The void until our mouths speak form

The void until our mouths speak form

We are the echoes you hear in dark crannies, tormenting you to turn on the lights
We are angry storms causing blackouts
Just as the sun loses its glory at night, so can our words darken a reckless heart,

We are a starless night.

We are the ones who drink unapologetically from beer bottles, unladylike, for we make words and define what they mean
We don’t drink wine from champagne flutes, bourbon with chasers? That’s uncouth!
We are the ones who hear, we listen, we know, we are aware,
Well aware, our words can rend and tear,
Mend hearts with needs dire our words tend to, our words care

We are the angels who knock on doors looking like bums,
The ones you tell to get away with a cry
So we don’t taint your false pride
We are the ones too arrogant to dwell in your circle of ignorance
We were raised to know better than sit in the assembly of fools.

We are the ones your parents warned you about, telling you we are deviants and would amount to nothing for we are art birthing art
We are the Creator’s tools
We are whichever side the coin shows when it’s flipped.
We are heads, we are tails and every other side
We fail forward, we are daring always ready to take leaps

We are shame, we are pride
We are life, we are death
We are shallow, we are depth
We are royalty, we are the peasants, we are the ones who have decreed our loyalty to kings alone.
We occupy temples preaching peace, when we take a piss you find us in fighting rings
We are disasters named after beautiful women, we are beaches walking naked in the most beautiful cities filled with bare chested men.

We are one’s amounting to tens
We are nomads living in tents
We are the devils in r3d dresses we are bound to tempt
We are the saints, you call sinners
The failures who became winners
We are the the squares that fit into triangles
We are angels you call demons
We are walking oxymorons.
We are miracles, we are oracles
We bind fools and set the wise free
We are everything we pretend to be

r3d

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Bisi’s Wedding Diaries

Bisi’s Wedding Diaries

5 October at 07:50 

As today marks exactly 30 days to my wedding, I will be doing 30 things to be grateful for. Today, I am grateful for #airport. I never thought in my life I would spend so much time at airports, neither did I know that the world will be my oyster. Coming from #Mushin, we were made to know that people like us can only dream. I am happy that like the dream of getting married, airport has given my dream of world domination wings to fly. #gaymarriage#30daysofthankfulness

6 October at 11:57 

Day 2 of 30 days to my wedding of 30 things to be grateful of. On the 6th October 2004, I sat on that sofa with Funmi Iyanda and I came out. She gave me the opportunity in no patronizing nor condescending way to tell my story. On that day I learnt the power of truth and authenticity. I learnt that life is what you make of it. I was a 29years old boy, just graduating from university with a prominent role in ‘Roses and Thorns’ a soap series on Galaxy Television. I lost everything after coming, but I gained today. Life was preparing for a journey beyond my expectations. In 29 days, I will say I do to a man I have come to find solace in his arms. #gaymarriage#30daysofthankfulness #newdawnwithfunmiiyanda #comingout#lgbtcomingout #authenticity #ido

7 October at 08:42 ·

Day 3 of 30 days of thankfulness of 30 days to my wedding. In 2014, around about this time, a friend sent me an email to a link to a fellowship program. I have applied for a couple before then and I have always been rejected. So when he sent me the form, I looked over it and ignored it. It will be another rejection. Two weeks later, my agent called me and said she saw a fellowship that she thinks will be great for me, it was the same fellowship. I told her I am not interested. She pushed me and I told her they will not pick me as I am not good enough. The following week, I was at Funmi Iyanda’s and she told me about the same fellowship and she was like ‘I am also a fellow of similar program with same organisation, I can nominate you’. She made me see why I should at least try.
So I went home and spent the night filling the form. I sent it to my agent who read it and made some corrections and add more information. She was angry that my low self esteem has made me leave out very important information. We sent the form and waited. A big part of me was waiting but the doubting part of me just kept telling me, get in with life. Few months later, I was in Berlin with my agent when the email came. I couldn’t open it. I thought it was rejection, but she did and screamed for job. I have been shortlisted. I was not happy, i felt it was just prolonging my rejection. Few weeks later, I did a Skype interview with the team in DC and few weeks later I received another email. I have been selected.
I became a fellow of @aspeninstitute and #aspennewvoices. It was a journey that changed my life. I started having platforms I never thought of in my life. I started having access to people that will look at me and instantly believe in me and want to help me make that dream come true. Through the fellowship, I was trained by @mothstories and then I did #tedxberlin and I have travelled around the world. I have written a lot of articles and became friends with @caitlynjenner and many more.

It feels so surreal when I think about it. It is this reason that today, on my 3rd day of thanksfulness, I want to thank the team at Aspen New Voices and my fellow fellows for believing in me.

10 October at 10:34 ·  

Day 6 of 30 days to my wedding of 30 things to be grateful for. Today I want to be thankful for my childhood. Many times we concentrate on the now and forgetting the journey it took to get to now. The laughter, the joy, the pains and the tears. My childhood was not perfect and I am happy it was not, but it was a journey I am proud of. I carry my joy and pains on the sleeves but most importantly, my childhood taught me what matters in the world. The essence of compassion, love and empathy. I learnt that sitting on the fence was not a neutral act. That silence is not golden. That boy can not and should not always be boys at the expense of girls. That I can play with dolls, pink dolls, pain my face and catwalk. Yes, sometimes I get beaten for it, but the hard headed boy I was, my passion and not the rejection was my childhood driver. As a loner, growing up in my head and in my world, I hardly make excuse for my action. I was thought to say sorry when wrong and never to say it unless I am sure I am wrong. I spent my childhood being a child and maybe that’s why, as a adult, I am still a child. Get angry like a child, smile like a child, think like a child, eat like one, sleep like one, and perform like one. I am Peter Pan but with the vision of an adult. Dear Ademola, Ojo, Kazeem, Iyanda Alimi, thanks for making the adult that is Adebisi Ademola Alimi. Next month I will marry my husband with the spirit of a child, will laugh with that spirit, enjoy the moment that my childhood has spent 41years preparing for my adulthood. In the presence of my friends, families and loved one, with shine on my face like a proud child, I will look into the eyes of my lover and say; I DO! #equalmarriage #samesexwedding#gaymarriage #ido #childhood #growingup

11 October at 11:55 · 

Day 7 of 30 to my wedding of 30 things to be grateful for. I want to celebrate everyone of you that has refused to turn a blind eye to bullying. Be it sexism, homophobia, racism, fatism, shortism and any other horrible isms out there that makes other look in the mirror and hate themselves. You bravely has given many people the courage to see another. You might not know this, but it is true. Every time to put a bully in their place and hug their victim, you have touched a life with love and compassion. Making life worthy is not in the amount of money you invest in it, but the amount of love. On social media a lot of people think it is their responsibility to invade other people’s space, call them names and tell them out to live their lives. I have been a victim of that. Many times I really would love to log off and delete my profile but gosh! You guys will not only stand up to these insecure people who wants to use other as a source of self confidence, but many of you will send messages and ring me. Today is to you. Thank you.
That is why I am begging you, that come the 20th of this month, join me and @glaad and other millions of people in the world as we say NO! to bullies. Turn your page purple in honour of people who lost their lives because of insecurities of others. You never know, you might just be saving the life of someone, destined to make the world a better place. Once again, to you all! Thank you #spiritday #spiritday2016 #ido #samesexwedding #gaymarriage#equalmarriage

… of kisses, rape, and a god of poetry

… of kisses, rape, and a god of poetry

Life is full of stories.

I have been kissed before, forcefully, by a man I was close to.

It happened years ago.

My mum had just died and I drifted to someone close because he was the only one that I felt understood me.

One day he kissed me against my wish, I told a few friends, they laughed, I pretended to laugh, we called him a fag and other names.

Inside I felt dirty, I felt betrayed, I felt life is full of people who will use and use you. For days I watched him move around freely, I remembered others who had the same experience but we kept silent, wounded, afraid nobody would believe us.

He was handsome, intelligent, and had a swag girls wanted. Who would believe someone like that defiled little boys?

It took me years to open my heart to a man, it took me years to sit down and talk to men without that fear hiding in my head. I swore to myself to always stand for those going through such because of what I felt, but these last few days has been hell.

I have been sick and still yet my head can’t just leave these issues. I have cried. I have called, I have tried to know the truth because in issues like these one has to be careful but the truth is always constant, it will always come out, it does not stay hidden forever.

It is often said that ten people can’t lie the same way. As a security personnel, one of the ways to detect lies in a witness is to have the person write his statement again and again and then you pick the truth from it.

The truth is bitter.

But it is a pill I must swallow.

No man should kiss people forcefully because he gives them things, goodness should not come at a price. It is wrong and what is wrong is wrong. I’m broken but one should always stand on the truth.

For those that think I’m an ingrate, I agree, I am but it could be your sister, it could be you…

Life is a funny place.

For those  that chose to speak out, even when people doubted you because of love and loyalty, I say you are my heroes, you have done more than I was able to do.

For snitches, I also say well done. Life is a funny place.

What more can I say, I have learnt. I will heal. Life is funny, life is real. I am no longer disappointed. People will always be people.

Selah.

Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun

For women who walk on the dark-side

For women who walk on the dark-side

This is for you… Yes you on those high, high heels. Your bright red lipstick, your body fitting clothes showing plump backsides, bouncy breasts, you’re enough your dreams are valid
For you trawling the streets of Ayilara, Ikeja, Mokola, Agbani Market in the dead of night,  turning tricks… You are human, your dreams are valid
This is for you on Teevee, twerking to the beats of violence, your Brazilian weaves, 12inches of lashes of nails, you’re enough, your dreams are valid
This is for you, yes you of the dark desires, BDSM, fantasies, role plays, you that like them plenty, like them rough, like them period. You’re human you’re real, your dreams are valid
This for you that don’t fit in, you don’t like sex, you don’t like kisses, orgasm is just not your thing,  you’re enough your dreams are valid
This is for you who loves other women, you like them wild you like them pretty you love to wipe their lipsticks off with tender kisses, you’re human, your dreams are valid
This is for you my beauty queen,  named as one sex but you know it’s not true, toss your weaves my wo-man my pretty you’re human your dreams are valid
This is for you my warrior princess your kombat boots, your low cut hair, your swagger, bow-tie, skinny jeans,  you’re human your dreams are valid
This is for all my girls that walk on the dark side, the edgy, the non-conformists, the girls wearing tats, piercings, nose rings…
you’re enough your dreams are valid…

– Ayodele Olofintuade

Editorial: Five reasons you should never be a Feminist

Editorial: Five reasons you should never be a Feminist

For going on to two weeks now, we have watched happily as discussions about feminism took over the Nigerian cyberspace.

There have always been periods on both Twitter and Facebook that people trolled feminists. A lot of memes are used in these attacks and most of them play up the same old narratives of feminists being angry, sexually frustrated women, bitter people who have most likely failed in their marriages and other relationships and are trying to ‘recruit’ other women to join them.

According to Naija cyberspace feminists are most likely pretending to be lesbians and forever single ladies who will probably never have children in their lives. As per the few Nigerian men who ‘claim’ to be feminists, it’s likely they are ‘biologicaly modified’ (frankly our understanding of English is not that deep so we won’t be able to translate what biologically modified means).

Now to the reasons why you should never be a feminist

  1. You won’t find husband: We know you’ve heard this over and over and over and over again that any woman who is a feminist is not likely to find ‘husband’. Well, the Nigerian pundits of what feminism meansFB_IMG_1435761414205 are correct. There is no way a man who considers himself husband material will want to marry you, not because of any other reason but because they’ll be too intimidated to try… but you will definitely find a partner. Someone who loves you not because of your cooking skills, or because you tolerate abuse, or because you don’t mind being cheated on or because you fear them. You will find a helpmeet someone who will support your career choices, split household chores with you, cheer you on when you need it most. You will find your best friend, because every woman who has found herself will always find love.
  2. A lot of people will not like you: Another truth! There’s no getting round this shit, a lot of people will not like you, and the only reason you will mind is because you are still seeking validation. As long as you want strangers who can in no way support you when you need help the most to ‘like’ and ‘validate’ you, you will make a miserable feminist, so don’t even bother. But if you are ready to embark on a journey of adventure and self-discovery, when you’re ready to live life on your own terms, by your own rules, long as you are determined to be your own person, then you won’t need anybody to ‘like’ you. In fact it’s likely you’ll lose a lot of friends, but at the end of the day you’ll find a supportive group of people who are accepting of who you are. People who know they are not perfect, real human beings who are ready to be there for you in real, tangible terms, the funniest part of it is that, see all those people who don’t like you? They respect you.
  3. You will be seen as an angry woman not a lady: There is no getting round this, feminists are angry! They are angry with the way things are and they are angry enough to want things to change. Feminists rant on twitter, they rant on Facebook, they blog continuously, go on air and talk till they are blue in the face. They will keep talking until the world listens and understands why we need equality in all spheres of human endeavor. No matter how reserved you are people will troll you, they will push you, they will do everything in their power to drag you down because you are seen as an enemy. More importantly you will be angry at the kind of grammar that will be used to insult you. For fuck’s sake can’t they simply write in their local language or even pidgin English? All these languages are perfectly acceptable. We suspect at 9jafeminista that these people speak really bad English to befuddle you and make you question why Nigeria had to adopt English as an official language when Hausa, or Ibiobio will do as well. The good news is that you will be angrily happy as you see that things are changing, that more people are coming to realize how harmful the patriarchy is. Your grammar will also (hopefully) improve because you might have to use the dictionary often to figure out the fuck they’re on about.
  4. You might be called a lesbian: Let’s be candid, all these narratives are overused and dried out, however, due to the fact that we are an intolerant lot in Nigeria, calling a woman a lesbian is a real scary shit and a big deal. But not all Nigerian lesbians are feminists and notBrianna Cavanaugh all feminists are lesbians. Some are bisexual, heterosexual, transgender, some are even asexual. Some lesbians support the patriarchy, just as some heterosexual, bisexual, transgender women are supportive of the patriarchal system, either because they do not know any better, or because they benefit from the patriarchy. Beyond this, if you are scared of being labelled something you are not, or you’re afraid of some people, then you are not ready to be free from the prejudices of other people. Long as you allow some people to threaten you with hellfire and brimstone (We can assure you they will and they do not have the keys of the gates of heaven or hell) then you might as well not bother.
  5. You will not be able to join the illuminati: Sorry we have to break this to you, but joining the feminist movement will not automatically confer on you the grand opportunity of joining the illuminati. Let’s be candid, who wouldn’t want to join a group that is all powerful and gives you everything you want (according to Nigerians). The Illuminati (according to Pentecostal illuminati beyonce signChristians and Nigerian cyber bullies) are a powerful group of people who are beautiful and wonderful and rich (money is important to us as Nigerians). In spite of their protestations a lot of Nigerians want to join the Illuminati, I’m sure they are thinking, in their usual oxyMORONIC fashion that they can join the illuminati, become rich and then go and confess their sins to Jesus and he will forgive all their ‘sins’ and therefore they won’t go to hell(since all illuminatis have pledged their souls to the devil). Unfortunately my feminist wanna-be, things don’t work out like that o. You are not going to join any group, you’re mostly on your own, a one-man-army, a loose cannon. You might, of course get to build a system of men and women who will give you tips, send you links, teach you, mentor you… but … it’s mostly a journey to self-discovery, self-affirmation and fulfillment.

Alao King – Smashing Gender Stereotypes

Alao King – Smashing Gender Stereotypes

My name is Eniola Micheal, CE0 Enny’s Beauty Palace. I started making my teacher’s hair from 11329963_854007701347257_7137119214873230716_nwhen I was in Primary Four. I attended St John’s Primary School, Molete, Ibadan. I didn’t learn hairdressing from anybody, it’s just a talent. I’d always wanted to be a hairdresser. Back then my mother used to own a hairdressing salon, so I got in a lot of practice.

I remember rather fondly, Mrs Alo, my teacher in primary four, who used to encourage me and even allowed me to fix her hair for her.

I went to work with a unisex salon though, just to learn how to barb hair and blend my hair styling.

I’ve been a hairdresser since 2000.

I didn’t learn how to do makeup either, I just have a flair for it.

I have many clients, many of them are politicians, their wives and other celebrities. I love what I do and so do many people, in fact I found out that most women prefer that a guy should handle their makeup, gele and hair.

I’m a very simple person, loving, caring and honest. I love tattoos, piercings, and I enjoy making my11225303_860881133993247_73942643196257950_n1549330_868681793213181_871581796821661839_n hair into different styles. In short I love doing things that make me happy

My mother, is just so sweet, she has always been supportive although my dad wanted to make a fuss about my choice of career, but my mother didn’t support him. My mum is my mentor.

11377124_854022604679100_7245371684457705757_nI make a good living from what I do, because nohow-nohow, ladies can’t do without fixing their hair, and all my big clients attend parties, at least twice a week. Being a beautician is good business especially when you’re good at what you do.

Editorial: Are they lesbianing together? Or Identifying a gay woman in five easy steps or An Idiot’s Guide to Recognizing Lesbians or Gender Expression or As you Like it!

Editorial: Are they lesbianing together? Or Identifying a gay woman in five easy steps or An Idiot’s Guide to Recognizing Lesbians or Gender Expression or As you Like it!

Sorry about the several titles of this piece, it was done this way because we understand Nigerians aversion to sarcasm, some people claim Nigerians do not understand sarcasm, but we beg to differ, we believe that Nigerians do understand sarcasm, they just prefer things to be explained PROPERLY to them. And that’s exactly what we have done with the titles EXPLAINED everything so you can be in no doubt of what this article is about.

Before we go totally off point, we wish to redirect you to the title, why would you be wasting your precious time here if not for the fact that you saw the word lesbian in the headline and you’ve always wondered what they do, who are these women? Are there women who actually prefer sleeping with other women when preeks abound? Or is lesbianism a myth, like … like dragons andexpression unicorns, and Kashamu and Mama P and Abacha and fuel scarcity … going off point again, sorry … we wish to reassure you that you should search no further, we shall address all your concerns and answer all your questions, and… deliver you from the spirit of ‘gbeborun’ aka minding other people’s business.

Internet Lesbians: WE ALL KNOW THESE WOMEN! They are all over the internet, Nigerian women o! Not oyinbo women! They are always talking about their love for other women! On twitter they are called Nigerian Association of Twitter Lesbians. We all know that these women are only pretending, because the only reason a person will claim to be a lesbian is so that they can attract attention, yes and the only people whose attentions are worth attracting … men! Don’t you see the sense in that? A woman would claim to love other women so she can get men’s attention … okay maybe it doesn’t make sense but hey we are Nigerians and we don’t need to think about things, we just KNOW these things. Just as we know that all of them are going to hell! Yes! Just go and check Leviticus, you will see there what the bible and Paul and a lot of other people say about lesbians! Have we been to hell before? No, but Jesus, okay not Jesus, our pastor told us that it is written in the bible that all the lesbians shall go to hell. The bible approves of slavery too and said we should not wear certain clothes and said a lot of things, but we sha know that they will all go to hell.

Feminists: Now we all know that Feminists are generally ugly women who cannot get men, even the fine ones amongst them can never find husband because their mouth is too sharp, always putting their mouth in things that don’t concine them so that they can ‘look’ intelligent, I wonder who they are trying to impress sef! Always screaming about the partriarchy, and glass ceilings, and violence against women and how the system has been set up to put women at a disadvantage, and education and equal rights and justice! Seriously, these women need to get preeks. Their problem is that because no man in his right mind would want to talk to, talk less of sleep with a woman who calls herself a feminist, what else can they do but help themselves? They all pretend to be lesbians because it is not good for feminists to like men. Feminists hate men. How do we know they are lesbians and they hate men? Because that’s what feminism means – women who hate men! What about men who claim to be feminists are they lesbians too? Yes! No! Emm … brb with the answer… we know the answer because we KNOW ALL THINGS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST THAT … emm, wait we’ll get back to you after asking our pastor.

Sluts aka Ashawo: Those ones, everybody knows that they are harlots (that word is in the bible and the Quran too), they will sleep with anything in trousers, even women who are wearing trousers. Their problem is that they are something called nymphomaniacs and those ones like sex too much. Nobody needs to tell you about sluts, you can see it, they are the kind of women who go around wearing clothes that reveal their breasts and yansh. They will be walking up and down the road, looking one kind at all the men, calling them with ‘come and do’ eyes. So anytime there is no man on the road, they kuku go for women, they will sleep with anything and anybody. What about men who sleep around? It is the natural order of things, men are creatures of nature, and nature says that a man has to sleep around, they just can’t help it. Men are different from women, so women should not be going around claiming rights and saying things like what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Those ones will now not find husband and then they will be going up and down different churches, going for deliverance. But are they really lesbians? No, they are just … umm … sluts, there are no real lesbians, just unicorns, and dragons, and Ojuju Calabar and witches in the village and Obasanjo and Goodluck!

Women who go to joints – let’s just be clear about one thing, it’s not that all women who go to drinking joints or like watching football are lesbians, it’s those ones that go without the sanity inspiring, big muscled, strong and intelligent men. You will always find them in bars, about three or four or more girls, seated at a table, drinking beer! The worst thing is that even if a man offers to buy them a drink they will turn it down and if any man wants to join them at a table, they will say no! It is a terrible thing these girls do all the time… what about men who go out in groups and drink at joints without female company, are they gay too? We don’t know o! But women who go out in groups must be lesbians, or feminists and as we all know ALL FEMINISTS ARE LESBIANS including men who are feminists … wait, that doesn’t even make any sense, but we’ve said it, because …we are Nigerians, so there!

Footballers: We are not talking about professional footballers here, we are talking about girls that look like boys, you know those girls we bully on the road by stopping them and asking if they are boys or girls … they sag their jeans, walk like men, wear baggy t-shirts, face-caps and all… they must be lesbians! And because we know that a REAL man will never want to date someone that looks like him, they will have no toasters, and then they will have no choice but to call themselves lesbians! There is something called testosterone that is found to varying degrees in both men and women, just like there is something called estrogen found to varying degrees in both male and female, these hormones determine, to a large extent, how we express ourselves as human and sexual beings, but don’t worry your head about big-big grammar, I mean what’s so important about all those things? What matters the most is that men are men, women are women and we have the right to determine who is male or female … by the way they are dressed, like the bible says, by their dressing you shall know them … we are not so sure the bible said that o, but then we have heard it said before or why else would we go about judging people because of the way they are dressed, like a pastor once said, the way you dress is the way you’ll be addressed! So if you dress like a boy, you will be addressed like a boy or something of that nature sha!

With the above we hope we’ve been able to satisfy your curiousity and put all your questions to rest, you can now go around judging and labeling people even better than you used to do before, because everything you read on the internet is true and what other people do in their bedrooms is very important to you, maybe this knowledge will even help you to get the miracle you’ve been seeking all these years! Especially the miracle of money dropping on your head, the miracle of the kind of money you didn’t work for. And then you will go to heaven … didn’t Jesus say something like ‘thou shalt not judge so that thou shalt not be judged’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself’? We can’t say for sure because our pastor does not read that part of the bible often, but we will go and ask him.