Of Fate and First Encounters…

diapers-on-clothesline

Hello,

Hope you enjoyed last week’s post, cos she’s got something else to say. Francoise, do your thing…

Francoise: It’s the 60’s.

It’s a house or rather a garden.

A baby is enjoying the autumn sun in its cradle. A girl.

She is beautiful. She is plump. She is blond. She is sleeping. Her mother is hanging up her white nappies on the clothes line and enters the house.

Suddenly, a monkey appears on the scene. Yes, a fat female monkey which escaped from its cage over at the neighbour’s house. It’s her usual game, because this is not the first time. Jumping on the line and removing all the clothes pins holding the clean nappies. There are no witnesses to the scene of the “crime” beside the sleeping baby.

From the line, the monkey leaps to the cradle, but touches nothing. It simply bends and watches.

The little child awakens too, opens her eyes and simply watches…. But for how long? What do they see, these two different females. Do they only think of something?

The big question for me is, Was there a message transmitted by the laws of nature? It’s an important question for me in fact, because the baby of course, was me. This used to be the beginning of my story but very recently, my mother confessed to me that if the story of the female monkey was really true, it never came close to my cradle.

What do you think or understand from this, hein? Particularly if you know the story about the rest of my life? My life’s choices…

If only there was a choice…

……. parce que mon nom veut dire liberté  […… because my name means freedom]

See you next week

Francoise has started to blog at Shineshyfly

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Love in the time of economic recession

Love in the time of economic recession

Hey there. Remember me?

I’m as surprised as you.

Surprised it’s taken so long for me to get back to posting anything here. Save for that birthday post which I had to quickly drum up for my lovely sister, I’ve ignored this place for months.

Everything’s so dusty back here.

I blame work. And a little bit of laziness. Plus, after writing technical stuff all day, the last thing on my mind is churning out 600-800 words about my random thoughts. The only thing on my mind in the evenings are usually food and sleep.

But I couldn’t stay away forever. And here I am.

Technically, I’m not back though.

I’m here to present a series of guest posts from my friend Francoise.

I met Francoise through a funny set of events in 2015. She’s a French lady who’s married to a Yoruba man. And she’s lived with him in Nigeria since 1987.

Her story’s a long one which probably deserves a blogpost of its own. She’s been trying to get me to write her biography for months. I’m still thinking about it.

I’m letting her pour out some of her thoughts on my blog for a while. Let me (and her) know what you think.

Note: She’s a native French speaker, and still hasn’t gotten good with writing our language. And I have refused to edit her prose, partly because I want to preserve the authenticity of her voice, and partly cos I want to punish her (lol). I also had to BEG her before she sent me pictures I could use for this story. She’s the most camera shy person I’ve met so far.

Francoise, you’re up:

………………………………

Hey!

Here I am, building another bridge between the two continents,  a new bridge between my two continents, between Europe and Africa, between the two cultures, between the two races….

I was born in one and I’ll like to die in the other.

As we put on the wall pictures of our family because we love them, or the cross of the Christ to remember His sacrifice, I had to tattoo the flag of my land on my shoulder to testify to myself that I am not denying the soil that made me ;  but Lagos took me by the heart, that is a fact. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know: le coeur a ses raisons que la raison n’a pas…. what is sure is that it is a love story, a passionate story that I’ll like to share.

Francoise Tatoo

I just finished reading the last novel of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I like this young author. Right from the first page, you are immersed in the story and you like the characters. This pleasure with Americanah came from the depth of the prose and the similarities with my personal experiences in life.  My own story’s title would have been Africanah.

As I was progressing in the story of this Nigerian girl living in today’s America, three essential points arose. And I could not resist comparing them with my own African life. So similar and so different at the same time… like similar opposites. The worries being the same yet opposite, like the reflection in a mirror.

Here is the story of a black girl in America and there is the picture of a White woman in Africa.

The first point of course is the colour of the skin. Like the Nigerian girl who discovered her blackness as soon as she arrived in the US, I have discovered my whiteness as soon as I arrived in Nigeria.

Yes, I know what you are thinking right now, but please say it again, because there is a lot to be said. This is the first very important point of our uprooted life and we shall come back to it again.

The second interesting point is the management of our hair. There are difficulties and I would like to take my time to express them.

The third point I would like to develop is the effect of our accent, and believe me it has its importance, you have to live it to realize that.

I’ll be going over these with you.

See you next week

Francoise Selfie

…………………………………….

Hey!

Ibukun is my friend. Ibukun is a nice guy.

When I made my proposition; he said “ok, no problem, but at one condition: you don’t go on shit”. Then I said “Ok, no problem, I am a clean fly, I don’t go on shit… only on food.”

If you know me… you’ll recognize me,

If you like me… you’ll follow me,

If you want… you can write me.

See you around…

Ibukun’s Note: Francoise will post again next week. Please leave a comment and check back.

Women Should Love Women: Celebrating International Women’s Day

happy-international-womens-day
It is a long standing belief that women secretly hate one another. Whether this is true or not,the phenomenon is influential and is being passed on unknowingly from generation to generation. So much so that the critic H.L. Mencken redefined a misogynist as a man who hates women as much as women hate one another.

It is not uncommon to hear women report more critical views of other women than the men do of their male peers. It is women, not men, who objectify and belittle attractive women.

In one of my favourite novels “The Colour Purple” by Alice Walker, we see a type of this twisted relationship when Celie, a victim of domestic violence lends her voice to the same deadly act asking Harpo to beat his wife Sofia. I couldn’t stop asking, “How could she!”

It is time to see that this preoccupation with girl-on-girl victimization distracts us from the greater problems women face, such as the poverty that wears a face of a woman, violence against women, women and health issues, education of women and so on.

Thankfully, the novel presents to us symbols of women empowerment such as Kate, who continually urges Celie to fight back at the abuse shoved at her and Shug Avery who finally rescues Celie from the joyless, tortuous married life.

There is an increasing need for women to be more active and vocal, not just in politics but in campaigns of change to the plight of women, for women are indeed the solution to women problems. For every active voice, the strength of the cord grows stronger. In the words of Melinda Gates “a woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman”.

I celebrate every woman who has stood strong on this cause and I continually pledge that my voice will be heard, my voice will count in the cause of women.

#IWD 2016  #Pledge for Parity

 

Judy Sambe is a communication specialist and girl-child education advocate. She has vast experience in health/development communication having worked with different NGOs and UNICEF. She is the co-founder of Education for Change  Initiative. She’s an avid reader,  she also loves to write.