Category Archives: #SHEROES

30Nov/16

Mrs LordJosh #Sheroes

By Lord Josh

It took a while but I’m glad I found the one and the one was you. There are many ladies out there who envy you but most of them don’t know I’m the one to be envied. I got the better end of the deal.

I write a lot of beautiful stories, most of them dedicated to you but I need to thank you for the sacrifice you made to allow me do this. The moments I spend lost in thought contemplating plot and characters. The random questions, trying to pick your brain on how a teenage girl would react to a situation. Nights spent with the ratatata of my keyboard disturbing your sleep. I know it wasn’t easy but still you do it. Thank you.

Money came but it didn’t change you. Or just change us.

You listened to my ideas, told me when they sucked, comforted me when they failed, partied with me when they succeeded. You trusted me with your thoughts, your dreams, your vision. You were patient when I didn’t see it, didn’t rub it in my face when I was wrong, partied with me when it succeeded. Thank you.

Children came but they didn’t change you. They only made us.

Pregnancy was a big change, expected but still surprising. Months of carrying a mini us in your stomach, I couldn’t have asked for better partner. Labour; the pain, the screaming, the tears. Thank you for being brave when I wasn’t. And then you agreed to do it all again, well, who said women are weak? You were the best mother our children could ever have. You were the balance of friendship and discipline. I am easy to bribe with a cute smile but you kept me strong and the children disciplined. Thank you.

God is and so we are.

He started this; placed you were you could be seen, opened my eyes to see you. He is our anchor when we hit rock-bottom, he is our ceiling when we try to get out of control. He is our shield when under attack and our ammunition when we attack. He was the beginning of us and would be waiting when we end. Thank you for allowing Him be our partner.

I love you to death. I know I say this a lot but I hope I get more chances to prove it.

You love me to death. I know this not only because you say it but you’ve proven this more times than I can count.

Because of you, I get to sleep next to a hero every night.

29Nov/16

Patience Jonathan #Sheroes

By Bolanle Olosunde

The Nigerian woman has been striving to be heard from time immemorial. Things are better today, because the 21st century came with certain liberations and mind-set that made it easier for a woman to have a voice and attain relevance in society. However, to a large extent it’s still a man’s world. The mere fact that the word shero was included in the English dictionary as a later thought, is a testament to this. So, permit me to ignore the ‘S’ and just stick with hero, cos it’s annoying that even Microsoft word keeps marking the word Sheroe as red.

So, the woman hero I will be identifying with is Patience Jonathan. (**coughs, and smiles**), because she has a voice, and it was heard. Many of you will refuse to agree with me. Many of you will consider my choice of a woman hero hilarious. Many of you will think that this is just a joke to me. But, I am serious.

Nigeria was a different country during the last political administration, because we had a first lady that ensured that she was heard. We didn’t necessarily like her, or respect her for that matter, but we felt her. She was proof that Nigerian men listen to their wives, or at least can listen to their wives given the right circumstance. Patience kept her home in order. She was respected by her husband, and was by his side at all times, standing by him and validating him. Many women would criticise her for embarrassing him so much, but if you put them before the public glare, you will be shocked by the kind of dirty linens you will find. And that’s my way of saying that no one is perfect.

Mrs Goodluck Jonathan was also good for the nation. She might have ridiculed us abroad, to the nations of the world, but she was only being African. She couldn’t speak English well, and so what? You need to listen to some of the past wives of presidents in countries like Korea, Germany or Israel. English is not their language, and they treated it as such. Patience might have said the most awkward thing in the middle of a crisis, but it made us laugh. Mama Peace brought life to social media, she brought communalism to Nigerians from all over the world. And it was good for a nation like ours, where the prices of things in the market constantly kept changing.

I know they said the former first lady embezzled money, and that is a major stain. If it’s true, it’s a shameful act that strikes her off any S/Heroism trophy. But, what hero from history is perfect. An example that comes to mind is King David of Israel, because he was the man after God’s heart. In spite of all his success, he was still an adulterer, and a murderer. So, calm down with the former first lady.
I am not celebrating brashness, rudeness, or ignorance. I am celebrating originality, boldness, and fearlessness. This is because, if at least half the percentage of women in Nigeria can embrace the Patience Jonathan attitude (minus the awkward ones), we will have a more industrious, forward moving, and exciting country. Even, our men will become greater at what they do, so much that other countries of the world, will refer to Nigeria as lucky.

28Nov/16

Women #Sheroes

By PhemieMichael Iranloye

Yes, that is enough reason to celebrate women.
Imagine there were only men on the planet.
7 billion.
Why?
Kuku kee me

I like women. A lot. I celebrate many of them
I celebrate my mother for giving birth to me, for being the only girl in a house of giants and mostly, for teaching me how to just be awesome. Also, for all the Garri.
I celebrate Gabrielle Union for agreeing to be my wife, even though she decided to keep her last name and still will not reply me on instagram.
I celebrate Ruth in the Bible for proving that it’s okay for girls to make the first move. Seriously. She worked her way into the bae-Zone and became a part of Jesus’ story. Ladies, I don’t know- I think there’s a lot to learn from this. . Dedicate the coming month of December to go through the book of Ruth. It will drastically change your destiny.
#NotEverytimeGuyMakeFirstMove. #SometimesGirlStepUp. C’mon. Gender Equality.
I celebrate Hillary Clinton for coming so close to setting a record. But ‘almost’ doesn’t kill a bird. ‘Almost’ can break its leg, its beak or its bones, leaving it paralyzed for life, but almost doesn’t kill a bird.
I celebrate Beauty for seeing the man behind the beast. She has given hope to a lot of us. But then again, all these Nigerian girls… all they want is shawarma, ice cream and data.
I celebrate whoever acted Ayamatanga from the mount Zion cast. We had fun scaring my brother with that. Good times. Good times.
I celebrate Steph Curry’s mother. If you don’t know why, there’s no point explaining.
I celebrate the sisters in Frozen for showing that you don’t need men to do everything for you. Ahn ahn. #NotEverytimeKnightInShiningArmour #SometimesEppYourself
I celebrate Rolo for not being a guy. Ços yuck!
Just move on. It’s not everything you must understand
I celebrate LordJosh the literary Rockstar
Those are the women I’m celebrating for now
#PicksUpSlippersAndCutsOut
Peace

24Nov/16

J. K. Rowling #Sheroes

By Lord Josh

Harry Potter, whatever your sentiments about the book, is a huge success. Before the Harry Potter series ever came to our book stores or movie theaters, it was all in the head of somebody, a woman; Joanne Rowling.

You can google her story if you want details but I know this much.

She was a single mother, living on welfare, dead broke and alone. She got an idea one day while traveling on a train and she would spend years writing and rewriting the first book in her series. When it was done, she faced several challenges getting it published.

One, it was the story of a wizard boy. Many considered witchcraft too serious to be glamorized.

Two, boarding schools were not politically correct at the time and well, you know how we are with political correctness.

Three, they told her her book was too big for children.

Four, they said she was a woman and boys will not want to read something written by a woman.

Needless to say, all these were B.S. Today she has the second highest selling book in history after the bible (I stand to be corrected). She had to use her initials instead of her feminine name but she did what no male author has ever done. She became a billionaire as an author.

She wrote the books, movies were made out of the books, theme parks were created from the story, toys and games, a lot came out of Harry Potter. A lot came out of one woman’s imagination.

She doesn’t have an oil company, she doesn’t have a tech company, and she doesn’t own a bank. She used her God given talent and made a billion dollars out of it.

J.K. Rowling did it. I can do it. You definitely can do it.

23Nov/16

Oyinlade Elegbede #Sheroes 

By Timileyin Ologunde

It was just a couple of weeks after I officially resumed work at my PPA (place of primary assignment), I met Muhammed; a very nice young man who knew almost every single one of my seniors back in school and even my cousin! We got along pretty well in no time due to our common interests and we often talked about music production and Information technology which happened to be his area of specialization. Anyway he isn’t the person I am shinning the spot light on today so let me cut to the chase.

I had on one of our discussions requested that he hooked me up with a beat making software and so he asked that I followed him to his office to pick a software of my choice. On getting there, there was this young beautiful lady who sat directly opposite him. Since we were thought to respect our elders and greet them, I went “Good morning ma” and she looked at me with a seriously straight face and replied “Good morning” and facing her computer, quickly returned to what she was doing. Muhammed interjecting says “is it Oyinlade you are using “Ma” for?” and giving me a stern look Oyinlade reiterates “am I too small to answer ma?” I quickly responded No ma!”

A few days passed and I began to spend more time in Oyinlade’s office even more than where I was originally posted, and Oyinlade became so much the elder sister I never had. She said it was fine to call her by her name “Oyinlade”. We got along so well and she became someone I look up to. Just like our very own dear Uncle Mayor, she would share her own personal experiences with me and draw out lessons from them. I became fond of her which of course is for the same reasons I have always wished I had an elder sister (have someone I can disturb and look for their trouble who wouldn’t take it the wrong way at my disposal), I usually made sure I marked register with her every morning. And of course severally she would give me that “…but I wasn’t the one that gave birth to you” look. Of course that was none of my business. I had achieved my aim.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us the characteristics of love; Love is patient, does not envy, does not boast, isn’t proud, doesn’t dishonor others, isn’t self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, doesn’t delight in evil, rejoices in truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Well in the little period of almost a year I have known Oyinlade, I think it is safe to say she exhibits all of these characteristics. And what strikes me the most is her selfless nature. She wouldn’t buy herself anything edible without asking if anyone had an interest so she can buy yours. All the time I was broke she bought me food constantly, showed me empathy when I failed my ICAN exams and really encouraged me when I had to take it again. I didn’t get to drive your car because I never asked “Oyinoyin” as I liked to fondly call her. For the guys already tripping, she’s taken, her wedding comes up in a few days! LOL!!!

Oyinlade, it’s never goodbye, where ever life takes you; be it a quarter mile away or half way across the world, you’re always with me, and you will always be my sister! See you later, I would really miss you *hugs from afar*

22Nov/16

My Tribe #Sheroes

By Olubukola Omotoso

I know phenomenal women, and I am blessed to call some of them family. I always say that one ought to be thankful for family, no matter how one comes by them, i.e. family isn’t only those who share your blood or last name; when you find your tribe, be thankful for them.

Here’s to all the women in my life.

Mothers: First, Mamah, the fiercest warrior and hardest working woman I know. She taught me the value of hospitality, how important it is to be respectful, to carry myself with dignity, and to take the tape off my thinking. She showed me that there is nothing insurmountable or too difficult for me to achieve – I only have to want it and put my mind to it. And then, all the other women who, society’s expectations be damned, have paved their own paths and determined their own lives. Who blaze trails and leave enough light on them for me to follow. I am thankful for you.

Sisters: Strong women whose smiles mirror mine, and who listen when the world gets too loud and I need a safe hole to shout in. Keepers of secrets and co-bearers of burdens, amazing people who choose me every day and gift me their friendship, even when I don’t ask for it or realize that I need it. You who knew me, who celebrated me when I had no ounce of faith in myself. Lifters of my shoulder and wipers of my tears. You who direct me to Google when I ask stupid questions, thank you for seeing me.

Friends: I have a beautiful assortment of friends. They are gorgeous, funny, vivacious women who embrace the world and all its curve balls with all the boldness and laughter they can muster. I admire your strength, your resilience, the way you never stay down, and the way you never run out of heart. I respect you for always reminding me that right now is another time to get back up. Thank you for bringing back my common sense every time it steps out on a break. Thank you for the sleepovers, the talks, knocks on the head, the knowing smiles, packs of tissue, the shoulders, and the ears. Thank you for all those times you got me out of dead-end bathrooms, all those times you fake-hated people for me, and made ridiculous and elaborate escape plans with me. Most importantly, thank you for your hands that hold mine in prayer, and lips that call on God for me when I can’t.

And finally, for every woman who has shown me support, who has lent a hand, a smile, a nod, a frown, a truth, and especially that one woman who taught me how to laugh at myself. Adewumi Fadeyi (nee Adegbite), the woman who taught me how to take back the power from bullies with humor; I cannot accurately describe what a blessing you passed on to me. Yours was the hand of God pulling me out of roaring waters. Thank you.

21Nov/16

Tofunmi #Sheroes

‘’Good Morning Tofu, I really don’t feel like talking to anyone today’’ I would tell my roommate Tofunmi on many days and I will proceed to seat at my scatted table with my laptop and headphones for more than half the day.

A little after mid-day Tofu will tap me and ask if I wanted any lunch to which I will reply no. In the evening when I was ready to re-join the world, I would feelse bad for ignoring my roommate all day, we will drive to the mall where I bribe her with doughnuts and ice cream.

I am not an easy person to live with, I have one too many moments when I want to shut the world out. I never arrange my clothes at the right time, I will just throw my clothes on one of the chairs in the sitting room. My reading table is never organised but I have a thing for cleaning the bathroom, kitchen and sweeping the rug so I guess this makes up for the areas where I am lacking.

Tofu hated my vices, when she got tired of my messy table she would clean it and I will get mad at her because I love the organised chaos. She would put away my clothes without asking and she will give me space when I needed it.

On nights when we had no light and were trying to conserve the fuel in the generator we will drive to the mall and see horrible movies and get hit on my even more horrible men.

You see I had a beat up old golf 3 which was famous for breaking down at all the wrong places. One day the kick stopped working, another day the gasket got burnt, what was constant was Tofu. She will sit with me by the road side while we waited for Uncle Tope and Mr Wale to come bail us out. I was happy to have her with me. We did listen to music, laugh at our situation and talk about the boys that broke our hearts while we waited.

I am grateful

1.      For Tofu being the third Yoruba girl in our NYSC Camp room with 15 Igbo girls who took pleasure in insulting us constantly in Igbo. 

(Tofu and I couldn’t last in Camp. Tofu left to be called to the Nigerian Bar and the three days she spent in Camp, she lived on a bag of chips. I left to write my exams after 5 days, we are not built for stress.)

2.      For exchanging numbers with Tofu while I helped her pack her box the day she was leaving.

3.      For accidently running into Tofu in front of the Secretariat during registrations and on impulse asking her to move in with me.

You see I learnt a few lessons from living with Tofu, lessons I will carry with me.

1.      To disappear less often from the world; Tofu gave me space but I did notice her eyes throwing draggers at me, this made me reconsider my bad habit and learn to lean on people.

2.      That living with someone is work and it is ‘’OKAY’’ to bend to accommodate the next person’s feelings.

3.      People that cross our path are important and we should cherish every human interaction. There is a lot we can learn about ourselves.

Tofu was my first roommate and she is a hard act to follow, she shared my first experience of living away from my parents with me and learning the ropes of planning my life. I never tell her how much our one year means to me, so I am writing this so she knows.

This is for Tofu for sharing my first taste of adulthood with me. 

20Nov/16

The African Woman #Sheroes

By Adekunle Adedoyin


COME WITH ME HE SAID, FOR I MUST SHOW YOU SOMETHING

SO I CAME, AND LO WHAT A SIGHT….

 

She wakes up earliest in her household, steps quietly away so as not to disturb her snoring husband

Saying her prayers as she begins the day’s chores – cleaning, cooking and preparing the needs of the children all at the same time; she has known for far too long that she didn’t have the luxury of doing things one after the other and so her multitasking sensor is always on.

Turning hot bathing water for her husband to bathe – He must not be late- as she washes her little one right beside the cooking pot so she can push a log of wood into the fireplace with her foot if need be. Her eldest child goes to bath as her husband comes out, getting dressed and loudly asking for his food flask already. She must get it ready in time to avoid another unpleasant experience this morning. The hurt of yesterday still ran deep –in her psyche and her body. Thankfully, food is ready – Her Son is ready for school too. Her baby is still sleeping sound on the bed. That was a first in a few days; the baby was actually the reason for the last unpleasant episode, but she can’t blame an innocent child –the person to blame is a father who birthed a child he couldn’t calm from crying in the morning.

So she hurries and has her bath, and the baby’s too. Strapped to her back, the bike rider is here to help mount her wares – first drop the little one midway and pick up frozen sachets of water –marginal profit it brought plus her income from the sale of Rice and beans –neatly compartmentalized in her large cooler – helped make the ends meet. On site, she must endure, even participate in the rude flirtations of customers who felt they owned her because they could afford a plate of food. It is all part of the process, she always told herself. Things were getting better and indeed they were. Her Son –The light of her world- was now regular in school, incidents of being sent out of the school for not paying fees on time are a thing of the past, soon the little one would be able to start school when it was her turn to ‘pack’ from the contribution, she watches the baby beside her and declares a solemn vow “your way will be easier, my child”. Before close of work, she must get home, haggling with bus conductors on whether she would pay extra for ‘load’, a reference to the cooler in the boot. Alighting at her bus stop carefully so the baby on her back doesn’t hit her head against the iron of the bus, making sure her purse is very intact, she mounts the cooler on her head, walks to the care taker to pick the little one and making payment that was always demanded by an old, sometimes angry looking but kind hearted old woman, and walks home forming happy conversation with him as he jabbers on about the activities of his day. Quickly she must begin to prepare food, for her Son and her husband and the little one who has unequivocally expressed his profound hunger.  Food is ready as her son arrives and he, bless him, starts playing with his siblings as he takes care of chores. A few hours of rest as she watches him do his homework while smiling wistfully- she unfortunately cannot help him. She is uneducated. A tragedy of her time, she wasn’t going to be “trained for another man” so the best she could hope for was that “her children would help her read the book”.  She would have been a great student, She was sharp, and illustrious and all that stood in her way was a culture that elevated her brothers over her –It was one of the reasons she was determined to have a daughter- her baby- and this baby would, by God, school to the highest levels, even if it would cost her life.

Her husband knocks on the door, his countenance is not good –one of those difficult days at work, she guessed- she hurried to get his food ready else she’d be the one to bear the brunt of a transferred aggression plus, it is her role to help him calm and please him, after all, “husband is god”. Well she still was, at night. He demanded-and she yielded, afraid to deny him- as he slaked his lust and expended his rage on her aching body. He turns to his side to begin a snore filled sleep till morning as usual as she coils to heal and have a few hours rest before the routine that her life has become.

Years pass, things change, but the more things change, the more they remain the same. The same angry man, more demanding children, more stress, more endurance. Jumping buses, riding bikes, chasing help, sweating in the hot sun, and yes, musing on what her life could have been had she been given equal opportunity with her kin of the other gender


SO HE SHOWED ME HER ALTERNATIVE LIFE

***She is in school, easily the best. She proceeds to the regional boarding school. In University she earns the best grades but is hindered by the demands of a randy lecturer. Still she chins up, passed for many a position because “madam, this is a man’s work, we would be transferring you and it’s not good for family” so she settled for teaching- that way she can “take care of the home”. And a fine teacher she turns out to be, so she gets another degree and another until she joins her husband in retirement, but rather than sit and read newspaper, she gets a business up and opens a shop***

 

She still runs her shop, oh yea, she finally was able to get a shop. It didn’t come without its own bitter challenges. Numerous demolitions, shop closed, fire accidents but thankfully her children all grown up- her husband retired with meager pension and no skill or interest to make a good business. But she has a reason to be grateful. This is perhaps the first time in her life that she has not had so much pressure…it was time to finally rest.  As though a cruel joke, her husband starts to fall sick; the effect years of unhealthy habits, drinking, womanizing -he once infected her with a disease, though he tried to deny it- begin to materialize despite the fact that he had given up those habits for a while now. This is so much stress and again fate deals her a bad hand – He dies. She is distraught, despite the trouble this man had given her all her life caring for him with little or no expressed appreciation, she still loved him with all her soul. It is as though a cover had been removed from her –she had been stripped naked.

Again, she pushes on, now a darling of her children who are too busy to be home with her. They go to work for long days and have a brief perfunctorily conversation with her before switching on to CNN. The grandkids are too busy on their gadgets and so while she is in the midst of family, she is still alone. Her daughter who would have her time is in Canada- too cold for her aged bones and one night, her heart gives out. She doesn’t wake

The tears flow freely, testimonials from all and sundry, snuffles as she is committed to mother earth. All of her years here was in labor. Labor before marriage, labor in marriage, labor in childbirth, labor to raise children, labor to please husband, labor of family support, labor of widowhood. Labor. Labor. Labor


HE LOOKED TO ME AND SAID…

HERE LIES THE AFRICAN WOMAN, LET NO EVIL EVER BE SAID OF HER – FOR SHE IS GOD’S BEST CREATION!


THIS IS A TRIBUTE TO THE AFRICAN WOMAN.

THE BEAUTIFUL, ENDURING, STRONG, LOVING AFRICAN WOMAN

We see you; we love you; we SALUTE YOU, Our Sheroes.

18Nov/16

Mamayoyo #Sheroes

​By Sharon Olanrewaju 
When Lord Josh informed me of the 
opportunity to particiwrite (LOL) in

his new series, celebrating women who

have touched our lives, Ofcourse my mother immediately

came to my mind and I wanted to form the “lemme be different thing 

‘cos many others will write about their mothers” but 

ko le werk!

I’m writing this in honour of whom

honour is due. We call her mamayoyo!

We have been taught by self and society not to take

nonsense from people or ‘when someone treats you like trash,

you trash them back #nochill#’. However, my mother lives the exact opposite

of that ideology. I call her a ‘trash queen’.

A trash queen is someone who

chooses not to trash people who treat her like

trash but to just ‘trash the trash’ and keep being the

Queen that she is. Now, that’s my mother!

I’ve seen her do favours for people who

just messed up or hurt her feelings, including or rather,

most especially myself!

There are times I bite her nipples hard,

just in time to make her heart prickle

Get on her nerves, hit on her calves,

push her to the wall, bend her till she crawls

Slurp my soup, drag my foot,

wanting to hear her rave and scream.

What a nit-wit I must have been

‘cos all I see is a dimple play,

then a lonely walk away,

Sometimes she flutes her voice all the way.

She silently takes it all in,

like a Sheep about to be sheared,

Not a word, not a curse.

Damn! It’s like burnt coals on my head

and I’m waiting for a sledge-hammered revenge,

I mean, no one takes all that in, ever!

but when She bites back?

Almost never!

Mamayoyo! Aduke! Iyawo Kayode! Mojirola mi!

Wa jeun omo!

– For all real mothers like mine

17Nov/16

Baby Ifeoma #Sheroes

By Ifeoma Nzekwe

 

To Ifeoma the toddler

The one everybody loved.

The one who melted hearts with her cherubic smile.

The one who recited Psalms 119 from the beginning to end at age 6

The one who gained a  scholarship in her primary school because the school owner could not bear to lose such a spectacular student.

The one who put smiles on everybody’s face

The one who was always “Baby of the year” in her school and church

The one who had a newspaper article written about her wanting to become a doctor, a pastor and a missionary at age 6

The smart one who went for debates and competitions and won without breaking a sweat

The one everybody was proud of

The one who had everybody’s back

The one who was bullied but never said a word

The one who always looked like she was happy but didn’t really know what happiness was

The one who did not have time for fears because she had to show people how to be happy by being happy

The one who everybody thought was perfect but I know…..

I know how imperfect she was

I know how she struggled to pass that competition she looked fearless about

I know how she spent sleepless nights cramming the longest chapter in the Bible because everybody expected it of her and she could not let them down

I know how she had no idea what a doctor, a pastor or a missionary did when she did that newspaper interview

I know baby……I know because she became me…..and I have so much respect for that little lady who knew just how she wanted her life to turn out.

I am no narcissist, but my Shero has got to be baby Ifeoma. The fearless girl with the heart of gold.

We are doing it baby….all the things we planned to do.

I hope I am making you as proud as you made me back in the day.
Special thanks to all the Sheroes who nurtured me and led me in the right path!