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Remembering Nkiru
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G.L.i.B-bed: Reading plan: More of Maya Angelou’s Autobiographies
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G.L.i.B-bed: Evil in the house
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I don’t get it but I’ve accepted it
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October in review: comme ci, comme ća
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G.L.i.B -bed: There’s nothing funny about war
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The beast in our breasts
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G.L.i.B – bed: The Islamist
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G.L.i.B-bed: The house my father built
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A toast to all …certified and otherwise

G.L.i.B-bed: Reading plan: More of Maya Angelou’s Autobiographies

There was a pervading feeling of déjà vu as I thumbed my way through I know Why the Caged Bird sings. It all became clear at the end; this was one of seven autobiographies, and I had just finished the third in the series. Interestingly, I wasn’t aware of this and Maya Angelou’s writing occupies a top spot in my ranking of phenomenal writing. How odd. No need extoling one of America’s (and indeed the world’s) greatest writers. More than enough has been said (and written) about her extraordinary penmanship that inspires, elevates, informs and celebrates. Instead of adding my ink and voice , I’d rather embark on a collection of her works to heartily digest (and constantly use them as terms of reference) and, hopefully, reflect such skill in my style and learning path.

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G.L.i.B-bed: Evil in the house

They say it’s when you become a parent, you realize your parents were right all along. As a mum, I’d rather be tagged paranoid than sorry when it concerns my children. Paranoia can be tamed; regret live with you for all time, and, sometimes, has unseen, far-reaching consequences. Now, I understand my mum’s obviously worried expressions, her statements about some male relatives and her caution when dealing with them. Family is not off limits when it comes to abuse of any kind – domestic, sexual or otherwise. After all, na who know man na im dey kill am. Yeside Kilanko’s novel reminds the reader how much closer to home evil can be lurking, and how, sometimes, unwittingly, unintentionally, we aid it ourselves through the entrance of extended family members into our lives. And it is one of the parents’ essential duty to shield their offspring from such familial devils. Without giving away necessary spoilers of the plot of this book which elicited contrasting emotions as I flipped over the pages, it would be difficult and constricting to write effectively about it. But I’d say this; the recent trend of women speaking up and out about all forms of abuse must[…]

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October in review: comme ci, comme ća

This 10th month felt unfulfilling to me. In terms of my plans for it. Yes, I did read books – three of them – The Islamist, The House My Father Built & Burma Boy. Yes, I did my work out, quite diligently too, save for the time an upset stomach halted me temporarily in my tracks for a couple of days. My 9 – 5 was humdrum, snail – pacing along. No private jobs were bagged this month either. No, I didn’t blog in the manner I’d have preferred – more posts about books read than insights on other everyday events – but I attained my target for the month. It didn’t feel me with any form of satisfaction. Somewhere in the month, I prepped (inadequately too. Let’s see the outcome of that this time next month) for NaNoWriMo. If I can call the three pages of plot notes that! Then I began and completed several editing tests in a frenzy of 14 days for self- improvement and career development. I am yet to attempt any more in the last week or so. Life happened but I intend to return to them and include in my weekly or monthly learning[…]

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The beast in our breasts

The call came through on one of those days when I had the second dose of malaria medication flowing in my veins; the time when I was hovering between sickening nausea and weakened limbs. The last thing I craved was answer a call and expel the last vestige of energy I had left. No, I’ll pass. I picked it up. What the caller (a former colleague and friend) had to say made my sickly situation grossly inconsequential. My response, instinctive as it was, was equally news to her as her pronouncement had been to me. A former supervisor (a truly beautiful soul who morphed into a friend, sounding board, co-conspirator and big sister) had died…of breast cancer. I had been aware of her condition and her subsequent relocation to the US for better, further treatment. The reports of her situation sounded good. Last I heard, she was in excellent health. Not anymore. The cancer had won. And I thought she had won.  Going to the States and all. Getting the best of care – chemotherapy, constant monitoring, mastectomy even. I thought she had won. I was not privy to the prognosis of her affliction but whatever it had been (early/last[…]

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G.L.i.B – bed: The Islamist

With the rise of terrorism, ISIS and Boko Haram right here in our backyard, the choice to read this book was a no – brainer. With a subtitle like Why I joined radical Islam in Britain, what I saw and why I left, did I need any other compelling reason to dive into it head first? Nothing to lose and everything to gain. Though published exactly a decade ago, its contents are just as potent and relevant today (if not more) as they were at the time of release. And who better equipped to reveal the workings and process of radical Islam than a former ardent, active member of the group? Incredibly detailed and, often times, disquieting, the author chronicles his religious, educational and social choices spanning a period of ten years (from mid – teenage years to his early/mid – twenties). In so doing, he lays bare the inner, systematic indoctrination into Islamic extremism of young, impressionable minds; effectively using the foolproof strategy: Teach a child the way he should go and when he grows up, he would not depart from it.  The outcome of which have manifested in present day ISIS’ rampage, global terrorism and our very own[…]

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G.L.i.B-bed: The house my father built

After the unsated feeling left behind by Diary of a Dead Nigerian and Like a Mule bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, one would have thought I’d steer clear of small – sized novels. But neigh, the first read of this month, The House My Father Built by Adewale Maja – Pearce, fits perfectly into the little mould, and promptly leaving me with a sense of unfinifshedness (if there’s a word like that!) as the other two previous books did. Third time’s the charm, right? Perhaps I’m a sucker for short, well – written book. The pull to devour them always triumph over thick tomes with promises of more reading time. For me, it’s not how big; it’s how well – put together. And thirdly, (didn’t know I was counting), sadly, small novels tick all the right boxes for me. I am willing to risk the Oliver Twist’s feeling it would elicit when I turn the last page. No disappointment there. I was left wanting more after consuming the book in less than 48 hours. The landlord-tenant relationship in Nigeria is a rather unique one. At some point in time, the tenant could be mistaken for the owner of the[…]

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A toast to all …certified and otherwise

If you’ve held a child and jogged along as s/he learnt to ride a bicycle on your instructions… If you’ve pointed out words and painstakingly pronounced them properly for another to repeat and remember and read… If you’ve effected an attitude adjustment where there was once deviant behaviour… If you’ve trained a child, a sibling, a protege in the way s/he should go and s/he is yet to depart from it… If you’ve inspired confidence, kindness, gratitude and a pay-it-forward way of life… If you’ve nurtured and mentored a dream, a passion into full-blown tangible reality… If you’ve instilled discipline, obedience, respect, courtesy, empathy in another… If your guidance, nudging, support and frequent yelling have resulted in a better human… If after reading the following quote: “The mistakes of a doctor are buried underground, the mistakes of a lawyer are locked behind bars but the mistakes of a teacher walk up and down the streets ” you think of all the other possible options you’d have taken to instruct, impact effectively… Then raise your glass with mine in a toast to us. However, if you’ve done all of the above (and so much more) as a calling, in a controlled[…]

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