THROUGH OUR EYES

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."


                                           Sending some poetry your way. Much love!


I am African in a way that doesn’t demand attention…yet
That doesn’t call you to order…yet
I was born here and I’m proud to be part of the place I call here- home
It’s my journey from bottled up rage to self- discovery 

As an African, I constantly question who I am and what my responsibilities entail
Do I define them or is my blackness  the coat of disprivilege I’m forced to wear
Who am I really? outside of their perception of me?

I don’t like to be the victim in the story,
But the oppressor is not a position I would favor either
My story is forever tainted by their insecurity and consequent domination

However, no matter how history unfolded,

I’m proud because we fought back
But still, I’m sure you can understand that I don’t appreciate being the victim in the story.

If blackness is defined by you who are white,
I find it difficult to subscribe to a label tha2t is defined by your oppression
That identity is premised on the privilege you intended to establish and for that reason, I rebel against it subliminally.

You get to call me impoverished, dis privileged, dirty, uncivilized, backwards, and now, colonization is a badge I wear on my chest.
And that gets to be the yoke I carry around and call my identity?
Nah.

I believe in black excellence, black love, black lives,

But it’s difficult to ignore the history of that identity

The way you may profile me for my colour

Criminalise my locs

Condescendingly patronize me and my experience

Perpetuate a culture of ingraining inferiority complexes in a people whose only crime was to be blessed with skin that don’t crack

And then turn around and tell me, ‘I don’t see racism’

I must say selective blindness is a new affliction that I am yet to have the patience to find the cure for.

A festering sore, a thorn in my flesh, a dagger straight to the heart that constantly chips away at my desire to love.

If I could define my identity in an alternate universe where my people rallied together to fight our fight against the corruption and the west did not characterize all that is ‘good’ and ‘favorable’ in the world,
I wouldn’t be black.
I wouldn’t be colored either 
If you defined it, I don’t want it.
The rules of consent should definitely apply.

If my legacy forever relies on the goodwill of the people who felt burdened enough to
Come ‘down’ to Africa,

I’m afraid that history becomes a little untrustworthy because it is told only from your side of the story.

I must just ask, ‘Who decided the west? Or the north? Because last I checked the globe is a sphere. But maybe it’s just me.

Indeed of our many conflicts, we agree that my continent is beautiful. Even if all you’ve ever seen are giraffes, lions and palm trees.

But I don’t need your validation
Or representation in your magazines
To be aware of this particular truth
I will assume it is why you abused me
Because I was too beautiful
Too tantalizing, succulent, and desirable.
My thunder thighs and lush vegetation excited you
I distracted you and thus it must be my fault that you violated me.

I long for the days when I am free of you.

Omobolaji Olalere


Who Am I?


                                           Sending some poetry your way. Much love!


I am African in a way that doesn’t demand attention…yet
That doesn’t call you to order…yet
I was born here and I’m proud to be part of the place I call here- home
It’s my journey from bottled up rage to self- discovery 

As an African, I constantly question who I am and what my responsibilities entail
Do I define them or is my blackness  the coat of disprivilege I’m forced to wear
Who am I really? outside of their perception of me?

I don’t like to be the victim in the story,
But the oppressor is not a position I would favor either
My story is forever tainted by their insecurity and consequent domination

However, no matter how history unfolded,

I’m proud because we fought back
But still, I’m sure you can understand that I don’t appreciate being the victim in the story.

If blackness is defined by you who are white,
I find it difficult to subscribe to a label tha2t is defined by your oppression
That identity is premised on the privilege you intended to establish and for that reason, I rebel against it subliminally.

You get to call me impoverished, dis privileged, dirty, uncivilized, backwards, and now, colonization is a badge I wear on my chest.
And that gets to be the yoke I carry around and call my identity?
Nah.

I believe in black excellence, black love, black lives,

But it’s difficult to ignore the history of that identity

The way you may profile me for my colour

Criminalise my locs

Condescendingly patronize me and my experience

Perpetuate a culture of ingraining inferiority complexes in a people whose only crime was to be blessed with skin that don’t crack

And then turn around and tell me, ‘I don’t see racism’

I must say selective blindness is a new affliction that I am yet to have the patience to find the cure for.

A festering sore, a thorn in my flesh, a dagger straight to the heart that constantly chips away at my desire to love.

If I could define my identity in an alternate universe where my people rallied together to fight our fight against the corruption and the west did not characterize all that is ‘good’ and ‘favorable’ in the world,
I wouldn’t be black.
I wouldn’t be colored either 
If you defined it, I don’t want it.
The rules of consent should definitely apply.

If my legacy forever relies on the goodwill of the people who felt burdened enough to
Come ‘down’ to Africa,

I’m afraid that history becomes a little untrustworthy because it is told only from your side of the story.

I must just ask, ‘Who decided the west? Or the north? Because last I checked the globe is a sphere. But maybe it’s just me.

Indeed of our many conflicts, we agree that my continent is beautiful. Even if all you’ve ever seen are giraffes, lions and palm trees.

But I don’t need your validation
Or representation in your magazines
To be aware of this particular truth
I will assume it is why you abused me
Because I was too beautiful
Too tantalizing, succulent, and desirable.
My thunder thighs and lush vegetation excited you
I distracted you and thus it must be my fault that you violated me.

I long for the days when I am free of you.

Omobolaji Olalere






Helloooooooo,
If you're creeped out or intrigued by the title, then it is exactly you that I am speaking to...
I have gone through an interesting relationship with my vagina, a very interesting one. Low key I have always been fascinated by her, but I think because recently, I've become even more obsessed with my scent than usual, my concern for her rose to the surface again.
Now to those of us who may not know what a vagina is, it's a muscular tube that leads from the uterus to the cervix. In spite of all I have learnt about my vagina in the past year, I am not even remotely aware what the cervix is, but that's fine. I just wanted to talk about learning to be comfortable with your vagina.

No 1 - She's not only important for sex, so please pay attention to her! She deserves respect. If that also is not enough incentive for you, it might interest you to know that the major source of body odour (for those who have it) for women is typically from your vagina. So, let's be very clear, she's a major major stakeholder. Also, given that the food that you eat influences how you smell down there, be mindful. Long story short, your vagina is very nice to you, so please treat her right.

No 2 - Please do not be part of those people who insult people with the beautiful name, 'vagina'. She is again, very kind to you. A whole queen. Anyone you're going to call a vagina should be worthy of the respect she should command.

No 3 - She is often a big clue as to what's happening in your body. If you could take a moment to notice that sometimes this smell means this, and that mushy thing in your panties means this, life would be so great I promise!

Lastly, I would just say that I think the discomfort we have with our vagina is because we don't talk about her. And in one part, people be looking at me like, 'Why should we talk about her?' and I would answer, 'We all need that kind of information because it affects us in real ways'. I think it is ridiculous that I can share tips about how I take care of my skin comfortably, and not be able to do the same with my vagina. Perhaps, we think it's a bedroom topic, and I mean we're all entitled to our opinions, but I disagree.
It's like you learn how to wear a pad and shave, and then that's all. At least that much most of us know.
But then when fungi starts growing there like in that lovely giph above, we then begin to discuss that there are some particular nasty things that should never happen to your vagina.

One day, I will go in detail and people will look at my blog post and whisper to their friends, 'That's so weird' and then run back to read it at 3 am when everyone is asleep. It's okay, it's totally fine. I don't hold it against you. Better you know than you don't eh?

Somehow, we've been taught that there are places to discuss her but tbh, my vagina is often a conversation I have with people over tea. She exists, and she needs care and other people don't know how to because we act so shifty with the information. Help yo girls out!

Over and out,
Your friendly vagina lover
Bolaji.

Aunty Vjay





Helloooooooo,
If you're creeped out or intrigued by the title, then it is exactly you that I am speaking to...
I have gone through an interesting relationship with my vagina, a very interesting one. Low key I have always been fascinated by her, but I think because recently, I've become even more obsessed with my scent than usual, my concern for her rose to the surface again.
Now to those of us who may not know what a vagina is, it's a muscular tube that leads from the uterus to the cervix. In spite of all I have learnt about my vagina in the past year, I am not even remotely aware what the cervix is, but that's fine. I just wanted to talk about learning to be comfortable with your vagina.

No 1 - She's not only important for sex, so please pay attention to her! She deserves respect. If that also is not enough incentive for you, it might interest you to know that the major source of body odour (for those who have it) for women is typically from your vagina. So, let's be very clear, she's a major major stakeholder. Also, given that the food that you eat influences how you smell down there, be mindful. Long story short, your vagina is very nice to you, so please treat her right.

No 2 - Please do not be part of those people who insult people with the beautiful name, 'vagina'. She is again, very kind to you. A whole queen. Anyone you're going to call a vagina should be worthy of the respect she should command.

No 3 - She is often a big clue as to what's happening in your body. If you could take a moment to notice that sometimes this smell means this, and that mushy thing in your panties means this, life would be so great I promise!

Lastly, I would just say that I think the discomfort we have with our vagina is because we don't talk about her. And in one part, people be looking at me like, 'Why should we talk about her?' and I would answer, 'We all need that kind of information because it affects us in real ways'. I think it is ridiculous that I can share tips about how I take care of my skin comfortably, and not be able to do the same with my vagina. Perhaps, we think it's a bedroom topic, and I mean we're all entitled to our opinions, but I disagree.
It's like you learn how to wear a pad and shave, and then that's all. At least that much most of us know.
But then when fungi starts growing there like in that lovely giph above, we then begin to discuss that there are some particular nasty things that should never happen to your vagina.

One day, I will go in detail and people will look at my blog post and whisper to their friends, 'That's so weird' and then run back to read it at 3 am when everyone is asleep. It's okay, it's totally fine. I don't hold it against you. Better you know than you don't eh?

Somehow, we've been taught that there are places to discuss her but tbh, my vagina is often a conversation I have with people over tea. She exists, and she needs care and other people don't know how to because we act so shifty with the information. Help yo girls out!

Over and out,
Your friendly vagina lover
Bolaji.


Hey there, I'm here with a little doze of encouragement and energy booster for the day. Stay blessed.

I turned eighteen recently and although eighteen isn’t a really huge number, it is enough years to understand that there are two kinds of ‘advice givers’ in life (at least the kinds I’ve encountered.)

The first kind is the elders around us. The ‘I speak from experience’ group of people. They say experience is the best teacher and I have slowly discovered that, in truth, experience is the best teacher. Back to the elders… because they have lived many more years than I have, they have experienced a lot of the more current events in my life - whether it is the nerve wracking choice of what to study in the university for the next four years of my life or the new male friend that I’ve been spending a significant amount of time with or the long term health effects of my current eating habits – and can tell whether I’m doing what is right and worthwhile or a complete waste of my time and efforts. Most times, I find that I’d rather challenge their advice either because I believe I am less likely to make the mistakes they made (because I am ‘wiser’) or because I’d rather convince myself that because I live in a different era/generation, then the outcome must be different, and worse of all, I’d rather be able to experience whatever disappoint and grief or success for myself. Think about it. If no one is willing to gain these experiences for themselves, what are we going to tell our next generation when they look up to us for advice? Don’t be misguided! No reasonable adult will prevent you from doing anything that is beneficial for your life and, in the same vain, no reasonable adult will sit back and watch you do anything that is detrimental to your life. It is up to each and every person to decide what course of action they do end up taking.

The first kind of people are precious and we must cherish them. Now on to the next kind of people. These people are the type to give advice based on their fears and insecurities. In an attempt to feel better about themselves or mask their ‘shortcomings’, they hold others back with the type of advice they give – if you take that course, you will die because they are terrified by the thought of not performing as well as they are used to, how can you of all people think you can do that because they are unable to accept the truth, which is that their weaknesses aren’t other peoples weaknesses – so that they can feel less miserable about themselves.

Run from these people! They lack confidence in themselves and their abilities. In addition, they only dwell on the negatives of themselves and don’t acknowledge any of their strengths. In this life, I have learnt that it is no one’s job to make me feel good about myself. All anyone can do to help is point out those areas that I should be proud of especially when I feel it is ‘too small’ of ‘not that significant’, but it is only when I chose that I am more than enough that I will begin to move around with that air of confidence that can only come from within. There will always be room for improvement because you can always be better than who you currently are, but be proud of how far you you have come at every step of the journey and be deliberate about giving yourself ‘a pat on the back’ then take the next step.

So next time you're about to beat yourself up about something that didn't work out as you hoped for, stop for a quick reflection. Think about what went wrong and what you should have done better but think about what went well and be happy for those things. Learn to be disappointed by the outcome but not discouraged about life because there is so much to live for. Treat yourself to some dessert because you deserve to be treated nicely. Remember it's all about what you're projecting; the energy you give off is the energy you'll find that you attract. Just project the right energy

Till next time,
Ginika.

It's all about projecting the right energy



Hey there, I'm here with a little doze of encouragement and energy booster for the day. Stay blessed.

I turned eighteen recently and although eighteen isn’t a really huge number, it is enough years to understand that there are two kinds of ‘advice givers’ in life (at least the kinds I’ve encountered.)

The first kind is the elders around us. The ‘I speak from experience’ group of people. They say experience is the best teacher and I have slowly discovered that, in truth, experience is the best teacher. Back to the elders… because they have lived many more years than I have, they have experienced a lot of the more current events in my life - whether it is the nerve wracking choice of what to study in the university for the next four years of my life or the new male friend that I’ve been spending a significant amount of time with or the long term health effects of my current eating habits – and can tell whether I’m doing what is right and worthwhile or a complete waste of my time and efforts. Most times, I find that I’d rather challenge their advice either because I believe I am less likely to make the mistakes they made (because I am ‘wiser’) or because I’d rather convince myself that because I live in a different era/generation, then the outcome must be different, and worse of all, I’d rather be able to experience whatever disappoint and grief or success for myself. Think about it. If no one is willing to gain these experiences for themselves, what are we going to tell our next generation when they look up to us for advice? Don’t be misguided! No reasonable adult will prevent you from doing anything that is beneficial for your life and, in the same vain, no reasonable adult will sit back and watch you do anything that is detrimental to your life. It is up to each and every person to decide what course of action they do end up taking.

The first kind of people are precious and we must cherish them. Now on to the next kind of people. These people are the type to give advice based on their fears and insecurities. In an attempt to feel better about themselves or mask their ‘shortcomings’, they hold others back with the type of advice they give – if you take that course, you will die because they are terrified by the thought of not performing as well as they are used to, how can you of all people think you can do that because they are unable to accept the truth, which is that their weaknesses aren’t other peoples weaknesses – so that they can feel less miserable about themselves.

Run from these people! They lack confidence in themselves and their abilities. In addition, they only dwell on the negatives of themselves and don’t acknowledge any of their strengths. In this life, I have learnt that it is no one’s job to make me feel good about myself. All anyone can do to help is point out those areas that I should be proud of especially when I feel it is ‘too small’ of ‘not that significant’, but it is only when I chose that I am more than enough that I will begin to move around with that air of confidence that can only come from within. There will always be room for improvement because you can always be better than who you currently are, but be proud of how far you you have come at every step of the journey and be deliberate about giving yourself ‘a pat on the back’ then take the next step.

So next time you're about to beat yourself up about something that didn't work out as you hoped for, stop for a quick reflection. Think about what went wrong and what you should have done better but think about what went well and be happy for those things. Learn to be disappointed by the outcome but not discouraged about life because there is so much to live for. Treat yourself to some dessert because you deserve to be treated nicely. Remember it's all about what you're projecting; the energy you give off is the energy you'll find that you attract. Just project the right energy

Till next time,
Ginika.





This summer I did something cool and although it wasn't grandiose, it was definitely very impactful to the lives of those involved. I go to the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Honeydew, Johannesburg, South Africa and as the name implies, leadership is a subject that is engraved into our curriculum and our daily lives at large. The month of June marked the end of my first year of the two year program at ALA and I felt it would be rather selfish of me to withhold all that I learned from my teachers and peers from the rest of my community in Lagos, Nigeria.

With that said, I organized a week long leadership program, which I titled ‘A Leader In Me’ for the preteens in my estate as they are the future of tomorrow. Nigerian leaders have failed on many accounts to show exemplary qualities for the younger generations to emulate and I vehemently believe that to correct and prevent the rise of another faulty generation, we must teach them how to be good and responsible leaders in the society – by teaching them and by putting these teachings to practice. I believe young people act on what they see and not what they are told or rather they are able to synchronize what they are told with what they see.

To deliver quality results in life, preparation is key. I knew I could not just show up on Monday and spew a mouthful of disjointed leadership talk so I made a careful curriculum that will keep the preteens well informed and well engaged for two hours throughout the week. The curriculum focused majorly on emphasizing the qualities of a good leader – qualities that we all possess but must harness them to bring them to fruition. These qualities included confidence, trustworthiness, service, communication, and finally exemplary leadership.

By the end of the training program, they understood what confident leadership is and how to embody the position of a confident leader without coming off as prideful. We emphasized that a truly confident person does not put others down to boost their confidence but rather they help others gain the confidence they need to excel. Also, leadership thrives where there is trust between the leader(s) and those that fall under the responsibility of the leader. They understood that trust works both ways in the sphere of leadership for a successful end goal. Servant leadership was the topic I had to be most patient with. The concept of leading through service to others without expectations in return took a while to grasp. In groups, they came up with projects that will serve the estate at large and their execution was highly commendable. In addition, the concept of communication was thoroughly discussed and left them with an understanding that communication is not complete until the receiving end has understood the original message and can act upon their understanding. Lastly, they understood that all the aforementioned qualities must be embodied to live an exemplary life as a leader – a life that others around will want to emulate and will, most importantly, bring about positive change in the society.

As fulfilling as it was to impact their lives, it was certainly a learning experience for me. I learnt that there is no initiative that is too small as long as it is beneficial to the public. This program helped me to move my thoughts from waiting for a grand platform to reach out to thousands of people. Truth be told, to conquer the big things, you must start from the smaller things. I understood that the planning phase is only the beginning and finishing/seeing things through to the very end is where the reward lies. It was a rich and impactful week and I am humbled by the experience. Till next time, I hope this bold initiative inspires you in some way to do something great.

My DSC





This summer I did something cool and although it wasn't grandiose, it was definitely very impactful to the lives of those involved. I go to the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Honeydew, Johannesburg, South Africa and as the name implies, leadership is a subject that is engraved into our curriculum and our daily lives at large. The month of June marked the end of my first year of the two year program at ALA and I felt it would be rather selfish of me to withhold all that I learned from my teachers and peers from the rest of my community in Lagos, Nigeria.

With that said, I organized a week long leadership program, which I titled ‘A Leader In Me’ for the preteens in my estate as they are the future of tomorrow. Nigerian leaders have failed on many accounts to show exemplary qualities for the younger generations to emulate and I vehemently believe that to correct and prevent the rise of another faulty generation, we must teach them how to be good and responsible leaders in the society – by teaching them and by putting these teachings to practice. I believe young people act on what they see and not what they are told or rather they are able to synchronize what they are told with what they see.

To deliver quality results in life, preparation is key. I knew I could not just show up on Monday and spew a mouthful of disjointed leadership talk so I made a careful curriculum that will keep the preteens well informed and well engaged for two hours throughout the week. The curriculum focused majorly on emphasizing the qualities of a good leader – qualities that we all possess but must harness them to bring them to fruition. These qualities included confidence, trustworthiness, service, communication, and finally exemplary leadership.

By the end of the training program, they understood what confident leadership is and how to embody the position of a confident leader without coming off as prideful. We emphasized that a truly confident person does not put others down to boost their confidence but rather they help others gain the confidence they need to excel. Also, leadership thrives where there is trust between the leader(s) and those that fall under the responsibility of the leader. They understood that trust works both ways in the sphere of leadership for a successful end goal. Servant leadership was the topic I had to be most patient with. The concept of leading through service to others without expectations in return took a while to grasp. In groups, they came up with projects that will serve the estate at large and their execution was highly commendable. In addition, the concept of communication was thoroughly discussed and left them with an understanding that communication is not complete until the receiving end has understood the original message and can act upon their understanding. Lastly, they understood that all the aforementioned qualities must be embodied to live an exemplary life as a leader – a life that others around will want to emulate and will, most importantly, bring about positive change in the society.

As fulfilling as it was to impact their lives, it was certainly a learning experience for me. I learnt that there is no initiative that is too small as long as it is beneficial to the public. This program helped me to move my thoughts from waiting for a grand platform to reach out to thousands of people. Truth be told, to conquer the big things, you must start from the smaller things. I understood that the planning phase is only the beginning and finishing/seeing things through to the very end is where the reward lies. It was a rich and impactful week and I am humbled by the experience. Till next time, I hope this bold initiative inspires you in some way to do something great.


Hello there, it's your girl Ginika... haha that sounds nothing like me. How are y'all doing? I hope the summer is everything you hoped for? To all the bookworms out there, my loving sister wrote the most magnificent short story. Here is a short beginning of it. Click Here to read the full story.
The Last I Cry
Knock, knock.
I frown in irritation. Who is there?
I glance at the grandfather clock in the corner. It chimes midnight. I sigh and set my glasses on the table, a yawn escapes me and I stretch. Its been a long day.
- Maruche Kalu

short story to bless your day


Hello there, it's your girl Ginika... haha that sounds nothing like me. How are y'all doing? I hope the summer is everything you hoped for? To all the bookworms out there, my loving sister wrote the most magnificent short story. Here is a short beginning of it. Click Here to read the full story.
The Last I Cry
Knock, knock.
I frown in irritation. Who is there?
I glance at the grandfather clock in the corner. It chimes midnight. I sigh and set my glasses on the table, a yawn escapes me and I stretch. Its been a long day.
- Maruche Kalu

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