Finding Her Voice; Finding happiness.

AGIP ANSWERS OGBOINBIRI COMMUNITY’S PRAYERS

‘When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream’  Psalm 126:1

From the look of awe on their faces, from the exultant chants on their lips, I could comfortably associate the above Bible verse with the people of Ogboinbiri community. No, the entire community did not win a lottery but I guess this feat is way cooler than lottery.

My last post concerning Ogboinbiri communityabout a year ago was filled with rancor and complaints on behalf of the shortchanged community. Today, the story is different and I am super happy to be the harbinger of good news.

Ogboinbiri community is an oil-producing community in the Niger Delta, rich in oil, poor in wealth and infrastructure to the point of lacking necessities as basic as health center. But alas, Agip Oil Company has remembered Ogboinbiri community, the prayers of the community answered, at least to an extent.

The four engineers from the community that were offered contract jobs without assigning them to any job nor salary, like Ministers without  portfolio,  have finally resumed duties at various Agip locations. That’s a good start; we hope they would do more in the nearest future and employ many more of the teeming youths in various capacities. There are many qualified graduates in the community that are in dire need of these jobs.

The superlative news however, is that the one dilapidated health center in Ogboinbiri community has been revamped in a manner beyond all our expectations. This health center had dilapidated structures and zero amenities as shown in the previous post. But as I write this, it is wearing a completely new look. The last time I saw it, it was in shambles, abandoned; now it is a world class health facility equipped with modern facilities.

If you can take a look at the previous post and then compare it with the pictures here, I bet you will marvel at the difference.

The former CDC Chairman, Mr. Eseimokumo Ben-Okosughe will forever be remembered for successfully championing this cause to fruition. It was through his innumerable daring attacks and solicitations that a mission hitherto thought impossible became mission accomplished.
He laid his life, career and future on the line to make this possible. I am sure that wherever he is today, he will be standing tall and hopefully receiving the accolade he deserves.

Not only did he agitate for this health center for his community, he also fought for the employment of Ogboinbiri youths by Agip. If you ask me, this is the stuff great leaders are and should be made of. I hope his people realize what a gem they have in this man.

These two great accomplishments aside, there are still countless areas that Ogboinbiri community, along with all other oil producing communities of the Niger Delta need dire assistance. There are educational facilities to provide, environmental degradation to correct and many other lacks that should not be there any longer.

Agip and the other Multi-National Oil Companies have so much they can do for these communities to make their lives easier. It should be a symbiotic relationship rather than a predator one.

Now, Ogboinbiri community, our eyes are on you to see what you can make of these feats, will you let them go to waste due to mismanagement, greed and looting, or will you perpetuate the good works? I hope the latter will be the case considering how long you have been in the dark ages and how hard you fought for this.

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BENEFITS AND TIPS FOR HEALTHY LIVING

Living healthy is a way of life, and should not be seen as a chore or a passing trend. Healthy living should be a fun part of our usual lifestyle.
Illness of any kind is a bore; it destabilizes the whole system, even something as simple as a headache. So why put yourself through all these avoidable hassles that you can easily avoid by living a healthy life.
Healthy living is not just about eating the right diet and exercising. It also involves positive and quality lifestyle built on a positive self-image.

The benefits of healthy living are innumerable; no book can contain it, but let’s share few of them here.

Happiness
Personally, the basic benefit I derive from healthy living is dwelling in a state of constant happiness. I found out that things that used to stress me out and give me those anxiety bouts no longer have that effect on me. I can easily shrug them off and move on rather than dwell on them and let them destroy my inner peace and happiness.
Living healthy gives you inner peace and happiness.

Good Health
For most people, this is the primary reason for their following a healthy lifestyle. Once you are eating healthy, exercising and having a cheerful disposition as much as possible, you considerably cut down the risk of so many diseases, including chronic ones like cancer, hypertension and diabetes. In essence, it enhances longevity. This alone is enough to make you change to a healthy lifestyle.

Self-esteem
Living healthy boosts self –confidence because you are in a better shape physically, emotionally and psychologically. All these added together boosts one’s self-esteem. In fact, it gives you the bragging power knowing that you possess enough self-control to pursue a healthy lifestyle and stick to it.

Tips for Healthy Living
Drink up
Drink up lots of water, not carbonated and artificial drinks mind you. Rather than take that chilled bottle of coke, take water, it is healthier and improves your health.

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Water is a natural cleanser, helping to remove toxins from the system and transport nutrients and oxygen through the body. You can never go wrong with water intake.
Once you notice that you are thirsty, your lips are dry, your urine is concentrated, you are probably dehydrated already. Drink up!

Eat Healthy
Lots of vegetables and fruits that you eat will provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs.

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Eating lots of fatty and starchy food however gives you lots of calories which your body does not even need. They pile up and turn to fat and diseases. Fibers also work wonders for your body though they must be eaten in proportion.
Steer clear of fad diets and processed food, sugary and salty foods, they are the greatest killers. Preparing your own meals is much healthier.

Delete Negativity
Instant deletion of every form of negativity – people, situations, job, environment, – will purge your system of negativity, leaving you happier and freer. All these negativities are toxic to the body and should be deleted for a healthier you.

Avoid Unhealthy Choices
Alcohol, cigarette, sedentary lifestyle, and unsafe sex are wrong choices. There is nothing good about them. Do not compromise your life with unhealthy choices that you can do without.

Exercise
Movement they say is life. Exercise keeps you in good form and gives you a certain glow and joy. The benefits are a thousand and one.
You can go for whatever kind of exercise that you are comfortable with or the ones that you like more. This will help get you inspired to go for your exercise routine.

Go for Check up

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Occasional visits to your medical doctor will keep many ailments away.  If there is one lurking around, it can be discovered on time and treated because some diseases will not give you symptoms till it is too late. Your Doctor will also advise you on how to live healthier and you can go home with peace of mind.

There are many other tips that will assist you to achieve a healthy lifestyle and you probably know most of these already.

Do not drink and drive, use your seat belts, improve your posture, meditate, get enough sleep, socialize, and on and on. Please follow these tips, they are incredibly simple if you really understand their benefits.

Go on, live healthy, stay healthy, live happier, and live longer.

CHOOSE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE TO HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

Healthy living is the only way to live, if you wish to live happier and longer. It is your personal decision to make daily healthy choices about your lifestyle and habits. A healthy lifestyle puts you on a higher pedestal and offers you a happier, more fulfilled life. I am sure you have heard these lines many times in the past, the point is, what have you done with them? Are you pursuing happiness and longer life by following the line of healthy lifestyle? Or are you too self-indulgent and undisciplined that you continue to live just for today?

Our present world is filled with diseases of various kinds, with new ones popping up here and there, some with no known cure. We seem to be under siege from the attacks of these maladies that are running amok in the society with no regard for age, location or class. Look closely, you will find teenagers battling with cancer, you will notice young man of 30 with hypertension. Age is no longer a barrier against any disease, not anymore, unless you chose to live wisely.

Often times, our choices in life make or mar us, unfortunately, the results might not be obvious for years. The unhealthy lifestyles we live today provide a freeway for some of these diseases to attack our bodies mindlessly as the toxins accumulate in the body over time. Some of the diseases people suffer today are avoidable if only we can follow a healthy lifestyle. Your health practitioner would tell you this fact too.

The rate of careless living is increasing. The underlying reason, I think, is the trending fast way of life and the need for instant gratification. We aim for instant coffee, instant wealth, instant food, and instant love even. We live permanently on the fast and dangerous lane, so we live off junk and sweet foods and drinks, we live virtual lives on our computers and phones, and we are turning into woods with various devices assisting us in many tasks and so on.

You wake up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee/tea or even leave on empty stomach, rush off to work or business with a detour to buy doughnuts or hamburgers. Armed with your sweet snacks, you continue to the office or shop where you sit all day with a lunch break of more junk food washed down with a bottle of artificial drink. Back to work till late in the evening, when if you are lucky enough, there is home prepared dinner but consisting of more unhealthy diet. Otherwise, you branch off to a fast food shop for sharwarma or pizza or even make a detour to a pub for some bottles of beer before going home.

You get home; shower and then you are on the social media with your thousand and one friends and followers on all the social networks, catching up on all the bad news and gossips and fake lives people live there. Before you know it, it is 9pm and your stomach reminds you to take your dinner which you do with one hand still on the phone, ‘networking’. Your eyes stay glued to the screen – television or phone or computer till very late in the night when you force yourself to catch a few hours’ sleep. The next morning, your alarm wakes you up and the cycle is repeated.
Nothing is wrong with that lifestyle except that you are gradually but consistently digging your grave with it.

The result of that unwholesome lifestyle is sickness; you get ill from excess sugar, from the sedentary lifestyle, from the hazardous chemicals in the artificial foods, drinks and other artificial products we consume on daily basis. Sometimes, the orthodox medicines we consume seem to no longer be effective so we consume even more of them. Yet, there is a simple way out of this quagmire – live healthy.
Healthy living is not as hard you think darling. In fact, once you are able to take control of your body as you rightly should, rather than allow your body to control you, then you would realize that it is an easy path and a powerful one too.

Living Healthy

Healthy living is a continuous way of life and should not be a flash in the pan affair. It affords you the impetus to race against these chronic diseases.  To succeed at it and make it work for you requires self-discipline and commitment. Our body is already hard-wired to seek pleasure and toe the path of least effort. These traits need to be unlearned and replaced with something better, healthier and long lasting. So many years of pleasure seeking has only led too mny of us to self-destruction. It is high time we changed all that.

When you decide to live healthy, your body and your brain will be at war initially, but with dogged determination to achieve a better life, you will come out the winner, if only you will persevere in self-control. The decision to live healthy will not solve the health challenges; it is your continued positive action and attitude that will bring about the desired change.  Your ability to go for fruits rather than pastries, to choose yoga over Netflix, to visit your sister rather than chat with her on the phone, to get more sleep rather than less. These actions are what will transform your life.

Mind you, healthy living does not guarantee a complete absence or cure to every disease, but it limits the accessibility of diseases to your body, it gives you more immunity, and ensures that you do not murder yourself through your lifestyle.

Stay tuned here for more on healthy living, the benefits, tips that will guide us in achieving healthy living and how to make it work for you. Till then, learn to live healthy! Health is wealth.

My #MeToo

Sexual abuse and molestation in Nigeria is something we are all used to as females. A guy can boldly and shamelessly share the story of how he forcefully had sex with a number of girls to a mixed audience of male and female, young and old. Instead of the expected outburst from the audience, especially the female ones, don’t be surprised when you get nothing but  boisterous laughter and such comments as ‘serves the bitch right’, ‘what was she even doing alone with you?’, ‘if they won’t give you freely, you take by force, after all, you are the man’ and that ends that.

Rape in Nigeria is often the fault of the victim and therefore there is nothing to discuss or fight for, they ask for it. And so the culture of silence continues, we feed it and nurture it, all of us. We nurture it by not speaking up, by not supporting the victims, by shaming the victims, by pretending and accepting it as a norm.

I searched for #MeToo Nigeria on twitter and I came up with mostly lamentations of how it just cannot work in Nigeria – which is probably true, but can’t we just try a bit?
No, I have never been abused by a celebrity of any sort, but yes, I have suffered sexual molestation. In fulfillment of my promise in my last post, here goes…

My first gory experience with rape was after my university when I was looking for a better job than the one I had. He was my school mate in elementary school, I met him again as a course mate and the president of my departmental students’ Union in the university. He became my friend and the brother I didn’t have. This relationship continued even after school and we graduated into family friends.

My crime however, was that I pleaded with him to assist me in getting a better job, nearer home to which he gladly agreed. And when we met to discuss this issue, Buli, my friend felt that if he should help me, then I must have sex with him and when I said NO, he saw no other alternative than to forcefully have his way. He was a married man at the time, still is, with kids he adore, he is a church minister’s son. He was my friend, my brother from another mother, and he raped me and I did nothing about it aside feel sorry for myself and angry at him and myself in addition to dealing with the guilt.

My second experience with rape was just a couple of years back; you would think I would have been smarter by then. Ben used to share a shop with his brother in my cousin’s compound and my cousin’s house happened to be my second home. He was a likeable and trustworthy guy whom my cousin could entrust her shop and home to any time. He asked me out countless times and I politely declined each time. When I moved far away from home, we stopped communicating and I felt he was fed up with me.  But when I relocated back home, he became a regular visitor in my mum’s home.
He invited me to his apartment several times and I declined but my cousin told me that since he was a nice person whom we all knew, that there was nothing untoward in going to his apartment. I visited him one afternoon. After the pleasantries, Ben began to list my sins for me, how I had declined his advances for so many years, how he had loved me for ages without my reciprocating. I apologized and explained to him again that I declined because I did not love him and we began to argue back and forth.  Then he gave me the verdict that I cannot leave his apartment till I had given him sex. I guess that was my punishment and payment for all my atrocities. He locked his doors and took the keys, telling me that even the shouting spree I wanted to embark on would not help me as no one was around to hear me. After all the drama, Ben succeeded in sexually abusing me.

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Maybe this would have helped. I think I need some lessons in taekwando.
#MeToo.

#NomeansNo
Say No to Sexual abuse


Ragazza Triste

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