Creative Non-Fiction Pieces

Self for You

To the people who betrayed our trust.

For the shock and crippling pain.

Thank you, for making us stand regal.

When you are in pain it’s so instinctive to lash out. You want closure. Comfort.

But I’ve learnt that instead of withdrawing.

Live.

Process the pain but don’t carry the guilt of the traitor. Never do that. Forgive yourself.

When you are too tired of the heaviness. Tired of tears. Exhale the pain.

When you are in pain. Living can be healing.

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Valentine Safety Tips

Sunday night my friends and I had drinks at AUN Club, chatted about Bail and life. A bit buzzed i walked back to my hostel on the dimmly lit road at a quarter to 11pm while they returned to the conference room.

In the shadow, a group of loud Yoruba speaking young men were behind me with some ladies. I heard a male voice call my name repeatedly. Initially, i ignored. It isn’t safe to plug your ears while walking in the dark. #RapePrevention/SafetyTip But the persistence of my caller made me wonder. I asked twice, ‘who is that? Who is calling me?’ He doesn’t answer so I hasten my pace because i felt sleepy. Alcohol makes me sleepy, even 5%.

I turn back and say, ‘I’m asking because its dark i can’t see you.’ Next thing the man beside him, begins ranting in English. ‘You didn’t need to be impolite’. The one beside him responds in Yoruba, ‘she is a small girl.’ Another joins saying, ‘what does she feel like?’ The person who called me is silent. The women are laughing. I note but ignore and continue walking. Irritated, I abruptly turn back and shout out, ‘You are the one calling a small girl in the dark without introducing yourself.’ I walked towards the female hostel faster. While they continued loudly insulting me and my ‘audacity’ in Yoruba.

This isn’t a men are scum post. Earlier that evening a young man had escorted me to my friends even though he had sore legs. Neither is it a women are scum post. I have female friends who defend and check on me regularly. “Scum has no gender”-Rasaq Ola.

You are not entitled to someone’s politeness or anything! Men, NOTE this. It is nowhere safe or mature to call a lone woman in the dark without introducing yourself. Even if you know her. It’s immature showing your insecurities by insulting someone else in your native language. It’s rude, especially if they might not know your language. I hate when people are silent. I was being accosted and the women could laugh at their insults? The guy could stay silent when asked to introduce himself and couldn’t correct his friends.

See Gem, many unreported cases of abuse come from the victim’s close friends or acquaintances. My own sexual assault came from experiences with males friends (you know yourselves, stop tumbling into my dms) more than random strangers.

It’s Valentine, don’t feel pressured or silenced into having sex. Or making expenses you can’t afford. Don’t feel guilty when you walk away from bullshit. If a friend keeps making you feel sexually unsafe, CUT THEM OFF. I shared this with my teenage brother in uni. Talk to the teenagers in your life this February and 2019. My message is for both female and male teenagers. Advice them to respect other people’s choices and make good choices themselves. ‘There is usually a lot of pressure on boys and young men to do the wrong things.’- Oluchi Jennifer. Check on them regularly, listen to them and their insecurities, give them gifts too, encourage and compliment them. Encourage teenagers to be aware of their sexual safety.

It’s the month of love, stay safe Gems.

Adaeze Feyisayo

Image source: the_amakaa

Future Affirmation!

I’m lying unhinged, adire curtains flapping, flipping through intimate poems, relaxed and content.
Remember when your hair isn’t slay, your shoulders ache with stress, your mind is too anxious and you can’t afford books. Breathe Gem, you’ve got it.’
-Saved Caption, 4.11.2018

Writing positive affirmations and intentions for your future self helps you stay mentally healthy. Over the past few days when I need encouragement I go back and read them. You should try it!