Musings

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

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Once i curled my tongue and dipped its ticklish tip into my soul. I wanted to know what my eternal immortality tasted like. Would I recognise it when I shared it? Is it’s depth truly as endless as the fiery, bright, hope-giving soul I give out?

So when my tongue is burnt while I’m sharing. I dip into my soul. I lap up my own healing. Then note my depth swirl higher in abundance.

So still raw, I open up and share. Because closing up bitterness and pain makes my soul drown them. Then I feel myself choke on overflow.

Springing forth, I share. Because a few of us are here to pour, illuminate, fill and exude glory and indescribable joy.

Our You

When i see you look at me from the past. Our past. I chuckle at our growth.

Growth that began with decades-long, ‘teach me how to love you’. Then continued with ‘let me love you’. Growth that increased with forgiveness. ‘i can’t stop loving you even when you hurt you, me, us’.

So when they ask why i didn’t delete your pictures, profile or phone number. It’s because i want to know you are alive, loved and flourishing in this future

What a Week

Its been a revealing but accomplished week for me and my loved ones.

How was your week Gem?

Mine

This was another week of rigorous studying and lectures at Law School. I fell ill on Thursday but I’m on medication and improving. My partner, friends and family were quite supportive. And I’m genuinely grateful to have people in my life (physical and online) who support, care and love me.

This week I concluded Desert Rose, an extended version of the poem I wrote for Humphrey Ominisan Photography Desert Rose Editorial. It was difficult to write at some point. It’s a love letter, praising the magnificence of an African woman without alluding to pain, struggles or societal construct. A woman is enough as she is, a human also. I can’t wait to share with you after its publication!

Books and Reading

I didn’t read any paperback. Online short fiction through blog hopping were my reads for this week. Although, my Mum received some book mail for me in Lagos. Which she will courier to Yola. Big shout out to Alaroro Books and Penthusia Media! Oh yh, I bought a few things I’ve wanted to get. *drumroll* She Called Me Woman, an anthology of queer Nigerian women; three ebooks from Reina Farine; a new shampoo packed with vitamins and proteins, Vo5 Strawberry and Cream Shampoo; and a yummy Pineapple Body Mist; plus chocolates!!!

Updates

I’ve been drafting some book reviews I’m eager to share. I also posted a ‘welcome to 2019 vlog’ on my booktube. So check it out. Hope you’ve been reading the lust notes and sunrise stories I’ve published this week. Catch up o! Newer stories are coming.

Friends

‘Scum has no gender’- Rasaq

‘Seen and Duly discarded’-Munkeng

Your morality shouldn’t exist in the body of a woman.’-Olutimehin

This week I was so happy to see my close friends pull through dark times, sickness, depression and self-doubt. I was delighted my daily calls and texts of love, positive affirmations, pictures, videos and little gifts I shared helped. Above are some of my favourite quotes from some of them. Munkeng’s quote is my new response to every sexist advice I’m given. Also my bookie love, Lara Kareem launched her online store, Book Gloves (book sleeves made in Nigeria with lush African print fabrics). Check out Book Gloves and pre-order.

Check on your friends regularly. Compliment their best qualities, advice them, admonish their wrongs, give them gifts. Simply listen other times. Fight internet trolls if need be!

New Writers I Discovered

I’m really excited to share my January Spotlight Read with you. But until I do, let’s talk about fiction writers I discovered this week. I found Tajmao, who runs a creative writing blog and writes horror. I also discovered Kelechi Dozie who has profound free verse poetry on his creative writing blog.

I’m spending this weekend taking my medication, staying away from negative energy, studying, writing and resting.

Cheers to the remaining five days of January!