Saturday, March 31, 2012

Inside My Head {4} - The Marriage


1. It looks like the order of Dating/courtship -> Marriage -> Child (ren) is becoming unpopular. I see.

2a. Just because outsiders (or people who think they are more of insiders than one's family) see someone as an angel does not mean they do not abuse their spouse. Your story of them being an angel is true. That's what they are to you. Their spouse's story of them being cruel is also true. That's what they are to them.

2b. Living with them does not mean you know the whole story.

3. Before you condemn a woman who stayed in an abusive relationship, count the snow flakes as they fall from the sky.

4. If you cannot help a woman who stayed in an abusive relationship, do not condemn her.

5. Long before the first punch was thrown and the first belt was whipped out, there was emotional abuse.
    Long after the fist can no longer form and the belt is worn, there will still be the emotional abuse.

6. You have no business being with someone who does not see the good in you. Tolerance and endurance
    are for the wild animals. Love is for humans.

7. If you die in an abusive relationship, at your funeral, the best they would say is that you WERE a good person. WERE.

8. Children will either accept abuse as the norm and not recognize it as abuse and so carry it on in their lives. The same way you grew up thinking brushing teeth in the morning is the norm. OR, a child will recognize abuse as abuse and fight against it in their own marriage with all they have.

9. If you are in an abusive relationship, TELL YOUR CHILDREN EVERYTHING. It is not instigation. You are saving them. You did not fall in the bathtub, your husband beat you.

10. A man can be a great father. The same man can be a not-so-good husband. Your children know the difference.

11. God has had to change up His plan because stubborn parties refused to comply to HIS WILL. Think Garden of Eden. You would run if someone pointed a gun at you, attacked you on the road, beat you up mercilessly, etc. But you would not if that person were your husband? God will hold your hand out of certain plans-gone-extremely-wrong.

12. Marriage should be for ever but it is not an endpoint. Your marriage should not retard ANYTHING about you.

13. The white dress, black suit, large cake and 3-day ceremony alone are INCAPABLE of changing your spouse or your family or your in-laws. Marry your spouse of today not what you hope they change into.

14. Stay out of your brother's relationship. Yes, he SHOULD choose his wife over you, his sister, his mother and his primary school best friend. Yes, if the boat were sinking and he could save only one, he should choose his WIFE over you, his sister, his mother and his primary school best friend. It's called leaving and cleaving.

15. And your sister's relationship.

16. The way one is to one's siblings is a good [indication] of who they are.

What do I know?


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Re: Kony 2012 - NakedSha

Our people say:
Yoruba: Ẹ̀ẹ̀kan lejò ńyánni.
Eng: One gets bitten by a snake only once.  - Yoruba proverb.

The media has evolved into portable forms and sizes which allow for instant world-wide participation of any and every one who has access to these platforms. One good example is Twitter. Twitter trends are the best indication of what the world is ‘buzzing’ about. In most recent times, this is the Ugandan rebel leader, Joseph Kony. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader has recruited 30,000 children in the space of about 20 years who help propagate terror in an already unstable Uganda. A popular human-right NGO called Invisible Children (IC) created a 30-minute video which addresses Kony’s criminal activities and, in typical out-of-Africa fashion, hypes up the rest of the world about donating for the purpose of capturing Kony and bringing him to justice. Their mantra is something along the lines of Kony 2012: Let’s make Kony Famous.

I am disgusted by the Kony 2012 campaign and this video.

Last week Thursday at a meeting of primarily Africans and African-Americans, the issue of Kony 2012 was brought up. When I contributed an opinion against that of everyone else (except those who had no idea what was being talked about), I was accused of being a supporter of child soldiering and unsympathetic to the plight of the invisible children of Uganda. I was not too shocked at this accusation, untrue as it is, because I am used to accusations. Does anyone recognize the accusation of being Americanized or a rebel to [culture] if one disagrees with killing or a prison sentence for homosexuals in Nigeria, etc.? My disgust towards Joseph Kony's legacy and the Kony 2012 campaign are not mutually exclusive. Child soldiering is a step beyond criminal and Joseph Kony cannot be remotely justified. But many people do not understand that we will not all support the salvation-saved dynamics that Africans have lived within for too long. I won’t. The IC MAY have good intentions but good for who? The colonials had “good” intentions, so did the missionaries, the invasive multinational extractive industries and all the other saviors of savage, fetish, illiterate, uncivilized and [bringers of the white man’s burden] Africans. Good for whom? For whom, biko?

And then, the campaign reduces the menace of child soldiering to one man, Kony.  

Such a simplistic strategy of click play -> watch -> be moved -> donate -> share will not solve the problem. It is too complicated and intricate and the imposition of outside salvation has largely not worked and cannot work. Also, it is ridiculous to think that the capturing of Kony will result in a change to child soldiering in Uganda simply because the rebel leader is captured. Kony operated (somewhat successfully) before his indictment (for which he is still at large) for over 20 years for a reason and if we know a little of our dear continent, it is not all black and white. At best, the world’s concern that has resulted from all this hype is short-lived. So, of course, since many of our governmental infrastructures are not sufficient to solve our crises, almighty U.S.A had to intervene. Why oh why would the U.S.A send 100 troops to ‘help train the Ugandan army?’ Oh, yeah, Uganda needs salvation from the West. Will the West ever leave the ‘other’ alone? Power dynamics. 

More, the video does not represent important and accurate facts such as Kony’s LRA presence in the DRC, CAR and other neighboring countries. The people of Northern Uganda are flabbergasted because they recognize their most pressing needs as war recovery not some hype about Kony. Just because some content will make a juicy, viral video does not mean ... I stop there because, anyway, Africa has always been the subject of single stories and viral, juicy media representations. To make the outsider cry and then donate or laugh and then pay-a-visit-to-the-safari-resort or dance and then tie-a-piece-of-tie-dye-cloth-and-jump-and-throw-feet-and-arms. So, Kony 2012 is not an exception to them.

Kony 2012 is more propaganda than treatment and if it is any at all, it is treatment of the symptom and not the disease. Until the systems of corruption and conflicts are disarmed, many more Konys will arise after, if at all, Kony is captured. And it will be of no surprise to me if Kony is not at all in hiding. Think Osama bin Laden and the like; the best place to hide is right under the enemy’s nose. Joseph Kony probably casually watches television at night with his kinship and gun-bearers like much of the world is doing. Or worse, he doesn’t give a SHIT!

Make Kony famous? How about make the faces behind child-soldiering famous? 

P.S: Your donation of, say, $10 will buy at least 50 oranges from the beggar in your home country with two children on her arms and one on her back. It is simplistic but it will do less harm than Kony 2012.

Find out more about the IC's budget here. It is no wonder they make powerful videos. 37 cents from your dollar donation will go to the IC’s over-simplified projects. The other 63 cents will go towards salaries, travel costs and film production for the next viral video for the next Kony, 2012 propaganda. Maybe Boko Haram, 2013.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

The National Theatre

Our people say:
Yoruba: Agada ò morí alágbẹ̀dẹ.
Eng: The sword cannot tell the smith's head from others. - Yoruba Proverb.


I'm so busy, I apologize for my absence.
A friend correctly called me scissor-hungry. I've chopped off my hair five times in three years (to my father's disdain). Anyway, I'm repenting.

The National Theatre.

7 Months Ago:

Stay Naked!