Rape Under Nigerian Law: Time For A Review.

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Malcolm's Blog

Recently, I had a discourse with a friend who is a member of the Nigerian Police Force. He was pointing out to me how unfair and lopsided the definition of rape under our Nigerian law is. This was something I had noticed many years ago while in the University but I didn’t really give it serious thought. A recent news report made me look into the issue a bit more seriously.

It was reported by Daily Post on the 17th of July, 2012 that in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State, a man was allegedly raped to death in the early hours of Tuesday by his six wives. He had returned late that night from a beer parlour where he usually hung out and headed to the room of his youngest wife to have sex with her when his other wives, armed with sticks and knives demanded that he…

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NOT TALKING TO YOU

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The thing with saying you’re not talking to someone is that by saying it, you’re actually talking to the person. Silent treatment? Please!!! Don’t even start with me cos that’s worse. So you say you’re not talking to me and you eye me when we cross paths and even hiss, Honey it’s so obvious our so called malice is bothering you more than it is bothering me. A piece of advice, if you really want to show me you are angry with me for something i have ‘supposedly’ done, just come out with it. I would apologise whether I did it or not. That way, we would understand the nature of our relationship better. Word of advice: If you really want to keep someone in your life even when the person has done something to hurt you, just tell the person and stop with the theatrics. Life is too short to waste time wasting time.

5 Topics Every Author MUST Write About

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Dysfunctional Literacy

If Ernest Hemingway said that you MUST write about these five topics, you'd take him seriously. (image via wikimedia) If Ernest Hemingway said that you MUST write about these five topics, you’d probably take him seriously. (image via wikimedia)

Writers don’t like being told what to do.  That’s part of what makes us writers.  We like to write about what we want to write about, and if somebody tells us what to write about, a lot of us will struggle.

Just like most people, I don’t like being told what to do, but I also don’t like telling others what to do.  This puts me in a bad position.  If I don’t like being told what to do and I don’t like telling others what to do, then I’m in a social no-man’s land.  Maybe that’s why I like being a writer; I have complete control without really having to make decisions for anybody else.

I don’t like being told what to read either.  As a reader, I constantly see…

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THE THING WITH EMPATHISING

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I’m sorry, did you just say I don’t know how you feel? Did you just say I’ll only understand when I go through exactly what you’re going through? Well, I’m sorry I don’t believe that. I’m sorry I have a knack for checking dictionaries so I’ll just go ahead and define empathy which is “the intellectual identification of the thoughts , feelings, or state of another person”. There, that’s why I don’t believe I cannot know what you’re going through. You see, we all go through pain, happiness, anxiety, love, sadness; call any emotion and we’ve all felt it at one point in our lives, well speaking for myself now, I’ve felt it all at varying degrees. Therefore, I have an idea what it’s like. Certain feelings are not peculiar to certain situations and an example is sadness. Now, this might sound utterly stupid, unreasonable even but I might feel the same measure (or maybe depth because there really is no way to measure an emotion) of sadness when my dog dies as you might feel when your boyfriend you love so much breaks up with you (p.s. I don’t think I’d feel that bad if my dog dies, it’s just an example). You would cry, have sleepless nights, lose your appetite or suddenly have an eating disorder and I, having other ways of showing sadness might do more but the thing is we are both experiencing a great deal of sadness that might lead to depression. So, the situations are completely different but we are both sad, terribly so.

I’m saying, the way you might feel about losing your hair might be the way I might feel about failing my exams or not getting into a much desired school or being cheated on by my boyfriend or losing a loved one or what have you. These are completely different situations but we feel the same way about it i.e. we are terribly sad. The reason why you don’t know this is because we are reacting to our sadness in different ways and it is not as if someone can enter our minds and measure the sadness and say “Oh, she’s feeling 2000 units of sadness while she is feeling 3000 units of sadness, therefore the latter’s sadness is higher”. Feelings are, well, abstract, a figment of our imagination. Our brains tell us we are sad and then we start acting that way.

And you want to know the worst thing, our sadness deepens with how much we value something. That is why my dog might die and I might not really care while yours might die and you might feel the world is over.  So at that point in time when you tell me, I don’t know how you feel (trust me I’ll be angry you’re crying over a dog), honey I do know how you feel. You feel sad, sad as I would feel if I lost a loved one. It’s not the situation that brought about the feeling that makes it easy to empathise with you but the feeling itself. I can empathise with you because I have felt it, I wish I haven’t but I have, PERIOD!!!!

ADULTHOOD CALLS

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When do we begin to make the switch? I mean, when do we truly become adults? I really don’t believe it has anything to do with age because one can be as old as Methuselah was before he died (he really lived looong) and never truly mature into an adult. I personally don’t believe it has anything to do with physical appearance either. The dictionary defines adulthood as the time of life when one is expected to take responsibility for one’s own actions and well-being, well, when is that time? Is it at the age of eighteen when one is legally an adult or twenty-one when one is finally allowed to drink alcohol in some countries because one is believed to have learned self control (Please!!!)?

Adulthood has nothing to do with age. If a girl gets pregnant and is suddenly faced with raising and taking charge of another life, she is about to cross to adulthood where she needs to stop regretting whatever it is she regrets and make a decision. Same goes to the guy that got her pregnant no matter how old they both are (15 or 1,000 years old, it doesn’t matter), adulthood calls. If a child’s parents die and he is faced with raising his younger ones as well as himself, adulthood calls. Let’s not go far, if a child’s mother gets badly sick and she is left to take care of her mother and herself, adulthood calls. If a child’s parent breaks down after a bad divorce and the child is left to try and be a source of joy constantly to that parent (that can be hard because children are prone to occasional rebellion), I guess adulthood calls.

It’s not age or the situation, circumstance or fate as some of us might like that pushes us from childhood to adulthood, but how we choose to handle it. The death of someone we love, betrayal of a friend, loss of property or well happy ones  like the birth of a child, marriage perhaps, a promotion at work, all these defining moments help us to take more responsibility for our actions. They make us stop looking to people for our decisions but help us make those decisions knowing that if anything goes wrong we have ourselves to blame. It is not being able to push the blame on others but ourselves. Everything boils down to us, not our parents or friends, not the impossible situations that surrounds us but us.

It is not the ability to have sex without anyone stopping you, the ability to drink and take drugs that makes you an adult, it is the ability to take responsibility for those actions and their consequences not shifting blames and whining. We all need someone to lean on and sometimes need certain things to be put in place for things to work out but I’m sorry honey, life wasn’t built to be easy. Atimes, you feel like ending it all but still hold on. The transition from childhood to adulthood fully occurs when you defeat the situation. When you, in spite of all odds, will yourself to forge ahead and make something of yourself with or without the person or situation you would prefer. So yes, I’m saying keep going forward, for when you make that decision to do so, you’ve crossed the threshold from childhood to adulthood no matter how old you are or fully grown you look.

THE DEFAULT SETTING OF A YORUBA CHILD

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When i was younger, I used to wonder why my knees bent a little making me a bit shorter when i wanted to give anyone something. I also wondered why I always gave someone something with my right hand, always my right hand no matter how difficult it may be at that time. I wondered why I could never stare into the eyes of an adult, stay there when adults were talking or even contribute to their conversation. I also wondered why my knees always had to touch the floor when I greeted them and why I practically had to say ma/sir all the time when I finally got to converse with them.

Maybe I had always been defiant for thinking these things or maybe it was just curiosity. Maybe it was something in me wondering if all these represented respect as I was told. Respect, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means “a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious etc. and should be treated in an appropriate way”. With this definition, I would not say I had this view about most of the people I did these things above for. I am so sorry but but if I knew earlier that kneeling down for someone meant that I understood and felt the person was important and should be treated in an appropriate way, I would not have been so receptive to the idea if I did not feel that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying these things in totality are bad because they represent our cultural beliefs and values, I am saying kneeling down for someone every now and then, not looking into the person’s eyes or participating in his/her conversations or calling he/she, ma/sir does not show that I respect the person. It simply shows that I am willing to adhere to the norm of the society. My respect goes to anyone who would not make you fear him/her to receive it, it goes to anyone who without trying too hard earns it, it goes to anyone who values human lives whether young or old, who does not discriminate against children and feels that he/she is permitted to trample upon the right of someone just because he/she is older than the person. I respect someone with integrity, someone who would not compromise his/her values just because the world says something is acceptable, I also respect someone who does not impose his/her views on others. That should mean I respect a lot of people but unfortunately it doesn’t because not many people fit into my class of respectable people (whatever that means, right?).

I guess I am saying if you probably fit into this class, you should not see me kneeling down often for you if i should even do that at all. This is because I would rather hug you than kneel down for you. I would rather look you in the eye to fully grasp what you are saying than avoid eye contact. I would not care so much about which hand I use to give you something especially when my right hand is really occupied at the moment. I would not say sir/ma so much because that makes the conversation painfully formal and I would not get to learn all the things I want to learn from you. But if i go against the norm and break out of the default setting of the Yoruba child, I would get shunned and be called a ‘disrespectful child’ (whatever that means) who my parents did not train well. Therefore, I conform, pitiful me, conforms to ‘The Default Setting of the Yoruba Child’.

HEARTACHE FROM DIVERGENT SERIES

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I sort of know Veronica Roth did not mean to hurt me (considering the fact that she does not know me) but she did anyway. Why did she have to kill off Tris, why did she leave Tobias shattered, why did she make me read three long books only to kill my favourite fictional character? All these questions and no answer. Well, I guess as a writer you are at liberty to determine who lives and who dies but it was so hard to grasp the “reality” that Tris was gone, dead and that I wouldn’t get to hear, see and read her perspective of her fractured, crumbling and ‘anything-but-safe’ world. I wouldn’t get to hear how much she loved Tobias and how much she wished they were alone together. I wouldn’t get to see her angry and throw punches at anyone who got in her way and I definitely wouldn’t get to see her and Tobias happy in a safe world that they both created. It is not fair Veronica Roth, it’s just not fair. This is the heartache of a Divergent Addict.

Just Hitched

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These are the words attached to the car of the newly weds as they drive away from the wedding reception to wherever their honeymoon is. These words hold more meaning than we can ever imagine. A hitch is a noun that means a sudden pull but informally it is a verb that means to marry but enough with the predetermined meaning of words. Enough with saying words without knowing the weight of emotions and meanings they convey. When the newly weds tell you they just got hitched, they should be telling you that a sudden force has pulled them together such that nothing or no one can separate them. They should be telling you that they are a unit ready to go through life together, share each other’s pain, enjoy each other’s happiness and well see each other through life. They should be telling you that everything might be going wrong but as long as they are together, everything’s fine.

‘Just Hitched’ has more meaning than they just got married, it means that they have made a lifelong commitment  to stay together no matter what. Therefore, if this is not what the marriage represents, the couple did not just get hitched, they just ‘got wedded’.

Actions are louder

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I see
I watch
I observe
I might not talk but I stop 2 observe d little things others ignore
The little things that show everything
The silence that say a lot
I might not talk but thru wot u see as insignificant details, I knw everything.

The day we stop…

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The day we stop trying, we give up on God