Loud Thoughts

MOTHER TONGUE: EMBRACING IT.

mother tongue 1

In 1999, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, declared February 21st as International Mother Language Day. Was it observed in this part of the world? I doubt it. Where have our prestigious languages gone?

Mother tongue can be said to mean one’s native language. It is the the language spoken to us at birth and differs from others because they are in hundreds. Mother tongues are different from those learnt at school as they are first learnt at home. After all, it is believed that the name mother tongue came about because a mother is the first teacher available to a baby after birth. Therefore, whatever language the mother speaks is eventually passed on to the child. It’s also known as, vernacular, native tongue, first language, native speech and parent language.

Nigeria is a country of 36 states with 186 million inhabitants and over 500 ethnic groups and 521 languages of which 9 have gone into extinction. Nigeria has 3 major languagaes which are- Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo while some others are Hyma, Bette, Bara, Bashiri, Atyap, Kanuri, Ibibio, Gbagyi, Igala, Ijaw, Ikwerre, Margi and Jukun among others(google to see all 521 languages).

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You would agree with me that the language we all speak is English. This was made our Lingua-Franca because we were colonized by Britain and there was a need to keep speaking it so as to maintain a relationship with them and also have a common language. Don’t get me wrong, speaking of this language isn’t a problem, where the issue lies is when we cannot speak our own native language. I was a bit surprised when I checked up other languages of Nigeria online and realized I had not heard over 450 of them. Ah! You think Hausa is sweet enough, maybe you should hear others.

Our native language has been a part of our culture and as we know, culture is a way of life. Culture is what makes us stand out, what influences our thoughts and conducts wherever we find ourselves. Why has this part of our culture been thrown away? The Whites we look up to adore every part of their culture and would never trade it for a thing. Ever seen a White man on a native attire or dancing to our songs? Does that mean he would totally embrace ours and neglect his? Naah but welcome to my country, Nigeria, where everyone wants to use his or her nose to speak and do things like they are done over there. Welcome to a country where kids prefer to take cornflakes and golden morn instead of pap(I understand not everyone likes this). Welcome to a country where kids tell you, ”fufu”, ”amala” and ”poundo yam” are not bae and our cherished Egusi and Ogbonna soup mean nothing and should not be eaten. Welcome to a country where we go about feeling proud while speaking English and not our own native language. It has not been prohibited yet but it has become an unspoken taboo. We have let it sink into our minds subconsciously.  You speak it and you are seen as ”razz” or ”cannot be related with”.

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I won’t blame westernization, I blame the past generations for failing to uphold this. This wasn’t passed unto others which in turn made others have nothing to pass on too. Why can’t we begin to see this differently. Why don’t we see it as the language of the heart and mind? Why don’t we see it as something that would connect us with other peoples of our ethnic group. Can we let others speak Yoruba and others in peace? Can we make deliberate efforts to learn it? can we tell ourselves we would not make the mistake of not teaching our own kids this? Can we see it as ”swag” and begin to put down those who don’t understand theirs? Can we learn ours before learning others? If it were a job requirement, wouldn’t we be so perfect at it? Lol, I doubt if some of us would be able to fluently speak English. Let’s stop giving away our identity and value what we have. I’d really like to learn my language so  I can stand upto bus conductors. You need to hear me ask for my change in Yoruba! Chai, it sounds so off and begins to shake sef. Whenever I am confronting someone in Yoruba, my voice actually shakes and switching to English helps me lose the case(lmao). I want to be able to say, “ewa o, mi o kola o” (come o,  I have no tribal marks o) and others  perfectly but I’d  get there sha. All the same, I’m proud Yoruba is my language and for those who know me, don’t worry, I would shock you soon ( laughs).

Igbo Kwenu! Igbo Kwenu! Kwenu! Kwenu!

Rankadade! Rankadade!

Eyin temi da???

Other  languages you are on your own o.

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Photo Credit: Google.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Loud Thoughts

RETHINKING CHILDBEARING

Image result for suffering pregnant woman

A lady’s life has always been planned out as she learns to cook, sweep, wash and clean up the home as she grows. She is taught to behave well because she would be married later in future. Lets all agree on this, ”ladies are trained for their future husbands”, if not, why would mothers say, ”if you get to your husband’s house” or tell the guy, ”you don’t have to learn this, your wife would do”. Did God ever say ladies should do certain stuff? Should ladies alone be trained? Lets not even continue, I’d write on this later.

Motherhood is perhaps one of the best moments a lady dreams to have. It’s one of the times mothers-in-law earnestly await and use phrases like,”don’t delay” or ”I don’t want to die without seeing my grandchild(ren)”. I understand the pressure ladies go through especially when there is an agitation for quick delivery. Permit me to say that what is expected after marriage is a child and after that another one till satisfaction is felt but this is not an excuse to have one when you don’t have resources to take care of them. Also, it is quite important to note that most parents have a large number of kids due to being promiscuous and because they prefer males to females and vice versa.

Image result for children hawking   Image result for children armed

Recently, I have been wondering if child-bearing is really necessary. I’m not trying to contradict God’s word which says to ‘‘multiply and replenish the earth’‘ but why do so if they won’t be well catered for? Some would say, ”God would provide”, sure He would but the same Lord wants us to do things with wisdom, ”Be wise as serpents”.

Image result for children hungry      kids

Who wonders what couples spent about 3 years doing while there were no children. Did they forget to save? Even before getting married, how was money spent? Was money earned spent on looking good and flexing? Did they forget to make use of the ”now” they had because they did not know what the ”then” they are currently experiencing would bring? Have you ever been stopped by a kid begging for money to eat with or without his or her mother? Have you ever seen a kid searching the bins to find something to eat? Have you ever seen kids in tattered and dirty clothes despite having parents? I tried putting myself in the shoes of these kids and imagined how I would have responded. I probably would have asked my parents why they didn’t make enough preparations before having me. Sometimes the appearances and moods of these kids say a lot than we can imagine. They hawk when supposed to be in school not because they like it but what choice do they have? Why have kids and not be able to adequately cater for their primary needs? Why leave them to the hands of the society?

Such kids grow up to terrorize the society by engaging in criminal acts like robbery and kidnapping. They are the same ones big men use to carry out evil jobs. They become children not worthy to be reckoned with. They aid so-called terrorist groups by their availability and in return become channels of sorrow to their parents. Some parents go as far as giving out their kids to serve as maids in different homes due to financial constraints. Why? Why? Why?

Are we so desperate to be called ”Iya this” or “Baba that” that we let feelings come before reasoning? I am of the opinion that if you know you are not financially ready to mother or father a child, you do not have one! Lets leave them in peace in Heaven.

Matters Arising

SHOULD ATTENDING PUBLIC OWNED SCHOOLS BE A LEGAL SIN IN NIGERIA?

Image result for strike protests by nigerian students

The ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union Of Universities is no longer new to Nigerians. Over the years, this has been a major occurrence in our state and federal schools which have prompted parents to send their wards to private owned universities conveniently and inconveniently. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), formed 1978, is a Nigerian union of University academic staff which covers both Federal and State universities in the country. The history of academic strike can be traced to the military regime when in 1988 a national strike was organized to obtain fair wages and university autonomy. It organized further strikes in 1994 and 1996 to protest against the dismissal of staff by the Sani Abacha regime.

Image result for pictures of asuu strike

Comprehensive History of ASUU strike:

* 1999- 5 months

* 2001- 3 months

*2002- 2 weeks

*2003- 6 months (ended in 2004)

*2005- 3 days

*2006- 1 week

*2007- 3 months

*2008- 1 week

*2009- 4 months

*2010- 5 months and 1 week

*2011- 3 months

*2013- 6 months

Past reasons for strike were;

*Amendment of the Pension/Requirement Age of Academics on the Professional Cadre from 65-70 years.

*Reinstatement of prematurely dissolved Governing Councils

*Transfer of Federal Government Landed Property to Universities among others.

Image result for pictures of asuu strike by students

ASUU embarked on an indefinite strike on the 14th of August, 2017 because the government failed to redeem the terms of agreement signed in 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) endorsed by both parties in 2012. Some of which are:

*Delay in payment of wages and academic benefits

*Lack of licenses for the activities of NUPENCO

*Salary of retired teachers

*Schools for the training of current staff

*Means for the revitalization of public educational establishments.

The only language the federal government understands is strike and this isn’t good enough. Looking at the reasons why strike has been reoccurring, it has been the same thing overtime. The effect of this is that the academic calendar is affected and the number of years which students are supposed to spend in the higher education is increased, graduates to be are not even spared from this. Why must schools go on strike before the federal government does the needful? Have they failed to realize that failure to invest in this sector would have a great effect on the country? How are funds allocated to the educational sector spent? It would surprise you that a great country like Nigeria which prides itself as the giant of Africa has its educational sector in shambles and has totally neglected it.

Some of this so called people in power don’t have their wards in government owned schools so how would they understand how parents who do feel? Is it a crime to send one’s ward to a federal or state owned school? Is it a sin to be a lecturer in a government owned institution? Private schools have come to the rescue but what about the low class? How much would it cost to keep government owned institutions running? Why should staff salaries be delayed? Why should they be paid peanuts? Why must there even be strike? Why should going to a public school become a legal sin in Nigeria?

All these questions and more won’t be asked if things were going correctly. So therefore, it is imperative for our leaders to pay more attention to the educational sector.

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Inspirational Monday

Believe

Good morning, I trust you are doing fine? Over the weekend, I had a little chat with myself and determined to do one major thing. This came up because I had enough time to reflect on a lot of things. I decided to “believe” in myself. A lot of others believe in me and do me the favor of telling me but it was an incomplete system, self believe was missing. A lot of times we stay in our comfort zone and expect people to encourage us to step out before doing so. We wait for lovely comments before feeling good about ourselves or works. Other times, we decide to let “being perfectionists” deceive us and refuse to take steps if mistakes would be made. The first step to beat this is to “believe” in yourself. Allow yourself make mistakes, take risks, teach yourself to feel good without their opinions and have a thick skin. You would never be balanced if others do and you don’t. 

Have a believe filled week.

Inspirational Monday

Take That Leap

Morning darlings!!

First, I have to apologize for staying away from here. It’s been a busy month for me but hey! I did learn quite a lot and don’t worry, I’m willing to share.

I know we are all familiar with the words “take a leap” which in simple terms mean “taking chances“. Trust me, it’s not as easy as it sounds as I know for a certainty that most of you have been battling with deciding whether to take that step or not. I’ll share my experience.

Well, while in school, I did a survey and realized that people were more in need of water. Students hardly drank tap water and instead preferred sachet water. It didn’t stop there. I realized that the demand for it was usually high on Sundays as shops do not open and the cafeteria which serves as an alternative is far from the hostel. So I decided to be my school’s saviour, lol.

I ventured into it and was scared at first. I don’t just mean scared, I was really pessimistic. My room mate kept saying, “as long as it’s water, people would buy”. Guess what? I wasn’t the only one selling. After I started this, about 2 others joined making it four of us in the business. Imagine the fear and all!!!! I started with a low capital but when I stopped as a result of time and concentration, I discovered that I had made quite a huge amount of money because I was consistent. I tagged it BUS 101.

 

take a leap 2

Hold on, hear this out. I didn’t plan to start up anything during the holiday but I got a job and wasn’t paid. My folks were cool with it but I needed cash to meet some needs. There were two girls doing various businesses and made a lot and which made me be like, WOAW!!! They practically awakened my spirit.I began to think of several business plans. It was quite hard to come up with one due to the kind of place it was. I wasn’t ready to turn a press centre to a market place but in some ways I did. I can proudly tell you I ventured into the sales of garnished beef. Money! You would say but then, it took time to eventually believe in myself. I got orders and because I was pessimistic and considered myself shy and you know, all the excuses you could possibly think of , I wanted to turn them down. Before embarking on this, I was excited but when I got halfway, I chickened out. I thought my products would be rejected and imagined how I was going to feel later as it would take time to smile again.  At the same time, I was like, would people think I got into it because I saw some others doing so. By default, I tend to think a lot for people so it was natural for me to have little doubts here and there but it was lovingly welcomed. Who would have thought I would sell thirteen packs of amazing beef out of fifteen packs *tongue out*.  So I took a leap and it turned out well.

It would be bad not to acknowledge God here. I know it’s all business and a lot of others go about their daily businesses without acknowledging God and still succeed but I couldn’t do so. I didn’t feel at peace till I committed it to Him. He knew I was worried and troubled, trust me when I say I was depressed for over four hours but He gave me some scriptures like, “commit your work to the Lord and it would succeed” ( Proverbs 16:3), ”we should make plans counting on God to direct us” (Proverbs 16:9) and ”the Lord demands fairness in every business deal” (Proverbs 16:11), all Living Bible. I was still a bit scared after reading those scriptures but I turned out doing fine.

I’m guessing you have some things you would like to venture into. I mean, you have practically imagined it being successful in your head. The question I have is why is it taking so long? Beginning to chicken out? Hey! Involve God and TAKE THAT LEAP!! Yes, I said it!. It may not turn out successful but then, what lessons did you learn? And if it does turn out successful, thank God and flex a little. By the way, I tagged it BUS 102. Lol, 103,104 and 105 are on the way.

Feedbacks would be great but before running off, xoxo.

Poetry

Strength

It’s easy to think that strength is all about how tough we can be or how powerful we feel. What about those muscles? Ah! They deceive us every time. Ever thought of strength from a different perspective? What does being strong mean to you? The so called lady on your mind isn’t strong because she gets easily scared. How was she able to deliver those kids despite the pain she underwent in labor. The boy next to you in class was unable to answer a question without stuttering. How did he cope with the loss of both parents at a young age? How about you? There are a lot of fears beckoning at you but poor you would rather pretend not to be aware than face them all. I wrote this poem when I realized that strength is a lot more than we think.

Orange, Rope, Knot, Strong, Strength

 

Strength doesn’t lie in our physique,

David wasn’t as gigantic as Goliath.

It doesn’t lie in our abilities either.

 

Strength isn’t how well we excel at things

Or how perfect our lives pretend to be.

Daily, we are taught to be strong and hold on.

Often, life gets us down with an underlying message, ”be strong”.

 

Strength is how we are able to hold on when tossed around.

Strength is when we decide to bounce back after a defeat.

Strength is laughing at failure while seeing success ahead.

Strength is when our live are in pieces

Yet we decide to make them beautiful.

Strength is going through fire and coming out refined.

 

Thoughts

Father’s Love

 A home is supposed to depict peace and togetherness but what happens when someone begins to fall apart? I understand that both parents’ love is needed to keep the child going and I beg to say that the decline of one sometimes has an unending effect on the child. I decided to write on father’s love because I have seen a lot of kids ache for their father’s love. Some wish to go back to when they were born just to be wrapped in his arms again. Often times we tell people to show us they love us by giving us a lot of their time and words. Just a shoulder to let those tears fall upon brings this feeling too and so many other ways, good ways, it is displayed. Who said females want to be close to their mothers only and sons to their fathers too? That’s a misconception, there is usually an exchange.

Guys reading this would ask, “won’t I make money?”. Do you have to make money 24/7? Would you do that at the detriment of your child’s being? Another person would say “I’ll make sure he or she is comfortable”. What happened to your time? Do you think they don’t want you home early enough to tell you about their day? Do you want to raise a child and not know about him or her or what has been happening in his or her life? What happens when a father is used to shouting and indirectly making his child scared of him by making harsh remarks? That’s the worst of all. You leave them to figure out if you love them or not.  Some of the effects of this are:

  • The kids would try to win your love and approval
  •  They begin to hide their real selves.
  •  They become far away since there is no intimate communication.
  • It makes them look for love in the wrong places. This is due to insecurity.
  • They have no confidence in themselves.
  • They prefer not to talk within their mates especially when you are used to talking them down or shunning them.
  • They are scared of making mistakes and won’t try at all due to condemnation.
  • They never know what it feels like to have a father.

I know deep down we love these kids but we could go the extra mile by showing them we really do. Love entails a lot than being there during the first five years of their lives. It’s a continuous exercise. It’s a big sacrifice.

I hope all fathers that stumble upon this make amends and those yet to be fathers consider and learn from this piece.