Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Viscious Cycle....

Babs was a friend, yes, at a point we were more than friends, and we shared our secrets. He told me how he lost his virginity to his househelp at the age of 11, I was just 16 then and I found this revelation funny rather than sad, he joked about how the incident turned him into a randy young man. We grew up, we grew apart, I watched him satify his sexual desires all the time blaming that incident of years back, Now he's married and all I pray for is that he becomes a better man, a loving husband and a great dad.

Chisom is 12, a pretty, jovial high school student. Segun is a 30-something year old lawyer, who lives in the same appartment building with Chisom's parents. I dont know where his head was that fateful day he sent Chisom on an errand to buy something for him, but it definitely wasnt in the right place. She came back from the errand, he locked his door and raped her, her Kid sister kept screaming and banging on his door, but this wasnt enough to get hom to stop this sickening act. She ran to the police once the ordeal was over, and after much interrogation, he confessed, putting the blame on the devil (typical). One would think it was a clear cut case, Segun would be tried and arrested, but no, Chisom's parents refuse to press charges. "Its too much of an ordeal for her, we cant allow her to keep relieving the details, our system is messed up, what if Segun bribes the police men, then what case do we have?". Chisom is scarred, she's a strong girl so yes, I believe she would overcome this, but my heart is sick, I'm hoping her parents get her professional help. Segun....that monster is free, Yes the tenants had him kicked out of the apartment, but what about the kids in the next house he would move into?

Tare, the cute and chubby 5year old, the innocent young girl with a heart full of love, told the child psychologist how much she hated Ayo, the 20-something year old dog handler that had been working with her dad for months now. She drew a picture of her family all with smiling faces, and when the psycholigist asked her about the dog minder, she drew another stick figure with a sad face and painted his heart black ( actually never knew we had child psychologists in Nigeria till now). This young player, who had young girls flocking around him, decided to use a 5year old for his debasing desires. He held her firm on the bed pulled down her underwear and kept rubbing against her until he ejaculated. Joy, the househelp heard the cries and kept trying to break down the locked door without success (He finally ran out of the room when Joy began to scream for the neighbours). He is still at large, but the parents have sworn to bring him to book, even if it takes everything they have.

These acts have been, are and would still be, and as I look at my daughter, I'm asking God to watch over her and protect her in those moments that I cant.

How can we potect our children, even relatives have been know to molest nieces and nephews, so where are they safe? Please Mothers, Fathers, Aunties, Uncles, what measures do you take to keep your wards safe, what signs do you look out for?

PS: Although these cases are true, Names have been changed to protect the identities of concerned persons
Posted on 9:45 AM | Categories:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Still Cruising....Its not how fast

I first noticed him as I eased into third-mainland Bridge from Ikoyi axis. His horn was shrill and made my skin crawl, he flashed his light impatiently at me and for a brief second I was confused.

 I looked at my speedometer; it showed I was moving at 100kmph, so I shrugged him off as being impatient and kept looking ahead. He swerved to my right, slightly missing an okada*, who in turn swerved in quick reaction to avoid being hit; I giggled as the okada* rider spread out his five fingers abusively and rained out word of insult after him. 

Thankfully the road ahead was free, I should be home in about an hour, I thought happily to myself. It had been one of those days when I take a look at my life and wonder at how far away I still am from where I hoped to be. Yes life was good, but in four days, I’d be 30 and well, there were still loose ends.  As much as my business was progressing, it wasn’t stable enough for me to resign from my paid job. A good friend had asked me to resign and watch things take a turn, but, I just wasn’t so convinced yet.

HONK! HONK! The annoying horn cut into my thoughts, I checked my rear-view mirror and noticed that the recipient of my “friends” impatient act this time was a BRT bus. I ignored him, and changed lanes. He followed my lead and on seeing a danfo* bus in front of me, he quickly swerved to my left and overtook me. I noticed that the danfo* was a bit slow, and thought of following my “friend” but then I noticed that the cars to the left were also slow, so I waited a bit (for the road to be free), swerved to the right, overtook the danfo and I was home free again. For kicks I searched out my friend in my rear view and saw him still struggling for a way out as the slow vehicles hemmed him in.
This scenario repeated itself twice before I pulled over at Oworonshoki to drop off a colleague, both occasions; he would swiftly overtake me only to get hemmed in as a result of uncalculated choices and impatience. As he passed by me, my “friend” honked and flashed me a thumbs up and a salute, I smiled as the thought hit me, “indeed the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.”(Ecc 9:11)

It's not always about how fast we go, but about the paths we take to get to our destination, I went at a slower pace, but hit the mark (Oworonshoki) before my friend who for most of the journey must have hit 120kmph and above. The rest of the journey, I spent time relieving all the lessons I had garnered in my almost 30 years. Yes I might not have hit the mark I hoped but Lord knows, every path had taught me how to be the best me for the mark I am soon to hit.

Like the lyrics from the Walt Disney soundtrack* “Whatever road looks way too far, It's not what you have, It's who you are”. So relish the race, no matter how “slow”, and you should know my friend...slow is just a relative term 

..Dying to live
Living to try
Feet on the ground
Dreams in the sky
It's never how much you have
It's who you are 

Okada - Local term for commercial motorbike
Danfo - Local term for commercial bus