called God, we will at least stop committing atrocities in its name and stop empowering ‘Men of God’, whose main aim is to prey on the vulnerable.

And talking of ‘Men of God’, let’s hope the Archbishop of Canterbury is not once again, preparing an eulogy blaming this latest killing of Boko Haram on the legalization of Samesex marriage in western countries.33770_167366599945211_100000156154826_637981_5432461_n407171_2699056189303_1043602147_2867789_1434976931_n

Apr 11 2014

THE MAIDEN

Her sultry eyes

Pierce at hearts

Tempting full lips

A promise to sip

Graceful neck

In beads deck

High breasts glistening

Svelte waist slithering

Long Legs gliding

Sensual beads jiggling

The jungle rumbles

Scavengers scramble

Eager to stake a claim

With a stamp of chain

Young, innocent and ripeSDC12330

She takes her place of pride

Swinging in magical trance

An ocean deep call to dance

To a song as old as time

Tis time to earn the stripe

Her innermost dessert

Oozes poisoned nectar

A natural trap with a mien

To separate boys from men.

By ©Yemisi Ilesanmi

Apr 07 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury irresponsibly blames the atrocities of Boko Haram on same-sex Marriage

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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, speaking on an LBC phone-in program suggested that African Christians will be killed if the Church of England accepts gay marriage. According to the Freethinker, he claimed he had stood by a mass grave in Nigeria of 330 Christians who had been massacred by neighbours who had justified the atrocity by saying: “If we leave a Christian community here we will all be made to become homosexual and so we will kill all the Christians.”

He was also quoted in the Guardian as saying:

I have stood by gravesides in Africa of a group of Christians who had been attacked because of something that had happened in America. We have to listen to that. We have to be aware of the fact. If the Church of England celebrated gay marriages the impact of that on Christians far from here, in South Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria and other places would be absolutely catastrophic. Everything we say here goes round the world.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s assertion that Christians in Africa are being massacred because of growing acceptance of gay unions in the West is indeed a load of bullshit and irresponsible lies. The Archbishop seems to be talking from his ass; however that wouldn’t be much of a concern to me but for the fact that as usual, when those religious leaders spew their nonsense in public, it always has a negative impact on those of us that don’t share their delusions.

Claiming that the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, killed 330 Christians in Nigeria because of USA’s acceptance of same-sex marriage is utter nonsense and a blatant lie. What exactly is the archbishop trying to achieve with this irresponsible lie? Does he not understand that his irresponsible utterances could give members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, the impetus to start considering killing Nigerian LGBTs because of their sexual orientation? Such irresponsible remarks and blatant lie from this supposedly ‘Holy’ man should be totally condemned.

Did the Archbishop not read the news stories of the bombings that led to the death of these people before he visited the mass grave? Many of Boko Haram victims were school children who were murdered in their dormitories and not all of these victims were Christians. Boko Haram means ‘No to western Education”, it does not mean ‘No to Gay Marriage’.

Suggesting that a segment of the society be deprived of their inalienable human rights because of the ridiculous and sometimes violent beliefs of another is not justifiable. It is the same silly excuse I hear people spew when they blame the growing legalisation of homophobia in many African countries on the acceptance of LGBT Rights in some western countries. If some African leaders are so stupid as to criminalize a segment of their society because of the actions of some foreign governments, they should be called out on their stupidity, not try to justify it for them. Blaming the government that is respecting the equality of their citizens for the atrocities other governments are committing in reaction to this equality, is indeed ridiculous.

Boko Haram has stated that they are against western education and they have made this point in some cases by burning schoolsboko_haram561_2 and setting sleeping students alight in their dormitories. Should we then ban western education in Nigeria and everywhere to prevent those fanatics who feel threatened by western education from killing innocent children?

Why talk about same-sex marriage as if it is some kind of special rights or privileges that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and Trans are claiming and therefore subject to negotiation?

We don’t propose outlawing the right to education or the right to freedom from discrimination because some fanatics somewhere might harm innocent people if we practice democracy and respect equality. So why do people like Justin Welby think the inalienable human rights of LGBTS  should be subject to negotiation? Lgbt rights are not some sorts of special rights or privileges that can be negotiated away because some religious fanatics, be they Islam terrorists or Christian fanatics, are intolerant and won’t accept LGBT rights.

Christianity as practiced by many is one of the major reasons gays are loathed in many African countries, maybe the Archbishop of Canterbury should start  a campaign for Christianity to be outlawed everywhere. Going by his logic, we should ban Christianity so that there won’t be Christians for the likes of Boko Haram to murder. Simples, problem solved.

As a Nigerian, who is an atheist, openly bisexual and LGBT rights advocate, I am more likely to be stoned to death on the streets of Lagos, Abuja or Imo state by self-righteous Christians than by members of the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Christians, not Boko Haram members, are responsible for most of the threat messages I receive daily.

Christians, mainly Anglicans and Catholics were the ones who openly supported the ‘Jail the gays’ bill in Nigeria._45557832_gay_shirts_226

Christians were the ones who mobilized their members, including vulnerable children, to the public hearing to support the same-sex marriage prohibition bill.

Christians were the ones who threatened to beat up my comrades and me at the floor of the National Assembly during the hearing of the bill.

Christians were the ones who stripped naked and almost lynched 7 men in Imo state, suspected of homosexual behaviours.

Christians made up majority of the mob who recently attempted to lynch 14 men and succeeded in driving them out of their homes in Girishi, Abuja.

Christians are the ones who gleefully quote Leviticus 18:22 and are quick to use the myth of Sodom and Gomorrah as an excuse to persecute gays, lesbians, bisexual and Trans.

Christian foreign evangelicals like the despicable Scott Lively are the ones who got African Christians to loathe gays with such scott_livelyvengeance. These Christians evangelicals not Boko Haram, are the ones who helped draft Nigeria’s and Uganda’s ‘Jail the gays’ bills.

So, what propaganda is the Archbishop of Canterbury spewing out of his ass, trying to paint Christians as the victims of same-sex marriage equality? If the Archbishop of Canterbury is against same-sex marriage, he should just come right out and say so. Why try to hide under this irresponsible statement to cover his homophobia?

He stated during the phone-in program that although he continued to uphold what he called the historic position of the church, of “sex only within marriage and marriage only between a man and a woman”, he agreed with the presenter, James O’Brien, that it was “completely unacceptable” for the church to condemn homosexual people more than adulterous heterosexual people.

I am baffled as to why it is their duty to condemn homosexuals or adulterous heterosexuals. Why even compare homosexuality with adultery? What has my sexual orientation got to do with the lifestyle choice of another? Why make it out as if sexual orientation is a thing to be condemned and weighed on the scale of iniquities to see which ones are the most condemnable atrocities? The privileges those so called ‘Men of God’ ascribe to themselves is ludicrous in this time and age.

Foreign religion is the cancer that has poisoned the fabrics of most African societies. Gay marriage has nothing to do with the warped reasoning of Boko Haram.

Religion is a major reason groups like Boko Haram exist, not same-sex marriage.

Religion is a major reason people like the Archbishop of Canterbury are taken seriously.

Religion is a major reason I am not safe in my own country.

Religion is a major reason many have been killed by Boko Haram.

Religion is a major reason I receive death threats from Christians and Muslims alike. And come to think of it, I have never received threat messages from traditional religion practitioners. So to be more specific, foreign religions like Christianity and Islam are the reasons many African lgbts are now legally persecuted.

Christianity and Islam are the reasons many of us fear for our lives in our native homes and are now turned into refugees and asylum seekers in hostile environments.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Weby, insults us with his bullshit utterance. Boko Haram has committed many atrocities and if not stopped, this dastardly terrorist group will continue to commit atrocities. Justin Welby should not give the deadly group ideas regarding gays. LGBTs are persecuted enough by Christians in Nigeria without soliciting the help of Boko Haram.

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This kind of irresponsible propaganda by the Archbishop of Canterbury just to gain cheap points in the fight against same-sex marriage could actually prove deadly for Nigerian LGBTs and the Nigerian populace in general. Boko Haram has not come out to start a separate war against Nigerian LGBTs. Nigerian Christians are already leading the war against LGBTs rights. The Archbishop should keep his propaganda out of Nigeria. All those foreign religions have caused us enough harm as it is.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, seems to be clutching at straws in an attempt to find just one reason why same-sex marriage should not be lagalised in England and Wales or anywhere for that matter. Methinks he should understand that same-sex marriage is now a reality in England and Wales, he should get over it. And most importantly, he should get his ass out of Nigeria. His likes have done enough damage in Africa; we don’t need more of their lies.

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Mar 23 2014

Hangout with YEMMYnisting on YouTube

My YouTube channel ‘YEMMYnisting’ is a space for me to open up and share significant parts of my life with my online viewers, comment on general issues and share my opinion on happenings in the society.

My tagline is ‘Proudly Feminist, Proudly Bisexual and Proudly Atheist’. I make videos along these lines.

My videos touch a lot on sexuality and diversity. I belong to the “queer” group and identify as a bisexual. I am from an ultra-homophobic environment, so I use my videos to create awareness on sexual orientation and also break the deafening silence on so called “taboo” subjects.

I recently self-published an advocacy book titled ‘Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality Is Not Un-African‘. It is available in paperback and kindle editions on Amazon, I hope you will check it out and order your copy.Snapshot_20130302_4

YEMMYnisting is also a place I talk about religion and my lack of belief in God(s); I am an atheist from one of the most religious countries on planet earth, Nigeria.

Also, ‘Hangout with YEMMYnisting’ is a weekly session where interested fans can tune in to my Google hangout and together we discuss the topic of the week.  One great advantage of subscribing to my channel is that you get to hangout with me as I do my Dancexercise, yeah it is fun.

Tune in to enjoy my Channel, your constructive comments and suggestions are welcomed. And if there are issues you’d like me to speak on or a song you’d like me to dance to in my dancexercise videos, please feel free to let me know. I appreciate diverse views but I have zero tolerance for hate comments. Hate speech will get you banned.

I am inviting you to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I look forward to having a beautiful if sometimes bumpy ride with you. Let’s go on logical ride to fun destinations. Come along! Thanks.

Mar 18 2014

Yours truly is the newest patron of The Pink Triangle Trust

I am honoured to be appointed the newest patron of the Pink Triangle Trust. The Pink Triangle Trust has been promoting ptt-logo10Humanism and LGBT Rights for over 22 years.

 As stated on its website, The Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) is a charitable trust (Registered Charity No. 1015629) set up in 1992 to advance the education of the public and particularly of lesbians and gay men, in the principles and practice of humanism  and to advance the education of the public and particularly of humanists, about all aspects of homosexuality.  It may also assist individuals to obtain remedies under the law where they have suffered unlawful discrimination on account of their homosexuality or their Humanism.

The Pink Triangle Trust has a number of prominent international patrons including fellow Freethought blogger and prominent Human Rights activist, Maryam Namazie. Also on its list of patrons are leading British gay rights advocate, Michael Cashman MEP and fellow Nigerian human rights activist and humanist, Leo Igwe.

The Pink Triangle Trust publishes a quarterly online magazine, The Pink Humanist, on its lively blog. The WEB.300.516-page publication contains well-researched news and features covering various aspects of  LGBT life across the globe. I am glad to grace the cover of the March edition -  http://issuu.com/infidel69/docs/pink_humanist_march_14_latest 

You will find my winning cover girl smile on the cover of the latest edition of Pink Humanist  the online magazine for LGBT Atheists, freethinkers and Skeptics with the succinct message ‘LOVE KNOWS NO GENDER’ and some wonderful quotes from my book Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is Not Un-African.

 Please visit the Trust’s website and kindly consider making a donation to the Pink Triangle Trust. Your donation will go a long way in helping the Trust keep its wonderful work alive.  Kindly click the donate button on its website. Thanks.

Mar 12 2014

BOB CROW: One of the last of a dying generation of committed Trade unionists bows out at 52.

There I was at the gym trying to burn some winter excess weight in time to welcome summer in good shape and spirit when I bob-crowA858_2848373bnoticed the gym TV screens were showing the face of Bob Crow, the General Secretary of Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), with many known trade union leaders paying tributes. My first thought was: “oh no, don’t tell me he is retiring from Trade unionism”

However, when the unmistakable hair and face of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson came on the screen, I slowed down my pace on the treadmill to read what one of Bob Crow’s arch enemies had to say about him, it was then it dawned on me that this was not a retirement tribute but a death eulogy. Apparently Bob Crow had died early in the morning (11 March 2014) of what is suspected to be a heart attack. This came as a shock because just the day before, Bob was on TV making yet another threat of a possible RMT strike that has been known to paralyze activities in London.

I am saddened by the sudden death of Bob Crow.  He was one of the few outstanding Trade unionists in UK. His unwavering and unquestionable commitment to workers rights reminded me so much of the reason I became a Trade unionist. It was all about passion, commitment and a continuous fight for decent work, decent pay and a better life for all.

Trade unionism as I used to know it was not just about a career choice. It seeps into every facet of your life that eventually it becomes your life. It is a pity that many trade union leaders have lost that passion and now veered more towards satisfying the employers, government and multinationals rather than delivering to their paying members. Unfortunately many trade union leaders are no longer solely funded by membership fees but by politicians and government largesse. In fact, Nigeria which used to be a hot bed of radical trade unionism, is an unfortunate example of how low labour movements and their leaders have sunk.

Love him or hate him, Bob Crow was one unionist that could not be ignored. He commanded respect, awe and fear from friends and enemies alike. His members loved him, his adversaries hated him, and everyone recognised his doggedness. His enemies could not ignore him and those who value equality held him in high esteem._73502074_crowpicket_pa

Bob Crow is one of the last generations of left trade unionists that chose to stand firmly for the rights of workers in the face of crass capitalism that is always cloaked as progress in the workplace.

Bob Crow started working at the age of 16 on the underground and rose to become General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) from 2002 until his death. He was able to make tremendous progress in the lives of his members. Even when trade union membership was drastically declining in UK, the membership of his union kept rising. He fiercely advocated and defended the right of his members to decent wages. He was able to negotiate decent wages for his members, from the tube drivers to the underground cleaners.

Sometimes seen as divisive, he was never afraid of speaking his mind or standing up for his beliefs, principles, ideology and convictions. When he felt the Labor party was going the wrong way, he took a decisive step and led his union to support other Socialist orientated parties, which eventually led to the expulsion of RMT from the Labour party.

Often loathed by many London commuters who sometimes had their transport disrupted because of strike actions called over planned cuts and ticket office closures, still he commanded respect for standing up to the powers that be and giving the underdogs a voice in the scheme of things.

Bob Crow once said::

“You’ve got to recognise that the job you do ain’t about being nice. The job we do is about defending our members. And as far as I’m concerned, if I can get job security and decent pay for my members I couldn’t give two hoots about being unpopular.”

Conservative London mayor, Boris Johnson said of Crow:

This was a guy who really fought for his members and who stuck up for his point of view. He was a fighter and a man of character”

TUC Secretary-General Frances O’Grady described him as:

an outstanding trade unionist, who tirelessly fouRMT _73502082_tubeght for his members, his industry and the wider trade union movement”

Labor Party leader Ed Miliband said he had been a “passionate” campaigner.”

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said Mr Crow had been a “fighter and a force”.

His brother Richard crow said of him:

People moaned that he lived in a council house, that he never drove a car – he lived a life of the average guy in the street and that’s a rare thing these days. When people have a high office in life they fall for the big trappings of the flash cars and the big hotels and big houses. But Bob wasn’t like that, he was a genuine person of the people.”

Robert Crow (13 June 1961 – 11 March 2014) was no doubt one of the last of a dying generation of trade unionists who embraced unionism as not just a career but a life. He was an unrepentant socialist and atheist. Thank you Bob Crow for your service to the labour movement and humanity, you will surely be missed.

 

Mar 08 2014

Don’t Call Me A MAN, It Is Not A Compliment. Happy International Women’s Day!

“Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female – whenever she behaves as a human being318461_10150505434059409_883031157_n she is said to imitate the male.” Simone de Beauvoir.  As we celebrate International Women’s Day, the words of Simone de Beauvoir ring loud in my ears.

As someone who became fiercely politically active as a young woman in a very patriarchal society, I was often ‘showered’ with the words “You are a man!” It was considered the highest praise you could give a woman for her bravery and courage while referring to a man as a woman is considered a below the belt insult. If only I had a penny for every time I heard these words from my fellow comrades, colleagues and mentors who actually should know better.

Please understand that calling a woman “a man’ because of her achievements or courage is NOT A COMPLIMENT. Those words are nothing but an insult to the woman, her achievements and gender identity. You do not honour me by calling me “A Woman like a Man“, in fact with such words you deny my gender identity and degrade my biological sex. I am a Woman and Proudly so.

We are all HUMANS irrespective of what the various creation myths say. Women demands recognition and respect as human beings. Brave and courageous women achievers do not need to be called A MAN as a compliment. Being called “A MAN” does not elevate us to the level of human beings; we are already human beings irrespective of our sex or gender identity.58427_436067596481409_1920683597_n

Kindly recognise and respect my gender identity, this I believe is not too much to ask!

As we celebrate more than a decade of International Women’s Day, feminisation of poverty continues; Reproductive, Productive and Domestic roles still hold down the working woman from reaching her full potentials. The triple oppression of Racism, Classism and Sexism persistently  affect our unity. Let us continue to fight all the Isms and Schisms that jeopardise our strength.

The degree of emancipation of women is the natural measure of general emancipation. Every society’s greatness can be measured by the way it treats its most vulnerable members. Every human being is born equal in rights and dignity.

You do not have to be a woman to support woman’s rights.

You don’t have to be gay, bisexual or Trans to support LGBT rights.

You don’t have to be a sex worker to support sex workers’ right to organise, unionise and work in a safe environment.

You don’t have to be an animal to support animal rights.

And in case the aliens ever invaded, let’s hope you don’t have to be a human being to support human rights. We all could be in the minority sometime!1982_438044192955887_307874593_n

Stand up against oppression of women, stand up for equal rights, empower a woman today, emancipate yourself from mental slavery and DEMAND your inalienable human rights! No human being is born subordinate to another. No woman is born to satisfy a man, you are born to create and define your own ‘destiny’, even in the face of all odds. Your happiness is supreme.

Fellow sisters, assert your right and recognition as human Beings!

Happy International Women’s day to you all!

Mar 02 2014

Another inglorious medal for religion as Boko Haram invades secondary school hostel, Kills 43 students in the name of Allah

On February 25, 2014 the world woke up to the news that Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group in Nigeria, ha409263_194632337300826_100002621825953_318303_1770217189_ns once again invaded a secondary school hostel, this time the Federal Government College in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state and killed 43 students. The terrorists in the name of Allah hurled explosives into dormitories, sprayed sleeping students with bullets and even hacked a few to death. The death toll is still rising.

Since the news of the killings broke, I have been in a kind of dazed state of mind, heavy-hearted and not able to post or say anything on it. I have been kind of numb. I am numbed, not because it is the first killing of such,  after all, just a few months ago, they did the same thing in a different secondary school, leaving about 35 young students dead. I think I am numbed because it is finally sinking in that this kind of barbarism has become normal in Nigeria. And the world would read this kind of story, look at the gross pictures of murdered children and just turn the page because it is no longer news.

We look at the horrific pictures of children with their intestines blown out by some bearded jihadists, we shake our head and sometimes express our outrage but within minutes things go back to normal. And the sad fact is these killings are now fast becoming part of what is ‘normal’. Children screaming in the middle of the night as their brains are blown up by some adults whose group’s name BOKO HARAM means ‘No To Western Education’, is now the norm in Nigeria.

I despair when I read posts of fellow Nigerians on the latest killings of Boko Haram. Many are busy calling on God (or is it Allah), to punish the evil doers. They pray for the dead students to find peace. They pray that God comfort the grieving parents. I read all these posts calling on God to act and I wonder about the logic in that. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 26 2014

Breeding the likes of Isabirya Richard via Religion, Homophobia and Anti-LGBT laws in Africa

When my attention was drawn to the facebook posts of Isabirya Richard, I seriously felt like puking and giving up on humanity.Uganda

Isabirya Richard openly called for the stoning of gays.

He mentioned names and posted pictures of people he thought were gays or gay supporters and publicly asked for them to be killed.

He volunteered to lead the Christian mob crusade against gays.

He even publicly solicited for Christian hackers to hack into the emails and online profiles of suspected gays, lesbians and Trans.He claimed they would earn a great reward in heaven for helping to track down ‘sodomites’.

He went as far as documenting the movements of those he named as gays and called for attacks on them. He boasted that a gay person just escaped his attack but promised that the homosexual won’t be so lucky next time.Uganda2 resised Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 17 2014

…Of Karma, Reincarnation and Destiny

I watch helplessly as a friend, who is a Trans woman and until recently a believing Christian, suddenly discovered Karma, 406845_386649248076233_1904133455_nreincarnation and destiny. She has been going on and on about how God is the evil being who awards karma. She is now convinced God made her gay just to punish her for bad karma she accumulated in a previous life. She claims God appeared to her in a vision/dream and explained that she was a white woman in her previous life, however she was reborn a black African man in a homophobic society as a result of bad karma. God then threatened to punish her for speaking against him.  Needless to say, this ‘revelation’ has made her very bitter about God, whom she now refers to as the ‘evil one’ to the chagrined of her now ex fellow Christians.

It pains me that this lovely being is distraught and torn apart by the myth of Karma, Reincarnation and Destiny. It is even more painful that after her long journey towards transitioning into her preferred gender, this new belief in Karma, reincarnation and destiny has made her bitter about being born gay to the extent that she now sees her sexual orientation and gender identity as a sort of punishment; a bad karma.

So, let’s talk about Karma, Reincarnation and Destiny.

  • Are you blaming Karma for the calamities in your life?
  • Do you wish you had known about Karma so that you could have averted the calamities?
  • Do you believe the Karma you accumulated in your previous life is why your life is a mess?

So tell me, Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 14 2014

IF ONLY

If only my heart didn’t beat

At the promise of your heat

Eagerly awaiting the touch

That leads to the brunch

 

If only it wasn’t just a few days

That happened to be the best lays

With a promise of unknown tomorrows

While the goodbye herald the sorrows

 

If only we didn’t feel the connection

Even though tis a rare selection

Enjoying the poetry, music and the dreams

While sharing the pleasure of the streams

 

If onlys are not a strong enough stacks

Like a lioness I am focused on my prize

Poised, I reach out for the drum

Calling home my hunter to strum

 

If onlys can’t hold back the harmony

Bees and birds must make the honey

Like a Siren I summon my sailor as I weave

To sounds as timeless as the ocean waves

By ©Yemisi Ilesanmi

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Feb 07 2014

Dear friend, I’m going to prison. Protest rally against Nigeria’s Anti-LGBT Law.

Nigeria demo 1 - 14 Nov 11Dear friend,

I’m just writing to say goodbye.

I’m going to prison,

for 14 years,

for being gay

and Nigerian.

And if you associate with me, or don’t report me, whether you are straight, gay or bisexual, you face 10 years too… Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 27 2014

Open Letter To Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

27 January, 2014

Dear Dr. Chidi Odinkalu,

It is with deep concern that I write this open letter to you to register my dismay at the continued silence of your offSDC15091ice on the recently signed Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act. It is surprising that as Chairperson of the Governing body of National Human Rights Commission, a lawyer and a human right activist of note, you have not deemed it fit to issue a public statement weeks after a section of Nigerian populace was criminalized and stripped of their fundamental human rights via a stroke of President Goodluck Jonathan‘s pen. The most you have said in your official capacity, albeit in private, is that you are still studying the new law.

Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, how long would it take your office to study this legislation? The content of the law has been known to you and most Nigerians since 2011 when the bill was first approved by the Senate. The harmonized version of the bill that was signed did not change much. In your official capacity, you must have received a copy of the Act as it is part of your official duty to advise the President on the human rights implication of bills tabled before him.

As a lawyer and a human right activist of note, you cannot claim to be unaware of the human rights violations inherent in this new legislation. Therefore, I wonder how you could turn a blind eye to such blatant violation of fundamental human rights. Is this about protecting Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 26 2014

Venting my concerns over Nigeria’s new Anti-LGBT Law

If only I could physically slap some sense into the hypocrites parading themselves as Nigerian lawmakers and the ignoramuses who are celebrating the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill! They had better be warned, the battle line has been drawn. Logic will supersede their infamous ignorance and Love shall triumph over their hate. Enjoy the TV interview.

 

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