Thursday, 26 September 2013

Mi Familia

I have probably dropped hints about the kinda AMAZING family I am fortunate to be born into, but its a wonder why I haven't dedicated a post to them. I'm rectifying that today by telling you what makes my family the best!
I know I should probably write about my parents first in this post, but they're actually not the MOST important in my life. Don't misunderstand me: I do love the silly, and they are very important in my life but if I'm to be honest, I'll tell you my sister is the center of my universe. I simply call her my world, my sunshine, my happiness, my baby, my princess or whatever else I deem fit. She's the most intriguing and wonderful sister in the world. Mostly, I tell her she's actually the reason for my existence but she just dismisses it. Mostly when I'm ill, she's all I think about; how she'll be feeling, is she sad? (I NEVER want to see my sister sad). When no other person can succeed in bringing a smile to my lips, she does and even adds light to my eyes. You've probably guessed by now that I love her beyond reason and you'ld be right. The most amazing thing is that she can be a huge pain in the butt, but I wouldn't have her any other way! :D :*

My father, popularly called Otunba, Chairman, or Alhaji (depending on who's doing the calling) has got to be the most caring father in the universe and hereafter. The Lord Almighty knowingly gave him the spirit of love, kindness, simplicity and the softest heart a man can possible possess. I can't tell you exactly what the 1st memory I had of my father is, but I probably blocked it out early in life. My sister and I never saw my father so much while growing up. He was in Abuja, and we schooled in lagos. Yes, we visited him during the long holidays, but it wasn't quite the same. As I grew up more, and he became a more constant part of our lives (moved back to lagos), I started to really understand him and I gave him another chance to spoil me rotten as his lil princess. I grew up and followed the path my Pa had drawn out for me, grateful and loving him all through. What I love most about my father, is how he endeavours to please us. Never wanting for anything nor lacking. He made me realise that it wasn't the amount of money in my pocket that made me wealthy, it is actually love of family. My father takes his family pretty seriously!

My mother, popularly called Alhaja or Mama Oriyomi by me, cannot be described by mere words. You know what they say about a mothers love surpassing any other kind of love? Well my mother is a MOTHER through and through. I call her the pillar of the Oladejo family, and I believe that without her, there probably wouldn't be Otunba Oladejo. She is every inch a woman: caring, loving, stronger than steel, yet so kind-hearted. I will be the luckiest girl if I can be half the woman my mother is someday. The most wonderful thing about my mother is just who she is. She is my angel, my guide, my queen, my MOTHER! My prayer is not complete in a day if I have asked the Lord to bless my mother abundantly. No use trying to find words to describe her, its nearly impossible. May Almighty Allah keep her for me, and make her the happiest of all mothers.

That is as far as my nuclear family goes, but its not where my family ends. I have a huge family, all of them awesome in their respective ways! Remember the saying, "blood is thicker than water"?, well in my world, love is even stronger than blood.
The YUSUF family!
I had to drop my pen at this junction as I have no idea where to begin. I am indeed blessed! I have the love of so many people, and they're MY family.
My Uncle Saheed (aka Ola Dollar), who has always been there for me every step of the way. He was there when I was young and lost, trying to lead me through example *smiles*; He was there, though emotionally and psychologically, when life became tough; He was there when the sun radiated in my life, he laughed with me, joked with me, and advised me on what's right . He's been a true brother, and he's always been there through it all!...

My Uncle Tee (aka Alhaji Habeebi *wide grin* aka Bro Tosin aka Afrika) is one of a kind. He's my sweetest big brother, he's always been amazing. I sometimes wonder who I love most between him and Uncle Saheed, and I usually end up thinking I love them both greatly! My Uncle Tee whom has no choice but to smile each time he sees me (Hehehehehe)! He was there when I went astray; He was there when things got rough, and we smiled together when everything got better. My big brother is a true gentleman and as loving as any man could be!

My surest Uncle KK is an inspiration in every possible way. With his beautiful wife (Sis BimBim), and their gorgeous princess Ameerah, we have the picture of a perfectly amazing family that I hold very close to my heart.

My Big Uncle KB and his wife Sis Tesly are 2 of a kind. So lovely and gentle-hearted. I'm sorry uncle KB, but Sis Tesly is gonna have to win in the amazing department here, with her beauty, talent, and the 2 cute babies (Aaliyah and Fadeelah) she's given us? Sis Tess, you ROCK!

My Biggest Sister, Doctor Korede. Where do I begin with her? With her motherly instincts, her love, the way caring seems so easy coming from her? She's the most amazing of the Yusuf clan! :p And the best of all is, she's a Doctor!!! \=D/

I'm the luckiest to have such wonderful people in my life! You're all worth more than gold to me, and you each hold special segments of my heart (Although some hold more than others) :D My life would never be complete without you all in it!

Con amor

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Child Not Bride?!

Knowingly, I have not written anything about the government on this blog. I did not write when anger brewed for the fuel susbsidy removal, nor did I write about the dullards we call leaders in our government. What I will write about though, is underage marriage. I didn't intend to write about it initially until I had the pleasure of coming across the story of a young girl from Yemen, Nujood Ali.

A few years ago when I heard about the 13year old girl one of our leaders, Senator Yerima married from Egypt with 100,000 Dollars and impregnated at the age of 14, I felt sick. Watching the event from my bed then, I wished there was something that could be done to get the little girl away from him. Eventually however, nothing was done to the Senator and all charges were dropped against him. That is the kind of country we live in. A country with laws that aren't implemented, a democratic country with little or no freedom, a country being led by comedians, a country that has a child rights act and still wants to legalise underage marriage! Is it not enough that grown and fully matured women suffer in the hand of these so-called "men"? Matured women who know when to stop talking and how to please men, are killed daily by domestic violence. Must children be added to the equation too? I am a Muslim, and I will NEVER associate this as a tradition in my religion. What kind of sick demented men do we have in the world now? It is not enough to ruin ladies of age beyond repair, must they now start taking the little girls one after the other?

Every parent that consents to under-age marriage should be either stoned to death or burnt at a stake. Here, I'm not trying to judge anybody but I have a right to my views and opinions. How can any mother, who conceived in her womb for 9 long months, gave birth in excruciating pain, loved, cared for and nurtured the baby for years, decide to trade her daughter for money? I understand the fact that poverty is becoming very rampant in our nation, but it should never come to selling your little girl into slavery and suffering, and probably death. The health issues that arise from young girls becoming exposed to sexual activities early, and conceiving is numerous. Most of these girls die in the process, and the ones that don't die, may be miserable or depressed for life. Let's not even talk about the large numbers that get VVF (VesicoVaginal Fistula) for life!

Nujood Ali was 9 when she was forced to marry a 30-smth year old man in her home country, Yemen and according to her story, the marriage contract was signed by her father with the believe that the marriage wouldn't be consummated until she was 18 after a dowry of about 740dollars was paid by her husband. The day after the contract was signed however, she was taken to her husband's house on the outskirts of town where she went through physical and psychological torture. No matter how much she screamed for help that night, or how much she tried to run, he caught her and did as he pleased: rape a 9 year old girl unconscious. During the day, Nujood was a slave to her mother in-law, and beaten by her husband who forced himself on her at night. All Nujood knew at such tender age was pain, fear, and more pain! At a point which I think the young girl reasoned "enough was enough", she escaped during a brief visit to her family house, got a cab, and asked to be taken to a courthouse where she pleaded to see a judge and requested for a divorce (after her parents had made it clear that she belonged to her husband now and they 'couldn't' help her). The Judge, understanding her plight, instead granted her an annulment to prevent the marriage contract from being redrawn. Her human rights lawyer also helped "compensate" her husband with the sum 200Dollars as demanded by the Sharia law. She was the first child-bride to have taken such bold step in the country, and a number of girls started asking for divorces themselves. Nujood was recognised as Glamor magazine's woman of the year in 2008, along with other reputable women. She also wrote her biography titled I am Nujood, 10 and Divorced.

Let's imagine Nujood had not taken the bold step she did then, would she not be more damaged by now or probably dead? She would have no dream of a future, and a happy life! How many abused "grown women" in Nigeria can be brave enough to leave the source of abuse? How many of them can actually request to get a divorce? I still maintain that 'society be damned!'. No-one will judge you in the grave after the abuse kills you. Is it not better to be alive and judged? We really need to educate our girls/women. Abuse is NOT a normal part of matrimony. We need to realise that weak and selfish men abuse their women but it is best to be strong and leave! Do not fool yourself into thinking they change. They never change! Please do yourself a favour and get out of the abusive relationship/marriage. The rest can sort itself out later, but only after you take the bold step of protecting yourself. Nobody else matters but YOU!!!

Con amor