WHY WE SHOULD ABOLISH LANGUAGE TERMS WITH RACIST CONNOTATIONS

Before I delve into the meat of the topic, I believe it is important that we first understand what racism is.

Racism is seen as the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another race, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his/her inborn biological characteristics.
Racism in a more lay man language is hatred of one person by another because of his/her social or moral traits. Racism is seen to take its form in Physical appearance (skin color difference), social actions, languages, practices, beliefs or political systems in which different races are ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared and inheritable traits, abilities or qualities. Racism has existed in human history and overtime has influenced wars, slavery, formation of nations and legal codes.

While we acknowledge the various forms which racism takes, this article however focuses on color connotations in world languages (with focus on English Language) and how it encourages racism.

Have you ever noticed that compound words or terms that have the word ‘white’ is significantly good in terms of meaning? Even the word ‘white-lie’ is defined as an untrue statement that does ‘no harm’. ‘White-lie’ is seen as good even if it has the term “lie” attached to it. We have other terms like ‘whiteheads’ defined as a songbird with white head and underpants; ‘whitewashed’ referred to as a smart one in a game which the loser scores no point, it is also means concealment of flaws.

Now let’s have a quick look at some terms with the word ‘Black’, which are widely associated with negativity, pain, difficulties, etc. There is ‘Black magic’, a term which refers to magic derived from an evil source or by evil means. ‘Black Friday’, a Friday that falls on the 13th day of any month and is regarded as ill-omened. ‘Blackheads’ which is an infectious diseases of turkey, ‘blackwash’ which purports defamation. ‘Dark culture’ is a term that covers several subculture such as gothic, BDSM and Fetish. This and many other words and cases are examples of how ‘black’ as a color has been largely attributed to all things evil, negative or bad.

No doubt there are other terms with the word ‘black’ that connote positivity/good, for example-black gold, dark chocolate, blackberry.etc. But these are few when compared to the negatives. In like manner, we have very few words associated with ‘White’ that has negative impression like white-comb.

Interestingly, its shocking how one could go through the Oxford dictionary, Merriam-Webster dictionary, Urban dictionaries and Google and won’t find words associated with ‘WHITE’ exceeding 50-70 of which, not more than 1-5 will have a negative remark, impression or meanings; as opposed to the word ‘BLACK’.

When a person is constantly reminded on a daily basis that anything associated with his color is bad, evil, negative and just plain wrong, this will in long run subconsciously take shape in his mental and psychological environment and he would invariably come to accept same to be true of him and/or his color/race.

These terms are largely seen as normal and have been generally accepted in the world. They might not seem so much of a big deal or in any way associated to racism until you consider the psychological factor, its usage and how it affect the society.. A white or Hispanic person will say or hear these words and not feel any negative impact, but the same cannot be said for a black person.

The use of these colors remains a never ending force to reckon with, such that ‘the hate that comes with it’ are passed down from one generation to another, through various means like religion for instance, crossed the line of just words; but went as far as tagging this colors to personalities, which till date has encouraged racism by the creation of images where Jesus and Angels are painted as ‘white’, and satan/devil as ‘black’; and so we have kids in school with various picture books with Satan painted black and Jesus and Angels colored white.

Racism still exist strongly in our society today because of these colors, its use and application. If the world is truly serious about fighting against racism then we should fight it in all of its forms. Terms and words that tend to portray black or dark as bad and negative need to be abolished from our everyday educational, formal and informal interactions. It may seem like a hard or even impossible task to consider but we can start by:

  1. Flagging these terms as inappropriate in formal exchanges;
  2. Scrapping these word out of our dictionaries (NB: that words formed in dictionary came to be as a result of our formation and general acceptance, hence we can as a well take them out.)
  3. Discourage any activities of any sort that promotes the racism through these colors.
  4. Educate and create awareness to the society that portrays the fact that white and black are mere colors like orange, purple, green red etc. identified/named by us(HUMANS). Such that one can chose to identify black as white, vice versa. Therefore we need not let our creation be the end of our Humanity.

The impact may not be immediate but if we gradually bring an end to common usage of these terms, we will be protecting the next generation against mental and psychological harm caused by racism in the form of color portrayal in our everyday language vocabulary.

This article was written by UZERE O. ANTHONY (ESQ.). A Legal Practitioner and Human Right Activist based in Lagos, Nigeria.
Email: Anthonyouzere@gmail.com

EASY 20s, NOT SO EASY

If I ever finish this post. I would credit it to Mr. Honour Eke-John.

These days nothing seem to be going right, nothing at all. Money, Love, Life, Progress, Creativity, everything is just dormant. Nothing, seems to be moving. I just wish I can hibernate like the bear and come out when it is all done. Many people say the nouvelle CoVID-19 virus gives you time to reflect, evaluate and come out stronger. Do they know it gives you excess time to start comparing your life to other people’s lives?

Before the virus, I could say I am stronger. People sought light in me and most of them found it. Now, I don’t know what to say. Life seem so confused. I heard my sisters having an argument on who’s going to be the rich one.

Sister A said, “Why do you think you will be rich? Do you think anyone ever woke up or planned to be a trader in a dirty market?”

Sister B said, “I just know I will make it.”

Now, I may not know how it is for some other person in a different cultural, geographical or political setting; but I would be writing from the Nigerian setting. The Nigerian parents of people in their twenties had a Nigeria that was quite fair; economically, I mean. They imbibed in their children, a mentality of, ‘go to school and after school, you’d get a job’. Always using the tailor, or hairdresser next door, as a negative example of what a child would end up, if one didn’t take education seriously.

So, these children, most of them unwilling, did have the ambition of graduating from a university or at least attaining the secondary school certificate. Many of them had no idea what would be next, but they knew they wanted to be rich. They wanted to have a good life. They needed to. Front page of a popular newspaper in Rivers State, Nigeria — The National Network Newspaper had the headline the parents of a certain girl would have wanted for three years. The sentence to death of a kidnapper who murdered their lovely daughter of about seven years old. How old was the kidnapper? He was just twenty three at 2017, the time of this crime and was also a third year student of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria.

He has been sentenced to death; but if you ask me, I’d like to grant him an interview before he is executed. To know how he thinks the way he does, or why he thought the way he did. Most of the crimes committed recently are carried out by people in their twenties. They’ve grown to find out that the field is no longer what they were promised, and they’ve had a different picture of how their future was to pan out; they’re working on a deadline, of what they want and where they should be by 30. Many of them are willing to do whatever of takes.

The pressure on them is heavy and mountainous, but the sad thing is only a few people know about this. Many of them stomach this in. Does it help? It rarely does. It rather pushes them to cross lines they had earlier vowed never to cross. It makes them take decisions they turn out to regret later. Even their push at life, seem like a push of a baby against a brick wall.

My dad always tell me how he had his first car at 20 and had his first job at 18. Such a time! Such a time, and many times, many many times, I do wish I was born in his time. Times are changing; maybe this is another revolution. But many people have no idea of how to handle it. There’s no manual and neither would there be one anytime soon. People d t even adore motivational posts these days.

People just look at the tree house at the top of the tree and wish they could be there, and it seems like the ladder to take them up has been destroyed.

To every folk in their twenties; take a deep breath, ease the pressure on your self and revel in the reality of living, rather than placing deadlines on your self. Stop being too hard on yourself, always have an outlet. It could be an activity, a person, a hobby. But do have an outlet.

And to every folk around anyone in their twenties or even thirties; talk to them, let them come out.

THE LIFE WE SEEK

Yubedee Pyamene Anokari.

Isn’t it fascinating how there is a clear distinction between the wealthy and those just trying to get by? How the rich gets richer and then the poor, it is better left unsaid.

This is what life has taught me!

Yes, I have seen the dark sides of life; and to this moment, I know life could be better than it is currently. Yes, I know there are waking up to cherries and sweet smelling roses. Waking up in the comfort of a soothing room, conveniently conditioned, relaxing to the body, and medicine to the mind, yes I know.

I know there could be ALEXA, your virtual house assistant, giving your home the best of luxuries technology can afford – this I know for sure. But this I know also, just as I know my name; that life, the life I seek, isn’t just given at the asking.

Freedom they say, is not willingly given by the oppressors, but it is fought for valiantly, in a fierce battle by the oppressed. The life I seek isn’t the one of mere having fancy cars and high rise buildings, but one of influence – reaching thousands and millions, perhaps billions too around the world. No one listens to a pauper, I repeat, no one listens to a pauper; that’s the code!

Sitting on my bed, in my room, with the lights on; gazing through the window, I can see there’s worth more to life than what currently is.

I was once told…
“Son, aim for the moon, that way if you by chance, don’t eventually get to it, you may as well just fall among the stars”

“Trees don’t just grow, they sprout from their seeds first before making it tall”

So yes, I trust the process, though it may be quite difficult to believe anything good will come out of it. Yet prospects I see, blinkers and flashes telling me there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

At the end, hope is all we’ve got. A hope that tells us it’s going to be okay. A glimmer of light that assures us of a dream come true, some day, some time, maybe even sooner than imagined.

You can never lose a match you don’t play they say, but I say – life is constantly gaming at us each day in a match just much more longer than the regular ninety minutes, and if we don’t play, we’ve already lost, cos life is just going to walk us over!

But this is one thing I am never going to do – I am never going to give up!

Yes I have seen the lows of life and that assures me there’s a high side too, and there, there we must reach – If not today, then tomorrow. But the constant, remains; a man never fails if he never stops trying.

So away from the rigorous and fast paced life. I know life could be as calm as the sea at night, and as bright as the sun at noon. As peaceful and beautiful as the moon-studded cloud at night and as perfect as nature. As soothing as waking up to a perfect smile from a partner, and walking the evenings with the one you love in a park full of brightly coloured trees and flowers.

Taking a sip of baileys in the penthouse and watching the city from that high – oh what a view it is! A life better than yoga, and other therapeutic procedures. That is the life I seek, that is the life I want, that is the life I will get!

Yubedee Pyamene Anokari is a contributor on PAUL KAY’s BLOG. A content creator and entrepreneur. Currently a student of environmental studies at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. An SDG advocate, passionate about personal growth and development.

MY LOVE STORY

Ibinabo Sekibo

Happy Saturday to you. Well, it’s still a Saturday if your timezone is GMT +1. Remember Ibinabo Sekibo? The host from the interview last week. Here she is with her love story.


Everyone has a story!

I have one, and it was an answer to my prayers. Growing up in a home like mine, you get used to the fact that love doesn’t exist, except the love of God, of course. Yet, it was the major reason I hated Papa, men and everything love. I swore off men at a very tender age; the thing I hated the most was the way they would ogle at you when you walked by, it was too disgusting for me to overlook it; but that strengthened my resolve to never fall in love. I couldn’t afford to give my heart to someone like that.

Papa would come back home reeking of alcohol, after he had drunk himself to the holies of holies. after all he claimed to be a christian. My mother probably learnt early on in marriage not to request anything from him, she would take whatever is left of his salary that he gives to her after drinking and then she would add hers to run the home; if you ask me, I would say she was the breadwinner. That wasn’t all, he would also beat her black and blue whenever the cravings for the alcohol came and he couldn’t have his way.

Talking over dinner was seriously prohibited in our home. We couldn’t even talk on a normal day, all you would hear were whispers, but what would you expect? When respect for the father of the home had turned to fear in the building. I called home and we got so used to not speaking up that no one was bothered about not speaking at home. I had my own friends, the ones I would hang out with and feel myself getting free; when I got back home everyday, I became who my parents knew. So, I wasn’t really bothered about the situation at home.

My breath of fresh air came when I gained admission into the university. Well, I got the opportunity to spread my wings. When I say, ‘spread my wings’, I do not mean going all out and getting wild. Yes, I graced one or two parties with my presence; but the best part is that, it was at one of these parties I met the love of my life. I never believed in love at first sight; in fact, all those stuff really sounded cliché to me, but when our eyes met, I knew I wanted him. He wouldn’t fit into the description of my dream guy as I had a preference for light skinned guys, but this one?__ he was a dark skinned god and I still wanted him.

Well, we hit it off immediately; because the alcohol made me bold I guess, so I approached him. DID YOU HEAR THAT? I approached a guy. As normal with my age grade, we exchanged contact and promised to keep in touch. Well, this girl here wasn’t planning to, because I had books to read and a boy would have been too much of a distraction; contrary to what I really wanted and believed, love had found me and wouldn’t let me go until I had a taste of this sweet drug.

He called me one day, and the next he was calling again, and the day after that, and the day after that; he came over for a visit and before I knew what was happening, I was going to visit him, and staying over became something normal. Imagine how elated I was when he asked me to be his girlfriend; it was like a dream come true for me, I finally met someone I loved, that loved me too and cared for me like I do him. Come on, that’s the dream of every young girl out there. Best part is, he was so romantic, my life felt like a romantic novel to me; he took me out on surprise dates, we exchanged gifts a lot, and we even got to the matching outfits stage.

I was so happy with him, he gave me a reason to love; and even when my insecurities decided to poke their ugly heads, my love made me understand I deserved all the love that he could give.
Just imagine, I never wanted to give love a chance before now, but see how far I got.

Well, I woke up to my usual good morning texts from him this particular morning, getting ready to go to school and then I hear a knock on my door and guess who it is, the love of my life in all his glory, but looking so worried. I asked him what the problem was and it seemed like he couldn’t even word what was bothering him. While I was still trying to convince him to speak to me, he went down on one knee and proposed; I was smiling like a fool, happy about it, until I remembered school and all my dreams.

A 100 level student like myself, I felt I had nothing to do with marriage proposals at the moment; but before I could even make a decision it was taken out of my hand, when I felt a heavy slap on my arm with a far away voice. Wait, Is that my elder sister speaking? Someone was shaking my body vigorously, and then that’s when I heard my elder sister clearly speaking, more like shouting, “Princess, would you wake up? You’ve been smiling like an idiot. Wake up and prepare for school”.

Oh! that was when I realized that my love story was a dream!

3 GUYS, ONE LADY, ROOMMATES; THE INTERVIEW! (THE SEQUEL)

Ibinabo Sekibo

After reading the first part (the previous blog post), many readers kept on clamouring for the second part of it. And so, here is it.

THIRD ROOMMATE: SOPHIE

Host: Hello, good evening; I am Sekibo Ibinabo. A lot of persons today, want to know what it is like having Co-Ed roommates; and so if you wouldn’t mind, would you please introduce yourself?
Sophie: Evening Sekibo, nice name. My name is Sophie Noks aka: shugar. From Delta State, Nigeria. I’m a female brown skin girl, resides in Lagos, Nigeria.
Host: Thank you. Now, this might be out of context, but I would love to know how you got nicknamed Shugar.
Sophie: Oh! sorry bout that. So my job in a factory; everyday, I get to work, I greet my co-workers but call them shugar.
Host: Oh! I don’t think I would live with some one of the opposite sex that I’m not related to, romantically or by family.

Host: So, my first question: did you ever think you would be living with someone you aren’t related to romantically or by family?
Sophie: Yeah.
Host: Wow, so you are trying to say living with three boys didn’t seem shocking to you?
Sophie: At all. I like the fact that they were three; so they can keep themselves company, then I could jump into their company. But, it wouldn’t have been nice if it was just one guy and me. That one, you don enter! So I loved d fact that there was three of them
Host: 😂😂 ….okay. How?
Sophie: Like if it’s only a girl and a boy in a room; Come on, the boy body go dey move now. No control
Host: 😂😂😂😂
Sophie: But with the other boys, he will adjust well.

Host: How long had you known the boys, before you had to stay with them?
Sophie: Three years
Host: Wow! In those three years of knowing them, did you ever think you would all end up as roommates?
Sophie: No, not at all. We weren’t even that close.
Host: Wow! so how did you cope with staying with them; at least, the first few weeks?
Sophie: Wonderful, Great! I’ve never been so free with living with anyone. You know when you’re squatting with someone, and you’re tensed to do clean up, and chores; to cook, just to make the owner of the house happy with you. It was never like that for me. I lived like I was alone.

Host: In a sentence how would you describe the experience?
Sophie: Peace.
Host: (chuckles) Okay. Was there any sexual tension in the house?
Sophie: Not really.
Host: In my head when you say not really, seems like something nearly happened, would you share?
Sophie: Nothing nearly happened. But you know we play a lot. So, at some point; few of them would be like “Sophie, gimme fuck now”, all those things. But, we laughed about it.
Host: Oh! Okay. Ever had a crush on any of the guys?
Sophie: Nah. But I was fond of one.
Host: Which of them?
Sophie: Honour
Host: OK, how did you cope with seeing three boners every morning and why Honour?
Sophie: It’s nothing, they were like kids to me. So I saw those things like tiny sticks.
Host: (Laughs)
Sophie: He would laugh for any reason, take my excesses and he liked food. So, I had to stick around, to always eat from him. A free giver, a kind soul but mad!

Host: Awwwnnn, but when you say mad; I get lost. Care to throw a little light?

Sophie: Mad like; he plays like a baby, nothing bothers him, no shame. Anything that makes him happy, he does regardless.

Host: Who was the weirdest amongst you guys?

Sophie: Me I would say

Host: Why?

Sophie: Because, today I’m all excited; lovey and sweet. Next day, I’m back to my shell; don’t want to talk to anyone.

Host: Oh! What’s the funniest memory you can remember?
Sophie: Many ooo.
Host: Share a few with us please?
Sophie: But one was when Paul needed a washer to wash his clothes; and me and Honour volunteered with joy and happiness. I think for #300 each. We washed it and was begging people for more clothes to wash. (chuckles) We bought breakfast with the money.
Host: 😂😂😂 sounds like you all had a lot of fun.
Sophie: Yeah.

Host: If you were asked to share the house with only one person, who would it be? And why?
Sophie: Honour
Sophie: Sweet
Host: 😂😂..you mean he’s sweet?
Sophie: Yeah!
Host: We are putting a wrap on things already. If you were given the opportunity to pick three roommates, would you pick them again?
Sophie: Yes yes yes.

Host: Finally, if you saw females and males trying to live together, what would be your counsel to them?
Sophie: Enjoy
Host: (chuckles) Well, thank you so much for your time and answering all my questions, I had a wonderful time with you.
Sophie: Same here, Ibinabo.

FOURTH ROOMMATE: HONOUR

Host: Hello, good evening; I am Sekibo Ibinabo. A lot of persons today want to know what it is like having Co-Ed roommates; and so if you wouldn’t mind, would you please introduce yourself?
Honour: I’m Honour. A lover of God, an enthusiast; I love to sing. An environmental biotechnologist by profession. A guy with a beautiful soul. All thanks to God.
Host: Awwwnnnn, I’m loving you already. I can feel it that we would have a wonderful time.

Host: I don’t think I would live with some one of the opposite sex, I’m not related to romantically or by family; and so, my first question: did you ever think you would be living with someone you aren’t related to romantically or by family?
Honour: 🌚 She knows this job🌚.
Host: I’ll take that as a compliment, so thank you😌
Honour: Hehe, I have never considered it. (chuckles) cos of my personality, yeah. I’m a kind of person that loves easily. (Chuckles) That’s a weakness. And so when it comes to having someone of the opposite sex live in the same house with me; I feel we might have some complications in the long run. Secondly, the society; what would people think? what will my dad say if he hears this? What of my Spiritual parents? (chuckles). So, really; I’ve never thought of it.

Host: Wow! so what was your reaction when you found out you would be sharing with a lady; and before that, since you are someone that wouldn’t have considered sharing with a lady, what were the events that led to it?
Honour: When my roomie told me he’s bringing a girl to the house. It was so late and it was at night. She was already in Port Harcourt that night and she was coming from Lagos. I knew her from school. She’s a wonderful person. My roomie apologized, I understood. There was no misunderstanding, I joined him to get her bags that night. When we got to the house, we had to arrange things to suit her as a girl among three boys. My major concern was how my girlfriend was going to take the news (chuckles). The next day, I broke it to her and she was normal and okay about it (I’m unsure about that fact though; you know, you never can tell the heart of a human or should I say read minds). My reaction? I felt normal. I wasn’t against it. I know how to adapt Sha. (chuckles)

Honour: The events that led to it? She discussed with my roommate and he decided to allow her stay, without telling us though (chuckles). He told us the night she arrived Port Harcourt.
Host: Oh My Gosh😨 Hmm! y’all did well, adapting and all.
Honour: (laughing) Yeah. It was quick and spontaneous. Before we could believe our eyes, we were comfortable sleeping on the same bed with a girl (laughs).
Host: (laughs) Well well well! In a sentence, how was the experience; just one sentence, please?
Honour: Alright. It was the best experience ever.

Host: Awwnnn, So who was the weirdest amongst you guys
Honour: The girl.
Host: Why?
Honour: She’s weird,mad, crazy! (Chuckles) Is there a reason for being weird? I think it’s an innate characteristic of a person. I just can’t explain why though.
Host: (chuckles) okay
Host: Any sexual tension in the house? You know, living with a girl that’s not your sister is not easy, especially on cold nights (winks).
Honour: For me? None sha. She tried flirting with me, but I always run away (laughs). Girlie sha.
Host: Are you serious? (laughs)

Host: Did you think there was any couple in the house?
Honour: Nah
Host: Ever felt tempted on those cold nights, knowing there was comfort so close?
Honour: Nah
Host: What was the quality you loved in all three of them? And what did you wish they changed?
Honour: Mehn, I love my guys. No human is perfect. I can’t remember any flaws sha. Though, they had flaws. But right now, having this interview; when I go back in retrospect, I just have this feeling that it was all good. The bad and the good were good.

Host: Okay. I heard of something I termed an “in-house protest”. A period when the house was so dirty, you guys had to wear your footwear’s inside; what led to it?
Honour: (chuckles) I’ve forgotten, can’t remember. But, it was crazy. It started with Paul complaining that I wake up in the morning without doing anything. I only press my phone and direct them to do chores, that he was fed up of it. Cookey said he wasn’t going to wash plate anymore. I complained about Paul that he was also not helping matters. Sophie also complained. (chuckles) So we decided not to do anything again, we wanted to see who will give up. The house was like a dump (laughs).
Mehn, vegetables littered everywhere. Paul bought wraps of loi loi (processed starch), ate it with afang soup; left everything on the table. We went out, bought periwinkle; we destroyed that house. It was like that for days, I think cookey got fed up first and then decided to clean the house.

Host: (laughing hard) I already heard he loves the place tidy
Honour: Yeah. He was the cleanest. (Laughs) I have to admit,
I almost ran mad; cos I wasn’t thinking straight in that room
(laughs). But, I couldn’t bring myself to clean the room because of pride; and then, Paul and Sophie seemed comfortable about it (chuckles). I didn’t want to lose.
Host: (laughs hard) what’s the funniest memory you have of you all?
Honour: (chuckles) Can’t say. Everyday came with a fresh dose of madness.
Host: Awwwnnn😂😂
Honour: I was surrounded with mad people


Host: Y’all had lots of fun in the house, I basically wish I had a little dose of that in my life. Anyways, moving on; what’s the weirdest thing that happened in the house?
Honour: Awwwn. For me, it was the dump experience. It was really weird.
Host: (chuckles)
Honour: (chuckles) Yeah.
Host: We are putting a wrap on things already. If you were given the opportunity to pick three roommates, would you pick them again?
Honour: Real life! Yeah!

Host: Finally, if you saw females and males trying to live together; what would be your counsel to them?
Honour: Mehn; I don’t know o. It depends on understanding and the kind of people (guys) or girls they want to cohabit with. For the guys, if a girl should stay with guys that are predators; she’s sure gonna be a prey to them. Same applies to the guys too. Basically,I remember one time I asked Sophie why she decided to stay with us. She said she was comfortable with staying with us cos she knows we ain’t going to harm her or abuse her in anyway. So I think you should consider the territory and animals in it before you venture into the wild.
Host: 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Well spoken. Thank you so much for your time, I had fun talking to you, and I definitely learnt alot
Honour: Right. Thanks. You’re talented! You made me comfortable.

3 GUYS, ONE LADY, ROOMMATES; THE INTERVIEW!

Ibinabo Sekibo

The prospect of people of the opposite sex living together in a room isn’t quite much of a thing. But when its people who are not related romantically or by family, that’s when it becomes a thing.

On the blog today, we have our guests: Sophie (the lady), Honour, Emmanuel and Paul Kay; who’d be walking us through what it was to have lived together in a room as undergraduates, irrespective of their gender. This would be very interesting, I feel as excited as our readers. I’d pick as I so desire. So, Paul Kay; you’d be going first. No ladies first, here.

Meanwhile, the virtual interview was a kind of close interview where the interviewees didn’t see the answers of their co-interviewees.

FIRST ROOMMATE: PAUL KAY

Host: Hello, good evening, I am Sekibo Ibinabo. A lot of persons today, want to know what it is like having roommates of both sex; and so if you wouldn’t mind, would you please introduce yourself?

Paul Kay: My name is Paul, but I’ve liked it as Paul Kay. I am a male, a Nigerian male. I’m a writer, author, blogger, poet (in page and on stage), with great interest in music, I play the guitar though I majored in environmental biology.

Host: Honestly speaking; I’m wowed, I wasn’t expecting so much talent in one person.

Paul Kay: Lemme jhoor😂

Host: (laughs) Moving on, I am really curious about living co-ed. I don’t think I would live with some one of the opposite sex, I’m not related to romantically or by family; and so, my first question: did you ever think you would be living with someone you aren’t related to romantically or by family?

Paul Kay: Well, I never thought I could, while younger; but after I had seen a series titled NEW GIRL, I kind of wished for the experience.

Host: Well, well, well; in a sentence how was the experience, just one sentence please.

Paul Kay: It was one with mixed emotions.

Host: Now, I’m very curious! So how long had you all known each other before you had to stay together? I learnt the proportion was three guys to a lady?

Paul Kay: (Smiles) you say proportion, like its sex. We had known ourselves for over two years.

Host: (smiles) Where did you all meet?

Paul Kay: University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Host: OK, were you guys course mates or something?

Paul Kay: Yeah….

Host: So, what were your thoughts on the first night?

Paul Kay: I had stayed with females before, then I was the only boy; so I looked forward to this one.

Host: Wow, you’ve stayed with females? A shocking revelation to be honest. How many were they?

Paul Kay: Two of them, and they sometimes had a female friend for the night.

Host: How did you cope, living with females and a female later on?

Paul Kay: Living with females, was super worse. Living with a female was better compared to the previous one. Though, living with females had its benefits, as well as living with a female. But, I just learnt to look at them like they’re males too.

Host: Hmm! So you are trying to say there was no sexual tension anytime? Like nothing at all?

Paul Kay: Of course, there was. Numerous times, very very numerous. Especially, most times when the females felt they had to be comfortable at home, ignoring my gender.

Host: (laughs hard) I trust ladies, we love being comfortable.

Paul Kay: Lying on the same bed was really a torment on some nights.

Host: The cold ones especially right?

Paul Kay: You know this thing!

Host: How was your relationship with each of your roommates? Any thing you loved about them or wished they wouldn’t do?

Paul Kay: Fair enough. We had our times, rough and nice.

Host: Throw a little light, please?

Paul Kay: I loved Cookey’s neatness and disliked his snoring hugely. I loved Honour’s devoted Christian nature and disliked his laziness, that boy can sleep with cockroaches. Sophie? Sophie hated cooking, Kai. I also disliked how she spent time in the bathroom. But she was so nice; I remember once I was sick, twas cos of her I didn’t go home.

Host: Now I wish I got to spend time with some them too

Paul Kay: It wasn’t all rosy o; there were times I quarrelled with each of them. I once broke all the breakable plates because Honour wouldn’t wash them for days, when it was his turn.

Host: Oh my goodness (laughs hard), didn’t you feel petty after that?

Paul Kay: (Smiles)…. I apologised to everyone later, it was bad though. Once, our house was really dirty; we started wearing foot wears inside.

Host: Ah… What happened? Were you all on an in-house protest or something?

Paul Kay: Yeah. It was really dirty, until someone was having a female guest.

Host: …..I’m laughing out loud.

Host: Did you ever develop feelings for Sophie? Like a crush or something?

Paul Kay: When I was sick? Yeah. She showed me care those wicked boys won’t show me.

Host: Who was the weirdest amongst you all. Like in your opinion?

Paul Kay: Sophie

Host: Why?

Paul Kay: Sophie scared me one night oo. Her mood swings were so, so rapid.

Host: Hmm, any reason for that? Like was there anything you could point to as the cause of the mood swings? Besides, what did she do that particular night?

Paul Kay: Had no idea. She had slept in a neighbor’s room, we thought she would pass the night. But by 1 am, she knocked; I really was scared.

Host: (laughs) That shouldn’t be such a big deal now, I thought she wanted to kill someone or something like that.
Paul Kay: Oh! (chuckles)
Host: Yup, did you believe there was any couple in the house?Paul Kay: I suspected Honour and Sophie.
Host: What made you suspicious?
Paul Kay: They got close, quite closer than any other person. Just that Honour had a girlfriend at the time.
Host: (chuckles) So they couldn’t have been together, I guess. What a bummer! See me thinking I’ve got some juicy details here (laughs).

Host: what’s the funniest memory you have of you all?
Paul Kay: (laughs) Our graduation party, I was the one who conceived the idea. But it turned out good.
Host: Awwnnn.

Paul Kay: So many things happened. Some said I pulled my boxers.

Host: That means you were drunk?😂😂😂

Paul Kay: I knew I didn’t, they were trying to catch fun with me

Host: 😂😂😂😂….. I love your roomies more

Host: If you were asked to share the room with one person, who would it be?

Paul Kay: Who? (thinking) I can’t even pick one.

Host: Oh, why?

Paul Kay: Cos they have their good and bad.

Host: We are putting a wrap on things already, if you were given the opportunity to pick three roommates, would you pick them again?
Paul Kay: Sure. It’d be awesome because now we’ve had a previous one. I’m sure I’d have troubles with them, but I miss them all.
Host: Finally, if you saw females and males trying to live together, what would be your counsel to them?
Paul Kay: Don’t sleep with one another; it would get very awkward. If I had slept with Sophie, it would have been very awkward.
Host: Honestly, I had a swell time with you; thank you so much for giving me your time and answering all my questions.
Paul Kay: Anytime, Highbee.

SECOND ROOMMATE: EMMANUEL COOKEY

Host: Hello good evening; I am Sekibo Ibinabo, your host for the interview session. A lot of persons today want to know what it is like having roommates of both sex, and so if you wouldn’t mind , would you please introduce yourself?
Emmanuel Cookey: I’m Emmanuel Cookey
Host: Okay. Anything else more than your name? Like some qualities that if mentioned, I would instantly know it’s you they are referring to.
Emmanuel Cookey: You mean my ex roomies?
Host: Nope, I mean something more about yourself.
Emmanuel Cookey: I’m usually quiet. (further thinking) I actually don’t talk much.

Host: Oh, noted. Emmanuel, I don’t think I would live with some one of the opposite sex I am not related to romantically or by family; and so, my first question goes thus: did you ever think you would be living with someone you aren’t related to romantically or by family?
Emmanuel Cookey: Not really
Host: What brought all of you together?
Emmanuel Cookey: Actually, we were course mates. But Sophie dropped out in our second year. So she informed Paul that she would like to come and live with us; that was during our final year.
Host: And I got to know he didn’t inform you all earlier, how did you feel about it? What was your reaction?
Emmanuel Cookey: Well, I was happy to help Sophie; but at least, he should informed us earlier. I still didn’t have any issue with Sophie coming to stay with us though.

Host: Did you have a girlfriend at that time? And how did she feel about a girl in the house, if you did?
Emmanuel Cookey: Nope, I didn’t have any serious date at the moment.
Host: Oh, so was there any sexual tension in the house?
Emmanuel Cookey: How do you mean?
Host: You know living with a girl that’s not your sister is not easy, especially on cold nights (winks). Any attraction, crush or something like that?
Emmanuel Cookey: Yeah… there was this night I was alone with Sophie in the room. like my other roomies were away for the weekend. I had this weird thought of fucking Sophie that night.
Host: Wow wow wow
Emmanuel Cookey: (chuckles) If I had made a move, I think she would have agreed. I think she felt something too.

Host: So what stopped you from making the move?
Emmanuel Cookey: I didn’t want it to make it look as if I was trying to take advantage of her because she was living with us.
Host: Awwnn, that’s so thoughtful of you.
Emmanuel Cookey: Was kinda shy sha.
Host: Oh my God! First time, I’m hearing a guy being shy, because y’all are usually instigators though.

Host: What individual characteristic did you love in each of your roommates?
Emmanuel Cookey: Sophie was very caring. Honour was a clown, like you can’t stay five minutes with him without laughing. Paul Kay was like the father of the house, I actually learnt a lot from him sha.

Host: So, you know that first night when Sophie had to stay, what were your thoughts?
Emmanuel Cookey: On the first night she came, I was kind of tipsy; because we attended a friend’s birthday party. So I took some alcohol, I wasn’t really concerned with what was happening.
Host: OK. If you were asked to share the house with one person, who would it be?
Emmanuel Cookey: Hmm. It’s a hard one though. I’ll pick Sophie.
Host: OK, why?
Emmanuel Cookey: This interview na M.B.B.S exam oo. I just feel she would be a better roomie.
Host: (laughs hard) Well what’s the funniest memory you can remember?
Emmanuel Cookey: We were eating Afang together one day; then I stole the one remaining meat from the soup and laid allegation on Honour’s head. Then Paul sided me.

Host: 😂😂😂, best part is all of you have different views on your favourite memory, giving me a peek into your lives
Emmanuel Cookey: Ok
Host: Who was the weirdest amongst all of you
Emmanuel Cookey: Sophie, very weird most times.
Host: Oh, well, why would you say so? I thought you guys had your moments, like you and her?
Emmanuel Cookey: She usually had mood swings.

Host: So continuing from where we stopped; would there be a reason you would have wanted to change room mates?
Emmanuel Cookey: Nope, they were the best.
Host: Awwnn. What quality did you hate and wished they would change?
Emmanuel Cookey: Paul gets angry easily, he needs to work on that. Honour was kinda lazy. Sophie? hmm… She talks too much and she likes hanging undies on the gate.
Host: (laughs)
Emmanuel Cookey: Yea

Host: Putting aside the fact that you didn’t want it to seem like you were taking advantage of Sophie, if you had the opportunity to shoot your shot at Sophie, would you have done that?
Emmanuel Cookey: Why not? She is a beautiful girl now.
Host: Awwnnn, so I heard of something I termed an in-house protest; where the house was so dirty, you guys had to wear your footwear inside the house at all times.
Emmanuel Cookey: Yeah, No body refused to sweep.

Host: But I got to know you were the first person to give up and clean the house, why?
Emmanuel Cookey: I couldn’t keep up with it. I don’t like dirty environment.
Host: That’s good though.
Emmanuel Cookey: Yea
Host: So if you were to pick three room mates, would you still pick them?
Emmanuel Cookey: Yes, sure. I’ll pick u too though, to make it four.
Host: (smiles) I feel honoured, thank you.
Emmanuel Cookey: You’re welcome.

Host: Finally, if you saw males and females trying to live together what would  be your counsel to them?
Emmanuel Cookey: to live in harmony
Host: OK, thank you so much for your time, and answering all my questions.

WHAT IS LOVE?

So I made this piece yesterday as requested by a client. I wasn’t going to share; normally I don’t share a piece, unless my client permits. Even when she permitted, I didn’t want to share. But on seeing a message I received from someone on WhatsApp, I then decided to share this.

Sometimes, we do wish that there could be a professor of love and romantic related matters. But the truth is, there can never be one. When it comes to love, no one knows it all. Some people learn from their experience; some others, learn from the experience of other people. Most persons also mould their perspective of love on what they see in stories, movies, or even tales from what they hear.

Love is something that has no manual. You know when they say ‘Love is magical’. Truly, it is. It is something that cuts across tribe, religion, race, age. It defies prejudice. But the thing, love is also delusional. It is something that can hurt us without physical harm. It really is one thing that no man can really say to have it all figured out. But to a large extent, love can be learnt as an art.

A lady had told me a fortnight ago, about her lovely boyfriend; only to find out this week that the boyfriend actually told his friends that he’s single. She lashed out, broke up with him and blocked him on all communication media; but the funny thing is, few days later, she regrets it.

Another lady spoke on how she is in a relationship with a guy who seem not to be over his ex. The guy and the ex ended things last year and stopped talking; but he seem to care about her, and she also called him on his birthday. I then asked her, “how did they quit the relationship?”. She said they stopped talking, just stopped talking.

Another guy also complained of how his girlfriend had told him not to piss her off, as she was just managing him. He was complaining of how he wants her to change; but she keeps on telling him that if he can’t keep up, he should walk.

Firstly, I really believe most of the things we overlook due to the euphoria of being in love; are actually the things that finally ruin the relationships.
I’ve also heard some folks say that to enjoy love, one must make sure you’re not the one deeply in love. What do they know? What? Love is not a game!

Don’t overlook what you don’t like.

Don’t love out of pity.

Don’t settle, if you feel someone settled (or managed you), walk out of that relationship.

If your partner isn’t even over his or her ex, and you can’t make him or her stop; walk away.

One should never count someone as his or her soulmate, when you’re not seen as such by the person. Love is mutual. It isn’t one sided.

Life is short for people to be pained. If your relationship is draining much energy from you, walk away. If you’re always saddened about it, walk away. Its better to be single and happy, than be in a relationship where you are pained.

FUNERAL

Its really been a long while, a really long while I flexed my poetic muscles. But with the help of a magician I did it. When last did you drink poetry from my blog? Sit down and enjoy this.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
These, I don’t seem to understand.
The circumstances of life has made me blue.
There’s the good side of life,
There’s the bad side of life.

Dreams becomes nightmares;
Wishes becomes resentments;
Krampus, instead of Santa.
My emotions gets me stranded,
Deadly emotions I speak of.

I visit the cemetery every weekend,
To attend funerals;
Not the funeral of a family or friend,
But the funeral of my emotions.
These deadly emotions, I bury bits by bits.

Deadly emotions that addicts me like wild fun.
Sometimes, I swim in the pool of these deadly emotions;
Other times, I resent these emotions as I refuse to be a pawn.
For how long would I keep visiting the cemetery?
How long would I be a captive longing to be free?

Emotions imprinted on me by events I controlled not;
Emotions I never asked nor requested for.

Today, I take this walk on this narrow runway.
This runway to a course, not one of golf but of graves;
I walk in totters and doubts, as I leave this graveyard;
Hoping this be my last funeral.

Goodbye, deadly emotions!

©ESTHER GEORGE FT PAUL KAY

THE PRICE OF HAPPINESS

Comfort Eke

           Down the streets of Nicholas, there was a four storey building, painted black with a lovely design made with ash and touch of white. The building had a gargage filled with different cars. There was a beautiful garden with lovely flowers of different colours. Some children played around the garden during the evening. Couples occupied the building more than singles but there was something notable about two couples.
        

Clara worked as a Nurse at New heaven Hospital; she was always cheerful and friendly, she loved children so much. Her husband, David; deals on materials and owns a fashion house handled by professional fashion designers. He travels to China to get a lot of materials whenever he has a contract. So this was one of those times when David made those trips to China and Clara was so happy that her husband was coming back so she prepared a special meal. 

“Welcome darling, how was your trip? Did you get all the materials you needed for the contract?” Clara said with glee.

“I’m so tired, Clara and I don’t have strength for small talks”, replied David with little show of care. 

Clara had not been able to give birth to children after 6 years of marriage. She always had fights with David over her childlessness; she felt unloved by her husband because of the fights and misunderstandings over her childlessness.
      

Joseph and Stella, the couple next door; occupied another flat in the building. Joseph owned a bread factory although it wasn’t that big, he was passionate about it. Joseph had married a well known contractor, Stella. Stella was a confident woman but very bossy, she had a bad temper unlike Joseph who was soft tempered. They had two children: Kelvin and Jane. Stella wanted more from Joseph, she was not satisfied with anything he does and she barely had time for their children; she thought he would have taken the job at Chevron. She was usually bitter and judgemental. Joseph felt bad and depressed, constantly wondering why his wife would not accept and love him for who he was?

Clara worked and took care of her husband properly but her husband wanted a child and his disdain towards their situation wasn’t a secret. Stella, on the other hand; had children but she wasn’t satisfied with the man she hado married. Stella had children that she barely gave attention but Clara loved children a lot.

Naturally, humans are not satisfied or content and Life doesn’t give us all we want. Some couples have two girls but they are depressed because they don’t have a male child. Life is too short to get depressed over what you don’t have. Life gets more fulfilling when you start being grateful and thankful for what you have. Everything you have is on someone’s prayer list. Let’s be more grateful and Life will be easier. Always remember that being grateful is a great price for happiness.
        

ABOUT TO WED, BUT SHE IS OLDER; DO I GO AHEAD?

Steve had come to this orientation camp, with the aim of being oriented for his national youth service corps scheme only. It was supposed to be three weeks of extreme stress and fun too; well it was, but Steve met Onome. Onome ticked every box Steve had ever made in his head; with her, he had imagined their first daughter. Their love was the envy of many on camp. Some girls wanted Steve, some guys wanted Onome; but they stuck together. Onome had actually taught Steve how to stick to one person; they grew in love everyday.

Steve was sure he was going to get married to Onome; they grew fonder of each other as time went on. Steve could perceive Onome’s fragrance anywhere and know she’s around. When Onome was on stage for any performance she knew Steve’s assuring eyes was on her, cheering her up. They developed this telepathic connection; and one night, the night before they were to leave; they both discovered Onome was older. Steve appeared not to be much bothered about it, but Onome was bothered; really bothered about this.

She is an African woman; that must have had her dream man all the while, and of course his dream age. So what then happens to them; do they call it quits and move on to their separate ways?

Maryam Sanni, a graduate of biomedical engineering from Bells University of Technology, Nigeria; who enjoys reading and having intellectual discussions on diverse topics ranging from politics, feminism, etc. had a lot to say when quizzed on this

In her words, “Personally, I’d prefer to date someone a little bit older than me. But if the person is say one or two years younger, I could; if they are mature enough in all aspects”. She went on further to say that it’d be irresponsible of her not to have asked about age to the point of marriage but she’d go on with it. In her words, “that would be irresponsible of me but let’s assume this happens; I’d go on with it. Age is the stupidest thing to break up with someone for. Someone I was prepared to marry, that means he must have checked every other thing I wanted”.

When quizzed further on her opinion on women looking older as time went on, she disagreed; stating that, “It depends on how the woman takes care of her self; some people be 30 and act like they are 20 and the other way round too. It’s just our society and the patriarchal system we operate; where the man is seen as the head, coupled with the fact that respect is earned, based on age. How then can the head who should be respected, be younger?”

Her last statement got to me. It really did; let’s try another person now. This time, a male!

RICHARD DAPPA; known to some as Freetivation, a writer and a published author, born and raised with the gift of writing in the city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A graduate of chemical engineering who hopes that one day his pen would be enough to see him drop the spanner and test tube; also had a lot to say….

His first words, “Yes bro, we are not in 1985 anymore bro, Age is nothing but a number. If I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her and if she finds me worthy to be her king; then why do I say no because she is older. In the Bible, there is no law that votes against it”.

I must admit I was startled by his response; and felt I needed to quiz him further. So, I asked him; what then happens when age comes on the both of you?

He replied, “The problem is you people see love to be an appearance something. You said for better and for worse; a lot of us say it, but we don’t know what it means. You don’t love despite or because, you just love. I love you not for your face or your skin color or your smile or the way you talk or your character traits even if they all make up you; I love you and that should be it.

Wow! Was I satisfied? I wanted to dig more; there are other Steves and Onome out there, you know… So I bothered another lady, Peace Edinyang (Esq).

PEACE EDINYANG an outspoken young lawyer, chef and vlogger; with huge culinary skills from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria; lends her voice too.

In her lullaby-like accented voice, she spoke: “Okay, that’s why whenever I meet you; I like, wanna know about you first. Before I think of getting into a relationship with you; I ask for your age, your family background, your religion; you know all those things are very essential. Not when I’ve already fallen deep into it and then I come to realize that we’re not compatible in one way or the other. So personally I cannot, I don’t know why, I just cannot. I just feel he should be older than me because I’m a very stubborn person, trust me; and if I now get to realize that you’re younger…..”

Wow! you could say she is quite the outspoken one right? yeah, I’d agree. I then asked her, “What If your friend comes to you for counsel; what do you tell her?”

Her response: “I would tell that person, it depends on his or her belief or what he or she likes. to be honest, I cannot give someone advice as regards this particular thing; cos I’d be speaking for my personal opinion.

Wow! you think that was stern? Let’s take another male.

SAMUEL ABAGA , third of six siblings, a native of Egbema in Rivers State,Nigeria. An entrepreneur and graduate of University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria; actually had an equally stern response.

His response, “No, honestly from my angle. I for one, I don’t fancy it. Secondly, I have all the maturity I would need from an older girl. Lastly, older girls feel on top; they sometimes pose threats of intimidating you, cause they are older.

Wow! I guess, the’s whom most of us would term the typical African man.

Another male, an adventurous man who loves challenge; electrical engineer by profession, EtINOSA EVBUOMWAN; had a few to quip in when quizzed for his opinion, opined that it depends on the gap whilst admitting it is a very dicy one. He further stated that she has to be more than worth it and he has to know its for ever.

According to him, “It boils down to you and your partner, the love you share and the depth of the love. Well, considering the fact that we’ve spent time enough to attempt to get married; we’d have to relive all the moments we’ve had and see how things can be better going forward. You know you’re older than me, so what can possibly change? We’d have to spend some more time together, to see if we both can compromise; because it’s easier said than done, some women might now see themselves as the head and can shut you up in-between disagreements. Some will still surrender to your supremacy. So like I said there’d be a long talk and if we are both willing, all fine; If there are doubts, I move.

Another female, HAMIDA MOHAMMED voiced out loudly, “Nooooooo (smiling), I like guys older than me. I rather marry someone older than me with thirty years, than to marry someone I’m older than. I don’t like childish guys”.

After reading through all of this; I am sure Onome and Steve would have come on a conclusion. But, if there was anything I learnt today; twas that I’d not be the one to give them the final verdict.

If you know anyone with a similar case, feel free to share this post to same person. Also, you can also drop your piece of advice on the comment box for anyone who’d be very grateful.

Have a nice day!