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Monday, 8 May 2017

A Gripping Testimony



Above is a picture of the recently released 82 Chibok girls with the President of Nigeria. I find it shocking that some doubting Thomas's are still out there claiming fervently that this whole  missing #ChibokGirls saga is a scam and a ruse, despite all the evidences shown. I wonder how such reprobated minds function and then I say a prayer for them not to experience such anguish the same way the parents of these girls have.

I found the italicised article below on a friend's Facebook page, which he shared. It was written by a Jack Vince, a freelance journalist in the Northern part of Nigeria.


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In December 2015, Femi Owolabi and I visited Chibok town as journalists. While we were going about our business, we interviewed some parents of the missing Chibok school girls. I made a facebook update thereafter:

"Have you seen the inscription of despair, fear, disappointment and regret all rolled into a ball of sorrow on one woman's face? Not just any woman but a mother who lost a child; not to the cold hands of death, but to a marauding band of despotic and heartless terrorists? It is even more heartbreaking considering the bond between a mother and her last-born child. AUTA, as we call last-born children in the north. And now the mother is made to carry the burden of hope and despair in her heart not for a few months in the event of death, but for every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of every day and every day of the rest of her life since the abduction of her precious last-born child. 


Mama Rebecca Takai Nkeki mother of Hauwa Nkeki Takai, one of the 219 missing Chibok school girls has been bearing this pain and torture every day since that fateful day of April 14, 2014, over a year ago today, when her daughter and the other missing school girls were abducted by members of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents into the Sambisa forest. 
"Hauwa used to be a kind, respectful and hardworking girl", her mother recalled. 
In a tear-inducing and emotion-ladened voice, Mama Rebecca Takai Nkeki said, 
"Anytime I pick up the broom to sweep the floor of the house, I remember that my daughter would have been the one doing it. She loved working. I sweep the floor myself everyday and everyday the memories of my child fill me with tears. Now I have high blood pressure", at this point, she broke down in tears forcing the same emotion in Femi and I. 
"I keep to myself a lot", Mr Takai Nkeki, father of the the abducted Hauwa Nkeki, said. "I get broken down emotionally anytime I see children, her mate, moving around", he added. 
Both parents are hopeful that Hauwa would come back to them someday. The onus now lies with the government and all relevant stakeholders to do the needful in ensuring that all the girls return to their parents safe and alive.
Selah!"

82 of the missing Chibok school girls were released yesterday after a negotiation between the government and the insurgents. HAUWA N. TAKAI is number 57 on the list.
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If you read the above and still doubt the authenticity of these reports on the #ChibokGirls, then I strongly bid you farewell as you wallow in sheer nefarious ignorance.

I'm mighty glad about these girls return and I sincerely hope he government has strong rehabilitation and counselling plans in place for them and their families. I pray that the rest of them and others still in Boko Haram's custody would regain heir freedom soon.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Great News: 82 Of The Chibok Girls Released



Great news last night about the release of about 82 of the kidnapped Chibok girls after three years. The girls were said to have been swapped in exchange of a couple of Boko Haram suspects after series of negotiations.



While over 100 girls are still missing, I am super glad about the release of these girls because I simply cannot imagine the ordeal they have gone through nor the anguish of their families, over the past three years.

BBC reporter in Lagos, Stephanie Hegarty, says they 82 school girls are now with the Nigerian Army and that they were "brought from a remote area to a military base in Banki near the border with Cameroon".

No matter the political spins some naysayers may put on this, I am just glad that 82 families are heaving sighs of relief and embracing their beloved girls after so long.



Monday, 1 May 2017

Keep Smiling This New Week



Hello good people, rise and shine for it's a brand new week and a brand new month too. #Kimon  
Happy Workers Day to all the hardworking people out there. May God bless our hustles extra this month.

Being an adult is so hard and not a lot prepares us for the challenges we would face as adults. A lot of us have had sheltered childhood so adulthood comes as an extra shocker. But hey, the show must go on. 

Keep hustling, keep giving your best as much as you can in whatever situation you find yourself, stay clean and legit and believe that one day pretty soon, you will make it MEGA.

Cheers.







Saturday, 29 April 2017

Honesty And Integrity ALWAYS Pays




Hello everyone, how I have missed you all and missed blogging too. 

Who says honesty does not pay? Please show them the video below and let them know that HONESTY DOES PAY. It's a video of an awards show held by UBA, a Nigerian bank, which showcases a young man named Ibrahim Obanagoh (sic). 


A customer of the bank left behind $10,000 and this young man serving as a security guard found and returned the cash, intact. Amazing stuff, considering how hard things are in the country and how meagre a security guard's salary is. Ibrahim was highly honoured at the awards show a few days ago and not just that, two state Governors pledged to give him $15,000 from their personal purses (ahem),   a Senator promised to announce Ibrahim at plenary and also pledged the sum of N5,000,000 on behalf of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Ibrahim, and there were a host of other anonymous people who promised to assist the young man. 


Through the whole video clip, notice how humble and in awe Ibrahim remained. I am so proud of him and mightily impressed by him. Nigerians should take a cue from Ibrahim's actions. Say no to stealing, looting, corruptions, lies, wickedness and other such vices. We can make this country great again and it's not rocket science to do this. It begins with YOU and I, individually and then collectively. I know there are still many men and women of integrity such as Ibrahim, and I really hope they can spread such virtues till it rubs off on all of us, home and abroad.

Some people may marvel at the way in which this young man's action is being celebrated, but you see, when you live in a country as corrupt and morally bankrupt as Nigeria, this is worth celebrating. :)

Enjoy.


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Song Of The Week, A Sad Story, And Then Some.




Happy weekend folks! I have been looking forward to having such a lazy morning as I'm having right now for a while now. Phew! Talk about being overworked but loving it, lol. I'm a closet workaholic, it appears.


I had such a busy and rough week, made tougher with the news of the demise of a friend of mine. She was such a brilliant, happy and equally hardworking young lady. I still can't believe she's gone, just like that. I hate that death can be so final and unexpected, and we never get to see those we love again when they pass on. I hate the suspense of not knowing for sure what's happening on the 'other side'. Her death hurt me, cut through me and made me really sad. Her passing made me question why the heck we hustle and bustle anyways when we are all going to die at some point anyways. I'm still kind of hoping I'd get a reply to my emails to her or perhaps a call and her cheery voice laughingly telling me it's all been a mix up. Sigh. Rest in peace sweet Yemmie. 


Birthday shoutout to my darling sister Feyi. I wish you all the goodness, peace and joy you can have. Love you sis. 


I got hooked on the song below this week after I heard it fleetingly on the radio last week. Jidenna is indeed a classic man as he belts out this absolutely soothing melodious song titled Bambi. He deserves an award for this one. And did I mention his dressing is always on pointy point? Way to go bruv.

Enjoy the song, video and your weekend.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

#BlogFeature: Poetry Flows (III)






Below is another beautiful poem by a young lady named Titilayo Adeoye. It's her third time being featured as a guest writer on my blog and I hope it won't be the last because she writes exceptionally beautiful poems. 

Titilayo Adeoye writes from Ibadan, Nigeria. Bits of her creative gem have appeared or are forthcoming on African Writer, Kalahari Reviews, Avocet Journal #204, thesparklewritershub.com, Bakwa Magazine, Sabinews, Praxis Magazine and elsewhere. She edits for Kraft Books, Ibadan, Nigeria. You can follow her on instagram @adeoyepelumi and twitter @curlangel2.




Read and please do share with every one you know

Thanks.

Caged

Like a caged bird

who needs to be set free

and explore the beauties of the sky

so does a woman desire the free in freedom

not rhythms of feasting fists

not songs of clanging pots and spoons—kitchen theatrics

nor dialogues of the other room that interlocks her identity

Saturday, 18 March 2017

A Thank You, A Brilliant Dance And A Great Song.




Dear dependable blog visitors, let me thank you specially for staying faithful and true to my blog even though I haven't had the time or chance to write and post as I used to. I've been really overwhelmed with so much in my life. I will share, of course, in due time. :)

I watched the awesome video below this morning and I absolutely love the sheer brilliance of the video concept. I cannot imagine how easy it must have been dancing in the heat of the desert while clad in suit but hey, anything for a dance and a good song, yes? The song itself, Instead by Blake McGrath, is very melodious and speaks to a lot of relationships right now.

Enjoy.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

#BlogFeaturePost: Feminism, What They Did Tell Us??



Below is an interesting write-up by Olanrewaju Olamide Morenikeji and largely a response to a previous article on Feminism. It's his first time being featured as a guest writer on my blog and I hope it won't be the last because his views are rather captivating.

Olanrewaju Olamide Morenikeji writes from Ibadan, Nigeria. 

Read and please do share with every one you know



Thanks.



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I read Olutayo Lois Ugbe's article titled 'Feminism, What They Will Not Tell You'. Therein, explicitly stated were certain views expressed to be hypocritical and detrimental on Feminism's front. It is of my view however, that most, if not all of these points are wobbly and unfound.

I wouldn't have replied this, but misconceptions and misrepresentations of the tenets feminism uphold and gross misunderstanding of the ideology ran agog too much in the article to be ignored, and also because members of society who thoroughly understand feminism are meagre as compared to those who do not. Feminism is bigger than one person, and any feminist could have easily replied the article. But feminism has been associated with man-hate for so long. It is of utmost importance therefore, that a man do this, because if it were a woman, she'd be unequivocally termed a noisemaker and another angry feminist. 

A man and a woman are two obviously distinct entities. They have different biological composition, intrinsically and extrinsically. If we were created, and I reckon we were, our Creator knew what (S)He was doing when (S)He created us differently. It would be outrightly foolish for one sex to demand to be exactly like the other. It would also be outrightly unfair for one sex to deprive another full attainment opportunity of its potential. It would be unfair for one sex to subjugate and degrade the other. In the most simplest of words; Feminism demands that women be recognized first as women. Not somebody's mother, somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, somebody's wife, or somebody's somebody. It demands that women be truly recognized as human and somebody first before anything else.

Aristotle once called women deformed men. During the Roman empire, women were only a tad superior to slaves and the only real powerful women of that era were the vestal Virgins. In the Bible, Jewish laws forced a rapist to marry the woman he raped. This directly put the woman in an abusive position (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). By the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas called women defective naturally and misbegotten men. Aristotle's views on women as imperfect men became the basis of religious beliefs and praxis. A typical book in point is the Malleus Maleficarium (The Hammer of Witches), written by Heinrich Kramer and James Spregner. (Towards Feminist Theatre in Nigeria, by Juliana Okoh, 2012).

But sprinkles of personalities arose to punctuate these adverse practices against women with a little bit of sanity. Sir Thomas Moore advocated for the education of women, so did Desidaurus Erasmus. Perhaps without these people, women would still remain uneducated today. We forget that our true African mothers were feminists. The Inkpi of Igala, Moremi of Ife, Queen Daura of Daura, Queen Anima of Zazzau, Queen Kambasa of Bonny, Nana Asma'u of Sokoto, Iyalode Efunsetan Aniwura of Ibadan, Omu Okwei of Osomari, Madam Tinubu of Lagos, Madam Ransome Kuti, Aduni Oluwole, The Queen Mothers in Benin City, Leaders of the Aba Women's Riot, Madam Eniola Soyinka, Okonjo Iweala, and soonest, Ngozi Adichie. Is it not curious that history perpetually left more than half of these women out of our textbooks?

Norms are determined by society, and society is a collection of man. Man who sins, man who is faulted, man who is imperfect, invariably, society and its normative can also be faulted and partial. There is a possibility that whichever sex has more power at any point in time will dominate and foist its will on the weaker sex. I will ignore the first and second waves of feminism, because as pertinent as history is, and as much as the present is a definitive porousness of it, we must live and act for the present, not the past, so lets talk about the inherent flaws cited in this third wave.

ABORTION

Feminism does not say that abortion is no big deal and it doesn't cover it up with 'it's their body'. The truth, according to a majority foundation;
Abortion is a necessity for millions of women worldwide, for their health, for their wellbeing, for their dreams of a better tomorrow. The reality is that a woman will seek an abortionlegal or otherwisealmost instinctively and in self defense. A woman will do this when an unwanted pregnancy presents an excessive strain on her or her familys physical, emotional or economic resources. When forces beyond control come to play, should hands be clasped on backs? Should established lives be watched to wither away for the sake of an unborn foetus?

DRESSING

The Nigerian constitution of 1999, chapter IV states that: Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of her/his person. No one has the authority to pass judgement on morality, because religion indelibly reminds us that we were all born sinners. What feminism does is to access the situation and determine whether a man would have been treated likewise in that same situation. Feminism is not about wearing a particular type of clothing. It only demands that nobody be judged on the basis of what they wear, and this lies in the inherent factor of every individual being her/his principal choicemaker. Feminism demands that women should wear whatever they're comfortable in and not what is foisted upon them by the diktat of societal normatives. Adichie is a staunch feminist and she doesn't wear 'revealing' clothings. Beyonce is also a feminist and she finds comfortability in 'revealing' clothings. It would be myopic of anyone to gauge another's character by what they decide to wear or the make up on their face.

HOMOSEXUALITY

Homosexuality is agreeably a tentative topic. I would like to bring you back to my earlier stated stance on adulthood and liberal choices. Feminism demands the respect of individualistic opinions. I am straight, and I believe union between man and woman is the normal practice, and because one feminist believes homosexuality is okay, doesn't mean all feminists share this view and vice versa. It is not feminism's fault that there has been a perceived decline in morality, this should be blamed on the religious bodies. This context is as a result of clash between ideology and evolution of societal normatives. It is not the fault of the ideology. We must understand, that before anybody is gay, or a liar, or a fraud, or a bastard, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or a feminist, or a 'non feminist', or a man, or a woman, we're all first human. Humanity and opinion, must first before all, be respected-and I daresay no matter how adverse. The Nigerian law has stated homosexuality as a crime punishable with 14 years. The law demands immediate report of such crimes.

In your article, you selectively turned a blind eye to certain issues and blew others out of proportion. Herewith, I'll bring true life accounts of ignored conditions. Marriage should be a classless union of two souls who have agreed to come together and be. Violence needn't be physical, my dear. I don't see selfishness in the demand for equality amongst the sexes. Equality is a rather stoic and sometimes narrow representation of feminism's demand as exemplified throughout this piece. Equality not in biological composition or physical capabilities, but in opportunities given in the same situation. According to the Egyptian feminist  Nawal El Saadawi; it is no longer possible to escape the fact that the underprivileged status of women, their relative backwardness, lead to an essential backwardness in society as a whole.

FORCED MARRIAGE

Have you ever heard of an underaged boy forced into marriage with an overaged woman?

Forced marriage is still widely practiced in many rural communities in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large. In a study carried out in Lagos in 2001, by Project Alert On Violence against women: 64.4 percent of the interviewed women in workplace said they'd been beaten by a partner, boyfriend or husband. 56.2 percent of 48 interviewed marketwomen had experienced the same type of violence. Countless others have been sent to graves in vicious acid attacks and horrific scenarios. Although men can be affected by domestic violence, women suffer disproportionately. (Julianna Okoh, 2012).

NON-FICTION [FORCED MARRIAGE]

Hauwa Abubakar died at age twelve in 2001. Her father had married her to an old man to whom he owed some money. She kept running away but because of the debt, her parents were obliged to return her to the husband. Finally to prevent her from absconding again, the husband chopped off her legs with an axe. She died from starvation, shock, and loss of blood. No legal actions were taken. It was regarded as a family affair.

NON-FICTION[FORCED MARRIAGE]

In 2000, Bariya Ibrahim Magazu, a thirteen year old girl, became a victim of blatant gender discrimination in Zamfara state. She was found pregnant and brought to a Sharia court. She was declared guilty of premarital sex and was sentenced to be flogged publicly, 110 strokes of the cane. Nothing was done to the three men whom she said raped her on three different occasions. Apparently Magazu, the girl's father was owing the men some money, so he arranged for them to have sex with the girl to liquidate the debt. Bariya was flogged after having her baby.
Would a boy child have found himself in this situation to start with? If yes, how many compared to the girl child?

RAPE

Of the thousands and thousands of rape videos released everyday. Of rape stories, how many do we see or have heard of that men are the victims in them? Let us count and let a fair answer be given if rape is truly injustice against men.

In India, women are raped in broad daylight, sometimes on disguised public buses, and culprits remain unfound. Some are raped to death. In Congo, during the war, statistics show that 40 women were raped hourly. Here in Nigeria, and Africa at large, the most absurd questions are forwarded after a rape crime has been reported.

'Did you insult him?' 'Is he your boyfriend?' 'What were you wearing?' Why should the one who dressed in a certain manner be blamed, and not the one who couldn't control his urge?! And the last, and not  the  most stupefying, 'Was it in his house?'

When men are raped, it is considered an achievement, and not a loss of identity to most victims (or are they?).
What about the Chibok girls? Do we think they willingly mated with terrorists? What about the women and girls that are being raped as you read this who will not report the crime for fear of absurd claims and perversion of Justice under the guise of beguiled morality?

I could write on and on, but I reckon this is long enough, perhaps so long a response. It is now, more than ever, that the world needs feminism. It is through the respect and acknowledgement of womanity that true respect and acknowledgement of humanity will emanate. I impel you, dear LOIS OLUTAYO UGBE, that if you are to write, or state your views on feminism in subsequent times, to read far more extensively than a gaudy wikipedia page set up anonymously. I believe that if you truly understand what feminism entails, you'd vociferously be one of us. One of them. Herein explicitly laid, LOIS, is 'What They Did Tell Us'.

Article Written By: Olanrewaju Olamide Morenikeji.
Location: University of Ibadan, Nigeria.



References:

TOWARDS FEMINIST THEATRE  IN NIGERIA An Inaugural Lecture By PROFESSOR JULIANA OMONUKPON OMOIFO OKOH
October 30,2012.

FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION

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Friday, 3 February 2017

Being #AllHeartsAlways



Yay!!! Thank God it's Friday. I'm really looking forward to this weekend because it's the first 'free' weekend I'll be having in a long while and I so need the rest. Y'all know how sorry I am that I've been M.I.A. on my own blog, right? Thanks for understanding as usual. Muah.



Ok, so check this video I came across on Facebook out and I can tell you for free that it will bring a tear or two to your pretty eyes. It's a very emotional story of how a neighbour took in her neighbour's three kids after she passed away suddenly from cancer. Just like that and what makes it even more marvelling is that they weren't even that close friends. 

This is what being #AllHeartsAlways is about; reaching out to the needy around you, regardless.

The surprise that comes in for the entire family, thanks to that tv show, is just incredible. Watch and enjoy. Tip: hold a tissue close, yeah, I cried too. :)