Donald Trump’s America: A Win for Sexism, Racism and Misogyny

Today is undoubtedly one of the saddest days of my life, and I am not even American. I might not be American or even live in America, however, I am human and Donald Trump is the very embodiment of everything I stand against.

Every vote for Donald Trump was a vote for Sexism, Racism, Xenophobia, Misogyny, Bullying, Sexual Assault, Bigotry, Tyranny and every other thing appalling.

A win for Donald Trump was a rude awakening that majority of Americans would rather see a very horrible, inept man lead the country than a very capable, humane woman.

A win for Donald Trump is a reminder that so many Americans are not as appalled by sexism, racism, xenophobia, bullying, sexual harassment as any decent person would be.

My heart goes to all American women who in addition to fearing for their reproductive health rights, would have to call this sexist monster, Mr. President

My heart goes to every woman in America who has been a rape victim, sexually assaulted, had their boobs and pussies grabbed without consent, who would have to call this sexual assault apologist and rape enabling man, Mr, President.

My heart goes to the black Americans and immigrants who now have more reasons to fear for their lives in Donald Trump’s America and who would have to call a raging racist, KKK endorsed presidential candidate, Mr. President.

My heart goes to all the minorities in America, my LGBT community, who have every reason to be worried about a possible roll back of the hard-won equality rights.

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At this point I weep for America. I weep for Humanity. I weep for myself as a black woman who has just been rudely reminded again that people who think like Donald Trump are in the majority. They go into hiding but get very emboldened when a raging racist, sexist, xenophobic bully takes the leadership microphone and speak their appalling thoughts out loud for the whole world to hear. It is Brexit again. It empowers the haters.

I am sad because this is a reminder that human beings wear a mask all the time. Who are these people who elected a Donald Trump?  They are your neighbours. Your Facebook friends. The people you meet on the streets. The people you work with. They are people you come in contact with every day. And that is frightening.

Donald Trump is now the elected United State President. What started as a joke, a very bad joke, has become an expensive reality.

I am sad that some people thought it was a case of choosing between two bad people, however it boggles the mind how anyone could put a Hilary Clinton and a Donald Trump in the same category.

For those who refused to vote for Hilary because their no vote stance was a stand against the establishment, well, I hope you can live with yourself knowing everything that Donald trump stands for and how your inaction enabled his ascendancy into the Presidential seat.

I have never really been interested in discussing all the conspiracy theories against Hilary Clinton, because when you scratch beneath the surface, you see these antagonisms for what they were; a fear of a powerful woman.

I have had people deleted and even blocked from my Facebook because I wasn’t interested in being forced to listen and watch how much they were eager to convince me about what a terrible human being Hilary Clinton is.

Many do not understand why a candidacy between a Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should be a clear-cut win for Hilary Clinton. I didn’t think I had to spend so much energy trying to make people understand that Donald Trump is an evil, appalling human being. His words make this assertion self-evidently true.

Every time I had to tell anyone that it shouldn’t be that difficult to choose between a Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, I had this constriction in my chest and tears in my eyes because I didn’t think it was even possible for decent people to openly support Donald Trump. No matter how much you didn’t like Hilary Clinton, enabling a Donald Trump to the White House should never be the answer.

Yes, it is a sad day indeed. I am not American, I do not live in America but I feel for all progressive Americans. I feel your pain. And I send you hugs. The struggle for a land of freedom and liberty continues. We cry today, however our tears and anger would unite us to fight for a better community, a better country, a better society and a better world.

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Miss Anambra’s Sex tape and the hypocrisy of Nigerians

As much as I try not to be so bothered with the ignorance displayed by fellow Nigerians daily, sometimes some things come up that one can’t in good conscience ignore because they are issues too important to ignore. The online assault on Miss Anambra by the homophobic, ignorant, religious extremist Nigerian mob is one of these issues. Now I must put my two cents in.

Since the alleged sex tape of Miss Chidinma Okeke, the winner of the 2015 Most Beautiful Girl in Anambra pageant competition, was leaked, there has been heated debate, fury, condemnation and all sorts of righteous silliness.

The sex tape showed Miss Anambra sexually pleasuring herself with a cucumber in the company of another lady, identified as her friend, Miss Adaobi Nzekwe, who was also a beauty queen,  third runner up of the face of democracy, Anambra, 2014.

The tape was released without the consent of Miss Chidinma Okeke. She initially came out to state that she was not the one in the video and that the sex tape was released as a revenge porn. It was also alleged that she was drugged and the video filmed under duress. If the video was filmed under duress and she was drugged, this must be totally condemned. Forcing women to make porn videos to use as a sort of hold or collateral against them is horrible.

In a message posted on her Facebook page Chidima Okeke wrote-

The moment I made public this intention to speak with journalists, I have been under threats by my blackmailers and traducers.

They are seriously threatening to shoot me at the press conference if I ever open my mouth to say the real truth about the ugly episode.

Ms. Okeke has since been dethroned because of the scandal. It is indeed sad that many have found jubilation in pulling the lady down, calling her Cucumber lady, all because she had ‘Lesbian sex’.

First, with all this nonsense talk about it being a lesbian sex, it is pertinent to state that the gender of the person we have sex with does not necessarily define our sexual orientation. The fact that two women were sexually pleasuring themselves does not make it lesbian sex. What is lesbian sex anyway? These two women could be bise264251_240895435929789_1041013_nxual or heterosexual women exploring their bodies and sexuality. No need to label sex based on the gender of the participants.

I am bisexual, I don’t have bisexual sex. Lesbian sex or heterosexual sex. I have sex.  I make love. I fall in love. Not a bisexual love, lesbian love or heterosexual love, just plain old love. Most people understand love and sexual desires. It isn’t any different because the people concerned are of same gender. Some people are Lesbians, Bisexual, Trans, and they have sexual desires, fall in love. Just get over it already.

Now, to the infamous cucumber. Why the outcry about Cucumber? The way Nigerians were shouting about the use of cucumber as a sex toy, one would think it never crossed their mind that such phallus shaped fruits and objects are often used by women around the world to give themselves sexual pleasure and Nigerian women are no exception. Cucumber, eggplants, candles etc are often used by women for sexual pleasure, especially by young curious women exploring their bodies. There is no harm in that and for goodness sake, it is their body. Their body, their choice.

Chidinma Okeke has now been dubbed the ‘Cucumber Lady’ by Nigerians. Don’t go hating on her and her cucumber just because you know your little willies or that big log you call a dick has never made a woman genuinely moan like the cucumber did. For all you know, your girlfriends or wives are busy using cucumber and other phallus shaped objects behind your back to satisfy the void you have not been able to fill. Maybe that cucumber is what is saving your marriage or relationship.

Instead of being so judgemental, why don’t you go learn a few sex tips? Maybe you could get your woman a nice shaped cucumber or get her a sex toy like a dildo or vibrator and use it together with her? For all you know, it might be the first time you experience your woman genuinely orgasm. What’s there to lose? Certainly, not your manhood, unless you are stuck in that patriarchal, sexist age that thinks only a dick should give a woman pleasure.

The condemnation Nigerians have poured on Miss Anambra since the release of the sex tape is nauseating.  Nigerians scream against the so called ‘Lesbian sex’, calling it “perverted” and “end of times signs”, yet the video has gone viral. It was officially reported as a top trending issue on Google search. That’s how much Nigerians love their ‘Lesbian/gay sex’, even though they want to stone the gays to death.

Considering that in 2014 Nigeria’s government enacted an anti-same sex relationship law which stipulates 14 years’ jail term for anyone who engages in same sex relationship and 10 years for anyone who advocates for LGBT rights, yet Nigeria rank has the third consumer of gay porn in the world. The hypocrisy of it all astounds.

The men who are busy wanking and jerking themselves to the sex video are the same who scream blue murder online, asking for Chidinma’s Okeke’s while envying the cucumber.

What is it about a woman owning her body and pleasuring herself the way she wants to that turns some people into judgemental assholes? For goodness sake, it is her body, not yours.

Revenge porn is horrible, patriarchal and designed to further shame women. It asserts that women have no right to enjoy their bodies, or honour their desires. Revenge porn is vengeful. In this modern day, the only reason revenge porn still holds power to shame women is because we still live in a patriarchal, sexist society where women are taught to be ashamed of their own bodies and sexual desires.

It is sad that some people keep calling the act of two women engaging in sex with each other pervert. Sex is natural. Desires are natural. There is nothing unnatural or perverted about experiencing sexual desires with another consenting adult, regardless of the gender of the parties involved. It is high time we stopped being so hang up about gender. Biological sex is not a restriction to sexual attraction or love.

If the action of others does not cause you any harm, stop interfering in their personal business.

In a country where traditional rulers abduct young girls and forced them into marriage, a country where randy old men are happy to use their religion to justify why they marry children as young as 10 years old, it is the highest level of hypocrisy to call for the heads of two consenting same sex adults for daring to have sex. And Nigerians have been calling for their heads as these nasty, ignorant comments on Facebook shows-

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Those nincompoops need to grow a brain. They need to understand that Homosexuality, Bisexuality or Transexuality is not Un-African or Unnatural. They need to accept that their religion is not the law. The world would be a much better place if they crawled back into their caves and never showed their homophobic, biphobic, transphobic faces in civilised society again. We should learn to Live and Let’s live.

Related link-

Debunking the myths: Is Homosexuality, Bisexuality or Transsexualism Un-African or Unnatural?

 

Mental Health Awareness Day: Dignity in Mental Health

October 10 is World Mental Health Awareness Day and the theme this year is ‘Dignity in mental health – psychological and mental health first aid for all’.  As we celebrate Mental health awareness day today, remember, nobody is immuned to mental illness. Nobody chooses to be mentally ill. Mental illness can afworld-mental-health-dayfect anyone at any age or stage in life. The fact that mental illnesses are mostly not visible does not mean they are less serious than physical health issues.

Sadly, people who are diagnosed with mental illness are not often given the adequate treatment needed. Cuts in healthcare services are not helping matters as many are left without the necessary services they need to cope with mental illness. Also, many cases of mental illnesses remain undiagnosed because of lack of access to health care, stigmatisation and sometimes, outright denial due to shame and embarrassment.

It is sad that while we can easily access First Aid for physical health issues, same cannot be said for mental health crises. Many of us know how to provide First Aid to someone having a heart attack or who has suffered a physical injury, but not many of us have a clue what First Aid to render to someone suffering a mental health breakdown. Workplaces make sure to provide First Aid training for physical health issues, however, mental health crises are hardly provided for. It is high time we stopped this unnecessary discrimination. People can have mental health break down at workplaces, in the office, on the street, in a restaurant, virtually anywhere. We should endeavour to train more people in mental health first aid to provide first aid in such situations.

We could all do with improving our first aid skills especially as it relates to giving first aid in mental health related crises. We can all benefit from learning about giving first aid to people with Mental health issues. Here is a Mental Health First Aid booklet provided by World  Federation For Mental health .

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As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness day, it is important that we do our bit to stop stigmatising people living with mental illness. Kindly endeavour not to use ableist language which contributes to the stigmatisation of people living with mental health issues.

When you scream “Are you mad” or “You must be crazy” at someone you are angry with as an insult, you are inadvertently contributing to the continued stigmatisation of people living with mental health issues.

Nobody chooses to be ‘Mad’ or ‘Crazy’. These are acknowledged mental health conditions. Let us endeavour to stop using health conditions as insults. Calling someone ‘Mad’, ‘Crazy’ or ‘nuts’ as insults only further demeans and stigmatise people with mental illness. The fact that we have been using these words as insults for ages is not an excuse to continue using these ableist words. There are other ways we can express our anger or disgust at someone without resorting to degrading people with mental illness.

Clinical depression is a form of mental illness and depression is fast becoming a global crisis. The state of the world is enough to drive many of us into depression. These days, the news are all about man-made tragedies or natural disasters. Preventable deaths, suicides, wars, bombings, migrants drowning in the seas, high rise of unemployment, homelessness etc, are issues that are sending many of us into a state of clinical depression. Even a compulsory visit to the Jobcentre and having to put up with the constant degradation that many on welfare benefits are subjected to by Jobcentre staff and members of the public, are leaving many unemployed and underemployed people very depressed. We don’t know what people are dealing with, endeavour to be nice, even to strangers.

There is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health, but remember, there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you feel you are suffering from mental health issues, please get medical help where accessible. Mental illness is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. Mental illness should not lead to loss of dignity.

Let us treat people with respect and dignity. Do not contribute to the dehumanisation of anyone. People living with downloadmental health issues are not less human; they deserve to be treated with respect and human dignity. Let us all be a vehicle for positive change in our society. Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.

Finally, remember, self-care is also important, especially for activists. It is OK to take a break. It is not selfish to take time out to take care of our mental and physical health. We can only give out what we have. Together, with the necessary care and tools, we can make the world a better place for all.

Celebrating My Uncelebrated Nigerian Award!

On Saturday Sep 24th, 2016, the Nigerian community in UK organised an award dinner ceremony to honour 56 uncelebrated Nigerians in five different categories as part of Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary.

I was proud to be nominated for the award and was really honoured to receive the Uncelebrated Nigerians Award for contribution to Legal, Security & Law enforcement.

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In my acceptance speech, i dedicated the award to Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and Queers in Nigeria and diaspora. Every Nigerian deserves to be free from discrimination regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

As I have always maintained as coordinator of Nigerian LGBT in diaspora against Anti same sex law, and in my book- Freedom To Love For All: Homosexuality Is Not UnAfrican :

“Every Nigerian deserves the same right as every other Nigerian, irrespective of class, sex, race, gender identity or sexual orientation. Consensual adults do not deserve to have their love criminalized. Let us spread Love, not Hate.”

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The theme of the award was: Recognising and Honouring Nigerian Heroes who have excelled in numerous fields of endeavour

In his speech, Ayo Akinfe, Coordinator, organising committee, Uncelebrated Nigerians Awards said:

This event, the Uncelebrated Nigerians Awards, UK is not just another occasion as for the first time in our history, unheralded, honest toiling Nigerians in the UK are being recognised for the contribution to society. These unsung heroes, or silent stars if you like, work across all sectors of the economy including local government, the National Health Service, education, the civil service, entertainment, the media, etc, contributing immensely to Britain’s gross domestic product.

These 56 awardees who have distinguished themselves quietly nail the myth that everything about Nigeria is bad or that all we have to offer the world is violence, insecurity, fraud, dishonesty, 419ners, drug dealers and criminals.

No one sees these silent stars, no one recognises their toil and sacrifice but everyone sees the Boko Haram terrorist, the advanced fee fraud criminal and the Fulani herdsmen armed with AK47, Let the clarion call go out from here today, that we are an embodiment of honest, hardworking, good, toiling and decent people.

Very succinctly put, I must say.

Striking a pose on the red carpet with Ayo Akinfe, coordinator , UNA organising committee.

Striking a pose on the red carpet with Ayo Akinfe, Coordinator, UNA Organising Committee, UK

The award dinner ceremony was a night of good entertainment, yummy Nigerian food, good music, nice comedy and overall great atmosphere. It was a very well organised and successful event. Kudos to the Uncelebrated Nigerian Awards organising committee for their hard work and dedication in organising this successful event. Thank you for finding me worthy to receive the award.

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Flaunting my curves on the red carpet cos if life gives you curves, flaunt them.

Flaunting my curves on the red carpet cos if life gives you curves, flaunt them.

 

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Celebrate Bisexual Visibility Day; Be BiVisible and BiFabulous!

September 23rd is Bisexuality Day, also known as Bi Visibility Day.  It’s Bi Visibility day today, I guess it is that one time of the year where I have to stop being so magically invisible and show myself in all my Unicorn glory; as a Bisexual!

Being Visible does come with its price, for example, I have to pay for things I bought in the stores today, cos well, I’m visible today. I have to bring out my oyster travel card and pay for bus, tubes and tram rides, like every other visible person cos I can’t ride for free today.  I get to be a visible B within the LGBT rainbow community today and I’d say, it’s worth it.

I know I am happy the LGBT community would at least recognise my existence today, it isn’t fun being that invisible B within the LGBT rainbow family all year long!

It sure does hurt when your own family fails to recognise you exist.  For example, a few days after marching and partying it up at the London Pride in Soho, I was at a swanky Sexual health clinic in Soho for my annual Sexual health check.  The place came highly recommended by an impressed friend I met at London Pride who was going on about how nice, easy and smooth the Sexual Health clinic in Soho was, so I decided to do my annual check there.

Well, we all know Soho is the gay headquarter of London, as a member of the LGBT family, the LGBT flag conspicuously on display makes one feel at home in Soho. I was feeling pretty much at home as I completed my questionnaire on the nice computer screen, and listened in awe as the computer generated voice gave me instructions on how to provide my test samples. I watched in fascination as the tube sucked in and beamed my samples to destination test laboratory. Hmm, Nice technology, I thought.

After filling my details on the computer screen and giving my samples to a tube sucking device, then came the dealing with human being part. However, it was not long before the humans burst my bubble. I was ushered in to see a health adviser, he was a young, friendly enough chap who wanted to ask me a few routine questions. I was feeling at home.  He asked if I was gay and I said No. Then he immediately proceeded to say to me-

“What we normally tell heterosexual people who visit this clinic is…”

WTf! When did I say I was heterosexual? Why this assumption?  At that point I had to cut him short.

“I am not heterosexual”,  I said.

But you said you are not gay.”,  he asked, somewhat confused.

“Yes, I am not Gay, but that does not make me heterosexual. I am bisexual.”  I explained as calmly as I could, even though it was all I could do to stop myself spitting unicorn fire at him for daring to assume my sexuality and erasing bisexuality in a Sexual Health clinic operating in Soho.

Even with the welcoming rainbow flag in the heart of the LGBT community in London, I still have to remind a sexual health practitioner that Bisexuals exist. I had to let him know that not identifying as gay does not automatically mean I am heterosexual. It hurts.

This invisibility hurts. This non acknowledgement of my existence within my own community hurts. Just a few days ago before sitting in that office across this health practitioner, I was marching in the London Pride Parade on these same streets and partying it up all night with my rainbow family on this same street that this Sexual Health Clinic that flies the LGBT Rainbow flag, operates from. However, I had to remind this sexual health adviser that everyone who visits this sexual health clinic in the very heart of Soho is not either gay or straight. There is that B, you know, the silenced B. That Big B in the LGBT Family. The B actually stands for something. It does not stand for Bitch or Bullshit or Badass (Maybe it does stand for Badass sometimes), but it surely does stand for Bisexual.  Yes, Bisexuals! We exist. We surely can’t be so invisible that we have to explain that we exist all the time even in LGBT Soho?

Yes, that minor incident irritated me because it was a reminder that as a bisexual I am still invisible and not recognised within the LGBT community.

Anyway, remember fellow bisexuals, let’s keep educating our LGBT community. Let’s try not just to blend in with a label that isn’t ours just because it is the one that’s visible. The LGBTQI family and its facilities are ours to use and feel comfortable in too. Challenge the status quo. Be Visible.

I am 100% Bisexual; No Filter. My sexuality does not change with the gender of my partner or lack of partner. Forever Bisexual. Happy Bisexuality Day to all my fellow Bisexuals. Be out. Be Proud. Be Visible.

Again, don’t forget to pay for the things you buy in stores today, this is one day of the year you are visible, even if it means paying for stuff, Celebrate Bisexual visibility day. Remain Bifabulous and BiVisible cos you are worth it!

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8 students burnt to death for Blasphemy against Islam

On Monday, 22 August, 2016, it was reported that 8 polytechnic students were burned to death by Islamists in Talata Mafara town, Gusau, the capital of Zamfara state, Nigeria. One of the students was alleged to have blasphemed against Prophet Mohamed.

According to news reports, the student was said to have committed blasphemy against Islam and the Prophet Mohamed during an altercation with some Muslim students. Fearing for his life, he ran into the house for safety. The Islamists mob went on a rampage in the town and set the house on fire, burning 7 other students along with the alleged blasphemer.

Later reports from other news sources claimed that, the student in a heated argument had blasphemed against Islam and Prophet Mohamed, he was beaten to a pulp by the enraged islamists . A man whose name was given as Tajudeen, tried to rescue the student in his car and drove him to the hospital.  In retaliation, the Islamists mob set the man’s house on fire, killing the eight occupants in the house.

Whatever the conflict in reports, the one constant was that eight people were burnt to death by Islamist fanatics who were enraged because of a blasphemy against their religion and prophet.

When I first read about this and saw the gory pictures, I thought surely this can’t be true, not again, not in this age, but, well, it is Northern Nigeria, the home of Sharia Law and it seems, the seat and headquarters of everything barbaric in Nigeria.

The images of the burnt bodies are too violent and appalling to post.

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It was reported that the polytechnic was immediately closed down by the school authorities to avoid trouble. A curfew was also imposed on the town by the Zamfara State police command. In a Press statement the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent Shehu Muhammad, said the curfew was to maintain peace in the area.

I wonder why the Students’ Union have not protested. Is it because majority of the students in this polytechnic are Muslims? Is this a tacit support of religion and its atrocities?

What is the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) doing? Even if protest is banned in Gusau, why has there not been protests across the nation? Are the lives of those students worth nothing? Is the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) afraid of protesting religious atrocities committed against its members?

President Buhari, who is a keen Sharia supporter, and who was instrumental to legalising Sharia Law in the Northern parts of Nigeria, tweeted

“I assure that the law will take its course. Under my watch we will work to ensure that there is no place for violence in the name of religion, ethnicity, or in any guise whatsoever”

 

Why has there not been arrests especially with President Buhari’s lip service to bringing the culprits to justice? I think the President needs to take these religion motivated killings more seriously. Just a tweet from the president on this appalling murders does not convey a serious intent to tackle this religious malady of his people.

Is the fear of Islam the beginning of wisdom or the decline of sanity in Nigeria? So many questions, so few answers. However, what is certain is that Religion is a cancer that should no longer be ignored. Islam is not a religion of peace, never has been, never will be.

Northern Nigeria is a classic example of what warped religious fanaticism does to people and a region. Even though it is known as the political power of Nigeria due to the high number of Nigerian Head of States it has produced, it is still the least developed part of Nigeria. Educational enrolment in the North is still low compared to the rest of the country, probably because some of them would rather turn their children into Almajeris to beg for alms for their Imams than send their children to schools because they are opposed to western education.

It is sad that days after this incident, not a single arrest has been made. I wanted so much to believe it was just a hoax, but news has confirmed this is no hoax. In this age, some group of people deliberately set a house on fire with the intent to kill those they believed has blasphemed against their religion. 8 people were burned to death by those religious barbarians who are still walking free on the streets of Gusau, Zamfara state, Nigeria. These murderers are walking free. These religious barbarians live amongst us. How can we be safe with such blatant barbarians who would kill for their religion at the slightest provocation? More and more, this religion thing defies logic

How can we claim to be civilised or have any shred of humanity if we condone the behaviour or free movement of those fanatics?

I will just close my eyes for a minute and imagine a world without religion.

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9-year-old boy chained and tortured in church for weeks: This is why I hate religion.

A 9-year-old boy was rescued from a church in Ogun state Nigeria, after weeks of being chained and tortured.  The Celestial church of Christ had been keeping the emaciated child in chains and tortured him in a bid to rid him of demonic possession. This was said to be with the consent of the child’s father, a pastor.

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According to Premium Times

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES

On the 22nd of July 2016, at about 10:30hrs at Ajibawo in Ado Odo OTA Division 2, NSCDC officers rescue a boy, named Taiwo Korede, aged nine years old, who had been chained for weeks at Celestial Church of Christ key of Joy Parish Ajiwo.

“The case has since been transfer to the appropriate authority for further investigation.”

I wish I could say I was surprised at this news, but truth be told, I wasn’t. I mean, I grew up with this. It was a daily occurrence. I had been a victim of such abuse myself. My parents attended Celestial church of Christ. I saw this evil every day. I was a victim of this evil.

I remember being called a witch by pastors and prophets. I vividly remember the many prayers and beatings with palm fronds and brooms at the Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos. Many children suffered this fate. We were all randomly accused of being witches or being at risk of initiation into witchcraft because we shared or accepted food from our classmates who according to those prophets, are witches and wizards and wanted to initiate us into witchcraft.

Our parents fell for such bullshit, because well, RELIGION. They thought they were protecting us from demons, therefore they let the church abuse us.

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It is especially prominent amongst poor families. The children are blamed for using demonic powers to keep their parents in poverty. Children of rich people in the church were hardly accused of witchcraft. It seems witchcraft is a disease only poor people catches.

Also, if the parents were once well to do, and had a prosperous business, but started having financial problems and business troubles, no one bothered to blame the flailing economy, the church just put the blame on the vulnerable members in the family. This could be the house help, the young maid, the orphaned child from the village living with the family, the step-child who wants to ruin the new marriage, the old mother in law, and don’t forget that wrinkled, old woman on the street, surely with her haggard look, she must be a witch!

Yes, this is the reality of religion. This is the reality I grew up in. This is what I was indoctrinated into.This is why I hate Religion. This is Why I Speak Out Against Religion. 

So, a 9-year-old emaciated child in chains, tortured by the church isn’t really new or news to me. If I am being honest, the only part I found surprising was the fact that a government agency rescued the child. I guess that must be a step forward.

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However, have charges being brought against the callous perpetrators of this crime? Well, they did issue a statement that they are investigating the matter.

Do I have faith in the system? NO, I don’t. If the people in charge of the case are religious believers, (which they most likely are), and they believe there are demons, witches, wizards, and all sorts of religious and spiritual myths, they are not likely to give the case the thorough justice it deserves. They might not agree with the measures taken by the church, but they could still be cautious around the child because they also might believe he has demonic powers. That is the power of religion. And that is why I hate religion.

People might act all surprised at seeing this poor 9-year-old boy in chains, but these surprised hypocrites cheer on their pastors every Sunday as another child is accused of witchcraft and abused in front of the congregation. They sit there and marvelled at how powerful their Daddy in Christ is, as he battled these demons out of these poor “Possessed” children. Never mind that they can’t actually see the demons he is casting out, but well, they see how he is beating the demons out of these children, so they cheer him on. That is the absurdity of religion.  And that is why I hate religion.

Not too long ago, when one of the most prominent and richest pastor in Nigeria, Pastor David Oyedepo, physically attacked a 14-year-old girl during a church service watched by tens of thousands of church members, no one blinked an eyelid, in fact, they all clapped for him. Yes, adults cheered on this good for nothing pastor while he slapped a girl, because according to him, she was a witch, but the girl boldly responded that she was a witch for Jesus. The audacity of her response made the Pastor Oyedepo even more furious and he physically lashed out at this poor teenage orphaned girl. And his congregation applauded him.

This atrocity was captured on video and posted on YouTube.  I made a video where I urged people to slap some sense into Pastor David Oyedepo. I pointed out that hitting the poor girl on accusation of witchcraft was child abuse. However, what did the silly Christians and his sheep say?  They came out enmasse to defend their pastor, citing silly bible verses like “Thou shall not touch my anointed”. I received a lot of abuse, curses and threats on the Blog post and YouTube video. Every now and then, I still wake up to one threat or the other on the video and blog post, with Christians telling me how I am gonna die for daring to speak against the Man of God, their precious Daddy in Christ.

There isn’t much outcry in the media about this latest atrocity and I am guessing it is because it is not an Islam vs Christian crime.

Also, child abuse in the name of God is pretty the standard, so what else is new? Maybe what’s new is the chains and padlock? But as I said, for those of us who grew up attending spiritual churches, that is nothing new. Vulnerable people suffering from various degree of mental health issues were often brought to church by concerned family members, cos well, it is easier and cheaper to pretend that they are possessed by demons than to try to get them the healthcare they need. After all, quality healthcare isn’t cheap in Africa. There is no National Health Service (NHS) or Obamacare in Nigeria. So, the church, mosques and shrines provide these services with a serving of padlocks, chains and torture as standard treatment.

More so, there is stigma attached to being an Aro mental health hospital patient. ‘Aro’, the name of a popular mental health centre in Nigeria, is often used as a derogatory, abusive word. When someone tells you “You belong in Aro”,  you are likely to end up in fistfights because, well , they just called you crazy and that must not go unchallenged, mostly with fists. Abliesm alert. No one wants to be called a mad man or mad woman.  You stand your ground and defend your precious family name. That is the extent of the stigma attached to mental health problems. Religious houses like the Church, mosques and shrines capitalise on this.  People don’t want the outside world to know a family member is suffering from some mental health issues, so they take them to a spiritual church, mosque or shrine, and just look the other way as the pastors, imam, bablawo or voodoo master chain them down, torture and beat the so called demons out of them.

My heart breaks for this poor 9-year-old boy. I am happy that he has been rescued. I hope he gets the justice that he deserves. I hope he gets good counselling. I hope he gets a better life. However, I am not holding my breath because considering that his parents did this to him, and there is no known social service care in Nigeria that watch out for the well-being of children, especially when they are not orphans, this nightmare is far from over for this poor kid. I mean, wouldn’t he still be released into the care of the father who did this to him in the first place? I shudder to think of the further emotional and psychological if not physical abuse this child would still face, not just from his parents, but from the church members and the very religious society he lives in.

According to latest reports

The spokesperson for the Ogun State Police Command, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the boy was chained by his own father, a pastor in the church, who is currently on the run.

“The police operatives of the Command attached to Onipanu Division, Otta, on Friday, 23rd July, rescued one Korede Taiwo, M, 9, from where he had been chained on his neck to a heavy log of wood in a room by his biological father Pastor Taiwo Francis, m, of THE KEY OF JOY CELESTIAL CHURCH, Ajibawo area, via Atan Otta, in Ado Odo Otta Local Government Area of Ogun State for more than a month,” he said.

He said the child’s step-mother, Kehinde Taiwo, who has been arrested by the police, accused the boy of stealing.

This is why I hate religion.

This is why I speak out against religion.

This is why I think being a decent/moderate Christian or Muslim does not absolve anyone from the havoc religion causes in the society. Being a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful.

This is why I think religion is a cancer.

This is why I think we all need to do our part in making sure our society evolve to a stage where religion is nothing but a faraway distance memory in the minds of the new generation.

Let’s get rid of religion and all that useless belief in witchcraft, demons, talking snakes, flying donkeys, walking on water, hell fire, paradise and that enticing delusion of 72 virgins waiting in heaven for jihadists.

Evolve, flush religion out of your system. Kick religion in its mythical ass. The world would be a better place if we  all gave religion the red card.

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Related links-

Slap Some Sense Into Bishop David Oyedepo

Why I Speak Out Against Religion

The Cancer Called Religion

Because you are a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful: My 24 hour ordeal with religion.

 

 

Just another random guy telling a woman what to do with her body

So, another guy decided to tell me what he wants me to do with my body to please his eyes. Never mind that i hardlyScreen-Shot-2014-10-29-at-11.09.03-AM knew him. Never mind that the few interactions i had with him on social media were about him as an African-American reaching out because he wanted a better understanding on some issues especially as it affects Africa and Africans. Never mind that i treated him with utmost respect, taking time to answer his questions and i thought the respect was mutual. But alas, he was just another man who refused to understand that telling a woman what to do with her body, to please their ‘manly gaze’, is just totally wrong.

Well, he decided to express his displeasure with my weight loss. He sent messages to my Facebook inbox , starting with a disgusted face sticker, cos well, words weren’t enough to express just how disgusted he was that i lost my ‘meaty’ figure!

sidney edited

what u doing to yourself? u used to be a buxom voluptuous woman. u need to get some more meat on dem lovely bones.my eyes cant feast on u anymore.

Yeah, he started is message with a disgusted face sticker. Cos, well, that is just how disgusted he feels about me losing weight. As he stated, his eyes can’t feast on me anymore. Poor chap.

Of course, i didn’t hold back in telling him exactly what i thought he should do with his ‘manly gaze’.

sidney edited 1sidney edited 2

That’s very insulting and I am very disappointed that you have this kind of patriarchal mindset. I thought you were more evolved than this lousy comment.

First, it is my body, not yours.

What i do with my body is my business, not anyone else’s business.

It is very sexist and patriarchal of you to use language that implies my body is for you or any other man to FEAST on. I am not a piece of meat on display for your ‘manly gaze’.

If my existence or looks hurt your eyes, then take your fucking eyes somewhere else, i never asked for you stare, look or feast on me BTW, I didn’t know you have been feasting on me, i am so glad now that there is one less sexist man feasting on me.

Crawl out of that cave you woke up in today that made you think it was ok for you to tell me I should put on some meat on my bones cos you liked feasting your eyes on me when i was “a buxom voluptuous woman”. Gawd, do you even understand how patronising that sounds?

And truly, shed that sexist, patriarchal attitude and stop telling women what to do with their bodies, we do not exist for your pleasure! My body. My choice. My Right.

Did he understand this simple truth? Of course he wouldn’t even think about it cos it’s easier to blame his victim.

sidney edited 3

its not patriarchal, it matriarchal. u insult me with that. i dont think appreciating a woman’s beauty is patriarchal, i don’t think loving women is patriarchal. if i admire your buxom voluptuous beauty, its not patriarchal. if I express my opinion about you, or any part of you, body, mind or spirit, its not patriarchal. not what you are doing has a name but I wont name it because THEN you might accuse me of being patriarchal when in fact it would appear you are more patriarchal than me. You have gone beyond the pale, out of bounds and past your limits in your evaluation and attribution of motive to me.

He just kept trying to pathetically justify his action, even claiming i am the one who is patriarchal. lol

sidney edited 4

and yes, i see NOTHING WRONG in enjoying you as a complete person.

sexist? stop it.

sensuality and beinf sensual and enjoying it is not sexist nor pariarchal.

i respect ur sensitivity, but u are wrong here if u think i am insensitive.

i expressed myself to u as a friend.

it was tongue in cheek

i was obviously mistaken to think that you knew me better.

Somehow in his mind, i was to blame for reading his words rather than reading his mind.  And his pathetic attempt at pacifying me ended up as very patronising. Well, he couldn’t apologise, after all, he still couldn’t see how he was wrong. According to him, he respects my sensitivity, cos well, i was just being “sensitive” about being talked to like a piece of meat, albeit one no longer fit for his consumption and pleasure!

sidney edited 5sidney edited 6sidney edited 7

I don’t care what your motives or intentions were, all i know FOR CERTAIN is that you have no right to tell me what to do with my body.

Keep your opinion of my body to your self.

Don’t tell me or any woman to put on weight or lose weight FOR YOUR BENEFIT or Pleasure

Don’t ever treat or talk to me like I am a piece of meat for you to feast your eyes on. Obviously you still can’t see how your choice of words are very insulting.. Feast on .. as if i am a pie e of meat for your pleasure and consumption. So i should just go make myself more meaty so you can Feast your eyes on me again. as Now, i am sore to your meaty loving eyes. EEEK!!!!

Enjoy whatever goes on in your mind, you cross the line when you abuse whatever facebook friendship i have with you when you tell me what i should do with my body to PLEASE YOU.

I did not solicit for your opinion of my body. Keep your opinions to yourself.

Do you think you are the only man who feel they are entitled to tell me or other women what to do with our body? I get this kind of lousy behaviour every day. It is harassment. Catcalls, random opinion of guys on my body. Guys insisting i smile for them. Guys telling me to lose weight. Guys saying i need to keep my curves and stop losing weight. I am so tired of such assholes. It is my body, you all should just keep your opiniony of my bod to your entitled sexist selves!

Again, NEVER tell a woman what to do with her body. We don’t exist for your sexist gaze or approval. You should read the articles wrote on similar attitude of men telling women what to do with their bodies.

Stop telling black women what to do with their hair or skin!

Everyday Sexism: Catcalls and Street Harassment 

I saw he was still busy typing, no doubt trying to justify his action. At this point, i knew i had to disengage.

Sidney edited 8

I do not wish to spend any more time engaging with you on this. Pls, respect my space. I don’t care to read whatever it is you are typing right now. Just give it a rest. Go think about your comments and read the articles. I don’t want to hear or read anymore attempt of you trying to justify your comment. There is no excuse .

Did he get it? No, but at least he disengaged. However,  he couldn’t resist telling me how i was to blame for not understanding him. Well, at least he did say “ok. bye.”

sidney edited 9

u act like i was giving u a command. I know how u feel about such things. i have read ur commentaries about sexist patriarchal insults and attitudes.

ok. bye.
Well, that was that. This was especially sad because this guy actually considered himself to be amongst the ”good’, 557264_423393704397930_1730387465_n‘decent’, ‘women supporting’ men out there, but his words and mindset speak otherwise. Unfortunately, like many other men, he just wasn’t willing to admit that he consciously or unconsciously still sees and treats women as a piece of meat whose existence is to aesthetically please his ‘manly gaze’.  Men, please, stop doing this.

 

France under terrorist attack again; 80 dead and counting.

A lorry driver intentionally ploughed through a crowd in Nice, France during the Bastille celebration.  Accordingfrance to news reports, the driver deliberately crashed into people and emerged, shooting sporadically. There were reports of guns and grenades inside the lorry.  Also, identity papers of French-Tunisian were said to be found in the lorry.

According to various news reports, the death toll has reached 77 and rising. Many of the victims were children.

The murderer was shot dead by police officers.

This is beyond appalling. I am lost for words to describe these senseless killings.

And to think some despicable religious monsters are celebrating these latest killings on social media, happily counting the number of rising victims and praising Allah on Twitter!

Really, This world is not my home.

The French President, Francois Hollande, in a press conference said-

France as a whole is under the threat of Islamic terrorism. We have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing.

France has been hit by tragedy once again. This monstrosity of using a lorry to deliberately kill people, many people who only came out to celebrate their national day.

France is in tears; it is hurting but it is strong. And She will be stronger. Always stronger than the fanatics who wish to hurt us.

My heart is with France and all those who have lost loved ones and with those eagerly waiting for news of their injured loved ones.396079_10150480627647772_276988682771_8924818_2014902550_n

We’ve really got a long way to go to rid this planet of monsters who live amongst us whose only ambition is to inflict pain and sorrow on innocent people under the guise of their religion and politics.

Yes, Religion is a cancer that we must tackle.

Yes, Islam deserves no respect from me.

Yes, religion is an instrument of oppression, very useful in convincing people to commit atrocities especially with political incentives. After all those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.  As Blaise Pascal said, “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

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Does taking gym selfies or posting several pics on Facebook translates to Narcissism?

When my dear Facebook friend all the way from America sent me a link in my inbox with the message “London, we have a problem.”, I opened the link with a bit of trepidation and was confronted with a shady headline Study Finds That People Who Post Gym Selfies Have A Psychological Problem “

The article went on to postulate about some dubious research it never linked to. The  article reads

Some people have to let the whole world know that they have been to the gym by means of Facebook posts normally accompanied by a selfie. It turns this could by due to an underlying psychological problem which causes them to become obsessed with taking selfies.

In a study conducted at Brunel University is was discovered that people who constantly brag about fitness tend to show narcissistic traits  – This is a term for the psychological disorder where people gain pleasure from self admiration. This behavior usually results  annoying vein posts such as “sun’s out, guns out” all over your timeline, the intention is to boost their own ego with comments and likes.

 I call bullshit on this. [Read more…]

No one should have to choose which racism they would rather endure

I was having a phone conversation with my 21-year-old son while watching the Williams sisters’ doubles match the other day when our discussion veered towards racism which the Williams sisters have endured over the years.

I mentioned that I didn’t get why the British audience booed Serena during the match. My son said something about the British always supporting the underdogs and maybe they were just rooting for the player that Serena had defeated earlier who was also playing in the doubles.

However, we both agreed that there was an obvious case of hostility towards Serena during a match last year in Wimbledon when Serena defeated British player, Heather Watson. The audience were indeed unruly and very hostile towards Serena and even the commentators expressed their shock. My son said he was quite surprised as British people are not usually very open when they are being racist. [Read more…]

Light It Up: UK Black Pride 2016

Enjoy the sights and sounds of UK Black Pride, 2016 , through my lens and dance steps!

This police officer was really digging it at UK Black Pride, 2016. Transforming our community…for the better.

UK Black Pride 2016-Transforming our community with so much fun and positive vibrations.

UK Black Pride, 2016: Transforming Our Community.
Working it has never been so much fun! Work, work, work , work….

Related post- 

UK Black Pride 2016: Transforming Our Community