What I didn't like about Benin Republic

I am going to start sharing my Benin Republic story by talking about what I didn't like about our beloved neighbors. I went to Benin Republic with an open mind, I didn't even Google the country, I left all the planning to my friend, Sandra, which is very unusual for me.

The one thing which made my skin crawl was the poking and extreme touching. This touching/poking is worse that when Yaba boys drag you to come buy those okrika clothes by force.

Imagine you're standing on the road and the next minute some hands touch your skin and you are simply moved an inch from a spot and the next thing you see the culprit walk right pass you. No words, no glance, nothing.  I was standing in a spot and next thing I know, I was been moved by a man who could have just told me to please move myself. Like I was literally carried from one spot, just so mister man can pass.

I told one to stop touching me and he said, "Na for Nigeria una dey carry Ebola, no Ebola for here",
I was speechless.

All through the 3 days I spent in this nation, I was to suffer the fate of "illegal touching".

I also found Beninese to be very aggressive, not as aggressive as Nigerians but aggressive all the same. I was on the street and the next thing I felt tire on my skin, I turn expecting the man to at least apologize or something, mumu started abusing me in French.

Oh and those people, telling the world Nigerians are the ones desecrating their land are just busy deceiving themselves. These people are equally as greedy. I was charged N500 to register my passport on my way out of their country, after paying N1300 to get it stamped. The man practically seized my passport and said if we don't pay, he won't give us our passports.

To be honest, I was irritated most of the time and vowed not to visit the country again. But then, my friends and I are planning another trip down there, this time wiser.

Mum said Seme border is the worst border ever and that I should have gone in through the Idiroko border, hoping I have a different experience when next I visit.

Till the next post, au revoir.

Have you been to Benin Republic? What was your experience? If you haven't been, would you be interested in going?


Hello 2015: The year of happiness and new beginnings

 at Porto Novo, Benin Republic
Hello Blogsville.
I know I am late to the Happy New Year bandwagon.
But better late than ever they say.

So here I am wishing you all an amazing and achievement filled 2015.

I welcomed the new year in Cotonou with one of my besties, Sandra Ayika, post on this coming up soon. It was just a crazy experience and I can't believe that upon all my smartness, I was scammed by at the border. Tori plenty inside next post.

So 2015 is going to be my turn-up year.
It is my year of happiness and new beginnings.
and the year I turn 30, like I am so excited.

A lot of new chapters is starting for me.
So excited about what the year has to offer.
Saying goodbye to Cotonou

This year is so going to be a busy one for me professionally and academically.
I begin my Masters programme in my course of choice this year,
Hello student life.

In between all these hectic schedule, I hope to get chance to travel and explore new places this  year. How this is going to work, only time will tell.

So after  my experience in Benin Republic, I have resolved to learn a new language. Guessing I should pick up from where I stopped in Spanish or I learn French, yet to decide on which.

I hope to stop my procrastination with blogging and put up more posts during the year.

Thanks to Toin for the recharge card,  To be honest, I wasn't expecting it and was happy to see the pin in my email.

Cheers to a beautiful year.


Nike Art Gallery Through my lens

These pictures were taken during my last visit to the gallery in February during the Social Media Week, Lagos. 

Camera: Nikon Coolpix L810


Who is looking after your children?

Source: All Free Download

I grew up in a home filled with house-helps.
I can't remember any house help hitting me, even though my aunt gave them the liberty to beat us whenever my cousins and I misbehaved.
So imagine my shock when I watched the video of the Ugandan maid viciously attacking that little child.
I am sure you lots have seen the video, if not, please go look for it.

Another crazy story was that of the Chinese lady who cut off her nephew's penis was barging into the toilet while she chatted with her boyfriend on the phone.

There was this young couple who moved into their house few buildings from my mum's.
The husband is a drilling engineer with one of the top oil companies in Nigeria, he was never home. The wife is a fashion designer and owned a shop around Egbeda.
I never saw the husband but I saw the wife once in a while whenever she drove down the street.
All of a sudden, the house was empty, the gate locked with padlock.
This is a house they moved into less than 2 years, they owned the house which is the reason for my surprise.

Mum had the gist few weeks later.
The wife is a mother of 3, the first born was away in boarding house.
The second, a boy of 4 and her 2 years old daughter.

As a typical Nigerian mother, she could not trust the safety of her young daughter with the 12 years old houseboy. So she always took her young daughter with her anywhere she went and left the young boy with the house boy and her husband's brothers in the house.

Alas, this action which seem harmless and normal was to her undoing.
For her husband's brothers could not be bothered about the young boy.
All they do is watch TV everyday and eat food cooked by the wife.

Unknown to the brothers, and the wife.
The houseboy was sexually molesting the young boy while the husband's brothers watched TV or slept in the same house.
The wife began to suspect something was wrong when she noticed her son limped while walking. Never in her wildest dream would she had assumed something like that was happening to her son.

Who would have thought a 12 years old boy brought from the village was capable of molesting a 4 years old boy. The wife's fear was that the 12 years old boy might molest her 2 years old daughter not her son. Her son was supposed to be safe with the house boy.

It took many days of cajoling for the little boy to open up and finally talk about his ordeal.
The wife was in shock and when she finally confronted the houseboy, was attacked with a knife.
Luckily for her, her husband's brothers were able to overpower the houseboy.
Turned out the houseboy had also been molested at a very young age by some uncle of his in the village. He needed to satisfy his sexual urges and since he was molested as a child saw no wrong in molesting another young boy as well.

The mother-in-law blamed the wife.
She called her names and asked what she was doing that she cannot take care of 2 children.
The gist had spread around the neighborhood like fire.
The shame was too much for the wife to take.
She begged her husband and moved to her friend's house.

Her husband came back to town and bought another house far away from the neighbourhood.
The house boy was sent back to the village.

The stories are everywhere, if the child is not sexually assaulted, they are physically assaulted.
Even family members can not be trusted to take care of one's child like the parent will.

Countless times, I have seen my young cousins shove my little niece, pinch her or simply just hit the girl without any provocation. Like the little kid is just on her own and this cousin just walks up to her and for whatever devilish reason just hits the kid. My sister goes crazy whenever she sees this, and I wonder why hurt an harmless child.

Yes, Nanny cam's are on the rise but does that save the child from been viciously attacked by those paid to watch over them. A friend recently suggested that couple if need be should employ professional nannies because she believes those one do the job from the heart and not just for the money.

I know it is not easy in this world of ours to give up the job and especially the money that come with it to take care of one's family. Only except if the man is over financially capable to bear the burden alone. But then we need to always take extra care to protect our children.

Imagine if the Ugandan father had not set up a camera in the house.
Some of our men had their first sexual experience with the house helps back in the days.
I might not have been physically or sexually attacked as a child, but then I can not 100% be comfortable leaving my future child with someone I do not know from Adam.

We live in a vicious world. I don't know what I would do if any one harms a strand of hair on my future child.


The Grey to my Yang's birthday

It was my home girl's birthday on the 25th of October.
My tomato Jos is 30.
She is the Grey to my Yang, you need to watch Grey's Anatomy to our relationship.

It's a big deal turning 30.
Sandra turning 30 is a bigger deal to me and everyone who knows her.
When she told me to turn up for paint ball on her birthday, I was so excited.
Not even the rain would keep me from celebrating my girl.

It feels great to see her walking without her walking stick, even if it was just for that day.
She has spent her last 2 birthdays bedridden in Igbobi and with the aid of  crutches.
Her life has practically been on hold since the 7th of September 2012.

Everyday I am grateful to God for this beautiful soul.
Sandra is such a strong girl, she is the life of a party.
She never gave up hope during those dark days, her optimism was so contagious.

I can't wait for the day when she will no longer work with any form of aid or limp.
I know that day is coming soon.
And while we wait, we still get to have fun and enjoy life

Someday I will write about my friend. for now I celebrate her life, her awesomeness and zeal for life.

Praying for Mark's Successful delivery of pizza, turkey and orishirishi ijekuje


Recent Read, Movie and Music

This post has been sitting in my draft for me weeks.

Recent Read: Lessons in Love
I finally read Lara Daniel's book. It has been on my kindle for the last one year but for one reason or the other never opened the book till some days back

I must commend the author for her ability to pull through the 1st person narrative. The book sort of gave me the "50 shades" vibe. I saw a similarity between Tara, the character in 'Lessons in Love" and Anastasia Steele of 50 shades (my thoughts, you don't have to agree if you have read the book).
I am always skeptical with Nigerian romance novels but Lara definitely did justice to this one.

I found the book rushed, like it was slow in the beginning, picked pace in the middle and before I knew it, the book had ended. In all Lara Daniels is an author to watch out for,

Movie: No Good Deed

This is the first Idris Elba movie I have watched.
Watched 'No Good Deed" at the Cinema with my friends Laura and Chinedu.
Abeg what is it with Naija Cinema goers and dishing commentary in while the movie is going on.

No Good Deed reminded me of the movie "Obsessed" starring Beyonce, to my surprise both movies were produced by same individual.

Idris Elba is obviously a talented actor and Taraji is also a good one. I am sure if not for the 2 of them, I probably would not have watched it.

The movie begin with Colin Evans (Idris Elba) pleading for an early release from prison, he is described by one of the parole board members as a "malignant narcissist," and, upon being transported back to prison, he murders several guards (including the kindly old man who wishes him well) and escapes. 

He pays a visit to his ex-fiancé who he ends up killing, Evans crashes his getaway vehicle in the woods and shows up on the doorstep of Terri Granger (Taraji P. Henson), an ex-District Attorney who is not appreciated by her emotionally distant husband and exhausted from staying at home with her two young daughters begging to use her phone to call the towing company. 

Terri’s sympathies come at great consequence. Actually, Colin didn't end up on Terri's doorstop by accident, he had come to see or should I say kill Terri's husband who was cheating on his wife with Colin's ex-fiancé.

The movie was worth the watch and I was glad I watched it with 2 of my favorite people.

Music: Bed of Stone-Asa

I am one of those who were looking forward to Asa's new album, Like I am in love with Asa and I was so glad when "Bed of Stone" dropped. I listen to the Album at least once a day. My favorite tracks on the album are 'Eyo', 'Dead Again' and the album title 'Bed of Stone'.