“Imagine doing a job that you actually enjoy? I would love that.”
“I don’t have any hobbies. I would like to find time for a hobby that I enjoy.”
“I wish I had the time to do something that would give me self-satisfaction.”
Sound familiar? Sure it does. We all feel this way and even those that seem to have everything search for the return that doing something we enjoy gives us.
We look on this as a nice to have. Something that we must earn the right to or be privileged in order to have time for or to be lucky to have the opportunity to add to our lives. While it is true some of us have privilege that makes it easier for us, whatever the circumstance if you are able to do something that you love which uses your strengths you get energy from it.
This energy feels like the adrenaline injection you see in movies. It fills us with positive thinking and helps us feel in touch with who we are. I feel it every time I write or coach. We spend so much time disconnected from ourselves in this world and if you can find connection you will have the motivation and energy to do things that you don’t find time for living an ordinary life.
For most of us we don’t feel like going for a run after a long day at work where you are instructed to accomplish someone else’s goals. Where we are taught that achieving a promotion or pay rise is all we need for self satisfaction. When you get home your mind and body tell you that you need the numbness that only TV or something similar can give you.
The flip side is that we all know the feeling when we use a strength.
Some of us find this in moments at work and very few are lucky to have this in their work. If you do something you love to do, no matter how small or ‘draining’, it fuels you with energy that you can use in other areas of your life. You can run, you can be creative, and you enjoy it.
The results are incredible. Sometimes you need someone to stand for you when life isn’t letting you stand for yourself.
I want to leave this post with a caveat. We all have a battery that will drain. Don’t be surprised when it runs low. Aim to accomplish things when that battery is full. Use its energy wisely and when it drains, rest. It will fill up again if you recognise that you need to make time to do things for you.
Those familiar with the TED talks will immediately recognize the story behind this title. It is from a talk delivered by one famous African writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I found the urge to speak/write about it too. I recently partnered with a very amazing and talented guy who also happens to be he a co-writer on my blog. I call him Dino because trying to pronounce his tribal name makes me sound very alien, ha-ha. I was very excited when I learnt that he wanted us to work together and you can imagine how mesmerized I was when I learnt that he was not from my country. It caught with utter surprise and I found myself thinking how lucky I was to work with a person from the other side of the globe, regardless of the distance.
My learning that he was Nigerian, came in with a lot of mixed reactions. As I mentioned I was excited and surprised at the same time. And then came the funny bit of me trying to sound Nigerian, I could be watching some Nollywood show on TV and then found myself paying close attention to the native language used with every intention of using it the next time I called Dino. And this happened for a while such that I could read books written by Nigerian authors and found myself feeling proud about it and thinking to myself that I was one step closer to knowing and relating with people from West Africa, how mistaken I was.
Dino laughed at me every time(he still does) I tried to say no wahala, nawa o,try me nah, and he would be like, “didyou just say that?’’, and I would boldly tell him I just did. And this went for a while until recently I said something that made me snap back into reality. I told Dino how much I knew about his people and he was very pissed (or so I think). He made it clear to me that just reading and watching materials related to his people does not actually make me part of them and neither does it mean that I now knew him I could be with them virtually but then it would take me a while to know and relate with them. You can imagine how ashamed I was that a whole I had judged a person by what I saw and heard about him.
It was certainly wrong for me to do so but still it was a lesson well learnt. I just had a single story that people from West Africa had a certain accent; they ate certain foods and dressed in a certain type of way, which was very inaccurate. It takes a lot more to get to know a person and in this case it means that I have to confront the reality of getting to know Dino personally, what he likes how he speaks, what his beliefs are and so on. And from there I can be in a position to say that I know my friend from West Africa. This is my story which many can resonate with, because without even mentioning it there is an instance where you have judged someone from the way they looked or from the way they sounded. I mean we have all at some point had a crush on someone because to us they sounded so good over the phone and later on were met with a rude shock. Where I come from there is a great deficiency which lies between what you see Versace what you really get. In other words, what you see is not what you get.
Getting to know someone in depth is very vital, it prevents so many future misunderstandings and makes it easier to harbor relationships. I can be sure to have a great time around my friend Dino since I have now decided to know him personally and not basing my knowledge of him on some assumptions. The process may not be that easy but it is very much worth the effort. In one of his very hilarious shows, Cedric the Entertainer once stated that you cannot go through life with your mind already made up about things or people you like or do not like, you are going to miss out on a lot of things. This means that the only way to change this is by actively making the effort to know them.
How we handle moments in our lives is a very crucial part of our whole being and personal growth. I say this because being able to handle situations especially those which may seem to really weigh our spirits down, requires a learned mind. Now there is a whole difference between a learned mind and an educated one.
Whereas a learned mind is that which doesn’t have to acquired from books and scroll and that the field of learning varies, an educated one has just but a specific field of training. Understanding this is key to being able to deal with matters. Again I stand to be corrected.
There comes a time when things will not go as we expect no matter how much effort we may be enunciating. And it is at this point that we really have to be on the look out on how we will handle these situations. From a day gone bad, to a relationship gone sour, it doesn’t matter the circumstance because in this case it a bad bad moment in one’s life.
Apparently in most cases no one teaches us how to deal with bad days, or how to act if we get rejected, or even how to behave in general if what we are looking for in life doesn’t seem to want be found. It’s a rough journey many of us have to endure alone behind closed doors. And this is often times than not the case, we prefer to wallow in our dismays and most of the time we do it in places where not many will see us lest we be termed as being sensitive.
But what if we taught our minds that it is not always going to be ok and that at some point the river has to meander. That is okay not to be okay, it is alright to feel vulnerable. What if in our life the lessons taught goes hand in hand with those of how to deal with bad days. We are not being oblivious of the fact that we should always hope for the best, but even in the midst of hoping there comes a point where we feel like hope doesn’t work out at all.
It is said also in the Holy Bible that “when you pass through the waters I will be with you”(Isaiah 43:2). What we are highlighting in the verse is the word when which is a conditional clause. The Bible doesn’t leave out the fact that we will go through trouble. So it true in life we will go through tough times, we will struggle, and most definitely we will all feel pain at some point.
Just like the Bible says that the Lord will be with you when you go through the worst of moments, it is very important to teach our minds that life cannot always go as we expect. There are bad days and there are good days. They are not always the same. And whether we like it or not we all have to go through all of them.
In 1991, the world started celebrating the International Day of the African Child every June 16; as initiated by the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU).
The day is to recognise students, who, in 1976, took part in a peaceful demonstration to press for improved education in Soweto, South Africa. They also cried to be taught in their native language, Afrikaans.
Unfortunately, hundreds of these youngsters were gunned down by trigger-fingered policemen. A 13-year-old, Hector Pieterson, was prominent among the dead.
This day, African governments and stakeholders meet to discuss the rights of the African child, especially as related to his education.
The dream is to have a day when the African child will wake up to enjoy qualitative, free and compulsory education, amongst others.
It is 29 years since the death of these students occurred. They didn’t step out that day for selfish reasons; all they begged for was to be duly educated. They marched the streets because they wanted a kind of education that could give meaning to their dream.
29 years ago, these young boys and girls wanted their fathers and mothers, especially those in leadership positions to give them the same opportunity, if not better opportunities, to rise to be worthy leaders.
They wailed, they begged, they cried, but they were shot dead instead.
It’s been 29 years of wailing for the African child; he is still crying for the same reasons. He is wondering if 29 years should be considered too short to have his request considered and implemented.
The African child is still wondering why his leaders would climb up with the ladder, only to fold up the ladder from his top position, denying others from being able to reach his height.
He has regularly observed workshops being held by his leaders to discuss his future. He has read about the large sum of money being allocated for the fulfilment of his educational dreams.
He has been visited many times by government officials in his shanty, where he sits on the floor, or at best on a three-legged chair, with his books on his laps. They have come and gone, promising him a future with mere words of mouth.
To say that he is disappointed would be trying to paint his wailing heart in bright colours. If his leaders are not aware of the many hurts they have subjected him to, he is, actually, not surprised at that.
With his few years on earth, he could rightly conclude that those meant to pave the way for the realisation of his burning aspirations are men with cold hearts and cold feet. Dream freezers!
The African child is in a dilemma! He has a small voice, a tiny stature and unfortunately, weak-minded leaders. He cries to be loved. He longs to be listened to. He dreams to be educated.
He wants to stay healthy. He is tired of succumbing to every heap of nuisance in town. With his weighty dreams, he needs his elders to yield him their shoulders in support.
The year is 2020.
Today should be better, but for the African child, he wonders how Moses got the best of education in his time, while he is still struggling donkey years after.
Are things really getting better?
Not when he has read how Joseph, a teenage slave boy, had earlier risen through the ladder to become a Prime Minister in this same Egypt; an African country at that.
Did another Joseph not also take his family, made up of Mary and Jesus, to seek asylum in this same African nation?
Had Ethiopia not provided sound education for her children, the Ethiopian Finance Minister (Ethiopian Eunuch) would not have been able to read the scripture that eventually got him saved.
African nations are known to have provided sound education long before now. Educating our children came easily to us.
However, along the line, we started having leaders, who are comfortable with toying with the future, by providing directionless, irrelevant and selfish educational systems across Africa.
The voice of the blood of those innocent young students is still being heard across Africa. They, along with their living contemporaries, are still crying for attention.
They are not asking for the impossible. They are not asking for the moon, sun and stars. They are only asking to be given a pathway that leads to a glorious future.
They want financial budgets increased and deployed in their interest. They are asking to be recognised and respected as the future that they are.
Are you still insisting they are asking for too much?
God bless the African Child.
Picture credit: Wikipedia (Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo. His sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them.
Most of the sexual and or sexuality related conflicts we face today originated from the general misconception of the topic of discussion “sex”.
Ancient theories and ideologies about sexuality, circled around the power of
dreams, the individual as a sexual being, the power of self cultivation and
processes of essentialism.
Although the concept of sexuality can be dated back to our ancestors, who laid
much emphasis on the care of self and the act of procreation, emerging
population and health concerns have led to the re-thinking and re-identification of
the relationship between sexuality and human activity and behaviour.
Invariably, the concept of sexuality has undergone many changes within the past
forty years. The emergence of the sexual revolution has also impacted greatly on
sexual orientations, patriarchy, sexual relations, family formations and
In recent times, the youth who constitute ages 10-24 and 36.7 per cent of the
Nigerian population, are found to be highly vulnerable to antisocial behaviours
such as violent crimes, unsafe sexual activities and drug abuse among others.
The Nigerian Association for the Promotion of Adolescent Health and
Development, (NAPAHD) has also alerted that, an hospital based research has
shown that, 80 per cent of patients with abortion complications are adolescents.
This assertion was based on the fact that, over 16 per cent of teenage females
reported first sexual intercourse by age 15 while 8.3 per cent of boys of age 15
have also had their first encounters. This adolescents’ health dilemma has been
attributed to their great lack of information and knowledge about the implications
of their population behaviour on their sexual health and the general welfare of the
nation. In this vain the introduction and institutionalisation of sexuality education
became one of the immediate efforts made to address this problem to create
awareness about these sexually based problems. The rational was to acquaint
the youth with factual and accurate sexual information about the dimensions of
sexual knowledge that will enable them understand and clarify their personal
values, improve their sexual knowledge and sexual decision–making and
promote their knowledge about how all these interact with socio-cultural and
religious factors to affect personal well-being. This set of values sexuality
education was set to promote perhaps form part of the motivation for its
introduction into the Nigerian educational system. However, in view of the
predicament suffered by similar intervention packages such as
Population/Family-life Education it is relevant to examine the potentials for
success and failure of this nascent subject.
With this backdrop, this paper will examine the origin of the concept of sexuality
education, how it evolved in Nigeria and how well it is fairing in Nigeria. In doing
this, the paper will highlight on some conceptual perspectives of sexuality
education, identify its definition, its content and structure. The prospects and
challenges of sexuality education in Nigeria today will also be identified by
looking into the relationship between sexuality and; society and culture, socio-
economic status, ethics, communication, information, gender and the media.
Timely provision of accurate and comprehensive information and life skills training regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is essential for adolescents to achieve sexual health and rights and avoid negative health outcomes.While sexuality education is just one component in a multifaceted approach to address, and ultimately improve, the sexual and reproductive lives of young people, it provides a structured opportunity for adolescents to gain knowledge and skills, to explore their attitudes and values, and to practice the decision making and other life skills necessary for making healthy informed choices about their sexual lives.
Abstinence-only education programs have shown little evidence of improving sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. In contrast, comprehensive sexuality education programs that recognize sexual activity during adolescence as normative behavior, that seek to ensure the safety of such behavior, and that focus on human rights, gender equality and empowerment have demonstrated impact in several areas: improving knowledge, self-confidence and self-esteem; positively changing attitudes and gender and social norms; strengthening decision-making and communication skills and building self-efficacy; and increasing the use of condoms and other contraceptives.
Adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health
Addressing the high levels of unprotected sexual activity, STIs (including HIV infection), early pregnancy and abortion among adolescents is a priority for program planners and policymakers in Kenya.
Despite efforts targeting these reproductive health issues, recent studies indicate a persistently high need for SRH information and services, further emphasizing the need for high-quality sexuality education.
Nationally, more than a third of adolescents (those aged 15–19), whether married or not, have had sexual intercourse (37% of females and 41% of males), and about one-fifth are currently sexually active.
The median age at first intercourse is 18 for females and 17 for males, yet among 15–19-year-olds, 11% and 20% of each gender, respectively, initiated sex before age 15. In the three geographic areas included in the current study, adolescents living in Homa Bay county were more likely to initiate sex at an early age (24% of females and 39% of males) than were those living in Mombasa (6% and 26%, respectively) or Nairobi county (10% and 17%, respectively).
I’m working on a project to help create awareness for SRE, understanding sexuality and gender roles which will be premiering here on “maggy’s thoughts” so buckle up and stay tuned.
Many people do not like talking about sex openly and even mentioning it in a public space earns you fierce stares from those around you. Christians attribute this oddity to the fact that the whole sexual topic is sacred and therefore it should only be discussed in the dire context of marriage. And those outside the realm of Christianity have their own reasons why they would not talk about sex openly. From the fact that it has been characterized with immoral and dirty behavior, those involved would rather be caved while talking about it.
It is a very rare scenario to find a parent discussing sexual matters with their kids and I am sure most of us would agree that our parents are not the major contributors of our profound knowledge about sex. Whatever our parents tells us is that sex before marriage is sin and that abstinence is the only key to having a good sex life later on. I would not blame them for this shallow advice but it is their fair opinion and it is actually the dream of every parent for their child to remain a virgin till they say “I do”. The problem however with this kind of thinking is that we are now living in a world that is constantly changing and the social environment we are living in may not always allow us to walk down the aisle as virgins. A study done in the recently shows that a quarter of adolescents and students in Kenya had already had sexual intercourse at the age of 15-17.
Parents leave the responsibility of sex education to teachers but this too does not seem to be the wisest of moves. In a research done by Guttmacher institute, it was proven that most students in high schools 96% had received some sexual information by the time they completed primary school, but the information given at that stage was just basic and did not include information on safe sex. From the study it was also proven that almost all students 93% considered sexuality education very important and useful in their personal lives and 67% of them wanted more hours dedicated to sexually education related topics. And while this might be what they want 30% admitted to not having received sexual education from their parents.
The role of sex education cannot be overlooked and it should be as basic as any other subject taught in class. However the success of this initiative cannot be met if at all teachers only dwell on abstinence alone as the only way of preventing STDs and HIV, leave alone pregnancy prevention. Teacher training would be the first step towards the journey of sex education to our kids. The main barriers to teaching sexuality education, as the study reported, were lack of teaching materials, time on training, and embarrassment about certain topics. Nearly half of teachers 45% felt unprepared or uncomfortable answering students` questions on sexuality education, and a similar proportion of students reported feeling embarrassed, despite being excited to learn about the topics. Teachers wanted more information and training, particularly on violence prevention, contraceptive use and positive living for people living with HIV, the study revealed.
Despite the polices aimed at promoting safe and supportive environment, 76% of students and youngsters however either never or only sometimes felt safe expressing themselves in front of others,52% feared being teased and 34% feared physical harm. So the main duty that teachers and parents have is to make sure that the sexual topics are taught adequately and at a young age in order to help students and the youths in general to harbor proper choices about their sex life.
Ignorance as said id not bliss but not knowing anything about your sexuality means that you will utterly agree with anything and everything which comes your ways. It is important to know that you have a choice to make when it comes to your sex life. Many of us would agree that if we had the profound knowledge about sex then, as we do now maybe, just maybe some circumstances would have been avoided. We owe it to our kids to inform them about their sexuality if at all we require them to make informed decisions on their sex lives.
Firstly I want to thank Margaret for giving me the floor to speak on this particular topic. I’m glad to be part of your journey here on “maggy’s thought”.
It’s not a strange thing that we feel a little uncomfortable when we’re having “the talk” with our kids. What I find strange is the fact that we actually treat the subject of discussion (sex) like some ominous or forbidden thing when in truth is basic knowledge for every other human being.
This problem isn’t confined to just Kenya, Nigeria or Africa as a whole but it’s more of a global issue.
Sex education should be compulsory in all state secondary schools. As a matter of fact, given the importance of sex education in the life of the average person, I think sex education should be stressed on more by our schooling system
pupils are not being prepared for adulthood and so are vulnerable to sexuality related issues in the future.
Age-appropriate SRE (sex and relationship education) should be an essential part of the curriculum for all young people, and I must add that, parents also have their role to play in this aspect of their child’s learning.
Young people’s dissatisfaction with SRE
“A lot of us are turning 16 and it’s legal to have intercourse, we need to be educated about signs of an abusive relationship emotionally.” 15-year-old girl.
“Sex was still regarded as a taboo subject and the teachers seemed uncomfortable talking about it. The whole concept was approached purely biologically with no regards to relationships at all and was pushed into a few lessons at the end of term alongside drugs education.” 15-year-old boy
“I was sexually abused and no-one told me what was done to me was wrong. We got stranger danger and how to cross the road and that was it. He was my granddad. I didn’t like it but didn’t know it was wrong but thought I should be embarrassed as I thought it was my fault. If I had known it was wrong and that I could say something and someone had listened, it might have stopped earlier or I might have told before I did.” 16-year-old girl
Source: Sex Education Forum
On an abstract note:
Adolescents are at a high risk for a number of health consequences associated with early and unsafe sexual activity including infection with HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. The amplified sexual risk-taking behaviour among adolescents culminates into thinking that perhaps lack of knowledge pertaining to sex and sexuality provokes adolescents into undertaking sexual risks. Consequently.
This is the first part of SRE related articles. I’m working on a project to help create awareness for SRE, understanding sexuality and gender roles which will be premiering here on “maggy’s thoughts” so buckle up and stay tuned.
While it is true that the newest pandemic in town Covid-19 has left many families and homes broken, it is also true that some families have experienced peace and serenity even with the influx of lockdown rules.
Even with a spike in the number of domestic violence cases reported across the globe, some are actually feeling grateful and actually silently hoping that the pandemic should continue for a little while longer. Families members are reporting that their long lost bonding time is slowly coming back and the time that may have been lost through the busy schedule before the influx of the pandemic has been recovered fully.
It is on the account that some are crying saying that the lockdown rules are affecting their social life, that others seem to be in jubilation. For this lot things just got better, no alarms to wake them up at wee hours of the morning to rush to the office and for the kids well, no buses to honk loudly outside their homes. It’s a God-given holiday, they say.
Wives and lovers at this point have all the reasons to smile because as we all know spending time together with a spouse doesn’t come easily in this day and time. So the fights arising from men coming home late are now on the low and all this is thanks to the Corona virus however deadly it may be. And also so for kids. Getting to spend time with a parent and most especially all day everyday is a miracle of its own kind. Some kids actually admit to not seeing their parents at any point during normal times, so why not server the moment when the opportunity is provided freely.
This is not to say that they are becoming oblivious of the fact that the pandemic is taking over the world and terrorising human peace, but they are suggesting with the positive energy that there are always two sides of a given coin. And for them tossing the coin of Covid-19 is a risk they are not willing to take whatsoever.
This is the month of love and the epitome of it is on the 14th day. Where people are meant to celebrate their loved ones, a day when the language of love dominates every talk held. One could be celebrating the love they have for their parents , siblings ,relatives and to make it even better , one is allowed to celebrate their friends too.
And what makes the day even merrier 😁 is the fact that you get a chance to celebrate your ‘plus one’ if you are lucky to have one. It could be your wife or girlfriend , it doesn’t really matter as long as that particular person is your better half. The name you choose to give this person lies solely as your choice.
Bouquets of flowers , bottles of champagne, chocolate bars , 🧸 teddy bears , vacations. The list of things shared during valentines could go on and on till the end of time. While some have the luxury of being given gifts to the extent of valuables like cars, others will get a bar of chocolate , this comparison is not to mean that the two parties being gifted are not happy. All am trying to say is that , different people have different capabilities and it’s only right for one to know where they lie and be content with whatever comes their way .
Valentines has been overrated for last couple of years . People are no longer dominated by the spirit of love but they have monetized the whole affair of valentines and what is now defining this day is the number of gifts a man is able to give his woman. Or the quality of the places you can be able to afford to take your spouse on that day.
It’s no wonder a man would opt to ‘run’ away on that day ,to go to a conference he has no business attending than sit back at home and listen to tantrums being thrown at him all day. The man in this equation is not running away from his responsibility , he understands fully that no matter how hard he tries he cannot be able to completely sustain your foolish demands on that day.
This goes without saying that we need to evaluate ourselves and draw back to the full meaning of valentines . Understanding that the whole intent of having this day is to appreciate one another , and that even the mere presence of a person can be a great reason to celebrate Valentine’s with your loved ones .
. ‘Love is like a child, That longs for everything it can come by’
These are the famous words by William Shakespeare, an English playwright and poet of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, which try to sololy and verily give a comparison to this profound noun and verb by the name love . Venturing into understanding the first premise of this adage ,”love is like a child “,it is just right that we paint the picture of a child in our minds.
A child, as we all know is being cared for and natured in a special way by its parents or guardians.The little being isn’t allowed to get into harm’s way at any given point . Well this must have been the POV Shakespeare had in mind for him to compare love to a child . Love just like a child is to be taken care of ,natured ,cultivated ,steered in the right direction and the lovers are not to let each other face harm in any way.
For love to exist in the sense of a child it should be taken as an entity on its own ,and the sooner people with intentions of love realize this ,the more conducive the environment of love becomes. Such that you are going to be investing into this entity and fully taking responsibility for anything which may happen. But all of this without the knowledge of what love really is ,is to be nullified all the same . Some define it as a strong feeling of affection and liking for a person (in this case for the feelings are for all sexes ,lest I be termed as being biased ).
Others on the other hand say that love is that sort of irresistible and deep feelings towards someone which really they cannot explain . To them, love is just ‘love’.The plethora of definitions continues and some term it as profound feeling of trust and security towards a person or a deity. Others define it as the object of one’s romantic feelings; a darling or sweetheart.
As they say everyone is entitled to their own opinion and whichever definition you might want to give it , it doesn’t matter much as long as within a given niche ,love is understood.
Gaining the understanding of love is barely the first step towards getting the perfect love story. Understanding fully what you are looking for in your spouse helps a great deal to achieve a good relationship . And not just understanding but actually asking yourself the questions why you want what you are aiming at getting . So before hitting the nail on the head of love ,here are some of the factors you might want to consider .
What is the reason behind you wanting to date this particular person . By this I mean , that we consider whether what we are really aiming at getting is something totally worth it .
Do we fully understand what we are getting ourselves into . At this point do we understand that there are responsibilities to be accountable for ? Or are just here driven by emotions
Is it just to pass time or are looking to spend a LifeTime together. Why try if we are not going to be together for long? There is no need to waste your time.