Dressing down?

When I started work at my current firm, we were told not to ever put on our native wears, commonly called trads, at anytime whatsoever, it is termed ‘dressing down’. I understood their point of view because it is not exactly a Nigerian company but a global network of firms.
The one that I found hard to understand was my church, my church also does not allow its workers (in which I am one of them) to put on trads. You can only put on English wears, trousers are not allowed for ladies. also, we don’t sing Nigerian praises (Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa or English), we only sing foreign songs. Just come to my church on either thanks giving Sunday or new year’s crossover service, you will see another side of the church. I will mention here that these two services are when we are allowed to wear trads and sing Nigerian praise. For me, this points to the fact that Nigerians can’t fully feel free until they get down to their roots. During these services, I am always amazed at the demeanor of my church members, it changes totally. From the ‘bigz boiz and galz’ to ordinary people like me, the transformation is always mind-boggling.
After a session of training I had in church, I had about 2 months break before starting another session and so I took the advantage of this and wore my trads, trousers, etc. When the 2nd session of training was to start, a church colleague laughed at me and said, “shey you were enjoying your period of ‘dressing down’”? It then made me to wonder, what is this about? Why would Nigerians call wearing English clothes dressing up and calling wearing Nigerian clothes dressing down?

Hiding under a Bushel

We all know about the power situation in Nigeria. I wake up as early as 4am every week day and most times, its darkness all around. Everything I do then, I do it with a rechargeable lamp. The lamp is old and faulty. It has two fluorescents which are now very dim and sometimes, when you put it on, you dare not put if off until you are through using it because it might not come on again until it is recharged, but I still manage to use it like that because I feel it is better than going to switch on the electric power generator so early in the morning and disturbing every one. The first thing I do every morning before I put my foot on the ground is to read my devotional, I then check my phone to see if I can afford to sleep for about 10 more minutes and if this is possible, since I cannot afford to put the lamp off for the fear of it not coming back on, I just lay it horizontally and put it under my bed. The effect: the whole room becomes dark again. It doesn’t matter whether the light is still on, the fact is that it’s been hidden someplace where it won’t have an opportunity to reflect and so the light becomes useless.
I try to relate this to the light each of us have in us. Many of us have talents and other wonderful things that can be showcased to the world, things that the world can immensely benefit from if we dare allow them reflect. We hide under the umbrella of shyness, selfishness, laziness and different forms lackadaisical attitudes, forgetting that no particular person owns this world and that we are all supposed to contribute our own quota. Because of this, no matter how valuable what we have inside of us is, both in quality and quantity, it will be useless if it is hidden.
I challenge everyone that gets to read this blog to let their light shine because there’s no use for it if it’s hidden under a bushel.

For my Friends

I have written about different things but never about my friends. I consider the word ‘friend’ very sacred and I don’t use it lightly. Because of the kind of person I am, I have so many acquaintances and few friends and so therefore, those few are very good ones. With all these said, I am dedicating this post to the people who have remained with me through thick and thin.

Bose- The faithful one
Tejiri- The generous one
Dolapo- The understanding one
Kolapo- The listening one
Oba-t- The sacrificial one
Rita- The honest one

With these descriptions, whenever I make reference to any of them in future posts, you will have an idea of kind of people I am talking about. Thanks guys, for being who you are to me.

Tearing down my House

I have recently been talking to an old friend of mine who is in his early forties and considering a divorce. According to him, He can’t take any more of ‘what He is getting’. For most part of the marriage, they have not lived as husband and wife, only that they stay in the same house. No spousal form of communication at all and the reason why He tarried this long is because of the only thing that binds them together, His child. I am not so sure that I can do justice to the description of what He is facing but I will try.
What will you call a woman that does not give a hoot about her husband, what He eats, drinks or wears and also refuses physical intimacy with her husband? Yet, the husband still pays the bills and takes care of her responsibilities. I still find it very hard to believe that a woman will use her own hands to tear the house she built for years apart. According to him, nothing happened, she just changed. One thing I have wished for constantly since my friend has been talking to me about this issue is for an opportunity to speak to his wife (without letting her know what I am up to) to get her own side of the story, which I don’t think will ever happen. If everything my friend told me is true, then I must say that he has gone through hell and high water. After hearing phase one of his story, my heart went out to him and I was depressed for a whole day (I am still depressed on his behalf).
Before putting up this post, I sent it to the guy in question for review, just to ask if there was anything he’d like to add or delete. He agreed with everything I wrote, only that it was one-sided. According to him, his wife is very nice, caring and friendly but she is just not a ‘wife’. In order words, the qualities of a wife cannot be found in her. He said she is more of a ‘trophy wife’ than a wife material. Nice, after all these years of unusual treatment, he still loves her enough to put up a defense for her.
I was brought up with the indoctrinated mindset that wives are supposed to care for their husbands and vice versa (weren’t we all?). I will derive joy every time I look at my husband and see the effect of the value I was able to add to his life. I won’t go tearing down my house for any reason. From his story, I have learnt part of what not to do if I don’t want to lose my marriage and with God on my side, I am sure I will not.
I posted this with my friend’s permission so that we can all learn something from it.

My Irresponsible Hair

"Your sister will get married before you, with this kind of hair you have on your head!!!". This was what an old distant relative of mine said when she saw me. She had not seen me for about 4 years and when she sees me, without even greeting me, all she could talk about was marriage and my appearance. I just smiled.
Why must African women find a way to link everything in this world to marriage, anytime they look at a young girl, all they consider is ‘marriageability’. What she does, what she wears, how she carries herself, anything at all will be linked to her chances of settling down ‘happily’ because they don’t want their daughters to become old maids. The marriage song has always been sung into my ears right from when I was about 13 years old and I am still not free from its lyrics. I dear not say that I am not interested in marriage, I will be taken straight away for spiritual deliverance!
Secondly, what has my hair got to do with my chances of getting married? Ok, I am on dreadlocks, but that does not mean I am irresponsible or that no responsible man will want to marry me. Personally, I think it’s only a myopic person like my aunt that would think I am not a ‘wife material’ because I am on dreadlocks. We are no more in the seventies. Hair and marriage, how do they correlate?