Happy Birthday To This Wonder Woman

 

I am very grateful to be hale and hearty on this occasion of my 42nd Birthday. The past has been glorious with some pains along the way. I am learning to embrace my present with gratitude and optimism, and I can say I am all geared up to make the future the best of them all.

I appreciate that life is full of surprises, some good, some not so good, and we cannot plan for all exigencies. I embrace life surprises with an open mind and a sense of adventure. I am just grateful to be alive to feel and experience all that life throws my way (and it has been throwing some lemons my way for some time now, there is only so much lemonade one can make with life’s lemons before screaming enough with the cliche).

This year, my birthday resolution is to leave in the past everything that does not grow me. Life is too precious to waste on those who do not deserve to be in my life. I am choosing to surround myself with people who look more like my future than my past.

It is time for me to learn the art of letting go, both in my professional and personal life. There is no point wishing to relive the past when there are still so many adventures to be had, memories to be made, places to explore, and many more ways to live and survive beyond the conventional or familiar.

I must learn to say out loud without shame that I am tired, fed up and done with a system and people that take so much from me and give so little back. It is OK to move away from it all without guilt or a sense of failure.

It is time for me to embrace the unfamiliar and let go of the familiar, its comforts and promises which no longer fulfil or nourish me.

Happy Birthday to me as I step up once again to be the Wonder Woman that I know I am.

Below are some pictures I took on my special day, and a video of my annual Birthday dance. Enjoy! 

Life isn’t always black and white, but on those occasions that it is, everything becomes much clearer and simply beautiful.

Just chilling;after all it’s my 42nd year on planet earth today. Happy with my past, contented with my present and embracing my future with gratitude. Don’t forget baby, leave everything that does not grow you in the past.

Below is a video of my annual birthday dance, which has become a sort of ritual now. Every birthday, I dance to a song of my choice and share with friends. This year, I chose to dance to another old school favourite of mine- ‘Baby boy’ by Beyonce featuring Sean Paul. Enjoy the video.

Brilliant BeatBoxer Beatboxing at London Pride, 2017!

This beatboxer got my hitherto dead ovaries coming alive and jumping for joy when I stumbled on his street performance at London Pride, 2017. He sure set the crowd on fire and he was a sheer pleasure to watch. Guy got moves, I sure loved his swag and accent.

After a bit of stalki… oops, sorry, digging for info, I finally learned he goes by the stage name MPFree.

Needless to say, I am now a fan of beatboxing. I’ve even started practising some beats at home. I should find out where he regularly gigs as it would be nice to take a few more notes from the expert. #LoveHappensHere.

Enjoy the video.

Serena Williams Nude Pregnancy Pictures and the Predictable Reactions.

Serena Williams pregnancy picture on the cover of Vanity Fair is the embodiment of beauty, strength and womanhood. The pics are breathtaking, the story of her courtship with her fiance was well written and quite moving. She is indeed WonderWoman.

I have always loved pregnancy pictures. I find them fascinating. Growing up in Nigeria, I was fascinated with wooden sculptures of pregnant women. They looked so earthy, majestic and divine. I wish I took some pregnancy pictures when I was pregnant with my son, 22 years ago. If mobile phones were a thing then, I sure would have taken pregnancy selfies.

I don’t have any plan to carry another pregnancy or nurse a screaming tot, however if I ever find myself pregnant again, I would document every single day of that pregnancy with a selfie. And yeah, I’d be sharing them on social media. People who are disgusted by naked pregnant women pictures will just have to scroll past my contents or choke on their own hate.

I stumbled on this comment left by my very good friend and fellow Nigerian on Serena’s post, and I must say, I totally understand how she feels.

Some people read the beautiful love story, saw the pregnancy pictures, and all they took away from the story was to feel offended by her beautiful pregnancy pics. When I read that some people used the word “disgusting” to describe Serena Williams’ nude pregnancy pics, I knew instinctively that some of them would be my country people, Nigerians, and yeah, I was right! Hear them-

What is disgusting about a woman’s nude body? This is a country where a woman wearing a bikini to its many beaches is still frowned upon. The people just aren’t comfortable with a woman showing as much skin as possible in a public space. Never mind that it is one of the most corrupt countries, a haven for rapists, and one of the highest consumer of porn, especially gay porn, funny as the legislators recently voted 14 years imprisonment against same sex relationships, and ten years jail term for anyone who advocates for LGBT rights. Hypocrites.

Haters are everywhere on the globe, here are some of them hating on Serena’s pregnancy pics-

The human’s body is a beautiful thing, especially a woman’s body. It is even more so when it is nurturing a human being inside it. I don’t get how that is not fascinating. Yes, some think it should be for the private eyes of the closest families and friends, but it is still the woman’s prerogative to share this wonder with the world if they so wish. You are not being forced to fix your disapproving gaze on these majestic pictures, you don’t have to comment on it to register your disgust, or displeasure at a woman sharing her pregnancy pics.

We get it that you are offended by another woman’s body, but really, it is her body, her choice and good for her if she made lots of money too by sharing those majestic pics. I know I would share mine just for the sheer pleasure of it, but if someone offered me good old cash to do it, I’d say let’s do it!

I am glad that so many people also left positive comments, applauded and thanked Serena Williams for sharing these amazing pregnancy pictures with us. Hear them-

Pregnancy selfies are great, if they are your cup of tea, please go for it with all gusto, don’t let these easily offended by the sight of a woman’s natural body discourage you. If it is not your cup of tea, good, enjoy your pregnancy, however do not go around dissing those who share their pregnancy selfies.

Serena Williams looked majestic in those pics taken by famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz. I am really glad she chose to share such beautiful, intimate pics of her pregnant self with her legion of fans. Here is wishing her safe delivery when the time comes for her baby to make a grand entrance into the world.

 

 

 

The First Time I Realised I was Black

I didn’t know I was black until I relocated to the UK in 2009 at the ripe old age of 34, before then, I thought I was just a human being.

Settling down in the UK, I quickly realised my skin colour mattered. It matters a lot.

I relocated to the UK in 2009 to study for my Post graduate degree in Law, specialising in Gender, Sexuality and Human rights.  Even though I had contemplated my gender, sexuality, globalisation and the catastrophic effects of unbridled capitalism, I had not given my skin colour much thought.

From the overt racism, which I encountered from the University Surgery GP, the subtle racism of some of my white lecturers (who ironically taught equality classes), the white co-workers who turned their noses up at my African accent, to the ‘behind the back’ racist stab by the white, female principal officer in my workplace, which cost me a much needed, very good job offer, I quickly realised that my skin colour mattered. [Read more…]

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…]

Baby, You Are Beautiful – Dance Video

Some of us know we are.

Some of us don’t believe we are.

Some of us let society tell us otherwise.

Beauty comes in different colours, shapes and sizes.

Baby, You Are Beautiful.  Snapshot_20160515_252

What makes you beautiful is Not

Because you don’t know you are beautiful,

But because you simply are.

Do you; with or without make-up

Rock you; whatever your body size, shape or ability.

Celebrate your body; even if the society says you shouldn’t.

Flaunt these curves; even if they claim you aren’t beach ready.

Embrace and shower your body with Love.

Cos baby, You are You.

And Baby,

You Are Beautiful.

Background Music by One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful

Snapshot_20160515_176 Snapshot_20160515_88

Online Dating: Serving up Choices and Confusion

Dating in this generation has a whole new meaning. It is all about choice or rather the illusion of choice, leading to confusion, pain, and a life wasted on swiping profiles for the next hit. This Facebook note by a Facebook friend, got me thinking about dating. As a single woman, i must say, i agree totally with his take on it. In this age of online dating, it is all about the illusion of choice and the uncertainty that comes with it. dating

Back when i was a teenager growing up in Nigeria, 20 something years ago, dating was not even a thing. You were either in a relationship with someone or you were not. It was straight to the relationship phase. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy asks girl, “Will you be my girlfriend?”, if girl likes boy, she plays coquettish long enough to not appear desperate, then says yes, and bingo, they are in a relationship. No dating as it is known today, no testing the waters, that was done at the ‘eyeing her/him up’ stage. The courtship stage did not normally involve alone time together. Maybe time with friends and families where you both sussed each other out, until one of you makes the move. [Read more…]

My Birthday Dance and Musings: Already Loving my 40s!

I am grateful for four amazing decades on planet earth. I am eagerly looking forward to new challenges and more20150816_141924 resised ftb jpg amazing experiences in the coming years!

I am especially looking forward to starting a new job as a union organiser with one of the largest trade unions in UK. I missed being a full time trade unionist and I am so looking forward to working with union activists and organising workers again!

I started working for the labour movement in my early twenties and with the responsibility of fighting for workers’ rights came many opportunities to see the world from different angles. The views can be very depressing especially when it comes to class stratification, oppression, exploitation of labour, crass capitalism and its uneven division of wealth built on the backs of the long-suffering majority who toil every day to earn a living wage but never get to enjoy the wealth created by their labour. However, sometimes the view can be very exhilarating, especially when the voiceless find their voices through union organising, and against all odds, conquer to achieve great successes, fuelled by strength in unity and propelled by hope in a better tomorrow, while demanding for a better today. The last few years of my 30s were pretty challenging, mostly due to having to start afresh in a new, unfamiliar environment as a single parent with a teenage son who was about to enrol in college. I did not plan to be an immigrant in UK or anywhere else, but sometimes, even though we have our life already neatly planned, circumstances beyond our control could force us to depart from our schedule.

Leaving behind a comfortable life and job security to start afresh in a strange land was not an easy decision to make. [Read more…]

Five Assumptions We Should Avoid Making

I was working out at my gym when two gym regulars decided to strike up a conversation with me.

Gym regular (Male) – You have lost a lot of weight

Gym regular (Female) -Yeah, I told her so too.

Me – Oh, yeah, thanks, the hard work is showing.

Gym regular (Male) – I am sure your husband will be happy

Me – I don’t have a husband. I am single

Gym Regulars – What, you mean you are single? [Read more…]

Natural Disasters are certainly not a time to thank God!

Lately, there has been no end to the bad news making the rounds so much that watching the news has become depressing. Nepal suffered an earthquake that killed thousands with many entombed in their own houses, hotels and museums. More than half a million people have been rendered homeless. The earthquake also triggered an avalanche that hit Mount Everest leaving many seriously injured and some dead.

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One cannot even begin to imagine the terror those people must have felt in their dying hour. It is heartwrenching to see the pains on the faces of the victims’ families as they confront the galling reality that their loved ones are buried underneath all that rubble and their bodies might never be recovered for proper burials.

The pains etched on the faces of survivors tell stories of horrors and gratitude. It seems, in the midst of the sorrows, pains, deaths, and survival; we still must celebrate life. Every life saved amidst these ruins is a cause for celebration. Every dead body pulled out is a cause for sorrow.

To die in such horrific and agonising manner is painful to imagine. In most cases, death really is not as much the problem as the manner and cause of it. [Read more…]

Santa Came To Turn Me On!

Some time ago, I broke my waist or thought I had, and excruciating lower back pain sent me running to my doctor.

I wondered why my waist could no longer support mySnapshot_20141212_117 big bums. After MRI scans and prescribed painkillers, it turned out; it was just some muscle strain probably from my gym workout. As it turns out, pulled muscles can be very painful. For a minute, I was convinced i had a mild stroke in my sleep, until my doctor put my mind to rest! Now, i know better than to lift heavy weights or do some strenuous cardio at the gym. I am definitely not taking any body-parts for granted again.

Many of you were concerned and some of my Naija friends recommended the local sprain and strain ointment, aboliki, which was actually very effective! I also promised that as soon as I was up and well again, I would make another dance-exercise video. Since I always make good on my promise, here it is!

Dancing to one of my favourite songs of all time was indeed fun and the sequinned Santa cap i got it at 99p shop came in handy as a dance prop!

I think my waist is at least 95% back to normal, therefore i consider my waist healed. What do you think?

I am glad to be back in good health, grateful to be able to shake my bums again and of course rock my curves!

Here is a toast to good health and Happy Holidays!

 

Related link-

Body Parts And Little Things We Take For Granted

Jamie Olivier; Hands Off My Continent’s Jollof Rice! #Jollofgate

 

Like many West Africans, I was aghast when I saw the picture of what Jamie Olivier tried to pass off as Jollof rice. Twitter was set ablaze by the B1aijQDCEAApYGlrighteous fury of West Africans, protesting the audacity of an international white celebrity chef, who dared to plagiarised (and badly so too), West Africa’s much beloved dish, Jollof Rice. To an outsider, this might seem like much ado about nothing, but hey jollof rice is not just any rice, it is a national treasure, a national signature, and as #Jollofgate fury has proved, it is an African pride. Touch our Jollof rice; we will come at you with united fury! [Read more…]

Why I hate some supposedly wise sayings: Paradise points are not a reason to help!

In my part of the world, every advice seems to be followed by some supposedly wise sayings. African societies have rich collections of very good 1000003_10151996190466873_26189186_nproverbs, but those proverbs are being relegated to the background in favour of some suspiciously evangelical ‘wise’ sayings.

These supposedly ‘wise’ sayings do get on my nerves. Some of these sayings are so common that I am beginning to think perhaps people just say those things from force of habit, without actually thinking them through.

In particular, I hate ‘wise’ sayings that attach a reason to why we need to help others. For example:

  • “Be nice to people on your way up, because you might meet them on your way down”
  • “You don’t know what this person would be tomorrow, be nice to them today”
  • “Help someone because that is what God wants good believers to do”

Do we really need a reason before we extend a helping hand to someone in need? [Read more…]