We are the same.?

The sight of blood used to make her queasy, And then yesterday, there was a picture on Facebook of dead, mangled bodies, blood splattered everywhere, insides all out like an animal to be cleaned.

And she lingered, and looked and examined the picture, from all angles, and she didn’t feel queasy, or sick, or irritated.

She felt satisfaction.

They were Boko-haram.
They kill hundreds, and thousands of people and enjoy it and feel satisfaction.

So, is she really different from them?

Or is that the point?
Do they essentially just want to turn us all into insane blood-craving vampires? If that’s the case, then someone should tell them its done, we’re there now. We crave their blood, heads and gory insides like we crave food.
We want to dance all over their mangled, broken bodies. And we know we’ll feel no remorse.

But that isn’t right, right?


©Adeola Matemilola 2017

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Nigeria Unite? (Who else is tired of the ethnic “drama”?)

This is a post I originally put up on 15/03/2014 but it still rings true today. As we begin a brand new chapter in the story of Nigeria with a brand new president, why don’t we take the opportunity to begin a brand new chapter in what it means to be Nigerian.

I once heard a preacher say that in a marriage, you should never wonder if your partner is cheating because it is none of your business, instead of spending time worrying about what they might be doing, you should spend your time on being the best partner you can be, do your part and do it well. Because the fact is that, if you keep wondering about it, whether or not they’re doing it, you’ll start to react sort of negatively towards them eventually.

I think this can be applied to Nigerians, a friend once told me that Nigeria was not meant to be one country and it is simply an invention, but whatever the case, we are one now and it is up to us to make it work. This can only happen when we stop suspecting the next person of something just because they’re of a different tribe, when we stop assuming that just because we don’t speak the same language, they won’t be nice to us. Many of us have never actually experienced these things, we just work off of the stories and insinuations we’ve heard over and over. Let’s simply work on being the best version of us we can be.
Just like in all human interaction, be kind. Always.


In a class a few days ago, the teacher asks, “of the 3 major ethnic groups in Nigeria, which one has the highest percentage in Abuja?”… an argument starts among the Nigerians in class, the arguments ranged from, “Abuja does not belong to anybody” to “it depends on which part of Abuja you go to”
In another class, the teacher asks us to each select an on-going violent conflict to write a research paper on, and one Nigerian boy asks if he can write about Boko-Haram in Nigeria but the teacher says no, you cannot write about a conflict going on in an area where you are from and this boy, with almost equal parts of pride and maybe, disgust in his tone and body language responds “I’m not from there, I’m from the South of Nigeria”

Do I even have to tell you the teacher looked a tad confused?

Honesty, in both classes, I felt a strong urge to just scream, maybe the urge was a little stronger in the former actually.
But seriously, people!!! Why do we fight over everything? Do we ever feel like one people? Does being Nigeria mean anything?
Most “Nigerians” now feel more igbo, or hausa, or yourba or jukun before they feel Nigerian, if they even feel that at all.
When we meet people, why is asking what state in Nigeria they come from one of the first questions we ask, are we asking just to know them better or do we judge them based on that information?

Most of the conflicts in the world today are within countries, citizens fighting and killing each other for reasons such as ethnic, religious or political differences… do we really just want to live in a world where its just people that live and think exactly like us? Wouldn’t that be kinda boring? Or isn’t that the end game of killing people who oppose us or are different or pray to God in a different manner or speak a different language? We’re looking to get rid of anyone who’s different to us, right?
A friend said to me recently that all conflict is built on a foundation of pride and selfishness. I don’t know.
I know that ethnic differences and conflicts are not peculiar to Nigeria. It just saddens me the most.

There’s no real point to this post actually, except to throw out some of these burning questions that play over and over in my head. Maybe someone out there has some answers that can help me sleep better. Because let me tell you, these are some of the questions that keep me up at night.

And please, my dear Nigerians, the next time you meet another Nigerian, when you get the urge to ask, “what state are you from?”, ask yourself, “why do I really need to know that right now?”


©Adeola Matemilola 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Same pain…different sides

Maybe this is none of my business.
Maybe I’m too far removed from it to have an opinion.
But I do… these are people just like me,
These are black people just like me,
Am I finally the luckier one of us because I was born and raised in my own native country,
Did I get the better deal because I cannot be shot down or choked out because of my skin colour,
I wonder, do they envy me my “freedom”, “poverty”, high-illiteracy rate”, “power outage”…
I wonder, would they trade places with me?
Then it occurs to me that there are so many young men in my country who would happily trade places,
Who would criticize the need to complain about a few people getting killed or locked up once in a while,
Then it occurs to me how humans simply live in perspectives or perceptions, we’re greedy and selfish, too self-involved
Because this is what they know… illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, government corruption, boko-haram
In their minds, this is the worst life could ever be
It couldn’t possibly get any worse than this, can it?

But imagine the husband, father, brother, son, whose only crime was breaking up a fight,
Imagine the young boy whose only crime was jaywalking,
Imagine the young boy whose only crime was going to the store after 1am,
Imagine the young mother whose only crime was firing warning shots to scare off the assailant that attacked her while she was walking home with her son,
Imagine a life where black young boys learn how to hide from the police before they learn to read; learnt that “snitching” to the police is not acceptable,
Imagine a life where a police car driving by feels like when the music stops in a game of musical chairs,
Imagine a life where young black boys are forced to grow up before they should; getting ready for a war that they know will eventually reach them,

It scares me to think about how another young black man in America could get killed tomorrow for no real reason,
It scares me to think about how another struggling black woman in America could get thrown in jail for life tomorrow just because,
It scares me to think about how another 100 students in Nigeria could get blown to bits tomorrow for no reason,
It scares me to think about how a Mosque/Church filled with worshipers in Nigeria could get blown up tomorrow just because,
it scares me… there are demons everywhere…

Then I realize in the game of life, there are actually no perspectives, we all see/experience the same shit, we’re just standing on different sides of the fire. But we feel the flames the same… it’s the same helplessness, the same hopelessness, the same senselessness.
All we really have left is faith… faith to keep us and strengthen us through all of this senselessness.

#equalrights #equality #blacklivesmatter #crimingwhilewhite #alivewhileblack #handsupdontshoot #icantbreathe


©Adeola Matemilola 2014

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Ground shaking,
hearts breaking,
screams are the order of the day;
blood flowing,
the ground is red,
the ground is wet;
blood and tears mixed together with the earth to create a
beautifully twisted portrait of mother earth
We see their faces in the earth
carved as though they have always been and always will be
The heavens crying along with us
Through it all, our hearts will sing;
“You give and take away, blessed be Your name”

How much can one person do?

Scrolling down my Facebook page, I see a friend has posted about the floods in Serbia and Bosnia, he asks about contributing some money for those affected; I think to myself, “I really should get on that”.
Continuing down, there’s a UNICEF post about a little boy from the Philippines who lost everything in Typhoon Haiyan.
Then another post about the mine explosion in Turkey… about 700 people are estimated to have been in the mines that day, only about 400 have been accounted for.
Then another post about the thousands of displaced people in the Central Africa Republic due to the violent conflict that has been going on there.
Then another post about the hundreds of Syrians who are killed everyday and the thousands of refugees travelling miles and miles through the harshest conditions, looking for a safe place to call “home”.
Then still another post about the thousands of South Sudanese people affected and displaced by the Violent conflict going on there.
Nigerians seeking a change…
Oil spills causing contamination of ocean waters…
Industrial waste dumped in the oceans causing lots of problems…
The melting Arctic ice causing flooding and Tsunamis… the deaths and extinction of thousands of animals, not to mention the violent conflict that researchers predict could arise between the 5 Arctic powers for its natural resources.
So many issues… So many problems in the world today.
It looks like one would be hard pressed to find any part of the world without some problem or the other.
There are man-made issues, there are natural disasters, at this point, it might just be a matter of “choose what you want, because you’re definitely getting something”

And me, I want to be involved in everything, I want to help with everything… the way I’m built, I find it very difficult to remove myself from an issue, I immediately see myself in that situation and I can’t look away… how can I ignore?

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But really, how much can one person do?
I have since realized that thinking I can do everything is the very root of my unhappiness.
What I can do is focus on one thing and do my absolute best, make a difference, touch a life… spreading myself too thin might mean I won’t do anything for anyone in the end.
Taking the example of great philanthropists; My father, Dr. Pat Matemilola; Ms. Josephine Habba; Mr. Bill gates and so many others, I simply have to focus all of my passion and energy and be sure that I touch that one life.

Focusing on all of the issues in the world, to the extent that I do, will be sure to drive a person crazy.

I am human, I can only do so much; So, I will get on my knees and pray for the world and then I will go out and do something to touch that one life.

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Photo Credit: shuttershock.com
dreamstime.com

“The Average Nigerian isn’t built to care…”

“The average Nigerian isn’t built to care about other people”
I just heard this on Youtube in a video made by some guy, where he was talking about why, in his opinion, Nigerians protesting is a waste of time. He says that Nigerians only started to protest after the international media and international celebrities began to talk about the issue, I thoroughly disagree on that point.

Although I only saw the first few minutes of the video, I do agree with two points he made; first, he mentioned that in most situations like this in Nigeria, after a while, the people who had been acting like leaders in the protests then go to have “private meetings” with the Government and after that, everything dies down.
And second, “the average Nigerian isn’t built to care about other people”, please keep in mind that even as I somewhat agree with this statement, I am not saying all Nigerians do not care. I am only agreeing with this from my experiences, I have had situations where I have been having discussions or maybe I just mention some ill in the world or some cause I support and why and I’ve had statements such as “why? what’s your own?” or “I know they are HIV/AIDS orphans, but they are not my family” or “so what if some people don’t have food to eat, did I take their food away?” thrown at me. And it always, always makes me very sad. But I think that’s just the way it is, if something doesn’t touch us personally, we just don’t feel it.
And even now, with everything that’s happening in Nigeria, there are some people that still do not care at all and some that do not even know. I had a conversation with someone a few days ago, who expressed serious shock at the fact that there were 2 bomb blasts in the FCT and that school children had been abducted in Borno State.
In today’s world of inter-connectivity, if you cannot even know what’s happening in your country, how do you know what’s happening anywhere else in the world? Syria, Iraq, Turkey, South Sudan, Central African Republic… there are so many ills in the world and the least, the very least any of us can do, I think, is to at least educate ourselves, you never know when you’ll be able to do something to help one person; send one dollar, say a prayer… something.

What saddens me the most, I must say is the fact that rather than pull together, Nigerians seem to to drawing even farther apart along religious lines, I think we need to remember that everyone; Muslims and Christians are being affected by this.

In my opinion, if something is bad, it should be changed, if one way doesn’t work, find another way that does. It makes no sense to sit in your house because this hasn’t touched you “personally” and criticize what other people think they can do. If you have a more effective way to get answers, please share it, if you don’t, please just support and pray and if you find you really can’t do any of that, then by all means, shut up.
And I say that respectfully.

This was meant to be a very short post, and I thank you if you read to the end, it means you found some sense in it at least.

200+ future leaders of Nigeria

BringBackOurGirls

This might make absolutely no sense to you
Why does she write about this, you may wonder
While I worry about this issue becoming one of those “Nigerian issues” that eventually die down
I am hopeful that pressure can be mounted from all quarters to ensure this ends happy
Let us focus on these children for a while,
their parents and loved ones are suffering, I know
as a nation we bleed right now, whether you choose to identify with it or not.
This has gone way past a Nigerian issue and is now or should be a world issue.

But those kids, where are they? what might they be going through right now?
Are they being fed? Are they crying and feeling defeated?
Are they hopeful that there will be a happy ending?
its been over two weeks, I can only imagine how their hopes of being rescued might be fading.

If I could whisper into their hearts right now, here’s what I would say
“we’re thinking of you, we’re praying for you, we’re fighting for you,
we will not allow you to become victims of the famous Nigerian government’s “we condemn this act” speech.
You are the leaders of tomorrow… and we love you.
No matter what you may be going through right now, no matter how difficult it might be,
focus on the love that a few million people, at least, have for you
focus on the love that God has for you… focus on God, He alone is the light that shines bright at the end.

Let us together as a nation and as world citizens cry out to God… And also, very importantly, demand action.

These are 200+ children, 200 people do not simply disappear.
I fear that the Nigerian government might be taking advantage of the fact that Nigerians simply demand for a while and then let go.
This is why we definitely need the world right now, we need pressure to be mounted.
If the Nigerian government cannot act right on its own, then the international community should demand and teach.
The Nigerian president acts like this doesn’t concern him, he has more important things to do, like attend funerals and parties, while citizens are suffering. IT IS NOT FAIR.
Something has to give. Nigeria needs a leader who can be empathetic and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is not one.
And what is the “mother of the nation” doing? Shouldn’t she be out there with those grieving women, offering comfort and supporting them? Isn’t she a mother?

It is about time that we invite the International community into Nigerian affairs, let’s let the world watch and witness all the gory details… maybe then the government will care enough to clean up their act.

I really do love my country but at times like this, I wonder if there is a country to actually love.

200+ children; I am praying for you. And I am fighting for you.
#BringBackOurGirls

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Video of the Month!!!

This video is less than 6 minutes, take the time to watch it, I assure you, it is so worth it.
This guy is so good and his message is powerful, amazing, awesome, inspirational and then some. And he presents it in such a fun way. This is the Nigeria people need to see to balance out all the negative messages out there.
(big shout out to Haywhy De Rhymer)

Please watch this… remember, less than 6 minutes.
And uumm… you’ll probably thank me for it 😀

Nigeria Unite?

In a class a few days ago, the teacher asks, “of the 3 major ethnic groups in Nigeria, which one has the highest percentage in Abuja?”… an argument starts among the Nigerians in class, the arguments ranged from, “Abuja does not belong to anybody” to “it depends on which part of Abuja you go to”
In another class, the teacher asks us to each select an on-going violent conflict to write a research paper on, and one Nigerian boy asks if he can write about Boko-Haram in Nigeria but the teacher says no, you cannot write about a conflict going on in an area where you are from and this boy, with almost equal parts of pride and maybe, disgust in his tone and body language responds “I’m not from there, I’m from the South of Nigeria”

Do I even have to tell you the teacher looked a tad confused?

Honesty, in both classes, I felt a strong urge to just scream, maybe the urge was a little stronger in the former actually.
But seriously, people!!! Why do we fight over everything? Do we ever feel like one people? Does being Nigeria mean anything?
Most “Nigerians” now feel more igbo, or hausa, or yourba or jukun before they feel Nigerian, if they even feel that at all.
When we meet people, why is asking what state in Nigeria they come from one of the first questions we ask, are we asking just to know them better or do we judge them based on that information?

Most of the conflicts in the world today are within countries, citizens fighting and killing each other for reasons such as ethnic, religious or political differences… do we really just want to live in a world where its just people that live and think exactly like us? Wouldn’t that be kinda boring? Or isn’t that the end game of killing people who oppose us or are different or pray to God in a different manner or speak a different language? We’re looking to get rid of anyone who’s different to us, right?
A friend said to me recently that all conflict is built on a foundation of pride and selfishness. I don’t know.
I know that ethnic differences and conflicts are not peculiar to Nigeria. It just saddens me the most.

There’s no real point to this post actually, except to throw out some of these burning questions that play over and over in my head. Maybe someone out there has some answers that can help me sleep better. Because let me tell you, these are some of the questions that keep me up at night.

And please, my dear Nigerians, the next time you meet another Nigerian, when you get the urge to ask, “what state are you from?”, ask yourself, “why do I really need to know that right now?”

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Last night, I went into my sister’s room and I said to her “hey, did you hear what happened in Kenya”, she responded “yes, the gunmen at the mall? It’s very sad”, I agreed with her and then she said “but did you hear what happened in Nigeria?”

Apparently, about 143 bodies had been discovered around the highways and surrounding bushes along the maiduguri/Damaturu highway, following an attack on Tuesday by members of “an Islamic terrorist sect disguised in military fatigues and who attacked in about 20 pickup trucks and two light tanks firing anti-aircraft guns”.
This attack happened on Tuesday 17th of September.
The news broke on Friday 20th September.

While I was doing my little “research”, I was reminded of the horrific Boarding school massacre in Yobe state Nigeria on Saturday 6th July 2013, I searched and searched and searched some more, trying to find something that Patience Jonathan had said about the incident, she is the First lady, the “mother” of the nation, sadly, I didn’t find anything, that is not to say she didn’t say anything, I just didn’t find (maybe it’s classified).
You know what I found though, Patience Jonathan yapping about how the Governor and First lady of Rivers state have no respect, that they did not pay her a condolence visit after her mother died. she actually gave interviews to discuss this.
Patience Jonathan getting into a war of words with Wole Soyinka.

It’s quite obvious to me that something is very wrong; it’s either the Nigerian press have all either been paid off or threatened to turn a blind eye to the real issues in Nigeria and instead report the mundane or everyone is simply just tired of Nigeria and its issues.

I just don’t get it, over 100 people are brutally murdered in Nigeria, and it’s hardly reported, nobody talks about it much, and a few days later, everyone is talking about Kenya… don’t get me wrong, a killing is a killing and it’s horrible whether it’s 1 person or 20 people.
I’m just trying to understand Nigerian minds now, trying to think through how we are thinking in recent times.
Is it that we just already expect these things to happen in our country, so when we hear about it, we aren’t even shocked anymore, maybe some of us aren’t even sad anymore, maybe Boko Haram has just become one more topic of conversation for us.
I think this, almost more than anything else is very sad.

People get killed in Nigeria almost on a daily basis, we either don’t hear about it or we do and “oh well, it’s Nigeria. God help us”
People get killed in other parts of the world and we post Facebook messages and statuses. This isn’t wrong. I am not campaigning for Facebook statuses for Nigeria. I just want us to care again.

Personally, I get so frustrated sometimes, I wish there was something I could actually do, something that would actually make a difference. Because it is my country. Those are my people. That is my family.

I really don’t know what the solution for the real issues or the ones I’ve laid out here are.
Fact is, I’m not even sure if what I have written is clear, if anybody actually understands what I am trying to say here.
If I am making any sense.
If anybody feels as helpless and frustrated as I do.
Most of us know so much about the issues in Syria, Egypt, Isreal… everywhere else

Maybe the Nigerian issues haven’t touched us personally. We can only continue to pray that it doesn’t.
The international media is loosing interest.
The local media is loosing interest.

We simply cannot afford to stop caring.

Adeola Matemilola