All Lives Matter!

The way June started out for me from 12am on the 1st till today- 3days later has been on a sad, dark note and I feel a lot of persons around the world are going through same or worse. First of all, I had my fair share of a breakup, then an issue with the publishing company who after our agreement on 30% initial deposit ends up sending in a mail stating 70% initial deposit. Then, I get a list of bills I have to pay even when I’ve not had a job in 3months due to the pandemic and the pressures that kept coming.

When God said: “…and darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people…” These words keep re-echoing. In Nigeria where I am, there’s been 3 rape cases and for days now- especially yesterday the 2nd, placards, signs, black outs, protests and all have been passing round and going on with captions on hashtags: #WeAreTired #EnoughIsEnough #JusticeForTina #JusticeForUwa #JusticeForJeniffer. All day, I tried to be calm about it and not say so much until I went through the media and saw a birthday upload of a guy who almost raped me and who I almost killed that day. I remembered my cries, screams, struggles, the bites I gave to him, the way my hands shook with the knife in my hand, the hysterical laughter in his voice, the way his friend sat outside feigning incredulity to the noise and how terrified I was plus the other 7 cases of attempted rape- besides the assaults, molestation, and abuse. I remembered my friend who has been a rape victim for over 8 times and the other one for over 15 times and the married one who complains her husband keeps raping her and the other girl who says the only way she enjoys sex is if she’s raped- because that’s what her body is used to. Still, no man can identify a rape apologist, but most women can identify other victims.

Then, my friend calls to let us know that her mum just died from the #Covid19 pandemic and now she’s an orphan with no siblings and no one to call family- in this cruel world and dark times. I have a previous colleague lying on the hospital bed as a #Covid19 patient, who doesn’t know if he’ll live or die…all to what end?

In USA with all the protests and racism, #BlackLivesMatter, #ICan’tBreathe, #BlackOutTuesday is trending on all social media streets and people are protesting, dying, looting, killing, getting jailed and all because the leaders and others in authority are bigots, sexists, racists, etc. My friend’s colleague was beaten, tortured and used a pepper spray on even when he was unarmed and non-violent.

My question is, to what end? If men still cannot respect women and listen to a silent ‘No’ without her having to scream it or repeat it a second time or struggle and get injured, raped or killed to cover it up; to what end? If at home and abroad, blacks and Africans cannot live together in harmony and be one that they are without having to be tribalistic, racist, religious, and all; to what end? If people are not accepted in their own homes nor outside their homes; to what end? If Presidents of nation’s cannot lead the people who voted them into power as a result of their failed promises and lies and hypocrisy and marginalization and biases and all; to what end? Humans have failed humans, leaders have failed followers, the government has failed the masses, the police has failed those they’re to protect, the health institution has failed the young and old…;to what end?

To think that my birthday is two weeks away and June is already starting out with all the darkness, will there be anything to celebrate? There’s so much fear, pain, darkness, tears, hurt, worry, sadness and a lot of bad news flying around.

Do say a prayer of hope for the people you know and those you do not know because these are trying times. This too shall pass…🤦🏽‍♀️

Wrap-Up May

How was May? For me, it started out on a not so good note and ended same way, but the weeks and days in-between made all the difference and gave me so much sense of purpose, fulfilment and joy. Here’s a sneak peek…

In May, my mental health did try me a lot and I eventually connected with a therapist from Kenya who checks up on me, advices me and all. Also, I tried working on my book which I completed actually, sent in the manuscript and tried a publishing deal which ended up not working out – you can imagine my frustration. I was able to reconnect with my very good friends and I’m happy it’s all worked out so well. I made a mini-course on personal development which people bought for free and the reviews were exciting.

More interestingly, I got featured on a blog post, launched my YouTube channel and published the 3rd edition of the Cocoa Series Magazine. These alone gave me so much joy plus two of my posts trended on LinkedIn for a while which made me so excited.

The bad part about my May was my decision to end a friendship with a guy I was in love with because it’s crazy passing through all that emotional stress and he isn’t ready for a relationship and so much more attached to it. He became so much to me and even if it hurts my heart, my soul will heal from it. So, I’m single and I really don’t know if I’m searching or not.

It’s still lockdown over here with lies and truth- we don’t know who to believe. I’m still home and not working for 3 months now. I’ve really been trying to get it together, but sometimes I don’t know.

Meanwhile, I saw a few interesting web series on YouTube- Boomerang, Shampaign and Tough Love. I craved so much for different meals which I ate and didn’t eat. I prayed more in May and really saw God do a couple of good things for me. May was an amazing month and I had lots of testimonies.

However, June 20th is my birthday and I’m excited I’m sharing this month with my Dad- June 25th and my eldest brother- June 30th. It’s really amazing buh good. So, what was May like for you? And I wish you an amazing and exciting June up ahead. #StaySafe

Skill Versatility

Yeah, what does that even mean? That’s why I’m here…read on!
What do you think about being versatile- especially when it’s career related? I think, versatility is a necessity. For instance, imagine a chef who doesn’t have photography skills- he or she might be really skillful and great at cooking and packaging, but sharing the meals to attract and build a customer base will require just more than cooking and sharing the pictures. Not just sharing pictures, but excellent pictures because people are attracted to what they see and your skills have to be captured in the images to keep your viewers and potential customers salivating from miles away. Do you know a photographer who is also great at modelling and probably a fashion designer too? Now, that’s what being versatile with your skills mean.

It gets disappointing when some photographers who are really great at their jobs do not have graphic designing skills to add, subtract, edit and package their pictures. I think every photographer should have basic graphic designing skills and that’s what leads to professionalism. Just like being a writer is a good thing, but adding content creation, storytelling and graphic designing to that portfolio can even make you a better writer whose work will always be looked out for.

Let’s get this right… I’m not disputing the fact that you can be great at doing one thing. No, that’s not what I mean, but I’m saying that you can be even better at doing what you’re so skilled and passionate about if you add a little spice to it by learning an extra relevant skill. You can do anything you put your mind to and although you may not be perfect at it, you can atleast try. By trying, you’ll know what works for you and what doesn’t.

Yes, you can be a jack of all trades and master of all. Be open to learning new things, do your research on other related industry game changers who do basically the same thing as you, but in a better way. I aspire to a really versatile woman in life and not just in my career, but all round. I speak English, French, a bit of German and a native language. I have plans of learning an extra foreign language too because it’ll not just make me stand out in my career as a communication expert, but help grow my network and be a great business tool in my future.

Did I also tell you I write, tell stories and create content? Well, I do that too. I am a social worker and work for organizations who are into child care, youth advocacy and women empowerment. Working with these organizations has helped me learn and grow a lot because I have future plans of starting my own organization someday and guess what? My photography classes have helped the pictures of my social work stand out and my storytelling, creative writing, content creation and graphic designing skills make my testimonials sell faster. At some point, I’ve had to speak both English and French to my contacts who needed clarification on a few matters. Now, that’s what skill versatility is about. You don’t have to learn too much, but just what’s important in your growth. So, what have you learnt from this?

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