Feminist is not a Slur

Do you know who my icon is? The person I hope to be like or be better than someday? It’s not Michelle Obama, not the President of Croatia and definitely, definitely not Beyonce. The person I look up to the most is my mom. I’m aware how cliché this sounds, believe me. But who says cliché has to be a bad thing?

Mom grew up in a backwater village in Anambra state, the only child –until she was 13- of nobodies. Her father was a trader, her mother sold akamu. She always tells me of the ridicule she got from her neighbours in her face-me-I-face your apartment. Who did she think she was, spending all her time reading and being the best in her class? What use is a girl that doesn’t know how to make fufu? While other girls in her village were settling into their “roles” and trainings as future wives, my mother decided she wanted to make something of herself. She resolved to be more than just someone’s wife. She planned to climb up the social ladder and not “marry up”. At the BIG age of 13, she decided. She worked hard, got a scholarship that put her through secondary school and university. All while her classmates were married off to one “rich” man or the other. Today, those mates with their “rich” husbands are uneducated traders with no form of independence. All their worth is attached to the number of sons they could bear.

There’s one particular story my mom told me that will forever stick in my memory. One day, while she was on “long vac(ation)” from secondary school, a man and his kinsmen came to her modest home in the village. They came in with their shoulders raised; looking down on her like she was nothing. They asked her to walk about and turn around so they could have a good look at her.  One of them said, “She will do nicely” in Igbo and gave her a sizeable bundle of money. A few days later, they came back to meet her father to say they were “ready to marry” Chinyere. My grandpa called my mom to ask if she’d agreed to this. My mother said “No one came to discuss anything with me, they only came to prize me like a cow and left. Am I a cow? Moreover, I am not getting married until I become a doctor”

And my people, that was exactly what my mother did. Dr Chinyere Ilonze is my forever mood.

But do you know what is funny? As much as I love this woman, her spunk and the defiant way she approaches the world of men, there’s still something missing. She never managed to unlearn some of the self-hate the world promotes in women. Maybe self-hate is a strong word. What better term should I use to describe the belief that being sexually harassed is either normal or somehow my fault? Or that certain jobs or roles cannot be filled by me, not because I’m unqualified but because I’m disqualified as a woman? Or how about defining my existence by my marital status, when a man is always a man but we are only complete women when we bears the Mrs.? What better word  than “self-hate” is there? Sure, just like my mother’s peers in the village, society suppresses women to the point where the only option they (believe they) have are to either take oppression lying down or make the most of it but allying with the “benevolent” man and master. If you ask me though, as much as society enforced this embargo on womankind, we as women also accepted it. And that, is where self-hate comes in.

You know what’s worse? The only force that exists to free us from this figurative and literal imprisonment is taking more hits that the women themselves. My mother gets so terribly awkward and uncomfortable around the term “feminist”. So did I, once.  Unfortunately, It took working in an organization that caters to women and girls going through all kinds of hardship, solely because of their gender. That’s what it took for me to realize that to be feminist is to be human, or at least to be rational. I’m ashamed that I needed that much convincing but now that my eyes are open, I can’t unsee it; the inequality, the discrimination, it’s alive, touching everything, leaving a distinct dirty aftertaste. Feminism is the only step in the right direction to fixing it. And we’re doing to it what we have done to every beacon of hope; trying to quench it.

In the bid to discredit us, the women who truly see, they mislabel us. Man haters, lesbians, ugly women, lonely women, women who have been hurt by men, rejected, gone unnoticed. Call us all sorts of things. I can’t help but notice that all these insults only prove our point. They think that the universe of a woman has to start and end with a man.  But you know what? I could be all of these things that you think a feminist is, or I could be none of them, it still doesn’t change the facts; I am human and I am no less human than anyone else, I shouldn’t be treated like I am otherwise. I am not out here trying to take from what you have, I only want to get what I merit.

Feminism has been criticized by thinkers and non-thinkers, and even by myself at one point, as a movement with no clear definition, no clear goal. We squabble amongst ourselves; who is a better feminist than the other; whose brand of feminism is best, more achievable, more realistic, more please-men-able. But here’s the truth, feminist can not mean one thing, because we’re not all the same and our lives are not all the same. Each feminist’s attainable milestones can not be the same. We’re a very unique movement, we cut across cultures, races, religions, ethnicities and realities  Can you think of any one human movement as big and diverse as us? Any one social problem that touches the lives of nearly 4 billion people? We’re allowed to have different voices. What we won’t allow is misconception that our diversity delegitimizes our cause.

The truth is, the whole conversation has been so skewed. It’s not actually about being equal to a man. I mean, no two men are even equal. It’s about being as human as men, deserving of the same rights, choices and privileges. And these rights and choices and privileges look different for each one of us in all our corners of the world. And that’s totally okay.

So, to all my ladies out there, still stuck behind the curtain, veils not having been removed yet; we’ll be here to catch you, if you ever happen to walk or crawl or stumble through. To those who can see but are still afraid of being called that dirty word: FEMINIST; I say embrace it, it truly does free you, I promise. And to the other side of this, you who have decided to stand as an opposition; I only hope that one day you fall through the curtain too and join us. The world is a better place when everyone embraces the equalness of our humanity. Feminist is not a slur, it’s the most rational state of being.

 

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What Should You Pack For This Journey to 2018

We are swiftly reaching that 365 days mark that makes everyone go momentarily insane, believing that they can suddenly be a different person and live a totally different life on day 366 😂. #Newyearnewme and all that hoopla. Then by February, Valentine’s day will come and strip us of all the sense we managed to acquire. It’s the circle of life I guess, why fight it?
So, if you are wondering what outrageous resolution to make from January to March, and you have no idea, don’t worry let me help you small. We can cheat small, using the things that 2017 tried to teach us but some of us weren’t listening.

Resolution 1: Pledge Not to Sexually Harass Women in 2018

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Women are sexually harassed every day. It’s not a Harvey Weinstein problem or a Hollywood problem or a Donald Trump problem. As a wise man by the name of Trevor Noah said, sexual harassment and sexual assault is a man problem. So maybe as a guy, when you are planning to change for the better for the next few months, how about giving women a break from your wahala for a while. We would really appreciate it. You can talk to your friends, so it’s like a nationwide guys movement #MeninistsNG . Who knows, after a few weeks, you might like how it feels to get a woman’s attention without imposing yourself in her space.

Resolution 2: Working Remotely is Now the Default Option

 

anigif_enhanced-18849-1431683688-1They say leaders should lead by example right? Who is our leader? President Bubu. What does he do? He works remotely. Nigga was chilling throughout most of the year and sending us postcards of his enjoyment and he’s STILL President. He came back and as an IJGB he couldn’t handle the Nigeria again and he decided to cry “rat”. Even at some point, we had both President and Acting President, in same country!

President Bubu was just like ” please, I cannot come and go and kill myself”. So… Why should you? Are you better than your President? Resolve to live your best life this coming year my nigga. Don’t let work kill you. Work from home, take a freaking vacation.

Resolution 3: Too Much Wokeness Causes Insomnia

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Still in the mood of I cannot come and kill myself, let me ask you, all this your wokeness, who e don epp? Did you get any bank alat? Your mates that have been sleeping, didn’t they still reach the end of the year with you? The only difference is that you are reaching the end of the year carrying another person’s headache.
Let’s leave all this trans-age, trans-self, trans-sense things behind us. Wokeness to the point of disturbing ancient spirits and traditions? If they are not chasing you, why are you running? Relax please, life is not that serious. At the end of the day, we all die…so don’t be the one to kill yourself.

Resolution 4: Be Your Own Cheerleader

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Every year that passes, we show again and again that we care so much about people’s approval to the point of losing self-worth. No boo, blow your own trumpet and they will follow you.
No need to keep retweeting your picture for more likes. No need to tell lies just to retweets. No need to ruin your friendships for likes. People’s affirmation don’t make you and if we’re being honest, no matter how much attention you get in that moment, no one really cares about you. We’ll move on to the next interesting thing. So what have you gained?
Do better in 2018

Resolution 5 : Feminists Are Not The Enemy

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Imagine you write a test and you’re sure you did really well. The results come out and your score is pretty bad. You check other people’s answers and they all wrote exactly what you wrote but were given better scores than you. Wouldn’t you want to take it up with the teacher? Does you getting a better score affect that of those who scored well? No. This is just an example of the inequality and discrimination women face and are fighting against. And instead of getting support, everyone is busy trying to invalidate our claims. Trying to change the conversation to cooking arguments and paying for the date arguments. Or misquoting scripture and implying that God that created man, both male and female is a misogynist.
Why though? us getting equal treatment doesn’t affect you. We are human just like you. We work just as hard, just in different ways, yet you expect us to accept less reward and take it quietly?
In 2018, do us a favour, whether you are male or female, you may not agree with cause, but you really don’t have to oppose it either. We aren’t trying to take what is yours, we just want our fair share.

Resolution 6: The Only #goals You Need is To Do What Actually Makes You Happy.

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Some of your mates are millionaires. Some of them have the cutest boyfriend/girlfriend. Some of them are married. Some of them are slay-queens. Some of them travel around the world on a whim. Meanwhile, you are still trying to figure your life out. When people ask you “so what are you doing these days” you cringe and now you are letting the pressure of trying to reach #goals push you into making stupid decisions.

You don’t have it all figured out, we are all working on different timelines. There’s no rush, we all shine in different ways at different times and that’s okay. The best way to move forward is to compete with yourself, not others. Try and beat your own record and you’ll see yourself making progress every day.

2018 is another year. It might be amazing, it might not be. That’s not pessimism, it’s just fact. All in all, as long as there’s life, there’s hope. Man makes plans and resolutions but it’s God who makes things come to fruition. So, for me, my mantra for the year is simple: In God I Trust. You can join me if you like.

2017 has been another wild rollercoaster ride, I’m looking forward to another one. See you on the 2018 side.

10 Things That Need to Be in The Nigerian Constitution

To whom to may concern,

PETITION FOR THE INCLUSION OF CERTAIN NECESSARY PROVISIONS IN THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION

Provision 1: Jollof at parties

We hereby request that the official party food be officially identified as Jollof Rice. Party planners are allowed the privilege of deciding the garnishments to accompany the Jollof. Party planners may also offer other forms of food. However, the ratio of Jollof to other meal types should be no smaller than ratio 5:1.

Also, all Jollof Rices must have evidence of the party flavour i.e bay leaf. Otherwise, it is considered to be in violation of the Jollof Rice law.

Provision 2: Meat at the end of the meal

The official order of meal consumption is every other food group first, protein last. Nigerians are not permitted to eat proteins in the beginning or in the middle of the meal. Such an act should be considered unNigerian and must be punishable by future protein deprivation.

Provision 3: If she vomits she is pregnant

Within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is vital that we recognize several means of pregnancy testing. However, the officially recognized pregnancy test which should be considered valid and admissions in the court of law is abrupt vomiting by any female who has reached the age of puberty.

Vomiting is an especially valid sign of pregnancy if it happens mid-sentence. Once a female within the specified age vomits, no further testing is necessary. The pregnancy is confirmed.

Provision 4: Don’t spend clean money

In our great republic, spending any naira note that is still “mint” should be prohibited. Should the case arise that a citizen has no other note in his/her possession, such a person has the right to go begging for dirty notes. Spending of new notes is not permitted under such circumstances.

New naira notes are only to be used for two purposes. First, for the purchase of new items of a high calibre. Second, new notes may be used when sprayed at wedding ceremonies. Any other use outside of this is to be a punishable offence.

Provision 5: Friyay Native Attire

Every Friday is a national holiday from the slavery that is Western clothing. Thus, all true citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are to be clad in “trad”. Violation of this is to be tagged as mutiny and conspiracy to recolonize the country. Such a person is to be ostracized.

Persons exempt from this law are neighborhood lunatics and local law enforcement officials. Which, if we are being honest sometimes make it difficult to know the difference.

Provision 6: NEPA will take light if it rains

We request that in order to reduce the disappointment and hopefulness levels of the citizens of the republic, an official provision should reflect the following; During a thunderstorm or a drizzle, there will be a sustained power outage, which will only be resolved within 1 hour of the rains’ dissipation.

This law also applies to all areas within a 30km radius of where the rain is actually falling.

Other provisions for due consideration include:

  • Items in the market are worth half the original stated price
  • The official TV station at all banking halls is CNN
  • The freshness of a loaf of bread is to be verified by the act of squeezing said bread.
  • Indicator lights are not valid. One must “trafficate” with their hand or be ignored.

Thank you for taking your time to consider our petition. We are open to your feedback and criticism. The aim is to ensure that the constitution reflects the true nature of “We, the people”. If there are any additions you would like to make do let us know in the comment section below.

Until then, we remain the Ugotalksalot Initiative.

Yours Sincerely,
Princess of no Kingdom

Sponsored: Top 10 Hangout Spots in Abuja

Abuja isn’t just Nigeria’s political capital. In many ways, it’s the fun city of Nigeria. Abuja is the city with all levels of entertainment, but somehow, many people don’t know where the cool spots are, especially if you new to the city. Lucky for you, there’s an easy guide to having a fun time in Abuja.

  1. The Bank

bank20ab-161-56e82ae479c6eThis is a nightclub located along Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II. Some call it the Quilox of Abuja. At the Bank, you’ll enjoy a great mix of music, fun and fashion. If you are lucky, you might catch your favourite celebrity dancing along with you!

Hotels close to The Bank, Abuja
Transcorp Hilton Abuja
Rockview Hotel
Crown Princess Hotels 
Summerset Continental Hotel

2. Blucabana

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The Blucabana is a restaurant and cafe located in Mabushi, away from the hustle and bustle of major city areas. Pay the place a visit, enjoy a good meal and have a good time.

Hotels Near BluCabana
Sheraton Abuja Hotel
Hatfield Hotel, Jabi

3. Blake Resort

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The Blake Resort is a great place for fun, hanging out with friends or a night out. Enjoy an outdoor experience in a serene environment. It is nestled at Muhammed Bello Way, Garki II, Abuja.

Hotels Near Blake Resort
Emirates International Hotel
La Don Hotels

4. The Trukadero Place

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The Trukadero Place is the go-to spot for bowling in Abuja. The establishment is located in  131B Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.

Apart from bowling, you can also enjoy a variety of billiard games, an amusement park, and a restaurant. This is one of the best places to be in Abuja.

Hotels Near The Trukadero Place
Cross Road Hotel (Formerly known as Villa U Hotels)
Chateau de Trybze
Beverly Hills Hotels

5. Cubana Lounge

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The Cubana Lounge is a great night club in Wuse II. The club features a private jet in the middle of the club.

Hotels Near The Cubana Lounge
Dreamland Suites
Kryxtal Suites Wuse 2
Summit Villas Suites

6. The Secret Garden

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The Secret Garden is located in Riverplate Park, off Ahmadu Bello Way. It is a perfect outdoor spot for solitary relaxation or spending quality time with friends and family. It’s also home to the best pizza in Abuja.

Hotels Near The Secret Garden
Bolton White Hotel

7. Sky Bar Rooftop Lounge

header_sky-bar-rooftop-lounge-summerset-abujaThis is a picturesque rooftop bar and one of the most luxurious locations in Abuja. This lounge in Asokoro is great for an intimate night for your special someone.

Hotels Near Skye Bar Rooftop Lounge
Barcelona Hotel

8. Millennium Park

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Millennium Park is a grand expanse of greenery beautiful for any time of day. At night, the park is especially breathtaking with its subtle lighting and numerous water fountains. Grab a blanket and some food and head over to the park for a nice time.

Hotels near Millennium Park, Abuja
Pope John Paul Catholic Guest House
Orient Hotel

9. Jabi Lake

3316789_origJabi Lake is the closest to a beach experience you can get in Abuja. In some ways, it’s a lot more than a beach with its numerous water sports and the newly completed Jabi Lake Mall offering you endless possibilities.

It’s a great place to spend time as a group, shop, enjoy the view from the terrace or just catch a movie.

Hotels Near Jabi Lake
Nugget Hotels
Reiz Continental Hotel
Ritman Hotels

10. Gurara Falls

guraraThough located on the outskirts of the city borders, Gurara Falls is too beautiful a location to be left out of this list. The fall has amazing scenes of rock formations together with the beautiful flora of evergreen trees and bushes, rivers, ponds and waterfalls all around you. It is located between Suleja, Abuja and Minna, the Niger state capital.

On your way to Gurara Falls, you can make a stop at the glorious national site that is Zuma Rock.

Abuja people, did I miss any place? Don’t beat me, just let me know. Comment comment comment

15 Places Where You Can Find Rich Husbands in Lagos

Wouldn’t you love to have a BellaNaija wedding? To have that Valentino dress, make everyone jealous and all the ladies want to be you? Wouldn’t it be nice to have all your money troubles disappear? You can do things at your own pace from a point of comfort. Or maybe you’re just tired of sharing the bills and having to understand his financial situation.  Baby, you know things are tough right now. 

Girl, you deserve the best in life! Sometimes, you might not just be so lucky to have it happen to you by accident. So go seek it out. Go and find the love of your life that will pamper you will luxury. He might not be hanging out in your usual circle. So…you have to find him in his.

There are a few places in Lagos that are known to be where your future bae hangs out. Most of these places are in Lagos Island, so you might actually want to consider moving there -if you don’t already. Keep reading for a cheat sheet on landing a life of wealth.

 

1. Protea Hotel

protea-hotel-ikeja-lagos-.jpgThis is one of the few establishments in Ikeja that the rich young men are known to congregate. You can also cup yourself an oyibo bae if you play your cards right.

 

2. Four Points

Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Lagos-Hotel.jpgFour Points by Sheraton is the younger cooler version of the vintage Sheraton Hotel. The clientele is notably younger too but the fatness of their wallets is not to be underestimated.

 

3. Eko Hotel

Eko Hotel ans SuitesYou are seeing the trend right? Rich men like to hang out in hotels in Lagos. But not just any hotels, the high-rise ones with expensive rooms. Just stroll in, talk to the receptionists, hang around the lobby and flirt. You never know you might get lucky.

Legend has it that men in Eko Hotel are also considerably generous.

4. Sheraton Hotel

sheratonlagosext.jpgSheraton!. You can’t go wrong with this old faithful. Just buy yourself the most expensive bottle of coke you will find in Lagos, sit down and look pretty.

 

5. Palms Shopping Mall ( specific places like Cafe Vergano)

Palms Shopping Mall Lekki-hotels.ng.jpgYou are probably thinking, “Is it not the same shoprite I go to every day?” No, it isn’t. There’s Palms Shopping Mall and there’s Palms Shopping Mall. You need to open your third eye. There are several lounges in the mall you’ve probably never thought of entering. You should. Your future husband is there.

 

6. Atican Beach Resort

atican beach resort aerial view-hotels.ng.jpgCompared to Elegushi Beach and Oniru Beach, Atican Beach is probably not considered popular. But… it’s one of the Island’s best-kept secrets. It’s private so you can easily walk into a rich young man looking for some relaxation or maybe a group of rich friends just hanging out.

7. Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge at 6 am

Joggers on the Lekki Ikoyi link bridge.jpgWomen are masters at multitasking. It is a known fact. So why not make it worth your while. You can stay fit and meet the love of your life all at once. Here’s how to do it. Wake up in the early am, dress in really nice up-to-date sportswear. No hair net, no hair rollers. Pack that thing is a cute ponytail. Look your best but make sure it’s effortless. You want to give the impression that you woke up like this. Now jog across Lekki-Ikoyi bridge, but not too hard, you have to look like you are floating with every step.

When a car headlight approaches, look unbothered. But also observe the caliber of the vehicle coming your way. It’s the very first impression that counts in this case. You may not meet your Mr. Right the first time, but if you are consistent, you’ll get noticed.

8. Intercontinental Hotel

intercontinental-hotel-lagos.jpegAnother hotel lobby lined with gold, get to digging.

 

9. Lagos Oriental Hotel

lagos-oriental-hotel-lagos-.jpgOlamide shot his “Lagos Boys” video here. So that should tell you something.

 

10. Murtala Mohammed Airport

murtala-muhammed-international-airport-lagos-nigeria-mmia.jpgDon’t all Hollywood romances have an airport scene? Why should our dear MMA be any different? Just be careful not to encounter an overdressed “Importer Exporter” claiming to be an O.B.O.

 

11. Wedding Receptions in Lagos Island

wedding-events-hotels.ng.jpgGo to the wedding looking like a “Slay Mama”, make sure you walk around a lot so he can get several views of you. There’s always that one guy at the wedding that catches your eye and if the wedding is on the Island, then your chances of catching a sugar bae increase exponentially.

 

12. La Mango Restaurant

la-mango-lagos-hotels.ngLa Mango is arguably the most talked restaurant and bar on the mainland. So of course, rich men like to go there. They also particularly love its outdoor seating, it’s breathtaking poolside and the rooftop terrace. Do you know what this means for you? You can wear your swimsuit and show off your best assets.

 

13. Ikeja City Mall (specific places like Rhapsody’s and Spurs)

Rhapsody's Ikeja City Mall.jpgLike I said about The Palms, these malls are not to be underestimated. Look beyond what you see.

 

14. Zenbah

zenbah-hotels.ngThis is one of the most expensive cocktail places in Lagos. You know what that means. No further explanation needed.

 

15. New Age Churches

House on the Rock.jpgElevation Church, House on the Rock, COZA, Guiding Light Assembly and all the “New Age Churches” are the in thing now. What’s better than a rich man who enjoys the presence of God?

There you have it. You’ve got all the tools. Now go forth and prosper. Don’t be selfish, share this with others. You will need a wingman when you go to these places anyways. Please invite me to your wedding, this advice is not for free, I want to eat party rice.