Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Another Form of Child Abuse?

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I saw something interesting today. My occasional bus ride to work when I want to beat certain traffic and not get stopped on the way for it, yields me delight every time! Today I had mixed feelings and this is why.

After I got into the vehicle, followed by two other ladies, the last occupant was a girl-child with her school bag, carrying her brother with his school bag behind him and they sat by the door! I could hear the mother’s plea to the Conductor not to leave the door open. But we know in Lagos, it is style to leave the door open, hang on the door or behind the vehicle answering calls as the driver speeds on as if chased by a demon! STYLE!

What the Conductor did was to block where the children sat with his body (his head was in and derriere jutting out for stability) as he collected his charge and gave change. Being concerned for the child, I kept asking him to shut the door, he politely ignored me, at some point the lady beside the girl-child took the brother and positioned him in front of her and it felt a little safe. When a passenger got down by the next stop, the Conductor moved her into a better location. Phew!

Before that move, we saw her brother collect money from her and tried bending down from his tight spot but the lady held him up. He tried it again, this time his sister did the same too. We noticed that they were sticking their balance (apparently for lunch or snack or transport back) into their socks, to prevent it from being stolen! Hmmm. LOL. See wisdom.

Why am I saddened?

She fell asleep during this trip after her relocation to a better seat. I started imagining what time she woke up to prepare for school. I imagined the long trip to school. I imagined how she will ‘drag’ aka ‘compete’ with other bus users (who are going home tired and not in a pleasant mood to allow a child get on the bus before them) for a space on the bus home pulling her brother with her (and their bags). I wondered, why they had to travel this distance to attend a public school unaccompanied, when they had other public schools near their home they could attend.

You might argue that this one is cheaper. But by the time you add the cost of transportation to and fro, the different hazards on the road, you will agree their parents should have a re-think.

Guess what, He is 3 years old and she is 9!

ChildAbuse

Pix credit: Child Abuse

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

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#TuesdayThoughts – Focus!

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Focused people are likely to be termed as rude, unfriendly or unapproachable because they will ignore you till they are done with the matter at hand.

More often than naught you hear a parent say to their ward, ‘FOCUS!’ Knowing toddlers and their propensity to be everywhere at the same time, whilst deriving fun from all those things you think make no sense, it is practically an effort in futility. Ask Peter, and he’d readily recount the inner battles he had, trying to keep his gaze on the Master as he took that first step, as his other senses could feel the wind in his hair, the toss of the wave under his feet. As a matter of fact, it was the turbulence he felt in the place of ‘seeming safety’ (the boat), that sent him seeking a way of escape outside.

How do you focus when the noises within and without is almost louder than the VOICE speaking to you? How do you ‘pretend’ and continue with your trip towards that VOICE, when the trouble is in ya face!!!

#TuesdayThoughts_070317

©2017 Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

 

The Nigerian in me ;)

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I’m Nigerian, proudly AK, I believe in transformation, excellence (thank you Pst Paul of Lagos…LOL), all things leading somewhere to happen, impacting lives and changing statusquo. I’m Nigerian (I repeat) and I’m proud. Corruption has got nothing on me (no thanks Cameron).

People are entitled to their opinion and so I will grant them their due audience, though I made a covenant with my ears (earlier in the year) not to listen to anything negative – visual or audio. I might look at it or listen so as to know how to address it, but I do not entertain it, invite it into my heart and home or give it a dwelling place in my sphere. There is so much negativity trading and showing off already, why would I go a-searching for more?!

That people say we are bad, ill-mannered, fantastically-corrupt, and all dem bad-bad names dem a call we (forgive the fake patwah) does it mean you should wear the tag gladly without making any attempt to work on what needs correcting? Yes, they have pointed all these out, why not take their opinion as a list of things to strike off our pattern of behaviour and form new and better ones worth emulating?

I’m Nigerian, Born-again and Proud of where I drink from spiritually. I am taught to keep my biscuit and chocolate wrap with me till I get to the bin and deposit it nicely. It has gotten so bad that yesterday, when I walked into a mall, I saw a wrap and then a plastic bottle on the floor I almost picked them up before moving on. No I didn’t pick them for many reasons; but the one we do often (my King and I) is we don’t let you get away with dumping your trash on the road whilst driving. If you attempt to or do it, we would drive up to you and inform you to keep it in your car till you are able to do it. I don’t know what it is, but everyone we have told this, always look sober and apologetic. Whether they keep up with the new-found habit is what we cannot tell or confirm.

Last week, someone close to me, absentmindedly dropped something very tiny from the car and before I realised it, the deed had been done. Oh yes, I gave the ‘lecture’ which the person already knows for your information and I also observed on that beautiful day, the response I got innocently was “It’s the Nigerian in me”. I told the person I would write about it, so we all learn to curb that “Nigerian in us” that wants to remain in the not-going-anywhere-to-become-better-arena. Guess what, the tiny particle even refused to drop from the car and got stuck between the window and the door! LOL. We had a good laugh.

We all have “the Nigerian in us” but here is a call to consciously decide daily which Nigerian we allow show wherever we are and whilst you are thinking about it, I hail o! *Twale!

*AK – Akwa Ibom

*Twale – A form of greeting

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Real Fathers’ Day

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I hear a lot of people say so many things about some ‘fathers’ (men inclusive), calling them sperm donors, run-away fathers etc. They must have their reasons for saying that and I respect it. Be that as it may, I may have to agree with them that some of such ‘fathers’ deserve these names, because they “tangoed” and walked away, leaving the work of fathering to the woman alone. In my culture, a typical run-away father isn’t really bothered because he knows that the children will look for him, by bugging the living daylights out of their mum till she gives them answers. He is satisfied that no matter how long, they will look for him. They will want to bear his name (if they are not or trace his lineage) or one of those reasons.

Is he bothered that he didn’t play any part in their lives? No, sometimes, maybe! Does he regret walking away – depends on the circumstance. Does he make any attempt to make up for the lost years – some do.

I don’t have a run-away father or fathers, so I can’t really give an excuse for or fight one. So today, I am celebrating my Dad, my King and other men for being real Fathers. I tried yesterday to give King all the attention, because if truth be told, the Heritage do take up my world – except when it’s just both of us. Today, I’m committing to giving him all my attention as much as I can, so help me God. Amen!

Being the best father and dad has been easy simply because u’ve been beside me all these years, helping me through all the tough times in life. I sure would have been a big … if I were alone; with u, all things are made beautiful and fatherhood is made sweet. I’m proud to be the father in ur home. Thank you for celebrating me.

– King

For once, the wordsmith was lost for words (again) and I simply said “Awwwwww now ur making me blush n glow change colors! Thank you!”

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My apologies to all who feel slighted by my comments and on the other hand, I’d like to hear your opinion on the matter. Is walking away worth all the trouble it breeds in future? Is it worth the estranged relationship between you and your child (ren)

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.