Friday, 20 November 2015

Love, Family, Culture: Lauding 'Yoruba Lakotun'

I recently did a post on 'The Bilingual Child and Grammar' (see here), because I noticed grammar is gradually loosing it's grip as a result of bilingualism. So I was glad when my friend, Olutayo Irantiola, invited my family and some of our friends, to his quarterly cultural showpiece 'Yoruba Lakotun' at Ethnic Heritage Centre in Ikoyi, in September.

It was a family outing for us in a way - my family saw it as an opportunity to unwind. But in another way, it was a means of embracing our 'slipping' culture again. And even better, we thought our child could start getting familiar with his culture (at an early age).

We, as well as other guests, didn't regret honouring the invitation.  The programme was colourful and rich - there was the 'ewi' (chant) session, interview of a Yoruba scholar and writer, dance, entertainment, refreshment and more. It was so beautiful, and all for FREE. See video here.

Another one of such programme is here again. Come December 6th, 2015, by 4pm at the same venue, Irantiola is set to host us. I want to use this medium to invite lovers of art and culture to make it a date. I'm sure you'd want to go again.

I really commend Irantiola for such a novelty idea. In a society where all we are concerned about is how to make money or look good, it is such a relief that someone is doing something out of the norm. His effort in ensuring that the Yoruba language and culture is preserved and nutured is remarkable. It will be a delight to see other language speakers follow suit. Thank you Olutayo.

The venue, Ethnic Heritage Center, located at 35A, Raymond Njoku Street, off Awolowo road, Ikoyi, Lagos - Nigeria, is a non-profit ethnic heritage archives, museum, and research centre, where first rate language tutoring services are offered for both young and adults. Languages offered include Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and French. A visit to the centre won't be a bad idea.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Two Cultures, One Marriage, No Big Deal

David Folowo is a Nigerian, married to an Irish woman, and together they have a son. But being married to a white woman, living in a white man's land, or learning the Irish culture will not make David forget his culture so easily. He loves the Nigerian way of life and would not hesitate to teach his wife how to be a Nigerian. No wonder David had his son backed as a way of teaching the wife how it's done in his part of the world (see picture). Now, that is a real man!
                                                                      David and Dara
                                                         (Picture source: David Folowo)

Not many people (male and female) in interracial marriage are like David. They're either ashamed of their culture or their language isn't funky enough for learning. And as you've guessed, it will be stressful to put their other half through culinary lessons. Their dishes are either boring or impossible.

In my opinion, there should be a proper balance of the different cultures and languages involved. The problem, however, is that many parents in such categories are too busy for these supposedly "trivial" issues. Their children are left at the mercy of school teachers, maids or friends who may only influence them in the way they know best. And as such, culture dies and languages are lost. All they will be left with will be the culture or language of their immediate environment.

Finland, for instance, is a country that values culture and language. No language is belittled in the country. Forty years ago, the Finnish Government created an educational policy that enables the non-Finnish to protect their culture and language. It is reported that the country runs a curriculum that allows children at pre-primary age (6 years) who have a mother tongue other than Finnish to be taught their native language in school. The policy is still on to date. (Read more on Village Square: If a country knows the importance of culture, then interracial or inter-tribal marriage should not end it.

So far, Finland has been the only country with such report. This leaves the parents with the bulk of the work. They need to ensure their cultures and languages are preserved and passed on, irrespective of whom they're married to or their country of residence. And the only way to achieve this is to teach their spouses and children. No culture is superior to the other and no language is better than the other.  It takes a legitimate son, or daughter, one who isn't ashamed of his culture or language to pull this through.

So next time you see a man like David Folowo who is a proud son of the soil, give him a thumbs up. That guy's got my admiration.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Get Real, Get Naked!

Hahahaha, I got you there. This isn't what you're thinking at all. C'mon, I still have my dig....'witty' :D. But hey, before you hit the close button, read this...

How often do you have a heart to heart, real talk with your partner? When you're offended by your partner's action, do you bottle it up till you die of cancer or heart attack; do you tell it to someone who in turn tells it to someone who tells it to another someone till you become an object of ridicule; or do you genuinely discuss it with your partner without being judgmental? It's up to you to answer the questions.

We've all heard the saying that communication goes a long way in building relationships. But it doesn't hurt to emphasise and re-emphasise it.  Again I'll say communicate, communicate, and communicate with your partner. Don't just get naked on the bed, get naked while sitting together holding hands, with your heart and words. Talk, cry, let it out, bare your mind (in love) without using hurtful words. It won't just help your relationship, it will help your health.

I remember having a disagreement with hubby over some family issues. I didn't know how to bring it up without hurting him and creating an unnecessary impression. The first thing I did was pray on how to present the issue. Still I had no peace. But I was determined to bring it up anyway, otherwise we won't be able to prevent the issue from re-occurring and it will bring up resentment. So I gathered all the courage I had in me, looked straight into his  eyes, and bared my mind. Oh, how I chose my words cleverly. I wasn't going to hurt his feelings, I just needed to clear the misunderstanding. To my utmost surprise, he didn't get offended; he instead saw reasons and explained his side of the story. Apologies were made, and we were cool again. :).

3 Naked Steps

Aside from praying before bringing up such discussions, there are things I do to make the atmosphere easy and free of tension. Here are they:

1. Rehearse, write it out: if you don't know how to present the issue; or the issue is making you 'foam' with anger and bringing up a discussion in that condition will just ruin the event, then write it out. I do this at times because I have a very short temper, and in order for me not to react in anger, I get a pen and paper and I write. I write about the whole issue - my role, his role, what we can both do to calm the tension, etc. By the time I'll finish, my anger will have dissipated a bit. So I write it out, you should try same.

2. Look at the good side: even if your partner is a "monster", he'll definitely have his good sides. When angry, it pays to think of your spouse's good sides before you react, get judgmental or hurl out insultive words. When you do this, you will have a smooth conversation. Yes he can be a 'he-devil' sometimes, but he's definitely an angel all the time.

 3. Be prepared: you're hurt and you've been matured enough to bring up the conversation; you're the victim here, and so he has no say. Ney, ney, ney, my friend. There are always 2 sides to a story. Let him speak too. He has his own side of the story. Remember, it's a discussion, conversation, communication. And when he tells his side of his story, don't go being defensive. You're there to quench the fire not add fuel to it. Be prepared for whatever is coming from your spouse. Apologise where and when necessary. Note the notables. Kiss and make up. Don't forget, it takes 2 to tango.

This list isn't exhaustive. Please feel free to add yours to the list. I have loads of what I do to get by in dispute settling at home, but this 3 works for me.

Waiting to read from you guys. Xo xo.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Grace Adenekan Berths 'Bigger than the Biggest'

It's refreshing to see new artistes pop up, and Grace Adenekan is one of such. Popularly called Akorin, Grace is out with her debut gospel album and video tagged 'Bigger than the Biggest'.


 According to an official statement, Grace Adenekan has been a gospel artiste for many years. She started as a youngster in the church choir and has since followed her passion by proclaiming the gospel through music. 

Set for launch on the November 1, 2015 at the Centre for Management Development Hall, Magodo, Lagos, the album has 8 tracks, and has been produced in partnership with her husband, Kehinde Adenekan, who composed and co-arranged the songs with Segun Joshua. Akin Jazzy, featured in the track that the album is named after ‘Bigger than the Biggest’, and EMX mixed the track, ‘Sope’ and directed the video.

Currently, one of the songs titled ‘Most High’ is trending on Youtube. Some of the A-list gospel artistes billed for the launch include Kenny Kore, Mike Abdul, Pelumi Strings, Nixon Sax and Ann.

To view the track on Youtube, check here.
For press enquiries please call 07062021341 or e-mail

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Bilingual Child and Grammar

“Aunt, if table is ‘tabili’ in Yoruba, what do you call an ottoman then?”
“Hmm, I’m not so sure”
“But I thought you understood your local language?”

Being bilingual is beautiful. I am bilingual, and have enjoyed its tremendous benefits. However, many bilingual speakers find themselves in the situation described above - attempting to describe something, or trying to translate a term or an expression into another language. 

Bilingualism is the ability to speak more than one language. One of its beauties is that it gives you an edge over monolingual speakers (people who speak fluently only in one language). According to Jeffery Nelson, if you are bilingual, people automatically think you’re a genius! 

Most children are capable of learning more than one language. Research has shown that one in five people over the age of five speak a language other than English at home. And, for such children, this comes with blessings such as good cognitive functions; learning new words easily; connecting with others, among others.

I have a little one whom I would love to have a good grasp of English grammar as well as my indigenous language, Yoruba (a Nigerian language) - so I won’t be guilty of Dot Wordsworth’s claim that “It’s cruel not to teach grammar to children”. But I recently discovered this is a bit challenging. 

While bilingualism comes with a lot of advantages, it is not without its woes. Studies have shown that bilingual speakers have smaller vocabulary than monolingual speakers. Also, some bilingual speakers are prone to making agreement errors such as subject-verb, subject-object or object-verb agreement. These and other issues could affect children’s equal skill in both languages.

In my opinion, English seems richer than some other languages. Maybe, linguists will consider working on developing more languages other than English, so parents and bilingual speakers like me wouldn’t have to sweat over teaching grammar to our little ones.

PS: it's good to be back :).

Other work consulted: 
Jeffery Nelson. The Benefits of Being Bilingual: People Think You’re a Genius Omniglot (

Monday, 4 November 2013

Marriage Isn’t For You

Kim and I
Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.
Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.
I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.
Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?
Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.
Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.
My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raisethem? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.
My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.
No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”
Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.
But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.
Marriage is about family.
I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.
To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.
And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.
Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.

PS: I so agree with the writer that I had to reblog it.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


I met Pius Semilore Samuel on a cool Saturday afternoon in March. He had gone to visit a friend on the Street where the hairdressing salon I use is situated. I'd gone to retouch my hair that day. Coincidentally, his friend was seeing him off at the same time I was leaving the salon. As I was walking down the street, he drove up to me and asked me to hop that he'd take me wherever I was going. Now, that was rude and uncalled for. Some more decent girls wouldn't even look at him much less enter his car. But my case was different. I'll explain why. 
As soon as he said it, I opened the door of the car and in I was. He looked at me like I was weird - then he started explaining how he usually didn't go after girls asking to lift them, how I was different and how he got captivated by my looks...blah, blah, blah. After his explanation, I just told him "take me to Kure Street, No's about 3 streets from here". I expected him to move immediately, but when he didn't I looked at him, and I saw that he was still stunned by my actions. Well, you don't have to be 'lover boy', I don't have a thing men. I hate them; I use them...and I'll hate you too!

Before Meets After

I'm Tamilore Akinjobi - beautiful, young and smart but wayward. I lost my dad when I was 7 and was left in the care of my mum as an only child. Mum tried to raise me the best way she could but was financially incapable and so resorted to seeking help from my late father's friends. Some helped to an extent, but there was one in particular, Chief Gbolahan, who was willing to shoulder all my responsibilities. At last, mum was relieved! 

11 years after - precisely when I turned 18 and in my 200 level at the Uni, mum had an accident that took her life. I became an orphan! Dear Chief Gbolahan came to my aid as usual. Promised heaven on earth, howbeit with a price! The price was for me to become the next Mrs. Gbolahan. 

At 18 I was already grown, fully endowed, with all my female assets in place. So Chief thought it was wise for us to start sleeping together as man and wife. The whole plan seemed awkward, I hadn't known any man before Chief; so I felt bitter about the whole situation; but then I had no one to turn to. Oh well he was responsible for my upkeep -so I thought I was indebted  to him. 
Chief introduced me to all kinds of dirty things. At first I was frigid; but I got used to the whole nonsense. Two years into our ungodly relationship, I was already a pro. By then I was in my 500 level and final year as a Computer Engineering student. I expected Chief to propose so we could seal the deal, since I had no other man in my life and because I had already accepted my fate. That year, I discovered I was 2 months pregnant; somehow my preventive pills failed; and I thought things were working out fine. So I broke the news to Chief and he seemed overjoyed. Then he took me to the family hospital and asked them to register me for ante-natal. A week later, Chief's personal doctor asked me to see him for some medical check-ups. After series check-ups, I was given some drugs. The drugs succeeded in, not taking my life but, taking my womb. It happened that Chief had planned with his doctor to terminate the pregnancy, because, according to him, he was not ready to take a second wife and that I was too young for him. 

I fell ill after the whole ordeal, lost that academic year because I was ill and because I had no money to finish my project. It was a devastating experience. 

Devil's Incarnate?
After that ordeal with Chief, I stopped school, squatted with a few friends from school, got a job at a Business Centre as a Receptionist and eventually got a 2-bedroom mini-flat with the savings from my salary. Then I decided to start again. This time, I thought that if I could find love, maybe we'd reach an agreement to adopt a baby or 2 since I had no womb. 

Then I met Kingsley. He had nothing materially, but prospects. A young, goal-oriented graduate seeking for job. I fed him; I cared for him; I loved him. I thought he loved me too - at least it looked that way because we were a pair. Always together. So I told him my story. He was so furious that he could kill Chief Gbolahan if he saw him then. My Kingsley, inspite of my past, was as loving as ever. We played, we laughed, we talked, we had things in common - food, music, colours, places, etc - we were intimate too. I knew his family and they loved me. So I thought heaven was here.

But Kingsley left. I used my office connection to get him a job with an Oil Company in Port-Harcourt, and after a week his phone line wasn't going through. I tried contacting his folks, and they told me I to seek spiritual help, that their Kingsley has moved on. Now that's hell!

Dayo came along after Kingsley; and as usual I gave him my heart. Talk about being weak. Dayo only dated me for 6 months and broke up with me after he heard my story. Kingsley and I dated for 2 years! But the difference between the 2 was that Dayo was honest, and didn't pretend he could continue to love me after all  I'd gone through.

After Dayo was Toba, Funsho, Haruna...they all left! Those were shattering experiences but they left me hardened and mean.

Only You Will Be My Lover
"Love is patient, love is kind....It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance..." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Now, I don't have a drop of love left in my system. I detest men. I get any man I want with my beauty. I sleep with them once and we're done. No feelings! Some come back telling me how they've falling in love with me; but I don't care. Maybe I wasn't created to be loved, and so I can't love either.

But Semilore is different. Handsome, lively, funny, god-fearing, Barrister Semilore wants love. I don't have it! It's not in me anymore. It's dead!

He took me home that day, and has never stopped being a part of my life. You see, Semilore isn't the kind of guy that is into women; his folks were even doubting his celibacy at some point because he doesn't do women. But like he said something like a force made him lift me that said day. After our first meeting, I did all I could to get rid of him, but he wouldn't bulge. I'd lie that I wasn't home even when I was home and he'd wait patiently in his car till I opened the door. I tried disgracing him on the street, but all he did was tell onlookers that we were engaged to be married, and having some issues that they shouldn't mind me. I even tried using sex as a tactic to send him away because I know he's a born again Christian, but it didn't work - I went stark naked thinking that it would turn him on; all he said was "Tami", (that's what he calls me) "just get dressed because you've got the wrong man". What?! I was convinced that that would work. I am a beautiful and well endowed woman and there's no man that has seen my nakedness that didn't fall. What is it with this guy? 
After all said and done, Semilore, the son of a pastor, started taking me to church with him every Sunday. He introduced me to Christ, and things started happening in my life - great things. I found love. I found hope. I knew love again. Soon, I discovered we were inseparable - always together and very much in love. We spent our weekends together - no not having sex; but  enjoying each other's company. He's my best friend; my helper; my heart, my love. I told him my story, and my Semilore didn't even condemn, judge or neglect me. Oh, how I love this man.

Old Flame
It's been a year and six months now and my Semilore thinks it is time for us to take our love to the next level. We both know we were made for each other - talk about 2 hearts that beat as one. I have met and been accepted by the Samuels - such a wonderful family. The wedding is scheduled for June 15,  2013. All is going well.
On February 10th, Semilore told me we were going to the airport together later in the evening to pick his friend who is arriving from the States. He was coming for a short visit and would be staying over at Semilore's house. Semilore's friend arrived that Sunday, but alas he was an 'old flame' 'old flame'. 'Lore's friend is Funsho, my ex. When he saw me, after 'Lore had done introducing us, I expressed shock and shame, but he (Funsho) pretended as if nothing happened. But because I wanted to clear the air, and my conscience, and because there has never been any secret between 'Lore and I, I was quick to ask Funsho "Don't I know you?", "Yes, I do now. You're my ex....I met you at....We dated for about 3 months, before you left for the States..." And he was like "Oh, I remember vaguely, you know I dated a lot of people back then". I felt bad! But 'Lore knew what was going on and decided to change the subject.

Fast forward to February 14th, 'Lore and I had planned to meet at an eatery in GRA, Ikeja after work for dinner, but a particular case that he was working on held him up at the office, so I decided to go and wait for him at his house. I'd even forgotten that Funsho would be at home since he was staying with 'Lore on his visit. Since I had a spare key, I let myself in and met Funsho. "Oh, hi", I said. "I didn't know you were still here". He greeted me with a big grin. I decided to keep a distance judging from the way he behaved at the airport. He noticed that and offered a quick apology for his behaviour blaming it on jet-lag. I accepted his apology, dropped my bag in the sitting room and went in search of something to eat in the kitchen. Then I heard Funsho's voice; he'd probably tip-toed into the kitchen because I didn't hear him come in. He was telling me I still looked hot as ever and that 'Lore was lucky to have me. This was the same Funsho that dumped me after hearing my story ooo. I  just ignored him and had my back to him. Before I knew it, he grabbed me from behind, forced me to the floor, tore my panties, and forced his way into me. I was helpless; I struggled but he was stronger....this must have gone on for minutes or so with me screaming and fighting for my life...after what seemed like hours, I just heard someone scream "This is disgusting...." It was my Semilore. He saw Funsho on top of me and ran out....away....................................

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered....For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Marriage Proposal: Just How Creative Can You Be?

Love is such a beautiful thing! Yeah we know that. But it is hot when the people involved act ‘crazy’; do the unusual; go extra miles to prove their love.

Ok so, you, a guy, have found the girl that makes your world spin. And then you go:
‘I’d love her to be the mother of my kids’;
‘I’d love to spend forever with her’;
‘She means the world to me’;
‘She’s my heartbeat’;
‘I just can’t imagine life without her’;
‘Teminikan’; ‘oloomi’; ‘sweetie mi’; ‘ewa mi’; ‘ife mi’; ‘onyekemu-o’...blah blah blah...

And you’re like, I’ll propose to her on her birthday; in front her family members or yours; I’ll take her to this cosy restaurant, liaise with the chef and ask her to bake this beautiful cake with an engagement ring inserted in the cake; I’ll take her on a boat cruise and ask her to marry me otherwise I’ll push her into the ocean (lol...please don’t try that guys); and so we can go on and on and on. But just how creative are you when it comes to Marriage Proposal?

A Big Deal? Yes
Well, some might argue that this shouldn’t be a big deal as it isn’t marriage itself. Well, it can be a big deal in a way. It’d be fun to do something crazy; just a lil out of place. It’s always beautiful! It adds spice to a relationship; and after you’ve been married for years, you can both look back and laugh at your nerdy marriage proposal. 

Just who says that romance should be boring? They surely have not met Jeff Gurwin, the head over heels in love fellow who orchestrated a graffiti mural proposal on the streets of New York City. Can you feel the love? Please view the video here: World's Most Creative Marriage Proposal ...and ‘get creative’ guyzzz.