So Tired

     lazy

I would have tagged this as A-Z of life’s lessons but they are more of the things that sometimes put me in a state of exasperation. Enjoy!

I am so tired of Agbero’s always littering the major bus stops centers with swear words and illegal professionalism.

So tired of BACHELORS’S DEGREE so difficult to match the stress and frustration of getting one to its end value.

so tired of culture, same old same old, we never give room for change and progression.

So tired of dreams enjoy it while it last and wake up to the real world feeling so depressed

So tired of etiquette makes life so boring.

So tired of EDUCATION, you spend the first 20 years of   your life  learning to be a success but in the end, it’s survival of the fittest just for the favored and others…well, live with frustration.

So tired of first class, people make a big deal about it. You struggle, sometimes cheat or lie to get/attain it and now I hate the fact that we wasted time trying.

So tired of heart breaks, why must I even fall in love in the first place and find myself becoming someone’s yesterday.

So tired of hustling can’t there be another way to be rich and successful?

So tired I.T. a time of our lives when we find ourselves in cooperate idleness.Addictions to Facebook,twitter etc. is not far fetched  and little or no take home pay attached except for those you have to pocket on every errand sent on.

So tired of jacking, we have being taught overtime that the main aim is to cram, pass and forget?  So why stress it?

So tired of kabashing with high expectations of a miracle- a fast one at that; but overtime it has taught me to trust in God for everything.

So tired of looking good, why can’t you just wear what you feel like anytime anywhere, anyhow?

So tired of Maga’s, hard work pays and it is legal….well so our parents said and it worked for them. So why plan to spend the next prime of your life behind bars?

So tired of making money after all said and done you may not live to spend a quarter of what you bruised your knee for.

So tired of Nigerian youths they are just too purpose driven -just too diversified, creative, smart, intelligent and sometimes broke(whether for a wrong or right reason). But trust me you dare not think you can compete with them and win because you might end up losing.

So tired of okada riders (commercial motorcyclist).Those people are assassins without being hired (it’s a voluntary work for them)

. So tired of parties it just increases the worries of the future, trust me even Hennessy cannot help this time. It’s all vain.

So tired of Queues...mehn! The thought of it alone is frustrating. If you need to learn how to insult people, look nowhere else….

So tired of relationships. I mean why can’t i just find someone who is close to me or i have a thing for, live together and the rest of our lives our business. Instead of following procedures of dating—going out- introduction-engagement-wedding- it’s just frustrating.

So tired of relatives, you only see their green light in December

So tired of schenking (cheating) even when the Holy Book says DO NOT CHEAT!

So tired of Xs the thought of making up after a long time of seeing them and telling yourself”oh I’ve missed a lot”. Come on…. Toni Braxton has made it clear-they are so YESTERDAY.

So tired of Zzzzzzzzzzzzz and waking up from where you stopped life’s journey.

                                                                                                                                                 

#Jasmine

PS: most of the terms used are colloquial Nigerian words. check out their meanings below:

Agbero : A word used to describe street thugs.

I.T: short for Industrial Training. a period when under graduates work in various companies to garner experience in chosen field of study.

Jacking: A term used to describe the process of reading or studying hard. Especially academic related work.

Kabashing:  Used to express intense prayer.

Maga: A term used to describe an illegal business.

Okada: Commercial Motorcyclist in Nigeria

Schenking: A term used to describe cheating in a relationship.

Quote

THINK…

     think

More than 600,000 women die due to childbirth or pregnancy related complications around the world annually. Nigeria is solely responsible for close to 10% of that figure. Africa has the highest maternal mortality ratio with an estimated average of 800 deaths per every 100,000 births. The estimated average maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, however, is 1,000 for every 100,000 births, but this figure varies according to regions of the country. Maternal mortality is much higher in the North Eastern region of Nigeria, accounting for 75% of the country’s maternal deaths , compared to the South East and South West regions and  we seem not to be bothered maybe because we might not have had a primary situation of maternal death in our families. But what if it happens to us .THINK…

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) indicated that most of the victims of maternal deaths are women between the ages of 15 and 45. After India, Nigeria is said to have the second highest maternal death rate in the world – 52,000 Nigerian women die every year. Unsafe methods of childbirth cause on average the death of 144 Nigerian women. This means that every 10 minutes one Nigerian woman dies due to childbirth and pregnancy related issues.  THINK… Now is the time to discuss the causes and Governmental responses to Nigeria’s high maternal mortality rate and realise that it is a clear reflection of women citizens’ national status.

What causes high maternal mortality rates in Nigeria?

Some of the common causes of maternal mortality include: haemorrhage; infection; eclampsia; obstructed birth; bleeding; hypertension; unsafe abortions; malaria infection during pregnancy; and female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C). Two of the major causes, namely FGM/C and the medical condition known as eclampsia, will be discussed here.

Globally, approximately 120 million women and girls have fallen victim to FGM/C. FGM/C is commonly performed on girls between the ages of 4 and 12, however in certain cultures it may be performed on girls just after birth or prior to marriage. In Nigeria, FGM/C is still practiced for reasons including tradition, religion, the belief that it is more hygienic for women, the maintenance of virginity, morality, as well as a better chance to get married. Mothers force their daughters to undergo the procedure to safeguard them from being banished and disgraced from their community. FGM/C is more prevalent in Nigeria’s urban but mostly rural areas in the North-Eastern parts and the alterations to female genitalia during the process often interfere with the process of giving birth. FGM/C drastically reduces the birth canal’s normal functions and women who have undergone the procedure can die from the severe bleeding and infections caused by the tears that result from giving birth. According to a Nigerian midwife, Chief Muratu Adebayo, women who have undergone the procedure have greater difficulties during labour compared to women who have not. FGM/C’s interference with the female reproductive organs is a major contributor to the country’s high maternal mortality rate.

Eclampsia is the most common cause of maternal mortality in Northern Nigeria, while haemorrhage and unsafe abortions are the most common causes of maternal mortality in South Nigeria. Eclampsia is characterised by convulsions that appear in a person with high blood pressure and protein in their urine, and is regarded as an acute life threatening complication of pregnancy. It may appear prior to, during or shortly after labour. If eclampsia appears following labour in Northern Nigeria, it is often treated with certain harmful traditional practices such as “hot bath” or swallowing of Kunun Kanwa, which is salt from a lake and very rich in sodium. Women who suffer from this condition have epileptic form convulsions, headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, liver and kidney failure. Due to the lack of or low levels of education in rural regions of Nigeria, pregnant women who display the symptoms of eclampasia are often believed to be possessed by evil spirits. The ill women are usually put in the care of a traditional healer, which delays their access to medical treatment and often causes death.

The Nigerian Government Seem to show limited efforts to stop FGM/C, the fact that it leaves so many people uneducated about healthcare for pregnant women, and the lack of modern, accessible medical services for women everywhere, shows that women’s health and therefore women as citizens and indeed mothers of the nation, do not rank very high on the list of national concerns.

Take healthcare to mothers’ homes

Nationally, nearly 45% of Nigerian women and 95% of women from Northern Nigeria give birth in their homes with the assistance of traditional healers, mainly due to the fact that they do not have access to modern professional health care services and poverty enabling them not to pay for medical bills. Breakthrough medication known as Misoprostol was recently launched in Nigeria by health agencies with the aim of making home childbirth safe. Its main advantage is its ability to stop bleeding almost instantaneously, thus allowing women to deliver their children without assistance from professional medical staff.

The Population and Reproductive Health Partnership, which includes the University of California Berkley and Venture Strategy innovations, and Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria, has established a training and awareness programme to educate communities on the correct use of Misoprostol. Dr. Ndola Prata of Venture Strategies Innovations praised the drug’s ability to resolve Prevention of Postpartum Haemorrhage (PPH), stop excessive bleeding during childbirth and prevent bleeding complications following labour. Misoprostol is fairly simple to administer: three tablets should be ingested after labour. However, the Federal Government has limited its distribution to medical centres and the medication is administered exclusively by medical practitioners. Dr. Prata has urged the Federal Government to reconsider its policy and allow women from rural communities the opportunity to administer Misoprostol themselves in their own homes, as this would significantly reduce maternal mortality in the country.

Midwives and health centres are essential

Hajiya Hajara, Special Assistant to the Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda, has noted that the recorded increase in the maternal mortality rate may be attributed to an inadequate health care system. She stated that a lack of experienced staff, adequate medication and medical equipment in Nigerian health centres is part of the reason for the country’s increase in maternal mortality rate. Governor Yuguda’s administration established Bauchi State Primary Health Care Agency with the aim to deliver specialised and proficient primary health care services to the Nigerian population, specifically those people in the rural areas. This agency focuses on controlling HIV & AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, as well as other pregnancy and childbirth-related diseases, all in order to decrease the country’s maternal mortality rate. The fact remains, however, that substantial Governmental investment in the establishment of many more health centres and healthcare staff across the country would be an investment not only in women as mothers, but ultimately also in their families and the well-being of every citizen.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) recently organised a Training of Trainers Workshop on Life Saving Skills for Midwives after which 2,819 midwives were deployed to 652 primary health care facilities in all 36 states of Nigeria, including Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria. Midwives were trained on life saving skills, childhood illnesses, as well as educating the mothers on how to use the “mama” kits, each of which contain a health book to document their health information. The distribution of trained midwives across all regions of Nigeria, urban and rural, can drastically reduce the rate of maternal and infant mortality.

Prevention is better than cure

Most definitely, prevention is better than cure and one possible prevention strategy is family planning. At the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994, 179 countries agreed that reproductive rights are human rights, and that sexual health is a component of reproductive health. They collectively called for universal access to reproductive health services such as family planning by 2015; they envisioned equality between men and women in respect to reproductive decision-making, thereby promoting voluntary choice in determination of number and timing of children; and they endorsed freedom from sexual violence, coercion, discrimination and other harmful practices. According to Werner Harug, Director of Technical Division at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), “family planning is the best documented practice to reduce maternal mortality.” He further commented that maternal mortality rates may be decreased by 40% if women and men had access to the latest contraceptives.

Janet Museveni, First Lady of Uganda, considers family planning an effective, existing, and low cost prevention strategy. Family planning involves educating and assisting couples in planning for their next child while the mother recuperates from the prior childbirth and pregnancy. This prevention strategy decreases maternal mortality by encouraging parents to avoid pregnancies that are premature, unplanned, too close together, or too delayed. She urges men to support their women partners during pregnancies and discuss pregnancy related issues co-dependently. Our beloved Government of Nigeria should adopt this prevention strategy in all her States, as it could only reduce maternal and infant mortality rates among her citizens.

Education is considered another important factor in reducing maternal mortality. Women’s education should be  highly prioritised so that their life course may exist more independently of men. Women who are educated will choose to attain medical attention from professionals during pregnancy, as well as gain knowledge about what to do and what to avoid during childbirth and the pregnancy period. “By educating a woman you empower her to make decisions to take care of herself.”

Nigerian churches have recently started becoming more involved in the provision of healthcare to women, but Dr. Ezechi Oliver Chekwujekwu, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), expressed concern about churches becoming involved specifically in childbirth. He urged churches to employ professionals and equip themselves with appropriate equipment, as well as to provide sanitary conditions in cases where they wish to provide maternal services on their premises. He further recommended that the Government abolishes all unorthodox traditional places that women go to give birth and rather promote hospitals. He feels that the Government needs to focus on sensitisation and awareness campaigns in order to battle maternal mortality in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Government’s efforts

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) number 4 and 5 are targeted at reducing global maternal mortality by 2015; however Nigeria has not made notable progress toward achieving these goals yet. The Nigerian Government’s interest in curbing this problem is evident, however. In mid-June 2009, for example, the Nigerian Government assisted with the ‘Nigerian NGOs Workshop towards a Consolidated Role as Maternal, Newborn and Child Health advocates,’ which was held in Abuja. The programme was also made possible by cooperation between ACCESS (access to Clinical and Community Maternal, Neonatal and Women’s Health Services), JHPIEGO (John Hopkins Programme for International Education in Gynaecology and Obstetrics). The country’s Government and these organisations agreed that primary health care facilities need to be sufficiently equipped and that Government needs to increase funding of the health sector in order to decrease maternal and infant mortality.

To reduce maternal mortality, Kaduna State Government has begun distributing free medication, treated mosquito nets, vector chemicals, anti-sceptics, sanitary pads, cotton wool, needles, syringes and detergents to pregnant women and women with children below the age of five. Kano State Ministry of Health (KSMOH) representatives, Alh Tajudden Gambo and Dr. Ashiru Rajab, in association with the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) Nigeria, organised a meeting with civic society leaders and business and political leaders with the aim of reducing maternal mortality in Nigeria. During the meeting, Dr. Suleiman Sani Wali, a representative of the Kano State Hospitals Management Board, put forward a draft of the Free Integrated Maternal and Child Health Bill (FIMCH), which aims to enhance access to appropriate health care facilities to pregnant women and thus decrease maternal mortality.

Prioritise caregivers by prioritising maternal healthcare

Maternal mortality is an important issue that affects the citizens of developing countries on a daily basis. Governments should join forces with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations (UN) and local organisations to curb the current high numbers. The media should also become more involved in creating awareness of life-threatening conditions that pregnant women are exposed to during pregnancy and at the time of labour, not only in Nigeria, but across Africa where this problem thrives. In addition, organisations such as Action Health Incorporated (AHI), Society for Family Health (SFH), the Campaign Against Unwanted Pregnancy (CAUP), the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Grassroots Health Organisation of Nigeria (GHON) and the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) should be funded by the World Bank in order to reduce maternal mortality rate in Nigeria .

The state of women’s health inevitably ripples through their communities and it is a shame that Governments in Africa do not allocate more funds to support the reproductive health of their female citizens. In fact, if fewer millions were spent on ‘recreative’ events and flashy parties, much more would be available to care for the women who form the very heart of African society. THINK….

culled and edited.

#Jasmine.

100% On Governance- Nothing Less

 

IMG_0995A Nigerian Girl speaks!

As a child growing up in Nigeria, the folklores I heard, the stories told, the songs that were taught to me by my mother and grandmother, and the dance styles that showed the true essence of a Nigerian woman made me eager to become a woman. But as the years went by, the stories changed, the songs became faint, the dances disappeared and the food became stale. The faces that once brought smiles now bring tears and reasons to be disillusioned. What went wrong in Nigeria and Africa?  In the past, girls in Africa were seen as a waste of time and a burden to their societies. Our rights have been infringed upon one too many times and our cultures are partly to blame for such situations. Then I discovered that behind the smile, behind the dances, behind the story, is a girl that cries all day looking for whom to speak for her. We tend to forget that girl children are tomorrow’s women who will in turn produce the future leaders of Nigeria. Whatever they have received is what they will in turn give back. Although there have been some improvements regarding the ways girls and women are viewed in African societies, the changes that have occurred have been very minimal. There are many governmental issues that serve as setbacks to the strides made to girls’ and women’s situations. In order for a girl child to be the light and an agent of change in her society, certain infrastructures have to be in place. Some of the problems are:

Lack of girl child education

It is said that if you educate the girl child, you educate a generation and if you do not, the reverse will be the case thereby leading to mass illiteracy. In the northern part of Nigeria, the need for the girl child to be married by age 12 prevents the girl from continuing her education. Girls are exposed to many sexually transmitted diseases, VVF and/or death. When her children begin to reach puberty, she is unaware of the changes that occur in their bodies and lacks the necessary information about their sexual health. Furthermore, she does not know how to talk to her girl children about their sexual and reproductive health needs. As a result of this, young girls seek advice from inexperienced friends and opportunistic males, increasing her risk of exposure to HIV and other sexually related illnesses. Also, in some rural communities female genital mutilation seems to be the order of the day as many teenage girls stream into their local herbalist’s clinic with their mothers and community women by their side. Baseless superstitions designed to prevent girls from engaging in premarital sexual practices serve as the primary reasons behind young women’s insistence on genital mutilation.  All these problems happen while our government fold their hands and do NOTHING.

In light of the aforementioned issues, the importance of female empowerment and girl child education cannot be overemphasized.  Most times women do not even have the right to determine the decisions regarding their reproductive health. In some communities, women and girls are denied access to contraceptives and/or information about family planning. Some of these communities view family planning as evil and ungodly. Finally, women and girls in these communities also contend with poor access to obstetric care.

Poverty                                                                                                            

The effects of poverty are seen everywhere in most parts of our communities. It was recently reported that a village community in Bayelsa, Nigeria has been encouraging girls at the age of puberty and below to go into commercial sex work as a means to care for their family members. Every time such actions are encouraged, a girl child is sacrificed on the altar of poverty. These family members do not care about what happens to these girls while they are on the streets; their primary concern is that their selfish desires are being met.  When some of the girls become pregnant, they attempt to abort the pregnancy using techniques that are detrimental to their health.  In addition, poverty has also landed many girls into child labour.  My spirit cries when I see girls of my age and under, who should be in school hawking on the streets. I often ponder what becomes of these young women- what if they are killed, raped, kidnapped or even used for rituals? Is anyone listening to the voices that cry out from the various parts of our country? A time has come for us to speak up and say NO MORE! It is time for the government to listen to us.

Our beloved government of Nigeria, girls do not want to listen to sweet words from the mouths of our leaders about how beautiful we are.  All we want is good governance so that our dreams may be realized. We want to be heard! We need 100% commitment from the government on health related issues, information and services, not just for us but for our children and those yet unborn. We need your commitment on the promotion of women’s rights.   What legacy would you want to leave knowing you have a daughter, niece, sister and friend? I do not think that this is too much to ask from the GIANT OF AFRICAthe land where leaders emerge from the wombs of women……..

Leave Her Alone!

I still cannot believe what I did. How could i be so mean? She really loved to be around me and was proud to call me her friend. I mean, she’s just too young for such a trauma and I shouldn’t have betrayed her. She trusted me for everything………

My family and I were used to moving from one state to another and yet again, it was time to move to the north. Though my siblings and I were used to not being stable in a school but this movement came all of a sudden.

Hadiza happened to be the daughter of mallam Hamza the sweet seller who owned a mini, tattered and smelly kiosk across our house (but it didn’t bother him – it was just to make ends meet). Hadiza was pretty ma age mate or I was a little older. She seemed to be very fond of me that whenever I returned from school she always came out of their kiosk with so much eagerness and expectant to hear an interesting gist that happened in my school (whether fabricated or not) since she attended an Islamic school very close to the house and to her there was barely anything new happening each day that passes. Lest i forget, Hadiza loves beads. She  actually inspired my love for beads because no matter how torn and smelly her clothes looked, there was always the right bead for it and she was willing to make some for me whether I was in the mood for it or not. She also was good at filling her hands with sweets from mallam Hamza’s shop all for me. Humm…I loved her. We got used to having her around   my house and that prompted the idea of letting out my clothes especially dresses, which I dreaded to wear except for Sundays or when my mother enforces them on me. On the other hand, Hadiza loved to wear dresses; easy way to let go of my dresses and truth was she loved me more for letting them go.

As time went on, she became my best friend but one day, I had a couple of my school friends come around to sleep over for the weekend. Hadiza came around but this time she really needed to talk to me but I was ashamed to show her to ma friends for fear of them making fun of me. She left my house sad and so I was. Sad because i made her less important in my life; I never knew I would never have an opportunity to see her again. How could I have sent out a girl who knew me for who I was? I was eagerly waiting for the weekend to be over for me to find out what or why she came around.

The new week began and i couldn’t wait to see her. I really was burning with guilt and I needed to make every wrongs right; but unfortunately her mom gave me the shocker of my life.  In her words, she said: “Hadiza e go husband house for kano”. WHAT!!!! She’s just 12. She can’t be married!!! I guess that was what she wanted to tell me before leaving. I also heard the wedding was that afternoon she came around.OMG! I guess that was what she needed me to know- I really felt I sold my friend out for no cause.

Few years down, I gained admission into the university which meant I had to be away from home for a while but at that, even while I was at school thoughts of her kept coming to me, how she was fairing. The holidays came and I just couldn’t wait to find out about her were about. I got home and her mom again told me she was already with kids but she has been ill for a while due to the complications she faced during delivery. And she was going to be the 8th wife of this so-called business man! I was not able to see my friend but i ponder on when the problem of early marriage would end in Nigeria. There are many people like Hadiza who never survived their first child. It’s about time we stand up to defend these young girls from untimely death. It’s about time…..

#ChildnotBride

Face Of Leadership

 

face leader

According to the oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, to lead means to influence actions or opinions of somebody. A leader directs controls or guides somebody or people on a quest to be achieved.

Leadership refers to the ability to be a leader that guides and directs his/her followers on a “ship” particularly, a course of action. We however ask ourselves.” who is this face of leadership?” Permit me to be a little metaphorical. a face of leadership is that which consist of eyes with a good vision to see a goal to be achieved, eyes  that see the impossible as possible, the unusual as usual, and the abnormal as normal. It just means seeing things especially a given task from a different perspective or picture. A face whose ears listen to people both young and old and does not see anybody’s idea as useless even though it may not be needed at that particular time, whose nostrils perceive things of great worth, whose mouth speaks the truth and refuse to compromise no matter what happens. a heart that thinks of integrity, fulfillment of purpose, success as a collective responsibility and takes every blame of failure. Understanding issues instead of jumping into conclusion- heart that is passionate about the needs of others, resilient in character, driven by the zeal to succeed. a heart  sees humility as the only way to total fulfillment, a heart so full of compassion and love for his/her followers. a face with a smile that reminds members and followers that “if they can think it, then they can do it”.finally,that face is Loyal to his/her duties, Excellent   in all endeavors, always willing to achieve and work with  Excellence no matter the challenges. a face that is accountable and diligent, willing to cause a change through integrity not only in  the society we live in but in the world at large. a face that sees every stumbling block as a stepping stone to greatness. That my friend is the kind of leadership we should yearn for a nation. Remember that this change begins with you and i. If our fathers failed then we need to prove to them how they failed and show them how true leadership should be like. Like I said earlier, you cannot give rules to people when you don’t abide by them: all I am saying is that true leadership begins with you.

#Jasmine